Friday, April 30, 2010


This is my best effort to show the totals from April. Let me know if you have corrections.

Participant/Books /Pages
Patrick 14 /5,146
Karen 7 /1,938
Christa 12 / 3,877
Kathleen 6 / 2,389
Susie 10 / 2,705
Allison 2 / 676
Cindy 20 / 6,045
Annie 15 / 4,529
Linda 3 / 935
Eliana 2/455
TOTAL 91/ 28,695

Peter and the Sword of Mercy by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Peter and the Sword of Mercy by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, juvenile fiction, 515 pages.
I love these books and my kids do too. This is the fourth in the Peter and the Starcatchers series, and it is as good as any of them. This one takes place twenty-three years after the third book. Molly and George and all of the original lost boys are all adults, and the Starcatchers have all but disappeared. All seems quiet; the starstuff doesn't seem to fall anymore and no one has heard of anything concerning the Others since the events at Rundoon.
As the King's coronation approaches though, people begin to disappear and Molly has to entrust her daughter, Wendy, with the family secrets and send her off to ask Peter to return to London and help save them all. A bit scarier than the previous books, I found myself editing the readings to prevent nightmares in the audience.

Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean

Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean by Tori Murden-McClure, Memoir, 292 pages.
A fascinating look at a woman's difficult childhood, her somewhat obsessive nature and her two attempts to become the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic.
A large portion of the book focuses on her harrowing first try, with incredible storms and an honest and engaging narrator who admits that she does not know when she is beaten, even when she is severely beaten, with broken bones and torn muscles.

Scar Tissue by Anthony Kieidis

Scar Tissue by Anthony Kieidis, memoir, 465 pages.
Singer Kiedis, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, has certainly led a full life, and he doesn't shy away from telling of his many failings, but he doesn't really seem to learn from them either. He leads a troubled life, constantly discarding sobriety in favor of enormous quantities of cocaine and herion, and dumping beautiful women in favor of other beautiful women. Sure he feels bad about it, but after a while you stop really caring. Interesting for the first 200-300 pages and then sort of repetitive.

The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee by Sarah silverman

The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee by Sarah Silverman, Memoir, 240 pages.
Not as funny as her comedy, and not really worth reading as a memoir. I found this not quite the sum of it parts. Scanning through it there are some very funny bits, but overall not worth the time.

The Big Book of Barry Ween Boy Genius

The Big Book of Barry Ween Boy Genius/ Judd Winick 367 pg.

Barry Ween is not only a genius, he is also wise in most cases. Unless it involves the girl he likes then his more "normal" friend and sidekick Jeremy seems to have Barry all figured out. There is a lot of action and a lot of profanity. The drawings are marvelous. Who could ask for anything more? - Christa

The Defector by Daniel Silva

The Defector by Daniel Silva, Thriller, 469 pages 10 hours, 58 minutes.
The latest of Silva's thrillers featuring Israeli super-agent Gabriel Allon, this one is, again, filled with frantic action, danger, and hyperbole. Fun and fast paced, but sometimes a little over the top with seemingly unnecessary killing and excessive hand-wringing by the good guys, and thuggish brutality by the bad guys. Decent narration by Phil Gigante.

Witch and Wizard

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson  314 pp.

A teenaged brother and sister are imprisoned by the New Order, a totalitarian regime which has taken over the government. They are charged with being a Wizard and a Witch and will be executed. They begin their imprisonment believing they are wrongly accused but then begin to realize they do have magical powers. This is one of Patterson's YA novels. I've never read anything of his before. Based on this example I doubt I'll read anything else. His incessant use of cliches is very tiresome.

The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Microeconomics

The Cartoon Introduction to Economics, vol 1: Microeconomics by Yoram Bauman and Grady Klein; 224 pages

I went into this knowing absolutely nothing about economics, and hoping to learn something. I felt like the authors did a pretty good job of explaining the basic concepts, though the jargon throughout the book made me feel like it was designed to be used by Econ. students, rather than the average person. I did learn a little bit about the subject, which is always great, but I got lost in the second half of the book, where there's a lot of math. An interesting book. I'll be sure to check out the volume on macroeconomics when it comes out.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Squire (Protector of the Small, book 3)/Tamora Pierce

Squire (Protector of the Small, book 3), by Tamora Pierce; young adult, fantasy; 399 pages

Still loving this series. I expected to know how this volume would play out, having read quite a bit of the girl-who-becomes-a-hero brand of YA fantasy, but was I pleasantly surprised by unexpected twists in several places. I know I keep gushing about how I like each of Pierce's books more than the last, but it's true! She does wonderful things with her characters and keeps the stories moving at a brisk pace. Here, of course, Kel finally wins her knighthood, but not before going through four years of hard work and lots of danger as a squire. There's some romance thrown in too, of course, which was also pleasantly realistic, not glossed over with a fairy tale glow. Very fun, and quick.

The Ships of Air / Martha Wells

The Ships of Air (The Fall of Ile-Rien, book 2) by Martha Wells. 475 pp.

Tremaine and Ilias have to deal with inter-world politicking as well as mutual cultural misunderstandings as they try to find out more about the Gardier and ways to fight them. I don't think this suffers from "middle book syndrome" because a lot of important stuff happens here, but I have friends who disagree with me.

The Wizard Hunters / Martha Wells

The Wizard Hunters (The Fall of Ile-Rien, book 1) by Martha Wells. 443 pp.

Martha Wells, one of my favorite fantasy authors, excels at world-building without info-dumping. In this case Ile-Rien is a fantasy amalgam of France and England, and it's a couple of years into a war with an unknown enemy, the Gardier, who use airships to bomb the cities but never communicate with the people they're attacking--Ile-Rien has no idea what the Gardier want. Tremaine Valiarde is drawn into a last-ditch effort to use sorcery to try to fight the Gardier, and ends up in a completely different world, where Gil & Ilias (the wizard hunters of the title) end up becoming her allies even though the use of sorcery is anathema to them. The worldbuilding is interesting and the characters are great; I particularly love Tremaine, who is prickly and abrupt and clumsy but gets the job done.

