Sunday, December 27, 2009

What do a very obedient dog, a blind cat and a barking parrot have in common?

Why, all three are beloved pets that are the focus of the books I'm here to tell you about. So pull up a chair, cuddle with your furry (or feathery) friend and check these out...

Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle
by Major Brian Dennis, Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery

Major Dennis discovered Nubs, a mongrel with hacked-off ears, at a border fort in Iraq while serving there in the Marine Corps. Although he visited the fort infrequently and stayed only a few days at a time, Dennis and the feral dog bonded as the soldier shared his food and bed with the loyal animal. Often they even stood guard duty together. One winter day, when the Marines traveled 70 miles north across the frigid desert to headquarters, Nubs followed, arriving there, thin and footsore, two days later. Determined not to leave him behind again, the Marines adopted him, and eventually Dennis raised the money to have Nubs shipped back to America. Few will not be moved by the concluding photograph. Told in brief text augmented by Dennis's facsimile e-mails and illustrated with clear color photos, this story presents a view of the Iraq war that makes it accessible to very young gradeschoolers, a welcome addition to collections serving that audience and especially useful for children of soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kirkus Review

Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale,
or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat

by Gwen Cooper

Cooper had every intention of saying "no" to the veterinarian who asked her if she was interested in adopting a four-week-old stray kitten with a "particular handicap." She was fresh off a bad breakup, working a low-paying job and living rent-free in a friend's bedroom-plus she was worried about the social implications of adding one cat to the two she had already adopted: "The neighborhood kids will... say things like 'That's where Old Widow Cooper, the cat lady, lives.' " But as soon as she picked up the tiny kitten and he started to purr, she caved. She settled on a name and brought Homer home. His intrepid explorations of his new environs quickly challenged Cooper's expectations of a blind cat. And through 12 years, six moves, several boyfriends and a showdown with a burglar, this tender and affecting book reveals Homer's lessons about love and acceptance-and how he transformed Cooper into the woman she had always wanted to be.

Publisher's Weekly

The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog
by Nancy Davis-Bell
Ellis-Bell, a California-based literary agent with a proven track record for helping rescue animals, adopted a one-footed, foul-mouthed blue-and-gold macaw with a propensity for biting. Here, this self-described woman who loves animals too much touchingly chronicles her daily adventures with Sarah and a menagerie of "sweet babies" (birds, dogs, cats, and visiting raccoons). What begins as a cautionary tale of avian domination and destruction (replete with jealous tirades, physical attacks, and earsplitting screams) develops into a story of "Icarus reclaimed," freedom and flight. Ellis-Bell shares amusing anecdotes about the one-bird demolition derby, cage-free domesticity, Sarah's curious diet (consisting of kibble, nuts, and the occasional gin and tonic), the bird's prolific climbing achievements, affectionate mannerisms, and profound sense of play ("Sarah saw dirt as kindergarten"). This winsome book will surely delight animal rescuers and avid fans of Animal Planet. Listings of general bird-rescue organizations are included.

Library Journal Review

All three were great reads and I hope you enjoy. See you in the New Year!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mi Nei's picks!

Hello everyone! MiNei has shared what she is reading right now.

"I'm reading two books for people who like romance. This is new for me (not romance but reading about it).
1- The Montana Creeds by Linda Lael Miller- Good, entertaining especially if you like westerns.
2- The Favored Child by Phillipa Gregory- She is a bit repetitive but the book has very good historical references especially how women were perceived during that era.

Thanks Mi Nei for sharing!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Favorite book for the moment

I absolutely love historical fiction. I want to live in historical fiction books. My favorite book of all time is probably Gone With the Wind. It changes depending on what I start reading, but that one is always on top of my list. But Robert Hicks wrote one of the best Civil War related books I have ever read, and recently came out with a new one. A Separate Country. It's sitting at home waiting.
So, my pick for today is Widow of the South.

This was actually suggested to me by Allyson through her Reader's Advisory interview questions a looong time ago. One reason why I like this book so much is it is based on a real widow, a real battle, and real existing graves. Carrie McGavok's home was turned into a hospital while her yard was a battlefield, and this story follows the Battle of Franklin and how she had some of the soldiers buried in her private cemetery. They detail in the story is what made me love it so much, since points of view were from Confederate and Union soldiers, Carrie's story, and even the stories of people helping in the hospital and on the battlefield. It was a great read and stuck with me for a long time.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shades Of Dark by Linnea Sinclair

