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MADreads

Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

Guwop grows up

Cover of The Autobiography of Gucci
A review of The Autobiography of Gucci Mane by Gucci Mane and Neil Martinez-Belkin

Even if you haven’t heard of trap music, you’ve heard it. A hip hop subgenre born out of the American south, with fast and hard drums and lyrics about the drug underworld, trap music has taken the world by storm — dominating all of hip hop, America’s most consumed music, and infiltrating pop music in general.

April 24, 2018

Gloomies, like Goonies, but not exactly

Cover of Misfit City Vol. 1
A review of Misfit City Vol. 1 by Kirsten Smith

This graphic novel series is set in Cannon Cove, where a popular adventure movie called The Gloomies was filmed in the 1980s. Decades later, fans of the movie continue to visit and annoy the residents who cater to the tourism with mild resentment. Then a cool group of teen "misfits" who begrudgingly live in the sleepy coastal town discover something unexpected, mysterious and adventurous: a pirate map belonging to the legendary Black Mary!

April 23, 2018

Old woman with minis needs bute paste

Cover of The Call
A review of The Call by Yannick Murphy

The Call is an elegantly simple (or simply elegant) little novel. The simple arises out of the structure the author uses to tell her story. Each journal like entry begins with the Call, followed by the Action, the Result, What the kids said when I got home, What my wife cooked for dinner, etc. The elegant develops as each journal entry deepens the characterizations and the story until you feel like you live in the cozy, creaking house with them.

April 19, 2018

Heart and depth

Cover of It's Not Like it's a Secre
A review of It's Not Like it's a Secret by Misa Sugira

I tried it, and I liked it! I’m not usually into angsty teen romance novels, but Sugiura provides plenty of layers to this one. Sana is discovering her sexual identity (lesbian), she is discovering her father’s infidelity (he is having an affair of sorts), and at the same time she is struggling with her peers’ racism (she is of Japanese descent), and her own racism (she falls for a Latina girl at her high school and stumbles with her own preconceived beliefs).

April 13, 2018

The art of dostadning

Cover of The Gentle Art of Swedish
A review of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson

The title of this book might put you off, but the topic is real and it is important. There is a kind of decluttering in Sweden called dostadning. Do means "death" and stadning means "cleaning." The author, Margareta Magnusson, suggests ways in which we can prepare our homes and possessions to make the most of them while we are still living and to ease the burden on others after we have died. She promotes minimalist living and choosing clothing, furniture and artifacts with care, especially as we age.

April 12, 2018

Daring meets independent

Cover of Hello Stranger
A review of Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

In her latest in the Ravenals series, Kleypas has loosely based the heroine on a real historical figure, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first (and only, for many years) female doctor in England. Kleypas' Dr. Garrett Gibson is also the lone female physician of her time and she does work in London and those are broadly the only things they have in common.

April 10, 2018

Hide and Seek

Cover of Bear & Hare, Where’s Bea
A review of Bear & Hare, Where’s Bear? by Emily Gravett

The Bear & Hare books are such fun to share with young readers! Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy the humor and charm of each one – and you will, too! To practice counting and have a first introduction to hide-and-seek, check out Bear & Hare, Where’s Bear? (Simon & Schuster, 2016). The pacing is perfect – and the illustrations are very silly. Readers get to practice counting from 1 to 10 several times as bear and hare take turns hiding. When Hare can’t find Bear at the very end, and is feeling sad, Bear appears quickly and gives his friend a much needed hug of reassurance.

April 6, 2018

Finding ways to help

Cover of Wolf in the Snow
A review of Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Winner of the coveted 2018 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children, Wolf in the Snow artistically explores themes of moving beyond fear and mistrust of “the other” to a place of caring and helping. Cordell’s watercolor illustrations depict a little girl and a wolf cub who find each other in a blizzard that renders each of them lost from their families and homes.

April 5, 2018

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