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Staff Reviews: For Adults

Check out these reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library, featuring books DVDs for adults! (For reviews of books for all ages, visit our main Staff Reviews webpage.) Staff book reviews are also published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates. The book reviews on this website represent the personal opinions of the individuals who created them and do not represent any official views of the Marathon County Public Library.


Cover: 'Hello, Molly!'

"Hello, Molly!" by Molly Shannon

★★★★★ Actress Molly Shannon broke onto the national scene in the mid-1990s after joining the cast of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. During her six-year stint on the show, she introduced the world to such iconic characters as the high-kicking, jumpsuit wearing Sally O’Malley; licensed “joyologist” Helen Madden; and the awkward, clumsy, armpit-smelling Mary Katherine...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, adult nonfiction, biography & memoir, memoir

Cover: 'Neurotribes'

"Neurotribes" by Steve Silberman

★★★★★ This book is an incredibly thorough and surprisingly easy-to-read medical and social history of autism spectrum disorders.  From the early years in horrifying institutions, to 20th century efforts of autistic extinction by both Nazi Germany and America, to modern day misinformation wars versus acceptance movements, this book thoroughly and fairly...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, psychiatry, psychology, diversity, history

Cover: 'How To Go Vegan'

"How To Go Vegan" by veganuary

★★★★★ Whether you’re thinking of going vegan one meal a day or you're a seasoned vegan (or somewhere in between), this has everything you need to know about veganism. Included are sections on how to go vegan in all parts of life including home items, traveling, nutrition, with your kids and more. This book lays out all the reasons a person may have for going...

Audience: adults | Genre: adult nonfiction, nonfiction

Cover: 'Honey Roasted'

"Honey Roasted" by Cleo Coyle

★★★★ Bees swarm inside the Village Blend coffeehouse during an employee meeting. Clare calls 911 and to everyone’s surprise, the NYPD has a Bee Unit. Clare realizes she knows who the bees belong to. She and ex-husband, Matt, decide to visit the bee owner only to find the hives have been overturned and the owner unconscious on the balcony below. The police rule...

Audience: adults | Genre: mystery, adult fiction, fiction

Cover: 'Iron Widow'

"Iron Widow" by Xiran Jay Zhao

★★★★★ Action-packed and brimming with righteous fury, the plot of this novel will take the reader through a unique blend of Chinese mythology, modern anime themes and superhero-like action sequences. The narrator Zetian is a young, spirited powerhouse bent on destroying the unfair patriarchal systems that caused the death of her sister at the start...

Audience: adults, teens | Genre: fiction, science fiction, mythology, chinese mythology, fantasy, futuristic

Cover: 'The Song of Achilles'

"The Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller

★★★★★ This is a beautifully-written romantic interpretation of the tragedy of Achilles and Patroclus, this time told from Patroclus' perspective. It tells of his childhood, how he met Achilles, and their time growing up together. The classic story sees new life in the form of modern prose adorned with heaps of beautiful imagery that pays homage to Homeric...

Audience: adults, teens | Genre: fiction, romance, historical fiction, tragedy, lgbt

Cover: 'Wanderess'

"Wanderess" by Elise Fitzsimmons, Nikki Vargas

★★★★ While not an in-depth travel guide, this is a fantastic starting point for travelers who identify as female and/or are traveling alone and want extra tips on staying safe. This brightly formatted book includes concise tips, packing lists, resources, travel quotes, and more. Included is everything from how to pack light to managing anxiety while traveling to...

Audience: adults | Genre: adult nonfiction

Cover: 'The Proven Winners Garden Book'

"The Proven Winners Garden Book" by Thomas Christopher, Ruth Rogers Clausen

★★★★★ This nonfiction book was a perfect fit to spark ideas for the gardening season, and I loved the format as well. There are introductory sections for beginner gardeners who need help picking a spot and deciding on what plants to use, as well as sections on soil preparation, pruning, and maintenance like pest and weed control. My favorite sections were the...

Audience: adults | Genre: adult nonfiction, nonfiction, gardening

Cover: 'Unbelievably Vegan'

"Unbelievably Vegan" by Charity Morgan

★★★★ Private chef to athletes and from the excellent documentary "The Game Changers", Charity Morgan packs a punch with this new vegan cookbook. I have so many recipes I want to try from this, from garlic ramen noodles to the spicy crab dip to the no-bake peanut butter cheesecake. I also really appreciated the opening chapter on sauces and dressings to add to my...

Audience: adults | Genre: cookbook, nonfiction

Cover: 'Every Vow You Break'

"Every Vow You Break" by Peter Swanson

★★★★ Abigail Baskin never thought she'd fall in love with a millionaire until she met Bruce Lamb.  He's a good guy, stable, level-headed and kind, but right before the wedding, Abigail has a drunken one-night stand on her bachelorette weekend. She puts the incident - and the handsome man who wouldn't give her his real name - out of her mind. ...

