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We hope you enjoy these reviews from the staff!  You can find all of these books and other items in our Electronic Resources

Between the World and Me reviewed by Robert

This is my first time checking out an audio book from Overdrive/Libby. I listened to the book Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates on my computer. Mr. Coates read the book himself. He did an excellent job describing his life growing up as a black man in inner city America. One of my favorite quotes from the book is "If the streets shackled my right leg, the schools shackled my left. Fail to comprehend the streets and you give up your body now, fail to comprehend the schools and you give up your body later." I would suggest this book to any one looking to understand the plight of African Americans.   


Little Ways to Keep Calm and Carry On: Twenty Lessons for Managing Worry, Anxiety, and Fear reviewed by Veronica

I just finished a therapeutic audiobook on hoopla: Little Ways to Keep Calm and Carry On: Twenty Lessons for Managing Worry, Anxiety, and Fear by Mark Reinecke PhD and narrated by Stephen Thorne. This audiobook is short, but offers in-depth techniques to manage one’s anxiety. Here are a few lessons that meant the most to me: We all seek security, but the future is unknown so “we need to expand our tolerance for ambiguity.” Although life is unpredictable, we are in control of what we do and how we handle what life throws at us. True security comes from within and from our confidence to manage anxiety in our lives. Another important point: “Negative thoughts are like malicious monkeys flying around our heads”. We must accept that negative thoughts are normal but we must disengage from them. We can take our worry and either be productive or unproductive with it. Replacing worry with a plan is productive. With the uncertainty in our society right now due to COVID-19, many of us feel anxious. This is the audiobook to help with that worry. The lessons definitely opened my eyes to being more accepting and positive about what is going on.


Teslafy Me reviewd by Tammy

I have viewed a video on hoopla about Nicola Tesla, called "Teslafy Me".  This is more a documentary than a movie, with many people speaking about Tesla from his childhood to his death.  There are several voice-overs quoting Tesla and people from his era.  It was interesting to learn about his life and work. Be advised, it is very instructional, not entertainment.



They Called Us Enemy reviewd by Robert

As a Star Trek fan, this comic book by George Takei has been on my reading list for a while. I was finally able to read it through hoopla. It is hard to imagine a person who was born in this country being subjected to the things Mr. Takei and his family withstood. To have been born in this country, yet have to endure the injustices that he and his family did, would be to much for most people. Mr. Takei and his co-authors did an excellent job of conveying the experiences of a boy who had no clue what was going on in his life, but withstood, to become a very popular actor, and spokesperson for injustice.


Such a Fun Age reviewed by Veronica

On Overdrive, I read the e-book Such a Fun Age by debut author Kiley Reid. The novel opens with Emira Tucker, a 25 year old African American, being accused of kidnapping by a security guard at a grocery store late one evening. The security guard refuses to let her leave the store until the child’s father arrives and explains that she is the babysitter and he and his wife asked her to take their three year old daughter, Briar, out that late while they handled a situation at home. This dramatic scene is just the beginning, as the novel explores Emira’s relationship with her employer, Alix Chamberlain (a rich, white mother of two) and the relationship with her older white boyfriend, Kelley Copeland, and how all three of these characters are connected. To say much more would spoil some of the surprises that come later on in the novel. I enjoyed this book so much; I wish I had read it sooner. This is a smart novel that brings to light issues of race, class, domestic work and transactional relationships. This novel has important points to make, but it will also make you laugh and even cry a few times while doing it.


The Princess and the Fan Girl by Caitlin

In this Prince and the Pauper retelling, Imogene Lovelace is a fan of the Starfield franchise. With the new movie out and her favorite space queen killed off, she's running an online campaign to #SaveAmara. Jessica Stone, the actress who plays Amara, is more than ready to say goodbye to Starfield and all the troll comments in her social media. The two meet at ExcelsiCon when Imogene is mistaken for Jessica during a panel. At first neither are eager for the charade to continue but when the script for the Starfield sequel starts leaking online, Jessica needs Imogene to switch back so Jessica can track down the leaker who stole her script. Imogene sees this as a golden opportunity to bring her #SaveAmara campaign to a bigger audience. From there it's a game of cat and mouse until the very last moment when the culprit is finally revealed and the fate of Amara is decided. This title is available as an audiobook from hoopla, and as an ebook from Overdrive.


