Sunday, July 12, 2020

July 13, 2020 - New Arrivals

July 13, 2020

Adult Fiction


Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts.
"Hollywood, 1938: As soon as she learns that M-G-M is adapting her late husband's masterpiece for the screen, seventy-seven-year-old Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to finagle her way onto the set. Nineteen years after Frank's passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of the book--because she's the only one left who knows its secrets. But the moment she hears Judy Garland rehearsing the first notes of "Over the Rainbow," Maud recognizes the yearning that defined her own life story, from her youth as a suffragette's daughter to her coming of age as one of the first women in the Ivy League, from her blossoming romance with Frank to the hardscrabble prairie years that inspired The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Judy reminds Maud of a young girl she cared for and tried to help in South Dakota, a dreamer who never got her happy ending. Now, with the young actress under pressure from the studio as well as her ambitious stage mother, Maud resolves to protect her--the way she tried so hard to protect the real Dorothy.” – Provided by publisher


Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde.
"In the summer of 1969, fourteen-year-old Lucas Painter carries a huge weight on his shoulders. His brother is fighting in Vietnam. His embattled parents are locked in a never-ending war. And his best friend, Connor, is struggling with his own family issues. To find relief from the chaos, Lucas takes long, meandering walks, and one day he veers into the woods. There he discovers an isolated cabin and two huge dogs. Frightened, he runs. And the dogs run with him. Lucas finds unusual peace in running with the dogs, and eventually he meets their owner, Zoe Dinsmore. Closed off and haunted by a tragic past, Zoe has given up. She doesn't want to be saved. She wants out. But Lucas doesn't want her to go, and he sees an opportunity to bring more than one friend back into the light. It's either the best or worst idea he's ever had, but Lucas isn't giving up on Zoe or Connor. Their unexpected connection might be the saving grace that Zoe thought she'd lost, that Connor needs, and that Lucas has been running toward"-- Provided by publisher.


Faking Forever  by Catherine Bybee.

“Shannon Wentworth's biological clock is ticking, and she isn't going to let her single status keep her from having a baby. When her wedding-photography business takes her to Mexico, she has every intention of finding a willing baby daddy to help her out. Until the bride goes AWOL, leaving Shannon to coddle the arrogant fiancé who has accused her of sabotaging his wedding. Victor Brooks never could have imagined that he'd be on a honeymoon for one. Only here he is, taking a hard look at his life after the younger women he thought he loved walked out. The woman who volunteers to help him reflect is the last person he expects to be attracted to. Between the tequila, the sun, and one earth-shattering kiss, Victor finds Shannon a distraction too sexy to ignore. They strike a deal: wait three months, cool off, and see if their tropical beach attraction is worth taking up when they go back home. Unfortunately, that's just enough time for the past to come calling. All their best-laid plans are at risk. So is the last thing Shannon expected to matter the most: her heart."-- Back cover.


Adult Non-Fiction


Advancing the Common Good: Strategies for Business, Governments, and Nonprofits  by Philip Kotler.
“In Advancing the Common Good, stories of prominent reformers fighting for the Common Good will inspire concerned readers and voters and help them recognize which actions and proposals will substantially elevate the happiness and well-being of citizens. Phil Kotler describes how today's society is in a state of "durable disorder," with a rise in authoritarian leaders and a decline in the number of democracies around the world. It highlights the role of the Common Good, and supplies readers with a guide to fortifying democratic values and creating organizations that pursue a better vision of the world. Kotler details tools for public action utilized by luminaries such as Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Rachel Carson, and Nelson Mandela, describing the advances achieved as a result of these reformers' actions and mapping out strategies for delivering "the greatest good for the greatest number." Advancing the Common Good will inspire concerned readers to recognize which actions and proposals will substantially elevate the happiness and well-being of all citizens.” – Provided by publisher

