Tuesday, June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021 - Staff Reviews

By Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3.5 Stars - An excellent friends to lovers romance and entry in the AZ hockey series. Kane and Mollie's story is sprinkled with lots of good stuff from suspense to steamy scenes to a childhood sweethearts vibe. Bennett's got another easy and fun read here. I was hooked from the beginning.

Obviously to anyone following along, I'm reading this series out of order. But honestly, with the exception of numerous obvious plugs for the other couples, they can be standalones. Kane didn't intrigue me much in his snippets in other books but he was great. I loved how understand and protective was of Mollie. And Mollie was a nice mix of self-sufficient and unafraid to ask for help. These two just made such a cute pair with their long history and equal affection toward each other. There's a refreshingly lack of back and forth here. These two know what they want once they take the next step.

I can never believe I enjoy this series so much more than the Jameson one. There's a delicious scoop of suspense in this story with Mollie's mostly off-page stalker that is more intriguing to me than half the plots at Jameson, which is marketed as romantic suspense. Matthew isn't exactly a strong villian but there's enough menace surrounding him to keep things interesting. A few things did bother me in this book that kept it from being a perfect little read. The opener with Nalia felt distasteful and pointless. I don't need a post sex scene with a hookup to prove the guy is wanted by women. This reminded me of a Harper Sloan book from years ago anyway, trying to show he cares more about his bestie than the girl in his bed. Also the last few chapters with their token break up to make up didn't flow for me. I wasn't buying that fight at all. But overall, I loved Mollie and Kane and I loved them together. I'm sure I'll be weaving in and out of this series again. This entry wouldn't be a bad place to start.


Monday, June 28, 2021

June 28, 2021 - New Arrivals

June 28, 2021

Adult Fiction

Death with a Double Edge by Anne Perry.

When junior barrister Daniel Pitt is summoned to the scene of a murder in the London district known as Mile End, he knows only that the victim is a senior barrister from the same firm. To Daniel's relief, it is not his close friend Toby Kitteridge, but the question remains: What was this respected colleague doing in such a rough part of the city? The firm's head, Marcus fford Croft, may know more than he admits, but fford Croft's memory is not what it used to be, and his daughter, Miriam--Daniel's sometime sidekick--isn't in the country to offer her usual help. And so Daniel and Kitteridge must investigate on their own, lest the police uncover something that may cast a suspicious light on the firm. Their inquiries in Mile End lead them to a local brothel and to an opium den, but also--unexpectedly--to a wealthy shipbuilder crucial to Britain's effort to build up its fleet, which may soon face the fearsome naval might of Germany. Daniel finds his path blocked by officials at every turn, his investigation so unwelcome that even his father, Special Branch head Thomas Pitt, receives a chilling warning from a powerful source. Suddenly, not just Daniel but his whole family--including his beloved mother, Charlotte--is in danger. Will Daniel's devotion to justice be the undoing of his entire life, and endanger Britain's defense at sea?


To Wake the Giant by Jeff Shaara.

"In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt watches uneasily as the world heads rapidly down a dangerous path. The Japanese have waged an aggressive campaign against China, and they now begin to expand their ambitions to other parts of Asia. As their expansion efforts grow bolder, their enemies know that Japan's ultimate goal is total conquest over the region, especially when the Japanese align themselves with Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy, who wage their own war of conquest across Europe. Meanwhile, the British stand nearly alone against Hitler, and there is pressure in Washington to transfer America's powerful fleet of warships from Hawaii to the Atlantic to join the fight against German U-boats that are devastating shipping. But despite deep concerns about weakening the Pacific fleet, no one believes that the main base at Pearl Harbor is under any real threat. Told through the eyes of widely diverse characters, this story looks at all sides of the drama and puts the reader squarely in the middle." -- Publisher description.


The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen.

Caroline Grant is struggling to accept the end of her marriage when she receives an unexpected bequest. Her beloved great-aunt Lettie leaves her a sketchbook, three keys, and a final whisper... Venice. Caroline's quest: to scatter Juliet "Lettie" Browning's ashes in the city she loved and to unlock the mysteries stored away for more than sixty years. It's 1938 when art teacher Juliet Browning arrives in romantic Venice. For her students, it's a wealth of history, art, and beauty. For Juliet, it's poignant memories and a chance to reconnect with Leonardo Da Rossi, the man she loves whose future is already determined by his noble family. However star-crossed, nothing can come between them. Until the threat of war closes in on Venice and they're forced to fight, survive, and protect a secret that will bind them forever. Key by key, Lettie's life of impossible love, loss, and courage unfolds. It's one that Caroline can now make right again as her own journey of self-discovery begins.


Adult Non-Fiction

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey.

I've been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me. Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life's challenges--how to get relative with the inevitable--you can enjoy a state of success I call "catching greenlights." So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops. Hopefully, it's medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot's license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears. It's a love letter. To life. It's also a guide to catching more greenlights--and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too. Good luck.


This is the Fire by Don Lemon.

