Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#107-Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes by Lisa Greenwald (291 pgs)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

#104- The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen (268 pgs)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

#101-Healing the Heartbreak of Divorce by Rose Sweet (278 pgs)
#100-Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers (230 pgs)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

#82-The Rivalry:Mystery at the Army-Navy Game by John Feinstein (252 pgs)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

#72-Mistaken Identity by Van Ryn, Cerak & Tabb (263 pgs) This is the story of the families whose daughters were mistaken for each other in April of 2006. Wow is all I can say. Can't even imagine.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

#71-Countdown by Deborah Wiles (377 pgs) Lone Star title about a 5th grade girl and what was
going on in her life during the Cuban Missle Crisis of 1962. First in a trilogy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

#70-Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (323 pgs) Lone Star title but not one of my favorites. Ok in my opinion.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

#68-Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury

(314 pgs) Does this woman write a book that I won't love? She is a truly talented author, able to write such beautiful and moving stories. This one about Ella and Holden and how they change each others lives, and the lives of those around them as they enter their senior year in high school. I love that Karen doesn't shy away from the tough issues of bullying and the consequences such actions can have on the lives of others. I wish this one were being made into a movie! It has a fabulous message for high school students and teachers at all levels. I will encourage my daughter to read it as well. But don't forget the Kleenex!!!

# 67 - The Help by Kathryn Stockett

(444 pgs) This was getting a LOT of talk especially with the movie about to be released, so I thought I'd better read it. Was a very good book and I will enjoy watching the movie. Love some of these characters! Made me think back to my grandparents home and the help they had whom we all just loved dearly and adored. My mother probably did get more affection and attention from her mother's help than she did her mother. And, sadly, I remember a separate bathroom in my grandparents home that I now realize was for the help. As kids, we just thought it was an 'extra' bathroom and really cool. Now I know better and it makes me sad. We've come a LONG way and for that I am thankful!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

#66-The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

(325 pgs) Lone Star Title as well, and one I was not looking forward to reading. However, it was pretty good. Interesting idea that all the magic items from fairy tales might be stored someplace where others could use them...for good or evil.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

#65-The Cinderella List by Judy Baer

(216 pgs) A Love Inspired Christian romance novel. Love to read them even if they aren't realistic.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

#64-Alabama by Kay Cornelius

(478 pgs) 4 Novellas all set in Rockdale, Alabama. Good, inspiring romances. Light summer read.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

#63- Dragonfly by Julia Golding

(390 pgs) Another title on the Lone Star list for 2011-2012 and I enjoyed it, in spite of myself. It is a Fantasy book and that is not usually my genre. However, I enjoyed reading about Taoshira, the Fourth Crown Princess of the Blue Crescent Islands and her adventures as she gets used to her title. One I can suggest to others without hesitation.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

#62-Live Wire by Harlan Coben

384 pgs - another good Myron Bolitar mystery.

#61-Flabbergasted by Ray Blackston

(331 pgs) Was on the dollar shelf at Mardel...was entertaining. Another good lighthearted summer Christian fiction read.

#60-Wisconsin Weddings by Andrea Boeshaar

(368 pgs) Good innocent summer romances. Light read and I enjoyed all 3 novellas.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#59-Alex VanHelsing:Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson

(256 pgs) Another Lone Star title and yes, about vampires. Vampire fans will enjoy it - no romance really, just action. Not my favorite but sure a lot of students will like it.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

#58 Jumping off Swings by Jo Knowles

(240 pgs) From the MISD digital library...and wow. At first I thought NO - horrible book. The language is awful and yet typical of high school students, or at least some. But, I found I couldn't put it down either. I wanted to know what happened with Ellie and Josh and how Caleb and Corrine handled everything too. I guess a pretty realistic look at what happens when kids in high school have sex and pregnancy results. Might want my daughter to read it after all, bad language not withstanding.

Monday, June 27, 2011

#57-Learning by Karen Kingsbury

(328 pgs) The second book in the Bailey Flanigan series and another heart warming and touching story. I'm always in a better mood for having read any of Karen Kingsbury's books, but I especially enjoy this series. In this one, Bailey is living in New York, performing on Broadway and struggling with feelings for Brandon who is very much a part of her life, and Cody, who seems to have disappeared from her life. Plus, the updates from Ashley and Landon Blake on his health....great characters and another fabulous read. I've preordered #3 - Longing and can't wait for November to get here so I can read more!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

#56 - Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich

(308 pgs) Stephanie Plum's adventures are still laugh out loud funny! She still can't keep a car for very long, she still isn't very good at being a bounty hunter, and she still can't decide between Morelli and Ranger. Looking forward to Explosive Eighteen being released on November 22! I'm team Morelli for sure...for now....I think.....

#55-Matched by Ally Condie

(366 pgs) Another Lone Star title and while it was good, it seemed a little slow moving to me. Cassia is trying to decide if The Society is really working for the best of the people, or just controlling them. She is 'Matched' with Xander, but another face flashes on th screen-and it's that face she can't forget. Does she have choices-or is everything pre-arranged? Sequel called Crossed will be released November 1. I'll read it, and look forward to it, but it's not a pre-order must have kind of title for me.

