Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book Review of #2 Cry of the Wind by Sue Harrison

Name of Book: Cry of the Wind

Author: Sue Harrison

ISBN: 0-380-72604-1

Publisher: Avon Fiction

Part of a Series: Storyteller Trilogy

Type of book: Alaska, Near River, Cousin River, war, effects, evil, healing, daily life, mysteries, murders, forbidden love. 610 Pre-Modern Era, 6458-6456? PME

Year it was published: 1998

Summary:

Winter looms in this place of icy splendor near the top of the world-chilling a heart already frozen by hatred and cold dreams of revenge? Experience and adversity have made the storyteller Chakliux a wise and powerful hunter and a man of great respect. But a tender heart is his weakness. In his village lives the beautiful Aqamdax for whom he yearns, though she is mated to a cruel and dangerous tribesman she does not love. It is Chakliux she runs to under a clear, moonlit sky while the village sleeps. But there can be no future for them together until a curse upon their people has been transcended. And then there is K'os, the healing woman--maddened and embittered by the outrage she was forced to endure years earlier--outcast and enslaved by the leader of the enemy tribe against whom she has sworn vengeance. To enact her savage and terrible justice, she will use--and destroy--anyone, if necessary, including the boy-turned-man she rescued in infancy and raised as her son: Chakliux, the storyteller.

Return now to a frozen land in a remarkable time eighty centuries past, when the spirit was tested--and strengthened--by the cruelties of nature and the great mysteries of life.

Characters:

There are multiple characters in the story: Ko's, Chakliux, Aquamdax, Yaa, Ghaden and so forth. Not once have I gotten confused with who's who, because each one of them has a unique and fascinating voice. I loved the villain Ko's, as well as the forbidden love between Chakliux and Aquamdax. Aquamdax herself has a wonderful growth of becoming a strong woman who becomes capable of going after what she wants as well as getting others on her side during some conflicts. There is also a showdown between the two previous villains: that of Ko's and Red Leaf who ran away with her newborn daughter and was discovered by Cen.

Theme:

Be careful of what you do, for you don't know what will happen next.

Plot:

This is told in third person from multiple characters. There is no confusion as to which character is talking or when they start talking. The author does a good job of taking that confusion away. Also some more villains suffer and die, and there is also outwitting included, along with loose strands as to what happens next. I think a certain villain emerged too quickly at the end however, and would have liked to be prepared for that event. Besides the numerous dramas, there is also a fascination of how the villages will cope after the war and what will they do. The villains are two dimensional, unfortunately, but still fascinating.

Author Information:

(from sueharrison.com)
Sue Harrison is the author of six critically acclaimed and internationally bestselling novels. Mother Earth Father Sky, My Sister the Moon and Brother Wind make up The Ivory Carver Trilogy, an epic adventure set in prehistoric Alaska. Song of the River, Cry of the Wind and Call Down the Stars comprise The Storyteller Trilogy. Sue’s young adult book, SISU, was released by Thunder Bay Press .

Sue Harrison was born in Lansing, Michigan. The first of five children, she was raised in the town of Pickford in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where she lives with her husband, a retired high school principal. They are blessed with a daughter and a son, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.

A graduate of Pickford High School, Harrison graduated summa cum laude from Lake Superior State University with a B.A. in English Language and Literature. She was named Lake Superior State University’s Distinguished Alumna in 1992, and served eight years on the university’s Board of Regents.

Harrison’s first novel, Mother Earth Father Sky, was published in 1990 by Doubleday (hardcover) and Avon (paperback). It was nominated in the states of Michigan and Washington for the Reader’s Choice Award among high school students, and was one of ten books chosen for “Battle of the Books,” a statewide student reading competition in Alaska. The novel as had success in both the adult and young adult markets, and was a national bestseller. It was selected by the American Library Association as one of 1991′s Best Books for Young Adults.

Harrison’s second novel, My Sister the Moon, (Doubleday/Avon 1992) has also received recognition by reading and school groups throughout the United States and was a Baker and Taylor top ten in library sales. Both Mother Earth Father Sky and My Sister the Moon were Main Selections of the Literary Guild Book Club and alternate selections of the Doubleday Book Club. Brother Wind, Harrison’s third novel was released in hardcover by William Morrow, October 1994, and in 1995 as an Avon paperback. The novel was chosen as an alternate selection by both the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Song of the River and Cry of the Wind were both published by Avon Hardcover/Avon paperback, a division of Hearst Books. The third book of The Storyteller Trilogy, Call down the stars was published by Morrow/Avon in 2001 and 2002. It was featured alternate of the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs.

Harrison’s books have also been published in Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Spain, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Japan, France, Finland, and South America.

Harrison is represented by Rachelle Gardner of WordServe Literary. She is currently writing women’s contempory fiction for the inspirational market.

Opinion:

The first time I read it, it only took me two days to finish it. This book is incredible. Looking for mystery? There. Memorable and realistic love story? There. Drama? Conflict? Revenge? "Exotic" scenery? Culture? All of it there. It's a very gripping novel that's guaranteed to keep the reader in suspense as to what happened and what is going on. I found the culture and scenery and life style of Alaskan Native Americans to be fascinating. I don't have anything to complain about when it comes to this book. I do imagine that the time period might put some people off, but if not, enjoy it and relax.

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

E-Reading: Book Review of #2 Ambushed! By Vicki Lewis Thompson

Name of Book: Ambushed!

Author: Vicki Lewis Thompson

ISBN: 978-1-4268-6000-3

Publisher: Harlequin Blaze

Part of a Series: Sons of Chance

Type of book: Cowboy, relationships, adult, belonging, friendship, family, to have kids/not to have kids

Year it was published: 2010

Summary:

Morgan O'Connelli hated the restless lifestyle she'd had as a child. All she wants now is to create a real home in small-town Wyoming. So first she hangs up her real-estate agent shingle...then she promptly borrows the horse of the hottest cowboy in town Cutting-horse champion Gabe Chance is blown away by the feisty redhead who unexpectedly lands right in his bed...and, soon enough, his heart Morgan's perfect for him in every way. Until he realizes that while she's turned out to be everything he never knew he wanted, he's "got" everything someone in her profession has ever wanted...his family's ranch.

And that's a legacy he's just not willing to give up--not even for the sexiest woman he's ever fallen for....

Characters:

Gabe is slightly changed from a typical Blaze hero: for one he is the rare shade of blond hair (Almost all the heroes are dark haired...) and he seems to not want commitment for different reasons rather than the usual fare of relationship gone wrong. I also don't think he was a playboy who had multiple experiences with different women. Morgan is a fun person who doesn't like to be compared with the mother earth image, and she's determined too. Due to the past issues of isolation and her being the responsible one, she doesn't want any children, just relationship with sex. More is revealed about Jack, the oldest half brother, and Dominique and Nick make appearances too along with the matriarch Sarah. I also can't wait to read Jack's book. The book is more character driven rather than the plot, and the author does a good job in making the characters memorable.

Theme:

In order to be together there has to be some comprises one makes.

Plot:

This is written in third person narrative from Gabe's and Morgan's points of view. Although there were slight conflicts, and big conflicts too, along with Gabe trying to decide what's more important: being married or getting Top Drawer to the top, and Morgan, too with her realty as well as her childhood in raising and taking care of her siblings, they were wrapped up unrealistically or too quickly. I feel that the book should have been slightly longer or at least the conflicts could have had a reasonable deadline.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

url
http://www.goodreads.com/VickiLewisThompson

gender
female

website
http://www.vickilewisthompson.com/

genre
Literature & Fiction, Romance, Humor

member since
February 2009


About this author

New York Times and USA Today bestseller Vicki Lewis Thompson believes love makes the world go around and laughter makes the trip worth taking. The recipient of RWA’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award and the author of more than ninety books, Vicki pioneered a new kind of romance hero with Nerd in Shining Armor. Following the success of her nerd stories, Vicki launched a boisterous paranormal series featuring a matchmaking witch and wizard, an ADD dragon named George, and a black cat inspired by her own precocious feline, Eve.

