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long lake library staff's Book Lists
eBooks (18 titles)
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Winter Jackets (13 titles)
Tell us about an interesting book you would recommend to others. Enter to win a travel mug or gift card. Stop in and check out the Winter Jackets display at the Long Lake Library.
Bah-humbug! (19 titles)
Do you cringe at the sight of gift wrap and ribbon? Does your heart grow cold when you hear sleigh bells jingling? There is only one cure to this Grinch-like condition! Checkout some holiday humor and put a smile back on your face!
Minnesota Authors (22 titles)
Discover Minnesota's literary talent with these titles crafted by Minnesota authors.
Banned Books (27 titles)
Celebrate the freedom to read by checking out these sometimes censored titles. Banned Book Week is September 22nd - 28th!
Show all 14 booklists by long lake library staff

long lake library staff's Comments    
Cover ArtMindscape
by Vaughan, M. M.
Book Two of the Ability series. Now that the plot to destroy the prime minister is foiled, the students go back to their studies, both in academics and in use of their psychic abilities. They use their powers to aid law enforcement as special agents of the government. Chris is still dealing with the death he caused in the previous book. He keeps seeing the twin that got away and no one believes him. They think he is cracking up under the pressure. The plot meanders a bit here and there before coming to the final conclusion. It was still good, just not as good as the original.   posted Jul 12, 2014 at 4:43PM

Cover ArtQuest for lost heroes
by Gemmell, David.
This is my second favorite book. (see Centaur Isle above for the first)It starts out as a simple "rescue the damsel in distress" plot and picks up from there. A naive, young, and headstrong peasant enlists the aid of a legendary warrior, Chareos the Blademaster to help rescue a beautiful peasant girl from slavers. Before you know it, all four of the legendary "Heroes of Bel-azar" have joined in the foolish quest. It is a very realistic take on an old fantasy plot. The author takes on the subjects of fame, honor, love, and glory. There are laughs, shocks, and a twist or two that will keep you interested throughout the entire book. Many of the cultures will be similar to real cultures. (like the Mongols, the Chinese, and Western European) Not for children, I'm afraid. The "realism" comes from very some very mature attitudes and opinions (involving coarse language) as well as some mature situations and mature relationships. It is pretty gritty at times. But that is what makes it so good. All in all, it is one of the best fantasy novels I have ever read.   posted May 7, 2014 at 1:09PM

Cover ArtRedshirts
by Scalzi, John, 1969-
A cross between the plots of Galaxyquest and Stranger than Fiction, I was surprised by how good this book was. I was expecting the typical Star Trek-related jokes, especially as they related to the "redshirts" or extras on the original Star Trek series were called. These redshirts were the ones who went down to the alien planets with the stars of the show, only to invariably die in order to increase the dramatic tension of the show. It was a winning formula, based off the success of the show. But it begs the question, would the crew know of this dynamic and how would it affect them? This books answers that question. And a whole lot more, too. They couldn't use the real Star Trek universe, so they created a pretty obvious clone. If you are fans of Star Trek and other science fiction TV shows, you will enjoy this book. If you don't, most of the inside jokes will seem pretty weird to you. But I loved it. Teen and up. A little mature relationship and plenty of swearing.   posted Mar 19, 2014 at 11:09AM

Cover Art
by Grafton, Sue
I finally started this long time mystery series by Sue Grafton. A female private investigator, Kinsey Millhone, is hired to investigate a murder by the woman who was convicted of it. The plot was pretty straight-forward, with a few twists and turns, to keep you guessing. The main selling point is the main character. Like Evanovich's female bounty hunter, Grafton's Kinsey Millhone is a female in a typically male profession. Despite that, she is a pure 100% old school private eye, complete with bad relationships, a crummy apartment, and a very cynical attitude. Instead of a femme fatale, we have a man who plays that part in the story (a character of the opposite gender who radiates sex and danger, but might actually be involved in the case) In all respects, this is a modern version of a Sam Spade or a Phillip Marlowe as a woman. It was easy to read without a lot of mishmash to distract you. But the plot was also pretty simple to figure out before the murderer was revealed. So if you like private detective stories, you'll like this series. But if you like your mysteries to be harder to figure out, then it might not interest you. Overall, I give it a B-. Not for kiddies. Mature relationships and hardboiled situations. I did like it enough to give the next one in the series a try.   posted Mar 7, 2014 at 3:49PM

