March 2009 Book Challenge - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 229 Old 03-23-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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Moving must be a total drag!

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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#182 of 229 Old 03-23-2009, 10:46 PM
 
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And heads up, the Seattle Public Library spring sale is coming up. It's fabulous!!!
Yeah, it is fabulous! I'm jealous of those of you who can go to it. I used to live near there, but now I'm all the way across the country.

I'm also jealous of all of you who are somehow able to listen to audio books. How do you manage enough kid-free time in the car for that? (Or manage to keep your kids quiet while you listen?) We usually have an audio book going in the car, but it's always a kids' book. (Currently, Dragon Rider.) No way would DD put up with me playing an adult audio book while she was in the car.
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#183 of 229 Old 03-24-2009, 01:39 PM
 
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The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer

Got this one to review for amazon . . .

Summary: Annie loves tea and in particular her grandmothers tea shop. During her 8th grade year, she starts working there as a barista, but discovers that the shop is losing money and may have to close down. She enlists the help of her two best friends (the Teashop Girls as they called themselves in elementary school) to save the shop.

Evaluation: Well, this is a very young YA – probably more of a mid-grade though middle school girls would probably like it too. It’s a sweet book with first crushes and standing up for what you believe in.

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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#184 of 229 Old 03-24-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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Sure do! and there are five that you can't see in that photo! I have my own library and my wife is okay with that! :
Holy Moly! Nice work!

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Moving must be a total drag!


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Yeah, it is fabulous! I'm jealous of those of you who can go to it. I used to live near there, but now I'm all the way across the country.

I'm also jealous of all of you who are somehow able to listen to audio books. How do you manage enough kid-free time in the car for that? (Or manage to keep your kids quiet while you listen?) We usually have an audio book going in the car, but it's always a kids' book. (Currently, Dragon Rider.) No way would DD put up with me playing an adult audio book while she was in the car.
Oh, Seattle, it always beckons you back


You know, I'm surprised how many of you do audio books. I dont have the capability to listen that way, I always get lost in my own thoughts while an audio book is on.
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#185 of 229 Old 03-25-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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#16 - The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

Not sure what I think of this one! Initially I thought that it was dated but an interesting period piece along the lines of Rider Haggard or John Buchan novels - adventures stopping anarchist bombers in the early twentieth century. Throughout I found the prose rather full of itself, and the character development nil.

However, it turned into a totally whacked-out, practically psychedelic Christian allegory towards the end, in a rather interesting way...lots to think about!
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#186 of 229 Old 03-25-2009, 12:20 PM
 
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22. Outliers- Malcolm Gladwell

Love all of his books. They're always interesting and easy to read. I especially like the theory of 10,000 hours= expert. Good stuff!
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#187 of 229 Old 03-25-2009, 12:42 PM
 
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22. Outliers- Malcolm Gladwell

Love all of his books. They're always interesting and easy to read. I especially like the theory of 10,000 hours= expert. Good stuff!
Glad you liked this, it's my book club book this month. I haven't started it yet, the line at the library is about 700 people long or something and I just don't want to buy it. (I dont have as many bookshelves as NCD ) Cliff notes?
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#188 of 229 Old 03-25-2009, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#16 - The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

Not sure what I think of this one! Initially I thought that it was dated but an interesting period piece along the lines of Rider Haggard or John Buchan novels - adventures stopping anarchist bombers in the early twentieth century. Throughout I found the prose rather full of itself, and the character development nil.

However, it turned into a totally whacked-out, practically psychedelic Christian allegory towards the end, in a rather interesting way...lots to think about!
I read this last year for my British Detective fiction class. It is certainly ... "different."

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

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#189 of 229 Old 03-25-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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I read this last year for my British Detective fiction class. It is certainly ... "different."
You've got that right! Thanks for the link. I hadn't thought of it in terms of satire: that is an interesting spin. I also like that you take it back to the question of "what is the mystery" at the heart of the book, given that the notion of mystery has a particular significance in Christianity. It helps illuminate (to some degree!) why he chose the genre as his vehicle.

