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.

06. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Claudia, Inspirational, NonFiction

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Voscamp, Ann, read by Claudia, on 09/02/2014

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You AreJust like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. “How,” Ann wondered, “do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long—and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?”

In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted … a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved—by God.

Let Ann’s beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive.

 

 

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

The Weight of Blood by McHugh, Laura, read by Claudia, on 09/13/2014

The Weight of Blood

Overview from the Publisher

Missouri River Regional Library’s 2014 Capital READ

For fans of Gillian Flynn, Scott Smith, and Daniel Woodrell comes a gripping, suspenseful novel about two mysterious disappearances a generation apart.
 
The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane’s mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see. Lucy’s family has deep roots in the Ozarks, part of a community that is fiercely protective of its own. Yet despite her close ties to the land, and despite her family’s influence, Lucy—darkly beautiful as her mother was—is always thought of by those around her as her mother’s daughter. When Cheri disappears, Lucy is haunted by the two lost girls—the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn’t save—and sets out with the help of a local boy, Daniel, to uncover the mystery behind Cheri’s death.

What Lucy discovers is a secret that pervades the secluded Missouri hills, and beyond that horrific revelation is a more personal one concerning what happened to her mother more than a decade earlier.

The Weight of Blood is an urgent look at the dark side of a bucolic landscape beyond the arm of the law, where a person can easily disappear without a trace. Laura McHugh proves herself a masterly storyteller who has created a harsh and tangled terrain as alive and unforgettable as the characters who inhabit it. Her mesmerizing debut is a compelling exploration of the meaning of family: the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths to which we will go to protect the ones we love.

06. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kim, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Unforgivable by Laura Griffin, read by Kim, on 10/05/2014

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.

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

Shroud of fog by Janice Kay Johnson , read by Melody, on 10/04/2014

The secrets of the past haunt the present…

Cape Trouble, a tiny Oregon coast town was named for the dangerous off-shore reefs. But some of its citizens seek refuge from their own troubles…which have a way of following them.

Sophie Thomsen’s life had a Before and an After – before the terrifying morning when she found her mother dead in the foggy sand dunes, apparently having killed herself. Now, twenty years later, she returns to Cape Trouble, only to find her aunt brutally murdered. Sophie takes over her aunt’s crusade to save the falling-down Misty Beach Resort and its old-growth forest and wild sand dunes and beach from development – even though she never wants to set foot again on Misty Beach. But Sophie’s memories threaten a killer…who doesn’t dare let her remember too much.

Having come to Cape Trouble to heal his own wounds, Police Chief Daniel Colburn investigates the present-day murder, but begins to suspect Sophie’s mother was another murder victim, not a suicide. Everything he learns increases his fear for this woman he is coming to love.

Sophie’s fate may be to die in a shroud of fog, just like her mother before her, unless she trusts Daniel to help her uncover her past in time.

06. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kim, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Whisper of warning by Laura Griffin, read by Kim, on 10/04/2014

WILL HE HELP PROVE HER INNOCENCE…

OR LEAD A KILLER TO HER DOOR?

Courtney Glass has been in trouble all her life, but nothing tops being an up-close witness to a brutal murder. Until she’s accused of the crime.

Every scrap of evidence points to her guilt, and only Courtney knows what really happened. Now she must prove that she’s not a murderer…but isone of the killer’s intended victims. As police investigators hammer her for answers, Courtney knows she has two choices: run, or trust the brooding, sexy detective who’s made it clear she’s his prime suspect.

Will Hodges doesn’t need Special Forces training to know that, despite Courtney’s killer looks and razor-sharp tongue, her tough-girl act hides a vulnerable woman with a deadly secret. As the body count rises, Will realizes that a lethal enemy has Courtney in his crosshairs. The killer is waiting, watching her every move — and he won’t stop until her fear has grown from a whisper to a scream.

06. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocalyptic, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, read by Angie, on 10/05/2014

So aliens have invaded the earth. First they set off an emp that took out everything electrical, then there were the tsunamis that took out the coasts, then came the red death that killed billions, and then there were the silencers (aliens who look like humans). Now the survivors are just trying to survive and prepare for whatever comes next. Cassie has survived with most of her family. Cassie, her dad and her brother are at a refugee camp when military vehicles arrive and take the children away (adults are supposedly leaving later). Of course the military lies and kills everyone else at the camp except Cassie. She is determined to keep her promise to her little brother Sammy though and find him. But in a world where anyone can be the enemy who can you trust? Ben has recovered from the red death and has been recruited into the new military at Camp Haven. All the recruits are kids, some as young as five, and are all being trained to kill. Ben takes young Sammy under his wing and promises to protect him. Meanwhile Cassie has been shot by a silencer but rescued by hotty Evan Walker. She isn’t sure she can trust him but he sure is dreamy with his beautiful eyes and soft hands. She is still determined to rescue Sammy and decides she might need Evan’s help.

