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FDL Reads: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk

Cover image for How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talkHow to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Reviewed by: Barb Rude, Adult Reference Services

Genre: Non-Fiction, Parenting

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk is a parenting book that encourages authentic handling of communication, emotions, and problem-solving to foster harmony at home. The premise is basically this: treat your kids like reasonable, capable human beings and for the most part, kids will act like reasonable, capable human beings.

My Review: Did I lose you at ‘kids will act like reasonable, capable human beings’? I hope not—it’s no joke. This book offers many examples of how to express emotions and model behavior, encouraging a long view of parenting over short-term behavioral gain. I particularly enjoyed the section on encouraging autonomy, which suggests ways to invite children to find their own solutions and look outside the home for answers to their questions, and using specific language to praise children’s effort. This book is a great place to start if you want to open a dialog with your children but don’t quite know how. Oh—and it might help you talk to other grownups better, too.

Three Words That Describe This Book: practical, hopeful, hands-on

Give This a Try if You Like…  Nurture Shock, Siblings Without Rivalry, No Bad Kids

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Cover image for The smitten kitchen cookbookThe Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

Reviewed by: Susie Rivera, Adult Reference Services

Genre: Cookbook

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: “Fearless cooking from a tiny kitchen in New York City.”   This is the description of Deb Perelman’s blog, smittenkitchen.com.  The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is a collection of new as well as favorite recipes. Perelman distinguished herself as a home cook who perfected classic recipes by repeated testing.  She is also known for using practical techniques and ingredients.  This cookbook includes a variety of main dishes, sweets, snacks, and party ideas. Most recipes feature full color photographs as well as cooking tips.

My Review: I have been a big fan of Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen blog since I started cooking on my own several years ago.  Happening upon it via Pinterest, I was amused by her tagline and came to really identify with Perelman as I was also living in a one bedroom apartment with a very small kitchen.  What I like most about Perelman’s recipes is that they are all made from scratch and not pretentious.  I dislike cookbooks that include unrealistic and expensive ingredients that you will only use once.  Perelman is not always about quick and easy, though, as her pizza, tarts, and pies are all made from scratch but totally worth the effort.  One recipe that I thought was a winner is her “Flat Roasted Chicken with Tiny Potatoes.”  This recipe requires you to cut out the backbone of a whole chicken in order to shorten the cook time.  It was delicious! I also enjoyed Perelman’s “Whole Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones.”  I wasn’t sure about adding whole milk ricotta to a scone recipe but was pleasantly surprised at how moist and yummy they turned out to be.  This cookbook is worth a try for those who want delicious, classic recipes that are sure to impress.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Approachable, Delectable (the recipes and photos), Practical

Give This a Try if You Like…  The Love and Lemons Cookbook, Julie and Julia, Thug Kitchen, The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Close to You

Cover image for Close to youClose to You by Kara Isaac

Reviewed by: Diane Soffietti, Adult Reference Services

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Having an Oxford education and a love for Tolkien, a young woman is trying her best to put her life back together after falling for an English con man. In the tourism business for literary types who also love Tolkien, Allison Shire is certainly not looking for any kind of relationship, especially not with an American. But this American is trouble from the start, as he knows nothing about the Tolkien books or the movie settings in beautiful New Zealand. However, Jackson Gregory is trying to win over his uncle, who has signed the two of them up for Allison’s Tolkien tour, which includes exclusive behind the scenes adventures. Jackson also is not looking for any relationships, as he is focused on re-inventing a profitable business and repaying his parents and other investors from his last failed venture. That investment went up in smoke, because his girlfriend took his investment secrets to his competitor. Allison and Jackson are thrown together in some humorous situation and try their best not to like each other.

My Review: This is a humorous romance like many of the Hallmark or Lifetime channel movies. Complications and missed communications make the situations both characters get themselves into both funny and sad. The setting of New Zealand and the Tolkien tour is what drew me to this novel. But a knowledge of the works by Tolkien is not necessary to enjoy the book. Behind the scenes knowledge of the movie series is a wonderful aspect of the novel, however. The beauty of the locations and the goodness of the characters shine through and make the reader want a happy ending for Allison and Jackson.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Tolkien, literary-tourism, romance

Give This a Try if You Like…  Kristen Billerbeck, Deborah Moggach, Jean Ray, Maria Semple, Janice Thompson, Lisa Wingate, or Linda Windsor

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Six Scary Stories Selected and Introduced by Stephen King

30840523Six Scary Stories Selected and Introduced by Stephen King by Various

Reviewed by: Sylvia Shults, Circulation

Genre: Short Stories – Horror

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: This is a collection of horror short stories, the winners of a contest put on by King’s British publisher. (The contest was, write a short story, and Stephen King will judge it. Yowza!)

