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Chasing Vermeer
by Balliett, Blue
Plymouth Citywide Read 2011.   posted Jun 11, 2011 at 12:56PM

Dealing with dragons /
by Wrede, Patricia C., 1953-
The paintballs are shot out of paintball guns at substantial velocity by compressed air toward a target, either stationary or at other players. Element of the exhilaration on the game will involve avoiding getting hit anywhere about the human body by a paintball. Quite a few say that getting hit is often painful, depending on wherever it strikes, although padding and other protection avoid most serious injuries. Paintballs contain a nontoxic paint in varying colors, which is also water soluble, so it can easily be washed off of gear, outfits and skin. http://www.mofidan.com/index.php?subaction=userinfo&user=kopetpdqfw   posted May 25, 2014 at 2:46PM

Etiquette & espionage /
by Carriger, Gail
Gail Carriger fleshes out the world of Steampunk London in this semi-prequel to the Soulless Series. Etiquette and Espionage is book one in the Finishing School Series, and we follow around 14-year-old Sophronia as she learns how to sneak, poison, faint, and above all execute a proper curtsy. At the Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality Sophorinia uses all of her wits to find her place and the tangled web of conspiracies and gossip while still getting along with her new classmates. Fans of the Soulless series will appreciate the glimpses of well-beloved characters, and new readers will enjoy the introduction to a fabulous world. This book is aimed at a teen audience, but could easily be enjoyed by people of all ages.   posted Mar 17, 2014 at 4:26PM

Going postal : a novel of Discworld /
by Pratchett, Terry.
Moist Van Lipwig is a con man that has been going by the name of Albert Spangler. He's also going to be hanged by the name Albert Spangler. But when Lord Ventanari offers him the choice to run the antiquated, run-down post office civic duty (and a desire to keep breathing) compels Moist to leap at the opportunity. Of course, he didn't know that the Post office has been reduced to 2 people. And that there are letters everywhere. And Vetanari has given him a golem as a parole officer. And that the new clacks are trying to permanently disable the old post office. Will charm, a smooth tongue, and stamps be enough to save the day? Fans of Terry Pratchett will enjoy this story of the Discworld immensely, and new people will be brought into a fascinating world of magic and mayhem.   posted Apr 28, 2014 at 9:26AM

Holes /
by Sachar, Louis, 1954-
Stanley Yelnats the Third is in trouble and it's all the fault of his no-good, pig-stealing great-great grandfather. He has to dig holes in the desert for "his character" for stealing shoes that fell out of the sky. Also, this story involves gypsy curses, Kissing Kate Barlow, and stinky sneakers. Confused? Any plot synopsis would be confusing, but the book itself is one of those rare, but fantastic books that combines lots of plot elements together in a way that is facsinating, unexpected, and tight. No detail is actually wasted, the characters and the story suck you right in, and the ending is emotionally satisfying. Great for children, or the child-at-heart.   posted Jul 12, 2014 at 1:11PM

Homecoming : new and collected poems /
by Alvarez, Julia.
Julia Alvarez has a knack for taking mundane events like sweeping or laundry and making profound observations about family and life through them. Not that all the poems are about cleaning, but those were the first two examples I thought of. :)   posted Jun 3, 2014 at 5:22PM

Hyperbole and a half : unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem,
by Brosh, Allie
At some point past the age of 18, we are supposed to be adults. We are supposed to know how to feed ourselves, pay our bills, clean things, and take care of pets. We should know how to fend off a vicious goose that has wandered into our house. Allie Brosh talks about the trials and tribulations of mastering this whole "Grown up" thing with a healthy dose of reminiscing about her less-than-saintlike childhood. Based on her popular blog, http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/ Hyperbole and Half is a hilarious book that will have your eyes watering and your sides hurting. Laugh at her trying to raise the simple dog. Enjoy her tormenting her mother with a repeating parrot doll. And see yourself when she talks about the secret feeling that adulthood should come with a trophy. Read this book and then “Clean ALL the things”.   posted Jun 26, 2014 at 5:39PM

In the time of the butterflies /
by Alvarez, Julia.
Based on a true story, this book follows the lives of the 4 Mirabal sisters (also known as the Butterflies) who resisted Trujillo's dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in the 1950's. It's been a while since I've read it but I believe it is told through the alternating viewpoints of the sisters.   posted Jun 3, 2014 at 5:29PM

