Friday, August 30, 2013

You don't know me

By: Sophia Bennett
Location: FIC BEN
Genre: Chic Lit


Pitch Perfect in a book.
It has it all- the  music comp, the "fat girl" - though her name is not Amy- or Patricia for that matter  ( it is actually Rose), it has the bullying and the attempt at redemption. If you loved Pitch Perfect- then this book is for you. What it also does is have a cold hard look at the power of social media, and cyber bullying- what it does and who it can destroy. This is our world and so often we use the tools we have to destroy others - you see it is easier to mock on a phone, than to a face.
Yet through it all- the theme of friendship prevails, of girlfriends doing there thing, staying tight and together dealing with the cyber bully.
Kinda makes me really feel for those people who have gone through X Factor  and the like with all the issues they face- being public is not licence enough to destroy you on line for your looks, voice or what you say- aren't we bigger than that- nope- afraid not!
Oh- and in this story- there is the Pitch Perfect love story too!!
Great Chic Lit with real themes dealt with, but leaving you smiling, with a few tears!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chasing the Dark

By: Sam Hepburn
Location: FIC HEP
Genre: Adevnture/Mystery


"Mum's gone. Killed in a hit and run car crash.
Her last words a message for someone I've never heard of.
What happened that night? All I've got is a trail of secrets and lies, but am I just chasing the dark?"

The first in a pulse- pounding crime mystery series starring Joe Slattery, a boy left with nothing, who must uncover the truth of his hidden inheritance.

I wonder what I would say as a last message to my kids-  maybe " Eat with your mouth shut" or  "Wipe the bench down". Hopefully it would be a bit more meaningful like  " Never lose your integrity" or  "be the change..." but what I can tell you for sure- it will have nothing to do with an inheritance- sorry kids- love you anyway!!!

In the Shadow of the Banyan

By: Vaddey Ratner
Location: FIC RAT
Genre: Historical Fiction

The Killing Fields- the movie that made me weep beyond control- has a new story, a new voice- this story will leave you in the same state as the movie did me!!! Any story of tryanny and genocide makes me writh in powerlessness, the feeling that we humans can become so base, so cruel, so heartless. I am afraid this story- based on the authors own journey will make me experience those emotions all over again. Yet it is written so beautifully and written with hope- the brutality does not destroy  the beauty.

"The horrors committed by Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, as experienced by one extremely resilient girl. A brutal novel, lyrically told." Oprah Magazine

 "There will remain only so many of us as rest in the shadow of the banyan tree."

"Ratner's  first novel describes her family's story during the genocide carried out by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the late 1970s. Despite the  effects of childhood polio, 7-year-old Raami is living a charmed existence. Her father is a minor royal prince and a sensitive, even saintly, poet, a member of the wealthy intelligentsia. Raami and her baby sister, Radana, are cared for by their beautiful young mother and a household of kindly, devoted servants in an atmosphere of privilege and also spiritual grace. Then comes the government overthrow. At first Raami's father is hopeful that the new leaders will solve the injustice, but soon the new government's true nature reveals itself. Like most of the city's residents, Raami's extended family, including aunts, uncle, cousins and grandmother, are soon ordered out of Phnom Penh. They seek refuge at their weekend house but are driven from there as well. Part of the mass exodus, they try not to draw attention to their royal background, but Raami's father is recognized and taken away, never to be seen again. Raami, her mother and Radana end up in a rural community staying in the primitive shack of a kindly, childless couple. There is little food and the work is backbreaking. During monsoon season, Radana perishes from malaria, and Raami blames herself because she did not protect her adequately from the mosquitoes. Raami and her mother are ordered to another community. For four years, one terrible event follows another, with small moments of hope followed by cruelty and despair. But her mother never stops protecting Raami, and although both grieve deeply for their lost loved ones, both find untapped stores of resilience". Kirkus Review.
In the Shadow of the Banyan is one of the most extraordinary and beautiful acts of storytelling I have ever encountered. . . . This book pulls off the unsettling feat of being—at the same time—utterly heartbreaking and impossibly beautiful. There are some moments in this story that are among the most powerful in literature. This is a masterpiece that takes us to the highs and lows of what human beings can do in this life, and it leaves us, correspondingly, both humbled and ennobled.—
Chris Cleave (author of The other Hand )


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tom Gates

By  L. Pichon
Location: FIC PIC
Genre: Is it a book, or is it a graphic novel- or is it both?

