Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Gypsy Morph

Well, I really read up a storm this weekend! I finished "The Elves of Cintra" last night and immediately moved onto "The Gypsy Morph." Angel Perez, another Knight of the Word, has helped the Elves retrieve the talisman they needed to move the Ellcrys. Yet she was badly injured in her battle and is unable to help them convince their nation that what they want to do is right. So as two elves, a brother and sister, try to convince the Elven High Council to use their talisman, Logan Tom is on his way to help. Meanwhile, the Gypsy Morph is headed to save as many as possible from the coming end of the world. "The Gypsy Morph" continues the tale of how Shannara came to be from the ruins of our world. It is Terry Brooks at his best.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Elves of Cintra

I finished "Armageddon's Children" and have moved onto book 2 of the Genesis of Shannara: "The Elves of Cintra." "Elves" picks up right where "Children" left off: Logan Tom, Knight of the Word, has found the Gypsy Morph he was seeking in the post-apocalyptic nightmare that is the world. But right after finding the Morph, Logan lost it. But there's no time to find it - the demon army is here, ready to wage war with the nearby fortress compound; he has to trust that the Morph will be safe and he will be able to find it. I haven't gotten too far in "Elves" yet, but already a well-known personality from Shannara has made his appearance. "Children" felt closer to Terry Brooks' Word and Void series, but "Elves" has already started moving closer to Shannara. The blending of the two series is excellently done. I can't wait to see what happens to Logan and everyone else, to see how humanity will survive the demons and the once-men.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Still loving this series

Last week I mentioned that I was reading "Undead and unemployed". Well...in the past week I've been reading ravenously!!! I'm up to number 5 in this series and *really* enjoying them. I highly recommend them, they are fun and quick to read. I'm also enjoying that they take place in places I can relate to, such as Caribou Coffee. I keep waiting for them to go to Menards, but I can't see how they would work that into the story. But...you never know. In the latest book, not only is she does she have a fiend living in her basement, he's just told her there's a zombie in the attic. You never know what's going to happen next. Happy reading and have a great Labour Day weekend. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Armageddon's Children

At long last! After two years of waiting, I am finally starting "Armageddon's Children," the first novel in Terry Brooks' Genesis of Shannara trilogy. I bought the book about two years ago, when it first came out, but decided to wait until the entire trilogy was published before reading it. In the past I've read a book from a trilogy, and when the next book comes out a year later I've largely forgotten what has happened in the story! (One time I was sure I remembered, so I started reading book 3, and I didn't have a clue who the first character was whom I came across!) I started "Armageddon's Children" earlier today and I can't wait to read more!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who knew Vampires could be funny?

This week I'm reading Undead and unemployed by Mary Janice Davidson. I didn't realize it was the second book in a series. If you want to read them in order the first one is Undead and unwed. This series is described as "chick lit meets vampire fiction". I was worried it would be scary, but it isn't. The main character, Betsy Taylor is the new Queen of the Vampires. The sad news is that even though she's dead (make that undead) she still has bills to pay. She finds her dream job selling shoes at Macy's in the Mall of America. Of course there's also a King of the Vampires, and she's not interested in him. Or is she? Somehow this funny story reminds me of a Stephanie Plum novel, with the King reminding me of Ranger. So...if you're interested in vampires or shoes or laughing or books that take place in Minnesota, this is the perfect book for you. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I finished "Scardown" yesterday, and immediately started "Worldwired," the last book in Elizabeth Bear's Jenny Casey trilogy. I am extremely excited to see how the whole trilogy will end! There are so many things going on right now, what with disaster striking the Earth, I can't wait to see whether Jenny Casey is able to save the day. My only complaint so far is that the book doesn't seem to be following Jenny Casey as much as the other two did. I'm hoping that will change as I get a bit further into it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I think I have just found my favourite read for this summer. I have traveled to a far time and place and come back enriched from the experience. This collection of letters describes the experiences of the inhabitants of Guernsey Island during their occupation by the Germans from 1941-1944. Elizabeth, an intrepid, caring and fascinating character is only portrayed by those who love her, and yet she is central to the book. This book is one that you will re-read and love again and again. Mary Ann Shaffer has created a magical and poignant time and place.


