Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
At 7, Grace was dragged into the woods by wolves and nearly killed. She's only alive because one of the wolves saved her. Since that day, she's watched the wolf every winter and he's watched her. She's always felt a connection with him. When circumstances in her town become perilous for the wolves she, in turn, saves her special wolf, but he's not a wolf anymore; he's a human. Sam has been shot and has changed into a man. Now a teen, Grace takes him in and they begin an intense and dangerous romance.
I liked nearly everything about this book except for the romance aspect! The author created an action-filled plot that takes some surprising twists and turns. Her explanation of werewolves and how they change and live is captivating and her character development is admirable. However, I sometimes felt that this was just another unrealistic and annoying teen romance a la Twilight. I fear for the teen girls who read these novels and hope that they realize that relationships are not really this intense or drama-filled. I know that real relationships do not make for good literature, but I really cringe reading about these obsessive connections. I almost gave up on this book about 2/3 of the way in, but I feel the author did a good job of pulling back from the "staring into each other's eyes" moments and amped up the action. The ending was good and I would like to see where the sequel takes us.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
Coventry by Helen Humphreys
Delicate, Edible Birds by Lauren Groff
Columbine by Dave Cullen
The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James (Post coming soon)
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Persuasion by Jane Austen
The Sister by Poppy Adams
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym
The Solitary Summer by Elizabeth von Armin
March by Geraldine Brooks.
Merry Christmas to me!
“Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity… we cherish books even if unread, their mere presence exudes comfort, their ready access, reassurance.”
- A.E. Newton
Friday, December 18, 2009
Grace is a single parent to Sylvie, a daughter she conceived with a much older, married man who is no longer around. Sylvie is 4 and is causing Grace no end of embarrassment and trouble. She screams without stop whenever she is near water, even if it is just splashed on her, she is strangely mean to her best playmate. and often throws fits at her nursery school. Her behavior alienates Grace's friends and dates and gets her expelled from school. More disturbing, she longs for her "real family", only draws pictures of a lonely looking cottage, and when she encounters a picture of a town in Ireland she sleeps with it under her pillow and begs Grace to take her there. At wit's end, Grace reads an article in the local paper about a professor who researches reincarnation,especially in children. Adam Winters is an attractive man who agrees to study Sylvie. He urges Grace to take Sylvie to Coldharbour, the town she loves in Ireland, in order to free Sylvie from her nightmares and memories. They end up going together, with Sylvie, to Ireland and step into a murder mystery.
I really enjoyed the first half of the novel when the author details Sylvie's problems and Grace's frustration with her. The author does a nice job of developing Grace's anger, sadness and bewilderment. When they get to Ireland, however, the plot focuses more on the murder mystery and the character development gets lost. Adam is a very two-dimensional character and I think the author even loses sight of him at times. The mystery is neatly solved and there are great moments of suspense, but in the end I thought this book was just okay.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell
Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
Emma by Jane Austen
These were all bought at Half Price Books so I feel that it was okay because I spent less than $20 whereas at Barnes & Noble I would have shelled out closer to $50 for all four.
You can see that 3 of my four selections have Bronte associated with them - I will write about my current Bronte obsession in a future post.
The Emma I bought is a nice, clean copy with largish print. I already own a version of Emma, but the print is so tiny that it makes reading it a chore (I think it may be time to get my eyes checked) and I want to read this novel before it is shown on Masterpiece Classic in January.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James
The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
and a book each for Olivia and Bella.
There are also a few others that I've contemplated purchasing, but they either weren't available or didn't speak to me when I actually held them in my hands.
I never used to buy books, but in the past year I've bought quite a few. I have a huge stack (ask Niesa) of unread books that won't fit in my book case.
I have also begun an expensive MAC makeup habit, but that's a whole different story...
