Mamzel's 12 in 2012, last quarter

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Mamzel's 12 in 2012, last quarter

Denna diskussion är för närvarande "vilande"—det sista inlägget är mer än 90 dagar gammalt. Du kan återstarta det genom att svara på inlägget.

Redigerat: dec 13, 2012, 6:37pm

The last good reads of the year will go on this thread before heading over to the new Category Group. I will try to add to the neglected categories to meet my challenge, which is to even out my reading choices. I can but try!

Part 1 may be found here.

Part 2 may be found here.

On going count
I. Off the shelves - 3
II. YAs - 20
III. Nonfiction - 4
IV. Bestsellers - 8
V. Classics - 4
VI. Chunkers - 6
VII. Mysteries - 12
VIII. Non-American authors - 3
IX. ERs - 10
X. Tough reads - 8
XI. - Continuations of series - 13
XII. Miscellaneous - 14

Total to date: 105

sep 1, 2012, 2:59pm

I. Eggs-acerbating - books from the piles around my room that have been aggravating me for some time.

1. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (2009) ****
2. Catilina's Riddle by Steven Saylor (1993) ****½
3. 9 Dragons by Michael Connelly (2009)***

Redigerat: dec 4, 2012, 11:31am

II. Eggs-asperating - a term frequently ascribed to kids - here used to indicate YA titles.

1. Matched by Ally Condie (2010) ***
2. The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (2011) *****
3. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (2011) ****
4. Chime by Franny Billingsley (2011) ****
5. Ash by Malinda Lo (2009) ***
6. The Wager by Donna Jo Napoli (2010) ***
7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (2012) ****
8. The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman (2012) *****
9. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (2007) *****½
10. Desert Angel by Charlie Price (2011) ****½
11. Cinder by Marissa Meyer (2012) ***
12. From the Two Rivers by Robert Jordan (1990) ***
13. The List by Siobhan Vivian (2012)***
14. Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien (2011) ***
15. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (1999) ****
16. Search for Safety by John Langan (2007) ***
17. Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow (2012) ****
18. Every Day by David Levithan (2012) ****½
19. The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde (2012) ****
20. UnWholly by Neal Shusterman (2012) ****

Redigerat: nov 23, 2012, 12:03pm

III. Eggs-cavating - digging for facts in nonfiction books.

1. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall (2009) ****
2. Atlantic by Simon Winchester (2010) ****
3. Joining the United States Coast Guard by Snow Wildsmith (2012) ****
4. First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung (2000) ****

IV. Eggs-ceeding - books from the best sellers lists that everyone is reading and raving about.

1. The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht (2011) ****
2. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (2011) **
3. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (2010) ****
4. Embassytown by China Miéville (2011) ****
5. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (2010) *****
6. The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow (2012) ***
7. The Dark Tower The Gunslinger by Stephen King (1982) ***
8. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (2012) ****

Redigerat: nov 2, 2012, 5:59pm

V. Eggs-emplifying - classics that have been proven to be wonderful reads.

1. Don't Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk (1965) ***
2. Sea Wolf by Jack London (1980 orig. 1904) *****
3. The Art of War by Sun Tzu, translated by Lionel Giles (1910) ****
4. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (1962) ****½

Redigerat: dec 8, 2012, 4:57pm

VI. Eggs-hausting - books with more than 500 pages.

1. The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (2008) ****
2. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (2007) ***
3. Dark Fire by C.J. Sansom (2004) ***½
4. Sovereign by C.J. Sansom (2006) ***½
5. Revelation by C.J. Sansom (2009) ***½
6. The Once and Future King by T.H. White (orig. 1939) ***½

Redigerat: okt 2, 2012, 5:50pm

VII. Eggs-huming - murder mysteries.

1. Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James (2011) ****
2. Roman Blood by Steven Saylor (1991) ****
3. The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill (2005) ***½
4. Thirty-Three Teeth by Colin Cotterill (2006) ****
5. Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill (2006) ***
6. Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill (2007) ***½
7. Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill (2008) ****½
8. The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill (2009) ****
9. Slash and Burn by Colin Cotterill (2011) ***
10. Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris (2012) ***
11. Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill (2010) ****½
12. The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny (2012) ***

Redigerat: nov 26, 2012, 12:13pm

VIII. Eggs-patriates - non-American authors.

1. Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear (2005) ****
2. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee (1999) ****
3. Baudolino by Umberto Eco (2000, translated 2002) ***½

Redigerat: nov 20, 2012, 4:19pm

IX. Eggs-aminating - ERs and ARCs.

1. The Dogs of War by Lisa Rogak (2011) ER ***
2. Shatter by Michael Robotham (2012) ER ***½
3. The Last Song by Eva Wiseman (2012) ER ***
4. The Odditorium by Melissa Pritchard (2012) ER ***
5. The Boy Who Stole the Leopard's Spots by Tamar Myers (2012) ER ***
6. The Cybrarian's Web: An A-Z Guide to 101 Free Web 2.0 Tools and Other Resources by Cheryl Ann Pelier-Davis (2012) ***½
7. Bright Lights, No City by Max Alexander (2012) ***
8. The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro (2012) ***
9. Sailor Twain by Mark Siegel (2012) ***½
10. Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley (2013) ****

Redigerat: dec 13, 2012, 6:36pm

X. Eggs-cruciating - books that had subject matter that made them uncomfortable to read - but worthy.

1. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (2011) ****
2. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History and Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman (1973) and (1986) ****
3. We of Nagasaki by Takashi Nagai (1951) ****
4. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach (2003) ****
5. Never Fall Down: A Novel by Patricia McCormick (2012) *****
6. Counterfeit Son by Elaine Marie Alphin (2000) ***
7. America by E.R. Frank (2002) ****½
8. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (2012) *****

Redigerat: dec 1, 2012, 2:05pm

XI. Eggs-stensions - books from series I have been following (please let there be another Temeraire!). edited to add - put a hold on it at the library. Yippee!

1. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley (2011) ****
2. The House of the Vestals by Steven Saylor (1997) ****
3. Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik (2012) ***½
4. Arms of Nemesis by Steven Saylor (1992) ***½
5. The Venus Throw by Steven Saylor (1995) ****
6. A Murder on the Appian Way by Steven Saylor (1996) ****½
7. Rubicon by Steven Saylor (1999) ****
8. Last Seen in Massilia by Steven Saylor (2000) ****
9. The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith (2012) ****
10. A Mist of Prophecies by Steven Saylor (2002) ****
11. The Judgment of Caesar by Steven Saylor (2004) ****
12. The Triumph of Caesar by Steven Saylor (2008) ****
13. The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde (2012) ****

Redigerat: dec 1, 2012, 2:35pm

XII. Eggs-traneous - books that don't fit in another category or are overflows from other categories.

1. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (2008) ***
2. It Gets Better edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller (2011) ****
3. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (2009) **** Group Read
4. The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi (2011) ****
5. Mercury by Hope Larson (2010) ***
6. To the Blight by Robert Jordan (2002) ****
7. The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan (ebook 2009, orig. 1990) ***
8. The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi (2012 *****
9. Un Lun Dun by China Mièville (2007) ***½
10. The Sandman Vol. 1: Nocturnes and Preludes by Neil Gaiman (1991) ***½
11. Adrift on St. John by Rebecca M. Hale (2012) **
12. The High Crusade by Poul Anderson (1960) ***
13. The Dragon Book edited by Jack Dann (2009) ***
14. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (2011) ****

sep 1, 2012, 3:05pm

For fun I am rerunning the link to the article about types of readers. Are you the Hate Reader, the Chronological Reader, the Book-Buster, Delayed Onset Reader #1, Delayed Onset Reader #2, the Bookophile, the Anti-Reader, the Cross-Under, a Multi-Tasker, or the Sleepy Bedtime Reader? Find out here.

sep 1, 2012, 3:23pm

The High Crusade by Poul Anderson (1960) ***

As the captain looked up, the hooded desk lamp threw his face into ridges of darkness and craggy highlights. A port stood open to alien summer night.

