30. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Leslie, Teen Books

Neferet's Curse by P.C. and Kristin Cast, read by Leslie, on 11/25/2013

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The White City, 1893: In turn-of-the-century Chicago, with the World’s Fair bringing bustle and excitement to her home city, sixteen-year-old Emily Wheiler should be reveling in her youthful beauty and the excitement around her. But her whole life changed when her mother died, leaving her to be the Lady of Wheiler House. At last, afraid for her life and with nowhere to turn, Emily is Marked by a vampyre and brought to the Chicago House of Night, where she begins a magickal new life that should allow the wounds from her past to heal. But as she gains strength, and a powerful new name, she carries a dark need to wreak vengeance on the man she trusted most.

A great companion book to their House of Dark series.  I thoroughly enjoy the backgrounds they create for the main characters in the books.  If Neferet wasn’t such an evil character, I might feel sorry for her.  This book make a great explanation for why she is the way she is.

30. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Leslie, Mystery

Jupiter's Bones by Faye Kellerman, read by Leslie, on 11/20/2013

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When Dr. Emil Euler Ganz — a brilliant luminary in the complex fields of cosmology and astrophysics — walked away from accolades and honors, disappearing into thin air twenty-five years ago, his colleagues’ tongues wagged, and rumors abounded. Ten years later, when Ganz reemerged as guru Father Jupiter, leader of the notorious cult the Order of the Rings of God, speculation about his sanity was rampant. But when Ganz is found dead, gossip and wild conjecture are the only clues available to LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker as he faces his most shocking case to date.

I’ve gone back and revisited a favorite author to read some books I’ve skipped over.  I love her books.  She has the right amount of mystery, suspense, light moments and the connection between her characters.  It gives some insight into cults and how they can attract the doubtful fringes of society, both good and bad.  You can see how some people are trapped in them and how the outside world wonders about why they exist.  A good mystery with plenty of twists.

30. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Leslie, Mystery

Code of Silence by Tim Shoemaker, read by Leslie, on 11/17/2013

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Telling the Truth Could Get Them Killed. Remaining Silent Could Be Worse.When Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy witness a robbery that leaves a man in a coma, they find themselves tangled in a web of mystery and deceit that threatens their lives.

A very interesting who-done-it for kids, will definitely make them think about what they might do in the same place.  I liked the suspense of it, it would not have surprised me to have some addition things happen, though they didn’t.  The story was just right for younger readers.

30. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocolyptic, Dystopia, Fiction, Leslie, Teen Books

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari, read by Leslie, on 11/06/2013

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In a future Manhattan devastated by environmental catastrophes and epidemics, sixteen-year-old Lucy survives alone until vicious hounds target her and force her to join Aidan and his band, but soon they learn that she is the target of Sweepers, who kidnap and infect people with plague.

This wasn’t too bad, as far as dystopian novels go.  I thought it was good, but fairly predictable to me.  Teens will enjoy it and want to read the rest of the series to see how the characters turn out.  I think I may pass on the rest of them.  Very interesting to wonder if we would turn out the past as quickly in order to get our survival skills fine tuned.

29. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Inspirational, Noelle, NonFiction, Self Help · Tags: ,

The Lost Art of Compassion by Lorne Ladner, read by Noelle, on 11/27/2013

Western culture has long sidelined compassion as the province of the saintly or the overly naive. To our great detriment, we have overlooked one of our most powerful inner resources for creating a life of happiness and contentment. In The Lost Art of Compassion, clinical psychologist and longtime Tibetan Buddhist practitioner Lorne Ladner rescues compassion from the margins, and demonstrates its direct and powerful benefits for our day-to-day lives. Until recently Western psychology focused almost exclusively on working with unhealthy emotions and relationships, turning very little of its research or expertise toward understanding positive emotional states. While interest in positive psychology is just dawning in the West, the cultivation of compassion has been a cornerstone of Tibetan Buddhism, studied and developed for over a thousand years. The Lost Art of Compassion is the first book to incorporate the Tibetan Buddhist teachings most suited to Westerners and provides a crucial perspective that is sorely lacking in Western psychology. Bringing together the best contributions of psychology and Buddhism, Dr. Ladner bridges the gap between East and West, theory and practice, in this user-friendly guide for getting through each day with greater contentment and ease. The Lost Art of Compassion offers ten methods for cultivating joy and contentment, bringing directly applicable wisdom to everyday situations. The result is a highly practical, engaging guide that weaves together these two disciplines and encourages readers to reclaim this neglected path to happiness.

29. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Fiction, Mystery, Noelle, Thriller/Suspense

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, read by Noelle, on 11/21/2013

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

27. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense

Mourn Not Your Dead by Deborah Crombie, read by Lisa, on 11/29/2013

Senior policeman Commander Albert Gilbert is found dead at home. Inspector Duncan Kincaid and his partner Sergeant Gemma James soon have their prime suspect in Geoff Genovase, until one of Gemma’s colleagues, Jackie Temple, voices her suspicions about a senior police officer.

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

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, read by Lisa, on 11/22/2013

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

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

Close to Famous by Joan Bauer, read by Lisa, on 11/15/2013

Foster McFee dreams of having her own cooking show like her idol, celebrity chef Sonny Kroll. Macon Dillard’s goal is to be a documentary filmmaker. Foster’s mother Rayka longs to be a headliner instead of a back-up singer. And Miss Charleena plans a triumphant return to Hollywood. Everyone has a dream, but nobody is even close to famous in the little town of Culpepper. Until some unexpected events shake the town and its inhabitants-and put their big ambitions to the test. Full of humor, unforgettable characters, surprises, and lots and lots of heart, this is Joan Bauer at her most engaging.

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

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, read by Lisa, on 11/08/2013

My Darling Cecilia
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died . . .

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret – something so terrible it would destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others too. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive . . .

Cecilia Fitzpatrick achieved it all – she’s an incredibly successful business woman, a pillar of her small community and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia – or each other – but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s devastating secret.

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

The Lambkins by Eve Bunting, read by Lisa, on 11/01/2013

Kyle Wilson was the size of a regular ninth grader until crazy Mrs. Shepherd injected him with a shrinking formula. Now he’s a prisoner in her dollhouse, the fourth Lambkin in Mrs. Shepherd’s collection! She loves them and would never harm them, she says . . . as long as they don’t make her angry.

One thing is certain. Kyle and the others must figure out how to escape, and fast.

27. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Judy, NonFiction, True Crime

Playing Dead by Allison Brennan, read by Judy, on 11/18/2013

Sentenced to death for crimes he didn’t commit, ex-cop Tom O’Brien is now a hunted fugitive. After fifteen years in prison, he’s determined to prove his innocence-but first he must convince his daughter, whose testimony helped put him behind bars, that he has damning evidence of a plot to frame him.
Claire is no longer the naive teenager who arrived home to find her mother and her mother’s lover shot dead and her father holding the murder weapon. She’s a successful fraud investigator who assumes that everyone lies.

If you love a good mystery, this is a great book to read.

27. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Kira, NonFiction, Science · Tags:

Gifts of the Crow: how perception, emotion, & thought allow smart birds to behave like humans by John Marzluff & Tony Angell., read by Kira, on 11/26/2013

giftscrow   corvids5-500x666This book describes the multiple and unexpected intelligences of corvids aka the crow family.

Tony-Angell crowCorvids outscore dogs and equal primates on a number of dimensions, with their tool use, and understanding that other creatures have minds (minds that can be deceived) capabilities.  Also, Corvids engage in play, from repeatedly sliding down snowbanks, to using a piece of bark to surf the air via updrafts.  They recognize individual humans, and have been know to gift humans with small tokens,

Initially, I really wanted a New Caledonian Crow for a pet (they seem to be the brightest of the lot).  However, after reading the sections where the crows mob other individual birds, and mercilessly tease other animals, I changed my mind.  The authors present a very balanced look at corvids, including the limitations of corvids as demonstrated by the research.  Some of the sections on how corvid brains function, shed light on human brains (yes, these avian dinosaurs show convergent evolution with humans).

