A place where staff reviews are shared with the public! Be kind, all of these reviews are done by staff members who want to share what they are/have been reading, watching, and listening to. We also share what is new in the libraries and a staff member gives a brief blurb about the book, courtesy of our OPAC (Syndetics Unbound Blurbs) or Novelist Blurbs about the books.
Thursday, December 30, 2021
December 30, 2021 - Staff Reviews
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
December 29, 2021 - WV Author of the Month
As well as being a writer, Giardina has been an activist for environmental justice since the 1970s. She made a bid to be governor of West Virginia in 2000 as a third-party candidate, using her campaign to raise awareness about the devastating and toxic effects of mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR). MTR blows off the tops of ancient mountains, exposing layers of coal. It makes mining easier, yet destroys forests and plant life, and pollutes streams. Toxic runoff from the mining process leach into communities (where people have lived for generations), forcing them to leave their homes. West Virginia´s progressive, Mountain Party, affiliated with the Green Party, sprang from Giardina's gubernatorial run.
In 2004 Giardina was the Writer-In-Residence at Hollins University and taught a course in Virginia and West Virginia fiction.
Giardina lives in Charleston and taught at West Virginia State University until 2015. In 2007 she was reinstated as an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church.
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
December 28, 2021 - Staff Reviews
Monday, December 27, 2021
December 27, 2021 - New Arrivals
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman.
Looking at real estate isn't usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can't fix their own marriage. There's a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can't seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment's only bathroom, and you've got the worst group of hostages in the world. Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them--the bank robber included--desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.
Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra.
The March sisters-reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth-have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger. Meg appears to have the life she always planned-the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you've ever wanted isn't all it's cracked up to be. When their mother's illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they'll rediscover what really matters. One thing's for sure-they'll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.
A Better Man by Louise Penny.
It's Gamache's first day back as head of the homicide department, a job he temporarily shares with his previous second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Flood waters are rising across the province. In the middle of the turmoil a father approaches Gamache, pleading for help in finding his daughter. As crisis piles upon crisis, Gamache tries to hold off the encroaching chaos, and realizes the search for Vivienne Godin should be abandoned. But with a daughter of his own, he finds himself developing a profound, and perhaps unwise, empathy for her distraught father. Increasingly hounded by the question, how would you feel..., he resumes the search. As the rivers rise, and the social media onslaught against Gamache becomes crueler, a body is discovered. And in the tumult, mistakes are made.
Running on Red Dog Road by Drema Hall Berkheimer.
Gypsies, faith-healers, moonshiners, and snake handlers weave through Drema's childhood in 1940s Appalachia after her father is killed in the coal mines, her mother goes off to work as a Rosie the Riveter, and she is left in the care of devout Pentecostal grandparents. What follows is a spitfire of a memoir that reads like a novel with intrigue, sweeping emotion, and indisputable charm. Drema's coming of age is colored by tent revivals with Grandpa, poetry-writing hobos, and traveling carnivals, and through it all, she serves witness to a multi-generational family of saints and sinners whose lives defy the stereotypes. Just as she defies her own.
Family Road Trip Trivia: Genius Edition by Bradley Blake.
Everyone loves a road trip! One of the best ways to pass time on your adventure and keep the whole family entertained is to spark a little competition. Divide into teams or take these questions on one at a time, keep score, and turn your next road trip into an epic trivia match-up. You can play one chapter at a time and see who wins the most chapters, or you can go for the big win and see who wins the most questions total. It's up to you! Have fun! Before you know it, you will be pulling into your destination, and this may turn out to be one of your favorite memories from the trip.
Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel
Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis. YA
Katrell can talk to the dead. And she wishes it made more money. She's been able to support her unemployed mother--and Mom's deadbeat-boyfriend-of-the-week--so far, but it isn't enough. Money's still tight, and to complicate things, Katrell has started to draw attention. Not from this world--from beyond. And it comes with a warning: STOP or there will be consequences. Katrell is willing to call the ghosts on their bluff; she has no choice. What do ghosts know of having sleep for dinner? But when her next summoning accidentally raises someone from the dead, Katrell realizes that a live body is worth a lot more than a dead apparition. And, warning or not, she has no intention of letting this lucrative new business go. Only magic isn't free, and dark forces are coming to collect. Now Katrell faces a choice: resign herself to poverty, or confront the darkness before it's too late.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Here We Make Our Stand by Al Ewing. GN
The new age of space is here! As old tensions explode in the far-off Earth system, the political map of the galaxy is being radically redrawn. Meanwhile, old friends and lovers must redraw the maps of themselves - or tear them up entirely. He used to be the Human Rocket. Now he's a human wreck. Is there any coming back for Nova? And in the wake of EMPYRE, it's time for a nice, peaceful diplomatic conference. As the new ambassador for the Utopian Kree, Marvel Boy makes a solemn promise to be on his best behaviour. So how come his fellow diplomats are being murdered one by one - and it looks like he's the killer?
