Monday, April 30, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Each design is accompanied by an explanation and/or bit of Celtic history, myth, or folklore. Vikery even managed to come up with something for each letter of the alphabet. Interesting reading on its own.
The designs in this book are quite beautiful. If you want to take your Celtic design a bit farther, this might be for you.
There is a nice variety of projects including fashion, home, and crafts. The written and photo instructions are clear. Each section has an introduction and each craft has tips or variations included.
Since there are more projects that I'm interested in doing than can be done in a 3 week check-out period, this one will be added to my own crafting library.
God vs. Gay? is divided into 3 parts. Part One discusses why our (our being those of the Judeo-Christian tradition) "fundamental values support, rather than oppose, equality for sexual minorities". Part Two addresses the Bible bullets... those verses that are often shot at people to prove the awfulness of homosexuality. Part Three discusses "why inclusion of sexual minorities is good, not bad, for religious values."
All in all, this was a good book. Part One was a bit wordier than it needed to be, so it felt like it took a long time to get through. Part Two was also not a light read, but very well researched and clearly explanatory. Rather than just dismissing those difficult verses, Jay Michaelson suggests that there are other ways of interpreting them. Part Three was, for me, the highlight of the book. It provided newer insights for me than the other 2 parts had.
Part Three has several quotable bits. The one that really caught my attention was using the words of Apostle Paul himself from 1 Corinthians 13:11 ("When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.") to suggest that many recite those "bad verses" just out of habit of what they have always known without taking the time to re-think and reason. Many times throughout history what the church has "always known to be true" has, in fact, not been true. I believe that Michaelson makes an excellent case that this is one of those times.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Anne Rice has proved herself queen of the vampires and mistress of witches with her many wonderful books. Her many fans, including myself, were heartbroken when she moved from the paranormal to write about Christianity's early days. With "The Wolf Gift", Anne Rice shows that she is back and just as great bringing a new look to the werewolf genre. The characters grab the reader from page one, the reasoning is plausible, and the back story is lush and intriguing. This book will delight not only Anne Rice's old fans but bring a whole new fan base.
I am always a fan of historical fiction, but had never read anything about these sisters or even really this time period. Sophie Perinot has done a wonderful job of bringing to life this tumultuous time, and making these characters dynamic and engaging. Fans of Philippa Gregory and Carolly Erickson will want to add this author to their collection. I can't wait to see who or when she covers next.
Monday, April 23, 2012
The nice touch that helps make this more than just a book of instructions is each section being prefaced with a few paragraphs about the type of flora that will be shown and then a small bit of information specific to each project. Since Helen Walter was showing us how to see our own native flora and create our own designs from them, I think it would have been helpful if she had shown photos of the actual flowers in addition to the finished project design.
After 30+ years of living, I have finally found myself in the part of the country where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived. In preparation for some wonderful field trips, my children and I have been reading/listening to the Little House books. (Minor note... "The Long Winter" was also the first full-length audio book I listened to. I checked out the RECORD ALBUM from my local library.)
"Plum Creek" is the family's story while after they have moved from Indian Territory (Kansas) to Minnesota. Always sure that THIS will be the place where they will become rich and "live like kings", their dreams are dashed again by the plague of grasshoppers. Love and hard work will always pull this family through.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Savannah and Dirk are finally getting married, that is until an arsonist sets their reception hall on fire. Friends hire a wedding planner to help with details for the wedding, take 2, but that wedding is kiboshed when the planner is found dead. Savannah and Dirk must hurry to find the killer if they ever plan on walking down the aisle to a happily ever after.
