Thursday, August 25, 2011


EscapeEscape by Barbara Delinsky

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book struck a chord with me. The details of Emily's life aren't the same as mine, but I really identified with her desperate need to escape her life (job) that had become so different from how she'd envisioned it being. My life pales in comparison to her high-stress career and New York lifestyle, yet I feel her pain and completely understand how she could reach the breaking point that causes her to leave work, pack a bag, and start driving away, out of the chaotic city to find refuge in the woods. Haven't we all felt that way?

What I love about this story is that the people seem real. No one is perfect. Change is grudging and gradual. Relationships take work, yet no one is committing adultery. What a relief!

For readers' advisors: character doorway is primary, story is secondary

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

First Test

First Test (Protector of the Small, #1)First Test by Tamora Pierce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was interesting to listen to a book I'd previously read in graduate school. Bernadette Dunne occasionally placed emphasis on different words or read sentences differently than I would have. She did a good job, but it was just...odd. Still, listening to the story made me actually wish my commute were longer (!!), and I sometimes sat in my car for a few minutes after I arrived so I could hear just a little bit more.

This is a book about a 10-year-old girl who wants to become the second female knight (see: the Alanna the Lioness quartet by Pierce) even though most all the boys and the training master do not want her at the school and don't think she can succeed.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Secret Life of Walter Kitty

The Secret Life of Walter KittyThe Secret Life of Walter Kitty by Barbara Jean Hicks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness, the facial expressions on Walter's (a.k.a. "Fang's") face are hilarious! They really do speak volumes: life is rough when your Person and her husband misunderstand you...and get your name wrong. :D

Would be great to read with your kids (or adults!), but to fully appreciate the book, you have to be able to see the pictures, so I don't recommend it for a large storytime.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sugar Snaps and Strawberries

Sugar Snaps and StrawberriesSugar Snaps and Strawberries by Andrea Bellamy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great book for gardening novices just getting started. I loved that Bellamy gave instructions for how to test your soil's pH levels, which I was wondering how to do. There are loads of beautiful photos, which were great, although it would have been nice had she included some more specific shots--for example, when she talks about various weed species, it would have been helpful had there been photos of the more common varieties. (I tend to be afraid to pull weeds early on in case what I'm pulling is actually the plant!) There is so much information in this book, however, that I am thinking I might need to go buy it so I'll have a copy on hand this winter and next spring when I'm planning my garden. This one, plus one that focuses specifically on what to plant in my particular region of the world.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

A Crafty Killing

A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square Mystery, #1)A Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this book up off a reshelving cart because I needed something to read on my break and was in the mood for something light. This was a perfect choice: a cozy mystery, the first in a series, interesting enough to keep my attention and yet not requiring more brain power than my overtaxed noggin could handle at the time! (And now I'm curious to find out what happens in the next book in the series.)

Recent widow Katie Bonner becomes the main suspect in a murder investigation when the owner of Artisan's Alley dies and leaves her half of his business. It isn't how she had planned to be a part of the Victoria Square business district, but she quickly realizes she's got to take over running the Alley if she's to avoid bankruptcy. When a second corpse appears on the premises, her life becomes even more complicated.

For readers' advisors: story and character doorways

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