Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Winter Sea by,Susanna Kearsley~~Review


None of the descriptions I have found of this book do it justice they all make it sound like time travel and it's not so I'll just say see the pretty cover the book lives up to the cover!

The Winter Sea by,Susanna Kearsley

This was a nice mix of historical fiction and a modern day story set in Scotland, this was recommended to me because I love the Outlander Series. First off this doesn’t have time travel as I’ve seen some people say it has genetic memories which was a new device for me, but it worked well. It was interesting how modern day author Carrie is writing her novel and the characters in her head tell her how the story should go then she checks the historical records and they match perfect so there is this little bit of genetic memory, possible ghost story. I have heard from authors when they talk about their writing process that the characters decide where the story goes and not the writer and how they feel like their characters come to life, so this was kind of a take on this concept.

Both the present day and historical stories are blended well with the historical story set during the Jacobite rebellion of 1708 which was very well done and researched. There is romance in both stories that kind of mirror each other but both are kind of chaste and bittersweet neither is a big passionate affair just a nice addition to the story.

I enjoyed this story very much and would recommend it to fans of historical fiction. I will be reading more by this author!

4 ½ Stars

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Variant (Variant #1) by Robison Wells ~~Review


Variant (Variant #1) by Robison Wells
Description: Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.
He was wrong.
Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.
Where breaking the rules equals death.
But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.

My Review:
I’ll just start by saying I Want More!

This was a unique story, foster kid Benson gets a scholarship for a private school, thinking things are finally looking up he is excited to be given this chance, but as soon as he gets to the school everything changes and things are not at all what they seem.

This story kept me on the edge of my seat it was intriguing and action packed however it ended too soon and left me wanting the 2nd book right now! The writing was good and kept me guessing right along with Benson. I don’t want to give anything away so I will say I highly recommend this new Young Adult series and I believe Robinson Wells is an author to watch out for!

This book was kind of a cross between Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games but I don’t really feel it is dystopian because I think it is happening in our time and I got the impression that the world outside the school is normal to our present standards.

4 Stars

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ashfall by, Mike Mullins~~Review


Ashfall by, Mike Mullins
Alex lives in Cedar Rapids Iowa his parents have left him home alone for the weekend but it’s not the weekend he is hoping it will be when something crashes into his house and burns it to the ground you’d think that would be the worst of it but it is only the beginning. A Supervolcano in Yellowstone has gone off and changed the world as we know it; Alex sets off to find his family in a trek of survival, starvation and terror. Along the way Alex’s will is tested he does find some nice people that help him along the way but he also runs into people who would do him harm. He ends up at the farmhouse of Darla and her mother but tragedy strikes there too so he and Darla set off cross country to find his family.

The vivid descriptions of our world after the volcano the ash fall, the blocking out of the sun, the noise, the snow, and just trying to survive. This book doesn’t show our government in a very good light but honestly I could see it happening. Alex is a strong willed boy but Darla is strong and being a farm girl knows things about survival that city boy Alex never could. They make a great pair and I don’t think either one could have survived without the other. It was refreshing to have a male lead character yes there is a female but she is later in the book and compliments our male lead very well.

This book was scary in the way that this could really happen and since I live only a few states away from Yellowstone it hit home a bit. This book also made me curious enough about the Supervolcano that I looked things up and watched the BBC movie Supervolcano.

One of the best quotes from this book about the inhumanity these kids saw was...
“For the first time ever, I felt ashamed of my species. The volcano had taken our homes, our food, our automobiles, and our airplanes, but it hadn’t taken our humanity. No, we’d given that up on our own.”


I enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down and look forward to the next installment in this series. Though this is a series it did have a conclusion but with more story to come!

4 ½ Stars

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Snowflower and the Secret Fan by, Lisa See~~Nov.Book Club Pick


This was our book club's first pick and a great one it was! Everyone loved this heartbreakingly beautiful book; this book will stay with you long after you finish reading it. Highly recommended by all members of our library book club!

Susie's Review:This book is heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time. I just want to go on and on about how much I loved this book. This book made me care so much about Lily & Snow Flower that the last part of the book broke my heart. Lisa See’s writing is so beautiful this story just flowed and was so hard to put down.

The foot binding part was so very hard to read about and the way women were treated was so appalling some of the things said that stood out:
The loss of a child is hard even if it is only a daughter.
Thank you Baba for raising a worthless daughter.
Better to have a dog than a daughter.

The relationship between these two women was so real, even with your best friend you will fight and make up and you may not be living the same type of life at the same time. The trials & tribulations these two women went through and the change of status was so fascinating to read helped along by the fluidity of the writing. As young girls Snow Flower seemed to have it all but thanks to Lily’s perfect little feet she found a prestigious match for a husband who I think through it all treated her with kindness for the most part in the day and age they lived in. Snow Flower was not so lucky and life was much harder on her.

I finished this book awhile ago for our book club and we will be discussing it tomorrow night so I waited so my thoughts wouldn’t influence what others thought of this book and they wouldn’t influence my review. I finished this about 2 weeks ago and am still thinking about it this book will stay with you and make you think and realize how far women have come!

I highly recommend this book to... well everyone!

5 Stars

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We All Wore Stars: Memories of Anne Frank from Her Classmates~~Review


We All Wore Stars: Memories of Anne Frank from Her Classmates by Theo Coster
Description:In 1941, Theo Coster was a student at the Amsterdam Jewish Lyceum, one in a class of 28 Jewish children that the Nazis had segregated from the rest of the Dutch population. Among Theo’s fellow students was a young Anne Frank, whose diary would later become one of the most important documents of the Holocaust. In this remarkable group portrait, Coster and five of his fellow classmates gather their personal stories and memories of Anne. The accounts collected here do not just help us to rediscover Anne Frank. They also stand on their own as remarkable stories of ingenuity and survival during the Holocaust--from Albert Gomes de Mesquita, who hid in ten different towns across Europe--to Hannah Goslar, who experienced the horrors of Bergen-Belsen but also made a miraculous reconnection with Anne days before her death.

My Review:
This was a very thought provoking book, we have all read her book or at least heard of Anne Frank but we’ve never heard about the kids from her class that survived. So many Jewish kids in the Netherlands went into hiding some were fortunate to be taken in with families that took good care of them some had freedom and some had to stay hidden.

This was a project that encompassed not only a book but a documentary too, (which I really want to see.) Theo Coster went looking for other classmates that also survived to see how they did it and to talk about Anne what they remembered of her, what was her personality really like and did as many boys have crushes on her as she wrote about in her now famous diary. Some of the survivors did end up in camps and some were in hiding with families risking their lives to help them, some hid in villages in the woods. A couple of the girls even saw Anne in Bergen-Belsen before her death.

These stories, as all stories of the Holocaust are so important to tell because the age of survivors is rising and their stories need to be remembered so these atrocities don’t happen again.

This book made me search out the documentary which I unfortunately could not find, but I did watch a different one about other hidden children of the Netherlands and the families that helped them are so amazing. But that is what a book like this should do is make you think, make you research and remember so nothing like this ever happens again. It also makes me want to go back and read Anne’s diary which I haven’t read in quite a few years.

I think this book should be a companion to The Diary of Anne Frank and any classroom that reads Anne’s diary should read this book along with it to hear from people that did survive to tell their tale.

I highly recommend this book.

5 Stars

I received this book from the Librarything Early Reviewers Program

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Woman in Black by, Susan Hill~~Review


My Review:

This was a good spooky ghost story not gory but psychologically suspenseful. Arthur Kripps is given the task of going through the papers of a woman he has never met her, but his firm is handling her affairs after her death. What Arthur finds in the town and house is something that will stay with him for the rest of his life.

