100 Favorite Comics And Graphic Novels from NPR Readers NPR has done a few Reader Polls in the past (Romance, SF/Fantasy to name a couple) and this year they decided to poll their readers for best graphic novels. They're not claiming that these are the 'best' (whatever that might mean) or 'most influential', according to more

Reviewed by Jane J on
July 12, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Ilario by Mary Gentle

A number of years ago I read Mary Gentle's Book of Ash series - her take on a Joan of Arc type of story with a little magical realism thrown in - and loved every bit of it (sadly it is not owned by the library). Gritty and well-researched, Gentle's alternative history seemed more

Reviewed by Jane J on
July 11, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of A Touch of Frost by Jo Goodman

Jo Goodman excels at setting, character development, and dialogue, all of which help to make her newest a delight to read. Though she's written a lot of romances set in Regency England, her more recent romances have been set in the American west and each is well done. In A Touch of Frost, Phoebe Apple is traveling from New York to Frost Falls in Colorado to visit her older sister Fiona, who married rancher Thaddeus Frost a year or so ago. On the train ride Phoebe notices a handsome man more

Reviewed by Jane J on
July 5, 2017 | 0 comments
New Historical Mystery Series I recently read two new firsts in historical mystery series and am thrilled with both of them. If you've read my MADreads reviews then you know I'm a fan of historical mysteries, so to my mind there are never enough. I'm delighted to have found these two - both of which hold the promise of more to come. Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose is set in Regency London and introduces the hero and heroine more

Reviewed by Jane J on
June 26, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

I was hesitant to review this one right now. Not because I didn't love it (I did love, love, love it), but because it's not due out until the fall and I feel like I'm just teasing everyone with news of this wonderful read. I'll assuage my guilt with the knowledge that you can at least get in early on the waiting list for what is sure to be one that tops a lot of 'best of' and awards lists later in the year. Chakraborty's debut is a fantasy novel based in our history. Nahri is a young woman who more

Reviewed by Jane J on
June 13, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Love this one. I'll just start with that. I've grown a bit weary of the unreliable narrator domestic suspense subgenre of thrillers lately. Still some great ones coming out (The Breakdown, The Marriage Pact to name a couple), but more and more often I find them a bit of a slog. That's why this one was such a nice surprise. It's a domestic thriller, but doesn't rely on the unreliable narrator ( more

Reviewed by Jane J on
June 2, 2017 | 0 comments
Book cover
Forthcoming Events I don't know if you knew this or not, but the Wisconsin Book Festival holds events all year round. Madison Public Library hosts the Wisconsin Book Festival Event Series throughout the year as a way of generating awareness about the festival and solidifying author programming in the community. In fact, in early June there will be two such events. On June 3 - 7 pm, in the Central Library 3rd floor Community RoomsScott Turow - more

Reviewed by Jane J on
May 22, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Guns Above by Robyn Bennis

I think the first description I saw about this book was that the main character was Horatio Hornblower crossed with Honor Harrington set in a steampunk world. Ahhhh. My sweet-spot - and really until I heard that description, one I didn't even know I had. The Guns Above is set in an alternate version of Europe and features wars fought with aircraft (as well as soldiers on the ground). But the aircraft aren't fighter planes, they're fighter blimps (of a sort). And the protagonist Josette more

Reviewed by Jane J on
May 10, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

With most books I read them because of a blurb I've seen or the book description on the back cover or the like. All of which means I have some idea of the content. With The Fact of a Body, I thought I had that information and then the book turned into something else altogether and that turned out to be just fine. I thought this would be an in depth investigation into a true crime (a heinous one) and and exploration of the legal system and the death penalty. It was all of that, but it's more

Reviewed by Jane J on
April 25, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of A Lady's Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran

In books, television and movies I love gray characters. I don't mean mole people who never see the sun, but those who are complicated (mostly because that's how real people are) and who aren't wholly good or wholly bad. Meredith Duran has written a romance that has both a heroine and a hero who are definitely in the gray category and they are all the more intriguing for it. Jane Mason inherited a large amount of money from her parents. Unfortunately she can only get access to it if she marries more

Reviewed by Jane J on
March 30, 2017 | 0 comments