Monday, October 18, 2021

October 18, 2021 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

High Stakes by Iris Johansen.

Logan Tanner lives the exhilarating life of a professional gambler, taking risks with nerves of steel. From casinos in Macau to Monte Carlo to Milan, he's racked up a fortune and become a living legend.  But all the glitz and glamor hide a dark and violent past as an extractor--a world that comes rushing back to him when the beautiful and innocent Lara Balkon enters his life. Soon Logan is drawn into the conflict between two Russian mafia bosses over Lara, whose life now hangs in the balance. Logan has been offered something more valuable to him than money--information he desperately needs--in exchange for getting Lara out of Russia and to safety. Once together, Tanner discovers that Lara is a force to be reckoned with in her own right.  Tanner's search for the truth leads them to the bright lights of Las Vegas. Where the person who was hunting Lara now lies in wait for them. With the stakes climbing with each deadly confrontation, Logan and Lara are soon catapulted into a game against pure evil. The odds are stacked against them, but it's a game they know they must play...even if it may cost them their lives.


A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins.

When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women who knew him. Laura is the troubled one-night-stand last seen in the victim's home. Carla is his grief-stricken aunt, already mourning the recent death of yet another family member. And Miriam is the nosy neighbor clearly keeping secrets from the police. Three women with separate connections to the victim. Three women who are - for different reasons - simmering with resentment. Who are, whether they know it or not, burning to right the wrongs done to them. When it comes to revenge, even good people might be capable of terrible deeds. How far might any one of them go to find peace? How long can secrets smolder before they explode into flame?


The Preacher’s Daughter by Patricia Johns.

"With her preacher father in prison for fraud, Elizabeth Yoder's life in the community of Bountiful has been painfully uprooted. Mindful of wearing out her welcome with her family, she jumps at the chance to stay with elderly Bridget Lantz while the woman's daughter is away. Elizabeth has secret plans to leave for another Amish community where she might get a fresh start, but here with Bridget, she feels comfortable--until Bridget's strapping grandson, Solomon, returns from eight years with the English, and inspires feelings that shake Elizabeth's resolution... Solomon has had his own trouble with the law, after falling in with some bad influences. He's paid the price, despite his innocence, but the Amish are even more wary of him than they are of spirited Elizabeth. With good reason, he supposes--he's not sure he's ready to commit to this way of life again, especially since the Englishers are the ones offering him solutions. The only thing that seems certain is his attraction to Elizabeth. As they strive to find their places in the community, and with each other, can they open their hearts to the blessing of love?"-- Provided by publisher.


Adult Non-Fiction

Across the Airless Wilds by Earl Swift.

8:36 P.M. EST, December 12, 1972: Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt braked to a stop alongside Nansen Crater, keenly aware that they were far, far from home. They had flown nearly a quarter-million miles to the man in the moon's left eye, landed at its edge, and then driven five miles in to this desolate, boulder-strewn landscape. As they gathered samples, they strode at the outermost edge of mankind's travels. This place, this moment, marked the extreme of exploration for a species born to wander. A few feet away sat the machine that made the achievement possible: an electric go-cart that folded like a business letter, weighed less than eighty pounds in the moon's reduced gravity, and muscled its way up mountains, around craters, and over undulating plains on America's last three ventures to the lunar surface. In the decades since, the exploits of the astronauts on those final expeditions have dimmed in the shadow cast by the first moon landing. But Apollo 11 was but a prelude to what came later: while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin trod a sliver of flat lunar desert smaller than a football field, Apollos 15, 16, and 17 each commanded a mountainous area the size of Manhattan. All told, their crews traveled fifty-six miles, and brought deep science and a far more swashbuckling style of exploration to the moon. And they triumphed for one very American reason: they drove.


If Ignorance is Bliss, We Should All Be Ecstatic by Fred Leavitt.

Nothing we think we know - NOTHING - is likely to be correct. “If Ignorance is Bliss, We Should All Be Ecstatic” explores the limitations of knowledge and argues that neither reasoning nor direct observation can be trusted. Not only are they unreliable sources, but they do not even justify assigning probabilities to claims about what we can know. This position, called radical skepticism, has intrigued philosophers since before the birth of Christ, yet nobody has been able to refute it. Fred Leavitt uses two unique methods of presentation. First, he supports abstract arguments with summaries of real-life examples from many and varied fields, which make the arguments much more convincing and compelling. He cites more than 200 studies from psychology, mathematics, chaos theory, quantum mechanics, evolutionary theory, history, the corporate world, politics, the military, and current news reporting. Second, Leavitt's writing is user-friendly, even when dealing with complex issues. Whether answering the telephone, turning on the TV, talking with friends, or munching on an apple, we expect things to happen predictably. These expectations, paired with radical skepticism, exemplify cognitive dissonance at the highest level.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Aru Shah and the City of Gold by Roshani Chokshi.  J

"Aru Shah and her sisters--including one who also claims to be the Sleeper's daughter--must find their mentors Hanuman and Urvashi in Lanka, the city of gold, before war breaks out between the devas and asuras." -- Provided by publisher.


