31. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Tammy · Tags:

Horns by Joe Hill, read by Tammy, on 07/30/2013

Horns ” Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.”

At first he thought the horns were a hallucination. He had spent the last year in a private hell following the death of his girlfriend, Merrin Williams. She was raped and murdered and everyone in town thinks Ig was responsible. A breakdown is to be expected but horns? And now the horns give him a mysterious new power.

Ig had been born into wealth and security. His father a renowned musician and his younger brother a rising late-night TV star. Then one summer he made a new best friend and met the girl of his dreams. He had it all. But Merrin’s death changed everything.

This is a dark, dark story with twists and turns. A compelling story and true to life characters and the reader sees what our main character is able to see… the worst side of people. But the reader also gets to see Ig’s family and friends as he’s growing up. You can feel his love for Merrin and his family and friends which makes it all the more crushing that they’ve turned against him. If you’re looking for a tale of evil and revenge with a touch of the supernatural this fits the bill.

31. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Tammy

Dodger by Terry Pratchett, read by Tammy, on 07/20/2013

A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in an attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught? Of course not he’s…Dodger. Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London’s sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He’s not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl–not even if her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England.

From Dodger’s encounter with the mad barber Sweeney Todd to his meetings with the great writer Charles Dickens and the calculating politician Benjamin Disraeli, history and fantasy intertwine with adventure and mystery.

Beloved and bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett combines high comedy with deep wisdom in this tale of an unexpected coming-of-age and one remarkable boy’s rise in a complex and fascinating world. dodger

31. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Steam-punk, Tammy, Teen Books · Tags: ,

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate # 1) by Gail Carriger, read by Tammy, on 07/04/2013

Alexia is different from the rest of her family. She’s a spinsterPrint whose father is both Italian and dead. Her mother has remarried and her step-sisters and step-father all tolerate her but think she’s odd. But they have no idea that she has no soul and can render supernatural beings powerless with a touch.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently. At one of the biggest social events of the year, she is attacked by a vampire which breaks all standards of social etiquette but Alexia accidentally kills the vampire defending herself. Then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, Scottish, and leader of a werewolf clan) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing?

 

31. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Tammy, Teen Books

Chime by Franny Billingsley, read by Tammy, on 07/02/2013

Before Briony’s stepmother died, she made sure Briony knew that she was a witch and that she was responsible for all the family’s hardships. Briony has accepted her guilt. Of course, she’s dangerous. Of course, she’s unlovable. She used to escape to the swamp, where she told stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the punishment that would come with it.

Then Eldric comes along. He’s as natural and comfortable as the sun. He’s her friend and enjoys spending time with her. Can Briony trust him with her secrets? Are her secrets the truth?chime

31. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Sarah · Tags:

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea, read by Sarah , on 07/26/2013

Because of Mr. Terupt is a wonderful book that will leave you smiling (or crying, as the case may be!)  Mr. Terupt is a fifth grade teacher in his first year and his class is full of children with a range of personal issues that they are dealing with.  Some of the kids think he will be easy to fool since he is new, but Mr. Terupt proves to be very perceptive and deals with the kids in a mellow manner.  When he is finished, the kids know that he still loves them, and they know that their behavior will not be accepted.  Each of the kids form a special bond with Mr. Terupt, because they understand that he really cares about them.  Relationships break and form, kids learn more about themselves, and forgiveness is key to happiness.

Mr. Terupt reminded me of a couple of teachers I had the pleasure of working with.  My kids and I listened to the book on cd version and many times had to sit in the garage for “just a few more minutes!” to find out what was going to happen next.  I really liked how Mr. Buyea wrote from the viewpoint of each child in the class.  It was fun to listen to the different characters and see what each one of them was experiencing in the different situations.  We highly recommend this book!

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Drama, Fiction, Mystery, Pamela · Tags:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, read by Pamela, on 07/30/2013

gone-girl-book-cover-med2-23664_186x186Marriage can be a real killer.
One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl‘s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Informational Book, Lisa, NonFiction

Wolves and Other Wild Dogs by Mary E. Reid, read by Lisa, on 07/29/2013

Questions and answers explore the world of wild dogs, with an emphasis on wolves.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, read by Lisa, on 07/27/2013

A National Book Award winner, this modern classic is perfect for fans of Noel Streatfeild and Edward Eager.
This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundels sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundels owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.
The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will–wont they? One things for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.
Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer day.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Lisa, NonFiction

