Sunday, May 31, 2009

quote of the day

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes. ~Douglas Adams

Friday, May 29, 2009


Neil Gaiman can read me to sleep any time!

Neil Gaiman....
Sorry, but I couldn't resist {cheeky grin}

quote of the day

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. ~Jorge Luis Borges

Book Review: Sins & Shadows by Lyn Benedict

After a slow start, I enjoyed this book.

Sylvie Lightner is no ordinary P.I. She specializes in cases involving the unusual, in a world where magic is real, and where death isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. But when an employee is murdered in front of her, Sylvie has had enough. After years of confounding the dark forces of the Magicus Mundi, she’s closing up shop—until a man claiming to be the God of Justice wants Sylvie to find his lost lover. And he won’t take no for an answer. And so it begins....

Despite the promising blurbs, it took me awhile to get into this story. Sylvie herself isn't a very sympathetic character, but I liked that her snarky attitude had consequences. Usually, the lead can be sarcastic and impulsive and get away with it, but not Sylvie. People get hurt, and could even die. Fortunately, that seems to bother her, so she's not a complete monster. However, I couldn't understand why the secondary characters would be so loyal to her. Maybe there will be more background explanations in future books?

To be honest, I was interested in everyone except Sylvie. Especially liked Eri, the young punk Fury. And Kevin Dunne, a most unusual greek god who was not part of the original gang. The ISI was also an interesting concept, which I hope Benedict explores in more detail in future books.

All in all, after a slow start, I enjoyed this book. I like discovering new series, and look forward to seeing more of Ms Benedict in the future.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

quote of the day

Chose an author as you choose a friend. ~Sir Christopher Wren

Just put down the book and back away slowly ...

Where is it written that once begun, you must finish the book?

If it is boring, poorly written, or has plot holes big enough to drive a truck thru, why waste your time? Typos also drive me crazy. Don't they have proofreaders and editors anymore? Yet whenever I mention that I sometimes put a book down without finishing it, people look at me like I just admitted that I kick puppies!

I usually like to read the first page of a book to make sure that it's bookshelf worthy, but sometimes that 's simply not possible when buying books online. And sometimes a story starts off strong, then peters out. Nothing is more disappointing than starting a new book, which sounded sooooo promising in the reviews, only to discover that it's not worth your time. I feel like I've been cheated, and am tempted to take the writer to court for commiting fraud!

There are so many good books out there that I don't want to waste my limited reading time on dogs. Why is that wrong?

To misquote Dorothy Parker; some books should not be tossed aside lightly, but thrown with great force!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

quote of the day

I was born with a reading list I will never finish ~Maud Casey

Book Review: The Photograph by Penelope Lively

A story about a man finding a photograph showing his late wife holding hands with another man, and his journey to find out what happened and who she really was.

A story about a man finding a photograph showing his late wife holding hands with another man, and his journey to find out what happened and who she really was.

While not a bad book, it was easy to put down and forget to pick back up. I can't really understand why it was chosen for the Today Bookclub or how it won any awards, as it wasn't very engrossing.

Kath, the woman in the photograph, seems to have been a rather flighty but engaging woman. Her widower Glyn is not a very sympathetic character, and we wonder why she would have married someone like him. Her sister and brother-in-law fare no better; Sister Elaine has a giant stick up her butt, and B-I-L Nick is a feckless boy-man who has never grown up. We wind up not caring very much about any of the main characters, which is not a good thing.

Ms. Lively is a good writer, but none of the characters were very engaging, and the story seemed to go nowhere. Not bad enough to discard before finishing, but it took me 3 times as long to finish than usual and I read several other books in between.

I gave it 2 stars because it had promise, just failed to deliver.

I heart Fluffy...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

quote of the day

When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes. ~Erasmus

Monday, May 25, 2009

Former bookseller blues

The thing that I miss the most about working at a bookstore is being surrounded by all of those beautiful books.

No more unpacking boxes and discovering new authors. No more receiving ARCs (advance reading copies) to fight over with my manager. *sigh* I loved ARCs. The thrill of reading a new book before anyone else. The sheer coolness factor of having an uncorrected proof. I also miss talking books with fellow book lovers, and recommending new titles. I even miss the smell of new books.

Took me a long time to be able to go into a bookstore and refrain from straightening the shelves. And I freely admit that all of my bookshelves at home are alphabetized by author's last name. At least I don't have them separated by subject.....although I do have a bookcase for my favorite books, sort of like a bestseller display. I know, I know...pathetic. But once a bookseller, always a book lover. It gets in your blood....

Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

a good read with good characters!

I remember when this book first came out, people kept recommending it to me again and again. I usually avoid those type of books (think Briges of Madison County), but decided to give it a chance. Surprisingly, I really, really liked it! Had a little bit of everything; romance, history, time travel, etc. It felt like the author had spent a lot of time on the story and characters, and I really got a kick out of the result.

My only advice is to stop with this book and to ignore the rest of the series. This felt like a labor of love, but the rest were more like she was in it for the money. I couldn't even get thru the second book.

All in all a good read with good characters! Enjoy!

Favorite book of all time

Favorite book of all time? That's easy: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. One of the few books that I reread every year. There's just something about nice guy Richard, falling into an alternate world just because he was trying to help a hurt little girl, that really touches me. And it doesn't hurt that Gaiman is a writing god!

Book Review: Vision In White by Nora Roberts

I really like Nora Roberts, and she didn't disappoint with this book. It's a quick read, good story, with believable characters. Looking forward to the next in the series!

I really enjoyed reading about the four childhood friends and their wedding business (photographer, baker, florist, planner).

This is the first of a four part series, and focused on the photographer, Mac. I really liked Carter, the romantic lead in this book. What a cutie! Not the usual wealthy, strong, silent sterotype, but seemed like a real person.

Also got a kick out of the brief glimpses of the actual weddings, but would have liked to get more background on the four women themselves. And where do Jack and Del fit in? Wasn't enough about the secondary characters.

I really like Nora Roberts, and she didn't disappoint with this book. It's a quick read, good story, with believable characters. Looking forward to the next in the series!

quote of the day

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx