A review of Freezing by Clea Koff

While I was reading Koff's debut mystery I watched a crime show on television. The difference between this well-researched forensic mystery and the shoddy science on the show was monumental. So much so that I ranted about it elsewhere. But I digress. Freezing is a great start to what I hope will be a long-running forensic series. Jayne Hall and Steelie Lander run the 32/1 agency, a nonprofit organization that does forensic profiles of missing persons and tries to connect them with the more

Reviewed by Jane J on
December 15, 2011 | 3 comments
A review of Young Men and Fire: A True Story of the Mann Gulch Fire by Norman Maclean

When author and scholar Norman Maclean died in 1990, he left behind a small oeuvre of works, mostly short stories and essays. Included among his papers was an almost complete manuscript of the project that had consumed much of Maclean’s final decades: an account of the Mann Gulch fire of 1949 that claimed the lives of twelve young Forest Service Smokejumpers. The fire in the rugged Montana countryside is largely forgotten today outside of firefighting circles. But for more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
December 15, 2011 | 1 comment
A review of The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

Since a young age Amelia Gray has been able to see ghosts. She has always followed the rules laid out by her father in regards to this ability: Never acknowledge the dead Never stray far from hallowed ground Never associate with those who are haunted Never, ever tempt fate  Up until now these strictures have worked for Amelia, even as she pursues a job as a cemetery restorer. Up until now. Things are changing for Amelia. She's working in more

Reviewed by Jane J on
December 13, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres

I seriously doubt that I will be chosen as the next face of Cover Girl if I start doing yoga every day, but it happened to Ellen DeGeneres when she turned 50, so exciting things do happen. Ellen practices yoga every day and she looks fantastic. So there you have it. The secret to happiness and beauty is once more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
December 12, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Etre the Cow by Sean Kenniff

““Moo, Cow!” they shout, and I try not to turn. But I do, and as always, I am humiliated.” Thus begins Sean Kenniff’s poignant novel about a cow named Être. This bull is like no other cow in the pasture. He thinks and feels, tries to express himself, and knows there must be more to life than munching grass. When Être is confronted by the reality of a cow’s existence and the fact that there may be no escaping his life on the farm, he unexpectedly acts out in a violent way, like any other bull. more

Reviewed by Madeleine on
December 9, 2011 | 0 comments
Best Lists Readers are big on lists and at this time of year, they're big on "bests". They can range from cookbooks to the Most Criminally Overlooked and cover books for kids and adults. Regardless of topic or type I look at them all. Even in the ones that seem farthest from more

Reviewed by Jane J on
December 8, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Nothing like a good novel set in Hawaii to take me out of my mid-December-there's-no-sun-to-be found misery. I just let the descriptions of the sunsets on the beach and the tropical mountains wash over me and sweep me out of this mess. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings is just what I needed to pick me up. The narrator, Matt King, is the descendant of Hawaiian royalty and more

Reviewed by Lisa - Central on
December 6, 2011 | 1 comment
A review of Ravel by Jean Echenoz

The first time I read Ravel, I was traveling west across southern Minnesota shortly after a heavy winter snow. The entire landscape was one rolling expanse of white, the sky was a shade darker gray. It seemed the perfect complement to Jean Echenoz’s obsessively detailed character study of the great French composer, a book in which not a lot happens but revealing portrait emerges at its more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
December 5, 2011 | 1 comment
A review of Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig

The farm animals are unable to go to sleep ‘cause they got that beat! This story provides a fun way to introduce rhythm. This lyrical book allows interaction and would not only be a great read-aloud, but also as a call-and-response story. You will be peeping, purring and howling like never before. Beware though, you may get carried away, and the short, simple phrases will get stuck in your head. Marc Brown, the creator of Arthur, star of picture books and the PBS show, creates more

Reviewed by Jody on
December 2, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

As the end of 2011 approaches, year-end best and worst lists are popping up all over the internet. I haven't put any together myself, but if I do, I'll have to list The Marriage Plot, a book I've been looking forward to reading for ages, as the most disappointing. It's not a bad book; it's interesting, well-written, and witty, but as a follow-up to Jeffrey Eugenides' other fabulous novels, more

Reviewed by Kylee on
December 1, 2011 | 2 comments
Syndicate content