Friday, July 04, 2008
#101 - Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
#100 - A Charmed Death by Madelyn Alt
Thursday, July 03, 2008
#99 - Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Imagine the days when the Circus came into town with a big parade and everyone gathered to watch the elephants put up the big tent. This book really gives the reader the feel of the old-time circus. The good feelings -- kids having fun, popcorn, and the excitement of the performances....and the bad side....neglected or mistreated animals, roughnecks, thieves, and the challenges and danger of being a performer.
Gruen's writing pulls you into the circus world and the life of the main character, Jacob Jankowski. Jacob joins the circus after having to leave college without completing his veterinary degree. He's put in charge of the circus menagerie and finds it challenging, especially one elephant named Rosie who just resists being trained to perform.
Most of the time I find myself disappointed when I read a book that came out with as much hype as this one. But, I found myself pleasantly surprised.
Let yourself escape to the Big Top -- read this book!!
Gruen has also written another book about relationships with animals called "Riding Lessons and Flying Changes.''
# 98 - Death Match by Matt Forbeck
This is the 3rd book in the Blood Bowl series by Matt Forbeck. It's based on a Games Workshop fantasy football game, which we enjoy playing with our friends.
In this book, Dirk 'Dunk' Hoffnung and the rest of the Bad Bay Hackers are playing the game of their lives to prevent the destruction of of their kingdom. It's rough, it's riotous, it's downright dangerous --- it's definitely Blood Bowl!!!
Forbeck delivers another great Blood Bowl story in this book! There's also a 4th book that has come out: Rumble in the Jungle! I haven't read it yet -- but I definitely will!
#95-#97 - The Plantagenet Series 1-3 by Jean Plaidy
# 95 - Pemberly by Emma Tennant
All I can really say about this continuation of Pride and Prejudice is that is was ok.
Tennant tries to stay true to Austen's characterizations, but the plot pretty much falls flat. The story starts a year after Elizabeth marries Fitzwilliam Darcy. Darcy is upset because they don't have a child yet, and the two families are still grousing over the marriage.
The plot just re-hashed the same problems from the original novel and seemed a bit like a forced sequel.
I've read several continuations of Pride and Prejudice and have yet to find one that I really like, and that seems to be a good re-visit to Austen's characters.
I think my conclusion is really leaning towards the fact that P&P really doesn't need a sequel, and that nobody can really write like Jane Austen.
Some stories just aren't meant to have a Part 2.
#94 - A Killer Stitch by Maggie Sefton
#93 - Will Storr versus the Supernatural by Will Storr
This is Will Storr's first book. I tried to enjoy it.....I really did. But I found his writing, and the stories in this book, to be....well.......boring.
Basically, Storr did research on ghost stories and legends, and approached his story telling from a neutral stance. But, the stories themselves just aren't really that interesting.
The cover art was great.....but the rest.....ho hum.
If you like ghost stories, then pass on this one. Just my opinion.....
#92 - Seaside Spectres (NC Haunted Hundred) by Daniel Barefoot
#91 - Sex with Kings by Eleanor Herman
This book was such an enjoyable read! Herman romps through 500 years of royal mistresses, arranged marriages, illegitimate children, greed, lust, jealousy and ambition.
Many famous mistresses such as Madame du Pompadour and Nell Gwynn are listed by name, with information about how they become a royal mistress and how they kept (or didn't keep) their positions. She also talks about what was expected of a royal mistress, and how pride and ambition helped and hurt them.
Being the king's mistress definitely involved a lot of political power, and the lengths the women were willing to go to retain their position were really surprising.
If you're interested in royal history, scandals and "behind the scenes'' drama, this is definitely a fun read!
#83 - #90 - Temperance Brennan Series 1-8 by Kathy Reichs
#82 - Ghosts Among Us - by Leslie Rule
I've read several ghost story books by Leslie Rule, but I really didn't care for this one.
There was nothing new or different in it. Mostly it was about her visits to supposed haunted places around the country with "first hand account'' stories. Most were really just repackaged ghost stories that we have all heard before, with a bit of a travel channel feel thrown in for good measure.
I love ghost stories, and these just fell flat for me. There are some great black and white photographs in the book though.
Worth a read if you like ghost stories, but don't expect it to be anything new.
#81 - The Trouble With Magic by Madelyn Alt
This is the first book in a series by Madelyn Alt. The main character, Maggie O'Neill, takes a new job in an antique store, only to discover that her employer is involved in witchcraft.
Magical trouble ensues, of course! The book is an enjoyable mix of mystery and humor. On Maggie's first day of work, her boss Felicity becomes a suspect in the murder of her own sister. Because her shop sells witchcraft related items, everyone in town seems to believe Felicity is a murderer. It's up to Maggie to prove them all wrong!
This is such a fun, enjoyable series. If you need a book to read at the beach, or on a long car trip, this series would definitely be a good choice! Light and fun!
There are 3 other books in this series: A charmed Death, Hex Marks the Spot, and No Rest for the Wiccan.