There were times when I really wanted to quit reading this book. I think it started about the time Evan appeared and Cassie lost all sense. It is the end of the world and she has seen so much death and destruction. I liked her when she was the crazy person in the woods, but once she started thinking about how dreamy Evan was I was pretty much done. He is basically a stalker and a killer who had no real redeeming qualities other than the fact that he saved her life. I hate when a romance element is forced into a story and this one was more egregious then most. It just really didn’t make any sense in the plot of the book. The plot itself, while not original, was at least a bit entertaining. I am not sure why teen books always have to use the child soldiers theme but whatever. The aliens are out to get us all and make us do all the work ok sure. The end of the book where everything comes together and Cassie and Ben meet up in their quests to save Sammy made the book at least a bit worth the read.

06. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Mystery

Hunter Moran Digs Deep by Patricia Reilly Giff, Chris Sheban (Illustrations), read by Angie, on 10/05/2014

Hunter and his twin brother Zack are out to find the treasure left by the town founder Lester Dinwitty. They team up with Sarah Yulefski and look for clues. They are followed and assisted by little brother Steadman. Bradley the Bully and their sister Linny are also looking for the treasure. They keep getting mysterious clues and help from someone. Their search leads them from the cemetery to the school basement and drum lessons to the train station and certain doom. Even though the characters in this book are older, it is clearly written for the beginning chapter book reader. The story is in some ways simple and in others completely uncomprehending. The whole treasure hunt scenario doesn’t make the most sense. And there are certain other things that really had me scratching my head in puzzlement. It takes a bit to find the story believable or possible. I think it is a good series for younger readers but can’t image anyone much older than 2nd/3rd grade enjoying it.

06. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Mystery

Revenge of Superstition Mountain by Elise Broach, Aleksey & Olga Ivanov (Illustrator), read by Angie, on 10/05/2014

The Barker brothers are back in the final installment of the Superstition Mountain trilogy. They and their friend Delilah found the mine in the mountains before it was buried by an avalanche in the last book. In this book they are trying to figure out what the mysterious historical society group is up to. They are back at the ghost town trying to find clues about the deathbed gold of Jacob Waltz and trying to figure out all the clues their uncle left them. The clues lead them to his long-time girlfriend and a plot in the cemetery. They also have to get back up to the mine and return the gold they took before the curse takes hold.

I read the first book in this series but not the second one. I am sure I missed out on some details but this final book does a nice job reminding the reader what has happened in the past. I like the fact that the mystery is based on actual historical events even if the contemporary people are not. I think that lends an aura of authenticity to the events in the books. I also enjoy the fact that this is also a book about family and the Barker family is very present although the parents do not seem to be as aware of their children’s actions as they probably should be. Overall this is a fun mystery series for middle grade readers.

06. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora, read by Angie, on 10/04/2014

It is the summer after 8th grade. Lucy, Michael and Elena are looking forward to summer and contemplating their summer reading list. They are all book lovers and Lucy in particular truly loves To Kill a Mockingbird. Their favorite English teacher Fat Bob Nowak died the previous year and was also a big fan of To Kill a Mockingbird. The kids decide to start a campaign in honor of Fat Bob and their love of the book. The campaign will hopefully make more people want to read To Kill a Mockingbird, but how are they going to do that. They decide on “I Kill the Mockingbird” and travel around the state hiding copies of the book in libraries and bookstores (they never steal them). They also start an internet campaign and leave I Kill the Mockingbird posters where they have removed books. Their campaign takes off after Wil Wheaton tweets about it. Soon the I Kill the Mockingbird campaign has made the news and has become a national movement. Of course that is not all that is going on that summer. Lucy’s mom has is recovering from cancer and she is worried about her. Elena is an orphan living with her uncle Mort who runs a bookstore and is afraid she won’t fit in at high school because she is so short. Lucy also has a crush on Michael (he has one on her too) but is afraid to ruin their friendship. Michael is a fabulous baseball player and wants to be challenge during the game. This is a wonderful story about friendship, family and good books.