Opinion:

Unfortunately the book wasn't as enjoyable as the first one. There was enjoyment and perhaps its me, but there was a lack of chemistry between the two, and I don't buy a HEA after only a few weeks or so. I did enjoy learning more about Jack and why he's possibly the way  he is, as well as seeing Dominique and Nick make an appearance. It's a light escapism story, although I felt that the certain issue, that of Morgan desiring no children happened a little too fast for me. What might have been realistic is that she said she'd think about it or consider it, instead of instantly changing her mind. Even if there are some conflicts in the book, namely that of Morgan's job vs Sarah and Jack, they didn't feel genuine.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Book Challenge A-Z #47 Until Angels Close My Eyes by Lurlene McDaniel

Fulfilling the requirement:

The U letter for the first letter or title of the book alphabetically

Summary:

Be sure to read this summer's highly anticipated companion to Angels Watching Over Me and Lifted Up by Angels:

Until Angels Close My Eyes

When Neil, Leah's warm and loving step-father, reveals that his cancer is no longer in remission, Leah finds comfort in a visit to Amish country to see her true love, Ethan. When Ethan chooses to leave his life on the farm, he moves in with Leah and her family. But once Ethan arrives, they realize that his Amish values are quite different from those of Leah's complex "English" world. Will their love help, or hurt, Leah as she faces the complex hurdles that await her?

Lesson learned:

Home and family are vital for survival.

Link to review: click here

G5 Book Review of A christmas Home by Greg Kincaid

Name of Book: A christmas home

Author: Greg Kincaid

ISBN:978-0-307-95197-7

Publisher: Random House

Part of a Series: christmas series

Type of book: dogs, shelters, disabilities both physical and mental, problems, close-downs, ideas, hope, miracles, independence, growing up, 2012, December

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

Todd McCray, hero of A Dog Named Christmas, is now twenty-four years old and working at a local animal shelter, where he meets and quickly becomes best friends with Laura, a young volunteer. Laura, like Todd, has disabilities of her own, but her struggles are more physical than developmental. Their friendship is sealed when Todd—with the help of his trusted companion, the tenacious Labrador retriever named Christmas—trains a beautiful dog named Gracie to help Laura with the day-to-day life tasks that are difficult for her.

Life seems good for Todd, but all is not well in his hometown. Struggling families unable to make ends meet are abandoning more and more dogs, and the shelter is swelling to capacity. The local government is struggling to meet its obligations too, and in early December, on the cusp of another holiday season, Todd’s boss delivers the bad news. Due to funding problems, the shelter will close its doors before the end of the year. But what will happen to all the animals?

As the Christmas holiday approaches, Todd has limited time to find homes for all the dogs. Not to mention that he needs to secure a new job and figure out what to do when his friendship with Laura takes an unexpected romantic turn. All this seems overwhelming unless you’ve got a loving family, dedicated friends, and a couple of very special dogs behind you. In which case, nothing is impossible.

Characters:

The characters are somewhat simplistic and not very complex. I think I would have liked to see more interactions between the characters and the dogs; I feel that there wasn't enough interaction. Also, what happened to Gracie's family, and how did a few things get solved? I do think there will be a sequel next year maybe. I wanted to know what exactly was wrong with Todd, and would have liked glimpsing their foibles as well as personalities. The story is more plot driven rather than character driven.

Theme:

Miracles do happen with help of other people.

Plot:

This is in third person narrative from omniscient point of view, although it's primarily from Todd's point of view. There are glimpses into Laura's and George's thoughts as well. (Kind of liked George. Makes me want to read the previous two books the author wrote...) the language is a little unrealistic because I doubt that some people darn or whatnot. The plot itself seems to be simplistic, and I wonder if in previous books the chemistry between Laura and Todd is addressed. (It felt forced not realistic to me.) I also would have liked to know what was wrong with Todd. (The author never mentioned what was wrong.)

Author Information:

Greg Kincaid is the author of A Dog Named christmas and christmas with Tucker. He lives in Kansas with his wife and two dogs.

Opinion:

This is the first time I read a book that was related to christmas. My family and I don't celebrate it (obviously,) therefore I can't wait until its over and I can move on to the fun New Years. The story is true to christmas spirit; filled with hope, love and fuzzies. The author briefly addresses the major problems but doesn't provide solutions to them. Miracles do happen. Also, I have to add, I never read the prequels to this book. Some problems seemed to be solved way too simply and very conveniently. It is an inspiring story and probably will prompt a desire to give a dog from the shelter a good home.

Quick notes: I won this book on goodreads.com thus this review will appear in its entirety on goodreads as well as the blog

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

E-Reading: Book Review of #3 Forbidden Ecstasy by Janelle Taylor

Name of Book: Forbidden Ecstasy

Author: Janelle Taylor

ISBN: 9780821752784

Publisher: Zebra Kensington

Part of a Series: Gray Eagle/ Ecstasy Series

Type of book: Inaccurate, ridiculous, sadistic love, fear, racist, adult, 1776?-1777?, repititious, implausible endings

Year it was published: 1982

Summary:

Never before did the possession of a man fill Alisha with such excitement as when she held her handsome Indian lover in her arms. That she was a white woman living in the red man's world did not matter. They had promised each other their hearts forever - nothing could keep them apart. But when Alisha awoke to dawn's first light her bronze-skinned warrior was gone. Her lips were tender from his fiery kisses; her body throbbed from his fierce passion - and still she longed for him. Lost between two worlds, she was desperate and alone. Betrayed by her savage lover, she hungered for their forbidden love!

Characters:

Boring idiotic characters, aside from Jeffry. Powchutu became one dimensional and he and Joe became Gray Hawk worshipers, wondering what's he doing and plotting. Maybe it was wrong of me, but I wanted to see Jeffry take his sadism really far and bring this kind of spark into the novel. Alisha is her usual foolish self; Powchutu has some more common sense, but the author makes him unlikable because he lied to Gray Hawk and to Alisha about one another; Joe is a cool character but not enough time spent with him; Jeffry is a cool villain (didn't like the way he treated Mary O'Hara.) That would be it.

Theme:

Indians are very virile men while white men can't match up to them. (Reminds me of "yellow peril")

Plot:

In third person narrative omniscient point of view from everyone. Historical inaccuracies abound such as the bubbles during that time, the Dakota territory, shampoo (1904 anyone?!) incorrect view of christmas, the blue coat which means yankees. Darling, again, you have wrong century and war. She tries to show off that she knows some history, but she doesn't bother exploring why Alisha is for Britain and history reads like a textbook history. (A lot of Native Americans fought for the British because they didn't want for white men to encroach into their lands.) Also, southern accent? Darling, honey, booboo, there were some differences between northern and southern states then, but I doubt accent was one of them.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

born
June 28, 1944 in Athens, Georgia, The United States

gender
female

website
http://www.janelletaylor.com/


About this author

The legendary Janelle Taylor was born on June 28, 1944 in Athens, GA. In 1965, she married Michael Taylor with whom she had two children, Angela Taylor-MacIntyre and Alisha Taylor Thurmond. Ms. Taylor attended the Medical College of Georgia from 1977 to 1979 and Augusta State University from 1980-1981. She withdrew from the latter after she sold her first two novels. Today, she is the author of thirty-nine novels, three novellas, and many contributions to other collections. There are thirty-nine million copies of her works in print worldwide and she has made The New York Times Bestseller List eight times. Ms. Taylor's works have also been featured ten times on the "1 million +" bestseller's list at Publisher's Weekly.

Some of Ms. Taylor's most recent books include By Candlelight, Someday Soon, Lakota Dawn, and Lakota Winds (due out in paperback in May 1999). She has also made contributions to other books including The Leukemia Society Cookbook, Christmas Rendezvous, and Summer Love. In addition, readers can see her as co-host of the QVC/TV Romance Book Club Show.

Ms. Taylor's interests include collecting spoons, coins from around the world, ship models, dolls, and old books. She loves to fish, ride horses, play chess, target-shoot, travel (especially in her motorhome and out West), hunt for Indian relics, and take long walks with her husband. Reading, in particular books set before 1900 and current Biographies, Thrillers, Horror, or Fantasy novels, is also one of Ms. Taylor's favorite activities. She is also extremely active with charity work and was even featured on the cover of Diabetes Forecast in February of 1998.

She lives in the country on seventy-nine acres of woods and pasture with a lake and a catfish pond. She writes her novels in a Spanish cottage which overlooks a five-acre lake, a working water mill, gazebo, and covered bridge.

Opinion:

Oh my Powchutu! How dare the author make you evil! Oh my heart breaks! I sense that the author's writing and story telling is slightly improving, but still like the previous books, this is inaccurate: bubbles? How is that possible? Checked and it was 20th century. Christmas was a solemn fast and occasion, not a fun time for singing. It only became fun during Victorian Era (Santa Clause was invented in mid 1800s...) And wealthy hotels in Indian outposts? Not possible either. Wouldn't they be more concerned about surviving rather than importing wealth? Aphrodisiac for women? Slightly possible but still. And what scar or battle can cause permanent impotency in a man? The penis is a muscle and unless the man is using a wheel chair, that is not impossible. Also, possible rapes can cause miscarriage? I've heard over and over that it's safe to have sex during pregnancy. Also, why in nine hells does Gray Hawk believe Powchutu if he hates the guy? Why does Alisha believe Jeffry about stuff when he's been proven to be a bad guy? I have this meh feeling about the book and don't really care about it. I also would have liked to see more romance build up between Mary and Joe instead of this "hey, I need to give them happy endings so let me invent a reason these two can be together." The book again focused great deal more on Alisha than on Gray Hawk who only showed up in ten percent of the novel. Alisha again became the idiotic naive, foolish dolt who constantly cried all the time. I have a hard time understanding what is the difference between Gray Hawk and Jeffry. I wish she could have loved Powchutu instead of Gray Hawk.

