Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Teen Poetry from our Writer's Club

Our Teen Advisory Group and Writer's Club met this past Monday. We have a couple of new members and some familiar faces! The teens wrapped our Salvation Army Donation Box and talked about their writing projects. One of our teens brought a sample of their work for us to share with you via our blog:

(Through) Me You Him (Soon)
Blair O. Steels

So woven to time, why won't
The wind howl its cry
--I've sat still, for long enough!
The stuff of my heart won't combust.

Firecracker, dream-stricken
Thraveling with the words of your tongue
Speak to me slow
Now, with gravity tilting, now.

"..and if I stretched my arms wider than i thought, stretching them to hold you, but they broke, then i would say hi, just explaning the crumbling villages...
but you (like me) have seen these and barbecued hearts just hung up like ornaments; we're so sick of the dried blood we pick off.

O love, couldn't we cast away in the half-lit forest? So evey-watering is the moonlight, and once wiped off, we smear into small-sight. Underneath this microscope...God might be watching."

--From The November Diaries

Monday, November 30, 2009

What the staff is reading...

Me, Michelyn in Adult - reading Fire and Ice by Anne Stuart. The last one in her Ice series that I have not read. I'm enjoying it, but the romance is still not as believable as Bastien and Chloe's in Black Ice.

Kate in the Children's Dept - Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Lori in Teens - reading People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks for the Mt. Laurel Book Club

Katie, Director - reading Ice by Linda Howard. "It was a fairly enjoyable read, but it ended too quickly and it was a bit abrupt. The action and adventure in the novel was fast paced and overall a good way to pass an afternoon. Not her best work, but certainly not her worst."

Dee in Circulation is reading Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes

Monday, November 16, 2009

Brent Watson to Sign Books at Heardmont Senior Center

Author, sports column writer and business owner Brent Watson will be at the Heardmont Senior Center (catty-corner from the library across 119) on Thursday, November 19th at 11:00am. He will be discussing his business, Comfort Keepers, a company that provides help with meals, housework, transportation and respite care to disabled or handicapped persons. He will also talk about his autobiography, Come Take a Walk With Me, a book that follows Brent through his childhood years and the events surrounding a terrible car crash that took the life of his brother and left him paralyzed from the waist down.

For more information on this event, please contact Theresa Green, director of the Senior Center at 205.991.5657

Book Review of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Last week I read Becca Fitzpatrick's debut novel, Hush, Hush. I have to say that I really, really enjoyed this book. It's a young adult paranormal, yet it manages to stand out from the pack. Now, having said that: I kept having to remind myself that the characters were teenagers. I was sucked into this story from the beginning and stayed up to finish the book in one night. It's edgier than Twilight and goes in a different direction with the paranormal aspect. There are definite dark and dangerous undertones througout the novel. The main characters, Patch and Nora, were well developed, although Patch is more in line with a typical Anne Stuart hero or "gamma hero." I'm still not exactly sure where he falls in the good/evil spectrum... The action was constant, and although I took issue with some of the choices that Nora made --- it made for a fabulous story!!! Seriously, if you are looking for a fun escapist read - this is the book for you!
From Product Description:

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment. But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ice Storm by Anne Stuart - Review

I reviewed Black Ice by Anne Stuart earlier this year and since then I've read 2 more in the Ice series, Cold as Ice and I just finished Ice Storm. I have 2 more in the series to go before I finish. Again, I can't believe I have missed this author. Apparently I need to branch out from my usual romantic suspense authors.

I loved Ice Storm. It was as good as Bastien's story in Black Ice. This book focuses on the head of the mysterious "Committee", Isobel Lambert. I was reluctant to read this at first because I'm not fond of seemingly invincible women w/ little or no emotion. Perhaps it's b/c I can't relate, I don't know, but anyway Isobel is not all powerful and we learn her back story and how she came to be the ageless "ice queen". Of course there is a hero, who is very bad...or is he? Like Bastien, the "hero" in Ice Storm is not the typical alpha male (hard manly-man but putty in the hands of his woman), no he is an anti-hero. You dislike him most of the book, but he is also intriguing and you secretly want him to win. i hope everyone checks this series out.

Ice Series
1. Black Ice (2005)
2. Cold as Ice (2006)
3. Ice Blue (2007)
4. Ice Storm (2007)
5. Fire and Ice (2008)

Product Description of Ice Storm:
Behind her mask is a deadly secret . . .

The powerful head of the covert mercenary organization The Committee, Isobel Lambert is a sleek, sophisticated professional who comes into contact with some of the most dangerous people in the world. But beneath Isobel's cool exterior a ghost exists, haunting her with memories of another life . . . a life that ended long ago.

But Isobel's past and present are about to collide when Serafin, mercenary, assassin and the most dangerous man in the world, makes a deal with The Committee. Seventeen years ago Isobel shot him and left him for dead. Now it looks as if he's tracked her down for revenge. But Isobel knows all too well that looks can be deceiving . . . and that's what she's counting on to keep her cover in this international masquerade of murder.


