30. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Biographies, NonFiction, Pamela

Kiefer Sutherland: Living Dangerously by Christopher Heard, 267 pages, read by Pamela, on 08/30/2014

ksld

This book chronicles Kiefer Sutherland’s rise to Jack Bauer fame, professionally and personally.  He did not ride into show business on his daddy’s, Donald Sutherland, coat tails as some may think.  He did it his way.

We get a glimpse of his early life, his struggles early in his film career, as well as intermittently throughout, and his incredible work ethic.  He’s never late for work and is the consummate professional.  Sutherland works hard and plays hard.  He pays the price and reaps the reward for both.  Much of what is recanted in this book you’ve probably heard some rendition of through the Hollywood grape vine, but it’s fun to read it anyway.

From movies, to voice overs, to personal relationships, to his interest in helping young music talent breaking into the business, this book covers it all.

07. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, NonFiction, Pamela · Tags:

Jim the wonder dog by Clarence Dewey Mitchell, 143 pages, read by Pamela, on 08/07/2014

jim 1   jim 2jim 3Jim the wonder dog was known around Missouri and the continental United States for his uncanny ability to do anything his master asked him to do.

His breed, Llewellyn English Setter, was known for being a bird dog.  His master Sam Van Arsdale sent him to a kennel for training, but Jim decided that unless there were birds about, he saw no need to alert his trainer.  The trainer noted that he was a smart dog of unusual intelligence because in the heat of the day with no birds about, Jim decided to seek shade rather than run about in the fields.  This was only the beginning of Jim’s demonstration of his intelligence.

Mr. Van Arsdale tested Jim quite frequently in front of various audiences.  He asked Jim to identify people with certain hair color, specific colored clothing, and people who were skeptics in the crowd.  Jim never failed a test.

This book details many instances where Jim performed unfailingly throughout his twelve year life.

His life is celebrated in Marshall, Missouri where he lived most of those years.  In 1999, the town built and dedicated a park in Jim’s honor.

This book is a nice piece of Missouri animal history.

06. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Pamela

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, 455 pages, read by Pamela, on 07/29/2014

19 minIn nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five….In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.

Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens — until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence. In the aftermath, the town’s residents must not only seek justice in order to begin healing but also come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy. For them, the lines between truth and fiction, right and wrong, insider and outsider have been obscured forever. Josie Cormier, the teenage daughter of the judge sitting on the case, could be the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened in front of her own eyes. And as the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show, destroying the closest of friendships and families.

Nineteen Minutes is New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult’s most raw, honest, and important novel yet. Told with the straightforward style for which she has become known, it asks simple questions that have no easy answers: Can your own child become a mystery to you? What does it mean to be different in our society? Is it ever okay for a victim to strike back? And who — if anyone — has the right to judge someone else?

29. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Children's Books, Fiction, Pamela

The five lives of our cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin, 229 pages, read by Pamela, on 07/06/2014

zookIn this warmhearted middle-grade novel, Oona and her brother, Fred, love their cat, Zook (short for Zucchini), but Zook is sick. As they conspire to break him out of the vet’s office, Oona tells the stories of his previous lives, ranging in style from fairy tale to grand epic to slice of life. Each of Zook’s lives have echoes in Oona’s own family life, which is going through a transition she’s not yet ready to face. Her father died two years ago, and her mother has started a relationship with a man named Dylan—whom Oona secretly calls “the villain.” The truth about Dylan, and about Zook’s medical condition, drives the drama in this loving family story.

07. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Drama, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Pamela

Be careful what you wish for by Jeffrey Archer, 387 pages, read by Pamela, on 07/02/2014

cliftonWhen Ross Buchanan is forced to resign as chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, Emma Clifton wants to take his place, but Don Pedro Martinez plans to install his puppet, the egregious Major Alex Fisher, so he can destroy the Barrington family firm once and for all. The talented Jessica Clifton, Harry and Emma’s adopted daughter, wins a scholarship to the Slade Academy of Art and falls in love with a fellow student, Clive Bingham, who asks her to marry him. Both families are delighted and preparations for the nuptials are well under way, when Charlotte Bingham, Jessica’s future mother-in-law, has a visit from an old friend, Lady Virginia Fenwick, who drops her particular brand of poison into the wedding chalice. But then, without warning, a man no one had ever heard of takes his place on the board of Barringtons and causes an upheaval that none of them could have anticipated. Cedric Hardcastle, a bluff Yorkshire banker, quickly decides who he should support, Emma Clifton or Don Pedro Martinez, and the story takes yet another twist.

25. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Pamela

Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well by Nancy Atherton, 278 pages, read by Pamela, on 06/02/2014

aunt dimityWhen a strapping young Australian named Jack MacBride arrives in Finch to wrap up his late uncle’s affairs, heads turn in the sleepy English village. But when Lori volunteers to help Jack clear out his uncle’s overgrown garden, they discover something even more shocking than a stranger turning up in Finch. After Lori laughingly tosses a coin into the garden’s old well and makes a wish, she is baffled to find that the wish seems to have come true. Word spreads, and the villagers turn out in droves to make wishes of their own. But as they soon learn, one person’s wish is another person’s worst nightmare and the village is thrown into chaos. As more and more wishes come true, Lori resolves to find out what’s really going on. Is handsome Jack somehow tricking his neighbors? Or are they fooling themselves? With Aunt Dimity’s otherworldly help, Lori discovers that the truth is even more marvelous than a magical wishing well.

25. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Pamela

Walking on Water by Richard Paul Evans, 305 pages, read by Pamela, on 06/03/2014

walking on water Alan Christoffersen finishes his journey from coast to coast in this installment of the “Walk” series.  After making it to southern Georgia, a west coast crisis brings him back to his father’s home, one that threatens to upend his world just as he had begun to heal from so much loss, leaving him unsure of whether he can reach the end his journey. It will take the love of a new friend, and the wisdom of an old friend, to help him to finally leave the past behind and find the strength and hope to live again.

29. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Cats, Fiction, Pamela · Tags:

The Cat Who Came in from the Cold by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, 128 pages, read by Pamela, on 05/28/2014

the-cat-who-came-in-from-the-coldCats are loners, and Billi is no exception. He wanders through the ancient Indian countryside among other animals, enjoying a sense of freedom. Holiday season approaches; the Monsoon, when the skies go dark and the rains come, has arrived. At a time when everyone is eager to be home with family and friends, Billi is alone… and lonely. Walking into a village, Billi gazes through windows and sees a cozy fire, a content dog, a happy family with children. Inspired, an untamed soul begins the transformative journey to a new life of warmth and togetherness. With his inimitable storytelling gifts and unparalleled ability to penetrate the feline psyche, Jeffrey Masson captures Billi’s aloofness, mischievousness, and ultimately his new perspective on the deep connection shared by humans and their feline friends.

29. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

False Impression by Jeffrey Archer, 375 pages, read by Pamela, on 05/16/2014

false imprWhy was an elegant lady brutally murdered the night before 9/11?   Why was a successful New York banker not surprised to receive a woman’s left ear in the morning mail?   Why did a top Manhattan lawyer work only for one client, but never charge a fee?   Why did a young woman with a bright career steal a priceless Van Gogh painting? Why was an Olympic gymnast paid a million dollars an assignment when she didn’t have a bank account?   Why was an honors graduate working as a temporary secretary after inheriting a fortune?   Why was an English Countess ready to kill the banker, the lawyer and the gymnast even if it meant spending the rest of her life in jail?   Why was a Japanese steel magnate happy to hand over $50,000,000 to a woman he had only met once?    Why was a senior FBI agent trying to work out the connection between these eight apparently innocent individuals?   All these questions are answered in Jeffrey Archer’s latest novel, False Impression, but not before a breathtaking journey of twists and turns that will take readers from New York to London to Bucharest and on to Tokyo, and finally a sleepy English village, where the mystery of Van Gogh’s last painting will finally be resolved.   And only then will readers discover that Van Gogh’s Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear has a secret of its own that acts as the final twist in this unforgettable yarn.

05. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Drama, Fiction, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer, 687 pages, read by Pamela, on 04/25/2014

birth

If Danny Cartwright had proposed to Beth Wilson on any other day, he would not have been arrested and charged with the murder of his best friend. But when the prosecution witnesses happen to be a group of four upper-crust college friends—a barrister, a popular actor, an aristocrat, and the youngest partner in an established firm’s history—who is going to believe Danny’s side of the story?

