Monday, February 28, 2022

February 28, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout.

Lucy Barton is a writer, but her ex-husband, William, remains a hard man to read. 'William,' she confesses, 'has always been a mystery to me.' Another mystery is why the two have remained connected after all these years. They just are. So Lucy is both surprised and not surprised when William asks her to join him on a trip to investigate a recently uncovered family secret - one of those secrets that rearrange everything we think we know about the people closest to us.


The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly.

There's chaos in Hollywood at the end of the New Year's Eve countdown. Working her graveyard shift, LAPD detective Renée Ballard waits out the traditional rain of lead as hundreds of revelers shoot their guns into the air. Only minutes after midnight, Ballard is called to a scene where a hardworking auto shop owner has been fatally hit by a bullet in the middle of a crowded street party. Ballard quickly concludes that the deadly bullet could not have fallen from the sky and that it is linked to another unsolved murder--a case at one time worked by Detective Harry Bosch. At the same time, Ballard hunts a fiendish pair of serial rapists, the Midnight Men, who have been terrorizing women and leaving no trace. Determined to solve both cases, Ballard feels like she is constantly running uphill in a police department indelibly changed by the pandemic and recent social unrest. It is a department so hampered by inertia and low morale that Ballard must go outside to the one detective she can count on: Harry Bosch. But as the two inexorable detectives work together to find out where old and new cases intersect, they must constantly look over their shoulders. The brutal predators they are tracking are ready to kill to keep their secrets hidden.


While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory.

Ben Stephens has never bothered with serious relationships. He has plenty of casual dates to keep him busy, family drama he's trying to ignore, and his advertising job to focus on. When Ben lands a huge ad campaign featuring movie star Anna Gardiner, however, it's hard to keep it purely professional. Anna is not just gorgeous and sexy, she's also down-to-earth and considerate, and he can't help flirting a little. . . Anna Gardiner is on a mission: to make herself a household name, and this ad campaign will be a great distraction while she waits to hear if she's booked her next movie. However, she didn't expect Ben Stephens to be her biggest distraction. She knows mixing business with pleasure never works out, but why not indulge in a harmless flirtation? But their lighthearted banter takes a turn for the serious when Ben helps Anna with a family emergency, and they reveal truths about themselves to each other, truths they've barely shared with those closest to them. When the opportunity comes to turn their real-life fling into something more for the Hollywood spotlight, will Ben be content to play the background role in Anna's life and leave when the cameras stop rolling? Or could he be the leading man she needs to craft their own Hollywood ending?


Adult Non-Fiction

The Best American Poetry 2021 by David Lehman.

Since 1988, The Best American Poetry series has been "one of the mainstays of the poetry publication world" (Academy of American Poets). Each volume presents a choice of the year's most memorable poems, with comments from the poets themselves lending insight into their work. The guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2021 is Tracy K. Smith, the former United States Poet Laureate, whose own poems are, Toi Derricotte's words, "beautiful and serene" in their surfaces with an underlying "sense of an unknown vastness." In The Best American Poetry 2021, Smith has selected a distinguished array of works both vast and beautiful by such important voices as Henri Cole, Billy Collins, Louise Erdrich, Nobel laureate Louise Glück, Terrance Hayes, and Kevin Young.


Slide to Unlock by Julie E. Bloemeke.

In Slide to Unlock, Julie E. Bloemeke investigates how modern technology redirects our erotic and familial lives, including phones that open with the swipe of a finger and text messages that move the speaker toward startling self-discovery--the 'bright trick of letters' that can ignite memory and desire. Each poem explores the sacred and sacrilege within the large and small worlds we navigate--the chimeric ache of a Georgia thunderstorm, the 'unseen union' in a Monet painting, a girlhood bedroom in Toledo, a letter secreted in a Paris bookshop--to reveal how digital language and communication, while designed to create intimacy, can leave us adrift.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd.  E

Dog always seems to be underfoot when something messy (and colorful) is spilt, giving readers ten different spots on his white coat to count before the book's end and Dog's bath.


So You Want to Build a Library by Lindsay Leslie.  E

There is no better place in the world than a library. Especially a library that kids create! A million stories high? Sure. Bathtubs? Absolutely. A full-service sundae bar? Of course. Everything is possible in this library--just like in books!

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

Friday, February 25, 2022

February 25, 2022 - Staff Reviews

It Happened One Summer
By Tessa Bailey
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

2.5 Stars - I normally feel like Tessa Bailey can do no wrong for me, but this one was a let down. Piper was obviously spoiled but she was almost unrelatable from the start. Then, finally, she starts to show a sweeter side with small town life and the hero Brendan. There was a little too much comedy and filler and not enough actual romance. Bailey's quirky and quick-paced style is here but I just wasn't into the story unfortunately. Worth a try for the big rom-com fans but otherwise, maybe skip it.

It took me awhile to warm up to Tessa's new straight up rom-com circut with Fix Her Up a couple years ago. Not all of her heroines are my faves. This one felt like that to me. Piper's antics in the beginning were so off-putting. I know we needed to set her up for some character growth cause I read the blurb. But she was everything I don't like about modern celebrities, wild and attention seeking, and yet at the same time came off snobbish and aloof. She puts down some of her set for being snotty but she really could have had more class. Braden's a good guy, more rough around the edges. And he isn't afraid to show Piper what kind of man he is right off the bat. He was gruff but genuiene.

