Staff Picks

Staff Review Sep 18, 2017

The Devil and Sherlock Holmes is not what I expected, but I wasn't disappointed, either. The twelve previously published magazine stories are similar to Holmes mysteries, but not all involve crimes. Grann immerses himself in his work, reporting on his subjects’ history, and detailing his own interactions with them.

Staff Review Sep 17, 2017

I’ve probably packed for hundreds of trips - long and short, near and far - and I feel like I’ve done a pretty decent job, but after reading this short book by girl on the go, Hitha Palepu, I’ve learned or been reminded of a few tips that I hope will make packing and traveling on my next trip a bit easier and slightly more organized, like:

Staff Review
Darth Maul Lockdown

Maul Lockdown

By Joe Schreiber
5
Rated by Dylan R
Sep 15, 2017

Ah, a story featuring the scary-looking, staff-sabered Sith apprentice, Darth Maul! If you are reading this review, you've most likely seen Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace, so you'll no doubt recall Maul as the strong, silent type. Admittedly, I was more than a tad hesitant upon embarking on this book's voyage. Does Maul speak at all?

Staff Review Sep 13, 2017

I love a good cookie and a good murder mystery. When I heard about Murder, She Baked, based on Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen series, I couldn't wait to check it out. I have been meaning to read Fluke's Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, which is first in the series and is the plot for this Hallmark TV movie.

Staff Review Sep 11, 2017

It's 1845 Haworth, West Yorkshire, England. This historical depiction shows a very bleak and distressing side to the famous Bronte sisters lives. Back when there were very few opportunities for women, it tells of the hardships Charlotte, Emily and Anne faced. It also includes the downfall of their brother Patrick, who they all called by his middle name Bramwell.  His was a tortured soul that could not live up to his own expectations and took it out on his father.

Staff Review
silhouette of a woman over the LA skyline at night

The Late Show

By Michael Connelly
5
Rated by Hilary S.
Sep 9, 2017

Renée Ballard works the overnight shift at LA's  Hollywood station aka The Late Show. Cops on this shift don't get to follow their cases - they respond to calls, get information and start the paperwork for the daytime crews to take over. This is why it's considered a punishment for cops that have screwed up in some way. It's rather unfulfilling, and Ballard struggles against this - she's a good cop, and wants to finish a case. She finds a way to keep working on all three of the cases she gets a call out on.

Staff Review
6 wedding guests at a table

Table 19 (DVD)

By Jeffrey Blitz
3
Rated by Traci M.
Sep 7, 2017

Why must movie trailers be so misleading? There have been many a movie where the finished product seems completely different from what the trailer hyped it to be. Like a comedy that is not that funny because the trailer gave away the only two humorous parts of the entire film.

Teen Staff Review
young woman sitting cross legged underwater

Ramona Blue

By Julie Murphy
5
Rated by Becky C.
Sep 5, 2017

Hurricane Harvey in the news raises the relevance of this novel to a category five. The fact that we're bringing Julie Murphy--one of the best contemporary realistic fiction authors in the country--to town for a Meet the Author visit means you must put this book on your radar. I listened to the audio version. It's fantastic. The narrator is a perfect fit for Ramona's voice.

Staff Review Sep 5, 2017

This is the greatest album released in my lifetime. OK Computer changed the sound, quality, and art of music. Radiohead’s work spreads beyond alternative rock to inspire a new generation of musicians in multiple genres. As a critically acclaimed and culturally beloved piece of art, OK Computer’s rerelease is necessary to celebrate this intensely great album.

Staff Review
Arrowood mage with mansion and two playing children

Arrowood

By Laura McHugh
4
Rated by LeeAnn B.
Sep 3, 2017

Arrowood is a grand mansion on the banks where the Des Moines River meets the Mississippi River. Arden Arrowood spent her childhood living in the family home until the tragic disappearance of her two-year old twin sisters drove her family to abandon the house. Now, almost 20 years later, Arden returns to  Arrowood and the memories of her childhood and her sisters. Will she finally be able to find out what happened on that fateful day so long ago?

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