Monday, October 31, 2022

October 31, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

News of the World by Paulette Jiles.

It is 1870 and Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence. In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna's parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows. Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act "civilized." Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forging a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land. Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember--strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become--in the eyes of the law--a kidnapper himself. 


Briarhill to Brooklyn by Jack Bodkin.

For three years a mysterious potato blight devastated Ireland's cla-cháns, townlands, and cities. Nearly a million died.

Was it the prospect of starvation, the snows of Black '47, or the fear of typhus that made the Bodkins leave? Or was it the dream of America's freedom and opportunity that drove the family from Galway onto an Irish coffin ship known as Cushlamachree? Their destination was Brooklyn. An unimaginable hurdle confronted the seven young Bodkin siblings, only days after docking in New York. Would the "fever" get them, too? But they managed to survive into adulthood as they were led by their two oldest brothers-Dominic and Martin. Dominic, a fledgling surgeon on the Alabama battlefields of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely, spends thirty-five years delivering and caring for thousands of Brooklyn babies. Martin, a Civil War veteran, and later an ironmonger with his own shop, ultimately is the progenitor of a large family of New York Bodkins.


Dark Vector by Graham Brown.

"A freighter carrying top-secret computers of unparalleled capability disappears in the Western Pacific. While searching for a lost treasure that once belonged to the famous Chinese pirate queen, Ching Shih, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala are redirected to look for the missing vessel. Discovering that the sinking of the ship is just part of an intricate web of deception, they find themselves in the middle of a cyber-war between rival groups of hackers, both of whom want to control the flow of data around the world. With no allies except a group of pirates who operate under their own crude laws, Kurt and Joe must rescue a colleague held hostage--while keeping the computers out of Russian or Chinese hands and the world's digital information safe from the hackers"-- Provided by publisher.


Adult Non-Fiction

Team America by Robert L. O’Connell.

An acclaimed military historian presents this powerful history of four military leaders--Douglas MacArthur, George Patton, George Marshall and Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower--who exhibited unparalleled military leadership that led the U.S. victoriously through two World Wars.


Elvis ’68 Comeback by Steve Binder.

Take a tour behind the scenes at the NBC television special that relaunched Elvis Presley's career as a stage musician. Author Steve Binder--who directed the TV special--provides exclusive content that gives fans even more insight into the performance that many see as a high point in the King of Rock's reign of American music. Elvis '68 Comeback includes full-color photographs and detailed commentary on the show's development and production.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert.  YA

On the way home from a party, seventeen-year-old Ivy and her soon-to-be ex nearly run over a nude young woman standing in the middle of a tree-lined road. It's only the first in a string of increasingly eerie events and offerings: a dead rabbit in the driveway, a bizarre concoction buried by her mother in the backyard, a box of childhood keepsakes hidden in her parents' closet safe. Most unsettling of all, corroded recollections of Ivy and her enigmatic mother's past resurface, with the help of the boy next door. What if there's more to Ivy's mother than meets the eye? And what if the supernatural forces she messed with during her own teen years have come back to haunt them both? Ivy must grapple with these questions and more if she's going to escape the darkness closing in.


A Secret Princess by Margaret Stohl & Melissa de la Cruz.  YA

Best friends Mary Lennox, Sara Crewe, and Cedric Erroll are best friends. And thank goodness, since their boarding school is basically insufferable. When one of the friends suffers a personal tragedy, a plan-and a secret-change everything for the trio . . . for good.

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

Saturday, October 29, 2022

October 29, 2022 - 13 More Short Stories for Halloween

The Halloween weekend is upon us again; the only time of the year we actively seek out ways to scare ourselves.

Last year this blog gave you 13 short stories to celebrate with, and we’re doing it again! Some of these picks are beloved household names, while others are overlooked gems. We hope you enjoy this latest round of recommendations. They can all be easily found in one of our libraries, on the Libby app, or at your favorite podcast site.

Sit back, dim the lights, grab a security blanket, and prepare to be scared!


“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving (1820)

It’s one of the most famous stories in American history. On his way home one dark and spooky night, Ichabod Crane, the superstitious new schoolmaster, crosses paths with the Headless Horseman.

For a story that’s 202 years old, new readers will be amazed at how accessible and entertaining it is. One of the things that makes this classic stand out is how Washington Irving builds the characters. By the time Crane encounters the Horseman at the end, you feel like you’ve known him your whole life. Irving’s palpable descriptions and the unexpected spurts of humor throughout are sure to entertain you.


“The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe (1843)

After viciously murdering his cat in a drunken fit of rage, a man is visited by another cat that looks an awful lot like the one he killed. His guilt is soon followed by madness, which leads to murder.

This is Poe at his darkest. It’s a disturbing story that reminds the reader of a valuable life lesson: every misdeed will eventually come to light, and there’s nothing you can do to escape your past. It’s also a potent allegory about the dangers of alcohol.


