Wednesday, November 30, 2022

November 30, 2022 - BCPL Children's Series of the Month

Looking for a quirky and fun series for young readers? This month we've got a great pick at Brooke County Libraries! We're featuring the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series this November, written by Jeff Kinney.

Filled with laugh-out-loud hilarious text and cartoons, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series follows Greg Heffley as he records the daily trials and triumphs of friendship, family life and middle school where undersized weaklings have to share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner and already shaving! On top of all that, Greg must be careful to avoid the dreaded CHEESE TOUCH!

The first book in the series was published in 2007 and became instantly popular for its relatable humor. Today, more than 250 million copies have been sold around the world!

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has been a permanent fixture on the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. The series has remained on the New York Times bestseller lists since the publication of the first book, for more than 775 weeks total, and more than 350 on the series list. The books are currently available in 79 editions in 65 languages.

Since initial publication in 2007, the series has gone on to win many regional and national awards around the globe including two Children’s Choice Book Awards and six Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards for Favorite Book. Jeff Kinney was also named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in the world.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney didn’t grow up wanting to be a children’s author. His dream was to become a newspaper cartoonist but he wasn’t able to get his comic strip syndicated.
Jeff Kinney was born in 1971 in Maryland and attended the University of Maryland in the early 1990s. It was there that Jeff ran a comic strip called “Igdoof” in the campus newspaper. He knew he wanted to be a cartoonist.

However, Jeff was not successful getting his comic strip syndicated after college, and in 1998 he started writing down ideas for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which he hoped to turn into a book. Jeff worked on the book for six years before publishing it online on in daily installments.

In 2006, Jeff signed a multi-book deal with publisher Harry N. Abrams, Inc. to turn Diary of a Wimpy Kid into a print series. The first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book was published in 2007 and became an instant bestseller. Just a year later, more than 100,000 copies were in print in the United States alone. With each subsequent book, in-print numbers continue to grow exponentially both in the U.S. and abroad. There are now more than 250 million copies of the series in print worldwide.

A spin-off series has been published, written from Rowley's perspective. The first installment, Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal, was released on April 9, 2019, and is a series of anecdotes about Greg and Rowley's friendship. The second, Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure, is in the style of a fantasy adventure and was released on August 4, 2020. The book's original release date was April 7, 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The third, Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories, was released on March 16, 2021.

Interested in giving this series a try? Check out the titles we have available from WV Reads!

Don't forget to check in next month, readers! We've got one more young reader spotlight to share before 2022 is over.

Are you a big fan of the Wimpy Kid adventures? Maybe you know of a similar series for middle schoolers? Let us know in the comment section below or on any of our social media pages!

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


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

November 29, 2022 - Staff Reviews

The Bedroom Experiment
By Kendall Ryan
Release Date: Feburary 11, 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - This novella was entertaining but not as much fun as it could have been. Morgan and Isla make a cute couple and they're really just getting started. This quick and mostly dirty little read makes a nice addition for fans of these lovable hockey players but is also basically a standalone.

This is a short story that's heavy on the steamy scenes and light on substance. Kendall Ryan has a way with characters and this story is no exception. Morgan and Isla's little fling feels like the tip of an iceberg. I do wish we'd gotten Isla's point of view as well. Morgan's got a bad boy vibe but he's a good guy at heart. Isla's a bit of a mystery cause she's part girl next door and part siren.

We get a few mentions and some love from Morgan's teammates, but otherwise this could have been a completely separate story. It's not obvious where the idea came to tie this in here. Although, it could have made for a great little Christmas novella. I'm not sure these two's back and forth would have filled a whole novel. Their only conflict is that as teenagers, they became step siblings. No creepy vibes though because they never lived together or anything. But I wasn't really a fan of the ending. I wasn't sure what the purpose was to spending a year completely apart and then deciding to be together. There was no indication either one of them really pined away for the other. Why didn't they just stay together after hooking up the first time? I think a few more pages or chapters would have rounded these two out more and the story would have felt more complete.


Monday, November 28, 2022

November 28, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Hellburner by Mike Maden.

When Juan Cabrillo fails to capture the leader of Mexico's most dangerous drug cartel and loses an Oregon crew member in the process, he's determined to get revenge. Little does he know that the explosion he just narrowly escaped was merely the latest flash of violence from a machine of war that has existed for decades, dating from the bloodiest episode in Armenia's history. Cabrillo's Corporation of mercenaries may have finally met its match in The Pipeline--a criminal syndicate passed down from father to son across generations. A group that sits with its finger on the trigger of a torpedo so deadly it could level entire cities. With millions of innocent civilians hanging in the balance, the Oregon's crew must unravel a tangle of drug-smuggling routes and international conspiracies spanning from the Aegean Sea to the Indian Ocean, putting their lives on the line to find the weapon before its countdown hits zero.


Next in Line by Jeffrey Archer.

"London, 1988. Royal fever sweeps the nation as Britain falls in love with the "people's princess." Which means for Scotland Yard, the focus is on the elite Royalty Protection Command, and its commanding officer. Entrusted with protecting the most famous family on earth, they quite simply have to be the best. A weak link could spell disaster. Detective Chief Inspector William Warwick and his Scotland Yard squad are sent in to investigate the team. Maverick ex-undercover operative Ross Hogan is charged with a very sensitive--and unique--responsibility. But it soon becomes clear the problems in Royalty Protection are just the beginning. A renegade organization has the security of the country--and the Crown--in its sights. The only question is which target is next in line..." -- Provided by publisher.


