Tulsa event guide INSIDE! Book Review 2 7 10 VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2 F R E E NEW AND OF INTEREST C H E C K Luther: The Calling Obsessive detective solves the case! Page 4 I T One Last Thing Before I Go O U T Bedtime Is Canceled Endearing Page 8 Now, that’s news! Page 10 The Grass King’s Concubine Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child By Bob Spitz, Random House, Knopf, $29.95, 557 pages 12 December 2012 The combination of an incredible and unique life story and great writing make for a fun and interesting book. Julia Child was unlike anyone else. Her height and sense of humor made her stand out while her cooking methodology made her an icon. Her candor and straight forward opinions make it clear that she was always herself and did not fear disapproval from anyone. Although she was “to the manor born,” she chose an adventurous life over that of a Pasadena patrician. She married for love not dynasty, and her passion for her spouse probably led her to perfect her cooking to please him. It is clear that the feeling was mutual; Paul Child organized Julia’s cooking shows and staging, and wholeheartedly supported her celebrity. Theirs was a great love story. They met while they worked together in Burma for the OSS (early wartime spy organization). The methods she developed in her work there was a See Dearie, cont’d on page 8 A quest to discover the roots of her family’s wealth Page 13 Computing for Ordinary Mortals Amazingly understandable explanation of how computers work Page 15 43 Reviews INSIDE! Book Reviews Category Biography & Memoir SNAP IT for additional book summaries. January First By Michael Schofield Crown Publishers, $25, 291 pages Check this out! Michael Schofield and his wife always knew that their daughter, January, was different. She learned to speak at eight months and knew all of her letters by 18 months. At three she could read, write and recite the periodic table of elements. Unfortunately, January barely slept, had no friends and frequently erupted with violence. January’s imaginary friends forced her to misbehave and even hurt people. After the birth of her little brother, January’s violence escalated and focused on the new baby. Fearing for their son’s life, the Schofields sought help from psychiatrists, eventually learning that January suffered from schizophrenia. Schofield showed us the struggle of dayto-day survival, trying to keep his family safe and intact. He advocated for his daughter, even when her illness threatened to tear their family apart. January’s heartbreaking story fascinated me, and I could not put this book down. I found myself holding my breath, hoping that January and her family could survive her illness. The Schofields were regular parents who made mistakes, who had disagreements, who didn’t always follow advice from doctors, but their dedication to their children was heroic, and their efforts saved their daughter and their family. Reviewed by Kerry Lindgren And Live Rejoicing By Huston Smith with Phil Cousineau New World Library, $15.95, 207 pages Check this out! The great religious teacher Huston Smith, aided by his friend Phil Cousineau, has collected high points from his life to illustrate the hymn And Live Rejoicing. Anyone who has heard Smith talk about world religions, his experiences and a life of the spirit will love to read this book, simple as it is. At one point, just reconnecting with his wife sends his spirit into exaltation. At another time, an arrest and interrogation by Japanese authorities makes for an intense realization of his rights as a human being, albeit also a “national treasure.” Smith also writes of his encounters with famous personages such as AA cofounder Bill Wilson, Joseph Campbell and Martin Luther King Jr., among others. I particularly enjoyed his story of Aldous Huxley whose wit and range of knowledge delighted Smith. Smith has written 17 other books, the most famous being the classic The Religious of Man. He was born in China in 1919, the son of missionary parents, and has lived, taught and traveled the world. In the Epilogue of this book he quotes Dag Hammarskjold: “How long the road is. But, for all the time the journey has already taken, how you have needed every second of it in order to learn what the road passes by.” Reviewed by Julia McMichael Tulsa Book Review • December 2012 • 2 Photo by Guy Mendes F R E E P U B L I C P R E S E N TAT I O N AND BOOK SIGNING Saturday, Dec. 8 • 10:30 a.m. Central Library, second floor • Fourth Street and Denver Avenue Wendell Berry, American writer and farmer, has spent his career exploring man’s relationship with the land and the community in his more than 50 works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. He is known for his Port William series, which includes the novels “Nathan Coulter,” “Jayber Crow,” “Hannah Coulter,” “Andy Catlett: Early Travels” and others. Berry and his wife, Tanya, live on a 125-acre farm in Port Royal, Ky. C EL EB R AT E W E N D E LL B E R RY BOOKS SANDWICHED IN PRESENTS: A WENDELL BERRY SAMPLER Monday, Dec. 3 • 12:10-12:50 p.m. Central Library, Aaronson Auditorium Join District Judge William Kellough for an introduction to Wendell Berry’s works. Sponsored by the Friends of the Tulsa City-County Libraries. Tulsa Book Review Tulsa City-County Library 400 Civic Center Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103 Ph. (918) 549-7323 EDITOR IN CHIEF Ross Rojek [email protected] GRAPHIC DESIGN/LAYOUT IN THIS ISSUE Biography & Memoir......................................2 Mystery....................................................4 & 5 Romance.........................................................5 Fiction................................................. 6, 7, & 8 Grayson Hjaltalin [email protected] COPY EDITORS Lori Freeze Diane Jinson Lori Miller Robyn Oxborrow Holly Scudero Kim Winterheimer EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Shanyn Day Christopher Hayden Erin McDonough Lisa Rodgers Justin Salazar-Stewart Elizabeth Tropp Teen Scene......................................................9 Tween Reads...................................................9 Picture Books.......................................10 & 11 Kids’ Books...................................................11 Popular Culture............................................12 Mind & Body Fitness.....................................13 Fantasy.........................................................13 WEBSITE TulsaBookReview.com DISTRIBUTED BY Urban Tulsa Weekly The Tulsa Book Review is published monthly by 1776 Productions, LLC. The opinions expressed in these pages are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Tulsa Book Review or 1776 Productions advertisers. All images are copyrighted by their respective copyright holders. All words ©2012, LLC. 1776 Productions, Cookbooks.................................................... 14 FROM THE PUBLISHER Happy holidays from all of us at the Tulsa City-County Library! Many people will receive an e-reader or iPad® as a gift for the holidays. If you receive one, please know that the library has more than 10,000 e-books and e-bestsellers for you to borrow, many of which are featured in this publication. Plus, we are adding more titles nearly every day, and the library community is working with an ever-growing list of publishers in order to make their books available via public libraries. Owning an e-reader does not mean you will forever read books only in an electronic format. People who read enjoy reading in many formats. Every day we meet people who read e-books as much as they read traditional books; we even meet people who read books on their smartphones. Some of our customers borrow from the library as much as they purchase from the bookstore. They also may buy books online. All of this shows us that people who read love to do it and they read A LOT! Please take advantage of all the amazing resources your public library has to offer. Whether you prefer paperback, hardback or electronic, we are here to connect you with the best books and other resources on a particular topic or genre of interest to you. So, please be sure to ask your librarian for help or suggestions. We hope you enjoy this holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you at the library soon. And always remember: Libraries change lives! Warmest regards, Business........................................................15 Nature & Science...........................................15 Adult Creative Writing.................................16 Gary Shaffer Tulsa City-County Library CEO Coming Up! For your New Year’s resolutions, set a goal to learn a new language using Mango Languages. Or perhaps you want to change careers next year. If so, check out Job Now! If your child wants to become a better student, he can achieve his goal with Homework Help Now! All three of these free online services are available at TulsaLibrary.org. Book Reviews Category Mystery SNAP IT for additional book summaries. Leader of the Pack By David Rosenfelt Minotaur Books, $24.99, 360 pages Check this out! Andy Carpenter is a lawyer whose clients tend to be guilty. He is so wealthy that he rarely has to work, that is, unless a case arises that interests him. Enter Joey Desimone, who has spent six years in prison for a murder that Andy believes he didn’t commit. New information arises when Andy pays a visit to Tony’s uncle Nicky. Suffering from senility, Nicky lets slip that the murdered man might have been involved in illegal activities. Now Andy is determined to get to the truth and see his client released from prison. He is pursued by gangsters, including a hit man who tries to run him off the road, while people close to the case begin dying or are kidnapped as hostages. Andy as a character is extremely sarcastic, something only a fictional character could get away with in real life. The book is a light but entertaining read. Despite the title and cover photo, this book has very little to do with dogs, other than an occasional appearance by Andy’s golden retriever, Tara. Leader of the Pack is one of several dog-themed titles from the Andy Carpenter