Monday, August 31, 2020

August 31, 2020 - New Arrivals

August 31, 2020

Adult Fiction

The Hole by Hye-Young Pyun.

Oghi has woken from a coma after causing a devastating car accident that took his wife's life and left him paralyzed and badly disfigured. His caretaker is his mother-in-law, a widow grieving the loss of her only child. Oghi is neglected and left alone in his bed. His world shrinks to the room he lies in and his memories of his troubled relationship with his wife, a sensitive, intelligent woman who found all of her life goals thwarted except for one: cultivating the garden in front of their house. But soon Oghi notices his mother-in-law in the abandoned garden, uprooting what his wife had worked so hard to plant and obsessively digging larger and larger holes. When asked, she answers only that she is finishing what her daughter started. – Provided by publisher.

Heart of Black Ice by Terry Goodkind.

In the wake of the brutal war that swept the Old World in Siege of Stone, a new danger is forming along the coast. Taken captive by their enemies, King Grieve, along with Lila and Bannon are about to discover the terrifying force that threatens to bring destruction to the Old World. The Norukai, barbarian raiders and slavers, have been gathering an immense fleet among the inhospitably rocky islands that make up their home. With numbers greater than anyone could have imagined, the Norukai are poised to launch their final and most deadly war -- Provided by publisher.

The Crow’s Call by Wanda E. Brunstetter.

When Vernon King, his son, and son-in-law are involved in a terrible accident, three women are left to cope with their deaths, as they become the sole providers of the family they have left. The women's only income must come from the family greenhouse, but someone seems to be trying to force them out of business. Amy King has just lost her father and brother, and her mother needs her to help run the family's greenhouse. It doesn't seem fair to ask her to leave a job she loves, when there is still a sister and brother to help. But Sylvia is also grieving for her husband while left to raise three children, and Henry, just out of school, is saddled with all the jobs his father and older brother used to do. As Amy assumes her new role, she also asks Jared Riehl to put their courtship on hold. When things become even more stressful at the greenhouse, will Amy crumble under the pressure? – Provided by publisher

Adult Non-Fiction

Vegetable Gardening for Beginners by Jill McSheehy.

Growing your own vegetables is a rewarding venture that's both affordable and appetizing, but the beginning gardener may find it difficult to weed through an overwhelming landscape of resources. Whether you're new to gardening or interested in saving costs, Vegetable Gardening for Beginners offers easy-to-follow steps for starting and sustaining your very own vegetable garden. – Provided by publisher.

Tucker County by Cynthia A. Phillips.

This volume tells the story of Tucker County's history through the visual records of its communities, families, and industries. Carved out of Randolph County, Virginia, in 1856, Tucker County's early history played out in the farming communities of the Cheat River Valley. Beginning in 1884, the shrill whistle of industrialist Henry Gassaway Davis's railroad, the West Virginia Central and Pittsburg, woke the area to dramatic changes. New towns like Davis, Thomas, and Parsons grew up and prospered in response to the developing nation's demand for lumber and coal. The collection features the visual evidence of how the political, economic, and natural landscape of Tucker County changed from 1880 to 1960. -- Provided by publisher.

Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Dragon Drive, Volume 1 by Ken-ichi Sakura. GN

Reiji Ozora thinks he’s no good at anything – especially schoolwork! Then one day he’s introduced to a game called Dragon Drive and gets his very own virtual dragon named Chibi. Small and weak, Chibi appears to be as big a loser as Reiji! But after their first battle, Reiji realizes there may be more to his tiny friend than meets the eye. – Back of book.


Pocket Full of Colors by Amy Guglielmo & Jacqueline Tourville. C

From her imaginative childhood to her career as an illustrator, designer, and animator for Walt Disney Studios, Mary wouldn't play by the rules. At a time when studios wanted to hire men and think in black and white, Mary painted twinkling emerald skies, peach giraffes with tangerine spots, and magenta horses that could fly. – Provided by publisher.

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

August 26, 2020 - Staff Reviews

Creole Kingpin
By Meghan March
Release Date: March 10, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - As a long-time fan of the author, I was let down by this one just a little. I was satisfied overall but Magnolia and her man were almost too hardcore and corrupt for me at times. Anyone looking for an intense, down and dirty novel in the shady steamy New Orleans atmosphere won't be disappointed.