This book is a story, made with words, doodles and and a stack of different fonts. It will suck you in as Tom Gates tells his daft stories in a nonconformist way! These books have won heaps of awards, and it tells the story of every 14 year old .- but lets the You Tube do the talking.
( But do you know who the real Tom Gates is... Thomas Sovereign Gates Jr. was United States Secretary of Defense from 1959 to 1961 - scary!!!)
 

The Zoo Keepers Wife

By: Diane Ackerman
Location: NF 920 ACK
Genre: Sheltering the Holocaust

Radical acts of compassion:

'Why do we humanize animals and animalize humans?'

What a combo-The story of animals in a zoo and a story of hiding Jews in Nazi Germany- I mean who would dare go to look in the Lions Cage- only if your name was Daniel I guess.

Jan and Antonina Zabinski were Polish Christian keepers of the Zoo when the Germans under Hitler's scheme of world domination and purification of Europe for the chosen race of Aryans began. Ackerman quietly builds her setting by concentrating on the special gifts of these two remarkable people in caring for the animals of the zoo: her descriptions of the various members of the menagerie are at once comical and insightful. When Hitler's move into Poland began the Zabinskis, long friends with the many Jews who lived around them, devised clever ways to turn the zoo and their own villa into a safe haven for the increasingly threatened annihilation of their friends who happened to be Jewish. Throughout the horrors of the German destruction of the city and the attempts of the Warsaw Uprising, led in part by Jan Zabinski, the couple maintained an atmosphere of calm and grace for the some 300 Jews in their hiding. Using the Zoo as a shield to deflect occupying German interest in animal studies as a part of their theory of purification, and as a means to gather food in the Jewish Ghetto for the 'animals', they were able to feed their 'guests' and provide papers and documents to aid the escape of the Jews who chose to flee Poland. And after the war the Zabinskis continued to refurbish the zoo and offer sanctity to those Jews whose lives had been so devastated during the crush of Warsaw.  Gardy Harp- Goodreads.com

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Alexander- Series


 
By: Valerio Massimo Manfredi
Location FIC MAN
Genre: Historical Fiction


This is a brutal trilogy of power, passion and grand adventure. It is the story of Alexander the Great, tutored by Aristotle, in love with Queen Olympias and on the journey to become the mightiest and most charismatic warrior the world has seen. He is one of the worlds greatest characters and this trilogy is written by Professor Manfredi- a prof in Classical Archeology- he knows his stuff!
This epic trilogy tours the known world  with an army that crushes any resistance at every turn, - Babylon, Persia, Egypt, India, the heart of Asia.
Actually- with this combo of history that takes me to exotic places of the world and at the same gives me some great learning of how our world was formed- I reckon this series will end up on my E Book and I will take it to Africa on my own exotic journey - I will feast on an amazing series.
All you Yr 13's that study Alexander in classics- this is the real story, the heart and the passion- I challenge you to read this and not come up with far better essays, because you will have the guts of the story, the colour and the tastes- go on - I dare you!!!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Darkness before Dawn- Series

By: J. A. London
Location: FIC LON
Genre: Vampires

Three in the series, Darkness before Dawn, Blood-Kissed Sky and After Daybreak.

