29. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Science Fiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

Doctor Who: The Forgotten Army by Brian Minchin, read by Tammy, on 10/27/2014

dr whoThe Doctor takes Amy to New York in the near future. He plans on buying her the best burger ever, the one that aliens travel across the galaxy and even back in time to eat. As they join the line they notice a police force moving through the streets. What is happening at the museum? Why are people running and yelling away from a new exhibit of a prehistoric woolly mammoth?

Turns out an army from a distant planet has come to overthrow the earth, but they thought they’d show up in the prehistoric era, not in the 21st century in one of the largest cities on Earth. In spite of this glitch the army is still determined to take over and enslave the humans instead of the large prehistoric creatures. Of course, at first the Doctor and Amy don’t take them seriously as they are only 3 inches tall but they are very clever and technologically advanced. Once they capture the Doctor what is Amy to do? Who can she trust?

i work at a public libraryStrange but true stories from a librarian who worked in public libraries in Missouri and California. Contrary to what many of our patrons believe libraries are not always quiet, calm places where nothing unusual happens. As a mentoring staff member said to me when I first started, remember this is a public library that means we will see all of the public, people from every walk of life and in every kind of situation.

No two days are exactly the same at a public library. There are the  sweet moments, sad moments, the times when you’ve just made someone’s day simply by having the book or movie they were looking for, or telling a patron they have a late fee is the last straw on an already bad day. But sometimes you get those moments where you might have just made a major difference in someone’s life today.

A  lot of the stories in the book are the more amusing and unusual happenings that Gina Sheridan encountered at the libraries where she has worked but some are touching too.

23. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Cats, Tammy

For the Love of Cats: Purrfect Felines by Dena Harris, read by Tammy, on 10/12/2014

for the love of cats  A unique mixture of true cat history, legends, statistics about cats and cat owners, quotes, trivia, poems and all other things cat related with beautiful and adorable photos of cats.

23. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell, read by Tammy, on 10/15/2014

what the dog sawGladwell’s fourth book brings together the best of his writing from the New Yorker in the past decade. He discusses not just interesting and unique people but tries to discover what they are thinking that led them to these theories or to be the unique individual they are.

Here you’ll find the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill, and the dazzling creations of pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz. Gladwell sits with Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen, as he sells rotisserie ovens, and divines the secrets of Cesar Millan, the “dog whisperer” who can calm savage animals with the touch of his hand. He explores intelligence tests and ethnic profiling and why it was that employers in Silicon Valley once tripped over themselves to hire the same college graduate.

Even though I picked up this book because I was expecting a story collection with animals I found these essays thought-provoking and challenging yet enjoyable. This is how this book is similar to his previous three titles, Blink, The Outliers and the Tipping Point.

diary of a catWritten as the daily diary of an unnamed house cat, Diary of a Cat shows you the world through a feline perspective. Cat shares what he sees in his own neighborhood and not just the birds but what his human neighbors are up to as well. You will discover what Cat is thinking while he stays at a single speck on the wall, how it feels about a new kitten moving into his house and why sleeping is such a vital all-day activity and much more.
A funny, sweet read.

jennifer's wayThe National Foundation for Celiac Awareness estimates that as many as one in 133 Americans has celiac disease. This includes my 7-year-old niece who was recently diagnosed after almost a year of unexplained severe stomach pains. People with celiac disease are unable to process gluten which is found in wheat, rye and barley and many everyday items you wouldn’t think of such as some brands of toothpastes. The gluten triggers there body to mount an immune response that attacks the small intestine causing pain and preventing the body from receiving nutrients and being able to process some other foods often dairy.

Unfortunately, 83 percent of people who have this disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed—suffering through years of pain and misunderstanding.Actress Jennifer Esposito received an accurate diagnosis only after decades of mysterious illnesses and myriad misdiagnoses.

Now Jennifer shares her personal journey—from her childhood in Brooklyn to her years as a young actress, all the while suffering from unexplained ailments. Jennifer’s struggle to finally receive an accurate diagnosis is one that anyone who has a chronic disease will share.

