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A review of Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson

Book Festival Event   When Adam Johnson’s novel The Orphan Master’s Son appeared in 2012, critics hailed it for its combination of lyrical writing and the bittersweet dark humor amidst depictions of North Korean brutality. The Orphan Master’s Son earned Johnson the 2013 Pulitzer Prize and a place on a slew of ‘Best Book’ lists. So it’s no surprise that his next effort, the story collection Fortune ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
October 19, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Mummy Cat by Marcus Ewert

In a pyramid in Egypt, a mummy rises every hundred years. But don’t worry, this mummy isn’t scary. He’s a cat, and had been the pet of a pharaoh queen long years ago. Now he wakes up every hundred years and walks the hall to see if his friend, the mummy, has awakened. And one cold night, each century,he gets up, and check to seeif she’s come back, his loving friend…so that this lonely time can end. Beautiful illustrations show off ancient Egyptian life in this richly detailed picture ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
October 16, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Lord Ballister Blackheart is the villain. Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin is the hero. Both attend the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics until Lord Blackheart loses a limb in an accident and is considered to be of no use to the Institution. Cast out and disillusioned, Blackheart falls to a life of crime and super knavery, in constant competition and battle with Goldenloin. Or maybe not? We are introduced to Blackheart when spunky shape-shifter Nimona shows up at his crime lab offering to ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
October 15, 2015 | 0 comments
Awards The big literary prizes are beginning to be handed out, and with them come the usual bumps in popularity. The Booker Award, recognizing an outstanding English-language novel, originating out of the United Kingdom, was awarded October 13 to Marlon James for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. Praised for its kalediscopic scope and the ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
October 14, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Bream Gives Me Hiccups by Jesse Eisenberg

Jesse Eisenberg’s book of short stories is quite good. Bream Gives Me Hiccups was full of quirky and fun vignettes written by the Academy Award nominated thespian. Eisenberg starts off with hilarious tales told from the point of view of a nine-year-old boy who is trapped with his socialite wannabe, divorced mother in Los Angeles. The boy’s restaurant reviews range from a fancy sushi place to the Thanksgiving they share with vegans. My favorite one was the trip to the new Iraqi ...read more

Reviewed by Katharine - Central on
October 13, 2015 | 0 comments
Wisconsin Book Festival The Wisconsin Book Festival is a couple weeks away but fear not, there's a Book Festival event this week to tide you over. J. Ryan Stradal will be at Arcadia Books in Spring Green to talk about his book, Kitchens of the Great Midwest on October 14th. J. Ryan Stradal edits the ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
October 12, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Bird by Crystal Chan

Life hasn't been easy for twelve-year-old Jewel. Born on the same day that her brother John (aka Bird) died, her life has always been overshadowed by his death. But when a new friend moves to town (also named John), things seem to get better -- or do they? Convinced John is a "duppy" (an evil spirit), Jewel's Jamaican grandfather's superstitions seem to take on a life of their own and Jewel's family must finally confront the tragedy that threatens to tear their family apart. With ...read more

Reviewed by Krissy on
October 9, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Wind/Pinball by Haruki Murakami

When Haruki Murakami sat down at his kitchen table one night in 1978, he did so with the intention of writing a novel—a notion that had only just come to him in an epiphany during a baseball game. He got nowhere with the first attempt, but on the second try, he decided to write in English. This not being his first language, he had to convey his ideas in short, simple sentences, with descriptions pared to the minimum. Plots and characters grew out of elegantly linked turns of phrase, with a ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
October 8, 2015 | 0 comments
Book cover
Wisconsin Book Festival The days are getting shorter and the trees are turning color which means it's time to talk books. The Wisconsin Book Festival is a couple weeks away, but you can get a jumpstart at the Pinney Min Book Fest this weekend. Meet local authors all weekend in a three-day extravaganza of local literary talent funded through a grant from Beyond the Page. Friday, October 9, 6-8 pm - OPEN MIC NIGHT! Authors of all abilities are welcome to participate in the ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
October 7, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly

Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly is a story of a girl with no one besides her father, a scientist that created her for a greater purpose, who she adores and tries to please above all else. For there's something special about Kymera- she is a perfect combination of human, bird, cat and snake. As the reader experiences Kymera's expanding understanding of the world, there's a growing sense of unease that things aren't what she's been led to believe. Kymera is isolated from the ...read more

Reviewed by Carrie on
October 6, 2015 | 0 comments
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