31. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Judy, NonFiction, True Crime

Murder in the Heartland by M. William Phelps, 447 pages, read by Judy, on 12/30/2014

On a December night in 2004, a 911 operator in Nodaway County, Missouri, received a frantic call from a woman who’d found her pregnant 23-year-old daughter in a pool of blood on the living room floor.    Most shocking of all, the dying woman’s unborn baby had been viciously ripped from her womb.

Across the border in Melvern, Kansas, Lisa Montgomery showed off a beautiful newborn she proudly claimed as her own.   While some shared her excitement, others harbored suspicions. Meanwhile televisions across the nation broadcast the first Amber Alert for an unborn child.

Newly updated with the latest surprising developments, Murder in the Heartland, goes behind the scenes of two picture-perfect American towns forever changed by one horrifying act of violence.    With exclusive access to key witnesses, family members, and potential victims who narrowly escaped a similar gruesome fate, M. William Phelps tells a classic American tale of unthinkable murder and the quest for justice.

31. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Becky, Cookbooks, NonFiction

The pioneer woman cooks : food from my frontier by Ree Drummond, 293 pages, read by Becky, on 12/08/2014

hw7.pl2A mouthwatering collection of the simple-but-scrumptious recipes that rotate through Ree’s kitchen on a regular basis, from perfect pancakes to honey-plum-soy chicken, from cowgirl quiche to blackberry chip ice cream.

I absolutely love this cookbook.  It has wonderful pictures and is easy to follow.

31. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Becky, Crafts, How To's, Informational Book, NonFiction

Flea market fabulous : designing gorgeous rooms with vintage treasures by Lara Spencer, 182 pages, read by Becky, on 12/05/2014

hw7.plFocusing on nine different rooms (including her own recently purchased Manhattan apartment), Lara Spencer shows readers that all it takes is planning, shopping know-how, and a little imagination to create beautiful and comfortable homes that reflect their personal style. She takes readers through the step-by-step process of overcoming the challenges of the room, offering helpful tips and lessons along the way. She identifies the design dilemma; comes up with a decorating plan; makes a mood board for inspiration; compiles a shopping list; scours flea markets for furniture and accessories that fit the bill; restores, repurposes, and reinvents the pieces she finds, giving them new life; and brings all the elements together in the gorgeous, finished space. With illuminating before, during, and after photographs of her DIY projects and the room installations, Lara demystifies the decorating process and allows readers to envision endless possibilities for what they can do in their own homes

29. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Cats, Fiction, Humor, Kira · Tags:

The Devious Book for Cats: A Parody by Fluffy & Bonkers with the assistance of Joe Garden by Fluffy & Bonkers with the assistance of Joe Garden, 213 pages, read by Kira, on 12/14/2014

This parody of The Dangerous Book for Boys is another set of short essays or even just a few paragraphs, featuring humorous riffs on cat behavior.  I enjoyed it!index2 index

29. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Teen Books · Tags:

Abhorsen book 3 of the Sabriel trilogy by Garth Nix, 358 pages, read by Kira, on 12/28/2014

Abhorsenindexsabriel__abhorsen__s_house_by_andreascott-d3encfeNEW_Abhorsen300pxKPrhwK0abhorsen_bells_2_by_elentari_liv-d4ynyh5This is really Lirael part II.  The previous book in the trilogy ended on a cliffhanger. Sabriel and Touchstone walked into the trap laid for them.  Now only Lirael and Sameth can save the kingdom.  I am very glad I finished this series.  Though it did drag a bit, (and I don’t like set-back, after setback) it contained some really great parts, I even cried at the end.  I look forward to the next title in the series, I believe Garth Nix is doing a sequel to the trilogy.Lirael__The_Abhorsenabhorsen+trilogy

29. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, Inspirational, Memoirs, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret, Sophie Mas, 253 pages, read by Tammy, on 12/26/2014

how to be parisianFour successful and talented French women share their views on what it means to be French and a woman in 2014. Their careers span the worlds of music, film, fashion and publishing and they share their secrets to life and how their sense of style, fun and the meaning of life. The chapters are brief and give you each woman’s views on all sorts of topics including men, culture, beauty and attitude. The authors Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas are all unmarried but attached with children and have been friends for years. These ladies admit to be bossy and opinionated and sometimes snobs but also tender, romantic and reliable. This book was a fun read that may help you look at life in a lighter way and make you want to slip on your dancing shoes.