Fingerprints / Colin Beavan

Fingerprints: the origins of crime detection and the murder case that launched forensic science by Colin Beavan. 232 pp.

A lot of this book was actually about the various men who contributed to the science of dactylography jockeying for position when taking credit. (As usual, the better-connected guy who didn't do much work got the credit, rather than the average guy who did much more research.) I found it interesting that, once fingerprints were accepted as unique identifiers, the police used them just to determine whether a particular captured criminal was a repeat offender. Attempting to use fingerprint evidence to prove that someone committed a crime came later, and was more difficult to get accepted. Also, apparently horses and cows have unique noseprints--who knew?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Flower and Fade

Flower and Fade by Jesse Lonergan   192 pp.

Boy meets girl living in the apartment next door. They have dinner, go to a party, start a relationship, argue, act make up, etc. all in graphic novel format. Makes me glad I'm not out there dating anymore.

The Maytrees

The Maytrees by Annie Dillard   216 pp.

Free thinking Toby and Lou Maytree live a quiet life on Cape Cod. He writes poetry and does free-lance carpentry. She paints. After the birth of their son, Pete, Toby runs off with an old friend of theirs and begins a new, lucrative life in Maine with Deary. This gentle story shows the length and breadth a love can reach.

The Dream of Perpetual Motion/Dexter Palmer

The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer; 352 pages

When I picked this up, I think I was expecting something a little more on the science fiction end of the spectrum; what I got was something far more literary than I anticipated, but enjoyable nonetheless. The story is set in an alternate version of the early twentieth century, and is narrated by Harold Winslow, who is presently imprisoned on a zeppelin orbiting the globe. The craft is powered by a "perpetual motion machine" that is slowly deteriorating, and Howard knows his time is limited. Miranda, daughter of the zeppelin's inventor, is on board with him, but after years of searching he cannot find her, and so has turned to writing out his story--which is the bulk of the book. Yes, this is a loose retelling of The Tempest, in which Prospero as a mad scientist rather than a benevolent magician, but there are also some very interesting ideas running through it: artifice vs. reality, art vs. programming, innocence, love, storytelling, and the loss of magic in the world. I can see this being a popular choice with book clubs, and had to keep myself from writing down questions as I read. Not a fast read, but thought-provoking.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trotsky: A Graphic Biography by Rick Geary

Trotsky: A Graphic Biography by Rick Geary, 112 pgs., Russian History, Biography.
A well-illustrated biography of the Russian Revolutionary.
I knew a little about Trotsky before I read this, that he and Lenin had a rocky relationship, with Trotsky being sometimes Lenin's favorite, and sometimes way down on Lenin's list. I knew that he had been one of the intellectuals, the writers, of the Russian revolution. And that Stalin had had him killed in Mexico. I did not know that he had been such an important military leader, or that he seemed to be the basis for the Strelikov character in Dr. Zhivago, with the cool armored train (though without a Lara, since Trotsky's wife went into exile with him).
An informative introduction to Trotsky's life.

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, 448 pgs., Politics.
A behind-the-scenes, almost gossipy, look at the 2008 presidential election. It's a relatively quick, fun read and it is pretty evenhanded. It does frame the narrative showing how Obama prevailed on his merits and how McCain / Palin imploded, due in part, to their miscalculations and mistakes, so it may not be everyone's cup of tea.

The Fools in Town Are on Our Side by Ross Thomas

The Fools in Town Are on Our Side by Ross Thomas, 385 pages, thriller.
The late Ross Thomas has been one of my favorite novelists since I wandered into Big Sleep Books in the late 80s and had him recommended to me by the owner, who has also passed on.
Lucifer Dye, late of an unnamed government agency, is hired as a contractor to take a corrupt town, one run by the mob, and ruin so absolutely that the citizens will have no choice but to throw all of the bums out and start governing themselves responsibly. He does an excellent job, fomenting a gang war, exposing the sins of all the town fathers, and getting his cohort appointed chief of police. He does this by making deals with all the principal bad-guys, telling them all he will double-cross the others, and broadly hinting that they will be double-crossed as well. I would say that this was not one of Thomas's best, but still it is better than most thrillers being written today. Like all of Thomas's books it is well-written and unpredictable. A fun read.

Olive Kitteredge by Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, 286 pages, short stories.
One of the central themes of this book seems to be that you are going to die. Don't be surprised, you should have seen it coming. Just hope that it is quick and relatively painless. Also, hope that it happens before you find out that one more thing about your child or your spouse or about your best friend; that secret, or betrayal that is going to tear you up and almost destroy you.
Olive knows all this. She doesn't quite understand why everyone else has to keep pretending they don't know this. But they do.
Olive and these stories, sometimes centering on her, sometimes giving her the briefest of cameos, are sweet, and tender, and full of empathy, all the while being sad and true and almost brutal.
The coastal town of Crosby, Maine, with its denizens and their petty grievances, their loves and their shared almost-fear of Olive does come beautifully to life in this fine collection of stories.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lady with Lapdog / Anton Chekhov ? p.

A collection of short stories and the only Chekhov I've read. I'll admit I didn't finish it; it was just a too depressing. Everyone dies, commits suicide, or goes insane, or all three. I found myself admiring the writing (I kept poking my husband to read him impressive passages), but hating the content.

The Devils Star / Jo Nesbo 452 p.

Another Harry Hole mystery following The Redbreast. This time Harry's alcohol problems are getting the better of him, as he deals with the death of a colleague and the end of a relationship. The mystery here involves star-shaped crystals, missing fingers, and a pentagram-pattern of crime imposed on the city of Oslo. It was clever and tricky, but ended up feeling a bit contrived. I'm still planning to read The Nemesis, the third Harry Hole title we have in our system.

The Redbreast / Jo Nesbo 519 p.

I picked this up in an attempt to ease my withdrawal symptoms from Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander. Nesbo's Norwegian counterpart is Harry Hole, an alcoholic Oslo detective who has a way of getting in trouble. This was a terrific plot, involving a slice of history I know nothing about: Norwegian men who fought with the Germans on the Eastern Front against the Russians and were later imprisoned as traitors, although most of them were more anti-Russian than pro-German. The story flips back and forth between war-time and the present. I don't like Harry as well as Kurt, but he'll do.

