26. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Kristy · Tags: ,

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen , 290 pages, read by Kristy, on 11/20/2014

ChompI had a blast reading Chomp. I picked it up on a whim without knowing anything about the book, and I’m glad I did! Wahoo Cray and his family are quite abnormal. Mickey Cray, Wahoo’s father, is a professional animal wrangler, and Wahoo is obviously an animal charmer just like his father. When Mickey is injured, they Cray family goes into serious debt. To alleviate this debt, Mickey and Wahoo accept a job working for Expedition Survival, a phoney survival show.  Derek Badger, the spoiled, doltish star of the show, keeps Mickey and Wahoo busy with his idiotic stunts and crazy antics.

I loved all of the personalities in this book. The characters, especially Mickey Cray, were well developed. Chomp had both deep and humorous moments, and it was a quick and delightful read.

26. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Cats, Humor, Poetry, Tammy · Tags:

The Rules: A Guide For People Owned By Cats by Max Thompson , 85 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/25/2014

rules for peopleMax Thompson known far and wide on the Internet as “The Psychokitty” is an expert in all things feline. He has decided to help out humans everywhere to understand the ways of the cat. That with cute furriness comes hairballs. There are paw drawn illustrations and note pages to further assist people with their learning curve. At the end are included some letters from cats and their people who have written to Psychkitty for advice. A funny book. Though I must say that Psychokitty seems to have more issues with poop and barfing then any of the five house cats I have had.

 

26. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Cats, Humor, Poetry, Tammy · Tags:

I Knead My Mommy: And Other Poems by Kittens by Francesco Marciuliano , 111 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/24/2014

download (1)Nothing is cuter than a kitten or more curious. This book of poems by kittens shares their amazement at their new world around them, their never ending curiosity and how they learn to live with older cats and their people. Filled with cute photos and funny poems that made me laugh out loud.

26. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Cats, Humor, Tammy · Tags: ,

Stink Outside the Box: Life Advice from Kitty by Jeremy Greenberg, Niklas Pivic , 64 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/25/2014

Each page contains an important live lesson, such as “Learn from those who have come before you,” the name of the cat counselor giving advice on this lesson, the counselor’s moment in “purrspective” and then the advice he or she has learned during their nine lives. Next page has a photo of each cat counselor. These house cats try to share the lessons they have learned with us, the humble human, to reduce the stress in our lives and lead a more enjoyable, stress-free life. After all if we are happy and stress-free we will have more time to devote to kitty.

Stories of how famous female American writers found friendship and comfort from their pet dogs. Stories are collected from diary entries, letters, and how the author or poet refers and treats animals in their writings. Though I love both cats and dogs there is something to be said for the companionship of a dog. They are loyal and loving no matter what you are going through and always willing to be hugged and held.

26. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Cats, Humor, Poetry, Tammy · Tags:

I could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Marciuliano , 111 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/20/2014

i could pee on thisThis book is full of fun photos of cats and kittens and the poems are straight forward and funny. If you have ever owned a cat, especially a house cat this book is for you. Some of the poems made me laugh out loud. Others made me give an exasperated sigh, because “my cat has done that.” The author of the syndicated comic strip, Sally Forth, helps cats unlock their creative potential and explain their odd behavior in perfectly cat logical ways. But no matter how wacky, whimsical or exasperating cats are always still loveable. At least mine are. : )

26. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Short Stories

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver, 164 pages, read by Brian, on 11/25/2014

raymondWhat We Talk About When We Talk About Love, is Raymond Carver’s second book of short stories.  These stories focus on characters who unassuming and for lack of a better word, simple.  The stories are very well written and the reader just eases through the book.

 

26. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Drama, Fiction, Noelle

Sleepwalking by Meg Wolitzer, 215 pages, read by Noelle, on 11/23/2014

So, I like Meg Wolitzer and thought I’d give her first novel a go.

Published when she was only twenty-three and written while she was a student at Brown, Sleepwalking marks the beginning of Meg Wolitzer’s acclaimed career.  Filled with her usual wisdom, compassion and insight, Sleepwalking tells the story of the three notorious “death girls,” so called on the Swarthmore campus because they dress in black and are each absorbed in the work and suicide of a different poet: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Wolitzer’s creation Lucy Asher, a gifted writer who drowned herself at twenty-four.  At night the death girls gather in a candlelit room to read their heroines’ work aloud.

