Book

Jun 23, 2022

A valuable, necessary, and accessible book. Kiely has an easy-going manner and presents ideas that could be abstract, academic theory through relatable anecdotes and stories, more often than not about himself when he was a teenager. It reads quickly and directly addresses young white readers without confrontation or shaming, encouraging listening, empathy, and a sense of responsibility (instead of guilt). Highly recommended.


If I have one complaint, it's that Kiely tries so hard to be casual and appealing that he sometimes condescends to his readers and implies low expectations of their

Jun 23, 2022

A valuable, necessary, and accessible book. Kiely has an easy-going manner and presents ideas that could be abstract, academic theory through relatable anecdotes and stories, more often than not about himself when he was a teenager. It reads quickly and directly addresses young white readers without confrontation or shaming, encouraging listening, empathy, and a sense of responsibility (instead of guilt). Highly recommended.


If I have one complaint, it's that Kiely tries so hard to be casual and appealing that he sometimes condescends to his readers and implies low expectations of their

Shadow images of a male and female facing each other with a landscape image visible behind and through them.

Silver Silence

By Nalini Singh
4
Rated by Michelle H
Jun 21, 2022

Brilliant psychic ice queen meets gregarious and equally brilliant changeling Alpha bear and hijinks ensue!  Author Nalini Singh returns to her popular psy-changeling world with this first in a new sub-series. It is a great jumping in point for for fans of paranormal romance/adventure who are not familiar with her work. Full of complex characters, over-the-top heroics, humor and unexpected warmth; this author just keeps me coming back for more and this may be the best book yet!


Yes, Silver Silence is a paranormal romance/adventure but also so much more! The main characters and all their

Jun 7, 2022

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of #NewTitleTuesday, where we take a look at a new fiction release that hits the shelves this week. Today marks the debut of Piper Huguley's BY HER OWN DESIGN, a fictionalized history of a real-life person, Ann Lowe, a dressmaker who worked with some of the most famous and influential people in America but who was all but invisible herself.


Ann Lowe was born and raised in 1918 in rural Alabama to a poor Black family. Growing up, she learned sewing from her mother and her grandmother and found she had a gift for it, but with her opportunities severely

Jun 2, 2022

The Genius Under the Table is bleak but also strangely cozy at times.  It’s hopeful, heartbreaking, occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, and may stir up tender feelings for your own strange family.


Eugene (Yevgeny) is a child growing up behind the Iron Curtain.  His family shares a kitchen and bathroom with several families, including a spy who’s always lurking in the corner of the kitchen.  Eugene is bursting with questions - Why is his grandfather’s face cut out of all the family pictures? Why doesn’t anyone want to talk about defecting (which is too close to the word defecating?)  And why

Book Cover

Dare to Know

By James Kennedy
4
Rated by Chris K.
Jun 1, 2022

Wonderfully quirky, nerdy, and compelling.


The narrator is reflective, curious, self-conscious and insecure. He is also a washed-up former star of a fading industry, suffering a mid-life crisis and looking back on how he has gotten to where he is. It almost reads like an alternate reality autobiography, feeling confessional, personal, and true. And it features ruminations on math, science, death, ritual sacrifice, mysticism, and repeated use of the word "chthonic."


I have to admit, though, I was hooked from the moment I read the author bio on the back jacket flap.


James Kennedy is the

The cover of True Biz by Sara Novic

True Biz

By Sara Nović
4
Rated by Allison M
May 20, 2022

True Biz by Sara Nović is a book that taught me so much about Deaf culture and the breadth of deaf experiences. The narrative follows several characters at the fictional River Valley School for the Deaf. In between chapters, Nović includes excerpts of nonfiction about Deaf history and American Sign Language (ASL), complete with drawn diagrams of signing. This spotlight on Deaf culture is what makes True Biz a gem of a book, even if I thought some of the storytelling was less than perfect.


Nović has given us several characters who all experience deafness in different ways; there are three

Cover of TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY by Linwood Barclay

Take Your Breath Away

By Linwood Barclay
4
Rated by Gregg W.
May 17, 2022

This week's edition of #NewTitleTuesday is written by one of the most reliable bets in the thriller genre, Linwood Barclay, a master of a kind of book you don't see much of on the shelves as you used to - the "airport thriller," shorthand for a kind of forgettable novel that one might pick up at an airport to pass the time. There's little that's forgettable about his newest, however: TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY is an excellent page-turner that is perfect for a summer thriller that will keep you glued to the pages, desperate to find out what happens next.


TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY begins with Brie

A Wish in the Dark book cover

A Wish in the Dark

By Christina Soontornvat
5
Rated by Kristen Re.
May 11, 2022

“Those who are born in darkness always return.”


 


A Wish in the Dark meshes fantasy and adventure, set in a place similar to Thailand.  The journey begins for Pong, an orphan who was born in Namwon Prison, when he makes his escape when he’s 12-years- old.  The next four years Pong lives in a temple with monks, which is in a village outside the city of Chattana.  Father Cham becomes his father figure and mentor.  He teaches Pong about trusting himself and how to navigate his new freedom.


The Governor of Chattana powers the city with magic orbs that give light, heat, and power.  Who

Cover of THE HACIENDA by Isabel Cañas

The Hacienda

By Isabel Cañas
0
Rated by Gregg W.
May 10, 2022

Hello and welcome to #NewTitleTuesday, where we take a look at a new release in the publishing world that will hopefully be a welcome addition to your holds lists.


Today marks the debut of THE HACIENDA by Isabel Cañas, a dark, glittering gem of a debut novel that's already drawing comparisons to Daphne du Maurier's REBECCA by way of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's MEXICAN GOTHIC. This novel, a gothic suspense thriller with hints of the supernatural, is delightfully atmospheric and perfect for those who like thrills and chills that tiptoe up to the line to horror bet never actually crosses that line

May 9, 2022

This is a parenting book.


Yes, the details and particulars are about libraries serving homeless patrons, and for that it is great. I think all librarians and library employees should read it. Even if they have have no homeless patrons. Because the guidance in this book should be applied to all librarian-patron interactions.


And this book's guidance should be applied to all parent-child interactions. So it is a parenting book. And a teacher classroom-management book. It is a management and leadership book. It is a customer service book. I would daresay it is a policing book.


The core

May 3, 2022

Hello and welcome to this week's #NewTitleTuesday, where we take a closer look at a title that makes its debut to the publishing world - and our patron's holds lists!


Jennifer Saint's novel ARIADNE was a powerful word-of-mouth hit last year - the novel from the point of view of a princess of Crete who helps hero Theseus find his way through a maze in the basement of her father's palace - was both a crowd-pleaser and a great book club pick for those looking to dig a little deeper into the character from Greek mythology. Saint is back with a similar novel, this time not only looking at

Book cover

Poison for Breakfast

By Lemony Snicket
5
Rated by Chris K.
Apr 28, 2022

A perfect little gem of a book.


A book I quickly fell in love with. It may not be a perfect book for every reader, as we all have our different preferences. Not everyone will love it as much as I. But I love it. I find it hard to imagine a book that could be more perfect.


I rarely buy books. I work in a library, so I feel almost every day I have all the books I could ever want at my fingertips for free. I don't often feel the need to buy them for myself. Plus, buying a book means I am unlikely to read it.


These are (most of) the books I currently have checked out from my library

Book cover

Poison for Breakfast

By Lemony Snicket
5
Rated by Chris K.
Apr 28, 2022

A perfect little gem of a book.


A book I quickly fell in love with. It may not be a perfect book for every reader, as we all have our different preferences. Not everyone will love it as much as I. But I love it. I find it hard to imagine a book that could be more perfect.


I rarely buy books. I work in a library, so I feel almost every day I have all the books I could ever want at my fingertips for free. I don't often feel the need to buy them for myself. Plus, buying a book means I am unlikely to read it.


These are (most of) the books I currently have checked out from my library

Cover of NETTLE & BONE by T. Kingfisher

Nettle & Bone

By T. Kingfisher
4
Rated by Gregg W.
Apr 26, 2022

Hello and welcome to this week's edition of #NewTitleTuesday, where we take a quick look at a new title that hits the shelves of the publishing world.


