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A review of The Violinist’s Thumb, and Other Lost Tales of love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam Kean

Curling tongues. Attached ear lobes, widow’s peaks, blue eyes or brown. They’re all familiar tropes from high school biology class, proof of the genetic family inheritance we’re all saddled with, for good or bad. DNA continues to amaze with its ability to create all of humanity with just its mix of four repeating amino acids: adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine. But the story of DNA’s amazing versatility comes more fully to life in Sam Kean’s irreverent and informative The Violinist’s ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
January 31, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir by Ellen Forney

Ellen Forney is a Seattle artist diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This graphic novel chronicles her diagnosis, her interpretation of her manic and depressive episodes and her struggle to decide whether or not to be medicated. One of Ellen's first concerns with medication was how it would affect her art, but as her disease progressed, her concerns focused in a different direction: whether or not medication would actually help her get better. Wow. This book is heavy. It's exhausting. It's ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
January 30, 2013 | 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-- ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
January 29, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

"The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life - or at least shoved up so hard against someone else's life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window - is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people." This is the realization that Louisa Clark comes to after her comfortable, if boring, life is upended by the loss of her job at The Buttered Bun restaurant. Louisa is twenty-six and lives with her parents ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
January 28, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Pie by Sarah Weeks

Alice’s beloved Aunt Polly made amazing pies. She loved to bake them so much that she opened up a pie shop and gave the pies away for free! Everyone in town had a favorite flavor of Polly’s pies, and as word of them spread, people traveled from all over to taste her renowned baking. Sadly, Aunt Polly dies unexpectedly and perplexes everyone by leaving her secret pie crust recipe to her cat, Lardo. Her will also bequeaths Lardo himself (a rather grumpy cat) to her favorite niece, Alice. How do ...read more

Reviewed by Carissa - Alicia Ashman on
January 25, 2013 | 0 comments
Two Very Different Books with the Same Title I recently was chatting with a fellow reader about favorite books, and he happened to mention that he was rereading one of his favs: Going Solo. I immediately thought of Roald Dahl’s autobiography by that name, but in fact he was referring to Eric Klinenberg’s study of the growing trend towards single member households. Dahl’s book, one of my all-time favorites, recounts his earliest single years in East Africa and his RAF service in the Mediterranean theaters during World War II ...read more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
January 24, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of The Diviners by Libba Bray

I'm going to be completely honest about this: I had been looking forward to reading The Diviners for most of 2012 but when it first showed up on the hold shelf for me and I discovered it was 578 pages, I paused a little. OK, I paused a lot, like, for 28 days, and then had to bring the book back to the library without even having started it.  So I placed it on hold again and decided to dedicate myself to it when it next arrived. That time is now. Here's the scoop: Evangeline (Evie ...read more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
January 22, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of The Hungry Ghost of Rue Orleans by Mary Quattlebaum

Fred the ghost is happy in his leaky, creaky, dusty old house. He tends his cactus, gobbles air, and is perfectly content. But when Pierre and his daughter Marie arrive, declaring the house their new restaurant, Fred loses his quiet corner of the universe. Walls are painted, cobwebs swept away, and suddenly, Fred’s house is…CLEAN. Then came the noise. The horrible clanking of silverware and dishes disrupting Fred’s peace. After throwing a fit of ghostly proportions, sending food flying, Fred is ...read more

Reviewed by Jill O on
January 18, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of The Beggar King by Oliver Potzsch

My favorite 17th Century sleuths are back for another hair-raising, exciting, and almost deadly adventure. It is 1662 and Jakob Kuisl, the Schongau hangman, his oldest daughter Magdalena, and Simon Fronwieser, the medicus and son of the town doctor are in for quite an adventure in Oliver Plotzsch's new novel, The Beggar King. This time the story moves from Schongau to Regensburg. What they say is true: ...read more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
January 17, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes

It's been six years since the last book in Keyes' Walsh Family series so she'd fallen off my radar a little bit. Which turned reading her newest into something of a surprise. It's been long enough (though Keyes did have a standalone novel out in 2009) that I forgot how darkly funny she can be - and in this case I mean DARKLY funny. You know that phrase you see in book reviews? "Mordant humor"? Well here is the book that defines what that is. Helen Walsh is having a very bad time. Her career as ...read more

Reviewed by Jane J on
January 16, 2013 | 0 comments
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