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
December 22, 2021 - Staff Reviews
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
December 21, 2021 - BCPL Book & a Recipe
Images courtesy of Google, Hallmark, WV Reads.
Monday, December 20, 2021
December 20, 2021 - New Arrivals
God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen by Rhys Bowen.
Georgie is excited for her first Christmas as a married woman in her lovely new home. She suggests to her dashing husband, Darcy, that they have a little house party, but when Darcy receives a letter from his aunt Ermintrude, there is an abrupt change in plans. She has moved to a house on the edge of the Sandringham estate, near the royal family, and wants to invite Darcy and his new bride for Christmas. Aunt Ermintrude hints that the queen would like Georgie nearby. Georgie had not known that Aunt Ermintrude was a former lady-in-waiting and close confidante of her royal highness. The letter is therefore almost a royal request, so Georgie, Darcy, and their Christmas guests: Mummy, Grandad, Fig, and Binky all head to Sandringham. Georgie soon learns that the notorious Mrs. Simpson, mistress to the Prince of Wales, will also be in attendance. It is now crystal clear to Georgie that the Queen expects her to do a bit of spying. There is tension in the air from the get-go, and when Georgie pays a visit to the queen, she learns that there is more to her request than just some simple eavesdropping. There have been a couple of strange accidents at the estate recently. Two gentlemen of the royal household have died in mysterious circumstances and another has been shot by mistake during a hunt. Georgie begins to suspect that a member of the royal family is the real target but her investigation will put her new husband and love of her life, Darcy, in the crosshairs of a killer.
Murder in Season by Jessica Fletcher & Jon Land.
“With work on the reconstruction of her beloved home almost complete, Jessica Fletcher is in high holiday spirits, spearheading the annual Christmas pageant, supervising the Friends of the Library's toy drive, and preparing for her nephew Grady and his family to come to town. The only thing dampening the holiday cheer is the discovery on Jessica's property of two sets of bones: one set ancient, the other only a few weeks old. It's concluded they were placed there during the construction, and Jessica suspects that despite the centuries between them, the bones might be connected. Soon, tabloid reporter Franklin Joy arrives in Cabot Cove to write a story about what he calls "Murder Cove, USA." But when Franklin himself is murdered, Jessica speculates that his arrival, his death, and the discovery of the bones are all connected. As Jessica digs deeper to find the connection between the bones and the murder, everything seems to come back to a mystery that has long plagued Cabot Cove. If she wants to solve the case, she'll need to delve into her beloved town's dark history, or else this holiday season may be her last..."-- Provided by publisher.
Whispering Hearts by V. C. Andrews.
The English countryside is beautiful, but for Emma Corey it cannot compare with the bright lights of New York City. Tired of performing only in pubs and at church, she announces she's moving to America--and her conservative father disowns her on the spot. Distraught but undeterred, Emma will become a Broadway star--or die trying. Leaving the comforts of her youth is a thrilling adventure. The largeness of the city, her new friends, the boundless opportunities make everything shine with promise. However, New York has a way of chipping away at a newcomer's resolve. First a robbery. Then a low-wage job. Then the realization that such a city attracts the young and the talented--competitors all. Just when it seems like Emma might have to admit defeat and return to the UK, she is introduced to a peculiar couple: a wife that cannot bear children of her own, and a husband who would pay Emma to solve that problem. Emma's father once told her, "Money is life." But when Emma trades one for the other and moves into the couple's remote estate to participate in an elaborate ruse, there's no telling what kind of life she'll have once she's taken the money.
The Absolute by Sri Chinmoy.
A renaissance man of our modern times, Sri Chinmoy was a poet, an author of essays, a composer, an artist, a sportsman, and a lover of humanity. He established a wide range of cultural, humanitarian and spiritual programs on every continent. In new ways, these projects foster the ancient and universal values which underlie all great cultures and faiths. Sri Chinmoy had offered hundreds of lectures at universities throughout the globe. At galleries worldwide selections of Sri Chinmoy's paintings and 16 million 'Dream-Freedom-Peace-Bird' drawings have given joy and inspiration to countless people.