This book was written very well with just the right amount of suspense and trepidation, as events happen to Arthur I found myself with butterflies in my stomach and was glad no one came up behind me while I was reading. I liked that the author made you feel the darkness, smell the marshes, and hear the sounds and that’s what’s great about this book it has great atmosphere and does a good job at pulling you in.

If you are a fan of Victorian ghost stories I highly recommend this book this will be a book I will recommend to anyone who likes ghost stories that are suspenseful without any blood & gore.

This was my first book by Susan Hill and after her descriptive writing in this book I will try others by her.

4 Stars

Don't forget this is the play at DPRCA call for info; 1 701.947.2174 or visit their website here

There is also a movie coming out starring Daniel Radcliffe see trailer and more info here

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs ~Review



Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My Review:
This combination of great story and spooky old pictures is a hit! I could not put this book down! This is the story of Jacob whose grandfather tells him ,what he thinks are tall tales, about a home he was evacuated to during WWII from Poland to Wales and the other peculiar children there. Interspersed in this book are great old photographs which enhance this story and serve to make you a believer too.

This quote from the book I think describes Jacob’s journey and this book well:
And that is how someone who is unusually susceptible to nightmares, night terrors, the Creeps, the Willies and Seeing Things That Aren’t Really There talks himself into making one last trip to the abandoned, almost-certainly-haunted house where a dozen or more children met their untimely end.

But what he finds is even more fascinating this is hard I don’t want to give anything away because I want you to have the pleasure of reading this magical book. This story will keep you on the edge of your seat as each secret is revealed I was riveted.


This was a great book I just want to gush about it and I am really hoping that we will get more of this story because I didn’t want it to end and would really love a second book. This was the perfect book to kick off my spooky reading month!

As you probably have figured out I highly recommend this book.

5 Stars

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cut By:Patricia McCormick


Summary:
Callie was put into Sea Pines to work on her "issues". She is not at Sea Pines voluntarily. Callie refuses to talk to anyone. Its not like she cant talk. She used to talk all the time. Then she was forced to go to Sea Pines. She thinks therapy is torture. She thinks group therapy is worse. The other girls "issues" are terrible, stupid things they shouldn't do. She does not think she has "issues". But what if she does?

This story relates to real issues that real people have. Its really hard to find a story that relates to teens without making our problem seem so immature. Patricia McCormick has found a way to write about real teen problems in a way that make a person realize how real they are. This is a great story about real issues.

Rating:
4 stars

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai Audiobook ~~Review


The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai Audiobook narrated by, Emily Bauer

Synopsis from Goodreads
:Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten- year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy's help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes with celebrity Pastor Bob. Lucy stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from Pastor Bob and the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path. But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the man who seems to be on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

My Review:
This is a very odd unbelievable story as our children’s librarian tries to help out 10 year old Ian who may or may not be gay but his Christian parent’s think he may be so they send him to an anti-gay Minister/treatment and only want him to read God-filled stories. This author does have a good grasp on children’s literature with the quotes and characters from other books, however as a librarian not so much. When Ian runs away to the library and ends up in Lucy’s car they end up on a road trip and this where this story goes off the rails for me. Lucy talks about oh what I’m doing is wrong but she doesn’t take the boy home just because his parents don’t let him read the books he wants to read??I’m sorry as a librarian I am all for Intellectual freedom but I also believe that it is a parents right to decide what their child reads He Is 10 years old and who are you as a 20 something children’s librarian to decide what is good for him? I felt she was helping enough letting him read what he wanted while he was in the library and helping him smuggle out books but the whole road trip/kidnapping was just going too far.

Lucy and Ian are both a bit annoying and actually unsympathetic and I found it really hard to continue with this book but since I received this as an Early Review Copy I must finish, between the story, the characters and the Audiobook narrator this is really hard to keep going. Honestly I have tried 4 times to finish this one because I have to stop for awhile and get away from the grating voice and whiny narrator.


I listened to this on audio and I just want to clarify I listen to a lot of audiobooks in a month and I have heard some wonderful narrators unfortunately Emily Bauer isn’t one of them she sounded like a little kid while narrating Lucy then when she was doing the voice of Ian it was even worse and was extremely grating. If she was narrating as a child she may be ok but she is narrating the voice of an adult and sounds like a whiny preteen.

However her voice and the story grew on me… I wrote the above when I was half way through. The road trip as a whole had its cute parts but it was still really hard to understand why there wasn’t an amber alert and the parents weren’t on TV wringing their hands so I decided to kind of put it in my head it set in an earlier decade it was easier to suspend my thinking and just enjoy the story.

All in all this isn’t a bad book you just have to be willing to suspend your belief about the circumstances and just let the story tell itself.

Hovering between 2 ½ and 3 Stars
FYI My Rating System:
3 Stars- Good Book but some things didn't connect with me
2 1/2 Stars- just didn't connect to this book but was ok

Full Disclosure: I received this book from Librarything Early Reviewer Program

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bloodroot by, Amy Greene~~Review


Bloodroot by, Amy Greene~~Named for a flower whose blood-red sap possesses the power both to heal and poison, Bloodroot is a stunning fiction debut about the legacies—of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss—that haunt one family across the generations, from the Great Depression to today.

My Review:

This was a very different story and kind of hard to review without giving the story away. It has a beautiful magical quality to it. The characters are all very flawed and the story jumps between time periods and narrators. It’s a family saga that spans 3 generations in the Appalachian Mountains.

The main focus is Myra Lamb whose parents died in a car accident when she is small and her grandma Byrdie then raises her, we hear the story of Myra’s parents and Myra’s life and the life of her children. Myra is a tomboy who loves the mountains and is always looking for her next adventure. She has a pretty good life until she meets and marries John Odom then things go downhill for her. The main part of the story is about her children Laura & John who do not have a very good life.

The story does keep you guessing about a few a things until the end and there are some storylines that didn’t seem to needed but then there are these coincidences you find out as the story progresses that lend to the magical realism of this book.

I did enjoy this book the whole feel of it is good although I must warn you it is not a happy story its sad and I wasn’t totally satisfied with the ending and kind of wished the characters had known what I knew about the coincidences. But all in all I would recommend this book if you like southern fiction with magical realism and family saga’s.

3 ½ stars

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay~~Review


Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay Description from goodreads:
Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard—their secret hiding place—and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released.

Sixty Years Later: Sarah's story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the roundup. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her own romantic future.

In Sarah's Key, Tatiana de Rosnay offers up a mesmerizing story in which a tragic past unfold, the present is torn apart, and the future is irrevocably altered.

My Review

What a great book I had heard good things about it and can’t keep it on the shelf at the library but I didn’t realize just how good of a story this was.

The two stories merge together so flawlessly and you come to care so much for both Sarah and Julia. Sarah’s story is set during the holocaust in Paris during the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup where the French police rounded up all the Jews including thousands of children and sent them off to their deaths, but Sarah’s story goes so far beyond just the holocaust it is so heartbreaking. Julia is in modern-day Paris and a journalist hired to do a story about the roundup but what she finds hits so much closer to home than she ever imagined.

I loved this book it was so hard to put it down because I just had to know what had happened to Sarah. It also, like all good historical fiction should do, made me research the facts of this horrible day in France’s history because I like Julia had never heard of it and to me that is what this book is about as she says To Never Forget. This glimpse into history is a fictionalized account of the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup but it made me aware of it and the lives lost in a section of the Holocaust I knew nothing about. Also that these atrocities were carried out by the French Police on the orders of the Nazi’s not the Nazi’s themselves just seems to make it all the more heartbreaking.

