March 2009 Book Challenge - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 229 Old 03-16-2009, 03:54 PM
 
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Just listened to David Sedaris...Live at Carnegie Hall. Listening to him is actually so much more fun than reading.


1. Club Dead, Charlaine Harris. #3 of the Southern Vampire Series.
2. Dead to the World #4 of the Southern Vampire Series.
3. Dead as a Doornail, book #5 of teh Southern Vampire Series.
4. Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris.
5. Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins.
6. Life as We Knew It
7. Definitely Dead #6 of the Southern Vampire Series.
8. A Thousand Splendid Sunsets
9. All Together Dead #7 of the Southern Vampire Series
10.Graceling
'
11. David Sedaris: Live at Carnegie Hall.
I LOVE listening to David Sedaris. His funny little voice is just so great. Now, when I read him, I hear his voice in my head



#9 No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July

I like Miranda July, think she's pretty cool. However, I did not like this book. I dont think I'm quirky enough maybe? Plus, it takes a lot to make me like short stories.....
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#122 of 229 Old 03-18-2009, 09:14 AM
 
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#20 Nation
Author: Terry Pratchett
Category: Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 3.5/5
Summary: A tsunami wave washes away an entire island nation, except one boy named Mau. But when much is taken, something is returned. Mau soon discovers he’s not alone on the island.

Review: (Confession: This is the first book by Terry Pratchett that I’ve ever read!)

I love me some post-apocalyptic fiction. So I liked this book. It is extremely well-written. Actually, maybe it’s a little too well-written because I felt Mau’s desperation so vividly that every time I got a few minutes to read, I hesitated picking the book up. I didn’t always feel like being completely and utterly transported to that world.

But I think what always kept me coming back is the humor. Not laugh-out-loud funny, but a-quiet-chuckle-and-sometimes-a-groan funny.

Here, some survivors from another island are trying to explain horses to Mau, who’s never seen them before:
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“…And the horses! Oh, everyone should see the horses!”

“What are horses?” [said Mau.]

“Well, they’re…well, you know hogs?” said Pilu.

“Better than you can imagine.”

“…Well, they are not like hogs. But if you took a hog and made it bigger and longer, with a longer nose and a tail, that’s a horse. Oh, and much more handsome. And much longer legs.”

“So a horse is not really like a pig at all?”

“Well, yes, I suppose so. But it’s got the same number of legs.”

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

0***4***8***12***16***20***baby.gif***28***32***36***40

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#123 of 229 Old 03-18-2009, 12:16 PM
 
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Star Beast. Robert Heinlein

this was my first "real" audio book. i have been spending so much time in the car lately w/ the kids, i figured why not give it a go? it was a bit hard for me to get into the idea of being read to; but after a bit that feeling went away.

as far as the book, i dont think ive ever met a Heinlein book i didnt like (yes, im aware of teh political aspects and the sexism...but im ok w/ those).

Star Beast, Lummox, is an extra terrestrial, considered a pet of the Stuart family for several generations. One day, an unknown species of space voyagers descend on Earth to retrieve the "pet". Heinlein has an incredible mastery of the English language..his writing is like eating caviar compared to sardines for me. Rich, witty, simply pleasurable. Now that i have listened to this book, i think i want to listen to all Heinlein books again.

1. Club Dead, Charlaine Harris. #3 of the Southern Vampire Series.
2. Dead to the World #4 of the Southern Vampire Series.
3. Dead as a Doornail, book #5 of teh Southern Vampire Series.
4. Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris.
5. Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins.
6. Life as We Knew It
7. Definitely Dead #6 of the Southern Vampire Series.
8. A Thousand Splendid Sunsets
9. All Together Dead #7 of the Southern Vampire Series
10.Graceling

11. David Sedaris: Live at Carnegie Hall.
12. Star Beast, Robert Heinlein
'
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#124 of 229 Old 03-18-2009, 12:54 PM
 
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Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella

This is the one time when Becky's suspicions were closer to reality regarding her husband and the OB. Of course, its her own desire to have the best that gets her into the sticky situation so you can't feel too bad for her. I wonder if there will be another book in the series -- Shopaholic and Toddler? I can see her freaking out over the best preschool.