“Jerry Bundler” by W. W. Jacobs (1897)

It’s Christmastime and a bunch of travelling strangers are entertaining each other with ghost stories. One story in particular spooks them the most: the ghost of a man named Jerry Bundler is said to haunt the building they’re staying in. As everyone starts to go to bed, it’s not long before things go bump in the night.

This chiller from the author of “The Monkey’s Paw” takes place mostly in the dark and has an unforgettable ending.


“A Night of Horror” by Dick Donovan (1899)

As mentioned in last year’s list, there’s no better way to spend Halloween night than by reading a good old-fashioned British ghost story.  Horror authors at the time had an amazing ability to make you feel the tension in every cell of your body.

Here, some gruesome apparitions pay the narrator a visit one night and lead him to an unopened door beneath his friend’s castle. The story shares similarities with H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Rats in the Walls” (which is also worth reading).


“John Mortonson’s Funeral” by Ambrose Bierce (1906)

One of Ambrose Bierce’s shortest stories is a testament to the power of minimalism.

The somber, bittersweet atmosphere of a funeral is suddenly shattered by something you will never forget for as long as you live. Bierce keeps you in the dark until the very last sentence, but it’s not the sentence itself that scares you. It’s one particular word in the sentence. That one word is the only detail you need. Prepare to have your jaw drop through the floor.


“Thurnley Abbey” by Perceval Landon (1908)

While preparing to board a British ocean liner, one of the passengers asks another if he would allow him to sleep in his cabin. The rest of the story is the passenger’s explanation for the strange request.

For years, “Thurnley Abbey” was regarded as one of the scariest stories ever written. Whether that’s true or not will be up to you to decide. One thing’s for sure, it’s a doozy! Landon’s masterful use of description amplifies the tension so that you feel like you’re going through the same emotions as the character. It’s yet another British story that is essential for Halloween reading.


“August Heat” by W. F. Harvey (1910)

An artist and a stone worker’s lives cross paths in a supernatural way that neither can explain.

This is one of those stories that doesn’t have a proper ending. One is implied, but not spelled out for you, allowing your imagination to run wild.


“The Colour Out of Space” by H. P. Lovecraft (1927)

Years ago a meteor crashed onto a farm, unleashing a substance that could only be described as ‘colour’. Soon every living thing on the property starts changing for the worse.

This fan favorite was written at a time when Lovecraft was experimenting with science fiction. It’s one of the first standouts from a sub-genre he helped create: cosmic horror. More stories in this vein would follow, culminating with his Cthulu mythos cycle, for which he is famous today.


“It Walks by Night” by Henry Kuttner (1936)

In this tale, a sick old man is on the hunt for whoever exhumed his wife’s body from the cemetery. What he finds will haunt your dreams.

This is another graveyard classic from Kuttner released the same year as his hair-raising “The Graveyard Rats.” Read them both back-to-back (if you dare).


“Miriam” by Truman Capote (1945)

From the author of the crime classic, In Cold Blood, comes the story of Miriam, a widowed woman who meets a mysterious little girl who is also named Miriam. What should have been merely a coincidence becomes a living nightmare, as little Miriam keeps intruding on the sexagenarian’s life in increasingly confrontational ways.


“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson (1948)

Sit back and be amazed as the residents of a small town gather for their annual lottery. For the majority of the story, there is nothing scary or ominous at all. It’s the last few paragraphs that have chilled the spines of generations of readers.

This American classic caused a storm of controversy when it came out, but has since gone down as one of the greatest horror stories ever written.


“Dress of White Silk” by Richard Matheson (1951)

Richard Matheson was one of the twentieth century’s most gifted writers. His work includes the apocalyptic horror novel I Am Legend, sixteen episodes of The Twilight Zone, and the movie The Incredible Shrinking Man.

In this short story, a little girl has an obsession with her dead mother’s belongings, especially her beautiful dress. The writing style, mysterious atmosphere, and escalating tension are superb. What makes it essential horror reading is how the last sentence, containing only two words, scares the daylights out of you.


“The Night They Crashed the Party” by Robert Bloch (1951)

A man’s attempt to throw a party for a bunch of New York socialites and dignitaries isn’t going very well. In a last ditch attempt to keep everyone entertained, he calls for a television set to be brought in so the partygoers can watch a wrestling match. The broadcast they receive instead is both mysterious and unsettling.

This obscure classic from the author of Psycho is entertaining from beginning to end and is noteworthy for its cynical commentary and original writing style.

Friday, October 28, 2022

October 28, 2022 - Staff Reviews

Dead or Alive
By Tom Clancy & Grant Blackwood
Release Date: December 7, 2010 
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3.5 Stars - A worthy if wordy entry into the Ryan series that moves so many of Clancy's best characters more into the modern world of terrorism. Plus, we get to see some new guys in action too. This may not be the series top work, but it's certainly entertaining. I personally found it a breath of fresh air in comparison to the latest ones.   It's a transition novel of sorts, but surely worth the effort for anyone into the Ryan universe.

