Monday, December 31, 2007

New Amazon Kindle

--A convenient, portable reading device with the ability to wirelessly download books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers--

Product Overview

* Revolutionary electronic-paper display provides a sharp, high-resolution screen that looks and reads like real paper.
* Simple to use: no computer, no cables, no syncing.
* Wireless connectivity enables you to shop the Kindle Store directly from your Kindle—whether you’re in the back of a taxi, at the airport, or in bed.
* Buy a book and it is auto-delivered wirelessly in less than one minute.
* More than 90,000 books available, including more than 95 of 112 current New York Times® Best Sellers.
* New York Times® Best Sellers and all New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise.
* Free book samples. Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy.
* Top U.S. newspapers including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post; top magazines including TIME, Atlantic Monthly, and Forbes—all auto-delivered wirelessly.
* Top international newspapers from France, Germany, and Ireland; Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and The Irish Times—all auto-delivered wirelessly.
* More than 250 top blogs from the worlds of business, technology, sports, entertainment, and politics, including BoingBoing, Slashdot, TechCrunch, ESPN's Bill Simmons, The Onion, Michelle Malkin, and The Huffington Post—all updated wirelessly throughout the day.
* Lighter and thinner than a typical paperback; weighs only 10.3 ounces.
* Holds over 200 titles.
* Long battery life. Leave wireless on and recharge approximately every other day. Turn wireless off and read for a week or more before recharging. Fully recharges in 2 hours.
* Unlike WiFi, Kindle utilizes the same high-speed data network (EVDO) as advanced cell phones—so you never have to locate a hotspot.
* No monthly wireless bills, service plans, or commitments—we take care of the wireless delivery so you can simply click, buy, and read.
* Includes free wireless access to the planet's most exhaustive and up-to-date encyclopedia—
* Email your Word documents and pictures (.JPG, .GIF, .BMP, .PNG) to Kindle for easy on-the-go viewing.
* Included in the box: Kindle wireless reader, Book cover, Power adapter, USB 2.0 cable

Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate, about new Amazon Kindle

Paper-like Screen

Utilizing a new high-resolution display technology called electronic paper, Kindle provides a crisp black-and-white screen that resembles the appearance and readability of printed paper. The screen works using ink, just like books and newspapers, but displays the ink particles electronically. It reflects light like ordinary paper and uses no backlighting, eliminating the glare associated with other electronic displays. As a result, Kindle can be read as easily in bright sunlight as in your living room.The screen never gets hot so you can comfortably read as long as you like.

See what others are saying about the Kindle screen:

James Patterson, author of You've Been Warned, "The screen is fabulous. You would expect that, with a screen, there would be a glare, it would be hard to read but it's not. There’s no glare. It's not backlit, which is kind of magical. I think people are going to be very, very surprised and delighted. This is a lot easier to read than a lot of books are these days."

Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball, "I'm telling you, after five minutes I've ceased to think I'm looking at a screen. It's not like reading a computer screen. It's more like reading a piece of paper. I think it's actually clearer, easier on the eye than the printed word."

Neil Gaiman, author of Stardust, "It's like paper and it’s very interesting. It’s very, very crisp. Very functional. Very readable."

~ from's website

Support the library - if you are thinking about buying a Kindle, consider using our link at the top. When you order by clicking our link, Friends of the Library receives a portion of the proceeds. The price is exactly the same as ordering directly from! Thanks!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Nun in the Closet by Dorothy Gilman

The cloistered Abbey of St. Tabitha inherited a house and 150 acres of land in upper New York. Being a democratic group, they elected Sister John to venture out in the world to examine their good fortune and she chose Sister Hyacinthe to accompany her. Shortly after arriving at their house which was almost hidden by vegetation, they discovered money and a man who had been shot and requested sanctuary. Soon they met a group of hippies and other migrant workers. Though they were out in the world less than a week they encountered illegal drug trafficking, discrimination, hit men, migrant workers and their problems and the Mafia. Sister John and Siter Hyacinthe maintained their faith and composure while dealing with all these factors and came up with a plan for their new wealth.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Defenders: Indefensible

By Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Art by Kevin Maguire

The Sub-Mariner has always been my favorite Marvel character, and I fondly remember the inception of the Defenders comic book. Unlike most superhero groups, the Defenders was entirely unofficial – no club house or headquarters for them -- and was really a temporary alliance of some of the most powerful, if most anti-social, characters in the Marvel Universe. That anti-social dynamic between the Sub-Mariner, The Hulk, Doctor Strange, and the Silver Surfer is played for all it’s worth in this hysterically funny mini-series, now collected into a graphic novel. Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis don’t alter the dramatic tone of our heroes, but certainly have a good time putting their seriousness in humorous perspective. And unlike many comic artists, Kevin Maguire captures the myriad of emotions that play across our abused heroes’ faces, complementing Giffen and DeMatteis’s words perfectly. Namor's expressions as he tries to think of a reason to be humble had me laughing out loud.

The comedy lies in the deft execution of a fairly simple plot. Doctor Strange discovers yet another reality conquering attempt of the Dread Dormammu, but this time he’s allied with his much more intelligent, if untrustworthy sister Umar. Strange’s answer to this threat? Reuniting his old ‘comrades,’ who: 1) don’t want to be reunited, and 2) don’t consider each other comrades. Reluctantly, our heroes join forces, but of course, things go badly when they bring the fight to Dormammu’s dimension. Umar carts the Hulk off as her new plaything. The Sub-Mariner only wants some aspirin, and silence, from Doctor Strange, and the Silver Surfer -- well, he may make it to the battle, if he can tear himself away from his Earth counterparts. Somehow the Defenders overcome their bickering, take advantage of Dormammu’s self-esteem issues, and deal with this week’s menace to the multi-verse, much to this reader’s amusement. In an age where grim, ruthless comic books are the standard, it is refreshing to spend some time laughing with old friends.

