Showing posts from January, 2012

Book Review of The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

Title of the book: The tale of Genji

Author: Murasaki Shikibu

Publisher: Norton

Publishing Date: 1000s,

ISBN: 0-393-92451-3


The Tale of Genji was written in the eleventh century by Murasaki Shikibu, a lady of the Heian court. It is universally recognized as the greatest masterpiece of Japanese prose narrative, perhaps the earliest true novel in the history of the world. Until now there has been no translation that is both complete and scrupulously faithful to the original text. Edward G Seidensticker's masterly rendering was first published in two volumes in 1976 and immediately hailed as a classic of the translator's art.

Author Info:
Kyoto, Japan



About this author

Murasaki Shikibu, or Lady Murasaki as she is sometimes known in English, was a Japanese novelist, poet, and a maid of honor of the imperial court during the Heian period. She is best known as the author of The Tale of Genji, written in Japanese between about 1000 and 1008, one of …

Book Review of #3 Sexy Silent Nights by Cara Summers

Name of Book: Sexy Silent Nights

Author: Cara Summers

ISBN: 978-0-373-79659-5

Publisher: Harlequin Blaze

Part of a Series: Wilder, Fortune and Stone Trilogy; Take my breath away... and Tailspin are prequels

Type of book: adult, romance, mystery, connection, 2011, night club, charity, wealth

Year it was published: 2011


It never should've happened: club owner Jonah Stone was the best friend of Cilla Michaels's boss. But one look into his stormy gray eyes and the secuirty specialist was all-in: a mind-blowing one-night fling in his sumptuous suite. Not talking. No strings...

No such luck.

Because it turns out that Cilla's not the only one who's developed a taste for forbidden fruit. When Jonah starts receiving threats from a vengeful ghost of christmas past, he hires Cilla on as a bodyguard...and makes no secret about how close he wants her to be. Of course, that makes him more forbidden than ever.

Still, a girl can only resist so much...


I couldn't relat…

Book Review of #2 Tailspin by Cara Summers

Name of Book: Tailspin

Author: Cara Summers

ISBN: 978-0-373-79626-7

Publisher: Harlequin Blaze

Part of a Series: Wilder, Fortune and Stone Trilogy; Take my breath away prequel; Sexy Silent Nights sequel

Type of book: adult, 2011, air force, hidden secrets, mystery, romance, adult

Year it was published: 2011


Subject: Air Force Captain Nash Fortune

Current Status: On assignment, teaching at the Air Force Academy

Mission: Brief his former flame on long-ago event. Full disclosure.

Obstacle: Their past. Their future. And a very distracting present!

Bianca Quinn makes her living writing true-crime books. Her latest book is about a decade-old case involving a missing cadet-a case somebody doesn't want opened. And her best source of intel? None other than her still-way-too-hot high-school sweetheart, Nash Fortune...

But this is no sweet, shy reunion. That same heated chemistry is still very potent, and Bianca and Nash find themselves losing control-fast! Can they pull out of the tailspi…

Book Review of #3 Just Give Kathleen O'Reilly

Name of Book: Just Give In...

Author: Kathleen O'Reilly

ISBN: 978-0-373-79639-7

Publisher: Harlequin Blaze

Part of a Series: Harts of Texas Trilogy: Just Surrender... and Just Let Go... prequels

Type of book: Texas, recluse, junkyard, homeless, lies, family, Adult, romance, 2011

Year it was published: 2011


Ever feel like your life took a wrong turn somewhere? Brooke Hart is in the tiny town of Tin Cup-broke and with no place to stay. All she has is a fierce of independence. So when an ex-soldier named Jason Kincaid-a taciturn-but-gruffly-sexy local-offers her a job, Brooke can't say fact, something about Jason makes Brooke's sex drive whisper, "Oh yeah!"

The attraction between them is irresistible. So irresistible, in fact, that it doesn't take long before Brooke tempts Jason beyond the point of no return. But Jason isn't one to easily trust anyone. Can he give in to his craving...without giving up his heart?


The characters are well d…

Book Review of #9 Evil Elizabeth by Francine Pascal

Name of Book: Evil Elizabeth

Author: Francine Pascal

ISBN: 0-553-48283-1

Publisher: Bantam Book

Part of a Series: Sweet Valley Twins and Friends Super Chiller

Type of book: Sweet valley, 1985, Halloween, moon, evil mask, supernatural, evil, mystery

Year it was published: 1995


Everyone thinks of Elizabeth Wakefield as the nice twin. That's why she loves her Halloween mask-it's so scary that no one can believe Elizabeth is behind it.

But her appearance isn't the only thing that changes when Elizabeth puts on the mask-little by little it makes Elizabeth act evil...only Elizabeth doesn't know it. It's up to her twin sister, Jessica, to destroy the mask...before Elizabeth does something she'll regret forever.


Once more the characters require no explanation and they are explained right at the start and all that. (Hmm, I wonder how many Halloweens in the canon do the twins experience; in Super Chillers I'm reading, if they are twelve, shouldn't th…

Book Review of #8 The Secret of the Magic Pen By Francine Pascal

Name of Book: The Secret of the Magic Pen

Author: Francine Pascal

ISBN: 0-553-48282-3

Publisher: Bantam book

Part of a Series: Sweet Valley Twins and Kids Super Chillers

Type of book: 1985, Sweet Valley, summer camp, mystery, supernatural, plagiarism, young adult

Year it was published:  1995


Summer vacation is here, and Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield and their friends have just arrived at sleep-away camp! On a hike through a dark, eerie cave, Elizabeth finds something incredible- a glowing pen! She can't wait to use it to write an article for the camp newspaper.

But as she writes, Elizabeth is astonished to find herself composing a mystery full of scary twists and turns. And to her horror, little by little the mystery seems to be coming true! THis isn't just an ordinary pen. Could it be haunted?


The characters are self explanatory and there's nothing special about them. There are a few new characters that I doubt will make their way into the main canon such a…

Book Review of #2 Just Let Kathleen O'Reilly

Name of Book: Just Let Go...

Author: Kathleen O'Reilly

ISBN: 978-0-373-79629-8

Publisher: Harlequin Blaze

Part of a Series: Harts of Texas; Just Surrender prequel, Just Give in, sequel

Type of book: Adult, romance, politics, small town, Texas, sheriff

Year it was published: 2011


As town sheriff and all around go-to girl, Gillian Wanamaker has always gotten everything she's ever wanted-except Austen Hart on prom night ten years ago. She's never forgiven or forgotten his disappearing act, and now the super-sexy bad boy of Tin Cup, Texas, is back! And Gilly's getting even! Austen's not the only one who can love 'em and leave 'em. And she's gonna love him, sugar. All. Night. Long.

The leaving part is tougher. Especially when important Tin Cup business keeps throwing them together. But if she ever hopes for more, will Austen leave her again?


Unfortunately Austen isn't sufficiently explored in the book, although he is the interesting characte…

Book Review of #2 Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time By Lisa Yee

Name of Book: Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time

Author: Lisa Yee

ISBN: 978-0-439-62248-6

Publisher: Scholastic Apple

Part of a Series: Millicent Min trilogy; Millicent Min, Girl Genius, So Totally Emily Ebers

Type of book:  young adult, boy book,friendship, first love, interracial relationship,  Asian male/white female, 2000s, California

Year it was published: 2005


"We interrupt your lives to announce Stanford Wong has flunked sixth grade!!!"

All right, so maybe there hasn't been an announcement like that. But that's the way it feels to Stanford. He's used to being a hero on hte basketball court, where he's the first sixth-grader ever to make the A-team, and just getting by in class.

