Monday, February 28, 2011

Captain Nobody by Dean Pithford

Captain Nobody by Dean Pithford
195 pages
Mark Twain Nominee

This is a very cool book...loved the character of Captain Nobody, how he carries himself despite the fact his famous high school football playing hero of a brother is in a coma. The ending made me smile and feel so good, this would definitely be my choice to win Mark Twain so far.

(from cover)
Newt Newman never thought he could be a hero. Growing up in the shadow of his football-star brother, Chris, Newt has a  hard time even getting noticed by his own family. So when Chris is knocked into a coma during the biggest game of the season, as usual Newt becomes lost in the whirlwind of concern for his brother.
To get his mind off the accident, Newt's best friends, JJ and Cecil, dress him up for Halloween in some of Chris's old clothes, and in doing so create an unexpected new identity for Newt-Captain Nobody, defender of the little guy! His new alter ego brings Newt so much confidence that he steps into the role of the hero almost instantly. But when it comes to his brother's recovery, will Captain Nobody come to the rescue in time?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner
195 pages
Mark Twain Nominee

Still working on the award books, and this one is hard to read. My 90 year old grandfather is in the hospital right now, and Gianna's grandmother is slipping into Alzheimer's. But it was filled with a light humor, and Gianna's character is so much like mine, it did make me smile. (But yes, I am definitely ready for a good YA adventure!)
(from jacket cover)

FairTax: The Truth/Answering the Critics by Neal Boortz

243 pages
3 hours and 27 minutes

This book provides some interesting tidbits but not a lot of meat.  I read this whole book, looking for specific answers to some questions I have about FairTax, only to discover that I need to read the first book, titled FairTax in order to find those answers.  Oh, well!

Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
280 pages
Mark Twain Nominee

Interesting story about two girls on extreme opposites of the economic spectrum each spend two weeks with the other. Ivy June is a girl from a poor mining community, with no indoor bathrooms, no luxuries at all. Catherine is a well to do girl, with a cell phone and an uniform to her exclusive all girls private school. The two share their lives with the other, and learn about the hardships both endure.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

292 pages
2 hours 26 minutes

Second book in the Dexter series.  Enjoyed the puns quite a bit.  Still not sure I like the books.  I feel like the novelty of reading about a serial killer is slowly wearing off.  I know it sounds strange but I think I need to read another one before deciding whether I like them or not.

Storm Chaser by Chris Platt

Storm Chaser by Chris Platt
177 pages
Mark Twain Award

Not a bad book...about a girl and the horse she would give anything to be able to train, if her father would let her. Definitely a book for younger readers. (Mark Twains are great, but very ready for another great teen book.)

(from jacket cover)
Storm Chaser isn't mine, Jessie thought, and she never will be.
For thirteen-year-old Jessie, living with her family on the Wild Hawk Ranch in Nevada if often lonely. But she loves the horses her father and brother break in each summer to sell to local ranchers and rodeo competitors. This year she is determined to help train the horses, especially when she lays eyes on the wild paint filly she names Storm Chaser. When Jessie's father tells her she is still too young, she deliberately disobeys him by working with the filly behind his back. Then a fire destroys the barn and Jessie's family reluctantly turns their home into a vacation dude ranch to earn much needed money. Jessie enjoys having the vacationers around, but she becomes wary of Ariel, a rude, pushy guest who always expects to get her way. When the girl announces she wants to buy Storm Chaser, Jessie's already fragile world begins to crack. How can she keep 'her' beloved paint from being sold?

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
267 pages
Mark Twain Nominee

Cute book. After having a fight with her best friend, who has the exact same birth date as her, Amanda has her first solo birthday party. It definitely isn't the same as all of the times she has celebrated with Leo. But she wakes up the next day to find that it is her birthday all over again...and again...and again.

