Non Fiction

How People Change by Allen Wheelis

One of the most succinct treatise, by the “psychiatrist’s psychiatrist”, on the “necessity” of what and how we have come to be the person we are. And how through the freedom of choice we can change to be who we want to be.
Written in 1973, it’s devoid of new age psycho babble and it’s poetic prose probes deep into our psychic souls.

~ Steve

Juvenile Fiction

And Timmy is back!

Daughter of the Mountains by Louise Rankin
Momo has a golden llama terrier that gets stolen by some tradesmen. She goes on a travel across India to retrieve her dog, but she always seems to be one step behind. It’s a long journey away from her home.

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord
Lucy is a photographer, and she has moved to a lakeside house. She makes friends with a neighbor who helps her take photos for a photography contest.

Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
Ally, Bree, and Jack go to the Moon Shadow campground for the solar eclipse. They all help in an experiment that Jack’s teacher was conducting before his wife had a medical issue.

Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
Henry Huggins found a dog in town and brought him home. He called him Ribsy. They have lots of fun adventures together.

Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Treasure Hunt
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Sleeping Dog
Encyclopedia Brown Solves Them All
Encyclopedia Brown Saves the Day
by Donald J Sobol
This book contains 10 short mysteries featuring Encyclopedia Brown, a boy detective. You can try to solve them with answers at the back.

Aladdin and Other Favorite Arabian Nights Stories by Philip Smith
This book contains Aladdin and a few other Arabian stories. Although if you have heard any of these stories before, you would find they are a bit changed in this book.

Henry and Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
Henry’s dad said that he could go on their fishing trip if he got Ribsy to behave all summer. But this is not as easy as it sounds, for Ribsy can be quite a naughty dog.

Holes by Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats gets hit by a pair of shoes that somebody threw from above him. They happen to be a famous person’s shoes, so the police send him to Camp Greenlake, where he has to dig a hole 5 feet deep and wide. He soon discovers this is not just to improve boys’ behavior, but because the owners of the camp are looking for something. But what?

The Borrowers by Mary Norton
The Borrowers are very small people who live in a very old house. But they get discovered, and soon all sorts of people are looking for them, so they are forced to move out.

P.K. Pinkerton and the Deadly Desperados by Caroline Lawrence
P.K. Pinkerton’s foster parents got murdered by Whittlin’ Walt and his gang of desperados because he has the deed to a land full of silver. The desperados chase him through the Nevada mountains to get the will. Will they succeed?

Masterminds Payback by Gordon Korman
Eli, Tori, Amber, and Malik are running from their fake parents, but also trying to reveal the truth about their fake parents, which leads them to go away from yet toward their fake parents.

The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman
A kid at a Grand Canyon invents a homework machine. He lets it slip that he invented it to three other kids, who start to use it also. But the machine is getting more powerful. For instance, it found a source of renewable energy.

Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary
Ralph’s cousins have been pestering him because he has a toy motorcycle and they don’t. So he asks his human friend to take him to school. But the other kids soon find out, and he is forced to do some things like run a maze.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Peter’s little brother, Fudge, is always getting into mischief. This usually negatively affects Peter, which makes him hate Fudge.

Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume
Sheila’s family is going out of New York for the summer. While she is out in the country, she is forced to learn how to swim and a few other things like that.

Fudge-a-Mania by Judy Blume
Peter’s family is going on a vacation for three weeks by his arch-nemesis Sheila. Sheila gets a job babysitting Fudge, and Peter’s best friend comes for a week.

Superfudge by Judy Blume
Fudge is still being a major annoyance for Peter, and his mom is having a baby. Fudge swallows his pet turtle. Afterward, his parents get him a dog.

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Four children run away after their parents die because they are afraid their grandfather will be mean, as he never came to visit. They find an old boxcar that they decide to make their home. The oldest child gets a job.

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
Four children enter a major candy making contest. One is a candy factory owner’s son, one is a spy, one is a really annoying rich boy who has to win, and one is a nice safety first boy. The rich boy’s father is trying to buy up the candy factory, so the rest of them are helping him win so that the candy factory will be saved from his father.

Literary Fiction

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

A classic absurdist play suggested to me by the desk girl at Third Street Books in McMinnville. Weird. Two men (and if they aren’t men Beckett will try to hire lawyers from his grave) are waiting for a man named Godot and talking about things as they come to mind. Part of the point is that it is unrealistic, exaggerated, and almost stream of consciousness on stage. They meet another couple men one of whom is a slave to the other. It’s a big metaphor for life, god, and the human experience. Honestly my favorite thing about it is that it inspired Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. I love Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead enough that I wish I could like Godot but it just doesn’t resonate for me. Still it’s a classic and one of the things to read if you want to feel superior at parties. (That last bit was a joke!)



Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

Lizzie Borden had to kill her parents because their very souls were being devoured by something that comes up out of the depths of the ocean. A nameless horrific evil that she, and she alone is trying to stop. Well her sister Emma is helping too and so is the doctor from town. They understand very little and yet they must try. They cannot explain the malady afflicting the town but deaths and other symptoms continue to grow in the populace.
This was an okay book. It was easy to keep reading so that was a plus. It wasn’t riveting but it was enjoyable enough not to make my stomach sink when I had to go back to reading it. (I read this with a few of my friends so we can all talk about it at the end of the month). Unfortunately it is snail paced, nothing really happens until about a third of the way through the book. I think it’s trying build suspense but it fails for me. This isn’t helped by everything getting repeated over and over. Sometimes by different characters, I guess to show another point of view. Except that all the characters have the same “voice” and it’s all the old timey, pretentious one that makes you want to strangle someone. Even the characters who are supposed to be lower class say things like “I must trust that it proves sufficient to appease the adjusters, or whoever leans upon you.” And all the characters are supposed to be writing this in journals or letters or however so there’s an extra layer of disconnect from the story.



Invitation to Die by Jaden Skye

This is the first book in the third series from Jaden Skye. Tracy Wrenn is a college professor in criminology, forensic psychiatrist and criminal profiler, called to Boston by the FBI BAU from her home in New York to help with a case that has the city on edge. Someone is killing young women and making sure their bodies are found and inflicting terror. She leaves immediately, on the day she was expecting a wedding proposal, causing tension in her relationship.