Monday, May 31, 2021

May 31, 2021 - New Arrivals

May 31, 2021

Adult Fiction

The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell.

“Tabitha Girard had her heart broken years ago by Connor Ford. He was preppy and handsome. She was a pool girl at his country club. Their affair should have been a summer fling. But it meant everything to Tabitha. Years later, Connor comes back into Tabitha's life-older, richer, and desperately unhappy. He married for money, a wealthy, neurotic, controlling woman whom he never loved. He has always loved Tabitha. When Connor's wife Nina takes her own life, he's free. He can finally be with Tabitha. Nina's home, Windswept, can be theirs. It seems to be a perfect ending to a fairy tale romance that began so many years ago. But then, Tabitha finds a diary. "I'm writing this to raise an alarm in the event of my untimely death," it begins. "If I die unexpectedly, it was foul play, and Connor was behind it. Connor-and her." Who is Connor Ford? Why did he marry Nina? Is Tabitha his true love, or a convenient affair? As the police investigate Nina's death, is she a convenient suspect? As Tabitha is drawn deeper into the dark glamour of a life she is ill-prepared for, it becomes clear to her that what a wife knows can kill her.” -- Provided by publisher.


The Russian Cage by Charlaine Harris.

Picking up right where A Longer Fall left off, this thrilling third installment follows Lizbeth Rose as she takes on one of her most dangerous missions yet: rescuing her estranged partner, Prince Eli, from the Holy Russian Empire. Once in San Diego, Lizbeth is going to have to rely upon her sister Felicia, and her growing Grigori powers to navigate her way through this strange new world of royalty and deception in order to get Eli freed from jail where he's being held for murder.


Without Sanction by Don Bentley.

Defense Intelligence Agency operative Matt Drake broke a promise. A promise that cost three people their lives and crippled his best friend. Three months later, he's paralyzed by survivor's guilt and haunted by the memories of the fallen. Matt may have left Syria, but Syria hasn't left him. In the midst of his self-imposed exile, Matt is dragged back into the world of espionage and assets that he tried to forget. A Pakistani scientist working for an ISIS splinter cell has created a terrifying weapon of mass destruction. The scientist offers to defect with the weapon, but he trusts just one man to bring him out of Syria alive: Matt Drake.


Adult Non-Fiction

Floaters by Martín Espada.

"From the winner of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize come masterfully crafted narratives of protest, grief, and love. In this collection, Martín Espada bears witness to confrontation with anti-immigrant bigotry as a tenant lawyer years ago, and now sings the praises of Central American adolescents playing soccer in an internment camp founded on that same bigotry. He knows that times of hate also call for poems of love-even in the voice of a Galápagos tortoise. Whether celebrating the visions of fallen dreamers and poets or condemning the devastation of Hurricane Maria and official negligence in his father's Puerto Rico, Espada invokes ferocious, incandescent spirits."-- Provided by publisher.


National Geographic Guide to State Parks of the United States.

Bask in the spectacular beauty, thrilling terrain, and quiet peacefulness of the country's finest state parks, hand-picked by park directors and National Geographic editors. This fully updated fifth edition includes 750 additional off-the-beaten track destinations. Beautifully written descriptions tell the stories of the parks, from their wildlife, natural features, and history to their most popular current activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, water sports, and rock climbing. Vivid images inspire your next getaway, while detailed information--including 32 detailed maps highlighting sites, trails, campgrounds, and more--helps you plan your next excursion. From free to low-cost, from Florida to Alaska, from the six-acre Iao Valley to the 204,000-acre Baxter, use this essential guide to plan a day visit or a weekend escape.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Scaredy Cat by James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein.  J

When shelter cats Pasha and Poop move in with their new human family, they find themselves up against a ghostly bully. Scaredy Cat demands they follow his rules or he'll cause all kinds of trouble-knock over lamps, spill kitty litter, and even get them shipped back to the animal shelter! But Pasha and Poop are stubborn and rebellious. They won't follow the Scaredy Cat's ridiculous rules like all of the other pets on the block. Together, they set out to find the truth behind who the Scaredy Cat really is, and how they can end his mischief-making for good.


Rotten Island by William Steig.  E

What would happen if every creature on land and sea were free to be as rotten as possible? If every day was a free-for-all; if plants grew barbed wire; if the ocean were poison? That's life on Rotten Island. For creatures that slither, creep, and crawl (not to mention kick, bite, scratch, and play nasty tricks on each other), Rotten Island is paradise. But then, on a typically rotten day, something truly awful happens. Something that could spoil Rotten Island forever. Out of a bed a gravel on the scorched earth, a mysterious, beautiful flower begins to grow... This is a wonderfully raucous, fantastically colorful, reminder that nothing rotten lasts forever.

