Apr 1, 2015

Wolfie the bunny - Anne Dyckman

Wolfie the bunny - Dyckman, Anne

Summary: When her parents find a baby wolf on their doorstep and decide to raise him as their own, Dot is certain he will eat them all up until a surprising encounter with a bear brings them closer together.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* When the Bunny family find an adorable baby wolf on their doorstep, Mama and Papa are thrilled. Voice-of-reason Dot says, "He's going to eat us all up!" And she keeps saying it as Wolfie gets bigger. And bigger! When he eats all the carrots, his parents send him (dressed in a large pink bunny suit) and Dot down to the store, and for a moment, it looks as if her prediction is about to come true—at least where she is concerned. But it's not Dot Wolfie is staring at. It's Bear, who, as it turns out, is very hungry and ready to eat Wolfie, pink suit and all. Dot to the rescue! She gets the drop on Bear, who hightails it out of there. Then—oh my goodness!—Wolfie pounces on Dot. Was she right after all? Nope, it's only to give her a hug. This gets all the elements of the successful picture book just right: a familiar scenario (sibling rivalry), a scary adversary, a display of courage, and a happy ending. And then there's the art! OHora's unique acrylic illustrations have the look and feel of woodcuts. Big and bold, with strong yet simple shapes, the pictures are also intimate enough to capture Wolfie's goofy smile when he gets his pink bunny outfit, and the frightened but fierce expression on Dot's face. A crowd-pleaser for crowds big and small. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Chasers of light - Tyler Knott Gregson

Chasers of light: poems from the typewriter series - Gregson, Tyler Knott

Summary: One day while browsing an antique store in Helena, Montana, photographer Tyler Knott Gregson stumbled upon a vintage Remington typewriter. Standing up and using a page from a broken book he was buying for $2, he typed a poem without thinking, without planning, and without the ability to revise anything. He fell in love. This book collects some of his most insightful and beautifully-worded pieces of work, typed onto found scraps of paper, or created by blacking out the words on the page of a book.

The epic made simple. The miracle in the mundane.

He fell in love.

Three years and almost one thousand poems later, Tyler is now known as the creator of the Typewriter Series: a striking collection of poems typed onto found scraps of paper or created via blackout method.Chasers of the Light features some of his most insightful and beautifully worded pieces of work poems that illuminate grand gestures and small glimpses, poems that celebrate the beauty of a life spent chasing the light.
- (Penguin Putnam)

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Man's search for meaning - Frankl

Man's search for meaning - Frankl, Victor

Summary: Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

At the time of Frankl's death in 1997, Man's Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a "book that made a difference in your life" found Man's Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.

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The short and tragic life of Robert Peace - Jeff Hobbs

The short and tragic life of Robert Peace : a brilliant young man who left Newark for the Ivy League - Hobbs, Jeff

Summary: Examines "the short life of a talented young African-American man who escapes the slums of Newark for Yale University only to succumb to the dangers of the streets--and of one's own nature--when he returns home"--Amazon.com.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* Rob Peace's father was a very bright drug dealer who served time for murder, leaving Rob in the care of a hardworking mother who wanted more for him than the tough streets of Orange, New Jersey, could provide. Peace started private school in fourth grade, just as his father's trial was beginning, and developed elaborate emotional and psychological strategies to navigate the neighborhood and "Newark-proof" himself. In high school, he undertook ponderous research to prove his father's innocence and eventually won a temporary reprieve on a technicality. His brilliance attracted the attention of a benefactor who made it possible for Peace to go to Yale, where he met and roomed with Hobbs. Peace majored in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, worked in the dining hall and biology lab, and sold drugs on the side. In a whirlwind of travel, philosophizing, and caretaking of others, Peace navigated the clashing cultures of urban poverty and Ivy League privilege, never quite finding a place where his particular brand of nerdiness and cool could coexist. His dreams and his reality collided when he was killed at 30 years of age in a drug dispute. Attending Peace's funeral, Hobbs was struck by the dichotomies of his old roommate's life and set out to offer a full picture of a very complicated individual. Writing with the intimacy of a close friend, Hobbs slowly reveals Peace as far more than a cliché of amazing potential squandered. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Silver screen fiend - Patton Oswalt

Silver screen fiend: Learning about life from an addiction to film - Oswalt, Patton

Summary: "Between 1995 and 1999, Patton Oswalt lived with an unshakable addiction. It wasn't drugs, alcohol or sex: it was film. After moving to L.A., Oswalt became a huge film buff (or as he calls it, a sprocket fiend), absorbing classics, cult hits, and new releases at the New Beverly Cinema. Silver screen celluloid became Patton's life schoolbook, informing his notion of acting, writing, comedy, and relationships. Set in the nascent days of L.A.'s alternative comedy scene, Oswalt's memoir chronicles his journey from fledgling stand-up comedian to self-assured sitcom actor, with the colorful New Beverly collective and a cast of now-notable young comedians supporting him all along the way"-- Provided by publisher.

