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MADreads

Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Facing the past

Cover of Someone to Wed
A review of Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh is a hit or miss author for me. I always admire her writing, but she doesn't always grab me emotionally. Her newest is definitely a hit. A lovely, warm story that strikes all the right notes.

Nov 15, 2017

Crime and chocolate

Cover of Sweet Revenge
A review of Sweet Revenge by Andrea Penrose

Lady Arianna Hadley has led a colorful, and hard, life because of the choices her father made. After his murder Arianna takes on a disguise and the role of French chef in an aristocratic household, both so that she can support herself and to investigate. Her specialty is making incredible creations from the newest food fad in Regency England, chocolate. Her precarious existence is threatened when the Prince Regent takes ill after consuming one of her desserts.

Nov 9, 2017

Sympathy for the reluctant fundamentalist

Cover of A Good Country
A review of A Good Country by Laleh Khadivi

Written by Iranian-American author and filmmaker Laleh Khadivi, A Good Country is an unnerving, yet somehow beautiful, slow burn of a novel. Khadivi’s prose has a loose and languid long-windedness -- where description and dialog bleed together -- that mimics with stunning naturalism the druggy bleariness of its main character’s day-to-day existence.

Nov 7, 2017

Girl saves dog, dog saves girl

Cover of Fetch: How a Bad Dog Broug
A review of Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home by Nicole J. Georges

Nicole Georges had a messed up childhood with a mom who didn’t parent very well and a drunk step-dad who was cruel to her gerbil. Nicole loved animals and had a whole menagerie, but like her mom, she didn’t give her charges what they needed most, and they suffered. As a teenager she adopted Beija, a sharpei/corgi mix, to give to her boyfriend in an attempt to heal his unhappy past. Unsurprisingly his parents didn’t go along with the plan. So Nicole was stuck with  Beija, who was prickly, growly, and disliked men and children.

Nov 2, 2017

All books, most of the time

Levar Burton Reads

I’m a late convert to podcasts. When everyone else jumped on board three years ago and was listening to Serial, I wasn’t. I can’t even tell you why. I do like true crime stuff and I’m a bit of a news junkie. But I haven't been an audio-type person (not audio books anyway). So the podcast world was passing me by. Until recently. After a friend showed me how easy it was, I dove in. Thanks to Beth, I’ve developed a nice list of ‘casts that I regularly listen to, some (though not all) of my current favorites include:

Nov 1, 2017

2017 National Book Awards

Cover of The Finalists
The Finalists

The National Book Award was established in 1950. It is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. Every year, the Foundation selects a total of twenty Judges, including five in each of the four Award categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. First there is a long list, then a finalist list, and then the winners for each category are announced in November.

Nov 1, 2017

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