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

Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh, 302 pages, 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, 176 pages, 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, 225 pages, 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, 365 pages, 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, 172 pages, 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, 165 pages, 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, 396 pages, 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, 552 pages, 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, 224 pages, 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, 175 pages, 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, 331 pages, 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.

03. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Cats, Fiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

Downton Tabby by Chris Kelly, 80 pages, read by Tammy, on 07/02/2014

For cat lovers who also like Downton Abbey. Some of the text is related just to cats but if you’ve watched the show you’ll get the inside fan jokes too. downton tabby

25. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Food, Mystery, Tammy · Tags:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanna Fluke, 431 pages, read by Tammy, on 06/25/2014

chocolate chipFirst book in a fun, light, cozy mystery series with recipes! Hannah Swensen keeps busy running The Cookie Jar, a bakery in the town of Lake Eden, Minnesota. Her life takes a sudden turn when the local dairy’s deliveryman is found murdered behind her bakery with her cookies scattered all around him, she decides she’d better find the killer herself. 

 

24. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Tammy · Tags: , ,

Skin Game by Jim Butcher, 454 pages, read by Tammy, on 06/22/2014

skin gameOur intrepid hero, Harry Dresden, wizard of the White Council, Winter Knight of Mab’s court and former private detective in Chicago returns for another adventure. Mab promises his services to one of Harry’s arch-enemies to fulfill a promise so Harry has no choice but to go along and help him with a heist. Not just any heist. A holy relic from the vault of an ancient god, of course. Butters, Murphy and Michael all feature prominently in this tale too.

 

24. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Short Stories, Tammy · Tags: ,

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman, 339 pages, read by Tammy, on 06/23/2014

smoke and mirrorsA collection of magical, mystical short stories by a master of fantasy, Neil Gaiman. Explore a world hidden by smoke and darkness. Don’t plan on sleeping well right after reading this beautiful but haunting collection.

 

24. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Tammy

The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, 360 pages, read by Tammy, on 06/20/2014

familiarsThe first book in a fun new children’s series. Aldwyn the cat runs into an alley to save his life and ends up ducking into an unusual pet store. All the animals in the store have magical abilities. They are called Familiars and the human companions are Loyals. Aldwyn decides to play along and pretend he has abilities to make a clean escape and is chosen by Jack, a young wizard.To keep up the ruse and have his meals provided, Aldwyn must convince the other familiars, a blue jay named Skylar and a tree frog named Gilbert that he is a powerful familiar too.

Then Jack and the other two young wizards in training are captured and the familiars set out to rescue them. Humor and a grand adventure ensue.

 

24. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Tammy · Tags:

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, 370 pages, read by Tammy, on 06/17/2014

neverwhereHave you ever wondered what’s beneath your city streets? Some cities have miles of tunnels and passages beneath them. Some built for maintenance others ruins of older buildings streets that have been built over with time.

In this story Richard Mayhew’s simple act of kindness sends him into a fantastical city beneath the city of London. A city of monsters, angels, and knights awaits him.

23. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Tammy · Tags:

Stardust by Neil Gamain, 250 pages, read by Tammy, on 06/12/2014

stardustA boy who is half mortal half/fairy leaves his Victorian-English village on a search for a fallen star. The star’s path leads him into a magical realm. The star turns out to be much more than just an ordinary star and leads him into adventures with unicorns, elf-lords and ships that can sail in the sky and many more fantastical adventures.

23. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: History, NonFiction, Tammy

City of Falling Angels by John Berendt, 414 pages, read by Tammy, on 06/09/2014

city of fallingBy the author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil comes another splendidly written history of a city and it’s people. Here he turns his skills to the story of Venice and explores it’s mystery and opulence. Using a cast of real characters he weaves an atmospheric tale centering around a fire that destroyed the historic opera house.