Book Review


Ever wonder what the folks who work at your local library like to read/watch/listen to? Well, we’ve assembled some of our favorite things (books, movies and music available at the library) that we consumed last year. These are not necessarily titles that came out in 2019, but that we enjoyed in 2019. Have a look and tell us what you think!

Our 2019 Staff Favorites list was created using the library’s new catalog. We haven’t officially switched catalogs yet, and even after we do switch you will still have access to our Classic Catalog if that is your preferred way to search and place holds, but our new catalog offers a host of new and exciting features!

For one, you can make book lists and see other people’s book lists. Get great ideas about what to read next, and see what people think about new and older releases. You can post comments, rate items, keep track of books you want to read later, and more. If you discover somebody with similar tastes to yours, you can follow them and see what titles they rate or comment upon.

We’re excited about our new catalog, and hope you will be too! Check it out and take it for a spin. We also have tutorials to help you get familiar with the catalog. We may offer in-person tutorials if there is demand for it. Let us know in the comments, or come see us at the Information Desk, if you have questions or comments. We’re happy to help you get started with the new catalog and discover all the new things you can do!

Thanks again to everyone who participated in Blind Date with a Book last month. The winner of the prize drawing has been notified. For the rest of you, how about a consolation read? Here are two books readers discovered through a Bind Date that were given a top rating of 5 stars.


Review by Valerie:

One of Us, by Tawni O’Dell

I give this book: 5 stars

What I liked about it:
Absolutely masterful, rich storytelling packing an emotional punch. Great look into a mental illness, class struggles and what evil really means. I have been recommending this book to my friends and coworkers.

Three adjectives that describe this book:
Captivating
Psychological
Poignant


Review by Roberta:

The Trolley Problem, or Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the Bridge? A Philosophical Conundrum,
by Thomas Cathcart

I give this book: 5 stars!

What I liked about it:
This little book is a crash course in philosophy 101 presented in an easy-to-read delightful style using the classic “runaway trolley” scenario: would you pull a switch and divert the trolley to a different track thus avoiding killing 5 people, but killing one person on the second track? Is it the morally right thing to do, or is it manslaughter? Read the moral, ethical, philosophical and legal opinions of ancient and modern philosophers. Lawyers, jurors, journalists, educators, clergy, etc. Then YOU decide!

Three adjectives that describe this book:
Fun
Philosophical
Ethically challenging!

Did you pick up one of our specially wrapped books this year? If so, don’t forget to turn in your blind date book review! And if you haven’t yet gone on a Blind Date with a Book, then hurry now into the library. We’ll be taking down the display this Thursday night, February 21.

For the uninitiated, every February the Dublin Library wraps up some of our adult books, both fiction and non-fiction, where you can’t see the author or the title. Short descriptions or teasers are written on the books to help you decide if a book is right for you. You take it home, unwrap it, read it, and rate the book. Reviews turned in to the Information Desk by March 7th will be entered into a drawing for a gift card good for a movie night for two.

Even if you don’t win a prize, you can discover a new favorite author by participating in Blind Date with a Book. Here are two reviews that came in recently:

Review by Jeanne:

A Small Indiscretion, by Jan Ellison

I give this book: 5 stars!

What I liked about it:
Well-written with flashbacks carefully weaving all characters in the story mysteriously together. I also liked the description of Paris & London.

Three adjectives that describe this book:
Compelling
Emotional
Reflection
Impossible to describe in only 3 adjectives. A very good book.




Review by Misha:

The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy,
by Michael F. Patton and Kevin Cannon

I give this book: 4 stars

What I liked about it:
This book offers a thorough and impressive introduction to philosophy, which is an interesting and complex subject. Although I found some terms and explanations difficult to understand at times, I definitely enjoyed the clever and funny illustrations in the book along with the exceptional details about well-known philosophers. I recommend this book to everyone!

Three adjectives that describe this book:
Entertaining
Informative
Complex

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of a movie, The Upside of Unrequited.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Sahana N., teen reviewer

Book Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 2017

Appeal: Young Adult

Rating: 5/5

 

At 17, Molly Peskin-Suso is filled with love, as unrequited as it may be, its still love. She’s had 26 crushes but never tried anything because of her insecurities of being fat. Her twin sister on the other hand, Cassie is the complete opposite. She’s stunning, looks amazing in whatever she decides to throw on, and is talented in the field of love.

One day, Cassie meets a girl named Mina. She’s immediately smitten and admittedly has trouble confessing to her crush. After she gets a bit more comfortable, Mina and Cassie start to date, making Molly feel lonelier, and more unwanted than ever.

