27. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jessica, Romance

Entwined With You by Sylvia Day, read by Jessica, on 06/18/2013

Continues the saga of Gideon and Eva, whose passionate bond is put to an ultimate test by torments from their respective pasts.

Pie

27. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery · Tags:

Pie by Sarah Weeks, read by Lisa, on 06/22/2013

From the award-winning author of SO B. IT, a story about family, friendship, and…pie!

When Alice’s Aunt Polly, the Pie Queen of Ipswitch, passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world-famous pie-crust recipe. Or does she? In her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her extraordinarily fat, remarkably disagreeable cat, Lardo . . . and then leaves Lardo in the care of Alice.

Suddenly, the whole town is wondering how you leave a recipe to a cat. Everyone wants to be the next big pie-contest winner, and it’s making them pie-crazy. It’s up to Alice and her friend Charlie to put the pieces together and discover the not-so-secret recipe for happiness: Friendship. Family. And the pleasure of donig something for the right reason.

With Pie, acclaimed author Sarah Weeks has baked up a sweet and satisfying delight, as inviting as warm pie on a cold day. You’ll enjoy every last bite.

27. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage, read by Lisa, on 06/25/2013

A hilarious Southern debut with the kind of characters you meet once in a lifetime

Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone’s business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she’s been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her “upstream mother,” she’s found a home with the Colonel–a café owner with a forgotten past of his own–and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.

Full of wisdom, humor, and grit, this timeless yarn will melt the heart of even the sternest Yankee.

27. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa, Romance

Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella, read by Lisa, on 06/21/2013

Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets: Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur. Sammy the goldfish in my parents’ kitchen is not the same goldfish that Mum gave me to look after when she and Dad were in Egypt. Secrets from her boyfriend: I weigh one hundred and twenty-eight pounds. Not one eighteen, like Connor thinks. I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. From her colleagues: When Artemis really annoys me, I feed her plant orange juice. (Which is pretty much every day.) It was me who jammed the copier that time. In fact, all the times. Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world: My G-string is hurting me. I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is. Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger. But come Monday morning, Emma’s office is abuzz about the arrival of Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO. Suddenly Emma is face-to-face with the stranger from the plane, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her. Things couldn’t possibly get worse. Until they do.

27. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Lisa

The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens, read by Lisa, on 06/18/2013

After the tumultuous events of last winter, Kate, Michael, and Emma long to continue the hunt for their missing parents. But they themselves are now in great danger, and so the wizard Stanislaus Pym hides the children at the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. There, he says, they will be safe. How wrong he is.

The children are soon discovered by their enemies, and a frantic chase sends Kate a hundred years into the past, to a perilous, enchanted New York City. Searching for a way back to her brother and sister, she meets a mysterious boy whose fate is intricately—and dangerously—tied to her own.

Meanwhile, Michael and Emma have set off to find the second of the Books of Beginning. A series of clues leads them into a hidden world where they must brave harsh polar storms, track down an ancient order of warriors, and confront terrible monsters. Will Michael and Emma find the legendary book of fire—and master its powers—before Kate is lost to them forever?

Exciting, suspenseful, and brimming with humor and heart, the next installment of the bestselling Books of Beginning trilogy will lead Kate, Michael, and Emma closer to their family—and to the magic that could save, or destroy, them all.

27. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman, read by Lisa, on 06/11/2013

A fiery, thrilling debut novel about a young girl’s life in a trailer parkRory Hendrix is the least likely of Girl Scouts. She hasn’t got a troop or even a badge to call her own. But she’s checked the Handbook out from the elementary school library so many times that her name fills all the lines on the card, and she pores over its surreal advice (Uniforms, disposing of outgrown; The Right Use of Your Body; Finding Your Way When Lost) for tips to get off the Calle: that is, the Calle de las Flores, the Reno trailer park where she lives with her mother, Jo, the sweet-faced, hard-luck bartender at the Truck Stop.Rory’s been told that she is one of the “third-generation bastards surely on the road to whoredom.” But she’s determined to prove the county and her own family wrong. Brash, sassy, vulnerable, wise, and terrified, she struggles with her mother’s habit of trusting the wrong men, and the mixed blessing of being too smart for her own good. From diary entries, social workers’ reports, half-recalled memories, arrest records, family lore, Supreme Court opinions,and her grandmother’s letters, Rory crafts a devastating collage that shows us her world even as she searches for the way out of it.Tupelo Hassman’s Girlchild is a heart-stopping and original debut.

27. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery

A Dedicated Man by Peter Robinson, read by Lisa, on 06/04/2013

A dedicated man is dead in the Yorkshire dales — a former university professor, wealthy historian and archaeologist who loved his adopted village. It is a particularly heinous slaying, considering the esteem in which the victim, Harry Steadman, was held by his neighbors and colleagues — by everyone, it seems, except the one person who bludgeoned the life out of the respected scholar and left him half-buried in a farmer’s field. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks left the violence of London behind for what he hoped would be the peaceful life of a country policeman. But the brutality of Steadman’s murder only reinforces one ugly, indisputable truth: that evil can flourish in even the most bucolic of settings. There are dangerous secrets hidden in the history of this remote Yorkshire community that have already led to one death. And Banks will have to plumb a dark and shocking local past to find his way to a killer before yesterday’s sins cause more blood to be shed.

26. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Steam-punk, Tammy, Teen Books

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, read by Tammy, on 06/15/2013

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is horrified to learn that her mother has decided to send her to finishing school. She knows she is a great trial to her mother and older sisters but she’s just not interested in learning manners and behaving ladylike. She’d much rather climb a tree or dismantle a clock. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady and hopefully make great progress before her sister’s coming out party. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes this school is not your ordinary finishing school and not quite what her mother had in mind. etiquette and espionageAt Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn defense, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her new friends are in for quite an education.

26. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Literary Fiction, Tammy

The Canterbury Tales by Adapted by Seymour Chwast from Geoffrey Chaucer, read by Tammy, on 06/21/2013

A graphic novel translation of the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer.

To pass the time on their way to Canterbury, England a group of pilgrims decide to tell each other tales as they travel along on their motorcycles. The visual joke of people in Middle English dress on motorcycles instead of horseback and on foot maybe the best laugh for those who are already familiar with the stories and it is the only way the story diverges from the original tales. It is an accessible updated retelling in modern  English and a unique way to introduce new readers to the famous tales. Includes adult content and adult drawings. I missed the cadence of the original poetry but now know why we didn’t read all the stories in my college class. canterbury tales

26. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Paranormal, Tammy · Tags: ,

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks, read by Tammy, on 06/24/2013

Moving and thought-provoking. Definitely not two words I thought I’d ever use to describe a zombie novel.

world war zIt didn’t dwell on the gore of a zombie attack and killing zombies though some of that action is described. Instead it is a collection of first person accounts from doctors to soldiers to individual citizens and political leaders in a variety of countries and cultures. It clearly brings home the emotional, social and economic damage caused by world-wide plague conditions or even an individual country laid low by a plague outbreak. It deftly combines the two (war and plague) never completely forgetting that the enemy were once other human beings often neighbors and friends or family who did not choose to become the enemy but for your survival and the survival of the human race and the human spirit — they all have to die.

26. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Pamela, Romance

Full Bloom by Janet Evanovich, read by Pamela, on 06/26/2013

index[2]The temperature’s on “sizzle” again in Beaumont, South Carolina, where peach trees are in season and ripe for the picking. So is its newest entrepreneur, Annie Fortenberry, a divorcee who inherited her grandmother’s Queen Ann mansion (and its wacky handyman Erdle Thorney). According to a local psychic, she also inherited a spirit from its glory days as a brothel – not the kind of publicity the Peach Tree Bed & Breakfast needs if it’s hosting millionaire Max Holt’s upcoming wedding! If rumors of x-rated ghosts aren’t stressful enough, Max’s new partner has arrived with an eye on Annie’s master suite. On the inside Wes Bridges may be corporate, but on the outside he’s leather and denim, sporting a two-day beard, straddling a Harley, and sending the B&B’s testosterone level through the roof. Annie’s cool demeanor may be dropping as fast as Wes’s jeans, but leave it to her ex to dampen the passion! His body’s been discovered buried on the grounds along with a stash of illicit love letters and a photograph of one of the town’s most prominent married ladies. Wrapped up in a murder plot, Annie must find the killer, save her own neck, and get back to where she was – wrapped up in Wes’s strong loving arms…

26. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Inspirational, NonFiction, Pamela

Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott, read by Pamela, on 06/18/2013

help thanks wowAnne Lamott has created a concise explanation of prayer. In three essential
prayers she shows how to ask for assistance from a higher power, how to
appreciate the good things in life and how to feel awe about the surrounding
world. These prayers will help people to achieve a feeling of serenity and get
through the day without undue stress. Lamott recounts how she came to these
insights, what they mean to her and how they have helped others. Insightful and
honest, this is the everyday faith book that will help all who read it.

26. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Award Winner, Elizabeth, Fiction, Food, Mystery

The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames, read by Elizabeth, on 06/22/2013

The Long Quiche Goodbye

Sometimes after I finish a particularly dark or weighty book, I like to add something light to my reading diet. The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames, which won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel in 2010, was just the sort of dessert course I needed. It is no masterpiece of beautiful writing nor is it innovative in its plot – it is simply a fun, relaxing cozy mystery.
Cheese seller and amateur sleuth Charlotte Bessette has just expanded the family cheese business. But on the night of her grand reopening, her landlord is murdered just outside of her store – and her grandmother is the prime suspect. Charlotte works to find the guilty party to save her grandmother from prison.
The Long Quiche Goodbye is an enjoyable read. If you’re in the mood for a light, quick cozy mystery, this book is for you.

26. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Elizabeth, Horror

London Falling by Paul Cornell, read by Elizabeth, on 06/16/2013

London Falling

I was excited when I picked up a copy of Paul Cornell’s London Falling. The book has been widely described as urban fantasy, a genre that I really enjoy. I knew of Cornell from his work on the television program Doctor Who. I immensely enjoyed London Falling, but I do not consider it to be a wholly urban fantasy novel.

London Falling tells the story of a group of police officers who have worked to find enough evidence against a local gang leader to put him behind bars. When the suspect is gruesomely killed in a locked room, the police are baffled. Their investigation leads them to discover another London, one filled with magic, witchcraft and evil.

While I understand why the novel is being described as urban fantasy, I disagree with that assessment. Perhaps it has some elements of the genre, but I would describe London Falling as a police procedural supernatural horror with a very British sense of humor. The result is a horrifyingly exciting story that I would recommend to fans of supernatural horror, police procedurals and English football (soccer) humor.

 

 

24. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, NonFiction · Tags:

We're Having a Kitten by Eric Swanson, read by Brian, on 06/23/2013

Eric Swanson has written a book about kittens.  He explores the history of the cat, if you should have a cat and what to expect when you are expecting a cat.   This self-help book is a good as a refresher for those who have already owned feline critters and a huge benefit for those new parents of kittens.

kitten

24. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Janet, Literary Fiction · Tags:

The Road by Cormac McCarthy, read by Janet, on 06/23/2013

The RoadThis is a rather tight-nerved tale full of love between a man and his son as they travel through the American countryside after it has been blasted and burned.  Very few people are left, very little food can be found, and no one can trust anyone else.  The man remembers how things used to be, but the son is too young to know of the “good old days”.  They are headed south, for warmth and the ocean, but it is winter and still uncomfortable.  They both have illnesses from their hard life, but the man loses his battle at the end of the tale and the boy is taken in by a man who had a family and was aware of his circumstances.  A good ending for a frightening tale.

24. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel

The Misadventures of Salem Hyde by Frank Cammuso, read by Angie, on 06/23/2013

This is a fun graphic book for young kids. Salem is a young witch who has problems with her spells and who has a spelling bee coming up. In comes Lord Percival J. Whamsford III to train her and be her animal companion. Salem and Whammy don’t always get along, but when things go awry at the spelling bee they have to work together to set things right. Aimed at a younger audience, this book was a fun adventure to read. Salem is highly entertaining and Whammy long-suffering.

I received a copy of this book on netgalley.com.

24. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Informational Book, NonFiction

The Great Katie Kate Tackles Questions about Cancer by M. Maitland DeLand, read by Angie, on 06/23/2013

In this book a young girl learns she may have cancer and she has a lot of questions. So the Great Katie Kate answers all her questions and shows her that she doesn’t need to worry. I really liked the idea of a Worry Wombat so she had something to focus on. The explanations of what you go through with cancer treatments were also spot on and appropriate for very young children; didn’t go into a lot of detail, but just enough to alleviate fears. My only concern with this book was the doctor telling the little girl she might have cancer before even running tests. It set up the book, but I think it might have been better for the girl to have been diagnosed first so she wouldn’t worry needlessly.

I received a copy of this book from the publishers on Netgalley.com.

24. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books

Proxy by Alex London, read by Angie, on 06/23/2013

At some point in the future, war and disease have decimated the planet. Humanity is forced into a few mountain cities to survive. Rebuilding is expensive so in order for the poor to live in this new society they must go into massive debt and become the “proxy” for a wealthy patron. What does a proxy do? They are punished in the place of their patron. So if the patron destroys property, the proxy takes the punishment. Syd is an orphan and a proxy who lives in the Valve (the slums). He is constantly reminded of his debt because his patron Knox is always getting into trouble. This time it is more than just a little trouble; this time Knox steals a car and kills a girl during a joy ride. So Syd is punished and sentenced to hard labor. Syd was also forced to give blood so that Knox could have a life saving transfusion. The transfusion not only saved Knox’s life it revealed just how special Syd really his. Seems he has a virus in his blood that can wipe out all the systems of debt and free everyone from its control. The only problem is that Syd has to survive in order to release the virus and right now he is a wanted man.

What a fascinating world. Alex London has done a wonderful job creating a world that is different and unique. He has also created two truly different characters. Knox is obnoxious, privileged and self-indulgent, but he does have a heart and he really just wants his father’s attention. Syd just wants to survive. He wants to make it to 18 to life out his debt. He keeps his head down and his profile low and he has no respect or time for his patron. Unfortunately, in order for Syd to survive he has to rely on Knox and others in a way he never dreamed. They must outwit the system and escape the city, survive bandits and the wild, and make it to the resistance to release the virus. Along the way they get to know each other and themselves. They mature (at least Knox does) and become who they are meant to be. I even liked the ending of the book.

I received a copy of this book from the publishers on Netgalley.com.

23. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books

Feedback by Robison Wells , read by Angie, on 06/22/2013

Variant ended with Benson and Becky escaping the school and running for their lives as their friends died at the fence. Feedback picks up right where Variant left off. Becky is hurt and Benson has found the farm. The farm is populated by students from the school who have doubles (androids). All of these people know what is going on because they can feel what their “double” feels. They choose to hide Becky and Benson, but it has consequences. The farm is overseen by Iceman and Mrs. Vaughn just like the school and everyone with a double also has an implant that can knock them out, cause pain, and kill. Benson is still determined to save everyone and bring down Maxfield even at the expense of others lives.

So everything I enjoyed about Variant is present in this book, but so is everything I disliked. I really enjoy how action packed and entertaining this story is. However, Benson is still a douche who thinks he is doing good for others but is really only thinking about himself. He is one of the most self-motivated characters I have read about in a while. Not only does he put people in danger whilly-nilly, he is also wishy-washy in the girl department. I really did not need the love triangle of Becky, Benson and Lily. As the big reveal in Variant left me scratching my head, this one is even worse. Not surprising as I kind of guessed it was going that direction after we got the Maxfield history, but still a bit of a copout.