The host of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon is more popular than ever. As America's only Black prime-time anchor, Lemon and his daily monologues on racism and antiracism, on the failures of the Trump administration and of so many of our leaders, and on America's systemic flaws speak for his millions of fans. Now, in an urgent, deeply personal, riveting plea, he shows us all how deep our problems lie, and what we can do to begin to fix them. Beginning with a letter to one of his Black nephews, he proceeds with reporting and reflections on his slave ancestors, his upbringing in the shadows of segregation, and his adult confrontations with politicians, activists, and scholars. In doing so, Lemon offers a searing and poetic ultimatum to America. He visits the slave port where a direct ancestor was shackled and shipped to America. He recalls a slave uprising in Louisiana, just a few miles from his birthplace. And he takes us to the heart of the 2020 protests in New York City. As he writes to his young nephew: We must resist racism every single day. We must resist it with love.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna.  YA

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs. But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity-and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death. Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki-near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire's greatest threat. Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she's ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be-not even Deka herself.


Power Up by Sam Nisson.  J GN

Miles and Rhys know each other only as Gryphon and Backslash, and in the video game Mecha Melee they're an unstoppable team. They're the best friends they've got, online or in the real world, and they don't even realize they go to the same middle school. But real-life wrongdoing blasts their duo into a crater the size of Arcticon. With life online and off a complete mess and BattleCon--and the Every Game Ever tournament--just weeks away, can the boys play their way back to each other?

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

Friday, June 25, 2021

June 25, 2020 - WV Author of the Month

Brooke County Libraries are proud to present out WV Author of the Month! The pick for June 2021 is Stephen Coonts.

Stephen Coonts is an American author who is know for his thriller and suspense novels. Coonts was originally an aviator in the US Army during the Vietnam War, which he has parlayed into his current career as a novelist. The majority of his books have made their way to the New York Times Bestseller List.

Stephen Coonts grew up in Buckhannon, West Virginia, a small coal mining town. Following high school graduation, he earned a B.A. degree in political science at West Virginia University in 1968. After joining the Navy upon graduation and then going to Officer Candidate School, Coonts went to flight school at Naval Air Station Pensacola and earned his wings as a Naval Aviator in 1969.

After leaving active duty, Coonts pursued a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree at the University of Colorado, graduating in 1979. He then worked as a lawyer for several oil and gas companies, pursuing his writing interests in his free time.

Coonts began writing Flight of the Intruder in 1984, with the book being published by the US Naval Institute Pressin 1986. 

Published August 13, 2019. Stephen Coonts' newest thriller, The Russia Account, pits the CIA's Jake Grafton and Tommy Carmellini against a murderous international financial conspiracy that leaves a trail of death and corruption in its wake. From a small branch bank in Estonia to the highest reaches of the Kremlin, to the halls of Congress and perhaps even to the White House and CIA itself....

Check out some of Mr. Coonts' work at either of our locations or online with our ebook site WV Reads!

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

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

June 23, 2021 - A Book & A Recipe

Welcome back, chefs and readers! This month Brooke County Libraries dinner & a recipe is from Susan Wittig Albert's Last Chance Olive Ranch.

And don't forget if you try out the recipe, let us know! We'd love to hear from you.

Chunky Gazpacho is a soup (usually tomato base) made of raw vegetables and herbs served cold. It originated in the Southern Spanish region of Andalusia. It is widely eaten in Spain and Portugal. As a summer soup, it is refreshing and cool.

1 large can of stewed tomatoes undrained (28 oz)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1/4 cup sliced pimento-stuffed green olives
1/4 cup of arugula chopped
1/4 cup of parsley finely chopped
1/4 cup of basil finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of balsamic vingar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
Salt and Pepper

In a glass bowl, combine tomatoes with the rest of the ingredients. Stir well breaking up the tomatoes.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and as long as 3 days.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve cold. Serves 4.

Pretty simple!

Images and info are courtesy of WV Reads and Google.

If you're curious, check out the ebook available on WV Reads! It's part of her China Bayles mystery series.


Monday, June 21, 2021

June 21, 2021 - New Arrivals

June 21, 2021

Adult Fiction

Ocean Prey by John Sandford.

An off-duty Coast Guardsman is fishing with his family when he calls in some suspicious behavior from a nearby boat. It's a snazzy craft, slick and outfitted with extra horsepower, and is zipping along until it slows to pick up a surfaced diver . . . a diver who was apparently alone, without his own boat, in the middle of the ocean. None of it makes sense unless there's something hinky going on, and his hunch is proved right when all three Guardsmen who come out to investigate are shot and killed. They're federal officers killed on the job, which means the case is the FBI's turf. When the FBI's investigation stalls out, they call in Lucas Davenport. And when his case turns lethal, Davenport will need to bring in every asset he can claim, including a detective with a fundamentally criminal mind: Virgil Flowers.


The Lady Has a Past by Amanda Quick.

