Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fables, vol. 1

by Bill Willingham, 128 pages.

I like faery tales retold, as I've said before. I enjoyed this graphic novel and think I will continue to read them. That's all I, evidently, have to say about that.

Fables: War and Pieces, 191 pages

This was probably the saddest book so far. Characters that I had come to care about didn't make it, and it's amazing how involved in these books I've become. The next two books are severely overdue and I may have to go to the patron's house and get them back, I'm that hooked on this series.

Fables: The Good Prince, 228 pages

This was one of the sweetest books in the series so far.

Fables:Wolves, 159 pages

Bigsby is back! This series has continue to hold my interest and is definitely not fairytales for little kids.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Woman's Guide to Menopause & Perimenopause by Mary Jane Minkin, MD and Carol V. Wright PhD (412 pgs)

This book got off to a bad start with me right from the Foreword by male Dr. Charles J. Lockwood who writes, "I am a man, and therefore will not experience menopause; based on my wife's up-close-and-personal experience with the topic, I will be forever grateful for this accident of fertilization. Through my wife, however, I have managed to experience firsthand the joys of hot flushes, night sweats, and sleep disruption." (Emphasis is mine. "Hot flushes", by the way, is apparently the way it is said in England."

So, while still dealing with irritation over his so-called "firsthand experience", I got farther into the book. It seemed confused as to how the book was to deal with the reader. Instead of talking TO the reader (though the book was set up in a Q&A format), it seemed more to be talking about her. It was as though a doctor was talking to other doctors and the patient happens to be present. The style of address wasn't consistent. There were also more typos (often words missing) than I am comfortable in having in a medical text.

I guess I was hoping for more of a "What to Expect When..." type of style. Girlfriends with medical knowledge sort of thing. This was heavy medical and rather boring to read. Despite all of these negatives, there is plenty of good information, especially if you have specific questions that you are looking for answers to rather than just wanting general information.

Making Colorful Wire & Beaded Jewelry by Linda Jones (128 pgs)

As one who enjoys a wide variety of crafts, I am always on the lookout for something to try... either new or just an old favourite with a twist. I have been working on beading and wanting to expand my skill set so I thought this book my be a good choice.

I was quite please with not only the project ideas, but also the illustrations and the clear instructions on how to do them. Expanding beyond just beads to the use of decorative wire can have some beautiful results with all sorts of jewelry, such as necklaces, pendants, earrings, and rings, and those skills can then be applied to other items such as napkin rings or drink markers.

This book may be worth adding to my collection.

Let It Rot! by Stu Campbell (152 pgs.)

Subtitled: The Gardener's Guide to Composting

The subtitle on this book is fairly misleading. After a quick study of vermiculture in Mary Appelhof's "Worms Eat My Garbage", I was looking for more information on a traditional compost pile. While it was quite informative, this book is intended for those who do gardening on a much larger scale. Farmers might be more the target audience.

Little attention was given to kitchen waste. It was dealt with by referring to Mary Appelhof's book (not entirely accurately, either). At that point I was convinced to give vermiculture (worm growing) a try.

If you have large garden spaces and large amounts of yard waste (leaves, grasses, manure, etc.) this book is for you. I found it odd that he not only searched out compostable materials, but also sometimes PURCHASED them. That seems to defeat the purpose, to me, but, again, I was not the target audience he was writing for.

Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof (162 pgs.)

The cover art and the title grabbed my attention on this one. I am interested in gardening and composting, so I thought I'd give it a try. This book basically tells you how to set up a worm bin for disposal of your kitchen scraps and why you would want to do so. Worm bins reduce garbage day waste, makes use of kitchen waste, produces vermicompost (worm poop) for house plants and gardens, and can be used to raise fishing worms.

The detail provided in this book is good and just about had me convinced to give this worm bin thing a go, but I wasn't quite sure. Ironically, it was the next book I read on composting (Let It Rot by Stu Campbell) that convinced me to go for it. Vermiculture may not be for everyone, but I'm looking forward to it.

Shopping for God by James B. Twitchell (324 pgs.)

Subtitled: How Christianity Went From In Your Heart to In Your Face

The title of this book is what caught my attention, though I wasn't quite sure from the cover art where the author was going to go with the idea. It started out with me thinking that he had some good, if challenging insights into how churches today are struggling to stay active and open. As I read more I started to think that maybe this guy (a self-described "apatheist") just didn't get it as he was, in my opinion, confusing what success means in a church. By the end of the book, I just thought he was an idiot.

