Staff Favorites

Brian May
Reviewed by Mallory

If you’re like me and rushed to the movie theater to see Bohemian Rhapsody, the new biopic revolving around Queen’s rise to fame, you will want to read this book. The first book about Queen written by one of the actual members, Queen in 3D contains many never-before seen photos of the band captured by Brian May himself as well as a personal account of the band’s history starting from when they released their first album to the recent tours of Brian May and Roger Taylor.

As the title suggests, the majority of the pictures in the book can be viewed in 3D using stereoscopic glasses. The book also discusses photography and the technological techniques that make 3D pictures possible. I like that Brian May found a way to combine his interest in music and photography in one book, all the while sharing his experiences and insight. The passion Brian May writes with is contagious, whether he is talking about a new camera he bought on tour, cultural aspects of performing in new places, or gifts from fans that he’s held onto all this time.

I enjoyed getting to know the members of Queen better through Brian’s photographs and stories. I also really liked that unlike other 3D books, the pictures are not too blurry to enjoy without using the stereoscopic glasses if you do not want to. It can be tedious to readjust the lens and refocus your eyes every time you want to look at a photo. Another detail that makes this book special is that Brian captions all of the pictures, so every photo has an explanation or a quote accompanying it. Queen in 3D has something for everybody to enjoy. If you’re a rock and roll fan or you like photography, you should read this book and learn something new!

Reviewed by Mallory

An avid fan of romance novels and all things old fashioned, Lara Jean Covey writes a love letter to every boy she’s ever had a crush on and keeps them hidden in a hat box. Her worst nightmares come true when the letters go missing and mysteriously find their way into the hands of their recipients – one of them her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh.

Desperate to keep her feelings for Josh at bay, Lara Jean agrees to pretend to date Peter Kavinsky, one of her middle-school crushes who is in an on-again, off-again relationship with her old best friend, Genevieve. Will they be able to convince everyone, even family and friends, that they’re a real couple?

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is more than just an entertaining young adult romance novel. Korean-American author Jenny Han does an excellent job of highlighting diverse family situations and portraying characters responding to change in realistic ways. For example, Lara Jean’s mom passed away when she was young and with her older sister moving away to college, she feels the pressure to live up to the expectations of her family and take on new responsibilities.

Even though the main protagonist is in high school, teenagers and adults can enjoy Lara Jean’s quirky personality and the fun cast of multi-generational characters surrounding her. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is available at Acorn and through SWAN interlibrary loan. Read the other books in the series, P.S. I Love You and Forever and Always, Lara Jean, to find out what happens next!

Rainbow Rowell
Donna D.'s picture
Reviewed by Donna D.

This award-winning young adult author of such titles as Eleanor and Park and Fangirl ventures into the world of adult fiction with a lighthearted love story that is sure to leave you smiling.

Set in 1999, readers are introduced to two coworkers and best friends, Beth and Jennifer. Their company has warned them that as the millennium approaches and technology advancements are being made, their emails will be monitored by a security officer. However, the two women don’t take this announcement seriously and continue writing electronically to each other about their personal lives.

Enter Lincoln O’Neill, who is responsible for reading the emails being sent from corporate accounts. When he comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows they are breaking the rules, but he finds their exchanges amusing and captivating. By the time he realizes he is falling for Beth, he can’t think of a way to explain himself without revealing that he has been reading her personal emails. Will their connection surpass Lincoln’s deception? Find out by borrowing the book from Acorn or requesting it from a SWAN library today!

Lynn Austin
Donna D.'s picture
Reviewed by Donna D.

The following book review was submitted by patron Janice Visser.

Legacy of Mercy by Lynn Austin is the sequel to Waves of Mercy written in 2016. Waves of Mercy was excellent but I felt like I was left hanging at the end, wondering what would happen to the characters. Austin does a wonderful job of pulling together the details of the characters to answer my questions.
Legacy of Mercy is a beautiful story of forgiveness, love, and courage. Each character had to wrestle with these themes: What is most important in life? Is it social status? Does happiness come from great wealth or a simple lifestyle? What does love look like? What are our motives? How can one have the courage to do the right thing? What is the best way to handle a difficult person in our lives?
Austin describes each character in such a vivid way. I felt like I was sitting right next to Anna, Geesje, Derk, William, the Dominie and Cornelia and the others and watching their stories intersect and unfold. I loved the entire story; I couldn’t put it down, because I wanted to find out what decisions each character would make and how each one would react to various troubling situations that came up. My grandparents and other relatives are from Holland, Michigan and I currently live in a suburb of Chicago, so it was a real treat to read about both locations. I understood the characteristics of the Dutch characters. I highly recommend this story to anyone who wants to get lost in a book that has thought provoking characters and themes woven throughout it.