Doll Bones by Holly Black.


Doll Bones by Holly Black, 244 pages, read by Kira, on 05/21/2016

doll bones

Zach, Poppy, and Alice have played together since first grade.  They play an elaborate fantasy game with their dolls and action figures.  Zach’s father thinks it is time for his son to grow up and throws out all of Zach’s figures.  Zach is so upset he is unable to tell them why he cannot play anymore.  Poppy gets her two friends to go on one last quest, to bury the “Queen” doll that’s been locked up in her mother’s cabinet.  Poppy says they doll is haunting her and demanding a burial a couple of hours away.

I’ve loved a number of Holly Black’s books, I liked this one it wasn’t great, but I liked, .

The Obsession


The Obsession by Nora Roberts, 453 pages, read by KimK, on 05/23/2016

The Obsession

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

–from Goodreads.com.

Play to Win


Play to Win by Tiffany Snow, 352 pages, read by KimK, on 05/17/2016

Play to Win

Falling in love with polar-opposite men was an intoxicating ride that nearly ended Sage Reese’s life. Now it’s time for Sage to decide: Parker, the clean-cut, filthy-rich business magnate . . . or Ryker, the tough-as-nails undercover detective. Her choice? Neither. Because she can’t stand the thought of coming between two brothers-in-arms finally trying to repair their friendship.

Yet not everyone feels the same way, including a mysterious woman who’s come to Ryker and Parker for help. Sage knows firsthand how hard it is for the two former Marines to resist a damsel in distress. But something just doesn’t feel right.

Now there’s a danger closing in that only Sage can see, and she intends to do everything she can to protect Parker and Ryker-even at the risk of losing them both.

–from Goodreads.com.

Edge of Sight


Edge of Sight by Roxanne St. Claire, 376 pages, read by KimK, on 05/10/2016

Edge of sight

The killer she can’t escape . . .
The heartbreak she can’t forget . . .

The one man who can stop them both.

When Samantha Fairchild witnesses a murder in the wine cellar of the restaurant where she works, the Harvard-bound law student becomes the next target of a professional assassin. Desperate for protection the authorities won’t provide, Sam seeks help from Vivi Angelino, an investigative reporter who recruits her brother, Zach, to protect Samantha. A Special Forces vet with the scars to prove he’s equally fearless and flawed, Zach takes the job, despite the fact that he and Sam once shared a lusty interlude that ended when he left for war and disappeared from her life. Now, as they crack a conspiracy that leads to Boston’s darkest corners, Sam and Zach must face their fears, desires, and doubts, before a hired killer gets a second shot…

–from Goodreads.com

The Girl From Summer Hill


The Girl From Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux, 488 (large print) pages, read by Donna, on 05/23/2016

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Having never been a huge Jane Austen fan, I am surprised how much I enjoyed this book. The modern take on Pride and Prejudice was very entertaining. I liked how the main story tied in to the play being produced and the original novel itself. The characters were vastly different and all had more going on in their lives than what showed on the surface. There were several wrong impressions and old wounds that led to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. As they say – The Show Must Go On – and that’s exactly how this story ends.

The first book of a new contemporary romance series set in the mountains of Virginia. Sparks fly as fiery Casey Reddick and brooding Hollywood actor Tate Landers clash in the Virginia summer heat. A chef who puts her career first and her love life second, Casey doesn’t see what every girl in town is swooning over. She made up her mind the moment she met Tate — he’s gorgeous, but stuck-up, nothing like his ex-brother-in-law, Devlin who’s playing the Wickham to Tate’s Darcy in local production of Pride & Prejudice. Casey makes the perfect Elizabeth Bennett — how could she be star-struck when she’s heard Devlin’s damning stories about Tate? As they rehearse together, however, Casey finds herself attracted to Tate — he’s much more down-to-earth than she expected and any physical contact between the two of them literally gives her a tingling, electric shock. As opening night draws near, Casey has some difficult decisions to make. Whom should she believe? The seemingly sincere, slighted Devlin or Tate, whose rough, arrogant exterior may only be skin deep. She’s come to love that jolt she gets when they touch — but will she get burned?

Provided by publisher.