Monday, June 20, 2011

#54-Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne. Also a Line Star Title- interesting book. Girls parents are Shakespeare experts and live out there professions in dress and speech; her little sister is a genius and will be attending 8th grade classes with Hamlet. Nothing to worry about or be embarrassed by, right? Read it and see. You will enjoy it, I did.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

#53-the Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Alblom (196 pgs) interesting read. Required for 8th AT English so read to discuss with Brooke. Not my favorite and not sure great for 8th graders....

#52 - Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman

(279 pgs) This was the journey of struggle and hope that the Chapman family endured after losing thier adopted daughter Maria in a car accident at their home when thier natural son Will hit Maria in the driveway, causing her death. This was a touching story about the reality of the pain the family experienced both by losing thier daughter and then worrying about thier son as he tried to deal with all of it. A good story and a nice inside look at how they struggled, still struggle, but cling to the hope that one day they will SEE Maria again. Very touching so have kleenex handy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

#51-Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell

(264 pgs) Loved this book on the Lone Star List! It's about Genevieve, who's mother decides to take her family on a summer vacation to family frontier camp where they live as if it's 1890. Could you survive living like that? Genevieve doesn't think she can either...but there are a few surprises in store for her....GREAT BOOK!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

#50 - Leaving by Karen Kingsbury

(336 pgs) The first in the Bailey Flannigan series and of course, I loved it! Love that it realistic and not all happy scenarios for all the characters. Love that characters from the Baxter family are still included so we can see how they are doing. As always, VERY anxious for the next one....since no library has it yet, may have to purchase it myself and donate it when I'm done!

Friday, June 10, 2011

#49-The Calhouns by Nora Roberts

(571 pages) A typical, happily ever after story by Nora Roberts. This was actually 3 different novels all in one book: Courting Cathering, A Man for Amanda and For the Love of Lilah. They are good summer, brain candy kinds of stories. I will have to find the others though because the emeralds they talk about in all 3 were still not found by the end of the last book! Hate that!

#48 - Play Dead by Harlan Coben

(560 pgs) LOVED this book...great mystery.

#47 - Monster by Walter Dean Myers

(281 pgs) Read this because it is required summer reading for Brooke. A hard novel...hard to read as it is written in 'movie-making' format and hard topic. Certainly makes you think....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

#46-Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

(304 pgs) Also from the Lone Star List for next year...and another good read. I'm really enjoying next years titles so much better than this years - thank goodness! This could be summed up as Little Mermaid goes to high school, sorta. Lily is a mermaid princess who's father rules the mer-person kingdom of Thalassinia and whos mother was human. She is attending high school to try and find her mate before her 18th birthday who will then rule the kingdom with her. She loves Brody - seems to be the perfect mate for her, but Quince the annoying next door neighbor keeps showing up at the wrong times...or are they really the right times? Lily has to figure out what is best for her future, and who is best for her. There is a sequel, and I will be anxious to read it and see how these characters are doing. Another one I look forward to recommending!

#45 -Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

(336 pgs) This is another title from the Lone Star list for next year, and another great book by Shusterman. I like this review from Booklist:
"Is it possible to experience joy if you don't experience pain? Is absorbing someone's pain a gift or a curse? Shusterman explores these central questions in the thought-provoking new book. Sixteen year old Tennyson fumes when he learns his twin sister Bronte, is dating Bruiser, they guy voted Most Likely to go to Jail, but Bronte insists Bruiser is misunderstoon. Tennyson is eventually won over and befreinds Bruiser, and that's when the twins notice something odd. Their cuts and bruises disappear overnight while Bruiser is a mass of new hurts; somehow he takes on the pain, both physical and emotional, of the people he cares for. Teh story is narrated by Tennyson, Bronte and Cody, Bruiser's brother, in prose and by Bruiser in free verse, and the individual voices are nicely distinct. It is Tennyson, though who stands out as he evolves from self-centered bully to caring young man and ponders big questions about friendship and sacrifice. A culminating crisis is a bit convenient, but the compelling issues and engaging premise make this a rewarding read."
I couldn't have said it better myself! Again, one I look forward to promoting!

#44 Brain Jack by Brian Falkner

(368 pgs) This was a compelling read from the moment I picked it up. I was reading our digital library version...and since its all about computers and technology it was a weird feeling. He states in the introduction that he is hacking into your computer while you are reading about him...and it's all so realistic you can believe it's actually happening! Sam is a computer 'genius' and has the abilities to do things most of us couldn't imagine. While a lot of the terms used in the book were either made up (I'm hoping) or over my head completely, it is still possible to follow the story. Sam penetrates the most secure computer system in order to purchase himself a 'neuro-headset' which takes the place of a keyboard and a mouse for computers of the future. In the process, Sam is busted and sent to prison for his hacking...or is that just what his mother is lead to believe? Is Sam working for the government? Are the neuro-headsets safe? Is Sam a good guy or a bad guy? I'm not telling! Read will be glad you did. I look forward to booktalking this one for kids next year!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

