Magnolia, by Kristi Cook (book review) – small-town matchmaking, big-time tornado

book cover of Magnolia by Kristi Cook published by Simon PulseShe hates him for an eighth grade prank,
He’s mad at her for taking aim at his senior class rank.
Their families have been planning their wedding since pre-kindergarten… sigh.

Neither Ryder nor Jemma want to give in to the expectations of their closer-than-family families.

But when a hurricane heads toward their tiny town (The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore lands in Gulfport, so the Mississippi coast is doomed), Ryder follows family orders to take care of Jemma, and things get crazy.

Read an excerpt from the first chapter here at the publisher’s website, then whirl away to get your own copy of Magnolia to see how stormy the relationship between Ryder and Jemma truly gets!

What crisis would you choose to live through with your not-so-best pal?
**kmm

Book info: Magnolia / Kristi Cook. Simon Pulse, 2014 (hardcover & paperback).  [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Matched by their families since birth, Jemma and Ryder can’t stand each other, until a tornado rips through their Mississippi town and the teens find out how thin the line between hate and love truly is.

Ever since Corporal Cafferty saved Captain Marsden during a Civil War battle, the two families have been inseparable. When Jemma C and Ryder M were born six weeks apart, their mothers started planning the wedding. Of course, no one counted on the pair having a huge fight in junior high.

Now it’s their senior year – Ryder’s being recruited for his football skills, Jemma wants to go away to film school, and they’re still feuding. When her older sister’s brain tumor surgery takes Jemma’s parents to Houston, she stays home her short film for NYU.

As a hurricane-spawned tornado heads for Magnolia Branch, Ryder and Jemma are on their own to survive and to discover the true depth of their feelings for one another.

Football rivalry, family plans in conflict, girls in pearls – echoes of Romeo and Juliet in this story set amid moss-draped Magnolia trees. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)Mississippi

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Little Women at home and their papa away at war – read with your ears!

Back in time to the Civil War we go, to the New England home of Meg and Jo and Beth and Amy and Marmee, to the war front with their beloved chaplain father – all through the magic of audiobooks.

Click on either or both title links below to download these free complete audiobooks from Thursday through Wednesday (30 July 2015). You then have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device

Only a few weeks left of this great summertime audiobook program. Catch up with information on where to buy the ones you missed here: http://www.audiobooksync.com/ and check out your local library‘s audiobook collection, too!

CD cover of March  by Geraldine Brooks | Read by Richard Easton Published by Penguin AudioMarch
by Geraldine Brooks
Read by Richard Easton
Published by Penguin Audio

As a chaplain during the Civil War, March misses his family, considers God’s love in the midst of battle, and struggles to recover from terrible illness and philosophical doubts.

 

 

Little WomenCD cover of Little Women  by Louisa May Alcott | Read by Kate Reading Published by Listening Library
by Louisa May Alcott
Read by Kate Reading
Published by Listening Library

While their father is away during the Civil War, the young women of the March family must try to get by and get along in this classic tale.

What other books that extend the stories of well-known characters would you recommend?
**kmm

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MPH, by Mark Millar (book review) – street drug faster than speed

book cover of MPH by Mark Millar, art by Duncan Fegredo, published by Image ComicsTrapped in Detroit slum,
finding a magic pharmaceutical way out,
with a ticking clock to fuel their Robin Hood ways.

One bottle of MPH lets Roscoe, Rosa, Chevy, and Baseball run and rob faster than the human eye can see. Those 31 little pills help them ransack the banks that made millions by sending jobs overseas, give money to the downtrodden, and get the whole FBI on their trail.

Positive visualizations, a taste for the finer things of life, and a sense of duty to do some good for others while the MPH lasts – not your everyday thievery with these young folks who know their fast-running time is limited and that adding anything to this amazing drug could end it faster.

Phenomenal artwork, use of color, and panel placements (there’s this one I’m remembering – epic!) make MPH a must-read graphic novel; check out the alternate covers, too.

If you could slip between raindrops without getting wet, where would you go?

**kmm

Book info: MPH / Mark Millar; art by Duncan Fegredo. Image Comics, 2015.  [author site]   [illustrator site]   [publisher site]   Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher, via NetGalley.

