MADreads

A review of The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok

Mira Bartok was born Myra Herr. She changed her name in order to escape from her deeply mentally ill mother. And that’s what this memoir is about. To tell her story, Mira starts at the end-- bedside as her mother is dying in hospice (and still schizophrenic.) For over 17 years Mira had not seen or spoken to her mother. And quite quickly in the narrative we find that her childhood was bad. But the reader doesn’t know exactly what led to this level of disconnect between Mira and her mother ...read more

Reviewed by Liz - Central Library on
December 10, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard

The Central Library book group met last week to discuss Candice Millard's 'duel biography' Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President. To a person, it was much appreciated. Mainly the book covers the lead-up to James Garfield taking office as president and his assassination. More broadly, however, it is a window into a time not-so-long ago in some ways (130 years) that was both quite similar in some respects and shockingly different in others. ...read more

Reviewed by Liz - Central Library on
December 3, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje

I’m going to try something a little different with this book review—not only am I going to share my reactions to the book, I’ll share the reactions of my library book group as well. Michael Ondaatje was born in Sri Lanka and lived there until he moved to England via passenger ship at age 11, just as the main characters in The Cat's Table do. In interviews Ondaatje says he wanted to portray ‘the huge gulf’ between children and parents during a part of childhood he called the ‘feral ...read more

Reviewed by Liz - Central Library on
November 20, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams

When I first saw notice of this book in a forthcoming books catalog I was interested, and later I was pleased to find a book from my ‘to read’ list on the ALA Notables list . I’ve always wanted to go to Machu Picchu and after a trip to some only partially excavated mayan ruins in Honduras, I’ve been even more interested. That combined with the fact that I’m also generally drawn to current day explorer narratives made this ...read more

Reviewed by Liz - Central Library on
November 8, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Just Kids by Patti Smith

Confession first: I just never got into Patti Smith's most recognized and admired album Horses. I didn't love her voice and the music wasn't punk rock enough for me. I was always intrigued by Robert Mapplethorpe, however. So why did I read it? And did I like it? When Just Kids won the National Book Award it was on my radar, but ...read more

Reviewed by Liz - Central Library on
June 14, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Dream House by Valerie Laken

Maybe...if you are the protagonist of Dream House by Valerie Laken. Set in Ann Arbor, this novel chronicles one young woman's journey through a moderately unhappy marriage and purchase of a first house. As we move through the narrative she finds support in a posse of three"”herself and two other ...read more

Reviewed by Liz - Central Library on
December 6, 2010 | 0 comments
A review of Generosity: An Enhancement by Richard Powers

Is there a novel written these days that isn't multiple seemingly unconnected story threads that come together at the end? Maybe it's just what I'm drawn to. Here's another, Generosity: An Enhancement by ...read more

Reviewed by Liz - Central Library on
November 6, 2010 | 0 comments
A review of The Believers by Zoe Heller

Central Library's book group met last Wednesday night and discussed ...read more

Reviewed by Liz - Central Library on
April 27, 2010 | 0 comments
A review of A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

Central Library's book group met Wednesday March 17th to discuss A Reliable Wife by Robert ...read more

Reviewed by Liz - Central Library on
April 2, 2010 | 0 comments
A review of Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt

Are you, like I, married to someone who's traffic style is totally different from yours?  If so, you might be interested in delving deeper into the psychology of it all via Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by ...read more

Reviewed by Liz - Central Library on
December 4, 2009 | 0 comments