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Tuesday
Feb082011

Series of Unfortunate Events A Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

Series of Unfortunate Events A Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

Follow the Baudelaire orphans (Violet, Klaus and Sunny) as they are washed through a series of adventures after the mysterious fire that killed their parents and destroyed their home. The children meet their new enemy, Count Olaf and set off on a fantastic journey that will eventually introduce them to secret societies, secret family friends and teach them the value of themselves.  –Becky

Tuesday
Feb082011

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

This is a book that starts the series the Dresden files. I found this book refreshing, cool and different then the same old same old. Harry Dresden is just your average PI, except that he is a wizard. When things go bump in the night he is the one who bumps back! This is not your typical good guy kills bad guy book and good always wins. Harry is in a world (Chicago) where there is not suppose to be magic or vampires or black magic for that matter but there is, we just don’t know about it. This is not a little kid book, this is a dark series with a little humor and edge of your seat reading to keep you turning the pages till your done.
The book opens with the police calling Harry in for an odd double murder, things just get stranger from there; including a talking skull, vampires, black magic and demons. I loved this book along with the whole series. It is a must read for any sci-fi fan or for anyone who just wants a good read. -Julie

Tuesday
Feb082011

My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor

My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor

This book recounts the story of how a brain scientist had a stroke and
observed her own brain process while it was happening. Her experience
gives us an insight into how the brain works and the very different
personality that each of our hemispheres has. The book will open you
eyes to some amazing things about the brain and how each one of us can
use what she learned to improve our own thinking processes. Not only
does the book talk about the stroke, but takes us along with her as she
recovers. It takes her eight years to fully recover starting with just
walking and talking as is she were a child again.
If you really want to get a feel for what this book is about, go to
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html
to watch a 18 minute talk. –Ben

Tuesday
Feb082011

My Husband’s Sweethearts by Bridget Asher

My Husband’s Sweethearts by Bridget Asher

I admit I first picked up this book because of its title. My curiosity lead me to read an amazing story about people coming together and supporting one another in times of great need. The story revolves around a dying man who has pushed his wife away by cheating on her for years. One night after coming home to help deal with his impending death, she decides that the other women should have to share the bad times too. How could did she know that a decision, made in the heat of the moment, would bring her a new family to help bare the burden of a difficult situation? This book is about how the messy bits of life make all special moments even more important. –Becky

Tuesday
Feb082011

Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Eye of the World by Robert Jordan 

The Eye of the World starts very slowly but picks up as it goes. The village of Two Rivers is attacked by evil beings sent by the Dark One. Three boys are the targets fortunately two strangers just happen to be there and scare the minions away. With their village in ruins and fearing another attack, these three Chosen ones must leave with the two strangers and journey to a far away land that may lead them to learn why the Dark One is after them. Jordan’s strength lies in his world’s creation and he describes everything in vivid detail. Much of the story revolved around our characters journeying from town-to-town interacting with different people and getting a taste of culture outside their rural town. Jordan gives women a prominent role as magic users, guides, and even warriors rather than the traditional role as wives, child bearers, and homemakers. In Eye of the World, women seem equal to men in status, something quite uncommon in most medieval fantasy setting. –Jesse

Tuesday
Feb082011

Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman 

Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman 

This book was both moving and full of tidbits of information and drama in the lives of one family and the city of Warsaw during World War II. This book is based on facts and the diary of Antonina Zabinski, the zookeeper’s wife. This book will open your eyes to the world these people lived in every day during the war, the horror of children and families sent to the chambers to die, and the people that risked their lives so others may live. I found this book made me more aware of what went on then I realized went on, it truly was a time of horror, courage, and spirit. This I s a must read for summer. -Julie

Tuesday
Feb082011

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

If you haven’t yet read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, you should give this classic a try. Part travel story, part philosophy, this book is about a father and son trip across the country on motorcycle. Some of this book can get a bit “deep” as they say, but if you really want to look at the world in a new way, this book will do that. If you don’t understand everything, that’s ok. Wait two years and read it again. You’ll be amazed at how much you understand the second time around. Not so much bout Zen, not so much about motorcycles, but more about the quality of the way in which we see the world, this book manages to find a new path. When you read it, you’ll know why it is a classic. –Ben

Tuesday
Feb082011

Once Bitten Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin

Once Bitten Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin

The Jaz Parks Asassin series has a little bit of everything a paranormal romance reader longs for; action, incredibly strong female characters, handsome immortal men and an intricate love story. In a fantastic world full of magic, vampires and other nasty things that go bump in the night, who would the government turn to for the ugliest cases? None other than CIA assassins Jaz Parks and her partner Vayl, a 200+ year-old vampire. Jennifer Rardin provides one of the strongest women characters I have seen in an urban fantasy series. There is a wonderful balance in Jaz’s world between the use of magic, monsters and James Bond like technology that provides a depth to this series missing in many other similar stories. –Becky

Tuesday
Feb082011

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones

A few months back our young adult book club selection was Howl’s Moving Castle. As a fan or Hayao Miyazaki’s films I was distantly aware that this story had originally been a novel. I expected a good read but nothing quite so dazzling as the movie. The book, true to movie adaptation form, was better. Jones’ understanding of story surpasses that of most modern authors. Though the tale borrows from the best of fairy tale and fantasy standards it is told with Jones’ typical creativity and innovation and is delightfully unusual. This book begins a trilogy of stories set in a world that is well worth the visit. Do yourself a favor and pick up Diana Wynn Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle. -Kuyler

Tuesday
Feb082011

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

Quite possibly the greatest book of our time. Part fiction, part autobiography, Mr. Eggers captures the sense of terrifying freedom adulthood brings as well as the overwhelming responsibilities people expect you to take on. Both tragic and perfectly beautiful, this book reminds you how brilliant and scary it is to grow-up.- Sarai