Investigative apprentice Lyra Brazier, the newest resident of Burning Cove, is unsettled when her boss suddenly disappears. Lyra knows something has happened to Raina Kirk, and tracks down her last known appearance at an exclusive hotel and health spa. The health spa is known for its luxurious offerings and prestigious clientele, and the wealthy, socialite background Lyra desperately wanted to leave behind is perfect for this undercover job. What Lyra lacks in investigative experience she makes up for in gut instinct, and her gut isn't happy that she's saddled with a partner by Luther Pell, Raina's dangerous lover, who wants to bring in someone with more experience to help. Instead of the suave, pistol-packing private eye she expected, though, Simon Cage is a mild-mannered antiquarian book dealer with a quiet, academic air, and a cool, remote gaze. Lyra suspects that Simon is much more than what he seems, and her instincts are confirmed when they arrive at the spa and pose as a couple: Simon has a unique gift that allows him to detect secrets, a skill that is crucial in finding Raina. The unlikely duo falls down a rabbit hole of twisted rumors and missing socialites, discovering that the health spa is a façade for something far darker than they imagined. With a murderer in their midst, Raina isn't the only one in grave danger--Lyra is next.


Life After Death by Sister Souljah.

Winter Santiaga hit time served. Still stunning, still pretty, still bold, still loves her father more than any man in the world, still got her hustle and high fashion flow. She's eager to pay back her enemies, rebuild her father's empire, reset his crown, and ultimately to snatch Midnight back into her life no matter which bitch had him while she was locked up. But Winter is not the only one with revenge on her mind. Simone, Winter's young business partner and friend, is locked and loaded and Winter is her target. Will she blow Winter's head off? Can Winter dodge the bullets? Or will at least one bullet blast Winter into another world? Either way Winter is fearless. Hell is the same as any hood and certainly the Brooklyn hood she grew up in. That's what Winter thinks.


Adult Non-Fiction

Remember by Lisa Genova.

In Remember, neuroscientist and acclaimed novelist Lisa Genova delves into how memories are made and how we retrieve them. You'll learn whether forgotten memories are temporarily inaccessible or erased forever and why some memories are built to exist for only a few seconds (like a passcode) while others can last a lifetime (your wedding day). You'll come to appreciate the clear distinction between normal forgetting (where you parked your car) and forgetting due to Alzheimer's (that you own a car). And you'll see how memory is profoundly impacted by meaning, emotion, sleep, stress, and context. Once you understand the language of memory and how it functions, its incredible strengths and maddening weaknesses, its natural vulnerabilities and potential superpowers, you can both vastly improve your ability to remember and feel less rattled when you inevitably forget. You can set educated expectations for your memory, and in doing so, create a better relationship with it. You don't have to fear it anymore. And that can be life-changing.


Madam Speaker by Susan Page.

Before she was Nancy Pelosi, she was Nancy D'Alesandro. Her father was a big-city mayor and her mother his political organizer; when she encour­aged her young daughter to become a nun, Nancy told her mother that being a priest sounded more appealing. She didn't begin running for office until she was forty-six years old, her five children mostly out of the nest. With that, she found her calling. Nancy Pelosi has lived on the cutting edge of the revolution in both women's roles and in the nation's movement to a fiercer and more polarized politics. She has established herself as a crucial friend or for­midable foe to U.S. presidents, a master legislator, and an indefatigable political warrior. She took on the Democratic establishment to become the first female Speaker of the House, then battled rivals on the left and right to consolidate her power. She has soared in the sharp-edged inside game of politics, though she has struggled in the outside game--demonized by conservatives, second-guessed by progressives, and routinely underestimated by nearly everyone. All of this was preparation for the most historic challenge she would ever face, at a time she had been privately planning her retirement. When Donald Trump was elected to the White House, Nancy Pelosi became the Democratic counterpart best able to stand up to the disruptive president and to get under his skin. The battle between Trump and Pelosi, chronicled in this book with behind-the-scenes details and revelations, stands to be the titanic political struggle of our time.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Who is Ken Jennings? by Kirsten Anderson.  J NF

"Ken Jennings is considered the greatest of all-time contestants on Jeopardy! and became a household name after his impressive 74-game winning streak. After the passing of longtime host Alex Trebek, Jennings became the first guest to host Jeopardy! Read more about Ken Jennings and his curious life in this Who HQ Now biography." -- Provided by publisher.


Savage Avengers: Enter the Dragon by Gerry Duggan.  GN

The horrific secret of Kulan Gath's power is revealed! Steel yourself, True Believers - this one is a bummer for the ages. Can Doctor Strange and Elektra deal with this unbelievable horror? Speaking of horror, something is killing the Shuma-Goraths! That would usually be great news, but Kulan Gath thinks he's finally figured out how to consume the Elder God - and that's very bad news for our plane of existence! Strange and Elektra have a plan, though... and the Savage Avengers will assemble! Conan the Barbarian, Wolverine, Doctor Strange, Elektra, Black Widow, Hellstrom, Brother Voodoo, Magik...and more! The heroes draw up a last-ditch battle plan against Kulan Gath - and Conan must wield a most unexpected weapon in the fight against darkness!

