19. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, Marsha, NonFiction, Reviewer

I Work at a Public Library: A collection of crazy stories from the stacks by Gina Sheridan, 157 pages, read by Marsha, on 11/07/2014

downloadOne word:  Hilarious! You don’t have to have worked at a library to find this book funny.  Anyone who has worked with the public will be able to relate to the stories found within this book.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and even went to Ms. Sheridan’s Tumblr site, iworkatapubliclibrary.com for more stories.  The things that happen in public amaze and astound me even though I have worked with the public most of my career.  People never cease to amaze me.  Enjoy!

18. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Biographies, NonFiction, Paula

Last Night At the Viper Room - River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind by Edwards, Gavin, 273 pages, read by Paula, on 11/17/2014

index.aspxHollywood was built on beautiful and complicated matinee idols: James Dean and Marlon Brando are classic examples, but in the 1990s, the actor who embodied that archetype was River Phoenix. As the brightly colored 1980s wound down, a new crew of leading men began to appear on movie screens. Hailed for their acting prowess and admired for choosing meaty roles, actors such as Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Keanu Reeves, and Brad Pitt were soon rocketing toward stardom while an unknown Leonardo DiCaprio prepared to make his acting debut. River Phoenix, however, stood in front of the pack. Blessed with natural talent and fueled by integrity, Phoenix was admired by his peers and adored by his fans. More than just a pinup on teenage girls’ walls, Phoenix was also a fervent defender of the environment and a vocal proponent of a vegan lifestyle–well on his way to becoming a symbol of his generation. At age eighteen, he received his first Oscar nomination. But behind his beautiful public face, there was a young man who had been raised in a cult by nonconformist parents, who was burdened with supporting his family from a young age, and who eventually succumbed to addiction, escaping into a maelstrom of drink and drugs.

And then he was gone. After a dozen films, including Stand by Me and My Own Private Idaho, and with a seemingly limitless future, River Phoenix died of a drug overdose. He was twenty-three years old.

In Last Night at the Viper Room, bestselling author and journalist Gavin Edwards toggles between the tragic events at the Viper Room in West Hollywood on Halloween 1993 and the story of an extraordinary life. Last Night at the Viper Room is part biography, part cultural history of the 1990s, and part celebration of River Phoenix, a Hollywood icon gone too soon. Full of interviews from his fellow actors, directors, friends, and family, Last Night at the Viper Room shows the role he played in creating the place of the actor in our modern culture and the impact his work still makes today.

Great book.  Interesting read.  I had no idea of how his final night played out.  Truly tragic.

 

cat loversCollection of touching stories about cats and their people. Some will make you laugh while others may make you cry, but all will seem familiar to anyone who has loved several cats in their life.

 

17. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, NonFiction, Tammy

The Decorator's Problem Solver: 100 Creative Answers to Your Most Common Decorating Dilemmas by Sacha Cohen, 192 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/16/2014

decorators problem solverThis is an excellent book. It was just what I was looking for and had answers to some painting issues I had ran into. As well as suggestions for a tiling question I had for my bathroom and some problems I may have when I start replacing some old carpet with hardwoods. For each common problem the author offered three different solutions. Some varied by skill or price but others were just different ideas that may appeal more to one person than another person. Each one photos to illustrate the problem and the solutions and step-by-step instructions. Or as specific as the instructions could be trying to answer a variety of people’s problems.

 

17. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, NonFiction, Tammy

Weekend Bathroom Makeovers by Amy Matthews, 175 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/02/2014

weekend bathroom makeoversInteresting ideas for some basic remodeling, paint, tile etc., that can be accomplished in a few days. More of an idea book than a how to book though.

17. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, NonFiction, Tammy

Bathrooms by Editors of Time Life, 128 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/03/2014

bathroomsGives detailed steps for plumbing, tile work, grout, sealant, everything you would need to know to repair or do basic improvements to your bathroom, provided you have the right tools.

 

17. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, NonFiction, Tammy

Bathroom Makeovers by Editors of Time Life Books , 128 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/01/2014

bathroom makeoversIdeas and some step by step tips to update home bathrooms. Some good ideas provided you have the right tools and budget.

 

17. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, NonFiction, Tammy

Floors and Stairways by Editors of Time Life Books , 128 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/05/2014

floors and stairwaysIdeas and instructions for replacing old flooring with a variety of different materials. Even tells you how to check to make sure the sub-floor is solid before beginning and how to replace it if it isn’t. Good information and instructions.