mystery series. Reviewed by Leslie Wolfson Luther: The Calling By Neil Cross Touchstone, $25, 368 pages Check this out! This is one of the best police procedurals I’ve read so far this year. The quality of the prose, so sharp and visual, picks you up at the beginning and drives you through to the end with real drama and mounting excitement. There’s just one problem. Many of you will find it on the violent side. Featured in this year’s Primetime Emmy Award shortlists, Luther has been winning praise on both sides of the Atlantic for its hard-hitting, darkly psychological themes. Now the screenwriter, Neil Cross, has written a prequel novel called The Calling. This shows Detective Chief Inspector Luther’s decline into an emotionally disturbed state. His marriage is in serious trouble, and his loyal deputy, Ian Reed, is in hospital — the victim of a punishment beating for interfering in the business run by a local criminal. This is not the best time to pick up a horrific murder case with child abduction elements. Nevertheless, he pitches in and, by bending the rules, gets enough evidence to make a profile of the killer(s). Now it’s a race against time as a second murder occurs and an older child goes missing. Quite simply, it’s a wonderful read! Reviewed by David Marshall Murder Most Austen: A Mystery By Tracy Kiely Minotaur, $25.99, 304 pages Check this out! Tracy Kierly has surely set the cat amongst the pigeons in this, her fourth Jane Austen-inspired contemporary mystery novel. This witty and charming episode takes place in Bath! England, that is, where Ms. Austen herself once trod the very streets idolized by Elizabeth Parker, who adores all things Austen. When Elizabeth’s Aunt Winnie (another Austen devotee) secures two extremely hard to get tickets to a conference there, the two intrepid travelers set off for the UK. Mayhem will ensue, guaranteed, unfortunately without Elizabeth’s on/off fiancé Peter and her extremely aggravating sister Kit. But not to worry, there are plenty of other attendees around to get in the way this time. The major speaker at the conference is one who delights in finding the ‘secondary and very dark sub-stories’ in Austen’s books. This time he really has a corker to unleash! Except that he is found dead before he can do any damage. He has a current wife as well as a former one (with whom he had a son) and a dazzled female student who, it turns out, is carrying his child. Is one of these women guilty? Not necessarily – there are other suspects as well, including even Elizabeth and Aunt Winnie! Heaven forfend. These clever mysteries should be at the top of everyone’s reading list! Reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz Tulsa Book Review • December 2012 • 4 MYSTERIES/THRILLERS COMING SOON TO TULSA CITY-COUNTY LIBRARY Search the library’s catalog at http://tulsalibrary.org to reserve your copies now. The Cleaner By Paul Cleave Joe is in control of everything in his simple life, both his day job as a janitor for the police department and his “night work.” He isn’t bothered by the daily news reports of the Christchurch Carver, who, they say, has murdered seven women. Joe knows though that the Carver killed only six. He knows that for a fact, and he’s determined to find the copycat. He’ll punish him for the one, and then frame him for the other six. It’s the perfect plan because he already knows he can outwit the police. Originally published in 2006 in Cleave’s native New Zealand, The Cleaner is a chilling and darkly funny thriller that will leave you clamoring for his next. Killer Sweet Tooth By Gayle Trent Wrongly implicated when she stumbles on the murdered body of a local dentist, cake decorator Daphne Martin works to solve the mystery and clear her name, an effort that is complicated by rumors about an affair and a traveling convention of Elvis impersonators. Vanished By Irene Hannon Tenacious reporter Moira Harrisons turns to a handsome private detective to help her solve a mysterious disappearance the police say never happened, but someone will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden. Blood Relative By David Thomas How well do we know our loved ones? In the wake of a brutal murder, architect Peter Crookham is forced to confront this question, launching him on a dangerous quest to uncover the truth. When Peter arrives home late for a dinner engagement with his beautiful wife, Mariana, and his journalist brother, Andy, he encounters a bloodbath: Andy has been brutally stabbed to death, and a nearly catatonic Mariana is bathed in his blood. Convinced Mariana is incapable of murder, Peter vows to clear her name. But when he discovers that Andy had been secretly investigating Mariana’s past, Peter can no longer trust his instincts. Desperate for answers, he travels to Mariana’s childhood home in East Berlin and finds himself caught in a web of intrigue involving the notorious Stasi and a terrible secret that someone will kill for in order to keep hidden. The Preacher By Camilla Lackberg In the fishing community of Fjallbacka, life is remote, peaceful, and for some, tragically short. Foul play was always suspected in the disappearance 20 years ago of two young campers, but their bodies were never found. But now, a young boy out playing has confirmed the grim truth. Their remains are discovered alongside those of a fresh victim, sending the tiny town into shock. Local detective Patrik Hedstrom, expecting a baby with his girlfriend Erica, can only imagine what it is like to lose a child. When a second young girl goes missing, Hedstrom’s attention focuses on the Hults, a feuding clan of misfits, religious fanatics and criminals. The suspect list is long but time is short – which of this family’s dark secrets will provide the vital clue? Book Reviews Mystery The Look of Love: A Piper Donovan Mystery (Wedding Cake Mysteries) By Mary Jane Clark Avon, $7.99, 384 pages Check this out! Mary Jane Clark’s The Look of Love has an intricate, detailed, and complex plot filled with an interesting array of characters that are interconnected at the spa Elysium. When Esperanza Flores is mistakenly attacked with a face full of acid meant for her boss Jillian Abernathy, Jillian not only postpones her wedding but also narrows down her guest list. Piper Donovan is invited to Elysium for a week at Jillian’s invitation to make her wed- ding cake. As Piper arrives in L.A., a murder occurs within the confines of Elysium, and Piper is thrown into the middle of the investigation. The murderer is targeting Jillian, and Piper steps in to help save her life. Mary Jane Clark does an outstanding job of creating a suspenseful atmosphere throughout The Look of Love. The vast amount of characters with different stories and vengeance on their minds makes for constantly changing suspects and leaves readers guessing until the end. The story takes many chilling turns that make it hard to put the book down. Clark certainly knows how to write a mystery thriller that will leave the hearts of readers pounding and wanting more. New and old Clark fans alike will love this book. Reviewed by Lindy Gervin Category Romance SNAP IT for additional book summaries. A Fool’s Gold Christmas By Susan Mallery Harlequin, $16.95, 320 pages Check this out! The inhabitants of Fool’s Gold, Calif., are so sweet they must have a built-in immunity to tooth decay! But how refreshing to read a story in which people are nice to each other and continually get together to help out on the various projects required to make the town’s Christmas Festival a huge success. Not everything goes smoothly here; there are frequent changes of plans and weather to bog things down a bit, but overall, it’s a joyous read. When football cheerleader Evie Stryker is accidentally tackled during a game, she knows her dancing career is really over. Desire is not an adequate substitute for talent in the ballet field, but if she can’t dance for a living, she can certainly teach. And that she does very well. The dance studio is located one floor above the law office of Dante Jefferson, who objects to the clog dancers overhead. Before he knows it, he’s totally bush-whacked by the effervescent Evie, who just wants to get along. Each of them has an unhappy past and family history to overcome, but when the entire community turns out to support Evie and her girls, how can a mere male lawyer hope to ignore it? This is a delightfully heartwarming tale that should only be attempted with a tissue at the ready! Holiday music in the background is a bonus. Reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz Carolina Home: A Dare Island Novel By Virginia Kantra Berkley Sensation, $7.99, 294 pages Check this out! Life hasn’t been easy for Matt Fletcher. A single dad who has put his own life and dreams on the sidelines to support his parents and teenage son, he’s a comm it m e nt - a v o i d i n g fisherman in a dying industry. When he meets Allison Carter, the attraction is magnetic. Yet neither of them wants to jump into a relationship. He doesn’t want love with strings attached, and she doesn’t want to join the long list of women who have dated Matt Fletcher. When Matt’s brother shows up with a child of his own, a girl who desperately needs love and direction, Matt has no choice but to turn to Allison for help. His feelings for Allison are frightening to him; what happens if she leaves Dare Island with a piece of his heart? If Matt can learn to let go of his past, the future could be better than he ever imagined. In this story of personal growth, family ties, and the close-knit South, there is always room for a little more love in one’s life. Virginia Kantra’s fresh, sweet romance is utterly satisfying and a joy to read. Perfect for a cool fall or winter evening by the fire, it’s a celebration of love and second chances. The characters are realistic and wonderfully flawed, and they will capture your heart within the first chapters. Carolina Home truly stands out in the romance market and is a heartwarming tale. I can’t wait to read another of this author’s masterpieces. Reviewed by Jennifer Melville Ruined by Moonlight By Emma Wildes Signet Eclipse, $7.99, 336 pages