Monthly Archives: May 2012

Apparently this book is one in a series of many books called A BODY FARM NOVEL.  Ya learn something new everyday.  It is by an author named Jefferson Bass….which is really two authors.  Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson.  Dr. Bass is the forensics expert while Mr. Jefferson is the journalist.  Together they weave tales of mystery and crime with gory and accurate descriptions of decomposition and other forensic details.  This was not the first book in the series….that is CARVED IN  BONE for all you who are sticklers about reading books in the “correct” order (which I am).  Regardless, I dove right in and did not feel lost, and if I missed some important infomation that was leaked in previous novels…I was none the wiser.
This story starts in the good ol’ USA.  Dr. Bill Brockton is called away to Avignon, France for an “emergency” involving his assisant, Miranda. Sidenote:  (Miranda is a bit younger than our doctor and quote attractive).  There is no emergency….just a harmless trick to get Dr. Brockton to come to France to examine some bones that have been found in the Palace of Popes.  Now get this….there is reason to believe that these bones could be the bones of none other than Jesus.  So Miranda convinces Dr. Bill to help her solve the identity of the bones.
The story flips back and forth from the 1300s to present day to unravel this mystery.  The story starts out slow in order to establish the facts, and then once part II hits…the action gets going.  The action kept moving and kept me guessing to just who is behind all this evilness.  Of course, once again I could not figure it out….maybe you can.

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Who doesn’t adore a story with chickens?

Product Details    I have recently read Impeccable Petunia: Claws, Paws, Feathers and Jaws by Kate Christine with pictures by John Edwards.  I was delighted by this first book about Petunia the chicken who does not quite fit in with all the other chickens…..who frankly are just like the mean girls we all remember from high….bossy, catty, spiteful, and full of gossip.  Petunia has a special talent for gardening and interior design….apparently chickens can see many more shades of colors than humans….it is true.  I fact checked it.  So they would be obvious canidates for The Next Design Star on HGTV.  Petunia becomes friends with the woman who is their new caretaker…Petunia names her Silkie.  Life would assume to be sweet with Petunia able to garden and help decorate…she even makes nice with the cat Macy.  Yet, those mean high school-like chickens have another plan for Petunia and it is not a pleasant one…..
Lovers of animal stories will really enjoy this original animal tale.

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The Unseen by Katherine Webb

I really enjoyed this book….no, let me rephrase that…I was so totally caught up in this story that I actually felt myself living in this tiny English town in the year 1911.  I have always been a sucker for a historical novel that takes place across the seas.  I adore the mystique of a place I have never been nor a time I have not known.  And this story takes you deep into the story of a servant girl named Cat Morley who finds herself working at The Rectory for a young Reverend and his naive wife, Hester.  She joins the household just as Robin Durrant arrives on scene.  Robin Durrant is invited there by the Reverend who believes there are spirits living in the woods around him, and Robin Durrant is a self-proclaimed expert in this area.  The Reverend is enamored by this cunning, handsome and charming man, Hester becomes jealous and confused as her husband pulls away from her, and Cat Morley seems to be the only one who sees through it all.
  We are introduced to all these characters from present day 2011. Right away we meet, Leah who is a freelance writer.  She has been asked to write an article about a soldier whose body was found with no identification just a few letters sealed in a tin box.  These letters intrigue Leah and she begins to solve the mystery of the letters and the dead soldier.  Through her discoveries, the reader is taken on a richly woven tale of one summer in this quaint English town.  The characters are so well written…so well developed, and the story moves at a swift pace….this is one that I was sad when it ended.  Not sad of out disappointment, but sad because I was already missing the characters and the story and had to return to reality.

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Filed under adult, fiction, mystery, williammorrow

Great summer read!