If you follow my reviews you will know I love books that have a modern and a historical story and this one was no exception Tatiana de Rosnay beautifully blended these stories together. Ok I will stop gushing now.

I highly recommend this book, I listened to it on audio and narrator Polly Stone does a great job at bringing these characters to life.

5 stars

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Distant Hours by, Kate Morton~~Review


The Distant Hours by, Kate Morton

Kate Morton does it again with this great gothic feeling story of the 3 Blythe sisters and the ward they kept during the evacuation of the children from London during WWII, Meredith. The story we have in the present day is Meredith’s daughter Edie finds a letter to her mother from Juniper Blythe youngest of the spinster Blythe sisters and Edie finds out her mother was billeted with them at Milderhurst Castle during the war a fact her mother has never spoken a word about, especially considering Edie’s favorite book as a child "The Mudman" was written by the Blythes eccentric father. So Edie decided to travel to the castle and find out what she can about her mother’s time there and the reclusive author of her favorite childhood book. But what she finds out about the Blythe family goes so far beyond her mother and the ramifications of the secrets of the past and how they have affected the sisters.

This book had the great twists and turns and family secrets that Kate Morton has become known for I didn’t want to stop reading/listening to this one and was sad when I had to stop! I just want to gush like a fangirl about Kate Morton I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy all her books. I also can’t say enough about the audio versions Caroline Lee’s narration is so good and I highly recommend all Kate Morton’s books in audiobook format. They are a great read either way and I can’t wait for a new book by this author since I have now devoured everything she has written so far!

4 ½ Stars

The Library has this book in softcover and also The Forgotten Garden & The House on Riverton I highly recommend all books by this author!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ingenue (The Flappers #2) by Jillian Larkin~~Review


Ingenue (The Flappers) by Jillian Larkin

We start up this second book in the Flapper’s series in New York City, Gloria and Jerome hiding out from the mob, Lorraine working for the mob, Clara is back in the city that almost ruined her, can she stay away from her old life or is it too much of a temptation and Vera trying to find her brother and hopefully save his life and make up for what she had done in Chicago. Relationships go through some growing pains in this one! You’ll be surprised who ends up the happiest in the end.

This one was a lot of fun again with some major intrigue as the stories and people converged for the climax and what a climax it was! It isn’t really a cliffhanger but the end of one chapter and the next book will be a new one because parts of this story were wrapped up very well, yet with just enough mystery to keep fans reading to see what happens next.

I so enjoy the atmosphere in this series, the 20’s ,flappers, bootleggers, booze, gangsters and some famous people of the time play into this story! I love who Vera meets backstage at the Cotton Club and who engineers some of the bad things that happen! (No Spoilers)

I think this is a great YA historical fiction series that teens and adults alike will enjoy no fantasy involved just a look at life in a different time when women were just starting to come into their own, segregation is in effect except of course that it’s ok for the African Americans to entertain you but they must come in the back door and an interracial relationship will get you in trouble I think it gives a great look at a life we can only imagine and hope that we have moved far away from. I do love books that that show strong women and this one is full of them , women in 1920 leaving the notions and traditional roles their parents have laid out for them to make their way in the world on their own, scary as that is.

I look forward to the next installment of this series!

4 stars

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by, Helen Simonson ~~Review


Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by, Helen Simonson
Description:Major Ernest Pettigrew, retired, of Edgecombe St. Mary, England, is more than a little dismayed by the sloppy manners, narcissism, and materialism of modern society. The decline of gentility is evident everywhere, from tea bags, to designer sweaters, to racism masquerading as tolerance.
Mutual grief allies him with Mrs. Ali, a widowed local shopkeeper of Pakistani descent who has also resigned herself to dignified, if solitary, last years. The carefully suppressed passion between these two spawns twitters of disapproval in their provincial village, but Pettigrew hasn't time for such silliness: real estate developers are plotting to carpet the fields outside his back door with mansionettes and his sister-in-law plans to auction off a prized family firearm. Meanwhile, Mrs. Ali's late husband's Muslim family expects her to hand over her hard-won business to her sullen, fundamentalist nephew, a notion she finds repellant and chauvinistic.

It's a testament to Simonson that in this delightful novel, Pettigrew
must navigate the tragic, the absurd, and the transcendentally joyful aspects of a familiar life turned upside down by an unfamiliar and unexpected late-life love affair. That two people from opposing and mutually distrusting worlds are able to bridge every gap with unerring respect and decorum serves as a quiet suggestion that larger conflicts might be avoided or resolved in much the same way. Finally, a way forward that Major Pettigrew would approve.



My Review:

This was a delightful story, the Major is such a charming gentleman trying to come to terms with getting older and ending some of the “proper” things he is used to. I really enjoyed the blossoming relationship with Mrs. Ali who is a Pakistani shop keeper although she was born and raised in England the people of the town don’t see her that way as the major soon finds out.

This was almost like a coming of age story but in an older very British man. This was such an interesting love story and for the Major to “see” his peers and friends in a whole new light and in turn seeing himself too. The Major’s son Roger had me mad a few times he’s a pompous git.

I just found this a great story it is all about the characters there’s no murder, no fantasy, just a wonderful group of characters beautifully written.

I think if you liked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society give this one a try!

4 ½ Stars

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Art of Racing in the Rain by, Garth Stein~~Review


The Art of Racing in the Rain by, Garth Stein
Description:
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life...as only a dog could tell it

My Review:

This is an interesting book because it is narrated by the dog, Enzo. This book is bittersweet a dogs perspective on life in his family. A mix of sadness and humor as is real life. Parts of this book angered me the grandparents really made me mad! Enzo has seen enough on TV to think that if he is smart enough he will be reincarnated as a man.

When he gets left alone with the demon zebra stuffed animal that he must destroy is too funny. When they washed his stuffed animal I could just picture my old dog when I washed his toys. Also when Enzo got old it made me sad for my old dog who had a lot of the same problems when he got old and to hear it from the dog point of view was definitely something different and made me sad.

This book was so believable even if it was narrated by the dog it was a great look into the mind of a dog and as I have always believed that they understand everything. The racing jargon/talk may be a bit much for some but I enjoyed it. But it’s not really a story of a dog but about a family and the crisis’ they go through and how Enzo is there to help them through!

Bark Twice!

Warning sad ending have tissues ready! Not a spoiler you will know it’s going to happen!
I listened to this on audio narrated by, Christopher Evan Welch who did a really good job! Would listen to him again.
4 Stars

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London

Let’s call this one a double feature, but first, a little backstory (but just a little). The Call of the Wild was published in 1903 and tells the tale of a dog named Buck and his journey to becoming a wild beast. Published three years later, White Fang focuses on a wild wolf pup who finds a domestic home, quite the mirror image. While The Call was published first, I’ve always thought of it as a sort of “sequel” to White Fang, and I don’t think those who have also read both would call that too much of a stretch. Anyway, both novels are extremely accessible considering the ever-growing gap between then and now. The writing is such that it isn’t dressed up and dragged down by unnecessary flourishes or “padding” for the sake of page length. In fact, The Call of the Wild clocks in at just over one hundred pages with White Fang at roughly three hundred. London achieves a straightforward yet eloquent style that keeps the story at an even pace and readers ever eager to turn the next page. I could go on praising these two classics, but it all comes down to this. The Call of the Wild and White Fang are both highly enjoyable and refreshing. They warrant, at the very least, a look from those who are unfamiliar with the two titles and a revisit for those who are.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Legacy by, Katherine Webb~~Review


The Legacy by, Katherine Webb coming in September 2011

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In 1903, New York heiress Caroline marries a cattle rancher and moves with him to rural Oklahoma, where she finds herself wholly out of her depth. Unable to adjust to the isolation of the vast prairies, Caroline grows increasingly frightened and unhappy. Driven to the edge of reason she commits a terrible crime from which she flees, all the way to London, to start a new life as the wife of English aristocrat Henry Calcott. She moves to Storton Manor in Wiltshire, but soon finds that the repercussions of her actions have crossed the Atlantic with her, and will not be so easily forgotten. In the bitter winter of 2008, following the death of their grandmother, Erica Calcott and her sister Beth return to Storton Manor, where they spent the summer holidays as children. As she begins to sort through her grandmother's belongings, Erica is inundated with memories of her childhood, and of Dinny, a local boy whom she idolised. She also remembers her spiteful cousin, Henry, whose disappearance from the manor tore the family apart. Convinced that she should remember what happened to Henry, Erica sets out to uncover the truth. She is reunited with Dinny, and finds herself as drawn to him in adulthood as she was as a child. Haunted by emotions and suspicions, Erica delves deeply into her memories, revisiting the people and places that shaped her childhood, and bringing to light a truth more shocking than she had ever imagined.

