Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nancy Drew 51

"Nancy's hunches usually turn out to be right, but at times" -he paused- "she has some harrowing experiences before drawing her mystery to a conclusion!" p.137
Ned is kidnapped!  And Nancy kind of freaks for a minute, then gathers her wits together along with her friends and sets out to find me.  No crazy nut-job is going to steal her "special friend" and get away with it!  That's for darn sure.  Along the way there is this weird glowing eye at a museum that factors in as well as Nancy dragging her friends into swamps and making friends with a helicopter pilot who flies her around.  Nancy is determined to find Ned.  It's nice to see that Nancy cares very much for him because half the time he seems to be only good for sleuthing but she really freaks out a couple of times while he is kidnapped. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nancy Drew 48, 49, 50

The Crooked Banister (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #48)
"You always start out solving mysteries with the idea you'll be perfectly safe and you always end up getting into hot water." p.3
Nancy gets involved in a mystery involving a crazy house with a robot.  Investigating a swindler (of course) she, Bess, and George travel to a town where the swindler lived.  There they deal with the crazily built house with a fire moat and a robot set to stun.  It is a pretty interesting mystery and involves something a bit different than her usual stuff.

The Secret of Mirror Bay (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #49)
"...but sometimes Nancy becomes too enthusiastic and runs into danger."  p.91
Nancy goes to a camp at Mirror Bay with her friends and her Aunt Eloise.  There they solve the mystery of the gliding woman who seemingly walks on water and the mystery of a missing antique child's carriage.  She also becomes involved with a haunted forest and a mysterious sorcerer. 

The Double Jinx Mystery (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #50)
The woman looked a bit startled that such a lovely and wholesome girl would be trying to track down a criminal, but she made no comment and said good-bye. p.93
Nancy and her father are jinxed with an underhanded construction company tries to condemn a man's property including his aviary and zoo.  Nancy will not let it stand however and tries to prove that the mysterious going-ons are the result of the company.  Along the way she and Ned contract bird flu and have other unfortunate things happen to them.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Take a Chance Challenge 3 - ABANDON

ABANDON 8/20/11 I have to let this one go.

The Take a Chance Challenge hosted by Jenners is back and I'm joining again.  I always enjoy this challenge.

  • The concept of the challenge is to take chances with your reading  by finding books to read in unusual or random ways. I’ve listed 10  different ways to find books below. Feel free to complete at many as you  want. However, anyone completing all 10 challenges by December 31, 2011  will be  entered in a prize drawing to win a book of their choice from  Amazon.

  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011.

  • Crossover books from other challenges is fine. You can read books in any format.

The 2011 Challenges

1: Staff  Member’s Choice: Go to a bookstore or library that has a “Staff Picks” section. Read one of the picks from that section.

2: Loved One’s Choice: Ask a loved one to pick a book for you to read. (If you can convince them to buy it for you, that is even better!) Recommended by my mother Spying in High Heels by Gemma Halliday

3: Blogger’s Choice: Find a “Best Books Read” post from a favorite blogger. Read a book from their list.
The Book Cellar
Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

4: Critic’s Choice: Find a “Best of the Year” list from a magazine, newspaper or professional critic. Read a book from their Top 10 list. From EW's Best Books of 2010: Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

5: Blurb Book: Find a book that has a blurb on it from another author. Read a book by the author that wrote the blurb.
Blurb on Not a Girl Detective by Susan Kandel by Mary Kay Andrews 
The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews

6: Book Seer Pick: Go to The Book Seer and follow the instructions there. Read a book from the list it generates for you. Matched by Ally Condie

7: What Should I Read Next Pick : Go to What Should I Read Next and follow the instructions there. Read a book from the list it generates for you. Eighth Grade Bites (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book 1) by Heather Brewer

8: Which Book Pick: Go to Which Book and use the software to generate a list of books. Read a book from that list. The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin

9: LibraryThing Pick: Go to LibraryThing’s Zeitgeist page.  Look at the lists for 25 Most Reviewed Books or Top Books and pick a  book you’ve never read. Read the book. (Yes … you can click on MORE if  you have to.) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

10: Pick A Method: Pick a method for finding a book from the choices listed below (used in previous versions of the challenge).
  • Random Book Selection. Go to the   library. Position yourself in a section such as Fiction, Non-Fiction,   Mystery, Children (whatever section you want). Then write down random   directions for yourself (for example, third row, second shelf, fifth   book from right). Follow your directions and see what book you find.   Check that book out of the library, read it and then write about it. (If   you prefer, you can do the same at a bookstore and buy the book!)

