Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag by Jolie Kerr | Book Review

I LOVED THIS BOOK.  I loved everything about it.  I love the minimalist cover, I love the author's writing style, I love the layout, and I love the information presented within.  An enthusiastic five of five stars!

Jolie on cleaning the kitchen:  "Step 5: Take a break!  I'll let you in on a little secret: the hardest part is over... So as a reward for your hard work, would you care for a cold beer or soda?  I bet you would.  Remember to buy some before you start this project.  You get to make the best shopping list!  It'll be like:
~Soft Scrub
~Paper Towels"

Jolie loves to break down seemingly big projects into very doable small projects, so I'm going to write my book review the same way!  Yay!  (She also loves to cheer for us as we tackle and tame cleaning projects.  I appreciate that.)  So the first thing I loved?  The minimalist cover.  Well, there's not really much of anything to say about that.  So on to the second thing I loved:  the author's writing style.  I'm going to pepper this review with direct quotes to give you a feel.  I love how conversational Jodie is.  The entire book is written like we're right there with her (or she's right here with us) while we work on cleaning our house.  I also love how honest she is.  At one point she tells the reader how to deal with mold in the bathroom and she gives quite a few different options for cleaning it up and preventing it.  She's very honest in telling us that while it's great to worry about the environment, you need to be prepared to put in a lot of extra elbow grease if you're going to go with an all-natural cleaning solution versus bleach.  (I really loved this whole book, even the bathroom chapter.  Did you know that ferns are good for bathrooms?  They naturally filter out some funk (don't pretend like your bathroom never smells) and they suck up extra moisture, preventing mold, and they need almost no work when they're in a bathroom because your shower steam will water them.  Now I'm going to run out and get a fern or two....)  I also loved how Jolie just naturally assumes that everyone has all these cleaning quandaries because we do.  We totally do.  A lot of this is stuff we'd feel really silly or even embarrassed to have to ask someone about, but it's stuff that really happens when you spend time in spaces.  For an example:  see my parenthetical about ferns and bathroom funk.  We all have funk!  This is how you clean it!

Jolie on cleaning bathrooms:  "There's this thing that's used to clean bathrooms and, you guys?  I really, really love it.  Like, I delight in it.  It's called Scrubbing Bubbles... You're going to wipe down all the surfaces you covered with Scrubbing Bubbles, followed by a quick once-over to dry everything off and pick up any lingering lint or whatnot with a paper towel, and GASP WITH DELIGHT at how freaking easy it just was to clean the darn bathroom.  Then you'll consider sending me a gift to thank me for sharing with you this marvel of cleaning.  (My ring size is 5 1/2, my shoe size is 6, my birthstone is peridot, and I'm partial to stargazer lilies.)"

On to the third thing I loved about this book:  the layout!  The book is organized by space.  So, so, so convenient!  So there's a chapter on cleaning the kitchen.  Then there's a chapter on cleaning floors.  Then a chapter on the bathroom.  Then a chapter on laundry.  So when I finished the book and wanted to find a particular hint to make note of and try out I could turn to the correct chapter so easily!  AND there's an index too!  There's a lot of exclamation points in this paragraph because I really am that impressed with the common-sense approach to the layout!

Jolie on spilling red wine on yourself at a wedding:  "If red wine stains are going to happen at a wedding, the best person for it to happen to is a member of the groom's party.  Why?  Well, the members of the groom's party are the least likely to care about spilling on their tie...  The other thing is that, in the pantheon of things red wine can stain, ties are actually relatively easy to get cleaned up, especially at weddings, where there is, presumably, food and table settings and such.  The thing to do if you spill red wine anywhere basically is to run immediately toward the closest repository of table salt.  Pour the salt all over the stain, like a giant mound of it (but don't rub it in, just heap it on the stain).  In the case of ties it's probably best to take the darn thing off you rather than have to hold it flat in your palm while wearing it.  If you're a lady and get red wine on your skirt or pants, just sit down; if it's on your top half, retire politely to the ladies' room and hang around in there, topless, while the salt does its work.  Hopefully you've worn a bra!  But if you haven't, hey, good for you!  The salt will absorb a goodly amount of the red wine...  You might be tempted to talk to the red wine about its drinking problem."

