Sunday, October 12, 2008


Title: Speak of the devil

Author: Shari Shattuck

Publisher: New American Library (Signet)

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-451-22480-4

Series or stand-alone: #2

Setting: Shadow Hills, CA (a suburb of LA)

1st Sentence:
The fierce wind swept across the dusty, faded green sage, bending brittle branches and tugging roots from the parched earth.


I read the first book in this series back in November 2007, and while I liked it I thought it was a tad overwritten. Not so much with this book. The overwritten part.

Greer Sands and her son Joshua are living comfortably in their relatively new to them town of Shadow Hills, CA, even with Greer and her long-time psychic abilities and Joshua with his new-found abilities. Joshua is out for a hike one day and meets a boy who is working for the fire camp. Days later he comes across the same kid and notices some bad juju with his aura. He befriends him and gets him a job working for his mom's boyfriend who is doing some landscaping business for some new developments in town, developments that have quite a lot of opposition. And then the fires begin. And it looks like arson. Can it be stopped before the whole town burns to the ground?

Again, a quick and easy read with likeable characters and an easy to grasp psychic line (if you're that kind of person -- which I am.) The only thing that caught my attention in this book was an overabundance of adverbs and I know some readers who are really turned off by that so you may not like this.

But I think other readers who are fans of Kay Hooper or Tina Wainscott would like this series and I'd recommend it to them in my library.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Title: Dewey: The small-town library cat who touched the world

Author: Vicki Myron with Bret Witter

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-446-40741-0

Series or stand-alone: Non-fiction

Setting: Spencer, IA

1st Sentence:

There is a thousand-mile table of land in the middle of the United States, between the Mississippi River on the east and the deserts on the west.


This is a charming story about Dewey Readmore Books, a cat who was dumped into a library bookdrop in Spencer, Iowa on the coldest night of the year and was succinctly adopted by the library staff including Library Director Vicki Myron and then by the entire town, and finally the world. He remained the library's cat for eighteen years and this book is about Vicki's life, her life with Dewey, Dewey's life with the town and how he gained world-wide recognition. A sweet story about a local (to me) feline.

Vicki Myron was my Public Library Management instructor and from time to time we'd see Dewey. I am sure that his absence has impacted the town greatly and I am glad that Vicki was able to tell their story.

September #7 - OLIVE'S OCEAN

Title: Olive's Ocean

Author: Kevin Henkes

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Copyright: 2003

ISBN: 0-096-053543-1

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting: Cape Cod

1st Sentence:

A Beginning
"Are you Martha Boyle?"


Martha's classmate, Olive, was killed in a hit-and-run bicycle accident and her mother visits Martha to give her a section from Olive's journal. Martha heads out to spend the summer with her family at her grandmother's home on Cape Cod and she will gain perspective on the death of her classmate, her relationship with her grandmother, her feelings about boys and her plans to be a writer.

I read this book during Banned Books Week 2008 because it was one of the most challenged books during 2007 and I'm still not sure why. I thought it was a touching story about growing up and dealing with issues that go along with that.

September #6 - LIFELINES

Title: Lifelines

Author: CJ Lyons

Publisher: Berkley Books

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-425-22082-5

Series or stand-alone: #1

Setting: Pittsburgh, PA, Angels of Mercy Medical Center

1st Sentence:

Monday, July 1, 6:45 P.M.
July 1st. The most dangerous day of the year.


From the author's website:

Angels of Mercy Medical Center is a top-flight teaching hospital and trauma center. People come to Angels for the best care anywhere little do they know of the drama behind the scenes.

The lives of four women will intersect as they meet the challenges of saving lives, finding love and developing friendships despite their differences and the secrets they each try to protect.

The bonds these women form surpass mere friendship as they become each other's heroes, helping to save lives, avoid heart ache and face their worst fears.

I thought this was a great debut novel with a lot of grit and realism (it helps that the author herself is a physician). It has strong female characters, great character interaction and a very scary premise (yet another reason not to go to hospitals.) I look forward to more by this author.

UPDATE: CJ's new book WARNING SIGNS comes out January 27, 2009!


Title: Are you there, Vodka? It's me Chelsea

Author: Chelsea Handler

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4169-5412-5

Series or stand-alone: Non-fiction

Setting: Several

1st Sentence:

I was nine years old and walking myself to school one morning when I heard the unfamiliar sound of a prepubescent boy calling my name.


Love, love, LOVE Chelsea Handler. After reading her first book MY HORIZONTAL LIFE several years ago, I was in love. And when she got her own late night show (Chelsea Lately), life was even better.

This book is a collection of short stories infused with her raunchy style of humor including one on her arrest for DUI, her dad's bladder stones, dating an orange-head, dining in the dark, massage at an oriental parlor, a boyfriend and dog love, regifting, dieting and getting jumped, her love affair with little nuggets and a trip with her dad to Costa Rica. Fun stuff here.
After Chelsea, my life will never be the same.

September #4 - ASHES TO ASHES

Title: Ashes to ashes

Author: Jennifer Armintrout

Publisher: Mira

Copyright: 2007

ISBN: 978-0-7783-2494-2

Series or stand-alone: #3

Setting: Chicago, IL

1st Sentence:

"Hey, Baker! You give her the seven o'clock meds yet?"


In this book, the Oracle escapes and is working in tandem with the Soul Eater. Carrie, Nathan, Max and Bella must work together to find the Oracle and stop whatever destruction she has planned.

I'm glad that there are only four books in this series. I really liked the first book which made me buy the rest. The second book made me furious. This book was better but still not as good as book one and I found myself happy, then mad, then sad, then okay again. Not my favorite way to be. I'll have book four read sometime in October or November and then that will be that. I'll miss Carrie Ames, but I'm glad I was introduced to this author because of her.


Title: Death Perception

Author: Victoria Laurie

Publisher: New American Library

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-451-22486-6

Series or stand-alone: #6

Setting: Royal Oak, MI and Las Vegas, NV

1st Sentence:

Death has an energy.


Typical Abby Cooper psychic mystery. This time she travels to Dutch to help Dutch's cousin and they find themselves in a world of trouble. When Dutch disappears, Abby calls in her friend Candice Fusco and her sister, Cat, to help. Hijinx ensue. These are easy reads and I really like Abby and Dutch so I continue to read them. Mental popcorn, anyone?

September #2 - FRACTURED

Title: Fractured

Author: Karin Slaughter

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-385-34195-0

Series or stand-alone: #2

Setting: Atlanta, GA

1st Sentence:

Abigail Campano sat in her car parked on the street outside her own house.


This is the second book featuring Will Trent, following the dark and different Triptych (which I loved.) Abigail comes home to her suburb house to find her daughter broken at the top of the stairs and a man standing over her with a knife. A struggle ensues and changes their lives forever. Enter Will Trent with the GBI who is then partnered with Faith Mitchell, a sergeant with the APD. Together they must work together to stop a killer before he kills again.

This was a good book. I didn't like it as much as TRIPTYCH but it did lend more character development to Will and I found myself rooting for him as a good guy. I'm still anxiously awaiting the newest Grant County book by Slaughter, but I'm a big fan; I'll read anything she puts out.