Showing posts from July, 2007

#48. The Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Pages: 287
Finished: July 28, 2007
Reason for Reading: yahoo pulitzer book group read for July
First Published: 2006
Awards: 2007 Pulitzer Prize
Rating: 2/5

First Sentence:

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.

Recommend: Take it or leave it. It is not a bad book but I didn't really find it a good book either.

My main problem was I just didn't find it believable. McCarthy doesn't outright say what caused the end of the world and I didn't find his allusions to the cause to be believable. The cannabalism thing, I don't believe either. Maybe a few groups here and there, but practically everyone they meet? Finally, there were just too many times they were on the verge of starving to death and they were saved by a windfall of food and I thought the ending was just too much of a coincidence as well.

#47. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. rowling
Number 7 in the Harry Potter series

Pages: 607
Finished: July 28, 2007
Reason for Reading: I'm a fan!
First Published: 2007
Rating: 5/5

First Sentence:

The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.

Recommend: Yes! But only if you've read the others. This is not a stand-alone. Ahhh, the ending of Harry Potter is bittersweet. I'm so satisfied with the conclusion of this book and yet sad that this is the end. I was very happy that the major plot elements were reconciled in the way that I had hoped they would be. I found the first half of the book to be a slow read. Then in the middle, the pace picked up and the pages kept turning. I really enjoyed the book and think it is a very satisfying conclusion.

#46. Night of the Ninjas

Night of the Ninjas by Mary Pope Osborne
Number 5 in the Magic Tree House series

Pages: 69
Finished: July 24, 2007
Reason for Reading: Read-aloud to my 7yo son
First Published: 1995
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence:

One summer day in Frog Creek, Pennsylvania, a mysterious tree house appeared in the woods.

Recommend: Yes. The reading of this book created a lot of ninja moves as my 7yo added visuals to the story. This book begins the story arc for the next 4 books where Jack and Annie must find the 4 things to help rescue Morgan Le Fay.

#45. A Great and Terrible Beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Pages: 403
Finished: July 23, 2007
Reason for Reading: I'd read good reviews and it looked like something I'd enjoy
Rating: 5/5

First Sentence:

Please tell me that's not going to be part of my birthday dinner this evening.

Recommend: Highly recommened!! I could not put this book down. It is a historical fantasy set in a Victorian girl's boarding school. The fantasy world is compelling and unique. I was stunned by certain twists of the plot and at one point I actually gasped out loud! The main characters are believable in the Victorian setting and are ones the reader becomes emotionally involved with. I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in the series.

#44. Pure Dead Magic

Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gliori
First in the "Pure Dead" series

Pages: 182
Finished: July 22, 2007
Reason for Reading: happened upon it at the library, the cover art (2002 Edition) was amazing and after reading the blurb on the back decided to check it out.
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence:

From an upstairs window peered three pairs of eyes.

Recommend: Yes. I thoroughly enjoyed this! Very funny with tongue-in-cheek British humour (well, Scottish, actually), I found myself laughing out loud several times and chuckling quietly many times. This family is very unique but endearing, think of a Scottish Addams Family. For the first half of the book, the plot was a bit slow as each chapter seemed to be more of a vignette than part of the story-line, but by the middle of the book the action picked up. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the Unfortunate Events books but be warned that this book is a bit 'gross' at times (large mythical beasts do eat bad guys), so definitely not for…

Garage Sale Saturday

Well, went book shopping again this Saturday, this time we went to a bunch of garage sales. I ended up with a nice stack of books:

The Great Ghost Rescue by Eva Ibbotson - I love this author and was thrilled to find this one which I've never read.

Magic by the Lake by Edward Eager
Half-Magic by Edward Eager
The Well-Wishers by Edward Eager - These are to read-aloud to my 7yo. Now I almost have all his books.

The Horse You Came in On by Martha Grimes - I love Richard Jury books!

The Hand of Robin Squires by Joan Clark - This is fabulous Canadian historical fiction for young adults about the mysterious Oak Island treasure. I read this along time ago and will read it again aloud to the 7yo once he's older.

Lost Race of Mars by Robert Silverberg - an old Scholastic paperback with a cheasy cover, I couldn't resist.

I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan - I hate to admit this but I've never read any of her books, this should get me started.

The Seventh Princess by Nick Su…

#43. At the Crossing-Places

At the Crossing-Places by Kevin Crossley-Holland
Number 2 in the Arthur Trilogy

Pages: 367
Finished: July 20, 2007
Reason for Reading: Second in the trilogy
Rating: 5/5

First Sentence:

The first day of my new life began with ice and ended with flames.