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

Friday, May 28, 2021

May 28, 2021 - WV Author of the Month

Meet our Brooke County Libraries' WV Author of the Month - Craig Johnson.

Craig Allen Johnson (born January 16, 1961) is an American author who writes mystery novels. He is best known for his Sheriff Walt Longmire novel series. The books are set in northern Wyoming, where Longmire is sheriff of the fictional county of Absaroka. The series debuted in 2004 and as of September 2019, Johnson has written 15 novels, two novellas, and many short stories featuring Longmire.

Craig Johnson grew up in Huntington, WV, and attended college at Marshall University.
Johnson lives in Ucross, Wyoming, with his wife Judy.

The success of Johnson's novels is celebrated in an annual festival, called Longmire Day, held in the small town of Buffalo, Wyoming, the real-life inspiration for the series' fictional setting. Close to 12,000 people attend the festival each year, including the author, many of the actors from the TV series, and (on occasion) the publishers and producers.

Next To Last Stand, the 16th novel in the Walt Longmire series, was released on September 22, 2020 and is a New York Times bestseller. 

We've got a selection of the Longmire novels in both our locations and on our ebook site WV Reads! Let us know what some of your favorites are below...


Images and info courtesy of Google and author/publisher webpages.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021 - Staff Reviews


Beautiful Lawman
By Sophie Jordan
Release Date: December 26, 2017
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

4 Stars - This short and sweet romance was just plain fun. I actually was disappointed that it ended because I wanted the story to keep going, and I think there was still some left to tell. Down on her luck Piper and tough guy Hale were perfect for each other. Jordan's pacing was excellent, had me turning pages nonstop.

Piper was dealt a bad hand but she was still doing her best with minimal complaints. It was refreshing how she didn't constantly whine. Her decisions weren't always top notch but she tried so hard to take care of herself and her little sister. Hale was a bit rough around the edges and very committed to non commitment. I couldn't say he "chased" Piper. But he did win her over with support and safety, not just looking hot in a uniform. Hale doesn't show his soft side much mostly just the alpha one, but he was good for Piper.

Their relationship was oddly not instalove but also instantly attracted. Also, I wouldn't have called this a slow burn, but it did take considerable time for these two to make it official. The Devil's Rock series grabbed my attention with Hell Breaks Loose but I felt it was all steam and little substance. This was a complete flip. The two leads didn't really get into bed until late in the story. Also it reads like a standalone. I didn't think it would spoil any other entries in the series. Jordan wrapped up the back story/mystery in an excellent bow, but I wished she had drawn it out more. I felt like we could have had even more cute moments with Piper's siblings becoming a bigger family with her and Hale. There were a few opportunities for additional suspense out there. Certainly this storyline from the dive bar job to the shady rental property to the scuffle at the station are not original. And I would not call the dialouge sparkling. But really I found everything likable and this to be an easy and enjoyable read in all aspects.


Monday, May 24, 2021

May 24, 2021 - New Arrivals

May 24, 2021

Adult Fiction

Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey.

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie's lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp. 

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippie. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he's all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous--yet surprisingly helpful--assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they're getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret... and it could demolish everything.


Relentless by Mark Greaney.

Intelligence operatives around the world are disappearing. When a missing American agent re-appears in Venezuela, Court Gentry, the Gray Man, is dispatched to bring him in, but a team of assassins has other ideas. Court escapes with his life and a vital piece of intelligence. Meanwhile, CIA agent Zoya Zakharova is in Berlin. Her mission: to infiltrate a private intelligence firm with some alarming connections. The closer she gets to answers, the less likely she is to get out alive. Court and Zoya are just two pieces on this international chessboard, and they're about to discover one undeniable truth--sometimes capturing a king requires sacrificing some pawns.


The Survivors by Jane Harper.

Kieran Elliott's life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home. Kieran's parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn. When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away...


Adult Non-Fiction

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo.

In suburban Indiana we meet Lina, a homemaker and mother of two whose marriage, after a decade, has lost its passion. Starved for affection, Lina battles daily panic attacks and, after reconnecting with an old flame through social media, embarks on an affair that quickly becomes all-consuming. In North Dakota we meet Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student who allegedly has a clandestine physical relationship with her handsome, married English teacher; the ensuing criminal trial will turn their quiet community upside down. Finally, in an exclusive enclave of the Northeast, we meet Sloane--a gorgeous, successful, and refined restaurant owner--who is happily married to a man who likes to watch her have sex with other men and women. Based on years of immersive reporting and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is both a feat of journalism and a triumph of storytelling, brimming with nuance and empathy.


Staying Grounded by Michael J. Hynes.