Cover ArtThe darkest minds
by Bracken, Alexandra
A friend recommended this to me and I am glad they did. It is right in my wheel-house, as they say. Set in a not-so-distant future, a whole generation of kids comes down with a deadly disease which kills over 70%. And if that wasn't devastating enough, the survivors develop strange abilities(super powers). The government, in order to protect the rest of the population, sticks all these kids in concentration/prison camps, to study and experiment on, but mostly just to isolate. There are five distinct groups of powers, all color-coded for easy identification. Blues are telekinetic, Yellows mentally control electricity, Greens are super intelligent, Reds can start fires with their minds, and the most dangerous of all are the Oranges, because they can control people with their telepathy. After a couple of "incidents", the Oranges and Reds are deemed too dangerous and need to be eliminated. Ruby is an Orange, pretending to be a Green. She is afraid of her powers and seeks only to blend in and survive. But as terrible as her new existence is, her life gets even harder and more complicated when an anti-government group breaks her out of camp. Can she trust them? Or do they just want to use her as a weapon? While not a fan of dystopias in general, Bracken really makes this situation seem very plausible. What would the government do if confronted with such a situation? How would that affect our economy and our society? Great teen book. Not for younger kids.   posted Jan 6, 2014 at 4:34PM

Cover ArtWho could that be at this hour?
by Snicket, Lemony.
Sandford has another winner. This one features Virgil Flowers. Good story line and holds your attention. 8 of 10 for me.   posted Dec 5, 2013 at 4:30PM

Cover ArtVader's little princess
by Brown, Jeffrey, 1975-
The sequel to Darth Vader and son, this one is much the same, only with single dad Vader trying to raise little Princess Leia, first as a "daddy's girl", then later as a rebellious teenager. As with the previous volume, it helps to have a working knowledge of the movies, but most of the jokes come from putting the greatest villain in cinema history in family situations, like teaching Leia how to drive(a TIE fighter). Luke shows up from time to time, implying that Vader had to raise both of them by himself, all while still being a Dark Lord of the Sith and the Emperor's right-hand man. Han Solo is featured as well, as teenage Leia's boyfriend. Very funny. Good as the previous book.   posted Nov 18, 2013 at 4:43PM

Cover ArtDarth Vader and son
by Brown, Jeffrey, 1975-
This is a collection of single panel cartoons like you might see in a Sunday paper. Each one imagines what the Star Wars universe might have been like if Darth Vader had to raise Luke Skywalker as a single parent. Jeffrey Brown loves Star Wars and he takes that love and a keen knowledge of children and combines it to make these silly little cartoons. If you love Star Wars, you will love this book. I sure did.   posted Nov 18, 2013 at 4:31PM

Cover ArtJedi Academy
by Brown, Jeffrey, 1975-
Many people have copied Kinney's "A Diary of a Wimpy Kid" format (story with words, but also cartoons and inserts) but I like this one best. It is really more of a graphic novel, with written diary inserts. Roan Novachez just wants to be a star pilot, like his father(and big brother) before him and get off Tatooine. But Fate has a different plan. Instead being accepted into Pilot School, he gets accepted to the Jedi Academy instead. While he may not become the greatest jedi knight in the galaxy, he just might become the greatest jedi poster-maker of all time. Honestly, this book rocks. Jeffrey Brown really loves Star Wars and it shows on every page. I can't wait for the sequel! (I really hope there is a sequel) So while this might seem like another middle school coming of age story, it has STAR WARS and that makes all the difference. :)   posted Nov 18, 2013 at 4:18PM

Cover ArtThe hunter : a graphic novel
by Cooke, Darwyn.
An Adult graphic novel version of Richard Stark's "the hunter". Darwyn Cooke does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of the novel as well as the style of the time period. Cooke is well-known for this older style that reminds one of the cartoons and graphics of the 50s and 60s. But despite the fact that is a comic book version, it is still an adult book and I would not recommend children reading it. Very good.   posted Nov 6, 2013 at 1:24PM

Cover ArtThe hunter
by Stark, Richard, 1933-2008
Parker is a bad guy. He is a professional criminal who treats each crime as just another job. A very serious guy who lives by his own set of rules, he is not a man you want to cross. But that is just what Mal Resnick does. Betrayed by both his partner and his wife, Parker is back and looking for revenge. The whole Parker series is incredible. If you love "caper" stories (like I do), you will love these little books. Every one is very good. Mature relationships and some graphic violence mean keep the kids away, but for adults, they are great. You will root for the bad guy.   posted Nov 6, 2013 at 1:18PM

Cover ArtPortal
by Flint, Eric.
An old fashioned sci fi tale. While racing towards the possible remains of an alien outpost, two ships crash into Europa, moon of Jupiter. Now the remains of the two crews must work together to survive and eventually get home. Vaguely similar to the "flight of the phoenix", but in space. It turns out this was the last book of a series, but I couldn't really tell. Wonderful characters, really good suspense, plenty of scientific and pseudo-scientific explanations of things. I liked this book because it was about exploration, it gave me the sense of wonder and hope that old science fiction used to give us. (most sci fi today is obsessed with apocalyptic futures) I really enjoyed this book. Since the scientific stuff is pretty complex, it might turn younger minds off or bore them. But it was hard for me to put down.   posted Nov 6, 2013 at 10:40AM

