Wednesday, June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022 - Staff Reviews

By Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: July 20, 2021
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - A delightful piece of book candy from Bennett's now long running Arizona hockey series. This one had some pacing issues in my opinion but Jett was a great hero. Emory and her family had some adorable moments too. An easy and likable romance but with a plot that's mostly ex drama.

Bennett can make most any couple interesting but it took me awhile to start appreciating Jett and Emory. Some of the character development, I questioned. Like why they were both Europeans I don't know? It didn't seem to add anything to the story except the rare quirk. Emory was not my favorite heroine as I had some trouble relating to her and her wishy washy attitude. But she's a smart single mom with a soft spot for Jett from the start. Jett was easier to like. He's considerate, dedicated, and patient from the time he hooks up with Emory. And his transition from player to potential family man was heartfelt and cute.

As I mentioned, this one slogged at the start for me. I liked all the characters but nothing was really happening outside of a date between Jett and Emory, and a lot of background on Emory's daughter and sister's lives too. There's some steamy scenes in this one but they weren't as frequent or intense as some of this series' stories. Then the book became very much about Emory's ex husband's reappearance and the struggles of dealing with an addict. He's just not a very effective foil for the couple. Shane's really just pathetic, not dangerous or ill motivated in any way. He basically serves as a reason for Emory to keep Jett at arm's length, one that doesn't make a lot of sense. But Jett hangs in and he's so supportive of Emory, her sister, and her little girl. I couldn't call this a fast-paced read but it is fun and mostly light. A few team mates and side characters from the previous and upcoming books pop in too, but they're mostly background here. A nice addition to the series but also can definitely be read as a standalone.


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022 - BCPL Children's Series of the Month

Thanks for stopping in, readers! We're looking forward to sharing our June Children's Series of the Month for 2022. This month we are featuring the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park.

Junie B. Jones is a children's book series written by Barbara Park and illustrated by Denise Brunkus. Published by Random House from 1992 to 2013, the story centers around "almost six-year-old" Junie B. Jones and her adventures in kindergarten and first grade.

Barbara Park was born in Mount Holly, New Jersey, on April 21, 1947, and spent most of her adult life in Arizona. There she, with her husband, Richard, raised her two sons and spent time with her two young grandsons.

Barbara Park was best-known as the creator and author of the New York Times bestselling Junie B. Jones series, the stories of an outrageously funny kindergartener who has kept kids (and their grownups) laughing—and reading—for over two decades. Published by Random House Books for Young Readers, the series has sold over 60 million copies in North America alone, has been translated into multiple languages and is a beloved and time-honored staple in elementary school classrooms around the world.

The series was consistently a #1 New York Times bestseller, spending over 180 weeks on the list, and Barbara and her books were profiled in such national outlets as Time, Newsweek, USA Today, The New York Times, and Today.

Park died on Friday, November 15, 2013 after fighting ovarian cancer heroically for seven and a half years.

Barbara Park arrived at the writing profession through an indirect route. Before becoming a bestselling and beloved children’s author, she originally intended to teach high school history and political science. She got her secondary education degree but quickly realized that her calling was to be a writer. She said, "My senior year of high school, I was voted 'Wittiest.' So several years later, I decided to try my hand at writing humor and see if I could be witty enough to make some money."

After several rejections, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers acquired her first manuscript, Operation: Dump the Chump and two others. Don’t Make Me Smile was published first in 1981, followed by Operation: Dump the Chump (1982) and Skinnybones (1982).

Throughout her life, Barbara was passionate about supporting many causes. She was a “wish” for several children participating in the Make-a-Wish Foundation and would dedicate her upcoming books to kids whose dying wish was to meet her. Barbara also founded her own charitable organization with her husband, Richard—Sisters in Survival (“SIS”), a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering financial assistance to ovarian cancer patients. SIS is an all-volunteer organization, and all donations go directly to women struggling with ovarian cancer. Barbara’s family will continue to run SIS. (

On writing books for kids, Barbara once said: "There are those who believe that the value of a children’s book can be measured only in terms of the moral lessons it tries to impose or the perfect role models it offers. Personally, I happen to think that a book is of extraordinary value if it gives the reader nothing more than a smile or two. In fact, I happen to think that’s huge."

Every bit as funny and as outrageous as her best-known character, Barbara shared a special connection with Junie B. Jones. She once said of the series, "I've never been sure whether Junie B.'s fans love her in spite of her imperfections . . . or because of them. But either way, she's gone out into the world and made more friends than I ever dreamed possible."

Looking to get into some shenanigans with Junie and her friends and family? Check out some of the titles we have available on WV Reads!

Did you love Junie too as a kid? Maybe you read them to your elementary schoolers? Let us know! We love to hear from our readers.

As always, images and info are courtesy of Google, Wikipedia, WV Reads, and author webpages, etc.

