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Showing posts from October, 2009

children's book review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

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After hearing all of the positive buzz about Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series reach a crescendo this month when the fourth book in the series was released, I finally decided to see just how good they were. I'm so glad I did.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid was the first book I read for the readathon, and it was a wonderful way to start the day. It's written in actual diary form, and the delightful middle school boy, Gregory, who narrates loves to draw cartoons. The end result is something in the graphic novel family, but text dominates the graphics. For a taste of what the book looks like, visit Amazon's look inside.

As someone who read Captain Underpants, I had relatively low expectations. There is often quite a disconnect between things kids find funny (Captain Underpants, for example) and things adults find funny (are there kids who laugh at 30 Rock as hard as I do?) Diary of a Wimpy Kid is one of the rare books both kids and adults can enjoy. It's certainly a kids…

book review: The Sound of Language by Amulya Malladi

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The Sound of Language is set in Denmark shortly after September 11, 2001. It focuses on two main characters: Raihana, a presumably widowed Afghan refugee who just moved to Denmark to live with distant relatives, and Gunnar, a recently widowed, depressed Dane who kept bees with his wife, Anna. Although Anna and Gunnar are the focus of the story, there is a broad cast of characters.

Each chapter begins with an excerpt from Anna's beekeerping journal from 1980, the second year she and Gunnar kept bees. Both Anna and Gunnar tell their stories, and the interior monologue is beautiful and often tragic. Anna feels she will never learn Danish; to her, the language sounds like the buzzing of bees. The Danish government requires refugees to go to language school and have a practicum. Anna ends up at Gunnar's home to learn beekeeping and the language. The tension among language, understanding, culture, communication and emotions resonates on every page.

The Sound of Language is both an in…

young adult book review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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The Hunger Games is the first book in a dystopian young adult trilogy. The setting is Panem, a country of 12 districts in what was once the United States. To remind its citizens of their power, the Capitol hosts the Hunger Games each year. Through a lottery, one boy and one girl from each district are selected to fight it out until one only person survives.

The Hunger Games is intense and harrowing from the opening pages. The story is told from the perspective of Kitniss, a 16-year-old girl who had taken on the responsibility of hunting to feed her family after her father died. Kitniss is simultaneously vulnerable and strong, and I really liked her.

I read The Hunger Games during the readathon, and it was perfect for the occasion. I could not put it down. When I did finish it, however, I had to give pause. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, it lacked the depth and message to truly make it a great book. I also found the romantic love triangle storyline annoying; it came out of nowhe…

waiting on wednesday: cleaving by julie powell

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Waiting on Wednesdayis a new semi-regular feature at nomadreader. Jill at Breaking the Spine hosts this weekly event encouraging book bloggers take Wednesdays to feature an upcoming book they're excited about.

Title: Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession
Author: Julie Powell
What else has she written: Julie and Julia, which was a summer hit starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams
Pages: 320
Publication date: December 1, 2009

I read and loved Julie and Julia when it first came out, which was before this lovely blog existed, so I'll share my thoughts on it now too. To be truthful, I didn't read it when it first came out because I bought it for my grandmother, who loves to cook, for Christmas. I read it shortly thereafter and instantly regretted the gift. Julie and Julia was not a simple, sweet account of a young woman in a small apartment trying to cook Julia Child's recipes. It was a raw, beautifully honest portrayal of life in New York City shortly after September 1…

children's book review: rescuing seneca crane by susan runholt

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Rescuing Seneca Crane is the second book in the Kari & Lucas mystery series. I adored The Mystery of the Third Lucretia, the first book in the series, and I devoured this one during the read-a-thon. The story picks up only a few months after the first novel ends. It's late summer, and the girls are off to Edinburgh, Scotland with Kari's mom, who is interviewing teenage piano prodigy Seneca Crane for a magazine piece. Kari and Lucas befriend Seneca, who has accomplished a lot professionally, but has had little room for a normal, teenage social life. As the title indicates (it's literal, not figurative), Seneca is soon kidnapped, and Kari and Lucas find themselves in the middle of another caper in a foreign country.

