Working dogs are a valuable asset to our Armed Forces. They are hardworking, loyal and more disciplined than a lot of people! They have saved countless lives and their dedication to their assignments is nothing short of remarkable.
This book is a must read for animal lovers as well as US history buffs.
Haunting and whimsical, Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things (2006) is an interesting compilation of short works featuring dark and lovely stories and poems including a particular favorite, “October in the Chair.” This specific tale is evocative of Gaiman’s distinctive and romantic style and his charming and eerie prose. In this short story, the months of the year are personified and are gathered for a board meeting around a campfire. Each month demonstrates his/her own personality traits and skills for storytelling as they share tales with the group. October is presiding over the autumnal meeting, and his story of a young boy who makes a ghostly friend after he stumbles into a cemetery will appeal to Gaiman fans who have read The Graveyard Book. In this Gaiman collection of tales and poems, vivid imagery and sensory diction weave a dream-like web to catch the reader’s attention, particularly those partial to the science fiction and fantasy genres. Excerpt: “October was in the chair, so it was chilly that evening, and the leaves were red and orange and tumbled from the trees that circles the grove. The twelve of them sat around a campfire roasting huge sausages on sticks, which spat and crackled as the fat dripped onto the burning applewood, and drinking fresh apple cider, tangy and tart in their mouths.”
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,
- Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury,
- The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Tales by H. P. Lovecraft
After two women from very different backgrounds and situations meet, their lives become entwined in life-changing ways. Diedre Clark-Morris is a faithful christian professional woman with a loving husband and family but no children. Kenisha Smalls has no faith, lives in poverty and has suffered abuse. She has three small children by three different fathers. When the two meet Kenisha has just been diagnosed with cervical cancer and Diedre is facing the fact that she may never have a child. Kenisha's desperate desire to find a family for her children and Diedre's decision to help with the search bind the two women together as they experience forgiveness and unexpected blessings.
John Constantine (Reeves), a long time self-proclaimed exorcist, can see into the world of angels and demons by witnessing what he calls half-breeds. He is cast into a demonic plot when he crosses paths with a detective (Rachel Weisz) whose sister, haunted by demons herself, just committed suicide. Constantine's own life is at risk by his own hand due to his excessive smoking habit. As the clock ticks, he must help the detective solve her sister's death before John's soul is collected by the Devil himself.
The visual effects are stunning, offering a unique look into the world that Constantine's sees. And for those interested, there is enough deep symbolism to delve into for hours. But I recommend Constantine for both the initiated and the profane.
Two little girls go missing; one, Callie, has been mute since she was a toddler, the other, Petra, the best friend, acts as her voice. Why won’t Callie speak? Who took them? Where did they go? The answers are found at the end of old family secrets. The story is unfolded little by little, each from a different point of view: Callie, Petra, Callie’s mom, the sheriff, and others.
- Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens,
- Unexpected Blessings by Barbara Taylor Bradford,
- Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard
When March Went Mad is the story of “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird and the dramatic season leading up to that magical March 26, 1979 game where they met for the only time in college. That game is what made March as we now know it – complete madness, and a multibillion dollar business that sports lovers look forward to every year. It also spurred the resurgence of the NBA.
- The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons,
- When the Game was Ours by Larry Bird and Magic Johnson
A dictionary of the dead that tells about the eccentricities of historical figures of the world famous (Freud, William Blake) to the forgotten (Mary Seacole, Titus Oates). It covers embarrassing and downright weird facts often left out of traditional biographies such as who kept monkeys for pets, died a virgin, cross-dressed or had extremely bad taste. A behind the scenes look at personalities who made their
mark on the world for trivia buffs and the curious alike.
It's 1968, Martha a lonely elderly widow opens her door to Homan, a deaf black man, Lynnie a young white woman with a developmental disability, and Lynnie's newborn baby, Julia. The couple are runaways from a School for the Incurable and Feebleminded who are deeply in love and desperate to save the baby. The couple seek help from Martha, a childless, retired schoolteacher. Lynnie is soon captured and returned to the School. Homan escapes but ends up far away and unable to find his way back. The baby Julia is hidden and raised by Martha. Over the course of 40 years as they try to reunite their story is told.
Aaron and Dorothy are two independent souls who meet, fall in love and marry. Aaron is crippled in his right arm and leg and resists his sister and others who want to take care of him. Dorothy is outspoken, brusque and non-maternal, just what he is looking for. They have a relatively happy marriage. This ends when a tree crashes onto their house and Dorothy is killed. Aaron is devastated and unable to deal with the loss of his wife until she begins to appear to him guiding him toward a future he hasn't been able to see. This book deals with the subject of loss honestly and with humor.