Very interesting.corvidstackweb

 

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26. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Cookbooks, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags:

Beating the Lunch Box Blues: Fresh Ideas for Lunches on the Go! (Rachael Ray Books) by J. M. Hirsch, read by Tammy, on 11/20/2013

beating the lunch boxThis book has ideas from leftovers, combinations of items you have on hand, 30 recipes for supper that can be made into two different lunches the next day. It’s packed with nearly 200 photos and hundreds of tips to make easy and delicious lunches.

 

26. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, Short Stories, Tammy

Porch Talk: Stories of Decency, Common Sense, and Other Endangered Species by Philip Gulley, read by Tammy, on 11/23/2013

porch talkPhilip Gulley shares more heartwarming stories revolving around the front porch where friends and family gather to share stories and small moments. He writes about small-town life, his thoughts, and his Quaker meeting. His observations are humorous and remind the reader to stop and smell the roses, or in Gulley’s case, relax in the rocking chair on the front porch.

26. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Apocolyptic, Dystopia, Fantasy, Fiction, Tammy, Teen Books

The Death Cure (The Maze Runner Series book 3) by James Dashner, read by Tammy, on 11/09/2013

death cureThe conclusion of the Maze Runner trilogy. Our hero Thomas does not trust anyone at Wicked even though now they say the time for lies has ended. Wicked claims that it is up to the Gladers to complete the final blueprint for the cure for the flare and that they need to have their memories restored to complete the process and agree to a final voluntary test. Thomas already remembers more than anyone at Wicked knows and he doesn’t trust that the memories that would be restored would be real. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas can imagine. Will he survive the cure?

 

26. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags:

Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book for Grumpy Days by Grumpy Cat, read by Tammy, on 11/15/2013

grumpyIf you enjoy the snarky photo comics on Facebook then this book is for you. ; )

26. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Tammy

Hunted (The Iron Druid Chronicles # 6) by Kevin Hearne, read by Tammy, on 11/16/2013

huntedThe continuing adventures of Atticus and his new druid apprentice, Granuaile. Who is no a full-fledge druid after twelve years of training and binding ceremonies to bind her to the earth. Granuaile still has a lot to learn, but not much time to learn it. The Olympian gods have decided to seek revenge for the banishment of Bacchus. Now the Greek and Roman huntresses are on their trail through Europe and the dark elves and vampires are joining in the hunt.

26. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jessica, Romance

Gemini by Penelope Ward, read by Jessica, on 11/25/2013

Diner waitress Allison Abraham had no idea her mundane life was about to dramatically change the day she serves a devastatingly handsome customer.

Allison is immediately captivated by the mysterious man who stared through her soul with his electric blue eyes. After he abruptly leaves the restaurant, she can’t get him out of her head.

She has no idea that he had actually come on a mission to find her.

Cedric Callahan wasn’t expecting to fall in love at first sight with the pretty waitress he’d set out to find. In fact, she was the last woman on Earth he should be having feelings for. But his selfish heart had other plans. Feeling compelled to know her before revealing himself, he makes her believe their meetings are coincidental.

After a passionate romance ignites, Cedric’s lies and secrets are finally revealed, changing both of their lives forever.

26. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Pamela, Romance

Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani, read by Pamela, on 11/23/2013

very valentineThe Angelini Shoe Company is the setting for this Italian American tale which crosses generations and continents and brings to light the wants and needs of two women two generations apart.  Teodora Angelini, owner of one of the last family owned businesses in Greenwich Village, New York, has not told all to her granddaughter and apprentice, Valentine Roncalli.  The business is in trouble of going under and it falls to Valentine to bring the company into the 21st century with new designs that can be sold to the masses or allow her brother Alfred to sell the property to the highest bidder.  A trip to Italy lends itself to a romantic revelation for one of the main characters, and Valentine’s design for the shoe that could put the Angelini Shoe Company on the map finds itself in the hands of a master.  Family dynamics thread their way through this novel as in all Trigiani works.

I grew up in the shoe industry, so this book was of personal interest to me.  I must say some of the descriptions tended to get me bogged down at times and I couldn’t wait for the next exchange of dialogue.  I can’t wait to read the next installment in this series.