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Book Challenge 2005: February - Page 3

post #41 of 207
#9 Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella

#10 Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella

The next two installments in the Shopaholic series. They were quick, fun reads (I read them both yesterday) and I enjoy her upbeat style of writing.
post #42 of 207
#11 Once in a Blue Moon by Penelope Williamson

From Publishers Weekly
Despite early whiffs of the industrial revolution and a hero who fought at Waterloo, history is little more than an embellishment in this romance of Regency-period Cornwall. Lieutenant McCady Trelawny, youngest son of an earl, intends to spend his short leave on his Cornish uncle's estate, developing an engine for a horseless carriage. His best efforts go up in a puff of smoke, but he captures the heart of Jessalyn Letty, a poor but ladylike member of the local gentry. But his own cousin, banker Clarence Tiltwell, has his sights set on marrying Jessalyn. McCady, too noble to take advantage of the 16-year-old girl, coldly disregards her avowal of love and rejoins his troops. Jessalyn becomes engaged to Clarence, a practical arrangement which she can accept with equanimity until McCady tromps back into her life five years later. Williamson's ( Keeper of the Dream , which has some 175,000 copies in print) tale never rises above bland sentimentality and stock characters, and one notes with uneasiness that she draws these characters along the lines of British class-based stereotypes, such as the honorable aristocrat vs. the contemptible banker.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

: Bit of a "bodice-ripper", it was loaned to me by a friend but I did find the story a page turner.
post #43 of 207

#12 for LB

"Deception Point" by Dan Brown

from Amazon:
When a NASA satellite discovers an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory -- a victory with profound implications for NASA policy and the impending presidential election. To verify the authenticity of the find, the White House calls upon the skills of intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton. Accompanied by a team of experts, including the charismatic scholar Michael Tolland, Rachel travels to the Arctic and uncovers the unthinkable: evidence of scientific trickery -- a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into controversy. But before she can warn the President, Rachel and Michael are ambushed by a deadly team of assassins. Fleeing for their lives across a desolate and lethal landscape, their only hope for survival is to discover who is behind this masterful plot. The truth, they will learn, is the most shocking deception of all.
post #44 of 207
#3: Child of the Prophecy by Juliet Marillier

This is the conclusion to the Sevenwaters Trilogy, and I just loved the whole series! I recommend you start with the first book, Daughter of the Forest. They are full of magic, love, fantasy, Celtic lore, and so much more.

From the back of the book: Magic is fading... and the ways of Man are driving the Old Ones to the West, beyond the ken of humankind. The ancient groves are being destroyed, and if nothing is done, Ireland will lose its essential mystic core.

The prophecies of long ago have foretold a way to prevent this horror, and it is the Sevenwaters clan that the Spirits of Eire look to for salvation. They are a family bound into the lifeblood of the land, and their promise to preserve the magic has been the cause of great joy to them... as well as great sorrow.

It is up to Fianne, daughter of Niamh, the lost sister of Sevenwaters, to solve the riddles of power. She is the shy child of a reclusive sorcerer, and her way is hard, for her father is the son of the wicked sorceress Oonagh, who has emerged from the shadows and seeks to destroy all that Sevenwaters has striven for. Oonagh will use her granddaughter Fianne most cruelly to accomplish her ends, and stops at nothing to see her will done.

Will Fianne be strong enough to battle this evil and save those she has come to love?
post #45 of 207
#20 Green Angel by Alice Hoffman

Sort of a sci-fi/fantasy book, also YA. There is a huge diaster which wipes out most of the city. A girl tries to survive without family and friends - although she starts out trying to destroy herself, the will to survive is stronger and though she tries to make herself out to be cold, hard, and tough, her true nature emerges. Good book.