Once again, Susan Runholt does a tremendous job of describing locations. Edinburgh and the other towns of Scotland are like characters in this novel. The misunderstanding of the Scottish accent provided several laugh out loud moments for me. I loved this book …

book review: benny and shrimp by katarina mazetti

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Summary: Benny & Shrimp is a delightfully quirky Swedish love story. Benny and Shrimp are both teetering toward middle age and meet at a cemetery. Shrimp is a recent widow, and her husband's grave is next to Benny's mother's grave. Their story questions and answers and questions and answers whether opposites attract, repel or both. Shrimp is a librarian, which I always enjoy! Benny is a farmer. They have different worlds, different interests and different temperaments, yet they are inexplicably drawn to one another.

Cover note: I included both the British (left) cover and the U.S. (right) cover because I like the British one better, but I want readers to recognize the U.S. version when they see it!

Review: There are some books that grab me as a reader right away, and there are some books I teeter along with, not really forming an opinion. This book was one of the latter, but about half-way through, I was hooked. Mazetti has a gift for complexity masked as simplicity. At …

Read-a-thon #2!

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Although it's not an official Dewey's read-a-thon, Dreadlock Girl Reads is throwing another read-a-thon for those who couldn't participate yesterday and those of us who can't get enough. I'm in favor of having read-a-thons four times a year rather than two, so I'm thrilled to join this one too!

It comes at the perfect time for me: two days after my last final, and what better way to embrace the holiday season and my break from classes than doing one of my favorite things: reading. I have plenty of books left over from yesterday, and now I know what strategy works for me.

Will you join us for the December 5th read-a-thon?

sunday salon: thoughts on my first readathon

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I participated in my first 24-hour Dewey's Read-athon (or almost 18-hour read-a-thon in my case) yesterday, and I loved it. Going into it, I wanted to have a variety of books to choose from, achievable goals, and I wanted to have fun. The biggest surprise for me during the read-a-thon was how much fun I had interacting with people. I also understand why many veterans abandoned mini-challenges, limited time on Twitter and blogging and focused on reading.

Strategy: My strategy fluctuated throughout the day, but around 6 p.m., I found the strategy that worked best for me: at the top of the hour, check in with the blog to see if I'd won any prizes (maybe next time!) and what the next mini-challenge was, check my email to see all of the comments on my blog (thanks cheerleaders, I had so much fun discovering new blogs, and I hope you'll revisit this one too!), check and update Twitter with my progress, pop in on a few other blogs, and check the football scores. I tried to keep t…

readathon: update #4

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I'll do a final wrap-up post tomorrow, but faced with the option of starting a new book less than an hour before my goal finish time or going to bed, I'm choosing bed! I had so much fun, and I read three books: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Rescuing Seneca Crane & The Hunger Games. I'll tally the pages for tomorrow's wrap-up post.

I didn't decide what or how to donate to charity before the read-a-thon, but it came to me during my second book: I'm donating to one of my favorite organizations: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in honor of my two favorite (fictional) teenage detectives, Kari and Lucas, and direct the gift to family and children's programming. I can't say enough great things about this series, and if you've read The Mystery of the Third Lucretia, you'll understand why this donation is indeed perfect. I like the idea so much, I hope to donate to an organization important to a character of a book I read each read-a-thon. Read it forward, inde…

readathon: update #3

The Read-a-thon is half-way over, and I'm having a great time so far!
Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (on page 60)
2. How many books have you read so far?The Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney & Rescuing Seneca Crane by Susan Runholt
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?I am absolutely loving The Hunger Games, but I'm looking forward to my next book too. Perhaps I'm most looking forward to reading two more books after The Hunger Games (it's a long shot given my usual reading pace!)
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?Nope. Saturdays are my day off, but I won't be able to read until 8 a.m. because I work Sundays.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?I've given myself several interrutpions: cooking meals and watching football!
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?How much the co…

readathon: update #2

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After a late start, I seem to more relaxed than I thought I'd be. I absolutely adored Diary of Wimpy Kid, and I wish I'd gotten the next three in the series from the library too! Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to leave comments, I really appreciate it!

Now I'm reading Rescuing Seneca Crane by Susan Runholt. It's the second Kari & Lucas mystery, and I absolutely adored The Mystery of the Third Lucretia. I'm really enjoying it so far, but I don't want it to end because the third book doesn't have a publication date yet.

Also, I'm not getting the KU-OU football game, so I'll be reading during the game and following the score online. Happy reading!

readathon: update #1

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Readathon is a trending topic on Twitter!