Booklist Reviews
Readers who know Oswalt only for his supporting role on the television sitcom The King of Queens might be surprised to learn that he was one of the early proponents of alternative comedy, a style of stand-up comedy that rejects the traditional setup-and-punch-line structure in favor of a more free-form, unpredictable approach. Some readers might also be surprised at how accomplished a writer he is; this fine book, set during his early years in Los Angeles (the mid- to late-1990s), is downright impossible to put down. When the author, then a young stand-up comedian, first moved to L.A., his goal was to become a film director; the best way to accomplish that, he thought, was to immerse himself in movies, old and new, classic and unknown. At the same time, needing to pay his bills, he developed his "performance comedy" and—even as he still dreamed of making his own movies—found himself building a career on the big and small screens. Fans of Oswalt's earlier memoir, Zombie Spaceship Wasteland (2011), are pretty much guaranteed to enjoy this one; but, because it's set at a different stage in the author's life, and because it deals with the L.A. comedy scene, it could find itself a whole new set of readers. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Elenisima -Michael Karl Schuessler

Elenísima : ingenio y figura de Elena Poniatowska - Schuessler, Michael Karl

Summary: Éste es un libro de esos que se dán en un largo periodo de tiempo, y aún más cuando se tratan de biografías. Verdaderamente una obra maestra que nos relata de una manera sencilla pero concreta la vida de Elena Poniatowska contada por las personas que mejor la conocen como su madre, su nana y sus amigos; la verdad es que la recopilación de datos y anécdotas nos acercan aún más a la Elena detrás de las cámaras, la pluma y el papel; y empezamos a conocer que pasa cuando se encuentra fuera de su mundo de trabajo y realmente quedas encantado con la persona que al final conoces. - (Planeta Pub Corp)

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A touch of Frost (DVD)

A touch of Frost (DVD)

Summary: An old-fashioned, gritty detective show based in England. This brash policeman follows his moral compass, shows compassion for the common man and always solves the case. Starring David Jason, who is regarded as the most popular actor on British TV.

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Into the woods (DVD)

Into the woods (DVD)

Summary: "From the director of Chicago and the producer of Wicked comes a modern twist on the beloved fairy tales you thought you knew. Meryl Streep stars in this epic musical saga about daring to venture Into The Woods. Iconic characters, such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel, find their fates intertwined with a humble baker and his wife, whose longing to have a child sends them on a quest to reverse a witch’s (Streep) curse. With an all-star cast, this spellbinding adventure is everything you could ever wish for! Also starring: Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine." - (Alert)

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The secret rescue - Cate Lineberry

The secret rescue: an untold story of American nurses and medics behind Nazi lines- Lineberry, Cate

Summary: Recounts how the passengers and crew of an American medical evacuation plane, including thirteen nurses and thirteen medics, survived after it crashed in Nazi-controlled Albania in November, 1943, until they could be rescued.

Booklist Reviews
In 1943, the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron crash-landed during a storm in Nazi-occupied Albania. They were part of a new army program to transport sick and wounded soldiers to hospitals near the front lines in Italy. The 13 female nurses and 17 men who survived the crash were faced with ensuring their own survival in hostile territory, brutal weather, and mountainous terrain, under the constant threat of Nazi capture. With the help of villagers, Albanian resisters, and British officers, 27 of the survivors trekked more than 600 miles for 62 days before they were rescued. Three nurses who'd been separated from the group were also eventually rescued after spending 135 harrowing days in Albania. Lineberry draws on interviews, diaries, and archival material to recount an amazing WWII survival-and-rescue story that had remained untold by the military and the survivors themselves, who were fearful of the cost to those who helped them. Their secret was kept until the fall of communism in Albania in 1990, when their story of courage and endurance could finally be revealed. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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So we read on - Maureen Corrigan

So we read on: how the Great Gatsby came to be and why it endures - Maureen Corrigan