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#125 of 229 Old 03-18-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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Twenty-Two Years a Slave and Forty Years a Freeman by Austin Steward

First published in 1857, this book is a biography; the author was born a slave in the late 1700's and eventually becomes a freeman. I do not have a strong background of knowledge regarding slavery in the U.S., which would have come in useful to better understand what was happening when, but I still found the book interesting and insightful. I especially enjoyed the parts describing his life in Canada - he joined a black community that existed very close to where I now live.

Divisadero (audio) by Michael Ondaatje

I think it will take awhile for this book to settle in my mind. I enjoyed the writing style, but felt so unsatisfied at the end. I need more closure - so many characters were abandoned along the way. I'm afraid I can't even summarise it in a few sentences. It would be a great read for a book club - def lots to discuss!

The Handmade Paper Book by Angela Ramsay

Having never made paper, nor read any other paper making books, I can't say with any great authority that this is a thorough description of how to make paper, but it seems to be. I'm not at a place to give it a try, but I will soon. It looks easy enough and does not require a lot of special tools, according to the author.

The Water Horse (audio) by Dick King-Smith

This is a very sweet book that I will let my 6 year old listen to without hesitation. While beach combing, a young girl and her brother find a suspicious looking "egg". They take it home and secretly hatch it out in the bathtub. Guess what it is?
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#126 of 229 Old 03-18-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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27. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart

The group of kids go on a scavenger hunt to search for Mr. Benedict, but the fun trip turns dangerous. I think the author exchanged the witty dialogue in the first book for a little bit of character development. Sticky tries not to be such a pompous know-it-all, Constance discovers an unexpected talent, Reynie struggles with his growing suspicion and distrust of people, and Kate... fixes up her bucket. I didn't like this one at all and ended up skimming the last two chapters. It just wasn't as fun to read as the first one.
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#127 of 229 Old 03-18-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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#10 Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Number two in the Vampire Academy series, which is young adult, I finished this in about 8 hours total because I totally didn't want to put it down! Part of that, I'm sure is because I'm procrastinating on writing my final comparative law paper, but another part of it was that I really wanted to know what was going to happen to Rose. I've also started book number 3 even though I should be working....

I'd also say that this one was better than the first because the writing is a bit tighter.

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#128 of 229 Old 03-18-2009, 11:41 PM
 
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#10 Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Number two in the Vampire Academy series, which is young adult, I finished this in about 8 hours total because I totally didn't want to put it down! Part of that, I'm sure is because I'm procrastinating on writing my final comparative law paper, but another part of it was that I really wanted to know what was going to happen to Rose. I've also started book number 3 even though I should be working....

I'd also say that this one was better than the first because the writing is a bit tighter.
kbond, I can't WAIT to hear what you think of the third one. I'm dying to read the fourth, but it's not out until August! Argh! It's kind of a cliffhanger, so if you don't want to torture yourself, you might put it off until July or so.

Chessa , mama to Silas T (6/06) , wife to Chad . Welcome August Emerson! 2/8/10
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#129 of 229 Old 03-19-2009, 02:06 AM
 
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kbond, I can't WAIT to hear what you think of the third one. I'm dying to read the fourth, but it's not out until August! Argh! It's kind of a cliffhanger, so if you don't want to torture yourself, you might put it off until July or so.
Bit late for that....I've already started it. Oh well, I'll just have to console myself with the next Succubus book when I'm done.

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#130 of 229 Old 03-19-2009, 09:16 AM
 
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#35 The Likeness by Tana French

The follow-up book to In The Woods. Set in Ireland. Another good one. A police detective is called to the scene of a murder because the victim happens to look just like her and is using an alias she has used in the past.

#36 Desires and Devices by P.D. James

More of P.D. James' British mysteries. This one involves a nuclear power plant and a serial killer.

We're in Indiana and I'm reading away so I can send books home with DH when he leaves on Sunday -- less for me to carry back when traveling with DD, our bags, and the carseat.....
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#131 of 229 Old 03-19-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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#10 Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

This was the UW book for all students to read a couple years ago. It's pretty good, non-fiction accounting of the PIH, Partners In Health institute, started by Paul Farmer, a doctor who travels the world doctoring to the poor and getting programs started in many different places around the world to combat AIDS/HIV and TB. Thumbs up.

