Staff Book Reviews

My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel Cover Image
Reviewed by: Crissy
Posted: January 18, 2022

Yes, this book is a little dark. It’s also engrossing, fast-paced, and wickedly funny. Set in Nigeria, Korede’s beautiful sister can’t seem to keep herself from killing the men she dates. And Korede will do whatever it takes to cover it all up. Don’t worry though, these men probably had it coming.

My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel Cover Image
Reviewed by: Audrey H.
Posted: January 18, 2022

Two sisters, one a serial killer, the other, an enabler. Why does the enabler enable and what’s the underlying motivation? This fast read is slightly tongue and cheek but somehow not out of the realm of possibility. Sisters and romantic love are explored and are at odds with each other. The flashbacks showed so much as to how their personalities developed and I wish there was a bit more of that. Just the right book to read as I procrastinate holiday chores. 

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones Cover Image
Reviewed by: Tildy
Posted: January 18, 2022

James Clear breaks down the four facets of habits, and teaches you how to use them to build good habits and break bad ones.  I loved the simple precise langauge he used, along with the many examples and studies, to help illustrate how these ideas can be put into practice in the real world. I've already started using some of these methods and tools to help make my habits and behaviors more effective. I can see myself returning to this one over and over. Definitely worth the hype.

Reviewed by: Stacey
Posted: January 15, 2022

I loved this book! A mysterious reading list appears in multiple people’s lives, with the heading, “Just in Case You Need It”, and changes each person that it touches.  The main characters in the book, Mukesh and Aleisha, form an unlikely and unexpected bond over reading the books on the list, and you can’t help but love both of them.  Indian culture and library culture are also main components of this book, as is stepping outside one’s comfort zone.  I highly recommend it! - Stacey

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Activities of Daily Living: A Novel Cover Image
Reviewed by: Audrey H.
Posted: January 15, 2022

A novel that focuses on the intersections of art, aging and time. Unusually stylistically but no less readable, the philosophical concepts will leave one slightly bereft. 

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The Last Mapmaker Cover Image
Reviewed by: Audrey H.
Posted: January 13, 2022

This swashbuckling adventure story is one we all need. Think of a combo of Treasure Island + Dawn Treader with a smart and brave girl, and that's the Last Mapmaker. Sai, an apprentice mapmaker, joins a exploratory ship to "discover" new lands for big rewards. Along the way, she begins to understand what colonialists do to these new lands. This page turner will keep readers engaged and rooting for Sai and will soon become a new classic.

The Opium Prince Cover Image
Reviewed by: Audrey H.
Posted: January 12, 2022

Fascinating historical mystery, set in 1970s Afghanistan. The book starts with an Afghan American hitting a little girl, killing her. The consequences of this, effects his marriage, his job and the future of Afghanistan. The shifting politics involved in this country, that has been in constant war, is one that is not often told in stories and the political consequences depicted here, ripple effects into our current real world.

Blackout: A Novel Cover Image
Reviewed by: Audrey H.
Posted: January 12, 2022

A fun and lovely collection of interconnected short stories focused on black love and joy. These are connected, not only by the characters themselves, but by a shared precipitating event - a blackout in NYC. What was especially clever and well done, was the continuous story story The Long Walk, breaking up the other short stories. Not only is this a celebration of love, it's also an ode to NYC.

 

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Blackout: A Novel Cover Image
Reviewed by: Audrey H.
Posted: January 12, 2022

A fun and lovely collection of interconnected short stories focused on black love and joy. These are connected, not only by the characters themselves, but by a shared precipitating event - a blackout in NYC. What was especially clever and well done, was the continuous story story The Long Walk, breaking up the other short stories. Not only is this a celebration of love, it's also an ode to NYC.

 

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Book Lovers Cover Image
Reviewed by: Audrey H.
Posted: January 7, 2022

This was just so delightful. It's not only an enemies to lovers, with two grumps, but it's also about sisterhood, processing grief and a love letter to bookstores in NYC. Nora and her sister, Libby go down to Sunshine Falls to spend time together and for Nora to upend romance tropes (she's usually the villain in her own life story). But instead of falling for a small town hero, she keeps running into a colleague from NYC and sparks fly. Tropes get flipped but this is still a romance.

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Disorientation: A Novel Cover Image
Reviewed by: Audrey H.
Posted: January 6, 2022

A slyly funny and satirical read, skewering academia, and white men who fetishize all that is oriental. The clever title gives a hint as to what will follow, this book was just so on point. Be prepared to be constantly sighing, or cringing, or just shaking your head, as this book follows Ingrid, in her last year of a PhD and learning about what it means to be Asian in America. For readers of Charles Yu (Interior Chinatown) and Lan Samantha Chang (Family Chao).

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Seeking Fortune Elsewhere Cover Image
Reviewed by: Audrey H.
Posted: January 2, 2022

This short story collection is quite the gem. It's hard to believe that it's a debut, it's that good. Thematically related, these short stories are centered around South Indian women, both here and abroad as they make choices about where they want to go. These women are bound by grief and hope and are connected by journeys past, present or future.

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