This one has much more going than the previous entry (Teeth of the Tiger). It manages to maintain an exciting pace. It was fun to revisit one of my favorite series and hit some stories I missed. Blackwood isn't my favorite author of the series but this one still has enough trademark Clancy style to feel authentic (which sadly hasn't been the case since Greaney left the team in like 2016). Jack Jr. is falling nicely into his super spook role now, taking on more fieldwork than his father did, but still learning as an analyst too. Jack Sr. is considering another run for the presidency but he's pretty content returning to his life as a non fiction writer and scholar.

Unlike the prior novel that started with a bang and quickly fizzled, this one manages to do better. The Campus is still getting established. We're getting juicy back stories on all the characters that will soon make up the team. From rehashing some of Clark's war stories to meeting Army Ranger in trouble Sam Driscoll, it's all a lot more exciting. I'll say it's still a lot of info but it's Clancy's way of painting very dynamic characters. Also the hunt for The Emir is really livening up. We've got more action, even in the first half of the book. Of course, everyone likes to complain this second series isn't vintage Clancy. It doesn't bother me. This is still like 85% Clancy. A few things bugged me. Why did they make a point of Ryan discussing his election campaign with his staff but not his family? Did Sr and Jr really not get into Jack's new job position or they did they? There's still a bit of dragging around the two-thirds mark. But overall, this is a great entry in the Ryan cannon of books and made me disappointed in the newest novels all over again. This isn't an easy weekend read, but that just means there's plenty to sink your teeth into here. Lots of action and intriguing characters all over the place.


Thursday, October 27, 2022

October 27, 2022 - BCPL Young Adult Author of the Month

Thanks for checking in this month to get the profile of our October Young Adult Author of the Month! At Brooke County Libraries, we're excited to feature the work of Lauren Kate.

Lauren writes twisty and exciting fantasy fiction novels and now has started on romantic comedies and more.

Lauren Kate (born March 21, 1981) is an American author of adult and young adult fiction. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages, have sold more than eleven million copies worldwide, and have spent combined months on The New York Times Best Seller list.

Her titles include The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove and Fallen, which reached number 3 on the New York Times Best Seller List for children's chapter books on January 8, 2010, remaining there through April 2011. Fallen's sequel Torment entered the NYT Best Seller list at number 1. Kate was raised in Dallas, Texas, and has a Master's degree in fiction from the University of California, Davis. Kate has stated that experience of the "Old South" in the Atlanta area (she went to college at Emory) inspired her to set Fallen in a Civil War era academy. Kate married Jason Morphew, a poet and singer-songwriter, in 2009. They have two children.

Her standalone novel, The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove, was released on November 12, 2009, and her second work, Fallen (the first in the Fallen series), was released that same year. Torment, the sequel to Fallen, released on 28 September 2010, debuted at number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List, remaining at that position through the week of October 17.

Fallen in Love—a collection of novellas set in the Middle Ages that tell the back-stories of several of the Fallen series' main characters—was published on January 24, 2012. Rapture, the final installment of the series, was published on June 12, 2012. Unforgiven, a spin-off novel featuring the side-character Cam Briel from the series and his love Lilith, was released on November 10, 2015. Sony Pictures optioned the film rights to the entire series on the day of Fallen's release (December 9, 2009).

Random House released the first book of Kate's subsequent series, Teardrop, in October 2013. A prequel novella, titled Last Day of Love, was released two months later in December 2013.

Interested in reading some of Lauren Kate's stories? Check out our selection of her work that's available from WV Reads!

Are you a fan of Lauren's work? Maybe she's written one of your favorites. Let us know in the comment section or on any of our social media pages!

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


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

October 25, 2022 - Staff Reviews

Wild Temptation
By Mari Carr
Release Date: September 7, 2019
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

4 Stars - This little romance was equal parts sweet and steamy and a fun surprise. May was independent and determined but learned to let her soft side show. Lochlan was a bit of a jerk but once he found May's real side, he really stepped it up for her. Very easy read and enjoyed it more than expected.

Mari Carr had fallen off my radar and admittedly some of her books are a bit too 50 Shades for my usual taste. I dropped into the middle of this series but felt like I could easily follow along with the family history. I loved May because she was so strong while still being sweet. All too often in fiction, these girls have a cold streak a mile wide. Lochlan maybe felt a tad over the top but really few ladies wouldn't love his take charge side. It's not just in the boardroom and the bedroom. He's really supportive of May even when she pushes him away in an effort to protect her heart.

There was so much more to this one than the blurb. May has two adorable nieces and a mother she's taking care of and she wears the weight of her little world on her shoulders. Enter Lochlan and he shows her how to ask for help and let go, literally. I won't lie. There's a lot of cliches in here like insta-love and virgin heroines and alpha male posturing. But the first half where Lochlan was stepping in with May's family and welcoming them into his own really had me. Things really steamed up for the second half, probably moreso than most sensitive readers could skip over. But there's a good chance they could skim over the sexy times and like the story overall just fine. Carr's racier set-ups that are mentioned off handedly here as tying in with the big family didn't appeal to me. But I'll definitely read a few more from this series.


Monday, October 24, 2022

October 24, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Calder Brand by Janet Dailey.

