Recent Reviews

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Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir Cover Image
Almost American Girl

DUE IN JANUARY: Robin Ha’s graphic memoir Almost American Girl is an intimate look at a whirlwind mother-daughter relationship.  Chuna’s self-sufficient single mother unexpectedly relocates the family from Seoul to Alabama to start a new life, unbeknownst to her daughter upon their arrival.  Devastated to have left in everything she loves in Korea, and not speaking a word of English, Chuna—now Robin—struggles to fit into her new American world. I felt like I was holding her heart in my hands as I watched Robin uncover identity, shame, resilience.  This beautiful book is sure to inspire empathy for immigrants in a country where the opposite is so often true.  

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The Missing American (An Emma Djan Investigation #1) Cover Image
The Missing American

DUE IN JANUARY. In The Missing American, mystery novelist Kwei Quartey has created a richly complicated and likable new detective in Ghanan, Emma Djan, who embodies the command to be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove. Fired from the police force because she won't sleep with the boss for a promotion, Djan begins work as private detective. Her first investigation takes her into the heart of Ghana's Internet scams and the dangerous world of ritual sacrifices of the sakawas who practice them. A crackling debut! Recommended by Kelly

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Grandma's Gardens Cover Image
Grandma's Gardens

A new collaboration by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Grandma’s Gardens is a touching story that illustrates the beauty of sharing what you love with those you love.  Three generations of women work in gardens together and form a special bond—gardens become something they share with each other whether they’re together or apart.  Beautiful illustrations emphasize the lessons gardens teach us as the years pass by, and Grandma Dorothy’s legacy lives on as Chelsea’s children learn to garden with their grandmother, Hillary.  A heartwarming tale of love and nature. Recommended by Mary

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Night Animals Need Sleep Too Cover Image
Night Animals Need Sleep Too

In this follow-up to the delightful Night Animals, the motley crew is back at it again, this time searching for some much needed shut-eye during the day.  As they search for peace and quiet, the animals discover the sleeping places of other nocturnals, accidentally disrupting them with their curiosity and hilarious antics.  As they travel throughout the forest, readers learn about the typical behaviors of the featured animals, and facts about each are included on the inside covers. Another great (and silly) book for teaching kids about wildlife! Recommended by Mary

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Flowers in the Gutter: The True Story of the Edelweiss Pirates, Teenagers Who Resisted the Nazis Cover Image
Flowers in the Gutter

DUE IN JANUARY: With her new book, Flowers in the Gutter, K.R. Gaddy uncovers a long-hidden story of the Edelweiss Pirates, a group of teenagers from Cologne, Germany who dared to reject the Hitler Youth and stand up to Nazis atrocities with sabotage and resistance literature drops. They put their lives in grave danger every day to defend not only their own right to individualism but also the lives of those targeted by the Nazis. Drawn from actual diaries, prison records and other primary sources, the book will remind young adults today of the power of one small group to change the world.

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The Missing American (An Emma Djan Investigation #1) Cover Image
The Missing American

DUE IN JANUARY: Mystery novelist Kwei Quartey has created a richly complicated and likable new detective in Ghanan, Emma Djan, who embodies the command to be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove. Fired from the police force because she won't sleep with the boss for a promotion, Djan begins work as a private detective. Her first investigation takes her into the heart of Ghana's Internet scams and the dangerous world of ritual sacrifices of the sakawas who practice them. A crackling debut! Recommended by Kelly

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Father of Lions: One Man's Remarkable Quest to Save the Mosul Zoo Cover Image
Father of Lions

DUE IN JANUARY: Father of Lions astounds with the depth of its characters, in particular that of Abu Laith, the keeper of the Mosel Zoo in war-torn Iraq. When others of his culture consider animals dirty and unnecessary, he fights against all odds to keep the menagerie fed and secure during the Isis's occupation of Mosel. Author Louise Callaghan weaves together voluminous interviews with a host of people who risked their lives to help Abu Laith honor his promise to the animals and to himself. This is a portrait of the triumph of goodness and the universal human-animal connection. Recommended by Kelly

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Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Practices to Rewire Your Brain for Calm, Clarity, and Joy Cover Image
Good Morning, I Love You

DUE IN JANUARY: It seems universally true that people forget everything they’ve read in self-help books the minute they put them down—otherwise we’d all be thirty, flirty, and thriving.  What a relief, then, that this book is unlike its peers. Good Morning, I Love You is a guide to mindfulness and self-compassion by psychologist Shauna Shapiro.  Decades of research and personal experience culminate into a logical, science-based explanation of mindfulness that is also conversational and engaging.  Short chapters avoid rambling and challenge readers to practice and reflect. As a person with anxiety, this book is just what I needed—concepts that therapists have been prescribing me for years have finally clicked! Recommended by Mary

 

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Topics of Conversation: A novel Cover Image
Topics of Conversation
An unnamed female narrator explores attraction/disgust/womanhood/apathy over a timeline that spans nearly twenty years.  Popkey comments especially on attraction as other than sexual, on hungry desires for people, and then on self-hatred, feminism and not, control, anonymity.  Visceral, vulnerable, excruciating, electrifying—sometimes even bordering on orgasmic, for the pure, defibrillator-like shock—Topics of Conversation is a demand that feminine sexuality be recognized as real and complicated and SOMETHING.  A life-giving stream of sex and self-hatred, with the intelligent and erotic in equal force, this breakout book is frustratingly good.  I can’t wait to read more by Miranda Popkey. Recommended by Mary
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Kitten Lady's Big Book of Little Kittens Cover Image
Kitten Lady's Big Book of Little Kittens

Kitten Lady’s Big Book of Little Kittens is a wonderful resource to teach kids about feline welfare and to inspire them to get involved. Hannah shares stories about kittens she’s fostered, with lots of cute pictures of kitties everywhere! A glossary of important terms and a list of what kids can do to help cats in their communities finish it off nicely. I highly recommend this book for kids who love cats and are curious about animal advocacy! Recommended by Mary