04. October 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, read by Lisa, on 09/19/2013

1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.

04. October 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Lisa

13 Gifts by Wendy Mass, read by Lisa, on 09/05/2013

When Tara, a self-proclaimed shrinking violet, steals the school mascot, a goat, in order to make some friends with the popular crowd and gets caught, she gets herself in a heap of trouble. In addition, her parents decide that instead of taking her on their summer trip to Madagascar to study the courtship rituals of the Bamboo Lemur, she must go stay with her aunt, uncle, and bratty cousin Emily St. Claire in Willow Falls. Tara thinks it’s a good time to start over; she’ll be turning 13 after all, so she might as well make the best of it and perhaps even attempt to break out of her shell (in a non-criminal manner). What Tara doesn’t know is that this charmed town has something big in store for her on her 13th birthday. It’s not a typical birthday. But then again, nothing is Willow Falls is exactly typical!

06. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall, read by Lisa, on 08/30/2013

The Penderwick sisters are home on Gardam Street and ready for an adventure But the adventure they get isnt quite what they had in mind. Mr. Penderwicks sister has decided its time for him to start dating–and the girls know that can only mean one thing: disaster. Enter the Save-Daddy Plan–a plot so brilliant, so bold, so funny, that only the Penderwick girls could have come up with it. Its high jinks, big laughs, and loads of family warmth as the Penderwicks triumphantly return.

06. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall, read by Lisa, on 08/25/2013

When summer comes around, its off to the beach for Rosalind . . . and off to Maine with Aunt Claire for the rest of the Penderwick girls, as well as their old friend, Jeffrey.
That leaves Skye as OAP (oldest available Penderwick)–a terrifying notion for all, but for Skye especially. Things look good as they settle into their cozy cottage, with a rocky shore, enthusiastic seagulls, a just-right corner store, and a charming next-door neighbor. But can Skye hold it together long enough to figure out Rosalinds directions about not letting Batty explode? Will Janes Love Survey come to a tragic conclusion after she meets the alluring Dominic? Is Batty–contrary to all accepted wisdom–the only Penderwick capable of carrying a tune? And will Jeffrey be able to keep peace between the girls . . . these girls who are his second, and most heartfelt, family?
Its a rollicking ride as the Penderwicks continue their unforgettable adventures in a story filled with laughs and joyful tears.

06. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Lisa

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson, read by Lisa, on 08/21/2013

Miss Pettigrew is about a governess sent by an employment agency to the wrong address, where she encounters a glamorous night-club singer, Miss LaFosse. ‘the sheer fun, the light-heartedness’ in this wonderful 1938 book ‘feels closer to a Fred Astair

06. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery

The Ghost Sitter by Peni R. Griffin, read by Lisa, on 08/12/2013

For fifty years, ten-year-old Susie has waited for her parents and sister to come back. Each new family who moves into her home seems not to notice her, except for the young children. Susie likes children. She even likes baby-sitting, but can she baby-sit forever? Why can’t she get anyone else’s attention?

Charlotte is looking forward to a great summer in her new home, despite her many baby-sitting duties. But someone else seems to be helping her watch her little brother. Someone only he can see. Gradually Charlotte realizes her all-too-normal house is haunted-by the ghost of a girl who doesn’t or won’t realize that she’s dead.

Set around the Fourth of July, this story offers two perspectives-one of the living and one of the dead-in a wholly entertaining and thought-provoking way.

06. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis, read by Lisa, on 08/11/2013

Take Timmy Failure — the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile — Timmy’s moms Segway — and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother wont have to stress out about the bills anymore. Of course, Timmy’s plan does not include the four-foot-tall female whose name shall not be uttered. And it doesn’t include Rollo Tookus, who is so obsessed with getting into “Stanfurd” that he cant carry out a no-brainer spy mission. From the offbeat creator of” Pearls Before Swine” comes an endearingly bumbling hero in a caper whose peerless hilarity is accompanied by a whodunit twist. With perfectly paced visual humor, Stephan Pastis gets you snorting with laughter, then slyly carries the joke a beat further — or sweetens it with an unexpected poignant moment — making this a comics-inspired story (the first in a new series) that truly stands apart from the pack.

06. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Lisa

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, read by Lisa, on 08/10/2013

A major new work from “a writer to make readers rejoice” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)—a moving story of memory, magic, and survival

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

06. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Lisa

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff, read by Lisa, on 08/08/2013

Told in multiple viewpoints, A Tangle of Knots is a magnificent puzzle. In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. But little does she know that fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born. And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emporium, an old recipe, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever.  However, these encounters hold the key to Cady’s past and how she became an orphan.  If she’s lucky, fate may reunite her with her long-lost parent.

06. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa · Tags:

Sparrow Road by Sheila O'Connor, read by Lisa, on 08/05/2013

In this affecting and beautifully written story of family and forgiveness, 12-year-old Raine spends the summer at a mysterious artists colony and discovers a secret about her past.

06. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown, read by Lisa, on 08/03/2013

Born a bastard, Molly Bolt is adopted by a dirt-poor Southern couple who want something better for their daughter. Molly plays doctor with the boys, beats up Leroy the tub and loses her virginity to her girlfriend in sixth grade.