Not only will you learn Jennifer’s personal story through her diagnosis to healing, but you’ll find recipes she uses at home, along with recipes for some of the delicious treats she offers at her own gluten-free bakery, Jennifer’s Way, in New York.

For anyone with a chronic illness or friend or family member with a chronic illness this is an encouraging and uplifting read about getting through the daily struggles.

23. October 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Food, Tammy · Tags: ,

The Quilter's Kitchen by Jennifer Chiavernini, read by Tammy, on 10/19/2014

quilter's kitchenA new staff member comes to Elm Creek, their first professional chef. Sylvia agrees to let Anna update and modernize the kitchen but Anna also wants to honor the history and warmth of the historic manor. As the two ladies work together to pack up the kitchen in preparation for the remodel, they come across some family treasures including some old family recipes.

Besides introducing a new character to the book series, this book also shares some of the family recipes mentioned in earlier works as well as some new ones by Anna. Warm and cozy as an old quilt.

12. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Tammy, Thriller/Suspense · Tags:

The Secret History by Donna Tartt, read by Tammy, on 10/05/2014

secret historyThe story of a group of eccentric college students who fall under the spell of their charismatic professor. They seek to learn profound truths from the classics especially the Greeks. But one experiment into ancient Greek traditions goes awry and they learn how easy it is to kill.

Told from the viewpoint of a new student in the classic who learns of the event afterwards and shares how the moral and ethically decisions the group makes from that point on affected the rest of their lives.

06. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tammy · Tags:

Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh, read by Tammy, on 09/18/2014

The Dane family’s roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn’t keep sixteen-year

-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy’s few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls-the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn’t protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri’s necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers. What Lucy discovers makes it impossible to ignore the suspicion cast on her own kin. More alarming, she suspects Cheri’s death could be linked to her mother’s disappearance, and the connection between the two puts Lucy at risk of losing everything. In a place where the bonds of blood weigh heavy, Lucy must decide where her allegiances lie.

True to life descriptions of life in rural small town Missouri deep in the Ozarks.

Flavorful, gluten-free meals that will leave kids begging for more!Every year, millions of children are diagnosed with Celiac’s disease or gluten intolerance, but the dietary changes necessary to treat them don’t come easy.

My favorite part of this book was the first chapter which described how to set-up a Gluten-Free kitchen and addressed possibilities for cross-contamination that I had not considered, such as using wooden spoons which retain traces of gluten or one child putting peanut butter on regular bread and leaving traces of gluten in the peanut butter than the gluten sensitive child coming along with a clean knife and getting the peanut butter with traces of gluten and spreading that on their special gluten free bread.

06. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Short Stories, Tammy · Tags:

The Outlaw Album: Stories by Daniel Woodrell, read by Tammy, on 09/28/2014

I enjoyed this collection of short stories all set in rural Missouri more than any short story collection I’ve read in years. The main characters, setting and plots are fully fleshed out to tell you their story. There is a wide range of emotions experienced as you read these stories. There is tenderness and loyalty between family and friends but also some desperate and psychologically damaged characters.

This is my second favorite book of his, second only to Winter’s Bone.

06. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tammy · Tags:

Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell, read by Tammy, on 09/15/2014

Daniel Woodrell depicts the rough existence of a three young adults born into poverty in rural Missouri. Jamalee just wants a chance out of her tiny home town of West Table where everyone knows her family history and what side of town she’s from. She wants to bring along her brother, Jason, a sweet beautiful seventeen-year-old boy. Then along comes Sammy Barlach, a young drifter who doesn’t always go looking for trouble but sure seems to find him. The damage this unlikely trio does is mostly to themselves and the novel is full of the harsh realities of broken dreams.

12. September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Tammy

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett, read by Tammy, on 09/03/2014

raising steamA thoroughly enjoyable visit to Ankh-Morpork. This time the steam engine has been discovered. An engineer creates the first train and it soon expands beyond his dream to railways being built out to far-lying areas and other countries involving the Watch, the patrician, the press, Henry King as the financial backer and Moist Von Lipwig trying to organize and facilitate it all while not getting killed by angry dwarfs, scoundrels in the desert, rogue goblins or the first steam engine itself, Iron Girder.

Can be a stand alone story though I think readers of earlier Disc-world novels will enjoy it more as they will know the background stories of many of the characters and how they have interacted in past stories.

 

03. September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Science Fiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher, read by Tammy, on 09/01/2014

emperor strikethFor all those fans of Star Wars who are also fans of the bard… comes this new trilogy of plays. This is the second book in the series that picks up the Elizabethan space adventure of young Luke and his trusty droids, C3-P0 and R2-D2. Told in beautiful verse and iambic pentameter experience the story of Star Wars as you never have before.

03. September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Science Fiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return by Ian Doescher, read by Tammy, on 09/02/2014

jedi doth returnThe final play in this trilogy of Elizabethan space adventure. Complete with rebels, droids, a power mad emperor and a dashing young hero. All in iambic pentameter of course and
illustrated with beautiful black-and-white Elizabethan-style artwork.

24. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, read by Tammy, on 08/24/2014

husbansExplores the secrets of multiple families and how they affect not only the person keeping the secret and their spouse their families and communities as well. Acclaimed author Moriarty creates a thought-provoking tale set in Australia but really could be set anywhere.

The first character the reader is introduced to is Cecilia Fitzpatrick and extremely well-organized lady who runs her spotless home as efficiently as she does her thriving Tupperware business. All is good in Cecilia’s world until she finds a letter written by her husband to be “opened only upon my death” among some papers in the attack. Does she open it? Does she as
k him about it? It really couldn’t be anything that bad could it?

We are also introduced to Rachel and Tess and discover their painful family secret early in their chapters. How the lives of all three ladies intertwine is what keeps moving this story along.

 

24. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fiction, Science Fiction, Tammy, Teen Books · Tags:

Cress by Marissa Meyer, read by Tammy, on 08/07/2014

cressThe continuing story of the cyborg Cinder and her ragamuffin group of friends trying to save the people of the Earth and Luna (the moon) from the evil queen of Luna, Levana. Cinder, Captain Thorne, Scarlet and Wolf discover a girl imprisoned on a satellite. Believing she has information and skills that can help them overthrow Levana they set out to rescue Cress.

When the daring rescue goes awry the group ends up separated. Meanwhile Queen Levana moves along the wedding plans to Emperor Kai. Can Cinder rescue her friends before it’s too late. What will Cinder decide about her own future. Can she give up her freedom to save all the rest of inhabitants of Earth?

 

30. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Cats, Fiction, Humor, Tammy

The Devious Book for Cats: A Parody by Fluffy and Bonkers, read by Tammy, on 07/30/2014

devious book for catsA funny book of advice for cats from cats. But seriously, it’s a parady of the popular Dangerous Book for Boys and Daring Book for Girls that tells the kids how to do stuff that used to be common knowledge for most people. Everything from building a fire safely in the woods to how to play marbles to the importance of writing a letter (yes, with pen and paper) for certain situations. The books also feature lesser known but important men and women from history that the authors felt could be good role models for children.

This book advises cats on how to train their human, how to be the best hunter they can be and also gives them “histories” of famous and important cats. If you love cats and especially if you have a house cat you will recognize a lot of these behaviors and they way the authors interpret what the cats are thinking is hilarious.

21. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, Tammy · Tags:

I am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton, read by Tammy, on 07/08/2014

pusheenHumorous collection of drawings of Pusheen the cat and pointers on day to day activities in the life of a cat. I first saw Pusheen on Facebook as an a collection of emoticon art you can add to private messages then saw the book.

21. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Tammy · Tags:

Longbourn by Jo Baker, read by Tammy, on 07/10/2014

longbournAnother great read for fans of Downton Abbey or Pride and Prejudice. If you like both then it’s really great! Longbourn is the home of the Bennett family. Mr and Mrs. Bennett and their five daughters all of an age to start looking for a husband. But Longbourn is also the home of Mr. and Mrs. Hill (butler and cook), Sarah a housemaid, Polly a housemaid and James the new footman.  The overall story line follows the same events as Pride and Prejudice but everything is told from the viewpoint of the servants. As well as writing the servants as complete characters with full lives of their own.