Learn more about…


Lists

  • tao of wu
    Hip Hop Reads

    If you're a fan of hip hop, here are a couple books that will give you history on the musical genre and "behind the stage" stories.

  • Room : a novel
    Academy Awards

    Enjoy these Academy Award winning DVDs and books they were based on!


Reviews

  • The Paris architect : a novel by Belfoure, Charles,
    ★★★★☆

    4.5 stars! Belfoure's background in architecture is evident in the intricate detail he uses to describe the creative processes and the ultimate pride one holds in the craft.

    Lucien Bernard is a struggling architect  during German occupation who does not care much of the Jews. However, when offered the opportunity to use his talents to hide Jews in ingenous hiding places, he jumps at the opportunity; not necessarily becuase he cares but for the challenge and the money. He always insists that his current job will be his last but is driven by the challenge of fooling the Gestapo's and being considered a genius and upsetting his enemies. The thrill of the chase makes this book a page turner.

    I loved this book from beginning to end and learned quite a deal about the German occupation and architecture.

    Reviewed by LaBae D on Feb 16, 2017

    Check out this item

  • The Lost City of the Monkey God by Preston, Douglas J.
    ★★★★★

    The Lost City of the Monkey God reveals the story of a twenty-first century expedition to a section of the Honduran rain forest where two ancient cities are discovered.  No one has been in this remote area in centuries, but through the use of Lidar, an advanced radar system implemented from the air, ground features that were obviously man-made have been revealed.  Just to battle the dense jungle is dangerous and difficult.  The investigative team must also be on the lookout for the aggressive and deadly fer-de-lance snake as well as a multitude of insects which could harbor deadly diseases. In fact Woody, one of the three British ex-Special Air Services officers hired to set up camp in the hostile jungle environment, killed a fer-de-lance in camp on the first day and many of the team members contracted a dangerous parasitic disease, leishmaniasis, which required special intensive treatment.  But, not one, but two cities were found.  A cache of artifacts that had lain undisturbed for centuries was uncovered.  This is a real-life adventure story with innumerable twists and turns.  I loved it!

    Reviewed by Teresa G on Feb 10, 2017

    Check out this item

  • The Night Wanderer by Clare, Alys
    ★★★★★

    Lassair and lawman, Jack Chevestrier, must solve the brutal murders of several disparate Cambridge residents.  In the midst of the murders Gurdyman disappears.  As Lassair's romantic feelings for Jack grow she is unaware that Rollo is, at last, on his way back to England.  The historical setting is very well researched and detailed.  I thoroughly enjoy the herbal lore and study of alchemy.  I even found a bit that related to something I was studying in an online course, Magic in the MIddle Ages.  The Aelf Fen books are well written and a pleasure to read.

    Reviewed by Teresa G on Jan 25, 2017

    Check out this item

  • Pax by Pennypacker, Sara
    ★★★☆☆

    Peter's father, who has enlisted in the army, forces his son to abandon Pax, the fox Peter has raised from a kit.  Peter instantly regrets not fighting harder for Pax and vows to return to the place he last saw the fox.  Hundreds of miles now cover the distance between them, but Peter knows Pax is still alive.  He must undergo an arduous journey to see Pax again.

    There are main stories in this book--the story of Peter and Pax and the greater story of the devastation of war.  Set in an unnamed location, the story line about the war doesn't have much depth.  The portrayal of what happens between Peter and Pax is more detailed and is the more powerful of the two story lines.  

    Reviewed by Teresa G on Jan 25, 2017

    Check out this item

  • The Inquisitor's Tale, or, The Three Magical… by Gidwitz, Adam
    ★★★★☆

    Set in France in 1292 this book tells the story of three children who are brought together by circumstance.  William who is "part-Christian, part-Muslim; part-European, part-African" is a tall very dark skinned young monk.  Jacob is a Jewish boy whose parents have been murdered when his village is set on fire.  Jeanne is a peasant who suffers from epilepsy, but is thought to be possessed by evil spirits.  Jeanne is traveling with a white greyhound named Gwenforte who has died and come back to life.  Gwenforte is loosely based on the Legend of Guinefort, one of the "faithful dog" legends.  Gwenforte guides and helps the children as they join forces with another monk, Michelangelo di Bologna, to save all the Talmuds in France from being burned by King Louis IX.  

    So, I love the Middle Ages and The Inquisitor's Tale does an excellent job of capturing the history of the time in which it is set.  A lengthy author's note details the truth behind many of the events portrayed in the book.  And, more importantly, it has, as a central character, a greyhound and a historic one at that!  So why, then didn't I like this book more?  To be honest I am not a fan of slapstick humor and there is a fair amount of it here.  For me, this detracted from the story, but I'm sure it will make the book more interesting for the intended audience.  All in all a very well written story with some surprising twists and turns that are quite clever and unexpected.  

    Reviewed by Teresa G on Jan 10, 2017

    Check out this item

  • Loner by Wayne, Teddy
    ★★☆☆☆

    I had to give this book two stars since I kept reading until the end...I kept hoping something would happen to make it worth the time investment.  I picked it off the 2016 NPR Book Concierge list so I was hoping for something a bit more engaging.  Loner tells the story of a young man, David Federman, who has worked all his life to get into Harvard.  His work has paid off and he begins his freshman year.  David has never quite fit in, but he tries.  He goes to bonding activities.  He seems to be making progress as the members of his new group of friends seem to truly like him.  When he sees Veronica Morgan Whelk at a social gathering he is smitten from the first minute he lays eyes on her.  When she turns out to be the roommate of one of his cadre of friends, Sara, he begins to deepen his relationship with Sara in order to get closer to Veronica.  He begins a stalking campaign to remain close to Veronica in the hopes that she will notice him.  He goes so far as to write papers for Veronica just so he can spend time with her.  But as time goes on his plan begins to backfire and, in the end, he discovers Veronica is using him as part of a social experiment she is doing for a class.  When he learns the truth about his place in Veronica's life he vows revenge.

    David is a thoroughly unlikable character as is the haughty Veronica.  I really didn't care about what happened to either of them.  I'm sure David's methods of stalking have been described accurately according to obsessive behavior.  I just became very tired of reading about his endless ploys to get close to his object of desire.  When he ruins his life and Veronica's in the end I really didn't care.

    Reviewed by Teresa G on Jan 10, 2017

    Check out this item