Fortunately, Cassie has an idea and wants to set up Mina’s best friend, “hipster Will” with Molly. Anxious to spend more time with Cassie and maybe even receive her first kiss, Molly wills herself to like the cute redhead that keeps popping up.

When Molly starts her summer job, she meets Reid, a chubby Tolkien super fan with his interesting love for Cadbury mini eggs, and a dorky laugh. Suddenly she finds herself wishing to spend more and more time with this cute guy who seemingly occupies most of her mind. Could this be once more unrequited love? Could this be “Molly crush” number 28? Or could this maybe be true?

I enjoyed this book because it explored many characters. The differences between each were vivid and easily spotted. The main theme of this book was also that different is okay. We see characters of different body weights and accepting that they are beautiful as well. We see characters who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and are proud to be so. Most importantly we see characters confident in being themselves, teaching readers a good lesson.

Love, Simon fans will enjoy this book very much because it’s written by the same author. Molly is Abby’s cousin and in this book we explore her background. This book doesn’t incorporate any aspects of fantasy but takes you on a journey through real life. That being said, I would still recommend it to any fans of The Selection, Red Queen, An Ember in the Ashes, or YA series with action, just because it’s an easy read and a great story! I would especially recommend it to John Green fans because the two have similar writing styles.

Another reason I enjoyed this story is the way it is told. Molly’s perspective is fresh, new, and unheard of previously. Most books we read with female main characters talk about how beautiful they are. Take Red Queen, the book isn’t centered on beauty but we do understand how beautiful Mare is. In The Selection, America’s beauty is unrefined and unique, making Maxon fall for her from the start. Finally, in The Ember in the Ashes, Laia catches Elias’ eye even as a servant just because of her looks. On the other hand, Molly is a girl who is chubby, a characteristic our modern world doesn’t encourage. We see as she finds herself and who she really is as well as becomes comfortable in her own skin.

 

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Lipi B., teen reviewer

Book: One of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. MacManus
Book Format: Book, Audiobook
Year of Publication: 2017
This book will appeal to those who enjoy murder mysteries and crime fiction with teen protagonists. You may enjoy this book if you liked the books Pretty Little Liars and Bone Gap.
Age Range: 14 and up
Rating: 4.5 stars

It’s Monday afternoon, and five students walk into detention. Among them are: Bronwyn, the Yale-bound and academically motivated rule follower, Addy, a ready made homecoming princess, Nate, a criminal on probation for drug dealing, Cooper, a star baseball pitcher, and Simon, the collectively disliked creator of the high school’s popular gossip app. However, Simon dies before the end of detention. After further examination, an accidental death is ruled out, leaving the four students that were in the room with him as suspects for his murder. What’s even more intriguing is the fact that the day before he died, Simon had secrets about each of the four students in the room queued up to post for everyone to see. So, which one of them was willing to kill to protect their secret? Or were they the perfect scapegoats for someone else? One of Us Is Lying is a story about deception, finding hidden truths, and above all, how far one can go to preserve their secret.

One of Us Is Lying is likely one of the most exciting books I’ve read in awhile. The book does not hesitate to jump straight into the action, with the story starting off with the murder that is the central focus for the rest of the story. Though this story is a murder mystery, Karen M. MacManus truly gives the characters their own voices and unique perspectives, providing the reader a real connection and attachment to each student. The character development in One of Us Is Lying is something of a marvel, as the case progresses, the characters become their own independent figures with different interests, romances, and lives. Even though each perspective change is labeled at the start of the chapters, I found the characters easily identifiable and distinctive. The pacing of this story is just right, fast enough to prevent boredom but not so fast that the events become confusing.

One of Us Is Lying succeeds where many other books tend to fail-providing an equal amount of personal information and case information. Many other stories tend to get carried away with the character’s personal lives and sideline the case until the very end. However, One of Us Is Lying manages to equally distribute both parts throughout the story. This book does have some thematic elements in it, but nothing too serious; I would urge only ages 14 and up to read it. I devoured this book in one sitting, and thought about it for days afterwards. It is my belief that no book can be
perfect, but this book was near perfect. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys murder and/or mysteries, and it is my hope that you will find it as exciting and intriguing as I did.

 

Here are the last of the Blind Date with a Book reviews for this year. The winners of our prize drawing have been notified. Over 90 wrapped books were checked out, but only 16 reviews were submitted. We had three Nothing Bundt Cake gift cards to give away. Your chances were way better than the odds in the lottery; so next year, don’t forget to fill out a review!

