Lima Public Library Book Reviews


Bessie by Linda Kass

Drawing on biographical and historical sources, Bessie reimagines the early life of Bess Myerson, who, in 1945 at age 21, remarkably rises to become one of the most famous women in America. This intimate fictional portrait reveals the transformation of the nearly 6-foot-tall, self-deprecating yet talented preteen into an exemplar of beauty, a peripheral quality in her world, where success is measured by intellectual attainment. Yet it is the focus on her beauty, and the secular world of pageantry, that she must choose to escape her roots and fulfill her fierce desire to achieve and become someone for whom great things happen.

The Third Traveler by Stephen Graf

Opening in 1912, a young Arctic explorer, Ciaran Creagh, struggles against failing health and hellish conditions to reach the safety of base camp following an expedition to the South Pole. Shifting forward, Davy Boy O’Shea, a boxer haunted by ominous dreams, prepares for a middleweight championship bout. Finally, the narrative turns to Percy, a shy 10-year-old who wants nothing more than to sail his model ship in peace yet finds himself tormented by bullies. Moving from the Antarctic to County Kerry to Hell’s Kitchen and back again, The Third Traveler explores the ways in which loss, regret, and fear can immobilize us.

Clytemnestra’s Bind by Susan Wilson

Queen Clytemnestra’s world shatters when Agamemnon, a rival to the throne of Mycenae, storms her palace, destroys her family and claims not only the throne but Clytemnestra herself. Tormented by her loss, she vows to do all she can to protect the children born from her unhappy marriage to him. But when her husband casts his ruthless gaze toward the wealthy citadel of Troy, his ambitions threaten to, once more, destroy the family Clytemnestra loves. From one of Greek mythology’s most reviled characters — a woman who challenged the absolute power of men— comes this fiery tale of power, family rivalry and a mother’s burning love.

I’ve Got My Mind Set on Brew by Stephanie Jayne

Kat Malone is left cash-strapped after a job loss and a bad breakup (pro tip: never offer to pay living expenses for a freeloading poetry major) when she discovers a surprising new career path: craft beer brewer. When the brewpub is sold, the new owner places his light-on-experience son in charge of the pub. Ryan is as basic as a pale lager and aims to turn quirky Resistance into a run-of-the-mill sports bar. Despite clashes between Kat and Ryan, he confides that Resistance is in financial trouble and that drastic changes will be needed if the pub has any hope of survival. Forced to collaborate, Kat realizes Ryan isn’t as bland as she assumed — he might even be exactly what she’s been craving.


Some of Us Just Fall: On Nature and not Getting Better by Polly Atkin

Polly Atkin’s perception of her body was rendered fluid and disjointed. When she was finally diagnosed with two chronic conditions in her 30s, she began to piece together what had been happening to her — all the misdiagnoses, the fractures, the dislocations, the bone-crushing exhaustion, and on top of it all, not being believed by the very people who were meant to listen. Some of Us Just Fall combines memoir, pathography and nature writing to trace a journey through illness — a journey which led Atkin to her cottage in England’s Lake District, where every day she turns to the lakes and land that inspire poets old and new to help manage, and purportedly cure, her chronic illness.

The Wide Wide Sea: The Final, Fateful Voyage of Captain James Cook by Hampton Sides

Hampton Sides’ bravura account of Cook’s last journey both wrestles with Cook’s legacy and provides a thrilling narrative of the titanic efforts and continual danger that characterized exploration in the 1700s. Cook was renowned for his peerless seamanship, his humane leadership, and his dedication to science. He was also deeply interested in the native people he encountered. On previous expeditions, Cook mapped huge swaths of the Pacific, including the east coast of Australia, and initiated first European contact with numerous peoples. He treated his crew well, and endeavored to learn about the societies he encountered with curiosity and without judgment.

Somehow: Thoughts on Love by Anne Lamott

Love is our only hope,” Anne Lamott writes in this perceptive new book. “It is not always the easiest choice, but it is always the right one, the noble path, the way home to safety, no matter how bleak the future looks.” In Somehow: Thoughts on Love, Lamott explores the transformative power that love has in our lives: how it surprises us, forces us to confront uncomfortable truths, reminds us of our humanity, and guides us forward. “Love just won’t be pinned down,” she says. “It is in our very atmosphere” and lies at the heart of who we are. We are, Lamott says, creatures of love.

Indulge: Delicious and Decadent Dishes to Enjoy and Share by Valerie Bertinelli

When Valerie Bertinelli turned 60, she said “Enough already!” and ended her battle with the scale for good. She stopped counting calories. She stopped thinking of certain foods as good or bad. She quit saying no and began saying yes, finally learning how to enjoy the pure pleasure of being alive. In short, she learned how to indulge. With this gorgeous cookbook, Valerie shares her secrets for indulging so you can start living your best, most fulfilling life too. Whether it’s splurging on fresh produce at the farmer’s market, cooking an extravagant steak dinner for one, or serving an ice cream sundae bar at a dinner party, this book is a reminder that indulging can take many shapes and forms.


Kids Cook Dinner: 23 Healthy Budget-Friendly Meals by Deanna Cook

With easy-to-follow step-by-step photos featuring real kids cooking, fresh healthy ingredients and an introduction to simple cooking techniques and basic kitchen safety, this is a great cookbook to inspire budding chefs. Kids can make crowd-pleasing dishes for the family like Popcorn Chicken, Cheesy Bean Quesadillas, Nutty Noodles, Super Sliders, Breakfast for Dinner Pancakes, homemade pizza and much more. Includes tips about shopping wisely at the store, too. Make dinner a family affair of fun and togetherness tonight!

Ages: 8–13


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.