Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The World of Harry Potter

Like a great many people I mourned the ending of he HarryPotter series. Hogwarts had begun to feel like a second home and while undeniably a muggle I dreamed of walking those halls and living within JK Rowling's imaginary world forever. Thankfully while most of us just slid the books into our bookcases G. Norman Lippert sat down at his computer and began to wrestle with all the questions that spun in his head. The result is two incredible books "fan fiction" which follow James Potter, Harry's oldest son as the primary character.

The first of these is James Potter & The Hall of Elder's Crossing which addresses the question of how you find your own path with a famous parent and presents a wonderful new adventure within the walls of Hogwarts. The second book I downloaded and read this weekend, James Potter and the Curse of the Gatekeeper. The first book is a delightful easy read. The second digs in deeper on every level moving from something I'd have considered a worthy children's book to a richly varied and very adult book. It brought me to tears, made me laugh, had me on the edge of my seat, and left me with a head full of questions that have me yearning for more.

The third of these books is already in the works and I can hardly wait to read it. In the meantime though I took a little side journey with Mr Lippert to delve deeper into one of the characters, Petra Morganstern. His novella The Girl on the Dock follows this character through some life changing choices dring the summer after graduation. It too left me wanting more.

Great reads all!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What a ride!

As much as I was dreading the series being over I'm so glad I went ahead and read the book.

Here is the review I posted on

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 5)… by Rick Riordan
WOW!! I was going to delay reading this book as I was sad to see the series end. Then yesterday was such a deary day I decided to read it anyway. This one outshines all the previous stories. I laughed, I held my breath, near the end I sobbed, finally I just gave a satisfied sigh. Perfect.

All I can say is "More please Mr Riordan!"

Today I found out I was selected as an "Early Reader" for the book "Day of the Assassins" by Johnny O'Brien. You can check it out at I'm really looking forward to the book arriving!

Today I'm taking a break and reading a little Harlequin Romance novel "Bound by the Marcolini Diamonds" by Melanie Milbourne. Looks like it will be a good read...I'll let you know.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ahhh ...

the smell of new books. Picked up books 4 & 5 of Percy Jackson & the Olympians. As well as Maria Snyder's "Sea Glass." Consumed book 4 yesterday and loved every moment of it. I will be sad to see the series end ... which is why the final book is just sitting here staring at me instead of being read. I'm not ready.

Instead I will pick up "Breath" by Tim Winton. It's our book club book for this month and so far I've read very little. Just a day at work and a drug trip so far, yee-haw, really makes me want to dig in and read the rest. I certainly hope there is more to the story. Otherwise I'm going to be very glad its a short book.

Today is a perfect reading day. Nothing to do, overcast and a bit dreary, on the cool side. So first I will journey to Australia with Mr Winton and then who knows where I will go, NYC, Germany, some mysterious otherworld. Wherever I end up I'll be snuggled up with my favorite blanket enjoying the trip.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh dear...

you know you're doomed when the books start talking to you. My review of "Ratio" is posted on ... I absolutely loved it. As is my review of "Laced with Magic" which I did not. It stayed confusing to the end and I was constantly having to back track to sort out WHO was doing the speaking. Ugh! And the ending? What is that about?? The town is just gone? Is that the end of the series or just the beginning of the next battle? How is a girl supposed to sleep with all these questions in her head?

Then I received a shipment of books I'd ordered from that were meant to be part of my 2010 reading challenge. Well "13 little Blue Envelopes" just started whispering about how good a read it would be. I tried to ignore it, tried to read something else, then I caved and read it cover to cover yesterday. My review for that one is posted as well.

Now I'm twiddling my thumbs and bloging as I wait for my husband to awaken for our weekly trip to Barnes & Noble. What treasures are waiting for me tonight? What book will whisper from the shelves,"Come, adventure with me..."? What cover will catch my eye and lure me in?

I love book stores!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We interupt this program ...

because I was tapped in the "Review That Book!" thread on LibraryThing. So I've relegated "Laced With Magic" to bedtime reading and plowed into "Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking" Seventy pages in and I am already beginning to view my kitchen and cooking in a whole different light. I can't wait to start putting some of the information in the book to use!

I've never considered myself a cook, just someone capable of following a recipe. Maybe tweaking the spices here and there but nothing more. Now I feel confident that I could set my imagination free and not create a tidal wave of inedible disaster. I want to shout from the mountain tops "GO BUY THIS BOOK!!!"

More later!

Slow down ... pay attention ...

How many times did we hear those words as kids? More than I even care to think about to be honest. Last night I was reminded just how important it is to do those things, especially when you are reading. Went off to bed, "Laced With Magic" tucked under my arm, ready for a fun read. What I got was very confused and frustrated ...

