03. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, NonFiction, Sports

Sportsmans Park: The Players, the Fans & the Game by Dan O'Neil, 160 pages, read by Brian, on 03/02/2015

parkStories and never-before seen pictures of the greatest ballpark in the greatest baseball city, St. Louis, Missouri.

 

03. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Graphic Novel

Black Panther: The Man Without Fear by David Liss, 144 pages, read by Brian, on 03/02/2015

blackDaredevil is gone who is going to protect us from Vlad the Impaler?  Black Panther, of course, the smooth moving superhero who gets down and dirty.  By the way, he never asked for Spider-Mans help.

 

03. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Graphic Novel

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe by Cullen Bunn, 96 pages, read by Brian, on 03/02/2015

marvelDeadpool is a sick sick sick individual, yet at the same time, very funny.  What would happen if Deadpool’s twisted mind wanted to kill all the Marvel superheros?  This might be a problem.

 

03. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Madeline, NonFiction

Good Catholics: The Battle Over Abortion in the Catholic Church by Patricia Miller, 344 pages, read by Madeline, on 02/22/2015

Good Catholics tells the story of the remarkable individuals who have engaged in a nearly fifty-year struggle to assert the moral legitimacy of a pro-choice position in the Catholic Church, as well as the concurrent efforts of the Catholic hierarchy to suppress abortion dissent and to translate Catholic doctrine on sexuality into law. Miller recounts a dramatic but largely untold history of protest and persecution, which demonstrates the profound and surprising influence that the conflict over abortion in the Catholic Church has had not only on the church but also on the very fabric of U.S. politics. Good Catholics addresses many of today’s hot-button questions about the separation of church and state, including what concessions society should make in public policy to matters of religious doctrine, such as the Catholic ban on contraception.

From Goodreads.com.

03. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Madeline, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense

The Racketeer by John Grisham, 340 pages, read by Madeline, on 02/20/2015

Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered.

Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.

Who is the Racketeer? And what does he have to do with the judge’s untimely demise? His name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? The Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland.

On paper, Malcolm’s situation isn’t looking too good these days, but he’s got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge’s body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied.

What was in the safe? The FBI would love to know. And Malcolm Bannister would love to tell them. But everything has a price—especially information as explosive as the sequence of events that led to Judge Fawcett’s death. And the Racketeer wasn’t born yesterday . . .

Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.

from Goodreads.com.

03. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Madeline, NonFiction, Travel

World's Best Cities: Celebrating 220 Great Destinations by National Geographic Society, Keith Bellows, 336 pages, read by Madeline, on 02/15/2015

Delving into the heart and soul of more than 225 cities around the globe, World’s Best Cities is a glossy, glorious tribute to cosmopolitan life. In photos and words, this irresistible volume showcases long-established great cities like Paris, Rome, New York, London, and Tokyo, as well as exciting up-and-comers, including Denver, Asheville, Oslo, and Abu Dhabi. As readable as it is beautiful, this expansive travel guide offers a playful, informative mix of inspirational personal narratives; photo galleries, and fun facts; plus sidebars on oddities; where to find the best food and shopping; novels that capture a particular city’s atmosphere; local secrets; and more. Many additional cities appear in illustrated lists, such as eco-friendly cities, foodie cities; and happiest cities. The twenty-first century is the Century of the City, and on-the-go visitors and armchair travelers alike will make World’s Best Cities a must-have volume to accompany all their urban adventures.

From Goodreads.com.

03. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Madeline

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, 384 pages, read by Madeline, on 02/10/2015

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid.We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty-five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.
As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.

This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.

From Goodreads.com.

03. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Madeline, Mystery

The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid, 384 pages, read by Madeline, on 02/04/2015

Internationally best-selling crime writer Val McDermid is one of the most dependable professionals in the mystery and thriller business, whose acutely suspenseful, seamlessly plotted novels have riveted millions of readers worldwide. In her latest, The Skeleton Road, she delivers a gripping standalone novel about a cold case that links back to the Balkan Wars of the 1990s.