Thanks to Delta Queen for the endorsement of this unusual (for me) science fiction treat.

An alien race tries to invade Earth in 1345 with the intention of wiping out any resistant species and settling with their own. Unfortunately they meet battle tested Sir Roger who has no intention of being pushed out of his own land. What follows is an imaginative romp of knights in outer space.

With the help of Brother Parvus, a monk with a talent for learning languages, he not only resists their attack but manages to overpower them and gains control of their space ship. Roger tries to use this ship to launch an invasion of France but is tricked by the Wersgorix pilot and they end up transported to the home world. Any information about the location of Earth and the way home is accidentally destroyed so Roger's goal changes from just trying to get home.

A conversation between Roger's wife and Sir Owain:

"Does anyone know him?" she asked in bitterness.
He said, very low, "It seems to me that his dreams grow with each new turn of fate. At first he was content to fly to France and join the King. Then he would liberate the Holy Land. Browught here by evil fortune, he responded nobly: none can deny that. But having gained a respite, has he sought Terra again? No, he took this whole world. Now he is off to conquer suns. Where will it end?"

This was indeed, a fun diversion from my usual reading, a fifty-year old story that stands the test of time.

sep 1, 2012, 4:10pm

#13 -- I think I'm a Chronological Cross-Under Bookophile, with a few stray tendencies from other classifications.

sep 1, 2012, 4:55pm

It is hard for us hard core readers to have only one of those pertain to us, isn't it?

OOOOOOOO! Goody, goody, goody! New Dr. Who series starting tonight on BBC America. Can't wait. Can't wait. Can't wait!!!

sep 1, 2012, 6:44pm

I saw the Who series preview - looking good!!! :)

sep 1, 2012, 11:43pm

I just finished watching the first Dr. Who episode of this season and it was awesome! I could tell you who Oswin is but ... SPOILERS!

sep 2, 2012, 4:24pm

I was not disappointed. A totally new image of Darleks, who would have thought?

sep 9, 2012, 2:16pm

Dinosaurs! On a spaceship! (And, I'm sorry, I couldn't ignore the fact that two actors from the Harry Potter movies were featured.)

Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan by Max Alexander (2012) ***

I never cared about Africa. I never wanted to join the Peace Corps, raft the Zambezi, haggle in Fez or climb Kilimanjaro.

The complete title of this book pretty much tells the story. Max (the writing brother) and Whit (the entrepreneur) go to Ghana to start a business renting rechargeable batteries. Why, one might ask, would anyone want to rent a rechargeable battery? Well, we find out that when one's only source of light is a flashlight and contact with the world is a portable radio and a cell phone, batteries are of the utmost importance. Whit, after selling a successful board game (Cranium) to Hasbro, decided that a network of agents exchanging rechargeable batteries made good sense. Not only did the batteries outperform the cheap disposable batteries, but they were safer (didn't leak), and most importantly, much cheaper in the long run.

The idea was to set up an agent in a village, who would be regularly supplied with charged batteries. The customers would bring back their spent batteries and for a small charge, get a freshly charged battery. Whit developed a model similar to Avon where a group of agents would be supplied by a driver who would have a number of areas in his region.

As can be expected, starting a business in Ghana has its share of problems and there are many! However, Whit spent several years overcoming these obstacles and continued to reach farther and farther out and offered more economical products that greatly improved the lives of the Ghanans and employed not a few of them along the way.

A good read.

sep 9, 2012, 2:43pm

I didn't put this in the body of the review, but the font chosen for the previous book was a little problematic for me. I am myopic with astigmatism and I like to read with my glasses off. The astigmatism only interferes with the small, fine, and less than bold font like the one used in this book. When I buy books, I have to check the font before purchasing it. If I had seen the font used here, I would not have requested it. This is just a problem for me, however, and I would not make it a reason for others not to read this book.

Redigerat: sep 10, 2012, 5:53pm

Oh, and by the way, if anyone is contemplating NaNoWriMo this year I started a new thread for 2012 here. This is a challenge where participants write like crazy during the month of November to try and complete a novel of at least 50,000 words. (Students sign up in the Young Writers Program and set their own challenge.) A worthy side-challenge, I've tried twice and haven't completed a novel yet but am going to give it another shot. Third time's a charm? I actually have a story in mind that came to me in a dream over the summer.

sep 10, 2012, 4:53pm

Good luck with your writing challenge! Maybe I'll give it a shot - always intend to write but never do.

Redigerat: sep 11, 2012, 3:43pm

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung (2000) ****

Phnom Penh city wakes early to take advantage of the cool morning breeze before the sun breaks through the haze and invades the country with sweltering heat.

Loung was five years old when she and her family had to leave the city with only as much as they could carry. For five more years they endured starvation, disease, separation, and death when the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot carry out their genocide in Cambodia.

As a very young girl, we grieve for the lost childhood, the memories of times before when food was plentiful and everyone laughed.

The strongest message of the story is the importance of family and how the survivors managed to get back together is truly inspiring.

At one point she mentions a group of boys who played musical instruments in her camp. I immediately wondered if this could have been Arnchorn-Pond (Never Fall Down) but that would have been too much of a coincidence.

I hear Ma say women are so overworked, underfed, and filled with fear that most cannot become pregnant anymore. Even when they do, many suffer miscarriages. Most newborn babies do not survive more than a couple of days. Pa says there will be a generation of children completely missing from our country. Shaking his head, he looks at Geak. "The first victims are always the children."

The only problem I had with this book was the lack of a map that showed the locations of the camps mentioned in the book. The map that was given had very little to guide us on Loung's journey.

sep 11, 2012, 10:49pm

Stopping by to give moral support for your NaNoWriMo. I know its not until November but I tend to forget these things until it is too late!

sep 12, 2012, 11:46am

Thanks, Lori. Encouragement works as incentive as well and I can use all the incentive I can get!

Redigerat: sep 12, 2012, 5:27pm

Search for Safety by John Langan (2007) ***
Bluford High #13

"Larry and I are getting married," my mom announced.

Bluford High is a series aimed at high school students with low reading skills. The books are about teenagers and their very real teenage problems. In this book, Ben has to deal with a new stepfather who gets violent when he drinks, which is all the time. Luckily, his problems are detected by teachers and the owner of a neighborhood store who hires him to help carry boxes.

Teens with problems will easily relate to Ben and the hope (obvious to this reader) is that they will seek an adult, like Ben did, to help with their own problems before they go too far. I read this in very short time to be able to talk about it with students and to consider buying more for my library.

sep 13, 2012, 12:37pm

Adrift on St. John by Rebecca M. Hale (2012) **

Deep within the murky, unlit darkness of the Caribbean waters skirting the northern tip of the Lesser Antilles, the stocky shadow of a catamaran powerboat rocked against a wooden pier off the tiny island of St. John.