Just listen : a novel /
by Dessen, Sarah
My favorite Sarah Dessen book! Her books are always great in that they're romantic and yet more about the character development and dealing with tough situations than romantic entanglements. In this book, middle child Annabel deals with the sudden loss of her popularity from mysterious circumstances over the summer. (Don't worry, of course she reveals it later!) She gains an enigmatic new friend, the hulking Owen, who loves music above all else. Annabel has a habit of avoiding difficult things and lies often to avoid confrontation and to make people happy (or so she tells herself). Owen, on the other hand, always tells the truth. Always. So with his help Annabel learns to overcome what happened to her over the summer that caused her to lose everything and in the end gains so much more.   posted Jun 10, 2014 at 6:10PM

Lamb : the gospel according to Biff, Christ's childhood pal /
by Moore, Christopher, 1957-
“If you have come to these pages for laughter, may you find it. If you are here to be offended, may your ire rise and your blood boil. If you seek an adventure, may this song sing you away to blissful escape. If you need to test or confirm your beliefs, may you reach comfortable conclusions. All books reveal perfection, by what they are or what they are not. May you find that which you seek, in these pages or outside them. May you find perfection, and know it by name.” This is how Christopher Moore begins Lamb, foreshadowing the book ahead. It follows Levi Bar Alpheas, called Biff, as he learns and grows with Joshua bar Joseph, called the Christ. Sometimes pensive, sometimes baffling, but always hilarious, Lamb is perfect for people just looking to laugh OR looking to test their faith.   posted Jan 7, 2014 at 2:00PM

Let's pretend this never happened : (a mostly true memoir) /
by Lawson, Jenny, 1979-
This book is laugh-out loud hilarious. Who among us have never had to deal with a turkey following us to school? Who hasn't worried about scaring off a new boyfriend because your father has dropped a mountain lion in his lap? Even if you haven't had the same experiences as our author, you can still laugh and sympathize with her joys and sorrows. I highly recommend for a good, snarky time.   posted Jan 24, 2014 at 4:38PM

Moon called /
by Briggs, Patricia
I'm on the fence on this one. On the one hand, I really like the main character, Mercy Thompson. She is kind, compassionate, dedicated, smart and more importantly than some other characters I could mention in other series *cough Dresden cough* she actually knows when NOT to taunt the all-powerful vampire. Patricia Briggs accomplishes the fundamental goal of all writers- I wanted to turn the page to see what would happen next. I was invested in the characters. The stakes seemed real, and I even found myself caring about some of the tertiary characters and interested in their backstory. But, the story is a little forgettable. So of the story points (all female werewolves hate me because I can have children and they can't!) were tired and obnoxious. It wasn't so bad that I lost interest, and I am excited to read the book, but it did grate me the wrong way from time to time. Read it, and make your own decision- content warning for sexual assualt, death, and kidnapping.   posted Jun 26, 2014 at 5:20PM

Nightlife /
by Thurman, Rob.
If you like the show Supernatural, you might like this series. It has the same premise (2 brothers off on their own fighting supernatural monsters) but has its own little quirks to differentiate itself. Cal, the youngest brother, is sarcastic and angsty yet extremely loveable. His mother bred (yeah that's the best word for it, trust me) with these terrifying creatures called the Auphe so poor Cal is half monster and constantly beats himself up about it. Niko, the eldest brother, is smart, disciplined, and lethal. Together they roam New York City looking for jobs and somehow always end up in a bigger mystery. There are some great side characters as well, but I won't spoil their appearances. Definitely worth checking out, if only for Cal's hilariously snarky narration.   posted Jun 13, 2014 at 9:47AM

Size 12 is not fat : a Heather Wells mystery /
by Cabot, Meg
"The average American woman is a size 12" insists our protagonist, Heather Wells, to defend her own size. A former pop star, Heather Wells's mother rushed off with her money and her dad's in jail. She's living with her ex-fiancée’s brother, and working semi-incognito at a dorm in downtown New York. Life isn't that great, but it gets a whole lot worse when someone turns up dead at her dorm. Will Heather be able to figure out who the murderer is? Smart, and relatable, you will enjoy following along with Heather Wells as she deals with the every-day bizarre. The book is always witty, and at turns laugh out loud funny and edge of the seat tense. A quick read, but well worth the time. WARNING This is book one is a series of books. You may find yourself wanting to plow through the other 5.   posted Jan 4, 2014 at 12:24PM

