Wednesday, July 27, 2022

July 27, 2022 - BCPL Children's Series of the Month

Welcome back! We're in the middle of Summer Reading and halfway through our profiles on our young readers' favorites.

For July 2022, we are featuring the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riodan. This beloved mythology and fantasy fiction series is popular with middle schoolers but really readers of all ages!

Percy Jackson & the Olympians is a pentalogy of fantasy novels written by Irish-American author Rick Riordan, and the first book series in the Camp Half-Blood Chronicles. The novels are set in a world with the Greek gods in the 21st century, and follows the protagonist Percy Jackson, a young demigod who must prevent the Titans from destroying the world.

Richard Russell Riordan Jr. (/ˈraɪərdən/; born June 5, 1964) is an American author. He is known for writing the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. Riordan's books have been translated into forty-two languages and sold more than thirty million copies in the US. 20th Century Fox adapted the first two books of his Percy Jackson series as part of a series of films. His books have spawned related media, such as graphic novels and short story collections.

Riordan was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from Alamo Heights High School, and first attended the music program at North Texas State University, wanting to be a guitarist. He transferred to the University of Texas at Austin and studied English and History. He received his teaching certification in those subjects from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He taught English and Social Studies for eight years at Presidio Hill School in San Francisco.

He conceived the idea for the Percy Jackson series as bedtime stories about ancient Greek heroes for his son Haley. Haley had been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, inspiring Riordan to make the titular protagonist hyperactive and dyslexic. Riordan published the first novel in the series, The Lightning Thief, in 2005. Four sequels followed, with the last, The Last Olympian, in 2009.

Prior to Percy Jackson, Riordan had written the Tres Navarres series, a series of mystery novels for adult readers.

Set in the mid-2000s, the series follows the story of Percy Jackson, a boy who discovers he is a demigod son of Poseidon. He was abandoned by his father because of an oath made by the Big Three (Zeus, Poseidon and Hades), the sons of Cronos, to not father any more children after World War II. The oath was sworn since the demigod children of the three gods are too powerful and have potential for great bloodshed (in-universe, World War II had been a fight between children of the Big Three). Percy's journey turns even more electrifying when he discovers that numerous people and ancient monsters are trying to kill him due to his status as a demigod, latent strength, and growing influence in the Greek world. Percy also finds out that there are even more demigods like him in Camp Half-Blood, a training camp in Long Island.

With his friend Annabeth Chase, and his best friend and companion Grover Underwood (a satyr who Percy finds out is actually his protector), his journey across the frightening mystic worlds begins. Percy soon finds himself fulfilling extraordinary quests, prophecies, and fighting battles with and for the gods against the rising threat of the Titans. He also finds himself at a crossroads: either he helps in the destruction of the world, or in preserving it.

Are you a fan of Percy Jackson? What's your favorite book in the series? Let us know in the comment section or on any of our social media pages! We'd love to hear from you.

Intrigued by this series and this author? Check out some of the titles we have available from WV Reads!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

July 26, 2022 - Staff Reviews


The Legacy
By Elle Kennedy
Release Date: September 21, 2021
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - This adorable return to the legacy of the off-campus crew is worth the read for any fan of the series and new adult genre. New adult writing has been on a decline of late but Kennedy makes it fun to revisit those days. While it felt a bit longer than I expected, she's worked in everything that's lovable yet also problematic about romance sequels.

So with this review, I have to touch on four couples and four stories so forgive me if I get extra wordy by the end. This was much more than a few brief extended epilouge novellas, which was great! All too often the reader doesn't get their time or money's worth. It had been a long time since I read the original stories and I was also excited to see some side characters from the spin-off series appear too. All the romances and the bro-mances are back and as good as ever. Plus, Kennedy really never fails to amaze me with her talents with male POV and managing to work in humor plus a little suspense. Her stories never fail to feel real.

Down to the finer details now. We have the real double edge sword in this book of why return to couples who are already happily living ever after? Grace and Logan's story which focused on them finding their next relationship step was unfortunately the peak here for me. Not just because they werey fave couple way back when. They really seem to grow and support each other.   Dean and Allie's story sort of blew by for me. They are maybe getting engaged. Their immaturity levels were always the hardest for me, little change here. And Allie's feelings about relationship progress and her actor friends annoyed me. But they're still hot and cute at least. Tuck and Sabrina go on their screwball comedy riddled honeymoon, and it's a steamy few pages then a lot of crazy. New friends, new jobs, etc. all appear on the horizon for them. Hannah and Garrett were saved for last and it's not really a spoiler she gets pregnant unexpectedly. But they barely handled the situation at all, let alone admirably for two grown people in a supposedly healthy relationship. At least once they got their act together, it was cute city. Was it engaging and exciting to see these couples again? Of course! But sadly, at least half these characters don't seem to have matured much. And some conflicts seemed thrown in for the sake of drama which I don't really think belongs in epilouges. Maybe we can revisit them again in another five or ten years!


