21. July 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King, read by Brian, on 07/21/2014

mr.The thing I love about Stephen King is his character development and how he paints the setting so vividly you think your life is part of the book.  Mr. Mercedes is about a man who drives a Mercedes into a crowd and backs up and does it again.  Years later he taunts the retired detective who could not solve the crime years ago.  Allying himself with two unlikely characters, the detective tries to track down Mr. Mercedes before he kills again.

 

21. July 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kim, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

The seventh victim by Mary Burton, read by Kim, on 07/20/2014

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED
It’s been seven years since the Seattle Strangler terrorized the city. His victims were all young, pretty, their lifeless bodies found wrapped in a home-sewn white dress. But there was one who miraculously escaped death, just before the Strangler disappeared…

KILL
Lara Church has only hazy memories of her long-ago attack. What she does have is a home in Austin, a job, and a chance at a normal life at last. Then Texas Ranger James Beck arrives on her doorstep with shattering news: The Strangler is back. And this time, he’s in Austin…

AND KILL AGAIN…
He’s always craved her, even as he killed the others. For so long he’s been waiting to unleash the beast within. And this time, he’ll prove he holds her life in his hands—right before he ends it forever…

21. July 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance

Unlawful contact by Pamela Clare, read by Melody, on 07/20/2014

Taken hostage by a convicted murderer while reporting at a prison, Sophie Alton has no idea that the man holding the gun to her head is the bad boy who was her first love in high school. Condemned to life without parole, Marc Hunter finds himself with no choice but to break out of prison after his younger sister disappears with her baby.

Though he regrets what he has to put Sophie through, he can’t let anything get in the way of his stopping the corrupt officials who are set on destroying what’s left of his family. But being near Sophie rekindles memories for both of them. As the passion between them heats up, so does the conspiracy to put both of them in their graves.

21. July 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kim, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Before she dies by Mary Burton, read by Kim, on 07/19/2014

In death, they are purified. Holding his victims under water, he washes away their sins as they struggle for their last breath. Then he stakes their bodies to the ground, exposing them for what they really are. Witches, sent to tempt and to corrupt. 

No one knows about defense attorney Charlotte Wellington’s murdered sister, or about her childhood spent with the carnival that’s just arrived in town. For Charlotte, what’s past is past. 

But others don’t agree. And as a madman’s body count rises, she and Detective Daniel Rokov are drawn into a mission that’s become terrifyingly personal.

21. July 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance

Hard evidence by Pamela Clare, read by Melody, on 07/19/2014

After the murder of a teenage girl, a mysterious man in a black leather jacket was seen lurking near the crime scene. Investigative reporter Tessa Novak has him in her sights as the culprit…

 That man was Julian Darcangelo, an undercover FBI agent working with the Denver police. He’s closing in on the trail of a human trafficker and killer. Tessa’s accusations could blow his cover, and he wants her off the investigation.

But just as Tessa has made Julian a target of interest, she is now a target of the killer. And as they are forced to trust each other, their physical attraction escalates as intensely as the threat from a ruthless murderer who wants to see both of them dead…

21. July 2014 · Write a comment · 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 · Write a comment · 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.

21. July 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Brian, NonFiction · Tags:

Year of the Storms: The Destructive Kansas Weather of 1990 by Howard Inglish, read by Brian, on 07/20/2014

stormsBack in 1990 the state of Kansas experience some of the most destructive weather ever recorded in the state.  Inglish brings these storms back to life and tells the tales of the people who survived them.

 

21. July 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Brian, Fantasy, Fiction

Angelic by Kelley Armstrong, read by Brian, on 07/19/2014

angelicKelley Armstrong is the author of the popular Otherworld series.  She likes to write short stories between her novellas.  Angelic is about Eve Levine a half-demon warrior who is used by the Fates to fight evil.  In her latest battle, Eve must battle the djinn, demons who do not have leader and have gone rogue.