Our children and adults within our schools need you to be at your absolute best. An educator who is constantly working toward “Staying Grounded” will be someone who is a strategic leader who leads within and amongst the levels of self, others, and the organization they serve. Leadership of self includes the responsibility of being self-aware and proactive in developing personal strengths. This is what the 12 Principles will provide for you if you have what it takes. I know you do!


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Distress Signal by Mary E. Lambert.  J

Lavender's class is on a field trip in the desert of Chiricahua National Monument, hiking down a ravine, when a flash flood strikes! As the water hurtles down the ravine, everyone sprints for safety. Lavender runs in the opposite direction as the rest of her class and scrambles up a tree while the torrential river rages by. When the waters finally recede, Lavender finds herself stranded in the brutal heat of the desert with only her ex-best friend Marisol, mean-girl Rachelle, and a boy named John. They are shaken, disoriented, and have just one pack of supplies and the most basic wilderness knowledge. Can they find their way back to safety? They will have to learn to work together in spite of their differences -- if they want to survive.

Sylvie by Sylvie Kantorovitz.  J GN

Sylvie lives in a school in France. Her father is the principal, and her home is an apartment at the end of a hallway of classrooms. As a young child, Sylvie and her brother explore this most unusual kingdom, full of small mysteries and quirky surprises. But in middle and high school, life grows more complicated. Sylvie becomes aware of her parents' conflicts, the complexities of shifting friendships, and what it means to be the only Jewish family in town. She also begins to sense that her perceived "success" relies on the pursuit of math and science--even though she loves art. In a funny and perceptive graphic memoir, author-illustrator Sylvie Kantorovitz traces her first steps as an artist and teacher.

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

Friday, May 21, 2021

May 21, 2021 - Staff Reviews


Never Far Away
By Michael Koryta
Release Date: February 9, 2021
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - One of those mysteries that's fun when not taken too seriously. While the whole new life and secrets set up was entertaining, parts of the scheme bothered me. Readers of Koryta's old-fashioned whodunits will still find a lot to like. And any fans of the creepy thrillers with dark pasts slowly revealed and menancing villians will should grab this novel for a fast-paced and easy weekend read. 

I felt like I was on a roller coaster with this story. It started off awkwardly. The creepy, violent first pages are not for the faint of heart. After the unsettling moments, the new life of Lea is presented to us with a plausible set up. She's a wilderness girl, a 'new' pilot. Interesting enough. Then, she gets a call from her children and I wasn't quite buying the situation. How was it safer and smarter to start a new life without the kids? But then she is their quasi emergency guardian? Lea's love for the kids is obvious and heart breaking but at the same time feels unfounded at times. After all, she hasn't spent any time with them, spoken with them, or even seen a picture in about a decade.

I had some confusion with the kid's ages. (Haley is only two years older than Nick?) The whiny attitude and resentment from them got old fast. Yeah, they're finding themselves in a tragic change but so much frustration at Lea when they don't know who she is doesn't make sense. There's a huge chunk of the storyline with Hailey and her neighbor sort of playing PI, and it's fun but a bit irritating at times. Koryta is a very underrated mystery writer despite frequently being mentioned with or by other authors and even movie producers. In many ways, this novel felt more written for the big screen with the shady Mafia-style baddies and broken little family of protagonists. Also worth mentioning is the setting that truly features New England rural homes (Maine really). There was a little definite overdramatization in part four but it was doubtlessly exciting. This story just needed a real hero. Sure plenty of people will embrace Lea but there are those of us who felt like she was in dire need of someone to rescue her.


Thursday, May 20, 2021

May 20, 2021 - A Book & A Recipe

Hello again, food + book lovers! Brooke County Libraries have a fun summer recipe for May's dinner & a book theme. Don't forget to let us know if you try it out. We'd love a picture... or a sample!

Today's recipe...

Sipsey's Southern Fried Chicken

From Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg.

Check out our ebook copy of the book available from WV Reads!

What you need...

1 good-sized fryer
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 Cups Sifted Flour

Cut chicken into serving pieces.
Rub well with salt and pepper. Let stand awhile. 

Then soak in milk for about 30 minutes. 
Put flour, a little salt and pepper, and chicken into a bag. Shake well until every piece is coated. 

Fry in hot, deep fat at 400 degrees until golden brown. Leave heavy pieces in fat a little longer than the smaller ones.

So, long Mr. Chicken.

That's all folks!

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

May 18, 2021 - Staff Reviews

Dare to Play
By Carly Phillips
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3.5 Stars - A short romance that's packed with quite a bit of fun. Macy and Jaxson's little love story checks all kinds of trope boxes and makes for a quick, enjoyable read. Phillips' good old fashioned but never dull writing style manages to stay fresh in yet another branch of the huge Dare family tree. 