Monday, November 9, 2009

'Outlander' author Diana Gabaldon by numbers

My favorite author Diana Gabaldon's career done by numbers in USA Today

If you haven't read 'Outlander' yet, shame on you, just kidding, but it's one of the best epic romantic sagas ever written. I've lost months of my life to that series. I still haven't read the latest one, Echo in the Bone, but at some point I'm going to have to squeeze it in.


Mike Huckabee Book Signing

Governor Mike Huckabee has a new book out titled: A Simple Christmas: 12 Stories That Celebrate the True Holiday Spirit. In this book Huckabee recounts twelve Christmas memories--often funny, sometimes deeply moving--that range from his childhood in Arkansas to his years as a young husband and father to his time as a governor and then a presidential candidate. These true stories will help you smile, take a deep breath, and maybe slow down your own holiday treadmill. For instance: As kids, Mike and his sister would sneak open their gifts before Christmas, play with them, then rewrap them so their parents wouldn't notice. The plan worked great for several years until one Christmas morning when young Mike unwrapped a brand-new football...that was covered in mud. That led to a powerful lesson about patience. Description from book jacket.

Get a copy signed when Gov. Huckabee comes to the Books A Million at Brookwood Village on Sunday November 22nd from 3-4. You may have to get a ticket the day before so call the store to find out at (205)870-0213.

For more about Governor Huckabee go to his website,

Mt Laurel Book Club Review for South of Broad

The Mt Laurel Book Club met Thursday evening at Chuck and Gwynne Sams home to discuss Pat Conroy's South of Broad. The book, which has been considered to be the publishing event of the year, was liked by everyone and many members had already recommended the book to others to read. We had a great discussion due to the dynamic characters and situations that our hero, Leopold Bloom King, faced throughout the novel. The novel follows Leo King and the group of friends that he makes one summer for the next twenty years of their lives. It's a heavy book that deals with abuse, the 80's AIDS epidemic and other serious topics, but there were definite moments of humor. (I think we decided during the meeting that the novel covered every type of prejudice that we could think of that fit the scope of the novel's characters). Charleston was vividly portrayed in the novel - it could easily be said that Charleston was as much a character as the people in the book. Check this one out if you are looking for a thought-provoking read!!!

From Booklist
An unlikely group of Charlestonian teens forms a friendship in 1969, just as the certainties and verities of southern society are quaked by the social and political forces unleashed earlier in the decade. They come from all walks of life, from the privileged homes of the aristocracy, from an orphanage, from a broken home where an alcoholic mother and her twins live in fear of a murderous father, from the home of public high school’s first black football coach, and from the home of the same school’s principal. The group’s fulcrum, Leopold Bloom King, second son of an ex-nun Joyce scholar, who is also the school’s principal, and a science-teacher father, is just climbing out of childhood mental illness after having discovered his handsome, popular, athletic, scholarly older brother dead from suicide. Over the next two decades, these friends find success in journalism, the bar, law enforcement, music, and Hollywood. Echoing some themes from his earlier novels, Conroy fleshes out the almost impossibly dramatic details of each of the friends’ lives in this vast, intricate story, and he reveals truths about love, lust, classism, racism, religion, and what it means to be shaped by a particular place, be it Charleston, South Carolina, or anywhere else in the U.S. --Mark Knoblauch

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Book Review - The Care and Taming of a Rogue

So thanks to the wonder of social media, Facebook to be exact, I was made aware of a new release by bestselling author, Suzanne Enoch. I picked The Care and Taming of a Rogue up over the weekend and was thoroughly entertained. (Any book that features a dashing hero with a pet monkey for a sidekick has me enthralled from page one!) The premise is that Captain Bennett Wolfe (afore mentioned dashing hero) has arrived back in London after a three year expedition in Africa to discover that he has been declared dead and his meticulous work attributed to someone else. So, what's a barely civilized man to do? Get even, of course. Then he meets the bookish Lady Phillipa Eddington and his straight forward plan of revenge becomes sidetracked as he tries to learn the most savage environment of all, courtship! I truly enjoyed this book, the plot moved along with enough twists for me to stay engaged and the character development was perfect. So, if you are a fan of the romance genre, be sure to pick this one up...

From product description:

How to tell if a man is an unrepentant rogue:
1. He has no patience for frivolous debutantes

2. He kisses you after a single dance

3. He makes you forget yourself and kiss him back . . .
After years away from London, Captain Bennett Wolfe is back—and alive, much to Society's surprise. Having been presumed dead, this rugged adventurer is now much sought after by every marriage-minded young woman . . . but Bennett only has eyes for the intriguing Lady Phillipa Eddison.
Phillipa would rather read than flirt, but she does know a thing or two about proper courtship rituals. A gentleman does not kiss a lady senseless, and he certainly does not bring his pet monkey when he comes calling. Lady Phillipa's ever been so scandalized . . . or tempted. She simply must teach Bennett some manners—before she succumbs to temptation as wild as the man who offers it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mt. Laurel Book Club Meeting This Thursday!

