Montana wilderness guide, Angie Powell, never dreamed that she might become Prey as she set out to guide one last pair of hunters before reluctantly selling her business to her competition, Dare Callahan. On this hunting trip to bag a black bear, Angie witnesses a murder and before the killer can turn on her, a man-eating bear invades the scene. An old friend of Angie’s has asked Dare to watch over Angie as the hunters seemed suspicious. Dare is camping nearby and hears the shots–He finds Angie, exhausted and nearly dead crawling away from the camp. Forced together for their very survival, Angie and Dare find a growing attraction as they are stalked across the mountain by a desperate killer and a man-eating five-hundred-pound beast.
Ravka is a place of hardship for most. It is ravaged by wars with hostile neighbors and has been split in half by the Shadow Fold for the past few hundred years. The Fold is a dead, dark place filled with volcra, creatures that fly out of the darkness and snatch and eat the men trying to reach the ports of Ravka on the other side of the Fold. Some in Ravka, known as the Grisha, have special powers ranging from the ability to heal wounds to the ability to summon fire. The Shadow Fold itself is the result of a Grisha known as the Black Heretic’s greed and lust for power.
Alina and Mal are soldiers in the First Army who grew up together on a noble estate after being orphaned in the Border Wars and have been best friends since their shared childhood. They must cross the Fold, or Unsea, on ships made to cross the dead sand and dust. Ships powered by Grisha who can summon the wind. When their ship is beset by volcra and Alina and Mal are moments from death, Alina’s desperation makes her use a dormant power, one the people of Ravka have been waiting for since the Fold first appeared.
Alina is swept away to the palace by the Darkling, head of the Grisha, to train and learn to use her new found power. Without Mal she feels more out of place than ever, and the palace is filled with intrigue and people with hidden motivations. Who can Alina trust in this strange new world?
Balthazar and Hebe Jones were very happily married and parents of a small son, Milo,when Balthazar accepted a new job in a very unique place. The family moved to the Tower of London so Balthazar could serve the Queen as a Beefeater.. The adjustments were many, such as adjusting to living in rooms with no square corners only rounded walls with ancient markings left by the centuries of prisoners who were held there while imprisoned. Balthazar is nominated to become the Keeper of the Royal Menagerie. Gift animals given to the Queen by heads of state had been kept in the Tower from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries when they were transferred to the London Zoo. Now they are being returned to the Tower to attract more visitors. Hebe and Bazlthazar are upset over the new responsibilities, but their most difficult problem is learning to deal with their grief over the loss of their son. The curious setting and unique, zany and funny story is actually a very charming love story with much historical interest. Like most historical fiction there is some truth to the story of the Royal Menagerie explained in this link.
Backfire, the 16th book in Coulter’s FBI Thriller series begins when San Francisco Judge, Ramsey Hunt, is presiding over a murder trial. The proceedings take a radical turn when the prosecutor, O’Rourke is suddenly nowhere to be found. Judge Hunt suspects that O’Rourke’s life has been threatened–But a twist–Judge Hunt is shot as he stands on the patio of his home. Hunt, a longtime friend of FBI agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich receive news of the attack just as Savich receives a note: ”You deserve this for what you did.” Who is behind the shooting of Judge Ramsey Hunt? Who is threatening Savich?Where is the missing prosecutor? Savich and Sherlock race to San Francisco to find out–watching their backs all the while. Enjoy the entire series, which begins with The Cove.
After reading Wool Omnibus by science fiction author Hugh Howey, he will be on my “must read” list. This particular book is actually a collection of the five Wool novellas, the first of which was self- published by Howey in July 2011. Wool takes place in an underground “silo” at some indeterminate time in the future. Life in the silo is strictly controlled and orderly. The strict rules and population control are necessary to prevent any more uprisings. Life outside the silo is uninhabitable; at least that’s what everyone is told. The only view from the top floor of the silo is of brown hills, dust storms, and crumbling skyscrapers in the distance. No one who has left the silo has ever come back. It is even forbidden to talk about going outside the silo. Discussing it will get you exactly what you wish. That is precisely what is happening to Sheriff Holston. He used to be the enforcer, and now he is the one being sent outside. He will join his wife who was sent outside three years before. Holston’s story sets off a chain reaction of events with different characters that begin to unravel some of the secrets surrounding the silo. How did everyone get in the silo? Who built the silo? What is in the outside world? Is it really unsafe to go outside? Do the silo’s leaders really have everyone’s best interests in mind? For everyone who enjoys the Wool series, Howey is working on a prequel series as well. You check out his progress on his website: http://www.hughhowey.com/.
Every day life may never seem every day again. Life in Southern Florida with Mama is never every day stuff. When Bailey’s father, through his fourth wife, leaves them his 1958 Porsche, in original condition, Mama wants to put it out to pasture with the tractors and lawnmowers. Instead, she takes the screen off the back porch and parks it there, never to be moved again.
