Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Body at Book Club:

A Body at Book Club ( Myrtle Clover Mysteries) By: Elizabeth Spann Craig
Fiction: Mystery, E-book

This is another book about the octogenarian detective.  This time the bodies are piling up in the front room of a member of the book and gardening clubs in town.  Once again she hunts for the killer against her son's wishes.  This time she is also looking for her missing cat. (Well the feral cat she feeds.)

Friday, May 29, 2015

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood:

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood By: Nathan Hale
Non-Fiction: History, Graphic Novel, Humor, Children's 128 pages
Book Count: 20

This book goes over the whole of WWI.  Due to the hangman's love of animals, all the countries are represented by different animals (with little hats.)  This makes it actually easier to read the story, as even not in uniforms you can tell where everyone is from. Most places are their national animal, symbol, or other connected creature.  A few are different animals just because their animal was already taken, two are a pun.   Austro-Hungary is a griffin, Serbia a wolf, Russia a bear, Germany an eagle, France the Gallic rooster, Belgium a lion, The UK a bulldog, the USA a bunny (because there was already an eagle,) Australia a kangaroo, Canada a beaver, New Zealand a kiwi, India a tiger, France's African colonies were water buffalo, the Ottoman Empire an otter, Italy a cat (maybe a mountain lion,) Greece is a phoenix, Bulgaria a bull,  and Japan was a tanuki ( the raccoon dog.)  
For being a comic of animals in hats, this book does a better job explaining WWI then any school history book or class that I have ever had. It includes the main causes of the war, details of some of the major battles, as well as more personal stories to give a balanced look at the war. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy:

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy By: Nathan Hale
Non-Fiction: History, Graphic Novel, Humor, Children's 127 pages
Book Count: 19

This is the first book in the series and we learn in it how Nathan Hale learned all of American History.  He was actually "eaten" by "The Big Huge Book of American History."   After this happens he tells the story of how he ended up a spy in the American Revolution.  It also has a mini-comic on Crispus Attucks, who was one of the first persons to die in the war.  Crispus was an escaped slave who was killed during the Boston Massacre.  Because of this he too is in the history book and can tell his own story. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hashtag Faith: A Powerful Gospel in the hands of a Distracted Generation:

Hashtag Faith: A Powerful Gospel in the hands of a Distracted Generation by: Chris Buscher
Non-fiction: Religion, E-book

This book is mostly on how the Prosperity Gospel is not Biblical.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observations by Grumpy Cat:

The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observations by Grumpy Cat By: Grumpy Cat
Non-fiction: Humor, 112 pages
Book Count: 18

This book is a collection of demotivational sayings from Grumpy Cat.  Many pictures of Grumpy Cat are included as well as a couple of other animals.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Trusting God with St. Therese:

Trusting God with St. Therese By: Connie Rossini
Non-fiction: Religion, Biography, E-book

Fun fact: today is the 90th anniversary of the canonization of St. Therese of Lisieux.  Not that that had anything to do with this book, besides that it states when she was canonized in the timeline at the end of this book, but still she was canonized 90 years ago today.

This book deals with the life of St. Therese, the author's life, psychology, and St. Therese's Little Way.  It goes in a mostly chronological order for both St. Therese's and the author's life.  It also includes many Bible quotes, parts from the Catechism, other books to read on topics and questions and things to do at the end at each chapter.  It does a good job of showing how the saint's life can be used as a example for someone that on the surface lives a very different life.  It also deals a lot with how to heal from painful pasts and events. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Big Bad Ironclad!:

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Big Bad Ironclad! by: Nathan Hale
Non-Fiction: History, Graphic Novel, Humor, Children's 128 pages
Book Count: 16

This book actually comes before the last book we read in the series, but takes place at a later time.  This book deals with the navel fighting of the Civil War dealing mostly with the Ironclad ships and William Cushing.  As the hangman that Hale is telling the story to loved animals, Gustavus Fox is drawn as a actual fox, per the hangman's request. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Donner Dinner Party:

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Donner Dinner Party by: Nathan Hale
Non-fiction: History, Graphic Novel, Children's, Humor 126 pages
Book Count: 15

This book series is written by Nathan Hale (not the famous patriot) and is narrated by Nathan Hale (the famous one.)  Of course, the Donner Party takes place long after Hale was killed.  But the story starts out with the idea that because Nathan Hale is in the history books, he can know all the stories from the history books.  So he knows both the past and the future.  And he is telling these stories to his executioners as he waits for them to kill him.