A note:  I actually tried this already!  When I hosted dinner at my house, the hubby spilled a little red wine on our white tablecloth.  I immediately put little hills of salt on the spots.  A few hours later I shook the salt off, pretreated with Oxiclean, washed, and voila!  No wine spots!

The last thing I want to enthuse about:  the actual factual information presented within.  Ya'll, it's so doable!  All of it!  And she doesn't have you going out searching for obscure cleaning product brands or mixing up complicated solutions.  She give real, practical advice on how to clean your house and your car and yourself (your clothes).  I think the best recommendation that I can give is that I intend to purchase this book for myself.  I originally got it from the library, but it's already been so useful that I need to own a copy.  And I'll get a copy for anyone and everyone I know moving into their first place.  It's a gem of a book!

Jolie on cleaning bedding:  "Will it make everyone feel better if I admit that I find washing my bedding, excluding my linens, to be a giant pain in the tush?... But they need to be cleaned, and that's a fact of life.  "Why???" you may ask.  I will tell you...  1. They smell.  Yes they do.  2. They're harboring a Duggar-size family of dust mites.  Yes, they are.  3. Those stains?  Are because you sweat.  4. And also?  Because you drool.  5. And also also?  Because you have orgasms (YAY!) and they make messes.  (BOO!)  (But way more YAY than BOO, right?)  (RIGHT!)  6. And then also maybe because you bleed."

Go buy this book.

(Otherwise how will you find out what to do if your boyfriend barfs in your handbag?)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

This is a neat weekly feature over at a blog I really enjoy, The Broke and the Bookish.  They read books similar to some that I've been reviewing, and they're fun and they write well.  Totally worth checking out.

Top Ten Books to Read If You Like Lilyhammer
Lilyhammer is a little more obscure than other shows, but I love love love it!  Hubby watches it with me too.  It's a Netflix original, so you'll only see it there.  The plot follows a guy, Frank Tagliano, who is ex-mob.  He ratted on The Family and entered Witness Protection.  After living his whole life in the mob in Brooklyn, he's now settling into the much more relaxed lifestyle of Lilyhammer, Norway.

1. The Godfather by Mario Puzo, of course!

2. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson.  This book is 100% Norwegian (author + setting) and will give you a good grasp of the cold, sometimes solitary setting.

3. Days in the History of Silence by Merethe Lindstrom.  Another 100% Norwegian book.  This one deals with a husband/wife relationship.  At one point in the show, Frank has a relationship with a lovely woman.

4. Police by Jo Nesbo.  Another 100% Norwegian book, this one deals with Norwegian police... you can imagine that the Lilyhammer police department is a little curious about Frank and his activities about town.

5. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson.  This book has both a nightclub and a little mob in it!  Frank owns a Norwegian nightclub called The Flamingo.

6. Public Enemies by Bryan Burrough.  Non-fiction book about 1920s and 1930s organized crime families.

7. The Baby-Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips & Advice on First-Year Maintenance by Louis Borgenicht & Joe Borgenicht.  Yup:  Frank is a new dad to twins!

8. Catch Me if You Can by Frank W. Abagnale.  Non-fiction about another man who reinvents himself, as Frank did when he relocated to Norway.

9. Lonely Planet Norway by Anthony Ham.  All about Norway and what to do when you get there!

10. Donnie Brasco by Joseph D. Pistone with Richard Woodley.  Non-fiction look into an organized crime family network.

What about you?  Do you have a favorite TV show with complimentary books?

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarity | Book Review

Oh WOW ya'll....

This book....

There are so many THOUGHTS and FEELINGS in my head and heart right now because of this book.  I don't even know where to start but you must know that you definitely need to set aside a little time to read this book.  This book isn't easy, but it's mind-blowing.  It's good right from the start, but once you reach the middle you'll most certainly not be able to put it down and do things like cook dinner for your own non-secretive husband.