Barnums's Own Story: The Autobiorgraphy of P.T. Barnum review by Julian

Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891) is one of the most colorful, influential and notorious characters in American history. In addition to being a celebrated showman, businessman and promoter, he was also an author, publisher, philanthropist and politician. Born in the early 19th century, he came to prominence during America's early halcyon days. Originally a newspaper publisher, he rose to fame as a promoter of hoaxes and exhibitions featuring oddities such as George Washington's maid, the Fiji Mermaid and General Tom Thumb. He is probably most remembered today as the founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Barnum also served four terms in the Connecticut state legislature and later became mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was widely reported as coining the phrase "there's a sucker born every minute", although he claims not to be it's author. The language is written in the use of it's day which requires a dictionary to understand some terms. This is clearly the autobiography of a showman as he is not only a biographer but a promoter of himself. A great read today for entrepreneurs, entertainers  and any creative person. This e-book an be found on hoopla.


Exactly as You Are reviewd by Greg

This book provided an overview of Fred Roger's development into the person and minister in which he became. Rev. Rogers knew that his medium of evangelism was TV. At his ordaination Rogers received the charge to serve children and families through it. He modeled an highly advanced understanding of Christianity; Rogers lived(incarnated) the message he preached. This was accomplished with a minimum of religious jargon. He was a musician and puppeteer and used these talents in evangelizing everyone who would listen to him. In his TV show, his characters reflected aspects of his personality. The term Rogers used to identify people was 'neighbor', which was from Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan. Rogers felt that if everone was accepted, as they are, this would help them to develop into healthy people. This was a statement of his faith. Our behavior isn't always acceptable but we are as people. Rogers' believed that evil was dissolved through forgiveness. I recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in Mr. Rogers, healthy theological expression or biography. This audiobook can be found on hoopla.


The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents: Earth review by Joey

I checked this book out from Overdrive and listened to it on my phone.  This is particularly nice when my eyes are troubling me so, now that it is pollen season. Earth by Jon Stewart was written as a guide to the planet left behind for intergalactic travelers to find, after we as a species are gone.   Cheerful stuff to read in the midst of a pandemic! It spends a bit of time on the planet itself, its placement in our solar system and other things about the physical aspects of Earth. The book then delves into life on earth,  mainly plant and animal.  Well, mainly animal. In the animal section it spends the bulk of the time describing.......humans.  Our development, the stages of our lives, our interests and efforts in many aspects of humanity.  ALL this is told by Jon Stewart (and some of They Daily Show writers/staff) in a way that points out our virtues and foolishness with great humor. There are segments such as FAQ (Frequent Alien Questions) since this book tries to explain our planet and us, to future space travelers that may visit someday.   Other segments are read by Daily Show staffers. The whole thing just serves to point out how silly we would appear to alien life forms and by doing so holds up a mirror for us to see, and hopefully be able to laugh at, our own lives. On a scale of 1-5 I would give this one a 4.  Many laugh out loud moments in this one and I believe humor is good for the soul, especially these days.


Rough Magic: Riding the World's Longeliest Horse Race review by Carol

In Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race, Lara Prior-Palmer recounts her arduous adventure of racing across 1000 kilometers of Mongolian landscape. At age nineteen she became the first woman and the youngest person to win the Mongol Derby, a 10-day race that follows the route of Genghis Khan's horse messenger system. While Lara captures the intense, painful, (sometimes boring) struggle of this competition, she never allows the story to drag. The race becomes a journey of self-discovery presented with lovely prose and piercing wit. Lara creates stunning imagery with her words and allows her readers to catch a glimpse of Mongolia, its landscape, peoples, and culture - a world unknown to many of us. What a fun ride! This book is available through hoopla in both audio and e-book format.