Monday, June 27, 2022

New Curated Reader Advisory Lists!

We now have the option to bring some of our displays and paper handouts from the library to digital!

So keep a lookout on our WOWBRARY newsletters each week for any added Reader Advisory Lists! 

Some current lists available:

June 27, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Those Who Are Saved by Alexis Landau.

As a Russian Jewish émigré to France, Vera's wealth cannot protect her or her four-year-old-daughter, Lucie, once the Nazis occupy the country. After receiving notice that all foreigners must report to an internment camp, Vera has just a few hours to make an impossible choice: Does she subject Lucie to the horrid conditions of the camp, or does she put her into hiding with her beloved and trusted governess, safe until Vera can retrieve her? Believing the war will end soon, Vera chooses to leave Lucie in safety. She cannot know that she and her husband will have an opportunity to escape, to flee to America. She cannot know that Lucie's governess will have fled with Lucie to family in rural France, too far to reach in time. And so begins a heartbreaking journey and separation, a war and a continent apart. Vera's marriage will falter under the surreal sun of California. Her ability to write--once her passion--will disappear. But Vera's love for Lucie, her faith that her daughter lives, will only grow. As Vera's determination to return to France and find Lucie crystalizes, she meets Sasha, a man on his own search for meaning. She is stronger with Sasha than she is alone. Together they will journey to Lucie. They will find her fate.


Adoring Addie by Leslie Gould.

When Addie Cramer's mutter and daed decide Phillip Eicher is the man for her to marry, they claim she must honor them by obeying their wishes. But then she falls in love with Jonathan Mosier--part of the family with whom the Cramers have a long-held grudge. With the help of others in her community who long to see the quarrel healed, Jonathan and Addie struggle to continue their relationship against both sets of parents' wishes. But when one of Addie's vengeful brothers harms a member of the Mosier family, Jonathan intervenes and is banished from Lancaster County. A distraught Addie determines to find the true reason for the grudge between the two families, hoping to tear down the animosity of the past. Can their love for each other bridge the divide between their families? Or are they destined to remain apart forever?


Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris.

2 CHILDREN FOR SALE. The scrawled sign, peddling young siblings on a farmhouse porch, captures the desperation sweeping the country in 1931. It's an era of breadlines, bank runs, and impossible choices. For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family's dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when the image leads to his big break, the consequences are devastating in ways he never imagined. Haunted by secrets of her own, secretary Lillian Palmer sees more in the picture than a good story and is soon drawn into the fray. Together, the two set out to right a wrongdoing and mend a fractured family, at the risk of everything they value.


Adult Non-Fiction

The Betrayal of Anne Frank by Rosemary Sullivan.

Over thirty million people have read The Diary of a Young Girl, the journal teen-aged Anne Frank kept while living in an attic with her family and four other people in Amsterdam during World War II, until the Nazis arrested them and sent them to a concentration camp. But despite the many works--journalism, books, plays and novels--devoted to Anne's story, none has ever conclusively explained how these eight people managed to live in hiding undetected for over two years--and who or what finally brought the Nazis to their door. With painstaking care, retired FBI agent Vincent Pankoke and a team of indefatigable investigators pored over tens of thousands of pages of documents--some never before seen--and interviewed scores of descendants of people familiar with the Franks. Utilizing methods developed by the FBI, the Cold Case Team painstakingly pieced together the months leading to the infamous arrest--and came to a shocking conclusion. The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation is the riveting story of their mission. Rosemary Sullivan introduces us to the investigators, explains the behavior of both the captives and their captors and profiles a group of suspects. All the while, she vividly brings to life wartime Amsterdam: a place where no matter how wealthy, educated, or careful you were, you never knew whom you could trust.


Angels All Around Us by Guidepost.

“God’s heavenly messengers are everywhere, carrying out His work…spreading His divine mercy…and giving hope to the hopeless. You’ll see His angels at work in the pages of Angels All Around Us through incredible stories shared with Guideposts. These extraordinary stories will open your eyes to the work of angels being carried out every day.” –


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Red Scare by Liam Francis Walsh.  J GN

Peggy is scared: She's struggling to recover from polio and needs crutches to walk, and she and her neighbors are worried about the rumors of Communist spies doing bad things. On top of all that, Peggy has a hard time at school, and gets taunted by her classmates. When she finds a mysterious artifact that gives her the ability to fly, she thinks it's the solution to all her problems. But if Peggy wants to keep it, she'll have to overcome bullies, outsmart FBI agents, and escape from some very strange spies!


Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera.  J

Living in the remote town of Tierra del Sol is dangerous, especially in the criatura months, when powerful spirits roam the desert and threaten humankind. But Cecelia Rios has always believed there was more to the criaturas, much to her family's disapproval. After all, only brujas--humans who capture and control criaturas--consort with the spirits, and brujeria is a terrible crime. When her older sister, Juana, is kidnapped by El Sombrerón, a powerful dark criatura, Cece is determined to bring Juana back. To get into Devil's Alley, though, she'll have to become a bruja herself--while hiding her quest from her parents, her town, and the other brujas. Thankfully, the legendary criatura Coyote has a soft spot for humans and agrees to help her on her journey. With him at her side, Cece sets out to reunite her family--and maybe even change what it means to be a bruja along the way.

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

Thursday, June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022 - A Book & A Recipe

Welcome back, book and food lovers! We at Brooke County Libraries are excited to share our Dinner & a Recipe idea for June 2022. This month's feature is sure to be a fun summer treat.

We're making Lavender Ice Cream from The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.

Without further ado, let's get started!

(Makes 4 servings.)
1-2 tsps of dried lavender or 2-4 tsps of lavender flowers, plus lavender flowers for garnish.
1 cup sugar.
8 tbsps of fresh milk.
8 egg yolks (organic is better).
1 cup cream (or yogurt if you prefer lighter).
1 handful of blueberries for coloring, optional.

1. In a small bowl, blender lavender and sugar. Push through a sieve until you have fine powder.
2. Dissolve the lavender powder in the milk until there's no crunchies.
(May need to heat but do not boil.)
3. In another bowl, beat together the egg yolks and cream until smooth.
4. Stir the lavender milk into the egg cream and mix.
5. Puree the blueberries and add them to the mix, if using the blueberries.
6. Place the mixture in an ice-cream maker or leave to set in a freezer, stirring now and then.
7. Garnish with lavender flowers.

What a cool and refreshing dish!

Intrigued by the story that inspired this post? Check out the ebook on WV Reads:

Images and info are courtesy of WV Reads, Google, etc.

Please let us know if you try out this recipe! We love to hear from our readers in the comments section, on our social media pages, or in person.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

June 21, 2022 - Staff Reviews

The Judge's List
By John Grisham
Release Date: October 19, 2021
Audiobook Available from WV Reads!

2 Stars - Disappointing new drama from Grisham that just lacks punch. Returning character investigator/attorney Lacy and her new ally whistleblower Jeri are trying to stay one step ahead of a killer. While the set up had potential, the execution left a lot to be desired. And I'd highly not recommend the audiobook version, which is rare. This one is better read at your own pace and using your own imagination.

Grisham has some truly die-hard fans and rightfully so. I personally am not a big enough fan of his style or returning characters to put me in that category, though I frequently give his a try between other series. And I truly respect his efforts to write his own stories and attempts to keep things fresh at this stage of his career. But when he's hot, he's hot, and when he's not, he's not. Lacy is likable, sure. But from the start she and Jeri are in this weird push/pull relationship. They seem to both have the attitude they're doing the other one a favor. Granted, they are both sharp, curious, and fairly brave. I just never really connected with these two nor any of the side characters.

So my big and unusual recommendation is to read this in book form. Mary Louise Parker probably could have nailed the Lacy part on screen but I couldn't tell the difference between Jeri and Lacy half the time. And she doesn't add much spark or personality to a book that's kind of dull anyway. Grisham's dialouge is not top notch here. Jeri and Lacey have the habits of repeating themselves and/or interrupting early on that grows annoying quick. Also, Grisham readers won't be surprised to find a few heaping info dumps from time to time here. I do wish he would stick to more courtroom based plots, but I know that's a pipe dream. He's written excellent thriller such as The Pelican Brief and The Client that are less legal procedure bound but his touch with characters and situations seemed stronger then. Jeri and Lacy start off very much like Grantham and Garcia, but there was a lot of plot behind those too. However, if you can find a more open mind and embrace the two leading ladies and the twisty investigation into an evil but less than brilliant killer, you'll be entertained. 


Monday, June 20, 2022

June 20, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

The Forgotten Recipe by Amy Clipst.

After losing her fiancé in a tragic accident, Veronica Fisher finds solace in the old recipes stored in her mother's hope chest--and in a special visitor who comes to her bake stand to purchase her old-fashioned raspberry pies. Veronica Fisher knows how lucky she is to be marrying her best friend. Seth Lapp is kind, hardworking, and handsome--but most importantly, he loves Veronica. When an accident on the job steals Seth away from her, a heartbroken Veronica is certain she will never love--or be loved--again. Yet when she discovers a batch of forgotten recipes and opens a bake stand to sell her Mammi's raspberry pies, Veronica picks up a regular customer who gives her heart pause. Jason Huyard was with Seth when he lost his life--a memory that haunts him still. So when he seeks out the grieving fiancée to convey his condolences, the last thing he expects--or wants--is to fall in love. Nonetheless, Jason soon finds himself visiting Veronica's bake stand every week . . . and it's for more than the raspberry pies. Now, as Veronica's heart thaws, Jason can't bring himself to tell her he was there when Seth died. Can he ever reveal where he was on the day her life derailed Or will his secret rob them of the second chance at love they both want.


Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson.

It's 1938 and women seeking a quick, no-questions split from their husbands head to the "divorce capital of the world," Reno, Nevada. There's one catch: they have to wait six-weeks to become "residents." Many of these wealthy, soon-to-be divorcees flock to the Flying Leap, a dude ranch that caters to their every need. Twenty-four-year-old Ward spent one year at Yale before his family lost everything in the Great Depression; now he's earning an honest living as a ranch hand at the Flying Leap. Admired for his dashing good looks--"Cary Grant in cowboy boots"--Ward thinks he's got the Flying Leap's clients all figured out. But two new guests are about to upend everything he thinks he knows: Nina, a St Louis heiress and amateur pilot back for her third divorce, and Emily, whose bravest moment in life was leaving her cheating husband back in San Francisco and driving herself to Reno.


If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio.

On the day Oliver Marks is released from jail, the man who put him there is waiting at the door. Detective Colborne wants to know the truth, and after ten years, Oliver is finally ready to tell it. A decade ago: Oliver is one of seven young Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory, a place of keen ambition and fierce competition. In this secluded world of firelight and leather-bound books, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingénue, extras. But in their fourth and final year, good-natured rivalries turn ugly, and on opening night real violence invades the students' world of make-believe. In the morning, the fourth-years find themselves facing their very own tragedy, and their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, each other, and themselves that they are innocent.


Adult Non-Fiction

Grant Writing for Dummies by Dr. Beverly A. Browning, MPA, DBA.

For nonprofit and for-profit firms alike, grants can be a singular generator of growth and impact. But many leaders are intimidated and confused by the sometimes-complex grant application process. The truth, however, is that anyone can learn to write and send a powerful grant letter with the right help. In Grant Writing For Dummies, Dr. Beverly Browning draws on over four decades of experience writing grant applications and training grant writers to deliver a comprehensive and easy-to-follow roadmap to drafting and submitting grant applications that get funded. You'll learn to craft the strongest application possible, find the best sources of funding from online databases, and present a realistic project budget plan.


The Practical Book of Card-Making by Cheryl Owen.

Beautiful to receive as well as fun to make, here is a sparkling selection of fabulous card-making projects designed for maximum decorative and creative effect. There are cards for holidays and festivals, birthday celebrations, special anniversaries and red letter days, plus cards to express love, friendship, apology, sympathy and much more. There are also inspirational ideas for gift-wraps, pretty origami boxes and handmade envelopes. The introduction outlines materials and equipment you will need and demonstrates over 50 papercraft techniques - from cutting, scoring and stenciling to stamping, bleaching and pin-pricking - to help you achieve your desired design.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Larry Gets Lost in the Library by Eric Ode.  E

Larry, a playful pup, loves to go on vacation with Pete. In this edition they visit Pete's grandparents on a farm. When a bookmobile arrives, Pete is excited to select a stack of books. As Pete reads, he doesn't notice that Larry, in search of a snack, wanders into the bookmobile. Larry's adventure begins when the librarian drives away, not realizing Larry is on board, to return the bookmobile to the city library. Larry, searching for Pete, soon finds himself lost inside the library, where he is surrounded by busy librarians and patrons enjoying books. But will he ever find his way back to his best friend Pete?


It All Begins with Jelly Beans by Nova Weetman.  J

Meg spends her days hoping no one thinks too hard about why she wears the same t-shirt and slippers to school every day. Luckily, the nurse's office provides a welcome escape from classmates who don't understand...and snacks when food runs out at home. Riley knows fitting in at her new school would be a lot easier if her friends were more understanding of her type 1 diabetes. So she keeps her testing under wraps...and an emergency bag of jelly beans on hand. When Meg and Riley end up together in the nurse's office one day, both girls think they've worked each other out, but what if they've got it all wrong? On the brink of moving on to junior high, Riley and Meg must find the courage to discover who they really want to be. And maybe a bag of shared jelly beans will provide all the help they need.

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

Friday, June 17, 2022

June 17, 2022 - Summer Library Displays

Hello, book lovers! This month, we're sharing some of our favorite in-house Summer Book displays. We hope you enjoy the post and want to try some ideas in your own school, library, or home collection.

We like to mix it up from the traditional summer titles. Everyone gets the travel bug one way or another when the weather's warm and sunny. So, we like to entice our patrons to get all the fun of leaving town without having to leave their couch!

The Destination Reads are all over the globe and really so are the Beach Reads! But, the Beach Reads are more title specific in pulling books, and the former is a hodgepodge.