The Girl from Guernica by Karen Robards.

On an April day in 1937, the sky opens and fire rains down upon the small Spanish town of Guernica. Seventeen-year-old Sibi and her family are caught up in the horror. Griff, an American military attaché, pulls Sibi from the wreckage, and it's only the first time he saves her life in a span of hours. When Germany claims no involvement in the attack, insisting the Spanish Republic was responsible, Griff guides Sibi to lie to Nazi officials. If she or her sisters reveal that they saw planes bearing swastikas, the gestapo will silence them--by any means necessary. As war begins to rage across Europe, Sibi joins the underground resistance, secretly exchanging information with Griff. But as the scope of Germany's ambitions becomes clear, maintaining the facade of a Nazi sympathizer becomes ever more difficult. And as Sibi is drawn deeper into a web of secrets, she must find a way to outwit an enemy that threatens to decimate her family once and for all.


Adult Non-Fiction

The Facemaker by Lindsey Fitzharris.

From the moment the first machine gun rang out over the Western Front, one thing was clear: humankind's military technology had wildly surpassed its medical capabilities. Bodies were battered, gouged, hacked, and gassed. The First World War claimed millions of lives and left millions more wounded and disfigured. In the midst of this brutality, however, there were also those who strove to alleviate suffering. The Facemaker tells the extraordinary story of such an individual: the pioneering plastic surgeon Harold Gillies, who dedicated himself to reconstructing the burned and broken faces of the injured soldiers under his care. Gillies, a Cambridge-educated New Zealander, became interested in the nascent field of plastic surgery after encountering the human wreckage on the front. Returning to Britain, he established one of the world's first hospitals dedicated entirely to facial reconstruction. There, Gillies assembled a unique group of practitioners whose task was to rebuild what had been torn apart, to re-create what had been destroyed. At a time when losing a limb made a soldier a hero, but losing a face made him a monster to a society largely intolerant of disfigurement, Gillies restored not just the faces of the wounded but also their spirits.


Coal Camps and Castor Oil by Bob Lasley & Sallie Holt.

In January of 2009, old-timers in southern West Virginia were asked to share their memories of the “good old days”. They were invited to write letters describing interesting, humorous, unusual, exciting (and even romantic) “happenings” from the past. Most of them were born prior to 1940 and the majority grew up right here in West Virginia. They were not selected from any particular group or social class, nor were they expected to have any special writing ability or talent. From their responses, 504 were chosen to be included in this book. Their stories aren’t history in the usual sense. Rather, they entertainingly describe a way of life that will never again be seen.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega.  J GN

Marlene loves three things: books, her cool Tía Ruby and hanging out with her best friend Camila. But according to her mother, Paola, the only thing she needs to focus on is school and "growing up." That means straightening her hair every weekend so she could have "presentable", "good hair". But Marlene hates being in the salon and doesn't understand why her curls are not considered pretty by those around her. With a few hiccups, a dash of embarrassment, and the much-needed help of Camila and Tia Ruby--she slowly starts a journey to learn to appreciate and proudly wear her curly hair.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  YA

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs. for now. Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too - post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and - shockingly, to her - interested in Hazel.

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022 - Staff Reviews

A Tryst by the Sea
By Grace Burrowes
Release Date: March 1, 2022
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - The short novel was a bit more intense than the usual historical novella. Burrowes surprised me with the sobfest potential in this little rekindled romance tale.  Gill and Penelope are struggling to find themselves and figure out their future as they revisit their past on a lovely seaside trip.

Grace Burrowes was new to me so if she's inclined to such heart wrenching work, I was unaware. This definitely is not in the company of light and flirty historical romances but it has its own appeal. The mini saga of this long married couple was a moving drama. Gill and Penelope are still in love with each other but neither seems to realize it's mutual. There has been so much heartache in their pasts that it seems impossible to overcome. But once they face old struggles and really get to know each other again, it's all sweetness.

This one was a basis of miscommunication that's hard for me to abide. Many will say these two were young, kept apart by circumstances beyond their control. How could they know each other? But the excuses for ten years of distance and partial misery felt flimsy. Maybe this is a romance best suited to readers finding themselves at crossroads or looking back. Penelope is lovely and lonely and ready to move on. She's young but feels older than her years. Gill's been devoted to her in his heart and mind but not great at showing it. They've held themselves apart for fear of additional heartache. Facing what they've lost and learning to be brave for the chance at resuming their relationship is something they manage to do though. Gill stands his ground with his family, and Penelope figures out how to forge ahead with hope rather than resignation. It's basically a short version of a tragic little love story that shows it's never too late for a happy ending.


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

November 22, 2022 - A Book & A Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving! - A little early.

We at Brooke County Libraries are very excited to share this wonderful recipe with you just in time for holiday, hopefully. This November we are sharing the recipe for Peach-Raspberry Pie straight from Pie Hard by Kristen Weiss. It's a quirk cozy mystery from the Pie Town series.

Let's get started, shall we?

