Heather's books

Sarah's Key
The Help
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
New Moon
Breaking Dawn
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The Lightning Thief
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The Notebook
Eat, Pray, Love
The Time Traveler's Wife
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Heather's favorite books »

Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Review : Twelve Months by Steven Mancester

 Twelve Months

Steven Manchester

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Pages: 324

2 out of 5 stars

This book was good, but nothing that hasn’t been written before. With this type of plot, you know the person is going to die at the end and although it is sad the story is about how to celebrate one’s life with the last of the time God has granted you. So with that in mind, there should be some kind of revelation, excitement, or climax to differentiate from all the other “last months to live” books out there.  This book just did not do anything for me. I felt the characters weren’t very developed for a novel that was more based on emotions and family connections; yet would go into great detail of the different deeds that Don accomplished.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Summer of the Mariposas

BY: Guadalupe Garcia McCall
GENRE: Young Adult fiction
PAGES: 352
STARS: 4 out of 5

I had the great please of meeting Guadalupe Garcia McCall at the Austin Teen Book Festival this past September. Then I had the please of reading her book while on vacation in Cabo, Mexico. It couldn't have been much more fitting.

Cinco Hermanitas! Five Sisters! Together forever. Told by the view of the oldest sister, Odilia, this magical story of five Mexican American sisters traveling across the border from Texas to Mexico to deliver a dead body, visit their Abuelita (Grandma), find their father and themselves will have you crying and laughing with the girls. Mexican folklore is weaved throughout the sister’s adventure as they encounter mystical creatures such as chupacabras and lechuzas, along with the legendary La Llorona.  The author creates a beautiful description of the Garza sisters’ mystical adventures to Grandmother’s house and back again. Age 9 and up.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

 The Demon Lover (Fairwick Chronicles, #1)

The Demon Lover
BY: Juliet Dark (Carol Goodman)
GENRE: Fantasy
PAGES: 416
STARS: 4 out of 5

Being a huge Carol Goodman fan, I knew I would love this book. It definitely has Carol's style, having the setting be a Literary College, but with a gothic/fairy tale twist.  A young graduate author looking for a teaching position takes one away from her beloved New York City to a small Literary College, Fairwick. Goodman’s setting of a small college plot, but with a twist of demons, fairies, witches, etc, takes Callie to a new realization of her dreams she has been having since a young age. She soon learns that her dreams are her reality versus the other way around. Intertwined with mythology, fairy tales, erotica, and other great literature, the reader will be gripping to solve the Fairwick mysteries and the Ballard Curse right along with Callie.

If you are a Carol Goodman fan or have a love for Gothic romance, Paranormal Mystery, Urban Fantasy or any combination of the above, I highly recommend this book for you.

It is the first in the Fairwick Chronicles, so the mysteries continue...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

BY: Gillian Flynn
PUBLISHED: May 24th, 2012 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
GENRE: Mystery Fiction
PAGES: 416
STARS: 5 out of 5

A wife disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary. (Not Quite) Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

This is on of the best books I have read in a while at least, in the thought-provoking sense. This book is well-written and alternates being the husband and wife’s point of view.  Although the mystery itself may be easily solved by the reader it is still a suspenseful, twist and turn story you just can't put down. Flynn grasps the reader’s attention at the very start of the story and doesn’t let up (until the very end) in this physiological thriller.

I am not sure what Flynn was thinking, but she let go of her ingenious writing with the ending. It just ended. It was almost as there it was unfinished on her night stand and her editor just picked it up thinking it was completed…a Great read nonetheless J

I am looking forward to reading Gillian Flynn’s other books.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

BOOK AND MOVIE REVIEW: Stealing Lincoln's Body by Thomas J. Craughwell

Stealing Lincoln's Body

BY: Thomas J. Craughwell
PUBLISHED: April 2007 by Belknap Press
GENRE: Nonfiction; History
PAGES: 250
3 out of 5 stars

On the night of the presidential election in 1876, a gang of counterfeiters out of Chicago attempted to steal the entombed embalmed body of Abraham Lincoln and hold it for ransom. The custodian of the tomb was so shaken by the incident that he willingly dedicated the rest of his life to protecting the president's corpse.

For a history buff, this book may have A LOT of appeal for me it introduced way too many characters at the same time. I had a difficult time keeping track of who was bad, the mastermind, a helper, etc. I also felt it repeated itself a bit, just adding a bit more detail each time. These 2 factors made it difficult to continue to read. However, I LOVED the pictures and the last 2 chapters. It was new material, less characters, and very informative.

