Fat Vampire

From Luke, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Rex, Adam
Once in a while a person finds a captivating book that keeps your attention and makes you read more. Such a book to me was “Fat Vampire” by Adam Rex. One could take it as a young adult vampire novel, or it could also be seen as a spoof of vampire novels. No matter how you look at this book it is a good read and should be given a chance by everyone.

 Doug Lee is a fat, ugly, comic book and video game obsessed teenager. And he is also a vampire. Doug has no one to go to to learn how to be a vampire, so he tries teaching himself. He does many crazy things such as drinking cow’s blood, trying to sneak into the panda cage at the San Diego zoo and drink panda blood and even stealing blood from a blood donation vehicle at comic-con. Most of these tend to have disastrous endings. He is very unpopular at school and has only one good friend, Jay, until the foreign exchange student, Sejal, came to the U.S. He develops a crush for her and becomes friends with her and the drama club people she hangs out with. Then he gets a mysterious letter from a man in the sewer. He invites them to go to Signora Polidori’s house for tea. Signora Polidori is also a vampire. While at her house Doug, and 2 other vampires, get assigned to older vampires so that they can be taught the ways of their kind. The rest of the story  focuses on Doug and his life as a high school vampire.

 Full of surprises and twists “Fat Vampire” was a good book. On a scale of 1-10 I would give this book about a 7. This would be an ideal book for you to read if you like the Twilight saga or vampire books. It’s not too long and can be read in a short amount of time. If you’re looking for a quick read between novels, this is the perfect book to get.

Doris Day: her own story

From Jackie Cantwell
author: Hotchner, A.E.
Doris Day: her own story
 If you only know Doris Day from her movies, then you don’t know Doris Day! This book was a revelation for me. It is based on interviews Miss Day had with Mr. Hotchner. Interspersed throughout are excerpts from interviews with those who worked with her or knew her well, such as James Garner. It appears that Doris Day has had a very troubled life. She was born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff in 1922 in Cincinnati to a homemaker mother and a pianist/piano teacher father. They divorced when she was young. She was very talented in dance and loved performing. She was going to L.A. to further her dance education as a teenager, but on the eve of her trip she was injured in a terrible car crash. Her leg was broken in several places. At first, they didn’t know if she’d walk again. Her recovery took about a year which she spent at home. She listened to the radio in her bedroom and started singing along to it. Thus her next passion as a singer was born. By age 16, she was performing on the radio and singing with big bands. Her sunny disposition belied the fact that she was in an abusive first marriage. What surprised me was that she never wanted to be a movie star; she only wanted to be a wife and mother. It seemed that she was open to the possibilities of a career and that the public responded well to her. I loved how forthright she was about her relationships and her opinions. She believes people should live together first, before they marry to find out who the person really is. She also does not believe in alimony. She believes when a couple splits, they are each responsible for making their own way, no matter what lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to. And she is adamant about animal rights and spaying or neutering pets. Her third marriage to her manager Marty Melcher was at first very happy. He even adopted her son and became a Christian Scientist because of Doris’ influence. You must read this book to find out how she was nearly ruined financially, and how her son, Terry, almost became a victim of Charles Manson.

Forbidden Lie$

From Ellen Druda
Forbidden Lie$
This one is very much of interest to libraries, since it’s about the author Norma Khouri and her 2003 best seller “Forbidden Love.” The book was presented as a true story about a young Muslim girl caught in an unapproved love affair who was then murdered by her brother.   A year after publication, an Australian journalist examined the details in the story and proved it all to be a figment of the author’s imagination. The film tells the story of Khouri’s rise to fame and her response to the accusations about the book.  What makes it so delicious to watch is the onion-peel method the film uses to tell us the story: we see Khouri dig herself deeper and deeper with lies and deceptions; explanations that seem logical at first reveal themselves to be truths about other falsehoods even more bizarre.  The DVD comes loaded with extras, including deleted scenes, featurettes, and terrific commentary with director Anna Broinowski and Khouri herself.

