Monday, June 15, 2009

How to Build a Dinosaur

Paleontologist Jack Horner has long been a maveric in his field. His latest ideas involve reverse-engineering a dinosaur-like critter from a chicken. Why? To get a better understanding of how evolution works. According to Horner, the chicken genome actually contains huge chunks of DNA left over from its more formidable ancestors. Through simple tweaking, an egg could be caused to hatch a saurian.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Late, Lamented Molly Marx

This novel by Sally Koslow caught my eye because it seemed very similar to The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, which many of you may remember because it was a huge bestseller some years ago. Molly Marx is dead--and no one knows what happened to her, not even Molly herself, who narrates the book. As the story starts, she's at her own funeral. Through a series of flashbacks and present-day scenes, we learn about Molly and her family, and about how they lived before and after she died. Since Molly is dead, this isn't a typical chick-lit novel; there's a sense of grief that permeates the book. But it's also funny, since Molly is such a great character. Poignant and resonant, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx is well worth the read. I'm going to go back and read Koslow's first novel, Little Pink Slips, which I missed when it was released.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

One day, Clay finds a box of cassette tapes sitting on his front porch. Excited, he gets out the old dusty stereo from the garage and sits down to listen, never expecting the ghostly voice of Hannah Baker, speaking to him from beyond the grave.

Hannah Baker committed suicide and before her death, she recorded 13 tapes detailing the events that led up to that fateful action. Each person who received the tapes, according to her, was somehow key in her decision. Clay doesn't understand why he is included in the list, but he is about to find out and about to discover the darker side of his high school classmates.

This book will keep you on the edge of your seat as you listen with Clay as Hannah tells her story and the secrets unravel. The audiobook is wonderful, narrated by two readers - one for Hannah and one for Clay.

The Hunger Games

by Susan Collins

A suspenseful page-turner, this young adult book packs a futuristic punch. Catniss Everdeen lives in a world that has been all but obliterated by wars, disease, and famine. All that's left of the life we now know are thirteen, well twelve, colonies that are ruled by a controlling government called The Capitol. District Thirteen was destroyed by The Capitol when they staged a rebellion and to remind the subsequent colonies of their power and control, they host the annual Hunger Games where one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are chosen to participate in a battle to the death. When the 74th Hunger Games is about to commence, Catniss has to fight for her life against forces that seem insurmountable.

A story of sacrifice, love, and survival, this is an unforgettable tale! I highly recommend it for adults and teens alike.