When Mama isn’t feeling well and Bailey convinces her to go to the Instant Care Facility to see the Doctor. Mama was really impressed with the curb side service and easy remedy. What Bailey didn’t know was that it was the three butchers from the grocery store who gave Mama the advice.
Then there are other family members that add to the mix, like Aunt Belle, who tames an alligator by giving it dead chickens for treats. When a cousins fiance’s family is coming for Thanksgiving, Bailey and her sister try to rid the house of stuff, but Mama is not overly willing to have her house cleared out. Mama Makes Up Her Mind keeps the smiles coming as you read about this family’s southern living.
When starting a book, the anticipation can be tremendous.
Who will these characters be? Which ones will I like/love/despise? Where will the story take me? Will there be adventure? Tragedy? Laughter? Tears?
If we are lucky, a few chapters in we have settled in with good friends, in a familiar setting. We have become comfortable in this new world. We can’t wait to see what each turn of the page will bring.
We’ve settled in and become comfortable. Yes, twists and turns in the plot may make us anxious, but with luck, our heroes/heroines will come out of the situation without too much damage. Though they, and we, may not see it for some time, hopefully they have learned and grown from their ventures.
Then, many times before we know it, the story is coming to a close. We begin to realize we will soon have to let go of all of the people, places, and things to which we have become attached. We know the end our time with them is near.
Then, it is over. You put the book down and reflect on everything that just happened. Whether it took a few hours or a few weeks for us to get through the story, if it is one we enjoyed, it is a bittersweet moment. We hope for a sequel, but know that more often than not, this is the end.
Now we can only imagine what happens next. For our favorite characters, we imagine greatness in their future. Happiness, love, and all good things.
I’m sure I am not the first person to realize that books really do reflect life. Even if the adventures are way beyond anything we would actually experience in real life, the jest of the scenario is relatable.
Such is true for me this week.
After six and a half years as Young Adult Librarian at Manhattan Public Library, I say goodbye this week to head off to the next adventure in my career.
From my first day at MPL, I have always known this was a special position at a special library. In my time we have been able to take the Young Adult area from a single isle of books in a far corner, to a welcoming section with seating, displays, and a booming programming schedule.
While I am apprehensive about leaving MPL, I take comfort in knowing that staff and teens will work to keep the programs going and continue to build this crucial area.
So many people have worked alongside me over the past few years to encourage teen reading and get teens active at the library that I could never thank them all; but I hope the next YA Librarian at MPL will have the wonderful experiences that I did in meeting teens, community members, educators, parents, and all those involved in other community organizations.
The hardest thing for me this week will be to say farewell to some teens I have known for many years now. When I came some were just approaching middle school, and now those same kids are in their last year(s) of high school. I have seen so many of them grow into wonderful young men and ladies and can’t wait to hear about all of their accomplishments in the near future.
Looking back on the first time I ever wrote this column as a staff member at MPL, I was able to speak more about what a Young Adult Librarian is and what they do.
I pointed out that telling someone you work with teenagers causes one of three reactions: fear, sympathy, or confusion. To this day, that is still true.
However, I am now able to add in the description of my job that “my” teens are so much fun and appreciate me for who I am and what I can do for them that every day is an adventure, and every time I get to be around the teens I learn more about teens, about my job, and about myself. Working with teenagers for more than nine years has given me a unique perspective on the world, one which I believe keeps me young.
The volume of my life that has taken place around Manhattan Public Library has been a good one. With lots of twists and turns, but ultimately with a happy ending that leaves us all looking forward to what happens next.
With all this in mind, I leave you with a quote I recently found by Terry Pratchett in his YA book Nation.
“No more words. We know them all, all the words that should not be said. But you have made my world more perfect.”
In the third book in his series featuring the character Mike Bowden, author Paul Doiron has created another fast-paced mystery which follows the exploits of the Maine game warden. Bad Little Falls takes place in the desolate area of far northeastern Maine, where Bowden has been exiled by his bosses for actions he took in the previous book The Trespasser. Washington County is along the Canadian border and is plagued with poverty as well as drug and alcohol abuse. During the height of a blizzard, Bowditch is called out to assist with a rescue, which quickly turns into a murder investigation. He is threatened by local game hunters, encounters a strange, troubled boy, is attracted to the boy’s mother and must decide whether to put his job on the line and become involved in the investigation of the murder. Doiron’s characters are well developed, plots are tightly woven with twists and turns and his ability to portray the scenery and atmosphere of the cold northern Maine landscape pulls the reader into the story. If you are a fan of C.J. Box, this series should appeal to you.