Recommend: Yes. Arthurian tales are one of my favourite sub-genres whether they be fantasy or historical and this trilogy is no exception. This book continues the story from The Seeing Stone and while maybe not quite as good as the first is pretty close. A mixture of historical fiction with a bit of fantasy this is a satisfying read. The ending leaves me anxious to read the final book.

#42. Pirates Past Noon

Pirates Past Noon by Mary Pope Osborne
Number 4 in the Magic Tree House series

Pages: 67
Finished: July 19, 2007
Reason for Reading: Read-aloud to my 7yo son
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence:

Jack stared out his bedroom window

Recommend: Yes. This is actually a well written series of fantasy books for very young children. With a limited vocabulary they succeed very well with keeping children rivetted. My 7yo (who is not quite reading on his own yet) finds these books very exciting and I will continue to read these aloud to him over the next few months. Pirates Past Noon concludes the running story-line of the first 4 books and the 7yo is quite concerned how Jack and Annie will ever manage to get back to the tree house again. He's anxiously awaiting the start of the next book.

I Won!

I'm so excited! I won a signed copy of Odalisque by Fiona McIntosh!

#41. Twilight

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Pages: 498
Finished: July 17, 2007
Reason for Reading: read a lot of good reviews and just had to read it myself
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence:

I'd never given much thought to how I would die -- though I'd had reason enough in the last few months -- but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.

Recommend: Yes. I loved it! Riveting, page-turning, long-into-the-night reading. The Cullen family vampires are unique and intriguing, I hope we get to know them better in the next one. I did have a problem with this book, though. I couldn't stand Bella. I don't think I've ever had a main character annoy me so much. She was self-centered, had the lowest self-esteem imaginable and managed to "glare" at people approximately five times every page. But, I did enjoy it and will be looking for the sequel next trip to the library.

#40. Socks

Socks by Beverly Cleary

Pages: 156
Finished: July 16, 2007
Reason for Reading: Read-Aloud to my 7yob
Rating: 3/5

First Sentence:

The tabby kitten hooked his white paws over the edge of the box marked, Kittens 25 cents or Best Offer.

Recommend: I'm wishy-washy on this one. I'm a big fan of Beverly Cleary. I love and recommend many of her books but this one was just rather ho-hum. My son enjoyed parts of it but wasn't really drawn into the story. He (and I) did enjoy the last chapter, though, it was very funny and we wished the rest of the book had been also. If you want to read Cleary, I would suggest the Ramona, Ralph or Henry books over this one.

Saving Fish From Drowning

Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan

Pages: 474
Finished: July 15, 2007
Reason for Reading: Working on reading all of Amy Tan's books.
Rating: 5/5

First Sentence:

It was not my fault

Recommend: Highly, Yes! This book is a departure for Tan from the mother/daughter relationships explored in her previous novels. In Saving Fish from Drowning we are swept away into the jungles of Burma with a group of 12 American tourists whose characteristics range from the eccentric to the timid and everything in between. This novel has everything: travel, mystery, adventure and humour. To cap it all off there is a sense of the supernatural that is explored as the narrator of the story is in the mystifying position of having found herself recently killed at the beginning of our story. This book is definitely in my top five reads of the year.

Thrifting Books

I can't stop shopping for books. You know I can't enter a thrift store and not come out with books. Yesterday I bought a couple and today I bought a few more. Here are the books that just had to come home with me this weekend:

Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad #1) by David Eddings - I've wanted to read this series since forever.

Dove and Sword: A Novel of Joan of Arc by Nancy Garden - a YA historical fiction which looks very good.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry - another I've wanted to read for a very long time. I love westerns but don't seem to read many and this is a Pullitzer winner so I could read this for the book award challenge.

The Guardians by John Christopher - I've read most of Christopher's books and usually never see one at the thrift stores that I haven't read, so was tickled to find this one and it sounds very good, a dystopia type of story.

The Secret Life of Laszlo, Count Dracula by Roderick Anscombe - never heard of it but I'm willing…

Lady Friday

Lady Friday by Garth Nix
Number 5 in The Keys to the Kingdom Series

Pages: 304
Finished: July 11, 2007
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence:

Leaf woke with a start and sat up in bed.

Recommend: Yes. This is the next book in the series and would not make sense if you hadn't read the first four but if you are reading the series don't miss out on this one. Action packed from beginning to end, Arthur continues his quest for the Keys and the next part of the Will, this time he's after the Fifth Key and must face Lady Friday. My only problem with this book was that my favourite character, Suzy Turquoise Blue, didn't show up until about the halfway point. I love the complex world in this fantasy series and I also love the play on words, such as the new character we meet, Peter Perkin Paper Pusher.

