Monday, August 31, 2009

One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and Screw by Witold Rybczynski

I'm not quite sure where this book came from. I reached into a box while unpacking, looked down and though "Now why would I ever have this?" I still don't know, it's one of the few mystery books that have shown up over the years. It is a short book, less than 150 pages, with several well drawn diagrams and even a picture glossary of tools to refer to as you read.

I was surpisingly drawn into it, considering its about tools, and I don't have much of a fit-it-up bone in my body. I'm more of the tear it down and look pleadingly at my boyfried to put it back together type.

The author starts by giving us a reason why he felt compelled to research the screw and screwdriver of all things. He then walks us through a good chunk of his research as he looks for the origins (which was suprisingly tricky). Finally, he walks us backwards through time through all the various stages and uses of the screw(driver). I would have prefered to start at the beginning and work our way to modern times, so it was a bit confusing for me jumping backwards but I can understand why he wrote that way.

An interesting book to keep me occupied for an afternoon...lovely sketches throughout as well.

3/5 stars

Gold Rush Bride by Debra Brown

Kate Dennington is an Irish immigrant with a big problem on her hands. She arrives in America expecting to help her father, only to arrive too late and find him dead. Not only that, but she is stuck in a frontier town with no oney, no house and no way home. Her only hope lies in Will Crockett (such a great Western name I think). Will he help her, or will her plans blow away in the wind?

I admire the way Debra Lee Brown really brought the west to life. The situations in the book revolved around problems that really did exist in the "wild wild west". It showed a time where women were though little of, and immigrants even less...and if you were a female immigrant...well you were pretty much nothing. This is not just a romance, but a story of people considered lower for no reasonn but their gender and race, stood up to the status quo and made a change. It wasn't easy, but what was back then? If it had been easy then I would not be giving this book 4 stars.

A book worth reading for the historical part. While there was a definate romance (it is a Harlequin after all), the way I read it almost put the romance as secondary to the story line. There were still sections that were typical of Harlequin romances it seems, or at least the ones I've read recently. But this was definately one of the better ones.

4/5 stars
After four days of being sick, I made a lot of reading progress in several books...this is most likely the only upside of not feeling well. Being able to read uninterrupted is the only thing that got me through, what I think was the flu. Icky stuff. So now I have 3 reviews to write and 2 more that are almost finished. I'll try to have them up over the next couple of days along with my birthday haul of family is too good to me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Well my final semester before I get my associates degree has just begun, so I'm a bit behind on reviews. The bright spot in this busy maelstrom....I've got a Literature class that seems to have a few good books on the list. At least I'm hoping they are good books...will make the class go by much easier!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Call of the White Wolf by Carol Finch

34. Call of the White Wolf by Carol Finch
Finally a Western Romance that I could get into. The story of John Wolf and Tara Flannigan could have taken place anytime and anywhere. It relates the harsh world containing outlaws, animals, and murderous siblings. There were a few pleasant surprises in the plot and the characters were wonderful. Carol Finch describes the area in such a way that you feel yourself there.


Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Ink Exchange, the second book of Melissa Marr's Faerie series tells us about the Dark Court of faeries. They are a fearsome bunch that feeds off the negative emotions of the faeries around them. But lately there's been a problem with that. With the seasonal faerie courts in a new truce, there isn't enough to feed the Dark Court, they must find a way to feed off the emotions of the humans around them in order to survive.

We follow Leslie as she tries to avoid her shattered and dangerous home life. Ash, Seth, and Keenan from the first book, make just enough of an appearance to allow the two stories to flow together very nicely, but they are distant enough that this book could be easily read without having read the first.

As this book tells the story of the dark court, it is a much darker story than the first filled with pain and suffering that the dark faeries surround themselves with. However, the descriptions and scenes keep the "bad parts" of the story covered in a layer of fog so the reader does not have to get to close and see the gory details if they choose not to.

With a very nice twist at the end that I hadn't entirely expected (same result totally different path to get there) the book left me satisfied with just enough curiosity to go pick up the next book in the series, but it was wrapped up enough that I could move on without feeling the urgent need to rush to the store so I could find out what happened.