Reserve it from Homewood Public Library here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fool's Puzzle by Earlene Fowler

A Benni Harper mystery
Benni is not the person she was ten months ago. Jack, her husband, died nine months ago in an accident that is not totally clear. She struggles with losing him and with living day to day. As director of the Folk Art Museum she needs to be together and guide artists in preparing works for shows and display. If you know anything about artists, they can be unpredictable and tempermental as well as stand-offish. The coop artists at Benni's museum were less than a cohesive group. but they were preparing for an important festival. Each artist was working on their particular medium and working late hours. Benni had enlisted Eric to hang quilts and she was smoothing ruffled feathers and appealing to supporters for their attendance. Then Benni found Marla's body in a puddle of blood in one of the workrooms. Who would do this? Why? Chief Ortiz for some reason wanted to be personally involved in the investigation and he wanted people to be open with him about what they knew. He suspected that Benni was hiding something and trying to investigate this herself. Not a smart move. Another body was found and there was more questioning by the chief. Who was killing artists and was it just because of their chosen profession? Someone even took a shot at Benni. Maybe she was getting close to the killer and didn't know it. Reserve this book now. Go to our online catalog.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

She appeared out of nowhere just when Seth and his twin boys needed a housekeeper. The house was a shambles and Seth was a wreck. Her name was Emily Merkle. And she arrived with a wonderful pot pie for supper and a "Mother Goose" personality. The boys soon called her Mrs. Miracle and Seth picked up on the name. It was some time before Seth realized that the agency had not sent her. But there she was and everyone loved her. She fit right in at church doing what she could to help. She even encouraged Reba to date Seth. Not everyone was quite sure of Mrs. Miracle. Aunt Harriet began hearing voices and just felt that Emily was "other worldly."
Jerry and Sharon had been married for forty years and had raised Seth's twin sons after their mother was killed. Now the couple has grown distant and seem to have nothing in common. Suddenly Sharon asked for a divorce. How can Mrs. Miracle make this right? She has her hands full with Seth, the twins, Reba and her sister. Mrs. Miracle is certainly Heaven sent for all concerned.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Loving Natalee

Loving Natalee was easy to read and as someone who followed the case, I enjoyed the book. Beth is candid about her feelings and her account is sincere and heartfelt. The book walks the reader through the pain of losing her beautiful daughter. The reader feels her frustrations and the many yet unanswered questions surrounding the loss of her child. The story is inspirational as you learn how this courageous woman deals with a parent’s worst fear.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

Penelope Keeling, daughter of painter Lawrence Stern, mother of three grown children: Nancy, Olivia and Noel, discharges herself from the hospital after suffering a heart attack at the age of 64. Although she feels there is nothing wrong with her, this brush with her mortality sets two of her children to thinking about their inheritance. Olivia, more concerned about her mother living alone than caring about money, unexpectedly finds the perfect solution when an old lover of hers dies. She arranges for his 18 year old daughter, Antonia, to stay with Penelope.

When one of Laurence Sterne’s paintings comes up for sale at about half a million pounds, Nancy and Noel, feeling the monetary strain of living outside their means begin to look with greedy eyes at the Shell Seekers, the only painting Penelope owns by her father. But the Shell Seekers is more than just a painting; it is a tie to the past.

Set in parts of England and Cornwall, the Shell Seekers takes us through the events of Penelope’s life from the heart aching destruction of World War II to present day. Following the weave of her life is the Shell Seekers; a link between past, present and future that just might tear this family apart.

Don't forget: you can place this book on hold by going to the JCLC online catalog

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

30 Days of Night by Steve Niles

We've all heard that "the book is better than the movie." But what if the movie is based on a graphic novel? 30 Days of Night, by Steve Niles, is an 80+ page graphic novel originally published in 2003. The movie came out just last month.

The graphic novel is by illustrated by Ben Templesmith in a shaky and low detail style. The bulk of the illustrations are in black, white, brown and shades of the three, giving the work a murky, dark feeling. When other colors are used, they are also darker, muddier tones...except for reds, yellows and oranges. Fire and blood are illustrated with vibrant tones, making them pop from the pages for maximum impact (and there is a lot of blood). The story itself is a simple one, though creative and well-written. It recounts the town of Barrow, Alaska's horrifying fight to survive when the sun went down for an entire month, and vampires came to party. There is a lot of tension in the story, as a small group of humans struggle to keep their lives, and their sanity; hiding, and waiting for the sun to come up once again.

The movie retains the basic storyline of the graphic novel. The differences are in the character relationships, added characters and situations and location changes. It's understandable that the filmmakers would need to pad the story in order to make a feature length film from an 80 page book. Their changes don't detract from the plot, and their more fully developed characters help the viewer become more engaged, and therefore more horrified, by the events that transpire.

