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FDL Reads: 5 Minute Facial Workout

Cover image for 5 Minute Facial Workout by Catherine Pez

Reviewed by: Jessica Reeves, Reference Specialist

Genre: Face Workout (it’s a genre now)

Suggested Age: Everyone

Today we’re posting FDL’s first video book review ever! Enjoy!
https://youtu.be/8c6CzgjavNA

 

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Shadow and Bone

Cover image for Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Reviewed by: Joscelyn Lockwood, Youth Services Assistant

Genre: Fantasy

Suggested Age: Teens, Adults

What is the book about?: Alina Sarkova is an orphan, raised in the household of a Duke known for taking on charity cases. Drafted into the army with her childhood best friend Mal, a dormant power reveals itself to save his life… and change Alina’s forever. She’s swept away to the capital, to be trained as a Grisha under the enigmatic Darkling. The Grisha are treated as a Second Army in Ravka, using their magic, often referred to as “small science” to provide support to the First Army. Attacked on all fronts, the nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold. A strange, almost living swatch of darkness filled with monsters and crossed only by the bravest, or most foolhardy, people. But Ravka, its ruling family, and its people, will soon find out that they have more to worry about than just the Fold.

My Review: Admittedly, what hooked me into this book was the description of magic and the Grishas. What kept me reading? Wanting to know how it would end. There were some annoying inconsistencies, and most of the time, I couldn’t stand Alina or the superficial Grisha.  But I ended up caring about other characters in the story, especially as I got into the second and third books. Overall, it was enjoyable but a bit unremarkable in the ever-growing field of YA books available.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Decent, Enjoyable, a Bit Predictable

Give This a Try if You Like… Quick reads, happily ever after.

Rating: 3/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Took: A Ghost Story

Cover image for Took: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn 

Reviewed by: Elizabeth Anderson, Communications Specialist

Genre: Horror

Suggested Age: Tweens, Teens

What is the book about?: Daniel and his family relocate to a ramshackle house in a new town after his father loses his job in the economic recession. Life is miserable for the entire family. The inhabitants of the small town see them as outsiders and Dan’s parents are working unhappily at their new jobs. Dan watches them slip into depression and bad habits, and his sister, Erica, begins to behave the most strangely of all. When she disappears, Dan realizes that the townspeople’s talk about the legendary “Old Auntie” taking a girl and keeping her as a slave for 50 years isn’t a farfetched legend after all. Determined to rescue his sister, he summons all of his courage to face the witch and her monstrous minion – before it’s too late.

My Review: One of the things that I appreciated the most about this book was that it implemented elements of a folktale into a modern story with seamless ease. Took presents the disturbing manifestation of a legend in a real world setting. The story features both the realistic elements of a missing child, with police searches and interrogations, as well as the supernatural chills of someone being kidnapped by an otherworldly entity. Hahn delivers a fast paced story with no shortage of immersive sensory details and light touches of tactful humor in her characters’ observations and personalities.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Folktales, Family, Witchcraft

Give This a Try if You Like… Ghost stories by Dan Poblocki, such as The Ghost of Graylock, “The Books of Elsewhere” series by Jacqueline West, or Coraline, by Neil Gaiman.

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Sleeping Giants

Cover image for Sleeping GiantsSleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel 

Reviewed by: Susie Rivera, Reference Specialist

Genre: Science Fiction

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: When Rose Franklin was a little girl, she found a giant metal hand buried in her back yard. Rose becomes a scientist and devotes her career to unlocking the secrets of the hand’s origin and purpose.  She is joined by a team of experts, including Vincent Couture and Kara Resnik. Vincent is a linguist tasked with deciphering glowing symbols that accompany the object.  Kara is military pilot who discovers another giant piece of the mysterious puzzle.  The entire team soon finds themselves in the midst an international race to control the new technology.

My Review: Told in a collection interview transcripts, journal entries, and mission logs, Sleeping Giants tackles big questions like humanity’s place in the universe, weapons of mass destruction, and technological responsibility.  Sylvain Neuvel’s debut novel is engaging and fast-paced. It’s hard to put the book down as chapters often leave the reader on a cliffhanger.  I actually listened to the audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed the full cast production.  It was truly worthy of being nominated for an Audible Award in 2017.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Exciting, Engaging, Thought-provoking

Give This a Try if You Like… Ancient Aliens, Mecha Anime

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: The Murders of Molly Southbourne

Cover image for The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson

Reviewed by: Carey Gibbons, Reference Specialist

Genre: Horror

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: The book opens with Molly suffering a beating at the hands of… herself? But who is she? Where is she? Why did a woman who looks exactly like her beat her up? And why is she in manacles? The free Molly sits down and proceeds to tell the chained Molly the story of her childhood. Every time Molly bleeds, clones grow from the blood. These clones are benign at first but over time – whether three hours or three days – they become violent and try to kill the original Molly. Growing up wasn’t easy. But how did Molly get this way? And who’s the original Molly now?

