Tuesday, September 9, 2014

On the Prowl by Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance and Sunny

First sentence:

"The wind was chill and the cold froze the end of her toes."

Description:

"On the make. On the scent. On the edge.

On the Prowl. . .

Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs

The werewolf Anna finds a new sense of self when the son of the werewolf king comes to town to quell unrest in the Chicago pack -- and inspires a power in Anna that she's never felt before.

Inhuman by Eileen Wilks

Kai has a secret gift of sensing thoughts and desires. What she senses in her neighbor Nathan could be dangerous. Because he has a secret gift, too, and it's about to be let loose.

Buying Trouble by Karen Chance

In a New York auction house, a Lord of the Fey crosses paths with a fiery redheaded mage named Claire. But in this strange underground society, the rarity up for sale is Claire herself.

Mona Lisa Betwining by Sunny

Among the children of the moon, Mona Lisa is of Mixed Blood--part Monere, part human, and destined to be alone. Then she meets a man who could be her salvation -- or her downfall." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I enjoyed these stories of paranormal romance. Each one introduced me to new characters and I look forward to learning more about Claire, Anna, Kai and Mona Lisa.

Date read: 9/8/2014
Book #:33
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre; Paranormal Romance

ISBN-10: 0425216594
ISBN-13: 9780425216590
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2007
# of pages: 541
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

First sentence:

"Straddling the top of the world, one foot in China and the other in Nepal, I cleared the ice from my oxygen mask, hunched a shoulder against the wind, and stared absently down at the vastness of Tibet."

Description:

"When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10, 1996, he hadn't slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin the perilous descent from 29, 028 feet (roughly the cruising altitude of an Airbus jetliner), twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly to the top, unaware that the sky had begun to roil with clouds. . .

In this definitive account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest, Jon Krakauer takes the reader step-by-step from Katmandu to the mountain's deadly pinnacle, unfolding a breathtaking story that will by turn thrill and terrify." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This is a bittersweet true adventure tale of the 1996 tragedy on Mount Everest that claimed the lives of twelve climbers. Krakauer recounts with brutal honesty what went wrong amidst the heroism of climbers both on his expedition and from others.

Date read: 9/1/2014
Book #: 32
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Nonfiction/Travel/Memoir

ISBN-10: 0385492081
ISBN-13: 9780385492089
Publisher: Anchor Books
Year: 1997
# of pages: 378
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Man in the Dark by Paul Auster

First sentence:

"I am alone in the dark, turning the world around in my head as I struggle through another bout of insomnia, another white night in the great American wilderness."

Description:

"From a "literary original" (The Wall Street Journal) comes a book that forces us to confront the blackness of night even as it celebrates the existence of ordinary joys in a world capable of the most grotesque violence. Seventy-two-year-old August Brill is recovering from a car accident at his daughter's house in Vermont. When sleep refuses to come, he lies in bed and tells himself stories, struggling to push back thoughts about things he would prefer to forget: his wife's recent death and the horrific murder of his granddaughter's boyfriend, Titus. The retired book critic imagines a parallel world in which America is not at war with Iraq but with itself. In this other America the twin towers did not fall and the 2000 election results led to secession, as state after state pulled away from the union and a bloody civil war ensued. As the night progresses, Brill's story grows increasingly intense, and what he is desperately trying to avoid insists on being told." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I liked this book about families and secrets. I especially liked Brill's imaginary story of a parallel world and how it eventually meets up with reality.

Date read: 8/24/2014
Book #: 31
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre; Fiction

ISBN-10: 0805088393
ISBN-13: 9780805088397
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Year: 2008
# of pages: 192
Binding: Hardcover
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Friday, August 22, 2014

A Game of Spies

First sentence:

"Hagen had not slept well; his head was throbbing with fatigue."

Description:

"It is February 1940, and England is desperate to find out when and how Hitler will make his move toward France. Sleeper agent Eva Bernhardt comes into possession of vital information-and makes a run for it. Uncertain whom to trust, whether she is racing to safety or death, Eva is about to take her future into her own hands-and with it, perhaps the future of the entire war..." -- from the back cover


My thoughts: 

This was a good thriller set during World War II. I liked learning along with the characters whom to trust and whom to definitely avoid.