Monday, July 25, 2022

July 25, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Bucko by Cliff Farrell.

"Everyone believed Matt Battles and his pal Johnny Kidd had been in on a train robbery, but there was no proof other than the fact that Johnny was supposed to be guarding the shipment and had disappeared. Then Sheriff Tom Chisholm offered Matt a chance to clear their names. After pulling a fake robbery of the mercantile, Matt would be sent to Stone Lodge prison to get close to the ones the sheriff believed had robbed the train, escape with them, and recover the stolen gold to clear his name. But when Matt arrives at the mercantile, someone else has already robbed it and killed the owner. The only reason Matt isn't hanged is because they hope he will reveal what he did with the $30,000 dollars that was stolen. He is sent to Stone Lodge, not sure if the sheriff's plan will work or if he will ever be able to prove his innocence of either crime."-- Provided by publisher.


Dead Man’s Grave by Neil Lancaster.

The head of Scotland's most powerful crime family is brutally murdered, his body dumped inside an ancient grave in a remote cemetery. Detectives Max Craigie and Janie Calder arrive at the scene, a small town where everyone has secrets to hide. They soon realize this murder is part of a blood feud between two Scottish families that stretches back to the 1800s. One thing's for certain: it might be the latest killing, but it won't be the last...As the body count rises, the investigation uncovers large-scale corruption at the heart of the Scottish Police Service. Now Max and Janie must turn against their closest colleagues - to solve a case that could cost them far more than just their lives...


Love in the Time of Bertie by Alexander McCall Smith.

"In the microcosm of 44 Scotland Street, all of life's richness is found in the glorious goings-on of its residents. There’s Domenica, whose anthropological training has honed her observations of her neighbors; Matthew, whose growing triplets are more than a handful; Bruce, whose challenge as ever is thinking of anything but himself; and Big Lou, who may just have found her shot at romance. And of course, there's young Bertie Pollock, whose starry-eyed explorations of Edinburgh's New Town are a touching reminder that life itself is an adventure and there’s joy to be found wherever you choose to look."-- Provided by publisher


Adult Non-Fiction

Wastelands by Corban Addison.

The once idyllic coastal plain of North Carolina is home to a close-knit, rural community that for more than a generation has battled the polluting practices of large-scale farming taking place in its own backyard. After years of frustration and futility, an impassioned cadre of local residents, led by a team of intrepid and dedicated lawyers, filed a lawsuit against one of the world's most powerful companies--and, miraculously, they won.


No-Dig Gardening by Bella Linde & Lena Granefelt.

"The no-dig or no-till gardening method is an easy and climate-smart technique that is gaining in popularity and revolutionizing the gardening world. This book teaches you everything you need to start and care for a kitchen garden without any digging, watering, or weeding. Too good to be true? Find out for yourself! No-dig gardening is better for the environment, easier on your back, and yields abundant vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Learn everything you need to get started!"-- Provided by publisher.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

I Am Not a Penguin by Liz Wong.  E

Poor Pangolin! He's trying to explain who he is, but the other animals keep getting confused. A pangolin might be a very unusual animal, but in this very funny story of mix-ups and misunderstandings, he discovers the rarest creature of all: a friend who really listens and likes you for who you are.


All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman.  YA

Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death. The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world--one thought long depleted. But this year a scandalous tell-all book has exposed the tournament and thrust the seven new champions into the worldwide spotlight. The book also granted them valuable information previous champions never had--insight into the other families' strategies, secrets, and weaknesses. And most important, it gave them a choice: accept their fate or rewrite their legacy. Either way, this is a story that must be penned in blood.

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

July 20, 2022 - Staff Reviews

Marriage on Madison Avenue
By Lauren Layne
Release Date: January 28, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

4 Stars! - A nearly perfect friends to lovers romance with an excellent fake engagement set up. Clarke and Audrey are basically the ideal couple everyone can see but them of course. Neither can bring themselves to call off the fake wedding and their chemistry really makes this slow burn worth the read.

Lauren Layne has a way of making even the simplest or basic of moments romantic, and her ability in that shines here. Audrey is a very likable heroine, a sweet society girl whose childhood friendship with Clarke has seen her through the worst of times. I'm still not a fan of the series set up with Brayden. It does, however, her lack of trust is understandable. Clarke's pretty indecisive the whole book. But he's always there for Audrey and cares about her so genuienely.

