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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Love and suffrage

Cover of Bringing Down the Duke
A review of Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

I've been hearing the buzz about this debut romance for a while and though I was skeptical it could live up to the hype (as I would be with any hyped piece), my skepticism proved to be unfounded. Funny and sparkly and complicated and lovely are all adjectives that fit.

Dec 10, 2019

The enormity of life

Cover of Red at the Bone
A review of Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson's third adult novel explores the role of history and community in shaping the lives of family. It is a stunner and heartbreaker, starting with the title, Red at the Bone. Imagine the point at which the human body is at its most raw and hurt state. That's what red at the bone is described as by one of the main characters, Iris, like there is something inside of her undone and bleeding.

Dec 6, 2019

Gritty (and not just the sand)

Cover of Hearts of the Missing
A review of Hearts of the Missing by Carol Potenza

Winner of the 2017 Tony Hillerman Prize, this debut mystery lives up to the buzz. Potenza's gritty police procedural is set in the American Southwest and gives the reader an interesting detective and a multi-threaded story involving drugs, gambling, missing people, undercover FBI agents, and more. It's readable and also deeply imbedded in Native American culture. Looking forward to more by this author.

Dec 5, 2019

Challenging beauty

Cover of Horizon
A review of Horizon by Barry Lopez

A dense but often lyrical book of many levels. In one sense it is one man’s retracing his life’s journeys to remote and far flung points on earth. In another, it is a contemplation of human kinds' significance and insignificance in the history of our planet, and the concern that our hubris dooms not only our species but earth itself. Does our ability to create sublime beauty such as the music of Beethoven or the art of Manet supplant our equally ugly creations such as the many prisons built over the ages and the despicable ways we treat our own kind?

Nov 25, 2019

Justice revisited

Cover of Cruel Acts
A review of Cruel Acts by Jane Casey

Cruel Acts is the 8th in the Maeve Kerrigan series of police procedurals set in London. As you can guess, as the series is named Maeve Kerrigan, she's the Detective protagonist. Her partner is Josh Derwent and together they've worked out an effective partnership. Though she is good with people and he is decidedly not, both are intelligent and driven and extremely good at their job, which is why they've been tasked with a delicate job. A convicted killer, Leo Stone, is about to win his appeal based on jury misconduct. Leo was convicted of killing Sara Grey and suspected of killing another.

Nov 21, 2019

When it means the world

Cover of The Year of the Dogs
A review of The Year of the Dogs by Vincent J. Musi

Vincent Musi was a freelance photographer for National Geographic for more than 25 years when he decided to try something different. His son was sixteen years old and growing up quickly and Musi did not want to accept assignments that would take him overseas for long stretches of time during his son's final years of high school. Travel was a basic requirement for National Geographic photographers and Musi wanted to stay close to home. So he built a studio and named it The Unleashed Studio and started capturing the essence of one of my favorite creatures: the dog. This was

Nov 20, 2019

Book Fest goes on

Cover of Author Visit
Author Visit

Did you know the Wisconsin Book Festival goes on all year round (and not just on one weekend in October)? If not, take heed. The Fest hosts author events throughout the year and the next one is tomorrow night. The author is Adam Minter who'll be talking about his newest book, Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale.

Nov 18, 2019

Imagination at the next level

Cover of Princess Super Kitty
A review of Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Portis

I love to play pretend so I loved spending a day with Maggie, the heroine of Princess Super Kitty. Maggie does some of the same everyday things I do (eating lunch, lifting heavy things, helping other people) but she has so much fun doing them, because she uses her imagination the whole time. If you are ready to take your day (or even just your princess play) to the next level, reach for Princess Super Kitty.

Nov 15, 2019

Mysteries on my To Be Read list

Cover of New Fall and Winter Titles
New Fall and Winter Titles
It's still Autumn, but the weather feels like Winter has arrived early. The cold weather provides the perfect opportunity to find a cozy spot and curl up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. I've been sharing a list of new mysteries that I am looking forward to read. They include meeting and catching up with some new and some old familiar characters.
 
  • The Clockmaker  by Jane A Adams [9/3]
    character: Scotland Yard Det. Chief Insp. Henry Johnstone
Nov 13, 2019

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