Life on the Loose: My Journey from Suburban Housewife to Outdoor Guide by Cari Taylor-Carlson

life

Reviewed by Terry (Library Patron)

Vacation & hiking memoirs are among my favorite non-fiction reads and going on an adventure vacation is on my bucket list. This is a fast read, each chapter highlighting a funny or sometimes scary incident that occurred on one of the trips that the author organized and led. No grizzly bears for me, thank you.

Available through the BRIDGES Library System

Breakout Kings (2011)

breakout

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

I’m sure you have heard the expressions, “it takes a thief to catch a thief” and “fight fire with fire”. U.S. Marshals Charlie Duchamp and Ray Zancanelli take those adages to heart and apply them to fugitive retrieval. The U.S Marshals form a special task force using the special knowledge of three convicted felons to help them hunt down other criminals who break out of prison. The deal is simple, for every fugitive they catch a month is taken off their sentences and they serve their time in a minimum security facility. The catch, anyone runs and they all go back to maximum security with their sentences doubled. Unconventional methods, special insights, and quirky characters make this police procedural unique in a cluttered genre. I enjoyed watching the characters change from stereotypes to “real” people as they got to know each other and became comfortable with the fact that the team is everyone’s second chance.

Available through the BRIDGES Library System

Luck, Love & Lemon Pie by Amy Reichert

lemon

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

In Luck, Love & Lemon Pie, MJ Boudreaux is a wife and mother in Milwaukee. She notices that her husband is more interested in gambling, then spending time with her (including missing their anniversary). So she decides to go to the source, and starts playing poker as well in order to spend time with him.

MJ realizes that she has talent, so she enters a competition and wins. Her prize is a trip to Vegas to compete in a tournament and meet a famous poker star. While in Vegas, MJ has to decide between her family and the fabulous lifestyle she encounters in Vegas.

I really enjoyed the first novel of Amy Reichert’s, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, so I was very excited when I heard she was coming out with a second novel. Unfortunately, this novel did not have the charm of the first, and I found myself disappointed. It wasn’t a bad book at all, just not as good as the first. But, the pie recipe at the end looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it out!

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC REICHERT)

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

love

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

Emily Giffin never disappoints with her fun, flirty, fluffy beach reads. But something in her latest, First Comes Love, misses the mark. It follows the story of Meredith and Josie Garland, two sisters in their 30s still dealing with a family tragedy that happened decades before. Although the writing is on point and again has many touching and funny parts, one of the characters (I won’t spoil it for you!) never reaches beyond the stereotype of shrill, harping, put-upon wife and mother. Still, you will want to follow Josie and Meredith to the end of their journey to see where life leads them. For a more nuanced look at life and love, try Giffin’s The One and Only, Baby Proof and Love the One You’re With.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC GIFFIN)

Tsuro

tsuro

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

Tsuro is a game of paths published by Calliope Games; the mechanics of this game make it a great start to any game night. A game usually takes under fifteen minutes to play and less than five minutes to set up and explain to new players. Each player chooses a token, and starts out with four path cards. On your turn you place a path card down to create a continuous line for your token to follow, anyone else touching the card has to follow the line also, your turn ends when you draw a card. The object of the game is to make everyone else fall off the board or crash into another player. The winning player is the one who stays on the board the longest.

Located in Games (Check out our new shelving unit!)

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

shrill

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

This book is nothing more than a feminist manifesto and hilarious call-to-arms to every woman who has been called “too” in their lifetime: too loud, too crazy, too fat, too much. Lindy West hilariously and poignantly details everything from her love of stand-up comedy to her mother’s germ phobias to taking on internet trolls. Her collection of essays makes no apologies for a woman who is merely being herself in a world that doesn’t necessarily accept her. Essential reading for every woman living her truth.

Located in Nonfiction (818.602 WES)

The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger

singles

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

America’s tennis sweetheart, Charlotte “Charlie” Silver, bounced out of Wimbledon with a huge injury. She needs someone to help her ranking climb, and possibly win a major. She finds that someone in the infamous tennis coach, Todd Feltner. Todd decides Charlie needs to completely changer her look and mindset, and turns her into the “Warrior Princess” in order to defeat her foes on and off the court.

What follows is a jet-setting life, going from tournament to tournament, becoming tabloid fodder and possibly finding love, with a crazy coach thrown in the mix. With a trio of delectable men, the tennis superstar, the famous Hollywood actor, and the normal hitting partner, Charlie is in for a wild ride as she attempts to win. But not everything is as it seems, and Charlie might be losing her true self, in order to be the “Warrior Princess” people want her to be.

The Singles Game, by Lauren Weisberger (of The Devil Wears Prada fame) is a delightful summer read that takes you in to the world of tennis, where no one plays by the rules.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC WEISBERGER)

Fresh (2009)

fresh

Reviewed by Jennifer Rude Klett (Library Staff)

Do you know what’s in the food you buy from the grocery store? Or how it got on the shelves? Watch this 72-minute food documentary and find out. Yes, it is a jolting dose of reality, but it also offers solutions, hope, and alternatives. Each food dollar we spend has an enormous impact on the direction of the U.S. food system, which in many ways is dysfunctional. It also has a direct impact on our health. Educate and empower yourself by watching this video. Milwaukee’s Will Allen and urban Growing Power is featured, along with sustainable farmer Joel Salatin and author Michael Pollan.

Located in Nonfiction DVDs (DVD 338.19 FRE)

Tell No Lies by Gregg Hurwitz

lies

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

Daniel Brasher is just an ordinary guy about to change jobs from group counseling paroled cons to private counseling in an upscale neighborhood. The last thing he has to do while working out his notice is to fill out the termination paperwork. Paperwork that is in his office mailbox, a mailbox he never checks, because of the amount of outgoing mail that gets mistakenly placed in his mailbox. This time when he goes through his mail he finds a letter that leads him on a collision course with a serial killer. Can he find the connection, trace the killer, and save his family before it’s too late? Although you have to suspend your disbelief quite a bit in a few places Daniel’s dogged determination to do right by the people he works with will keep drawing you back into the story.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC HURWITZ)

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

smell

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

On the surface, this is a book about four Alaskan teenagers growing up the 1970s. However, at its heart, this is a book about how we are all connected to one another and the ways we change or save each other without even realizing it. While the web of connections is sometimes hard to keep track of, each and every character is vibrant and three-dimensional, with distinct voices for our four narrators.

Hitchcock’s writing is quiet and gorgeous and has stayed with me for days after finishing. Hank, one of the teenagers, says that his brother “always sees the gossamer threads floating invisibly between people. They are so translucent, it’s no wonder most people don’t see them—or they bumble along and end up destroying them without ever knowing they existed.” I am extremely grateful for the gossamer thread that has connected me to this hopeful story.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC HITCHCOCK)