0 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

E-Reading: Book Review of #2 Defiant Ecstasy by Janelle Taylor

Name of Book: Defiant Ecstasy

Author: Janelle Taylor

ISBN: 9780821754474

Publisher: Zebra/ Kensington Publishing Corp.

Part of a Series: Ecstasy Series

Type of book: Inaccurate, secrets, confusing, improbable, laughable, 1776, Native American male/ white female, Mary Sue, America

Year it was published: 1982

Summary:

The longer Alisha Williams remained at Fort Pierre, the more she hoped her redskinned lover would rescue her from the taunts and tirades of the white pioneers. They would never let her forget she had been the mistress of the infamous savage warrior, Gray Eagle. As if the auburn-haired beauty could forget! Each night, Alisha sweetly remembered Gray Eagle's bold caresses, burning kisses, his blazing passion. Each day, she scanned the vast horizon in hopes her Oglala brave would recapture her. Then one day, Alish saw hundreds of Indian warriors riding to the gates of Fort Pierre--and at their head was the fierce Gray Eagle. Though her most fervent prayers had been answered, Alisha's heart skipped a beat: Would Gray Eagle destroy her--or make her destiny his own?

Characters:

Characters are ridiculous, just like in the first book. Chela, instead of being with Gray Eagle has to be with the other chief; poor Powchutu becomes evil (*sobs*) although Alisha does grow some backbone (yay is all I can say.) and everyone is telling Gray Eagle that he was too mean with Alisha. (Why does that remind me of everyone telling the author she sucked but then she explained how everyone misunderstood everything and it was all accepted and hunky dory?) Of course everyone falls in love with Alisha and wants to be with her. In this book, however, I didn't spot a lot of Alisha worship, but instead everyone, from man to woman worshiped Gray Eagle (not kidding...) I wonder if in third book everyone will worship White Arrow or someone else? Hmm, be patient my pretties...

Theme:

Wait a minute, there's a message? Okay, every single man in the world will fall in love with you.

Plot:

Third person narrative omniscient, and just like in previous books, point of views constantly switch, and if I should have read it straight without using my system, my brain would have wanted to escape my head. Improbable as well as offensive plot, especially when Alisha is confused as a half Native American child simply because of weird marks on her butt? Sounds very offensive to me. I also could have sworn they attempted to make her into an Indian woman. Also as well, someone please explain how its possible for Gray Eagle to completely disregard the customs he's so familiar with to satisfy Alisha's! In other novels such as Jade Lee's Tigress series or Karen Kay's, there are struggles with men abandoning polygamy or trying to adapt to heroine's needs. But in this book, "oh, hey no problem"?!

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

born
June 28, 1944 in Athens, Georgia, The United States

gender
female

website
http://www.janelletaylor.com/


About this author

The legendary Janelle Taylor was born on June 28, 1944 in Athens, GA. In 1965, she married Michael Taylor with whom she had two children, Angela Taylor-MacIntyre and Alisha Taylor Thurmond. Ms. Taylor attended the Medical College of Georgia from 1977 to 1979 and Augusta State University from 1980-1981. She withdrew from the latter after she sold her first two novels. Today, she is the author of thirty-nine novels, three novellas, and many contributions to other collections. There are thirty-nine million copies of her works in print worldwide and she has made The New York Times Bestseller List eight times. Ms. Taylor's works have also been featured ten times on the "1 million +" bestseller's list at Publisher's Weekly.

Some of Ms. Taylor's most recent books include By Candlelight, Someday Soon, Lakota Dawn, and Lakota Winds (due out in paperback in May 1999). She has also made contributions to other books including The Leukemia Society Cookbook, Christmas Rendezvous, and Summer Love. In addition, readers can see her as co-host of the QVC/TV Romance Book Club Show.

Ms. Taylor's interests include collecting spoons, coins from around the world, ship models, dolls, and old books. She loves to fish, ride horses, play chess, target-shoot, travel (especially in her motorhome and out West), hunt for Indian relics, and take long walks with her husband. Reading, in particular books set before 1900 and current Biographies, Thrillers, Horror, or Fantasy novels, is also one of Ms. Taylor's favorite activities. She is also extremely active with charity work and was even featured on the cover of Diabetes Forecast in February of 1998.

She lives in the country on seventy-nine acres of woods and pasture with a lake and a catfish pond. She writes her novels in a Spanish cottage which overlooks a five-acre lake, a working water mill, gazebo, and covered bridge.

Opinion:

I created a new system which will help me save brain cells yet at the same time see how crappy the books are: read a sentence per paragraph. (The system works, I swear!) This book is even more ridiculous, not to mention historically inaccurate. Blue coats? Umm a little to early for Civil War, Ms. Taylor. White wedding dress? Tiered cakes? Wrong century! White dresses became popular in Victorian era, in 1840s...and this takes place in 1776? Anybody see a problem with that? Also, Alisha is not familiar with violence? England anybody? The time in England was tumultuous and fraught with possibility of wars. What about becoming a half-Indian daughter? Have you studied genetics Ms. Taylor? If a pure white person mates with African or Native American or Asian pure person then their children will take more characteristics from either African or Native American or Asian parent rather than white! How is it possible that a pure Native American chief mated with a red haired woman and his daughter is red haired and green eyed? This is a very funny story, and I doubt that's what the author had in mind when she wrote it; Alisha gets kidnapped to the fort, she's rescued, someone sees a weird mark on butt and mistakes her for a chief's daughter. Gray Eagle allows her to be taken, then follows her, there's almost a war but no bloodshed, then the marriage, then oh my precious Powchutu? becomes evil and mean and finds out truth about Gray Eagle knowing English, then others find out the truth and Gray Eagle as well as Alisha marry and it should be a happily ever after ending, except you know it's not the ending because...because there's book 3 and 4 up until book 9 (I think book 5-9 move on with different generations...) Also, one last thing; I highly doubt that Native Americans used white as a wedding dress and I doubt they'd know about it. How is it possible for Alisha to come up with white articles or clothing on her wedding day?!

0 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

G2 Book Review of You are the love of my life by Susan Richards Shreve

Name of Book: You are the love of my life

Author: Susan Richards Shreve

ISBN: 978-0-393-08280-7

Publisher: Norton

Type of book: Secrets, lies, family, 1951, 1973, Washington, New York, Nixon, Watergate,

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

For fans of Sue Miller, a finely wrought novel of family secrets and the desire for sustaining love.

It is 1973 and the scandal of Watergate is on everyone's lips. Lucy Painter, children's book writer and single mother of two, is leaving New York and the married father of her children to return to the house in the tightly knit Washington, DC, neighborhood where she grew up and where she discovered her father's suicide.

Lucy hopes for a fresh start, but her life is full of secrets: her children know nothing of the circumstances surrounding her father's death or the identity of their own father. And as new neighbors enter their insular lives, the safety and stability of her family are in jeopardy. Lucy knows how to raise children alone, but she fears the world beyond her tiny family and her absent lover. Even as her friendship with a writer next door—whose research threatens to reveal the secret of her father—offers new possibilities, the risks of the outside world begin closing in on Lucy and her family. Beautifully told, You Are the Love of My Life is a story of how shame leads to secrets, secrets to lies, and how lies stand in the way of human connection.

Characters:

In actions or thoughts the characters were interesting and well rounded, but somehow they couldn't leap off the page for me. I really wanted to like them and be interesting in their lives. I think that perhaps should I re-read the novel in a few months or even a year, perhaps I will enjoy it a lot more, at least I hope I will.

Theme:

Holding on to secrets or trying to achieve perfection can drive somebody crazy.

Plot:

This is written in third person narrative from Lucy's, Zee's and Maggie's points of views. There are a number of things that I wish the author would have expanded upon, such as the chemistry between Lucy and one of the neighbors, or perhaps what was wrong with Gabriel or even more about Maggie and Lucy's relationship. I often felt that I only got a glance of the world before it moved on to something else.

Author Information:

Susan Richards Shreve is the author of fourteen novels, a memoir, and twenty-nine books for children. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment grant and is the cochairman of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. She lives in Washington, DC.