Here's the thing, I think this book checks all the boxes it's supposed to. But I'm not a fan of the guys with beards phase we're in or a watcher of the show Schitt's Creek. I was here for Bailey's strong heroes and heroines with some sweetness and humor thrown in like usual. Full disclosure: the sexy scenes are here but they're aren't making the book worth the read. Plus, the way these are marketed now, I think readers are expecting more chick lit than sex appeal with these covers and descriptions. Can contemporary romance handle this shift of staying sexy but also trying to be so light and funny? Maybe, but I don't think this novel is a good example of that. Things improved probably a little over halfway through. There was a little more intensity, a bit of excitement. Piper was starting, really, to act more human and less crazy heiress. Flaws aside, it's still a fun read as pure escapism. I'd say to keep the expectations low here and just enjoy the fun.



Thursday, February 24, 2022

February 24, 2022 - YA Series of the Month

This month BCPL is excited to feature a beloved young adult series: The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. Most young girls, and boys, are more familiar with the Disney movie of the same name. But, the book series continues to charm many readers!

About the books -

The Princess Diaries is a series of epistolary young adult novels and is also the title of the first volume, published in 2000. The series revolves around Amelia 'Mia' Thermopolis, a teenager in New York City who discovers that she is the princess of a small European principality called Genovia. The books are noted for containing many popular culture references, which include singers, movies, and fads in modern culture.

Meg Cabot quotes the series' inspiration on her website stating: "I was inspired to write The Princess Diaries when my mom, after the death of my father, began dating one of my teachers; they later went on to get married just as Mia's mom does in the book! I have always had a 'thing' for princesses (my parents used to joke that when I was smaller, I did a lot of insisting that my 'real' parents, the king and queen, were going to come get me soon, and that everyone had better start being a LOT nicer to me) so I stuck a princess in the book just for kicks... and VOILÀ! The Princess Diaries was born."

Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi is the protagonist of the series. She is the daughter of Helen Thermopolis, a painter and Philippe Renaldi, the prince of Genovia. Mia is also the current Queen of Genovia.

Having spent most of her life in Greenwich Village with her mother, Mia attends Albert Einstein High School, a private school in Manhattan's Upper East Side. Mia chronicles the main aspects of her life in various personal diaries, through which she also later develops her talent for various forms of writing. She prefers to be called Mia, although her best friend Lilly often bestows upon her nicknames such as BL (Baby Licker), POG (Princess Of Genovia), or PIT (Princess In Training).

Mia is known for her sometimes shy and down-to-earth personality, though on occasion Mia shows herself to be quite sarcastic and sly. Mia also speaks to her self described flat chest, 5-foot-9 height, upside-down-triangle-shaped hair, and extremely large feet. She also has a tendency to over-analyze things and worry too much. Mia's spends her afternoons throughout the series with her grandmother (Grandmere) in princess lessons, which attempt to teach Mia the finer points of being a princess. These lessons range from making more princess-like Mia's sense of fashion, food, and relationships, and also inform about royal duties such as her visits during school breaks to Genovia and the events she must attend and speak at as a royal throughout the year as well.

About the author - 

Meggin Patricia Cabot (born February 1, 1967) is a prolific American novelist. She has written and published over fifty novels of young adult and adult fiction, and is best known for her young adult series Princess Diaries, which was later adapted by Walt Disney Pictures into two feature films. Cabot has been the recipient of numerous book awards, including the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age, the American Library Association Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, the Tennessee Volunteer State TASL Book Award, the Book Sense Pick, the Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, the IRA/CBC Young Adult Choice, and many others.[1][2] She has also had numerous number one New York Times bestsellers, and more than 25 million copies of her books are in print across the world.

After she graduated from Indiana University, Cabot moved to New York City, with the original aim of pursuing a career as an illustrator.[3][4] However, she soon quit this job and started working as an assistant manager of the freshman dormitory at New York University.[3][4]

Meg Cabot married financial writer and poet Benjamin D. Egnatz on April 1, 1993. Their wedding date,[1] April Fool's Day, was a deliberate play on her husband's belief that only fools get married in the first place. The wedding was actually an elopement in Italy. Her novel Every Boy's Got One is loosely based on her own elopement. She has cats, Henrietta (a one-eyed cat) (1993-Jan 2013)[5] and Gem, about which she often blogs.

After living in Indiana, California, New York, and France, she now splits her time between New York, Key West, Florida, and Bloomington.[

All images and info are courtesy of Google, Wikipedia, WV Reads, and author webpages.

Were you a fan of the series growing up? Maybe could recommend some similar stories? Please share with us in the comment section, on our social media pages, or even in person if you're stopping by the library!

Interested in reading about Mia and all her quirky friends and adventures? Check out the titles we have available as ebooks and eaudiobooks on WV Reads below!

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

February 23, 2022 - Staff Reviews

Me Before You

Jojo Moyes

3 Stars

Though there is the element of romance to this book, it is very light in the sense that it is clean and is NOT the main focus of the book. The book touches upon a very sticky subject. Assisted Suicide. It also touches upon death and quadriplegics. So for some any of those could be a trigger. There is another topic but I do not want to give it away as it is part of the main characters life; but it is devastation to people it happens too, and if you read enough through the book you start to guess as.