The Mt. Laurel Book Club will be meeting this Thursday at 7 pm to discuss South of Broad by Pat Conroy. Call Lori at 439-5512 for meeting location and additional details!

From Booklist:

An unlikely group of Charlestonian teens forms a friendship in 1969, just as the certainties and verities of southern society are quaked by the social and political forces unleashed earlier in the decade. They come from all walks of life, from the privileged homes of the aristocracy, from an orphanage, from a broken home where an alcoholic mother and her twins live in fear of a murderous father, from the home of public high school’s first black football coach, and from the home of the same school’s principal. The group’s fulcrum, Leopold Bloom King, second son of an ex-nun Joyce scholar, who is also the school’s principal, and a science-teacher father, is just climbing out of childhood mental illness after having discovered his handsome, popular, athletic, scholarly older brother dead from suicide. Over the next two decades, these friends find success in journalism, the bar, law enforcement, music, and Hollywood. Echoing some themes from his earlier novels, Conroy fleshes out the almost impossibly dramatic details of each of the friends’ lives in this vast, intricate story, and he reveals truths about love, lust, classism, racism, religion, and what it means to be shaped by a particular place, be it Charleston, South Carolina, or anywhere else in the U.S. --Mark Knoblauch

Monday, October 26, 2009

Polaroid is Back!!

I was soooo excited to find out that Polaroid is Back!

I loved playing with my polaroid. At one point my refrigerator was covered with pictures of friends, dogs and other random things. Nowadays when one is feeling goofy or want to instantly capture a moment we take out our phones. Then we pass it around and giggle at the photos, but rarely does it ever get printed out (and if it's really bad or inappropriate perhaps we should be glad). But if you're nostalgic for the look of the polaroid or are trying it out for the first time now's your chance.

"After all the difficulties and changes of ownership during the last years, the new management of Polaroid now understands the source of the brand's attraction - which is surprisingly not based in digital cameras but in Dr. Edwin Land's groundbreaking 1948 invention of Instant Photography, which he ingeniously devised and passionately developed with a lot of care and devotion… we grabbed the chance to take over the last factory producing Instant films from the old Polaroid management and to start The Impossible Project in 2008. Re-inventing a new analog integral film, we are now preparing, supporting and managing the comeback of Instant Photography…
Polaroid will re-launch the legendary Polaroid One Step Camera and is therefore commissioning The Impossible Project to develop and produce a limited edition of Polaroid® branded Instant Films in the middle of 2010." Polapremium

Feeling Crafty???

This is for all of you expert gift wrappers out there. Me, I'm usually hurriedly wrapping at the last minute just to get it covered. If you take the time to make the wrapping almost like a gift itself check out how to make unique bows using recycled papers and maps.

Recycled Magazine Gift Bows - CraftStylish

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, October 15, 2009

NSL Bluestockings Oct Meeting

Drood by Dan Simmons

Half of us finished it, and half couldn't get through it. The characters were pretty unlikeable, we thought it was written well, but could have been more succint in areas. We got tired of the opium dens. This led us into a discussion of how it seems some authors do a lot of research and then feel it necessary to include ALL that they have found in their book just because they've done the research. We discussed the relationship between Dickens and Collins as being simliar to Mozart and Salieri. Salieri wrote music and was successful, but he would never be as successful or as influential as his peer, Mozart. That was Mr. Collins.

We discussed the idea that Mr. Collins might have been schizophrenic as well as addicted to laudanum and that Dickens took advantage of this by "mesmerizing" Collins into believing the fictional character of Drood. all for inspiration for the book he was writing.

Only one person would read it again. It did make us more interested in Charles Dickens and several of us may revisit his work.

We gave this 2.5 stockings out of 5.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips

The Mt. Laurel Book Club will be meeting Sept. 3rd to discuss Gin Phillips' debut novel, The Well and the Mine. If you are interested in attending contact Lori Skinner at (205)439-5512 or This is a great book set in Carbon Hill, Alabama written by an Alabama native. Check out the interview provided by Barnes and Nobel below:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Johnny Cash to Appear in Guitar Hero

Shut the front door!!! Game Guru reports and the "Guitar Hero" website confirms, Johnny Cash will be a character in the forthcoming "Guitar Hero 5". Cash will be an unlockable character in the game, which feature's Cash's song "Ring of Fire". Carlos Santana and Garbage's Shirley Manson will also be featured in the game.

