27. January 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: History, Kim B, NonFiction · Tags:

Exorcising Hitler by Fredrick Taylor, 383 pages, read by Kim Bolton, on 01/27/2015

Exorcising Hitler by Fredrick Taylor is a contemporary look at Germany from the end of WWII and how the country remade itself after the end of the Nazi era through the allied occupation, up to and including the fall of the Berlin Wall. Very insightful and informative reading with personal reminisces of the people who lived through those years. I give it 5 stars!!!!!

26. January 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: Fiction, Humor, Kira · Tags:

Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art by Christopher Moore, 403 pages, read by Kira, on 01/23/2015

sacbindexsacre_bleu Does it really make sense that Vincent Van Goph shot himself in a wheatfield, then walked miles to see a doctor?  Christopher Moore takes this as the starting place for a mystery and a madcap romp with Impressionist  Great Master painters in Paris.  To accompany Henri Toulouse Lautrec, he creates the baker/painter Lucien Lessard who try to unravel the mystery of the Ultramarine paint supplied by the menacing “colorman”.   Beware woadfin5aHadrians_Wall_03there is a fair amo7330lascaux1unt of bawdy humor.  asacbindexVincent_van_Gogh_(1853-1890)_-_Wheat_Field_with_Crows_(1890)study___the_laundress_by_henri_de_toulouse_lautrec_by_iyasha-d6qjoal I was really impressed by Moore’s ability to tie disparate historical events like the disappearance of the 9th Roman Legion and the discovery of Lascaux-type caves.  A very enjoyable read, that gave me some exposure to famous impressionist painters and made me curious about how paints are/were made.

One Plastic Bag is the story of Isatou Ceesay and how she created an industry in Gambia where the women recycled plastic bags into bags and purses. Plastic bags were a huge environmental problem in Gambia and one day Isatou had enough. She cleaned the bags, made them into string and wove bags out of them. The new bags were sold and helped the people of her area. It is an inspiring story about how one person can make a difference.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.

26. January 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: Angie, NonFiction, True Crime · Tags:

Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World's Richest Museum by Jason Felch, Ralph Frammolino, 375 pages, read by Angie, on 01/24/2015

Chasing Aphrodite is the story of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. It is one of the world’s richest museums, founded by John Getty and funded through the fortune he accumulated through Getty Oil. This is not a dry retelling of how a museum came to be and how it gathered its collection. The Getty is a museum home to scandal and intrigue to tax fraud schemes and affairs to reform and theft. It was simply a hot-bed of controversy and scandal that rocked the art world and brought forth reform in the way antiquities were acquired. The authors are two Los Angeles Times reporters who broke the story of the shady dealings at the Getty and received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for their investigations. They have expanded on their articles and created a true crime novel that is immensely readable and a definite page turner. The scandals at the Getty revolved around museum curator Marrion True and how Greek and Roman antiquities were acquired. The Getty was not alone in acquiring pieces through shady deals and looters. Many of the world’s leading museums were also guilty, but the Getty was the museum Italian prosecutors zealously went after in their quest to stop the patrimony of Italy being looted. If you are at all interested in the art world, I would highly recommend this book to you. It was fascinating and I simply couldn’t put it down.

From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.

Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets and backstage stories.

With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.

 

22. January 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: Autobiographies, Brian, NonFiction

Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming, 294 pages, read by Brian, on 01/22/2015

alanAlan Cumming is one of those actors who is fantastic in any role he played, yet many people do not know his name.  Like so many entertainers his early life was full of pain.  His father hated him and abused Alan throughout his childhood, actually he abused everyone he knew.  His father was a womanizer and later in life this made Alan wondered if his father was really his father.  This book is touching and heart filled.

 

22. January 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, History, Humor, Informational Book, Tammy

Bed Manners: A Very British Guide to Boudoir Etiquette by Ralph Hopton , 151 pages, read by Tammy, on 01/15/2015

bed manners Ever wonder how to avoid offending your spouse with your evening sleeping habits? Or perhaps wonder what the challenges might be of sleeping with another person if you never have? This could be the guide book for you. Originally published in the 1930s the book addresses bedroom etiquette with a sense of humor. It is amazing how few of the basic problems have changed over the years. Husbands and wives still bicker over whose job it is to investigate noises in the middle of the night, who has to get up to get another blanket or close the window or do we even want the window open.

