Librarians' Picks for 2015 For the last ten days librarians have been tweeting their 2015 favorites using the hashtag #libfaves15. Some titles are familiar and being seen on a lot of other 'best of' lists, but many others are unsung, but still standout, titles of this past year. I tweeted along with the other librarians and here list my top ten titles. 10. more

Reviewed by Jane J on
December 17, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA by Roberta Kaplan

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision this past June concerning same sex marriage, I think this is an important book to be aware of.  Ms. Kaplan traces the history behind and the staging of the Windsor case regarding equal marital rights which was presented to the Supreme Court in 2012. This decision in favor of Edith Windsor set the stage for the court decision in June. The author writes a clear account, even for the layman, regarding the laws and arguments behind the decision more

Reviewed by Liz - Sequoya on
December 16, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Werewolf of Bamberg by Oliver Pötzsch

My favorite 17th Century hangman, Jakob Kuisl, and his family are back again in the thick of danger with a new adventure in The Werewolf of Bamberg. Oliver Plotzsch has once again created another engrossing historical novel filled with mystery, superstition, uneasiness, and family rifts. Jacob and his family have travel from their home in Schongau to Bamberg to attend his younger brother's wedding. He's more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
December 15, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of It's a Long Story: My Life by Willie Nelson

Still touring! An early advocate of biofuels! Farm Aid organizer! Married to two women at the same time! It's a Long Story covers all 82 years of Willie Nelson's life, from the early days of poverty in Texas to his start as a clean-cut DJ and his metamorphosis into an "outlaw" musician. Stardust is one of my favorite albums of all-time and I was more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
December 14, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin

Looking for a way to help your child find their own quiet place in a busy, noisy, clambering world? Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin (Plum Blossom Books, 2015) takes a gentle look at how to find quiet and peacefulness inside your own self.  Charlotte, the young protagonist in the story, lives in a noisy house, a noisy neighborhood, and a noisy school. She has trouble finding one spot that’s quiet and peaceful. Then, one day while she’s walking her dog, she finds a place in more

Reviewed by Tracy on
December 11, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Second Amendment: A Biography by Michael Waldman

“Let’s be clear: the eloquent men who wrote “we the people” and the First Amendment did us no favors in the drafting of the Second Amendment,” Michael Waldman drily notes well into The Second Amendment: A Biography. Indeed, the convoluted wording of the amendment has stymied legal scholars, judges, attorneys and the general public pretty much since the ink was still wet on the Bill of Rights. Over two hundred years after is composition, the meaning of the Second has never been as more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
December 10, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of All American Boys by Jason Reynolds

“Rashad is absent again today.” This is the line that will stick with you, in your mind and in your gut, after reading All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. The story is told from two perspectives: Rashad and Quinn. Both high school boys, one Black and one White. The first chapter, in which Rashad is assaulted by a police officer, is explicit and powerful. We see and feel what happened. Quinn sees it too, and the novel takes us through the following week as the boys, more

Reviewed by Kelly - Meadowridge on
December 9, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Much Loved by Mark Nixon

At first glance, this appears to be a freak-show-worthy gallery of deformed creatures from beyond, but Mark Nixon treats us to the stories behind each much-loved, worn-beyond-recognition stuffed animal, its owner, and its provenance. Nixon describes how he made a call for these beloved fuzzy companions for a photographic exhibit and was overwhelmed by the response of people of all ages who cared to share the stories of their oldest friends. We all have some kind of animal or blankie from more

Reviewed by Carra on
December 8, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula by Andi Watson

Are you looking for a gentle scare? This is a darling book full of zombies and werewolves and inhabitants of the netherworld. The cupcake eating vampire and bat-shaped pig-tails on the cover assure the reader of this!  We are first introduced to Princess Decomposia, an overworked, neglected Princess quietly and competently overseeing the Underground Kingdom while her paranoid and hypochondriac bedbound father, the King, harasses all of his staff. The King refuses to eat anything but broth more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
December 7, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Pablo & Jane and the hot air contraption by Jose Domingo

Ever wondered what would happen if Where's Waldo smashed into Adventure Time at 70 miles per hour?  You'd get Pablo and Jane and the Hot Air Contraption! Half graphic novel, half seek and find, it's 100% fun and perfect for your next long road trip adventure. Independent and reluctant readers will be quick to gobble this one up--catch a copy today at your Madison Public Library! more

Reviewed by Abby on
December 4, 2015 | 0 comments
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