Even if you weren’t lucky enough to win one of our gift certificates, we hope you all had fun choosing a wrapped up book and reading it. If the book you chose didn’t tickle your fancy, try one of these books enjoyed by other Dublin residents, or come by and ask a librarian for a suggestion!

 

Here’s JonMichelle’s review:

 

Finding Casey, by Jo-Ann Mapson

I give this book: 4 stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I enjoyed how much the setting was like another character.

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
heart-tugging
emotional
satistying

 

 

Monica shared this review:


Countdown City, by Ben H. Winters
(book 2 in the Last Policeman series)

I give this book: 4 stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I liked how descriptive and detailed the writer is. He wasn’t too wordy but got to the point. I was able to picture the scenes very easily, and the people. Can’t wait the read the other books by this author.

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
intriguing
touching
original

 

 

 

Dublin readers found all types of books when they went on a Blind Date with a Book this year. Here are a few of them.

This Wednesday, March 7, is the last day to turn in your Rate-the-Date book review to be eligible for our prize drawing. So don’t dally any longer!

Alyssa’s review is for…
mrsthumb

 

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb,
by Melanie Benjamin

What did you like/not like about the book?
I liked that it was from the perspective of a little person, which is rare even today.

Three adjectives that describe the book are:
Thoughtful
Pensive
Determined

 

 

 

Xiaoyu sent in a Rate-the-Date for…

spinoza

 

The Spinoza Problem, by Irvin D. Yalom

What did you like/not like about the book?
Psychiatrist wrote about philosopher in novel format, combining the two fields that have always interested me. Better yet, the writing is very good. I want to read other novels by the author.

Three adjectives that describe the book are:
Inspirational
Enlightening
Thought-provoking

 

 

 

Amy picked up this mystery novel…

died-macpherson

 


Died in the Wool
, by Rett MacPherson

What did you like/not like about the book?
I enjoyed the historical information and the sense of community established with all the longtime residents. It was a quick and enjoyable mystery.

Three adjectives that describe the book are:

Clever
Heart-warming
Unexpected

 

 

Ushaben found the following memoir…

glitter-corrigan

 

Glitter and Glue, by Kelly Corrigan

What did you like/not like about the book?
“Things happen when you leave the house!” and “Be awake to the possibilities,” are two quotes that sum up the book and what I liked about it.

Three adjectives that describe the book are:
Endearing
Memorable
Uplifting

 

 

 

Thanks for your reviews everyone!  Want to see more reader reviews? Look back at our past Adult and Teen book review blog posts.

Tomorrow, February 14 is the last day to pick up a Blind Date with a Book! Don’t forget to turn in your reviews by March 7. Even if the date was a dud, you can still win a tasty treat (courtesy of Nothing Bundt Cakes). Luckily, our first two submitted blind dates were rave reviews. Come by the library to pick up these books or for help in finding your next 5-star read.

Jeanne’s review:

lively- dancing

Dancing Fish and Ammonites, by Penelope Lively
I give this book: 5+ stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I liked everything about this book. I can relate to reminiscing about the past (I am 71 – Penelope was 80 when she wrote the book). We both appreciate passions of childhood — the love of literature, gardening. There is an awareness of how times have changed in the last 50 years.  This book was pure pleasure to read. I can’t give it enough kudos.

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
sentimental, historic, attitude – reflection, age/metamorphosis

 

Tiffany’s review:
crusie-agnes

Agnes and the Hitman, by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
I give this book: 5 stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I love the pace of the story & the dynamic between the two main characters. The writing is very engaging & the story full of humor. ♥ this book! What a romp!

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
quirky, fun, good

 

Thanks Jeanne and Tiffany for your reviews! They are now eligible for our prize drawing, and you can be to, if you turn in your Rate-the-Date review card by Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

 

 

With our busy lifestyles, sometimes it’s hard to find the time to just sit and read.  If you’ve got a stack of unread books and feel like getting out more, you can take care of both situations with Dublin’s Silent Book Club!

On the third Tuesday of the month, from 3:00 – 4:00 pm, the library hosts an adult quiet reading hour. We’ll be setting up a room with a few comfortable chairs, closing the door, and giving you space to escape into a good book. Even though we call it a book club, we’re not discussing or reading the same book. It’s just a way to schedule some reading time and be around others who appreciate and share a passion for reading.