This is one of those series that I pop in and out of, and they are all standalones. But it is hard to keep track and sometimes I wish they were more individual. Every one I've read definitely has its own story but it gets hard to remember them on their own. Macy's strained relationship with her teenage sister makes this whole plot possible. But Lord she and her sister had a strange dynamic. Close but not close. Sister but also Mom. It's a mess. Macy's trying to overcome it and stand her ground. Her solution shows up as hot baseball star Jaxson, looking to redeem his bad boy rep of course. Fortunately, Jax was almost nothing but generous and sweet.

I will say this book moved at an... interesting pace. Macy held a lot back from Jaxson even though she agreed to a relationship that was pretty deeply involved with him. On the other hand, Jax really laid his heart on the line. Things are steamy with the two of them from the start (they felt like a great match). Then there's plenty of obstacles despite the short length of the book. I think I could have done with one or two less or a more in depth story. Hannah comes off as a total brat for most of the book, and while her attitude is fairly understandable, it gets old fast. Her resentment toward Macy is so unfounded. I've found most kids by the time their age can see through parents like her mother but hey. Also there was a lot of fun to be had with the Dare family. I actually went backwards to read a couple prior entries when I finished this one. It's a series that's easy to read and easy to like, especially when you want something light and entertaining.


Monday, May 17, 2021

May 17, 2021 - New Arrivals

May 17, 2021

Adult Fiction

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles.

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal. Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor's mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.


Lana’s War by Anita Abriel.

"Paris 1943, Lana Antanov is on her way to see her husband, Frederic with news that she is pregnant. As she arrives at the convent where Frederic teaches piano, she watches in horror as Gestapo officers execute Frederic for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano. Lana is overcome with grief. That evening, she loses the baby. A few months later, Lana is approached by a member of the resistance to serve as a spy on the French Riviera. Lana is a "White Russian," the daughter of a Russian countess, making her ideal to infiltrate the emigre community of Russian aristocrats who socialize with German officers. The Gestapo officer in charge, Alois Brunner, the same man who shot Frederic, is intent on exterminating all the Jews. Her cover story makes her the mistress of a wealthy Swiss industrialist named Guy Pascal, in whose villas she stays. Their information-gathering at parties allows them to thwart several raids, helping members of the Jewish population escape to North Africa. But Lana doesn't count on becoming attached to a young Jewish girl named Odette, who has just lost her father. Nor does she intend to feel an attraction to Guy so soon after the loss of her husband. As the Nazis efforts intensify, her desire to protect those around her may instead put them all at risk."-- Provided by publisher.


Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas: Boone by Emily March.

With his smooth talk, rugged good looks, and deep pockets, native Texan Boone McBride appears to be a man who has it all. Few people know about the heartbreak behind his decision to leave home, family, and career for the isolation of a small town in the Colorado Rockies. Luckily, time and life in Eternity Springs has worked its healing magic upon his wounded soul, so when he meets obviously troubled Hannah Dupree, Boone sees a chance to pay his good fortune forward. The last thing he anticipates is tumbling into love. Tragedy has taken everything Hannah loves, and her will to keep going is failing. So when Boone strides into her life determined to save her, it's easier to go along with him than to resist. Soon she is drawn into the fabric of life in Eternity Springs, and as her spirit begins to heal, her strength returns, and she's able to go toe-to-toe with this hardheaded, big-hearted Texan. But just when love blooms and happiness is within their grasp, shadows from the past threaten. Hannah and Boone must stand strong and united in order to defeat old ghosts--if they are to create a brand-new life together.


Adult Non-Fiction

A Visual Guide to Easy Meal Prep by Erin Romeo.

Meal prep is the key component to any diet--whether you're low carb, vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free, or just trying to eat healthy! If you don't plan to eat, then you plan to fail! With A Visual Guide to Easy Meal Prep: Recipes and Techniques to Get Organized, Save Time, and Eat Healthier, you'll learn shortcuts to prep to reduce your time in the kitchen, budget-friendly meal prep ideas, and how to pack your food. Learn how to shop, how to prep and cut your food, and the best containers to maximize your food prep pantry. In this guide, you'll also get more than 75 recipe ideas for healthy meal prep, complete with photos to make your prep work quick and easy. So skip the unhealthy take-out food and save money and time with the shortcuts in this essential healthy living companion.


Beyond Earth by Charles P. Wohlforth & Amanda R. Hendrix, Ph.D.

