Monday, April 30, 2012

Numbers, in English and Hebrew, 95 pp

A continuation of my Torah / Tanakh readings to assist in my Hebrew studies.  I just pretended all the lists of names were MY ancestors (and some of them might be), which made them less tedious.  Several interesting things as well, its not all "begat"s and "of the clan"s.  For example: Several daughters successfully petition Moses and Aaron to change the Levitical law, so that they receive their father's property when he passes, not his brothers or nephews, as the Law said property should pass to when a man leaves no son as an heir.

Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (533 pgs)

Loved the book. Loved the concept. Well worth the time reading/listening/doing both! I can see why it was the Caldecott Medal winner. It's a kids' book, but adults will enjoy too. Now, I just need to see the movie! At the back of the book is a link to an invention like the one in the book that served as Selznick's inspiration for the book. The link has two YouTube videos of the actual invention that was the inspiration in action.

Downfall by Terri Blackstock -- 205 pages

Terri Blackstock writes Inspirational Fiction with a twist. It's not real preachy, but sometimes involves murders, etc. This series deals with Intervention and drug abuse. Recovering addict, Emily, appears to be the linchpin in solving a murder. However, someone else is murdered and she is arrested for it. Her mother is agonizing over what appears to be her daughter's descent back into drugs. By the end of the book, 5 people are murdered. Did she do it?

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (391 pages)

So this is the second book in the ever so popular "Hunger Games" Trilogy. I was a little hesitate to jump into reading the second one as it has been 2-3 years since I read the first one, I am glad I did. Once I started reading this book, all the details from the first book came back to me, largely in part due to the referencing to the previous events in the book. I thought this was a great book, I read it very quickly because I did not want to put it down and I can not wait to read the third and final book soon.

Everlost by Neal Shusterman (313 pages)

This title was not exactly what I was expecting, but I enjoyed reading it.  It was a little slow at the start, but all in all, a good book.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Celtic Cross-Stitch by Mike Vikery (128 pgs.)

This book was not what I was expecting of Celtic design.  I was expecting the familiar symmetrical designs of intricate lines and knots.  There is some of that incorporated into the designs, but they aren't necessarily the focus.  I get the impression that Mike Vikery's designs are based on more ancient Celtic designs.

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.

Sewing in a Straight Line by Brett Bara (160 pgs.)

I am always on the lookout for good craft books.  The theme to this book is that all sewing needed is only straight line stitches and anybody can do those!

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? The Religious Case for Equality by Jay Michaelson (212 pgs.)

As a person of faith who is very interested and involved in this issue, my interest was caught by the title of this book.  I thought it would be worth seeing what new insights might be gained by reading this.

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

Flesh & Blood So Cheap, The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy by Albert Marrin, 182 pages

This was a look at labor in America, mainly the clothing industry in New York, filled by young immigrant women and children. The Triangle Fire with it's large loss of life was a wake-up call to the horrible conditions these people were forced to work in for a mere pittance. Many of the safety measures we enjoy now in the workplace came about because of the fallout from this tragedy. This book was really informative and well-written. The pictures really added to the book.

Does This Mean You'll See Me Naked? by Robert Webster, 172 pages

Jacque had reviewed this book and it sounded pretty interesting so I requested it via inter-library loan. I'm glad I did. It's a look at the funeral process, from picking bodies up from homes to final interment, told by a funeral director. The author had been interested in being a funeral director ever since working with his older brother at a funeral home as a teenager. His book was interesting and entertaining without being too morbid.

Model Flirt by Kate William, 196 pages

Jessica Wakefield is making the most of her internship at Flair magazine-she's got two gorgeous guys wrapped around her finger! Dating Quentin Berg, a famous photographer, could do wonders for her modeling career. But Jessica actually prefers lowly mail-room clerk Cameron Smith-who can't help her at all. So she's decided to date both of them at once! It's a good thing she has a twin. Elizabeth Wakefield loves interning for Leona Peirson, the sophisticated and elegant fashion editor at Flair. But when Elizabeth brings a great idea to savvy Ms. Peirson, the editor takes all the credit! Elizabeth learns a lesson from Leona Peirson that she never expected-ruthlessness!