- ONLY SUNLIGHT CAN SAVE US
- OUR LAST HOPE LIES WITH OUR OLDEST ENEMIES
- THERE IS NOWHERE LEFT TO HIDE

As you know- I don't like this genre, but this series is a student request, so I have obliged! It is about blood sucking vampires, who are concerned as Blood Supplies run low, and if they do, they become infected with a disease called Thirst- this turns them into mindless killers. Please -oh please, don't make a movie from these books! It all gets worse with 'Day Walkers' - vampires who can do there vampire thing in the day. Of course you have your hero's- Victor- a trustworthy vampire, and you have your arch enemies- Lord Valentine, and your heroine called  Dawn Montgomery who is only 17 years old, when her parents are assassinated following a meeting with the head vampire -Lord Valentine
Dawn and the rest of the humans, live in the city, which is surrounded by a guarded wall, meant to keep vampires out and humans in and supposedly safe from vampires. But as there's always rogue vampires around and it is dangerous to be out after sunset.
Go for it girls!!  All yours!!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ethans Voice

By: Rachel Carter
Location: FIC CAR
Genre: A Lovely Story



 We take for granted the ability to talk, to communicate what we think and feel, using speech. It is so easy to do- "Hay Im hungry- when is dinner?"  or "Wow look at that elephant- it is huge" or      "Thanks Mum- youre the best!". Of course now days we resort to texting, which is a cheapskate method to communicate, the true power of a story is with the words it is spoken by.

How do you begin to tell your story when you can't speak? Ethan lives on the canal. He likes it there. He can go to the pond and catch newts and minnows. He can learn everything he needs to know from books and from his mum. No one there laughs at him because he doesn't talk. Ethan can't remember exactly when he stopped talking or why. It is only when he meets Polly, a girl who has recently moved to the canal, that he begins to wish things were different.

The Book Thief Official Trailer

SO- here it is- the Book Thief  Movie Trailer.

Please though read the book first, because then you will have in your mind what Death looks like and  sounds like - if you know what I mean. How are they going to do that....


Thursday, August 22, 2013

The World Of Norm Series

By: Jonathan Meres
Location:FIC Mer
Genre: Humour

For all you weird students that like gas humour.....

Age: Nearly 13
Height: 1.53 metres
Eyes: Two
Likes : Bikes
Doesnt Like: Chelsea
Least Favourite Word: Hormones
Thinks: Everything is unfair
May: Produce gas

NORM knew
it was going to be one of those days when he woke up and found himself standing at a supermarket totally naked.

NORM knew
it was going to be one of those days when he got blamed for global warming. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.....

"Fans of Jeff Kinney who pick up THE WORLD OF NORM will not be disappointed. A funny clever book"
Books for Keeps

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Friend the Enemy

By: Dan Smith
Location: FIC SMI
Genre: War
Web page: www.dansmithbooks.com

Now there is an oxymoron- My Friend the Enemy. I reckon country music is an oxymoron as well.
It is because of books, stories, that I am becoming more of a pacifist, stories like Private Peaceful and Tu - they just annoyed me so much. Young men, talented, hopeful, and strong lads, sons, husbands and brothers- going to war to obey at times senseless orders- to kill and to die.
Yes I know that at times there is no choice and at times we need to protect our land, our freedoms with force, but to wilfully, blindly march in gungho war, declaring all of those people we fight against as evil- is not worth my sons dying for.
This is a story about Peter in 1941. A German plane is downed in his rural English village and he and his friend Kim, discover the enemy- a German soldier. They discover something about him- he feels, he laughs, he hurts, he has family, he is not the representation of all evil Nazism- he is in fact -Erik.
This story is about courage, it is about the choices we make- because they are right, and if Peters dad is in hiding in Germany as a soldier, maybe someone would look after him- as he plans to look after Erik- but it is not that simple, it often never is, when your friend is supposed to be your enemy.
This book has great reviews, and it is written really well!https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cambridge-High-School-Library/565905160095501

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Between the lives

By: Jessica Shirvington
Location: FIC SHI
Genre: Fantasy

The perfect life- OR the perfect love? Which one??