Opinion:

Although I enjoyed reading the book, I felt at some parts it was disjointed and confusing. I would guess that this is more of the fault with my reading system rather than the book itself; that is this is a book that should be read straight instead of a book that one can easily take breaks with. The whole time I was reading it, I couldn't help but think of today's scenes vs the ones in the book. I'm not sure about now, but somehow I highly doubt that today neighbors are as close as they used to be; I don't know of any neighborhood where people freely walk into one another's houses or where everyone knows everything about everyone. Where I live, things like that were dying out by the early 2000s. I also couldn't understand the mood in the story and I felt that although the characters were fascinating as well as interesting, they weren't drawn well. When Lucy first moves in to Wichita Falls, I really found some actions by the women creepy; entering into the house unknowingly and taking pictures? Or even having a party?

Quick notes: I won this book on goodreads.com thus this review will appear in its entirety on goodreads as well as the blog

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Book Review of Dracula by Bram Stoker

Name of Book: Dracula

Author: Bram Stoker

ISBN: 0-88029-901-0

Publisher: Barnes and Noble Books

Type of book: Vampires, supernatural, epistolary, horror, Harker, Dracula, Britain, 1890s, friendship, Eastern Europe

Year it was published: 1897 (version I have 1992)

Summary:

"The girl went on her knees, and bent over me, simply gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck she actually licked her lips like an animal... I could feel the soft, shivering touch of the lips on my throat, and the hard dents of two sharp teeth, just touching and pausing there."

Johnathan Harker, a solicitor's clerk from London, travels to Transylvania to settle some business with the mysterious Count Dracula. In England, Harker's fiancee, Mina, receives a visit from the Count as does her friend Lucy. Harker returns from his traumatic journey and joins Dr. Van Helsing on a "vampire hunt" in an attempt to rescue his beloved Mina.

Dracula. By day he sleeps in a tomb beneath his desolate castle. By night he stalks the countryside, driven by a supernatural and deadly hunger. His quiet smile hides canine teeth. His seemingly delicate, white hands are in fact coarse and broad with hairy palms and nails cut to a razor-fine point. His touch yields an uncontrollalbe shudder. His sustenance is the life-blood of others. His victims become helpless under his hypnotic spell. There is no escape from this evil being who inhabits the shadows of the dark and dismal night. Beware of the "ever-present blackness" and "shadows of the evening:" Dracula is a vision of your "ghostly fears" coming to life.

Characters:

Flat and boring characters as well as never ending mentions of how they are great friends and how great Mina is and all the other things. Unfortunately they couldn't keep my interest thus my mind purged the bile and nothing really remains of the characters. (Perhaps the bad book version of repressed memories.)

Theme:

Superstitions are life-saving.

Plot:

This is an epistolary novel and its written in first person narrative from multiple characters' points of views. I barely understood anything that was going on, and the language was really mind numbing and somehow this became an extremely boring novel that I was only too happy to be finished with.

Author Information:

Bram Stoker was born in Dublin in 1847. He attended Dublin University where he studied mathematics. Stoker spent ten years working as an Irish Civil Servant in Dublin, writting only in his spare time. For five years he wrote for the Dublin Mail as a drama critic. He became friends with the actor Henry Irving and later became his manager. His other notable works were The Jewel of Seven Stars (a novel) and Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving. Dracula is his most famous work and was published in 1897. He died in London in 1912.

Opinion:

Another victim of casualty of time. When I first read it as a teenager I enjoyed it and thought it was too short. Just like a story I keep telling over and over, now I find it confusing as well as boring and offensive. Really? Only crosses have any protection against supernatural? Why as well did Dracula originate from Eastern Europe and people there described as backwards and superstitious? Why did the western men have to play the savior role? 98 percent of the book promoted Great Britain as well as the men and women who lived there. What was so great about Mina? I really don't understand what. Maybe its because everyone kept saying that that caused me to role my eyes to the sky and wonder if I'll see the shooting stars. (Nope, never saw any so far.) Something that irked me is what is Dr. Seward's name; is it John or Jack? The last few chapters, desperate to get done with the book, I skimmed or speed read through. I would have liked to know how and why it was discovered he was a vampire and so forth, as well as what happened to Jonathan during the months he was absent, but nothing like that occurs.

1 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

E-Reading: Book Review of #4 The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene

Name of Book: The Mystery at Lilac Inn

Author: Carolyn Keene

ISBN: 9781557091581

Publisher: Grosset and Dunlap

Part of a Series: Nancy Drew Mysteries

Type of book: Mystery, lilacs, codes, skin diving, 1900s, young adult, children, revised 1960s edition

Year it was published: 1930

Summary:

Teenage detective Nancy Drew finds herself in danger when she sets out to track a jewel thief.

Characters:

Nancy still remains herself, and in this book its revealed that she can skin-dive. (What does that mean by the way?) The other characters are flat and aren't very interesting unfortunately. Helen Corning is still engaged to someone and she doesn't play an interesting part. I have to admit that very little of the book seems interesting to me.

Theme:

Actors tend to be bad people.

Plot:

This is written in third person narrative from Nancy's point of view. I have to admit that the story wasn't interesting and it didn't grab me. The only plot twists was the fact that people who I thought were culprits weren't, and that Nancy's father wasn't kidnapped or threatened with his life, which surprised me. (Hey, if in the first three books it happened, I had an excuse to expect it in this book!)

Author Information:
from goodreads.com)

genre
Children's Books, Mystery & Thrillers

About this author

Carolyn Keene is a writer pen name that was used by many different people- both men and women- over the years. The company that was the creator of the Nancy Drew series, the Stratemeyer Syndicate, hired a variety of writers. For Nancy Drew, the writers used the pseudonym Carolyn Keene to assure anonymity of the creator.

Edna and Harriet Stratemeyer inherited the company from their father Edward Stratemeyer. Edna contributed 10 plot outlines before passing the reins to her sister Harriet. It was Mildred A. Wirt Benson, who breathed such a feisty spirit into Nancy's character. Mildred wrote 23 of the original 30 Nancy Drew Mystery Stories®, including the first three. It was her characterization that helped make Nancy an instant hit. The Stratemeyer Syndicate's devotion to the series over the years under the reins of Harriet Stratemeyer Adams helped to keep the series alive and on store shelves for each succeeding generation of girls and boys. In 1959, Harriet, along with several writers, began a 25-year project to revise the earlier Carolyn Keene novels. The Nancy Drew books were condensed, racial stereotypes were removed, and the language was updated. In a few cases, outdated plots were completely rewritten.

Other writers of Nancy Drew volumes include Harriet herself, she wrote most of the series after Mildred quit writing for the Syndicate and in 1959 began a revision of the first 34 texts. The role of the writer of "Carolyn Keene" passed temporarily to Walter Karig who wrote three novels during the Great Depression. Also contributing to Nancy Drew's prolific existence were Leslie McFarlane, James Duncan Lawrence, Nancy Axelrod, Priscilla Doll, Charles Strong, Alma Sasse, Wilhelmina Rankin, George Waller Jr., and Margaret Scherf.

Opinion:

This is a slightly different Nancy Drew than the previous three: for one thing the reader barely gets to know the culprits before they are shot straight at us. The characters that Nancy suspects are the culprits aren't really. Helen Corning accompanies Nancy just like in books 2 and 3 if I'm not mistaken, and also Nancy is described as titian-blond. The actors are once more disliked, at least the character of Mary Mason anyways, and there is some interesting information about the lilacs. Nancy remains her feisty sassy self who is once more like the female version of Sherlock Holmes. Also, there is no threat to Nancy's father Mr. Carson Drew.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Book Challenge A-Z #46 The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

Fulfilling the requirement:

The S letter for the beginning of the title alphabetically.

Summary:

In this celebrated story of a young woman's awakening as an artist, Thea Kronborg struggles to escape the confines of her small Colorado town without losing the strength and courage she derives from her pioneering heritage.

Lesson learned:

Fame requires a lot of sacrifices.

Link to review: click here

Book Review of #3 Until Angels CLose My Eyes by Lurlene McDaniel

Name of Book: Until Angels Close My Eyes

Author: Lurlene McDaniel

ISBN: 0-553-57098-6

Publisher: Laurel Leaf Books

Part of a Series: The Angels Trilogy

Type of book: Cancer, Amish, 1990s, relationship, choices, belonging, home, family, young adult

Year it was published: 1998

Summary:

Be sure to read this summer's highly anticipated companion to Angels Watching Over Me and Lifted Up by Angels:

Until Angels Close My Eyes

When Neil, Leah's warm and loving step-father, reveals that his cancer is no longer in remission, Leah finds comfort in a visit to Amish country to see her true love, Ethan. When Ethan chooses to leave his life on the farm, he moves in with Leah and her family. But once Ethan arrives, they realize that his Amish values are quite different from those of Leah's complex "English" world. Will their love help, or hurt, Leah as she faces the complex hurdles that await her?