But when he flunks English-Flunks it big time-and learns he'll have to trade basketball camp for summer school, Stanford freaks out. His friends can't know or they'll dump him. His had has to know and it's awful. The beautiful Emily Ebers will never like him if he&#…

Book Review of #2 Autumn Bridge by Takashi Matsuoka

Name of Book: Autumn Bridge

Author: Takashi Matsuoka

ISBN: 0-385-33641-1

Publisher: Delacorte Book

Part of a Series: Samurai Duology; Cloud of Sparrows prequel

Type of book: Japan, America, present, past, future, prophecy, 1281-1311, 1796-1867, 1882, 1953, 1895, interracial relationship, Asian male/white female, ancestors

Year it was published: 2004


In the year 1311, in the highest tower of Cloud of Sparrows Castle, a beautiful woman sits by the window, watching as enemies gather below and fires spread through the night. As she calmly awaits her fate, she begins to write, carefully setting down on a scroll the secret history of the Okumichi clan…of the gift of prophecy they share and the extraordinary destiny that awaits them.

For six centuries, these remarkable writings lay hidden—until they are uncovered by an American woman, a missionary named Emily Gibson, who arrived in Edo harbor in 1861, in flight from a tragic past. Soon an extraordinary man would enter her life: Lord Genji…

Book Review of Monster by Christopher Pike

Name of Book: Monster

Author: Christopher Pike

ISBN: 0-671-74507-7

Publisher: Archway Paperback

Type of book: vampires from outer space, horror, science fiction, asteroid belt, "Fifth world", 1990s

Year it was published: November 1992


Mary Blanc walked into the party with a loaded shotgun. In the blink of an eye she blew two people away. She wanted to kill more, but was stopped by her best friend, Angela Warner, and the police. The next day, when Angel visits Mary at the jail she asks why she did it. Mary responds, "Because they were no longer human." Angela thinks she's crazy.

At first.

Until she probes deeper into Mary's claims and discovers a horror so unimaginable that she thinks she is going crazy. She even gets to the point where she wonders if she should have let Mary keep on killing. While there was still time to stop the thing from spreading. The very old thing. The hungry thing.


The characters do have distinctive personalities; Angel…

Book Review of #1 Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade by Barthe DeClements

Name of Book: Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade

Author: Barthe DeClements

ISBN: 0-14-034443-8

Publisher: Puffin Books

Type of book: kid to young adult, fifth grade, overweight,  friendship, growing up, working mothers, 1980s

Year it was published: 1981


Your teacher is too strict, fractions are too hard, nd the most disgusting girl in school has the seat next to yours...Nothing's fair!

Jenny knows one thing fore sure-Elsie Edwards is fat thief who steals people's lunch money to buy candy. So when the book club money disappears, why is the whole class punished? Nothing's fair!

But soon Jenny realizes some things aren't fair for Elsie, either. Elsie is on a strict diet, but when she starts losing weight, her mother wont' buy her new clothes. Instead, she plans to send Elsie to boarding school. Suddenly everyone wants to help Elsie. Nothing's fair in fifth grade-but sometimes things get better!


The characters strike me as being well written and realis…

Book Review of #3 Brother Wind by Sue Harrison

Name of Book: Brother Wind

Author: Sue Harrison

ISBN: 0-380-72178-3

Publisher: Avon Fiction

Part of a Series: Ivory Carver Trilogy; Mother Earth Father Sky, My sister the moon prequels

Type of book: 7038 BC-7036 BCE, Alaska, north, war, finding home, life, prehistoric,

Year it was published: 1994


In a time before time at the top of the world-in a harsh and unforgiving age of ice-courage will sustain three remarkable souls through trials as bitter as the chill winds of the eternal winter.

Claimed by a brutal, despised enemy, Kiin must sacrifice her love for the sake of her tribe and hte safety of her children. Left widowed and helpless among the Whale Hunters, Kukutux now faces the impossible challenge of surviving alone. While Samiq, wounded and a hunter no more, must take up the mantle of leadership and guide a devastated people abandoned by their gods.