This story has an interesting plot- Sabine has two lives. A bit like our  neighbours cat! Lives a life of luxury in one home, and a life of fear and scare in the other- but one human pats him- so he keeps coming back. Two lives, two homes all in one day!!

 At midnight Sabine shifts and spends 24 hours in that life. At midnight she shifts back to midnight again and continues on with that day. She doesn't ever miss a day, or even a minute, she lives every day twice but there are differences between each life.  In one life she is glamerous, she has a designer wardrobe, perfect grades and the hot guy in school to date. In this life her future is charmed.  But then she shifts into her other world. In the second world she is from a poorer family, she is a bit of a rebel, her options arent great- yet her family cares for her.
In one life she has a sister, in the other she doesnt, her two lives are so different- yet it is just one life she lives.
For Sabine, life seems pretty set, she has come to terms with the fact that this is how her life is going to be forever, until the day she breaks her arm in one of her lives. her mind starts spiralling as she has never broken anything before; how is she going to explain a broken arm in her rich life? however, when she wakes the following day in her other life; no broken arm. how can that happen? Why hasn’t she ever tested this out before? Ultimately, can she kill herself in one life and live forever in the other? So the choice.... which one!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Enders Game: The movie

Ohhh this movie is going to be soooo gooood!!!! But PLEASE read the book first!

FIC CAR is where you will find it and all its sequels!

ENDER'S GAME is an epic adventure starring Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis and Abigail Breslin. Based on the best-selling, award winning novel  by Orson Scott Card.
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel

The Silver Bough

By: Lisa Tuttle
Location: FIC TUT
Genre: Fantasy and magic!!

The Silver Bough is a gentle fantasy that weaves Scottish mythology, magic and romance into a seamless tale of wonder.
It has a librarian in it and an apple orchard- well there are two things in common with me. Except in Nelson they never had a "Apple Queen" anyway I am too much of a hobbit to win a title of Apple Queen, but in this story- that title has magic, lore and destiny.

 Appleton, despite its name, is a Scottish town. Myths and rumors surround it, and there's always been a little aura of magic around the area. The town thrives on its apple industry--at least, it used to before it fell into economic shambles. The rational explanation for this decline is that the man who owned the apple orchard and mill disappeared without a trace, leaving his property mortgaged and the town without its most important industry. The magical one is that the Apple Queen, crowned at the apple festival, did not eat the gift of the golden apple provided to the town. Eating it with her sweetheart would've brought her her heart's desire and the town's success, but spurning the gift meant ruining the town.

Fast forward 50 years, and that's where this book starts. It follows the lives of three women, recent newcomers to the town. We watch as they fall into the magic and discover what they truly want out of life.

The prose here is absolutely beautiful. The first half of the novel seemed to go by a bit slowly, and the second half a bit too quickly. Overall, though, I thought this was a good example of the genre, and I would recommend this to those who like magical realism says Kara from Goodreads:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Zac and Mia

By: A J Betts
Location: FIC BET
Genre: Cancer Lit

I have journeyed with a family who have watched their lovely 15 year old daughter- Becca- die of a brain tumour, it was a surreal haunting ride, the emails from her father utterly heart wrenching. The journey into the world of cancer is a fearful one, a tsunami of emotion, a ride that has lows deeper than any ocean trough and then those deceiving highs that allow you to swell with hope...

The Fault in our Stars by John Green made it big, two teenagers with terminal illnesses journeying together, to savour life, conquer death and be in love.
This book is A. J. Betts version, yet is stands alone beside TFIOS not as a competitor.
The author worked for 8 years as a hospital teacher, so she has seen some stuff and knows her subject- illness and how kids deal with it and react within it.
It is set in Western Australia, that alone will make it a very different read from a book based in the USA.

