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Historical Novel Picks According to the Observer's book editor, here is a list of the 10 best historical novels.  Their subject matter covers a wide range of history.  They include: the Napoleonic Wars, the Tudors & Thomas Cromwell, Renaissance Florence, 1860s Sicily, 1950s Brooklyn, pre-revolutionary Paris, life of 18th-century ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
May 23, 2012 | 3 comments
A review of Moby Duck by Donovan Hohn

Imagine more than 28,000 rubber duckies floating on the Pacific Ocean. A more incongruous image is hard to invent. Then imagine where those duckies travel, as ocean currents carry them thousands of miles. Donovan Hohn was captivated by a real life version of this and tells the story in the very absorbing and entertaining Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search ...read more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
May 22, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of The Cove by Ron Rash

North Carolina author Ron Rash is one of those authors that a lot of serious readers may easily overlook. His works are reviewed in mainstream publications like The New Yorker, USA Today and Entertainment Weekly; Amazon routinely places his novels on their Best of lists, and many of his titles come with prize medallions on the cover, but with the exception of his 2008 bestseller ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
May 21, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett

While it's a little warm outside to want to stay in and cozy up with your knitting project, it's a perfect time to sit down with this adorable tale about Annabelle. In a town where everything is either black or white, Annabelle's box of yarn contains a burst of color that makes her (and her newly knitted sweater) stand out from the crowd. But what's this? The yarn doesn't end. After knitting sweaters for everyone, she just keeps on knitting for everything, until an evil archduke tries ...read more

Reviewed by Krissy on
May 18, 2012 | 0 comments
Pulitzer Controversy If there's a bright spot in the fact that the Pulitzer Prize Board didn't award a Fiction Prize for 2011, it's that the resulting controversy has brought three excellent books to prominent attention.  For anyone who hasn't heard how this came to pass, here's the condensed version: A jury of three literary folks (Susan Larson, former book editor of the Times-Picayune, Maureen Corrigan, book critic on ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
May 17, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn

Troubled Waters was nominated for a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. Now if you're like me you're sitting there reading this and thinking what the heck is that. The answer? The award is bestowed by the Mythopoeic Society each year. Clear as dirt? Here's what the Society says about itself: "The Mythopoeic Society is a national/international organization promoting the study, discussion, and enjoyment of ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
May 16, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun by Paul Barrett

Aesthetically, it’s generally considered an ugly gun: matte black polymer, boxy angles and a distinctive lack of decoration, worthy of the label ‘handgun Tupperware.’ But for most Americans the homely Glock has come to define handgun. It is the silhouette on the ‘no firearms permitted’ signs, it is the gun brandished in gangsta rap videos, it was the weapon used to wound Rep. Giffords (herself a Glock owner), and it’s likely on the hip of your local police officer. In Glock: The Rise of ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
May 15, 2012 | 2 comments
Summer Reading I ran across an article in the Express Tribune called "10 Books to Reread This Summer". For each they give their reasoning for why the book is on the list. Take a look and see what you think. Have you read them? If yes, would you re-read? 1. The English Patient ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
May 14, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Penny Dreadful by Laurel Snyder

Penelope Grey’s family is very wealthy. They live in a mansion, and she can have pretty much anything she wants… but she’s bored. Books are about the only thing she doesn’t find boring, but they’re still just words on the page. One day, Penelope makes a wish at the family wishing well and everything changes. The rest of the story tumbles energetically through unusual new jobs for her parents, a move to a place called the Whippoorwillows which is populated by a number of very quirky characters, ...read more

Reviewed by Carissa - Alicia Ashman on
May 11, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

And where there are more humans, there is more stuff, or garbage.  Katherine Boo's super readable narrative nonfiction account of three years in the Mumbai slum of Annawadi, near the spectacularly beautiful 5-star Hyatt Regency Hotel and Mumbai International Airport, will blow your mind.  3000 people live on a half-acre of land.  The poverty, disease and loss of life are staggering.  The amount of waste, consumer and otherwise, is remarkable. Annawadi is situated across a ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
May 10, 2012 | 0 comments
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