Thursday, August 26, 2010

What the Staff is Currently Reading...

Michelyn, from Reference Dept.:
Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
"It makes everyday economics interesting, even if you don't care about money and shows how the world really works based on economics. Start with the first one, Freakanomics: a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, by the same authors."

Amber, from Reference Dept.:
of Gold by Victor E. Villasenor
"This is the true story of two early 20th century Mexican families that immigrated to America. It's a beautiful love story between husband and wife and, also, a son and his parents."

Katie, Director of Library Services:
I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne and Chris Ayres (audio version)
"A fascinating behind the scenes glance at one of rock and roll's most notorious figures."

This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection by Carol Burnett
"An intimate and often hilarious combination of stories and anecdotes along with a poignant look at the death of Burnett's daughter (tearjerker)."

Kate, from Children's Dept.:
Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo
"A little predictable but a fun, quick read."

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
"A great combination of alternate history, steampunk, and coming-of-age with lots of danger and fantastic technology. I am looking forward to the next in the series."

Dark Life by Kat Falls
"The surface of the world has changed drastically, the people haven't. Outlaws, unhelpful bureaucrats, and little sisters are no easier to deal with just because you live at the bottom of the ocean. Amusing and slightly scary."

Lori, from Young Adult Dept.:
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
"This is a fantastic sequel to The Iron King. This book was just as action packed as the first and the romantic complications increase, as well. I can't wait for the third, The Iron Queen, due to be released in February of 2011."

The Devil Wears Plaid by Teresa Medieros
"I'm incredibly excited to read this book, partly because I follow the author on facebook and have been hearing about the characters for a while. I've just started and it definitely has me hooked with a great first meeting between the hero and heroine - who doesn't love a historical romance where the bride is stolen at the altar!"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins, Now Available

The day so many people have been waiting for has arrived...Mockingjay, the final installment in The Hunger Games trilogy, is now available!!! If you aren't familiar with this phenomenon that is sweeping teens and adults, check out the following synopsis (descriptions of the second and third books may contain spoilers).

Oh, and be sure to put your copies on hold now!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
From School Library Journal:
In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. Collins's characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing. This book will definitely resonate with the generation raised on reality shows like "Survivor" and "American Gladiator." Book one of a planned trilogy.
Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
From School Library Journal:
Every year in Panem, the dystopic nation that exists where the U.S. used to be, the Capitol holds a televised tournament in which two teen "tributes" from each of the surrounding districts fight a gruesome battle to the death. In
The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the tributes from impoverished District Twelve, thwarted the Gamemakers, forcing them to let both teens survive. In this rabidly anticipated sequel, Katniss, again the narrator, returns home to find herself more the center of attention than ever. The sinister President Snow surprises her with a visit, and Katniss’s fear when Snow meets with her alone is both palpable and justified. Catching Fire is divided into three parts: Katniss and Peeta’s mandatory Victory Tour through the districts, preparations for the 75th Annual Hunger Games, and a truncated version of the Games themselves. Slower paced than its predecessor, this sequel explores the nation of Panem: its power structure, rumors of a secret district, and a spreading rebellion, ignited by Katniss and Peeta’s subversive victory. Katniss also deepens as a character. Though initially bewildered by the attention paid to her, she comes almost to embrace her status as the rebels’ symbolic leader. Though more of the story takes place outside the arena than within, this sequel has enough action to please Hunger Games fans and leaves enough questions tantalizingly unanswered for readers to be desperate for the next installment.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Product Description:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking
The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Book Review: Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie

This was an absolutely delightful book! It only took of a couple of hours to read and it had several laugh out loud moments (but none that I would consider cheesy). The premise of the book is that Lucy Savage Porter is finally getting rid of her husband Bradley Porter. The book opens on the day that the divorce is final and starts with a bang! Lucy is accosted at the diner where Bradley asked her to meet him by a disreputable looking guy, who happens to be a detective with the local police department. After beaning him silly with her massive handbag, she learns that he thinks her life is at risk and personally takes on the job of protecting her.

This was an exceptionally funny light summer read for me (She has green hair at one point in the book, every woman's nightmare)! The character development was perfect for the plot and length of the book. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a romance with a solid plot and lots of laughter. This was the first solo work that I've read by Crusie, but I will definitely be checking out more!

Product Description:

Lucy Savage is not having a good week. Her cheating husband, Bradley, lobbed the final insult when he stood her up in divorce court. A dye job gone wrong has left her hair green. And someone is trying to kill her. To top it off, sexy cop Zack Warren is certain that the very same man Lucy is trying to wash right out of her hair is the same Bradley he wants to arrest for embezzlement.

When someone shoots at her and then her car blows up, Zack decides she needs twenty-four-hour police protection. Next thing Lucy knows, Zack has moved in to her big Victorian house, making them both sleepless - and not just from things that go bump in the night!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Book Review - Veil of Night by Linda Howard

I'm a huge fan of Linda Howard's work and I was really excited to read her newest book, Veil of Night. This book was vintage Linda Howard to me. I had concerns about plot similarities to To Die For, which I enjoyed, but this book was completely fresh. The main characters were likable and had definite chemistry, the details surrounding the plot were realistic and there was just the right amount of humor thrown in (with weddings featuring a football theme and a barn, how could there not be a couple of laughs?!?!). This is a great book for anyone who enjoys romantic suspense and this would also be a great introduction to Ms. Howard if you have not read any of her previous books.