Of course we have our traditional summer displays as well! Nothing gets our readers in the mood to grab a book more than seeing the Summer vibes on the cover or in the book blurb.

We try to always grab a couple summery authors or series as well. Susan Mallery's Fools Gold small town romances have all the sweet romantic atmosphere of a summer night under the stars.

Red Hot Reads is a popular title-driven display as well! We have a few summer themes they just really catch the eye and fit with all the activities and holidays of the summer.

With Memorial Day and the 4th of July, we often find a few great American Heroes stories (fiction and non-fiction) to share too. Great for an action-packed read on a rainy afternoon.

We hope you've enjoyed our display ideas and will share yours with us as well! We love to hear from our fellow readers in the comments, in person, or on our social media pages.


Thursday, June 16, 2022

June 16, 2022 - Staff Reviews

Flirt with Me
By Kristen Proby
Release Date: August 17, 2021
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3.5 Stars - The fun continues in Proby's long running Seattle family series. This time adorable Irish lass Maeve meets her match with former fighter Hunter. He's moving to her island from the city and she sells him a house she loves. Pretty soon they're falling for each other and their families too.  I felt like a few possibilities were left out there but overall a fabulous flirty little story.

Proby's at her best with this series somehow. And while all the stories are alike, they're all different enough to be entertaining. She hardly ever wastes a word or a scene but I admit I wanted a bit more out of this one. Maeve is working two jobs to support herself and buy a new home. Her family's pub is hopping the night that Hunter shows up. He's looking to relocate his wild teenage daughter since he's retiring from fighting. The sparks flew instantly between these two. And even though it took awhile for their relationship to really hit the fast track, both were sweet, considerate, and loyal.

This one didn't grab me at first. Hunter and Maeve didn't interest me all that much separately. Hunter's daughter Rachel took awhile to warm up to and he has some ex drama to deal with of course. Maeve was kind and strong but didn't have much going on besides her quirky relatives. But once these two got together, things really picked up. More than one storyline I think needed more time to devote to it on the flipside. Carla's new boyfriend who was Hunter's old rival of sorts. Maeve's creepy real estate client. The beautiful home Hunter purchased. Them living together, talking about marriage, etc. All of this I was craving more of and sad to see things wrapped up so quickly. Less than two hundred pages felt like get shorted. But at least, I didn't have to pay the sticker price and got a free library copy. But Proby is always a joy from the sweet to the steamy scenes. Overall, fans of the Seattle clan will love the addition of Maeve and Hunter. Plus, this wouldn't be a bad starting place or sample for a newcomer or someone just looking for a quick romance read.


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

June 15, 2022 - BCPL Resume Tips

Thanks for popping in to check out our resume tip for this month! For June 2022, Brooke County Libraries are ready to share another piece of advise.

Resume Tip #20
Don't overload the reader.

It's easy to get caught up in descriptions and examples on your one-page resume. Keep in mind, your resume should always be a simple and at-a-glance one page documentation. You do not want to have text boxes and sections all over the page. Stick to a traditional and simple format, and we assure you that you'll see results. 

The same way you don't want to babble non-stop in a job interview, you don't want to exhaust your potential employer with extra information on your resume. You want to stick to the basics. And please remember, your resume is not the place to say your favorite things about previous jobs or your reason for leaving previous positions.

The most difficult section to keep clear and concise is the work experience/job history portion. You absolutely want to give a true description of your past job responsibilities. But there's no need to give a full recounting of each day on the job. And it's easy to ramble (Oh! Then, I did this too...). Stick to the most relevant tasks to the jobs you are applying for. No one at an office will care if you took out the trash if you already have a paragraph of job duties. Unless you're applying for a position on the cleaning crew of course.

Future employers will get to know you more in your job interview. You just want to catch their eye with your resume. So, don't feel like you have to include sections such as skills, volunteer history, or extensive education details unless you are looking to fill your page or include certain details. Don't put in information just for the sake of adding information.

That's it for this month! We'll see you again in July for another tip. In the meantime, don't forget to check in with your local library during your job search. They can be an excellent resource.


Monday, June 13, 2022

June 13, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer.

In the spring of 1942, young Elzbieta Rabinek is aware of the swiftly growing discord just beyond the courtyard of her comfortable Warsaw home. She has no fondness for the Germans who patrol her streets and impose their curfews, but has never given much thought to what goes on behind the walls that contain her Jewish neighbors. She knows all too well about German brutality--and that it's the reason she must conceal her true identity. But in befriending Sara, a nurse who shares her apartment floor, Elzbieta makes a discovery that propels her into a dangerous world of deception and heroism. Using Sara's credentials to smuggle children out of the ghetto brings Elzbieta face-to-face with the reality of the war behind its walls, and to the plight of the Gorka family, who must make the impossible decision to give up their newborn daughter or watch her starve. For Roman Gorka, this final injustice stirs him to rebellion with a zeal not even his newfound love for Elzbieta can suppress. But his recklessness brings unwanted attention to Sara's cause, unwittingly putting Elzbieta and her family in harm's way until one violent act threatens to destroy their chance at freedom forever.