The Princess Bride


The Princess Bride by William Goldman, 450 pages, read by Angie, on 05/22/2016

The Princess Bride

I love The Princess Bride movie. It is probably in my top 10 favorites list. I can’t even count the number of times I have watched that movie. I guess that has made me a little hesitant to actually read the book. I was pleasantly surprised by the story part of the book. It is almost exactly like the movie, sometimes word for word. Of course it helped that William Goldman did the screenplay for the book. I think actually reading the book highlighted the fact that the characters aren’t the best out there. Buttercup for one seems to have zero personality; her only trait is her beauty. It is like that in the movie as well, but just seemed more obvious on the page. Westley also seems meaner and in fact hits Buttercup at one point. That is definitely not the character I remember from the movie! Fezzik and Inigo are just as fabulous as they are in the movie though and I enjoyed learning their backstories.

I did get a little bit frustrated by Goldman’s asides in the book. Some of them were funny and I applaud him for keeping up the illusion that this is a classic fairy tale from the actual Florin. At first I thought that was pretty amusing, but it did get a bit old. I guess it didn’t help that Goldman in the story he has created is a bit of an ass. The fact that he wrote himself like that is interesting, but I am not sure what that says about him.

I’m glad I read the book, but it made me want to rewatch the movie for the millionth time. One of the few times when I think the movie is better.

The Cardinals Way


The Cardinals Way: How One Team Embraced Tradition and Moneyball at the Same Time by Howard Megdal, 304 pages, read by Brian, on 05/21/2016

cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the few professional baseball teams who have a winning formula year in and year out.  This book talks about the men who have installed the formula for success.  “The Cardinals Way” is a phrase spoken through out baseball on how other organizations want to run their teams.

 

Hidden Oracle


The Trials of Olympus: The Hidden Oracle (Book One) by Rick Riordan, 376 pages, read by Donna, on 05/22/2016

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Since beginning the Percy Jackson series with my youngest son, I have looked forward to Rick Riordan’s new books. I have always been a huge Greek mythology fan and I especially like how he incorporates some of the lesser known myths and heroes in his stories. This new series is no exception. To me, Apollo has always been an important god, but one who seems to be all over the place – god of this and god of that. As Lester Papadopoulos, a mortal teenage boy, he retains some memories, but seems to be slowly turning more human as the story progresses. However, like any worthy deity, Apollo shows bursts of godliness in the most extreme circumstances, just not always in the way he had hoped. However, the first true friend he makes, Meg, a daughter of Demeter, turns out to not be all she appeared to be, but Apollo is determined to make her see the truth. I was very pleased to see the return of Leo (from Heroes of Olympus) and the inclusion of Percy. I am looking forward to seeing who else pops in for an adventure and who new will be added to this ever expanding group of demigods.

How do you punish an immortal? By making him human. After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disoriented, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’ favor. But Apollo has many enemies – gods, monsters, and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go … an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library


Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein, 290 pages, read by LisaC, on 05/22/2016

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A cute, imaginative story that takes place in a new super cool library designed by a game designer, Mr. Lemoncello. The library sponsors an essay contest and the 10 winners of the contest will get to spend the night in the library prior to its grand opening. At the end of their overnight visit, the students are given the opportunity to participate in another game, a type of scavenger hunt to discover the way out of the library.
Filled with fun and adventure this book points out that not only can libraries be full of knowledge and useful, they can also be creative and fun! Loaded with literary references and lessons on how to use the library this book was a great read full of knowledge, creativity and most of all fun.

Audacity


Audacity by Melanie Crowder, 389 pages, read by LisaC, on 05/19/2016

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Audacity is a historical fiction book written in free verse based on the life of Clara Lemlich, a Jewish immigrant who defied the traditional roles of her upbringing to fight for the rights of women workers in the garment industry in the early 1900’s. Fleeing the pograms in Russia with her family, Clara found work in the sweat shops of New York City. Early on she became incensed about the working conditions in general but especially for the young girls who didn’t even make a livable wage. She became involved in the   Labor union movement only to find they too disregarded women’s rights in the workplace. Through her tireless efforts she helped form the ILGWU (International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union) Local 25 and was elected to their board in 1906.