So, one word in this sentence set me off on a disappointed reading of this book. Dark, unlit, yes. Murky? Not a word I would use to describe the clear waters of the Caribbean, especially in conservation minded St. John. And she was right here in her location of St. John but on page 23 stated that the Greater Antilles were east of the Lesser Antilles (reminding me of another geographical gaff in the movie title, Krakatoa, East of Java). And did she forget her high school physics when she learned that when ice melted it did not expand? The ice cubes had begun to melt, raising the liquid's volume dangerously close to the rims. (p. 21)

I would easily accept some geographical license but it got out of hand for me and it added to the rest of reasons I didn't enjoy this book. Oh well!

sep 14, 2012, 11:33am

Flood of Books in Melbourne last June

(The picture of the little girl reading surrounded by books made me smile.)

sep 14, 2012, 12:06pm

Any chance that Adrift on St. John was self-published? I have found that many of the self-published books, even when through a bookstore or someone who does the set up and printing for you, what they most need is a strong editor.

Yes, it gets your book in print, but such mistakes mean that you won't have a repeat customer. One of the books I read was set in Vermont and I was on a search for new mysteries set it Vermont. The author was still going on two chapters after the book was finished.

There are some good ones, but the really bad ones seem to be the biggest population.

sep 14, 2012, 1:47pm

I don't think it is. I bought another of her books from a series called Cats and Curios from Barnes & Noble. Do they sell vanity press books?

sep 14, 2012, 2:16pm

I don't know! If it wasn't her editor should be strongly questioned. I don't know if real people edit anymore...maybe it's all spell-check and such.

sep 14, 2012, 3:10pm

@ 31 -- I have definitely seen books from vanity presses in Barnes & Noble -- not a lot, but you can find them. I know this because traditional publishers generally don't view Papyrus or Comic Sans as acceptable fonts for book covers.

sep 20, 2012, 3:55pm

Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien (2011) ***
Birthmarked #2

She grabbed the hilt of her knife and scrambled backward into the darkness, holding the baby cholse in her other arm.

There is no major competition as in Hunger Games in this series, but the female lead has no problem standing out as a special woman. In Birthmarked we meet Gaia Stone who learns how to be a midwife from her mother. Enclave is the name of the walled city where the wealthier people live inside the city walls and the poorer outside. Wealthier in money but the genetic material has been growing thin and is being fortified by adopting children (not voluntarily) born to the people outside the walls. When Gaia's mother gives birth to another girl, Maya, Gaia refuses to give her up and runs away.

In Prized we rejoin Gaia as she and Maya are found in a swamp and brought to Sylum, another settlement with a whole different set of genetic problems. It seems that the low number of female births is threatening the population. Harsh laws protecting breeding women result in stiff penalties for any physical contact. And for some reason, attempts to leave Sylum result in death. Gaia investigates both puzzles and her findings are surprising.

Like Hunger Games, Gaia is a sixteen-year old girl who uses her abilities to enact major change and has to deal with a surplus of male interest. She shows great courage and inspires the same in those around her. The modern genetic concepts seem anachronistic in this world but it keeps reminding the reader that this is a dystopic future of our present world.

I would recommend this book to readers who enjoyed The Hunger Games.

sep 21, 2012, 12:35pm

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (2010) *****

Sister Mary Joseph Praise had come to Missing Hospital from India, seven years before our birth.

This book deserves all the praise heaped on it by LTers! Fantastic story centered on the life of one twin named Marion Stone, with his brother, Shiva, his nun mother, surgeon father, the woman who raised him, the doctor who was his surrogate father, and everyone else who showed love and respect to their mother who died in childbirth.

I love stories that follow the life of a person in a foreign country and this fits the bill so well. Sister Mary Joseph Priest sails from India to Aden on a ship where she meets Dr. Stone. What follows is an interesting relationship culminating in the birth of conjoined twins and her death. The good doctor freaks and flees leaving the twins to be cared for by the midwife, Hema, and the hospital internest, Ghosh.

We follow the boys growing up along with Ethiopia, and eventually getting involved with the turmoil involving Eritrea which forced Marion to beat a hasty escape to America. There he finds a new home in a hospital in New York City with new people to become his family.

My true test of a book is how focused I become in the story and lose all contact with the world around me. I found this one to be completely engrossing and I never left the intense compulsion to keep the pages turning.

A rare treat! Highly recommended!

sep 21, 2012, 1:34pm

Cutting for Stone has been on my wishlist forever - not sure why I'm not picking it up!? Maybe next year... :)

sep 21, 2012, 4:52pm

I enjoyed the parts with Hema and Ghosh the most. Once Marion and Shiva became older I had a harder time with the book. While their medical journeys were interesting, I just couldn't care much about either of them.

sep 21, 2012, 5:32pm

I did start to drift when Marion escaped to the States. I thought to myself that I do tend to lose interest once the story shifts to native soil. Another example of a book that did that is Poisonwood Bible. But I did appreciate the ending.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (1999) ****

August 25, 1991
Dear friend,
I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.

I've had my eye on this book for several years now and finally decided to read it when I read that Emma Watson is starring in the movie soon to be released. I liked having her in mind as I read it.

Charlie starts high school as a very smart, very sensitive (maybe too sensitive), naive, and mentally unstable young man. He is fortunate to be befriended by a disparate bunch of seniors who include him in their lives. As the title implies, Charlie is a master of observing and recording the events that swirl around him that he shares with an unknown "friend" he in letters. Among the types of things he becomes educated in are teen-age drinking, abuse by boyfriend (evolving into pregnancy and abortion), suicide, homosexuality, and more. His English teacher immediately sees his gifts and gives him books to read outside of class. His parents are well meaning but his older brother and sister seem to be distracting them until he loses it.

Only 7 inces high and 206 pages long, this is a very short book but is extremely densely packed with emotion. I look forward to seeing the movie.

sep 21, 2012, 5:57pm

I didn't know Emma Watson would be in it - I think I'll check it out, if for no other reason but to see if I can watch her be anyone other than Hermione Granger. :)

sep 22, 2012, 4:11pm

I've had my eye on Cutting for Stone for a while, as it has whizzed in and out of the library. I should snag it someday. Sounds quite worthwhile!

sep 22, 2012, 10:23pm

Eva, I think she'll be great - unlike another actress who tried to break out in a certain vampire series.

Terri, Snag it indeed. Set a trap, net it, whatever is necessary.

So, my friend, her son, and I went to the fabulous San Francisco Library book sale today. I snagged 56 books for my library and the following for myself:

City of Secrets by Kelli Stanley
Foucalt's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Vittorio: The Vampire by Anne Rice
Pandora by Anne Rice
Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra
She Captains by Joan Druett
The Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr
The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Iain Lawrence

I thought I showed great restraint. Afterwards, we went to what has become our traditional post-book-sale lunch spot, Miller's East Coast Deli for a delicious pastrami sandwich. It was a beautiful day and the view from the Golden Gate bridge on our way home was stunning.

sep 23, 2012, 12:54pm

Wow! That must be some book sale! Sounds like you had a fun day. It's great you found so many books for your school library. I've read The Angel of Darkness and some of Anne Rice's vampire books. I will keep a watch to see how you review all your wonderful books.

sep 23, 2012, 4:00pm

Thanks. I read Carr's The Alienist a long time ago so I think it's time to read this. It's also been a long time since I've read any of Rice's books and these looked small and manageable.

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny (2012) ***

As the last note of the chant escaped the Blessed Chapel a great silence fell, and with it came an even greater disquiet.

