Friday, February 29, 2008

Blog Birthday Give-A-Way!

It's been THREE*** years ago today that I wrote my first post. It received 3 comments - one from my daughter, one from my niece and one from JOY from Thoughts of Joy. Since that time . . . Well, you all know because the same thing has happened to you.

I started writing a blog as a means of recording the books I'd read. Then people commented and I discovered there were other book blogs. And as time went on I met people and developed wonderful e-friendships. You all shared so many recommendations for good books that my TBR mountain grew and toppled over many times. That's okay because I read fewer duds and a lot more really good books.

I want to celebrate and say THANKS for all that you've shared with me by holding a drawing for a free book. I chose a book that was published on Feb 5 - just barely! And, I know this is corny, but because OUR PATHS HAVE CROSSED,
the book is
Crossed by Nicole Galland

Leave me a comment and you could win!

I will draw a name on Feb 29

I finished 2 books I was reading, but read the first chapter of Crossed last night before going to bed. It was very engaging. I think we're really going to enjoy this tale of the Fourth Crusade.
***Okay, so I CAN'T add. My daughter pointed out to me that I've only been blogging for 2 years. It's those big numbers - they've always been a problem for me!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Book of a Thousand Days

by Shannon Hale

I loved this book! The story, based on a Grimm's fairytale, is told by Dashti in the form of her diary.

"The men are bricking up the door. Isn't it something, all the trouble they're going to for us? I fell like a jewel in a treasure box."

"This isn't exactly a happy-celebration morning, but I don't see what good it does to thrash about."

"They weren't nice words he said. He could've lived a good life and died never having made a person feel rubbed down to bones and too sad to hold together."

"I'm a stubborn mare sometimes and must dangle my own carrot."

"When I'm moving on a journey, the ending is still unknown and possibly wonderful. But once I arrive, it's hard to keep imagining."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wild Wood

by Charles de Lint

I read this for the Canadian Challenge and because I've really enjoyed the 3 or 4 books I've read by deLint. I wish I could say I enjoyed this one, but I didn't.

A young artist returns to her cabin in the deep woods of Canada to concentrate on her illustrations. But somehow, strange and beautiful creatures are slipping into her drawings and sketches. The world of Faerie is reaching out to her for help—and she may be its last chance for survival. --from the book cover

I did get a sense of the wooded area near Ottawa and, surprisingly, a good feel for the dry desert of Arizona when the main character visits friends to get away from her 'haunted woods' for awhile. I hoping that some day I get to see those giant saguaros that she described.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Anyway, this one is easy.

The generous J. Kaye tagged me for this fun meme.

Here are the meme rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4. Tag five more blogs with links
5. Remember to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

My six word memoir is:

Step by step; day by day.

Now for the five people I'm going to tag:
1. Amanda from Bookin'It
2. Carpe Crustulum
3. A Striped Armchair
4. Book Haven
5. Framed and Booked

Monday, February 25, 2008

You Make My Day!

It's still February, right? Good. I received this award from my sweet sister NEARLY a month ago, but have been rather slow in posting. I was tickled that I make her day, because she does the same for me.

I enjoy reading her blogs. From Framed and Booked I collect lots of good recommendations for books. You've been there; you know what I mean! She writes good reviews and she reads some interesting books. And she goes through books like a kid in a candy store. At her life moments blog, Life's a Picture, she writes witty, insightful, touching and humorous posts.

Now for the hard part of receiving this award is nominating 10 other bloggers who make my day. There are many more than 10 to choose from. I'm going to not nominate any bloggers I've listed for past awards or memes. Some are new friends and some are almost as old as my blog (that's counting in "friendship years").

1. Under the Covers
2. Yeah, I Like It Too
3. My Individual Take (On the Subject)
4. The Library Queue
5. The Read Warbler
6. Dog Ear Diary
7. Educating Petunia
8. My Random Acts of Reading
9. Breaking the Fourth Wall
10. The Hidden Side of the Leaf

You make my day!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


by Angie Sage

I'm a bit older than the target audience, grades 4-8, even so this book held my attention and fueled my imagination. I thought it was pure magyk!

