MADreads

A review of The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson

How do you measure happiness? Can you put a price on the feel of rain on your skin? Hearing a soft breeze rustling the curtains? Seeing the sun through the leaves of a tree? And what happens when a bureaucratic national agency decides those numbers for you: where amount of daily worry and stress is measured against happiness, with adjustments for anxiety, measurements of empathy, setbacks, poverty versus friendships, emotional quotients. They claim to use advanced mathematics to come up ...read more

Reviewed by Tina - Central on
May 9, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Bernie by Ted Rall

Looking at the cover of this book, I was expecting a biography of 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Bernard "Bernie" Sanders.  What I got instead was a straightforward tutorial on the history of the two-party system in America.  The first 100 pages really sets up the shift in the Democratic Party in the last 50 years and shows where the modern Democratic Party has ended up - to the right of Republicans like Richard Nixon.  The differences between conservative, moderate and ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
May 5, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Love that Dog by Sharon Creech

April was poetry month! If you’re like me, poetry can sometimes seem lofty and inaccessible, and if I’m not assigned it for school, I often don’t seek it out. Love that Dog is a fantastic piece by Sharon Creech, and though aimed at kids, it is a great reminder to readers of all ages that poetry can be just as accessible as you want it to be. Using the format of an elementary school boy’s responses to his assigned school poetry journal, Creech gives credence to our sometimes inner- ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
May 4, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Apes-a-Go-Go! by Roman Milisic

Laugh your socks off with this fun read! In Roman Milisic’s book, Apes-a-Go-Go! (Alred A. Knopf, 2014), a tidy little town has just one thing out of place: a flower had grown taller than all the rest. “Bah! That pesky flower,” complains the town’s mayor. Enter the first great ape, who attempts to pluck the flower out. In turn, trampling the rest of the flower bed! Then comes the parade of great apes to help out – Mucky Great Ape, Sopping Great Ape, Thumping Great Ape, and more. Each one bumbles ...read more

Reviewed by Tracy on
April 29, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Miss Grief and Other Stories by Constantine Fenimore Woolson, edited by Anne Boyd Rioux

You have not heard of Constance Fenimore Woolson. Or rather, you might have heard of her if you are a particularly devoted follower of Henry James and have taken the pains to read biographies of him, which just might mention Woolson in passing. For most of the time since her death in 1894, Woolson has known as a companion of James and the possible inspiration for Isabel Archer in The Portrait of a Lady. But if you were a reader in post-Civil War America, Woolson would be a familiar ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
April 28, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Little Robot by Ben Hatke

Little Robot is the cozy, yet subversive story of a young girl who befriends a robot and instigates a rebellion. Wow! That sounds like a lot to offer in a juvenile graphic novel! But it really works. A box falls off the back of a truck and floats its way down a river until a little girl finds it at the edge of a junkyard. This little girl is an explorer and engineer and doesn't shy away from the contents of this box: a robot! She befriends and trains the little robot and they embark on ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
April 26, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

Delightfully sardonic, Dear Committee Members employs the epistolary format to convey cutting commentary about the state of higher education in the liberal arts. Using the ubiquitous recommendation letter as a platform, the author delivers such zingers as these: “Iris Temple has applied to your MFA program...and has asked me to support...her application. I find this difficult to do, not because [she] is unqualified...but because your program...offers its graduate writers no ...read more

Reviewed by Carra on
April 25, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of A Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen

A Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen tells the story of Shana, an aspiring photographer, who is thrust into the middle of a natural disaster. This disaster forces Shana to address her priorities: her family, which is slowly falling apart, and a boy who is turning her idea of love upside-down.    Shana meets this boy, Quattro, while trying to take a life-changing photograph—an image that could get her into the college of her choice. He bumps into Shana and ruins her perfect ...read more

Reviewed by Teen Reviewer on
April 22, 2016 | 0 comments
Book cover
New Titles for May With summer around the corner, publishers are gearing up by releasing some big name authors. Award-winning authors Don De Lillo, Louise Erdrich and Richard Russo have novels coming out in the first part of the month, while bestselling authors Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Emperor of All Maladies) and Nathaniel Philbrick (In the Heart of the Sea) offer sure bets for nonfiction fans. It’s also a strong month for young adult readers. Kiera Cass’s blockbuster series The Selection ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
April 20, 2016 | 0 comments
Pulitzer Prizes announced The 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winners have been announced.  The following are the winners for Letters, Drama and Music: Fiction (1948-present) The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen - A layered immigrant tale told in the wry, confessional voice of a "man of two minds" -- and two countries, Vietnam and the United States.  ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
April 19, 2016 | 0 comments
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