Summary: "The "Fresh Air" book critic investigates the enduring power of The Great Gatsby -- "The Great American Novel we all think we've read, but really haven't." Conceived nearly a century ago by a man who died believing himself a failure, it's now a revered classic and a rite of passage in the reading lives of millions. But how well do we really know The Great Gatsby? As Maureen Corrigan, Gatsby lover extraordinaire, points out, while Fitzgerald's masterpiece may be one of the most popular novels in America, many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power. Offering a fresh perspective on what makes Gatsby great-and utterly unusual-So We Read On takes us into archives, high school classrooms, and even out onto the Long Island Sound to explore the novel's hidden depths, a journey whose revelations include Gatsby's surprising debt to hard-boiled crime fiction, its rocky path to recognition as a "classic," and its profound commentaries on the national themes of race, class, and gender. With rigor, wit, and infectious enthusiasm, Corrigan inspires us to re-experience the greatness of Gatsby and cuts to the heart of why we are, as a culture, "borne back ceaselessly" into its thrall. Along the way, she spins a new and fascinating story of her own"-- Provided by publisher.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* In So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures (a take on the novel's last line: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past"), Maureen Corrigan—book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, critic-in-residence and lecturer at Georgetown University, and author of Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading (2005)—attempts to fathom the perpetual fascination of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "inexhaustible" 1925 masterpiece. A slim yet saturated and gorgeously written book in which every element resonates, it is "our Greatest American Novel" and a book Corrigan unabashedly loves. Corrigan's immersion in Fitzgerald's novel inspires a dazzling literary appraisal of his assiduously polished, innovatively "modern and urban" language with its "hard-boiled" tone. And the word immersion is apt, given all the water imagery Corrigan highlights. She also quotes a letter from Fitzgerald to his daughter with the line: "All good writing is swimming underwater and holding your breath." Like Nafisi, Corrigan pinpoints restlessness as a quintessential American quality, one she perceives in Fitzgerald's knowing depiction of New York City, the great mecca for dreamers with its promise of freedom, new identities, success, and "unsentimental sex." She explains why she considers The Great Gatsby to be "America's greatest novel about class" as well as the vanquishing of God and the worship of idols in the aftermath of WWI, the fantasy that one can truly reinvent one's self, the grandeur of longing, and the spell of illusion. Fitzgerald, Corrigan writes, appreciated the "doomed beauty of trying" and roamed his own "inner geography of yearning." Biographical currents run strongly throughout Corrigan's many-branched, stimulating, and beautifully crafted inquiry. Corrigan marvels over the almost eerie "predictive quality" of The Great Gatsby and makes sure we appreciate its overlooked humor, intricate patterns, and density of symbols, at every turn replenishing our amazement over its flow, sparkle, and shadow. She glides gracefully from the glimmering depths of the novel to the harsh light on land, where it was forgotten soon after it was published until it was gradually reclaimed, resurrected, and acclaimed, the subject for ongoing discussions both private and in classrooms and book groups, cinematic variations, and even merchandising. Corrigan's research was as intrepid as her analysis is ardent and expert, and she brings fact, thought, feelings, and personal experiences together in a buoyant, illuminating, and affecting narrative about one depthless novel, the transforming art of reading, and the endless tides that tumble together life and literature. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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All the light we cannot see - Anthony Doerr

All the light we cannot see - Anthony Doerr

Summary: "From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work"-- Provided by publisher.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* A novel to live in, learn from, and feel bereft over when the last page is turned, Doerr's magnificently drawn story seems at once spacious and tightly composed. It rests, historically, during the occupation of France during WWII, but brief chapters told in alternating voices give the overall—and long—­narrative a swift movement through time and events. We have two main characters, each one on opposite sides in the conflagration that is destroying Europe. Marie-Louise is a sightless girl who lived with her father in Paris before the occupation; he was a master locksmith for the Museum of Natural History. When German forces necessitate abandonment of the city, Marie-Louise's father, taking with him the museum's greatest treasure, removes himself and his daughter and eventually arrives at his uncle's house in the coastal city of Saint-Malo. Young German soldier Werner is sent to Saint-Malo to track Resistance activity there, and eventually, and inevitably, Marie-Louise's and Werner's paths cross. It is through their individual and intertwined tales that Doerr masterfully and knowledgeably re-creates the deprived civilian conditions of war-torn France and the strictly controlled lives of the military occupiers.High-Demand Backstory: A multipronged marketing campaign will make the author's many fans aware of his newest book, and extensive review coverage is bound to enlist many new fans. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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The unspeakable - Meghan Daum

The unspeakable: and other subjects of discussion - Daum, Meghan

Summary: "A master of the personal essay candidly explores love, death, and the counterfeit rituals of American life In her celebrated 2001 collection, My Misspent Youth, Meghan Daum offered a bold, witty, defining account of the artistic ambitions, financial anxieties, and mixed emotions of her generation. The Unspeakable is an equally bold and witty, but also a sadder and wiser, report from early middle age. It's a report tempered by hard times. In "Matricide," Daum unflinchingly describes a parent's death and the uncomfortable emotions it provokes; and in "Diary of a Coma" she relates her own journey to the twilight of the mind. But Daum also operates in a comic register. With perfect precision, she reveals the absurdities of the marriage-industrial complex, of the New Age dating market, and of the peculiar habits of the young and digital. Elsewhere, she writes searchingly about cultural nostalgia, Joni Mitchell, and the alternating heartbreak and liberation of choosing not to have children. Combining the piercing insight of Joan Didion with a warm humor reminiscent of Nora Ephron, Daum dissects our culture's most dangerous illusions, blind spots, and sentimentalities while retaining her own joy and compassion. Through it all, she dramatizes the search for an authentic self in a world where achieving an identity is never simple and never complete"-- Provided by publisher.