#43 - Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

(273 pgs) This was the book I should have read before After Ever After, but I didn't know that. I really liked this book as well. It examines the life of 8th grader Stephen Alper when his little brother is diagnosed with cancer. Steven experiences the typical frustration of becoming an invisible child while all his parents energy and attention is focused on his little brother. While he's dealing with his brothers diagnosis, he's also trying to survive 8th grade...which isn't easy under any circumstance. A great story and seemingly realistic portrayal of what a family would go through in a situation like this. I will recommend it to others for sure!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

#42-After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

(260 pgs) Another title from the Texas Lone Star list for 2011 - 2012. About two friends, Jeff and Thad, who help each other through school because they are both cancer survivors and no one understands things quite like they do. A powerful story about friendship and starting high school, and even a 'peaceful revolt'. Have some kleenex handy when you read this one....I really liked it A LOT! Apparently this is a sort of sequel to Sonnenblick's Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie where Stephen is first introduced to us as his brother Jeffery gets a lukemia diagnosis. Got to go find that one to read next.....

#41-The Darlings Are Forever by Melissa Kantor

(352 pgs) Well, since the Baxter family books were done, I grabbed one of my daughter's books for a return to YA lit instead of 'adult' fiction. This is a cute story of friendship and 3 BFF's all begin high school at separate schools. Victoria's dad is running for office and she isn't sure she likes all the attention that goes with that. And are her friends intersted in her, or her dad's campaign? Natalya begins her really hard school, and isn't sure who she wants to be here, much less who she wants to be friends with. And Jane auditions for a play at her school, even though she's told Freshmen almost never get parts! Who enjoys their Freshmen year and can their friendships survive being at different schools? Read it to find out. Cute story and I will read the sequel, Darlings In Love when it comes out!

#40 - Sunset by Karen Kingsbury

(336 pages) #4 in the Sunrise series and the final book with the Baxters? I don't know if I like fact I know I don't. I finished this book awhile ago and I miss them! It's like when a favorite TV show goes off the air and you wonder how the characters are doing? I'm glad the characters finished up the way they did. YEAH Dane and Katy! I'm glad that the Bailey Flannigan series has 2 books now so I can catch up on some of the characters and what they are up to. Here is the review for Sunset from Karen's site:
"Sunset is about the power of family love, and the healing miracle of redemption. As John Baxter makes plans to marry Elaine, one of the Baxters enters into the most trying season of all. During a time of renewed love and hope for the future, the Baxters try to come together to establish the sacred ground of marriage and to chart a course for the future. Memories of times gone by meet with the changes of today in a story that proves only the support of faith and family can take a person into the sunset years of life."

Such happy endings for everyone! GREAT series of books....all of the Baxter family books were fabulous!!

#39-Someday by Karen Kingsbury

( 352 pgs) This is #3 in the Sunrise series and naturally, I loved this one as well. I really feel like I know these characters! Here is what her site says about Someday:
A Desperate Situation
Pressures of celebrity lifestyle weigh heavily on Dayne and Katy Matthews as they take on separate movie projects.

A Heartbreaking Loss
The Flanigan family recognizes the deep loss of the Christian Kids Theater, and they lead an effort to keep it from demolition.

A Season of Hope
John Baxter takes the next step in his relationship with Elaine, giving him a season to contemplate selling the Baxter house—and losing a lifetime of memories.

As the rest of the family considers the future, they must pull together like never before. Only their undying love for each other can help them overcome today’s trials for a life they know is possible…someday.

I want Dane and Katy to make it...and love following Ashley and Landon. Such good books!

#38-Summer by Karen Kingsbury

(368 pages) This is #2 in The Sunrise series and the stories just continue from book to book with the great characters and storylines. I love these books! Here is what her website says about Book #2:

Hollywood actor Dayne Matthews and Katy Hart are married and living in Bloomington, Ind., where Dayne has found a solution to his on-camera love scenes—he wants Katy to star in his next film.

The Baxter family learns that Ashley and Kari are both pregnant, but an ultrasound reveals that something is wrong with one of the babies. As the summer progresses, the sisters pray for a miracle while trying to face the unthinkable.

The Flanigans continue to draw closer to their only daughter, yet Bailey struggles to find her way amidst the turmoil of adolescence. She has always made good decisions, but she wants to experience more of life. Her friendship with Cody Coleman—the young border staying with the Flanigans—continues to blossom in this summer after his graduation.

Can't wait to read the rest!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

#37 - Sunrise by Karen Kingsbury

(336 pgs) Whew, the characters I loved so much from the Redemption series and the Firstborn series are still here! I'm so glad they are included in this series also! This is the first in the Sunrise series, and again, I loved the book. The characters are really life like, could be my neighbors. I wish I could go to Bloomington and meet them! Here is what Karen's site says about this one:

Sunrise is the first book in this new series continuing on with the lives of the Baxters from The Redemption Series as well as Dayne and Katy from the Firstborn Series.

In preparation for their wedding day, Dayne Matthews and Katy Hart are determined to keep the ceremony a secret from the paparazzi.

