February 29, 2008

Fantasy Genre, Take Your Pick

Some of my TBRs just seem to sit and while I'd bought each of them because they somehow appealed to me at one time, I guess I'm looking for inspiration to read them by someone saying "Read this, I loved it!" Take your pick. Which of these books did you love and why?

Richard Adams: Watership Down

Jacqueline Carey: Kushiel's Dart

Charles de Lint: Jack of Kinrowan or Into the Green

Gregory Frost: Fitcher's Brides

Guy Gavriel Kay: The Summer Tree

Tanith Lee: White as Snow

Juliet Marillier: Daughter of the Forest

Patricia A. McKillip: The Riddle-Master

Terry Pratchett: Equal Rites

Thanks for your time! I'd like to add that I'll always take comments, so no reason to be shy.

February 27, 2008

Philip Pullman: Lyra's Oxford

I got this book as a birthday present while rereading His Dark Materials. It's a fairly short book, but I'd been curious about it for years. I was very happy to receive it!

Lyra has grown two years older in the time between when we left off with her in The Amber Spyglass and this book. In some ways her new maturity is fairly obvious - no longer a child quite as distrusting a before, nor the girl who always spoke in her usual ways. She is more of a little lady, though you'll still find her on rooftops, never fear.

The story comes with a few other things such as a map, some to do with this book, and others not. From the beginning there is the promise of more stories to come. Once Upon a Time in the North is due out later this spring, with another book or two similiar to this one on the horizon as well.

Helen Fielding: Bridget Jones's Diary

It seems like this book took forever. I was slow in beginning it last week because I was chatting on LT on my days off, and had very little time to read during the weekend. As a result, I didn't complete a book in a week's time for the second time this year, breaking my goal once more.

I saw part of the movie years ago, but remember very little of it so it wasn't damaging to my reading experience. Also, I did see connections to Pride and Prejudice as people have said there would be.

There were a few things I asked others about as I read this book and thus learned there are fourteen pounds to a stone. I never bothered to calculate how much Bridget's weight in pounds was. I'm still wondering what exactly 'instant' is - I gather it has something to do with lottery tickets. If anyone knows and would like to share, I would be happy to learn the full meaning.

Think really need to read book with proper sentences next so writing won't be damaged. ;)

February 25, 2008

New Book Releases

There are a few to-be-released books that I'm really looking forward to reading. I can't wait till they're released!

This Year

Charles de Lint: Dingo (March 13, 2008). More information here. I may put off reading this because I'm trying to not buy any books for a while, but I think I will get to it this summer. If it were a book from the Newford series and not a YA, I would make an exception.

Phillip Pullman: Once Upon a Time in the North (April 22, 2008). This continues The Dark Materials trilogy perhaps where Lyra's Oxford left off. It will be tiny, but I know I will still get around to reading it eventually.

Stephenie Meyer: The Host (May 6, 2008). This is the one book I will let myself buy new over the next few months. I already read the excerpt on Meyer's site. One of my co-workers also works for a publisher and has teased me about how she has to read an advanced reader's copy of it. She was very right when she had told me I would be jealous.

Cornelia Funke: Inkdeath (June 7, 2008). I still haven't read the second book in this trilogy yet, Inkspell, but I really enjoyed Inkheart and am sure I will read books one and two. Hopfully, I'll get to read book two before the release date of this book.

Stephenie Meyer: Breaking Dawn (August 2, 2008). This is the book I'm most excited about reading this year. I love the Twlight series but I'm sure that's obvious from my side panel. I really hope Meyer keeps the series going beyond this book.

Next Year

Jasper Fforde: Shades of Grey (July 2009). This book is a new series and I don't know anything about it yet other than what the UK cover looks like. I'm going to assume based on his other books that I'll want to read it, and if not, I'll probably still give it a try.

Jasper Fforde: 'One of Our Thursdays is missing' (July 2009). I feel confident that this title in making will change. I hope it's much better than the last book, First Among Sequels. That book expressed to me that he was running out of ideas. Everything that I loved about the series was gone. If the series doesn't improve, I'm through with buying the books as hardcovers.

February 20, 2008

Different Look

I was tired of the black background, so now my blog looks like this. I'm not really attached to it like this, either, so comments on what you think would be lovely. It was pink for about an hour, but it was just too much.

