MADreads

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 Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices by Mitali Perkins

Reviewed by Ali Khan of The Simpson Street Free Press When confronting problems regarding race and ethnicity, many attempt to challenge stereotypes with protests, heated discussions, and even aggression. While these options may be effective, Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices, edited by Mitali Perkins, uses a different tactic against racial prejudices—humor.Open Mic is not the average teen novel. Rather than share the perspective of just one author, it ...read more

Reviewed by Jesse on
February 24, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Revolution by Deborah Wiles

The town of Greenwood, Mississippi, is being invaded. Young college students from the North are coming to help register voters. This story is told from two different viewpoints, Sunny, a twelve year-old white girl, and Raymond, a black boy from Baptist Town. Their paths intertwine as their families and communities take on the challenges of understanding and implementing civil rights.The audiobook version is superbly done with a full cast of actors, laden with commercials, reporter interviews, ...read more

Reviewed by Jody on
February 20, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Board Stiff by Annelise Ryan

There’s no better way to spend a snowy afternoon than curled up with a good cozy mystery. I recently discovered a Wisconsin author, Annelise Ryan, who has a charming series featuring a character named Mattie Winston and the latest installment Board Stiff was delightful. Mattie Winston is a coroner in fictional Sorenson, WI and has just settled back into her old job after taking a brief leave of absence. Her absence included frequent trips to the local casino and her pesky gambling ...read more

Reviewed by Katharine - Central on
February 19, 2015 | 1 comment
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
A review of Yes Please by Amy Poehler

If you enjoyed Tina Fey’s Bossypants or Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me? amongst other female comic memoirs in the past few years, Yes Please will be up your alley. While celebrity memoirs generally come with a prescribed amount of name-droppery, Amy Poehler does it with a unaffected style that makes you feel like you’re just hanging out, swapping stories with an old friend. She keeps it classy when discussing her personal and professional ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
February 17, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders

Flanders' debut mystery does everything just right. Her protagonist, Samantha Clair, is a forty-something editor for a publishing house in London. Sam is smart and funny and more then a little cynical, a combination that warms this cynic's heart. When Kit Lowell, one of her top authors, goes missing, she's concerned. But when she finds out his disappearance may be tied to the death of a bicycle messenger killed in a hit and run, Sam becomes frightened. Kit had just finished a manuscript about a ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
February 16, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Swim, Duck, Swim by Susan Lurie

Duck is afraid to learn to swim, but with a little bit of encouragement he takes the plunge. Join him in this delightful picture book that uses charming nature photographs of a duckling and his patient parents. ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
February 13, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of An Age of License by Lucy Knisley

This graphic novel travelogue follows Lucy Knisley's adventures in Europe after being invited to present at a comics convention in Norway.  She adds several legs onto her journey in order to spend more time with a new love interest, and visit friends and family.  She documents all of these wanderings in sunny illustrations that depict the highs and lows of her journey.  Traveling can be thrilling, intoxicating, lonely and confusing.  She's able to capture all of this in ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
February 12, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore

Jill Lepore accomplishes quite a feat by producing an entire historical book about the sister of Benjamin Franklin, Jane Franklin, with a very limited amount of preserved written documentation. Piecing together a life based on letters to and about Jane Franklin from her much more famous brother, the author speaks volumes about the nature of recorded history, as well as the disparity between the lives of men and women in the 18th century. Tracing the life of Jane Franklin with a focus on ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
February 11, 2015 | 0 comments
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