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MADreads

Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

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

A Fur-ever Family

Cover of Can I be your Dog?
A review of Can I be your Dog? by Troy Cummings

Arfy really wants his “fur-ever” home. He invites himself politely via mail to every resident on Butternut Street. Each invitee declines Arfy’s offer of being their dog.  Just when Arfy thinks he’s stuck in the leaky cardboard box at the end of the alley forever, he receives a letter. The mail carrier on Butternut Street is in need of a friend. Would Arfy be interested in having her as his person? Joy ensues as Arfy jubilantly accepts. The illustrations are the real treat of this story. They are large, bright and full of emotion. Kids will cheer with Arfy as his dream comes true.

May 10, 2019

Catching up with old friends and meeting new ones

Cover of New Mysteries
New Mysteries
A couple of times a year I share a list of mysteries that I am looking forward to reading. Sometimes it's a whole new character that I'm wanting to meet and sometimes it's an old friend that I'm looking forward to reconnecting with. Here are some that have caught my eye this spring.
 
May 9, 2019

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