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

Brainiac by Ken Jennings, 269 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/11/2012

Ken Jennings is a 2.5 million dollar Jeopardy winner. He was lucky enough to get on the show after they changed the five day winning rule. This book is about his amazing winning streak on Jeopardy and a look at why trivia is so popular. I watch Jeopardy every night but would never consider auditioning. You have to be competitive and have a good memory. Game shows and trivia competitions are popular all over the world. It’s not just about winning money.

10. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Andrea, Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer, 277 pages, read by Andrea, on 04/10/2012

Artemis Fowl is back again to annoy the People. This time he is trying to save his father who has been captured by the Russian Mafiya. Unfortunately, he needs help, preferably Fairy magic help. Luckily for him and unluckily for the People, LEPrecon is not in very good shape. Someone has taken over LEP’s weapon’s power source and now they are defenseless from goblin attacks. Against their better judgement Holly and Root decide to ask Artemis for his help. In turn, they will help him locate his father and get him back safe and sound to England. Not unlike the first book, the second Fowl adventure is full of witty remarks, action, and of course magic.

10. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Mystery, Paranormal

Hidden by Armstrong, Kelley, 193 pages, read by Kira, on 04/08/2012

A mystery story that happens to involve some werewolves and parental concern.  It doesn’t have the flavor of most werewolf stories.  I found it difficult to follow who was the bad guy, and had to reread a couple of passages over 2-3 times before I got it, but maybe thats what makes the mystery.  Perhaps the book would be of more interest if you followed the series (I’m assuming its a part of a series).

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

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake, 332 pages, read by Melody, on 04/09/2012

Angie was kind enough to lend me her advance copy of this book that she received at ALA but I am sure the library will be ordering it.  Girl of Nightmares is the follow up to Anna Dressed in Blood, an amazing book that I love and Girl of Nightmares does not disappoint.  The story begins as ghost hunter Cas is trying to get his life back  together after Anna had saved him and his friends by taking the evil Obeahman to Hell but he keeps seeing her everywhere he looks.  Is it just his way of not forgetting her or is she breaking through to send him a message?  Blake has creates not only believable characters that the reader invests in but also tense and exciting action.  If you haven’t already, you must read Anna Dressed in Blood and then if you beg hard enough, Angie might lend you Girl of Nightmares.


10. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Melody H, Teen Books

When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen, 296 pages, read by Melody, on 04/08/2012

To each their own, but I found When the Sea is Rising Red to be an unpleasant read.  The premise was sound enough, a highborn girl in a divided society yearns to break free from the constraints of her life.  She fakes her suicide and flees, becoming a scullery maid and for the first time, living her own life.  But the people with whom she finds shelter have their own agendas for her and her magic.  The book is very dark and brooding with an overarching dread throughout.  I reserve my most dislike though for our “heroine” who starts the book as a self absorbed princess and ends as a self absorbed princess.  The author could have done so much more with her and her world. 

10. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Romance

Shoulda Been a Cowboy by Lorelei James, 234 pages, read by Brian, on 04/03/2012

Shoulda Been a Cowboy is book 7 in the Rough Rider series.  This a story of Cameron McKay and Domini Katzinski and the love they have for each other. Cameron is a former soldier turned sheriff, who is broken down by the war and Domini is from the Ukraine looking for a relationship.  Both like to be in control but Domini has been in relationships that have ended badly and she has decided she needs a man to take control, Cameron is that man.  Their courtship is rocky at first but ends with a bang.  This is a decently written romance novel with lots of erotic moments. Basically if you like romance, hot sex and an actually story, this book may be for you.


09. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Graphic Novel

Love and Rockets: New Stories (Vol. 4) by Hernandez Brothers, 104 pages, read by Brian, on 04/05/2012

Simply put, if you have not read anything by Jaime Hernandez or Gilbert Hernandez, stop what you are doing head to your local library and check them out.  The Hernandez Brothers are award winning storytellers and artist.  Their stories are engaging and thought provoking and fun.  In volume four of Love and Rockets the Brothers focus on a few different story lines: “Love Bunglers” finishes the story between Ray and Maggie,  there is another Maggie story that takes place before “Love Bunglers” and my favorite, “King Vampire” which is very funny.  I would recommend reading other works by Jaime and Gilbert before reading this installment.

09. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocalyptic, Brian, Fiction, Teen Books

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, 390 pages, read by Brian, on 04/06/2012

When reading Mockingjay, I had an odd feeling the author, Suzanne Collins was mocking me.  She probably wasn’t it but wouldn’t  it be great if she was?   Mockingjay is the third and final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, a trilogy I was ready to move on from and put behind me.  I’m not saying it wasn’t a well written, heart wrenching book but rather a story I was tired of.  It took forever to read the book, I just didn’t care anymore.  I love variety and I think it was a mistake to read all three books back-to-back.  After finally finishing it the first time, I reread the book and enjoyed it more.  I suppose the way the book ended, there could possibly be more books but none are planned at this time.  Overall the book left my hungry for more.

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

Gil's All Fright Diner by A Lee Martinez, 268 pages, read by Melody, on 04/03/2012

Very fun quirky book.  Duke and Earl are an odd pair, a werewolf and a vampire who run out of gas at a diner and get a job offer to rid a roadside diner of a zombie problem.  Problem is, Armageddon is coming and the diner is ground zero.  Great characters and fast paced action, perfect book for a light entertaining read.

09. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Melody H, NonFiction

Simple Pleasures of the Garden by Susannah Seton, 313 pages, read by Melody, on 04/03/2012

Wonderful little book full of recipes, crafts, and quotations from the garden.  Arranged by the seasons, it is an inspirational and lovely book.  My favorite quote in the book is from Luther Burbank ” A flower is an educated weed” 

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

The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges, 389 pages, read by Melody, on 04/03/2012

Interesting teen book mixing Tsarist Russia and paranormal fantasy.  Katerina Alexandrova is a young duchess dancing at balls with princes and hoping one day that she will be allowed to go to medical school but she hides a dark secret, she is a necromancer.  She desperately tries to hide her curse but others in the court hope to use her for their dark purposes.  The period setting is lush and decadent, full of velvet, caviar, and waltzes, but the book is weighed down by it’s “everything but the kitchen sink” approach.  There are fairies, vampires, zombie armies, and ghosts with poisonings, kidnappings, and forced marriages thrown in for good measure.  

09. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Melody H

Claire de Lune by Jetta Carleton, 276 pages, read by Melody, on 04/03/2012

Magical book about youth, innocence, passion, and joie de vivre with an acceptable amount of the expected schmaltz in a coming-of-age story.  By the author of The Moonflower Vine, Clair de Lune was presumed lost after Carleton’s death but turned up years later.  It tells the story of Barbara Allen, called Allen, living on the edge of the Missouri Ozarks who takes her first teaching job at a small junior college.  She dreamt of going to New York and being a writer and meeting great minds but she feels obligations to her family.  Clair de Lune is a wonderful period piece, taking place just before the US entered into World War Two and catches the feelings of dread and anticipation as the rumors of war begin.  While neither as polished nor as deep as The Moonflower Vine, Claire de Lune is a wonderful novel.

08. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Mystery, Tracy

Maisie Dobb by Jacqueline Winspear, 294 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/08/2012

It’s the 1920’s and The Great War has been over for 10 years. Maisie Dobbs has opened her own detective agency in London. She was a nurse during the war and before that a student at Cambridge. She has seen a lot of suffering and wanted to help others who have suffered injustice. With the help of her mentor Lady Rowan Compton a suffragette and a war wound victim she helped Billy Beale, Maisie is busy with her first case. Maisie has been trained by Maurice Blanche an investigator who uses different techniques in deductive investigations. I thought Maisie’s personality is a little dull but I guess it’s all part of her thought process.

07. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Memoirs, Tracy · Tags:

Why I Came West by Rick Bass, 238 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/07/2012

Rick Bass describes himself as a poet, oil man, novelist, logger, elk hunter and an environmentalist. When he and his wife moved to Montana and found the Yaak Valley they knew it was going to be there home. Unfortunately he found out the wilderness he loved was not protected. His story is full of frustration and hard work trying to save the land and also help out the local loggers keep their jobs.

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

Lunatics by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel, 148 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/06/2012

I’m a Dave Barry fan and have missed his humorous columns in the newspapers. But I have to say that this book is a big disappointment. It says it is a hilarious novel of comic mayhem. I thought it was just plain stupid. The two main characters Phillip and Jeffrey hate each other and end up in some really dumb situations. It seems to me the authors just dreamed up one stupid situation after another for them and thought it was funny. I guess I just didn’t get it.  So I only read half of the book hoping it would get better and it didn’t.

06. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

The Book of Lost Fragrances by M. J. Rose, 347 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/06/2012

Some of us believe that we have been reincarnated. What if there was a scent that could take you back to your original life. You could relive the past and find your true beginnings. What price would you pay to get that fragrance. In this book there are many people who would pay a lot of money or even kill for that scent. The House of L’Etoile is one of the oldest perfumers in France. Jac and Robbie L’Etolle are trying to keep the business together after their father, who suffers from Alzheimers, has put the finances in deep debt. We find out that the sense of smell can be powerful but so is greed.


05. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George, 240 pages, read by Angie, on 04/06/2012

Castle Glower is alive and it has a mind of its own. It can change its rooms make new ones and kick you out if it doesn’t like you. It also chooses who will rule the kingdom. And it has chosen Celie’s family as the current ruling family for ten generations. Celie loves Castle Glower; she has been mapping it her whole life and she knows the Castle better than anyone. She is the youngest of the royal children and one of those left at home when the King and Queen go off to bring the oldest son Bran home from the School of Wizardry. Celie along with Rolf and Lilah must take care of things while they are gone. Then word comes that the King, Queen, Bran and most of their party have been ambushed and killed. Suddenly the castle is in an uproar. Their are foreign princes and the royal council interfering in the children’s business and trying to take over the kingdom. It is up to them and the Castle to make sure that doesn’t happen.

I am a sucker for fairy tales like this and I have to admit that this one enchanted me from the beginning. I loved Celie and I loved Castle Glower. They are really the heart of this story. Celie is smart and spunky and loyal. Rolf and Lilah are too but they didn’t quite capture my heart the way Celie did. I loved the relationship between the siblings though. They each had their own personalities that worked well off each other. I really enjoyed how they plotted to overcome all the bad guys trying to take over the kingdom and the Castle. And I have to say that I really want to live in a castle that will work with you and against your enemies.

I would recommend this to anyone really because I enjoyed it that much. It was an enchanting book full of adventure and magic and mystery…and a moving castle!

05. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel

Squish: Super Amoeba (Squish #1) by Jennifer L. Holm, Matthew Holm , 96 pages, read by Angie, on 04/04/2012

Squish is just your average amoeba who likes twinkies, tacos and comics. His best friends are Pod, a super genius amoeba who is going to solve the problem of global warming, and Peggy, a cute but clueless paramecium. Squish has to deal with normal things like homework and Pod taking his lunch money and Lynwood. Lynwood is a scary amoeba who cheats off Squish’s science homework and wants to eat Peggy. Squish needs to be more like his hero Super Amoeba to solve this problem.

Squish was a cute graphic novel. I think the kids will really enjoy this one and they might learn a little science while they are at it. Squish and his friends are fun and they deal with problems just like everyone else (even if they are amoebas). I love the illustrations and the random facts thrown in. Perfect for younger elementary readers.

05. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fiction

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy, 419 pages, read by Angie, on 04/04/2012

The Princes Charming from the Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty stories are not having a good time. Their happily ever afters are not turning out how they thought they would. They thought they could rescue the princess, get married and that would be the end of it. But often the princess rescues herself or turns out to be a shrew. So the Princes Frederick (Cinderella), Gustav (Rapunzel), Liam (Sleeping Beauty) and Duncan (Snow White) all set off on their own adventures, eventually meet up and form the League of Princes. They really are the most incompetent group of princes imaginable but their hearts are in the right place. Along the way they face trolls, giants, an evil witch, bandits and a dragon all in their quest to save the day and their kingdoms.

I had really high hopes for this book when I got it from the publisher. I thought the premise sounded awesome and I love fractured fairy tales. And their is a lot to like about the story. The princes are fun characters and very unique and their princesses are interesting in their own way as well. The problem with the story was that it took a lot to get into. The first half of the book really seemed to drag for me. There was a lot of wondering around the forest fumbling into funny situations where the princes made fools of themselves or did or said crazy things and then somehow got themselves out of it. It wasn’t until the last quarter of the book that everything seemed to come together. The ending did leave things very open to more books in this series, but I hope any future books are a little more focused.

The library doesn’t have this book yet, but will soon.

05. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Tracy

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian, 378 pages, read by Tracy, on 03/31/2012

Hallie and Garnet are fraternal twin sisters. When their father has to crash land a plane he is pilotting he becomes depressed even though it wasn’t his fault. The family moves to New Hampshire and buys a house with a mysterious bolted door in the basement. The twins notice that most of the homes in the area have a green house and the mother notices that most of the women are named after herbs or strange plants. The ending was a big surprise for me but that’s what makes a thriller interesting.