2 pre-made piecrusts at room temp.
3 pounds firm-ripe peaches (about 6 large) cut into 1 inch slices.
2 tsp lemon juice, or to taste.
2 1/2 T cornstarch, divided.
9 T sugar, divided.
1/2 tsp ground ginger.
Pinch of salt.
8 oz raspberries (approx 2 cups).


1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. In mixing bowl, toss in cut peaches, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of sugar.
3. Let rest for 30 minutes. Then, pour off any excess juice, reserving 1/2 cup.
4. Return the reserve juice to the bowl.
5. Add ginger, salt, and 2 T cornstarch, and toss.
6. In a separate bowl, toss the raspberries with 1 T sugar and remaining 1/2 T of cornstarch.
7. Line the pie tin with one crust and poke it with a fork 4 or 5 times.
8. Pour half the peach mixture into the crust and layer on top of it half the raspberry mixture.
9. Add the remainder of the peaches and then what's left of the raspberries.
10. Cut the second crust into strips and weave it over the pie in a lattice top.
11. Trim the edges so that 1/2 inch hangs over the pie tin and crimp.
12. Place pie into freezer for 20 minutes.
13. Remove pie from freeze and dust crust with a bit of sanding sugar. Put the pie on a cookie sheet  and bake approx. 30 minutes, until the crust is slightly brown.
14. Reduce the temp to 350 Fand bake another 45-60 minutes until the crust is deep, golden brown.
15. Cool before slicing.

What a fun, unique pie to bring for Thanksgiving! Forget the classic apple and pumpkin, mix it up with a new dessert maybe. 

Let us know how it goes too. We love to hear from our readers in the comments or on any of our social media pages.

Don't forget - check in next month for a Christmas recipe!

Intrigued by the story? Check out our ebook copy on WV Reads!

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

Monday, November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

Under the Starry Skies by Tracie Peterson.

Sensible and independent, Cassie Barton never anticipated being on her own at thirty-two. But after the death of her father and the marriage of her sister, she's found joy in her work as a seamstress. When a minor accident leaves her unable to sew, she decides to use her time to compile a book of stories about the men working on the Santa Fe Railroad. But worry begins to grow in San Marcial as Mexican revolutionaries set out to destroy the railroad--and put many lives in danger. With Europe at war and his longtime friend Cassie injured, railroad worker Brandon DuBarko is burdened by his troubles. He promised Cassie's father he would watch over her, but as their comfortable friendship slowly transforms into something deeper, he feels trapped by a secret from his youth. When a vengeful man reappears in Brandon's life, intent on causing conflict, Brandon must face his past before he can move forward. As the danger intensifies, Cassie and Brandon must rely on God to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of a brighter future.


A Truth to Lie For by Anne Perry.

It is the summer of 1934, and Hitler is nearing the summit of supreme power in Germany, his eyes set on European domination. When Britain's MI6 gets word that a pair of German scientists have made breakthroughs in germ warfare, they send Elena Standish on a dangerous mission to get one of them out of Germany before he's forced to share his knowledge and its devastating power with Hitler's elite. But the British soon learn that it's more than just time that Elena is working against. The new head of Germany's germ warfare division is an old enemy of Elena's grandfather Lucas, the former head of MI6. And he's bent on using any means at his disposal to avenge his defeat at Lucas's hands twenty years before. What starts as an effort to save Europe from the devastation of disease soon becomes an intensely personal fight. As Elena and the scientist make their way across Germany, from Berlin to Bavaria and beyond, they confront not only the Gestapo but also a ragtag group of unpredictable Nazi supporters.


The Women’s March by Jennifer Chiaverini.

Twenty-five-year-old Alice Paul returns to her native New Jersey after several years on the front lines of the suffrage movement in Great Britain. Weakened from imprisonment and hunger strikes, she is nevertheless determined to invigorate the stagnant suffrage movement in her homeland. Nine states have already granted women voting rights, but only a constitutional amendment will secure the vote for all. To inspire support for the campaign, Alice organizes a magnificent procession down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, the day before the inauguration of President-elect Woodrow Wilson, a firm antisuffragist. Joining the march is thirty-nine-year-old New Yorker Maud Malone, librarian and advocate for women's and workers' rights. The daughter of Irish immigrants, Maud has acquired a reputation--and a criminal record--for interrupting politicians' speeches with pointed questions they'd rather ignore. Civil rights activist and journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett resolves that women of color must also be included in the march--and the proposed amendment. Born into slavery in Mississippi, Ida worries that white suffragists may exclude Black women if it serves their own interests. On March 3, 1913, the glorious march commences, but negligent police allow vast crowds of belligerent men to block the parade route--jeering, shouting threats, assaulting the marchers--endangering not only the success of the demonstration but the women's very lives.


Adult Non-Fiction

Lily’s Promise by Lily Ebert & Dov Forman.

On Yom Kippur, 1944, fighting to stay alive as a prisoner in Auschwitz, Lily Ebert made a promise to herself. She would survive the hell she was in and tell the world her story, for everyone who couldn't. Now, at ninety-eight, this remarkable woman--and TikTok sensation, thanks to the help of her eighteen-year-old great-grandson--fulfills that vow, relaying the details of her harrowing experiences with candor, charm, and an overflowing heart. In these pages, she writes movingly about her happy childhood in Hungary, the death of her mother and two youngest siblings on their arrival at Auschwitz, and her determination to keep her two other sisters safe. She describes the inhumanity of the camp and the small acts of defiance that gave her strength. Lily lost so much, but she built a new life for herself and her family, first in Israel and then in London. Dov knows that it is up to younger people like him to keep Lily's promise. He and Lily bridge the generation gap to share her experience, reminding us of the joy that accompanies the solemn responsibility of keeping the past--and our stories--alive.