From diapers to dating : a parent's guide to raising sexually healthy children by Debra W. Haffner, read by Lisa, on 07/26/2013

A leading educator offers a practical, step-by-step program to help parents provide accurate information about sexuality and communicate their own values to their children.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Lisa, NonFiction

Peaceful parent, happy kids : how to stop yelling and start connecting by Laura Markham, read by Lisa, on 07/23/2013

A groundbreaking guide to raising responsible, capable, happy kids.Based on the latest research on brain development and clinical experience with parents, Dr. Laura Markham’s approach is as simple as it is effective. Her message: Fostering emotional connection with your child creates real and lasting change. When you have that vital connection, you don’t need to threaten, nag, plead, bribe—or even punish.This remarkable guide will help parents better understand their own emotions—and get them in check—so they can parent with healthy limits, empathy, and clear communication to raise a self-disciplined child. Step-by-step examples give solutions and kid-tested phrasing for parents of toddlers right through the elementary years.If you’re tired of power struggles, tantrums, and searching for the right ‘consequence,’ look no further. You’re about to discover the practical tools you need to transform your parenting in a positive, proven way.’Dr. Laura shows parents how their empathy can wire their child’s brain for emotional regulation and happiness-and a brighter future for humanity. A simple yet revolutionary message of love.’ Nancy Samalin, MS, bestselling author of four books including Loving Without Spoiling’If you want to feel more confindent and peaceful as a parent, this is the book. Dr Laura helps you understand what drives your child’s behavior, and gives you the practical tools to change it.’ Elizabeth Pantley, bestselling author of twelve books including The No Cry Sleep Solution

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

Just For You To Know by Cheryl Harness, read by Lisa, on 07/21/2013

As her family noisily slurps root beers at a drive-in stop, Carmen longs to be invisible — especially when Clark and Larry shout out the news about Mama. Can it get any worse than this? Carmen imagines she’s been kidnapped — how else did she wind up as one of the Cathcarts. . . . At almost thirteen she’s the oldest, with five noisy little brothers, a dreamy mom, and a sometimes reckless dad. When she’s a famous artist, she’ll get away from them all! This wonderfully honest and bighearted first novel mirrors life. Carmen Cathcart becomes a friend as, with a voice that is deeply moving yet often funny, she shares the importance of holding on to your dreams and what it means to be a family.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery

The Secret Tree by Natalie Standiford, read by Lisa, on 07/19/2013

A sweet story of a tree that’s literally filled with secrets.

What is your secret?

Minty’s neighborhood is full of mysteries. There’s the Witch House, a spooky old farmhouse on the other side of woods from where Minty and her best friend, Paz, live. There’s the Man Bat, a seven-foot-tall half man, half bat who is rumored to fly through the woods. And there are the Mean Boys, David and Troy, who torment Minty for no reason, and her boy-crazy older sister, Thea, who acts weirder and weirder.

One day Minty spots a flash in the woods, and when she chases after it, she discovers a new mystery–a Secret Tree, with a hollow trunk that holds the secrets of everyone in the neighborhood. Secrets like:

I put a curse on my enemy. And it’s working.

I’m betraying my best friend in a terrible way.

No one loves me except my goldfish.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa, Poetry · Tags:

Hidden by Helen Frost, read by Lisa, on 07/16/2013

When Wren Abbott and Darra Monson are eight years old, Darra’s father steals a minivan. He doesn’t know that Wren is hiding in the back. The hours and days that follow change the lives of both girls. Darra is left with a question that only Wren can answer. Wren has questions, too.

Years later, in a chance encounter at camp, the girls face each other for the first time. They can finally learn the truth – that is, if they’re willing to reveal to each other the stories that they’ve hidden for so long. Told from alternating viewpoints, this novel-in-poems reveals the complexities of memory and the strength of a friendship that can overcome pain.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

Smiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli, read by Lisa, on 07/13/2013

Will Tuppence’s life has always been ruled by science and common sense but in ninth grade, shaken up by the discovery that protons decay, he begins to see the entire world differently and gains new perspective on his relationships with his little sister and two closest friends.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Lisa

Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George, read by Lisa, on 07/11/2013

A castle that is constantly rearranging itself, and a young royal family sworn to protect it… Celie, Rolf, and their beloved Castle Glower are back in this exciting sequel. When her brother Rolf dares her to catch magical Castle Glower creating a new room, Princess Celie takes the challenge! No one knows the Castle better than she does. But as usual, the Castle has ideas of its own. Celie finds the new room first, and inside it is hidden a giant egg. It looks like The Castle wants Celie to care for the egg and whatever creature it hatches! Celie hadn’t bargained for a pet, and caring for this one will prove to be especially tricky, once Celie and her siblings realize what else the Castle is hiding….