Danny is sentenced to twenty-two years and sent to Belmarsh prison, the highest-security jail in the land, from where no inmate has ever escaped. But Spencer Craig, Lawrence Davenport, Gerald Payne, and Toby Mortimer all underestimate Danny’s determination to seek revenge—and the extent to which his fiancée Beth will go in pursuit of justice.

26. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Drama, Fiction, Humor, Pamela, Romance

The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani, 338 pages, read by Pamela, on 04/21/2014

macaroni

In The Supreme Macaroni Company, Adriana Trigiani transports readers from the cobblestone streets of Greenwich Village to lush New Orleans to Italy and back again while exploring the tricky dynamics between Old World craftsmanship and New World ambition, all amid a passionate love affair that fuels one woman’s determination to have it all.

For over a hundred years, the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village has relied on the leather produced by Vechiarelli & Son in Tuscany. This ancient business partnership provides the twist of fate for Valentine Roncalli, the schoolteacher turned shoemaker, to fall in love with Gianluca Vechiarelli, a tanner with a complex past . . . and a secret.

But after the wedding celebrations are over, Valentine wakes up to the hard reality of juggling the demands of a new business and the needs of her new family. Confronted with painful choices, Valentine remembers the wise words that inspired her in the early days of her beloved Angelini Shoe Company: “A person who can build a pair of shoes can do just about anything.” Now the proud, passionate Valentine is going to fight for everything she wants and savor all she deserves–the bitter and the sweet of life itself.

Romantic and poignant, told with humor and warmth, and bursting with a cast of endearing characters, The Supreme Macaroni Company is a sumptuous feast of delights: an unforgettable narrative about family, work, romance, and the unexpected turns of life and fate.

24. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Humor, Pamela, Romance · Tags:

Stop the Wedding! by Stephanie Bond, 178 pages, read by Pamela, on 03/23/2014

weddingDivorce attorney, Annabelle Coakley is quite upset that her mother is planning to remarry.  And, marrying washed up film star, Martin Castleberry, to boot.  She heads to Atlanta with one goal in mind – stop the wedding!

Clay Castleberry, the groom’s son, leaves unfinished business in Paris to hopefully buy off the new lady in his father’s life.

Even though Annabelle and Clay don’t get off on the right foot, they decide to join forces and work together to stop their parent’s wedding.  They soon discover they have feelings for one another, although neither will admit it.

This was a cute little romance; sort of predictable; and available only on book on CD in our library.  Enjoy!

14. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Drama, Fiction, Pamela, Romance

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen, 252 pages, read by Pamela, on 03/09/2014

bread crumbsRebecca Winter, a once famous photographer, sublets her Manhattan apartment, to hopefully, pay the monthly expenses she has become responsible for and, to inject some cash flow into her dwindling bank account.  This is a story of city mouse moves to the country and finds that life isn’t all that bad.  She finds subject matter for a new photo collection and unexpected love in a man 30 years her junior.

This is the first book by Anna Quindlen that I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I think you will, too.

03. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Drama, Fiction, Mystery, Pamela

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl by Fannie Flagg, 467 pages, read by Pamela, on 02/27/2014

baby girlDena Nordstrom, a 70’s television news person, is on her way up the ladder of success when she gets side tracked by illness and a desire to find out what happened to her mother.  Her mother disappeared one Christmas when Dena was young, never to be heard from again.

There is a colorful cast of characters within the pages of this book.  Norma and Macky Warren and Aunt Elner from Elmwood Springs, Missouri, cousins and aunt, respectively, nutty in their own way, and so proud of Dena; Ira Wallace and Sidney Capello, two cut throat modern day sleaze journalists; and Sookie, Dena’s college roommate, who would do just about anything for her; Kappa sisters forever.

The book quickly wraps up in the last several pages with an ending I didn’t see coming.  More to come in the Elmwood Springs series with “Standing in the Rainbow”.

27. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fiction, Pamela

Arabian Nights by Martin Waddell, 64 pages, read by Pamela, on 02/26/2014

arabian nightsTwo little stories children will just love.

