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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Book #110 Read in 2015
Voracious:  A Hungry Reader Cooks Her way Through Great Books by Cara Nicoletti

This is a great read for book lovers and foodies.  It is separated in three sections of reads and recipes:  childhood, adolescence and college years and adulthood.  Nicoletti talks about why each of these books had an impact of her and what food memory stuck with her.  At the end of each "chapter" she includes a recipe from each book.  While I don't cook, I enjoyed reading about why she selected these books, the impact they each had on her and what food imagery stuck with her.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Not After Everything (YA/adut)

Book #109 Read in 2015
Not After Everything by Michelle Levy (YA)

Tyler's mother committed suicide and he was the one who found her boy.  He enters his senior year of high school angry, sad and withdrawn...he quits the football team, his grades (straight As) begin to plummet and he distances himself from his friends and cheerleader girlfriend.  As if his mother's death isn't enough to deal with, Tyler is hiding a highly abusive father from his friends, his school officials and his therapist.  Will he ever be able to get his life together again? 

At times, Tyler is a character who is hard to like but he is so raw, so real that readers will continue to root for him to find happiness again.  This book can be painful at times to read but it is powerful at the same time.  I recommend it to high school students and adults.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Legacy of Kings (YA)

Book #108 Read in 2015
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman (YA/adult)

This was a great historical fiction read with a touch of fantasy thrown into the mix.  Set in 340 BC and having Alexander the Great as one of the main characters, this book has it all--action, romance, intrigue and humor.  There are several strong female characters in this book, which I liked.  The writing flowed and made the over 400 pages go at a quick pace.  The second book comes out next fall and I will definitely read it.  I read online recently that this book will be turned into a TV program and I could see that.  I believe high school students and adults would enjoy this book.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer

Book #107 Read in 2015
The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer by Krista Davis

This is the second installment in a cozy mystery series.  Holly has moved to Wagtail, a very pet-friendly town, to help her grandmother at her inn.  It is Halloween time and ghost hunters have come to town to film a special.  They get a little more than they bargain for when a young woman turns up dead.  Was it an accidental drowning or muder?  Holly begins her own investigation to try to help her friend Dave, a local police officer.  Aided by terrier Trixie (who reminds me on my Emma) and Twinkletoes, a calico cat, as well as a host of two-legged friends, this book is suspenseful enough to keep readers guessing until the end.  Additionally, the book includes pet food recipes, from the author's knowledge with one of her own pets who suffered from bad food allergies.  She began to cook food for her pets herself.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore

Book #106 Read in 2015
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

I loved this much as I loved another bookstore book, The Storied Life of AJ Fikry.  In this book, Mr. Penumbra, like the title says, owns a 24-hour bookstore.  Clay is the night clerk at the store and realizes that this is no ordinary bookstore.  While popular titles are sold in the store, the mainstay of customers want the "back shelves"....books that seem to be full of puzzles and are not purchased, but borrowed and then returned.  Clay begins to investigate and realizes that there is a secret society within the clientele of the book store and that they are trying to decode a message from centuries ago.  Written well with a mix of past and present (Google plays a large role), this book is a perfect blend of mystery and fantasy.  Sloan has created interesting characters and a wonderful setting in the bookstore.  I highly recommend this read.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Walk on Earth a Stranger (YA)

Book #105 Read in 2015
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

This is the first book in a YA trilogy by the author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.  Set during the California Gold Rush, this book has a touch of fantasy in which the main character, Leah, can "sense" where to find gold.  She is asked to head to California by her good friend Jefferson, who is heading there to try his luck and get away from his abusive father.  This book has action, interesting history, great characters, romance and humor.  Over 400 pages, it was a quick read because I did not want to put it down.  I would recommend this book to high school students (both boys and girls) and adults.  I will continue this series.  I received this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Revolution of Ivy (YA)

Book #104 Read in 2015
The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel (YA)

This sequel picks up right where book #1 left off and the excitement lasts throughout the entire book.  Ivy and Bishop, along with friends Caleb and Ash, head back to Westfall once they hear that Ivy's sister is due to be executed and that Westfall is in shambles.  Even though Callie betrayed her, Ivy cannot just sit back and let her sister be killed.  There were some unexpected twists and turns in this book and that just made it a better read.  Once again, Engel has crafted a story filled with action, romance and humor.  I highly recommend this series to high school students and adults.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Max the Brave

