Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor, 322 pages

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I happen to love WWII related fiction. I picked this book up thanks to a recommendation from an online book club that I participate in. I was hooked from page one. Alternating chapters with different time periods normally bugs me but it really worked with this story. It's an interesting and intriguing tale about something I hadn't heard of before...stamp engraving. I know it doesn't sound that interesting but I was so fascinated by it.There's an AHA moment in this book. When I got it I texted a co-worker that I wasn't coming to work until I finished the book (I finished in time for work). I also instantly recommended this book to a ton of people. Plus I instantly put it on hold for patrons at my library that I knew would love it. I will definitely read everything this author writes from now.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan 416 pages

This is yet again another novel that made me fall back into love with Scotland. A time where I spent most of my Christmas Break my Sophomore year. With the twist of summer hinting in and out of the book, this made me feel like I was home. An interesting read with a plot line that was so unpredictable and characters that felt like they were my own best friends, left The Cafe by the Sea a novel that I could not put down.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Coraline by Neil Gaimen 208 pages

Initially I saw this movie and was astounded by the amount of production that went into it. I soon learned that the movie was based off of a book (like any movie anymore). I read this only because it was needed for one of my college courses. I ended up loving it. If you are one that is expecting the book to be like the movie, well I won't be the one to make that judgement for ya. But if you love Coraline and the adventures that she goes on in the world - then this book is for you. A feel of suspense of what comes next and yet, excitement for what is yet to come. That's what Coraline really brings you.
Coraline Book Cover

Coraline Movie Poster

The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton 304 pages

The Cracked Spine is just what happened to this book once I was done reading it. It was the best mystery book I have read in a long time (and I don't ever really read mysteries). The setting was one that I loved only because my inner wanderlust was wanting to be in Scotland right next to this shop, in front of a bakery. A mystery that is hard to solve is well worth the read. I cant wait to read the second book in A Scottish Bookshop Series.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill 388 pages

Oh, my goodness!  This was a gorgeous book in every way.  It totally deserved to win the Newbery Award.  I loved that the world, though different from ours, was still accessible and believable... it was just born of magic.  Every year, a baby is left in a clearing for the witch.  The parents have no idea what happens to that baby, but one year, the witch accidentally enmagics the child by feeding her moonlight.  There's too much to tell, but I guarantee you will fall in love with Glerk, Xan, Fyrian and Luna.  This book had an extraordinary story to tell with a simply enormous amount of heart.  If you love fantasy, you will adore this one, no matter how old you are.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling 870 pages

Where Goblet of Fire was my favorite, this is easily my least favorite of the HP series.  Harry is riddled with so much teen angst, I just want to slap him most of the time.  Also, knowing what's coming makes it hard to get through.  On top of that, Delores Umbridge is such an overwhelmingly terrible person that the whole book feels like an attack on my psyche.  When I started listening to the series again, I was dreading getting to this book, and now that I'm on the other side of it, I can still say the overall effect is unpleasant enough to still call it my least favorite.  AND my biggest issue with the audiobook is that for some unfathomable reason, Jim Dale started pronouncing Voldemort with the t at the end.  The first four books, he pronounced it with the intended French pronunciation and this was an awkward and unwelcome change.  Sadly, it carries on through the last two books in the same way.  All that being said, my least favorite HP is still way up on my favorite books of all.  Totally worth the teen angst, torture and doom and gloom to experience the whole series. 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling 734 pages

People argue with me on this a lot, but this is my favorite of the HP series.  I really loved the overall mystery of who had gotten Harry into the Tri-Wizard Tournament, the hints at the return of Voldemort and I thought that Harry was possibly at his most vulnerable in this one.  There was enough realistic friction between characters to be believable that this was a bunch of teenagers we were dealing with.  The end makes me cry like a baby every time, but I still think the ride is worth it. 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling 435 pages

This is the first book in the series that really starts hinting at just how dark things can get.  Harry is the focus of everyone's concern, because a dangerous criminal has broken out of the wizard prison of Azkaban.  It is assumed that he is coming to finish off Harry, since Voldemort was unable to before.  Of course, things are never quite what they seem.  It's a rough year for Harry, but surprises are in store.  This is one of my favorites of the series, partly because you get to meet Sirius, who is seriously cool and because I love Remus Lupin, also introduced in this book. 

I listened to this read by Jim Dale. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, 369 pages

I listened to "The Rules of Magic" by checking it out through one of our download services, Axis360. It is the prequel to "Practical Magic" and tells the story of Franny, Bridget and Vincent Owens.  They are raised in New York City by a mother who has rejected her magical background and their logical psychiatrist father.

Franny is called to the family home in Massachusetts the summer she turns 17 and her siblings come along.  During the summer with their Aunt Isabelle, they begin to understand how and why they are different.

The story follows them into adulthood and is an engaging and fun read.  I never read "Practical Magic, " or saw the movie, for that matter.  I will be remedying that tout suite.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Rooster Bar by John Grisham, 352 pages

John Grisham's latest tells the story of three students in their last semester at law school.  They are at a for-profit school that is not preparing them for the difficult bar exam and are deeply in debt.  A fellow law student and friend starts them on the trail of possible fraud related to the school. 

They drop out, begin practicing law without licenses and run into big problems. The protagonists are not very sympathetic, though that didn't stop me from enjoying the book. 

There is an interesting subplot involving illegal immigrants and that plays well with the story and gave the characters an opportunity to not be jerks.  Bottom line: I enjoyed it.