elleseven's going for 100+ in 2009!
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Happy reading, everyone!
Michelle *off to make a spiffy ticker*
I got this through Early Reviewers. I enjoyed it very much, and as an added bonus the author inscribed it to me. What can I say, I'm easy.
Book #2 - Dope by Sara Gran
I read this book on a recommendation from my sister. It was a great noir story with a twist that I didn't see coming.
The third book of the Inheritance cycle, this is a good but not groundbreaking fantasy novel in the same vein as David Eddings and Guy Gavriel Kay.
I was disappointed with this one. It's written like a middle-schooler's term paper, with big font and wide spacing to make it seem longer than it really is (and with all that it's still not very long). With Carrie Fisher's colorful life, I was expecting a meatier book.
Book #9 - Undead and Unwed by Mary Janice Davidson
This is a funny, short, easy vampire romance chick lit book. And as I'm simultaneously reading Marilynne Robinson's Home and Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, I need fluffy literary snacks in between.
I was loaned this book by my mother-in-law and I was unpleasantly surprised at the decline in writing since the first Scarpetta books. I mean, little people? Internet crimes? Various and sundry meaningless subplots? Yuck.
Book #15 - Dewey by Vicki Myron
A charming, if unevenly written, book about the most famous library cat in America, Dewey Readmore Books. Recommended for anyone who loves libraries and cats (and really, who here doesn't?!).
Honestly, I read it and couldn't tell you what it was about now. So, unmemorable, I guess would be the word for it.
Book #17 - Undead and Uneasy by Mary Janice Davidson
With this one, Davidson changed things up a bit and it was a better book for it. Queen Betsy is forced to do for herself when all of her support system is taken away from her. Who or what is behind all of her bad fortune? This book redeemed the series for me.
I read this one to see what all of the fuss is about. The teens are constantly requesting this at the library where I work, and I wanted to see what the draw was. After reading, I still don't know. Poorly written and not entirely believable.
Irreverent, brash, foul-mouthed. Not for the overly-P.C. or the easily offended. I thought it was rather funny.
Book #20 - Undead and Unworthy by Mary Janice Davidson
With Book 7 of the Undead series, Davidson is really turning to the dark side with Queen Betsy. I like the change.
The story of Catherine, a privileged girl in a private girls' school, and her difficult friendship with Skye, a Senator's daughter bent on self-destruction. Set in the 1980's. Recommended.
I really enjoyed this - it's the first of the House of Night teen vampyre series. I found it more engaging than Twilight. I will be reading more of this series.
Book 3 of the House of Night series, this was disappointing. The plot was too busy, and the characters of Zoey's "friends" were too shallow.
The fourth book in the House of Night series fortunately does not continue down the bad writing path that book 3 did. The characters are more sympathetic and the plot was manageable. And the ending is quite a cliff-hanger!
Hunted is the fifth book in the House of Night series. While the story was engaging, the various storylines were wrapped up too quickly and neatly. It doesn't seem like a fallen angel should be chased off by a group of 5 people holding hands.
This convoluted story of the Temple family of Templeton (Cooperstown), NY, tells the story of Willie Upton, a postgraduate student who returns home in disgrace after an affair with a professor on an archaeological dig in Alaska. Her mother, Vi, drops another bomb on her by telling her that her father, previously thought to be an unnamed hippie in a San Francisco commune, is actually a resident of Templeton and may be a distant relative. I give it 4 stars.
Book #34 - Gluten-Free Girl by Shauna James Ahern
I was not expecting food porn when I checked this book out from the library, but Ahern's descriptions of the foods she discovers after receiving a diagnosis of celiac disease made me want to move to Seattle and become her friend.
I loved The Spellman Files and liked Curse of the Spellmans okay, but this latest entry is the best. Izzie Spellman, thirty-something private investigator currently not officially working as a P.I. and officially going to court-ordered therapy, secretly moves into the in-law apartment at her brother's house and is fired from her bartending job. Hilarity ensues.
This is not a novel, but a collection of related short stories in which the character Olive Kitteridge plays varying roles. Olive is seen by many in her small town as a cold woman, but we see her kindness through many of her interactions with others.
This was an Early Reviewers book. Kathleen Turner is a lot like many other actors in that she is chiefly concerned with what Kathleen Turner is doing or saying or how fabulous Kathleen Turner is. That being said, I admire Ms. Turner for her honesty about her rheumatoid arthritis and her willingness to embrace her age. She pulls no punches in this memoir and has no obvious compunctions about dishing the dirt on her costars. Her opinion about Nicolas Cage's acting choices in "Peggy Sue Got Married" was spot-on and hilarious.
Book #38 - Life Disrupted by Laurie Edwards
More a memoir of the author's personal life experience than a self-help book for those of us in our twenties and thirties who do have chronic illness, this book is helpful in that it lets the rest of us know that we are not alone.
This is book one of another teen vampire series. It's a lot like House of Night meets Gossip Girl. Highly recommended for anyone into the teen vampire craze.
Book #41 - Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo
A retelling of the slave days with a twist - Europeans are the slaves and Africans are the slaveowners. The story tells of Miss Omo, formerly known as Doris, and her experiences as a slave in Ambossa (Africa) and on a plantation in the West Japanese Islands (our West Indies).
