25. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Tammy · Tags: , ,

Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody, read by Tammy, on 04/23/2012

This new mystery author weaves a cozy mystery around a strong female protagonist left widowed after WWI and set in the British countryside of a wool mill town. Kate Shackleton agrees to help a friend from the war days find out what happened to her father before the friend’s wedding day. Kate hopes to find the father alive so he can walk his daughter down the aisle, but warns her friend the truth may be much more unpleasant.

25. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Tammy, Teen Books · Tags: ,

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls book 3) by Maggie Stiefvater, read by Tammy, on 04/22/2012

Book 3 in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy this beautifully written story of life, change, love and what it really means to be human. It ends with a mostly satisfying ending with just a couple questions left unanswered but isn’t that how life goes ever changing and without all the answers.

In Maggie Stiefvater’s SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

25. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Memoirs, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , , , ,

Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia by Buddy Valastro, read by Tammy, on 04/21/2012

In this heartfelt memoir, Buddy from the popular TV show, Cake Boss shares his family’s history and the history of Carlo’s Bakery from the time his dad started working there until today where the bakery, his family and crew are featured on TLC. Buddy shares his journey and transformation from the youngest child in a big Italian family who loses his father as a young man and becomes a person who can run a busy, successful bakery. He also shares some of the recipes made famous by the show sized down for personal baking.

25. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Dystopia, Fiction, Teen Books, Thriller/Suspense

Fear: A Gone Novel (Book 5) by Michael Grant, read by Courtney, on 04/18/2012

Gah! This series! I love it! I’m not even going to recap what’s been going on in this book or any of the others because to do so would likely mean spoiling something for those who aren’t yet at this point. I will say that, with one book left to go, this series is getting even more intense. Fans of these books will definitely be pleased to find that this one is every bit as exhilarating as the rest. I love Michael Grant’s writing in these books. The narrative shifts from character to character and each one has a distinct voice and personality. Nearly every bit from each character ends in a mini-cliffhanger which propels the reader through the book in a breathless manner to see what happens next. I certainly lost some sleep over this book. And that’s a good thing. Fans of the Gone series should put this on hold immediately. They won’t regret it.

25. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Fantasy, Fiction, Teen Books

Loss (Riders of the Apocalypse #3) by Jackie Morse Kessler, read by Courtney, on 04/12/2012

So, we’ve met a young lady with anorexia who becomes Famine. We’ve met another young lady who cuts herself and becomes War. Now meet Billy. He spends his days trying his best to avoid the vicious bullies that prowl the halls of his school. In his off-time, he’s busy taking care of his grandfather, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Between the trouble at school and his grandfather’s unpredictable behavior, Billy’s pretty miserable. Needless to say, he is not necessarily pleased when Death shows up at his door asking for Billy’s help. Pestilence, the fourth rider, has shirked his duties and it now falls to Billy to either find the White Rider and get him back on the horse (literally and figuratively) or take up the mantle of Pestilence himself. Neither choice is ideal to Billy, especially when he realizes that the man known as Pestilence bears a very, very strong resemblance to Billy’s childhood nightmares. Also, Billy really doesn’t like horses.
This installment in the Riders of the Apocalypse series is definitely a bit different that the others that preceded it. With an existing, albeit infirm, Pestilence, Billy is not forced to automatically assume the role as the girls from the previous books were. While he does carry the symbolic bow and is able to use some of the power that comes with it, his main goal is getting the old Pestilence back on duty so that Billy doesn’t have to. This book may not be quite as accessible as the first two, but it is indeed a unique experience and well worth reading. Fortunately, the other books in the series are more “companion” novels rather than being sequential, so readers can really begin anywhere they like in the series and still get the plot. I am really, really curious to see what Kessler does in the next book of the series, especially since we’ve now met all of our horsemen (horse-people?). Also, I’ve got to give the horses a “shout-out” because they’re swiftly becoming some of my favorite recurring “characters” in this series.

24. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Literary Fiction, Tracy

Heft by Liz Moore, read by Tracy, on 04/24/2012

It’s hard to be totally honest with your children because you always want to protect them. If only Charlene had been honest with her son Kel about her illness she might have had a better life. Her former college professor and friend Arthur also had no idea she was so ill. Arthur wasn’t honest with her about his weight problem either. When Charlene tries to get together with Arthur after two decades they both hesitate and it turns out to be too late. Her son Kel is confused but in the end he does the right thing.

 

23. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, NonFiction

No Impact Man by Colin Beavan, read by Brian, on 04/19/2012

Do you feel guilty about how you treat the planet Earth?  Read No Impact Man and  you will still feel guilty but may want to make changes to your life.  Colin Beavan wanted to do the ultimate experiment and live year with his wife and child have no impact on the environment and at the same time keep a running blog on his progress.  Good Luck.  Agree or disagree with Colin, you must respect his efforts.  All the research he did and all the changes he made in his life are far too numerous to mention here but let me say he has a very understanding spouse. 

 

23. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Andrea, Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Laarson, read by Andrea, on 04/21/2012

Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative journalist specializing in financial issues in major companies, has been convicted and sentenced to prison for libel. Part owner of Millenium magazine, his reputation as a journalist and that of his publication is in danger. Strangely enough, just when he believes his career as a journalist is beyond saving, he receives a request from 82-year-old businessman Henrik Vanger. Vanger wants Blomkvist to use his skills as an investigative journalist to find out what happened to his great-niece over 30 years ago. To prevent any other Vanger family members from finding out, Blomkvist is to write a family chronicle to cover up his investigations. Lisbeth Salandar, a bright young woman with a few problems in her past and present life, is a quirky, tattooed, underweight computer genius who works for Milton Securities. Specializing in personal investigations, she partners up with Blomkvist to help solve Henrik’s mystery. Full of murder, suspense, and a little romance, this book was pretty interesting – especially the little twists that were worked into the storyline. A little dry in some parts, however, this book focused more on little details that would not have been necessary to understand the characters’ situations. Probably my favorite part of the book was how Laarson switched rather seamlessly from Lisbeth’s to Mikael’s point of view, giving the reader a bird’s eye view of the situations in the book. I’m not sure if the book deserved all the hype it got or not. Guess I will have to read the other two to make my final judgement on the series overall.

22. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books

Invisible Sun (Black Hole Sun #2) by Invisible Sun (Black Hole Sun #2) , read by Angie, on 04/21/2012

Vienne and Durango are back in the second in the Black Hole Sun trilogy. This book is just as action packed as the first in the series with just as much snappy dialog and great fight scenes. This series definitely reminds me a bit of Firefly with its mix of new technology, old world Asian influences and new world settlers. Then there is the big global corporation that has taken over the planet, doing experiments on people perhaps??, ex-army members fighting the corporation. It does seem like a lot of Firefly influences in the storylines. Not that it is a bad thing…I loved firefly and am one who was sorry to see it taken off the air so soon.

This was a fun book to read and it went really fast. Vienne and Durango are awesome characters with great chemistry and repartee. I love the AI Mimi and her relationship with Durango as well. She is like the mother hen who gives him the swift kick he needs. I will say that since this book was so action packed that the plot got a little convoluted at times…it seemed like there was a lot going on and the motivations were not always clear. Still not at the end of the book, which did end on a cliffhanger. So I guess we are going to have to wait until the next book to see how this all plays out.

22. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Paranormal, Teen Books

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff, read by Angie, on 04/20/2012

Daphne is the daughter of Lilith and Lucifer. She lives in Pandemonium the city in Hell. She has a life of privilege and boredom. She is tormented by her sisters the Lilim, but protected by her brother Obie. Then one day Obie goes missing. She must leave Hell to find him and the only one who can help her is one of Obie’s human charges…Truman. Truman is a damaged boy. His mother is dead and he had never quite gotten over that. He is on a path of self-destruction. Obie saved him once when he tried tried to commit suicide, but it hasn’t stopped his downward slide into drinking, drugs and anything else he can find. Then Daphne saves him when he almost dies a second time. Together they set out to discover what happened to Obie. They must avoid the Avenging Angel, Azreal, and his pet monster Dark Dreadful, who are out to get all demons and who seem to have a special task in mind for Truman.