I can't remember if I set a goal this year! Did I? I'm too lazy to go poring back over the old threads, so I think I'll do one here. I think my goal in 2008 was 75 books, and I'm pretty sure I didn't make it, I think I hit 60-something? I'm making 75 my goal again, just to give it another shot.
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#132 of 229 Old 03-19-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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27. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart

The group of kids go on a scavenger hunt to search for Mr. Benedict, but the fun trip turns dangerous. I think the author exchanged the witty dialogue in the first book for a little bit of character development. Sticky tries not to be such a pompous know-it-all, Constance discovers an unexpected talent, Reynie struggles with his growing suspicion and distrust of people, and Kate... fixes up her bucket. I didn't like this one at all and ended up skimming the last two chapters. It just wasn't as fun to read as the first one.
I know what you mean. I loved the first one -- but this one I just couldn't get into. I didn't know if it was because too much time had passed from when I read the first and the second and had forgotten the characters -- but if you had trouble even reading one after another, I guess it wasn't just me.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#133 of 229 Old 03-19-2009, 07:00 PM
 
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19. Holidays are Hell: "Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel" - Kim Harrison
20. Dates From Hell: "Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil" - Kim Harrison
22. Hotter Than Hell: "Dirty Magic" - Kim Harrison
These three were short stories in different anthologies - trying to catch myself up, since her latest full-length installment (White Witch, Black Curse) relied heavily on these freaking short stories, which I didn't realize until I was in the middle of the book. Grr. Irritated. The stories were fine, but I'm kind of holding a grudge, you might notice.

21. Hunted (House of Night, Book 5) - P.C. and Kristin Cast
YA/Vampire - This series is fun, if you don't look too closely. It's brain candy, like a great episode of Buffy or something. But I do have several bones to pick with this one Like why do each of the books only cover a ~48 hr time period?! It's like reading an episode of 24. It just seems impossible to cover that much ground in such a small time frame, especially since the characters are even sleeping and eating. What? Also, there is a totally annoying revisit of a love triangle, which I was SO over with the first time it was resolved. Seriously. I know they're teenagers, but can we puh-leeze move on? I also find some of the "teen" language annoying (i.e. the main character tries not to swear, and so says things like "Bullpoopie" which is a word that should have never been created, ever, ever, ever.) This is especially weird since other characters in the book totally drop the f-bomb, so it's not the like the authors are trying to appeal only to a younger audience.

I guess my overall criticism of this series is that each book is like a 1 hour installment of a TV show. I'm much happier when 1 book would better translate into an entire season's worth of episodes, kwim? For instance, Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse book Dead Until Dark = Season 1 of True Blood. That's all. Fewer books, more stuff per book. But that means less money, I guess. Irritating.

Chessa , mama to Silas T (6/06) , wife to Chad . Welcome August Emerson! 2/8/10
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#134 of 229 Old 03-19-2009, 09:35 PM
 
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I know what you mean. I loved the first one -- but this one I just couldn't get into. I didn't know if it was because too much time had passed from when I read the first and the second and had forgotten the characters -- but if you had trouble even reading one after another, I guess it wasn't just me.
Yeah, there is a very noticeable difference from reading both books back-to-back. The author just didn't seem to have as much fun writing this one.
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#135 of 229 Old 03-19-2009, 11:22 PM
 
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#11 Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
Keeta, why oh why didn't I heed your advice? Ugh. You were right, the ending to this one is a cliff-hanger, and I'm kicking myself that I have to wait until August to know how it ends. (For the record, I'm hoping that it isn't true.)

That being said, this one was also really good. I don't want to give too much away, but the fact that there were two things going on was really good. It was pretty easy to guess the one, but I didn't figure out the other one until it was revealed in the text.

Also, I'm enjoying the fact that Rose ends this book questioning the status quo. About damn time. And, I was so pissed that Lissa wasn't supportive but, instead, whining "what about me?"

#12 Sucubus on Top by Richelle Mead
This was the second in a series, and pretty good. It doesn't stand alone and clearly there is more to the story at the end of this one, which is okay. I must admit the reveal about Dana was fairly obvious, and I couldn't believe that Georgina didn't pick up on it sooner. I can't wait until I have time to start the next one.