The graphic novel and the book contain enough differences that one will not detract from the pleasure of the other.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Sunflower by Richard Paul Evans

Christine and Martin were in love and getting ready to spend their lives together. She was planning her dream wedding-just the right flowers, food and gown. One week before the wedding Martin told Christine that he could not marry her. Her best friend, Jessica, could tell how devastating that was. She suggested they take part in a humanitarian work trip to Peru. On the trip the guide, Jim, introduced the group to a very different culture from their own. They met Paul, an ER doctor from the United States, who runs an orphanage of children who have been taken off the streets by the police. All the children are boys but one. Roxana is deaf and shy. The children had been abandoned by society and some had been sold or prostituted. While there Christine, Jessica and the rest of the group painted a classroom, built a greenhouse and spent time with the children. Then they went by foot and canoe into the jungle to stay at a lodge. Jim and Jessica became very good friends and so did Christine and Paul. As they worked at projects and being with the children, Christine found herself being helped as she was helping others on this mission to Peru.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Something Rotten by Alan Gratz

There's something rotten in the town of Denmark, Tennessee, and it's not the smell from the polluted Copenhagen river. Horatio is in town visiting his best friend Hamilton Prince after the death of Hamilton's father, millionaire paper-plant owner Rex Prince. On a surveillance video, Hamilton's father tells his son that he's been systematically poisoned over the course of the past few months, but the tape cuts off before he is able to name his murderer. Hamilton vows to avenge his father's murder and makes Horatio help by playing detective. Meanwhile, as Horatio pokes into the family secrets, Hamilton plays the drunk, hoping to fool everyone into thinking he's too out of it to notice what's going on. Hamilton's mother Trudy, who married her dead husband's brother, Claude, also seems to be clueless about the murder. But does she know more than she's letting on? And what about Claude? He had the most to gain, with the new wife and control of the family business. Add in one media mogul attempting a hostile takeover, one pretty evironmentalist convinced the paper plant is polluting the river and two redneck friends, and you have a cast of suspects that only Shakespeare could have bested. Though it's a novel for teens, anyone familiar with Shakespeare's Hamlet will enjoy this intriguing contemporary mystery based on the well-known play.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

In a futuristic world where, at the age of sixteen, everybody undergoes an operation to become “pretty” there by wiping out all physical differences lives Tally Youngblood.

Tally is lonely, all of her friends have been through the operation, and moved on to the freedom to play and party in New Pretty Town. Then she meets Shay, who is not sure she wants to become “pretty”. Her unconventional ideas begin to upset Tally’s world and when Shay runs away on the eve of her operation, Tally is given a hopeless choice: either she follows Shay’s cryptic directions or she will never be allowed to become pretty.

This fast moving teen book,the first in the series, takes the reader on hover-board rides and bungee jumps, through tricky ethical situations and gives a disturbing view of the nature of our own society.

Just click on the link to request this book from the JCLC catalog

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Shelter of Hope by Tracie Peterson Westward Chronicles #1

Simone Dumas grew up in the Wyoming Territory in the 1880s. Her home was not only lacking in love but was physically and emotionally abusive. When she was ten years old her mother's arm was broken by her husband. That was the last straw and she took Simone's tiny brother and left-fully intending to return with the law and rescue Simone from a living nightmare. When her mother was no longer there to receive the beatings, Louis Dumas turned to Simone for his release of hatred. Trapping in the area was less profitable than earlier years so Simone's father decided to move to Colorado and try mining. When in town he met a man who wanted to settle in the area. Louis took this opportunity and sold his property, traps and Simone to the stranger. He took the new owner home, grabbed his belongings and left Simone with her new life as Mrs. Davis. She fed the man and then began gathering her belongings. Mr. Davis decided to make Simone his wife but she had other ideas. After she hit him over the head she took her bundle and his horse and left. Before someone found his body Simone wanted to be out of the area. After days on horseback she took a train to Chicago where she learned about work at Harvey restaurants. And so began a new life for her in new places with people who really cared. But she did not know how to trust and was afraid to love. Someday the law would catch her. This was her constant fear. Until she finally decided to trust and confide in others.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Peter and the Starcatchers by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry

Ever wonder how Peter discovered Neverland, how the mermaids came into being, how Peter learned to fly or how exactly Captain Hook lost his hand? In this prequel to J M Barrie’s classic “Peter Pan”, we learn the answers to these questions and more.

Peter is the leader of a group of orphan boys who find themselves on a rust bucket of a ship, named The Neverland, bound for Rundoon. They soon learn they are destined to be servants for the horrible King Zarboff the Third, ruler of Rundoon.

Also on the ship is Molly Aster, an apprentice Starcatcher and daughter of the ambassador to Rundoon. She and Peter strike up a friendship, which turns into an alliance when she finds the shipment her father was following with the intention of keeping it from the King, has ended up on her ship instead of his. This being a chest of “starstuff”, a magic material that falls from the sky giving among other things happiness, power, increased intelligence, and the ability to fly.

Black Stache, a fearsome pirate who commands a villainous crew has heard of the treasure, the greatest treasure to sail the seas and he wants it. But the crew of the Neverland under King Zarboff’s control and Molly are not going to give it up easily. The fighting soon moves from aboard the ship to an island inhabited by indigenous people, mermaids and of course Mr. Grim.

Follow the link and request this book from the JCLC catalog

Friday, November 9, 2007


By Neil Gaiman with illustrations by Charles Vess

This is the enchanting fairy tale that was adapted into an enchanting movie by the same name. I was surprised how closely the movie followed the book, though its ending is somewhat different and oddly enough, more satisfying. Like many people, I thought this was a graphic novel, and you may find it shelved there in the young adult section. But in reality, it is like one of those old children’s book, lavishly illustrated. Charles Vess created nearly 175 water colour paintings that are reminiscent of Arthur Rackman’s or Edmund Dulac’s work for Neil Gaiman’s story.