Book #102 Read in 2015
Max the Brave

This book was a cute picture book.  Max is a kitten, courageously looking for a mouse.  He meets many other creatures instead.  This would be a nice read aloud for children.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

The Book of Ivy (YA)

Book #103 Read in 2015
The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel (YA)

This was a great dystopian read and a great series starter.  Ivy is arranged to marry Bishop, the President's son.  Her father has hated the President for years and wants Ivy to work against her in-laws, getting secrets for him and eventually killing Bishop.  What he hadn't factored into his plans was that Ivy would fall in love with her new husband.  She struggles to find a way of saving his life without betraying her family, even if it is at a huge cost for her. 

This book was a great read and the characters were interesting and complex.  It had elements of mystery and romance in it.  High school students would enjoy this book, as well as adults.  I hope to start #2 today.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Made You Up (YA)

Book #101 Read in 2015
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (YA)

Alex has schizophrenia.  This has caused her to be ostracized by her fellow classmates.  Her actions have caused her to be put into a different school, where she decides to not say anything about her illness.  She thinks things are going well until she is outed by a vicious classmate.  Then people begin to avoid her again.  Alex struggles to live like a normal teen and have a normal relationship with her friends and boyfriends.  But her illness makes that very difficult to do.  This was a honest and powerful look at a mentally ill teen.  It was a great read that I would recommend for both high school students and adults.  I borrowed this book from the town library.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Took (YA)

Book #100 Read in 2015
Took by Mary Downing Hahn (YA)

Downing Hahn is an author great, spooky books for middle and high schoolers.  Took is no exception.  Daniel and Erica are upset when their parents, due to money issues, move them from CT to West Virginia.  The children are not welcomed by their new school mates.  They both become withdrawn and Erica becomes even odder about her doll, Little Erica, seemingly believing it's alive.  Urban legends abound in their new hometown, about a witch called Auntie who steals little girls to make them her servant and Bag of Bones, her evil "pet".  Erica was "took" by Auntie and Daniel needs to find a way to get her back home.  This book is spooky, creepy and a highly engaging quick read.  I received a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for a honest review.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bless Her Dead Little Heart

Book #99 Read in 2015
Bless Her Dead Little Heart by Miranda James

This is the first in a cozy mystery series. An'gel and Dickie are a pair of southern sisters who became amateur sleuths when one of their house guests end up being murdered.  The pair try to weed through a slew of possible suspects.  The mystery was well written and kept me guessing.  The sisters were a great pair.  I loved that Diesel,  the Maine Coon cat from the other cozy mystery series by James, was in this made for a nice bridge between the two series.  I recommend this book to cozy mystery fans.  The second book will be out next month; I  cannot wait.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Book #98 Read in 2015
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

A few friends had talked about this book and I was curious.  About halfway through, I was a bit tired of hearing the same techniques mentioned over and over again.  I did like the idea that if something brings you joy, keep it.  If it doesn't, get rid of it.  That being said, I doubt that author would love the huge amount of unread books I have in my home, but they bring me joy so I'm keeping them :-)  I borrowed this book from the town library.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Never Always Sometimes (YA)

Book #97 Read in 2015
Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid (YA)

Right before they enter high school, best friends Dave and Julia make a list of things to not do during the high school tenure.  Fast forward to the spring semester of their senior year.  Both are bored and not really motivated, as their college acceptances have already happened.  Julia comes up with the idea of doing what was on their never list...things like Dave running for Prom King, dying their hair etc.  This decision broadens their social circle (which was basically just the two of them) with both good and bad results.  This book has lots of humor and romance in it and high school girls would love it.  Dave and Julia are both interesting, intelligent and realistic characters.  I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a honest review.

July Reads

July Reads:

1.  My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry (4/5)
2.  Untwine (YA)  4.5/5
3.  Hiss and Tell (4/5)  4th in series
4.  Soundless (YA) 4/5
5.  Pioneer Girl (4/5)  library book
6.  The Last Time We Say Goodbye (YA)  5/5
7.  Go Set a Watchman (4/5)  library book
8.  Challenger Deep (YA)  4/5
9.  Murder in the Paperback Parlor (5/5)  2nd in series
10.  The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street (4/5)  2nd in series  library book
11.  Paperweight (YA)  5/5
12.  Undertow (YA)  4.5/5  1st in series  library book

96 books read in 2015