The front cover of the book sums it up nicely:  "The trouble with the truth is that it can change everything...."  So true!  (See what I did there?)  Just a little warning:  this book does not necessarily make the moral argument that you should always tell the truth.  In fact, maybe if a few secrets had stayed secret some lives would be different.  Also, the blurb from Emily Giffin:  "Spellbinding."  Yup.  I was spellbound!  I finished it last night.  I kept looking at the clock and thinking I should go cook dinner for my hubby but then I'd think "well, one more page won't hurt..." and then it was a pretty late dinner.  :/

This book is told from four different points of view of four women.  (Oh, an aside:  Liane Moriarity is Australian, so the book is set in Australia.  That's pretty interesting and unique to an American like me.  You don't see a ton of Australian literature over here.)  Back to the three points of view.  This really builds the suspense because you, the reader, get to know some information before other characters find out.  Also, for the first bit of the book you might be a little lost (I was) as to how the different storylines fit together but just trust me (and more importantly, trust Liane) that you will get it and it will be so emotionally intense at the end.  There should be a page inserted near the middle that says "Stop.  Go feed your family and do your laundry and make a cup of coffee and cancel appointments because once you turn the page you will be useless until you finish this book."

The four main characters of the book (yes, a book can have four main characters if it wants to.  The book is 394 pages long; that's plenty of time to develop four characters) and why I love them:

(They are all ladies, but I would totally hand this book to a guy, the right kind of guy, because it's not 100% chick lit.)
(These are listed in order of appearance, not in order of favorites of Marie.)

1. Cecilia Fitzpatrick.  Cecilia is "That Mom" who has it all together all the time.  She always looks great and she makes a good income while making sure that all three of her daughters always look great.  She has apps and calendars to keep  track of everyone's schedules.  Her husband is a doting father and a good husband.  They have fun family outings.  The daughters take various classes and sports after school.  Everyone is golden.  (Her husband has a secret.)

2. Tess Curtis.  Tess runs an advertising firm with her husband and her cousin.  She is very shy and socially a little awkward, but she's immensely successful at her job and she's an attentive, loving mom to her little boy.  She grew up in the same town where Cecilia and her family live, but she lives in Melbourne now.  She & her husband don't have the most exciting life, but it's good, sometimes great, and they're all happy.  "All" includes her cousin, the one who is also in on the business.  She's single and is with Tess, Will, and Liam a lot in the evenings and on weekends.  One big happy family.  (Her husband has a secret.)

3. Rachel Crowley.  Rachel is Janie's mother.  She's also Rob's mother, and he's married to Lauren and has given Rachel one of her greatest joys in life:  her grandson, Jacob.  She loves working part-time at the school that Cecilia's children attend and watching Jacob the other part-time.  She misses her husband, who passed away a few years before, but she's ok.  Unfortunately, her son and daughter-in-law will be moving to NY for two years, but she can come visit.  She's near retirement anyway.  (Her daughter died.)

4. Janie Crowley.  Janie's chapters are told in the present tense, but they take place in 1984, many years before the "present tense" of the other characters in the book.  Her's is a tragic story of misplaced love and teenage bad decisions... and, sadly, death.

So what is the husband's secret?  Really, which husband are we even talking about?  The Husband's Secret is woven together so masterfully... it's beautiful.  Gorgeous.  Delicious.  I'm adding the rest of Liane Moriarty's books to my to-read list.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews.  You can find their blog here:  This weekly meme, which Tynga's team posts on Saturdays, is all about sharing the books that you received or purchased over the previous week.

ARCs & egalleys

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King
Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Jessica Darling's It List 2: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Friends, Foes and Faux Friends by Megan McCafferty
Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle
We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a True Story by Josh Sundquist
My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp
Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker
Diamond Boy by Michael Williams
Wildlife by Fiona Wood
I am the Weapon by Allen Zadoff

(Who doesn't love free books?  Go use your local library!)
The Chopped Cookbook: Use What You've Got to Cook Something Great by Food Network
Bibliocraft: A Modern Crafter's Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects by Jessica Pigza
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gilt by Katherine Longshore | Book Review

(Not crazy about the cover.  What about ya'll?  Do you enjoy looking up someone's nose?)

