Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Loved this…I describe it as Sheldon’s (Big Bang Theory) love story.  It is funny, warm and yes sentimental but sometimes you just need a dose of happy. 

Book Description via Amazon

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2013: Full of heart and humor, Simsion’s debut novel about a fussy, socially-challenged man’s search for the perfect wife is smart, breezy, quirky, and fun. Sure, it’s the precise equivalent of a well-crafted romantic comedy. (In fact, the book was clearly written with the big-screen in mind, and the film rights have already been sold). But you’d have to be a pretty cynical reader not to fall for Don Tillman, a handsome genetics professor who has crafted a pathologically micromanaged life for himself but can’t seem to score a second date. After launching his Wife Project, which includes a hilarious questionnaire intended to weed out imperfect candidates--smokers, makeup wearers, vegans (“incredibly annoying”)--Don meets Rosie, a stunning, maddeningly disorganized bartender/student who’s looking for her biological father. The reader knows just where the story is headed: Rosie’s so wrong for Don, she’s perfect. That’s not giving anything away. Half the fun of the book is watching pent-up, Asperger’s-afflicted Don break free, thanks to Rosie, from his precisely controlled, annoyingly sensible, and largely humorless lifestyle. By the final third, you’re cheering for Don to shatter all his rules. And you’re casting the film. --Neal Thompson

Friday, October 4, 2013

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I read a review that referred to Counting by 7s as “this years Wonder”…those are some pretty big words (a piece of that book still lives in my heart.)  And now my heart will have to make room for Willow, Mia, Quang-ha and the whole cast of characters in Counting by 7s.   Ok this is going to get personal…

I have *that* girl – odd, different, quirky, weird, WONDERFUL, SPECIAL, A GIFT TO THE WORLD – just like Willow.  And while my girl may have different oddities…I got Willow, I understood Willow, I LOVE Willow.  Here is my favorite quote…the one that got me, right through the heart:

Quang-ha (the surly, angry teenage boy) says to Willow:

“I don’t want to know how you did it.  I want to believe you’re magic.”

And she is…just like my girl…magic.  And when other people see the magic in your kid, especially your “special” kid…it makes your heart want to burst open…because not everyone is going to get them…only the special ones, the ones who believe in magic.

Book Description from Booklist

*Starred Review* In a voice that is frank, charming, and delightfully odd, Willow Chance narrates the strange and heartbreaking circumstances that lead her to find an offbeat, patchwork quilt of a family. As an adopted, self-identified “person of color,” precocious genius Willow unabashedly knows that she is different, but her parents love and support her idiosyncrasies, such as wearing her gardening outfit to school, her preoccupation with disease, her anthropological curiosity about her peers, and her obsession with the number seven. That self-assuredness shines through Willow’s narrative and becomes crucial to her survival after the unexpected death of her parents, which makes Willow a prime candidate for life in a group home—an environment that could be disastrous for an unusual child like her. Luckily, she finds new friends who are compelled to protect her: Mai and her family, who live in the garage behind the nail salon they own, and Willow’s slouch of a guidance counselor, Dell. Sloan (I’ll Be There, 2011) has masterfully created a graceful, meaningful tale featuring a cast of charming, well-rounded characters who learn sweet—but never cloying—lessons about resourcefulness, community, and true resilience in the face of loss. Grades 7-10. --Sarah Hunter

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Down and Out in Bugtussle by Stephanie McAfee

Product DetailsThis is the 3rd book in the series and I am still in love…Stephanie McAfee is my new Janet Evanovich…she is hilarious.  If you’re looking for a fun, funny, easy read this is a great series!!! 

Book Description From Booklist

Graciela “Ace” Jones is back from Florida, her art gallery closed and her engagement broken. Despite her lowly job as a substitute teacher, she is not one to settle for less. She decides to get her old art teacher position back, even if it means taking out the voluptuous, incompetent Cameron Becker. Meanwhile, her best friends, Chloe and Lilly, are dealing with relationship troubles, and coach Logan Hatter might want to be more than a friend-with-benefits to Ace. Then Ace finds her beloved grandmother’s gardening book, with a letter inside from a mysterious “M.” This is the third Ace Jones outing, and again she starts the book vowing to be quieter, better mannered, and more together. Fortunately for the reader, she fails. While not as madcap as Diary of a Mad Fat Girl (2012) and Happily Ever Madder (2012), Down and out in Bugtussle includes some wonderful, uncensored Ace-isms, especially in a memorable honky-tonk scene. Grandma’s big secret is not particularly shocking, but fans will be glad to visit with their favorite residents of Bugtussle, Mississippi, including the chiweenie, Buster Loo. --Susan Maguire