22. January 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: History, How To's, Informational Book, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags:

Downton Abbey: Rules for Household Staff by Charles Carson , 117 pages, read by Tammy, on 01/14/2015

downton Some items refer specifically to the household of the television show Downton Abbey, but most information given is historically researched. Even includes recipes and instructions for everything from cleaning silver to properly storing seasonal clothes to protect them from dust and bugs. For fans of the show as well as those looking for traditional cleaning information.

21. January 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: Autobiographies, Brian, NonFiction, Sports · Tags:

Open by Andre Aggasi, 388 pages, read by Brian, on 01/20/2015

andreOpen is a very sad book.  Andre talks about how he never wanted to play tennis and doesn’t really like sports.  How his father, in cruel way, pushed him to be a tennis player.  We also get to see how all those years of tennis has worn down his body.  Very good read.

 

21. January 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: History, Katy, NonFiction · Tags:

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, 406 pages, read by Katy, on 01/20/2015

unbroken-book-cover-01On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

From www.goodreads.com

I recommend this book to everyone!

20. January 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: History, NonFiction, Paula

The Dog Who Could Fly by Lewis, Damien, 288 pages, read by Paula, on 01/18/2015

hw7.pl “An instant hit in the UK, this is the true account of a German shepherd who was adopted by the Royal Air Force during World War II, joined in flight missions, and survived everything from crash-landings to parachute bailouts–ultimately saving the life of his owner and dearest friend. In the winter of 1939 in the cold snow of no-man’s-land, two loners met and began an extraordinary journey that would turn them into lifelong friends. One was an orphaned puppy, abandoned by his owners as they fled Nazi forces. The other was a different kind of lost soul–a Czech airman bound for the Royal Air Force and the country that he would come to call home. Airman Robert Bozdech stumbled across the tiny German shepherd–whom he named Ant–after being shot down on a daring mission over enemy lines. Unable to desert his charge, Robert hid Ant inside his jacket as he escaped. In the months that followed the pair would save each others lives countless times as they flew together with Bomber Command. And though Ant was eventually grounded due to injury, he refused to abandon his duty, waiting patiently beside the runway for his master’s return from every sortie, and refusing food and sleep until they were reunited. By the end of the war Robert and Ant had become British war heroes, and Ant was justly awarded the Dickin Medal, the ‘Animal VC.’ With beautiful vintage black-and-white photos of Robert and Ant, The Dog Who Could Fly is a deeply moving story of loyalty in the face of adversity and the unshakable bond between a man and his best friend”

20. January 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: History, Kim B, NonFiction · Tags:

Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries by Rory Maclean, 420 pages, read by Kim B, on 01/19/2015

I did not think that I would enjoy this book as much as I did. The author follows Berlin through the centuries through the eyes of the people that lived there from royalty to peasant, from the rich and famous to the poor and unknown. He includes such contemporaries as Christopher Isherwood, Marlene Dietrich, and David Bowie. I can promise that this book is not full of “dry” history, but rich with the human experience of living in this city down through history.

16. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, Tammy · Tags: , ,

Sorry I Barfed on Your Bed (and Other Heartwarming Letters from Kitty) by Jeremy Greenberg, 64 pages, read by Tammy, on 01/13/2015

Letters from the feline of the house with accompanying photo of the cat writing the letter. I had read the dog letter book by this author, and most of the dog letters are addressed to Dear Pack Leader. The cat letters vary greatly in how they are addressed. Some examples are food provider and fur-less mommy. Funny snap shots of life with an indoor cat.

16. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Humor, Tammy · Tags: , , ,

Sorry I Pooped in Your Shoe (and Other Heartwarming Letters from Doggie) by Jeremy Greenberg, 64 pages, read by Tammy, on 01/11/2015

sorry i pooped This is a funny collection of 50 letters from man’s best friend, his dog. Each letter is accompanied by a photo of the dog “writing” the letter. Whether the letter is an apology, an explanation of what human’s think are weird habits of dogs or just a suggestion of dogs and people can cohabit better together, all are relate-able to anyone who has ever had a dog. The letters over insight into your dog’s point of view as well as human nature.

14. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Autobiographies, Humor, Memoirs, Noelle, NonFiction

Yes Please by Amy Poehler, 329 pages, read by Noelle, on 01/08/2015

In a perfect world . . .