After a devastating hurricane turns her life upside down, Laurel Daneau is forced to start over. On the surface, Laurel seems to be doing well in her new school. She is a cheerleader and she has a popular boyfriend nicknamed T-Boom. Privately, though, she is struggling with the loss of her mother and her grandmother and she is hurting. When T-Boom introduces Laurel to meth, she believes that she has finally found a way to numb her pain. But a meth addiction proves to be more than she bargained for.
- Ellen Hopkins
This title is part of a new nonfiction series called "Life's Challenges" and offers a basic overview of what children can expect when their parents divorce. The book is suitable for reading aloud, and would serve as a good starting point for discussion of separation and visitation arrangements.
- The Night Dad went to Jail,
- Good-bye, Jeepers
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by connectivity? Have gadgets taken over your household? Do you ever wish for just five minutes of unplugged time? Then you have to read this book! Goodnight, iPad is a parody of Goodnight Moon, and it is quite entertaining for children and adults alike. The family elder decides that she is fed up with the electronic gadgetry that is keeping her children and grandchildren occupied. So, she starts eliminating devices, beginning with the iPad. Of course, her actions are met with protests, and readers can't help but smile as they try to imagine life without cell phones, computers, and handheld games. Rapper Eminem gets a brief mention, making this a thoroughly modern parody.
Secret libraries, antiquarian books and unrelenting investigators intertwine in this narrative to create a gothic tale of mystery and adventure. Daniel Sempere is taken by his father to the “Cemetery of Forgotten Books” where, as a rite of passage, he selects one book to love and protect from obscurity. Daniel picks The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax, and after reading the novel, his quest to find any novel by Carax is thwarted by a mysterious person who is dedicated to burning each and every copy of any book ever written by Carax. With the help of an investigator, Fermin Romero de Torres, Daniel strives to lift the veil from Carax’s life, which leads him to discover the forbidden romance at the heart of Carax’s demise.
In this beautiful tale, the reader is transported to Franco’s Barcelona, Spain circa 1950. As Daniel grows into a young man, his view of the world gradually becomes more complex during his pursuit to uncover the fate of the author of the book he has sworn to protect.
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield,
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak,
- I Heard That Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark
There are some strange people in this world, and sixteen year old Jacob is one of them. So is his grandfather. The two men have always been close. When a tragedy strikes the family, Jacob decides it is his responsibility to seek answers to some long buried family mysteries and restore honor to the family name. He wants to learn more about his grandfather, and who he was as a child. Unfortunately, his visit to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children leaves him with more questions than answers. What kind of a man was Jacob's grandfather, and how did he become involved with children whose behaviors seem extremely odd?
This book features several vintage photographs that add an extra dimension to the story and leave readers scrambling to turn the pages!
I read the picture book, "The Biggest Thing in the World", when I was looking for books to read for story time with young children. I would definitely recommend this book as a read aloud for children, ages 3-5. This book could be read from a parent to child to talk about how much parents love their children, or it could be read in the classroom to talk about topics such as hibernation, size, or nature. Another reason to read, "The Biggest Thing in the world is becasue of it's illustrations. The pages in the book are filled with big, colorful, warm, and inviting pictures.
Part WWII love story, part coming-of-age fiction, this book will appeal to several different audiences. Jacob, 17, visits Amsterdam to honor his grandfather who died during WWII. During his trip, he meets individuals who cared for his grandfather and learns valuable lessons about love and loss. The author does an excellent job of retelling the events from two perspectives. Contemporary fans will find themselves rooting for Jacob as he explores the world around him. Historical fiction fans will appreciate the character Geertrui and her insights into the WWII era. This is not a light read, instead it is a thought-provoking novel that makes the reader examine complex issues.
Ellen Hopkins debut title for adult readers does not disappoint! Hopkins tells the stories of Andrea, Holly and Marissa,30-somethings whose lives are full of drama.The women are dealing with the struggles associated with day to day living including a terminally ill child, a pregnant teenager, and a husband who is married to his job. Already close friends,these women have no idea how completely their lives will eventually intertwine.Written in free verse, this is a quick read and an interesting addition to Hopkins offerings.