#21 Melanie Martin Goes Dutch by Carol Weston (Juv)

I picked this up because I am writing a book for this same age range (5th grade). A fun book - the diary of an almost 5th grader and the story of her summer vacation and a trip to Amsteram. The main character is engaging and her feelings ring true - the only thing I didn't like is there is just a little too much obvious education about Holland and its history.
post #46 of 207


Cathe, where do you find so much time to read? I am so envious! I used to read like you do but just don't have the time now. And I bet your house is clean, too. And an author and mod at MDC to boot- you've got it all, woman!
post #47 of 207
It helps that we have no TV I usually read a couple of hours after the kids go to bed and I take my book whereever we go. Yesterday after swim lessons, we went to the playground. My dd's made some friends and I actually got to read my whole book while I was there (that was the juv book so I could finish in it 1 1/2 hours).

I must admit however that my house is not all that clean - whenever I have extra time, I am usually reading or writing. I just did a major cleaning today and I am vowing to keep more on top of it.
post #48 of 207
cathe - so that's how you do it! at least i'm not alone in the read vs. clean priority thing. thankfully, my dh totally gets it.
post #49 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe
It helps that we have no TV I usually read a couple of hours after the kids go to bed and I take my book whereever we go. Yesterday after swim lessons, we went to the playground. My dd's made some friends and I actually got to read my whole book while I was there (that was the juv book so I could finish in it 1 1/2 hours).

I must admit however that my house is not all that clean - whenever I have extra time, I am usually reading or writing. I just did a major cleaning today and I am vowing to keep more on top of it.
Oh, Cathe that is scary, that would almost be my response word for word LOL, except I work out of the house, hehe.
post #50 of 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by loftmama
cathe - so that's how you do it! at least i'm not alone in the read vs. clean priority thing. thankfully, my dh totally gets it.
Yes - my dh is cool with it too. I try to keep things straightened but who cares about a little dust right?
post #51 of 207
Thread Starter 
ITA with everything you said. I have started to take my book everywhere I go and even if I read one page that is good. Still though these past few weeks my brain has just not been into reading like I was. I had a really bad sinus infection so my head hurt and I just could not read. I am hoping that I am back on track. It also does not help that I have 5 books going at once!:LOL Plus we have a TV and I LOVE it! Going to try and wean myself so there is more time to read! You are my inspiration!
post #52 of 207
sometimes I need a few days between books, to digest and "get rid" of the old book to really get into the next world...I usually take at least a day between and read one of my mags that pile up on that "day-off"...but still very impressed with you Cathe, being on #22 already - actually impressed with this thread as a whole - already 51 entries - going month to month was a great idea!
post #53 of 207
Thread Starter 
I agree. There are SO many views though have you seen that? I know that I view alot and don't post, as I just cannot keep up, but the views say that maybe we are giving out great ideas too!
post #54 of 207
I view every day and only post when I have finished a book, I'm sure tons of folks are reading more b/c of this thread - very cool!!!
post #55 of 207
#22 Fantasy by Christine Feehan, Sabrina Jeffries, Emma Holly, Elda Minger

In these four new novellas by today's hottest romance writers, a Victorian widow auctions off her most prized possession: herself...a beautiful jungle explorer discovers her own wild side...a bloodthirsty beauty gives in to her darkest desires...and a young woman turns an all-male academy into a school for seduction.

***

Been finishing up a couple craft projects and getting a head start on my Spring Cleaning so have not been reading nearly as much as I normally do. Barely had a chance to touch a book this weekend.
post #56 of 207
I'm in.

#1 "The Darling" by Russell Banks

Very interesting. If anyone liked "Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver it reminded a bit of it. Set mostly in Africa, it deals with many subjects. It covers the life of a woman and her different activism causes through her life, political unrest in Africa and the plight of chimpanzees. I would love to read someone else's reaction to this book. Not in a long time has an author been able to paint a picture so clearly for me. I stayed up way too late finishing this book and the day after my eyes were a bit swollen, I could just see everything he was describing. I don't cry easily.
post #57 of 207
Going to the library web site to request that now . . . .
post #58 of 207

#4 Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

I loved this short nonfiction book! It's a fascinating look at snap judgments -- how and why we make them and when they're helpful vs. when they're not. Here's what Amazon says:

Quote:
Blink is about the first two seconds of looking--the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell, the best-selling author of The Tipping Point, campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, choking on the golf course, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of "thin slices" of behavior. The key is to rely on our "adaptive unconscious"--a 24/7 mental valet--that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or react to a new idea.