We’d get to hang out with Amy Poehler, watching dumb movies, listening to music, and swapping tales about our coworkers and difficult childhoods. Because in a perfect world, we’d all be friends with Amy—someone who seems so fun, is full of interesting stories, tells great jokes, and offers plenty of advice and wisdom (the useful kind, not the annoying kind you didn’t ask for, anyway). Unfortunately, between her Golden Globe-winning role on Parks and Recreation, work as a producer and director, place as one of the most beloved SNL alumni and cofounder of the Upright Citizens’ Brigade, involvement with the website Smart Girls at the Party, frequent turns as acting double for Meryl Streep, and her other gig as the mom of two young sons, she’s not available for movie night.

Luckily we have the next best thing: Yes Please, Amy’s hilarious and candid book. A collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haikus from the mind of one of our most beloved entertainers, Yes Please offers Amy’s thoughts on everything from her “too safe” childhood outside of Boston to her early days in New York City, her ideas about Hollywood and “the biz,” the demon that looks back at all of us in the mirror, and her joy at being told she has a “face for wigs.” Yes Please is chock-full of words and wisdom to live by.

Descriptive content provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service.

 

12. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, History, Informational Book, NonFiction · Tags: ,

Haunted Air: Anonymous Halloween photographs from c. 1875–1955 by Ossian Brown, David Lynch (Introduction), Geoff Cox (Afterword), 216 pages, read by Angie, on 01/12/2015

So I saw this book on Goodreads and just had to check it out. It looked super creepy and I was not disappointed. There is just something about these old photographs of people in homemade Halloween costumes that ups the creep factor to about 11. I have no idea what most of the costumes are nor do I want to know. The sepia color of the photos makes everything just a little bit more bizarre and demonic. If I saw any of these costumes at my door on Halloween I think I would lock the door and hide in the closet for the rest of the night.

11. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Kira, Teen Books, Teen Books · Tags:

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, 328 pages, read by Kira, on 01/08/2015

What a wonderful read!  Fast paced, emotionally gripping.  A love story – Not a romance.  I’m going to have to devour everything else Rainbow Rowell has written.

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09. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Humor, Informational Book, NonFiction

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks by Gina Sheridan, 157 pages, read by Angie, on 01/08/2015

Ahh, the joys of working in a public library. You just never know what kind of crazy, sweet, angry, beautiful people you are going to encounter day to day. Gina Sheridan has collected stories about her experiences working in the library in this little gem of a book. I really enjoyed the fact that she categorized the stories by the Dewey Decimal System. While my experiences are not the same as Sheridan’s I can definitely relate to them. Public libraries are open to the public and that just means anyone and everyone can be there. Some days are a delight when you find the right book for a patron or help them with a sticky problem. Other days are a chore when you get yelled at or sneezed on or have to deal with too many frustrating situations. Each day is different and makes coming to work interesting.

08. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, NonFiction, Teen Books

Girls Standing On Lawns by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman, 64 pages, read by Courtney, on 12/13/2015

This charming little book is a three-way collaboration amongst artist Maira Kalman, writer Daniel Handler and the Museum of Modern Art. The theme is, obviously, “girls standing on lawns” and is illustrated by Handler’s poetic interludes, Kalman’s paintings and photographs of girls who are, quite literally, standing on lawns. Just about everyone who grew up in a household with a camera has one or more pictures of themselves in just such a setting. I know that I personally have many pictures of myself standing on a lawn (first days of school, school dances, etc.), as do my mother and her mother. These particular photos are all from a more distant past, largely the ’30s-’50s. Kalman’s paintings are her own take on some of the photos (the originals of which appear in the back of the book).
A very fast read, Girls Standing on Lawns is an interesting experiment in form. The short vignettes of text evoke a sense of potentiality for the girls in the photos. These girls are going somewhere, preparing for something – just as any of us would have been in our pictures. We don’t know who the girls are or where they’re from, but these snapshots into their lives reveal intriguing bits of personality and remind us of ourselves. Notes from the collaborators and credits for the artwork follow the main text.

08. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, History, NonFiction · Tags: ,

Irish Witchcraft and Demonology by John D. Seymour, 256 pages, read by Brian, on 01/08/2015

irishThis is a fascinating book.  Seymour documents different people who were known for their witchcraft or people thought they were practicing.  He explores the history of when witchcraft first appeared in Ireland.  Fascinating to some people and maybe a bore to others.