Reviews

Want to know what our librarians and staff are reading? Browse through a variety of reviews added to our catalog from a variety of genres.

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  • The big trip : your ultimate guide to gap years and overseas adventures.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 15, 2020

    Tagged: Free Library of Philadelphia

    You've always wanted to take a gap year, or volunteer in Ecuador, or do some extremely long around the world travel and now you can. Here in one volume, you can be up to date on the latest cheap travel sights, accomodations, volunteering and work opportunities on every continent.

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  • American sign language for babies & toddlers 200 words in audio & ASL.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 15, 2020

    Tagged: Disabilites and Accessibility Language Study Movies & Television

    Here are 200 signs which are not too complex and geared towards young children but will be a fun addition to any adults vocabulary. Again, probably not super applicable to daily conversations IRL but it's nice to be able to sign colors, numbers, abc's and I particularly enjoyed "Kangaroo". 

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  • Drawdown : the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 15, 2020

    Tagged: Science

    This is a sort of encyclopedia of two page spreads detailing different industry changes or innovations that are under way or need to become more mainstream. Not geared towards the individual unless you happen to have money or alot of land or want to become a career switcher and harness and sell natural energy. Still, if you have any amount of power and influence it's easy to skim through and you can be an over night expert on what companies are on the yes list and which practices need to be tossed out. Five stars for trying to address the topic but again unless you are a CEO or Mayor there's not going to be change solutions for individuals.

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  • You want it darker by Cohen, Leonard,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 15, 2020

    Tagged: Music

    Leonard Cohen's very dark album. "Hineni Hineni, I am ready my lord"  so haunting and mature you will play it over and over. Like a jewish, multi-lingual Johnny Cash.

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  • A New day in old Sana'a
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 15, 2020

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    A true art film capturing womens' hidden roles as it pertains to middle eastern culture, reputations, and society. Mild subtle family themed plot twists and muslim mosque melodies will haunt you till you pause the movie and look up the cost of flying there.

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  • Gul?ba gai?ga
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Jan 15, 2020

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    A woman (Rajjo) battles against a crooked politician (Sumitra Devi) in order to create a sanctuary for abused women in her country. Much singing, dancing, and fighting ensue. I enjoyed it as far as Hindi films go but the corruption and sabotoge tactics at the end don't make for a Hollywood happy ending so I consider it an adult themed movie.

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  • Spartacus, vengeance.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Jan 13, 2020

    Tagged: Movies & Television

     Torn from the woman he cherished, and sold to the Ludus of Quintus Batiatus, Spartacus has survived the arena. He has forged bonds with Oenomaus, Crixus and Gannicus, warriors of unparalled prowess. Together, they take down the house of Batiatus and vow to free any slaves willing to fight for freedom. 

    Between the Gladators and their ultimate goal stands the might of Rome in the form of General Giaus Claudius Glaber. The history between Spartacus and Glaber is long and bloody. Glaber has vowed to see Spartacus's head on a pike and anyone standing with him. Their personal war will spill across the Roman countryside as the rebellion grows and blood turns the seven hills red.

    Spartacus and his companions cry Vengance for the treatment of those they loved and lost, those threatened by the depraved desires of Roman masters unrelenting crulty. These "Gods of the Arena" unleash their wrath upon their oppressors. 

    You may know how this story ends, but the ride will give you chills....

    Note: Sex and Violance. Not for young viewers! or those with sensitivity to detailed sceens of gore and abuse.

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  • The night voice : a novel of the noble dead by Hendee, Barb.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Jan 13, 2020

    Tagged: Fiction

    The Noble Dead series comes to an end. Only one task remains to secure the safe continuation of the world. Hide the last two orbs of power. 

    Out of the desert come tales of an undead horde and the devastation left in their wake. Magiere, Leesil and Chap know what they have to do. Fate will place her champions on the line once more, spin the dice and hope for victory.

    This time its winner rule all.

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  • Blood fury : Black Dagger legacy by Ward, J. R.,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Jan 13, 2020

    Tagged: Fiction

    Poor little rich boy Payton....

    How he managed to score a spot in the Black Dagger Brotherhood's trainee program is a mystery. First off, he's a major waste of space attitude wise. He's a darling of the glamira - can you spell pampered son? He's also a major screw up who lands a fellow trainee in sickbay - and not minor repairs. 

    Redeming quality: He can fight. Payton faces challenges that force him to dig deep, find his worth and earn his place among his peers.