I really love these books, they're funny, quirky and fast-paced. Watching Savannah cope with the after effects of being shot was heartwrenching, because she has become a character I really care for. If you haven't read any of these books I recommend starting at the beginning because the character development really adds to the enjoyment of the books.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Meh. Usually I love these copy cat recipe books, but I just didn't feel this one. Many of the dishes were from chain restaurants I'd never visited; Joplin mostly has chain restaurants, but the selection is limited, and I usually prefer unique, locally owned places whenever I go out to eat. And, quite frankly, the healthy recipe versions just didn't sound that great. My cooking skills are such that I'm fully capable of making a not so healthy dish fairly healthy (or vegetarian), and I find it kind of unappetizing to read about using "diet margarine" (gross -- I don't even like regular margarine) and artificial sweetener (even grosser, when there are better substitutions available, such as stevia and agave or brown rice syrup). And the restaurant choices are weird this time around. Usually the series spotlights a mix of more upscale chain restaurants, such as P.F. Changs, along with the less upscale, such as Chili's. This time it mostly seemed less upscale. Much less upscale. Was it really necessary to include recipes from Golden Corral, Hardees and KFC? To my way of thinking, nope. But I tend to be a food snob ...
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
by Robin Benway, 320 pages.
This book was really fun. About a teenage music-obsessed blousy blonde and her quirky BFF (very Rayanne-like) and crushes on messy redheaded music-obsessed boys. I tore through it in two days and loved every minute of it.
Jessica Wakefield and Lila Fowler are headed to the Big Apple! They're psyched for a week of Broadway shows, superstretch limos, major shopping and New York guys. Jessica's fun begins the moment she steps on the plane-and finds she's sitting next to rock star Ryder Mitchell. There's an immediate spark between Jessica and Ryder-in fact, things are so hot, they promise to meet for an ultraromantic date at the top of the Empire State Building in three days. Flying first class has definite advantages. But things don't go as planned. The staff at their ritzy hotel mistakes Lila for Princess Charlotte, a visiting royal. Lila and Jessica don't mind the VIP treatment...until a gang of kidnappers also mistakes Lila for the princess-and holds the girls for ransom! It's New York City...and anything can happen.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I very much enjoyed this story and it had me hooked from the beginning. However, I must admit that the numerous typos and errors were disconcerting, and if it were my book, I would fire the editor for not proofreading. I'm looking forward to the movie now (and since I don't have t.v. I have never even seen a preview).
This is a collection of essays that my son Peter and I enjoyed reading together at bed-time. Considering we both looked forward to 10-15 minutes of Awesome each night, it's safe to say this is an enjoyable book. I will probably buy The Book of (Even More) Awesome as a gift for him later on.
This is a collection of post-it notes that people have left on refrigerators, microwaves, doors and various places. It ranges from funny, ironic and kind of sad at times. If you want a light and fluffy read that is easy, pick this one up.
Jessica Wakefield and Jonathan Cain have shared the kiss of a lifetime. Jessica should be wildly happy, but Jonathan keeps pushing her away. What is he hiding behind his dark and dangerous eyes? Jessica's sure she'll discover all of Jonathan's secrets at the party in his mansion. Will it be the most wonderful night of her life-or the most tragic? Elizabeth Wakefield is being torn in two! Her summer fling, Joey Mason, has moved to California, and he wants her back. Elizabeth can't deny her attraction to Joey, but she's still in love with longtime boyfriend Todd Wilkins. How can she choose between them?
Monday, April 16, 2012
You never know what will make you pick up a book. When I saw this book, I remembered the title being mentioned by Erma Bombeck in one of her books, so I thought I'd read it. I am VERY glad that I did.
My 15 year old son is a huge fan of Kenneth Oppel. We've spent a lot of time listening to audiobooks as a family and he brought this one in to the mix.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Jane Fairfax was known as Jane Austen, that was before she was turned into a vampire by Lord Byron years ago. Now she owns a little bookstore in New York, and is finally getting married to her fiance, Walter. But dealing with the wedding preparations are enough to drive even a vampire author crazy. So when Walter suggests that they get married on a tour of houses in Europe, Jane jumps at the chance. But a husband from her past, a holy grail of vampire lore, and a murder all conspire to keep Jane from getting her happily ever after.