The last person Zac expects in the room next door is a girl like Mia, angry and feisty with questionable taste in music. In the real world, he wouldn’t—couldn’t—be friends with her. In hospital different rules apply, and what begins as a knock on the wall leads to a note—then a friendship neither of them sees coming.

You need courage to be in hospital; different courage to be back in the real world. In one of these worlds Zac needs Mia. And in the other Mia needs Zac. Or maybe they both need each other, always.

Zac and Mia is a heartfelt, emotional, uplifting and raw novel about cancer, friendship and hope.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The ocean at the end of the Lane

By: Neil Gaiman
Location: FIC GAI
Genre: Fantasy

“Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.”

I love recalling my childhood, on a farm, at the end of the road. The lifestyle, the people, the Early's across the river from us, the Fosters down the road, with 5 daughters whose names all ended with...ine. There was Christine, Noeline, Pauline, Josephine, dieseline and gasoline- so we joked.
The taste of turnips eaten straight from the soil, the smell of freshly cut hay, the emotion of bleating sheep who have lost their
lambs, the stillness of walking across the paddocks with the Southern Alps infiltrating your soul- deep memories.
I can see why people get lost in the memories of childhood- especially a childhood spent on a farm.

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home on a farm to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a stirring and terrifying,  fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pomegranate Soup

By: Marsha Mehran
Location: FIC MEH
Genre: Food Fiction


I love Middle Eastern Food and I love a good story told. When you combine those two things- you have a recipe for book lovers heaven.
This book is a bit like, Chocolade or The Hundred-Foot Journey by, Richard Morais- a story of  exile, food and identity, yet this book goes one better- it includes recipes as the entry to each chapter.
Elephant ears- yum- I last had those in Silver Creek, Oregon USA at the Homer Davenport Festival, then there is Baklava and Torshi- which is made from EggPlant and so therefore must be very delicious.
This is a story of three Iranian sisters who end up in Ireland to escape the Iranian revolution and they end up in a nice quite reserved Irish village. To make a living they open the Babylon Cafe.
As the smell of traditional Persian cooking wafts through the Mall, it works its own magic on many of the townsfolk: business is growing as is acceptance. But the past is not yet finished with the sisters, and their future is threatened. 
In part this novel is about the clash of cultures and inherent suspicion about what is different. It is equally about the power of hope and the unifying role of food and the role of senses in life. In many ways, both the characters and the setting are irrelevant to these unifying points. The setting could be small town anywhere, the sisters could have any different cultural heritage. At the same time as each sister confronts her demons, many of the townspeople find the courage to question their own assumptions and values.
And as you read it...you get really hungry!!!

SPARTAN

By: Valerio Massimo Manfredi
Location: FIC MAN
Genre: Historical Fiction

According to Herodotus, not all the three hundred Spartan warriors perished during the Battle of Thermopylae: Two were spared and this is there story...

One is a cripple- the other- a warrior and they are brothers, they just don't know it!

If you saw the movie and likes  The 300 or Clash of the Titans- then this is a book for you.
Set in 504BC - 464BC in ancient Greece, this historical fiction was a thrilling read. The story begins in Sparta, and follows a young man born to a noble Spartan family, but abandoned due to his deformity. The boy is found by a Helot and raised as a servant to the Spartans. He later travels the world, and is torn between his upbringing and his heritage and the mystery surrounding his purpose.

An amazing story of courage and bravery and a fascinating look at the culture and laws of this period. Plenty of politics, intrigue, prophecy and war to keep you engrossed for the duration of the book.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Rosie Black Chronicles

By: Lara Morgan
Location: FIC MOR
Genre: Dystopia

Can you survive in a world where a bottle of water costs more then a shirt?


