Archive for August 2009
Off to start another fresh new week Meine Damen und Herren! (sorry, I’m listening to Cabaret right now) so here are the usual memes I participate in, in no particular order:
Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about books for children…
Do you buy books as gifts for children – either your own or those of friends or family? Would you buy books for all children, or only children who are already practiced readers?
- Seeing as my two furbabies don’t read, and I’ll never have children of my own (my personal choice) yes, I do buy books for other people’s children. In my personal opinion I feel children nowadays don’t read enough. They’re too much glued to the TV and video games and I find it extremely sad. Sure, I’m a gamer too but if I had to choose between a book and a game, I almost always go for the book. Of course I do a balance between gaming and reading. Even when I was a kid I did more reading I was just born a bookworm I guess. So when my nephew or niece’s birthday come up, I always, almost always get them books. I worry about their future sometimes. Especially when I’ve come into contact with people younger than me that think the capital of India is Pakistan. THAT’S JUST SCARY. If these kinds of people are going to be running the country and I’m still alive, I’m moving to the mountains and becoming a hermit with a computer to order my books online.
So yes, if I were ever invited to a children’s birthday party (god forbid) expect books from me. Kiddies have enough toys nowadays. They need to exercise that brain of theirs.
For In my Mailbox I got:
Bending Toward The Sun: A Mother And Daughter Memoir by Leslie Gilbert-lurie (FSB Associates)
Whiskey Gulf by Clyde Ford (From Perseus Books)
Playing House by Fredrica Wagman (FSB Associates)
The Invisible Mountain by Caroline De Robertis (I requested from Random House)
What did you guys get?
For Library Finds I got..um..a lot. My library was my best friend for the week:
Off Armageddon Reef – David Weber (For Sci fi Challenge)
Earth Abides – George R Stewart (looked awesome)
Heartsick – Chelsea Cain (read good reviews on it)
Terra Incognita – Ruth Downie (Liked Medicus, will be trying this one)
A Time to Kill – John Grisham (for suspense/thriller challenge)
Crossfire – Miyuki Miyabe (Okay..my main choice for the Japanese Literature challenge wasn’t available so I’ll change it to this one..besides this one looks great!)
What did you find at the library?
Have a great Monday everybody!
Well! at least I got one of my goals for today’s Sunday Salon done. It makes me proud of my accomplishment. *pats self on back* I hope everybody at least got a few pages in. I know how weekends may seem like they’re relax days, but they’re not. Something always comes up. However! let’s go onto the review of Wicked Lovely.
First I have to say I love the cover of this book. Also the title caught my attention. There’s something about those two words put together that makes you feel intrigued yet cautious.
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr introduces to you, Aislinn (pronounced as Ash-Ling), who can see faeries but does whatever she can to avoid them. They’re not those pretty ones you see in fairy tales. Some are malevolent, others are tricksters, one very special one named Keenan, who is the Summer King, is out to seduce Aislinn so she can become his Summer Queen. There are a lot of obstacles in the way of course, first Aislinn doesn’t want to be Summer Queen. Second, she knows faeries to be dangerous and wants nothing to do with them. Third, Keenan’s mother, the Winter Queen Beira will do whatever she can to prevent Keenan from making Aislinn his Summer Queen.
It took me a while to get into this story at first. I haven’t read many fantasy books with faeries in them. This book is essentially the first one I have read featuring faeries and fey. I thought the plot was a little slow to get into. It took a while to get the ball rolling. As the book progresses, the story did get my attention and the ending was great! The thing about this book is, I felt like screaming at Aislinn sometimes or just grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her to get a hold of herself and to grow a backbone, take a stand! and just DO something.