Your Daily Phil by Phil Robertson.

A daily dose of truth, morality, and biblical wisdom from A&E Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson in this 100-day devotional.

There is a war being waged on the soul of America, but Phil Robertson believes there is hope. In this compilation of 100 days of readings taken from his bestselling books The Theft of America's Soul and Jesus Politics, now with newly added prayers and Bible verses, he shows how Americans can turn away from the lies of the devil and embrace the life-giving, healing, and wholly transforming love of God, helping to bring the kingdom of heaven to our homes, neighborhoods, churches, communities, and country.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Loyalty by Avi.  J

Newbery Medalist Avi explores the American Revolution from a fresh perspective in the story of a young Loyalist turned British spy navigating patriotism and personal responsibility during the lead-up to the War of Independence.

When his father is killed by rebel vigilantes, Noah flees with his family to Boston. Intent on avenging his father, Noah becomes a spy for the British and firsthand witness to the power of partisan rumor to distort facts, the hypocrisy of men who demand freedom while enslaving others, and the human connections that bind people together regardless of stated allegiances. Awash in contradictory information and participating in key events leading to the American Revolution, Noah must forge his own understanding of right and wrong and determine for himself where his loyalty truly lies.


Unretouchable by Sofia Szamosi.  YA GN

Olive is spending the summer before art school at a coveted internship, helping one of the fashion industry's elite digital-imaging specialists. After a glamourous New York photoshoot, she learns that taking pictures is only the first step. She discovers the "violent verbs" (cut, crop, slice, lasso) of image retouching software and the secrets behind "virtual models." Soon Olive is fixating on her own appearance and pondering the ethics of her work behind the scenes. As college gets closer, she'll try to get out of her own head, attempt to quit the Internet, and finally embrace image-making on her own terms.

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

Thursday, November 17, 2022

November 17, 2022 - Staff Reviews

Thunder Point
By Jack Higgins
Release Date: September 1, 1994
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3.5 Stars - Escapist fiction at its best. Sean Dillon is at the start of his lengthy book series and intriguing as ever. He's got that broody bad boy side down to an art and it's hard to tell what he's thinking. Half this book takes place on the island of St. John which makes it perfect for a day at the beach or on the couch. While a bit plodding and repetitive, this old-fashioned little action thriller was a lot of fun.

Jack Higgins is up there with Clancy, Cussler, and Ludlum as some of the most noteworthy globe-trotting story authors of the late 20th century. I've read the fewest of Higgins books but he still has a great style all his own and a fascinating main man in Sean Dillon. Dillon's background is uniquely crafted to make him stone cold yet likable. Every great assassin has a backstory that makes him already suited to the spy game and his is acting. But he wasn't an actor for long before the IRA managed to snatch him up. Now he's in a bind and forced to work for the government. 

The side characters here are simpler but fun as well. Poor Henry is a diver in the wrong place at the right time. He finds a remarkable discovery in the clear Carribean waters that sets everything in motion. It's not a treasure per se. But a lot of people want it. Enter his friend Jenny, a roommate he more less rescued that fills the heroine roll. Her part probably leaves a bit to be desired by modern feminists but I thought she was likable and had a redeeming grit. Ferguson and Carney end up as Dillon's crafty and amusing sidekicks for most of it, even if Dillon isn't technically the boss. This isn't a mystery as much as a straightforward treasure hunt, fight, and race type of story. Some aspects of the plot you can see coming but are none the less entertaining. Despite it being a relatively short book, there is a little skimming and it wouldn't made a great audiobook. For example, Dillon lights up a cigarette for something to do countless times and a few sections are more info dumps than research discoveries. Overall all though, it's an exciting little sea worthy tale that's worth the trip into the past.


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

November 15, 2022 - BCPL Resume Tips

Welcome back, workers! We're excited to give you another resume tip this month from Brooke County Libraries. 

Resume Tip #25 - Consider listing your job duties by order of importance.

When describing your previous job positions, it can be hard to know where to start! Typically, we advise our resume warriors to think about their day start to finish and walk their potential employer through those tasks and responsibilities. However, if you have a lot of work experience to describe, you should consider using order of importance.

For example, any management, supervisory, or team leading duties are a great place to start your description! That's the type of responsibility potential employers are looking for every day, and odds are, it was one of your most vital daily tasks. So, start that little paragraph out with notes like "oversaw team projects" or "consulted other staff members on their daily challenges".

Maybe you weren't a team leader, and that's okay! Were you a problem-solver or maybe worked solely on a designated duty? That's another good place to start. Consider listing items like this first - "Completed weekly spreadsheet of high dollar accounts" or "daily maintenance checks on heavily used equipment".

That's our tip for this month, folks! Check back in next month for more helpful hints regarding your resume or CV. And remember that your local library is a great place to look for help with your job search!

Monday, November 14, 2022

November 14, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield.

