Nathalia Holt has written a timely novel about five women who worked for the Walt Disney Studio in its early years. They were pioneers in art and vital contributors to the most popular Disney films beginning with “Snow White.” Even the icy colors and story structure of the current film “Froz…

“Spin the Dawn” is about a girl who takes on a boy’s persona in a high-stakes fashion competition. Maia Tamarin is one the best tailors in the kingdom. Unfortunately, she's a girl so all she can do is hope for a good man to marry because all of the tailors in the kingdoms are men and they ar…

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Main Street U.S.A. comes to life in “Hi, I’m Norman, The Story of American Illustrator Normal Rockwell,” a book that celebrates Americana at its best—folks rocking on front porches, flags waving overhead and apple pie cooling on windowsills. This stunning tribute, by Robert Burleigh, has mar…

Vivian Morris is failing her freshman year at Vassar and her disappointed parents send her to live with her free-thinking aunt in Manhattan. There, Vivian finds the world she was destined to inhabit. She begins a life of independence working at what she loves. She discovers the value of each…

This psychological thriller had me riveted from the beginning. I quite literally couldn’t put “The Winter Sister” down. Sylvie was 14-years-old when her older teenage sister Persephone was murdered. Her death tears apart her already unstable family and Sylvie is wracked with guilt over what …

Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. One of the lesser known of these was Benjamin Rush, a 31-year-old Philadelphia physician. Even though he was among the youngest of the signers, Rush had more wisdom, experience and vision than some of his e…

“A Castle in Wartime,” by Catherine Bailey is a true account about the Italian and German Resistance during World War II. It is a powerful, well-written story that reads like fiction.

“The Long Call,” a new detective/mystery series by Ann Cleeves is driven by strong characters who are deep, likeable and presented in great detail. Cleeves also is adept in providing a good sense of place. You can easily picture the little town of Barnstaple in North Devon, England.

“It’s the one ‘Silver Bullet’ is based on!” my husband offered up excitedly as I stared at the cover of “Cycle of the Werewolf,” confused as to why I was reviewing a book published the same year as my lycanthrope fanatic of a spouse was born.

As a young man, Harry Turner was underprivileged, and struggled to support his mother. He poured over horror stories in the local bookstore where he met Margaret, poised to marry into an affluent family, at the urging of her parents. After an uncomfortable exchange in the bookstore, she agre…

With unblinking frankness, Samantha Power seamlessly weaves the story of her personal life, her diplomatic career and her moral quandaries into her memoir, “The Education of an Idealist.”

It’s 1937, in the back roads of Romania. Theo is a daughter of a legendary treasure hunter. She has been focused on following in her father's footsteps since she could walk, but that honor doesn’t go to her. It goes to her “once upon a time” lover and ex-friend, Huck.

“The Two Lila Bennetts,” by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, is a fast-paced read—a psychological thriller and legal drama. It’s a story of choices, actions and their subsequent consequences.

Pelo and Leanna are completely different. He is a college dropout working night shifts and is constantly behind on his apartment rent. Leanna is a superstar, able to get anything she wants.

Longlisted for the National Book Award, “A Place to Belong” is a historical fiction gem by Cynthia Kadohata that relates the poignant story of a Japanese family after World War II, free after spending almost four years in a “high-security segregation center” during the war. Their fate after …

James Poniewozik chronicles the parallel histories of Donald Trump and the development of television in his informative and revealing book “Audience of One.” The author is an observant, caustic writer who studies Trump’s rise to the White House under a high-powered microscope.

Elizabeth Strout won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2009 for her book “Olive Kitteridge.” Now Strout has penned a sequel, “Olive, Again.”

Libraries are filled with stories upon stories. Each book holds a tale that is just waiting to be told, but sometimes these stories are lost among the stacks. Luckily hidden gems fall into the laps of those willing to look for them. That is the case in Laura Taylor Namey’s book “The Library …

Rivalry runs rampant in “The Evil Princess vs. The Brave Knight,” by Jennifer and Matthew Holm, the sister-brother team responsible for the ever-popular “Baby Mouse,” “Swish” and “Sunny Side Up” series.

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There aren't many products that are still made by hand in essentially the same way they were made 150 years ago, but corn cob pipes are one example. Indeed, history and tradition are alive and well at the Missouri Meerschaum Company in Washington, where corn cob pipes have been made since 1869.

Fleeing her abusive boyfriend, Kate and her son, 7-year-old Christopher, leave their home in Michigan for the small town of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. Though their means are beyond meager, Kate, a loving, nurturing mother, sacrifices to make sure Christopher attends a good school and has ever…

Novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux has traveled extensively and written books on five of the seven continents, missing only Australia and Antarctica. Theroux’s first book, “The Great Railway Bazaar” (1975), details a 4-month journey from London through Europe, the Middle East, India, an…

With fur the color of a dreamsicle, a heart-shaped nose and eyes of two different colors, readers will fall for “Stretchy McHandsome,” a fetching feline sprung from the imagination of Judy Schachner.

“Dearly beloved,” he began. They were the words that started weddings, not baptisms, but the people in the church were his beloved, so dear that as he spoke his heart and throat grew tight.”

Weather is endlessly fascinating; for centuries it was thought to be beyond human control. But Jonathan Foer theorizes that climate is directly related to human behavior. His research indicates that animal agriculture as currently practiced worldwide is a major cause of climate change.

