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Old 10-02-2011, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Happy October everyone!

 

 

So, just by way of clarification (for comers both new and old), new and improved guidelines for the Book Challenge Thread are as follows:


1) Post the books you read ... or not
2) Post a recommendation ... or not
3) Number your book ... or not
4) Make a goal for how many books you want to read in 2011 ... or not
5) Have fun with books (This one, unfortunately, is MANDATORY

 

Happy reading everyone!

 

 


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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Old 10-02-2011, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

 

 

When 15-year-old Benny needs to find a job or lose his food rations, he ends up apprenticing for his older brother Tom as a zombie killer. He finds that out in the zombie-infested world of the "rot and ruin"--there there are living men who are much more evil than zombies. 
 
I loved this teen novel where the zombies are not the actually the bad guys. The book is excellently written, very suspenseful with just a touch of romance--but be warned, this is not for the faint of heart; there are many scenes that will make you cringe. What I like most about the book though is the message of looking beyond the surface--things are not always as black or white or as good or evil as they appear.
 

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Old 10-02-2011, 11:19 AM
 
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The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, Stewart

 

Quote:

As the book opens, the children reunite at Mr. Benedict’s home, where he has arranged a treasure hunt. Alas, they discover that Benedict and his assistant are being held captive somewhere, and dire consequences will result if Benedict’s evil twin doesn’t receive the information he desires in four days. The children undertake a worldwide journey to save Benedict and find the duskwort that will cure his narcolepsy. Lots of backstory is needed to set up this sequel, which makes for a choppy beginning. In the previous book, the protagonist’s personal stories provided heft, but this is pure adventure—lots of racing, scheming, fighting. Punches are pulled on the violence front, but the threat is always there, creating page-turning tension. It’s this roller coaster, along with the essential goodness of the characters (except, perhaps, for Constance), that will draw kids to this breathless follow-up.

 

The four friends are reunited!  Expecting to spend a pleasant time with Mr. Benedict, the children are surprised to arrive at his home and find he was kidnapped.  They must use each of their own special gifts to rescue him -- even Constance.  I enjoyed the characters, and I expect children would find the action thrilling.

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Old 10-02-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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SERIES:

Mortal Instruments:

1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

2. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

3. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

4. City of Fallen Angels

 

 

5. Divergent by Veronica Roth

6. Cry No More by Linda Howard

7. Now You See Her by Linda Howard

8. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

9. New York to Dallas by JD Robb

10. You Against Me by Jenny Downham

11. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyers

12. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

 

Finished City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare.  I enjoyed it even more than the first book in the series.

 

Currently, I am halfway through Impulse by Ellen Hopkins and it's pretty intense, eye-opening and frightening.  I am really enjoying the free-verse writing style she uses for the book.

 

Quote:

Sometimes you don't wake up. But if you happen to, you know things will never be the same.

Three lives, three different paths to the same destination: Aspen Springs, a psychiatric hospital for those who have attempted the ultimate act — suicide.

Vanessa is beautiful and smart, but her secrets keep her answering the call of the blade.

Tony, after suffering a painful childhood, can only find peace through pills.

And Conner, outwardly, has the perfect life. But dig a little deeper and find a boy who is in constant battle with his parents, his life, himself.

In one instant each of these young people decided enough was enough. They grabbed the blade, the bottle, the gun — and tried to end it all. Now they have a second chance, and just maybe, with each other's help, they can find their way to a better life — but only if they're strong and can fight the demons that brought them here in the first place.

 

 

 

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Old 10-02-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:32 PM
 
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Wow October already!

Well I went back on my word reading something with Faeries in it again! I'd ordered this book a while back from the library and it finally arrived. The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope it is a pretty good read although necessarily it won't be one of my all time favourites. It takes place in the Elizabethan Era so fans of literature taking place in that time period will like it.

I then went on to another old passion of mine, 19th century Egypt. It is a fictitious account of the real life person, Lady Gordon Duff’s maid who supposedly married an Egyptian while she was serving her lady in Egypt.

The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6427742-the-mistress-of-nothing

 

<The Mistress Of Nothing Lady Duff Gordon is the toast of Victorian London. But when her debilitating tuberculosis requires healthier climate, she and her lady's maid, Sally, set sail for Egypt. It is Sally who describes, with a mixture of wonder and trepidation, the odd menage marshalled by the resourceful Omar, which travels down the Nile to a new life in Luxor. When Lady Duff Gordon undoes her ...moreLady Duff Gordon is the toast of Victorian London. But when her debilitating tuberculosis requires healthier climate, she and her lady's maid, Sally, set sail for Egypt. It is Sally who describes, with a mixture of wonder and trepidation, the odd menage marshalled by the resourceful Omar, which travels down the Nile to a new life in Luxor. When Lady Duff Gordon undoes her stays and takes to native dress, throwing herself into weekly salons, language lessons, excursions to the tombs, Sally too adapts to a new world, affording her heady and heartfelt freedoms never known before. But freedom is a luxury that a maid can ill-afford, and when Sally grasps more than her status entitles her to, she is brutally reminded that she is mistress of nothing.