Like any number of fairy tales, this one is about the journey of our hero Tristam, on a quest for true love, but finding adult hood, via an adventure through Faery. There’s the usual fantastical creatures and places (unicorns and witches and princes and castles and inns), and some unusual creatures and places (hairy night visitors and fallen stars and flying ships that capture lightning and quaint English villages that are anything but). But in Gaiman’s capable hands, they are old toys given a loving polish and most importantly, always entertaining. Don’t be fooled by the genre. This is not a children’s story, but more like the original Grimm’s tales. Frightening and graphic things happen here, as well the breathtakingly beautiful, but what would expect to find when you travel in Faery?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Greywalker by Kat Richardson

Harper Blaine, private investigator, died while working a case. She was dead for about two minutes before the paramedics resusitated her. Now she's seeing things - shadows and figures with glowing eyes, doorways made of fog, glowing edges around people and buildings. Her doctor refers her to a unique couple, who inform Harper that she is a "Greywalker," someone who can consciously walk in and out of the realm between life and the afterlife. Her vision has also been affected, as she can see the two realms overlapping. She must learn to control her new ability before the shadow realm creatures - vampires, ghosts, and other, unnamed beings - become drawn to her and seek her out. But how do you control something you when don't fully believe it's happening?

Harper tries to continue doing her job, hunting a missing college student and searching for a lost family heirloom. But strange things are occuring within these cases. Could it be that the creatures of the Grey have already begun to find her?

This fantasy novel combines detective and supernatural fiction. There are passages that drag, when Harper's new friends discuss the scientific and theologic ramifications of her new condition, but most of the book is an entertaining, slightly creepy read. Harper is a strong female character who refuses to back down, even when she probably should. Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake may like this milder, less graphic, read. I loved it and can't wait to read the sequel: Greywalker: Poltergeist.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

In this refreshingly funny retelling of the classical adventures of Odysseus, Penelope, his faithful stay at home wife finally gets to tell her side of the tale. Her story, told from beyond the Styx, is interspersed with a chorus made up of the twelve maidens Odysseus had hanged on his return.

Penelope, always overshadowed by the lovely, spiteful Helen, the Helen who ruined her life begins her tale as a child in Sparta relating how her father threw her into the sea. We see another side of Odysseus, the con man masquerading as a hero of whom she says “I knew he was tricky and a liar, I just didn't think he would play his tricks and try out his lies on me." She relates the difficulties of running a kingdom at the age of 15, bringing up a small child and getting on with the in-laws without her husband. All the while hearing the rumors of Odysseus fighting one eyed Cyclops, (or perhaps one eyed tavern keepers,) sleeping with a goddess on an enchanted isle, (or perhaps just a beautiful courtesan). And having to deal with suitors who come just to eat her food.

The maidens, meanwhile, relate through poetry, sea chantey, courtroom sketch and anthropological lecture their side of the tale, and their undying indignation at having been murdered.

If you are interested in reading this book, please follow the link to the JCLC catalog

Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Having always loved the “Anne of Green Gables” books I had previously overlooked this classic. But on reading it I was disappointed to find that this book was another story along the same lines without the sweetness and fun that made Anne so popular. Perhaps if I had read this one before Lucy Maude Montgomery’s other trilogy “Emily of New Moon” I would have liked it better.

Rebecca leaves the family owned farm she christened “Sunnybrook” and comes to live with her two elderly Aunts who did not want her. They had expected to get her older, sensible sister, Hannah. Rebecca is a dreamer but with a practical side and although she makes mistakes like leaning on a freshly painted fence and throwing her beloved parasol down the well she soon out grows them. The boy at school who takes a fancy to Rebecca is no cheeky trickster but “Seesaw” Simpson, called so because he can never make up his mind. The plot is predictable and Rebecca, although sweet is a rather dull character.

If you are looking for another book just like Anne of Green Gables then by all means read this, but if you want something for girls that is different try “Heidi” or “What Katy Did”!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's by John Elder Robinson

Do you or someone you know have Asperger's Syndrome? Do you know someone who is considered eccentric, has problems socializing with others, has problems with non-verbal communications such as eye contact or not catching verbal cues, tends to be a little clumsy or has an ability to intensely focus on areas of interest sometimes to the exclusion of anything else? Were you interested in the special effect guitars of the rock group KISS? Do you enjoy a really great read about the lives of others; one filled with overcoming adversity to succeed in life?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then this book is a must read.

The author is John Elder Robinson an adult with Asperger's Syndrome. John came from a troubled home with an alcoholic father and a mentally unstable mother. He was the inventor of KISS guitarist Ace Frehley's special effects guitars and a member of the R&D team at Milton Bradley. He is now a highly successful owner of a specialty car repair business in Massachusetts and is the brother of Augusten Burroughs, the author of Running with Scissors.

John sets out on his life's journey as a young child who is trying to make friends with those around him, but cannot seem to make the connection easily. In one incident, he tries petting a young classmate like he would a pet and cannot understand why this person does not like him. He then tries to show her how to play with a toy correctly. Needless to say he never made friends with this young girl.

Later in his teenage years, he develops a fine talent for practical jokes, including one incident involving a high voltage electrical tower, a mannequin, a telephone pole and highly flammable chemicals. During this same time period, he begins to hone his skills with things electronic, which eventually leads him to designing Ace Frehley's guitars and then to Milton Bradley.

Eventually he tires of the corporate life and decides to go into business for himself by repairing and restoring high-end imported cars, such as Bentleys and Land Rovers. Along the way, he falls in and out of love, sires a son and learns how to find his place in society.

All in all, this a fascinating look into the life of a remarkable man and a personal inspiration to me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

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True or False: The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is an exclusive boarding school that teaches advanced classes designed to prepare high IQ girls for high profile careers.


The Gallagher Academy is really a school for spies, training young girls for careers in covert special ops. With classes in martial arts, chemical warfare and computer code breaking, these girls are trained for anything. Well, almost anything.

Cammie is a second generation Gallagher Girl. A sophomore, Cammie can already speak fourteen languages and is capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti). But the one thing The Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for is what to do when she falls for a normal boy like Josh. She can hack his email, shadow him through the carnival and tap his phone, but how does to him?

