Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean, 247 pages

A really interesting read that takes place during WWII in Russia, looking at the people who lived in the Hermitage during the siege of Leningrad. I loved how the book went back and forth, through the eyes of an Alzheimer's sufferer, who may not have been able to remember day to day details in her current life but sank deep into the past vividly. I finished the book wanting to read more about this time period in Leningrad.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Trollhunters by Guillermo Del Toro & Daniel Kraus, 320 pages

I'd seen this book on the hold shelf for someone else and had to read it myself. A 15-year-old deals with the effects of his father seeing his brother taken at a young age by a troll. Now, decades later, the trolls return.
I had high hopes for this but felt let down at the end. Had some major plot holes, and the fact that the artwork showed up chapters later really distracted me. All in all, not a great read for me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Demon's Brood, A History of the Plantagenent Dynasty by Desmond Seward, 322 pages

A look at the rulers who made up the Plantagenent line, from the early 800s up through Richard in the 1400s. All in all, not a happy family.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hugging the Rock, by Susan Taylor Brown, 169 pages

From the back cover, "In spare, poetic prose, the pain and angst of a young girl whose bipolar mother leaves, never to return, is detailed. The heart of the story is the growing relationship between Rachel and her father-a rock with soft spots- and how they must learn to live, love, cope- go on with their lives- together."

Donuthead, by Sue Stauffacher, 141 pages

The main character of this book was saddled with the unfortunate name Franklin Delano Donuthead. On top of a weird name, he is a weird kid. Let's just say the boy's got the National Safety Department's head statistician on speed dial! Although he seems to be an exasperating kid and I almost feel sorry for his mom, she is a little too aloof and uninterested in him for my liking. I want to know more about this kid and his life!

Loves Me... Not: How to Survive (and Thrive!) in the Face of Unrequited Love, by Samara O'Shea, 231 pages

I added a new word to my vocabulary because of this book. The word is limerence: which basically means extreme infatuation. Although this is a book mostly about romantic longings and often times the trappings of narcissistic relationships, I also think it can apply to any relationship that isn't reciprocated.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

{Risking Everything} 110 Poems of Love and Revelation, edited by Roger Housden, 147 pages

One poem I liked from this collection is this: The Same Inside Walking to your place for a love feast I saw at a street corner an old beggar woman. I took her hand, kissed her delicate cheek, we talked, she was the same inside as I am, from the same kind, I sensed this instantly as a dog knows by scent another dog. I gave her money. I could not part from her. After all, one needs someone who is close. And then I no longer knew why I was walking to your place.-Anna Swir

Cool, Calm, and Contentious, by Merrill Markoe, 269 pages

A collection of personal essays. Some sad, some funny,all pretty well written.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Disappearance of the Universe: Straight Talk about Illusions, Past Lives, Religion, Sex, Politics, and the Miracle of Forgiveness, by Gary R. Renard

This book was passed along to me last spring and I've been reading it bits at a time. Kinda hard to describe, except that it's one guy's experience with "A Course in Miracles" and his various encounters with 2 "ascended masters" who have come to help enlighten him through the practice of forgiveness...

Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans to Change the Way You Grow Your Garden, by Niki Jabbour, 243 pages

Lots of great ideas and garden plans. The only thing I would caution against is that it isn't necessary to try to replicate someone else's design. Each gardener should create what works for their space, taste, and what brings the most joy to them personally. Nevertheless, I love reading gardening books and seeing others' spaces!

Grow a Little Fruit Tree: Simple Pruning techniques for Small-Space, Easy-Harvest Fruit Trees, by Ann Ralph, 157 pages

I am less daunted by my next upcoming garden additions after reading this awesome book on pruning techniques and how to grow happy little fruit trees. Best Advice: Prune near the summer solstice to keep the tree small and easy to harvest.

Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living, by Doug Fine, 207 pages

Another selection I grabbed for its title. The entire time I read this, I kept flipping to the back jacket cover to ogle the author's picture: Mr. Fine looking fine with his white cowboy hat, beard, home grown veggies, and farm dog. Be still my heart.

The Goddess is in the Details, by Deborah Blake, 224 pages

Ironically, this book didn't detail much, but it wasn't terrible. I picked this one up because I hadn't read a pagan book
in a long time.

Gardening Lab for Kids: 52 Fun Experiments to Grow, Harvest, Make, Play, and Enjoy Your Garden, by Renata Fossen Brown, 131 pages

3 of my biggest passions: Kids, Gardening, Books! Obviously this book
jumped right out at me! Good stuff.

Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes, edited by david Roessel & Arnold Rampersad, 47 pages

This was a great collection of Langston Hughes Poetry for young readers.

