Going Somewhere is a memoir of sorts. Brian Benson narrates the
bicycle journey that he and his girlfriend, Rachel, take from Wisconsin
to the west coast one summer, after deciding, "hey, this trip might be a
good idea." Brian and Rachel hit the road with clean gear, new bikes,
and a sense of optimism that wanes and waxes as they ride through the
Northwoods, the Great Plains, and the Rocky Mountains. Benson has a
penchant for spontaneous adventure and a love of the unknown and
unexpected. Perhaps most importantly, he also has an attitude that
affirms that the only way for one to truly experience the world is to
immerse oneself truly, completely, inexorably from the experiences of
nature that spawn from the act of taking a bike and a companion across
two and a half thousand miles of majestic, unadulterated natural beauty.
Benson's book is a tale of love, loss, and uncut adventure, which
reminds us to hit the road, if for no other reason than to see what
In Dorothy Must Die, readers are welcomed for a new
adventure, but it won't be the Oz they remember. Dorothy has returned
and reunited with the Scarecrow, The Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion and
has taken total control of Oz. As the newly crowned Princess of Oz,
Dorothy uses her power to drain all of the magic out of the land for
herself. Oz has been turned into a desolate wasteland -- munchkins are
forced to work at a young age to mine magic for Princess Dorothy; Flying
Monkeys are beaten and tied to a post for crimes of "sass"; and the
Yellow Brick Road has started to crumble. It seems there is no hope left
for Oz until a tornado drops off another girl from Kansas. Modern high
school teen Amy Glumm arrives in Oz and within hours is captured by the
Tin Man's Army and sentenced to Trial and Execution by Princess Dorothy.
While Amy waits in prison, one of the infamous Wicked Witches appears
and offers her a second chance at life -- to join the Revolutionary
Order of the Wicked and train to be Dorothy's assassin. In the battle
for Oz, the line between the Good and the Wicked is blurred and
distorted. Fans of the original stories will be in for a wickedly good
surprise in Danielle Paige's darkly reimagined world of Oz.
Karen Harrington's Courage for Beginners shows how a little
courage can go a long way toward new beginnings. Mysti Murphy's longtime
buddy, a chubby boy named Anibal Gomez, is moving on into hopes of a
romantic relationship, but he's hedging his bets by telling Mysti his
quest for the attractive Sandi Showalter is an experiment. Mysti's not
about to admit this hurts -- any more than her agoraphobic mother will
admit staying within the bounds of her own home and yard is a problem,
even when the father is hospitalized. A pesky little sister and a
bright, blunt-spoken friend at the lunchroom Loser Table round out the
cast of characters. Each challenge is a setup for Mysti's hilarious
interior monologue. In time, each problem reaches a solution of sorts,
including a very clever and funny one for Anibal's out of tune
1974 Atlanta, the setting for Karin Slaughter's Cop Town, is a
city full of racial tension, hatred, and crime and the law enforcement
system, still basically segregated, consists mostly of males, with no
respect for any minority. A serial killer who is targeting the members
of one police force is on the loose. A manhunt ensues for a suspect
mistakenly identified as a black male. A bad element within the force --
a bunch of corrupt, bigoted alcoholics -- are out for vengeance and
almost any suspect will do.
Kate Murphy, who comes from a privileged background, decides to join the police force after her husband is killed in Viet Nam. Forced to hide her Jewish background, she starts her first day on the job and is immediately a target for abuse from her co-workers who don't think she will last very long. Maggie Lawson, an officer who is a little more seasoned, comes from a family of officers including her Uncle Terry, one of the worst sadistic bigots, who uses his power against Maggie, and her brother Jimmy, a former football hero and golden boy on the force. Jimmy's partner is gunned down by the serial killer and Jimmy narrowly misses also being killed.
When Kate and Maggie are teamed up together they realize something is wrong with the way the investigation is going. Despite the constant verbal and physical abuse from their male co-workers they set out to follow the real clues and bring down the killer themselves. The setting of a city on the edge is gritty and realistic and the action, which takes place over the course of four days, is page-turning and intense. The endurance of these embattled policewomen is remarkable and you'll find yourself rooting for them to prevail.
~ Cathy v
Tasha and Lola's Book Corner
Lola learned some basic signs during her first year, and now, at 16 months, she can say a few words in addition to her hand signals. When we read together, books with familiar images -- cats, dogs, flowers, birds -- that encourage her to use her language skills are great, and one of her current favorites is Busy Kitties. I usually read it through to her the first time, and then the second time I talk to her about the pictures and let her take her time pointing to or petting the kitties on each page.