A Reliable Wife / Robert Goolrick 291 p.

I should have known better.

What on Earth Evolved? : 100 Species That Changed the World / Christopher Lloyd 415 p.

I picked this up for my husband and kids, and they never got a chance to look at it. Lloyd picks his top most important species based on his own (admittedly arbitrary) criteria: longevity, geographical spread, environmental impact, etc. Each species gets a short article, with nice illustrations and well-chosen anecdotes. It's fun to see what gets higher rank: smallpox or apples? vanilla or herpes? And can you guess his number -one pick? Spoiler: it doesn't have 2 legs!

Irresistible Henry House / Lisa Grunwald 412 p.

I didn't love this book, but I liked it very much. Henry is an orphan set to spend the first 2 years of his life in the 'practice house', a university facility that exists to teach young women home economics skills, including child rearing. It follows a pretty standard coming-of-age story arc through the 1950s and 1960s. I liked the unusual settings - Henry has artistic talent which takes him to the Disney studios to work as an in-betweener (a type of animator) on the film Mary Poppins, and to London for the making of Yellow Submarine.

Which Brings Me to You: a Novel in Confessions, by Steve Almond and Julianna Baggott

After reading a number of excellent, but depressing, literary novels in a row, I turned to this “epistolary novel” recommended by Library Journal for something lighter. The main characters meet at a wedding reception, fall into each other’s arms in the coat closet, then at the penultimate moment back off for fear of ruining something that might just turn out to be “the real thing.” They decide to put this budding attraction to the test by writing letters from their separate cities to get to know each other first. How very non-traditional! In some ways this book was also somewhat self-consciously literary (both authors teach writing and each has written successful novels previously) and the often sad or empty sex encounters relayed in their back-and-forth correspondence were in their own way more depressing than titillating. It made for a nice break, however. 300 pp.

Natural Dyeing/Jackie Crook

Natural Dyeing by Jackie Crook; 112 pages

I picked this up because I've been perusing The Dyer's Garden by Rita Buchanan and wanted some more information on using plant-based dyes at home. This book was a mixed bag: it has some good tables for calculating your own dye batches, and some good general advice on mordanting and cleaning your yarn. The photography is also wonderful, even if it overwhelms the text in a few places. However, most of the plants Crook talks about are exotic species from Europe or the tropics and she includes no information on how to obtain them (I don't think Michael's carries "powered bark of brazilwood"). The final straw was when she described the fruit of an osage orange/hedgeapple tree as, well, orange; I flipped to her bio and saw that she's located in the UK, which explains the lack of North American plants. Turns out the things she describes as abundant, like gorse and ivy, are also European species (which I saw when I finally looked up the Latin names). I can see this book being useful, but it definitely needs to be paired with another book (or lots of googling) to be able to use the dyes described here.

And here's the kicker

And here's the kicker: Conversations with 21 top humor writers on their craft/Mike Sacks 337

In this book I learned that one way to get a leg up on comedy writing is to start out with OCD...seems like every other of these interviews, the subject talked about his/her OCD problem. The others might have just skipped the topic. Some of these people seem absolutely fabulous and others just seem cranky. I doubt there are any good insights in this book to help someone move into a career but it was fun to read just the same. - Christa

The final solution

The final solution: a story of detection/Michael Chabon 131 pgs.

I chose this because it's about WWII. - Susie

Ronald Reagan: a graphic biography

Ronald Reagan: a graphic biography/Andrew Helfer

I read this to learn about Reagan's life. - Susie

Encyclopedia of Television Law shows

Encyclopedia of Television Law shows: Factual and fictional series about judges, lawyers and the courtroom, 1948-1988/Hal Erickson
I chose this to read about the TV shows I liked and those I never heard of. - Susie

Tears of the Giraffe

Tears of the Giraffe/Alexander McCall Smith 227 pg.

I read this to continue the series which gives a little explanation of life in Botswana. - Susie

Lines of defense

Lines of defense/Barry Siegel 339 pgs.

the lie detector

The Lie Detector: the history of an American Obsession. 334 pg.

I chose this to learn about the invention and history of the lie detector. Now I know why it's unreliable. - Susie

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project/Gretchen Rubin 301pg.

The author of this book has a great life but decides to try to make it better by focusing on enhancing her happiness. I'm kind of a sucker for stuff like this but this book didn't really give me any insights and the "attitude" I got from the author was always "I'm pretty great". I don't think the book was very well researched and ended up being too much about Gretchen. I knew that she lived in Manhattan and had clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor so when she talks about how she made a breakthrough by forcing herself to buy 4 pens that she really liked ($2.99 each), I kind of had to roll my eyes and say, "REALLY?" Of course later when I found out her father-in-law is Robert Rubin (yes, *that* Robert Rubin) and her husband is a successful hedge fund manager, I sort of felt duped by anything in the book that talked about money or "treating yourself".

On the good side, she is a reader and loves her public library but that doesn't really redeem the whole of the book. How does stuff like this become a best seller? -Christa

Page/Tamora Pierce

Page (Protector of the Small, book 2), by Tamora Pierce; young adult; 257 pages (about 6 1/2 hours on audio)

This book covers the remaining three years of Kel's education as a page, culminating in her exams to become a squire (subsequent books are titled Squire and Lady Knight, so there's no mystery as to whether or not she passes). As I said before, the conflicts in this series don't seem to be quite as earth-shaking as in the Alanna and Daine quartets--here, Kel's main challenge is proving herself as a warrior, and protecting her servants from harassment. I did notice that this book tackles some more mature issues, like social classes and sexism, that the other books have glossed over. Also, the conflicts seem to be more shades of grey rather than black and white; by the end of this book I still don't know who the bad guy is, because there are simply too many possibilities. I find I'm enjoying these books more as a result, though that may simply be that I'm closer to the intended audience's age than the previous entries.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Penultimate Peril/Lemony Snicket

Well now I'm just depressed! It's getting to the point where I can't even really describe my feelings about this series. Events keep getting more and more tragic, and yet the writing is so good I don't want the story to end. I've also started to think that this series is just a big strange exploration of human morality.
Espionage! Arson! Manslaughter! Disturbing implications about the Baudelaire parents! Moral ambiguity for all! Lost loves! Taxi drivers! Having to hold the book up to a mirror like that time when I was reading House of Leaves and I got so frustrated with it!
Good luck, Baudelaires. It looks like you'll need it. 353 pp.