While this duet can be read separately, the ties in the multiple March character worlds make it feel like a series conclusion that we were eagerly awaiting. In that aspect, all leads and threads were pretty much squared away. Once I found out that Magnolia's beau was none other than the infamous Moses, I wasn't as interested, I will admit. Moses was the villian in previous tales and getting past that was hard for me.  And Magnolia, she's a badass with an buried deep heart of gold. She and I have absolutely nothing in common, and I couldn't find a shread of her personally relatable. I'm a lover of anti-heroes though so I found myself coming back for more of March's addictive story telling.

March's novels are not for the faint of heart. They're profane and raunchy but in a likable and unapologetic way for those who don't mind. Every chapter of hers feels like a cliffhanger. To start, our main characters are distrustful of each other yet attracted. Then, suddenly both the characters (and I myself as a reader) realize they've fallen in love. Depsite difficult and often dangerous circumstances, they have to find a way to be together. And this duet is set up no differently but, as usual, delivered in the most enthralling ways. A little over halfway through, things started to get really good. I can't say I entirely understood Mags or Moses's motivations to turn to "the dark side" (spoilers if I'm specific). But they seemed to have no other choice. And I could deeply feel their desperation for each other. Be aware this book ends with one of March's famous cliffhangers and maybe isn't quite up to her usual standards.

Monday, August 24, 2020

August 24, 2020 - New Arrivals

August 24, 2020

Adult Fiction

Crooked River by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.

Appearing out of nowhere to horrify the quiet resort town of Sanibel Island, Florida, dozens of identical, ordinary-looking shoes float in on the tide and are washed up on the tropical beach--each one with a crudely severed human foot inside. Called away from vacation elsewhere in the state, Agent Pendergast reluctantly agrees to visit the crime scene--and, despite himself, is quickly drawn in by the incomprehensible puzzle. – Provided by publisher.

Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen.

Isabella Waverly only means to comfort the woman felled on a London street. In her final dying moments, she thrusts a letter into Bella’s hand. It’s an offer of employment in the kitchens of Buckingham Palace, and everything the budding young chef desperately wants: an escape from the constrictions of her life as a lowly servant. In the stranger’s stead, Bella can spread her wings. Arriving as Helen Barton from Yorkshire, she pursues her passion for creating culinary delights, served to the delighted Queen Victoria herself. Best of all, she’s been chosen to accompany the queen to Nice. What fortune! Until the threat of blackmail shadows Bella to the Riviera, and a member of the queen’s retinue falls ill and dies. Having prepared the royal guest’s last meal, Bella is suspected of the poisonous crime. An investigation is sure to follow. Her charade will be over. And her new life will come crashing down—if it doesn’t send her to the gallows .--

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal.

In this retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, Alys Binat has sworn never to marry--until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider. A scandal and vicious rumor in the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won't make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and start having children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire them to dream of more. When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for eligible--and rich--bachelors, certain that their luck is about to change. On the first night of the festivities, Alys's lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of one of the most eligible bachelors. But his friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her, and quickly dismisses him and his snobbish ways. But as the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal--and Alys begins to realize that Darsee's brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance -- Provided by publisher.

Adult Non-Fiction

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Gary Greenberg & Jeannie Hayden.

An indispensable survival manual for guys entering the trenches of fatherhood, Be Prepared is loaded with one-of-a-kind insights, MacGyver-esque tips and tricks, and no-nonsense advice for mastering the first year as a dad. Packed with helpful diagrams and detailed instructions, and delivered with a wry sense of humor, Be Prepared is the ultimate guide for sleep-deprived, applesauce-covered fathers everywhere. – Provided by publisher.

The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction by Rebecca Z. Shafir, MA CCC.

TV, radio, traffic, telephones, pagers - our minds are bombarded daily by constant noise and clutter. No wonder so many people find it increasingly difficult to listen and comprehend. Simple pieces of information such as names go "in one ear and out the other." Poor listening may have tragic consequences such as the Challenger disaster and the Potomac River crash of 1982, or it can result in smaller tragedies such as lost promotions, stalled marriages, and troubled children. Rebecca Shafir assures us that we can transform every aspect of our lives, simply by relearning how to listen. The Zen of Listening is grounded in the Zen concept of mindfulness, a simple yet profound way of learning how to filter our distractions and be totally in the present. Rather than a list of tricks, this book is an all-encompassing approach allowing you to transform your life. Readers will be amazed at how simply learning to focus intently on a speaker improves the relationship, increases attention span, and helps develop negotiating skills. Learn the great barricades of misunderstanding, find out how to listen to ourselves, discover how to listen under stress, and boost our memory. This is a fun and practical guide filled with simple strategies to use immediately to enjoy our personal and professional lives to the fullest. – Provided by publisher.

Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Fancy Nancy: Operation Fix Marabelle by Nancy Parent. E

Nancy discovers a new talent for repairing broken toys in the neighborhood. But can she keep her cool when her prized doll, Marabelle, needs help? – Provided by Publisher.

Jane Eyre by Trina Robbins. GN

At first, it seemed like the perfect job. Jane Eyre will live in a huge mansion called Thornfield, and she’ll be in charge of teaching a nice little girl. But soon, everything starts to get frightening. Is it just Jane’s imagination, or did she really hear creepy laughter in the middle of the night? And who set that fire just down the hall from her bedroom? Will this job bring the peace that Jane has been looking for? Or will it become the worst nightmare of her life? – Back of book.

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

Saturday, August 22, 2020

August 22, 2020 - Staff Reviews

Taking His Shot
By Kendall Ryan
Release Date: June 8, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

4 stars! - This quick, quirky romance had me not wanting to put it down. Harper and Jordan are a great couple, almost instantly in love but without the insta-love cliches. Ryan's dual point-of-view of Jordie's relentless pursuit of Harper despite her cautiousness was so much fun.

Kendall Ryan's Hot Jocks series is excellent with some books being better than others. This latest entry was one of the highlights for me. I'm not a hockey fan, but there's mostly other stuff going on. For instance, in this story Harper is Coach's daughter and Jordie has to decide if making a play for her is worth it. I loved Harper, feeling like she was relatable levels of stubborn, insecure, and anxious. All too often, heroines are too extreme in these attributes and that ends up the basis of her whole inner monolougue. She's close to her family too, which made for some fun but also intense moments with her father and sister. Jordie falls in love with Harper just the way she is and has no problem going after her, which is refreshing too.

Jordie's determination to coax Harper out of her shell will probably seem over the top to some, like following her to book club and the animal shelter. But he just wants a chance. And it's nice to see even fictional guys of his generation stepping up. As soon as Harper needs him, he's there. And they even really bond over things, like the steamy book club picks (wink-wink). Like most new adult authors, Ryan's plots and characters are skewing more to ages in their late twenties and early thirties now but with a young vibe. Some are transitioning better than others but I feel like she's really succeeding at branching out while staying modern. Of course, I'd like to see books a bit longer and more intense from her again sometimes. My only complaint with this novel is I felt she maybe could have expanded or delved a little deeper, as though maybe a few things were cut or left on the table. But being left wanting more is seldom a bad thing after finishing a good read!


Thursday, August 20, 2020

August 20, 2020 - Staff Reviews

By Rebecca Zanetti
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

2 stars - I felt a little misled by the blurb, but I stuck around. The first few chapters were engrossing and the plot kept rolling, even if it was all a bit far-fetched. For romantic suspense fans, Zanetti's writing style is great for killing a few hours. But I felt like I needed more romance or action or mystery to really hook me and I got a little of each instead.

The whole book is almost too wishy-washy.  Pippa's had a rough go, but she's still a likeable heroine. She babbles and likes to bake, and I enjoyed her. But her mind changes on situations, almost on the same page. One minute she feels safe with the hero and next she's freaking out. I understand why given her background still. And her off-the-grid skills need serious work. West was not a memorable hero but he is equal parts bad ass and caring. Zanetti normally writes paranormal fiction, a few of which I've read and enjoyed even though it's not my go-to genre. She has better suspense stories from my perspective, however. Here she seems to want the reader to suspend disbelief almost on the same level as a paranormal reader would. Maybe more if the reader happens believes in vampires or demons, etc. 

Plots revolving around a cult are a tough topic to sell. I think writers are never sure how crazy to make them or how detailed to get. I was rolling my eyes more at the law enforcement angles actually though. There's definitely some unoriginal yet creepy cult ideas (like the Alpha and the Omega, the treatment of women, etc.) But I found the idea of West 'going undercover' because they thought he was the only person capable of using Pippa was a big stretch. They also all talk rather casually about West sleeping with Pippa which comes off absurd. Around 1/4 of the book, action and romance start to blip in and out of the picture. We also have a dog that drinks whiskey to throw in some humor. The atmosphere is perfect for a chilly or rainy, always dark weather and mostly taking place at small, isolated houses in the woods. I'd probably only recommend this for someone looking to kill time on a dreary day as passing entertainment.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

August 19, 2020 - Staff Reviews

The Waterfire Saga
(I read all three in the series both in eBook form and Book form)
Authored by Jennifer Donnelly

I am a huge fan of series. I love being able to follow a storyline be it continuous, or bouncing from character to character which each book. 

