17. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: How To's, Informational Book, Marsha, NonFiction, Reviewer, Self Help · Tags:

Catification: designing a happy and stylish home for your cat (and you!) by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin, 291 pages, read by Marsha, on 12/15/2014

This book by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin is packed with ideas for making your home more cat friendly.  Cats at war?  Help is in this book!  Have a shy cat who hides a lot?  No problem!  Catification not only has ideas for cat furniture and climbing walls, but it also has information about why cats are the way they are.  For example, I discovered that the reason altercations happen on my staircase is because it is a matter of turf.  By building a superhighway with multiple lanes for traffic, I can eliminate these altercations.  The ideas in here range from $10 cost to $600 or more, so there is something for every budget.  If you wish to make life better for the feline(s) in your life, I highly suggest picking up this book.  It is a delightful, easy and fast read.catification

16. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Humor, Tammy · Tags:

Dog Butts and Love. And Stuff Like That. And Cats. by Jim Benton, 96 pages, read by Tammy, on 12/15/2014

dog butts  A collection of cartoons by New York Times Bestseller Jim Benton. Though the title implies lots of pet or animal cartoons there are only a few. Personally I found the humor hit or miss.

15. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Teen Books · Tags:

Lirael by Garth Nix, 487 pages, read by Kira, on 12/10/2014

index    lirael 2This is the 2nd book in the Sabriel trilogy.  It picks up 14 years after Sabriel killed Kerigor and takes the viewpoints of Sabriel’s son, Prince Sameth, the Abhorsen-in-waiting, and of Lirael a daugher of the Clayr who are able to see into the future.  We meet Lirael at age 14 long after most Clayr have obtained the “Sight”, who has given up hope that she will ever become a ‘normal’ Farseer, like the rest of her community.  Lirael eventually becomes a librarian (and what a kick-butt occupation this is in this world), and has adventurous encounters in the library with her newly acquired magical companion “the Disreputable Dog”.  At the same time Prince Sameth tries to study the Book of the Dead in order to master the bells, to help his mother and eventually to become the Abhorsen.  However, he experiences panic attacks when he tries to interact with the book.  Eventually the 2 characters 3e091473a6324c21a9932889449091b6cross paths.  Their interactions are delightful.  Some of the index2surprises were easy to foresee, but I found this a very enjoyable read.  Beware,it ends 91GqNS1Oc2L._SL1500_on a cliffhanger.

rock breaks rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock-stein-schere-papier-eidechse-echse-the-big-bang-theory RANTBLEimages outguessing machine Even when people try to be unpredictable, they usually fall into patterns.  William Poundstone shows readers how to make the best odds for yourself, whether this be a game of rock/paper/scissors, gambling, fixing the books, or investing in the stock market.  Poundstone writes in an engaging and accessible style.

street cat named bob The moving, uplifting true story of an unlikely friendship between a man on the streets and the ginger cat who adopts him and helps him heal his life. Bob the world-wise street cat helps James change his life for the better and teaches him how to relate to other people better too.

world according to bobJames and his street cat, Bob, have been on a remarkable journey together. James was a homeless drug addict before meeting Bob. Bob helped James see important truths: friendship, loyalty, trust and happiness. This book picks up where “A Street Cat Named Bob” left off. James shares how Bob has been his protector and guide through illness, hardship and danger. James has taught Bob tricks such as how to high five but he knows he has learned so much more from his street-wise cat. Not just an animal story but the story of one man and his animal companion.

downloadThis innovative book teaches you how to rediscover the delightful curiosity you had as a child.  Wahl walks the reader through how we were when we were younger, how we are now, and how we can find our Picasso.  Picasso is an acronym Wahl uses to describe his methods for rediscovering creative genius.  Wahl gives examples of each step, as well as quotes and inspiration.  Wahl is not some professional psychologist.  He is someone who has walked this path to Picasso himself.  Wahl gives us very poignant questions to ask ourselves as we consider where we are in our current life and who we hope to become in the future.  This book deserves more than one reading in order to glean all of the information you can out of it.  I recommend this for anyone struggling with who they are and where they fit in at home or at work.  Great read!

08. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Brian, Informational Book, NonFiction · Tags:

Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck by Amy Alkon, 304 pages, read by Brian, on 12/13/2014

mannersGood Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck is an informative and funny look on how normal people should handle everyday affairs.  The loud cell phone person in the library or elevator, the neighbor who is loud all night long, Amy gives practical/funny advice on handling those situations.

 

08. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Humor

All My Friends Are Still Dead by Avery Monsen, 108 pages, read by Brian, on 12/01/2014

friends2All My Friends Are Still Dead takes off where the first book ended and if you have controlled yourself from laughing, you my precede to the next book.  Enjoy!

 

08. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Humor

All My Friends are Dead by Avery Monsen, 96 pages, read by Brian, on 12/01/2014

friendsIt’s a simple concept, what if you are the last dinosaur?  Your friends would all be dead.  this funny little book examines zombies, cassettes and other things that may all be dead.

 

catification Ideas from the “Cat Daddy” for making your home more cat friendly and still looking nice. Has ideas that range from expensive to stuff you can make yourself with little or no tools. Also discussed some tips on understanding your cats behavior. Also, gives examples from his tv show, My Cat from Hell.

two catsAuthor Patti Davis shares how she became the owner of a cat and found out how fulfilling having cats as pets can be. Though she formerly considered herself a dog person and was unprepared for the differences between cats and dogs. Soon she discovers how cats are actually in charge and the life lessons they can teach humans if only we listen.

 

Sixty-five of the world’s leading writers open up about the books and authors that have meant the most to them

Every Sunday, readers of The New York Times Book Review turn with anticipation to see which novelist, historian, short story writer, or artist will be the subject of the popular By the Book feature. These wide-ranging interviews are conducted by Pamela Paul, the editor of the Book Review, and here she brings together sixty-five of the most intriguing and fascinating exchanges, featuring personalities as varied as David Sedaris, Hilary Mantel, Michael Chabon, Khaled Hosseini, Anne Lamott, and James Patterson. The questions and answers admit us into the private worlds of these authors, as they reflect on their work habits, reading preferences, inspirations, pet peeves, and recommendations.

By the Book contains the full uncut interviews, offering a range of experiences and observations that deepens readers’ understanding of the literary sensibility and the writing process. It also features dozens of sidebars that reveal the commonalities and conflicts among the participants, underscoring those influences that are truly universal and those that remain matters of individual taste.

For the devoted reader, By the Book is a way to invite sixty-five of the most interesting guests into your world. It’s a book party not to be missed.

New York Times, Spin, and Vanity Fair contributor Marc Spitz explores the first great cultural movement since Hip Hop: an old-fashioned and yet highly modern aesthetic that’s embraced internationally by teens, twenty and thirty-somethings and even some Baby Boomers; creating hybrid generation known as Twee. Via exclusive interviews and years of research, Spitz traces Generation Twee’s roots from the Post War 50s to its dominance in popular culture today.

Vampire Weekend, Garden State, Miranda July, Belle and Sebastian, Wes Anderson, Mumblecore, McSweeney’s, Morrissey, beards, artisanal pickles, food trucks, crocheted owls on Etsy, ukuleles, kittens and Zooey Deschanel—all are examples of a cultural aesthetic of calculated precocity known as Twee.

In Twee, journalist and cultural observer Marc Spitz surveys the rising Twee movement in music, art, film, fashion, food and politics and examines the cross-pollinated generation that embodies it—from aging hipsters to nerd girls, indie snobs to idealistic industrialists. Spitz outlines the history of twee—the first strong, diverse, and wildly influential youth movement since Punk in the ’70s and Hip Hop in the ’80s—showing how awkward glamour and fierce independence has become part of the zeitgeist.