Cover ArtThe girl who could fly
by Forester, Victoria
A cross between Little House on the Prairie and the X-men. Piper McCloud has a secret. She can fly. Really. Her family doesn't know what to do with her and a highly secretive, governmental school wants to help her. But not every thing there is what it seems. A twist on the typical mutant school type plot. With a surprise twist at the end. For most grade schoolers. The ideas and concepts are not too complex to understand and rich enough that even older people can enjoy it. And she flies! A good story about believing in yourself and embracing your gifts, whatever they may be.   posted Sep 30, 2013 at 5:54PM

Cover ArtSoon I will be invincible
by Grossman, Austin, 1969-
A superhero tale. Well, more of a super villain tale. The book asks the question, if you are a super-genius, why would you continually try to "take over the world" when you know that some superhero is just going to swoop in, beat you up, and break your doomsday device? After the third try, you think you'd learn your lesson. Not Doctor Impossible. He's been to jail 12 times and he STILL plans to escape and take over the world. The book goes back and forth between Dr. Impossible's perspective & the newest member of the Champions(a Justice League/Avengers clone), a cyborg named Fatale. It covers all the various topics you would expect in a world with superhumans. Most of the heroes are thinly veiled versions of popular comic superheroes. A Superman-type named Corefire (super-strength, flight, invulnerability, super-senses) has gone missing and the Champions, the "world's premier super-group" reforms to find him and stop Dr. Impossible at the same time. A very interesting ending.   posted Sep 6, 2013 at 1:41PM

Cover ArtHatchet
by Paulsen, Gary.
The story of a young man, lost in the wilderness and his struggle to survive. Very realistic and compelling. While lost in the woods, he finds himself and realizes what he can do. Coming of Age story meets Man vs. Nature survival plot. Very good. I really liked this book.   posted Aug 19, 2013 at 7:44PM

Cover ArtThe hero's guide to storming the castle
by Healy, Christopher, 1972-
I was glad to see they made a sequel to the hero's guide to saving your kingdom (see above). Not because they were so many plot holes at the end of the previous story, but because the characters were so interesting, I didn't want the story to end. Once again the League of Princes (the four "Princes Charming") is recruited to save the day. Sort of. Blackmailed by an unforgettable villain, they need to steal a ancient sword from the "King of Thieves". And in the process, they might just save all the 13 Kingdoms. If they don't get killed first. Just as good as the first one. Wouldn't mind another sequel or two.   posted Aug 19, 2013 at 7:30PM

Cover ArtThe hero's guide to saving your kingdom
by Healy, Christopher, 1972-
This was one of the best books I've read in a while. Funny and entertaining without being too silly. The story revolves around the four princes from the stories of Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Rapunzel. All are known to everyone as "Prince Charming" thanks to some lazy bards who never bothered to learn their names. So all four have a kind of "anonymous fame", famous only for their connection to their more famous heroine. That's all I am going to say. You should really read it for yourself, it's that good. The most original take on the old fairy tales I have ever read. From start to finish, it was very enjoyable.   posted Aug 19, 2013 at 7:03PM

Cover ArtMoney run
by Heath, Jack, 1986-
A teen fiction book without vampires, werewolves, or witches! This is the story of Ash, a teenage thief who plans to rob the richest man in the world. The problem is the government is sending an assassin to kill the same rich guy and the rich guy has some plans of his own. Very fun read. Once you accept the fact that the heroine is both a "super thief" AND a teenage girl, everything else is quite believable. Preteen and up.   posted Jul 8, 2013 at 6:08PM

Cover ArtWorth dying for [sound recording] : [a Reacher novel]
by Child, Lee.
For a change of pace, I tried an audiobook (book on CD). I didn't like it as much. While the story was great and all, like the other Jack Reacher novels, I didn't like having to swap out the disks all the time and moving at the reader's pace. Jack arrives in a small Nebraska town and runs afoul of the local bad guys which then creates a chain of events which leads to people hunting him down. No love interest in this book. Just an emotional connection with both a childless mother and a battered wife. I liked this one the best of the Reacher novels. He just wants to do the right thing and ends up getting more involved than he wanted to.   posted Jul 8, 2013 at 5:29PM

Cover ArtTripwire
by Child, Lee.
Another of the Jack Reacher series. Jack goes north to NY to solve why just asking about him got a P.I. killed. In the process, he is reunited with a special lady who he had a complicated relationship before. The villian here is extremely nasty and rather monsterous. The secondary characters and their plot was very compelling. Once again, action is intense (i.e. violent) and some mature relationships, so keep the kids away.   posted Jul 8, 2013 at 5:15PM

Cover ArtFrankly, Frannie
by Stern, A. J.
I like Frannie (or Frankly as she decides to call herself). She wants to be grown up so badly, she tends to make some colossal mistakes in her efforts to become one. You'll see what I mean if you read this book. It is a lot of fun. It is a "scientific fact" that you will enjoy reading this book. It is worth it for the style of the writing alone. The author loves to use different fonts for different ideas. And it's a quick read. I read it in half an hour. No age restrictions.   posted Jul 1, 2013 at 5:14PM

