May 312019

Whether you like fantasy, mystery, or literary fiction, there is something on this list for you to enjoy!

Hank likes to be alone and is quite rude to anyone who steps into his yard. However, when someone tells him that “Nobody Hugs a Cactus” he begins to see how lonely his life is. This is an adorable story and a great read aloud!

An imaginative fantasy novel where the humans are the bad guys.  It is a well-written adventure/quest story.  Grief, danger, loyalty, and betrayal all make an appearance as well as a decent amount of humor to keep things from getting too dark. If you hate cliffhangers, you might want to wait for the rest of the series.  However, for kids who love Erin Hunter’s Warrior series, this is a good comp.

Karen McManus, author of “One of us is Lying”, returns with a second teen mystery.  In this one, teen homecoming queens go missing in this small town never to return. As they investigate the dysfunctional families around them looking for a killer, they aren’t aware of all of the secrets this small town harbors. While the writing and plot is good, it doesn’t have the same “soapy fun” feeling of the first book.

Our book club book this week was a backlist title and inspiration for one of my favorite movies. If you like Southern fiction or fiction about small town life, this is a good pick.  There were plenty of issues to discuss! The only downside to this novel was the daunting number of characters.

May 242019


Doris Kearns Goodwin makes American history interesting and easily consumable in this book covering the turbulent events faced by Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Online life and reality collide in this teen romance.  It is quirky and humorous but don’t mistake it for a lightweight.  This book deals with some serious topics.

“The Art of Swap” is a fun revisit of the “Freaky Friday” trope. Two girls, one in 1905 and one in the present day, find themselves “swapped”.  There is a steep learning curve as Maggie (1905) is introduced to TV, pizza delivery, and cell phones and Hannah (present) is introduced to a more restrictive social order. This novel took on a lot as the girls attempt to solve an art heist and introduce women’s suffrage.

Life is hard when you get hungry and accidentally eat your best friend. This very simple children’s book is just what you need at the end of a hard day. Heck, you could even share it with the kids should you so decide.

This translated novel is all the rage right now on book tube. If you like quirky, unusual characters with a dark, satire-like storyline.  This is the book for you. I consumed this as an audiobook on the free libby app and so can you!



May 172019

What started out as a beautiful sunny day has become a windy, cool, rainy mess. So glad I walked to work today!  The rest of you, I am sure, were much smarter. In honor of that, treat yourself to some wonderful reads!

A beautifully evocative novel of the marshlands and a young, isolated girl trying to find her way. There is an intriguing mystery but the beauty of the book lies in the atmospheric land and the wonderful characters.

Ms. Owens is a nonfiction writer and zoologist too, I believe. I look forward to checking out more of her writing.


A soapy, angsty, intense teen murder mystery. It was wonderful. Teens and adults alike will find something to love in this novel.

Boys will be boys. B.J. and Caleb are led into adventure and trouble by the new kid in the neighborhood. An interesting story about how charisma can lead even the most careful astray and the value of true friendship.

Always being the “good egg” can be stressful. Sometimes you just have to accept those around you as they are and move on!  This was an adorable picture book.

An insightful look at the pitfalls in middle-grade friendship. While Grace is furious with Ellie, her ex-best friend, she also realizes when she herself is being mean. Hank, a new friend and someone outside the relationship, is kind about pointing out how some of the schemes could backfire without being a judgmental jerk. I really appreciated the thoughtful resolution. This was a great audio book!
May 032019


“The Lost For Words Bookshop” by Stephanie Butland is a bookstore lover’s dream of a book. The bookshop is a safe haven for Loveday Cardew who prefers to live in the pages of books. Hiding from a traumatic childhood event and a recent ugly relationship, Loveday allows only people who work in the bookshop with her to penetrate her shell. When her past and present troubles collide to jeopardize her very life, Loveday will find out who her true friends are.  A lovely book with some very serious topics. TW: Domestic Violence

Rebecca Roanhorse weaves Navajo legends and myths into her post-apocalytic novel.  The Navajo people built a wall around their lands to protect them after the chaos of the Big Waters flooded much of what was the United States. They didn’t realize the cataclysmic event had also loosed some monsters of legend and there are few who will be able to take down these monsters. Maggie Hoskie is a monster-hunter. One who doesn’t need a partner…until she does. An action-packed fantasy with some dark threads.

Stubby is a fellow soldier and mascot for his fellow doughboys in World War I. There is a lot of history packed into this easy read. Disguised as an “animal book”, Calkhoven does a great job explaining the conflict and the chemical warfare prevalent during this time without getting bogged down in the horrors of war.

I had another book and craft laid out for Storytime this week.  Then I saw this little treasure and what can I say?  Who can resist dragons? Especially stuffed-up dragons who refuse to cover their sneezes!  It was a hit with the Storytime group!