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Recent Book Reviews

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What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution

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Alperovitz, Gar(2013)Recently Added Review
What Then Must We Do?: Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution

The corporate state is doomed, says Gar Alperovitz; brought down by unbridled growth and startling degrees of greed and corruption. Its’ apparent collapse has provoked a crisis of massive proportions which has, in turn, raised the question posed in the title of his book. Only briefly reminding readers of the many follies, mistakes and outright crimes that led to this crisis; Alperovitz first assures the reader that change is bound to come -- if only because it simply must, and he insists that it will result from evolution rather than revolution. Meanwhile, there is much that has already been done, in spite of continuing overwhelming resistance from the Corporate Wing. And, of course, much remains to be done. So, in everyday simple language, he challenges readers to inform themselves and then take part in reconstructing America.

Reviewed by Jim B.

Patron Review This book review was submitted on-line by a Reader's Club patron.

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Beyond the Call: The True Story of One World War II Pilot's Covert Mission to Rescue POWs on the Eastern Front

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Trimble, Lee(2015)Recently Added Review
Beyond the Call: The True Story of One World War II Pilot's Covert Mission to Rescue POWs on the Eastern Front

This is the story of one man and his very unique assignment at the end of World War II. After serving out a full set of 35 missions as a combat pilot, Robert Trimble is given a choice: go home for a few weeks, and probably be called back up for another tour of duty, or go on a special assignment that will keep him out of direct combat through the end of the war. He chooses the assignment: to officially act as a scavenger pilot and to unofficially bring recently released American POWs back to US bases. You don`t need a deep understanding of WWII to appreciate the brave actions of Robert Trimble.

Reviewed by Marie H., ImaginOn

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Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, + Me

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Forney, Ellen(2012)Recently Added Review
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, + Me

Marbles is the memoir of cartoonist Ellen Forney which covers her diagnosis with and subsequent treatment of Bipolar Disorder. The graphic novel spans from Forney’s thirtieth birthday forward as she struggles with mania, depression, medication side effects, and everything in between. Along the way Forney explores the possible connections between her illness and her creativity, going so far as to research artists from the past who exhibited traits of Bipolar Disorder. Though the memoir deals with serious topics, Forney manages to keep the work filled with an equal mix of levity and of hope. This is an important book for anyone trying to gain some insight into this little understood illness or for anyone who is currently suffering and looking for someone to relate to.

Reviewed by Sarah F., Matthews Branch

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Nimona

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Stevenson, Noelle(2015)Recently Added Review
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Nimona

Originally produced as a web comic, this book attracts the reader with its beautiful color renditions . The author takes the traditional roles of hero and villain and turns them on their heads, asking us to question the motivations of the so-called “good guys” while the purported villains are just trying to get by in the world. Nimona, herself, is an engaging and tragic character, funny and mischievous but with a murky past. Making use of magic and science to achieve their ends, the characters of Nimona will leave you guessing right up to the end.

Reviewed by Hayley B., University City Regional

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SuperMutant Magic Academy

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Tamaki, Jillian(2015)Recently Added Review
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SuperMutant Magic Academy

Existential and fun, this graphic novel has a cast of characters who reveal so much about themselves in just a few panels per page. Drawing inspiration from X-Men and Harry Potter, mutant and human teenagers play games, gossip, deal with school, deal with their sexuality, and question the deeper meanings of existence and reality in relatable yet irreverent ways. Readers will find themselves promising to read just one more page before turning the light off, only to finally do so a dozen pages later. This graphic novel is what any sci-fi fan would want to read in their Sunday comic strips.

Reviewed by Hayley B., University City Regional

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Masaryk Station

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Downing, David(2013)Recently Added Review
Masaryk Station

The Cold War steadily replaces World War II as the sixth and final installment of the masterfully-forged John Russell series finds our reluctant hero in 1948 Berlin. He is still spying for both Soviet and Western occupiers, trapped in an ever more deadly ideological struggle between the erstwhile allies. Rapidly-expanding tension raises fears of yet another, even more devastating global conflict. Russell, understandably grown more cynical by it all, is ready to retire, but because his debt to the Russians seems never to be satisfied, quitting carries a potentially fatal risk. Continuing, however, obviously carries equal or greater peril – from all sides. A Russian defector with evidence incriminating a Soviet security chief may offer a way out, provided Russell is willing to take the ultimate and, perhaps, final risk.

Reviewed by Jim B.

Patron Review This book review was submitted on-line by a Reader's Club patron.

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Heroin Diaries

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Sixx, Nikki(2007)Recently Added Review
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Heroin Diaries

Nikki Sixx, bassist and founding member of metal band Mötley Crüe, describes his harrowing journey in and out of addiction through his journal entries written over the course of a year at the height of the band`s stardom. Interspersed with the comments and observations of bandmates, friends, lovers and others, this book goes beyond the clichéd rock star tell-all and exposes the introspective, almost spiritual side of a man who literally lived and died for the fast life of fame. The journal entries are raw, painful and disturbing, like a train wreck you can’t look away from, but the conclusion will ultimately have you rooting for Sixx’s tentatively hopeful, continued sober future.

Reviewed by Jori F., Steele Creek Branch

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Sinner

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Stiefvater, Maggie(2014)Recently Added Review
Sinner
Young Adult

Sinner, the fourth book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series continues the love story of Cole and Isabelle. Back in Los Angeles after a year spent as a wolf in the wild, Cole is now the star of reality show and up to his old rocker hijinks, but hopefully remaining sober. While the story focuses on Cole it is told from both his and Isabelle’s viewpoints. It is also a story of redemption as Cole must come to grips with effects of his past actions. Sinner will hook the reader right from the beginning which depictions of Cole’s telephone radio interview. Fans of this series will enjoy this next installment.

Reviewed by Marie H., ImaginOn

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Lehrter Station

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Downing, David(2012)Recently Added Review
Lehrter Station

Downing’s fifth John Russell novel describes the British-American journalist’s attempt to fulfill his obligation to the Soviets who rescued his family during the war. NKVD agents approach Russell and order him to return to occupation-divided Berlin and assess Germany’s political, especially socialist, tendencies. In addition, and more perilously important, he must convince American Intelligence that he, though a Russian agent assigned to spy on them, is willing to turn double-agent . . . while still, in fact, continuing to spy for the NKVD. This triple-cross, along with the hero’s more humanistic endeavors on behalf of refugees and missing persons, not to mention the author’s fascinating evocation of wartime German train stations, will delight fans, seasoned or new, of this excellent series.

Reviewed by Jim B.

Patron Review This book review was submitted on-line by a Reader's Club patron.

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Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers

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Offerman, Nick( 2015)Recently Added Review
Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers

Following the success of his autobiography, Paddle Your Own Canoe, Nick Offerman returns with this bite-sized biography collection of America’s gutsiest pioneers. From well-known founding fathers such as George Washington to the modern day comedy trailblazers like Conan O’Brien, Offerman offers personal insights, little-known facts, and snarky humor with every enlightening entry. Fans of his overly-masculine Parks & Recreation character Ron Swanson will be delighted at his many digressions involving woodworking, outdoorsmanship, and, of course, meat. However, Gumption offers much more than Swanson witticisms; each of the twenty-one groundbreakers remind us of the great strength and originality required to build and sustain our country.

Reviewed by Kaitlyn M., Morrison Regional

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