Cathleen Schine has written a delightful novel about twin girls whose baby talk with each other consists of analyzing the words and phrases uttered by their parents as they coo over and discuss their babies with each other. The parents, Sally and Arthur, adore their redheaded twins but are s…

“The Whisper Man,” by Alex North, is a dark, suspenseful, psychological thriller, a crime novel full of twists and surprises. It’s also a multi-generational story that deals with father/son relationships.

American attitudes regarding aging, death, and dying are evolving. More Americans are choosing to receive care and die at home, and the growing availability of home care options has made this increasingly possible.

Evvie Drake has packed, put cash in an envelope, and has started driving down the street prepared to leave her high school sweetheart to whom she has been married for four years. Then she gets a call that her husband has been killed in a car accident. It comes from the hospital where her hus…

There are intricate stories woven into “The Peacock Emporium,” by Jojo Moyes, characters whose lives cross like ripples from a pebble thrown into water.

“True Believer,” by Jack Carr, is a realistic book that will appeal to anyone who likes political or military thrillers. The slow beginning is merely the calm before the storm as the story soon gears up and becomes action packed and suspenseful.

Anthropologist Maggie Paxson sets out to explore the question of whether there are existing “communities that are somehow resistant to violence, persistent in decency?” Her search for a peaceful community leads her to an isolated plateau in southern France, called Le Chambon Vivarias-Lignon.

“Swipe Right For Murder,” by Derek Milman, follows rebellious, hotheaded Aidan. The 17-year-old is in New York City for spring break and things are about to get even more interesting than his experiences with spontaneous hookups.

Shy, sensitive, emotionally wounded Elizabeth Bishop travels to Paris with three friends the summer after her graduation from Vassar in 1937. An avid keeper of journals, Elizabeth atypically keeps no notes while she is away from her traveling friends for several weeks.

Lisbeth Salander, the punk-style hacker who came to prominence as “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” in Stieg Larsson’s best-selling Millennium Trilogy, is back to continue her mission of ridding the world of injustice in this newest installment of the series, a series continued by David Lag…

Kids can reel off Raina Telgemeier books like baseball fans spouting stats: “Smile,” “Sisters,” Drama,” Ghosts” and “Share Your Smile: An Interactive Journal.”

Having earned accolades worldwide for his TV and film contributions, including the television series “The Killing,” and the feature film “The Snowman,” Søren Sveistrup has crafted another sinister psychological crime drama with his debut novel “The Chestnut Man.”

Today we welcome a new reviewer to the MO Books Blog, Caroline Miller, a junior at Washington High School. Caroline enjoys reading fantasy, mystery and romance. Her favorite series is “Throne of Glass,” by Sarah J. Maas.

Many medical school graduates claim the speaker at their graduation ceremony said something like this: “In five years fifty percent of what you have just learned will be obsolete.” Although this story may be apocryphal (no one remembers their graduation speaker!) the statement is largely cor…

Luke Ellis is a smart kid, a prodigy who at age 12 is poised to graduate from his gifted program in Minneapolis and move on to dual college enrollment, his intelligence and thirst for knowledge far more than can be quenched by one institution of higher learning.

Fans of Cardinal Nation will find Sally and Rob Rains’ latest book informative if they plan to visit the major and minor league affiliates of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ella is a graduate art student nearing age 30. She lives in Minneapolis with her partner Alix, also an artist, who is more successful commercially than Ella. Both women consider their art important, but it is Ella who has to work at outside jobs to pay for rent and living expenses.

“Breaking Bailey”, an anonymously written young adult book, pulls you in from page one and leaves you not only questioning the characters actions and morals, but also your own as teen Bailey attempts to move on from her mother's sudden death, makes new relationships, and becomes a manufactur…

Connecticut Yankee Frederick Law Olmsted spent 14 months traveling through the South in the early 1850s as a reporter for a little-known newspaper, "The New York Times." His 64 dispatches were eventually combined and published in 1953 by Alfred A. Knopf as a single volume, “The Cotton Kingdo…

Vincent van Gogh’s paintings are the subject of this absorbing book about art forgery. The setting is Berlin between the years of 1923 and 1933. The spector of Nazism hangs heavily over the city and its inhabitants.

“Tin,” by Padraig Kenny, is a book of friendship and courage.

Orphaned as a baby after the slaughter of her family by her father, Dixie Wheeler longs for the family she never knew. Dixie was found by her eldest brother’s friend Rory in a blood-soaked kitchen, Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” blaring on the stereo; Dixie lost her family and got the nickname “Bab…

The title of Ruth Ware’s most recent book, “The Turn of the Key,” provokes a comparison to Henry James’ novella, “The Turn of the Screw,” which was written over 100 years ago. Both books have elements common in scary stories: phantoms or delusions of ghosts; overgrown, dark, gardens; creakin…

“Considering how old you are…,” “If you were my father, I would…,” “Given your age…,” are just three of the phrases my doctors use now when I have annual checkups. I walk out of their examining rooms with a long list of “don’ts”, the feeling that I am wearing out and the sense that from this…

If you like hilarious and sweet books, then read “Pie in the Sky,” by Remy Lai immediately!

In March 1975, sisters Sheila and Kate Lyon, ages 10 and 12, vanished from a suburban Maryland shopping mall. Despite massive search efforts and thousands of hours of police investigation no trace of the girls was ever found. Eventually the disappearance was assigned to the Cold Case file, w…

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