Monday, March 30, 2015

The Book Thief

The Book Thief is by Markus Zusak. Classic must-read story of life in Germany during WWII. The story is narrated by Death, who tells the tale of Liesel, a foster child, whose foster parents decide to hide a Jew in their basement. Liesel steals books, with the help of her friend Rudy. A wonderful tale of courage, loss, and life in Nazi Germany. A Reader's Corner Highly Recommended read.

Ratings: 9th grade - 10 out of 10 - P (profanity) - V (violence) - AC (mature thematic content).

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Rosie Effect

The Rosie Effect is by Graeme Simsion. Don and Rosie are married and living in New York City. Don is very happy with the outcome of the Rosie Project. He is making friends and enjoying his research. Rosie is struggling to get her thesis completed. Don is planning on telling Rosie he has invited Gene, whom she hates, to live with them since his marriage to Claudia has fallen apart. But Rosie has a surprise for Don, she's pregnant. Don sets out, in his own unique way, to assist Rosie with her pregnancy - and hilarity ensues. Not only is he researching pregnancy, he is trying to reconcile Gene and Claudia, help his new friend Dave save his business, service the industrial refrigeration unit his new landlord has installed to keep his beer at the right temperature, and keep himself out of jail. Only Don could get into this much trouble this quickly. Will his own marriage survive this pregnancy?

Ratings: Adult - 10 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sleeping with Gypsies

Sleeping with Gypsies is by Ginny MacKenzie. The story of Amanda and her unusual family. While sleepwalking in the woods she is "adopted" by a troop of gypsies; she decides to protect the townspeople from the "town stalker"; and then watches her uncle, the local police chief, incubate a deadly strain of locusts in his greenhouse. Later, she and her painter husband (Munk) move to SoHo and attempt to live an artistic life, with typically crazy results. A touching, humorous, and thought-provoking book.

Ratings: Adult - 8 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).

All I Know About Animal Behavior I Learned in Loehmann's Dressing Room

All I Know About Animal Behavior I Learned in Loehmann's Dressing Room is by Erma Bombeck. If you aren't familiar with Bombeck's humorous essays this is a great first look at her work. Bombeck compares humans to the animal kingdom and pokes fun at nutrition, talk shows, sex, parenting, teenage drivers, and much more. A little dated, but still laugh out loud funny.

Ratings: 9th grade - 9 out of 10 - AC (some mature thematic content).

The Warlock

The Warlock is by Michael Scott. The fifth book in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series. Will Shakespeare, Saint Germain, Palamedes, and Joan of Arc are 10,000 years in the past to ensure that Danu Talis falls. Josh must decide whether or not follow John Dee and Virginia Dare to prevent the fall of Danu Talis and destroy all the Elders. Nicholas and Perenelle are on the verge of death, but must convince Sophie to help them save the worlds. Billy the Kid and Machiavelli have their own choices to make, and the fate of all the worlds hangs in the balance. Fans of this action-packed installment of the series will be hard pressed to wait for the next installment.

Ratings: 7th grade - 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Grandfather's Son

My Grandfather's Son is by Clarence Thomas. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas writes about his poor childhood in the South, being raised by his grandparents, and the struggles of a life that is as inspiring as it is controversial. This memoir is inspiring and unflinchingly honest no matter what the politics of the reader. A great look at the American Dream in action.

Ratings: 10th grade - 9 out of 10 - AC (mature thematic content).

Gemini Night

Gemini Night is by Bonnie Hearn Hill. The third book in the Star Crossed series. Logan is getting ready to start her internship at CRUSH magazine. Using her interest in astrology, she discovers that someone at the CRUSH Halloween party is in danger. Can she find out who, what the danger will be, and warn them in time? Fans of this series will enjoy this installment.

Ratings: 8th grade - 8 out of 10.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Children Act

The Children Act is by Ian McEwan. Fiona Maye is a family court judge in England. Her husband has just announced that he wants to have an affair before he dies. As she struggles with this blow, she must preside over the case of a Jehovah's Witness teenager with leukemia who is refusing to receive a blood transfusion. Fiona decides to personally visit the boy in the hospital and the meeting has long lasting effects for them both.

Ratings: 11th grade - 8 out of 10 - AC (some mature thematic content).

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 is by Simon Winchester. A fascinating look at the world's worst volcanic explosion in modern times. Winchester not only walks you through the science of volcanic eruptions in a readable and understandable way; he also looks at the human and ecological toll of the eruption. A well written and absorbing read.

Ratings: 9th grade - 9 out of 10 - AC (some mature thematic content).

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd is by Thomas Hardy. Hardy's first great literary success, this is a classic must read. The story of the lovely Bathsheba Everdene and the three men who want her. One a humble farmer named Gabriel Oak whose proposal she immediately rejects. The second, a prosperous farmer, named Boldwood. Bathsheba entices his attention with a card written on a whim as a joke, which backfires on them both. The third suitor is a soldier named Troy, who has a reputation as a rake and a seducer of women. Bathsheba finds her life entwined with all three men, with tragic results. A Reader's Corner Highly Recommended Read.

Ratings: 10th grade - 9 out of 10 - AC (some mature thematic content).