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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  • WOLVERINE OLD MAN LOGAN 4. by Lemire, Jeff,
    ★☆☆☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 20, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    Two separate stories jammed together, the first of which is so generic it doesn't matter if it's Old Man Logan or any of the other incarnations of the character; and the second jumps back and forth in its storyline and storytelling trying to build tension but it just comes off as incoherent. 

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  • Curse words. by Soule, Charles.
    ★★☆☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 20, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    An interesting concept, but far to much is left unexplained  at the beginning and at the end for it to be really enjoyable. 

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  • Philadelphia's boxing heritage, 1876-1976 by Callis, Tracy.
    ★★☆☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 19, 2017

    Tagged: Philadelphia Philadelphia History History

    The author has a demonstrable interest in the subject, but far to many of the captions are merely lists of opponents, interesting details are mentioned in passing and never discussed again (the poisoned orange incident?), and unsupported quotes and booster-y superlatives abound.

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  • Kingsway West by Pak, Greg,
    ★★★☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 19, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    Stronger world-building early on or an introductory essay would have improved the book and made for an easier read. 

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  • Wonder Woman. by Rucka, Greg,
    ★☆☆☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 19, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    Another schizophrenic clunker. Again alternating issue numbers; no real villains; and WW disappears from her own comic for dozens of pages at a time.  

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  • Night court.
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 18, 2017

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    Many cast changes plagued the first season, but the foundations upon which a classic series would be built are visible.

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  • Silicon Valley.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 18, 2017

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    Well defined characters, a great cast, smart and humorous writing - this is everything 'The Big Bang Theory' strives to be and isn't. Similar to'The League' in that it takes a very insular setting and makes it accesible and relatable to both industry insiders and the public at large without compromising or sacrificing any of it's wit. Unusual among modern comedies in that repeated viewings are rewarded with the discovery of subtle reactions and in-jokes that slip past on first exposure. 

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  • Sharpe's escape : Richard Sharpe and the Bussaco Campaign, 1810 by Cornwell, Bernard.
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 18, 2017

    Tagged: Fiction History

    The expected battles, expected adventures, expected liaisons with beautiful women, and expected conflicts with overbearing officers are all present; the only unexpected part was the rapid and abrupt conclusion that while not unsatisfying still left much to be desired. 

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  • Thor.
    ★☆☆☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 17, 2017

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    This review contains spoilers! Click to reveal...

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  • Thor
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 17, 2017

    Tagged: Movies & Television

    Excellent performances from Hiddleston and Hopkins highlight one of the stronger entries in the Marvel catalog. The almost Shakespearian redemption arc is deftly handled with Kenneth Brannagh directing, and the lead is well defined for a wide audience that might be unfamilair with the character. 

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  • Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. by Venditti, Robert,
    ★☆☆☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 17, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    This review contains spoilers! Click to reveal...

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  • Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. by Venditti, Robert,
    ★★☆☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 17, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    Having given up on the unreadable incarnation of GL in the New 52 it took a while to get into the story, and understanding that none of my prior problems with the series are likely to ever be corrected due to the nature of the characters (universal scale problems make all problems either petty or ridiculous, power rings that are limitless deus ex machinas, supporting corps members undefined beyond 'weird looking'), this was ...not terrible? Sinestro is the only good villain in the GL canon, so going back to that well makes sense, but leaves little promise for future volumes. 

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  • Blue Beetle. by Giffen, Keith,
    ★☆☆☆☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 17, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    No memorable villains, a complete betrayal of the characters origin and powers by suddenly making the scarab magical rather than technological, and a splatter of ill-defined and little used allies are only a few of the major flaws in this terrible reboot. Hopefully it disappears as quickly as its predecessor in the 'New 52'. 

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  • Ploughman's lunch and the miser's feast : authentic pub food, restaurant fare, and home cooking from small towns, big cities, and country villages across the British Isles by Yarvin, Brian.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 14, 2017

    Tagged: Cooking & Nutrition

    While the "Across the British Isles" of the title is a stretch since nothing Irish is presented,  the unusual Welsh and Scottish recipes are a treat. Quick, descriptive introductions are helpful, comparatively short (and fairly common) ingredient lists are always appreciated, and the frequent asides for a page or two give place and purpose to the collection. I'm looking forward to making several of the soups mentioned, as well as Chicken Galatine and Fat Rascals. 

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  • Quarry's deal by Collins, Max Allan,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 14, 2017

    Tagged: Fiction

    Third to be written, and the best of the three.  Formulaic in the sense that there is predictable sex and violence, but original with its settings and relationships so the reader is never left dreading predictability. 

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  • Essex County by Lemire, Jeff.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 14, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    A sprawling, generational story that never loses its grasp on the human connections that make the story so relatable and moving.  Like the mid-century novels of John O'Hara, Lemire crafts a tale of damaged and broken people who's lives were shaped before their birth by forces they couldn't control and don't even understand. 

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  • The underwater welder by Lemire, Jeff.
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 14, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    Another classic from Lemire, unconstrained by the editorial oversight of the large comic conglomerates and allowed to tell his own story. Fathers and sons, husbands and wives, and the tenuous threads of memory come together to form not just a good comic, but a good story. 

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  • The nobody by Lemire, Jeff.
    ★★★★☆

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 14, 2017

    Tagged: Comics & Graphic Novels

    Small town Canada as the setting for a quasi-sci/fi psychological study about relationships and the fear of outsiders. The art isn't the best, but it's distinctive and doesn't get in the way of the story. 

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  • Vargic's miscellany of curious maps : mapping the modern world by Vargic, Martin,
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 12, 2017

    Tagged: Maps

    A compilation of thematic maps (showing world train use, beer consumption etc.), amusing, entertaining and sobering overlays (for stereotypes, paranormal activity and disasters respectively), and original map-like word clouds displaying 'the internet' and 'gaming' and 'sports', plus other errata and infills that one could spend hours with a magnifying glass going over. 
    Aside from the obvious diversionary recreational use, this is  an invaluable resource for tabletop gamers or genre authors due to the sheer volume of story hooks and game seeds it contains. 

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  • Quarry by Collins, Max Allan.
    ★★★★★

    Reviewed by Robert N on Sep 12, 2017

    Tagged: Fiction

    First in the series to be written, but not the first to take place in the internal chronology. Similar to C.S. Foresters Hornblower series in this fact;  there is a tonal and quality shift in the nature of the writing due to the later-written nature of the prequels. Be forewarned - the lead/title character in no anti-hero or gentleman rogue, he is a criminal with few qualms, little remorse, and no directives other than self preservation.

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