Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Piano in a Factory

Tuesday Movie Fest

At the North Shore Library

June 30th at 6 pm


When Chens estranged wife reappears asking for a divorce and custody of their daughter, the musician girl decides she will live with whoever can provide her a piano. Chens struggle thus begins. When efforts to borrow money and even steal a piano fail, Chen concocts a preposterous plan-he'll make a piano from scratch! He persuades a bunch of reluctant, but loyal, misfit friends to help him forge the instrument in a derelict factory from a heap of scrap steel. Though crude in design and tune, the factory piano awaits its first and final performance from his little girl. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Haunted Houses for Young Adults Book List

Can't wait until Halloween to read a scary book? Then check out this book list...




1) "Amber House" by Kelly Moore

A deliciously creepy beginning to a projected trilogy.

As 16-year-old Seattle native Sarah Parsons arrives at her maternal grandmother's funeral, she learns that her family's historic Maryland home, Amber House, has more than its fair share of secrets, having housed her lineage for more than 10 generations. Sarah and her 5-year-old brother, Sammy, feel an immediate connection with the house, and she discovers that she can feel echoes of the past, seeing visions of her ancestors—both good and bad. Predictably, there is the requisite love triangle between Sarah and Richard, a dashing senator's son, and Jackson, the quiet, down-to-earth son of her late grandmother's nurse, and it is quickly obvious who is the right admirer for her. What is truly novel is the spin that the Reed sisters and Moore, their mother, give the direction of the romance, setting this apart from many of the cardboard triangles found in the genre. Those who think that this is a straightforward ghost story will be sorely mistaken: This is a complex, layered tale that bends time and imagination, demanding to be read with all the lights on. Move over Bella Swan: Sarah is a strong, admirable character who’d rather speak her mind than sulk and sigh over some hot guy.

Richly woven, with depth and swift plotting that will leave readers clamoring for the sequels.(Horror/romance. 13 & up)



2) "Anna Dressed in Blood" by Kendare Blake

Life can get tough for a boy who kills ghosts.

Teeth-chattering suspense and suppressed chuckles might attack readers in this superior black comedy/adventure. Theseus Cassio Lowood has inherited his father’s athame, a magical knife that can slice and dice ghosts to bits. He only kills ghosts who kill humans, but plenty of those lurk everywhere, forcing Cas and his white-witch mother to move constantly. When he answers a call to dispatch Anna, a ghost that’s brutally dismembered dozens of ill-fated folks who stepped into her house, for the first time Cas makes some friends. These help him until one steals the athame, an unfortunate choice. Meanwhile, Cas learns that Anna won’t kill him, so he enlists her aid in tracking down the voodoo spirit that literally ate his father. Blake populates the story with a nice mixture of personalities, including Anna, and spices it with plenty of gallows humor, all the while keeping the suspense pounding. The comedy works even better when juxtaposed against serious suspense, as Cas quips such lines as “I hate it when they don’t have eyes.” Matter-of-fact Anna leavens the comedy even as the suspense boils into terror. (Don't go in the basement.)

Abundantly original, marvelously inventive and enormous fun, this can stand alongside the best horror fiction out there. We demand sequels. (Paranormal adventure. 12 & up)

County Cat


3) "Bad Girls Don't Die" by Katie Alender

A nasty ghost, a photography-savvy teen and her stressed, uncommunicative family form the backbone of this all-too-predictable, though at times engaging, mystery. Pink-haired high-school misfit Alexis has built up a shield of disdain to the point that she is essentially friendless. Her parents are so self-absorbed they haven’t noticed that their younger daughter, Kasey, is exhibiting increasingly bizarre behavior, including an obsession with dolls that has alienated her peers. Worried that her sibling is going mad, Alexis is moved to accept the help of two unlikely candidates—an unflappable cutie who continues his pursuit of her despite her initial rebuff and a cheerleader who has recognized that Kasey’s oddness is not mental illness, but a case of supernatural possession. Strong characterization will draw readers in. Despite their realistic shortcomings, both primary and secondary characters are unique and satisfyingly complex. The plotting, however, is less effective. A selection of horror tropes—from spooky dolls to small-town secrets—fails to come to life, and the final healing of rifts in the girls’ family seems contrived.(Supernatural thriller. 13 & up)

