Saturday, July 30, 2016

Crimson Shore

Crimson Shore is by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. The fifteenth installment in the Agent Pendergast series. Pendergast and Constance head to the small seaside town of Exmouth, Massachusetts, to recover a stolen wine collection. They assume this will be a relaxing visit at the seaside and an easy case. Then a dead body is found with carvings on the body which may lead back to an ancient settlement of witches who fled to the Exmouth marshes to escape the Salem witch trials. Another gripping installment. Fans won't be disappointed.

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

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hyperbole & a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem & Other Things That Happened

Hyperbole & a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem & Other Things That Happened is by Allie Brosh. A hilarious memoir by the popular blogger containing material not posted on her blog as well as classic pieces. Brosh frankly, yet with humor, discusses depression and its effects and other incidents from her life. The pieces are witty and insightful. You won't be able to hold back your laughter. The illustrations are charmingly simple and vivid.

Ratings: 12th grade - 9 out of 10 - P (profanity).

Saturday, July 23, 2016

2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas

2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas is by Marie-Helene Bertino. A wonderful Christmas story about a group of lost souls seeking to find themselves in the snow covered streets of Philadelphia on December 23rd. Madeleine is a nine-year-old girl who wants to sing jazz. Her mother is dead and her father has isolated himself after the loss of his wife. She is cared for by a group of neighbors all of whom knew her mother. Across town Lorca owns a jazz club called the Cat's Pajamas which has fallen on hard times. He is ticketed by the police and must raise $30,000 to keep his club open. He must also deal with an estranged son, a girlfriend who left him, and his house band who live in the club during the day. Madeleine's school teacher, Sarina, is newly divorced and is nervous about meeting an old flame at a party. Madeleine's school principal takes her dislike of Madeleine's dead mother out on Madeleine. All of these wounded people meet up at 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas and Christmas magic happens. A Reader's Corner Highly Recommended Read.

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

Weaving the Eath and Sky: Myths & Legends of Aotearoa

Weaving the Eath and Sky: Myths & Legends of Aotearoa is by Robert Sullivan. A beautifully illustrated book of myths and legends from New Zealand. A great addition to collections of myths and legends from around the world. Again, the illustrations are lovely.

Ratings: 6th grade - 9 out of 10.

The Nest

The Nest is by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. The four Plumb children are waiting for their inheritance. Their father put a little money aside that has grown into a significant fortune. The will stated that the inheritance couldn't be had until the youngest child turned forty. So Jack, Bea, and Melody have been living with "The Nest" in view for some time. Leo, the oldest, has plenty of money. Then shortly before the long awaited day, Leo is involved in an accident. He is drunk, high, and in the car with a young woman who is seriously injured. The "Nest" is used to bail him out of his trouble, and now the siblings want the money paid back - something Leo isn't able, or willing, to do. The Nest is a story of family: when to hang on and when to let go, and the importance of friendship, possibility, and coming to terms with our mistakes.

Ratings: Adult - 7 out of 10 - (Profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Silkworm

The Silkworm is by Robert Galbraith. The second in the Cormoran Strike series. When an author goes missing his wife comes to Strike for assistance in locating him. Since he has "disappeared" in the past, she doesn't want to call the police. As time goes on, Strike begins to wonder if there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife thinks; then Strike finds Quine's body. The author has been brutally murdered, and his final unpublished novel may have something to do with his death. Better than the first novel, this series promises to entertain. 

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

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Martian

The Martian is by Andy Weir. A mission to Mars is scrubbed due to a dangerous storm; as they evacuate, one of the astronauts is struck by flying debris and presumed dead. Only Mark Watney is alive. The story is about Watney's fight to survive as NASA attempts to come up with a way to rescue him. A fantastic science fiction novel! Even if you are not a scifi lover, you will love this story of a man's fight for survival against insurmountable odds.

Ratings: 10th grade - 10 out of 10 - P (profanity).

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Willows and Beyond

The Willows and Beyond is by William Horwood. Horwood continues the stories begun by Kenneth Grahame in The Wind and the Willows. This story takes place as the characters in the original tales have aged and are now in their later years. Ratty is feeling the urge to travel and his friends are dealing with a threat to the Wild Wood. If you were a fan of the original tales you will enjoy this story as well. The illustrations are also beautiful.

Ratings: 6th grade - 8 out of 10.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Super Mutant Magic Academy

Super Mutant Magic Academy is by Jillian Tamaki. An interesting graphic novel about a prep school for mutants, witches, and other kids with paranormal skills. These kids are also dealing with typical teen concerns: dating, prom, popularity, typical teen angst. It is not a story in the traditional sense; each set of strips contains it's own story. The humor is outrageous. Do not make the mistake of thinking this graphic novel is for kids though, because it definitely is not. Reluctant readers will find it engaging, as will readers in general.

Ratings: 11th grade - 9 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Little Paris Bookshop

The Little Paris Bookshop is by Nina George. Jean Perdu owns a floating bookshop in Paris. He is known far and wide for his ability to match up the right book with the right person. Twenty years have passed since his lover left him with a letter which he has never opened. After a series of events cause him to open the letter, he sets off on his book barge headed towards the south of France on a journey of self-discovery hoping to make peace with his past. He is joined on the trip by a young writer, two cats, and an assortment of other characters. A touching story of love, pain, forgiveness and healing.

Ratings: 11th grade - 9 out of 10 - P (profanity) - AC (mature thematic content).