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Barkskins by Annie Proulx

Title:  Barkskins

Author: Annie Proulx


For anyone who has read Annie Proulx books, it won’t be difficult to find this one a special read.  As always the characters are a unique collection of people with seemingly the same goal of a ruthless subduing of the land regardless of the cost to the rivers, forests, or native peoples.  Her research, parlayed into a masterful story will carry the reader through 300 years as the woodcutters, and those who followed marched through New France here on the North American continent. This novel is longer than any of her others but well-worth it.  It will entertain while also being environmentally informative for this 21st century. 

Review by:  John


The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Title:  The Invisible Library

Author: Genevieve Cogman

Review: This is like Dr. Who and a Sherlock Holmes story all rolled up in to a spy fantasy novel that keeps you guessing.

Irene is a spy for a mysterious organization called the Library. She is tasked with find and retrieving books from different times in history and alternative histories .

Irene and her assistant Kai, are charged with getting a particularly dangerous book. Sometimes things go right and it goes off without a problem.  But, Irene is not that lucky this time. This time there are vampires, fate and the brotherhood to deal with.

All in the days work of a librarian.

This is a fun romp and a great read! Turns and twists in every page.

Review by:  Julie


Gutenberg’s Apprentice by Alix Christie

Title:  Gutenberg’s Apprentice

Author: Alix Christie

Review: This deeply-researched historical novel details how the art of printing and more importantly, the printing of the Gutenberg Bible was attained.  Though the three protagonists were not saints, and often times at each other’s throats, saw the project through to completion. Peter Schoeffer, a successful scribe is brought back home by his foster father to work as an apprentice to Gutenberg while Johann Fust provided the finances and Johann Gutenberg took care of the printing.  The journey of Schoeffer, Gutenberg, and Fust do see the project through in spite of their own infighting as well as the frightful force of the Catholic Church to end this un-Godly new invention of the printing press.


Review by:  John


A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink

Title:  A Walk in the Sun

Author: Michelle Zink


After the devastating loss of her mother, Rose Darrow struggles to care for the family farm. Her father rarely leaves his room, which leaves Rose to care for the entire farm. When her aunt hires Bodhi, a mysterious boy who has problems of his own, to help out at the farm, Rose finally finds someone she feels like she can confide in. This is a great young adult novel, I couldn't put it down.


Review by:  Bethany


All Dogs Go To Kevin by Jessica Volgelang

Title:  All Dogs Go To Kevin

Author: Jessica Volgelang

Review: This is a wonderful touching biography about Dr. Jessica’s  journey from childhood to adult. From adolescence to veterinary school and all that comes from life, love, marriage, and motherhood.

Through it all she has had dog by her side. A dog to love, to hear her sobs, and to bring joy to the whole family.  Then there is a family friend Kevin, who is carefree and is a joy to everyone around him.

This story will bring tears to your eyes, will make you want to hug your dog, and realize that the animal that sleeps at the foot of your bed is to always be cherished. 

Review by:  Julie



A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Title:  A Gentleman in Moscow

Author: Amor Towles

Review: This is the story of the "second life" of Count Alexander Rostov.  Accused and sentenced by the Bolshevics of writing a seditious poem, the aristocrat must adjust to living under house arrest in the storage attic of the elegant Metropol Hotel where which he previously occupied the entire third floor.  With humor and curiosity, he encounters people and circumstances he would never have known, making him a new person.

It is a story of acceptance, hope, and enlightenment full of warmth and humor played against the turmoil of Russian politics.

I highly recommend this charming story.

Review by:  Dianne


Absolutely on Music by Haruki Murakami

Title:  Absolutely on Music

Author: Haruki Murakami


Two masters of their arts.  Known worldwide.   One writes books.  The other “reads” music.  And it’s the music and books which binds the two together. 

Haruki Murakami, a prolific author and Seiji Ozawa, the maestro of orchestras too numerous to list, sit down and talk how music and writing are intertwined more than might be suspected. 

Their conversations, over a period of months are shared with the reader in an informative and yet lyrical manner.  This is a book which will provide the reader more than one afternoon of “listening in” to their congenial give and take on the connections of music and the written word. Reading while listening to music will be an added benefit.

Review by:  John


A Taste For Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby

Title:  A Taste For Monsters

Author: Matthew J. Kirby


London, 1888: Evelyn is a young girl struggling to survive after she lost her family and was disfigured in a match factory incident. Desperate for a job to help keep her off the streets, she visits London's hospital in hopes of finding work. She is given a job as a maid for Joseph Merrick, also called the Elephant Man, and they quickly form a friendship. However, Jack the Ripper is beginning to terrorize the city, and ghosts of his victims are starting to visit the hospital. This was a really great book, and drew me in with how real the details made it seem.

Review by:  Bethany


Journey by Emma Smith

Title:  Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West

Author: Emma Smith


This picture story based on a true story alternates between a wolf, OR7 and the little girl who follows the news of the wolf while he travels through Oregon and Northern California as he looks for a mate. She ends up naming him in hopes of making him too famous to harm. What I liked about this book was how it helps children understand the concepts of conservation and wildlife as well as how there are ways that they too can make a difference.


Review by:  Rubi



Paint by stickers

Title:  Paint by stickers


Paint by stickers is a relaxing and satisfying use of my down time. It is a fun search and find activity with easy to find stickers and sticker locations.

The pictures vary between how long they take to complete in one session. Some of my favorites took about 30 minutes to an hour at a fairly meditative pace where the end results are beautiful enough to frame.

I recommend Paint by stickers for the young and old alike.


Review by:  Aly


The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron 


Title:  The Forgetting

Author: Sharon Cameron


Life in Canaan is safe.  Surrounded by walls, life is carefully scheduled and planned.  Every memory is written in your book.  Because every twelve years you will forget.  You will forget your mom and dad, your husband or wife, your children, yourself.  Unless you're Nadia.  She didn't forget at the last Forgetting and she's determined to stop the next one.


Review by:  Jannelle


Sad Animal Facts by Brooke Barker

Title:  Sad Animal Facts

Author: Brooke Barker


Sad Animal Facts is a hilarious book that brings to light just how lucky we are to be human! It reveals unfortunate facts about animals that many people don't know along with humorous commentary from the animals themselves. I found this book very enjoyable to read!


Review by:  Melia


Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer and Dylan Thuras

Title:  Atlas Obscura

Authors: Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, Ella Morton


Not exactly a book you would read from cover to cover, but one to sit down with and dip in and out.  I found so many of the entries weirdly enchanting and enjoyed the obscure nature of them.  The fun is in discovering the mysterious and sometimes truly bizarre. 


Review by:  Ben



Body of Water by Chris Dowbrowski

Title:  Body of Water

Author: Chris Dowbrowski


A mesmerizing book on the beauty and challenge of fly-fishing.  You’ll be “hooked” as the author relates his experience with David,  a near-blind elderly guide who introduces him to the almost mystical realm of fishing the saltwater-flats off Grand Bahama Island.  The prized fish is the elusive bonefish.  But it’s more.  Not a fisherman? Doesn’t  matter.  Grab this book, find a quiet spot and be informed, enlightened, and moved in ways you didn’t expect.


Review by:  John


Mad Genius Tips by Justin Chapple

Title:  Mad Genius Tips

Author: Justin Chapple


Uh oh, out of brown sugar?  Toss a cup of sugar and a tbsp of molasses in your food processor, hit pulse and voila, brown sugar.  Hosting brunch?  Take out your muffin tin, put a tbsp of water and one egg in each muffin cup and bake. Poached eggs for a crowd!   These are just a couple of the fun and inventive kitchen hacks contained in this entertaining book.  I recommend giving them a try.


Review by:  Dianne


Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter

Title:  Ghostly Echoes

Author: William Ritter


This is the best of the Jackaby novels, so far. This story is about  the ghostly Jenny Cavanaugh.

With new murders popping up that resemble the murder of Jenny 10 years ago it sends Jackaby and Abigail in to the dark underground and a race against time to find out what happened to jenny and her once fiancé.  All things point to a power that Jackaby has met before.   Someone or something is trying to make sure that a ten year old case does not get solved.


Review by:  Julie


The Cupcake Club by Carrie and Sheryl Berk

Title:  The Cupcake Club

Author: Carrie and Sheryl Berk


When Kylie Carson has to go to a new school, she's not sure how she will make friends.  After various attempts at getting to know new kids, Kylie finally comes up with the perfect plan: start a cupcake club! As kids start to join the new cupcake club, Kylie starts to make new friends and feel like she belongs. This is a great start to a great series for young girls.


Review by:  Bethany


The Hundred Year Walk by Dawn Anahid MacKeen

Title:  The Hundred Year Walk

Author: Dawn Anahid MacKeen


Combining two life stories, one old and one new.  The author juxtaposes her grandfather’s experience at the hands of the Ottoman government during WW I and hers after the discovery of his hand-written-journels many years later.  As an Armenian, Stepan Miskijan is only one of hundreds-of-thousands who are forced from their homes only to face untold brutality and in most cases, death.  His granddaughter, facing her own journey of understanding, traces his steps through modern Syria and Turkey in her attempt to comprehend her family’s story which is wrapped up in this harrowing tale of survival.

Review by:  John


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Title:  Heartless

Author: Marissa Meyer


Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles (which I LOVED!) is back with a brand new story.  Who was the Queen of Hearts before Alice stumbled into Wonderland?  Was she always evil and crazy?  Find out in this Alice in Wonderland prequel as Lady Catherine, a young woman full of life, is made into the Queen of Hearts.


Review by:  Jannelle


The True Tails of Baker and Taylor

Title:  The True Tails of Baker and Taylor

Author: Jan Louchuse


Not a cat lover?  It won’t matter.   Don’t know anything about the book distributors, Baker & Taylor Company?  It won’t matter.  Enjoy this cat tale anyway it strikes you.  Perhaps libraries and cats are made for each other.  Perhaps not, but at this library in Minden, Nevada,  Baker, and Taylor became celebrities  by walking circle 8’s around and through patrons legs and letting children rub their tummies.  This is a feel-good book for young and old.  Don’t miss it!

Review by:  John

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