Friday, July 31, 2020

July 30, 2020 - Staff Reviews

The Revelators
By Ace Atkins
Release Date: July 10, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

2.5 Stars - The latest entry in the Quinn Colson series brings a lot of long-awaited closure to long time readers like myself. But this may was not my favorite entry. Most of the southern small town atmosphere is here though and Atkins doesn't leave out a single character we've come to know and love or hate in rural Mississippi.

This story starts off slower than the early books in the series, and there's a brief recap I didn't need. And I was disappointed in the Colsons a bit. Quinn's battling a pain killer addiciton. Cady just comes off as bitter here to me. I couldn't understand Maggie or Brandon's attitude. And Jean's not even excited about Elvis. But those are minor details. Chunks of the plot seemed excessive. Most of us wanted to see the Dixie Mafia/criminal empire toppled. I didn't need the illegal immigration storyline or the misadventures of two twelve-year-olds.

I think some aspects of The Revelators are better than the last The Shameless: more action by good guys, down time for Quinn, and straight forward narrative in the present time (I really hated the podcast in the prior book). But somewhere along the way, I felt like I was reading a different series. Lilly Virgil barely made appearances.  There were one too many people working undercover. And Donny Varner seemed to get more page time and character development than anybody somehow. The pathetic attempts made by a couple characters made me roll my eyes. I will say though, as always, Atkins keeps the second half of the book rolling and building up to a crazy climax. Fans of this series will be glad to get the conclusion we needed but if a reader were to start here in the series, don't judge it by this book alone.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

July 29, 2020 - Staff Reviews

Title details for It's My Life by Stacie Ramey - Available

Title: It's My Life
By: Stacie Ramey
eBook Read Through WVReads
Young Adult Literature (YA)

Image Courtesy of WVReads 

If you are looking for a YA book that wraps up in a neat package, but in that package looks at an area that we might not be familiar with, this is your book.

The main character Jenna has cerebral palsy. It follows her as a teen navigating her teen years with a disability, new love, family dynamics, and self growth. I found it interesting for the fact that the main character was someone "atypical" and it was refreshing to read something from another point of view where I could not personally connect with, but I felt that I could understand where her frustrations, sadness, and even victories, came from. 


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

July 28, 2020 - Staff Reviews

The Somerset Girls
By Lori Foster
Release Date: May 19, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 stars - A relatable sister story complete with a country setting, cute kids and animals, and hot weather and men. Foster's summer fun tale doesn't take itself too seriously and makes for a refreshing read.

Autumn is the quiet, self-concious sister who thinks of herself as independent and an ice cream lover. Her backstory is not unfamiliar but other than mentioning her big bones every three pages or so in the beginning, I liked her. Ember is the confident but emotional sister who is always trying to get the most out of life. Foster's fondness for the bond of sisters shines here. I know it had me thinking of mine. The respective men in their lives offer each of them a very different "deal" that pushes them into psuedo-couple-dom of sorts. Mike and Ember were clearly the secondary couple but a likable side story. Tash and his adorable daughter steal the show most of the book. And it's great story for lovers of the single-parent trope.

As usual, Foster has her setting is small town outer rural Applachia, Kentucky this time specifically. This book is practically the fraternal twin sister of The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis, which I also read. If you enjoy her work and/or that book, this one will definitely suit. However, Foster expertly handles telling the tale of two couples, four very different personalities very well. She's had practice with many of her prior series after all. The finish didn't come off strong. The last 50 pages or so were a little bit of a let down for me, and there I found a few strange typos too. It almost felt like an extension that was epilouge-esque. While the story could have taken a darker turn at some points, the writing stayed fairly positive in tone and optimistic. This is simply a light-hearted tale about two unique sisters finding love when they least expect it and expanding their quirky family and menagerie of pets. The pace may feel a little slow for some readers but it's a great book either to read in day or spaced out over a few summer evenings. 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

July 27, 2020 - New Arrivals

July 27, 2020

Adult Fiction

The Lady in the Lake  by Laura Lippman.