Mistress of the Art of Death

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin  384 pp.

Someone is torturing and murdering children in Cambridge, England during the reign of Henry II. The Jews of the city have been blamed and are in protective custody in the castle after vigilante townsfolk murder the one they suspected. Dr. Vesuvia Adelia Rachel Ortese Aguilar of Salerno is a rarity in that she is a doctor trained at the University of Salerno and because she is a specialist in "The Art of Death" (pathology). King Henry contacts his friend, the King of Sicily, for assistance and Adelia is sent to England with a Jewish detective named Simon and a Saracen eunuch bodyguard to attempt to solve the crimes. There are lots of possible suspects and twists & turns in this whodunit. This is the first book in a mystery series I just found out about and I plan to read more of them.

The Rules of Survival

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin  260 pp.

This was book three for my Oprah Grant/Alternative School book club. The book is written from the point of view of Matthew writing about the events surrounding the abuse and neglect he and his two sisters suffered at the hands of their substance abusing, mentally ill mother. He writes with the intention that the youngest sister will know what happened even though much happened when she was too young to remember it. This book is a page turner and one of the better ones I've read while doing this grant program.  Too bad none of the kids finished it before our discussion.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Holly Blues / Susan Wittig Albert

Holly Blues by Susan Wittig Albert (A China Bayles mystery #18). 288 pp.

China Bayles is a former defense attorney turned entrepreneur, married to a former cop turned college professor and P.I. In this installment her husband's flaky ex shows up needing help, and China agrees to let Sally stay--it's close to Christmas, and this way Sally can see her son...except that someone seems to be stalking Sally, and the story she tells China keeps changing, and it all might be related to the murder of Sally parent's over a decade ago. This series has gotten a little, well, complacent; when it started China was adjusting from her big-city, fast-paced lawyer life to a slower, smaller town where she runs an herb shop, and that lent an interesting background to whatever mystery was happening. This series is somewhat more realistic than some mysteries, but by book 18 you have to wonder if every person China's ever met is going to have something awful happen to them.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Making Toast, by Roger Rosenblatt

This brief and touching memoir tells of an extended family’s first year together after the sudden and unexpected death of the author’s 38 year-old daughter, who is a mother of three young children and a pediatrician. He and his wife are invited by their son-in-law, a hand surgeon, to move in and help with six-year-old Jessica, four-year-old Sammy, and the one-year-old, James, AKA “Bubbies.” The author is a well-known author and essayist and evidently just as gifted as a grandfather. Unsentimental and wise. 166 pp.

Tinkers by Paul Harding

Tinkers by Paul Harding, 191 pages, Fiction.
I first heard about this one at ALA-Midwinter, where it was selected as one of the Notable Books for 2009. I finally got around to reading it and it was freakin' lovely (I had to add the adjective 'cuz as a guy, I'm uncomfortable just calling a book lovely. Even though it was). The story follows George Crosby through his final days, after his long life. And then it jumps back and tells of his father, Howard, a tinker and an epileptic. Howard veers toward a decision that changes his own life, and the life of his son, as he ponders relationships, trust, and betrayal. In the present, George's family has gathered and what he sees and what he thinks he sees and what he remembers takes us back through his time fixing clocks, and back to his childhood and the loss of his father. The story unfolds in glimpses and colors and impressions. We get information on clocks and on George's and Howard's thoughts and wonders. It is a beautiful little book.--Patrick

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, YA Fantasy, 442 pages.
Annie told me about this one, and I really liked it. A very special prison, designed to segregate and rehabilitate evildoers by keeping track of their every move and word, goes off the rails a bit and becomes a sentient malevolent force that makes the lives of all who live there a miserable, inescapable hell. The warden's daughter, seeking to avoid an arranged marriage to the crown prince, goes searching for her father's fiefdom of Incarceron. A fun and exciting read. Should be enjoyed by YA and adults. Patrick

The Spellmans Strike Again by Lisa Lutz

The Spellmans Strike Again by Lisa Lutz, Mystery, 388 pages.
Izzy Spellman returns, maybe for the last time. In this one she grows up a little, takes a moment or two more to think about things before deciding what to do and in doing so avoids pissing everyone off and stays out of jail. All the regular characters are here, friends and family. Among the other adventures, Izzy convinces a friend to impersonate a butler, her feud with rival detective Harkey continues, and her list of ex-boyfriends grows. Its a fun book, but nothing new or startling comes of it. You'll want to read it if you enjoyed the first three. Patrick

Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds

Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds, Science Fiction --524 pages.
Tanner Mirabel must hunt down Argent Reivich and kill him to avenge the killings of Gitta, the woman Tanner loved, and her husband, Cahuella, Tanner's boss. Missing him in one attempt before Reivich gets off-planet, Mirabel must travel through space, sleeping for 15 years, to track him down. As he enters Chasm City in the final phase of the hunt, Mirabel discovers things about himself that don't add up(he can see in the dark, he seems to have never had his foot amputated), that lead him to wonder who he is and who is really being hunted. Long, but never dull, it ends on the kind of note that lets you know its part of a series. Patrick

Monday, April 19, 2010

Benny & Shrimp

Benny & Shrimp/Katarina Mazetti 217 pg.

This is the most delightful book about the perfect couple who are completely wrong for each other. I relished every page of this book and absolutely loved the characters. Like icing on the cake, there are librarians too! What else can I say, this book is as close to perfect as anything I've read in a long while (or at least 6 months). - Christa

The Architecture of Happiness / Alain de Botton

The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. 280 pp.

Christa made this sound interesting when she blogged about it in April. I found it hard to put down once I started it. I particularly enjoyed the parts where he would talk about architects trying to mimic the "feel" of previous styles and getting it all wrong because they focused on the wrong stuff. Also, Le Corbusier was evidently a dick.

