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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: 'Neverhome'

"Neverhome" by Laird Hunt

★★★★ Ash Thompson is not all that he appears to be. In fact, he is not a man at all, but a woman serving in the army in her husband's stead. She is surrounded by mystery and intrigue. She is brave, strong, and faithful. Through her journey she is a soldier, a legend, a woman locked up for insanity and rumors of traitorous behavior, and a puzzle. This novel is an...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Returned'

"The Returned" by Jason Mott

★★★★★ The Returned is a story about an impossible miracle and getting a second chance of life. Harold and Lucille's 8 year son Jacob died a tragic death in 1965. Years later, after they have settled into old age, Jacob appears on their doorstep alive and still 8 years old. Chaos erupts when all over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond, but the...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Last Post'

"Last Post" by Max Arthur

★★★★ Being unfamiliar with much about the WWI, the last great war, I was eager to hear of stories from the mouths of those few soldiers still left to tell the tale. This 2005 book is a narrative account of those few British soldiers still alive and able to relay their firsthand accounts and stories of an era that will perish when they do. Approximately 20 men,...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, history

Cover: 'The Husband's Secret'

"The Husband's Secret" by Liane Moriarty

★★★★★ The Husband's Secret is a fantastic read that makes you question how well you really know the people you are closest to. When Cecilia discovers a letter her husband wrote to her to be opened only after his death her whole world is changed. Within this letter, her husband reveals his deepest, darkest secret which has the potential to destroy Cecilia's whole...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The King's Curse'

"The King's Curse" by Philippa Gregory

★★★★★ Acting as a hinge between Gregory's Cousins' War series and her Tudor series, "The King's Curse" follows the life of Margaret Pole, the niece of Edward IV and Richard III. Through Margaret's eyes, we see Katherine of Aragon come to England, Anne Boleyn rise to power and her execution, and Jane Seymour give birth to the future Edward VI and die. We also...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Lock In'

"Lock In" by John Scalzi

★★★★★ This fast-paced read got me thinking about what would happen if 'The Haden's Disease' actually existed. Haden's is a disease that effected the world population, starting out as a flu, continuing on to meningitis, and finally being "locked in". Only 1% get to the locked in stage, and it sounds just the name suggests. The lucky few that survived the...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, science fiction

Cover: 'After I'm Gone'

"After I'm Gone" by Laura Lippman

★★★★★ On July 4, 1976, Felix Brewster flees the U.S. and an impending prison sentence, leaving his wife (Bambi), three daughters, and a mistress (Julie) behind. Julie, who had made a life for herself with the coffee shop left in her name, disappears on the 10th anniversary of Felix’s flight, leading to speculation that she left to join her lover. The speculation...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'While We Were Watching Downton Abbey'

"While We Were Watching Downton Abbey" by Wendy Wax

★★★★★ Edward, the British concierge of a historic Atlanta apartment building, launches weekly viewing parties for the first two seasons of Downton Abbey in hopes of fostering community among the residents of the building. Among these residents are three women from different backgrounds and at different life stages—Samantha Davis, married for more than 25 years to...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Dish Do-Over'

"Dish Do-Over" by Joanne Lusted

★★★★★ Do you wish that you could still eat some of your favorite meals but with less fat? This cookbook has all of that plus helpful hints on substitutes for your household recipes as well. The recipes are organized in an easy way and explained in clear step-by-step instructions to make it as simple as possible. The pictures of the final result look just as...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Raging Heat'

"Raging Heat" by Richard Castle

★★★★ Nikki Heat’s latest case starts with the remains of a man that fell from the sky and crashed into the glass façade of Hayden Planetarium. Intrigued by the case, which leads a powerful political figure, her reporter boyfriend, Jameson Rook, joins the investigation only to find threads that do not fit into Nikki’s theory. Unsettled by the friction in her...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Dancing with Myself'

"Dancing with Myself" by Billy Idol

★★★★ Billy Idol's memoir is a candid recollection of his life as a bad boy rocker in the 80s and 90s. Unlike some other rock star memoirs, Billy Idol doesn't make excuses for his behavior. He admits fault for the hurt he caused to his longtime girlfriend Perri and his family because of his drug use and infidelity. Idol also discusses his musical influences, and...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, biography, biography and memoir

Cover: 'The Book of Unknown Americans'

"The Book of Unknown Americans" by Cristina Henriquez

★★★★★ Maribel Rivera is a happy, beautiful girl living with her family in Mexico when a tragic accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury changes everything. The Riveras must make the tough decision to uproot their family from their comfortable life in Mexico in order to give Maribel her best chance in an American school in Delaware. After making the 30-hour...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Skinnytaste Cookbook'