As she grows to realize she’s different, Molly decides not to apologize for that. In no time she mesmerizes the head cheerleader of Ft. Lauderdale High and captivates a gorgeous bourbon-guzzling heiress.

But the world is not tolerant. Booted out of college for moral turpitude, an unrepentant, penniless Molly takes New York by storm, sending not a few female hearts aflutter with her startling beauty, crackling wit and fierce determination to become the greatest filmmaker that ever lived.

Critically acclaimed when first published, Rubyfruit Jungle has only grown in reputation as it has reached new generations of readers who respond to its feisty and inspiring heroine.

06. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

Finally by Wendy Mass, read by Lisa, on 08/01/2013

After her twelfth birthday, Rory checks off a list of things she is finally allowed to do, but unexpected consequences interfere with her involvement in the movie being shot at her school, while a weird prediction starts to make sense.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Informational Book, Lisa, NonFiction

Wolves and Other Wild Dogs by Mary E. Reid, read by Lisa, on 07/29/2013

Questions and answers explore the world of wild dogs, with an emphasis on wolves.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, read by Lisa, on 07/27/2013

A National Book Award winner, this modern classic is perfect for fans of Noel Streatfeild and Edward Eager.
This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundels sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundels owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.
The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will–wont they? One things for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.
Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer day.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Lisa, NonFiction

From diapers to dating : a parent's guide to raising sexually healthy children by Debra W. Haffner, read by Lisa, on 07/26/2013

A leading educator offers a practical, step-by-step program to help parents provide accurate information about sexuality and communicate their own values to their children.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Lisa, NonFiction

Peaceful parent, happy kids : how to stop yelling and start connecting by Laura Markham, read by Lisa, on 07/23/2013

A groundbreaking guide to raising responsible, capable, happy kids.Based on the latest research on brain development and clinical experience with parents, Dr. Laura Markham’s approach is as simple as it is effective. Her message: Fostering emotional connection with your child creates real and lasting change. When you have that vital connection, you don’t need to threaten, nag, plead, bribe—or even punish.This remarkable guide will help parents better understand their own emotions—and get them in check—so they can parent with healthy limits, empathy, and clear communication to raise a self-disciplined child. Step-by-step examples give solutions and kid-tested phrasing for parents of toddlers right through the elementary years.If you’re tired of power struggles, tantrums, and searching for the right ‘consequence,’ look no further. You’re about to discover the practical tools you need to transform your parenting in a positive, proven way.’Dr. Laura shows parents how their empathy can wire their child’s brain for emotional regulation and happiness-and a brighter future for humanity. A simple yet revolutionary message of love.’ Nancy Samalin, MS, bestselling author of four books including Loving Without Spoiling’If you want to feel more confindent and peaceful as a parent, this is the book. Dr Laura helps you understand what drives your child’s behavior, and gives you the practical tools to change it.’ Elizabeth Pantley, bestselling author of twelve books including The No Cry Sleep Solution

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

Just For You To Know by Cheryl Harness, read by Lisa, on 07/21/2013

As her family noisily slurps root beers at a drive-in stop, Carmen longs to be invisible — especially when Clark and Larry shout out the news about Mama. Can it get any worse than this? Carmen imagines she’s been kidnapped — how else did she wind up as one of the Cathcarts. . . . At almost thirteen she’s the oldest, with five noisy little brothers, a dreamy mom, and a sometimes reckless dad. When she’s a famous artist, she’ll get away from them all! This wonderfully honest and bighearted first novel mirrors life. Carmen Cathcart becomes a friend as, with a voice that is deeply moving yet often funny, she shares the importance of holding on to your dreams and what it means to be a family.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery

The Secret Tree by Natalie Standiford, read by Lisa, on 07/19/2013

A sweet story of a tree that’s literally filled with secrets.

What is your secret?

Minty’s neighborhood is full of mysteries. There’s the Witch House, a spooky old farmhouse on the other side of woods from where Minty and her best friend, Paz, live. There’s the Man Bat, a seven-foot-tall half man, half bat who is rumored to fly through the woods. And there are the Mean Boys, David and Troy, who torment Minty for no reason, and her boy-crazy older sister, Thea, who acts weirder and weirder.

One day Minty spots a flash in the woods, and when she chases after it, she discovers a new mystery–a Secret Tree, with a hollow trunk that holds the secrets of everyone in the neighborhood. Secrets like:

I put a curse on my enemy. And it’s working.

I’m betraying my best friend in a terrible way.

No one loves me except my goldfish.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa, Poetry · Tags:

Hidden by Helen Frost, read by Lisa, on 07/16/2013

When Wren Abbott and Darra Monson are eight years old, Darra’s father steals a minivan. He doesn’t know that Wren is hiding in the back. The hours and days that follow change the lives of both girls. Darra is left with a question that only Wren can answer. Wren has questions, too.

Years later, in a chance encounter at camp, the girls face each other for the first time. They can finally learn the truth – that is, if they’re willing to reveal to each other the stories that they’ve hidden for so long. Told from alternating viewpoints, this novel-in-poems reveals the complexities of memory and the strength of a friendship that can overcome pain.

30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Lisa

Smiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli, read by Lisa, on 07/13/2013

Will Tuppence’s life has always been ruled by science and common sense but in ninth grade, shaken up by the discovery that protons decay, he begins to see the entire world differently and gains new perspective on his relationships with his little sister and two closest friends.