Reader Review: How to Be an Antiracist

Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 by patron reviewer

How to be an Antiracist book coverHow to be An Antiracist” discussed our role in a racist society and what we can do to be antiracist. I like how it pointed out that we are either racist or antiracist — we fit one. We all have to reflect on where we fit and start doing behaviors that are antiracist. I appreciate how the author discussed his own racism journey, as a Black man. I think that helped readers to engage with their own thoughts about race without feeling ashamed and defensive as is often the case when people are confronted with their own racist thoughts and actions.

Three words that describe this book: Challenging, encouraging, thoughtful

You might want to pick this book up if: you want to learn your part in a racist society and what you can do to be antiracist.

-Anonymous

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share reviews throughout the year. 

Reader Review: I’m Still Here

Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 by patron reviewer

I’m Still Here” is the author’s short autobiographical account of what it’s like to be a Black woman in majority-white corporate and church settings. The book is insightful, moving, and should at least be taken as a free public service announcement for what not to do as well-intentioned white people who claim to love diversity. She’s relatable and human; raw in her frustration, honest in her evaluation of her hopes, and candid about how her faith carries her through it. Read it to avoid the pitfalls of ignorant whiteness or commiserate with another Black woman.

Three words that describe this book: Insightful, African-American, autobiography

You might want to pick this book up if: You want to become more sensitive to the experiences of people of color, specifically Black Americans.

-Crystal

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share reviews throughout the year. 

Reader Review: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 by patron reviewer

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book coverFantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill is a perfect companion to read alongside the Harry Potter series. The creatures listed are thoroughly fleshed out and gives me a sense of actually existing in this fantastic, magical, world.

Three words that describe this book: Magical, Informative, Alphabetical

You might want to pick this book up if: You want to dive deeper into understanding the creatures that live in the wizarding world. You won’t be disappointed!

-Anonymous

 

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share reviews throughout the year. 

Reader Review: The Perfect Scoop

Posted on Monday, April 15, 2024 by patron reviewer

The Perfect Scoop book coverThe Perfect Scoop” contains 200 recipes for ice cream and other frozen desserts including toppings. I especially liked that he provides several options to make homemade ice cream that stays soft in the freezer. I prefer to avoid cooking ice cream mixes, so I’m going to alter most of the recipes, leaving out the eggs and reducing the fat (although these 2 ingredients will improve storage in a home freezer). But there are lots of interesting flavors⁠ — so far I only made honey ice cream (leaving out the lavender). I am really interested in trying the sesame seed brittle and the chocolate shell.

Three words that describe this book: ice cream recipes

You might want to pick this book up if: You like to make homemade ice cream.

-Anonymous

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share reviews throughout the year. 

Reader Review: How To Be a Stoic

Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 by patron reviewer

How to be a Stoic book coverThe writings of ancient Greeks and Romans may seem like old, dusty stuff, but in “How To Be a Stoic” the author brings to light a worldview called Stoicism. The thoughts of Epictetus and his peers and colleagues, when translated into modern English, do have power and relevance for our own times. I was surprised at first, and then became very interested in Stoicism. This offers me real, useful ideas that can help me deal with life’s bumps and challenges, difficult people, and frustration with politics and other things. I am delighted that Stoicism emphasizes how I can try to become a better person, even when painful events, mistakes, and bad things happen. It can work compatibly with religious views, or not, making this a wide-open philosophy. I will be reading more books by this author, and by other writers, about modern Stoicism.

Three words that describe this book: Surprising, concrete, comforting

You might want to pick this book up if: You would like to live a better and more meaningful life, without necessarily having a religious “faith” or other system.

-Lynn

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share reviews throughout the year. 

Reader Review: The Black Book

Posted on Monday, March 25, 2024 by patron reviewer

In “The Black Book,” a young Chicago cop, Billy Harney, from a family of cops, gets involved in a bust involving a lot of powerful citizens at a brothel. However, the only missing item to pull the case all together is the madame’s black book. Everyone is out to find the black book including Billy’s sexy, semi-crazy partner Kate, Billy’s twin sister, Patti, who will stop and nothing to protect her brother, the assistant state attorney, Amy, who Billy ends up falling for, and many others including some potential bad cops. During the search for the missing black book, major players are murdered and the evidence points to Billy. This book kept me wondering which character had the black book and which character was the murderer.

Three words that describe this book: Suspenseful, Shocking, Mysterious

You might want to pick this book up if: You like political or police involved stories that keep you hanging until the final few chapters of a book.

-Anonymous

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share reviews throughout the year. 

