29. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Science Fiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

Doctor Who: The Forgotten Army by Brian Minchin, 256 pages, read by Tammy, on 10/27/2014

dr whoThe Doctor takes Amy to New York in the near future. He plans on buying her the best burger ever, the one that aliens travel across the galaxy and even back in time to eat. As they join the line they notice a police force moving through the streets. What is happening at the museum? Why are people running and yelling away from a new exhibit of a prehistoric woolly mammoth?

Turns out an army from a distant planet has come to overthrow the earth, but they thought they’d show up in the prehistoric era, not in the 21st century in one of the largest cities on Earth. In spite of this glitch the army is still determined to take over and enslave the humans instead of the large prehistoric creatures. Of course, at first the Doctor and Amy don’t take them seriously as they are only 3 inches tall but they are very clever and technologically advanced. Once they capture the Doctor what is Amy to do? Who can she trust?

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

29. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Leslie, Science Fiction · Tags:

Under the Dome by Stephen King, 1074 pages, read by Leslie, on 07/18/2013

Under the Dome

The small town of Chester’s Mill, Maine, is faced with a big dilemma when it is mysteriously sealed off by an invisible and completely impenetrable force field. With cars and airplanes exploding on contact, the force field has completely isolated the townspeople from the outside world. Now, Iraq war vet Dale Barbara and a group of the town’s more sensible citizens must overcome the tyrannical rule of Big Jim Rennie, a politician bent on controlling everything within the Dome.

I enjoyed this huge novel, even though it took me longer than I wanted!  I liked the alien connection at the end and have to hope that could never really happen.  I will say that I am totally disappointed in the TV version of this book, it really doesn’t match up much, in fact, a lot of it is opposite from the book.  I would recommend it to any King fan.

01. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: History, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

The Real Life Downton Abbey by Jacky Hyams, 239 pages, read by Tammy, on 04/15/2013

real life downtonThis was a fun, informative book. Great for all Downton Abbey fans. It is written by a British author so occasionally a British term or two. Each chapter covers a different section of life in a wealthy home usually starting with how the lord and lady and their family were expected to behave then the upper servants down to the lowly kitchen maid, poor Daisy.

upstairs & downstairsThis illustrated book takes you on a guided tour of a single day in an wealthy English home of the Edwardian era. Starting with the servants hard at work while the family is still asleep in their beds, and ending with a lavish dinner party, this book includes accounts from actual masters and servants. It also contains feature pages on famous figures like Winston Churchill and Virginia Woolf and their comments about their home life and their servants.

13. September 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Tammy · Tags: ,

Spike: The Complete Series by Brian Lynch, 200 pages, read by Tammy, on 09/10/2012

The compilation of a series of comics centered around the character of Spike, known to many fans from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series and Angel series. This story takes place after the stories that aired on Buffy and Angel. Spike sets out on his own to lead his own team in Las Vegas. Let the mayhem begin!

30. August 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Autobiographies, Memoirs, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell, 304 pages, read by Tammy, on 08/30/2012

Bruce Campbell is probably best know for his “sidekick” roles in Burn Notice, Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules tv series. He also starred in a couple of short-lived action comedy series: The Adventures of Brisco County Jr and Jack of All Trades. In this autobiography, Bruce Campbell takes you along on his journey from a kid in Detroit, Michigan who loved to make 8mm movies with classmate Sam Raimi to his “blue-color” career in Hollywood. Detailed chapters take you along for the ride as he and other Detroit “boys” make their first feature-length horror film, they produced, Sam directed and Bruce acted in, Evil Dead. If your a fan of his tv career you won’t be surprised that Campbell opts for humor over deep reflection in his descriptions of his work in Hollywood. 

02. July 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Memoirs, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , , ,

The Garner Files: A Memoir by James Garner, Jon Winokur, with an introduction by Julie Andrews Edwards, 273 pages, read by Tammy, on 06/29/2012

Best known to people of my generation as Jim Rockford a detective with a big heart and a since of humor, here’s his life story from Garner himself. He left home at the age of 14 after suffering physical abuse at the hands of his stepmother and tried a lot of jobs and served in the Korean War before trying acting. He was part of the end of the studio system where actors “belonged” to a studio and were paid a weekly rate no matter how many movies, tv shows, appearances etc., you were doing that week or how much the studio made from your work. He worked alongside Julie Andrews, Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, Audrey Hepburn and Steve McQueen. Garner became a star in his own right, despite struggles with stage fright and depression. He relates his acting career, family life and shares his personal beliefs including that he’s  “a card-carrying liberal—and proud of it,” and much more. Interesting stories from a man who overcame a poor homelife as a child … because what’s the alternative … and became a well-known movie and TV star.

30. May 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , , , ,

Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy's Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets by Buddy Valastro, 337 pages, read by Tammy, on 05/24/2012

TLC Cake Boss host Buddy Valastro insists that baking gets a bad rap only because most home cooks never learn the basics that enable them to build on their talents, as it were, layer by layer. Baking with the Cake Boss gently guides you through; from simple cookie treats to pies, pastries, and, yes, even those ornate decorated cakes that make bridesmaids swoon. Complete with step-by-step instructional photos, how-to boxes and sidebars, and just the tips you need to make your own yummy and beautiful desserts.

