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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Odyssey Award Winner for Excellence in Audiobook Production

Cover of Hey, Kiddo
A review of Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka

Scholastic Audiobooks won the 2020 Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production for the audiobook adaption of Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction.  It is fantastic.  The audiobook is read by the author, Jarrett Krosoczka, and a full cast that includes friends and family featured in the book, his real-life art teachers, a

Mar 31, 2020

A fine specimen

Cover of Things in Jars
A review of Things in Jars by Jess Kidd

Bridie Devine - don't call her Bridget - is quite possibly my new favorite detective. A woman who wears a distinctly unfashionable bonnet and can often be found smoking a colleague's experimental tobacco blends, she is not a typical Victorian lady, nor is she a typical detective. As the ward of a respected doctor, she grew up learning to assist in a laboratory, and has the nerves of steel one might expect from someone who has watched many gruesome surgeries on patients not under anesthesia. She also travels with some unusual companions.

Mar 30, 2020

March is Women's History Month

Cover of Ebooks & Audiobooks
Ebooks & Audiobooks

Looking for something to read or listen to?  There are many titles to choose from in the Wisconsin Digitial Library with your public library card. Since March is Women's History Month, why not check out some nonfiction books about women? Below are a few suggestions. I tried to choose ones that are available now (or at least were when I was writing this post). There are many more if you do a subject search "Women's Studies".

Mar 25, 2020

A caper for the film crowd

Frames book cover
A review of Frames by Loren Estleman

Pity poor Rudolph Valentino. No, not that one. It’s not just the name and the visage that brings to mind the defining heartthrob of the silver screen, Valentino also happens to make his life in the film industry, which means he’s forever correcting people in the industry who take his name at face value. One of the few UCLA film archivists laboring to preserve Hollywood’s silver screen past, Valentino has made film his life.

Mar 24, 2020

A different time of crisis

Salvage the Bones book cover
A review of Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

The Pinney afternoon book group recently read the book Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. Most of us knew before reading it that it was a National Book Award winner and it took place in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. The book was a real look at living in poverty in Mississippi and what it means to be a family. As with many reads, the group had mixed feelings about the book. Some people felt like it was a great book. Others thought that it was too challenging to read and didn’t finish it.

Mar 23, 2020

Check out a book from your couch

Wisconsin's Digital Library
Audio and Ebooks Online

Most area libraries have been closed for a few days now and many of you are social distancing and staying home (and washing your hands, natch). And if you're like me your anxieties and stresses are many, and perhaps among them is 'will I have enough books to read?' Sure, this may seem like a minor consideration in the grander, global scheme of things, but for me right now distraction of any kind helps me in de-stressing. I'm guessing the same may be true for many of you.

Mar 20, 2020

Murder done light

A review of Mr. and Mrs. North Series by Frances and Richard Lockridge

How about some light-hearted fun and mayhem? This mystery series dates from the mid 20th century, and begins with The Norths Meet Murder. The Norths are a couple living in New York City who inadvertently get involved in homicide. Of the two, Pam North is easily the more interesting character in that her thought process appears to jump from A to G and back to B but somehow she is almost always correct in her assessments and since she also leaps before she looks this is a concern for her publisher husband Jerry.

Mar 13, 2020

The language in this book shocked me and I grew up listening to George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy

Cover of Dear Girls: Intimate Tales
A review of Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong

This book is written as an advice letter from comedian and Hollywood star Ali Wong to her daughters to read one day, presumably after they are grown, because holy smokes, it is explicit. This is described as "unfiltered" in the book blurb. Like I wrote in the title to this review, I grew up listening to George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy (one of Ali Wong's favorite comics and someone she also listened to as a kid). If you don't know who these comedians are and/or think they are old fuddy-duddies, then you are the perfect demographic for Ali Wong.

Mar 10, 2020

More than she bargained for

Cover of A Front Page Affair
A review of A Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal

The Lusitania has recently been sunk. World War I is ongoing and the United States is trying to stay neutral. That is the setting for a new historical mystery set in 1915 New York City. The main character of A Front Page Affair is a privileged young woman journalist who has started working at the New York Sentinel. Capability Weeks, aka Kitty, works for the Ladies page editor as an apprentice. Her first assignment is to cover a society party, the Independence Day gala north of the city. At the party a man she has interviewed has been shot and killed.

Mar 3, 2020

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