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Showing posts from January, 2008

Baltimore Blues and Charm City by Laura Lippman

Baltimore Blueswas an Ellen Emerson White recommendation I am extremely glad I followed up on. I got it for Christmas and saved it for the work trip to Florida I took last week. I ended up spending seven hours sitting in airports so it was a good thing I had such an engrossing read with me. Although the result was an instant and urgent need to find a bookstore in Orlando (a shockingly difficult task, more on that later) to get my hands on the sequels. Eventually I managed to do this and I've been on a Laura Lippman binge ever since. I'll be reviewing the whole series as I finish them, so I figured I'd combine a couple titles here and there.

Baltimore Bluesintroduces the reader to Tess Monaghan, former newspaper reporter turned odd-job girl. Tess is a native Baltimorean and the city itself is without a doubt a main character in these novels. Lippman's love for and knowledge of Baltimore saturates every line--a real treat for readers who love ambiance and a real insider l…

The Professor's Daughter by Joann Sfar, Illustrated by Emmanuel Guibert

This charming, madcap Victorian romp was originally published in 1997 and has just recently been translated into English and reissued by First Second. The French pairing, Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert, have infused their girl-meets-mummy love story with equal amounts whimsy and longing. Lillian Bowell is the daughter of renowned Egyptologist Professor Bowell. During one of her father's many absences, Lillian befriends one of her father's many mummies, Imhotep IV. Lillian soon feels safe with the debonair mummy and Imhotep finds the lovely lady reminds him of his long-dead wife who was not mummified and therefore will not be around to enjoy eternity with her spouse. Together these two unlikely confidantes spend a day out on the town, strolling through the streets and parks of 19th century London.

Mayhem ensues when Imhotep gets into a drunken pub brawl and Lillian is forced to drug the police who come to investigate the matter. Unfortunately, the sedative turns out to be pois…

Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer

Another great Meg Cabot recommendation. Last time she led me to the funny and quirky novels in verse of Sonya Sones. Now I find myself completely immersed in Liza Palmer's second novel, laughing out loud, wiping tears from my eyes, as DH stares at me warily and scoots a bit closer to the far side of the bed. The title, cover, and marketing indicate your standard chick lit fare. But I found Seeing Me Nakedto be a distinct cut above the rest.

Elisabeth Page is a pastry chef at the most exclusive restaurant in L.A. She chose the culinary arts as a way of escaping the overpowering influence of her father--a double Pulitzer prize winning Norman Mailor/Truman Capote/Ernest Hemingway composite. Elisabeth and her big brother Rascal (full name: Raskolnikov. Yeah.) have spent the majority of their privileged lives trying to get out from under dad's shadow. As a favor, Elisabeth donates a set of baking lessons at an auction for one of her mother's charities. Enter Daniel Sullivan: ne…

The Mage's Daughter by Lynn Kurland

I had forgotten how into the first book in the Nine Kingdoms series I was until I got five pages into this second volume and instantly remembered. Oh, right. This story totally rocks. The first volume, Star of the Morning, ends in utter chaos. Nothing is resolved, everyone's in peril, and I remember closing the book in disbelief at the audacity of ending a book in such a way when the sequel would not be out for another year. I wasn't too upset, of course, because the book had been so dang enjoyable. I even wrote an email to Ms. Kurland asking if she had sat back and basked in evil glee after typing the last word. She responded and commiserated with me. She, too, was in utter despair after ending it that way and had to spend some good time recuperating before she could continue. That made me feel somewhat better.

Fortunately, The Mage's Daughterpicks up right where its predecessor left off. The chapters alternate between Morgan of Melksham's story as she struggles to su…

Don't Kill Off the Hot Guy

The gals over at 3 Evil Cousins managed to snag the fantabulous Libba Bray long enough to ask her 13 Evil Questions. It's a great interview and you should go read it. My favorite Libba answer:

Evil Cousins: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Libba: Don't kill off the hot guy. :-)

Angiegirl: Why, Libba, why?!?!

2008 Books That Must Be Mine

January
Leftovers by Laura Wiess
Her first novel Such a Pretty Girl was so tight and harrowing, I'm eager to see what her sophomore effort holds.

What I Was by Meg Rosoff
After How I Live Nowand Just In Case, I will read anything she writes. Just anything.

February
Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
This looks like the beginning of a fun, new urban fantasy series. Of which I am always up for.

March
A Curse Dark as Goldby Elizabeth C. Bunce
The Editor recommended this one very highly. A retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale. So awesome.

April
Rogue by Rachel Vincent
Second in Vincent's Werecats Series. DH handed me Strayand I think I'm going to like the second volume even more.

Bewitching Seasonby Marissa Doyle
Magic and suitors and London, oh my!

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
Sequel to the most splendiferous Wicked Lovely. Creepy, gorgeous, perilous goodness.

May
The Red Necklaceby Sally Gardner
Now, I have not actually read I, Coriander. But Meg Rosoff said to run out and buy this one and, besid…

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Wow. So this series just keeps getting more and more intense. And in such unexpected ways. I love it when an author has the ability (and the guts) to slip in a real shocker without compromising her characters or the story as a whole. In a series, that's particularly hard to do without making it seem like a gratuitous plot twist inserted merely to keep the series going. Patricia Briggs has a 7-book deal for her Mercy Thompson series and book three has shown that not only does she know exactly what she's doing, but that we can trust her. To keep her characters and her world consistent. To take them down the right paths and introduce them to the right people...or werewolves and vampires in this case.

Mercy lives in a world where werewolves, vampires, and the fae exist side by side with humans. The first book, Moon Called, focuses on the werewolves. The second, Blood Bound, centers on the vampires, including Mercy's quirky Scooby Doo loving friend Stefan. In this third installm…