Cammie and her friends take stalking to the comedic level. In high school we ask our friends "do you think Josh likes me?" Our friends would then ask Josh's best friend, who would ask Josh, etc. Cammie and her friends steal Josh's family trash and go through it for clues. Each typical teenage situation is handled in a similar manner. Cammie applies what she knows, spy techniques, to her developing relationship in ways that will have you laughing out loud.

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Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, the sequel to this popular title, was published this month.

Monday, October 22, 2007

His Majesty's Dragon By Naomi Novik

If you are a fan of Patrick O’Brian or Bernard Cornwell, or just love dragons this is a book for you.

Captain Will Laurence was content with his life. As one of the youngest to rise to Captain in the British Navy, he thought fighting Napoleon’s ships was all the adventure he would ever need. Little did he know how much his life was going to change when his crew captures a French ship. For this ship was transporting a dragon’s egg. A great prize for the British as dragons’ eggs are scarce and England needed more dragons and their aviators to help fight Napoleon. But this egg was close to hatching and they would never reach shore in time for a trained aviator to harness the beast. When the egg cracked it was Laurence, whom the dragon addressed and consented to carry so with a heavy heart, Laurence follows his duty and resigns from the Navy to take care of the hatchling. Leaving behind him everything he had known, and the life he had once had Laurence and his dragon, Temeraire, fly north to Scotland to beginning training in the Aerial Corps. But Temeraire is a Chinese dragon, breed for intelligence and strength and Laurence learns there is more to being a dragons’ captain than just riding a dragon.

In this first book of a series Novik weaves a story of hard won friendship, betrayal and adventure. A wonderful blending of fantasy and history, with detailed battles onboard ship and in the air, leaving you wanting more. Thank goodness there are three more books…!

Don't forget: you can place this book on hold by going to

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Comfort and Joy by Kristin Hannah

Her favorite holiday had always been Christmas. Then shortly before that wonderful, beautiful, peaceful holiday, Joy Candellaro found her husband and sister together. Her marriage had been dying and she now realized it was really over. So she decided to treat herself to an adventure away from reality. She boarded a small plane headed for the northwoods. The plane crashed but she walked away from it and came to a lodge. It was run by Bobby and Daniel who were grieving the loss of Daniel's ex/Bobby's mother. Joy helped Bobby with his reading and Christmas decorating. Daniel began to relax some and even seemed to enjoy having Joy around. Then she passed out. Would her life ever gel for her again?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Three Men in a Boat (To say nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome

On this trip down the river Thames, even for one who knows the area, you would never guess the book was published more than a century ago. "Three Men in a Boat" is as witty today as when it first arrived on the shelves.

Our three men: George, Harris and the narrator, Jerome and his fox terrier, named Montmorency, decide to take a cruise down the Thames to get away from "the stress" of their daily lives. But for these three aristocrats the trip is anything but idyllic. This is one of those books that will have you howling with laughter.This is one of those books that will have you howling with laughter of their exploits: From getting lost in hedge mazes, encountering monstrous cats and vicious swans, and all the problems of navigating a small boat with no experience, even cooking with a camp fire is more complicated than they expected.

You can find this book in our catalog. Just click this link, , click the Title tab, type in the book title and click the Submit button. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

All right, all right, this one should be titled “The Golden Compass” as that is the title the first book of “His Dark Materials” in the USA. However the book was first published and is still titled in the UK “The Northern Lights” and that is the book I read. Nothing but the title has been changed.

In a world where theology, magic and science are closely allied, Lyra Belacqua lives a carefree life at the Jordan College in Oxford, but when Lyra thwarts an assassination attempt on her Uncle, Lord Asriel, eavesdrops on his presentation to his colleagues at the College, and her best friend Roger is kidnapped, her life is turned upside-down. Now Lyra and her dæmon, Pantalaimon must begin a journey to find out the truth about herself and her world which will take her from the safety of the only home she has known to the far reaches of the North.

Follow the link to request this great book from the JCLC catalog

Monday, September 24, 2007

Way Off The Road by Bill Geist

Bill Geist shares his dry sense of humor with viewers on Sunday mornings. When reading the Author's Note at the beginning of this book you realize, while laughing, that a treat is waiting for you. There are many unique and some quite off balanced people in towns across America. Bill Geist found a few and shares their stories with us. If you enjoy laughing outloud while the other person in the room wonders what on Earth is so funny, read this book-starting with the Author's Note. Now everyone reading "Way Off The Road" will know about the wonders to be found in Scottsboro, Alabama. Do you know how the lost baggage business began? Bill tells us. And about many of the things people have taken "with" them on a trip only to "not" have them along. Bill Geist has a way of seeing funny things and sharing them. Like "Bad Motel Warning Signs". Who words those signs? Just read the book and you'll relax and be happy.

Knots and Crosses By Ian Rankin

The setting is Edinburgh, Scotland – late 1980s. Several young girls have been kidnapped and murdered in the city. It seems to be a case only Detective Sergeant John Rebus can solve as the killer is sending him cryptic notes containing a knotted piece of twine or two crossed matches. But his dedication is split as he is fighting to keep his home life together. To solve this case, Rebus must confront aspects of his past that he has tried to forget.