Cover Girls by Kate William, 214 pages

Fashion! Models! Deadlines! Identical twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are interning at Flair-the hippest fashion mag ever! As assistant to famous photographer Quentin Berg, Jessica thought she'd be working on glamorous photo shoots. Instead, she has to clean up after Simone, a supermodel with a bad attitude. But not for long. Elizabeth is thrilled to work in the managing editor's office. Until her boyfriend, Todd Wilkins, visits her and gets discovered as a model! Todd's ego quickly spins out of control, and he's soon busy flirting with Simone. Will Todd fall into the clutches of the evil supermodel?

Tall, Dark, and Deadly by Kate William, 195 pages

When Jonathan Cain moves to Sweet Valley, Jessica Wakefield feels an attraction so strong it's almost supernatural. Jonathan is interesting, intelligent, and gorgeous in a dark, brooding sort of way-no wonder SVH students are following him around! But Jonathan won't even meet Jessica's eyes. Will Jessica find a way to capture this mystery man's heart...or has she lost her touch? Elizabeth Wakefield doesn't trust Jonathan for a single minute. She can't believe her friends-and her twin sister-are so taken with such and arrogant guy. And when a body, drained of blood, is discovered behind the Dairi Burger, Elizabeth's mistrust explodes into fear. Jonathan might be far more dangerous than she ever imagined.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kiss of a Killer by Kate William, 199 pages

Jessica Wakefield has finally gotten Jonathan Cain to admit that he loves her. Then she finds out the shocking truth about him. Is Jessica willing to give up her life to keep Jonathan's love? Elizabeth Wakefield has made a terrifying discovery! Jonathan Cain's past is more horrible, more twisted, than she'd ever imagined. And Jessica is under his spell. Now Elizabeth must save her twin from a fate worse than death. But is Elizabeth strong enough to stop a creature of the night?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cravings by Laurell K. Hamilton, MaryJanice Davidson, Eileen Wilks, & Rebecca York, 358 pages

I picked this up because 2 of the 4 short stories were by authors I really enjoyed. The Anita Blake books and Betsy, Queen of the Vampires, are usually pretty good. The other 2 stories weren't bad, I'm just not familiar with the works that go with them.

The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice, 404 pages

Reuben Golding has come to Marchent Nideck's house high in the hills of California to write an article about the house and the mysterious history behind it. A terrible event results in Reuben gaining not only possession of this great and beautiful house but also a great and terrible gift. Somehow, he becomes a wolf, intent on tracking down evil doers. Reuben must try to make sense of the changes befalling him, while staying out of the clutches of science and law. Who can Reuben turn to, his father the professor, his mother the doctor or his brother the priest? The house's history promises just as many mysteries as answers. Can Reuben stay alive long enough to master them?
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.

Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce (422 pages)

I have read another series by Tamora Pierce, so I decided to read this one. It was kinda of a slow start for me personally but that was because I had not read a Fantasy novel in quite some time. It was  a good book and I can not wait to read the second one.

The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot, 503 pages

Marguerite must leave her family and home at the Court of Provence to marry Louis IX, becoming Queen of France. As the oldest, she has been trained to be patient, quiet, demure, and to be a good wife and queen. Her sister Eleanor hasn't always taken to the same training, striving to surpass her older sister. When married to Henry III, King of England, she hopes to achieve her goals. But while Henry loves Eleanor and is a good man, he is often times a failure as a king. Marguerite's husband, Louis, is considered a good king, but often times puts his overwhelming passion for God before his duties as husband and king. Will these two sisters find happiness in not only their marriages, but also their relationship as sisters?
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.

