28. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Fiction, Literary Fiction, Noelle

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, read by Noelle, on 10/28/2014

So, once I realized that the secret would not be revealed in the first few chapters, I was entirely too impatient to wait.  I’m not proud, but I looked up “the secret” online.   I was worried it would be one of those books where the secret was NEVER revealed and I just couldn’t take it any more.  Of course, soon after I looked it up, it was revealed in the book.  So, if you decide to read this, you might want to be a tad more patient than I was.  The secret IS revealed a little less than halfway through.

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, 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 secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.

 

27. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance

Be with me by J. Lynn, read by Melody, on 10/26/2014

Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not.

27. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kim, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Exposed by Laura Griffin, read by Kim, on 10/26/2014

Every picture tells a story. But not all of them have happy endings.

As a forensic photographer at the Delphi Center crime lab, Maddie Callahan is used to seeing violence up close, but she’s never before been the target of it. When a freelance photo shoot goes awry, she realizes she may have seen, and perhaps photographed, the kidnapping of a key witness in a federal probe. And although her camera was stolen, Maddie knows she has something that could be even more valuable to investigators.

FBI agent Brian Beckman has spent months investigating a vicious criminal known as the Doctor, only to have a key witness abducted on his watch. Worse, he’s falling for the woman who may be the Doctor’s next target. Maddie’s aloof facade hides a world of hurt that he wants to heal, no matter how much she keeps him at bay. But first he has to protect her from the danger that’s just out of focus, drawing close enough to shoot . . . and kill.

black_beauty  black-beauty-ladybird-book-children-s-classic-series-740-gloss-hardback-1986-1445-p  imagesBlack-Beauty-02-800x587blbeaut 902078-M 054677Although Beauty’s life starts out soft and sweet, you know abuse by humans is coming down the pike.

There is a lot of moralizing.  Moralizing of a sort that I agree with, we should Not abuse horses, nor other animals.  And I think showing kindness to other humans is a standard by which we ought to judge others (if we are going to judge them at all).  But I am surprised that this is a classic, it might as well have been titled, 50 ways Not to abuse horses.  That said given the great positive influence this title has had on the treatment of horses and animals, I am glad of its impact.  Plus the story had a happy ending.

25. October 2014 · 1 comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Horror, Noelle, Paranormal

Sunshine by Robin McKinley, read by Noelle, on 10/17/2014

There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it’s unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. But there hadn’t been any trouble out at the lake for years, and she needed a place to be alone for a while.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t alone. She never heard them coming. Of course you don’t, when they’re vampires.

They took her clothes and sneakers. They dressed her in a long red gown. And they shackled her to the wall of an abandoned mansion–within easy reach of a figure stirring in the moonlight.

She knows that he is a vampire. She knows that she’s to be his dinner and that when he is finished with her, she will be dead. Yet, as dawn breaks, she finds that he has not attempted to harm her. And now it is he who needs her to help him survive the day.

AWESOMELY FUN CHILDREN’S BOOK!
In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone’s joke.nbsp;But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.

To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship–and a cheeky sense of humor–he just might triumph in the end.

25. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Fiction, Katy, Teen Books

If I Stay by Gayle Forman, read by Katy, on 10/24/2014

81aTBRY7dxLAfter a car accident which takes the lives of her parents and younger brother, Mia finds herself with the agonizing decision of whether to stay or be with her family. While in a coma she is able to see herself in the hospital and follow the actions of her friends and relatives who have come to be with her. It sparks a beautiful recollection of memories which impact her decision.

23. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal

Dreamwood by Heather Mackey, read by Angie, on 10/22/2014

Lucy has run away from boarding school and is off to find her father. Her father is a ghost clearer and has gone to the Pacific Northwest on a job. Once Lucy gets there she finds her father gone with no idea where to find him. She discovers that something is very wrong there. The trees that the economy depend on are dying from Rust. She believes it is related to the loss of the dreamwood trees. Many years ago dreamwood trees grew on the Devil’s Thumb in Lupine territory. But they were all cut down and the thumb has been deserted. Anyone who goes there never comes back. Lucy partners with Pete who wants to find dreamwood to save his family. She also got backing from Angus Murrain the local landowner. The thumb is treacherous and full of supernatural powers but Lucy is determined to find her father.