In the center of historic Edinburgh, builders are preparing to convert a disused Victorian Gothic building into luxury flats. They are understandably surprised to find skeletal remains hidden in a high pinnacle that hasn’t been touched by maintenance for years. But who do the bones belong to, and how did they get there? Could the eccentric British pastime of free climbing the outside of buildings play a role? Enter cold case detective Karen Pirie, who gets to work trying to establish the corpse’s identity. And when it turns out the bones may be from as far away as former Yugoslavia, Karen will need to dig deeper than she ever imagined into the tragic history of the Balkans: to war crimes and their consequences, and ultimately to the notion of what justice is and who serves it.

The Skeleton Road is an edge-of-your-seat, unforgettable read from one of our finest crime writers.

From Goodreads.com.

03. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Lisa

The Croc Ate My Homework by Stephan Pastis, 221 pages, read by Lisa, on 03/02/2015

The Pearls Before Swine crew is back in their second collection of cartoons for the middle-grade crowd!

Always witty and clever, and sometimes irreverent, Pearls Before Swine‘s sarcastic take on life appeals to fans of all ages. In this second collection of cartoons specially chosen for young readers, the troupe of characters is back to entertain with dark humor and off-the-wall puns. Know-it-all Rat is always at the center of the action, accompanied by slow-witted Pig who is innocently oblivious to most of Rat’s jabs. Rounded out with high-browed Goat, the mild and vulnerable Zebra, and the hilariously inept Crocs, the cast is ready to provide hours of reading fun.

Description from Goodreads.com.

03. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Graphic Novel, Lisa

El Deafo by Cece Bell, 233 pages, read by Lisa, on 03/01/2015

Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.

Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school–in the hallway…in the teacher’s lounge…in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it’s just another way of feeling different… and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?

This funny perceptive graphic novel memoir about growing up hearing impaired is also an unforgettable book about growing up, and all the super and super embarrassing moments along the way.

Description from Goodreads.com.

03. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Kristy, Romance, Teen Books

Perfected by Kate Birch, 304 pages, read by Kristy, on 02/28/2015

PerfectedAs soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

For fans of Kiera Cass’ Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow

 

-Goodreads

02. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Sarah, Teen Books

The Treatment by Suzanne Young, 344 pages, read by Sarah, on 02/27/2015

  This is the sequel to “The Program” and it is just as exciting and fast paced as the first.  Sloan and James are on the run trying to figure out who can be trusted and who can help them take down the program.  Both of them are still missing a lot of their memories, so this is very challenging.  The treatment is a little pill that can bring back all of your memories after you have been in the program, but they only have one dose.   Who will take it?  Or will it be lost forever?  Will it really solve any problems?  Can anyone be trusted besides each other????  Good book.  I recommend it so long as it’s paired with the first one.

02. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody K, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Body of evidence by Rachel Grant, 291 pages, read by Melody, on 03/01/2015

And she thought facing a firing squad was bad…

When archaeologist Mara Garrett traveled to North Korea to retrieve the remains of GIs lost in combat, she never imagined she’d be arrested, convicted of spying, and sentenced to death. Her only hope is Curt Dominick, the powerful, ambitious, and infuriatingly sexy US attorney prosecuting her uncle, a former vice president of the United States.

What starts off as a rescue mission quickly morphs into a race across the Pacific. Someone is after Mara, and they’ll risk everything to stop her from reaching Washington DC. With betrayal around every corner, Curt and Mara have little reason to trust each other and every reason to deny the sparks between them that blaze hotter than the Hawaiian sun. Still, desire clashes with loyalty when they discover a conspiracy that threatens not only their lives but the national security of the United States.

Description from Goodreads.com.

02. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kim K, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

River road by Jayne Ann Krentz, 336 pages, read by Kim K, on 03/01/2015

It’s been thirteen years since Lucy Sheridan was in Summer River. The last time she visited her aunt Sara there, as a teenager, she’d been sent home suddenly after being dragged out of a wild party—by the guy she had a crush on, just to make it more embarrassing. Obviously Mason Fletcher—only a few years older but somehow a lot more of a grown-up—was the overprotective type who thought he had to come to her rescue.

