Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Posted September 16, 2015in Book Review


Ernest Cline’s first book, “Ready Player One,” became an instant classic in the speculative fiction world, winning awards and praise nearly across the board. His newest novel, “Armada,” takes the retro-futuristic vibe of his first book and adds in a more complex voice with an uncannily realistic near future. Once

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Posted September 09, 2015in Book Review

‘Pretty Baby’

Mary Kubica follows her debut novel, “The Good Girl,” with this psychological thriller about Heidi Wood. She is a charitable woman helping immigrants and refugees through the Chicago nonprofit for which she works. Her family didn’t expect Heidi to invite a homeless teen and her infant to live with them.

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Posted September 02, 2015in Book Review

‘Kitchens of the Great Midwest’

J. Ryan Stradal’s new novel is a unique story of family and food. Easily devoured by food lovers and literature lovers alike, the debut has ingredients inspired by Stradal’s Minnesota upbringing and his grandmother’s Lutheran church cookbook. Real family recipes are mixed among heartfelt, character-driven stories and a bit of

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Posted August 26, 2015in Book Review

‘Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen’

In her 30-plus years in the copy department of The New Yorker, Mary Norris has corrected the work of many of the finest writers of the time, dedicating herself to maintaining the magazine’s high standards for grammar, spelling and  punctuation. It turns out Norris is a wonderful writer herself, and

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Posted August 19, 2015in Book Review

‘Narrow Road to the Deep North’

Richard Flanagan’s Man Booker Prize winning novel “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” is a book that explores the atrocities of war. The novel starts out in Melbourne, Australia, as Dorrigo Evans reflects on his childhood in Tasmania and the time he spent as a surgeon in a Japanese

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Posted August 12, 2015in Book Review

‘The Wright Brothers’

The Wright Brothers, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and an airplane. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Not so, and David McCullough dispels that notion within the first few pages. Orville and Wilbur Wright were the sons of a bishop, lived in Dayton, Ohio, and owned a bicycle shop. With their time, funds

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Posted August 05, 2015in Book Review

‘New Prairie Kitchen’

A rich collection of recipes from real-life foodies all over the Midwest, this collection is a tremendous mix of stories, advice and lessons from the people who know real food best — those who grow it, cook it and obsess over it. Farm-to-Table cooking has been a revolution in the

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Posted July 29, 2015in Book Review

‘The Cherry Harvest’

Featured as one of this month’s Midwest Connections picks, “The Cherry Harvest” is a coming-of-age novel and love story set in Door County, Wisconsin, during World War II, around the time of the cherry harvest. With food rationed and money scarce, Charlotte barters what she can to keep food on

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Posted July 22, 2015in Book Review

‘The Seven Good Years’

Internationally known Israeli writer Keret, an award-winning author of short stories, graphic novels and screen plays, offers his first book of non-fiction, “The Seven Good Years.” His touching, insightful memoir is told in small, interlinked stories, short, yet powerful observations that reveal Keret’s intelligent, compassionate views. The slim pieces cover

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Posted July 15, 2015in Book Review

‘How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking’

Would anyone other than a mathematician pick up a book about math to read for pleasure? Perhaps not, but even those not mathematically inclined will find plenty to enjoy in “How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking.” Author Jordan Ellenberg grabs the reader in the early pages

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