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#136 of 229 Old 03-20-2009, 09:50 AM
 
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Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra

The tragic tale of four lives who intersect under the heavily oppressive Taliban rule in Kabul. The terror that women face under the regime was very evident in the book. I felt claustrophobic as I read what their lives have been reduced down to. Even the slightest bit of hope was extinguished in the end. This is not a feel good book but rather a stark portrayal of life.

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#137 of 229 Old 03-20-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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#11 The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

I'm sure everyone's already heard of this one. Super quick read, made me consider my own mortality and what lessons I want to pass on to my own kids. I'm thinking I want to write letters to my kids too, just in case.
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#138 of 229 Old 03-20-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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#37 Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed-Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students by Denise Clark Pope

Interesting stuff. from Amazon:

Quote:
By and large, the recent focus on American education has been on the shortcomings of our worst schools. Pope, a lecturer at the Stanford University School of Education, zeroes in on a well-regarded California public high school and explores "the educational experience" from the students' points of view. Her year-long shadowing of five intelligent, motivated students from diverse backgrounds raises the troubling proposition that even our best schools may be misserving our best students, and reveals the ambiguous nature of our successes. Devoting a detailed chapter to the school lives of each student, Pope asks two important questions: "What exactly is being learned in high schools like Faircrest? And at what costs?" The answers are dismaying. Students learn that getting A's is of supreme importance, and that it is sometimes more advantageous to be "system savvy" than it is to actually learn the material. Still, Pope's five subjects work hard at grueling routines, sacrificing sleep and social lives to the desire to succeed. The costs of their achievements, she suggests, are "severe anxiety or breakdowns," "persistent health or sleep problems" and ethical compromise in the conflict between these students' ideals and values and the grade-grubbing, self-serving alliances with adult advocates and (usually subtle) cheating they deem necessary to success. A scholarly study presented with great clarity and enlivened by vignettes of student life, this work provides a fresh perspective on the state of American education, and yet another reason to press for systematic reform.
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#139 of 229 Old 03-20-2009, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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::::::::

I just recieved an admissions acceptance into the M.A. program in Literature at Western Washington University. I've got a month to accept, so I just have to wait and hear back from some other schools ... but at the very least, we'll be headed to Bellingham, Washington, in a couple of months!

I just had to come and share with my "tribe."

::::::::

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#140 of 229 Old 03-20-2009, 08:18 PM
 
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::::::::

I just recieved an admissions acceptance into the M.A. program in Literature at Western Washington University. I've got a month to accept, so I just have to wait and hear back from some other schools ... but at the very least, we'll be headed to Bellingham, Washington, in a couple of months!

I just had to come and share with my "tribe."

::::::::
: : : : :

Yay!!! Congratulations, NCD!!! If you end up in Bellingham we'll have to have a Washington MDC bookclub meetup.

Where else are you waiting to hear from (if you don't mind me asking)?

Chessa , mama to Silas T (6/06) , wife to Chad . Welcome August Emerson! 2/8/10
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#141 of 229 Old 03-20-2009, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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: : : : :

Yay!!! Congratulations, NCD!!! If you end up in Bellingham we'll have to have a Washington MDC bookclub meetup.

Where else are you waiting to hear from (if you don't mind me asking)?
Already heard back from Penn State and they said "sorry but no" and still waiting to hear back from:

U of Maine (Orono)
Salisbury University (Sailsbury, MD)
Purdue
U of Oregon (Eugene)
U of Alaska Anchorage
Washington State University (Pullman)
Montana State U (Bozeman)

Purdue is choice #1, of course, and U of OR is up there as is WSU (because these three have both MA and PhD programs, while the others are M.A.-terminal (though all 5 have excellent PhD placement rates (80% or higher))) but other than that, anywhere that will have me is fine with me, you know?

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#142 of 229 Old 03-20-2009, 11:55 PM
 
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Congratulations, NCD!

Jen, Mom to DS (8) , DD (5) & Alli
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#143 of 229 Old 03-21-2009, 01:01 AM
 
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congrats Brian! i have been online friends with your DW for years but never realized you were her DH! lol! too funny that i only realized it when she wrote about your acceptance on Face Book!

i hope you guys have a blast!
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#144 of 229 Old 03-21-2009, 10:37 AM
 
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That is so great, NCD. Congratulations!