How is my day going so far you ask? Well, I just woke up after accidentally setting my phone to vibrate; I didn't hear my alarm.

The good news is now I'm well rested, and to lighten my guilt, I'm starting with Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. Happy reading!

welcome to my first read-a-thon

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In case you haven't heard, there's a 24-hour Read-a-thon going on this weekend. If you don't care about the read-a-thon, please feel free to ignore this blog until Monday. I'll post a few times while I'm reading Saturday, then I'll post a wrap-up post on Sunday. Come back Monday for a review a day!

It's finally here! I'm excited and nervous to embark on my first 24-hour Read-a-thon. I'm not even going to attempt to read for the entire 24 hours for two reasons: one, it's the Kansas-Oklahoma game, and my beloved Jayhawks might actually have a chance to win this year, so I'm breaking for the game at 3:30 p.m; two, I work all day on Sundays, and I don't think I'd be a very good reference librarian if I stayed up all night reading.

My goals:

1. Read from 8 a.m. (start time!) until 2 a.m. (except for the KU-OU game).

2. Read 800 pages: I typically read about 60 pages/hour (or a page/minute). I'm giving myself 70 minutes off to blog, tweet…

book review: perfect fifths by megan mccafferty

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Welcome to day five of Megan McCafferty and Jessica Darling week at nomadreader! I have finally written my last catch-up review for my summer reading and vacation from blogging.

This book is the fifth in Megan McCafferty'sJessica Darling series, and both the review and summary contain spoilers from the first four novels.

Summary: This book takes place a few months in the future (as in early 2010), which makes the timing of Marcus and Jessica's stories work. Jessica has a perfect job, and she spends her life on the road working. Marcus is finishing up at Princeton. When they run into each other at the airport, they talk about life, love and their relationship.

Review: The entire book takes place in one day (with a few flashbacks and backstory to fill the readers--and Jessica and Marcus--in on what's been happening.) I can't imagine taking longer than a day to read it. It's the first book told with a more traditional narrative rather than in diary-style. It was a fantas…

book review: fourth comings by megan mccafferty

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Welcome to day four of Megan McCafferty and Jessica Darling week at nomadreader!

This book is the fourth in the Jessica Darling series, and the summary and review will have some spoilers if you haven't read the earlier books.

Summary: Jessica Darling is out of college and believably barely working. She nannies for her sister (who pays her an obscene but believable amount of money), and she lives with Hope (Hope!) and another familiar Pineville face. As Jessica is celebrating her independence and adulthood, Marcus is starting college, as a first-year-student, at Princeton. Cue relationship drama: once again, Marcus and Jessica are not at the same place in their lives.

Review: I love the opening scene of this book. Our beloved Jessica has discovered some of her own bad-assness! As perhaps the only fan of these books who doesn't really care about Marcus (I don't necessarily dislike him, and there are times I'm rooting for them, but mostly, I'm a pure Jessica fan: I want …

book review: charmed thirds by megan mccafferty

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Welcome to day three of Megan McCafferty and Jessica Darling week at nomadreader!

This books is the third in a series, so the review and summary will include some spoilers from the first two books.

Summary: JessicaDarling is finally out of Pineville and in college at Columbia.She lands the dream internship at a snarky Brooklyn magazine.

Review: I expected to love Charmed Thirdsas much as I loved Second Helpings. I'm a huge fan of New York City, snarky magazines and college life. I was thrilled for Jessica to experience all of these things and hear her insights. Sadly, I was a little underwhelmed; it's my least favorite Jessica Darling book. My biggest problem with Charmed Thirdswas how much and little it covered. McCafferty condenses all of Jessica's college life into one volume. Sloppy Firsts covered a year and a half, while Second Helpings, the longest book, only took on one year. In order to fit in four years worth of work, school, love, anguish and humor, the book mostly…

book review: second helpings by megan mccafferty

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It's day two of Megan McCafferty and Jessica Darling week at nomadreader! I loved this series, which I read over the summer, and each day I'm posting a review to celebrate finally catching up on summer reviews.

Because this is a sequel to Sloppy Firsts, there will be some spoilers for the first book in this review and summary.

Summary: Jessica Darling is a senior now, and she's making the hard choices about where to go to college and what she wants out of life. She's still dealing with the fallout of a broken heart, dating her academic rival, and dealing with an anonymous and accurate school gossip ezine. Once again, the reader is privy to Jessica's thoughts through her diary.