This is the first book of the Rebus series and they just get better and better. I would recommend if you are going to buy them to get a British copy as I have been told that the colloquialisms in American ones has been changed. However, don’t let this spoil your enjoyment of the books as they are still excellent reads.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Promise, Texas by Debbie Macomber

Jane came to Promise to work off student loans for med school. When she fell in love with Cal Patterson, rancher, they were married and she stayed on as the town doctor. So when Jane's friend, Annie, had her world fall apart in California it was natural for Jane to suggest a move to Promise. Annie moved to town and opened a bookstore as the people there were ready for one. Hollie and Heather Porter attended the story hour and became book lovers. Soon they looked to Annie for the attention their widowed father, Lucas, could not give. Lucas and Annie have become good friends which fills a need for each of them.
Adam Jordan became sheriff after twelve years in the military. He is trying to attract Jeannie French's attention but she makes him so nervous that he keeps causing disasters when near her.
Phil and Mary Patterson opened a B&B when Phil quit ranching. Mary and Dovie Hennessey are good friends who chat daily. Recently Dovie has been uneasy about the successful proprietors of the B&B. She does not know what it is but something feels wrong.
Dovie and Frank went on European holiday and Nessa is running the antique shop. When Gordon stopped to see Dovie in her shop, he met Nessa instead. Now they are great friends who keep the long distance phone lines busy since he lives in Toronto. They are two lonely people who enjoy each other. For some reason they decided not to tell their children about their new friendship.
Savannah and Grady are trying to guess what their misguided brother wants from prison. And then his lovely lawyer appeared for a stay in Promise-at the dude ranch of her ex-husband, too. Richard's interest has something to do with the ghost town, Bitter End. but what does he want unless it would be money? No one in Promise wants to be stung by Richard again. How can they avoid the possibility?
Of course, the town gossip, Louise, is more than happy to share all the news with everyone who will listen. Especially when she learns of love interests and pregnancies.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Heart Full of Soul by Taylor Hicks

If you are looking for a great biography, I can not recommend this one. Let’s face it, Taylor is too young to have a really juicy biography. However, if you are a Taylor Hicks fan, an American Idol fan or simply a music fan this is the book for you. This book has some great pictures of Taylor and the other contestants from the fifth season of American Idol. Taylor talks about the music that influenced his life and devoted an entire chapter of the book to his top ten list of favorite music.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mail-order Husband by DiAnn Mills

When Lena Walker's husband died in the Nebraska of 1880, she was faced with a huge goal: to raise her two boys as Christians and run her farm successfully. Some of the men in the area thought she needed a man so they tried to advise her and a couple even proposed marriage. She was horrified to think of being married to those unkempt, foul-mouthed and irresponsible men. They certainly would not have been the example she wanted for her sons. One day it occurred to her, if a man can advertise for a wife why can't a woman advertise for a husband? So she did just that. From several responses, she decided to correspond with Gabe Hunters in Philadelphia. He would be happy to be a moral guide and educator for her sons and do his best to run the farm. When he arrived in Nebraska with his luggage and portly physique the new life for Lena and sons began. Gabe was in a new world from that of a sedentary accountant. Lena, Gabe and the boys were in for lots of give and take in their new family with some unexpected surprises.

Daggerspell by Katharine Kerr

Prince Galrion is arrogant, used to getting his own way and so taken with the dweomer (magic) that he defies his father and runs off leaving his betrothed Brangwen to her fate. Only when it is too late does he find out that his destiny (wyrd) was to study with Brangwen for her gift was just as strong as his. In a moment of foolishness, he vows not to die until he has set things right. Over the centuries Galrion, having taken the name, Nevyn, seeks the spirit of his beloved, reborn in the world to try to untangle her wyrd from the spirit that was her brother, Garraent and the other man who loved her, Blaen.

This is one of my favorite books of all time. It is the first book in a series. The main plot finishes in “Dragonspell” (known also as “The Dragon Revenant”). The story line does move between the different time periods so you will find the table of incarnations in the back very useful. There is also one on her website: There are two more series that run off from this series and are well worth reading. Katharine Kerr is still writing the very last book. I can’t wait to read it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's never too early for Halloween stories

Most of my favorite picture books for Halloween all involve monsters, such as Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly and Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems to name a few. My new favorite, however, is a book called When a Monster is Born by Sean Taylor with hilariously cute illustrations by Nick Sharratt. The book is cleverly written using different scenarios that involve things you expect a monster to do (i.e. hiding under the bed, eating people, shouting) and other scenarios that show a monster making friends, going to school, and falling in love. This is a great book for children who fear the "monster" under their bed by showing that monsters aren't so scary after all. I highly recommend this book for children ages 3 and up during the spooky month of October. Parents and children alike will enjoy the illustrations and the clever text.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The City of Ember By Jeanne DuPrau

The people of the City of Ember live in darkness. Darkness, illuminated by flood lamps that come on for 12 hours each day but more and more the lights have gone out leaving them in darkness wondering if the lights will ever come back on. There are rumors that the food in the storehouses is running out and light bulbs are becoming scarce. Lina Mayfleet’s only ambition is to become a messenger, but when she is assigned to the pipe works she feels like the world has ended. Doon Harrow only wants to work on the generator that runs the city. After being assigned the job as a messenger he and Lina switch places and renew their friendship. Doon soon learns the city, created for them by the Builders, is really dying and they have lost the technology to repair even the simplest things. Lina finds an old document her baby sister has chewed with “Instructions for Egress”. She and Doon pool their resources and begin puzzling out what it means for them and the rest of the people in Ember.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Black is the Colour of My True Loves Heart by Ellis Peters

When Dominic Felse and his girlfriend Tossa visit Follymead for the weekend folk music course it seems not all are there for the music’s sake alone. Passion runs high between performers Liri Palmer and Lucien Galt as Liri sings “Black is the colour of my true loves heart” and aims it straight at Lucien. Then, Lucien disappears and the search for him only turns up a broken necklace, churned up ground and drops of what might be blood on the river bank. Dominic calls in his father, Inspector Felse to begin a discreet investigation into what might be foul play, but the mystery deepens as the evidence leads to more unanswerable questions.