Soulless /
by Carriger, Gail
Fantasy, steampunk, and London all come together in this, the first book in the Parasol Protectorate. In a world of vampires and werewolves, Alexia Tarabotti is a preternatural Soulless- a being who can turn supernatural human again as long as she is touching them. When she accidentally kills a vampire, she is thrust into the middle of an investagation (for Queen and Country, of course) with gruff but handsome Lord Maccoon, who just happens to be the local werewolf Alpha. Together they run afoul of mad scientists, vampire hives, and bad fashion. Can Alexia find who's making these rogue vampires without falling a foul of fiendish fashionistas? Will Lord Maccoon and Alexia realize their love when everyone else (in book and out) realized it on page 12? And can Alexia convince her friend Ivy Hisselpenny to give up her fondness for hideous hats? Read on to discover. If you like Pythonesque humor and steampunk, this is a book for you.   posted Jan 6, 2014 at 4:13PM

Spirit car : journey to a Dakota past
by Wilson, Diane
Plymouth Reads 2013.   posted Dec 10, 2012 at 4:59PM

Storm front /
by Butcher, Jim, 1971-
Not going to lie to you, this book is awful. It's one of Butcher's earlier works, and it shows. The story is a little clunky, the main character, Harry Dresden, is unlikeable and the rest of the characters come off as one-note. The only exceptions are Mister, Dresden's cat whom cat owners will very well recognize, and Bob, a spirit of intellect with a taste for lusty novels trapped in a skull. But if you hold on this series gets better fast. The Dresden Files series ends up being one of the most engaging works of urban fantasy of all time. A cross between a film noir PI and Merlin, Dresden fights the creatures that go bump in the night for very little pay and for a lot of heartache. Later books get fun, fast-paced, and very addicting. This book unfortunately just needs to be read to get an introduction to the world and the characters. But get past this and enjoy fireballs galore.   posted Jan 9, 2014 at 9:03PM

Sunset Boulevard [videorecording] /
by
Sunset Boulevard is not a book. But it is available at the library, so I feel it is worthy to add to the list. Sunset Boulevard is about Joe Gillis, a man who goes to Hollywood trying to make it as a screen-writer. We start out with some people trying to reposess his car. To escape them, he pulls into the driveway of a crumbling mansion to find the equally crumbling Norma Desmond, star of the silent films. She coerces Joe to edit a film she has written, which promises to be her grand return to film. Joe, short on cash and options, stays on. The story is both darkly comical and deeply tragic. Norma Desmond has cracked in her stardom and then her isolation. Joe struggles underneath the weight of Hollywood indifference. Great movie, classic of the time and well worth watching.   posted Apr 17, 2014 at 6:49PM

The Eyre affair : a novel /
by Fforde, Jasper.
I don't like postmodern, highly metatextual novels. The occasional lampshade* is fine, but yell at me "This is a novel! See how this is a novel!" can get grating. However, there are always exceptions, and this book marks a great exception. Follow Thursday Next, a SpecOps officer in a world that is close, but not quite, entirely unlike ours, as she maintains the intengrity of great literature and thwarts the evil Archades Hades. Hades has gotten his hands on the Prose Portal (and Thursday's aunt and uncle) and is threatning to go into novels and start killing main characters if people do not bow to his demands. Will Jane Eyre be safe? Is the Prose Portal safe in anyone's hands? And should England still be fighting Russia in the Crimera? Read to find out. Fans of literature and history will find the in-jokes hilarious. Keep a sharp watch for fun Easter eggs!** *http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LampshadeHanging **http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EasterEgg   posted Apr 28, 2014 at 9:16AM

The fault in our stars /
by Green, John, 1977-
Do I need to explain this one? Just google it and listen to the sound of tears.   posted Jun 10, 2014 at 6:14PM

The fault in our stars /
by Green, John, 1977-
Are you a fan of bawling your eyes out? Then this is absolutely a book for you. The Fault in our Stars follows 16-year-old Hazel Grace and her trials and tribulations as a cancer patient. She meets cute Augustus, who lost his leg to cancer, and the two fall in love. Despite being about teenagers with cancer, and it never flinches away from how much it sucks for our protaganist to have cancer, the book is surprisingly upbeat. Hazel Grace has a wry, sometimes sarcastic sense of humor and the book never feels treacly or preachy.   posted Jan 29, 2014 at 7:59PM

The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy /
by Adams, Douglas, 1952-2001
Arthur Dent is having a bad day. He woke up, groggy like normal, and his brain registered "yellow". A few minutes later, and a good cup of tea, and he realized that "yellow" was a bunch of bulldozers come to destroy his house to build a bypass. From that pleasant start, his life gets worse. Oh, and then then the planet gets blown up by interstellar bureaucrats called the Vogons. The first book in a five novel trilogy, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is probably the funniest thing science fiction has to offer. Offering a sharp look at the universe Adams shows us a fun-house mirror of our own little planet swirling about in an unfashionable arm of the Milky Way. Read and enjoy!   posted May 17, 2014 at 4:54PM