Characters:

The characters felt flat and somehow predictable to me. For me there really wasn't anything surprising about their actions or thoughts. I was confused about something though; I could have sworn that in the first book Leah wanted to be a nurse like angel who looked after her, but in this one she doesn't want to be a nurse and has no idea what she wants to do? The personalities aren't explored and its more action rather than anything else. I also wasn't happy that a lot of things were left as cliffhangers and would have wished for a modified ending. For the most part, I feel, Ms. McDaniel's novels end without cliffhangers; that is when I read about April Lancaster, I never wonder what happened to the characters left on earth because she tied everything up.

Theme:

When things go awry, turn to family or home for comfort.

Plot:

This is written in third person narrative from Leah's point of view. I honestly found myself not caring about te characters in this book. First of all, I felt that the author should have used actions to cause me to care about Leah's stepfather Neil; perhaps Leah is in distress and Neil comforts her or hugs her or something like that. In the second book, when one of the characters  has passed away, I cared about her because I got to see the interaction and whatnot between her and Leah, but for the last two novels Neil has played a background character thus when I'm asked to care about him, I can't. The part where Ethan finds and discovers a long lost relative lacked tension as well as climax. I didn't understand how it benefited either of them since that thread is left hanging in the dark. When I first learned of the ending by reading some reviews on goodreads, I was a little surprised, but looking more and more at Leah's relationship with Ethan as well as tribulations, the ending that others hope for would have taken a miracle straight from G-d to make it right.

Author Information:

Lurlene McDaniel began writing inspirational novels about teenagers facing life-altering situations when her son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. "I saw firsthand how chronic illness affects every aspect of a person's life," she has said. "I want kids to know that while people don't get to choose what life gives to them, they do get to choose how they respond." Lurlene McDaniel's novels are hard hitting and realistic, but also leave readers with inspiration and hope. Her books have received acclaim from readers, teachers, parents, and reviewers. Her novels Don't Die, My Love; I'll be Seeing You; and 'Till Death Do us Part have all been national bestsellers. Lurlene McDaniel lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (From inside flap)

Opinion:

I had hoped to like this book, but unfortunately the story grew somehow worse when comparing it to the first book, Angels Watching Over Me. The characters didn't feel fleshed out and I was sad that I couldn't care about any of them. I wasn't sure whether or not to give it two stars, but in the end I decided to settle for three stars because it wasn't that bad. The first two books ended in a somewhat hopeful note, but I felt the last one was commercially written and there wasn't much soul to it unfortunately; yet its the longest one written! If you have read the previous two novels, I would suggest reading it just to see how the story ended, but other than that, I wouldn't recommend it.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

G4 The Artist's Way; A spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

Title of the Book: The Artist's Way; A spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

Author: Julia Cameron

Name of Publisher: Tarcher/Putnam

Publishing Date: original 1992 (version I have 2012)

Other Works: The Artist's Way Morning Pages Journal, The Artist's Date Book, The Vein of Gold, The Right to Write, God is no laughing matter, Finding Water, Walking in This World

Author Background:

(from the back-flap)Julia Cameron has been an active artist for more than thirty years. She is the author of over thirty books, fiction and nonfiction, including her bestselling works on the creative process: Walking in this world and Finding Water. A novelist, playwright, songwriter, and poet, she has multiple credits in theater, film, and telivision. Visit the author's website at www.theartistsway.com

ISBN: 978-1-58542-146-6

Theme:

(from page XIII)"Art is a spiritual transaction. Artists are visionaries. We routinely practice a form of faith, seeing clearly and moving toward a creative goal that shimmers in the distance- often visible to us, but invisible to those around us. Difficult as it is to remember, it is our work that creates the market, not the market that creates our work. Art is an act of faith, and we practice practicing it. Sometimes we are called on pilgrimages on its behalf and, like many pilgrims, we doubt the call even as we answer. But answer we do."

Problem Addressed:

(from page XXII) "No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not to late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativty."

Summary:

The Artist's Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, it has inspired millions to overcome the limiting beliefs and fears that can inhibit the creative process.

Perhaps even more vital in today's cultural climate than when it was first published nearly two decades ago, The Artist's Way is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work. In it, Julia Cameron takes readers on an amazing twelve-week journey to discover the inextricable link between their spiritual and creative selves. This groundbreaking progralms includes:

Introduction to two of Cameron's most vital tools for creative recovery- THe Morning Pages and The Artist Date.

Hundreds of highly effective exercises and activities

Guidance on starting a "creative cluster" of fellow artists who will support you in your creative endeavors

A revolutionary program for artistic renewal from teh world's foremost authority on the creative process, The Artist's Way is a life-changing book.

Thesis:

(from page XXIII) "If you are creatively blocked- and I believe all of us are to some extent- it is possible, even probable, that you can learn to create more freely through your willing use of the tools this book provides. Just as doing Hatha Yoga stretches alters consciousness when all you are doing is stretching, doing the exercises in this book alters consciousness when "all" you are doing is writing and playing. Do these things and a breakthrough will follow- whether you believe in it or not. Whether you call it a spiritual awakening or not."

Why its interesting and informative:

Contrary to the title, this book addresses all sorts of artistic people; from writers to dancers to sculptors, to painters and so forth, although I feel that besides the writers other groups are mentioned only in passing. I have to be honest that I simply read this book straight through and haven't done exercises (not at that point in my life I suppose,) but I feel that the exercises such as Artist Date and Morning Pages are universal and could apply to anyone. I felt that through art we express our inner selves and often daily life becomes embedded in art as well as becoming the blockage. I found her theories that extremely driven people are blocked artists themselves as interesting. My parents and family members have always encouraged me to write and were never put off by my writing. (They didn't encourage me to become a full time writer however, and feel that writing should be more of a hobby rather than a life occupation.) I honestly had no idea that people dissuade others from pursuing the creative path.

Issues raised:

I can imagine that this type of book impacts the creative souls as well as others who aren't happy or unfulfilled. Why? Perhaps the person is not unleashing the creativity thus they can't release the inner demons so to speak, a lesson I should more often follow. I would also imagine that something like this would probably give the artistic world, which became more commercial, more freedom and appreciation. Perhaps that's why a lot of media suffers; its because its no longer fun and the artist within becomes a rebellious child who refuses to serve us. (Something the author always talked about.)

Agree/disagree:

Although I read the book straight through and hadn't really done or worked the exercises, I feel its a very powerful book and its also well written. The author's thoughts and opinions never bored me and it also helped me understand some people that I thought I didn't understand. If I could I'd recommend that book to that certain but I doubt he'll read it or even care about it. Since I was a teenager I often wrote stories, and I always felt that I had to fit in writing like other authors. (Even now I still tend to criticize my own writing because I'm bad at describing the inside of the house and whatnot and could care less.) The times I got true compliments was when I wrote poetry, but I always wanted to write novels and short stories. Few years back I combined poetry with story telling, somehow developing and polishing the inner voice inside and now I get a number of compliments on the way I write and describe nature scenes as well as psychology. Basically, I think the whole book is about acceptance of the inner artist within.

Sources:

The author used a lot of anecdotal sources as well as evidence from years of experience. In this book there aren't footnotes or endnotes or anything like that.

Conclusion:

I would advise someone to read this book, whether reading it without doing exercises or reading it and doing it, I can guarantee that this is not a book that's to be taken lightly and instead you'll we surprised by different conclusions as well as thoughts you'll have by it.

Quick notes: I won this book on goodreads.com thus this review will appear in its entirety on goodreads as well as the blog.

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Book Challenge A-Z #45 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Fulfilling the requirement:

The A letter of the alphabet for the author's last name alphabetically.

Summary:

The romantic clash of two opinionated young people provides the sustaining theme of Pride and Prejudice. Vivacious Elizabeth Bennet is fascinated and repelled by the arrogant Mr. Darcy, whose condescending airs and acrid tongue have alienated her entire family. Their spirited courtship is conducted against a background of assembly-ball flirtations and drawing-room intrigues. Jane Austen's famous novel captures the affections of class-conscious 18th century English families with matrimonial aims and rivalries. Her people are universal; they live a truth beyond time, change, or caricature. George Eliot called Jane Austen "the greatest artist that has ever written," and Sir Walter Scott wrote of her work, "There is a truth of painting in her writings which always delights me."

Lesson learned:

Love can happen unexpectedly.