Cover ArtLiar, liar : the theory, practice, and destructive properties of deception
by Paulsen, Gary.
Kevin, the main character, is very Ferris Bueller-like. Smart, charming, and an accomplished liar, Kevin feels his ability to lie can get him anything or out of anything. This is the tale of how he learned how complicated lying makes your life and what he did about it. A good little morality tale for kids of all ages.   posted Jul 1, 2013 at 4:50PM

Cover ArtThe tiger rising
by DiCamillo, Kate
This was a strange and interesting little book. It is about a young boy who stuffs all his emotions deep down inside and a new girl who always lets her emotions out (usually anger) and a tiger in a cage. While somewhat predictable in the plotting, I was surprised by how much the author made me care about her characters and what they were feeling. A bit allegorical in nature, so it might be confusing for younger readers. Middle schoolers and up.   posted Jul 1, 2013 at 4:47PM

Cover ArtA lineage of grace : five stories of unlikely women who changed eternity
by Rivers, Francine, 1947-
Nobody writes biblical fiction like Francine Rivers. While she always stays true to the biblical account, she adds a lot of depth and reality to her books. And this is no exception. This is a collection of her books about the women Matthew included in the genealogy of Jesus in his gospel. All of them are special women whose stories are full of faith and grace and hope. While I read these books individually, for reasons of space, I am recommending the collection. Either way, they are a great read. Very uplifting. Not for young children, though. The books are faithful to the Bible, which often describes situations not suitable for younger children.   posted Jun 24, 2013 at 7:23PM

Cover ArtPrince Valiant : 1947-1948
by Foster, Hal.
Volume six of the hardcover series. This one has Valiant's adventures in the new World (i.e. North America). Foster was praised for his depiction of the Native Americans that Prince Valiant encounters and later befriends. Milestones include the birth of Val and Aleta's son, Arn. Val has to chase a rogue Viking who kidnaps Aleta to make her his own. Aleta, as always, holds her own and is later even revered by the Natives as a goddess (since they never saw one like her before and she is so beautiful with such blonde hair).   posted Jun 17, 2013 at 7:59PM

Cover ArtPrince Valiant : 1945-1946
by Foster, Hal.
Volume Five of the hardcover series, "The Winning of Aleta", starts with Prince Valiant kidnapping Aleta from her own throne room. He is suffering from a head injury, and is mad from fever and grief. Once his fever leaves him, they fall in love with each other. Their newfound love is interrupted by a warlord who steals Aleta for his harem. But Valiant quickly pursues and lays siege to his walled city to get her back. Fun.   posted Jun 17, 2013 at 7:54PM

Cover ArtDog on it
by Quinn, Spencer.
A great, fun book about a dog and his private eye partner. Chet, the dog, is the real star of the show and the story is told completely from his first-person perspective. What I liked about this book was the way the author kept true to the dog's perspective. Like a real dog, he gets distracted by things, falls asleep when not involved in the conversation and sneaks old food crumbs off the floor. If you love dogs, you'll love this book. I sure did.   posted Jun 17, 2013 at 7:35PM

Cover ArtThe assassination game
by Gratz, Alan, 1972-
Book Four of the Starfleet Academy series, this one involves a social strategy/stealth game called "Assassination" played by the cadets while Starfleet entertains a visit from a war-like, wolf-like humanoid race. While this was a fun book and made me want to read more of the series, the purist in me found the scope of the plot to be too expansive and would've made the crew all well-known heroes by the time the movie's time period came around. And that just wasn't the case. Besides that little fact, this was a very enjoyable book.   posted Jun 3, 2013 at 5:51PM

Cover ArtThe edge
by Josephs, Rudy
The first book of the Starfleet Academy series. Part of the the reason that the new Star Trek movies have been so popular is that they took the characters back to their early days, while they were just graduating from Starfleet. This series expands on that concept, imagining adventures and intrigues the crew would have had while at Starfleet academy. It stays true to the canon of the new movies, so no Scotty and no Kirk-Spock friendship. This one was about the mysterious deaths of several cadets. If you liked the new movies or you're an old Trekkie like me, you will like these books. Teen and up.   posted Jun 3, 2013 at 5:32PM

Cover ArtThe thief
by Turner, Megan Whalen.
A very interesting tale about a thief who is released from prison to help the magus (a vizer or chief advisor) steal a valuable relic. What made this so good is the details of the culture, the landscape, and the history. The author tricks you into thinking this actually takes place in our world, sometime in the past, by using realistic mythologies and history. Until I read the author's note at the end, I did not realize that it was completely made up. All of it. Now that's good fiction. Very good book. Preteen and up.   posted May 29, 2013 at 1:22PM

