28. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Science Fiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown, read by Tammy, on 04/20/2014

star wars jedi academyAuthor and illustrator Jeff Brown brings us the story of Roan and his first year at the Jedi Academy as a late-starter. He brings both the middle school experience and Jedi training to life. Told through drawings, comics, letters and diary entries we see Roan progress through his being the new kid at school to being proud to be a Jedi. Fun for the whole family and kid-friendly. Though some words throughout will be challenging for younger readers and will require a parent’s assistance. As an adult Star Wars fan I enjoyed the story as well.

hollow city   The story picks up where Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children ended with Jacob and his peculiar friends running for their lives from hollows and the wights and trying to figure out a way to save Miss Peregrine. They aren’t sure if there are any safe time loops left or if they have all been destroyed. Can they find someone who knows how to turn Miss Peregrine back into a human? The children travel into war-torn London and come across other peculiar folks along the way. Once again the author uses vintage black and white photographs to illustrate his story creating a different visual experience for the reader.

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Graphic Book, Humor, Tammy · Tags: , ,

Too Much Information (Unshelved # 9) by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum, read by Tammy, on 03/26/2014

tmiToday it is easy to find information. Too much and too easy to come by maybe. Is it accurate? Is it reliable? In this Unshelved daily e-comic collection the staff of library workers help Mallville’s citizens make sense of all that information while dealing with their worrisome budget problems. All the regular staff are present: Dewey, the teen librarian, Tamara the children’s librarian, Colleen the reference librarian, Mel  the director, Dyna a cynical new librarian and  Bucky the page still shelving books in his book beaver costume. Meanwhile Dewey’s girlfriend Cathy has a big surprise for him.

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Graphic Book, Humor, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

Frequently Asked Questions (Unshelved # 6) by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum , read by Tammy, on 03/16/2014

faqNo one gets asked questions more frequently than a librarian, and no librarian answers them with more attitude than Dewey, the reference and teen librarian. This collection features a year’s worth of daily e-comics and the current collection of weekly full-color Unshelved Book Club book reviews.

 

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Tammy · Tags:

Black Orchid by Neil Gamain, read by Tammy, on 03/30/2014

black orchidNeil Gaiman writes a unique, dark and moving super hero story of a crime fighter trying to discover who she really is. I would recommend reading the introduction after reading the graphic novel. I think the intro gives to much away. The illustrations of Dave McKean make this a hauntingly beautiful story while the unique lettering technique of Todd Klein helps the reader follow the multiple story lines.

 

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fantasy, Tammy · Tags:

Instructions by Neil Gamain, read by Tammy, on 03/29/2014

instructionsAn instruction book for any adventure you might want or need to take into fairyland or fantasy. Aimed at children and very brief with beautiful illustrations. I enjoyed the story though and think that adults will recognize fairy tales where the main characters didn’t follow the rules and bad things happened.

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Tammy, Teen Books · Tags:

Beautiful Chaos: Caster Chronicles # 3 by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, read by Tammy, on 03/28/2014

beautiful chaosEthan and Lena have survived her sixteenth birthday without Lena being claimed by dark magic in spite of her family’s curse. Then on her 17th birthday she claims her self as both dark and light magic but this choice has far reaching consequences. Both the mortal and the caster world is thrown out of order. Now, before someone’s 18th birthday a choice and a sacrifice must be made to save both worlds. Lena and Ethan’s family search for the answer of who or what will need to be sacrificed and if it’s a who, can they be saved?

14. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Tammy · Tags: ,

The Daylighters by Rachel Caine, read by Tammy, on 03/11/2014

morganvilleThis Morganville adventure picks up right where the previous book left off. Claire, Shane and Eve have returned to Morganville only to find it greatly changed and a the anti-vampire group, The Daylighters, in charge. They aren’t sure what has happened to their vampire friends, Michael, Mrynin and Oliver. Eve’s only concern is getting Michael back safely. Shane is dealing with the affects of a mysterious dog bite. Even the Glass House and Matilda don’t feel safe. Claire however has to decide if she’s on the side of good or evil in this fight. People can now come out of their homes without fear and can be out on the streets after dark. Isn’t that a good thing? But what is happening to the vampires who have all been captured and hauled away to a guarded building at the edge of town. The leader of the Daylighters claims he is trying to find a cure but Claire doesn’t believe him. Her previous experience with the group back East makes her question everything about them.

