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April Book Challenge - Page 2

post #21 of 41

   

Cathe, This book was recommended to me. It supposed to be really amazing. These days with my busy life, I read for pleasure, In-between driving my son around to his activities or right before I go to bed, so I thought it  might be too heavy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by cathe View Post

My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.

 

An account of a brain scientist who experiences and recovers from a stroke and how it changed her way of thinking about the brain. Somewhat interesting . . .



 

post #22 of 41

I am the Messenger, Zuzak

 

 

 

Quote:

Nineteen-year-old cabbie Ed Kennedy has little in life to be proud of: his dad died of alcoholism, and he and his mom have few prospects for success. He has little to do except share a run-down apartment with his faithful yet smelly dog, drive his taxi, and play cards and drink with his amiable yet similarly washed-up friends. Then, after he stops a bank robbery, Ed begins receiving anonymous messages marked in code on playing cards in the mail, and almost immediately his life begins to swerve off its beaten-down path. Usually the messages instruct him to be at a certain address at a certain time. So with nothing to lose, Ed embarks on a series of missions as random as a toss of dice: sometimes daredevil, sometimes heartwarmingly safe. He rescues a woman from nightly rape by her husband. He brings a congregation to an abandoned parish. The ease with which he achieves results vacillates between facile and dangerous, and Ed's search for meaning drives him to complete every task. But the true driving force behind the novel itself is readers' knowledge that behind every turn looms the unknown presence - either good or evil - of the person or persons sending the messages.

 

 

I really liked this one -- I don't think I've come across a book recently that had me tearing up in so many random pages.  The ending is odd -- but overall I do highly recommend.

post #23 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:

It's actually not that heavy - - - the first part about the brain is a little dry but all in all, its a pretty quick easy read. I didn't find it as amazing as the person who recommended it to me but it was interesting.

 

Originally Posted by jalilah View Post
 

   

Cathe, This book was recommended to me. It supposed to be really amazing. These days with my busy life, I read for pleasure, In-between driving my son around to his activities or right before I go to bed, so I thought it  might be too heavy.

Quote:



 



 

post #24 of 41
Thread Starter 

Great House by Nicole Krauss

 

I loved this author's first book History of Love so was excited when I spotted this at the library. This was beautifully written but not really a page turner--more of a slow, thoughtful book.

post #25 of 41

Arcadia Falls, Goodman

 

 

Quote:

 Following the death of her husband, Meg Rosenthal accepts a job teaching at an upstate New York boarding school and moves there with her teenage daughter, Sally. The school, Arcadia Falls, also happens to be central to her thesis, which focuses on the two female coauthors of fairy tales: Vera Beecher, who founded the school, and her friend Lily Eberhardt, who died mysteriously in 1947. While the campus is bucolic, school life proves anything but—Meg thinks she sees ghosts and Arcadia's brightest and most ambitious student, Isabel Cheney, is found dead in a ravine. Feeling Sally drifting further from her each day, Meg finds refuge in Lily's preserved diary and begins to unravel the secrets behind Isabel's death. Goodman doesn't do anything new, but her storytelling is as solid as ever, and the book is reliably entertaining.

 

Setting wise, this book is magnificent -- you truly feel transported to a crumbling boarding school, as fall descends on upstate new york.  Plot-wise, it's interseting enough, but similar to some of Goodman's other books, and with one-too-many plot twists. 

post #26 of 41

 

Getting behind on my reading as we have a new pup! I forgot how much work they can be!

 

1) A Falcon for a Queen, Catherine Gaskin
2) Peace Like a River Leif Engel
3) Life of Pi by Yann Martel
4) The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
5) Little Bee Chris Cleave
6) The Lost Gate, Orson Scott Card
7) Gail Carriger does some great steam punk, "Blameless" was recent read
8) In the Bleak Midwinter, Julia Spencer-Fleming
9) Guardian Of The Darkness (Moribito) by Nahoko Uehashi with the kids
10) The Zoo Keeper's Wife, Diane Ackerman. 
11) The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
12) Quest For The Spark Tom Sniegoski  graphic novels.with the kids.
13) Love in the Time of Cholera’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez-

 

14) The Return of Merlin (1995A novel by Deepak Chopra. I did enjoy this as I am quite a fan of the Arthurian legend. An interesting twist on the story.

