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MADreads

Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Power of food

Cover of The Taste of Empire: How B
A review of The Taste of Empire: How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World by E. M. Collingham

This is really an amazing book. It's easy to read as each chapter looks at a specific time period and specific food, but cumulatively there is a lot of information to absorb. The Western world does not come out looking all that at good since, in their desire to benefit a few, they ran roughshod over the bodies of a lot of people all over the world. Not that the rest of the world have angelic histories, but because Western countries pride themselves on their culture and education and when looking at the details it doesn't look so swell.

Ouch!

Cover of The Boo-Boos that Changed
A review of The Boo-Boos that Changed the World by Barry Wittenstein

Earlier today I cut my finger and put on a band aid. And then this book showed up on my hold shelf - coincidence? Back in 1917, a young couple is married and the wife seems to hurt herself with great frequency. I didn't really care for the descriptions of her injuries, both for the yuck factor, and rather condescending manner Josephine is talked about. But, if you can make it past that, this is a rather interesting story. The husband, Earle, has the idea to place small pieces of sterile gauze on a long piece of adhesive tape and then Josephine can put on a bandage easily by herself.

Does mindless consumerism include buying coffee?

Cover of The Year of Less: How I St
A review of The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders

I'm at a super busy and tired time in my life, maybe the busiest I've ever been, and I need coffee to get through my day. I work full-time, I keep track of soccer and piano and swimming lessons, I'm constantly folding laundry, making lunch, emptying the dishwasher, cleaning the bathroom, and all the other regular household stuff that we all do. I'm also getting older every minute. Life tires me out! So I'm really weary of financial advisors telling me to give up coffee. But maybe that's what I need to do.

Wild, wild west with magic

Cover of An Easy Death
A review of An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris

I'm a long-time fan of Charlaine Harris. I loved her books long before the making of True Blood based on the Sookie Stackhouse series. But I'll admit her last couple books that have once again picked up the Aurora Teagarden character did not generate much interest for me. Partly because, though I loved librarian Roe, I didn't like a choice Harris made about another main character. And partly because I've just moved pretty much beyond the cozier end of the spectrum in mysteries. All of this led me to be both excited and nervous about An Easy Death the first in a brand new trilogy.

Darker side of Provence

Cover of Murderous Mistral
A review of Murderous Mistral by Cay Rademacher

After an investigation into political corruption in Paris, Capitaine Roger Blanc has stepped on a few too many toes, and is transferred from Paris to the South of France far away from political power. Or is it? Blanc, now the new boy, is assigned to the new case of a burned man at the dump in what looks like a routine drug deal gone wrong. But appearances are deceiving.

Can-Do Panda

Cover of Chengdu Can Do
A review of Chengdu Can Do Chengdu Can Do by Barney Saltzberg

Chengdu is back! Barney Saltzberg’s adorable panda from Chengdu could not, would not, fall asleep can do so many things all by himself. He can jump! Push, pull, climb, stretch, swing… but he just can’t quite reach the tasty bamboo at the top of the tree. Just like all little pandas, there are some times when Chengdu can also use a little help.

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