I didn’t really like Aislinn though. I found her hard to like. I think throughout the book she’s just always in denial or always hiding away. Sometimes her behaviour made me roll my eyes a bit. I just felt like saying to her: “Oh just kiss Seth and get on with it, just be his bloody girlfriend or I will.” (because Seth is just, awesome!) or “Take a stand for once and just DO IT”. Surprisingly enough, Aislinn finally does get a backbone and this is where the story takes and turn and really gets my attention. At the end of the book, my opinion of her has changed just a little, ever since she decided to play things her way, in many ways her loyalty and love for her friends and family pushed her to be more brave and more assertive. I love Seth. He’s the dream boyfriend and is such a great guy, he’s so patient, loving and caring and although I understand why Aislinn hesitates, it never hurts to give him a try, which made some parts of the book so frustrating. However of all the characters I like Donia the most. She was down to earth, serious, mature, and although she loves Keenan so much she was willing to risk everything for him. I thought what Keenan and Donia have is really nice, albeit tragic. Queen Beira is your typical wicked Queen. Nothing from her really stands out as being an ultra villain. I’ve seen worse evil characters before.
Overall it was an all right read. It was off to a slow start, but it caught my attention enough to get through with it and finish. The ending was good albeit, a little quick, and I’m left with quite a few questions of my own. It turned out to be a not bad book for my first time with faeries and fey.
I give it a 6 out of 10.
I have lots of reading to do. This week I couldn’t do much (living in a house with three needy men and two needy boy kitties is very difficult!) and I was getting a little moody as it felt as if I wasn’t reading AT ALL. So! for this Sunday I’m going to play catch up and try and finish some books:
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (need to finish)
Dark Time – Dakota Banks (almost there!)
The Sweet Far Thing – Libba Bray (catching up)
When Christ and His Saints Slept – Sharon Kay Penman (catch up)
the rest is all up in the air. Need to read a lot for Sunday! *hangs up do not disturb sign and locks door*
Today’s Book’s Bought by Cindy’s Love of Books. It’s been a while since I participated in one. So I’ll join in. Why? I have a huge announcement to make.
I BOUGHT WIDEACRE by Philippa Gregory!!! it finally came in! what’s been on my wishlist for the longest time is now in my little hands. Hooray! other books that I have bought:
Lost Girls – George D Shuman
Guenevere Queen of the Summer Country – Rosalind Miles
Cat and Mouse – James Patterson
what did you guys buy recently?
Note: I did buy a whole crapload these past two weeks but I’m not about to spend the rest of my day listing them here
First! thanks Nicole at Candlewick Press for sending me this book! why I chose this one I don’t know. It just called out to me. Lately I’ve been in the mood of trying different type of books. So far so good. Haven’t had one that I have regretted asking for.
Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles covers a teenage pregnancy through the eyes of four characters: Ellie the would be mother, Corinne her best friend, Caleb the nice guy who’s had a crush on Ellie, and Josh, the would be father. Throughout the story you go through Ellie’s pregnancy and how each of these characters feel as they try to help her through her ordeal.
I found it a very sombre story. Ellie just wants to feel and be loved. Although she’s going about it the wrong way, as you read more into her character, you see her family isn’t your typical loving one. As you figure out how her family really is, you understand and start to sympathize with her as the story progresses. I have to admit I didn’t really have much patience for Ellie. I just felt like shaking my head and slapping her across the face and telling her to wake up, grow up and do the responsible thing whatever it is. On the other hand, she’s extremely scared. This sort of thing is very life changing, so her behaviour is understandable.
The plot flows well throughout this story, each chapter is told in each of the character’s perspective so you have a glimpse of how they live and they problems and issues they face even though it’s all centralized with Ellie. I can’t help but think this is like one of those made for TV after school specials for teens. It sure seems that way when I was reading this book. However, it does the job of engrossing me and kept me turning the pages to read on. Most of the time you just feel so sad for Ellie and what she’s going through (once your initial anger phase goes away). I changed my mind about her more than halfway through the book and realized that she indeed is a very brave person to go through her decisions regarding her baby.
The only thing that irks me is Josh. I don’t know how the rest of the guys feel when they’re having an unexpected surprise spring on them by a girlfriend. I suppose the pessimistic side of me expects them to just take a hike and leave. Although I know most guys probably aren’t that way, you just hear about the bad ones more. So I’m not sure if Josh as a character is realistic but that’s just me. You would think most guys would run away at the sound of “baby” and “yours” put together.