I actually enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I was a bit skeptical at first but the premise of the book really worked. I loved Lucy, Elena and Michael. They are smart, articulate and fun characters who seemed exactly like the type of kids who could pull this off. I enjoyed the fact that the parents were actually present in the book and seemed like real people as well. So many kid’s books have absent parents or truly stereotypical ones. I think this is a book that book-loving kids will enjoy (as well as adults) and one that may spark an interest in reading some of the classics mentioned.

06. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Dystopia, Fiction, Science Fiction

The 8th Continent by Matt London, read by Angie, on 10/04/2014

The earth in the future is being taken over by garbage and bureaucracy. Rick and Evie and their dad get in trouble with Winterpole after saving a bird whose habitat has become a landfill. Because of previous infractions dad is placed under house arrest, but not before he tells the kids about a secret formula he created years ago that would turn garbage into organic material. Winterpole found out about it and wanted to use it to make weapons (not sure how that would work) so dad and his partner split the formula and the partner disappeared. The kids are determined to find the partner and create an 8th continent out of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Then they would be out from under Winterpole’s control. They are pursued by by Evie’s nemesis Vesuvia who is the secret CEO of her dad’s corporation and determined to turn everything in the world into pink plastic.

I’m not sure how believable this book is supposed to be, but I hope not very is the answer. Everything about it seems so far-fetched and unbelievable that it was difficult to get through at times. I liked the premise however and the writing was fun and entertaining. The characters were a bit one-dimensional especially Vesuvia and the Winterpole people. This book is the first in a planned series and the ending sets up the next book nicely. Even though much of the book makes no sense whatsoever I can see kids picking it up and enjoying the ride.

05. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Kira, Multicultural Fiction

One Night @ the Call Center: a Novel by Chetan Bhagat, read by Kira, on 10/02/2014

clltr - Copy1340699569_9780552773867  one night - Copy IMG_3975 index2 - CopyI read about this bestselling title in the book Globish  He is the biggest selling English language author in India.  In 2010 Time Magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people of the world (along with Barack Obama and Steve Forbes).  I’d never heard of him before. the story takes place over the span of about 8 hours, examining the lives of 6 call center employees, most of whom are adults.  It was an ok book.  Not bad, but Not something I’d recommend.

 

03. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction

Dork in Disguise by Carol Gorman, read by Angie, on 10/03/2014

Jerry Flack is not cool. He is a nerd who likes science and wears glasses. When he moves to a new town he thinks he has a shot at changing his image and becoming cool. He puts away his glasses and gets lessons on being cool from his friend Brenda. Soon he is hanging out with the cool kids and thinks beautiful Cinnamon likes him. But he also misses hanging out with Brenda and the other kids on the science team. And he still likes science and other uncool things. This is a book all about accepting who you are and what is important to you. Is it more important to be cool and do things you don’t enjoy or approve of or is it better to hang out with people you like and do things you enjoy? Jerry has to learn this lesson that we have all learned. No one wants to be uncool or unpopular, but sometimes you realize that being cool isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.

03. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction

The Circus Goes to Sea by Kate Klise, M. Sarah Klise (Illustrations), read by Angie, on 10/03/2014

Sir Sidney’s Circus is the best circus in the world. The circus goes to sea when they receive an invitation from Flora Endora Eliza LaBuena LaPasta to be guests on the SS Spaghetti. Everyone in the circus is excited about the trip except Sir Sidney because he gets seasick. Once they board the SS Spaghetti they find out that Flora is a little girl and her mom is the Captain of the ship. Unfortunately, the captain is not happy that Flora fired all the entertainers and brought the circus on board. She is even more unhappy when they empty the swimming pool (the elephant jumped in) and injured a passenger (he tried the spaghetti tight rope the Banana Brothers set up). But when the ship hits an iceberg she is happy the circus is there to help fix the ship. This is a cute beginning chapter book. It has an engaging story and lots of illustrations to keep the story moving. I really enjoyed how Klise included illustrations showing conversations between the characters. I think kids will enjoy this book by Kate Klise.

I received this book from Netgalley.

03. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Jessica, Paranormal, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Requiem by Jamie McGuire, read by Jessica, on 10/03/2014

51ACRVmtBXL“Jared paced, brooded, and once in a while, when his thoughts were particularly tormented, he winced. The color had long left his face as he played back the different scenarios in his mind. Back and forth he paced, so many times that I watched the floor, wondering when he would wear a trail. His inner turmoil could have set the room on fire. It was unbearable to watch, but I couldn’t leave him; not when he was planning my death.”

Dreaming of the dead might mean a restless night for anyone, but for Nina Grey it was a warning.