The Rookie by Kendall Ryan.

In order to save his hockey career, Boston Titans rookie Logan Tate must meet with a sports therapist before returning to the ice, but doesn't expect therapist Summer Campbell to follow him to his family's home in Lost Haven, Colorado--or to find their connection is much more than professional.


Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods.

Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him. Amos and Fern Lapp allow Luke to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, Luke must make a sincere apology to each person he's hurt--a four-page, single-spaced list. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused. Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused . . . that isn't so simple. It's gut-wrenching. And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm. Luke's clumsy efforts to befriend Izzy only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge.


Adult Non-Fiction

The Sisters of Auschwitz by Roxane von Iperen.

The unforgettable story of two unsung heroes of World War II: sisters Janny and Lien Brilleslijper who joined the Dutch Resistance, helped save dozen of lives, were captured by the Nazis, and ultimately survived the Holocaust. Eight months after Germany's invasion of Poland, the Nazis roll into The Netherlands, expanding their reign of brutality to the Dutch. But by the Winter of 1943, resistance is growing. Among those fighting their brutal Nazi occupiers are two Jewish sisters, Janny and Lien Brilleslijper from Amsterdam. Risking arrest and death, the sisters help save others, sheltering them in a clandestine safehouse in the woods, they called "The High Nest." This secret refuge would become one of the most important Jewish safehouses in the country, serving as a hiding place and underground center for resistance partisans as well as artists condemned by Hitler. From The High Nest, an underground web of artists arises, giving hope and light to those living in terror in Holland as they begin to restore the dazzling pre-war life of Amsterdam and The Hague. When the house and its occupants are eventually betrayed, the most terrifying time of the sisters' lives begins. As Allied troops close in, the Brilleslijper family are rushed onto the last train to Auschwitz, along with Anne Frank and her family. The journey will bring Janny and Lien close to Anne and her older sister Margot. The days ahead will test the sisters beyond human imagination as they are stripped of everything but their courage, their resilience, and their love for each other.


Frommer’s EasyGuide to Washington, D.C. by Jess Moss & Kaeli Conforti.

Washington, D.C. can be an overwhelming destination for visitors. With so many museums, so many historic sights, so many working government buildings to see―not to mention its scintillating foodie and nightlife scenes―just coming up with a plan can be stressful. That's where Frommer's comes in. We've hired local journalists to supply the advice and details you need to create the right vacation for you.  These include strategies for seeing the iconic sights without fighting the crowds; places that only locals know about; and smart itineraries so you can make the most of your time in the city. Most importantly, this book was completely overhauled after the pandemic lockdowns to better reflect the city of today.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Harry Houdini by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara.  J NF

From the best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, this book profiles the life of Harry Houdini, from his humble beginnings as a child living in poverty, to his transformation into history's most famous magician and escape artist. When Ehrich emigrated to the US, his family couldn't afford to send him to school. That didn't stop him from learning-- he became a genius with cards, and even a trapeze artist! But while working as a locksmith, he realized his talent for picking locks... and the great Harry Houdini was born. He became one of the greatest escape artists of all time, and performed incredible stunts that keep us guessing today.


One for All by Lillie Lainoff.  YA

Tania de Batz is most herself with a sword in her hand. Everyone thinks her near-constant dizziness makes her weak, nothing but "a sick girl." But Tania wants to be strong, independent, a fencer like her father--a former Musketeer and her greatest champion. Then Papa is brutally, mysteriously murdered. His dying wish? For Tania to attend finishing school. But L'Académie des Mariées, Tania realizes, is no finishing school. It's a secret training ground for new Musketeers: women who are socialites on the surface, but strap daggers under their skirts, seduce men into giving up dangerous secrets, and protect France from downfall. And they don't shy away from a sword fight. With her newfound sisters at her side, Tania feels that she has a purpose, that she belongs. But then she meets Étienne, her target in uncovering a potential assassination plot. He's kind, charming--and might have information about what really happened to her father. Torn between duty and dizzying emotion, Tania will have to decide where her loyalties lie...or risk losing everything she's ever wanted.

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

Saturday, June 11, 2022

June 11, 2022 - Staff Reviews

By Robert Crais
Release Date: August 7, 2001
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

2.5 Stars - A fast-moving but problematic thriller that's a quick read. I still struggled despite the pace, however. Our hero Jeff Talley was struggling too, trying to bring his hostage negotiation skills back to form without the baggage of past traumatic experiences. Creepy but not very bright villians seem to take center stage though.