March by Geraldine Brooks

This is the story of Mr. March the shadowy father figure in Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women”. We first encounter March working as a Union Chaplain during the Civil War trying to find ways of writing cheerful letters home while surrounded by the wanton cruelty, racism and ignorance of the war which he is helpless to prevent. Throughout this story weaves his early history as a peddler traveling across the South to make his fortune, his encounter with the Clements and their educated slave girl Grace, whom he meets again as the war takes him across the same path. His courtship and early married life with Marmee, a girl with a temper and frustrated by the role of women. His friendships with Emerson and Thoreau and the loss of his fortune. March becomes a school teacher for the black “contraband” on a plantation, but when the Confederates attack, the story is taken up by his wife, Marmee, who comes to find him in a Washington hospital. She gives us different eyes to view the past years as she uncovers the parts of her husband’s life of which he has never spoken.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Until Proven Guilty by J.A. Jance a J.P. Beaumont mystery

J.P. Beaumont is the detective assigned to the murder of a little girl named Angela. She was the daughter of a woman living under the control of a preacher named Brodie and the "church" that he led. When J.P. began investigating Angela's mother, Suzanne Barstogi, he realized that the Rev. Michael Brodie and Faith Tabernacle had some strange hold on the lives of the "true believers." An ex-member of that body of believers informed J.P. that things went on at the secret services that were not what one would expect in a worship service. While involved with Angela's murder case, he also became involved with a woman he met at Angela's funeral. A newspaper columnist named her the"woman in red" and J.P. was totally taken by her. It was a whirlwind romance which he thought had nothing to do with Angela's murder. Angela's father appeared and was held under suspicion for the murder. But, of course, a person isn't guilty until the courts can prove it. The discovery of Angela's body dressed in a Holly Hobbie nightgown was just the beginning of an episode that changed J.P.'s life and that of many others.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Return to Red River by Lauraine Snelling

Return to Red River is the series following Red River of the North. In these three books the saga of the Bjorklund family continues as Thorliff goes to college and his horizons expand. Through all of his new experiences he remains tied to his home in North Dakota and the strong faith and family ties there. As Thorliff follows God, Elizabeth also follows His leading in her life. These stories of daily lives include issues of faith, family, hard work, pain, kidnapping, love and romance. The family relationships developed in Red River of the North continue in Return to Red River.
These two series are best read in order. Story line and characters are developed throughout.

Red River of the North series by Lauraine Snelling

Sophie's Dilemma is the second book in the Daughters of Blessing series by Lauraine Snelling. Blessing and its characters first appear in her Red River of the North series which has six books. It begins in Norway with the Bjorklund family and follows them as they come to America. They arrive in New York but then travel to the Dakota Territory to claim farmland and homestead. This series is about the daily lives, tragedies and happy times of that family and their growing community of friends. As the Bjorklund family and the town of Blessing changes, so does the Dakota Territory.

Sophie's Dilemma by Lauraine Snelling

Sophie and Grace grew up as twins-together at all times in sleeping and waking hours. Everyone in the family and school learned to sign so they could communicate with Grace and she learned to lip read. Growing up in North Dakota in the 1800s was quite different from today. When Sophie and Grace were small their aunt and mother bought the first sewing machines in the farming community of Blessing. The cooperative bought a threshing machine and they would travel farm to farm for several months one year and later for six weeks helping each other to bring in crops. Hamre was one of the Bjorklund boys-big, strong and blond with blue eyes that attracted all the girls. He worked hard on the farm but his dream was to own his own fishing boat and spend his days on the sea. Since he was older than Sophie he waited for her to grow up and then asked Lars for his blessing to court her. Lars felt that she still had some growing to do and asked Hamre to wait a year. But Sophie could not stand the thought of being apart from Hamre for a year and persuaded him to take her with him when he returned to Ballard, Washington and the sea. Sophie wanted adventure more than she wanted to knit and sew like other girls of her day. The decisions and actions of these two young people in love changed their lives and caused hurt for them and those who loved them. Sophie learned about waiting for her man when he went to sea for months. She stood in cold, smelly conditions in a cannery for weeks until she was fired. And when tragedy struck and the Ballard community was shaken, she finally returned to Blessing and the people who encouraged her in her daily life. When Sophie asked her aunt what to do she said "Pray first". Faith and prayer were all important to many in Blessing and Sophie was reminded of this many times in Ballard and when she went home again. How would people receive her after she hurt them so badly? She was not able to sit and feel sorry for past mistakes. The future and more growth awaited her. More innovations came to them all as with the sewing machine and thresher, later the washing machine helped in their lives. Even medical innovations and treatments for women impacted Sophie and her family. She was home with people who loved her. Now what will she do?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Marvel 1602

Written by Neil Gaiman, Art by Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove, with covers by Scott McKowen

The premise of the series is simple: What if Marvel’s Silver Age superheroes had appeared in Britain of 1602, instead of the America of the mid-20th Century? The result is intricate, intriguing, and most of all, entertaining.

In this timeline, Nick Fury is Sir Nicholas Fury, Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, and Peter Parker, sans his Spider Man super-powers, is Peter Parquagh, Sir Nicholas’ protégé. Carlos Xavier runs a haven for witchbreed (mutants) like himself whilst his nemesis The Grand Inquisitor (Magneto) has his own agenda in Spain. The Fantastic Four still gain their powers on a voyage to the remote frontier, but this time to the New World instead of outer space. Doctor Doom still rules Latveria, and is still a villain, but as a physically unscarred Count Otto Von Doom. Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Captain America, Thor, Hulk and The Watcher are some of the other characters you’ll find subtly altered in these pages.

