MADreads

A review of Drawing from Memory by Allen Say

"Artists are lazy and scruffy people--they are not respectable," says young Allen's father. Well, father didn't necessarily know best; Allen Say grew up to win the prestigious Caldecott medal for his book, Grandfather's Journey, and is now the beloved author and illustrator of many books including Tea with ...read more

Reviewed by Abby on
June 15, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Becoming Queen Victoria: The Tragic Death of Princess Charlotte and the Unexpected Rise of Britain’s Greatest Monarch by Kate Williams

Okay, so I’m something of a royal watcher. The recent crop of royals are all very entertaining and such (Princess Kate is a gift from God as far as fashion editors are concerned), but for the really interesting stuff, I’ve recently discovered that the Regency period—best known to avid readers as the background to Jane Austen’s novels—is something of a golden era for royal bad behavior. The offspring of George III, the long-reigning and increasingly mad king, produced an astonishing fifty-six ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
June 14, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Bringing up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman

I was very gung-ho on reading parenting books before I actually became a parent. I enjoyed reading them and gathering tips and ideas for how I would one day raise my own children. Now that I am actually responsible for guiding a real, live, human being into becoming a happy, healthy and productive member of society, the parenting books have gone the way of my completely unused birth plan. You can dream and think and plan, but in reality, life may go in a different direction and you gotta roll ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
June 12, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits

If you're at all interested in vampire history, I highly recommend the History Channel special Vampire SecretsBesides being very informative, the "historical" reenactments are hilarious, especially the ones about Countess Elizabeth Bathory. The part of the program that really stands out to me, though, is a section about psychic vampires. As the History Channel tells us, there are people out there who ...read more

Reviewed by Kylee on
June 11, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Bradley

Kimberly Bradley, along with almost everyone else who has researched the topic, believe that Thomas Jefferson, former president of the United States and the author of the Declaration of Independence, fathered seven children with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, after his wife Martha past away. The names, ages, and the work that the children did are historically documented, but their feelings and conversations are not. With painstaking detail, Bradley writes the story of what it might have ...read more

Reviewed by Lesley K on
June 8, 2012 | 0 comments
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
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