MADreads

The Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt

I just finished this great little gem of a book:  The Summer Without Men by Siri Hustvedt.  After 30 years together, Mia’s husband Boris announces that he needs a “pause” in their marriage.  This sends Mia off the deep end and she is locked up and medicated in a mental hospital for a week and a half.  Once discharged, she realizes she can’t stay alone in her Brooklyn apartment, so she leaves ...read more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
July 11, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Moby Duck by Donovan Hohn

Imagine more than 28,000 rubber duckies floating on the Pacific Ocean. A more incongruous image is hard to invent. Then imagine where those duckies travel, as ocean currents carry them thousands of miles. Donovan Hohn was captivated by a real life version of this and tells the story in the very absorbing and entertaining Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search ...read more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
May 22, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of My New American Life by Francine Prose

I follow Donna Seaman’s fiction reviews in Booklist because I’m always struck by her impressive use of adjectives and I often enjoy the books she recommends. That’s how I came across My New American Life by Francine Prose.  Check out these adjectives:  “…comically ironic and heartbreakingly guileless voice” and “…fast-flowing, bittersweet, brilliantly satirical immigrant story….” Kind of tempting for someone like me. Plus I love the cover art. It ...read more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
April 9, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of My New American Life by Francine Prose

I follow Donna Seaman’s fiction reviews in Booklist because I’m always struck by her impressive use of adjectives and I often enjoy the books she recommends.  That’s how I came across My New American Life by Francine Prose.  Check out these adjectives:  “…comically ironic and heartbreakingly guileless voice” and “…fast-flowing, bittersweet, brilliantly satirical immigrant story….”  Kind of tempting for someone like me.  Plus I love the cover art. It turns out ...read more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
April 3, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of This Must Be the Place by Kate Racculia

You would think one starred review and knowing someone with the author’s last name wouldn’t be the best criteria for choosing a book but it actually worked for me! This Must Be the Place by Kate Racculia, a debut novel for the New Yorker, turned out to be a really enjoyable read. Set in a boarding house in upstate New York, the story involves three people whose lives in one way or another ...read more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
January 19, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Nothing like a good novel set in Hawaii to take me out of my mid-December-there's-no-sun-to-be found misery. I just let the descriptions of the sunsets on the beach and the tropical mountains wash over me and sweep me out of this mess. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings is just what I needed to pick me up. The narrator, Matt King, is the descendant of Hawaiian royalty and ...read more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
December 6, 2011 | 1 comment
A review of False Friend by Myla Goldberg

Myla Goldberg is going to be at the Wisconsin Book Festival this Friday evening. So I read her newest novel, The False Friend just in time. Celia, the main character, is walking to work one day in Chicago when she is overtaken by a vivid memory of the last time she saw her best friend Djuna. They had a temperamental friendship; close as twins one day, fighting like cats and dogs the next. Djuna was new to town, a ...read more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
October 18, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson

When the first sentence in a novel starts off with the main character admitting she is about to kill her husband, you can count on being sucked in right away. In Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson, Ro Grandee, a Texas housewife, is told by an airport gypsy that it was either her husband or Ro; one of them was going to be dead. So Ro chooses to live, grabs her Pawpy's gun and lies in wait along Thom's (the husband) jogging trail to make sure she's the one who stays alive. And that's ...read more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
June 17, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of The Town that Food Saved by Ben Hewitt

Hardwick, Vermont is a tiny town of 3,200 people nestled in the Green Mountains about 60 miles from the Canadian border.  From that description, I imagine a snow-packed town with about 2 months of summer, where residents scrape together a living maybe cutting wood or teaching skiing lessons.  Who would guess that it is a epicenter of successful local food movement?  Ben Hewitt, author of The Town that Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food, lives ...read more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
May 23, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Through the Heart by Kate Morgenroth

It's not often that I finish a book in 24 hours (okay, I admit, I had a long weekend), but Kate Morgenroth's ...read more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
January 14, 2011 | 0 comments