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

Friday, June 18, 2021

June 18, 2021 - Staff Reviews

Armed & Fabulous
By Camilla Chafer
Release Date: March 31, 2013
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - This straightforward mystery has a touch more violence and sex appeal than the average cozy. But all the fun cozy elements are here and wrapped up in a fast pace adventure. The start of the Lexi Graves series is quite the ride.

Our amateur sleuth star Lexi has a really weird career path. Half of her immediate family members are cops but I think she went into the army before becoming a professional office temp. She spends her days pretending to look busy because she's smarter than her coworkers. Lexi's more sassy than sweet and has great taste in apartments, clothes, and friends. I needed a tree to map out her huge family but there's plenty of quirkiness to suit fans of Janet Evanovich, Gemma Halliday, or Nancy Martin.

I do have some complaints, however, that will probably keep me from continuing this series by Chafer. This was my first and for a change I started at the beginning. First off, the token love triangle here is not impressive for me. Solomon and Maddox are basically the same guy. And Lexi comes off really flighty and bit hormonal when talking about men. Also I think Chafer didn't know when to keep it simple. Lexi's job history wasn't well explained. And she is self-proclaimed ambitious but lacking direction. I can get some of that but sometimes less is more in character development. I felt like she just kept piling on new things to please a reader out there somewhere. Her word choices were so redundant at times and narrator Vanessa Daniels was absolutely no help with that inflection-wise.


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021 - BCPL Resume Tips

Brooke County Libraries - Resume Tip #8

Use the reference section space to your advantage. 

The reference section of your resume is one of most flexible, usually located at the bottom of the page. 

Don't overword this portion of your resume. Actually, if you are pressed for space, stick with a simple "References available upon request."

A lot of sample resumes say you should include all contact information for your people. A good rule of thumb is to only give first and last name and a phone number. The exception should be if you are trying to fill a one page resume, such as a young person who has only held one or two job positions.

The reasons for keeping this section small are as follows. You should be tailoring your references to suit the job position you're applying for specifically. Also, there is next to no reason an employer would need the home address or job title of your reference. They can ask when they reach out by phone or email if needed. Finally, your job application will ask for additional information from your references and you don't need it on your resume as well.

Remember! Keep your reference section short and sweet.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021 - Staff Reviews

A Duchess A Day
By Charis Michaels
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - I'm a sucker for fairytale retellings and this one was an adorable, if very loose play on Snow White. This was a bit wordy, sometimes silly romance but plenty of fun. Helena's certainly a headstrong heroine ready to go toe-to-toe with her gruff new groom Declan. Fortunately for her, he secretly has a heart of gold and helps with her schemes.

I read the description thinking there would be some danger afoot, some excitement. And there was a tad. But mostly this was Helena trying to play matchmaker for her own fiancee of five years and enlisting Declan as her accomplice. It was a little dull. The part of them falling in love was cute, sweet, and even a little steamy. But scenes with any danger seemed to fly by while a lot of detail was spent on the prospective replacement fiancees. Declan's mercenary skills seldom came into play but he did get to show his protective side. And Helena's determination and bravery was commendable.

The Snow White retelling angle was well done, just a bit vague. There's a girl named Snow, apples, seven aptly nicknamed girls to choose from for the Duke. But Helena and the Huntsman's story was center of course. The dialouge is flowing, a lot of intricate costume description if you like that sort of thing, and there's just the one particularly sexy scene toward the end. I think I just wanted something a little more. More action, more intrigue, or more scenes where these two could just be together and be themselves. I loved the little epilouge though, thought it was an excellent ending. Period romances are making a strong comeback right now and I'd say this wouldn't be a bad one to start with for new readers. But also a light read for fans of the genre. This was my first read from Michaels. While I'm open to more of her work, particularly a Sleeping Beauty series entry (my personal favorite), I'm not ready to rush out and read the whole collection right now.


Monday, June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021 - New Arrivals

June 14, 2021

Adult Fiction

Tiny Tales by Alexander McCall Smith.

It is often said that the best things in life come in small packages; anyone in search of proof need look no further than the stories in this collection: brief, utterly engaging tales that offer lasting surprise and delight. In Tiny Tales, Alexander McCall Smith explores romance, ambition, kindness, and happiness in thirty short stories accompanied by thirty witty cartoons designed by Iain McIntosh, McCall Smith's longtime creative collaborator. Here we meet the first Australian pope, who hopes to finally find some peace and quiet back home in Perth; a psychotherapist turned motorcycle racetrack manager; and an aspiring opera singer who gets her unlikely break onstage. And, of course, we spend time in McCall Smith's beloved Scotland, where we are introduced to progressive Vikings, a group of housemates with complex romantic entanglements, and a couple of globe-trotting dentists. These tales and illustrations depict the full scope of human experience and reveal the rich tapestry of life--painted in miniature.


We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker.