NASA is about to launch Apollo 18. While the mission has been billed as a scientific one, flight controller Kazimieras "Kaz" Zemeckis knows there is a darker objective. Intelligence has discovered a secret Soviet space station spying on America, and Apollo 18 may be the only chance to stop it. But even as Kaz races to keep the NASA crew one step ahead of their Russian rivals, a deadly accident reveals that not everyone involved is quite who they were thought to be. With political stakes stretched to the breaking point, the White House and the Kremlin can only watch as their astronauts collide on the lunar surface, far beyond the reach of law or rescue.


Book of Night by Holly Black.

Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn't pick, a book she couldn't steal, or a bad decision she wouldn't make. She's spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie Hall. Now, she's trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but getting out isn't easy. Bartending at a dive, she's still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that Charlie's shadowless, and possibly soulless, boyfriend has been hiding things from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends into a maelstrom of murder and lies. Determined to survive, she's up against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, gloamists, and the people she loves best in the world--all trying to steal a secret that will give them vast and terrible power.


Dark Whisper by Christine Feehan.

Vasilisa Sidkorolyavolkva is a Lycan of royal blood. She knows what is expected of her, but all she wants is to be out from under her family's watchful eyes. There is a fire inside her that is building. A restlessness coupled with a sense of growing dread. Every day she feels the weight of the legacy passed down through generations. The prophecy that says a man will come to claim her as his mate, and that she will guard his soul. She knows nothing about him except that he is hers. But nothing seems real until the night she meets him in the flesh....Afanasiv Belan is a Carpathian, an ancient one. In all the centuries of his existence, no one has ever affected him like Vasilisa. He can see into her mind and feel what is in her heart. They are so alike, warriors bound by honor and plagued by secrets. They both know they must reveal the darkest parts of their souls if they hope to survive and protect the ones they love. But if they claim each other as lifemates, it will change them down to the bone. They will become something more--something feared by both of their kinds....


Adult Non-Fiction

A Killer by Design by Ann Wolbert Burgess.

Lurking beneath the progressive activism and sex positivity in the 1970-80s, a dark undercurrent of violence rippled across the American landscape. With reported cases of sexual assault and homicide on the rise, the FBI created a specialized team--the "Mindhunters" better known as the Behavioral Science Unit--to track down the country's most dangerous criminals. And yet narrowing down a seemingly infinite list of potential suspects seemed daunting at best and impossible at worst--until Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess stepped on the scene. In A Killer By Design, Burgess reveals how her pioneering research on sexual assault and trauma caught the attention of the FBI, and steered her right into the middle of a chilling serial murder investigation in Nebraska. Over the course of the next two decades, she helped the budding unit identify, interview, and track down dozens of notoriously violent offenders, including Ed Kemper ("The Co-Ed Killer"), Dennis Rader ("("BTK"), Henry Wallace ("The Taco Bell Strangler"), Jon Barry Simonis ("The Ski-Mask Rapist"), and many others. As one of the first women trailblazers within the FBI's hallowed halls, Burgess knew many were expecting her to crack under pressure and recoil in horror--but she was determined to protect future victims at any cost. This book pulls us directly into the investigations as she experienced them, interweaving never-before-seen interview transcripts and crime scene drawings alongside her own vivid recollections to provide unprecedented insight into the minds of deranged criminals and the victims they left behind. Along the way, Burgess also paints a revealing portrait of a formidable institution on the brink of a seismic scientific and cultural reckoning--and the men forced to reconsider everything they thought they knew about crime.


Fiske Guide to Colleges 2023 by Edward B. Fiske.

Every college and university has a story, and no one tells those stories like former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske. That's why, for nearly 40 years, the Fiske Guide to Colleges has been the leading guide to 320+ four-year schools, including quotes from real students and information you won't find on college websites. Fully updated and expanded every year, Fiske is the most authoritative source of information for college-bound students and their parents. Helpful, honest, and straightforward, the Fiske Guide to Colleges delivers an insider's look at what it's really like to be a student at the "best and most interesting" schools in the United States, plus Canada, Great Britain, and Ireland--so you can find the best fits for you.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Maya’s Song by Renée Watson.  J NF

"This unforgettable picture book introduces young readers to the life and work of Maya Angelou, whose words have uplifted and inspired generations of readers. The author of the celebrated autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya was the first Black person and first woman to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration, and her influence echoes through culture and history. She was also the first Black woman to appear on the United States quarter. Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Reňe Watson uses Angelou's beloved medium of poetry to lyrically chronicle her rich life in a deeply moving narrative. Vivid and striking collage art by Caldecott Honor recipient and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Bryan Collier completes this unforgettable portrait of one of the most important American artists in history."-- Publisher marketing.


Cake Eater by Allyson Dahlin.  YA

The year is 3070, and Marie Antoinette has just arrived at the glittering, thrilling palace of Versailles to marry the shy, soft-spoken Louis-Auguste. But beneath the luxurious world lies a sinister underbelly and an uncompromising elite who want to keep Marie and Louis pawns in a deadly game. Will history repeat itself? Or will these doomed lovers outwit their enemies and escape their grisly fate?

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

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

November 9, 2022 - Book Club Preview

Thanks for checking in for our November book club pick!

This month we're reading and discussing Night by Elie Wiesel.

The meeting will be on Thursday, November 17th at 5pm, virtually and at BCPL. This will be our last discussion for the 2022 year.

