"Frost Burned" by Patricia Briggs is the seventh book in the Mercy Thompson series. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this series, Mercy is a mechanic by trade and a Native American "walker," a shapeshifter who shifts to the form of a coyote.
The book opens with Mercy still adjusting to her new role as the wife of the local werewolf pack's Alpha. Mercy and her stepdaughter, Jesse, are involved in a car accident on a Black Friday shopping trip. Mercy and Jesse are alarmed when they can't contact any of the pack members for assistance. Using her mate bond, Mercy knows that Adam is in pain but alive. Mercy puts together a team of unlikely allies to rescue the pack.
As I was browsing the books headed for library shelves, I noticed two books with the title "Fever." The books could not be more different.
Mary Beth Keane's "Fever" is a historical novel about the Irish immigrant Mary Mallon who became known as "Typhoid Mary." She was the first person to be diagnosed as a healthy carrier of typhoid fever, and was eventually imprisoned to keep her from spreading disease. Keane attempts to give depth to the infamous legend by recreating Mallon's world and exploring her possible motivations.
"My Friend Dahmer" by Derf Backderf is a very powerful graphic novel about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Using his own memories of encounters in middle school and high school, Backderf looks into the formation of one of America's most notorious murderers.
Backderf was one of the founding members of the Dahmer Fan Club, a group of teen boys who used their classmate's bizarre behavior for their amusement and as a motif for their adolescent shenanigans. Thus, Backderf has an important perspective that is ably conveyed in this book.
Dahmer is quoted as saying, "When I was a kid, I was just like anybody else." Backderf blows that assertion out of the water by recounting various instances wherein Dahmer dissolves, dissects or destroys animal carcasses.
Author Rachel Hartman has conjured a unique world in Seraphina. Humans and dragons are struggling to keep a negotiated peace from exploding due to the overheated tempers of many factions. An accomplished musician, Seraphina accepts a position as assistant to the court composer. Almost as soon as she begins, a prince is decapitated on the eve of a great festival. Seraphina discovers a conspiracy she cannot fully expose lest she reveal a secret of her own.
Lately I've been reading a lot of articles about the publishing industry and the future of print books. It seems pretty gloomy, but there are a lot of people who wouldn't trade a glowing, sleek eReader for the weight and smell of a "real" book any day. Still, sale numbers make it quite clear that eBooks are here to stay. According to Publisher's Weekly reports, print has a lead on eBooks, but that lead is narrowing year after year. Expect pretty soon to see eBooks ahead of the game.
Celine Dion, Bob Marley and Linkin Park walk into a bar...
"The rich are very different from you and I.."
I got a copy of "The Round House" by Louise Erdrich for Christmas, but haven't had the heart to pick it up until now. Although I've long been a fan of Erdrich's writing, I knew the content matter would not make for light reading. The story revolves around the sexual assault of the narrator's mother, and his attempts to seek vengeance. "The attack," as it comes to be known, happens in 1988 when Joe is 13. He and his family live on the on the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. The son of a tribal judge, Joe is familiar with the complications that arise when Indian and federal law collide. While he and his father try to piece together what happened and prepare their case, Geraldine retreats from the world, refusing to disclose the details of her assault.
Joe and his friends prove quite adept at detective work, uncovering clues and tracking the perpetrator. I won't say there's a happy ending here, but the reader is given the satisfaction of knowing who did the crime and what happens to him.
If you've ever toyed with the idea of replacing or reducing your lawn, you will appreciate the practical advice and beautiful photography in Pam Penick's book "Lawn Gone! Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for your Yard."
Penick makes a strong case for exploring alternatives to the traditional American lawn. While a lush green lawn is attractive and provides space for play, there are drawbacks. In addition to the regular watering and mowing required to maintain a lawn, the chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are often used can affect wildlife and streams. The equipment used in lawn care contributes to air and noise pollution. Penick argues that trying to maintain the same landscape in areas with different climates makes little sense. Why not celebrate the individual beauty of your own region?