Zombie High Yearbook '64 by Jeff Busch, 128 pages

The author has recreated an old yearbook, but completely zombified it. This is one of the funniest things I've seen. I especially like the doodles and drawings, which makes it look like an actual yearbook. If you like zombies, this is worth picking up for a laugh.

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (384 pages)

Lauren Oliver is a master.  Cherokee cursed her in her previous review for being such a great writer and for her cliffhanger endings and I agree.  Not many authors are able to top their series openers with the sequel, but Lauren Oliver does just that in Pandemonium.  Like many fans, I'm eagerly awaiting book number three. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Bark of the Dogwood by Jackson Trippett McCrae, 450 pages

Strekfus Beltzenschmidt is a writer for a home and garden magazine in New York City. He is called back home to the South for a death he starts a series of stories for the magazine that will challenge all he thought he knew about himself and his family.
This was at times difficult to read, because of the emotional issues Strekfus was wading through, but was intriguing and kept me engaged. Towards the end there was a very disturbing incident that almost had me putting the book down. I feel like that event didn't have to be as graphic as portrayed, but this was an outstanding book, all in all.

A Guide to Qulling Flowers by Helen Walter (112 pgs.)

Paper quilling (the art of coiling and bending thin strips of paper to form various shapes) is one of the crafts that I really enjoy doing.  This book has many lovely designs featuring flora native to Australia as well as some international favourites.  The directions are well written and illustrated.

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.

On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder (352 pgs.)

The first "real" Scholastic book order book I remember getting was "The Long Winter" by Laura Ingalls Wilder when I was in 3rd grade.  I have loved this author with whom I share a name (and almost a birthday) ever since.  It has, however, been interesting seeing my perceptions of the stories have changed as I have grown older.

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

Gypped by Carol Higgins Clark, 202 pages

This was a fun and fast read, I've enjoyed all the other mysteries in the series.

Buried in Buttercream by G.A. McKevett, 277 pages

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.

Afghanistan Enchantment of the World by Ruth Bjorklund (144 pages)

What caught my attention about this book, was the girl's stunning eyes on the cover (This picture does not do them justice). After my attention was caught I decided to browse through the pages, and then I decided to check it out and read it. I decided to read Afghanistan to further my knowledge of their lands and cultures, as my Cousin spent two years deployed there and will be going back for another couple of years too. I really enjoyed this book and I took away a lot of good information. A kept telling my husband about all the interesting things I was learning and I will share a few tidbits with you all too. Did you know that the largest jewel in the British jewels was actually taken during a time on conflict (aka stolen several times actually) and that India and Afghanistan still to this day lay claims to it and want it returned. Another interesting fact for all my nature lovers, there are over 700 species of  insects plants, and animals that are only found in Afghanistan and that the world's rarest bird, the large-billed Reed Warbler which had not been seen since 1867 was rediscovered in 2010 in Afghanistan. There are so many more interesting facts and vivid pictures, that I would share, but instead I highly recommend reading this book.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"America's Most Wanted Recipes Without the Guilt" by Ron Douglas, 303 pages

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

Audrey, Wait!

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 Takes Manhattan by Kate William, 227 pages

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

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, 374 pages

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).

The Book of Awesome, Neil Pasricha, 393 pages

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.

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

Cherokee was spot on when she reviewed this title a few weeks ago. It's definitely worth your time.

Below Stairs by Margaret Powell, 212 pages

This book covers Margaret Powell's entry into domestic service in the early 1920s. As a kitchen maid she inhabited a world of back stairs, early risings and late nights, and servitude. One of the best things about this book was how utterly British it was in it's language. So many books are Americanized, but this one hadn't been. This book supposedly inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey" so fans will want to pick it up.

Passive Aggressive Notes by Kerry Miller, 161 pages

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.