The First Test/Tamora Pierce

The First Test (The Protector of the Small, book 1), by Tamora Pierce; young adult, fantasy; 240 pages (about 5 1/2 hours, listening)

This is another series about a girl training to become a knight, and I was worried that it would be too similar to the Song of the Lioness quartet. But Pierce does a good job of making Kel into her own character, with a very different personality from Alanna. As with most of Pierce's books that start a new series, most of this story of character development, with no epic battles or kingdom-threatening plots (there is a battle, but it's a relatively minor skirmish in the overall picture). There were cameos from the two main characters from the last series, which kept me reading when the story got slow. I think I'm going to like Kel as a character, but I need to see her in a more involved story first.

Rattle His Bones / Carola Dunn

Rattle His Bones by Carola Dunn (A Daisy Dalrymple mystery #8). 231 pp.

This entry was set mainly in London's Natural History Museum, so there was lots of cool stuff in the setting. Unfortunately one of the supporting characters/suspects was so annoying that this will never be one of my favorites in the series.

The Poison Eaters and Other Stories/Holly Black

The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black; young adult; 224 pages

I loved Black's Tithe series, and was really excited to read something else by her that wasn't part of Spiderwick. These stories are definitely aimed at the Tithe audience, and even contains two stories set in that world. Most of the collection retells various folklore and fairy tales, with a decidedly dark tilt. The main characters are usually young people on the fringes of society--runaways, nerds, etc. (there's even one about a student in library school). The stories run the full gamut in terms of emotion--some are really touching, some sad, and some chilling enough to make me put down the book for the rest of the day. An interesting collection, and not for the faint of heart.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Man Who Mistook HIs Wife for a Hat-Oliver Sacks

Very cool read. If you have any interest in being human, which you should ;) , then read it. The mental "defects" of Sacks' patients illuminate a lot about the human condition, and overall the book reads more like a series of short stories than a series of case studies. Kind of an older book, but you'd never know it. As far as nonfiction goes, for diehard novel fans, it might serve as a good gap book.

Mrs. Dalloway-Virginia Woolf

Classic right? I decided to read it after watching "The Hours." The book and the movie are very different, as the book is very different from the actual book "The Hours." I liked it a lot. For a woman of her times, the style of the novel is definitely very revolutionary. Woolf changes perspectives of characters seamlessly, which is incredibly interesting if not slightly dizzying. Overall, liked it, not loved it. Had to chew through the antiquated language which I never like. The characters are pretty cool though.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Help

The Help/Kathryn Stockett 451 pg.

It is easy to see why this book has been so popular. Since I've worked at the library, this is the only time I've seen the number of holds c0ntinue to increase on a book. This is the story of Jackson, Mississippi in the 60's. It tells the story of 2 "domestics" and a young white woman who decides that their story needs to be told. Having never lived in the south I don't know if the voices in the book are accurate but they certainly ring true. I certainly get the feeling that this is an important book. - Christa

Friday, April 16, 2010

Anything Goes / Lucy Moore

Anything Goes: a biography of the Roaring Twenties by Lucy Moore. 352 pp.

A popular history of America in the 1920s, with chapters covering Prohibition, jazz, flappers, the movie industry, Harding's administration and its corruption, the Sacco/Vanzetti case, business, the KKK, ex-pats, the Scopes trial, Charles Lindbergh, Jack Dempsey and the Crash of 1929. The book has an easy style and an extensive bibliography, but I was disappointed that the endnotes are so general; even when the author is quoting something, there's no way to tell what she's quoting from. On the other hand it contains an excellent picture of a man dressed up as the Chrysler Building.

A River in the Sky / Elizabeth Peters

A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters (An Amelia Peabody book #19). 307 pp.

Amelia Peabody is one of my all-time favorite characters. She starts out an unconventional Victorian spinster and ends up married to her match in every way, Professor Radcliffe Emerson, preeminent archaeologist. As the series goes on there's lots of family and friends added to the cast, huge heaps of adventure (including a Master Criminal), plus some pretty accurate archaeology. (Elizabeth Peters is one of the pen names of Barbara Mertz, who has a PhD in Egyptology.) This entry in the series isn't chronological; it falls between books 10 and 11, and thus lacks some of the character development we would normally get. Also, it's set in Palestine rather than Egypt, so a lot of the regular supporting cast is missing. Still, as an adventure it's pretty much fun.

33 Lines of defense

33 Lines of defense 339 pgs

I chose this because it seemed interesting. - Susie

Life of Pi

Life of Pi/Yann Martel 326 pg.

I've finally gotten on the "Pi" train. I have to say, there were a couple of times when I started the middle section about life in the boat that I could not imagine it being interesting through that whole section...but each time I read this book, I could hardly wait to get back to it.

I am tempted to go right into Martel's new book but it has gotten some spotty reviews and generally, I think it is a bad idea to repeat an author too soon since it often leads to disappointment. Now I'm going to see if I can train my cat to jump through a hoop. - Christa

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The story of my life

The story of my life/Helen Keller 441 pg.

I listened to this in audio and at first thought, "What a remarkable story" but really, Helen came across as a little naive. Then I finished the book and realized she wrote it when she was 21 so that is to be expected. The last portion of the book is letters written by Helen that start when she was just learning to communicate. She masters it so well that by age 12 or so, she is clearly more well read than I and her writing is better too. Aside from her studies, she led an physical life regularly, riding horses, bicycling, rowing, and hiking. She is the first deaf & blind person to graduate from college and really her story is very amazing. - Christa

Soulless/Gail Carriger

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate, book 1), by Gail Carriger; 384 pages

It took me a chapter to get used to Carriger's writing style, but once I did, I had a lot of fun with this book. I've heard it described as Pride and Prejudice meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and that's pretty accurate. The snarky shots the characters take at each other had me snickering, and the action and romance kept things moving along at a brisk pace. The setting was also great--19th century London, where werewolves and vampires have been integrated into society. I really wish this had been longer (or, alternately, that the third book in this series was out).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Damsel in Distress / Carola Dunn

Damsel in Distress by Carola Dunn (A Daisy Dalrymple mystery #5). 234 pp.

