Staff Picks

Here are some recent book reviews!

  • Book Review: The Man With No Face

    January 23, 2020
    The Man With No Face is a standalone mystery/espionage novel by the well-known Scottish author Peter May. It was first published in 1981 under the title Hidden Faces. As the novel opens, Neil Bannerman, a journalist with Scotland’s Daily Standard, is exiled to Brussels by his angry editor. His assignment is to cover the political ...
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  • Book Review: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

    January 17, 2020
    This non-fiction account on “the troubles” in Northern Ireland was on many top ten lists for 2019. Since my knowledge on this subject might not even fill a thimble, and I like “true crime” as a genre, I decided this was a great New Year’s project for me. Patrick Radden Keefe is a staff ...
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  • Book Review: Children of Virtue and Vengeance

    January 10, 2020
    You would think that Tomi Adeyemi would take her foot of the gas a little in Children of Virtue and Vengeance, the second volume of the Legacy of Orisha series, given that the action continued at breakneck speed the entire first book – but you’d be wrong.  In the first book of the best-selling young ...
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  • Book Review: Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All

    December 11, 2019
    This book is the result of a collaboration by seven young adult authors, all women; their work provides a very readable history of Tudor England from the perspectives of Henry VIII’s six wives. Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Katherine Parr all come to life on the ...
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  • Book Review: Anya’s Ghost

    December 6, 2019
    “I’m enough like you to know how you feel. Wanting how others look, what they have, who they have! Everyone’s life seems so much easier …” This earnest quote from Anya does a great job of summing up the tone of this graphic novel by Vera Brosgol. Anya’s Ghost is a must read for ...
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  • Book Review: The Fountains of Silence

    November 14, 2019
    The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys (2019) Madrid, Spain. 1957. Francisco Franco has been in power for 18 years. The country is still burdened by the losses of the Spanish Civil War and is shrouded in the secrets necessary under Franco’s oppressive regime. Ana, an orphaned child of dissidents, is lucky to have a good job at the Castellana ...
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  • Book Review: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

    October 31, 2019
    This is an extremely well-researched and thoughtfully presented account of the lives of a group of North Korean defectors that worked with journalist Barbara Demick to tell their stories of survival and escape. Demick has been interviewing North Koreans since 2001, when was stationed in Seoul by the Los Angeles Times; she is now ...
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  • Book Review: Pumpkinheads

    October 25, 2019
    Pumpkinheads is the latest YA Graphic novel collaboration between Rainbow Rowell, author of bestselling titles such as Eleanor and Park, Fangirl, and Carry On, and Faith Erin Hicks, author and illustrator of Friends with Boys.  This graphic novel follows two best friends –Deja and Josiah — through their last night working together at “the Patch,” the ...
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  • Book Review: Red at the Bone

    October 17, 2019
    Jacqueline Woodson received the National Book Award for her memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, published in 2014. You might have missed her talents because she writes a lot of young adult material. But don’t miss this work of adult fiction. It packs a punch. I don’t want to appear lazy, but the last paragraph of ...
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  • Book Review: Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have

    October 11, 2019
    It seems absurd to us now that humans once thought the world was flat, but I always get a kick out of pondering: which practices are humans performing this very minute that will seem equally absurd to future generations?  In Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have, former New York Times science ...
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