Book Reviews

Visit our Recommended Reading page in the Kids section for reviews of children's books >

The Good Earth

Pearl S. Buck drew from her life as the child of missionaries in pre-Revolutionary China in framing her 1931 Pulitzer Prize winner The Good Earth. In this video, Westport Branch librarian Sukalaya Kenworthy reviews Buck's masterpiece, an official selection in the Adult Winter Reading Program.

Smilla's Sense of Snow

Fans of Stieg Larsson would do well to check out Peter Høeg’s atmospheric thriller Smilla’s Sense of Snow. In his Winter Reading Book Review Video, L.H. Bluford Branch librarian Bernie Norcott-Mahany takes us to frozen Denmark, where a trained glaciologist investigates the death of a young boy.

The Underground Railroad book cover

William Still had a very busy life. He was a prominent figure in the Underground Railroad as head of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee. When the work of the UGRR was done, he put together an account of the slaves escaping to the North.

It’s a jungle out there, and you need to be prepared. What are you going to do if you run out of food, and all you have are houseplants? Suppose you’re on a road trip and you need to heat up a convenience-store hot dog?

What if you need to start a fire and all you have is a Coke and a Hershey bar?

You’re at the Starbucks and you want to know if it’s going to rain – now what?

These are all jobs for the urban bushman. That would be Matthew Cole, confirmed city dweller with a dad who taught him how to “rig something up, son.”

His latest book is a cosmopolitan DIY guide for better living in overpopulated areas, whether it’s managing a stressful bus commute or entertaining yourself and a buddy at the consumer-soul-eating mall.

How to Predict the Weather with a Cup of Coffee and Other Techniques for Surviving the 9-5 Jungle may save your life after the great world-ending tsunami hits and recedes, leaving you all by your lonesome in Sheboygan, WI.

The Mermaid's Mirror book cover

In my mind, mermaids are cartoon characters with fishy tales who have a tendency to sing about everything. The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan is a great departure from these children’s tales...although there is a little singing.