Directions: Go to the second bay of books from the right, fourth shelf, 8th book from the left.
Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone: The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival by Dene Low

Monday, December 27, 2010

Weekly Round-Up 12/27

Weekly Round-Up is my wrap-up of last week's activities and includes what I'm reading this week, reviews I've posted, books in the mail and anything else of interest plus From the Library, my weekly listing of what I've checked out from the library.

I'm reading MOAR Nancy Drew!  But last week I did an all Christmas review week. 
Matchless (Maguire)
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares (Cohn and Levithan)
A Christmas Carol (Dickens)
A Season of Gifts (Peck)
Miracle on 34th Street (Dickens)

I also read The Spider Sapphire Mystery, The Invisible Intruder, and The Mysterious Mannequin last week.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (audio) by Maryrose Wood, read by Katherine Kellgren

Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.
Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.
But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische? 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sleuthing Sundays - Nancy Drew 45, 46, 47

The Spider Sapphire Mystery (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #45)
     The two police officers looked at her admiringly.  "You know, Miss Drew," said Riggi, "you ought to be a secret agent."
     "I'd love that," Nancy said quickly.
     "But we wouldn't," Bess spoke up.  "You get into enough trouble just being a girl detective."  p.38
Nancy goes on safari in Africa and finds herself immersed in several mysteries.  Yes, even in Africa the girl detective can make plenty of friends and even more enemies!

Before Nancy and her gang set off on their safari, she becomes intrigued by a synthetic sapphire made in River Heights.  When she learns that the real spider sapphire located in Africa, consequently in a town she is going to go to, has been stolen, the young detective decides to solve the mystery.  She is also asked to solve the mystery of the missing brother of a famous singer from Africa.

The Invisible Intruder (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #46)
     Bab sighed.  "As long as we debunk the ghost business, do we have to capture the villains?"
    George answered.  "We usually do.  Nancy never leaves a case unfinished."  p.50
This was an unusual mystery in that it deviated from the standard Nancy solves a mystery that leads to the solution of her dad's case.  In this book Nancy goes with a group of ghost-hunters to solve some mysteries.  The group includes the missing Helen Corning Archer who we haven't seen in a long time!  It was nice to see her around, helping a bit with Nancy's case.  There were 5 mysteries with one solution, of course and Nancy plows right along solving them.

The Mysterious Mannequin (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #47)
George looked at Bess and said, "You know perfectly well Nancy wouldn't give up the case.  She's not a scaredy-cat."  p.69
After Caron Drew is sent a mysterious Turkish rug with a hidden message inside, Nancy takes up the case.  It leads to a dangerous case and a trip to Turkey as she tries to find a missing shop owner and the mannequin he left behind which may contain a treasure!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope all your days are merry and bright.  Wishing you a lovely holiday! 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies + 1955 television special

If you searched every old folks’ home in the country, you couldn’t find anyone who looked more like Santa Claus.  He was the living, breathing incarnation of the old gent - white beard, pink cheeks, fat tummy and all - and his name was Kris Kringle, too.  p.3 
I didn't realize there was a book of the movie, Miracle on 34th Street.  But this is the novelization of the classic 1947 movie.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable little book, very much a novelization of the movie.  I haven't actually seen the original movie a whole lot maybe once or twice so this book held a few surprises for me and it was a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.  I'd recommend it to anyone who loves the movie and even to people who have never seen the movie but love a good holiday story.

I also watched the 1955 one hour television special which I had never seen.  It was pretty good though it skipped quite a few details being only an hour.  Kris was never shown taking over the job from the drunken Santa, he just answered an ad.   And there were a few other scenes that were skipped over.  But it was still the same sweet story and I liked it.  The actors were good but I still prefer the actors from the original movie.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

When Dash finds a mysterious red notebook at a bookstore, it leads into a series of dares and scavenger hunts with Lily, an effervescent girl who is also intrigued with the boy on the other side of the notebook.
I was horribly bookish, to the point of coming right out and saying it, which I knew was not socially acceptable.  I particularly loved the adjective bookish, which I found other people used about as often as ramrod or chum or teetotaler.  --Dash p.3
I've always resented Hermione, because I anted to be her so badly and she never seemed to appreciate as much as I thought she should that she got to be her.  She got to live at Hogwarts and be friends with Harry and kiss Ron, which was supposed to happen to me.   --Lily  p.77
If I has to review this book in one word it would be Charming.  This is a lovely, hilarious, and charming holiday story.  I wasn't sure, at first, how I felt about Dash.  He annoyed me a bit at the beginning.  It was not love at first sight, but I grew to love him and Lily, too, of course.  I really liked her.  She was so sweet and perky and I liked how she was trying to become more mature yet was so very innocent at the same time.  And by end I was enamoured of both and happy with how things turned out for them.

In a way, Dash and Lily is the happier, more Christmasy version of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist though the only thing stories have in common is the movement of the characters.  They never really stay still, always go from one dare to the other.  But, while Nick and Norah were together most of their book, Dash and Lily only know each other through the red notebook the majority of this book.  It's not a new idea, two characters communicating but never meeting, but it comes off as fresh in the Book of Dares.  There are some genuinely laugh out loud moments that had me laughing in public and it is a very sweet, fun book and a great addition to a YA Christmas collection.

Hogwarts: Charms
Holiday Reading

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Season of Gifts (audio) by Richard Peck

Grandma Dowdel from the A Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder is back!  In A Season of Gifts, she had new neighbors including the ten-year son of the new preacher.  Told from his point of view, Bob watches as Grandma Dowdel helps the town folk without looking like she is doing anything.

I always enjoy Richard Peck's books.  They are so simple and folksy and Grandma Dowdel is an unforgettable character.  I was glad to see another book with her in it.  She gets older but never changes.  By befriending the new family next door (even though she doesn't "neighbor") she shows how the giving spirit can last all year long.  She is a very clever lady and I love some of her schemes and how they work out.  And there are some seriously laugh out loud moments in this book.  I especially enjoyed the tree story and the ghost story.  The narrative is broken into what seems to be more like short stories though there is a theme overall.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Carol (audio) by Charles Dickens + Disney's A Christmas Carol

This is the first time I have ever listened to A Christmas Carol.  Lucky for me the narrator just happens to be Jim Dale, narrator of the Harry Potter series and one of my all-time favorite narrators.  I love his voice so much and he does an excellent job as usual though some of his voices seemed to carry over from Harry Potter and so there was one character who sounded a bit like Hagrid to me.  That might be because I listened to this simultaneously with Deathly Hallows though.

It's funny what things listening to a book can bring to light versus reading it.  I never noticed the dialogue skips and how the book is so wordy.  I still enjoyed it though.  It is such a classic Christmas book and one I don't mind reading over and over.  I'd like to try a different narrator next year just to see how someone else reads it. 

Disney's A Christmas Carol
I wanted to see this last year when it came out but I never got around to it.  I watched it the other day with my husband and son.  We enjoyed it for the most part though I think the ghosts might have scared my son (who is 4) a little.  Definitely he was scared by Marley's ghost and the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come.  The animation was pretty though I didn't care for how the humans looked except maybe Scrooge.  He came out alright.  I really liked how the Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Come was brought to life (so to speak) and how it turned out.  I was fine with the other ghosts as well.  I liked that it followed the book very accurately and they didn't just let Jim Carrey run amok all over it.  There were only a few points where his general overacting came out but he was a good Scrooge and I liked his voice for the part.  He did a good job overall.  I think I would watch it again.  It was one of the most faithful animated adaptations that I have seen.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Matchless by Gregory Maguire

On an island so far north that it snowed from September to April, a boy named Frederik kept himself warm by keeping a secret.
What a sweet, sad but hopeful little story.  It's the classic Little Match Girl story tied together with the story of Frederik, a poor simple boy.  The Little Match Girl tale is sandwiched between Frederik's story and is an almost faithful version of that story. The tale of Frederik is just as simple.  A little boy who barely interacts with the Little Match Girl but whose life intersects with hers nonetheless.  It is a very short, very simple tale much like a classic fairy tale but so so sweet.  I will admit to tearing up at the end.  It is a beautiful little book.