John Baxter is thrilled that his oldest son will settle down a few miles away, but he isn’t sure how any of his kids will handle a situation he can no longer run from—the feelings he’s having for his friend Elaine.

Meanwhile, the Flanigan family is struggling with their young border, Cody Coleman, the star receiver on Jim Flanigan’s football team.
Sunrise is a story about God’s unending faithfulness and the promise of new beginnings.

Can't wait to read Summer!

#36 - Forever by Karen Kingsbury

(368 pgs) # 5 in the Firstborn series and while I loved the book, I'm sad the series is over. I feel like I really know these characters and their families. I will miss them but am glad they will appear in other books too! Again, from Karen's website, here is what she says about the book:


Katie Hart is thrilled about her future with Hollywood's Dayne Matthews. But as she plans a wedding and looks for a house on the shores of Lake Monroe, she receives tragic news.

Now she and the members of the Baxter family must travel to Los Angeles and sort through their options. While paparazzi open fire on the Baxter family, Luke Baxter must wrestle with feelings that have troubled him for nearly a year.

Ultimately, the Baxter family must pull together one last time in an act of service and love to help Katie and Dayne find what they've always been looking for - a chance at forever."

A great ending to a great series, and a believable ending. Now on to the Sunrise series! If I can see through my tears to read some more!

#35 - Family by Karen Kingsbury

(368 pgs) # 4 in the Firstborn series....and of course I loved it. Here is the summary from Karen's website since she says it so much better than I could without giving anything away:
A Sensational Trial

Katy Hart travels to Los Angeles to testify against the knife-wielding fan who tried to kill her. She is hunted by paparazzi who figure out that she is the mystery woman photographed with Hollywood movie star Dayne Matthews. Tension and pressure build to a dangerous level as Katy and Dayne seek private moments amidst the frenzy. In the end, Dayne’s celebrity life makes Katy certain that a future with him is all but impossible.

A Life-Changing Decision

As the trial comes to a close, Dayne searches for answers he cannot seem to find. Not until he talks to his childhood friend does he realize his desperate need for wisdom and direction. Ultimately his journey leads him to an isolated beach where God makes Dayne’s future as clear as the waters of Cancun. But can he live with the decision God places before him?

A Stunning Discovery

Landon and Ashley Baxter Blake are celebrating the happiest days of their lives, enjoying Cole and their newborn son. But Ashley cannot find peace until she finds her older brother—the firstborn Baxter sibling. Her constant questions to her father, John Baxter, have netted nothing. Now she receives news that rocks her world and threatens to end her search in heartbreaking finality.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

#34- Found by Karen Kingsbury

(368 pgs) This is #3 in the Firstborn series that I have really been enjoying. Since I've taken to posting reviews from the authors own website since mine all sound the same or give away plot details, here is what her site says about Found :

A Desperate Search
Driven by his wife’s dying wish—to find their firstborn son—John Baxter sets about the search of a lifetime. His prayer? That Elizabeth’s wish would be fulfilled before the upcoming Baxter family reunion. One strange turn follows another, but John confides in a new friend and continues to look for his son. When the answers finally come, they shake John to his core. Will he agree to walk away and keep the secret of a lifetime, or will he decide it’s time to let the truth come to light—no matter the cost?
A Tragic Loss
Dayne Matthews is questioning his adoptive parents’ faith when he receives crushing news. He was ready to take on the responsibility of having a family, but now the future is drastically altered and Dayne is desperate for answers. Wisdom and comfort come from visits with a long-lost friend and then with Katy Hart, the girl Dayne can’t seem to forget. But will Dayne find the strength he needs to face a future laced with loss, and will that strength lead him to the greatest love of all?
A Terrible Storm
As the Baxters come together, the reunion is overshadowed by a miracle in their midst. But just as quickly, tragedy comes to Bloomington. Ashley is eight months pregnant and in the early stages of labor when a tornado rips through the community, leaving one family missing and destroying homes throughout the area. What will Dayne Matthews do when he hears about the storm? Will he finally find peace in a God he has been running from all his life?

A story of God’s divine leading and the truth that God rewards those who seek Him with all their heart."

I was up until 12:15 last night to finish this one...and would have started #4 if I didn't have to work today! But I've started it now.....stay tuned!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

#33-Forgiven by Karen Kingsbury

(384 pages) As Karen's website says: "Dayne Matthews is at the top of the Hollywood list, working on what may be his best movie yet. Still, he is empty and unfocused, aching for real love and the family he'll never know. Then a friend tells him about a teaching center and a way to become like God."

I love that Karen's books contain joys and sorrows of real people and how they realistically deal with them. Though most story lines end up with a "happily ever after feel" the characters do endure tragedy and she portrays those struggles realistically in my opinion. LIfe is not a bowl of cherries for the Baxters or their extended families, and I appreciate that. I don't have Found yet, # 3 in the Firstborn series, but I'm going to get it ASAP!

