Archive | February, 2023

Should She Stay or Should She Go?: The Baker’s Man and Payback’s a Witch

22 Feb

These two terrific paranormal romances both have a pinch of magic and also heroines who share a dilemma of whether they will build a life in their hometowns or whether they will forge a life further afield. No spoilers though on which path each witchy woman takes.

The Baker’s Man
by Jennifer Moorman

If you are a fan of magical realism with a hint of southern charm like Sarah Addison Allen’s writes, than you will delight in The Baker’s Man by Jennifer Moorman. This novel is being newly republished along with other’s in Moorman’s Mystic Water series. Although this is the first in the series and include some overlap in characters the author designed them to be read in any order. I was new to Moorman with this title, but look forward to checking out more of her work in the future. In Baker’s Man, Anna O’Brien inherits not only her grandmother’s bakery, but also some magical sugar that can be used to create anything. After her boyfriend breaks up with her, she and one of her best friends use it to bake the perfect man, not expecting it to work, but when Eli is there the next day, he is much more than she expected. I liked that the novel deals with Eli becoming his own person outside of Anna’s creation which adds more substance to their relationship and also gives a bit more depth to what is a fairly light hearted romance; the novel portrays how we idealize and manage our expectations of our loved ones. This also come in to play with Anna’s mother’s hopes that Anna will stay in town and run her grandmother’s bakery while Anna secretly dreams of opening a bakery near the beach. Will Anna choose to move into the beautiful old Victorian and continue the family’s business or will the siren song of the seashore win out? I also liked how the issue of friendships and the complexity of friends’ shared interests in potential romantic partners is handled. When tragedy happens, it brings Anna and her friends closer instead of tearing them apart. The next book in the series The Necessity of Lavender Tea (previously titled Little Blackbird) is set in the 1950’s and will be out next month. I received a complimentary early copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher; opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Payback’s a Witch
by Lana Harper

Payback’s a Witch is the first in Lana Harper’s The Witches of Thistle Grove Series. I had written previously about Back in a Spell, which was released this winter, which I enjoyed so much I couldn’t resist checking out more of the series. One of my favorite characters Marty from Back in a Spell appears briefly in this story as well. A new novel is due out at the end of August. This novel focuses on Emmy Harlow who left Thistle Grove for nine years, after graduating high school, when Gareth Blackmoore had broken her heart. Besides leaving Gareth, Emmy also had to leave her magic behind since Thistle Grove is a source of the founding family’s power. Talia Avramov and Emmy’s close friend Linden Thorne have also been wronged by Gareth and now they are out for revenge. But the more time Emmy spends with Talia the less she is focused on vengeance and the more she is drawn to a possible new romance with the dark spellcaster, a supposed descendent of the formidable Slavic witch of fairytales, Baba Yaga. Talia and Emmy’s romance is the central focus of the story, but themes of friendship, family, and finding ones inner power also form an intriguing mix and elevate the story from just another paranormal romance. Emmy must decide whether she wants to return to a big city life in Chicago working for a company which creates monthly bespoke “magic” themed gift boxes or embrace true magic back in her hometown.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

Discover Black Life in America and other resources for Black History Month at the Hoboken Public Library

15 Feb

As we celebrate Black History Month, this is a relevant time to take a look at the reference digital resources and ebooks that chronicle, and bring a greater understanding of the experience of being Black in the United States that the Hoboken Public Library has to offer.

Black Life in America
Black Life in America is the most comprehensive digital archive of primary source documents related to Black American life. This collection is sourced from more than 19,000 global media outlets, including over 400 current and historical Black publications, dating from 1704 to today. Black Life in America is powered by NewsBank, the world’s premier provider of newspapers and other news sources online.

More than 800 Suggested Searches, organized by historical eras, themes, topical areas and events, provide direct links to useful content. The resource is updated daily. It can be accessed in the library or remotely by all Hoboken library resident card holders. Contact the library: for assistance in accessing the resource.

Black Freedom Struggles in the United States
You can also access Black Freedom Struggle in the United States: Challenges and Triumphs in the Pursuit of Equality provided by Proquest which includes over 3,000 documents focused on six different phases of Black Freedom: Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement (1790-1860), The Civil War and the Reconstruction Era (1861-1877), Jim Crow Era from 1878 to the Great Depression (1878-1932), The New Deal and World War II (1933-1945), The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements (1946-1975), and The Contemporary Era (1976-2000).

Ebooks and Digital Audiobooks available from eBCCLS, eLibraryNJ, and/or Hoopla
Under the Skin
by Linda Villarosa
A landmark book that tells the full story of racial health disparities in America, revealing the toll racism takes on individuals and the health our nation. A link between racial discrimination and the health of Black Americans is explored.

Trayvon Generation
by Elizabeth Alexander
The lives and attitudes of young people in Black America who were murdered in their prime are explored in this moving refection. The murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012 is used as a starting point for this powerful discussion.

Half American
by Matthew Delmont
The definitive history of WWII from the African American perspective. Over one million Black men and women served in WWII at home and abroad, but many were denied housing and educational opportunities afterwards.

His Name is George Floyd
by Robert Samuels
A landmark biography that reveals how systemic racism shaped George Floyd’s life and legacy – from his family’s roots in the NC tobacco fields to ongoing inequality in housing, education, health care, criminal justice and policing.

Freedom! Story of the Black Panther Party
by Jetta Grace Martin
A well-researched story about the Black Panther Party for young readers. It focuses on the party members, their supporters and allies, the Free Breakfast Program and the Ten Point Program.  

Black Birds in the Sky
Brandy Colbert
A searing account of the history and legacy of one of the most deadly and destructive acts of racial violence in American history: the Tulsa Race Massacre. On June 1, 1921, a white mob marched into a black neighborhood and razed 35 square blocks, leaving hundreds dead.

Black History Month Events
The Library is hosting a variety of events in celebration of Black History Month.
Black History Month Trivia (for Teens) Wed., Feb. 15 4 pm
Plant and Grow in Community Saturday, Feb. 19 3 pm
Art with Liz: featuring artist Lorna Simpson Wed., Feb. 22 10 am
What’s New Book Club: “Memphis” by Tara Stringellow Wed., Feb. 22 5 pm
Virtual Museum Tour: National Museum of African American History & Culture Thursday, Feb. 23 3 pm
Community Mentorship: Transforming Our Youth at HHA Sat., Feb. 25 1 pm
Well-Read Book Club: “Wandering in Strange Lands” by Morgan Jerkins Sat., Feb. 25 3 pm

Posted by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

eBook Listing Compiled by:
Ethan Galvin
Information and Digital Services Librarian

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