Ambition drove Joe Dollarhide across the parched plains from Fort Sam Houston to Dodge City.  One day, he was determined to have a spread every bit as vast and impressive as his employers'. But when a wild stampede separates him from the cattle drive, it is survival that keeps him going when most would have given up.  Survival and a burning need to settle the score with Benteen Calder, the cattle boss he used to worship, the man who'd left him for dead...Hope buoyed Sarah Foxworth when she had just five dollars to her name, traveling the dusty rails where Joe first rescued her from a violent attack, then won her heart as a cowboy in need of redemption.  With dreams of becoming a doctor herself one day, she uses all her wits to save her uncle's medical practice and his reputation. But it's her own reputation that suffers when she gives birth to an illegitimate baby. Years later, when Sarah walks into Joe's world once more, he's shaken to the core.  Her dreams of becoming a doctor are dashed; her only hope is to find a better life for herself and her son--a child there's no denying is his own. Now a prosperous rancher, Joe yearns to finally make a home with Sarah and their boy. Only Joe's own road to riches has been strewn with obstacles, some looming even larger than the demons he still struggles against. But life has also shown Joe that nothing worth having ever comes easy. And that Sarah is a woman worth fighting for...


Pickard County Atlas by Chris Harding Thornton.

In a dusty town in Nebraska's rugged sandhills, weary sheriff's deputy Harley Jensen patrols the streets at night, on the lookout for something--anything--out of the ordinary. It's July 1978, and the heat is making people ornery, restless. That and the Reddick family patriarch has decided, decades after authorities ended the search for his murdered boy's body, to lay a headstone. Instead of bringing closure, this decision is the spark that threatens to set Pickard County ablaze. On a fateful night after the memorial service, Harley tails the youngest Reddick and town miscreant, Paul, through the abandoned farms and homes outside their run-down town. The pursuit puts Harley in the path of Pam Reddick, a restless young woman looking for escape, bent on cutting the ties of motherhood and marriage. Filled with desperate frustration, Pam is drawn to Harley's dark history, not unlike that of her husband, Rick--a man raised in the wreckage of a brother's violent death and a mother's hardened fury. Unfolding over six tense days, Pickard County Atlas sets Harley and the Reddicks on a collision course--propelling them toward an incendiary moment that will either redeem or end them.


The Blood Tide by Neil Lancaster.

In a remote sea loch on the west coast of Scotland, a fisherman vanishes without trace. His remains are never found. A young man jumps from a bridge in Glasgow and falls to his death in the water below. DS Max Craigie uncovers evidence that links both victims. But if he can't find out what cost them their lives, it won't be long before more bodies turn up at the morgue...Soon cracks start to appear in the investigation, and Max's past hurtles back to haunt him. When his loved ones are threatened, he faces a terrifying choice: let the only man he ever feared walk free, or watch his closest friend die...


Adult Non-Fiction

Funny Farm by Laurie Zaleski.

Laurie Zaleski never aspired to run an animal rescue; that was her mother Annie's dream. But from girlhood, Laurie was determined to make the dream come true. Thirty years later as a successful businesswoman, she did it, buying a 15-acre farm deep in the Pinelands of South Jersey. She was planning to relocate Annie and her caravan of ragtag rescues-horses and goats, dogs and cats, chickens and pigs-when Annie died, just two weeks before moving day. In her heartbreak, Laurie resolved to make her mother's dream her own. In 2001, she established the Funny Farm Animal Rescue outside Mays Landing, New Jersey. Today, she carries on Annie's mission to save abused and neglected animals. Funny Farm is Laurie's story: of promises kept, dreams fulfilled, and animals lost and found. It's the story of Annie McNulty, who fled a nightmarish marriage with few skills, no money and no resources, dragging three kids behind her, and accumulating hundreds of cast-off animals on the way. And lastly, it's the story of the brave, incredible, and adorable animals that were rescued.


Bitcoin for Dummies by Peter Kent & Tyler Bain.

Bitcoin can be a bit puzzling to the uninitiated. Ledger? Blockchain? Mining? These cryptocurrency concepts aren't going away, and there are tremendous opportunities for those with some know-how to get onboard with the crypto culture. Bitcoin For Dummies helps you get un-puzzled, learn the Bitcoin basics, and discover the possibilities in the new world of digital currencies. With this 100% new edition, you can step into the fascinating culture of cryptocurrency and learn how to use Bitcoin as a currency or an investment vehicle. A little bit of knowledge will go a long way, and you'll be ready to sail smoothly ahead as the crypto tsunami advances.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

The Treasure of the Black Swan by Paco Roca & Guillermo Carrol.  YA GN

May 2007. When an American treasure-hunting company uncovers a shipwreck containing the greatest underwater trove ever found, the world is captivated by their discovery. But over in Spain, a group of low-level government officials surmises that the sunken ship is in fact an ancient Spanish vessel. Thus begins a legal and political thriller, pitting a group of idealistic diplomats against a rich and powerfully connected treasure hunter, in which vital cultural artifacts and hundreds of millions of dollars hang in the balance.


