Friday, October 17, 2014

INTO THE WILD


 
INTO THE WILD by:  Jon Krakauer
 
 
This book was written in 1996 but I just picked it up.  What a good book.  This is a story with a tragic ending yet the book is still inspiring.  Young Chris McCandless was a man who marched to the beat of a different drummer but seemed to be living his dream.  He eschewed a traditional life.  He wanted to live by his own rules and live a totally self sufficient life.  This is a haunting tale of travel, adventure, and a young life ended to soon.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library


Monday, October 13, 2014

CINDERLAND, A MEMOIR


CINDERLAND, A MEMOIR by: Amy Jo Burns

Amy Jo Burns grew up in Mercury, PA where girls were taught to be good girls and quiet girls. So when Amy was 10 and the local piano teacher, who was also a sixth grade teacher, was accused of fondling his young piano students, Amy stayed quiet.  Seven girls made accusations against Mr. Lotte but Amy and a myriad of other girls stayed quiet.  They had learned not to make trouble.  The seven girls who came forward were prosecuted by the town's citizens.  People branded them as liars and troublemakers.  Mr. Lotte was eventually tried and received a one year jail sentence.  Several of the families with girls who had accused Mr. Lotte moved away.  No one ever spoke about the incident again.  Amy and the other girls kept their secrets and buried it away in their hearts.  This memoir is about the town, the people and what happens when something sinister tries to rend the town apart.  Amy Jo Burns is a wonderful writer and tells her story in a beautiful and honest voice.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Thursday, October 9, 2014

BEATING THE LUNCH BOX BLUES


BEATING THE LUNCHBOX BLUES by: J.M. Hirsch

Mr. Hirsch packs his son nutritious, delicious, and out of the ordinary lunches!  He started blogging about the lunches after a friend suggested it.  And then, Rachel Ray, offered to turn his blog into a book!  These lunches are sophisticated enough for an adult.  If you or your children are in a "packed lunch funk"  this book is for you!  The pictures in this book are phenomenal!  Mr. Hirsch used such novel containers for the lunches.  He also included beverages in a lot of the photos, which were all nutritious but rather out of the ordinary.  Also included in this book are 30 dinner recipes so that you would have left overs on hand to make the lunch time treats!  This is a great book!
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO




THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO by Captain Ted W. Lawson

This book, written in 1943, is an oldie but a goodie.  I had always heard of it and finally decided to read it.  This book is an eyewitness account of the 1942 Dolittle Raid over Tokyo.  Sixteen B-25's bombed industrial targets in Japan at close range.  The mission was a success and Captain Lawson's plane bombed its assigned targets in just 30 seconds.  However, because of bad weather, the plane ran short on fuel and ended up crashing in China.  Luckily Lawson and his men were rescued by the Chinese.  Most of the men were very badly injured.  Lawson lost all of his teeth and eventually his leg as well.  It took them many months to finally get back home to the United States.  Lawson had married right before he began training for this top secret mission and worried that his wife would be disgusted by his disfigurement from the crash.  Lawson thought wrong though, and his wife and her family welcomed him back with open arms.  I found this book to be very interesting.  It seems I only hear about Hitler and Germany with regards to WWII.  It was interesting to read this book describing this campaign which was a direct retaliation for the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Japanese. 
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

Friday, September 26, 2014

2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas

"2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas" is Marie-Helene Bertino's first novel. The lives of the three main characters intersect at legendary Philadelphia jazz club, the Cat's Pajamas, on Christmas Eve Eve.   Madeleine is a cigarette-smoking, foul-mouthed 9 year old who is raising herself since her widowed father spends his days in his room listening to jazz recordings.  Fortunately, there are members of the community who help Madeleine, including her art teacher, Sarina, who has just moved back to Philadelphia after a divorce.  Madeleine's wish is to sing on stage at the Cat's Pajamas, and as the chapters move through the hours toward 2 a.m., Sarina meets up with her high school crush, and the owner of the Cat's Pajamas, Lorca,  deals with problems (not necessarily well) in his personal and professional lives.  The writing is creative, with lots of imaginative wordplay, and there are a number of interesting characters.  Even though Madeleine is not exactly a likeable character, the suspense builds as the hours count down to 2 a.m.  Lorca has some legal issues and Sarina and her crush, Ben, do not leave the Cat's Pajamas together, but one has the impression that 2 a.m. at the Cat's Pajamas was a pivotal moment in their lives, as well as in Madeleine's life. Reviewed by Amy at the Harris-Elmore Public Library.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NORTH OF NORMAL

 
NORTH OF NORMAL: A MEMOIR OF MY WILDERNESS CHILDHOOD, MY UNUSUAL FAMILY, AND HOW I SURVIVED BOTH by: Cea Sunrise Person
 
 
 
Cea was born to a 15 year mother who was only married for 5 months before her husband left her.  It was at this time that Cea's grandfather packed up his family in an old VW bus and moved them all to Canada to live in the wilderness.  Cea grew up living in a tipi that had neither electricity nor running water with a pit for a toilet rather than an outhouse. Cea's mother, Michelle, eventually felt she needed to have a man so the two of them set off on their own course.  Cea's life became even more chaotic since her mom's main goal was to have sex and smoke pot.  When Cea was 13 years old she struck out on her own and was able to have a career as a successful model.  All she really wanted was to have a  normal life but it took her quite a few years, and much soul searching,  before she was able to achieve that goal.  This memoir was fascinating and I could hardly put this book down.  It's hard to believe that anyone being brought up the was Cea was could ever go on to be successful or lead a "normal" life.  She is a strong and amazing woman.
Reviewed by: Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library

 



Thursday, September 18, 2014

THE GIN AND CHOWDER CLUB

 
THE GIN AND CHOWDER CLUB by Nan Rossiter
 
 
This is the story about two families who have an old and comfortable friendship until the unexpected happens and there is the possibility that the two families friendship will be torn apart.  Feelings of guilt, shame, and jealousy plague the guilty persons.  Finally time and forgiveness ease the pain.  This book is a little bit "spicy" but it has a good message.  I enjoyed reading it.
Reviewed by Mimi @ Genoa Branch Library