Cover ArtMore guns, less crime : understanding crime and gun-control laws
by Lott, John R.
The premier book on gun control, Lott shows why adding more gun-control laws merely disarm honest citizens while doing nothing to stop criminals from getting them. He really has done his research and is well documented. It will surprise you. It sure surprised me.   posted May 6, 2013 at 7:39PM

Cover ArtA game of thrones
by Martin, George R. R.
Martin is a master of medieval fiction. While the Seven Nations are fictional, Martin created their history and bloodlines and legends and everything that makes history... well, history. So it really takes you in. Also his characters, both heroes and villians, are all flawed. So be prepared to sometimes root for a few of the bad guys and for the so-called good guys to do some pretty bad stuff at times. And whatever you do, don't read the Wikipedia article on this book. It will spoil the rest of the book and make it that much harder to finish. That's what I did. If I hadn't, I am sure I would have finished it by now, as I couldn't put it down before.   posted May 6, 2013 at 7:31PM

Cover ArtThe tombs of Atuan
by Le Guin, Ursula K., 1929-
The second book in the Earthsea cycle, this one is my favorite and the only one to have cover art so that is why I included it. While "A Wizard of Earthsea" is great and "The Farthest Shore" is pretty good, The Tombs of Atuan is the best. Why? Because it is a tale of redemption. Tenar is a young girl who is taken from her home to become the reincarnated high priestess to the Nameless Ones, evil spririts that inhabit the caves of their island. She thinks this is her fate, until a certain wizard comes to the tombs to find a rare magical item. Neither of their lives will ever be the same. The sense of foreboding that Le Guin puts into the first part of the book is contrasted by the hope of the second part. A great book. Actually the whole series is. Start with A Wizard of Earthsea, though. It'll make more sense that way.   posted May 6, 2013 at 7:18PM

Cover ArtSojourn
by Salvatore, R. A., 1959-
Book Three in the Dark Elf Trilogy. Drizzt decides to take his chances on the surface rather than dying alone underground. He travels the surface world until he can find a place he can call home. Makes friends and enemies along the way. A good ending for the trilogy, although the story continues in the Crystal Shard. There are at least a dozen Drizzt novels by R.A. Salvatore. All of them are good and full of adventure and magic.   posted May 6, 2013 at 3:13PM

Cover ArtExile
by Salvatore, R. A., 1959-
Book Two of the Dark Elf Trilogy. Drizzt has left the dark elves behind and tries to survive alone in the Underdark. His family hasn't forgiven him and they still search for him while he fights an internal battle to keep himself from going insane. Explores the Underdark, the underground world full of monsters and evil races. Good read.   posted May 6, 2013 at 2:40PM

Cover ArtHomeland
by Salvatore, R. A., 1959-
Book One of the Dark Elf Trilogy. This one covers Drizzt Do'Urden's early life growing up among the evil race of dark elves. This book shows how different he is from other dark elves, or drow. Not only does Bob (R.A. Salvatore) create a fascinating hero, but he also explores what an "evil" civilization would be like. A matriarchal society devoted to an evil deity. This trilogy is a prequel to the Icewind Dale Trilogy. Drizzt was such a popular character that Bob decided to tell his origin story in three books. Not for kids.   posted May 4, 2013 at 11:46AM

Cover ArtThe prairie thief
by Wiley, Melissa.
This was a fun little book. A young girl's father is arrested for thievery and she sets out to prove he's innocent by finding the real culprit. Combines the real life struggles of life on the frontier with some folklore and fantasy elements.   posted May 4, 2013 at 11:40AM

Cover ArtStoryteller
by Myers, Edward, 1950-
This was an excellent book about the power of stories. Both for good and for evil. Starts out like the Princess Bride with a grandfather telling a story to his grandson. None of his regular tales will do, so he tells instead about a young storyteller and what happened to him. It's a good read and very interesting, but it lacks much of the humor of everyday life. It explains propaganda in a way that even young readers can understand without actually using the word.   posted May 4, 2013 at 11:30AM

Cover ArtKilling floor
by Child, Lee.
First book of the Jack Reacher series. Very good. Not for children. Besides the violent way Jack settles "problems", he also has a mature relationship with a local cop. I read this because of the Tom Cruise movie, and while Tom doesn't match Lee's description of Jack Reacher,(6'5"- 250 lb. w/ blonde hair) he did have the right mindset. Jack solves and avenges his brother's murder.   posted May 4, 2013 at 11:19AM

Cover ArtUnafraid
by Rivers, Francine, 1947-
Last book in the series, this is Mary's story. Jesus's mother Mary was a woman who started out with great faith, but then doubted and finally came to faith in her son as her Savior. Rivers puts you in Mary's shoes and follows her story from beginning to end. This was a great series and it enhanced my appreciation for the Biblicial accounts. There is a study in the back if you want to use it as a personal devotion guide, but I just liked reading the stories.   posted Apr 29, 2013 at 6:33PM