From a leading planetary scientist and an award-winning science writer, a propulsive account of the developments and initiatives that have transformed the dream of space colonization into something that may well be achievable. We are at the cusp of a golden age in space science, as increasingly more entrepreneurs--Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos--are seduced by the commercial potential of human access to space. But Beyond Earth does not offer another wide-eyed technology fantasy: instead, it is grounded not only in the human capacity for invention and the appeal of adventure but also in the bureaucratic, political, and scientific realities that present obstacles to space travel--realities that have hampered NASA's efforts ever since the Challenger disaster. In Beyond Earth, Charles Wohlforth and Amanda R.Hendrix offer groundbreaking research and argue persuasively that not Mars, but Titan--a moon of Saturn with a nitrogen atmosphere, a weather cycle, and an inexhaustible supply of cheap energy, where we will even be able to fly like birds in the minimal gravitational field--offers the most realistic and thrill­ing prospect of life without support from Earth.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Who Was Levi Strauss? by Ellen Labrecque.  J NF

As a young working-class German immigrant, Levi Struass left his family's dry goods business in New York City to journey out west for the California Gold Rush. Only Levi wasn't looking for gold -- he wanted to provide the miners with sturdy clothes to wear while they worked in the dusty river beds. His solution? Blue jeans -- pants made of strong denim fabric -- which have become one of the most beloved and fashionable clothing items in the world. Who Was Levi Strauss? follows the remarkable journey of this American businessman, and takes a look at how one man and a pair of pants changed fashion and the world forever.


Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson.  YA

Weeks ago, Andre Cobb received a much-needed liver transplant. He's ready for his life to finally begin, until one night, when he passes out and wakes up somewhere totally 1969, where he connects with a magnetic boy named Michael. And then, just as suddenly as he arrived, he slips back to present-day Boston, where the family of his donor is waiting to explain that his new liver came with a side effect--the ability to time travel. And they've tasked their youngest son, Blake, with teaching Andre how to use his unexpected new gift. Andre splits his time bouncing between the past and future. Between Michael and Blake. Michael is everything Andre wishes he could be, and Blake, still reeling from the death of his brother, Andre's donor, keeps him at arm's length despite their obvious attraction to each other. Torn between two boys, one in the past and one in the present, Andre has to figure out where he belongs--and more importantly who he wants to be--before the consequences of jumping in time catch up to him and change his future for good.

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

Thursday, May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021 - BCPL Resume Tips

Brooke County Libraries - Resume Tip #7:

Use uniform punctuation.

One small detail on your resume that can make a huge difference is punctuation. And it's a simple one!

No matter what position you're applying for or how long your resume is, this is an important concept. Your resume will be chock full of periods, commas, capital letters, parenthesis, and more, of course. Just make sure to use the same format for each line and/or section.



McDonalds. Cashier. 2000-2003. Duties included: customer service, taking orders, and clean up duty. Employee of the month March 2020.

Dairy Queen: Janitor. (1998 to 2000). Duties included - Mopping and waxing floors; plus dusting. Some minor repairs.


McDonalds. Cashier. (2000-2003). Duties included: customer service, taking orders, and clean up duty. Employee of the month March 2020.

Dairy Queen. Janitor. (1998-2000). Duties included: Mopping and waxing floors, dusting. Some minor repairs. 

Remember your local library is available for help with job applications and resumes!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021 - Staff Reviews


The Neon Rain
By James Lee Burke
Release Date: March 27, 1987
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - This old-school neo noir novel reads like a movie, no coincendence that this series was at one time embraced by cinema. Dave Robiceaux is a common hero with a dark past that no doubt influenced countless characters after him. He's a rugged anti hero not so tortured that a reader can't relate but enough that can be fascinating.

The book has many attributes of classic detective novels but is certainly the modern neo noir generation. Dave's a hard working cop who has seen the whole gamut of crime including drugs, prostitution, murder, and more from every race in his hometown of New Orleans. Somehow though he's cynical but not entirely desparaging to listen to. Will Patton's gruff drawl narration really brought him to life and added a lot to the story. The atmosphere is pure New Orleans from the background people to the food to even the surrounding buildings. This was clearly from a time when novels weren't all about large page counts, flashy covers, and cranking out a new novel with a new coauthor every three months.

I'll be honest that I chose this book at the time because of its short length. And this series had been on the back my mental reading list for ages to try. Burke has an amazing way of showing a lot of detail in very few words. He uses quite possibly more visual description than any other that comes to my mind. But I never felt bogged down by the details. The pace is free flowing, the scenes never rushed or jammed together. All that said, admittedly the story itself is not altogether original or different. It's much like a classic 70s action thriller in plot and cast. The sex and violence level increases as pages go by, at times in an uncomfortable way. Clet, Dave's partner, is fun, always giving him a hard time and vice versa. Their boss and Dave's brother also make some of the more memorable appearances. I'd say this is a must for anyone looking for that New Orleans feel or for anyone needing a quick, exciting read particularly fans of Robert Parker, John D. MacDonald, Stephen Cannell, or the more modern series by Steve Hamilton or Stuart Woods.


