Lima Public Library Book Reviews


I am Homeless If This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore

A teacher visiting his dying brother in the Bronx. A mysterious journal from the 19th century stolen from a boarding house. A therapy clown and an assassin, both presumed dead, but perhaps not dead at all. Moore has given us a magic box of longing and surprise as she writes about love and rebirth and the pull toward life. Bold, meditative, theatrical, this new novel is an inventive, poetic portrait of lovers and siblings as it questions the stories we have been told which may or may not be true. “I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home” takes us through a trap door, into a windswept, imagined journey to the tragic-comic landscape that is, unmistakably, the world of Lorrie Moore.

The Apartment by Ana Menéndez

The Helena is an art deco apartment building that has witnessed the changing face of South Miami Beach for 70 years, observing the lives housed within. Among those who have called apartment 2B home are a Cuban concert pianist who performs in a nursing home; the widow of an intelligence officer raising her young daughter alone; a man waiting on a green card marriage to run its course so that he can divorce his wife and marry his lover, all of whom live together; a Tajik building manager with a secret identity; and a troubled young refugee named Lenin. Each tenant imbues 2B with energy that will either heal or overwhelm its latest resident, Lana, a mysterious woman struggling with her own past.

Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange

Colorado, 1864. Star, a young survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre, is brought to the Fort Marion prison castle, where he is forced to learn English and practice Christianity by Richard Henry Pratt, an evangelical prison guard who will go on to found the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, an institution dedicated to the eradication of Native history, culture, and identity. A generation later, Star’s son, Charles, is sent to the school, where he is brutalized by the man who was once his father’s jailer. Under Pratt’s harsh treatment, Charles clings to moments he shares with a young fellow student, Opal Viola, as the two envision a future away from the institutional violence that follows their bloodlines.

How to be Remembered by Michael Thompson

On an ordinary night in an ordinary year, Tommy Llewellyn’s doting parents wake in a home without toys and diapers, without photos of their baby scattered about, and without any idea that the small child asleep in his crib is theirs. That’s because Tommy is a boy destined to never be remembered. On the same day every year, everyone around him forgets he exists, and he grows up enduring his own universal Reset. That is until something extraordinary happens: Tommy Llewellyn falls in love. Determined to finally carve out a life for himself and land the girl of his dreams, Tommy sets out on a mission to finally trick the Reset and be remembered.


A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them by Timothy Egan

The Roaring Twenties — the Jazz Age — has been characterized as a time of Gatsby frivolity. But it was also the height of the uniquely American hate group, the Ku Klux Klan. Their domain was not the old Confederacy, but the Heartland and the West. They hated Blacks, Jews, Catholics and immigrants in equal measure. And the man who set in motion their takeover of great swaths of America was a charismatic charlatan named D.C. Stephenson. Stephenson was a magnetic presence whose life story changed with every telling. But at the peak of his influence, it was Madge Oberholtzer who would reveal his secret cruelties, and whose deathbed testimony finally brought the Klan to their knees.

Skies of Thunder: The Deadly World War II Mission over the Roof of the World by Caroline Alexander

In April 1942, the Imperial Japanese Army steamrolled through Burma, capturing the only ground route from India to China. “Skies of Thunder” is a story of an epic human endeavor, in which Allied troops faced the monumental challenge of operating from airfields hacked from the jungle, and took on “the Hump,” the fearsome mountain barrier that defined the air route. They flew fickle, untested aircraft through monsoons and enemy fire, with inaccurate maps and only primitive navigation technology. The most chaotic of all the war’s arenas, the China-Burma-India theater was further confused by the conflicting political interests of Roosevelt, Churchill and their demanding, nominal ally, Chiang Kai-shek.

Are You Prepared for the Storm of Love Making?: Letters of Love and Lust from the White House by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler

Our presidents loom so large in history that we often forget they are human. “Are You Prepared for the Storm of Love Making?” is a collection of handwritten love letters that offers a surprising and intimate portrait of the men who occupied the White House. From George Washington to Barack Obama, these are not the presidents we see in history books. Instead, when they courted the women they wanted to marry, or seduced women outside of their marriage, they often showed a side the public did not see — playful, passionate, tender, consumed by desire.

Ohio Under COVID: Lessons from America’s Heartland in Crisis by Katherine Sorrels, Loar Arduser

“Ohio Under COVID” tells the human story of COVID in Ohio. Scholars and practitioners examine the pandemic response from multiple angles, and contributors from numerous walks of life offer moving first-person reflections. Two themes emerge again and again: how the pandemic revealed a deep tension between individual autonomy and the collective good, and how it exacerbated social inequalities in a state divided along social, economic, and political lines. Chapters address topics such as mask mandates, ableism, prisons, food insecurity, access to reproductive health care, and the need for more Black doctors. The book concludes with an interview with Dr. Amy Acton.


The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang

This captivating tale from the award-winning author of Watercress tells the story of the Nian Monster and one smart little girl. This fabled beast appears once a year at Chinese New Year, having slept the rest of the year and he is HUNGRY. Xingling is at home in the family apartment in Shanghai stirring the traditional pork-and-cabbage lion’s head casserole. The delicious aroma wakes up the terrible Nian Monster and he wants to devour the entire city, starting with Xingling as an appetizer. Find out how our resourceful heroine tricks the monster three times and then blasts him into the sky, saving everyone — at least until next New Year.

Ages: 5–10


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.