Library Journal Reviews
Daum (My Misspent Youth) opens this collection of personal essays with the scene at her mother's deathbed and confesses that she wishes her mother would hurry up and die, setting the honest tone for the pieces that follow. The author proceeds to examine her attitudes about children, dogs, food, lesbianism, Joni Mitchell, etc., often expressing offbeat views counter to those of her friends—she prefers animals to children and devotes one essay to over-the-top love for her dog, Rex, while feeling relieved after having a miscarriage. Daum's fearlessness is to be admired, as is her writing ability. She's a skilled stylist who leavens serious topics with a smidgen of humor, such as attributing her dislike of food preparation to an overall laziness that arises from deep insecurities about not being able to master math, Middle English, and team sports. In the closing essay, the author recounts her close brush with death from a flea-borne bacterial infection with amazing detail and insight, bookending her memoir with her mother's and her medical experiences. VERDICT This book will appeal to memoir enthusiasts seeking an insightful reading experience that will entertain as well as challenge.—Nancy R. Ives, State Univ. of New York at Geneseo

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Single, carefree, mellow: stories - Katherine Heiny

Single, carefree, mellow: stories - Heiny, Katherine

Summary: A collection of ten stories is filled with unwelcome house guests, disastrous birthday parties, needy but loyal friends, betrayal, jealousy, and flirtatious older men, and takes readers on a guided tour of the human heart.

Booklist Reviews
Adultery abounds in Heiny's engaging debut collection, in which various female characters dissect their longings in the midst of everyday reality. In "The Dive Bar," New Yorker Sasha agrees to a sit-down with her boyfriend's wife but becomes increasingly agitated in advance of their meeting. Set in suburbia, "Blue Heron Bridge" follows housewife Nina as her extramarital affair with a personal trainer unravels owing, in part, to her own insecurities. In the astute "Cranberry Relish," the married Josie finds herself passed over by a former lover, whom she met on Facebook, for his newfound Twitter companion. Several stories follow librarian and web designer Maya, who begins to question the boundaries of her long-term relationship with her quirky boyfriend, Rhodes. The standout title tale juxtaposes their relationship against the terminal decline of Maya's beloved dog. In "Dark Matter," the bond between the two is further put to the test when Maya strikes up an affair with her boss. Heiny's 11 stories are heightened by her depictions of her characters' internal struggles as they candidly confront their infidelities and other desires. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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When you reach me - Rebecca Stead

When you reach me - Stead, Rebecca

Summary: As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1970s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* If this book makes your head hurt, you're not alone. Sixth-grader Miranda admits that the events she relates make her head hurt, too. Time travel will do that to you. The story takes place in 1979, though time frames, as readers learn, are relative. Miranda and Sal have been best friends since way before that. They both live in a tired Manhattan apartment building and walk home together from school. One day everything changes. Sal is kicked and punched by a schoolmate and afterward barely acknowledges Miranda. Which leaves her to make new friends, even as she continues to reread her ratty copy of A Wrinkle in Time and tutor her mother for a chance to compete on The $20,000 Pyramid. She also ponders a puzzling, even alarming series of events that begins with a note: "I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own . . . you must write me a letter." Miranda's first-person narrative is the letter she is sending to the future. Or is it the past? It's hard to know if the key events ultimately make sense (head hurting!), and it seems the whys, if not the hows, of a pivotal character's actions are not truly explained. Yet everything else is quite wonderful. The '70s New York setting is an honest reverberation of the era; the mental gymnastics required of readers are invigorating; and the characters, children and adults, are honest bits of humanity no matter in what place or time their souls rest. Just as Miranda rereads L'Engle, children will return to this. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

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Hooray for hat - Brian Won

Hooray for hat - Won, Brian

Summary: Elephant wakes up in a grumpy mood, but a present on his doorstep--a hat--cheers him and he sets out to greet his neighbors who all, it seems, need hats of their own.

Booklist Reviews
As everyone well knows, there's nothing so cheering as a good fashion accessory. Here Won takes the idea a step further: Elephant wakes up grumpy, but the mood doesn't survive the discovery of a gift box on the porch with a fabulous multilayered hat inside. Off Elephant rushes to show—and cleverly share with—grouchy Zebra. Soon there's an entire parade of formerly grumpy friends marching along beneath new hats and chanting the titular exclamation. Ultimately the original headpiece is reassembled as a gift for Giraffe, who isn't feeling well, and all gather for a final shout: HOORAY FOR FRIENDS! Won's expressively posed animal figures and the spare narrative are placed on white backgrounds that both brighten the colors and give each scene a clean, spacious look. Moreover, the repeated chorus endows the episode with storytime-friendly rhythm and predictability. A tip of the hat to this buoyant debut. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Cereal sweets & treats - Jessica Segarra

Cereal sweets & treats - Segarra, Jessica

Summary: Creative desserts and snacks for cereal lovers

Everybody loves cereal, whether is it floating in a big bowl of milk or straight out of the box. In Cereal Sweets & Treats, Jessica Segarra takes her passion for cereal one step further to satisfy both young and old sweet-tooth cravings by turning these sugary little bits of crunchy heaven into, dare we say, guilt-free desserts and snacks featuring bars, cakes, muffins, candies, cookies, and frozen treats. So open up a box of your favorite cereal, mix in a few ingredients and then sink your teeth into a Fruit Loops Cupcake, Lucky Charms Macaroon, or pour yourself a Cap‘n Crunch Milkshake.

