• Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Lauren is a boy with a girl’s name. That’s his first problem. His second problem is that he's short in stature. In “Roll,” a heartfelt and original book by Darcy Miller, both Lauren’s size and his name cause him trouble with bullies at school.

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell
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I loved David Levine’s “Arabella and the Battle of Venus,” the remarkable second book in Levine’s alternate-history airpunk series. This is a fully realized alternative history, in which 18th century customs, language, and naval warfare are adopted to a reality. Naval airships sail through s…

  • Reviewed by Kelly Brinkmann
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Today we welcome a new contributor to the MO Books Blog, Kelly Brinkmann. She is an artist with a love of writing, and likes to paint images with words. Kelly enjoys books about art, and mysteries as well. She is currently writing a book about how creating art parallels her spiritual journey…

  • Reviewed by Bill Winkler
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American author Jim Harrison, who died last year at the age of 78, considered himself primarily a poet who occasionally ventured into other genres, but his large body of work includes novels, novellas, short stories and essays. He co-wrote the screenplay for the motion picture “Legends of th…

  • By Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Readers of all ages are in for a treat because Marla Frazee is coming to Washington for two events on Thursday, September 7th. That afternoon, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Frazee will sign copies of her books at Neighborhood Reads in Downtown Washington.

  • Reviewed by Issy Volmert, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
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When Julie wakes up in the hospital, surrounded by strangers, all she can recall is basking in the beauty of the Scottish countryside. Then someone cracked her head open.

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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This book will grab hold of you and keep you reading all through the day. “Coming Home,” by Rosamunde Pilcher, invites you to cozy up with a cup of tea and spend the day reading. Its realistic characters are easy to relate to.

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  • by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Author Peter Hernon will give a book talk at Washington Public Library on his just-published non-fiction book, “The Great Rescue: American Heroes, An Iconic Ship, and Saving Europe During World War One.” The event will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. tonight, August 30, and is being sponsored by…

  • Reviewed by Kylee Sullentrup
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Rachel and Henry were childhood best friends in the novel "Words in Deep Blue," by Cath Crowley. Rachel had a crush on him for the longest time. She would often leave him letters or mark important phrases in books at The Letter Library.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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Richard Prum has written a provocative book supporting the theory that beauty drives much of evolution. Most scientists have argued that natural selection (i. e. the survival of the fittest) is the only evolutionary apparatus at work in nature.

  • Reviewed by Jan Eade
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“Falling,” by Jane Green, is a heartwarming story of true love. The setting is the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a small town where everyone knows everyone else. The main characters are Emma, Dominic and Jesse.

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell
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Filled with social commentary, interesting scientific speculation, and the many mysteries hiding behind first contact with an alien civilization, “Tomorrow’s Kin” is an intriguing and sweeping science fiction saga. This is the first book of the “Yesterday’s Kin Trilogy,” which Kress has fini…

  • Reviewed by Bruce Crane
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The concept of schizophrenia was far in the future in 1892. People were “tetched” or “crazy” or “insane,” and when they were disabled, to more or less degree, they were consigned to an asylum despite not usually being dangerous, where no treatment was available and where they lived out their lives.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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At the end of World War II, jazz kings Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk created a new musical genre called bebop. Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990) was the queen of this new era. This talented singer acted like one of the boys in the band so they gave her the nickname Sassy. Elain…

  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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Specs lead to spats in “Philomena’s New Glasses” by Brenna Maloney, the tale of three adorable guinea pig sisters shown in a series of creative photographs. 

  • Reviewed by Issy Volmert, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
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In Nina LaCour’s novel “We Are Okay,” Marin, a college freshman, arrives for orientation with a single duffel bag, her phone, an ATM card and a shadowy past. The San Francisco native spends the semester making a few friends, attending her classes and remaining relatively quiet. When the enti…

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, staff, Washington Public Library
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Ben Mezrich takes genetic science, the attempt to de-extinct the Woolly Mammoth, and applies a style of writing usually found in a thriller. Out of this he crafts a fascinating science book that will appeal to a wide audience.

  • Reviewed by Chris Stuckenschneider, Book Editor
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“Tinyville Town, Time for School!” is the newest book in a series set in Tinyville Town, a community-minded place created by author/illustrator Brian Biggs. Cartoon-like illustrations, a simple story line and lots of characters with real-life jobs make these books appealing.

  • Reviewed by Kylie Sullentrup, St. Francis Borgia High School
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Lottie's famous Aunt Helen recently passed away from cancer. Before she died, she wrote letters to Lottie to keep her memory alive. Their relationship is filled with love, trust, and open-mindedness, all of which is portrayed through her aunt's letters to her in "Everything All At Once," by …

  • Reviewed by Bruce Crane
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Ian Bledsoe and Charalambos Konstantinou – “Charlie” – are scions of multimillionaires (billions, in Charlie’s case), classmates at an exclusive school in New York City. Both their families are busy tending their fortunes, and they devise a game they call “Destroyers” to fill some of their e…

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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If you are a fan of Jodi Picoult, Lisa Scottoline or Catherine McKenzie, you will enjoy this novel by Sally Hepworth. “The Mother’s Promise” is a quick read.

