Caterina, a very organized owl, is planning her first party. She has lists of things to do, lists of friends to invite, and lists of things to love. Caterina does not want any surprises for her party day. Can there still be a perfect party when a spot of rain threatens? Pure whimsical fun for ages 3 and up.
Two of you exist. Only one will survive. West Grayer lives in a world where every person has a twin, or Alt. Only one can survive to adulthood, and West has just received her notice to kill her Alt.
Dan Brown’s latest, The Inferno follows the pattern of Brown’s other thrillers. There is an intellectual puzzle to be solved while baddies chase and threaten the good guys. The fate of the world is in Langdon’s hands and hands of the brilliant Sienna Brooks, who accompanies him. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, specifically “Inferno”, is the key to deciphering an obscure message left by an obsessed scientist, Zorbrist, who is intent on saving the world by destroying it. The chase and race is on… through the streets, alleyways, secret underground passages, hidden doors and tombs of Florence, Venice, and Istanbul.
Along the way Langdon delivers a running commentary on the rich history of the Italian Renaissance, Christian, and Islamic art. The abundance of information can distract from the plot versus enrich. I would recommend reading this book for the excitement of the chase, the clues and the underlying theme, but not the convoluted plotting.
Do Equal Opportunity Employers really hire without discrimination? Is Twitter destroying our capacity to write, or improving it? Can Facebook predict if your marriage will last? How is Google fighting the flu?
Christian Rudder, one of the founders of OkCupid, leverages the company’s massive collection of data as a starting point for this examination of human nature. Rudder keeps the text light and readable, skipping wonky details while being sure to note when his conclusions are limited by his data. His insights range from quirky factoids—white men are most likely to read Robert Heinlein while drinking a home-brewed beer, while Asian women would rather snack on macarons and read Norwegian Wood—to sobering insights about racism, sexism, and homophobia. A must-read for anyone interested in social media and what it reveals about our personalities and communities.
You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan, celebrates all of the stages of the firstborn baby in a family. There may be other children in the family later, but there is always a first one to teach the parents how to be parents. This will make parents and children of all family sizes smile and remember all of the good first times they each experienced. A beautiful mixture of words and illustrations for all ages.
Marshall's class has been reading about runaway gingerbread cookies for days, but he does not believe that they can really escape. The class bakes and decorates their own gingerbread people and then when they disappear, everyone follows the clues left by the escaped cookies. What happened to those gingerbread people? A fun romp for ages 4 and up.
FInd the sleepyheads snuggled in their beds in trees, caves, weeds, and on waves. There is one sleepyhead still not in a cuddle spot. Where can that sleepyhead be? A drowsy, sweet story for ages 3 and up.
When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds himself in possession of an ancient amulet filled with magic once reserved for the Gods, and becomes the center of a conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and destroy Rome.
The Forgotten Garden shifts back and forth through time to solve a mystery about a four year old girl Nell; abandoned and waiting alone on a dock in Australia for parents who never come. The only link to her past is a little white suitcase the child carried when she was found.
Nell embarks on an adventure and attempts to piece together the mystery surrounding her past. Her travels lead her to Blackhurst Manor, delving deep into a family's secrets and purchasing a cottage in Cornwall near the Manor. Before she can solve the mystery of her past, Nell dies but her grandaughter Cassandra takes up the quest. This is a fairytale-like novel with old houses and hidden gardens all containing secrets and surprises.
If Tara French and Gillian Flynn went on vacation in England together to an amusement park (think English Jersey Shore) this would surely be the outcome. Two women who haven't seen each other since they committed a heinous crime together as children cross paths as adults when one, now a reporter, visits the other, an amusement park employee, to investigate the brutal murders that take place in the vacation town. If you're anything like me, you'll most likely peg the killer within the first third of the book, but be warned that things are definitely not what they seem. A perfect beach read for those in denial about the recent wintry weather or an equally creepy Halloween appropriate thriller.