Thursday, June 25, 2009

Losing Julia

Losing Julia Losing Julia by Jonathan Hull

My review
rating: 4 of 5 stars
At first I struggled through this book - bounces through 3 different points in time (the present, WWI and 10 years after WWI). This book had so much to say about life, love, war and death that I stuck it out. I'm glad I did. This book was great.

Pub. Date: February 2000

Synopsis: In a world torn apart by war, one man would search a lifetime to find what he once lost: a woman named Julia....

Patrick Delaney was just a boy when he marched off to war in 1918. But on the stark battlefields of France, amid the horror and the chaos, Patrick forged a bond that would shape the course of his life. Daniel was Patrick's best friend, his comrade-in-arms. But it was Daniel's lover, Julia, who would change Patrick forever.

Julia's letters, shared by Daniel in the muddy trenches, touched Patrick in ways he never could have expected. But years would pass before he finally met her at a war memorial in France. There, on a field still scarred by battle, Patrick closed his eyes in silent prayer and opened them to the woman he had never seen but always loved: Julia.

After a brief, passionate encounter, Patrick made a fateful choice and Julia slipped away, perhaps never to return. It is just the beginning of an astonishing story that will span almost a century, a story of memory and desire, history and destiny — and of the people who slip from our grasp, only to hold us forever.

Recommended Reading:
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Friday, June 19, 2009

Middlesex

Middlesex Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

My review
rating: 1 of 5 stars
I surrender. I don't quite get the appeal of this book. At times I found myself engrossed in the story and five pages would fly by and then the bottom would drop out and the paragraphs would drag. It got to the point where I cringed at the thought of picking up the book. Incest - intermarrying - not my thing.

What I did like about the book (at least what I read of it) was that it was rich in detail and history. Those were the parts that I found fascinating. The author painted a clear picture of memories.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Moon (Second Reading)

New Moon (Twilight, #2) New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

My review rating: 5 of 5 stars
I feel sorry for my kids. The only way they've been able to get my attention this weekend is by shouting, "Mom! Vampire!"

If possible, this book was better than the first. The pain Bella went through when was heartbreaking. I enjoyed that some of the secondary characters, such as Jacob and Alice, played bigger roles in Bella's life.

There was a brief moment of ridiculous when Bella met the Volturi family, but fortunately it didn't last long.

A beautiful book. Absolutely amazing.

**Second Reading: I took a little more time with the second reading. I can see how SM has grown as a writer. I didn't find the Volturi scene quite as ridiculous as the first reading. I enjoyed the relationship between Bella and Jacob more.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

My review
rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed Lamott's Bird by Bird Some Instructions on Writing and Life and was curious to hear what she had to say about faith. I found her thoughts moving and humorous. She doesn't Bible thump and throw a lot of scripture in your face. She uses swear words. She calls her teenage son's alter ego "Phil" and her alter ego "Menopausal Death Crone".

Pub. Date: August 2005

Synopsis: With Anne Lamott's trademark wisdom, humor and honesty, Plan B is a spiritual antidote to anxiety and despair in our increasingly fraught times.

Recommended Reading:
Grace (Eventually) : Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
Traveling Mercies : Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
The Seeker's Guide : Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure by Elizabeth Lesser

Twilight (Second Reading)

Twilight (Twilight, #1) Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

My review
rating: 5 of 5 stars
I can't find a single bad thing to say about this book. The characters were brilliant. The storyline flawless. I didn't think the "teenage angst" was overly exaggerated - if anything the story was two old souls in young boddies. The only bad thing I can say about this book is that it ended.

**Second Reading: I still found this story enjoyable. I took a little more time (two days) to read it this time around. I found underneath the obsessive love story is a wonderful book about choices.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Simply Perfect

Simply Perfect (Simply Series #4) Simply Perfect by Mary Balogh

My review
rating: 2 of 5 stars
I was disappointed in the conclusion to this series. This book was boring, there was no plot (other than falling in love) and no drama.

Pub. Date: December 2008

Series: Simply Book 4

Synopsis: Tall, dark, and exquisitely sensual, he is the epitome of male perfection. Not that Claudia Martin is looking for a lover. Or a husband. As owner and headmistress of Miss Martin’s School for Girls in Bath, she long ago resigned herself to a life without love. Until Joseph, Marquess of Attingsborough, arrives unannounced and tempts her to toss away a lifetime of propriety for an affair that can only lead to ruin.

Joseph has his own reasons for seeking Claudia out. Instantly, irresistibly attracted to the dedicated teacher, he embarks on a plan of seduction that leaves them both yearning for more. But as heir to a prestigious dukedom, Joseph is expected to carry on his family’s legacy. And Claudia knows she has no place in his world.

Now that world is about to be rocked by scandal. An arranged marriage, a secret that will shock the ton, and a man from Claudia’s past conspire to drive the lovers apart. But Joseph is determined to make Claudia his at any cost. Even if that means defying convention and breaking every rule for a love that is everything he has ever wanted—a love that is perfection itself…

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bloodfever

Bloodfever (Fever, #2) Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

My reviewrating: 4 of 5 stars
Karen Marie Moning really amazed me in this book. Her plot and characters continue to grow in this series. The summary of "this is who I am and this is what happened in the first book" was done quickly and efficiently and the story moved quickly into the new series installment.

I am eager to get my hands on the next books of the series.

Pub. Date: October 2007

Series: Fever Book 2

Synopsis: MacKayla Lane's ordinary life underwent a complete makeover when she landed on Ireland's shores and was plunged into a world of deadly sorcery and ancient secrets.

In her fight to stay alive, Mac must find the Sinsar Dubh-a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over both the worlds of the Fae and of Man. Pursued by Fae assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she cannot trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and irresistible men: V'lane, the insatiable Fae who can turn sensual arousal into an obsession for any woman, and the ever-inscrutable Jericho Barrons, a man as alluring as he is mysterious.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them....

Recommended Reading:
Darkfever (Fever Series #1) by Karen Marie Moning
Faefever (Fever Series #3) by Karen Marie Moning
To Tame a Highland Warrior (Highlander Series #2) by Karen Marie Moning