Five hundred years into the future, the world is a different place. The Melt has sunk most of the coastal cities and Newperth is divided into the haves, the “Centrals”; the have-nots, the “Bankers”; and the fringe dwellers, the “Ferals”.
Rosie Black is a Banker. When Rosie finds an unusual box, she has no idea of the grave consequences of her discovery. A mysterious organisation wants it – and will kill to get it.
Forced to rely on two strangers, Rosie is on the run. But who can she trust? Pip, the too attractive Feral, or the secretive man he calls boss?
From Earth to Mars, Rosie must learn the secrets of the box – before it’s too late.




Shades Of London Series

Titles: The Name Of The Star and The Madness Underneath
By: Maureen Johnson
Location: FIC JOH
Genre: Historical Paranormal

"Fear can't hurt you. When it washes over you, give it no power. It's a snake with no venom."

Jack the Ripper set in modern day London, it is a thrilling suspense with supernatural twist.

The Name of the Star was a thrilling start to what will no doubt shape up to be a highly entertaining series. Mystery, murder and mayhem haunt the streets of London as old terrors resurface and a teenager girl with a special ability finds herself caught in the middle of the terrifying chaos. A perfect blend of humour, suspense, history and supernatural which will appeal to all those fascinated by Jack the Ripper or else just in the mood for something fresh and captivating. Brodie from Goodreads.com

This book has one of the most divergent range of reviews I have seen- so come on- tell me- what do you think?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ship breaker and The Drowned Cities

By: Paolo Bacigalupui
Location: FIC BAC
Genre: Dystopia, violence and a bit of Social Justice to make you think!
Series: Ship Breaker

US NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST.


I have seen the doco's. We nearly all have. Kids in India and Bangladesh clambering around in old ship graveyards, trying get anything of value from them and then on selling them for a pittance, while others make huge amounts of money off their toil. We have seen how they scarp like seagulls over a french fry for whatever piece of coil, or scrap, they can find. The ship breakers in Bangladesh make for heartbreaking doco viewing.
This book is a dystopian view of this world, set in The Gulf- where oil spills happen and hurricanes of huge force occur. This is about a gang of ship breakers. the protagonist is a feisty young male called Nailor, he has the soul of a gladiator yet struggles always between what is smart and what is right.  The world is against him, especially his drug addicted angry father, there are no ''nice" characters in this story- they are all too busy trying to fight to survive. This books theme would have to be how people lose their humanity in the face of adversity.. but then a  young woman is found, on a ship being wrecked and what she does to Nailor and the ship breakers- becomes the soul and heart of this story. With a minimal love interest, this book is great for guys, it is technical, violent, harsh and real.
It is a trilogy. The Drowned Cities is second in the series and the third one is yet to be ....



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Prince of Thorns

By: Mark Lawrence
Location: Fic Law
Genre: Game of Thrones revisited...
Series: Broken Empire

It is gory, it is violent, it is gripping, it is a medieval fantasy trilogy.
Robin Hobb calls it "Dark and relentless."
Let me give you a taste..
" To reach greatness you must step on bodies.
Ill win this game of ours, though the cost of it may drown the world in blood"
Nothing like rage, treachery, rape, bloodthirsty thugs, slaughter, omens and dark magic to keep you reading, as for me Narnia is as far as I go, but since you are not all pathetic like me- go for it.
King of Thorns and Emperor of Thorns awaits you as well.
Don't say I did not warn you...

" A morbidly gripping, gritty fantasy tale"- Publishers Weekly

Eating Animals

By: Jonathon Safran Foer
Location: NF 613.2 FOE
Genre: Food and Ethics

I like meat, I love a good steak, I adore lamb curry and pan fried fish- hmmmm:) I am also pleased that mostly the meat I eat is from New Zealand, and our animals are treated with more dignity than the USA animals of mass consumption are. Yet in saying that it would be wrong for me to ignorantly stuff my mouth with medium rare and not know or understand what the issues with mass production of meat is doing to our worlds food supply as a whole. My husband and daughter have read this book, they still eat meat- but far less and far more thoughtfully.
My fear is if I read this book- then I will become a vegetarian as so many have- it is that powerful. Jonathon Safran Foer wrote this book from the journey of explaining to his son where the meat on his dinner plate came from and as he researched and discovered the truth of farming animals intensely for the BBQ, he came to the conclusion that eating animals is wrong.
He reckons Americans choose to eat less than .25% of the known edible food on the planet, and we can do so much better with a greater variety and not put the world food supply at risk.
So maybe it is time for me to figure out what some of the other 99.75% and go and explore that.
So Foer has illuminated everything and told this story extremely loud and made it incredible close to home.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Stork