"In 1966, Baltimore is a city of secrets that everyone seems to know--everyone, that is, except Madeline "Maddie" Schwartz. Last year, she was a happy, even pampered housewife. This year, she's bolted from her marriage of almost twenty years, determined to make good on her youthful ambitions to live a passionate, meaningful life. Maddie wants to matter, to leave her mark on a swiftly changing world. Drawing on her own secrets, she helps Baltimore police find a murdered girl--assistance that leads to a job at the city's afternoon newspaper, the Star. Working at the newspaper offers Maddie the opportunity to make her name, and she has found just the story to do it: a missing woman whose body was discovered in the fountain of a city park lake.

Cleo Sherwood was a young black woman who liked to have a good time. No one seems to know or care why she was killed except Maddie--and the dead woman herself. Maddie's going to find the truth about Cleo's life and death. Cleo's ghost, privy to Maddie's poking and prying, wants to be left alone. Maddie's investigation brings her into contact with people that used to be on the periphery of her life--a jewelry store clerk, a waitress, a rising star on the Baltimore Orioles, a patrol cop, a hardened female reporter, a lonely man in a movie theater. But for all her ambition and drive, Maddie often fails to see the people right in front of her. Her inability to look beyond her own needs will lead to tragedy and turmoil for all sorts of people--including the man who shares her bed, a black police officer who cares for Maddie more than she knows.” – Provided by publisher


The Vanishing  by Jayne Ann Krentz.
“Decades ago in the small town of Fogg Lake, The Incident occurred: an explosion in the cave system that released unknown gases. The residents slept for two days. When they woke up they discovered that things had changed--they had changed. Some started having visions. Others heard ominous voices. And then, scientists from a mysterious government agency arrived. Determined not to become research subjects of strange experiments, the residents of Fogg Lake blamed their "hallucinations" on food poisoning, and the story worked. But now it has become apparent that the eerie effects of The Incident are showing up in the descendants of Fogg Lake....Catalina Lark and Olivia LeClair, best friends and co-owners of an investigation firm in Seattle, use what they call their "other sight" to help solve cases. When Olivia suddenly vanishes one night, Cat frantically begins the search for her friend. No one takes the disappearance seriously except Slater Arganbright, an agent from a shadowy organization known only as the Foundation, who shows up at her firm with a cryptic warning. A ruthless killer is hunting the only witnesses to a murder that occurred in the Fogg Lake caves fifteen years ago--Catalina and Olivia. And someone intends to make both women vanish.” – Provided by publisher


The Museum of Desire by Jonathan Kellerman.

"Psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis struggle to make sense of a seemingly inexplicable massacre in this electrifying psychological thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense. LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis has solved a lot of murder cases. On many of them--the ones he calls "different"--he taps the brain of brilliant psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware. But neither Alex nor Milo are prepared for what they find on an early morning call to a deserted mansion in Bel Air. This one's beyond different. This is predation, premeditation, and cruelty on a whole new level. Four people have been slaughtered and left displayed bizarrely and horrifically in a stretch limousine. Confounding the investigation, none of the victims seems to have any connection to any other, and a variety of methods have been used to dispatch them. As Alex and Milo make their way through blind alleys and mazes baited with misdirection, they encounter a crime so vicious that it stretches the definitions of evil"-- Provided by publisher.


Adult Non-Fiction


Places of Light  by Gernot Candolini & Jennifer Brandon.
“Embark on a pilgrimage through the great cathedrals of the world. Gernot Candolini and Jennifer Brandon invite readers to experience some of the exemplary cathedrals of Europe and North America, with beautiful images and poetic, descriptive texts that inspire and inform. They offer glimpses into the spiritual, visionary, and artistic beauty and mastery of these spaces, inspired by God and built by human hands. Read the powerful stories connected to these sacred spaces: like the reconciliation crusade of Vezelay, the destruction of Cluny, and the origins of Sagrada Familia. Explore the architectural and artistic elements that make these churches what they are: the power of light, the "smiling stones," the crypt, the music, and more.” – Provided by publisher


