Happy New Years Eve everyone! Today’s Booking Through Thursday question asks us:
What were your favorite books of the year? (Books that were new to you in 2009, if not necessarily published this year.)
Without sifting through my brain for EVERYTHING I’ve read this year, I would say off-hand my favorite books from 2009 were The Ice Chorus by Sarah Stonich, and both The Sugar Queen and Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova is up there as well. Click on the titles for my reviews.
What were your faves from 2009? Post your link here and at Booking Through Thursday.
Have a happy and safe New Years Eve!
I post my reviews on other websites, I’m sure we all do. Well if any of you have reviewed The Atlantis Code by Charles Brokaw, as I did, and gave it a negative review, as I did, than perhaps you received a little comment on your Amazon review from “Sweetheart” which said “Sounds like you didn’t like this book because you are a woman. Very biased review. What did you think you were reading a Romance novel?” And I quote.
So at first my reaction was: “What an a*****e!” I specifically put in the fact that I’m a woman and am being objective and all that other whatnot in my review, so this “person” is just messing with me and wanted to ruin my day (jerk!). But then I clicked on “Sweetheart’s” profile and looked to see what other books he/she has read and reviewed. There are 25 so I was about to give this person credit… until I saw that EVERY single review says almost the same thing: “A great read. I liked the story and could not put it down. I felt the same way about THE ATLANTIS CODE by Charles Brokaw. Both are terrific novels.”
Ha! Now not all of them are word-for-word the same, but please! Visit Sweetheart for yourself! Enjoy my lovelies!
While you read Teaser Tuesdays I’m probably doped out on Happy Pills at this hospital. No need to worry, little thing being done. Nothing to fret over, but they’re making me take Ativan anyways. I wouldn’t neglect Teaser Tuesday though, so I’ve prepared this in advance and shall post it quick-like before I head to MGH. From Black Rain by Graham Brown (released January 26, 2010)…
Hawker leaned back in his chair and smiled at her. It was the look of a rogue and a cheat, the look of a man who knew just what the next card would bring and had been waiting forever to see it played. Somehow it was charming just the same. (73)
I’m fairly certain Hawker is going to hook up with our protagonist Danielle, but only time will tell.
Post your teaser link here and at Should Be Reading!
Last post from Minnesota before flying back to Massachusetts at 7:30 p.m. Can’t wait to get home around 2 in the morning… ugh. Anyways, it’s Monday and I’ve been waiting for today so that I can take advantage of its glorious memes to post my Christmas books. I won’t have much time to read anyone elses because I’ll be traveling, but if you leave me links I shall promise to visit your blogs sometime and see what glorious holiday goodies you got.
Mailbox Monday is hosted by The Printed Page.
From one Secret Santa (a.k.a my step-brother Seth) I received the James Rollins novels that I erroneously sold years ago before I would truly discover my need to collect books. I got Excavation, Deep Fathom, Amazonia, Ice Hunt, and Sandstorm. I’ve got the rest of them already and have been wanting to re-read all of these earlier books to remember how much I adore them.
From another Santa (okay, it was Mom) I received The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl, and the second through sixth books of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (no she wasn’t cheap, I already own the first one. She gave that one to me as well, but I handed it down to my sister who is psyched since she just finished the Twilight Saga and feels bereft of reading material).
And from the final Santa (good ol’ Dad) I got The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, and The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor.
All in all I received 15 books, but two were duplicates so I go home with 13. A fabulous number to add to my shelves. And by “add” I really mean “squeeze in somewhere.” I think I have to reorganize… again…
So what’s your haul like?
Hiya from Minnesota. I’m not sure if you can hear me between all of the nose-blowing going on, sorry if I sound congested. My husband got sick from my sister and her husband, and now I seem to be catching what the cool kids have. But it was a wonderful trip all around. We leave tomorrow night. I’ll have to compile a nice list later for In My Mailbox Monday and work on getting pictures together so that it doesn’t take me hours and hours tomorrow morning. Tuesday I’ll be in no condition to post a Teaser since I’ll be all hopped up on Ativan for a wee little surgery (nothing major, don’t worry) so I’ll draft one in advance. Or maybe I should just type while I’m all drugged out, that could be entertaining.
I’m totally loving Black Rain by Graham Brown right now. The writing is good and the plot is definitely hooking me. I hope it stays this way!
I went to the St. Croix Antiquarian Booksellers with my mom yesterday. It’s located on Main Street in Stillwater, Minnesota right on the Mississippi. I love that area of Stillwater, it has a million antique stores mixed in with trendy restaurants and boutiques. It was great to go there with my mom for the afternoon and get appetizers and wine and see what I could find for books. I had an armful at one point, consisting of American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Lord of The Flies by William Golding, and All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, but I put those back and settled for the three volumes in The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. Le Guin. I’ve never heard of these books before, but they’re about magic and wizards and whatnot, and the back says they’re compared to The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. They’re very slim volumes, but they came in a cute little box and look to be in decent condition. If you’ve heard of them let me know what you think. And enjoy the rest of your Sunday!
I hope this finds you all safe and snuggly in pajamas surrounded by friends and family on Christmas Day!