It is worth a listen/read. I listened to it and enjoyed the narrators (there were multiple). I felt the author did a nice job writing, but I was not particularly thrilled with the characters and their actions. The main character Lou just bugged me at times (including her boyfriend who I really wanted to run over with his own bicycle). She was a character written to be someone who lets things just happen and doesn't speak up.  In the end, the why makes SO much sense.

Her family treated her poorly in my opinion and I have no clue how her and her sister never threw down as her sister was just selfish. Made me dislike them to where I just wanted to throw the book at a few of them.

But, the story is intriguing and kept me coming back. The ending was inevitable and was not surprising too much.  I tried to listen to the second book that falls after this since it is a trilogy, but I am not sure if I can finish it. The same issues I have with not speaking up and taking a hold of ones life annoys me.

This is a book club read for the BCPL and I am hoping to have a good discussion on what others felt about it. I also am not sure if I will give the movie a try, but am interested enough that one day I might.


Monday, February 21, 2022

February 21, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Death Becomes You by Deanna Lynn Sletten.

Rachel Emery hadn't planned on investigating a murder mystery again after her first and only experience solving a long-ago murder. But when her friend, romance writer Ariel Weathers, called her, frantic about her dead ex-husband stalking her, Rachel is too intrigued to refuse to investigate it.As Rachel digs up information about Randall's death, new twists and turns keep springing up, taking her in several directions. And when the original case investigator, Jack Meyers, joins in, they seem destined for choppy waters. Then a shocking new murder takes the two sleuths down yet another path that becomes more deadly by the minute. What happened the day Randall went out for a cruise on his yacht? Did he die as they'd thought, or was he setting up a devious plan of murder?


Wait for It by Jenn McKinlay.

Stuck in a dreary Boston winter, Annabelle Martin would like nothing more than to run away from her current life. She's not even thirty years old, twice-divorced, and has just dodged a marriage proposal . . . from her ex-husband. When she's offered her dream job as creative director at a cutting-edge graphic design studio in Phoenix, she jumps at the opportunity to start over. When she arrives in the Valley of the Sun, Annabelle is instantly intrigued by her anonymous landlord. Based on the cranky, handwritten notes Nick Daire leaves her, she assumes he is an old, rich curmudgeon. Annabelle is shocked when she finally meets Nick and discovers that he's her age and uses a wheelchair. Nick suffered from a stroke a year ago, and while there's no physical reason for him not to recover, he is struggling to overcome the paralyzing fear that has kept him a prisoner in his own home. Despite her promise to herself not to get involved, Annabelle finds herself irresistibly drawn to Nick. And soon she wonders if she and Nick might help each other find the courage to embrace life, happiness, and true love.


The Northern Throne by Steven A. McKay.

Northern Britain, AD431, Spring. Bellicus the Druid and his friend Duro, a former Roman centurion, have already suffered a great deal in recent years but, for them, things are about to get even worse. Britain is changing. The Romans have gone and warriors from many different places seek to fill the void the legions left behind. In the south, the Saxons' expansion seems unstoppable despite the efforts of the warlord Arthur, while north of Hadrian's Wall various kings and chieftains are always looking to extend their borders. In Dun Breatann, Bellicus believes the disparate northern tribes must put aside their differences, become allies, and face the Saxon threat together, under one High King. Or High Queen...Small-minded men don't always look at the bigger picture though, and, when Bellicus and Duro seek to form a pact with an old enemy, events take a shocking and terrible turn that will leave the companions changed forever.


Adult Non-Fiction

Up & Down by Bubba Watson & Don Yaeger.

He was a small-town boy who burst onto the international golf scene with a dramatic hook shot from deep in the woods to win the Masters-- before the game he loved almost killed him. Opening up about the toll that chasing and achieving his dream of being a champion golfer took on his mental health, Bubba Watson shares his powerful story of the breaking point that gave him clarity. Bubba Watson is known as the big-hitting left-handed golfer who plays with the pink driver--the small-town kid who grew up as a child golf prodigy before going on to win two Masters Tournaments, competing in the Olympics, and rising to be the number two golfer in the world. But every dream comes with a price. Feeling that he was never good enough, Bubba began to let the constant criticism from fans and commentators haunt his thoughts. Success in the game he loved was killing him. In Up and Down, Bubba opens up about his debilitating anxiety attacks, the death of his father and namesake, adopting his children, and how reaching a breaking point professionally and personally drew him closer to his family and God.


Betrayal by Jonathan Karl.

Nobody is in a better position to tell the story of the shocking final chapter of the Trump show than Jonathan Karl. As the reporter who has known Donald Trump longer than any other White House correspondent, Karl told the story of Trump's rise in the New York Times bestseller Front Row at the Trump Show. Now he tells the story of Trump's downfall, complete with riveting behind-the-scenes accounts of some of the darkest days in the history of the American presidency and packed with original reporting and on-the-record interviews with central figures in this drama who are telling their stories for the first time.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Ancestor Approved by Cynthia Leitich Smith.  J

Edited by award-winning and bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith, this collection of intersecting stories by both new and veteran Native writers bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride. Native families from Nations across the continent gather at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In a high school gym full of color and song, people dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. Young protagonists will meet relatives from faraway, mysterious strangers, and sometimes one another (plus one scrappy rez dog). They are the heroes of their own stories.


