05. December 2014 · Comments Off · 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 · Comments Off · 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 · Comments Off · 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!

05. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, Marsha, NonFiction · Tags:

The Rules: A guide for people owned by cats by Max Thompson, 85 pages, read by Marsha, on 12/01/2014

downloadA cute book, but I feel the author could have used more hyperbole to add to the humor.  It seemed to be missing something and that is the only thing I could put my finger on.  It is a terrific idea, though.  And people really are owned by cats, not the other way around!  I think an expanded edition is in order!

02. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Biographies, NonFiction, Paula

Heath Ledger Hollywood's Dark Star by Brian Bobb, 207 pages, read by Paula, on 11/30/2014

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Heath Ledger was one of the most charismatic actors of his generation. After establishing a high-profile Hollywood career at the age of 21 with the lead in A Knight’s Tale, Ledger pursued a series of increasingly diverse, often subversive roles that belied his image as a teen idol. Edgier films such as Monster’s Ball gave tantalizing hints of his talent, but it wasn’t until Brokeback Mountain that he proved beyond question the full extent of his abilities. His sudden death rocked the film industry and threw a poignant shadow over the body of work that has now become his legacy. Here, Brian J. Robb explores Ledger’s relationships with actresses Michelle Williams, Naomi Watts, and Heather Graham, recounts the making of Brokeback Mountain and the film’s impact, and charts Ledger’s increasingly troubled state of mind. Heath Ledger: Hollywood’s Dark Star paints a memorable portrait of a compelling and intense young man whose loss will be felt for years to come.

Heath Ledger is far and away my favorite actor of his generation.  I was devastated when he died almost 7 years ago.  I still cry when I think about it.  An amazing talent gone far too soon.

01. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Informational Book, NonFiction, Tracy · Tags:

Tricks and Games to teach your dog by Sophie Collins, Suellen Dainty, 192 pages, read by Tracy, on 11/20/2014

Who doesn’t want to spend more time playing?! Tricks and Games to Teach Your Dog is the how-to book for dog owners looking to improve their “fun factor” in their dogs’ eyes. Author Sophie Collins, assisted by Suellen Dainty, promise that any owner of a dog—no matter what age, breed, activity level, size or personality—can transform his pooch into an accomplished performer in brief daily five-minute training sessions. In all, the book offers 80 tricks and games, from the tried-and-true rainy-day tricks like “roll over” and “play dead” to out-of-the-box surprises like “lion tamer” and the “commando crawl.” Fully illustrated with color photographs and drawings, Tricks and Games to Teach Your Dog serves as a game plan for busy owners who wish to spend more quality time with their dogs, engaging them in educational games to improve their obedience skills while deepening the dogs’ bonds with their owners. Readers can teach their dogs helpful household tasks, such as the “laundry service,” “fetch my keys” and “answer the door,” as well as games that expand their repertory of manners, such as “say please,” “learning a ‘stop’ signal,” and “dinner time.” The authors emphasize the importance of safety in teaching tricks and games and caution owners to only work with safe objects when teaching fetching or finding games. The book is filled with practical training tips that owners can use throughout their dogs’ lives. Once an owner is confident and aware of his own technique, he will be better prepared to give the dog specific direction and not confuse the dog by giving false cues or misusing body language, tone of voice or hand signals. The level of difficulty in the lessons range from the simplest (“high five” and “stand ten”) to more challenging tricks like “shut the door,” “push the ball” and “freeze.” The unmistakable focus of the book is fun and activity, and no dog (or owner) ever wants to lead a dull, boring existence. To that end, the authors discuss some great fun outings to bring an owner’s play sessions with his dog to an all-time high: camping, volleyball, biking and hiking for starters. And for really adventurous overachievers, the authors provide a brief introduction to the ever-popular obstacle-course sport known as dog agility.

30. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Cats, Inspirational, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags:

A Dickens of a Cat: And Other Stories of the Cats We Love by Callie Smith Grant (Editor) , 192 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/28/2014

dickens catThis is a collection of heart-warming stories about cats and how they have changed the lives of their owners. Even some very reluctant pet owners and self-identified “dog people” share how they were touched by having a cat in their lives. Well-known authors, including Melody Carlson, Tracie Peterson, and Robert Benson, as well as new voices share their inspirational true stories of these otherwise ordinary cats and dogs whose presence in the lives of humans make them remarkable.

29. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Fiction, Humor, Kira · Tags: ,

Stink Outside the Box : Life Advice from Kitty by Jeremy Greenberg, 64 pages, read by Kira, on 11/28/2014

510iuVLaHpL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Cute tongue and cheek life counseling from kitties who’ve been there and learned from it – coming back to you with philosophy.  The first advice actually made me laugh out loud, it had a little bite of snark in it.  The rest of the advice was a little bit tamer,  still funny, but not as big of laughs.81iWw40m0LL

28. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Teen Books · Tags: , ,

Dragon Champion Bk 1 in the Age of Fire series. by E. E. Knight, 371 pages, read by Kira, on 11/27/2014

632579In this first book of the series, we get the viewpoint of AuRon, the clutchwinner (male dragon hatchling who wins the fight after the male eggs hatch).  AuRon is a grey dragon, and unusual because he lacks scales.  This is his tale from the eggshelf, the death of his parents, his capture by humans, dwarves, elves, his escape, then journey across the mountains, his tenure/apprenticeship with NooMoahk one of oldest surviving dragons, and AuRon’s revenge on the human’s who are enslaving dragons and wiping out the other species of hominids.  This is a fast moving tale with adventure, battles, skirmishes, and an extended apprenticeship with the great black Dragon NooMoahk (I find I usually really enjoy these periods of scholarship in fantasy books).  I enjoyed learning more background about this dragon family.  I also really liked how the author depicted weaknesses that could be turned into strengths (AuRon’s lack of scales).  I also enjoyed being introduced to character’s early on in the book, and then meeting them in their changed (mostly for the better) adult forms later on.  index2LineoftheSiblings2

28. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira · Tags: , ,

The Journey - Guardians of Gahoole Bk 2 by Kathryn Lasky, 244 pages, read by Kira, on 11/23/2014

index Soren and his band of owls, search for and find the Island of Hoole with the great Ga’Hoole Tree.  This is a institution of learning similar to Hogwarts.   Here they are divided into different “chaws” or teams that learn a specific skill.  Soren and talkative Otolisa  are placed in the colliering and weather in a chaw where they learn to transport hot coals to use in the smithy.  Evenutally, a bunch of downed owls are discovered brought home to the GaHool tree among them is Soren’s sister Eglantine.  These downed owls are in some weird mental state, that is disrupted with mirrors.    I read this in disjointed bits and pieces over an extended period of time, thus I don’t have a great feel for how good of a read it really is.

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26. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Humor, Poetry, Tammy · Tags:

The Rules: A Guide For People Owned By Cats by Max Thompson , 85 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/25/2014

rules for peopleMax Thompson known far and wide on the Internet as “The Psychokitty” is an expert in all things feline. He has decided to help out humans everywhere to understand the ways of the cat. That with cute furriness comes hairballs. There are paw drawn illustrations and note pages to further assist people with their learning curve. At the end are included some letters from cats and their people who have written to Psychkitty for advice. A funny book. Though I must say that Psychokitty seems to have more issues with poop and barfing then any of the five house cats I have had.

 

26. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Humor, Poetry, Tammy · Tags:

I Knead My Mommy: And Other Poems by Kittens by Francesco Marciuliano , 111 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/24/2014

download (1)Nothing is cuter than a kitten or more curious. This book of poems by kittens shares their amazement at their new world around them, their never ending curiosity and how they learn to live with older cats and their people. Filled with cute photos and funny poems that made me laugh out loud.

26. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Cats, Humor, Tammy · Tags: ,

Stink Outside the Box: Life Advice from Kitty by Jeremy Greenberg, Niklas Pivic , 64 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/25/2014

Each page contains an important live lesson, such as “Learn from those who have come before you,” the name of the cat counselor giving advice on this lesson, the counselor’s moment in “purrspective” and then the advice he or she has learned during their nine lives. Next page has a photo of each cat counselor. These house cats try to share the lessons they have learned with us, the humble human, to reduce the stress in our lives and lead a more enjoyable, stress-free life. After all if we are happy and stress-free we will have more time to devote to kitty.