Audrey's friendship with Naomi and Claire has a chunk of this story as well, and it continues to grow through all the wedding planning hoopla. It's cute and fun to see her friends know her better than she knows herself. Plus, their hunky guys return too. I will say Audrey and Clarke have the classic miscommunication problems going on the entire book, and it can get frustrating. And worth noting, Layne's signature steamy scenes are completely absent here. Also, I went into this with low expectations but by halfway through, I was undeniably hooked. I think that's when the story peaked though. Lauren teased us with build up scenes that had the potential to be really dynamic, but they sort of came and went quietly without much of a bang. Like the whole ski lodge trip. The ending was much the same. The payoff was sweet and satisyfing, but I still felt like there was more fleshing out to do there after so much build up the first half of the book. Overall though, this was a fabulous little romantic comedy sure to please.


Tuesday, July 19, 2022

July 19, 2022 - A Book & A Recipe

Check out this July's dinner and a recipe idea presented by Brooke County Libraries! This month we're featuring Love-Me-Tenderloin Grilled Steaks from The Whole Enchilada by Diane Mott Davidson.

Let's get started! You don't even have to use the grill...

4 6 oz filet mignon steaks, each 1 1/2 to 2 in. thick (works best for prime grade from Costco)
1/4 cup of garlic oil (works best with Boyajian from Sur La Table)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

*This recipe must be made using a digital prob meat thermometer and tongs

1. Allow steaks to come to room temp. Pre heat oven to 350. Have thermometer ready.
2. Take steaks out of the package and pat both sides with paper towels until dry.
3. Heat a large ovenproof grill pan on the stovetop over high heat.
4. Once hot, add the oil and heat for about 5 seconds.
5. Lay steaks in the pan.
6. Lower the high to med. high.
7. Sprinkle the steaks lightly with salt and pepper.
8. Cook for one minute only.
9. Using tongs, flip the steaks and remove pan from heat.
10. Insert meat thermometer into one steak and place grill pan in the over.
11. Cook until thermometer indicates 125 degrees F (medium rare).
12. Remove pan from oven and loosely cover it with foil for 5 minutes.

Images courtesy of Google, WV Reads, etc.

We hope it makes for a delicious summer lunch or dinner!

If you give it a try, be sure to leave us a comment below or on one of our social media pages.

Intrigued by The Whole Enchilada? Check out our ebook copy on WV Reads and get into the mystery.

Monday, July 18, 2022

July 18, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Deadly Commitment by Kathy Harris.

"As Danielle Kemp walks out of her downtown Nashville condominium, she gets the eerie feeling someone is watching her. As days go by, she becomes convinced the homeless man outside her building is stalking her. But after learning the real identity of the intimidating stranger, she faces something even more threatening-the truth about her fiancé."-- Provided by publisher.


The Russian by Ben Coes.

When a powerful Russian mob family declares war by publicly executing two high-profile American politicians, the message is unmistakable -- opposition will be met with overwhelming deadly force. With no other viable options, the President creates a clandestine assassinations team to find and eliminate the unreachable men running this deadly criminal operation.


Thirst of Steel by Ronie Kendig.

"Cole 'Tox' Russell only wants to begin his life with Haven Cortes, but he and his team must first complete a final mission: retrieve the sword of Goliath and destroy the deadly Arrow & Flame Order."-- Provided by publisher.


Adult Non-Fiction

Eat Your Heart Out by Daphne Oz.

Daphne Oz loves food. In fact, she's built her career around this love of exploring and enjoying the world, bite after wonderful bite. But she knows first-hand how endless indulging robs you of the truly memorable moments - and makes it hard to stay healthy. On the other hand, restricting ourselves with too many rules means we stop enjoying mealtime and start missing out. With four young children and a busy career, Daphne is intimately familiar with how hard it can be to find the right balance in our health and fitness goals, especially when living a full life. In this engaging book, filled with useful tips and gorgeous photography to inspire health and happiness every day, Daphne shares the techniques she's used to get her mind, energy and body back on track after each pregnancy--without ever losing the joy of cooking, the fun of mealtime, and the stress-free pleasure of doing it intuitively. In the times when she's looking to bring her body back into balance, Daphne lives by just four simple rules that remove the guesswork from healthy eating and let us relax and enjoy our meals again, knowing we're making great choices.


An Extravagant Life by Stuart Woods.

Over the last forty years, Stuart Woods has written more than ninety novels of suspense and intrigue, beginning with the award-winning Chiefs. Featuring iconic crime-fighting and jet-setting leads, the plots are masterfully conceived and wonderfully escapist. What many readers don't know is that Woods's very own life was filled with similar stories of adventure. Born in Georgia, Woods worked in advertising in New York, served in the US Air Force, and had a short stint as an advance man. At the age of 37, he found himself in a transatlantic sailing race, and pursued writing as a full-time career shortly thereafter. Along the way, Woods has lived all over the world, from New York to London, Santa Fe to Ireland. Incorporating his iconic sailing memoir Blue Water, Green Skipper, this is the story of a life well-lived, and a special inside look into the beloved author's many exploits.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After by Rachel Renée Russell.  J

After a bump on the head in gym class on April Fool's Day, Nikki has a wild dream in which she, her BFFs Chloe and Zoey, her crush Brandon, and mean girl MacKenzie all end up playing the roles of some familiar classic fairy tale characters. Of course, the stories don't go quite as expected--because they each have a very special Dork Diaries spin!