Here we have two young ladies, cousins; one is married, the other betrothed. Neither of them are currently deliriously happy, desirous of being so. The married Alicia, Lady Heathton, is in love with her husband Ben, but does he really love her? She determines to find out. The unmarried Lady Elena Morrow has granted her father’s request to accept a marriage proposal from the rather bland Lord Colbert, but then she’s always been a considerate, dutiful daughter. The seemingly steady Regency world in which these people live and play is disrupted by the disappearance of Elena at the same time that Randolph Raine, Lord Andrews, disappears from his usual haunts. Ran is a notorious rake who tends to avoid unmarried ladies. Elena and Ran awaken from a drugged sleep in a large bed in a romantic bower. Their outer clothing is missing, and nourishment mysteriously appears. How did they get there? More urgent is why are they there? When Elena’s father asks the former spy Ben to please find his daughter, these stories intersect in myriad ways, providing romance and mystery in abundant doses. The solution is a bit of a stretch, but plausible all the same. As always with this author, the characters and settings are superb! Reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz A Kwanzaa Community Celebration WEDNESDAY, DEC. 26 • 6-8 P.M. RUDISILL REGIONAL LIBRARY 1520 N. Hartford • 918.549.7645 • For all ages Celebrate Kwanzaa with performances by the Light House Academy students and Louder Than a Bomb poets. Plus, show off your talents during the “Mamanem” segment of our celebration. Tulsa Book Review • December 2012 • 5 Book Reviews Category story itself. This classic story is masterfully translated into a book that all readers can forever enjoy. Rabassa does an outstanding job on the translation, making the book simple and easy to read, and something that students and casual readers alike can appreciate. Penguin has once again made a wonderful addition to their classics series, and every Penguin Classics lover will want to have this story on their shelf. Reviewed by Lindy Gervin Fiction SNAP IT for additional book summaries. The Double Death of Quincas WaterBray By Jorge Amado and Gregory Rabassa (translator) Penguin Books, $14, 71 pages Check this out! The Double Death of Quincas WaterBray is the story originally written by Jorge Amado about a drunkard who had abandoned his family for a life of prostitutes and alcohol. Now, newly translated by Gregory Rabassa, the story of Quincas is made available to a wider audience. The story begins with the death of Quincas. His abandoned family attempts to give him a proper burial, but Quincas’ lowlife friends have other plans. His friends take him on one last adventurous night of drinking and revelry before his burial. The Double Death of Quincas Water-Bray is full of raucous characters that make for a satirical story. The introduction by Rivka Galchen makes for interesting background on Jorge Amado and a nice transition into the The Unfaithful Queen: A Novel of Henry VIII’s Fifth Wife By Carolly Erickson St. Martin’s Press, $25.99, 291 pages Check this out! The wives of King Henry VIII have always been fertile ground for historical fiction writers. After all, who hasn’t fantasized about beheading their spouse? In The Unfaithful Queen, author Carolly Erickson elegantly takes up the cause for Catherine Howard, Henry’s fifth wife. While Catherine’s marital indiscretions are histor- ical facts, in Erickson’s hands, the motivation for them makes for compelling fiction. The book is not a typical rehash of Henry’s poor leadership, but a fresh look at a complex man with political and personal desires. Erickson bravely explores the machinations of court life and reveals sharp insight into the burden of the Crown. As a girl, Catherine was sent to live with her step-grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, whose extensive holdings and aristocratic background had made her the guardian of many wards who were usually the children of poor but aristocratic parents. Catherine was still a teenager when she became a lady-in-waiting for the German Anne of Cleves, Henry’s fourth wife. Having caught the eye of the much older Henry, Catherine’s fate was sealed. Eventually, her inability to conceive a child led to charges of treason, and even though many of her sins were committed before her marriage to Henry, in an age where political liaisons meant life or death, the circumstance of her youthful indiscretions were ignored during her trial. Even though Catherine never admitted to infidelity, her former lovers’ heads were displayed on top of the London Bridge while she awaited her own fate. Reviewed by Sheli Ellsworth FREE ONLINE JOB ASSISTANCE live job coaches (2-11 p.m. daily CST) interview coaching expert résumé help career advice Visit TulsaLibrary.org/jobnow and use your Tulsa City-County Library card to access JobNow! This free service is sponsored by the Tulsa Library Trust. Tulsa Book Review • December 2012 • 6 Book Reviews To Whisper Her Name: A Belle Meade Plantation Novel By Tamera Alexander Zondervan, $14.99, 480 pages Check this out! To Whisper Her Name is an excellent melding of real people and places with believable fiction. It could very well have happened just this way — even if it didn’t. There are so many levels in this story, it could easily be enjoyed by anyone. Ripley Adam Cooper is a native of South Carolina who didn’t believe in the customs of the South, and he joined the Federal Army. He was captured and sent to Andersonville where he nearly died. A chance encounter with a slave, known as Uncle Bob Green, drew Ripley back to Tennessee, once he was freed and the war was supposedly over. Of course it wasn’t then, and isn’t even yet today — 150 years later. Belle Meade is an important part of the history of Nashville, being the home of Confederate General William Giles Harding, who had been captured and imprisoned on Mackinac Island. His fragile wife, Elizabeth, bore the brunt of that time, struggling to keep the plantation alive for her husband’s return. Eventually, Belle Meade became the most influential thoroughbred stud farm in American history. Now with her husband returned to her, she also takes in a friend’s orphaned daughter, Olivia Aberdeen, who would otherwise have been run out of town on a rail. Her crime was having been pushed into marriage with a man who turned traitor. Even though innocent, Livvy was tarred by the same brush and desperate for a home after George was lynched. Ripley is on his way to homestead in Colorado, but wants to learn about horses from Uncle Bob. On his way to Belle Meade, he rescues Livvy from a carriage wreck and escorts her to the stud farm. In spite of himself, he is drawn to her, while trying to gain the trust of the temperamental horses in his care. He walks a tightrope of secrecy as only Uncle Bob knows his real story. Together, Elizabeth and Olivia form the backbone of this story, which is also a tale of gaining trust. They take great risks, but in the end, receive great benefits. The longing for each other is evident whenever Ripley and Olivia are together. They know they’re meant to be together, but life isn’t always that simple. They have to fight for it, and it takes until the next to the last page for them to prove it to each other. Reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz Fiction Weapon of Choice By Patricia Gussin Oceanview Publishing, $25.95, 328 pages Check this out! In Tampa, chief of surgery and research professor Laura Nelson finds her hospital’s intensive care unit ravaged by a virulent rogue bacterium. Among those threatened are her teenage daughter and her daugh- ter’s boyfriend. Aided by her Atlanta-based friend Dr. Stacey Jones of the Center for Disease Control, Laura helps put quarantine measures into effect and seeks an effective countermeasure. Readers soon discover that the killer bioagent has been purposely planted by a mad scientist who wants revenge on his former NIH colleague, a man who had attained great prestige and wealth developing formulas on which the men had collaborated. As is common research practice, the virulent bacteria strain was developed not for biotech warfare but rather as a first step toward designing its antidote. A twin to this bacterial menace is also a research subject at CDC, where it is clandestinely duplicated by a white supremacist whose racist venom intensifies when Stacey Jones, an Afro-American woman, is promoted over him. This man, Charles Scarlett, is part of a plot to bring catastrophe to an elite Atlanta gathering celebrating the accomplishments of an Afro-American newspaper publisher. Scores of Afro-American leaders can be killed by eating bacteria-laced desserts. Switching setting and point of view with skillful pacing, Patricia Gussin builds enormous tension as time is about to run out to control the emergency in Tampa and thwart the plot in Atlanta. Strongly etched heroes and villains anchor a top-notch biomedical thriller that rivals the best work of such masters as Robin Cook and Michael Crichton. Set in 1985, the doomsday premise of Weapon of Choice seems just as eerily possible today. Reviewed by Phil Jason and Talulla prepared for a long life together, but love stories don’t always have a happy ending. In Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan, readers find Talulla grieving Jake’s sudden death (this takes place in The Last Werewolf). Now she is on the run from the WOCOP and avoiding the vampires who want to study the genetic properties of her blood. She is fully dependant on the phases of the moon. Talulla is shocked to discover that she is carrying Jake’s baby… and that other werewolves exist. Duncan proves that he can write from the perspective of a female just as well as a male. Fans may enjoy Talulla even more than Jake because she is partly him and partly this other unique, dynamic character. Jake’s presence is still felt as Talulla regularly consults his personal diaries. Duncan sets up the story for the next highly anticipated installment. Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin Perfect Is Overrated By Karen Bergreen St. Martin’s Griffin, $14.99, 308 pages Check this out! The plot of Perfect Is Overrated revolves around Kate Alger, a new mother and former assistant district attorney. Kate is a good mother though she suffers from crippling depression. She finds the motivation to come out of her funk when some mothers at her daughter’s preschool are murdered. It appears to be the work of a serial killer, though Kate can’t help but notice the troubling fact that the deceased mothers had children in the same high-end preschool. Kate worries that she could be the killer’s next victim. Throughout the ordeal, Kate relies on her two best friends: Peg and Miriam. Peg is a rock of common sense and support. She has Kate’s back. Miriam is the insufferable, self-absorbed, image-obsessed friend from Kate’s childhood. Readers get a real treat as they follow Kate’s investigative exploits Traveling the Mother Road this winter? Download the Guide to Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives for diners on this route and many others. Talulla Rising By Glen Duncan Knopf, $25.95, 359 pages Check this out! Jake Marlowe believed that he was the last werewolf on earth – until he met Talulla. Before encountering his soon-to-be true love, Jake was ready to end his life and thus end the ceaseless running and hiding from the World Organization for the Control of Occult Phenomena (WOCOP). Jake Tulsa Book Review • December 2012 • 7 Book Reviews and interactions with the awful alpha moms from her daughter’s school. Woven throughout the plot are the emotional reasons for Alger’s failed marriage to a New York City cop. Her character is likable because her flaws and infirmities are realistic. The crime element is sufficient to keep readers turning the pages with anticipation, but the best parts are Bergreen’s odd, awful and occasionally redeemable characters. Reviewed by Grady Jones One Last Thing Before I Go By Jonathan Tropper Dutton, $26.95, 324 pages Check this out! The Versailles is an apartment building exclusively suited for castoffs of divorce; men stripped of families and left derelict, riding on reduced pensions and boredom. A few nostalgically cling to the faint light of return, but most have unpacked their suitcases. Among these is Drew Silver who has been rejected by both mother and daughter and spends his days by the Versailles pool in poorly disguised indifference. However, as fate would have it, he stumbles upon a second chance to redeem himself — but in a most unexpected, least to say unconventional way. His Princeton-bound daughter is pregnant and is asking Silver for help. As second chances go, the universe has granted him one most twisted, but he’ll take it, even with the catch. Shortly after the news of his daughter he discovers that his heart is failing him, to the point that he could spontaneously drop dead any second. And while Silver does have the option of saving himself with a simple operation (performed by none other than his ex-wife’s fiancé) he declines and decides to take what may be a fatal opportunity to straighten up before time runs out. Jonathan Tropper is skillful in the sense that he truly understands people, and readers will empathize in upturned pebbles of time-acquired wisdom, unexpectedly iden- Fiction tical to those in their own backyards. One Last Thing Before I Go depicts first-world fatalism at its best, drawing each sad caricature with ingenuity and enduring hope. Reviewed by Alex Masri Lionel Asbo: State of England By Martin Amis Knopf, $25.95, 255 pages Check this out! In a 1990s inter v iew, Martin Amis admitted to finding Milton’s Paradise Lost compelling reading. Like Milton’s Lucifer, the thoroughly unlikable Lionel Asbo gets all the best lines. As in Paradise Lost, viscous dogs, howling and gnashing their teeth, play a pivotal role. Lionel Asbo distills some of the stylistic elements of Amis’ earlier books — the bizarre names and brilliant use of dialect to depict character and class, as well as the delicious plot developments — and reveals the seamy world of extortion and murder, vulgarity and besottedness. I might add illicit sex to the mix, however, no sex in this lower-class world of Diston Town is illicit. Raunchy, surely. Tormented, traumatizing and violent? Often. Lionel’s motivating force is not women or recognition, but vengeance, with his meek nephew Desmond Pepperdine playing an aspiring, Christ-like journalist, sympathetic to loose women (his grandmother), loyal and kind. The tensions here aren’t between race and class as they are in London Fields, for example; they are moral tensions between Lionel’s vulgar world and Desmond’s modest, simple one. I loved this glittering satire of white working-class Londoners; this tale of incest, alcohol and vengeance gone amok; but I’m not surprised to hear Amis has since moved himself and his family to New York. Reviewed by Zara Raab Inside By Alix Ohlin Knopf, $25, Check this out! The three central characters from Inside are all hiding from something. Grace, a therapist, immerses herself in her clients to hide from the pain of her failed marriage. One of her clients, teenager Annie, seems to be disappearing inside herself due to a dysfunctional family history. Mitch, Grace’s ex, also a therapist, exiles himself in Alaska to work with troubled Inuit clients, which keeps him from connecting emotionally to the women in his life. Because none of these characters is emotiona l ly healthy, all become involved with people who are clearly unavailable. Grace rescues a man from suicide, only to fall in love with him, even though she realizes he is emotionally dam- aged. Mitch is obsessed with a woman who has an autistic son and is clearly emotionally unavailable. Annie reinvents herself as an actress, using men and dropping them, and even engaging in a lesbian relationship. Luckily, at some point, each of the main characters evolves into a better person. Ohlin is an gifted writer. Her literary novel is emotionally gripping and psychologically intricate, filled with complex and multilayered characters. It’s a no-brainer that this book comes highly recommended. Reviewed by Leslie Wolfson Death in the Floating City: A Lady Emily Mystery By Tasha Alexander Minotaur Books, $24.99, 320 pages Check this out! Ahhh. Venice. Especially in the later Victorian era was a favorite getaway for upper-class British folks. When Emma Callum, a former schoolmate of Lady Emily, finds her father-inlaw murdered, and her husband (his son) missing, she begs for help from Emily and her husband Colin Hargreaves. The sometimes undercover spies promptly run off to Venice to investigate. Tasha Alexander describes the settings so well, I think one can almost become giddy from the languid movement of the gondolas as they make their calm way through the many canals of La Serenissima. With sheer persistence, Emily finds small clues to help Emma find the answers she seeks. There has been a feud between her husband’s family and another equally prominent (although wealthier) one for several centuries. A ring from that other family is found in the dead man’s pocket. But how did it get there? And where did the piece of parchment come from? An antiques dealer who specializes in books provides some answers, as does his daughter, Donata, who becomes somewhat Tulsa Book Review • December 2012 • 8 of a friend to Emily. There are unsolved mysteries around every corner, but you’ll not tire of the chase nor the solutions to the various puzzles throughout. The ending is a dazzler. Totally unexpected. Reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz The Spymaster’s Daughter By Jeane Westin NAL Trade, $16, 375 pages Although Lady Francis Sydney is married to one of England’s most famous love poets, theirs is merely a marriage of convenience. When her husband goes off to war, Francis is asked to be a lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth I. Her father, who is a spymaster to the queen, sends Francis to London, sending along Robert Pauley as her servant. There is an immediate attraction between them, but neither of them act on it ... at least not immediately. Francis is a plucky heroine: smart, witty, courageous, outspoken; not the proper temperament for a lady of the court. Francis is interested in becoming a spymaster like her father, and secretly begins decoding encrypted messages. Because of her unique talent, she becomes involved in a cloak-anddagger plot to save the queen. This historical novel is longer on fiction than on history. Unlike authors Phillipa Gregory or Allison Weir, who try to be accurate with historical context, author Westin has essentially written a romance novel set in Tudor England. However, it’s not an unpleasant diversion. Reviewed by Leslie Wolfson Dearie, cont’d from Cover precursor to her obsessive approach to the best possible outcomes in cooking and recipes. The author traveled with Julia Child through Sicily in 1992, and admits to being charmed by her. That fact and the 30 flattering photos make this book a valentine to America’s favorite chef. The only downside of this fascinating book is the later chapters about her decline – and even in decline her schedule was incredible. This book is essential for Child followers and good writing for all. Bon appétit! Reviewed by Julia McMichael Book Reviews Category Teen Scene SNAP IT for additional book summaries. YOUTH FICTION SERIES COMING SOON Search the library’s catalog at http://tulsalibrary.org to reserve your copies now. The 39 Clues – Cahills vs. Vespers: Trust No One (Book #5) Dodger By Terry Pratchett Harper YA, $17.99, 359 pages Check this out! Dodger lives in Victorian London. He is a tosher which is a person who scours the sewers for trinkets, jewelry, and small coins. Dodger is content to live with his friend Solomon the Jeweler, until one night in the middle of a storm he rescues a young woman from her tormentors. Dodger soon discovers that this is no ordinary young woman; rather she is the wife of an abusive prince, who is trying by any means necessary to kill her. Dodger is quickly embroiled in a quest to both protect his lady friend and bring the would-be killer to justice. This book was filled with