(from jacket cover)
On their first birthday, they learned to walk. On their fifth, they planted seeds in handmade pots. On their tenth, they learned there are some words you can never take back.
Amanda's eleventh birthday should have been a happy occasion, instead she's dressed in an itchy costume her mother picked out for her Hollywood-themed party (Dorothy from he Wizard of Oz, even though the flying monkeys have always creeped her out). Meanwhile, across town, her ex-best friend Leo is celebrating their joint birthday with a huge bash including a hypnotist, a football star, a giant iguana, and a rock band. SO not fair.
Amanda can't wait for the day AFTER her birthday so she can stop thinking about the fight that led her and Leo to have separate parties for the first time in their lives. There's just one problem. The next day is her birthday all over again.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
360 pages (sequel to The Maze Runner)

I truly loved the Maze Runner so much, I took a break from the award nominee lists to read the sequel. Started out just as great, but to be honest, by the time I was done, it was very disappointing. There is all these mind games being played on the characters of the book that really twists the storyline around to the point your not sure what you are reading. There is a book three, so you already know it will end in a cliff hanger, but I felt like it ended a few yards short of the edge of the cliff.

(from jacket cover)
Solving the maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to .
In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety...until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, howe4ver, the end was triggered long ago.
Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated-and with it, order-and now Cranks, people covered in festering wound and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim...and meal.
The Gladers are far from done running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.
Thomas can only wonder-does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bloomability by Sharon Creech

273 pages
2 hours 15 minutes

A teen-aged girl named Domenica Santolina Doone.

A year at a Swiss school with her uncle as headmaster.

Separated from her family and learning how to grow outside her "bubble" as she calls it.

Creech knows how to write a story that will help other middle-schoolers look outside their own bubble and appreciate a different perspective.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

288 pages
2 hours 24 minutes

I just finished reading this and I think I need to read another before I make any evaluations on this series.  It's so bizarre and unlike anything I've read before.  And the humor is so dark but so funny!   Either Lindsay is one helluva of a talented writer or he's just a sicko.   I just can't decide which one.

Daddy's Girl by Lisa Scottoline

386 pages 5 3/4 hours

Professor Natalie Greco agrees to teach a class at a local prison.

A riot breaks out and turns her life upside down.

This one is a page turner.

Inside front cover, Nora Roberts: '"Scottoline Rocks!'"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

CURE by Robin Cook

396 pages 6 3/4 hours

Foresic Pathologists Laura Montgomery and Jack Stapleton return to Cooks' "CURE".

However, I was disappointed in this one, too much "mafia" not enough medical for me.

Night Kills by John Lutz

467 pages 8 hours

Harlan Coben says, "Lutz knows how to make you shiver."

The three ex cops are called in again to solve what may or may not be another work of a serial killer, similarities but differences makes it a question hard to answer. Pearl, Fedeerman and Quinn once again work together to unravel the mystery.

HARVEST by Tess Gerritsen

344 pages 5 3/4 hours

Tess Gerritsen rivals Robin Cook and Patricia Cornwell in this medical thriller.

Dr. Abby DiMatteo pushed herself through college and med school after losing her little brother to a tragic accident. In her second year of surgical residency, Abby is thrilled when she is asked to think about becoming a member of the elite cardiac transplant team in Boston's Bayside Hospital.

THE CLINIC by Jonathan Kellerman

465 pages 6 hours

Professor Hope Devane is dead, brutally killed while on a run in her neighborhood, as Dr. Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis search for her killer, they discover that Dr. Devane has led very separate lives. They set an elaborate trap for her killer and reveal unspeakable acts that triggered a chain of violence.

Living Someone Else's Life by Leah May

351 pages 4 hours

Inside cover: Hollywood Dreams..............Tonight the dream went further. As they emerged from the shadows cast by the ancient brick buildings, Ethan had turned to kiss her. Claire kissed Ethan and then opened her eyes. But it wasn't Ethan that she was kissing; it was Grant.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
374 pages
Truman Nominee

Great fantasy/adventure book. Very glad to see that the second book, The Scorch Trials is already out. Am hoping the library has it, as the first one left me more than ready to continue!

(from cover)
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is blank.
But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as anyone can remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, for just as long, they've closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the Maze after dark.
The Gladers were expecting Thomas's arrival. But the next day, a girl is sent up-the first ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might find their way home...wherever that may be. But it's looking more and more as if the Maze is unsolvable...
And something about the girl's arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers-if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

272 pages
5 hours

How can you resist a book with an opening line like this:

"The Rutherford girl had been missing for eight days when Larry Ott returned home and found a monster waiting in his house."