It's been many years now since I've seen the movie, and I've always been curious about Robert Crais' acclaimed suspense novels. Starting in one of his crazy long series seemed a bit daunting so I went with a simple plotted, familiar story here instead. Talley has the background and memories that would make him a really interesting central hero but Crais seemed to hold him back. We get details of his fascinating, yet sometimes horrorific, past jobs only in sporadic flashbacks. The real meat of the story is told from the hostages and their captors who are all cringe-worthy in their own ways.

My big problems with the book are pretty much the same ones I had with the movie. These are dumb criminals. And that's okay as a fact because a lot of criminals are dumb, that doesn't make them less entertaining. But Mars and Dennis sway from stupid to unhinged like they need bipolar meds. Living in their POV, albeit 3rd person, is just weird. They aren't smart or clever or at all likable. The kids in the house are almost even harder to like. The girl is sometimes logical and then just completely caves and freaks out, draws attention to herself. The brother is gross, and I get why they made him a little kid in the movie. Despite all the stupidity, I can see why Crais has many fans. His writing style is very sharp and to the point. And he has a way of crafting colorful side characters and injecting humor into a dark story. There's an element too of how dated this book quickly became, technology being what it is. I can't say the ending was shocking or really thrilling since I already knew what was coming. But despite my hang ups, this was a very tense drama that's plotted and written well.


Thursday, June 9, 2022

June 9, 2022 - Book Club Preview

Brooke County Libraries are excited to share our Book Club Pick for June 2022! This month we're reading and discussing Unpunished by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

About the meeting -
This month's discussion will be on Thursday June 30th at 5pm! We'll be meeting at BCPL as well as virtually on Zoom. Please call us for more info.

About the book-
Written in the late 1920s and never before published, this mystery by the author of such early feminist classics as The Yellow Wall-Paper is a major literary find. Gilman's first and only detective novel recounts the murder of a pernicious attorney who has been shot, stabbed, bludgeoned, strangled and poisoned. The husband-and-wife detective team present a model of true partnership, while the unfolding details of the case offer poignant evidence of the injustice that poor and powerless women can suffer at the hands of a brutal man. Gilman weaves her case for women's freedom and empowerment into a mystery rich in twists and turns, colorful characters, red herrings, suspense and wry humor.

About the author-
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an American humanist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry and nonfiction, and a lecturer for social reform. She was a utopian feminist and served as a role model for future generations of feminists because of her unorthodox concepts and lifestyle. She has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. Her best remembered work today is her semi-autobiographical short story "The Yellow Wallpaper", which she wrote after a severe bout of postpartum psychosis.

Did you read this story or this author's work and love it? Feel free to us know in the comments, in person, or on one of our social media pages!

As always, all the images and info are courtesy of our OPAC system, WV Reads, Google, Wikipedia, and author webpages.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

June 8, 2022 - Staff Reviews

The Wallflower Wager
By Tessa Dare
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Ebook Available from WV Reads

4 Stars - This regency romance was so much fun! Tessa Dare is at her best here with the tale of supposedly ruthless Gabe meeting his match in his new neighbor, quirky animal-lover Penny. Somehow this one can be sweet without getting too sappy and even throwing in a bit of suspense. I think it's a must for period romance fans and an easy, delightful read even for a read who is not.

While not quite as excellent as the previous book in the series, I enjoyed just about every minute of Gabe and Penny's story. I won't say these are filled with super original content but that's part of what's so fun about this genre. Penny's got a mysterious history that keeps her from branching out from her wallflower life. And with her friends getting married and starting families, she's more on her own than ever. Gabe's basically sworn off relationships, romantic and friendship, and prefers to focus on business. But moving next to Penny throws his life into turbulance. He adapts quickly though and is almost immediately a caring and clever partner to her.

Of course, I loved the return of the previous couples, and a few times they honestly stole the scenes. This can be read as a standalone. But the first two stories are more than worth the read. Penny's secret back story keeps things extra interesting while we learn more about Gabe's. They bond over past hurts that are very different but none the less help to understand each other. Dare has a great way of pacing this story where as soon as one little adventure ends, something else picks up, and I was happy to keep turning pages. Things turned steamy around the halfway point but there was a lot more to this couple than their combustable chemisty. A few scenes did seem a bit overlong here and there. And I would have liked to see more focus on Penny's past and some of the story's villians toward the end rather than a bit of quickly cleared up relationship drama. Otherwise, this was a very fun read with good dialouge and great characters. Definitely worth picking up.


Monday, June 6, 2022

June 6, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

The Bookseller’s Promise by Beth Wiseman.