Dance of Death by Kate William, 199 pages

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

Backyards for Kids by Sunset (176 pages)

I really enjoyed this book. After living in our house for over four years, my husband and I are finally doing something to the backyard (kinda sad I know)! We of course have a little one and wanted to make it a fun place for him to grow into it. The photos in this book are amazing. I got a lot of neat ideas. I will say that most of these projects or backyards are easily $20,000 plus yards but we took some great ideas that we are going to change and make more affordable for us. Some projects in this book includes the building plans, which is helpful. I can't wait to find an old shed and turn into an outdoor living space, that will eventually be turned into a play house. Great book to look at if you have kids and are redoing your yard, or if you just want to look at some great pictures.

Roadfood Sandwiches by Jane and Michael Stern (256 pages)

This cookbook was OK. For every recipe there was a page explanation of where it came from. I like a little history behind my food, just not a novel. I feel some sandwiches would be easy to make and something one could eat on a regular basis, while others were just to fancy for someone like to take for lunch.

"Wichcraft by Tom Colicchio (208 pages)

'Wichcraft was a decent cookbook. I enjoyed the fact that it had the background to which restaurant the sandwich was created from. I felt that all these sandwiches were very gourmet and not something the average person (aka someone like me) would make and bring to work. When I have to go and buy 80 percent of the ingredients to make a sandwich, then it's not for me.

Giada At Home by Giada De Laurentiis (239 pages)

What I really liked about this cookbook was that between the sections it had some very helpful information like dry herbs versus fresh and how to pick a good olive oil. All of the dishes in this book were loaded with veggies and olive oil, which is the basics of a Mediterranean diet. I found a few good recipes in it that I would like to try.

Giada's Family Dinners, By Giada De Laurentiis (254 pages)

This was a really good cookbook. I really enjoy Giada's show and her books as I feel that are somewhat healthy and easy to prepare. This book was great and I got many new ideas for dinner from it.

Yummy,by Lucy Cousins 121 Pages

Yummy by Lucy Cousins is a collection of eight favorite fairy tales. What I loved about this book was the big colorful illustrations and that the Fairy tales were left in their original form, however morbid they may be.

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (138 pgs)

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.

Though the language is a bit dated (written in 1955), the wisdom is as relevant to women today as ever. It can speak to a stay at home mom or a working woman. Married or single. It almost seemed that it was meant to be a book to pull wonderful quotes from. I'll share this one from pg. 44. "It is not the desert island nor the stony wilderness that cuts you from the people you love. It is the wilderness in the mind, the desert wastes in the heart through which one wanders lost and a stranger."

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (321 pgs.)

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.

This is an alternate history book that seems to be set in maybe the 1930s in a world that has "airships" instead of airplanes or sailing ships. It is action filled story told from the perspective of 15 year old cabin boy, Matt Cruse. We learn of his love of airships and take part in adventures such as the rescue of an air balloonist and having his ship attacked by pirates. Add a beautiful, wealthy, rebellious female teen passenger into the mix and the adventures only get better.

This is a good story. The audiobook is well done with a full cast of voice characters. It took me a while to figure out the alternate history aspect of it, so that was confusing for a bit, but not a big deal. A little bit too much action for my taste, but quite good for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Does This Mean You'll See Me Naked? by Robert D Webster 234 pgs

Have you ever wondered what REALLY goes on in a funeral home? Then this is the book for you. Stories from the front line of funeral homes are in this quick read. It covers everything from family ends, to pricing, to odd stories about people. It's a quick, fun read. I enjoyed it and learned something at the same time.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Jane Vows Vengeance by Michael Thomas Ford, 275 pages

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

The Secret Lives of Hoarders by Matt Paxton with Phaedra Hise, 238 pages

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.

Zombie Island by Lori Handeland, 265 pages

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.

The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity, edited by Joshua Palmatier & Patricia Bray, 309 pages

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.

A Kiss Before Dying by Kate William, 197 pages

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

Cinnamon Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke, 481 pages

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.

The Bedlam Detective by Stephen Gallagher, 306 pages

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.

Isle of Blood.

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

Timeless by Gail Carriger, 402 pages

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.