Monday, May 10, 2021

May 10, 2021 - New Arrivals

May 10, 2021

Adult Fiction

The Consequences of Fear by Jacqueline Winspear.

October 1941. While on a delivery, young Freddie Hackett, a message runner for a government office, witnesses an argument that ends in murder. Crouching in the doorway of a bombed-out house, Freddie waits until the coast is clear. But when he arrives at the delivery address, he's shocked to come face to face with the killer. Dismissed by the police when he attempts to report the crime, Freddie goes in search of a woman he once met when delivering a message: Maisie Dobbs. While Maisie believes the boy and wants to help, she must maintain extreme caution: she's working secretly for the Special Operations Executive, assessing candidates for crucial work with the French resistance. Her two worlds collide when she spots the killer in a place she least expects. She soon realizes she's been pulled into the orbit of a man who has his own reasons to kill--reasons that go back to the last war.

A Cowboy State of Mind by Jennie Marts.

Scarred and battered loner Zane Taylor has a gift with animals, particularly horses, but he's at a total loss when it comes to knowing how to handle women. Even though he's sworn off love, he can't seem to stay away from Bryn Callahan. He's known for being a horse whisperer, but can't seem to find his voice at all where Bryn is concerned. Bryn Callahan has a heart for strays, but she is through trying to save damaged men. She vows to only date nice guys, which is a category that does not include Zane Taylor. Too bad he's the only one who sets her pulse racing every time she's around him. Starting a horse rescue ranch wasn't in Bryn's plan, but try telling that to the assembly of abandoned animals that have found their way to her doorstep. And when a chance encounter with a horse headed for slaughter brings Zane and Bryn together, they find themselves given a chance to save not just the horse, but maybe each other...


A Promise of Ankles by Alexander McCall Smith.

For the residents of 44 Scotland Street, life in Edinburgh's intriguing New Town is a thing to be relished. After all, there are new faces to excite Domenica's anthropological imagination, precious moments with his triplets for Matthew to savor, and the prospect of a trip to the promised land of Glasgow for young Bertie. But there are mysteries that need solving too. Could Angus Lordie’s dog, Cyril – the only dog in Scotland with a gold tooth – have unearthed a Neanderthal skull? Does the long-suffering Stuart have any hope of kindling a new relationship when Bruce, ever the navel gazer and consummate seducer, effortlessly steps into his pas de deux? And how will the patrons of Big Lou’s café react to the menu’s imminent culinary transformation?


Adult Non-Fiction

Parenting While Working from Home by Shari Medini & Karissa Tunis.

As more parents work from home than ever before, there are unique challenges when it comes to meeting the demands of their job, helping their kids thrive, and finding even five minutes to take care of themselves. Parenting While Working from Home offers tips, strategies, and reflections to help parents balance their careers, connect with their kids, and establish their inner strength over the course of a year. Parenting experts and founders of the popular website, Adore Them Parenting, Karissa Tunis and Shari Medini share actionable tips, heartfelt insight, and planning strategies to help you enjoy your own parenting journey while working from home. Building on the authors' own experiences and the most common challenges they hear parents voicing today, Parenting While Working from Home encourages parents to make intentional changes that will result in happier families and thriving careers.


Dories, Ho! by Matt & Karen Smith.

Travel with Matt and Karen as they float down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. In September 2016, they experienced the trip of a lifetime with 14 friends and a crew of 10 while traveling in wooden dories through the canyon. Dories, Ho! is a story of their adventure and discovery. Similar to their first travel memoir Dear Bob and Sue, this book is as much about their relationship as it is their fantastic trip. Matt and Karen's quirky writing style is both humorous and irreverent. It's fun, laugh out loud, and an easy read. While not intended to be a traditional guidebook, anyone contemplating a river trip through the Grand Canyon will benefit from this firsthand account. The reader will feel as if they've traveled with the authors on their journey to and through Grand Canyon National Park. If you are looking for a story that will make you laugh and inspire you to get out and see our incredible national parks, Dories, Ho! is for you.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Uncanny X-Men by Kieron Gillen.  GN

Kieron Gillen's blockbuster X-Men run concludes! Cyclops leads his squad to Tabula Rasa... a newly discovered area of the Marvel Universe where evolution has run rampant. And the Immortal Man plans to show the X-Men just how out-of-date Homo Superior really are! Then, prepare for a prison break, X-Men-style... guest-starring the Avengers! But the return of the Phoenix Force puts these two mighty teams on an inevitable path to war! The cataclysmic conflict of AVX will shake the X-Men to their core, with unexpected consequences for all of mutantkind... but after the Phoenix Force takes drastic action, what will happen to Cyclops when the dust settles? Plus, the Juggernaut-powered Colossus! The Phalanx! The evil brilliance of Unit! And the master geneticist, Sinister, brings his diabolical schemes to fruition!


