Book Review: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

I don’t know about you but I am beyond excited for the new season of Game of Thrones (and the last 2 books)!  I have re-watched the show multiple times and read all the books plus some of the novellas but one I hadn’t picked up till recently was A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.  I was looking for a good audio book to listen to and I saw this as a way to fill the void. 😉 

As I was listening I started to recognize the voice as one of the characters from season 1, Viserys Targaryen.  The actor Harry Lloyd who portrayed him is the narrator and did a great job of bringing the story to life.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin

First Line: The spring rains had softened the ground, so Dunk had no trouble digging the grave.

Summary: The story takes place 100 years before the events of Game of Thrones.  We meet Dunk, a new hedge knight and recent squire to Ser Arlan of Pennytree.  His master has died and left him with his horse, armor and sword.  Dunk decides that as a new knight and one in need of money needs to enter a local tournament in order to earn some coin and prestige.  He was always told that he was good with a sword and at 7 feet tall he was an impressive figure.  When he stumbles upon a stable boy named Egg, this unlikely pair travel across Westeros getting into trouble and creating tales of their own.

Highlights: It’s George R. R. Martin so therefore it is very detailed with lots of characters.  There are 3 short stories but they all connect bringing it full circle in the end.  There are little surprises and lots of history of the Seven Kingdoms during the time of the Targaryens.  The illustrations throughout the book are fun to look at and give more life to the story.  This is a fun little side story that is perfect for the readers that are waiting for season 7.

Lowlights: The names. There are so many characters with names that are so similar that it is hard to keep track of who is who (especially when listening to the audio).  But the imagination that goes into these names is spectacular.

FYI: Violence but that is par for the course with life in the Seven Kingdoms.

Book Review: Unblemished

Unblemished by Sara Ella

First Line: It can’t be true.

Summary: Eliyana is a girl who likes to hide because of a birth mark that spreads across her face. But when her mother dies her world turns upside down. Her guardian tries to protect her but things keep happening that lead her to a new world she never knew existed. As she learns more about this alternate world she finds that she has to find strength in herself to save it and its people.

Highlights: I don’t know what it is but I love YA covers! This one is beautiful and draws the reader to it. I loved that the main character wasn’t the go-to beautiful girl with amazing skills. Eliyana is normal with insecurities just like everyone else. The other main characters are developed to the point where you are cheering or booing them. You get invested in the story.

Lowlights: The problem I had was the plot got a little too complex at times. I was lost for a while until it all started to come to climax of the story. There are a lot of characters as well, with many different abilities to keep track of.

FYI: Violence but not more than most YA novels.

Ingrid Bergman

Have you ever read a book about a historical figure and then had to jump on Wikipedia to learn more about the person? I have. All the time. My most recent historical obsession is Ingrid Bergman.   

I have been reading the newest book by Kate Alcott, The Hollywood Daughter, which is about a young girl who lives in L.A. and idolizes Ingrid.  She meets the famous actress and follows her career through its ups and downs.

The movie, Anastasia, with Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brynner was my first introduction to this iconic actress.  She was beautiful and talented.  As I am reading the main character talks about the movies that Ingrid has starred in and I immediately started adding them to my library hold list.

This week I have delved into The Bells of St. Mary’s and Notorious.  Both were great but I was particularly taken with the chemistry between Bing Crosby and Ingrid in the Bells of St. Mary’s.  I searched for trivia on the movie Notorious and found that Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock became lifelong friends with Ingrid after filming ended.

I still have For Whom the Bell Tolls and Murder on the Orient Express to watch and I am greatly looking forward to them. This enchanting Swedish actress that took America by storm in the 1940s has put me under her spell.

Check back soon for my review of The Hollywood Daughter by Kate Alcott.


Book Review: Girl in Disguise

Girl in Disguise by Greer MacAllister


First Line: Like any Chicago tavern in deep summer, Joe Mulligan’s stank.

Summary: Kate Warne is a widow looking for her place in the world. She doesn’t fit into the conventional occupations of women during the 1850s in Chicago but when she walks into the Pinkerton Detective Agency she finds her calling. Based on the real-life first female detective in the US. Kate goes undercover to find thieves and murderers. No one believes a woman can do this job but she proves them wrong.

Highlights: I love the history. I have never heard about Kate Warne but she sounds fascinating even though we don’t know much about her. I loved Greer Macallister’s first book and was excited to read this one too! She writes a gripping story with amazing leading characters. I liked that the cases were all short so that the story doesn’t drag on and get slow.

Lowlights: I felt like the end was a little flat. I wanted a little more but it needed to be summed up and it did that. But still a great book!