Date read: 8/21/2014
Book #: 30
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre; Thriller

ISBN-10: 0515134635
ISBN-13: 9780515134636
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Year: 2002
# of pages: 292
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Door to Ambermere by J. Calvin Pierce

First sentence:

"To an observer viewing the avenue from behind a low garden wall, the object, passing as though in languorous flight, would have been something of a mystery, though one perhaps more likely to prompt speculation than active investigation."

Description:

"This World. . .is tough if you play your cards as badly as Daniel. He's a gambler whose luck is about to change from bad to weird.

The Other World. . .is in shambles if you cast a spell as poorly as Rogan the Obscure. He's a wizard who can literally raise hell.

Between the Two Worlds Lies. . .

The Door to Ambermere

It is the gateway between an ordinary bar in an ordinary city and an extraordinary tavern in a magical realm. But when magic goes wrong, anything can happen. Like a trade-off. The gambler Daniel enters a world of sorcery in which the odds are far more dangerous than a poker game. And in exchange for Daniel, a creature is unleashed in humankind's city streets. . .a demon! " -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this meeting of two worlds fantasy. I especially liked the way Daniel figured out how to navigate in Ambermere and how he met his love, Modesty. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, The Sorceress of Ambermere.

Date read: 8/19/2014
Book #: 28
Series: Ambermere, #1
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fantasy

ISBN-10: 0441159443
ISBN-13: 9780441159444
Publisher: Ace Books
Year: 1992
# of pages: 229
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
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Monday, August 11, 2014

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

First sentences:

"So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one. But just the one."

Description:

"AN EMOTIONAL, PROVOCATIVE, AND UNFORGETTABLE NOVEL ABOUT HOW WE LOVE, HOW WE TAKE CARE OF ONE ANOTHER, AND HOW THE CHOICES WE MAKE RESONATE THROUGH GENERATIONS.

Broad in scope and setting, wise and compassionate in its storytelling, And the Mountains Echoed is a profoundly moving, captivating novel that demonstrates Khaled Hosseini’s deeply felt understanding of the bonds that define us and shape our lives—and of what it means to be human.

It begins with the heartbreaking, unparalleled bond between two motherless siblings in an Afghan village. To three-year-old Pari, big brother Abdullah is more mother than brother. To ten-year-old Abdullah, little Pari is his everything. What happens to them-and the large and small manners in which it echoes through the lives of so many other people—is proof of the moral complexity of life. In a multigenerational novel revolving around not just parents and children but also brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which family members love, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

Propelled by the same remarkable instincts and philosophical insight that made The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns so remarkable, And the Mountains Echoed shows once again that Khaled Hosseini is a born storyteller." -- from the inside flap

My thoughts:

I liked this book about family told from different points of view. I especially liked how the events in the past rippled into the future in unexpected ways.

Date read: 8/10/2014
Book #: 27
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 159463176X
ISBN-13: 9781594631764
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Year: 2013
# of pages: 402
Binding: Hardcover
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Friday, August 8, 2014

The Bartender's Tale by Ivan Doig

First sentence:

"My father was the best bartender that ever lived."

Description:

"Tom Harry has a streak of frost in his black pompadour and a venerable bar called The Medicine Lodge, the chief watering hole and last refuge of the town of Gros Ventre, in northern Montana. Tom also has a son named Rusty, an “accident between the sheets” whose mother deserted them both years ago.The pair make an odd kind of family, with the bar their true home, but they manage just fine.

Until the summer of 1960, that is, when Rusty  turns twelve. Change arrives with gale force, in the person of Proxy, a taxi dancer Tom knew back when, and her beatnik daughter, Francine. Is Francine, as Proxy claims, the unsuspected legacy of her and Tom’s past? Without a doubt she is an unsettling gust of the future, upending every certainty in Rusty’s life and generating a mist of passion and pretense that seems to obscure everyone’s vision but his own. As Rusty struggles to decipher the oddities of adult behavior and the mysteries build toward a reckoning, Ivan Doig wonderfully captures how the world becomes bigger and the past becomes more complex in the last moments of childhood." -- from the inside flap

My thoughts:

This is a beautifully written book about family and life in a small Montana town. I loved the descriptions of daily life and the interactions between the characters, especially between Rusty and his dad, Tom.

Date read: 8/7/2014
Book #: 27
Rating: 4*/5 = great
Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 1594487359
ISBN-13: 9781594487354
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Year: 2012
# of pages: 387
Binding: Hardcover
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