Korean Dream: A Vision for a Unified Korea  by Hyun Jin Preston Moon.
“Korean Dream: A Vision for a Unified Korea is a powerful call to action for Koreans and supporters everywhere to achieve a new nation, rooted in a common past. In this Centennial Edition, which debuted on several bestseller lists including the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, and Publishers Weekly, Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon presents an innovative way forward for the Korean Peninsula that at its heart is Korean led. Ultimately, Korean reunification is the only long-term solution to security, economic, and social problems created through a 70-year division of the Peninsula. Dr. Moon goes a step further, offering a groundbreaking approach to peace rooted in the founding principles of Hongik Ingan, cultural practices, and engagement from civil society organizations to empower Koreans to become global advocates for peace. Korean Dream calls upon Koreans, Korean diaspora, and people everywhere to take charge and work to achieve a reunified Korean peninsula.” – Provided by publisher


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel


Avengers: Acts of Vengeance!  by Dwayne McDuffie, John Byrne, Mark Gruenwald, Howard Mackie. GN
“An alliance of evil threatens the Avengers! Doctor Doom, the Red Skull, Kingpin, Magneto and more have banded together to pit Earth's Mightiest Heroes against totally unfamiliar foes! The Avengers take on Freedom Force, the Mole Man, the Wrecker, the Juggernaut, Controller, Absorbing Man and more -and suffer a devastating loss! Plus: Cloak and Dagger lend a hand, the New Warriors make their debut -and Magneto pursues a secret agenda all his own! But who is secretly pulling the vengeful cabal's strings? Can the Avengers take down the true mastermind before his hidden scheme succeeds?” --  Provided by publisher


A Loud Winter’s Nap  by Katy Hudson. C
“For Tortoise, winter is good for one thing: a nice long nap. Can friends open his eyes to a season full of surprises? Every year, Tortoise hibernates through winter. He assumes he isn't missing much. However, his friends are determined to prove otherwise! Will Tortoise sleep through another winter, or will his friends convince him to stay awake and experience the frosty fun?” – Provided by publisher

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

Saturday, July 25, 2020

July 25, 2020 - Staff Reviews

The Water Keeper
By Charles Martin
Release Date: May 5, 2020
Audiobook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - This exciting and thoughtful drama is fast paced but not a fast read. Maybe a touch wordy for the casual reader. But Martin writes the narrative with detail and some poetry that's rare in modern fiction. Murphy is an every day man hero that's easy to root for.

There's a little bit of everything in this book: action, romance, intrigue, and a touch of humor. At its core though, it's a heartfelt drama. It starts off with a bang. From the first page, I was drawn in. But I also was confused, I love first-person point of view but it doesn't always lend itself to audio well. Our hero Murph is well voiced but I don't think his perspective was always clear. He's got a mysterious past that kept me wondering about the specifics, but at the same time I really felt I enjoyed his personality. He's a rescuer while still being modest. Plus, he can do basically anything. As for those he rescues, some are more likable than others. But all the characters he meets (with the except of the dog of course) are just human and looking for comfort and inspiration for life.

I have also read Thunder and Rain. Martin's work has been described as similar to Nicolas Sparks and Christian Fiction. Fans of either will find much to like here, but I don't consider him that close to those descriptions. His work has a lot of violence. There's a human trafficking element to the story that adds an element of danger lurking to the story that I wasn't expecting. Romance is never at the center of story, even if there's couple getting to know each other. He often writes in one or two sympathetic child characters and relatable but damaged adults. Vivid settings is also a plus. Some will feel they don't need quite so much detail on the location but he paints a beautiful picture. Coincidences pile up fast, almost too many of them. And for the audio, the narrator does his best but some details and paragraphs seem to run together early on. It's tough to follow who is who at times. It's unlikely for a long novel have an exciting conclusion but this one does. I would say stick with this one if you start it. But beware, it ends on a cliffhanger.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

July 22, 2020 - Staff Reviews

The Summer Deal
By Jill Shalvis
Release Date - June 2, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

2 Stars - This splashy summer tale didn't quite meet my expectations. Shalvis staples of a beautiful setting, adorable dog, and kind, caring heroes and heroines are here as always. But the challenge of presenting two couples and roughly four points of view left something to be desired.

