Staff Picks

Here are some recent book reviews!

  • Book Review: Before We Were Yours

    February 21, 2019
    Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate This heart-wrenching tale opens in 1939, as Rill’s Mom, Queenie, lays laboring to give birth to twins.  The midwife tells Rill’s Dad, Briny, that if Queenie doesn’t get to a hospital, all three will die.  Briny finally listens, leaves Rill in charge of her three younger siblings, and disappears ...
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  • Book Review: The Culture Code

    February 15, 2019
    The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle (2018) Have you ever been part of a group that jelled beautifully? A sports team, a work team, a classroom, a boardroom, a circle of people that seemed to function on a magical level? I have always been fascinated by that chemistry, so I was delighted ...
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  • Book Review: Once Upon A River

    February 8, 2019
    Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield (2018) One night at an ancient inn on the Thames, an injured stranger appears at the door carrying the lifeless body of a little girl who has drowned in the river. Hours later, the girl comes back to life. The regulars at the inn have many questions: How and ...
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  • Book Review: Becoming Mrs. Lewis

    February 1, 2019
    Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan (2018) “To defeat the darkness out there, you must defeat the darkness in yourself.”          Aslan, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C. S. Lewis Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis by Patti Callahan is anything but a slight novel; rather it is an intellectually inspiring and ...
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  • Book Review: Townie

    January 25, 2019
    Townie by Andre Dubus III In this memoir, novelist Andre Dubus III explores his unsettled background as a child of divorce in the 1970s. After his father, an acclaimed author, left Dubus’s mother to raise four kids alone in a Massachusetts mill town filled with drugs and crime, Dubus felt he had to protect himself and those he loved. He ...
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  • 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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