My Review:
This is a beautifully weaved multi-generational story of family secrets and the people those secrets created. Katherine Webb weaves these stories together so artfully each story told at the perfect pace, with a slow crescendo of curiosity to a very late night of I can’t put this book down!

The way she shows the path that was chosen, the choices made and the secrets they kept and how it affected everyone in their lives. This is also a story of sisters and mothers and daughters and how each generation affects the next.

I cared about all the characters and even had some sympathy for the cruel grandmothers. Our two sisters Beth & Erica were beautifully written, the sadness and the taut tension were palpable. And the childhood friendship that meant so much but was over so long ago the childhood feelings bubble up but so much time has passed is it really still the same. Caroline’s time in America was so well written her unhappiness leaked off the page in waves.

I really loved this book such beautiful writing and I highly recommend it!

If you are a fan of Kate Morton I would give Katherine Webb a try. I look forward to reading anything else this author writes, definitely an author to keep your eye on.

Full Disclosure- I received this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program

5 Stars

Friday, July 8, 2011

Save Me by, Lisa Scottoline~~Review


Save Me by, Lisa Scottoline~~
Goodreads description:

Rose McKenna volunteers as a lunch mom in her daughter Melly’s school in order to keep an eye on Amanda, a mean girl who’s been bullying her daughter. Her fears come true when the bullying begins, sending Melly to the bathroom in tears. Just as Rose is about to follow after her daughter, a massive explosion goes off in the kitchen, sending the room into chaos. Rose finds herself faced with the horrifying decision of whether or not to run to the bathroom to rescue her daughter or usher Amanda to safety. She believes she has accomplished both, only to discover that Amanda, for an unknown reason, ran back into the school once out of Rose's sight. In an instance, Rose goes from hero to villain as the small community blames Amanda’s injuries on her. In the days that follow, Rose's life starts to fall to pieces, Amanda’s mother decides to sue, her marriage is put to the test, and worse, when her daughter returns to school, the bullying only intensifies. Rose must take matters into her own hands and get down to the truth of what really happened that fateful day in order to save herself, her marriage and her family.

My Review:This books starts out as one thing and morphs into something completely different. Lisa Scottoline wrote a unique book it is a story about tragedy, families, bullying, murder and the consequences of the choices you make, but they won’t happen the way you think you do. The twists and turns in this book will keep you guessing just when you think the story is going one way it flips around and becomes something else.

This was different than Lisa Scottoline’s other books but good none the less, it still kept me riveted and it was hard to put down. There was the legal part of this book and it was interesting to learn about the laws on what you’re really signing up for when you volunteer at your child’s school and what your liability could be if something should happen. The reporter Tanya Robertson was so Nancy Grace her witch hunt for Rose was just so far over the top but also so very true to life with the state of our media at present.

I did enjoy this book it was different and compelling.

I received this book from Librarything Early Reviewer Program

3 ½ Stars

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Smokin' Seventeen by, Janet Evanovich~~Review


Smokin' Seventeen by, Janet Evanovich
Synopsis from GoodReads:
Where there's smoke there's fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum. The bail bonds office has burned to the ground, and bodies are turning up in the empty construction lot. To make matters worse, Stephanie is working out of a motor home she shares with a dancing bear, and Joe Morelli's old world grandmother has declared a vendetta against her. And just when Stephanie decides it might be time to choose between the two men in her life, Morelli and Ranger, a third man from Stephanie's past moves back to Trenton...

Break out a cold drink and slap on some sunscreen, this summer is sure to be a scorcher with Smokin' Seventeen.



My Review:
Oh Janet thank-you so much for the the laughs I was laughing so hard for the granny panty scene I had tears running down my face! I love these books they always cheer me up with the humor and fun writing. Stephanie’s been cursed a couple of times by Morelli’s Grandma one isn’t so bad but it does seem to add more confusion to who Stephanie will choose and when it is removed it kind of backfires too!. Lula again brings me some hearty belly laughs “Did you just call me fat” thems fightin’ words for Lula and there always seems to be something fun coming when these words are uttered.

We have a new man in the mix and he cooks which I think would be a plus for Stephanie but he may not be as wonderful as her mother thinks he is. I do hope she eventually chooses Morelli.

There is a serial killer in the Berg and he/she seems to be targeting Stephanie by dropping dead bodies all over with notes to Stephanie attached to them. This may be the creepiest and scariest bad guy ever in one of these books.
What a crazy cliffhanger!! Oh Janet that was just plain mean! Warning the ending is very abrupt and a major cliffhanger!

As usual Lorelei King does a wonderful job on the narration of this audiobook!

4 Stars would have been 5 if not for the ending!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Art Thief by Noah Charney

Rarely do I come across a book that I simply cannot finish for the reason that I can derive no enjoyment out of the novel. Such is the case of The Art Thief. The title is what caught my eye initially. After all, white-collar crime, intrigue, and the fascinating cat-and-mouse game that follows always provide some excellent thrills. The Art Thief, however, fails to deliver in all of the aforementioned aspects. The writing is awkward, the perspective jumps at seemingly arbitrary points, and the plot already appears quite convoluted. Any one of these flaws on its own may be forgivable if, at the very least, the characters were well thought out and compelling. Unfortunately, this is not so. There was no way to “connect” with these characters since they were bland, forgettable, and uninteresting. Perhaps one redeeming character may have been Gabriel Coffin (a sort of Sherlock Holmes of art theft from the introduction), yet it wasn’t enough to maintain interest in the novel as a whole. The story plodded along with long tangents explaining the quirks of the art industry, the auctions, etc. but never found its stride. That fact is painfully disappointing considering how much potential it had when taking into account its subject material. Bottom line, books are meant to be enjoyed whether it be from a thrilling plot, a fastidious character study, or some other form of exhilaration that comes with the appreciation of the art of the written word. Life is too short for it to be spent on dismal literature. 1 star.

Ranger"s Apprentice Book One~ John Flanagan


Summary:
In this book a ward of the fief Redmont has been living at the Castle Redmont since he was born. His mother and father died in at time and he he was left on the castle steps. Fifteen ears later he and four other in his age group are ready to choose their jobs for life. The others are all approved by their Guild Masters but Will is not. Just when he thinks he is doomed to a life of farm work the Ranger of the fief decides to take him on as his new apprentice. Will has always thought Ranger ways were strange at best and knows little about what his future will hold. Just when hes getting settled into the routine of his new life Morgarath, the same man who warred with the Kingdom 15 years ago decides to start another war. What is Will in for now and would have been better off as a farmer? Find out in Ranger's Apprentice.

