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.

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier, 197 pages

I picked this up thinking Samantha would like it, but she didn't want to read it (probably because I dared to suggest it.) I ended up reading it before I returned it, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The artwork and storyline melded really well, and I could see so much of my relationships with my sisters in it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley, 266 pages

I LOVE Flavia de Luce, she is one of my all time favorite characters. I was heartbroken during the last book, especially at the end, thinking it was possibly the end of the series. So this one was a delight, letting me know Flavia would continue. I love her passion, her quirkiness, and her utter determination to continue no matter what.

The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith, 334 pages

Yippee!! A sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter! This was a look at the life of Henry Sturges from him coming to America in its earliest days up to his life after Abraham Lincoln. Seth Grahame-Smith does an amazing job of mixing actual history with vampire lore and legend. He creates characters that are believable while still completely fictional. This was a great follow up to his first book, while even surpassing it at times.

The Ladies by Doris Grumbach, 212 pages

This is a book about two women in late 18th century Ireland who scandalized their families and acquaintances by their falling in love with each other and creating a life together. They moved to Wales and created a home together, never spending a night apart until the death of one years later. The two actually became somewhat of a tourist spot for the high and mighty in society.

UnDivided by Neal Shusterman, 372 pages

This was a FABULOUS ending to the Unwind series. I was so mad at one point in the book, a sign that the author has truly grabbed you with his characters. The only bad thing about reading this book right after it's come out is that nobody else has read it, so I can't discuss it with anyone. This has been a great look at the abortion debate, and government rights over the individual.

Love Just Screws Everything Up by Lynn Johnson, 128 pages

April reminds me of Samantha at that age, I miss it so much sometimes.

Pushing 40 by Lynn Johnson, 128 pages

I relate more to the later comics with the older kids now, than these early ones.

The Big 5-0 by Lynn Johnson, 128 pages

Jason and I will be celebrating our 40th birthdays, so I can understand this one.

There Goes My Baby! by Lynn Johnson, 128 pages

I really relate to this comic series.

Things Are Looking Up by Lynn Johnson, 128 pages

Elizabeth reminds me so much of Samantha in this series.

What, Me Pregnant? by Lynn Johnson, 128 pages

Another funny collection.

If This Is A Lecture, How Long Will It Be? by Lynn Johnson, 128 pages

I'd forgotten just how much I really enjoyed For Better or For Worse over the years.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Witchy Worries of Abbie Adams by Rhonda Hayter, 242 pages

I had to kill an hour waiting for Samantha on Saturday and this was the only thing I could find in the car. A girl has to deal with 5th grade, a younger brother, and hiding the fact that her family are witches from her best friend. Then you throw in a new kitten that seems to be just a little peculiar, and it might be more than this witch can handle.
This was actually a really fun book that I enjoyed.

Dead City:Blue Moon by James Ponti, 328 pages

This is a great teen zombie series, not nearly as dark as Maberry's stuff but still a great read. I can't wait to see what happens next. I hate discovering a new series early on, because then I have to wait for each new book.

The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London by Judith Flanders, 520 pages

This was a fascinating read. I love anything historical, more so if it has an English view, so this was great. I learned a lot, including the fact that newspapers used to be rented at one point. So much of this could be made into a great BBC documentary.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan, 341 pages