Hogwarts: Charms
Holiday Reading

Weekly Round-Up 12/20

Weekly Round-Up is my wrap-up of last week's activities and includes what I'm reading this week, reviews I've posted, books in the mail and anything else of interest plus From the Library, my weekly listing of what I've checked out from the library.
Last week involved a lot of Christmas activities so I didn't get a lot of reading done.  I did manage to finish Mystery of the 99 Steps and The Clue in the Crossword Cipher (Keene).  I'm still continuing on with the Nancy Drew in hopes of finishing that challenge.

This week is going to be an all Christmas review week!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sleuthing Sundays - Nancy Drew 44

The Clue in the Crossword Cipher (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories 44)
"I knew it wouldn't be long before Nancy would become involved with some enigma.  This one sounds like a real challenge."  p.8
Nancy travels to Peru to solve a 300 year old mystery.  Invited a new friends, Nancy, Bess and George set out to solve a dangerous mystery which leads them through parts of South America where they also learn about the ancient cultures of South America.

 This was  a fairly interesting mystery.  There was a lot of history and it was something different from the standard European country mystery.  I still want to know why George and Bess' parents let them wander around the world so much.  Though I guess I would want those opportunities for my child too.  There were several harrowing close calls but, of course, Nancy Drew comes through them just fine.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nancy Drew 43

The Mystery of the 99 Steps (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories 43)
The two officers stared at the girls unbelieving.  Finally both grinned at Nancy and one said, "I must admit you do have a good detective instinct, Mademoiselle Drew, and your friend here too.  Perhaps you three girls can give us some more help."  p.129/130
Nancy is off to France to help to solve a mystery revolving around a neighbor's dream and the 99 Steps.  Also involved are a forger who seems to be everywhere and a frightened financier who Mr. Drew is investigating.  Will Nancy solve this mystery while traveling around France speaking fluent French, meeting handsome French men, and eating delicious French food and giving informative French lessons?  Oui.

This was a standard Nancy in a European coutry mystery.  Too bad she can't just go to Europe in one trip and solve all the mysteries at once.   It would save flight time.  Though how lucky are Bess and George to have befriended Nancy Drew.  They get to go on all these trips and adventures and rarely have to pay for anything.  Where is my Nancy Drew!?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (audio) by J.K. Rowling

 I started my "re-listen" back in May and I don't think I realized I would finish up the series as late as December, but I'm finally done now.  I love this series.  Truly love it.  Anyway, Deathly Hallows is one of my favorites.  Though, frankly, I could do with a little less camping.  I know that it means something and all, but I still wish for a little less camping.  I don't have many criticisms of it.  I know that the big info dump at the end with Dumbledore is a lot and most people don't like it.  I doesn't bother me that much though this time I realized just how long that scene is and I was kind of waiting for it to be over.  I still get a bit confused about Harry's blood in Voldemort and the whole true possessor of the wand thing.  So much relied on chance at the end.  But the final mano-a-mano fight between Harry and Voldemort is great and very badass on Harry's part.  The epilogue is fine.  It's nice to see how they all ended up and I love the Harry/Ginny marriage and, of course my favorites, Ron and Hermione.  Great book, great series, well worth visiting again and again.

Hogwarts: Harry Potter

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - The Clue in the Crossword Cipher

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
Grab your current read
Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

She fairly leaped across the room and yanked the drawer open.  Nancy gasped in dismay!

p.46 The Clue in the Crossword Cipher by Carolyn Keene

Monday, December 13, 2010

2011 "Whisper Stories in My Ear" Challenge - COMPLETE

I wasn't going to join an audio challenge this year.  I listen to audio books anyway and it seems unnecessary to challenge myself to do it.  But the button is so very very cute and this challenge goes by minutes so I thought hey, why not?

So I'm joining the 2011 "Whisper Stories in My Ear" Challenge hosted by Bewitched Bookworms.  The goal is to read at least twelve (12) audiobooks (no matter the length). Twelve is the minimum to be entered in the Grand Prize at the end of the Year.  The other requirement is you have to say that you listened to the audiobook version of the book, who was the narrator, the length of time the audiobook ran and your separate rating/impression for the audiobook (how you liked the narration of the story beyond what you thought of the story itself).  The challenge runs from January 1st to December 31st, 2011.  I'll list as I go.

