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Great Books & Our Book Club

Great Books & Our Book Club

Looking for the perfect gift for that hard to please reader on your list? I’ve combed through the extensive lists of new releases and hand-picked my favorites for your gift-giving pleasure. Today we’ll cover friends and kids and tomorrow we’ll do books for family (mom, dad, hipster brother). Make sure you pick up some titles for yourself though, especially because Rocket City Mom is making a MAJOR LITERARY ANNOUNCEMENT. Drum roll… are you doing it? Are you??)

Mark your calendars – the first monthly meeting of the Rocket City Mom Book Club will take place Monday, January 2nd at 6:30 PM at the Madison Public Library! Targeting busy parents who want to come together and discuss something other than “Goodnight Moon”, this group will allow you to flex your mental muscles with other book-loving breeders. Our first selection will be Bel Canto by Ann Patchett – pick up a copy at the Madison Library (they have several) and get reading!

Something tells me we’ll all need a break from family right around January 2nd anyway… and a perfect New Year’s resolution is to read more great books in 2012! Do me a favor and head on over to our Facebook event and let us know if you can make it. We’d love to have you.

Now back to your regularly scheduled book picks.

For Picture Book Lovers


Mustache! by Mac Barnett

In this clever tale, when a king ignores his subjects in favor of his own vanity, little creative revenge is in store. Vive la mustache!

Song of the Starsby Sally Lloyd-Jones

A refreshing take on the Nativity story places it in the context of the animal kingdom, and not just the familiar sheep and cows at the stable. White whales sing, salmon leap, every single blade of grass around the world “squeak and hum” the news of the coming of “the One who made us.”

For The Future Engineer


The LEGO Ideas Book by Dorling Kindersley

Did you ever wonder what you can do with all of those LEGO® bricks after you have created the project they came with? Now you can take what you already have and make something new! The book is divided into six themed chapters—transportation, buildings, space, kingdoms, adventure, and useful makes—each with basic templates of key models and spreads to inspire you to create your own. DK makes the best travel books money can buy IMO, and now they’ve expanded to everyone’s favorite building blocks.

For Young Readers of Both Sorts


The Chronicles of Harris Burdick, illustrated by Chris Van Allsbury

Extraordinary storytellers join forces to weave 14 amazing tales around the intriguing and mysterious illustrations from the legendary The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.

(The book trailer here was put together by Lemony Snicket and makes me giggle.)

The Man in the Moon by William Joyce

These two titles are a part of a wonderful new series and I just couldn’t pick one… Meet the very first guardian of childhood: MiM, the man in the Moon. He was once a child like you, until a battle, a shooting star, and a lost balloon sent him on a quest.

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King by William Joyce

Before Santa was Santa, he was North, Nicholas St. North – a daredevil swordsman whose prowess with double scimitars was legendary. Perfect for the Christmas season!

For Young Adults & Those Who Love the Genre


Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Bick delivers an action-packed tale of an apocalypse unfolding, launching a trilogy with flair. While camping in a national park in Michigan, 17-year-old Alex, a girl coping with a brain tumor and the side effects of its treatment, survives a series of electromagnetic pulses that may have taken out the entire world. Miles from nowhere, she hikes with new companions—an obstinate eight-year-old orphan named Ellie and a young soldier named Tom—as they try to make sense of things. Aside from wrecking their equipment, the pulse has killed most adults and morphed young people into psychotic flesh-eating monsters that are soon dubbed the Changed.

The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long – at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. And they’re looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

For Your Bookworm Best Friend

When She Woke

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

O Magazine calls it “[A] chilling futuristic novel.” Hannah Payne’s life has been devoted to church and family. But after she’s convicted of murder, she awakens in a new body to a nightmarish new life. She finds herself lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes–criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime–is a sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red for the crime of murder. The victim, says the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she shared a fierce and forbidden love.

Out of Oz

Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

The stirring, long-awaited conclusion to the best-selling series that began with Wicked, this is a magical journey rife with revelations, reversals, reprisals and surprises.

11/22/63 by Stephen King

In Stephen King’s first full-length novel since 2009’s Under the Dome, a Maine restaurant owner tells high school teacher Jake Epping that there is a time portal to the year 1958. Dying of cancer, he has only one wish: He wants Jake to go back in time and prevent the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy. According to King, the idea for this novel has been percolating in his mind for decades.

Title reviews provided by,, and


View Comments (3)
  • Oh My Gosh! Stephenie- these are all so wonderful. I’m going to have to increase my book budget for the year! I especially want to read the The Future of Us and When She Woke!

  • ME TOO! And you should see the titles that didn’t make the cut. It was so hard to narrow them down! I love that even though we live in a digital age authors/illustrators can still be counted on to create a conversation with story, history, and art. I read more than ever now that I have an eReader – I didn’t think that was possible!

  • And….I may be biased, but CHECK YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY. We do our best to purchase the best of the new and exciting. If we don’t have it, let us know and we can order it most of the time. 🙂

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