Focusing on its origins and hallmarks, he charts the rise of this trend from its forefathers like Disney, Salinger, Plath, Seuss, Sendak, Blume and Jonathan Richman to its underground roots in the post-punk United Kingdom, through the late’80s and early ’90s of K Records, Whit Stillman, Nirvana, Wes Anderson, Pitchfork, This American Life, and Belle and Sebastian, to the current (and sometimes polarizing) appeal of Girls, Arcade Fire, Rookie magazine, and hellogiggles.com.

Revealing a movement defined by passionate fandom, bespoke tastes, a rebellious lack of irony or swagger, the championing of the underdog, and the vanquishing of bullies, Spitz uncovers the secrets of modern youth culture: how Twee became pervasive, why it has so many haters and where, in a post-Portlandia world, can it go from here?

05. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Biographies, History, Madeline, NonFiction

Celia: A Slave by Melton A. McLaurin, 192 pages, read by Madeline, on 11/20/2014

Celia was an ordinary slave–until she struck back at her abusive master and became the defendant in a landmark trial that threatened to undermine the very foundations of the South’s “Peculiar Institution.”

05. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Humor, Informational Book, Madeline, NonFiction

I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan, 157 pages, read by Madeline, on 11/15/2014

Straight from the library–the strange and bizarre, ready to be checked out!

From a patron’s missing wetsuit to the scent of crab cakes wafting through the stacks, I Work at a Public Library showcases the oddities that have come across Gina Sheridan’s circulation desk. Throughout these pages, she catalogs her encounters with local eccentrics as well as the questions that plague her, such as, “What is the standard length of eyebrow hairs?” Whether she’s helping someone scan his face onto an online dating site or explaining why the library doesn’t have any dragon autobiographies, Sheridan’s bizarre tales prove that she’s truly seen it all.

Stacked high with hundreds of strange-but-true stories, I Work at a Public Library celebrates librarians and the unforgettable patrons that roam the stacks every day.

05. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Autobiographies, Madeline, Memoirs, NonFiction

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado, 195 pages, read by Madeline, on 11/05/2014

We in America have certain ideas of what it means to be poor. Linda Tirado, in her signature brutally honest yet personable voice, takes all of these preconceived notions and smashes them to bits. She articulates not only what it is to be working poor in America (yes, you can be poor and live in a house and have a job, even two), but what poverty is truly like—on all levels.  Frankly and boldly, Tirado discusses openly how she went from lower-middle class, to sometimes middle class, to poor and everything in between, and in doing so reveals why “poor people don’t always behave the way middle-class America thinks they should.”

05. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Autobiographies, Madeline, Memoirs, NonFiction

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward, 256 pages, read by Madeline, on 11/01/2014

“We saw the lightning and that was the guns; and then we heard the thunder and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped.” —Harriet Tubman

In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life—to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth—and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own.

05. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Fiction, Humor, Poetry, Tammy · Tags:

I Could Chew on This: And Other Poems by Dogs by Francesco Marciuliano, 110 pages, read by Tammy, on 12/04/2014

i could chew on thisA collection of poetry that express dogs devotion to their owners, their food and what makes them happy. Things like squeaky toys, naps, bones. Funny and heartfelt. For anyone who has ever loved a dog.

 

05. December 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Crafts, How To's, Informational Book, Marsha, NonFiction · Tags: , ,

Creative Lettering and Beyond: Inspiring tips, techniques, and ideas for hand lettering your way to beautiful works of art by Gabri Joy Kirkendall, Laura Lavender, Julie Manwaring, Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn, 144 pages, read by Marsha, on 12/05/2014

download (1)This new addition to the library as of November 2014 is a wonderful book for any artist.  I could see the applications being used in mixed media art, art journaling, calligraphy, and so much more!  This book will get you started with basic pen paper and ink while later chapters add paint, chalk, and more! Illustrated lettering is also discussed with ideas for enhancing the first letter of a quote for phrase.  Includes instructions for making your own chalkboard as well as how to do some of the basics in a digital program such as Photoshop.  Creative Lettering and Beyond is not one to be missed by all types of crafters.  Write on!