Darn. I so wanted to love this book as much as I loved her other ones. But I didn't. Maybe it was because the only female presence was through texting. Maybe I felt claustrophobic being inside the dark stone walls of the monastery. Maybe it was because of the dark force rising up against Gamache and Beauvoir. Whatever the reason or combination of reasons, I found that I raced through this book to get it over with and learn the ending so I could return the book to the library.

I will look forward to her next book and hope that she returns to the town of Three Pines.

sep 24, 2012, 7:11am

nice bookhaul - congrats on being restrained!

Redigerat: sep 24, 2012, 6:13pm

Excellent haul! I read The Alienist too and had forgotten there was a sequel - looking forward to hearing if it's good. :)

Redigerat: sep 26, 2012, 8:42am

Sorry the new Penny wasn't to your liking. I'm a little hesitant about it. I didn't particularly like the last one that was set away from Three Pines -- at least, not as much as the others. I forget which one that was, A Rule Against Murder, I think?

Redigerat: sep 28, 2012, 2:34pm

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro (2012) ***
(received from Early Reviewers program)

I step back and scrutinize the paintings.

I was hopeful that this book would immerse me in the passionate and emotional world of art. There were lots of details about the mechanics of painting but I never felt that passion. And, unfortunately, the lead character felt flat for me.

As I was reading I began to feel that I had read this story before. When I was done I did a search for books about forging on Amazon, and on the eighth page of titles I found the book that I was reminded of - The Careful Use of Compliments. I think what brought it to mind was the forger's use of a dot on the back of the painting.

Another gripe I had with the book is that the lead character, a young woman, who has a huge talent and is trying to be recognized. Until she is discovered, she makes money by copying master works, specializing in Degas. While I would certainly cheer for a talented young woman, I feel used that the author gave her the talent and experience one would expect to be found in someone older. Did the author feel no one would read a book about an older woman? Was it necessary to make her young so that her bedroom dalliances would be sexier and more believable? Or am I just getting grouchy in my advanced age?

sep 28, 2012, 5:27pm

"Or am I just getting grouchy in my advanced age?"
LOL! Perhaps, but more likely both of your scenarios are at least partially correct... Unfortunately. :)

okt 2, 2012, 12:47pm

Counterfeit Son by Elaine Marie Alphin (2000) ***½

He chose the Lacey family at first because of the sailboats.

Thanks to cammykitty's mention of this book and comparing it to A Child Called It I found this book on our shelves and I enjoyed it too. I'm slowly weeding all of our copies of Pelzer's books and am really glad to find an alternative to recommend to those diehard fans. I will add this book to the list which includes Silent to the Bone and The Boy From the Basement.

A boy escapes from the clutches of a serial killing pedophile just as the police arrive on the scene and the man dies from gunshots. Cameron assumes the identity of one of the boys his father abducted, abused, murdered, and buried in the basement of their house. He chose Neil Lacey because his family owned a sailboat. "Pop" saved clippings of all of his victims and Cameron had plenty of time locked in the basement to study them.

A fast read, a page turner. Happy to resurrect this book from relative obscurity.

okt 2, 2012, 6:01pm

Checking my stats up to the end of September:

I. Off the shelves - 3
II. YAs - 16
III. Nonfiction - 4
IV. Bestsellers - 5
V. Classics - 3
VI. Chunkers - 4
VII. Mysteries - 12
VIII. Non-American authors - 2
IX. ERs - 8
X. Tough reads - 6
XI. - Continuations of series - 12
XII. Miscellaneous - 12

Total to date: 87

This number does not include rereads of two books and one book that annoyed me so that I couldn't finish it. I am halfway through one book that qualifies as a Chunker and am looking forward to receiving another ER soon. I've completed four of the categories so far.

okt 2, 2012, 9:37pm

Four categories completed is nice progress! ;-)

okt 2, 2012, 11:11pm

87 books is great! I'm sure you will complete all your categories!

Redigerat: okt 31, 2012, 6:07pm

America by E.R. Frank (2002)

You have to watch what you say here because everthing you say means something and somebody's always telling you what you mean.

America is the name of a very troubled young man. We follow him as he goes from home to foster home to mental institution and from his voice we hear his anger and sense of being abandoned by his addict mother, older siblings (his two oldest sisters he only learns about through a note scribbled by his mother), and others who betrayed his trust and abused him. He even goes so far as to disassociate after viewing an IMAX movie about Mt. Everest.

I'm at the top of Mount Everest, and it's right where I'm supposed to be. I'm looking out at the clouds and the sky and the snow, and everything is white and icicles, and nothing is burning up or even warm. Everything is the way it's supposed to be, and I know my whole life was just a TV show I saw once and not even real, and I can't remember what it all was anymore, and then somebody is there, pulling at me with a string, or a rope, and it hurts, and I hear rumbling, and there's an avalanche coming right for me, and the rope hurts, and I'm smothered, and I can't breathe.

America, luckily, is treated by Dr. B. who manages, with the greatest patience, to bring him back to a place where he could take care of himself and exist in society.

This book was a tough read since you are in this young man's head feeling his rage against all those who he trusted and who let him down. "F" bombs are frequent and his thoughts about his emerging sexuality are frank.

Excellent read.

okt 6, 2012, 11:54am

Revelation by C.J. Sansom (2009) ***½

The high chandeliers in the Great Hall of Lincoln's Inn were ablaze with candles, for it was late afternoon when the play began.

As I read this installment of the Matthew Shardlake series, I realized that it just might have been the inspiration for the last season of Dexter. A religious fanatic is reenacting scenes from Revelation, where angels empty seven vials which release different forms of death and destruction. Shardlake is drawn into the investigation when one of his friends becomes a victim. At the same time he is given the case of a young man who is taking penitence to an extreme level and is being charged as a heretic. Shardlake manages to get him admitted to the Bedlam, the only place for insane people of the era.

C.J. Sansom has a wonderful character that the reader grows to admire and respect and care about just as the character respects and cares for his friends. Mystery lovers will enjoy this series as well as lovers of historical fiction.

Redigerat: okt 8, 2012, 5:01pm

I was just looking at my TBR library. I have titles back to January of 2010! Shame on me! Next book I start will be the first on the list, Velocity by Dean Koontz. It is a shame that I neglect these books that looked so promising when I got them and now they aren't so inviting. I must do something about this! I definitely will be working on them next year.

okt 9, 2012, 12:34pm

Don't feel too bad, I know I have books from farther back than that. Sadly, some are even books I borrowed from friends. Shameful! They just keep publishing books faster than I can read them.

Redigerat: okt 9, 2012, 5:40pm

You're doing much better than me with the January 2010 date - I'm a little envious! :) That's the problemisn't it - all the new ones are so shiny you just get more and more of them...

okt 11, 2012, 12:15pm

I was thrilled to see that Never Fall Down is on the finalist list for the National Book Award. This was my favorite YA read of the year. Congratulations and best of luck to Patricia McCormick!

okt 11, 2012, 4:17pm

I just learned about this cool website called HumbleBundle. They have an amazing set of scifi ebooks that you can download DRM free and pay what you think is fair. The amount is divided between the authors, charity, and the web site, adjustable according to your whim. Among this selection is are books by Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, and a set of short stories by Paolo Bacigalupi. I paid through my Amazon account and downloaded the books to my Kindle with little difficulty.

If you are interested, another site was also mentioned - Story Bundle which is offering a collection of murder mysteries.

