Book Reviews

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

The Mermaid's Mirror book cover

In my mind, mermaids are cartoon characters with fishy tales who have a tendency to sing about everything. The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan is a great departure from these children’s tales...although there is a little singing.

The Flame Alphabet

Each week on KC Unbound, we hit the new books section at the Central Library and round up an omnivorous sampling of what’s new on the shelves.

If you see something you like, click the title and place a hold to have it delivered to your nearest branch of the Kansas City Public Library.

And let us know: What are you excited to read? Share what new books are on your radar in the comments.


Most of us think that our consumer decisions; the deodorant we use, the shoes we wear, the car we drive, are based on logic and reason.  Martin Lindstrom, a highly successful consumer product marketing consultant, disagrees. 

Blood, Bones, & Butter

January 20-29 is Restaurant Week in Kansas City, a time when area foodies line up to taste off-menu offerings at dozens of local eateries. We’ve rounded up recent culinary memoirs that have arrived at a Kansas City Public Library near you.

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices Into Fearless Home Cooks
Kathleen Flinn
After persuading a stranger in a grocery store to swap her cartful of ultra-processed foods for fresher stuff, recent Le Cordon Bleu grad Kathleen Flinn began a crusade to teach nine women from different backgrounds the basics of simple, healthy cooking. The reality-TV-esque narrative interweaves 20 recipes.

Nothing to Envy - Barbara Demick

World events can trigger curiosity on a particular subject. With the recent death of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, a well-written book on the country is timely.

In Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, Barbara Demick provides a rare book into this closed, repressive society through several citizens who left the austere conditions of the country. The author weaves the nation’s history into the stories of the individuals she profiles, who are all defectors from North Korea.

The narrative focuses on the controlled existence that North Koreans endure, in which their daily lives center on their work sites, people are expected to report suspicious activity of their neighbors, and citizens are kept in the dark about advances in other countries as they are taught that nations such as South Korea and the United States cannot be trusted.