Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro Vol. 1 by Nanashi

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

High school junior, only known as Senpai, ends up in the sights of sophomore Nagatoro. Senpai is a generally nervous, quite guy who keeps to himself and wants to pursue his interest in art in private. Nagatoro is his pretty and popular underclassman who is dead set on working Senpai up into a ball of nerves.

Don’t Toy With Me Miss Nagatoro plays on the trope of if someone likes you, they’ll pick on you. The manga is pretty funny and drawn well. The only downside is that the volumes are incredibly short.

Though the characters are in high school, I would say this is more for young adults and the older side of teenage.

Located in Manga (MANGA DON’T TOY)

The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore

Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)

The Woman They Could Not Silence is author Kate Moore’s follow-up to her bestseller The Radium Girls, and I found it just as compelling as its predecessor. I stayed up past midnight to find out what would happen at the end, which is something that doesn’t happen often with nonfiction books!

The titular “woman they could not silence,” Elizabeth Ware Packard, was a housewife and mother of six in 1860 when her husband, a Presbyterian minister, forcibly committed her to an insane asylum. The evidence he provided was that she was disobeying him and not following his religious instruction. At the time, it was possible for a husband to have his wife committed without any medical or judicial determination of her insanity–if he said she was insane, she was. Elizabeth eventually spent three years in the asylum at Jacksonville, Illinois.

She learned in the asylum that she was one of many entirely sane women who were committed by their husbands, generally for disobedience and free thinking. She also learned that women who were truly mentally ill were regularly abused and their conditions left entirely untreated in the so-called hospital. When she supported other women’s charges of abuse and attempted to better their conditions, she was herself punished.

When she eventually gained her freedom–due to some combination of her own efforts and the asylum superintendent’s frustration with her–she devoted herself to exposing the horrific abuses in the asylum system, as well as changing the unjust laws that allowed husbands total legal control over their wives. She wrote books, went on speaking tours, and lobbied legislators for the rest of her life.

I found Elizabeth Packard’s story both horrifying and uplifting, and told in Moore’s signature narrative style it was up-put-down-able. Anyone interested in women’s rights–in the past and today–will find it a compelling read.

Located in Adult Nonfiction (303.48 MOO)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Reviewed by Nick Knuth (Library Patron)

In Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? we follow the bounty hunter Rick Dickard in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco as he is hired to retire androids who have emigrated to earth. These androids are colonial slaves and have killed their masters to be able to emigrate back to earth. Counterintuitively, human life has drawn a great desire for real animals, after the earth-threatening War Terminus. One question still remains for Rick to answer. What is the main difference between androids and human life? What is Rick doing with his life retiring all of these androids? Rick will discover the unimagined when hunting down these androids.

I enjoyed reading the book because Philip K. Dick does a great job to paint the picture of a post-apocalyptic reality, where all known animals are on the brink of extinction, and how the role of jobs changes when manufacturers start to create almost identical android counterparts. It is exciting reading Philip K. Dick’s everchanging emotions of Rick when he is involved with these monumental tasks. This was for sure a page-turner, and Philip K. Dick makes sure the reader is always engaged, by leaving many cliffhangers at the end of important chapters. The only downside to the book is at some points where the reader can be very perplexed. It feels like there is a lack of information needed from Philip K. Dick to understand the direction in which the plot is heading. Besides that, it is a great read for high schoolers as far as appropriate material. I would recommend this book to enjoyers of other dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games and Divergent. Because books such as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Big Brother by George Orwell, were the small match that created the larger flame of now multiple dystopian novels, that had the plot play out in very different societies from today’s standard. For those interested in the 1982 Blade Runner, or the 2017 Bladerunner 2049, this book is a great introduction to the same setting that both the protagonists deal with in discovering what is human and what is an android. However, many of the detail such as plot and characters are different between book and movie. I would recommend reading the book and then watching the movies if you have not watched them. But I would not recommend watching the movies, and then reading the book, because there are too many differences. Overall, I would give this book a 7.5 out of 10 as it is a fairly easy and fun read!

Available through the Bridges Library System

Fangs by Sarah Andersen

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

I first came across Fangs as a webcomic a few years ago. Its characters are Elsie, a vampire, and Jimmy, a werewolf. The short, gag filled comics follow their love story.