At the dawn of humanity, their extraordinary destinies intertwine. And through hardship and adventure, they endure-confronting the…

Book Review of Master of Murder by Christopher Pike

Name of Book: Master of Murder

Author: Christopher Pike

ISBN: 0-671-69059-0

Publisher: Archway Paperback

Type of book: young adult, murder, mystery, who did it

Year it was published: July 1992


Marvin was an eighteen-year-old senior high school. He was also America's bestselling author of teenage fiction. Millions of kids read his book. In fact, his latest series-The MYSTERY AT SILVER SPRING- was the craze at his high school. But Marvin wrote under a pen name, and no one knew who he was. He was rich and famous, but he couldn't even get a date for Friday night.

Yet Marvin wanted to remain unknown. He was worried that his incredible career was aboutt ot hit a birck wall. The final installment of his famous series was overdue. His millions of fans were dying to know what was going to happen in his his series, but so was Marvin. He had no idea how the story was supposed to end.

Then one night he opens a fan letter. It has come from his publisher-in the usual way. But this letter…

Book Review of #4 Burning Tigress by Jade Lee

Name of Book: Burning Tigress

Author: Jade Lee

ISBN: 0-8439-5688-7

Publisher: Leisure Historical

Part of a Series: Tigress series

Type of book: romance, interracial relationship Asian male/white female, 1881-1899, China, tigress, adult, romance

Year it was published: 2006


The Tigress: the Chinese symbol for female sexuality; the counterpart of the male "dragon"; a priestess of a Taoist sect.

Charlotte Wicks wanted more. Running her parents' Shanghai household and caring for her sick brother was necessary drudgery, but a true 19th century woman deserved something deeper-her body cried out for it! Through a Taoist method, her friend Joanna Crane had reached Heaven on Earth, became a Tigress, found true bliss. Why should Charlotte be denied the same? She'd seen the scrolls. All she needed was guidance.

Her mother would call her wanton. Wicked. She would label Charlotte's curiosity evil, and invoke divine judgment. Certainly the teacher Charlotte desired was fearso…

Book Review of Slumber Party by Christopher Pike

Name of Book: Slumber Party

Author: Christopher Pike

ISBN: 0-590-43014-9

Publisher: Point Scholastic

Type of book: horror, suspense, murder, 1985, competition, friendship

Year it was published: 1985


Lara thought the ski trip should be a blast. The old gang was getting together again for the first time in years. What could be better than six single girls out for sun and ski and apres ski- plus a huge house and a warm fire? Even with the memory of what had happened the last time, it looked like the perfect weekend. Until things started to go wrong...

It wasn't much at first-a snowman that melted when it shouldn't have, a weird phone call. But then somebody went out for "one last run" and didn't come back. And the storm they heard about on hte radio was getting worse. Lara thought everyone was up there for a good time. But she was beginning to realize that someone was up there for murder.


I think there is a lot of information to digest about the charac…

Book Review of #7 The Haunted Burial Ground by Francine Pascal

Name of Book: The Haunted Burial Ground

Author: Francine Pascal

ISBN: 0-553-56404-8

Publisher: Bantam skylark

Part of a Series: Sweet Valley Twins and Friends

Type of book: Sweet Valley Twins, super chillers, Native Americans, supernatural, mystery, horror, 1985

Year it was published: 1994


The Unicorn Club is throwing the best Halloween party Sweet Valley Middle School has ever seen! Lila Fowler's dad has lent the girls a run-down shack in the woods-a perfectly spooky place for the party.

But as the Unicorns are fixing the shack, strange and scary things happen: Ellen Riteman discovers a human skull, Jessica Wakefield gets lost in a cave full of bats, and a mysterious girl appears out of nowhere to relay ghostly warnings.

Rumors are flying that the shack was built over an ancient Native Ameriacn burial ground. Could the shack really be haunted? Or are the Unicorns the victims of a terrifying Halloween trick?


