Fresh Finds: Reviews of Newly Published Books

Published Thursday, October 20, 2022
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
Gabrielle Zevin

Publication Date: July 5, 2022
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Jill's Review:
This book is beautifully written and tells a wonderful story. I felt the whole gamut of emotions while reading it, and it was also a lot of fun! Most of all – I was sad when I finished it and will end up reading it again!

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Upgrade
by Blake Crouch

Publication Date: July 7, 2022
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Katherine's Review:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dark Matter and Recursion so had high hopes for Upgrade. While I enjoyed the overall concept of this book, I ended up disappointed by the end. I think this one felt more like a dystopian thriller than an exploration of a mind-bending future technology. Perhaps it is set in a time a little too near the present and the problems of climate change, lack of privacy, and government overreach were a little too close to reality for me.

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Mercury Pictures Presents
by Anthony Marra

Release Date: July 17, 2022
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Katherine's Review:
Wow. I loved this book. I do not gravitate naturally toward historical fiction or books about 1940's Hollywood, but that didn't make any difference to me this time. I am now more convinced than ever that Anthony Marra can write about anything and create an amazing read. This is a beautifully written book with fascinating characters but it does cover very weighty and difficult topics. Anthony Marra is such an amazing writer and I will be eagerly awaiting his next book.

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Portrait of an Unknown Woman
by Daniel Silva

Publication Date: July 19, 2022
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Mary's Review:
I really enjoy Daniel Silva's books and would rate them all as 4 or 5s. They move quickly, have interesting characters and always surprising endings. This is the 25th in his series and his main character, Gabriel Allon, is now retired from his career with Israeli intelligence and has returned to his passion of art restorer. The book revolves around a missing painting and his suspenseful journey to retrieve it from the underworld of unethical art dealers. It's best to read this series in order for the character development but they can be stand alone thrillers as well. I always look forward to the publication of his most recent books. This description sounds boilerplate but just try one and I think you'll be hooked!

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Cyclorama
by Adam Langer

Publication Date: August 2, 2022
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Jill's Review:
A group of teenagers are working on a stage production of Anne Franks’s story, and the similarities and differences between these young adults and the historical characters they are representing on stage are explored. Very interesting and unique!

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The Book Eaters
by Sunyi Dean

Publication Date: August 9, 2022
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Katherine's Review:
If you're in the mood to read something unique, with a story line you've never seen before, you should read this book. While definitely darker than most books I read, I got sucked into this book and had to find out more about the Book Eaters and how their society operates. I will certainly be looking out for future books written by Sunyi Dean.

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Bunnicula : The Graphic Novel
by James Howe, Andrew Donkin, Stephen Gilpin

Publication Date: August 30, 2022
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Kelly's Review:
Bunnicula is a graphic adaption of a work originally published in 1979. It's part one of a seven part book series. The story is told from the perspective of an adorable dog named Harold. Other characters include Chester the cat (named after G.K. Chesterton), the Monroe family, and a bunny named Bunnicula. Chester the cat believes that the bunny, who was found at the theater playing Dracula. (Bunny + Dracula = HaHa!) is a vampire. After all, why else would the Monroe's vegetables be drained of their juices and turning white!

Is the bunny a vampire? Chester's suspicions makes for a hilarious plot, including vampire folklore. Not only does the book have great examples of how to have empathy for animals, it's a perfect read for Halloween. Illustrations of Harold & Chester are delightful. This graphic novel is for an 8-12 year old audience. Be sure and "check out" the series originally developed for 6-8 year olds and younger.

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The Ink Black Heart
by Robert Galbraith

Publication Date: August 30, 2022
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Emily's Review:
This is book six of the series about private detective Cormoran Strike and his partner Robin Ellacott. I have really enjoyed this series but this book fell a little short of my expectations. What I love about this series is the development of Strike and Robins' relationship. While this book did advance their complex emotions and the case to be solved was thrilling with some great twists and turns I feel it could have been a little shorter. Many of the 1000 plus pages were made up of tweets and chat rooms, however, it still felt a little drawn out to me.

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The Marriage Portrait
by Maggie O’Farrell

Publication Date: September 6, 2022
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Jill's Review:
Hamnet was one of my favorite books last year, so I was excited to read this. I am a bit puzzled by the great reviews for this book, because I felt like there was not much to the story. It didn’t pique my interest. I will still look forward to her next book, because I am certain she will write another book that I will love!

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Lessons
by Ian McEwan

Publication Date: September 13, 2022
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Jill's review:
This is a long book but well worth the time and effort. This story follows several decades of Roland Baine’s life and some of his relationships, with a backdrop of various historical events. It made me think about how things that happen early in our life impact who we become but that does not mean that we cannot change and take our own path.

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A Gift of Joy and Hope
by Pope Francis

Publication Date: September 27, 2022
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Joyce's Review:
The book is written in short paragraphs of thought which make it easy to ‘browse’ and well as read sequentially on a topic. The writing style is that of an encouraging conversation with a friend. There are stories pulled from the lives of many people to illustrate his topics. I found that the book served as a good reminder that hope is not wishful thinking; that joy and hope can come together no matter how anxious we are.

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Shrines of Gaiety
by Kate Atkinson

Publication Date: September 27, 2022
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Jill's Review:
Kate Atkinson is a master of historical fiction, and this story will give you a lot of action, many great characters, and you will feel as though you are walking those London streets in 1926.

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