My book talk: A mysterious drug gives super-speed powers to four friends who leave behind the drugs and guns of their Detroit neighborhood to rob big banks, give money to the needy, and grab the good stuff before that tiny bottle of MPH is gone – but where did it come from?

Learning that his boss set him up for a drug bust to get his girlfriend, Roscoe is finally desperate enough to take a pill from the prison pusher, a pill that freezes time so that the young man can escape and run miles before the next second ticks.

The young man easily convinces Rosa, her brother Baseball, and longtime pal Chevy that MPH will let them take what they want, share with those who need it, and still be richer than Roscoe’s vision board ever promised – as long as they can do it before those 31 pills are gone.

Robin Hoods on a nationwide robbery spree, the four are chased by the FBI who have an unlikely ally in a man who’s spent 30 years in solitary confinement.

No warning labels on this bottle, so adding drugs, alcohol, or jealousy could be deadly….  Graphic novel greatness.

 

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Young men a-traveling – adventure tales to read with your ears!

Are you ready for adventure? This week’s free audiobooks from SYNC take you to the wild frontier and down the mighty Mississippi when you read with your ears!

Remember that although these complete audiobooks are only available from Thursday through Wednesday, you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device, so save them now.

Click a title, download the audiobook, listen and wander and watch out for danger!

CD Cover of Crows & Cards  by Joseph Helgerson | Read by MacLeod Andrews Published by Brilliance AudioCrows & Cards
by Joseph Helgerson
Read by MacLeod Andrews
Published by Brilliance Audio

In 1849, young Zeb would rather wander than work, so the tanner’s apprentice (allergic to fur and good advice) heads off, meeting a slippery riverboat gambler, a blind Indian medicine man who sees plenty, and a so-so cook who becomes a strong friend.

The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnCD cover of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn  by Mark Twain | Read by Robin Field Published by Mission Audio
by Mark Twain
Read by Robin Field
Published by Mission Audio

Floating down the Mississippi River on a raft with escaping slave Jim, Huck himself escapes being adopted by a well-meaning widow as the friends keep watch for dangerous characters and slave-catchers in the Mark Twain classic (as written, so not ‘politically correct’ in language).

Would you like to go a-traveling with no roadmaps or GPS like Zeb and Huck?
**kmm

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Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter (book review) – adultery, shaming & revenge!

book cover of Manga Classics  The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, adapted by Crystal S. Chan, script by Stacy King, art by SunNeko Lee. Published by Udon/ MorpheusA husband missing at sea ,
a forbidden relationship,
one parent punished, the other unknown…

As an error in judgment leads to years of being outcast, Hester must wear the scarlet A for adultery, yet refuses to unmask the father of her child.

Ask at your local library or independent bookstore for this clear retelling of the Hawthorne classic, whether you’re returning to a favorite tale or reading it for the first time.  And if The Scarlet Letter is a school assignment, read the complete original text here for free – getting the story and characters firmly in mind with this manga will make things much easier!

Yes, this book is in true manga format, like Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice,  so start at the back (helpful refresher on format-reading there) and dive into this Puritan-era conflict between passion and society’s expectations.

How long can revenge brew without burning the soul?
**kmm

Book info: Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter /  Nathaniel Hawthorne; adapted by Crystal S. Chan, English script by Stacy King; art by SunNeko Lee. Udon Entertainment/Morpheus, 2015.  [publisher site]  [series Facebook page] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: The red A for adultery blazes upon Hester Prynne’s dark clothes, but another has a burning coal in his chest as the unwed mother bears her shame in the Puritan village alone… for now.

Hester wasn’t in love with the older scholar she married at her parents’ insistence, but after his disappearance at sea, she found happiness with another man. Pregnant and judged as a sinner, she is scorned and shunned, especially when she won’t say who Pearl’s father is.

A learned man arrives in the New England village and begins keeping company with their inspiring young pastor. As Rev. Dimmesdale becomes ill, mysterious Dr. Chillingsworth seeks secrets.

Praised for her needlework through the years, Hester is still shunned.
Growing into a lovely and rambunctious child, Pearl is thought to be evil.
Is there any escape for the repentant?

With SunNeko’s art to enhance the carefully adapted text, this true manga (read from back to front) brings new life to Hawthorne’s classic tale of love, passion, and revenge.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

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Travel in the elegant age as you read with your ears

Summertime is a great time to travel the world when you download this week’s free audiobooks from SYNC and read with your ears!