Well, instead of reading one of the many other books I have out, I decided that I needed to read the rest of the Elizabeth Bear trilogy with Jenny Casey. "Scardown" is the second book. The story picks up where "Hammered" left off. But where "Hammered" was about a few people, "Scardown" is revealing that there is a much larger, global problem that needs to be dealt with. I am about half way through it and loving every bit of it!

A fun book

This weekend I finished Secrets of a shoe addict by Beth Harbison. It was a 7 day book, but quick and fun to read.What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas, when 3 PTA members pay a visit. The women bond over the situations that arise, like excessive shopping, gambling and unknowingly hiring a male prostitute. And how they get themselves out of trouble is even more interesting. It's a fun summer read. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Don't Stop the Carnival

Two years ago a really good friend of mine moved to the Cayman Islands to work and live. Naturally being curious (and insanely jealous), months ago I asked him what life is like on the island. He tried to explain, as best he could, the differences between the Cayman Island way of life and the pace of life he left behind. Finally he said "if you really want to know what it's like here, read this book". The book he mentioned was Herman Wouk's "Don't Stop the Carnival". While this fictional novel was published in 1965, it still details the carefree goings on within the Cayman Islands of today. Of course I said I would read it right away (which I never), but I finally got around to it and read a truly humorous story surrounding a New York publicist who gives up New York and becomes a hotel owner in the Caymans. After purchasing the hotel, the publicist soon learns that running a resort on foreign soil is not all it's cracked up to be. With truly colourful characters and hilarious situations, the hotel soon becomes a money pit. Will the publicist gain control and make a go of becoming a successful hotel owner in the Caymans? Well, it's up to you to find out.


"Hammered" by Elizabeth Bear was recommended to me last week along with three other books. Having finally finished "The Weekend Man," I was looking for something a bit more fun to read; "Hammered" sold me with the cover quote: "Very exciting . . . very impressive debut" - Mike Resnick (I'm not going to lie - I didn't even bother reading the back of the book before starting it!). And even though I just started it today and am only about 50 pages in, I have to agree! There's already so much going on that I need to know what happened in the past and what is happening now. "Hammered" also has a rather unique aspect: anything written from Jenny ("Watcher") Casey's view is in the first person, while the other couple of character's have been written in third person. This is the perfect book for following up "The Weekend Man" - it's faster paced, has lots of dialogue, and insists on being glued to your hand!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Weekend Man

I started reading "The Weekend Man" by Richard B. Wright right before the long weekend; I was planning on having a nice leisurely read at camp. Sadly, I barely read anything, and so "The Weekend Man" has come home with me. Part of the problem is that the book is not a super easy read. I think the problem is that it has lots of description with very little dialogue. The book appealed to me because it is about a man, Wes Wakeham, who has no idea what he wants out of life. I'm also not entirely sure what I want out of life, so I thought this would be an interesting read. Instead I ended up with a dry, sort of dull book. I'm planning on finishing it though, just to see how it all ends.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Meaty Read

I just finished The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, it was the book I chose to read on my holiday at camp. I loved the intertwined characters and the medieval setting. It is such a grandiose undertaking to build a cathedral and this book captures the span of time required to finish erecting such an edifice. It reminded me of Sarum, because of the setting and topic. I would recommend it to those who love writings of medieval England.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

To Die For

This morning I finished "The Garden of Shadows," so I started reading Linda Howard's "To Die For." I've seen this paperback going through the Circulation Desk many times, so I decided to try it. The first line didn't really catch my interest, but by the end of chapter one I was hooked! "To Die For" tells the story of Blair Mallory, and how she was the witness to a murder. There is already so much intrigue going on, and so many questions that need answering! Plus there is the beginnings of a romance (which is very typical of her books). I am hoping it will remain interesting, and that it won't be too over the top in the romance department.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Garden of Shadows

I started reading "The Garden of Shadows" by V. C. Andrews yesterday. And I haven't wanted to put it down! This is the first book that I have ever read by Andrews and I am very impressed with her writing style! The book is the prequel to "Flowers in the Attic," Andrews' first book. It tells the story of Olivia, a young girl who is too tall by society's standards and deemed ugly. She meets, falls in love with and quickly marries Malcolm Foxworth, heading to live with him at Foxworth Manor. Once there, she slowly discovers just the sort of man that she married, and learns to become the Mistress of Foxworth Manor that she needs to be. A great read that I strongly recommend! I can't wait to see how it ends!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Few More Graphic Novels

Over the last few days I have read two graphic novels. The first one was the Halo Graphic Novel (which, surprisingly, the library does not have). I am a big Halo fan, so I was excited to read the graphic novel. There were four stories and a lot of art. The stories themselves weren't very impressive; the first story I had trouble following what was going on. But the artwork was amazing! Two of the four stories had incredible art. I didn't really like the artwork in the other two. But then at the back of the book, there was a gallery of artwork, which had all sorts of neat images. So for the art alone, this book is a treat.

The second graphic novel that I read was Aeon Flux (and this one is from the library). I liked the movie, but the cover made it sound like it was a graphic novel adaptation of the movie, so I wasn't sure if I would want to read it. Thankfully, it turned out to be a prequel story. I found it entertaining, although I doubt I would have understood what was going on if I hadn't seen the movie. But I wasn't very impressed with the artwork - I didn't like the way the people looked.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Three Day Road

Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden is definitely a novel in my top three for the year (Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy being the first and Duma Key by Stephen King being the second). This portrait of two Oji-Cree young men leaving Northern Ontario to enter World War One is inspired in part by the true story of war hero Francis Pegahmagabow.

The story begins with only one soldier returning from the war, falling into the arms of his aunt, who can instantly tell how tramatized he is by the war. As the tale continues, readers are offered both the life story of Xavier Bird's aunt Niska, as well as the harrowing saga of what occurred in the battlefields of France and Belguim to create such a devastated and broken man.

With amazing detail and a beautifully flowing story that flashes between the present and glimpses of the past, this award winning novel is a must read for everyone.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Yes, I know, I was going to read this back in June. But I didn't have time then, and so I am reading it now. "Lamb: the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore has been a bit hard to get into. Don't get me wrong - it is totally worth reading, but it is not the non-stop laugh fest I was expecting when it was recommended to me. Part of the problem is that there are two stories going on right now: the story of Christ's growing up, and the story of Biff stuck in a modern day hotel room with an angel writing said story. And the latter story I don't really care about. I'm hoping that something will happen to tie them together (or at least to make me care about the second story).

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Hen House

Last week I read The Hen House by Sharon Sala. It's the third book in a trilogy. I haven't read the first two. In this one Letty is living the life she dreamed of. No longer a prostitute she's married to Eulis. They're doing well with the gold rush and are building a big home overlooking Denver. Life is harsh and Letty is opening her home to abused women and an orphan. Eulis dubs their home The Hen House. When she thinks she has everything she's ever wanted, life takes a sad turn when an angry husband changes her life. I enjoyed reading it. I guess The Hen House is classified as Chick Lit. Then again...maybe it's Hen Lit. Happy reading.

Vacation reading

Hi. This week I read Plague Ship. It's the latest Clive Cussler novel. When I realized neither Dirk Pitt or Kurt Austin was in it, I wasn't going to read it. But I started reading and in spite of the fact that I knew no one in it, I enjoyed it. It's your basic Clive Cussler adventure with all the usual excitement. Pretty far fetched, but fun to read. It's a 7 day book, but being on vacation I managed to read all 515 pages in just 5 days. Oh, and it's even more exciting if you take Clive to Starbucks with you. Happy reading.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mrs. Kimble and more...