Thanks, Green Dragon, for the dope.

okt 13, 2012, 2:16pm

The Dragon Book edited by Jack Dann (2009) ***½

Marvelous collection of short stories written for younger readers by authors including Naomi Novik, Tamora Pierce, Gregory Maguire, Jonathan Stroud, and other YA authors. I enjoyed the light tone of these stories and the sense of humor in many of them.

One of my favorite stories was about a police officer in Oakland who is called to a traffic problem. What he finds isn't covered in the training manuals. A dragon has landed in the middle of the intersection and is ignoring all the angry drivers. It turns out that an author had started to write his story and quit, dropping the dragon in the middle of downtown Oakland.

A fun diversion full of one of my favorite mythological creatures.

okt 13, 2012, 5:56pm

Glad you enjoyed your collection more than I did mine. Can't go too wrong with dragons though.

okt 15, 2012, 4:54pm

You've put The Dragon Book on my wishlist - seconding Dave's comment: can't go too wrong with dragons! :)

Redigerat: okt 31, 2012, 5:56pm

Wolfy and Eva, thanks for stopping by. I have to credit Naomi Novik for a recently discovered appreciation of dragons. Her Temeraire series is so much fun.

Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow (2012) ****

I will never forget the day my family got cut off from the Internet.

Fun romp in the alleys and sewers of London. Cecil DeVil (Trent McCauley) ran away from home when his downloading addiction ended up in his family being cut off of the Internet and escapes to London. Luckily for him he meets up with an intelligent young man, Jem, who teaches him the fine art of panhandling and then persuades him to join him in squatting in an abandoned pub. Others join them and share their skills in plumbing and electricity and soon they have cleaned up the space and have a small community living there. They enjoy sharing all the treasure they find in dumpsters all over town. They eat better than most house dwellers.

Cecil's passion and obsession is making films by patching together clips from movies starring Scot Colford and then posting them on the Internet. At the same time, evil corporations are conspiring to pass laws making such activity illegal and subject to the harshest of penalties. Among his new acquaintances, Cecil meets 26, the daughter of a Scottish police officer (father), a barrister (stepfather) and a very progressive mother. I love the description of their house.

The place had wooden floors and wooden steps leading up to an upper story, coathooks and framed antique maps, and books.
Thousands of books.
They teetered in stacks on the stairs and in the hallway. Shelves ran the length of the corridor, just about head-height, packed with a double row of books, some turned sideways to fit in the cramped space. They were in a state of perfect (and rather glorious higgeldy-piggeldy, leather-bound antiques next to cheap paperbacks, horizontal stacks of oversized art books and a boxed encyclopedia serving as a little side table, its top littered with keys, packets of Kleenex, rolled pairs of gloves, umbrellas, and of course, more books.
26 waved a hand at them. "My parents are readers," she said.

Full of technology and London slang, this still was a wonderful Robin Hood story of stealing-from-the-rich-giving-to-the-poor story.

okt 17, 2012, 2:43pm

That's lovely - I want to live in their house!!

Redigerat: okt 18, 2012, 4:09pm

I've only read one of his books so far, Little Brother, and really liked it. Need to read more soon.

okt 17, 2012, 9:10pm

Glad to hear you liked Pirate Cinema! This will probably be one of the first ones I read from the Humble Bundle, though it will be a while before I get to start any of them.

okt 18, 2012, 11:58am

Pirate Cinema sounds like so much fun. Love the description of their house!

okt 20, 2012, 5:11pm

Thank you for the review of Pirate Cinema. This has come up as a recommendation for me on Amazon and I was wondering what it was about.

okt 20, 2012, 7:49pm

Sailor Twain by Mark Siegel (2012) ***½

Don't call me captain.

I received this book from the Early Reviewers program.

And I was thrilled to hear I was selected to get a copy. Books about ships and mermaids are right up my alley. Which makes this review even harder to write. A lot of things didn't make sense for me in this book.

The story follows two men who are under the spell of a mermaid. One man has heard her song and is trying to find a way to break the spell. Until he does he is not able to leave the ship. He finds a book that suggests that making love to seven women might be a cure. The second man, the ship's captain rescues her from the water, wounded by a harpoon (who did this we never learn). He hides her in his room while she recovers.

One of the things that I did love about this book was the beautifully haunting drawings of the steamboats on the river. The author also used parts of navigational charts of the Hudson River in between the chapters. While this was not a Disney kind of story the characters were drawn with Disney-like over-sized eyes. If this might suggest that this book would be appropriate for younger readers, please be warned, it isn't.

Among some of the things that were left unanswered and confused me were a couple of kids that popped up reading and strewing Bibles and other books all over the place. Another thing was how the captain stayed away from the bridge of his ship for days at a time. And it never stopped raining.

In the future I may return to this book and see if I follow it any better but for now I can't give it a ringing endorsement.

okt 20, 2012, 8:15pm

Definitely agreeing about the character drawings! I did enjoy the mysterious mood of the whole story so that the kids were not completely explained (other than being her consorts) didn't bother me. As to who harpooned her, take another look at page 358!! :)

okt 21, 2012, 3:40pm

Oh! I think I had maybe given up on understanding by the time I got there.

okt 25, 2012, 3:24pm

Pirate Cinema isn't my usual sort of read, but it really sounds like fun! Great review!

okt 25, 2012, 5:21pm

Every Day by David Levithan (2012) ****½

I wake up.
Immediately I have to figure out who I am. It's not just the body - opening my eyes and discovering whether the skin on my arm is light or dark, whether my hair is long or short, whether I'm fat or thin, boy or girl, scarred or smooth. The body is the easiest thing to adjust to, if you're used to waking up in a new one each morning. It's the life, the context of the body, that can be hard to grasp.

As kids these days might say, "This book is messed up!" but meant in a good way. I will refer to A as a male since we meet him first in a male's body and he eventually falls in love with a girl but we never really know. Not that it really matters. For 6,000 days, since his birth, he has been waking up in a different person's body. He has learned to go with the flow and make it through each day until the day he wakes up in Rhiannon's boy friend's body and he meets Rhiannon. Now it's a major, major hurdle.

I would say this book is a must read for its originality and sensitivity.

okt 25, 2012, 6:07pm

I remember reading about this and thinking it sounded very intriguing. Now that you've reviewed it, it is definitely going on my wishlist!

okt 25, 2012, 11:19pm

Oh I am very intrigued by the premise of Every Day. Waking up every day in a different person's body.... Well, that has got to be anything but boring!

okt 26, 2012, 10:42am

I couldn't help but think about NaNoWriMo when I was reading this book. Part of the workbook they've written for students has them creating their characters and deciding before they write what clothes they wear, who's in their family, what they like to eat, their favorite band, etc. This was a great example in machine gun rapidity, of knowing each character since each day was different - 40 different ones!

okt 26, 2012, 11:50am

Not being very motivated to make a fancy costume for Halloween, I had an idea to be an Undecided Voter. I'm going to make a goofy hat with the initials of all the different parties and pictures of the different candidates. It's a real disguise since I have already voted - I was not at all undecided! Last year I was an Occupier. I made a protest sign for my costume.

okt 27, 2012, 6:06pm

The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow (2012) ***

When the young dark-haired woman stepped into his parlour, Archibald Clare was only mildly intrigued.

