MADreads

A review of Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea

“Drywater Gulch had a toad problem.” A band of thieving outlaws called the “Toad Brothers”, who would “steal your gold, kiss your cattle and insult your chili” had taken over the town.  Our hero rides in on a tortoise (“Give him a minute”) and uses his vast knowledge of dinosaurs to round up those pesky cattle kissn’ varmints and lock them up in the pokey.  Bob Shea’s western voice adds rip-snortin’ humor to Lane Smiths sepia toned illustrations without alienating the audience.  ...read more

Reviewed by Ruth on
November 28, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Viscount Who Lives Down the Lane by Elizabeth Boyle

Elizabeth Boyle has written another charming historical romance in her "Rhymes With Love" series. The Viscount Who Lives Down the Lane is the delightful love story of the spinster and the wounded warrior, Miss Louisa Tempest and Pierson Stratton, Viscount Wakefield. It all starts with an invitation from the Louisa and Lavinia Tempest's godmother to spend the remainder of the season in London. The twins ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
November 25, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat Moon

In 1978, after the loss of his job and a separation from his wife, William Least Heat Moon set out to explore America by way of its smaller roads (often noted in blue on maps). Driving a loop around the outer-edges of the States in almost 13,000 miles, Least Heat Moon traveled alone in a truck fitted with a bed, a refrigerator, and a camp stove, and for the most part parked on side streets and fed himself with local provisions along the way. When he grew lonely with his own thoughts, he ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
November 24, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Quest by Aaron Becker

Following the adventures in his first book Journey (a 2014 Caldecott Honor Book), Becker brings us another breathtaking story. Join two kids as they are caught up in the rescue of a kidnapped king while solving a puzzling map to save a kingdom from darkness. The second in the Journey trilogy is a wordless and thrilling tale of fantastical adventure in picture book form. It’s sure to be a classic. ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
November 21, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Purple and Black by K. J. Parker

I was looking through my recent reads to find a book I just loved. A lot of things lately have been solid, but not great. Except for this one. Purple and Black is brilliantly done. Tightly woven. Thought-provoking. And all of that in a slender 113 pages. This is a fantasy novel, but don't let that prevent you reading it. It's only a fantasy in that it has a made up country. Everything else about it reads like historical fiction.  The story is told through a series of letters ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
November 20, 2014 | 0 comments
Top 10 Religion Books It's that time of year for top 10 lists and best of lists. Booklist puts out a number of top 10 lists. If religion and spirituality are your areas of interest, then check out the Top 10 Religion and Spirituality Books of 2014. American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
November 19, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

A few months ago, I read Haruki Murakami’s novel Norwegian Wood, a book that left me wanting to read more of his lyrical and thoughtful writing. But told that Norwegian Wood was something of an exception in Murakami’s work, I took on Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World with no real idea of what to expect. In short, it is a veritable wonderland ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
November 17, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Dragon's Extraordinary Egg by Debi Gliori

In this cute story-within-a-story, baby Bib hears his favorite nighttime story about the dragons who used to live in the area. What happens when a eggless mother dragon meets a lonely egg? This heart-warming tale is great to help children learn about families of all kinds. This book’s most appealing characteristics are the expressive drawings matched with a loving refrain that assures kids that “sometimes things happen for a reason.” ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
November 14, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached

This graphic novel depicts the author's memories of growing up in Beirut in the 1980s during the Lebanese Civil War and is a follow-up to A Game for Swallows: To Die, To Leave, To Return.  A Game for Swallows is about one particular event: an evening when young Zeina and her brother are left in the care of neighbors while their parents venture to the other side of Beirut to visit family. The kids are ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
November 13, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret ...With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory by Roy Blount, Jr.

While the title of this feast for word-nerds pretty much says it all, I’d like to add a special plug for the audio-book version, read by the author himself, Roy Blount, Jr.  If you like words, this is a truly delightful read (or listen). “Linguaphile” doesn’t sufficiently describe Blount’s ardor for words--he enjoys words like some might enjoy fine cuisine or wine, rolling them ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
November 11, 2014 | 0 comments