Cover ArtUnspoken
by Rivers, Francine, 1947-
Book four of the series, this tale is Bathsheba's. Yes, that Bathsheba. As in David's affair that almost destroyed his kingdom. Her name is Unspoken because of her shame but she becomes the mother of David's son Solomon, who became king and ushered in a time of peace and prosperity. This is a story of redemption for Bathsheba who went from being an adulterer to being a godly woman who trained her sons to follow God.   posted Apr 29, 2013 at 6:27PM

Cover ArtUnshaken
by Rivers, Francine, 1947-
Third in the series, this tale is about Ruth. As detailed in the book of the Bible that bears her name, Ruth was a Moabite who because of her love for her mother-in-law Naomi, followed her back to Israel and converted to Judaism. While caring for Naomi, she finds love again with Boaz, the son of Rahab, who was a close relative of Naomi's. This is my favorite story of the series. Very good.   posted Apr 29, 2013 at 6:23PM

Cover ArtUnashamed
by Rivers, Francine, 1947-
Second in this series, this one is about Rahab. Rahab is a key person in the battle of Jericho and because of her faith and support, she married an Israelite and became one of them. Like the Bible itself, Rivers doesn't gloss over the grittier parts of the story, but pulls them together into a moving account. Rahab is unashamed because she has been forgiven.   posted Apr 29, 2013 at 6:18PM

Cover ArtUnveiled
by Rivers, Francine, 1947-
Nobody writes biblical fiction like Francine Rivers. She takes the stories from the Bible and fleshes it out more. She adds the cultural context and more of the human emotions that the Bible doesn't. This series is on the only women in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus, found in the first chapter of Matthew's gospel. Each woman displayed great faith and courage that earned them their place in the ancestors of Jesus. The first one is Tamar, Judah's daughter-in-law. Quick read, but moving and compelling.   posted Apr 29, 2013 at 6:09PM

Cover ArtPower divided is power checked : the argument for states' rights
by Lewis, Jason
The definitive book on limited government, Jason outlines how we have overstepped our Constitutional boundaries and why it is important to limit the federal government to just key national interests. He argues that we have surrendered too much power to the federal government and that has lead us to winner-take-all policies that limit our freedom and cause national strife. Good read. Well documented.   posted Apr 27, 2013 at 1:58PM

Cover ArtThe 2nd big big book of Tashi
by Fienberg, Anna
The second big big book was not as good as the first big big book. Tashi, as always, is clever and brave, but the introduction of Jack's Uncle Joe and Uncle Joe's girlfriend were distractions the stories didn't need. And I didn't like Joe's mustache.   posted Apr 26, 2013 at 5:04PM

Cover ArtHalf upon a time
by Riley, James, 1977-
Modern girl travels to fairy tale land and gets Jack (the son of Jack & the Beanstalk's Jack) to help her rescue her grandmother, who might be the missing Snow White. An interesting take on what life would be like in a fairy tale world. Familiar characters like Red Riding Hood, Wicked Queen, Rapunzel, and the Huntsman are there, but the story plays out differently than the fairy tales and has a real-world perspective on fairy tale conventions. Very fun.   posted Apr 24, 2013 at 3:38PM

Cover ArtSail : a novel
by Patterson, James, 1947-
What starts out as a family bonding trip becomes a deadly game of survival. My brother recommended this book when I told him I was reading so much children's fiction. I can see why Patterson is so popular. This book was such a quick read, I read it in one sitting. Interesting characters that weren't perfect and a plot that kept me interested. I will definitely have to try another one of Patterson's books again.   posted Apr 24, 2013 at 3:33PM

Cover ArtThe great hunt
by Jordan, Robert, 1948-2007.
Second in the Wheel of Time series. Rand learns more about his destiny and begins to control his inner power. While I enjoyed this book, I got bogged down in the end and haven't continued. The story and the tension keeps building without much hope of a happy ending.(I'm big on happy endings) Will Rand go crazy? Or can he change his fate? Only one way to find out, I guess. Still, it was very well written.   posted Apr 24, 2013 at 3:29PM

Cover ArtThe eye of the world
by Jordan, Robert, 1948-2007.
First book in the Wheel of Time series. This is epic fantasy at its best. History, they say, moves in cycles like a great wheel. The Dragon, the most powerful male magic-user, is set to be reborn and the forces of evil are determined to destroy him before he can. The rest of the world is also against him, as the very power he gains eventually drives him crazy and could unmake the world. Jordan creates a mythology and world as rich as Middle Earth, although some of his creatures seem very similiar to what Tolkien created. (Orcs and Wraiths by a different name) The story is engaging and the characters are deep. You can really feel the tension as the story builds.   posted Apr 24, 2013 at 3:23PM