Linnea Sinclair’s Shades Of Dark is a space opera, but with strong romantic elements as well. Chaz, a former Fleet captain, has been unfairly stripped of her rank and is now a fugitive from the toppling Empire. She is brought out from hiding when her brother is falsely arrested. There is a lot of adventure as Chaz and Scully fight to save her brother, and keep the Empire from unleashing jukors into the general populace. What are jukors you ask? Monsters with razor sharp claws that rip anyone who comes to close to them to shreds, painfully. My imagination went wild with the description Sinclair gives of these abominations.
Chaz and Scully are already established as lovers when the novel begins. Sinclair does a marvelous job in the character development; you’ll find yourself rooting for the couple, even if romance isn’t your thing. You’ll learn (immediately) that Scully is a human Stolorth, a powerful psychic despised for his ability to read minds, even with an unwilling subject. I loved the space opera adventure storyline far more than the romance, and the romance was great. This should appeal to science fiction readers, romance readers, and adventure fans. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann

Describing this book as a German mystery novel with a quirky sense of humor does not do it enough justice. Three Bags Full by Lenoie Swann follows a flock of sheep as they try to solve the murder of their beloved shepherd. This novel differs from other mysteries with animals acting as detectives in that the sheep act like sheep, and not miniature humans. They get distracted by the smell of sweet grass, their memories are short, and humans can be very confusing, especially the “God” human.
The shepherd had names for all nineteen sheep but there were some who stood out more than the others. Miss Maple is considered the smartest, Mopple The Whale is the one with the best memory, Sir Ritchfield is the lead ram, and his brother Melmoth who has recently reappeared after a mysterious disappearance. I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery which had me guessing until the very end. A funny, endearing read that amused me greatly – I highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Favorite Series for Adult Readers

So the series I've been reading lately that I just cannot get enough of is the
Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. The books are originally published in Swedish. The first book is: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and book two is: The Girl Who Played with Fire.

Both books are currently avaiable in the U.S. with the third book: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest coming out in the U.K. in October. I'm so obssessed with this series that I've purchased the book via Amazon UK so I can have it before the U.S. publishers release it.

The books include action-packed investigations, violent behavior, adult language, sex, and sexual violence. There are several scenes that may be uncomfortable for the average reader, but if you enjoy thrillers, mysteries, and a lot of suspense, these books will knock your socks off!!!

"A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue.It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, Henrik, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.And it’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired by Henrik to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old, pierced, tattooed genius hacker, possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, an astonishing corruption at the highest echelon of Swedish industrialism—and a surprising connection between themselves.A contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of whom must face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives."

"Mikael Blomkvist—crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium—has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered. But perhaps more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander. Now, as Blomkvist—alone in his belief in her innocence—plunges into his own investigation of the slayings, Salander is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all."

The above descriptions come from the publishers of the U.S. release.

Happy Reading!!!

My Favorite Book: Lord of the Rings

When Elizabeth asked us a while back to think about our favorite book to write about, a few different ones came to mind: there's the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (good - but the last two/three books weren't as GREAT as the first ones), Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove (alt-history asking what if the Spanish Armada had beaten back England), The Freedom Writers Diary and Teach With Your Heart by Erin Gruwell (a great, recent read)... but then I thought to the world of Middle-earth that I have loved for the past couple of years.

I was a bit late in my discovery of Professor J.R.R. Tolkien's works. It was after the first movie came out that I cracked open FOTR. It took a few tries for me to get into Fellowship, but once I got to the Council of Elrond, I was set. After gobbling up TT and RotK, I wanted more and there was more to be had: The Silmarillion! Being a history and mythology junkie, it was neat seeing the story of Arda from the creation all the way to the Third Age. After that I went to The Hobbit, which I didn't enjoy quite as much, as it was a bit more juvenile.

  • Favorite Character: Gandalf the Grey/White ("You... shall... not... pass!")
  • Favorite Location: Minas Tirith (Imagine the library there...)
  • Favorite Quote: `Take now this Ring," he said; "for thy labours and thy cares will be heavy, but in all it will support thee and defend thee from weariness. For this is the Ring of Fire, and herewith, maybe, thou shalt rekindle hearts to the valour of old in a world that grows chill."` (CĂ­rdan the Shipwright to Gandalf, The Silmarillion)

I'll leave you all with a picture of the Shire, homeland of the hobbits, from Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online.

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"Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It'll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they'll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields... and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Story of the Little Mole Who Went In Search of Who Dunit

I know this is technically not a novel, but it is an awesome story, very fast read, and one of my personal favorites!

Anyway, this is a story of a mole who comes out of his hole one morning and discovers he has a new "hat" on the top of his head. He is very upset with his new "hat" and is unsure who put it there! Mr. Mole then takes up a mission to discover who gave him the mysterious "hat" You might think that having a hat is very cool, but after you discover what kind of "hat" it is and how it smells/looks you too would be upset. But don't worry in the end Mr. Mole gets his revenge! =)