Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This Song Will Save Your Life

By Leila Sales
Elise’s latest big project is to become popular and have friends next school year. Her projects are always big, in-depth and successful. This one fails. On fact, it fails so badly that she decides to try suicide but that fails also. It does point out that she does want to live. On one of her late night walks she discovers an underground dance club which opens up a whole new world, where she begins to understand what it means to be a friend and where she becomes the hottest new DJ. Meanwhile, on the school scene, someone is writes a blog in her name about wanting to commit suicide and she starts hanging around with the two other most unpopular girls.
 ~ Sue

Dark Justice

By Brandilyn Collins

This is the first book I have read by this author and I really liked it.

Hanna Shire and her senile mother decide to take the scenic route as they return from a get away weekend. They come across a car accident and stop to help, like many people would. Soon their world starts to spin out of control.

The victim of the accident whispers mysterious words to Hannah. Now someone wants her and her mother out of the picture because of what they “know”. Hannah’s daughter becomes involved too and they begin to understand that the whole country’s electrical grid is at risk. Now they have to figure out who they can trust and who can stop this terrorist attack?

~ Dixie

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Dream Thieves

By Maggie Steifvater
In this sequel to The Raven Boys , the search for the legendary Welsh king Glendower is overpowered by the weakening of the ley lines(invisible channels of energy that connect sacred places of the world) that underlie their small town in Virginia, and the disappearance of Cabeswater, the mystical forest. Ronan’s ability to pull things into this world from his dreams is out of control. He discovers that the school bully shares this ability and can teach him how to control it and bring back exactly what he wants. The Grey Man and others are searching for an object called the Greywaren which allows the owner to steal from dreams, unaware the Ronan is it. 

~ Sue

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic

By Emily Croy Barker

Nora Fischer is definitely having a bad week.  She is struggling with the final pieces of her dissertation; her boyfriend of four years has just announced that he is marrying another woman; and, to top it off, she has just spent a miserable weekend at a friend’s wedding in the mountains.  In an attempt to shake she wanders up the mountain  for an early morning walk, gets lost, and walks through  a portal into another world.  Nora is transformed from an average looking grad student into a stunning beauty with fabulous new friends and is married to a handsome prince.  Or is she? 

When the elegant veneer shatters, her magical world becomes a dark and dangerous place.  Saved from a horrifying fate by a reluctant, mysterious magician with a troubling past, Nora must learn “real magic” to survive.

I loved this story, and the writing flows beautifully from the first few pages.  This unreal world feels very real, and is populated by such deeply imagined characters that I stayed up for several nights reading.  I can’t wait for the sequel, which is in process.

~ Sally

Friday, December 6, 2013

This Town : two parties and a funeral-plus plenty of parking!-in America's Gilded Capital

"This Town" is a political narrative about life in Washington D.C.  Mark Leibovich is the Chief National Correspondent for New York Times Magazine.   He is in some ways an insider and his insights about the state of national politics can be blistering.

The book begins with the funeral of Tim Russert and ends 4 years later with Obama winning a second term of office.   He recounts the events along the way including many parties and the colorful characters that are part of the political machine.  The transition of politicians becoming lobbyists is eye-opening and disturbing.  This book is a must read for anyone interested in national politics.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Somebody Up There Hates You

By Hollis Seamon - YA

Ritchie may be in the hospice ward dying of cancer but he is still a teenager and determined to make his final days memorable.  He is aided and abetted by his ‘crazy’ uncle and Sylvie, the only other teen in the ward, who does not want to die a virgin and accompanies him on one of his escapes. This story, told by Ritchie, made me both laugh and cry.
~ Sue

Monday, November 25, 2013

Storm Front

By John Sandford

College professor, pastor, and part-time archeologist Elijah Jones discovers an ancient inscribed stone during a dig in Israel. This stone has the potential to rewrite the history of the Jewish and Christian people as well as the Bible itself. Fearing the implications of this discovery, Jones smuggles the artifact back home to Minnesota. Jones faces many serious problems: people on the dig are aware that Jones is the person who took the stone, there are many unsavory people who are willing to kill him for it, and Jones is in the final stages of cancer and is in a great deal of pain.

Criminal Investigations agent Virgil Flowers becomes involved in tracking Jones down in order to recover the stone to return to the Israeli authorities. A series of errors, some comical , and a colorful cast of characters (the Turks, and "Ma" Nobles and her many illegitimate children) adds a touch of humor to this mystery/thriller.

I am a fan of John Sandford's Lucas Davenport series, but this is the first Virgil Flowers novel that I have read and it is #7 in this series. Davenport is Flowers' boss in both series and, as such, many of the characters intersect. Fortunately, enough background information is provided that I didn't feel lost. I've really enjoyed the plot and characterization in this story and I look forward to reading more books in this series.

Reserve this eBook.
Reserve this book (print).
Reserve this AudioBook.

~ Paula

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Welcome to Last Chance

by Cathleen Armstrong

Lainie Davis needs to get away from the life of drugs she has found herself in. She uses all she has to buy a used car and starts to run as far as she can go. When her car breaks down, she finds herself near the little town of Last Chance and has no choice but to stay there until she can figure out a way to keep running.