action, highspeed pursuits, and daring hand-to-hand combat. I liked the subtle politics of the London underworld and the way that Dodger glided through them. Dodger was able to acquire status and renown quickly by dint of his charm and humor. The characters were believable, even though there were a lot of them. This was a really fun read that was both enjoyable and engaging. I will definitely recommend it to my friends. Reviewed by Peterson, age 14 Category Gathering Blue By Lois Lowry Houghton Mifflin, $17.99, 256 pages Check this out! Kira’s mother has just died, and the young girl with a deformed leg is not even sure if she’ll be allowed to stay alive in her community. The village does not take care of those who are weak and can’t take care of themselves. But she hopes that her skill with tapestry and willingness to work will give her a reason to stay. It does — even more than she expected. She ends up living in the village’s main building and being given everything she needs to contribute to an important tradition of the community. Unfortunately, as time goes on, Kira realizes that there are dangers lurking — but very different than those she’s always been told to avoid. There are secrets and even lies. In this companion book to The Giver, Lois Lowry creates another isolated community in which stories are carefully crafted to keep citizens in line, even though these particular stories are different than those in that volume. The people in this village live fairly primitive lives, but they are still somehow largely without joy. Lowry is immensely capable of crafting places and situations that make the reader think about life, humanity, and society. Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim Tween Reads SNAP IT for additional book summaries. Splendors and Glooms By Laura Amy Schlitz Candlewick Press, $17.99, 400 pages Check this out! Puppet master Grisini’s helpers Lizzie Rose and Parsifal are slaves to his bidding. Parsifal was plucked from the workhouse. Lizzie Rose’s actor parents died from diphtheria and an ac- tor referred her to Grisini. Clara Wintermute has her father hire the marionette show for her birthday party and then she goes missing the next day. When police show up at Grisini’s apartment with questions, since the three were the last to see Clara, Grisini flees. Lizzie Rose learns later from the landlady that other children have gone missing after a show. Meanwhile, Lizzie and Parsifal must now find a way to make a living or end up on the streets. See Splendors, Cont’d on page 10 Tulsa Book Review • December 2012 • 9 By Linda Sue Park When seven members of their family were kidnapped, 13-yearold Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, got ready for the fight of their lives. But their enemy, a terrifying group known as the Vespers, remained frustratingly elusive. They stay in the shadows, picking off Cahills one by one. And now the Vespers have landed their most serious blow yet – a blow that strikes at the very heart of the Cahill family – because Amy and Dan discover that there’s a Vesper mole in their innermost circle. Full Moon Kisses: A Full Moon Novel By Ellen Schreiber Beware of the full moon. A werewolf wants to take you into his world – forever! Celeste and Brandon know that Nash in werewolf form is bad news. But a new prediction from psychic Dr. Meadows has Celeste wondering: Which of them wants to turn her into a werewolf? The third installment in the sumptuous series about werewolves and the popular girl who loves one is full of danger, mystery and undeniably romantic full-moon kisses. Scandal (The Ivy, Volume 4) By Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur Callie thought she had finally worked things out and chosen the right boy, but Gregory suddenly disappears with no explanation, while she continues trying to prove herself innocent of authoring the anonymous Crimson blog and leaking sensitive information. Sybil the Backpack Fairy Graphic Novel # 3: Aithor By Michel Rodrigue Having a fairy friend can be fun, but it’s not easy. When Nina first met the fairy Sybil and her companion Pandigole, she had no idea the fate of the world would end up resting in her hands. After her defeat in Sybil the Backpack Fairy #2, the black fairy Amanite has teamed up with the King of Evil, Aithor, planning to destroy the “trees of life” that are found throughout the world of the fairies. If these trees are destroyed, not only will the fairy world fall, but the world of humans as well. In response, the king and queen of the fairies charge Sybil and Nina with the task of stopping Aithor and Amanite, as Nina gets closer to discovering the truth behind a mysterious prophecy that seems to foretell her future. Burner (Pretty Little Liars #12) By Sara Shepard Its spring break and the pretty little liars are trading in Rosewood for a cruise vacation. They want nothing more than to sail into the tropical sunset and leave their troubles behind for one blissful week. But where Emily, Aria, Spencer and Hanna go, A goes too. From scuba diving to tanning on the upper deck, A is there, soaking up all their new secrets. The liars better tighten their life jackets. A perfect storm is brewing, and if they aren’t careful, A will bury them at sea. Emma, Smile and Say “Cupcake!” (Cupcake Diaries #11) By Coco Simon Emma wants to be a model, but membership in the Cupcake Club might be all the fame she needs. The Special Day wedding salon is running an ad in the local newspaper, and they want Emma to model in the advertisement. When a local department store also wants to use Emma as a model, she’s suddenly very much in demand! But after running all over New York City for auditions (and being told over and over she “just isn’t right”) Emma realizes being a model is a lot tougher than she thought. Does Emma really want to be America’s next top model or is being a part of the Cupcake Club sweet enough? Book Reviews Category Pictures Books SNAP IT for additional book summaries. A Trip to the Bottom of the World With Mouse By Frank Viva Toon Books, $12.95, 30 pages Check this out! Written by an author and cartoonist whose first picture book was named one of the Ten Best Illustrated Books of 2011, this adorable comic book for little people fulfills high expectations. Based on Viva’s own journey to the Antarctic Peninsula on a Russian research vessel, the story chronicles the journey of Mouse and a boy, who is never named. Using fresh and original cartoon style to teach variety without bromidic airs (“I see a yellow-eyed penguin ... a fairy penguin ... a macaroni penguin”), and teaching patience for Mouse, who is eager to get there, eager to leave, and eager to go back, the boy patiently shows us around the bottom of the world. Darling pictures, accompanied by text that will be all too familiar for many parents (“Are we there yet? Can we go home now?”), and large print words make this a fun and easy read for little folk - and their little pets! Reviewed by Andrea Huehnerhoff Bedtime Is Canceled By Cece Meng, Aurelie Neyret (illustrator) Clarion Books, $16.99, 32 pages Check this out! Maggie has a great idea. She gets her brother to write a note that says, “Bedtime is cancelled” and gives it to their parents. They don’t believe it. Maggie puts it into the trash, but a bit of wind picks it up and blows it across town where it lands on the pile of finished work on a journalist’s desk. The newspaper prints it on the front page in big letters. Everyone who reads it believes it. Principal Nancy believes it and sends a notice home to parents. The TV news reports all this, and that pretty much makes it of- ficial. Kids spread the word pretty quickly by text and e-mail, and that night there is no bedtime. The next day, all the adults are tired – too tired to work or cook or wash dishes or get dressed right or do anything properly. Maggie and her brother decide it’s time to make up a new note which Maggie delivers personally to the newspaper reporter. Kids three and up will laugh out loud at this silly story by Cece Meng and the colorful, cartoonish illustrations by Aurelie Neyret that accompany it. This book is just plain fun! Reviewed by Rosi Hollinbeck Mossy By Jan Brett Putnam Juvenile, $17.99, 32 pages Check this out! Mossy has a lovely home at Lilypad Pond, and the pond’s cool, damp atmosphere leads moss to grow on Mossy’s carapace. Wildflowers soon take root as well, and eventually Mossy has a garden on her back. A turtle named Scoot finds Mossy remarkable in every way, but before the two can meet, Dr. Carolina spots Mossy and scoops her up, certain she’ll be a perfect addition to her museum. Along with her niece, Tory, Dr. Carolina creates a wonderful home in a viewing pavilion, with everything Mossy could want. Crowds flock to Mossy, and she is widely adored. What’s missing, however, is Scoot. When Tory realizes Mossy is unhappy, she convinces Dr. Carolina to replace the real Mossy with a portrait — and to return Mossy to Lilypad Pond at last. Like all of Jan Brett’s books, Mossy is a feast for the eyes. Every page is bordered with intricately detailed parades of flora and fauna — butterflies, mushrooms, wildflowers, seashells, beetles and many more specimens. Brett spends an hour on each square inch of her illustrations, and her painstaking brushwork and touching storytelling make this a truly spectacular tale. Reviewed by Margo Orlando Littell Too Tall Houses By Gianna Marino Viking Juvenile, $16.99, 40 pages Check this out! Rabbit and Owl live on top of a hill in small houses right next door to each other. They are good friends. Rabbit likes to grow vegetables in the bright sunlight. Owl loves to look at the beautiful forest. Rabbit is a very good gardener and soon his vegetables grow very, very tall – tall enough that they begin to block Owl’s view of the forest. Owl complains, but Rabbit says there’s nothing to do – he has to grow his food. Owl builds his house taller so he can see over the garden to the forest. Rabbit complains that Owl’s house blocks the sunlight from his garden. Rabbit builds his house taller and plants vegetables on the roof. Owl answers by building his house taller. And so it goes. The