What You Should Know About Politics…But Don’t  by Jessamyn Conrad.
Jobs, health care, energy, civil liberties, and more are on the ballot again. In a world of sound bites, deliberate misinformation, and a political scene colored by the blue versus red partisan divide, how does the average educated American find a reliable source that's free of political spin? What You Should Know About Politics . . . But Don't breaks it all down, issue by issue, explaining who stands for what, and why--whether it's the economy, income inequality, Obamacare, foreign policy, education, immigration, or climate change. If you're a Democrat, a Republican, or somewhere in between, it's the perfect book to brush up on a single topic or read through to get a deeper understanding of the often mucky world of American politics.” – Provided by publisher


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

The Golden Age by Roxanne Moreil. GN
“In the kingdom of Lantrevers, suffering is a way of life--unless you're a member of the ruling class. Princess Tilda plans to change all that.As the rightful heir of late King Ronan, Tilda wants to deliver her people from famine and strife. But on the eve of her coronation, her younger brother, backed by a cabal of power-hungry lords, usurps her throne and casts her into exile.Now Tilda is on the run. With the help of her last remaining allies, Tankred and Bertil, she travels in secret through the hinterland of her kingdom. Wherever she goes, the common folk whisper of a legendary bygone era when all men lived freely. There are those who want to return to this golden age--at any cost. In the midst of revolution, how can Tilda reclaim her throne?” – Provided by publisher


The Poombah of Badoombah by Dee Lillegard; illustrations by Kevin Hawkes. C
"The Poombah of Badoombah was mightier than any king, for he had the power to poombah anything. When he poombahs the potter, his pots leap out of clay. And when he poombahs a weaver, giant carpets fly from the loom. But the Poombah goes too far when he plies his powers on a wealthy nabob riding in a howdah. And before you can say Badoombah, the very naughty Poombah is banished to the countryside where he can make mischief and magic to his heart's content! Rollicking verse and bright, busy paintings bring to life a funny tale of sorcerers and spells complete with a glossary of exotic Indian words in a lively picture book about a most unusual hero! – Provided by publisher

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860

Monday, July 6, 2020

July 7, 2020 - Staff Reviews

Whispers in the Dark
By Maya Banks
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Ebook Review - Available from WV Reads!
3 stars - Exciting love story with lots of action and a twist in the usual plot. An underrated romantic suspense series that is enjoyable as single reads. Military hero meets sympathetic and unique heroine as they go on a run for their lives. I enjoyed it from start to finish. Banks’ is known for her steamy 50 Shades style romances or her historical's but she’s overlooked in the suspense department. This book in particular is packed with action, minimal corniness. I think this would appeal to fans of Lora Leigh and Sylvia Day but also the lighter fair romance readers as well. There’s plenty of steam but it’s well-balanced with thrills. Some will probably feel there’s not enough character background or intricate plot devices. It’s a very straight forward story with Nathan depending on Shea for help escaping a rebel prison and then Shea relying on him to keep her alive on the run from shady spook villains. The hero is part of the Kelly family, who are admittedly sappy at times. His relationship with his siblings, particularly his KGI security specialist brothers is fun though. And he’s not without equally handsome and deadly friends, of course. The family and friends make up the other stories of the series so this can be read as a standalone. There are some mild spoilers for the first three books though. Personally, I was revisiting it as I skipped this one a few years ago. The paranormal aspect hadn’t appealed to me then, and it won’t appeal to some readers either. But I found it adding a layer of tension and a refreshing twist from the usual romance storyline. A surprise or two toward the end makes for a nice hook too. There’s little lag time in the story, even for them to work on building a relationship. It’s practically instant love but it’s done in good nature and makes for a quick, fun read.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

July 6, 2020 - New Arrivals

July 06, 2020

Adult Fiction


Knife by Jo Nesbo.
"Harry Hole is not in a good place. Rakel--the only woman he's ever loved--has ended it with him, permanently. He's been given a chance for a new start with the Oslo Police but it's in the cold case office, when what he really wants is to be investigating cases he suspects have ties to Svein Finne, the serial rapist and murderer who Harry helped put behind bars. And now, Finne is free after a decade-plus in prison--free, and Harry is certain, unreformed and ready to take up where he left off. But things will get worse. When Harry wakes up the morning after a blackout, drunken night with blood that's clearly not his own on his hands, it's only the very beginning of what will be a waking nightmare the likes of which even he could never have imagined."—Provided by publisher