I also found it interesting to think about the book in light of the time in which it was written - the transition between the age of empire and modernism, with WWI on the doorstep.
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#190 of 229 Old 03-26-2009, 04:14 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."

::::::::
Giant congratulations, NCD!!

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#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.
Shockingly, this rec comes in the middle of Lent -- I'll have to try to remember to put it on hold at the lib. after Easter.

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one Q: how many books do you guys read at a time? i am currently reading 2 books but then listening to a book in my car and then one on my computer. i think im listening/reading to too much at a time! lol!
I usually am reading one book and have another one started in the bathroom. Then, when I finish the book, the bathroom book comes out and a new one goes in the bathroom.

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The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell
I found this book to be very compelling -- the characters, especially those who travelled to Rahkat, were so authentic and moving. At the same time, the author's conceptualization of the alien races, and what ultimately happens, was deeply disturbing. I think this book will stay with me for a long time.
I'm still interested in reading the companion book (i'm not sure if it's really a sequel...) Children of God (?)
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#191 of 229 Old 03-26-2009, 07:00 PM
 
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i am very excited about a stack of books i just picked up at the library. this post is not about the most recent book read, but sharing my wish to be holed up with nothing but my books on this rainy day

reading now:
Quaking (YA novel)
The Light in their consciences--about the founding of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), based on lots of pamphlets and primary sources.

starting soon:
The Unschooling Handbook (Mary Griffith)
In Search of Paul (John Dominic Crossan)
Crash (Jerry Spinelli)
The Hurried Child (David Elkind)
Resistance and Obedience to God (journal of David Ferris, an 18th century Quaker)
Freedom and Beyond (John Holt)

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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#192 of 229 Old 03-26-2009, 09:29 PM
 
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#13 Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead

3rd in the series, and I liked this one the best so far. While there was one plot detail/characterization that drove me nuts and that I found a little bit implausible, the rest of the book was really great. Light, fun, fluffy paranormal fantasy....just what I needed to decompress after exams.

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#193 of 229 Old 03-27-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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Quaking by Kathryn Erskine (YA)

14yo girl moves in with a Quaker foster family. she is coping with a bullying teacher, a bullying classmate (and a feeling of being bullied all her life). meanwhile, in her town there is a series of vandalisms against churches that speak out for peace, and she is worrying about her foster father.

this was good. i really wanted her to speak up for herself, and it was painful to see her unable to do that. i also wanted to grab the bullying teacher by the collar and...needless to say, i knew the irony of my violent impulses!

more details & author info here

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#194 of 229 Old 03-27-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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23. The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted- Elizabeth Berg

Collection of short vignettes on topics most women struggle with. Not terrible. Not wonderful. Solid writing but too many similarities for each story to stand alone. Anyway, it was a pleasing way to pass some time
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#195 of 229 Old 03-27-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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#38 The Wednesday Letters by Jason Wright
Interesting story. I have a feeling the Christianity will be too much for some, but it didn't seem out of place for the story..... ETA: I wouldn't mind receiving Wednesday Letters of my own...
From Amazon:
Quote:
n the wake of his bestselling Christmas Jars comes a sweetly crafted story from Wright, a Virginia businessman. Jack and Laurel Cooper are two hardworking, loving Christian pillars of the community who die in each other's arms one night in the bed-and-breakfast that they own and operate. The event calls their three grown children home for the funeral, including their youngest son, a fugitive from the law who must face an outstanding warrant for his arrest and confront his one true love, now engaged to another man. As events unfold around the funeral, the three children discover a treasure trove of family history in the form of Wednesday letters-notes that Jack wrote to his wife every single week of their married lives. As they read, the children brush across the fabric of a devoted marriage that survived a devastating event kept secret all these years. It's a lovely story: heartening, wholesome, humorous, suspenseful and redemptive. It resonates with the true meaning of family and the life-healing power of forgiveness all wrapped up in a satisfying ending.

#39 Replay by Ken Grimwood

i really liked this book -- it's one that has made my list of books to read again and ponder over.

