A review of Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

When I think of Lane Smith, I think of silly stories with a snarky sense of humor. So, I was surprised by the simple beauty of his latest work, Grandpa Green. With lush, green illustrations, Smith depicts the garden of Grandpa Green through the eyes of his great-grandson. Around every corner, topiaries depict scenes from Grandpa's life -- the time he got the chicken pox, scenes from his favorite books, the day he met his wife. And, while Grandpa's memory may be fading, his garden holds more

Reviewed by Krissy on
January 6, 2012 | 0 comments
Recommended Biographies Like reading about other people and their lives? Then here is a list for you.  These titles are from various"best of" lists, including the New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year. Below are a few from a new library booklist-- Recommended Biographies in 2011. more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
January 5, 2012 | 3 comments
A review of Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan

Sometimes I'm reluctant to write a review of a book. Not because the book was bad but because it was good. So good that I know I won't be able to do it justice with my own words. Bad Things Happen is just such a book. Harry Dolan crosses Raymond Chandleresque noir with Quentin Tarantino's rapid-fire dialog and complicated plotting style. All this leavened with enough dry wit to make a more

Reviewed by Jane J on
January 4, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Book geeks like me always look forward to the National Book Awards, and this year provided a little more drama due to a hazy phone connection and some hurried backtracking in the young adult category (happily settled, thankfully). The other surprise of the evening came in the fiction category.  Often viewed as an award to honor more critically acclaimed but lesser known authors, this year’s winner Salvage the Bones more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
January 3, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle

The artist being referred to in this story is Franz Marc, a famous abstract artist who was criticized for painting a horse blue. The author Eric Carle believes that “children ought not be inhibited by conventional rules (in art) but, instead should be encouraged to express their natural talents freely and joyfully.” To express this belief, Carle paints pictures of various animals in unusual colors. There is an orange elephant, a red crocodile, a polka-dotted donkey and several more uniquely more

Reviewed by Lesley K on
December 30, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante

This one has been getting such raves (here and here as examples) that it has been on my to-be-read list for a while. Because of its dark subject matter Turn of Mind is one of those books that I have to read when I'm in the right frame of mind, so it has been back more

Reviewed by Jane J on
December 29, 2011 | 2 comments
A review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Karou is a blue-haired, tattoo-covered teenage art student in Prague. This alone is probably enough to make her interesting, but add to that the fact that she's an orphan who has been raised by chimaera - namely a gruff part man-part beast named Brimstone who makes a living collecting teeth - and things start to get weird. Karou is used to having her days interrupted by Kishmish, a part crow/part bat who sends her on errands for Brimstone, but when the portals that she uses to travel quickly more

Reviewed by Kylee on
December 28, 2011 | 0 comments
Recommended History Books Like reading history?  Why not check out some new history books? There are many "best of" lists out there, including the New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year. Below are a few from a new library booklist-- History Books, Recommended in 2011 more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
December 27, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Red Glass by Laura Resau

From Caitlin, a Teen's Choice Book Reviewer: I really liked Red Glass, and I recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting and funny story. This book has good, believable dialogue and many commonly stereotyped characters that defy stereotypes, such as Sophie's great aunt Dika and Angel. I also liked how the book was about more than illegal immigration from Mexico and really was about family, love, dealing with loss and death, and forgiveness. It was easy to read, funny (it made me more

Reviewed by Krissy on
December 23, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

This first novel by Seattle-ite Sarah Jio has one of the most appealing book covers I've seen in a long time.  I haven't heard anything about the author, haven't read any reviews, but I like the way the book looks and sometimes that's enough for me to get started. The main character, Emily, is a bestselling author with writer's block. She's going through a divorce and her agent encourages her to get away for a bit, convinced that she'll find inspiration if she gives herself some fresh more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
December 20, 2011 | 0 comments
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