Book Reviews

Visit our Recommended Reading page in the Kids section for reviews of children's books >

As the year comes to a close, our librarians wanted to share their favorite books, movies, television series, and music that either came out in the past year, or that we just discovered in 2014. Every one of these items is available in the Kansas City Public Library collection.

Take a look; maybe you'll find a new favorite that's outside of your comfort zone!

The Laughing Policeman

For an amazing mystery series that serves not only as a great example of police procedural writing, but also as social commentary on Sweden in the 1960s and 70s, one cannot do better than this series.

Patrick Rothfuss introduces The Slow Regard of Silent Things with a warning that it's not a proper story. It doesn't do the things a story is supposed to do. And it's wonderful. It's unlike most anything else I've read and I treasured every word of it.

Have the holiday decorations and holly jolly music already put you in a decidedly Scrooge-ish spirit, and it's not even Thanksgiving? Then we have some reading suggestions for you, all completely saccharine- and schmaltz-free.


Sit back with some nog, pick up one of these books, and rediscover the joys of the season.


And then maybe take a BB gun to your neighbor's inflatable winter wonderland in the front lawn...

Those of you who have been reading my classic mystery blogs must be scratching your heads about now. Mickey SpillaneClassics — what gives? And no doubt there are those who would agree with some of the scholars of the mystery field, who charged that Spillane had debased what had become a much more literary form thanks to the efforts of Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald.

I would argue, though, that one need only look at the early work of Dashiell Hammett, even up to his first novel, Red Harvest, to find work very similar to Spillane’s. Hammett, as you know, was the man credited with lifting hard-boiled fiction out of the pulps and into the academy.

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