The Firehouse Phantom by D. J. Brandon.  J

While on a tour of the brand-new firehouse with his friends, Graveyard Gruber feels an urgent tug from an invisible hand. Stories of a vacant house burned to the ground on the very same site, suspicions of arson, and a strange boy seen running from the blaze add to the mystery. Can an unexpected classmate provide the missing clue? Graveyard Gruber eagerly agrees to help out at the firehouse, determined to solve the mystery and set the record straight.

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

Thursday, October 20, 2022

October 20, 2022 - Staff Reviews

The Recovery Agent
By Janet Evanovich
Release Date: March 22, 2022
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - Evanovich is still trying to find her footing in this new treasure hunt series. Gabriella Rose has a whole new backstory and set of skills that set her apart from her other quirky, comedic heroines. I loved the Recovery Agent idea. Those looking to mix it up their reading lists with a jungle adventure will have a lot of fun. But I think it's going to take a few more books for her to reach Plum levels of fortune and glory.

I've read all of Evanovich's Plum and Fox + O'Hare novels, plus some of the standalone romances. And the Indiana Jones films are my absolute favorites. So you can imagine my excitement. Gabriella has all of the trademark heroine boxes checked plus she gets to have actual skills! She's got the crazy family, small town childhood sweetheart complicated history, and an affinity for finding trouble. Rafer Jones is her ex-husband who has his own curious set of talents and a major soft spot for his ex. We actually get a little POV from him too! But I felt like I never really got into either of their heads for more than a minute or two.

Disclaimer: honestly, I'll read just about any treasure hunt tale set in a tropical, mysterious atmosphere. But I think that was the problem. I've read too many adventure tales to be impressed with this plot. Evanovich relies mostly on humor, characters, and an easy read quality not plots. But she falters here. She made an odd choice in not going first person POV and left a lot on the table. It seems liked she short changed Rose and counterparts in development. Some of the dialouge and jokes were really cringey. While the sidekicks and villians are equal parts funny and menacing, no one actually feels dangerous. Which makes for great light reading but lets down a swashing buckling style adventure just a little. And I found this really difficult to read at times. The depictions of settings and the treasure details had my head spinning. Like why are they searching for a Peruvian treasure on an island by Costa Rica? Are they after the Seal of Solomon or a ring or is it the same thing? We're in the ruins or a cave... Her terse and quick descriptions don't apply as well to exotic locations as they do to small town Jersey. I'm not sure where she'll take Gabriella Rose next after throwing so much into this one but we'll see. It was still quick and light and hopefully this improves with age like her other series.


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

October 19, 2022 - A Book & A Recipe

Welcome back, readers and eaters! 

We're excited to share a pretty spoooky recipe with you this October. Brooke County Libraries is featuring the recipe for Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead) from A Catered Halloween by Isis Crawford. This fun cozy mystery is full of quirky characters and great food.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
5 to 5 1/2 cups flour
2 (1/4 oz.) packages of active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp whole aniseed
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbpn orange zest


1. Bring the sugar, juice, and orange zest to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
2. Boil for 2 minutes.
3. Set the glaze aside.
4. In a saucepan over medium flame, heat butter, milk, and water until warm to the touch. Do not boil.
5. Measure out 1.5 cups of the flour and set aside.
6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1.5 cups of flour, yeast, salt, aniseed, and sugar.
7. Beat the warm liquid until well combined.
8. Continue beating in flour until dough is soft but not sticky.
9. Knead the dough on the floured board until smooth and elastic.
10. Lightly grease a large bowl, place the dough inside, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place.
11. Let the dough double in bulk, probably 1.5 hours of time.
12. Punch the dough down and shape into loaves resembling skulls, skeletons, bones, etc.
13. Let loaves rise for an hour. Preheat oven to 350 F.
14. Bake the loaves for 40 minutes.
15. Remove from the oven and paint on the glaze with a pastry brush.

Sounds delicious, right? Such a fun Halloween treat that's not ALL sugar!

If you try out this recipe, be sure to let us know! We'd love to hear from you in the comments or in person, or on any of our social media pages.

Intrigued by the book? Check out our ebook copy!

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


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

October 18, 2022 - BCPL Resume Tips

Thanks for checking in with us at Brooke County Libraries for our latest resume tip!

 Resume Tip #24 - Always use chronological order (reverse)

Your work experience, education, and volunteer and training history should all work backwards, starting from the most recent. This gives your potential employer the chance to get to know you quickly. Plus, it keeps things simple at a glance.

Sad but true, most prospective employers are busy, and they do not have time to sort through your information. You should give them the best glimpse of your qualifications by showing what you've been doing lately and then work backward. This is true regardless of whether your most recent job position is the most relevant to the new position. You will always be able to clarify your best experience, highest achievement levels, and other details during your interview. 

Also, don't pick and chose previous job positions to include. Make sure you stick to your last five to ten years of employment.

Please let us know if you have questions! We'd love to hear from you in person, in the comments, or on our social media pages. And don't forget your local library is always a great place for help with your job search.