"The Skinnytaste Cookbook" by Gina Homolka

★★★★★ The tagline says it all "light on calories, big on flavor." This debut cookbook from popular food blogger Gina Homolka contains tons of recipes for creating delicious, low-calorie, and nutrient rich dishes. Ms. Homolka's recipes rely on whole foods as well as tips and tricks for reducing the calorie content of foods. This reviewer loved the shrimp and grits...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Vegan Desserts'

"Vegan Desserts" by Hannah Kaminsky

★★★★★ This is an excellent source of delicious vegan desserts, for vegans and non-vegans alike! Recipes are separated into the four seasons and every one is beautifully illustrated, which makes preparing many recipes quite easy! Just like Kaminsky's other excellent vegan dessert resource, "Vegan a la Mode" (which everyone should check out as well), this...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: '500 Optical Illusions'

"500 Optical Illusions" by Keith Kay

★★★★★ This is a really fun book! I have loved optical illusions since I was a kid and this book is full of some of the best. You'll have fun trying to figure them out while you train your eyes and brain to process the images in different ways. Also, the author provides the answers to the puzzles in the back so you don't get too frustrated. Go ahead and take some...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands'

"Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands" by Chris Bohjalian

★★★★★ This beautiful, tragic, heart-wrenching book tells the story of Emily, a teen who finds herself orphaned and homeless following a nuclear meltdown at the plant where her parents worked. Fearing that she will be blamed for the mistakes of her father, Emily runs away, assumes a new name, and struggles to survive on the streets. We sit helplessly by as she is...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Little One-Yard Wonders'

"Little One-Yard Wonders" by Patricia Hoskins

★★★★ This is an excellent addition to the other books in the One-Yard Wonders series. There are 101 sewing project ideas that you can make with just one yard of fabric! Find all of that scrap fabric you have at home at put it to good use making all sorts of useful things for babies to toddlers. One of my favorite projects is the car organizer! Any beginning...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'The Old Farmer's Almanac Comfort Food'

"The Old Farmer's Almanac Comfort Food" by Ken Haedrich

★★★★ As winter approaches, I can't think of a better cookbook to delve in to. This cookbook is filled with all your favorite comfort food recipes, including soups and stews perfect for the colder weather, as well as appetizers, breads, pizzas, casseroles, and desserts. None of them are too daunting, just classic comfort food recipes that everyone is sure to love...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Carsick'

"Carsick" by John Waters

★★★ John Waters, eccentric director of the original Hairspray and Cry Baby, hitchhikes from Baltimore to his apartment in San Francisco, and lives to write a book about his journey! About two-thirds of the book are novellas. The first one details all of the horrible things that Waters thought would happen to him. The second novella describes a best-case...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'The Enchanted'

"The Enchanted" by Rene Denfeld

★★★★ The enchanted place is not what you might expect. In fact, it is a prison, and its story is being told by a death row inmate. We are given a front row seat to viewing what goes on in this world and we are pulled along as the lady tries to save the life of a prisoner who simply wants to die. We are also able to glimpse a little of the life of the lady, the...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Make Ahead Paleo'

"Make Ahead Paleo" by Tammy Credicott

★★★★★ Interested in the new, popular Paleo diet? Try this cookbook out to help you learn more about it! Not only does this book give you good advice about how to approach trying a Paleo diet with tips of swapping ingredients but also useful kitchen tools to use, and how-to ideas on food storage. Not only that, but the recipes in this cookbook look really...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Flea Market Fabulous'

"Flea Market Fabulous" by Lara Spencer

★★★★ Anyone who loves a good flea market, looking at projects on Pinterest, or up-cycling different things will enjoy this book by Good Morning America's Lara Spencer. Lara walks you through updating different rooms in your house by using different vintage finds in miraculous ways. Along the way, she gives you tips and tricks to help you think about updating a...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Gourmet Cooking for Two'

"Gourmet Cooking for Two" by Christi Silbaugh

★★★   Looking for a dinner recipe just for you and another person? These recipes are geared towards smaller serving sizes, and are all fully illustrated with ingredient lists that are not too daunting. Although I was a bit thrown off by the author's 'Romantic Tips' included with each recipe, a few of the recipes nonetheless tempted me to try them....

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Euphoria'

"Euphoria" by Lily King

★★★★★ A surprising find, this novel takes us deep into the world of three young anthropologists working in the territory of New Guinea in the 1930s. When they meet by chance, their lives become intertwined in a treacherous love triangle. Beautifully written and deeply emotional, this is a tale of adventure, danger, romance, and a fierce battle to be the best in...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Everyday Slow Cooker'

"Everyday Slow Cooker" by Gooseberry Patch

★★★★ This cookbook is stock-full of slow cooker recipes that are simple and easy to make. No intimidating and long ingredient lists or directions are included! This is a collection of loved recipes from everyday people, with tips and tricks included. Everyone is sure to find meal ideas to try in this book!

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

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