A long time ago in a land far away, three princesses lived in a small kingdom. The oldest princess married the handsome prince of a neighboring kingdom. However, the princess soon died under mysterious circumstances. So the handsome prince married the second princess, to further cement the alliance. The third princess was sent off to live the rest of her live in a convent, forbidden to marry and possibly produce an heir. This third princess

Apr 19, 2022

Hello and welcome to #NewTitleTuesday, where we take a quick look at a new release that hits the publishing world this week. Today we're looking at an inspiring true story of a group of women who defied convention, overcame stereotypes, and fought for fairness in the workplace during a time of massive cultural shift. In THE GREAT STEWARDESS REBELLION: HOW WOMEN LAUNCHED A WORKPLACE REVOLUTION AT 30,000 FEET Nell McShane Wulfhart tells a timely and absorbing story of how a profession, belittled and sexualized, became an important labor movement.


Picture the stereotype of the stewardess at

Apr 12, 2022

For today's #NewTitleTuesday pick, we turn our attention to the nonfiction section with Mary Laura Philpott's BOMB SHELTER: LOVE, TIME AND OTHER EXPLOSIVES. Philpott, an essayist who some critics call a spiritual successor to Nora Ephron or Erma Bombeck and who wrote 2019's I MISS YOU WHEN I BLINK, writes a fresh, funny, and insightful collection of new essays that speak to everyday life, motherhood, and the anxiety-ridden moment that many Americans are going through.


I mentioned "anxiety-ridden" - Philpott, a parent with young children, is constantly worried about them, as all mothers are

Cover of COVER STORY by Susan Rigetti

Cover Story

By Susan Rigetti
4
Rated by Gregg W.
Apr 5, 2022

Welcome to #NewTitleTuesday where we say hello to one of the many books that make their debuts on the library shelves this week. 


America LOVES the bad guy. Or, at the very least, we love reading about them, watching movies or documentaries about them, or listening to podcasts about them. From Elizabeth Holmes to Frank Abagnale, Jr to the Tinder Swindler, we are fascinated by people who lull others into a false sense of security while at the same time ripping them off. With today's pick, COVER STORY by Susan Rigetti, we find a familiar tale of a con artist, but the novel approaches things

The cover to Slow Horses by Mick Herron

Slow Horses

By Mick Herron
5
Rated by Matt I.
Mar 28, 2022

Slough House is the dumping ground of the British Secret Services. Left a briefcase filled with state secrets on the bus, accidentally punched the Prime Minister's wife or nearly blown up a major metropolitan train station during a training exercise? Then Slough House is where you end up; doing stultifying and demeaning administrative tasks under the baleful eye of station commander Jackson Lamb (think a bitter and burned out James Bond).


The Slow Horses are only around until they can be made to quit, or get back into the good graces of their higher ups at MI6.


The first in a series of

The Cover of IMPOSSIBLE US by Sarah Lotz

The Impossible Us

By Sarah Lotz
4
Rated by Gregg W.
Mar 22, 2022

Hello and welcome to NewTitleTuesday, where we take a look at a new book that gets released into the publishing world this week. Today's novel is a love story - well, let me stop right there, as it's not exactly a love story, it's a love story that goes wrong. In the beginning, anyway.


The novel begins with Nick, a struggling novelist, who accidentally sends a furious text to a wrong number. Bee, who works on refurbishing cast-off wedding dresses, gets the text and she, snarkily, sends a message back. They both begin a relationship of sorts over the phone, with both of them feeling the

Mar 18, 2022

I have not loved a book this much in a very, very long time. I have to be careful about saying that though because it immediately sets the bar at an almost impossible level. This book landed in my hands at exactly the right time. It was the first book I’d been able to read read (as opposed to listen to on audio) since having a baby. With my daughter finally sleeping through the night and in her own room, I was once again able to curl up with a book in bed and let my not-quite-as-sleep deprived brain travel to another place.


This book immediately brought up the same emotions I felt while

Mar 15, 2022

Hello and weclome to another edition of #NewTitleTuesday, where we take a closer look at a book that hits the shelves in bookstores (and the the holds shelves at your local library) today!


John Scalzi is an author known for writing witty and accessible science fiction. (And, on a personal note, he's also an author I love to put in patron's hands when someone tells me that they don't like to read science fiction. Titles like OLD MAN'S WAR or his Star Trek-inspired REDSHIRTS are almost gateway drugs to the genre.) His newest, THE KAIJU PRESERVATION SOCIETY, written in the opening months of

Mar 8, 2022

Welcome to #NewTitleTuesday at the Johnson County Library where we take a closer look at a new book that's hitting the shelves. In THE LAST CONFESSIONS OF SYLVIA P., author Lee Kravitz constructs a dazzling literary mystery revolving around the perspectives of three characters, all with a connection to author and poet Sylvia Plath, who died tragically by suicide in 1963. Interweaving fiction and reality from different times of Plath's life, Kravitz's novel is going to be in heavy demand from book groups.