This is another Throwback review, as I noticed that I'd posted a review of Tarnish (Book 2 in the Royal Circle series) without ever having posted a review of Gilt.  I read Gilt in October 2012 in preparation for a group author visit to my library.  Katherine Longshore had just published Gilt and was one of five authors that were coming to talk to our teens about writing and publishing.  On Goodreads I gave the book 3 of 5 stars and wrote this about the book:

There were a LOT of characters to keep track of, but it was a very good plot. Very well written. I should have kept a list of characters, though, to help me keep them straight!

I did end up giving Tarnish 4 of 5 stars, so maybe I was too hard on Gilt, or read it the wrong week.  But there you have it; my short-and-sweet review of Gilt.  :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller | Book Review

The opening to the synopsis on Goodreads is "Author... Timothy Keller with his most provocative and illuminating message yet."  


Maybe it's just me and the church I attend... but I didn't find this message to be provocative or illuminating.  Not that's it's a bad message or anything... but none of it felt "new" or illuminating to me.  In fact, the book itself felt a tad repetitive.

An upside:  this book would be good to hand to someone who thinks that all Christians are uber Conservatives who hate all charity.  Just because someone is politically Conservative and doesn't support welfare for everyone indefinitely doesn't mean that they think charity is bad; just that it should be discerning.  

Another upside:  this book has all the Biblical proofs that justice is good and should be pursued, in case you ever needed to make this argument.  All the Christians that I interact with on the regular are already doing lots of justice and/or charity in the world though, so I'm confused as to why this argument needed to be explored.  Maybe things are different in NY, NY (where Tim Keller preaches).

The best upside:  It's repeated a few times throughout the book that we (Christians) shouldn't perform justice because we pity someone in a harder situation than our own; we should perform justice because God provided justice to us when He allowed Christ to be put on the cross.

Tim Keller's writing is pretty great.  The book is definitely accessible to all, even if you don't have a theological degree, which is great.  It kind of read like transcripts of sermons.  I would definitely consider picking up another Tim Keller book in the future.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

This is a neat weekly feature over at a blog I really enjoy, The Broke and the Bookish.  They read books similar to some that I've been reviewing, and they're fun and they write well.  Totally worth checking out.

Top Ten Fifteen Characters Who I Want to be Besties With
(I couldn't stop at ten.  I had trouble stopping at fifteen.  And these are in absolutely no particular order of preference.  I love them all equally.  If I could put all 15 of these folks in a book club on my back porch together I'd be the happiest girl in the world.)

1. Anne, of course, from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery!  If you're a regular reader of mine, you'll probably notice my slight obsession with the Anne of Green Gables series.  I wonder if I could figure out a way to get Anne onto every Top Ten?  lol  But I do love Anne's spunk and adventuresome spirit and I think we'd have a lot of fun together.

2. Vianne, from Chocolat by Joanne Harris.  First: she seems really nice and laid back.  I could see us enjoying a glass of wine together on a back porch overlooking the river.  Second: she owns and runs a chocolaterie.  You know what that means: lots and lots of really good chocolate in my life!

3. Ann from 45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson.  Ann is a teen who struggles with her weight, but she spends a summer losing weight the healthy way (exercise and portion control) and along the way she also lands her first part-time job and makes a new best friend and even gets a guy!  Her mom also struggles with her weight and they end up bonding a little.  This book didn't get a ton of attention when it came out but I thought it was most excellent and I highly recommend it.  It deals with weight, teen obesity, healthy habits, family dynamics, and eating disorders so well.  Ann is so likable!  And fun!  I'd like to be her bestie.

4.  So, he's a real person and not a "character" per se, but I'd also like to be besties with Josh Hanagarne.  He wrote the memoir The World's Strongest Librarian.  I really enjoyed his book.  It was very well written.  I laughed out loud a few times and I came close to tears other times.  He's a strong person inside and out, a fellow library worker, and a fellow redhead.  We could swap stories of times in the library trenches.  :)  Oh!  And he works in Salt Lake City and I've heard wonderful things about their main library.  I would like to visit it someday.