  30    audio books

  290   hours   17   minutes listened

1. The Mysterious Howling  (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place) by Maryrose Wood, read by Katherine Kellgren.  5 hours, 28 minutes
2. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, read by Joshua Swanson. 16 hours, 48 minutes
3. A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban, read by Taj Alexandra Ricci.  3 hours 17 minutes
4. Hero at Large by Janet Evanovich, read by C.J. Critt. 7 hours, 25 minutes
5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, read by Eric Idle. 3 hours 18 minutes
6. The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud, read by Simon Jones. 12 hours, 39 minutes
7. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, read by Dan Bittner, Pierce Cravens, Emma Galvin, Jenna Lamia. 10 hours 40 minutes
8.  Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich, read by Lorilei King. 7 hours
9.  The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews, ready by Isabel Keating. 15 hours
10. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson, read by Jenna Lamia. 7 hours 30 minutes
11. The Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer, read by Nathaniel Parker. 8 hours 10 minutes
12. Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing about Me by Katy Kelly, read by Tara Sands. 2 hours 21 minutes
13. First Light by Rebecca Stead, read by David Ackroyd and Coleen Marlo. 7 hours, 6 minutes
14. Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary Jacky Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer, read by Katherine Kellgren. 8 hours
15. The Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady by L.A. Meyer , read by Katherine Kellgren. 14 hours
16. Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber by L.A. Meyer, read by Katherine Kellgren. 15 hours
17. In the Belly of the Bloodhound : Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber by L.A. Meyer, read by Katherine Kellgren. 15 hours
18. Mississippi Jack : Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, and the Lily of the West by L.A. Meyer, read by Katherine Kellgren. 17 hours
19. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, read by  Tanya Eby. 6 hours
20. Glee: The Beginning by Sophie Lowell, read by Emma Galvi. 4 hours, 58 minutes
21. My Bonny Light Horseman : Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War by L.A. Meyer, read by Katherine Kellgren. 16 hours.
22. Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy by L.A. Meyer, read by Katherine Kellgren. 12 hours, 19 minutes
23. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, read by Emiy Eiden. 8 hours, 40 minutes
24. The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Adventures of Jacky Faber, on her Way to Botany Bay by L.A. Meyer. 14 hours, 57 minutes
25. Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter, read by Angela Dawe. 6 hours, 43 minutes
26. To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last by Connie Willis, read by Steven Crossley. 20 hours, 58 minutes
27. Forever by Maggie Steifvater, read by Jenna Lamia, Pierce Cravens, Dan Bittner, Emma Galvin. 12 hours, 10 minutes
28. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, read by Susan Denaker. 6 hours, 44 minutes.
29. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson, read by Elaine Stritch. 1 hour, 30 minutes.
30. A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd, read by Dick Cavett. 3 hours, 36 minutes.

COMPLETED 12/30/11

Weekly Round-Up 12/13

Weekly Round-Up is my wrap-up of last week's activities and includes what I'm reading this week, reviews I've posted, books in the mail and anything else of interest plus From the Library, my weekly listing of what I've checked out from the library.
This week I'm reading all Nancy Drew pretty much.  I have 12 books to get through so I can complete that challenge and I am determined.  I really wish I hadn't let myself get so far behind.

Last week was a good week and I read Deadly (Chibbaro), Delirium (Oliver), Miracle on 34th Street (Davies) and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares (Cohn and Levithan).

Both won from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers
Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die . . .and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless.
Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year's Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it.
And so the confessions begin...

So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti
Girl meets boy. Boy moves to New York City. Girl follows boy. Girl finds out boy has girlfriend. Girl freaks, pulls herself together, and goes on to live a fabulous new life beyond her wildest dreams.