I spent last night with one-half of my family opening presents, eating and drinking good food and wine, and laughing. Lots and lots of laughing courtesy of Catch Phrase. It was a wonderful night and a perfect way to spend Christmas Eve. I love seeing my family for the holidays because it means two full days of fun with them. Last night was the perfect way to kick it off and today the other half of the family is coming over for a delicious brunch and more presents. I received a TON of books last night (I was bursting with excitement)! It will be difficult to pack them all to get them back to Massachusetts, but I will make it work. Or I’ll mail them to myself. Either way, ’twill be fine. I’ll have a full and complete list ready for In My Mailbox Monday in just a few days. It’ll take that long for my food coma to pass.
Merry Christmas to you all!
Alayne – The Crowded Leaf
I hope you are all having a pleasant and safe Christmas Eve, and that you’re shopping is all accomplished and you can sit back and relax and enjoy time with family and friends. I shall be doing the same today and tomorrow and am looking forward to it. Minnesota is in the midst of a growing blizzard, but at least it’ll be a white Christmas.
Today’s Booking Through Thursday question asks us:
Given the choice, which do you prefer? Real history? Or historical fiction? (Assume, for the purposes of this discussion that they are equally well-written and engaging.)
I would say real history would always be better than historical fiction. I love reading historical fiction and imagining that what I’m reading is true, but I know in the back of my mind that it’s fiction and I’m always a little disappointed reminding myself that someone made up the little details of this story. But when I read a true history I love knowing that the things I’m reading are real, that they actually took place in much the same context. I love that awe inspired sense of history unfolding that real historical novels provide.
What about you? Post your thoughts here and over at Booking Through Thursday. And Happy Holidays from The Crowded Leaf, wherever you are and whatever you celebrate.
I am SO excited to start this book. Black Rain by Graham Brown looks to be excellent action-adventure. Here’s a Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Should Be Reading. I did a true open-the-page-and-type teaser.
The Machine was quiet now, still and dark, It had come blasting through the trees like a missile, only to be swallowed up by the rainforest’s living depth. (268)
Can’t wait to dig in to this one! Post your teasers here and at Should Be Reading.
Hello from wintery Minnesota! It’s very appropriate that I’m writing this review from here, since Bad To The Last Drop is set in Wisconsin. Authors Deb Lewis and Pat Ondarko are two real life friends who live near Lake Superior. They decided they were sick of reading and talking about everyone elses mystery novels, so they decided to write one of their own. Thus, the Best Friends Series was born. Bad To The Last Drop, a “comically caffeinated caper,” is the first in the series.
Set in small town Ashland, Wisconsin, we’re introduced to attorney Deb Linberg and Pastor Pat Kerry. Pat’s just moved to Ashland to take a sabbatical from her job and to be closer to Deb. Every day they frequent the Black Cat, a coffee-house where they chat with the people of Ashland, including Joe, the town crazy whose rantings about his work for the CIA and his tirades against the government make everyone assume he’s got a screw or two loose. But when Joe is murdered and his Russian sisters ask Deb and Pat for help, the ladies have no choice but to assist. Born with noses too long for their own business, Pat and Deb are two hilarious ladies with a penchant for snooping and solving crimes.
This is the first book for Lewis and Ondarko. There were several copyediting issues which I have to acknowledge since they really should have been fixed before publication, however I can also look past them since they are easily corrected. In terms of writing there were some bumps in the way time transitioned from one point another, and the dialogue was a bit mechanical in parts, but these are things the authors will learn in time.
The voice of the novel was wonderfully realistic and tangible, I could hear it in my head and it was comfortable and refreshing. Lewis and Ondarko have a wonderful talent for narration and story telling. They’re plot was unique and amusing, I could very much believe in these two women with nothing better to do in a small town. I think the novel could have been lengthened and some of my transitional issues would have been resolved. We learned a little about Deb and Pat and how they got to Ashland and their lives before hand, but there is more that could have been explained and had the novel been 300 pages instead of 146, the authors could have had more fun with expositional writing.
Overall I was pleasantly impressed with Bad To The Last Drop and look forward to the second Best Friends Mystery, Too Much at Stake.
So my In My Mailbox Monday is not a true IMMM because the book I have would only have found its way to me via my mailbox if I had put it there myself, and clearly I didn’t, but I have something for you to view so here it is!
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff. I’ve seen this book on a couple other review sites before, and the cover is so fabulous I couldn’t resist. Plus it was on sale.
Description by Mari Malcom via Amazon.com:
On the very morning Willie Upton slinks home to Templeton, New York (after a calamitous affair with her archeology professor), the 50-foot-long body of a monster floats from the depths of the town’s lake. This unsettling coincidence sets the stage for one of the most original debut novels since The Time Travelers Wife. With a clue to the mysterious identity of her father in hand, Willie turns her research skills to unearthing the secrets of the town in letters and pictures (which, “reproduced” in the book along with increasingly complete family trees, lend an air of historical authenticity). Lauren Groff’s endearingly feisty characters imbue the story with enough intrigue to keep readers up long past bedtime, and reading groups will find much to discuss in its themes of “monsters,” both in our towns and our families.
This book seems a little magical and I just finished reading Garden Spells which was also fantastically magical, so I seriously can’t wait to read The Monsters of Templeton.
What’d you get last week? Post your comments here and at The Printed Page (Mailbox Monday) or The Story Siren (In My Mailbox).