Poison for Breakfast by Lemony Snicket

Reviewed by Lisabet B (Library Patron)

“You had poison for breakfast.”

One note sends Lemony Snicket on a rambling investigation as he searches through the contents of his breakfast and embarks on a bewildering train of thought that ends trying to peruse philosophy.

A bewildering book that attempts to make sense of the paradox that is the world, a word which here could mean nothing. Poison for Breakfast questions and stumbles over life, death, and truth, then leaves you more bewildered than before, facing a breakfast of poison and scrambled eggs.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Forever Boy by Kate Swenson

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

Kate grew up always knowing that she wanted to be a mother, so she was filled with joy with the birth of her son Cooper.

But as she relates, something was wrong. He did not sleep, he screamed on and on and did not make the baby achievement milestones like other babies did.

Her book tells her journey on trying to get a diagnosis, finding schooling to help him, trying to balance work, marriage and motherhood all the while having unconditional love for her son.

She went through the stages of grief, knowing Cooper would never drive a car, marry, or even live independently. She gradually came to acceptance and decided to share her insights with other parents that are adapting to live with autism.

This is a sad, but inspiring book. It gave me a glimpse of how parents with special needs children live their lives.

I recommend this book whole-heartedly. Five stars.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Uncharted (2022)

Reviewed by Jen Bremer (Library Staff)

This was a great film! Lots of adventuring and a good balance of humorous and serious moments. The film is based on a popular video game, but it’s not necessary to know anything about it in order to enjoy the movie. The film follows a street savvy Nathan Drake who is approached by Victor “Sully” Sullivan, a ne’er-do-well treasure hunter who claims to know Nathan’s long lost brother. Sully recruits Nathan to help him to help recover a 500-year-old lost fortune amassed by explorer Ferdinand Magellan – the last treasure his brother was also hunting before he went missing. What starts out as a straight foreword heist soon becomes a globe-trotting, white-knuckle race to reach the prize before the ruthless Santiago Moncada can get his hands on it. If Sully and Nate can decipher the clues and solve one of the world’s oldest mysteries, they stand to find $5 billion in treasure — but only if they can learn to trust each other long enough to work together.


The Looking Glass by Janet McNally

Reviewed by Avery H (Library Patron)

I really enjoyed this story of falling in love, experiencing heartbreak at the ends of tragedy, all the while being on a quest to search for answers. In this novel, Sylvie, a ballerina, sets out to find her older sister, Julia, who left a year ago leaving no clues or any traces of where she’s gone behind. When Sylvie receives a package in the mail from her, everything changes. The book follows her on a journey that ends up changing her forever. I think this story is beautifully written with it’s touches of magic here and there and the way it goes deep into Sylvie’s past to show how she develops as a character. I would categorize this novel as fantasy/fiction. Anyone who loves a good mystery with touches of romance and fantasy, this one’s for you.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC MCNALLY)

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Reviewed by Anonymous (Library Patron)

The first book in the Truly Devious trilogy by Maureen Johnson is a unique mystery filled with unsolved crimes and new dramas. It takes place at Ellingham Academy, a school started by the great for the great. Stevie Bell, a new student there, has a fairly normal experience until a project goes wrong. I enjoyed the book because it was able to hook me in and I want to read the rest of the trilogy. The main character, Stevie, loves true crime and it’s the reason she is at the academy, this makes her character very relatable and seem like an ordinary person who got to experience her dreams of being a detective. I love mystery stories and I would recommend this series to people who like to be the detective as they read.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC JOHNSON)

Snails & Monkey Tails by Michael Arndt

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

Snails & Monkey Tails is a lively masterpiece of graphic design but I don’t think you need to be a design or language nerd like me to enjoy it. In clever layouts presented in bold red, black and white, Michael Arndt offers up history and fun facts for punctuation and symbols that we overlook every day. In some ways the topic is pretty niche (I noticed I didn’t have a whole lot of competition on the hold list for this brand new book) but in other ways it is so universal–everyone uses punctuation but most are not privy to how the symbols evolved into our current use of them. The downside to reading this book is that I am now quite disappointed in our culture for referring to “@” as the “at symbol” when we could be calling it a monkey’s tail (German), a little mouse (Taiwanese) or a cinnamon bun (Swedish).

Available through the Bridges Library System

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Reviewed by Holly (Library Staff)

This novel was extremely depressing. The plot revolves around a so-called “old” man (57 yrs. old) who appears to have given up on life when his beloved wife died. The book chronicles his journey through the last portion of his life and how he only wants to be with her in heaven. He seems obsessed with the idea of ending his life. His attempts to end his life are always interrupted by someone and/or something that Ove views as nothing more than an interruption. As this becomes a chronic pattern, readers realize Ove has several people who care about him and who he cares about. It is not until late in the story that Ove realizes this obvious fact himself. Perhaps he realized it sooner, but he may have believed the people in his life liked him because he was a grouchy old man. Hard to tell. Anyway prepare yourself for a read that will have you thinking about life and the choices we make.

P.S. As a former, loyal, repeat Saab owner I understood the MANY Saab references, but the average reader would most likely get sick of the word Saab (except perhaps the last time it was used)

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC BACKMAN)

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

I’ve always enjoyed Harlan Coben’s standalone novels, but for whatever reason I was always hesitant to read his Myron Bolitar series. After multiple people told me I had to read them, I decided to take the leap and try the first one, and I am so glad that I did.

Myron Bolitar is a sports agent, and while he can be hotheaded, he is also compassionate. In Deal Breaker, Myron’s client, Christian Steele, is entangled in the disappearance and suspected death of his ex-girlfriend. Myron attempts to find out the truth of what happened and who is responsible while dodging the underbelly of the crime and sports world.

Clearly I should have read this series sooner because I’ve already finished the second one, and I’m about to start on the third! So if you are looking for a new series that has some mystery, action, sports, and memorable characters, try the Myron Bolitar series.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Thirty Talks Weird Love by Alessandra Narvaez Varela

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

Academically-driven Anamaria is an awkward, earnest 13-year-old with homework and friend drama, supportive parents, and all the truths she thinks she knows about her life and the world. When a woman shows up claiming to be her 30-year-old self, Anamaria does not welcome the woman’s cryptic advice from the future, especially her advice to “just love you.”

Everything about the 1990s Mexico setting and vibrant characters came to life in the author’s rich verse, but the conversations between Anamaria and Thirty were my favorite part. They had such an interesting dynamic and it made me think about having conversations with my past or future selves. I’m happy to report that I found the unique premise to be deftly executed in this novel in verse.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC NARVAEZ-VARELA)