My Review: Well of course, any horror short story is going to get a second glance from me. And when those stories are suggested by the master himself? You bet I’m going to read them. I was not the least bit disappointed. These stories are perfect little gems of horror. A couple of them had me nodding — yep, that’s how I would have written it. They were all delicious slices of the macabre. My ONLY beef with the collection is that there were only six stories in it — perfect to while away a frigid winter afternoon, but I wanted more, more, more!

Three Words That Describe This Book: Quick, dark, intelligent

Give This a Try if You Like…  Well, the contest was to celebrate the release of King’s short story collection Bazaar of Bad Dreams, so you won’t go far wrong if you pick that one up too.

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Every Heart a Doorway

Cover image for Every heart a doorwayEvery Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Reviewed by: Joscelyn Lockwood, Children’s Department

Genre: Fantasy

Suggested Age: Teens, Adults

What is the book about?: Every Heart a Doorway tells the story of Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, a school and boarding house for those children that have disappeared to the hidden places of the world, and come back. Under the bed, in a wardrobe, through a miraculously disappearing door… These kids have found their version of fairy tale lands, and come back to tell the tale. It follows Nancy, the home’s newest resident, who like the rest of the children, is seeking her way back to her own fantastical world. A violent crime brings the many colorful residents of the home, including a guidance counselor and the principal herself, together in an attempt to figure out what is going on.

My Review: Being already familiar with (and a major fan of) several other works by Ms. McGuire, I was excited to see this on the new book shelf. I was not disappointed one iota. She weaves an amazing mystery that had me devouring the fairly small novel in a matter of hours. All the characters are unique but relatable in their own ways, even as fingers start to be pointed and everyone starts to bear a shadow of doubt about their fellow schoolmates. Even though the book deals with crimes and fantasy worlds the children are desperately trying to return to, the message of embracing your own little slice of oddity really shines through.

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Hollow Earth

Cover image for Hollow EarthHollow Earth by John Barrowman and Carol E. Barrowman

Reviewed by: Sue Elder, Children’s Department

Genre: Fantasy

Suggested Age: Tweens, Teens

What is the book about?: Twins Matt and Emily Calder have a special power.  They are animares and they have the ability make drawings and paintings come alive, just like their mother.  Because of their special powers, they are being pursued by a secret society called the Hollow Earth.  The Hollow Earth Society wants to use the twins to open up old paintings where demons, devils and evil creatures are trapped in for eternity. Their mother takes them to an island off of the Scotland coast to their grandfather, who has his own special powers, in hopes they will be safe there.  While there they learn the history of the island, about the monks who lived on the island long ago, and how this all relates to their powers and their father. Will they be safe or will the Hollow Earth Society find them?

My Review: I don’t normally read fantasy, but I really liked this book.  There are three books in this series. Looking forward to reading the rest of them.

 

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

Cover image for The paper menagerie and other storiesThe Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

Reviewed by: Carey Gibbons, Reference Assistant – Adult Services

Genre: Short Stories – Science Fiction and Fantasy

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award winner Ken Liu has put together this collection of short stories, representing his work in both science fiction and fantasy. Some of these pieces look to the future, telling the stories of intrepid scientists and engineers travelling through space to colonize new worlds. Some look to the past, telling the tale of Chinese settlers in America’s old west juxtaposed with the legends of the Chinese God of War, or how time travel effects the histories of both China and Japan during and after WWII. Liu has written a wide variety of fiction here, often times including lists for further reading based on the research he did in order to write the story.

My Review: I’ve been reading a lot of short stories lately and this was my first time reading Ken Liu’s work. I enjoyed this collection quite a bit not only for Liu’s high quality writing but because his work is a refreshing and much needed reminder that white American authors don’t have a monopoly on science fiction and fantasy. “All the Flavors” showed a very different perspective on the American Old West from the point of view of a little girl interacting with Chinese settlers. “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” was not only a fresh take on time travel but an account of strained relations between China and Japan during and after WWII. My favorite story was “The Waves.” It put all of life into perspective through space travel and the idea of the origin of life story that every culture has. I love short story collections and this one is no exception. I’m looking forward to reading Liu’s longer, silk-punk, fantasy series – The Dandelion Dynasty.