The characters are the typical Sweet Valley Twins ladies: El…

Planned Books

Books I'm reading:

Mansfield Park- Jane Austen 18/372
Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte 15/308
Evelina-Fanny Burney 16/406
Brothers- Da Chen 11/419
Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade-Barthe DeClements 130/137
Les Liaisons Dangereuses- Choderlos DeLaclos 27/396
The Count of Monte Cristo- Alexandre Dumas 161/531
The Hunchback of Notre Dame- Victor Hugo 32/501
Master of Murder-Christopher Pike 71/198
Monster-Christopher Pike 48/229
The Tale of Genji-Murasaki Shikibu 657/1090


House of Earth Trilogy-Pearl Buck
2. Sons 28/313
The Story of the stone-Xueqin Cao
3. The Warning Voice 167/613
Lydia Trilogy-Kate Furnivall
3. The Girl from Junchow 46/488
First Native American Series-W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear
2. People of the Fire 47/467
Storyteller Trilogy-Sue Harrison
1. Song of the River 48/589
Tigress Quartet- Jade Lee
4. Tempted Tigress 35/346
Samurai Duology- Takashi Matsuoka
2. Autumn Bridge 80/433
Harts of Texas Trilogy-Kathleen O'Reilly
2. Just Let go... 47/218
Sweet …

Book Review of Weekend by Christopher Pike

Name of Book: Weekend

Author: Christopher Pike


Publisher: Scholastic

Type of book: who did it? Mystery, supernatural, illness, betrayal 1986, young adult

Year it was published: 1986


 The weekend in Mexico sounded like a dream vacation. Four guys, five girls- and a gorgeous oceanside mansion all to themselves. It should have been perfect.

Except nothing was going the way they'd planned. There was the girl upstairs who was fighting for her life. The phone lines that went dead. And the explosion in the garage that could have killed them all.

But not even that prepared them for what happened next. Because while they were getting some sun, someone else was getting revenge- and the terror wouldn't stop until the weekend was over.


I had a hard time relating and caring about the characters in the book. I honestly don't know why. They seemed kind of predictable and a lot was tell and not show.


You never know who's your friend.


This wa…

Book Review of #1 Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee

Name of Book: Millicent Min, Girl Genius

Author: Lisa Yee

ISBN: 0-439-42520-4

Publisher: Scholastic

Part of a Series: Milly Trilly; Stanford Wong flunks big time, So totally Emily Ebers

Type of book: young adult, genius, changing, friendship, 2000s

Year it was published: 2004


Millicent Min is having a bad summer. Her fellow high school students hate her for setting the curve. Her fellow eleven-year-olds hate her for going to high school. Her grandmother Maddie is moving away. And in an effort to give Millicent a more "normal" childhood, her mom has not only signed her up for volleyball, she's also arranged for her to tutor Stanford Wong-jock, jerk and poster boy for Chinese geekdom.

But when Millicent meets Emily, things start to look up. Emily doesn't know Millicent's IQ score. She actually thinks Millicent is cool. And if Millicent can hide her awards, ignore her grandmother's advice, blackmail Stanford into silence, learn to serve a volleyball over the n…

Book Review of #6 The Curse of the golden heart by Francine Pascal

Name of Book: The Curse of the golden heart

Author: Francine Pascal

ISBN: 0-553-56403-x

Publisher: Bantam skylark

Part of a Series: Sweet Valley twins and friends super chillers.

Type of book: horror, Sweet Valley, young adult, 1985

Year it was published: 1994


It's spring break, and identical twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are taking a scuba diving course at Pirates Cove. On their first dive the twins discover the remains of an old pirate ship, and half a golden heart buried in the sand.

Soon the twins receive spooky chain letters demanding that what was taken from the sea be returned. Jessica continues the chain; Elizabeth doesn't. Suddenly terrible things start happening to Elizabeth. She finds threatening notes in her room and a live scorpion in her lunch bag.

Can Elizabeth discover the secret of the golden heart before the curse destroys her?