By: Wendy Delsol
Location: FIC DEL
Genre: Fantasy and Love with a twist of Norse

Cool cover but why does every amazing female heroine have a name starting with K. Why cant a heroine be called Riley or Helen or Joy!! Why do they all start with K- does K have super powers or something! Anyway Katla the protagonist in this story is part of a ancient order of woman called Storks. Katla is a modern girl, into fashion, she has the typical angst with boys- good and bad, has to deal with her parents divorce and she writes for a column in the school paper -normal stuff, but she is not normal.
After her parents get divorced, Katla moves to her mom's hometown in Minnesota, which is full of people of Icelandic descent. Katla discovers that she's a member of a secret society known as the Storks, women who help guide souls into the right vessel - ie, they see a vision of a baby and help decide who the right mother is. It deals with Icelandic myths and not better-known ones. The author does a great job breaking down the lore and customs for the reader and putting it all in a contemporary setting. Katla is a fun main character, as she's got a mind of her own and isn't a passive individual. She takes action and really speaks her mind when necessary. There was also a good balance between the more paranormal parts - mainly to do with Stork duty - and Katla's life outside this society, from making friends at school to dealing with her parents.

" A snappy lighthearted supernatural romance" BOOKLIST

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Partials and Fragments

By: Dan Wells
Location: FIC WEL
Genre: Dystopia and Post Apocalyptic

This is about babies, it is about death, it is about survival and a deathly virus, it has real science in it and an amazing protagonist- Kira- that gives Katniss a great run for her money. It has rave reviews! Why is death and the end of the world so popular, or maybe it is the courage we find in those who fight to the end, to survive and overcome, maybe it is that we like!
Fragments is the second in the series and the third book in the series Ruins- is due later this year.
I am telling you now- this will be a blockbuster movie within a couple of years!!

Kira doesn't believe in the Hope Act, the law decreeing that every female over the age of 18 must get pregnant as many times as possible. No baby has ever survived more than a matter of days since the Partial War due to the deadly RM virus and Kira's tired of watching them die right in front of her when she, as a medic, can do nothing at all to save them. So when her best friend gets pregnant, she can't bear to see her child fall prey to the continuous string of disastrous fates and sets off to capture a Partial, the only beings that are immune to the virus, in the hopes of finding a cure before the baby is born.

Heston's Fantastical Feasts

By: Heston Blumenthal
Location: NF 641.59 BLU
Genre: Science, cooking and entertainment, so Scicookiment.

Ah yes- how to blow up food and eat it. Horror Food that is delicious. Titanic Ships you can eat and Willy Wonka made real.  Here is a few of the dishes in the menu: Dracula's Little Bites, Jekyll and Hydes Bubbling Potion of Transformation, Chocolate Water and the BFG, Lickable Wallpaper, or Savoury Slush Puppies.
This guy cooks like he is Roald Dahl's imagination let loose in a kitchen with King Henry the 8th watching over his every move as he sails into the yonder on the Titanic. If he moves- he cooks it, if he can think it up- he makes it. What I love about Heston Blumenthal- it all comes from his own genius, he has had no formal training as a chef, he just is the world best one!

Monday, August 5, 2013

City of Bones Movie- here it comes

I am ready- I have ordered more books, yep City of Bones movie is on its way, but please read the book first- I have multiple copies and will get more- promise!!!! It is going to be massive yet it's kinda scary, might need to duck behind a cushion, or maybe I am just weak! What do you guys think of the trailer??