About the book -
Night is a 1960 memoir by Elie Wiesel based on his Holocaust experiences with his father in the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944–1945, toward the end of the Second World War in Europe. In just over 100 pages of sparse and fragmented narrative, Wiesel writes about the death of God and his own increasing disgust with humanity, reflected in the inversion of the parent–child relationship as his father deteriorates to a helpless state and Wiesel becomes his resentful, teenage caregiver. "If only I could get rid of this dead weight ... Immediately I felt ashamed of myself, ashamed forever." In Night everything is inverted, every value destroyed. "Here there are no fathers, no brothers, no friends", a kapo tells him. "Everyone lives and dies for himself alone."

Translated into 30 languages, the book ranks as one of the bedrocks of Holocaust literature. It remains unclear how much of Night is memoir. Wiesel called it his deposition, but scholars have had difficulty approaching it as an unvarnished account. The literary critic Ruth Franklin writes that the pruning of the text from Yiddish to French transformed an angry historical account into a work of art.

About the author -

Wiesel was 16 when Buchenwald was liberated by the United States Army in April 1945, too late for his father, who died after a beating while Wiesel lay silently on the bunk above for fear of being beaten too. He moved to Paris after the war and in 1954 completed an 862-page manuscript in Yiddish about his experiences, published in Argentina as the 245-page Un di velt hot geshvign ("And the World Remained Silent"). The novelist François Mauriac helped him find a French publisher. Les Éditions de Minuit published 178 pages as La Nuit in 1958, and in 1960 Hill & Wang in New York published a 116-page translation as Night.

He was a professor of the humanities at Boston University, which created the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies in his honor. He was involved with Jewish causes and human rights causes and helped establish the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D. C. In his political activities, he also campaigned for victims of oppression in places like South Africa, Nicaragua, Kosovo, and Sudan. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. The Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a "messenger to mankind", stating that through his struggle to come to terms with "his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler's death camps", as well as his "practical work in the cause of peace", Wiesel delivered a message "of peace, atonement, and human dignity" to humanity.

Interested in the story? Check out the ebook copy we have on WV Reads!

Do you love this book? Are you intrigued by the book club pick? Let us know! We love to hear from our readers in the comments or on any of our social media pages.

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

November 8, 2022 - Staff Reviews


Hook, Line, and Sinker
By Tessa Bailey
Release Date: March 1, 2022
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - This long love story from newly minted rom-com queen Tessa Bailey has so many cute factors. Hannah and Fox have super chemistry but also make a perfect quirky couple for a light read. This book really would have been great at half the length, I think. But music lovers, small town tv show watchers, and friends-to-lovers fans will find so much to like.

Tessa's more intense romances from back in the day were solid four-star reads for me. Now the whole romantic comedy tidal wave sweeping the romance novel nation wipes me out. Fox and Hannah are instantly likable and easy to root for as a pair. But after awhile their almost respective insecurities weigh down the story. Hannah's not content to be a supporting actress in life and she's trying to squeak out of her comfort zone. Fox finds his world upside when faced with a roommate he has romantic feelings for. Gotta feel for them both.

I'm not a fan of the story being told in texts and song lyrics. I need dialouge and showing not telling. But it's a cute way to be modern and heartfelt so that's fine for many readers so I'm in the minority. The whole classic music but throw in some Lana Del Ray thing went over my head. I have simple music tastes but I'm sure headphone wearers everywhere will eat all that up. The book has a very fun Gilmore Girls vibe. Plus there's plenty more Brendan and Piper for fans of the first book. I found that one somewhat forgettable so this can be a standalone. Bailey wastes little time turning up the heat on these two. And I was oddly into all the side drama with Sergei. I was a bit exhausted at the halfway point though and discouraged when these two had made little progress on themselves and the pursuit of a meaningful relationship. Still, there's lots of fun to be had here in Westport! Tessa's very unique style is sure to charm as always.


Monday, November 7, 2022

November 7, 2022 - New Arrivals

Adult Fiction

The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart.

January Cole's job just got a whole lot harder. Not that running security at the Paradox was ever really easy. Nothing's simple at a hotel where the ultra-wealthy tourists arrive costumed for a dozen different time periods, all eagerly waiting to catch their "flights" to the past. Or where proximity to the timeport makes the clocks run backward on occasion--and, rumor has it, allows ghosts to stroll the halls. None of that compares to the corpse in room 526. The one that seems to be both there and not there. The one that somehow only January can see. On top of that, some very important new guests have just checked in. Because the U.S. government is about to privatize time-travel technology--and the world's most powerful people are on hand to stake their claims. January is sure the timing isn't a coincidence. Neither are those "accidents" that start stalking their bidders. There's a reason January can glimpse what others can't. A reason why she's the only one who can catch a killer who's operating invisibly and in plain sight, all at once. But her ability is also destroying her grip on reality--and as her past, present, and future collide, she finds herself confronting not just the hotel's dark secrets but her own.


The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz.

The Oppenheimer triplets have been reared with every advantage: wealth, education, and the determined attention of at least one of their parents. But neither Harrison (the smart one), Lewyn (the weird one) nor Sally (the girl) suspects the devastating event that first set their family in motion, or understands how fully it has already formed them. Now, on the verge of their departure for college and desperate to escape one another at last, the triplets are forced to contend with an unexpected complication: a fourth Oppenheimer sibling, formerly a leftover embryo from their own long ago in vitro genesis, has just been born.