Review: After getting to know Jessica Darling in Sloppy Firsts, I was really rooting for her in this novel. I desperately wanted her to make the right choice for college. There is still plenty of candor, insight and humor, but Jessica's reactions to the September 11th attacks still surprised…

book review: sloppy firsts by megan mccafferty

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In honor of finally catching up on the last five reviews from books I read this summer, it's Megan McCafferty and Jessica Darling week here at nomadreader. Each day this week, I'll post one review for each book in the five book series.

Summary: Sloppy Firsts is the story of Jessica Darling, a high school junior in New Jersey. Her best friend, Hope, has moved to Tennessee after Hope's brother died of a drug overdose. Jessica is a faithful diarist, and her story unfolds through diary entries and a monthly letter to Hope.

Review: One of my best friends recommended this book to me, and I'm so glad she did! I loved Jessica Darling from the very beginning, and I wished the books were around when I was in high school because I would have loved them then too. Jessica is a wonderfully honest narrator, but the reader can still see how she struggles with her self-esteem. Jessica's perception of herself is not always the exact reality, but it's refreshing to read a story wit…

young adult book review: fade by lisa mcmann

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Background: I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Wake, and my one complaint was that there wasn't enough of the story; I wanted more. Thankfully, I discovered Lisa McMann's book late enough that the sequel was already out (book three, Gone, will be published in February 9, 2010.)

Because this book is the second in a series, there may be some spoilers for the first novel. Please feel free to skip ahead to my review.

Summary: The book opens happily: Janie and Cabel are happy and have settled into a high school, virginal version of domestic bliss. Their relationship still must be a secret, but they're happy and supportive of each other. They're both still working undercover for the police, and this case is intense: the cops received two calls, six months apart, on a high school-specific hotline about teachers having sex with students. With no details to go on, Janie and Cabel try to figure out if its true, and if so, who the offending teacher is. Cabel struggles…

book review: club dead by charlaine harris

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Intro: Club Dead is the third novel in the SookieStackhouse/Southern vampire series by Charlaine Harris. I loved the first novel, Dead Until Dark, and liked the second novel, Living Dead in Dallas, even more. I still haven't seen the HBO series True Blood, which is based on this series. Each season of the show is based on one book.

Because this book is the third in the series, there will be some spoilers if you haven't read the first two books.

Summary: Bill Compton is working on a secret project for the king of Mississippi, and he's afraid something will happen to him. In the event that he goes missing, he gives Sookie instructions on how to hide his work and what people to call. Naturally, Bill is soon missing. Most of this book takes place in Jackson, Mississippi, and the drama involves werewolves and shapeshifters as well as our beloved vampiers.

Review: The simple truth: Club Dead is not as good as the first two novels in the series. For the first time, Sookie got on my…

book review: family affair by caprice crane

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I discovered Caprice Crane on Twitter (@capricecrane). On slow news days, I find myself researching whom the authors whose work I admire and enjoy follow on Twitter. Caprice Crane has quickly become the source of multiple laughs per day, and as a fan of the new Melrose Place, which she writes for, it's clear there's the same humor. Although I'm not certain, I would wager Caprice is responsible for this line (reconstructed from my memory): "Ella, if you need help getting in contact with quality designers, I can help. Marc Jacobs and I play in the same capture-the-flag league." When she tweeted about the release of her latest novel, I immediately requested it from the library.

Summary:Family Affair is a novel about the marital ups and downs of Layla and Brett Foster. Layla's father left when she was young, and her mother died when she was in high school. Brett, her high school sweetheart, and his family essentially adopted Layla. Brett starts to think of Layla a…

audio book review: austenland by shannon hale

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I listened to Austenland on audio on a long drive alone. It was absolutely perfect for the occasion. Austenland is the story of Jane Hayes, a single New Yorker, graphic designer and Jane Austen (especially the Colin Firth BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice) devotee. When her quirky aunt passes away, Jane learns she was left a peculiar thing in the will: a two-week holiday trip to an English estate where she will live in Austen's time. It's essentially an elaborate Jane Austen role-playing theme park, complete with period costumes, customs and lack of technology. The men are played by actors, and our heroine, despite acknowledging Darcy has ruined her real relationships by being too good, has a tough time letting go of her modern persona and relaxing.