There's a reason why Franklin is being compared to Elmore Leonard and Cormac McCarthy -- this man knows how to write a sentences that pull you further and further into the heart of the story until you're not sure you want it all to end.

The Farwalker's Quest by Joni Sensel

The Farwalker's Quest by Joni Sensel
372 pages
Truman Nominee

This is a great fantasy adventure. It is in junior fiction, but I think even older teens would like it. The main character is a female named Ariel, but in her adventure is her best friend Zeke, and a Finder male who quickly becomes a father figure to Ariel who has just lost her mother, which makes it a good read for guys and girls.

(from jacket cover)
an unexpected journey...
Ariel and her best friend, Zeke, are ready to begin training for their work as Healtouch and Tree-Singer. then they stumble upon a mysterious artifact, and both of their lives turn in an unexpected direction.
They've found a telling dart, which is capable of flying hundreds of miles to reveal its message only to the person it was meant for. Tilling darts haven't been used in years, and Ariel desperately wants to figure out what it means. But when two strangers come to town looking for the dart, she realizes that her discovery is not only interesting but also very dangerous. Ariel and Zeke soon find themselves on a perilous journey, trying to retrace the telling dart's path. As they travel farther from home, the friends learn to trust their instincts and, in the process, unearth their true calling.

The Diamond of Darkhold

The Diamond of Darkhold
by Jeanne DuPrau

From Amazon:
Months have passed since young Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow were forced to escape the dying subterranean city of Ember and flee to the town of Sparks, where they must struggle through a harsh aboveground winter. The situation seems hopeless until they chance upon a battered, fragmentary book that contains references to a device that could save them and their doomed city. To find that wondrous machine, the pair must descend to a realm where every hope seems but an echo .

I enjoy Jeanne's commentary of what our world could be like if the events she describes were to actually happen.  She stresses the importance of reading and teamwork.  Two values I hold very high in my life.

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

265 pages
2 hours

Interesting twist on Macbeth.  Not my favorite but entertaining none the less.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Jane in Bloom by Deborah Lytton

Jane in Bloom by Deborah Lytton
182 pages
Truman Nominee

(from jacket cover)
in the shadow of loss, a wallflower blossoms

Jane's big sister, Lizzie, has always been the center of attention. No one ever pays attention to boring, plain Jane. But Jane's twelfth birthday marks the beginning of Lizzie's final descent into a fatal eating disorder, and Jane discovers that the only thing harder than living in her big sister's shadow is living without her.
In the wake of tragedy, Jane learns to look through her camera lens and frame life differently, embracing her broken family and understanding that every girl has her season to blossom.

Good book. Very light for the subject matter. It definitely tugs at your heartstrings.

A Boy Named Phyllis: A Suburban Memoir - Frank DeCaro

A Boy Named Phyllis: A Suburban Memoir - Frank DeCaro
Pages: 219

Not having grown up as a homosexual male child in the 70's, there wasn't really a lot for me to relate to in this book. And yet I was still fascinated by Frank's world and experiences. His narration made everything amusing and interesting, even laugh-out-loud funny. It had moments of hilarity and moments of intense poignancy, and despite how dissimilar I am from the author, I felt a great connection with him through his memoir. I wish that the ideas in this book, particularly those concerning tolerance, isolation, and school bullying, would receive a wider audience. Frank makes some fantastic points and really exemplifies the mindset of those who feel trod upon and isolated by their peers. If more people could understand that mindset, perhaps schools would be a more welcoming place for everyone.

The Turn of the Screw - Henry James

The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
Pages: 120

I'm still fairly new to James, yet this isn't my favorite of his works. It seems a little uncharacteristic, considering he's a Realist author. The only way I really like the story is if I go with the interpretation that everything is horrible, the children were molested, and the governess is absolutely insane. But I'm guessing that's not what James intended. Whatever.