Other than that, I thought all characters had a sense of realism to them. They weren’t the cookie cutter ones you read in some of those teen books where everything is perfect. They each have their issues and problems too. It makes the characters almost “three dimensional” so to speak. The ending leaves with a sombre note too, but with a sense of optimism for some of the characters.
Overall a good sombre, serious read, but a satisfying one.
I give it a 7 out of 10.
Oh Crap! I’m late for my Friday Finds! *screams and quickly posts up three books*
Small Wars – Sadie Jones
What happens when everything a man believes in — the army, his country, his marriage — begins to crumble? Hal Treherne is a young British soldier on the brink of a brilliant career. Transferred to Cyprus to defend the colony, Hal takes his wife, Clara, and their daughters with him. But Hal is pulled into atrocities that take him further from Clara, a betrayal that is only one part of a shocking personal crisis to come. Small Wars is a searing, unforgettable novel from a writer at the height of her powers. (Amazon)
Note: Looks good, caught my attention.
The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure. Conn should have dropped dead the day he picked Nevery’s pocket and touched the wizard’s locus magicalicus, a stone used to focus magic and work spells. But for some reason he did not. Nevery finds that interesting, and he takes Conn as his apprentice on the provision that the boy find a locus stone of his own. But Conn has little time to search for his stone between wizard lessons and helping Nevery discover who—or what—is stealing the city of Wellmet’s magic. (Amazon)
Note: I was going to take this out from the library but some twit beat me to it first. Damn them. It’s a first in a trilogy.
Heart Shaped Box – Joe Hill
Stoker-winner Hill features a particularly merciless ghost in his powerful first novel. Middle-aged rock star Judas Coyne collects morbid curios for fun, so doesn’t think twice about buying a suit advertised at an online auction site as haunted by its dead owner’s ghost. Only after it arrives does Judas discover that the suit belonged to Craddock McDermott, the stepfather of one of Coyne’s discarded groupies, and that the old man’s ghost is a malignant spirit determined to kill Judas in revenge for his stepdaughter’s suicide. Judas isn’t quite the cad or Craddock the avenging angel this scenario makes them at first, but their true motivations reveal themselves only gradually in a fast-paced plot that crackles with expertly planted surprises and revelations. Hill (20th Century Ghosts) gives his characters believably complex emotional lives that help to anchor the supernatural in psychological reality and prove that (as one character observes) “horror was rooted in sympathy.” His subtle and skillful treatment of horrors that could easily have exploded over the top and out of control helps make this a truly memorable debut. (Amazon)
Note: Autumn is coming. The scary books should be read during that time
What did you guys find?
Today’s Booking Through Thursday question is:
What’s the lightest, most “fluff” kind of book you’ve read recently?
Uh..fluff book? jeez I barely read fluff books. Do you mean the really lovey dovey kind? the chick lit kind? I think it’ll have to be: Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti and The Wife’s Tale by Lori Lansens.
I don’t normally read fluff stuff. Just not my sort of thing. Although I think it’s good once in a while. I found that the last two I have mentioned have been a good change and refreshing read. So maybe it’s good to read fluff.
Are there any fluff readers within my vicinity?
First, thank you Caitlin from FSB Associates for sending me this book to read and review. I do recall in our emails exchanged that I normally don’t read this kind of book but was willing to give it a try. (That’s been the trend lately hasn’t it??) I don’t regret trying these new books even if I don’t like them. At least it gives me the opportunity for trying something I have never thought of even looking at. It’s like food. You’ll never know unless you try. Enough babbling and onto the review hm?
Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti features two middle aged people from two very different backgrounds. Shrimp is a widowed librarian who feels her biological clock ticking. Benny is a farmer, who had lived with his mother and after she passes away, he has a fear of becoming the Bachelor for Life. At a chance encounter at a cemetary, you read a story of a relationship of two very different people which leads to humorous and frustrating events.