Product Description: Jaclyn Wilde is a wedding planner who loves her job—usually. But helping Carrie Edwards with her Big Day has been an unrelenting nightmare. Carrie is a bridezilla of mythic nastiness, a diva whose tantrums are just about as crazy as her demands. But the unpleasant task at hand turns seriously criminal when Carrie is brutally murdered and everyone involved with the ceremony is accusing one another of doing the deed. The problem is, most everyone—from the cake maker and the florist to the wedding-gown retailer and the bridesmaids’ dressmaker—had his or her own reason for wanting the bride dead, including Jaclyn. And while those who felt Carrie’s wrath are now smiling at her demise, Jaclyn refuses to celebrate tragedy, especially since she finds herself in the shadow of suspicion. Assigned to the case, Detective Eric Wilder finds that there’s too much evidence pointing toward too many suspects. Compounding his problems is Jaclyn, with whom he shared one deeply passionate night before Carrie’s death. Being a prime suspect means that Jaclyn is hands-off just when Eric would rather be hands-on. As the heat intensifies between Eric and Jaclyn, a cold-blooded murderer moves dangerously close. And this time the target is not a bride but one particularly irresistible wedding planner, unaware of a killer’s vow.

Audio Book Review - American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot by Craig Ferguson

The first thing that I need to say is that I went into the book adoring Craig Ferguson, so there, I'm admitting my bias up front.

Now on to the review, this is an audio book that both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to on a recent road trip. Someone had the brilliant idea to let Craig Ferguson read his own memoir and the effect is absolutely perfect, you feel like you are on the journey with him. There were moments when we laughed, he is a terrific comedian, moments when we cheered him on and moments that had me near tears as he talked about his parents and the life that he led while falling deeper into alcoholism. The book is unflinching - it deals with the cliches: sex, drugs (alcohol, as well) and rock' n' roll, as well as the emotional cost of life decisions both good and bad. But, let me remind you, there are tons of moments that will make you laugh out loud (not at him, but with him). My husband and I have had a few discussions about things that this book made us consider in depth. We luckily don't have personal experiences with alcoholism or family members with the disease, but we do feel like it made us better understand some of the obstacles that people who battle with the disease face before they take the steps toward recovery.

In conclusion, I still adore Craig Ferguson (even more, if possible) and I would recommend this book to those who enjoy memoirs, and anyone who likes comedy with heart - this book has it in spades.

Product Description:

In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson delivers a moving and achingly funny memoir of living the American dream as he journeys from the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland, to the comedic promised land of Hollywood. Along the way he stumbles through several attempts to make his mark—as a punk rock musician, a construction worker, a bouncer, and, tragically, a modern dancer.

To numb the pain of failure, Ferguson found comfort in drugs and alcohol, addictions that eventually led to an aborted suicide attempt. (He forgot to do it when someone offered him a glass of sherry.) But his story has a happy ending: success on the hit sitcom The Drew Carey Show, and later as the host of CBS's Late Late Show. By far Ferguson's greatest triumph was his decision to become a U.S. citizen, a milestone he achieved in early 2008.

In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson talks a red, white, and blue streak about everything our Founding Fathers feared.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Book Review - Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin

The Mt Laurel Book Club discussed Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin on August 5th.This book sparked intense, but always friendly, discussion among our members. The premise of the book is engaging. By using factual information about the lives of Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) and Alice Liddell, the author has created a fictional account of the life of Alice Liddell. Alice Liddell, as many of you will know, is the acknowledged inspiration for Dodgson's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The book's focus is on three eras of Alice's life: her childhood with Dodgson, her purported relationship with Prince Leopold in her twenties, and her life as a mother and wife. The author, Melanie Benjamin, does a wonderful job of giving Alice a distinct voice for each of the three ages covered in the book. This was a book that I enjoyed reading and have continued to discuss with friends. It has also kept me on the lookout for more information about these people and the events of their lives.

From Product Description:

Few works of literature are as universally beloved as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, in this spellbinding historical novel, we meet the young girl whose bright spirit sent her on an unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole–and the grown woman whose story is no less enthralling.

But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful?

Alice Liddell Hargreaves’s life has been a richly woven tapestry: As a young woman, wife, mother, and widow, she’s experienced intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. But as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she knows that, to the world around her, she is and will always be only “Alice.” Her life was permanently dog-eared at one fateful moment in her tenth year–the golden summer day she urged a grown-up friend to write down one of his fanciful stories.

That story, a wild tale of rabbits, queens, and a precocious young child, becomes a sensation the world over. Its author, a shy, stuttering Oxford professor, does more than immortalize Alice–he changes her life forever. But even he cannot stop time, as much as he might like to. And as Alice’s childhood slips away, a peacetime of glittering balls and royal romances gives way to the urgent tide of war.

For Alice, the stakes could not be higher, for she is the mother of three grown sons, soldiers all. Yet even as she stands to lose everything she treasures, one part of her will always be the determined, undaunted Alice of the story, who discovered that life beyond the rabbit hole was an astonishing journey.

A love story and a literary mystery, Alice I Have Been brilliantly blends fact and fiction to capture the passionate spirit of a woman who was truly worthy of her fictional alter ego, in a world as captivating as the Wonderland only she could inspire.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Audio Cds in the Young Adult Department!!!

We are now offering Audio CDs in the Young Adult (YA) Department. The following titles are now available:

Demi Lovato: Here We Go Again
Miley Cyrus: Can't Be Tamed
Justin Bieber: My World 2.0
Rihanna: Rated R
Twilight: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
New Moon: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Eclipse: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Glee: The Music, Season One, Volume Two