The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor by Shaenon K. Garrity & Christopher Baldwin.  YA GN

One dark and stormy night, Haley sees a stranger drowning in the river. Since her greatest passion is Gothic romance novels, she knows her moment has come. But when Haley leaps into the water to rescue the stranger, she awakens in Willowweep. It certainly looks like the setting of one of her favorite books: A stately manor. A sinister housekeeper. Three brooding brothers. There's even a ghost. Except Willowweep is not what it seems. Its romantic exterior hides the workings of a pocket universe--the only protection our world has against a great force of penultimate evil, and its defenses are crumbling. Could cruel fate make Haley the heroine that Willowweep needs?

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

Saturday, October 16, 2021

October 16, 2021 - Staff Reviews

Reckless Road
By Christine Feehan
Release Date: February 9, 2021
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

2 Stars - Branched outside my comfort zone a bit with this story that part romance, part MC, and part paranormal. Even though early on I struggled to get engaged, I was really intrigued by Zyah and Player. But I'd say it's more suited to fans of the series and author, don't start here.

The first quarter or so of the book, my interest waivered a lot. The hook up mentioned in the blurb was about the only real "thing" that happened here, and the actual sexy times were just recapped. I was hoping for suspense rather than steam with this so that was okay. But I wasn't very invested because I just kept getting told about the connection between Player and Zyah, not feeling it. Zyah was a softy and an etheral girl, while Player's immediate regrets and concern regarding her sort of undermined his tough guy persona. I mean that in a good way. But he was a real jerk to her to start off so I think we needed more.

The series obviously has a few books before this, and I learned this wasn't an easy one to jump into. A few things that bothered me early on was it felt like a lot of name dropping and so much info about characters other than the main couple, sometimes moreso. With the exception of Zyah's grandmother, none really stood out. And the passage of time between scenes/chapters felt vague. I'd never read Feehan's work before and I sensed a lot of heart under the wordiness. But I had trouble filtering through it. So maybe if a plot of hers really intrigues me or I have more attention to devote to a series I'll return to her. In theory, this book has a little something for everyone. Steaminess and romance, a touch of paranormal, some MC stuff, side couples, intrigue. I just felt like I needed more of one thing or another in particular to really ground me to the book. And it didn't hold my interest enough as a result.


Thursday, October 14, 2021

October 14, 2021 - BCPL Resume Tips

 Brooke County Libraries - Resume Tip #12

Include Computer/Technical Programs & Skills

Are you looking to fill some space in your resume? Maybe you know the exact job you're applying for and want to highlight your experience. Don't be afraid to be specific!

Many skilled labor positions involve use of certain tools and technology. By including specific machinery you are trained to handle in your job duties and description, you could really impress your next manager. 

This similarly true of certain office job positions as well. For example, if your career is in medical billing and coding, don't be afraid to list a few of the programs you've mastered. Maybe you worked with Medisoft or Allscripts for over ten years and that's the very computer program your next place of employment will use. That is the kind of small detail that could set you apart from other job seekers.

The most basic example would be an administrative assistant including typing skills of word-per-minute, a still relevant asset to anyone seeking an administrative or data entry position.

Of course, these are details that will no doubt be discussed or available in your job interview. So if your resume is already packed with job history and detail, don't fill like these are a must! But it's an idea to keep in mind for anyone looking to fill gaps in that one-page resume.

Until next month, job searchers!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

October 12, 2021 - Staff Reviews

A Dark & Stormy Murder
By Julia Buckley
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3.5 - A quick and fun cozy with a lot to love for mystery fans. Lena, our heroine, is an aspiring writer slowly turning to sleuth. She kind of leaves the quirkiness to the slew of characters she meets up with in her new hometown of Blue Lake. Definitely a series worth checking out.

The story doesn't exactly start off with a bang, but Buckley's writing style and main character Lena's personality kind of sucked me in anyway. Lena's embarking on a new adventure, moving to her bestie's town, and she's getting hired by her ideal mentor as a writing assistant. Camilla is an esteemed author modeled like an Agatha Christie, Sue Grafton, or Mary Higgins Clark. She reminded me of Julie Andrews in The Princess Diaries actually. She lives in a gothic mansion I pictured from the set of a 60s movie with two adorable German Shepherds. Lena's cat is even a fan of theirs. Before Lena can really settle in, she stumbles across a dead body not far from the property.