5. John Charming from Charming.  I know I've said this before, but if you haven't tried this book yet, go do so now!  I've totally become hooked on urban fantasy thanks to this book.  It made me laugh out loud and kept me hooked and now I never miss a chance to promote it.  I feel like John would be a lot of fun to hang out with on Friday nights at his bar.  And maybe later we could go blow up some vampires.

6. Stephanie Plum and Lulu from the Janet Evanovich Numbers books.  DEFINITELY.  I read the first one in book book form, but then I've listened to #2-#19 on audiobook and I just sit in traffic and howl with laughter!  I'd love to be their friends.  I want to hang out with them and catch bad guys; I want to get donuts and/or fried chicken and/or BBQ with them; I want to have pizza with Morelli and pot roast with her family and I want to take Grandma Maizer to a viewing.  These books are so much fun!  Go read one; you'll want to go hang out with these girls too.

7. Zuzana from the Daughter of Smoke & Bone books by Laini Taylor.  She's not the main character, so she doesn't get a ton of "screen time" in the books but what little we do see of her is great. She's fiercely loyal to Karou and she's bubbly upbeat.  She's incredibly smart and she's also crafty/artistic.  I'd love to roam the streets of Prague with this girl!

8. Velva Jean from Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven!  Talk about spunk!  Velva Jean doesn't let anything (ANYTHING) bring her down or stop her.  Ever.  And she lives in Appalachia, which I know isn't the easiest or richest place to live but it's beautiful.  And it's very close to where I myself grew up, so it almost feels like home.  If you like Velva Jean in Velva Jean Learns to Drive, you can continue to follow her story in two more books.

9. Sage/Jaron from The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen.  He's smart and funny and love to play pranks and have misadventures.  I think we'd have a lot of fun hijinks together.

10. Laurel from the Wings series by Aprilynne Pike.  She's a fairy!  Yet she manages to maintain some semblance of normal.  She seems so very sweet and kind.  Of course, I would want to be a fairy with gorgeous petal wings too.

11. Magdalena Yoder from the Pennsylvania Dutch Mysteries by Tamar Myers!  She's incredibly smart and no-nonsense, yet she definitely knows how to have fun.  And imagine all the "English" things I could introduce her to!

12. George Washington.  I know, not a "character."  But I've read a ton of books about him!  He was a fellow redhead who loved to read, loved to hang out on his back porch, loved freedom, loved whiskey, and loved ice cream.  Tell me:  what is there not to love?

13. Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With the Wind.  I don't even feel like I need to expound on this choice; everyone's familiar with Scarlett from the book and/or movie.  I just feel like we're kindred spirits in some ways.  Also I'd love to live in the antebellum South with the dresses and the parties and the plantation homes.

14. Hayduke from The Monkey Wrench Gang and Hayduke Lives!, both by Edward Abbey.  The hubby and I went to AZ for the first time last October and I fell in love with the West.  I want to go running around with Hayduke and the gang!

15. Hermione from the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.  Harry, the main character, gets into way too much danger.  I feel like I have a lot in common with Hermione.  My parents are wizards (to my knowledge, ha ha) and I love to read and spend time in the library.  I feel like I would also be overloading my class schedule and trying to keep my friends out of trouble... or at least out of danger.  And finally, I also had very frizzy unruly hair in middle school.  

What about you?  Who do you want to be fictional besties with?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater | Audiobook Review

(Like with Shiver, I actually kind of like these covers.  I mean, it's a little weird with the spot of blood over the "i" but it's not bad.)

Honestly, I was totally torn over how to rate and review this book.  Sounds crazy, right?  But I really liked the layout of the book and I think Maggie Stiefvater is a talented storyteller... and at the same time the characters drove me totally nuts.  Does that make sense?

In Linger, Sam and Grace are finally living happily ever after.  And Isabelle is trying to move on.  And the pack is mostly still wolf, but Beck set it up so that should all work out too.  

Sort of.

