A place where staff reviews are shared with the public! Be kind, all of these reviews are done by staff members who want to share what they are/have been reading, watching, and listening to. We also share what is new in the libraries and a staff member gives a brief blurb about the book, courtesy of our OPAC (Syndetics Unbound Blurbs) or Novelist Blurbs about the books.
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
September 29, 2021 - WV Author of the Month
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
September 28, 2021 - Staff Reviews
Monday, September 27, 2021
September 27, 2021 - New Arrivals
September 27, 2021
The Light After the War by Anita Abriel.
Spring 1946: Best friends Vera Frankel and Edith Ban arrive in Naples. Refugees from Hungary, they managed to escape from a train headed for Auschwitz and spent the rest of the war hiding on an Austrian farm. Now, the two young women are starting new lives abroad. Armed with a letter of recommendation from an American officer, Vera finds work at the United States embassy where she falls in love with Captain Anton Wight. But as Vera and Edith grapple with the aftermath of the war, so too does Anton, and when he suddenly disappears, Vera is forced to change course. Their quest for a better life takes Vera and Edith from Naples to Ellis Island to Caracas as they start careers, reunite with old friends, and rebuild their lives after terrible loss.
A Hill of Beans by William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone.
"Mac Mackenzie has enough problems on his plate. He's got bounty hunters on his tail, no one on his side, and no place to hide. Just when he thinks it can't get any worse, he hears the rumbling of a cattle stampede--heading straight for his camp. Mac's got two choices: Get trampled like a weed or saddle up and help get the herd under control. At first, the trail drivers ain't too pleased to have a stranger help them out. But once they realize Mac's not a rustler, they ask him to join the team. Mac takes them up on the offer--especially after he meets the cowgirl Colleen--and quickly impresses everyone with his cooking skills. There's just a few more problems: Mac's new employers might be the real rustlers. And Mac's stepped out of the frying pan into the fire..." -- Amazon.
The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray.
In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture on the New York society scene and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world as she helps build a world-class collection. But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle's complexion isn't dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white - her complexion is dark because she is African American.
Gardening Basics for Dummies by Steven A. Frowine.
Even if you've never sowed a seed nor pulled a weed, Gardening Basics for Dummies contains everything you need to know about flowers, beds, borders, trees, shrubs, and lawns to create your own private paradise. This friendly and informative guide also covers all of the tools and additives available to make gardening easier.
Home Winemaking by Jack B. Keller, Jr.
With local breweries and wineries popping up everywhere, learning how to make wine is on everyone's "to do" list. Utilize the guidance of home-winemaking legend Jack B. Keller, Jr. In the 1990s, Jack started one of the first (if not the first) wine blogs on the internet. His expertise, along with that of wine chemistry guru Daniel Pambianchi, is shared with you in Home Winemaking. It takes a fun, practical, step-by-step approach to making your own wine. The book begins with an introduction to winemaking, including basic principles, equipment needed, and exactly what to do. After the fundamentals are covered, you're given a variety of tested, proven, delicious recipes. More than just grape wines, you'll learn how to make wine out of everything from juices and concentrates to foraged ingredients such as berries and roots. There are even recipes that utilize dandelions and other unexpected ingredients. With 65 options, you can expand your winemaking season indefinitely!
Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel
Stingers by Randy Wayne White. J
Marine biologist Doc Ford invites Maribel, Luke, and Sabina to a remote island in the Bahamas where lionfish, a beautiful and venomous inhabitant of the South Pacific that has invaded Florida and the Caribbean, are not just upsetting the balance of nature by damaging the coral reefs--their sting has put several people in the hospital. What Doc and Captain Hannah Smith don't mention is that the island is riddled with limestone caves, once home to a band of pirates, and stories of Spanish gold have lured outlaw treasure hunters to the area. When the trio finds precious artifacts, they agree to guard the secret until they've thoroughly explored the spot. Soon, outlaws search for the trio, hoping they will lead them to riches.
The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor. J GNAware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendship with the camp foreman's daughter, and telling stories about Paul Bunyan--reinvented as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch. Anchoring herself with stories of Auntie Po, Mei navigates the difficulty and politics of lumber camp work and her growing romantic feelings for her friend Bee. The Legend of Auntie Po is about who gets to own a myth, and about immigrant families and communities holding on to rituals and traditions while staking out their own place in America.
Friday, September 24, 2021
September 24, 2021 - A Book & A Recipe
Thursday, September 23, 2021
September 23, 2021 - Staff Reviews
Monday, September 20, 2021
September 20, 2021 - New Arrivals
September 20, 2021
The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi.
Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist--and confidante--to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own...Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down these many years later with a high-spirited young girl in tow--a sister Lakshmi never knew she had. Suddenly the caution that she has carefully cultivated as protection is threatened. Still she perseveres, applying her talents and lifting up those that surround her as she does.