A Clash of Steel by C. B. Lee.  YA

The sun is setting on the golden age of piracy, and the legendary Dragon Fleet, the scourge of the South China Sea, is no more. Its ruthless leader, a woman known only as the Head of the Dragon, is now only a story, like the ones Xiang has grown up with all her life. She desperately wants to prove her worth, especially to her mother, a shrewd businesswoman who never seems to have enough time for Xiang. Her father is also only a story, dead at sea before Xiang was born. Her single memento of him is a pendant she always wears, a simple but plain piece of gold jewelry. But the pendant's true nature is revealed when a mysterious girl named Anh steals it, only to return it to Xiang in exchange for her help in decoding the tiny map scroll hidden inside. The revelation that Xiang's father sailed with the Dragon Fleet and tucked away this secret changes everything. Rumor has it that the legendary Head of the Dragon had one last treasure--the plunder of a thousand ports--that for decades has only been a myth, a fool's journey. Xiang is convinced this map could lead to the fabled treasure. Captivated with the thrill of adventure, she joins Anh and her motley crew off in pursuit of the island. But the girls soon find that the sea--and especially those who sail it--are far more dangerous than the legends led them to believe.

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

Friday, February 18, 2022

February 18, 2022 - Staff Reviews

Forever Wild
By K.A. Tucker
Release Date: December 1, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - A solid and fun Christmas novella that feels more like an extended epilouge. Calla and Jonah are facing the holiday season with not only dealing with their parents in town but also the quirky residents. Can they keep the happily ever after going strong? It's sure entertaining to watch them try.

K.A. Tucker's got an excellent touch with making everything seem real but still exciting and even a bit majestic. This story has a lot of downtime compared to Calla and Jonah's previous story but it's still interesting. I think I cold feel cold weather and Christmas vibes. Calla's bratty side shows a bit here but I suppose most brides to be get that way when there's pressure. She does have amazing patience levels toward her relatives though, new and returning. Jonah's perspective is a bit more sparse than hers. But his love for Calla and his family is on full display every page he's on.

A bit of the plot was lost on me as it revolved around weddings. Everyone wants it to be the couple's day but at the same time, once family and friends get involved, it's not just about the bride and groom any more. Some of the push and pull on little topics there felt silly, and honestly the rush on wedding plans were rushed through the story itself. Anyway, it was nice to see Jonah and Calla interacting with their moms and stepdads, for better or for worse. And of course, they got a little extra parenting and tough love from some of the town's rough and ready residents. I'm not sure there's much in this for anyone who wasn't already fan of Jonah or Calla and their romance though. Pretty much everything picks up on details from the previous book, despite the label being outside the numbers of the series. It's certainly not a standalone story. But for anyone looking for a quick dose of the Christmas spirit or winter atmosphere will find a cute little love story here.


Thursday, February 17, 2022

February 17, 2022 - A Book & A Recipe

Welcome back book and food lovers! We've got a real treat to show off for February 2022...

Limonello Cupcakes

Lemon Vanilla cupcake recipe straight from the pages of For Batter or Worse by Jenn McKinlay. 

Let's get started!


1 cup unsalted butter, soft
2 cups of sugar
4 large eggs, room temp
1/3 cup of grated lemon zest
3 cups of flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup buttermilk, room temp
1 tsp of vanilla extract



Makes 24 cupcakes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

With a mixer on medium speed, add eggs and lemon zest.

Sift together the flour, powder, soda, and salt.

In another bowl, combine the lemon juice, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Add flour and buttermilk mixes alternately to the batter until smooth.

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full.

Bake until golden brown, approx. 20 minutes.

Let cool completely.

Use melon baller to scoop out the center.

Spoon or pipe in the lemon curd into the center.

Frost with vanilla buttercream frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup of salted butter, soft
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, soft
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups of sifted confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons of milk


Makes 3 cups of frosting.

In a large bowl, cream the butter.

Add the vanilla.

Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well on med. speed, adding milk as needed. Scrape the side of bowl often. 

Beat at med. speed until light and fluffy.

Keep the bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

Be sure to let us know if you try out this recipe! We'd love to see pictures or maybe even try a sample if you want to stop by the library...

Images and info courtesy of Google, WV Reads, and Goodreads.

Check out the ebook with this recipe on our ebook site WV Reads! It's part of the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay.


Tuesday, February 15, 2022

February 15, 2022 - Staff Reviews

Target Acquired
By Tom Clancy/Don Bentley
Release Date: June 8, 2021
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

1.5 Stars - Bentley shows some promise as the latest Clancy 'coauthor' but he's lacking the magic touch here in a big way. Jack Jr. has another whole new personality as another author ventures farther from the ideas that started his series. There's plenty of action and the sequences are well written. The technical jargon Clancy series embraced feels real but this particular target is missing the mark in big ways.

