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.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Coventry mainly takes place on the night of November 14, 1940 when the English city of Coventry was nearly completely destroyed by German bombs. It follows the efforts of two women, Maeve and Harriet, to survive the bombing that devastated the city. There are periodic flashbacks to the First World War when Harriet lost her husband and Maeve conceived her son and how those experiences now impact how the women react to the current war and bombing.
The Lost Garden also takes place during World War II. Gwen Davis is 35, single and lonely. She is a gardener who works for the Royal Horticultural Society in London and is looking for an opportunity to leave the city she loves so she doesn’t have to witness its destruction by bombs. She gets that opportunity by joining the Women’s Land Army and going to Devon to plant potatoes on a neglected estate. Here she receives her first experiences with love and intense friendship, and ultimately, loss. Her discovery of a hidden, overgrown garden and the plants it contains is a perfect metaphor for her experiences and Humphreys’ descriptions of the gardens and flora on the estate match well with her descriptions of Gwen’s emotional landscape.
Both of these novels deal with love, but more intensely with loss and how people let it shape their lives.
As the author herself says “Every story is a story about death. But perhaps, if we are lucky, our story about death is also a story about love”.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
You Know Where To Find Me by Rachel Cohn
Miles is overweight, lonely and too intelligent for her own good. Her only friends are a popular black guy and her cousin Laura. When Laura commits suicide Miles descends into a numbing depression that she only makes worse by abusing prescription pain-killers. Sarcastic, funny and painfully self-absorbed Miles is a gem of a character who is surprisingly sane considering her situation. I enjoyed this novel for her character alone, but I found it lacking for some reason that I can't pin down.
Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
This graphic novel was on all of the Best YA book lists last year so though I normally don't read graphic novels I decided to give it a go and I'm glad I did. I really liked this story of another disgruntled teen girl, Kim (called Skim, "because she's not") and her struggle to fit in with her peers and find a place for herself at school and at home. The illustrations are amazing and I look forward to reading more work by Mariko and Jillian.
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
This classic graphic novel stars Enid and Rebecca. They are not in school anymore and have no goals except to be seen at the right places and with the right people. They are mean and hateful to each other and everyone else in a desperate attempt to rise above the crowd and their crappy, aimless lives. They are fascinating characters, especially Enid, and I enjoyed their story though it was hard to take at times.