Do you want to laugh out loud? This audiobook featuring Stephanie Plum, read by Lorelei King, is definitely not for the prudish, so stick to something safer if you're easily offended. Bounty hunter Stephanie has skipped through 16 other books before this one. The plot is familiar - dead bodies, explosions, and her confusion over the very sexy Ranger versus Italian high school sweetheart turned detective Joseph Morelli. The antics of hooker turned bounty hunter Lula and Stephanie's outrageous gun-toting grandmother Mazur keep the story lively. There are murders to solve, and this time the murderer is dedicating his victims to Stephanie. Has mom finally found the perfect man for Stephanie - he cooks! Listen or read (regular or large print).
This audiobook set (7 discs) is read by Alan Sklar, who has an excellent reading voice. Your impressions of many presidents will change after hearing of life from the Secret Service Agent's viewpoint. The Bush families, with the exception of adventurous twin teenage daughters Jenna and Barbara, treated them well, but other presidents' interactions with those who are to take a bullet for them will surprise you. The book serves also as a history of the Secret Service. You will learn that agents work long hours, and were treated poorly by both the agency and some of the presidents. It's a fascinating story to read or listen to, and next time you see them on TV, you'll have a new respect for the men and women of the Secret Service.
The Young and the Digital follows the migration to social networks while pointing out the pros and cons of living in a tech savvy environment. Teens and Young Adults spoke candidly with the author about their online presence and the digital footprints they are creating. Readers may be interested in learning how members of the first generation to be considered "digital natives" view the internet, e-mail, instant messaging, and social networking sites.
Developmental Psychologist and Author Susan Engel has created a guide to identify the most accurate predictors of a child's future success.This is a good resource for parents as well as individuals who work with children and families in professional capacities. Engel draws heavily from traditional research in the field of child development and then presents her message in a straightforward manner, giving readers easy to understand, practical examples of effective behavioral analyses. Engels overall message, that adults should support children to be the best of who they are rather than who they may want them to be, will definitely resonate with readers who care about children.
Christine wakes in a strange bedroom. How did she get there and who is that man asleep. Carefully dressing she glances in the mirror and stares at that woman looking back. She has wrinkles. Christine is bewildered by what she sees. The man wakes and explains that she suffers with amnesia. Each night of sleep erases Christine's memory. Her husband, Ben, patiently explains again who he is and how she arrived in that house. An accident in her late twenties has erased her memory until she starts to work with a new doctor and to write daily in her journal. The writing triggers memories that recall pieces of her life. Is Ben being truthful and why hasn't he told her more. Why did she write, "Don;t trust Ben?";
- Shutter Island by Dennis LeHane,
- The Escape Artist by Diane Chamberlain,
- Red Leaves by Thomas Cook
This book is especially meaningful if you are a fan of the show Pawn Stars on the History Channel. Rick Harrison, his father "Old Man", Rick's son Corey "Big Hoss" and family friend Russell Austin "Chumlee" are the colorful characters who run the 24-hour Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in a quasi-seedy part of Las Vegas. Saints they are not, and some have had drug problems and brushes with the law. Several of them have come back from rock bottom and with the popularity of the show, become TV celebrities. There are many surprises in the book, especially about Rick. Anything and everything comes in the door for pawn or sale. Customers range from nuns to hookers, billionaries to the flat broke. There is profanity, but it';s still a page turner.
This book introduces readers to the "Princess in Pink" culture and offers a thought provoking look at the commercialization of our society. Parents who are curious about the impact of marketing campaigns on their children will find Orensteins research eye opening, if not anger inducing, as she describes efforts by internationally recognized corporations to capture not only the tween/teen market but the preschool market as well. The book also discusses the impact of social media on todays teens.
Emily Maxwell, a widow, takes on a new independence after her sister-in-law faints. Relying on Arlene to do the driving she realizes that she is the better driver and buys a new Subaru after her car is damaged in a snow storm on the slick streets. Emily longs to hear from her grandchildren, and wishes for more interest from her children. She adds up the number of friends she has lost and the few remaining that still meet after church or get together at funerals. It is a poignant novel, that takes into account the desires and dreams of our parents or grandparents. Emily Alone is Emily self-reliant and spunky.
- Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg,
- Before You Know Kindness by Christopher Bohjalian,
- Night Road by Kristin Hannah
Michael Fazio has dedicated his entire life to providing excellence in customer service. Fazio works as a concierge for a luxury hotel in New York. He recounts experiences with his most memorable clients and details their lavish demands. Fazio is often forced to get creative in order to meet his clients expectations, and readers will enjoy his recollection of both successful ventures and unsuccessful fiascos as he tries to please some of the worlds wealthiest travelers.