I'm always willing to try a new author in this series because even Blackwood who hated Clancy's style managed to write a few decent entries. I event try the author's other series as well. Bentley shows a lot of promise in the action thriller genre. I was into his "Without Sanction" right until he started down the crazy, unrealistic path toward the 2/3 mark. Target Acquired is more of the same. Reasonable sequences and characters until they're just not. Jack Ryan Jr should have come a long way since his early campus day. In some ways he has, in some ways, he hasn't. And that's a problem for Clancy fans who enjoyed Jack Sr.'s rise through the CIA and politics while raising a family and maintaining his human side at the same time. 

This is an improvement over coauthor Maden, maybe even Cameron. Not up to the standards of Blackwood or Greaney. Maden made Jack Jr. out to be an idiot in several of his novels. But Bentley tries to move him inanother direction that doesn't make much sense. He's apparently on Clark's level now of skill and toughness, despite having about 1/3 level of his years in the field and none of his Seal training. My biggest problem though was the plot set up here. Bentley seemed to think he was being original by having Jack rescue and protect a child who happens to be on the autism spectrum. Well, that's been done before in another action thriller series as anyone who has watched Bruce Willis in Mercury Rising could tell you. I was literally rolling my eyes as Jack swooped in at the exact right time to save the boy. Then flipped out on friendly if skeptical debriefing agents just a couple pages later. Bentley is too green as a writer in my opinion to fill Clancy's shoes at this point. Some ghostwriters are up to the challenge and he could me with some more emphasis on writing a thoughtful, carefully plotted thiller rather than the next action movie script.


Monday, February 14, 2022

February 14, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

A Bend in the River by Libby Fischer Hellmann.

In 1968 two young Vietnamese sisters flee to Saigon after their village on the Mekong River is attacked by American forces and burned to the ground. The sole survivors of the brutal massacre that killed their family, the sisters struggle to survive but become estranged, separated by sharply different choices and ideologies. Mai ekes out a living as a GI bar girl, but Tam's anger festers, and she heads into jungle terrain to fight with the Viet Cong. For nearly ten years, neither sister knows if the other is alive. Do they both survive the war? And if they do, can they mend their fractured relationship? Or are the wounds from their journeys too deep to heal?


The Pope’s Butcher by Joseph C. Gioconda.

Abandoned as a child and raised by the Church, young Sebastian works tirelessly in his pursuit of priesthood. But when a shadowy hooded figure passes him a scroll, his careful plans face a turning point. It appears his name has drawn the attention of the Inquisition and his attendance is commanded at once—for retribution, information, or something else, he does not know. Father Heinrich Institoris the Grand Inquisitor is lauded as a visionary man, driven by a burning desire to cleanse the world of Eve’s original sin by eradicating witches. As Inquisition courts bloom across Europe, he vows to leave no stone unturned, no hovel unexamined, and no woman alive, in his search for justice. As the Inquisitor’s violent mission unfolds, Sebastian embarks on a quest through dank crypts, crumbling abbeys, and the darkest depravities known to man. Torn between duty and love when he encounters the beautiful pagan Brigantia, he fights to uncover the truth: of his past abandonment, the power of the occult, and just how far he’ll go to protect the Church he loves. A Church that is harboring deadly secrets.


A Season of Change by Beth Wiseman.

Finding peace means letting go of the past--and embracing the change that is to come. Sisters Esther and Lizzie have a new employee, Rose Petersheim, to help them tend to The Peony Inn. But their old matchmaking ways have stayed the same. The sisters focus their efforts on the lovely twenty-five-year-old Rose. Though Rose is witty and outspoken, her nervous chattering makes her the best match for someone calm and good at listening. Someone like Benjamin--the handsome handyman who recently moved to town. But when Esther receives an anonymous love letter and flowers, Rose's love life is no longer the only one capturing the sisters' attention. As they sleuth around searching for Esther's secret admirer, they uncover that their grumpy renter, Gus, has a secret of his own that could bring about a difficult change in all their lives. And their continued meddling in Rose's affairs reveals she, too, is hiding something--an old wound that could threaten her future happiness. As Rose, Lizzie, Esther, and Gus struggle to release the weight of their pasts, they discover that although people are complicated, love doesn't need to be.


Adult Non-Fiction

Stability by Nathan Oates.

What is the foundation of work that lasts? As Christians in a hypermobile culture, most of the time we talk about going and doing, about the need for meaningful action, service, and pilgrimage. Here, we listen to a quieter call. We consider the foundation, the roots, the bass note, that place of origin from which the building rises and the fruit blooms and the music soars and all the action comes--the place of stability. This call is rooted in the being of God; the faithfulness, reliability, and unchanging character of God. Drawing from some of the best writings on Benedictine spirituality and from his personal experiences raising a family, pastoring a church, and spending time living with monks, Nathan Oates offers a compelling invitation to find inner peace and stillness right where we are. When faced with decisions to stay or go, we rarely consider a beautiful, challenging third option--embracing the value of stability, which is moving closer to the root.  Rather than pulling up our tents or simply enduring, we can choose to press deeper into the core of the question, to lean into the source of life, the real need, the true passion.


The Family Roe by Joshua Prager.