 

When two young constables, Arthur Callum and Katy Kilbride, discover a body in a roadside ditch outside a small industrial town in Somerset, England, they set off a series of disturbing phenomena that grow to plague the entire countryside. After the body disappears and other people are reported missing, Arthur and Katy's inquiries lead them to a strange, mazelike grove and a stone that opens a doorway to the past, tearing open the fabric of time. Along with Tommy and Sis, two brave schoolboys from St. Justin's; Sir Derek Rees, a renowned scholar of Arthurian lore; and a group of town misfits, Arthur and Katy find themselves embroiled in a deadly wizard's game that began twelve centuries earlier. For the fall of Camelot was not the end of a legend: In his wisdom, Merlin had anticipated the murder of King Arthur and his knights at the hands of Mordred, the royal bastard. Like evil seeds, Mordred lay down spells that remained dormant until now, the brink of the third millennium. By using powers that transcend time, Mordred can reach into the present. Soon the forces marshaled by these two wizards will clash again and the outcome will transform all of humanity.When two young constables, Arthur Callum and Katy Kilbride, discover a body in a roadside ditch outside a small industrial town in Somerset, England, they set off a series of disturbing phenomena that grow to plague the entire countryside. After the body disappears and other people are reported missing, Arthur and Katy's inquiries lead them to a strange, mazelike grove and a stone that opens a doorway to the past, tearing open the fabric of time. Along with Tommy and Sis, two brave schoolboys from St. Justin's; Sir Derek Rees, a renowned scholar of Arthurian lore; and a group of town misfits, Arthur and Katy find themselves embroiled in a deadly wizard's game that began twelve centuries earlier. For the fall of Camelot was not the end of a legend: In his wisdom, Merlin had anticipated the murder of King Arthur and his knights at the hands of Mordred, the royal bastard. Like evil seeds, Mordred lay down spells that remained dormant until now, the brink of the third millennium. By using powers that transcend time, Mordred can reach into the present. Soon the forces marshaled by these two wizards will clash again and the outcome will transform all of humanity.

post #27 of 41

Haunted Ground, hart

 

 

 

Quote:

Cutting turf in the peat bogs of his Ireland farm, Brendan McGann occasionally finds old oak beams, oxcarts or tubs of butter and cheese buried ages ago and forgotten. But he's hardly prepared for the gruesome discovery he makes one pleasant April morning: the perfectly preserved head of a woman. So begins Hart's debut thriller, which follows archeologist Cormac Maguire, maverick local detective Garret Devaney, and Nora Gavin, an American anatomist lecturing at Trinity College Medical School, as they investigate the farmer's grisly finding, which could date back quite far, given that peat bogs can preserve bodies for centuries. Cormac and Nora stay in the house of Hugh Osborne, the owner of a decaying manor who also happens to be the prime suspect in the unsolved disappearance of his wife and infant son two years ago. The accommodations are not quite the Ritz. Osborne's dour cousin, Lucy Osborne, is the housekeeper, and her son, 17-year-old Jeremy, who drinks too much, also lurks around the estate. Nora finds a filthy, dead crow on her bed, as well as broken glass littering her bathroom floor. What's going on in this malevolent household? In addition to a complex, multilayered plot that involves both contemporary and historical crimes, Hart's novel is rich in local color: evenings at the pub, the petty feuds and jealousies of the townspeople and the traditional music and folk culture of Ireland are evocatively rendered.
 

 

 

I really, really liked this -- was fascinated by the concept of the bog bodies, and had to do some outside research.  The mystery and romance also all come together really nicely.