I read Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh, this weekend, it is the story of three women, their lives are impacted by being married to a man totally lacking in scruples. He marries and leaves without regard to the needs of the family, and the women must cope with the emotional and physical realities.

My other book was a gift of joy. It was a book from the NetLibrary E audiobook collection. I am learning to download and use these books. Part of Me: Stories of a Louisiana family by Kimberley Willis Holt begins with Rose, a Texas transplant to Louisiana who is finding her way into a new life in the Louisiana bijou. She finds her connections through the world of books.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Legions of Hell

I picked this book up from TBPL's used book sale a few years ago. When I finished the Snow Queen, I found myself looking through all of the books that I have, unsure of what to read next. I wanted another fantasy, but instead I found this. Sounding intriguing, I picked it up.

C. J. Cherryh's "Legions of Hell" is quite a wild ride, right from the beginning. It's not every day that you find Julius Cesar, Cleopatra and company battling in Hell with modern and even futuristic technology!

The one problem that I had with it at the beginning was that I found the writing a bit tough to get through. The story itself is good, but the way it is written makes for a slower read. Luckily, it just started picking up, and now I am at the point that I don't want to put the book down!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Snow Queen

When I was away, I found that Mercedes Lackey had written a new Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms: "The Snow Queen." I was pleased to see that it had the same price in both Canada and the US, so I waited until I came home before purchasing it. (Sadly, it is not in our library catalogue yet).

"The Snow Queen" is the story of a new Fairy Godmother, Aleksia, aka the Ice Fairy or Snow Queen. She is the Godmother of the lands in the far north. It comes to her attention that someone is using vile magic and killing whole villages while using the name of the Snow Queen, so it comes to Aleksia to stop them and clear her name. I started reading it last night, and now I do not want to put it down (but of course that's not possible, so I'll just have to wait until break to read some more!) I can't wait to see how it ends!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hooray - a new Billie Letts book

When 15 year old Lutie and her 11 year old brother Fate, go shopping at Wal-Mart with their Dad's girlfriend Floy, they get more than they bargained for. When Floy dies unexpectedly in the check out line, the two children are left on their own. Their Mom died several years before and their Dad previously ran off to Las Vegas. Left to their own devices they take Floy's car and set off to find their Dad. It's a struggle to find food and money and the kids resort to sleeping in the car. If you've ever been to Vegas this is one of those books that makes you feel like you're right there with them, using the washroom at Terrible's Casino. So, for all you Billie Letts fans be sure to place a hold on "Made in the U.S.A". Better hurry, there's already holds on it. p.s. I finished it last night. Keep in mind these kids are living on the streets. It's rather rough, but has a happy ending. Happy Summer reading.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Audio books

I have been trying out the e audiobooks available through our website on NetLibrary. I listed to two this weekend, Part of Me by Kimberly Holt Willis and Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry. Both are listed as Young Adult reading, but please don't let this put you off. Both are excellent, I love the tight editing of teen reads, and the issues that are so important to their reading. Part of Me is the story of a family, beginning with fourteen-year-old Rose who longs to stay in school and become a writer one day. The closest she can get to this dream is to lie about her age in order to land a job driving a library bookmobile through the small bayou towns near her home. Take time to try this great audio book.

We are all fine here

Last weekend I bought "We are all fine here" by Mary Guterson. We don't carry this title, but we could borrow it for you from out of town. If you're interested we take Interlibrary Loan requests at Brodie, Waverley and Mary J.L. Black.
The main character Julia has been married to Jim for 15 years and the thrill is wearing off. She has a romantic encounter with a former beau and soon discovers herself pregnant. But whose baby is it? She's not really sure. Add in her hypochondriac mother and a slew of characters who break up and then make up and it's an interesting read.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Anne (with an e)

I’m reading the newly published Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson. I’ve heard mixed reviews about it. It’s true – Budge Wilson is not Lucy Maud Montgomery. But there are moments, when I feel like she’s written this book. It’s a treat for fans of Anne (with an e) and I know people who’ve read it and were inspired to go back and read the original series again. So far, I’m really enjoying it, but there are times when I think – would a five year old really talk like that? I could go on and on. To quote Anne “ I know I chatter on far too much... but if you only knew how many things I want to say and don't”. Happy reading, hopefully outdoors, in the sunshine.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fiction break?