Despite her famous pseudonym, "Jane Roe," no one knows the truth about Norma McCorvey (1947-2017), whose unwanted pregnancy in 1969 opened a great fracture in American life. Journalist Joshua Prager spent hundreds of hours with Norma, discovered her personal papers--a previously unseen trove--and witnessed her final moments. The Family Roe presents her life in full. Propelled by the crosscurrents of sex and religion, gender and class, it is a life that tells the story of abortion in America. Prager begins that story on the banks of Louisiana's Atchafalaya River where Norma was born, and where unplanned pregnancies upended generations of her forebears. A pregnancy then upended Norma's life too, and the Dallas waitress became Jane Roe. Drawing on a decade of research, Prager reveals the woman behind the pseudonym, writing in novelistic detail of her unknown life from her time as a sex worker in Dallas, to her private thoughts on family and abortion, to her dealings with feminist and Christian leaders, to the three daughters she placed for adoption. Prager found those women, including the youngest--Baby Roe--now fifty years old. She shares her story in The Family Roe for the first time, from her tortured interactions with her birth mother, to her emotional first meeting with her sisters, to the burden that was uniquely hers from conception. The Family Roe abounds in such revelations--not only about Norma and her children but about the broader "family" connected to the case. Prager tells the stories of activists and bystanders alike whose lives intertwined with Roe. In particular, he introduces three figures as important as they are unknown: feminist lawyer Linda Coffee, who filed the original Texas lawsuit yet now lives in obscurity; Curtis Boyd, a former fundamentalist Christian, today a leading provider of third-trimester abortions; and Mildred Jefferson, the first black female Harvard Medical School graduate, who became a pro-life leader with great secrets. An epic work spanning fifty years of American history, The Family Roe will change the way you think about our enduring American divide: the right to choose or the right to life.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.  YA

Aza Holmes never intended to pursue the disappearance of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there's a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Pickett's son Davis. Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.


The Waiting by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim.  GN

Keum Suk Gendry-Kim was an adult when her mother revealed a family secret: She had been separated from her sister during the Korean War. It's not an uncommon story--the peninsula was split across the 38th parallel, dividing one country into two. As many fled violence in the north, not everyone was able to make it south. Her mother's story inspired Gendry-Kim to begin interviewing her and other Koreans separated by the war; that research fueled a deeply resonant graphic novel. The Waiting is the fictional story of Gwija, told by her novelist daughter Jina. When Gwija was 17 years old, after hearing that the Japanese were seizing unmarried girls, her family married her in a hurry to a man she didn't know. Japan fell, Korea gained its independence, and the couple started a family. But peace didn't come. The young family of four fled south. On the road, while breastfeeding and changing her daughter, Gwija was separated from her husband and son. Then seventy years passed. Seventy years of waiting. Gwija is now an elderly woman and Jina can't stop thinking about the promise she made to help find her brother.

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

Friday, February 11, 2022

February 11, 2022 - Staff Reviews

A Novella Collection
By Courtney Milan
Release Date: April 5, 2013
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - I daresay there's a little something for every historical reader or period romance fan in this collection that's actually anything but short itself. If the first one doesn't grab your attention, skip to the next. I really enjoyed Milan's writing style. Her dialouge was sharp and witty. And this was far from a frilly little set of stories.

This book was charming and easy to read. I wasn't particularly engrossed in the first story with Hugo and Serena. It took awhile to warm up to them. Hugo's babysitting of the duke and his harsh attitude were a bit rough. Serena found her way to taming him eventually though. She was by far the more likable half of the pair, I thought. I was hooked from the first chapter. The ride was surprisingly emotional too for a shorter story. Jonas is an honorable young physician, honest almost to a fault. He's intrigued by Lydia even though he doesn't recognize her at first. Lydia was sweet but fiesty and had an adorable bond with her father and later Jonas. She was surprisingly understanding too for all she'd been through in life. 

Generally, I'm not a fan of doctor heroes. They go and make everything so CLINICAL and I just find nothing medical that interesting, didn't find anything fascinating about healing methods of the time period, new drug discoveries, or the inventions in modern birth control.The third tale was probably my favorite. Suspenseful from the beginning and I immediately took to John and Mary, despite their rather terse relationship at the start. Mary's not exactly spoiled but everything she was given by her doting father turns out to be the spoils of his misdeeds. He's a thief in a few very non-specific ways. She's engaged to John but that's broken off when she must run away. Her situation is only more precarious after when John shows up again. She doesn't quite need him to rescue her though. The final story was actually very short, though Simon's little dalliance at finding at bride was still entertaining. Ginny's an excellent match with him and that they had already known each other sped things along. Truthfully, these bogged down a little in places and I wished the heroes were a bit more take charge. But, overall, an easy and excellent little collection to read. Especially if you're pressed for time, you can read it in snippets.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

February 10, 2022 - BCPL Resume Tips

 Hello again, job seekers! Glad to have you back this month for our February resume tip...

Tip #16 - Power Verbs

Sometimes it's not just what you say, but how you say it. And that is especially true with your one-page resuming. You are striving to really paint a quick but vivid picture of your previous jobs and talents. You want your next manager or supervisor to be able SEE you doing all that hard work you've put in time and time again!

Here are some great snippets that are easy to work into your job descriptions and/or skills.