Things continue to heat up in the plot as people start appearing to break in (or try to) at Camilla's mansion. The side characters sort of got thrown in fast here. Besides Lena, her boss, and her friend, we meet a lot of people straight off the bat. It'll be fun to see who stays in the Blue Lake circle. There's Lane, a local hardworking mother, and the housekeeper, Rhonda, who is pretty obsessed with Downton Abbey. Grouchy construction guys, restaurant workers, and a few knitters. Lots of potential favorites to choose from. Of course, most intriguing are Lena's potential beaus. First in town, she meets a hunky detective who takes an interest in her and is eager to lend her a hand. But I found Sam West more interesting, a reclusive executive type who is Camilla's closest thing to a neighbor. He has his own mystery surrounding him and his appearance in Blue Lake. A few moments got a bit over the top silly and/or dramatic. And I have to say there was some lag around the 3/4 mark. Overall, there's plenty of intrigue and excitement. 


Monday, October 11, 2021

October 11, 2021 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

19 Yellow Moon Road by Fern Michaels.

"Maggie Spritzer's nose for a story doesn't just make her a top-notch newspaper editor, it also tells her when to go the extra mile for a friend. When she gets a strange message from her journalism pal, Gabby Richardson, Maggie knows her services are needed. Gabby has become involved with The Haven, a commune that promises to guide its members toward a more spiritually fulfilling life. But Gabby's enthusiasm has turned to distrust ever since she was refused permission to leave the compound to visit her sick mother. Maggie wants to learn more about The Haven, and the Sisterhood is eager to help. It turns out The Haven's founders are the sons of a disgraced Chicago businessmen in prison for running a Ponzi scheme. They also have connections to a Miami billionaire with dubious sidelines. Soon, the Sisterhood gang embark on a search--and uncover a web of crime that runs deeper and higher than they ever imagined. And they'll need all their special skills to bring it down . . ." —


Falling by T. J. Newman.

You just boarded a flight to New York. There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard. What you don't know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot's family was kidnapped. For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die. The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane. Enjoy the flight.


The Return of the Wolf by Larry D. Sweazy.

"Josiah Wolfe quits the Texas Rangers and returns home to find himself in the middle of a family feud. The Langdons and the Halversons have been fighting over land as the townsfolk fled after losing out on a railroad junction. Morris Langdon has vowed revenge on Josiah and the Texas Rangers for the hanging of his older brother. The Halverson family holds a grudge against Josiah for leaving with their young grandson. The Texas Rangers are called in to end the feud after the county sheriff is murdered. Josiah is accused of the killing. Will the Rangers help Josiah clear his name, or will they treat him like a cold-blooded killer? Or is the feud nothing more than a ploy by Morris Langdon to exact his revenge and gain control of Anderson County once and for all?"-- Provided by publisher.


Adult Non-Fiction

The Barbizon by Paulina Bren.

Welcome to New York's legendary hotel for women. Liberated from home and hearth by World War I, politically enfranchised and ready to work, women arrived to take their place in the dazzling new skyscrapers of Manhattan. But they did not want to stay in uncomfortable boarding houses. They wanted what men already had--exclusive residential hotels with maid service, workout rooms, and private dining. Built in 1927, at the height of the Roaring Twenties, the Barbizon Hotel was designed as a luxurious safe haven for the "Modern Woman" hoping for a career in the arts. Over time, it became the place to stay for any ambitious young woman hoping for fame and fortune. Sylvia Plath fictionalized her time there in The Bell Jar, and, over the years, it's almost 700 tiny rooms with matching floral curtains and bedspreads housed, among many others, Titanic survivor Molly Brown; actresses Grace Kelly, Liza Minnelli, Ali MacGraw, Jaclyn Smith; and writers Joan Didion, Gael Greene, Diane Johnson, Meg Wolitzer. Mademoiselle magazine boarded its summer interns there, as did Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School its students and the Ford Modeling Agency its young models. Before the hotel's residents were household names, they were young women arriving at the Barbizon with a suitcase and a dream. Not everyone who passed through the Barbizon's doors was destined for success--for some, it was a story of dashed hopes--but until 1981, when men were finally let in, the Barbizon offered its residents a room of their own and a life without family obligations. It gave women a chance to remake themselves however they pleased; it was the hotel that set them free. No place had existed like it before or has since.


War on the Border by Jeff Guinn.