What had be hooked was that someone donated this book for me to use in my own personal Little Free Library outside my home. The cover art was fantastic and it drew me in to read the page. I found out that it was book #2, and so I needed to acquire book #1 (pictured above, courtesy of WVReads). I had to read the one that I owned and was able to get 2 out of 3 from our eBooks found on WVReads. 

Long story short, if you love series, love a spin on things (mermaids exist, we are called groggs), love adventure, love, magic, loss, and betrayal, this might be the perfect book for you. It does wrap up "nicely" in that you do get resolution and know what sort of happens in the future of the characters. But to do so, is so much loss and growth that the characters had to face. There is a smattering of romance, but I would not think it is a direct "girly" book, but I thought it really was a great read!


Monday, August 17, 2020

August 17, 2020 - New Arrivals

August 17, 2020

Adult Fiction

Genesis by Robin Cook.

When the body of 28-year-old social worker Kera Jacobsen shows up on Chief New York City Medical Examiner Laurie Montgomery's autopsy table, at first it appears she was the victim of a tragic yet routine drug overdose. But for Laurie and her new pathology resident, the brilliant but enigmatic Dr. Aria Nichols, little things aren't adding up. Kera's family and friends swear she never touched drugs. Administrators from the hospital where Kera worked are insisting the case be shrouded in silence. And although Kera was 10 weeks pregnant, nobody seems to know who the father was - or whether he holds the key to Kera's final moments alive. As a medical emergency temporarily sidelines Laurie, impulsive Aria turns to a controversial new technique: using genealogical DNA databases to track down those who don't want to be found. Working with experts at a start-up ancestry website, she plans to trace the fetus' DNA back to likely male relatives in the hopes of identifying the mystery father. But when Kera's closest friend and fellow social worker is murdered, the need for answers becomes even more urgent. Because someone out there clearly doesn't want Kera's secrets to come to light...and if Aria gets any closer to the truth, she and Laurie might find themselves a killer's next targets. – Provided by publisher.

Golden in Death by J. D. Robb.

Pediatrician Kent Abner received the package on a beautiful April morning. Inside was a cheap trinket, a golden egg that could be opened into two halves. When he pried it apart, highly toxic airborne fumes entered his body-and killed him. After Eve Dallas calls the hazmat team-and undergoes testing to reassure both her and her husband that she hasn't been exposed-it's time to look into Dr. Abner's past and relationships. Not every victim Eve encounters is an angel, but it seems that Abner came pretty close-though he did ruffle some feathers over the years by taking stands for the weak and defenseless. While the lab tries to identify the deadly toxin, Eve hunts for the sender. But when someone else dies in the same grisly manner, it becomes clear that she's dealing with either a madman-or someone who has a hidden and elusive connection to both victims -- Provided by publisher.

Last Day by Luanne Rice.

Years ago, Beth Lathrop and her sister Kate suffered what they thought would be the worst tragedy of their lives the night both the famous painting Moonlight and their mother were taken. The detective assigned to the case, Conor Reid, swore to protect the sisters from then on. Beth moved on, throwing herself fully into the art world, running the family gallery, and raising a beautiful daughter with her husband Pete. Kate, instead, retreated into herself and took to the skies as a pilot, always on the run. When Beth is found strangled in her home, and Moonlight goes missing again, Detective Reid can't help but feel a sense of déjà vu. Reid immediately suspects Beth's husband, whose affair is a poorly kept secret. He has an airtight alibi--but he also has a motive, and the evidence seems to point to him. Kate and Reid, along with the sisters' closest childhood friends, struggle to make sense of Beth's death, but they only find more questions: Who else would have wanted Beth dead? What's the significance of Moonlight? -- Provided by publisher.

Adult Non-Fiction

Hope Upon Impact: A Miraculous True Story of Faith, Love, & God’s Goodness by Julie Overlease.

On the lovely spring afternoon of April 20, 2018, a backyard tree cracked, and a heavy limb fell. 12-year-old Evelyn suffered a devastating blow to her head as she shielded her puppy. A significant, compressed skull fracture required emergency neurosurgery. This freak, life-threatening event shook the Overlease family to the core, and an unbelievable experience was instantly set in motion that may take a lifetime to fully understand. The astounding details surrounding Evelyn's accident, medical care, and recovery are crazier than fiction. First-time author Julie Overlease tells the story in close detail, with frankness and honesty. This is a book of hope and miracles, in which Evelyn's mother tells a story of faith in action during a time of crisis, of prayer through pain and darkness, of devoted friendship, and the great goodness and love of God. – Provided by publisher.