The people in this town are way too friendly, too accommodating and too interested in her life. As she gets to know the people in this little town, she starts to feel like she belongs. But will her past catch up to her – even here in the middle of nowhere?

~ Dixie

One Summer: America, 1927

by Bill Bryson

One Summer is a great read! Bill Bryson gives us a taste of one of the most eventful summers in American History.  Some of the key events and people he covers in some detail include : Charles Lindbergh's Atlantic flight, prohibition, Babe Ruth (this was the year he hit 60 home runs) , Henry Ford, and the first talking motion pictures.  

Bryson mixes all this up in  a narrative that is interesting, informative, and easy to read.  He makes history fun!

~ Kathy

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Little Book of Big Decorating Ideas

287 Clever Tips, Tricks, and Solutions
By Country Living

I was busy re-shelving some of our new titles when this tiny hardcover book caught my attention. As the subtitle mentions, there are 287 decorating tips presented as full color photos, many with instructions, for every room in your home. Some outdoor ideas may have to wait till after the spring thaw, but others would be perfect winter projects to update and beautify your home.

I am a huge fan of all of the Country Living publications and this book did not disappoint.

Love this book!
~ Paula

Stress Test

By Richard L. Mabry, M.D

Dr. Matt Newman wants to leave his high stress job as a surgeon and start a new career in academic medicine. Someone has other plans for him and attacks him in the parking garage at 2 AM while he is leaving his shift at the hospital. He escapes his attackers but ends up in the hospital as a patient with a head injury and a charge of murder against him. Matt calls Sandra Murray, a lawyer to defend him. The police are convinced Matt is a killer and the kidnappers are trying to finish what they started. This turns into the toughest stress test Matt has ever endured.

~ Dixie

Thursday, October 24, 2013


By John Jackson Miller

Normally I think these book reviews are supposed to rave about a great read.  I can't quite rave about this one, although it wasn't the worst thing I've ever read.  I suppose it may be worth warning those of you looking for a Star Wars book about Obi-Wan Kenobi that this book is going to be a bit of a disappointment.  I've heard it described as a western novel, and that may be true, I've never read a western.  But if the title is a character's name you would expect the book to be about him.  The first half of the book doesn't mention Kenobi, it is about Annilee, a woman who owns a supply store on Tattooine. That's quite a portion of reading to get through before Kenobi finally enters the storyline.  There's very little character insight into Kenobi except for a few pages of his meditation dialogue.  The author spent all his energy on developing Annilee, and seemed terrified to go very deeply into an established Star Wars character's real feelings.  After slamming the book shut at 2 a.m. in frustration, I vowed to just stick to the fan fiction websites where the amateurs aren't afraid of giving a character a personality.

~ Becky

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Knot What It Seams

A Southern Quilting Mystery
By Elizabeth Craig

I have to admit I judged a book by its cover while at work checking in books at the circulation desk. The first thing I noticed was the colorful quilts, then the antique sewing machine and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. All three things are near and dear to my heart. I don’t like to read the story summary on the back of books so, based solely on the cover I thought I would give it a try and I am glad I did.  This book is the second book in the series; I have placed a hold on the first book Quilt or Innocence and am looking forward to the next book that will be available later this year. This book keeps you guessing, like any good mystery, who could have killed this person?  I enjoyed this delightful read and I look forward to the next two books.  Any quilter, as well as non-quilters, can relate to and delight in this novel.

~ Beckie

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary

By Susan Elia MacNeal

This is a fun mystery/suspense set in England during World War II. Maggie Hope is a mathematics scholar from the States who is back in England to settle her grandmother’s estate. When she finds that she has extra time on her hands, a friend suggests that she apply for an opening at the Prime Minister’s office where he works. Maggie soon finds that she’s looking into the mystery of what happened to her predecessor. Along the way, she became aware of the fact that there are family secrets concerning the death of her parents.

The look at life in London during the blitz and the unexpected ending are additional reasons to pick up this first book in a delightful new series.

~ Rochelle

Monday, October 7, 2013

How the Light Gets In

by Louise Penny

I absolutely love Chief Inspector Gamache!  How the Light Gets in is Louise Penny's ninth mystery featuring Chief Inspector Gamache.  With this novel, Penny ties up some of the loose ends that were left from previous novels.

Gamache finds himself isolated from his department and questioning the motives of his superiors.  In addition, Jean Guy Beauvior, his second in command has deserted him and the love of his life, Annie Gamache.  Gamache finds solace in Three Pines among the quirky townsfolk while he solves the murder of Constance Pineault, a friend of Myrna's.  He also finds a way to solve the larger mystery of corruption in the Surete du Quebec.

If you haven't read Louise Penny, you won't be disappointed.  Her books are wonderful character studies within a mystery.  You will want to start with the first in the series and read all the way through.  I can't wait until the next one comes out.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Last Original Wife

By Dorothea Benton Frank   
Audiobook format

When I first started listening to this book I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue.  There is quite a bit of spouse bashing in the first few chapters.  I am glad I decided to wait it out a bit longer to see if it became more pleasant.  The end was well worth the uncomfortable moments in the beginning.  This book chronicles the end of one marriage and the beginning of a new and far better life for the heroine.   I do recommend this book for a good listen or read.