 

29. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Cats, Humor, Self Help, Tammy

Who Moved My Mouse?: A Self-Help Book for Cats (Who Don't Need Any Help) by Dena Harris, 136 pages, read by Tammy, on 12/28/2014

who moved my mouseDoes your kitty have emotional issues? Does kitty feel unfulfilled? This humorous guide, based on classic self-help texts is  filled with quizzes and tips to teach all cats how they came make small daily changes that will improve their lives and the lives of those around the. With chapters such as “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff . . . But Feel Free to Freak Out Over Anything That Moves Suddenly or Without Warning” this book was a great help to both my kitties. They were able to test out their newly learned skills and life philosophies this week when the four little nieces and nephews came to visit for Christmas. I can’t say that peace and harmony reigned but there was less hissing and tears. ; )

 

19. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Lisa, NonFiction

Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay, 320 pages, read by Lisa, on 12/11/2014

A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.

Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to becool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.”

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better. (from Goodreads.com)

19. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Autobiographies, Children's Books, Memoirs, NonFiction, Poetry

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, 336 pages, read by Angie, on 12/18/2014

Brown Girl Dreaming is Jacqueline Woodson’s wonderful novel in verse memoir of her childhood. She moves from her birthplace in Ohio to her mother’s people in South Carolina to New York. It is a story of leaving things behind as she leaves her father behind in Ohio and her beloved grandparents behind in South Carolina. It is a story of love and loss and hope and dreams. Woodson dreamed of creating stories and being a writer from an early age but struggled with a learning disability. The book also shows the struggle of Blacks during the Civil Rights era. We are shown what it means to be Black in South Carolina and how that is different in New York. Woodson’s story is beautiful and lyrical and a wonderful story to read. I’m not sure how much traction it will get with the elementary/middle school readers as novels in verse are sometimes a hard sell.

18. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Autobiographies, Memoirs, NonFiction, Paula

Running With Monsters by Bob Forrest, 230 pages, read by Paula, on 12/17/2014

index.aspxCelebrity Rehab star and Thelonious Monster frontman Bob Forrest’s memoir about his drug-fueled life in the L.A. indie rock scene of the ’80s and ’90s and his life-changing decision to become a drug counselor who specializes in reaching the unreachable.

Life has been one strange trip for Bob Forrest. He started out as a suburban teenage drunkard from the Southern California suburbs and went on to become a member of a hip Hollywood crowd that included the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Depp, and River Phoenix. Los Angeles was their playground, and they hung out in such infamous haunts as the Viper Room and the Whisky a Go Go.

Always one to push things to their limit, Bob partied the hardest and could usually be found at the center of the drama. Drugs weren’t Bob’s only passion. He was also a talented musician who commanded the stage as the wild and unpredictable lead singer of Thelonious Monster. They traveled the world, and their future seemed bright and wide open. But Bob’s demons grew stronger as he achieved more success and he sank deeper into his chemical dependency, which included alcohol, crack, and heroin habits. No matter how many times he went to rehab, sobriety just wouldn’t stick for him. Soon he saw his once-promising music career slip away entirely.

Eventually Bob found a way to defeat his addiction, and once he did, he saw the opportunity to help other hopeless cases by becoming a certified drug counselor. He’s helped addicts from all walks of life, often employing methods that are very much at odds with the traditional rehab approach.

Running with Monsters is an electrifying chronicle of the LA rock scene of the 1980s and ’90s, the story of a man who survived and triumphed over his demons, and a controversial perspective on the rehab industry and what it really takes to beat addiction. Bob tells his story with unflinching honesty and hard-won perspective, making this a reading experience that shocks, entertains, and ultimately inspires.

 

17. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Informational Book, Marsha, NonFiction, 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

catificationThis 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.

16. December 2014 · Comments Off · 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 · Comments Off · 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.

15. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Informational Book, Kira, NonFiction, Science

Rock Breaks Scissors: A Practical Guide to Outguessing and Outwitting Almost Everybody by William Poundstone, 302 pages, read by Kira, on 12/13/2014

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.

15. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Biographies, Cats, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags:

A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets by James Bowen , 279 pages, read by Tammy, on 12/10/2014

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.

15. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Biographies, Cats, Fiction, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags:

The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat by James Bowen , 286 pages, read by Tammy, on 12/14/2014

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.

12. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Business, How To's, Informational Book, Inspirational, Marsha, NonFiction, Reviewer, Self Help · Tags: ,

Unthink: rediscover your creative genius by Erik Wahl, 223 pages, read by Marsha, on 12/12/2014

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