Another Pan by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
Sixteen-year-old Wendy Darling and her insecure freshman brother, John, are hitting the books at the Marlowe School. But one tome consumes their attention: THE BOOK OF GATES, a coveted Egyptian artifact that their professor father believes has magical powers. Soon Wendy and John discover that the legend is real—when they recite from its pages and descend into a snaking realm beneath the Manhattan school. As the hallways darken, and dead moths cake the floor, a charismatic new R.A. named Peter reveals that their actions have unleashed a terrible consequence: the underworld and all its evil is now seeping into Marlowe. Daniel Nayeri and Dina Nayeri return to reimagine Peter Pan as a twisty, atmospheric, and fast-paced fantasy about the perils of immortality

Illyria: A Novel by Elizabeth Hand 
Madeleine and Rogan are first cousins, best friends, twinned souls, each other's first love. Even within their large, disorderly family—all descendants of a famous actress—their intensity and passion for theater sets them apart. It makes them a little dangerous. When they are cast in their school's production of Twelfth Night, they are forced to face their separate talents and futures, and their future together. This masterful short novel, winner of the World Fantasy Award, is magic on paper.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Love is a disease and in Lena's society it is curable. After your eighteenth birthday each person has the surgery that destroys the emotion of love, of caring.   Lena has never questioned the necessity of the surgery nor ever contemplated falling in love, that is, until she meets Alex.
Instead people back then named other diseases - stress, heart disease, anxiety, depression, hypertension, insomnia, bipolar disorder - never realizing that there were, in fact, only symptoms that in the majority of cases could be traced back to the effects of amor deliria nervosa.  p.10 e-book ARC
A society where love is outlawed and thought of as a disease?  Well, that got my attention.  That is a concept that would be very difficult to pull off.  Love is such an integral part of who we are and how we interact with others.  Children need love and if their parents were incapable of it, how would that affect them?  Love is what gets most people by.  Delirium doesn't really seek to answer all the questions or explore the repercussions directly.  Instead it shows what a society where the adults are apathetic looks like, how people think.  And it shows how all of that can change in one person through the protagonist, Lena.  Lena is desperate to have the surgery thinking it will end all her problems.  But, of course, she meets a boy who changes all of that.

A surgery at a certain milestone, 18 in this book, to make the person conform to societal standards is so reminiscent of Uglies.  There were actually quite a few elements that reminded me of Uglies.  I also got a Romeo and Juliet type vibe, probably purposely as the play is mentioned quite a few times.  And while I enjoyed Delirium and found it to be a quick read I wasn't really emotionally invested in the characters.  I think that is just a by-product of having a character live in an emotionally closed off society.  Despite the romantic that actually felt realistic and took place at a normal pace, unlike some YA books, I didn't really feel attached.  But I enjoyed the book overall   I just think this is either going to be a love it or a meh type of book. 

ARC Provided by NetGalley
Publish date: February 1, 2011
Hogwarts: Charms

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Deadly by Julie Chibbaro

In the early 1900s the idea of a healthy carrier of a disease was unknown.  But then an outbreak of typhoid became and became link to a cook.  And thus was the beginning of Typhoid Mary.   Told through the eyes of a teenage girl working for the Department of Sanitation, Deadly is the story of both Typhoid Mary and Prudence, who has dream of overcoming disease and death.

Her lady came down the stairs, and when we put to her the same inquiry, her eyes brightened.  "Why, of course, Mary Mallon," she exclaimed, "she was such a darling help when the children were ill."  p.94
Before reading this, I had rudimentary knowledge of Typhoid Mary.  It's sort of just an expression now, isn't it?  But this was a real life woman.  A healthy carrier of the typhoid bacteria, she unknowingly infected at least 53 people with the disease.  When confronted with the idea that she was a healthy carrier, she refused to believe it.

Deadly, told in diary form, is the story of Prudence, a second generation immigrant who has a thirst for scientific knowledge that frowned upon in young women.  She obtains a job with the Department of Sanitation with George Soper who figures out from whom the typhoid is originating.  Prudence is a very thoughtful, curious girl with a great mind for science and a need to learn about disease and death after the death of her brother.  With her father missing in action, she lives alone with her mother in a tenement.  I thought she was a great character and I liked reading her diary, or "tablet" entries and seeing life in New York at this time.  It was very interesting.  I found the whole story of Mary fascinating and I liked how the book felt real.  All the emotions were very genuine even as most of the language was very precise and almost clinical like Prudence.  Really this is a fascinating book and I'd recommend it to anyone.  My only caveat is that it makes you want to wash your hands a whole whole lot.

