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Showing posts from October, 2010

Retro Friday Review: The China Garden by Liz Berry

Retro Friday  is a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! I include roundups from participating bloggers in my post each week. I'm trying to remember now where I first ran across a reference to this book. It may have been on Meg Cabot 's blog a few years ago, come to think of it. She's always dropping good recommendations here and there and I often pick up on them. This one I ran down at my local library, where they fortunately had the gorgeous cover on the right. And not the hideously awkward cover on the left. I adore the cover on the right. It's really perfect for the book itself, evoking all the adjectives that spring to my mind when I think of it: shadowy, romantic, autumnal, and somewhat foreboding. And still it holds some secrets in reserve. In fact I

Vicious Pretties

Well, don't these three make you want to run for cover? After grabbing a copy of each and tucking away with them somewhere warm and cozy, of course. I don't know, I think they each look spectacular in their own way and on this fall afternoon I'm feeling like something dangerous and uncertain. Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James I've actually had my eye on this one for awhile now. Ever since reading an article about it in an Australian newspaper awhile back and being intrigued. Katherine Patterson's life is torn apart when her sister dies. After moving to a new town and a new school, she makes friend with a happy and vivacious girl named Alice and life begins to look up. But there are darker currents running through this friendship and not everything is as it seems.  Out now.  The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines I really cannot wait to get my hands on this one. Just look at that cover. And that title! It calls out to me, you guys. It does. Details are few,

I Can't Help Myself

I have very fond memories of the Sweet Valley High books. For some time, I faithfully trekked to the bookstore every month and purchased the new one along with the latest Nancy Drew Casefile . The Super Thrillers were my favorites. And that's why I'm going to be reading this when it comes out in March: Ten years later. Oh, the drama!

So I'm reading Outlander . . .

. . . and I'm about two-thirds of the way through. Truth? I'm not sure what I think at this point, guys. I like Claire and Jamie quite a lot. Who wouldn't? They're sort of adorable in a practical British nurse meets highland Scottish rogue way. And I love all the history and bloodlines and details of daily life and ambiance. But I kind of feel like for a book that's gone on this long, I should be feeling a bit more depth to my two leads. You know? Also. A bit less of Claire in MORTAL PERIL every time Jamie turns his back. Seriously. If I were her I'd be a basket case by now. So. I know quite a few of you have read it and I want to know why you love it. Basically, tell me why I should continue on and if this relationship gains a little more depth in between the multitude of daring rescues and swoonworthy encounters.

Star Gazing + Emotional Geology Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is . . . Jessica! Congratulations! Just slip me a quick email with your mailing address and we'll get your books off! Thanks so much to Linda for participating in the interview and providing a copy of Emotional Geology  for the giveaway. And thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments and interest in the books. I hope you all get a chance to read them at some point. You won't be disappointed! For those interested, some of your favorite spiky heroines included Elizabeth Bennett, Kate Daniels, Eve Dallas, Anita Blake, Mercy Thompson, Scarlett O'Hara, and the Queen of Attolia. 

The Last Time I'll Read Moby Dick

I've always been fond of uncles. They're big and happy and sly. They sing Bob Dylan songs off key and make up funny nicknames for you. They pull your braids and tease you in a way Dad can't quite get away with. And one of the unexpected delights of getting married was inheriting a host of new uncles. DH 's family is close and I've loved spending time with his uncles and watching them interact with him and with his parents and now with our children. I'll never forget Aaron's Uncle Larry's first words to me on the day we were married. It was freezing cold and everyone was gathering around for the pictures and he came up to me, rubbing his hands together to keep them warm, saying, "You look beautiful, dear, but tell me--what are you reading?" Priorities are priorities, even on wedding days. Pleasantries aside, let's cut straight to the heart of the matter! Come to think of it, it's the only question he ever asks me. But it's the questi

Haters to the Left

So lately I've been doing a lot of rereading. Hence the lack of new reviews. I do apologize, but I have to go where the literary whim dictates, you know? Stacks of new books and all I want to do right now is cuddle up with old friends. And so that's precisely what I've been doing and it's been blissful in the extreme, I must say. But this does not mean that I've stopped reading reviews around the blogosphere and on GoodReads . Oh, no. And I have to say I've been a bit bemused by quite a few of them lately. Maybe bemused is the wrong word. Outraged is probably too strong. Flummoxed, or even better-- incredulous --would most accurately describe my feeling upon reading disparaging, even disdainful reviews of books that I love, that own a little piece of my soul. So perhaps you'll pardon me if I go on just a little bit of a rampage. Before we go any further, let me just state for the record that everyone is entitled to her own opinion of any book. And they'

Interview with Linda Gillard + Star Gazing & Emotional Geology Giveaway!

A little less than two months ago, I discovered  Linda Gillard 's work. Through a fellow blogger's review, I decided I definitely wanted to give her most recent novel,  Star Gazing , a go and I ordered it immediately. The writing took my breath away, as did the two wonderful main characters, who were so very different from the ones I've been used to reading. I wanted nothing more than to spend every waking minute with them. To say nothing of the beautiful Scottish setting. I was so delighted when Linda contacted me shortly after my review, offering to send a copy of her first book-- Emotional Geology --for review as well. Little did I know this book would immediately jump to my best of the year list and would find a very special place in my heart. Even before I'd finished it, I hoped Ms. Gillard would agree to an interview. These books deserve a much wider readership than they have met with thus far and I am determined to do what I can to help spread the word! Please we

Victorian Pretties

And now for your creepy, Victorian fix--I bring to the table these three pretties. Two upcoming books and one reissue of a classic. But, man, don't those covers just call out to you to be stroked? Just me? Hmm.... Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury I'm loving the graphic novel feel of this cover. I know very little about it but what I know sounds wildly intriguing. A young girl's debut season. A collection of valuable Egyptian artifacts. A dashing Napoleonic spy. True love. Honestly! I can't imagine being able to turn that combination down. It's topped off with the tagline, "Keep your wits and trust your heart." Awesome. Thanks to the Book Smugglers for the heads up on this one. Due out May 24th. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett I ran across this lovely reissue while browsing Barnes & Noble's site the other day and wow. I am in love with this new design. It's just perfect somehow, with the bright orange and green and the way Mary'

The Peach Keeper Cover

I just ran across this cover for Sarah Addison Allen 's upcoming novel The Peach Keeper . I like it, particularly as I've been enjoying the lovely fresh peaches we've had this fall. It does bear a certain resemblance to Deanna Raybourn 's recent Dark Road to Darjeeling cover and, as that cover was for that series, represents a departure from Allen's previous, more whimsical covers. In any event, I can't wait to read this one. Allen's books are literary soul food. The Peach Keeper is due out March 22nd.

Make Me Feel Better Books: A List

I had such a great response to my question about your favorite "make me feel better" books! It delighted me to no end. I also had several people ask to see the list and so for those of you who didn't get a chance to glance through the comments I decided to compile them here in list format. The better to add to your TBR, my dears! Seriously, what I'd love is a series of Retro Friday reviews from you guys on each of these books. They are obviously near and dear to your hearts and I'd love to hear more on why. I enjoyed seeing how many of you named the same authors, the same books, and I wholeheartedly agree on anything by Robin McKinley, Sharon Shinn, Mary Stewart, Megan Whalen Turner, Tamora Pierce, Jane Austen, Eva Ibbotson, Diana Peterfruend, and the Brontes. Me being me, I'd go ahead and add Ellen Emerson White, Juliet Marillier, and Lloyd Alexander to the list. Just for good measure! So I hope you enjoy the list below. Amazing, isn't it?! Make Me Fee