COOKING WITH ITALIAN GRANDMOTHERS

From Charlene Muhr
author: Theroux, Jessica
COOKING WITH ITALIAN GRANDMOTHERS
American chef, Jessica Theroux, takes readers on a journey through Italy, from Tuscany to Sicily.  Theroux’s journey was inspired by Slow Food, an organization founded in Italy, in 1989.  Slow Food’s mission is “to promote values in traditional food and preparation and to counteract the trend toward fast food and a faster life.”  On her journey, Theroux visits Irene, a grandmother in the Piedmontese town of Bra, the international headquarters of the Slow Food Movement.  COOKING WITH ITALIAN GRANDMOTHERS is not only a wonderful collection of recipes but each grandmother shares her history, her stories, and her secrets as she cooks alongside Theroux.  The recipes are clear and simple and each recipe is indexed.  Theroux presents an interesting selection of recipes from walnut black pepper cookies, calabrian bread salad, and lasagne with a béchamel sauce, homemade ricotta, and blood orange gelato.  There was an interesting quote in the beginning of the book from  the writer, Laurie Colwin.  “No one who cooks, cooks alone.  Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”

Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions

From Edna Susman
author: Horowitz, Marc Eden
Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions
Published 8 years after the first edition, this expanded edition includes a new chapter discussing Sondheim’s entire career. It presents an updated song listing and discography which include all works composed and recorded since the previous edition. In the interviews in this edition, Sondheim discusses the art of musical composition, lyric writing, the process of musical theater and his own thoughts regarding his work. An interesting section was added to this edition entitled: “Songs I Wish I’d Written (At Least in Part)” which Sondheim expounded on at a Library of Congress concert in honor of his 70th birthday in 2000.

She’s So Dead to Us

From Alex, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Scott, Kieran
She’s So Dead to Us
 The Book She’s So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott is an enjoyable book. In this book, Ally has moved back to her home town after having moved away since her dad had some money problems. So now, she has to leave her low-key, happy life and go back into the snake pit with Shannon Moore and Hammond Roos, or so she thinks. Right after Ally left, perfect and handsome Jake Graydon moved into Orchard Hill. So when Ally moves back and sees Jake, she develops a major crush on him. Its a really interesting book told from two perspectives and I really hope you guys like it.

An Object of Beauty

From Catherine Given
author: Martin, Steve
An Object of Beauty
 Steve Martin – who continues to surprise us with the breadth and depth of his creativity – has just written another book:an illuminating novel providing a rare depiction of the contemporary art scene’s inner workings.  An Object of Beauty brings us along with main character Lacey for a rollercoaster ride from the posh auction rooms of Sotheby’s to the anything-goes galleries of Chelsea.  Beginning in her early twenties, Lacey enters this world in the 90’s and begins her upward ascent as a lowly assistant to a powerful uptown New York City gallery owner.  She quickly distinguishes herself through a facility in cultivating lucrative relationships with buyers and art business icons.  Her quick trajectory into the inner orbits of power and money intensifies her lifestyle overnight. On a three-day jaunt to St. Petersburg, Russia, she reels with culture shock when she learns daily breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as any strolling must be limited to the hotel‘s en  virons – the only safe eatery and neighborhood in that area of the city, she’s warned – then pinches herself during a mindboggling, private tour of the Hermitage. Daniel, an art journalist and her best friend, is the story’s narrator.  As Daniel calmly spins the tale, he shares an insiders’ multilevel view of the art market:  full of economic, intellectual, interpersonal and political insights. In fact, this book sometimes reads like a History of the Contemporary Art Scene for Dummies.  His deliciously sardonic observations –which often read like the Cliffs Notes to Alice in Wonderland — will interest anyone who loves contemporary and modern art, as well as those who are students of art history.  An example:  He describes art hung in Chelsea’s “conceptual galleries”: “It was as if a pitcher had decided it was gauche to throw fastballs but still threw fastballs in a mockery of throwing fastballs.” Further contributing to the fun of reading An Object of Beauty are the relationships between the eccentric collectors, gallery owners, museum staff and buyers.   Beyond this, our familiarity with the multifaceted Steve Martin (comedian, playwright, art collector, novelist, actor and painter) only heightens our interest in An Object of Beauty.