December 17th, 2009

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# 84 A Christmas Promise


A Christmas Promise


Anne Perry



13-yr-old Gracie Phipps is going about her usual chores on London's more questionable
streets when she is appealed to by an 8-yr-old urchin, Minnie Maude Mudway, who needs
help finding her friend, Charlie, who is lost, and who happens to be a donkey.


Charlie disappeared after the sudden death of Minnie Maude's Uncle Alf, a rag-and-bone
man who might have picked up a treasure that was never intended for him, and which may have cost him his life.


As Gracie and Minnie Maude search for clues to Charlie's disappearance, they are aided by a kind, mysterious man, Mr. Balthasar, and they learn more about London's dark secrets than even they, with their streetwise ways, had known.


I definitely enjoyed A Christmas Promise, but not quite so much as the last two Anne Perry Christmas books I've read. Perhaps I'm now saturated with them, but I have to say that even though I love happy endings and charming books the ending of A Christmas Promise was just a bit too precious, even for me.

flower

Book 40

Title: Never Let Me Go
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Themes/Topics: Scientific Advancement, Cloning, Organ Donation, Soul


WOW. I mean, just wow. This book was fantastic. Chilling, sad, and thoughtful are the best words that come to mind. A world where clones exist merely as organ donors certainly gives you cause to pause and think. I found this book to be flat, in a way, but it fit. The characters don't have much personality, but they aren't really supposed to, and it totally works.

I love this book and will highly recommend it to all the readers I know.
blue shoes

46: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

Book Forty-Six

Title: To Say Nothing of the Dog
Author: Connie Willis
Page Count: 493
Genre: Ostensibly sci-fi

Synopsis/Thoughts: Oh my goodness. Where has this book been all my life? I loved, loved, loved it! It's got everything...time travel, romance, wit, characters bumbling around making fools of themselves as they try to prevent the breakdown of the space-time continuum. I don't fling around the five-star ratings lightly, but this book deserves every one!

Ned Henry is a time traveler from 2057. His task is to find out if an atrocious piece of Victorian art, a figural urn known as "the bishop's bird stump", was inside Coventry cathedral when it was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II. If he doesn't, his employer, the draconian Lady Schrapnell, will have a fit. She is trying to rebuild Coventry cathedral as an homage to her great-great-great-great grandmother, and every detail has to be perfect. Problem is, he's made so many trips back in time, he's now suffering from a malady known as time-lag (symptoms of which include excessive sentimentality and Difficulty Distinguishing Sounds). Knowing he'll never be able to get any rest with Lady Schrapnell on his case, he escapes to Victorian England, hoping to get some much needed R&R. Because nowhere could be more restful than Victorian England, right? Little does he know that fellow time traveler and part-time nymph (or is it naiad?) Verity Kindle has caused an historical incongruity that could have disastrous consequences. Now it's up to Ned and Verity to babysit Lady Schrapnell's great-great-great-great grandmother, Tossie, in 1888 to prevent the entire world's history being altered. Oh, and Ned still has to find the bishop's bird stump before the christening of the new Coventry cathedral! What follows is a comedy of errors that would make Bertie Wooster proud.

I really cannot recommend this book highly enough. I was chuckling out loud almost the entire way through, but for all its silliness and seeming randomness, everything comes together seamlessly at the end. I think this one is definitely going to end up in my top five all-time favorites