houses grow taller and taller while Rabbit and Owl grow angrier and angrier. Can this ever be solved? Will they ever be friends again? This charming picture book will delight little ones with a funny story and simply enchanting illustrations, both by Gianna Marino. Young children will learn important lessons of cooperation and friendship, but they will think they are just having a great story read to them. Reviewed by Rosi Hollinbeck Splendors, Cont’d from page 9 Far away at Strachan’s Ghyll, a witch named Cassandra has a different worry. A fire opal she once stole has given her all her powers, but it will consume her by fire unless she can find someone to steal it from her. She conjures Grisini, and he suggests Lizzie Rose and Parsifal. Like a puppet master, the author dances these characters together in a compelling and complex story that leads to a surprising conclusion. The characters are well-rounded and the setting of Victorian London comes alive. Reviewed by Elizabeth Vardan , CHILDREN S NONFICTION COMING SOON TO TULSA CITY-COUNTY LIBRARY Search the library’s catalog at http://tulsalibrary.org to reserve your copies now. Awesome Autumn by Bruce Goldstone Autumn is awesome! Leaves change color. Animals fly south or get ready to hibernate. People harvest crops and dress up as scary creatures for Halloween. And then there are pickup football games to play, Thanksgiving foods to eat, leaf piles to jump in. With colorful photographs, lively explanations and classic craft ideas, Bruce Goldstone has created a festive and fascinating exploration of autumn’s awesomeness. The Gymnastics Book: The Young Performer’s Guide to Gymnastics Tulsa Book Review • December 2012 • 10 by Elfi Schlegel This indispensable guide is simply the best book for beginners to the sport of artistic gymnastics. Illustrated with stunning full-color photographs of gymnasts balancing, tumbling and jumping, The Gymnastics Book features skilled guidance from a medal-winning, record-breaking gymnast who is now a noted instructor. Unusual Creatures: A Mostly Accurate Account of Some of the Earth’s Strangest Animals by Michael Hearst With humor and flair, Michael Hearst introduces the reader to a wealth of extraordinary lifeforms. Which animal can be found at the top of Mount Everest, 10,000 feet under the sea and in your backyard? Which animal poops cubes? Which animal can disguise itself as a giant crab? These fascinating facts and hundreds more await curious minds, amateur zoologists and anyone who has ever laughed at a funny-looking animal. Book Reviews Category Kids’ Books SNAP IT for additional book summaries. Bully By Patricia Polacco Putnam Juvenile, $17.99, 48 pages Check this out! Lyla is the new kid at school, and she’s nervous. Luckily, there’s another new kid, and he introduces himself. Lyla and Jamie become instant friends. Jamie suggests to Lyla to get a cell phone and computer to be more connected. When Lyla decides to try out for cheerleading, Jamie warns her about Gage, Kenyon, and Maeve – a clique of popular girls. Lyla makes the cheer squad, and she talks her parents into getting cell phones and a computer for her and her brother. Lyla is finally invited to sit at the celebrity table with the girls. She is in and suddenly Jamie is out. Lyla find out the girls are bullying people on Facebook, including her good friend Jamie. It’s fun to be popular and accepted, but maybe true friendship is more important and fun. Can Lyla do the right thing? And if she does, what will the consequences be for that? Patricia Polacco has written an important book that will resonate with kids everywhere. This is a story in which kids can see themselves whether they are bullied or bullies, and this book will do a lot of good. Her illustrations are just as good as her writing. Reviewed by Rosi Hollinbeck Fox and Crow Are Not Friends (Step Into Reading) By Melissa Wiley and Sebastien Braun (illustrator) Random House Books for Young Readers, $3.99, 48 pages Check this out! Suggested for children in grades one through three who are ready to read on their own, this Step 3 book about Fox and Crow is an excellent book to hold their interest. What is particularly good about the Step books is that the grade level is only a general guideline. When a child has mastered the Step 2 books, one is ready for Step 3. Mastering these books systematically will increase a child’s confidence and love of reading, making them an excellent educational tool. Fox and Crow do not like each other, and through they fight over cheese, children will want to read on to find out the resolution of the fights. The illustrations by Sebastien Braun wonderfully enhance the text, adding the extra allure to maintain children’s interest, while not telling the whole story, further encouraging the children to read to find out all that is going on. It is a cute story that is easy for children to follow and remain engaged. The easy to understand plot holds their interest and encourages them to expand their reading with minimal effort, making reading fun. Reviewed by Angie Mangino Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books By Karen Leggett Abouraya, Susan L. Roth (illustrator) Dial, $16.99, 32 pages Check this out! Not long ago, many Egyptian people were angry and sad because they didn’t have the freedom to speak, they weren’t able to vote as they wanted to, or gather in groups. Instead, they learned about freedom inside the safe walls of the Alexandria Library. The young people in Egypt began protest movements in Cairo and in Alexandria. The author joined the protests and marched with the others. She was both hopeful and afraid. In some parts of the city, some protesters set fires in anger. When they reached the Alexandria Library, many were afraid some protesters might cause harm to others or to the library. The library director stood before the library and reminded everyone that there were no gates and the doors were made of glass. He reminded them that the only protection for the treasures inside was the will of the people. Some of the protesters joined hands around the library, working together to protect it. It is difficult to write about such troublesome events, especially for very young children, but Susan L. Roth and Karen Leggett Abouraya do a fine job with this non-fiction story and wonderful back matter. The collages by Roth that illustrate the book are enchanting. Reviewed by Rosi Hollinbeck Rabbit & Robot By Cece Bell Candlewick Press, $14.99, 56 pages Check this out! Rabbit has invited Robot to come over for a sleepover. Rabbit has a list of things they will do. When Robot arrives, Rabbit tells Robot what they will do. When Rabbit tells Robot one of the things they will do is play Go Fish, Robot says he’d rather play Old Maid. Rabbit reminds him that Old Maid isn’t on the list. Robot says he’s crazy about Crazy Eights, but that isn’t on the list either. First, though, they are going to have pizza. Rabbit gets out two cheese pizzas and puts out carrots, lettuce and snow peas to put on the pizzas, but Robot would rather have nuts, bolts and screws on his pizza. He takes the table and chairs apart to get what he wants. Rabbit is very upset, yelling and running around the house throwing things. Finally Robot calms Rabbit down and solves the problem. In fact, when these two work together, they manage to solve all their problems and differences. Cece Bell, author and illustrator of the popular (and wacky) Sock Monkey series, has herself a new franchise that will be just as popular with youngsters. These characters are charming, fun and, well, wacky. Kids will love this. Reviewed by Rosi Hollinbeck The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans By Barbara Elizabeth Walsh and Layne Johnson (illustrator) Calkins Creek, $16.95, 40 pages Check this out! Moina Belle Michael, a school teacher from Georgia, was deeply saddened by the need for the United States to go to war in 1917. The young men who would be called to serve were her students or brothers and sweethearts of her students. She needed to do something. She rolled bandages for the Red Cross. She delivered candy, books, and magazines to nearby camps and invited soldiers to her home for dinner. She wanted to do more. She volunteered to work in canteens overseas, but was told she was too old. In the dreary basement hall where servicemen came during free time, Moina looked for a way to brighten things up. On her small salary she brought fresh flowers for the room. Moina found a poem called “We See Rabbit, Cont’d on page 13 Hey kids and parents! Have you Liked our Facebook page yet? ly i a d our y t e e! G r e h e ut c f o dose Tulsa Book Review • December 2012 • 11 Book Reviews Category Popular Fiction SNAP IT for additional book summaries. BESTSELLERS COMING SOON TO TULSA CITY-COUNTY LIBRARY Search the library’s catalog at http://tulsalibrary.org to reserve your copies now. Death of Yesterday By M.C. Beaton When a local woman tells Sergeant Hamish Macbeth that she doesn’t remember what happened the previous evening, he doesn’t begin to worry. She had been out drinking, after all, and he’d prefer not to be bothered with such an arrogant and annoying woman. But when her body is discovered, Hamish is forced to investigate a crime that the only known witness – now dead – had forgotten. Secrets From the Past Ride, Boldly Ride: The Evolution of the American Western By Mary Lea Bandy, Kevin Stoehr and Clint Eastwood (foreword) University of California Press, $39.95, 309 pages Check this out! Ride, Boldly Ride takes its title from the smoothly comic 1966 Howard Hawks film El Dorado, a movie about middle-aged, drunken westerners starring Robert Mitchum and John Wayne, who often quotes a line originally from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “Eldorado.” First-rate film books like this one are like good cookbooks; they tell you what to shop for (in this case on Netflix) and help you savor it. I had fun watching the films and reading Bandy’s and Stoehr’s discussions, even if their tone in writing about Clint Eastwood was a bit too worshipful for my taste. (Eastwood wrote the foreword to this book, and features in