Rating:
This book was a good read. The story was simple but made you want to read more. About fifteen pages into the book I wanted to know what was going to happen to Will. I thought is was a great easy reader!
4 Stars ****

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Announcing The Libri Grant Books

The New Rockford Public Library is proud to announce that it has received the Libri Grant books for children. The Libri Foundation was established in 1989 for the sole purpose of helping rural libraries acquire new, quality, hardcover children's books they could not otherwise afford to buy. Since October 1990, the Foundation has donated almost $5 million worth of new children's books to more than 3,000 libraries in all 50 states.

The Foundation works with the library's Friends of the Library or other local organizations because we believe in community involvement and want to encourage and reward local support of libraries. The Friends, or other local sponsors, can contribute from $50 to $350 which the Foundation matches on a 2-to-1 ratio. Thus, a library can receive up to $1,050 worth of new, quality, hardcover children's books through the Foundation's BOOKS FOR CHILDREN program.

Thanks to our wonderful Friends of the Library, we have received 66 new books through this grant plus we were awarded an extra 16 Math & Science books .We ordered mostly non-fiction, as this was the area with the most need.

We will be having an open house to introduce these books to the community, from May 31-June 3rd.Everyone is welcome to join us. If you are home schooling your children you will find these books very useful.

Also on June 3rd we will be having the Summer Reading Kick-Off from 1-3 all kids K-12are welcome to come and sign up our theme this summer is One World Many Stories. If your kids can’t make it on the 3rd they can sign-up anytime.

Here is a list of the great books we received:

Non-Fiction:
Cool Stuff Exploded by, Cliff Woodford

Exploratopia by, Pat Murphy

Extreme Scientists: Exploring Nature's Mysteries From Perilous Places by Donna M Jackson

Forensic Science by Ron Fridell

Recycling by Charlotte Wilcox

Spy Technology by Ron Fridell

Outbreak: Science Seeks Safeguards for Global Health by Charles Piddock
Using Coal, Oil, and Gas by Sharon Katz Cooper

Robots: From Everyday to Out of This World by Yes Mag.

Computer Animation by Hal Marcovitz

Virtual Apprentice. Computer Game Designer by Don Rauf; Monique Vescia

Rocks! Rocks! Rocks! By Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

Our farm: Four Seasons with Five Kids on one Family's Farm by Michael J Rosen

14 Cows for America by, Carmen Agra Deedy

Nubs: The True story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle by, Major Brian Dennis
Years of Dust by, Albert Marrin

The Dust Bowl Through the Lens by, Martin Sandler

Black Elk’s Vision a Lakota Story by, S.D. Nelson

Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond by Joseph Medicine Crow; Herman J Viola

Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom by, Chris Van Wyk

The Ride the Legend of Betsy Dowdy by, Kitty Griffin

Lafayette and the American Revolution by, Russell Freedman

Listen to the Wind the Story of Dr.Greg and Three Cups of Tea by, Greg Mortenson

Bylines a Photo Biography of Nellie Bly by, Sue Macy

Rachel Carson: A Twentieth-Century Life by Ellen Levine

My Last Skirt: The Story of Jennie Hodgers, Union Soldier By, Lynda Durrant

A Savage Thunder Antietam and the Bloody Road to Freedom by, Jim Murphy

Mr. Lincoln's High-Tech War : How the North used the telegraph, railroads, surveillance balloons, ironclads, high-powered weapons, and more to win the Civil War by Thomas B Allen; Roger MacBride Allen

The War to End All Wars, World War I by, Russell Freedman

Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting by Jim Murphy

Ellis Island Coming to the Land of Liberty by, Raymond Bial

Who Was First? Discovering the Americas by, Russell Freedman

M.L.K.: journey of a King by Tonya Bolden

Marching for Freedom Walk Together Children, and Don’t Grow Weary by, Elizabeth Partridge

Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Russell Freedman

Moonshot The Flight of Apollo 11 by, Brian Floco

Mission Control, This is Apollo: The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon by, Andrew Chaikin & Alan Bean

The Many Rides of Paul Revere by James Giblin

John, Paul, George & Ben by Lane Smith

Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland by Sally M Walker
John Brown: His Fight for Freedom by John Hendrix

Eleanor, Quiet No More: The Life of Eleanor Roosevelt by, Doreen Rappaport & Gary Kelley

No Easy Way: The Story of Ted Williams and the Last .400 season by Fred Bowen; Chuck Pyle

She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer by Sally Hobart Alexander; Robert Joseph Alexander

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sís

One Thousand Tracings: Healing the Wounds of World War II by Lita Judge

Boys of steel: The Creators of Superman by Marc Tyler Nobleman

Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane by Carole Boston Weatherford
Once Upon a Time: Traditional Latin American Tales = Había una vez: cuentos tradicionales latinoamericanos by Rueben Martínez

The Girl Who Helped Thunder and other Native American Folktales by James Bruchac

Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story From Africa by Jeanette Winter

One Grain of Rice: a Mathematical Folktale. by Demi

Fiction:

How I Learned Geography by, Uri Shulevitz

The Extraordinary Mark Twain (according to Susy) by Barbara Kerley; Ed Fotheringham

Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I don't) by Barbara Bottner

Buffalo Music by, Tracey Fern

Jazz Baby by, Lisa Wheeler

Miss Bridie chose a shovel by, Leslie Connor

Madam President by Lane Smith

A remainder of one by Elinor J Pinczes

The doorbell rang by Pat Hutchins

Fred stays with me! by Nancy Coffelt

Yellow star by Jennifer Rozines Roy

The Boy Who Dared A Novel Based on the True Story of a Hitler Youth by, Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls

Worth by A LaFaye

The Grimm legacy by Polly Shulman

The London Eye mystery by Siobhan Dowd

Lawn Boy by, Gary Paulsen

Notes from the Dog by, Gary Paulsen

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Bird Lake Moon by Kevin Henkes

The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester

The Leanin' Dog by K A Nuzum

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin

Friday, May 6, 2011

New Books & Library Happenings


Would you be interested in joining a bookclub at the library? What day & time would be best for you? What kind of books would you be interested in reading? Please call Susie at the library if you would be interested and to answer these questions.

New books this week are :
In Adult Fiction:

44 Charles Street by, Danielle Steel
Crunch Time by, Diana Mott Davidson
The Bird sisters by, Rebecca Rassmusen
I’ll Walk Alone by, Mary Higgins Clark
Chasing fire by, Nora Roberts
Toys by, James Patterson
Miles to go by, Richard Evans
The Sixth Man by, David Baldacci
Save Me by, Lisa Scottoline
Bel Air dead by, Stuart Woods
The House on Riverton by, Kate Morton
The Land of Painted Caves by, Jane Auel
Something Borrowed by, Emily Griffin
Praise Jerusalem by, Augusta Trobaugh
The Heart of Texas by, Debbie Macomber
Home Free, Déjà vu & Cross Roads by, Fern Michaels

In Audiobook:
A Raisin in the Sun by, Lorraine Hansberry
Jitters a Quirky Little Audiobook by, Adele Park

In Non-Fiction:
The Best Advise I Ever Got by, Katie Couric
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Vesle Hans:Little Hans Comes to America by, Leona Hanson Weenas
A Paper Life by, Tatum O’Neil

In Adult fantasy:
Immortal with a Kiss by, Jaqueline LaPore

In Young adult:
Wolves Boys and Other Things That Might Kill me by, Kristen Chandler
What I Saw and How I Lied by, Judy Blundell
Cut by, Patricia McCormick
Black Cat by, Holly Black

In Juvenile Fiction:
Mockingbird by, Kathryn Erskine
Tracker by, Gary Paulsen

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Bird Sisters by, Rebecca Rasmussen~~Review


The Bird Sisters by, Rebecca Rasmussen
Read This Book!!Enough Said!
Oh ok I’ll add more

You will love these sisters, so close yet so different Twiss has a smart mouth and always seems to speak her mind and Milly is demure and shy and always puts everyone’s needs above her own no matter the cost to herself. Then there is their parents the mother who dreams of Paris and wanting more than her lot in life has given her, and the father who is a golf pro until “the accident” and can’t play golf anymore and moves to the barn. Then there is cousin Bett who comes for the summer, the summer that changes everything.

