Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Puzzle Bark Tree

The Puzzle Bark Tree by Stephanie Gertler

Grace and Melanie grew up with parents who showed them no emotions. The only love they got was from their housekeeper,Jemma. When their parents commit suicide only days before Christmas, they face a journey of uncovering the past and unearthing their parent's true spirit.

Grace inherits an island in upstate New York which she and her sister have never heard of let alone visited. Grace decides to go there after the funeral instead of to Aspen with her sterile husband.

Grace has suffered from some nightmares of her drowning and her parents abandoning her. At Sabbath Landing Grace finds Luke who helps her to understand her troubling memories and her background. This is a story that is spell-binding. I found myself in tears at the end and that has not happened in a long time

I also wanted to add that the cover art is beautiful



Monday, November 26, 2007

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Christopher Boone is an autistic teenager who is a math wizard, knows every prime number up to 7,057, hates the colours yellow and brown, and cannot lie. When his neighbour's dog dies, Christopher decides to find out who was responsible, much like his hero Sherlock Holmes. Christopher lives alone with his dad, who tells him to stop sticking his nose in other people's business. Christopher takes this literally, and continues to investigate. He documents his progress in a journal, which gives us The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

This book was quirky and fun! I really enjoyed Christopher. Even though, as he professes, he has no sense of humor, his look on life is really enjoyable. Interspersed through his detective mission to find the dog's killer, Christopher puts in random math problems that he has figured out. While I didn't have a problem with this, I could see that some might find it annoying to have a break in the actual story.

This book was hard to put down near the end. I thought it was going to be odd so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it!



Sunday, November 25, 2007


Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have read very few paranormal books and think I had better include them more often.

Elena is the only female werewolf. She has left her pack to try to live a normal life; live-in boyfriend, apartment, job. She is summoned home to help defend the pack's territory against some 'mutts'.

It seems that Elena isn't comfortable with the other werewolves or without them. Armstrong takes the reader into the dynamics of the group. Elena must figure out who she really is and what she really wants most.

The book is a paranormal, a romance and a mystery all rolled into one



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Puzzle Bark Tree by Stephanie Gertler

The Puzzle Bark Tree by Stephanie Gertler

Grace Hammond and her sister Melanie grew up in a home with very little emotion. Their mother would sit for days on end in her room, not talking to her children. Their father was a busy lawyer and spent most of his time at home consoling his wife. Grace and Melanie grew to love their housekeeper, Jemma, like a mother.
When Grace and Melanie are grown up, they make a tradition of seeing their parents during the Christmas holiday. Jemma decides to head to the Hammond household a couple days before Christmas to help them get ready but makes a shocking discovery. They are both sitting in their bed, dead. When the will is read, Grace discovers that her parents left her a house on an island that she never knew her parents had.
Grace tries to cope with finding out why her parents lived as they did, why she never knew about this island, reoccurring dreams of her and her sister drowning, and a very emotionally detached husband.
This book really brings you in to the characters' lives. Though it is fairly easy to discover the Hammond's secret past, you want to find out why and how. This story is about grief and loss, but there are moments of happiness and finding true love that makes the book as much of a non-genre as it does a romance. The romance isn't cheesy like typical romance books, but quite beautiful.
This book gets your attention at page one and you will have troubles putting it down. This really is a great book! One of the better one's I've read in the past couple of months.

Where this book was before me: Denver, Colorado -> Me!



Monday, November 19, 2007

Tears of the Giraffe

Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith

Tears of the Giraffe is the second in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. It is a cute cozy mystery. This time Mma Ramotswe sets out to discover what happened to an American boy who disappeared 10 years ago.

She takes on an assistant who finds out a wife has been unfaithful. Out of this some moral dilemmas are explored.

She also becomes engaged.

This series is for the person who loves to read about a 'gentler' time when people cared and acted properly. I love the way Precious talks about how people should be "That's the trouble with the world. Everyone thinks that they can make their own decisions about what is right and wrong"

The description of Botswana is fantastic. I wish I could visit there someday



Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Treatment

The Treatment by Mo hayder
Sick Shit

Mo Hayder has always been a favourite author of mine. Her sadistic stories always keep me returning for more.

The Treatment is about a psycho who imprisons families who have a young son and will not be missed. The psycho then proceeds to abuse the young boy and eventually kill him. This psycho is really out there and people with weak stomachs, beware.

This book brings back DI Jack Caffery who we met in The Birdman. Caffery has been through a living hell because his brother was abducted and never seen again.

Caffery is 'too close' to this case and also has a girlfriend who has issues. Their interaction is quite distant and cold but that is probably because of their individual emotional issues.

There are always twists and turns and a little fudging of the procedures. I felt this time Caffery was really given a great deal of leeway,probably too much leeway

When can I read more of Hayder's books?