ARC provided by Traveling ARC Tours
Publish date: February 22, 2011
Hogwarts: Muggle Studies

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - Delirium

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
Grab your current read
Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

One of the strangest things about life is that it will chug on, blind and oblivious, even as your private world -- your little carved-out sphere -- is twisting and morphing, even breaking apart. One day you have parents; the next day you're an orphan. One day you have a place and a path. The next day you're lost in a wilderness.

p.211-212 e-ARC Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekly Round-Up 12/6

Weekly Round-Up is my wrap-up of last week's activities and includes what I'm reading this week, reviews I've posted, books in the mail and anything else of interest plus From the Library, my weekly listing of what I've checked out from the library.
This week I'm reading The Mystery of the 99 Steps (Keene) and Delirium (Oliver).

Since last week I've read The Moonstone Castle Mystery and The Phantom of Pine Hill (Keene).

From Traveling ARC Tours
Deadly by Julie Chibbaro
A mysterious outbreak of typhoid fever is sweeping New York. Could the city’s future rest with its most unlikely scientist? If Prudence Galewski is ever going to get out of Mrs. Browning’s esteemed School for Girls, she must demonstrate her refinement and charm by securing a job appropriate for a young lady. But Prudence isn’t like the other girls. She is fascinated by how the human body works and why it fails. With a stroke of luck, she lands a position in a laboratory, where she is swept into an investigation of the fever bound to change medical history. Prudence quickly learns that an inquiry of this proportion is not confined to the lab. From ritzy mansions to shady bars and rundown tenements, she explores every potential cause of the disease. But there’s no answer in sight—until the volatile Mary Mallon emerges. Dubbed “Typhoid Mary” by the press, Mary is an Irish immigrant who has worked as a cook in every home the fever has ravaged. Strangely, though, she hasn’t been sick a day in her life. Is the accusation against her an act of discrimination? Or is she the first clue in a new scientific discovery? Prudence is determined to find out. In a time when science is for men, she’ll have to prove to the city, and to herself, that she can help solve one of the greatest medical mysteries of the twentieth century.

The Lost Hero (audio) by Rick Riordan, read by Joshua Swanson
Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper. His best friend is a kid named Leo, and they’re all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for “bad kids”, as Leo puts it. What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea — except that everything seems very wrong.

Piper has a secret. Her father, a famous actor, has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he’s in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn’t recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on?

Leo has a way with tools. His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What’s troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all—including Leo—related to a god.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sleuthing Sundays - Nancy Drew 40, 42

The Moonstone Castle Mystery (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #40)
Bess and George were always interested in observing Nancy's sleuthing procedures.  They often wondered whether it was her charm, her straight-forwarded manner, or her businesslike approach that unfailingly gained her entrance to offices of officials.  p.43
This time Nancy is asked by her father to investigate an adoption and/or kidnapping case that happened many years before as related to a new case of his.  This leads Nancy to a quaint town with a castle (for whatever reason) and another case about moonstones which, of course, leads back to the first case all wrapped up in one neat package.

The Phantom of Pine Hill  (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #42)
For several seconds Nancy did not move.  There had been a  few times in her life when she had been utterly confounded by some event which seemed to hold no explanation except a supernatural one.  This was one of those times.  p.34
When a mix up at the hotel results in Nancy, George, and Bess staying with an elderly gentlemen for their visit to Emersen University June Week, it also leads to a mystery for Nancy and her crew. The mystery involved a phantom who breaks into Uncle John's, the elderly man, library without any means of entering or exiting.  It's up to Nancy to solve that and another mystery that comes along involving sunken treasure.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2011 E-Book Challenge - COMPLETE

This year the E-Book challenge is hosted by The Ladybug Reads and part of what I want to do next year is get more of my books from the library in digital form for my Nook which I love very much.  Last year I did the 6 e-books level so this year I'm upping the ante and doing  Addicted – Read 12 e-books The challenge runs from January 1 - December 21, 2011.  I'll list here as I go.


1.   Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves
2. Once in a Full Moon Ellen Schreiber
3. Bright Young Things Anna Godbersen
4. Savannah Grey Cliff McNish
5. The Grimm Legacy Polly Shulman
6. Something New P.G. Wodehouse
7. Mother Carey's Chickens Kate Douglas Wiggin
8. The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group Catherine Jinks
9. Queens of all the Earth Hannah Sternberg
10. Spying in High Heels Gemma Halliday
11. Cinderella, Ninja Warrior Maureen McGowan
12. Sleeping Beauty, Vampire Slayer Maureen McGowan