Friday, October 28, 2011

Reality and Amnesia

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins
Magic takes many forms. Supernatural magic is what our ancestors used in order to explain the world before they developed the scientific method. The ancient Egyptians explained the night by suggesting the goddess Nut swallowed the sun. The Vikings believed a rainbow was the gods' bridge to earth. The Japanese used to explain earthquakes by conjuring a gigantic catfish that carried the world on its back--earthquakes occurred each time it flipped its tail. These are magical, extraordinary tales. But there is another kind of magic, and it lies in the exhilaration of discovering the real answers to these questions. It is the magic of reality---and science. This book is packed with clever thought experiments, dazzling illustrations, and jaw-dropping facts.

My Life, Deleted: A Memoir by Scott Bolzan
Awakening in a hospital with no memory of who he was or how he got there, the forty-six year old didn't know that the petite blonde at his side was his wife of twenty-four years , Joan-- or even what a wife was. He couldn't remember the births of his two young-adult children, the daughter he'd lost, his time as an offensive lineman for the NFL's Cleveland Browns, or his flourishing aviation career. Scott's life and the lives of everyone who loved him were forever changed when he slipped, hit his head, and lost consciousness in his office bathroom, suffering one of the most severe cases of permanent retrograde amnesia on record.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Teen Picks: Series The Looking Glass Wars

Our first Teen Pick of the week is the third book in the series The Looking Glass Wars: Archenemy by Frank Beddor
The power of imagination has been lost! Now it's all about the artillery as AD52s, crystal shooters, spikejack tumblers, and orb cannons are unleashed in a war of weapons and brute force. As Alyss searches wildly for the solution to the disaster that has engulfed her queendom, Arch declares himself King of Wonderland. The moment is desperate enough for Alyss to travel back to London for answers, where Arch's assassins are threatening Alice Liddell and her family. But after coming to the Liddell's assistance, Alyss discovers herself trapped in a conundrum of evaporating puddles. The shimmering portals that exist to transport her home through the Pool of Tears are disappearing! What is happening to Wonderland?

Want to begin this whole series? Try the first book The Looking Glass Wars and the second book The Looking Glass Wars: Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor

Any suggestions for Teen Pick of the week, for readalikes, or just overall input? Email Amy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coming Soon!!!

Starting this week I'll be posting a Teen Pick of the week as well as the regular weekly new book reviews.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Brave Women

Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity--My Own And What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos by Manal Omar
An American aid worker of Arab descent, Manal Omar moves to Iraq to help as many women as she can rebuild their lives. She quickly finds herself drawn into the saga of a people determined to rise from the ashes of war and sanctions and rebuild their lives in the face of crushing chaos. This is a chronicle of Omar's friendships with several Iraqis whose lives are crumbling before her eyes. It is a tale of love, as her relationship with one Iraqi man intensifies in a country in turmoil. And it is the heartrending stories of the women in Iraq, as they grapple with what it means to be female in a homeland you no longer recognize.

The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Every now and again, a storyteller comes along who can take us completely into her world and make us wish we never had to leave it. This is such a tale. When India Selwyn Jones, a young woman from a noble family, graduates from the London School of Medicine for Women in 1900, her professors advise her to set up her practice in London's esteemed Harley Street. Driven and idealistic, India chooses to work in the city's East End instead, serving the desperately poor. In these grim streets, India meets--and saves the life of--London's most notorious gangster, Sid Malone. A hard, wounded man, Malone is the opposite of India's aristocratic fiance, Freddie Lytton, a rising star in the House of Commons. Though Malone represents all she despises, India finds herself unwillingly drawn ever closer to him, intrigued by his hidden, mysterious past.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Try Some SciFi!

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
This is the third volume in George R.R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire. The first volume is A Game of Thrones and the second volume is A Clash of Kings. Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of a jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King's Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world...

Retribution: A Dark-Hunter Novel by Sherrilyn Kenyon
A hired gunslinger, William Jessup Brady lived his life with one foot in the grave. He believed that every life had a price, until the day when he finally found a reason to live. In one single act of brutal betrayal, he lost everything, including his life. Brought back by a Greek goddess to be one of her Dark-Hunters, Brady gave his immortal soul for vengeance and swore he'd spend eternity protecting the human he'd once considered prey. Orphaned as a toddler, Abigail Yager was taken in by a family of vampires and raised on one belief: Dark-Hunters are the evil who prey on both their people and mankind, and they must all be destroyed. While protecting her adoptive race, she has spent her life eliminating the Dark-Hunters and training for the day when she meets the man who killed her family: Jess Brady.

7th Sigma by Steven Gould
Welcome to the territory. Leave your metal behind, all of it. The bugs will eat it, and they'll go right through you to get it...Don't carry it, don't wear it, and for god's sake, don't come here if you've got a pacemaker. The bugs showed up about fifty years ago---tiny, self-replicating, solar-powered, metal-eating machines. No one knows where they came from. They don't like water, though, so they've stayed in the desert Southwest. The territory. People still live here, but they do it without metal. Log cabins, ceramics, what plastic they can get that will survive the sun and heat. Technology has adapted and so have the people. Kimble Monroe has chosen to live in the territory. He was born here, and when his father was airlifted out for emergency medical treatment, he didn't follow. Instead, Kim lives on his own, one step ahead of the law-enforcement agents who are looking for him. Kim is extraordinarily well-adapted and has an uncanny ability to work around the bugs. He's one in a million. Maybe one in a billion.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Destinations and Einstein

Destination Cortez Island: A Sailor's Life Along the BC Coast by June Cameron
June Cameron's heart and saltwater soul have been anchored in the caves along the British Columbia coast ever since she was a child. For nearly two decades, beginning in the 1930s, she and her family made the annual summer trek from Vancouver's False Creek northwest to her pioneering grandparents' homestead on Cortez Island. Of the Loumar, the family's trusty 36-foot wooden boat, June recalls, "Best of all, she was our home, filled with apple boxes full of books.. and most of the supplies we needed, except for the soft cakes of yeast Mother needed for breadmaking. Those we bought every other week at Refuge Cove." Life's events charted an eventful course for June far from Refuge and Cortez until fond memories of her beloved cruising ground were reawakened by her late father's taped reminiscences.

Einstein on the Road by Josef Eisinger
At the height of his fame, Albert Einstein traveled throughout the world, from Japan to South America and many places in between. During these voyages, between 1922 and 1933, he was in the habit of keeping travel diaries in which he recorded his impressions of people and events, as well as his musings on everything from music to politics to quantum mechanics and psychoanalysis. These fascinating records, which have never been published in their entirety, are the basis for this engaging personal portrait of Einstein the man.