Inky the Octopus by Erin Guendelsberger.  E

Follow Inky the octopus as he escapes from the National Aquarium of New Zealand to the ocean!

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

Thursday, July 14, 2022

July 14, 2022 - Staff Reviews

A Perfect Plan
By Jeffery Deaver
Release Date: September 28, 2021
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - An intense short story from the Lincoln Rhyme series that's sure spark the reader's interest. Our hero seems to be dodging everthing from bombs to poison as a mysterious enemy attempts to kill him while he's inside his own small home fortress. Rhyme has help from his friends though and he's not one to wait to see who is working against him.

This is but a glimpse of Deaver's suspense writing talents but it's a fair one. He manages to pack a lot of drama into the brief story. Lincoln's not one to sit still despite his disabilities. From the time he is warned - through a tip - that's someone's out to get him, his brilliant mind is working overtime. His lovely wife Amelia returns though not just as a target but as the smart and astute partner and investigator she is. Her part is probably disappointly small though for her personal fans. Plus many of Lincoln's quirky friends and a slew of cops come to help.

This short story is right up the alley for any fans of forensic mysteries or who-dun-its. Rhyme manages to stay just a step or two ahead of the people targeting him all the way, using just his wits. The technical details can get a bit tedious. And it's difficult for Deaver to repeatedly build tension here as he would in a full length novel. But what a tv show episode this would make! It's exactly like the popular 60 minute police procedurals we get so addicted to. There's also some room for a little humor, particularly poking fun at Lincoln's resistance to modern slang and pop culture. I think we all know someone like him who refuses to conform to all that of the times. If you're looking a quick thriller to pass time or a dull day or a vacation day, this would be perfect. I would think especially for fans of this series or Deaver's other work. You don't have to spend hours solving this mystery just sit back and enjoy.


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

July 13, 2022 - BCPL Resume Tips

Hello again, job seekers!

This July's resume tip is short and simple.

Resume Tip #21 - Include certifications.

Many people do not think that certifications do not belong in the education section of a resume. But that's not true! That's exactly where they should be listed as long as they are relevant to the position you are applying for and/or are still valid.

Any programs you complete to better yourself as a worker are worth including. They show your ability to put in a little extra effort and perform at a standard. Maybe you just completed an equipment-related class at your last job position or are expanding your knowledge with technical training. 

As long as the certification is not expiring, you should include it. You may not think it's relevant, but you have page space to fill, it could be worth it.

We told ya this would be short and sweet. Remember your library is a great place to get help with you job search!

Monday, July 11, 2022

July 11, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Button Man by Andrew Gross.

1930s, New York's Lower East Side. At the death of their father, Morris Rabishevsky, twelve, apprenticed himself to a garment cutter in a clothing factory; Sol headed to accounting school; but Harry fell in with a gang of thugs. Morris steadily climbs through the ranks at the factory, goes out on his own, and convinces Sol to come work with him. But Harry can't be lured away from the power and the money that come from his association with Louis Buchalter, the most ruthless mobster in New York. When Buchalter sets his sights on the unions that staff the garment makers' factories, he pits brother against brother.


Mac on a Hot Tin Roof by Melinda Metz.

"As a tabby cat with criminal tendencies, MacGyver is always a whisker away from trouble. But when he stumbles upon a litter of four motherless kittens, he really has his paws full. The prime suspect in a series of thefts at Storybook Court with two local detectives on his tail, he's determined to sniff out the real thief. But when he gets a whiff of romance in the air, he can't resist a little matchmaking, too. One of the detectives seems awfully fond of the aspiring actress who moved into the neighborhood. And his partner looks like she could use a hug, too. With a little help from those adorable kittens, Mac is sure that love will save the day."-- Provided by publisher.


Just After Midnight by Catherine Ryan Hyde.

No longer tolerating her husband's borderline abuse, Faith escapes to her parents' California beach house to plan her next move. She never dreamed her new chapter would involve befriending Sarah, a fourteen-year-old girl on the run from her father and reeling from her mother's sudden and suspicious death.


Adult Non-Fiction

Everest 1922 by Mick Conefrey.