County Cat


4) "The Ghost Sitter" by Peni R. Griffin

Griffin’s (Switching Well, 1993, etc.) worthy ghost story of the lost spirit of a ten-year-old is as thought-provoking as it is goosebump-inducing. Susie has been dead for 50 years but doesn’t know it. She vaguely remembers promising her little sister, Gloria, that she would never go away, and she feels bound by this vow even though Gloria and her parents have long since moved. While Susie awaits their return, a family has moved into the house she occupies. The new family includes Charlotte, Brandon, her toddler brother, and their parents. Susie feels compelled to help out with the babysitting by singing and playing with Brandon, who very much enjoys her company while everyone else, Susie feels, rudely acts as though she doesn’t exist. With the help of neighborhood legend and some odd occurrences Charlotte is soon given to understand that her house is haunted. The story moves along interestingly as Charlotte overcomes her fear in order to help Susie move on. This diverges from the average ghost story by giving dimension to Susie’s ghostliness. Trapped between then and now, life and death, Susie’s existence is a constant struggle. She must use great quantities of energy to concentrate as ideas and memories waft away like vapor and she is further frustrated that her attempts to communicate go unnoticed by most. This is entertaining fiction that doesn’t for a moment sacrifice solid writing for plot. (Fiction. 8-12)



5) "Frost" by Marianna Baer

Boarding school turns from magical to deadly in this debut.

After discovering Frost House, the shabby-chic Victorian hidden on the edge of campus, and convincing the dean to let her and her best friends room in it, Leena returns to start senior year of Barcroft (a quintessential New England prep school) with an unexpected roommate, eccentric Celeste. When not photographing dead beetles, Celeste tries to cover up unexplained events at Frost, from a closet that smells like death to bruises all over her body. Instead of the idyllic year Leena planned, she begins hiding out in her own closet when she sinks into anxiety and experiences her own strange occurrences. After Leena dates Celeste’s older brother, David, who took a year off to care for their father, who suffers from schizoaffective disorder, the roommates, both vying for David’s attention, initiate cat-and-mouse games. It’s up to readers to figure out who—or what—is causing all the mental instability in Frost House among the plot twists and turns. Baer has a knack for dialogue and creating creepy situations that will intrigue teens. But because the story line is rather repetitive and drawn out, the surprise ending makes more of a whimper than a bang.

For those fans of Gail Giles and Nancy Werlin who don’t mind thrillers with a slower pace.(Thriller. 13 & up)



6) "Daemon Hall" by Andrew Nance

Famous author Ian Tremblin has chosen five teenagers to spend the night in his haunted mansion. The young aspiring writers and Tremblin will tell each other horror stories all night, and Tremblin will select the best storyteller, who will have a horror novel published. The motley crew of young writers is a veritable Breakfast Club lineup: Chris, the unexpectedly sensitive jock; Chelsea, the freaky Goth girl; Kara, the shy girl who doesn’t like horror; Demarius, the black adolescent whose main personality trait is being less dysfunctional than the others; and Wade, the panic-attack–plagued narrator. As the night progresses, the teens learn that spending the night in a haunted house is not as easy as they might have suspected. The short stories Tremblin and his protégés tell are of indifferent quality, appropriate as campfire tales more than short stories. The framing narrative, however, builds predictable but enjoyable tension as the characters’ fear and danger grow. An unexpectedly optimistic ending concludes this gentle horror tale. (Fiction. 12-14)



7) "The Fall" by Bethany Griffin

A girl struggles to fight the haunted family house that binds her to it in this reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

Madeline and her brother, Roderick, come from a long line of Ushers cursed to live and die within the haunted walls of the House of Usher. Beloved by the house itself, Madeline can sense its feelings and for a long while trusts it to protect her. However, just like her mother before her, Madeline begins suffering fits. The house will do anything to keep her from leaving. And with her brother away at school and only sinister doctors remaining for company, Madeline must plot to escape before the house has its way with her, keeping her trapped forever. Griffin creates a thick, murky atmosphere within the walls of the House of Usher from the start, layering in chilling details as Madeline’s situation becomes ever more dire. Though only appearing intermittently, Roderick and her parents all cast long shadows, and the house is populated with compelling characters among the ghosts of Ushers past. Readers will be swept away immediately by the eerie setting, but it’s Madeline’s fighting will to survive that will keep them turning pages late into the night.

A standout take on the classic haunted-house tale replete with surprises around every shadowy corner. (Fantasy. 14-18)



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Waiting for the Clouds

Tuesday Movie Fest

June 23rd at 6 pm


For her third feature film, acclaimed Turkish director Yesim Ustaoglu (Journey to the Sun) weaves a moving tale about the meaning of identity and the power of home. 