Jessica Segarra has loved cereal ever since she was a little girl. Even now, as an adult, she would prefer to eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. She is a trial and error, self-taught, sugar addict who relies on her natural instinct in the kitchen. When she’s not filling her grocery cart full of cereal boxes, Jessica is also the author, baker, cook, and photographer behind The Novice Chef Blog (thenovicechefblog.com). Jessica currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

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Sometimes you barf - Nancy L . Carlson

Sometimes you barf - Carlson, Nancy L. 

Summary: A sick girl who throws up at school learns that vomiting is sometimes unavoidable and that the sickness--and the embarrassment--will pass. - (Baker & Taylor)

Booklist Reviews
Readers need but glance at the endpapers, crammed with green-faced, bulgy-cheeked critters, to know what to expect here: vomit, and lots of it. Though fictional, Carlson's book acts as a practical what-to-expect guide for losing your lunch. A straight-talking young lass gets us off to a good start: a two-page spread of spewing animals. Everyone, you see, engages in the ol' Technicolor yawn. For a dog, explains the girl, hurling is no biggie, "but barfing is scary to a kid!" She recounts how an "icky flu bug" (from a school lunch, natch) makes her queasy and how she tries to resist horking, but, ultimately, upchuck will not be denied. "When you barf at school," she adds, "be prepared, because everyone will go nuts!" Yes, schooltime cookie tossings are traumatic—no one likes to see the janitor and his "special barf cleanup machine"—but Carlson's message is that it's normal, temporary, and you'll even be welcomed back. Giddily illustrated with glorious cartoon grossness, this is a great normalizing device for all those reluctant regurgitators out there. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Dory Fantasmagory - Abby Hanlon

Dory Fantasmagory - Hanlon, Abby

Summary: Dory, the youngest in her family, is a girl with a very active imagination, and she spends the summer playing with her imaginary friend, pretending to be a dog, battling monsters, and generally driving her family nuts.

Booklist Reviews
A little sister causes all kinds of trouble in Hanlon's debut chapter book. Aimed at beginning readers, it is narrated by six-year-old Dory, whose chief goal in life is to be invited to play with her older brother and sister. Of course, they don't want to play with her because she acts "like such a baby," asks constant questions, and plays with imaginary creatures. Indeed Dory has such a vivid imagination that the black-and-white illustrations often picture what Dory believes is happening, not what the rest of the family is experiencing. Young readers may or may not identify with Dory, whose antics annoy even her mother (like when Dory persists in pretending to be a puppy at the doctor's office), but they will better understand another child's intense need for attention. In both words and pictures, Hanlon succeeds in getting inside Dory's head—and it's pretty lively in there. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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City dog, country frog - Mo Willems

City dog, country frog - Willems, Mo

Summary: Through the seasons, whenever City Dog visits the country he runs straight for Country Frog's rock to play games with him, but during the winter things change for them both.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* The book begins in spring. City Dog comes to the country, thrilled to run without a leash. Something stops him—Country Frog. Frog's waiting for a friend: "But you'll do." After that the duo plays together, and Frog teaches Dog about splashing and croaking. In the summer, City Dog returns and runs to see Frog. Now it's his turn to teach Frog games, replete with sniffing, fetching, and barking. In the fall, Country Frog is tired. "Maybe we can play remembering games." And that's what they do, remembering jumping and splashing, sniffing and barking. In the winter, snow is everywhere, but Frog is gone. When spring returns, a chipmunk comes across City Dog. "What are you doing?" she asks. City Dog replies sadly, "Waiting for a friend." Then he smiles a "froggy" smile and adds, "But you'll do." It's hard to imagine a picture book that more consistently (and touchingly) hits all the right notes. Willems, never one to overwrite, is gracefully spare here, making every word count. That leaves room for Muth's watercolors, richly seasonal, which fill each page. The pictures are imbued with hope and happiness, leaving and longing. This wonderful collaboration makes a significant impact with subtlety and wit. Adults and children will each take away something of their own.

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Brave new world - Aldous Huxley

Brave new world - Huxley, Aldous

Summary: Huxley's vision of the future comes to life in his astonishing 1931 novel Brave New World--a world of tomorrow in which capitalist civilization has been reconstituted through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering--and its sequel, written thirty years after his classic novel of the future, in which Huxley describes the shocking scientific devices and techniques available to any group in a position to manipulate society.
Huxley's classic prophetic novel describes the socialized horrors of a futuristic utopia devoid of individual freedom.