The first attempt on Everest in 1922 by George Leigh Mallory and a British team is an extraordinary story full of controversy, drama, and incident, populated by a set of larger-than-life characters straight out of an adventure novel. The expedition ended in tragedy when, on their third bid for the top, Mallory's party was hit by an avalanche that left seven men dead. Using diaries, letters, and unpublished accounts, Mick Conefrey creates a rich, character-driven narrative that explores the motivations and private dramas of the key individuals--detailing their backroom politics and bitter rivalries--who masterminded this epic adventure.


A Sacred Oath by Mark T. Esper.

From June of 2019 until his firing by President Trump after the November 2020 election, Secretary Mark T. Esper led the Department of Defense through an unprecedented time in history--a period marked by growing threats and conflict abroad, a global pandemic unseen in a century, the greatest domestic unrest in two generations, and a White House seemingly bent on breaking accepted norms and conventions for political advantage. A Sacred Oath is Secretary Esper's unvarnished and candid memoir of those extraordinary and dangerous times, and includes events and moments never before told.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Ironhead, or Once a Young Lady by Jean-Claude Rijckeghem.  YA

Eighteen-year-old Constance is not interested in marriage or in being a "young lady." But for a young woman coming of age in the early 1800s, that's just about all that's available to her. When her parents arrange her a marriage with a man more than twice her age, she's powerless to resist. Stance couldn't possibly find her newfound husband less appealing, but what can she do? Here's what: Four months into the marriage, she can slip out of their bed in the middle of the night, and she can put on his clothes. She can look in the mirror and like what she sees. She can sneak out of the house before dawn and visit the baker's scrawny son, who has just been drafted into the army, and offer to take his place. Hot on Stance's tail all the while is her younger brother Pieter, determined to bring Stance back home to Ghent where she belongs. (The battlefield is no place for a young lady, after all.)


The Arts by Susie Hodge, David Taylor, Joe Fullman, & Peter Chrisp.  J NF

The greatest art exhibition at your fingertips! Packed with fascinating facts, clear explanations, and stunning photography, this awe-inspiring art encyclopedia for kids aged 9-12 years takes you on a magical tour through time exploring every artistic style and movement in stunning detail. From Leonardo da Vinci's iconic Mona Lisa to Vincent van Gogh's spectacular The Starry Night, this art history book celebrates the lives of groundbreaking artists and their most famous art masterpieces. Get to grips with world-famous sculptures, such as the ancient Chinese Terracotta Army and Henry Moore's beautiful bronze casts. Then find out about photography, from the development of the camera to pioneering photographers such as Johannes Vermeer and Julia Margaret Cameron.

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

Friday, July 8, 2022

July 8, 2022 - Staff Reviews

By Jaci Burton
Release Date: December 21, 2021
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - This short and sweet little story was a surprise without being full of surprises. Instead of Burton's usually low key romances of late, this was actually an intense re-release from her early days. There's not a lot of conflict but there's a lot of cowgirl atmosphere and fun to be had. A bit predictable but more to it than expected.

Burton's earlier works are quite scandalous, and this one turned out to be no exception. Fans of her newer cowboy trilogy may want to look for something less steamy. I had been expecting something more along her newer lines but was none the less entertained. Walker's got the strong and silent cowboy part down. He's smooth and confident one minute but a bit broody and indecisive the next. Jolene's wild cowgirl, the baby sister who is happy in the country and running her ranch. I didn't quite get the vibe Burton was going for outside of that though. She didn't come off with an edge or as a mix of innocent and strong like she was trying to illustrate.

Now, there's a lot of build up and talking about Jolene and Walker's relationship or rather lack there of. It takes awhile for them to let their physical attraction actually fire up and even longer for them to let their guards down emotionally. It gets a bit tedious, but Burton hasn't quite honed her writing style here. It can get annoying hearing the same observations from different characters repeated. And Burton's got some rambling descriptions and run on sentences abound. It's just not very polished, but it's a novella so there's no time for it to really wear on the reader. The side characters aren't super deep but they're likable. These main two characters have sizzling chemistry though and a shared passion for ranch life. There was so much more country mood and atmosphere than I anticipated, but it was great. If you're into cowboy and cowgirl romances and you don't mind them a little dirty and rough around this edges, this one is sure to pass the time.


Wednesday, July 6, 2022

July 6, 2022 - Book Club Preview

Welcome back, book club readers!

This July BCPL book club is reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. 

Our meeting will be held in person and virtual on Thursday, July 28th at 5pm!

About the book-

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years

About the author - 

Mark Haddon is a British novelist and poet, best known for his 2003 novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. He was educated at Uppingham School and Merton College, Oxford, where he studied English.