Cover Art

THE MOVIE: Stealing Lincoln’s Body
4 out of 5 stars

The old saying goes "the book is always better than the movie". This wasn't the case for me on this one. I felt the movie/documentary was very well done. Plus, it was structured in chronologically order that just made more sense than the book. It flowed better. The characters were introduced slower as well. Plus, the author Thomas Craughwell, has a great speaking voice and you can tell him and the other commentaries are very passionate about their work.

I would recommend both of these to anyone who wants to learn about Abraham Lincoln... If you have some background, so some of the names are familiar it may not be as difficult of a read as well. Watching the movie and THEN reading the book I feel would enhance the enjoyment as well.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I DID IT!!!!

So, after 13 years and two weeks (exactly) I quit my career as an accountant and CPA for a major International manufacturing company. All I had was my 30 hours a month part time library job AND one semi-supportive fiancĂ©e. We decided to take Jacob, my 6 year old stepson out of day camp and I would stay with him. Now the funny thing is…I have been wanting to blog about this huge change in my life since the first Monday I was home, but DANG I have been too busy!!

I barely sit down during the day…I clean, I cook, I play with a boy who simply has to be constantly entertained. I also continue to look for a librarian position that has ore hours. In one week I sent 5 resumes out for vacant positions, so at least the jobs are out there and in my area. Don’t get me wrong, I get to have fun too.  I visited with a teacher friend of mine that recently had a baby boy, Ezra and I have gone on my parent’s boat twice. However, I don’t envy stay-at-home moms. It’s hard work J
Fortunately, I have been able to pick more hours at the library and I get to read a lot. I also had two interviews last week and a call on another resume I sent out. I had to turn down that interview BECAUSE I accepted a position for a Library Assistant for a small library in Wisconsin. (I also had to turn down the job offer that resulted from the second interview).

So, I guess you can say my official new career as a librarian is in full swing and Jacob will most likely be back in day camp next week.  Now, it is still part-time (libraries don’t seem to hire very many full-time employees). But, I am excited about this new adventure.

It’s going to be a major adjustment for my family and I hope the support continues, mostly because I now have to work Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings. I may end up having to give up one of those…adjustments just have to be made. However, we are going to try.

In this new position, I will be mostly a Reference Librarian for the Information Services Department (Adult Services) with opportunities to do some programs and run an adult book club. YEAH!! They also are part of three library buildings in the area. One is a one man shop that is open for a few hours four days a week. Reminds me of a Bookmobile without the wheels. Also, my first favorite library as a kid. We lived on a street that had a library (a converted house) at the end of my street that as run by Mrs. Karus, this sweet little library. I LOVED it.

Well, here is to the next chapter of my life and career!!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

SAY NOT WHAT IF by Andrew Friedman

Say Not What If


This novelette, more of a pamphlet or short story, is completely written in rhyming verse. I found that the rhyming lightened the mood of a serious and often gruesome topic. It's about a man on death row who starts to reevaluate his life and the choices he made - just a little too late. Some of the verses made me laugh outloud and then I would need to read to my family. Even though the plot wasn't funny at all.

The writing is clever and unique, one can not help but start to look back at his/her life and reexamine the choices that they made. It also shows that no matter what your circumstances are there is time to make peace with yourself and what you believe.

Time is precious?? How important is money? happiness? This story opened my eyes, but is it because I'm already 1/2 out the corporate world already?

Friedman, Andrew. Say Not What If. Createspace, 2011. Paperback.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lincoln and Douglass: An American FriendshipLincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship by Nikki Giovanni


This picture book illustrates an unusually friendship between our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, a freed slave. Abraham Lincoln invited Frederick Douglass to his second inauguration. The story demonstrates the common interests between the two great American leaders during a time when debate surrounding racial equality was at its greatest. The story also introduces John Brown, who was friends with Frederick Douglass and fought for freeing slaves.  Unfortunately, John Brown’s fate did end tragically when him and his men were hung.  The artwork throughout the story book is a collection on cut-out images that help enhance the great America history story. The last page of the book is a timeline of events following Abraham Lincoln’s and Frederick Douglass’s achievements from 1809 until 1895. This picture, without a doubt, fully deserved receiving the 2009 elementary award due to the retelling of a great historical time through the unusual friendship between two such influential men.

This is the 2nd children's book about Frederick Douglass I have read, both for my Children's Literature course. The pictures alone will keep the young children interested, while teaching them some history as well.