Link to review: click here

Planned Books

Books I'm Reading:
Northanger Abbey- Jane Austen 31/237
My Antonia- Willa Cather 67/289
The Music of Dolphins- Karen Hesse 13/181
Prey- Lurlene McDaniel 55/196
Bridge of Scarlet Leaves- Kristina Yoshida McMorris 19/420
You are the love of my life- Susan Richards Shreve 56/298
Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy 165/807

Series:
The Story of the Stone- Xueqin Cao
5. The Dreamer Wakes 112/376
Flirting with Justice- Wendy Etherington
2. Breathless on the Beach 29/218
People Series Quartet- W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear
3. People of the Earth 186/587
The Storyteller Trilogy- Sue Harrison
3. Call Down the Stars 32/503
The Angels Trilogy- Lurlene McDaniel
3. Until Angels Close My Eyes 418/552
Harry Potter Series- JK Rowling
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 46/309
Dragonlance Chronicles- Margaret Weis Tracy Hickman
1. Dragons of Autumn Twilight 120/445
Millicent Min Trilogy- Lisa Yee
3. So Totally Emily Ebers 9/280

E-Reading:
Nancy Drew Mysteries-Carolyn Keene
4. The Mystery at Lilac Inn 107/214

Nonfiction:
The Artist's Way- Julia Cameron 61/224

Future Books:
A christmas home- Greg Kincaid
Cloud Atlas- David Mitchell

Series:
People Series Quartet- W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear
4. People of the River
Harry Potter- JK Rowling
2. Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets
3. Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban
4. Harry Potter and goblet of fire
Dragonlance Chronicles- Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman
2. Dragons of Winter Nights
3. Dragons of Spring Dawning
Dragonlance Legends- Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman
1. Time of the Twins
2. War of the Twins
3. Test of the Twins

Non-fiction:
Life in ancient Egypt- Adolf Erman
A History of the Roman People- Allen Ward, Fritz Heichelheim, Cedric Yeo
Western Europe in the Middle Ages 300-1475- Brian Tierney
Don't know much about History- Kenneth C Davis

E-Reading:

Winter Garden- Kristin Hannah

The Winter Sea- Susanna Kearsley

The Bonesetter's Daughter- Amy Tan

Revolutionary Road- Richard Yates

E-Reading Series:
Flirting with Justice- Wendy Etherington
3. Undone By Moonlight
The Blackfoot Warriors- Karen Kay
3. Night Thunder's Bride
Lakota Series- Karen Kay
1. Lakota Surrender
2. Lakota Princess
3. Proud Wolf's Woman
The Nancy Drew Series-Carolyn Keene
5. The Secret of Shadow Ranch
6. The Secret of the Red Gate Farm
7. The Clue in the Diary
8. Nancy's Mysterious Letter
9. The Sign of the Twisted Candles
10. Password to Larkspur Lane
11. The clue of the broken locket
12. the message in the hollow oak
13. the mystery of the ivory charm
14. the whispering statue
15. the haunted bridge
16. the clue of the tapping heels
17. Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk
18. Mystery of the Moss covered Mansion
19. the quest of the missing map
20. the clue in the jewel box
21. the secret in the old attic
22. the clue in the crumbling wall
23. mystery of the tolling bell tower
24. the clue in the old album
25. the ghost of blackwood hall
26. the clue if the leaning chimney
27. the secret of the wooden lady
28. the clue of the black keys
29. mystery at the ski jump
30. the clue of the velvet mask
31. the ringmaster's secret
32. the scarlet slipper mystery
33. the witch tree symbol
34. the hidden window mystery
35. the haunted showboat
36. the secret of the golden pavilion
37. the clue in the old stagecoach
38. the mystery of the fire dragon
39. the clue of the dancing puppet
40. the moonstone castle mystery
41. the clue of the whistling bagpipes
42. the phantom of pine hill
43. the mystery of the 99 steps
44. the clue in the crossword cipher
45. the spider sapphire mystery
46. the invisible intruder
47. the mysterious mannequin
48. the crooked banister
49. the secret of mirror bay
50. the double jinx mystery
51. mystery of the glowing eye
52. the secret of the forgotten city
53. the sky pavilion
54. the strange message in the parchment
55. mystery of the crocodile island
56. the thirteenth pearl
Ecstasy Series- Janelle Taylor
2. Defiant Ecstasy
3. Forbidden Ecstasy
4. Brazen Ecstasy
5. Tender Ecstasy
6. Stolen Ecstasy
7. Bittersweet Ecstasy
8. Forever Ecstasy
9. Savage Conquest
Sons of Chance- Vicki Lewis Thompson
2. Ambushed
3. Claimed
4. Should've been a cowboy
5. Cowboy Up
6. Cowboys Like Us
6a. Merry Christmas Baby
6b. Already home
7. Long Road home (paper back copy)
8. Lead Me Home (paper back copy)
9. Feels Like Home (paper back copy)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Book Review of Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them by Newt Scamander (J.K Rowling)

Name of Book: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Author: Newt Scamander (J.K Rowling)

ISBN: 0-439-29501-7

Publisher: Scholastic

Part of a Series: Harry Potter

Type of book: animals, guide, reference, magic, children, wizards

Year it was published: 2001

Summary:

A copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them resides in almost every wizarding household in the country. Now, for a limited period only, Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats, and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to improving and saving the lives of children around the world, which means that the dollars and Galleons you exchange for it will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that tis insufficient reason to part with your money, I can only hope most sincerely that passing wizards feel more charitable if they ever see you being attacked by a Manticore.

Albus Dumbledore

Characters:

There aren't any characters but only creatures and its a reference book.

Theme:

There are different kinds of creatures in the Harry Potter world.

Plot:

This is mostly information in different creatures within the Harry Potter universe, and of course you will see notes from Harry Potter and his friends in some sections here and there. (Not the whole book.)

Author Information:

Newton ("Newt" Artemis Fido Scamander was born in 1897. His interest in fabulous beasts was encouraged by his mother, who was an enthusiastic breeder of fancy Hippogriffs. Upon graduation from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Mr. Scamander joined the Ministry of Magic in teh Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. After two years at teh Office for House-Elf Relocation, years he describes as "tedious in the extreme," he was tranfered to the Beast Division, where his prodigious knowledge of bizarre magical animals ensured his rapid promotion.

Although almost solely responsible for the creation of the Werewolf Register in 1947, he says he is hte proudest of the Ban on Experimental Breeding, passed in 1965, which effectively prevented the creation of new and untameable monsters within Britain. Mr. Scamander's work with the Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau led to many research trips abroad, during which he collected information for his worldwide best-seller Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, now in its fifty-second edition.

Newt Scamander was awarded the Order of Merlin, Second Class, in 1979 in recognition of his services to the study of magical beasts, Magizoology. Now retired, he lives in Dorset with his wife Porpentina and their pet Kneazles: Hoppy, Milly, and Mauler.

Opinion:

When the time will come, I will try to use it when I'll be reading Harry Potter books because often I will forget or wonder about the creatures in the books. I found this to be a wonderful reference guide to various creatures mentioned in Harry Potter and if you can't keep straight who's who, I would advise to have this book.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

E-Reading: Book Review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Name of Book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Author: Stephen Chbosky

ISBN: 978-0-671-02734-6

Publisher: Gallery Books

Type of book: rape, molestation, young adult, 1991-1992, college, mental hospital, first love, first kiss, music, letters, epistolary novel, sibling relationship, friendship, homosexuality

Year it was published: 1999

Summary:

Standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

Characters:

Charlie is not a realistic character. Not at all. He is not a participant in life and is best described as Gary Stuish. (Do teenagers really wish others the best and never do anything besides writing letters?) The female character in terms of the sister isn't accurate. I would imagine that after a certain event she would be upset and crying or else in shock at her behavior. Instead she acts if its not a big deal and moves on with her life. I applaud her for moving on, but I would have liked to see her being upset about the event or something like that.  Although other characters are interesting and I did try to care, I couldn't care about any of them.

Theme:

Being a teenager is hard.

Plot:

This is written in first person narrative in epistolary from Charlie's point of view. Charlie never discusses important information with the reader, but often talks about unimportant information. He would  start discussing something, let's say masturbation for example, then move on to another topic and then to another. I never sensed he was a genius and somehow reading various books does not a genius make. Use concrete examples from the books you read like this: "Whenever my grandfather talks badly about African Americans, I often wonder if that's how Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird felt when she saw the court scene at the end of the book." Also, I would have liked to read what kinds of questions the psychologist asks Charlie.

Author Information:

Stephen Chbosky grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Southern California's Filmic Writing Program. HI first film, The Four Corners of Nowhere, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to win Best Narrative Feature honors at the Chicago Underground Film Festival. He wrote the screenplay for the critically acclaimed film adaptation of Rent, and helped edit John Leguizamo's one-man Broadway show, sexaholix, to which he also contributed material. He also edited Pieces, a collection of short stories for Pocket Books. He is currently working on a pilot for CBS, entitled Jericho.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is his first novel.