The Heart of the Qur’an: An Introduction to Islamic Spirituality by Lex Hixon.

As tensions between America and the Middle East grow, we should promote cross-cultural understanding, not violence. This new edition, with a new foreword and commentary by Neil Douglas-Klotz, allows the reader to drink from the illuminating fountain of the Holy Qur'an the foundation of Islamic culture. First published in 1988, Hixon's poetic meditations on over nine-hundred passages from the Qur'an show that they are not relics from the past but exist in a timeless present, communicating as vividly as when they were first uttered. Through clear and accessible language, Hixon illustrates how the teachings of Islam can be applied to contemporary everyday life issues such as love, relationships, justice, work, and self-knowledge. In addition to the selections themselves, the book contains readable, lively introductions to the tradition of Islam, its basic precepts, and what it says about other religions. As the first such work in English to be written by a Muslim, The Heart of the Qur'an continues to show that Islam is among the great wisdom traditions of humanity. – Provided by publisher.

Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Who Was Richard Nixon? by Megan Stine. C

On August 8, 1974, millions sat stunned as they watched Richard Nixon on TV when he announced he was stepping down as the President of the United States. He'd participated in a scandal that included secret tape recordings, a burglary, and a cover-up, and now his secrets and lies were catching up to him. How could Nixon, a man who had been reelected in a landslide victory just two years earlier, now be leaving office in disgrace? Author Megan Stine takes readers through President Nixon's life--from his childhood and military experiences during World War II--to his long political career and the Watergate scandal that tarnished his legacy and deepened American's mistrust of the government." -- Provided by publisher.

X-Men/Avengers: Onslaught by Jeph Loeb, Scott Lobdell, Terry Kavanagh, Mark Waid, Tom DeFalco, & John Ostrander. GN

Everything changes for the Children of the Atom and Earth's Mightiest Heroes! Behold the psionic force of nature known as Onslaught but what dread foe could terrify the unstoppable Juggernaut? As Cable battles Post, herald of the oncoming doom, Nate Grey faces a ghost from his past and Onslaught gathers his forces! The Avengers join the X-Men to work out a battle plan, but could the answers lie with finding Magneto? And Charles Xavier has a troubling proposal for the Fantastic Four. But when Onslaught's identity is revealed, who will be the traitor to the cause? – Provided by publisher.

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

Friday, August 14, 2020

August 14, 2020 - Staff Reviews

The Wife and the Widow
By Christian White
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - A fast-moving novel with an eerie atmosphere. White's story is written in the edge-of-your-seat style that makes the first fifty pages or so fly by. You'll either be hooked or you won't. The parallel perspectives of the wife and the widow characters are filled with thoughtful description, interspersed with everyday life details. Nearly every page paint the question "what if this was me?"

White's characters are deliberately vague at times, but Abby and Kate are average women having their lives shaken up completely. At times, Kate's rather precocious daughter Mia steals the scene, though at times I felt like she came off as younger than her described age. The beginning sets up seemingly a hundred different possible scenarios, and some lucky guessers will probably have a good hunch. But the story is written in a way that it's still intriguing. Fans of Harlan Coben, Gillian Flynn, and other authors taking on the domestic thriller challenge will enjoy this mystery the most I believe.

Personally, I am a terrible liar so I sometimes have trouble grasping stories and characters who rely heavily on lies. But the many different paths and possibilities all the deception allowed for was fascinating. I think I could have used some help with the settings and dialects as well. White is Australian and while he tells the story in excellent ways, at times I felt like he just assumed I knew what he was talking about. Some of the places mentioned, I had little to no geographic knowledge of and required a bit of a better picture in my head location wise. Similarly, at times the dialouge had little details or quirks that left me scratching my head or re-reading. I also enjoy having a bit more description of the general details and mood of the location the story is taking place in. Hanging in to the ending will worth it for readers who just have to get to that last page.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

August 12, 2020 - Staff Reviews

Title: The Grimm Legacy
The Grimm Legacy Series, Book 1
By Polly Shulman
Read as an eBook from WVReads 

First and foremost I had to read this Young Adult novel because the main character Elizabeth, becomes a page in the New York Circulating Material Repository. Be still my librarian heart! 