Fall on Your Knees, Ann-Marie MacDonald. As much as I love to give Oprah the big eye roll, she can pick some books. I really enjoyed this book, though it is dark. It's beautifully written. It took me longer to read it than I thought it would, but that was kind of nice, because I was thinking about it when I wasn't reading it. I think it will stay with me for a while.

I should probably be doing something else right now.
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#145 of 229 Old 03-21-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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Purdue is choice #1, of course, and U of OR is up there as is WSU (because these three have both MA and PhD programs, while the others are M.A.-terminal (though all 5 have excellent PhD placement rates (80% or higher))) but other than that, anywhere that will have me is fine with me, you know?
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and Purdue - that's where we are, or half of us (DH and cats) while the rest of us will be in April.
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#146 of 229 Old 03-21-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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Yeah NCD!

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#147 of 229 Old 03-21-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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The Answer is Always Yes by Monica Ferrell

Matthew Acciaccatura of Teaneck, New Jersey wants more than anything to be cool. He enters college at NYU with a new sleek build and the "right" clothes and is determined to get in with the cool kids. But when the cool kids, and even the nerdy kids, still ignore him it seems things will not change--until he is discovered by a club owner and hired as a promoter -- now the cool kids are hoping to befriend Magic Matt!

This start out as another book about a misfit, scholarship student trying to fit in at his first year as college . . . but then it took off in a totally original and unexpected direction. Also, unusual were the footnotes and comments throughout the book from German sociologist, Hans Mannheim. At times they were annoying but I liked how they made sense at the end. I highly recommend this book.

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#148 of 229 Old 03-21-2009, 01:22 PM
 
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Congrats, NCD!

#21 A Curse Dark as Gold
Author: Elizabeth C. Bunce
Category: Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 4/5
Summary: Charlotte Miller’s father has passed away, and it’s up to her to protect the woolen mill that’s been in her family for hundreds of years. But everyone says the mill is cursed. How far will Charlotte go to protect it?

Review: This retelling of Rumpelstiltskin immediately reeled me in. The details of the mill operation brought the story to life, even though I didn’t know all the milling terms used. Looking back on it now, I think a diagram or two of the milling machines could have helped me keep the terms straight as I read. Hopefully in future editions, they will devote a page or two at the front to something like that.

A lot of fairy tale retellings can be unimaginative, but this retelling is fresh and original. That’s saying a lot for a story whose bones have been around for ages.

I also loved the strong female character who doesn’t go running to the men in her life to solve all her problems. And she’s a small businesswoman, to boot!

This is an excellent first novel from Bunce, and more than deserving of this year’s Morris YA Debut Award.

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#149 of 229 Old 03-21-2009, 01:40 PM
 
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#22 Headlong
Author: Kathe Koja
Category: Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 3.5/5
Summary: Lily Noble has always gone to private school. In her sophomore year, a misfit named Hazel shows up and makes Lily rethink the way she’s been doing things her whole life.

Review: The back-and-forth nature of this book took a little time for me to get used to. The chapters alternate between snippets from the beginning of the school year and the end of the year. A few times, I got confused about whether it was a “later” chapter or a “before” chapter, but I chalk that up to my own work-induced lack of sleep during the week I was reading this one.

I liked that this book doesn’t hit you over the head with what Lily’s feeling. You have to work out on your own what’s going on with her.

I also liked how Lily—who’s always just gone with the flow—finally changes course and questions the ways of her affluent world.

Not a standout for me, but still an enjoyable read.

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#150 of 229 Old 03-22-2009, 10:36 AM
 
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The Abortionist's Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde (audio)

A prominent and out-spoken abortion doctor is found murdered in her own pool. There are several possible perprutrators - from her husband who argued with her that afternoon to her daughter who also argues with her that morning to the Right to Life protestors who surround her office. A mystery novel and study into what motivates people to act.

I wasn't overly impressed with this novel -- I do find audio versions to leave me feeling a disconnect to the story. So that might be the case.

Jen, Mom to DS (8) , DD (5) & Alli
(1-04) (8-09)
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