Have You Heard

Post date: Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 12:35am

Have You Heard About... Bedbugs

… New York City’s infestation of demonic bedbugs? And now that I’ve freaked everyone out, I highly recommend Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters, which is horror fiction at its creepy-crawly best! The story follows Susan and Alex Wendt, who have just moved into a spacious (and cheap!) apartment in New York City. But it isn’t long before Susan starts worrying that their new home is crawling with bedbugs. She wakes up with odd bites, and the more stuff she reads about bedbugs, the worse the situation becomes. But the exterminator can’t find anything, and Susan’s husband hasn’t seen anything either. Is Susan going crazy, like everyone believes, or are these bedbugs actually after her?

This book is scary on two levels - on the one hand, the idea of supernatural bedbugs is gross enough to make anyone check their sheets before they go to bed. But on the other hand, Susan’s obsession with these insects is just as frightening, and we start to wonder how far she’ll go before she breaks down completely. If you read this book, keep the lights on, and make sure you inspect your sheets before you go to bed.

Good night…sleep tight…and don’t EVER let these bedbugs bite!


Reviewed by Katie (staff)

Post date: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 12:33am

Have You Heard About... Living Large in Lean Times

… ways to spend smarter and save money? Clark Howard’s Living Large in Lean Times is a lot of common sense, with some new twists that you might not have thought of. This is a brand new, up-to­-the-minute book on the current recession we are going through. There are more than 250 ideas and lots web sites for further ideas to check out.

Clark tells us how to save money in a neighborly, over the backyard fence kind of way. Some of his ideas I thought were laughable they were so outrageous, but other ideas sure made a lot of sense. When I went to several of the web sites, I was very impressed at what they had to offer in the way of saving more money and how to spend what little you might have more wisely. The book is nicely divided into sections, so you only need to read what is of importance to you if you don’t have time to read the entire book.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 12:29am

Have You Heard About... Chopsticks

… the best friends who do everything together? In Amy Crouse Rosenthal and Scott Magoon’s Chopsticks, the title characters are best friends. They do everything together – swim in the sink, balance with peas, even practice their martial arts moves against the asparagus! One day, one of them gets hurt. The uninjured one is reluctant to go out on his own, but he learns to try new things. When the hurt chopstick is all better, they have lots of new activities to try together.

This cute picture book would be a great choice for best friends who are forced to spend some time apart. It’s filled with characters from the kitchen and medicine chest.  A combination of text and visual puns keep things lighthearted (when injured, “Chopstick was quickly whisked away,” by a whisk with a red cross painted on its handle), and the story’s moral is obvious without being forced.


Reviewed by Fran (staff)

Post date: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 12:22am

Have You Heard About... Barrage

… a traveling band of gypsies? Treat yourself to the musical DVD Barrage, Vagabond Tales. Through music, you will learn about a group of traveling gypsies who gather in their ancestral land to decide who gets leadership of the tribe. This is a twelve-person ensemble of mostly violins and fiddles and lots of hijinks. The narrator tells the story as these extremely talented musicians play their music and dance and sing a little bit.

A little bit of country, folk, bluegrass, jazz and pop songs are preformed as the story unfolds. They make it look so easy. In the bonus features, it tells how this incredible group came together, and how they manage to combine all of this talent and the gypsy tale into something wondrous. Some of the songs include Birdland, Eleanor Rigby, Tico Tico and Sweet Georgia Brown.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Tags: DVD, musical, review
Post date: Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 12:15am

Have You Heard About... Leviathan

… the living airships of World War I? The audiobook Leviathan* is a fantastic example of steampunk fiction done right. Scott Westerfeld adds mechanical robots and whale airships to World War I which makes it a hundred times more exciting.

The voice of Alan Cumming makes it easy to imagine yourself alongside Deryn, a girl pretending to be a boy in order to serve in the British Air Force. Deryn is one of my favorite characters of all time. She is funny, brave and incredibly smart. What I like most is the fact that she saves the Austrian Prince Alexander multiple times.

*Later books in the series include Behemoth and Goliath.


Reviewed by Vanessa (staff)

Post date: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 12:07am

Have You Heard About... An Uplifting Murder

… the mystery shopper who is also a sleuth?  An Uplifting Murder is the sixth book in the series* by Elaine Viets.

