Friday, July 25, 2008

This Book is Wicked!

Here at the Warren Public Library, we're starting a new series of book reviews. We hope you enjoy them!

Today's Book: Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr

The plot: Aislinn (pronounced ASH-linn) is your average teenage girl... who sees faeries. It was a gift passed down from her mother, who died young, and her grandmother, who now takes care of her. The problem Aislinn has is this: if the faeries know you can see them, you're in trouble.

Keenan is the Summer King of Faerie, a title that means he's responsible for all of the faeries allied with the Summer Court. The problem is, until he finds a Summer Queen who can withstand the cold of Keenan's caretaker, the Winter Queen, he can't possibly protect them all.

Donia used to be a Summer Girl, courted by Keenan hundreds of years ago. She tried to be the Summer Queen, but found herself frozen inside the Winter Court instead, cursed to stay cold until the true Summer Queen is found.

Keenan needs a Queen to conquer the cold that is taking over his Court. Donia wants to be free of the ice in her heart. Aislinn doesn't want anything but to be left alone. What happens when all three of their lives intersect?

Why You’ll Love It: This is a great Urban Fantasy book, along the same lines as Holly Black's Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside books, and recommended by the likes of Tamora Pierce (the Tortall series) and Charles de Lint (the Newford books). It's a quick read, at under 400 pages, and you'll be drawn in by both the lush details of the Summer Court and the creepy features of the Winter Court. (There's also a sequel - Ink Exchange - in case you get hooked on Marr's prose.)

Who Will/Should Read It: Wicked Lovely is regarded as a YA book, but adults can (and will!) read it, too. Try this is you need something to read while waiting for Breaking Dawn (due out August 2nd.)


Teen F Marr, TPL

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #17

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

John Grisham isn’t the only one writing about legal mayhem. Here are some suggestions of other titles dealing with the legal world.

Prejudicial Error by Bill Blum

Disgraced lawyer John Solomon tries to revive his career with his spirited defense of an accused cop-killer. The case pits him against a strong right-wing prosecutor with powerful political allies.
Fic Blum

Shadows of Doubt by Herb Brown

An attorney befriends her newly located half-sister and then is forced to defend her when she is indicted for murder.
Fic Brown

The Defense by D.W. Buffa

Defense attorney Joseph Antonelli has never lost a case. When his friend and mentor Judge Rifkin asks him to defend a con man and convicted drug dealer accused of raping his stepdaughter, Antonelli has serious doubts about the meaning of justice.
Fic Buffa

Shadow of a Doubt by William Coughlin

Not to be confused with Herb Brown’s title mentioned above, here recovering alcoholic Charlie Sloan ekes out a minimal existence in a small Michigan city. When his former lover retains him to defend her stepdaughter, Charley is swept back into the legal world he abandoned.
Fic Coughlin

Also check in to these read-alikes, suggested by NoveList: Scott Turow, Lisa Scottoline, Brad Meltzer, Richard North Patterson.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #16

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Who doesn’t like a scary story? Stephen King recently wrote about what makes horror scary in Entertainment Weekly, and here are a few suggestions to send shivers down your spine:

Uncanny by Andrew Klavan

Skeptical and terminally ill, horror film producer Richard Storm travel to England in an attempt to see “something Uncanny” before he dies. He hook up with the editor and staff of a tabloid devoted to strange events.
Fic Klavan WCV WAM WDB

Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon
This tender look at growing up in a small town in 1964 grows dark when Cory, the young hero, and his father see a car containing a mutilated body sink into the lake. The mystery remains unsolved during a year filled with other dark and wondrous events.
Fic McCammon TPL UPL

Dragon Tears by Dean Koontz
After shooting a man who has opened fire in a restaurant, police detective Harry Lyon becomes the target of a serial killer who actually has god-like powers.
Fic Koontz WCV WDB WMB

The Homing by John Saul
Julie, a young widow and mother of two, moves back to her hometown to marry her high school sweetheart. Things start to go wrong on her wedding day when her younger daughter is stung by a bee and nearly dies. Soon the entire town is in danger from the genetic experiments that entomologist Carl Henderson had been doing on bees.

Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Who can forget the iconic serial killer Hannibal Lecter, portrayed here long before Anthony Hopkins hissed about fava beans. Trust us, imagining it is scarier than seeing it!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #15

Our final column on collections of essays and stories ends with collections of nonfiction by several authors:

Body Outlaws: Young Women Write About Body Image and Identity, edited by Ophira Edut

Name-checked by Carolyn Mackler in "The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things," this edition was previously titled "Adios, Barbie." The women who wrote for this edition write about being fat, being skinny, being tattooed, and all other kinds of body issues. It's serious at times, funny at others.

What If...? The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been, edited by Robert Cowley

What if... Alexander the Great had died at 21? Or if America had lost the Revolutionary War? Historians of all stripes get together and have fun suggesting what might have been in this book. There's also a second book, "What If...? 2" with more great essays.

Fired!: Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, & Dismissed by Annabelle Gurwitch, Bill Maher, Felicity Huffman, and Bob Saget

If you've ever lost a job, or ever been in the workforce at all, this humorous look at now-successful stars (and some regular people) and their previous employment missteps should be a laugh for you. Read about how actress Illeana Douglas got fired from a job hanging coats, and how author Annabelle Gurwitch was dismissed by Woody Allen from a play.

Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly by Jane Espenson and Glenn Yeffeth

Joss Whedon, creator of great shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly (and the upcoming Dollhouse), has a legion of fans who made the movie "Serenity" possible after the premature cancellation of his space western television show "Firefly." This book is about the philosophy of that show, written by fans, writers, and producers. There's also a sequel: "Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe", and one for Buffy - "Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale" - too. Look up almost any tv show or movie of the past 25 years and you're likely to find a book exploring the philosophy behind it - even Star Wars and The Simpsons have one!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #14

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Collections – Nonfiction by One Author

The Idiot Girls’ Action Adventure Club (True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life), Laurie Notaro
B Notaro ROG
Notaro started by writing a weekly column for the local newspaper in Phoenix, Arizona, all about life as a grown-up “idiot girl,” along with her friends also in the area. The collected columns became this hilarious book (which includes ladies’ room etiquette and what not to do when you think you see an old high school teacher while out to dinner), and led to several sequels: Autobiography of a Fat Bride (True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood), I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies), We Thought You Would Be Prettier (True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive), An Idiot Girl’s Christmas (True Tales from the Top of the Naughty List), and her newest, The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death (Reflections on Revenge, Germophobia, and Laser Hair Removal). She has also written a novel: There’s a Slight Chance I Might Be Going to Hell.

Everything Bad is Good for You: Why Pop Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter – Steven Berlin Johnson
306.0973 J WCV
Are video games and tabloid magazines actually making us smarter? Steven Berlin Johnson investigates how pop culture helps us, in the face of reports of harm in modern media.

I Feel Bad About My Neck (and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman), Nora Ephron
815.54 E WAM
Famous for writing some of the greatest movies of the current era (favorites such as When Harry Met Sally… and Sleepless in Seattle), Ephron writes here about her New York life – fighting for an apartment, and in the title story, how being old makes your neck look funny. All of these are amusing stories of being over sixty and what to do when you can’t read the words on the pill bottle anymore.

The Merry Recluse: A Life in Essays by Caroline Knapp
B Knapp SHL
Published posthumously this collection of essays is an honest and insightful look at the journalist’s experiences with alcohol addiction, grief, and life’s daily little frustrations.

Letters to a Young Therapist: Stories of hope and healing by Mary Pipher
616.8914 P FRA TPL
By the best selling author of “Reviving Ophelia” here Pipher dispenses valuable suggestions and counsel to an imaginary graduate student.