We have Guitar Hero here in the Young Adult department for the young peeps to play and we're always adding to the collection sooo....Katie(NSL Director) if your listening.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

City of Bones Book Trailer

Nothing really new here unless you haven't read City of Bones, in which case you definitely need to watch the trailer below and then come and check it out.I love book trailers and I ran across this one while searching for another one. This is for the first book (City of Bones) in the trilogy 'Mortal Instruments' by Cassandra Clare. It's longer than most, but it's worth it. I thought it was pretty well cast. Enjoy.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Terrible Yellow Eyes

Check out this blog dedicated to artwork inspired by "Where the Wild Things Are"
Also be looking for the movie out Oct 16th. I don't know how I feel about this classic being made into a movie-we'll see. In the meantime enjoy the wonderful artwork on


Friday, August 7, 2009

Director John Hughes dies

The voice of a generation or the "philosopher of adolescence" as Roger Ebert put it died Thursday in Manhattan of a heart attack while on a walk. He was 59 years young.
John Hughes was the writer-director of a string of hits like 'Vacation', 'Sixteen Candles', 'Breakfast Club', 'Home Alone', my personal favorite - 'Pretty in Pink' and many others. Just last week I saw a tween-aged girl with an "I love Jake Ryan" t-shirt on and it made me smile. I'm glad he's still reaching the youth of today. I think this weekend calls for a John Hughes marathon.

For articles about John Hughes:
LA Times


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Teen Summer Reading Grade Level Winners!!!

The following participants read the highest number of books in their grade:

6th - Sarah Resha
7th - Jordan Cotney
8th - Tom Speers
9th - Ashley Stiefel/Emma Otwell
10th - Andrea Alexander
11th - Jack Speers
12th - Kayla Carlisle

A huge congratulations to all of our winners!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Teen Book Review by Nikki S.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

I read My Side of the Mountain. I thought it was a pretty good book, and I don't typically like the whole "wilderness survival" theme, but I thought this book was somehow interesting. It is about a boy named Sam who runs away from home and lives in the wilderness for a whole year! I would recommend this book.

Teen Book Review by Nikki S.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book is about an orphan named Nobody ("Bod") who lives in a graveyard and is raised by ghosts. I thought this was an okay book. I didn't really like or dislike it. It could get kind of boring when he is just learning different things, but it could get kind of exciting when the cause of him being an orphan is involved. I don't think I would recommend this book.

Teen Book Review from Nikki S.

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

I read the book, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch. This book is about a boy named Nat who dreams of going to Harvard, but is indentured. He becomes a sailor, and that is all the book is about! It was extremely boring! It was just he sails, he comes back, someone dies. He sails. He comes back. Someone dies... I do not recommend this book. I thought it was a waste of time to read.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Teen Book Review by Nikki S.

The Report Card by Andrew Clements

This book is about a girl named Nora Rowley who is a genius, but keeps it a secret! She has fooled everyone into thinking she is an "average student" by purposely missing questions on tests. She does this because she doesn't want special treatment, or for other kids to feel like they're below her. She is getting very frustrated at how everyone acts like grades are so important, and how much pressure this is putting on her best friend, Stephen. I really enjoyed reading this book. I have read it several times, and I still enjoy reading it. I highly recommend this book.

Teen Book Review by Nikki S.

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

This book is about a girl named Lina Mayfleet who wants to be a messenger, but is forced to be a Pipeworks laborer. It is also about a boy named Doon Harrow, who draws messenger, but wants to trade with Lina! Doon wants to work underground because the generator is breaking, and he wants to try and fix it. These children live in an underground city called Ember, that is in severe danger, and they discover it is up to them to save it! I thought it was a pretty good book. The ending is disappointing, though. I do recommend this book to others.

Teen Book Review by Nikki S.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

I'm sure everyone has already seen the movie, but the book is way more descriptive and interesting. Just in case you haven't seen the movie, this book is about a very poor boy named Charlie Bucket who finds a golden ticket inside a chocolate bar, and wins a day inside Willy Wonka's wonderful chocolate factory! I loved this book. I thought it was very unique and funny. I highly recommend this book.

Teen Book Review by Nikki S.

The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

This book is about a girl named Emily Windsnap who discovers that she is a mermaid. She also discovers the secrets of her single mother's past, which leads her on an adventure to save her dad from an underwater prison. I absolutely loved this book! It will always be one of my favorites! It's like a fantasy, mystery, and romance book all in one!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Teen Book Review by Christian S.

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

Although this book is written about a false time, it is very captivating. It kept me reading hours and hours into the night, trying to figure out what's going to happen next. It starts off with Florence Wechek, a citizen of Fort Repose. She is living her everyday lief, no different. Then it goes on the descibe Randy Bragg, her next door neighbor, doing the same. Then, on the same day, Randy gets a telegram that says the words "Alas, Babylon." This book is truly a work of art. I hope you have a chance to check it out!

Teen Book Review by Christian S.

Chat Room Chatter by Justin Lookadoo

I'm sure there is a lot that went into this book. It is very informative in the ways of both boys and girls. It tells you things you already know, things you wanted to know, and also things you never even thought about. I would recommend it to any teen who is seeking godly ways about going through life. The author is really strong about what he believes, and you can see this in what he writes. God has really worked tremendously in this man's life to allow him to accomplish these things that he has done. This book is really inspirational and I hope you have a chance to go read it!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Teen Book Review by Kayla C.

