Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the end

I'm sure this won't come as a surprise to anyone (if anyone is still even reading), but I've decided to discontinue this blog. I left it hanging for so long thinking that I would want to start reviewing again, but the truth is that reviewing was starting to make reading less fun, and that pretty much defeats the purpose, right?

I think for now, I'll leave the reviews up, but it's possible that in the future I'll go ahead and delete the blog as well.

I do have a goodreads account which I use and update regularly. You're more than welcome to follow me over there.

Thanks for all the fun. I continue to read other book blogs because I enjoy them so much, so I won't completely disappear, though I won't comment as much - not that I ever commented a bunch to begin with.

Happy spring.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Capture the Castle


by Dodie Smith

I read this book a couple months ago. I tend to write reviews within a few days of reading the book because I lose so many details with time. However, life was just stressful and no fun after I finished this one, so I didn't get around to it. But, I enjoyed I Capture the Castle so much that I would like to write at least a couple thoughts on it.

The writing is fabulous. Cassandra's voice is so fun - I wish I knew a girl like her. I returned the book to the library ages ago, so I don't have any quotes, but the oft-quoted first line is "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink." I was pretty sure I would like this one from there, and I did.

The only thing I didn't really love about this one was the ending. I was happy with the ending, but I can't decide if it was realistic to Cassandra's character.

It's not really a romance, but the story kind of has that feel throughout.

Definitively an enjoyable read.

4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane


by Katherine Howe

I think I've mentioned my sister-in-law on here before - she's my book buddy. However, while I use the library almost exclusively, she buys all of the books she reads. I love going to her house. While we were there this last time, she handed me The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane mentioning that it was one of her most recent favorite reads. I can see why.

This book has a great cast of characters:

Connie - Graduate student; looking for the primary source to help her get the prestige she wants in her field

Grace - Connie's eccentric mother, that asks Connie to move into the tiny house where the adventure happens

Manning Chilton - Connie's adviser who plants the suggestion that the Salem witches were possibly in fact witches

And of course Deliverance Dane - a woman from the 1600's that we spend the book learning about

I found the plot a bit predictable (I would recommend knowing less about this book than more), but it was fun. I loved the idea. I loved the way Howe was able to weave the present and the past together so successfully. The story gave me a strong desire to visit Salem. And, I sincerely loved Deliverance Dane. I wish there was a book devoted exclusively to her (though I don't think it would actually work to have her as the main character).

A fabulous summer read.

4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

lost in a good book

Msnbc.com has an interesting article explaining why people get lost in good books. You can read the full article here.

"Part of the reason we get lost in these imaginary worlds might be because our brains effectively simulate the events of the book in the same way they process events in the real world..."

Apparently, people were hooked on to a brain scan and were told to read a short (1500 word) story. Later the researchers looked to see if changes in the story caused brain activity to change. It did.

The article ends with a little blurb about differences in readers - some people see pictures when they read while others don't - and how those differences may make people more or less of a reader.

Do you see pictures when you read? Reading has always been like watching a movie for me - pictures, voices, the works. For a long time it was hard for me to listen to audio books of books I had previously read because the voices so rarely matched what I thought they should sound like. On the other hand, my husband (who does enjoy reading, though not to the extent I do) doesn't see or hear anything. Reading is simply interesting words on paper to him. The characters are "real" but there are no pictures, etc to go along with them.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

July Books

Middle Grade
A Crooked Kind of Perfect, by Linda Urban (re-read) *
  • Fantastically wonderful
The Houdini Box, by Brian Selznic
  • meh.
Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes, by Wendelin Van Draanen (audio book)
  • my least favorite Sammy to date - she was just so reckless it made me crazy.
Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception, by Wendelin Van Draanen (audio book) *
  • This is more like the Sammy I know and love :)

Young Adult
Story of a Girl, by Sara Zarr
  • I found it difficult to relate to Deanna, but it was an alright read

Adult
The Actor and the Housewife, by Shannon Hale
The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfiel
  • it was ok, a bit long though

Non-Fiction
The Color Code, by Taylor Hartman
  • too long and one-size-fits all, but somewhat amusing none-the-less

So, this month pretty much sucked for reading/reviewing. But! We've finished moving, have the internet back up, and I stole lots books from my sister-in-law, so things are definitely looking up for August.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Actor and the Housewife


by Shannon Hale

from Shannon Hale's website:
Mormon housewife Becky Jack is seven months pregnant with her fourth child when she meets celebrity heartthrob Felix Callahan. A few hours, one elevator ride, and one alcohol-free dinner later, something has happened, though nothing has happened...it isn't sexual. It isn't even quite love. But soon Felix shows up in Salt Lake City to visit and before they know what's hit them, Felix and Becky are best friends--talk-on-the-phone, drop-everything-in-an-emergency, laugh-out-loud-at-stupid-jokes best friends. Becky's loving and devoted husband, Mike, is mostly unconcerned. Her children roll their eyes. Her large extended family and neighbors gossip endlessly. But Felix and Becky have something special... something unusual, something that seems from the outside--and sometimes from the inside too--completely impossible to sustain.

I'm not quite sure how I felt about this book. I read it very quickly - something that is odd at the moment. So, on the one hand the book at least sucked me in. And, I will admit, I was curious how it would all come together in the end. On the other hand, it left me feeling a bit strange. I tried to explain it all to my husband and couldn't, so I would guess I won't be very successful here either.

In order to enjoy this story at all, you must remember that it's made up and as impractical as the whole thing is (because it is on many many levels) it kind of works if you let it.

Becky is great in her own little way. She's not preachy (most of the time), and I loved her never-ending love for her husband. I love the idea of their relationship. It just made me smile.

Felix didn't do as much for me, though he is quite funny.

I thought the ending worked, though I'm not sure if it's what I wanted or not.

A mostly enjoyable read. Nothing like I expected.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Alcatraz vs the Scivener's Bones


by Brandon Sanderson
my review of Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians is here.

Alcatraz is preparing to escape the hushlands for the free kingdoms when his grandfather fails to show up at the airport to pick him up. Instead Alcatraz catches a ride in a giant glass dragon with his cousin Australia, uncle Kaz, Bastille, and Bastille's (grouchy) mother. Together they must infiltrate the Library at Alexandria and save Grandpa Smedry.

This book is very clever. Annoyingly so at times (the three chapters in a row where he talks about erasing the beginning of the last chapter and inserting the following bit wasn't too funny by the end), but mostly the cleverness is funny. I do admit that I was in a silly mood when I read it though - if you're looking for anything remotely serious, this book is not for you.

Alcatraz is still trying to figure everything out, especially how to use his talent wisely. But, he's gaining control and is able to once again save the day.

I enjoyed Australia very much. She cracked me up, and her talent of waking up ugly was too funny.

I look forward to the next book in this series.

3.5 out of 5 stars