Discover How to Eliminate the Screen Time Battle with Your Kids by Jenn Bell-Allen.
Learn how to set screen time boundaries and instill a love for reading all while positively keeping lines of communication open with your kids. Use these techniques to eliminate the screen time battle with your kids, help your children develop a desire to read, and even increase positive ways to communicate with them. Learn the right genre of books to dive in head first in beginning to build a lifelong lover of reading ... and much, much more! And best of all, this amazing book will also show you how to manage your kids screen addiction so you can ultimately spend more time together engaging in healthy and productive activities.
Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel
The Christmas Pig by J. K. Rowling. J
Jack loves his childhood toy, Dur Pig. DP has always been there for him, through good and bad. Until one Christmas Eve something terrible happens -- DP is lost. But Christmas Eve is a night for miracles and lost causes, a night when all things can come to life... even toys. And Jack's newest toy -- the Christmas Pig (DP's replacement) -- has a daring plan: Together they'll embark on a magical journey to seek something lost, and to save the best friend Jack has ever known...
Family Road Trip Trivia: Grade-School Edition by Bradley Blake. J NFEveryone loves a road trip! One of the best ways to pass time on your adventure and keep the whole family entertained is to spark a little competition. Divide into teams or take these questions one at a time, keep score, and turn your next road trip into an epic trivia match-up. You can play one chapter at a time and see who wins the most chapters, or you can go for the big win and see who wins the most questions total. It’s up to you! Have fun! Before you know it, you will be pulling into your destination, and this may turn out to be one of your favorite memories from the trip.
Friday, December 17, 2021
December 17, 2021 - Staff Reviews
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
December 15, 2021 - Staff Reviews
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
December 14, 2021 - Staff Reviews
Monday, December 13, 2021
December 13, 2021 - New Arrivals
Better Off Dead by Lee Child & Andrew Child.
Reacher goes where he wants, when he wants. That morning he was heading west, walking under the merciless desert sun--until he comes upon a curious scene. A Jeep has crashed into the only tree for miles around. A woman is slumped over the wheel. Dead? No, nothing is what it seems. The woman is Michaela Fenton, an army veteran turned FBI agent trying to find her twin brother, who might be mixed up with some dangerous people. Most of them would rather die than betray their terrifying leader, who has burrowed his influence deep into the nearby border town, a backwater that has seen better days. The mysterious Dendoncker rules from the shadows, out of sight and under the radar, keeping his dealings in the dark. He would know the fate of Fenton's brother. Reacher is good at finding people who don't want to be found, so he offers to help, despite feeling that Fenton is keeping secrets of her own. But a life hangs in the balance. Maybe more than one. But to bring Dendoncker down will be the riskiest job of Reacher's life. Failure is not an option, because in this kind of game, the loser is always better off dead.
Never by Ken Follett.
A shrinking oasis in the Sahara Desert; a stolen US Army drone; an uninhabited Japanese island; and one country's secret stash of deadly chemical poisons: all these play roles in a relentlessly escalating crisis. Struggling to prevent the outbreak of world war are a young woman intelligence officer; a spy working undercover with jihadists; a brilliant Chinese spymaster; and Pauline herself, beleaguered by a populist rival for the next president election.
Victim 2117 by Jussi Adler-Olsen.
The newspaper refers to the body only as Victim 2117--the two thousand one hundred and seventeenth refugee to die in the Mediterranean Sea. But to three people, the unnamed victim is so much more, and the death sets off a chain of events that throws Department Q, Copenhagen's cold cases division led by Detective Carl Mørck, into a deeply dangerous--and deeply personal--case. A case that not only reveals dark secrets about the past, but has deadly implications for the future. For troubled Danish teen Alexander, whose identity is hidden behind his computer screen, the death of Victim 2117 becomes a symbol of everything he resents and the perfect excuse to unleash his murderous impulses in real life. For Ghaalib, one of the most brutal tormentors from Abu Ghraib--Saddam Hussein's infamous prison--the death of Victim 2117 is the first step in a terrorist plot years in the making. And for Department Q's Assad, Victim 2117 is a link to his buried past--and the family he assumed was long dead. With the help of the Department Q squad--Carl, Rose, and Gordon--Assad must finally confront painful memories from his years in the Middle East in order to find and capture Ghaalib. But with the clock ticking down to Alexander's first kill and Ghaalib's devastating attack, the thinly spread Department Q will need to stay one step ahead of their most lethal adversary yet if they are to prevent the loss of thousands of innocent lives.
