MADreads

My Top Ten For the first ten days of the month librarians around the country counted down their top ten books read for 2014 and listed them on Twitter using the hashtag #libfaves14. The top title was The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry which I loved and reviewed. Though I really enjoyed Fikry, it didn't ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
December 22, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life by Lois Ehlert

Open up this lovely and colorful picture book about author and illustrator Lois Ehlert! The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life (Beach Lane Books, 2013) reads like a personal journal or memory book, with the added benefit of having Ehlert’s own stunning artwork, personal jottings, and inspirations filling every page. We get to see a yellowed photo of her parents after a trek to hunt wild asparagus. We get a peek at her folk art and fishing lure collection – we see mock-ups of some of her ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
December 19, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann

Wow. This is one of the most unsettling books I've read. Take a good look at the cover of this book and you'll notice that there is something not quite right about the fairy landscape. Right there, on the front cover, in a green, leafy setting is a tiny fairy creature snuggled up to a human hand. A dead, decomposing human hand. Shiver. What's going on here? In a nutshell, this book is about a crisis. What happens in a crisis? Who takes charge in a crisis and who takes advantage? How do you ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
December 16, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

Last January, romance author Tessa Dare launched her new series Castles Ever After with the acclaimed Romancing the Duke, a novel that I basically devoured in a day. It would be a hard story to follow up, but Dare has written a memorable installment with Say Yes to the Marquess, a tale that ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
December 15, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Digby O'Day in the fast lane by Shirley Hughes

In addition to our usual picture books, this year I’ve been introducing my son to chapter books at bedtime. I like the greater complexity of the longer storylines and it’s great practice remembering what has already happened in the story and connecting it with what’s being read now and, perhaps most challenging: practicing the difficult skill of stopping reading and putting in a bookmark (or “chaptermark” as he calls them) at the end of an especially exciting chapter. (I still struggle with ...read more

Reviewed by Carissa - Alicia Ashman on
December 12, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Losing Clementine by Ashley Ream

Mental health issues affect millions of families and the recent death of celebrity Robin Williams brought the issue of suicide into the media spotlight and much needed awareness to the realities of living with depression. There are many ways to explore and talk about this issue, including bibliotherapy, which means reading a book about the subject to prompt discussion. Losing Clementine gives you that opportunity. Clementine Pritchard is a renowned L.A. artist and is planning to die. ...read more

Reviewed by Katharine - Central on
December 11, 2014 | 2 comments
A review of George's Secret Key to the Universe by Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking

I was slowly making my way through Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time when I read that there was a children’s book by the author that deals with the origins of the universe and black holes. While A Brief History is actually, pleasantly so, more accessible than I expected, I was really interested in the idea of a book that could make such heavy scientific concepts ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
December 10, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Silent Murders by Mary Miley

Jazz Age Hollywood and murder, it doesn't get more fun then this.  Jessie Beckett, aka Leah Randall (read my review of The Impersonator to find out about this), has come to Hollywood in the mid 1920's after a career as a child actor in Vaudeville. She's working as an assistant script girl ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
December 9, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Handsome Man's Deluxe Café by Alexander McCall Smith

In this fifteenth installment of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith treats us to the latest news in the lives of lead detective Precious Ramotswe, and her newly-promoted “co-director”, Grace Makutsi, of Gaborone, Botswana. Those familiar with the series will recognize Smith’s use of the detective genre as a vehicle for a lilting description of Botswana life, and a gentle morality that promises that everything will be okay if we are honest and pay attention ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
December 8, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Good Sister by Jamie Kain

The lives of the three Kinsey sisters have been shaped primarily by the knowledge that the oldest of them will die young.  However, it is not the life-long battle with cancer that does her in, but a fall off a cliff.  A fall which may or may not have been an accident.  As the younger Kinsey’s try to forge their own identities, independent of their sister and her illness, they must come to terms with the fact that their oldest sister may not have been what they thought. ...read more

Reviewed by Jill O on
December 5, 2014 | 0 comments