 

 

18. July 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Teen Books

Velvet by Mary Hooper, read by Angie, on 07/17/2014

Velvet is an orphan who works in a laundry in Victorian London. She comes to the attention of Madame Savoya, a famed medium, and starts working in her household. Life with Madame is definitely different from the poor conditions Velvet was previously used to. She comes to like the finer things in life and is enamored with George, Madame’s assistant. Velvet starts out as a firm believer in Madame’s powers over the Other Side. However, she does come to suspect that Madame may not be quite as in tune with the spirits as she seems. Velvet has to decide what is more important: the truth or her new life. 

I sometimes find books like this difficult to read, not because they are poorly written or bad books but because the characters in them are so different from people today. Hooper does a great job making her characters into true Victorians. They are firm believers in spiritualism and there is an innocence in them that makes them less suspicious than modern people. As a reader I clearly saw that Madame was a fake and that there was something suspicious about George. But Velvet with her Victorian sensibilities is oblivious. I like the fact that Hooper really did her homework on how the mediums of this age practiced their art and how gullible their clients were.

17. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: History, Inspirational, Kira, NonFiction

Unitarian Universalism: a Narrative History by David E. Bumbaugh, read by Kira, on 07/14/2014

rainbowchalice index       I read this for a class I took at my church this summer [we called it Summinary :) ].  It gives a history of liberal religion and the quest for tolerance for religious freedom.  I was amazed at how often, religious change came about due to other power struggles.  The Germans were chafing under Roman authority.  So when Luther  made his religious objections, the powers of state used the theological dispute to their advantage.

A repeatmichael-servetuseEmersond theme was reformers in one decade turning into the old guard against whom the newer thinkers rebelled in the next generation.  I was Ariussurprised at how enriching I found thisHosea_Ballou read.francisdavid

17. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Award Winner, Children's Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction · Tags:

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, read by Angie, on 07/16/2014

Tree-ear is an orphan in 12th century Korea. He lives under a bridge with Crane-man. They live in Ch’ulp’o, a small village on the sea that is renowned for its celadon pottery. Tree-ear becomes the apprentice of a great potter named Min. Tree-ear labors for Min hoping that one day he too will be a great potter. In order to secure a royal commission, Min sends Tree-ear on a long journey across Korea with priceless pottery vases. Disaster strikes but Tree-ear manages to complete his mission and return with the commission. 

I actually liked this more than I thought I would. I thought the characters were very relatable and the story gripping and interesting. I also liked the fact that it is based on historical facts. I had to look up celadon pottery and the Thousand Cranes Vase after I was finished reading. Both are truly beautiful and you can tell that it took great skill to make these items. 

16. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Drama, Fiction

A Face in the Crowd by Stephen King, read by Brian, on 07/15/2014

faceA Face in the Crowd is a short story about an widower who is learning to  live on his own.  He attends a baseball game where he starts to see people from his past and each person is stranger then the next.

 

16. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Horror

Mile 81 by Stephen King, read by Brian, on 07/16/2014

mile 81Mile 81 is a short book by Stephen King. Mile 81 is a broken down abandoned rest stop on the Maine Turnpike.  A perfect place for teenagers to hangout that’s until a Malibu Wagon knocks down the barricade and rolls in making the abandoned stop not so abandoned.  Get too close to the open door of the car and it will be the last thing you will do but maybe scream.

15. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel

Sisters (Smile #2) by Raina Telgemeier , read by Angie, on 07/14/2014

I had no idea there was going to be a sequel to Smile. I love everything Raina Telgemeier writes and Sisters was no different. Sisters tells the story of Raina and her sister Amara’s rocky relationship. Before Amara is born, Raina can’t wait to have a sister. Once she arrives it is another story however. They are completely different and don’t really get along. They fight and squabble and are interested in different things. Things come to a head when the family takes a cross country car trip. As the oldest of three girls I could completely relate to Raina and Amara. You always love your sisters but you don’t always like them (especially during those tween/teen years). I thought the fights were pretty typical as was the instances where they were allies. Another winner from Telgemeier. 