What a fun diversion! Iron spiders, sleeping dragons, mentaths, sorceresses, and an alternate London. A good time had by all!

okt 27, 2012, 7:58pm

Yay for another positive review for The Iron Wyrm Affair! I am looking forward to finding time for this one, maybe this winter when I am in need of diversion away from the endless days of wet, grey weather.

okt 28, 2012, 4:29pm

It does sound like a nice "diversion" book - I'm putting it on the Bring-On-An-Airplane list! :)

okt 29, 2012, 12:54pm

I caught the last three innings of the World Series last night. That's more baseball than I've ever watched. That last pitcher for the Giants, Romo (?) was pretty amazing.

okt 31, 2012, 6:35pm

October Wrap Up

I. Off the shelves - 3
II. YAs - 18
III. Nonfiction - 4
IV. Bestsellers - 6
V. Classics - 3
VI. Chunkers - 5
VII. Mysteries - 12
VIII. Non-American authors - 2
IX. ERs - 9
X. Tough reads - 7
XI. - Continuations of series - 12
XII. Miscellaneous - 13

Total to date: 96

Every Day by David Levithan and Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow were my two winners this month - both YA books.

nov 2, 2012, 5:59pm

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (1962) ****½

First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.

I actually started this last week and managed to finish it today. It is, in a word, brilliant. There were so many times that I stopped to reread a sentence to retaste the delicious combination of words and images evoked.

Two boys, just short of 14 years of age, with the energy and curiosity found at that age discover that a mysterious carnival is more than it seems.

A must read!

nov 2, 2012, 7:51pm

I'm ashamed to say I've not read any Bradbury, but I hope to remedy that soon, and I'll keep Something Wicked This Way Comes in mind!

Redigerat: nov 3, 2012, 1:36pm

Paulina, you have something to look forward to!

The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde (2012) ****

Everything comes to an end. A good bottle of wine, a summer's day, a long-running sitcom, one's life, and eventually our species. The question for many of us is not that everything will come to and end but when. And can we do anything vaguely useful until it does?

And so starts another Thursday Next adventure. The town of Swindon is scheduled to be smited (struck from above by a tower of fire). Her teenaged daughter, Tuesday, is working hard at creating a shield to protect the town. Thursday has been appointed head librarian for the Swindon All-You-Can-Eat at Fatso's Drink Not Included Library and to help reduce the stupidity deficit, has been given an annual budget of 322 pounds and 67 pence. (I love you, Mr. Fforde!)

Her old nemesis, Jack Schitt, is back and is inexplicably destroying pages from old texts and she finds herself in duplicates of her body called Day Players and what does these things all have to do with asteroid HR-6984 and why it appears that no one will live past 2041?

I have to recommend that you read this series from the beginning. Not only will none of this make sense otherwise but you really should enjoy the entire fabulous roller coaster ride!

nov 4, 2012, 7:00pm

I have to get some Bradbury read as well - it's on the to-do list!

Oops, I didn't realize there was a new Thursday Next book out - I'm getting way behind on that series! It's been a while since I read any that I think I may have to start from the beginning again in order to go on. :)

nov 5, 2012, 10:31am

Eva, it was a while since I read her other books but I found that I picked right up again with this one. (It would be fun, though, to reread the series.)

nov 5, 2012, 11:47am

I seriously need to read some Bradbury - I'll have to add this one to my list. Someday I'll try the Thursday Next series. I know I started it once got distracted and never finished it. It sounds fascinating!

nov 5, 2012, 5:20pm

My fellow Americans -

How will you be spending Election Day? Glued in front of the TV? In bed with your pillow over your head? In your bomb shelter? Cheering in the streets? Cleaning up from a recent hurricane?

I will be going out to dinner with two friends (a belated birthday dinner) and will try hard not to peak at my cell phone. Not much will be settled before I get home anyway!

nov 6, 2012, 11:41am

I will be catching up with a friend via phone. Ironically we are on different sides of the political fence but doubt we'll actually talk much about that tonight. Too many other things to discuss! Of course, I'll also be sneaking peaks at the TV or my cell phone.

Have a nice dinner out!

nov 7, 2012, 8:17pm

I spent Election Night at home with hubby (and we are on different sides of the political fence), watching the returns.

Hope you had a nice dinner! And glad to see how much you enjoyed the Bradbury. He was brilliant, wasn't he? He used the English language in such a rare way.

Redigerat: nov 8, 2012, 11:50am

Terri, Luckily Monsieur and I were united. We have too many other things we can argue about.

I bought several of Bradbury's books for the high school library. It will be a good choice for students who come in asking for an American author. (This is an actual assignment. I usually reply that 90% of our books are by American authors. They really mean a classic American author.)

Today is my 5th Thingversary! Thanks to all my LT friends for all of the excellent books and authors I have learned about and the motivation to read them all (or at least as many as I can).

nov 8, 2012, 11:15am

I know Im a bit late but on the post about WHAT TYPE OF READER ARE YOU?????

The one that yes best describes me is The Multi-Tasker. This is the nice way of saying you are a promiscuous reader. HAHAHA but yes this is me all day. I have a book on the kindle( people are always taking it, if I get up for any reason its never there when I get back), then I have a real book and then Im always listening to a completely different one at work. But I always try to have the books on a completely different topic so I dont get the characters or the plots mixed up.

nov 8, 2012, 3:34pm

Happy 5th Thingaversary, mamzel!

nov 8, 2012, 9:18pm

Oh, did I miss it???? Happy Thingaversary, mamzel!

Redigerat: nov 26, 2012, 12:19pm

Ann, Christina, and Lori,
Thanks for stopping by and dropping a line!

The Dark Tower The Gunslinger by Stephen King (1982) ***

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

That is probably the most contrived first line I may have ever come across!

This was an "occasional read" for me meaning that I would read it for a while and then not look at it for a month, etc. so it has taken me about six months to read it. I am so not a horror/Stephen King fan but I have read so many intriguing comments about this series that I thought I would give it a go.

Mr. King surely has a way with descriptive words! I had no trouble visualizing the terrain the gunslinger transverses and this is probably what kept me returning to the story.

Will I continue with the series? Quite possibly, but not in the forseeable future.

nov 9, 2012, 11:51am

Happy Belated Thingaversary!

nov 9, 2012, 4:51pm

Happy belated Thingaversary from me too!!! :)

nov 9, 2012, 7:26pm

Happy Thingaversary, Mamzel!

nov 11, 2012, 1:18am

Belated happy Thingaversary, Mamzel!

nov 17, 2012, 9:42am

This is my 200th review!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (2011) ****

Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the contest.

OK. I have to admit I am a geek. To recognize so many of the 80s references in this book, including video games, movies, books, songs, and TV series, I really must be.

If you are not a child of the 80s, maybe you won't like this book but it just tickled me to remember my Commodore 64, playing on an Atari, Pac Man, The Last Star Fighter, Monty Python, Rush, and all of the other examples of pop culture that were like remembering old friends.

Reading this book I found I was carried along on two rails. One was the exciting virtual world where the hunt for the Easter egg took place and the other was a memory lane of almost forgotten 80s lore.

Wade Watts (screen name Parzival) was an 18-year old whose real life was horrible. When the billionaire creator of the massive virtual world, OASIS, died without an heir, he hid an Easter egg in this world which would make the finder rich beyond his wildest dreams. In order to follow the clues, a person had to immerse himself in the popular culture of the 80s. Wade had been studying for years watching movies, TV series, listening to music, and playing video games and keeping notes. He was almost finished with school which meant that he would have to return the gear necessary to access this world so time was running out. His only contact was with a friend he met in this virtual world, Aech. Finally Wade broke the first clue and the hunt became deadly serious.