The book starts out with Silas Heap who stumbles across a baby in the the field or forest, I forget which, but the baby is abandoned. He's concerned about what to do because he and Sarah already have six boys and Sarah is giving birth that night to their seven child. Seeing no other choice, Silas takes the baby home, hopping Sarah will take it in.

And that's all I'm going to share. Oh, maybe one thing more - Just as Silas enters his house the midwife pushes past him with a small bundle, yelling, "Dead, dead."

I was totally drawn into the story within the first few pages. Dare I say that I liked this book even better than Harry Potter. I heard the gasp escape your lips! Actually, they are both fascinating stories. This one is probably better for younger readers, though. I enjoy Juvenile and YA novels, but I'm always amazed when I find one as captivating as Magik.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Unread Authors Challenge Completed

This challenge, conceived of by Pour of Tor from Sycorax Pine, introduced me to 6 new-to-me authors.

1. Wendy Staub - Lily Dale: Awakening
2. Patricia McKillip - The Book of Atrix Wolfe
3. John Husband - Maggie Again
4. Bernice Morgan - Random Passage
5. Susanna Clarke - Jonathan Strange and Dr Norrell
6. Brad Kessler - Birds in Fall

I liked everything that I read and look forward to reading more from these authors. I hope Susanna Clarke's next work is a lot shorter, however.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Book of Atrix Wolfe

by Patricia A. McKillip

A very powerful mage, Atrix Wolfe, finds himself in the middle of a battle that may cost his own kingdom dearly. In the moment and in a bit of a panic, Atrix conjures a terrible entity that causes immediate bloodshed and haunts him as well as individuals in 3 different, consecutive worlds for the next 20 years.

The unlikely hero is a a boy prince who is sent off to a foreign kingdom to learn sorcery to help protect his own kingdom. Talis discovers a book written by Atrix Wolfe, the great mage that hasn't been seen in over 20 years. In trying out some of the magic in the book, Talis unwittingly draws Atrix out of hiding, but it also awakens the powerful and dreadful monster Atrix created. Together Talis and Atrix must destroy the evil.

A parallel and connected storyline involves a Wood Queen whom Talis has fallen in love with and a young girl who is the pot scrubber in Tallis' castle's kitchen.

I thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy and thought it was beautifully written, almost poetic and very descriptive and imaginative. I often had to go back and reread, but in so doing, the pictures formed in my mind were movie quality. I look forward to reading more by this award-winning author.

"Atrix shook his head, wordless again. "There seemed no words," he said finally, "for what I had done. Words were too small..." When trying to ask forgiveness, or give unmeasured thanks, or express deep love words can be too small.

I loved all of Chapter Seven when Saro, the kitchen pot-scrubber, was trying to learn words. She could hear but didn't speak and she needed to find the words to warn Talis. She listened to those working around her, she listened to the sounds of the fire and the wood being burned. "But nothing she ever heard resembled the vision she had seen in the pot. Nor did the human language, scattered constantly throughout the kitchen, suggest the death of the prince."

The Pub (2008) Challenge

The Pub (2008) Challenge
Reading books first published in 2008
Hosted by 1 More Chapter


Want to read more books that are published in the current year? You’ve come to the right place! This challenge lasts all year. The rules are simple:

  1. Read a minimum of 8 books published in 2008. (Library books are acceptable!)
  2. No children’s/YA titles allowed, since we’re at the ‘pub.’
  3. At least 4 titles must be fiction.
  4. Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
  5. Titles may be changed at any time.

Sign up HERE using Mr. Linky.

My List
1. Crossed by Nicole Galland
2. Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
3. Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline
more to come

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Random Passage

by Bernice Morgan

Random Passage is the story of 2 families from very different backgrounds who come to settle on Cape Random, Newfoundland in the early 1800s. Living on the cape when the families arrive is Thomas Hutchings who came to Newfoundland the year before to escape his past in Europe.