These Tangled Vines by Julianne MacLean.
If Fiona has learned anything in life, it's how to keep a secret--even from the father who raised her. She is the only person who knows about her late mother's affair in Tuscany thirty years earlier, and she intends to keep it that way...until a lawyer calls with shocking news: her biological father has died and left her an incredible inheritance--along with two half siblings.
Fiona travels to Italy, where the family is shocked to learn of her existence and desperate to contest her share of the will. While the mystery of her mother's affair is slowly unraveled, Fiona must navigate through tricky family relationships and tense sibling rivalries. Fiona both fears and embraces her new destiny as she searches for the truth about the fateful summer her mother spent in Italy and the father she never knew.
Fallen by Linda Castillo.
When a young woman is found murdered in a Painters Mill motel, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is shocked to discover she once knew the victim. Rachael Schwartz was a charming but troubled Amish girl who left the fold years ago and fled Painters Mill. Why was she back in town? And who would kill her so brutally? Kate remembers Rachael as the only girl who was as bad at being Amish as Kate was--and those parallels dog her. But the more Kate learns about Rachael's life, the more she's convinced that her dubious reputation was deserved. As a child, Rachael was a rowdy rule breaker whose decision to leave devastated her parents and best friend. As an adult, she was charismatic and beautiful, a rabble-rouser with a keen eye for opportunity no matter who got in her way. Her no-holds-barred lifestyle earned her a lot of love and enemies aplenty--both English and Amish. As the case heats to a fever pitch and long-buried secrets resurface, a killer haunts Painters Mill. Someone doesn't want Rachael's past--or the mysteries she took with her to the grave--coming to light. As Kate digs deeper, violence strikes again, this time hitting close to home. Will Kate uncover the truth and bring a murderer to justice? Or will a killer bent on protecting a terrible past stop her once and for all--and let the fallen be forgotten?
Couple Found Slain by Mikita Brottman.
On February 21, 1992, 22-year-old Brian Bechtold walked into a police station in Port St. Joe, Florida and confessed that he'd shot and killed his parents in their family home in Silver Spring, Maryland. He said he'd been possessed by the devil. He was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia and ruled "not criminally responsible" for the murders on grounds of insanity. But after the trial, where do the "criminally insane" go? Brottman reveals Brian's inner life leading up to the murder, as well as his complicated afterlife in a maximum security psychiatric hospital, where he is neither imprisoned nor free. During his 27 years at the hospital, Brian has tried to escape and been shot by police, and has witnessed three patient-on-patient murders. He's experienced the drugging of patients beyond recognition, a sadistic system of rewards and punishments, and the short-lived reign of a crazed psychiatrist-turned-stalker.
Scenic Driving West Virginia by Bruce Slone.
“Scenic Driving West Virginia features twenty-five separate drives through the Mountain State, from rock ridges and gorges to springs, spas and rustic farms. An indispensable highway companion, Scenic Driving West Virginia includes route maps and in-depth descriptions of attractions.” – Amazon.com
Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel
Nubia: Real One by L. L. McKinney. YA GN
Nubia has always been a little bit...different. As a baby she showcased Amazonian-like strength by pushing over a tree to rescue her neighbor's cat. But despite her having similar abilities, the world has no problem telling her that she's no Wonder Woman. And even if she were, they wouldn't want her. Every time she comes to the rescue, she's reminded of how people see her- as a threat. Her moms do their best to keep her safe, but Nubia can't deny the fire within her, even if she's a little awkward about it sometimes. Even if it means people assume the worst. When Nubia's best friend, Quisha, is threatened by a boy who thinks he owns the town, Nubia will risk it all--her safety, her home, and her crush on that cute kid in English class--to become the hero society tells her she isn't.
The Very Sleepy Sloth by Andrew Murray. ESloth sleeps a lot. His favorite thing to do is nap. The other jungle animals tell Sloth that he should try what they are doing. But when the animals each try to do what the other is doing, they learn that everyone does something best; and Sloth's best talent is sleeping!
Friday, September 17, 2021
September 17, 2021 - Staff Reviews
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
September 15, 2021 - BCPL Resume Tips
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
September 14, 2021 - Staff Reviews
Monday, September 13, 2021
September 13, 2021 - New Arrivals
September 13, 2021
Family Reunion by Nancy Thayer.
Eleanor Sunderland loves living on Nantucket, in a gorgeous cliffside home that has been in her family for decades. Yet this year she can't help but feel a bit isolated, even as the island begins to come alive with summer tourists and travelers. Her best friend has skipped town on a last-minute cruise, leaving Eleanor feeling lonely and nostalgic about her family's weekend trips to the island, made less frequently in the years since her husband's passing. Now, her money-driven children contact her mostly to complain and to beg her to sell her beloved home for a steep payout. Hoping to kick the season off on a good note, Eleanor decides her seventieth birthday may be the perfect occasion for a much-needed reunion.