The only parts that dragged for me (so maybe I'm not as geeky as I thought) were the detailed descriptions of the gear he used. But the details about the gear he used in the virtual world reminded me of the hours I've spent in RPG games.

I don't know if someone not having lived during the 80s would appreciate this book as much but it was a trip for me!

nov 17, 2012, 12:01pm

Wahoo for 200th review! I am looking forward to reading Ready Player One. It will be one of the books that will fit into my Book Buzz category for 2013.

Redigerat: nov 17, 2012, 1:56pm

I think it does help to have lived through the 80's. So many great references!! Wonder if it would be possible to make a movie out of the book?

nov 17, 2012, 2:52pm

Congrats on hitting your 200th review. I never really got into the 80s gaming, but I certainly knew people who spent way too much time playing with their Ataris and such.

nov 17, 2012, 6:21pm

Congratulations on your 200th review, although I admit I only skimmed it as I have Ready Player One on top of my "Read Next" pile. I did note the 4 stars though. :)

nov 18, 2012, 11:56am

Adding to the congrats on getting to 200!! Ready Player One is on my wishlist too and I'm really looking forward to it. I wasn't a gamer either, but I'm very familiar with the 80s...! :)

Redigerat: nov 19, 2012, 8:28pm

Stacy, there is a mention in the Acknowledgements about a possible movie. There is hope!

Thanks everyone for the congratulations! I have had so much fun sharing my reads with others. Here's #201!

Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley (2013) **** Early Reviewer

This was my favorite Flavia story to date! She climbs through secret walls, among the pipes of the church organ, into tombs, through tunnels, and into strangers' lives with her usual fearlessness and curiosity. An additional twist to the story is that it appears that they will have to sell their home and leave the village that had been the home of their mother's family for centuries.

I chuckled my way through the book which, once started I could not put down. And there was a surprise at the end that caused me to actually gasp.

I am so glad I have stuck with Flavia and I look forward to more of her adventures!

nov 19, 2012, 1:09pm

Excellent story, wasn't it?! I haven't written my review yet, but it'll definitely be a positive one!

nov 19, 2012, 1:43pm

You do realize I will be driving myself crazy waiting for Speaking from Among the Bones to be released, don't you? ;-P

Happy to see Bradley is back on track with this series!

nov 19, 2012, 6:11pm

That one does sound delightful. I'll be looking forward to it when it comes out.

nov 19, 2012, 8:27pm

Eva, judging by the other reviews, it's unanimous!

Lori and Lori, luckily the wait won't be a long one!

nov 20, 2012, 2:44pm

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde (2012) ****
The Chronicles of Kazam - Book One

It looked set to become even hotter by the afternoon, just when the job was becoming more fiddly and needed extra concentration.

Thursday Next has a younger sister-in-spirit in the person of Jennifer Strange. Like Thursday, Jennifer is a strong, intelligent young woman in a unique fanciful world. A foundling, this 15-year old is the manager of the Kazam Mystical Arts Management who schedules jobs for an assortment of colorful magical people. Times are hard, however, since the supply of magic seems to be ebbing though there are signs that it will be turning soon.

While investigating what could bring magic back, she meets a dragonslayer who has been waiting for her to arrive, dubs her the Last Dragonslayer, gives her a crash course and is no more. Jennifer is now caught in the middle of possible war, constantly hounded by corporations offering her sponsorships and the stewardship of an aging dragon in the middle of a much desired preserve.

Fforde's talent of puns and clever names (another foundling's name is Tiger Prawns) that are so delightful in his other books is hardly tuned down for the enjoyment of a younger audience. I recommend this quick fun read to Fforde fans and those thinking of giving him a try.

nov 20, 2012, 9:06pm

Yes, I definitely need to get my hands on The Last Dragonslayer!

nov 21, 2012, 12:14pm

To all my LT friends, here and abroad:

nov 21, 2012, 4:50pm

Happy Thanksgiving to you too!!

nov 21, 2012, 9:48pm

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

nov 22, 2012, 1:40am

Have a lovely holiday, Mamzel.

nov 22, 2012, 12:56pm

Happy Thanksgiving, Mamzel!

nov 23, 2012, 12:03pm

I hope everyone's turkeys turned out as perfect as possible!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (2012) ****

To say this book is intense may be an understatement. I was carried along like a twig in a flooding Mississippi trying to keep up with the twists. It's scary to think that there are probably people out there like Amy and Nick. Hopefully not anyone I know!

I think it's grand that a thriller can be written without a single shot fired, no car chases, and explosions. The only nasty niggling thought I have (and it could just be chalked up to my advancing age) is that I felt I was manipulated, just like Amy manipulated people. Every reveal was planned and carefully executed for maximum shock. Maybe that's why I don't read books like this so often.

Any who - back to Baudolino.

nov 23, 2012, 2:53pm

>119 mamzel: I guess I'll have to read Gone Girl. Your review (along with a few others I've read intrigues me, though my initial reaction is that it isn't a book that I'd like.

nov 23, 2012, 10:16pm

Happy turkey-day to you too!!!

The Last Dragonslayer has been on my wishlist forever - really looking forward to getting to it!

nov 24, 2012, 3:29pm

Ivy, books about perfectly nice people with no faults would hardly be as interesting, I suppose. We can only hope that they get what's coming.

Eva, hope you get to it soon. It's fun!

Baudolino by Umberto Eco (2000, translated 2002) ***½

Rattisbon Anno Dommini mense decembri mclv Cronicle of Baudolino of the fammily of Aulario.

While Baudolino can create a story that's hard to beat, he is not as successful writing his own story so it is fortunate that he runs into Niketas. They meet when the city of Constantinople is being sacked and Niketas has the bad idea of going outside to see what's happening. Baudolino, dressed like a Crusader, rescues him and eventually his family. As they hide in the home of some Genoese, Baudolino asks Niketas to write his story and proceeds to relate his life story.

What I eventually found so charming about Baudolino, is even as he and his friends were fabricating lies, they still believed in lies that had been told to them. As they were creating relics to sell to the pilgrims, they made sure they could stand up to "real" relics never doubting their authenticity.

While some books have absolutely brilliant openings, this book has an absolutely brilliant ending.

This book is one of the reasons I love Library Thing. I doubt I would ever have found this book on my own. Thanks to whoever suggested the group read which nudged me to read it.

nov 26, 2012, 8:21pm

Congrats on 200+ reviews!

I'm still planning to read Gone Girl. Good review!

dec 1, 2012, 2:17pm

November Wrap-up

I. Off the shelves - 3
II. YAs - 19
III. Nonfiction - 4
IV. Bestsellers - 8
V. Classics - 4
VI. Chunkers - 5
VII. Mysteries - 12
VIII. Non-American authors - 3
IX. ERs - 10
X. Tough reads - 7
XI. - Continuations of series - 13
XII. Miscellaneous - 14

Total to date: 102

This was a wonderful reading month. Nary a moment's waste of time in the bunch. I plan to continue adding any more books I read until Dec. 14 which is the last day of our semester then move over to the new digs in the 2013 Challenge group. I have to admit to failure in my challenge (not with an iota of shame) because my goal was to not exceed 12 in any one category and I went past the limit in 3 of them! I tried to remain as faithful as possible to the categories but I just couldn't resist the extra titles.

