Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A New Calling In Life

With many thanks to Lara, a fellow member of the penmanreview list, I have to share what could indeed become my next calling in life:

I already do it anyway, so why not make it a full-time job? :)


Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Uncommon Reader

As a self-proclaimed bibliophile, I know how irritating it can be to have someone tell you that you need to put a book down and "do something". What, exactly, could be better than traveling, whether through time, space, or relationships? Chit-chatting and small talk? Watching the same mindless television show over and over? But to those who don't read, they will never "get it." I'm doing something and it's far preferable to most anything else I could think of doing.

Such is the premise of Alan Bennett's wonderful novella, The Uncommon Reader. Queen Elizabeth II discovers a love for reading late in life and her new passion is more than puzzling to those around her. To we bibliophiles, it's how we live, but to her family, government, and staff, it's time-consuming and pointless (not to mention the fact that it makes many of them feel unintelligent). Delightfully British, this witty tale takes us through QEII's reading repetoire and leads her to the ultimate conclusion (which I won't divulge here). While I personally had hoped for a bit of a different ending, I am pleased overall and can highly, highly recommend this short sweet book to all my book-loving friends. Pick it up. You're going to love it.

My amazon review is found at


Monday, March 24, 2008

The Silver Kiss Review

When I picked up The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause, I expected two things: vampires and a quick weekend read. I did indeed get both, but so much more. This wonderful young adult novel is also a metaphor for life and death, and beautifully done as well. Zoe, our heroine, is struggling with her mother's impending death from cancer; cut off from her family by her well-meaning parents, she's instantly intrigued when an odd yet attractive young man begins paying attention to her. When she discovers he's vampire, she's confused; should she help him trap and kill his evil brother or should she run as far away as she can? Since her best friend is moving, there's no one else she can turn to and Zoe must learn how much she can take and how willing she is to face loss. Excellent writing and not a pat ending make this one a winner. My amazon review is found at

Friday, March 21, 2008


I admit it...I like vampires (or even vampyres, as they are called here). I'd picked this young adult novel up a while ago, and to get myself to read it sooner, I added it to my young adult challenge for 2008. I'm glad I picked it up; not much like Twilight, it is still an interesting take on the whole vampire theme.

At first I wasn't sure if I'd like this one; I almost gave up on it around the 100 page mark. I have lots of nitpicky reasons for not initially getting into the book, but thankfully the action picked up around the midway point and I was eagerly turning the pages by the last few chapters. While it's nowhere near the caliber of Twilight, it turned out to be enough fun that I'm sure I'll look for the next two in the series. I need the answers to a few questions.

My amazon review is found at I wavered between 3 and 4 stars, but ultimately decided that I did enjoy it enough that it deserved the bump.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sword Song!

The more I think about Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell, the more I like it. Of course it is the fourth book in the series, which means I've had to like *something* or I wouldn't have kept reading for so long. And I admit that there were a few times while I was reading this that I was mentally comparing it to the previous novels and it wasn't stacking up nearly as well. But then...then...I started getting into the action and suddenly I was as caught up as ever. Uhtred is a hero to cheer on; he's always true to his ideals and that's what I admire most. Despite the plethora of gore, I was captivated by the fighting and maneuvering, and I'm sure I'll be eagerly searching out the next novel when it arrives. I can recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a good historical novel complete with good guys, evil ones, battles, sneak attacks, true love, and undead messengers. My amazon review can be found at

Friday, March 14, 2008

Big Boned by Meg Cabot

I love Meg Cabot. I think she's the master of her game, able to write (and write and write and write---where on earth does she find the time?) fun-filled romps for both adults and young adults that engage me effortlessly. I can turn to her whenever I'm in dire need of brain candy and know that she will once again fill my poor deprived brain cells with her marvelous sense of humor. Who cares if you can see the ending coming a mile away? Her books are what they are, and I'm grateful for it.
Big Boned is the third in Cabot's Heather Wells Mystery Series, and probably the most lightweight as far as actual "mystery" goes. I'm assuming this is the final book in the series as it seems things get wrapped up pretty completely by book's end. My biggest complaints about this one, which is the least successful of the trio (yet still fun) are that it's too short (only 270+ pages) and things are way too easily wrapped up. Yet it's still a good one, and having served its purpose well, can be recommended by this satisfied fan for the sarcasm alone. My amazon review is found at

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Good Historical Fiction

It's hard to take the War of the Roses and make it new and interesting since it's been written and rewritten to death of late. Having just finished Sandra Worth's Lady of the Roses, I am pleased to say that this novel does do justice to the genre and sheds light on the conflict by spotlighting a peripheral character. Lady Isobel Ingoldesthorpe, heiress of a Lancastrian family and ward of Queen Marguerite, married Sir John Neville of the House of York; theirs was a love-match, highly unusual in the times, and more so because of being on opposite sides of the political fence. By all counts, they remained in love throughout their marriage until John's untimely death fourteen years later. While I had problems with some of the less "historical" aspects--I never felt that Isobel could have done some of the things Worth attributes to her, simply because of the restrictions on her time and station--I did enjoy this novel because it wasn't the same old, same old. I can recommend this one and you can view my amazon review at

One thing I forgot to add in my amazon review is a pet peeve of mine: the dream sequence. Please, please, all you authors out there, stop using a dream as a forewarning device! No one ever has dreams that are SO obviously portents of doom, and no one has such detailed symbolism. It's an eye-roller for me. Yes, your characters can have a bad dream, and yes, the dream can even incorporate some of their "awake" problems, but good heavens, find some other way to show us that there is something dreadful in the offing other than hitting me over the head with a dream. Please.