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  • Book cover for The Final Girl Support Group

    The Final Girl Support Group

    by Hendrix, Grady

    April 17, 2024

    Any fan of horror movies knows what the term “final girl” means. A final girl is the person left standing at the end of a horror movie. During the course of the film, she evades the threat, usually losing several friends and family members in the process, long enough to have a lethal confrontation that results in the killer’s death (who regularly defies all reason by returning in the sequel). Final girls rarely appear consecutively in these films and are regularly replaced by new characters in subsequent installments, because the main focus for the films, and their franchises, is... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of A year of last things : poems

    A year of last things : poems

    by Ondaatje, Michael, 1943-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    April 8, 2024

    Call Number: 821 O575

    Michael Ondaatje is first and foremost a poet whose insights, perceptions and writing style are evident, as well, in his prose. Generally he is well known for his historical novel, The English Patient, and the eponymous film. Even though the film differed, somewhat, from the novel, it was just as elegiacally beautiful and haunting in plot, photography and accompanying score. 

    As I have stated before, “Poetry is the most... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of Camp Damascus

    Camp Damascus

    by Tingle, Chuck

    April 1, 2024

    Rose Darling is a high school senior who has lived her entire life in the small town of Neverton, Montana. She’s also grown up attending Kingdom of the Pine church with her parents. Kingdom of the Pine is a smaller church, compared to some others, but it has an international reputation for operating Camp Damascus, a gay conversion therapy operation with an astounding 100% success rate.

    As Rose has gotten older, she has experienced some things that have left her with questions. A lot of questions. Like the fact that when she spends time with some of her girl... Read Full Review

  • Book cover for Leave Me Alone With the Recipes: The Life, Art, and Cookbook of Cipe Pineles

    Leave Me Alone With the Recipes: The Life, Art, and Cookbook of Cipe Pineles

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    March 28, 2024

    Call Number: 641.594 L4395

    The story of how this manuscript was found, and eventually published, is a serendipitous adventure, with many discoveries about the woman who created it, and connections with some of the people who knew her. In 2013 Sarah Rich was at an exhibition of the California International Antiquarian Book Fair in San Francisco. It was a chilly, somewhat gloomy day, and the books on display seemed to mirror that atmosphere. All the book jackets were in muted, dull color tones until, “The climactic moment of our visit to the fair could only be captured in the most brilliant hues, for the... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of The Djinn waits a hundred years

    The Djinn waits a hundred years

    by Khan, Shubnum

    March 18, 2024

    Fifteen-year-old Sana has just moved to Durban, a city on the eastern coast of South Africa, with her father. Her mother, a victim of cancer, died a few years earlier and her father believes the move to the once grand, now dilapidated, estate that is an odd type of apartment building will help both of them. The existing tenants, an eccentric group of older women, along with the landlord, a man known as Doctor, agree on very little, with one exception: the house is haunted.

    Sana is familiar with ghosts. She was born half of a pair of conjoined twins and has been... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of Women of Good Fortune

    Women of Good Fortune

    by Wan, Sophie

    March 11, 2024

    Sophie Wan opens her debut novel with this bit of information:

    “Sheng nu – ‘leftover women’ – unmarried women over the age of twenty-seven. Later adopted by the internet community to refer to often well-educated women who had passed the appropriate age for marriage.”

    Wan then goes on to introduce readers to the protagonists of her novel: Rina, a young woman educated in the west who is keenly aware of her ticking biological clock as she pursues her career; Jane, a brand conscious fashionista forced by her parents into an arranged marriage; and Lulu... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of Breaking through : my life in science

    Breaking through : my life in science

    by Karikó, Katalin

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    March 4, 2024

    Call Number: 574.19092 K183

    Katalin Karikó shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2023, with Drew Weissman “for their discoveries concerning base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19." Her journey to this achievement could not have been predicted by her, or by anyone else. Her life and work are remarkable in many ways that she recounts in this warm, insightful memoir, sometimes told with wry, humorous asides. The inspiration for the book is “a long-belated thank-you [to] all my teachers from my earliest days in Hungary right through to the world-... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of Tanya Holland's California soul : recipes from a culinary journey West

    Tanya Holland's California soul : recipes from a culinary journey West

    by Holland, Tanya

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    February 27, 2024

    Call Number: 641.59794 H737-1

    In her cookbook/memoir/history Tanya Holland organizes recipes in four chapters arranged by the seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter), preceded with a lovely foreward by Alice Walker. In the introduction the successful American chef, restaurateur, podcaster, writer and cookbook author states, “I claim it all,” Black, African American, from the African diaspora, descended from enslaved people “brought to this country by Europeans. Americans have been and still are all on the journey together. And as an African American woman, the contributions that my ancestors made to what... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of The fox wife

    The Fox Wife

    by Choo, Yangsze

    February 20, 2024

    A detective is approached about discovering the identity of a young woman who is found dead and frozen outside a restaurant. A grieving mother undertakes a search to locate the man she holds responsible for her daughter’s death. As each travels across Manchuria in the early 20th century, it becomes clear that while their stories may seem unrelated, the clues they are each following lead them closer and closer together.

    In her latest novel, after 2019’s excellent ... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of Walk through fire

    Walk through fire

    by Johnson, Sheila, 1949-

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    February 13, 2024

    Call Number: 658.31242 J69

    Sheila Johnson has had an exceptionally rewarding personal and professional life, overcoming many obstacles that would have discouraged and leveled many other people. All her life, from the time she was very young, Sheila Johnson has worked steadily and relentlessly.  Among her many accomplishments are: co-founder of BET (Black Entertainment Television); the first African American woman billionaire; the only Black woman to be the co-owner of three professional sports teams; and the founder of Salamander Hotels and Resorts. The pathways to those signal achievements are... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of The Book of Doors

    The Book of Doors

    by Brown, Gareth

    February 5, 2024

    Cassie Andrews is living a quiet life in New York City. She spends her days and evenings working in a bookshop, and when she goes home each night, more often than not, she curls up with a good book. A set of unusual circumstances in the bookstore result in Cassie coming into possession of a strange, unassuming little book that, according to the title page, is The Book of Doors. Inside, the book is inscribed with the title, some mysterious symbols and drawings, and the inscription that “any door is every door.” Cassie ponders the book and wonders what it means. When she... Read Full Review

  • Book cover of How not to be a politician : a memoir

    How not to be a politician : a memoir

    by Stewart, Rory

    Reviewed by: Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction

    January 31, 2024

    Call Number: 320.942 S851

    Both the title and book jacket of Rory Stewart's political memoir are ironic. The title because it is emblematic of Rory Stewart’s sincere attempts to make a difference, domestically and internationally, by entering British politics, in which he was frequently confounded by the motivational tactics of other politicians. It was very easy for that to happen because elected officials, to whom he was obligated, frequently changed political positions in mid-sentence. If the intricacies of American congressional politics are confusing, well British parliamentary ways and means are even... Read Full Review

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