Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Feel Me Fall

If Lord of the Flies and Hatchet had a literary love child, this would be their baby. Gripping from page one, this book is impossible to put down and I easily had it finished in two sittings. A plane full of students and teachers on their way to a field trip in South America goes down over the Amazon and there is only one survivor. Emily Duran is wrecked with guilt and haunted by what went on in the jungle. In between nightmares and exhaustion she slowly starts to recount her harrowing trek to recovery, how the group of six survivors slowly narrows down until she's all that's left. Teamwork didn't come naturally to the ragtag team of survivors, especially since they are all from different social high school "orders." There is the jock, the stoner, the mean fat girl, the two best friends (Emily and her best mate Viv), and the weirdo who just so happens to be a survivalist. Instead of working with each other to survive, they start to turn on each other with disastrous results. Not only are the animals, rivers, and food potentially deadly, but now they practically need to sleep with one eye open. A heart pounding thriller that doesn't ease up until the astonishing conclusion. A wonderful read with a great twist!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Gwendy's Button Box

A short creative read by the "King" of horror. It's not what I was expecting, it's not scary but it's a little chilling and a little haunting. The novella opens with Gwendy running up the "suicide stairs." She's going to be entering the seventh grade soon and she's determined to lose her baby fat. At the top of the stairs a gentleman all in black sits on a bench. He introduces himself and beckons Gwendy to come over. Against all her instincts she does and he presents her with a beautiful little button box. One button when pressed will produce a small chocolate animal that satisfies the eater, another produces silver coins. The ones in the middle represent every continent and there is a black and red one as well. To press those is to cause calamity. Of what sort, Gwendy does not know. The man gives Gwendy the box as a gift, for it will change her life in wonderful ways, but it is also a huge burden, and over time it's all she can think about. What would happen if she pushed those other buttons. Can she keep her curiosity in check?

On the Road with Janis Joplin

Before reading this all I knew about Janis was: her nickname was pearl, she died young from an overdose, and I've heard like 4 or 5 of her songs. Basically I didn't know diddly squat. Some of the reviews have been unfavorable towards this book because readers feel as if the author talks too much about himself. Personally, I liked that. He validated how he knew Janis and he had an interesting life as well! He was her road manager through all three of her bands and he knew her as well as you could know her during the musical part of her life. They weren't always best buds but he was there for her through thick or thin and I think this book was an excellent chronicle of her musical life. I learned so much about her talent, her prowess, and her loving freespirited nature. I won't lie I even got choked up at then end even though I knew it was coming. A life cut short. What a shame. A great read that inspired to sit on the porch, drink, and jam out to her music.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

This is What a Librarian Looks Like

I will admit that I am a little partial to this book because I'm one of the librarians featured in it, BUT that is not the only reason by a long shot! Kyle Cassidy has done an insanely impressive job compiling the essence and passion of librarianship into one beautiful coffee table book. Over 300 librarians from all over the world are featured and all have a gorgeous photo accompanied by a quote or statement on what being a librarian means to the. Some are wordy and eloquent, some are moving, and others are passionate pleas. Also included are mini essays from Kyle about different libraries and librarians, as well as essays from bestselling authors like Neil Gaiman John Scalzi, George R. R. Martin touting how libraries and librarians have helped their lives. A wonderful book that deserves a spot in very personal and public library. What an honor to have even been involved in this.

Oh Joy Sex Toy

A wonderful outside of the box read that had me hooked. Oh Joy Sex Toy is a comic collection of reviews on sexuality, sex toys, birth control, the sex industry, and virtually anything pertaining to sexuality. It breaks down sexual orientations, reviews the pros and cons of sex toys and how to use them, gives practical advice for dating and relationships, discusses the sex industry with porn stars, pole dancers, and more. This collection is wonderfully illustrated, masterfully written, and has never been needed more. It is open, honest, frank, down to earth, and instructive, there is no shaming or judging about lifestyle choices or preferences. I wish I would have had this book back in the day (not that I didn't find this useful now, i'm a grown ass adult and I learned PLENTY from this!) and I hope it finds a wide audience. I don't think the second volume is out yet, but I will absolutely be reading it when it's published. This was wonderful!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mercies in Disguise

Kolata, Gina. Mercies in Disguise: A Story of Hope, A Family's Genetic Destiny, and the Science that Rescued Them. 7 CDs. unabridged. 8.5hrs. Recorded Books. ISBN 9781501945366. 

Narrative nonfiction doesn't get much better than this. Gina Kolata, a New York Times science reporter, brilliantly brings a family's harrowing medical crisis to life and tells the story of how a brave young daughter decides to reshape her future and put an end to the genetic disease that had been killing off her family for generations. Kolata researches the history of the mysterious disease while concurrently telling the story of a loving family in a small town that appears to be harangued by bad luck. When the patriarch of the family dies under mysterious circumstances, his sons take matters into their own hands, trying to track down the mysterious disease and piece together their family tree to see what the future may hold in store for them. Compellingly narrated by Andrea Gallo who doesn't shy away from hard medical pronunciations and foreign names. Her soft, yet endearing voice provides a wonderful reassuring and authoritative voice. A wonderful read, even for those not interested in medical or scientific nonfiction. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Of Cats and Men

Gorgeously illustrated, this neat little hardback would be a great gift for the cat man in your lives. Filled with short biographies (1/2 a page) of cat men throughout history, quotes, and amazing illustrations this is an informative, beautiful, and heartfelt little book. I wouldn't mind owning some prints pulled from this book. Included are bios from Andy Warhol, Jean Cocteau, Nikola Tesla, Ernest Hemingway, and other impressive men from history, an interesting mix of authors, artists, and scientists. A cute, informative read that would make a good stocking stuffer. I absolutely loved it and would love to see more from this author/illustrator!