Three Words That Describe This Book: Futuristic, Melancholy, Thoughtful

Give This a Try if You Like…  Alex Marshall, Kelly Link, Daniel Abraham

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: One Hundred Names

Cover image for One hundred namesOne Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern

Reviewed by: Dawn Dickey, Reference Assistant – Adult Services

Genre: Literary Fiction

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: In the opening pages of One Hundred Names, journalist Kitty Logan visits Constance, her friend and mentor, who is terminally ill. Constance is “solid, permanent and steady, stoic but oddly comforting.” And Kitty desperately needs that comforting, for she’s made a muck of her life. In her job as a television journalist, on the air before half a million viewers, Kitty accused a well-respected, married teacher with a young family of sexually abusing two students. Despite doing what she thought was good, in-depth research and reporting for the news program, Kitty fell for a story put forth by the two women – a totally false story. Now she is suspended from the show and is being sued for libel. At the hospital, Kitty asks Constance what story she always wanted to write but didn’t get a chance to. Constance mentions a fairly “recent idea,” instructing Kitty to retrieve a file simply called, “Names.” Kitty finds the file, but Constance dies before Kitty can ask her about the file, a list of 100 names that have no obvious connection. With her television job no longer an option, Kitty decides to follow up on the names, find the connection, and write about the names as a tribute to Constance.

My Review: I’ve read other books by Cecelia Ahern, usually finding the characters to be likeable and often funny. It’s hard to like Kitty in the beginning, however. Sure, she was conned, and her reputation is in ruins. But that’s all she can think about. Kitty initially has little sympathy for the victims of her mistake, the falsely accused teacher and his family, whose lives were truly ruined. Without giving the ending away, I think that in this book Ahern does what she excels at, developing the characters in her story to move beyond their personal tragedies and find redemption. It’s a hopeful, compassionate tale!

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Pretty Deadly volume 1: The Shrike

Cover image for Pretty deadly. Volume One, The ShrikePretty Deadly volume 1: The Shrike by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios

Reviewed by: Sarah Baker, Circulation

Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: It’s the Wild West, and a travelling show has come to town.  A girl in a vulture cloak tells the story of how Death fell in love and had a daughter. But it’s not just a story – it’s the truth.  Ginny stalks the land, her face marked like a skull by daddy Death.  A beautiful but deadly woman named Alice seems to be searching for Ginny, but also for something called The Binder. Which Sissy, the girl in the vulture cloak, just pick-pocketed from a red headed man.  Sissy’s companion, a blind man named Fox, tries his best to keep her safe but this might be beyond him.  And the truth – about Fox, about Sissy, and about Death – may just break the world.

My Review: Many months ago, I saw this series recommended by Wil Wheaton.  After a quick glance, I knew it was something I had to read.  Alternate history, Death as a being and not just a force, magic, badass women, and amazing artwork.  It was a wonderfully spun yarn.  The narration comes to us by way of Bunny, a talking skeleton of a rabbit, who is telling the story to Butterfly.  The different points of view weave together nicely. but the reader is still left with plenty of questions (Who is Jack Coyote, really?  Will we learn more about Molly Raven?  Do they have a Ladyhawke thing going?  And what’s the deal with Sarah?) that will hopefully be explored in future volumes.
This is definitely not for younger readers!  Violence, nudity, cursing.

Rating: 5/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

FDL Reads: Curious Minds

Cover image for Curious minds : a Knight and moon novelCurious Minds by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

Reviewed by: Diane Soffietti, Adult and Reference Services

Genre: Mystery

Suggested Age: Adults

What is the book about?: Riley Moon, recent Harvard Business and Law graduate, has a brand new job and is hoping to pay off her student loans by becoming indispensable at a large family-run bank in Washington D.C. The president of the company gives Riley an assignment to placate an important client, and Riley fully intends to give it her best Texan try. The problems start to arise when the client wants to actually see his gold. His father recently died, making Emerson Knight the heir to Mysterioso Manor and a vast amount of gold. Riley’s first encounter with Emerson ends with Riley driving Emerson to the bank and introducing Emerson to the bank president, Werner Grunwald. Riley’s life becomes entangle with the eccentric Emerson’s as she tries her best to do her assignment, which becomes first hunting for a missing person and then solving the mystery of counterfeit gold in the U.S. Reserve Bank. This pursuit takes Moon and Knight to New York City and Area 51, as they try their best to stay alive.

My Review: Janet Evanovich is well known for her humorous Stephanie Plum bounty hunter tales set in Newark, NJ. Phoef Sutton has written numerous television scripts, and together they are writing this new mystery series called Knight and Moon. Evanovich always has snappy, hilarious dialog; and this new series doesn’t disappoint with both major and minor characters and the plot twists. For a fun, page-turning read, you won’t be amiss by picking up this new book by one of my favorite authors. This is a humorous thriller that does Not include graphic violence or vulgarity.

Rating: 4/5

Find it at the library!

About FDL Reads

FDL ReadsWelcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library.  Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each week at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available.  If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently.  We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!

imagine, inform, inspire