While some of his points were valid, his "research" was quite limited. It seems that most of the traditional churches he visited were in the same general area in Florida. (There were lots of old people. Whoa. Big surprise there. Or not.) He then compared these with Megachurches. He was also using a business model to define "success" and that doesn't necessarily match up with a faith based situation.

The book would have been much better had it been about 1/3 as long.

Fables: Sons of Empire, 200 pages

Finally one of the books has a semi-happy ending, but for how long. I love this graphic novel series, sadly I seem to be winding my way to the end. I don't know what I will do next.

Beyond the Farthest Star by Brock and Bodie Thoene -- 228 pgs

An inspirational story about an extremely dysfunctional preacher's family. While I enjoyed the book, the ending was too quickly and neatly tied up. After the climax of the book, it looked like everything was almost immediately hunky dory, and in life troubled families (preachers or not) just don't heal instantly. By ending too quickly, it left too many unanswered questions in my mind.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Paris, Tightwad, and Peculiar by Margot Ford McMillen, 93 pages

My husband had checked this book out and I thought it looked interesting. It's a relatively short read, giving the background for some of the more odd place names in Missouri. I had always thought Versailles and Paris, MO, were named after France, but no, they're actually named after towns in Kentucky. This wasn't an indepth read or totally engrossing, but if you want to learn some interesting tidbits in an afternoon, this is a good book for that.

MASH goes to Maine by Richard Hooker, 190 pages

The doctors you loved in the original book are back home. Hawkeye decides to pull all his friends together into practice in Crabapple Cove, Maine. I have to say I like this book better than the first one. It was hard to read at times with the use of local vernacular, but it was still pretty funny. I'm glad I got this inter-library loan.

Dead End In Norvelt by Jack Gantos (352 pages)

Don't waste your time. I hate to put it like that, but honestly, I was greatly disappointed in the 2012 Newbery Medal winner.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Runaway Princess by Kate Coombs, 279 pages

Meg has has her hand in marriage and half the kingdom promised to whoever can rid the kingdom of the witch, the bandits (who only steal from the rich and give to the poor) and the dragon. Meg decides to warn the witch, bandits, and dragon rather than hang around waiting to be rescued from a tower. Adventure and mishaps galore soon set in.
I picked up this book for Sammi today, and then discovered that the book I brought to read was actually the 4th in a series, and I can't read a series out of order. So I started Sammi's book and was hooked. It was fun, and a good read, with a heroine determined to save herself.

V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton, 437 pgs

The latest installment in the Kinsey Millhone series. I love this series but some books are better than others - this one is on the better side. The story starts with a 38 year old Kinsey recovering from broken nose. To find out how her nose was broken we have to go back a few days to when she was still 37 and on a quest to buy new underwear. While in pursuit of said underwear she witnesses and reports a shop lifting incident. One shop lifter is caught but the other escapes undetected by everyone but Kinsey. Following the shop lifter, Kinsey is very nearly run over by the woman. Bad move on the shop lifter's part because now Kinsey can't let it go. Her pursuit of the case leads her into organized crime and possible police corruption. As always there is an interesting mix of characters and what seems simple is not. This one came out a few months ago but I waited to read it because I knew once I finished I was going to have to wait a year or more for Kinsey's next case and to see what W is for.

Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory, 422 pages

Stony is a different kind of zombie. He was found as a baby, and grew up. Now his family works together to hide Stony from the government who wants to purge all zombies from the world.
This was a different kind of zombie book, with the zombies retaining awareness, and banding together to stay under the government's radar. It wasn't a bad read at all.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Elizabeth's Secret Diary, Volume II by Kate William, 325 pages

This is a behind the scenes look at the Sweet Valley High books #71-82, with storylines never seen before. I'm closer than ever to the end of this series.


by Marissa Meyer, 390 pages.

Cinderella as a in yet? Ok, so it also needs to have a decent plot and good writing? Check. It also needs to NOT be about the boy saving the girl? Check. You also don't want a typical faerytale ending? Check. You want her to have as-yet unrealized superpowers? Check. You want her to be even MORE interesting than a cyborg Cinderella? Well, she is also a mechanic with an android sidekick...if you don't want to read this now, I don't even know you. ;)

Seriously, though, this was a great read and a good introduction to a new series of scifi faerytale goodness. I am ALL in, baby!