BESIEGED by Charlotte Lamb

First book in the Barbary Wharf series.
183 pages 3 hours

Sir George Tyrrell elderly owner of London's most prestigious newspaper, the Sentinel, has had a dream of moving from Fleet Street to Barbary Wharf, as construction progresses on the ultra modern complex, time and money are running out. Enter Nick Caspian an International newspaper tycoon who wants the Sentinel to add to his conglomerate and has both time and money.

Nick is physically attracted to Sir George's grandaughter in law but she feels that he will do anything to get control of the paper, including romancing her.

Let the battle begin!


Book two of the Barbary Wharf series 185 pages 3 hours

Gina is determined to make Nick Caspian pay for what he did to Sir George Tyrell

Fiery Foreign Correspondent Roz Amery, daughter of the famous journalist Des Amery finds herself attracted to the arrogant and opinionated Danielle Brunelle who is head of the foreign affairs desk and also her boss and Roz also learns that she has a half sister that she knew nothing about.


Book three in the Barbary Wharf series 187 pages 3 hours

Irena Olivera (student and interpretor) and also half sister of Roz Amery meets the Marketing Director of Caspian International and heart throb, Esteban Sebastian.

Will they discover how much they really have in common.

PLAYING HARD TO GET by Charlotte Lamb

Book four in the Barbary Wharf Series 186 pages 3 hours

Gib Collingwood, Sentinels's Financial Advisor continues to pursue feature writer Valerie Knight.

Valerie is a sharp looking gal that all the men like. Is she avoiding gossip or simply playing hard to get? Gina Tyrell and Nick Caspian continue to lock horns.

A SWEET ADDICTION by Charlotte Lamb

Book five of the Barbary Wharf series 184 pages 3 hours

Guy Falkner, attorney for the Sentinel makes a play for his secretary Sophie Watson, Sophie takes the job of Hazel van Leyden as Nick Caspians secretary ( a very prestigious position) on the Sentinel.

Gina and Nick continue at odds, she has a fierce loyalty to the Tyrell family and the "old" newspaper.

Surrender by Charlotte Lamb

188 pages 3 3/4 hours

Sixth in the Barbary Wharf series by Charlotte Lamb, story of a takeover of a pretigious London newspaper by Caspian International.

Gina and Nick reconcile and marry, her wedding gift from him is THE SENTINEL!

AND they all lived happily ever after.

Invisible Lines by Mary Amato

Invisible Lines by Mary Amato
319 pages
Truman Nominee

Only good thing about literally being up all night with a sick baby? Having a good book to read to her. This one tore at my heart a little. Trevor is a boy with absolutely no money...his mom does the best she can, but he has no money for school supplies or food or soccer cleats. Which means his little brother and sister have nothing also. He is an artist, so he starts selling his graffiti art on shoes and backpacks for a dollar a pop to raise the money to get cleats at the second hand shop so he can become a soccer star and get his little brother any superhero backpack he could ever want. He lands in trouble every which way, and his mom is so bogged down, she jumps to conclusions and blames Trevor. But he keeps trying, and proves to everyone just what he is made of. You really feel for every character in this book. Amato does an amazing job!

(from back of book)
Trevor is just plain funny, and he's lucky he is. Because this year he needs a sense of humor. Moving to Hedley Gardens is hard enough. The move to a fancy new school is even harder-all the kids from "Deadly Gardens" seen to be in the same classes and keep to themselves, but somehow Trevor's ended up in an advanced science class with kids who seem to have everything, and know everything, including how to please their strange new teacher.
But Trevor has plans. This is going to be his year. And he is going to do whatever it takes to make it at this new school. He may not have what these other kids have, but no one is better at juggling in soccer, and his drawing is so good that he's called the Graffiti Guy.
Xander, a star in the classroom and on the soccer field, has other plans for Trevor. He doesn't like anyone trespassing on his turf and sabotages Trevor at every opportunity. Who is going to believe Trevor over the school star? Is there any way that Trevor can achieve his goals against a guy who is as good at bullying as he is at everything else he does?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Double Eagle by Sneed B. Collard III

Double Eagle by Sneed B. Collard III
245 pages
Truman Nominee

Middle school guys are gonna love this book. Mysterious gold, adventure, and hurricane, and 18 million dollars.

