A review of Drink the Tea by Thomas Kaufman

I'm always on the lookout for new mysteries with different characters.  Kaufman's debut, Drink the Tea fills the bill. I like the character, a part-time PI who works in a record warehouse, and the location, Washington, D.C. Willis Gidney was abandoned by his parents and grew up on the streets, in a series of foster homes and in a juvenile detention facility. In fact, he got his name from the 2 cops more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
August 9, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri

I still feel sick to my stomach thinking about this book and it's been several weeks since I read it. It's a truly horrifying "ripped from the headlines" story of an eleven-year-old Chicago gang member. His name is Yummy because he loves candy. He sleeps with a teddy bear. He's been in and out of the child welfare system dozens of times. And he accidentally shoots and kills his fourteen-year-old neighbor while intentionally trying to kill a rival gang member. He is then gunned down by his own more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
August 8, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Underground by Shane Evans

As a child, I pictured the Underground Railroad as a long tunnel for the miniature train from Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay—and you could ride that train all the way to Canada! Of course, my parents explained that, like Amelia Bedelia, I was being too literal. Although I now understand the danger and sacrifice that linked everyone who traveled and maintained the hidden network we call the Underground Railroad, I have never seen it as simply or beautifully expressed as in Shane Evans’ more

Reviewed by Abby on
August 4, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran

I'm not a big fan of gritty, hardboiled mysteries; my favorite detective of all time is Veronica Mars. However, Claire DeWitt, the sharp-tongued, hard-drinking detective that is introduced in Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, Sara Gran's first entry in a new series, is a pretty close second, even if she is more noir than Nancy Drew. Claire is not your typical detective. Like Veronica Mars, her sleuthing talents come naturally and spill over into every aspect of her life. Her more

Reviewed by Kylee on
August 4, 2011 | 2 comments
A review of The Big Roads by Earl Swift

The old cliché says there are two certainties in life, death and taxes. For Americans, a third could be added: the interstate highway. Love them, loathe them, it is hard to imagine some long distance trek from A to B without the ubiquitous bands of parallel concrete, sinuously stretching across the plains and valleys of the American countryside. For many, the verges of interstate are the definition of the American landscape, dotted with the green signage marking distant cities, the familiar more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
August 2, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of One Night in London: The Truth About the Duke by Caroline Linden

What would you do if you found out on your father's deathbed that when he was young he was married, and not only married but never divorced before he married your mother? That's what happens to Edward de Lacey and his brothers. They all may be illegimate. Charles, the oldest & heir, may not be the new Duke of Durham; but that currently doesn't seem to matter to the carefree playboy. And Gerad, the youngest on leave from his post in the military, wants to pound someone. It is left to Edward more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
August 1, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll

When Ethan finds out his monster, Gabe, has gone fishing for the week, he's beside himself. How can anyone get to sleep without their monster under the bed?! A series of substitute monsters follows, but Ethan can always find something wrong with them. He's about to give up, when Gabe comes back early and helps Ethan sleep with some familiar green ooze. A fun bedtime story for all monster lovers, I Need My Monster is a great twist on the standard "monster under my bed" tale. For more more

Reviewed by Krissy on
July 28, 2011 | 1 comment
A review of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

I read Mississippi author Tom Franklin’s historical novel, Hell at the Breech, a few years ago when I was traveling in rural Mississippi and Alabama on my way to a Florida winter getaway. It was a perfect companion piece for the trip because Franklin is a worthy successor to William Faulkner for getting more

Reviewed by Helene on
July 28, 2011 | 0 comments
Book cover of My Boyfriend is a Monster
A review of My Boyfriend Is a Monster by Graphic Universe

I could just eat this scrumptious new teen graphic novel series up. It is super cute and easy for summer, and reminds me of my beloved Archie Digests. I spent hours of vacation reading those smartly-sized volumes when I was a kid and these graphic novels are a similar size and equally breezy.  As the series title suggests, each novel presents a different scenario in which the female protagonist falls in love and discovers her new more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
July 27, 2011 | 0 comments
Book cover
Man Booker Longlist According to my Twitter feed the Longlist for the Man Booker Prize has been announced. This is the longer list (natch!) of titles that will be up for the prize. It will be winnowed down to 6 titles in September and the winner will be announced in October. Since this is a British prize some of these titles are not yet out in the US, but you should definitely keep an eye on LINKcat because most will be coming soon. more

Reviewed by Jane J on
July 26, 2011 | 0 comments
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