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Showing posts from 2010

Maisie Dobbs Read-Along

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I'm going to participate in the Maisie Dobbs Read-Along hosted by Book Club Girl.  I haven't read any of the books yet, but they sound great. I just purchased the first book for my kindle and can't wait to get started.  You can find out more about the read-along here. This should be so much fun.

The World According to Monsanto

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The World According to Monsanto by Marie-Monique Robin
borrowed from library
Summary from Goodreads:
The result of a remarkable three-year-long investigation that took award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin across four continents (North and South America, Europe, and Asia), The World According to Monsanto tells the little-known yet shocking story of this agribusiness giant--the world's leading producer of GMOs (genetically modified organisms)--and how its new "green" face is no less malign than its PCB- and Agent Orange-soaked past.


Robin reports that, following its long history of manufacturing hazardous chemicals and lethal herbicides, Monsanto is now marketing itself as a "life sciences" company, seemingly convinced about the virtues of sustainable development. However, Monsanto now controls the majority of the yield of the world's genetically modified corn and soy--ingredients found in more than 95 percent of American hous…

Draw the Dark

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Draw the Dark by Ilsa J. Bick
digital galley provided by NetGalley
Summary from Goodreads:
There are things in Winter, Wisconsin, folks just don't talk about. The murder way back in '45 is one. The near-suicide of a first-grade teacher is another. And then there is 17-year old Christian Cage. Christian's parents disappeared when he was a little boy, and ever since he's drawn and painted obsessively, trying desperately to remember his mother. The problem is Christian doesn't just draw his own memories. He can draw the thoughts of those around him. Confronted with fears and nightmares they'd rather avoid, people have a bad habit of dying. So it's no surprise that Christian isn't exactly popular. What no one expects is for Christian to meet Winter's last surviving Jew and uncover one more thing best forgotten: the day the Nazis came to town. Based on a little-known fact of the United States' involvement in World War II, Draw the Dark is a dark fantasy…

Waiting on Wednesday

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Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



This week's pre-publication "can't wait to read" selection is:













Deadline by Mira Grant
(Newsflesh Book 2)
Publication date June 1, 2011 by Orbit
from Goodreads:

Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn't seem as fun when you've lost as much as he has.


But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.

Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.


This is the follow up to Mira Grant's amazing FEED. I am anxiously waiting for this one. Th…

Ghost Light

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Ghost Light by Joseph O'Connor
purchased from Kennys Bookshop
Summary from Goodreads:
Dublin 1907, a city of whispered rumours. An actress still in her teens begins an affair with a damaged older man, the leading playwright at the theatre where she works. Rebellious, irreverent, beautiful, flirtatious, Molly Allgood is a girl of the inner city tenements, dreaming of stardom in America. Witty and watchful, she has dozens of admirers. But in the backstage of her life, there is a secret. Her lover, John Synge, is a troubled, reticent genius, the son of a once prosperous landowning family, a poet of fiery language and tempestuous passions. Yet his life is hampered by Edwardian conventions and by the austere and God-fearing mother with whom he lives. Scarred by a childhood of immense loneliness and severity he has long been ill , but he loves to walk the wild places of Ireland. The affair, sternly opposed by friends and family, is turbulent, sometimes cruel, often tender. Many years later…

Mockingjay

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Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
borrowed from library
Summary from Goodreads:
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what …

Snow Crash

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Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
purchased
Summary from Goodreads:
Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison--a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age. In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo's CosaNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he's a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that's striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about Infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous...you'll recognize it immediately.

My take:
I just re-read this book for the first time in a very long …

Foster

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Foster by Claire Keegan
purchased from Kennys Bookshop
Synopsis from the publisher:
A small girl is sent to live with foster parents on a farm in rural Ireland, without knowing when she will return home. In the strangers’ house, she finds a warmth and affection she has not known before and slowly begins to blossom in their care. And then a secret is revealed and suddenly, she realizes how fragile her idyll is.


Winner of the Davy Byrnes Memorial Prize, Foster is now published in a revised and expanded version. Beautiful, sad and eerie, it is a story of astonishing emotional depth, showcasing Claire Keegan’s great accomplishment and talent.

My Take:
This was a very short book - a story, really.  I started reading it just because  it was the shortest book in my Kennys parcel. I was hooked from the first page. This is a simple story told from the little girl's point of view. Don't be fooled by the simple style and the brevity of the story. This is such a moving story. The girl has a…

The Fall

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The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
purchased
Summary from Goodreads:
From the authors of the instant New York Times bestseller The Strain comes the next volume in one of the most imaginative and frightening thriller series in many, many years.  Last week they invaded Manhattan. This week they will destroy the world.

