Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Refuge A Maxie and Stretch Mystery by Sue Henry

Maxie arrived at her home in Homer, Alaska after a prolonged trip to the lower 48. She was looking forward to a relaxing summer with friends, especially Jessie Arnold and Alex Jensen. But she received an urgent request for help from an acquaintance living in Hawaii. Not only was somewhat scatter-brained Karen of little use packing and making decisions, someone was watching the house and even broke in. Fortunately, Maxie met a teen who was a good worker and he agreed to hire on for the duration of the packing and shipping of Karen's belongings and then act as a travel guide for Maxie. What was supposed to be a relaxing summer was full of tense moments and suspicions. Few people in the story were who they appeared to be. But Maxie didn't know this until her life was in danger.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Medicine Road by Charles De Lint

A long time ago, Coyote Woman gave two Native American spirits, a red dog and a jackalope, the ability to shift into human form on the condition that if within 100 hundred years they can both find soul mates who love them unconditionally they get to keep her gift, but if one of them does not than both will change back into their original form forever. Alice Corn Hair has found hers, but Jim Changing Dog has not found the right one and now time is running out.

Twins Laurel and Bess Dillard are traveling musicians touring the Southwest, playing their music and selling their cds. When they get to Tucson, they meet a whole new type of people some friendly and others not so. When the man who has caught Bess’s eye offers to show them around the twins are happy to comply. Bess is fascinated by Jim’s mysteriousness and the attraction is mutual. But not everyone wants life to be easy for Jim and when Bess learns the truth, it so overwhelms her that only if her sister can take courage in her own hands and awaken her own animal spirit in time can disaster for all of them be avoided

As usual De Lint combines the world we live in and the spirit world with flawless ease. Injecting wit and romance with no loss to the mysteries of Native American mythology. (And if you come across his writing in conjunction with Charles Vess’s artwork count your self lucky indeed!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Death by Rhubarb A Culinary Mystery by Lou Jane Temple

Chris and Joe were dressed as Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton in a skit they were presenting. The 39th Street League of Decency Fudge Patrol were present handing out fudge and two of Heaven Lee's ex-husbands wanted to talk with her. One of them wanted to introduce his new associate named Tasha. As TV station camera crews were on hand to film the fudge patrol protest to vulgarity, Tasha collapsed on the front sidewalk. Of course, food poisoning publicity is not good for a restaurant. Surprisingly, business was not hurt-yet. But police were threatening to shut down Cafe Heaven if the killer was not caught soon. So Heaven and her staff and other business people on 39th street set out to learn who was responsible for Tasha's death and smearing Heaven Lee's good name. Someone in the know had supplied rhubarb leaves in the salad greens-someone who wished more people to die.

Home to Holly Springs (Father Tim, Book 1) by Jan Karon

After the success of writing the Mitford Series, Jan Karon sets out to explore the childhood of her beloved Episcopal priest, Father Timothy Kavanagh.

In this first book of a new series, Father Tim receives a cryptic letter of just two words – “Come home”. After much heart searching he drives from his home in Mitford, North Carolina to his hometown of Holly Springs in Mississippi with his best friend and loyal canine, Barnabas, for company. Surprised by how little the town has changed and expecting to be confronted with bad memories, Father Tim finds there is much more to his past than he suspected. Weaving flashbacks neatly into the story, Father Tim’s childhood unfolds. We glimpse his family and friends through his own childish eyes and discover what really happened as he learns the truth.

This book is much darker than the Mitford series and is a good read. However, I found the residents of Holly Springs are a little flat and story ties up too easily almost fairytale-like.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Body in the Big Apple by Katherine Hall Page

Caterer Faith Sibley tells a friend that she will investigate who is sending blackmail threats and demands. When Emma is blackmailed her husband's career as a politician is threatened. Faith tried to help Emma so that the police would not be involved. But then Emma's father is found dead. Faith continues to cater holiday events and date a new acquaintance and feel quite overwhelmed to help Emma as the threats continue arriving. Throughout this story we read descriptions of New York City and the people who live and work there. And, of course, there are recipes at the end of this culinary mystery as well as an author's note about the city.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Want to be a fabulously fit mom, a dancin’ granny, a karate kid, a knock-out husband, then come here...

