Thursday, February 19, 2009

February #5 - CONTAGIOUS

Title: Contagious

Author: Scott Sigler

Publisher: Crown Publishers

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-307-40631-6

Series or stand-alone: #2

Setting: Detroit, MI

1st Sentence:

January 20
It had to be a joke.


Remember when I wrote about INFECTED (July 2008 #7), the first book in this series, and the triangles that had stayed with me? They'reeee bacccckkkk!

Again, I don't want to write too much about this book for fear of giving anything away. It's really hard for me to decide sometimes what may or may not be a spoiler. I will say, however, that if you haven't read anything by Sigler, I recommend it. And the really cool thing is he provides PODCASTS of his work and PDF files as well on his website. We're talking entire works! That's pretty amazing in my opinion. It's what got him published and it's why as a librarian, I buy his books for my library.


Title: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Author: Guy Fieri

Publisher: Food Network

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978--0-06-172488-6

Series or stand-alone: Non-fiction

Setting: Across the US

1st Sentence:

Several years ago, if somebody had told me I was going to win Next Food Network Star and do all of these shows, my dream show might've been, What do Rock-and-Roll Bands Eat?


This book was great because not only does it highlight where he's been, what he's seen, who he's met and what he's eaten, but it also includes recipes! Woo-hoo! I watch this show every week and keep a list of all the places I want to eat.
Thanks a lot, Guy!
While searching around the Internet I found this site which lists addresses and website info for all of the restaurants Guy has visited since the beginning of the show. It looks pretty inclusive. I like that you can sort by location. I wonder if Guy will ever make it to Iowa...

February #3 - BLOOD SINS

Title: Blood sins

Author: Kay Hooper

Publisher: Bantam Dell

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-553-80485-0

Series or stand-alone: #2 of trilogy

Setting: Grace, North Carolina

1st Sentence:

Senator Abe Lamott turned from the window and looked at the man in his visitor's chair.


Reverend Samuel has built his congregation in Grace and Tessa Gray has been sent in undercover by Noah Bishop's special crimes unit to investigate what is going on in this cult. Cults are scary. This book is, too. I've been a fan of Hooper's for many years and the Noah Bishop SCU books remain my favorite books by her.


Title: Way off the road: Discovering the peculiar charms of small-town America

Author: Bill Geist

Publisher: Broadway Books

Copyright: 2007

ISBN: 978--0-7679-2272-2

Series or stand-alone: Non-fiction

Setting: All over the USA

1st Sentence:

There is a world outside our own, out there and out of sight, between the coasts - between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Chicago and Saint Louis, Kansas City and Denver - where people live slower, closer to nature, farther apart spatially, yet somehow more attached; a world where money, celebrity, and raw ambition don't always hold sway, and where people tend not to take themselves quite so seriously.


First off, great first sentence. This first sentence sums up this book. I don't need to discuss it any further. Except to tell you about my favorite locals discussed in the book. Of course, there is the red rails in the sunset in Hanlontown, IA (since IA is where I call home). Population: Elsie in Monowi, NE, Moonburgers in Moonshine, IL and the muletrain mailman in Supai, AZ. Can anyone say ROAD TRIP?

I absolutely love these types of travelogues and wish there were more out there. This was a great way to present some of the US we might not know about. Well, more than likely DON'T know about, unless we live nearby, and even then it's not guaranteed.


Title: Sucks to be me: The all-true confessions of Mina Hamilton, teen vampire (maybe)

Author: Kimberly Pauley

Publisher: Mirrorstone Books

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7869-5028-7

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone as far as I know

Setting: Mina Hamilton's house and neighborhood

1st Sentence:

My parents are trying to ruin my life.


This is another teen vampire book but cute and quirky. Mina's parents and uncle are vampires and her existence has just been discovered. Now, she must decide whether to turn or stay a mortal. Tough gig when you're only 16! She'd rather think about hot guys and prom, but she has to take classes to help her make the decision that is best for her, and she can't tell her best friend anything on top of it all! It's a good story with myths about vampires at the top of each new chapter and her take on it. This was a really cute coming of age story with the vampire theme.

January #10 - JUDAS KISS

Title: Judas Kiss

Author: JT Ellison

Publisher: Mira

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7783-2629-8

Series or stand-alone: #3

Setting: Nashville, TN

1st Sentence:



I don't really know how to write about this book without giving away any of the crucial plot points so I won't. It starts with a bang, it ends with a bang and Taylor Jackson is just not having a good week. JT Ellison has become one of the top of my list authors I buy as soon as the new book comes out and I can't wait for EDGE OF BLACK.


Title: Wait till your vampire gets home

Author: Michelle Bardsley

Publisher: Signet Eclipse

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-451-22550-4

Series or stand-alone: #4

Setting: Broken Heart, OK

1st Sentence:

I hugged the large oak tree as I tried to catch my breath.


Libby Monroe is a paranormal researcher who is snooping around Broken Heart when a dragon drops from the sky and causes her a whole slew of trouble. Along with Ralph, a vampire, and the old crew from Broken Heart, they must fight to keep the bad dragons from taking over their community. A good entry into this series.