Minimalist Home Secrets reveiwed by Jamie

Downsizing our clutter has become a recent home trend, popularized by Marie Kondo and her ‘KonMari’ method of minimalizing our personal belongings to the essentials. Where she started, Grace Burke has expanded upon the idea. In Minimalist Home Secrets – an audio book read by Kimberly Winters and available to patrons on Hoopla – Burke goes through a modern home, room-by-room, to describe what a person needs in their space, what new habits we should consider, and how invoking a minimalist mindset to our everyday can help us achieve lower stress and better spending habits. She is very thorough in her recommendations, from the paint colors suggested in a living room, the type of laundry detergent to use in our laundry, even the appliances we should be adding into our kitchens. While some patrons may find these details a bit daunting to take to heart, I found the tone and the minute details of Burke’s guide invigorating – leaving me suddenly with mounds of laundry to sort through and a list of plans on how to declutter my own home. This audio book can be found on hoopla.


All the Crooked Saints reviewed by Caitlin

Bicho Raro, Colorado is home to the Soria family and their ability to perform unusual miracles. Pilgrims come from far and wide for miracles. The first miracle, which Daniel Soria performs by bringing out the darkness of the pilgrim, is the easy part. The second miracle, though, can only be performed by the pilgrim and that’s where many are stuck. But the Sorias have a taboo – they cannot help a pilgrim once the first miracle has been performed for it would risk their own darkness coming forth. And everyone know Soria darkness is the worse than a normal pilgrim’s. But when Daniel falls in love with one of the pilgrims, Marisita Lopez, he can’t stop himself from helping her. And so his own darkness is brought out, sending him wandering in the desert. After that, it’s a race against time to find a way to help Daniel. It will take both Sorias and pilgrims to make it happen. Maggie Stievfater is a master storyteller whose wildly imaginative style brings the reader into a world of saints, darkness, miracles, and magic. I am a huge fan of her Raven Cycle series as well. You can read this title and others on hoopla.


On the Bright Side: Stories About Friendship, Love and Being True to Yourself reviewed by Veronica

On hoopla, I listened to the audiobook On the Bright Side: Stories About Friendship, Love and Being True to Yourself written and read by Melanie Shankle. Shankle, a Christian wife and mother, shares humorous and inspirational stories from her life. She says in the introduction that we have all lost sight of what is important in life and we need to focus on the bright side by finding the joy in our lives. Chapters cover various topics such as the importance of having real friendships, giving up on comparing yourself to others, being happy with growing older, understanding that marriage is hard and takes work every day, staying sane while raising your children, loving others, being brave and being true to ourselves. Shankle sprinkles humor throughout each chapter and talks a great deal about her relationship with God, her husband, her teenage daughter and her two dogs. Although some chapters such as beauty products and good fashion choices did not interest me, I still recommend this fun, inspirational read.


Left Behind reviewed by Sharecka

I have recently listened to the audiobook and read along with the book Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. It is very interesting to the impact of what could happen if people were left behind during the time of Judgement Day. Rayford Steele is a pilot who suddenly has fewer passengers than when he took off. Everyone on board is racing and questioning everyone and anybody of where their loved ones went. A terrified and shaken pilot realizes that the weird disappearances are happening all over the world and there would be no way to get them back. This book, along with the rest of the series, can be found on hoopla.


Babe Didrickson reviewd by Julian

 Universally recognized as one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1911-1956) was one of the most prolific performers in several sports despite the challenges of being a female in predominantly male occupations. The sixth of seven children from Texas, she earned the nickname "Babe" (after Babe Ruth) when she hit five homeruns in a childhood baseball game. With her athletic skills and abilities, she excelled in several sports. It is sports for which she became famous however, she was very well-rounded succeeding in other areas as well. She was an excellent seamstress who won the sewing championship at the 1931 South Texas State Fair. Also a very good singer, she later became a recording artist who had a couple of hit songs on the Mercury Records label. Babe gained her greatest fame in sports. She was an All-American in basketball and she played baseball, softball, bowling and was an expert diver. She won two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Summer Olympics and later became a professional golfer where she won ten LPGA major championships. For anyone interested in sports, especially women's sports reading about Babe Didrikson is required. This ebook can be found on hoopla.