Monday, November 25, 2013

Ender's Game was first published in 1985, so naturally I was late to the game and did not read this amazing novel until a week before the movie came to theaters.  I was able to read the book and see the movie right away; I really enjoyed both.  Although, I would recommend the book over the movie as there is much more depth to the characters and storyline.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card tells the story of Andrew "Ender" Wiggin.  Ender is only six years old when the story begins, and he is the most talented result of Earth's quest to create a military genius that the planet needs to win its war with an alien enemy.  The only way to know if Ender is capable of leading in battle is to throw him into harsh training.  Will he be the hero everyone has been hoping for?  Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Want more Ender?  Try one of the other books in the series.

Ender's Saga:
Shadow of the Hedgemon

Looking for something similar?  Try one of these titles.

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein tells the story of a young recruit's experiences in boot camp and as an officer during the interplanetary war against the "Bugs."

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix: Every Prince wants to become Emperor, and the best way to do so is to kill, corrupt, or otherwise eliminate any potential threat.  One Prince, Khemri, is sent on a secret mission where he meets a young woman named Raine.  She challenges his beliefs regarding the Empire, Princes, and himself.

Divergent by Veronica Roth takes place in a future Chicago where Beatrice Prior must choose between predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan: When a village is attacked by monsters, three young men flee in the company of Lady Moiraine, a sinister visitor.  The first in an adventure series set in a world of wonders and horror.

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau follows Lina as she and her friend attempt to decipher an ancient message that could save their city.

Picture from

Monday, November 18, 2013


The November selection for our Book to Movie Club is The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman.  We will meet on Thursday, November 21st at 6:00 p.m.

Growing up, I had watched the movie The Princess Bride numerous times.  I just loved it!  I had no idea it was a book until I was in high school, and I never got around to reading it until I was in college.

The Princess Bride tells the love story of a farm boy named Westley and Princess Buttercup.  The movie follows these two on their adventures through foreign lands, sword fights, and evil plots while the book also includes comments from the author as writes the story.

Now's your chance to read the book, watch the movie, and discover which one you prefer.

Want more ?  Try one of the titles listed below.

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult is narrated by Prince Oliver, who wants to break free of his fairy tale existence and by Delilah, a teen who is obsessed with Prince Oliver and the book in which he exists.  Together they work together to try and gain his freedom.

Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl: Althea Crawley hopes to save her family and their home from a state of poverty.  To do so, she must marry a wealthy man.  She soon sets her sights on Lord Boring, but obstacles continue to get in her way.  A humorous take on the traditional fairy tale.

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede is a children's book that follows a princess as she goes off to live with a group of dragons.  She soon becomes involved in the fight between the dragons and the wizards who want to steal the dragons' kingdom.

In Goddess of Yesterday by Caroline B. Cooney, Anaxndra is taken from her home as a young girl.  She calls on her goddess for protection while she poses as two different princesses over the next few years before she ends up as a servant in the company of Helen and Paris as they journey to Troy.

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare tells the story of two pairs of lovers: Benedick and Beatrice and Claudio and Hero.  Shakespeare develops their story from antagonism to love and affection with a great sense of humor.

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman is another children's book.  Elizabeth gets an after-school job as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository.  When she gains access to its Grimm collection of magical objects, she and the other pages are drawn into a world of adventure involving mythical creatures and stolen goods.

Picture from

Monday, November 11, 2013


As the weather gets colder, we have plenty of sports to keep us occupied.  The World Series just ended, but Football is underway along with hockey and basketball.  What better way to enjoy the cold than to learn a little bit more about some of your favorite athletes, coaches, and sports?

Adult Biographies:
Driven: From Homeless to Hero, My Journeys On and Off Lambeau Field by Donald Driver
Mickey and Willie: Mantle and Mays: the Parallel Lives of Baseball's Golden Age by Allen Barra
Dream Team by Jack McCallum
Rafa by Rafael Nadal
The John Carlos Story: the Sports Moment That Changed the World by Dave Zirin
Solo: A Memoir of Hope by Hope Solo
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel Brown
The Yankee Years by Joe Torre
Brett Favre: The Tribute by Sports Illustrated
Opening Day: the Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season by Jonathan Eig
The DiMaggios: Three Brothers, Their Passion for Baseball, Their Pursuit of the American Dream by Thomas Clavin
Packers: Green, Gold, and Glory by Sports Illustrated
Green Bay Packers: Trials, Triumphs, and Tradition by William Povletich
Eleven Rings: the Soul of Success by Phil Jackson
Sum It Up: 1,098 Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective by Pat Summitt
One Last Strike by Tony LaRussa
Alan Ameche: the Story of "the Horse" by Dan Manoyan
Dr. J: the Autobiography by Julius Irving

Children's Biographies:
Joyce Westerman: Baseball Hero by Bob Kann
Shaun White by Blaine Wiseman
Henry Aaron's Dream by Matt Tavares
Raising the Bar by Gabrielle Douglas
The Story of the Green Bay Packers by Sara Gilbert
The Milwaukee Brewers by Mark Stewart
Something to Prove: the Great Satchel Paige vs. Rookie Joe DiMaggio by Robert Skead

Picture from:

Monday, November 4, 2013


Jane Austen's work has been around for years, inspiring authors to become writers, and sometimes, serving as a starting point for a spin-off.  Some authors use similar themes and plot devices while others use the same characters with a new tale.

Do you love Jane Austen, and want more of your favorite stories?  Then some of these books may be just the right choice for you!

Longbourn by Jo Baker: There is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs.  When a new footman arrives, the orderly world of the servants' hall threatens to be upended.  Jo Baker takes the reader beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen's classic, Pride and Prejudice, and into the domain of the housekeeper and kitchen maid.

Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollop is a modern retelling of the Jane Austen classic of the same name.  The reader follows Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret as they come to terms with their own lives without the status of their home or the comfort of an inheritance.

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice.  It begins with the arrival of Lydia Wickham at Pemberley which leads the residents to the discovery of her husband kneeling over a dead body.  Then follows the investigation and trial.  Who is the killer, and what was the motive?

Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron: The first in a series, this story tells of Jane's visit to the home of her friend Isobel, Countess of Scargrave.  Isobel and her husband host a ball after returning from their honeymoon.  On the night of the ball, the earl dies of apparent poisoning.  As rumors begin to circulate, Jane becomes a detective.  Who is responsible for the earls death?

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Green retells the story of Pride and Prejudice with the addition of zombies.  A plague has fallen upon Meryton, and the dead are returning to life.  Elizabeth Bennet is determined to stop the zombies, but she is soon distracted by the arrival of the arrogant Mr. Darcy.

The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo is inspired by Sense and Sensibility.  This story follows two modern-day sisters, Ellen and Mimi Dodge, as they embark on a walking tour of Jane Austen's England along with a diary that belonged to Jane's sister Cassandra.  This diary holds secrets, and someone doesn't want Ellen and Mimi to discover the truth.  As they make their way through the tour, they learn how Jane and Cassandra inspired the original Marianne and Elinor Dashwood.

A sequel to Sense and Sensibility, Eliza's Daughter by Joan Aiken tells the story of the illegitimate daughter of Colonel Brandon's sister as she is passed along from one relative to another and as she discovers her parentage and claims her birthright.

Want more?  Try one of these movies inspired by Jane Austen's work:
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility
Mansfield Park
Northanger Abbey
The Jane Austen Book Club
Becoming Jane

Picture from