Staff Reviews - Books, Movies, Music & Online Courses

Book
Reviewed by Kathleen on Monday, June 01
In Sing You Home, Jodi Picoult again examines timely, complicated issues.  Zoe Baxter, a music therapist, spends years of her life trying all available measures to become pregnant and carry a child to term, with no success.  Now, as a new friendship becomes love, Zoe is faced with a struggle to keep those things dearest to her, and to create a family at last. The book has an accompanying song...
Book
Reviewed by Alex on Monday, June 01
The Enchantress is the sixth and final installment in the “The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” series by Michael Scott. Here at the finale, all the pieces have come together in the place where it all began, each having their own role to play before the end comes. With these final steps, Josh and Sophie Newman will face the end of their journey, their decisions and those who have followed...
Book
Reviewed by Mary Anne on Monday, June 01
Joe Pickett is a C.J. Box character in a series that takes place in Wyoming, where Pickett is a Wyoming Game Warden. In Long Range, a judge and his wife are shot from a very long distance. The judge is missed, but his wife is severely wounded. Joe quickly finds the spot in the mountains the sniper shot from, but his personal life and professional life collide when his friend Nate Romanowski is...
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Reviewed by Kathleen on Thursday, May 28
A Good Neighborhood, by Therese Anne Fowler, deals with many serious issues.  New wealthy neighbors prove to be a problem for Valerie Alston-Holt.  A professor of forestry and a widow, Alston-Holt is raising a biracial son in a friendly and diverse neighborhood.  Issues arise involving race, young love, and the death of an historic oak tree.  These issues quickly escalate into a series of tragic...
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Reviewed by Bette on Thursday, May 28
This story revolves around the three Heaney sisters, part of a large Irish family living in Chicago during World War II. The two oldest sisters have just seen their soldier boyfriends off to war, and they, along with their youngest sister, attend USO dances and write nightly letters to the boys overseas in their efforts to support the war effort. Through the ongoing correspondence, we are made...
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Reviewed by Bette on Thursday, May 28
There’s a new hero in town! It’s hard to recognize him as such because we are introduced to him as he helps himself to a suitcase of found money and diamonds. Believing he has found the road to “easy street”, Michael Gannon is in for a jaw-dropping surprise. As the plot unwinds and we learn just who he has pitted himself against, we are already embroiled in a full-throttle ricocheting ride!...
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Reviewed by Jane F. on Thursday, May 28
This story begins with a young man (Rudy Baylor) graduating from law school in Tennessee with a lot of uncertainty about his future. In his final year of law school, his professor requires students to provide legal advice to a group of senior citizens. Two of the “clients” that he meets there change the direction of his life. One is a woman that spends her time helping others in the senior center...
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Reviewed by Katie on Thursday, May 28
This book is a collection of short stories about women in varying stages of life, some humorous and some heart breaking. I don’t usually read short story collections, but the great name of this book forced my hand- and I was not disappointed! The title story is great fun- and so relatable.  It was not, however my favorite.  Many of the stories involve a woman’s relationship with food, but the...
Book
Reviewed by Alex on Tuesday, May 26
“The Warlock” is the fifth part in the “The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” series by Michael Scott. In this entry, we follow our protagonists, Josh and Sophie Newman as the choice of one has led them separate paths. Each will discover new revelations that change how we understand the rules of the world itself and brings us one step closer to uncovering those behind these chains of...
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Reviewed by Jen E. on Tuesday, May 26
Set at the end of the 1920s, socialite Phryne Fisher is tired of politesociety in London and craves more out of life. She thinks it might be funto try her hand as a detective in Australia and quickly finds herselfembroiled in a number of mysteries, from poisoned wives to cocaine dealing. Phryne is a fabulous character: confident and fashionable, yet never one toforget her humble beginnings. She's...
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Reviewed by Jen E. on Tuesday, May 26
Melissa and Rusty Tripp have a wildly successful home remodeling and design empire. They are the perfect couple… or so it seems. In the eyes of their trusted assistants, Carey and James, the Tripps are on the brink of divorce or, at the very least, an embarrassing public scandal.    The story is told through the alternating perspectives of Carey and James, showing their constant efforts to save...
Book
Reviewed by Kathleen on Thursday, May 21
In City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert has written a novel that spans over 60 years, as Vivian Morris tells her story.  She was expelled from Vassar for lack of performance, and sent by family to NYC.  There she lives with Aunt Peg in a crumbling, struggling theater, where she meets and comes to love, a cast of diverse and interesting characters.  Her story covers decades of successes, failures,...
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Reviewed by Katie on Thursday, May 21
Corie Geller is an ex FBI agent who gave it up for a suburban Long Island life, including a handsome, wealthy husband and adopted daughter.  She is trying to assimilate into the lifestyle by joining a weekly lunch group for local freelancers.  Her trained instincts can’t leave her alone about one the group’s members.  He seems too much like her – a trained agent who is trying to cover up their...
Book
Reviewed by ALex on Monday, May 18
“The Necromancer” is the fourth installment in the “Secrets of the Nicholas Flamel” book series by Michael Scott. This entry begins the first steps towards the climax of the entire series as bigger mysteries have begun to be answered and those who have hidden in the shadows are finally taking action. The characters we’ve been following since “The Alchemyst” have taken a toll with this adventure...
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Reviewed by Jane F. on Friday, May 15
This is a story about a parent’s worst nightmare, having a child abducting right in front of you. Detective Inspector Jack Caffery of Bristol England’s Major Crime Investigation Unit is challenged investigating what is first believed to be a car-jacking gone wrong but develops into what appears to be a serial kidnapper. As they expand the search and involve other departments looking for the...
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Reviewed by Niles on Tuesday, May 12
The Fiery Trial is a comprehensive yet comprehensible narrative of Abraham Lincoln’s political career, particularly as he wrestled with the issue of slavery and his place in the broader antislavery movement.  Principled, but also pragmatic, Lincoln evolved in his thinking on slavery as he tried to strike a balance between the different poles in the movement and his roles as candidate, President...
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Reviewed by Katie on Monday, May 11
There, There is an unapologetically raw depiction of the urban American Indian of the United States today.  Tommy Orange shows us several characters independently, and unites them in the end as they all end up attending the same Pow Wow in Oakland, CA.  Each character has had terrible, unimaginably challenging experiences to have overcome that brings them to the Pow Wow.  This story is about the...
Book
Reviewed by Alex on Monday, May 11
The Sorceress is the third novel in the book series, “The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” by Michael Scott. Our protagonists, Josh and Sophie Newman have begun to feel the after effects of crossing the threshold into the mystical world. Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel are continually losing their strength as they try to protect the twins and recover the Codex that kept them immortal....
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Reviewed by Niles on Wednesday, May 06
George “Babe” Herman Ruth didn’t need data or analytics to become the most dominant player and legend America’s pastime has ever seen. His numbers prove him to he the ultimate hall of famer.  But Jane Leavy goes beyond the baseball skills of the “Sultan of Swat” to explore Ruth the rowdy, the drinker, the brawler, the womanizer, ever protected and shielded by his agent Christy Walsh.  After...
Book
Reviewed by Niles on Wednesday, May 06
Goldberger’s tribute (Ballpark: Baseball in the American City, 2019) is to the construction of ballparks in the past, but Ben Lindbergh is more interested in the new world of data-driven strategies employed by coaches, scouts and players to improve the skills of current baseball players and develop upcoming hopefuls into stars. Whether it’s in changing a batter’s swing or tweaking a pitcher’s...
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