MADreads

A review of The Diviners by Libba Bray

I'm going to be completely honest about this: I had been looking forward to reading The Diviners for most of 2012 but when it first showed up on the hold shelf for me and I discovered it was 578 pages, I paused a little. OK, I paused a lot, like, for 28 days, and then had to bring the book back to the library without even having started it.  So I placed it on hold again and decided to dedicate myself to it when it next arrived. That time is now. Here's the scoop: Evangeline (Evie ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
January 22, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of The Hungry Ghost of Rue Orleans by Mary Quattlebaum

Fred the ghost is happy in his leaky, creaky, dusty old house. He tends his cactus, gobbles air, and is perfectly content. But when Pierre and his daughter Marie arrive, declaring the house their new restaurant, Fred loses his quiet corner of the universe. Walls are painted, cobwebs swept away, and suddenly, Fred’s house is…CLEAN. Then came the noise. The horrible clanking of silverware and dishes disrupting Fred’s peace. After throwing a fit of ghostly proportions, sending food flying, Fred is ...read more

Reviewed by Jill O on
January 18, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of The Beggar King by Oliver Potzsch

My favorite 17th Century sleuths are back for another hair-raising, exciting, and almost deadly adventure. It is 1662 and Jakob Kuisl, the Schongau hangman, his oldest daughter Magdalena, and Simon Fronwieser, the medicus and son of the town doctor are in for quite an adventure in Oliver Plotzsch's new novel, The Beggar King. This time the story moves from Schongau to Regensburg. What they say is true: ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
January 17, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes

It's been six years since the last book in Keyes' Walsh Family series so she'd fallen off my radar a little bit. Which turned reading her newest into something of a surprise. It's been long enough (though Keyes did have a standalone novel out in 2009) that I forgot how darkly funny she can be - and in this case I mean DARKLY funny. You know that phrase you see in book reviews? "Mordant humor"? Well here is the book that defines what that is. Helen Walsh is having a very bad time. Her career as ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
January 16, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography by David Michaels

A recent viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas, without which my holidays would be incomplete, got me thinking of the Peanuts strip and its creator, Charles Schulz. Over the course of nearly fifty years and 17,897 strips,** Schulz singlehandedly created a bittersweet epic in the travails and triumphs (however fleeting) of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang. That the strip, with its slightly melancholy take on life and philosophical musings, endured so ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
January 15, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich knows how to write a book. She's received high praise for most of her past novels, and her latest, The Round House, is every bit as good as the rest. Critics seem to agree: it won the 2012 National Book Award. This story is part mystery, part coming-of-age tale, and part analytical look at Native American tribal life and law in the late 1980s. Joe Coutts has considered himself a pretty normal kid until he turns 13 ...read more

Reviewed by Kylee on
January 11, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

At first I found the language jarring, but as I continued to read, I found myself engrossed in McCormick’s fictionalization of Arn Chorn-Pond’s story of his years as a child caught in a horrific combination of genocide and war in Cambodia during the reign of the Kmehr Rouge.When the Kmehr Rouge come to his village and begin rounding up his family, friends and neighbors, Arn’s Aunt advises him to “bend low, and then bend lower” in order to survive. From age 11 to 14, Arn bends in ways no one ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
January 11, 2013 | 0 comments
Best Memoirs of 2012 Like reading about other people's experiences? Then here is a list for you. These titles are from various "best of" lists, including the New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year. Below are a few from a new library list-- Memoirs, ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
January 10, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty is a solid historical novel and the audiobook, downloadable through Overdrive or available on compact disc through Linkcat, is read by Elizabeth McGovern, the actress who plays Cora on the very popular PBS series Downton Abbey. She is a polished and accomplished reader and her interpretation add to the interesting story of the life of Cora Carlisle, who we meet when she is in her late thirties and is beginning a stint as a chaperone for fifteen Louise ...read more

Reviewed by Mary K. - Central on
January 9, 2013 | 3 comments
A review of How to Live, or, a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell

Essayer: Fr. To try. It seems a simple idea now, but in mid-sixteenth century France, no one had thought to simply write down what they were feeling, or how they thought. Writing about life was reserved for great deeds in stilted prose, meant to serve as a monument to its subject. Michel Eyguem de Montaigne didn’t want to commit any great deeds—in fact, the efforts he made to not be called upon to power and influence is almost comical. But there was one thing that Montaigne wanted to ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
January 8, 2013 | 0 comments
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