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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (YA) (4.5/5)


The Forest of Hands and Teeth (YA) (4.5/5)

Sort of a take on the Living Dead movies, this book talks about a fenced in village surrounded by the "unconsecrated"--people who have returned from the dead as zombies. Mary is a teenager whose mother always told her about the ocean outside of their fenced in world. Mary longs to see it. After her mother's death and a horrible attack on the village, Mary and a small group head out on a forbidden path to try to get away from the zombies. This book had a lot of action, some romantic angst and some blood. For that, I think both HS boys and girls would enjoy it. This is slightly different than the hugely popular vampire market but I think those fans would enjoy this book as well.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Still Alice (5/5)


Still Alice (5/5)

Alice is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. Her life as a Harvard professor is now on borrowed time. She begins the downward spiral into not remembering who she is, who her family members are and how to live her life. This is an incredibly moving book and readers will get an inside look of the journey into the loss of memory. Great writing style. A must read.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Canapes for the Kitties (4.5/5)


Canapes for the Kitties (4.5/5)

A cozy mystery about a cozy little village inhabited by mystery writers. One by one, the writers are getting killed in ways that would fit with the novels they write. I liked how most of the writers had pets; they were characters in their own right, not just background fillers. A good, quick read.

No Teachers Left Behind (5/5)

No Teachers Left Behind (5/5)

A must read for all teachers, especially those who have taught more than a few years. Some of this book was eerily familiar to me as a HS Teacher. The ending of this book I hope to never experience. This book is a realistic view of the world of teaching--sometimes feeling unsupported by students, parents and administrators. There are also sparks of making a difference in someone's lives, also a realistic part of teaching. I would recommend this to teachers, administrators and parents. A great read!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Lady Elizabeth (4.5/5)


The Lady Elizabeth (4.5/5)

Historical fiction about Elizabeth Tudor. After reading a bunch of these type of novels this summer, I find it interesting that different authors can tell such different tales about the same historical figures. I liked the writing style of this book--it flowed well and was a quick read.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Emma and Max


Emma and Max in the recliner. Emma is a 7 year old Jack Russell, named after the Jane Austen book. Max is a 3 year old mitted sealpoint Ragdoll.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy (4.5/5)


The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy (4.5/5)

This is a modern take on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, which is one of my favorite books. Austen may have a little trouble recognizing Elizabeth and Darcy, since they are nymphomaniacs in this book but if you can get past the sex scenes you will enjoy this book. The author stays true to Austen's conflict of pride and prejudice keeping the lovers apart and has done a nice job modernizing the characters (Elizabeth is a lawyer, Darcy a judge, Jane and Bingley surgeons). Good chick lit.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Queen's Bastard (4/5)


The Queen's Bastard (4/5)

Historical fiction about Arthur Dudley, who claimed to be the illegitimate son of Queen Elizabeth and Robin Dudley. This book tells the tale of the plots of people trying for political gain. A little slow in parts but I was interested to learn more about this issue in history.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Out with the Old, In with the New (4.5/5)


Out with the Old, In with the New (4.5/5)

Kate finds out that her husband of 20 years is cheating on her with a 20 year old. She kicks him out and needs to learn once again how to stand on her own 2 feet. Predictable but a good, quick read. Chick lit for a more mature age :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Constant Princess (4/5)


The Constant Princess (4/5)

Good historical fiction about Queen Katherine. This book starts at Katherine's birth and ends in the midst of the Anne Boleyn days, but doesn't really focus on that much. Katherine was a strong woman. I liked her. Good writing in this book.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Beware, Princess Elizabeth (YA) (4.5/5)


Beware, Princess Elizabeth (YA) (4.5/5)

A quick read detailing Elizabeth accession to the throne. This book shows the manipulations of various people trying to keep power in England. A good read for upper elementary and middle school students.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Susannah Morrow (5/5)


Susannah Morrow (5/5)
A book about the Salem witch trials and is extremely well done. This book is actually a romance amidst the hysteria. This book is told in alternate narration and this adds to the power of the book. I read this book in one day. I was hooked and could not put it down--the Salem witch trial era is my main area of historical interest. I would recommend it to HS students and adults.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pope Joan (5/5)

Pope Joan (5/5)

A well-written book about Joan, a girl who disguises herself as a an so she can learn, and whom eventually becomes Pope. Great writing, good action and star-crossed lovers make for a great read. I have had this book for years and I'm glad that I finally read it.

Gizmo


This is Gizmo, my 3 year old sealpoint Ragdoll. He is the runt of the litter but he's a sweetheart. Here he enjoys snuggling with his giraffe in one of our spare bedrooms.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Give a Boy a Gun (YA) (5/5)


Give a Boy a Gun (YA) (5/5)

This book tells the chilling story of a school shooting, based on real-life shootings. Brendan and Gary have been bullied for years. Eventually, at a HS dance, they reach their breaking point and come in with guns and bombs. This book is a heartbreaking read. It is so sad to know that young people feel that there is no way out but to come in with guns blazing. This is a quick but extremely powerful read.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sarah's Key (5/5)


Sarah's Key (5/5)

This book tells a powerful story of what happened to Jewish people during World War 2. Specifically it focuses on Sarah, a young girl who is taken to Auschwitz by the French police. Sarah locked her younger brother in a secret cupboard so the police wouldn't take him as well. She fully expected to be able to be back in time to let him out. This beginning spirals a tale of suffering. Suffering which goes beyond one family, beyond one country and beyond one generation. This book is extremely powerful. The writing is excellent. Both adults and young adults (HS age) would love this book.