Staff Picks

Here are some recent book reviews!

  • Book Review: Patience

    January 15, 2019
    Patience by Daniel Clowes (2016) Daniel Clowes’ 180-page vibrant science-fiction graphic novel, Patience, is a love story for the ages. Shortly after finding out she was pregnant, Patience is killed by a mysterious stranger. After spending decades lamenting his lost love, Jack discovers a way to time travel and launches on a journey to save Patience. ...
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  • Book Review: Circe

    January 9, 2019
    Circe (2018) Madeline Miller I decided to read this book because it was on so many top ten lists for 2018, but I confess I started it with low expectations. I have never been a huge mythology/classics fan. I liked Latin because the translating was like a puzzle, not because the stories and characters captivated me. Well, ...
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  • Book Review: The Library Book

    January 4, 2019
    The Library Book (2018) Susan Orlean On April 28, 1986, a massive fire at the Los Angeles Public Library consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators at the time ruled that the devastating fire had been set intentionally, and pointed the finger at enigmatic, aspiring actor Harry Peak. Decades later, speculation still ...
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  • Book Review: My Plain Jane

    December 20, 2018
    My Plain Jane Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows Hear, dear reader, is a frothy concoction of humor, romance, mystery, and adventure, packed in a well-plotted Young Adult novel. A reinvention and expansion of Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre, it will entertain those of you who labored through the original for school, as ...
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  • Book Review: A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety

    December 20, 2018
    A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety Donald Hall As always, the book flap has a nice concise summary of this slim but wonderful volume: “New essays from the vantage point of very old age …” Donald Hall, a U.S. poet laureate and husband of poet Jane Kenyon (who died in 1995 of leukemia), finished this gem as ...
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  • Book Review: The Collector’s Apprentice

    December 20, 2018
    The Collector’s Apprentice B.A. Shapiro There are several collectors in this story but only one is murdered! Like B. A. Shapiro’s other two novels (The Art Forger and The Muralist), The Collector’s Apprentice masterfully blends art history with suspense, creating a perfect piece of historical fiction. It’s the roaring 20s Europe, and a young Belgian woman is ...
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  • Book Review: Hey, Kiddo

    December 20, 2018
    Hey, Kiddo Jarrett Krosoczka Hey, Kiddo is a graphic memoir written by children’s author Jarrett Krosoczka. Jarrett tells his story of growing up with his grandparents, as his mother battles addiction and his father is out of the picture. To make sense of his difficult situation, he expresses himself though art. A National Book Award Finalist for ...
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  • Book Review: Warlight

    December 20, 2018
    Warlight Michael Ondaatje “In 1945 our parents went away and left us in the care of two men who may have been criminals.” This is Nathaniel William’s opening statement in Warlight, a novel about his coming-of-age in post-World War II London. As the novel’s narrator, he tries to reconstruct and make sense of his adolescence after his parents ...
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  • Book Review: Billy Gogan, American

    December 20, 2018
    Billy Gogan, American Roger Higgins Fifteen-year-old Billy Gogan, a Dubliner in Irish history’s hellacious An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger) of the 1840s, is ever so alone in the world, fleeing from starvation, oppression, and dangers that lurk everywhere in his bleak surroundings. He leaves for America on the precarious tall ship On a Stormy Sea that ...
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  • Book Review: The Poet X

    December 20, 2018
    The Poet X Elizabeth Acevedo Xiomara Batista is a teenage girl living in Harlem. Her mother is a devout Catholic; her father a mostly-silent presence haunting the living room; her twin brother whip-smart but timid. As the only daughter in her Dominican family, there are certain expectations of Xiomara: that she attend church regularly, that she ...
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