Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Prairie Tale by Melissa Gilbert

Stayed up late last night reading Melissa Gilbert's honest, funny and engaging new memoir. I really enjoyed it. 

Greenstone Grail by Amanda Hemingway

At first I could not figure out whether this was a teen or an adult book. I'm still not entirely sure. Some libraries have it in their teen section, others in the adult fantasy section. I would say, having read about half of it, that it would be for older teens, not younger ones.

Although I enjoyed the writing, it was a slow-paced book and once I found out that it (and its sequels) was a retelling of the Arthurian legend, I just couldn't bring myself to finish it. I don't know why, but Arthurian stories do absolutely nothing for me. 

I do think this is a book that many people who enjoy fantasy and/or Arthurian legends will enjoy. It just doesn't happen to have been my cup of tea.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

This book is currently generating a lot of buzz and I can see why - I quite enjoyed it. The characters were appealingly flawed, and I liked how Tropper wrote the family dynamics, even though reading about how they interacted was kind of like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

Bumbling and ultimately hopeful, the main character's confusion and existential anxiety were very well written. It's nice to read a book like this, where people screw up, they act irrationally, and yet you are still left with a feeling of hope and redemption at the end. 

The Little Lady Agency and the Prince by Hester Browne

This was a fun, frothy ending to a really nice trilogy of books featuring Melissa Romney-Jones, a very appealing and real heroine. If you haven't read the Little Lady books, you are missing out! 

A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss

It took me a good week and a half to get through this dense 18th century thriller by the author of Whiskey Rebels (which I really enjoyed). This one was good too, and interesting, but I didn't like the characters much (including the main character, Benjamin Weaver), and I don't care much for this time period, so I probably won't read any more of Liss' novels featuring Weaver. 

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Stone's Fall by Iain Pears

Wow. This one was hard to put down. A great novel of suspense and mystery, interesting and well written. Anyone who enjoys slightly dark, gothic tales (like Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfeld or Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon should probably give this a try.

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

A quick read; a magical and charming kid's book. 

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Recent reads

Shelter Me by Juliette Fay - really enjoyed this debut novel. Well written characters, an absorbing plot and a flawed but likeable protagonist. I'm looking forward to more of Fay's work.
Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich. Pretty hilarious. Not high literature by any means, and the ending was kind of weak, but I still enjoyed it.
Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper. Too bad the book doesn't live up to its tagline, which is fabulous - "She's a librarian with a really long shelf life."  I just couldn't get into it.
Little Lady, Big Apple by Hester Browne -- the sequel to Little Lady Agency. Good chick-lit fun.