Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Epic of Gilgmesh translated by Andrew George

The tale of Gilgamesh and how he becomes friends with Enkidu after a horrible fight. Eventually Gilgamesh begins his search for immortality, only to have it stolen right out from under him at the end.

I read this story in my humanities class. Much of it was humorous and I can see how it would be instructive to tell people the mistakes made by Gilgamesh as they eventually teach him to be a better person. However, we've talked the silly thing to death so my brain is a bit fried out to write much more about it. I did rather enjoy it though.

The Secret Year Give Away

La Femme Readers is hosting a great giveaway for the book The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard.  Head on over, read the review (the book sounds great) and get yourself entered.  Click HERE

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Perfect Timing by Jill Mansell

This book was a contest win from Source Books.

The book follows the life of Poppy as she meets a strange man in a bar on the night before her wedding and decides she just can't go through with it.  Too late, she also realizes she has no idea who this mysterious "Tom" is or where to find him.  Now right about here I started thinking this was going to end quite cliche, but the story is full of nothing but surprises.

Poppy moves to London and finds herself sharing a flat with people that you just can't help but love, hate, want to scream at them for being so stupid, and hug when they hurt.  Mansell brings these people to life and slowly fills in the side characters that become more important as the story goes on.

I will definately be picking up another of her books and if it is even half as good as this one I'll be completely hooked on her.

Halloween Book Giveaway

There is a contest going on at Bookin' with Bingo's blog for an excellent book called Midnight Fugue.  It's only open until 10/31 so hurry up and go get your entries in!  Here's a linky Midnight Fugue Giveaway

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Tombs of Atuan Review

The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K Le Guin

The second book of the Earthsea Cycle introduces us to Tenar, The Eaten One, or the high priestess of the Nameless Ones.  Tenar was selected at birth to hold this position and she loves to do so until the wizard Ged appears.

Ged is there to rob the secret vaults of the Nameless Ones to find a ring that is rumored to help restore peace.  Tenar discovers Ged when he enters the underground tunnels she loves to be in.

A nice second book to the series, and it also sets up the third (almost done with it) quite well.  I wish we were able to see more of Ged's life inbetween the books, but the glimpses of his life that the books do show us are fascinating.

4/5 stars

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hiding in Plain View Thursday

An idea taken from Tutu's Two Cents where we randomly pick a book from our bookshelves using and bookshelves.  I'm a day late because I spaced out on this yesterday, but here we go!

This is a novel of Ravenloft an alternate fantasy universe where only the "baddest" of the bad guys get stuck. 

From the back of the book:
When Aurek Nuiken travels to Richemulot to search for a spellbook that lies buried within the dark bowels of the undercity, little does he know the horrors that await.  As two beautiful women vie for the interest of the enigmatic scholar and his handsome younger brother Dmitri, a family of wererats and a double dose of sibling rivalry cconspire to endanger not only Aurek but the ojbect he holds most dear.  Faced with his own personal torment and the all-too-real monsters of Ravenloft, the scholar is pushed to the edges of madness and a choice no man should ever have to make.

I read this book many many years ago.  Ravenloft is a wonderful dark fanatasy series that captivates the reader. 

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

A great start to a new fantasy world for me. Ged's path starts at the discovering of his power. We follow him through his training to a cataclysmic event that releases an unknown horror on the world that hungers for everthing Ged is. Ged must find a way to run or fight and it is unclear which is the best decision or if Ged is even making the decisions or being driven by yet another unknown force.

This book is a story of a boy finding himself and accepting all that he is before he can become a man and fully grasp his powers. I have the next book waiting to go right now.

4/5 stars

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Carpetbagger's Wife by Deborah Hale

I had to stop reading this book about 2/3 of the way through.  I really really tried to finish it, but there were too many "oh woe is me" moments from both the hero and the heroine.  It seemed to me that half the story she was whining about falling in love with a yankee, and he was whining about falling in love with her.   On to the next book...I'm sure it'll be better.

1/5 stars

Songbird in My Heart by Mark Steven Rhoads

The first thing that struck me about the book was the pictures. I must say that they are amazing. The author pairs these pictures with words, many times poems, that help you learn to stop and enjoy the right now instead of constantly living the past or present. A wonderful book to read on a lazy day, just like he promises.