Nancy Drew: The Secret at Red Gate Farm by Carolyn Keene

Nancy's at it again. In this mystery Nancy meets a girl on a train who becomes ill and decides to help her. Nancy soon discovers that Jo is looking for work to help her grandmother keep the farm. A lot of strange things happen in this mystery from meeting a strange guy on the train that thought Nancy was someone else, a woman that refuses to sell a certain perfume to Bess, Nancy's friend, but buys it for $20 because the woman raised the price. Nancy's always somewhere there is a mystery and she is making this mystery a number one priority to solve. She and her friends, Bess and George, decide to stay at the farm and try to get an even closer look at what's going on. This mystery will keep you guessing til the end. There is a lot of excitement and mysterious things that happen. Can you figure out what's going on? Who behind all that's going on?

Teen Book Review by Kayla C.

Nancy Drew: The Clue in the Diary by Carolyn Keene

In this mystery, Nancy and her two friends, Bess and George, drive by a house that explodes. Nancy pulls over and goes to the house to see if there is anyone inside, but the smoke is too heavy in the front of the house so she runs to the back and finds a man leaving the scene. This is where the mystery begins. Nancy and her friends meet a mother and daughter and somehow they are connected with the mystery. Nancy has to find out why the mother and daughter haven't heard from the dad and takes matters into her own hands. Along the way she has to find a missing man who is rich, but not liked, and why he has taken advantage of inventors and not paid them like he promised. This mystery will keep you interested and you won't want to quit reading.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Teen Book Review by Molly L.

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is full of great characters, true friendship and history. This Newberry book is about Nat Bowditch, a boy who is smart enough to teach at Harvard but can't attend school because he must work. As Nat becomes older he becomes a sailor. Even though life at sea is tough he is still able to accomplish great things. I really enjoyed this book. It was well written, descriptive, and easy to read. I would recommend Carry On, Mr. Bowditch to any boy or girl who likes adventure and history.

Teen Book Review by Molly L.

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Chains is a wonderful historical fiction book. It is about Isabel, a young slave girl growing up during the Revolutionary War. When she is sold to a loyalist in New York she is asked to spy on her master. When Isabel becomes involved in a rebel plot, she must get away from New York. I thought Laurie Halse Anderson has written an amazing story. Chains was a hard book to put down. I would recommend this book to any teen who loves historical fiction.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Teen Book Review by Kayla C.

Nancy Drew: The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene

In this mystery Nancy and her friend Helen go to visit their friend Emily at The Lilac Inn. Emily and her fiance bought the inn and are trying to fix it up so that they can get it up and running. Upon Nancy and Helen's arrival the mysteries begin. While at the Inn the two friends come upon some danger, strange happenings, and even an impersonator. It is a task that Nancy chose to accept and try to solve. There are some mysteries that Nancy stumbles upon that she can't seem to add up as she sleuths to try and catch the thief or thieves that are haunting the Inn, stealing the gardening tools and stole Emily's diamonds that her mother left after she died. This mystery will keep you guessing!! I love the Nancy Drew series!! Reading takes you on a new adventure.

The Demon's Lexicon - Not Your Typical YA Urban Fantasy

So, I just finished reading The Demon's Lexicon, by Sarah Rees Brennan, and I have to say that I was super impressed. The plot has definite substance and the main character, Nick, is not the typical hero that has been evident in the current trend with young adult urban fantasy fiction. There are a couple of themes with this book, good vs. evil and light romance, but the dominant theme is the evolution of the brother's relationship as events unfold around them. According to the author's website, this is the first in a trilogy that will publish annually. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy fiction, especially if you are a fan of Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments Trilogy or the television show Supernatural.

From the book jacket:

Nick Ryves knows that demons are real. Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick's mother stole - a charm that keeps her alive - and they want it badly enough to kill again. Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon's mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase...and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is desperate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long. Ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Nick starts to suspect that his brother is telling him lie after lie about their past. As the magician's Circle closes in on their family, Nick uncovers the secret that could destroy them all.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Romance Genre - An Interesting Look

I admit it, I love romance novels! For pure escapism, they're hard to beat. This article gives great props to the scholarly authors that have provided great books through the years. (I would personally recommend basically everything by Julia Quinn, I tend to laugh out loud when reading anything of hers!).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Teen Book Review from Nikki S.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

I read The Mysterious Benedict Society. It is about four gifted kids who are helping Mr.. Benedict save the world from chaos. I would recommend this book to others. I love how this book is full of riddles, and how you get to solve them along with the characters. I also enjoy haw there is a riddle at the end of the book. I loved the ending of this book. I was very satisfied with it. I liked how unique this book was. In the beginning of the book, I really enjoyed reading about the funny tests the children had to take. I think this is a really great book.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Authors pick which literary character they'd like to spend a day at the beach with.

The Washington Post asked authors which book character they would like to accompany them for a day on the beach. Here's a brief summary, but click here for the full article.

