Saturday, January 24, 2015

Top Secret Twenty-One, by Janet Evanovich

Borrowed Kindle version from my local library.

This was one of Stephanie Plum's more enjoyable adventures of late. There was a nice balance of familiar characters, obligatory funeral home shenanigans, vehicle demises, and FTA apprehensions to let you know you were still in Trenton. I actually liked Stephanie in this book. She took care of people left and right, including herself. She was confident and stood up for herself and didn't seem like such a screw-up. And there was Ranger. Lots of Ranger. And Morelli. But Ranger. Who says she has to choose?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Catch #244!

My second catch of 2015 (#244 overall) comes six weeks after I left "The Phantom Tollbooth" on top of a gas pump in Murrysville, Pa. The AnonymousFinder says: "Found at Murrysville Sheetz on rt. 22. I remember reading this book back in school. It will soon be on its way to a new site!" Can't wait to hear more!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Peter and the Starcatchers, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, and acquired from SYNC 2014, which offers two free YA audiobooks each week in May. Well read by Jim Dale, who also reads the Harry Potter books.

This Peter Pan prequel was great fun, with lots of action and humor and nods to the source material. Not only does this book explain how Peter and the Lost Boys and Captain Hook arrived at Neverland, it also explains the origins of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, and the genius of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, among others. This is a book that would make a great movie. I'm satisfied knowing as much as I know about these characters, so I probably won't seek out other books in the series, but who's to say what would happen should they cross my path?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

One Summer: America, 1927, by Bill Bryson

Borrowed Kindle version from my local library. It took me 42 days spanning two seasons to get through this book. Not that it wasn't interesting—the material was fascinating—but maybe the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year season wasn't the best time to tackle it, as I had other things on my mind. What made the summer of 1927 one hell of a summer?
Babe Ruth hit sixty home runs. The Federal Reserve made the mistake that precipitated the stock market crash. Al Capone enjoyed his last summer of eminence. The Jazz Singer was filmed. Television was created. Radio came of age. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed. President Coolidge chose not to run. Work began on Mount Rushmore. The Mississippi flooded as it never had before. A madman in Michigan blew up a school and killed forty-four people in the worst slaughter of children in American history. Henry Ford stopped making the Model T and promised to stop insulting Jews. And a kid from Minnesota flew across an ocean and captivated the planet in a way it had never been captivated before.
Even though the title of the book would lead you to believe you would only be reading about the events of the summer of 1927, Bill Bryson did a good job of giving you all the background you didn't know you needed to know in order to understand just what made this summer so unique. Disappointingly, there was little evidence of his trademark snark, which only came through the cracks in his narrative. Still, I learned a lot about this one summer in America, primarily that things haven't changed as much as we'd like to think they have.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Catch #243!

What a great way to start off the new year! My first catch of 2015 came with this fantastic journal entry by new member EFVS: "I'm in second grade and I read this book with my mom. We both LOVED it! My favorite character was the centipede. I liked him because he didn't like the earthworm and they were always arguing. This made me laugh. This book had a lot of funny parts, adventurous parts, and dangerous parts. It was truly a fantastic book! Thank you for sharing it!"

Thank YOU, EFVS, for catching "James and the Giant Peach"! I'm so glad you liked it.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, by Matthew Quick

Written by Matthew Quick, author of "Silver Linings Playbook," and acquired from SYNC 2014, which offers two free YA audiobooks each week in May. Read by Noah Galvin, who gives an exceptional performance.

I think some of the best stories being told today are in the YA genre. "Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock" is an intense, imaginative, and insightful book that I simultaneously want to keep out of and push into the hands of every teen I know. So many different issues that face kids today were addressed head on, fearlessly and intelligently. This was a really good, thought-provoking book, even for a non-teen like me. My favorite part is the ambiguity of the title: Is Leonard Peacock asking us to forgive him or should we be asking Leonard Peacock to forgive us? You'll have to read it and make up your own mind about that.