From Amazon:
Quote:
In this intriguing fantasy adventure, Jeff Winston, a failing 43-year-old radio journalist, dies and wakes up in his 18-year-old body in 1963 with his memories of the next 25 years intact. He views the future from the perspective of naive 1963: "null-eyed punks in leather and chains . . . death-beams in orbit around the polluted, choking earth . . . his world sounded like the most nightmarish of science fiction." But Grimwood has transcended genre with this carefully observed, literate and original story. Jeff's knowledge soon becomes as much a curse as a blessing.
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#196 of 229 Old 03-28-2009, 01:16 AM
 
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Bufomander, can you tell me the "devastating event" from The Wednesday Letters?

I read Replay years ago and man, it was good. I immediately imagined it as a film. All the films that have come out lately with somewhat similar plots are crap, imo, compared to what this book could be onscreen.
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#197 of 229 Old 03-28-2009, 11:25 AM
 
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American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

A fiction novel loosely based on Laura and George Bush, this novel tells the story of Alice Blackwell from her simple childhood to her role as First Lady. The first 450 page were a great read and then the last 100 were just okay. It seemed like she did so much to build up to that part of their life and then didn't know what to do when she got there. Overall, though, it was a good read.

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#198 of 229 Old 03-28-2009, 11:38 AM
 
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Things Change by Patrick Jones

For me adolescent lit class . . . .Summary: A-Student and good girl Johanna is attracted to not so nice boys. She finally gets her crush Paul to go out with her but is soon over her head because he is abusive and manipulative but she can’t let him go because he always charms her back. In addition, her over controlling parents don’t like him . . . and she doesn’t want them to know they are right about him.
Evaluation: This is a heavy book with abuse, attempted rape, and teenage sex. I think it’s important for teenagers to see what can happen if they get hooked up with someone like that. I think there is something in many teen girls that makes them go for the dangerous guys – think they can change them or something . . . but as this books shows, these guys don’t change.

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#199 of 229 Old 03-28-2009, 11:39 AM
 
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Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell

Fun chick-lit by author of Sex and The City. Three powerful business women try to balance their careers and their relationships/familes.

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#200 of 229 Old 03-28-2009, 12:05 PM
 
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speaking of book sales, i thought i would share a website in case anyone here doesnt know about it (im sure most do). http://www.booksalefinder.com/

it lists most book sales by state. i have had to put that site on block many times. i am really trying not to buy any new books, unless absolutely necessary.

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I'm also jealous of all of you who are somehow able to listen to audio books. How do you manage enough kid-free time in the car for that? (Or manage to keep your kids quiet while you listen?) We usually have an audio book going in the car, but it's always a kids' book. (Currently, Dragon Rider.) No way would DD put up with me playing an adult audio book while she was in the car.
i JUST started audio books. my advice is to start with a David Sedaris book....soo sooo funny and so much better than actually reading his books! im now listening to Animal, Vegetable Miracle and thats a great book for an audio book, IMHO. Once i started listening to those, diving into a novel was a little easier.

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Quaking by Kathryn Erskine (YA)

14yo girl moves in with a Quaker foster family. she is coping with a bullying teacher, a bullying classmate (and a feeling of being bullied all her life). meanwhile, in her town there is a series of vandalisms against churches that speak out for peace, and she is worrying about her foster father.
thanks for this. im going to put it on my list. DP's father is Quaker and i am always interested in books about Quakers.
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#201 of 229 Old 03-28-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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In terms of audiobooks - I have a 20 min. commute to work each way -- so that's 40 minutes/day I can listen without calls from the backseat for HSMIII.
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#202 of 229 Old 03-29-2009, 12:04 AM
 
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Just finished reading Water for Elephants.
this book did not overtake me until the end...but it did ultimately succeed. i felt sad during the parts read by the 90 (or 93) year old Jacob. It made me wonder what will happen to me in my old age...something I am often uncomfortable thinking about. Events occurring behind the scenes of circus life left me feeling angry and disgusted. I am not one for circuses in the first place (I rather dislike them) and I'm not one for falling for a love story that begins in an affair (I rather dislike those also). However, the love story prevails...though not the center of the events, it is the undercurrent of the story. Sadness about an old man's fate is lifts when the circus comes to town. The book was humorous (especially as told by the 90 (or 93) year old Jacob, and definitely contained enough suspense. I recommend this book.



