Monday, August 31, 2009

Not about what I've Read, but what I plan to read

Many of the books I've posted the last few weeks are ones that I read for the GoodReads Summer Challenge. The bad news is today is the last day for that.
The good news is that tomorrow starts the GR Fall Challenge. So for the next three months many of my book choices will be geared to the requirements for getting through the challenge. This is a many-options challenge, and a reader needs only to do those tasks that are interesting or that there is time for. I will try to finish all 45 tasks for a total of 58 books (some tasks require two books and one requires three).
Some tasks are geared around fall holidays such as Columbus Day (Read A Novel Where The Main Character Travels At Sea Or A Non-Fiction Book About Sea Travel.) or Halloween (Read A Novel That Has An Adjective In The Title That Relates To Halloween...I.E. Spooky, Creepy, Crawly, Scary etc.)
A whole section is geared to school--2. Rewriting History - Read an Alternative Historical Novel. Afterwards, Post A Review Where You State Whether You Think The World (Or A Particular) Country Would Be Better Today If The Author's Version Of History Is What Really Happened. Give Reasons Why. and 8. Geography Lessons - Read Two Books That Take Place Countries That Correspond To Your Initials. If Your First Or Last Initial Is A Letter That Has No Country (I Think This Would Be Only X Or W) Then You Could Substitute Your Middle Initial.
There are lots of other fun tasks. If you think you would be interested, GoodReads challenge is only a click away.
For readers who have trouble thinking of appropriate books to read or who have a book, but are not sure how to fit it in, there are places to post comments and questions.
I hope to see you on the boards.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A New Jayne Castle--Yay!

Obsidian Prey (Harmony Series, Book 6) Obsidian Prey by Jayne Castle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
WARNING: If you haven't read any of Jayne Castle's Harmony series, this plot will make NO sense.
Lyra Dore is an amber tune and independent prospector who made a spectatular finde of alien artifacts in the underground rain forest, but she was cheated out of them by the guy she was dating, the yummy CEO of Amber Inc, Cruz Sweetwater.
She is a specialist in tuning amber, especially amethyst, and he is one of the few who can work with obsidian amber. He knows they are truly soul mates; she's not so sure. Several murders later, things start to clear up.
But my favorite part is the dust bunny, Vincent. Dust bunnies are the true pets with personalities, and Vincent is a sweetie. I'd be tempted to be a pet owner if I could have Vincent. (Note to Jayne Ann Krentz aka Jayne Castle: Let's do a dust bunny romance.)

The Harmony series just gets more and more ridiculous--and I can't stop reading them! I bought this to read on the plane Friday, but when I got home from the store I found the new challenges up on Good Read so I was going to save this for the GR Fall Challenge, but it was in my house. So I thought, I'll just read the first 160 pages (less than half) and then save the rest for Sept 1. At the end of chapter 17 I put it down, I swear I did, but at 1:15 a.m. I read the last page (which included an excerpt for Fired Up) and now I have to find two new books--one for the plane and one for the Challenge.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

And you think you have impossible relatives.

Names My Sisters Call Me Names My Sisters Call Me by Megan Crane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ah, the dynamics of a family full of females. Courtney's getting married and wants her sister Raine to celebrate with her, but oldest sister Norah still harbors a great deal of resentment over the way Raine ruined her wedding six years previously. Courtney and her fiance Lucas go ahead with plans, but everything threatens to come unglued.
Made me glad I have a relatively normal family. It was a good book with some great lines and some interesting humor.

View all my reviews >>

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mayhem in the Middle Ages

Grave Goods (Mistress of the Art of Death, Book 3) Grave Goods by Ariana Franklin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Adelia, Henry II of England's Mistress of the Art of Death, is again called for duty. Henry is looking for the body of King Arthur, hoping it will help him put down the rebellion of the Welsh. Adelia has bodies, but can't truthfully say it is Arthur. She also has a missing friend, a damaged Saracen, a burned-out abbey, and a serious case of the hots for the Bishop of Saint Albans--who just happens to be the father of her child.
This is probably the best book yet of the series.

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Children's book with a message for all of us

Seedfolks (Joanna Colter Books) Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Nine year-old Kim takes some lima beans to a vacant lot near her Cleveland home, scratches in the dirt, and plants them to grow for her dead father. A neighbor sees what is going on and clears a little more of the junk for his garden. Soon we meet eleven more people from the varied neighborhood who have a hand in planting and nurturing the gardens and the neighborhood.

View all my reviews >>

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Little Poetry--Haiku

Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open Your Heart Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open Your Heart by Patricia Donegan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Each haiku is given two pages which contains the poem itself, a short meditation, and a few words about the poet.
Although the editor chose the themes for these haidu inspired by Buddhist tradition, they can be enjoyed by readers of any religion. They encourage the reader to slow down and reflect upon life, to take time to see what is, to come away from being self-absorbed.
This is a lovely little book, worthy of rereading.

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, August 6, 2009

An Elizabethan murder and an Elven mystery

Martyr: An Elizabethan Thriller Martyr: An Elizabethan Thriller by Rory Clements

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
John Shakespeare, William's brother, is an agent and investigator for Walshingham in this series. Much is made of, and indeed hinges on, the sharp tensions between Catholics and Protestants in Elizabethan England. In addition there is the constant tugging of family connections to court and the currying of royal favors. All this in a "simple" murder mystery.
If we had 1/2 stars I'd probably make it a 3 1/2.

View all my reviews >>
Finder Finder by Emma Bull

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Orient is a young man living in Bordertown, the area between the World and Faerie. If asked to locate an item or a person he has the ability to take you to it. So he is asked to assist the police in finding the person dealing with a deadly new drug on the market.
I really liked the personalities in this book, both human and elven (elfish? elf?). The book reads like Gaiman, only a little more sociable.

View all my reviews >>

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oh, for the life of a Hero!

Standard Hero Behavior Standard Hero Behavior by John David Anderson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Mock heroic tale of the hero quest. Don't believe all the tales of epic deeds and mighty heroes.

View all my reviews >>