In reality:  Sam really is doing alright with his new non-wolfness.  Grace is sick.  Really bad headaches, stomachaches, nosebleeds, fever.  Isabelle is falling for a new wolf, despite having just lost her brother the wolf-sickness.  The new wolf, Cole, is not who he's saying he is.  And that could be dangerous for the pack.

The plot is kind of where the book lost some ratings stars for me.  Despite having his own house, Sam is sleeping at Grace's house, with her, every night.  Remember:  Grace is a teenager who still lives at home with her parents.  Yes, they're workaholics and should probably have shown more interest in their kid before it got to this point, but still.  Then Grace is crazy bad sick and Sam sees this and doesn't press her to get medical attention for weeks.  Isabelle notices and thinks she might have meningitis but never thinks to mention this suspicion to anyone.  COME ON, PEOPLE.  Get it together!!!

Also, I'm not positive the entire Cole storyline was even necessary.  It has been years since I read Shiver so maybe I forgot something.  And it did add some excitement, so I'm not griping too hard.

So now for the positives, because there were some.  First, Maggie Stiefvater is a good writer.  The story was as well-written as it could be.  It's right on target for the age range.  And there's nothing wrong with leisure reading.  Second, I loved the audiobook format.  They got four readers to do it, so each character literally had it's own voice, which I love.

So... 3 of 5 stars.  I'd really have given it 2.5, but Goodreads makes me round.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews.  You can find their blog here:  This weekly meme, which Tynga's team posts on Saturdays, is all about sharing the books that you received or purchased over the previous week.  This week is larger than usual thanks to a box o'books from Allison at Good Books and Good Wine!  About half of the books immediately went to work with me and will be given to teens; there were some I hadn't read yet so I'll read those first before they go into work.


The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell (from GBGW)
Lucky Us by Amy Bloom  (egalley.  I think this might be Adult-With-Teen-Appeal?  Not crazy about the cover, but you know what they say...)
The Diviners by Libba Bray  (From GBGW and signed!  I've already read this, so it went into work yesterday.)
The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman (egalley)
The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick (From GBGW and signed!)
Blue Notes by  Carrie Lofty  (Judging this book entirely by it's cover I'm SO. EXCITED.)
How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young (From GBGW!)
Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by Bob Pflugfelder with Steve Hockensmith  (egallay.  I'm pretty excited about this little series!  I know it's younger than YA, but I have a nephew who I think would love these.  If I like this, he's totally getting them for Christmas.  And who wouldn't love a book by Pflugfelder & Hockensmith?  Can you repeat that last question with a serious face?)
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider (from GBGW!)
Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon (From GBGW!  Signed!)
Ink by Amanda Sun (From GBGW! Signed!)

Little Fish by Ramsey Beyer (From GBGW!  I'm so excited about this.  I don't remember hearing about it before this box o'books, but it looks really good!  And it's a finished hardcover.  Seeing the girl on the cover holding the fish in the bowl makes me think of What About Bob and Bob carrying his fish in a jar when he traveled.)
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare  (From GBGW!  I've already read this, so this finished copy went straight to teens at work.)
Bewitching by Alex Flinn  (From GBGW!)
The Night is Watching by Heather Graham (From GBGW!  Signed!  I know nothing about Heather Graham except she's Adult and has a loyal fan base so she should be good!)
The Resurrectionist by E.B. Hudspeth  (From GBGW!  A gorgeous finished hardcover.  This looks SO. FREAKING. AWESOME. ya'll!)
Beauty's Beast by Jenna Kernan  (From GBGW!  Signed!  I think this is the first Adult Romance I've ever owned.  Hmm.  New territory...)
Delirium by Lauren Oliver  (From GBGW!  This went straight to work, to teens.  I actually liked this one.  The second & third in the trilogy?  .... )
Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner (From GBGW!  I read Good in Bed a few years ago and it was pretty good writing.  I'm looking forward to giving this a go.)

(Who doesn't love free books?  Go use your local library.)
The Public Library: A Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson (Yes.  I, a public library employee checked out a book about the public library from my public library.  Nerd alert.)