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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Partnering one another

Cover of A Rogue of Her Own
A review of A Rogue of Her Own by Grace Burrowes

There are a few tropes that will always hook me when it comes to historical romance. One of those tropes, the marriage of convenience, is the underpinning for Burrowes' latest in her Windham Brides series. What starts out as an attempt by the heroine, Charlotte Windham, to have a brush with scandal so that she can avoid further London seasons, turns into a marriage to Lucas Sherbourne, her unwitting accomplice.

Sep 4, 2018

Margaret in a fun-house mirror

Cover of Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Pr
A review of Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown

Thanks to the recent popularity of Netflix’s series The Crown, there has been a resurgence of interest in the series’ most fascinating character, Princess Margaret. Younger sister of Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret has to be arguably the most polarizing royal figure of her era. Alternative portraits present her as a woman frustrated by royal constrictions which denied her any real purpose in life and marriage to the man she loved versus a mean, manipulative society maven who never failed to remind people of her superior rank in a world that viewed her as a camp figure.

Aug 31, 2018

Is there ever an acceptable reason to "ghost" someone?

Cover of Ghosted
A review of Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

"Ghosting" according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication. Several recent reports tout it as the new toxic behavior. It's cowardly, it's destructive and it doesn't resolve anything.  

Aug 29, 2018

Magical steampunk

Cover of The Clockwork Witch
A review of The Clockwork Witch by Michelle Sonnier

In this first of a series Sonnier offers a vibrant and fast-moving tale that melds steampunk and magic to great effect. Arabella is the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter of England's most powerful family of witches. As such she was expected to do great things. But Arabella has aged past the point where her powers should have been revealed with nary a spark of talent showing, much to the dismay of her mother and delight of some of her more competitive sisters.

Aug 27, 2018

Wisconsin Book Festival

Pieces of Her book cover
Lineup Announced

The Wisconsin Book Festival released its 2018 festival schedule on August 21. The four-day festival will take place October 11-14, 2018, in and around Madison Public Library’s Central Library in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. The festival will feature more than 60 events over four days with plenty of opportunities to meet authors, discover new books or favorite writers, and have books signed. See the full festival lineup at wisconsinbookfestival.org.

Aug 24, 2018

Free Access to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Cover of Harry Potter and the Sorce
A review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling

Everyone’s favorite boy wizard is turning twenty this year! Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone first hit shelves in 1997, sparking a cultural phenomenon that’s still going strong. To celebrate, Overdrive is offering free access to the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ebook between August 27 and September 10.  Enjoy reconnecting with favorite characters or take the opportunity to introduce a new generation to the series.

Aug 23, 2018

Nurturing friendships and traditions

Cover of The Tea Dragon Society
A review of The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill

A young blacksmith's apprentice named Greta discovers a lost tea dragon at the market and uncovers the forgotten world of the Tea Dragon Society. The book follows a year of seasons starting with spring and the developing friendships between Greta, the tea dragon masters, Hesekiel and Erik, and a mysterious and shy girl named Minette.

Aug 21, 2018

Multilayered, mysterious and lovely

Cover of Midnight at the Bright Ide
A review of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

The Lakeview Library mystery book group picked Sullivan's debut about a year ago (when we picked all of 2018's titles) so I'd pretty much forgotten anything I knew about the title and why I suggested it as a possible read. And when I read the first few chapters I began to be a little uneasy, would there be enough mystery for a "mystery" book group? The death that starts the book off is explained in the first chapter, so now what? Well I needn't have feared. The book was not only engrossing and lovely to read, but ended up leading to a very nice discussion for our group.

Aug 20, 2018

Multitudes silenced

Cover of Vox
A review of Vox by Christina Dalcher

In a time not too far in the future in an America that seems all to scarily possible at times, half the population has been silenced. For fans who have binged through The Handmaid's Tale (and/or read the book) Vox can be your next dystopian read.

Aug 15, 2018

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