    Motivation: Novo. She's worth the time and effort to build a romantic relationship (provided she can forgive him for almost getting her killed).

    Major drawback: His family ties. Members of the Glamira are world class snobs and Novo is a card carrying nobody. 

    But even poor little Rich boys can turn into males of worth!

    Blood Fury is Book 3 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Legacy series

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  • Blood truth by Ward, J. R.,
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Jan 13, 2020

    Tagged: ebooks Fiction

    Boon, for those who have been following this series, is one of young guns to pass into the Black Dagger Brotherhood's program to train a new generation of soilders in their war with the Lessers. He has distinguished himself among his peers and is ready for combat. Or is he? What will he do if the enemy turns out to be his own sire? 

    Butch O'Neil (aka The Distroyer) steps into the breach, and gives Boon a purpose. Together they must track down the predator hunting Vampire females. Boon is further drawn by Helena, the female who alerted the Brotherhood to the killings.

    Members of the Brotherhood make cameo appearences which both keeps readers in touch with the BDB main line, and provides a grounding connection to the up-and-coming soilders destined to fill their shoes.

    Blood Truth is book 4 in the Legacy spin-off series.

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  • The last kingdom : a novel by Cornwell, Bernard.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Jan 8, 2020

    Tagged: Fiction

    The beginning of an epic series in which Saxon England face Danish conquest. Part coming of age, part political intrigue and the horrors of war, the Last Kingdom follows young Saxon Uthred of Bebbanburg. Danes attack his village, killing most of his family and carrying Uthred into slavery. 

    His uncle who survived the attack, partitions the Saxon King for the rights to Bebbanburg, knowing his young nephew is a captive. He also reaches out to the Danes with an offer of peace provided they kill Uthred.

    Ragnar, Uthred's Danish master, rather than kill the boy, adopts him. Uthred becomes brother to Ragner the younger and his sister Thyra and Uthred grows to manhood as a Viking.

    Jump about 19 or 20 years, and Uthred the Dane emerges as one of Ragnar's best fighters. His happy world falls apart when a rival for his sister's hand plots the downfall of Ragnar's family and Thyra is stolen amid the ashes of the village.  Both Ragnar the younger and Uthred believe Thyra dead. 

    Ragnar the Elder is killed, setting the brothers in search of Vengence and Uthred in search of his title as Lord of Bebbanburg.

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  • The dog in the dark : a novel of the noble dead by Hendee, Barb.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Dec 18, 2019

    Tagged: Fiction

    Chasing the mysterious orbs, Magiere and Leesil and joined by their companions Winn, Leanalham a young member of Leesil's tribe and Chap a wolf with an elvin spirit. They are followed by an assissin who may or may not intend them harm. 

    Finding the previous Orb of power has changed Magiere in ways that frighten her, ways that make her a danger to herself and her friends. Will she learn to control her new gifts or will they lead her into the hands of the Ancient Evil intent upon using her to work it's will?

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  • A knight of the seven kingdoms being the adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall, and his squire, Egg by Martin, George R. R.
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Dec 18, 2019

    Tagged: Fiction

    Dunk and Egg are such commonplace names for a hedge knight from Flea bottom and Prince Aegon Targaryen.

    In the first tale Dunk meets Egg on the way to a little town called Ashford, where an annual tourney is in the offing. Dunk is in need of new armor to compete. While Egg can’t disguise his eyes, he has shaven off his silver locks in order to appear a poor lad seeking to become a squire.

    Can this odd couple enter the tourney and compete without anyone making the connection between Egg and missing brother of Prince Aemon Targaryen?

    More highjinx abound in the remaining two stories. Prequels to the Song of Ice and Fire novels.

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  • Inhumans : once & future kings by Priest, Christopher J.

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Dec 18, 2019

    Tagged: Comics and Graphic Novels

    The future of Attilan rests in her next generation. Two brothers have emerged from the Terrigan mist trials – one with the gift mind control and the other whose merest whisper can level the entire kingdom.

    For Maximus and Black Bolt,  Attilan is a source of pride and privilege, but than a throne will stand between these brothers.

    Includes a LOCKJAW feature.

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  • Midnight crossroad by Harris, Charlaine.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Dec 18, 2019

    Tagged: Fiction

    Charlaine Harris is best known for her True Blood series, but she didn’t pause there. Welcome to Midnight Texas. 