This is a story about Heaven and Hell, grief and despair, redemption and damnation. Daphne and Truman are not your typical teen novel characters. Daphne is a demon from hell; she has never known love or compassion or any of those types of emotions. She faces life like a blank slate at times and doesn’t exhibit the emotions you would expect when say your sister is brutally murdered. It makes for an interesting character. Even when she is falling in love with Truman it is not your typical love story because she does not function like your typical person would. Truman is broken in so many ways but he is still human so his emotions do surface but he is also not typical. It is interesting to see these two atypical people discover the world (because really Truman has been oblivious to it as well as Daphne) and fall in love.

I found that I was more interested in Daphne and Truman’s journey than the actual angel/demon plot that was behind it. I didn’t think that plot was as well developed as it could be and at times I really got confused as to the motivations of the background characters. Sure it is all explained in the end but even then it still seemed a bit much. Even so, Daphne and Truman more than made up for what was lacking in the rest of the storytelling. I just found them so atypical and against the norm and that was refreshing and interesting.

22. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction

Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm, read by Angie, on 04/19/2012

Turtle moves to Key West to live with an aunt and cousins she has never met. Her mother has a new job as a housekeeper with a lady who doesn’t allow kids, but she also has a new boyfriend, Archie, with good prospects. So Turtle is sent to the Keys and Aunt Minerva. Only Aunt Minerva doesn’t know she is coming and her cousins are not thrilled to have a girl around. They definitely don’t want her in their Diaper Gang, but they do let her tag along. The Diaper Gang is the group of boys who takes “bad” babies for the day so their mothers can have a break. They have a secret recipe for diaper rash and bad bungies (cornstarch) and they get paid in candy. It is they 1930s and the Depression is on; everyone has to do their part to help out. Turtle even tries her hand at sponge fishing and she starts taking care of Nana Philly who turns out to be her grandma. The Keys are full of interesting characters with interesting names…like Beans and Too Bad and Slow Poke to name a few. It seems that everyone has a nickname in Key West.

I enjoyed this book. I thought it was fun and Turtle was a great character. I liked her adventures with the Diaper Gang; they seemed like things kids would really do at that time (except maybe finding the treasure!). All of the characters were very fun and had their own personalities…maybe the kids more so than the adults. I really didn’t know much about the Keys so this was a nice look at what Key West was like during this time period and from the Author’s Notes it seems to be fairly accurate. If I had a complaint about the book it would be the ending. I felt like it was rushed and predictable and really didn’t do the book justice. I think a little more thought could have gone into the last 30-40 pages but other than that I really enjoyed the book and Turtle’s story.

2011 Newbery Honor Book.

20. April 2012 · 1 comment · Categories: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Tracy

The Cat Nappers by P. G. Wodehouse, read by Tracy, on 04/20/2012

Bertie Wooster would probably be better off if he just stayed home at his apartment with his valet Jeeves. Every time he goes out he either meets a lady he proposed to or a friend he owes money to. In this book Bertie finds spots on his chest so he goes to a doctor who recommends he spends some time in the country away from the unwholesome life of London.  One of his many aunt’s finds him a cottage by the sea to spend the weekend. A quiet weekend is not  in store for Bertie.

20. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Melody, NonFiction, Science

Phobiapedia by Joel Levy, read by Melody, on 04/19/2012

Informational book with great pictures about our phobias.  Some phobias seem very logical to me like atomosophobia, the fear of atomic weapons, or taphephobia, the fear of being buried alive.  Who would want to be buried alive?  But I bet the people with omphalophobia, the fear of belly buttons, or panophobia, the fear of everything, have a hard way to go. Very entertaining.

20. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Melody, Paranormal, Teen Books

A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton, read by Melody, on 04/18/2012

Sequel to the compelling Darkness Becomes Her, A Beautiful Evil finds Ari recovering from her battle with Athena in the near-future New Orleans, a half-ruined city ruled by a coalition of vampires, witches, and demigod families.  A descendent of Medusa with the power to kill even gods, Ari must come to terms with her curse to save not just those she loves but also herself.

19. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Melody, Memoirs, NonFiction

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen, read by Melody, on 04/18/2012

Delightful memoir by Rhoda Janzen, touching and wry.  After the week from hell; her husband leaves her for Bob who he met on Gay.com and she is in a serious car wreck, Janzen returns to her Mennonite family to heal and pick up the pieces of her life.  Full of great advice (her mother suggests she date her first cousin because he has a tractor), an amazing array of cabbage dishes, and lots of love, she shows how funny going home can be.  Very funny and intelligent, a must read.  And I now know what Mennonites ladies wear under all those layers and how to make borscht.  

19. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , , ,

Troubled Water: Saints, Sinners, Truth and Lies about the Global Water Crisis by edited by Anita Roddick with Brooke Shelby Biggs, read by Tammy, on 04/17/2012

This month’s reading challenge for our library staff reading competition was to read at least one environmental book.

This was a very informative book which showed it’s facts in a variety of ways: photos, graphs, traditional text, and artwork. This book is defiantly an eye-opening read about the scarcity of clean drinking water throughout the world including countries like the U.S. that traditionally haven’t worried about water supply. It also discusses a variety of ways that countries are trying to deal with this crisis. The author is definitely anti-privatization of water supply and I have to say I agree. Water is a necessity for life and shouldn’t be something that companies make a profit from distributing. That said, I do see a growing challenge for towns, states and countries to continue to provide safe and affordable drinking water for their citizens.

19. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Graphic Book, Tammy · Tags:

Cats with Attitude by Nicole Hollander, read by Tammy, on 04/14/2012

This book is a compliation of 2 comic and joke collections: My Cat is Not Fat, He’s just Big Boned and Everything Here is Mine. Not as funny as I’d hoped. There were a few pages I laughed out loud on and shared with my husband since he has the joy of sharing our home with 3 indoor cats too. But a lot of it seemed to repeat the same joke in a slightly different way.

19. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Memoirs, Tammy · Tags: ,

Fifty Acres and a Poodle: A Story of Love, Livestock, and Finding Myself on a Farm by Jeanne Marie Laskas , read by Tammy, on 04/15/2012

Fun memoir of the author’s journey from a city dwelling, cat loving, mutt loving person who just casually dated to the owner of a fifty acre farm with multiple animals including a pure blood poodle with papers and a committed meaningful relationship. I will have to admit as someone who grew up in the country it was amusing at times to realize how unprepared the author and her boyfriend were for living in the country, and not just the farm, but the whole community. I’ve had the opposite kind of culture shock at different times in my life moving into a small town then into a city. So for me part of what made the story enjoyable was that she admitted they didn’t know something and she clearly expressed that these different lifestyles are both fine. You just have to find the one that’s right for you.

The author also shared her hopes and dreams, reaction to reality, then the realization that sometimes what you have, though nothing like you dreamed it would be, is better than you could have imagined.

18. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Memoirs, NonFiction, Tracy

Gypsy Boy by Mikey Walsh, read by Tracy, on 04/18/2012

If you’ve ever wondered if all those stories you’ve heard about Gypsies are true, this book is a tell-all. It’s a very graphic and heart wrenching story. I had a hard time reading it and almost didn’t finish. Hopefully the author is having a happier adulthood.

18. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Melody

The Legend of Diamond Lil by Doreen Cronin, read by Melody, on 04/17/2012

Darling book by Doreen Cronin, author of many hilarious books like Diary of a Worm and Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type,is about a retired search and rescue dog who is living the suburban life and trying to keep the chickens in line.  In  the second book of the series, the first is the highly recommended The Trouble with Chickens, a beautiful new dog has moved in next door.  The chickens are entranced with her but J.J. has reservations, how could any dog be that shiny and is posture really important?  Throw in a persistent opossum and J.J. has his paws full.  Very funny and fast paced with great illustrations.