Big News! The Robin Reads blog is being retooled!
By:
January 8, 2016
Reviewed by: Robin

Starting Monday, Jan. 11, we’re updating our catalog which will provide a new way to share book suggestions with you. You’ll find the same people (including Robin) sharing books they like. We hope it will be easier to find and identify those readers you like following. Look for staff suggestions under Staff Picks in our updated catalog.

Killing and Dying
By:
Adrian Tomine
December 30, 2015
Reviewed by: Steve

I've been a fan of Adrian Tomine for many years. Since he's only published fourteen issues of his manga-inspired slice-of-life comic Optic Nerve in twenty years, this means I occasionally discover to my delight that he's released a new collection. This time out, Tomine gently tweaks the usual graphic novel format in new and interesting directions. For example, one story is told in short, comic strip-style blackout vignettes (the humor is dry at best). Another is composed using a 4x5 grid of small rectangles.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
By:
Michelle Alexander
December 14, 2015
Reviewed by: Lindsay

It has been some time since I have read a book that made me think as critically as this one. If you are looking for a fun light-hearted read, look elsewhere. This is a teeth gnashing, gut wrenching, I’m mad and I’m not gonna take it anymore kind of book. Alexander starts her case back at beginning when the United States was still a handful of colonies, then progresses up to today’s current events, outlining the history and development of our current incarceration system.

The Cold, Cold Ground
By:
Adrian McKinty
December 9, 2015
Reviewed by: Robin

I discovered a new mystery series that is set in Ireland in the 80's during the "troubles". Sean Duffy is a Catholic cop in war torn Northern Ireland. Solving crimes is not easy when you are constantly watching your back and checking under your car for bombs. This is an atmospheric book that reveals the depth of the problems in Ireland at the time while also being a great mystery read.

The Tapper Twins Tear Up New York
By:
Geoff Rodkey
December 2, 2015
Reviewed by: Steve

In the second volume of the consistently funny series, the Tapper twins are rivals in a citywide scavenger hunt. The tasks in the hunt are mostly inspired by interesting, real-world New York sites, like Dominique Ansel's cronut bakery or the Staten Island Ferry. I got a palpable sense of traveling around the city while enjoying this book.

Ready Player One
By:
Ernest Cline
November 18, 2015
Reviewed by: Lindsay

I have to say, after reading this book, I definitely think I leveled up (pun intended) my knowledge of everything 80's. Whether it is video games, music, movies, or television shows, if you feel any nostalgia for this time period this book will speak to you. Even if the 80's wasn’t your jam, this novel offers plenty of excitement with a solid SF/action adventure story, complete with evil corporations, a decaying planet, and an all-encompassing virtual reality…and did I mention the audio book is narrated by Wil Wheaton?

Old Man's War
By:
John Scalzi
November 11, 2015
Reviewed by: Steve

Old Man's War is classic soap opera pulp from beginning to end, with enough new ideas to fill a dozen driving sci-fi books. This is despite the fact that the book is basically a riff on Heinlein's Starship Troopers: future army recruits charged with battling an alien menace across the universe. In this case, the soldiers are elderly citizens of earth transferred into newly-manufactured bodies. Since protagonist John Perry has lived an entire life before being "reborn" as a powerful warrior, his life experience informs his decisions in thoughtful ways.

Nightfall
By:
Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski
November 9, 2015
Reviewed by: Robin

If you are an avid reader like me, you like nothing better than being swept away by a book. Falling into a great story and not coming up for air until the last page is done, is a bibliophile's dream. This book did that for me recently. On Marin's island, there are 14 years of day, followed by 14 years of night. Sunset is coming, the tides are getting ready to strand the islanders and they are working frantically to get off the island. But three kids don't make it and it is dark and what was that noise???

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
By:
Matthew Inman
October 16, 2015
Reviewed by: Lindsay

I was a fan of Inman’s work even before I read this book. If you are not familiar, check out his web comic The Oatmeal. I am not a runner, in fact I HATE running. However, as a fellow exerciseaholic I can truly relate to the story laid out is this book. Exercise is a great way to stay healthy, keep you in shape, and clear your head. There are some dark sides however, when what should be a fun activity becomes an obsessive monster.

The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987
By:
Brett Weiss
October 12, 2015
Reviewed by: Steve

Brett Weiss, author of exhaustive--and exhausting--catalogs of every video game ever made, here limits his scope to his favorite games. His 100 favorite games, to be exact. Although it does include many arcade ports, the book does not cover arcade originals--only games for classic consoles, like Atari 2600 and Colecovision. Weiss makes an unusual choice by organizing the games not by subjective quality, but in alphabetical order. This takes the pressure off of agonizingly pitting each game against every other game. I mean, can Galaga really be said to be better than Joust?