Waiting for Unicorns, by Beth Hautala, 238 pages

This story is about 12 year old Talia, who must travel to the arctic with her whale researcher father. While he is at sea, Talia has to stay with an Inuit woman she doesn't even know! Ever since her mother died, Talia collects wishes in a hidden Mason jar; and one of her big wishes is to see a unicorn. Honestly, I chose this book because of the cover and title, and because I am trying to read more juvenile literature. I rather enjoyed it, but I'm also partial to unicorns and whales

Monday, September 14, 2015

Shirley, I Jest! by Cindy Williams with Dave Smitherman, 166 pages

I've loved Laverne & Shirley since I was small, I even dressed up as Laverne in 6th grade for Halloween. I'd read Penny Marshall's bio, so there was no way I wasn't going to read Cindy Williams. I really wanted to hear her side of the story about the last season. She came across pretty nice, very much Shirley-like, so I wasn't shocked to get much gossip or negative talk. It was a nice look at an actress in a beloved show.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

I Zombie, Six Feet Under and Rising by Chris Roberson & Michael Allerd, 144 pages

A perfect 30 minute read. Very creepy, I can't wait to see where they go with the plot.

Unnatural Habits by Kerry Greenwood, 291 pages

Oh no, this is the next to last book so far. What will I do?

Malice at the Palace by Rhys Bowen, 292 pages

It was nice to see Georgiana not have to worry about a place to live or enough to eat for once. Always a fun book, I loved the ending. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Tick, the complete Edlund by Ben Edlund, 424 pages

I got this as a present for my husband because he'd loved the tv show featuring this oddball hero. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if it had been in color instead of just black and white.

Death Before Wicket by Kerry Greenwood, 232 pages

Always a good mystery when Miss Fisher is involved.

Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood, 257 pages

This is probably my favorite mystery series now.

The Castlemaine Murders by Kerry Greenwood, 240 pages

This one weaved an older mystery with a current mystery, very interesting.

Sense of Deception by Victoria Laurie, 358 pages

These are pretty enjoyable.

Queen of the Flowers by Kerry Greenwood, 249 pages

I always enjoy the ones that have Miss Phryne's daughters in them.

Murder on a Midsummer Night by Kerry Greenwood, 253 pages

These are such a great read, witty and funny, and just all around well-written.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011 by Lauren Tarshis (112 pages)

The latest book in Lauren Tarshis’ “I Survived” series places readers smack dab in the middle of the deadly EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin on May 22, 2011.  The story follows an eleven-year-old boy named Dexter James as he meets famous storm chaser Dr. Norman Gage, and later, gets to join him on his latest chase in Joplin.  

Dexter hopes the ride-along will provide him with a fascinating story to share with his brother Jeremy when he comes home from his Navy SEALs mission, but he never imagined the danger that he would be placed in, nor the courage that he would have to muster in order to help others. 

While the story is slight, Tarshis grabs readers’ attention with her accessible writing and fast paced plot.  As always her facts are well-researched and related at a level children can understand.  Tarshis’ titles typically fly off library shelves and this addition will not be an exception.  Readers are sure to devour it.

At the conclusion of the story, in Tarshis’ explanation to why she wrote about the tornado in Joplin, she says the story is unusual because “it was the people of Joplin who suggested she write it”.  She goes on to share that it was during her visit to Joplin in 2014, that she was able to meet many children and hear first-hand accounts of their experiences.  

Her visit also allowed her to meet teachers, librarians, local residents, and to get a feel for the Joplin community.  She states that while it is officially a city, it feels more like a small town, with incredibly friendly people.

And generously, she is planning another visit to Joplin in October 2015.  Not only will she be revisiting the elementary schools she went to in 2014, but she will make a stop at the Joplin Public Library!  

Library officials are working with Tarshis on final details and will share more information soon, but preliminarily have Tuesday, October 6th set as the program date.  Please visit the Library’s online calendar at: http://www.joplinpubliclibrary.org/vcalendar/ for more details as they become available.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Finding Someplace, by Denise Lewis Patrick, 212 pages

Reesie Boone's plans for her 13th birthday party are thwarted by hurricane Katrina in this story of survival, hope, and belonging.

Wicked Joplin by Larry Wood, 107 pages

I saw this while shelf-reading, and recognized the author as an old teacher of mine. Funny how notorious Joplin was for its revelry and rumpuses.

Out of Easy by Ruta Sepetys, 346 pages

I'd discovered this author because of book club and really enjoyed her other book. She doesn't shy away from darker subjects. This was an outstanding read, like her other book.