The Club by Ellery Lloyd.

The Home Group is a glamorous collection of celebrity members' clubs dotted across the globe, where the rich and famous can party hard and then crash out in its five-star suites, far from the prying eyes of fans and the media. The most spectacular of all is Island Home--a closely-guarded, ultra luxurious resort, just off the English coast--and its three-day launch party is easily the most coveted A-list invite of the decade. But behind the scenes, tensions are at breaking point: the ambitious and expensive project has pushed the Home Group's CEO and his long-suffering team to their absolute limits. All of them have something to hide--and that's before the beautiful people with their own ugly secrets even set foot on the island. As tempers fray and behavior worsens, as things get more sinister by the hour and the body count piles up, some of Island Home's members will begin to wish they'd never made the guest list. Because at this club, if your name's on the list, you're not getting out.


Adult Non-Fiction

Haunted Pennsylvania by Mark Nesbitt & Patty A. Wilson.

A collection of frightening stories, including the Civil War ghosts of Gettysburg, spirits at John Brown's tannery, the fiddling ghost of Potter County, hauntings at the Eastern State Penitentiary, the mysterious indelible handprint, and many more.


Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy for Dummies by Matthew M. F. Miler & Sharon Perkins.

Dad's Guide to Pregnancy for Dummies walks you through the ins and outs of how to best support your partner through the logistical, physical, and emotional challenges of pregnancy. Yes, we know that you won't be doing the lion's share of the work over the next nine months, but you can do your part by getting a head start on learning critical information about the ins and outs of pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the first few months of baby care. You'll get the lowdown on topics like setting up a nursery, how to be helpful during childbirth, and the best way to change a diaper. You'll even find advice about when to let other people in on the fact that you're expecting.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

The Girl in the Castle by James Patterson & Emily Raymond.  YA

NOW: Hannah Doe is brought to Belman Psych, kicking and screaming, told she is suffering from hallucinations and delusions. 1347: Hannah Dory and her village are starving to death in a brutal winter. Hannah seeks out food and salvation in the baron's castle. If she is caught stealing, she will surely hang. NOW: Hannah knows the truth: she is Hannah Doe and Hannah Dory, and she must return to the past before it's too late to save her sister. Can Jordan, the Abnormal-Psych student who seems to truly care, be the one to finally help her? Jordan isn't sure what to believe, and Hannah has even bigger problems: if she doesn't make it back, her sister will die, but if she keeps going back, she might never escape.


Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality by Roshani Chokshi.  J

The Pandavas only have until the next full moon to stop the Sleeper from gaining access to the nectar of immortality, which will grant him infinite power. But how can Aru, Mini, and Brynne hope to defeat him without their celestial weapons? The Sleeper and his army are already plundering the labyrinth, and the sisters can't even enter. Their quest to get in will have them calling on old friends, meeting new allies, and facing fearsome trials, like...performing in a rock concert? When the moment of confrontation finally arrives, it's up to Aru to decide who deserves immortality, the devas or the asuras. The most unexpected answer will come from a most unexpected place.

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

Friday, November 4, 2022

November 4, 2022 - Staff Reviews


Take a Chance with Me
By Kristen Proby
Release Date: January 25, 2022
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - Another likable entry set in Proby's Seattle universe. I was really looking forward to Cam and Maggie's story, and it fell just a bit shy of expectations. Maggie's fiery personality is central here as she battles her past. Cam's a strong, supportive shoulder that she needs to lean on.

There was so much build up to Maggie's story in her branch of the Seattle families. And I was ready to devour her and Cam's book. Proby oddly didn't work any suspense and only a little steam into this one. She chose instead to highlight Maggie's struggles since getting out of an abusive marriage, and her lifelong friendship with Cam that becomes more. Cam's more patient with her than I could have probably been to be honest. But these two did have a lot of chemistry and a beautiful relationship with her family.

I felt like this one just wasn't as tightly plotted and had some tropes I generally don't enjoy. Cam is Maggie's much older brother's best friend, and while I was buying Maggie's crush on him, I couldn't see Cam's side as much. Maggie's almost too indecisive and capricious. I can understand her reluctance to change and commitment but frankly, her life was shaped by her own bad choices so. There's a really weird aspect of the plot involving money left behind by her husband. Cam's got secrets that are left really, really vague. I feel like Proby should have doubled down somewhere to up the excitement levels a little. Either they have a secret passionate affair or end up in danger from one of Maggie's beau's lifestyle choices. This one was definitely entertaining though, slightly saucy but mostly sweet. Just felt like a bit was left on the table.


Thursday, November 3, 2022

November 3, 2022 - Thanksgiving Stories

Ready to gobble gobble up a good book this month? In November, Brooke County Libraries are putting a spotlight on our favorite Thanksgiving, or near Thanksgiving, tales!

Check out this list below of some of our favorite Fall, November, and Thanksgiving fiction. All titles are available from Brooke County Libraries either in person or as ebooks.

Glass Houses by Louise Penny
When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead. From the moment the creature's shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Quebec, suspects it has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized. But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.