I'm thinking I'm on a break from fiction b/c I can't think what I might want to read next. So I'm going through some of the non-fiction I've never gotten around to reading.

My mum gave me an autographed copy of Alberto Manguel's A History of Reading a couple years ago and I haven't gotten around to reading it. So that's where I'm truly starting my summer reading :) I'm only in the first section, but so far it's fascinating and I should have an update soon. He described us as "book fools" which seemed so apt, as I know I may appear foolish when it comes to books. I'll bet many of you feel the same way in your desire to read and read a great deal.

Anyhow when I have some good tidbits I'll get them up here. He has great quotations in the book and pictures of famous readers, e.g. Francesca and Paolo reading the book that sent them to the second circle of hell.

Happy reading :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kitchen Confidential

A little while ago, I came to love certain television shows involving Chef Gordon Ramsey. Besides Hell's Kitchen (which is a great show by the way), Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares is both interesting and appalling. I love to see Ramsay shape up a restaurant that is down and out, but can't help but wonder just how many restauants I've visited that practice the same techniques that would make the Health Inspector nausous (especially scenes from the original BBC episodes). Not something I like to dwell upon. Anyways, now I have have come across another chef who has a written a fantastic book detailing his experiences inside numerous kitchens in New York City. Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly is a wonderfully humerous and honest tale of Bourdain's rise from lowly dishwasher to head chef at New York's Brasserie Les Halles (you might recognize Bourdain's name from his TV show No Reservations on the Food Network). His love of food becomes apparent right away, as well as his love of the industry which he has dedicated 30 plus years to. If you want a great (yet brutally honest) read and want to learn secrets the top chefs use, this is the book.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Plum tuckered out

Hi. I'm on my third 7 day loan in a week and I've got a date with Stephanie Plum. I've started the new Janet Evanovich novel, Fearless Fourteen. As usual, I'm loving it. They're funny, light and I love the cast of recurring characters. And it always makes me think - who would I choose Ranger or Joe. Looks like there are 80 holds on it, so you might have a bit of a wait. It's worth it. It's Evanovich at her best. You just can't help but smile.

And another 7 day book

Hi. I'm very close to finishing my second 7 day loan. I'm reading Friday nights by Joanna Trollope. I usually enjoy British authors and this was my first novel by her. It took me a while to get into it. I seemed to keep getting the characters mixed up. But now I'm really enjoying it. It begins with an older woman inviting two young mothers over for a visit on Friday night. Their little group expands and it follows each of their lives. I would suggest adding it to your reading list and maybe it's only me that had problems keeping the characters straight. Enjoy.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A new Emily Giffin book

There's something new for Emily Giffin fans - "Love the one you're with". Have you ever wondered about how your life could have been different, if you had stayed with a former partner? When Ellen, a newlywed runs into Leo, an old flame she begins to wonder about what could have been. And when Leo a writer offers her a chance to do a photoshoot of a rock star, she jumps at the opportunity. It wasn't my favourite novel by this author, but it makes for interesting reading. Right now it's a 7 day loan, but it's quick to read.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I have been listening to Roots on MP3 book all week. Although I remember the movie well, I just thoroughly enjoyed the audio book. I would recommend it. Now I am on Heart Sick by Chelsea Cain, it is a first novel, but the reviews intrigued me, and it is moving along quickly. Today has a hint of summer in it, so I hope you have found the first of your summer books. Please add your comments to our blog, we look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, June 20, 2008


So I'm headed to Minneapolis tomorrow morning and I was able to decide on only 4 books to bring (I doubt I'll get through them all, but just in case . . .). The first one was an easy decision: Michael Crichton's "Next." I started reading "Next" about a week ago but haven't had much time to finish it; hopefully somewhere in my travels over the next few days I can remedy that. The second book was also an easy decision: "If I Were an Evil Overlord" edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Russell Davis. I've been reading this short story collection off and on for the last few months and it's a great read! I'm about half way through it right now, but I don't mind if I don't finish it; I like anthologies for when I'm in school because I can read an entire story without taking TOO much time away from my studies.