Cover ArtMarked for death
by Forbeck, Matt.
The first book in the Lost Mark trilogy. This is an Eberron book. Eberron is one of the dungeons & dragons campaign settings. Unlike most D&D settings, Eberron is not your traditional fantasy world. While the elements are all there, the flavor is more pulp fiction and film noir than medieval feudalism. They use magic like we use science and had a magical industrial revolution there. So there are magic trains and flying airships and magical manufacturing guilds. In this series, a man fights to save his kidnapped stepdaughter who may or may not have the lost dragonmark of Death. It's a chase book with many twists and turns.   posted Apr 24, 2013 at 5:18AM

Cover ArtThe ropemaker
by Dickinson, Peter, 1927-
A very interesting take on magic makes this book a surprisingly good read. I liked the cover art so I picked it up. It is the combination of ancient rituals with restoring fading magic bindings.   posted Apr 24, 2013 at 5:00AM

Cover ArtMal and Chad. [1], The biggest, bestest time ever
by McCranie, Stephen, 1987-
Love this series. It is like a combination of Calvin and Hobbes and Jimmy Neutron, boy genius. Mal is a genius inventor who hides his intelligence so he can stay in the same grade as the girl he has a crush on. His one true friend is his dog Chad, who can talk, thanks to one of Mal's inventions. His super intelligence and his lack of social skills isolate him from his peers, so he tends to just hang out with his dog. Very well written.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 6:46PM

Cover ArtThe coming of Conan the Cimmerian
by Howard, Robert E. 1906-1936
I read most of these stories in other volumes that are out of print now, but there is nothing quite like Howard's Conan stories. Conan is so primal and larger than life. Whether it is robbing an evil priest or killing some weird monster or fighting a group of soldiers, Conan stands apart as a true epic hero. It is fantasy mixed with adventure and horror. Not for the faint of heart, though. Howard's monsters are weird and gross and the violence is pretty graphic. Not recommended for children. PG-13, at least.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 6:44PM

Cover ArtPrince Valiant. Vol. 4, 1943-1944
by Foster, Harold R. 1892-1982
The return to Thule. After several years of adventuring, Prince Valiant gets homesick and travels home to Thule. Along the way, he stops off in England to help King Arthur with another invasion of Saxons. But once home, he has no peace since Aleta's beauty haunts his dreams so he sets out to have her undo her "enchantment" on him.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 6:37PM

Cover ArtPrince Valiant. Volume 3, 1941-1942
by Foster, Harold R. 1892-1982
Prince gets bored easily and is always on the lookout for more adventure and a good cause to fight for. He also like happy endings and will often set couples up for romance and marriage, much to the chagrin of his friend and mentor, Sir Gawain. In this volume, he encounters his future bride to be, Aleta, and loses his magical Singing Sword. His journey to find Aleta and get his sword back take him all over the Middle East and Africa.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 6:34PM

Cover ArtPrince Valiant. Vol. 2, 1939-1940
by Foster, Harold R. 1892-1982
I call this one Prince Valiant versus the Huns. After he helps his father regain the throne of Thule, he goes off to Europe for adventure and finds the Huns have overrun Europe. While Valiant doesn't take on Attila the Hun, he does fight against several hordes of Huns with his typical style of cleverness and valor. While Valiant is a great fighter, it is his intelligence and wits that set him apart. He often wins by tricking his opponents or turning them against their allies.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 6:23PM

Cover ArtPrince Valiant. Vol. 1, 1937-1938
by Foster, Harold R. 1892-1982
Hal Foster is a master of cartooning. The way he blends real places and real events into his fictionalized version of King Arthur and his knights of the round table is amazing. The story revolves around Prince Valiant, the son of the deposed king of Thule (basically Norway with a little Sweden) and his adventures as a knight of the round table. The entire series is great without being too violent or graphic. Plenty of action, adventure, romance, and exotic locales as Val forges his destiny in the medieval world.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 6:19PM

Cover ArtKing's man : [a novel of Robin Hood]
by Donald, Angus, 1965-
Told by Alan Dale, this Robin Hood tale has more history and intrigue than the usual Robin Hood story. In this version, Robin was an outlaw before and then joined Richard on his crusade which earned him his title and lands back. But when Richard is captured on the way back from the Holy Lands and John makes a play for the crown, Robin must again become an outlaw to stop John's plans.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 6:13PM

Cover ArtThe secret adversary
by Christie, Agatha, 1890-1976
Another Tommy and Tuppence mystery. These two are my favorite of Christie's detectives, although Miss Marple and M.Poirot are excellent, too. Something about the way they interact with each other makes me smile.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 6:07PM

Cover ArtN or M?
by Christie, Agatha, 1890-1976
Another Tommy and Tuppence mystery. This one with more than a little espionage. Like I said before, I love this sleuthing couple and their way of interacting with each other.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 6:02PM