Yvonne Wilson makes the trek from Texas to Indiana with just one goal in mind: to convince Amishman Jake Lantz to sell her client a rare book from his collection. But Jake is as strong-willed as Yvonne. On the eve of his grandfather's death, Jake vowed never to sell the book, and he intends to keep that promise. But he can't say more than that, having never read it and not knowing why it was so dear to his grossdaadi. Eva Graber has loved Jake since he hired her to work in his bookstore years ago, but he doesn't seem to notice she's blossomed into a beautiful woman. When Yvonne shows up and seems like she might turn Jake's eye, Eva suggests she and Jake should read the book together. What happens after that surprises them all, and the book leads the trio deep into mysterious questions about life and death, love and loss, and the impenetrable purposes of God.


The Jackal by J. R. Ward.

The location of the glymera's notorious prison camp was lost after the raids. When a freak accident provides Nyx clues to where her sister may still be doing time, she becomes determined to find the secret subterranean labyrinth. Embarking on a journey under the earth, she learns a terrible truth -- and meets a male who changes everything forever. The Jackal has been in the camp for so long he cannot recall anything of the freedom he once knew. Trapped by circumstances out of his control, he helps Nyx because he cannot help himself. After she discovers what happened to her sister, getting her back out becomes a deadly mission for them both. United by a passion they can't deny, they work together on an escape plan for Nyx--even though their destiny is to be forever apart. And as the Black Dagger Brotherhood is called upon for help, and Rhage discovers he has a half-brother who's falsely imprisoned, a devious warden plots the deaths of them all...even the Brothers.


To the River’s End by William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone.

"Luke Ransom was just eighteen years old when he answered an ad in a St. Louis newspaper that would change his life forever. The American Fur Company needed one hundred enterprising men to travel up the Missouri River--the longest in North America--all the way to its source. They would hunt and trap furs for one, two, or three years. Along the way, they would face unimaginable hardships: grueling weather, wild animals, hunger, exhaustion, and hostile attacks by the Blackfeet and Arikara. Luke Ransom was one of the brave men chosen for the job--and one of the few to survive...Five years later, Luke is a seasoned trapper and hunter, a master of his trade. The year is 1833, and the American Fur Company is sending him to the now-famous Rendezvous at Green River. For Luke, it may be his last job for the company. After facing death countless times, he is ready to strike out on his own. But when he encounters a fellow trapper under attack by Indians, his life takes an unexpected turn. A new friendship is forged in blood. And a dangerous new journey begins."-- Provided by publisher.


Adult Non-Fiction

Good Enough by Kate Bowler & Jessica Richie.

In their first-ever devotional book, Kate Bowler and co-author Jessica Richie offer 40ish short spiritual reflections on how we can make sense of life not as a pursuit of endless progress but as a chronic condition. This book is a companion for when you want to stop feeling guilty that you're not living your best life now. Written gently and with humor, Good Enough is permission for all those who need to hear that there are some things you can fix--and some things you can't. And it's okay that life isn't always better. In these gorgeously written reflections, Bowler and Richie offer fresh imagination for how truth, beauty, and meaning can be discovered amid the chaos of life. Their words celebrate kindness, honesty, and interdependence in a culture that rewards ruthless individualism and blind optimism. Ultimately, in these pages we can rest in the encouragement to strive for what is possible today--while recognizing that though we are finite, the life in front of us can be beautiful.


The Impossible First by Colin O’Brady.

Prior to December 2018, no individual had ever crossed the landmass of Antarctica alone, without support and completely human powered. Yet, Colin O'Brady was determined to do just that, even if, ten years earlier, there was doubt that he'd ever walk again normally. From the depths of a tragic accident, he fought his way back. In a quest to unlock his potential and discover what was possible, he went on to set three mountaineering world records before turning to this historic Antarctic challenge. O'Brady's pursuit of a goal that had eluded many others was made even more intense by a head-to-head battle that emerged with British polar explorer Captain Louis Rudd--also striving to be "the first." Enduring Antarctica's sub-zero temperatures and pulling a sled that initially weighed 375 pounds--in complete isolation and through a succession of whiteouts, storms, and a series of near disasters--O'Brady persevered. Alone with his thoughts for nearly two months in the vastness of the frozen continent--gripped by fear and doubt--he reflected on his past, seeking courage and inspiration in the relationships and experiences that had shaped his life.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Pirate Ships by Kenny Abdo.  J NF

This title focuses on Pirate Ships! It takes a deep look into famous pirates like Black Bart, Henry Avery, and William Kidd along with their flagships.


Squidding Around by Kevin Sherry.  J GN

When a silly prank lands Squizzard in deep trouble, he comes down with a case of the barnacle blues. Instead of going to the Coral Carnival with his friends, he'll have to do the swim-possible and turn Seaweed Elementary's junk-filled basement into an activity room for after-school clubs. But there just may be hidden treasures to discover if Squizzard can stop all the funny business long enough to find them...

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