The final two books I decided to bring on a whim: "Starcraft Ghost: Nova" by Keith R. A. DeCandido, and "Lamb" by Christopher Moore. I've read most of the Starcraft books that are out, and most of them have been really good; hopefully that will be the same with "Nova." And my aunt really recommends "Lamb," saying it is a hilarious read. I figure I could use a good laugh. I'm not sure which of these two I will be reading after I finish Next, but at least I'll have a bit of choice!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


A few nights ago, I picked up the graphic novel "Trinity" by Matt Wagner. It tells the story of how Batman and Superman first met Wonder Woman. The story contrasted the three characters beautifully, showing how they accomplish their goals in drastically different ways and slowly learn to trust one another. And any story that gets away with calling Ra's al Ghul "Racer Cool" is great fun in my books!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wicked Lovely

I recently picked up "Wicked Lovely" by Melissa Marr randomly from work and started reading it on my break. "Wicked Lovely" is a modern fairy tale about a girl who can see fairies all around. She tries her best to live by her grandmother's rules to not interact with them or draw attention to herself in any way, but then something changes and she finds herself pursued by the fairy king. I think the ending could have been a bit different, but overall I thought "Wicked Lovely" was a great story that is definitely worth reading if you need a quick, light read.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Who's Who - Modern Literary Giants of 2008?

As many of you may know, the exterior of the Brodie street library features literary giants in stained glass fanlights; Among others, you will find the likes of Charles Dickens, Robert Burns, Oliver Goldsmith, and Shakespeare. These men are the literary giants that someone deemed worthy for such an honour when the Brodie Branch first opened in 1912. Having just completed a Library Detective collumn for The Chronicle Journal (June 15th) "Who's Who in the Library windows" I wondered if the avid readers of this blog would be interested in discussing a modern equivalent. So,

Who would you consider a literary giant of 2008?
How might you honour their contribution to modern culture?

Please post your thoughts!

A great beach read

Hi. How time flies, it's summer again(sort of). This week I'm reading "Moon shell beach" by Nancy Thayer. She's the author of the Hot Flash Club series, which I love. This book takes place in beautiful Nantucket and follows 2 childhood friends. As children Lexi and Clare spent summers doing what kids do best - swimming and biking. Once they entered the dating scene, life changed and harsh words were spoken over their choice of boyfriends. Now it's ten years later. Will they be able to recover their lost friendship. I can't wait to find out.


Summer Reading Game is almost here and I get to sneak the first post :) I'm sure I'll be forgiven for it and of course I'm rather excited. It's a great way to record what you've been reading and share good books with everyone else. My list always includes some children's and teen fiction, but right now I'm in the mood for adult mysteries, so I'm hoping to glean some good stuff from the blog. I'm almost finished the fabulous Maisie Dobbs series and could use some more of the same. Happy Reading!


Welcome to the Thunder Bay Public Library's Adult Summer Reading Game for 2008. We are grateful for the support of the Valhalla Inn, that provides scrumptious rewards for our readers. The game is simple, just pick up a menu at any branch, or print one from our website, and read five books over the summer. We have two draws, a Tide You Over Draw at the beginning of August and our grand prize at Labour Day. The Tide You Over Draw is for a dinner for two at the Timbers Restaurant. The grand prize is a gourmet dinner for two at the Nordic dining room at the Valhalla Inn.

This blog is a place to share our summer reading. Here you will meet fellow readers including staff from the library who love to share what they are reading. Feel free to add your voice, put in a comment and share your suggestions with us. If you have suggestions as to how I can improve this blog, please feel free to contact me at rcasella@tbpl.ca