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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: 'Catch Me'

"Catch Me" by Lisa Gardner

★★★★★ The sixth Detective D.D. Warren novel by Lisa Gardner, CATCH ME, opens to find a woman named Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant who believes, after the murder of her two best friends, that she will be next to die in exactly four days. Counting down the hours until her death, Charlene finds Detective Warren at the crime scene of a murdered pedophile and pleads...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'My Story'

"My Story" by Elizabeth Smart, Chris Stewart

★★★★ More than ten years after her abduction from her Salt Lake City home, Elizabeth Smart, now 26, tells the story of what she encountered during the horrific months she spent in captivity and how she survived.  Elizabeth's memoir does not dwell on the darkness she encountered, but rather focuses on how her faith and love for her family helped her survive...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, biography and memoir

Cover: '3-Step Express Meals'

"3-Step Express Meals" by Cooking Light Magazine

★★★★ A busy lifestyle does not mean you can’t eat healthy.  You will be amazed that all of the recipes can be completed in just 3 easy steps. This cookbook lists kitchen staples as well as a grocery store guide. Included also are 10 tips for preparing the express meals and a chapter on 1-step side dishes. Three-Bean Chili, Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Kind of Cruel'

"Kind of Cruel" by Sophie Hannah

★★★★ In Hannah's latest book featuring detectives Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse, frazled mom Amber Hewerdine visits a hypnotherapist to cure her chronic insomnia, but doubts anything will really happen. Under hypnosis, Amber hears herself say the phrase, "Kind, Cruel, Kind of Cruel," but she has no idea what it means. Little does she know, a chain of...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'Vegan a la Mode: More Than 100 Ice Creams, Gelatos, Granitas, and Other Frozen Delights'

"Vegan a la Mode: More Than 100 Ice Creams, Gelatos, Granitas, and Other Frozen Delights" by Hannah Kaminsky

★★★★★ This book is the best source I have found so far for vegan desserts. For someone who can't have soy, dairy, or egg, this book was the one resource that finally allowed me to have dessert again! The recipes are excellent in and of themselves, and the illustrations make the treats all the more tempting to the reader. Most recipes don't even include too many...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Sharp Objects'

"Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn

★★★★★ When Camille's boss assigns her to cover the story of an unsettling murder in her hometown, she is hesitant about her homecoming. Camille will have to face her overbearing, hypochondriac mother and her half-sister, Amma, who Camille knows little about. Even more unsettling, when Camille arrives to her Missouri hometown, another murder occurs under the same...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, mystery

Cover: 'When Lightning Strikes: Four Decades of Jerry Bruckheimer'

"When Lightning Strikes: Four Decades of Jerry Bruckheimer" by Michael Singer

★★★★★ If you've been enjoyed movies such as BEVERLY HILLS COP, TOPGUN, PEARL HARBOR, NATIONAL TREASURE and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, you'll want to check out Michael Singer's super-sized, color-filled tribute to the man who produced all those flicks, Jerry Bruckheimer. In the past 40 years, Bruckheimer has helped create all those films and more, not to mention...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, movies, celebrities

Cover: 'The Instant Coin Collector'

"The Instant Coin Collector" by Arlyn G. Sieber

★★★★★ Arlyn Sieber's THE INSTANT COIN COLLECTOR is an excellent, informative beginner's guide to the fascinating world of numismatics, the so-called 'Hobby of Kings.' In 238 well-illustrated pages, Sieber supplies the reader with easy-to-understand information on how to get started collecting coins, coins to watch for, how coins are graded, how they need to be...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, collectibles

Cover: 'Great Escapes: Enjoy the World at Your Leisure'

"Great Escapes: Enjoy the World at Your Leisure" by Lonely Planet

★★★★★ GREAT ESCAPES transports readers around the globe to over 70 travel destinations and then offers up 'Essential Experiences' lists of things to do once you arrive. Would-be travelers are treated to exotic sites in Spain, Africa, China, Bhutan, the U.K., Canada, Colombia and other locales. Each destination is highlighted in a three-four page essay featuring...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, travel, photography

Cover: 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" by Juliette Michaud

★★★★ Movie buffs will be delighted with ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. Juliette Michaud's coffee-table book is an affectionate, wonderfully-illustrated chronicle of the silver screen. Bursting with hundreds of photographs of movie actors, actresses, directors and producers from the early 1900s to the late 1980s, the book offers up both a history of Hollywood and...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, celebrities, history

Cover: '1939: The Greatest Year in Film History'

"1939: The Greatest Year in Film History" by Mark A. Vieira

★★★★★ To all those who love motion pictures, 1939 will always be THE year. During 1939, so many, many classic films were produced. Mark Vieira reviews those films in this wonderfully-illustrated, insightful and affectionate guide to  that magical time and place. Vieira's book arranges the films in order of release. Most of the films is described in a two-to-...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, celebrities

Cover: 'Sisterland'

"Sisterland" by Curtis Sittenfeld

★★★★★ Whatever direction life carries us, we cannot escape our family of origin no matter how hard we might try.  Kate and Violet are identical twin sisters with psychic abilities, living very different lives. Kate, married with two children, tries to ignore her “senses” and live a somewhat normal life, while her single sister, Vi flaunts hers, even...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Hungry Girl 300 under 300'

"Hungry Girl 300 under 300" by Lisa Lillien

★★★★ Hungry Girl, was created by Lisa Lillien because, as she states in her book, “I’m just hungry”.    This calorie counting cookbook certainly doesn’t fall into the category of having dull and boring diet recipes. Every one of the plain and simple recipes featured in this book are “guilt free”.  Breakfast Scramble Pizza, Chicken Pot Pockets,...