Opinion:

In high school I've never done drugs. I don't even like drinking and would never touch a cigarette. Yet, its books like these that cause me to think what I must have been smoking or whatnot in order to have fallen in love with this kind of book. I fell in love with this book when I first read it when I was either in middle school or high school. I realize now that perhaps my taste has grown and I can sense if the book has quality voice or not, while in middle school or high school I hadn't gained that type of perspective thus almost all books were good to me. (I am picky when it comes to determining whether or not I like books.) Reading it now, in 2012 when, ironically, the movie is coming out, my perspective and appetite has changed a lot. Still, there's a fun aspect to breaking down bad books. My first problem with it is that the author tries to sound too deep. How? Constant sentences that begin with the word and. Almost every single sentence in beginning of the book begins with "and". While short and staccato sentences can cause emotions within a reader, I don't think he pulls it off. Also, so many problems of all types within one school year! How is it possible? If the author decided to stretch the period to ten years, then it would be realistic but come on; friendship, homosexuality, abortion, abuse (both physical and sexual), first love, drugs and whatnot all within a year?! I'm surprised he never bothered to include anorexia and bulimia or gang violence.

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G3 The Meaning of Your Life: Secular HELP for the Puzzled, Disappointed or Depressed

Title of the Book: The Meaning of Your Life: Secular HELP for the Puzzled, Disappointed or Depressed

Author: Marius Croeser

Publishing Company: Board of Mediators

Publishing Date: 2011

Other Works: None. This is the author's first book

ISBN: 978-0-9869530-0-2

Theme: 

(From page 11 of the book): "My intention was to write in order to meet the need, that I and others have felt, for a guide towards understanding personal meaning and to do so specifically wtihin a secular context. For those with whom I have dialogued, I sensed that life could be enriched by having, not an academic textbook, but rather (to use a metaphor my partner would appreciate) the necessary gardening tools to help meaning grow and flourish. The goal of this work then, is to give to you some of these important tools that may assist you with your meaning. This work is intended to be hopeful and helpful and it has been written primarily for the person who is asking questions about meaning. I expect you (as a sensitive or serious thinker) to have considered various answers to the problem of meaning by now. Perhaps your efforts have resulted in some feelings of puzzlement or even disappointment? My hope for you is that this book will help you to find healing (for any residual disappointment) and provide at least some answers to your questions.

Problem discussion:

I would guess that very often people don't think for themselves when it comes to finding meaning or other things, that we allow others in form of society or religion to control our thoughts. Those people that don't question religion are very unhappy individuals. (from page 53) "God is interwoven (part-and-parcel) with many a person's self identity. For these individuals, thinking about God is thinking about themselves; being critical of the God of organized religion then becomes a self-criticism of sorts."

Brief book summary:

Discover what you need to know about:
* Your life's meaning;
* Your purpose in life;
* Living freely without fear:
* Meaning outside of organized religion;
* Being liberated from guilt;
* Cultivating a healthy world view;
* Meaning and sexual fulfillment;
* How to triumph over life's apparent absurdity;
* Help for your anxiety and depressive thoughts;
* What Quantum Mechanics, Epigenetics and Information Theory can teach us about our meaning.

Thesis:

(from page 142) "Our certainty in life comes via our inheritance. We are not isolated individuals adrift in some mechanistic absurdity. We are an aspect of the whole of Reality and therefore we are part of the active movement of Reality. We are Reality's change agents! Our purpose is self mastery that leads each of us to effect harmonious changes to Reality. Our hope is in the possibility that the effects of change and harmony may be abundant, sufficient and infinite."

Main points:

The main focus that the book discusses is Quantum mechanics, religion, philosophy as well as Nietzsche. What the author always mentioned is that you're not alone in the world, to recognize and realize the agents that cause you to think the way they do, and that change is very possible.

Why its interesting and informative:

Don't let the butterfly cover fool you, because it fooled me, along with the summary. I thought I would be getting a book that can be easily read as well as understood, something in writing for the typical lay person. Instead, this book is philosophical, scientific and heavy. I admit that I didn't understand the science aspect of it, and wished I could have appreciated it, but not the case. I also would imagine that a lot of christians would find the book offensive because of what it says about God and other aspects, yet I hope if they decide to read the book, they would start thinking and questioning instead of writing this book off as something being sent by the devil.

Issues the book addresses:

The main issues it addresses is how certain things aren't helping us anymore and are in fact holding humanity back from flourishing and realizing potential. It addresses the role of religion as well as God and philosophy by Nietzsche as well as scientists like Bohm. I could imagine that this type of book will greatly affect the role of God and christianity, or that it could affect a person great deal in helping them change as well as hitting some nerves in the process.

Agree/Disagree:

A lot of things he has talked about are ones I had to struggle with throughout the whole year: not religion part, but a recognition that I should depend on myself to make myself happy or that I should change instead of depending on something else for a change. It also held up some of the views that I had such as being active in life instead of passive. While prayers and spirituality does help, action helps a lot more. I agree that people should be more concerned about the life they've lived instead of a place they'll go to when they die.

Sources:

I liked that most of the sources were foot notes instead of end notes. (Pet peeve is end notes because I have to stop reading, flip to the back page, read the end note then return to reading over and over again...) The sources can be thought of as secondary but they are current. There are some wikipedia and youtube videos, and a problem with that is perhaps they might be removed or something of the kind. I think in some cases teh author should have used texts to be on the safe side instead of Internet sites like wikipedia (in college we weren't allowed to use wikipedia for sources because it may not be accurate.)

Conclusion:

If you are unhappy and are open minded, (you need to be for this book,) and have tried to read various self help religious texts or others and they didn't work, I might recommend this book because it will help you look at yourself in a different way and perhaps will help you break away from thoughts that cause depression.

Quick notes: I won this book on goodreads.com thus this review will appear in its entirety on goodreads as well as the blog.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Book Review of #2 The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

Name of Book: The Song of the Lark

Author: Willa Cather

ISBN: 0-395-34530-8

Publisher: Mariner Books

Type of book: Singing, art, Colorado Moonstone, New York, fame, past, nature, 1880s?-1909, training, sacrifice, second generation, talent, people, isolation, loneliness

Year it was published: 1915

Summary:

In this celebrated story of a young woman's awakening as an artist, Thea Kronborg struggles to escape the confines of her small Colorado town without losing the strength and courage she derives from her pioneering heritage.

Characters:

The book completely centers on Thea, the same as characters who talk about Thea all the time. Yet despite all that, Thea remains very mysterious and is best described as pragmatic, dedicated and somewhat selfish. She is also kind of stunted when it comes to having relationships or how to relate to people outside of music, or to even recognize their foibles and talents. There are other characters such as Dr. Archie, the music teachers such as Harsanayi and Wunsch and her "lover" Fred Ottenburg. Most of the story comes from their points of views; what they think or hope for and whatnot. Unlike in almost all the stories, there is barely any love or romance. Thea admits that she doesn't know how such emotion feels.

Theme:

In order to become great, sacrifice everything.

Plot:

This is in third person narrative from what seems to be everyone's point of view. I felt that there are certain questions this book doesn't answer. The book is a travelogue and there's barely any plot. Thea becomes famous without a lot of problems, although she does have to sacrifice a lot. The plot tends to fall into the unbelievable part, but I did enjoy reading about how Thea lived as well as trained to become famous and great, and the sacrifices she felt she had to make.

Author Information:

Willa Seibert Cather (December 7, 1873[1] – April 24, 1947) was an American author who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, in works such as O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and The Song of the Lark. In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours (1922), a novel set during World War I. Cather grew up in Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska; she lived and worked in Pittsburgh for ten years; at age 33 she moved to New York for the rest of her adult life and writing career.(from wikipedia)

Opinion:

I'm beginning to think there is difficulty in trying to summarize these novels, or to get people to read them on their own. The summary barely matched what I read: in fact this will be my own summary; Thea aspires to be a singer and due to some people she finally achieves her dreams at the cost of friendships and being normal or regular. The way to enjoy Willa Cather is to remember that this is a travelogue and there isn't much of a plot, and if there is a plot, it tends to be predictable and almost impossible to believe. (What Thea set out to do, she does with almost no failure.) In here there is a great deal of focus on Thea's training as well as her voice and how different she is from everyone. The message, in my opinion, matches that of extremely dedicated christians: don't have any worldly ties but work for spirituality or for faith. The novel doesn't leave the reader with any clear cut answers at the end and I have a difficult time believing that Thea is sorry that she missed certain things due to her craft. (She never even liked her family, or felt close to them.) I also think that most feminists might enjoy hte book because this is about a woman attempting to get a career instead of having children or a family. And it's not even a romance or a love story.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

E-Reading: Book Review of #2 White Eagle's Touch by Karen Kay

Name of Book: White Eagle's Touch

Author: Karen Kay

ISBN: 978-1-60928-975-1

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Part of a Series: Blackfoot Warriors

Type of book: West, inheritance, wars, revenge, coup, White female/Native American male relationship, interracial, promises, Pikuni, Blackfoot 1832-1833, romance, adult, nature

Year it was published: 1998

Summary:

Katrina Wellington is vexed. She must marry to obtain the rest of her inheritance. But her uncle, who left her in New York with a governess to make his fortune out West, has suddenly decided he must approve of her fiance before he will loosen the purse strings to her dowry.

