Staff Picks

Staff Review
jocolibrary.org

Dear Edward

By Ann Napolitano
5
Rated by Debbie F.
Feb 28, 2020

Staff Review
Photo of Annie Newcomer by Kelly Martens

Connection Writing Contest Winner

By Annie Newcomer
5
Rated by Jack V.
Feb 25, 2020

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Annie Newcomer has won our Poetry writing contest on the theme of Connection with "Acushla."

Annie Newcomer lives in Prairie Village with David, her husband of forty years and their daughter's Aussiedoodle, Summit. Her first published piece, "My Red Shoes" was about how her sister Patty's death affected her, then a young child herself. Patty suffered in life with severe cerebral palsy. She was a blessing and an angel.

Acushla

Staff Review
Three Hands for Scorpio

Three Hands for Scorpio

By Andre Norton
4
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

     Three Hands for Scorpio is the last adult book for young adults of Lifetime Grand Master of Fantasy, Andre Norton, who passed away on March 17, 2005 after a long and extremely fruitful career.  Her magically detailed world-building skills, upright, against-all-odds characters, and fast pace will be sorely missed.  Tor rushed a copy of this book of women-of-steel into print, so that the 93-year-old author could see it before she died.  It is the last manuscript she penned alone, and has an action-packed storyline.  

Staff Review
Deerskin

Deerskin

By Robin McKinley
4
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

     You know, sometimes you just need some escapist fantasy about self-discovery in women.  McKinley's seventeen-year-old girl Lissar was just the ticket for me last night. Deesrkin is a beautiful, haunting, and sometimes painful coming-of-age story that ends with a message of hope.  The first half of the fantasy fiction is really about the traumatic aftermath of a violent assault and rape by the heroine's own father.  These dark themes are handled appropriately, realistically, and with great compassion but they do mak

Staff Review
book cover of Relish

Relish

By Lucy Knisley
4
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
Feb 21, 2020

I am super late to the Lucy Knisley party and I'm a little perturbed with myself. I cannot believe I waited this long to read Relish. It has a lot of things I love about a good book: 

- memoir   
- lotsa foodie talk 
- incredible illustrations 
- stories about malicious birds.  

I was hooked by page 8 when Knisley talks about having poached salmon in cream for her baptism day. 

Staff Review
Red White and Royal Blue book cover featuring a pink color scheme

Red, White & Royal Blue

By Casey McQuiston
5
Rated by Stefanie E.
Feb 21, 2020

In the acknowledgements at the end of her book, Red, White & Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston writes, "What I hope to do, and what I hope I have done with this book by the time you've finished it, my dear reader, is to be a spark of joy and hope you needed." This is indeed exactly what reading this book did for me. 

Staff Review
A princess and a dragon drinking cider and reading a book together

Dealing With Dragons

By Wrede, Patricia
5
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

"Well I'm not a proper princess then!" Cimorene snapped. "I make cherries jubilee and I volunteer for dragons, and I conjugate Latin verbs-- or at least I would if anyone would let me. So there!”

I have slowly been making my way through a long list of fantasy fiction books I have wanted to read or reread.  Dealing with Dragons is one of those re-read upbeat books; possibly it was “the” book that honestly got me hooked on reading. 

Staff Review
Elantris

Elantris

By Brandon Sanderson
4
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

     I was a little worried when I started this fantasy fiction that I would not like it.  I did have a hard time getting into this, especially when it came to the bad religion. Elantris has several reviews out there that say it is Sanderson's worst work or that it is slow and rough and less polished than his other books, but I did not find that to be the case at all with this dramatic tone.  It is very slow and the main character is more of a politician than I am usually used to, although when court intrigue is so imp

Staff Review
Book cover of Persons Unknown

Persons Unknown

By Steiner, Susie
5
Rated by Kari E.
Feb 21, 2020

Persons Unknown is the second police procedural following Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw, following up Missing, Presumed. Manon's character is growing and changing throughout. She is five months pregnant at the start. And she has adopted Fly Dent, a quiet teenager whose family died in the previous book. Looking for a change of pace in their hectic life and a better quality of friends for Fly, they move from London to Cambridgeshire with Manon's sister, Ellie, and her toddler son, Solly.

Staff Review Feb 21, 2020

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires begins with a normal description of the affluent life of a bored southern housewife.  Just before you think it is another dysfunctional family story, Patricia Campbell, one of our five book club members and main character, is attacked by an elderly neighbor while putting out the garbage at night. The elderly neighbor is put in the hospital, as is Patricia.  Then a handsome relative of the neighbor comes to stay at the house and help out.

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