Promise by Minrose Gwin.
"In the aftermath of a devastating tornado that rips through the town of Tupelo, Mississippi, at the height of the Great Depression, two women worlds apart--one black, one white; one a great-grandmother, the other a teenager--fight for their families' survival in this lyrical and powerful novel."-- Provided by publisher

Find Me  by Andre Aciman.
“In Find Me, Aciman shows us Elio's father, Samuel, on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, who has become a gifted classical pianist. A chance encounter on the train with a beautiful young woman upends Sami's plans and changes his life forever. Elio soon moves to Paris, where he, too, has a consequential affair, while Oliver, now a New England college professor with a family, suddenly finds himself contemplating a return trip across the Atlantic.” – Provided by publisher


Adult Non-Fiction


Billion Dollar Coalfield by Alex P. Schust.
"Coal was the fuel that powered, warmed and industrialized America until the early 1950s. McDowell County was at the center of this "Billion Dollar Coalfield" shipping its first coal in August 1888. By 1910, McDowell County had become West Virginia's all-time leading producer of coal; a title it also held at the end of 2009. This book is a record of the coal operators and the railroad that industrialized McDowell County. It takes the reader on a 100-year journey from the first mine on Elkhorn Creek in 1888 to 1988 when the last of the pioneering coal operations shut down. It covers every mining community and pioneering coal operator in McDowell County - those who succeeded and those who failed. The author blends information from official records with personal letters, oral recollections, and newspaper articles to create a historical record flavored with life in 20th Century coal communities”.--From back of book

Arguing with Socialists by Glenn Beck.
“In Arguing With Socialists, New York Times bestselling author Glenn Beck arms readers to the teeth with information necessary to debunk the socialist arguments that have once again become popular, and proves that the free market is the only way to go. With his trademark humor, Beck lampoons the resurgence of this bankrupt leftist philosophy with thousands of stories, facts, arguments and easy-to-understand graphics for anyone who is willing to ask the hard questions. He shows that this new shiny socialism is just the same as the old one: a costly and dangerous failure that leaves desperation, poverty, and bodies in its wake.” – Provided by publisher

Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel


A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price. YA
“Valerie Simons knows the gangs are dangerous--her little brother was shot and killed by the Boars two years ago. Still, nothing will sway Valerie from wanting to join the elite and beautiful Herons and find her brother's killer. It doesn't hurt that her best friend Matthew is slated to become a Heron leader--and she'd follow him to the ends of the earth. Then Valerie is recruited by the mysterious Stags when their volatile, provocative, and beyond charismatic leader Jax promises to help her get revenge. Torn between old love and new loyalty, Valerie races to finish the mission that got her into the gangs. But no one truly wins the Wars.” – Provided by publisher


Catherine’s War by Julia Billet. GN

 At the Sèvres Children's Home outside Paris, Rachel Cohen has discovered her passion--photography. Although she hasn't heard from her parents in months, she loves the people at her school, adores capturing what she sees in pictures, and tries not to worry too much about Hitler's war. But as France buckles under the Nazi regime, danger closes in, and Rachel must change her name and go into hiding. As Catherine Colin, Rachel Cohen is faced with leaving the Sèvres Home--and the friends she made there--behind. But with her beautiful camera, Catherine possesses an object with the power to remember. For the rest of the war, Catherine bears witness to her own journey, and to the countless heroes whose courage and generosity saved the lives of many, including her own.” – Provided by publisher

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860

Monday, June 29, 2020

June 30, 2020 - Staff Reviews

Better Than Sexy
By Carly Phillips
Release Date: February 25th, 2020
*Ebook Available from WV Reads!*

3 Stars - A short entry into crossover trilogy that’s fast and fun. Free library
copy makes it pefect for a summer afternoon. Club owner Landon hires sweet,
new-to-the-scene singer Vivienne. But their families and pasts keep them apart. The
connection there makes for quite a bit of tension, romantic and suspense wise.

