February 2nd, 2012


Books 4-15

4. Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. "Wow" best sums up my thoughts after finishing this long but very moving, very captivating story of Nelson Mandela (Madiba), from his early days in rural South Africa to his taking the reins of a nation newly freed from apartheid. I get the impression of a very intelligent, pragmatic man who is willing to listen to others opinions, even if he doesn't agree with him. His story is told very well, and is easy to follow. I learned a lot about Mandela and South Africa from his autobiography, and it makes me realize how little I know about Africa. I love how he relates his growth into becoming an activist- how he watches and observes for a while, then slowly is molded into becoming a reformer for his country. I think this quote illustrates Mandella quite well: "Nonviolent passive resistance is effective as long as your opposition adheres to the same rules as you do. But if peaceful protest is met with violence, its efficacy is at an end. For me, nonviolence was not a moral principle but a strategy; there is no moral goodness in using an ineffective weapon." Very pragmatic, very rational. This is an inspiring book, I highly recommend it.

5. Five Flavors of Dumb, by Antony John. This was one of those books I wound up finishing in an afternoon without quite meaning to because I didn't want to put it down. It's a fun story, and the main character Piper is an endearing, honest character. The story is a wee bit predictable at times: Girl Who Thinks No One Understands Her Comes to Find Out She's Respected and Liked More Than She Knows, and The People She Wrote Off As Jerks in the Beginning Turn Out To Be A-OK After All pretty much sums it up. But there are enough twists and character depth to keep this theme from being tired. Along with Piper, I really liked Kallie, Tash and Piper's brother Finn. Did want to slap the parents at the beginning (I don't like giving out spoilers but they do something at the beginning I find unpardonable, given the circumstances; I'm glad they are called on the carpet a bit for it). Piper, through chance and a few choice words, is picked to be the manager for the high school's band, Dumb. She has one month to put her money where her mouth is and get a paying gig for the group. Three problems: she doesn't care for the band members. She isn't all that familiar with the music scene. And she has no real way of telling whether the band is good or not because by the way, did I mention that Piper is deaf? Still, as she tries to get the band to come together as a group and attempts to find paying gigs (so she can raise money for college), she surprises herself, and those around her.

6. The Pirate of Kindergarten, by George Ella Lyon, illustrated by Lynne Avril. Was a bit mixed with this book, although I think it's mostly positive. In this story, Ginny loves her class and loves story hour, but has trouble with several things, such as reading, cut and paste projects and even sitting in her chair. During a routine school eye exam, she is diagnosed with double vision (diplopia). She is taken to an ophthalmologist, who gives her glasses and an eye patch. She finds herself now able to read, play and work with ease alongside her classmates. The illustrations are wonderful, and creatively give a taste of what Ginny sees. My issues are nitpicky. The biggest one is I wish there was a bit more information in the back about the condition. I might be speaking for myself, but when I think eye issues and patches, I think amblyopia (which is what I have in my left eye, to a minor degree). An afterwards clarification would have made this good book stronger. Another issue (and this is very minor), I think most teachers, after a week or two of seeing a student struggle to the extent that Ginny was, would have been on the horn to the parents to encourage them to see an eye doctor. This book would be excellent for a class who has a student going through vision difficulties and who may be wearing a patch, to show why it's being used and that it's not "weird." The book doesn't touch on the teasing a student may get after the eye patch is in place, and I wonder if what she goes through after one eye is patched comes across as a "cure." I would think most students, while they would have an easier time, would still have vision issues (depth perception comes to mind).

7. Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow: a Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix, by Gary Golio, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe. I admit to being skeptical when I saw there was a children's picture book on the life of Jimi Hendrix, but Golio pulls it off. Hendrix, of course, is arguably the best guitar player ever seen (and I'm sure there are people who would object to the qualifying "arguably"). He's also, tragically, known for his rough home life and for dying far too young (27) from a mix of prescription drugs and alcohol. One wonderful thing about this book is not only does it have a nice list of references for Jimi Hendrix, but a list of drug and alcohol abuse prevention references as well. The Story itself, good for second through fourth (maybe fifth) grade, sticks to the younger period of Jimi's life, where he learns to play guitar and finds his voice through music. Through the words and illustrations, Jimi is seen learning to paint pictures with music. The illustrations capture the gritty nature of his surroundings as well as the flow and color of the music. My one complaint is that the text is rather small and is hard to read sometimes.

