MADreads

A review of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

It’s the most American of pursuits: identify a niche in the market, establish yourself in business, determine what your customers need and want, and ride the wave of prosperity so you can achieve the big house or a comfortable life for your family. It’s worked for generations of Americans in small towns across the nation. But as journalist Sam Quinones reports, it’s the same recipe that has led to one of the most pressing and underreported crises of our time: skyrocketing opiate addiction. In ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
January 28, 2016 | 0 comments
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominees The National Book Critics Circle Awards, determined by a jury of critics and book review editors, honor excellence in six categories – autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction and poetry.  Nominees in all categories follow: Fiction Lauren Groff Fates and FuriesPaul Beatty, The Sellout ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
January 26, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of We are not ourselves by Matthew Thomas

At over 600 pages, this isn’t a light read, but Matthew Thomas uses the pages to plunge us deeply into a life’s story--spanning the time from before Eileen Tumulty was born to Irish immigrants in 1941, through the adulthood of her son in the 2000’s, in Queens, New York City. Using historical and cultural context, Thomas shows us how much a product of our environment (family, history, politics, society) we are, and how much our expectations are shaped by these influences. He also shows us how ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
January 25, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Simon Vs. the Homo Sapien's Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Sixteen-year-old Simon knows he'll eventually come out to his family and friends, but for now he's happy to live a drama-free life, keeping the private business of his sexual orientation between himself and Blue, the anonymous but increasingly flirtatious boy he's been chatting with online. This plan is blown to pieces when the wrong pair of eyes falls on an email he wrote to Blue, throwing Simon into the exact swarm of high school politics that he's been so careful to avoid. Simon must decide ...read more

Reviewed by Beth on
January 22, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale

A while back, a friend of mine came to me a little distressed. Not normally a romance reader, she had just spent much of the previous day and night devouring Laura Kinsale’s historical romance Flowers From the Storm. She wanted to know whether Flowers was really that good or if, in her words, “it was just me.” Published in 1992, Flowers From the Storm has stuck around for so long because it’s everything a historical romance can, and should, be. There are the usual ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
January 21, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews

Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews grew up surrounded by music, in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans. Troy’s older brother James was leading his own band at a very young age, and Troy’s grandfather was also a musician. Troy wanted to be just like them. At first, young Troy and his friends used found items to make their own instruments – an empty box from a 12 pack of soda fastened around the neck with Mardi Gras beads became a drum. They pretended to play and parade down the streets just like a ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
January 20, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

It’s a grey day in the city, Church has just let out, and it’s time for CJ’s weekly trek with his Grandmother to help serve at the soup kitchen. But this week CJ is feeling disenchanted. Why do they have to wait for the bus in the rain? Wouldn’t it be better if they had a car? Why do they have to go to the soup kitchen every week to help out when CJs friends don’t have to do anything on Sunday afternoons? As CJ and his Grandmother make their way across town, Grandmother shares her wise ...read more

Reviewed by Karen on
January 15, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Nobody believed that the beautiful and mysterious Roza was going to stay in the sleepy town of Bone Gap for long,  so no one was surprised when she disappeared as quickly as she arrived. Finn O'Sullivan was the last person to see her, and while his love-struck older brother will never forgive him letting Roza leave, Finn knows that she didn't leave willingly. She was taken. Snatched. By a terrifying man whose face Finn can't remember. The more he tries to hold onto his memories, the ...read more

Reviewed by Beth on
January 13, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of ALA Youth Media Awards The American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults, including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards at its Midwinter Meeting and Exibits in Boston on Monday.   A list of 2016 award winners follows: John Newbery Medal for most outstanding contribution to children’s literature - Last Stop on Market Street written by Matt de la ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
January 12, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Stargazer's Sister by Carrie Brown

History is full of individuals whose accomplishments have largely overlooked due to the simple fact that their stories didn’t fit in with the progression of great men of history. Recent years have seen a reassessment of women’s contributions in science especially, considering the many women who were either overshadowed by ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
January 11, 2016 | 0 comments
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