I have always been a big Kate Klise fan!  She has written so many wonderful books for elementary school kids.  They are filled with cleverness and funny misunderstandings.  The stories have memorable characters and even more memorable stories.  They are written in a nontraditional format using letters, memos, emails, text and then traditional prose to let the story unravel.  Students gobble them up….from Regarding the Fountain to Dying to Meet You.  So when I saw that she has written a book for older readers, I grabbed it up and read it in an afternoon.  I loved it!
The story follows 4 Americans while they spend a week in Paris and Madrid, and what happens when two bags get mixed-up at the airport. Daisy and her 18 year-old daughter, Coco are traveling to Paris to enjoy a week of relaxation — something neither of these overachiever, type A personalities find comfort in easily.  At the same time, Andrew and his 17 year old son, Webb are headed to Madrid for Andrew’s work.  At the airport, Coco and Webb’s bags get mixed-up…what follows is a series of clever misunderstandings and bizarre coinsidence.  The book was a delight to read!  I cannot wait for her next one!!

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Greek Mythology,Water Spirits & Hunky Merman, OH MY!

Product Details I have just finished the first novel by YA author Leigh Michael, and what a tale she has spun.  The book is called Sprite: Annabelle’s Story.  Michael’s has created a vivid underwater world with spunky characters who lead us on a quest to find a missing conch shell.   Annabelle appears to be a typical 18 year-old girl who excels on the school swim team, has plans of becoming a doctor and has a perfect boyfriend.  Life is sweet for Annabelle until she is kidnapped and taken into this underwater world where her adventure begins. 
 In the spirit of mythology, she offers up many creatures that come to life in our imaginations….such as, Adrian, the cute and sweet and brave Merman who leads Annebelle on her journey as she discovers who she truly is….a water spirit!  Along the way, we hear stories of Greek Mythology with the three big Gods: Zeus, Poseidon and Hades.  Yet those are not the only stories and creatures we encounter….not all are as helpful as Adrian.  Take a dive into this first novel by Leigh Michael….you will be enchanted. 

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Here is my first nonfiction review book from William Morrow Publishing.  It is The Other Side of Normal: How Biology is Providing the Clues to Unlock the Secrets of Normal and Abnormal Behavior by Jordan Smoller.  I have been fascinated with psychology since I was a kid and remember watching the movie My Girl with Macaulay Culkin.  They found this old model of a human brain in the attic that was used to study Phrenology…the study of the bumps on your head….well, I was just intrigued by that and began my own mini research into personality and psychology.  So much so, most of my electives in college were either psychology or art history, weird?  Anyway, after college I went into the social work field and so on and so forth.  The point of my rambling is that I chose this book due to my interest in psychology.  Whew…that was unnecessary of me.
I like this book because it examines 3 major influences on our human behavior, so we are not merely stuck on an one-way track.  It looks at a person’s genes, experiences and evolution are how these factors shape our emotional and social natures.  It looks at specific case studies throughout history.  Smoller has made of point of not writing an encyclopedia of psychology, and though there are times when the text is quite technical, I did not feel lost in it.  I recommend this book for anyone who is interesting in human psychology and behavior. 

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Filed under adult, nonfiction, psychology

Gotta Love Dystopia Trilogies!!

This is a great first book in a new trilogy by Veronica Roth.  The title of this one is Divergent, and it was recommended to me by my friend Chris.  We both like books with some sci-fi and some intrigue and a little dystopia thrown in for good measure.  This is a great example of that!  The book takes place in Chicago after the destruction of the country due to selfishness, aggression, dishonesty, cowardice, and arrogance.  In order to combat this, there have been five factions created to prevent these qualities from taking over.  These are Abnegation which values selflessness, Amity which values peace, Candor which values truth, Dauntless which values courage, and Erudite which values intellect.  Everyone is born into a factions, and when they turn 16 years old they have ya choice to change factions permanently.  No turning back.  “Faction Before Family” is the motto.  If they fail or have a change of heart, they become factionless…wandering the outskirts of town performing jobs that no one else would willing choose. 

This is the story of 16 year old Beatrice who soon becomes Tris.  She is born into Abnegation, yet she never feels completely comfortable in this faction.   She shocks everyone on the day of the Choosing utilizing the information she received from her aptitude test.  Her choosing triggers a string of events that kept me reading even when I had a ton of other things to do.  She begins her initiation in her new faction and meets many well-drawn out characters….Four is my favorite.  I really don’t want to write too much without giving so much away…..needless to say, I have ordered book 2 and am expecting it today in the mail!  Cannot wait!  Thanks Chris!  Great recommendation!!

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Filed under dystopia, fiction, young adult