8. Black and White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene "Bull" Connor, by Larry Dane Brimner. This is an excellent book for older grade school and up. It offers a look at Birmingham, Alabama, during the Civil Rights movement, concentrating on the antagonistic relationship between the Rev. Shuttlesworth, a contemporary and friend of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a powerful advocate for Civil Rights, and Commissioner Connor, who was determined to keep segregation and Jim Crow in place. The book includes many pictures and notes, along with sidebars on other pertinent issues to the time (such as the struggle Autherine Lucy went through to attend The University of Alabama.) The struggles for desegregation was a constant one step forward, one step back. Shuttlesworth, along with other Civil Rights activists, was attacked on several occasions; his house was firebombed at one point. The book includes a nice index and source list. One of the more interesting items included is a photograph/copy of a list of rules for protestors, which emphasizes being orderly and polite whenever possible.

9. Interrupting Chicken, by David Ezra Stein. This is a hilarious story, where young chicken begs her papa to read her a story- but then she keeps interrupting with her own ending. Hansel and Gretel, Chicken Little and other stories get "chickenfied." The illustrations are very colorful and zany, the characters almost abstract. This will appeal to preschool and younger grade school. I mean, come on, who hasn't thought "gee how different the story would have been had *I* been there to help!" I can see a lot of good activities being done in connection with this story, such as how readers would change their favorite stories, if they could be in that world.

10. Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same, by Grace Lin. Ling and Ting are sisters, and most people think they are exactly the same. But as this story progresses, the reader can see the differences in their personalities, through several short stories. This is good for second grade and up. The illustrations are clean and vivid.

11. We Are in a Book, by Mo Willems. The latest in the Gerald and Piggie books. These always make me smile, they are so whimsical and clever. Here, Gerald and Piggie break the fourth wall, as it were, and interact with the reader (I can so see this one read during a story hour). This also is a nice way to point out some of the features in a book, such as the dialogue balloons and the page numbers. I've enjoyed all of the Gerald and Piggie books but I think this one is my favorite.

12. Bink and Gollie, by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile. A very cute series of short stories about two good friends, Bink and Gollie. This is good for more advanced grade school readers, or teachers wishing to teach their students new vocabulary words. Both girls are adventurous and imaginative, although Gollie tends to be more sophisticated, and Bink more impulsive. Gollie is sometimes embarrassed by Bink (who seems more like a younger sister). But together they learn to compromise and work out their differences.

13. A Sick Day for Amos McGee, by Phillip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead. A very charming story that should appeal to preschool and up. Amos McGee is a longtime and well-loved zookeeper who likes to spend time with the animals. But one day, he gets sick- so the animals visit him instead. The illustrations remind me of the clean, simple and muted tones popular when I was a child. Much attention is given to McGee and the animals, both in the words and the illustrations.

14. Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier. This is a neat bit of history, told in an easy to access picture book format. Not much is known about Dave, a potter who was a slave during the 1800s in South Carolina. What is known is that he was a potter - his pots are considered highly collectible and prized today - and he could write, and wrote brief lines of poetry on his pots. Both are very unusual traits for a slave during that time. The story part of the book is good for younger grade school; there is a nice "afterwards" section that goes into more about Dave's life. A teacher or parent can help younger grade schoolers out with this section.

15. Finger Lickin' 15, by Janet Evanovich. This one is slightly different, in that Lula winds up being the target, while Stephanie often is the hapless collateral damage. Lula witnesses a beheading of someone who turns out to be a well-known chef. Lula cooks up the plan to enter in the late chef's annual grilling contest to see if they can find the two killers. The problem is that Lula and Grandma Mazur's cooking skills are worse than mine (and that is saying something!) Stephanie and her family are forced to eat their concoctions, which range from utterly inedible to downright dangerous. The cooking scenes are hilarious, and the ending is almost anti-climatic.
Veronica black hat.

January 2012 (8/50)

  1. The Spine of the World by R.A. Salvatore
  2. Sea of Swords by R.A. Salvatore
  3. The Mask of the Enchantress by Victoria Holt
  4. The Indian Fan by Victoria Holt
  5. The Landower Legacy by Victoria Holt
  6. The Road to Paradise Island by Victoria Holt
  7. Kirkland Revels by Victoria Holt
  8. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

R.A. Salvatore - Fantasy writer/D&D setting

Victoria Holt - Gothic romantic suspense/Victorian England setting

Cassandra Clare - Steampunk romantic suspense/Victorian England setting

While I do enjoy a good fantasy novel, I'm stepping out fantasy and putting on the Sci-fi goggles for a little while with a barrage of Heinlein novels I have waiting for me to read. :) See you in a month with my next count!
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zuko, dietotaku

Book #6: Merchants of Doubt

My sixth book is Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Obviously, this isn't going to appeal to everybody, but if you're an environmentalist--because most of the science in this book is about environmentalism--and you're wondering why people still believe there's "controversy" around global warming, this book can tell you why. It's a long explanation of how big companies and certain scientists began to turn against the scientific community in order to protect their profits (often under the guise of "defending liberty"). 