"Jane Vows Vengeance" is the newest book in what is a fabulous series by Michael Thomas Ford, combining Jane Austen, vampires, and comedic intrigue in wonderfully written novels. One of the highlights of the book is Jane's total lack of mastery over her vampire skills, while Lord Byron proves just as captivating and charming as a vampire as he was as a poet. Fans of revamped classics and vampire novels will want to pick up this books, it's a read you'll sink your fangs into.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
This looks at hoarders, the behavior behind it, and the people who help clean the houses. Having just moved with probably more books than I need (but not more than I want), I found this interesting and intriguing. I've decided though my problem isn't too much stuff, it's not enough house, lol. The book jumped around a little between the case studies, but was pretty good.
William Shakespeare has figured out a way for him and his lady love to be together. He gives her a potion that simulates death, and will whisk her away from her tomb, leaving her husband, and London believing that Katherine Dymond is dead. But when the vampire playwright shows up, the tomb is empty except for moldering skeletons. Little did they expect Katherine's husband to ship her body back to the New World, falling prey to a sea storm, leaving Katherine and her husband stranded on a magical island, inhabited by a sorcerer, a sprite, and zombies galore. Will must hurry to save his love, and possibly even the throne.
This was probably the funnest retelling of The Tempest that I've ever read. Nothing makes Shakespeare better except turning him into a vampire and adding zombies galore. Lori Handeland has created a well-written new entry into the revamped genre, breathing new life into the undead playwright and his "dark lady" muse. I look forward to reading the next novel in this fantastic new series.
We've all read stories about the fae throughout history but how do these magical creatures make their way through today's world of technology? This collection of short stories showcase a new twist on these supernatural creatures, penned by some of fantasy's best writers. "How Much Salt" shows a selkie seeking out a new home and family while protecting his seal skin. "The Slaughtered Lamb" has a crossdressing werewolf facing a past that had thrown him away. "Hooked" has a fairy utilizing man's obsession with Tinkerbell for her dark purposes, while "Fixed" may have you reconsidering the decision to spay or neuter your animals. These stories ranged from darkly funny to downright creepy, making this book a must read for fan's of fae literature.
Jessica Wakefield can't deny her love for handsome Christian Gorman, the leader of the dangerous Palisades High gang. Christian promises her he'll never fight again. But can he keep his vow when the battle with Sweet Valley turns deadly? Elizabeth Wakefield plans a secret meeting with Palisades High's Rosie Shaw, and together they scheme to end the gang warfare once and for all. Can Elizabeth really trust Rosie-or will her friendship lead to tragedy?
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Well, this time Hannah's mom is the one who stumbles over a dead body but Hannah quickly finds herself investigating. These books are a ton of fun and filled with great recipes. I always end up copying at least 2-3 of them. I look forward to making the Chocolate Avocado Cookies sometime soon.
Sebastian Becker is an investigator based out of Bethlehem Hospital, investigating the mental status of England's wealthy eccentrics. He arrives in a rural part to investigate Sir Owain Lancaster, an Amazon explorer who blames the loss of his family and entire party to jungle beasts, when two girls go missing and are found dead. Becker must decide if Lancaster is truly crazy and behind this dark event.
This was a very odd read, it just didn't grab me. The storylines felt convoluted, and the ending was wrapped up way too neatly. It was a pale imitation of The Alienist by Caleb Carr.
By Rick Yancey, 558 pages.
It has taken me since we received this book in October, multiple checkouts, to read this book. It paid off in the end, but it was sloowwww-going. I think the author and his readers alike would have benefitted from at least 100 fewer pages. I know I would have been appreciative of a lighter book on my footed path to and from work, but overall, another great addition to the Monstrumologist series.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Boohoo, this was the final book in what has been one of my favorite new series. The Parasol Protectorate series introduced me to Regency Romance Paranormal Steampunk, and I will be very sad until I find another author that delights me as much.