Duchess Day Radley is a thirteen-year-old self-proclaimed outlaw. Rules are for other people. She is the fierce protector of her five-year-old brother, Robin, and the parent to her mother, Star, a single mom incapable of taking care of herself, let alone her two kids. Walk has never left the coastal California town where he and Star grew up. He may have become the chief of police, but he's still trying to heal the old wound of having given the testimony that sent his best friend, Vincent King, to prison decades before. And he's in overdrive protecting Duchess and her brother. Now, thirty years later, Vincent is being released. And Duchess and Walk must face the trouble that comes with his return.


The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner.

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary's fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries. Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary's in a stunning twist of fate--and not everyone will survive.


Adult Non-Fiction

How to Communicate Effectively with Anyone, Anywhere by Raúl Sánchez & Dan Bullock.

In our increasingly interconnected world, effective communication is the formula for success in any industry. Whether you're speaking in public, writing an email, or navigating an important negotiation, how you present yourself through language is all-important in today's global business world. In How to Communicate Effectively with Anyone, Anywhere, two New York University professors reveal a new approach to global communication across key performance areas, including effective emailing, public speaking, and negotiation. How to Communicate Effectively with Anyone, Anywhere, with key illustrations, is part instructional text, part empowering workbook, containing practical and proven strategies that can be put to immediate use, along with exercises designed to impart valuable self-discovery and position you as an effective global communicator. You will gain not only the practical skills essential for operating across cultural settings but also a firm foundation for managing global transactions, international relationships, and worldwide innovation. We all know how to email, right? But contacting counterparts in China, Brazil, or Germany with success requires us to upgrade our skills with key strategies for an expanded and productive network of global interaction. Each chapter contains a practical, easy-to-implement framework that functions as a "blueprint" for global communication and how each skill can best be used virtually in remote work scenarios. For professionals looking to take their skill set to the next level, this book's approach is the key to connecting professional skills to a larger practice of global understanding, ultimately leading to you communicating effectively and impactfully with anyone, anytime, and anywhere.


Killing the Mob by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard.

O'Reilly and co-author Martin Dugard trace the brutal history of 20th Century organized crime in the United States, and expertly plumb the history of this nation's most notorious serial robbers, conmen, murderers, and especially, mob family bosses. Covering the period from the 1930s to the 1980s, O'Reilly and Dugard trace the prohibition-busting bank robbers of the Depression Era, such as John Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby-Face Nelson. In addition, the authors highlight the creation of the Mafia Commission, the power struggles within the "Five Families," the growth of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, the mob battles to control Cuba, Las Vegas and Hollywood, as well as the personal war between the U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy and legendary Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas.  YA

All her life, Mulan has trained for one purpose: to win the duel that every generation in her family must fight. If she prevails, she can reunite a pair of priceless heirloom swords separated decades earlier, and avenge her father, who was paralysed in his own duel. Then a messenger from the Emperor arrives, demanding that all families send one soldier to fight the Rouran invaders in the north. Mulan's father cannot go. Her brother is just a child. So she ties up her hair, takes up her sword, and joins the army as a man…


A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity by Nicole Valentine.  J

Twelve-year-old Finn is used to people in his family disappearing. His twin sister, Faith, drowned when they were three years old. A few months ago, his mom abandoned him and his dad with no explanation. Finn clings to the concrete facts in his physics books--and to his best friend, Gabi--to ward off his sadness. But then his grandmother tells him a secret: the women in their family are Travelers, able to move back and forth in time. Finn's mom is trapped somewhere in the timeline, and she's left Finn a portal to find her. But to succeed, he'll have to put his trust in something bigger than logic.

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

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

June 9, 2021 - Staff Reviews


House Privilege
By Mike Lawson
Release Date: July 7, 2020
Audiobook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - A quick but exciting late entry in the Joe Demarco series. Lawson's plot is refreshingly easy to follow while maintaining the deep mystery feel. This book is filled with shady politicians, sinister villians, and everyday protagonists. While it's short and there's not a lot to sink your teeth into, it's a straightforward and entertaining thriller.

This puts me back to reading the Demarco series for the first time since 2014. But I didn't feel lost or out of touch with it. Joe's a likable guy with a hint of anti-hero in him. Most people wouldn't like the character of a crooked politician's "fixer", but it really works somehow. Also, it's worth noting this is a political thriller in many ways but this one isn't all about politics. Joe's attempts to take care of Cassie are the kind of sweet but funny bungling that's a great addition to many stories. Of course, he could do a better job on the security angle but it makes for plenty of intense scenes.

I'm a big believer that a hero/heroine is most of the time only as good as the villian. And boy did we ever get a cold, calculating villian here. It was impossible not to really feel for the victim, a newly orphaned teenage girl. This a perfect read/listen for anyone busy or easily distracted. The simple to follow storyline doesn't lack for intrigue. But in this day and age of so many convulted plots and character introspection, it was nice to have a book I could pause and resume without needing to remember minute characters, scenes, and details. Lawson doesn't leave you panting for the secrets to be revealed. He lets the reader enjoy them too. Joe Barrett did an excellent job narrating as well. He isn't many favorite but I'm never disappointed with his performance. Despite having unique voice, he really is skilled at changing it up for dialouge. The whole spiel in the second half of chasing the crooks around got a bit convoluted. But there was plenty of excitement to make up for the craziness and unrealistic side. 