I definitely recommend this book. It's a great work of journalism. Sometimes, the details can be hard to follow: there are some major players identified in nearly every "controversy" the book discusses, but there are a lot of minor people mentioned only once or twice, which gets confusing. However, the book always does a good job of drawing away from the details and making its major points clear. The movements of a person or two don't matter as much as what they are working to do in concert, which is basically feeding public doubt. Hence the title.

book diet

book #6

i just finished Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (no direct relation to E.L.)

when everyone all over LJ was finally talking about SOPA, someone over on a friend's LJ mentioned the book. i'd seen/heard Cory Doctorow speak at PhilCon back in 09, and since i recognised the name, i thought i'd give the book a try.

and just like Orwell's Big Brother, this book makes you think about stuff - and think out of the (X)box, too. you'll never look at the government or the internet the same way again. i mean, i'm already paranoid enough. ;)

as one of the authors who writes one of the afterwards says, go out and hack something.

up next, i have two books: i've started Terry Pratchett's The Color of Magic (like just started), but this evening i'll be picking up To Kill a Mockingbird from the library. i want to reread because (a) i've wanted to reread it now for about a year or so and (b) my older daughter is reading it in English... if not now, really soon. while i do have my own paperback copy, it's SO old the front cover says "Now a Major Motion Picture starring Gregory Peck!" and it's falling apart. heh.

(crossposted from my journal)
book and cup

#12 Tom-All-Alone's - Lynn Shepherd (2012)

London, 1850. Fog in the air and filth in the streets, from the rat-infested graveyard of Tom-All-Alone's to the elegant chambers in Lincoln's Inn Fields, where the formidable lawyer Edward Tulkinghorn has powerful clients to protect, and a deadly secret to hide. Only that secret is now under threat from a shadowy and unseen adversary - an adversary who must be tracked down at all costs, before it's too late. Who better for such a task than young Charles Maddox? Unfairly dismissed from the police force, Charles is struggling to establish himself as a private detective. Only business is slow and his one case a dead end, so when Tulkinghorn offers a handsome price for an apparently simple job Charles is unable to resist. But as he soon discovers, nothing here is what it seems. An assignment that starts with anonymous letters leads soon to a brutal murder, as the investigation lures Charles ever deeper into the terrible darkness Tulkinghorn will stop at nothing to conceal. Inspired by Charles Dickens' masterpiece Bleak House, Tom-All-Alone's is a new and gripping Victorian murder mystery which immerses the reader in a grim London underworld that Dickens could only hint at - a world in which girls as young as ten work the night as prostitutes, unwanted babies are ruthlessly disposed of, and those who threaten the rank and reputations of great men are eliminated at once, and without remorse.