Christopher Buckley - Magwitch, the escaped convice from Charles Dickens "Great Expectations"
Jodi Picoult - Mr. Darcy, from Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice"
Barbara Delinsky - John Wheelwright from "A Prayer for Owen Meany"
Diana Gabaldon - Stephen Maturin of "Master and Commander"
Colson Whitehead - Quint from Peter Benchley's "Jaws"
Christopher Moore - The Wife of Bath from Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales
Philippa Gregory - Jake Barnes from "The Sun Also Rises"
Geraldine Brooks - Almondine from "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle"
Arthur Phillips - Captain Ahab from "Moby-Dick"
Elinor Lipman - Esme from "For Esme -with Love and Squalor"
Garrison Keillor - Emily Dickinson, the heroine of her own poetry
Wally Lamb - Scout Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird"
George Pelecanos - Preston marsh, the anti-hero biker from Kem Nunn's classic coming-of-age novel, "Tapping the Source"

I would pick Jaime Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Sigh

Obama's half brother gets book deal

George Obama, 27 year old half brother of President Obama, is writing a memoir to be published by Simon & Schuster in January 2010. Click here for the full article.

Teen Book Review by Nikki S.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

This book is about a teenage girl named Frankie who goes to school at Alabaster. When she begins dating Matthew Livingston, she starts to notice that he's always "hanging out with the guys." This makes her suspicious, so she follows him. This is how she discovers that he is a member of The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. I highly recommend this book. I really enjoyed reading about how Frankie, a girl, was able to be the mastermind behind an all-male society.

Teen Book Review by Nikki S.

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

*Warning--This review contains spoilers*

In this book, the moon is knocked out of its regular orbit by an asteroid. This is causing worldwide chaos. Because of the moon's effects on natural disasters, they are occuring very often. The telephones won't work. A teenage girl named Miranda is struggling to survive, along with her mother and two brothers. She is having to be constatntly worried about her dad and his wife. I would not recommend this book to others. First of all, the book is very boring for about the last 100 pages. All that's happening is - running out of food, running out of food, no electricity, running out of food...Second, Miranda's "friend" Megan is supposed to be a Christian, but is starving herself to death and shunning Miranda when everyone is dying!?!?!?!? If she was truly a Christian in a time when everyone is dying, she would be spreading the gospel instead of letting her friends die and go to hell! I didn't like how this book portrayed a Christian. Third, I wasn't even close to being satisfied with the ending, because there is no ending! I think something should happen and things go back to normal. Instead, eveyone is still going to die! Just because Miranda's family is finally being provided with food doesn't mean that food isn't going to run out!

Teen Book Review by Nikki S.

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

This book is set during World War II. Corrie Ten Boom is working for the "underground," which helps hide Jews from Hitler's rage. I would recommend this book to others. I liked it because that it was a true story. I enjoy reading books that are true because while reading this, I can think "This actually happened," instead of "It's just a story." It is a sad story, but what Holocaust book isn't? I like how the authors tell of a death in a way that makes it seem like it was better for that person.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Teen Book Review by Nikki S.

Dial L for Loser: a Clique Novel by Lisi Harrison

This book is about a clique called the "Pretty Committee." The members of this clique are, upon chance, invited to audition for a lead role in the upcoming movie, "Dial L for Loser." This role is filled by Claire Lyons, who is the most insecure member of the "Pretty Committee." I would recommend this book. I liked how, unlike other books, this book shows the behind-the-scenes of a movie. I also liked how the mean leader of the clique did not get the role, as she expected. I think this book's plot is very unique and I enjoyed reading it.

Teen Book Review by Nikki S.

Landon Snow and the Auctor's Riddle by R.K. Mortenson

This book is about a ten-year-old boy named Landon Snow who is swallowed by a book and taken into a strange world. he finds a weird riddle and meets a horse named Melech who saves him from the who saves him from the Odds numerous times. Sounds weird, right? Yeah, it is! I do not recommend this book. It is extremely confusing and pretty dumb. It's about talking horses and dwarf-type creatures who are controlled by a giant coin!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Director of 'Twilight' will do 'Maximum Ride' next

Catherine Hardwicke, Director of Twilight, will do James Patterson's Maximum Ride next, with Twilight Stars.

10 Questions for Janet Evanovich

Her heroine, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, has fought and quipped her way to the top of the bestseller lists. Janet Evanovich will now take your questions

Teen Book Review by Kayla C.