If you’re feeling social, you can come early and join us for our Readers’ Round Table. From 2:00 – 3:00 pm on the third Tuesday of the month, we spend time talking about the books we’re reading and enjoying. Share your latest find, or find a new author to try! While these two programs happen on the same day, you do not need to attend one to come to the other. Pick what feels right for you.

At last month’s Readers’ Round Table one participant recommended the book The Widow of the South, by Robert Hicks. She admitted it was slow to start, but full of detail about life in the South during the Civil War. The characters come to life as you get into it. You learn some history and get some romance. It’s also about how the main character’s home gets taken over by the Confederacy and turned into a hospital.

This prompted another participant to recommend the PBS television series Mercy Street, a somewhat gritty but captivating show about a family-owned hotel turned into an army hospital in Union-occupied Virginia. There’s a mix of interesting characters and perspectives including the Boston widow newly arrived as a nurse, a free black man with untapped medical skills, and a Southern belle whose entitled world has been utterly shaken. Find the DVDs for both seasons at the library.

What new book or show might you discover next? Join us on October 17 to find out!

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a double review of the first two books in the Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Scarlet.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Sahana N., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 2012

Appeal: Marie Lu, Veronica Roth, and Kiera Cass fans (Middle School)

Rating: 5/5

Cinderella mostly brings the idea of a silky blue ball gown, elegantly rare glass slippers, and a sweet story about love at first sight. Cinder is Cinderella reimagined, in a power packed way you would never expect her.

Linh Cinder is the best mechanic in all of New Beijing. But, she’s different from everyone else. Cinder is a cyborg; one that can tell when someone’s lying, download information, fix practically anything, and even has the perks of not blushing or crying. In New Beijing, being a cyborg isn’t as incredible as it seems. Terrorized by her stepmother and first stepsister, Cinder’s life doesn’t look so good. Especially when her second step-sister and best friend is diagnosed with letumosis, the deadly and rapidly killing pandemic that mysteriously appeared in her country, Cinder has no option but to submit for testing for the cure under her cruel step-mother’s wishes.

At the palace where she undergoes medical testing, Cinder meets Kai, the soon to be emperor, whose father is suffering from the deadly disease and who is torn apart by duty and his heart. Picked up by the whirlwind of her heart, but let down by the gust of reality, Cinder must try to follow a path that has been set for her while making choices for herself, and discovering her identity. But what Cinder learns about herself and her shattering past, can either build the future back up or tear it down.

As you read the book, you’re yanked into Cinder’s bustling world, by a hand made of love, treachery, sadness, betrayal, and a whole lot of strength. Cinder shows you how being different from everyone isn’t as easy as it seems, and you get to feel her anger, her misery, her fear, her enthusiasm, and her love. I would recommend this book to almost anyone who wants to read a good Young Adult book. If you have enjoyed series like Legend, Red Queen, Selection, and Divergent, this book will be an exact fit. Cinder was thrillingly perfect and my favorite aspect of it was that there was an immersive infusion of the beloved classic Cinderella, yet at the same time, the story was much more complex, contrasting in certain areas, and breathtakingly beautiful.

 

Janice L., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: Scarlet

Author: Marissa Meyer

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 2013

Who will book appeal to?: Teenagers

Rating: 4 stars (1 = did not like it and 5 = it was amazing)

This novel is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles, preceding after Cinder . I actually did not read Cinder before reading Scarlet , so I can’t form a judgement on this sequel in comparison to Cinder as the continuation of the storyline in Cinder.

The pacing of the story was a bit too slow in the beginning, but events finally picked up the pace later on as the story unfolded. At some parts of the story, I thought the fight scenes weren’t described well, but the descriptions improved, especially in one of the conflicts towards the end of the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed the adventure in the plot and the humor in Cinder’s perspective in her banters with Thorne. I also liked the switch-off between the two different perspectives of Cinder and Scarlet in the chapters of the book as their lives became more intertwined with each other. Kai’s perspective was also switched off between chapters, but I did not enjoy those chapters in particular since they seemed boring to me. I believe the reason why I did not enjoy his perspective as much as the others is because I haven’t read Cinder, so I don’t know the history between Kai and Cinder. Meyer conjured a fascinating connection between them, and I admit I was surprised when I found out the story behind how they were connected. I love that there is a romance element to this novel as well, but this novel doesn’t base its entire plot around the romance. I would highly recommend this book, especially to those that like novels that are spin-offs of fairy tales and to those that enjoy adventure and romance in a novel.

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