I think I need to emphasize this is a quick read and pricey for an Ebook if
purchasing. The plot doesn’t feel bare bones nor the dialouge but it’s a
straightforward story without red herrings or added drama. Landon falls in love with
Vivi pretty much on the spot, as his fellow club owners and friends did with their
leading ladies in the prior two entries. He is a nice guy, but also protective and
street smart. And his personal struggles with his brother’s history and his own
troubled memories give us a guy to root for. He’s finding his way back to music.
Vivi’s life is music but in an admirable way. She still loves her mom and best
friend and refuses to compromise her principles.

Minimal spoilers I think for the last two books here. I read one but not two and
flowed just fine. Phillips’ has always had some variety in her heroes and heroines
from their appearances to personalities. There used to be more PI and cop heroes but
now it’s been business types. The heroines now have a little more life direction
than in her early books. She’s fortunately, I think, not one to venture from the
heart of a romance novel being the love story. Many others in the contemporary genre
have shifted it seems to more comedy or more gentle pace/relaxing setting. Her
writing is heartfelt and at times humorous, but it’s about the couple and not the
banter or the location. Only a few complaints. A couple editing errors pop up but
not to a distraction. And in my opinion, more could have been done to flesh out the
story and then less push and pull between the main characters. 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

June 29, 2020 - New Arrivals

June 29, 2020

Adult Fiction

Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst

Life, death, and rebirth—in Becar, who you are in this life will determine your next life. Yet there is hope—you can change your destiny with the choices you make. But for the darkest individuals, there is no redemption: you come back as a kehok, a monster, and are doomed to be a kehok for the rest of time. Unless you can win the Races. After a celebrated career as an elite kehok rider, Tamra became a professional trainer. Then a tragic accident shattered her confidence, damaged her reputation, and left her nearly broke. Now, she needs the prize money to prevent the local temple from taking her daughter away from her, and that means she must once again find a winning kehok . . . and a rider willing to trust her.

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry

Set in the coastal town of Danvers, Massachusetts, where the accusations began that led to the 1692 witch trials, We Ride Upon Sticks follows the 1989 Danvers High School Falcons field hockey team, who will do anything to make it to the state finals—even if it means tapping into some devilishly dark powers. In chapters dense with 1980s iconography—from Heathers to "big hair"—Barry expertly weaves together the individual and collective progress of this enchanted team as they storm their way through an unforgettable season.

The Devil Colony by James Rollins

New York Times bestselling thrill-master James Rollins is back with The Devil Colony, another electrifying combination of suspense, history, science, action, and ingenious speculation. In The Devil Colony, Sigma Force stalwarts Painter Crowe and Commander Grayson Pierce must investigate a gruesome massacre in the Rocky Mountains and root out a secret cabal that has been manipulating momentous events since the time of the original thirteen colonies. Once again, Rollins delivers a spine-tingler that will leave fans of Michael Crichton, The Da Vinci Code, and Indiana Jones breathless—as he exposes the dark truth behind the founding of America.


Adult Non-Fiction

Eat That Frog! By Brian Tracy

There's an old saying: if you eat a live frog first thing each morning, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that it's probably the worst thing you'll do all day. Using "eat that frog" as a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on, but also the one that might have the greatest positive impact on your life, Eat That Frog! shows you how to zero in on these critical tasks and organize your day. You'll not only get more done faster, but get the right things done.

