August 5th, 2010

Fweller Hat

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I told you I would be better about this!





Title: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Rating: 4/5
Pages: 288
Genre:  Children's Literature

Summary (off Goodreads):  After the death of her parents, Mary is brought back from India as a forlorn and unwanted child, to live in her uncle's great lonely house on the moors. Then one day she discovers the key to a secret garden and, like magic, her life begins to brighten in so many ways.

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You can read this review and all others atim_writing  or my Goodreads account.
Books so far this year: 35/75
Currently Reading: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire
Fiona

Looking for Recommendations

I'm looking for recommendations, mainly in the vein of good autobiographies, biographies, and/or memoirs by or about musicians.

For instance, I have "Neon Angel: Memoir of A Runaway" coming in the mail to me, but I'm also wondering if the new "Joan Jett" book is good. Is it a picture book, or a biography? Or both?

I'm also interested in Jewel's "Chasing Down the Dawn" and Tori Amos's memoir as well.

Are there any good books about Janis Joplin?

My musical interests mainly lie in rock and roll (The Runaways, Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos, Janis Joplin, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Bowie, etc.), pop (Jewel - although she really crosses into many genres, Lady Gaga, Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth), and singer/songwriter, folk, etc.

Basically, what are your favorite books that fit what I just mentioned. (:

41. Luck in the Shadows - Lynn Flewelling



41. Luck in the Shadows - Lynn Flewelling - 496 pages

Rating: 4 stars

Background/Synopsis:


Alec of Kerry is mistakenly taken to be a spy and tortured in a dungeon. He happens to be a cellmate with a man who is not who he appears to be. The man, named Seregil, breaks Alec out of jail and impulsively takes the boy on as his apprentice. Seregil is a royal spy and thief who dons various personas. He calls himself a nightrunner. Alec, a country boy who has never seen a city, is suddenly ensnared in a complicated web of political intrigue and comes into his own. The story begins in the remote north, Dalna, where Alec is from, and Seregil and Alec journey to Rhiminee, the capital of Scala, and come across trouble along the way. Alec suddenly finds himself in an enormous city, meeting royals and powerful wizards and risking his life ever-more-frequently as he uncovers a plot against Scala and the ever-growing threat of necromancers from the rival country of Plenimar.

Strengths:

I don't know what it is about this series, but I re-read it every other year or so. I really care for the characters of Alec and Seregil. Alec is bumbling and naive, and Seregil is mischievous and loves getting into trouble and teasing Alec every step of the way. The plotting is fairly even and it's one of the few series I can sit down and read several hundred pages in one sitting. Lynn Flewelling (otterdance on LJ!) took ten years to write what ended up becoming the first two books of the series, so that gave her plenty of time to develop the details of the world.

Weaknesses:

It does have a fair amount of the tropes of the genre: fresh-faced country lad leaving everything he has known, an elderly, kind wizard, mysterious baddies and necromancers, magic without long-term consequences (except in the case of Seregil). It is her first novel and you can tell in some places--the prose is a little clunky or overly worded.

Musings:


I tagged it as a guilty pleasure, and it's not because it is a bad book I feel guilty reading, but it is a series I've read at least three times before, and I should really be reading other things this summer. But this series is unapologetically fun, and I always turn to either this series, her other trilogy set in the same world, or Robin Hobb's books when I want a good escape. This series is still quite forward for its time for its views on homosexuality and bisexuality. In this world, homo- and bisexuality is not frowned upon at all and people are very open about it. Seregil is very openly bisexual, along with various other characters.

Recommendation:

If you are in the mood for a series that sucks you in, in a fun world with a duo stealing from nobles, putting on and discarding various identities, becoming embroiled in magical and political intrigues, then this is a fun series that I recommend that you read when you need a bit of an escape.

(PS -booksforfood  is my blog where I post book and occasional film reviews, blog on library-related subjects, and ruminate about life as an ex-pat American in Scotland. Care to follow?)
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    bored
tattoo

(no subject)

What is your favourite thriller/mystery book and why?

(I need more recommendations :p I'm really starting to fall in love with this genre...I just finished Wash this Blood Clean from My Hand by Fred Vargas, and the I loved the characters, they were brilliant, the storyline was superb and I was totally hooked with the book. And I loved the Quebecois characters, and the main character reminded me a lot of Turkish from Snatch. The only downside I had with the book was the ending =/)

:Dv
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  • quippe

Unleashed by Kristopher Reisz

The Blurb On The Back:

What lies beneath?


Everybody knows Daniel Morning is a star. He always has been. What they don’t know is how restless he feels, how he hates always living up to other people’s expectations. The urge to break free is beginning to gnaw at his insides.

Then Daniel meets Misty. She’s smoky and tender, and she lives by her own rules. She lets him into her pack of outcasts, and in on their little secret: They have learned to shapeshift and have been prowling the night as wolves.

Daniel falls hard for this intoxicating life of raw abandon, and he falls hard for Misty. The freedom to follow his most basic instincts is like nothing he’s ever felt. But Daniel is about to find out that such freedom comes at a price ...


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The Verdict:

One of the best YA urban fantasies I’ve read this year, I really believed this story of a teenage boy who wants to escape a wrong decision and who finds the freedom he craves with a group of shapeshifting misfits. This is a well written, clever and genuine book that deserves to be read widely.

Cross-posted to cool_teen_reads, fantasywithbite, urbanfantasyfan and yalitlovers.
Darth Vader and Harry Potter

Books Read in July