This book goes into great details about how the Donner party ended up in the situation that they did.  It even includes a chart of everyone in the party: if they died, how, and if they were eaten.  It also includes some info on what happened to the survivors after. It tells the story of the group from when the Donner and Reed families started out from Illinois until they end up in California.  It uses the memoir of Virginia Reed as a main source. It also cuts to Hale telling the story and interacting with his executioners for comedic effect.  It includes unusual facts like: that all 9 of the Breen family survived even though they ranged in age from 51 to 1,  and one person died from over eating after being rescued. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Crap Taxidermy:

Crap Taxidermy by: Kat Su
Non-fiction: Humor, 95 pages
Book Count:14

This book is a collection of pictures of bad taxidermy as well as just odd ones.  It also includes a how-to in case you wish to make your own taxidermy mouse. (As it is easy to get a frozen one from a pet store as they sell them for snake food.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A New Witch in Town (Maybe Two):

A New Witch in Town (Maybe Two) By Dani Corlee
Fiction: Fantasy, E-Book

Kimberly and her daughter Aurora move to a new town to start life over after she gets a divorce.  Meanwhile the witches in that town find out that there is a comet coming that is part of an ancient prophecy for a Queen of the witches.  And then we learn that Kim is moving into the house that once belonged to a powerful witch and has been empty since she died. . .

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Body in the Backyard:

A Body in the Backyard (A Myrtle Clover Mystery) By: Elizabeth Spann Craig
Fiction: Mystery, E-book

Myrtle Clover is a nearly 90 year old, retired school teacher. Her chief of police son, lives across the road. And she has two problems.  Problem one: she can not find good help for her yard and housework and two: dead bodies keep showing up in her yard.  Like the last mystery I read she uses her part time job at the local paper to help her investigate the crimes.  Unlike the last one she gets the killer to go after her on purpose.  (But don't worry; she has some pepper spray, her cane, and the help of her slightly less elderly neighbor to help her out.)

Monday, May 11, 2015

The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived:

The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived: how characters of fiction, myth, legends, television, and movies have shaped our society, changed our behavior, and set the course of history by: Allan Lazar, Dan Karlan & Jeremy Salter
Non-fiction: Humor, History, Lists, Pop Culture 314 pages
Book Count: 13

As the book itself points out there are a number of people in this book who are legendary.  Some of them are known to be real people, but most of what we "know" about them can not be proven and some may or may not have existed.  But in either case not all of the "fictional" characters in this book are fictional.  Also a number of entries include editorializing on what the person represents and how people should feel about this.  Besides that the idea behind the book was intriguing.  The entrees include info on where the character was from, what their story was, and ways that they influenced the world.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

New Math is Murder:

New Math is Murder (A Jersey Girl Cozy Mystery) By: Jo-Ann Reccoppa
Fiction: Mystery, E-book

Colleen's life is crashing down around her: Neil, her husband, has left her for a younger woman, her part time job in the local paper doesn't pay enough for all the bills, and when she went out jogging she tripped and fell over the body of her daughter's math teacher (who was failing her after she got great grades in last year's math class.)  As she already worked at the paper, her bosses think that her covering the case would be good for readership numbers.  So, she starts bumbling around trying to find out who the murderer is.  After she is almost killed, she is kicked off the story for her own good, but of course that doesn't stop her from looking for the killer.  And like a number of mysteries where the main character is not a detective she makes a mess of it, so by the end you are wanting to yell at her like the people in a horror film that run into the creepy basement, because you know who did it. 

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Sex, Violence and the Popes:

Sex, Violence and the Popes by: Pat Muro
Non-fiction: history, e-book

When the intro started out including the statement that most Bible scholars don't believe in the accuracy of chunks of the Gospels I didn't expect much of this book.  But as I was expecting it to be about all the horrible popes in history I thought that some one that thought that, wasn't going to sugar coat the truly horrible people that on occasion ended up the pope.  But instead the book is largely about the history of popes as political leaders; with a number of ones included just because they were in the tough spot of having two different kings/emperors that were fighting and threatening them to get the upper hand, or just because they might have been murdered. It also included the well disproven theory of "Hitler's Pope."  It has 46 popes in the "not great" section and only 5 in the "great" section. 

Friday, May 08, 2015

I Wish I Knew That: U.S. Presidents:

I Wish I Knew That: U.S. Presidents: By: Eds. of Reader's Digest
Non-fiction: Children's, History, E-book

As it is a children's book the unusual facts about the presidents and first ladies are rather well known and tame, but it did cover every president which is more then most U.S. history books do. 