 

Impossible, Werlin

 

 

 

Quote:

Werlin combines magic, romance, and a family curse in this 21st-century fairy tale based on the ballad "Scarborough Fair." On the night of her prom, Lucy, 17, is raped by her date and becomes pregnant. She decides to keep the child, and she is supported by her foster parents and Zach, her childhood friend whose love for Lucy changes from platonic to romantic as the story progresses. The teen discovers the curse on the women in her family when she reads her birth mother's diary. Lucy is destined for madness at 18 unless she can perform the three impossible tasks described in the song and break the curse of the Elfin Knight. She is determined to rid herself and her unborn child of the curse, and her family and Zach help her as she works to solve the riddles. This unique story flows smoothly and evenly, and the well-drawn characters and subtle hints of magic early on allow readers to enter willingly into the world of fantasy. As in The Rules of Survival (Dial, 2006), Werlin addresses tough topics. Rape, teen pregnancy, and family madness set the story in motion, but the strength of Lucy's character and the love of her family and friends allow her to deal with such difficult matters and take on the impossible.

 

I'm about 3/4 through this and again I'm really liking it.  Lucy's character is remarkable, and the element of magic is woven into everyday life in a believable way.

post #28 of 41
Thread Starter 

The Paperbark Shoe by Goldie Goldbloom

 

Gin (Virginia) is an albino woman living in Australia during WWII. She does not love her husband or her life but is resigned to it--until two Italian POW's come to work on their farm and for the first time, Gin is loved despite the way she looks. I thought the premise of this book interesting and always love historical fiction, but for me this book began to drag about halfway through and it became almost a chore to finish it. While I thought the writing and story were good, I think some cutting in the second half would have kept me more engrossed.

 

That's three so-so books in a row now . . . I need a good pageturner!

post #29 of 41

 I accidentally posted this in March!

Sefafina’s Stories by Rudolfo Anaya

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/a/rudolfo-anaya/serafina-s-stories.htm

What a delight to come upon this book! Anaya has been one of my favourite writer ever since I read Bless me Ultima years ago; however I have not loved all his novels since.

 

Serifna’s stories takes place in the 1600's Santa Fe when New Mexico was the northern most province of New Spain. Based on  the history of clashes between the Spanish and  Native Americans, 12 Pueblo men are rounded up and face trial on charges of plotting a revolution against Spain. One is actually a young 15 year old girl named Serafina!  Like  

Scheherazade in 1001 Nights, Serafina agrees to tell a story to the governor and if he likes the story, he must agree to release one prisoner. Serafina is an excellent storyteller, so by the end of 11 nights all prisoners are released. The tales she tells are real “Cuentos” from New Mexico. Some of them are similar to European Fairy tales but have been New Mexicanized, for example there is one story that bears a resemblance to Cinderella, but instead of a good fairy the Virgin Mary helps! Other stories originated in the Indian subcontinent made their way to New Mexico via Persia then Spain but have  Hispanic and Pueblo characters. . Although this particular governor never existed, the problems as well as the peaceful coexistence between Pueblo and Spanish did.  This novel is a great way to read about the history and culture of the Southwest.   One could be for any age to enjoy this book. I highly recommend it


 

post #30 of 41

#21 The Tech Writer's Survival Guide by Janet Van Wicklen

for work, somewhat boring, some good info, a tad outdated....

 

#22 Web Writing/Web Designing by Margaret Batschlet

also for work, good info and a tad outdated

 

#23 The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King

Soooo good.  Story is about a WWI era young woman walking the downs in rural England, she stumbles upon a man observing his beehive, and it turns out he's a retired Sherlock Holmes.  The young woman, Mary Russell, is a very intelligent and precocious young lady and they develop a mentor/mentee relationship.  I LOVED this book, and am super excited to see that there are 10 of them in the series!  Can't wait to read the others.  I'm adding the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books to my list as well. 