We first meet the elderly spinster bird sisters Twiss is still a curmudgeon and Milly is still sweet however, once you meet the teen sisters you know something drastic happened that caused these girls to become the elderly never married Bird Sister. Of course Twiss has vowed to be the world’s most interesting spinster and looks on it with a kind of affection (as Milly puts it). But teen Milly has hope of a marriage and children.

I can’t say anymore on the story without spoiling it. What I can say is this is a beautifully written book there is no skimming here you will want to read every word, savor it, chew on it and thoroughly enjoy it. You will fall in love with Twiss and Milly smile with them and cry for them. This book has risen to the top of the best reads of the year and it will take a powerful book to knock it off of its perch. Like I said at the beginning Read This Book!

Rebecca Rasmussen is a new author to watch out for her writing is so beautiful I look forward to much more from her!

5 Stars

Sunday, April 10, 2011

National Library Week Celebration




Come help us celebrate National Library Week Open House Coffee & Cookies from 2-6 Monday April 11th and a Silent Auction all week ending bid Friday April 15th at 6 pm

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Forgotten Garden by, Kate Morton~~Review


The Forgotten Garden by, Kate Morton- Description-A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery. The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory from the international best-selling author Kate Morton.

Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra's life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace - the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early twentieth century - Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself.

My Review:
This book has a magical realism feel to it, it may be because of the fairytales being told throughout but I really enjoyed this beautiful story. It is a hard book to classify so I’m not going to pigeon hole it anywhere. I enjoyed the 3 different generations of women in this story and how their stories intertwined. This book is about family secrets and of how that affects generations. It spans from England to Australia in the early 1900 to the 2000’s. With each generation of women finding something about the past while at the same time finding something about themselves in the process.

I did enjoy this book very much however towards the end though you just want to scream at Cassandra and say hello I figured it out why can’t you! This book can be very sad at times and some may find the jumping around in time not to their liking. But I like books that show different time periods so I enjoyed that part. The prologue has a definite magical realism feel. I will definitely be reading more by this author!

The fairytales are a great and I wish there was an actual book of these fairytales!

I listened to this on audio narrated by Caroline Lee who does a fantastic job with all the accents from English, Australian & American.

4 stars

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Am Number Four By: Pittacus Lore



John Smith used to be Daniel Jones and he used to be someone else. Although John Has changed his name several times in his life he has always had one label to stick to. He is Number Four, and he is a Loric being. When his planet was attacked he and 8 other Loric children were launched to earth along with an adult Loric caretaker. John was sent with Henri. As long as they have lived on Earth John has been moving around at the smallest hint of trouble. When another scar appears on his leg to say that number three is dead they move immediatly.In a new town John meets a girl, and makes a friend, and gets a dog. This is something he never considered before because he was always moving. Now he has attachments and no desire to leave any of it behind even if the Mogadorian army is on to him again. So when he falls in love he is not going to leave for just anything. As time passes and he settles he reveals that he is an alien to Sarah and Sam. They all take it well. Then after Henri is kidnapped and John just barley rescues him he realizes how much danger they are actually in. Before there is much time to talk John into moving the Mogadorians attack. During the battle Henri is hurt, John's dog turns into a Loric animal, and number six sows up just in time to help save all their butts. This includes Sarah, Mark, and Sam who somehow manage to get into the middle of this battle. Find out if they survive and what happens afterward in I Am Number Four.

This book was wonderful. It made me think about the possibility of there being another world out there not so very different from ours. It also made me never want to stop reading. I felt like I was pulled in and feeling all the same things as john. Disappointment at having to move again, anger at Mark for being a total jerk, the heat of flames as they licked my skin while I was honing my legacies. I really do wonder about life out there.

4 Stars ****

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Peach Keeper by, Sarah Addison Allen~~Review


The Peach Keeper by, Sarah Addison Allen

Another great book by, Sarah Addison Allen. This is the story of 2 generations of women grandmothers and granddaughters, friendship, secrets and ghosts. The 4 main characters Paxton, Willa, Sebastian and Colin are all trying to find where they belong and who they are. In highschool they were the princess, the joker, the freak and the stick man all of them are trying to live down these reputations and come into their own.

Paxton is in the process of restoring the house The Blue Ridge Madam which was originally owned by Willa’s family before they lost their fortune and the house in the 30’s. Willa’s grandmother grew up in the house but never talked about it to Willa. But strange things have been happening ever since the project has started that will bring Paxton and Willa together in a way neither sees coming.

I loved this book Sarah Addison Allen is the queen of magical realism she writes it so beautifully and it is so believable. The characters in this book make you want to cheer for them and be friends with them. We also get an unexpected although brief visit from some old friends who are there to cater a party. This is a must read for lovers of southern fiction, magically realism and strong friendship stories. This is going on my favorites list and with all other books by this author will be one I will read again!

I received this book from Librarything Early Reviewers Program

5 Stars

Thursday, March 17, 2011

2011 Books to Movies


There are some good ones coming up some I'm almost afraid of because I am scared I will be disappointed. I am most looking forward to The Help and of course the last Harry Potter.

Which ones are you looking forward to?


I am Number Four by, Pittacus Lore
The Lincoln Lawyer by, Michael Connelly
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Beastly by Alex Flinn
One for the Money Janet Evanovich
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 by, JK Rowling
The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas
Breaking Dawn, Part I by Stephenie Meyer
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Sherlock Holmes by, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Winnie the Pooh by, AA Milne
Mr Poppers Penguins Richard Atwater
Wuthering Heights by,Emily Bronte
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair by, CS Lewis
Arabian Nights
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy John le Carre
Diary of a wimpy kid Roderick Rules by Jeff Kinney
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
One Day by David Nicholls
The Rum Diary by, Hunter S. Thompson
War Horse by,Michael Morpurgo
Midway to Heaven by, Dean Hughes

Monday, March 14, 2011

Climbing the Stair By: Padma Venkatraman


Summary:


This is a great novel.


This is the story of a young girl named Vidya. She has one true dream. She wants to go to college. This, she thinks, is almost impossible. Then the worst thing that could possibly happen does. Her father is killed. This means moving to a new house where her Periappa is in charge. He is a mean old man who is really into tradition.


When she arrives the house is even more awful than she expected. Her aunt hates her, periappa thinks she is an idot, and she is no longer allowed to read. This is the worst of all. The only good thing is Raman. He is a boy living in the house and she hardly ever sees him, that is until she starts to sneek up the stairs to land of men to read in the library. They slowly fall in love. The problem is that her brother wants to go away to the war and she wants to go to college. Eventually every thing piles up and spills out in the most interesting and wondeful thing that could happen. Vidya finally realizes what she must do. See what she decides in Climbing the Stairs.




My thoughts:


This book is an amazing tale of the life of a young girl. Padma Vewnkatraman is a wonderful writer and has captured every feelin this young girls has with an amazing ease. I love this book.




Rating:


5 stars *****




Friday, March 11, 2011

Madame Tussaud:A Novel of the French Revolution by, Michelle Moran


Madame Tussaud:A Novel of the French Revolution by, Michelle Moran

Another hit for Michelle Moran! I am learning so much about the French Revolution that I never knew. And about Madame Tussaud, I have been to Madame Tussauds in London and to learn this background about her and how extremely talented she was, it’s all just so very interesting. How the King & Queen were so oblivious to what was really going on in their country, or at least the king was.