Along Turkey's notheastern Black Sea Coast, beautiful valleys shrouded in mist hide terrible secrets about the country's bloody past. An elderly woman looks back on her long life after death of her sister. For over 50 years, she has carefully guarded a secret about her distant past, but grief threatens to expose she and her sister are Greek, not Turkish. In the early 1920s, after the Turkish War of independence, Greeks were forcefully deported. But the old woman and her sister hid their true identity for five decades. Now she feels compelled to search fro a long-lost brother in Greece. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Thought Provoking Novels

Enjoy a novel with some substance? It makes you think about the plot and characters? Check out this book list...




1) "Assuming Names" by Tanya Thompson

When it was over, there were a lot of questions. The detectives were embarrassed but they still wanted answered, "How did a 15-year-old runaway successfully pose as a world traveled countess?" The newspapers turned it back on them, practically sneering, "How did she do it while under investigation by the FBI, DEA, and Interpol?" The Mafia had been demanding the same thing for six months, "What is your real name?" And the psychologists asked the question they always ask, "Why?" It’s the why of it that will keep a girl in trouble. Assuming Names is the true story of a young con artist. It’s the tale of a runaway that assumed the title of countess and then went on to fool the FBI, DEA, and Interpol—as well as a number of other celebrities and institutions—with an elaborate tale of world intrigue.


2) "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher
You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.


3) "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.


4) "The Handmaiden's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.


5) "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson

The first ten lies they tell you in high school.

"Speak up for yourself--we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.


6) "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert

This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers. Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali. By turns rapturous and rueful, this wise and funny author (whom Booklist calls “Anne Lamott’s hip, yoga- practicing, footloose younger sister”) is poised to garner yet more adoring fans.


7) "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.


8) "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards

Award-winning writer Kim Edwards's The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a brilliantly crafted family drama that explores every mother's silent fear: what would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you?

On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down's syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. But Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins this beautifully told story that unfolds over a quarter of a century in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by David Henry's fateful decision that long-ago winter night.

A rich and deeply moving page-turner, The Memory Keeper's Daughter captures the way life takes unexpected turns and how the mysterious ties that hold a family together help us survive the heartache that occurs when long-buried secrets burst into the open. It is an astonishing tale of redemptive love.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Asian Mystery Book List

Enjoy a good Asian mystery? Check out this book list...




1) "The Last Kashmiri Rose" by Barbara Cleverly

In a land of saffron sunsets and blazing summer heat, an Englishwoman has been found dead, her wrists slit, her body floating in a bathtub of blood and water. But is it suicide or murder? The case falls to Scotland Yard inspector Joe Sandilands, who survived the horror of the Western Front and has endured six sultry months in English-ruled Calcutta. Sandilands is ordered to investigate, and soon discovers that there have been other mysterious deaths, hearkening sinister ties to the present case.

Now, as the sovereignty of Britain is in decline and an insurgent India is on the rise, Sandilands must navigate the treacherous corridors of political decorum to bring a cunning killer to justice, knowing the next victim is already marked to die.


2) "Belshazzar's Daughter" by Barbara Nadel

Tourist brochures present Istanbul as a glamorous, modern city, but the brochures don't make much mention of Balat, a decrepit neighborhood of narrow, twisting alleys and crumbling tenements. Until recently it was home to Leonid Meyer, a reclusive elderly Jew who, like many of his neighbors, came here long ago to escape one of Europe's various bloodbaths. But Meyer's refuge ultimately became his coffin, the carnage crowned with a gigantic swastika. Inspector Ikmen begins tracking down the few people who might have known the old man, including a faded prostitute, a shadowy family of Russian emigrs, a despairing rabbi, and a high-strung young Englishman in the throes of erotic obsession.


3) "The Chinese Gold Murders" by Robert Van Gulik

In this, the second book in Robert van Gulik's classic mystery series of ancient China, Judge Dee must look into the murder of his predecessor. His job is complicated by the simultaneous disappearance of his chief clerk and the new bride of a wealthy local shipowner.

Meanwhile, a tiger is terrorizing the district, the ghost of the murdered magistrate stalks the tribunal, a prostitute has a secret message for Dee, and the body of a murdered monk is discovered to be in the wrong grave. In the end, the judge, with his deft powers of deduction, uncovers the one cause for all of these seemingly unrelated events.