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

June 8th, 2021 - Book Club Preview

Brooke County Public Libraries present the June 2021 Book Club pick! 

Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers

Meeting will be Thursday June 24th at 5 pm. Discussions are available virtually!

Mystery novelist Harriet Vane knew all about poisons, and when her fiancé died in the manner prescribed in one of her books, a jury of her peers had a hangman's noose in mind. But Lord Peter Wimsey was determined to find her innocent--as determined as he was to make her his wife.

Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) was a playwright, scholar, and acclaimed author of mysteries, best known for her books starring the gentleman sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. Born in Oxford, England, Sayers, whose father was a reverend, grew up in the Bluntisham rectory and won a scholarship to Oxford University where she studied modern languages and worked at the publishing house Blackwell's, which published her first book of poetry in 1916. 


Years later, working as an advertising copywriter, Sayers began work on Whose Body?, a mystery novel featuring dapper detective Lord Peter Wimsey. Over the next two decades, Sayers published ten more Wimsey novels and several short stories, crafting a character whose complexity was unusual for the mystery novels of the time. In 1936, Sayers brought Lord Peter Wimsey to the stage in a production of Busman's Honeymoon, a story which she would publish as a novel the following year.


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

Monday, June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021 - New Arrivals

June 7, 2021

Adult Fiction

Turn a Blind Eye by Jeffrey Archer.

Newly promoted to Detective Inspector, William Warwick is tasked with a dangerous new line of work, to go undercover and expose crime of another kind: corruption at the heart of the Metropolitan Police Force. Along with detectives Rebecca Pankhurst and Nicky Bailey, his team is focused on following Detective Jerry Summers, a young officer whose lifestyle exceeds his income. But the investigation risks being compromised when Nicky falls for Summers. Meanwhile, notorious drug baron Assem Rashidi goes on trial, defended by Booth Watson QC, while William's father Sir Julian and sister Grace lead the prosecution case. And William's wife Beth, now a new mother to twins, makes a surprising new friend in Christina Faulkner--the ex-wife of William's former rival, criminal financier Miles - who has not only turned over a new leaf, but also has a new-found source of income when Faulkner dies suddenly of a heart attack and she stands to be sole inheritor of his estate. As the undercover officers start to draw the threads together, William realizes that the corruption may go deeper still, and more of his colleagues than he first thought might be willing to turn a blind eye.


Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian.

Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four-years-old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she might have had many suitors. But here in the New World, amid this community of saints, Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a man as cruel as he is powerful. When Thomas, prone to drunken rage, drives a three-tined fork into the back of Mary's hand, she resolves that she must divorce him to save her life. But in a world where every neighbor is watching for signs of the devil, a woman like Mary--a woman who harbors secret desires and finds it difficult to tolerate the brazen hypocrisy of so many men in the colony--soon becomes herself the object of suspicion and rumor. When tainted objects are discovered buried in Mary's garden, when a boy she has treated with herbs and simples dies, and when their servant girl runs screaming in fright from her home, Mary must fight to not only escape her marriage, but also the gallows.


Miss Julia Happily Ever After by Ann B. Ross.

Wedding fever hits Abbotsville and several of Miss Julia's friends have plans to tie the knot. But, as usual, nothing is so simple. Christy Hargrove suddenly gives up a lifelong dream and drops out of medical school to marry, Helen Stroud and Thurlow Jones decide to change their commercial arrangement into a marital one, and, to Miss Julia's consternation, Lillian, her housekeeper and closest companion, is considering a less-than-romantic offer to wed a local businessman who turns courting into a job interview. And then there's LuAnne who just wants to be married, and Janelle who doesn't. Miss Julia wants to properly celebrate each ceremony, insofar as anyone will let her. But Helen wants a private, even secretive, wedding; Christy's fiancé wants a destination wedding, and Lillian can't decide if she wants a wedding at all. In the middle of it all, a strange figure keeps showing up in town, streaking across lawns and vandalizing the gardens of Miss Julia's neighbors. Abbotsville's liveliest resident finds herself trying to solve it all---matters of the heart and petty crime alike---and once again save the day.


Adult Non-Fiction

World Travel by Anthony Bourdain & Laurie Woolever.

Anthony Bourdain saw more of the world than nearly anyone. His travels took him from the hidden pockets of his hometown of New York to a tribal longhouse in Borneo, from cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, Paris, and Shanghai to Tanzania's utter beauty and the stunning desert solitude of Oman's Empty Quarter--and many places beyond. In World Travel, a life of experience is collected into an entertaining, practical, fun and frank travel guide that gives readers an introduction to some of his favorite places--in his own words. Featuring essential advice on how to get there, what to eat, where to stay and, in some cases, what to avoid, World Travel provides essential context that will help readers further appreciate the reasons why Bourdain found a place enchanting and memorable.

Supplementing Bourdain's words are a handful of essays by friends, colleagues, and family that tell even deeper stories about a place, including sardonic accounts of traveling with Bourdain by his brother, Christopher; a guide to Chicago's best cheap eats by legendary music producer Steve Albini, and more. Additionally, each chapter includes illustrations by Wesley Allsbrook.