Book #42 - The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker
This is the best book I've read so far this year. It is the story of Truly, an oversized woman, and her life in the small town of Aberdeen in New York State. A little bit of magic and a lot of interpersonal relationships make this book impossible to put down. This would be a great book club selection.
Marcus, aka w1n5t0n, aka m1k3y, is a teenager living in San Francisco. He and his friends are detained by the Department of Homeland Security after terrorists blow up the Bay Bridge. The subsequent imprisonment, release, and monitoring of Marcus causes him to go underground and mobilize his peers into pushing back against the invasions of privacy perpetrated by DHS in the city after the bombing. Highly recommended.
Book #45 - When God is Gone, Everything is Holy by Chet Raymo
A lapsed Catholic, Raymo lays out his views on his chosen spirituality, in which the wonders of nature are appreciated and celebrated without reference to a supernatural god. This is a short book, but it is still repetitive.
I read the Queen Betsy series too. I like that they are light, funny, and have a twist (in how she pisses off the other vampires with her modern outlook). Also the romance content is usually pretty low. I am only up to book 6, because I wait for them to go into paperback before I buy them.
One of the problems with the series I think, is the new craze some publishers have of splitting a book in half - since they are getting too much resistance to price increases for the single book. They publish one story in 2 parts. Davidson's books are too light to do well in that format I think.
I have the vampire books you mention too, I am a vampire fan, but haven't started them yet.
Albert Kim is Korean, a teenager, and a loser who has taken himself out of high school society. He gets to know Mia Stone, a classmate and the coolest girl in school, at their summer job vacuuming rooms at a local inn. Friendship turns into romance, which turns sour when school starts again and Mia's ex-boyfriend is diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. Funny and frustrating, like high school.
Part of a series, this is the tale of Princess Malinda and the aftermath of her ill-fated wedding to Radgar Aeling and the assassination of her father, King Ambrose.
A collection of Southern food writing, this first volume of an annual series touches on food topics from Craig Claiborne to the pros and cons of sweet tea. Writers include Roy Blount Jr, Rick Bragg and Damon Lee Fowler.
Book #50 - Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow
This was the first book I tried reading through DailyLit's email delivery service. I enjoyed the book and I enjoyed the delivery service too! The book takes place in the future, when people can live forever and Earth is densely populated. The characters who populate this story work as castmembers at the Magic Kingdom in Disneyworld.
Book #51 - The Gilded Chain by Dave Duncan
This is actually the first book in the King's Blades series, which I read second. Of course. I enjoyed this one, which is the story of Sir Durendal, more that the first one I read. I'm looking forward to reading the third one in the series.
I got this one through Early Reviewers. It is the most honest depiction of what an occasionally-working actor goes through that I've ever read. Highly recommended.
Book #53 - Lord of the Fire Lands by Dave Duncan
Very exciting and swashbuckling adventure/fantasy story of Radgar, the Baelish throne's heir and his journey from Chivian Ironhall Blade-to-be to Baelish king.
Book #54 - Castle: A Novel by J. Robert Lennon
Eric Loesch is a man with a mysterious past who returns to his childhood home of Gerrysburg, NY, and buys a rundown farmhouse on a large and foreboding spread of land. Author J. Robert Lennon does a good job with the main character, but the sudden plot shifts seem contrived rather than adding suspense.
Lobdell, the former religion reporter for the Los Angeles Times, chronicles his adult entrance into and exit from faith. Engaging and well-written, this book doesn't contain the vitriol of Dawkins or Hitchens, but rather describes the confusion Lobdell felt while coming to the realization that he did not believe.
But in any case...
Book #56 - Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
The story of two sisters from a solidly middle class family in China, whose father gambles away their family's security and standing and arranges the marriages of his daughters to two Chinese brothers who live in America. This is an excellent read.
Book #57 - Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
This book is the story of several different characters living very different lives in different places at different times. There is an underlying theme or similarity to the stories. This was a good but slow and challenging read for me.
Henry Archer is a divorced semi-retired gay lawyer. His ex-wife, Denise, recently lost her third husband two months prior to her prenuptial agreement expiring. Denise's adult daughter from her first marriage, Thalia, is an aspiring actress and is not speaking to her mother. When Thalia and Henry are reintroduced to each other and she moves in to the apartment downstairs from him, life as they know it changes for the better. Breezy and fun.
Book #59 - The Magicians by Lev Grossman
What if Hogwarts was a college, rather than a secondary school? What if Harry Potter was never content and very angsty? What would happen if wizards were living in Manhattan? All of these questions are answered in a very well-written and entertaining way.
Book #60 - Cherry Ames, Student Nurse by Helen Wells
Book #61 - Cherry Ames, Army Nurse by Helen Wells
Numbers 1 and 3 of the popular Cherry Ames series written in the 1940's to try to attract women into the nursing profession. I initially read these at my grandmother's house as a child and revisited them recently. It's interesting to see what attracted young women at the time, such as the "adorable" and "neat as a pin" uniforms and "cute" dormitory rooms.