Book cover The Watery Part of the World
Adult Summer Reading Program The Summer Reading Club for kids has been a fixture at Madison libraries for years (though its name has changed slightly). A great thing, right? Right. So why not include the adults in the fun? Last year our Meadowridge Branch did just that when they started the Adult Summer Reading Program. As with the kid's version, participants read books and get prizes (fun!) and can participate in Book Talks more

Reviewed by Jane J on
June 23, 2011 | 6 comments
A review of Butterfly's child by Angela Davis-Gardner

The Madison Opera Guild 's excellent production of Madame Butterfly by Puccini this past spring led me to Butterfly's Child by Angela Davis-Gardner.  Although seeing the opera is not essential before reading this book, it seems more memorable and relevant after viewing the opera. Davis-Gardner starts her story where the opera ends when Butterfly, Cio-Cio-san, commits suicide upon the return of her American lover, Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, and his new wife Kate to Japan. more

Reviewed by Mary K. - Central on
June 22, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah... by Neil MacFarquhar

It’s been hard to miss news coverage of the turmoil engulfing the Middle East over the last several months, often the result of social networking by ordinary citizens with repressive regimes. There is no shortage of books published on the Middle East—a rudimentary subject search in LINKCat pulls up over 800 titles on ‘Middle East’ alone—but how many of them consider the situation from the perspective of Middle Easterners themselves? Former New York Times and Associated Press more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
June 21, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson

Looking for a new historical mystery series? Why not check out Imogen Robertson's new novel. Instruments of Darkness is set in 1780 West Sussex, England. The two protangonists are the unlikely pair of Mrs. Harriet Westerman and the reclusive local anatomist, Gabriel Crowther. Commodore Westerman is off to sea while Harriet takes care of their two children and the estate. She is a curious, impatient, strong-willed, intelligent woman. Gabriel also is curious, intelligent, and detail- more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
June 20, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson

When the first sentence in a novel starts off with the main character admitting she is about to kill her husband, you can count on being sucked in right away. In Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson, Ro Grandee, a Texas housewife, is told by an airport gypsy that it was either her husband or Ro; one of them was going to be dead. So Ro chooses to live, grabs her Pawpy's gun and lies in wait along Thom's (the husband) jogging trail to make sure she's the one who stays alive. And that's more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
June 17, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Sweet Jiminy by Kristin Gore

I had not read any Kristin Gore’s novels (yes, she is Al’s daughter) but always heard good things about her Capitol Hill stories. Her latest book is not a peek inside the beltway political page-turner, but rather a meandering short novel set in rural Mississippi. Sweet Jiminy is about a young woman who travels back to her grandmother’s rural town after dropping out of law school. Jiminy is her name but the most of the plot revolves around another long gone Jiminy, daughter of a friend more

Reviewed by Katharine - Central on
June 16, 2011 | 2 comments
A review of April and Esme, Tooth Fairies by Bob Graham

Ever wonder where the tooth fairy lives? What her family is like? How old she is? April and Esme, Tooth Fairies, written and illustrated by Bob Graham, is a whimsical, yet remarkably down-to-earth story of two young tooth fairies on their first mission. April and Esme are sister fairies who get “the call” that a tooth is ready for pick up. Despite their parents’ misgivings about the trip and feeling that April and Esme are "far too youn," the parents finally yield. Delighted, the more

Reviewed by Tracy on
June 16, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Just Kids by Patti Smith

Confession first: I just never got into Patti Smith's most recognized and admired album Horses. I didn't love her voice and the music wasn't punk rock enough for me. I was always intrigued by Robert Mapplethorpe, however. So why did I read it? And did I like it? When Just Kids won the National Book Award it was on my radar, but more

Reviewed by Liz - Central Library on
June 14, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Psychiatric Tales by Darryl Cunningham

This thought provoking graphic novel includes eleven graphic stories about mental illness that cover everything from dementia to cutting and self-harming, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The author worked for many years as a health care assistant on an acute psychiatric ward and battled with his own depression before completing this book. His artwork and text reflect an informed and understanding presentation that really benefits the casual reader. Mental illness is so often misunderstood more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
June 13, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Loved this urban fantasy. Loved the funny interactions between Pia, the half human/half wyrkind (shapeshifter/paranormal creature) and Dragos the baddest (and possibly only?) dragon on earth. As I mentioned in another review, I've been watching Game of Thrones on HBO and I'll admit I was picturing more

Reviewed by Jane J on
June 10, 2011 | 0 comments
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