MADreads

A review of Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid’s Memoir That Inspired Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey by Margaret Powell

If you are one of the many Americans in thrall to the recent PBS miniseries/soap opera “Downton Abbey” (and judging by the hold list, there are a lot of you), then you owe it to yourself to add Margaret Powell to the list of must-read authors. Powell’s memoir Below Stairs, recounting her experience as a kitchen maid in 1920s London, was, if the blurbs from Julian Fellows and somewhat absurd subtitle assert, the basis for all the lovely dirt on the lives of the many serving the ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
June 7, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

There was bad news in the literary world today. Ray Bradbury passed away at the age of 91. In honor of him, I'm re-posting Gregg's review of a favorite Bradbury novel: "Old horror books -- people writing in the olden times couldn't possibly come up with any thing that could scare a person with modern sensibilities could they? I have found this to generally be the case, but one notable exception is ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
June 6, 2012 | 0 comments
Summer Reading Lists are Here We librarians love lists - or at least this one does (you may have already guessed this). Which is why I look forward to the start of each season, not because the weather will be changing or because of the holidays, but because a new season brings new lists. And here we are at the start of summer with a plethora of suggested reading. Entertainment Weekly's Hot Reads ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
June 5, 2012 | 1 comment
A review of Dawn of the Belle Époque: The Paris of Monet, Zola, Bernhardt, Eiffel, Debussy, Clemenceau, and Their Friends by Mary McAuliffe

It was a time of upheaval: political, economic, social, artistic, scientific.  Tension between the normal, historically common way of thinking and a radically new way of looking at and reacting to everyday things seemed to be everywhere. America in the 1960’s? No, it's actually Paris, France, 1870-1901, but both eras were eerily similar in many ways. Mary McAuliffe’s book Dawn of the Belle Époque: The ...read more

Reviewed by Liz - Sequoya on
June 4, 2012 | 1 comment
A review of The Boy Who Cried Ninja by Alex Latimer

Tim has amazing adventures. Unfortunately, no one ever believes him. Especially because his stories usually end with some sort of mischief like the last piece of cake gone missing or a broken TV antenna. So, Tim decides to lie and just tell everyone that he, himself, is the perpetrator of these terrible offenses. Unfortunately, then he is punished for his behavior.  How can he convince everyone that he is neither misbehaving or lying? You’ll love the ending to this fantastical picture book ...read more

Reviewed by Carissa - Alicia Ashman on
June 1, 2012 | 0 comments
Top Ten Tearjerkers Did you know that tears are good for your eyes? In honor of Healthy Vision Month (May) the authors of "Books That Made You Cry" came up with a Top 10 Tearjerkers list. What do you think of their list? This list got me thinking of other books that made me cry. Some that came to mind include: ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
May 31, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of One Moment by Kristina McBride

We all have those thoughts; if only I had left five minutes earlier, if only I'd decided not to go to that concert, if only...For Maggie Reynolds all of her 'if only' regrets focus on the moment her boyfriend Joey was killed in a tragic accident. And in the first days after the death her biggest 'if only' relates to her ability to remember exactly what happened on the top of that cliff. Maggie and her friends have gathered at their favorite secluded swimming spot to celebrate the end of the ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
May 30, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden

This book has been featured quite a bit in the media in the last couple of months and the buzz is well deserved, in my opinion. Little has been documented about the North Korean prison camps and successful defectors are rare. Shin Dong-hyuk is the only known person born into one of North Korea's prison labor camps who has escaped. Others have escaped to tell their tale, but Shin's story is remarkable in that he had never known life outside of the camp.  Growing up in Camp 14, Shin develops ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
May 29, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of The Adventures of Sir Gawain the True by Gerald Morris

Few legends capture our imagination like that of King Arthur and his knights. Thanks to author Gerald Morris (who brought Arthurian legend to life for teens and tweens in his Squire's Tale series) and illustrator Aaron Renier, the Knights of the Round Table ride out again, and they've never been funnier or easier to understand! Sir Gawain is not having a great time -- not only does he need to work ...read more

Reviewed by Abby on
May 25, 2012 | 0 comments
Historical Novel Picks According to the Observer's book editor, here is a list of the 10 best historical novels.  Their subject matter covers a wide range of history.  They include: the Napoleonic Wars, the Tudors & Thomas Cromwell, Renaissance Florence, 1860s Sicily, 1950s Brooklyn, pre-revolutionary Paris, life of 18th-century ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
May 23, 2012 | 3 comments
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