The Mists of Avalon /
by Bradley, Marion Zimmer.
An awesomely amazing epic book about the world of King Arthur. Mostly told from the female point of view, this takes the Arthurian tale and puts a different perspective on things. Clashes of family, religion, tradition, progress, temptation, and fate all add up to a story way better than what you remembered as a kid. And that was already a pretty good story to begin with. :)   posted Jun 3, 2014 at 5:49PM

The princess diaries /
by Cabot, Meg
This is a series I own and reread over and over again. The books are way better than the movies. If you've read the books then you know how ridiculous it is to have Julie Andrews play Grandmere. Because Grandmere is scary, not adorable. Or maybe you find her scariness adorable, I don't know. The movies are a whole other animal. And Mia even discusses the movies in the books! Anyway, I relate so much to Mia that I'm pretty sure I am her (without the princess thing) and Michael Moscovitz is pretty much my ideal guy so I gush over this series often. The geeky references, the realistic teenage drama (as opposed to a series like Gossip Girl), and the numerous wacky but loveable side characters all add up to a series that is my reading comfort food. I know it's fiction but man I swear these guys are just normal people out there somewhere and I'm on a mission to meet them.   posted Jun 30, 2014 at 10:50AM

The wallflower. 1 = Yamatonadeshiko shichihenge /
by Hayakawa, Tomoko
This series cracks me up! Horror movie-loving loner Sunako is forced to live with 4 hot guys who are renting out her rich aunt's mansion rent-free- but only if they can turn her into a lady. Of course she resists their efforts and chaos ensues. Sunako is adorable and badass and is actually super gorgeous but who wants to brush their hair when you can hang out at home in sweats eating ice cream while avoiding the sun?   posted Jun 10, 2014 at 6:35PM

Thirteen reasons why [sound recording] : [a novel] /
by Asher, Jay, 1975-
Wow, did this book make me cry! Clay Jenkins receives a package that contains tapes from his crush Hannah who committed suicide. The tapes explain why she did what she did and the various people and events that influenced her decision. Really makes you think about the impact people have on each other, even in small ways.   posted Jun 3, 2014 at 5:44PM

This is how you die : stories of the inscrutable, infallible, inescapable machin
by
There's a machine. You put your finger underneath, it takes some blood, and a little slip of paper comes out. On that little slip of paper, it tells you how you die. The machine is never wrong. Sometimes it's less than forthright, but the machine is never wrong. Would you look? How would this change society? Could we handle it? This book is a series a short stories set up to answer that very question. Some stories are funny, some tragic, some peaceful but none boring. This book is a fascinating exploration of our own mortality.   posted May 25, 2014 at 2:42PM

Trickster's choice /
by Pierce, Tamora
Tammy writes against type in this book, which follows after the "Lioness" and "Protector of the Small" series. Alianne is Alana's daughter, and she is looking to DO something with her life, and not be forever in the shadow of her famous mother. Her father is the king's Spymaster, and she thinks she would make an excellent spy but her parents think it is too dangerous. Fate interferes in the form of a Trickster God and Alianne is literally blown into harm's way. Can she prove that she is the spy she always thought herself to be? A story of gods, mad kings, racism, slavery, classism, and magic Trickster's Choice is a fascinating novel set in the Tortal world. Fans of Pierce will enjoy the continuing series, and those brand- new will enjoy the well-developed characters and fascinating locals.   posted Jan 11, 2014 at 4:44PM

Under a flaming sky : the great Hinckley firestorm of 1894
by Brown, Daniel
Plymouth Citywide Read 2012.   posted Mar 14, 2012 at 3:14PM

Wintergirls /
by Anderson, Laurie Halse.
This book provides a glimpse into the mindset of those dealing with eating disorders. Main character Lia was influenced by her friend to start starving herself, and her friend dies (that's not a spoiler, it's on the back of the book!). Heartbreaking but hopeful.   posted Jun 3, 2014 at 5:33PM

World War Z : an oral history of the zombie war /
by Brooks, Max.
If you like books that keep you up at night, this is definitely a book you'll want to pick up. The world has been overwhelmed by a plague that causes dead bodies to re-animate and attack. Only direct shots to the head can kill them, and a single bite causes infection. Humanity barely survived, and our narrator is tasked with writing up how it happened in hopes of preventing it from happening again. Told in a semi-documentary style, our narrator travels across the globe, from China to the United States, Ecuador to the Artic, telling the tale of how the virus started and spread. The zombies are described in vivid detail but the real scare is the all-too-plausible failures of multiple governments and human beings.   posted Dec 30, 2013 at 2:55PM

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