I didn't read yet today, but someone helped me pick out what to read next, so I'll be reading later today. I also got a book in the mail today, so my TBR is back to ninety-one books. It's nice that this number, while difficult to do anything but maintain, is going down. My work about had a fit when they heard I had about one-hundred books at home to read.

I was introduced to a site with counters today so now I have a nicer one to use for my progress as I read. I am attempting a minimum of one book each week, and therefore a minimum of fifty-two books this year. I've currently read fourteen and we are in the eighth week of 2008.

Changing my blog around, I've noticed the books I've yet to go back and write about are real eyesores. I hope to clear them up by the end of Friday.

February 18, 2008

Rereads, Anyone?

I have nintey books tagged as TBR, but tonight I am really struggling to pick a new book up. I tried to begin a reread because I am craving historical fiction, left over from my latest read. I couldn't do it - the book had to be put down after eighteen pages. I couldn't reread a book that basically told the same story I'd just read only from another's perspective - it was much too soon. I looked through my short pile of soon to be read books, but each in itself would take so long to read, and I am looking for something easy. I paced from one side of the room to the other scanning my shelves for something appealing but nothing. I grabbed an Austen book that I have as of yet to read, sat on my bed, but still could not bring myself to read. What is wrong tonight? Perhaps it's simply too soon since the last book I read and I can choose better in the morning. This is what I hope. I considered rereading some historical fiction with nothing to do with the Tudors, but passed it because it was two connected trilogies and would lead me away from reading TBRs. I also considered rereading just two favorites that are intertwined then returning to my TBR pile once more. As I said, I hope the morning will provide an answer.

This has at least made me think about, with having so many unread books to tackle, how many rereads I will read this year, and which ones. I thought to gather them up here.

Charles de Lint: Newford: The Onion Girl and Widdershins

My two absolute favorites by this author, and that's saying something as I've read quite a lot by him. I've only read each of these two books once but that was enough and the stories have not left my mind. I think about them from time to time and wish I would reread them, knowing the pleasure yet pain this would bring. This is the year I will at last reread them, though. It's far too much of a favorite, and five years wait for the first of the two is long enough.

Stephenie Meyer: Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse

In preparation for the author's latest book in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, I will be rereading these books over the summer. Probably in July. Book four will be released on August 2nd, and I know I will read all these books rather quickly. (Shouting for a friend as this would be too difficult to resist the temptation at their possible drop from faint: EDWARD CULLEN! ;)

J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the ... ?

I'm really not sure which books I'll be reread from the Harry Potter series this year. I will definitely be rereading Deathly Hallows. I think I may finally reread Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince beginning this weekend for a weekly group discussion. (I am super, super sorry for not doing this sooner! You know who you are.)

Rosalind Miles: Guenevere and Isolde trilogies

These are the trilogies that I would begin rereading tonight had I not so many TBRs to tackle. I adored both series, but unlike any other series I've enjoyed as much, I never once reread them. The very month I finished reading the second series, I began a mythology class, and was I ever wanting to reread them only two months later when I'd learned all about the triple goddess and the likes. I may dig into my old notes before rereading these.

One of my sisters pointed out to me that I couldn't very well reread a book when I own so many that I have not yet read. I wondered then what everyone else does. Do they reread their books, or not at all so long as they own books they have not read? We will always own books we have not read! It's our own disease! Letting books sit on a shelf never to be read again sounds absolutely dreadful - I cringed at the thought while my sister spoke to me. No. I will reread my books! Hers may be forgotten and collect dust if she so wishes.

Note: The artwork featured with Charles de Lint's books was done by John Jude Palencar, and the artwork featured with Rosalind Miles' books was done by John William Waterhouse. They did the cover illustrations of those books. I admire their work greatly.

Phillipa Gregory: The Other Boleyn Girl

The year is 1522. (The prelude is 1521.) Young Mary, sister of soon-to-be-well-known Anne Boleyn is the main character of this book. As Boleyns in the royal court, these sisters and their brother, George are expected to go above and beyond to do all they can to help their family rise in name and honor. They are preassured by their father but mainly their uncle, and when King Henry VIII catches Mary's eye, the family is to put aside a part of Mary's life while she is to become all that matters to the king, her siblings alongside her to ensure she is thrust in the king's favor.