Stories of how famous female American writers found friendship and comfort from their pet dogs. Stories are collected from diary entries, letters, and how the author or poet refers and treats animals in their writings. Though I love both cats and dogs there is something to be said for the companionship of a dog. They are loyal and loving no matter what you are going through and always willing to be hugged and held.

26. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Humor, Poetry, Tammy · Tags:

I could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Marciuliano , 111 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/20/2014

i could pee on thisThis book is full of fun photos of cats and kittens and the poems are straight forward and funny. If you have ever owned a cat, especially a house cat this book is for you. Some of the poems made me laugh out loud. Others made me give an exasperated sigh, because “my cat has done that.” The author of the syndicated comic strip, Sally Forth, helps cats unlock their creative potential and explain their odd behavior in perfectly cat logical ways. But no matter how wacky, whimsical or exasperating cats are always still loveable. At least mine are. : )

25. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Noelle, NonFiction, Science

The Self Illusion by Bruce Hood, 349 pages, read by Noelle, on 11/20/2014

Prone to existential depressive episodes related to identity?  Me too!  Feel like delving further into such quandaries?  If you answered, “Why not?”, then read this book!  I personally find it exciting/ weirdly comforting when science challenges traditional Western thought.

Summary from Publisher:  Most of us believe that we are unique and coherent individuals, but are we? The idea of a “self” has existed ever since humans began to live in groups and become sociable. Those who embrace the self as an individual in the West, or a member of the group in the East, feel fulfilled and purposeful. This experience seems incredibly real but a wealth of recent scientific evidence reveals that this notion of the independent, coherent self is an illusion – it is not what it seems. Reality as we perceive it is not something that objectively exists, but something that our brains construct from moment to moment, interpreting, summarizing, and substituting information along the way. Like a science fiction movie, we are living in a matrix that is our mind.
In The Self Illusion, Dr. Bruce Hood reveals how the self emerges during childhood and how the architecture of the developing brain enables us to become social animals dependent on each other. He explains that self is the product of our relationships and interactions with others, and it exists only in our brains. The author argues, however, that though the self is an illusion, it is one that humans cannot live without.
But things are changing as our technology develops and shapes society. The social bonds and relationships that used to take time and effort to form are now undergoing a revolution as we start to put our self online. Social networking activities such as blogging, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter threaten to change the way we behave. Social networking is fast becoming socialization on steroids. The speed and ease at which we can form alliances and relationships is outstripping the same selection processes that shaped our self prior to the internet era. This book ventures into unchartered territory to explain how the idea of the self will never be the same again in the online social world.

22. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, Marsha, NonFiction · Tags:

I Knead My Mommy: and other poems by kittens by Francesco Marciuliano, 111 pages, read by Marsha, on 11/22/2014

download (1)Super cute pictures of fuzzy wuzzy kitties plus poetry typed out with their own little paws!  You can’t go wrong with checking out this cute little book.  Ever wonder what your kitten thinks about?  The answers are presented right here.  If you read and loved I Could Pee On This this is a must see.  I can’t wait to see what this author writes next.

22. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, Marsha, NonFiction · Tags:

Stink Outside the Box: Life Advice From Kitty by Jeremy Greenberg, 64 pages, read by Marsha, on 11/22/2014

downloadThis is a cute collection of life lessons as taught to you by your cats.  Very humorous with gorgeous photos of the cats themselves, this short little book is packed with lots of “educational” fun.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and each story is told from the cat’s point of view.  Super cute!

Download2Now this is a marvelous book which uses the creative process to help readers visualize their dreams and bring them into their consciousness.  What better way for a creative person to dream than through art?  Ms. Gaynor’s three step process of dreaming, creating and reflecting is very beneficial.  Gaynor is a licensed therapist who uses art therapy to help women realize their dreams.  The book includes a year of monthly entries by artists using her process as well as a transformation deck and tips for creating your very own dream book.  There is so much information packed in this volume that I couldn’t hope to do it justice in this review.  Go to the MOBIUS catalog and pick it up.  It is well worth your while!

download (1)This little book is filled with fantastic tips for would-be freelance writers.  Everything from how to interact with editors to what types of pieces editors look for is covered.  The book is short and to the point.  There is no fluff.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is even thinking about diving into the freelance world.  It is guaranteed to not be a waste of time!