You will find the story is divided into both Benny and Shrimp’s point of view and interchanges with each chapter you read. I like the way this is done. You get to see both of their viewpoints and it makes it a very entertaining and fun read. You get to read what makes both of them tick and what they really think but never had the heart to say to spare each other’s feelings. I actually started laughing in the first few chapters it was that funny! as the story progresses I found myself laughing more especially when they starting buying each other gifts. You can just imagine two very different people with very different tastes trying to give each other presents. It’s hilarious. When they’re experiencing a rough patch in their relationship, you get to see both sides of the perspectives and you can’t help to wondering which one is more funny, Benny or Shrimp. Everything is done in a clear and concise way, that you won’t feel confused as you read this book. It’s all written clearly and simply which gives the story a good overall clean look and feel.
I love both of them. They’re great characters. Shrimp lives the pampered cultured career woman life. She loves books, reading, her job, lattes, the opera, herbal teas. Yes you get the hint. Benny loves his farm, attending to his cows, he wants a wife that can take care of him and help maintain his farm. He loves “pimp daddy” clothing, that Shrimp thinks is absolutely gaudy, he has his mom’s cross stitch work up on the walls of his house. So you can see how different they are. However when they come together it’s like a chemistry and a passionate love which makes them feel as if they were teenagers on their first dates. Yet they have to work through enormous differences and a lot of sacrifices if they want to be permanently together. I loved how they argued; it mirrors all people’s relationships; we fight over the most trivial things but yet in the end, love prevails and holds the bond together making forgiveness easier even if the apologies haven’t been said.
The only thing I didn’t like is, it was short! I wanted to know what happens next! is there a sequel? I’d really like to know!
Pick this book up if you want a light hearted fast read. It’ll make you laugh and smile, and perhaps even cry.
Overall, I give it an 8 out of 10.
Here goes another week! below you’ll find my Monday Combo!
Today’s Musing Monday’s question is:
Do you prefer to read stand-alone books, or books in series? Do you stick with a series the whole way through or stop after the first instalment? Are there any particular series you enjoy?
- I like both! although I notice I like to collect series a lot, especially when it comes to fantasy books. I usually go with the series the whole way through unless the books are just really really bad then I have to stop. I do get my special moments of stubborness where I have to complete the series but so far, I’ve only had to stop once recently. My favorite series? wow where do I start? I like the Dragonlance Chronicles. I like anything to do with Drizzt Do’Urden. I absolutely love The War of the Spider Queen series (Forgotten Realms). I love Sookie Stackhouse and well, obviously, Harry Potter! I really love The Warriorcats series by Erin Hunter (anything to do with kitties is fun to read!). Aside from fantasy, well, historical fiction I loved the Tudor series from Philippa Gregory or the Sano Ichiro mysteries by Laura Joh Rowland. I’m about to start the Alex Cross series by James Patterson (I’ve heard real good stuff from it) but I also like Agent Pendergast (even though I only read one so far). I haven’t started the Twilight series yet (yes I know..I’m behind) I will once Breaking Dawn comes out in paperback. Whew! a lot of series that I listed huh?
In Mailbox Monday I received the following:
The Grand Sophy – Georgette Heyer (won in a contest)
Secondhand Spirits – Juliet Blackwell (requested by me)
Unpredictable Crossing by Jonna-Lynn Mandelbaum (Bostick)
The Cave by Steve McGill (Bostick)
The Devil’s Brood – Sharon Kay Penman (Librarything win)
pretty good for the week
what did everybody else get?
For Library Finds this week I got:
The Kommedant’s Girl – Pam Jenoff (WWII fix, The 6th Lamentation didn’t work for me)
Poltergeist – Kat Richardson (Read Greywalker, might as well continue)
The Blue Notebook – James Levine (Sounded interesting)
Blindness – Jose Saramago (saw the movie, liked it, wanted to read the book)
What did you guys find at the library?
it’s gonna be a real busy week of reading!