This review needs more, because there is reason it did not receive more than 3 stars (which what I rate average). I just can't quite seem to put what I want into words. If I ever figure it out, I'll go back and update it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dark Side of the Morgue by Raymond Benson

Someone is killing off Chicagoprog (a style of music) band members, and all signs point to a woman who has been dead for nearly 40 years. Spike Berenger, a New York PI that specializes in the music business, is asked to come investigate. Can he figure out who the murderer is before all the band members are gone?

This book took awhile to get into. I had trouble keeping the characters straight since so many were introduced all at once. I'm glad I stuck with it because I got hooked.
I could have swore that I had this all figured out until the last 40 pages or so. Then the dramatic twist took me completely by surprise and I didn't quite get it until Spike himself did. I love books that can do that and still keep the story believable.
It looks like there are a couple more books involving Spike out there, and I plan to pick up another one and see how it goes.
3/5 (would have been 4 if the beginning was a little smoother)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lucky in Love by Carolyn Brown

Milli is cowgirl in the truest sense. She knows cows like the back of her hand, she rides a horse like its an extension of her body, she flies her little plane in stunt shows an to take quick visits to her family, and she's even been known to go bull riding on occassion. This summer finds Milli and her daughter Katy Scarlett (I love that name) helping at her grandfather's ranch while he recovers from hip surgery.
Beau Luckadeau is know for his good luck, in everything but love. He now owns the ranch next to Milli's grandparents. Little does he know that Milli's daugher is the result of a one night stand nearly two years before.

The story is full of real life. Real life issues, honesty, family, and love. We watch as Beau meets Milli for the first time, again (he was too drunk to really remember much of the first time). The story unfolds as Milli tries to keep the identity of her daugher secret, while he lives next door.

I wonderful story full of change and twists. The outcome is predictable, as in most romance novels, but the path there is twisted and very interesting. Well worth reading for people who are wanting to try the romance genre but are afraid of all the mushy stuff, it's a bit toned down in this one.

4/5 stars

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spring Drive by Chuck Guilford

Spring Drive by Chuck Guilford

(From the back of the book)
Set in Menominee, Michigan, in 1881 and based on an historical event, Spring Drive centers on the McDonald boys, two loggers who roll into town planning to collect their pay, have some fun, and leave for Oregon. Before they can do so, however, they are caught up in a violent swirl of events that leads to their lynching. It is a gripping, even terrifying tale. In telling the story, the book probes a complex web of environmental, social, and personal issues which remain important in today’s America.

Received this book in the mail today courtesy of the author and LibraryThing member giveaway program.  It will be read directly after the ones I have already received,which I plan on getting a start on tonight.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today's Mail

A Separate Country by Robert Hicks.
Just arrived in the mail today. I'll have to hold off until the group gets started. Sounds like quite a good story.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

A look into the life of a family in Chile. The story covers several generations of the Treuba family, through the highs and lows of finances, political struggle, and revolution. A hint of mysticism runs in the family in the form of speaking with spirits and glimpses of the future.
We see the coutry's stuggling political changes through the eyes of Esteban Trueba and the journals of his wife Clara, who took detailed journals of her life.

We see the familly struggles as the times change and traditions are rewrittin in the eyes of the younger generation. There is discord and arguments and emotional undonditional forgiveness, there is love at first sight and grudge held through many years that see shocking conclusions.

The story of the Trueba family kept me captivated throughout the entire read. I will putting this book on my list of ones to read again in the future.
4/5 stars

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hidden in Plain View

This idea was taken from Tutu's Two Cents, a book blog that I follow regularly. It's an interesting idea just in its pure randomness of results.

The idea is to pick a book at random from you bookshelves and "bring it into the light of day". I followed tutu's lead and used on my LibraryThing collection of books in my library.

This week's book is : Bound to Happen by Alison Kent

A long time ago I receive a TON of romance novels, I'd guess well over 100). I tried reading a few back then and just did not enjoy the genre much so they got packed up and forgotten until my recent move. I have every book I own out on the shelves now that I have the room, including the many, many romance novels (mostly Harlequins if that matters). I decided to give them another go and found that I liked a few of them. They will never be my favorite genre, but they are great for a lazy Saturday afternoon or evening when I know I want to read a happy ending. I have not made it to this one yet, but one of my reading goals is to try and read at least two a month. I've broken it up by type (this would be a "Blaze") and haven't gotten to these yet. I'll be sure to post a review once I get a chance to.

Oh, and aren't you proud of me? I finally figured out how to post an image. It was amazingly simply. All I had to do was open my eyes and look for the button!