Tuesday
Feb082011

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason 

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason 

Want some good advice on personal finance? Do you want it easy to read?
Then you need to pick up this copy of George Clason’s classic book and
read it today. The information is timeless and presented in a series of
parables located in ancient Babylon when clay tablets were the order of
the day. The topic of money doesn’t have to be boring. When you get to
the end of this book I know you will be excited once again to grow your
wealth with these tried and true principles. –Ben

Tuesday
Feb082011

Dream Warrior by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dream Warrior by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon is a master at blending mythology with modern romance. In the Dream-Hunter series mankind is plagued by gods that take advantage of people while they sleep. In Dream Warrior the protection of the world falls to the dream-hunter Delphine who is forced to turn to her exiled enemy for help. The adventure for Delphine and Cratus is exciting and dangerous leading to a bond of love and respect for one another’s ability to survive anything. –Becky

Tuesday
Feb082011

Straight Man by Richard Russo

Straight Man by Richard Russo


Straight Man is the funniest novel I’ve read. It is similar to Amis’ Lucky Jim in hilarity and setting. William Henry Devereaux, Jr. is the chair of the English department in a fictional but realistic college in Pennsylvania. The stars malign to bring him a week of bad luck. You find yourself liking the bumbling William because of his humorous and poignant humanity. An irreverent look at college politics, this book will have you laughing at every page. –Philip

Tuesday
Feb082011

The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones

The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones

Set in the world of seventh century Arabia, at the foundation of Islam, this is the story of a young woman betrothed at a young age to the Prophet Mohammed. It chronicles her struggles to have any control over her own life. She is intelligent, strong and becomes in time self assured. Meeting the challenges of jealous rivals, political and religious upheaval, she becomes the true and faithful wife of Mohammed , and a most important woman in Islam. The story is well told and the history is tangible. Reading one can visualize, feel, even smell the described scenes! I recommend this as another avenue of insight into Islam. –Dianne

Tuesday
Feb082011

Call of Cthulhu by Chaosium

Call of Cthulhu by Chaosium

Call of Cthulhu is the original horror role playing game by Chaosium. This D100 system is based on the writing of H.P. Lovecraft, considered by many to be the father of modern day horror writing. In this game players seek to discover the terrible, strange and mysterious. Along the way they discover unknown truths about themselves and the world around them. Possibly the most unique feature in the RPG system is the insanity tables where investigators can go crazy from the discovery of the perceived truth of things that go bump in the night. For an exciting game that will have you turning your nightlight back on and checking under the bed try any of the Cthulhu based games. –Becky

Tuesday
Feb082011

Rose Madder by Stephen King

Rose Madder bu Stephen King

Rose Madder is the story of a woman who tries to escape her abusive husband who is also a long-time and highly awarded cop. After gaining the courage to leave, she must try to restart her life as a single woman for the first time ever. Now he is on her trail to hunt her down by any means necessary. Can she escape him and be able to start her own life? This is a must read for any woman struggling with abuse and self-esteem. A MUST READ FOR ANY STEVEN KING READER! –Review by Jennifer

Tuesday
Feb082011

Envy: a Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen

Envy: a Luxe Novel- by Anna Godbersen

The Luxe series follows the lives and trials of a group of debutantes in New York City in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. These young ladies constantly fight to uphold and further the family name while attempting to hide their personal indiscretions. This third book in the series shows just how far society families will push their heirs in order to maintain a proper reputation in a time when a family name and honor were considered more important than happiness or love. Review by Becky

Thursday
Feb032011

Dewey by Viki Myron

Dewey
by Viki Myron

I found this book a book that I could read with my son who is 11. We sat up at night reading it. This book is one of hope, of small town pride, and of course, Dewey. Anyone that has had a cat will love this book. For those people who have not had a cat you will be made aware that cats are fabulous and are only allowing us on this earth, for they are truly the kings and queens. You will laugh, giggle, cry, and tell everyone to read this book. –Review by Julie

Thursday
Feb032011

Refresh Refresh by Benjamin Percy

Refresh Refresh
by Benjamin Percy

Touted by the likes of Ann Patchett and Peter Straub as being the foundational work of a young and talented writer, Refresh Refresh is a collection of stories, mostly set in the Pacific Northwest, that employ cross-genre techniques to create a combination of gut-wrenching realism and fantastic elements that dazzle. Each ending is an unforced surprise to the reader. Spanning realms and realities, from post-nuclear Oregon populated by vigilante gangs of Harley-riding tough guys , to forests in Bend inhabited by blood-thirsty “monsters,” this collection contains depth and entertainment in equal doses. Benjamin Percy is well on his way to being one of America’s preeminent tale –tellers in any genre. –Review by Philip

Thursday
Feb032011

Flotsametrics and the Floating World by Curtis Ebbesmeyer

Flotsametrics and the Floating World
by Curtis Ebbesmeyer

On May 27, 1990 a cargo ship encountered a storm that spilled (among other things) 61,820 Nike sneakers in to the North Pacific Ocean. In “Flotsametrics and the Floating World” Curtis Ebbesmeyer wonders where did they all go? His research leads him to find all kinds of floating objects from shoes to refrigerators, TV sets, to abandoned yachts, human remains, plastic toys, and yes, messages in bottles! He uncovers the large sections of the ocean known as garbage patches where untold numbers of objects gather to swirl about in a never ending cycle of currents. The ocean is a big place. Read this book and you’ll be amazed at what is floating out there. Even valuable treasure if you are sport enough to go get it.

Oh, and by the way, I tossed a message-in-a-bottle into the ocean when I was in my teens. I was thrilled when I actually got a reply! Ask me about it. –Ben