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1984 - George Orwell

1984 - George Orwell

Summary: In 1984, London is a grim city where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.
- (Houghton)

"1984 is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book. It is a fantasy of the political future, and like any such fantasy, serves its author as a magnifying device for an examination of the present." -- Lionel Trilling 1949

"The most solid, the most brilliant, thing George Orwell has done." -- V.S. Pritchett

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Mar 11, 2015

Lulu and the cat in the bag - Hilary McKay

Lulu and the cat in the bag - McKay, Hilary

Summary: "When a mysterious bag is left on Lulu's doorstep, the last thing her grandmother expects to be in it is a cat--a huge, neon orange cat. But Lulu knows this cat doesn't mean any harm and in fact it needs a lovely new home"-- Provided by publisher.

Booklist Reviews
When an enormous orange cat is left in a bag on Lulu's doorstep, she and her cousin Mellie are awestruck, while their grandmother Nan is alarmed and irritated. But just as Lulu knows how to reassure the wary newcomer, she also understands that Nan needs time to warm up to the cat. From Lulu's independent (not to say disobedient) streak to Nan's ability to change her mind, McKay brings the characters to life in scenes full of warmth, wit, and perception. Lamont's lively drawings with gray washes illustrate the story. An appealing beginning chapter book from the excellent Lulu series. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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The right word: Roget and his thesaurus - Jennifer Bryant

The right word: Roget and his thesaurus - Bryant, Jennifer

Summary: The story of "shy young Peter Mark Roget, [for whom] books were the best companions--and it wasn't long before Peter began writing his own book. But he didn't write stories; he wrote lists. Peter took his love for words and turned it to organizing ideas and finding exactly the right word to express just what he thought. His lists grew and grew, eventually turning into one of the most important reference books of all time"--Amazon.com.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* Bryant's and Sweet's talents combine to make the lowly thesaurus fascinating in this beautifully illustrated picture-book biography of Peter Mark Roget. Born in the late eighteenth century, shy Roget was prone to wandering alone and began keeping lists of words at a young age. Even as he went to medical school and became a talented and respected physician, he still kept his book of word lists, gradually improving on the concept until he published his first thesaurus, classified thematically rather than alphabetically as it is today, in 1852. Echoing Roget's obsession with words, Sweet's intricate and elaborate collage illustrations—made out of textbooks, graph paper, maps, fabric, typewriter keys, and other found objects—put words on center stage. Lists in wildly expressive handwritten fonts along with cut-paper assemblages stuff the dynamic pages, even the appended time line and endpapers, with arresting detail. Pivotal moments in Roget's life get a similar treatment: terms related to plants bloom in tendrils around a watercolor illustration of Roget on one of his many walks. In brilliant pages teeming with enthusiasm for language and learning, Bryant and Sweet (A Splash of Red, 2013) joyfully celebrate curiosity, the love of knowledge, and the power of words. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Mar 10, 2015

Brown girl dreaming - Jacqueline Woodson

Brown girl dreaming - Woodson, Jacqueline

Summary: "Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become. Praise for Jacqueline Woodson: Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story. but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery"-The New York Times Book Review"-- Provided by publisher.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* What is this book about? In an appended author's note, Woodson says it best: "my past, my people, my memories, my story." The resulting memoir in verse is a marvel, as it turns deeply felt remembrances of Woodson's preadolescent life into art, through memories of her homes in Ohio, South Carolina, and, finally, New York City, and of her friends and family. Small things—ice cream from the candy store, her grandfather's garden, fireflies in jelly jars—become large as she recalls them and translates them into words. She gives context to her life as she writes about racial discrimination, the civil rights movement, and, later, Black Power. But her focus is always on her family. Her earliest years are spent in Ohio, but after her parents separate, her mother moves her children to South Carolina to live with Woodson's beloved grandparents, and then to New York City, a place, Woodson recalls, "of gray rock, cold and treeless as a bad dream." But in time it, too, becomes home; she makes a best friend, Maria, and begins to dream of becoming a writer when she gets her first composition notebook and then discovers she has a talent for telling stories. Her mother cautions her not to write about her family, but, happily, many years later she has—and the result is both elegant and eloquent, a haunting book about memory that is itself altogether memorable. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Rain reign - Ann M Martin

Rain reign - Martin, Ann M

Summary: Struggling with Asperger's, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* Rose, a fifth-grader who has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, is often teased at school about her obsession with homonyms and her steadfast conviction that everyone should follow the rules at all times. Rose lives with her harsh, troubled father, but it's Uncle Weldon who cares for her in the ways that matter most. Still, her father did give her Rain, a stray dog that comforts and protects Rose. After Rain is lost in a storm and recovered, Rose learns that her dog has an identification microchip. Though she fully grasps what that means, Rose is driven by the unwavering belief that she must follow the rules, find Rain's former owners, and give the dog back to them. Simplicity, clarity, and emotional resonance are hallmarks of Rose's first-person narrative, which offers an unflinching view of her world from her perspective. Her outlook may be unconventional, but her approach is matter-of-fact and her observations are insightful. Readers will be moved by the raw portrayal of Rose's difficult home life, her separation from other kids at school, and her loss of the dog that has loved her and provided a buffer from painful experiences. A strong story told in a nuanced, highly accessible way. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Dick Francis's Refusal - Felix Francis