#32-Fame by Karen Kingsbury

(368 pgs) Love that this novel picks up right where the Redemption Series leaves off. The same Baxter family characters as life moves on for them. Here is the review from Karen's website: "Fame is the first book in the soul-stirring new Firstborn Series from Karen Kingsbury. As Dayne Matthews returns to Hollywood after his shocking discovery in Karen's best-selling novel Reunion, he faces the dangerous world of fame and paparazzi. Meanwhile, Katy Hart receives the offer of a lifetime--starring opposite Dayne in a Hollywood film. Dayne and Katy's choices will change their hearts and lives forever."

She just says it all so much better than I could! Love these books and this author...can you tell? Trying to get my hands on all her books!

#31-Reunion by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley

(400 pgs) The final book in the Baxter Family Redemption Series. It was just as great as the others in the series, but I wasn't ready to say goodbye to all the characters! I was so glad the Firstborn Series picks up where this one left off. I grabbed Fame right away and started reading! This one does bring some storylines to a close and we continue to keep up with the many members of the Baxter family and what God is doing in their lives. I love the faith elements in these books...God is always good, even when our circumstances are not. The characters in these novels live that out! The review from "A Deadly Diagnosis: In the fifth and final book in the Redemption Series, plans are being made for a family reunion. Nearly all the adult Baxter children have a reason to celebrate, except one. As the preparations get under way, a deadly diagnosis sends shock waves through the Baxter family and threatens to tear them apart.

A Heartbreaking Secret: The reality of what might lie ahead brings each of the Baxters to a place of faith and honesty. In the process, Elizabeth and John come to grips with a secret they haven't shared with anyone, a secret they rarely admit even to themselves. At the same time, a young man is making his rise in Hollywood and wondering about his place in life.

A Glorious Celebration: Amidst the threat of sorrow, the Baxters share in their most wonderful celebration of all, a moment to remember that love always wins out, no matter how long the struggle, a reminder that God reigns even in the darkest night."

That should make you want to read it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

#30-Rejoice by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley

(355 pgs) #4 in the Redemption Series and features Peter and Brooke and their family and struggles as their daughter Hayley faces serious health issues. Can their marriage survive them? Kari and Ryan are still included in story lines as are Ashley and Landon and Luke and Reagan. I love how she continues to write about imperfect people and the struggles they face, but with their faith, they are brought through the fires, not kept from them. One of my favorite parts is where all the women in the Baxter family share a morning of prayer and their favorite scripture verses with Reagan and her mother the morning of her wedding to Luke. What a great idea and sentimental time for all involved. On to #5 - I think I will miss these characters when I finish this series!

Monday, March 14, 2011

#29-Return by Karen Kingsbury

(346 pgs) This is number 3 in the Redemption series, and again, a GREAT book. I feel like I know personally the characters in the Baxter family. How I would love to meet them if they were real! This novel focuses on Luke and his struggles with his faith in the wake of September 11. Ashley also has a large part as she realizes some of her dreams, yet also deals with life changing news. And Kari and Ryan finally get married in this one! I'm so glad I have number 4 so I can get started right away.

#28-Remember by Karen Kingsbury

(391 pgs) Number 2 in the Redemption Series with Gary Smalley and another fabulous book. I love how real the characters are..the Baxters are a great family who turn to the Lord in the good and the bad. The kids aren't perfect and they make bad decisions, but through the prayers of their faithful parents and siblings, they find God again. I love how God is so faithful to never leave them, even when they try to leave him. This one is mostly about Ashley, Cole and Landon but also the other Baxters...Kari and Ryan and Jessie; Luke and his new girlfriend Reagan, and also covers September 11 and the attacks on our nation. A great book, of course. I'm really glad mom suggested I try some of Karen Kingsbury's novels!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

#27 - Redemption by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley

(384 pgs) This is the first in the next Karen Kingsbury series I am working my way through. (Baxter Family Drama-Redemption Series) It is about Kari Baxter Jacobs and her husband Tim. Tim is a professor and Indiana University and Kari discovers through an anonymous phone call that her husband is having an affair with one of his students. Naturally she is heartbroken and can't believe he would ever do this to her and to their marriage. The rest of the book is about how Kari tries to handle the situation she has found herself in, NOT wanting to give Tim the divorce he asks for. To complicate matters a little, Ryan Taylor, Kari's first love, is back in town and still in love with Kari. Will Ryan admit his feelings to her? Will it matter? Can Kari save her marriage to Tim...does she want to? It was a great story and well written, as all her books are. I've already started #2 in the series!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

#26 - Who is My Shelter? by Neta Jackson

(400 pgs) This is the fourth and final book in the Yada Yada House of Hope Series. For me, it was a very satisfying conclusion to the story lines....though she could easily have continued them. I could tell right away how Will was going to fit into thier lives, and was glad when my prediciton turned out to be accurate. I felt like things with Gabby and Phillip were realistically handled as well. I still didn't like Lee's involvement with Gabby...but I guess some people work that way. I loved this series as much as the other Yada Yada books and can't wait for another series by Neta Jackson!