(from jacket cover)
The year is 1862. A confederate ship, the Skink, is attacked by Union forces and sinks off the Alabama coast. In spite of rumors that the ship was carrying gold coins, no trace of the wreck and not a single piece of Confederate gold is ever found.

Fast forward to 1973. Fourteen-year-old Mike is prepared for another routine summer in Pensacola with his marine biologist father. But plans change and Mike find himself on Shipwreck Island-near the site where the Skink went down and right in the middle of a century old mystery!
Mike and his new friend Kyle are intrigued by a salvage ship anchored just offshore. Some say it was brought in by fortune hunters searching for the long-lost Confederate ship and its treasure. But when they sneak into a restricted chamber of the fort on the island, the boys make a startling discovery that may mean the fortune hunters are looking in the wrong place. Just as they begin to unravel the mystery, Mike and Kyle find themselves trying to outrun the hurricane bearing down on the island and outwit thieves who will do anything to get their hand on the missing fortune!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
462 pages

I have long waited for the sequel to Incarceron to come out, and it did not disappoint. Superb fantasy!  You really do need to read the first one to fully grasp the story line, but it is time well spent.
(from jacket cover)
The only one who escaped and the one who could destroy them all!
Incareceron, the living prison, has lost one of its inmates to the outside world:Finn's escaped, only to find that Outside is not at all what he expected. Used to the technologically advanced, if violently harsh conditions of the  prison, Finn is now forced to obey the rules of Protocol, which require all people to live without technology. To Finn, Outside is just a prison of another kind, especially when Claudia, the daughter of the prison's warden, declares Finn the lost heir to the throne. When another claimant emerges, bot Finn's and Claudia's very lives hang on Finn convincing the Court of something that even he doesn't full believe.
Meanwhile, Finn's oathbrother Keiro and his friend Attia are still trapped inside Incarceron. They are searching for a magical glove, which legend says Sapphique used to escape. To find it, they must battle the prison itself, because Incarceron wants the glove too.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel.

Pages: 315.

This was a pretty fantastic read. It tells the story of a young Indian boy whose ship to Canada is sunk, and he becomes trapped in a life boat with a tiger for 227 days. The section concerning his survival at sea was indeed compelling, but to be honest, I enjoyed the first section about his childhood almost more. I loved how he came to practice Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism simultaneously, and how he reconciled them together. Also, the ending seemed like it lost both Pi and the original narrator/author. I would have liked to have more closure with them. But other than that, it was a great narrative, and I was never bored.

Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

213 pages
1 hour 47 minutes

Yes, I have again entered DiscWorld.  How can you resist a pun-laced book in the manner of Terry Pratchett?

This is a Granny Weatherwax book.  She has a role in the Tiffany Aching series and I wanted to continue to read about the witches.

Great stuff!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Shifter by Janice Hardy

The Shifter by Janice Hardy
370 pages
Truman Nominee

This book was seriously good...I am seeing the next Hunger Games! There was so much adventure and mystery, a little romance. And best of all, it was very uplifting and hopeful.

(from jacket cover)

Nya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker-with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person into her own body. But unlike her sister, Tali, and the other Takers who become Healers' League apprentices, Nya's skill is flawed: She can't push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store it. All she can do is shift it into another person, a dangerous skill she must keep hidden from forces occupying her city. If discovered, she'd be used as a human weapon against her own people.
Rumors of another war make Nya's life harder, forcing her to take desperate risks just to find work and food. She pushes her luck too far and exposes her secret to a pain merchant eager to use her shifting ability for his own sinister purposes. At first Nya refuses, but when Tali and other League Healers mysteriously disappear, she's faced with some difficult choices. As her father used to say, principles are a bargain at any price; but how many will Nya have to sell to get Tali back alive?

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich

272 pages
This book was suppose to be a different type of read for me, but ended up being written just like fiction… I totally loved the portrayal of Harvard, geniuses and SEAN PARKER! The author openly admits to filling in the blanks during most of the raunchy portions. The author drops the F-bomb quite a bit, so if you don’t like that sort of thing… do not read this book.