Dick Francis's Refusal - Francis, Felix

Summary: "Dick Francis's beloved investigator Sid Halley returns in the riveting new mystery by New York Times-bestselling author Felix Francis. Six years ago, investigator Sid Halley retired for good. He'd been harassed, beaten, shot, even lost a hand to his investigating business, and enough was enough. For the sake of his wife and new daughter he gave up that life of danger and uncertainty, and he thought nothing would ever lure him back into the game. He thought wrong. Sir Richard Stewart, chairman of the racing authority, begs Sid to investigate a series of dodgy races. Sid adamantly refuses, but the following day, Sir Richard is found dead under suspicious circumstances. And then a man with an Irish accent contacts Sid, telling him to deliver a whitewashed report about the suspected race-fixing. or else. At first Sid ignores these warnings, knowing that once he submits to this criminal bully, he will forever be under his control. But as the intimidation tactics escalate-and Sid's own family comes under threat-Sid realizes he must meet his enemy head-on. or he might pay the ultimate price for his refusal"-- Provided by publisher.

Booklist Reviews
*Starred Review* In the steeplechase world, "refusal" means that a horse will not take a jump. Dick Francis' son Felix, collaborator with his father on several novels and now the heir to his father's line of mysteries, extends the equestrian definition to the massively banged-up (physically and emotionally) Sid Halley, who stars in a Francis novel for the first time since 2006. Halley, a champion steeplechase jockey who lost his left hand to the double whammy of a fall from a horse and an attack by a thug, long ago turned his insider's knowledge of the race world into private investigative work. But an intense fear campaign directed at his girlfriend made him retire from the track altogether at the end of Under Orders. When the chairman of the British Racing Authority asks Halley to investigate his strong suspicion that races are being fixed, Halley refuses. Even after the chairman is found dead, threats made to Halley's family, and his daughter placed in danger, Halley still refuses, holding onto the safety of his family, which he knows would be blown apart by his investigating the case. What finally tips Halley into changing his mind is entirely convincing, even though it ratchets up the danger for Halley and his family. This is fascinating reading on every level, from the neatly calibrated plot, moving from suspense to terror, to all the details of the racing world Francis provides. Halley is now, as before, an utterly complex, interest-holding character. And the final, moral turn that Francis makes of "refusal" is brilliant. A heroic return for Sid Halley. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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The Charlemagne pursuit - Steve Berry

The Charlemagne pursuit - Berry, Steve

Summary: A mysterious manuscript discovered in the tomb of Charlemagne sends Cotton Malone on a perilous international quest that takes him and twin sisters with their own agenda from an ancient German cathedral to the harsh, unforgiving world of Antarctica in pursuit of the truth about the death of his father on a classified sub mission beneath Antarctica.

Booklist Reviews
Berry's Cotton Malone series is beginning to develop a case of been there, done that. In this fourth installment, the globe-trotting ex–government agent turned bookseller is caught up in the mystery of Charlemagne, the eighth-century empire builder whose tomb is somehow linked to an early Nazi exploration of Antarctica and, even stranger, to the death of Cotton's own father. The story follows the by-now overly familiar course: Cotton is thrust immediately into life-threatening danger and spends the rest of the novel evading pursuers and pursuing the solution to a historical puzzle. There are colorful bad guys, likable good guys, and plenty of action scenes (it's a mystery why no one has turned these books into Indiana Jones–like movies). As in previous episodes, the dialogue ranges from graceful to clunky, and the frequent chunks of historical background are worked into the narrative in ways that vary from seamless to clumsy. This is a solid action thriller that will appeal to the author's fans, but how long Berry can prolong the series without tinkering even a bit with his formula is the real question here. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

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The Jesuits - John W O'Malley

The Jesuits: a history from Ignatius to the present - O'Malley, John W

Summary: Chronicles the history of the Jesuit order from the time of Ignatius of Loyola to the present Pope Francis.

Booklist Reviews
With the first-ever election of a Jesuit as pope, this most controversial of Roman Catholic orders has once again arrived center stage. Since Ignatius Loyola instituted the Society of Jesus in the sixteenth century, the Jesuits have provoked both awe and anger from both church hierarchy and secular governments. Ostensibly dedicated to the pope, the Jesuits have found themselves alternately embraced and banned by Rome. Some kings tossed Jesuits into prison and purged them from their realms, while others, notably Russia's Catherine the Great, embraced them. Himself a member of the order, O'Malley emphasizes the Jesuits' commitment to education as central to their long-term success. They started schools and universities throughout their mission fields, often inaugurating Western-style higher education in countries such as India, China, and Japan. O'Malley's brief history records events, but the book's terse, just-the-facts approach may leave critical readers hungry for deeper insights and answers. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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Mar 6, 2015

Practical projects for self-sufficiency - Chris Peterson

Practical projects for self-sufficiency - Peterson, Chris

Summary: Have you ever wanted to build your own chicken coop, cider press, or herb-drying rack? How about a clever two-bin composter, horse-blanket washing machine, or genuine Langstroth beehive? In Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency, you'll find these projects and a couple of dozen more to help you develop and grow your self-reliant lifestyle. Where most self-sufficiency books give you pages of words and a couple of small drawings for an explanation, this book shows you exactly how to do things, employing beautiful photos and complete plans in the best Cool Springs Press tradition.