You would be surprised how many of these word you can work into your resume! Also, they might even give you some ideas if you are struggling describe or illustrate just what you did at that job ten years ago all day. 

Also. Try to avoiding repeating the same words over and over on your resume. That shows a lack of creativity and inspiration. A few repeats are okay but try to make each job position or task stand out!

Until next month, folks! Remember, your local library is always ready and willing to help with job searches or even just updating your personal files and portfolios.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

February 9, 2022 - Staff Reviews

Any Sign of Life

By Rae Carson

Rating 4 stars

YA Lit

If you are a fan of ya lit and/or dystopian reads, this is the book for you. For those who may not know what dystopian reads means, think of Hunger Games/The Giver/Divergent/The Maze Runner/etc. The plot typically takes place on Earth OR something resulting in the loss of Earth. Typically after the world as we know it changes so drastically that a new eco/class/financial system is in play, and/or the topography of the world was changed.

This plot take place in the future, after the pandemic has come and gone, and another super deadly virus hits and leaves only a handful of people alive. I enjoyed the main characters and thought a lot about what happened was plausible. But at times there were things where attention should have been paid a bit better to the details and how someone might know some information, and/or how did certain things happen really with no fleshed out details.

The ending ended with the possibility of a sequel but is also wrapped it up a bit. I was not as happy with the ending as though it wrapped up for what currently takes place in the book, you are left thinking and wondering what else will happen to the main characters. What happens to make it a dystopian is a HUGE deal, and not knowing the fate of the world and the characters just personally sets me on edge. But it fits the book 100% since the characters were living on the edge every day.


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

February 8, 2022 - Staff Reviews

Shielding Devyn
Susan Stoker
Release Date: May 18, 2021
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - Another likable entry in this short Stoker series. Devyn's in less trouble herself than the last few books implied, but Lucky's in no need of an excuse to turn up the heat on their relationship. This one was pretty much a love story right off the bat, a little something for fans of the author basically.

We had some build up to Lucky and Devyn, and they didn't waste much more time getting into their relationship. Most of Stoker's stories are of the insta-love variety. But this one might win the race. Lucky's a man who knows what he wants. He's got his friend's blessing and he's ready to make Devyn a lucky girl. Devyn's not really as quirky as some heroines go. She mostly checks all the Stoker girl boxes. But she had a difficult childhood and struggles with her family. Also, pet lovers rejoice! They're proud animal lovers and pet parents.

One of my big issues here was the sibling relationship, especially with mutual friends involved. Growing up with two siblings, varying age differences, I can't imagine that Grover just sit around and let his two younger siblings just work on their huge problems. Supposed Devyn and Grover are close and he knows Spencer was always cruel to her at times. Would he really leave Lucky alone, knowing he knew the story? No. Not in real life. This aspect took up the first half of the book. Broken up by Lucky adopting some sad little pets that will have every reader following their local animal shelter stalking their social media pages. A note on the steamy scenes: Stoker's come in two styles hot or awkward. These started off awkward but sorta found their way to hot. Still skimmable as usual for those who prefer to skip those chapters. Finally, the conclusion wasn't especially memorable or chilling so the suspense was a bit sub-par for Stoker. Worth a quick read if you're into this series. Otherwise, you won't miss much.



Monday, February 7, 2022

February 7, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Playing for Pizza by John Grisham.

Overnight, he became a national laughingstock and, of course, was immediately cut by the Browns and shunned by all other teams. But all Rick knows is football, and he insists that his agent, Arnie, find a team that needs him. Against enormous odds Arnie finally locates just such a team and informs Rick that, miraculously, he can in fact now be a starting quarterback. Great, says Rick--for which team? The mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy. Yes, Italians do play American football, to one degree or another, and the Parma Panthers desperately want a former NFL player--any former NFL player--at their helm. So Rick reluctantly agrees to play for the Panthers--at least until a better offer comes along--and heads off to Italy. He knows nothing about Parma--not even where it is--has never been to Europe, and doesn't speak or understand a word of Italian. To say that Italy--the land of opera, fine wines, extremely small cars, romance, and Football Americano-- holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement.


Life is Amazing by John Mihalyo.

Jake Million has just returned back to his hometown of Follansville after spending the winter months in Florida. His plans are to live life to the fullest emphasizing the Four F's, his faith, his family, his friends and having fun.


Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond by Jessica Fletcher & Terrie Farley Moran.

After traveling to Bethesda for a mystery writers' conference, Jessica Fletcher decides she's earned a vacation and takes a train to Columbia, South Carolina, to visit her old college friend Dolores, who has recently married her third husband, Willis Nickens, a wealthy and cutthroat businessman. They've moved into an opulent historic home with plenty of space for guests, and Jessica is ready for a week of shopping, gossiping, and relaxing at the grand estate. But the morning after she arrives, Jessica discovers Willis face down in the koi pond, and despite what the police think, she's sure foul play is involved. She hadn't known Willis long, but it's clear to her that he didn't concern himself with making friends. The question isn't if her friend's husband was murdered but by whom.


Adult Non-Fiction

James Madison by Jay Cost.