Rice Boy by Evan Dahm (Books 1 & 2)

170 Pages

This is a really "cute" adventure story with bright and colorful artwork. The characters were not written very originally, but definitely drawn with great pizzazz!

Fun read.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The House of Dies Drear (completed)

by Virginia Hamilton

From the back
The house held secrets, Thomas knew, even before he first saw it looming gray and massive on its ledge of rock. It had a century-old legend — two fugitive slaves had been killed by bounty hunters after leaving its passageways, and Dies Drear himself, the abolitionist who had made the house into a station on the Underground Railroad, had been murdered there. The ghosts of the three were said to walk its rooms....

The Stone Child

by Dan Poblocki
Synopsis from Barnes and Noble

What if the monsters from your favorite horror books were real?
Eddie Fennicks has always been a loner, content to lose himself in a mystery novel by his favorite author, Nathaniel Olmstead. That's why moving to the small town of Gatesweed becomes a dream come true when Eddie discovers that Olmstead lived there before mysteriously disappearing thirteen years ago. Even better, Eddie finds a handwritten, never-before-seen Nathaniel Olmstead book printed in code and befriends Harris, who's as much an Olmsteady as he is. But then the frightening creatures of Olmstead's books begin to show up in real life, and Eddie's dream turns into a nightmare. Eddie, Harris, and their new friend, Maggie, must break Olmstead's code, banish all gremlins and monster lake-dogs from the town of Gatesweed, and solve the mystery of the missing author, all before Eddie's mom finishes writing her own tale of terror and brings to life the scariest creature of all.

One week into the new month

22 books in 8 days!  You are an amazing team -- and readers!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bull Rider by Suzanne Morgan Williams

Bull Rider by Suzanne Morgan Williams
241 pages
Truman Award Nominee

This book was fantastic! I really thought it would be a downer, but the end was truly amazing.
(from jacket cover)
All it takes is eight seconds...
Cam O'Mara, grandson and younger brother of bull riding champions is not interested in partaking in the family sport. Cam is a skateboarder, and perfecting his tricks-frontside flips, 360's-means everything, until his older brother, Ben, comes home from Iraq, paralyzed from a brain injury.
What would make a skateboarder take a different kind of ride? And what would get him on a monstrosity of a bull named Ugly? If Cam can stay on for the requisite eight seconds, will the $15,000 prize bring hope and a future for his big brother?

The Almost Moon by Alice Seabold

pages: 304

time: 4 hours

In this book the first written words are, "When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily," and from that second your hooked. The story details Helen's life, from her childhood with a controlling mother to her run from the law after she smothers her mother to death. Helen appears eerily sane and calculated as she sets up a series of escape routes that burn ever bridge she ever made.

I loved this book, it was both unsettling and linked to reality that it made for a captivating tale.

Luna by Julie Anne Peters

pages: 256

time: 3 hours

Regan loves her brother even has her brother hates himself, or the self he's forced to be. Liam is an all american boy who longs to be who he is inside; Luna, a beautiful young woman. Regan supports her brother but fears for him and as she watches him every night transform into Luna she can't help but worry about the future holds for her sister who was born a man. This book is a beautifully written tale of self discovery and exceptance. I loved this book and it shed light on the issue of being transgender and the struggle these individuals have to face.

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk

Pages: 304
hours: 4

Choke was amazingly horrifying, to think that people can become so absorbed in addiction that thier reality and existance can be centered around one word is scary. When that one word is sex it becomes a series of strangers and bodies till you can't even remember your own name. That is what Victor experiences, sex to him is a way of escaping his crazed mother, faild medical past and obsession with love and death. However when he finally hits the realization that his life is nothing but unfufilled promises he spirals down a self destructive tirade to prove he is the one in control.

Rant By Chuck Palahniuk


by: Chuck Palahniuk
pages: 320
time: 4 hours

Insanely complex life of Buster "Rant" Casey, the man who infected the world with rabies, his life and death all flowed the same way; poison, death and glory. This book is beautifully written because it's both crude and cruel, truely reflective of an individual's most intimate thoughts. Nothing is pretty about self discovery and destruction and that is what makes this book so striking. I thought it was brilliant in it's own respect and would recommend it to anyone who likes Palahniuk's work.

