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