2021 Staff Reads

Check out what our staff have to say about these new titles in our collection!

The Bomber Mafia:  A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcolm Gladwell

Review by Andrew

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This book presents the reader with the story of the founding of the United States Air Force, the Norden bombsight, and the bombers who helped win the Second World War. The story examines the decisions made by the top officials of the Army Air Corps which he calls “The Bomber Mafia.” Gladwell also analyzes the moral decisions of aerial bombing and its effectiveness on German and Japanese cities. Malcolm Gladwell examines one the largest figures in the bombing campaigns over Germany and Japan, Curtis Lemay, and how instrumental his campaigns over Japan had become towards the end of the war. The discovery of napalm and his raids over Tokyo and other Japanese cities burned thousands of city blocks and killed thousands of civilians. This book is short (200 pages), but it is exciting and after you’re done you have learned so much, not only about the early days of the Air Force, but also the moral reparations that come with bombing cities. The author discusses how the different types of bombing during World War II affected cities and its citizens and how this extraordinary level of carnage and destruction affected the war. This was a great book to read!

Shahi’s father is obsessed with vinyl records. So obsessed, in fact, that he seems incapable of talking about anything else. Then one day, after having a disagreement with Shahi, he vanishes without a trace. But never fear — Shahi and her cousin Naz are on the case! Their Nancy Drew-inspired manhunt leads to a mysterious old jukebox in the attic of Shahi’s dad’s favorite record store. Shahi and Naz put on an old Bessie Smith album, and they are magically swept back in time to a dance hall in 1929. When the record ends, they are brought back to the present day. They realize that Shahi’s dad must be stuck somewhere in the past, so it’s up to them to try out all of the vintage records and bring him back. This standalone graphic novel is a fun read for ages 10 and up, and it’s sure to make readers want to listen to all of the amazing songs that Shahi and Naz listen to. Thankfully, a playlist is included.

Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani

Review by Shira

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Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

Review by Alyssa

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Unsurprisingly, Elin Hilderbrand’s latest, Golden Girl, does not disappoint. Within the first few chapters, Nantucket’s famous author, Vivi Howe, is killed in a hit-and-run while out for her morning jog, leaving her three adult children, Willa, Carson, and Leo motherless while they attempt to navigate their life problems. However, little do they know, their mother has gone to the Beyond, where she has a spiritual guide and opportunity to watch her children’s lives all summer until Labor Day. Not only does she get to observe life on earth below, she also has three nudges to use to help guide her children and alter their decisions. Over the course of the book, readers learn about Vivi’s painful past, get to know her children’s deepest secrets, and discover who her killer is. Golden Girl is the perfect combination of a beachy, summer read and family drama; readers will not be able to help but to connect with the characters, laugh, and shed a few tears. This book is available in print, large print, and audiobook at the Brandon Township Public Library, and can be downloaded as an audiobook or eBook on Overdrive.

I always enjoy reading a few fun beach books in the summer. This is #7 in the Beach House Series. It is a continuation of the story of the Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina that takes place during the Corona virus Pandemic. I almost quit reading after page 50 as we have and are still living in this pandemic of Covid-19 and I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to read about it for a “fun” summer book. I did keep reading until the end and enjoyed the family dynamics and friendships that developed and progressed in trying times. There was humor and very touching moments. The creative form of social distanced communication of notes on paper airplanes was fun. I wanted to find out who Linnea would choose to be with her new boyfriend Gordon, or her old flame, John who was very endearing. This ended up being an enjoyable read and for those fans of Mary Alice Monroe and the Beach Series, they won’t want to miss out.

The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe

Review by Miss Fran

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Goblin: A Novel in Six Novellas by Josh Malerman

Review by Jesse

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Goblin is a series of six loosely connected stories. Beyond all taking place in the title-town and the exception of some shared characters little connects each story. This novel has a loose framing device that bookends the novel, a man driving a mysterious package from out of town into Goblin. As to where in the world Goblin is, nobody really seems to know or care. It’s not the concern of the characters in the story but that odd people exist in Goblin seems to be a given. There’s a story about a killer, a ghost (or maybe not), a crazy debauched birthday party, a mysterious magician, a zookeeper who loses it, and a little girl who solves a hedge maze. While some of the stories are better than others, most only serve to highlight the town of Goblin itself like how a resident who lost a bet agreed to settle his debt with one minute of daylight). If you love books with rich and mysterious settings and horror/suspense novels you will love this. It twists in a bit of the otherworldly, a bit of the natural, a bit of the human, and a lot of fun details about a town where rain is more common than sunshine.

Temporary by Hilary Leichter tells the story of temps who take on limitless bounds of types of jobs, both plain and fantastical, and new work placements each week. All is impermanent except that jobs need to be filled by people, although no one really sticks around at a job forever. Our unnamed main character navigates these jobs from being the Chairman of the Board to an assassin’s assistant. For some, there is a state of permanent job stability called ‘the steadiness,’ and the main character strives for it, but this is no easy state of being to reach. Temporary is a cultural critique of the working world we live in and how our ultimate assurance of who we are is so influenced by the work we do and the fleeting chase of what will make us feel the most like ourselves. This deeply personal search for one’s self is more often than not full of humor. The novel is a surrealist ride with constant twists and turns of the most outlandish jobs and the strangest people and relationships (the main character has an unending list of boyfriends who all become best friends with each other?). This may be my new favorite book, as the commentary of our relationship to work is recognizable and precise, and the humor is constant. I would highly recommend Temporary if you’re looking for an experimental read.

Temporary by Hilary Leichter

Review by Paige

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Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey

Review by Karrah

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The book I chose for August was called “Meet Me in Another Life” By Catriona Silvey. I absolutely loved this book, through and through. It didn’t take me long to read, because I couldn’t put it down! It was written in such a unique way and it had me guessing what the end would be the whole time! Once I did get to the end, it completely surprised me. This was Catriona Silvey’s first novel, and I would definitely read anything else that she comes out with! I don’t want to give any specifics away about this book, but it’s definitely one of the best books I’ve read in a long time!