Staff Book Reviews

The Great Displacement: Climate Change and the Next American Migration By Jake Bittle Cover Image
Reviewed by: Audrey H.
Posted: April 2, 2024

This is a must read about how climate change and "natural" disasters are changing where people live and how the have nots are even more displaced. Most of these disasters, flood and fire, have all happened within the last 6 years and it's going to get worse. This book also explores the lack of mandatory reporting to potential homebuyers and the great cost of insurance. This book was so readable, eye opening and more then disturbing.

There is a reason why this was shortlisted for the 2024 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence for Non Fiction

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These Deathless Shores By P. H. Low Cover Image
Reviewed by: Audrey H.
Posted: March 30, 2024

A dark and haunting retelling of Peter Pan that goes into lasting trauma and little recovery from that trauma. Never growing up, isn't what it's cracked up to be, and hard answers are given as to what really happened to the lost boys and a never developed Wendy character. This is Hook's origin story and it's not pretty. A retelling, yet truly original.

A Thousand Splendid Suns By Khaled Hosseini Cover Image
Reviewed by: Tess
Posted: March 30, 2024

This book was a whirlwind of emotions and crushingly beautiful.

Women! In! Peril! By Jessie Ren Marshall Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: March 30, 2024

Women! In! Peril! is a clever, brazen, and heartfelt collection of stories covering a wide range of subject matter—a sex doll has an uncanny resemblance to an ex-girlfriend, a lesbian reckons with her wife's immaculate conception, a teen girl gets her first taste of rebellion—all tied together through the exploration of female, racial, and queer identity. Incredibly funny and thought-provoking, Jessie Ren Marshall has proven herself to be one to watch. 

Letter to My Transgender Daughter: A Girlhood By Carolyn Hays Cover Image
Reviewed by: Alek
Posted: March 29, 2024

Hays, who published A Girlhood under a Penname to protect her family’s privacy, recounts a knock at the door that changed her family’s lives forever. This memoir revisits Hay’s internal dialogues about societal privilege and gender politics while giving power, hope, and context to her daughter. I loved how this book felt to read, and I convinced myself to keep reading another chapter because of how personal and connected I felt to Hay’s whole family.  

 

Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood By Mark Harris Cover Image
Reviewed by: Matt
Posted: March 29, 2024

One of the all-time great books about movies, Harris follows the production and release of the five films that would go on to be nominated for Best Picture in 1968, marking a moment of major cultural shifts in America and when Old Hollywood started giving way to the New.

The Divorcées: A Novel By Rowan Beaird Cover Image
Reviewed by: Whitney
Posted: March 28, 2024

In Reno, Nevada in the 1950s, women could get a divorce after living in the state for six weeks, and women from all over the country took up residence at Reno's "divorce ranches" so they could escape from loveless or abusive marriages. It's a fascinating part of history, and a fabulous setting for this gorgeous debut novel. Its lush, perfectly wrought prose (and the secrets and deceptions at the center of the plot) will unsettle you and keep you turning the pages. 

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The Book Censor's Library By Bothayna Al-Essa, Ranya Abdelrahman (Translator), Sawad Hussain (Translator) Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: March 28, 2024

Set in a future that feels all too possible, The Book Censor’s Library is a clever and fantastical satire of book banning. Littered with literary references, The Book Censor’s Library is a love letter to books and the enduring power of imagination. A thought provoking and timely novel. 
 

Women of Good Fortune By Sophie Wan Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: March 28, 2024

This book is such a blast! Set at a Crazy Rich Asians-style wedding, Women of Good Fortune follows three best friends, each believing that money will be the key to their happiness, as they plan a heist to rob the wedding. While the book is lighthearted and fun, it doesn’t back away from exploring societal expectations of women and themes of filial piety. A great caper all around! 

Pelican Girls: A Novel By Julia Malye Cover Image
Reviewed by: Ilana
Posted: March 28, 2024

18th century France and the North American colony of Louisiana needs women. Overrun with patients, orphans and criminals, Parisian girls and women in hospitals and prisons are "volunteered" to undertake the life-threatening journey into the unknown. If they make it, their reward will be to be married off and populate the new world with good Christians. Julia Mayle's deeply researched and engrossing historical novel brings this little known part of history to life through three central characters, all with their own motivations for seeking some escape. 

Escargot and the Search for Spring By Dashka Slater, Sydney Hanson (Illustrator) Cover Image
Reviewed by: Ilana
Posted: March 28, 2024

My favorite little French snail is back and as anxious for spring to begin as those of us in frigid New England. Filled with charm and humor, our little friend must find a way to shake off his winter "ennui" and celebrate the new season.

I Am a Masterpiece!: An Empowering Story About Inclusivity and Growing Up with Down Syndrome By Mia Armstrong, Alexandra Thompson (Illustrator) Cover Image
Reviewed by: Mary D.
Posted: March 28, 2024

Charmingly illustrated with a sparkling, inspiring message, this is a picture book for everyone! Readers will meet Mia, a young girl with Down syndrome, as she explores the world and demonstrates that her neurodivergence is a superpower and not a disability. This sweet book promotes inclusivity and acceptance in a fun and empowering story.

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