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MADreads

Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Death and antiquities

Cover of Scandal Above Stairs
A review of Scandal Above Stairs by Jennifer Ashley

Resourceful cook Kat Holloway has a new mystery to solve in the second of this historical mystery series. Though Kat is still the cook for Lord Rankin's household in Victorian London, but the people she's cooking for have changed a bit (after the events of Death Below Stairs). Lord Rankin has departed for the country and Lady Cynthia, though nominally chaperoned by an aunt and uncle, is left mostly to her own devices.

August 3, 2018

He'll shake the universe

Cover of Empire of Silence
A review of Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio

I knew nothing about Ruocchio's debut, first in the Sun Eater series, when I was assigned to read it for another review. And at first glance I thought, hmmm, it's pretty long, it's going to take a long time to read. If I say I finished it in a couple days, you'll get an idea as to how exhilarating it was and how much I loved it.

August 2, 2018

Sex and the history

Cover of Sex and the City and Us: H
A review of Sex and the City and Us: How Four Single Women Changed the Way We Think, Live, and Love by Jennifer Armstrong

I’m a total Carrie.

How about you?

If you’re fan enough to get my meaning, especially if you dig behind-the-scenes showbiz nonfiction, you will probably love entertainment journalist Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s fresh look at the enduring zeitgeistiness of HBO’s landmark sitcom Sex and the City.   

July 31, 2018

A suggested arrangement

Cover of When Dimple Met Rishi
A review of When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
When Dimple Met Rishi was a fantastic book. It was very funny and will easily sweep you away into the lives of Dimple and Rishi. Both characters are amazing and the book shows their emotions really well. The book also includes a lot of culture, which helps to build the plot in a really nice way. The way that they build the romance is wonderful as it shows the progression of their feelings and how they change. This is a book I would definitely recommend.
 
Review by Victoria Lenius
July 26, 2018

Weird and wonderful and somewhat sinister

Cover of The Merry Spinster: Tales
A review of The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror by Daniel Mallory Ortberg

I picked this book up thinking it was a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on fairy tales. Perfect! That is just my cup of tea! But there's more to it than that. The Merry Spinster is a collection of stories representing classic children's literature, Grimms' Fairy Tales, Scottish folklore, the Book of Genesis, and more. That's a lot to take on!

July 24, 2018

An eclipse is coming

Cover of Jade Dragon Mountain
A review of Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart

Jade Dragon Mountain is a classic manor mystery set in 18th century China. Playing the role of Poirot (or Nero Wolfe or Ellery Queen, you can make your reference of choice) is Li Du. Li Du is a librarian who was exiled from the Imperial City and has spent the last five years traveling on his own throughout China. His recent travels have brought him to southern China (near the Tibetan border) and he has to seek permission from the local magistrate to travel within the district.

July 23, 2018

In a perfect world...?

Cover of Scythe
A review of Scythe by Neal Shusterman

This book is an interesting view on immortality and complete harmony. Centuries into the future, anything that brought despair has been eliminated - government, war, illness, famine, etc. This leaves life almost limitless. The only people who can kill are in the Scythe Legion. Offending a Scythe leads to certain death. However, the main character, Citra, is taken to be an apprentice Scythe. This novel creates a very realistic world, if the world was a perfect, idealistic, utopia.

July 20, 2018

Queen Bey plays muse

Cover of There Are More Beautiful T
A review of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker

Morgan Parker, poet author of the explosive collection There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, leaves the title open to interpretation, but with one exception: She isn’t suggesting that Beyoncé isn’t beautiful, because Beyoncé is beautiful. Like the rest of us, Parker is clearly a fan. She is however suggesting that her muse -- the “flawless” Queen Bey -- might not actually be the be-all, end-all for American popular culture or Black womanhood.  

July 16, 2018

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