Austenland is pure, brilliant fantasy and utterly dreamlike for Austen fans, but the comedy keeps the story from slipping into schmaltzy. Even those who feel dear Jane is teetering on overexposure would enjoy the satire. It'…

young adult book review: wake by lisa mcmann

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Wake is the story of Janie Hannagan, a high school student who is uncontrollably drawn into the dreams of nearby people. While this power sounds cool, it means she must live other people's nightmares. When someone dreams nearby, she is sucked into it, which is extremely problematic when you're an otherwise normal teenager.

I enjoyed Wake. It's a fascinating paranormal concept, and Janie is a likable heroine. I felt her pain, fear and awkwardness and admired her strength and perseverance. My one complaint is the length; it's too short. I was left wanting more depth and story. Thankfully, there is a sequel out, Fade, which I hope to read soon.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Pages: 210
Publication date: March 4, 2008
Source: my local public library

book review: little pink slips by sally koslow

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After devouring and enjoying The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, I was thrilled to learn Sally Koslow had written another book: Little Pink Slips.

Little Pink Slips is the story of Magnolia Gold, a North Dakotan turned New Yorker who now is editor-in-chief at Lady magazine. Magnolia is professionally successful and incredibly focused on her career. Cue intense workplace drama.

Although I really enjoyed the character of Magnolia, I did not enjoy anyone else in the book. (In Molly Marx, I loved everyone, even the obnoxious and selfish characters, because they had depth and believability). Magnolia could not catch a break in this book, and it wore me out. I confess, I am not a huge fan of workplace drama. (Seriously, even The Office depresses me: I dread the thought of life in an office environment surrounded by people you dislike.) I found myself rooting for her to find a way to walk right out of the pages and find new friends, a new job and new coworkers.

Perhaps my expectation were too high a…

graphic novel review: the surrogates by robert venditti

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When the television spots for The Surrogates started airing a few weeks before it came out, I remembered from my fall movie preview that the film was based on a graphic novel. After seeing the previews, I wanted to read the book.

The Surrogates is set in 2052 in what is now called Central Georgia Metropolis (formerly Atlanta). Most people now live quiet lives in their homes and send out their surrogate to work and play, while their brains are hooked into the surrogate from home. People get to experience things without the possibility of death or injury. Other interesting twists tidbits: you choose what your surrogate looks like and some people elect a surrogate of another gender as a way to bypass sexual discrimination. It's futuristic science fiction told incredibly convincingly; it's easy to think it could be our not-so-distant future.

The concept is intriguing, and I really enjoyed the story. I was not, however, a fan of the drawing style. It didn't hinder my understandin…

children's book review: the mystery of the third lucretia by suasn runholt

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After reading A Reader's Respite's glowing review of The Mystery of the Third Lucretia, I knew I wanted to read it. When it came in for me at the library, I first read the author's biography, which begins "Susan Runholt shares a love of art, travel and feminism with her teenage heroines." I would add reading to the list, but I'm proud to share the other three with Ms. Runholt, Lucas and Kari.

The Mystery of the Third Lucretia is the first (of many, I hope) Kari and Lucas mystery. Kari and Lucas are best friends who live in St. Paul, Minnesota (a town I also happen to love). Kari's mom has one of the coolest jobs ever: she covers fashion and international culture for a teen magazine (if such a job exists, I would gladly apply for it.) Kari, who sees her father a few times a year, and Lucas, whose parents are eager to spend money for her to experience culture, often get to go along for the ride. The book takes place in St. Paul, London, Paris, and Amsterdam.…

Dewey's read-a-thon: I'm in!

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I've decided to join Dewey's read-a-thon this year. It's on a date that's pretty good for me, and I've had so much fun observing the blogs of those who have enjoyed it in the past.

My plan: I will aim to read for almost 24 hours, but I am not sure my body is capable. The read-a-thon starts on October 24 at 8 a.m. my time, which is perfect. I'm taking a break at noon to watch the KU-Oklahoma football game. I'll still read during commercial breaks, and if Oklahoma goes up by more than 28 points, I'll abandon the game and go back to reading. I hope to read from 8 a.m - 2 a.m., with a three-hour football-watching break. I will update twitter and my blog whenever I need a reading break.