FYI: Some violence. Great for lovers of historical fiction and books about strong women who defy the times.

Book Review: Queen of the Tearling trilogy

Queen of the Tearling trilogy by Erika Johansen

  First Line: Kelsea Glynn sat very still, watching the troop approach her homestead.

Summary: Kelsea Glynn is the Queen of the Tearling. She was raised away from her mother, the capital city and the life of a queen. When she returns to New London she knows that she has the right to rule but it comes with more challenges than she expects. There are enemies everywhere plotting her downfall. The neighboring Red Queen who has been taking Tear slaves for years, the ministers in her cabinet and even the church leaders have expectations from the new queen but Kelsea is not an ordinary queen. The magical Tear jewel gives Kelsea new powers that she has no idea how to harness. Visions of the Crossing, the exodus from a distant land of advanced technology, begin to invade her mind and show her the vision of what the Tearling was meant to be. As she learns more about the past, the present is creeping in from all sides as the enemies advance on her and her kingdom.

Highlights: The detail is fabulous. Everything is beautifully written and the characters are complex and filled with secrets. You think you know what is going to happen but then it is turned upside down. There are little twists that keeps the reader guessing. I loved the flashbacks. All the books were amazing and highly recommended.

Lowlights: The one problem I had was the time in between reading each book led to me forgetting facts or confusing events and names. There is so much detail that it is hard to remember it all but each book does a good job of summarizing the last and ties it up at the end.

FYI: There is violence, sex, magic and language but it doesn’t deter from the story but only enriches it.

April Fool’s Day

Around here April Fool’s Day is a day to look forward to. Two of our staff members wait for this day like it was Christmas. There are always shenanigans to be had and laughs all around. This year did not disappoint.

Mr. T always makes an appearance. Fun “facts” are scattered around the staff areas. “Notices” are posted for staff information.

Visit our Facebook page to see more pictures from April Fool’s Day 2017!

Thanks Justin and Megan for another wonderful April 1st.

Book Review: Glitter

Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

First Line: I rush through the catacombs, my face shrouded beneath the brim of a cap, skimming by the empty eyes of ancient skulls.

Summary: Danica lives in Versailles; the palace built by Louis XIV, wearing gowns and waited on by servants. The twist is the story takes place in the near future. As Danica tries to escape life at the palace and an engagement to the King of Versailles-Sonoma she has to go to drastic measures to buy her freedom. Glitter, a new drug, is going to be the key. Selling it to the other inhabitants of the palace seems harmless enough until she starts seeing the consequences of her actions on her friends and family.

Highlights: The cover is beautiful. This is what drew me to the book initially but I was shocked by how much I liked this book. The story is consuming. I read this in a few days because I had to know if Danica was going to be able to escape. It felt like a mix of historical fiction and Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Lowlights: The reviews on Goodreads are not very favorable but I think if you give this book a chance and remember it is YA you will enjoy it. The plot is a little farfetched but I think that is the appeal.

FYI: Drug use and a little sexual content.

Shifting Party!

What happens after hours at the library? Shifting parties of course!

Several of our staff worked after hours on two Saturdays to move the entire adult fiction section. There were 124 new shelves added to this area of the library and the books needed to be spread out. The project took 8 hours with 6 staff members, food and LOTS of 80s music! We felt like we were living in the Breakfast Club.

We all had a great time but were exhausted afterwards. Take a look at more photos and a video on our Facebook page from our shifting party!

Book Review: Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage and Manners

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage and Manners by Therese Oneill

First Line: Thank you for coming.

Summary: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a woman in Victorian England? Therese Oneill brings the clothes, lifestyle and manners of the 1800s to us in an easy and funny guide of the day to day lives of women in one of the most romanticized times in history. Pictures of the time are combined with tidbits of information about fashion, married life and medical knowledge. This is a laugh out loud book that will make you want to reread your favorite Jane Austen with a new understanding.

Highlights: The cover! It is beautiful and draws the eye. The humor is undeniable. I laughed very hard throughout the book. The little captions of the photos would leave tears in my eyes. Very serious subjects were made much more enjoyable by the added humor comparing the 1800s to now. But it was still informative and gave a look into a time that has continued to be popular among authors and movie makers alike.

Lowlights: The only complaint I would have is that some sections were a little longer than were needed.

FYI: There is a little language and crude humor.

Patient Zero

As with the rest of the Wichita area our staff has been hit with the sickness bug. Several staff are home with colds so we decided to quarantine Patient Zero.

Our local staff penguin has been a valued member for many years. He is a way for our staff to have a few laughs as well as let our creative sides come alive. Check out our past Penguin War album on Facebook.

Let the Penguin Wars commence!