Physical exercise is manual activity that develops or maintains physical fitness and overall health. It is often practiced to strengthen muscles and the cardiovascular system, and to hone athletic skills. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system, and helps prevent diseases of affluence such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. It also improves mental health and helps prevent depression. ~Wikipedia

If you’re looking to burn fat and tone those muscles, why not try a workout video from the library? We have lots of them for free! Not only will your muscles, bones, joints, and immune system improve, but your brain will benefit too. Long term exercise is beneficial to the brain by:

Wow, what great information! Whether you want to be a fabulously fit mom, a dancin’ granny, a karate kid, a Billy Blank tai-bo-er, a knock-out husband, a yoga diva, buff on the beach, or a pilates stretcher, we have a video for you and it’s free to check out with a library card! And, why not try another one when you return it?

Click here to see a list of available exercise videos from Homewood Public Library.

And if you’re interested in an exercise book, click here.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Kon-Tiki Expedition by Thor Heyerdahl

This inspiring true story shows the courage of a group of young men determined to prove to the world that not all legends are wrong. Filled with action, drama, hardships and shark attacks this is a fantastic tale of men pitted against the sea.

After hearing a Polynesian legend of how the pacific islands were populated, biologist Thor Heyerdahl abandons his study of Naturalism and begins to explore the possibilities of the legend. He suspects that the South Sea Islanders are descended from an ancient race of people from South America, who, led by the hero Kon-Tiki, migrated to Polynesia on balsa rafts.

But when his hypothesis is rejected, Heyerdahl sets out to prove his theory by making the journey himself. With a group of five friends, he builds a balsa log raft in Peru and set sail, letting the winds and currents carry them. Alone on the sea, amidst storms and sea life, will they be able to survive long enough to find out if Heyerdahl was right or wrong?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Circle of Magic: Sandry's Book by Tamora Pierce

This is the first of four books, each named for the four major characters of the series. This book is named for Sandrilene fa Toren, a young noble girl, who escaped the smallpox plague and subsequent riot when her nurse magically hid her away. While hidden in the darkness, half crazy with fear, she discovers a strange talent in spinning. Rescued by the Mage Niklaren Goldeye Sandry is taken first to her uncle and then to Winding Circle temple where she meets Daja, a young trader who was made outcast when she was the only one of her family to survive a shipwreck. Daja has a talent for metal craft. But when neither of them is accepted by the other young students, they are sent to live in a cottage, named “Discipline” along with Tris, a merchant's daughter, cast off by her family for her unusual weather talents and Briar, a thief caught one too many times, but with a talent for growing things.

Under the careful eye of Lark and Rose Thorn these four, unwanted, unloved misfits must come to terms with who they are and the magic they possess. A tentative friendship grows between the four. But is their new training and friendship enough, when they face the greatest challenge of all?

Don't miss this series, now available on playaway! Request it now from the catalogue!

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Coyote Road edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

I like to read books of short stories to find new authors and am often pleasantly surprised to find tales by those whose books I already enjoy. This collection of short stories written by well–known authors and less well-known authors alike is no exception.

Don’t be mislead by the title, though, because while there are many tales of Coyote inspired by the North American tales, (some which take awhile for the reader to recognize him!) the authors also use tricksters from other mythologies. “The Listeners” by Nina Kirki Hoffman is one such tale, focusing on Hermes the Greek trickster god. She gives us the usual Grecian background but the tale itself is something new.

The majority of the short stories only touch on the tradition myths, taking well known aspects of the tricksters and creating whole new characters and tales. I have my favorites, but I won’t spoil them for you here. Go read it and then we’ll talk!

This is the type of book you can dip into and put back and then dip into again or just read from cover to cover.

One word of warning – these tales, just like Ellen Datlow and terri Windlings other collections are more for teens and grown-ups than children. Make sure you read the tale first before starting a bed time story or you might get an awkward question or two!