Monday, October 17, 2022

October 17, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Layla by Colleen Hoover.

"When Leeds meets Layla, he's convinced he'll spend the rest of his life with her - until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla's behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that's just one of many inexplicable occurrences. Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow - another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla's well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can't help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them."-- Provided by publisher.


Lady of Bones by Carolyn Haines.

"It's Halloween season in Mississippi as Sarah Booth and the gang gather to decorate and gush over Tinkie's new baby, Maylin. Sarah Booth is just about to bring out the snacks when she hears the doorbell chime and opens it to find a woman named Frankie, distraught at the disappearance of her daughter Christa, a young journalist. Christa had been investigating the disappearance of young women in New Orleans, including her own roommate. Now Christa herself is missing, and Frankie fears it may be connected to a cult based in the Garden District, called People of Eternity. People of Eternity are known to have far-reaching connections. When the police won't take Frankie seriously, she turns to Delaney Detective Agency as her only hope. Sarah Booth accepts the case immediately, which takes her on a journey to a secret underworld of beguiling cult leaders, witchcraft, and potentially human sacrifice. She'll have to keep her wits about her if she wants to crack this case . . . and make it home alive."-- Provided by publisher.


Visions of Fire by Abigail Silver.

My name is Gracie Usuriel and fire is in my blood. According to my dead sister Ariel, it’s in my very DNA. She thinks I’m the strongest pyrokinetic ever born on Cybele—so strong my flames actually burn holes in the fabric of reality that allow me to peer into other times and places. Hence why my best friend happens to be the ghost of my (much) older sister. So what exactly am I supposed to do with all this firepower? At eighteen, I had no idea; I just knew I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life twiddling my thumbs on my father’s farm. Dad might choose to spend his whole life hiding out in Angelus Quietum, but I was ready to go have some adventures! Not to mention a whole bunch of long-overdue research into a particularly mysterious immortal parent. And if I happened to be taking off to the same university as a pretty, blond diplomat-in-training, well, that was just a bonus, right? Dad, on the other hand, didn’t see it my way. He pulled every guilt protocol in his coding. Once he saw I’d made up my mind, though, he relented with a stern warning about the Overwatch. “They’re our police,” he said, “the ones who make sure individuals of Awareness stay in line. With your head blindness, the telepaths will be very nervous around you and I won’t be there to make sure everyone remains… civilized.” “I’ll be fine, Dad,” I reassured him. “After all, how much trouble can I get into at school?”


Adult Non-Fiction

Haunted Hotels in America by Robin Mead.

In his years of travel writing and research, Dr. Robin Mead has found that people are almost equally divided between believers in ghosts and those who think ghost stories are just that--entertaining stories. In Haunted Hotels in America, you'll find a state-by-state guide to the lodgings that cheerfully admit to having an intangible guest or two. Like the spirits themselves, the stories are extraordinarily varied. Some are sad. Some are puzzling. A few are even funny.


The Complete Guide to Food Allergies in Adults and Children by Scott H. Sicherer, MD.

In this comprehensive, evidence-based guide for adults and children with food allergies and those who care for them, Dr. Scott H. Sicherer provides all the critical information you need on preventing, testing, living with, and treating food allergies. Organized in an accessible Q&A format and illustrated with case studies, the book thoroughly explains how to prevent exposure to a known allergen at home, at work, at school, in restaurants, and elsewhere. Emphasizing the most recent advances, Sicherer touches on everything from handling an anaphylactic emergency to diagnosing allergies and intolerances, all while detailing chronic health problems caused by food, such as eczema, hives, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Dr. Sicherer also reviews food reactions that are not allergic, such as lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, and celiac disease. He explains how to get adequate nutrition when you must avoid dietary staples and discusses whether allergies ever go away (they do--and sometimes they return). Finally, he includes an allergy and anaphylaxis emergency plan and checklists to reduce cross-contamination. This is the most authoritative and accessible allergy book on the market.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

A Frozen Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick.  J

Prince Hans of the Southern Isles, the youngest of twelve bullying brothers, takes advantage of his chance to have his own kingdom when he learns that Elsa will be crowned queen of Arendelle, but he inadvertently woos her sister Anna instead.


My Dad, the Pilot by Carly Collins.  E

A light-hearted book to comfort hearts that are missing their guy in the sky! The perfect read for the aviation kid in your life.

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

Thursday, October 13, 2022

October 13, 2022 - Staff Reviews

Sierra Six
By Mark Greaney
Release Date: February 15, 2022
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - The Gray Man returns in spectacular fashion as always. This series always manages to stay fresh. Court's in India this time with a new set of clients to help, and he stumbles upon an enemy from his past. So we get some fascinating flashbacks to his early days working under Zach and Matt as Sierra Six. This one might have actually made two more exciting short novels or novellas, but fans of this action series will still find plenty to get excited about.