What I'll read: I plan to do a little catching up on my Read Every Word list, a list of authors whose books I want to read all of; a little catching up on my "books I've been meaning to read for far too long pile"; and I plan to read books other bloggers with …

illustrated novel review: the adventuress by audrey niffenegger

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If there is a more perfect book to read after The Lost Symbol, I don't know it. The Adventuress is sparse and brilliantly complex; The Lost Symbol is verbose and simple.

The plot of The Adventuress is difficult to describe without telling the story myself. I like this succinct description from my library's catalog: "The Adventuress follows the dreamlike journey of an alchemist's daughter." If you've read Niffenegger, you know how she plays with fantasy and reality in a magical way; The Adventuress is no different. Like The Three Incestuous Sisters, it's a unique format. It's most like a picture book for grown-ups. The artwork is mesmerizing, and there are several panels I would gladly use to decorate my walls.

When I finished it (far too quickly), my first thoughts were simply, "wow." It's a quirky, smart, hauntingly beautiful story told with the a sparse use of words and mesmerizing and beautiful art.

Rating: 5 stars (loved it - highly rec…

book review: the lost symbol by dan brown

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I'll assume you either know the plot of this novel or you don't want to know about it, so I'll spare you the summary.

I have incredibly mixed feelings about this book. If you asked me my thoughts while I was reading it, they varied among "I love it!," "It's really good!," "I can't stop rolling my eyes!," "When will it end?," and "Well, it's not very good, but I really like it." I completely understand why SKrishnadidn't rate this book. And I completely understand why the ratings at Amazon are so disparate. There are parts of this book I would rate 1 star, 2 stars, 3 stars, 4 stars and 5 stars. Different readers will place more importance on some parts than others, and with this book more than any other book I've read, I would find it impossible to predict a reader's reaction. Here's how I viewed the book:

1 star elements: The ubiquitous italics; there are other ways to emphasize things you want the…

illustrated novel review: the three incestuous sisters by audrey niffenegger

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I stumbled upon this book in the library catalog a few weeks ago. I was frantically trying to reserve a copy of Her Fearful Symmetry so I could read it sometime before Christmas, and I saw that there were two books listed by Audrey Niffenegger I had never heard of: The Three Incestuous Sisters and The Adventuress. I immediately requested them both.

As you can see by the cover, the art is beautiful. I knew Niffenegger was an artist, but I somehow missed the news that she wrote these two illustrated novels. Before I read it, I thought "illustrated novel" might be semantics to market a graphic novel to those who might not necessarily read them otherwise (and specifically those who read The Time Traveler's Wife.). I was wrong. I enjoy graphic novels, but this book seems closest to a children's picture book in how it tells a story. The pictures are more powerful than the words, but they two elements work together beautifully.

The Three Incestuous Sisters is lushly illustrat…

book review: vision in white by nora roberts

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I am one of the last people to read Nora Roberts. My soon-to-be mother-in-law loves her (as do many other people whose book taste I agree with), and I've been intending to read her for quite some time. When I heard about her wedding quartet series, I knew it would be the perfect introduction to her work. I've shied away from actual wedding planning books, but I have enjoyed many novels about wedding planning. The premise of the series is great: four lifelong friends have a wedding planning business. One is a photographer, one is a florist, one a pastry chef and one is the actual planner. Each book will be from a different point of view.

Vision in White features Mac, the photographer. Photography is one career I think I would love but will never actually do, and I immediately connected with Mac. She does some annoying things throughout the book (seriously, she's a strong woman the entire novel, but she can't stand up to her mother, an annoyingly caricatured character) th…

book review: the late, lamented molly marx

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Summary (from library catalog): Until she was found dead along the bank of the Hudson River, Molly Marx led an enviable life. A young wife and mother, Molly now finds herself in the Duration, where with the help of a refreshingly unorthodox guide, she can observe the friends and family she left behind: her philandering plastic surgeon husband, the irresistible colleague who became her lover, a competitive twin sister, her controlling mother-in-law, a loyal but confused friend, and her purest love: a three-year-old daughter.

Review: The Late, Lamented Molly Marx is a delightful book to read. It grabbed me from the beginning, and I treasured every page. Suddenly, around page 200, I realized I didn't want it to end. Partially it was because I loved the characters; they were people I wanted to eat dinner with. I didn't want to say goodbye to them. Mostly, though, I couldn't imagine how the book could end satisfactorily. Part of the book is a murder mystery of sorts (think Elisa…