Monday, March 26, 2012

101 Road Patrol Tales by E.W. Tompkins Jr., 203 pages

Tompkins was a patrolman with the California Highway Patrol and this book contains 101 of his funniest and oddest moments. It was a little hard at times to follow because he would try to lay out a scene using a lot of directions and my spatial imagination isn't always the best, but for a fun light read, it wasn't bad.

Too Much Information by Gene Ambaum & Bill Barnes, 127 pages

This is the newest Unshelved collection that my supervisor was nice enough to pick up for me at PLA. I am a huge fan of Unshelved and wish it could be assigned reading for some of our patrons. I feel like I alternate between Dewey and Colleen.

Fables: Arabian Nights (and Days), 143 pages

These graphic novels just keep getting better and better. I can't wait for Bigsby to show back up.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

American Pie by Pascale Le Draoulec, 368 pages

This is the book for Readers Without Borders book club, and I'm very glad I picked it up. Pascale is heading to New York from California, and decides to turn her trip into a discovery of pie, America's favorite dessert. It's amazing how just talking about pie will turn strangers into friends bonding over this homage to family and past. It's amazing how pie differs from region to region, yet it has a common ground that brings us all together with fork in hand. I have discovered a new passion for baking and some great new pie recipes that I can't wait to try. I may wait a little while before I attempt my pie crusts, but I will be trying them sometime. This was a great read that I wholeheartedly recommend to everyone.

The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas, 414 pages

Rinette Leslie is at the deathbed of Mary of Guise, queen regent of Scotland, and plans on making her way home to her beloved Granmuir. But the dying queen entrusts Rinette with a silver casket filled with secrets of Scotland's leading families. Rinette makes it home to Granmuir and marries her beloved Alexander, but the silver casket claims his life and her happiness. She trades the silver casket for her husband's murderer, but will Rinette be able to survive long enough to see that trade happen? She must rely on her ability to read the flowers, but can she trust her instincts?
This was a great historical read, with Rinette being a strong female character in a time that neither valued nor appreciated a woman's worth. I was skeptical when I first started the book, about Rinette's flower reading ability, but it was portrayed in a way that fit the book and wasn't hokey or over the top. I enjoyed how the historical personages, such as Nostradamus and James Stewart, were interplayed with fictional characters. Fans of Karen Harper and Philippa Gregory will enjoy Elizabeth Loupas' new take on historical fiction.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fables: Homelands, 190 pages

This was slightly different from the previous books, as it covers 3-4 years from Jack's time in Hollywood, the Homelands, and Fabletown. We finally get to discover who the Adversary is in this book also. I love how all the different fable and legend characters are brought into the stories.

Tales of Terror from the Black Shop by Chris Priestley, 243 pages

These are some very dark and creepy childrens' stories, filled with gruesomeness and a high shiver factor. I really think we need to add these books to our library.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fables: The Mean Seasons, 166 pages

Volume 5 in what is becoming one of my favorite graphic novel series. Bigby and Snow White are a great couple, can't wait to read more about them.

A Catered St. Patrick's Day by Isis Crawford, 323 pages

A perfectly fine murder mystery, just not my favorite.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Unwind by Neal Shusterman 335 pgs

After Shusterman's visit, I was intrigued enough to read this book. All I can say is, "Read it." This would make a great movie (I can see it right up there with Hunger Games). It is thought-provoking. I mean really -- retroactively aborting your teenager?! Just read it.

The Girl Who Couldn't Say No: Memoir of a Teenage Mom by Tracy Engelbrecht - 222 pgs

Enelgrecht, a South African writer, tells her story of teenage parenthood. Becoming pregnant at 15, she raises her child. She tells her story in a conversational-stream-of-consciousness-type narrative. Sometimes it was amusing; sometimes it just got old. I'd given this book 2.5 stars. It'll kill some time, but I wouldn't put it at the top of my want to read list.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror by Chris Priestley, 239 pages

I had really enjoyed Mister Creecher by Christ Priestley, so I thought I would pick up one of his other books. Unfortunately, we don't have any others, so I had to request this via inter-library loan. Edward is visiting his strange and slightly creepy Uncle Montague, listening to his stories. It doesn't take very many before Edward notices something odd that all the stories have in common. But, will Edward figure this out in time, or will he end up in one of Uncle Montague's stories.
This was an entertaining read, creepy and a lot of fun.

