MADreads

A review of Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature's Most Memorable Meals by Dinah Fried

This is a bright little book lovers book. The author is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and started a small design project that grew and grew. She had the idea to re-create memorable meals from novels. She cooked, styled and photographed the meals and discovered that there were many more books and many more meals to make. The result is this charming book!  Each novel is set up with a two-page spread. The concept is executed beautifully. The first page includes a narrative ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
September 8, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard by John Branch

To those that knew him, Derek Boogaard was quite unlike his public persona. The son of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer and a stay-at-home mom, Boogaard was shy kid, not terribly interested in school, and good with kids. As an adult, he wore glasses, collected Buddha statues, and bought rounds at the bar for everyone. But when Boogaard was on the ice, he was a very different person. One of the most feared enforcers in the NHL, Boogaard was expected to strike fear opponents and rally ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
September 6, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This summer I watched The Last Ship, an action adventure tv series (based on the book of the same title by William Brinkley). The series, which is very action-packed and fun (if sometimes a bit over-dramatic and thin on the plot details), takes place in the months after a disease has wiped out about ninety percent of the world's population - think Ebola on extreme steroids. And with all the recent news about the Ebola disease, the plot doesn't seem that far-fetched. This shoot-em-up series ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J - Central on
September 5, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast

This is the book-length version of a 12-page New Yorker cartoon that I loved so much I pulled it out to keep last March.  In the vein of Special Exits, another terrific graphic novel on aging parents, it deals with the gradual decline and eventual death of our parents. Basically, if your parents are lucky and in good health, the process can be very long, expensive, and emotionally and physically exhausting for all involved. I know this is all coming for me ...read more

Reviewed by Amy - Lakeview on
September 4, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Phoebe and Digger by Tricia Springstubb

While Mama is busy taking care of the new baby, Phoebe is busy playing with her Digger. Digger is much more exciting to Phoebe than the new baby, and Digger keeps her occupied while Mama's hands are tied. But what will happen when a bully grabs Digger away from Phoebe at the park? Will she get Digger back? With fantastic illustrations with a retro feel, Phoebe and Digger is a perfect story for any child that loves construction vehicles -- but it's especially great for little girls who'd rather ...read more

Reviewed by Krissy on
August 29, 2014 | 0 comments
Booklist's Top 10 Sports book Baseball is heading into the homestretch. Football has begun. How about checking out Booklist's annual Top 10 Sports Books? They include the fishing, football, poker, golf, baseball, ping-pong, and basketball. Are there any new sports books that also belong on this list? All Fishermen Are Liars By ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
August 28, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Bluford High: Someone to Love Me by Anne Schraff

Some high school students do all they can to avoid their parents. But not Bluford High freshman Cindy Gibson. She's desperate for her mother's attention and affection, but those seem to be reserved for mom's gold-chained boyfriend, Raffie. Cindy and Raffie don't get along-- perhaps Raffie is kind to Cindy's mother off-stage-- but when he's with Cindy, he's downright cruel, alternating between ignoring her and calling her "ugly mugly".  Cindy's self-esteem is at an all-time low when Bobby ...read more

Reviewed by Laura on
August 27, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, The Playboy Prince by Jane Ridley

Historian Jane Ridley’s new revisionist account of King Edward VII’s life and reign has a very distinct shift in tone, right as the former Albert Edward, Prince of Wales ascends to the British throne as Edward VII. For his entire life, Edward (more familiarly known as Bertie) had lived in the shadow, perhaps understandably, of his mother Queen Victoria. A career of doing mostly nothing had led the prince into the usual pitfalls that accompany wealth and status, bringing most historians to ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
August 25, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of I Heart My Little A-Holes: A Bunch of Holy-Crap Moments No One Ever Told You about Parenting by Karen Alpert

And apparently, I am not alone. Karen Alpert's sharp and profanity-laced book of stories, lists and observations about parenting two young children includes a very pointed essay on how if Caillou were a real person, she'd gladly go to jail for killing him. I'm not exaggerating about this - that's the title of the essay, almost word for word. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'd commit bodily harm to a cartoon character, but I know where she's coming from. Caillou's been on the air for almost ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
August 22, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Longbourn by Jo Baker

Do you love Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen? Do you enjoy the upstairs-downstairs drama of Downton Abbey? If so, you may want to try Longbourn. It is a delight to be transported back to the world of a much-loved novel. Though it is no easy task to expand on Austen, and a number of authors have tried with varying degrees of success, Jo Baker has done very well. She has taken the Longbourn home, the characters and story that we know and love, and ...read more

Reviewed by Amy - Lakeview on
August 19, 2014 | 0 comments
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