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MADreads

Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

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

How does your garden grow?

Cover of Grow What You Love: 12 Foo
A review of Grow What You Love: 12 Food Plant Families to Change Your Life by Emily Murphy

The library owns about two billion gardening books. I’m pretty sure that is hardly an exaggeration. It can be a bit overwhelming.  

So let me recommend one as a librarian and a gardener: Emily Murphy’s Grow What You Love: 12 Food Plant Families to Change Your Life. It isn’t the only gardening book you’ll ever need, but it’s a darn good start.

July 10, 2018

Diary of a reluctant killing machine

Cover of All Systems Red
A review of All Systems Red by Martha Wells

"I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It had been well over 35,000 hours or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don't know, a little under 35,000 hours of movies, serials, books, plays and music consumed. As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure."

July 5, 2018

Buddha and bharal

Cover of The Snow Leopard
A review of The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen’s melancholic and metaphor-laden Himalayan travelogue, a true story, is an essential, definitional work of 1970s American literature. It is also one of my favorite books of all time.

July 2, 2018

The warmth shines through

Cover of A Rogue of Her Own
A review of A Rogue of Her Own by Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes is pretty much an auto-read for me when it comes to historical romances. I don't get to every book of hers the minute it comes out, but eventually I'm going to read them. And the reason she's on my auto-read list is because she just does what she does so well. She writes engaging heroes and heroines. Her historical settings are well done - no major klinkers like a Lady Kardashian in Regency England. And the emotional journey she creates in each book always hits me just right.

June 27, 2018

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