"It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still." Liesel Meminger is a young girl who is coming of age during the rise of Hitler's regime. Her family experiences many hardships, and her life story is the main plot of this novel. Her story is told through the voice of Death, who makes an effective if unusual narrator.
Louis Zamperini is an olympic athlete,determined to set new world records when World War II interrupts his plans. Zamperini then embarks on a new journey as a bombardier for the Army Air Force until he is shot down over the Pacific in May 1943. Zamperini spends 47 days at sea before he is captured by the Japanese and detained as a POW. Zamperini's story is one filled with heartache and sorrow, but is also a story of courage,sacrifice,and honor. This book will appeal to military history buffs, WWII researchers, and sports historians... as well as anyone who enjoys a good story about overcoming obstacles.
When readers first meet Liz, she is a young girl who is living with drug addicted parents. She is often neglected and forced to use her own resources to survive. As a teen, she makes a series of poor choices, and she finds herself living on the streets. Only when she begins attending an alternative high school does Liz realize that she can leave her past behind her and attain goals that readers would not have imagined. This is an inspriational book for young adults who are facing difficult times in their own lives as well as for adults who enjoy stories of success.
Dr. Herriot fans will love this book! Dr. Wells tells of the rigors of veterinary school, and then recounts his first job as a vet in South Dakota. He describes interesting cases from his early years of practice there, and eventually moves to Colorado. Each chapter is a quick read. We hear about dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, cows etc. Some of the more memorable tales deal with encounters with porcupines and emergency care, not in the barn but in the open conditions of cold, snow, mud, and darkness. You will have a new respect for vets who practice in rural areas with animals that can injure or kill with one kick. A Chihuahua with attitude and a Basset who hates nail trims will make you smile. Also available in large print.
- All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
This book tells the story of an unlikely friendship between Col.Sean MacFarland and Sheik Abdul Sattar. The two were able to overcome political and cultural differences and form an alliance that would drive al-Qaeda from Ramadi. Their joint efforts would benefit the Sheik's tribe as well as the American military forces. This book is recommended for readers with an interest in Military History or Military Strategy.
Expert criminal meets expert criminalist, Lincoln Rhyme, in this mystery thriller that takes the mind racing through many curious twists while giving the reader an inside view of a modern data mining company. Creepy enough that they gather every possible fact for as many of the population as possible, but then they sell the information to others who hope to use this invaluable tool to bring about the utmost efficiency in their line of work. What could happen if a psycho criminal gets a hold of this intimate knowledge? Who is he, and how did he get this information? Anyone who threatens his devious life work must be ready to face the wrath of his sinister genius.
- Cold Kill by David Lawrence,
- Body Double by Tess Gerritsen
I rarely read books this long but this one was hard to put down. I found the suspense pulling me along on a quest with the protagonist in her pursuit of truth about her family and the strange engraving found in a mysterious book. Interesting characters fill the pages while the ever looming anticipation of meeting Dracula never subsides. Rich descriptions of the geography and the use of known historical facts make the tale even more believable. When we finally meet Dracula he appears as a sophisticated 15th century warlord obsessed with evil who might even be a victim himself. This unusual vampire story is thrilling to the last page. If you like travel, history, romance, mystery and horror…you may want to pick this one up.
The Observations is an historical novel about the friendship between a maid and her missus. Bessy is a young Irish girl escaping a difficult past by arriving in an equally disturbing future. Why the strange requests from her new employer? Bessy’s curious nature leads to interesting discoveries and even more questions. What happened to her predecessor that the missus loved so dearly? Jealousy provokes a childish prank that leads to frightening reactions. Written from Bessy’s point of view, this book is hard to put down.
This is a must read for dog lovers and military supporters alike. Pen Farthing is a British Royal Marine who is deployed for a combat mission in Afghanistan. During a patrol, Farthing comes across a dog fight, and vows to find a safe home for the dog involved in the scuffle. Little does Farthing know that there are hundreds of dogs throughout the country looking for someone to love them.
Devon is a young lady who finds herself in the middle of a terrible crime. A newborn baby has been discovered in a trash can near her apartment, and the police are asking questions. Could Devon have been involved? Could she know who is responsible? This book is a must read for parents of teenagers, and for anyone who is interested in the juvenile justice system.
When Piper Kerman is arrested on drug trafficking charges, she is certainly surprised. Ten years have passed since Piper has engaged in criminal behavior, and she has moved on to a more traditional middle class lifestyle. Suddenly, she finds herself doing time in a Federal facility for women, and she struggles to accept her new reality. Kerman offers readers a unique perspective on the criminal justice system in our country.