Highfire by Eoin Colfer.  YA

In the days of yore, Vern flew the skies and scorched angry mobs--now he rises only with great reluctance from his Laz-Z-Boy recliner. Laying low in the bayou, this once-magnificent fire breather, Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie, has been reduced to lighting Marlboros with nose sparks, swilling Absolut in a Flashdance T-shirt, and binging Netflix. For centuries, he struck fear in hearts far and wide. He is the last dragon, a survivor, unlike the rest. Vern's glory days are long gone. A canny Cajun swamp rat, young Everett Squib Moreau does what he can to survive, trying not to break the heart of his saintly single mother. On his first night working for a shady smuggler, he witnesses his boss murdered by crooked constable Regence Hooke. Hooke is a dirty cop, a despicable human being who happens to want Squib's momma in the worst way. When Hooke goes after his hidden witness with a grenade launcher, Squib finds himself airlifted from certain death by...a dragon? Rather than be fried alive so the dragon can keep his secret, Squib strikes a deal with the scaly apex predator. He can act as his go-between (aka familiar) --fetch his vodka, keep him company, etc.--in exchange for protection from Hooke. Soon the three of them are careening headlong toward a combustible confrontation. There's about to be a fiery reckoning, in which either dragons finally go extinct--or Vern's glory days are back.

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

Friday, May 7, 2021

May 7, 2021 - Book Club Preview

We at Brooke County Libraries are excited for the May 2021 Book Club Pick! 

The True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey. 

Meeting Thursday May 27th at 5pm. Available for virtual discussion!

Ned Kelly begins his autobiography with a description of his father, John "Red" Kelly, an Irishman transported to Van Diemen's Land and eventually settling in the colony of Victoria, Australia. After marrying Ned's mother Ellen (née Quinn), the Kellys settle in Avenel, a rural area northeast of Melbourne. Red Kelly is shown to have numerous brushes with the colonial police forces, resulting in his imprisonment and death when his son Ned was twelve years of age.

Peter Philip Carey AO (born 7 May 1943) is an Australian novelist. Carey has won the Miles Franklin Award three times and is frequently named as Australia's next contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Carey is one of only five writers to have won the Booker Prize twice—the others being J. G. Farrell, J. M. Coetzee, Hilary Mantel and Margaret Atwood. Carey won his first Booker Prize in 1988 for Oscar and Lucinda, and won for the second time in 2001 with True History of the Kelly Gang. In May 2008 he was nominated for the Best of the Booker Prize.

Images and info courtesy of Google, Wikipedia, and Author webpage.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

May 5, 2021 - Staff Reviews


Ride the Tide
By Julie Ann Walker
Release Date: November 24, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

2.5 Stars - My first forray into another military romance series. I wouldn't call this novel just a pleasant read but it's easy and interesting, if a bit unoriginal. Alex is a smart, pretty sassy little heroine ready to take on not just adventure but tough guy Mason, who is determined to dodge her. Walker's writing flow took some getting used to for me, and I'm not sure I really settled into it by the end. 

The dialouge is a bit too quirky for me. Even some of their inner thoughts were weird. The overexplanations and some unusual word choices here and there came off a bit disjointed as well. But I liked Alex even if her main purpose early on seemed to just be a late bloomer virgin bookworm out to tempt the hero. Of course, Mason has a cool name to match his cool personality and skills. He has more baggage than an airport and is too damaged for Alex and her innocent state. They make for a cute eventual couple though, him with his alpha side and her ready to give him a challenge.

This book probably would have been a lot more fun for me if I didn't feel like I'd read it so many times before. Or maybe if I'd been tempted more by the first two books in the series and started there. This is probably somewhere in the middle steaminess meter. And the suspense side is a little higher. About the last quarter of the book was where the excitement really rolled. But for me personally, there was a bit too much talk and not enough action. No one was even in danger to start with, and the whole sunken ship search didn't get enough attention early on to get me on board. I will say it's got a slightly better military atmosphere than some romance authors use, even though Mason and his friends are technically retired. We've also got obvious plugs here for potential future couples. I can't say I'm excited to grab the night one, but I'd keep it in mind for a time filler read. I'd say fans of Susan Stoker, Pamela Clare, and the military romance set may find a new author to love here. 


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021 - Beach Reads

Ready for a walk on the beach? These titles will transport you there if you can't travel there yourself this Summer! All titles are available from Brooke County Libraries.