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell
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Robert Jackson Bennett brings his “Divine Cities” trilogy to a thrilling close in “City of Miracles.” The first book in the series, “City of Stairs” was my favorite read of 2014 and I loved the sequel, “City of Blades.” So I’m incredibly happy that Bennett wraps up the trilogy with an invent…

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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This sequel to the young adult novel “Everland,” has many of the characters and adventures found in the stories “Peter Pan” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

  • Reviewed by Jan Polumbo
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“The Beautiful Dead,” by Belinda Bauer, is the story of London television journalist and crime reporter, Eve Singer. Her career is on the downslide, and Singer is feeling threatened by Guy Smith, another channel’s crime reporter. His ratings are soaring while hers are sinking.

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell
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Secret agent Kangaroo returns for another zippy and suspenseful adventure set in the future in Curtis Chen’s entertaining sci-fi thriller “Kangaroo Too.”

  • Charles Garton Coy
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It is with great sadness and sense of loss that we, the American people, announce to the world the loss of our dear friend, Integrity. After suffering through a prolonged illness, Integrity succumbed to the cancers of corporate greed and political expediency on January 20, 2017.

  • Reviewed by Bruce Crane
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This short, first novel by Weike Wang is a delight, although I very nearly didn’t pick it up because I was put off by the cover. How can chemistry be a subject for an interesting story? It turns out that it is, in a somewhat peripheral way.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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This book disrupted my schedule; I could not put it down. Chris Whipple has written a candid and exhilarating history about the development of the office of Chief of Staff. It all began with Nixon and H. R. Haldeman. This “club” of former chiefs includes well recognized occupants like Dick C…

  • Reviewed by Kylie Sullentrup, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
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For some, falling in love is one of the greatest things in the world. For Natalie, the main protagonist in “16 Ways to Break a Heart,” by Lauren Strasnick, it's the opposite.

  • Charles Garton Coy
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has seen her country overcome deep skepticism to become unified and integrated into Europe. The next step, as she sees it, is for Germany to become a more unifying force globally.

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  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, staff, Washington Public Library
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Wealth corrupts, thoroughly and violently, in David Grann’s remarkable book, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” If you’ve seen the movie, “There Will Be Blood” starring Daniel-Day Lewis, that will give you an idea of the amoral blood lust inspired by the enormous oil reserves uncovered below Osag…

  • Reviewed by William Winkler
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Several currently airing television commercials feature a driver (or accident prevention system) urgently applying the brakes to avoid hitting a pedestrian who, oblivious to his surroundings, has stepped into oncoming traffic while gazing intently down at the screen of his smartphone.

  • Reviewed by Susan Ferguson
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“A Piece of the World,” historical fiction by Christina Baker Kline, is the story of real-life Christina Olsen, who was the inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth’s famous yet haunting 1948 painting “Christina’s World.” A photo of the painting is included in the back of the novel. It is a p…

  • Reviewed by Patricia Sainz
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Today we welcome a new reviewer, Patricia Sainz, a retired public school librarian who enjoys historical fiction and biographies. Pat writes for MO Books to “give back,” in appreciation of review copies that are passed along to her. She said she is looking forward to the learning and joy obt…

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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Statesman Winston Churchill (1874-1965) and essayist George Orwell (1903-1950) never met or even corresponded, yet American military historian Thomas E. Ricks links these two Brits in the captivating dual biography, ‘Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom.”

  • Reviewed by Issy Volmert, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
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Megan Whalen Turner returns to the world of the “Queen’s Thief” in her new stand-alone novel, “Thick as Thieves.”

  • Reviewed by Jan Eade
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“The Sunshine Sisters” is a compelling story of love, loss and the power of forgiveness. The book is a longer one than I usually read, but I found myself eagerly page-turning to discover what would be revealed next.

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, Staff, Washington Public Library
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It’s the end of civilization in David Williams’ smart, subtle, and powerful novel “When the English Fall.” His story follows an Amish community, seen through the recovered journal kept by one of its members, as it comes to grips with the apparent fall of the English. (The Amish refer to peop…

  • Reviewed by Janet Polumbo
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Author Mary Kubica has a winner in her new novel “Every Last Lie.” It’s the story of Clara, her husband Nick, daughter Maisie and newborn son Felix. The family seems to have a perfect life until an auto accident changes everything.

  • Reviewed by William Winkler
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For many readers the name F. Scott Fitzgerald evokes the novel “The Great Gatsby,” a book they read as a high school or college assignment. For many this novel may have been their only exposure to Fitzgerald’s work. “Gatsby,” published in 1925, was Fitzgerald’s third novel. But it did not en…

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  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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David McCullough’s latest book is a timely collection of 15 speeches he delivered between 1989 and 2016 at graduations, to Congress, and at the White House. The consummate storyteller uses this chronologically-arranged compilation to reminisce and reflect on the “stuff,” of which Americans a…

  • Reviewed by Monica Holtmeyer
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I am very honored to review Carlie Sorosiak's debut novel, “If Birds Fly Back.” This was a novel I honestly couldn't put down, but when I read it I wanted to read it slowly to prolong the end, and avoid the feeling of withdrawal you get when you finish an amazing book.

  • Reviewed by Bill Schwab
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In “Apollo 8,” Jeffrey Kluger summons up the drama of the historic 6-day flight to the moon begun on December 21, 1968. Launched by a Saturn V Rocket, it was the first human spaceflight from the Kennedy Space Center. As the 50th anniversary of this extraordinary event nears, Kruger deftly re…

  • Reviewed by Nelson Appell, staff, Washington Public Library
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What happens to the neglected and forgotten daughters of literature’s greatest mad scientists? That simple question powers Theodora Goss’ wonderful, atmospheric reimagining of classic Victorian pulp fiction, “The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.”

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