Fresh Finds: Reviews of Newly Published Books

Published Thursday, January 21, 2021
Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts
by Nancy Campbell Allen

Release Date: October 6, 2020
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Kaylee's Review:
I thoroughly enjoyed this steampunk retelling of Cinderella, the fourth book in a series of steampunk fairytale retellings. It has a fun setting, interesting characters, and an enjoyable spin on a classic fairytale.

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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
by V.E. Schwab

Release Date: 10/6/2020
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Jill's Review:
Addie LaRue makes a bargain that leads to centuries of adventure. This book was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed some of the surprises along the way. Based on the ending, I hope a sequel may be in the works as well, and I read that a movie will be coming out based on the book. There are not many books that have a 4.38 rating on Goodreads with 94,980 ratings!

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The Midnight Bargain
by C.L. Polk

Release Date: October 13, 2020
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Amanda's Review:
Part of a relatively small splinter of the fantasy genre called magic and manners, this is a fantasy novel set in a universe that is fairly similar to regency England. The magic system used is interesting as it involve pacts with spirits. Both women and men can be sorcerers but women must wear a collar that dampens their magic once they are married because the spirits can possess a sorceress’ child in the womb. Our heroine does not want to lose her magic and pursues a secret group of female sorceresses in order to try to change her fate. This was a really satisfying story with creativity and great pace. The resolution was whole and didn’t feel rushed or patched together.

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The Once and Future Witches
by Alix E. Harrow

Release Date: October 13, 2020
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Katherine's Review:
This book mixes fantasy (witches and magic) with history (the suffragette movement) and in the process examines ideas about what women should be allowed to do. The Once and Future Witches takes place in New Salem where witches are very much not wanted and the history of Salem and the witch trials there are strongly remembered. The Eastwood sisters have begun exploring the forgotten ways of witches when they join the suffragette movement and try to bring the two together.

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Greenlights
by Matthew McConaughey

Release Date: October 20, 2020
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Mary's Review:
I found this book interesting and fun to read! I like Matthew McConaughey as an actor and enjoy many of the things he stands for so wanted to see what he'd be like as an author. The book is based on 50 years of diaries he's kept with questions and observations about life and learning. It's humorous in places and deep in others. It's basically about grappling with the lessons of life and realizing that the point was never to win but to understand. I would recommend giving it a read! Check Availability
Shikake: The Japanese Art of Shaping Behavior Through Design
by Naohiro Matsumura

Release Date: November 3, 2020
Rating: 3 our of 5 stars

Cary's Review:
I really wanted to love this book because the premise and example images are intriguing. But, I found it a bit boring. The ideas presented did not capture my attention like I thought they would.

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A Promised Land
by Barack Obama

Release Date: November 17, 2020
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Jill's Review:
Barack Obama’s first volume of his memoir exceeded my expectations. My favorite parts were the stories and anecdotes about his family and marriage that made me realize they are just a family like we are at the end of the day. I also really found it fascinating to read his behind-the-scene accounts of many of the important moments in his first term. I am looking forward to the second volume.

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Let us dream: the path to a better future
by Pope Francis

Release Date: December 1, 2020
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Joyce's Review:
In this book Pope Francis discusses the impact of the COVID crisis, the inequalities within society that must be addressed, and how crisis can change people and society. Most importantly to me he offers the hope that solutions can be found for both personal and societal crisis. The emphasis is on people working together to create a better future.

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The Cousins
by Karen McManus

Release Date: December 1, 2020
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Kelcey's Review:
I was hesitant to read another McManus book because I did not love, or really even like, One of Us Is Lying. So when I started and the first 50-100 pages felt slow to me, I was worried. However, The Cousins took a turn for the better and really struck up my interest after we got past all of the back story and lead-up to certain events. The last 2/3rds of the book really kept my attention, I didn't want to put it down, and best of all - I didn't predict or figure out the ending prior to it happening. It was a complete mystery to me the entire time and I was left in shock.

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