MADreads

A review of Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss

I'm not into big time scary, but I'm fond of reading gothic horror from time to time. I went through a phase a while back where I dug deep into the origins of the genre and read The Castle of Otranto and The Mysteries of Udolpho, considered to be two of the earliest examples of gothic fiction or gothic romance. I've also enjoyed ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
May 14, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders

This is an enchanting little book that celebrates words from around the world that have no English translation. 52 words are illustrated and defined and as I admired the artwork and hand lettering I felt the world open up. Some of the words are profound. Some are silly. Some make you think, "Oh, so that's what they call it." You've always hoped others were thinking or feeling what you were and now you have a name for it.  Some examples include: Gezellig (Dutch) n. Describes much more than ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
May 5, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg

Imagine if reclusive poet Emily Dickinson had a cell phone and was texting for shawls and tea while hiding in her room. Or if Lord Byron was sexting and arranging his late night trysts with his many willing admirers. Or if Emily Bronte's Heathcliff and Cathy obsessively sent each other "I love you so much I'd..., NO I love YOU so much I'd..." challenges. If only the heroes and heroines of English 101:  Introduction to English Literature could avail themselves of modern technology. There ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
April 21, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami's novella The Strange Library was originally published in 2008 and has recently been released by American publisher Knopf in a trade paperback edition. The book is designed by famed author, editor, and graphic artist Chip Kidd with a provocative flap cover and contains 36 pages of full color illustrations plus graphics on the flaps. So go ahead and judge this book by its cover. I daresay I appreciate ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
April 9, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Shake Puppies by Carli Davidson

Photographer and animal trainer Carli Davidson has captured something so specific and mesmerizing that I feel compelled to spread the word. She photographs dogs and puppies mid-shake. This is all jowls and ears and spittle and fur. All paws and playful cuteness. All feel-good. I mean, look at the bull dog puppy on this cover. Just loooook at hiiimmmmm. This is some earnest stuff. With an important dose of awareness. Shake Puppies is the follow-up to the bestselling ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
April 2, 2015 | 3 comments
A review of 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

This fiction debut sings. Literally. Much of the action takes place in a Philadelphia jazz club called The Cat's Pajamas and one of the main characters is a nine-year-old girl named Madeleine Altimari whose dream is to sing on stage. Madeleine has the kind of mouth on her that sings like an angel and swears like a sailor and this makes for a very entertaining novel.  There are several revolving and related storylines that involve Madeleine, her teacher, the school principal and the owner ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
March 24, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates

The next Big Library Read from Wisconsin's Digital Library, OverDrive, will run from March 17–31, 2015. The Big Library Read offers simultaneous use of Shakespeare Saved My Life by Laura Bates for community-wide access.  What is Big Library Read? Big Library Read is the worldwide digital version of a local book ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
March 13, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of In Real Life by Cory Doctorow

This is a sensitive graphic novel about the implications of online economics specifically related to gaming. Many of the massively-multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) like World of Warcraft and Minecraft incorporate resource mining. This can be for anything from gems to tools to people. The main character of this book, Anda, plays a game called Coarsegold Online and discovers that one of her gamer friends is illegally mining gold. This changes the way Anda plays and her overall ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
March 9, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

The reader is transported to Bascom, North Carolina, nine years after we left the Waverley sisters and their magical gifts in Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells.  Claire Waverley has left her successful catering business behind to start Waverley's Candies and has married Tyler, the artist from next door. They are parents to nine-year-old Mariah and it's yet to be determined if Mariah has a "Waverley gift." Wild ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
February 26, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Rainey Royal by Dylan Landis

This is a novel composed of 14 narratives about Rainey Royal, artist, ingénue and society girl of sorts circa 1970s Manhattan. I was nauseated, unnerved and unsettled while reading Rainey's stories. I'm still a bit shaken. But wow, job well done, Dylan Landis. Your words have profoundly affected me. Rainey is the daughter of a jazz musician with a flock of young acolytes swarming around him. Teenage Rainey is expected to give up her room, her privacy, her sanctity, her father-daughter ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
February 18, 2015 | 0 comments