Writer’s Market by Robert Lee Brewer.
Want to get published and paid for your writing? Let Writer’s Market guide you through the process with thousands of publishing opportunities for writers, featuring listings for book publishers, consumer and trade magazines, literary agents, and contests and awards – including those for playwriting and scriptwriting. These listings feature contact and submission information to help writers get their work published. Beyond the listings, you’ll find articles devoted to the business and promotion of writing. Discover 20 literary agents actively seeking writers and their writing, how to develop an author brand, and overlooked funds for writers. This 100th edition also includes the ever-popular pay-rate chart and book publisher subject index!
The Primary That Made a President by Robert Rupp.
The 1960 West Virginia presidential primary is arguably the most storied contest in modern American politics. And yet John F. Kennedy traveled the path so quickly from dynamic presidential candidate to martyred national icon that many forget his debt to West Virginia in his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination. In The Primary That Made a President, author Robert O. Rupp returns to 1960 West Virginia, reviewing the momentous contest for signs of the political changes to come. Besides propelling Kennedy to the Democratic nomination, the West Virginia primary changed the face of politics by advancing religious tolerance, foreshadowing future political campaigns, influencing public policy, and drawing national attention to a misunderstood region. It meant the end of a taboo that kept the Catholic faith out of American politics; the rise of the primary as a political tool for garnering delegate support; the beginning of a nationwide confrontation with Appalachian stereotypes; and the seeds for what would become Kennedy's War on Poverty. Rupp explores these themes and more to discuss how a small Appalachian state, overwhelmingly poor and Protestant, became a key player in the political future of John F. Kennedy. The first of its kind among Kennedy biographies or histories of the 1960 election, this book offers a sustained scholarly analysis of the 1960 West Virginia presidential primary and its far-reaching significance for the political climate in the US.
Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel
Djeliya by Juni Ba. YA GN
Inspired by West African folklore and stories handed over centuries, this unique graphic novel follows the adventures of Mansour Keita, last prince of a dying kingdom, and Awa Kouyaté, his loyal Djeli, or 'royal storyteller' as they journey to meet the great wizard who destroyed their world and then withdrew into his tower, never to be seen again. On their journey they'll cross paths with friend and foe, from myth and legend alike, and revisit the traditions, tales, and stories that gave birth to their people and nurture them still. But what dark secret lies at the heart of these stories, and what purpose do their tellers truly serve?
Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk. EThis beautiful bedtime poem, written by acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic. Lyrically and tenderly told by a mother speaking to her own little Kulu; an Inuktitut term of endearment often bestowed upon babies and young children, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants.
Thursday, December 9, 2021
December 9, 2021 - BCPL Resume Tips
Hello again, job seekers!
Welcome back to resume tips presented by Brooke County Libraries. This month's tip is #14.
Keep Simple Formatting
You want the highlights to your resume to be front and center, as we have advised previously. Today's resume templates have boxes and sections EVERYWHERE. Be mindful that prospective employers like to simply read down through a single page.
Consider just using sections that flow top to bottom. That makes for easy reading. And you ensure a future manager doesn't miss your certification because it was off in a side tab. Remember your work history should always be front and center or your education as it pertains to your experience.
Don't get caught up in fancy-looking templates. Being eye-catching is great. But employers will always value content over presentation.
Thank you as always! Remember your local library is a great place for help with your job search.
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
December 8, 2021 - Staff Reviews
Monday, December 6, 2021
December 6, 2021 - New Arrivals
2 Sisters Detective Agency by James Patterson & Candice Fox.
Attorney Rhonda Bird returns home after a long estrangement when she learns her father has died. There she makes two important discoveries: her father stopped being an accountant and had opened up a private detective agency, and she has a teenage half-sister named Baby. Baby brings in a client to the detective agency, a young man who claims he was abducted. During the course of the investigation, Rhonda and Baby become entangled in a dangerous case involving a group of overprivileged young adults who break laws for fun, their psychopath ringleader, and an ex-assassin victim who decides to hunt them down for revenge.
The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman.