4) "Beijing Abduction" by Sha Li

Beijing Abduction grabs attention with suspense. Who is following Mai Martin, an American in Beijing? And why? Ronald Zhao, a retired Hong Kong police commissioner, drops into her life just when she needs someone, and her husband is gone on one of his covert meetings.
Internet treachery slithers between the Chinese authorities she calls The Dage and the American woman, through the spaces in communications between her and her husband. Corruption crosses international borders and threatens sovereign nations. It feeds on trafficking and abduction, murder and loyalty. 

Running away from her problems at home in California seems foolish, especially since it attracts the attention of North Korean agents trying to capture her husband, but not as foolish as hoping for love to appear. But she and Ron want to feel something again, and the spirit of tan [desire] whispers to them in the dark, promising something sweet. 


5) "The Dragon Scroll" by I.J. Parker

In an adventure filled with highway bandits, unscrupulous politicians, and renegade monks, The Dragon Scroll introduces readers to the lively world of eleventh-century Japan and an irrepressible hero—Sugawara Akitada. On his first official assignment, Akitada—an impoverished nobleman and earnest young government clerk in the Ministry of Justice—is sent from the capital city on a nearly impossible mission to the distant province of Kazusa to discover why tax convoys are disappearing. In the politically murky world of the Japanese court, he has been set up to fail. Against the odds, the ever-resourceful Akitada, his elderly servant Seimei, and his impudent bodyguard Tora are determined to fulfill their mission and discover the truth in a town of dangerous secrets.


6) "The Feng Shui Detective" by Nury Vittachi

Feng Shui master C.F. Wong is no fan of the 21st century. It is far too rushed and noisy, a terrible environment for the kind of peaceful contemplation that his work requires. His clients seem to view him as some sort of general problem-solver, as able to find a missing child as he is to correct the pernicious influences that are bringing bad luck to a business. But there is worse. One of Mr. Wong's clients, a client who cannot be offended, has given Mr. Wong a gift. It comes complete with a never-silent cell-phone, an unfortunate wardrobe, and a grating Australian accent. Mr. Wong has an intern.


7) "The Buddha Kiss" by Peter Tasker

Richard Mitchell's boss Yazawa seems set on ruining his career, if he doesn't poison him first, and every time Mori gets anywhere with investigating the death of his friend's daughter, someone tries to kill him. Japan is on the verge of destruction and both men are caught right in the middle.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Funny or Sarcastic Book List

Want a book that makes you laugh out loud? Or something with a sarcastic edge to it? Check out this book list...




1) "The Humans" by Matt Haig

When an extra-terrestrial visitor arrives on Earth, his first impressions of the human species are less than positive. Taking the form of Professor Andrew Martin, a prominent mathematician at Cambridge University, the visitor is eager to complete the gruesome task assigned him and hurry home to his own utopian planet, where everyone is omniscient and immortal.

He is disgusted by the way humans look, what they eat, their capacity for murder and war, and is equally baffled by the concepts of love and family. But as time goes on, he starts to realize there may be more to this strange species than he had thought. Disguised as Martin, he drinks wine, reads poetry, develops an ear for rock music, and a taste for peanut butter. Slowly, unexpectedly, he forges bonds with Martin’s family. He begins to see hope and beauty in the humans’ imperfection, and begins to question the very mission that brought him there.


2) "The Rapture of the Nerds" by Cory Doctorow

Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century.

Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a dust of molecular machinery so thick that it obscures the sun.

The splintery metaconsciousness of the solar system has largely sworn off its pre-post-human cousins dirtside, but its minds sometimes wander…and when that happens, it casually spams Earth’s networks with plans for cataclysmically disruptive technologies that emulsify whole industries, cultures, and spiritual systems. A sane species would ignore these get-evolved-quick schemes, but there’s always someone who’ll take a bite from the forbidden apple.

So until the overminds bore of stirring Earth’s anthill, there’s Tech Jury Service: random humans, selected arbitrarily, charged with assessing dozens of new inventions and ruling on whether to let them loose. Young Huw, a technophobic, misanthropic Welshman, has been selected for the latest jury, a task he does his best to perform despite an itchy technovirus, the apathy of the proletariat, and a couple of truly awful moments on bathroom floors.

Rapture of the Nerds is a brilliant collaboration by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross, two of the defining personalities of post-cyberpunk science fiction.


3) "How the Dead Dream" by Lydia Millet

As a wealthy, young real-estate developer in Los Angeles, T. lives an isolated life. He has always kept his distance from people — from his doting mother to his crass fraternity brothers — but remains unaware of his loneliness until one night, while driving to Las Vegas, he hits a coyote on the highway.

The experience unnerves him and inspires a transformation that leads T. to question his business pursuits for the first time in his life, to take a chance at falling in love, and finally to begin breaking into zoos across the country, where he finds solace in the presence of animals on the brink of extinction.