Monday, February 21, 2011

#25 - Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury

(336 pgs) I am really enjoying this author! Her Christian fiction novels are super. This one is about Brad who is engaged to Laura and the wedding is 6 weeks away. However, at work, Brad is supposed to be coming up with an add campagin for Kotton Kids - a high end organic line of baby products. This takes Brad back to his past and his high school girlfriend, Emma, and some unresolved issues with them. Can he see Emma and make things right before moving on with Laura...or will seeing Emma cause them to fall in love again? It was a great story and I hope to find more Karen Kingsbury novels at the public library. I'm now a huge fan!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#24 - Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury

(293 pgs) This book I checked out from the public library when I was looking for Take Four by the same author. This isn't part of a series, is just a good, stand alone novel. In this story, Cory loses his mother at 6 years old, and goes to live with her friend from work, Megan. Cory is convinced his dad is 49ers quarterback Aaron Hill and wants to contact him. Megan, however, believes Cory has just made him up because he wants a father so badly. When Aaron shows up at the Youth Center where Megan volunteers for foster kids....things get interesting. Another great Christian novel that really deals with real life situations and shows how God can and will work in our lives when we just give Him the chance. I think I have a new favorite author...and looking at the books she has published, I can read her books for a long time to come!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#23-Take Four by Karen Kingsbury

(352 pages) I LOVE THIS SERIES AND AUTHOR!! As much as I loved the Yada Yada books, I was sad when I had finished all 7. I have finished this series by Karen Kingsbury since my library had Take Four and I have checked out two other titles by her. I can't wait to read all of her books! This was a conclusion to several story lines and a great way to introduce the new Bailey Flannigan series she has begun writing. Keith and Dane finish the making of their movie Unlocked and God makes their dreams come true and then some during the filming of this movie. Andi delivers her baby and it all wraps up beautifully - even finishing it at school I had to work hard to keep the tears from my eyes! Can't wait to read more of her books. Thanks Mom, for making the suggestion!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

#22 - Take Three by Karen Kingsbury

(311 pgs) The next book in the Above the Line series...and now I want Take Four! It wasn't $.99 so I didn't buy it yet...and didn't figure I'd finish the others so quickly anyway! Again, this picks up with Keith and Chase trying to finish The Last Letter and get deals secured for Unlocked. Chase struggles with Kelly and his girls while Keith and Lisa worry about Andi and the distance she has developed from them. Bailey continues to date Tim but wonders about Cody while Cody worries about his mother and possible relapses. Love this series and the way the flow so easily from one to the next. I will be searching the libraries for Take Four to see how she wraps up the series.

#21 - Take Two by Karen Kingsbury

(298 pgs) This was the sequel to Take One and again, $.99 at Mardel. Love this series! Chase and Keith are trying to make movies that will are family friendly and will change peoples lives...cause them to turn to God. Meanwhile, Satan is doing all he can to bring them down and prevent them from being the witnesses they really want to be. The story picks up right where #1 left off, same characters, but the story lines continue and deepen. There are mentions of characters from her other books so I will have to look for those to read also. Anyway, great book and loving Christian fiction right now. Off to read Take Three!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

#20 - Take One by Karen Kingsbury

(323 pgs) This is the first in the Above the Line series...again from the $1 sale shelves at Mardel. I really enjoyed this book about Chase and Keith who are former missionaries from Indonesia wanting to make a good movie with Christian values that will change people's lives. Of course, setting out to do something so right means they will encounter many obstacles but their committment to family and their faith see them through. Not that it is easy for them...but I love how God does show His faithfulness to them and their mission to share His love with a great movie. I'm off to read Take Two in the series!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

#19-Texas Charm by DiAnn Mills

(478 pgs) This was yet another book Mom passed on from the $.99 sale rack at Mardel. Again, really 4 novels in one - this time all set in Texas. The first is about a widow named Paula (hmmmm-sounds familiar) who wants to open the bed and breakfast she and her late husband always dreamed of owning. She hires Rick Davenport, who happens to be a widower and you can see where this is going. The second is about Paula's adult daughter Kristi and the man who buys Rick's ranch, Jack Frazier. Jack has a past and is afraid Kristi won't accept him if she knows the truth. The third is about Cassidy - Jack's niece and the boutique she opens in town. She meets Carlos who is in charge of Jack's stables and she tries to decide if his plans for the future can include her considering her past. The last novel is about Rachel and her lawyer Adam as they try to fight her parents for custody of her 3 children...while Adam adjusts to having his nephew full time as well. They are all good Christian love stories and though the characters face trials, they remain faithful to God and trust His plans for their lives. And, they all live happily ever after.....not realistic but still good reads.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