Library Journal Reviews
If you are one of the many backyard farmers, this book has 30 projects to help you enjoy the fruits of your labors. Peterson (Building with Secondhand Stuff) and Schmidt (The Complete Guide to Greenhouses & Garden Projects) lend their considerable expertise to these plans. Clear, step-by-step instructions are paired with large photos. The projects are very doable, even for beginners. Sections cover food prep and storage, outdoor building projects, and small animal enclosures. However, this collection has odd choices. Some projects really stand out, such as the cider press, manual laundry washer, solar still, loom, and strawberry planter with mesh cover, but others appear less related—doggy-door installation, kit shed, fire pit, etc. The designs related to raising bees or chickens are better covered by specialized books, such as Kim Flottum's Backyard Beekeeper or Storey Publishing's The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals. VERDICT This is a well-organized book with great instructions, but unless one is hunting actively for these particular projects, it falls a little flat. Recommended where variety is desired.

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Mar 1, 2015

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin

The storied life of A.J. Fikry : a novelThe Storied Life of A. J. Fikry - Zevin, Gabrielle

Summary: When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.



Booklist Reviews
In this sweet, uplifting homage to bookstores, Zevin perfectly captures the joy of connecting people and books. A. J. Fikry, the cantankerous owner of Island Books, is despondent after losing his beloved wife and witnessing the ever-declining number of sales at his small, quirky bookstore. In short order, he loses all patience with the new Knightly Press sales rep, his prized rare edition of Tamerlane is stolen, and someone leaves a baby at his store. That baby immediately steals A. J.'s heart and unleashes a dramatic transformation. Suddenly, the picture-book section is overflowing with new titles, and the bookstore becomes home to a burgeoning number of book clubs. With business on the uptick and love in his heart, A. J. finds himself becoming an essential new part of his longtime community, going so far as to woo the aforementioned sales rep (who loves drinking Queequeg cocktails at the Pequod Restaurant). Filled with interesting characters, a deep knowledge of bookselling, wonderful critiques of classic titles, and very funny depictions of book clubs and author events, this will prove irresistible to book lovers everywhere.

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The paying guests - Sarah Waters

The paying guests - Waters, Sarah

Summary: It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

Library Journal Reviews
Frances Wray is a woman of limited opportunities stuck in genteel poverty in an England that has not quite recovered from World War I. When she and her mother begin renting out half of their house to the Barbers, the change is disruptive. The Barbers are lower class, a little noisy, and tacky. Leonard sometimes says off-color things to Frances; Lilian is pretty but unhappy. Something is off about the Barbers' marriage, but a part of Frances relishes the change. As Frances and Lilian grow closer, she finds Lilian more attractive and their lives begin to mesh. But when a crisis comes, will each woman be able to see it through? And what does it mean morally if they do? Can love really conquer everything? Moody and atmospheric, this latest from three-time Booker Prize finalist Waters (The Little Stranger) has a rich historical setting in which you can feel the smallness of middle-class English life. But neither Frances nor Lilian is terribly sympathetic, and it's hard to root for them. But perhaps that is the point. Waters keeps you guessing until the very end. VERDICT For fans of complex historical crime fiction with a strong sense of dread. [See Prepub Alert, 3/10/14.]—Devon Thomas, Chelsea, MI

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Is that all there is? the strange life of Peggy Lee - James Gavin

Is that all there is? the strange life of Peggy Lee - Gavin, James

Summary: Draws on hundreds of interviews to reveal the life of the popular and enigmatic recording artist, discussing the contradictions in her life and her extensive and multi-faceted career. - (Baker & Taylor)

Booklist Reviews
Peggy Lee developed her soft and sultry sound from the influences of black singers and her early days of singing in dinner clubs, where she deliberately softened her voice to force the audience to listen. When she purred, audiences would lean in. That softness and an equally hard-edged sexiness set her apart from others, from her beginning as a singer in the swing era to her voice-over work with Disney to her inspiring of the Muppet character, Miss Piggy. Lee, born Norma Deloris Egstrom, had a hardscrabble childhood in desolate North Dakota but an outsize talent and personality that eventually drove her to a career in Hollywood. Gavin (Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne, 2009) offers a penetrating portrait of a woman embittered by childhood memories and failed marriages, struggling with alcohol and drugs, yet determined to have a career worthy of her voice. Best known for her songs "Fever" and "Is That All There Is?," Lee sang with legendary musicians Benny Goodman, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong. Old and new fans will appreciate this revealing portrait of troubled and talented woman. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

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