How awful this revolution was, they said the King was a tyrant but how it turned these revolutionaries into way worse than the King ever was. The horrors that Marie had to see and sculpt she was an amazing and strong woman. When she is asked to make these death masks it’s all quite gruesome.

I was amazed how her and her Uncle Curtius straddled the two sides of the revolution for as long as they did and how they changed the displays sometimes daily how fast she was able to sculpt these amazing works of art.


I’ll be honest I was never that interested in the French Revolution until this book now I am googling everyone mentioned! To me that is what makes a good historical fiction book is if you want to learn more about the events and people and this one definitely did that!

This was a fascinating look into the life of a woman I think most people have heard of but never really knew about. This is a great read and as usual I look forward to more from Michelle Moran!

5 Stars

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins


Ah, the dreaded threequel. So many story arcs to tie up. So many questions to be answered. So much to live up to depending on the success of the previous installments. Rejoice Hunger Games fans because Mockingjay does not disappoint as the third and final novel in the Hunger Games trilogy. Mockingjay picks up not too far after Catching Fire with Katniss Everdeen, protagonist and unwilling, unknowing participant in the rebellion, finding refuge in District 9, headquarters of those fighting against the Capitol. The love triangle established throughout the series is maintained, and adds surprising twists and turns throughout. More detail really can’t be dispensed for fear of spoilers which would be criminal in such a surprising turn of events. Most enjoyable is Katniss herself. Her doubts, uncertainties, and mental instability never truly dissipate because this isn’t a conventional story of a hero conquering “the bad guys.” It’s a fascinating read that evokes chills, gasps, perhaps tears, and the occasional laugh. Also, it’s nearly impossible to put down once begun. Mockingjay manages to build off the tension the series has been accumulating over the past installments rather than having an anticlimactic feel that many sequels suffer from. Simply put, Mockingjay ended a wonderful series with finesse and competence, and is not to be overlooked. 4 ½ stars.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by, Fannie Flagg~~Review



Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by, Fannie Flagg
This is not a new book but one I just finished and loved! A detailed and hilarious look at life in the South during the fifties:
Daisy Fay Harper is now one of my favorite characters! She is spunky and independent and surrounded by a great cast of characters. This book spans Daisy Fay’s life from 1952-1959 at the beginning of the book she is 11 years old. Daisy Fay’s daddy is a drunk but she stands by him through thick and thin, he isn’t a mean drunk so that’s ok LOL.

It is so fun to read about her discovering life especially since this book is set in the 50’s.One of my favorite scenes is when they are living in Shell Beach and Daisy likes to sneak in and watch the entertainment at the local Blue Gardenia Lounge like the one-legged tap dancer and Ray Layne the young singer but the one she is so looking forward to is a real dancer from New Orleans named Tawny the Tasseled lady and her reaction to that was “She isn’t even a real dancer!” “All she does is spin them tassels one way then the other and shake around” I laughed so hard picturing this!

Not only is Daisy a great character but everyone else in this book is too from her bingo addicted grandma, to her daddy’s best friend Jimmy Snow who is a crop duster but seems to crash his plane a lot! Oh my I could just go on and on about this book this is the 3rd book by Fannie Flagg I’ve read and I think it is now my mission to read everything she has ever written.

If you like southern fiction and great characters who will make you laugh out loud you must read this book!

5 Stars

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Sherlockian by, Graham Moore~~Review



The Sherlockian by, Graham Moore
Description fron Goodreads:In December 1893, Sherlock Holmes-adoring Londoners eagerly opened their Strand magazines, anticipating the detective's next adventure, only to find the unthinkable: his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, had killed their hero off. London spiraled into mourning -- crowds sported black armbands in grief -- and railed against Conan Doyle as his assassin.
Then in 1901, just as abruptly as Conan Doyle had "murdered" Holmes in "The Final Problem," he resurrected him. Though the writer kept detailed diaries of his days and work, Conan Doyle never explained this sudden change of heart. After his death, one of his journals from the interim period was discovered to be missing, and in the decades since, has never been found.

Or has it?

When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, The Baker Street Irregulars, he never imagines he's about to be thrust onto the hunt for the holy grail of Holmes-ophiles: the missing diary. But when the world's leading Doylean scholar is found murdered in his hotel room, it is Harold - using wisdom and methods gleaned from countless detective stories - who takes up the search, both for the diary and for the killer.


MY REVIEW:
I am a fan of Sherlock Holmes but will admit to not knowing much about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, so I don’t know if a word of the historical side of this book is in any way accurate. But it was sure a good story! The author notes were interesting to learn a little more on what was and wasn’t real.

In the historical side of this novel we see Arthur Conan Doyle wanting to forget Sherlock Holmes ever existed but the reading public is up in arms, after there is an attempt on his life he sets out with friend Bram Stoker to figure out who is behind it. I loved the line when Bram Stoker said “You want me to be your Watson?’ because now of course we know who Bram is but at the time Dracula was not a classic and as Arthur couldn’t even remember the name of the country Bram’s little book was set it as a fan of literature I enjoyed these parts very much. Arthur wasn’t a nice person in this book especially on his views of women and I don’t know enough about the real man to judge but he is pretty snobby in this book.

As for the Sherlockians they are an elite group of Sherlock aficionados, scholars and such when one of their own is found dead their newest member Alex decides he is Holmes enough to solve this case.
Alex was a bit bumbling but was a good character along with Sarah a reporter there is almost a romance plus a pretty good whodunit and treasure hunt all rolled into one.

I enjoyed this book and think any fan Doyle’s work will enjoy this as well.

3 1/2 Stars

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Nobodies Album by, Carolyn Parkhurst~~Review



The Nobodies Album by, Carolyn Parkhurst

This book was so well written and very hard to put down. Author Octavia Frost has had a successful career but has been estranged from her son Milo, a famous rock star; they have grown steadily apart since the death of her husband and daughter when Milo was 9. But tragedy is about to bring them back together again when Octavia hears a news report that her son has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend.

There are excerpts from Octavia’s books which all sound like books I would like to read! This was a story about family, failures, forgiveness and redemption. Through the words from the books Octavia has written you get glimpses into the life shared by her and Milo after the death of half of their family. Now Octavia and Milo need to work together to prove his innocence and repair their broken relationship.

This was a very powerful book that flowed through the beautiful writing; it’s so much more than a mystery but the mystery was a good one. This was my first book by Carolyn Parkhurst but for sure won’t be my last.

4 ½ Stars

Friday, February 11, 2011

Revolution by, Jennifer Donnelly~~Review


Revolution by, Jennifer Donnelly
Description from Goodreads
:
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.


MY REVIEW:

This was a great book it was really hard to stop reading. This is the story of two 17 year-old girls Andi in the present day and Alex in the 1700’s. Andi is trying to get over her brother’s death and not coping well at all, when her father takes her to Paris she finds the diary of Alexandrine who lived during the French revolution. Even though these girls are centuries apart Andi sees some similarities and kind of becomes obsessed with Alex’s story. (But then again so did I)

I loved Alex’s story it was edge of seat reading. However there were times when I didn’t understand Andi like why didn’t show her dad the diary or mention it to anyone. But I must say I really loved this book. It is totally deserving of the awards and accolades. I think this is one of the best YA historical fiction I’ve read , I know that Jennifer Donnelly’s book A Northern Light is very popular and I will be reading that one very soon I think she is a great writer!

I think saying this is just a young adult book is doing it a disservice; I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

I just want to gush on and on about this book but I will just say READ IT!!