Eleanor and Park

By: Rainbow Rowell
Location: FIC ROW
Genre: Young Love :)

Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”—John Green, The New York Times Book Review

Hmm can you met someone when you are a teenager and truly know love, what if you are both misfits, not the cool kind. What if for whatever reason others say you don't fit, different races, ages, family values. Well for the record, I met my man when I was 17 and we are about to celebrate our 28 wedding anniversary so there. You go Eleanor and Park- you show them it can be done, just like we have!!!
As for this book- it is a smash hit in the USA at the moment, and we got it here before it has got too famous, so I would read it now, so you can skite later!!

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under. Eleanor & Park is the winner of the 2013 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Best Fiction Book.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Rithmatist

By: Brandon Sanderson
Location: FIC SAN
Genre: Who cares- Sanderson wrote it!!!

Rithmatists are people who draw with chalk. The cool thing in this story is the chalk drawings come to life- there are goodies and baddies. This book is based on art, maths, geometry and calculations- not my cup of tea, which I wont be having many of over the weekend as I just chipped my tooth! But maybe I could draw a dentist in chalk and hire a Rithmatist and make the dentist come alive and fix my tooth for free. Only problem is I cant draw.

But Joel, the pragmatist in this book can draw, and he has studies the ways of Rithmatists and he cant be one, but he wants to be.
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings — merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake.
As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing — kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery — one that will change Rithmatics — and their world — forever.
With his trademark skills in world-building, Sanderson has created a magic system that is so inventive and detailed that that readers who appreciate games of strategy and tactics just may want to bring Rithmatics to life in our world.

Now for that dentist appointment, unless any of you know a Rithmatist that is handy!!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

By: Laini Taylor
Location: FIC TAY
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: First in trilogy called
 
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.
It did not end well.

“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes it’s own magic.”

Kristalia from Goodreads
This book was brilliant. It was majestic, beautiful, epic and strong... Everything about it was perfect : the characters, the story and the ending... Never before had i read about something so powerful that it left such a strong impact on me, that i remember every single part and detail of it.

It's so strong, it's so beautiful, it's just...magical!

This book will make you weep, cry and laugh... it will rip your heart out, and it will make you feel everything.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

We are back...

Holidays are over, school is back.
 I love the holidays gives me a chance to read- to escape into a book and savour it. I managed two these holidays- And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini and The Other Hand by Chris Cleave. Both are about redemption, both are about a journey, both are about a young female who is by circumstances disempowered and both these stories trace how they deal with and regain that which was lost to them.
Khaled Hosseini is a master story writer and this book is like the best coffee ever, it sits in your pallet and you mull on it, discover its depth and a few days later a new link reveals itself in your mind- this man is a clever writer.
Chris Cleave is a master wordsmith, the way he uses minimal words to express big ideas and emotions is genius. This book has to sit beside The Visitor- the DVD, as it explores the world of the detention centre and the hunting down of illegal immigrants that resides in them. It paints the Wests paranoia with foreign invaders of the desperate kind, but it also celebrates those who defend these people as co-humans with dignity and compassion. Le Havre works here as well, the more of a global village we try to be, the more these stories will become part of our reading diet.
Both these books  intertwine other stories of life, love, death and politics and both are great reads.
My E-Reader is already loaded for next holidays- Perfect by Rachel Joyce , Jodi Picoults -Storyteller and for a a bit of variety- Band-Aid for a Broken Leg by Damien Brown.
As for this term- if it is new- we have it, if it is coming we have ordered it, Inferno, Zoo Keepers Wife, Revenge wears Prada, the new TimeRiders book, the new Young Sherlock Holmes, extra copies of City of Bones and Ender's game. bring it on I say!! Oh- well done CHS students- we had 9% more fiction issued than we did last year and KINGS took out the house comp for the term!