I rated the book 3.5 stars. There were a few scenes in the story where the words did not quite flow correctly that made me have to stop and read over it again to understand what she was talking about.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bloody Bookaholic's Maga Book Giveaway

Found an amazing give away of 20 books today. The grand prize winner gets to select 7 from the selection offered! Head on over and check it out:

Click HERE

Good luck!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Twitter twitter tweet tweet

Well, I have been among the many I know to fall prey to Twitter over the past few weeks. I just started so if you would like to follow me, just do a search for jasmyn9. Sorry I'd give you all a link, but I'm not that snazzy with it yet.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Sleeping Beauty by Jacquelin Navin

Adam Mannion needs money and Lady Helena Rathford has it. He sets out to marry her for her fortune and ends up with a whole lot more.

A Victorian era romance, which is a timeframe that I enjoy reading in, it is also a murder mystery thrown into the mix. The mystery is well written and adds a nice twist to the romantic tale that just may help the two fall in love. Overall, a good read.


My Lady's Trust

I was pleasantly suprised by this Harlequin Historical Regency. While the story of Mrs. Laura Martin seemed very familiar (perhaps I have already read and just don't remember) which caused the story to be very predictable, the characters stole the show and make it a very enjoyable read. We are shown the various types of "upper class" personalities and how Mrs. Martin and the Earl of Bieulieu handle their attitudes, good or bad, gave the story some humor.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Just Friends

I orignally picked this book up soley for the cover, three adorable flying pigs soaring through the middle of a dark purplish blue background. As an avid collector of flying pigs it has been sitting in my curio cabinet for several years. I finally decided to read it.

The book shows the story of two friends, Jack and Freya. When Freya hits a downspot in her life and finds herself without a place to stay, Jack lets her sleep in his guest room for awhile.
Needless to say, this causes many good as well as quite a few not good things to happen with their friendship.

The characters are everyday people, with mostly everyday problems that don't get solved miraculously, but with a lot of pain, sweat, and tears by the characters.
This was a great read, and I wish I had decided to pick it up out of the curio cabinet long ago.

The Serpent's Tale

I little behind in reviews this week. Actually got through more than one book! It's nice to be inbetween semesters at school.

The Serpent's Tale by Ariana FranklinThe second book in the Adelia mystery series tells the story of the death of Rosamund, the King's mistress. It is generally believed that Queen Eleanor played a part in her death and Adelia is sent to get to the bottom of it. Along the way she stumbles upon another set of murders that may or may not have to do with Rosamund's. It's quite a tangle to try and unravel for her.

This book does not quite live up the first. While the mystery(s) were intriguing they did not quite unfold in as smooth a manner. The books opens with a scene that does not involve Adelia, and it disappointed me a bit to have part of the killer's identity given away in such a manner so early on.

Adelia continues to grow as a character and we see how she reacts to motherhood and the potential danger to her child as she comes closer to finding the killers. I throroughly enjoyed the characters of the King and Queen, they are written in a way to be larger than life but done so in a way that makes them believable and natural.

Overall a good read, but I hope the third book is more in the style of the first.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Six Flags: Great America

We took a trip to Six Flags Great America this weekend. I haven't been there since I was a junior in High School, which was longer ago than many seem to think. It was a blast. There were nine of us total and everyone said that it was one of the best things we've done this summer. A few of us bought an additional pass before we left so that we could head back once school started up and hopefully miss more of the crowds.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Library Books

The question came up in discussion between my boyfriend and I regarding my lack of library book reading. His very relevant questions was "Why don't you just read library books so we don't have so many books laying around." My answer baffled him. "I can't stand the smell."

There is something about a library book that tickles my nose and I can never read one for more than a few minutes without having to put it down. Then I think my hands smell like it so I must proceed to the sink and scrub thoroughly for until I can't smell it anymore. I have similar problems with used books for class. I've gotten several strange stares from fellow students when I go through the used book stack smelling each copy before I select mine.

I have often wondered if others have the same dislike. I've heard them complain that some smell like smoke or animals, which can be an understandable dislike for people with allergies especially. But I think so many just smell dirty from being handled so many times. I wish I didn't have this opinion at times, because buying every book you ever want to read gets quite expensive.