I believe this may be the final chapter in the Morganville series. Many questions are cleared up at the end including relationships. The author’s wording of her opening also leads me to think this may be the last book. If so, it is a satisfying ending.

14. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Informational Book, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

Compact Houses by Gerald Rowan, read by Tammy, on 03/08/2014

compact homesGuide to making the most of smaller homes though several of these I didn’t consider small. The book gives floor plans, guides to what to consider when designing room layouts, ways to remodel small spaces to make them more energy efficient and a few general ideas to make the most of every inch in your smaller home.

I was hoping for more ideas on remodeling an existing small home.

 

14. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Tammy · Tags:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, read by Tammy, on 03/09/2014

goldfinchWell-written tale about a young teen who loses his mother, gains a piece of art and then has to live with the consequences of his decisions. What starts out as a basic coming of age story also contemplates, what is a good life? He wonders how much can you change the personality you are born with or taught by your parents and friends. Who has the most influence. Can you really be you if you resist those inner urges and desires?

 

27. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: History, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags:

1776 by David McCullough, read by Tammy, on 02/07/2014

1776One of America’s most popular history writers gives us another beautifully written and exciting to read history. Reading more like a novel, 1776, pulls us into the year of our nation’s birth. He tells the story from both sides of the Atlantic and covers decisions on both sides that led to the American Revolution. Once war begins, McCullough relates the story of those who marched with George Washington, the farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers and boys trying to be soldiers. As well as relating stories of some of the King’s men, under British commander, William Howe.

Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful narrative and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

27. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Tammy

East of the Mountains by David Guterson, read by Tammy, on 02/12/2014

east of the mountainsBy the author of Snow Falling on Cedars, this novel about a dying man’s final journey is just as moving and descriptive but a much more personal narrative. After learning he has terminal cancer, retired surgeon Ben Givens decides to go on one last trip. He takes his beloved dogs and goes hunting. He is determined to end his life his way. Bu the people he meets, the memories the landscape evokes, and what happens along the way all cause him to consider the mystery of life. His travel brings up much from his past and sends him on a journey of discovery rather than just one last trip before dying. 

27. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Tammy

Dark and Stormy Knights by edited by P.N. Elrod, read by Tammy, on 02/24/2014

dark and stormyNine short stories from some of today’s most popular paranormal fantasy authors. It’s theme is about “knights” who do dark deeds but for all the right reasons. I picked it up because it contains a short story by Jim Butcher author of the Dresden Files. Though this short story is set in Dresden’s world he does not appear. Instead mob boss, and one of the only human signatory of the Unseelie Accords, John Marcone is the featured character.

Includes stories from: Ilona Andrews,Shannon K. Butcher, Rachel Caine, P.N. Elrod, Deidre Knight, Vicki Pettersson, Lilith Saintcrow and Carrie Vaughn.

27. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Tammy, Teen Books

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight, read by Tammy, on 02/04/2014

ameliaA coming of age story, a mystery, a mother-daughter relationship story are all wound tightly together in this novel. After Amelia’s suicide her mother, Kate searches to find who her daughter really was and if she really committed suicide. Told from both Kate and Amelia’s perspectives and through text, email and Facebook posts the story shows how today’s teens smoothly communicate on all the numerous social media that exists today and how easy it is for a parent to fall behind. Kate has to come to terms with who Amelia really was and all the events that led up to her death. A moving, relate-able story that keeps you turning the page.

27. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fiction, Steam-punk, Tammy, Teen Books · Tags:

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles 1) by Marissa Meyer, read by Tammy, on 02/09/2014

This was an enjoyable steam-punk retelling of Cinderella. Cinder is a cyborg mechanic who can’t remember her life before the accident that claimed her parents and made it medically necessary to replace her leg and other parts with machinery. She was adopted but her new guardian dies before he is able to bring her home to his wife and daughters and tell them why he has adopted a cyborg child. She works to make money for her stepmother and keep their household afloat though they treat her like a servant.