A Song for You by Robyn Crawford

Whitney Houston is as big a superstar as the music business has ever known. She exploded on the scene in 1985 with her debut album and spent the next two decades dominating the charts and capturing the hearts of fans around the world. One person was there by her side through it all—her best friend, Robyn Crawford. Since Whitney's death in 2012, Robyn has stayed out of the limelight and held the great joys, wild adventures, and hard truths of her life with Whitney close to her heart. Now, for the first time ever, Crawford opens up in her new memoir, A Song for You. With warmth, candor, and an impressive recall of detail, Robyn describes the two meeting as teenagers in the 1980s, and how their lives and friendship evolved as Whitney recorded her first album and Robyn pursued her promising Division I basketball career. Together during countless sold-out world tours, behind the scenes as hit after hit was recorded, through Whitney's marriage and the birth of her daughter, the two navigated often challenging families, great loves, and painful losses, always supporting each other with laughter and friendship. Deeply personal and heartfelt, A Song for You is the vital, honest, and previously untold story that provides an understanding of the complex life of Whitney Houston. Finally, the person who knew her best sets the record straight.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

The Hall of Fame Heist by Mike Lupica

In this seventh sports-themed mystery, eight-year-old twins Zach and Zoe go on a school field trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. On their tour, they discover one of the display items is missing from its case, and with the help of their classmates, they work together to figure out what happened. 

Spy School by Stuart Gibbs

Ben Ripley may only be in middle school, but he's already pegged his dream job: C.I.A. or bust. Unfortunately for him, his personality doesn't exactly scream "secret agent." In fact, Ben is so awkward, he can barely get to school and back without a mishap. Because of his innate nerdiness, Ben is not surprised when he is recruited for a magnet school with a focus on science—but he's entirely shocked to discover that the school is actually a front for a junior C.I.A. academy. Could the C.I.A. really want him? Actually, no. There's been a case of mistaken identity—but that doesn't stop Ben from trying to morph into a supercool undercover agent, the kind that always gets the girl. And through a series of hilarious misadventures, Ben realizes he might actually be a halfway decent spy...if he can survive all the attempts being made on his life!


*Summaries of books courtesy of Overdrive*

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860

Monday, June 22, 2020

June 23, 2020 - Staff Reviews

Wrath of Poseidon
By Clive Cussler & Robin Burcell
Release Date: May 26th 2020
*Ebook Review - Available from WV Reads!*

4 Stars! - Fans of this series or just treasure hunting tales should pick up this
book. I didn’t want to put it down. Going back in time refreshes the likable Fargo
saga but anyone new to the series can start here too. The island locale and exciting
plot make for a great summer read.

One of my favorite things about the Fargo series and the way Cussler and his
counterparts write it is they don’t rehash all the other adventures. A passing
mention of another treasure or experience usually comes as an inside joke. However,
as someone who has read all the all entries over the years, I found taking Sam and
Remi back to when they first met to be a delightful way to shake up the series.
While a few things here and there with the timeline had me scatching my head, I was
enthralled with the story of the first rescue, early villians, and new treasure tale
all against the backdrop of Greece. I would recommend this to anyone in the mood for
a fast-paced thriller absent spies and politics.

I’ve been told some people don’t enjoy Cussler’s work because of an abundance of
detail. Admittedly, I find myself slogging through some prologues and seemingly
extra historical perspectives to get to the heart of the story. Also don’t mind a
heavy dose of action unreality such as a revolver beating an Uzi. A few of the last
chapters did feel a bit drawn out but I didn’t want it to end so. I find this series
superior to its British cousin - Chase & Wilde by McDermott. And I think it more fun
than the historical Peabody/Emerson series by Peters. Romance readers would enjoy
the Fargos’ banter and affection for one another. But that always takes a backseat
to the action, chase scenes, escape plots, and some good old fashion swashbuckling
style fun.