The “Punitive Expedition” was launched in retaliation under Pershing’s command and brought together the Army, National Guard, and the Texas Rangers—who were little more than organized vigilantes with a profound dislike of Mexicans on both sides of the border. Opposing this motley military brigade was Villa, a guerrilla fighter who commanded an ever-changing force of conscripts in northern Mexico. The American expedition was the last action by the legendary African-American “Buffalo Soldiers.” It was also the first time the Army used automobiles and trucks, which were of limited value in Mexico, a country with no paved roads or gas stations. Curtiss Jenny airplanes did reconnaissance, another first. One era of warfare was coming to a close as another was beginning. But despite some bloody encounters, the Punitive Expedition eventually withdrew without capturing Villa. Today Anglos and Latinos in Columbus, New Mexico, where Villa’s raid took place, commemorate those events, but with differing emotions. And although the bloodshed has ended, the US-Mexico border remains as vexed and volatile an issue as ever.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Who is Tom Brady? by James Buckley, Jr.  J NF

On February 7, 2021, Tom Brady lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy into the air for the seventh time in his career. After winning the Super Bowl six times with the New England Patriots, this was Brady's first win with his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The record-breaking win further solidified what many people had already believed for two decades: Tom Brady is the GOAT: Greatest Of All Time. This moving story details the life of Tom Brady and the victories that led him to become the 264-game-winning NFL quarterback we cheer for today.


An Occasionally Happy Family by Cliff Burke.  J

"There are zero reasons for Theo Ripley to look forward to his family vacation. Not only are he, sister Laura, and nature-obsessed Dad going to Big Bend, the least popular National Park, but once there, the family will be camping. And Theo is an indoor animal. It doesn't help that this will be the first vacation they're taking since Mom passed away. Once there, the family contends with 110 degree days, wild bears, and an annoying amateur ornithologist and his awful teenage vlogger son. Then, Theo's dad hits him with a whopper of a surprise: the whole trip is just a trick to introduce his secret new girlfriend."-- Publisher's description.

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

Friday, October 8, 2021

October 8, 2021 - Book Club Preview

Brooke County Libraries are excited to present our October 2021 Book Club Pick - The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin. 

Our meeting will be in-person/virtual option on Thursday October 28th at 5 pm! For more details, please call BCPL.

About the book... 
In the spirit of Loving Frank and The Paris Wife, acclaimed novelist Melanie Benjamin pulls back the curtain on the marriage of one of America’s most extraordinary couples: Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

When Anne Morrow, a shy college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family, she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong. Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer, and her world will be changed forever. The two marry in a headline-making wedding. In the years that follow, Anne becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States. But despite this and other major achievements, she is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness.

About the author...
Melanie is a native of the Midwest, having grown up in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she pursued her first love, theater. After raising her two sons, Melanie, a life-long reader (including being the proud winner, two years in a row, of her hometown library's summer reading program!), decided to pursue a writing career. After writing her own parenting column for a local magazine, and winning a short story contest, Melanie published two contemporary novels under her real name, Melanie Hauser, before turning to historical fiction.

Melanie lives in Virginia with her husband. In addition to writing, she puts her theatrical training to good use by being a member of the Authors Unbound speakers bureau. When she isn't writing or speaking, she's reading. And always looking for new stories to tell.

Images are info are courtesty of Google, Goodreads, and the author's webpage.

Let us know in the comment section or on any of our social media pages if you enjoyed this book or audiobook! We love to hear from readers.

 Intrigued? Check out the ebook copy available from WV Reads!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

October 6, 2021 - Staff Reviews

Eddie's Boy
By Thomas Perry
Release Date: December 1, 2020
Audiobook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - An interesting story that's both a prequel and an epilouge rolled into one. Perry's enigmatic hero Michael is a fascinating former hitman with a set of skills that rivals any action movie star. His latest run for his life is worth a read.

While I'd read Thomas Perry before, I made a mistake here not reading the original trilogy of The Butcher's Boy. This story revisits a lot of Michael's past which will no doubt bring back fond memories for readers who started in the right place. I hop around in series all the time and can't think of a series I did so wrong as this one when I didn't start in the beginning. Michael's childhood was morbidly entertaining. And his present (which really reminded me of one of my faves The Bourne Ultimatium - book not movie version) was not quite action packed but very suspenseful as he tries to figure out who is trying to kill him.

As I said emphatically, I'm not sure what fans of the series are expecting here exactly. But while Michael's wife Meg quickly disappears off page, his American espionage counterpart Elizabeth returns prominently. She's still working her detective skills and trading barbs with Michael when they cross paths again. I feel it's really worth mentioning, I think Michael Kramer's performance in the audio version does more harm than good. Perry's not an emotional writer. It's not his style. But this was so monotone that my mind wandered easily, and it squashed some of the humor and personality. The female voices are awful and the males are almost indistinguishable. Also, ladies be aware this definitely has a lot of "guy" book aspects. Not saying girls won't enjoy it but there were some eye rolls. There's a lot to like in this book though for thriller fans, from those who prefer psychological thrillers to Mob stories.