Big News! The Robin Reads blog is being retooled!
January 8, 2016
Reviewed by: Robin

Starting Monday, Jan. 11, we’re updating our catalog which will provide a new way to share book suggestions with you. You’ll find the same people (including Robin) sharing books they like. We hope it will be easier to find and identify those readers you like following. Look for staff suggestions under Staff Picks in our updated catalog.

The Sword of Summer
Rick Riordan
January 6, 2016
Reviewed by: Desi

Magnus Chase is a homeless teenager doing his best to avoid law enforcement or any other state agency. The difficulties of being homeless only intensify when he finds that someone else is looking for him. This person has the ability to answer the questions that have long been in Magnus's mind. Magnus's Uncle Randolph claims to know the reason for his mother's death, the identity of his father, and how his magical abilities can prevent a war between the Gods. Magnus must decide if he can trust his estranged uncle, or will he alone unravel the puzzle of his own destiny.

Alex Gino
January 2, 2016
Reviewed by: Kris

We are seeing an emergence of children’s books about a child who struggles with gender identity. George knows he is supposed to be a girl. His class is putting on the play, Charlotte’s Web. He knows he would make the perfect Charlotte. If he could only play Charlotte, his mother would finally see that he is really a girl. Full of endearing characters, George is an important book for children having the same experiences.

Killing and Dying
Adrian Tomine
December 30, 2015
Reviewed by: Steve

I've been a fan of Adrian Tomine for many years. Since he's only published fourteen issues of his manga-inspired slice-of-life comic Optic Nerve in twenty years, this means I occasionally discover to my delight that he's released a new collection. This time out, Tomine gently tweaks the usual graphic novel format in new and interesting directions. For example, one story is told in short, comic strip-style blackout vignettes (the humor is dry at best). Another is composed using a 4x5 grid of small rectangles.

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die
April Henry
December 28, 2015
Reviewed by: Desi

Imagine you wake up in pain, not knowing where you are, what day it is, or even what your name is. There is a coppery taste filling your mouth, your hands are sore, nails broken and caked with dirt. You hear can hear people talking about disposing of a body, but you don't know whose. And so begins The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die. This a quick paced read definitely suited to readers who like CSI/Criminal Minds types of stories.

Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders
Julianna Baggott
December 22, 2015
Reviewed by: Nancy

Harriet Wolf’s life begins in a highly unusual way: since she appears sickly, her father sends her to a home for feeble-minded children and informs her mother that the baby is dead. Yet Harriet turns out to be a genius, and, against all odds, she becomes an acclaimed novelist. Her six books are literary successes as well as beloved classics. But there should be a seventh book to complete the series. What happened to it? Harriet dies without producing it, and rumors abound. But Harriet’s secret, like the rest of her unconventional life, is not what anyone expects.

The Hollow Boy
Jonathan Stroud
December 19, 2015
Reviewed by: Kristin

Middle grade readers who like their fantasy a little bit scary will love the Lockwood & Co. series by Jonathan Stroud. In this third installment, the ghosts that haunt London are getting out of hand and none of the big agencies can find the source. Enter the intrepid band of ghost hunters from Lockwood & Co. There is plenty of action, witty banter, and general shenanigans as London is freed from yet another supernatural infestation. At least until next time! Those who are new to the series will want to start with Book One: The Screaming Staircase.

A Long Way Down
Nick Hornby
December 16, 2015
Reviewed by: Laura

This is a New Year’s read that I revisit biennially, as it continues to hold up over the years and remains my favorite Hornby novel. Four strangers meet atop London’s Topper House on New Year’s Eve night, all intent on ending their lives. Hornby adeptly juggles four very different (often humorous) character points of view as each person determines the next course of action for his or her particular life struggle. If you like to read books when they take place seasonally, consider making this comedy-drama one of your first reads in 2016.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Michelle Alexander
December 14, 2015
Reviewed by: Lindsay

It has been some time since I have read a book that made me think as critically as this one. If you are looking for a fun light-hearted read, look elsewhere. This is a teeth gnashing, gut wrenching, I’m mad and I’m not gonna take it anymore kind of book. Alexander starts her case back at beginning when the United States was still a handful of colonies, then progresses up to today’s current events, outlining the history and development of our current incarceration system.

The Intern's Handbook
Shane Kuhn
December 11, 2015
Reviewed by: Chrissie

John Lago is an expert hitman. High-powered business executives rely on interns, but barely pay them any attention, which is why Lago poses as an intern to get close to his targets. At twenty-five, he’s reaching retirement age, and The Intern’s Handbook details his last scheduled job.