Sunday, June 21, 2020

June 22, 2020 - New Arrivals

June 22, 2020

Adult Fiction

No Going Back by Sheena Kamal

Find your enemy. Before he finds you. Nora Watts has a talent for seeing what lies beneath strangers' surfaces, and for knowing what they're working hard to keep hidden. Somehow, it's the people closest to her she has trouble truly connecting with. In the case of Bonnie, the teenage daughter Nora gave up for adoption, she has to keep trying. For Bonnie has a target on her back—and it's all because of Nora. Two years ago, Bonnie was kidnapped by the wealthy Zhang family. Though Nora rescued her, she made a powerful enemy in Dao, a mysterious triad enforcer and former head of the Zhangs' private security. Now Dao is out for revenge, and she needs to track him down in order to keep herself—and Bonnie—safe.

The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey

Everything that lives hates us...Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable landscape. A place where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don't get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will. Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He believes the first rule of survival is that you don't venture too far beyond the walls. He's wrong.

The Nantucket Inn by Pamela M. Kelley

Lisa Hodges needs to make a decision fast. Thanks to her dead husband's gambling addiction, their savings is almost gone. In her early fifties with a large, waterfront home on Nantucket to support, Lisa hasn't worked in over thirty years, has no in-demand skills and is virtually unemployable. Her only options are to sell the house and move off-island, or, she could use her cooking and entertaining skills and turn her home into a bed and breakfast. She desperately needs it to succeed because she has four grown children with problems of their own and wants to stay close to them. 


Adult Non-Fiction

Black Man on the Titanic by Serge Bilé

Joseph Laroche was an anomaly among the passengers of the Titanic. He was exceptionally well-educated in a time when few black men had access to an education-and when even fewer were able to travel on a luxurious ship in first or second class. When his family arrived in the United States without him after the Titanic's tragic crash, they were received well along with the other survivors, and even sponsored by a wealthy New York heiress. Who was Joseph Laroche? Where was he going, and what was his story?

The Peanuts Papers by Andrew Blauner

In The Peanuts Papers, thirty-three writers and artists reflect on the deeper truths of Schulz's deceptively simple comic, its impact on their lives and art and on the broader culture. These enchanting, affecting, and often quite personal essays show just how much Peanuts means to its many admirers—and the ways it invites us to ponder, in the words of Sarah Boxer, "how to survive and still be a decent human being" in an often bewildering world. Featuring essays, memoirs, poems, and two original comic strips, here is the ultimate reader's companion for every Peanuts fan.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Black Widow: Deadly Origin by Paul Cornell & John Paul Leon

Trained from a young age to become a razor-sharp weapon, the Russian girl named Natalia Romanova was honed into the world-class secret agent and sometime super hero known as the Black Widow. Throughout her chaotic life of espionage and double-crosses, only one thing remained constant: her relationship with Ivan, the enigmatic man who raised her as a daughter. But when the mysterious "Icepick Protocol," suddenly strikes at her beloved father figure, the stakes of Natalia's dangerous work become even higher. With this mysterious conspiracy threatening everyone she loves, the Black Widow must untangle the decades of treachery and betrayal that have plagued her life since childhood. Racing around the globe, Natalia must confront former lovers and allies including Daredevil, Hawkeye, Hercules, Nick Fury and the new Captain America. But even with powerful allies like this, can she act quick enough to prevent her past from destroying her future?

Daphne and Velma: The Vanishing Girl by Josephine Ruby

Popular Daphne Blake and über-nerd Velma Dinkley are not friends. They aren't enemies either, but they don't have any reason to speak to each other, and that's how they prefer it. The two girls grew up together - they'd been best friends since pre-K - but when they hit middle school, Daphne dropped Velma and never looked back. These days, Daphne's deep in the popular crowd, daughter of the richest family in town, while Velma's an outsider, hiding from the world behind her thick glasses. When they run into each other in the halls of Crystal Cove High, they look the other way. But then Daphne's best friend, Marcy - who happens to be Velma's cousin - goes missing. A century ago, there was a wave of disappearances in Crystal Cove, and many local people believe that supernatural forces were behind it. Now the whole town believes those same forces are back . . . and up to no good.

*Summaries of books courtesy of Overdrive*

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860