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Staff Reviews - Books, Movies, Music & Online Courses

Book
Reviewed by Jen on Tuesday, September 22
If you’d like an inspiring story, read Troop 6000 by journalist Nikita Stewart. When Giselle Burgess and her children were evicted from their home, they found themselves living in a temporary shelter in Queens, New York. Burgess, a former Girl Scout, recognized an opportunity to create a community within the shelter and established the first Girl Scout troop to be based in a homeless shelter. By...
Book
Reviewed by Jen on Tuesday, September 22
For an utterly absorbing tale of science and obsession, pick up Why Fish Don’t Exist by Lulu Miller. Miller explores the life and work of taxonomist David Starr Jordan, who has been credited with discovering nearly a fifth of the fish known to humans today. His collection of specimens was destroyed over time, by lightning, fire, and ultimately, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Instead of...
Book
Reviewed by Jen on Tuesday, September 22
For fans of old Hollywood, More Than Love is a must read. First time author Natasha Gregson Wagner has penned a lovely, intimate tribute to her mother, acclaimed actress Natalie Wood. Wagner was 11 when Wood died in a tragic boating accident in 1981. Here, she shares sweet anecdotes about her childhood, recounts her mother’s glamorous celebrity life, and explores the searing grief of losing a...
Book
Reviewed by Colleen on Monday, September 21
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hope of Glory presents a timely portrait of veteran congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis that details the life experiences that informed his faith and shaped his practices of non-violent protest.
Book
Reviewed by Niles on Monday, September 21
An insightful, multidimensional portrait of the powerful Holy Roman Emperor describes how Charlemagne served as a bridge between the ancient world and modern Europe by uniting the nations of Europe to bring the continent out of the Dark Ages, detailing his life, character, and military and political accomplishments.
Book
Reviewed by Niles on Monday, September 21
Draws on first-person testimonies and forensic records to document the events surrounding the 1666 Great Fire of London that destroyed more than 13,000 homes, numerous buildings, and St. Paul's Cathedral, in an account that considers the roles played by such figures as Charles II, Samuel Pepys, and Christopher Wren.
Book
Reviewed by Mary Anne on Monday, September 21
Longtime Jeopardy! host and television icon Alex Trebek reflects on his life and career. The book uses a novel structure inspired by Jeopardy!, with each chapter title in the form of a question, and features dozens of never-before-seen photos that candidly capture Trebek over the years.
Book
Reviewed by Colleen on Monday, September 21
The outlandish, hilarious, terrifying, and almost impossible-to-believe story of the legendary, dangerous amusement park where millions were entertained and almost as many bruises were sustained, told through the eyes of the founder's son. Often called "Accident Park," "Class Action Park," or "Traction Park," Action Park was an American icon. Though it closed its doors in 1996 after nearly twenty...
Book
Reviewed by Jen on Monday, September 21
Finding unexpected support from a new friend while collecting stories from her rapidly vanishing Brooklyn community, Sydney uncovers sinister truths about a regional gentrification project and why her neighbors are moving away.
Book
Reviewed by Jen on Monday, September 21
Sheltering in a New York beach house with a couple that has taken refuge during a massive blackout, a family struggles for information about the power failure while wondering if the cut-off property is actually safe.
Book
Reviewed by Mary Anne on Monday, September 21
Investigating a new client's suspicions about an unfaithful spouse, iconoclastic detective Jackson Brodie is catapulted by a chance encounter into a sinister network of secrets and lies. By the award-winning author of Case Histories.
Book
Reviewed by Mary Anne on Wednesday, September 02
From the beloved and best-selling Anne Tyler, a sparkling new novel about misperception, second chances, and the sometimes elusive power of human connection. Micah Mortimer is a creature of habit. A self-employed tech expert, superintendent of his Baltimore apartment building, cautious to a fault behind the steering wheel, he seems content leading a steady, circumscribed life. But one day his...
Book
Reviewed by Mary Anne on Wednesday, September 02
From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it
Book
Reviewed by Jennifer on Wednesday, September 02
Princess Delia must marry in order to secure an alliance and save her failing planet but, hoping for true love, she steals a spaceship and finds Aidan, a handsome stowaway, aboard in this retelling of Cinderella. Princess Delia's duty is to choose a prince to marry, secure an alliance, and save her failing planet. She secretly dreams of true love, and feels there must be a better way. So she...
Book
Reviewed by Jennifer on Wednesday, September 02
Kane Montgomery was found half-dead in the river. He has no memory of what happened, and why his life seems so different now. The entire world feels off, reality itself seems different. Three almost-strangers claim to be his friends and the only people who can truly tell him what's going on. As unimaginable worlds materialize out of nowhere-- the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical...
Book
Reviewed by Jennifer on Wednesday, September 02
Will Tavares is the dream summer fling, and Ollie thinks he's found his happily ever after. Then Will stops texting him back, and a family emergency has Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school in North Carolina. Turns out Collinswood High is where Will goes to school-- but here he is a class clown, closeted-- and a bit of a jerk. When Will starts popping up in every area of hiss life, Ollie...
Book
Reviewed by Jennifer on Wednesday, September 02
Growing up in foster care, Muir has lived in many houses. And if she's learned one thing, it is to Pack. Light. Carry only what fits in a suitcase. Toothbrush? Yes. Socks? Yes. Emotional attachment to friends? foster families? a boyfriend? Nope! There's no room for any additional baggage. Muir has just one year left before she ages out of the system. One year before she's free. One year to avoid...
Book
Reviewed by Jen on Wednesday, September 02
Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits--someone who knows the score and knows...
Book
Reviewed by Jen on Wednesday, September 02
After a messy public breakup leaves her face splashed across the tabloids, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez returns to New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country. A casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez, who is worried about his career after his last telenovela character was killed off...
Book
Reviewed by Jen on Wednesday, September 02
Bea Schumacher is a leading fashion blogger, known for her warm, honest body-positive message. But after an unexpected heartbreak, Bea's confidence is shaken and she feels hopelessly alone. In the midst of her sadness (and some drunken internet rantings), she receives a surprising proposition: Would Bea like to be the first plus-size woman to star in the next season of reality dating competition...
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