Staff Picks

Here are some recent book reviews!

  • Book Review: “All Girls” by Emily Layden

    May 7, 2021Book Review: "All Girls" by Emily Layden
    When I started reading this fictional tale about a prestigious all-girls boarding school in Connecticut, I was quickly transported back to the discomforts and insecurities of my own high school experience.  In retrospect, I guess the immediate angst I felt was indicative of how skillfully the author, Emily Layden, evokes the memory of what it’s ...
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  • Book Review: “The House in the Cerulean Sea” by T.J. Klune

    April 23, 2021
    The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune is simply the best book I’ve ever read!  By the time I was 1/4 of the way into the library copy of it, I ordered my own copy from The Mockingbird Bookshop, because I knew it was going to be my new favorite book, and I would want to ...
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  • Book Review: “Thirsty Mermaids” by Kat Leyh

    April 16, 2021Book Review: "Thirsty Mermaids" by Kat Leyh
    Thirsty Mermaids is an adult graphic novel that took me by surprise. When I put this book on hold I was expecting it to be full of cutesy mermaids and silly summer adventures. What I got was much more refreshing. The merpeople in this book come in all shapes and sizes and their motivation to ...
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  • Book Review: “The Tender Bar” by J.R. Moehringer

    April 9, 2021Book Review: "The Tender Bar" by J.R. Moehringer
    This critically acclaimed memoir has been on my “to read” pile for years.  The recent news that George Clooney is directing an Oscar-bait adaptation starring Ben Affleck made me finally crack it open.  I devoured it, and I’m truly sad that I didn’t get to it earlier. At its core, this is a story about a ...
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  • Book Review: “Witch Hat Atelier” by Kamome Shirahama

    April 2, 2021Book Review: "Witch Hat Atelier" by Kamome Shirahama
    Witch Hat Atelier is an eight-volume Japanese manga series about Coco, a young tailor’s daughter who dreams of being a witch. In this series, magic is kept a well-guarded secret that only a select few are allowed to practice. Coco’s dreams become a reality, however, when a master witch comes to town and Coco finds ...
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  • Book Review: “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” by George Saunders

    March 26, 2021Book Review: "A Swim in a Pond in the Rain" by George Saunders
    George Saunders has been teaching a graduate level course about short stories in Russian literature at Syracuse for twenty years and his new book encapsulates this course. He includes seven stories by four writers (Chekov, Tolstoy, Turgenev, and Gogol) and then goes into a discussion and afterthought to help us process them and become better ...
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  • Book Review: “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab

    March 19, 2021Book Review: "The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue" by V.E. Schwab
    Addie LaRue is stuck in a loop. For the pandemic reader, Addie’s loop is a delicious escape from our own daily repetitions. She isn’t tied to her cell phone, the indoors, a demanding family, or a mind-numbing work-from-home job. Addie isn’t tied to anything at all—at least, no thing we would consider real. She has ...
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  • Book Review: “Shuggie Bain” by Douglas Stuart

    March 12, 2021Book Review:  "Shuggie Bain" by Douglas Stuart
    This is a book that was on almost every “Top Ten” list for last year, and won the 2020 Booker Prize.  I loved it, but I have hesitated to review the book because it is sad, gritty, and difficult. Reading a long book that recounts the many horrors of a poor family splintered by alcoholism ...
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  • Book Review: “Landslide” by Susan Conley

    February 26, 2021Book Review: "Landslide" by Susan Conley
    In Susan Conley’s latest novel, Landslide, we meet Jill, wife of a fisherman and mother of two teenage boys (or wolves, as Jill refers to them). After a fishing accident leaves her husband injured and hospitalized in Canada, Jill must go it alone with her sons in their small fishing village in Maine. It’s no ...
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  • Book Review: “Beavers” from the Superpower Field Guide Series by Rachel Poliquin

    February 19, 2021Book Review: "Beavers" from the Superpower Field Guide Series by Rachel Poliquin
    Beavers (Superpower Field Guide) by Rachel Poliquin is a book that offers an inside look at what makes the ordinary beaver EXTRA-ordinary! Did you know that beavers have unstoppable teeth, paws of power, and a turbocharged superstink?  I didn’t know that either until I read this first book in this four-book (so far) series. Rachel ...
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