Personally, I didn't think of this as a romance so the lack of excitement didn't bother me. But, I needed a little something to get excited about if you will. Brynn seems to be our main main character. She supposedly hasn't been in this town consistently in years. However, Kinsey is her frenemy going strong for about 15 years straight? Kinsey is hard to like, even being sympathetic to her. I understand her bleak outlook and hard shell with others given her condition, but she didn't have to be so harsh sometimes. Eli and Deck are their respective pseudo-suitors. Eli's a lighthearted guy everyone can depend on. Deck doesn't get as much page time but he's the alpha male with a heart of gold. There were many other people and details outside of these four, and I felt I never bonded with any of them.

Brynn's the daughter of two moms. I'm all for authors embracing any unique family dynamics but I was tired of hearing about her moms. Shalvis seemed to work the word "moms" in all she could for the first 50 pages. They also seemed to have had more pages of character detail than some of the younger crowd. That said, the story is purely heartfelt drama with a dose of comedy. It's really hard to write a good drama with comedy so I applaud Shalvis in this respect. Her stories always have a fun, beautiful, and quirky small town location that would please fans of Debbie Macomber, Ann B. Ross, or cozy mysteries with that vibe. And there are some sparks here and there, mostly between Kinsey and Deck. I think the female leads just weren't showing the maturity level I would expect from supposedly world-weary women close to thirty. The inconsistencies with Brynn's perspective and some dropped subjects in her head rubbed me the wrong way. And Kinsey was just difficult to like, not living her best life while she has it. The plot twist, likable guys, and fun setting couldn't get me past not enjoying the leading ladies' personalities. I think I'll still prefer Shalvis' Lucky Harbor and Heartbreaker Bay series. 


Sunday, July 19, 2020

July 20, 2020 - New Arrivals

July 20, 2020

Adult Fiction


Journey of the Pharaohs  by Clive Cussler.
“In 1074 B.C., vast treasures disappear from the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs. In 1927, a daredevil American aviator vanishes on an attempted transcontinental flight. And in the present day, a fishing trawler--along with its mysterious cargo--sinks off the coast of Scotland. How are these three mysterious events connected? And, more importantly, what do they mean for Kurt Austin and his NUMA team? As they search for answers, the NUMA squad join the agents of the British MI5 to take on a wide-reaching international conspiracy. Their common enemy is the Bloodstone Group, a conglomerate of arms dealers and thieves attempting to steal ancient relics on both sides of the Atlantic. Kurt and his team soon find themselves wrapped up in a treacherous treasure hunt as they race to find the lost Egyptian riches. . . before they fall into the wrong hands.” – Provided by publisher


One Fatal Flaw  by Anne Perry.
“When a desperate woman comes to Daniel Pitt seeking a lawyer for her boyfriend, Rob Adwell, Daniel is convinced of the young man's innocence. Adwell has been accused of murder and of setting a fire to conceal the body, but Daniel is sure that science can absolve him--and Miriam fford Croft is the best scientist he knows. Miriam connects Daniel with her former teacher Sir Barnabas Saltram, an expert in arson, and together, they reveal Adwell's innocence by proving that an accidental fire caused the victim's death. But it's not long before Adwell is killed in the same fiery fashion. If these deaths are, in fact, murders, what essential clue could Daniel and Miriam have missed? As their investigation deepens, one of Saltram's former cases comes into question, and Miriam finds herself on the defensive. If the reasoning Saltram used in that case is proved false, several other cases will have to be re-tried, and Saltram's expert status--not to mention Miriam's reputation--will be ruined. Haunted by Saltram's shady tactics in and outside of the classroom, Miriam is desperate to figure out truths both past and present and protect herself in the face of Saltram's lies. What started as an accidental fire in Adwell's case seems to be linked to a larger plot for revenge, with victims accumulating in its wake, and Miriam and Daniel must uncover who or what is stoking these recurring flames--before they, too, find themselves burned.” – Provided by publisher


The Look-Alike  by Erica Spindler.
“Sienna Scott grew up in the dark shadow of her mother's paranoid delusions. Now, she's returned home to confront her past and the unsolved murder that altered the course of her life. In her mother's shuttered house, an old fear that has haunted Sienna for years rears its ugly head--that it was she who had been the killer's target that night. And now, with it, a new fear--that the killer not only intended to remedy his past mistake--he's already begun. But are these fears any different from the ones that torment her mother? As the walls close in, the line between truth and lie, reality and delusion disintegrate. Has Sienna's worst nightmare come true? Or will she unmask a killer and finally prove she may be her mother's look-alike, but she's not her clone?” – Provided by publisher