the chapter on High Plain Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and Unforgiven.) The book begins with silent Westerns and their views on Native Americans, covers the early comic Westerns like Ruggles of Red Gap, and moves on through the great films of Howard Hawks and John Ford to the revisionist Westerns of the 1960s. The authors analyze not only cinematography, acting performances, and plot lines, but also provide the larger story or history behind the films. Generous displays of still photographs accompany each chapter, as well as detailed chapter notes and bibliography, but alas, no handy index. Reviewed by Zara Raab The Painted Word: A Treasure Chest of Remarkable Words and Their Origins By Phil Cousineau, Gregg Chadwick (illustrator) Viva Editions, $16.95, 404 pages Check this out! Fungible. Onomatopoeia. Sabotage. Chocolate. Hydrodaktulopsychicharmonica. You could spend your whole life studying the wild variety and incalculable complexity of the English language, and there would still be words both new and old to surprise and beguile you in the next life. The Painted Word, Phil Cousineau’s followup to the equally engaging Wordcatcher, collects words from all corners of the Englishspeaking world, from the run-of-the-mill to the most obscure and esoteric. Within the pages of The Painted Word, you’ll meander from how the formal “ball” relates to the kind you throw, to the far-from-average story of how “average” took shape, and everywhere in between. But this isn’t simply a collection of evocative and uncommon words; it’s a testament to the vibrant, ever-evolving nature of language. The shift of usage, definition, and popularity for hundreds of words over the centuries provides fascinating insight into the culture of a given time period, especially what was interesting, important, and frivolous at the time. It’s a time capsule and tribute all at once, hoping to fuel a fellow verbivore’s linguistic delights or to spark a love of the language’s highways, byways, and dirt roads. On all accounts, The Painted Word is a joyous success. Reviewed by Glenn Dallas Tulsa Book Review • December 2012 • 12 By Barbara Taylor Bradford At 30, American photojournalist Serena Stone has already made a name for herself with her unique and dramatic coverage of wars in the Middle East, following in her famous father’s footsteps. But after his unexpected death in France, she has left her job at the renowned photo news agency that he founded. Weary of years of dodging bullets and exploding landmines, Serena leaves the front lines behind and returns to New York where she starts work on a biography of her celebrated father. When Serena discovers that her former lover Zachary North is in trouble overseas, she’s forced to leave the safety of her new life and head back to a place she was trying to escape – and her life will never be the same again. She brings Zac back to health, first in the agency’s bolt hole in Venice, and later at her family home in France. It is there that she discovers a shocking secret in the huge photographic archive of her late father’s work. It is a secret that will propel her back to war-torn Libya, risking her life looking for clues that she hopes will piece together the mystery surrounding her parents’ marriage and the part of their life together she never knew about. You and I, Me and You By MaryJanice Davidson Candice (and her sisters) has moved in with Patrick and everything is more than she could have ever dreamed. Except why does the dreamy Dr. Gallo keep popping up unexpectedly in her fantasies? When her pleasantly steady love life suddenly starts looking pretty darn shaky, Candice and her sisters find themselves knee-deep in a new case that brings the escaped Threefer Killers back onto the scene. Deeply Odd By Dean Koontz In a sinister encounter with a rogue truck driver, Odd has a disturbing vision of a shocking multiple homicide that has not yet been committed. Across California, into Nevada and back again, Odd embarks on a riveting road chase to prevent the tragedy. Along the way, he meets – and charms – a collection of eccentrics who become his allies in a terrifying battle against a sociopath of singular boldness and cleverness – and a shadowy network of mysterious, likeminded murderers whose chilling resources seem almost supernatural. The Guardian By Beverly Lewis When schoolteacher Jodi Winfield goes for a morning run, the last thing she expects is to find a disheveled little girl all alone on the side of the Pennsylvania road, clad only in her undergarments, her chubby cheeks streaked with tears. Jodi takes the preschooler home with her, intending to find out where she belongs. But Jodi is mystified when no one seems to know of a missing child, and the girl herself is no help, since she can’t speak a word of English. It’s as if the child appeared out of nowhere. As the days pass, Jodi becomes increasingly attached to the mysterious girl, yet she is no closer to learning her identity. Then an unexpected opportunity brings Jodi to Hickory Hollow – and into the cloistered world of the Lancaster Old Order Amish. Might the answers lie there? Book Reviews Category get tested is over. Cassels is heralding a new age rife with skeptical patients and statistically informed doctors. Reviewed by Samantha Herman Fantasy SNAP IT for additional book summaries. The Grass King’s Concubine By Kari Sperring DAW, $7.99, 481 pages Check this out! As a girl, Aude, who lives with her wealthy uncle in Silver City, had a vision of what she calls her Shining Place, a place she still hopes to find someday. But after a trip to nearby Brass City, where everyone is as poor as the residents of Silver City are rich, Aude finds herself wondering where her family’s wealth came from. She finds herself in the company of Jehan, a soldier in Brass City, and together they run away in search of truth. But Aude is kidnapped away to WorldBelow, a land spoken of by the legendary Marcellan and thought to be nothing more than myth. The Cadre of WorldBelow believe Aude is the key to restoring their ravaged land. Jehan follows in the company of exiled shapeshifting twins, once beloved by the Grass King of WorldBelow. There is a mystery here; Aude and Jehan are determined to find answers. It’s been awhile since I’ve picked up a fantasy novel that I wanted to dive into and not surface until I had read the last page. The Grass King’s Concubine was just such a novel; Sperring’s world is so fascinating, her characters so easy to relate to, her plot so unique that it’s hard to put this novel down. Her writing makes both WorldAbove and WorldBelow come alive. The industrial setting of the Brass City is sure to appeal to today’s lovers of steampunk and dystopian fiction, while the contrasts between the rich and poor will resonate to anyone affected by today’s economy. Read this book!! Reviewed by Holly Scudero The Mindful Way Through Pregnancy: Meditation, Yoga and Journaling for Expectant Mothers By Susan Piver (editor) Shambhala, $16.95, 119 pages Check this out! There’s something about being pregnant, about growing another life inside your own body, that inspires many women to really get in touch with themselves. We eat healthier, give up bad habits, try to maintain a gentle fitness regimen. As we struggle to bond with the being growing within, we often find that we are really struggling to understand ourselves, to really understand and nurture the connection between our mind and our body. In The Mindful Way Through Pregnancy, Susan Piver has compiled a small series of short essays addressing various pregnancy topics, such as building a bond with your baby or how to prepare for the act of childbirth itself. There are thoughts on keeping a journal, basic instructions for simple yoga practice and thoughts for meditation. This little book, an ideal baby shower gift, also comes with a CD featuring several guided meditations, perfect for the mama-to-be. The essays are thoughtful and well-written; they are meant to be savored, and the messages they impart will linger long after you’ve finished this book. A great read for any pregnant woman. Reviewed by Holly Scudero Rabbit, Cont’d from page 11 Shall Not Sleep” that spoke of poppies growing over the graves of fallen servicemen. That gave her the idea to wear a poppy to remember the soldiers, and she made it her goal to see every American wearing poppies in remembrance of our brave servicemen. Barbara Elizabeth Walsh wrote an enchanting telling of Moina Belle Michael’s story, but Layne Johnson’s glorious paintings that illustrate the story will leave readers breathless. Reviewed by Rosi Hollinbeck Category Mind & Body Fitness SNAP IT for additional book summaries. Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease By Alan Cassels Greystone, $16.95, 177 pages Check this out! Author Alan Cassels has guts. In his book Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease, he challenges everyone from the bigwigs at major pharmaceutical companies to the optometrist with a small practice down the street. From the wealth of statistics he provides, Cassels successfully explains how testing for medical problems like high cholesterol, colon cancer, and even glaucoma in patients with no symptoms can be absolutely futile. It can even be harmful, leading people who are healthy to begin taking preventative medications that have horrible side effects. Do not expect to get lost in paragraphs filled with medical jargon or pages detailing complicated studies. This book is a fast, compelling read with a clear call to action. Cassels implores every patient to take control of medical appointments and refuse to be coerced into unnecessary screenings. The era of blindly following a doctor’s order to GE NE A LO G Y CE N TER 2901 S. Harvard • 918.549.7691 • TulsaLibrary.org/genealogy Visit Tulsa City-County Library’s Genealogy Center and discover the vast collection of resources and services that are available to family genealogists. The Genealogy Center has one of the largest genealogy collections in Oklahoma, including print and electronic resources on military, immigration, and family records and histories. Visit the center online or in person, and start your family tree today! Tulsa Book Review • December 2012 • 13 Book Reviews Category Cookbooks SNAP IT for additional book summaries. Japanese Farm Food By Nancy Singleton Hachisu and Kenji Miura (photographer) Andrews McMeel Publishing, $35, 386 pages Check this out! While it’s essentially a cookbook, Japanese Farm Food also narrates the history of one woman’s long romance with a country, the man she married and the cuisine that brought them together. As a California-born girl transplanted to rural Japan, Hachisu’s culinary and farming experiences are unique, and she shares them with insight and humor. As a former outsider, she understands exactly what her readers might find unusual about Japanese farm cooking — whether its ingredients or method — and her explanations are indispensable. There’s a handy section on international suppliers, but as a proponent of organic and homegrown fare, Hachisu makes recommendations regarding substitutes when it’s possible. As a cook who tries to get away without measuring when I can, I love that most of the recipes have their ingredient ratios included, too. I wish all cookbook authors could be so thoughtful. The volume itself is beautifully designed, with Kenji Miura’s evocative photographs and the simulated cloth binding that complements the book’s interiors. It’s a detail that only a dual fan of book design and Japanese textile can fully appreciate. Japanese Farm Food is simply a tour-de-force that deserves to be devoured from cover to cover. Reviewed by Rachel Anne Calabia The America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook: A Faster, Smarter Way to Cook Everything from America’s Most Trusted Test Kitchen By America’s Test Kitchen America’s Test Kitchen, $34.95, 464 pages Although it can be a delight to spend an afternoon laboring on a magnificent feast for family, every other day of the week we need something that we can prepare in a realistic time-frame, with realistic ingredients and realistic cooking skills. The ideal quick-cooking book would include ingredi- ent prep time in the recipe, offer dishes that were tasty and delightful, have a broad range of recipes to choose from, use ingredients that are easily accessible to the average cook, and (as a matter of personal preference) be loaded with glossy color photographs on every page. Thank you, America’s Test Kitchen, for giving us that book! This book redefines the quickcooking category for home kitchens. With every recipe clocking in at under forty-five minutes, and specially marked ones sliding in at under twenty-five minutes - and almost a thousand recipes to choose from every home cook can find something to satisfy for a well-rounded family meal without camping out in the kitchen all day. Specially marked sections highlight feature ingredients, with five blazing fast ways to prepare the feature ingredient into a unique and satisfying dish. Covering everything from appetizers to desserts, with salads, soups, pressure-cooker recipes, and meat dishes in between, the only thing this book is missing to make dinner perfect is you. Reviewed by Andrea Huehnerhoff The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook By Editors of Cook’s Country America’s Test Kitchen, $26.95, 390 pages Check this out! Cook’s Country is the one show that you can’t wait to end - so you can race to the kitchen to duplicate the recipes showcased on set!This beautifully appointed book brings every recipe, tip, and trick to your shelf - along with a full-color, full-page photo of each dish, and a reference index in the back listing which episode each recipe is featured on. A detailed equipment guide is also included, with the famous Cook’s Illustrated recommendations that are considered gospel by so many home cooks today. The eleven chapter topics include Steakhouse Specials, Tulsa Book Review • December 2012 • 14 Tex-Mex Favorites, Our Sunday Best, RiseAnd-Shine Breakfasts, and Breads ... and all of three chapters of cakes, cookies, fruit desserts, and pies! Memphis Chopped Coleslaw, Grilled Butterflied Lemon Chicken, Betterthan-the-box Pancake Mix, Baked Apple Dumplings, and Shaker Lemon Pie are just a few of the traditional, heartland recipes you’ll find in this book. Crispy Potato Tots, Seven-Layer Dip, and Raspberry Chiffon Pie are just the beginning of the new, old favorites that will make this book one of the most speckled, spattered and tattered favorites in your collection! Reviewed by Andrea Huehnerhoff Tiny Food Party!: Bite-Size Recipes for Miniature Meals By Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park Quirk, $18.95, 160 pages Check this out! If you love giving parties, Tiny Food Party!, a trade paperback, is going to be a good addition to your cookbook collection. The concept is not original – high-end caterers are serving gorgeous bite-size hors d’oeuvres, sweets, even full meals, where eating utensils are superfluous. In this book, Fischer and Park present a wide array of the same: tiny, bite-size foods for any party occasion. They divided the book into four sections: snack party, dinner party, dessert party and cocktail party. Though they claim these are “fun to make” recipes, when you are stuffing forty-eight tiny quail egg halves, or mounds of potato salad into little wonton square cups, the fun quickly ends after the first half a dozen. These recipes are for cooks with much patience who don’t mind the puttery prep work for hours, like preparing clam-size empanadas by the dozens. There are a few easy recipes (little-bitty savory scones), but most will take serious kitchen time. Yet the results will impress the most jaded guests. The layout is excellent with easy-to-follow recipes conveniently placed on single pages, the photo illustrations are beautiful, and the index is very good and well cross-referenced. Many “A Little Menu” suggestions and tips in the sidebars are useful. Reviewed by George Erdosh Mango is an online language-learning system that can help you learn languages like: Spanish French Japanese Brazilian Portuguese German Mandarin Chinese English as a Second Language Greek Italian Russian Hebrew Thai Vietnamese Choose from nearly 40 languages and learn by listening to native speakers and engaging in the interactive lessons offered through this user-friendly language instruction tool. Visit TulsaLibrary.org/language and use your Tulsa City-County Library card to access Mango Languages. Book Reviews Category Category Business Nature & Science SNAP IT for additional book summaries. Everything Is Obvious: How Common Sense Fails Us By Duncan J. Watts Crown Business, $16, 368 pages That the obvious choice is usually a quick regret is a proverb that Duncan Watts might agree with, and while it is habitually repeated that a commonsense approach is usually more effective than abstract theorizing, the author will certainly challenge such a notion. Trained as a physicist, with time spent in the Australian military, and now working as a sociologist, Duncan Watts examines behavior on the individual as well as the global level. While common sense depends on our experience, it cannot delve into all the details determining various behaviors. SNAP IT for additional book summaries. Unfortunately we look to ourselves when interpreting group behaviors excluding the other myriad factors that influence opinions. Why is the Mona Lisa so famous or the Harry Potter stories such a huge success, such reasoning is dissected and examined. In discussing fairness and justice, both the Halo Effect and the Matthew Effect tend to influence the public’s view of worth. Business success, which may be due to chance or what is labelled “luck” frequently, rewards the CEOs and other leaders beyond their actual worth or talent. Even contemporary Malcolm Gladwell is charged with circular reasoning in his book on the Tipping Point. Without data, clear thinking and a good bit of hindsight, everything is not obvious and the reader should question his intuition. This is a thought-provoking book that expands social science from the localized self out to the business community, government areas and global environs. Reviewed by Aron Row Computing for Ordinary Mortals By Robert St. Amant Oxford University Press, USA, $29.95, 256 pages Check this out! Computing for Ordinary Mortals is a computer book for people who don’t read computer books. It gives a straight-for ward, basic look at how computers work, and is written for readers with no background in technology. St. Amant explains the how behind computing, building up from how a machine actually runs on binary (and what binary is), to how programming languages and operating systems turn that simple foundation into an interactive environment. He goes on to show what the internet is and how it functions, how artificial intelligence works, and ends it with a discussion of the very nature of computing; what it might eventually help us do, and what it can never do. The author does so without requiring any previous special knowledge. St. Amant uses many analogies to explain difficult concepts, but is quick to point out where these analogies break down, so as not to lose accuracy and truthfulness. It can be dense, and can require a little time in each chapter to really get one’s head around some of the concepts, but the author really strikes the perfect balance between accuracy and understandability. Reviewed by Evelyn McDonald Build a Scholar! With Tulsa City-County Library’s FREE Online Homework Assistance Featuring Live Tutors (2-11 p.m., daily CST) Get EXPERT one-to-one subject-specific help for students in grades K-12 … plus college! Spanish-speaking tutors available too! Visit TulsaLibrary.org/homeworkhelp and use your Tulsa City-County Library card to access Homework Help Now! This free service is sponsored by the Tulsa Library Trust and TulsaKids magazine. Tulsa Book Review • December 2012 • 15 Deadline: Jan. 31 Cash prizes are awarded. Entry forms are available at all Tulsa City-County Library locations or online at TulsaLibrary.org/friends. Sponsored by the Friends of the Tulsa City-County Libraries.
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