Redigerat: dec 2, 2012, 10:46pm

"I went past the limit in 3 of them!"

That just means you picked great categories that were fun to read from - nothing wrong about that!!

Redigerat: dec 5, 2012, 11:04am

UnWholly by Neal Shusterman (2012) ****
Unwind #2

He's fighting a nightmare when they come for him.

Shusterman has indeed returned with the nightmare of Unwind in this book. In his forward he said that he didn't originally intend to make this a trilogy but the world stayed with him. And I for one am glad he did! Unwinding is based on the concept of "sanctity of life from conception to thirteen, with the option of unwinding teenagers whose lives were deemed to have been a mistake." In other words - retro abortion. The parts are then used to repair or improve others.

Many YA series suffer from second-book-itis but this one does not. Characters from Unwind return and new characters are introduced including a Frankenstein-type person named Camus Comprix. Taking the best bits from many different teens, he is a perfect specimen. This is what the conceivers of unwinding visualized. But have they gone too far?

The resistance movement continues to rescue teens before they can be sent to the camps but one of the leaders, who was a stork (a baby left on someone's doorstep), is becoming increasingly unstable and fanatical.

Each chapter is titled for and focuses on a different character, some only seen once and not even given a name. I had no problems keeping things straight.

I highly recommend reading Unwind first and then heading directly into this book. In my mind, this series what YA fiction is all about!

One little tidbit that I found brilliant - One of the characters, Risa, was given a spinal cord transplant against her will. She was blackmailed into it with the threat of hauling in all of the AWOLs out of hiding. She was coerced into appearing on TV with Camus.
She looks for the bathroom but can't find it. This blasted studio set is a maze, and everyone from the interns to the crew stares at them as they pass, as if they're royalty. These people must get celebrities on this show every day, so what makes them any different? But she knows the answer to that: After a while a celebrity is just a celebrity, but there is only one Camus Comprix. He is the new golden child of humanity, and as for Risa, well, it's "gilt" by association.

dec 4, 2012, 9:33pm

Not sure if Shusterman's Unwind series is something I would read, but there is something fascinating, for me, in having each chapter in the book titled and focused on a different character. Since I am taking a more laid back approach to my 2013 reading, I will keep this series in mind as an option.

Very good review!

dec 5, 2012, 11:12am


dec 5, 2012, 5:04pm

This series sounds very intriguing - I might have to check it out sometime soon.

Redigerat: dec 12, 2012, 4:17pm

The Once and Future King by T.H. White (orig. 1939) ***½

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays it was Court Hand and Summulae Logicales, while the rest of the week it was the Organon, Repetition and Astrology.

I have always been enthralled by the King Arthur and Merlyn stories so when I recently caught the 1967 movie of the musical, Camelot, with Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave, I just had to read TOaFK. I'm sure I read this when I was young. I remember so much of the story. What I did not remember is all of the anachronisms peppered through the book.

The story opens with Merlin showing up at Sir Ector's castle just when he needed a tutor for his biological son, Kay, and adopted son, Arthur. Kay would much prefer learning how to use the bow, sword, and lance but Arthur gets a special education and is shown what no one else has seen. He is given the opportunity to turn into creatures and experience life from their points of view. Ants, geese, and badgers have much different needs and Arthur learns that first hand.

Arthur eventually pulled Excalibur out of the stone and became king. His goal was to unite all the bickering kings into one kingdom with a new method of justice to replace the violent and deadly one in existence. We follow his familiar story of marrying Guenevere, meeting Lancelot, and eventually battling his own son, Mordred.

White certainly did his homework and gave us a detailed vision of life in these times. Indeed, there were dozens of words that were too archaic to be found in my dictionary but I didn't really obsess about knowing exactly what they were. What really jarred me, however, through the whole book was the constant anachronisms and referencing to Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur for more detail. One example of how intrusive I found them was when Arthur was flying with the geese. They were singing a song that included the lines,
"Then we bend our necks with a curious kink
Like the bend which the plumber puts under the sink.
Honk-honk, hank-hank, honk-honk."

First of all, there was no indoor plumbing at that time, and second of all, how the heck would a goose know about the shape of a drain pipe?

In any case, I loved this story and I had the soundtrack going through my head when Guenevere was tied to the stake and everyone was waiting for Lancelot to rescue her. Definitely worth revisiting!

eta - I asked one of our literature teachers about this book and the anachronisms and she told me that he was just trying to be funny. Not laughing. Sorry.

Redigerat: dec 10, 2012, 11:52pm

I absolutely loved The Once and Future King when I read it as a kid and although I desperately want a reread, I'm wary that the magic will be gone. Hope it isn't!

dec 13, 2012, 6:36pm

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (2012) *****

I am a coward.

Well, in my opinion, this young woman was anything but.

This is a ripping good story full of action and suspense about two young women during World War II. The first half of the book is written by Julie.
I am in the Special Operations Executive because I can speak French and German and am good at making up stories, and I am a prisoner in the Ormaie Gestapo HQ because I have no sense of direction whatsoever

Spunky is a totally inadequate word to describe her as she wrote this missive which was translated for her captors. She interjected comments which allude to her treatment (or mis- as the case may be) but always maintained that British stiff upper lip.

The second half of the book is a journal written by Maddie. She was the pilot of the plane that brought Julie to France. They were hit and Maddie crash landed the plane after Julie parachuted. Maddie was rescued by Resistance fighters and hidden until she could return to England.

I can't recommend this book highly enough to readers of historical fiction and YA novels.

As school ends for the semester tomorrow, this will be my last book for the 12 in 12 challenge. I will return tomorrow with my challenge-end wrap up. It's been a heck of a year!

Redigerat: dec 14, 2012, 3:05pm

2012 WRAP UP

108 books read
71 Adult
37 Young Adult

6 Short story collections
5 graphic novels
10 non fiction
11 on the Kindle
8 Early Release books

Fantasy - 27
SciFi - 10
Hist Fic - 21
Myst - 21
Action - 3
General Fiction - 15
(Some books fell into more than one genre)

2012 Favorites:

Hope to see everyone in the 2013 Challenge Group!

dec 14, 2012, 8:07pm

Those are some very respectable numbers! Congrats on a good reading-year and here's to the next one being even better!

dec 14, 2012, 11:34pm

Yay, I'm so glad you liked Code Name Verity! It's definitely on my list of top books for 2012 as well.

dec 15, 2012, 10:23am

Great wrap-up mamzel! I love seeing the end of year stats, especially the favorite books read.

Redigerat: dec 15, 2012, 9:08pm

Oh I see some of my favorite books in with yours, particularly, The Windup Girl and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian!

dec 15, 2012, 10:57pm

Wow! Congrats on a great year of reading!

dec 16, 2012, 1:42pm

Thanks, everyone, for your kind commnets! It was so cool looking back through the ratings and remembering those amazing books.

dec 17, 2012, 3:11pm

Awesome job! See you in 2013!!

dec 21, 2012, 9:19pm

Nice wrap-up! Looks like you had a great year of reading. Looking forward to your 2013 thread.

dec 23, 2012, 1:30pm

For all of you who haven't moved to the 2013 Challenge yet, I wish everyone a safe and peaceful holiday.

dec 24, 2012, 1:49am

Stopping by to wish you a happy holiday season and all the best in the new year! Looking forward to following your reading in 2013!

dec 25, 2012, 9:05am

dec 28, 2012, 6:35pm

Thanks, guys. Hope your holidays are full of fun and love!