The book kicks off with the story of Estee, a historian and curator of a small Boston

Mar 1, 2022

Light Years From Home by Mike Chen is a family drama with science fiction flavor. If you’re looking for hard sci-fi with intricately plotted space escapades, this is not the book for you. What this book is instead is a very real, intimate tale of a family with a lot of issues - only one of which is aliens.


The Shao family was always a little dysfunctional, but the real turning point in their lives is when Jakob Shao goes missing for 15 years. Jakob’s father claims that he was abducted by aliens and hopes to bring him home. Little sister Evie is drawn into this “conspiracy,” working with

Cover of SCOUNDREL by Sarah Weinman

Scoundrel

By Sarah Weinman
4
Rated by Gregg W.
Feb 22, 2022

Hello and welcome to #NewTitleTuesday, where we take a quick look at a new title that makes its publishing debut this week!


If you take a look at the top ten most downloaded lists of pretty much any podcast app, true crime stories dominate the medium. But if you've been paying attention, true crime has never NOT dominated American media, from podcasts to streaming documentaries to TV shows to Ann Rule books all the way back to the lurid police magazines of the pulp era and the daily broadsheets even before that. There's something about not being able to look away from the darkness that

Feb 16, 2022

Did you know that 50 years ago, during the Nixon administration, the U.S. almost passed a bill creating a universal basic income? Test cases and studies had been done, all evidence supported the idea as feasible and universally beneficial, and it had widespread public and political support. Experts at the time were also predicting vastly reduced workweeks as machines replaced the need for human labor, so it made sense to provide income since there wouldn't be enough work to go around. Then the narrative changed. As predicted, essential work has since become a smaller and smaller part of the

Cover of Mickey7 by Edward Ashton

Mickey7

By Edward Ashton
4
Rated by Gregg W.
Feb 15, 2022

Sometimes a sci-fi novel comes along with such a knockout premise that even readers of other genres cross over to take a peek and see what the fuss is about. Take Andy Weir's 2011 breakout smash THE MARTIAN: what if one astronaut was stranded on a planet all alone after a botched Mars expedition, and the rest of Earth raced to save him? After ten years, a flopjillion copies checked out, and a Matt Damon movie later, we still get patrons at the library asking for readalikes who never normally ask for sci-fi. Today's #NewTitleTuesday selection is a bit similar, in that it has such a killer

Feb 8, 2022

LOVE & SAFFRON: A NOVEL OF FRIENDSHIP, FOOD, AND LOVE by Kim Fay might well be this year's word-of-mouth breakout novel - the sort of novel that never makes a big splash on the bestseller lists, but lurks just beneath the surface by building a slow, steady, and loyal following, recommended from patron to patron, and book club participant to book club participant. It has that kind of vibe. Plus, it's an epistolary novel, which, when done well, are special little slices of literary heaven for readers. They draw us into a magical, insulated world that's only inhabited by the communication between

Feb 1, 2022

Welcome to the latest edition of #NewTitleTuesday, where we take a closer look at a new book that's hitting the shelves of bookstores (and libraries) across the nation. Since my bailiwick is fiction, I naturally stick to the fiction side of things in this space - thrillers, historical fiction, fantasy, romance, that sort of thing. But today a book caught my eye about a topic that a lot of our patrons are going to love, as it's a title that covers a lot of bases no matter what genre you like.


A TASTE FOR POISON by Neil Bradbury is going to be of interest for classic mystery aficionados

book cover for Enduring Freedom

Enduring Freedom

By Jawad Arash and Trent Reedy
4
Rated by Kristen Re.
Jan 21, 2022

In Enduring Freedom we get the human side of war from two perspectives.  The novel shares how two people from different backgrounds react to the same events.  The setting takes place mainly in Farah, Afghanistan after 9/11.  Joe, a U.S. Army soldier from Iowa, is serving his first tour in Afghanistan when he meets Baheer, a sixteen-year old local.  There is a language barrier at first, but there is no mistaking that they both want to defeat the Taliban.  They forge a friendship in which they rely on each other's bravery and knowledge to make it through some tough situations. 


It is a great