Lima Public Library Book Reviews


How We Named the Stars by Andres N. Ordorica

When Daniel de La Luna arrives as a scholarship student at an elite East Coast university, he bears the weight of his family’s hopes and dreams, and the burden of sharing his late uncle’s name. Sam, his roommate, changes everything. As their relationship evolves from brotherly banter to something more intimate, Daniel soon finds himself in love with a man who helps him see himself in a new light. But just as their relationship takes flight, Daniel is pulled away, first by Sam’s hesitation and then by a brutal turn of events that changes Daniel’s life forever. Andrés N. Ordorica’s “How We Named the Stars” is a debut novel of love, heartache, redemption, and learning to honor the dead; a story of finding the strength to figure out who you are.

Five Bad Deeds: A Novel by Caz Frear

Teacher, mother, wife, and all-around good citizen Ellen is juggling nonstop commitments, from raising a teen and two toddlers to job-hunting to finally renovating her dream home, the Meadowhouse. Amidst the chaos, an ominous note arrives in the mail, declaring: People have to learn there are consequences, Ellen. And I’m going to teach you that lesson. Right under your nose. Why would someone send her this? Ellen has no clue. As she races to discover who’s set on destroying her reputation and her future, Ellen continues to receive increasingly threatening messages … each one hitting closer to everything she cherishes.

Ilium: A Novel by Lea Carpenter

The young English narrator of Lea Carpenter’s dazzling new novel has grown up unhappily in London, dreaming of escape, pretending to be someone else and obsessed with a locked private garden. At a party near that garden, she meets its charismatic and mysterious new owner, Marcus, 33 years older, who sweeps her off her feet. Before long they are married at his estate in Mallorca, and at last she has escaped into a new role. On their honeymoon, Marcus reveals there is something she can do for him—a plan is in place and she can help with “a favor.” Brilliantly compelling, this is a spellbinding and unexpectedly poignant story of a long-planned, high-stakes CIA-Mossad operation that only needed the right asset to complete.

Ozark Dogs by Eli Cranor

After his son is convicted of capital murder, Vietnam War veteran Jeremiah Fitzjurls takes over the care of his granddaughter, Joanna, raising her with as much warmth as can be found in an Ozark junkyard outfitted to be an armory. He teaches her how to shoot and fight, but there is not enough training in the world to protect her when the dreaded Ledfords, notorious meth dealers and fanatical white supremacists, come to collect on Joanna as payment for a long-overdue blood debt. Headed by rancorous patriarch Bunn and smooth-talking, erudite Evail, the Ledfords have never forgotten what the Fitzjurls family did to them, and they will not be satisfied until they have taken an eye for an eye.


Living Remedy: A Memoir by Nicole Chung

Nicole Chung couldn’t hightail it out of her white Oregon hometown fast enough. As a scholarship student at a private university on the East Coast, she found community and a path to the life she’d long wanted. But the middle class world she begins to raise a family in – where there are big homes, college funds, nice vacations – looks very different from the middle class world she thought she grew up in, where paychecks have to stretch to the end of the week, health insurance is often lacking, and there are no safety nets. “Living Remedy” examines what it takes to reconcile the distance between one life, one home, and another – and sheds needed light on some of the most persistent and grievous inequalities in American society.

Built from the Fire: The Epic Story of Tulsa’s Greenwood District, America’s Black Wall Street by Victor Luckerson

When Ed Goodwin moved with his parents to Tulsa, Oklahoma, his family joined a community soon to become the center of Black life in the West. On May 31, 1921, the teenage Ed hid in a bathtub as a white mob descended on his neighborhood, laying waste to 35 blocks and murdering as many as 300 people in one of the worst acts of racist violence in U.S. history. The Goodwins and their neighbors soon rebuilt the district into “a Mecca,” in Ed’s words, where nightlife thrived and small businesses flourished. Victor Luckerson tells the story behind a potent national symbol of success and solidarity and weaves an epic tale about a neighborhood that refused, more than once, to be erased.

The 272: The Families who were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church by Rachel Swarns

In 1838, a group of America’s most prominent Catholic priests sold 272 enslaved people to save their largest mission project, what is now Georgetown University. In this groundbreaking account, journalist, author, and professor Rachel L. Swarns follows one family through nearly two centuries of indentured servitude and enslavement to uncover the harrowing origin story of the Catholic Church in the United States. Through the saga of the Mahoney family, Swarns illustrates how the Church relied on slave labor and slave sales to sustain its operations and to help finance its expansion. Swarns’s journalism has already started a national conversation about universities with ties to slavery.

The Furies: Women, Vengeance and Justice by Elizabeth Flock

In “The Furies,” Elizabeth Flock examines how three real-life women have used violence to fight back, and how views of women who defend their lives are often distorted by their depictions in media and pop culture. These three immersive narratives follow Brittany Smith, a young woman from Stevenson, Alabama, who killed a man she said raped her but was denied the protection of the Stand-Your-Ground law; Angoori Dahariya, leader of a gang in Uttar Pradesh, India, dedicated to avenging victims of domestic abuse; and Cicek Mustafa Zibo, a fighter in a all-female militia that battled ISIS in Syria. The novelistic accounts of these three women provoke questions about how to achieve true gender equality, and offer profound insights in the quest for answers.


Rock Painting for Kids by Lin Welford

Are you ready to rock? With this book, you can create amazing creatures, incredible toys and wild gifts for your friends and family. All it takes is some paint, a few rocks and your imagination! Easy-to-follow instructions from rock painting expert Lin Welford will show you how to create designs like Rockasaurs, Rockburgers and other fun foods; teddies, buildings, flowers and more. Includes tips on choosing the best rock for your project, pre-sketching your design and adding details. Even if your rock doesn’t look exactly like the ones pictured, it will still be awesome because you made it! Lots of inspiration here for rock artists of all skill levels.

Ages: 8 and up


Lima Public Library is open to the public six days a week. Hours for the Main Library in Lima are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Our Cairo, Elida and Spencerville branch libraries are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Our Lafayette branch is open from 12 noon to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday.