The Shame Machine – Staff Review – Terry

The Shame Machine by Cathy O’Neil (Request)

Tired of all the online shaming and name calling? The Shame Machine by Cathy O’ Neil peers into the business of as well as the sociological aspects of public shaming, primarily through mass media and social media. The book takes a scientific, unapologetic, and non-partisan stance, and also includes some of the author’s own struggles with being shamed as well as not giving into feeding into the systems of shame.

5 Stars

Boys Adrift – Staff Review – Trisha

Boys adrift by Leonard Sax (Request)

If you are thinking that your son may be on the verge of failure to launch, then this is the book for you. This book really opened my eyes on the dangers of video gaming and why so many young men today aren’t launching off like they used to. There is some mention of ADHD and medications, not for or against, just factual and researched information. Sax has done his research and has given great insight on what we need to do as parents to help our sons in their futures. This book will have you wanting to parent a new way towards your son, especially if you feel he is unmotivated and has no real goals in life. Although this book was originally published in 2007 the information is even more relevant today.

The Quiet Zone – Staff Review – Terry

The Quiet Zone by Stephen Kurczy (Request)

What does a large radio telescope, Patch Adams, and a defunct Neo-Nazi compound have in common? They all exist within the Green Bank Quiet Zone. In Stephen Kurczy’s book The Quiet Zone, he explores the region around what is known as the National Radio Quiet Zone, which was established to allow the Green Bank Radio Observatory to detect radio waves from space without interference from electronic noise. Kurczy does a very good job at documenting life and history of the area without falling into novelty, simply reporting on the history of both the observatory as well as the life of the locals which, until the popularity of cellular technology, had little to be concerned with for the regulations that were kept around the observatory. Overall, it is an interesting book that looks into the nature of what it is to disconnect from our busy digital lives.

3 Stars

This Is Me – Staff Review – Haley

This Is Me by Chrissy Metz (Request)(CloudLibrary)

Anyone else sad that This Is Us is almost over? Why not get to know the wonderful actors who keep us entertained each week.

Chrissy Metz gives an open, honest, and witty look at her life from childhood to stardom. This memoir is a wonderful example of a strong woman overcoming obstacles to reach her goals. The only drawback from me are the few “Bee Mindful” sections scattered throughout the book. I felt that it took away from the overall appeal.

3 Stars

Black Nerd Problems – Staff Pick – Terry

Black nerd problems by William Evans and Omar Holmon (Request)

Want to hear a pair of poets talk about their favorite geeky pastimes in both serious and playful tones?  Black Nerd Problems by William Evans and Omar Holmon is for you!  Black Nerd Problems is a great series of essays on race and racial identity in geek culture.  The different essays run the range of serious social issues to playful rants about characters making for a well rounded body of work.

5 Stars

The Devil in the White City – Staff Review – Maddie

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Eric Lawson (Request)(CloudLibrary)

Larson writes an intriguing tale of the Chicago World Fair and a notorious serial killer using its city as his hunting grounds. Daniel Burnham was the architect behind the World Fair, a daunting task to undertake considering the many obstacles he would face along the way, not to mention international scrutiny. The United States hadn’t seen a fair of this sort and for many it would be an educational experience, housing exhibitions from around the world; that is if Burnham met his deadlines. Holmes was a charismatic but sinister man who built the World Fair Hotel, which hid his more nefarious operations.

One of the things I really enjoyed about The Devil in the White City is how well Larson combines all the different elements into a cohesive story. Not only does he switch smoothly between the two worlds of H.H. Holmes and the World Fair, but he goes into great detail about the tremendous efforts that went into creating the fair and all the parties that helped make it a success without overwhelming the reader. He really highlights how the fair was a product of ingenuity at the time and made a name for Chicago internationally. Not knowing much about H.H. Holmes, it was interesting to learn a little about him and how he took advantage of the fair as well as certain practices that were common at this time to operate under the radar for so long both as a businessman and serial killer.

4 stars

Women of the Dawn – Staff Review – Terry

Women of the Dawn by Bunny McBride (Request)

A historical and ethnographic account of 4 Wabanaki women, based on the research done by both Bunny McBride as well as Molly Dellis, who is one of the women that is also featured in this book. This book pays true homage to the importance of women, especially native women, and their stories at a time when colonial powers saw them and treated them as barely human. A great read on a time and place as well as a people that can sadly be often overlooked.

5 Stars

Immune – Staff Review – Terry

Immune by Philipp Dettmer (Request)(

Immune : a journey into the mysterious system that keeps you alive by Philipp Dettmer is an easy to understand but thorough tour of the human immune systems. The book is broken up into chapters that build on one another allowing for the reader to learn and comprehend the subject matter without being overwhelmed with too many terms or concepts. The language in the book is also fairly contemporary and many comparisons are given to illustrate, as well as actual and easy to view illustrations, making the subject of immunology enjoyable to learn. Overall a great read.

5 stars.

Taste: My Life Through Food – Staff Review – Haley

Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci (Request)(CloudLibrary)

Who doesn’t adore Stanley Tucci, or food! Put them together and it is once again a perfect combination. In this food based memoir Stanley Tucci provides a glimpse into his life story and how food has been at the center of it since he was a small boy. It’s filled with wonderful stories and family recipes.

I love him as an actor and use his cookbooks as well. This was an extra special treat getting to hear about his upbringing as well as a peek at his life today. Written during the pandemic, it really humanized this famous actor. Hearing about him caring for his family, especially the little ones while trying to work remotely, and making a family meal every night was very relatable.

4 Stars

Running with Sherman – Staff Review – Maddie

Running with Sherman by Christopher McDougall (Request)

When Chris McDougall was approached about taking in a donkey from a hoarding situation, he thought it would be no different than any of the other farm animals he and his family had taken in since moving to a farm in the Amish Country of Pennsylvania. Little did he know the condition the donkey-later named Sherman- was in. Chris was told donkeys’ need a job to give them purpose, which is where he came up with training Sherman to compete in a burro race* in Colorado. Little did Chris know much training and time this would involve or the amount of people whose lives would be touched by Sherman’s journey.

*Burro racing is a form of racing dating back to the 1800s mining times. It consists of racers and donkeys competing in teams. It has become a popular sport out west.

Running with Sherman was both a heartwarming and at times funny story. I loved reading about Sherman’s journey and all the people involved in making it a success. I also enjoyed learning about burro racing, which I had never heard of before and found to be an interesting sport. I recommend this book to anyone who loves animals or just needs a feel-good story. 

5 stars

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