Spanning 15 years in the lives of this small community, this is a story of survival, relationships, personalities, unspoken memories and unspoken love. The focus is on Lavinia Andrews who was 17-years-old when her family left England because of legal problems involving her brother.

Thomas Hutchings is person of intrigue. Happily, the last few chapters of the book tell his story. I was a bit worried that I would never learn his story.

I liked this book a lot and think it provided an honest look at life on the shore of Newfoundland in that time period. I was struck with the isolation and dependence on each other for life. I am kicking myself that I didn't buy Morgan's sequel, Waiting for Time, from the ferry's book store on our ride to or back from Newfoundland. I had Random Passage on my bookshelf at home, but didn't want to buy the next book until I knew I liked the first.

M and I did drive out to see the sight created for the TV mini-series (We did a LOT of driving while in Newfoundland - loved it!) Anyway the spot is very remote even with the help of paved roads. It was very beautiful in the summer, but I can't even imagine living there in the winter. in the conditions they had.

Lavinia's thoughts/feelings after her first winter. "Despite all, things break, crumble, rust, disintegrate, fade, lose their shine, until it seems to Lavinia that life itself has turned grey. She longs to see colour, to smell green, to taste green, is in a rage of impatience for spring."

Thomas and Ned became best friends even though they were so different. This is something Thomas thought about Ned, "His mind was amazing. Ned could encompass a new thought, grasp it, examine it, twist and turn it and hold it up to the light until you saw what a wonderful shining thing it was."

I like this decription of Mary. I think it may be a local colloquialism." Mary is not a subtle woman, and her anger is frightening, but when she hwas achieved what she wants, she reverts to silence and good sense. As Meg has often said, Mary has no side doors."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog

by Elizabeth Peters

I read this for the Series Challenge and for the What's in a Name Challenge (animal) . This is book #7 in the Amelia Peabody series that I've dipped into here and there over the years. There are 12 more to get me caught up. I'm sure Ms Peters will have written more before that happens, though.

I really enjoy the story of Amelia and Emerson and their archaeological discoveries. In this installment Emerson looses his memory which adds undue complications in catching the "Master Criminal." There's plenty of adventure, intrigue and a bit of marital romance combined with a good mystery. It was fun to pick up a book and read about likable, crotchety characters you are familiar with. This series is comfortable and totally enjoyable.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I've been tagged for several memes and I've tried to do them, but I just wasn't able to think of answers. And if I could think of an answer I couldn't get the words down on paper so that it sounded okay. I am just not a writer. I have a real hard time writing my reviews, but force myself to do that so I have a record of what I've read. After all this explaining - what I really want to say is sorry to those who tagged me that I didn't keep it going.

Gautami Tripathy has tagged me for this meme. The answers seemed easy enough for me to answer. We'll see.

a). What issues/topic interests you most--non-fiction, i.e, cooking, knitting, stitching, there are infinite topics that has nothing to do with novels?
Cooking, gardening, woodworking, quilting, non-fiction, traveling, organizing, decorating
b). Would you like to review books concerning those?
Cookbooks would be lots of fun to review. Do publishers ever send out ARCs for cookbooks?
c). Would you like to be paid or do it as interest or hobby? Tell reasons for what ever you choose.
Yes, I would liked to be paid but not for reviewing books. I don't feel like I can express myself well enough to be paid for it. I would like to receive free copies to review on my blog, though.
d). Would you recommend those to your friends and how?
I would recommend them only if I like them.
e). If you have already done something like this, link it to your post.
Most recently, I reviewed Maggie Again from an ARC.
f). Please dont forget to link back here or whoever tags you.
My Little Reading Room home of Guatami Tripathy.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

by Susanna Clarke

Whew! Finished at last. Seems like I spent months on this book but it was really only 3 weeks. I read several other books at the same time because I would get a bit tired of JS&MN and needed other outlets.

I enjoyed the basic story involving the two magicians, the unnamed slave, the gentleman with the silvery hair and the two enchanted women. Much of the groundwork held my interest, but there was just too much. I think the book would have been totally wonderful if some of it had been left out.