Now, returning after her aunt’s fatal car accident, Lucy is learning there was more to the story than she realized at the time. Mason had saved her from a very nasty crime that night—and soon afterward, Tristan, the cold-blooded rich kid who’d targeted her, disappeared mysteriously, his body never found.

A lot has changed in thirteen years. Lucy now works for a private investigation firm as a forensic genealogist, while Mason has quit the police force to run a successful security firm with his brother—though he still knows his way around a wrench when he fills in at his uncle’s local hardware store. Even Summer River has changed, from a sleepy farm town into a trendy upscale spot in California’s wine country. But Mason is still a protector at heart, a serious (and seriously attractive) man. And when he and Lucy make a shocking discovery inside Sara’s house, and some of Tristan’s old friends start acting suspicious, Mason’s quietly fierce instincts kick into gear. He saved Lucy once, and he’ll save her again. But this time, she insists on playing a role in her own rescue.

Description from Goodreads.com.

02. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Melody K, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Grave danger by Rachel Grant, 288 pages, read by Melody, on 02/28/2015

She’s being stalked…

After struggling to recover from a career-crippling mistake, archaeologist Libby Maitland has landed the project of her dreams—a data recovery excavation in a picturesque, historic sawmill town. Tasked with digging up secrets of the town’s founding family, Libby soon learns that nothing in Coho, Washington, is as idyllic as it seems.

She’s barely settled into her new home when suspicious events make her believe she’s being stalked…

Or maybe she’s losing her mind.

Coho Police Chief Mark Colby can’t decide if Libby is crazy or if she has her own twisted agenda, but the deeper he delves into her past, the more intrigued he becomes. Even as he and Libby grow closer, he can’t quite let his initial suspicion go.

When Libby’s life is threatened, they must work together to determine if the truth about her stalker is buried in her past, or if the answers can be found in the layers of the excavation.

Description from Goodreads.com.

02. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kim K, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood, 520 pages, read by Kim K, on 02/28/2015

In the still shadows of the confessional, a madman tauntingly reveals his plan for a murder he is going to commit, pulling Father Thomas Madden into a twisted game by disclosing his next intended victim: Tom’s sister, Laurant. In a frantic race to protect her, Tom calls upon his best friend, elite FBI agent Nick Buchanan, to track the predator who is closing in on Laurant. Now, as an electrifying attraction grows between Laurant and Nick, so does the danger — and one false move will cost both of them everything that matters.

Let New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood take you on a thrilling excursion into the soaring heights — and the darkest impulses — of the human heart.

Description from Goodreads.com.

02. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King, 307 pages, read by Angie, on 02/28/2015

Glory O’Brien has just graduated from high school and doesn’t really see a future for herself. She and her dad have been stuck ever since her mom DArla committed suicide when Glory was 4 years old. The only thing Glory has is her photography, which Darla also had. She starts learning more about her mom after taking over the dark room in the basement. She finds her mom’s album entitled “Why People Take Pictures” filled with disturbing images and starts answering her mom in her own album.

Glory lives across the road from her best friend Ellie. Only she is not sure she wants Ellie to be her best friend anymore. Ellie lives on a commune run by her mother Jasmine Blue and totally takes advantage of Glory. The girls find a petrified bat and decide to drink it when it turns to dust. The bat gives the girls the ability to see the past and future when they look in someone’s eyes. They see people’s ancestors doing all kinds of things and they see people’s descendants in the future. Glory’s visions of the future all revolve around war. There is going to be a second civil war in America. This time it will not be slavery that divides the country but women’s rights. The passage of an equal pay bill will splinter the country and some states will end up taking away the rights of women completely. This will divide the country and cause a war as women basically become fugitives or breeding machines.

I am torn about this book. I really enjoyed the contemporary story of Glory trying to figure out her life. In the beginning, she only sees herself through Darla and doesn’t believe there is a future for her. Through the visions and the people she meets she starts to see herself as a different person, as someone with a future to look forward to even if it involves war. She also helps draw her dad back into the land of the living. Finally, she comes to terms with her relationship with Ellie and the commune. It was a compelling story and one I really wanted to read. However, the visions of the future just threw me off. I found it so unbelievable that I couldn’t buy into the visions or the future they represented. It was an interesting future and made for good storytelling, but it was just too far-fetched for me.

02. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Humor, Memoirs, NonFiction

It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy by Laurie Notaro, 240 pages, read by Angie, on 03/01/2015

I had never read anything by Laurie Notaro before picking up this book, but I just might have to read more. She is hilarious and the situations she finds herself in are laugh out loud funny. Highlights of the book include her feud with the local post office where she was banned for wanting too many two cent stamps, being banned from the neighborhood Christmas party because she dared to mouth the words to Jingle Bells, and the dog bark translator. Really all the chapters were hilarious so it is hard to pick favorites. Read it and I dare you not to laugh!

02. March 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fiction, Teen Books

The darkest part of the forest by Holly Black, 328 pages, read by Angie, on 02/17/2015

In the heart of the forest lies a glass coffin with a horned-boy in it, a faerie prince forever asleep. He never wakes no matter how many people dance on his coffin, try to kiss him, or simply stare at him in awe. As far as the people know he has always been there and will always be there.

He is not the only unusual thing in Fairfold, a town where humans coexist with the fae. Residents know what to do to protect themselves and only shake their heads when tourists go missing. However, something in the heart of the forest is growing stronger, and the protections no longer seem to be working. Hazel and Ben have grown up in Fairfold. Ben is gifted with music, but his gift comes with a curse. Hazel wants to be a knight and fight the monsters in the forest. She made a deal with the fae, but doesn’t know how or when she will have to pay it back. Hazel is in love with Ben’s best friend Jack, a changeling whose human parents decided to keep him when they got their own son back. Jack knows more about what is happening with the fae in the forest than he lets on. One day, the horned-boy awakes and the monster at the heart of the forest makes her way into town. Hazel, Ben and Jack have to find a way to stop the monster and save the town before it is too late.

This is Holly Black at her best. It is a dark fairy tale filled with lies, secrets, heroes and curses. Hazel is the star of this story, but she has the most secrets to protect. Hazel is keeping secrets from Ben about the deal she made with the Alderking; she is keeping secrets from Jack about her true feelings; and she is unknowingly keeping secrets from herself. Hazel’s secrets have to be revealed if our heroes are going to win the day.

Fans of Holly Black’s teen books like the Modern Faerie Tale series or The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, and her middle grade books Doll Bones and The Spiderwick Chronicles, will appreciate the way she is able to weave the dark elements of this story in with the more heart-warming elements. She is at her best when she is writing about strong female characters who are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves and those around them, but who are also aware enough to know when they need help.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.com.

27. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Noelle, Thriller/Suspense

Micro by MIchael Criton and Richard Preston, 429 pages, read by Noelle, on 02/23/2015

http://origin.syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=9780060873080/LC.gif&client=mirip&type=hw7Umm… this book is SILLY :)  It’s Honey I Shrunk the Kids meets Lord of the Flies meets nanotechnology.  It wasn’t particularly well written and the narrator must have had a previous stint as a sports announcer.  That being said, my hubby and I had fun to listening to this on a car trip and it kept us awake while driving.  Hurray for safe driving!  It also ignited a lot of imaginative conversations on our trip.  Also, I have a fondness for beetles and I think Michael Crichton did as well.

Three men are found dead in the locked second-floor office of a Honolulu building, with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye. In the lush forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting. Trillions of microorganisms, tens of thousands of bacteria species, are being discovered; they are feeding a search for priceless drugs and applications on a scale beyond anything previously imagined. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, seven graduate students at the forefront of their fields are recruited by a pioneering microbiology start-up. Nanigen MicroTechnologies dispatches the group to a mysterious lab in Hawaii, where they are promised access to tools that will open a whole new scientific frontier. But once in the Oahu rain forest, the scientists are thrust into a hostile wilderness that reveals profound and surprising dangers at every turn. Armed only with their knowledge of the natural world, they find themselves prey to a technology of radical and unbridled power. To survive, they must harness the inherent forces of nature itself.