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Unravelling Paleo: Beginners Guide to Paleo & Inerviews with Robb Wolf, Dr. Loren Cordain:

Unravelling Paleo: Beginners Guide to Paleo & Interviews with Robb Wolf, Dr. Loren Cordain by: Ankit Neerav Pandey
Non-fiction: food, e-book

When I first started reading this book I thought that it was just based off the early ideas about the Paleo diet before it studied early man's use of fat.  It did have Dr. Cordain as one of the interviews and he is known for this version of the diet.  But as it went on it complexly went against what it stated earlier; both for things like the amount of fat that one eats in this diet and other things like pointing out that peanuts are a legume in one part and then later calling it a nut. It goes on and on about how all dairy including butter are "not allowed on the Paleo diet" and then references a website that is fine with using butter or gee for people that do not have a problem with eating it.  Also it is written like a poorly thought out school report. Or like it was written in a different language and just sent to google translate for the English version.   After a few pages I continued reading it, just to disagree with it. (The BMI chapter was extra fun to yell at.)  And because I was interested in the interviews. So as you can guess I will not be putting this on my list of books to read for people that are interested in my diet, as this book is not understandable if you don't already know a lot more about the Paleo diet then the author seams to know.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The Life and Prayers of Saint Ignatius of Loyola:

The Life and Prayers of Saint Ignatius of Loyola by: Wyatt North
Non-fiction: Religion, Biography, E-book

This is a short book on the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola with a couple of his prayers in it and a short explanation of the Spiritual Exercises.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Murder On The Ghost Walk:

Murder On The Ghost Walk: (Magnolia Mystery Series) By: Ellen Elizabeth Hunter
Fiction: Mystery, E-book

As you might have guessed from the title, this book takes place in the South (Atlanta)  and has a southern flair to it.  Ashley Wilkes (not the one from Gone with the Wind, she was just named after that one,) had just returned home after going to school at Parsons in New York.  At her first job of restoring an historic mansion for a demeaning, up and coming, style guru, she finds the old owners, in the walls!  From there she works to help the detective on the case solve the case (as she is on a deadline and some bodies in the wall is not stopping the owner from demanding that things get done on time or she will sue.)  As the case unravels, most everyone she knows ends up either a suspect or died.  She finally finds out who did it, as a hurricane floods the town.  

Monday, May 04, 2015

Mommy Had a Little Flask:

Mommy Had a Little Flask (The Tales of Imperfection Series book 2) By: A. K. Turner
Non-fiction: humor, memoir, e-book

This book is a humorous take on the life of a mother of two smallish girls.  It mainly centers around her oldest daughter's first year of school and a 3 month trip to Mexico to visit with her in-laws.  Included are other common mom issues: weight, cloths, when is too early to start drinking (as in hour for her not age for the kids, toddlers just like playing with the pretty bottles) , embarrassing things the kids do and say, and  maintaining the appearance of being a good parent.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

The Manna Principle:

The Manna Principle by: Mark Kellner
Non-Fiction: Religion, E-book

This book is about how God provides for His people, with the title based off the story from Exodus, and the story about the real life of the author.   The story itself is interesting and  inspiring, but there are a few points where the author tries to add in theology on other things (like about how Jesus is the bread of life from a Baptist theology, complete with non literal translations of Bible even though everywhere else they are all about the literal translation,) where I just wanted to throw the book across the room, (but as it was an e-book didn't so I didn't break the e-reader.)

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Dear Luke, We need to Talk. Darth:

Dear Luke, We need to Talk. Darth: and other Pop Culture Correspondences By: John Moe
Non-fiction: Humor, Pop Culture, 290 pages
Book Count:12
This book is a series of letters, e-mails, texts, web reviews, notes, journals and correspondences on movies, TV, songs and other pop culture references.  It starts with a letter on the dangers of Bon Jovi, who is wanted dead or alive for the crime of rocking every face he has seen and ends with rejected Superbowl Halftime shows (XLVI- XLVIII).  In between is a selection of things ranging from the 99 problems that Jay-Z does have, ( oddly tiny rhinos, toothpaste bling, and Argentina all rate high on the number of problems they cause.) to Captain James T. Kirk's lost log entries where he questions things like: why does ever alien speak perfect English, look humanoid,  and live on a planet with breathable air for humans?

Friday, May 01, 2015

A Friendship Like No Other:

A Friendship Like No Other: Experiencing God's Amazing Embrace By: William A. Barry, SJ
Non-fiction: Religion, 194 pages
Book Count: 11

As you might be able to tell from the first line of this post with the book's title and author's information; this book is about friendship with God and based off of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. (I know the last part is a bit of a stretch as there are some religious books by Jesuits that only mention the Spiritual Exercises, or tell only a few stories on St. Ignatius's life, but still. . . )
The book is divided up into 3 parts.  Part 1 is "Experiencing God's Desire for Friendship," and is about what friendship is, friendship with God as seen in the Bible, and how to grow in friendship with God.  Part 2 is "Understanding Ourselves and God," and deals with questions people have about this friendship.  Questions like: why would God want our friendship,   how it relates to salvation, and the question of why God allows evil in the world.  Part 3 is " Experiencing God," and deals with prayer and the discernment of spirits.  There are notes and a bibliography at the end.