In 2003, Haddon won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and in 2004, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize Overall Best First Book for his novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, a book which is written from the perspective of a boy with Aspergers syndrome. Haddon's knowledge of Aspergers syndrome, a type of autism, comes from his work with autistic people as a young man. In an interview at, Haddon claimed that this was the first book that he wrote intentionally for an adult audience; he was surprised when his publisher suggested marketing it to both adult and child audiences. His second adult-novel, A Spot of Bother, was published in September 2006.

Mark Haddon is also known for his series of Agent Z books, one of which, Agent Z and the Penguin from Mars, was made into a 1996 Children's BBC sitcom. He also wrote the screenplay for the BBC television adaptation of Raymond Briggs's story Fungus the Bogeyman, screened on BBC1 in 2004. He also wrote the 2007 BBC television drama Coming Down the Mountain.

Haddon is a vegetarian, and enjoys vegetarian cookery. He describes himself as a 'hard-line atheist'. In an interview with The Observer, Haddon said "I am atheist in a very religious mould". His atheism might be inferred from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time in which the main character declares that those who believe in God are stupid.

Mark Haddon lives in Oxford with his wife Dr. Sos Eltis, a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, and their two young sons. 

Interested in this story? Check out our ebook copy on WV Reads:

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

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

July 5, 2022 - Staff Reviews

The Wish
By Nicolas Sparks
Release Date: September 28, 2021
Audiobook Available from WV Reads!

2 Stars - A sweet and touching but slow drama from Sparks. While he's still a talented writer, his flair for romance seems to have faultered here again. I felt like he just wanted to make readers cry this time. Maggie's a likable heroine but most of her adventurous days are behind her with her cancer diagnosis looming. It's a poetic trip through her memories and journeys with new friends though.

I was disappointed when the book turned out to be more about what the blurb didn't include. Of course, lovers of Sparks' sappy stories will still find stuff to gush over, and he appears to have retained his touch for gorgeous settings and wordy but beautiful descriptions. Maggie's a little hard to relate to though, I suspect for most people. Though I'm sure her struggle resonate or inspire a handful of readers. She's lived life from small towns to traveling the globe, but her heart stayed with Bryce. Unfortunately, we don't really get enough of him. He's caring, loyal, and smart with a tough side.

So, the narration didn't sell me on this one. Mela Lee sounded like she was droning along from the first page. Will Collyer provided a nice break from her basically. It will be tough to go from here without any spoilers but I think my main disappointment was though that the plot of this one just didn't grab me. This has some of the sparks or the yearning so well conveyed in The Notebook ages ago. But the set up here doesn't produce the same overall effect. And this is possibly more similar to The Longest Ride with having Maggie's assistant struggling to forge her own love story along the way. But this lacks the balance of that novel between couples. We all know what we're getting with Sparks' stories, definitely why some love and some hate him. So of course the sad ending and the bittersweet memories of star-crossed lovers is expected. But there was an undertone of sadness this one had from the beginning that kept me from enjoying it. I think Sparks left a lot of Maggie and Bryce's romance behind for a more spiritual and introspective story.


Monday, July 4, 2022

July 4, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar.

"When the daughter of a prominent Roman general meets a disinherited Jewish immigrant, neither one can dream of God's plan to transform them into the most influential couple of the early church. Nor can they anticipate the mountains that will threaten to bury them. Their courtship unwittingly shadowed by murder and betrayal, Priscilla and Aquila slowly work to build a community of believers, while their lives grow increasingly complicated thanks to a shaggy dog, a mysterious runaway, and a ruthless foe desperate for love. But when they're banished from their home by a capricious emperor, they must join forces with an unusual rabbi named Paul and fight to turn treachery into redemption."-- Provided by publisher.


The Running Horses by Fred Grove.

There were few horse breeders in the West to equal Lee Banner: the man was a born horseman who took any job he could find to keep his small Oklahoma spread going and to help him fulfill his lifelong dream of seeing one of his two-year-olds in the All-American Winners Circle. A few years back Banner was certain he had a winner in Land Rush; then in mid-season the black stallion went down in a three-horse tangle on a muddy track. It had been a costly, bitter blow, but now Banner had a young filly that showed the same promise. It would take every last cent he had to qualify for the All-American Futurity at Ruidosa Downs, and every bit of faith he could muster. Lee Banner wondered if he wasn't crazy to dream again . . . and knew he had no choice.


Unscripted by Davis Bunn.

Young line producer Danny Byrd is well-known in Hollywood for being someone who gets things done on time and under budget. But when his reputation takes a beating after his partner-- and former best friend-- makes off with their investors' money, Danny has but one chance to redeem himself and restore his ruined career. LA lawyer Megan Pierce sacrificed years proving herself to bosses only to be disgusted by their snobbery and their specious business practices. When an opportunity to actually make a difference comes her way, she knows she has to grab it - even though she's not entirely clear what "it" is. Danny and Megan are each other's best hope for redemption. What they never could have imagined was that they might also be each other's best hope for love.


