Lima Public Library Book Reviews


The Book that Broke the World by Mark Lawrence

The library spans worlds and times. It touches and joins distant places. It is memory and future. And amid its vastness Evar Eventari both found, and lost, Livira Page. Evar has been forced to flee the library, driven before an implacable foe. Livira, trapped in a ghost world, has to recover the book she wrote if she’s to return to her life. While Evar’s journey leads him outside into a world he’s never seen, Livira’s path will take her deep inside her own writing, where she must wrestle with her stories in order to reclaim the volume in which they were written. The secret war that defines the library has chosen its champions and set them on the board. The time has come when they must fight for what they believe.

The Last Language by Jennifer DuBois

A few months after the death of her husband, Angela is ejected from her doctoral program in linguistics at Harvard University. Spinning and raw, the young widow and her 4-year-old daughter move into her mother’s house in Medford, Massachusetts. Trained with an understanding of spoken language, Angela finds underpaid work at the Center, a fledgling organization that is developing an experimental therapy aimed at helping nonverbal patients with motor impairments. Angela begins to work closely with Sam, a 27-year-old patient. Sam takes to the technology, proving to be not just literate but literary, and charming. Angela is initially stunned, and they develop an intimate relationship.

The Great Divide by Cristina Henríquez

It is said that the canal will be the greatest feat of engineering in history. For Francisco, a local fisherman who resents the foreign powers clamoring for a slice of his country, nothing is more upsetting than the decision of his son, Omar, to work as a digger in the excavation zone. But for Omar, this job offers a chance to finally find a connection. Ada Bunting arrives in Panama as a stowaway alongside thousands of other West Indians seeking work. John Oswald has dedicated his life to scientific research and has journeyed to Panama in single-minded pursuit of eliminating malaria. The Great Divide explores the intersecting lives of those rarely acknowledged by history even as they carved out its course.

Lucky by Jane Smiley

Before Jodie Rattler became a star, she was a girl growing up in St. Louis. One day in 1955, when she was just 6 years old, her uncle Drew took her to the racetrack, where she got lucky — and that roll of two-dollar bills she won has never since left her side. Jodie thrived in the warmth of her extended family, and then — through a combination of hard work and serendipity — she started a singing career, which catapulted her from St. Louis to New York City, from the English countryside to the tropical beaches of St. Thomas, from Cleveland to Los Angeles, and back again. Jodie comes of age in recording studios, backstage, and on tour. Could it be true love? Or is that not actually what Jodie is looking for?


Our Hidden Conversations: What Americans Really Think About Race and Identity by Michele Norris

The prompt seemed simple: Race. Your Thoughts. Six Words. Please Send. The answers, though, have been challenging and complicated. In the 12 years since award-winning journalist Michele Norris first posed that question, over half a million people have submitted their stories to The Race Card Project inbox. The stories are shocking in their depth and candor, spanning the full spectrum of race, ethnicity, identity, and class. Even at just six words, the micro-essays can pack quite a punch, revealing, fear, pain, triumph, and sometimes humor. Responses such as: You’re Pretty for a Black girl. White privilege, enjoy it, earned it. Lady, I don’t want your purse. My ancestors massacred Indians near here. Urban living has made me racist. I’m only Asian when it’s convenient.

White Rural Rage: The Threat to American Democracy by Thomas F. Schaller

Schaller and Waldman show how vulnerable U.S. democracy has become to rural Whites who are increasingly inclined to hold racist and xenophobic beliefs, to believe in conspiracy theories, to accept violence as a legitimate course of political action, and to exhibit antidemocratic tendencies. Rural White Americans’ attitude might best be described as “I love my country, but not our country.” This phenomenon is the patriot paradox of rural America: The citizens who take such pride in their patriotism are also the least likely to defend core American principles. And by stoking rural Whites’ anger rather than addressing the hard problems they face.

Says Who? A Kinder, Funner Usage Guide for Everyone who Cares about Words by Anne Curzan

English professor Anne Curzan equips readers with the tools they need to adeptly manage (a split infinitive?! You betcha!) formal and informal writing and speaking. We don’t want to be caught wearing our linguistic pajamas to a job interview any more than we want to show up for a backyard barbecue in a verbal tux, asking, “To whom shall I pass the ketchup?” Curzan helps us use our new knowledge about the developing nature of language and grammar rules to become caretakers of language rather than gatekeepers of it. Applying entertaining examples from literature, newspapers, television, and more, Curzan welcomes usage novices and encourages the language police to lower their pens.

Learning to Disagree: The Surprising Path to Navigating Differences with Empathy and Respect by John D. Inazu

In a tense cultural climate, is it possible to disagree productively and respectfully without compromising our convictions? Spanning a range of challenging issues highly regarded thought leader and law professor John Inazu helps us engage honestly and empathetically with people whose viewpoints we find strange, wrong, or even dangerous. As a constitutional scholar, legal expert, and former litigator, John has spent his career learning how to disagree well with other people. In Learning to Disagree, John shares memorable stories and draws on the practices that legal training imparts—seeing the complexity in every issue and inhabiting the mindset of an opposing point of view.


The Book of Blast Off! by Timothy Knapman

I’m looking out my window at the dark and twinkling sky. It’s full of stars and planets and bright comets whooshing by. Quick, I hear the countdown! Let’s get into position … Come with me and let’s go on an interstellar mission! This read-aloud romp through space introduces budding astronauts to the 15 most iconic space missions of all time. From Sputnik 1 that launched the space race, Apollo 11, that put men on the moon, Voyager 1’s journey into outer space and Perseverance’s exploration of Mars, this is a fun and accessible introduction for young readers. As scientists continue to explore ways to put humans in space in new and inventive ways, aspiring space voyagers can imagine that one day, they too can walk among the stars.

Ages: 4-8


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.