Thursday, November 15, 2007

What's in a Name Challenge

I am going to enter What's in a Name Challenge.

Words by Annie is hosting the challenge. I really am beginning to really love these challenges and even coming up with the books for them.

"What's In A Name?" Reading Challenge

Dates: January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008

The Challenge: Choose one book from each of the following categories.

1. A book with a color in its title. Examples might include: The Amber Spyglass, The Red Pony, Blue Blood

My choice The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer : My Life at Rose Red by Joyce Reardon

2. A book with an animal in its title. Examples might include: The Hound of the Baskervilles, To Kill a Mockingbird, Julie of the Wolves

My choice The Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch by Haywood Smith

3. A book with a first name in its title. Examples might include: Jane Eyre, the Harry Potter books, Anne of Green Gables

My choice The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood

4. A book with a place in its title. Examples might include: From Russia with Love, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Out of Africa

My choice Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez

5. A book with a weather event in its title. Examples might include: The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Red Storm Rising, Tornado Alley

My choice Firestorm by Iris Johansen

6. A book with a plant in its title. Examples might include: Where the Red Fern Grows, The Name of the Rose, Flowers for Algernon

My choice Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Favored Child

The Favored Child by Philippa Gregory
Historical Fiction

The Favored Child is the second book in the Wideacre series. The estate is bankrupt and two children are now squires of the estate.

Julia is the lover of land and nature. Richard is the male heir. They are being raised by Julia's mother while Richard's father is in India earning back his fortune. The money is to be used to start up Wideacre anew; new crops, new manor house and pay back the villagers for their suffering.

Julia is secretly betrothed to Richard. Their parents are adamantly opposed to any marriage between them.

A new estate manager is hired and it turns out to be Ralph Megson; the very person who originally destroyed Wideacre.

Again in this novel we see the cruelty and insanity of the Lacey Heir.

This book can be read alone but one would get more out of the story with Wideacre's background.



Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ceremony in Death by J.D. Robb

Ceremony in Death by J.D. Robb

Eve Dallas is back for the 4th or 5th book of the "In Death" series investigating what looks to be religious murders. She delves into the world of wiccans - both of the white and black kind - to determine who is behind these slayings. A new character is introduced, Jaime, who is the son of a police detective that taught Dallas' mentor. The kid has spunk and I hope to see him stick around for the upcoming books.
Robb also tells us something very important this book - Roarke's name is just Roarke!! I'd always wondered what his last (or first?) name was, but turns out he's like Cher, a one name wonder.
I had been getting upset at the endings of these books. Dallas always walks into the murder's home or office, to find out that they were the ones that had actually committed the crime. Of course she goes alone, they try to kill her, etc etc. This one was a little different, so that was nice. But still, if Dallas is so smart, why does she always solve a case by getting the murderer to tell her everything? That doesn't happen in real life. Why can't she just figure things out on her own using evidence?



Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tipping the Velvet

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
Historical Fiction

Tipping the Velvet is about lesbian love in the late 1800s. Nancy Astley seems like any other young girl living by the sea, helping in her family's oyster restaurant and going to the occasional live show.

Then she sees Kitty Butler on stage and becomes besotted by her and moves to London to be her dresser and hopefully lover. Kitty eventually breaks her heart and Nancy becomes a renter and then meets Diana and so on and so on.

Nancy seems to be able to be everything to the person she is currently with. She is like a chameleon. Life is a stage to her. She must learn to love the 'right' person.

I was amazed at the latitude of acceptance of the 'tom' in this period.

Warning: There are lesbian love scenes depicted in this book.



Tuesday, November 06, 2007

From the Stacks Challenge

I am going to enter From The Stacks Challenge. A challenge to read some of those TBRs.

Overdue Books is hosting the challenge. The goal is to read 5 books already in my possession by Jan30.

I Have choosen

The Treatment by Mo Hayder

Tears of the Giraffe (Ladies Detective Agency #2) by Alexander McCall Smith

Life Mask by Emma Donoghue

The Prize Winner of Defiance,Ohio by Terri Ryan

Trunk Music by Michael Connelly

3 mysteries, 1 non-fiction and 1 historical fiction. Not bad a selection

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Princess in the Spotlight

Princess in the Spotlight by Meg Cabot
Young Adult

I enjoyed reading about Mia's Problems. She is a princess!! Big problem when you are trying to be a normal NYC teenager.

Mia has just found out her single mother is pregnant and the father (HORRORS) is her algebra teacher.

Mia has to do a prime-time interview during which she blabs all about her mother. Something I would probably do.

Her grandmere organizes a society wedding for her mother. I did not understand why she was even involved at all. And then Mia is not involved in what finally happens (HUH??)

Finally there is a secret admirer, Is it Michael, her best friend's brother? Mia is 'in love' with him although he seems oblivious,which seems to contradict Book 1 in the series