Title: After the fire: A true story of friendship and survival

Author: Robin Gaby Fisher

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-316-06621-1

Series or stand-alone: Biography

Setting: South Orange, NJ

1st Sentence:

Shawn Simons was a light sleeper, had been since he was thisbig.


This book is the story of Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos, two students and residents of Boland Hall at Seton Hall University, who survived a fire set intentionally by two other boys who lived there. Three died. Fifty-six others were injured.

It's the story of both boys' determination to beat the odds, the care they received at the burn unit of St. Barnabas Hospital, Alvaro's journey to the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.

I think this is a great book to read if you've ever dealt with fire or fire-related injuries. I had an aunt and two cousins that perished in a house fire twenty-eight years ago but I still think of them often and wonder what life would be like if they'd survived as these boys did.

But I also think it an important book to read about friendship. And courage. And determination. And life.

It's a wonderful book, one of my favorites this year and I recommend it to everyone. (Keep the tissues handy.)


Title: Here's the story: Surviving Marcia Brady and finding my true voice

Author: Maureen McCormick

Publisher: William Morrow

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-06-149014-9

Series or stand-alone: Autobiography

Setting: California

1st Sentence:

This story begins in the fall of 2006 in Los Angeles.


This book is the autobiographical account of Maureen who played Marcia Brady on the Brady Bunch. It's about growing up as a child star, her fall into drug addiction, her failed relationships, on marriage and becoming a mother, her familial relationships, changing her priorities and trying to find a way to like herself. There were some parts that were very moving - and others that made me roll my eyes and think, "Well, she brought it all on herself!"
For the most part, I was surprised that the girl who many girls wanted to be like and many boys wanted to be with was so...damaged.

I am glad to see that her life is changing and she is beginning to like who she is.

January #6 - LORD OF MISRULE

Title: Lord of Misrule

Author: Rachel Caine

Publisher: Nal Jam Books

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-0-451-22572-6

Series or stand-alone: #5

Setting: Morganville, TX

1st Sentence:

The story so far...Claire Danvers was going to Caltech.


This is a good continuation of the series. Bishop is back and wants to take control of Morganville. The vampires start disappearing one by one and then the humans revolt, leading to chaos. Claire is stuck in the middle, as usual and tries to do right by her friends, her town, her family. This is one of my favorite vampire series and I'm a little disappointed that it will be ending soon, but I guess that will just force me to read something else. I can always finish her WEATHER WARDEN series or I hear she's got a new series coming out.

January #5 - PLUM SPOOKY

Title: Plum Spooky

Author: Janet Evanovich

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-312-38332-9

Series or stand-alone: #4 of the In-Between the numbers books

Setting: Trenton, NJ

1st Sentence:

Sometimes you get up in the morning and you know it's going to be one of those days.


Diesel is back dragging Stephanie thru the muck in yet another hair-raising adventure. This time they are after Diesel's cousin, Wulf, who is out to take over the world with a little help with one of Stephanie's skips, a nerdy scientist named Martin Munch. All the while she is in charge of Carl the monkey who gives her a headache. This was one of the better between-the-numbers books but I prefer the Ranger/Morelli books over these any day.

January #4 - BREAKING DAWN

Title: Breaking dawn

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-316-06792-8

Series or stand-alone: #4

Setting: Forks, WA

1st Sentence:

I'd had more than my fair share of near-death experiences; it wasn't something you ever really got used to.


This was possibly the fourth and final book in the Twilight series and I don't want to write much about it because I know several people who are still reading this series. It was good, I enjoyed the series and it would be okay if it ended here but I think that some things needed to be ended and I think another book would have to be written in order to do that. One was, actually, and someone leaked the manuscript to the Internet which caused Stephenie to pull it and I don't blame her but that's really too bad. I hope the story does get finished. Time will tell.


Title: Night of the crash-test dummies

Author: Gary Larson

Publisher: Andrews and McMeel

Copyright: 1988

ISBN: 0-8362-2049-8

Series or stand-alone: #9 in collection of FAR SIDE COMICS

Setting: None

Comments: A fun collection of the FAR SIDE comics if you like them. I like them for an occasional chuckle. My favorites always seem to be the ones about the dogs.


Title: The Crossroads

Author: Chris Grabenstein

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-375-84697-7

Series or stand-alone: #1 in YA series

Setting: North Chester, CT

1st Sentence:


Have you ever seen a face hidden in the bark of a tree and known that the man inside wanted to hurt you?


This was a wonderful juvenile mystery about an 11-year-old who moves to Connecticut with his father and new stepmother and encounter ghosts left behind after a terrible accident as well as dealing with some different ghosts from Zack's past. It has been getting accolades from librarians and reviewers and is deserving of such. It was a quick read with interesting characters and dynamic character relationships.


Title: Kitty goes to Washington

Author: Carrie Vaughn

Publisher: Warner Books

Copyright: 2006

ISBN: 0-446-61642-7

Series or stand-alone: #2

Setting: Washington DC and surrounding Metro areas

1st Sentence:

"We have Beth from Tampa on the line."


Kitty Norville has taken her popular radio show, The Midnight Hour, on the road and ends up in Washington DC to testify before a senate committee on all things paranormal and runs into problems with no pack around to help her out. These are quick, fun romps with engaging characters and I look forward to continuing with the series.