But an affair with Julian, an upperclassman, pushes sensitive , struggling Claire Danziger—she of the Lucy Asher obsession-–to consider to what degree her “death girl” identity is really who she is.  As she grapples with her feelings for Julian, her own understanding of herself and her past begins to shift uncomfortably and even disturbingly. Finally, Claire takes drastic measures to confront the facts about herself that she has been avoiding for years.

25. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Informational Book, Noelle, NonFiction, Science

The Self Illusion by Bruce Hood, 349 pages, read by Noelle, on 11/20/2014

Prone to existential depressive episodes related to identity?  Me too!  Feel like delving further into such quandaries?  If you answered, “Why not?”, then read this book!  I personally find it exciting/ weirdly comforting when science challenges traditional Western thought.

Summary from Publisher:  Most of us believe that we are unique and coherent individuals, but are we? The idea of a “self” has existed ever since humans began to live in groups and become sociable. Those who embrace the self as an individual in the West, or a member of the group in the East, feel fulfilled and purposeful. This experience seems incredibly real but a wealth of recent scientific evidence reveals that this notion of the independent, coherent self is an illusion – it is not what it seems. Reality as we perceive it is not something that objectively exists, but something that our brains construct from moment to moment, interpreting, summarizing, and substituting information along the way. Like a science fiction movie, we are living in a matrix that is our mind.
In The Self Illusion, Dr. Bruce Hood reveals how the self emerges during childhood and how the architecture of the developing brain enables us to become social animals dependent on each other. He explains that self is the product of our relationships and interactions with others, and it exists only in our brains. The author argues, however, that though the self is an illusion, it is one that humans cannot live without.
But things are changing as our technology develops and shapes society. The social bonds and relationships that used to take time and effort to form are now undergoing a revolution as we start to put our self online. Social networking activities such as blogging, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter threaten to change the way we behave. Social networking is fast becoming socialization on steroids. The speed and ease at which we can form alliances and relationships is outstripping the same selection processes that shaped our self prior to the internet era. This book ventures into unchartered territory to explain how the idea of the self will never be the same again in the online social world.

25. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Paula · Tags:

The Art of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein, 321 pages, read by Paula, on 11/23/2014

enzoNearing the end of his life, Enzo, a dog with a philosopher’s soul, tries to bring together the family, pulled apart by a three year custody battle between daughter Zoe’s maternal grandparents and her father Denny, a race car driver.

A truly touching and moving story.  I fell in love with Enzo about 2 pages in! I cried.  Repeatedly.  Loved this book!

25. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Fiction, Literary Fiction, Noelle, Paranormal

Rooms by Lauren Oliver, 320 pages, read by Noelle, on 11/06/2014

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family, bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna, have arrived for their inheritance. But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls.

24. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jessica, Romance

Raven's Seduction by M.T. Stone, 222 pages, read by Jessica, on 11/24/2014

81rq9ZnyJyL._SL1500_All I wanted, was to add some excitement to my boring life…

The way it was explained, it seemed too good to pass up. Then I met Gunner… he was definitely too good to pass up.

It won’t hurt to give it a try. I can always walk away. Or so I thought.

What is he doing here? He tried to ruin my life once before.

I guess walking away is no longer an option.

This was all an elaborate trap and there is only one way out. It’s time to be strong.

I wish I could have my boring life back.

23. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kim, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Simon says die by Lena Diaz, 416 pages, read by Kim, on 11/23/2014

Madison McKinley knows someone is stalking her. The police tell her she’s imagining things, and they’re too busy trying to find the “Simon Says” killer to investigate. But day by day, hour by hour, Madison’s terror grows stronger, and not even the return of FBI Special Agent Pierce Buchanan into her life can calm her fears. Besides, how can she ask Pierce for his help after the way she ended things between them?

Pierce still wants Madison’s love, and his drive to protect her is more powerful than ever. He believes she’s in danger, even if the cops don’t. Finally, as more people start dying and the evidence mounts, the police turn their attention to Madison—as a suspect. Was Pierce a fool to trust her again, or are they both caught in a complex game that neither will survive?

23. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Explosive attraction by Lena Diaz, 288 pages, read by Melody, on 11/23/2014

Detective Rafe Morgan knew that, as a psychologist, Darby Steele was used to people coming to her in need. But now she was the one in danger. A serial killer had made her a pawn in a sick game, sending her photos of his targets with clocks counting down. As a part-time bomb technician, Rafe was uniquely capable of keeping Darby safe. Usually psychologists rubbed Rafe the wrong way, but when it came to Darby, his urge to protect and serve went way beyond the badge. Getting to know the beautiful doctor had opened Rafe’s eyes and his heart. But if their elusive bomber had his way, Rafe would never get a chance to prove just how far he’d go to keep Darby alive.

23. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Her dying breath by Rita Herron, 350 pages, read by Melody, on 11/23/2014

Journalist Brenda Banks is on the verge of the biggest story of her career—if she can stay alive long enough to finish it. A serial killer is targeting men in the small town of Slaughter Creek, leaving behind a twisted trail of clues meant only for Brenda. It’s a dangerous, deadly game, one she cannot master without the help of FBI Special Agent Nick Blackwood, the man she’s loved since high school—and whose tormented past could hold the key to catching a killer.

Nick Blackwood barely survived childhood at the hands of his father, a sadistic mastermind known as the Commander. Since he left town, he’s spent his life chasing criminals—and trying to forget the beauty he once loved. But when a murder investigation brings him face-to-face with Brenda Banks, Nick cannot ignore the smoldering fire she rekindles in his troubled soul. Allowing Brenda into his heart means letting down his guard—and that’s just what the killer is counting on…

23. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kim, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

He kills me he kills me not by Lena Diaz, 368 pages, read by Kim, on 11/22/2014

Four years ago, Amanda Stockton was forced to play a serial killer’s twisted game of chance. Since then, she has retreated from the world, bearing the scar from her ordeal and the burden of a terrible secret. But when another woman is found dead, clutching a long-stemmed red rose, Amanda knows she can hide no longer.

If there were any other way, Chief Logan Richards would never ask the only surviving victim for help. But it’s clear this killer will not be stopped and Amanda is the only link. Torn between catching a madman and winning the trust of the woman he’s come to love, Logan is caught in a dangerous game with Amanda. And there’s no guarantee they’ll come out on top.

22. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Humor, Marsha, NonFiction · Tags:

I Knead My Mommy: and other poems by kittens by Francesco Marciuliano, 111 pages, read by Marsha, on 11/22/2014

download (1)Super cute pictures of fuzzy wuzzy kitties plus poetry typed out with their own little paws!  You can’t go wrong with checking out this cute little book.  Ever wonder what your kitten thinks about?  The answers are presented right here.  If you read and loved I Could Pee On This this is a must see.  I can’t wait to see what this author writes next.

22. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Humor, Marsha, NonFiction · Tags:

Stink Outside the Box: Life Advice From Kitty by Jeremy Greenberg, 64 pages, read by Marsha, on 11/22/2014

downloadThis is a cute collection of life lessons as taught to you by your cats.  Very humorous with gorgeous photos of the cats themselves, this short little book is packed with lots of “educational” fun.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and each story is told from the cat’s point of view.  Super cute!

22. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Katy, Mystery

Invisible City by Julia Dahl, 295 pages, read by Katy, on 11/17/2014

Dahl_1024x1024“Just months after Rebekah Roberts was born, her mother, an Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, abandoned her Christian boyfriend and newborn baby to return to her religion. Neither Rebekah nor her father have heard from her since. Now a recent college graduate, Rebekah has moved to New York City to follow her dream of becoming a big-city reporter. But she’s also drawn to the idea of being closer to her mother, who might still be living in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn. Then Rebekah is called to cover the story of a murdered Hasidic woman. Rebekah’s shocked to learn that, because of the NYPD’s habit of kowtowing to the powerful ultra-Orthodox community, not only will the woman be buried without an autopsy, her killer may get away with murder.”

It was tough to put this one down! A great debut novel and good read for Gillian Flynn fans.

21. November 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jessica, Romance

What If by Rebecca Donovan, 352 pages, read by Jessica, on 11/20/2014

91gey6FQqFL._SL1500_What if you had a second chance to meet someone for the first time?
Cal Logan is shocked to see Nicole Bentley sitting across from him at a coffee shop thousands of miles from their hometown. After all, no one has seen or heard from her since they graduated over a year ago.

Except this girl isn’t Nicole.

She looks exactly like Cal’s shy childhood crush, but her name is Nyelle Preston and she has no idea who he is. This girl is impulsive and daring, her passion for life infectious. The complete opposite of Nicole. Cal finds himself utterly fascinated-and falling hard. But Nyelle is also extremely secretive. And the closer he comes to finding out what she’s hiding, the less he wants to know.

When the secrets from the past and present collide, one thing becomes clear: Nothing is what it seems.