This one has visiting Americans in it, for a little spice. One thing I thought was interesting: when the American father doesn't want to tell the police that his daughter has been kidnapped, the Scotland Yard detective (who's unofficially involved) agrees that the British police have so little experience with kidnapping that they won't be all that helpful.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Murder on the Flying Scotsman / Carola Dunn

Murder on the Flying Scotsman by Carola Dunn (A Daisy Dalrymple mystery #4). 236 pp.

About this point in any mystery series, unless the protagonist is a cop or a P.I., you hit the problem of the amateur sleuth who somehow keeps getting involved in murders accidentally. In this one the author has a friend that Daisy is traveling with be the person who discovers the body. That's hardly any less likely, but she distracts us by making the friend a child--the daughter of Daisy's boyfriend the policeman. The character complications make it easier to ignore the unlikeliness of the actual plot. And, of course, this uses the classic murder-on-a-train setting to get a number of suspects in one place and keep them all together.

Requiem for a Mezzo / Carola Dunn

Requiem for a Mezzo by Carola Dunn (A Daisy Dalrymple mystery #3). 238 pp.

One of the less interesting entries in the series; it could have been set in the present day with very few changes. Since I like this series for its setting, that's a negative for me.

Life of Pi/Yann Martel

Life of Pi by Yann Martel; magical realism; 326 pages

I realize I'm several years late in reading this book, so there's no need to point it out to me. I picked it up expecting a survival story about a boy and a tiger lost at sea in a life boat. But the book constantly kept me guessing--not through suspense, but rather through refusing to fit into the boxes I kept thinking it would conform to. First there's the story of Pi's life up to that point, and his varied religious experiences, which could have formed a book on their own (albeit a very different one). Then there's the meat of the story, where Pi and the tiger fight for life on the high seas. It's desperate and gory, but it's interspersed with moments of hope and even humor. And of course the ending is a complete surprise (which I won't go into too much here, except to say that I can't decide whether I need to think about it more or whether I need therapy after reading it). I can see now why this book was such a popular choice with book clubs.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mommy Knows Worst: Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice

Mommy Knows Worst: Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice by James Lileks; humor; 176 pages

I haven't read Lilek's other books (Interior Desecrations and Regrettable Food), but I'd heard such good things about them, I decided to check this out. Here, Lilek goes after the parenting manuals of the the turn of the century, up through the 1960s. The illustrations we entertaining on their own, but Lilek's commentary really made it worthwhile. I sometimes forget how different life was back in the day, so I might even go so far as to call this "educational" (albeit in the loosest sense of the word). Probably more humorous to people who actually have children, but I still got a kick out of it.

The Winter Garden Mystery / Carola Dunn

The Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn (A Daisy Dalrymple mystery #2). 240 pp.

I don't know how historically accurate the setting for these books is--it's England, 1923--but they really make me feel the aftereffects of WWI. Particularly noticeable is the large number of men of a certain age who are crippled in various ways, as well as the number of dead. The books aren't "about" that as such--they're cozy mysteries--but the setting is what makes them interesting to me.

Death at Wentworth Court / Carola Dunn

Death at Wentworth Court by Carola Dunn. (A Daisy Dalrymple mystery #1) 233 pp.

I decided to re-read some of the early books in this series when I was up all night being unwell and didn't have the brainpower to give something new. Since I know that Daisy ends up marrying the Scotland Yard detective later in the series, it is interesting to see just how unlikely every character (including Daisy at this point) thinks a romance between the two of them is. I'd also forgotten that Daisy's dead fiance was a "conchie" who was killed while driving an ambulance, and how that circumstance keeps her from getting normal support from friends and acquaintances, who despise the man because of his conscientious objector status.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The James Bond Omnibus. Vol. 001

The James Bond Omnibus, Vol. 001 based on the original stories written by Ian Fleming ; adapted by Anthony Hern, Peter O'Donnell & Henry Gammidge ; art by John McClusky. 303 pp.

This comic adapted Fleming's novels years before the movies started to be made. I haven't read any of the Bond novels since high school, so I need to pick one up to check how accurate these adaptations are (I think they're pretty accurate). I'd forgotten how goofy some of the plots/characters are....

Diplomatic Immunity / Lois McMaster Bujold

Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold. A Miles Vorkosigan adventure. 367 pp.

A new book in this series is due out this fall--yay!!--so I thought I'd re-read the most recent entry, which was just as awesome as I remembered. Here is a series that has changed quite a bit over its length--the circumstances of the main character, Miles, have changed drastically, yet he is recognizably the same person. Miles is a character with some pretty deep flaws who is nevertheless remarkably sympathetic. In this iteration he is on a delayed honeymoon with his wife Ekaterin when he is pressed into his Emperor's service as Imperial Auditor to prevent a shooting war in Quaddiespace. As usual, things get more complex once Miles gets involved, not less, but he manages to triumph yet again.

Chicks Dig Time Lords

Chicks Dig Time Lords : a celebration of Doctor Who by the women who love it edited by Lynne M. Thomas, Tara O'Shea. 186 pp.

This was enjoyable enough, although too many of the essays ended up being "this was my life in fandom" rather than essays about the show itself, which is more what I was hoping for. Still, there was some of that, and some interviews with actresses who'd appeared in the show and associated offshoots which were quite interesting.

Cat of the Century / Rita Mae Brown

Cat of the Century by Rita Mae Brown. 216 pp. The 18th Mrs. Murphy Mystery.

This is one of those mystery series with animals ("Mrs. Murphy" is a cat). In this particular entry the animals don't figure out the solution earlier than the people. Actually, as a mystery this is a particularly limp entry in the series. Most of the book is taken up with describing William Woods University and how wonderful it is, and having the characters all talk about how awful the government is and the world is going to the dogs and things were BETTER in the OLDEN DAYS. Now, two of the characters are 98 and 100 years old, so you can see why they might have that perspective, but even the 40-year-old characters all talk that way too. I guess the author is getting cranky in her old age.

The Ask

The Ask/Sam Lipsyte 296pg.

