Lima Public Library Book Reviews


The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club by Helene Simonson

It is the summer of 1919 and Constance Haverhill is without prospects. Now that all the men have returned from the front, she has been asked to give up her cottage and her job at the estate she helped run during the war. While she looks for a position as a bookkeeper or — horror — a governess, she’s sent as a lady’s companion to an old family friend who is convalescing at a seaside hotel. Despite having only weeks to find a permanent home, Constance is swept up in the social whirl of Hazelbourne-on-Sea after she rescues the local baronet’s daughter, Poppy Wirrall, from a social faux pas. Whip-smart and utterly transportive, The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club is historical fiction of the highest order.

This Other Eden by Paul Harding

In 1792, formerly enslaved Benjamin Honey and his Irish wife, Patience, discover an island where they can make a life together. Over a century later, the Honeys’ descendants and a diverse group of neighbors are desperately poor, isolated, and often hungry, but nevertheless protected from the hostility awaiting them on the mainland. During the tumultuous summer of 1912, Matthew Diamond, a retired, idealistic but prejudiced schoolteacher-turned-missionary, disrupts the community’s fragile balance through his efforts to educate its children. A spellbinding story of resistance and survival, This Other Eden is an enduring testament to the struggle to preserve human dignity in the face of intolerance and injustice.

A Grandmother Begins the Story by Michelle Porter

Carter is a young mother on a quest to find the true meaning of her heritage, which she only learned of in her teens. Allie is trying to make up for the lost years with her firstborn and to protect Carter from the hurt she herself suffered from her own mother. And Geneviève is determined to conquer her demons with the help of the sister she lost but has never been without. Meanwhile, Mamé, in the afterlife, knows that all their stories began with her; she must find a way to cut herself from the last threads that keep her tethered to the living, just as they must find their own paths forward. And a young bison wants to understand why he keeps being moved and whether he should make a break for it and run for his life.

Those Beyond the Wall by Micaiah Johnson

In Ashtown, a rough-and-tumble desert community, the Emperor rules with poisoned claws and an iron fist. He can’t show any sign of weakness, as the neighboring Wiley City has spent lifetimes beating down the people of Ashtown and would love nothing more than its downfall. There’s only one person in the desert the Emperor can fully trust — and her name is Scales. Scales is the best at what she does: keeping everyone and everything in line. As a skilled mechanic — and an even more skilled fighter, when she needs to be — Scales is a respected member of the Emperor’s crew, who’s able to keep things running smoothly. But the fragile peace Scales helps to maintain is fractured when a woman is mangled and killed before her eyes.


The Book of Mothers by Carrie Mullins

To discover how we might talk about motherhood in a more realistic, nuanced, and inclusive way, Carrie Mullins turned to literature with memorable maternal figures for answers. Moving through the literary canon — from Pride and Prejudice and Little Women to The Great Gatsby, Beloved, Heartburn, and The Joy Luck Club ― Mullins traces the origins of our modern mothering experience. By interrogating the influences of politics, economics, feminism, pop culture, and family life in each text, she identifies the factors that have shaped our prevailing views of motherhood and puts these classics into conversation with the most urgent issues of the day.

The One Thing You Need to Know: The Simple Way to Understand the Most Important Ideas in Science by Marcus Chown

In a world in which most people have little time, telling them the one thing they need to know to understand a topic and showing how everything else follows as a logical consequence is a novel and fun way to communicate a lot of deep stuff in a compact form. Divided into 21 short chapters, this will be a fascinating look at the one thing you need to know to understand some of science’s most important ideas, from global warming to vaccine resistance, electricity to respiration. Marcus Chown is a master at breaking down complex science into understandable bite-sized chunks and, in a similar vein to Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand, this will be perfectly suited to the curious nonscientist.

The Science of Reading by Adrian Johns

Researchers began to devise instruments and experiments to investigate what happened to people when they read. They traced how a good reader’s eyes moved across a page of printed characters, and they asked how their mind apprehended meanings as they did so. In schools across the country, millions of Americans learned to read through the application of this science of reading. At the same time, workers fanned out across the land to extend the science of reading into the social realm. Their pioneering efforts revealed that the nation’s most pressing problems were rooted in informational inequities, between city and country, and white and Black — and they suggested ways to tackle those problems.

Team: Getting Things Done with Others by David Allen and Edward Lamont

When Getting Things Done was published in 2001, it was a game changer. By building on the effectiveness of what GTD does for individuals, Team will offer a better way of working in an organization, while simultaneously nourishing a culture that allows individuals’ skills to flourish. Using case studies from some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, Team shows how leaders have employed the principles of team productivity to improve communication, enable effective execution, and reduce stress on team members. These principles are increasingly important in the post-pandemic workplace, where the very nature of how people work together has changed so dramatically.


The Junior Astrologer’s Handbook by Nikki Van de Car

Calling all young astrology lovers! This handbook takes on topics such as friendships, family, school, mindfulness, creativity, and self-care — all through the lens of astrology. It is the perfect guide for any young person who wants to delve into the world of astrological signs and the Zodiac.

Ages 8-12


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.