Towards the end of December I spotted a link on twitter to a competition run by the author of a book called Murder at Mansfield Park, not a book I heard of previously. I was in the process of reading Death Comes to Pemberley at the time, which is what alerted me to the competition, as it called for people to read the two books and write a review comparing them. The idea of reading and comparing two Austenesque mystery books appealed to me at once. I quickly downloaded Murder at Mansfield Park to my kindle, and upon finishing the P D James book got stuck in. It ended my reading for 2011 on something of a high –it was a thoroughly enjoyable read – and I wrote my little review and sent it off. A few weeks later I discovered I had won a copy of Lynn Shepherd’s new novel – I rarely win anything so was rather chuffed.
Tom-All-Alones is in fact published today (February 2nd 2012) although I received my copy a couple of weeks ago. The title refers to a cemetery in London, featured in Charles Dickens ‘Bleak House’ – and which was apparently one possible title for Dickens’s tale. This novel is indeed a homage to Dickens and one of his greatest novels.
Some of Dickens characters reappear in this book – Tulkinghorn, Inspector Bucket and Lady Deadlock for instance – while other characters bear some resemblance to Dickens creations but have been re-shaped by Lynn Shepherd. In addition those who have read Murder at Mansfield Park will recognise the name Charles Maddox – although the Charles Maddox of Tom-All-Alone’s is the regency thief takers great nephew. The elder Charles Maddox is now a shuffling old man. His once sharp mind blighted by some disease (Alzheimer’s surely) which brings about long periods of cloudy incomprehension and confusion, followed by glimpses of his former brilliance as his mind comes back into focus.
Charles Maddox is hired by Tulkinghorn to uncover the author of some anonymous letters. Things quickly take a violent turn however, and Charles becomes embroiled in a brutal murder case, even being attacked himself – more than once - in his pursuit of the truth.
This is a wonderfully atmospheric novel. All the sights, sounds and indeed smells of Victorian London practically rise up off the page. In this Lynn Shepherd pulls no punches –the descriptions are vivid and all too real, the horrifying realities that existed for certain sections of society at this time laid bare. As with ‘Bleak House’ itself we have an omniscient narrator – this time one speaking to the reader from a more modern time – acting in a way as a guide through the plot as well as through the confusion of London streets. This 2nd person narrative which is not continually present actually works really well. The majority of the story concerns Charles Maddox and his investigation – and alongside we have the story of Charles’s Uncle Maddox – who Charles moves back in with at the beginning of the novel – and a young black maid who comes to work at the house. Alongside this narrative – we have a first person narrative of Hester – ward of Mr Jarvis. Just as in ‘Bleak House’ these stories weave together eventually. If I am honest, at first, I found the short sections narrated by Hester less enjoyable – but only because they took me away from the thick of the action and the great characters of Charles Maddox his Uncle, Tulkinghorn and the stinking seething filthy streets that Charles must negotiate in his quest. However Hester’s story does become marvellously compelling towards the end of the novel – providing the reader with an amazing twist – that I didn’t see coming and quite literally made me gasp.
Tom-All-Alone’s however , is in no way a re-telling of Bleak House –it is good old fashioned, well written murder mystery – the story of ‘Tom-All-Alone’s’ runs parallel to the story of Bleak House – and Wilkie Collins ‘Woman in White’ - and readers who have never read Dickens’s great novel can enjoy it as that. Those who have read ‘Bleak House’ and know Dickens and Collins’s work however will enjoy spotting the parallels and little references that make this novel such an excellent homage to the great man 200 years after his birth.
This is a massively readable page turner – I read it in great gulps and could hardly put it down. I think those who love historical murder mysteries and those who like their Dickens will each enjoy this novel – but those readers who like both of those things will be doubly delighted.
Dead Dog Cat


At a slow point, yesterday, I finished reading an ebook, Osprey Campaign #72: Jutland 1916: Clash of the Dreadnoughts. There was some pretty good photography, good plates, good maps. The text covered the subject well.

Book #16: 50 Book Challenge 2012

Nancy Drew #26:  Clue of the Leaning Chimney - Carolyn Keene

In this Nancy Drew mystery, Nancy is asked to find two missing persons, and who's responsible for stealing and making copies of precious Ming vases.  Of course, she does, and in record time.  I liked this one.

Book #17: 50 Book Challenge 2012

Nancy Drew #27:  Secret of the Wooden Lady - Carolyn Keene

This one mentions the Eastern Shore of Maryland (where I'm from).  Boy, Nancy gets to meet people from all over, doesn't she?  What a lucky girl.  I liked this story about finding a figurehead and proper deed for what was believed to be a pirate ship.  Secret passageways and hidden treasure.  Cool.

Book #18: 50 Book Challenge 2012

Nancy Drew #28:  The Clue of the Black Keys - Carolyn Keene

In "Black Keys," Nancy gets to scour Florida and Mexico to help a group of professors find treasure for a research project.  I really liked reading about the unnamed Florida keys.  I find the keys fascinating.

This one was okay, not great.  I kind of felt like the ending was rushed, but that may be because I was reading a later edition that had been rewritten.

Book #19: 50 Book Challenge 2012

The Kitchen Daughter - Jael McHenry

This is a story about a very talented young lady with Asperger's named Ginny, who is trying to find her way after her parents die.  She is left with the house she shared with them and their accounts, both of which she and her sister jointly inherit.  Her sister believes Ginny cannot be independent, and Ginny sets out to prove her wrong. 

Ginny is a great cook.  When she is left alone in the house, she discovers she can unlock a brief but amazing connection with the dead.  She makes tremendous progress, and a few solid relationships, along the way.

