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December 2010 Staff Book Reviews

If you are in search of a book to read this December, you are in luck. The staff have read and reviewed some books to share with you. Pick one of these highly recommended books to fill the time between your holiday preparations. You may find it hard to set the book down, though.

book jacket for The Legend of the Golden SnailThe Legend of the Golden Snail by Graeme Base
Staff Reveiwer: Cindy S., Center for Reader’s Services
five stars

“Snailing Ship, rise and shine,
Hoist your sails and trim them fine”

So starts The Legend of the Golden Snail.  Graeme Base has created a wonderfully swashbuckling story of adventure for all ages. Wilbur’s mother reads him The Legend of the Golden Snail and he decides that he will sail to the ends of the earth to find the magical creature and become its new master. Along the way he comes across fabulous and ferocious creatures that through courage and compassion become his friends and allies. Base is well known for his entertaining, original storytelling and his illustrations that are individual works of fine art. In addition to the engaging story and enthralling illustrations, there is a hidden picture in every picture. Find them all and go to the web site for a special treat. I have read this book to my 3 year old granddaughter 5 times – every time was a delight. Graeme Base is one of my all time favorite authors and I can’t recommend this, and all his books, highly enough.


book jacket for Does This clutter Make My Butt Look fat?“Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?” by Peter Walsh
Staff Reveiwer: Alicia S., Moore Public Library
five stars

Walsh examines the corresponding effects clutter has on weight issues. Featured on Oprah and on TLC’s Clean Sweep, Walsh offers straight forward advice for eliminating clutter in our houses and our . . . uh, butts.

“The math of weight is the same as that of clutter: You can only have as many books as you have room on your shelves or only the number of shirts that can hang comfortably in your closet; if you eat more calories than your body needs, they will be stroed as fat. Of all the possessions in your home, your body should be most treasured. Treating your body with honor and respect means you are treating yourself with honor and respect.” -page 48

Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?”is a great read for dieters and clutter bugs!

book jacket for The Skin MapThe Skin Map (Bright Empires) by Stephen Lawhead
Staff Reveiwer: Cindy S., Center for Reader’s Services
four stars

Interdimensional (and time) travel, some really bad men, a couple of modern day Londoners inadvertently swept into a quest for “The Skin Map” – a series of cryptic symbols originally tattooed onto the torso of a man.  These symbols are the “map” of all the doorways to different places and times using Ley Lines, alleged alignment of a number of places of geographical interest, such as ancient monuments and megaliths that are thought to have significant power. Along with the information of how to navigate these Leys, the map also is supposed to pinpoint the greatest secret of the universe, the Well of All Souls.

This is the first in a series. When I started reading I was a little hesitant, but the story is told as a series of vignettes of people all involved in the plot. Science fiction, fantasy, adventure, suspense – this book is hard to pigeonhole. I was surprised by the ending and am anxious for the next installment.

book jacket for Murphy's LawMurphy's Law by Rhys Bowen
Staff Reviewer: Shaye W., Pioneer Library System Administration
four stars

A coworker enjoyed one of the later books in the series and recommended it to me.  I began with the first book, Murphy's Law, and enjoyed it immensely.  Molly Murphy is an Irish immigrant in 1900 who has REALLY bad luck or at least a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The story begins with her fleeing a murder accusation in Ireland, but then a fellow immigrant on the same boat turns up dead at Ellis Island and Molly is a prime suspect.  The rest of the novel is Molly's attempt to make a new life in New York City and clear her name.  I enjoyed Bowen's blending of historical events with the fictional mystery.  New York City is made a central character in the story as it is a harsh place for immigrants new to a big city still growing. Molly is a lovable character who I was cheering for the entire time.  She finds herself in bad situations, but her head-strong personality saves her each time (the handsome chief of police does his part as well) .  This was a quick fun read and I plan on reading the following books in the Molly Murphy Mystery series.

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