Before I Saw You by Emily Houghton.
"Alice Gunnersley and Alfie Mack sleep just a few feet apart from one another. They talk for hours every day. And they've never seen each other face-to-face. After being in terrible accidents, the two now share the same ward as long-term residents of St. Francis's Hospital. Although they don't get off to the best start, the close quarters (and Alfie's persistence to befriend everyone he meets) brings them closer together. Pretty soon no one can make Alice laugh as hard as Alfie does, and Alfie feels like he's finally found a true confidante in Alice. Between their late-night talks and inside jokes, something more than friendship begins to slowly blossom between them. But as their conditions improve and the end of their stay draws closer, Alfie and Alice are forced to decide whether it's worth continuing a relationship with someone who's seen all of the worst parts of you, but never seen your actual face."-- Provided by publisher.
Blind Tiger by Sandra Brown.
"Thatcher Hutton, a war-weary soldier on the way back to his cowboy life, jumps from a moving freight train to avoid trouble . . . and lands in more than he bargained for. On the day he arrives in Foley, Texas, a local woman goes missing. Thatcher, the only stranger in town, is suspected of her abduction, and worse. Standing between him and exoneration are a corrupt mayor, a crooked sheriff, a notorious cathouse madam, a sly bootlegger, feuding moonshiners . . . and a young widow whose soft features conceal an iron will. What was supposed to be a fresh start for Laurel Plummer turns to tragedy. Left destitute but determined to dictate her own future, Laurel plunges into the lucrative regional industry, much to the dislike of the good ol' boys, who have ruled supreme. Her success quickly makes her a target for cutthroat competitors, whose only code of law is reprisal. As violence erupts, Laurel and--now deputy--Thatcher find themselves on opposite sides of a moonshine war, where blood flows as freely as whiskey."-- Publisher marketing.
The Greatest Escape by Douglas Miller.
"The Greatest Escape: A True American Civil War Adventure tells the story of the largest prison breakout in U.S. history. It took place during the Civil War, when more than 1200 Yankee officers were jammed into Libby, a special prison considered escape-proof, in the Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia. A small group of men, obsessed with escape, mapped out an elaborate plan and one cold and clear night, 109 men dug their way to freedom. Freezing, starving, clad in rags, they had to still travel 40 miles to Yankee lines and safety. They were pursued by all the white people in the area, but every Black person they encountered was their friend. In every instance, slaves risked their lives to help these Yankees, and their journey was aided by a female-led Union spy network. Since all the escapees were officers, they all could read and write well. Over 50 of them would publish riveting accounts of their adventures. This is the first book to weave together these contemporary accounts into a true-to-life narrative. Much like a Ken Burns documentary, this book uses the actual words the prisoners recorded more than 150 years ago, as found in their many diaries and journals." -- Publisher's website.
Science of Strength Training by Austin Current.
Whether you want to tone and sculpt, lose weight, gain an athletic edge, or support mobility, strength training will help achieve your goals. This book reveals the mechanics of each movement in detail, identifying the muscles and joint actions working below the surface, so you can maximize your workouts and feel you're getting it right.
Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel
The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be by Joanna Gaines. E
"Author Joanna Gaines follows up her #1 New York Times bestselling We Are the Gardeners with The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be. This children's book, beautifully illustrated by Julianna Swaney, celebrates how creativity and acceptance can come together in a bright and beautiful adventure."--Provided by publisher.
My Very First Cookbook by Danielle Kartes. J NF"Watching mom or dad in the kitchen is usually a child's first introduction to cooking. And when that inevitable question pops up ("Can I help?"), now you can say, "Yes!" These delightful and delicious kid-friendly recipes are the perfect introduction to cooking for little chefs just starting out. Step-by-step instructions are written directly to the child reader with clear indications for when they need a grown-up's assistance."-- Provided by publisher.
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
September 8, 2021 - Staff Reviews
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
September 7, 2021 - Book Club Preview
Monday, September 6, 2021
September 6, 2021 - New Arrivals
September 6, 2021
Billy Summers by Stephen King.
"When Billy Summers was twelve years old, he shot and killed his mother's boyfriend after he kicked Billy's sister to death. At 17, he enlisted in the army. At 18, he was a sniper in Iraq and involved in the deadly battle to recapture Fallujah. For nearly twenty years, he's worked as a paid assassin. He's a good guy in a bad job, and he wants out. He takes on a very complicated, very lucrative job that he hopes will be his last. He's got a perfect new identity lined up and a scrupulously orchestrated, flawless escape plan. And then something happens that changes everything for Billy. A stranger needs rescuing, and Billy sacrifices the safety of his own perfectly devised new life to offer her protection. And then the two of them-the most compelling and surprising duo in King fiction-set out on one last mission, to rectify the injustices of one extraordinarily evil man."-- Provided by publisher.