Giovanni, Nikki.  Lincoln and Douglass: An American Friendship.  New York: Henry Holt  
        and Company, LLC.  2008.  40 pages, age 6-12 years.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass

It's been a long time...this semester has been extremely hectic, but here is another review:
Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass

I have read several biographies on Frederick Douglass before. I have always been fascinated with his life story. This started in College in a speech class when we had to read and interpret a passage from a book. I don't remember why I choose Frederick Douglass biography or what passage I read. What I do remember is the teacher's response. He told me, " You made a great Young White female Frederick Douglass. I could imagine it being done better." However, I have never read a kid’s book on him or seen one about his childhood – before the Underground Railroad. So when I saw this book on the new kid’s biography shelf I knew I needed to read it

It is strictly about his childhood and written with the intended age of 6-10 year olds. I absolutely loved the story. It starts with him being on a plantation with his mother. When she dies and he is sold, the new mistress starts working with Frederick to teach him to read. He loves it and is a great student, but when the mistress tells the Master (because she was proud of herself and Frederick) – He gets very angry and says “If you teach him to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave.” (pg. 14). She was no longer allowed to teach him, but that did not stop young Frederick to read. It ends with him attempting (and failing) his first escape, although it does include an author’s note, bibliography, and timeline that continues his story.

This book was very well written and included great pictures for the intended audience and even older – since I didn’t know this part of his life. The one thing that shocked me was the first two sentences. “My mama was named Harriet Bailey. They say my master, Captain Aaron Anthony, was my daddy.” (pg. 1)  I feel that for such a young audience that 2nd sentence did not need to be included, however the story recovered itself and I would definitely still recommended it for all ages.

Kirkus Reviews also gave it glowing reviews and I feel they are tough critics. Their only negative was that they wished the book ended with a successful escape and not his first failed attempt. Although, that was the attempt where he wrote the letters that were supposedly written by his master stating that he was allowed to escape.

I give it 5 stars! (BTW, another Douglass book review is coming once I am finished reading it)

Cline-Ransome, Lesa. Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012. 28 pages, ages 6-10 years.

Friday, January 13, 2012

First week of work....

I have been working my part-time job at the local library to gain experience and hands-on knowledge in hope of gaining a full-time library position to begin the next path in new found career.  Although I am only doing work that is normally done by high school students, I am enjoying it and am very excited about gaining experience and being able to participate with true library experiences for course discussions when classes start back up later this month.

I work two nights a week for three hours and the 2nd Saturday of every month. Tomorrow is my first Saturday. I haven’t worked a full Saturday for the last 17 years when I was in retail, so it shall be interesting but I am still excited about the direction my life is leading.  My primary responsibility is shelving the books that have been checked in, which can take up the entire 3 hours. However because I am out on the floor during that time, I do have a lot of interaction with the patrons.

Just last Monday, I was shelving the Children’s section and this little boy about 5, continue asked me where the books that are easy to read. In fact, he just would pick up a book and say “Is this one easy to read?” It was so cute J I eventually showed him to the Step-into-Reading books were and after reading (or just looking at – not sure which) approximately 20 books he asked by how to put the books back, Together we re-shelved his books.

He must have taken a likely to me because later in the evening when I was still shelving; he continually poked his hand around the corner each time with a different puppet. I would react and he would giggle. It was fun and great to laugh and enjoy work again.

The next time I worked, I had to cover dinner breaks, so was able to work behind the desk. I checked out my first patron, was able to answer a few general library questions and was able to interact and become acquainted with some of the other library staff. I haven’t had much time to talk with the other staff since I generally am out on the library floor.

There has been a lot of “library talk” in my graduate courses about the pros and cons of a Roving Librarian – librarians who roam the library to be more visible to the patrons to ask for help and to help those patrons that just look lost. I personally have never cared for the thought. I do not like pushing salesmen in stores and feel the librarians may give the same feeling. I like my libraries, like salesman, easy to find but not pestering. The patrons (should) know that if they need assistance the librarians are at the desk, which I do believe should be easy to find and very noticeable. I would prefer this, as a patron, than the idea of feeling like I’m being followed around as I browse – just in case I need help.

I bring this up because after a week shelving books, I realize I could be looked at as a Roving Librarian.  The difference is that “roving” isn’t my primary duty and I’m not seeking to assist, but rather there if assistance if needed and asked of me.  I like this idea MUCH better J

Besides the young boy that asked for my assistance, I also assisted an adult in using the on-line catalog. When it was discovered that the book wasn’t in our collection, I looked at an area library since they didn’t have it either I explained how interlibrary loans (ILL) work. He seemed to be satisfied with my assistance.
Even though it’s only been a week, this career change has been a plus, very rewarding and I continue to look forward to experiencing more, continuing school, and hopefully one day soon acquiring a full-time position.