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A review of The Dry by Jane Harper

In her debut novel Jane Harper takes the reader into drought-stricken Kiewarra, a rural town in Victoria, Australia whose farmers and townspeople are barely hanging on after years with little rain. Aaron Falk, a federal police investigator, returns to Kiewarra for the funerals of his childhood best friend, Luke, and Luke's wife and young son. The town is not only grieving but in shock at the deaths, as it appears Luke, outof apparent desperation brought on by the drought, killed his wife and ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
October 10, 2016 | 0 comments
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Wisconsin Book Festival Take part in Wisconsin’s premier literary event October 20-23, 2016. This year the Wisconsin Book Festival will feature nearly 70 events with opportunities to meet authors, discover new books or favorite writers, and have books signed. With so much fun packed into four days, you'll want to come early and stay late! Whether your reading interests range from Shakespeare to science to great new fiction, there will be plenty to discover at this year's festival.Highlights from the upcoming event ...read more

Reviewed by Liz B on
October 7, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Textbook by Amy Krause Rosenthal

This sweet little gem of an interactive memoir plays with traditional textbook format to bring you the authors musings on love, life, creativity, parenthood and the connections between people-- people close to you or people you've never met. Or people you might not have met, but fate intervened.  This was a quick read, and left me feeling unexpectedly moved and optimistic. Rosenthal has that special gift we usually associate with poets: using just a few words to drill straight into the ...read more

Reviewed by Beth on
October 4, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald

I have a sense that if one were to give ten readers copies of The Blue Flower and asked them to categorize it, you’d end up with ten different responses.  Penelope Fitzgerald’s 1995 novel depicting the brief love of German Romantic poet Friedrich von Hardenberg, later known as Novalis, and his twelve-year-old ‘spirit’s guide’ Sophie von Kuhn is a strange little work, the sort that one reader will be mesmerized by and the next struggle to get past the first few chapters.  The ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
October 3, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie

A fun story about names, family, and finding your own place in the world, Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown and Company, 2016) tells a refreshing story paired with beautiful, full page illustrations. Thunder Boy is named after his father – Big Thunder. He loves his dad, but he wants his own name – a name that says something unique about him. Little Thunder thinks of some possibilities . . . he likes playing in dirt, so maybe his name should be “Mud in His Ears” . . . but he also ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
September 30, 2016 | 0 comments
New Mysteries For a number of years now I'm been sharing a list of mysteries, both new characters and old. Here is my fall/winter 2016 list of titles I am looking forward to reading.  I've already started on my list with Manitou Canyon.  Another solid entry in the Cork O'Connor series.    A Deadly Affection by ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
September 27, 2016 | 0 comments
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Racial Equity Resources In 2014, the City of Madison undertook a deliberate, focused and organized effort called the Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative (RESJI).  One of the guiding principles of the City's RESJI is authentic, ongoing public engagement and participation, with the goal of changing the culture of our city - including addressing institutional racism. The city, and the library, are committed to supporting and aligning with other racial equity and social justice efforts - including the work ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
September 26, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Slowest Book Ever by April Pulley Sayre

Without reading ahead, what would you guess is the heaviest living thing on the planet?  Would you guess an elephant? A blue whale? Maybe a giant squid? I was surprised to discover that by weight, giant sequoia trees are the biggest thing on Earth.  Giant Sequoias live for about 3,000 years, and at maturity can weigh 2.7 million pounds, as much as eleven full grown blue whales.  Focusing on nature and natural processes, Pulley Sayre invites readers to slow down and learn all ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
September 23, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

We’ve all said it: today will be the day I…and we fill in the blank with whatever event will make all the difference in life.  That’s the case with Eleanor Flood, a cartoonist who is ready to radiate calm, actually attend her yoga class, exercise enviable self-control and confidence, and stop saying ‘amazing’ so often. But Eleanor lives in Maria Semple’s world, where the mere mention of calmness is a guarantee of ensuing chaos. Today Will Be Different is no different.  Like ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
September 22, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Solomon is sixteen years old, and he hasn't left his house since he was 13. Ever since he had a majorly public (and still talked about) anxiety attack in middle school, the teen has been content to stay in his house and earn his diploma online, with only his parents and grandmother for company. Enter Lisa-- a former classmate who is eager to infiltrate his happy but private world in order to gather material for a winning college essay she hopes to write. Accompanied by her handsome boyfriend ...read more

Reviewed by Beth on
September 21, 2016 | 0 comments
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