Staff Picks

Staff Review
flaming horse


By Veronica Rossi
Rated by Debbie L.
Feb 26, 2017

Recently deceased, Gideon becomes one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and is tasked with fighting off the evil Kindred who want to enslave humans. The story begins with Gideon being held and questioned by authorities who want to know why he was involved in a recent battle. I enjoyed how the story unfolds as Gideon relays unfathomable events that occurred over the past several weeks leading up to his present precarious situation.

Staff Review
Cover image of I Will Send Rain. A woman stands biting her finger in a gritty black-and-white photograph.

I Will Send Rain

By Meadows, Rae
Rated by Kari E.
Feb 25, 2017

I Will Send Rain is both bleak and hopeful. You will feel a lot of things while reading this perfectly crafted, emotional story of an Oklahoma farm family living through the Dust Bowl.

Staff Review

Lilac Girls

By Martha Hall Kelly
Rated by Debbie L.
Feb 23, 2017

Lilac Girls is a World War II historical fiction book focusing on Ravensbruck, a women's concentration camp where some prisoners endured cruel experimental surgeries. Chapters alternate between the perspectives of three different women: former actress and wealthy American, Catherine Ferriday, who sends care packages to orphaned children overseas; Kasia, a Polish teenager and Ravensbruck prisoner; and Herta Oberhauser, a German doctor performing experiments in Ravensbruck.

Staff Review
Sing Street cover. A boy and girl walking with hands in pockets.

Sing Street

By Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated by Stefanie E.
Feb 16, 2017

It's difficult for me to remember a more joyful, smart, and pleasant coming-of-age movie made in recent years. Sing Street, shot on the streets of Dublin, is filled with vibrant costumes and colorful people and I couldn't help but feel delight as I watched the young characters come to life. During my first viewing, it was easy to make comparisons to the beloved American filmmaker John Hughes of 1980's Chicago fame because of the mutual time period.

Staff Review Feb 8, 2017

If you love dogs (and I sincerely hope you do), you'll love this heart warming story of a woman finding her place in the world and a dog finding a home. Gina Bellamy suddenly finds herself trying to figure it all out on her own after her recent divorce. As she struggles to find herself in all the clutter of life she decides to keep only one hundred essential things. Little does she know, she will find that Buzz, a neglected and anxious greyhound, fits perfectly in her new life and happy moments.


Staff Review Feb 4, 2017

Hello and welcome to this month’s look at some new releases at Johnson County Library. Since February is the shortest month of the year, today we’ll be doing some short, quick reviews, hopefully exposing you to some great books to warm up with in the cold weather. Plus, we know you made all those New Year’s Resolutions about reading more books that you haven’t lived up to. There’s still time! The Johnson County Library can help! We might not be able to get you to the gym, but we can certainly help you with your reading lists.

Staff Review Feb 3, 2017

The Boston Girl is told by 85-year-old Addie, who revisits her long life of memories during an interview given by one of her grandchildren.  It’s an incredibly intimate one-sided conversation that completely ensnares the reader.  This storytelling style made me feel as if Addie was my grandmother.  Like other special books with superb storytelling, The Boston Girl envelopes the reader inside a bubble.  While reading it, you feel like you are living the story and your real life is just an inconv

Staff Review
Cover of The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - pictures stack of old books

The Thirteenth Tale

By Diane Setterfield
Rated by Emily D.
Feb 1, 2017

Wanna hear a ghost story? A fabulous tale about sisters, secrets, family, fire, death, and ghosts?

Staff Review Jan 31, 2017

The Sound of Gravel is the true story of Ruth Wariner, a young girl growing up as a Mormon fundamentalist in the 80’s, traveling between Mexico and the United States with her ever expanding family. After Ruthie’s father is killed by his own brother when, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife to a practicing polygamist.

Staff Review
Cover of The Martian, shows a astronaut floating in orange-red Martian dust

The Martian

By Andy Weir
Rated by Emily D.
Jan 29, 2017

This is a hands-down fabulous book! It’s an adventure. In space. On Mars. What more do you need? But on top of that it’s witty and science-y with a hint of impending doom.