This one tries to get more involved by including the twins' brother and few others, but other than that it…

Book Review of #5 The Curse of the ruby necklace by Francine Pascal

Name of Book: The curse of the ruby necklace

Author: Francine Pascal

ISBN: 0-553-15949-6

Publisher: Bantam Skylark

Part of a Series: Sweet Valley twins and friends super chillers

Type of book: horror, mystery, death, Sweet Valley, supernatural, young adult, 1985

Year it was published: 1993


Identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are thrilled when they land small parts in a movie being made in Sweet Valley. The film is based on the true story of the mysterious death of twelve-year-old Lillian Keller, and it's being filmed at the creepy old Keller mansion.

One stormy afternoon, Jessica finds an old necklace on the beach near the mansion. She puts it on, and that very night she has a terrible nightmare about a girl falling to her death. She becomes convinced that someone-or something-is trying to tell her that the mystery of Lillian Keller's death is far from solved. But can a necklace really hold the secret to a murder?


The characters, as in previous super c…

Book Review of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Name of Book: Sense and Sensibility

Author: Jane Austen

ISBN: 0-553-21334-2

Publisher: Bantam classic

Type of book: England, classic, Regency, marriage novel, sisters, 1790s? 1800s?

Year it was published: 1811


In 1811, Jane Austen's first published work, Sense and Sensibility, marked the debut of England's premier novelist of manners. Believing that "3 or 4 families in a country village is the very thing to work upon," she created a brilliant tragicomedy of flirtation and folly. Romantic walks through lush Devonshire and genteel dinner parties at a stately manor draw two pretty sisters into the schemes and manipulations of landed gentry determined to marry wisely and well. Neither sense nor sensibility can gurantee happiness for either- as romantic Marianne falls prey to a dangerous rascal, and reasonable Elinor loses her heart to a gentleman already engaged. Wonderfully entertaining yet subtle and probing in its characterizations, Sense and Senbility richly displ…

Book Review of #1 People of the Wolf By W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear

Name of Book: People of the Wolf

Author: W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear

ISBN: 0-812-50737-1

Publisher: Tor Historical

Part of a Series: The First Native Americans

Type of book: prehistorical, shamanic, Dream, savior complex, -13,000 years ago, adult

Year it was published: 1990


In the dawn of history, a valiant people forged a pathway from an old world into a new one. Led by a dreamer who followed the spirit of the wolf, a handful of courageous men and women dared to cross the frozen wastes to find an untouched, unspoiled continent. This is the magnificent saga of the vision-filled man who led his people to an awesome destiny, and the courageous woman whose love and bravery drove them on in pursuit of that dream.

A sweeping epic of prehistory, People of the Wolf brings the true story of the ancestors of today's Native American peoples to life in an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion.


One of my pet peeves when reading bo…

January 2012

Mansfield Park-Jane Austen
SR: January 2nd, 2012
Sense and Sensibility-Jane Austen
SR: December 1st, 2011
FR: January 2nd, 2012
Wuthering Heights-Emily Bronte
SR: January 5th, 2012
Evelina-Fanny Burney
SR: January 5th, 2012
Brothers-Da Chen
SR: January 1st, 2012
Nothing's fair in fifth grade-Barthe DeClements
SR: January 1st, 2012
FR: January 8th, 2012
Les Liaisons Dangereuses-Choderlos DeLaclos
SR: January 5th, 2012
The Count of Monte Cristo-Alexandre Dumas
SR: November 1st, 2011
The Hunchback of Notre Dame-Victor Hugo
SR: January 1st, 2012
Master of Murder-Christopher Pike
SR: January 1st, 2012
FR: January 10th, 2012
Monster-Christopher Pike
SR: January 1st, 2012
FR: January 11th, 2012
Slumber Party-Christopher Pike
SR: January 1st, 2012
FR: January 7th, 2012
Weekend-Christopher Pike
SR: January 1st, 2012
FR: January 6th, 2012
The Tale of Genji-Murasaki Shikibu
SR: May 17th, 2011
FR: January 27th, 2012

House of Earth-Pearl B…