Every year a handful of Kansas book lovers have the difficult job of choosing their favorite books written by Kansans or about Kansas. This group of representatives from the Kansas Center for the Book, choose a list of the best books published the previous year by Kansas authors or about our state and then forward this list to the State Librarian for the final selections.
They must consider many titles including fiction, nonfiction, adult and young adult books. In early July the 2012 list was announced. Yesterday, the winning authors were awarded medals at the Kansas Book Festival in Topeka. The following titles were chosen as the winners of the seventh Kansas Notable Book list.
8 Wonders of Kansas! Guidebook by Marci Penner
The 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook is a 272-page book filled with over 800 beautiful photos of the 216 entries in the 8 Wonders of Kansas contests. Author Marci Penner has created another useful tour guide to help us enjoy our state’s highlights.
The Afterlives of Trees by Wyatt Townley
This new collection of poems by Wyatt Townley uses trees as a motif to explore the theme of transformation.
Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming
This is the thrilling story of America’s most celebrated female flyer, Amelia Earhart, who was born in Atchison. It is told alternating between Amelia’s life from childhood up until her last flight and the exhaustive search for her and her missing plane. Level: middle graders.
Bent Road: A Novel by Lori Roy
Arthur Scott tries to escape the race riots of 1967 Detroit by returning with his family to the tiny Kansas town he left 25 years ago after the violent death of his sister.
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard
For a man forced into the presidency, the legacy of James Garfield extended far beyond his lifetime, Destiny of the Republic revisits his meteoric rise within the military and government with meticulous research and intimate focus.
Doc: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell
Dr. John Henry Holliday, an ailing Southern gentleman, arrives in Dodge City with a prostitute who helps him find high-stakes poker games that will support them both in high style. The unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and a fearless lawman named Wyatt Earp begins here.
The Door in the Forest by Roderick Townley
Roderick Townley spins a magical tale of lies and truths, of secrets kept and secrets revealed in this adventure story for youth or the adventurous at heart.
Liar’s Moon by Elizabeth C. Bunce
One of Kirkus Blog’s Favorite YA Novels of 2011, Liar’s Moon is a sequel to StarCrossed. These are high-fantasy, forbidden magic with castles, prisons, poisons and passion.
My Ruby Slippers: The Road Back to Kansas by Tracy Seeley
At 39, settled in San Francisco, a midlife crisis shakes Seely to her roots — she tells the story of a search for Kansas roots, the tale of a woman with an impassioned if vague sense of mission: to find the meaning of home.
The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory
by James N. Leiker and Ramon Powers
The Northern Cheyenne in 1878, attempted to flee from Indian Territory back to their Montana homeland. This important event in American Indian history is equally important in the history of towns like Oberlin, Kan., where Cheyenne warriors killed more than 40 settlers and in turn suffered great losses through violent encounters with the U.S. Army.
Osa and Martin: For the Love of Adventure by Kelly Enright
Legendary filmmakers and adventurers Osa and Martin Johnson, via film, brought the jungles of Africa and the South Pacific to millions of Americans from the 1910s to 1940s. Kelly Enright brings this amazing couple fully to life, chronicling their journey from a honeymoon among cannibals to safari camps in lion country.
Prairie Fire: A Great Plains History by Julie Courtwright
This traces the history of both natural and intentional fires from Native American practices to the current use of controlled burns as an effective land management tool, along the way sharing the personal accounts of people whose lives have been touched by fire.
Rode by Thomas Fox Averill
This is the imagined story behind Jimmy Driftwood’s ballad “Tennessee Stud”, a story of the legendary exploits of the greatest horse that ever lived and his owner.
Send Me Work: Stories by Katherine Karlin
In this collection of short stories, Karlin offers rare insight into the place of work in the lives of women.
Tapped Out: Rear Naked Chokes, the Octagon, and the Last Emperor: An Odyssey in Mixed Martial Arts by Matthew Polly
At the age of 36, author Matthew Polly decides to immerse himself in Mixed Martial Arts training and competition in order to write a book about it.
This is the only honor for Kansas books by Kansans, highlighting our lively contemporary writing community and encouraging readers to enjoy some of the best writing of the authors among us.
Baxter Black shares his dry wit and poetry with us in Horseshoes, Cowsocks and Duckfeet. There is something for everyone in this book by the famous NPR cowboy poet. Those from a rural background will understand each story and those more urban can appreciate most of his two page humorous stories told on NPR in 2001.
He covers rodeos, politics, doing laundry, getting in accidents, all kinds of critters and veterinarian woes with sarcasm and wit. My favorite is on page 125, a family story he shares about his small daughter’s payback for the many times he has scared her. Baxter Black is good medicine for the soul!
Meredith Hayes feels she must warn the Archers of the plot she overheard her, so called, fiance planning. He wants the land and would do anything to run them off. The Archer land is gated and locked. They may shoot before a person gets a chance to tell them their business. But, because of an encounter years earlier, Meredith wants to give them information to help them save their land.
