Monday, March 30, 2009

The Girl who leapt through time

Makoto Konno (Emily Hirst) is a little bit clumsy, oversleeps in the morning and loves baseball - your average high school aged girl. That is until she has the worst day of her life. On that day, Makoto really oversleeps, has a pop quiz, starts a fire in her cooking class, is accidental knocked down at recess by some guys tussling and then, when putting away the classes notebooks, she manages to slip and drop them all on her head. But that is not the worst of it. As she cycles home her brakes give out on the hill right as a train is coming through the crossing. And then something strange happens. As she hits the barrier, time stops and she is unexpectedly moved back in time.
Exploring her strange new talent, Makoto begins to correct the mistakes of the day, but with the help of her Aunt, she realises that her traveling is not limitless and is having devistating effects on those around her. Can Makoto make everything right, before she rus out of leaps?

Directed by Mamoru Hosoda
Click here to reserve you copy from the JCLC catalog!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Three journeys, one destination. All begun with the finding of a mysterious book.

When a young girl finds an ancient book, blank except for a woodcut of a dragon set in the middle, and some old letters addressed to: “ My dear and unfortunate successor,” in her father’s study her curiosity is aroused. Reluctant to explain, but feeling he has no choice, her father, Paul, begins to unfold the mysterious and terrifying events of some 20 years earlier.

The old book had inexplicably appeared on his study carrel, when Paul was a student. Taking the volume to his friend and mentor Professor Bartolomew Rossi, he learned Professor Rossi had received a book with the same woodcut some years early. In an attempt to stop Paul from researching what he perceives as a dangerous volume, Rossi tells his own tale of the long search for the meaning of the dragon and his discovery of its link to Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, the cruel ruler of Wallachia and his burial site. Rossi disappears that same night and despite his fear Paul begins a search for Dracula’s tomb aided by Helen Rossi, the professor’s daughter.

But when Paul himself disappears before finishing the tale, his daughter begins her own research in Vlad Tepes, determined to follow him.

Skillful woven together to illuminate history and the political tensions of Europe, as our characters are led in and out of Eastern Europe on the tail of an evil far greater than any of them had ever imagined.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cave of the Dark Wind by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Written for a younger audience than “Peter and the Starcatchers”. Barry and Pearson tell tall tales of life on Mollusk Island while Peter is away.

In this first book of three, the lost boys learn of a strange and deadly cave and are told by their friend, Shining Pearl, the terrible tale of the monster “Goat Taker” that lives in the cave and eats the Mollusk tribes goats every full moon. Wanting to impress Peter when he returns, the lost boys, led by James, decide to find out what or who the “Goat Taker” is.

Spied upon by the ever present pirates, who also hear the tale and when they see the boys come running out with a skull with gold for eyes, one greedy look turns the pirates blind. When Hook learns of this he is convinced that the lost boys have stumbled upon the Blind Luck Gold that was taken from South America and cursed to blind all those who look on it with greed. Despite the danger, Hook sets about to get the gold. Can Shining Pearl, James and the other Lost Boys find out what the Goat Taker is and stop the pirates from getting the gold? Read “Cave of the Dark Wind to find out”!

Read by the award winning Jim Dale, whose amazing talent for voices gives extra life to the bumbling Smee, added evil to Hook and further spunk to the boys and their friend Shining Pearl.

Part of my 100+ book challenge

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Being a mechanic isn’t easy, especially if your friends are werewolves, fae and vampires. Mercy has been through some bad times and needs some time to recover, time she realizes she isn’t going to get when a badly burned vampire, her friend Stefan, is dropped through her roof. When this is closely followed by a visit from an out of town visitor and old college friend, Amber who has a ghost problem, Mercy knows something’s up.

Convinced that the mistress of the vampires, Marsilia has found out the truth about the demon Mercy and Stefan hunted down, the leader of the werewolves persuades Mercy to leave town for a while. But when she heads to Spokane in Washington to try to help her friend she soon finds that Amber’s haunted house is a lot more complicated than she ever imagined.

Filled with the culture and politics of both werewolf pack and vampire seethe Bone Crossed is a fast paced, exciting new read in the Mercy Thompson series.

Part of my 100+ book challenge

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

One Wednesday afternoon the Queen, in pursuit of her dogs, stumble upon the city of Westminster's mobile library.  Deciding she should check out a book, but unsure which, she alights on a book by someone she knows and takes it home.  Guided by Norman, a kitchen boy she promotes (and avid reader of gay authors!) the Queen discovers the joy of reading to the detriment of her other duties and the social turmoil of her staff. 

A hysterical satirical novella by the popular British playwright Alan Bennett that touches on politics, literature and the problems that arise from enjoying a good book.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Woods and Waters Wild by Charles de Lint

In this third and final compilation of his early tales, de Lint shows his growth from a new laborious writer to an old hand. His first stories, under the heading of “Pastriches” are, as the author himself admits, a little painful to read. These “high” fantasies are so overly descriptive and stiff, that it is hard to recognize any talent. However, these are followed by the tales of Angharad, which later were the bases for his book “Into the Green”, and it is in these further tales that his real talent and a style of his own begins to show.

From there on de Lint spins tales of great promise, relying more on his own imagination than that of authors he admires. His retellings of the ballads of Thomas the Rhymer are very good and so it is almost a shame that his interests have turned away from this line of writing.

Not only is this book is a wonderful insight to an author’s mind - one that would inspire any budding writer – but also is book of delightful fantastical tales that are a pleasure to read.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

April BCB: Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

 Product Description:

Sue Monk Kidd's ravishing debut novel has stolen the hearts of reviewers and readers alike with its strong, assured voice. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love--a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

Taken from

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Constant Princess

The history of Katherine of Aragon is so intertwined with England’s infamous monarch Henry VIII and his other 5 wives that it is often forgotten that she had a rich history of her own. In this fictionalized retelling of her story, Philippa Gregory tells the tale of the youngest daughter of two of the greatest Spanish monarchs – King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

Brought up on the battle field, and in the Moorish Courts of Spain, the Infanta Catalina is well aware of her destiny to become the next Queen of England. Betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales, since the age of three, 15 year old Catalina leaves Spain to begin her life in the English court. But disaster is waiting in the wings. The newly weds move to Ludlow castle where Arthur is taken ill and dies with in months, leaving Catalina a widow and ineligible for the throne but before his death Arthur makes her promise she will marry his brother Henry and be the queen England needs.

And so begins long years of hardship and betray as fulfilling her beloved’s dying wish is no simple matter. Catalina must convince the court her marriage was never consummated and so the logical choice as bride for Henry, a task made harder by her parents’ failure to send her dowry. But throughout Catalina stays constant and finally takes her place as Queen Katherine of England.

Part of my 100+ book challenge

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

When Demons Walk by Patricia Briggs

Sorceress. Lady. Mistress. Thief. Just call her an overachiever…

When a spate of horrific murders touches the nobles in the town of Southwood, people begin to suspect a demon.  Kerim, the town’s new protector, is at a loss to discover the killer.  Despite the rumours, he is convinced the murderer is human and hires the help of Shamera, a girl from the slums and a Lady in the old regime, to play his mistress in an attempt to flush out the killer.  But Sham was trained as a mage and she is more than convinced that not only is the killer a demon, but one that she is in danger from.

This fast-paced, quick-read fantasy mystery is a fun read.  The plot is interesting and has a great twist at the end; the characters are well developed and likeable; the dialog is witty.  Not an outstanding read, but a good book for a rainy afternoon. 

Part of my 100+ book challenge