Nancy Drew: The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene

In this book, Nancy goes to visit her friends at Shadow Ranch. Shortly after she arrives she finds out that the Ranch has a mystery that no one can seem to figure out. The young sleuth has to find out why all of the strange happenings and vandalism are occurring on the Ranch. Nancy soon discovers that the Ranch has a history that is talked about around the town. With the help of her friends, she tries to unveil the Valentine secret and possible hidden treasure. Along the way she comes face to face with more clues to unveil the big secret. you will enjoy the adventures and all of the excitement and guessing as Nancy does all of her sleuthing. This is a great read and is full of excitement. If you are in the mood for a great mystery this is a good book to start with. Reading has endless possibilities!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Teen Book Review by Christian S.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
This story is about a girl growing up in Brooklyn. They really only mention the tree twice: at the beginning and at the very end. This story is set in the 1990's. Book One is mostly about Francie and Neely as small children. It talks about one day in particular: Saturday. On Saturday, everybody gets paid and that makes everything alright. Book Two is about how Katie Rommely and Johnny Nolan came to meet each other, and such things. It basically talks about Francie's older relatives and how they "are". Book Three is the longest book. It talks about how the kids are growing up. It also talks about Brooklyn and how they react to things. Some of the things in this book are: starting school, introducing Francie's love for writing, and Election Day. This book is very long, but it was definitely not boring. Book Four and Five are a good closing. They talk about her "high school years". She has her first job and her first love. In these books, she starts acting like a young woman, even if she's only 16. I really liked this book, and I would recommend it to any girl who has the time. I will say that it is more of a girl book, because the main character is a girl. There's a lot of good description and imagery in this book too. Even though it took me 2 weeks to read it, I still think it was worth it.

Teen Book Review by Kayla C.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart

The book is about a girl named Frankie who goes to a school called Alabaster Prepatory Academy. She wants to fit in with people and be accepted and prove to her parents that she is old enough to take care of herself. Her dad went to the Academy when he was younger and was part of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds which is a secret on campus. Frankie wants to find out why the Bassets are such a secret, but can't join because it is guys only. She decides to do some investigating of her own and decides to pose as one of the Bassetts to get more information. Along the way she discovers more and more of what the Bassetts are all about. This book is full of excitement, adventures, and a lot of mysteries. I don't want to give away the ending, so I will say that this book is really good and will keep you guessing until the end. This is a book I highly recommend reading. Reading opens up a whole new world!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Teen Book Review by Kayla C.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

My Side of the Mountain is about a boy named Sam Gribley, who is tired of the city and living in a crowded apartment with his family in New York. He decides to go to Delhi and seek out the old Gribley Farm, which currently has no residence living there, and make his home in the woods and live off what nature has to offer. This book is packed full of exciting adventures and interesting events. I don't want to give away too many details, but I will say that I highly recommend reading this book.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Teen Playlist for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - by Nikki S.

Check out this great soundtrack for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!!!

Chapter 1: The Riddle House - Haunted House by Jumpin' Gene Simmons

Chapeter 2: The Scar - The Scar by Broken Iris

Chapter 3: The Invitation - True Friend by Hannah Montana (Yeah, I know it's Hannah Montana, but the lyrics fit.)

Chapter 4: Back to the Burrow - Home by Daughtry

Chapter 5: Weaslys' Wizard Wheezes - The Joke by Lifehouse

Chapter 6: The Portkey - I Can't Wait by hilary Duff

Chapter 7: Bagman and Crouch - The Boss by Diana Ross

Chapter 8: The Quidditch World Cup - Kernkraft 400 (Sport Chant Stadium Remix) by Zombie Nation

Chapter 9: The Dark Mark - Omen by The Prodigy

Chapter 10: Mayhem at the Ministry - Magic by Pilot

Chapter 11: Aboard the Hogwarts Express - Downbound Train by Born in the U.S.A.

Chapter 12: The Triwizard Tournament - When I Grow Up by The Pussycat Dolls

Chapter 13: Mad-Eye Moody - Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne

Chapter 14: The Unforgiveable Curses - Evil Ways by Santana

Chapter 15: Beauxbatons and Durmstrang - New Kids on the Block by New Kids on the Block

Chapter 16: The Goblet of Fire - Into the Fire by Sarah McLachlan

Chapter 17: The Four Champions - We Are the Champions by Queen

Chapter 18: The Weighing of the Wands - if No One Will Listen by Kelly Clarkson

Chapter 19: The Hungarian Horntail - Dirty Little Secret by the All-American Rejects

Chapter 20: The First Task - We Are the Chaptions by Queen

Chapter 21: The House-Elf Liberation Front - Life's Not Fair by 3

Chapter 22: The Unexpected Task - Mission Impossible (Artist Unknown)

Chapter 23: The Yule Ball - Deck the Halls (Classic Christmas Carol)

Chapter 24: Rita Skeeter's Scoop - Celebrity by NSYNC

Chapter 25: The Egg and the Eye - Pocket Full of Sunshine by Natasha Beddingfield

Chapter 26: The Second Task - You Save Me by Kenny Chesney

Chapter 27: Padfoot Returns - See You Again by Miley Cyrus

Chapter 28: The Madness of Mr. Crouch - Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne

Chapter 29: The Dream - Thriller by Michael Jackson

Chapter 30: The Pensieve - No Music Needed

Chapter 31: The Third Task - We Are the Champions by Queen

Chapter 32: Flesh, Blood, and Bone - No Music Needed

Chapter 33: The Death Eaters - Evil by Mercyful Fate

Chapter 34: Priori Incantantem - Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion

Chapter 35: Veritaserum - Living in a Lie by Guano Apes

Chapter 36: The Parting of the Ways - No Music Needed

Chapter 37: The Beginning - Ever Ever After by Carrie Underwood

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Teen Book Review from Briana R.