Class Act by Stuart Woods.
"After a rocky jaunt in Maine, Stone Barrington is settling back in New York City when an old client reaches out for help with a delicate matter. A feud they thought was put to rest long ago has reemerged with a vengeance, and reputations—and money—are now on the line. As Stone sets out to unravel a tangled web of crime and secrets, his mission becomes even more complicated when he makes an irresistible new acquaintance. In both the underbelly and upper echelons of New York, everyone has something to hide—and if Stone has learned anything, it’s that history has a way of repeating itself…"-- Amazon.com.
The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin.
The morning of January 12, 1888, was unusually mild, following a punishing cold spell. It was warm enough for the homesteaders of the Dakota Territory to venture out again, and for their children to return to school without their heavy coats -- leaving them unprepared when disaster struck. At the hour when most prairie schools were letting out for the day, a terrifying, fast-moving blizzard blew in without warning. Schoolteachers as young as sixteen were suddenly faced with life and death decisions: Keep the children inside, to risk freezing to death when fuel ran out, or send them home, praying they wouldn't get lost in the storm?
Way Out in West Virginia by Jeanne Mozier.
“The latest edition of this very popular guidebook features 72 new pages, making it a must-have for all Way Out devotees. In case you hadn’t heard, author, star-gazer and entrepreneur Jeanne Mozier has compiled the ultimate insider s guide to all that is wild, wacky and wonderful about West Virginia. Way Out takes you on an incredible tour of the Mountain State, whether in an armchair as a great read or on the ultimate WV road trip. Enjoy a slightly skewed look at the state’s best bathing, best driving, best dining, best pool halls and best shopping. Visit sites of UFO activity, moldy mummies, and ancient Indian curses. Learn about the state’s incredible geology, amazing history, white water rafting, remarkable collections, and fun festivals. Travel with her on her quest for WV s best pepperoni roll, five-star restaurant and ramp dinner. With Jeanne s help, you too can visit the baths and spas where George Washington took his historic soaks. Open Way Out in West Virginia to almost any page and find strange and strangely useful information, in this case about a state whose borders, not to mention its voting residents, consistently defy straight-edged rulers.” – Amazon.com
The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode.
A thoroughly revised and updated third edition of this essential and groundbreaking reference gives a comprehensive overview of one of the most fascinating, important, and controversial trends in the world of wine: the scientific and technological innovations that are now influencing how grapes are grown and how wine is made. Jamie Goode, an authority on wine science, details the key scientific developments relating to viticulture and enology, explains the practical application of science to techniques that are used around the world, and explores how these issues are affecting the quality, flavor, and perception of wine. The only complete and accessibly written resource available on the subject, The Science of Wine engagingly discusses a wide range of topics including terroir, the influence of soils on wine flavor, breeding new resistant grape varieties, the effects of climate change on grape growing, the role of yeasts and bacteria in winemaking, and much more. A must-have reference for a wide audience of students, winemakers, wine professionals, and general readers interested in the science of wine.
Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel
Key City on the River by Greta Gorsuch. YA
On a cold November afternoon in 1833, two wagons are about to cross the dark Mississippi River into Iowa Territory on a tiny boat. Penny Cooper, Nate Tilden, Aunt Sunday, and Jonathan and Ella Butterman are full of questions. Aunt Sunday just wants to know if they're going to drown. Jonathan and Ella wonder if they will succeed in the new Territory. And Penny and Nate are eager to learn if they are going to be free--to marry, to prosper, to live as free people. Aunt Sunday, Penny, and Nate were slaves in Kentucky, not a year before. What will the new Iowa Territory decide on the question of owning human beings? No one yet knows. The little group survives the Mississippi crossing and settles in Key City. There isn't much to the town: a few log cabins and modest buildings in a forest opening. And very rough, very tough lead miners, including the mad Ginn brothers who hate Nate and his dark skin. They can't forget he stopped them from stealing Jonathan's horse. Storm clouds are brewing. Key City on the River is based on fact and takes place in a real town. It explores a little known time in early American history as well as the timeless issue of otherness mixed with hope for the future.
The Story of Kamala Harris by Tonya Leslie, Ph.D. J NF
"Kamala Harris is the first woman, Black American, and South Asian American to become vice president of the United States. Before she made history, Kamala was a passionate kid who enjoyed traveling and attended civil rights protests with her family. She always wanted to help people, so she worked hard to become a lawyer, then a U.S. senator, and now, vice president! Explore how Kamala went from being a young girl to an American leader and role model. Watch Kamala progress from a little girl to vice president of the United States with a visual timeline marking the major milestones in her life."-- Provided by publisher.