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MADreads

Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Iron Age girl

Cover of Ghost Wall
A review of Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss

Imagine an Iron Age reenactment that takes place in a boggy northern England wood as part of a university archaeology experience course. Now imagine that you are a teenager attending this field experience with your father and mother and you are there as the Iron Age workers, not the students. The students sleep in waterproof tents, are sneaking off to the pub, eating candy, skinny dipping, etc. while you are up with the sun, gathering roots and nuts, hunting rabbits, and tending to the fire at all times. The immersion week culminates with a simulated sacrificial ceremony.

June 4, 2019

Foodie's rejoice

Cover of The Best American Food Wri
A review of The Best American Food Writing 2018 edited by Ruth Reichl

Just reading the introduction by Ruth Reichl made me miss Gourmet magazine anew, since in a lot of ways my favorite parts of the magazine were the articles on travel and food trends. If you enjoy food, whether eating it, making it, or both, you will find something in this book for you. And fortunately for us readers, Reichl has gone beyond that and picked articles that explore school lunches, the place of women chefs in the restaurant world, the appropriation of barbecue from its African American roots, and much more. I look forward to the next volume in the series.

May 30, 2019

Wolves, coyotes and psy...oh my

Cover of Paranormal Fantasy
A review of Paranormal Fantasy

I'd been in a bit of a slump, reading-wise, lately, so I decided I needed something that offered adventure, magic and romance. To achieve that combo I decided to dip back into a couple of paranormal romance series I'd fallen away from to see if I could capture some of the old magic. And capture it I did (whew! big sigh of relief! - I always have a fear that I'll never get my reading mojo back when I've been stuck).

May 29, 2019

Sweet Anticipation for June 2019

Sweet Anticipation June graphic
New Titles

It’s official: summer is here. Although the annual deluge of summer titles properly started in May, June sees the arrival of seasonal favorites like Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Alice Monroe, and no shortage of thriller titles. But if a beach read isn’t your thing, there is no shortage of other crisp new options hitting shelves this month. 

May 28, 2019

Animals Everywhere

Cover of City Critters
A review of City Critters by Antonia Banyard

This photo-illustrated book encourages the youngest readers to pay attention to the natural world that surrounds them in their urban neighborhoods.  Animals such as squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks and ducks are featured with young toddlers close by.  Because the featured animals are common enough to spot while out and about, this book provides an opportunity for parents to help toddlers to make connections between the book world and the real world.

May 23, 2019

The talking cure

Cover of The Silent Patient
A review of The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Greek tragedy Alcestis by Euripides provides the backdrop for a painter named Alicia Berenson who has been institutionalized at The Grove after murdering her husband. Alicia shoots her husband five times in the face and never speaks another word. Her only communication after the murder is to paint a self-portrait entitled Alcestis. In the play, Alcestis sacrifices her life in order that her husband, King Admetus, may live. After a trip to Hades, Alcestis returns to the living and Admetus minus her voice.

May 23, 2019

Infamy in the Bahamas

Cover of The Golden Hour
A review of The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams

I've not read any of Beatriz Williams historical novels and might not have read this, her newest, if I hadn't been assigned it to review for someone else. This novel is an epic dive into the world of one of the most enigmatic couples in history, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.  The famous couple (or perhaps infamous) - he for abdicating as King of England and she for being the divorcee for whom he gave up the kingdom - were sent to the Bahamas near the beginning of WWII. The Duke has been given the title of Governor of the Bahamas.

May 22, 2019

The Boss

Cover of Born to Run
A review of Born to Run by Bruce Sprinsteen

I started out reading this book in the hardcover edition the year it was published but kept thinking how great it would be to actually hear the Boss tell his story in his own words and own voice.  So, when I discovered it was available as a downloadable audio, I decided to get it and then wait for a long car trip to listen to the book. I am glad I did it that way, because if ever a book was meant to be listened to, this was the one.

May 20, 2019

A Foiled Plot

Cover of The Eye That Never Sleeps
A review of The Eye That Never Sleeps by Marissa Moss

Based on a little known plot by secessionists to ambush and kill Abraham Lincoln on his way to Washington D.C. before he could be sworn in as president. This fantastically illustrated picture book tells the story of Allen Pinkerton, one of America’s greatest detectives. From humble beginnings to forming Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency (whose eyeball logo inspired the term “private eye.”) This book takes us on a historical journey using a graphic novel style.

May 16, 2019

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