 

17. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, NonFiction, Tammy

Paint Saves the Day by Lucianna Samu, 207 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/02/2014

paint saves the dayTIps on using color to change the appearance of a room, furniture, lamps, etc. It also addressed how to tackle some common painting problems and how to paint on unusual surfaces. Good information with helpful instructions.

17. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Biographies, Children's Books, NonFiction

Little Author in the Big Woods: A Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Yona Zeldis McDonough, 176 pages, read by Angie, on 11/16/2014

This is a nice biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder. It is a simple read that offers a lot of details on the Ingalls family and Laura’s life after she married Wilder. I didn’t realize just how often the Ingalls family moved during Laura’s childhood; it seemed like they were packing up and moving on every couple of years. There aren’t a lot of details in this story as it is geared towards younger readers, but it is a nice introduction to Laura Ingalls Wilder and gives some supplemental information not in the Little House series.

17. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Graphic Book, History, NonFiction

Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood by Nathan Hale, 128 pages, read by Angie, on 11/16/2014

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a graphic novel about WWI, but this one was fantastic. I think I learned more about the war than I have from any other source. The information is presented in a wonderfully reader friendly way that kids will gravitate towards. The story of the war is presented by a Revolutionary War era traitor named Nathan Hale who is telling the story to his hangman and the British officer responsible for hanging him. The countries of Europe are represented by various animals so you can easily tell them apart (although I will admit I had to look back to figure out which animal was which country several times). The causes of the war are clearly laid out as are the major battles and the results of those battles. My only big complaint was the size of the graphic frames. The book is on the smaller size which made the graphic frames smaller. I think it would have benefitted from a larger print size so you could see more of the details.

14. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Inspirational, NonFiction, Sarah

Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom, 254 pages, read by Sarah, on 11/13/2014

  Mitch has been asked to by a Rabbi to do his eulogy at his funeral.  What Mitch expects to be a short get to know you better period of a few weeks or months, turns into an insightful 8 years.The Reb (Rabbi Albert) was a remarkable man of God whose faith caused him to lead a simple, generous life.  While Mitch is traveling back and forth to interview Reb, he starts his own not for profit to help the homeless and downtrodden in his home, Detroit.  It is in this town that he learns about Rev. Henry Covington, a former drug addict and criminal, and his contributions to the homeless.

This book is powerful in that you leave it with a strong feeling that God is in everything, whether you are Jewish, Christian, Hindu, or Muslim.  God can work through anyone that is willing to give Him an opportunity.

14. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Cats, Fiction, Humor, Kira · Tags: , ,

A Cat's Christmas by Stefanie Samek, 180 pages, read by Kira, on 11/10/2014

index Looking for a simple gift for a cat lover? This is a sweet get-yourself-in-the-mood-for-Christmas book for Cat-lovers.  It is a book featuring Christmas recipes, Christmas tips, Christmas songs, all sorts of Christmasy is both humor here as well as stories traditional Christmas tales told from Cat standpoint.  The humor was gentle and clever, not the loud guffaw and bust your gut type of humor, but genial and endearing.  I was impressed at how continually Samek was able to riff on the cat humor, finding all sorts
of puns and ways to have fun.  This book includes feline versions of Christmas Carols, treats and goodies for cats, a cats version of the poem The Night Before Christmas, as well as Dicken’s A Christmas Carol for cats (eg Bob Scratchit).  Some of the ideas really did seem plausible and I wondered if she thought readers might take her up on some of the suggestions.

13. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Inspirational, NonFiction, Self Help, Tammy · Tags: , , ,

Unleashing your Inner Dog: Your Best Friend's Guide to Lifeq by Mari Gayatri Stein, 125 pages, read by Tammy, on 11/09/2014

unleashing your inner dogThough this book came out in 2001 it definitely has a hippie or new age vibe going on especially in the art work. I was expecting a more humorous book, but it is more philosophical and about how to have a relaxed, joyful outlook on life no matter what is happening. Mari Stein shares her observations of her dogs’ joy in the every day: eating, chasing a stick, leaping for a Frisbee are all approached with the same open honesty. Dogs truly are nature’s pure examples of unconditional love and loyalty.

12. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Biographies, NonFiction, Paula

Boulevard of Broken Dreams: The Life, Times and Legend of James Dean by Paul Alexander, 312 pages, read by Paula, on 11/11/2014

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This is the first biography of James Dean to look beyond the Hollywood-manufactured cliche to the volatile polarities, conflicted sexuality, and childhood trauma of the person himself. James Dean’s legendary status as a Hollywood icon is reconsidered in Boulevard of Broken Dreams, which explores the process by which he became the electric and exciting actor who came to stand for a whole generation’s feelings of rebellion. What no one knew at the highlight of his career was that Dean had suffered agonies of torment over his own sexual ambivalence and the concealment that Hollywood studio mores made necessary. Author Paul Alexander talks to Dean’s contemporaries, unearths all available source material, and re-creates not only the closed and closeted world of Hollywood in the ’50s but the bucolic serenity of Dean’s hometown in Indiana as well. This revisionist, passionate portrait, based on many new and documented sources and featuring shocking photographs, argues that Dean’s angst-ridden compliance–in public–with rigid sexual expectations helped fuel the fury and electricity of his acting. Its conclusions will be a revelation to film buffs, gay readers, pop-culture aficionados, and everyone concerned with the ethics of image versus reality.

Of all the biographies of James Dean I have read recently this one dove into his sexuality more than the others.  Hard to determine if James Dean was gay or bisexual.  Irregardless, a fascinating man gone way before his time.

12. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, NonFiction · Tags:

Python Pocket Reference by Mark Lutz, 148 pages, read by Brian, on 11/10/2014

pythonPython Pocket Reference keep this book with you at all times.  Keep it with you if you are using Python to optimize your website productivity.

 

07. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Informational Book, NonFiction · Tags:

Making the Most of the Cloud by Robin Hastings, 95 pages, read by Brian, on 11/06/2014

cloudWhen mention “The Cloud”, many people will give you a blank stare and look up to the sky.  MS. Hastings has brought to cover an easy to understand book about the cloud and how to use it effectively in a library setting.

 

05. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Sarah, Teen Books

Complete Nothing by Kieran Scott, 310 pages, read by Sarah, on 11/03/2014

  What happens when a goddess is banished to earth by Zeus?  Does she still have her powers?  Or will she be on her own to complete her tasks at hand?  True (Eros) was banished to earth and has to match 3 couples before she can be restored to the heavens.  This wouldn’t be so bad, except, the love of her life has been sent down, too.  And Orion has no recollection of who she is.  This fantasy book was pretty good.  I enjoyed the references to the different gods and goddesses and how they could effect True’s mission.

05. November 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Kira, Memoirs · Tags: , ,

Haatchi & Little B: the Inspiring True Story of one Boy and his Dog by Wendy Holden, 224 pages, read by Kira, on 11/01/2014

81LTSYB7-zL._SL1500_So I was looking for a the animal’s point of view story preferably a cat story.  What I found on our ebook listing was this dog story and Not from the dog’s point of view.  It is a story about lives who deal with disability and how the dog helps the little boy.  Owen the young boy was born with a rare genetic abnormality called Schwartz-Jampel Syndrome.  This syndrome shortens and tightens all his muscles limiting his mobility in the extreme.

Haatchi the dog, had been tied to train tracks and run over, consequently missing his tail and one of his rear legs.
haatchi-640x360 owen-haatchi Both need lots of special attention, physical therapy.  Owen had been withdrawing into himself, as he noticed his difference from fellow kids.  Haatchi brought him out of his shell, and 571151-24ab88ee-982c-11e3-ae2a-c06439f32ae2allowed him to blossom.  Haatchi won all sorts of awards it seemed almost improbably, but I guess, the grand prize has to go to someone.

Haatchi’s presence helped the fundraising effort for Owen’s new wheelchair.  It ends with a short glossary of special words used by Owen with Haatchi.

Rude Dude speaks in a language that I think kids will find appealing. He doesn’t talk like an adult or a kid but more of a mix of the two. He has lots of interesting history and facts about foods that kids like eating. He starts with chocolate and moves on to hamburgers and egg rolls and pizza. There are some really interesting facts about how these foods came to be favorites and how they came together. He also intersperses his historical facts with healthy eating facts that will hopefully motivate kids. Entertaining and just enough fun stuff to attract young readers.