A review of The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald

I have a sense that if one were to give ten readers copies of The Blue Flower and asked them to categorize it, you’d end up with ten different responses.  Penelope Fitzgerald’s 1995 novel depicting the brief love of German Romantic poet Friedrich von Hardenberg, later known as Novalis, and his twelve-year-old ‘spirit’s guide’ Sophie von Kuhn is a strange little work, the sort that one reader will be mesmerized by and the next struggle to get past the first few chapters.  The more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
October 3, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie

A fun story about names, family, and finding your own place in the world, Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown and Company, 2016) tells a refreshing story paired with beautiful, full page illustrations. Thunder Boy is named after his father – Big Thunder. He loves his dad, but he wants his own name – a name that says something unique about him. Little Thunder thinks of some possibilities . . . he likes playing in dirt, so maybe his name should be “Mud in His Ears” . . . but he also more

Reviewed by Tracy on
September 30, 2016 | 0 comments
New Mysteries For a number of years now I'm been sharing a list of mysteries, both new characters and old. Here is my fall/winter 2016 list of titles I am looking forward to reading.  I've already started on my list with Manitou Canyon.  Another solid entry in the Cork O'Connor series.    A Deadly Affection by more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
September 27, 2016 | 0 comments
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Racial Equity Resources In 2014, the City of Madison undertook a deliberate, focused and organized effort called the Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative (RESJI).  One of the guiding principles of the City's RESJI is authentic, ongoing public engagement and participation, with the goal of changing the culture of our city - including addressing institutional racism. The city, and the library, are committed to supporting and aligning with other racial equity and social justice efforts - including the work more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
September 26, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Slowest Book Ever by April Pulley Sayre

Without reading ahead, what would you guess is the heaviest living thing on the planet?  Would you guess an elephant? A blue whale? Maybe a giant squid? I was surprised to discover that by weight, giant sequoia trees are the biggest thing on Earth.  Giant Sequoias live for about 3,000 years, and at maturity can weigh 2.7 million pounds, as much as eleven full grown blue whales.  Focusing on nature and natural processes, Pulley Sayre invites readers to slow down and learn all more

Reviewed by Karen on
September 23, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

We’ve all said it: today will be the day I…and we fill in the blank with whatever event will make all the difference in life.  That’s the case with Eleanor Flood, a cartoonist who is ready to radiate calm, actually attend her yoga class, exercise enviable self-control and confidence, and stop saying ‘amazing’ so often. But Eleanor lives in Maria Semple’s world, where the mere mention of calmness is a guarantee of ensuing chaos. Today Will Be Different is no different.  Like more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
September 22, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Solomon is sixteen years old, and he hasn't left his house since he was 13. Ever since he had a majorly public (and still talked about) anxiety attack in middle school, the teen has been content to stay in his house and earn his diploma online, with only his parents and grandmother for company. Enter Lisa-- a former classmate who is eager to infiltrate his happy but private world in order to gather material for a winning college essay she hopes to write. Accompanied by her handsome boyfriend more

Reviewed by Beth on
September 21, 2016 | 0 comments
Nonfiction Nominees Looking for something to read? Check out the long list for 2016 National Book Awards. The categories include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young adult. The winners will be announced November 16th. Below are the nonfiction nominees.   America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History by more

Reviewed by Kathy K. - Central on
September 19, 2016 | 0 comments
A review of The Lincoln-Douglas Debates by Abraham Lincoln

It's that time!  The dates and venues have been announced for the 2016 Presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as well as the date for the Vice Presidential debate between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence. Find the complete 2016 Presidential Debate schedule here.  As our nation prepares for the upcoming presidential election, let us think back to electoral more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
September 16, 2016 | 0 comments
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New Titles October has to be the perfect month for curling up with a good novel, and there are plenty of new titles to choose from. Brit Bennett’s debut The Mothers has been generating lots of buzz; her tale of love and its fallout in a tight-knit black Southern California community hits shelves October 11. Sticking with Los Angeles, author Joe Ide assigns his unconventional PI the cases the LAPD refuse to touch (and with good reason) in his debut novel IQ. MPL favorite Maria Semple ( more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
September 14, 2016 | 0 comments
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