Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Uprooted by Naomi Novik, 438 pages

One of the best fantasy books I've read in a long time. A magical forest that devours the surrounding area, a wizard that takes a young maid tribute once a decade and the young girl determined to save the her friend.

Dead Boy by Laurel Gale, 247 pages

What's a young boy to do, when he's pretty much confined to his house with no friends, because he's dead? This was a really good read, I'm hoping the author continues on with the story in another book.

Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George, 322 pages

The final book in the Dancing Princess series. It's been a fun trilogy, filled with lots of fairy tale references.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall (288 pages)

For children in grades 4 through 8

Thirteen-year-old Arthur Owens misses his dad, who was recently killed in a motorcycle accident, and while his mother may have been ready to pack up and clean out his things, Arthur was not.  So when he sees the man everyone refers to as the “Junk Man” going through their garbage and wearing his dad’s favorite hat, he picks up a brick and throws it at him. 
Thankfully, the “Junk Man” is not seriously injured, but Arthur is sent to juvenile detention and when he is finally released he is so happy to be home it is hard for him to think about facing Judge Warner—the judge who will decide his punishment.   

On court day, Arthur learns the “Junk Man” is named James Hampton—a man he barely recognizes in dress clothes.  And while Judge Warner is a hardcore, unsympathetic figure looking for an appropriate punishment for Arthur, Mr. Hampton surprises everyone when he steps in and convinces the judge of a more redemptive opportunity for Arthur—120 community service hours to be served working for Mr. Hampton.    

On his first day of community service Arthur is barely able to locate Mr. Hampton’s workshop and upon arrival finds Mr. Hampton’s rickety cart and a note instructing him to gather the Seven Most Important Things—light bulbs, foil, mirrors, pieces of wood, glass bottles, coffee cans, and cardboard.  

Arthur is shocked and appalled to be going through peoples’ garbage, but after just a few weekends of community service he learns Mr. Hampton is working on something much bigger than collecting garbage. 

Other reviewers describe Shelley Pearsall’s work as luminescent, remarkable, excellent, and moving; and while one is hard pressed to find a better descriptor, stunning fits nicely into the group.  Pearsall’s masterpiece explores friendship, family, love, and the important lesson of “not judging a book by its cover.”  Her ability to parcel the story out will hook readers and combined with her interesting and well-fleshed out characters there is not a chance of putting this book down until the endnotes about the real James Hampton have been read and studied.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, 240 pages

The Reader's Digest Best Loved Books for Young Readers vol. 1, 590 pages

This omnibus includes condensed versions of Treasure Island, David Copperfield, The Call of the Wild, and Madame Curie--all of which were first reads for me.

The Wisdom of Compassion: Stories of Remarkable Encounters and Timeless Insights by His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Victor Chan, 250 pages

Confronting Chronic Pain: A Pain Doctor's Guide to Relief, by Steven H. Richeimer with Kathy Steligo, 196 pages

I need a pain doctor who can diagnose me and help me manage this debilitating pain!

Take Shelter: At Home Around the World, by Nikki Tate and Dani Tate-Stratton, 46 pages

Seen and Heard: Teenagers Talk About Their Lives by Mary Motely Kalergis, 128 pages

Blackbelt Librarians: Every Librarian's Guide to a Safer Workplace by Warren Graham, 55 pages

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People by Matthew Diffee, 241 pages

One of the funniest cartoon collections I've seen in a long time. I was guffawing out loud at times.

Grimm's Last Fairy Tale by Haydn Middleton, 249 pages

I love the Grimm fairy tales, especially the history and darkness behind them. So I was excited to pick up this fictional look at the life of Jacob Grimm. But this was kind of convoluted, jumping between time periods in his life and never really seemed to gel into an enjoyable read.

The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell, 311 pages

A very dark book featuring 2 sisters who must figure out a way to survive in Glasgow, Scotland, without attracting the attention of the authorities after their abusive and neglectful parents die. This was a very heart-wrenching read at times.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith, 213 pages

I've been a fan of this series since the very first book. I've even seen all the episodes of the way too short tv series. Many times once a book series hits 16 books, it feels played out or just not enjoyable. But these books prove the exception. The characters continue to grow and develop, and I really like how their interactions have stayed true to who they are and how long they've known each other. This has to be one of my favorite books so far because of one particular scene. Precious Ramotswe has always described herself as a "traditionally built" lady, but she uses that traditional build to subdue a angry woman by sitting on her. I was so glad that I wasn't reading the book in a public setting because I was laughing during that whole scene. I have come to consider the characters family and hope that author continues with many more outstanding books.

Garfield Food For Thought by Jim Davis, 128 pages

A nice way to relax before bedtime.

I Had a Frightmare! by Bill Keane, 128 pages

Reminds me of when my kids were small.

Garfield By the Pound by Jim Davis, 128 pages

Doesn't matter if they were wrote 10 years ago or last year, still funny.

Garfield Sits Around the House by Jim Davis, 128 pages

I'm getting closer to finishing up the big box of books I bought for Renee, lol.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff, 261 pages

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones, 212 pages

A Pain Doctor's Guide to Relief: Confronting Chronic Pain by Steven H. Richeimer, M.D. with Kathy Steligo, 196 pages

Great Love Poems, edited by Shane Weller, 114 pages

Poetry collection book gifted to me by my Secret Santa this year :)

Gay and Lesbian History for Kids, The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights by Jerome Pohlen, 161 pages

The Awesome by Eva Darrows, 246 pages

This was an extremely fun read. Imagine not only being a 17-year-old who feels like she doesn't fit but also being a monster hunter. Maggie has to deal with all that baggage and more, especially when she needs to lose her virginity before she can start hunting vampires. What's a girl to do?

The Scottie Barked At Midnight by Kaitlyn Dunnett, 278 pages

Another slightly Scottish themed murder mystery set in Maine. A reality talent show competition ends up with Liss MacCrimmon competing with a pair of dancing Scotties after their owner dies. Liss must try to figure out if it was murder, and if so, who's the guilty party. Hopefully Liss can nose out the truth or she may dance her way to death.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

97 Orchard, An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement by Jane Ziegelman, 253 pages

A look at the dishes immigrants brought into the American kitchen as seen through 5 families that lived at an address in New York City over the years. I would have liked more family history but this was still a really interesting look at how food tastes have changed over the years, especially as immigrants came into the country.