This book was called a "critics darling", I kept reading about it all over the place. I'll just say that I read this book and now you don't have to. Maybe I just don't get these things but what was the point? This is supposed to be a satire but I just found it sad. - Christa

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Big Short

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine/Michael Lewis 266 pg.

Read this book if you are interested in the recent economic collapse precipitated by the "housing bubble" and the securities associated with the really lame mortgages banks were handing out. Michael Lewis does a great job of explaining exactly what happened. Unfortunately, after you read the book, you will realize what a nutso thing Wall Street is and wonder how if anyone grasps the craziness of the financial markets. You might not sleep very well for awhile, especially because you have decided to keep your money in your mattress. - Christa

Genius on the Edge: The Bizarre Double Life of Dr. William Stewart Halstead by Gerald Imber

Genius on the Edge: The Bizarre Double Life of Dr. William Stewart Halsteadby Gerald Imber--389 pgs
The life of Dr. Halstead, though fascinating, never quite lives up to the "bizarre" of the subtitle. Odd, sure, with the drug problems, the wandering off on five or six month long vacations every year, with attendant excuses, and his unique home-life and marriage, but not necessarily bizarre.
Halstead, who worked as a physician and surgeon from the late 1870's until his death in 1922, revolutionized surgery. He was the first competent surgeon to insist on aseptic technique, gowned and eventually masked and gloved surgical teams, and careful treatment of tissue and blood vessels surrounding the affected area. He was the first perform thorough mastectomies, transforming breast cancer from a certain death sentence into a survivable condition. His surgical technique for hernia was the first that resulted in actual, long-term improvement of this common condition. He was a teacher to many who changed the way pathology, neurosurgery, and vasuclar surgery were performed and regarded. He was also an early proponent of local anesthesia for surgery and it was his experiments with cocaine that led to his long-time addiction. His treatment for this addiction led to his life-long addiction to morphine and it was his battle to keep both addictions in check to an extent that allowed him to work that seems to have formed his odd schedule and interesting lifestyle. Imber writes a compelling story, readable throughout, with many interesting supporting characters. This book was never dry, though some of the personal notes about Halstead seemed speculative.--Patrick

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Surrendered, by Chang Rae Lee

The opening scene, depicting the child June Han’s flight from the erupting war that became the Korean Conflict is horrific, and it was a fascinating side note to read that it was based on the author’s father’s experience – which he had not revealed until his son,as an adult, specifically questioned him about his past. The events that occur in Korea reach down into present time. June, long a resident in the US, is ill and is searching for her son, Nicholas, who after high school left for Europe and has contacted her over the years only with postcards and the occasional request for small amounts of money. The journey to find him will take her and Hector Brennan, who worked in the orphanage in Korea that she took refuge in, to Italy, and more importantly, result in their visiting their shared past, old sorrows, and new revelations. Well-written and engrossing, and very, very depressing. 469 pp.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park 399 pgs.

I read this because I saw the movie - the book is slightly different. - Susie

Shooting Script

Shooting Script/Gordon Cotler 272 pgs.

I read this because it gives an inside view of how a TV show is created. -Susie

Straight Cut

Straight Cut/Madison Smartt Bell 253 pg.

I chose this because it seemed interesting also I wanted to read more mysteries. - Susie

The Realms of the Gods/Tamora Pierce

The Realms of the Gods (The Immortals, book 4), by Tamora Pierce; young adult, fantasy; 205 pages

A great conclusion to a really enjoyable series. Daine and her teacher get sucked into the gods' domain, where Daine not only meets her father, but is reunited with her mother. Most of what I loved about this book was the character development and relationships; the conflict that's been arching over the whole series was a bit of a let-down when fully explained, and felt like more of a side note here, anyway. I think I enjoyed these books a little more than the Alanna series, as it felt like it was aimed at a slightly older audience. Now, off to start on the next quartet...

The Grim Grotto/Lemony Snicket

The moral waters traversed by the Baudelaire children grow ever murkier as the series solider onwards to the (I'm sure) inevitably bleak conclusion. The Grim Grotto feels more like a transition between the previous book and the next, and not a complete story in its own right. Which is strange, because it is a complete story...but it's Fiona's story, and the Baudelaires just seem to be narrating it. I don't know, that's how it felt to me. On the one hand, it's good that we're getting more backstory for the V.F.D. and seeing that the issue isn't really a black and white one, but on the other hand Violet completely forgets her own birthday. That feels unfair to me, and this is totally the intent of the text, because these children are forced to deal with the fallout from events and circumstances that happened before they were even born, because of this ridiculous secret organization and its schism. So, on second thought, this isn't a weak link in the story, but a less adventurous one and a more reflective one, and my emotional reaction to it is well in line with the author's intention.

Also Sunny almost dies and it's totally terrifying. Why are these books so bleak and why do I keep reading them? Because they're magic. 323 pp.

The Alibi Club

The Alibi Club by Francine Mathews 309 pp.

In Paris, as the Germans invade France, an American lawyer is murdered under strange circumstances and his head-strong fashion model girlfriend wants to find his killer. Throw in a Josephine Baker wanna-be, a group of physicists (including Madame Curie's daughter & son-in-law), French vintners, Nazi sympathizers, spies, and the theft of heavy water from Norway and you've got a darn good, if character heavy, thriller. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Faceless killers

Faceless killers: a mystery/Henning Mankell 284 pg.

This is my first Kurt Wallander mystery and I now understand what the buzz is all about. I really like Kurt and his middle aged crankiness. The mystery was mysterious enough and the "Swedishness" of it was interesting. Kathleen has read many of these mysteries and I intend to follow her lead. - Christa

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hugo and Nebula Award nominees for best science fiction/fantasy novel

The Nebula Awards (N) are given by the Science Fiction Writers of America. The Hugo Awards (H) are given by fan vote. Because three novels are on both lists, the total combined number of nominees this year is nine. Patrick (our official arbiter of points) says participants who read all nine titles will receive 3 points. U. City owns all of the titles.

