A review of Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard

The Central Library book group met last week to discuss Candice Millard's 'duel biography' Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President. To a person, it was much appreciated. Mainly the book covers the lead-up to James Garfield taking office as president and his assassination. More broadly, however, it is a window into a time not-so-long ago in some ways (130 years) that was both quite similar in some respects and shockingly different in others. more

Reviewed by Liz - Central Library on
December 3, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

I'm a huge fan of Oliver Jeffers' illustrations and stories, so when I noticed this on the shelf, I had to take a look. Jeffers again comes through with a laugh-out-loud story about a boy whose kite gets stuck in a tree. As the boy attempts to get the kite out, he throws everything at the tree, including the kitchen sink... although the kitchen sink is really just the beginning! This is a ridiculously silly and funny book that adults and kids will both love. I think I've actually found my new more

Reviewed by Trent on
November 30, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Where the Bodies are Buried by Christopher Brookmyre

"Detective Catherine McLeod was always taught that in Glasgow, they don't do whodunit. They do score-settling. They do vendettas. They do petty revenge. They do can't-miss-whodunit. It's a lesson that has served her well, but Glasgow is also a dangerous place to make assumptions." This description of Brookmyre's book captures the tone of his new series perfectly. Gritty with a touch of very dark humor and a very strong sense of the less touristy parts of Glasgow. Catherine McLeod is more

Reviewed by Jane J on
November 29, 2012 | 0 comments
Year End Best Lists As 2012 winds down the evaluations begin. Just what were the best, most notable, most popular books of 2012? Everyone has an opinion. Take a look at some of these lists and see what you think. New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2012Amazon's Best Books of more

Reviewed by Jane J on
November 28, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

"Chopsticks" pretty much sums it up for me, with Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" coming in a close second. There's something about the repetitiveness of "Chopsticks" that echoes lunacy. When I realized that Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral's unusual teen mad romance utilizes this waltz to demonstrate how the main character, a piano prodigy, is careening off course, I immediately understood. No more words required. The name of this instantly recognizable tune conveys the message loud and more

Reviewed by Molly - Central on
November 27, 2012 | 2 comments
A review of The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James

I will admit I’m a relative newbie to the romances, only coming to the genre and Regency-era historical titles in particular, only in the past couple of years.  Digging into a new genre is always fun, and more so when one comes across authors that never crossed the radar before.  For me, I’ve been drawn especially to Eloisa James, whose skill with characterization and witty dialogue added to swoony heroes and strong minded heroines makes for a fun twist on traditional romance. more

Reviewed by Katie H. on
November 26, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Blue Sky by Audrey Wood

If you haven't checked out a picture book by Audrey Wood, you need to -- right away. Titles like The Napping House, Silly Sally and King Bidgood's in the Bathtub have become classics. Her newest entry more

Reviewed by Krissy on
November 23, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje

I’m going to try something a little different with this book review—not only am I going to share my reactions to the book, I’ll share the reactions of my library book group as well. Michael Ondaatje was born in Sri Lanka and lived there until he moved to England via passenger ship at age 11, just as the main characters in The Cat's Table do. In interviews Ondaatje says he wanted to portray ‘the huge gulf’ between children and parents during a part of childhood he called the ‘feral more

Reviewed by Liz - Central Library on
November 20, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

No one writes a fairy tale like Margo Lanagan. Her first novel, Tender Morsels, was one of my favorite books of 2008, and her story collections Red Spikes, Black Juice, and more

Reviewed by Kylee on
November 19, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Where's Walrus by Stephen Savage

When walrus waddles off, wackiness ensues in this wordless wonder-book. Perfect for pointing preschoolers, pick this prize from your proximal (Madison) Public Library--pronto! more

Reviewed by Abby on
November 16, 2012 | 1 comment
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