Thursday, February 28, 2013

Giraffes, and Turtles, and Impalas, Oh My!

When I was younger, I loved checking out Zoobooks from the library (in case you're wondering, we do still have them -- they're in the Youth department!).  The glossy pages and the colorful photographs of animals interspersed with fast facts and text was the perfect combination to engage my inquisitive mind.  We've recently added a reference book in the Adult department that has that same feel -- lots of pictures and quick information on just about every animal imaginable, from weevils to whale sharks.  It's called Animal and though it can't be taken from the library, feel free to stop by and take a look -- you might even learn something, like what a Tucuxi is.  HM

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


The only reason I chose to read The Playdate by Louise Millar is because it’s a book the Library bought back in July that has never sat on the shelf. Typically when you have a book by Patterson, Evanovich or Deaver you know you aren’t going to see the item hanging around much but I have never heard of Louise Millar and so I wanted to find out why this book was such a hot commodity. After I did a little more digging I found out this is Millar’s debut novel. She is a former magazine editor, born in Scotland, now living in London with her husband and children. At first I just liked the flow of this book and I enjoyed the author’s style of writing, but as the book progressed I found I couldn’t put it down. From the cover: “TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED. . . . In a quiet London suburb, a group of mothers relies on each other for friendship, favors, and gossip. But some of them shouldn’t be trusted, and others have dark secrets.” This book is a novel of psychological suspense that is 100 percent enjoyable. I’m looking forward to her next book Accidents Happen due out this June. SG

Monday, February 25, 2013

The dynamics of family.

Sue Miller's book, Family Pictures, was published in 1990, but is still relevant for today's reader. It is about a family, from multiple viewpoints of family members, a writing device I love to read. Beginning in 1954, the once happy marriage of Lainey and David Eberhardt starts to crumble as they deal with the fact their third child is mentally ill. David, a psychiatrist, blames this on Lainy according to the thinking of the time. She seeks to prove her fitness as a mother by having three other children, who David refers to sarcastically as the "the last straws." We see the family through the years and how the fact of Randall's mental illness affects all of them. A loving a sometimes difficult look at family dynamics. Miller really has an ear for the inner dialog, we get to know and care about these people. Really excellent! ML

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Killer in the Keys

Now You See Her by James Patterson is a great book for those seeking mystery and adventure. After a nightmarish college spring break and a spontaneous marriage to a police officer in Key West, Nina Bloom changed her identity and ran to New York to save herself. She has successfully raised a daughter and worked hard to put herself through law school. She now finds herself assigned to a case that dredges up her past and takes her back to Key West to deal with some demons. She must risk everything, including her daughter’s love, in order to set the record straight. This fast-paced story has some real surprises built into it! DB    

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Cursed Land

It's always a good day when one of my favorite author's releases a new book.  The Day Is Dark is Icelandic crime writer Yrsa Sigurdardóttir's fourth book in her series following lawyer and reluctant-detective Thóra Gudmundsdóttir.  In this sequel to Ashes to Dust, Thóra finds herself searching for two vanished Icelanders in the wilds of Greenland -- and soon becomes lost herself.  HM

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Every Last One

I’ve always liked Anna Quindlen’s books but I have been avoiding them lately because sometimes they can be sad or disturbing.  I found myself listening to Every Last One because I had heard great things about the narrator of this audio book and needed something for my commute to work.  I was not disappointed – the narrator of this book was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  That said, be warned!  About halfway through the book you WILL start bawling.  The story is about Mary Beth Latham, a woman with a husband and three children and the shocking act of violence that changes everything in her life.  Anna Quindlen is a Pulitzer Prize winning author and for good reason - you will find yourself drawn into this book. SG

Thursday, February 14, 2013

It's all about the baby!

DK publishers specialize in beautifully illustrated and photographed books and The Baby Book:pregnancy, birth, baby & childcare from 0 to 3 is no exception. Three hundred and thirteen pages chock full of information, not only how-to baby care but other things like baby massage and how different cultures welcome a baby and her parents home. "But one thing that seems to be instinctive to us all, as humans, is for family and friends to gather..."
Entertaining as well as informative, check this out if you have a baby in your life. ML

Calling all carnivores!

Michael Symon, the engaging chef and Food Network star, has a new cookbook celebrating meat, in all its forms. Titled, appropriately enough, Michael Symon's Carnivore, the cookbook is organized in chapters titled by the type of meat, such as beef, pork, (the unexpected ) lamb and goat, poultry and game. Some of the recipes are unusual (head cheese! pig trotters!) and some with meat being just one component like moussaka. He expounds on what he thinks are the best pairings with meats and has a chapter on sides that are innovative without being weird. Michael Symon also owns restaurants, one in Detroit, Roast, at which  this writer had a fabulous meal. Sharpen your knives and lets get cooking. ML

Monday, February 11, 2013

Culture, Food, and Identity

Part coming-of-age story, part food memoir, Fresh Off the Boat by Eddie Huang details the blogger and chef's childhood as the son of Chinese immigrants living in Orlando during the 1990s.  Huang learns form an early age (and from his ex-gangster dad) not to take insults from anybody, a lesson that gets him into trouble time and time again.  Fleshed out with references to hip hop, basketball, food, and '90s pop culture, Fresh Off the Boat explores issues of race, identity, and what it means to be American.  HM

Down Home Cooking

For those of you who LOVE Paula Deen her son Bobby has taken some of his favorite recipes from Mom and made them 350 calories or less in his book From Mama’s Table to Mine.  Most of the recipes are everybody’s favorite comfort foods like mac ‘n cheese, meatloaf, and my favorite bbq ribs.  With little blurbs on each item, plenty of pictures and a break down on before and after fat and calories this book is very appealing for anyone who likes to eat!  SG

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Memories of a House

As a brother and sister survey the grand but run down house they have inherited, they must decide if they should sell or keep it. A narrative unfolds, full of stories of the house, who built it and who lived in it. As time reels by we realize all the stories are interwoven rich in history and heart. Elizabeth Wilhide's book, Ashenden is for all anglophiles, lovers of history and Downton Abbey fans. ML