Audience: adults | Genre: adult fiction

Cover: 'Southern Vegan'

"Southern Vegan" by Lauren Hartmann

★★★★★ Just looking at the cover of this plant-based cookbook is enough to get your taste buds excited, and I wasn't disappointed once I opened it! Between tantalizing brunch items like the giant toffee cinnamon roll and the super fluffy buttermilk sheet pan pancakes to main meals like cheesy biscuit vegetable pot pies, one-pot vidalia onion pasta, and smothered...

Audience: adults | Genre: cookbook

Cover: 'Later'

"Later" by Stephen King

★★★★ The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine—as he discovers when an NYPD...

Audience: adults | Genre: adult fiction, fiction, suspense

Cover: 'Giannis'

"Giannis" by Mirin Fader

★★★★★ If you are a basketball, Milwaukee Bucks, or Giannis Antetokounmpo fan, this book is a must read.  An incredible story of hard work, sacrifice, family, and humbleness, this biography showcases Giannis's rise to the top from starting at an incredible low. You read about how Giannis and his brother shared shoes while growing up (even...

Audience: adults | Genre: adult nonfiction, biography, nonfiction, nonfiction biography celebrity

Cover: 'Crashing Through'

"Crashing Through" by Robert Kurson

★★★★★ “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.”---Soren Kierkegaard. This quote embodies this suspenseful and highly insightful look in to the inspiring life of Mike May. At three years of age, May’s sight is instantly taken from him in an explosive accident. From the beginning, he doesn’t let that stop him from...

Audience: adults | Genre: adult nonfiction, nonfiction

Cover: 'Vegan At Times'

"Vegan At Times" by Jessica Seinfeld

★★★★★ Looking for healthy recipes for you and the planet? Classics like flaky biscuits for breakfast, sloppy joes for lunch, bolognese for dinner, and chocolate pudding for dessert? This new cookbook is packed with all your favorite classics, along with recipes I already know will be new favorites for me, like the potato and caramelized onion tart and the peanut...

Audience: adults | Genre: cookbook, nonfiction

Cover: 'Losing Eden'

"Losing Eden" by Lucy Jones

★★★★ This book was not only a powerful call to action, but also a memoir of one women’s experiences in nature, and really, the author Lucy Jones wrote a love letter to the natural world itself. I found so many fascinating tidbits throughout, like how interaction with soil or walking through a forest actually raises the immune system. Or how looking at ferns has...

Audience: adults | Genre: adult nonfiction, nonfiction

Cover: 'The Killing Kind'

"The Killing Kind" by Jane Casey

★★★★★ Ingrid Lewis is no stranger to dangerous people. A barrister in London, she's defended all sorts of clients. One she will never forget? John Webster. Acquitted of a stalking charge after Ingrid defended him in court, he rapidly grew obsessed with her and destroyed everything in her life. Webster suddenly shows up just as Ingrid finally felt like she was...

Audience: adults | Genre: adult fiction, fiction, suspense

Cover: 'The Lost Apothecary'

"The Lost Apothecary" by Sarah Penner

★★★★ Three women connected through time. All have one thing in common. In February of 1791, apothecary Nella meets her newest patron, 12 year-old Eliza Fanning. Nella was once a respected apothecary and healer. Now she dispenses poison to help women who desperately need to be free of the men in their lives. Eliza is intrigued with Nella and helps at the...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Love Hypothesis'

"The Love Hypothesis" by Ali Hazelwood

★★★★ Olive Smith - third year Ph.D candidate - hasn’t had the time for a love life, preferring to live vicariously through cheesy rom-com's and her roommates many escapades instead. In an attempt to prove she's totally over a man, she soon finds herself living the old classic pretend boyfriend trope. Who is the lucky guy? Adam Carlsen, young...

Audience: adults | Genre: adult fiction, contemporary fiction, fiction, romance

Cover: 'In a Holidaze'

"In a Holidaze" by Christina Lauren

★★★★ Christmas meets “Groundhog Day” in this cute and festive holiday romance! Maelyn Jones’ Christmas holiday did not turn out how she wanted. Much to her surprise, she gets a redo on the holiday! Her career is going nowhere, her favorite place in the world is being sold and a romantic blunder during the holiday sends Maelyn into a mental meltdown. On her...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, adult fiction, romance

Cover: 'Provecho'

"Provecho" by Edgar Castrejon

★★★★★ The cover filled with beautiful pictures of delicious food first pulled me to check out this new cookbook, and when I realized it was a vegan cookbook as well, it was even better!  Packed with recipes that I can't wait to try, this is not only a celebration of vegan food but also of the Mexican culture and community. Every single recipe had a...

Audience: adults | Genre: cookbook, nonfiction

Cover: 'Dead Even'

"Dead Even" by Annelise Ryan

★★★★ Maddie Winston, medico-legal investigator, and her homicide-detective husband, Steve Hurley have been assigned to investigate the death of a wealthy local resident. The body of Montgomery “Monty” Dixon, local realtor, is found dead in his home with a pool cue in his chest. Maddie and Steve have a list of suspects to dig through including Monty’s wife,...

Audience: adults | Genre: mystery, fiction

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