4) "Death of a Kitchen Diva" by Lee Hollis

Welcome to Bar Harbor, Maine, one of New England's most idyllic coastal towns. But as new food writer Hayley Powell is about to find out, the occasional murder can take a bite out of seaside bliss. . .

Single mom Hayley Powell is barely keeping her leaking roof over her head when her boss at the Island Times gives her a new assignment--taking over the paper's food column. Hayley's not sure she has the chops--she's an office manager, not a writer, even if her friends clamor for her mouth-watering potluck dishes. But the extra income is tempting, and Hayley's chatty first column is suddenly on everyone's menu--with one exception.

When rival food writer Karen Appelbaum is found face-down dead in a bowl of Hayley's creamy clam chowder, all signs point to Hayley. To clear her name, she'll have to enlist some help, including her BFFs, a perpetually pregnant lobster woman, and a glamorous real estate agent. As she whips up a list of suspects, Hayley discovers a juicy secret about the victim--and finds herself in a dangerous mix with a cold-blooded killer. 


5) "Seating Arrangements" by Maggie Shipstead

The Van Meters have gathered at their family retreat on the island of Waskeke to celebrate the marriage of daughter Daphne to the impeccably appropriate Greyson Duff. The weekend is full of champagne, salt air and practiced bonhomie, but long-buried discontent and simmering lust stir beneath the surface.

Winn Van Meter, father of the bride, is not having a good time. Barred from the exclusive social club he’s been eyeing since birth, he’s also tormented by an inappropriate crush on Daphne’s beguiling bridesmaid, Agatha, and the fear that his daughter, Livia—recently heartbroken by the son of his greatest rival—is a too-ready target for the wiles of Greyson’s best man. When old resentments, a beached whale and an escaped lobster are added to the mix, the wedding that should have gone off with military precision threatens to become a spectacle of misbehavior.


6) "Apocalypse Cow" by Michael Logan

If you think you've seen it all -- WORLD WAR Z, THE WALKING DEAD-- you haven't seen anything like this. From the twisted brain of Michael Logan comes Apocalypse Cow, a story about three unlikely heroes who must save Britain . . . from a rampaging horde of ZOMBIE COWS!

Forget the cud. They want blood.
It began with a cow that just wouldn't die. It would become an epidemic that transformed Britain's livestock into sneezing, slavering, flesh-craving four-legged zombies.

And if that wasn't bad enough, the fate of the nation seems to rest on the shoulders of three unlikely heroes: an abattoir worker whose love life is non-existent thanks to the stench of death that clings to him, a teenage vegan with eczema and a weird crush on his maths teacher, and an inept journalist who wouldn't recognize a scoop if she tripped over one.

As the nation descends into chaos, can they pool their resources, unlock a cure, and save the world?

Three losers.
Overwhelming odds.
One outcome . . .

Yup, we're screwed.


7) "Results Not Typical" by Catherine Ryan Howard

Through their Ultimate Weight Loss Diet Solution Zone System, Slimmit International Global Incorporated claim they're making the world a more attractive place one chubby at a time. Their slogans "Where You're Fat and We Know It!" and "Where the Fat IS Your Fault!" are recognised around the globe, their share price is as high as their energy levels and the counter in the lobby says 5,000,000 slimmed.

But today the theft of their latest revolutionary product, Lipid Loser, will threaten to expose the realsecret behind Slimmit's success...

Aaron, the hunky Director of Security, must find the Lipid Loser or face losing his job. Marianne, head of Slimming Operations, offers to help him, but what she really wants to find is the secret prototype she's been working on, the Much, Much More Muffin. Meanwhile Slimmit founder and CEO Nicola is struggling to stay conscious in the magic underwear she needs to hide her newly acquired muffin top. Her daughter Emmy--overweight and so deemed "unacceptably beyond corporate Appearance Policy parametres"--is pushing paper in Slimmit's basement and dreaming of a skinny life, one she doubts attending Fat Club meetings is going to bring her.

And so the race is on to find the Lipid Loser and save Slimmit from certain disaster. If their secrets get out, their competitors will put them out of business. If the government finds out, they'll all go to jail. And if their clients find out... Well, as Slimmit's Slimming Specialists know all too well, there's only one thing worse than a hungry, sugar-crazed, carb addict--and that's an angry one.

Can the secret behind Slimmit's success survive the day, or will their long-suffering slimmers finally discover the truth? 