If you are a fan of The Librarian, Night at the Museum, and a host of other adventure type tales that take place in a remarkable facility, this is your book.

I really don't want to give anything away. So I am going to share the blurb that the WVReads had, which is where the photo is from as well.

"Elizabeth has just started working as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository - a lending library of objects, contemporary and historical, common and obscure. And secret, too - for in the repository's basement lies the Grimm Collection, a room of magical items straight from the Grimm Brother's fairy tales. But the magic mirrors and seven-league boots and other items are starting to disappear. And before she knows it, she and her fellow pages - handsome Marc, perfect Anjali, and brooding Aaron - are suddenly caught up in an exciting, and dangerous, magical adventure."

I have checked out the second book now, and need to read the next one in the series! I am hooked!


Monday, August 10, 2020

August 10, 2020 - New Arrivals

August 10, 2020

Adult Fiction

Lady at the Window: The Lost Journal of Julian of Norwich by Robert Waldron.

There are two windows in Lady Julian's anchorage: one looks upon the interior of St. Julian's Church with its high altar and tabernacle; the other opens onto the city of Norwich with its publicans, sinners, poor, people in the marketplace, and neighbors. Among these there are those in deep distress who find their way to Lady Julian, now famous for her wisdom and holy counsel. There is the young woman with a child outside of marriage. There is a wounded young soldier, jobless, homeless, and afraid. There is a man who has betrayed his betrothed. And others. No one leaves Julian's window without psychological and spiritual uplifting. – Provided by publisher.

The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton.

In 1936, the Nazis are little more than loud, brutish bores to fifteen-year old Stephan Neuman, the son of a wealthy and influential Jewish family and a budding playwright whose playground extends from Vienna's streets to its intricate underground tunnels. Stephan's best friend and companion is the brilliant Žofie-Helene, a Christian girl whose mother edits a progressive, anti-Nazi newspaper. But the two adolescents' carefree innocence is shattered when the Nazis take control. – Provided by publisher.

A Reasonable Doubt by Philip Margolin.

Robin Lockwood is a young criminal defense attorney and partner in a prominent law firm in Portland, Oregon. A former MMA fighter and Yale Law graduate, she joined the firm of legal legend Regina Barrister not long before Regina was forced into retirement by early onset Alzheimer's. One of Regina's former clients, Robert Chesterfield, shows up in the law office with an odd request--he's seeking help from his old attorney in acquiring patent protection for an illusion -- Provided by publisher.

Adult Non-Fiction

Native Healer: Initiation into an Ancient Art by Medicine Grizzlybear Lake.

An exciting glimpse into the world of Native American shamanism. Many today claim to be healers and spiritual teachers, but Medicine Grizzlybear Lake definitely is both. In this work he explains how a person is called by higher powers to be a medicine man or woman and describes the trials and tests of a candidate. Lake gives a colorful picture of Native American shamanism and discusses ceremonies such as the vision quest and sweat lodge. – Provided by publisher.

Acts of Our Gentle God by Jay A. Schulberg.

Acts of Our Gentle God presents compelling evidence from the Bible to exonerate God of the charges that he is uncaring, judgmental, controlling, unfair, bad-tempered, or violent. The book demonstrates that the entire Bible, correctly understood, is in harmony with the definitive statement "God is love" (1 John 4:8). – Provided by publisher.

Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Radio Man by Arthur Dorros; translated by Sandra Marulanda Dorros. C

As he travels with his family of migrant farmworkers, Diego relies on his radio to provide him with companionship and help connect him to all the different places in which he lives. – Provided by publisher.

Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland. YA

After the fall of Summerland, Jane McKeene hoped her life would get simpler: Get out of town, stay alive, and head west to California to find her mother. But nothing is easy when you're a girl trained in putting down the restless dead, and a devastating loss on the road to a protected village called Nicodemus has Jane questioning everything she thought she knew about surviving in 1880s America. What's more, this safe haven is not what it appears--as Jane discovers when she sees familiar faces from Summerland amid this new society. Caught between mysteries and lies, the undead, and her own inner demons, Jane soon finds herself on a dark path of blood and violence that threatens to consume her. But she won't be in it alone. Katherine Deveraux never expected to be allied with Jane McKeene. But after the hell she has endured, she knows friends are hard to come by--and that Jane needs her too, whether Jane wants to admit it or not. Watching Jane's back, however, is more than she bargained for, and when they both reach a breaking point, it's up to Katherine to keep hope alive--even as she begins to fear that there is no happily-ever-after for girls like her. – Provided by publisher.