After sustaining an injury on Archer land, Meredith is nursed back to health with the care of the four Archer brothers. When her Uncle finds out she’s been with them unchaperoned, he insists that one of them takes her as their bride. The brothers draw straws to determine which one of them must marry her. Travis, the oldest of the four, ends up with the short-straw and the responsibility of Meredith.
With trouble from greedy land grabbers and trying to keep his new wife safe, Travis has his hands full. Meredith wants to help, but Travis wants to keep her in the house out of harms way. When her cousin, Cassandra, is in danger, Meredith sneaks out to help, putting them all in danger. The characters from Short-Straw Bride are fun to get to know and Karen Witemeyer has entwined the story with much adventure.
In this true life adventure tale, Colin Angus and two of his friends decide that it would be a great idea to raft down the entire length of the Amazon River from its source to where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon River is the second longest river in the world, and the largest by volume, so this was no easy task. Their journey started on the Peruvian coast where they began trekking across the desert to find the source of the Amazon in the Andes Mountains. Before even setting foot on the river, their lives were in danger of ending from dehydration as they realize their 50 year old maps are not entirely accurate. As they near the wild Apurimac River, the start of their rafting, countless locals warn them against embarking on this quest. The Apurimac drops from an elevation of 17,700 feet to 4,900 feet in only 37 miles, and other adventurers before them have perished in its violent waters. After finally beginning their trek down the Apurimac, they come close to drowning themselves on only their second day on the river. The river isn’t the only source of danger, however. Part of the river runs through areas which are known for harboring terrorists and at one point they even come under fire from bandits. At least two thirds of the book takes place in Peru, so there are bits and pieces about Peruvian history and culture that were fun to learn. If you like adventure or travel tales, give Amazon Extreme a try.
Have you ever wished you could reach into a book and pull out one of the objects described? How about Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak? Excalibur? The Hope Diamond? The possibilities are nigh endless. Isaac Vainio is a libriomancer, basically a wizard who can reach into books and create the objects found within. He is also a member of Die Zwelf Portenaere (the Porters), a group who keep magic in check and train people with magical abilities. After an incident where Isaac’s magic got dangerously out of control, Isaac is now a cataloger working at a small library in Michigan and not allowed to use his magic, except in order to defend himself.
When three Sanguinarius Meyerii (Twilight-style vampires) show up at his library and try to kill him, Isaac is drawn back into the world of magic and a conflict between the Porters and the vampires.
The creator of libriomancy, Gutenberg, is missing. And the vampires believe he is behind the attacks that have been perpetrated against their kind. If Gutenberg isn’t found and the attacks stopped, it means all-out war between the vampires and the Porters and the possibility that the mundane world will find out about magic. The Porters are doing their best to contain the conflict with the vampires, but they don’t have anyone left to send after Gutenberg. Isaac, his fire spider, and a dryad named Lena Greenwood are the only ones left who can find Gutenberg and prevent a war.
This is a great book for any bibliophile, particularly ones who enjoy science fiction and fantasy.
Open the back cover of Calling Invisible Women and you will hoot with laughter. The photo of the author, Jeanne Ray, is as imaginative as this story.
Clover Hobart is a middle aged mother of two young adults and the wife of a pediatrician with an insanely busy practice. One day she discovers that she is invisible. As any middle age woman knows, this is not uncommon, however, Clover was actually gone. She could not see her own hands, face or anything else. This crazy situation was being experienced by other women that Clover finds through a newspaper ad she stumbles over while searching the notices. The 10 a.m. meeting at the Downtown Sheraton of equally invisible women brings comfort to Clover and a determination to discover the source of their invisibility. Could a combination of prescription drugs that all of these women have taken actually lead to this result? How are they going to battle a major pharmaceutical company? When will her family actually take notice of her condition?
Jeanne Ray wrote her first book as a retirement project after working forty years as a registered nurse. This New York Times bestselling author has a wonderful sense of humor. I can’t wait to see what else she has written.
God is kind of bored with earth and humanity. The share of the population that believes in Him has been steadily decreasing, and He can’t really see why He should continue to waste any more time and effort on people. He’d much rather refocus His efforts on His next big venture, an Asian fusion restaurant.
Angels Craig and Eliza in the Miracles Department don’t see it the same way. They like their jobs, surprising people with small good things happening during their day. Craig convinces God to make a bet with him. If Craig and Eliza can make one prayer come true, God won’t destroy the Earth. The prayer(s) they decide to answer should be a piece of cake. Sam and Laura, two people living in New York City, both separately prayed to be together. The problem is that Sam and Laura are socially inept and keep passing up the opportunities Craig and Eliza give them. This saving the earth thing may be harder to accomplish than they thought.