As the years pass, Anne is forced to give up something that mattered more to her than anything ever would but one thing. She eventually becomes the sparkle in the king's eye while Mary is behind the scenes, and the king's favor takes a turn. The sisters, not unlike all sisters, become rebels to one another, as Anne and Mary each fight for something that would give them what they truely want.

Things take a turn and Anne dreams of a world of power while Mary dreams of a much simpler world in the country. Meanwhile, George, too, enters a life in which he must be careful to not lose what matters to him most aside from family name and honor. The siblings are soon left to fend for themselves as the court sees that the Boleyns, all powerful yet not as eye-catching as they once were, fade out of the glow and are forced into darkness and despair.

Before I read this book, I wasn't really sure if I'd like it. I thought that either the book would drag by and I'd want to set it down, or that what everone said would be true and that it would be a good book for me as well.

I loved this book and am thrilled the author has so many other books out there that I can read. In my head I'm silently saying 'uh-oh' because I know from this book that I will be hunting down Gregory's other books, finishing them shortly after getting my hands on them. I've been trying very hard to not buy any books for a few months. I like that her books have a way of telling us about history while keeping my interest better than history classes I had when I was younger.

Another reason I enjoyed this book is because my family traces back to King Henry VIII, and it's nice to learn more about all of it. Had I grown up on the other side of my family, I'd have had books of plenty to see how it all traces back and learn more, but I didn't. I think this is the second historical fiction book that I've read. The first was Suzannah Dunn's The Queen of Subtleties, about Anne Boleyn.

I rate this book 4.5 stars. I hope to read another of Gregory's books soon. Next by Phillipa Gregory I'm going to read The Constant Princess, about Katherine of Aragon, then The Boleyn Inheritance, and The Queen's Fool. Wish me luck in finding any of these on BookMooch!

February 13, 2008

Louise Rennison: Dancing

This is the fourth book in a series about a teenage girl in the United Kingdom. She's always watchful to make sure she gets her beauty rest, face masks, and looks her best with lots of lip gloss to impress the boys she likes. Current beau: In a band.

These books are funny and amusing, plus the author's word use is interesting to those of us not familiar with English words for things. (I.E., in the United States, what we refer to as a cookie, they actually refer to as a biscuit.)

February 11, 2008

Cornelia Funke: Inkheart

(Review to be inserted here shortly.)

February 7, 2008

Frances Hodgson Burnett: A Little Princess

This book tells the story of an incredibly amazing little girl, a true little princess at heart. Sara Crewe is just five years old when this book begins. She is incredibly kind, intelligent, and precious to her father.

Father and daughter must part as Sara must gain her education while Captain Crewe sails elsewhere, and he leaves her at a wealthy girl's school in England. Home is in India, but Sara has a unique and wonderful imagination to keep her happy. She adjusts to the school quickly, makes new friends, and is loved by many. Years pass. Sara is quick to catch the eye of what others don't notice and makes a forbidden friendship.

One day trouble arrives and Sara, who has always imagined herself as a princess to do the better good, struggles more than ever to keep her comfort. Life becomes hard in ways she never knew, and still this young girl doesn't fail to show her kind and generous side as she continues to dream up a world in which every girl is a little princess.

One morning Sara awakens to a dream. As things slowly begin to improve thanks to the kindess of a stranger, Sara finds the strength she needs to keep on going.

I really enjoyed this book. If you're considering reading it, I warn you that there are differences between the film versions and book. I didn't realize just how much till I read it, but I'll keep my mouth zipped about that.

This book has led me to seek The Secret Garden. I had loved watching the movie as a kid no matter how much teasing I suffered because of it, so I was happy when I learned the same author wrote both stories. I kind of want to go buy both movies so I can watch them over again.

February 5, 2008

Louise Rennison: Knocked Out

Book three in a funny and amusing series about a teenage girl in the United Kingdom.

Rick Riordan: The Lightning Thief

This funny YA book has a lot of Greek mythology in it. While it held my interest, I knew from the beginning that I wouldn't love this book though I thought it might be entertaining. Having finished it, I don't think I will ever reread it, but I may read the next book at some point to find out what happens next. It will definitely be a while before I can buy any more books and even then, there are many I would buy before the next one up in this series.