My Review: This book is both a creepy account of a hideous, uncontrollable problem and a coming of age story. While the narrative is bookended by one Molly talking to another, the bulk of the story is the account of Molly’s childhood and teenage years. You never really stop to think about how crucial it is to keep all of your blood inside of your body until you’re told that you have to for the sake of your own survival. What I really like about this story is that Thompson tells a compelling horror tale but also a tale of how hard it is to be a girl going through puberty and growing up. We don’t have to fight our own clones every time we get our periods, but puberty is full of plenty of horrors all on its own, and can be very isolating emotionally and mentally, much like the physical isolation Molly grows up in. The story is also a bit open ended, making room for more, which is awesome because my only real complaint about this is that it’s too short (128 pages). I’m looking forward to more cool stuff by Tade Thompson.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Bloody, Coming of age, Survival

Give This a Try if You Like… The X-Files, zombie apocalypse survival stories

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Pepperoni Pizza Can Be Murder

Cover image for Pepperoni Pizza Can Be Murder by Chris Cavender

Reviewed by: Sarah Baker, Circulation Assistant

Genre: Mystery

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Eleanor Swift runs the Slice of Delight Pizzeria in Timber Ridge, North Carolina. It’s a business she stared with her late husband and now runs with her sister Maddy. She looks out for her two other employees in a combination manager/big sister role too. And now her delivery driver Greg is accused of murdering his brother. In her shop! And with her favorite rolling pin! Eleanor knows Greg isn’t capable of murder, no matter how rocky his relationship with his brother was. And she’s not going to let Sheriff (and ex-boyfriend) Kevin Hurley railroad him for a crime he didn’t commit. But Eleanor’s investigation might make her the next victim…

My Review: This is book 2 of the “Pizza Lovers” series. You do not have to have read book 1 (A Slice Of Murder) in order to read this book. I make it a point to give any series 2-3 books to prove themselves, but I think I’ll be done after this one. This book was trying, in every sense of the word. Despite its best efforts, it just left me flat. The characters seem quite different than in the previous volume – the sisters go from lovingly argumentative to catty, and Eleanor herself now acts rather rude and ill-tempered – which takes away some of the overall charm. The sisters continue to insist on butting in where they have no business, pushing others to do things that they aren’t comfortable with (Bob Lemon, I’m looking at you), making them more unlikable. And I won’t get started on the whole Eleanor-Kevin thing; I’ll let you judge that for yourself.

The pacing was good and the events flowed in a reasonable path. The added touches of small-town living (neighborly chats that border on gossip, small business owners looking out for each other, etc.) gave a good sense of what the town is like in normal circumstances. In the end, it’s a bit like pineapple on pizza. Maybe not right for me, but it might be just right for you.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Trying, Touching, Cheesy

Give This a Try if You Like… Cozy mysteries, pizza

Rating: 3/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Spirits of Christmas

The Spirits of Christmas by Sylvia Shults

Reviewed by: Sylvia Shults, Circulation

Genre: Non-fiction

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring … but are you sure​ about that? Ghost stories don’t stop when the calendar page turns from October 31 to November 1 — as a matter of fact, the long, dark, cold nights of winter are the perfect time to cuddle up with a good ghost story. Sylvia Shults has collected over 120 true stories of Christmas catastrophes, midwinter madness, and ghoulish tales for the ghostly-minded. The book is divided up into several sections for ease in reading. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” takes a look at the Victorians and why they popularized the telling of ghost tales at Christmas. “We Wish You A Merry Christmas — Or Else!” looks at the bizarre traditions and celebrations of Christmas Past. “He Sees You When You’re Sleeping” is a rogues’ gallery of the demons and monsters of Christmas around the world. “In The Bleak Midwinter” is a look at creepy stories that happened in the depths of the biting cold. “The Darkest Midnight in December” tells the stories of December tragedies. ” ‘Tis the Season” is a collection of true ghost stories of December, and “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” focuses on ghost stories of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. You’ll find plenty of true tales, both spooky and touching, in this collection.

My Review: I had so much fun writing this book! There were plenty of Christmas- and December- and winter-themed ghost stories out there that I’d never heard of, and I’m so pleased to be able to bring you guys these tales. The part about December tragedies was not easy to write — I’m not gonna lie. And some of the stories in here even creeped ME out! But all of them were just so wonderful that I had to share them.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Creepy, informative, FUN!

Give This a Try if You Like… anything by Troy Taylor, or collections of true ghost stories, or books that explore folklore.

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: The Book of Dust

Cover image for The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman

Reviewed by: Dave Gibbons, Library Volunteer

Genre: Fantasy

Suggested Age: Adults, Teens

What is the book about?: People come and go from the trout pub, bringing with them news and gossip. Few notice young Malcolm Prescot the unassuming son of the pub’s owners, but he notices them. This sort of notice draws him into a intriguing world of spy work and espionage that comes abruptly to a head when the adventurous Lord Azrael leaves his daughter, a baby named Lyra at the local convent. Events quickly escalate as a flood tears through Malcolm’s world. Psychotic assassins, religious authorities and even the occasional obsessive witch are all trying to get the child, so it falls to Malcolm and his co-worker Alice to take the infant Lyra on a journey from their small hamlet up the flooded waters to find her father, all the while learning fragments of information about the mysterious substance called Dust.