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley. It had mostly black and white illustrations so I can’t wait to see what it looks like in full color.

The Triple Nickles were the first black paratroopers in the American military. During WWII many Blacks joined the military; unfortunately, they were mostly relegated to labor positions and not allowed to fight for their country. This gradually changed as an all-Black tank unit and infantry units were established. Soon Blacks were being trained as pilots at Tuskegee. It wasn’t until 1944 that the Triple Nickles were established. They trained throughout the end of the war always ready to be called up to fight. However, military brass wasn’t quite as ready to integrate as the president was. The Triple Nickles never saw combat during WWII. While the white soldiers were fighting and dying they were sent to the Northwest to be the some of the first smokejumpers. It wasn’t until they were integrated into another paratrooper unit that these brave men would see combat. 

This is an important story to tell. It is amazing to me how we treated people in all walks of life just because the color of their skin was different from our own. This racism is still there today even if it might not always be targeted at Blacks. It took a lot of perseverance and courage on the part of these Black soldiers to break through the racial intolerance of the military leaders. They should be applauded.

15. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, NonFiction · Tags:

Nightmares in the Sky: Gargoyles and Grotesques by Stephen King and f-stop Fitzgerald, read by Brian, on 07/10/2014

nightThis book, Nightmares in the Sky, is a fascinating look at the gargoyles looking over us every day keeping the evil out of our buildings.  It’s amazing their beauty and mystique.

 

14. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Brian, Fiction, Horror

Riding the Bullet by Stephen King, read by Brian, on 07/13/2014

ridingRiding the Bullet was originally an audio book and a short one at that.  It was eventually expanded into a full length novella.  The premise of the story is a college student’s mother is dying and he must hitchhike to her hospital.  Along the way he takes a ride with young talkative man who just happens to be dead.  They have a long discussion about the Silver Bullet, the best roller coaster ever made.  The hitchhiker chickened out when he was a kid.  The driver,  gave the young man a choice, either he could live or his mother could live…a real life silver bullet.

 

14. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Unforgivable by Laura Griffin, read by Melody, on 07/14/2014

TRACING KILLERS IS MIA VOSS’S BUSINESS. AND HER WORK JUST GOT PERSONAL. 

At first, Mia Voss thinks it’s just bad luck when her already lousy day ends with a carjacking, but what seems like a random incident is followed by another sinister episode. A DNA expert, Mia has made it her mission to put away vicious criminals. Suddenly, she’s become the target of one. And the only way to protect the people she loves most is to deliberately destroy her reputation and risk letting a killer walk free. 

Once, Mia trusted Detective Ric Santos, but that was before Ric let his turbulent past ruin his chances with Mia, the sexiest, most intriguing woman he’s ever met. But he can tell when she’s lying and when she’s scared. The key to catching a sadistic madman lies within a long-buried cold case that has haunted Mia for years. Only she can uncover the truth, but first, Ric will have to get her to entrust him with her secrets . . . and her life.

14. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Steam-punk, Teen Books

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, read by Angie, on 07/13/2014

Sophronia is being sent to finishing school. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality to be exact. Sophronia would rather be figuring out how things work than learning how to curtsey, but her mother has other ideas. Her mother would be appalled at what she is actually learning at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s. Not only does Sophronia learn how to curtsey and act appropriately in social situations she also learns how to poison someone and the fine art of gathering intelligence. Her other skills come in handy when she and her friends must figure out what has happened to a communications prototype that is wanted by a lot of nefarious characters. 

I like this Victorian steampunk world a lot. I have read Souless, the first in Carriger’s adult series, but didn’t really remember it a lot. This series is set in that same world. The school is a giant balloon that floats across the moors. There are vampire and werewolf teachers. And there are flying skypirates who attack the school. I found the whole thing fun and ridiculous and really enjoyable. There is just enough steampunk, just enough historical fiction, just enough zaniness to make this a really fun read.