In 1862, the real Lucie, Lady Duff Gordon, a well known writer and hostess, traveled to Egypt with her maid. Her letters form the basis for this historical novel.>

 

 

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Old 10-02-2011, 10:20 PM
 
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Thanks for starting the thread Cathe! :)

 

 

 

These books are on my list :)  I just recommended them to a friend.  Their son is 7 and has read 3 or so of the Harry Potter books and is looking for something good to read.  We haven't read these yet, but have heard they are awesome :)

 

How many are there?

 

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Originally Posted by kofduke View Post

 

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, Stewart

 

 

The four friends are reunited!  Expecting to spend a pleasant time with Mr. Benedict, the children are surprised to arrive at his home and find he was kidnapped.  They must use each of their own special gifts to rescue him -- even Constance.  I enjoyed the characters, and I expect children would find the action thrilling.



 

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Quote:

 

Currently, I am halfway through Impulse by Ellen Hopkins and it's pretty intense, eye-opening and frightening.  I am really enjoying the free-verse writing style she uses for the book.

 

 

I finished Impulse because I honestly just couldn't put it down.  My ds was thankful as he watched more TV than I ever allow.  lol.gif 

 

This was the first book that has left me with tears in my eyes in a VERY long time.  What a journey... one I think will be staying with me for a long while.  The book was a great reminder as to why I am so passionate about working with teens.   

 

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Old 10-03-2011, 07:57 AM
 
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Thanks for starting the thread Cathe! :)

 

 

 

These books are on my list :)  I just recommended them to a friend.  Their son is 7 and has read 3 or so of the Harry Potter books and is looking for something good to read.  We haven't read these yet, but have heard they are awesome :)

 

How many are there?

 

 



I believe there's one more novel after this -- The Prisoner's Dilemma -- and then it seems like there's a puzzle-type book?

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Old 10-04-2011, 06:37 AM
 
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51) A Dance with Dragons (published in 2011) is the fifth of seven planned novels in the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by American author George R. R. Martin. I was a bit disappointed with the ending because everything is completely up in the air! But that disappointment is more because I know I will be waiting a while to learn what happened. Ugh! I hope it is not 5 years!

 

 

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Old 10-05-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner by Andrea Smith

read this in two nights. it was a very enjoyable story of friends helping one another—though achy in parts. the main character is a woman who longs to have a child, but she and her husband have not conceived, and he is against adoption.

 

btw, i have a book club on my blog, and in Oct we are reading Made for Goodness by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu. it would be fun to have some MDC folks join me.


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Old 10-05-2011, 07:33 PM
 
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

 

This emotional novel focuses on three women: Andrea a single mother searching for love; Marissa, married to a mostly absentee husband, is consumed with caring for her terminally ill daughter and struggling to come to terms with her son's homosexuality; and Holly who seems to have everything, but wants more excitement than she is getting as a wife and mother. Being a fan of Hopkins' teen novels, I was excited to see she had written a novel for adults and could not wait to read it. I was not disappointed. Her new novel Triangle speaks to mothers the way Crank spoke to young women. Just a warning, however, that this novel contains some pretty graphic sex scenes . . . this is definitely not for teens!


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Old 10-06-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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52) The Hedge Knight a graphic Novel by George RR Martin. 

 

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Old 10-07-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kofduke View Post

 

I believe there's one more novel after this -- The Prisoner's Dilemma -- and then it seems like there's a puzzle-type book?



Oh, cool!.  Thanks for the info. :)



Quote:
Originally Posted by kangamitroo View Post

The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner by Andrea Smith

read this in two nights. it was a very enjoyable story of friends helping one another—though achy in parts. the main character is a woman who longs to have a child, but she and her husband have not conceived, and he is against adoption.

 

btw, i have a book club on my blog, and in Oct we are reading Made for Goodness by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu. it would be fun to have some MDC folks join me.



That sounds interesting.  I love Desmond Tutu.



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Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

 

This emotional novel focuses on three women: Andrea a single mother searching for love; Marissa, married to a mostly absentee husband, is consumed with caring for her terminally ill daughter and struggling to come to terms with her son's homosexuality; and Holly who seems to have everything, but wants more excitement than she is getting as a wife and mother. Being a fan of Hopkins' teen novels, I was excited to see she had written a novel for adults and could not wait to read it. I was not disappointed. Her new novel Triangle speaks to mothers the way Crank spoke to young women. Just a warning, however, that this novel contains some pretty graphic sex scenes . . . this is definitely not for teens!


I just saw this book come up in my suggestions on Goodreads.  Sounds good!

 

 

 

Just finishing The Spellman Files.  That's really fun.  About to read a couple other books, and excited to read Something Wicked This Way Comes.  Every October, I want to read a creepy book and I never quite get around to it.  Doing it this year!

 

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Old 10-08-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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53)  Impulse by Ellen Hopkins. Interesting book. I work with youth who have mental health diagnoses and it was pretty validating about what many of the youth tell me about their experiences in hospitals and residential facilities. I will definitely try to get Ellen Hopkins "Triangles" mentioned by a few other folks. Her style is different and works well to draw the reader into the minds of her characters.

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Old 10-08-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

 

Listened to book 2 on audio...as book one, very well done and recommended for those who have already read the series!!

 

 

Lost in Shangri-La

Quote:

On May 13, 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and WACs boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over “Shangri-La,” a beautiful and mysterious valley deep within the jungle-covered mountains of Dutch New Guinea. Unlike the peaceful Tibetan monks of James Hilton’s bestselling novel Lost Horizon, this Shangri-La was home to spear-carrying tribesmen, warriors rumored to be cannibals.

But the pleasure tour became an unforgettable battle for survival when the plane crashed. Miraculously, three passengers pulled through. Margaret Hastings, barefoot and burned, had no choice but to wear her dead best friend’s shoes. John McCollom, grieving the death of his twin brother also aboard the plane, masked his grief with stoicism. Kenneth Decker, too, was severely burned and suffered a gaping head wound.

 

Interesting enough...but the constant backstory of every person involved can get repetitive.  I also got annoyed at the references to the three survivors as "McCollom, Decker, and Margaret"

 

 

A Game of Thrones, Martin

Quote:
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
 

 

 

I don't know why I've waited so long to start to read the series, it's really amazing.  Well-plotted, richly drawn characters, an imagined world that is believable yet not quite the same as ours.  Looking forward to the next.

 

 

 

   

 

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Old 10-08-2011, 06:56 PM
 
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Ive really enjoyed all of the Ellen Hopkins books, especially Identical

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Old 10-09-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wonder Struck by Brian Selznick

 

 

Two stories intertwine -- one in words takes place in 1977 about Ben a boy who has just lost his mother and his hearing who runs away to New York to find his father, and one in pictures  that takes place in 1927 about a young deaf girl running away to New York City to be with her movie star mother. Eventually the stories intertwine . . . in a heartwrenchingly wonderful way.
 
I absolutely LOVED this book. In fact, when I'm done writing this review I want to go back and read it again. It was so beautiful, so touching. I was actually tearing up at the end. I think in a way it's a shame this is categorized as a children's book because it has so much for adults as well.

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Old 10-09-2011, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler

 

My daughters (and students) are big fans of Kessler's Emily Windsnap series so I was excited to check out her newest offering . . . I must admit that at first I was not exactly enamored of the story or the characters. 12 year old Jenni came off as wimpy and annoying; her best friend Autumn bossy and even a little mean. But then I got to the time travel part and things started getting good. By the last chapter, I was on the edge of my seat, heart pounding, to find out what was going to happen. I'd like to say more, but don't want to spoil the suspense for potential readers. I will just add that I really liked this book and recommend it to 4th - 6th grade girls.


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Old 10-10-2011, 12:23 PM
 
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October

127. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
128. The Blackhope Enigma by Teresa Flavin
129.  The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
130.  The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr

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Old 10-10-2011, 12:38 PM
 
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Damascus Nights by Rafik Schami

 http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/507036.Damascus_Nights

 

Although I did not love it so much that I started dreading it being over when I got to be halfway though (for me that is a sign that I really love a novel!), I still really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it!    Below is the goodreads review:

<It is 1959, Damascus. The most famous storyteller in Damascus, Salim, the coachman, has mysteriously lost his voice. For seven nights, his seven old friends gather to break the spell with their seven different, unique stories -- some personal, some modern, some borrowed from the past. Against the backdrop of shifting Middle Eastern politics, Schami's eight characters, lost to the Arabian nights, weave in and out of tales of wizards and princesses, of New York skyscrapers and America. With spellbinding power, Schami imparts a luscious vision of storytelling as food for thought and salve for the soul, as the glue which holds our lives together>

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Old 10-11-2011, 12:52 PM
 
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Hello. Can I join in?