My Review: As the first volume of a prequel to the His Dark Materials trilogy also by Pulman, this book unfortunately suffers from the problems that many prequels do. Readers essentially know the ending, so the stakes are not exceptionally high. It is also nearly impossible to build up suspense regarding Dust and the science behind it as it has already been explained in previous books. The oppressive religious authorities that were the antagonists in the His Dark Materials trilogy are further demonized in The Book of Dust, eliminating even the scantest bit of subtlety. This heavy handed injection of Pulman’s views toward organized religion becomes a distraction, pulling even those who share his views out of the story. This being said, the story is a well written and exciting adventure, the main characters and their associates are relatable, and you do come to care about them. The world itself is colorful with an air of a “dungeons and dragons” campaign about it. Unfortunately I was still left with the question ”what was the point of all that?” something I hope will be explained in future volumes.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Adventure, Rebellious, Prequel

Give This a Try if You Like… The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and Willow by Wayland Drew, George Lucas, and Bob Dolman

Rating: 3/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Cover image for The Particular Sadness of Lemon CakeThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Reviewed by: Dawn Dickey, Library Volunteer

Genre: Coming-of-age fiction

Suggested Age: Adults, Teens

What is the book about?: Rose first tastes the emotion in cooked items as she nears her 9th birthday. She arrives home from school to find her mother preparing to bake a cake. On the counter are eggs, sugar, flour, lemon peel, chocolate icing, and rainbow sprinkles.  When the cake finishes baking, Rose sneaks a taste. The bite was initially delicious, but that impression is quickly replaced. Rose’s mouth filled “with the taste of smallness, the sensation of shrinking, of upset, tasting a distance [she] somehow knew was connected to [her] mother.” Her second taste – although yummy – includes “in each bite:  absence, hunger, spiraling, hollows.” These are Rose’s first bites of tasting the emotion in her food, food of any and all types made by and grown by all kinds of people of varying emotions from many places. It is, at first, a heavy and frightening burden, made worse because nearly no one believes what she is encountering.

My Review: I don’t normally like coming-of-age fiction, but the premise of this book – as well as the delicious cake on the cover – intrigued me. I ended being very glad that I read this book! It’s written in the first person, so you are immediately drawn into Rose’s life and what she is thinking and feeling. Page by page, her emotional tasting expands, leading her to learn unimagined things about her dysfunctional family:  a rather depressed mother who hasn’t found satisfaction in life, a father who is a good provider but retreats emotionally and a brother who echoes his parents’ dissatisfaction with life and emotional retreat. While my description here might make the book sound rather depressing to read, in fact it was quite interesting to read how each of the characters coped (or didn’t cope) with their lives and how Rose grows into her exceptional gift.  I was left at the end with a sense of hope that a person could learn to cope with exceptional gifts and daunting circumstances. It’s a creative and satisfying read!

Three Words That Describe This Book: Extrasensory, Imaginative, Psychological

Give This a Try if You Like… thinking about where food comes from or reading about psychic phenomena

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Hellboy: The Storm and the Fury

Cover image for Hellboy: The Storm and the Fury by Mike Mignola

Reviewed by: Sarah Baker, Circulation Specialist

Genre: Graphic Novel – Horror

Suggested Age: Adults, Teens

What is the book about?: Nimue, former consort of Merlin, has raised an army of displaced and disgruntled magical beings. They are intent on destroying the world of men and of summoning The Dragon. Hellboy is all that can stand against them, and both sides are pushing him to take up the crown and summon his army. Which crown, you ask? Either the crown of Hell or the crown of England; both are his by right of birth. Destiny is pushing, but Hellboy is having none of it. Will he be able to fight an army alone and save the world?

My Review: The previous 11 volumes of the Hellboy series, as well as several issues of B.P.R.D., Lobster Johnson and Edward Grey have been leading us up to this point. Little incidents prove to be the pebbles before the rock slide that catches up the world. You don’t have to have read them all, but it does fill in lots of gaps. This volume also seems to be the story line that will be the basis of the new Hellboy movie, slated to come out in 2018. Hellboy has had it rough. By this point, he’s been beaten more times that I can remember. He’s even died, although that might have been part of a hallucination (the pain was real enough for him to remember it). And as the story unravels, he learns of his heritage – the truth about who his mother and father are, and the purpose of his conception – and multiple versions of his destiny. He’s also found love in the form of Alice, a woman he saved from the fairies when she was a baby. I just want Hellboy to be happy, but it’s not in the cards.What surprised me with this is the tackling of the question free will and destiny/fate. Since the beginning, Hellboy has been told he has a destiny, that he was created for a purpose. He’s fought it every step of the way. Each person who tells him of his fate is usually met with a “screw you” response. Every person has also had different versions of what his destiny is, each one true, but not complete. This volume ties them all together and shows that no matter what path he takes, Hellboy was going to end up here. He takes on the task on his terms, but how much of it was his choice?

Three Words That Describe This Book: Wow, Exciting, Brutal

Give This a Try if You Like… Paranormal Adventure, Action Movies, Philosophical questions of freewill

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

imagine, inform, inspire