The memoir of a young British girl as she enters the world of work as a kitchen maid and works her way up to a cook serving in a variety of homes in England. Each house and the family “upstairs” is each different and unique. Kindness and generosity depending much more upon the individuals than on their economic means. An interesting look back at the day to day life of a household servant in very class conscious England.

10. May 2012 · 1 comment · Categories: NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean, 324 pages, read by Tammy, on 05/05/2012

Susan Orlean follows Rin Tin Tin’s journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon and follows the lives of his ardent fans that kept the lineage alive and documented but shows the appeal of the character across generations of fans and puppies. So much so that some say Rin Tin Tin has never died because there is always a Rin Tin Tin or Rinny.

The story begins on a battlefield in France during World War I, when a young American soldier, Lee Duncan, discovered a newborn German shepherd in the ruins of a bombed-out dog kennel. Duncan brought Rinty home to California, where the dog’s athleticism and acting ability drew the attention of Warner Bros. Over the next ten years, Rinty starred in twenty-three blockbuster silent films that saved the studio from bankruptcy and made him the most famous dog in the world. At the height of his popularity, Rin Tin Tin was Hollywood’s number one box office star. During the decades that followed, Rinty and his descendants rose and fell with the times, making a tumultuous journey from silent films to talkies, from black-and-white to color, from radio programs to one of the most popular television shows of the baby boom era, The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin. The canine hero’s legacy was cemented by Duncan and a small group of others—including Bert Leonard, the producer of the TV series, and Daphne Hereford, the owner of the current Rin Tin Tin—who have dedicated their lives to making sure the dog’s legend will never die. A heartfelt story.

25. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Memoirs, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , , , ,

Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia by Buddy Valastro, 255 pages, read by Tammy, on 04/21/2012

In this heartfelt memoir, Buddy from the popular TV show, Cake Boss shares his family’s history and the history of Carlo’s Bakery from the time his dad started working there until today where the bakery, his family and crew are featured on TLC. Buddy shares his journey and transformation from the youngest child in a big Italian family who loses his father as a young man and becomes a person who can run a busy, successful bakery. He also shares some of the recipes made famous by the show sized down for personal baking.

04. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Graphic Novel, Mystery, Tammy · Tags: ,

Richard Castle's Deadly Storm: A Derrick Storm Mystery by Richard Castle, 92 pages, read by Tammy, on 04/03/2012

The people at the ABC show Castle are certainly having a lot of fun with their character, Richard Castle, a mystery novelist who joins up with a police detective to solve crime and then basis a new mystery series on her.  Now they are releasing novels under the character’s name and this is their first branch into graphic novels. The real author’s identity is being kept a secret so far and mystery fans are having lots of fun trying to figure out who it really is.

This “adaptation” of Castle’s first Derrick Storm novel takes the action from private eye spying on a cheating spouse to International intrigue with the CIA.




02. April 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Memoirs, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver by Rick Harrison, 258 pages, read by Tammy, on 04/02/2012

Story of life at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas made famous by the History Channel show Pawn Stars. Rick gives you info on the pawn shop business and some of his personal and family history. He also shares some of the more interesting items that have come in to the shop, items that aren’t for sale and stories about some of their more colorful regular customers (with names changed of course). His Dad, Corey and Chumlee each get their own chapter to tell the story from their viewpoint as well. Chumlee does come across smarter in the book than he does in the show, but he also comments that he doesn’t mind that he still sells more fan t-shirts, bobble heads etc., so he’s happy with how he is portrayed on TV. If you’re a fan of the show because of the unique items that come in and the relationships between the family members you will enjoy this book.

09. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Mystery, Reviewer, Tammy · Tags: ,

Riding the Rap by Elmore Leonard, 294 pages, read by Tammy, on 02/07/2012

Riding the RapAn adventure of Raylon Givens, US Marshall, while he’s stationed in Florida doing fugitive retrieval. Some slight differences in the earlier life of Raylon compared to the tv series, Justified, but the personality and attitude of the character are all there.

23. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , , ,

American Pickers Guide to Picking by Libby Callaway, Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, Danielle Colby , 209 pages, read by Tammy, on 01/05/2012

American Pickers Guide to PickingMike Wolfe and Frank Fritz of the American Pickers TV program on History Channel share their experiences traveling across America looking for hidden treasures. These aren’t fine antiques but anything unusual or car or bike related. Sometimes they find just a tail light off an old car but it’s something someone restoring a car would be excited to find. They view part of the job as restoring old things back to useful objects or as items that will be displayed and enjoyed rather than rusting away in an old barn.

The book offers helpful hints and lots of things to consider before you start out “picking” yourself and what it would take to do it professionally. What I enjoyed most where the personal experiences Mike and Frank share in the book.