Back to top

MADreads

Posts by Liz C

Gritty (and not just the sand)

Cover of Hearts of the Missing
A review of Hearts of the Missing by Carol Potenza

Winner of the 2017 Tony Hillerman Prize, this debut mystery lives up to the buzz. Potenza's gritty police procedural is set in the American Southwest and gives the reader an interesting detective and a multi-threaded story involving drugs, gambling, missing people, undercover FBI agents, and more. It's readable and also deeply imbedded in Native American culture. Looking forward to more by this author.

Dec 5, 2019

Challenging beauty

Cover of Horizon
A review of Horizon by Barry Lopez

A dense but often lyrical book of many levels. In one sense it is one man’s retracing his life’s journeys to remote and far flung points on earth. In another, it is a contemplation of human kinds' significance and insignificance in the history of our planet, and the concern that our hubris dooms not only our species but earth itself. Does our ability to create sublime beauty such as the music of Beethoven or the art of Manet supplant our equally ugly creations such as the many prisons built over the ages and the despicable ways we treat our own kind?

Nov 25, 2019

All is not what it seems

Cover of The Lemon Sisters
A review of The Lemon Sisters by Jill Shalvis
Brooke Lemon has led an adventurous life as a photojournalist and editor traveling around the world, and would appear to have a life anyone would envy….except….appearances are not always what they seem. So too with Brooke's older sister Mindy. She also seems to have the perfect life.
Nov 7, 2019

A deep dive

Cover of Fire and fortitude: The US
A review of Fire and fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943 by John McManus
It's an ambitious undertaking to give a deep look at the Pacific theatre of World War II. McManus is giving himself room to complete the task. Here he has written an intense and thorough book covering the first two years of the Pacific War, but he's not done. He'll complete the endeavor in a second volume. Even so, it is a long book and almost too detailed to be absorbed. Caveats aside, it actually reads fairly easily.
Oct 23, 2019

The last taboo

Cover of The Good Death: An Explora
A review of The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America by Ann Neumann

I don’t imagine that there are many among us who have not had an experience with death: whether the screaming pain of cancer, the slow decline of a body long after the mind has left, the silent passing during sleep. But we don’t talk about it, we rarely face the fact that despite the ads and scientific research regarding longevity, it is still something we will all need to face however reluctantly. Neumann’s book is a good place to start.

Oct 16, 2019

Vive la France

Cover of Bruno, Chief of Police
A review of Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker

This is really a plug for this whole wonderful series set in the south of France. Bruno is the first mystery and you do really need to start there for the full flavor and to get to know the recurring characters who surround Bruno Courreges, Chief of police in St. Denis. Set in the late twentieth century, it emphasizes that the French have long memories. That what happened during the war and after has long aftereffects that sometimes show up in surprising ways.

Oct 2, 2019

Eye of the beholder

Cover of Little Dancer Aged Fourtee
A review of Little Dancer Aged Fourteen: The True Story Behind Degas's Masterpiece by Camille Laurens

What is art? What attracts or repulses the viewer? The colors, setting, images, tactile feel of textiles/sculpture? Does knowledge of the artist or the subject influence the viewer? All these questions and more are addressed in this surprisingly slim and amazing new book by the French novelist Camille Laurens detailing her fascination of one artist, Edgar Degas, and one work, his now iconic sculpture of a young dancer. 

Jun 5, 2019

Foodie's rejoice

Cover of The Best American Food Wri
A review of The Best American Food Writing 2018 edited by Ruth Reichl

Just reading the introduction by Ruth Reichl made me miss Gourmet magazine anew, since in a lot of ways my favorite parts of the magazine were the articles on travel and food trends. If you enjoy food, whether eating it, making it, or both, you will find something in this book for you. And fortunately for us readers, Reichl has gone beyond that and picked articles that explore school lunches, the place of women chefs in the restaurant world, the appropriation of barbecue from its African American roots, and much more. I look forward to the next volume in the series.

May 30, 2019

The Boss

Cover of Born to Run
A review of Born to Run by Bruce Sprinsteen

I started out reading this book in the hardcover edition the year it was published but kept thinking how great it would be to actually hear the Boss tell his story in his own words and own voice.  So, when I discovered it was available as a downloadable audio, I decided to get it and then wait for a long car trip to listen to the book. I am glad I did it that way, because if ever a book was meant to be listened to, this was the one.

May 20, 2019

Pages