A review of Blackout by John Rocco

“It started out as a normal summer night” begins John Rocco’s latest picture book. The city is loud and hot, and a family is predictably busy – dad cooks dinner, the sister talks on the phone, mom taps away at the computer, and the lonely brother plays video games – until the lights go out. Without power, nothing is normal, and the family reconnects, eventually discovering parties on the roof and in the streets as neighbors escape their hot apartments. When the lights do come back on, the more

Reviewed by Madeleine on
November 23, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Debris by Jo Anderton

Library Journal named Debris as one of their top ten SF/F books of the year and while I think it had some strong elements, it was a somewhat frustrating read. The world-building is top-notch and the premise of the plot is intriguing. It's just that, while it is a solid read, the book doesn't really fulfill the promise that those two elements suggest more

Reviewed by Jane J on
November 21, 2011 | 0 comments
Winners Announced Looking for some award winning books to read? The 2011 National Book Award winners have been announced. In fact, for the book geeks amongst you, you can even watch the announcements on their web site. If you just want the facts, read on. The starred titles are the category winners. Fiction* Jesmyn Ward Salvage the Bones Andrew Krivak more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
November 18, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Hidden by Helen Frost

When Wren Abbott was eight years old, a robbery went bad and she huddled in the back of her mom’s stolen minivan, pretending not to breathe. How exactly did she escape? That’s what Darra Monson has always wondered. She was the only person who knew Wren was there and tried to help her and what did Darra get in return? Her life turned upside down and her family torn apart when her dad was carted off to prison. They have never met, but Wren’s and Darra’s shared experiences have profoundly shaped more

Reviewed by Abby on
November 17, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Awkward Family Pet Photos by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack

Sometimes I have specific "research" needs that are best met for free with a library card.  This research usually involves a novelty book.  These books are not something that I want to buy or receive as a gift to cherish and keep forever, but rather something that I will enjoy immensely for a short amount of time, perhaps for an hour or so.  I love being able to check out books like this with my library card, relish them, and then return them for others to get a kick out of. So, more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
November 16, 2011 | 1 comment
A review of The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

I have a theory that one can judge how entertaining a book is by how bleary-eyed I am in the morning: the more sleep lost to reading or to frightfulness, the better. Using that scale, Maureen Johnson’s latest novel, The Name of the Star, would be an off the charts bestseller. I stayed up far later than my bedtime to devour Johnson’s thriller set in a dangerous, haunted London. Rory more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
November 15, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Mourning the Little Dead by Jane Adams

Jane Adams is one of those British mystery writers who've been writing for a while and yet are barely on the radar for American readers. I certainly can't tell you what brought her to my attention, but whatever it was, I'm glad for it. In Mourning the Little Dead Adams introduces Naomi Blake. Naomi is a former police officer who had to leave the job when she was blinded in a car accident. It's more

Reviewed by Jane J on
November 14, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter

Introducing the burro bookmobile! In Biblioburro: A True Story from Columbia, read about a Columbian schoolteacher who uses burros to bring books to children in faraway villages. Luis Soriano loved reading and wanted to share his love of books with others. So, he sets off with two burros, one for himself and one for the books. Luis wends his way through the mountain terrain and fends off bandits to reach villages with no access to libraries. The colorful illustrations reflect the more

Reviewed by Tracy on
November 11, 2011 | 0 comments
Memoirs of Loss Do you have a favorite memoir? To coincide with the release of Joan Didion's Blue Nights, the site Flavorwire has compiled a list - Magical Thinking: Our 10 Favorite Memoirs of Loss. Do you agree with their choices? Are there any titles that you more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
November 10, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

I learned this in Mindy Kaling's new comedy memoir. She includes a 'pliest' or list-y piece of all the ways that Mindy Kaling is not like Kelly Kapoor, the character that she plays on The Office. The number one difference (not included in the pliest) is that Mindy Kaling has been a head writer, editor and producer on The Office since it was picked up as a mid-season replacement in 2005, when she was only 24 years old.  Prior to that, more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
November 9, 2011 | 3 comments
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