Adult Non-Fiction

Don’t Blow Yourself Up by Homer Hickam.

Homer Hickam's memoir Rocket Boys and the movie adaptation October Sky have become one of the most popular stories in the world, inspiring millions to pursue a better life. But what happened to Homer after he was a West Virginia rocket boy? In his latest memoir, Homer recounts his life in college where he built the world's biggest, baddest game cannon, fought through some of the worst battles in Vietnam, became a scuba instructor, discovered sunken U-boats, wrote the definitive account of a World War II naval battle, befriended Tom Clancy, made a desperate attempt to save the passengers of a sunken river boat, trained the first Japanese astronauts, taught David Letterman to scuba dive, helped to fix the Hubble Space Telescope, wrote his number one bestselling Rocket Boys, and was on set during the making of October Sky. Although told with humor and wit, Hickam does not shy away from the pain and hardship endured and the mistakes he made during the tumultuous decades since his life in the town he made famous--Coalwood, West Virginia.


Reading Together by Noah Brown, Dominic de Bettencourt, Luci Doherty, Owen Lowe-Rogstad, Ronan McCann, & their moms.

This book is the first guide to parent-child book clubs. Written by a group of moms and their adolescent children who started a book club while the kids were in first grade, this how-to book shares the dos and don'ts they learned over more than 100 meetings and 100 books. Brimming with insight and inspiration, Reading Together includes the details of organizing and structuring meetings, tips on finding diverse books and choosing titles that spur discussion, common book club challenges and how to overcome them, and more. Readers will also find plenty of curated booklists with brilliant recommendations for middle grade and YA readers across genres, from sci-fi to mystery, adventure, and graphic novels. This book is a go-to gift for bookish parents who hope to raise a reader and connect with their community through the magic of books.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea by Raina Telgemeier.  J GN

Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Baby-sitters Club. Whatever comes up -- cranky toddlers, huge dogs, scary neighbors, prank calls -- you can count on them to save the day. Baby-sitting isn't always easy, and neither is dealing with strict parents, new families, fashion emergencies, and mysterious secrets. But no matter what, the BSC have what they need most: friendship.


The Bad Guys: The Furball Strikes Back by Aaron Blabey.  J

Mr. Wolf and his bad buddies have messed with the wrong guinea pig -- one who is secretly an evil mad scientist. And the nasty little furball wants revenge! Will they survive? Will they be heroes? And will they ever stop trying to eat each other?!?It's time for the Bad Guys to spring into action!

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

Friday, July 1, 2022

June 2022 - Virtual Book Talk - Abigail Silver

Did you miss Abigail's virtual book talk about their book: "Child of Awareness"?

No worries! 

It can be viewed via YouTube @:

You can also dial in to 800-581-5119 and choose option # 45 to listen. 

May 2022 - Virtual Book Talk - Fred Leavitt

Did you miss Fred's virtual book talk about his book: "If ignorance is Bliss, we should all be Ecstatic" ?

No worries! 

It can be viewed via YouTube @:

You can also dial in to 800-581-5119 and choose option # 44 to listen. 

July 1, 2022 - BCPL Red Hot Reads

This month we have some positively scorching stories for you! 

Check out the following list of Red Hot Reads which happen to be some of our fiction favorites. All titles are available from Brooke County Libraries, either as an ebook copy or at one of our locations.

Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein
It's August in New York, and the only thing that's hotter than the pavement is Manhattan D.A. Alex Cooper's professional and personal life. Just as she's claiming an especially gratifying victory in a rape case, she gets the call: the body of a young woman has been found in an abandoned building. The brutality of the murder is disturbing enough, but when a second body, beaten and disposed of in exactly same manner, is found off the Belt Parkway, the city's top brass want the killer found fast, before the tabloids can start churning out ghoulish serial killer headlines.

Dead Heat by Dick Francis
Max Moreton is a rising culinary star and his Newmarket restaurant, The Hay Net, has brought acclaim. But two disasters fall. Food poisoning fells banquet attendees, and a bomb explodes the private boxes at a race, killing guests and employees.

Cat in a Red Hot Rage by Carole Nelson Douglas
Cat in a Red Hot Rage is the nineteenth title in Carole Nelson Douglas's sassy Midnight Louie mystery series. This tough talking twenty-pound tomcat PI is playing at the top of his game as he walks the walk and talks the talk on the mean streets of Las Vegas.