Greaney has somehow managed to use the sam format and style successfully with the Gray Man for years, but he changes up just enough to avoid a rut for most readers. His characters always have plenty of personality that keeps things fun throughout all the shootouts and action. However, this is not his best showcase for character development in my opinion. Court is at his best when he's being himself of course. And he was finally starting to have some kind of relationship with Matt, Zach, and Zoya in Relentless. That made Relentless way superior on the entertainment side. Here once again he goes back to working with and rescuing strangers which is just okay.

I think part of my problem with the set up is that we know not to care about anyone in this book much. Sure, it's kinda fun to see Court at the mercy of Zach. But we already know how all that works out. And he is still already the Gray Man. We sort of did all this in Back Blast already. I didn't like the tech girls either. Both of them felt thrown in for the sake of appealing to everyday female readers. Frankly, I liked some of call girls, models, and outright spies in previous books more because they felt more real. I liked both sides of the story, past and present. And there was a good flow of flashbacks to updates that harkened back to the Clancy Command Authority days. But there was a lot of info and a lot of characters to take in in between action sequences. While I was so excited for this one's release, I found myself able to put it down for awhile and pick it back. This series has been full of peaks and valleys and surprises though. So no doubt I'll be back to the next one. And this probably would not be a bad starting place for a new reader to Gray Man, maybe even better.


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

October 12, 2022 - Book Club Preview

Welcome back, book club readers! Are you ready for a sneak peek of our book club pick this month?

We're reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.  

The next meeting and discussion with be Thursday, October 27th at 5pm virtually and in person at BCPL. Call us for further questions please!
About the book-
Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

About the author - 
Haig is the author of both fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. His work of non-fiction, Reasons to Stay Alive, was a number one Sunday Times bestseller and was in the UK top 10 for 46 weeks. His bestselling children's novel, Father Christmas and Me, is currently being adapted for film, produced by Studio Canal and Blueprint Pictures.

His novels are often dark and quirky takes on family life. The Last Family in England retells Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 with the protagonists as dogs. His second novel Dead Fathers Club is based on Hamlet, telling the story of an introspective 11-year-old dealing with the recent death of his father and the subsequent appearance of his father's ghost. His third adult novel, The Possession of Mr Cave, deals with an obsessive father desperately trying to keep his teenage daughter safe. His children's novel, Shadow Forest, is a fantasy that begins with the horrific death of the protagonists' parents. It won the Nestlé Children's Book Prize in 2007. He followed it with the sequel, Runaway Troll, in 2008.

Haig's vampire novel The Radleys, was published in 2011. In 2013, he published The Humans. It is the story of an alien who takes the identity of a university lecturer whose work in mathematics threatens the stability of the planet who must also cope with the home life which accompanies his task.

In 2017, Haig published How to Stop Time, a novel about a man who appears to be 40 but has, in fact, lived for more than 400 years and has met Shakespeare, Captain Cook and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In an interview with The Guardian, Haig revealed the book has been optioned by StudioCanal films, and Benedict Cumberbatch had been "lined up to star" in the film adaptation. Reasons to Stay Alive won the Books Are My Bag Readers' Awards in 2016 and How to Stop Time was nominated in 2017. In August 2018, he wrote lyrics for English singer and songwriter Andy Burrows's music album, the title of which was derived from Haig's book Reasons to Stay Alive.

In 2020, Matt Haig released his novel The Midnight Library. It was shortlisted for the 2021 British Book Awards "Fiction book of the year". The Midnight Library was adapted for radio and broadcast in ten episodes on BBC Radio 4 in December 2020. In 2021, Haig appeared on Storybound (podcast) accompanied by an original score from Robert Wynia. Haig is married to Andrea Semple; they have two children and one dog. The family lives in Brighton, Sussex. The couple homeschool their children.[16] Haig identifies as an atheist. Haig's latest book, The Comfort Book, was released on 1 July 2021.

Interested in The Midnight Library? Check out our ebook copy!

Do you love this story or this author? Let us know in the comments section or on any of our social media pages.

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


Monday, October 10, 2022

October 10, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Death by Bubble Tea by Jennifer J. Chow.

When two cousins open a food stall at a Los Angeles night market, a customer dies after drinking their bubble tea, and they set out to find the killer and clear their names.


Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins.

"Lillie Silva knew life as an empty nester would be hard after her only child left for college, but when her husband abruptly dumps her for another woman just as her son leaves, her world comes crashing down. Besides the fact that this announcement is a complete surprise (to say the least), what shocks Lillie most is that she isn't heartbroken. She's furious. Lillie has loved her life on Cape Cod, but as a mother, wife, and nurse-midwife, she's used to caring for other people . . . not taking care of herself. Now, alone for the first time in her life, she finds herself going a little rogue. Is it over the top to crash her ex-husband's wedding dressed like the angel of death? Sure! Should she release a skunk into his perfect new home? Probably not! But it beats staying home and moping. She finds an unexpected ally in her glamorous sister, with whom she's had a tense relationship all these years. And an unexpected babysitter in, of all people, Ben Hallowell, the driver in a car accident that nearly killed Lillie twenty years ago. And then there's Ophelia, her ex-husband's oddly lost niece, who could really use a friend. It's the end of Lillie's life as she knew it. But sometimes the perfect next chapter surprises you . . . out of the clear blue sky."-- Provided by publisher.