Josie Marcus is a mystery shopper in Missouri. In this latest book, she is mystery shopping in a high priced lingerie shop, looking into several customer complaints about the staff members. What she finds instead is her former gym teacher working as the store’s manager, an old hateful classmate shopping in the store, and murder. This is a very fun read into the world of mystery shopping. Josie’s boss Harry is a hoot.

*If you enjoy this stand alone book, you might be interested in looking for the others in this fun series: Dying in Style, High Heels are Murder, Accessory to Murder, Murder with All the Trimmings, and The Fashion Hound Murders.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 12:09am

Have You Heard About... You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried

The Breakfast Club? Or Sixteen Candles? Ever heard of Ferris Bueller? Anyone? Anyone? Chances are, if you’ve been alive at some point during the last 25 years, you know about these classic John Hughes movies, which is why Susannah Gora’s new book, You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried is a must-read for anyone who loves 80’s pop culture.

In her book, Gora chronicles the history of the 80’s teen movie, beginning with John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles and ending with Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything. But this isn’t just a collection of facts from the Brat Pack days - Gora also examines how these movies impacted pop culture, and why they still resonate with viewers today. Even for those of us who didn’t experience the 80’s first hand, like myself, this book is still extremely interesting and relevant. Give this book a try, and see if it doesn’t make you relive your high school glory days!


Reviewed by Katie (staff)

Post date: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 12:04am

Have You Heard About... The Next Always

… the historic hotel that is being refurbished in BoonsBoro, Maryland? In The Next Always* by Nora Roberts, the three Montgomery brothers and their very eccentric mom take over redoing an old inn. The descriptions are like reading a very expensive design magazine. Each room at the new inn will be named after a literary couple.

In this first book in the series, Beckett Montgomery is the main focus. He’s had a longing since high school for Clare. Clare is recently widowed with three small rambunctious boys, and she is not yet ready for romance. Can Beckett steal her heart? When Beckett has a “man night” (also known as babysitting) with Clare’s three boys, you’ll die laughing. With the help of a ghost at the inn, Beckett and Clare are meant for each other, but they don’t quite know it, yet. This is a wonderful, feel good, story you won’t want to miss.

* The next book in the series is The Last Boyfriend.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)

Post date: Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 12:55am

Have You Heard About... A Bride's Story

… the manga based in nineteenth-century Asia? Kaoru Mori’s A Bride’s Story transports readers to the Silk Road, where a young woman from a nomadic tribe (Amir Halgal) has been married to a twelve-year-old boy in a small village (Karluk Eihon). The two slowly get to know one another, and Amir adjusts to her new life. The differences between the two cultures make for a few interesting situations. However, both Amir and her new family work hard to be understanding and try new things for one another. When some men from Amir’s tribe come to get her, wanting her to take part in a more advantageous marriage for them, she is caught between her old and new lives.

The story in this book is very sweet, with differences between nomads’ and villagers’ lives giving the author good opportunities to share information with the readers. The characters have distinct personalities, from the newly-married couple to Karluk’s young cousins. Complementing the story is Ms Mori’s richly-detailed art. Fabrics are filled with intricate patterns, and landscapes show a wealth of plants and animals. A family tree at the end helps to keep relationships clear. Take your time to savor this beautiful book while you wait for the release of volume two.


Reviewed by Fran (staff)

Post date: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - 12:52am

Have You Heard About... Nature: Waddlers & Paddlers

… all of the different kinds of penguins and where they live, or the baby sea otter who lost his mother? The first part of the DVD Nature: Waddlers & Paddlers, “The World of Penguins” – the Waddlers – explores the different types of penguins and where they live. Most people know about the emperor penguins who live in the very cold freezing temperatures, but did know there are also penguins who live in the desert? Some even live in caves. Yellow eyed penguins are the rarest. There are even small blue penguins who live in Australia. These extraordinary creatures are flightless birds that live in two very different worlds.

In the second half of this DVD, “The Sea Otter Story: Warm Heart and Cold Water,” you will see the Paddlers. This is the story of an orphan sea otter. He’s so cute and cuddly, but be careful of his very sharp teeth. The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California is where these orphans are raised to go back into the wild. Human moms have to nurture these babies and teach them to groom themselves, find food and avoid their natural predators, all without becoming too attached these little darlings.

I thought this was an interesting and informative and entertaining way to spend the evening.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)