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (H,N)
The City and the City by China Mieville (H,N)
Finch by Jeff VanderMeer (N)
Flesh and Fire by Laura Anne Gilman (N)
Julian Comstock: a novel of 22nd-Century America by Robert Charles Wilson (H)
The Love We Share Without Knowing by Christopher Barzak (N)
Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente (H)
WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer (H)
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (H,N)

Sheer Folly / Carola Dunn

Sheer Folly by Carola Dunn. (A Daisy Dalrymple mystery, 18) 296 pp.

A pretty good installment of this long-running cozy series. One reason I like it is the setting: Great Britain post-WWI. The main character is (minor) nobility, but she chose to marry a commoner--a Detective Inspector in Scotland Yard. Women's roles are changing, and society as a whole is trying to come to grips with changing social roles. This particular book, involving the murder of a wealthy but obnoxious lord at a country house party, had quite a lot of social stuff: peers vs. commoners, wealth vs. status, "superior" servants vs. other servants. These books aren't deep but they are fun.

The Big Book of Barry Ween, Boy Genius/Judd Winick

The Big Book of Barry Ween, Boy Genius by Judd Winick; graphic novel; 376 pages

This omnibus collects the adventures of Barry Ween, a foul-mouthed ten-year-old with a 350 IQ. Barry builds an array of cool gadgets that get him and his friend Jeremy into a range of bizarre situations, each crazier than the last. Over the course of this book, there's aliens, time travel, cloning, secret government agencies, and high tech special ops. Barry generally remains unruffled through it all, and, like most ten-year-olds, Jeremy thinks near death experiences are really cool. This is an hilarious comic and a really fast read, despite its length. Now I just wish there was more...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Unclutter your life in one week

Unclutter your life in one week/Erin Rooney Doland 233 pg.

If there was a way that reading a book could make it true, this is what I would pick. Unfortunately, for all the good suggestions, you still have to DO something to make it real. I did like the way a lot of the ideas in here were about keeping your time commitments minimal when it comes to organization and cleaning. Of course to get there, you have to get rid of most of your stuff. I did really like her take on meetings and how to manage them. If there isn't a reason for the meeting then don't have one! Overall this is one of the better "get it together" books I've read. Now I'm going to try to get it together. - Christa

The Night Watch / Sarah Waters

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. 450 pp.

Kathleen's review of this (see Feb. 22) was much more elegant than anything I can say, and also convinced me to read it. So go read her entry. This novel is very well written, but I'm afraid I found most of the characters less than sympathetic. The stuff about working as an ambulance driver in London during the Little Blitz was really interesting, though.

Howl's Moving Castle/Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones; young adult, fantasy, humor; 448 pages (about 8 hours, listening)

I read this years ago, but decided it deserved a re-read. Jones' plot is very complex here, but it all comes together quite satisfyingly in the end. One of the gems here is the dialogue between the wizard Howl and Sophie, a girl who is currently under a curse to appear as an old woman. Of course, there's magic gone wrong, mistaken identity, and Howl's general attempts to slither out of everything. I remember now why this is one of my favorite books! The audio version of this is good, though I had a few issues with the voices for some of the characters. Still, I would recommend it!

Changes / Jim Butcher

Changes by Jim Butcher. (The Dresden Files, book 12) 438 pp.

I was right--this one doesn't have a happy ending. Harry Dresden, wizard, finds a cause for which he's willing to compromise his principles. As the title indicates, this is going to have a big influence on the rest of the books in the series. It will be interesting to see whether the author can keep everything from going off the rails. Long series are a gamble; if you never change anything they can become stagnant and boring (cf. Janet Evanovich's later Stephanie Plum books) but if you change too much you can lose the good stuff from the early books (cf. Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake books). I hope Butcher's up to the challenge, because I like this series a lot.

Emperor Mage/Tamora Pierce

Emperor Mage (The Immortals, book 3) by Tamora Pierce; young adult, fantasy; 358 pages (about 8 hours, listening)

I'm still really enjoying this series. Daine matured a lot in this book, and it was interesting to see her getting involved in politics in this setting. Of course, there's more to the story than that, but Daine comes away with a lot of Big Things revealed (most of which the reader has known for quite some time, but it was good to get things out in the open). I'm especially loving the full cast recording of the audio book; unfortunately, the fourth book won't be released on audio for another month, so I'll be reading that one.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Born Round

Born Round: the secret history of a full time eater/Frank Bruni 354 pgs.

Well this guy has tried at all. I'm talking about unhealthy weight loss schemes. Bulimia, fad diets, fasting, speed, none of that worked but somehow, after becoming the NY Times restaurant critic, he learned to control his portions and exercise regularly. This book had too much navel gazing for me but it is a hopeful tale about how we can change no matter our age. - Christa

Incarceron/Catherine Fisher

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher; young adult, fantasy, science fiction; 448 pages

I swear I read a review of this three or four years ago, and was really excited about it, but it vanished before I could find a copy of the book. After reading this, I'm even more upset at having to wait this long: I loved this book. The setting is a strange mix of advanced sci-fi, historical fiction, and something resembling steampunk, but slightly off. Prisoners struggle to escape from the confines of Incarceron and its possibly-deranged AI, while Outside, humanity is frozen in an artificial 18th century, where technology is strictly forbidden (but exists for those who can pay enough). Some of the events of the parallel stories seemed to line up a little too easily, but it was nothing that affected the exciting story, and could even be playing up to some overarching plot in the second book. I can't wait to find a copy of the sequel!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Flight, Volume 6

Flight, Volume 6 ed. by Kazu Kabuishi 281 pp.

The latest volume a collection of graphic novel 'shorts' by different artists. Some are lavishly illustrated, some have few, or no words, and some are rather confusing. I've read the previous volumes and look forward to the next.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


This is my best effort to show the totals from March. Let me know if you have corrections.

/Books /Pages
Patrick 2 /1,068
Karen 8 /2,450
Christa 13 / 3,078
Kathleen 5 / 1,423
Susie 14 / 4,057
Allison 6 / 2,032
Cindy 14 / 4,494
Annie 10 / 3,512
Sally 1 / 292
Cynthia D. 1 / 298
Linda 4 / 1,396
TOTAL 78/ 23,818