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Lisa

The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell, read by Lisa, on 07/08/2013

In late nineteenth-century Maine, isolated, eleven-year-old Clara Dooley gains a friend and uncovers a magical secret that changes her life when she learns to care for the once-feared birds in the aviary attached to the Glendoveer mansion where she lives.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Lisa

The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley, read by Lisa, on 07/05/2013

“Here in the Cellar,” Corinna says, “I control the Folk. Here, I’m queen of the world.” As Folk Keeper at the Rhysbridge Home, she feeds the fierce, dark-dwelling cave Folk; keeps them from souring the milk, killing the chickens, and venting their anger on the neighborhood; and writes it all down in her Folk Record. Since only boys are Folk Keepers, she has disguised herself as a boy, Corin, and it is a boy and a Folk Keeper she intends to stay.Yet there comes a moment when someone else knows the truth. Old, dying Lord Merton not only knows she is a girl, but knows some of her other secrets as well. It is at his bidding that she, as Corin, leaves Rhysbridge to become Folk Keeper and a member of the family on Cliffsend, an isle where the Folk are fiercer than ever they were at Rhysbridge.It is on Cliffsend that Corinna comes face to face with herself, with the powers she does have (some quite unexpected) and those she does not have (even if she lies and says she does). Who really is she? Why does her hair grow two inches a night? Why does the sea draw her? What does she really want? And what future can and will she choose?

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Lisa

Drama by Raina Telgemeier, read by Lisa, on 07/03/2013

Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she’s a terrible singer. Instead she’s the set designer for the stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that comes once the actors are chosen, and when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier! Following the success of Smile, Raina Telgemeier brings us another graphic novel featuring a diverse set of characters that humorously explores friendship, crushes, and all-around drama!

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Lisa

Gingersnap by Patricia Reilly Giff, read by Lisa, on 07/01/2013

It’s 1944, W.W. II is raging. Jayna’s big brother Rob is her only family. When Rob is called to duty on a destroyer, Jayna is left in their small town in upstate New York with their cranky landlady. But right before he leaves, Rob tells Jayna a secret: they may have a grandmother in Brooklyn. Rob found a little blue recipe book with her name and an address for a bakery. When Jayna learns that Rob is missing in action, she’s devastated. Along with her turtle Theresa, the recipe book, and an encouraging, ghostly voice as her guide, Jayna sets out for Brooklyn in hopes of finding the family she so desperately needs.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocalyptic, Courtney, Teen Books

More Than This by Patrick Ness, read by Courtney, on 07/14/2013

Oh boy. Fans of Patrick Ness are going to eat this one up! The book opens with the protagonist’s death. Seth is in the ocean, drowning and freezing. And then he is smashed into the rocks, which snaps his spinal cord, killing him. That, friends, is just the prologue. Time passes. Seth wakes up naked except for some bandages on the sidewalk outside his childhood home in England. It’s exactly as he remembers it from his youth, with one huge difference: everything is abandoned. Weeds have taken over lawns; dust lays thick in the houses; even the non-perishable food has, well, perished. People? None to be seen. Seth is obviously perplexed. He remembers dying. Vividly. So why is he here, in England? His family had moved to America years ago after tragic circumstances. But the house he’s in now has artifacts that he knows made the trip to America and should not still be in England. He can’t figure it out. All he knows is that he doesn’t want to sleep, because sleep brings with it memories. Memories Seth can’t bear to face. He should be dead, so is this hell? The afterlife? Something else entirely?
This is a very, very unusual book. There are essentially two narratives going on throughout: Seth awake and Seth asleep. Seth’s waking world is every bit as disarming to the reader as it is to Seth and the reader is not made any more aware of why Seth has awakened where he has or why he’s alive (?) again in the first place. Seth’s memories are both beautiful and painful, often at the same time. The dream-memories fill in the story of how Seth came to be in the ocean and each one reveals important facets of Seth’s life. I was hooked from the first page and read breathlessly, trying to figure out just what is going on. This likely won’t be a book for everyone, but for those who are looking for something decidedly different, this is just the ticket.

Disclaimer: I received this ARC from the publisher at the ALA Annual Conference (and got it signed!!!). I am in no way compensated for my review. This title comes out in September 2013.