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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

A promising start

Cover of The Long Call
A review of The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

Mystery author Ann Cleeves has long developed a following for her mysteries that are as much about the relationships between her characters as the crimes grounding the stories. Her Vera Stanhope and Shetland series, both adapted for television, have been particularly acclaimed. The Shetland series has ended with the recently published Wild Fire, but fans mourning the loss of Jimmy Perez and the evocative Scottish setting can take comfort in the launch of Cleeves’ new Two Rivers series.

Oct 14, 2019

Write stuff

Cover of A Squiggly Story
A review of A Squiggly Story by Andrew Larsen

Everyone has stories to write, even if your writing...squiggles a little. All you need to start is a single letter. What will happen next? Preschool kids will love the comic book style of A Squiggly Story, grown-ups will be reminded how easy and fun writing a story together can be!

Oct 11, 2019

This scared me to death last week-end and I've read it before!

Carmilla
A review of Carmilla: A Vampyre Tale by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

'Tis the season for chilling and creepy, ghostly and ghoulish, gory and grisly. This makes it the perfect time to read Carmilla! Victorian writer Le Fanu wrote Carmilla in 1872 and it's considered the first Vampire novel and a precursor to Bram Stoker's Dracula. It's a quick read and the perfect listen if you're driving for approximately 3 hours on a dark and rainy night.

Oct 9, 2019

Mind-blowing (but not in the CIA MKUltra kind of way)...

Cover of Chaos: Charles Manson, the
A review of Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O'Neill and Dan Piepenbring

I placed a hold on O'Neill's tome because of a mention in a podcast - one that was discussing Charles Manson as relates to the new Quentin Tarantino movie (if I remember correctly). So really I ordered it on a whim and wasn't even sure I'd read it when it came in and seemed so hefty. Over a long weekend I decided to dip into it, or at least look at the included pictures. I was not seen again by anyone for the next two days as I was immediately sucked into the what if's and maybes and possibles.

Oct 7, 2019

Don't forget the poetry

Cover of Forget-me-nots
A review of Forget-me-nots by Mary Ann Hoberman

Ready for some rollicking and roaring word play? Check out Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart by Mary Ann Hoberman for some unforgettable poems. This is a wonderful treasury for elementary school kids. The poems are joyful and include bright and colorful illustrations by Michael Emberley. The book has 123 poems by 57 authors (ranging from A.A. Milne to Shel Silverstein to Valerie Worth, and many more phenomenal poets). It is also a great book for reading aloud as the days get shorter and the nights a bit longer.

Oct 4, 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

From getting coffee to running the newsroom

Cover of There's No Crying in Newsr
A review of There's No Crying in Newsrooms: What Women Have Learned about What It Takes to Lead by Kristin Gilger and Julia Wallace

It's been two steps forward, one step back for women in media organizations across the United States over the past four decades. Kristin Gilger and Julia Wallace have gathered stories from many of the most influential women of the newsrooms and dissect what it takes to succeed in male-dominated organizations when you are female. Some of the stories cemented my admiration for media superstars in perpetuity.  International correspondent and legend Christiane Amanpour, that shout-out is for you.

Sep 30, 2019

Above all things, honor

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

I'll say up front that Mary Balogh's newest book isn't going to work for everyone. It's a slow-build, slow-burn romance between a pair of guarded, reserved adults who come to their HEA in small, careful steps. Doesn't sound like a barn burner does it? But for this reader it was a nearly perfect read that let me settle in and savor each moment of the read.

Sep 26, 2019

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