Until five chapters later when I realised that in zooming by ignoring chapters titles I was missing a vital clue. OK Mom...YOU WERE RIGHT! So I backtracked and saw that what had been a psychotic story making no sense at all actually did. If you paid enough attention to notice that each chapter has a different character's name and what follows is the story told as their first person narrative. WHEW! The rest of the book should be easy.

First up for today is a chapter or two more from "Beowolf on the Beach" which I am loving. It is a laugh out loud funny book that actually has me excited to read, or reread books I've always dreaded. (Who knows ... maybe I will one day love those books so much I'll become a book snob. HA! Not likely!) Then I swear I am going to spend some time cleaning my office. Unless, of course, curling up on the couch with a book gets too tempting. I've just six more days of fun reading before I have to pick up the next book club read, Breath by Winton, and get it read.

Chores vs. Books


Life is so full of hard choices.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mapping the Journey

OK! Before you take any journey you need a map. Well I do anyway otherwise who knows where I'll end up. So for the 101010 challenge I've chosen the following categories and have begun putting together my reading piles. It's led to some interesting discussions with my husband who is a former English/Literature professor and not a little opinionated.

I'm having a little difficulty pinning things to one category versus another since many of these could be easily put into more than one. Already own everything I chose for the history category which made me realize I've developed a very bad habit of picking these up from the bargain rack and then never reading them. Finding poets was made simple by using the LT search feature and seeing what others had in their libraries. Reading bits and pieces of poems from reviews made for a pleasant few hours with Bill.

Very undecided on Classics and Foreign Authors, input is needed!

2010 10/10 Challenge

* Book not yet owned

1) Series/ favorite authors

2) Travel Essays
Round Ireland With A Fridge
My Mercedes is Not for Sale
A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveler
A Walk in the Woods
* The Great Railway Bazaar – Paul Theroux
What Am I Doing Here? – Chatwin
Tales of a Female Nomad: Living At Large in The World - Gelman
An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan – Elliot
Falling Off the Map: Some Lonely Places of the World - Iyer

3) Classics (previously unread)
Remembrance of Things Past
The Canterbury Tales (original language)
Giovanni’s Room
The Decameron
The Tenant of Windfell Hall – A. Bronte

4) Poets (previously unread)
Charles Kingsley
Rainer Maria Rilke
* Coney Island of the Mind – Ferlinghetti
20 Love Poems & a Song of Despair – Neruda
* Complete Poems 1927-1979 – Bishop
If Not, Winter: Fragments - Sappho
* The Dream Songs – Berryman
* Love is a Dog from Hell – Bukowski
* Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
* Maya Angelou: Poems

5) History
The Histories - Herodotus
Almost History: Close Calls, Plan B’s, and Twists of Fate in Americas History
The Gifts of the Jews
Great Feuds in History Ten Struggles that Shaped the World
Every Man a Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life
A Crack in Edge of the World: America & the Great California Quake of 1906
The Scientists: A History of Science Told Through the Lives of its Greatest Inventors
Salt: A World history
Voyage of the Damned
Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different

6) Book Club Books

7) Random Books from my Unread Shelf
Beasts of No Nation

8) Authors from other countries
The Song of the World
Kaddish for a Child Not Born
The Space Between Us

9) Christian/Religion
Pilgrim’s Progress
Where God Was Born: A Journey By Land to the Roots of Religion
When God Was a Woman
Eternity in Their Hearts
Toward Old Testament Ethics

10) Children/Young Adult
13 Little Blue Envelopes – M. Johnson

I've also jumped into the "Review that Book" thread on LT and am a bit nervous about what I'll end up reading when someone chooses an unreviewed book from my library. PLEASE let it not be some hideously boring book my husband chose!

Time to shut down this machine and go read! Tonight it's "Laced with Magic"

In the begining ...

I don't remember the very first book I read, I remember the very first one I wrote though. A very wise teacher had me illustrate it, sent me around to other classes to read it to younger kids, then had it placed on a shelf in the school library. Thus began a love afair with books, libraries, and writing ...

I, Virginia Gill, do hereby confess to be a book junkie.

That's right, I am addicted in the worst (best?) possible ways. Too long without a book in my hand and I get anxious. Then the cravings hit for the smell of old leather and musty pages, or crisp paper and fresh ink. The smell gives me a visceral high without regular exposure I get downright cranky. It's no wonder my husband says the scariest thing in the world is ME, without a book!

A comfy chair and uninterupted time with a book, what more could a person ask? Well, for time to discuss those books with other readers for a start! Once a month book club is wonderful but it just leaves me craving more time, more people, more BOOKS.

So here I am committed to posting about the books I'm reading and excited to hear what YOU are reading. Come on by and share.