Heat Wave by Nancy Thayer
After her husband’s sudden death, Carley Winsted is determined to keep her two daughters in their beloved home on Nantucket. To ease the family’s financial strain, she decides to transform their grand, historic house into a bed-and-breakfast. Not everyone, however, thinks this plan prudent or quite respectable—especially not Carley’s mother-in-law. Further complicating a myriad of challenges, a friend forces Carley to keep a secret that, if revealed, will undo families and friendships. And her late husband’s former law partner is making Carley confront an array of mixed feelings. Then, during a late-summer heat wave, the lives of Carley and her friends and family will be forever changed in entirely unexpected ways.

Body Heat by Carly Phillips
Physical therapist Brianne Nelson has never worked on a body this hot before....Injured detective Jake Lowell is determined to get his man. Only, he finds his woman first.Night after night, Brianne has fantasized about the sexy stranger she met at the cafe where she works part-time. She never guesses that stranger will turn out to be a client....

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz
Ex-cop Luther Malone, lifelong member of the secretive paranormal organization known as the Arcane Society, is waiting to meet Grace Renquist. Hired as an aura-reading consultant in the quest for a murder suspect, she’s got zero field experience. She’s from tiny Eclipse Bay, Oregon. She’s a librarian, for heaven’s sake.

Heat Wave by Jill Marie Landis
Private investigator Kat Vargas once cared about someone so much it hurt. Once she lived a dream life with her first love and fiancé—until betrayal followed by shattering tragedy ended it all. Kat has sworn never to get too close to anyone again. But now the peace and quiet of Twilight Cove is driving the straight-talking, no-nonsense P.I. crazy. Then a prospective new client shows up at the door. Moved by his stubbornness and sincerity, Kat takes his case, breaking a promise to relax, recoup, and rethink her solitary life.

Hot Mahogany by Stuart Woods
Barton Cabot’s intelligence career is even more top secret than that of his brother, CIA boss Lance Cabot. But following a random act of violence, Barton is suffering from amnesia—a dangerous thing in a man whose memory is chock full of state secrets. So Lance hires Stone Barrington to watch his brother’s back. Stone soon discovers that his charge is a spy with a rather unusual hobby: building and restoring furniture. The genteel world of antiques and coin dealers seems a far cry from Stone’s usual underworld. But Barton is a man with a past, and one event in particular is coming back to haunt his present in ways he’d never expected... 

Driving Heat by Richard Castle
In the seventh novel of his popular Nikki Heat series, the NYPD's top homicide detective has been promoted to captain just in time to face a thrilling case with a very personal twist. Captain Heat's fiancé, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jameson Rook, is deep in an investigation. Professionally for Heat, Rook's meddling in the case compromises her new job. Privately, it becomes an early test of their engagement when Rook becomes a distraction at best, and an obstacle at worst, as their parallel lives not only cross, but collide.

Texas Heat by Fern Michaels
The magnificent Austin empire built by the domineering Seth Coleman before World War II now belongs to Moss and Billie's daughter Maggie. She has invited the whole family to a Fourth of July barbecue in celebration of a renewed sense of family pride she's determined to forge at Sunbridge. But as loved ones gather, they bring along old resentments and new temptations destined to generate more than a little heat. Maggie has finally decided to divorce Cranston Tanner. But as she struggles to be a good mother to her resentful son Cole, her love for a special man could cost her the loyalty of her family. In the meantime, Cole becomes locked in a bitter rivalry with his cousin Riley, heir apparent to Sunbridge, while Maggie's broken-hearted daughter Sawyer is about to face a much greater tragedy. And Maggie's sister, Susan, the renowned musician, arrives home for the most terrifying performance of her life.

Heat Lightning by John Sandford
On a hot, humid summer night in Minnesota, Virgil Flowers gets a call from Lucas Davenport. A body has been found near a veterans’ memorial in Stillwater with two shots to the head and a lemon in his mouth—exactly like the body they found two weeks ago. Working the murders, Flowers becomes convinced that someone is keeping a list—with many more names on it. And when he discovers what connects them all, he’s almost sorry. Because if it’s true, then this whole thing leads down a lot more trails than he thought it did—and every one of them is booby-trapped.

Hot by John Lutz
When Carver is approached by Henry Tiller, a retired cop living in the Florida Keys, to check out his wealthy and suspicious neighbor, Carver is reluctant to get involved. But as he investigates, he realizes the neighbor's hired muscle and his luxury yacht with oddly shaped cargo boxes can only mean trouble.

White Hot by Sandra Brown
When she hears that her younger brother Danny has committed suicide, Sayre Lynch relents from her vow never to return to Destiny, the small Louisiana town in which she grew up. She plans to leave immediately after the funeral, but instead soon finds herself drawn into the web cast by Huff Hoyle, her controlling and tyrannical father, the man who owns the town’s sole industry, an iron foundry, and in effect runs the lives of everyone who lives there.

Did we leave out any of your favorites? If so, let us know in the comment sections or in person! We'd love to hear from you.


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