How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates.

Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet's slide to certain environmental disaster. In this book, he not only explains why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal. He gives us a clear-eyed description of the challenges we face. Drawing on his understanding of innovation and what it takes to get new ideas into the market, he describes the areas in which technology is already helping to reduce emissions, where and how the current technology can be made to function more effectively, where breakthrough technologies are needed, and who is working on these essential innovations. Finally, he lays out a concrete, practical plan for achieving the goal of zero emissions--suggesting not only policies that governments should adopt, but what we as individuals can do to keep our government, our employers, and ourselves accountable in this crucial enterprise. As Bill Gates makes clear, achieving zero emissions will not be simple or easy to do, but if we follow the plan he sets out here, it is a goal firmly within our reach.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Unplugged by Gordon Korman.  J

As the son of the world's most famous tech billionaire, spoiled Jett Baranov has always gotten what he wanted. So when his father's private jet drops him in the middle of the Arkansas wilderness, at a place called the Oasis, Jett can't believe it. He's forced to hand over his cell phone, eat grainy veggie patties, and participate in wholesome activities with the other kids, who he has absolutely no interest in hanging out with. As the weeks go on, Jett starts to get used to the unplugged life and even bonds with the other kids over their discovery of a baby-lizard-turned-pet, Needles. But he can't help noticing that the adults at the Oasis are acting really strange. Jett is determined to get to the bottom of things, but can he convince everybody that he is no longer just a spoiled brat who is making trouble?

The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin.  E

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text reveal a parent's musings about what a child will become, knowing that the child's kindness, cleverness, and boldness will shine through no matter what, as will the love they share.

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

Friday, June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021 - Staff Reviews

Beyond Reckless
By Autumn Jones Lake
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - A super steamy, slightly less than thrilling start to the love story of Charlotte and Marcel aka Teller. I knew I was jumping into a series but had no idea about the cliffhanger so I was a bit displeased. Charlotte and Teller are both surprisingly sweet people after their initial thorny behavior toward each other. Worth a read, especially for fans of MC romances.

An intro from the author said this is not the beginning of the series but maybe not a bad place to start. I definitely think starting from the first book for this one would add to the enjoyment now (but I have a short attention span with series.) I did read Bullets and Bonfires and that was how I ended up here. In the beginning, the time hopping confused me. And I had trouble keeping track of people. Charlotte came off as a crabby, less than stellar custody attorney and Teller was a bit more gruff and impatient than needed. But sparks were flying and when they finally got their second chance, settled down, and starting building a real relationship, both were way more likable.

This definitely feels like the plot of half a book. I'm not huge fan of this method of hooking the reader because it leads to things getting drawn out and a little dull. The connection between this couple was quickly established and things got hot and heavy early on. I'm still really interested in Charlotte's murky past with her uncle and his own club, but that's left completely open by the end. About halfway through, Teller and Charlotte end up bickering and making themselves miserable, which I could have done without. The conflict felt a bit contrived, but again when they were being a couple and enjoying each other and their families, etc, no complaints. And that was most of the book. Around 3/4 of the way through, there was some party they attended where people were snapping amd arguing with each other and I just felt really lost. It was kinda resolved and passed over. If I had one true problem, it's like every time I thought the suspense was about to get dialed up, it fizzled out instead. It's something well written and fun to try, especially for fans of dirtier romances or motorcycle club stories.


Thursday, June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021 - Ready for a Wild Read?

Looking for something new? Try a "wild" read! All titles are available at Brooke County Libraries.

Wild Iris Ridge by RaeAnne Thayne
Lucy Drake and Brendan Caine have only one thing in common And it's likely to tear them apart. Because it was Brendan's late wife, Jessie—and Lucy's best friend—who'd brought them together in the first place. And since Jessie's passing, Brendan's been distracted by his two little ones…and the memory of an explosive kiss with Lucy years before his marriage. Still, he'll steer clear of her. She's always been trouble with a capital T. Lucy couldn't wait to shed her small-town roots for the big city. 

Wild Horse Springs by Jodi Thomas
In the heart of Ransom Canyon, sometimes the right match for a lonely soul is the one you least expect Dan Brigman may not lead the most exciting life, but he's proud of what he's achieved: he's a respected lawman, and he's raised a bright, talented daughter on his own. But finding a lone, sparkly blue boot in the middle of a deserted highway gets him thinking maybe the cowgirl who lost it is exactly the shake-up he needs.

Bone to Be Wild by Carolyn Haines
Sarah Booth has a perfect distraction, however, in the form of the Black and Orange Halloween ball her best friends are throwing in New Orleans. Sarah Booth plans to dance the night away to the swinging tunes of her old flame Scott Hampton's blues band. But just as the party gets going, Scott receives a mysterious message that threatens his life and the lives of his bandmates. 

