Book Reviews

The Woman Behind the New Deal by Kirsten Downey

Need a heroine? Trying to understand what the feminist movement was all about? I highly recommend WOMAN BEHIND THE NEW DEAL: THE LIFE OF FRANCIS PERKINS, FDR’S SECRETARY OF LABOR AND HIS MORAL CONSCIENCE by Kirsten Downey. Ms. Perkins was the first woman member of the cabinet.
The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins--Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400078561
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Published: Anchor Books - February 23rd, 2010

"Kirstin Downey's lively, substantive and--dare I say--inspiring new biography of Perkins . . . not only illuminates Perkins' career but also deepens the known contradictions of Roosevelt's character." --Maureen Corrigan, NPR Fresh Air

What We’re Reading

Just finished MURDER 101 and EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES by Maggie Barbieri. (The latest in the series--QUICK STUDY--is still in hardback. They are fun, light mysteries with a little romance and a touch of humor. The main character is an English professor at a private Catholic college in the Bronx.
Extracurricular Activities (Murder 101 Mystery) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250009364
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Published: St. Martins Press-3pl - September 30th, 2008

You'd think, now that she's off the hook for murder, that Alison, an English professor at a cushy college campus just north of chaotic New York City, would be able to relax. But how can she, with a wedding in the works? A Ph.D can only go so far...

A Couple of Classic YA Titles

THE WITCHES by Roald Dahl The story is great, but it’s the writing and imagery that will stick with you for the rest of your life. Dahl’s depiction of the thoughts, actions, and appearance of the witches is chilling! It’s tricky how he does it, too, since the book is also really, really funny.  Recommended by John.  Softcover, $11.95. FIVE NOVELS, by Daniel M.
The Witches Cover Image
By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrator)
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ISBN: 9780142410110
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Puffin Books - August 16th, 2007

From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG

This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches.

WIFE OF THE GODS by Kwei Quartey

WIFE OF THE GODS by Kwei Quartey is a wonderful new mystery featuring Detective Inspector Darko Dawson, a very likable and insightful policeman who lives in Ghana’s capital.  He encounters rural Africa’s many superstitions and local customs while investigating a med student’s murder.  No.
Wife of the Gods (Darko Dawson Mystery #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812979367
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Published: Random House Trade - August 3rd, 2010

Introducing Detective Inspector Darko Dawson: dedicated family man, rebel in the office, ace in the field--and one of the most appealing sleuths to come along in years.

THE FAMILY MAN by Elinor Lipman

It’s difficult to think of another author of fiction who writes with more wit and intelligence than Elinor Lipman.  THE FAMILY MAN, due in May in hardcover, is a delightful comedy of manners set in Manhattan.  Henry’s well-ordered life is turned upside-down when his stepdaughter from a brief (and disastrous) marriage re-enters his life.  The dialogue is quotably funny and Lipman’s love for her cha
The Family Man Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547336084
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Published: Mariner Books - May 4th, 2010

A hysterical phone call from Henry Archer's ex-wife and a familiar face in a photograph upend his well-ordered life and bring him back into contact with the child he adored, a short-term stepdaughter from a misbegotten marriage long ago. Henry is a lawyer, an old-fashioned man, gay, successful, lonely.


WHEN THE MOON FORGOT by Jimmy Liao is a sweet, dreamlike story about a lonely boy who finds the fallen moon in a field.  People miss the moon and factories crank out moons for them on assembly lines.  The boy has adventures with the moon, then gently helps it remember its home in the sky.  A lovely story of love and courage.  Recommended by Rochelle.  Hardcover, $17.99.
When the Moon Forgot Cover Image
By Jimmy Liao, Sarah L. Thomson (Adapted by)
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ISBN: 9780316113908
Availability: Backordered
Published: Little, Brown Young Readers - April 1st, 2009

One night the moon never rises...
A lonely boy finds the fallen moon in a field. He takes it home and cares for it, slowly helping it heal. They become inseparable companions, exploring the world together both day and night. But when the world needs the moon to remember its place in the sky, the boy must help it find its way back home.


THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE by Alan Bradley has one of the most engaging and original sleuths in recent years, and she’s eleven years old!  It is the summer of 1950 and several strange events have occurred at Buckshaw, the deLuce family’s English country home.  Flavia deLuce (an aspiring young chemist with a fully equipped Victorian laboratory) investigates, and is clearly the most inte
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery (Flavia de Luce Mysteries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385343497
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Published: Bantam - January 19th, 2010

Winner of the CRIME WRITERS' ASSOCIATION DEBUT DAGGER AWARD and the AGATHA AND DILYS AWARD - "A wickedly clever story, a dead-true and original voice" - Laurie R. King


The infamous 1967 McKinley climb of 1967 that took the lives of seven promising young mountaineers brought scandal and finger-pointing for years after. A climber himself and former Outside writer, Tabor tries to sift through the details and competing accounts (two of which were made into books of their own) to get to the still-beating heart of the matter.
Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393331967
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 1st, 2008

In 1967, seven young men, members of a twelve-man expedition led by twenty-four-year-old Joe Wilcox, were stranded on Alaska's Mount McKinley in a vicious arctic storm. All seven perished on what remains the most tragic expedition in American climbing history. Revisiting the event in the tradition of Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire, James M.


THE GLASS BOOKS OF THE DREAM EATERS (Volumes 1 & 2) are extremely entertaining.  They’re a blend of Victorian suspense, adventure, science fiction, with a little eroticism and humor thrown in.  Miss Temple, Cardinal Chang and Dr.
The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, Volume One Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780553385854
Availability: Backordered
Published: Bantam - December 30th, 2008

Here begins an extraordinary alliance--and a brutal and tender, shocking, and electrifying adventure to end all adventures.


The GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows is a delightful novel set in 1946 England.  A young woman who is a columnist for a London newspaper receives a letter from a resident of the isle of Guernsey, one of England’s Channel Islands, which had been occupied by the Nazis.  The entire novel is composed of letters between island residents and the writer,
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385341004
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Published: Dial Press - May 5th, 2009

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - SOON TO BE A NETFLIX FILM - A remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.