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I read the second installment in the Resurrection of Magic series while I was in Pueblo (thanks to their lovely library inventory). When I read reviews people complained about it being slow, and it's often the complaint with a middle book in a series, but I thought it was an excellent book. It left me even more anxious for the third book in the series. After trying to escape with the kidnapped street boys, Sadima wakes up in the slums of a city with hair that will only grown the length of eyelashes, an inability to cross the boundaries of the slums, and no memory of who she is or how she got there. And one other thing: she never gets any older. After many years of cycling between hiding and running a cheese shop, she becomes part of an anti-magic movement known as the Errideans (sp?). Hahp and Gerrard are still surviving the rigors of the wizard school with their tentative pact, but things are getting harder. Hahp soon realizes he will have to involve all the students if they are to succeed in destroying Somas and his wizard school. A dangerous thought because one of the students can't be trusted. As it was only the 2nd book, it left a lot of questions unanswered, but I found it enjoyable and can't wait for the 3rd book.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The book opens in the 1890's and centers around a middle class family called the Wellwoods. Humphry is a banker and Olive is a famous writer of children's books. As the book begins, Olive is visiting Major Cain, an employee of the Victoria & Albert Museum and has brought her son Tom along. Tom and Cain's son Julian discover a boy, Philip, who has been living in the basement of the museum, drawing its contents and dreaming of becoming a potter. The Wellwoods take Philip home and set him up with a famous potter of their acquaintance and we are now introduced to all of the families who inhabit this novel.
The subsequent plot is a luscious exploration of the myriad characters, how they develop over the years and how the changes in society affect them and how they live. It doesn't sound very engaging, and there are many readers who hated this novel for its meandering storyline, but I loved the minutiae and the discussion of societal and cultural influences in England at this time in history. One of my favorite aspects of this novel was its focus on fairy tales and German puppetry, but there were so many other things that stirred my senses, piqued my curiosity, and delighted my soul.
Byatt's writing is not for everyone. You have to have patience and a love of detail to really enjoy her novels. As much as I loved this book, there were times when I was exhaused reading about the history of various socialist organizations operating in England and Germany at the time. However, the payoff is worth the effort it takes to read her. The Children's Book is one of the best books I've read this year and I am so glad I took the time to do it.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Dad got me this for my birthday and gave it to me early so they wouldn't have to wait for Thanksgiving before they could give it to me. It was very silly. A lot of the book is straight Pride and Prejudice, but some parts were altered to make it more zombie friendly. Charlotte Lucas was bitten by a zombie and slowly turned and had to have her head chopped off by Mr. Collins, who then hanged himself. Lady Catherine was foremost in the country for zombie slaying and when she comes to deny her consent to the marriage, she and Elizabeth have a duel. Mr. Darcy cripples Mr. Wickham and Lydia has to spend the rest of her life changing his soiled pants, etc. Overall, an interesting read. If you love Pride and Prejudice and have no care for zombies, don't read this. You will be very sad to see Jane's book mangled so. But if you can handle a little poking fun, even at Jane Austen, and the frequent mention of vomit, you might enjoy this book.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
This description doesn't do the book justice at all as there are so many undercurrents running through the novel and I can't describe them without giving the novel away. I can only say that you should read it to discover one of the most suspenseful, thrilling, touching YA books I've read in a while. It definitely lived up to the hype and I have a hold on the next book in the series, Catching Fire, which will be released on Tuesday.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I have read this book at least 10 times, and I still love it! I read it again because I was procrastinating finishing The Mill on the Floss and wanted a quick read. This is a great story about two escaped lab projects. One, a golden retriever with the intelligence of a human and one a hideous, intelligent monstrosity, called The Outsider, designed to be a killer. The dog ends up with Travis, a disillusioned and depressed veteran and brings him together with Nora, a beautiful, albeit timid, woman who was raised to be a spinster. The dog changes their lives and becomes part of their family, but The Outsider has a compulsive need to track and kill the dog who was the "favored son" of the Francis Project that produced them both. Then there's always the looney out of left field that seems a recurring element in Koontz's novels. A man named Vince who is a contract killer believes he absorbs the lives of those he kills. He also believes he will someday achieve immortality and that owning the dog is part of his destiny. So we have the NSA, The Outsider, and Crazy Vince after the dog, Einstein, and Travis and Nora trying to keep the dog safe and free. Exciting read, and only a little funny for having been written in the late '80s.
