A review of My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein

The premise of Elena Ferrante’s novel My Brilliant Friend is simple: Lila and Elena are friends the moment they band together and venture up the stairs to their frightening neighbor’s door. The occasion was an apt beginning; Elena holding back, fearful, as Lila pushed forward with an unstoppable force, disregarding the consequences. The women will eventually take different paths in life, but their uncannily close and sometimes strained relationship remains a constant as they navigate more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
June 2, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders

Samantha Clair is a forty-something book editor for a publishing firm in London. Her star author, known and popular for women’s fiction, has turned in a manuscript for her newest book and to everyone’s horror it is chic lit and no one but no one reads that anymore! Her friend and client Kit Lowell has turned in his latest expose in the fashion industry and it is being kept under wraps over worries of libel and the publicity factor. As if all this weren't enough on her plate, one day, on her way more

Reviewed by Liz - Sequoya on
June 1, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

This is an excellent read-alike for fans of Raina Telgemeier and for fans of graphic novels exploring the middle grades. It’s a coming-of-age story about a 12-yr-old girl named Astrid who is lost and drifting away from the best friend she’s had since first grade. Astrid signs up for roller derby camp and is broken-hearted to discover that her best friend, Nicole, won’t be joining her. Nicole has signed up for dance more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
May 28, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Flirting with French: How a Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me & Nearly Broke My Heart by William Alexander

By the author of The $64 Tomato, Flirting with French is one for linguaphiles, or really anyone who’s ever struggled with (or loved) learning a foreign language. This is the story of a 57-year-old man who sets out to beat the odds and master French as an adult-foreign-language-learner. Part travel-log, part linguistics lesson, part study journal, and all funny, Flirting with French lays bare the joys and heartbreaks (in the author’s case, quite literally) that go more

Reviewed by Carra on
May 27, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Here Comes Destructosaurus! by Aaron Reynolds

Following admirably in the giant footsteps of Godzilla and King Kong, author Aaron Reynolds (Creepy Carrots) and illustrator Jeremy Tankard (Grumpy Bird) bring us Destructosaurus, the biggest and baddest threat the city has ever seen. Why has he come out of the sea? What is he looking for?  Most importantly, will Destructosaurus finally learn some manners before the city is destroyed? Whether you're naturally destructive or a neatnick, this story will resonate in a BIG way! more

Reviewed by Abby on
May 22, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep by Barney Saltzberg

How many parents have had this experience?  “Mama, I can’t fall asleep”.  This is Chengdu‘s plight.  Chengdu is a small panda, wide awake while all the other pandas in the bamboo grove snooze peacefully.  No matter how he tries, wiggles, twitches or twists, sleep eludes him.   Finally, like many children, Chengdu seeks out his brother, Yuan, cuddles up to him and drifts off.  But, now Yuan is wide awake! Barney Saltzberg has created a gentle, humorous bedtime more

Reviewed by Ruth on
May 22, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

A hard-scrabble life, never knowing if the home you have worked for will be ruthlessly wrenched away from you tomorrow. The threat of raiders always present, blood-thirsty men calling on their god to avenge some wrong or deliver land and wealth. Shifting alliances with friends quickly turning to enemies, and blood relatives betraying each other without a thought. Such is the world of Uhtred, son of Uhtred, earl of Northumbria in the chaotic waning decades of ninth century Britain. Danes are more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
May 19, 2015 | 2 comments
A review of Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

I've been hearing chatter among the bookie libarians I know about this debut novel - and many have commented about how this is a book for fans of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. That alone made me interested since I loved Fikry and since I had a 4-hour plane trip to get through, I took it with. Smart idea more

Reviewed by Jane J on
May 18, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Zoo at the Edge of the World by Eric Kahn Gale

Welcome to the most 'deliciously exotic, delightfully luxurious, and ravishingly beautiful resort on earth.'At the end of the nineteenth century, people from all over the world travel to Ronan Rackham's resort and zoo to experience the jungle. Marvin, one of Ronan's sons, helps at the zoo and is often overlooked because he doesn't say much due to his stuttering.  When Marvin is with the animals though, he can speak with ease.  After a successful hunt for a man-eating jaguar, his more

Reviewed by Jody on
May 15, 2015 | 0 comments
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 more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
May 14, 2015 | 0 comments
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