Book Sale Booty

These are the books I brought home yesterday when I walked into the Sally Ann and they had a 3 for 1 sale on paperbacks. Lots of fluff, nothing deep and profound, just fun:

The Ruby Knight - David Eddings
Belgarath the Sorcerer - David Eddings
Doom of the Darksword - Margaret Weis
Magic Kingdom For Sale - Sold - Terry Brooks
The Black Unicorn - Terry Brooks
Silverwing - Kenneth Oppel (I have wanted to read Oppel's books for-e-ver)
Enchanter - Sara Douglass
Starman - Sara Douglass
7 original Buffy the Vampire Slayer books & 2 Angel books (these are one of my guilty little pleasures ;-)
The Fledgling - Jane Langton (Newbery Honor)
Dragon Slayer's Academy #4 - K.H. McMullan (for my 7yob)
Boxcar Children #2 & #3 - Gertrude Warner (these will be a read-alouds)
The World of Little House - Carolyn Strom Collins (I'm a sucker for all things Little House)
Merlin's Harp - Anne Eliot Crompton
The Last Castle by Jack Vance & Nightwings by Robert Silverberg (A double book)
The Hunter&…

The New Reading Pile

I went to the library this morning and replenished my reading pile.

I have been on a self-imposed fantasy ban this year. I'm a big fantasy fan and for the last couple of years I've read almost nothing but fantasy, sci-fi, and other derivitives but I found myself at a point where I needed a break. But this last month I have been yearning for my fantasy and especially YA. Sooo, I had fun in the children's library this morning and brought these home:

Lady Friday by Garth Nix
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Twilight by Stephenie Myer
Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gliori
At the Crossing-Places by Kevin Crossley-Holland

Then back over the Adult section for the next Kathy Reichs and a graphic novel Rex Mundi.

Then we popped into the Sally Ann this afternoon and they had a 3 for 1 sale on paperbacks sooo I came home with 2 bags of books. I'll make a list of what I came home with in my next post.

Bare Bones

Bare Bones by Kathy Reichs

Pages: 306
Finished: July 6, 2007
Reason for Reading: I'm reading my way through Reichs' books.
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence:

As I was packaging what remained of the dead baby, the man I would kill was burning pavement north toward Charlotte.

Recommend: Yes! This was a particularly good entry in the Temperance Brennan series. With a first sentence like that I was hooked and read the first half of the book in one setting. This one will not disappoint fans. More of what you expect from Reichs and there are some interesting developments in Brennan's personal life, too. I was annoyed with the political proselytizing of the last two pages which were totally unnecessary and the reason for my rating of 4.

Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Pages: 249
Finished: July 4, 2007
Reason for Reading: this was a previous read in the classic lit yahoo group before I joined and it sounded very interesting to me.
Rating: 3/5

First sentences:

They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did. But we were not in their ranks. The Jamaican ladies had never approved of my mother ...

Recommend: Not really. If you are a big Jane Eyre fan (like I am) and this book intrigues you, you may feel compelled to read it (like I did). I'm rather ambivalent about the book. Part One was very good, the story of Antoinette's life before she meets Rochester. The rest of the book seemed rushed and the plot was lost. After Part One, I found the characters lost appeal also and I started to not really care what happened to them. Overall, it is a short book and a quick read, and enjoyable to a point.


Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

pages: 247
finished: July 2, 2007
Awards: 2005 Pulitzer Prize, 2005 Melcher Award
Reason for Reading: July selection for the Pulitzer Yahoo Reading group
Rating: 4/5

first sentence:

I told you last night that I might be gone sometime, and you said, Where, and I said, To be with the Good Lord, and you said, Why, and I said, Because I'm old, and you said, I don't think you're old.

Recommend: Yes. This is book that satisfies your soul. It is a story with very little plot and not much really happens but it leaves you with a sense of fulfillment, a sense of contentment. Reading the book reminded me of sitting at the lake with feet dangling into the water and simply being.

Series I'm Reading

I just saw that Crazy Cozy Murders had a list of series she was reading. Then I followed the links to the others who have done this too and I was inspired to get my series all listed in one place too. This is an eclectic mix of YA fantasy, fantasy, mysteries, horror and a bit of everything else! So, here we go. This is a list of series that I have started (read at least 1 book) and want to continue reading. Series in red, I have either completed or am waiting for the next volume to be published.

This list is no longer being updated. Pleast visit my new blog Addicted to Series to see what series I am currently reading.

I've also placed an * next to the titles I own to help me not buy any more duplicates.

Lewis Barnavelt books by John Bellairs
The House With a Clock in It's Walls
The Figure in the Shadows
The Letter, the Witch and the Ring
The Ghost in the Mirror (with Brad Strickland)
The Vengeance of the Witch-finder
The Doom of the Haunted Opera
The Specter from the Magician's Mus…