Cover ArtMurder on the Orient Express : a Hercule Poirot mystery
by Christie, Agatha, 1890-1976
The classic Hercule Poirot mystery. 13 people on a train and one of them is a murderer! Poirot uses his "little grey cells" to solve the case. There is a reason this excellent book has been adapted so many times on TV or in movies. M. Poirot is a funny looking man, but with a shrewd and critical mind. As always, Christie recreates the atmosphere of the early part of the 20th century when trains were still the primary means of travel.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 5:59PM

Cover ArtMurder is easy
by Christie, Agatha, 1890-1976
"Why it's very easy to get away with murder," said the old lady on the train, "when no one would ever suspect you." A chance encounter on a train with a little old lady sets a young man on the path to unravel a series of murders in a small town. Not done with her more familiar detectives, but I think this book is my favorite of Christie's.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 5:53PM

Cover ArtBy the pricking of my thumbs
by Christie, Agatha, 1890-1976
A Tommy and Tuppence mystery. This actually was the first time I encountered this husband and wife detective team. A lot of fun. Like Nick and Nora from the Thin Man, although Tuppence does more sleuthing than Nora ever did. Funny and clever, this book made me want to read more about Tommy and Tuppence.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 5:49PM

Cover ArtAnd then there were none
by Christie, Agatha, 1890-1976
Also known as Ten Little Indians, this mystery has 10 strangers (each of whom has a secret of their own) trapped on an island where they are being killed off one by one. No familiar detective (Marple, Poirot) due to the setup. This book is a classic.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 5:44PM

Cover ArtA murder is announced : a Miss Marple mystery
by Christie, Agatha, 1890-1976
Agatha Christie is a master of ambiance. Reading one of her mysteries is like being transported back in time. Miss Marple, a cunning old lady with a nose for trouble and a shrewd judge of character, reads about an ad in the local paper where a murder is announced. She goes to unravel what the mystery is all about. Miss Marple is one of Agatha Christie's standard detectives. The books are not too long and they keep you interested all the way through.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 5:40PM

Cover ArtThe big big big book of Tashi
by Fienberg, Anna
A rare find. This book is a collection of stories about Tashi, a clever and brave boy from a far off land. Back in his homeland, he had many strange and wonderful adventures and encountered many mythical and magical creatures. But he always kept his head and used his courage and cleverness to outsmart his opponents and saved the day. He befriends a local boy, Jack, who he tells all his wonderful stories to. What I found most fun about this book was the reaction of Jack's parents. Rather than dispute the truthfulness of Tashi's stories, most of which border on the fantastical, they simply accept them. Jack's whole family loves to sit around and listen to "Tashi stories" as they call them. I especially liked this book because it emphasizes quick thinking and courage as solutions to problems rather than violence. A fun read for the whole family.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 4:14PM

Cover ArtCentaur aisle
by Anthony, Piers.
My all-time favorite book. Part of the Xanth series, it has it all: magic, humor, romance, and adventure. Dor must peril the dangers of Mundania(our non-magic world) in order to save the king and queen. In the process, he learns to trust himself and falls in love. While the rest of the Xanth series is pretty good, this one outshines them all. I can reread it over and over again. Some of the humor is bawdy, but without being too risque. If it were a movie it would be more PG-13, I guess. Not for younger kids.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 3:59PM

Cover ArtThe high king
by Alexander, Lloyd.
The last book in the series. Everything comes together in a final battle of good vs. evil. Draws from all previous books and brings back both old friends and enemies in one great tale of fantasy. More fighting than in previous books but without being too graphic in the details.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 5:29AM

Cover ArtTaran Wanderer
by Alexander, Lloyd.
Fourth in the series and my personal favorite. This is a story of Identity. Taran goes on a personal quest to find out the truth of his birth. Who are his parents? What happened to them? And the most important question of all, "Who am I, then?" The concepts here are deep without being too complex. A real coming of age story.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 5:20AM

Cover ArtThe castle of Llyr
by Alexander, Lloyd.
Third in the series of Taran & his friends. Lighter in tone than the previous book, Taran must come to grips with his feelings for Eilonwy as she is shipped off to the Isle of Mona for training in how be a lady. More romantic than previous books without being too mushy for younger readers.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 5:07AM

Cover ArtThe black cauldron.
by Alexander, Lloyd.
Second in the series. Deals heavily with the concept of Sacrifice and what really makes a hero. What would you be willing to give up in order to stop evil? Darker than the first book, there is still moments of humor mixed in. A real treat. Not a difficult read, but very enjoyable.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 4:57AM

Cover ArtThe book of three
by Alexander, Lloyd.
The beginning of the adventures of Taran, the Assistant Pig Keeper who wants to be a hero, and his friends. The entire series is filled with rich characters and humor and a real sense of good vs. evil (No cartoon villians here). You don't have to be young to enjoy this classic series of books.   posted Apr 22, 2013 at 4:49AM


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