02. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Kim B, NonFiction · Tags:

Such Good Girls: The Journey of the Holocaust's Hidden Child Survivors by R.D. Rosen, 257 pages, read by Kim B, on 02/01/2015

Such Good Girls: The Journey of the Holocaust’s Hidden Child Survivors by R.D. Rosen is a good read for those of us interested in this aspect of history. The author features three women who survived the holocaust by being taken  in by Christians, their journey through those dark years and after when they were faced with the fact that they were Jewish and not Christian and how they dealt with it and the psychological and emotional impact it had on them. They faced a lot of anger issues as well as issues with the biological mother who gave them up to save them. As children, this was hard for them to understand, as adults they learned of the strength their mothers had in doing what they did to save their lives. Not many of the mothers survived to be reunited with their daughters. A very moving and emotional book.

01. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Graphic Book, History, Katy, Memoirs, NonFiction

Fatherland by Nina Bunjevac, 156 pages, read by Katy, on 01/31/2015

9781631490316_custom-44f320df1bb71b49adc8ec3a92b796701f9b1e66-s300-c15In 1975 Nina Bunjevac’s mother fled her marriage and her adopted country of Canada and took Nina back to Yugoslavia to live with her parents. Peter, her husband, was a fanatical Serbian nationalist who had been forced to leave his country at the end of World War II and migrate to Canada. But even there he continued his activities, joining a terrorist group that planned to set off bombs at the homes of Tito sympathisers and at Yugoslav missions in Canada and the USA. Then in 1977, while his family were still in Yugoslavia, a telegram arrived to say that a bomb had gone off prematurely and Peter and two of his comrades had been killed.

From www.goodreads.com.

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

Lessons from a Dog by Patrick Moberg , 64 pages, read by Tammy, on 01/12/2015

lessons from a dogDogs may slobber and shed but they are loyal, sensitive and affectionate. Illustrator Patrick Moberg illustrates lessons we can learn from man’s best friend on how to be a better person. Sweet and fun.

28. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Memoirs, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, 259 pages, read by Tammy, on 01/26/2015

as you wish Cary Elwes, better known to The Princess Bride fans as Westley, shares his experiences filming the cult classic, The Princess Bride. He shares behind the scenes stories and quotes and comments from other actors as well as directors and stuntmen. Much more of a personal story than a technical making of the movie tale. I had forgotten that The Princess Bride was made without any kind of green screen or CGI affects. The story holds up well and carries you along perhaps in part because of the lack of modern special affects.

rescue artist On the morning of the 1994 Olympics in Norway, two thieves entered the National Gallery in Oslo. They stole one of the world’s most famous paintings, Edward Munch’s The Scream. Humiliated the Norwegian police called on Scotland Yard and one of their art detectives, Charley Hill.

Charley Hill is a half-British, half-American policeman who was currently working undercover in the small art team of Scotland Yard. He has since become and independent detective recovering art and other national treasures.

In this narrative Edward Dolnick takes us inside the art underworld. Briefly discussing some well-known cases in the past and leading up to more current crimes which now often involved crimes of opportunity and organized crime members. He follows Charley along on his search for The Scream sharing the successes and failures of other police inquiries along the way as well.

28. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Autobiographies, Becky, NonFiction · Tags:

Dancing with Myself by Billy Idol, 326 pages, read by Becky, on 01/15/2015

hw7.plIn this bold and candid memoir, music legend Billy Idol shares his life story, from his childhood in England to his rise to fame during the height of the punk pop revolution, revealing intimate details about the sex, drugs, and rock and roll that he is so fabulously famous for-all told in his own utterly indelible voice. An integral member of the punk rock revolution whose music crossed over into ’80s pop mainstream–and one of MTV’s first stars–Billy Idol remains an iconic music legend. Now, in his long awaited Dancing With Myself, he delivers a lively, candid account of his journey to fame, including intimate and unapologetic details about his life’s highs and lows, all rendered with the in your face attitude and exuberance his fans have embraced. Idol brings to life the key events that shaped his life, his music, and his career, including his early childhood in England, his year at Sussex University, and his time spent hanging out with the Sex Pistols and as a member of punk bands Chelsea and Generation X. He shares outtakes from his wildly and unexpectedly successful solo career and stories behind his string of popular hits, including “White Wedding,” “Eyes Without a Face,” and “Rebel Yell,” which involved close collaboration with Steve Stevens and ultimately led to the creation of some of the most groundbreaking music videos ever seen. Featuring sixteen pages of full color, behind the scenes photos, Dancing With Myself is both a tale of survival and a celebration of the heady days when punk was born, a compelling and satisfying insider’s tale from a man who made music history firsthand.

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.  I’ve always loved Billy Idol, but this gave me a new sense of affection for him.  I am so glad he wrote this!!!

27. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, How To's, NonFiction

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown, 288 pages, read by Brian, on 01/27/2015

adultingThis book is practical and useful for those who need guidance in life.  I was expecting a very funny book and instead got a mildly amusing account.   The author talks about jobs, apartments, cooking and much more….a good read but not great.

 

27. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Kim B, NonFiction · Tags:

Exorcising Hitler by Fredrick Taylor, 383 pages, read by Kim B, 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 · Comments Off · 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.

26. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Informational Book, NonFiction

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul, 32 pages, read by Angie, on 01/23/2015

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 · Comments Off · 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.

24. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Autobiographies, NonFiction, Paula

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of the Princess Bride by Elwes, Cary, 259 pages, read by Paula, on 01/22/2015

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 · Comments Off · 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 · Comments Off · 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 · Comments Off · 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 · Comments Off · 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 · Comments Off · 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 · Comments Off · 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 · Comments Off · 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.