 

#24 The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I've been drawn to this book for some time.  Wanting to read it, but knowing it would be rather unsavory, to say the least.  I took it as a sign it was time to read it when I popped into my tiny library branch and it was on the fiction shelves waiting for me (there are only two big shelves of adult fiction in our library, the rest is holds waiting to be picked up and a rather large childrens/YA section).  Read it in 2 days, somewhat at arm's length.  I'm glad I read it, and found it riveting.  It was easy to tell I was reading Cormac McCarthy, who I find to be an incredible writer, and I also find his style is easy to spot. (bleak, tends to have a hopeless feeling to it, IMHO).  This book, while hard to put down, was the same, bleak, hopeless, AND gruesome.  Glad I'm done with it.

 

#25 The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel by Diana Gabaldon

The title says it all, it's part of the Outlander story, from a slightly different perspective, in a graphic novel form.  Fun, quick read.

post #31 of 41
Thread Starter 

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

 

Cute middle-grade novel about a misfit sixth-grade boy who creates an Origami Yoda which he wears on his finger. Yoda starts giving advice to his classmates--and the advice is very good. When he gives Tommy advice about a very tricky situation, Tommy puts together a case file to help him decide if he should follow Yoda's advice or not.This is a fun, fast read--good for 4-6th graders, a good choice for reluctant readers as well.

post #32 of 41

#15 All the Pretty Horses-Cormac McCarthy. The novel tells of John Grady Cole, a sixteen year old cowboy who grew up on his grandfather's ranch in San Angelo West Texas. The story begins in 1949, soon after the death of John Grady's grandfather, when Grady learns that the ranch is to be sold. Faced with the prospect of moving into town, Grady instead chooses to leave, persuading his best friend, Lacey Rawlins, to accompany him. Traveling by horseback, the pair travel Southward into Mexico, where they hope to find work as cowboys.

 

Sad, funny, and bleak at times. Just a beautiful book. I will be reading more by Mr. McCarthy.

post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by fremontmama View Post

 

#17 Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Very good book that covers a tragic subject from a present day fictionalized account and also a historical character's perspective.  It's about a roundup of Jewish families that lived in Paris and were rounded up by the French Police, ordered to by the Nazis, and sent to a local stadium before shipped off to concentration camps.  Lots of tears, but very compelling story.

 

 


I loved "Sarah's Key"!   I read it years ago and still think about it.  I realize it was "fiction"; but plausible fiction since the author did her research.  Hard to forget. 

I also saw someone mentioned "Thirteen Reasons Why".  Read that earlier this year.  My dd did too--it was great fuel for a good conversation.  Makes you think about your actions.  

 

Now to my books.  I usually prefer fiction--but lately I have been on a non-fiction rampage. :)  Most recently:

 

Spark

http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113506/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1303882032&sr=8-1

 

Suicide by Sugar

http://www.amazon.com/Suicide-Sugar-Startling-National-Addiction/dp/0757003060/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1303882071&sr=1-1

 

Read "From then to now" for a possible addition to our history stuff for homeschool.

http://www.amazon.com/Then-Now-Short-History-World/dp/0887765408/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1303882296&sr=1-1

 

With my girls, I have read "The Star Maker" by Laurence Yep.  It is a quick read about a Chinese-American boy in the 1950's.  He ended up promising fire crackers to all his cousins by Chinese New Year.  There is a second story line about his uncle, who ends up helping the boy with his problem.

http://www.amazon.com/Star-Maker-Laurence-Yep/dp/0060253150/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1303882226&sr=1-2

 

Amy

 


Edited by AAK - 4/26/11 at 10:32pm
post #34 of 41
Thread Starter 

Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde

 

Fifteen-year-old Elle is on her own. Her mother has set her up in an apartment because her new boyfriend doesn't want Elle around. That's okay though--her new neighbor Frank is kind and gentle. He pays attention to her and actually seems to like her. Elle finds herself falling for him . . . but then she finds out he is transgender--and isn't sure what to do with that information. Leave it to Hyde to tackle another "taboo" subject with compassion and honesty to give us another unforgettable story.

 

 

post #35 of 41

The Man Who Could Fly by Rudolfo Anaya

Anaya is one of my favourite writers because of Bless Me Ultima, Tortuga and now Serafina's Stories

If you have never read him before, I would start with any of those books and not with this short storiy collection.