Miss Julia Lays Down the Law by Ann B. Ross
It’s November and Miss Julia is looking forward to some quiet time before the holidays. That is until snobby Connie Clayborn and her rich husband move to town. At first, Miss Julia and the other ladies are pleased to be invited over for coffee, but the afternoon turns into a slap in the face when their hostess spouts nonstop criticism about Abbotsville. Why, how dare she? Days later, Miss Julia decides to confront Connie woman to woman, but when she arrives, Connie is lying on the kitchen floor—lifeless in a pool of blood. Who could have done this? Miss Julia will need to find out fast—particularly because her fingerprints are now all over the crime scene. . . . 

A Quilter's Holiday by Jennifer Chiaverini
The Elm Creek Quilters are home for the Christmas, where hand-stitching brings out the holiday spirit in for their loved ones!

The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley
Set in the most magical parts of Manhattan—the Upper West Side, Central Park, Greenwich Village—The Ramblers explores the lives of three lost souls, bound together by friendship and family. During the course of one fateful Thanksgiving week, a time when emotions run high and being with family can be a mixed blessing, Rowley’s sharply defined characters explore the moments when decisions are deliberately made, choices accepted, and pasts reconciled.

Thankless in Death by JD Robb
Lieutenant Eve Dallas has plenty to be grateful for this season. Hosting Roarke’s big Irish family for the holiday may be challenging, but it’s a joyful improvement on her own dark childhood. Other couples aren’t as lucky as Eve and Roarke. The Reinholds, for example, are lying in their home stabbed and bludgeoned almost beyond recognition. Those who knew them are stunned—and heartbroken by the evidence that they were murdered by their own son. Twenty-six-year-old Jerry hadn’t made a great impression on the bosses who fired him or the girlfriend who dumped him—but they didn’t think he was capable of this.

Raspberry Danish Murder by Joanne Fluke
Hannah has felt as bitter as November in Minnesota since Ross vanished without a trace and left their marriage in limbo. Still, she throws herself into a baking frenzy for the sake of pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving-themed treats while endless holiday orders pour into The Cookie Jar. Hannah even introduces a raspberry Danish pastry to the menu, and P.K., her husband’s assistant at KCOW-TV, will be one of the first to sample it. But instead of taking a bite, P.K., who is driving Ross’s car and using his desk at work, is murdered. Was someone plotting against P.K. all along or did Ross dodge a deadly dose of sweet revenge? Hannah will have to quickly sift through a cornucopia of clues and suspects to stop a killer from bringing another murder to the table . . .

Thanksgiving by Janet Evanovich
When Megan Murphy discovered a floppy-eared rabbit gnawing on the hem of her skirt, she meant to give its careless owner a piece of her mind, but Dr. Patrick Hunter was too attractive to stay mad at for long. Soon the two are making Thanksgiving dinner for their families.

Turkey Day Murder by Leslie Meier
Tinker’s Cove has a long history of Thanksgiving festivities, from visits with TomTom Turkey to the annual Warriors high school football game and Lucy Stone’s impressive pumpkin pie. But this year, someone has added murder to the menu, and Lucy intends to discover who left Metinnicut Indian activist Curt Nolan deader than the proverbial Thanksgiving turkey—with an ancient war club next to his head.

The Cat Who Talked Turkey by Lilian Jackson Braun
The good people of Moose County are in a fever of excitement. It's almost time for the gala groundbreaking of the Pickax bookstore - and the town of Brrr is preparing for its bicentennial celebration. All the festivities, however; are spoiled by the discovery of a man's body on James Qwilleran's property. Could it be the work of a killer who used the same MO in northern Michigan? To solve the case, Qwill and his feline pals, Koko and Yum Yum, will have to prick up their ears and determine who committed this fowl deed. 

The Diva Runs Out of Thyme by Krista Davis
Few can compete with Natasha Smith when it comes to entertaining, but her childhood rival, Sophie Winston, certainly tries. Natasha may have stolen the spotlight, and Sophie's husband, but Sophie is determined to rob her of the prize for the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown. She just needs the right ingredient. But Sophie's search for the perfect turkey takes a basting when she stumbles across a corpse. And when the police find her name and photo inside the victim's car, Sophie will have to set her trussing aside to solve the murder, or she'll be serving up prison grub.

A Catered Thanksgiving by Isis Crawford
In this seventh installment of Crawford's delicious cozy series featuring catering sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons, a Thanksgiving dinner goes awry thanks to a killer who's hiding a cornucopia of secrets...

Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet.
Struggling both socially and academically, she returns to Miami for a surprise Thanksgiving visit, only to be overshadowed by the arrival of Ariel Hernandez, a young boy whose mother died fleeing with him from Cuba on a raft. The ensuing immigration battle puts Miami in a glaring spotlight, captivating the nation and entangling Lizet's entire family, especially her mother. Pulled between life at college and the needs of those she loves, Lizet is faced with difficult decisions that will change her life forever. Urgent and mordantly funny, Make Your Home Among Strangers tells the moving story of a young woman torn between generational, cultural, and political forces; it's the new story of what it means to be American today.

Manhunt by James Patterson and James O. Born
Michael Bennett, be grateful you're alive. Someone attacked the Thanksgiving Day Parade directly in front of Michael Bennett and his family. The television news called it "holiday terror"--Michael Bennett calls it personal. The hunt is on....

This month we're also thankful for all our readers! Glad you checked in with us, and did we leave out any of your favorites? Maybe you really enjoyed a story from this list? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you in our comment section below or on any of our social media pages.

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