I read this book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules, by Jeff Kinney. This book is about a boy named Greg Heffley. Greg has a brother named Rodrick that keeps a secret of what Greg did over the summer, to make him do whatever Roderick wants him to do. he tells him to do something, like don't tell their parents about the party Rodrick threw, or he will tell all his friends the secret. The book is a journal of Greg's daily life and struggles in middle school. At the end of the book, their parents find out about Rodrick's party, and then he tells everyone about the secret. Luckily, everyone told each other, and the secret started to change because of being passed on many times. I would recommend this book because it is a funny novel in cartoons. Anyone who loves comics will enjoy this book.

Teen Book Review from Austin R.

I read Naruto, v. 44 Senjutsu Heir. Written by: Masashi Kishimoto. This book is about a young boy named Naruto Uzumaki who is taken to the leader of his village lady Tsunade. Naruto is really upset when he finds out that his former teacher Lord Jiraiya had died. The village is having a really hard time decoding the message on the frogs back, and they believe that Naruto is the only one that can decode it. Sasuke and his team have teamed up with Madara and his partners Zetsu and Kisame to take down the wielders of the eight-tailed beast and the nine-tailed beast. They figured out the first number and it takes the place of ta. They look at the second number 31 and they go to the Naruto's first teacher Kakashi Hatake to figure out what it is. They weren't able to figure it out. Sasuke's group found the wielder of the eight-tailed beast and is trying to kill him. Naruto has been taken to a secret place to learn a very special technique, but if he messes up he starts to turn into a frog and the old frog smacks him with a stick so he won't. I recommend this book because it has a great story line, hard vocabulary, adventure, and teaches you a little bit about Japan's culture.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Book Review by Pam Cooper

The Mysterious William Shakespeare by Charlton Ogburn

Overwhelmingly convincing evidence that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford wrote the sonnets and plays attributed to the uneducated, untraveled, unconnected, haberdasher from Stratford. Funny, beautifully written, amazingly precise and thorough arguments supported by evidence from 16th century contemporaries and from within the plays and poems themselves.

Teen Book Review by Austin R.

I read Naruto, v. 43: The Man With the Truth. This book is about after Sasuke kills Itachi, his long lost brother Madara Uchiha. Everyone thinks that Madara is dead. Madara is dead. Madara has a mask over his face and he is called Tobi. When Madara got the word taht Itachi had died he and his partner Zetsu went to go retrieve Itachi's body. While Zetsu is taking Itachi's body Madara takes Sasuke to his home. When Sasuke sees madara he attacks him. For the rest of the book Madara tells what really happened to his family. I would recommend this book because it has really good vocabulary, and it takes your mind off of the violence at the end of the book.

Teen Book Reviews by Briana R.

I read this book, Room Redo, by Julia De Villers. This book is about the TOO Crew girls (claire, Maddy, Isabel, and Kacey) that get the opportunity to get their bedrooms re-decorated. The TOO Crew and two other girls (Piper and Sierra) have to redo each others bedrooms. After they redo each others, they get to reveal their bedrooms to each other and their friends. At the end of the book, Maddy gets to have a sleepover in her new bedroom with all of her friends. I recommend this book because I loved the book and the whole series by Julia De Villers. It has a great storyline of four best friends and their adventures.

I read this book, Surprise Sleepover, by Julia DeVillers. It is about four best friends, called the TOO Crew, that is invited for a sleepover at the mall with a lot of other girls their age. All the girls have a princess theme for the sleepover because of a movie that all the girls love that is coming out. One of the actors from the movie comes out to the mall and sings for all of the girls. They get to have a scavenger hunt, prizes, food, and samples from the store Limited Too. I recommend this book because it has a great storyline of four best friends. Any girl who has close best friends can relate to this story.

I read this book, True Teamwork, by Julia DeVillers. This book is about the four best friends- Claire, Maddy, Kacey and Isabel- trying to decide what music band will be singing at a music concert. The four grils are wanting the music band INSPIRED to sing, but three other girls want another band called POSE. They are having to make up a presentation to convince the audience which one will be at the concert. At the end of both of the presentations, the group INSPIRED is picked to sing at the concert. I would recommend this book becase it is an awesome book to read. It is very interesting to read. This book is part of a series that is really good.

I read this book, The Great Green Notebook of Katie Roberts, by Amy Hest. This book is about a 12 year old girl, named Katie. This book is more like a journal or a diary of Katie Roberts. It says all of her daily activities as a 12 year old girl who goes to school. Throughout the book, she says all of her boy crushes, her adventures of being a tutor, going to a dance at her school and many more. I recommend this book because any 12 year old girl can relate to her and her adventure. This book is also very interesting.