Marriage Can Be Mischief by Amanda Flower.

Millie is happy that her childhood friend, Uriah Schrock, has returned to Harvest after decades away. He was sweet on Millie in their school days, but she only had eyes for her future husband. Now, there's a new spark between them, so Millie is concerned when Uriah doesn't show up at the Harvest concert series -- or for his job as the village square's groundskeeper. Perhaps Millie has been involved in too many murder investigations, but she has a sinking feeling. And when she and her best friend, Lois, find Uriah with the police, it seems she's right . . .


Adult Non-Fiction

Resistance Band Workouts for Seniors by Karina Inkster, MA, PTS.

This is an invaluable resource for older adults looking to improve their strength and body composition without having to purchase a gym membership. Fitness coach and author Karina Inkster will teach you about the many benefits of strength training for seniors. You'll learn how to choose resistance bands, how to use them at home with a door anchor, and how to use them safely. An overview of the three types of resistance bands will help readers put together their own "mini gym" that can fit into a small bag.


Why Didn’t You Tell Me? by Carmen Rita Wong.

Carmen Rita Wong has always craved a sense of belonging: First as a toddler in a warm room full of Black and brown Latina women, like her mother, Lupe, cheering her dancing during her childhood in Harlem. And in Chinatown, where her immigrant father, "Papi" Wong, a hustler, would show her and her older brother off in opulent restaurants decorated in red and gold. Then came the almost exclusively white playgrounds of New Hampshire after her mother married her stepfather, Marty, who seemed to be the ideal of the white American dad. As Carmen entered this new world with her new family--Lupe and Marty quickly had four more children--her relationship with her mother became fraught with tension, suspicion, and conflict, explained only years later by the secrets her mother had kept for so long. And when those secrets were revealed, bringing clarity to so much of Carmen's life, it was too late for answers. When her mother passed away, Carmen wanted to shake her soul by its shoulders and demand: Why didn't you tell me?


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

The High Desert by James Spooner.  YA GN

Teenage James Spooner hates that he and his mom are back in town after years away. The one silver lining--new school, new you, right? But the few Black kids at school seem to be gangbanging, and the other kids fall on a spectrum of micro-aggressors to future Neo-Nazis. Mixed race, acutely aware of his Blackness, James doesn't know where he fits until he meets Ty, a young Black punk who introduces him to the school outsiders--skaters, unhappy young rebels, caught up in the punk groundswell sweeping the country.

A haircut, a few Sex Pistols, Misfits and Black Flag records later: suddenly, James has friends, romantic prospects, and knows the difference between a bass and a guitar. But this desolate landscape hides brutal, building undercurrents: a classmate overdoses, a friend must prove himself to his white supremacist brother and the local Aryan brotherhood through a show of violence. Everything and everyone are set to collide at one of the year's biggest shows in town...

10 True Tales: World War I Heroes by Allan Zullo.  J NF

Corporal Alvin York is armed only with courage and marksmanship. Can he save his unit under deadly attack by German machine-gun nests? Plucked off his sinking ship by a U-boat, Navy Lieutenant Edouard Izak is sent to a POW camp deep in German territory. Can he engineer a daring escape? The soldiers of the 8th Illinois--all African Americans--face bitter racism and segregation. Can they overcome bigotry to fight with valor and distinction? These and other brave heroes risked their lives serving their country in World War I. You will never forget their courageous true stories.

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

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

October 5, 2022 - Staff Reviews

By Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - Another solid series entry, but this book takes awhile to pick up steam (in more ways than one). Riggs and Veronica aren't the most instantly likable characters, which seems to make them a surprisingly good match. The storyline relies heavily though on Riggs' teenage sister Janelle, who is sweet but a bit much. Overall, readers who stick with it will find this worth the read, and it leads to a crazy spinoff start to the next hockey saga.

Bennett's crisp way with words and plotting isn't on its best display here. The story drags for about the first third or so because Janelle's presence linking the two leads is only so interesting. Once everyone's pasts start to come to light and the sparks start to fly, it's a much better story. Riggs is gruff and antisocial but he has a soft spot for his little sister and later Veronica and his team. Veronica seems a bit too jaded and misdirected at first, but she grew on me just like she did on Riggs. 

I love this author's ability to really weave in a bit of suspense even when that doesn't seem like it's going to be part of story. We get a bit of adrenaline pump at about the fourth quarter point. Everything really picked up once Riggs and Veronica shared some page time without Janelle. Some of the steamy scenes were enough to make you blush, but there's not an abundance of them in the second half. Riggs and Veronica slowly get to know each other and help Janelle find her footing. Janelle was an odd case. There's a lot of emphasis that's she almost eighteen, very independent, and well adjusted. So it felt very forced that she would be copping such an attitude and need someone to stay with her. There's a lot of fun with returning characters too, and a really wild lead in to the characters we'll see in the next spin-off series.