I came to a vivid realization that England has a wonderful history steeped in magic. We don't have that in the young country of America. One review I read on JS&MN talked about the mythological references. I probably missed most of that because I don't have a good background in myths. Because of this book, I have an increased interest and that's a good thing.

I appreciated the history and enjoyed this reference to the London servants making fun of some imported servants brought in from Northern England. "...the used words like goosegogs, narrow-grass, betty-cat and battle-twigs, when they should have said gooseberries, asparagus, she-cat and earwigs."

At one point Strange gave Norrell a list of books he wanted to borrow from Norrell's library. "It was not a list to delight Mr Norrell's soul. It was full of first thoughts crossed-out, second thoughts crossed-out and third thoughts put in at angles and made to wriggle around other words that were in the way."

And this commentary on arguments between a married couple.
In the end is it not futile to try and follow the course of a quarrel between husband and wife? Such a conversation is sure to meander more than any other. It draws in tributary arguments and grievances from years before - all quite incomprehensible to any but the two people they concern most nearly. Neither party is ever proved right or wrong in such a case, or, if they are, what does it signify?"

I Finally Finished It! Whew!

I'm on my way to bed but I need to shout it from the rooftops: I finished Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell tonight!

No review tonight, just the euphoria of finishing. Now I'm off to bed. Thinking about what to read next: I've already started Random Passage and The Book of Atrix Wolfe so I don't have to think to hard.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Listening for Lions

by Gloria Whelan

This book will appeal to reader's ages 8 to adult. It definitely appealed to me. It's a story of courage, honesty, treachery, love and strength.
Thirteen-year-old Rachel Sheridan is left an orphan after influenza take the lives of her missionary parents in British East Africa in 1919. When cruel neighbors take her in, Rachel suspects their intentions may not be honest.
Rachel becomes entangled in a shocking and nefarious plot that takes her away from her beloved Africa on a lonely journey across the ocean. Surrounded by greed and lies, Rachel must rely on her irrepressible spirit and extraordinary wit to weather her adventure. And somewhere along the way, between deception and hope, the truth sets Rachel free and Africa calls her home.

National Book-Award-winning author Gloria Whelan crafts a wickedly delicious story of treachery and triumph, in which one young woman must claim her true identity in order to forge her own future and transform herself from victim to heroine. --from front flap
I look forward to reading Whelan's award-winning book, Homeless Bird.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


This is a much warmer and friendlier token to be passed around the blogosphere than that hard, cold snowball I usually get hit with this time of year! (Although that's fun to get hit with and passed along, too.) I don't know where this smackeroo originated, but it was passed onto me by Raidergirl3.
This is a quote from the original smoocheree:
"So, the point (and I do have one) to this post is motivated by my desire to hand some of that love and kindness back around to those who have been so very, very, very good to me in this bloggy world. My hope is that those who receive this award will pass it on to those who have been very, very, very good to them as well. It's a big kiss, of the chaste platonic kind, from me to you with the underlying 'thanks' message implied. I really do appreciate your support and your friendship and yes, your comments. ... Mwah!"

I was fortunate enough to meet Raidergirl3 when visiting Charlottetown, PEI this last summer. We had such a delightful visit. We had reading, teaching and science in common - she teaches high school chemistry and I taught high school biology before retiring. Plus, we both love a good bowl of fish chowder and Anne of Green Gables. Raidergirl3 presented me with 2 novels from the series. She's been a wonderful friend. Thank-you, Raidergirl3.

Now I'm suppose to pass this on to 5 other people. You all know how very hard that is because there are many, many blogger friends I would like to say 'Thank-you!' to for the sometimes sincere, sometimes witty and all the times cheerful comments. But the rule said to pick 5, so here are the ones I am sending a big xxx MWAH! xxx to:

1. Melissa the Booknut
2. Alisonwonderland
3. Heather - The Library Ladder
4. Suziqoregon - Blogging My Books
5. Dewey - The Hidden Side of the Leaf

All 5 people I've listed have uplifted me, made me smile, provided terrific book suggestions and made me feel welcome on their blogs.