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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Children in Chennai

Cover of The Bridge Home
A review of The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
Eleven year old Viji and her younger sister Rukku flee their abusive father and arrive in Chennai (India) all alone.  Life on the streets is harsh and dangerous.  The girls form a friendship with two boys living in similar circumstances.  With Muthu and Arul, they make a shelter on an abandoned bridge.  Together, the four children look for work, share resources, and become a family to each other.  They even adopt a stray dog - Kutti, the best dog ever.  One night they are forced from their bridge and take up shelter in a cemetery.  There Rukku and Muthu fall ill.
May 6, 2019

London calling

Cover of Stray Souls
A review of Stray Souls by Kate Griffin

"London’s soul has gone missing. Lost? Kidnapped? Murdered? Nobody knows – but when Sharon Li unexpectedly discovers she’s a shaman, she is immediately called upon to use her newfound powers of oneness with the City to rescue it from a slow but inevitable demise.

May 2, 2019

True crime?

Cover of Conviction
A review of Conviction by Denise Mina

Anna McDonald has no idea of the double whammy that's about to hit her as she starts her day in the normal fashion; getting the kids lunches and clothing ready for school while starting a new true crime podcast. The first blow comes as she listens to the opening segment of the podcast and realizes that the true crime that's being narrated features a former friend who she is now learning is dead and may have taken his family with him on a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean.

May 1, 2019

Postmodern Hansel and Gretel

Cover of Gingerbread: A Novel
A review of Gingerbread: A Novel by Helen Oyeyemi

Helen Oyeyemi's Gingerbread is the story of three women, Margot, Harriet and Perdita Lee, how their lives intertwine with the Kerchevals, a wealthy family of landowners in the fictional country of Druhástrana, and a legacy recipe for gingerbread. It's hard to put into words all of the magic that's present in this novel. I'll tell you one thing: it was impossible for me to read this book without craving gingerbread something fierce.

April 29, 2019

Shaped by our world

Cover of Deep Creek: Finding Hope i
A review of Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country by Pam Houston

I am an urbanite to the bone, I like the bustle, noise and plethora of activities available. I do not hike, camp, fish, backpack, etc. because for one insects (one and all) appear to think I am the best buffet they have ever come across. I am allergic to wool (that natural fabric so often used in outdoor life); at best it gives me a rash—at its worst if there are loose fibers floating around, I have come close to not breathing.

April 26, 2019

Sweet Anticipation for May 2019

Sweet Anticipation May graphic
New Titles

--It’s a very good month to be a Wisconsin author. This May sees the release of three titles with ties to the Badger State. Longtime local favorite Jennifer Chiaverini continues to explore the lives of real women through a historical fiction lens with Resistance Women. Her central character, Mildred Fish-Harnack, was raised in Milwaukee before moving to Germany where she worked as a spy against the Nazis. It’s on shelves mid-month. Madison-based author Kelly Harms scored recent hits with The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay and The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane.

April 24, 2019

Glorious fun

Cover of Fortune's Pawn
A review of Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach

A co-worker recommended Rachel Bach's trilogy to me since she knows I enjoy military SF. And I thank her right now for the suggestion. Fortune's Pawn introduces mercenary soldier Deviana Morris. Devi's ultimate goal is to join the elite special forces of her planetary kingdom, but to do so she can either spend years in the military slogging her way up the ranks, or go mercenary and get the needed bad-ass experience that way. A friend (sometime lover) suggests she get a job on The Glorious Fool, a ship that has seen a lot of action.

April 19, 2019

Keep an eye on the cat

Cover of Looker: A Novel
A review of Looker: A Novel by Laura Sims

Sometimes you're reading a book about a person who is stalking their neighbor and you think, huh. That's a little creepy. And then it might keep you up at night wondering if you've locked the doors. And then you double check on the whereabouts of your pet. And you realize you should not read scary books before bed. This is not a healthy way to live!

April 18, 2019

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