Swallowing her outrage, the socialite treks to the same wilderness that claimed her parents' lives years ago. Some small part of her is crestfallen that her uncle is not waiting with open arms. Only three guides, Indian guides, await her, and one of them is far too handsome for his own good.

At first, White Eagle does not like the spoiled, willful niece of the white trader. When he catches a glimpse of the vulnerability behind her prickly exterior, he can't resist challenging the dazzling beauty to rediscover her true inheritance- the inner strength bequeathed to her by her parents.

Close contact on the trail soon arouses a soul-stirring passion and in its turn, love. But love may not be enough to sustain a relationship that is forbidden in both their worlds.

Characters:

I honestly enjoyed both of the characters' personalities; I loved Katrina's will as well as perseverance as she tried to do what she could for White Eagle with disastrous results. She is a very captivating character in my opinion. White Eagle is very gentle as well as loving. He's more of a beta hero which makes him a good and likable guy that any woman will long for. Also, certain characters do make an appearance from previous romance novel (would have been nice if there could have been an epilogue of whether or not the couples had children.)

Theme:

No matter where you might, you'll find a home.

Plot:

The story is from the third person narrative from Katrina's point of view and few times from White Eagle's point of view. I had hoped that I'd see and learn more about White Eagle as well as his thoughts towards Katrina, but alas it didn't happen. Almost all the story is from Katrina's point of view. Some plot points were resolved too tidily in my opinion. For example, why couldn't Katrina recall certain memories? I wonder why the author didn't explore the issue after making it an important one between the hero and heroine? Also, was Katrina's fiancé homosexual or not?

Author Information:

Author of seventeen American Indian Historical Romances Karen Kay aka Gen Bailey, has been praised by reviewers and fans alike for bringing the Wild West alive for her readers. Karen Kay, whose great-great grandmother was a Choctaw Indian, is honored to be able to write about something so dear to her heart, the American Indian culture. "With the power of romance, I hope to bring about an awareness of the American Indian's concept of honor, and what it meant to live as free men and free women. There are some things that should never be forgotten." Find Karen Kay online at www.novels-by-karenkay.com

Opinion:

Up until the very end I enjoyed the book a great deal and would have given it four stars. What happened then? Few things were never explained and the things that should have taken their time in being solved were solved way too suddenly. I think a part of me as well was confused by Katrina's heritage. 95 percent of the story is seen from Katrina's point of view and barely was seen from White Eagle. To me as well, White Eagle never seemed to hate Katrina. Although there are a number of things that the author tried to make a different story, in a way it ended up the same as the previous novel.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

G1 The Fiddler on Pantico Run: An African Warrior, His White Descendants, Our Search for Family

Name of Book: The Fiddler on Pantico Run: An African Warrior, His White Descendants, Our Search for Family

Author: Joe Mozingo

ISBN: 978-1-4516-2748-0

Publisher: Free Press

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

Growing up, Joe Mozingo heard many stories about where his father's family was from- Italy, Hungary, the Basque Country. Then one day, a colleague told him his name came from the African Congo, and that sent Joe, a blue-eyed, brown-haired white man, on a journey to find the truth of his family roots. He discovered that he was descended from a slave brought to the Jamestown colony in 1644, Edward Mozingo, likely an African prince, who was one of the only slaves to keep his African surname. Edward had sued for his freedom, becoming a tobacco farmer on Pantico Run in Northern Virginia and marrying a white woman from a landowning family, fathering one of the country's first mixed race family lines. Research also showed he was a fiddler.

Joe plunged deep into the scattered historical records, traveling all around the country meeting Mozingos black, white, and mixed race, and into the depths of the Congo and the slave ports of Angola, to uncover the full family saga. In a beautifully crafted narrative, he traces his ancetors from the burgeoning mixed-race society of colonial Virginia, through the brutal imposition of racial laws and the splitting of the lineage, as those who could pass for white distanced from their slave heritage. Joe's own ancestors fought on both sides of the Civil War, and some were abolitionists while others joined the KKK.

The Fiddler on Pantico Run is both the moving story of one man's search for connection to his lost past and the larger story of the torturous history of race in America; a lyrically written exploration of the many ironies and tragedies of race in American identity.

Author Information:

Joe Mozingo is a project writer for the Los Angeles Times. He was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2004 as a member of a team that covered the Columbia space shuttle disaster for the Miami Herald, and in 2010, he led the Los Angeles Times's coverage of the earthquake in Haiti, which won the Robert F Kennedy journalism award. He was also a finalist for the best feature writing award given by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, received two National Headliner awards, and was a finalist for the Investigative Reporters and Editors medal. He lives in Southern California with his wife and two children.

Other works:

None available. I believe its his first novel.

Theme:

While its acceptable and almost expected for the African Americans to have mixed ancestry, for Caucasians or Americans, rather, it seems to be the opposite. This book discusses race as well as fate of mixed race people, in particular of African Americans/Caucasians. He also tries to figure out where the name came from and how people lived back then.

Quick Summary of novel:

At first the novel starts in Africa, the author giving only tantalizing glimpses of the information he has learned throughout his journey, then the book moves back to the author's past of feeling that he doesn't belong and of his life, then he begins his reason for starting out on the project: he wants for his son Blake as well as his descendants to be aware and know of the history of Mozingos. Along with creating a very fascinating picture of the past and being accurate to it, he offers different theories about his ancestors and tries to debunk the idea that the family name is Italian or comes from some other country. In order to try to understand Edward Mozingo, he even travels to Africa and visits possible spots where Edward might have lived before his captivity and becoming indentured.

Interest:

The book interesting and informative because in it the history really does become alive and the author doesn't shy away from breaking misconceptions about John Smith for instance or about what life truly was like for the first European settlers. It is also obvious that he does a lot of research and its also written the way a novel will be written with varied descriptions. From fragments the author builds a fascinating and complex mosaic and presents many sides of the Mozingo families, although there is more focus on the redneck hillbilly side rather than the professional side. Maybe because its uncorrected book, but there aren't any charts or maps or illustrations in it, although maps would have really helped.

Impact:

The book addresses people of mixed races as well as the hidden secrets that the relatives hide or choose not to reveal. It also addresses discovery of family skeletons and how they impact the descendants. I would imagine that should this book be used for classes, it would impact the way American early history was taught and perhaps it might inspire other people to discover their roots and where they come from.

Agree/disagree:

I can imagine that for many Americans, especially those whose roots stretch back all the way to 1600s this might be a disconcerting novel to read: An African male marrying a European female and giving birth to children that in the future will become Caucasian? For some odd reason I didn't find it uncomfortable. Its acceptable to claim Native American ancestry or Jewish ancestry, yet why wouldn't it be comfortable in claiming African ancestry? What I found fascinating is the early American history presented in the book, in particular the account of John Smith and Powhatan, the killing ceremony towards end of Pocahontas cartoon: the author leaves out the fact that the killing ceremony meant John Smith was accepted by the tribe, while a reference US history book I have titled "Don't Know much about history," mentions that the ceremony meant he was accepted by the Native Americans.

Version:

The version I have an advance uncorrected proof, thus there isn't an index or map or complete sources, although the author does use sources throughout the text. Even if the source is old, he leaves the archaic spelling intact.

Conclusion:

Whether or not your last name is Mozingo, this book is a worthy read for anyone who had ancestors living in America, or at least its a good way to learn the history you were never taught in schools. The book doesn't even read like a history book and its suffused in life and vivacity. The author's passion is evident in the pages and he presents the facts clearly, giving us a fascinating yet almost unknown piece of life from 1600s up until now. The book itself is also good because it presents an interracial relationship and what happened to the children of the interracial relationship. I think its towards the end that I felt the author started to flounder and there was more description than discovery.

Quick notes: I won this book on goodreads.com thus this review will appear in its entirety on goodreads as well as the blog.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)
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