The vampiric virus unleashed in The Strain has taken over New York City. It is spreading and soon will envelop the globe. Amid the chaos, Eph Goodweather—head of the Centers for Disease Control's team—leads a band out to stop these bloodthirsty monsters. But it may be too late.

Ignited by the Master's horrific plan, a war erupts between Old and New World vampires, each vying for control. At the center of the conflict lies a book, an ancient text that contains the vampires' entire history . . . and their darkest secrets. Whoever finds the book can control the outcome of the war and, ultimately, the fate of us all. And it is between these warring forc…

In My Mailbox

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In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

This is my first IMM post - and it may be the only one for six months or so. I got my parcel from Kennys Bookshop in Galway and I won't get another until March. All of these books were purchased by me through Kennys Book Club. Many of the books I receive are not generally available in the states so Amazon usually doesn't have cover images.

Foster by Claire Keegan
Ghost Light by Joseph O'Connor
Storm over Belfast by Mary O'Donnell (signed!(
You by Nuala Ni Chonchuir
The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories
South of the Border by James Ryan
The Big Chapel by Thomas Kilroy


I can't wait to start reading from my new Irish To Be Read Pile.

Update and an Award

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If things here seem to have slowed down somewhat, that is because they have. As I state in my "About Me" section, I am a homeschooling mom and things get very busy with the start of each new school year. We are busy with learning, music lessons, dance lessons and rehearsals. Much more of my time is taken up with planning, researching, school-related-reading, etc., so my time to blog is more limited right now.

I am still reading towards my R.I.P. V goals as well as Reading the Romantics. I have a review in the works for The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuch Hogan and I am still reading The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mandy of Mandy's Escape had passed an award on to me! So, thank you Mandy for thinking of me for The Versatile Blogger Award!

So, here's the drill for all award winners:


a) Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
b) Share 7 things about yourself.
c) Pass the award along to 10 bloggers w…

Everything Is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour

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Everything Is Going to Be Great by Rachel Shukert
review copy provided by Harper Perennial
Summary from Goodreads:
When she lands a coveted nonpaying, nonspeaking role in a play going on a European tour, Rachel Shukert—with a brand-new degree in acting from NYU and no money—finally scores her big break. And, after a fluke at customs in Vienna, she gets her golden ticket: an unstamped passport, giving her free rein to “find herself” on a grand tour of Europe. Traveling from Vienna to Zurich to Amsterdam, Rachel bounces through complicated relationships, drunken mishaps, miscommunication, and the reality-adjusting culture shock that every twentysomething faces when sent off to negotiate "the real world"—whatever that may be.

My Take:
First of all, I have to state right off that this book is not for everyone. It's racy and raunchy and so very funny! So, if you are squeamish, easily offended or just a stick-in-the-mud, don't bother reading it. On the other hand, if you have…

Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday! (4)

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It's Friday, so it's time for Follow Friday hosted at Parajunkee's View . It's also time for another Book Blogger Hop hosted by Jenn at Crazy For Books.




This week's question for Book Blogger Hop is: When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?My Answer: I don't write my review as I read, but I do take notes and make note of passages that I might want to refer to or that I think may be important later. I write the  review after finishing the book and usually after taking a little bit of time to think about the book.

An Award!

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A big thank you goes out to Greyz at Cladestine Sanctuary for the One Lovely Blog Award! Stop by her lovely blog and say Hi.

The rules are:

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.


2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.

Sasha & The Silverfish A Life Bound by Books Lori's Reading Corner A Journey of Books Supernatural Snark In the Closet with a Bibliophile The Lost Entwife A Girl Reads a Book Geeky Blogger's Book Blog I'd So Rather Be Reading Good Choice Reading Book Faery Chrisbookarama Emily's Reading Room

The Barracks

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The Barracks by John McGahern
purchased from Kennys Bookshop
Summary from Goodreads:
One of the preeminent Irish writers of our time, John McGahern has captivated readers with such poignant and heart-wrenching novels as Amongst Women and The Dark. Moving between tragedy and savage comedy, desperation and joy, McGahern's first novel, The Barracks, is one of haunting power. Elizabeth Reegan, after years of freedom—and loneliness—marries into the enclosed Irish village of her upbringing. The children are not her own; her husband is straining to break free from the servile security of the police force; and her own life, threatened by illness, seems to be losing the last vestiges of its purpose.

My Take:
Well, I have to say that the only book I have ever read that was more depressing than this one was Famine by Liam O'Flaherty. From the first page,it seemed that the characters, Elizabeth Reegan especially, felt a  certain detachment from their lives. Mrs. Reegan seems to be just bare…

It's Monday! What are you reading?

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It's Monday! What are you reading?
Hosted by Book Journey.