I liked Lucy as a strong female protagonist. She is smart and spunky but maybe just a bit too full of herself. I found myself rooting for Pete more than Lucy. I liked this alternative history version of America with First People Nations and belief in ghosts. I even liked the thought of the first dreamwood being a nature spirit on a warpath. I thought Murrain was pretty one-dimensional and his intentions easy to read I just wish Lucy would have seen him for what he was long before she did. She was so smart about a lot of things but completely blind when it came to Murrain. Overall this was an entertaining book that I sure young fans of fantasy will enjoy.

23. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Drama, Fiction, Mystery, Paula, Thriller/Suspense

One Of Us by Tawni O'Dell, read by Paula, on 10/23/2014

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“From the New York Times bestselling author of Back Roads comes a fast-paced literary thriller about a forensic psychologist forced to face his own demons after discovering his small hometown terrorized by a serial killer. Dr. Sheridan Doyle–a fastidiously groomed and TV-friendly forensic psychologist–is the go-to shrink for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office whenever a twisted killer’s mind eludes other experts. But beneath his Armani pinstripes, he’s still Danny Doyle, the awkward, terrified, bullied boy from a blue-collar mining family, plagued by panic attacks and haunted by the tragic death of his little sister and mental unraveling of his mother years ago. Danny returns home to Lost Creek, a town grappling with its own ghosts, and comes face-to-face with the town’s legacy of violence–when a dead body is discovered at the famous gallows where a band of rebellious Irish miners was executed 100 years ago. The body also has an eerie connection to the wealthy mining family behind the miners’ deaths. When he teams up with a veteran detective and father figure to get to the bottom of these heinous crimes, Danny realizes that he’s dangerously close to uncovering haunting secrets from his own past… In this masterfully told psychological thriller in the vein of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, the past and present collide to put Lost Creek’s long-lived ghosts to bed”

23. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

Just Jake by Jake Marcionette, Victor Rivas Villa (Illustrations), read by Angie, on 10/22/2014

Jake has just moved with his family from Florida to Massachusetts and isn’t happy about it. In Florida he was the cool kid with tons of AWESOMENESS. However, his awesomeness doesn’t seem to have followed him north. He has problems making friends and his cool factor is near the bottom. His one saving grace is the kid cards he makes. They are trading cards of all the kids both in his old school and his new one. I didn’t realize this book was written by an actual 12-year-old until the end. It actually makes me feel a bit better about it. As I was reading it I thought the story was a bit unsubstantial and juvenile, which makes sense when you consider the author. However, I thought it was a great effort by young Marcionette. I think this book will appeal to fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Patterson’s Middle School series.

23. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kim, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Scorched by Laura Griffin, read by Kim, on 10/22/2014

Kelsey Quinn set out to trace a murder victim. Now she may become one.

The dead don’t speak, but Kelsey knows their secrets. As a forensic anthropologist at the Delphi Center crime lab, Kelsey makes it her mission to identify bodies using no more than shards of bone, and her find at a remote Philippines dig hints at a sinister story. When Kelsey’s search for answers puts her at the scene of her exfiance’s murder, only one man can help her. The same man who broke her heart just months before, and who is also a prime suspect. Faced with an ultimatum–Kelsey or his job–Gage Brewer did the only thing a Navy SEAL could . . . but that doesn’t mean he stopped wanting Kelsey. Now Kelsey is running for her life and Gage is her last line of defense. As the threats escalate, Kelsey realizes this conspiracy goes deeper and higher than they could have guessed. With the clock ticking down on a madman’s plot, the slightest misstep will have unthinkable consequences.

23. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Cats, Tammy

For the Love of Cats: Purrfect Felines by Dena Harris, read by Tammy, on 10/12/2014

for the love of cats  A unique mixture of true cat history, legends, statistics about cats and cat owners, quotes, trivia, poems and all other things cat related with beautiful and adorable photos of cats.

23. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell, read by Tammy, on 10/15/2014

what the dog sawGladwell’s fourth book brings together the best of his writing from the New Yorker in the past decade. He discusses not just interesting and unique people but tries to discover what they are thinking that led them to these theories or to be the unique individual they are.