Confessions of a Wild Child by Jackie Collins
You will discover how Lucky strikes a path to become the powerful and charismatic woman she is today. Super-heroine of seven books and three mini-series, Lucky Santangelo is Jackie Collins' most popular and beloved heroine.

Burning Wild by Christine Feehan
Bred by capricious parents for his innate leopard-shifting abilities, billionaire Jake Bannacotti has spent his life in an emotional vacuum—especially after a tragic twist of fate left him to raise his infant son alone. But when his path crosses that of an enigmatic young woman, Jake’s life takes a detour he never fathomed. There is something irresistible about Emma Reynolds—something Jake can’t live without. Hiring her as his son’s nanny will keep her close. And warm. And under watch. She’s the first human to stir something in Jake he’s never felt before.

Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille
Welcome to the Custer Hill Club--an informal men's club set in a luxurious Adirondack hunting lodge whose members include some of America's most powerful business leaders, military men, and government officials. Ostensibly, the club is a place to gather with old friends, hunt, eat, drink, and talk off-the-record about war, life, death, sex and politics. But one Fall weekend, the Executive Board of the Custer Hill Club gathers to talk about the tragedy of 9/11 and what America must do to retaliate. Their plan is finalized and set into motion. That same weekend, a member of the Federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force is reported missing. His body is soon discovered in the woods near the Custer Hill Club's game reserve. The death appears to be a hunting accident, and that's how the local police first report it, but Detective John Corey has his doubts.

Wild Card by Stuart Woods
Stone Barrington and his latest paramour are enjoying a peaceful country retreat when their idyll is broken by an unwelcome stranger. He was sent by an enemy, someone who'd be happy to silence Stone and all his collaborators for good. . . only it's soon clear that Stone is not an easy man to target. But with boundless resources and a thirst for vengeance, this foe will not be deterred, and when one plot fails another materializes. Their latest plan is more ambitious and subtle than any they've tried before, and the consequences could remake the nation. 

Wild Man Creek by Robyn Carr
Recovering from a horrific helicopter crash in Virgin River, artist Colin Riordan finds what he needs to soothe his troubled soul when he meets PR guru Jillian Matlock who, after an ill-advised affair destroyed her reputation, is searching for a place to start over..

Ghost Gone Wild by Carolyn Hart
Carolyn Hart’s “irresistible cozy sleuth”* is back—good-hearted ghost Bailey Ruth Raeburn just can’t say no to an earthly rescue, even when maybe she should… Bailey Ruth loves to return to earth as an emissary from Heaven’s Department of Good Intentions. Problem is, she’s a bit of a loose cannon as far as ghosts go—forgetting to remain invisible, alarming earthly creatures—so she’s far from the top of department head Wiggins’s go-to list for assignments. That’s why she’s surprised when the Heaven-sent Rescue Express drops her off at a frame house on the outskirts of her old hometown, Adelaide, Oklahoma, where a young man is playing the drums. What kind of rescuing does he need—drum lessons?

The Wild Zone by Joy Fielding
In this compelling novel, Fielding introduces two brothers, Will and Jeff, and their friend Tom, a trio of playboys out to make something happen in the hot sands of South Beach. One night at their favorite watering hole, they make a bet on who will be the first to seduce a mysterious young woman they've never seen before. Dark-haired and blue-eyed, Suzy has a disarming, girl-next-door aura about her. She seems like an easy mark, just waiting for Prince Charming to hit on her, says Jeff. But these players have no idea what they're dealing with. A woman filled with secrets, Suzy is hunting for the right man to kill her abusive husband. In the end, the real competition will be to see which Prince Charming is tough enough to slay the dragon and rescue this damsel in distress. 

A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion by Ron Hansen
Based on a real case whose lurid details scandalized Americans in 1927 and sold millions of newspapers, acclaimed novelist Ron Hansen’s latest work is a tour de force of erotic tension and looming violence. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Ruth Snyder is a voluptuous, reckless, and altogether irresistible woman who wishes not only to escape her husband but that he die—and the sooner the better. No less miserable in his own tedious marriage is Judd Gray, a dapper corset-and-brassiere salesman who travels the Northeast peddling his wares. He meets Ruth in a Manhattan diner, and soon they are conducting a white-hot affair involving hotel rooms, secret letters, clandestine travels, and above all, Ruth’s increasing insistence that Judd kill her husband. Could he do it? 

Wild Horses by Linda Byler
The Miller family's move from Ohio to Montana was, for the most part, uneventful, except that Sadie Miller had to leave her beloved horse, the palomino named Paris. Still, she likes the Montana snows and her job at Aspen East Ranch serving the ranch hands. Unexpectedly, Ezra appears, the man who seems to be perfect in every way and fully intends to marry Sadie. But does she love him back? And who is this fascinating Mark who helps to rescue a dying horse and shows up at the Amish hymn-sing though he is English? Why can't she get his dark eyes and tall stature out of her mind? Now Sadie's own close-knit family is falling apart. 

Are you a fan of any of these titles? Did we forget any of your favorite "wild" reads? Let us know! We love to hear from you in comment section or on any of our social media pages.

Images and info courtesy of Google and WV Reads.