The numerous descriptions of food and cooking technique were a delight to read.  I learned a thing or two, and got some new recipes!  More than a book; this story was a sensate experience.  A moving and well-written debut novel by McHenry.  Loved, loved, loved it.

Book #20: 50 Book Challenge 2012

Nancy Drew #29:  Mystery at the Ski Jump - Carolyn Keene

This one was okay.  It annoys me that each of these isn't part of a chronological series.  All of these books seem independent of each other because they don't connect into a logical sequence or narrative, even.  The seasons jump around and Nancy stays 18 forever.  It's quite disjointed.  And in the beginning, the narrative goes on about how Nancy holds her own as a skier and even won a ladies skiing event, and later on with a ski instructor, it's implied that she's only an average skier and she seems a bit clumsy.

The story was alright, I guess.  Nancy gets bound and tossed somewhere and left to die (again).  Someone impersonates her and attempts to steal her identity  (again).  She's on the trail of people selling bad stock (again).  Ned and her friends help save her and Nancy solves the mystery (again).

The character John Horn did amuse me.  A fur trapper who prefers travelling by snowshoes instead of in a car.  He had some funny things to say.

I have two more Nancy Drews sitting here, and then I need a break from Miss Nancy for awhile.  The mysteries are getting repetitive...

Book #21: 50 Book Challenge 2012

Still Alice - Lisa Genova

This is about a 51-year Harvard professor named Alice, who discovers she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease.  The book begins with her forgetting an appointment, and continues well into her illness.  Being with Alice as she forgets simple things, and getting to know her as she loses her memories and her identity, is heartbreaking.

This book started off slow but after getting through the first couple of chapters it spirals quickly into Alice's descent into the disease.

This book was very thought-provoking and at times, too honest. I loved that it was written from Alice's point of view, though.  I learned quite a bit about Alzheimer's, as the author used a lot of real research to include in the story, and I didn't realize before that early-onset Alzheimer's could ruin a life so quickly.  I also didn't realize how much of the disease the medical community has figured out so far.  I hope the drugs in trials do more than "show promise."

From a caretaker's point of view, It must be torture to see a loved one lose their memory and self-identity, especially so fast and at such a young age.

I'm glad I read this.


I've read two of Pratchett's fantasy satires before: the first of his Discworlds, The Colour of Magic (an obvious warming-up with enough good ideas) and Going Postal (really kind of a masterpiece). I'd like to read them all, in order, but Maskerade just happened into my possession a while back, so I finished it up for #6. Basic plot: talented young singer Agnes flees the witches' kingdom of Lancre for a shot at opera stardom in the big city. The opera managers are impressed by her voice but want a slimmer, more comely diva in the lead - so they hire Agnes to ghost-sing the lead roles while their RealDoll charms the crowds. Meanwhile, two of Lancre's most powerful witches get the idea that Agnes might make an excellent third member of their coven and journey to the big city to bring her back home, whether she wants to come or not. Also there are Phantom of the Opera-style murders.

I enjoy that Pratchett's protagonists have real-people problems, not fantasy-hero Chosen One problems, and that his novels concern the day-to-day workings of a magical kingdom instead of Great Quests (Maskerade is about the theater; Going Postal is, naturally, about the postal service). He's in the Douglas Adams leagues when it comes to true-to-life one-liners ("There seemed to be so much to do that she couldn't bring herself to do any of it"), and his dry, gentle wit of his Death is always a treat.

The particular story here, though, was muddled and rather depressing. The main thread of the novel seems to concern Agnes finding her own voice & sense of self-worth, to stop others from taking advantage of her, yet it's at odds with the Other Two Witches thread, which concerns Head Other Witch taking advantage of and manipulating others and trying to make Agnes give up her dream, which we're supposed to think is wise and charming. The treatment of poor Agnes, who isn't allowed much agency in the novel's climax, is more depressing than I think Pratchett realized, and the perpetually-downtrodden-outcast/bubbleheaded-half-oblivious-mean girl dynamic between the diva and her is thin, rehashed gruel for the length of the story it has to carry. I never quite sorted out the cast of the characters at the opera or found them much endearing; the whole behind-the-scenes mystery seemed a bewildering, pointless waste.

Did like the Masque of the Red Death scene, though.

Book #22: 50 Book Challenge 2012

Nancy Drew #30:  The Clue of the Velvet Mask - Carolyn Keene

I am surprised, but this one was refreshing.  Nancy hot on the trail of masquerading thieves. 