This was an outstanding book based on a little known woman who worked to make a huge difference with little regard for herself or her safety. This book is an inspirational read that I would highly recommend.

Five Children and It


Five Children and It by E. Nesbit, 189 pages, read by Tammy, on 05/13/2016

five children and it

This classic children’s tale from Nesbit, is still enjoyable today. This is the first in a series featuring Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and their baby brother. I hadn’t read this story as a child, but I had enjoyed the sequel The Phonenix and the Carpet and was delightfully surprised to learn there were more stories with this family. The children dig up a magical creature that grants them wishes, but you should always be careful what you wish for.

The Woman in White


The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, 569 pages, read by Tammy, on 05/21/2016

woman in white

The Woman in White is a classic gothic horror novel with a psychological twist. Published in 1860 it is considered the first gothic novel that combined real psychology. It was also one of the most influential works of the Victorian era.

We meet young Walter Hartright with his family in London. Walter is in need of a full-time position instead of his smaller tutoring jobs. A family friend tells him of a wonderful opportunity to teach art to the daughters of a wealthy gentleman on his estate in the country. Walter accepts the position and soon finds himself in the midst of a family mystery. His first experience is an encounter on a moonlight road with a mysterious woman in white. Who is she, did she really know the family he is working for and perhaps most importantly where did she disappear too while they were talking?

This atmospheric, detailed work is not a quick read but is well worth the time.

The War that Saved My Life


The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, 316 pages, read by Tammy, on 05/19/2016

war saved

2016 Newbery Honor book
*Winner of the 2016 Schneider Family Book Award
New York Times bestseller

Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother has convinced Ada and everyone else that she is too simple to learn or be out with anyone else, but really her mom is just too embarrased by Ada’s twisted foot to let anyone see here. Ada watches the neighborhood kids through her window and learns a little about the outside world from her younger brother Jamie.

Jamie tells her about that there is a war coming with Germany and that all the children are being evacuated out of London to the countryside for their own safety. Their mother is willing to consider sending Jamie but definately not Ada. Ada takes things into her own hands and she and Jamie leave the apartment early on the morning of the evacuation and make it to the train station.

Ada and Jamie are so dirty and scraggly looking that none of the country families volunteer to take them in the town where they are stopped. But the local lady in charge of the program doesn’t give a Susan Smith a choice about taking them in. Susan feels like an outcast in her own town and is sure she can’t take proper care of two children.

This begins a new adventure for Ada, Jamie and Susan. Ada teaches herself to ride, she learns to read and she starts to trust Susan. Suan begins to love both Ada and Jamie but will that be enough to keep them together and become a family?

Cinder


Cinder by Marissa Meyer, 390 pages, read by LisaC, on 05/15/2016

cinder

Cinder is a modern, futuristic story with loosely based on the story of  Cinderella. Cinder is a cyborg and works as a mechanic to support her adoptive mother and two sisters, her adopted father having been killed in an accident. The intrigue ramps up when a mysterious plague threatens the entire city, the Lunar Queen threatens war without a marriage alliance and a startling discovery about Cinder is made by the medical team when her stepmother “volunteers” her for research on the deadly disease. Add the romance of the prince (who is fighting to save his kingdom from the evil Lunar Queen) and the ball, and mysteries surrounding Cinder that just keep growing you get a fantastic page turner that is difficult to put down.
Admittedly, it has taken me a long time to get around to reading this book. However, I was pulled in by the fourth page. There is so much action and suspense, twists and turns that you just keep reading and reading because you can’t wait to find out what happens.  This is the first in a series called the Lunar Chronicles, all of which are loosely tied to fairy tales. The imaginative twist on Cinder makes me eager to read the rest of the books in the series.

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth


The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg, 176 pages, read by Angie, on 05/19/2016

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth

This is the story of a Storyteller from Nord in Early Earth (before the dinosaurs earth). His soul was split into three when he was a baby and even after he was made whole again there was still a tiny piece missing. He must travel the world to find this missing piece of his soul. Nord is the most northern land in Early Earth. The storyteller leaves Nord and travels to Britanitarka and Midgal Bavel where he learns other stories to tell. He finally reaches the South Pole where he finds his soul mate, but is unable to get near her. The Raven god and his children Kid and Kiddo have interfered in the storytellers journey the whole time. As he travels, he tells his stories.