Still healing from her last run-in with Hell, Nina struggles with not only her life as a Brown University student, but also as an intern at Titan Shipping, her father’s company. Recurring nightmares about her father’s violent death have become a nightly event, but being overwhelmed with guilt from Ryan’s unexpected departure to the Armed Forces, and heart ache over Claire being across the ocean to protect him, Nina believes her sleepless nights are the least of her problems—but she’s wrong.

Worried about Nina’s declining health, Jared must steal back Shax’s book for answers. Fighting new enemies, and with the help of new friends, Jared’s worst fear comes to fruition. Desperate, he is faced with a choice: Fight Hell alone, or start a war with Heaven.

Requiem is the highly anticipated second installment of the Providence series by breakout author Jamie McGuire. Fans who fell in love with the descriptive prose, delicious suspense, and surprising twists and turns of Providence will not be disappointed as they continue in the journey of star-crossed lovers Jared and Nina.

03. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fantasy, Fiction

The Fairy-Tale Matchmaker by E.D. Baker, read by Angie, on 10/02/2014

Cory hates being a tooth fairy. She isn’t very good at it and doesn’t enjoy it, but her mom is a tooth fairy and convinced her it was the career for her. When she quits her mom is furious as is the Tooth Fairy Guild. Cory just wants to help people and wants to find a career that will let her do that. She starts taking odd jobs like babysitting (for Humpty Dumpty and the old lady who lived in a shoe), mowing yards (for the three little pigs of course) and doing inventory (for the lady selling seashells on the seashore). She also starts setting up her friends on dates trying to find them the perfect match. The Tooth Fairy Guild does not take quitters lightly and starts a campaign of harassment that follows Cory wherever she goes. They send rain and gnats and crabs and the big bad wolf. None of it convinces Cory that she should go back to being a tooth fairy. As the harassment escalates so does her determination to find something truly helpful to do.

I had high hopes for this book as I really enjoy fractured fairy tales, but this book was a bit of a disappointment. I liked the fact that we got to see such a nice mixture of fairy tale characters, but I wanted more of a story. The story itself seems very disjointed with Cory moving from one odd job with a fairy tale character to another. The only truly cohesive thing seems to be the harassment by the TFG, but even that seems a bit extreme. I liked the ending and how Cory’s matchmaking desires finally makes sense but I also thought it was a bit rushed. There was a lot of story about Cory babysitting and such but very little about what happens when she finds her true calling.

03. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction · Tags:

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin, read by Angie, on 10/02/2014

Rose is on the autism spectrum with Asperger’s. She is obsessed with rules, prime numbers and homonyms. She gets upset when people don’t follow the rules or when she has problems understanding something. The adults in her life respond to her in different ways. Her father doesn’t understand and all and gets angry at her when she does not respond in a normal way. Her teacher and aide try to help her through difficult situations at school. It is her uncle Weldon who truly understands and accepts Rose. Their relationship is the heart of this story and one that grounds Rose and helps her live as normal a life as possible. Her father gave her a dog one evening which she named Rain. Rose loves the fact that both of their names are homonyms (rose/rows and rain/reign/rein). A hurricane strikes their New York town and her father lets Rain out into the storm. Rain disappears and Rose does everything she can think of to find him. She calls shelters and gets her uncle to help her search. When they finally do find Rain their joy is tempered by bad news. Rose has to find the courage to do the right thing and accept the reality of the situation.

I really only remember Ann Martin for her Babysitter’s Club books (which I was obsessed with as a kid). I hadn’t read a book by her in years and have to admit that I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. Rose is written so realistically that at times it is almost painful to read her story. Probably almost as painful as it would be to watch it unfold in real life. She does truly try to life as normal a life as possible, but she doesn’t always respond in the normal ways. Her meltdowns feel real and natural as does her confusion over the actions of others. I think this is an eye-opening look at what a person with Asperger’s goes through and how they think and react to situations. It was wonderful and truly worthy of the praise it is getting. The ending alone is enough to break your heart and make you want to give Rose a huge hug.

03. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Tracy

The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket, read by Tracy, on 09/26/2014

Dear Reader,

If you are looking for a story about cheerful youngsters spending a jolly time at boarding school, look elsewhere. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent and resourceful children, and you might expect that they would do very well at school. Don’t. For the Baudelaires, school turns out to be another miserable episode in their unlucky lives.

Truth be told, within the chapters that make up this dreadful story, the children will face snapping crabs, strict punishments, dripping fungus, comprehensive exams, violin recitals, S.O.R.E., and the metric system.

It is my solemn duty to stay up all night researching and writing the history of these three hapless youngsters, but you may be more comfortable getting a good night’s sleep. In that case, you should probably choose some other book.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket