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New Titles After the frenzy of new titles that marked May, publishers are taking it a bit easy in June. Still, there are enough new and notables to satisfy (most) readers. Thriller readers always get a lot to choose from, and June will see that to-be-read pile grow even more. Fiona Barton returns after last year’s successful debut The Widow with The Child; look for this suspense tale centered on the discovery of a long-buried child’s skeleton to hit shelves at the end of ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
May 16, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

Have you ever wished you could trade lives with someone? Well, be careful what you wish for . . . . In 2003, sixteen-year-old Rebecca (Bec) Winter disappeared. In 2014, a young woman is arrested for shoplifting. She is dirty, hungry and desperate. She remembers how a boyfriend once commented on how much she looks like the missing girl. It seems like a great way to escape her current problems - claim to be the missing girl, then make a get away. What could go wrong?   The story goes back ...read more

Reviewed by Jennifer on
May 15, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton

“As Ambitious as ever any of my Sex was, is, or can be; which makes, that though I cannot be Henry the Fifth, or Charles the Second, yet I endeavor to be Margaret the First.”  So wrote Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, in the preface of her Observations Upon Experimental Philosophy and The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World. In Danielle Dutton’s brief and sympathetic novel Margaret the First, the comparison to kings is ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
May 11, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Guns Above by Robyn Bennis

I think the first description I saw about this book was that the main character was Horatio Hornblower crossed with Honor Harrington set in a steampunk world. Ahhhh. My sweet-spot - and really until I heard that description, one I didn't even know I had. The Guns Above is set in an alternate version of Europe and features wars fought with aircraft (as well as soldiers on the ground). But the aircraft aren't fighter planes, they're fighter blimps (of a sort). And the protagonist Josette ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
May 10, 2017 | 0 comments
Memoirs Do you like reading about other people's memories? Then here are some suggestions for you from the upcoming list Memoirs, Recommended in 2016. If you want more, then subscribe to the Madison Public Library Insider Newsletter-- Thanks For the Memories: Biographies and Memoirs, which comes out every other month.   ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
May 9, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

Alice Whitley, the narrator of this fun book, is sent from New York to Los Angeles by her publisher boss, Mr. Vargas, to work as an assistant to the writer M.M. (Mimi) Banning. Mimi needs to write her second novel as fast as possible. She has gotten herself in a pickle; an unwise decision to trust a financial advisor with her money has left her penniless and in need of instant income to prevent losing her house and the rights to her first book. Mimi rocketed to fame when she was 19 after ...read more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
May 8, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Who are you? : the kid's guide to gender identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee

In recent years there have been several good books for children discussing gender identity, gender diversity, and gender stereotypes. These books are important for all children and adults too!  Who are you? is one of the newest entries in this category - and it is a good one.  It has bright illustrations featuring diverse children being active in many different ways.   Most of the text is simple and  gives a straightfroward introduction of how we experience gender: our ...read more

Reviewed by Jennifer on
May 5, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was by Sjón It’s Reykjavík, Iceland, 1918. Reykjavík is a more isolated village than it is an international city, erupting volcano Katla covers all with smoke and ash, Spanish flu has arrived, and WWI is barely at bay. Life goes on, nevertheless; and orphaned gay teen and film buff Máni Steinn (“Moonstone”) finds his place among Reykjavik’s dark alleys, prostituting himself for movie theater money, while idolizing local bad girl Sóla G. A 2013 novella written by poet, novelist, and Björk collaborator (“ ...read more

Reviewed by Tyler on
May 4, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic journey of the Donner Party by Skila Brown

You know what is really horrifying? THE DONNER PARTY. Good heavens. History has distilled this story down to one grotesque detail (spoiler alert: cannibalism) (VERY RELUCTANT cannibalism, but still), but what you may have forgotten is the long journey across country on foot that led up to it. Or the harsh conditions on that final stretch. Or the weeks of slow starvation. Or how close to their desination they were when they got so hopelessly snowbound and lost.  To Stay Alive is a ...read more

Reviewed by Beth M on
May 3, 2017 | 0 comments
A review of The Hemingway Thief by Shaun Harris

There are few literary mysteries as elusive as the loss of a valise containing all of Ernest Hemingway’s early manuscripts, stolen from a Paris train in 1922 and never seen again. The fate of the manuscripts, coupled with Hemingway’s larger than life persona, has proven irresistible to writers since. Wisconsin-based author Shaun Harris takes on the tale in his assured debut novel The Hemingway Thief, a caper with enough odd characters and close shaves to rival any tale that ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
May 2, 2017 | 0 comments
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