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr (341 pages)

Okay. I'm going to try really hard to do this book justice. I haven't read a book that honestly made me cry in a very long time, so that should tell you something right there.

Jill's dad died almost a year ago and she's having a really hard time with it. She was never close with her mom the way she always was with her dad. She has his personality, which is sometimes a little too blunt, causing him to always tell her to "try a little tenderness." When her mom decides to move on and adopt a new baby, Jill is furious. She's convinced that her mom is only trying to fill the void left by her dad's death.

Enter Mandy, a pregnant, socially awkward 18 year old. She reads an online post about a widowed lady looking for a baby to adopt, and knows in her heart that this is the person who is meant to adopt her baby. After corresponding with the woman, she's more sure than ever, so when her due date comes a little closer, she hops on a train to Denver. What she finds there with Jill and her mother is something she never expected.

This book rocked me. It was slow starting out, and I almost didn't keep reading but I am so so glad I did. I don't want to spoil it, but there was just something so inspiring about this strange little pregnant girl who has never known what it's like to belong anywhere, or to have someone love her, come into the life of this broken, grieving family and change them. It was beautiful, and it broke my heart, but in a really wonderful way. Read it.

Victims by Jonathan Kellerman, 338 pages

The newest Alex Delaware book, but I think at this point I'm just reading them out of habit. The books are still an okay read, but not as gripping and intriguing as they were at the beginning of the series. Plus, the end felt like it was wrapped up just too neatly and fast for my taste.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Gallery of Regrettable Foods.

by James Lileks, 192 pages.

I've read this book several times. It contains pictures of gross-looking foods from cookbooks of yester-year. If it existed today, it would be a funny tumblr blog.

MWF seeking BFF: my yearlong search for a new best friend.

by Rachel Bertsche, 100 pages (that's how many I read before I gave up).

I thought this would be a joyful romp: a homance, as it were, but this chick seemed annoying. Needy. Just not a person I could relate to, so I stopped reading. I think that finding your BFF is a valid goal and I applaud her systematic application of one girl-date per week, but it just didn't hold my interest.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

by Seth Grahame-Smith, 336 pages.

I thought I was done with re-imagined classics (or in this case, the re-imagined life of a classic figure). I thought I was done with vampires. I thought I didn't care about a male protagonist, because usually I like to see the girls kicking the ass...

but I really enjoyed this book. It took me way too long to get around to reading it, but it was a delight!

I then watched the trailer for the upcoming film adaptation, and I fear it will not do the quiet dignity of the book's (and probably the man's true nature) portrayal of Lincoln justice.

"Serious Eats: a Comprehensive Guide to Making & Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are" by Ed Levine, 368 pages

This was a fun book. I was expecting a cookbook, but while there are recipes contained within, "Serious Eats" is mostly about where to find good food around the country. The categories cover everything from burgers to barbecue, fried foods to home-grown and house-made. My favorite chapter was about street food and food trucks. The book is well organized, with plenty of pictures and creative typography to break up the text. It's worth checking out just to see if any of your favorite places might have made the cut.

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff, 363 pages

I must admit that I chose this book because of the gothic loveliness of the cover. I just wish I liked the rest of the book as much as I liked the cover. Daphne, the daughter of Lucifer and Lilith, the first wife of Adam, lives in Pandemonium, a city made of metal in Hell, where the days stretch ahead of her endlessly. When Daphne's brother Obie goes missing on Earth, she travels there to find him. Once there, she meets Truman, a human boy she first encountered in Pandemonium. The two fall in love while Daphne searches for her brother and avoids danger at the hands of archangels who seek to slay demons. I thought this book had potential; I was slightly intrigued by the angels vs. demons aspect. But the settings and the characters were so very dreary, and I had a difficult time staying interested. Not the book for me, but someone else might enjoy it.

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (356 pages)

When Josh brings over a free AOL CD-ROM for Emma to install on her new computer, neither of them know their lives are about to be changed. Because when Emma logs onto her email, it automatically pulls up Facebook. The only problem is, it's 1996 and Facebook hasn't even been invented yet. Emma figures out soon enough that what she's seeing on her computer screen is her life, 15 years in the future. And every time she logs on again, her future has changed. Emma comes to the realization that everything she does now is affecting her future, and she's going to have to change some things in her life now if she ever wants to be happy later.

