Beads in Motion by Marcia DeCoster

Vita's picture

I am a seed bead jewelry making fanatic.  This book met my seed bead obsession on many levels.  The majority of this book is made for the experienced beader but a creative newbie can find fun and intriguing patterns for their seed bead indulgence.  There is an element of motion as a challenge to each beaded piece with excellent instructions and photos to support and fuel your creative confidence.  A fun and beautifully illustrated book and I can’t decide which project to do first.

A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power, by Paul Fischer

Caitlin's picture

In this fascinating book, film producer Paul Fischer combines interviews, research, and first-hand investigation to tell the strange story of Kim Jong-Il’s kidnapping of South Korea’s leading director and his star actress ex-wife. Obsessed with film since he was a child, Kim Jong-Il used North Korea’s Ministry for Propaganda to build his power within the regime, making the only movies that the isolated North Korean people were allowed to view. As Kim’s ambitions eclipsed his country’s limited filmmaking ability, he decided to recruit new talent—forcibly.

Choi Eun-Hee was South Korea’s biggest and most beloved star; Shin Sang-Ok, her director ex-husband, ran the largest film production company in South Korea. Kim kidnapped both in 1978, and after torturing Shin into compliance, the two began making films for North Korea’s captive audience. With success—their films played to packed theaters for months and won international awards—came the opportunity to escape via a chase straight out of a spy novel.

A must-read for anyone interested in the history and culture of North Korea. 

Chill Factor by David Paitson and Craig Merz

Scott's picture

Do you remember when outsiders used to refer to Columbus as a cow-town or pronounced the city as Cow-lumbus? No longer. Columbus now has a vibrant downtown including the Arena District, where you can catch a Columbus Clippers baseball game, or cross the street and catch the National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets. “Chill Factor” by David Paitson and Craig Merz chronicles the events that led Columbus from being seen as a minor league town to a major league sports city. The authors describe how a minor league hockey team, The Columbus Chill, through their hard-working players and ingenious marketing campaigns helped develop interest in hockey. This hard work led to the building of five public ice rinks in central Ohio and eventually the landing of The Columbus Blue Jackets. Now there are over 3,000 central Ohio men and women playing recreational hockey in these five Chiller ice rinks. The authors do an excellent job describing the struggles, the support, and the city leaders behind the sporting growth of Columbus.

Sci-Fi Pick For Teens: Apollo's Outcasts

Jamey Barlowe has been unable to walk since childhood, the result of being born on the Moon. Jamey's father sends him, along with five other kids, back to the Moon to escape a political coup that has occurred overnight in the United States. Jamey will have to learn a whole new way to live, one that entails walking for the first time in his life. It won't be easy and it won't be safe. Jamey soon finds himself at the center of a dangerous political struggle stretching from the Earth to the Moon. 

Juvenile Fiction Selection: Masterminds by Gordon Korman

Serenity, New Mexico is an idyllic town where everyone has everything that they need, the lawns are perfectly manicured, and there is no crime.  Serenity is small and there are only thirty kids living in it, including Eli Frieden.  Eli has never left Serenity and why would he ever want to?  All the kids have pools, he has his friends, and his father is the mayor and principal of the school. This town seems perfect and Eli is perfectly happy to live there.  Everything changes the day his best friend Randy convinces him to ride their bikes to the edge of town.  Something strange happens to Eli when he hits the town limits; he gets terribly sick and has to be rescued.  The next thing he knows Randy is getting sent away to live with his grandparent's in Colorado.  Things are changing in Serenity, especially when Eli discovers a secret letter Randy has left him that leads to even more surprises.  Eli teams up with two other kids, Tori and Malik, and together they discover that Serenity is not at all what it seems, and neither are they!  (Grades 4-6 School Library Journal)

"The Hypnotist's Love Story" by Liane Moriarty

Vita's picture

The hypnotist has finally started dating someone that seems like he could be “the one.” He tells her on a date that he has a stalker and she finds herself fascinated rather than disturbed. This story is told from the point of view of two characters, one of whom is the stalker. The author has such a way with character development that it's easy to sympathize with the stalker and you find yourself liking her. Moriarty seems to be able to capture the most complicated of human emotions and motivations in a simple and accessible way. There are no black and white issues in her books and the truthfulness of that really shines through. This was a very enjoyable read.

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper

Catie's picture

No one is more surprised than Judd Foxman when his father passes away.  Not so much by the death, but by the nonreligious patriarch’s last wish to have the family sit Shiva, a Jewish tradition that requires his mother and siblings to spend an entire week together under one roof.  This wouldn’t be so bad if Judd’s family wasn’t so dysfunctional.  As this group of unique characters are forced to spend time together old wounds are brought to surface and they are made to deal with issues they would have rather continued to ignore.  The only family member not present is Judd’s wife who has been openly having an affair.  As Judd unwillingly reconnects with his family and struggles to deal with the reality of his deteriorating marriage what results is a novel full of biting, albeit slightly dark humor with realizations about family life and love.  

The Kitchn Cookbook by Sara Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand

Colleen's picture

If you’ve never checked out Apartment Therapy’s website (, you definitely need to ASAP! It is one of my favorite websites for home design inspiration, tutorials, and daydreaming about possibilities for future living spaces. The Kitchn, their sister website, focuses on delicious, attainable dishes as well as kitchen organization and storage. You can tour some seriously enviable kitchens on their site (  

Anyway, I was ecstatic to finally get my hands on The Kitchn Cookbook and drool over the delicious recipes and beautiful photographs before trying some out for myself. There’s no shortage of cookbooks with beautiful photography, but I like to rate cookbooks based on the achievability of their recipes. I’m no novice in the kitchen, but there are some recipes that I just don’t have time for (or patience, or, let’s be honest, the money to shell out on super specific ingredients that will take up covetable space in my tiny galley kitchen). The Kitchn Cookbook has great recipes with ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard and spice rack. The recipes are straightforward, concise, and teach you how to set up your space in order to work the most efficiently. Definitely worth checking out if you are a total food geek like me!


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