Hide by Lisa Gardner

Hide by Lisa Gardner
451 pages

I had to take a break from the overly depressing string of young adult award nominees. Don't get me wrong, they are all great books, but I definitely wouldn't recommend anyone reading them one after another. Lisa Gardner is a wonderful suspense writer who I love, and my hubs picked this up for me to read during our epic snowstorm, which my family has dubbed 'snowmagedon'. She didn't disappoint, she had me hooked on the book within a few pages.
(from back of book)
There's no use locking the doors...
It was the case that nearly killed him. Now a gruesome discovery in an underground chamber is about to resurrect his worst nightmare. And Massachusetts State Police detective Bobby Dodge has only one lead: a young girl who's been in hiding for as long as she can remember.
There's no use turning on the lights...
Her childhood was a blur of new cities and assumed identities. But from who-or what-was Annabelle Granger's family hiding? To find out, Dodge must team up with former lover and partner D.D. Warren from the Boston P.D. to track a woman from Bobby's past who's every bit as dangerous as the new killer. The trail will lead them to a chilling place where there's no one to trust...and no place left to hide.
This killer knows where to find you.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Belong To Me by Marisa de los Santos

388 pages
4 hours 14 minutes

This is a sequel to Love Walked In and although the plot was little more predictible, the lives of Cornelia and Teo are a wonderful read.  The new character of Piper was an interesting choice.

The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich

The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich

Pages: 260

OMG, crazy stuff. The movie is gonna be great.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan

312 pages
5 hours 12 minutes
2006 National Book Award Winner

I love reading history.  This book really makes you understand, through the lives of those who were there, what led up to the Dust Bowl and the impact that a man named Hugh Bennett had on our nation.

Fascinating read!  I couldn't put it down.  And even Walter Cronkite recommended it.


Dating Game 448 pages 7 hours

Divorce after 24 years throws Paris Armstrong back in to the dating scene.

A difficult way of life for the mother of two nearly grown children, the youngest beginning his first year of college.

She moves across the country, gets a new job and begins life anew.


Marker by Doctor Robin Cook 553 pages 8 hours

If you enjoy medical thrillers, Robin Cook is your man.

This one once again features Dr. Jack Stapleton and Dr. Laurie Montgomery who are Medical Examiners.

The thing that pulls me back again and again to Cook's books is the fact that no matter how far out it seems, everything in his stories is medically possible and truly scarey.

I'M FROM MISSOURI by Irving Dilliard

104 pages 1 1/2 hours

This non fiction book by Irving Dillard with photographs by Allyson Painter, is sort of a tour of and history of Missouri.

Reunion in Death by J. D. Robb

371 pages 6 hours

Actually, I read this one before Strangers in Death but checked them out at the same time.

A birthday bash sets the scene for a reunion with a killer from Detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas' past. Dallas and the killer match wits for lots of action in this thriller.

Strangers in Death by J. D. Robb

Nora Roberts writing as J. D. Robb 355 pages 5 1/2 hours

If I had realized that this was a futuristic novel, I probably would not have read it and missed a really good read. Just had to ignore some of the "droids" and other futuristic implications.

Lieutenant Detective Eve Dallas is the main character in Robb's -IN DEATH series.

I will read the rest of them.

Ford County by John Grisham

Ford County is a collection of short stories by Grisham. 15 pages 2 hours

Grisham takes us back to the site of his first best seller, A TIME TO KILL.

I read the first three short stories: Blood Drive, Fetching Raymond, and Fish Files.

Three very different stories proving that Grisham is a versatile story teller but we already knew that didn't we?

In for the Kill by John Lutz

In for the Kill 477 Pages 7 hours

This is my first John Lutz read. John Lescroart says Lutz is a major talent, I think that I will have to agree with him. This story is about a madman stalking women, killing them and dismembering them. It is a chiller! Will read more of Lutz in the future.