When an evil magician needs Aladdin to fetch a magic lamp, Aladdin is too smart for him. But the magician soon wants his revenge. And, the Youngest-of All tried to please her two sisters. But they want to spoil her happiness. Can she still marry her beloved prince?

26. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Inspirational, NonFiction, Pamela

The Four Doors by Richard Paul Evans, 142 pages, read by Pamela, on 02/24/2014

4 doorsThe Four Doors is Evans’s message to those who seek inspiration in their lives. It began as a talk he gave on the spur of the moment, and over the course of ten years, it has evolved into a message he has shared with successful business people, students, and even addicts and prisoners. It includes stories his readers have told him, stories about great achievers who overcame hardships, and stories about his own struggle growing up in a large family with financial difficulties and a suicidal mother, and about his diagnosis of Tourette’s Syndrome later in life. These inspiring stories are woven through his identification and careful explanation of the four doors to a more fulfilling life:

BELIEVE THERE’ S A REASON YOU WERE BORN

FREE YOURSELF FROM LIMITATION

MAGNIF Y YOUR LIFE

DEVELOP A LOVE-CENTERED MAP

Evans believes that we all want to know the meaning of our lives. In The Four Doors, he shows how even the most quiet life can be full of purpose and joy, if we choose to take that first step over the threshold.

If you’re a Richard Paul Evans fan, I think you’ll like this book. It’s a quick read, short and concise.

25. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, NonFiction, Pamela · Tags: ,

Raisel's Riddle by Erica Silverman, 32 pages, read by Pamela, on 02/22/2014

riddleThis is lovely Jewish version of the Cinderella story.  Raisel was raised by her grandfather, a poor scholar who studied day and night.  When Raisel’s grandfather dies she travels to the nearby city and comes to live in a rabbi’s home.  She is belittled by the cook (wicked stepmother) and made to work harder than she ever has in her life.  An old beggar woman (fairy godmother) visits her and gives her three wishes.  The one caveat is the wishes do not last past midnight.  Raisel attends the Purim ball where no one recognizes her.  She poses a riddle (lost slipper) to the rabbi’s son, then quickly leaves as it is getting close to midnight.  The rabbi’s son eventually finds the woman who shared the riddle and they live happily ever after.

16. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Pamela

The Island by Elin Hilderbrand, 407 pages, read by Pamela, on 02/15/2014

islandBirdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess’s lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor in her Connecticut back yard to the color of the cocktail napkins. Like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is weathering the storms of excitement and chaos, tears and joy. But Birdie, a woman who prides herself on preparing for every possibility, could never have predicted the late-night phone call from Chess, abruptly announcing that she’s cancelled her engagement.

It’s only the first hint of what will be a summer of upheavals and revelations. Before the dust has even begun to settle, far worse news arrives, sending Chess into a tailspin of despair. Reluctantly taking a break from the first new romance she’s embarked on since the recent end of her 30-year marriage, Birdie circles the wagons and enlists the help of her younger daughter Tate and her own sister India. Soon all four are headed for beautiful, rustic Tuckernuck Island, off the coast of Nantucket, where their family has summered for generations. No phones, no television, no grocery store – a place without distractions where they can escape their troubles.

But throw sisters, daughters, ex-lovers, and long-kept secrets onto a remote island, and what might sound like a peaceful getaway becomes much more. Before summer has ended, dramatic truths are uncovered, old loves are rekindled, and new loves make themselves known.
13. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Graphic Novel, Pamela

Fractured Fables by Multiple Authors, 159 pages, read by Pamela, on 02/08/2014

fablesKids will get a kick out of these well known fairy tales and fables that have been rewritten and illustrated in comic book fashion.

This is a humorous take on 30 familiar fairy tales and fables where Cinderella and Pinocchio have attitude, the Little Mermaid has really bad luck, and Little Red Riding Hood karate kicks the big bad wolf all the way back to his house.

04. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, NonFiction, Pamela

Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Scotland by Virginia Haviland, 120 pages, read by Pamela, on 02/02/2014

scotlandSix traditional fairy tales from Scotland. . .The Page Boy and the Silver Goblet, The Wee Bannock, Peerifool, The Brownie o’ Ferne-Den, The Good Housewife and Her Night Labors, and Assipattle and the Giant Sea Serpent.