Download of these two free complete audiobooks begins today (Thursday, July 9th) and continues through Wednesday. Remember that you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

Ready to travel during adventurous times? Just click on the title to go to the download page (super easy to do):

CD cover of The Explorers Club  by Nell Benjamin | Read by Jack Cutmore-Scott, Carson Elrod, David Furr, John Getz, Martin Jarvis, David Krumholtz, Lorenzo Pisoni, Jennifer Westfeldt, Matthew Wolf Published by L.A. Theatre WorksThe Explorers Club
by Nell Benjamin
Read by Jack Cutmore-Scott, Carson Elrod, David Furr, John Getz, Martin Jarvis, David Krumholtz, Lorenzo Pisoni, Jennifer Westfeldt, Matthew Wolf
Published by L.A. Theatre Works
In 1879 London, the male-only Explorers Club debates admitting a woman to their ranks. Full-cast audio with music includes humor and a possible international incident.

Around the World in Eighty DaysCD cover of Around the World in Eighty Days  by Jules Verne | Read by Michael Prichard Published by Tantor Audio
by Jules Verne
Read by Michael Prichard<
Published by Tantor Audio

If Phileas Fogg and his valet can journey completely around the world in a mere 80 days, Fogg keeps his fortune… however, travel in the 1870s holds its fair share of perils and adventures!

Where have you traveled through stories lately?
**kmm

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Faith and challenge – stories true & terrible on free audiobooks

Time to download this week’s free audiobooks from SYNC so you can read with your ears!

Remember that although these complete audiobooks are only available from Thursday through Wednesday, you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device

Click on a title, download a book, enter into another’s life:

CD cover of Echoes of an Angel  by Aquanetta Gordon, Chris Macias | Read by Robin Miles Published by Christian Audio Echoes of an Angel
by Aquanetta Gordon, Chris Macias

Read by Robin Miles
Published by Christian Audio

A true story of faith as blind Ben masters echolocation to ‘see’ with sound, and his family sees God’s hand at work.
Buddha BoyCD cover of Buddha Boy by Kathe Koja | Read by Spencer Murphy Published by Full Cast Audio
by Kathe Koja
Read by Spencer Murphy
Published by Full Cast Audio

Justin must decide whether to bully the new Buddhist student like everyone else at his high school or learn how differences can bring harmony.

Faith in the face of unfair situations – where else have you seen this?
**kmm

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We did it! Blogathon2015 is in the books

clipart of Fireworks by rduris from OpenClipArt.org

Fireworks by rduris via https://openclipart.org/detail/167949/firework-ns

If you are reading this, that means that I conquered the Blogathon2015 challenge and posted every day in June! [cue the fireworks!]

And it means that I’m smackdab in the middle of the International Association of School Librarianship‘s annual conference. This year IASL2015 is in lovely Maastricht, Netherlands (near the borders of Belgium and Germany), so I hope to post pictures here soon.

It also means that I am leading a workshop today on IASL’s GiggleIT Project for global student writing through school libraries. If you know/are a librarian or teacher, check out this fun and free way for your students to share their personal knowledge and sense of humor with the world: GiggleIT Project.

See y’all soon, and thanks for enjoying Blogathon2015 along with me!
**kmm

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Almost to the Blogathon 2015 finish line!

FLX blogathon2015 logoI did it!

Blogathon2015 ends today!

Thirty posts in thirty days, despite technology problems (happens during every blog challenge), being away from home for half the month, and all the just plain crazy things that get in the way when there’s a deadline looming.

Thanks to the folks at Freelance Success for shepherding me and my blogging buddies through June!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming – but with a break, so I can enjoy the IASL2015 conference in Maastricht, Netherlands!

Thanks for visiting BooksYALove – grab a great book and read, read, read!
**kmm

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A beautiful Dutch bookstore beckons in former church

Photo of Domincaen Bookstore in Maastricht, NetherlandsLarge or small,
New or old,
A bookstore or library can take you anywhere.

Greetings from the Dominicaen Bookstore in Maastricht, Netherlands – named one of the world’s loveliest bookstores by Architectural Digest!

What’s your favorite bookshop?
**kmm

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