#18-Colorado Wings by Tracie Peterson

(478 pgs) This is one book but contains 3 short novels and 1 novella (the way the cover describes them). I was ready for a book that wasn't from my middle school library, and this was another Mardel find. All of the stories are linked by the characters so it was a fun read. Of course, each story has its set of problems for the characters to overcome, and surprise surprise, they overcome them and all live happily ever after. Fun to read sometimes, especially when your own happily ever after seems to have disappeared. In the first story CJ meets Brad as he tries to help her deal with the plane crash that killed her parents and seriously injured her. In the second story, CJ's brother Curt meets Christy and helps clear her from the DEA's drug investigation that her business has gotten involved in without her knowledge. In the third story, Erik helps Cheryl recover from her father's suicide and her fiance's double life and subsequent death. The final novella involves Debbie (Curt's DEA partner) and Nathan protecting her as the man that killed her husband Frank has escaped from prison. All nice, feel good stories that involve faith and God's word. Certianly worth the $.99 paid for it!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

#17 - The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler

(242 pgs) This one just looked yummy because the cover has cupcakes on it. The story is about Penny moving from Manhatten where she lived with her mom and dad, to Hog's Hollow where just she and her mom are living with her grandmother. Penny has hidden out at her mom's bakery over the summer so starting school with out knowing anyone makes it difficult. She starts with the most popular girl mad at her...and things build up from there. She meets Marcus on the beach behind Grams house, who seems to like her, but she seems to be invisible to him at school. It was a good book to read and finish on this snow day. I keep craving cupcakes....

Sunday, January 30, 2011

#16-The Big Time by Tim Green

(288 pgs) I love most anything Tim Green writes about sports so I was excited to read this book, the third in the Football Genius, Football Hero series. This continues the story of Troy and his amazing ability to predict plays on the football field. The last book left off with Troy's missing father showing up in his life...just as Troy begins to make big money for his football gift. In The Big Time, Troy gets a chance to develop his reltationship with his father and see just what happens as a result. His best freinds Tate and Nathan are still in the story, for which I was glad. It's Troy's genius that moves this story though, where in the last one it was mostly about his little league football team. I still loved the story and will recommend it to sports lovers...who have read the other two first! This would be a spoiler if you haven't read the other two.

#15-Becca by the Book by Laura Jensen Walker

(300 pgs) This was on the SUPER BARGAIN shelf at Mardel, so was only $1.00. It is the first in the Getaway Girls series and after reading this one, I think I would like to find the others. In this novel, Becca - who works in a bookstore, is in a book club 'The Getaway Girls' whose members are all Christians except her. She thinks all that church stuff is strange, but makes a bet with the members of her book club that just might change her life...if she can win it. I really enjoyed this one and hope the others in the series are just as good.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

#14-Heist Society by Ally Carter

(287 pgs) This is another title on the Lone Star List for '11-'12. I haven't read any other titles by Ally Carter but I know she is a popular author. This was an interesting read and one I enjoyed...once I started it I finished it the same day. Not that I couldn't put it down...but I did get into the story. I like Katarina and the people in her life are certainly interesting characters. Parts of the story did seem a little unrealistic to me (15 year old flying to Paris on her own?) but what do I know of the habits of millionaires? Seemed more like a 'girl' book to me, but probably enough action and suspense to entertain boys, if they can get past the cover! I just saw on her website that there will be a Heist Society 2 out on June 21, 2011 called Uncommon Criminals. Heist Society

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

#13-How to Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart

(243 pgs) This is also on the Lone Star Reading list for 2011-2012. I enjoyed this book, but I don't think the title is accurate. It's about David Greenburg going from 5th grade at the elementary school to 6th grade at the middle school and all the changes that means for him. He and his best friend get in a fight and that sets the tone for the beginning of middle school for David. It seems to me he really has a tough time with school, but maybe that really is how middle school goes for some kids. Overall a good book, but not a favorite for me so far.

Monday, January 17, 2011

#12 - Lorna by Debra White Smith

(292 pages) This is #2 in The Debutantes series and another one I picked up from the bargain shelves at Mardel. Obviously this one is about Lorna and her possible romance with the new mayor of Houston, Michael. However, as the girls are investigating a Houston pastor that they feel was wrongly accused of a crime, Michael's name keeps coming up. Should Lorna investigate him further or follow her heart? Again, a great read. I looked for book #3 when I picked up these two and didn't see it. Now I have to find the last book in the series, Brittan, since I have enjoyed these others so much.

#11 - Heather by Debra White Smith

(350 pages) This is a new (to me) series by Debra White Smith that I picked up at Mardel. It was a good Christian mystery novel that I enjoyed. It reminded me of the Daughters novels in that there are 3 wealthy friends, only in this one the women like to solve mysteries as 'The Rose". This one obviously focuses on Heather as she determines how she feels about the reporter assigned to interview her for a Lifestylfe piece. Then she and her friends Lorna and Brittan also try and solve the mystery of who killed the mayor of Houston.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

#10 - Who Do I Lean On? by Neta Jackson

(358 pgs) This was #3 in the House of Hope series where Gabrielle Fairbanks is the main character. I loved the other 2 books in this series and this one didn't disappoint either. These are just such good books about real people and how the struggle with real issues but continue to pray to God and praise God during it all. This book seemed especially relevant to me since Gabby is separated from her husband, but in her situation it looks like things might work out for them, where in my world, my divorce is about to be finalized. Maybe thats why I liked the book so has the happy beginning to the end that I wish I had!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

#9 - The Daughters Break the Rules by Joanna Philbin

(276 pgs) This was #2 in this series and I loved it. It picks up where book one, The Daughters, leaves off with Carina's father whisking her away because she leaked information about him to the papers. This book obviously focuses on Carina's story while Lizzie and Hudson are still included. I love this series. Fun, light-hearted reads. Book #3 is supposed to be out soon, and I can guarantee I will be looking for it when it is released! That one should be Hudson's story and I look forward to learning more about her and her recording career.