Working at a library doesn’t help with a book addiction because I’m constantly coming across more books that I want to read than I actually can. My to-read list is usually pretty long and always growing, so it takes a good description to hook me and move a book to the top of the list. “When She Woke” by Hillary Jordan is one of those books that caught my eye and had me almost instantly engrossed.
Hannah Payne awakens on a hospital table in a slightly futuristic Texas with her skin colored a bright red. She has been sentenced to be a Chrome for sixteen years, for the crime of having an abortion and refusing to name either the father or the doctor who performed her procedure.
As a means of dealing with overcrowded prisons, all but the most dangerous criminals are now sentenced by melachroming, a means of dyeing the skin different colors to reflect the different crimes, and released into the general population. Yellow serves for misdemeanors, blue for child molesters, and red for murder.
After a rampant sexual disease scourges the world, infecting men as carriers, but turning women infertile, abortion is completely outlawed in many countries, including most states in America. China and India even turned to forced fertilizations for all women of childbearing age until a cure for the disease was found. But in Texas abortion is still a crime.
Hannah, raised by fundamentalist parents, has never questioned their beliefs in politics or religion, which has become intertwined. That is, not until she finds herself seeking help after becoming pregnant -- not because of the impact it would have on her life, but because it would destroy the famous, married, religious man she loves. Found out, Hannah is sentenced to try to survive in a world that judges one by the color of their skin, literally.
After a vigilant group called The Fist, dedicated to “punishing” Chromes, comes close to killing her, Hannah is taken in by an underground terrorist group that fights against the draconian abortion laws. Hannah’s only hope for survival and any type of life is making it to Canada in a way that seems reminiscent of the Underground Railroad. But doing so means walking away from ever seeing her family and the man she loves ever again.
During this ordeal, Hannah finds herself questioning the beliefs she was raised with. At one point, Hannah is asked what she thinks about something and her reply is that she doesn’t because she was raised not to. That seems to be symbolic of how women are treated in many fundamentalist religious extremes, be they Christian, Islamic or other religion, with regulations about what they’re allowed to wear, read, learn, and even think.
This book, well meant as an updated retelling of “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, reminds me more of “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. Both show a future that is all-too-frightening in how easily it could come true. The author has done an outstanding job of showcasing an alarming look into a world where religion and politics combine, threatening a woman’s right to a safe and educated life.
From the first sentence of this book, I was hooked, and had to physically pull myself away to go back to work and fulfill other daily requirements. I finished the book outraged at a society that would allow this to happen, a sign of a book that truly reaches the reader. I wholeheartedly recommend this to fans of “The Handmaid’s Tale”, and for anyone concerned about the growing movement to politicize religion.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Runaways: Homeschooling, 136 pages

This one was really odd, kind of short on plot and the artwork felt weird.

Runaways: Rock Zombies, 112 pages

I'm kind of sad to admit that the last couple books just haven't been as good. But I'll keep reading since I'm hooked.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Best Christmas Pageant Every by Beverly Robinson, 96 pages

I had to re-read this since Samantha got into the play. Still just as funny as ever. This is my husband's favorite Christmas book, but he'd never seen the movie, so I got to introduce him to that treat as well.

Runaways: Dead Wrong, 136 pages

Volume 9 had some issues with me wondering why people didn't see the same plot holes I saw, but still good.

Runaways: Dead End Kids, 152 pages

Another great one in the series.

The Mammoth Book of the Lost Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes by Denis O. Smith, 503 pages

I will read anything Sherlock based, but these were really superb additions the Sherlock field of short stories.

Murder 101 by Faye Kellerman, 374 pages

Peter Decker's idea of retirement from the LAPD is moving to a rural New York town and joining their police force as a detective. It's a quiet job, until a graveyard robbery turns into multiple, vicious homicides. Now Peter just has to stay alive to enjoy his retirement.

Dead City by James Ponti, 277 pages

Molly is not your normal seventh-grader, she finds it more comfortable hanging out at the morgue where her mother worked, than hanging out at the mall. But Molly discovers that's her mother had been training her for something special before her death. She has been trained to fight zombies, and now Molly has a new normal.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, 318 pages

This has been reviewed multiple times, with everyone loving it. I'd put off reading it because I hate to feel like a sheep, following the crowd, but finally picked it up. I started reading it before bedtime and the next thing I knew I'd finished it, not sure how long it would take for me to stop crying so I could fall asleep. A wonderful read.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

It's One Thing After Another! by Lynn Johnston, 212 pages

The only drawback to bringing home one of this comic collections is trying to hide them from family members until I get to read it. For Better or For Worse is a timeless comic that is a lot of fun to read.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, 374 pages

This has been reviewed by more than one person but I have to say I loved this book. It was a fantastic homage to my youth, and when I finished it, I immediately made my husband read, who loved it also.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Here Comes the Bride by Laurie John, 233 pages

Steven Wakefield and his girlfriend, Billie, decide that after all the ups and downs, they do still want to get married. So the twins must help put together a wedding in less than two weeks.

Pyg by Russell Potter, 274 pages

I'd seen this in a review and thought it looked interesting. It presents itself as the true memoir of Toby, a pig who has learned to read and write in late 1790s England. Picture Charlotte's Web set in old days England. It was sweet and touching, filled with historical figures, and just a good read all around.

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth, 340 pages

 I love any type of nonfiction historical, especially if it has an English bent to it. So I had to pick this book up which is a look at midwives/nurses in 1950s England. It was really interesting looking at how much the field had changed, but still had changes coming, and how the immigrants lives had stayed the same for years. I knew there was a PBS series based off this, but I'm definitely going to check into it now.