I like Fangs because it’s cute. Short and sweet. I’ve been a fan of Andersen’s comics for a while, and I love how much energy and personality they toss into every panel. If you want to read something quick and full of heart, then Fangs is a good one to pick.

Located in Adult Graphic Novels (GRAPHIC ANDERSEN)

The Man Burned by Winter by Pete Zacharias

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

Investigative journalist Rooker Lindstrom has given up on life. He’s lost everything and is spiraling downward in a house that’s doing the same, threatening to trap him forever in his father’s house of horrors. They’d do more than that too, “People say if walls could talk, these walls would scream.”

This is where Detective Tess Harlow finds Rooker. She looks at the once famous investigative journalist, the empty booze bottles surrounding him, the bones poking out of a frame that obviously doesn’t care about feeding itself, a man whose eyes all but scream that he’s waiting to die and she gives him a chance. Will he help her uncover who is killing women in the same fashion his father once had? Will Rooker have enough life left in him to scrape himself out of his chair, leave the bottles alone and face the life he’d tried so hard to run away from? This is the author’s first novel and if you enjoy a good underdog story, this one is right for you.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Deadpool Samurai by Sanshiro Kasama & Hikaru Uesugi

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

As a fan of manga and comics, Deadpool Samurai really is the best of both worlds. It’s fast-paced, action-packed, and worth your time. The writing for Deadpool as a character is as strong as it’s ever been, and the gags and fourth wall breaks really make this manga something special.

If you’re into superhero stories but want something a little less serious than contemporary American comics, Deadpool Samurai is a solid choice. It’s a fast read and legitimately funny. The age rating is for older teens, so if violence and innuendo aren’t really your thing, Deadpool probably isn’t the comic character for you.

Located in Adult Manga (MANGA DEADPOOL)

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

When a Killer Calls by John Douglas & Mark Olshaker

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

“This true crime book is an incredibly detailed account of “murder, criminal profiling and justice in a small town.” John Douglas and Mark Olshaker have eloquently infused the denseness of a nonfiction book with enough suspense that it reads like a fiction novel, the reader compelled to keep flipping pages. Inspiration for the show Mindhunter and an account of the birth of criminal profiling, this book details the achievements and defeats of a brand new way of thinking.

Two days before her high school graduation, Shari Smith was abducted from her driveway. The way in which the community, detectives and profilers worked together to seek justice for Shari is incredible. The window into how profilers think is fascinating, as is the process of building a profile of a killer to help catch them. Smith’s story will swallow anyone interested in true crime.

Located in Adult Nonfiction (364.152 DOU)

Scoundrel: How a Convicted Murderer Persuaded the Women Who Love Him, the Conservative Establishment, and the Courts to Set Him Free by Sarah Weinman

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

The book starts with Edgar Smith dying of old age in prison. Then it backtracks to 1957 when he murders a young girl and is convicted and sentenced to death in the electric chair.

He starts appealing to the courts, successfully delaying his execution, while gaining the attention of the conservative TV host of Firing Line, William F. Buckley. Buckley is convinced that he is innocent and helps Smith obtain a book editor to publish his account of what Smith says really happened.

The book bogs down in the middle, with endless correspondence with Buckley, court dates, and an unlikely romantic relationship with the book editor.

Ultimately he gets out and Buckley celebrates with him in NYC, but then things go downhill for Smith again, culminating with a kidnapping and attempted murder.

I did not like this book – it dragged, and since the author reveals the conclusion at the start of the book it did not build any momentum. I was just happy to be done with it. I do not recommend it.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Madly Marvelous: The Costumes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel by Donna Zakowska

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

I checked out this oversized book thinking I would flip through the pictures and take in the details of the gorgeous clothes from Amazon’s brilliant comedy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. However, to my surprise, I ended up reading every single riveting word of it.

I found it fascinating to see Donna Zakowska’s process and point of view for creating each look. It opened my eyes to the nuanced story she’s telling with color throughout the series, the external representation of each character’s mental landscape, and the impressive attention to detail paid to countless extras.

The concise text is balanced nicely with glossy images of initial sketches, fabric swatches, cast fittings, and final shots of the clothing onscreen. If you’ve enjoyed watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, this is a must-read. (Oh, but make sure you’ve watched through the end of season 3 first as there are many spoilers throughout.)

Available through the Bridges Library System