Monday, January 16, 2012

Perfect Reading Weather

What do you do when it's -12? Read of course!  The more books the merrier, Mother Nature has been providing the perfect excuse to huddle on my couch with a warm blanket, dark chocolate cocoa, and a big stack of books.  Ahhhh winter.

Ghost Memoir by Lady Nairna was a great little book.  My thanks to Rich Fahle for asking if I'd be interested in reviewing it.  Ghosts and Scotland, how could you go wrong? Of course I'll read it.  A memoir, yes, you hear Lady Nairna's story as well as several of her friends but it's also the tale of simply trying to get a book written. I'm still prone to giggling snorts over the ghost hunting! The ending left a good way. Here is the review I posted:

From the moment I first read a description of this little book I had a case of the giggles. Much of the book kept me in that same state. You can't help getting a case of wistful "what if?" syndrome while reading. What if I met Lady Nairna? What if ghosts decided I was worth talking to? Turning the final page I was sad, satisfied, hopeful,and broken hearted.
I hope Lady Nairna finds ways to share more of herself and her friends.
Child of the Mist by Kathleen Morgan This book was an interesting experience for me. Generally I find myself disappointed with "Christian" fiction. This author did a wonderful job of pulling me in and via her characters posing great questions about how to best follow the Lord in circumstances that mean doing so could cost your life. Or worse that of another. Read it cover to cover without a break and will definitely be seeking out other books in the series.
The Girl that Love Forgot by Jennie Lucas I don't often dip back into the short Harlequin romance books any more but this one caught my eye and I couldn't resist. There were moments when stereotypes annoyed me but overall the story of Annabelle and Stefano made for a wonderful read. If you are in the mood for a little brain candy this one is a bit like taffy with nuts in're going to have to work at it but the calories are worth it. Will be interesting to see what else comes from this author.
The Ugly Duckling Debutante by Rachel Van Dyken No matter what your thoughts of romance novels, especially historical ones (I usually avoid them like the plague.)you should take the time to read this one. Rachel Van Dyken's characters are all fabulously flawed and struggling to grow.  The interplay between them is well written and immediately pulls the reader in. Watching them grow over the course of the book was delightful.
Wedding Survivor by Julia London This is one of those books you almost hate to admit you read...much less that you liked it.  Every bit of it was bury your face in your hands, laugh until you snort funny.  I read it twice in a row and have no doubt that the next time I'm in dire need of a laugh I will be opening it again. From the book club meetings without books to the $20K wedding gown stuck in a tree the story doesn't disappoint. "Survivor" is exactly right for this wedding.

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder   As always Maria V. Snyder's latest does not disappoint.  I found the main character's constant struggle to not use the gifts she was born with thought provoking and the politics well written.  One character was truly offensive to me and I found myself mentally yelling at the author for including him...I'm sure you'll be able to guess who he is as you read...  Overall I loved the book and cant wait to see where the story goes next.

Now it's back to more serious reading Joe Dispenza's "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" is a fascinating look at quantum physics, modern neuroscience, and self improvement. I'm loving it so far.  Will have a review for you next week, stay tuned.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A mixed bag

The Son of Neptune is the first Riordan book I struggled to read. Were I not already a big fan this book probably would have landed on the shelf without ever having been finished. That said, KEEP READING the last quarter of the book finds the author hitting his usual stride and the story coming to life. Made it well worth slogging through. Brace yourself though...this is not a stand alone book. You need to have read the Percy Jackson books as well as Book 1 of this series to make sense of the story...and it doesn't end it just pauses mid scene to await the next book. My biggest pet peeve. I understand from a marketing perspective why this happens as it pretty much guarantees you sales on the next book but it's so very annoying.  In my opinion every book in a series should stad completely on its own whether or not I've ever read the others in the series or by the same author.  Not making them tht way always makes me feel a bit like I've been cheated.

As an Alaskan though I had to grit my teeth and roll my eyes at the inaccurate descriptions of the scenes set here in Alaska. Though I still have the giggles about blue giants playing with moose as if they were toys. That would explain a lot.  Over all I'm glad I read it and look forward to the next book if only so I know what happened at the end of THIS book.
Whispers in the Dark Maya Banks latest addition to the KGI series is every bit as exciting as the previous three books. Whispers in the Dark found me frequently holding my breath and reading as fast as I could, I absolutely loved it. Waiting for book five will be a painful exercise in anticipation. I have fallen in love with the whole Kelly family and just thoroughly enjoy the depth Ms Banks gives to every character. Thank you for another great read!
The Secret of Quantum Living I adored Mr Kinslow's easy conversational style of writing. Through most of the book I felt as if I were sitting with a friend over coffee rather than sitting on my couch reading. With simple language and exercises he made what could have been an intimidating topic interesting and approachable. This book has given me a very different perspective on myself and the world in which I live.

Looking forward to reading more from Mr Kinslow.
Now my "currently reading" list contains just two books. Maria V Synder's "Touch of Power" which if off to a very good start and "Ghost Memoir" by Lady Nairna whose description alone had me laughing. Today it is cold and snowy...a perfect day for books.

Monday, January 2, 2012


The past two weeks have been filled with books that have touched me and changed pieces of my heart.

Spirit Bound by Christine Feehan had some interesting ideas to contemplate and I found myself enthralled by the idea of custom kaleidoscopes. I loved the contrast in the characters, one who hid their talents, one who lived and breathed theirs, that was a fascinating dichotomy.  Overall though this book was a disappointment with the feel of a placeholder in the series.  I am hoping the next book in the series will find Ms Feehan on top of her game again.

Night Road by Kristin Hannah was won by our book group and had us pushing back our normal schedule in order to read this one for January's discussion. The author's portrayal of the grieving process in so many different ways via her characters was simply perfection.  I found myself crying frequently and touching the pages as if to somehow ease their grief. Stellar read and I can't wait to discuss it with my reading group.

A Simple Act of Gratitude by John Kralik There are only a few books I can point to and say without hesitation that simply reading it changed who I am forever.  This one did.  As I look back on a year of grieving the loss of my husband I see so many missed opportunities for me to be grateful...that has already begun to change and there will be many thank you notes flowing to those who've walked this journey with me in the months to come.  This is a definite MUST READ book.