Monday, March 22, 2010

New Tricks and Dog Days by John Levitt

The Dog Days series by John Levitt is a good suggestion for anyone who likes urban fantasy and Jim Butcher. Mason is a musician and a magic practitioner who has as his partner his "dog" Lou. Except Lou is magical and not really a dog, he's an Ifrit. Mason used to work as an enforcer keeping wayward practitioners in line. Now he just keeps finding problems, or they find him. There are three books in the series so far, and they get better. The characters are well defined and, dare I say, likable. Give them a try. I am reading the third now.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Linwood Barclay's "Never Look Away"

If you're a follower of our blog, you may have read one of my earlier posts about Harlan Coben read-alikes. I'm an avid fan of Coben's stand alone suspense novels, and am eagerly awaiting his newest release, "Caught," which hits the shelves this Tuesday. Between his latest stand alone, "Hold Tight," and this newest release, I've been forced to scour our library's shelves and on-line catalog to find an author who can match Coben's ability to offer up a true suspense novel that keeps you guessing up till the very end. It was through this search that I came across Linwood Barclay. After just one novel, I was hooked. "Fear the Worst," "No Time for Goodbye," and "Too Close to Home" are all teriffic suspense reads. His latest, "Never Look Away," is my current read, and has yet to disappoint.

In "Never Look Away," David Harwood, a small town newspaper reporter is faced with more questions than answers when his wife mysteriously disappears in the midst of what may possibly be the biggest break for his career, a political scandal involving 'bought' votes and a controversial privately funded prison proposed for Harwood's hometown of Promise Falls. As David sees the evidence against him mounting, he's forced to question whether his wife, and mother of his young son, has actually acted upon her recent contemplations of suicide, or if something far more sinister is going on. David quickly finds that his wife is (quite literally) not the woman that he thought she was, but will he be able to collect all the facts and piece them together to uncover the true story before he's arrested for a crime that he didn't commit?

With almost 3/4 of the book read, I'm anxious to get home and see how the story ends. While I might ordinarily be disappointed to get to the last page of such a suspenseful book, I'm finding comfort in the knowledge that another great read is only 2 days away........(Harlan Coben's "Caught" to be released Tuesday, March 23, 2010).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Fancy Nancy Read A Likes

Fancy Nancy is a cute little girl who loves all things "fancy." She has an extensive vocabulary including French words, which are easily explained throughout the picture book. She has many adventures from choosing the top of the Christmas tree to the choosing a fancy dog. I had the opportunity to host a Fancy Nancy Tea Party, which was a great success. Jane O'Connor (author) has also written a Fancy Nancy series as "easy readers" which are geared towards the beginning reader age group.

Here are some readalikes:
Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann
Tea with Ruby by Sarah Mountbatten-Windsor York
(and my personal favorite) Louise the Big Cheese and the La-Di-Da Shoes by Elise Primavera

More Zombie Fiction!

I just finished "Dead Tossed Waves" by Carrie Ryan, a companion novel to "The Forrest of Hands and Teeth." It was excellent! I loved her use of the "dead tossed waves" throughout the novel. It started off a bit slow with Gabry being very timid and whiney. She was always complacent with being safe in the village and never dared to venture over the gates where the "Mudo" (Zombies) roamed. When she is convinced by a crush to climb the fence, her world is forever changed. She grew throughout the novel. Although not considered a sequel, I recommend reading "Hands and Teeth" first. The book continues Mary's journey and explains what has happend to the other characters from "Hands and Teeth."

Other new Zombie releases at Pembroke:

Pride, Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadful (The prequel) by Steve Hockensmith
I Kissed a Zombie, And I Liked It by Adam Selzer
Unperfect Souls by Mark Del Franco
The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology