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

Tuesday, June 16, 2020