It seemed like some time went into plotting this one, and the writing was better.  I liked it much better than the recent Nancy Drews I've been reading lately.

dw books

January -- Books 1-8

It's been a pretty good month. I'm going to need to keep up this streak, though, to reach my goal of 100.

1. Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander - The fourth book in the Chronicles of Prydain series finally intrigued me. It's for the first time, here, that Taran begins to grow up. He sets out wandering to learn what he can of his past, and though the lessons he learns along the way are pretty standard fantasy, it was like a breath of fresh air to see our longtime hero making the right decisions, even when they were the hard ones.

2. The High King by Lloyd Alexander - The last book about Taran goes in particularly grand fashion -- after all these years trying hold off The Lord of Death, Sauron Arawn, it's time to make a final stand, for the future of all of Middle-Earth Prydain. And of course, a young humble Hobbit Assistant Pig-Keeper holds the fate of it all.

3. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - An old man now confined to a nursing home recalls his younger days as the veterinarian for a Depression-era traveling circus - the lingo and the lifestyle, the animals and the performers, the love and the redlighting. Though I loved the environment and appreciated the research that the author had done, I never fully identified with the protagonist, despite the fact that he was the best man in a den of thieves, and it sort of kept me from enjoying the book.

4. Shady Ladies by Susan Ledbetter - Only a few of the 19 women from Victorian America were women of ill repute. But all of them were independent, unconventional, and unwilling to let a world stacked against them get in their way. Some were doctors, some were businesswomen, some were lawmakers, some were pioneers - but they all struggled long and hard, and were all absolutely awesome. I'm planning on buying it, it's that good.

5. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - A baby whose family is killed manages to escape the killer, and wanders into a cemetery, whose occupants decide to protect and raise him. Bod Owens grows up learning much about the Roman Empire and penmanship, but has never been outside the gates of the graveyard, and only a few times interacted with the living. Though this was aimed at young adults (if not kids), it still read as a delightful story of self-discovery to a twenty-something reader.

6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - This has been on the bestseller lists for quite awhile, and gotten a number of awards, and my favorite bloggers have told everyone and their mother to read it. Let me tell you, it's worth the hype. This story about a mystical circus, open only at night, puts any other circus to shame and makes the word magical seem inadequate. But of course, it's not as wonderful as it seems, because the circus is only a stage for a contest of enchantment, a contest carried out by two young protegees, for the satisfaction of their mentors. The story is wonderful, the characters fantastic, but most of all, the language is just so beautiful. You feel you can be at the circus, too. Never have I felt more able to step through the pages of a book. Ever. Recommended to anyone and everyone.

7. The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen - Zed is sent back from his time, the Perfect Present, a future when all wars and suffering have been eliminated, in order to protect the past. He is supposed to ensure that a horrific event called the Great Conflagration, happening sometime near our time in Washington D.C., does occur. He must ensure that millions of people die, for the sake of keeping his time stable. It's a task that's made harder the longer he stays in our time, and the more he begins to care. A distant book, but with some powerful questions.

8. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - An epileptic teenage Native American who lives on the Spokane Reservation in Washington decides to take a step towards a better life, or at least the hope of better things, by leaving the reservation to go to a high school 20 miles away. Hated by his community and rejected by the outside world, he learns to stand up for himself, traverse two worlds, and deal with a lot of hardship and tragedy. Don't let the YA target or the cartoons sprinkled throughout fool you. This is a powerful book of the highest order. I cried.

Book 1-Trust Me on This

Trust Me on This by Jennifer Crusie

It's a typical predictable chick lit book. Dennie is trying to score a big interview to jump start her career. Alec trying to catch a con man. Dennie uses Alec to get the interview. Alec thinks Dennie is in with the con man.

I reccommend it if you're looking for a quick fluffy read.

One Salt Sea

One Salt Sea
by Seanan McGuire
Book 5 of the October Daye Series

Bias Disclosure!
I consider Seanan McGuire to be a friend of mine and therefor may be biased towards her books.

I love the October Daye series and this book in particular. I think the only thing that kept me from tears is I didn't want to get too many questions from my husband before he had a chance to read it for himself. There were a few characters I wasn't very fond of in this book but after reading the whole book I understand better what Seanan's reasoning was for it. I wonder a little if I would like the book as much if I didn't know certain things about the author but the little Easter eggs just make me so gleeful. I certainly recommend this book to anyone though I do think you should start at the beginning of the series and read all of them.