Audience: adults | Genre: cookbook

Cover: 'Terra Maxima'

"Terra Maxima" by Wolfgang Kunth

★★★★★ This oversized, wonderfully-illustrated volumes has to be seen to be believed. Bursting with over 3,000 full-color photographs, TERRA MAXIMA is a visual guide to the major technological and cultural achievements of mankind. Its 576 pages describe and illustrate a myriad of human accomplishments such as the tallest buildings, the largest libraries, the most...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Treasures of the Civil War'

"Treasures of the Civil War" by

★★★★★ Published in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg, MacLachlan's book is an appealing, intimate tribute to 13 legendary leaders who shaped the nation during the Civil War. Among the individuals covered are Lincoln, Grant Lee, Sherman, Clara Barton, George Custer, Frederick Douglass and George Pickett. Each merits a lengthy write-up...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, history

Cover: 'Big Book of Holiday Cooking'

"Big Book of Holiday Cooking" by Gooseberry Patch

★★★★★ Anytime you see a cookbook from Gooseberry Patch you just know it is going to be great.  This cookbook is very easy to read and the recipes can be made with ingredients you have in your kitchen.  The creators of Gooseberry Patch, JoAnn and Vicki, have over 450 tried and true recipes to enjoy any time of the year.  From everyday meals,...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook, holiday

Cover: 'The Greatest Sitcoms of All Time!'

"The Greatest Sitcoms of All Time!" by Martin Gitlin

★★★★★ Everyone has a favorite sitcom. In THE GREATEST SITCOMS OF ALL TIME, Martin Gitlin has undertaken the daunting task of ranking the top 50 sitcoms of all time. The results make for entertaining and informative reading. Gitlin evaluated hundreds of shows based on factors such as its longevity, ratings, the awards it won, its impact on society and so on. From...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, celebrities, television

Cover: 'The West That Was'

"The West That Was" by John E. Eggen

★★★★★ John Eggen's book is a fascinating 'time travel' look back at Wild West cowboys. The hundreds of photographs found in the book date from the late 1880s and depict working cowboys in Colorado. They accurately capture the true life and times of cowboys as they round up steers, train horses, chow down around the campfire, etc. Taken together, they supply a...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, history

Cover: 'Literary Legends of the British Isles'

"Literary Legends of the British Isles" by Michael Thomas Barry

★★★★★ Michael Barry's enchanting LITERARY LEGENDS OF THE BRITISH ISLES provides capsule histories of the life and times of 50 of England's greatest writers and poets. Barry provides two-four page write-ups on such luminaries as Shakespeare, Kipling, Chaucer, Swift, Burns, Keats, Dickens, Shaw, Christie, Wordsworth, Wilde, Browning, Orwell, Tolkien and the Bronte...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Uncle John's Perpetually Pleasing Bathroom Reader'

"Uncle John's Perpetually Pleasing Bathroom Reader" by Bathroom Readers' Institute

★★★★★ Once a year the Bathroom Readers Institute uncorks their latest compilation of trivia facts and feats. Well, here comes UNCLE JOHN'S PERPETUALLY PLEASING BATHROOM READER, the 26th Bathroom Reader annual. And it's as chock full of fun and interesting facts as the first 25! This latest edition offers up 540 pages of info on fads & flops, forgotten history...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Souvenir Relics: Relics, Keepsakes and Curios from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History'

"Souvenir Relics: Relics, Keepsakes and Curios from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History" by William L. Bird, Jr.

★★★★★ This appealing look at American history spotlights over 50 memorabilia from history, detailing each item's history and how they came to find a home at the Smithsonian. Included are such fascinating items as a piece of the original Plymouth Rock, a Washington Monument cornerstone, the table/chairs used by Grant and Lee at Appomattox, a framed lock of Andrew...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, history

Cover: 'Donuts'

"Donuts" by Elinore Klivans

★★★★★ This unbelievable book has recipes for 40 different kinds of donuts. From maple-bacon donuts to jelly-filled donuts tolemon-filled beignets and apple fritters, you will find the easy to follow recipes in this book. The hardest part will be deciding which ones to make first. The last chapter includes recipes for fillings, glazes and toppings to complete your...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'The A to Z of Children's Health'

"The A to Z of Children's Health" by Jeremy Friedman

★★★★★ This useful guide to children's health is written by a dozen pediatricians from the Hospital for Sick Children, one of the best children's hospitals in the world. Parents of small children will welcome the book's comprehensive, up-to-date information on diseases, illnesses, injuries, conditions, symptoms and treatments. Among the topics covered are...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, health

Cover: 'LIFE Unseen: Johnny Cash'

"LIFE Unseen: Johnny Cash" by LIFE Magazine

★★★★ The life and time of country music legend Johnny Cash are covered in this nicely-illustrated biography from Life Books. Over 190 black-and-white and color photographs of Cash, his family, friends and fellow musicians compliment an honest yet affectionate narrative that traces Cash's rags to riches story.  The book includes reminiscences by Rosanne Cash...

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

Cover: 'The Beatle Invasion!'

"The Beatle Invasion!" by Bob Spitz

★★★★ In February 1964, four talented, cheeky, mop-topped English musicians landed in America, set to undertake a two-week tour and perform on the Ed Sullivan TV show. The Beatles had arrived and America - and the world - would never be the same. THE BEATLE INVASION is an entertaining, nicely-illustrated account of how John, Paul, George and Ringo conquered the...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, celebrities, music

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