How do you solve a problem like James Madison? The fourth president is one of the most confounding figures in early American history -- his political trajectory seems almost intentionally inconsistent. He was both for and against a strong federal government. He wrote about the dangers of political parties in the Federalist papers and then helped to found the Republican party just a few years later. And though he has frequently been celebrated as the "father of the constitution," his contributions to our founding document were subtler than many have supposed. This so-called "Madison problem" has occupied scholars for ages. Previous biographies have made sense of Madison's mixed record by breaking his life into discrete periods. But this approach falls short. Madison was, of course, a single person -- a brilliant thinker whose life's work was to forge a stronger Union around principles of limited government, individual rights, and above all, justice. As Jay Cost argues in this incisive new biography, we cannot comprehend Madison's legacy without understanding him as a working politician. We tend to focus on his accomplishments as a statesman and theorist -- but the same ideals that guided his thinking in these arenas shaped his practice of politics, where they were arguably more influential. Indeed, Madison was the original American politician. Whereas other founders split their time between politics and other vocations, Madison dedicated himself singularly to the work of politics and ultimately developed it into a distinctly American idiom. Bringing together the full range of his intellectual life, Cost shows us Madison as we've never seen him before: not as a man with uncertain opinions and inconstant views -- but as a coherent and unified thinker, a skilled strategist, and a key contributor to the ideals that have shaped our history. He was, in short, the first American politician.


The Other Madisons by Bettye Kearse.

For thousands of years, West African griots (men) and griottes (women) have recited the stories of their people. Without this tradition Bettye Kearse would not have known that she is a descendant of President James Madison and his slave, and half-sister, Coreen. In 1990, Bettye became the eighth-generation griotte for her family. Their credo--"Always remember--you're a Madison. You come from African slaves and a president"--was intended to be a source of pride, but for her, it echoed with abuses of slavery, including rape and incest. Confronting those abuses, Bettye embarked on a journey of discovery--of her ancestors, the nation, and herself. She learned that wherever African slaves walked, recorded history silenced their voices and buried their footsteps: beside a slave-holding fortress in Ghana; below a federal building in New York City; and under a brick walkway at James Madison's Virginia plantation. When Bettye tried to confirm the information her ancestors had passed down, she encountered obstacles at every turn.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Little People, Big Dreams: Jesse Owens by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara.  J NF

The youngest of ten children, Jesse grew up working in the cotton fields of Alabama. Discovered by his high school track and field coach, Jesse quickly rose to fame as an athlete. He went on to challenge racism on the world stage at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and made new world records. This inspiring story of the athlete and activist's life features a fact and photos section at the back.


Storm Warning by Elizabeth Raum.  J

No matter how hard twelve-year-old North Olson tries to do what's right, he can't seem to please his dad. When a major flood threatens to destroy his hometown, North is left in charge of his little sister Rosie. A blizzard blows in and his great-grandmother disappears. Can North find his great-grandmother and keep Rosie safe as the flood waters continue to rise? Will he finally make his dad proud?

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

Friday, February 4, 2022

February 4, 2022 - Book Club Preview

Thanks for checking out the Brooke County Libraries February Book Club Pick for February 2022! We're excited to read The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel and see what all the hype is.

Our meeting will be February 24, 2022 at 5 pm virtual and in person attendance at BCPL as allowed. Check with us for details and how to obtain a copy for the discussion!

About the book -

Inspired by an astonishing true story from World War II, a young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis in this unforgettable historical novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the “epic and heart-wrenching World War II tale” (Alyson Noel, #1 New York Times bestselling author) The Winemaker’s Wife.

Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears.

An engaging and evocative novel reminiscent of The Lost Girls of Paris and The Alice Network, The Book of Lost Names is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of bravery and love in the face of evil.

About the author - 

Kristin Harmel is the New York Times bestselling, USA Today bestselling, and #1 international bestselling author of The Book of Lost Names, The Winemaker's Wife, The Room on Rue Amelie, and a dozen other novels that have been translated into 28 languages and sold all over the world.

A former reporter for PEOPLE magazine, Kristin has been writing professionally since the age of 16, when she began her career as a sportswriter, covering Major League Baseball and NHL hockey for a local magazine in Tampa Bay, Florida in the late 1990s. After stints covering health and lifestyle for American Baby, Men's Health, and Woman's Day, she became a reporter for PEOPLE magazine while still in college and spent more than a decade working for the publication, covering everything from the Super Bowl to high-profile murders to celebrity interviews. Her favorite stories at PEOPLE, however, were the "Heroes Among Us" features--tales of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

In addition to a long magazine writing career (which also included articles published in Travel + Leisure, Glamour, Ladies' Home Journal, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and more), Kristin was also a frequent contributor to the national television morning show The Daily Buzz and has appeared on Good Morning America and numerous local television morning shows.

Kristin was born just outside Boston, Massachusetts and spent her childhood there, as well as in Columbus, Ohio, and St. Petersburg, Florida. After graduating with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida, she spent time living in Paris and Los Angeles and now lives in Orlando, with her husband and young son. She is the co-founder and co-host of the popular web series and podcast FRIENDS & FICTION.

Images and info are courtesy of Google, Amazon, Goodreads, and WV Reads.

Intrigued yet? Check out the ebook available from our e-catalogue on WV Reads!