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Staff Reviews - Books, Movies, Music & Online Courses

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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...
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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
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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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Reviewed by Mary Anne on Wednesday, September 02
Blindsided by her mother's sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she's...
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Reviewed by Mary Anne on Wednesday, September 02
When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days, decades years earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she'd been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence? Astrid's youngest son is drifting and unfocused, making parenting mistakes of his own. Her...
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Reviewed by Mary Anne on Tuesday, September 01
In Olen Steinhauer's bestseller An American Spy, reluctant CIA agent Milo Weaver thought he had finally put "Tourists"--CIA-trained assassins--to bed.   A decade later, Milo is hiding out in Western Sahara when a young CIA analyst arrives to question him about a series of suspicious deaths and terrorist chatter linked to him.   Their conversation is soon interrupted by a new breed of Tourists...
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Reviewed by Mary Anne on Tuesday, September 01
Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and...
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Reviewed by Jane on Tuesday, September 01
The story begins on a beach in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where Olivia Donatelli and her young autistic son Anthony, are enjoying a peaceful afternoon. Beth Ellis is also on the beach watching her three, young  daughters  build sand castles on the shore. Beth can see that the little boy appears to be non-verbal and has all of his attention focused on lining up rocks in straight lines while his...
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Reviewed by Jen L. on Monday, August 31
"On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It's a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be...
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Survival Instincts
Reviewed by Jen L. on Monday, August 31
By the bestselling author of A Beautiful, Terrible Thing, a haunting thriller about a mother and daughter who need to draw strength from each other when they find themselves trapped in a cabin with a man who wants to either control them--or kill them
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Reviewed by Jen L. on Monday, August 31
Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden's mother wrote a book. Fame...
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Reviewed by Jen L. on Wednesday, August 12
For 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 embedding...
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Reviewed by Jen L. on Wednesday, August 12
The Gift of Forgiveness features interviews with people (ranging from Elizabeth Smart to Sue Klebold, mother of one of the Columbine shooters) who are grappling with everything from fractured friendships to losing a child. Writer Katherine Schwarzenegger-Pratt and her interviewees explore how and when to forgive, the complications that ensue, and the strength that can be found in unexpected...
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Reviewed by Jane F. on Wednesday, August 12
This is a family story. Every family has its problems with high points and lows. However, the Plumb family has the usual family issues, and then some.  The reader is brought into the fray right from the start with background information about a frugal man that planned for his own financial future but also to leave a modest inheritance for his wife and four children. He left the responsibility of...
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