Reader Review: The Bonesetter’s Daughter

Posted on Monday, March 18, 2024 by patron reviewer

The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan book coverAmy Tan explores the relationship between mothers and daughters in this compelling story. “The Bonesetter’s Daughter” follows Ruth Young as she struggles to care for her mother, LuLing, when she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Ruth’s relationship with her partner, Art, also undergoes challenges and rethinking as Ruth cares for her mother. Ruth finds two documents that her mother wrote in Chinese when she started to lose her memory so that she would not forget important aspects of her life. Upon reading these documents, Ruth discovers new secrets about her mother’s life as well as a new understanding and appreciation for the choices that she has made. When learning more about her mother, Ruth also begins to reflect on herself and her past. Tan explores the themes of mother-daughter relationships as well as the dynamics among different generations of Chinese-Americans in her riveting novel.

Three words that describe this book: Mother-daughter relationship, history, Chinese-American immigrant life

You might want to pick this book up if: You enjoy stories about family relationships and challenges.

-Sarah

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share reviews throughout the year. 

Reader Review: Churchill: Walking with Destiny

Posted on Friday, March 15, 2024 by patron reviewer

Churchill book coverChurchill: Walking with Destiny” is the most recent and perhaps the finest single-volume biography of Winston Churchill. Readers should not be daunted by the length of the book (982 pages) — it is detailed and thorough yet eminently readable and engrossing. Roberts covers Churchill’s remarkable life chronologically to support his central thesis that Churchill, throughout his life, was “walking with destiny” and destined to lead Great Britain in the darkest hours of World War II. Roberts makes excellent use of private diaries and correspondence to complement the public record. The book’s extensive detail serves to paint a complete, nuanced and objective portrait of Churchill. Even the footnotes enrich the reader’s understanding of the man. Roberts does not gloss over Churchill’s mistakes, yet the reader leaves with the clear impression that Churchill, though not perfect, was one of the truly great leaders in history.

Three words that describe this book: Engrossing, remarkable, readable

You might want to pick this book up if: You like history or enjoy biographies.

-Jeff

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share reviews throughout the year. 

Reader Review: The Annotated Treasure Island

Posted on Friday, March 1, 2024 by patron reviewer

Annotated Treasure Island book cover
It’s likely that readers will already be familiar with the basics of this classic adventure tale. “Treasure Island” has become such a part of our cultural memory at this point, that few will be meeting Jim and Long John for the first time. I first read this book, as well as Stevenson’s “Kidnapped,” when I was young, and I remember being a little bored with it, but enjoyed the action scenes. I enjoyed it much more reading it as an adult. I found that I was much more interested in Stevenson’s descriptions of sailor life, even if they are highly fanciful, than when I was younger. In many ways, it was like visiting old friends again. I read it as a beach read when I vacationed this summer, and it was an excellent choice. As a fan of history, I found “The Annotated Treasure Island” to be thoroughly enlightening. I learned from the annotations while simultaneously enjoying Stevenson’s adventure story.

Three words that describe this book: adventure, pirates, sea tales

You might want to pick this book up if: You want a quick read that is full of adventure and interesting characters. Choose the annotated edition if you are also intrigued with 19th-century history and sailor life.

-Allen

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share reviews throughout the year. 

Reader Review: Kill Shakespeare Volume 1

Posted on Friday, February 9, 2024 by patron reviewer

Kill Shakespeare book cover

Kill Shakespeare Volume 1: A Sea of Troubles” collects the first six Kill Shakespeare comic books and re-introduces us to some of Shakespeare’s most famous characters, but in new roles, as they hunt for Will Shakespeare, wizard god. Killing Will and securing his magical quill is the quest of the bad guys in power (Lady Macbeth, Richard III), while the rebellion, led by Juliet and backed by Othello, have put their faith in a Shadow King to find Will and save his followers. Being a fan of Shakespeare is not a requirement to enjoy the story — especially with the fantastic art by Andy Belanger — however, I suspect it’s more fun to know a bit about the characters and to pick up on the small Easter eggs, like the evening spent at the pub known as Midsummer Night’s Dram. Like all of Shakespeare, there’s comedy, murder, plotting, mayhem, romance, confusion, innuendo, and a great storyline with complicated characters. For those who struggle with the very idea of Shakespeare as an enjoyable reading experience, the artwork in this comic tells the story as much as the writing.

Three words that describe this book: Epic, Graphic, Literary

You might want to pick this book up if: You like twisted fairy tales such as those told in “Once Upon a Time” or the “Land of Stories.”

-Melody

This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading. We will continue to share reviews throughout the year.