Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton, 486 pages

I'm such a fan of Stephanie Thornton now, her historical fiction books about overlooked women in history are always a pleasure to read. The worst thing about each book is then having to wait for the next one. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history, especially anyone who wants a deeper look at the Mongols.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Quest for the Trilogy by Mel Odom, 462 pages

This is the final entry in the Rover series. While it started off reminding a lot of the Lord of the Rings, it has become a great series that stands on its own merits. I'm so very sad that there aren't any more books featuring Wick and Juhg.

No Vacancies by Kevin McClintock, 197 pages

Very dark and creepy short stories, I didn't want to be reading these before bedtime. Always interesting to read something by a local author who references things you recognize.

A Deadly Measure of Brimstone by Catriona McPherson, 291 pages

I really appreciate the character development in these books over the series. I learn a little bit more about Scotland and it's history each book, and they're just good mysteries. Keep them coming Catriona!

Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris, 294 pages

I'm a fan of Choose Your Own Adventures and Neil Patrick Harris, so what's not to love about this book!?! It was funny and a neat twist to jump around his life. I did have to go back through page by page just to make sure I didn't miss anything.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce, 295 pages

My book club, Readers Without Borders, read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and we all loved it. When I got a chance to read an advance copy of the sequel, I jumped at the chance but was hesitant because a sequel can so often fall short. This one not only measured up, but may be even better. I had to put the book down a few times because it was just so touching and I had to stop and savor where I was before moving on. The ending left me sad but it was a good and perfect ending.

Robert Asprin's Dragons Run by Jody Lynn Nye, 406 pages

I'm hooked on this series but this one was a little disjointed and especially at the beginning I felt like I was missing part of the story. Still a good read, just not one of the better ones.

An Angel for Christmas by Heather Graham, 330 pages

All I can say is I only finished it because it was for book club. Ugghh.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Lodger by Louisa Treger, 262 pages

A fictionalized look at Dorothy Richardson, a writer from the early 1900s who had an affair with H.G. Wells. Not one of my favorite books.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving, 368 pages

Did you know that Washing Irving is considered one of the main forces of popularizing doughnuts as a New York treat and is responsible for Knickerbocker being a popular nickname for New York as well? I didn't know that until I read this collection featuring some of his short stories. This was a really interesting read and I enjoyed getting to know more about this forgotten and overlooked early American author.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Agincourt Bride by Joanna Hickson, 578 pages

I was sent this to review for Night Owl Reviews. I'd read almost nothing of Catherine de Valois, sister of Charles VI, who married Henry V of England. This was wonderful, and a great treat for history buffs.

The Art of the English Murder by Lucy Worsley, 312 pages

I'd seen this when a patron checked it out and have been eagerly awaiting its return. It examines England's fascination with murder, especially in the written word. Starting with the broadsides that dealt in murders, trials and the hangings, through souvenirs for famous murders, and up to the introduction of the detective into literature. This was filled with lots and lots of interesting trivia and details, a great read for any mystery-loving Anglophile.

Monday, December 1, 2014

As You Wish by Cary Elwes, 259 pages

This is a behind the scenes look at the making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes, who played Westley. I really love this movie and the book, so it was really great to see what went into the making of bringing this wonderful book alive. Cary Elwes just comes across as a class act, and this movie seems like it was so much fun to make.

Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan, 340 pages

Jim Gaffigan is one of my favorite comedians, I find myself quoting him at inappropriate times. I'd loved his first book, "Dad is Fat", so I was sure this would be just as funny. This was even better. Jim feels the same way I do about food and eating, and looks at our obsession with food with his usual, slightly twisted, viewpoint. Well worth picking up!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud, 390 pages

An England where ghosts are prevalent and sometimes cause death through ghost-touch. Most adults are unable to see them, so ghost fighters are children. Lockwood & Co. is made up of 3 youngsters not afraid to face those things that go bump in the night. This was extremely dark, but a great read.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, 320 pages

This book was a wonderful treat. Our book club read it, and I was delighted to find how much I enjoyed it. It made me want to make sure my husband and I don't grow apart.

She's Turning Into One of Them! by Lynn Johnston, 136 pages

I made my 13-year-old read this, way too close to home.

Seniors' Discount by Lynn Johnston, 143 pages

Luckily I'm still a few years and a few gray hairs away from the senior's discount.

Home Sweat Home by Lynn Johnston, 127 pages

I could emphasize with Elly and John in moving to a new place. I drove my husband crazy when we were house hunting, because I kept talking about finding a place we could grow old in.

Just a Simple Wedding by Lynn Johnston, 119 pages

This was the final collection, it was hard to say good bye to all the characters.

Teaching is a Learning Experience by Lynn Johnston, 143 pages

I'd forgotten how good the later strips were. It's been fun watching the kids grow up.

Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming, 294 pages

Linda had reviewed this for our weekly newspaper reviews, and was raving about it. Alan Cumming's childhood was pretty horrendous, and I can understand cutting a parent out of your life. He seems to have used the bad parts to help push himself forward.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Prince Lestat by Anne Rice, 458 pages

Finally Anne Rice has returned to Lestat, after a hiatus writing books about the early Christian faith. This was a wonderful book, a return to the writing that made me fall in love with Lestat back as a teenager. This book is filled with more vampires than ever, telling us there early day stories and seeing them in the current world. I'm seriously considering buying a copy of this book to keep on my shelf along with Interview with a Vampire and The Vampire Lestat.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fables: Camelot by Bill Willingham, 256 pages

This series has me so invested in the characters. I welled up at the scene between Bigby and Dare. It's hard waiting for each new collection to come out.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Drama by Raina Telgemeier, 233 pages

I love Telgemeier's graphic novels. They ring so true, with all the highs and lows of being a preteen and teen. I would love my youngest daughter to read this, with her love of acting and involvement in school plays, but being a teenager, she won't read anything I recommend. Maybe I can sneakily get our teen librarian to recommend it. I would love for Samantha to have Callie's confidence, but I see so much of Sam in the crushes, and feeling like gay theater guys would make better boyfriends, except for that whole liking boys thing, lol.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Coraline by Neil Gaiman, 186 pages

I brought home the graphic novel for my daughter to read, but I'm incapable of having a book enter my house without me reading it. While I didn't enjoy it as much as the movie (and I hate to say that) it was still a dark and creepy read.

The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson, 117 pages

The Herdmans are at it again, this time, their shenanigans could cost the whole town trick-or-treating.

The Best School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson, 117 pages

My daughter is going to be in the Christmas play, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" so I'd re-read the book. Then I discovered there was a sequel. While I felt like the book covered some of the same ground as the first book, it was still funny and an enjoyable read.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Death Overdue by Mary Lou Kirwin, 261 pages

This book features how I would most likely be murdered, found beneath a knocked over bookcase. I would say this is how my husband would "find me" since we have 2 tall and wide bookcases that are heavily loaded with alphabetized books.
Karen Nash is back in England with her "boyfriend" Caldwell Perkins, trying to decide if she's ready to completely uproot her life by moving to England fulltime and opening an used bookstore with him. But before she's ready to make a decision, his old girlfriend shows up, only to end up dead with a day. Now with the investigators looking at either Caldwell or her as main suspects, Karen must figure out how the killer is, before she ends up under a pile of books herself.
This is the second book in this series and I love them both. I can't wait for the author to write more, I really enjoy the characters passion for books.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Cherry Cola Book Club by Ashton Lee, 260 pages

This was a wonderful first entry in what I hope becomes a long series. Maura Beth Mayhew has been the director of Cherico, Mississippi, library for 6 years and while the library hasn't taken off, it's struggled along. But when the city council decides to close the library and use the money to develop an industrial park, Maura Beth decides to fight with all she has. Founding the Cherry Cola Book Club, Maura Beth must raise circulation to keep the library doors open.

Reality Check by Lynn Johnston, 136 pages

I've really enjoyed watching Michael and his wife deal with the early days of marriage and parenthood.

Striking a Chord by Lynn Johnston, 128 pages

Another fun collection.

Graduation A Time for Change by Lynn Johnston, 136 pages

I love seeing the kids grow up in this series. I feel like Lynn Johnston has captured a lot of my life.

Starting From Scratch by Lynn Johnston, 140 pages

These are a great way to wind down before bed, they funny and relaxing.

French Pastry Murder by Leslie Meier, 280 pages

Another case of murder following Lucy Stone. The cops really ought to just have someone follow her around, as many bodies as she stumbles over. I would think twice about hanging out with her socially.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty, 254 pages

I love anything that is a behind the scenes look, especially if it deals with odd topics. So when I'd seen Jacque's review for this book about working at a crematory, I had to pick it up. It was well written and really interesting.

The Vanishing Thief by Kate Parker, 296 pages

Set in Victorian London, this book follows the adventures of Georgia Fenchurch, owner of an antiquarian bookstore and private investigator. Called to look into the disappearance of a man who turns out to be not so nice, Georgia and the other members of the Archivist Society will come close to losing their lives before this mystery is solved.
This wasn't a bad book, just not one of the best I've read. But I'm going to read the second book and see if the author finds her feeting a little better.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Lod of the Libraries by Mel Odom, 384 pages

It had been a few years since I'd read this series. I'd forgotten how much it resembles The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. I'm excited to find out there is an additional trilogy that follows.

The Blood of an Englishman by M.C. Beaton, 294 pages

I love M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin series, but I'm starting to feel sorry for Agatha. I would like to see her actually be happy, instead of constantly getting beat down. I love the fact that Agatha never feels sorry for herself for long but continues to get back up and fight.

Family Business by Lynn Johnston, 144 pages

I love seeing Elly and John start a new passion, while watching their kids grow up.

It's All Downhill From Here by Lynn Johnston, 126 pages

Another fun look back at the early days of this strip.

Growing Like a Weed by Lynn Johnston, 144 pages

Looking at the strips of April growing up makes me miss those days with my youngest, but not enough to do it again!

Middle Age Spread by Lynn Johnston, 127 pages

All I can say is that there is no way my husband and I are adding another kid to our mix this late in life like Elly and John.

Sunshine and Shadow by Lynn Johnston, 127 pages

I think I enjoy the later strips more and more, because they reflect my life more and more.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

SVU: Running For Her Life by Laurie John, 277 pages

I have to admit, no matter how repetitive or formulaic the books are, they're still a guilty pleasure.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

With This Ring by Lynn Johnston, 144 pages

Another funny For Better or For Worse, dealing with the joys of weddings.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman, 368 pages

I can't remember why this caught my eye but it was a good, solid read. I wish the museum of oddities had played a bigger role but it was still enjoyable.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, 67 pages

This was our classic book for the year for Readers Without Borders Book Club. It had been years since I'd read this book and I'd forgotten how much I like Stevenson.