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
13. Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
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#203 of 229 Old 03-29-2009, 01:56 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.
I know! I really like to read his work, too...but his voice and intonation and perfect pauses, make listening a much more fulfilling experience!

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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!

Yeah! Congrats!



1. T is For Tresspass - Sue Grafton completed 1/3/09
2. Marley and Me - John Grogan completed 1/13/09
3. A Thousand Splendid Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini completed 1/22/09
4. Harvesting the Heart - Jodi Picoult completed 2/2/09
5. Twilight - Stephenie Meyer completed 2/10/09
6. New Moon - Stephenie Meyer completed 2/18/09
7. Knit Two - Kate Jacobs completed 2/27/09
8. The Last Days of Dogtown - Anita Diamant completed 3/4/09
9. Dewey - Vickie Myron completed 3/10/09 (the book I didn't really like that I asked about...The parts about the cat were nice, I just learned a lot more about Vickie Myron than I thought I would.)
10. Queen of Babble - Meg Cabot 3/17/09 (quick read, cute story, no thinking involved)


Working on #11. Trans-Sister Radio by Chris Bohjalian -liking it so far!

"Hey, mama!" to the fried dough lovin', monkey-boy.joy.gifI'm back and ready to chat!

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#204 of 229 Old 03-29-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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A Wolf At the Table by Augusten Burroughs

His latest memoir which actually precedes the other two - - about his very scary father. This was good -- maybe not quite as good as the other two but he's a great writer and this family is seriously messed up.

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#205 of 229 Old 03-29-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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Bufomander, can you tell me the "devastating event" from The Wednesday Letters?

I read Replay years ago and man, it was good. I immediately imagined it as a film. All the films that have come out lately with somewhat similar plots are crap, imo, compared to what this book could be onscreen.
PM'ed you (just in case somebody else didn't want to know ahead of time).
Have you seen Sliding Doors?
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#206 of 229 Old 03-30-2009, 10:57 AM
 
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#14 Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

I enjoyed this book, but I'm not entirely sure that I loved it. It was compelling, and I couldn't put it down, but at the same time, parts of the plot seemed really forced, and it was hard to suspend some of my disbelief and really get into the story.

It was also a real downer as part of the book deals with the French round-up of Jews during the Holocaust.

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#207 of 229 Old 03-30-2009, 11:18 AM
 
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Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan

A 13-year-old girl in India gets set up into an arranged marriage. After her husband (a young boy her own age) dies of tuberculosis, she is abandoned in a big city and has to find a way to make it on her own. This is a juvenile novel which I'm going to pass on to my 4th grade dd. Very good book for girls to get an idea of another culture--also sad but hopeful.

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#208 of 229 Old 03-30-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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Thanks for the PM, Bufomander I haven't seen Sliding Doors because I can barely stomach Gwyneth Paltrow but I put it in my Netflix queue. I'm curious now! LOL

24. Darwin’s Origin of Species- Janet Brown

Short and sweet. I think this is an essay, really. Nice background on how Darwin came to realize his ideas on evolution. Gets into the controversy of the publishing of Origin of Species. Like an appetizer, getting your mouth ready for the entree. LOL Made me want to read more on Darwin.
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#209 of 229 Old 03-30-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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Feed by MT Anderson

A couple of other people have listed this recently. It's a sci-fi YA novel. It was pretty thought provoking, and deeper than I remember most YA being. But it's been a while. Not bad.

I should probably be doing something else right now.
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#210 of 229 Old 03-30-2009, 07:30 PM
 
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#12 The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Oh my, I really enjoyed this book. I didnt know anything about it, so the story was a complete surprise. I thought the writing style was eloquent and the plot was gripping. It had an air of a gothic romance I felt?

The story is about a young woman who grows up working in a rare book shop with her dad and ends up transcribing the life story of a very famous author who is a recluse. No one knows the very famous author's life story or really anything about her. The mystery unfolds throughout the book in a way I did not expect. Great fun.
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