Here you’ll find the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill, and the dazzling creations of pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz. Gladwell sits with Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen, as he sells rotisserie ovens, and divines the secrets of Cesar Millan, the “dog whisperer” who can calm savage animals with the touch of his hand. He explores intelligence tests and ethnic profiling and why it was that employers in Silicon Valley once tripped over themselves to hire the same college graduate.

Even though I picked up this book because I was expecting a story collection with animals I found these essays thought-provoking and challenging yet enjoyable. This is how this book is similar to his previous three titles, Blink, The Outliers and the Tipping Point.

diary of a catWritten as the daily diary of an unnamed house cat, Diary of a Cat shows you the world through a feline perspective. Cat shares what he sees in his own neighborhood and not just the birds but what his human neighbors are up to as well. You will discover what Cat is thinking while he stays at a single speck on the wall, how it feels about a new kitten moving into his house and why sleeping is such a vital all-day activity and much more.
A funny, sweet read.

23. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Brian, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel

Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Vol 1 by Bill Willingham, read by Brian, on 10/23/2014

fables1Fables is the beginning on long list of books written about characters from all the different fables who now live in secret in New York City.  These magical creatures have created their own secret society called Fabletown.  These fable characters had to leave their fairy tale land when the “Adversary” conquered their land.

 

23. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Food, Tammy · Tags: ,

The Quilter's Kitchen by Jennifer Chiavernini, read by Tammy, on 10/19/2014

quilter's kitchenA new staff member comes to Elm Creek, their first professional chef. Sylvia agrees to let Anna update and modernize the kitchen but Anna also wants to honor the history and warmth of the historic manor. As the two ladies work together to pack up the kitchen in preparation for the remodel, they come across some family treasures including some old family recipes.

Besides introducing a new character to the book series, this book also shares some of the family recipes mentioned in earlier works as well as some new ones by Anna. Warm and cozy as an old quilt.

23. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Cats, Fiction, Humor, Kira · Tags:

Grumpy cat : a grumpy book / by Grumpy Cat. by Grumpy Cat: a Grumpy Book., read by Kira, on 10/21/2014

gcbook-225x300 Here we learn where Grumpy Cat lives (in Arizona), what his first words were “No”, “Good”, and how he likes the desert.  Full of the humor you’ve come to know and love, Grumpy Cat spreads his warm fuzzies around.

23. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Apocalyptic, Jessica, Romance

Red Hill by Jaimie McGuire, read by Jessica, on 10/22/2014

81n0AeyebHL._SL1500_When the world ends, can love survive?

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?

22. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald, read by Lisa, on 10/21/2014

When Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather’s painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. That’s great news for Theo, who’s struggling to hang onto her family’s two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfather’s legacy of $463. There’s just one problem: Theo’s grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen.

With the help of some unusual new friends, Theo’s search for answers takes her all around Manhattan, and introduces her to a side of the city—and her grandfather—that she never knew. To solve the mystery, she’ll have to abandon her hard-won self-reliance and build a community, one serendipitous friendship at a time.

22. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan, read by Angie, on 10/21/2014

So the Heroes of Olympus series is now over. I like the fact that this is a more mature series than the original Percy Jackson series. The kids are older, the dangers are more real, and the quests just seem a bit more epic. This book tells about the final battle with Gaea and all the gods and monsters she has gathered to her side. Our team of heroes is split with Nico, Rayna and Coach Hedge escorting the statue of Athena to Camp Half-Blood and Percy, Jason, Annabeth, Piper, Frank, Hazel and Leo on the Argo II heading to Athens. The battle is really one of two fronts with the monsters gathering in Athens to wake Gaea and the Romans gathering around Camp Half-Blood in New York to fight the Greeks. The gods themselves are no help at all because their Greek and Roman aspects are fighting each other so the kids are on their own. It is an epic journey requiring courage, sacrifice and smarts, which these kids all have in spades. I loved the end of this series. I loved the fact that the book is told through multiple points of view so we get a very thorough picture of what is going on. I loved the ending and how everything was wrapped up so nicely. But most of all? Most of all I loved the line after the book was over that said Riordan is now tackling a series on the Norse gods who are some of my faves!