Orchid Beach by Stuart Woods
A riveting thriller that introduces his first female protagonist, Deputy Chief of Police Holly Barker. Forced into early retirement at thirty-seven, smart, attractive, and fiercely independent Major Holly Barker trades in her bars as a military cop for the badge of deputy chief of police in Orchid Beach, Florida. But below the sunny surface of this sleepy, well-to-do island town lies an evil that escalates into the cold-blooded murder of one of Holly's new colleagues. 

A Walk Along the Beach by Debbie Macomber
The Lakey sisters are perfect opposites. After their mother died and their father was lost in grief, Willa had no choice but to raise her sister, Harper, and their brother, Lucas. Then, as an adult, she put her own life on hold to nurse Harper through a terrifying illness. Now that Harper is better and the sisters are living as roommates, Willa has realized her dream of running her own bakery and coffee shop, bringing her special brand of caretaking to the whole Oceanside community. 

Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe
Cara Rutledge returns to her Southern home on the idyllic Isle of Palms. Comforting in its familiarity, it is still rife with painful memories. Only through reconnecting with family, friends, and the rhythms of the lowcountry can Cara release the hold of the past and open herself to the possibility of a new career and love. Meanwhile, her niece Linnea, a recent college graduate with an uncertain future, leaves her historic home in Charleston, with all its entitlement and expectations, and heads to her aunt’s beach house. On the island, she is free to join the turtle team, learn to surf, and fall in love.

The Beach House by James Patterson and Peter DeJonge
When New York law student Jack Mullen learns that his brother has drowned, he knows it can't be an accident. . . Jack Mullen is in law school in New York City when the shocking news comes that his brother Peter has drowned in the ocean off East Hampton. Jack knows his brother and knows this couldn't be an accident; someone must have wanted his brother dead. But the powers that be say otherwise.

Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts
 For more than three hundred years, Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach, guarding its shore--and its secrets. But to Eli Landon, it's home... A Boston lawyer, Eli has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigations after being accused of--but never arrested for--the murder...

The Body on the Beach by Simon Brett
Very little disturbs the ordered calm of Fethering, a pleasingly self-contained retirement town on England’s southern coast. Which is precisely why Carole Seddon, who has left behind both her husband and her career at the Home Office, has chosen to reside there. So Carole is surprised to encounter a new neighbour with one name and a colourful past. 'Jude' is not really Fethering. . . but even she is not as surprising as the body Carole finds on the beach. A body, it has to be said, that has disappeared by the time the police arrive.

The Beach Club by Elin Hilderbrand
Mack Petersen, manager of the hotel, has been working at The Beach Club for 12 summers. Only this summer is different. His boss, the owner of the hotel, Bill Elliot, shows up in the spring with a new set of demands. His girlfriend Maribel is pressing Mack to get married and Vance, the African-American bellman, who has hated Mack since the day Mack stole his job 12 years ago, threatens him in a deadly scene. Mack knows something's got to give.

Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank
The incomparable Dorothea Benton Frank is back with her latest Lowcountry Novel, Folly Beach. As she has with Lowcountry Summer, Return to Sullivans Island, Land of Mango Sunsets, and so many other delightful literal excursions to this magical Southern locale, the perennial New York Times bestselling author enchants readers with a heart-warming tale of loss, acceptance, family, and love—as a woman returns to the past to find her future. Folly Beach is a constant delight from “a masterful storyteller”

Firefly Beach by Luanne Rice
Coolly sophisticated and steadfastly single, Caroline Renwick has always been the sister everyone could count on. As she and Clea and Skye gathered at Firefly Hill, their childhood home, Caroline thought that they had all put the past behind them. But as summer gets under way, a mysterious man arrives—a man who has the power to bring it all back.... Joe Connor was only six when his father died at Firefly Hill. Though he and Caroline had never met, the five-year-old girl reached out to him.

Beach Music by Pat Conroy
Beach Music is Pat Conroy's novel about Jack McCall, a South Carolina native who flees the South with his daughter Leah after his wife commits suicide. This novel explores the Vietnam War-era, the Holocaust, and coming of age in the 20th century.

Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews
Pull up a lounge chair and have a cocktail at Sunset Beach – it comes with a twist. Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job.

Rosarito Beach by M.A. Lawson
Bold, brash, and beautiful, DEA agent Kay Hamilton doesn’t always like to play by the rules, even though she’s charged with upholding them. Having recently been transferred to San Diego after a case in Miami brought her more notoriety than medals, Kay once again finds herself embroiled in an international bust. Tito Olivera, younger brother of drug czar Caesar Olivera, is within her grasp. If she takes down Tito, Kay is positive that Caesar will follow—and when Caesar falls, so does the largest and most vicious cartel in Mexico.

Have you read any of these titles? Got some favorite Beach Reads that we didn't include? Be sure to let us know! We love to hear from you.