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

Friday, August 7, 2020

August 7, 2020 - Staff Reviews

Love on Lexington Avenue
By Lauren Layne
Release Date: September 2019
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

2.5 stars- I think I was the wrong reader for this story but romantic comedy fans will find much to swoon over. Layne has mastered writing fun novels about city dwellers and unlikely love matches. Her prose shines here but I just could not invest myself in the plot.

Layne was a go-to read for me years ago, chick lit fiction without extra drama/angst. It's no surprise to me she's on the new wave of romantic comedy bestsellers. I'm talking the ones with animated cover characters and sassy snippets of dialouge. Her friend groups are always great, straight from 'Friends' usually. The idea of three best friends having bonded over their love of a manwhore... I couldn't get it. These women are likable, witty, and mostly classy. However, this has a lot rehashing how, in general, they slept with the same guy. Claire is cute and funny. As a person, she's great. But too defined by her relationships with others and outside perspective for me. Scott is Layne's usual grumpy hero with a heart of gold the adorable heroine chips away at. Most comments say "If you love Sex & The City..." and they would probably be correct with a few exceptions. 

Layne's stories can be engrossing but without the whole 'who's the killer or stalker' angle? Anybody who loved Tessa Bailey's Fix Her Up will embrace this story and some fans of Janet Evanovich's early romances. Personally, I don't think the tale of sweet heroine casting a spell over the gruff but good-guy hero gets old. All that said, Claire (and her friends) come off very sheltered and naive, a little too much so. Sometimes I found myself wondering if real people like them exist. I love pink, consider myself a low key girlie girl but still. And we've reached a point where authors can give a lead a millennial's personality but be mid-30s. It's probably refreshing to some to have a shift in main characters back to people in their 30s after years Ebook sales geared to women in their 20s. Here both hero and heroine have a past and baggage to overcome. This fell just a little short of my expectations from Layne and I don't think I'll be reading the other two in this trilogy.


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

August 5, 2020 - Staff Reviews

Title details for Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - Available
Title: Little Women
Author: Louisa May Alcott
e-Audiobook listened to through WVReads 

Believe it or not I never read this book before. Our library book club was reading this for their June discussion, and I thought, this is the time to do so.

I listened to it due to my commute, and am fairly new to audiobooks. It takes a second to get accustomed to it as I speak fast and need people to speak at a similar paste to keep my attention at times. But this narrator which was by Justine Eyre, did a decent job. The book does lag at times and I feel that was just the detail the author was putting in to it. I would never read it again like I would some books, but I am glad that I did, especially before watching the movie. The movie was good but was a bit out of order, though it does tell most of the story and it sometimes hard to follow. 

I completely understand why so many movies, artists, authors, etc. pull quotes from this book. There were so many good ones that I felt were just perfect. 

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

“I've got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”

“Love is a great beautifier.”

“Be comforted, dear soul! There is always light behind the clouds.

I could go on, but some of these really are a favorite of mine now. 


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

August 4, 2020 - Staff Reviews

The Stand
By Stephen King
Release Date: May 1, 1990
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 stars - A chilling apocalyptic tale that feels ripped straight from today's headlines, despite being originally published decades ago. King fans will find much to embrace, while some-time fans might be a bit overwhelmed.  I was enthralled but also sort of exhausted while reading this enormous novel.

King prefaces this re-release by saying he knows it's quite the undertaking for a reader. I was inclined to agree. The publisher's decision to chop so much of the original story for printing purposes was wrong. It effectively kills a writer's vision too often for weak reasoning. But here King seems like he hasn't fully developed his trademark prose just yet. He has so many characters introduced in the beginning that it's hard to really connect with any one or two of them. It takes some time for the adventures to start but the plotlines do get all twisted and tangled together. I found it fascinating to follow every day, ordinary people trying to survive horrific event. Anyone who gets more and more scared reading today's headlines, should probably hold off on this book.

Many scenes are spine-tingling and I think will stick long after I finishing them. There's a good blend description wise of character personalities, settings, and science. King acknowledges that some people probably prefer the short version. I think I may have been in that camp. I've never been a fan of director's cuts, feeling like the film is dragged out and expanded. However, I did not read nor have a copy of the short version so I do not know what details were missing. To be honest, some of this feels really dated while the general plot itself is very timely. Dates suggested this was updated for 1990 but much of the content is still very 1970s-ish. This book is prime for one of those tv-reimagining updates. Overall, there's almost no way to get bored or too bogged down in the details here, but be prepared to really dig in your heels. 