5 Stars

5 Stars

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Books This Week


New Books this week:
In Adult Fiction:



Forever and Always by, Sonni Lagodinski – North Dakota Author
Left Neglected by, Lisa Genova- new from the Author of Still Alice
Room by, Emma Donoghue
The Nobodies Album by, Carolyn Parkhurst
Indulgence in Death by, JD Robb
Of bees and Mist by, Erik Setiawan
Lighthousekeeping by, Jeanette Winterson
Secrets of Harmony Grove by, Melinda Starns Clark
Kelly’s Chance by, Wanda Brunstetter
The Art of Racing in the Rain by, Garth Stein
Ghost at Work by, Carolyn Hart
Silent in the Grave-Silent in the Sanctuary & Silent in the Moor by, Deanna Raybourn
Full Dark No Stars by, Stephen King
Ethan Frome & Summer by, Edith Wharton
The Nosy Neighbor by, Fern Michaels
Sins of The Flesh by, Fern Michaels
9 Ranier Drive by, Debbie Macomber
Julia’s Hope by, Leisha Kelly
The Winding Ways Quilt by, Jennifer Chiaverini
Time is a River by, Mary Alice Monroe
The Unsung Heroes by, Suzanne Brockman
Pirate Latitudes by, Michael Crichton
The Mist by, Carla Neggers
Smash cut by, Sandra Brown

In Westerns:
Lawless Prairie by, Charles G. West
Vigilante Justice by, Will Camp
Wilderness Mountain Madness by, David Thompson
Lonestar and The Sierra Sabotage by, Wesley Ellis
Sundance Bring me His Scalp by, John Benteen
The Crime of Coy Bell by, Sam Brown

In Adult Non-Fiction:
The Cloister Walk by, Kathleen Norris
Bridges Across North Dakota by, the State Historical Society
Treasures of Islam by, Bernard O’Kane

In Audio:
Wicked Appetite & Sizzling Sixteen by, Janet Evanovich
Vanishing Act by, Fern Michaels
Exclusive by, Sandra Brown
The Teahouse Fire by, Ellis Avery

In Young Adult:
Bloody valentine by, Melissa de la Cruz
I Shall Wear Midnight Tiffany Aching #4 by, Terry Pratchett
Seer of Sevenwaters by, Juliet Marillier
The Demon Trapper’s Daughter by, Jana Oliver
Beautiful Darkness by, Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Evermore by, Alyson Noel
Beauty & Rose’s Daughter by, Robin McKinley
The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney by, Suzanne Harper
Legacy & Spellbound by, Nancy Holder

In Juvenile Fiction:
The Beast From The East by, RL Stine
Granny Torrelli Makes Soup by, Sharon Creech
Beagle in a Backpack by, Ben Baglio
How To be a Girly Girl in Just 10 Days by, Lisa Papademetriou

In Childrens Fiction:
Miss Spider’s Tea Party by, David Kirk
My Little Book About Peter Rabbit by, Beatrix Potter
Shine Sun by, Carole Green
Snow White by, Walt Disney
The Puppy Book by, Jan Pfloog
Be Yourself Disney Princess by,Walt Disney
A Day With Ruth Rabbit at the Beach by, Diane Mathes
The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy by, Jane Thayer

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Replacement By: Brenna Yovanoff


This book is....disturbingly good. It makes me want to curl up in a ball and stay in bed, but at the same time it makes me want to discover a world of creatures living below our city. Brenna Yovanoff is a brilliant writer. This story sucked me in from the very beginning.


Mackie Doyle is a strange boy. He's not the kind of person that you would imagine a hero to be. He is allergic to metal and is very sick, but when a friend's sister turned up "dead" he kicked into action. First he discovers and underground world, then he joins a band, then he sacrifices himself to save a child. I wanted so bad to be part of this book and Brenna, the brilliant author, made me feel like I was.


5 stars! *****

Friday, January 21, 2011

Room by,Emma Donoghue~~Review


We Now Have this book in Hardcover
Room by, Emma Donoghue

Description:To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another

My Review:
This is a hard book to review, it’s hard because I can’t say I enjoyed it because it is a very disturbing book but I did like it, I hope that makes sense. This book is narrated by a 5 year old boy whose mother was kidnapped and had a child by her captor they live in Room as Jack calls it. He thinks the world is only Room and everything else is TV. It was a fascinating and unique look at kidnap victims.
It is hard to put down (or in my case stop listening) because you must know what happens to Jack and his Ma.
There were parts that I just found it a little farfetched **no spoilers** and also parts I thought I couldn’t see the character doing that. Jack‘s narration gives us an insight into the mind of a 5 year old completely and I thought it was very well written. I think I may not have liked it as much as some but I didn’t hate it as much as others it is a very unique book and because of that I’ve rated it a bit higher.

I listened to this on audio and the narration was great!

4 STARS

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Eyre Affair by, Jasper Fforde~~Review


The Eyre Affair by, Jasper Fforde

Synopsis:
In Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection.

My Review:
I loved this book!! It is humorous and fun! If you are a fan of Jane Eyre or a fan of literature in general you need to read this book! I also think fans of Douglas Adams would like it too.

Thursday Next is a Spec Ops LiteraTec in a world similar to our own but oh so different. The Crimean War is still going on there is still a Czar of Russia. People travel in time, they are the SpecOps contingent of the Chrono Guard. Thursday’s father was in the Chrono Guard and is now on the run through time from them. Thursday is after a master criminal named Hades who is stealing original manuscripts of classic books, but what he is dong with them I will let you read it to find out. This had a bit of a steampunk feel to it because of the airships and the unique inventions. I loved the names of people in this book Jack Schitt and Braxton Hicks.

I can’t say enough of how much I loved this book I think it is a must read for everyone who loves to read! Now I must go out and buy this entire series!

5 Stars

Monday, January 3, 2011

Arthur & George by Julian Barnes

Arthur & George, the tenth novel by Julian Barnes is a historical fiction that chronicles the lives of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and George Edalji. The former was, of course, the one and only creator of the greatest literary detective in the world, and the latter being the subject of a legal case in the early twentieth century. The book is beautifully and meticulously written with exacting, remarkable detail and two distinct tones for the different characters. The pace can feel plodding at points, but never to an extreme degree. Added enjoyment can be had for those who are familiar with the case and the people portrayed in the storyline. The characters are written in a way that it feels more like a living autobiography than the musings of an author what with the apparent realism infused into the work. In all honesty, a fictional chronicling of a legal case from the 1900s won’t appeal to everyone despite the names involved, one in particular. However, it’s engaging, smartly written, and surprisingly difficult to put down once a few chapters in. 4 stars ****

A Ring of Endless Light By: Madeline L'Engle


In this book girl named Vicky Austin and her family move to her grandfather's house to spend the summer with him. She is excited and scared to do this because er grandfather is dieing of leukaemia. At the begging of the summer a family friend dies and Vicky takes this as an omen of sorts. She is shaken out of her own little world where nothing bad happens into reality. As she faces fact that this death probably won't be the last of he summer she also struggles with boys. One who is charming and dashing but has a bit too much of a taste for danger, one who is recovering from his father's death, and one who is working with her on his summer science project. The boys all seem to need her ,including her grandfather, in one way or another, and as the summer goes on she begins to feel that her only relief is with the dolphins that she and Adam ( the boy with the science project) are working with. She feels pulled in so many directions and finally has a break down of sorts after a young girl in the hospital dies in her arms while she is waiting for a friend.


This book is amazingly deep and wonderfully written to bring the characters to life. I felt as if i was with Vicky through the entire ordeal, good and bad. Madeline did a fabulous job.

4 Stars