My Heartbeat describes the plight of Ellen, a freshman in high school, and her brother Link and his best friend James. Link and James are older and wiser and allow Ellen to hang out with them on occasion. Ellen has had a crush on James for a while (which he knows about) and admires her brother. When a fellow student asks if Link and James are "a couple" Ellen reevaluates her view of their relationship and decides to ask them. Her probing changes the dynamics of all of their relationships and Ellen and James eventually start dating, while Link has to deal with his confused sexual identity. The writing in My Heartbeat is beautiful and the material is thought provoking. Freymann-Weyr examines the issues of love and who you love in a, mostly, open-minded way. I definitely wouldn't recommend this to anyone who is offended by frank discussion of sexual identity or the opinion that it doesn't matter who you love, as long as you love.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
This is a "can't put it down but can't bear to go on" book. You want so badly for things to go well for Maggie, all the while thinking that things can't possibly end well. This is a story about a family who, through a series of misfortunes, lose everything and their struggle to restore their good name and standing. It is about human struggle and virtues and ignorance and pride and disappointment and it's no wonder George Eliot was really a woman, which I did not know until reading the bio at the beginning of the book. I devoured the first 7/8's of the book, but cannot bring myself to go on as I think of all the possible endings and none of them are good. If anyone has read the book, please give me a warning or some hope so I will not do what Mom does: read the last page to decide whether I want to go on or not.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
I found out last week that I am now a youth librarian (well, as of August 17) and I am moving to another branch to supervise 4 people. This shocking news might be why I haven't felt like reading (and haven't been able to sleep). This is a huge change for me! I'm not sure if it will alter my reading habits by making me feel obligated to read childrens' and YA fiction. Probably not. I may read a few more kids' books than normal, but I see myself sticking to my usual. That is, once I feel like reading again!
Monday, July 27, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Also, they have a list of the Top 100 Books that they compiled based on 10 other lists - their meta-list. Hmmm.... maybe I should try to read the books on this list instead? I like that it includes non-fiction and poetry. So, keeping to my guidelines for the Telegraph list I decided to read from (no series, no books over 1,000 pages, only books the library owns) I will start with #99, The Color Purple. And, yes, Midnight's Children is on this list too!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
By the way, the film of the same name starring Diane Lane, although lovely, bears hardly any resemblance to the book.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I haven't had a lot of time to read lately, so I've been getting books on CD. I listen to them while I clean the kitchen, put on make-up, etc. I listened to a GREAT book recently called Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey. It's the first in a series called A Resurrection of Magic. It has a dual plot-taking place in two different times. The story switches back and forth every chapter between the story of a magically gifted girl in a time where true magic is outlawed and a young boy who attends a wizard school where the boys are forbidden from helping one another and they will starve to death if they cannot magically produce food. My kitchen has never been so clean as I would find any excuse to be in there while I still had CDs of this book left to "read." Skillful writing that was able to maintain both plots while keeping the reader interested (inability to do this is why it took me so long to finish The Historian) was impressive. Thoroughly enjoyable read. Bad news: the second book of the series is not out yet, meaning it will probably be a few years before I can satisfy my curiousity about Sadima and Hahp's fates.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!
"What was I to do? It was clear to me - horribly clear - that over the past few weeks Rod had been the victim of some very powerful hallucinations."
From The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Friday, May 15, 2009
Graceling by Kristin Cashore -- 1/3 read
In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson -- 1/2 read
Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend's death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes -- 2/3 read
The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon -- just started
When her fiance falls ill while serving in the Crimean War, Mariella Lingwood travels to Italy to care for him only to discover that her cousin, a volunteer in Florence Nightingale's nursing corps, has gone missing.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley -- just started
Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is propelled into a mystery when a man is found murdered on the grounds of her family's decaying English mansion and Flavia's father becomes the main suspect.
Wondrous Strange by Leslie Livingston -- just started
Seventeen-year-old Kelley discovers her secret heritage after meeting Sonny, a guard of the gate that separates the fairy world from the mortal one, while a war band of fairies plan to force their way through the gate on Halloween night.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - almost finished
Sophomore Frankie starts dating senior Matthew Livingston, but when he refuses to talk about the all-male secret society that he and his friends belong to, Frankie infiltrates the society in order to enliven their mediocre pranks.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins -- just started
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.