Adult Non-Fiction


Fireside Folkslore of West Virginia Vol. III: Ghosts, Spirits, Legends & Dark History  by Sherri Brake
"Venture with Sherri as she explores spirited hollows, creepy cemeteries, & haunted buildings. --  From back of book

High Tide in the Korean War  by Leo Barron.
“By early 1951, American forces and their UN allies had been driven more than 100 miles down the Korean peninsula by the Chinese. The situation was bleak when Gen. Matthew Ridgway ordered a last stand at the village of Chipyong-ni. There a single regiment (the 23rd Infantry) of fewer than 5,000 U.S. soldiers defeated a Chinese division of 25,000 men in what has been called the Gettysburg of the Korean War. Page-turning history of one of the most important battles of the Korean War. From-the-foxhole account of a do-or-die defense. Draws from memoirs, interviews, unit reports, intelligence summaries, and personal research in South Korea. – Provided by publisher


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel


Snapdragon  by Kat Leyh. GN
“Snap's town has a witch.And when Snap's dog goes missing, the first place she looks is the witch's house. She finds her dog there, recovering from being hit by a car, in the care of a woman named Jacks. She is a crocks-wearing, internet-savvy older woman whos collects roadkill, put their spirits to rest, and cleans and sells their articulated skeletons online. They make a deal: If Jacks teaches Snap how to take care of a crate of orphaned baby opossums that Snap rescued, Snap will assist Jacks with her work. But as Snap starts to gain an appreciation for what Jacks does and their friendship deepens . . . she realizes that Jacks may in fact have real magic and that she also may have a connection with Snap's family's past.” – Provided by publisher

Thank You, Omu!  by Oge Mora

“In this remarkable author-illustrator debut that's perfect for fans of Last Stop on Market Street and Extra Yarn, a generous woman is rewarded by her community. Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu's delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?” – Provided by publisher

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020 - Staff Reviews

The Unhoneymooners
By Christina Lauren
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Ebook available from WV Reads!

3 stars - This romantic comedy was warm and light, a great summer read. While I felt some details were too heavy and the pace sluggish at times, I enjoyed the playful banter, exotic setting, and adventurous atmosphere beginning to end. Olive's a sarcastic but endearing heroine whose point of view makes for a fun ride.

While I devoured Christina Lauren's books for awhile, I had drifted away since her EBooks became priced higher than the page count seemed worth. That would have been a few years ago. However, this writing duo is always modern, witty, and unafraid to spice things up. I love first-person narrative, but I would have enjoyed Ethan's point-of-view along with Olive's. Olive's mind is a funny place to be though, just enough humor to make me smile but not to the point of being grating. I think some authors overdo in the jokes in a character's head. We can't all be that funny all the time. Olive is reasonable in this regard, if maybe a tad dramatic. Ethan comes off as mysterious at first, an intriguing unknown with a plenty of wit and personality, maybe a slight ego problem. These two get to know each other as they are stuck together in Hawaii.

Every story gets to have one really big coincidence, but I was not buying that Olive happened to be unemployed at the time of the wedding. Then she was offered a job while on the plane and runs into her new boss. What new boss insists on dinner with newlyweds he doesn't know while on vacation? A drink maybe. There were some more plausible reasons to fake being a couple at a resort that have been used before. But, I digress. I also wasn't a fan of the sometimes over-exaggerated details of it being post-Christmas, the longest and strongest bout of food poisoning ever, the Latino family, and some of Olive's self-esteem issues (the cheese curds). Sometimes they just felt so extra. However, these issues were on the fringes of the story not overpowering for me. Most people will find Olive quirky and hilarious. There's nothing too fake about her as she's almost unfailingly real and honest. She will remind you of yourself, your best friend, or your daughter probably. There will be a lot to like here for those who enjoy Janet Evanovich, Karina Halle, or Meg Cabot. 


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