8) "Stalking the Unicorn" by Mike Resnick

It's 8:35 pm on New Year's Eve, and Private Detective John Justin Mallory is hiding out in his Manhattan office to avoid his landlord's persistent inquiries about the unpaid rent. As he cheerlessly reflects on the passing of a lousy year, which saw his business partner run off with his wife, he assumes the bourbon is responsible for the appearance of a belligerent elf. This elf informs him that he needs the detective’s help in searching for a unicorn that was stolen from his charge.

When Mallory realizes the little green fellow is not going to disappear with the passing of his inebriation, he listens to the elf's impassioned plea that the stolen magical beast must be returned to his care by daylight or his little green life will be forfeited by the elves’ guild.

Join detective Mallory on a New Year's night of wild adventure in a fantasy Manhattan of leprechauns, gnomes, and Harpies as he matches wits with the all-powerful demon "The Grundy" in a race to find the missing unicorn before time runs out!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Body Image Book List

Both men and women suffer from body image issues. They struggle with how the view their own bodies and compare them to what society says is beautiful. This list shows that you are not alone. Check out this book list...




1) "Wintergirls" by Laurie Halse Anderson

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in fragile bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the thinnest. But then Cassie suffers the ultimate loss-her life-and Lia is left behind, haunted by her friend's memory and racked with guilt for not being able to help save her. In her most powerfully moving novel since Speak, award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia's struggle, her painful path to recovery, and her desperate attempts to hold on to the most important thing of all: hope.


2) "The Beauty Myth" by Naomi Wolf

In today's world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women's movement, however, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife. It's the beauty myth, an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society's impossible definition of "the flawless beauty."


3) "Gabi, A Girl in Pieces" by Isabel Quintero

Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy's pregnancy, Sebastian's coming out, the cute boys, her father's meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.

July 24

My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn't want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it's important to wait until you're married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, "Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas." Eyes open, legs closed. That's as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don't mind it. I don't necessarily agree with that whole wait until you're married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can't tell my mom that because she will think I'm bad. Or worse: trying to be White.


4) "Body Outlaws: Rewriting the Rules of Beauty and Body Image" by Ophira Edut

Pick up a magazine, turn on the TV, and you'll find few women who haven't been fried, dyed, plucked, or tucked. In short, you'll see no body outlaws. 

The writers in this groundbreaking anthology reveal a world where bodies come in all their many-splendored shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. In doing so, they expand the national dialogue on body image to include race, ethnicity, sexuality, and power—issues that, while often overlooked, are intimately linked to how women feel about their bodies. Body Outlaws offers stories by those who have chosen to ignore, subvert, or redefine the dominant beauty standard in order to feel at home in their bodies.


5) "Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight" by Linda Bacon

Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem. A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn’t match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates “thin” with “healthy” is the problem.
The solution?

Health at Every Size.
Tune in to your body’s expert guidance. Find the joy in movement. Eat what you want, when you want, choosing pleasurable foods that help you to feel good. You too can feel great in your body right now—and Health at Every Size will show you how.

Health at Every Size has been scientifically proven to boost health and self-esteem. The program was evaluated in a government-funded academic study, its data published in well-respected scientific journals.

Updated with the latest scientific research and even more powerful messages, Health at Every Size is not a diet book, and after reading it, you will be convinced the best way to win the war against fat is to give up the fight.


6) "Butter" by Erin Jade Lange

A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans?


7) "Fat!So?: Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size" by Marilyn Wann

Fat? Chunky? Less than svelte? So what! In this hilarious and eye-opening book, fat and proud activist/zinester Marilyn Wann takes on Americas' biggest fear—worse than the fear of public speaking or nuclear weapons—our fear of fat. Statistics tell us that about a third of Americans are fat, and common sense adds that just about everyone, fat or thin, male or female, has worried about their appearance. FAT!SO? weighs in with a more attractive alternative: feeling good about yourself at any weight—and having the style and attitude to back it up. Internationally recognized as a fat-positive spokesperson, Wann has learned that you can be absolutely happy, healthy, and successful...and fat. With its hilarious and insightful blend of essays, quizzes, facts, and reporting, FAT!SO? proves that you can be out-and-out fabulous at any size.


8) "Purge" by Sarah Darer Littman

Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge eat and then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That’s what the doctors and psychiatrists at Golden Slopes hope to help her discover. But first Janie must survive everyday conflicts between the Barfers and the Starvers, attempts by the head psychiatrist to fish painful memories out of her emotional waters, and shifting friendships and alliances among the kids in the ward.