Monday, January 10, 2011

#8-Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson

(416 pages) This is #2 in the House of Hope series by Neta Jackson and I couldn't wait to read it when I finished book #1. It picked up right where book 1 left off with Gabrielle in quite a mess trying to figure out how to take care of her mom, where to go since her husband kicked her out and how to get her boys back to Chicago. I really enjoyed this novel as well and can't wait to get #3 from my mom at dinner tonight! I love these books. The way the author mixes in prayer and scripture makes while characters deal with real life circumstances make them very helpful and inspiring. Just my opinion!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

#7 Where Do I Go? by Neta Jackson

(370 pgs) I loved the Yada Yada Prayer Group novels by this same author, and when I finished all 7 of those books I was sad to see the series end. This is another series and includes some of the familiar characters from the Yada Yada books, so it almost feels like the series continues. This book is about Gabrielle Fairbanks and her struggles as she and her husband have just moved to Chicago for him to start a new business. Their sons are in boarding school in Virginia finishing out the semester and so Gabrielle has time on her hands and a hole in her heart she doesn't even realize is there. I appreciate the honesty in the situations and the emotions that the characters display. I REALLY enjoy these off to start the second one in this series....

Saturday, January 8, 2011

#6-Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

(196 pages in EPUB format) I also read this book on my eReader from the MISD digital library. Interesting concept...4 people meet at a Caribbean Island resort and the story is broken into 4 sections to tell about each person. However, this story really didn't seem to go anywhere. There were some good leads that I would have liked to see develop further. Plus, the language and sexual situations were bad. After reading this, I will move the hard copy Agnew has to the highschool library. Didn't think it was great for the middle school library.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

#5 - Fat Cat by Robin Brande

(282 pages) This is also on the Lone Star List for next year and I checked out the EPUB version from the Mesquite Digital Library. Still not a fan of the digital book format or the eReader, but really liked the book. It is a good self discovery book about Catherine Locke as she progresses through her senior year in high school. Her live revolves around her science project and the author does a good job of making the story stick to her project while still sharing about her life. There were a few 'bad' words in the book, and definately more a girls book than one I see boys really liking, but a good book none the less. I enjoyed this one and could safely suggest it to certain students.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

#4 - Stuck on Earth by David Klass

(227 pgs) This is on the Lone Star List for 2011 so I thought I would get a start on reading it. While not my favorite type of book, I did enjoy the humor of an 'alien' attempting to make sense of life on Earth, especially the life of a 14 year old boy. The alien takes over the body of Tom Filber and lives his life for a few days on Earth. It was a good read and very funny at parts. There were a few bad words, but not often throughout the book.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

# 3 Somebody's Hero by Annie Jones

This is part of the Love Inspired series of books. That just means it is a clean, Christian romance novel. It was only 203 pages so didn't take long to read and was just a sweet story where 'shockingly' the two main characters fall in love and live happily ever after. Just a pleasurable read that wasn't a young adult novel for a change. Nothing heavy or difficult about it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

#2-the Daughters by Joanna Philbin

( 304 pages)This book was one I really enjoyed. Its about 3 girls whose parents are famous for one reason or another (one is a supermodel, one is a BILLIONAIRE from a media empire, and one is a pop-star) and what thier lives are like dealing with thier famous parents. From the outside sometimes it seems the money and parties and connections would make life a breeze, but from thier points of view, it's not so easy. I like reading about Lizzie and her struggles due to her beauftiful mother; Carina and her life with the father whom she is so different from; Hudson who wants to record her own album with her taste in music but whose mom thinks she knows what is best. First book by talk show host Regis Philbin's daughter and I'm anxiously trying to get my hands on the sequel, the Daughters Break the Rules. A great, fun, easy read - in my opinion.

# 1 -One Good Punch by Rich Wallace

(128 pages)This was a short chapter book given to me by our Perma-Bound rep as part of a Christmas gift. I love sports books so was excited to read it. However, the language was a turn off to me and would make me hesitant to put it in my middle school library. The story itself seemed unresolved. The main character Mike gets busted for having pot in his locker which ruins his chances of getting to state in track and his senior year. I can say at least he is honest that the pot was his, but I really felt like the story had no conclusion. Just my thoughts...others may really like it.

What is this?

I am a middle school librarian who loves to read (duh!) and was inspired to attempt to count how many books I read in one year. I've encouraged my 12 year old daughter to do the same. So, to keep up with all the books we read this year, we will attempt to blog about them when finished. Wonder how many I will have read by December 31st? 100? 200? Time will tell. I know I read a lot each year, I have just never counted. It will be crazy!