Scottoline mixes up lots of humor along with her woman’s perspective in sharing everyday life events to give you laugh-out-loud reading fun. She shares stories of her off-beat family members (her mother comes to breakfast in a doctor’s coat), multiple divorces (Thing One, and Thing Two), her theory on how divorce has led to multiple pets, why middle-aged feet don’t require shoes, the reason ladies should never consider going braless, and her use of the Guilt-O-Meter. Women over forty will totally enjoy these stories. The book is a collection of her published columns that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is also a well known fiction writer (detective & mystery stories). Ladies, this is a speedy read and not to be missed.
Gabriel Thompson does a wonderful job of exposing a side of the American economy that many of us know nothing about. Thompson spends a year working with Latino immigrants to learn firsthand what it is like to be a day laborer. Nothing he had experienced in his middle class upbringing, including his college education, could have prepared him for some of the realities of life as a laborer. Throughout the book, Thmopson makes both friends and enemies and learns lessons that will benefit him for a lifetime.
Boppo makes toast in the mornings for the family. He and his wife, Ginny, have moved into their son-in-laws home to help him take care of his one, four and six year old children after the death of his wife and their daughter. Told simply and with minimum of words he offers a tender story of living. From the discovery by the six year old Jessie, “Mommie isn’t talking,” to the stories made up for Bubbies and Sammy making new friends, we live along side the family as they move through the aftermath of a beloved daughter, wife and mother’s death. Told with wit and without becoming maudlin the story follows the household as they work together and become a family again.
Novelist James Patterson abandons his traditional fiction writing to tell the story of his friend's son who at age 5 starting exhibiting symptoms of Tourette Syndrome, one of the worst cases ever seen. We follow Cory through his traumatic childhood and teenage years as his family visits doctor after doctor in search of medications and behavior modification strategies, all of which fail due to the extreme symptoms he suffers. The family is always told that next year will be better, or high school years will be better, but that doesn't come true. You will admire this family for its strength in holding up to the unbelievable pressures Cory's actions create, and you will eventually also admire this fine young man who has been dealt a harsh hand in life by his severe case of this condition. He certainly isn't a saint, and some passages may be a bit shocking. Anyone who reads this book will feel like their problems are slight in comparison and will wonder if they could have coped or overcome to the extent that he has been able to. This moving account will stay in your mind and make you hope for an update to his life as well as that of his parents and sister.
I'll bet you will find something useful in this book whether you read a little bit or the entire book. Many of the suggestions are old-fashioned and handed down over generations but are still tried and true. You'll also find visually pleasing pictures included with the many practical tips for all areas of the home and garden.
Sully Sullenberger glided US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency landing on the Hudson River on January 15, 2009 after a collision with Canada Geese knocked out his engines. This is not simply the story of that harrowing and life-changing event, but the story of a man of great character who loved flying since childhood, became a fighter pilot, and honed his skills year after year, always learning and preparing to handle danger. You learn of the difficulties of life as a pilot, the changing character of the airline industry, and why the captain of a jetliner is eating peanut butter and jelly while his first-class passengers enjoy filet mignon. Sully studied many aircraft disasters over the years, always asking "What went wrong and what would I have done?" This well written inspirational book keeps us interested throughout, and if you choose the audiobook version, you will enjoy a great narration by Michael McConnohie.
In the middle of an ordinary week, an angel, a demon, a gang of little kids, & various other sundry characters go up against The Four Horsepeople of the Apocalypse. This is a fun spin on the end of the world with people who like the world just as it is, thank you very much. :) This is one of my all-time favorite books. Sci-fi/fantasy fans, current Gaiman and Pratchett fans, & readers looking for a change of pace might enjoy this one. Make sure you bring a good sense of humor. :)
Read this book if you're smart and want to get ahead financially. Many books give you similar information but the format of this book is great and makes for a fast read on spending smart yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I wish I would have had some of this advice years ago. Read it yourself and get your young adult children to read it!
If you liked Marley & Me, you will love this book too! Golden Retriever Trixie is full of spirit and personality, and readers are treated to many anecdotes from her life. Well-known horror novelist Dean Koontz adopted the 3-year-old former Canine Companion dog and she forever changes his life. Trixie was like a child to Dean and his wife Gerda, and was lavished with attention and love, as well as physical comforts and the very best of veterinary care. She brought much joy to the household with her antics, from doggy duty to chasing balls. A heartwarming read for anyone, especially animal lovers. Guaranteed to make you smile as well as bring tears to your eyes.
- Marley & Me