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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Into the heart of Dixie

Cover of A Longer Fall
A review of A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris

Gunslinger Lizbeth Rose lives in what used to be the United States, but after the assassination of FDR in the 1930s Texas and Oklahoma have become a small land of their own known as Texoma. Other parts of the US have been ceded back to Britain (the northeast), Canada (the upper midwest), and the far west the last Tsar to escape Russia. And the rest of the south (not Texas and Oklahoma) is known as Dixie and has reverted to a post-Civil War, reconstruction society in which race relations are very, very bad.

Jan 14, 2020

Peace and...

Cover of Charlotte and the Quiet Pl
A review of Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin

Looking for a way to help your child find their own quiet place in a busy, noisy, clambering world? Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin takes a gentle look at how to find quiet and peacefulness inside your own self. Charlotte, the young protagonist in the story, lives in a noisy house, a noisy neighborhood, and a noisy school. She has trouble finding one spot that’s quiet and peaceful. Then, one day while she’s walking her dog, she finds a place in nature – that’s quieter than quiet.

Jan 10, 2020

Mannerling wants your soul

A review of Daughters of Mannerling Series by Marion Chesney

I’m not one who typically goes back and reads classic romance authors since I often have my hands full of newly released titles, but when a colleague extolled the virtues of Marion Chesney’s Regency-set romances, I was intrigued enough to check out the audio recording of The Banishment, the first title in Chesney’s Daughters of Mannerling series. It was short, and the audio appealed as much as the print version’s dated and ugly covers did not. Well, dear reader, I did not know what I was getting into.

Jan 9, 2020

Shhhh!

Cover of Be Quiet!
A review of Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins

In Be Quiet! Rupert, a mouse, wants to create his very own wordless book. His friends are game, but unfortunately, they won't stop talking about it, filling the book with more and more words and making Rupert more and more frustrated. This book is hilarious, introduces some wonderful vocabulary, and takes advantage of every part of the book, from the cover to the endpapers. It's perfect for elementary school-aged children.

Jan 3, 2020

Powerful and painful

Cover of My Dark Vanessa
A review of My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

My Dark Vanessa is a debut novel that has been getting a lot of buzz and a big push from the publisher's marketing department. And it absolutely deserves every bit of that. It's an incredible, disturbing, and timely story - one that has stuck with me long after I read the last page.

Jan 2, 2020

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.

Dec 26, 2019

Hoot-a-riffic, wingtastic, owl-dorable, I could go on and on

Cover of Owl Diaries
A review of Owl Diaries by Rebecca Elliot

The Owl Diaries young reader series by Rebecca Elliot is officially the nicest and the cutest. Eva Wingdale lives with her owl family in Treetopolis. Eva's best friend is Lucy Beakman and her frenemy is Sue Clawson. The level of clever owl and bird word play in this series is spectacular. But what's really notable is the recognition and practice of thoughtfulness throughout all of the stories.

Dec 20, 2019

Taking back their nights

Cover of Women Talking
A review of Women Talking by Miriam Toews

Based on a real events, Toews' slim, powerful novel is true to its name. One evening eight Mennonite women living in an isolated community in Bolivia meet to discuss and make a choice that will change their lives irrevocably - whatever they decide. These eight women, along with more than a hundred other girls and women in their community have been suffering repeated sexual violations for years. And while that is devastating, and it has been devastating to them, the fact that it's members of their own community who have perpetrated these horrors makes their situation that much worse.

Dec 16, 2019

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