The Owens family has been cursed in matters of love for over three-hundred years but all of that is about to change. The novel begins in a library, the best place for a story to be conjured, when beloved aunt Jet Owens hears the deathwatch beetle and knows she has only seven days to live. Jet is not the only one in danger--the curse is already at work. A frantic attempt to save a young man's life spurs three generations of the Owens women, and one long-lost brother, to use their unusual gifts to break the curse as they travel from Paris to London to the English countryside where their ancestor Maria Owens first practiced the Unnamed Art. The younger generation discovers secrets that have been hidden from them in matters of both magic and love by Sally, their fiercely protective mother. As Kylie Owens uncovers the truth about who she is and what her own dark powers are, her aunt Franny comes to understand that she is ready to sacrifice everything for her family, and Sally Owens realizes that she is willing to give up everything for love.
A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz.
When Ex-Detective Inspector Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, are invited to an exclusive literary festival on Alderney, an idyllic island off the south coast of England, they don't expect to find themselves in the middle of murder investigation--or to be trapped with a cold-blooded killer in a remote place with a murky, haunted past. Arriving on Alderney, Hawthorne and Horowitz soon meet the festival's other guests--an eccentric gathering that includes a bestselling children's author, a French poet, a TV chef turned cookbook author, a blind psychic, and a war historian--along with a group of ornery locals embroiled in an escalating feud over a disruptive power line. When a local grandee is found dead under mysterious circumstances, Hawthorne and Horowitz become embroiled in the case. The island is locked down, no one is allowed on or off, and it soon becomes horribly clear that a murderer lurks in their midst. But who?
Noise by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, & Cass R. Sunstein.
Imagine that two doctors in the same city give different diagnoses to identical patients--or that two judges in the same courthouse give markedly different sentences to people who have committed the same crime. Suppose that different interviewers at the same firm make different decisions about indistinguishable job applicants--or that when a company is handling customer complaints, the resolution depends on who happens to answer the phone. Now imagine that the same doctor, the same judge, the same interviewer, or the same customer service agent makes different decisions depending on whether it is morning or afternoon, or Monday rather than Wednesday. These are examples of noise: variability in judgments that should be identical. In Noise, Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein show the detrimental effects of noise in many fields, including medicine, law, economic forecasting, forensic science, bail, child protection, strategy, performance reviews, and personnel selection. Wherever there is judgment, there is noise. Yet, most of the time, individuals and organizations alike are unaware of it. They neglect noise. With a few simple remedies, people can reduce both noise and bias, and so make far better decisions.
The Premonition by Michael Lewis.
Fortunately, we are still a nation of skeptics. Fortunately, there are those among us who study pandemics and are willing to look unflinchingly at worst-case scenarios. Michael Lewis's taut and brilliant nonfiction thriller pits a band of medical visionaries against the wall of ignorance that was the official response of the Trump administration to the outbreak of COVID-19. The characters you will meet in these pages are as fascinating as they are unexpected. A thirteen-year-old girl's science project on transmission of an airborne pathogen develops into a very grown-up model of disease control. A local public-health officer uses her worm's-eye view to see what the CDC misses, and reveals great truths about American society. A secret team of dissenting doctors, nicknamed the Wolverines, has everything necessary to fight the pandemic: brilliant backgrounds, world-class labs, prior experience with the pandemic scares of bird flu and swine flu...everything, that is, except official permission to implement their work. Michael Lewis is not shy about calling these people heroes for their refusal to follow directives that they know to be based on misinformation and bad science. Even the internet, as crucial as it is to their exchange of ideas, poses a risk to them. They never know for sure who else might be listening in.
Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel
Trouble with a Tiny t by Merriam Sarcia Saunders. J
Twelve-year-old Westin Hopper gets in trouble--a lot. At home, at school, at his grandparents' house....His ADHD always seems to mess with his brain, making him do impulsive things. So when Westin finds a magic bag that makes his thoughts come alive, he thinks it's the ticket to fixing his life. Instead, his wandering brain strikes again, conjuring up a mini T. rex, an army of headless plastic men, and a six-inch Thor. Now they all live in his bedroom, eating lunchmeat, wreaking havoc, and growing. And Westin doesn't know how to make them go away. He enlists his fellow social outcast, Lenora, to help him make things right. Lenora helps Westin realize that his talent for drawing could be the key to solving his problems. If Westin can focus while drawing, maybe he can learn to control the magic and get rid of the creatures in his room. But he'd better learn quickly. Tiny T is growing--and fast.
Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues: Johnny’s Story #1 by Denton J. Tipton. J GN
Thirty years after the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament, Johnny seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo and tells his students about his rise to fame and how a new kid in town stole his ex-girlfriend.