I just did not like it as much.

post #36 of 41

#16 Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk David Sedaris

 

I am a big fan of David Sedaris. I did not love this book. It was ok. There were a few laugh out loud parts, but nothing like some of his past reads. I guess I like stories about people behaviong badly compared to animals behaving badly. And some of the stories had parts that were just yucky (animal like yes, but not enjoyable).

 

Onto something different.

post #37 of 41

April
47. The Hollow Bettle  by Susannah Appelbaum
48. Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
49.Delirium by Lauren Oliver
50.Why Shoot a Butler? by Georgette Heyer
51.Promised Valley Rebellion by Ron Fritsch
52.Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
53. The Tasters' Guild by Susannah Appelbaum
54. The School of Night by Louis Bayard
55. Time and Again by Jack Finney
56. The Lost Hero  by Rick Riordan
57. The Library Card by Jerry Spinelli
58. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
59.These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf
60.My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
 

post #38 of 41

January

1. Only Son - Kevin O'Brien

2. Planning To Live - Heather Wardell

3. The 7 Wonders That Will Change Your Life - Glenn Beck/ Keith Ablow

4. Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tatoo - Heather Wardell

5. Carved In Bone - Jefferson Bass

February

6. Thirteen Reasons Why- Jay Asher 

7. The Abstinence Teacher- Tom Perrotta

8. One Fine Day Your're Gonna Die- Gail Bowen  (90 pgs)

9. Term Limits - Vince Flynn

10. Scars - Cheryl Rainfield 

March

11. After- Amy Efaw

12. Hold Still- Nina LaCour

13. Pretty Little Things-Jilliane Hoffman 

14. Happen Every Day- Isabel Gilles

15. School Days- Robert B. Parker 

April 

16. I Am Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World  - Eve Ensler

17. Plea of Insanity- Jilliane Hoffman

18. Unsweetined- Jodie Sweetin

19. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants- Ann Brashares

20. The Second Summer of the Sisterhood - Ann Brashares

May

post #39 of 41

 

The Curse of Chupacabra by Rudolfo Anaya

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/a/rudolfo-anaya/curse-of-chupacabra.htm

Hmm, I must say I really enjoyed this book, even though it got bad reviews and is already out of print even though it just came out a few years ago.

Would I recommend it? Not if you have never read Anaya and want to become familiar with his works.

However if you like thrillers with a supernatural elements and folktales you just might have fun with this book. Like all Anaya books, it could be for YA or adults for there is never anything inappropriate. Anaya mentions in his preface that this book was written as a response to all the letters he gets from Chicanos in prisons asking for books that deal with their history and culture.   The book deals with gangs, and the drug trade.

 


Edited by raksmama - 5/2/11 at 6:00am
post #40 of 41

The Scent of Rain and Lightning, Pickard

 

 

 

 

Quote:
A decades-old mystery is solved and a woman’s haunting questions put to rest in Pickard’s latest thriller. When she was just three years old, Jody Linder lost both parents in one night, when her father, Hugh Jay—eldest son of the wealthiest rancher in the small town of Rose, Kansas—was killed and her mother, Laurie, vanished. Raised by grandparents, Hugh Senior and Annabelle Linder, and with loving support from three uncles, Jody spends years collecting human detritus around the area’s towering Testament Rocks, where authorities once searched for clues to Laurie’s disappearance. Jody’s world is rocked 23 years later when Billy Crosby, the vicious drunk convicted of her father’s murder on circumstantial evidence, is released for a new trial; his return to town brings events to a head. In her second stand-alone (after The Virgin of Small Plains, 2006), Pickard shows her storytelling skills, weaving elements of deception, revenge, and romance into a novel with full-bodied characters who deal with tragedy as best they can; Annabelle Linder’s encounter with Crosby’s wife is particularly moving. From an award-winning author, this is engrossing fiction with an eminently satisfying denouement.

 

 

Really, really good.

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