The Book of Night Women by Marlon James. Heartbreaking story of slavery in Jamaica. Beautifully written. I can't put it down.

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Old 10-11-2011, 01:13 PM
 
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A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler

 

My daughters (and students) are big fans of Kessler's Emily Windsnap series so I was excited to check out her newest offering . . . I must admit that at first I was not exactly enamored of the story or the characters. 12 year old Jenni came off as wimpy and annoying; her best friend Autumn bossy and even a little mean. But then I got to the time travel part and things started getting good. By the last chapter, I was on the edge of my seat, heart pounding, to find out what was going to happen. I'd like to say more, but don't want to spoil the suspense for potential readers. I will just add that I really liked this book and recommend it to 4th - 6th grade girls.


Oh, that does sound good!  Thanks for all your YA recommendations Cathe.  My daughter is 7 now, and I have a feeling I'll be consistently searching for good books for her soon :)  We're reading the Penderwicks together right now, and halfway through the Little House books.  After that, we're going to start on the Wrinkle in Time series.  And she's devouring the older American Girl books.  Voracious reading!

 

 

 



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Hello. Can I join in?
The Book of Night Women by Marlon James. Heartbreaking story of slavery in Jamaica. Beautifully written. I can't put it down.


Of course!  Welcome! :)

 

 

 

I am now in 3 book clubs!  hammer.gif  One at work, one with the moms at my daughter's school, and one with my college girlfriends.  Only slightly hectic :)  Just finished Black Elk in Paris for one club, and am now reading an Anita Diamant book, The Bluest Eye, and A Reliable Wife for the clubs.  Keeping me busy!

 

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Old 10-11-2011, 02:12 PM
 
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Finished Crank by Ellen Hopkins

 

A "loosely based" true story about the author's daughter's battle with crank (aka methamphetamines).  The story follows 16 year old Kristine's quick descent into the destructive hole of meth addiction.  This is the first book in the trilogy (Glass & Fallout are the other two books) about this young girl's battle.

 

Powerful, beautifully written book.  Ellen Hopkins is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.    

 

 

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Old 10-11-2011, 02:17 PM
 
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Wonder Struck by Brian Selznick

 

 

Two stories intertwine -- one in words takes place in 1977 about Ben a boy who has just lost his mother and his hearing who runs away to New York to find his father, and one in pictures  that takes place in 1927 about a young deaf girl running away to New York City to be with her movie star mother. Eventually the stories intertwine . . . in a heartwrenchingly wonderful way.
 
I absolutely LOVED this book. In fact, when I'm done writing this review I want to go back and read it again. It was so beautiful, so touching. I was actually tearing up at the end. I think in a way it's a shame this is categorized as a children's book because it has so much for adults as well.

 

I was just invited to a special event with him to celebrate his new book.  Should probably start reading his new book asap, as the event is on Oct. 26!  Happy to hear it is such a good one.   
 

 

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Old 10-12-2011, 06:42 PM
 
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54) Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. This was a a book I found courtesy of this group. I really enjoyed this book. I love flowers and I really enjoyed the character development. I work with kids like Victoria, so some of the positive outcomes were hard to swallow because youth aging out of foster care really have some very tough challenges ahead of them. BUt I embraced the characters and the story and in my heart, I hoped there were more people like Victoria.

 

Wonder Struck sounds great! On my list for future reads!

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Old 10-14-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38657.The_Stolen_Child

Once I got past the first few chapters which were rather depressing, I could not put this novel down.  The story drew me in so much that after I finished I even re-read the some of the chapters.  Donohue has very unusual take on faeries, not quite like anything I’ve read before. If you are expecting your usual Faerie novel, you’ll be in for a surprise! Beside the changelings this novel is very rooted in reality and more of a coming of age story. I look forward to reading more books by Keith Donohue!

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Old 10-14-2011, 05:43 PM
 
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I haven't been doing a good job of keeping track of what number of books I am on.  Here are my latest books anyway biggrinbounce.gif

 

 

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

Really fun story about a family in San Francisco with two grown children and one teenage daughter.  They are all private investigators, except the oldest brother.  The tone of the book is funny and irreverent.  Enjoyable.

 

The Lacemakers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri

I liked this, sort of a romantic story of a young woman from Seattle.  She travels to Ireland and ends up settling in a coastal town and learning about their traditional lacemaking. 

 

Room by Emma Donoghue

So many of us have read this.  Probably don't need to summarize.  Really kind of an amazing story.  I'm glad I read it.  My heart beat faster at times when reading it, and I cried with joy. 

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