Gladwell includes caveats about leaping to conclusions: marketers can manipulate our first impressions, high arousal moments make us "mind blind," focusing on the wrong cue leaves us vulnerable to "the Warren Harding Effect" (i.e., voting for a handsome but hapless president). In a provocative chapter that exposes the "dark side of blink," he illuminates the failure of rapid cognition in the tragic stakeout and murder of Amadou Diallo in the Bronx. He underlines studies about autism, facial reading and cardio uptick to urge training that enhances high-stakes decision-making. In this brilliant, cage-rattling book, one can only wish for a thicker slice of Gladwell's ideas about what Blink Camp might look like. --Barbara Mackoff
post #59 of 207
#5 for me
Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou
: The second in series of her autobiography. People are probably familiar with I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Good stuff, tough stuff.
Essentially she writes about the many jobs she has trying to find herself and keep herself afloat. Obviously there is more to it than that, but that is the skeleton of the novel. I kept thinking of her son the whole book, she kept him at a sitters her entire work week and wouldn't see him until her day off. Can you imagine? I couldn't. Suggested to others as a good read.
post #60 of 207
2 of them here...

#12 Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
In Myla Goldberg's outstanding first novel, a family is shaken apart by a small but unexpected shift in the prospects of one of its members. When 9-year-old Eliza Naumann, an otherwise indifferent student, takes first prize in her school spelling bee, it is as if rays of light have begun to emanate from her head. Teachers regard her with a new fondness; the studious girls begin to save a place for her at lunch. Even Eliza can sense herself changing. She had "often felt that her outsides were too dull for her insides, that deep within her there was something better than what everyone else could see."
Eliza's father, Saul, a scholar and cantor, had long since given up expecting sparks of brilliance on her part. While her brother, Aaron, had taken pride in reciting his Bar Mitzvah prayers from memory, she had typically preferred television reruns to homework or reading. This belated evidence of a miraculous talent encourages Saul to reassess his daughter. And after she wins the statewide bee, he begins tutoring her for the national competition, devoting to Eliza the hours he once spent with Aaron. His daughter flowers under his care, eventually coming to look at life "in alphabetical terms." "Consonants are the camels of language," she realizes, "proudly carrying their lingual loads."

Vowels, however, are a different species, the fish that flash and glisten in the watery depths. Vowels are elastic and inconstant, fickle and unfaithful.... Before the bee, Eliza had been a consonant, slow and unsurprising. With her bee success, she has entered vowelhood.
When Saul sees the state of transcendence that she effortlessly achieves in competition, he encourages his daughter to explore the mystical states that have eluded him--the influx of God-knowledge (shefa) described by the Kabbalist Abraham Abulafia. Although Saul has little idea what he has set in motion, "even the sound of Abulafia's name sets off music in her head. A-bu-la-fi-a. It's magic, the open sesame that unblocked the path to her father and then to language itself."
Meanwhile, stunned by his father's defection, Aaron begins a troubling religious quest. Eliza's brainy, compulsive mother is also unmoored by her success. The spelling champion's newfound gift for concentration reminds Miriam of herself as a girl, and she feels a pang for not having seen her daughter more clearly before. But Eliza's clumsy response to Miriam's overtures convinces her mother that she has no real ties to her daughter. This final disappointment precipitates her departure into a stunning secret life. The reader is left wondering what would have happened if the Naumanns' spiritual thirsts had not been set in restless motion. A poignant and exceptionally well crafted tale, Bee Season has a slow beginning but a tour-de-force conclusion.

#13 I Walk in Dread: The Diary of Deliverance Trembley, Witness to the Salem Witch Trials
This is a Dear America diary DD picked up...love em, and have two more I'm reading now.
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