I loved Jay Asher's Th1rteen R3asons Why. I had high hopes for this one, and I wasn't disappointed. I finished the whole book in one afternoon. The story is told from the alternating viewpoints of Emma and Josh, and while Emma sometimes annoyed me, Josh was wonderful. This book was good, you guys. The best kind of book is the one that makes you just sit there and think when you turn the last page, and that's what this one did for me. Because when you think about it, every choice you make is affecting not only yourself, but everyone around you. Which is kind of scary sometimes.

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty (280 pages)

Jessica Darling's whole world is practically destroyed when her best friend Hope, moves away. Without Hope, she doesn't have any real friends at school. To make matters worse, her dad is obsessed with her track meets and gets upset when Jessica does anything less than perfect, her mom is busy with her sister's wedding, and the boy she's crushing on has no idea she exists.

So this sounds like typical realistic teen fiction. And it pretty much is. I liked the book, I thought it was funny and clever and adorable. It definitely isn't the greatest book I've ever read, but as far as realistic fiction goes, it's pretty far up on the list. :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wonder by R. J. Palacio (315 pages)

Essentially, this is the story of August (Auggie) Pullman's fifth grade year, however, it is so much more.

Auggie is a lot like most other fifth graders, however, physically, he is very different due to being born with a severe facial deformity. Previously, Auggie was homeschooled, but this year his parents have decided that he should attend Beecher Prep Middle School. Middle school can be hard under the best of circumstances, but imagine what it is going to be like for Auggie?

Though hard to stomach at times, this is one title that everyone (children, teens and adults) should read. It is amazing! Auggie is a rare gem that readers will be hard pressed to forget. Don't miss one of the best books of 2012. Join Auggie, and his network of family and friend, to discover what one boy's courage can accomplish over the course of a school year.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The High School War by Kate William, 201 pages

The rivalry between Palisades High and Sweet Valley High has escalated into a full-fledged war-with Jessica Wakefield caught in the middle. She's fallen in love with Christian Gorman, the ringleader of the deadly Palisades gang. And when Jessica's boyfriend, Ken Matthews, finds out, he might do something he'll regret for a lifetime. After a school dance turns violent, Elizabeth Wakefield watches powerlessly as her steady boyfriend, Todd Wilkins, is hauled off to jail. What will he do when he discovers she's the one who called the police?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Falling for Lucas by Kate William, 231 pages

Jessica Wakefield's ski vacation goes from fun to fantastic when she takes lessons with handsome skiing instructor Lucas King. There's only one problem: her best friend, Lila Fowler, has fallen for him, too. Jessica's determined to keep Lucas out of Lila's clutches, even if she has to risk life and limb to do it! Elizabeth Wakefield loses sight of her boyfriend, Todd Wilkins, on a craggy slope, and moments later he's caught in a sudden avalanche. Afraid that he might be trapped under the freezing-cold snow, Elizabeth joins forces with a rescue squad to reach him. Will Todd be found alive?

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, 335 pages

I'm not sure how this book ended up on my read shelf since it's been a month or two since I put it on my hold list, but it was a different read that was really good. It covers basically one year in New York City int the life of a young girl who ends up associating with some of the upper crust of society. The story was not predictable, but never strained belief. I would totally recommend this read.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick (465 pages)

After losing her parents in a car wreck and being diagnosed with brain cancer, Alex decides to make one last trek out in the woods to go hiking and say goodbye to her parents. While out there, she runs into an old man and his bratty granddaughter, Ellie. Suddenly an electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, killing the old man instantly. Alex discovers that all of her electronics are no longer working either, and she's stuck in the woods with an 8 year old who hates her. They set off for the ranger's station in hopes that whatever just happened to them happened in a contained area, but they soon find out that's not the case. And whatever it was that killed Ellie's grandfather, has killed several other people as well. And many of those who weren't killed have been Changed... into zombies.

I really liked this book! I haven't read a "zombie book" that I've actually enjoyed since I read The Forest of Hands and Teeth. While there was a rather slow spot in the middle, the beginning and ending were strong and I'll definitely be reading the sequel!!

Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith, 287 pages

This was the playful romp of a sequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are married and settling down for a long and happy life together when Darcy is bitten by a zombie. Elizabeth must turn to Darcy's aunt for help, knowing that the price may her marriage.
While this wasn't as good as the first book, or Jane Austen's original Pride and Prejudice, this was still an enjoyable read.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Death of a Kingfisher by M.C. Beaton, 245 pages

This is another great Hamish Macbeth mysteries by one of my favorite writers. I love how Hamish is so much better with his dog and wild cat than with women. There is always lots of action in these books, combined with great humor. The children in this novel with totally creepy.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Camp Killer by Kate William, 197 pages

Elizabeth Wakefield and Nicole Banes have split Camp Echo Mountain right down the middle. The two junior counselors are captains of opposing teams in a color war, and the tension between the two sides is thick. Everyone's talking about it. But that's not the only topic of discussion. According to legend, a maniac, Crazy Freddie, lurks in the wood that surround the camp. No one really believes it's true-until Elizabeth hears chopping noises after midnight. She investigates and sees a man heading towards the cabins with an ax in his hand! Compared to Crazy Freddy, the color war is just child's play. Can Elizabeth and Nicole put aside their differences to protect the camp from a killer?

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine (304 pages)

As I'm struggling to accurately review this title, without giving most of the storyline away, I'm going to post the library's catalog summary.

"In 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice and fight against racism."

I listened to the audio version and it was great! I highly recommend it for upper-elementary age children, teens and adults. Marlee was a phenomenal character and her whole family really made the story believable.

Blank Confession by Pete Hautman (170 pages)

Shayne Blank is the new kid in town—but that doesn’t stop him from getting into a lot of trouble, very quickly. The other kids don’t understand him. He’s not afraid of anything. He seems too smart. His background doesn’t add up. And when he walks into the police department to confess to a murder, it quickly becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems. There’s more to Shayne—and his story—than meets the eye. And as the details pile up, the only thing that becomes clear is that nothing is clear at all.

Blank Confession is one of the Gateway Award Nominees for 2012-2013. The story is told through the alternating viewpoints of Mikey, a short kid with a big personality whom Shayne befriends, and Officer Rawls, the cop Shayne talks to when he turns himself in for murder. This was a fast read but it was pretty good, although probably not my favorite from the list of nominees.

Meet Me at Midnight by Kate William, 197 pages

Elizabeth Wakefield hates Nicole Banes. And from the moment she arrived at Camp Echo Mountain, Nicole has hated Elizabeth, too. It doesn't help that Elizabeth is dating Joey Mason, the guy Nicole loves. Now Nicole wants revenge-and a surprise visit from Elizabeth's longtime boyfriend Todd Wilkins gives Nicole the perfect opportunity to ruin Elizabeth's life. As usual, Jessica Wakefield has fallen for the one guy she can't have: Paul Mathis, a gorgeous local. Camp rules absolutely forbid sneaking off the grounds-especially at night. Will Jessica's plans for a moonlit meeting end in disaster...or true love?

Elizabeth's Rival by Kate William, 199 pages

Elizabeth Wakefield is thrilled to be a junior counselor at Camp Echo Mountain in Montana! Best of all, Elizabeth is reunited with one of her closest friends from middle school, Maria Slater, who's also a junior counselor! But when Maria introduces Elizabeth to her best friend, Nicole Banes, it's hate at first sight. And it doesn't help that Elizabeth and Nicole are both falling for the same guy. Lila Fowler's idea of roughing it is giving up her silk sheets. But when she meets gorgeous, rugged Bo Schaeffer, she can't help telling a tiny white lie-that she loves the outdoors, too. Will Lila be able to hike up a mountain, pitch a tent, and chop firewood to impress the most handsome guy she's ever met? Or will the real Lila shine through?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Who the Hell is Pansy O'Hara? by Jenny Bond & Chris Sheedy, 318 pages

This is a behind the scenes look at some of literature's most loved books and volumes. It explores whose manuscript was taller than the author, what author was part of the Allied team that cracked the Enigma Code belonging to the Nazis, who served time in Siberia, who book started as a challenge for children's books, along with forty-six other fascinating stories. Some of the books mentioned I had never read but I'm now planning on picking up (Valley of the Dolls, to name one.)