This was an interesting graphic novel. I enjoyed how aspects of real history was woven throughout this tale of early earth history. The stories are enjoyable and interesting and I always wanted to find out what was going to happen to the storyteller next.

How to be a Woman


How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, 312 pages, read by Brian, on 05/18/2016

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Caitlin Moran’s, “How to be a Woman” has been compared to Tina Fey’s “Bossy Pants”.  Moran is candid and funny.  She talks about issues others would shy away from.  I enjoyed the book and would read more from Moran.  This book is featured in Emma Watson’s book club, “Our Shared Shelf”

 

The Witch’s Boy


The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill, 384 pages, read by Angie, on 05/19/2016

The Witch's Boy

Ned is the “wrong boy”; he lived when his twin brother Tam did not. His mother, Sister Witch, could not bear to lose both her boys at the same time so she sewed Tam’s soul into Ned thus saving his life, but causing him difficulties. Ned is never able to speak without stuttering or read any words after the accident. The townspeople believe the wrong boy was saved and treat him badly. His father can barely look at him. Sister Witch is the keeper of magic in their village. The magic has been passed down through the generations and they are charged with helping others and keeping the magic good. The magic has a mind of its own however and takes a toll on the wielder.

Aine lives with her father in the forest. They used to live by the sea but then her mother died and her father’s heart was broken. He hid them away in the forbidden forest and became the bandit king. He too has magic and the magic has warped and changed him into something Aine has difficulty recognizing.

The Bandit King learns about Sister Witch’s magic and is determined to get it for himself. This sets up a series of events where Ned takes the magic into himself and gets lost in the forest. Aine and Ned team up with a wolf in order to return the magic to Sister Witch. Of course things don’t go as planned. Ned’s country is cut off from the world and governed by a strong queen. The neighboring king is a spoiled brat who wants what he doesn’t have and is determined to invade the country and harness the magic for himself. There are also nine standing stones who were once people and it is their magic free in the world. All these things collide in the conclusion of The Witch’s Boy.

Once I started reading this book I really didn’t want to put it down. I loved the world that was created by Kelly Barnhill. Ned is a fantastic character hurt by the death of his brother and struggling as the survivor. He wants to be more and taking the magic into himself allows him to grow and discover just how strong he really was. Aine is such an interesting character as well. She is hard and cold but only because the world has made her that way. Inside she wants what everyone wants: family and friends to love. She struggles with the fact that her father has been corrupted by the magic and despite her love for him knows he must be stopped. This is a wonderful story and one I would highly recommend.

Fast and Loose


Fast and Loose: The Men of the Sisterhood by Fern Michaels, 277 pages, read by Donna, on 05/18/2016

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Generally I always enjoy Fern Michaels’ Sisterhood and Brotherhood books. However, I found this one very hard to get into and even tedious at times. While the beginning plot was interesting, since it once again gave back-story to one of the members, the story veered off in another direction which seemed a weak effort to keep everyone busy. Maybe if more time had been spent on the original concern and how it effected the group’s relationships instead of on the secondary plot which did nothing but drive them apart, I might have liked it better. Of course, I will reserve judgement and wait for the next one to see if Michaels gets back on track.

With the women of the Sisterhood away on a covert assignment, their significant others could be expected to kick back and enjoy a little drama-free downtime. but that’s not the way Jack, Ted, Harry, Charles, and the rest of their comrades roll. An urgent call has come to the headquarters of their organization, BOLO Consultants. Bert Navarro, head of security for Countess Anna de Silva, suspects that Annie’s deluxe casino, Babylon, is being stealthily and expertly robbed. The scheme is so ingenious that Bert can’t be sure how it works … which is why the crew is soon bound for the bright lights of Vegas to investigate. Figuring out who’s hacking into Babylon’s security system proves more difficult than expected … and may have implications for one of BOLO’s own. The security expert working for them has unlocked one hard fact … that there are more than enough suspects to investigate. But the men of BOLO will do what it takes to prove that, even in Vegas, there’s no gambling with justice.

Provided by publisher.

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