A plague is running rampant throughout their country and attacking young and old, rich and poor alike. Her favorite sister becomes ill days before a ball is planned. She tries to encourage her sister by telling her how she met the prince when he brought an automaton to her shop for repair and how he invited her to the ball. She promises to get the prince to dance with her sister if she will just get better and be able to go to the ball.

The prince has troubles of his own. His father is gravely ill with the plague. The ruler of Mars is on her way with an entourage to discuss peace talks that all his advisers believe is a prelude to war. Of course, the prince could marry the queen of Mars and make her his Empress ensuring peace but would that really be the best thing for both planets?

27. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Paranormal, Tammy, Teen Books · Tags:

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles # 2) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, read by Tammy, on 02/16/2014

Now that Lena has made it past her 16th birthday and managed to break the family curse of being chosen for either dark or light without any say in the matter, she is trying to cope with the cost. The death of her beloved Uncle Macon. And still she will have to make a choice…. light or dark caster. Ethan thinks she will have to choose by her seventeenth birthday as the song they can both her has changed from sixteen moons to seventeen moons.

But Lena’s not the only one trying to figure out who she really is and dealing with her family’s past. Ethan has some personal discoveries of his own to make. Will Lena choose light or dark? Will she and Ethan make it through these choices together or has to much changed?

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Science Fiction, Tammy

Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers by Grant Naylor, read by Tammy, on 10/24/2012

The first lesson Lister learned about space travel was you should never try it. But Lister didn’t have a choice. All he remembered was going on a birthday celebration pub crawl through London. When he came to his senses again, with nothing in his pockets but a passport in the name of Emily Berkenstein.

So he did the only thing he could. Amazed to discover they would actually hire him, he joined the space corps—-and found himself aboardRed Dwarf, a spaceship as big as a small city that, six or seven years from now, would get him back to Earth. What Lister couldn’t forsee was that he’d inadvertently signed up for a one–way jaunt three miillion years into the future—a future which would see him the last living member of the human race, with only a hologram crew mate and a highly evolved cat for company. Of course, that was before the ship broke the light barrier anf things began to get really weird.

Book that created the characters for the science fiction tv show Red Dwarf. It was fun to find out how they ended up on the space ship together but without any other people on this huge ship lightyears away from Earth.

11. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, Fiction, Tammy

Garfield Gets in a Pickle: His 54th Book by Jim Davis, read by Tammy, on 10/16/2012

TROUBLE ON THE LOOSE!

Garfield, the furry desperado, is at large again in this most-wanted new collection of comics. Whether he’s getting in a pickle or a jam, when it comes to trouble, the fat cat is always a glutton for punishment!

06. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

Drink This, Not That! by David Zinczenko, Matt Goulding , read by Tammy, on 01/30/2014

drink thisThis book gives you advice on how to avoid all those “hidden” calories in what we drink from lemonade to chocolate shakes. I can’t really sum it up better than these statements from the book’s publisher:

“Did you know:
*One bottle of Sunkist orange drink has more sugar than four packs of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
*A large Grape Expectations II Smoothie from Smoothie King has more sugar than 13 Twinkies!
*If you turn your large latte into a large cappuccino, you could lose more than 9 pounds this year!
*A White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks has more than 20 times as many calories as their regular coffee!”

06. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, NonFiction, Tammy

American Thighs by Jill Conner Browne, read by Tammy, on 01/31/2014

american thighsHumorist, Jill Connor Browne, author of The Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love, writes a handbook for the “hot and flashy.” Whether young enough to look hot or of the age to feel that way in flashes… she gives advice about life and taking care of yourself and your girlfriends.She shares stories from her teen years forward and tells about kisses she wished for and the ones she wished she’d missed. A laugh-out-loud funny book that your husband will probably not understand.