Friday, January 29, 2010

Recommended for Teens and High School Teachers

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

A haunting and yet completely captivating story about a girl named Hannah. Hannah killed herself, and one morning Clay finds a box with cassette tapes sitting on his doorstep. Before Hannah ended her life, she left these tapes to 13 people. These, Hannah claims, are the reasons why she committed suicide. Clay must listen to all of them in order to find out what he may have done that contributed to Hannah's despair and ultimately, her death.

There are a lot of heavy issues dealt with in this book, from suicide to rape to the damange one person can do to another without ever realizing the consequences. Readers will alternately dislike Hannah for her selfishness, and yet be able to identify with her predicament. Mostly though, this book will promote discussion between teens, friends, and parents about suicide, treating people with respect, and the impact one life has on another. No matter what your thoughts on the subject matter may be, you'll get sucked into this book just as I did. In terms of time - I read this book in a single day.

Notes from the playlist: "For May" by Kavin Hoo

Monday, January 25, 2010

Recommended for Writers (of everything)

Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White

A great little book for writers of term papers, fiction, and nonfiction alike, the Elements of Style has been recommended to students by professors and professionals ever since it's mass publication by E.B. White (yes, the E.B. White). Focusing on grammar hiccups and ways to improve your writing by making it concise and pop-off-the-page effective, it should be on every writer's shelf. Just remember one thing; this is a bit like the Pirates' Code. While everything in this book is a great idea, there are times during one's writing life when "them's more like guidelines than actual rules."

[What can I say? I love a good fragment.]

Read the Epinions review here!

Notes from the playlist: "Long Distance Runaround" by Yes

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Recommended for UFC Fans, MMA Practicioners, and Humor

Got Fight? by Forrest Griffin

Want to learn about MMA (among other things) from Forrest Griffin? Then read this and laugh your ass off in the process.

No joke. Forrest Griffin's book is full of fighting advice, moves, tips, and freaking hilarious anecdotes and smart ass writing that is guarenteed to have you laughing, learning something, or possibly even both. The second I finished this book, I stuck it up on the recommendation shelf. If anyone is looking at it or asking about it, I handsell it like there is no tomorrow. Yes Forrest, I'm one of those 3 (or 2 I believe you knocked it down to) girls that actually read your book. We had to order them in batches to make sure we had 10 in the store at any given time. When the book came out, we only had 4 to start with.

Read the Epinions review here!

Notes from the playlist: "Scream" by Avenged Sevenfold

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Recommended for Teens and Fantasy Fans

Libyrinth by Pearl North

Brought to you by the woman who helped me work through my novel, this is a tale that happens so far in the future, you'll barely recognize the world. What you will recognize are the passages from old books like Charlotte's Web and The Diary of Anne Frank. A young girl named Haly lives in a massive library known as the Libyrinth must take on a journey to save those she loves. Of course, it doesn't start out that way. It begins with a quest to hide The Book of the Night from the book-burning Eradicants and turns into a journey of song, technology, understanding, friendship, imps, war, miracles, and the wonder of the written word.

Once the action starts, it hardly ever stops (and it doesn't take long to start either!).

Read the Epinions review here!

Notes from the playlist: "Menouthis" by E.S. Posthumus

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Recently Finished

Allies of the Night and Killers of the Dawn by Darren Shan

Finally! It took months to get the 8th book, and when I got it, I breezed through it and the next one. Now I just have to wait a little longer before I can get through the last three in the Cirque Du Freak Series.

Not much happening in the Cirque, actually. Darren and his vampire mentor Crepsley have long since left the cirque, and after several years of hardship, losing friends, battling foes, and absorbing prophecies, they face their greatest enemy, and if they fail to kill him, vampires around the globe will be wiped from the face of the Earth.

Darren's gotten better, Shan's writing has improved (whether that is on purpose or happend naturally I'm still not certain), and the story has gone to quite interesting. Still not quite my cup of tea in certain respects, but I can see why it's a popular series nonetheless.

Read the Epinions reviews here and here!

Notes from the playlist: "Woad to Ruin" (yes, spelled like that) by Hans Zimmer

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Recently Finished

To Tame a Highland Warrior and The Highlander's Touch by Karen Marie Moning

Continuing on my journey to discover all I can about the mysterious Adam Black everyone claims is Jericho Barrons in Karen Marie Moning's Fever Series, I've recently finished the next two Highlander books. Adam is only present in one of them, and I'm not much closer to believing he's Barrons, but to each his own.

Berserkers and women snatched from time feature in these two books, full of denied love, passion, and of course a bit of fighting here and there. While Moning still head-hops in these books, I don't much care (though I know if I were to submit anything like that, I'd be rejected in two shakes). They're good fun and high on the romance scale. They're aptly placed in the bookstore, I'll tell you. If you like Scottish men with rock hard bodies and some serious lovemaking skills, then these are the books you'll want to indulge in. And Moning makes sure to keep her history as accurate as possible, all while interweaving names and ideas that you'll recognize from past books (if you're reading in order, that is - which I recommend doing).

Notes from the playlist: "Sleepwalker" by Adam Lambert

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Recommended for Kids (and people who love fun pictures!)

I Spy: Fun House by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick

Yes, another I Spy book. But what can I say? I love them and want everyone to take a peek inside one and see if they can tear themselves away. The fun house is indeed a fun house, with crazy mirrors, clowns, balloons, fanfare, and magic, and all kinds of other carnival treats. All the while you search for little things like keys and animals and secret images and words. Expertly set up with all sorts of unique objects from new to nostalgic to make some fantastic photos for the book, it can keep a person engrossed for quite some time. More riddles in the back if you run out of them in the book! Or just take your time on each picture and notice all the tiny intricate things that hide in the pages.

Read the Epinions review here!

Notes from the playlist: "Heart of Gold" by Neil Young

Friday, January 1, 2010

Just Cracked Open

The Intellectual Devotional: Modern Culture by David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim

Well, another year, another Intellectual Devotional. Yesterday saw the end of the original Intellectual Devotional, so now it's time to learn some new things. While the first one I ever read was based on American History, the second based on world information, now this one is all modern culture, from Alfred Hitchcock to Hiroshima. Luckily for me, David and Noah came out with yet another one last October, The Intellectual Devotional: Health, which means by the end of this new year, I'll have another one to read and they'll have plenty of time to create another.

Notes from the playlist: "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Whoops! I completely forgot to mention this. Last month I reviewed Stephanie Garber's amazing book Caraval for the web blog I curre...