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Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Judith & Susanna & Artemisia

Cover of Blood Water Paint
A review of Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

This fictionalized biography of Artemisia Gentileschi is as beautiful, powerful, and haunting as the paintings its subject produced. Gentileschi is best known as a celebrated Italian Baroque painter, and for insisting on trying her rapist in a court of law-- two things that were near unheard of for women of her time. 

January 9, 2019

By day a comic book writer...

Cover of The Frame-Up
A review of The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin

MG Martin is a writer working for the comic book publishing company responsible for the comics that spurred the geekdom of her youth. Her dream job, or so you'd think. But things have stalled. She struggles to have her ideas heard in a building full of men and while she still wants to write the comics she loves, she's wondering if she should be pushing for more or even pursuing her love of costume design. Then into her lap falls a real-life mystery.

January 7, 2019

Sweet Tunes for Tweens

Cover art
A review of Every Voice by Kira Willey

Got a tween fan of folksy pop music, but maybe you’re not quite yet ready for them to dive into some of the mature themes of many of the songs on the radio today?  Check out Every Voice by Kira Willey.  Full of catchy music and empowering lyrics, this album settles comfortably in that sweet spot between Laurie Berkner (who makes a cameo on this album, actually) and Taylor Swift, with a hint of mindfulness for balance.

January 4, 2019

New year, new author visits

Book Cover
Festival Events Planned

Every year in the fall the library hosts the main events of the Wisconsin Book Festival. But did you know that Festival events happen all year long? It's true! And if you take a look at the Wisconsin Book Festival site you'll see we've already got 10 author events planned for the next few months. With authors from a neighborhood near you (Muriel Sims) and as far away as ones who were born in Nigeria and China (Chigozie Obioma and Ha Jin) this is a diverse and wildly interesting set of events.

January 3, 2019

All Hail the Snail!

Cover of Escargot
A review of Escargot by Dashka Slater

He’s my new favorite animal, this snail who hails from France.  From his beret, red scarf and blue and white striped shirt, down to his trail of “shimmery stuff.” From his speedy race across a checked tablecloth to reach the delicious salad with very specific ingredients, “a salad with croutons and light vinaigrette and absolutely no carrots,” to his sad realization that no one chooses snails as their favorite animal.  I love this intrepid little character who invites readers to make fierce faces with him to scare away carrots, race him to the salad, and give him a kiss.

December 21, 2018

War lingers on

Cover of Treacherous is the Night
A review of Treacherous is the Night by Anna Lee Huber

It's 1919 in England and the Great War is over, but its shadow still looms large over England and all of Europe. Verity Kent is one of those struggling with a new life and her attempts to find a new normal. She's grounded in the here and now, but when a friend asks that she attend a seance, she agrees. Verity is a skeptic, to say the least, so when the medium channels a woman Verity once worked with in Belgium during the war, her suspicions are raised. Why would the medium make mention of a woman who worked as an anti-german spy?

December 18, 2018

A once in a lifetime pet

Cover of How to Be A Good Creature:
A review of How to Be A Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery

Have you ever had a truly special pet? Not just a pet that you love and care for, but a pet who profoundly changes you? Naturalist and National Book Award finalist Sy Montgomery refers to "a lifetime dog" even though she's known three or four of these and many more animals that she considers notable. I, too, have had three of these "lifetime" pets in my world, plus a few that were honorable mention. 

December 17, 2018

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