Overall all, Marvel 1602 lived up to my expectations. I liked reading about characters that were similar to my old friends, but different. I liked how Neil Gaiman entwined historical characters, like Virginia Dare, with fictional superheroes. And I loved the historically inspired covers.

Apparently it was the writer’s and artist’s creative choice, but I found the use of multiple, small panels, laid out in fairly standard patterns to be slightly disappointing. Something this epic, with all the historical details, needed larger panels and more dramatic layout. Perhaps, these small panels also dictated the simplified, slightly anachronistic, clothing choices for our heroes, so they could be as recognizable in their tight panels as if they were wearing their contemporary costumes.

While it was nice to see so familiar faces, it also meant that many of them were given short shrift -- the Hulk and Thor and the Fantastic Four particularly. Luckily, some of this may be addressed by the sequels: 1602 New World and 1602 Fantastik Four, but I don’t believe either has been collected into a graphic novel yet.

This graphic novel collects the eight book series. It includes the “script” for the first issue that Neil Gaiman delivered to Andy Kubert, a great addition for both aspiring comic book writers and artists. Scott McKowen also talks about the process behind the creation of his unique scratchboard covers in a short article. Plus there are several preliminary sketches of characters, as well as a couple of pages of the enhanced pencil art that Andy Kubert delivered to colorist Richard Isanove.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

When I heard that James Patterson had written a book for teens, I was skeptical. Could an adult author write successfully for this very picky age group? The answer is . . . YES! Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment is the first book in his trilogy for teens. The main character, Maximum Ride, and her "family" are all genetic experiments. Scientists added avian DNA to their developing fetuses while they were still in their mother's wombs. After they were born, the resulting winged children were taken into scientific custody and treated like lab animals: numbered instead of named, kept in small animal cages, experimented on to discover their unique traits, and never, ever treated like human beings. Maximum and five others (Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman, and Angel) escaped with the help of a sympathetic scientist and formed a family. Now, after months of freedom, the scientists are trying to track them down and bring them back.

Maximum Ride is a great action/adventure series for teens (and adults!) who enjoy Alex Rider, Harry Potter and other exciting reads.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sorcery and Cecelia

Sorcery and Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country

By Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

Do you like Regencies? Or alternate histories? If so, then you will enjoy this delightful book written as a series of letters between two cousins, Kate and Cecelia. There’s romance and mystery and adventure as well as a touch of magic in this 316 page novel.

London, 1817, and Kate is suffering through her first Season in the shadow of her beautiful sister Georgiana. Cecelia is left behind in the country and encounters new arrivals -- the not as sneaky as he thinks he is James Tarleton and the oddly popular Dorothea Griscomb.

Their plotlines converge when Kate attends Sir Hilary Bedrick’s investiture to the Royal College of Wizards and stumbles into a magical trap set for the Marquis of Schofield. Not only is Sir Hilary a neighbor, back home in Essex, but he appears to be involved with Dorothea’s stepmother, Miranda Tanistry Griscomb, in a dastardly scheme that snares both cousins. There’s a large cast of secondary and tertiary characters, but they add depth to the world, rather than distract from the four main characters. You’ll also visit familiar places like Vauxhall Gardens and Carlton House, but they do have their slight differences. For example, in this book, Carlton House has magical wards.

I found Kate, and her letters, to be more entertaining than Cecelia, perhaps because of the fun banter between Kate and the “odious Marquis” and perhaps because she was … less emphatically confident than Cecelia. Likewise, I found the Marquis to be a more intriguing and fully realized character than Mr. Tarleton.

And if you like this book as much as I did, you’ll be happy to learn there are two more books featuring these characters: The Grand Tour and The Mislaid Magician. You’ll find them, and this book, in the Young Adult section, but don’t let that deter you. When Sorcery and Cecelia originally came out in the late eighties, it was simply labeled fantasy.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

We Know Books Blog has a brand new SpringWidget you can spring to your desktop!

We Know Books @ HPL Blog now as a brand new SpringWidget. It's an RSS reader right on your desktop! After you download the SpringWidget platform, just click the green icon like this one SpringWidget graphic, under the widget window at the top right of this blog to add the widget to your desktop. See below for more important info!

What are SpringWidgets?

Think of the widgets as little windows into the web. Now you can stay up-to-date without wasting time searching! You can drag them around your desktop, open multiple versions of the same widget, and even dock them against the side of your screen so that they stay open while you work! You can even put them on your webpages, MySpace, blogs, and the like.

In order to use SpringWidgets, you will need to download and install the SpringWidget Engine platform. The SpringWidget Engine contains NO Spyware, NO Adware, and NO Malware. It's easy to install (and remove, should you ever want to) and is your key to getting your favorite information delivered right to your desktop.

Once you have downloaded the SpringWidget platform (download engine platform here), you will be able to spring widgets to your desktop using a single click. Just look for the little green widget icons SpringWidget graphic on web pages - any time you find one, just click it. If your platform is running, that widget will "spring" ready to use to your desktop! Cool huh?

Some of this info is taken from the SpringWidget website. Be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Oath by Frank Peretti

An ancient sin. A long forgotten oath. A town with a deadly secret.

Something sinister is at work in Hyde River, an isolated mining town in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Something evil.

Under the cover of darkness, a predator strikes without warning--taking life in the most chilling and savage fashion.

The community of Hyde River watches in terror as residents suddenly vanish. Yet the more locals are pressed for information, the more they close ranks, sworn to secrecy by their forefathers' hidden sins.

Only when Hyde River's secrets are exposed is the true extent of the danger fully revealed. What the town discovers is something far more deadly than anything they'd imagined. Something that doesn't just stalk its victims, but has the power to turn hearts black with decay as it slowly fills their souls with darkness. ~Amen Corner