Reviews written last week:
Fallen by Lauren Kate
A Drama in Muslin by George Moore
Vanishing and Other Stories by Deborah Willis

Books I am reading this week:
The Barracks by John McGahern (just finished reading this morning)

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (for R.I.P. V)

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

What are you reading this week?

Vanishing and Other Stories

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Vanishing and Other Stories by Deborah Willis
review copy courtesy of Harper Perennial
Summary from Goodreads:
Vanishing and Other Stories explores emotional and physical absences, the ways in which people leave, are left, and whether or not it's ever possible to move on. Readers will encounter a skinny ice-cream scooper named Nina Simone, a vanishing visionary of social utopia, a French teacher who collects fiancés, and a fortune-telling mother who fails to predict the heartbreak of her own daughter. The characters in this collection will linger in the imagination, proving that nothing is ever truly forgotten.

My Take:
The brief description from Goodreads, while intriguing, really doesn't do this book justice. I don't usually go in for short stories, but these were just so good -- and they stay with you. It took me a while to read the book - not because it was boring or I didn't like it --- but because I found that I really wanted to just read a couple of the stories and…

A Drama in Muslin

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A Drama in Muslin by George Moore
bought from Kennys Bookshop
Summary from Goodreads: A reprint of the first edition written in the 1880s, this is generally considered to be the best version of one of Moore's greatest books. Set in Ireland in the 1880s against a backdrop of Land League troubles in Co. Mayo, and in Dublin, where the social life revolves around the Vice-Regal court in Dublin Castle, this depicts the efforts of a mother trying to catch socially suitable husbands for her daughters, and chronicles the results.
My Take: This was an interesting book for a number of reasons. I like Irish history and the book takes place in the 1880's in western Ireland during the activities of the Land League, so there is the historical aspect to it. But the most interesting thing was the picture it painted of the lives of five girls born into the gentry of the West of Ireland.  They had been sent to a girls school for much of their lives and when they were of age, they had to join society…

Fallen

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Fallen by Lauren Kate
borrowed from the library
Summary from Goodreads:
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

My take:
There are very mixed reviews for this book. I decided to read it so I could decide for myself. I find myself torn on this one. I thought the idea was great and I felt the use of the fallen angel motif was done better than in Hush, hush. I did have an issue with Luce -- I felt for her and all he…

Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday! (3)

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It's Friday, so it's time for Follow Friday hosted at Parajunkee's View . It's also time for another Book Blogger Hop hosted by Jenn at Crazy For Books.

This week's question for Book Blogger Hop is:   Do you judge a book by it's cover?
I have to admit that sometimes I do. I try not to, and usually I say that I don't, but sometimes the cover can make all the difference. That's not to say that I don't read the back cover and usually the first page of the book as well, but the cover does matter.

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge V -- Begins!

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I just found out about this challenge and I am so excited about it! Carl (Stainless Steel Droppings) hosts the RIP Challenge every year. I am going to participate this year in Peril the First - read four books from the following genres Mystery.


Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural

This should be fun - I love Halloween and the books and movies that fit the season. Since it is a family tradition to watch "scary" movies during the month of October, I will also participate in Peril on the Screen.

I haven't chosen the book yet, but there are so many I want to read or re-read. I'll update as I choose/read.

Updates:
Books read:
1. The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
2.

Valley of Dry Bones

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Valley of Dry Bones by Pricilla Royal
digital galley provided by NetGalley
Summary from Goodreads:
In the late summer of 1274, King Edward has finally been anointed England’s ruler, and his queen contemplates a pilgrimage in gratitude for their safe return from Outremer, a journey that will include a stay at Tyndal Priory. Envoys are sent to confirm that everything will be suitable for the king’s wife, and Prioress Eleanor nervously awaits them, knowing that regal visits bring along expense and honor. The cost is higher than expected, however, when Death arrives as the unexpected emissary. One of the courtiers is murdered near the hut where Brother Thomas now lives as a hermit. Each member of the party has reason to hate the dead man, including Crowner Ralf’s eldest brother, Sir Fulke, and the prioress’s nemesis, the man in black. Soon Eleanor is embroiled in the dangerous world of power games, both secular and religious. Indeed, England’s future under a new king may offer hope and reli…

One Lovely Blog Award

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A big thank you goes out to The Book Bee for awarding ABookGeek the One Lovely Blog Award!

Here are the rules for this award:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.

3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.


Here are some of the blogs that I have recently found and really enjoy - in no particular order.

Blkosiner's Book Blog
Bewitched Bookworms
The Prairie Library
Reading with Tequila
What Book Is That?
Karen's Addictions
A Little Bookish
The Introverted Reader
A Fanatics Book Blog
Books Complete Me
The Bodacious Pen
I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read
S. Krishna's Books
Addicted 2 Novels
The Allure of Books

Shade

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Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
borrowed from the library
from Goodreads:
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding--and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings fo…