Old Man's War
John Scalzi
November 11, 2015
Reviewed by: Steve

Old Man's War is classic soap opera pulp from beginning to end, with enough new ideas to fill a dozen driving sci-fi books. This is despite the fact that the book is basically a riff on Heinlein's Starship Troopers: future army recruits charged with battling an alien menace across the universe. In this case, the soldiers are elderly citizens of earth transferred into newly-manufactured bodies. Since protagonist John Perry has lived an entire life before being "reborn" as a powerful warrior, his life experience informs his decisions in thoughtful ways.

Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski
November 9, 2015
Reviewed by: Robin

If you are an avid reader like me, you like nothing better than being swept away by a book. Falling into a great story and not coming up for air until the last page is done, is a bibliophile's dream. This book did that for me recently. On Marin's island, there are 14 years of day, followed by 14 years of night. Sunset is coming, the tides are getting ready to strand the islanders and they are working frantically to get off the island. But three kids don't make it and it is dark and what was that noise???

Bubble Trouble
Tom Percival
November 7, 2015
Reviewed by: Desi

Bubble Trouble is the tale of a great friendship that took a wrong turn. Ruben and Felix were the best of friends that had everything in common. They lived next door to each other, were the same age, same height, and liked the same things. Their love of blowing bubbles united them until a competition separated them. As their contest got bigger and more intense, their friendship wore thin. Ruben and Felix ultimately come to realize that their friendship enhanced their love of bubbles and all they really needed was each other.

Oh! You Pretty Things
Shanna Mahin
November 4, 2015
Reviewed by: Nancy

When you work among Hollywood stars, you are held to a certain standard of youth and hipness. This is true even if you are a down-on-her-luck barista like Jess Dunne. Her boss may think she’s not cool enough for a barista anymore, but things start to look up when Jess begins working as a personal assistant for one celebrity and then another. The work is both exhausting and exhilarating as a line starts to blur: is Jess an employee or a friend? Shanna Mahin’s debut novel provides an authentic-feeling adventure behind the scenes of Hollywood.

Sunny Side Up
Jennifer and Matthew Holm
November 2, 2015
Reviewed by: Kristin

The team that brought us Babymouse and Squish has created a lovely coming of age graphic novel. Sunny is staying with her grandfather in Florida for the summer. She slowly figures out how to enjoy herself in a retirement living environment, but this clearly isn’t her first choice for summer fun. Through flashbacks we learn what happened to land Sunny in Florida and why she thinks it’s all her fault. A great read for fans of Telgemeir’s graphic novels.

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
Matthew Inman
October 16, 2015
Reviewed by: Lindsay

I was a fan of Inman’s work even before I read this book. If you are not familiar, check out his web comic The Oatmeal. I am not a runner, in fact I HATE running. However, as a fellow exerciseaholic I can truly relate to the story laid out is this book. Exercise is a great way to stay healthy, keep you in shape, and clear your head. There are some dark sides however, when what should be a fun activity becomes an obsessive monster.

The Book of Strange New Things
Michel Faber
October 14, 2015
Reviewed by: Chrissie

The Book of Strange New Things takes place on two worlds. Peter is a missionary on a distant planet that is being colonized by a benevolent-seeming corporation while his wife is trying to survive an increasingly volatile Earth. Don’t expect explosions and war; the biggest conflicts in this book are quiet and internal, but no less powerful for that.

The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987
Brett Weiss
October 12, 2015
Reviewed by: Steve

Brett Weiss, author of exhaustive--and exhausting--catalogs of every video game ever made, here limits his scope to his favorite games. His 100 favorite games, to be exact. Although it does include many arcade ports, the book does not cover arcade originals--only games for classic consoles, like Atari 2600 and Colecovision. Weiss makes an unusual choice by organizing the games not by subjective quality, but in alphabetical order. This takes the pressure off of agonizingly pitting each game against every other game. I mean, can Galaga really be said to be better than Joust?

Pam Munoz Ryan
October 9, 2015
Reviewed by: Kris

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan is a beautifully crafted fairy tale and historic fiction novel rolled into one. We begin with a tale of three princesses who are trapped by a witch. To free them, a messenger must save three lives with a harmonica. The three lives are very different people around the time of World War II. Young readers will learn about orphanages, Nazi Germany and the Japanese Internment Camps. All three stories weave together to a satisfying conclusion. Adults will enjoy this read as well.

Poems in the Attic
Nikki Grimes
October 5, 2015
Reviewed by: Desi

Nikki Grimes has penned an excellent book of poetry that explores military life through the eyes of the children of enlisted men and women. The narrator of the story is the daughter of a "military brat" who finds a collection of her mother's childhood poems. The past is brought into sharper focus as this daughter attempts to mimic some of the experiences her mother had as a child. This book also contains an author's note and a brief primer on the different types of poetry used in the book.