Monday, August 3, 2020

August 3, 2020 - New Arrivals

August 3, 2020

Adult Fiction

Devoted by Dean Koontz.

Woody Bookman hasn't spoken a word in his eleven years of life. Not when his father died in a freak accident. Not when his mother, Megan, tells him she loves him. For Megan, keeping her boy safe and happy is what matters. But Woody believes a monstrous evil was behind his father's death and now threatens him and his mother. And he's not alone in his thoughts. An ally unknown to him is listening. A uniquely gifted dog with a heart as golden as his breed, Kipp is devoted beyond reason to people. When he hears the boy who communicates like he does, without speaking, Kipp knows he needs to find him before it's too late. Woody's fearful suspicions are taking shape. A man driven by a malicious evil has set a depraved plan into motion. And he's coming after Woody and his mother. The reasons are primal. His powers are growing. And he's not alone. Only a force greater than evil can stop what's coming next. -- Provided by publisher.

The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer.

An ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life. She used to work for the U.S. government, one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came without warning, and they killed the only other person she trusted. When her former handler offers her a way out, it is her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous. And now she finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival.... – Provided by publisher.

After Sundown by Linda Howard & Linda Jones.

Sela Gordon, shy owner of a Tennessee general store, prefers solitude. If anyone can chip away at her protective shell it's the handsome, mysterious, ex-military man who's been hiding for two years in the wilds of Cove Mountain. But when he warns her that a catastrophic solar storm with the capability of taking down the power grids is approaching, Sela must come out of her shell and be the leader Wears Valley needs. Living in self-imposed exile, Ben Jernigan has learned the hard way to look out only for number one. With a top-notch security system, he's serious about keeping people at a distance. Yet he has to caution the undeniably sexy Sela about the impending threat-and now she's making it too easy for him to lower his guard. As panic spreads, Sela and Ben discover that in the dark, cut off from the outside world, there's no more playing it safe-in life or in love. – Provided by publisher.

Adult Non-Fiction

Pops!: Icy Treats for Everyone by Krystina Castella.

This first-ever ice pop compendium includes more than 100 recipes for pops with unique tastes and flavor combinations, such as Sour Plum, Sweet Martini, Thai Iced Coffee, and Blueberry Cheesecake-cool treats today's grown-up kids will be proud to serve at their birthday gatherings, barbecues, and cocktail parties. And for those whose creative interests stretch beyond the kitchen and into the DIY realm, Pops! offers innovative techniques for making ice molds from found objects and even small toys. With more than 30 full-color photographs and tons of quirky sidebars, Pops! features frosty indulgences for every occasion. – Provided by publisher.

The DC Comics Encyclopedia by Phil Jimenez, Scott Beatty, Robert Greenberger, & Dan Wallace.

This is the book that comic-book fans all over the world have been waiting for - a unique and definitive, one-volume encyclopedia of more than 1000 of the classic characters created by comics giant DC Comics. Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Joker, Catwoman…all the world-renowned super heroes and super villains are here, as well as lesser known favorites and weird and wonderful one-offs. The illustrations feature amazing work by the cream of DC's greatest-ever artists, while the authoritative text is supplied by top DC chroniclers. Special double-page features celebrate the incredible vehicles and weaponry, titanic clashes and romantic encounters of your favorite DC heroes and villains. Packed with information as well as thrilling, original, comic-book art, the fun and excitement of more than 60 years of comic-book history explodes off every page! – Provided by publisher.

Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

No, No, Gnome! by Ashlyn Anstee. C

Gnome cannot wait to help his friends harvest the school garden! But his eagerness and excitement get him into trouble, leaving them all saying 'No, no, Gnome!'"-- Provided by publisher.

Legends of Marvel: The Avengers by Peter David, Roger Stern, Walter Simonson, Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, Kathryn Immonen. GN

Legendary storytellers come together to tell new tales featuring classic Marvel heroes from the world of the Avengers! As Peter David and Dale Keown reunite with their signature icon, Bruce Banner is tired of life and about to lose all hope, until a miracle occurs: a fight worthy of the Incredible Hulk! In the wake of his classic saga of the siege of Avengers Mansion, Roger Stern reassembles Earth's Mightiest Heroes to face their oldest foe, Loki... with reality itself at stake! Roy Thomas returns to World War II with the ever-valiant Invaders: Captain America, Namor the Sub-Mariner and the original Human Torch! And experience the myth and majesty of immortal Asgard - and the mighty Thor! – Provided by publisher.

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