     Everyone in this odd lot has deadly secrets; and no one is exactly as they seem. Here you’re sure rub elbows with a reformed vampire, a fallen angel, a weretiger, a powerful witch, and a professional female assassin. 

    Demon, vamp or spell caster intent on raising Kane in this sleepy, creepy little town, beware. Messed up as they are, the residents of Midnight function as a family – and in Midnight, Family comes first!

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  • Blood of elves by Sapkowski, Andrzej.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Dec 18, 2019

    Tagged: ebooks Fiction

    Soon to be a Netflix’s series called the Witcher, The Blood of Elves introduces us to Geralt, a battle weary witcher charged with the care and training of Ciri; the only surviving member of a Royal Family.

    For Ciri to reclaim her throne, she must learn the witcher’s craft, survive her pursuers and unite the lost tribes of elves. All that stands between Ciri and an early grave is Geralt, but will he be her salvation or destruction?

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  • Where winter finds you a Caldwell Christmas by Ward, J. R.,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Tamoul Q on Dec 18, 2019

    Tagged: Fiction

    Trez  was destined to rule the Shadows, but fate in the form of a Chosen found him first. When Selina is torn from him

    by a disease which locks her mind in a paralyzed body, Trez must say goodbye to the love of his life.

    Commence the tail spin, the late night drives to the river and other self- destructive behaviors setting the Brotherhood on alert.

    Therese seeks independence which means staying in fleabag apartment and taking a waitress Job. The Boss’s brother is interested, but ethics and a sense of danger cloud the issue.

    It’s Christmas in Caldwell, NY. Vampire style.  Can Trez and Therese find a Christmas Miracle with a little help from their friends?

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  • Girl, wash your face : stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be by Hollis, Rachel
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Dec 17, 2019

    Tagged: Self-Help

    So this won't be the best thing you've read all year but if there were an award for bookcovers of all time this one would make it in the top 10. Let it come home with you and grace your coffee table so that guests can nod admiringly at it and you can read just a short passage every week so it doesn't cut into your non-fluffy literary tastes. This life advice book is for cookie-cutter lives, or moms, or desperate house wives looking for some consolation about their choices and experiences. If you are a remotely interesting person, leading an interesting life you probably could and should be writing an advice book. I'm sure there are a whole culture of people who will think this is great but there are better self help books out there. (Oprah anyone?) Still, 5 stars for truth telling and cover art.

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  • Thinking in pictures : and other reports from my life with autism by Grandin, Temple.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Dec 17, 2019

    Tagged: Psychology Animals and Nature

    Here is the latest edition of Temple's Thinking in Pictures. She is such an astute detailed and verbose writer. There is alot to be gleaned from her story whether you are reading it from an animal science perspective or if you are trying to learn about the brain connections of someone with autism. She is so well educated and researched on the nuances of brain science, visualization, sensory processing and kanner syndrome, and children who speak but then stop and then start again and really goes into minute detail in a way that will help anyone in the psychology field for generations to come. You know you've arrived in life when the extensive bibliography is half filled with your own published articles! Be warned, Bovine's are one of the species that Temple feels the most affection for and she literally sees things through a filter of "cows" therefore "cows" are referenced in every single page of the book and referenced at every turn. If you are not a 'cowgirl' at heart you will not be able to finish this book. I am not kidding that was not a joke. Other animals are discussed don't get me wrong. But if you don't like animals, brain science (and reading 200pages on cows!!!) than you're not going to like this book. Perhaps start with a different Temple Grandin book.

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  • Wrestle
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Ellen A on Dec 17, 2019

    Tagged: African American Movies & Television

    High school wrestling meets Black Lives Matter in this new full length docu-drama following the lives of several boys and their coach as they struggle to stay together as a team during their senior year of high school and also become contenders to make it to State Championships. This film will hit home for anyone who went to schools with a robust wrestling program and instructors that forced education of that sport upon you during the awkward years of adolesence. Or perhaps you've grown de-sensitized to what real wrestling involves due to the mass market of WWE. It's a pivotal moment we need to have a conversation in this country about why education is so exclusive and what the amount of determination, focus, and acknowledgement of the odds stacked against anyone coming up in a poverty, or racial profiling, or just plain stressful family environment are necessary to make it out on top. If you didn't finish high school or you barely finished, or you had crazy senioritis and nearly died or got arrested this movie is for you.
     

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