Monday, April 28, 2008

A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories by Robin McKinley

First sentence:
"The child was born just as the first faint rays of dawn made their way through the cracks between the shutters."

Description:

"Five heroines -- five tales of enchantment. . .

Lily. A woman with powers to heal, but no power of speech. Then she meets a mage -- a man who can hear the words she forms only in her mind. Will he help her find her voice?

Ruen. A princess whose uncle leaves her deep in a cave to die at the hands of the stagman. But when she meets the stagman at last, Ruen discovers fate has a few surprises in store for her.

Erana. As a baby, she was taken by a witch in return for the healing herbs her father stole from the witch's garden. Raised alongside the witch's troll son, Erana learns that love comes in many forms.

Coral. A beautiful young newcomer who caches the eye of an older widowed farmer. He can't believe his good fortune when Coral consents to be his wife. But then the doubts set in -- what is it that draws Coral to Buttercup Hill?

Annabelle. When her family moves the summer before her junior year of high school, Annabelle spends all her time in the attic of her new house -- until she finds the knot in the grain which leads her on a magical mission." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I liked these stories of fantasy and discovery. I especially liked the stories of Lily and her search for her voice and Erana who learns where her true home is.

Date read: 4/20/2008
Book #: 23
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fantasy

ISBN-10: 0064406040
ISBN-13: 9780064406048
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Year: 1995
# of Pages: 192
Binding: Trade Paperback

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Killing Floor by Lee Child

First sentence:

"I was arrested in Eno's diner."

Description:

"Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter, just passing through. He is in Margrave, Georgia, for less than a half hour when four policemen arrive, shotguns in hand to arrest him for murder.

All Jack knows is he didn't kill anybody. Not in their town, and not for a long time. . ." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This was a good mystery featuring Jack Reacher who finds himself in the middle of an ongoing plot that threatens a small town. I liked how Jack and his new friends figure out the mystery and eventually outwit the criminals and I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Die Trying.

Date read: 4/13/2008
Book #: 22
Series: Jack Reacher #1
Challenges: Book Awards Reading Challenge, TBR Challenge 2008, Spring Reading Thing Challenge, To Be Continued Challenge
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Mystery

ISBN-10: 0515123447
ISBN-13: 9780515123449
Publisher: Jove
Year: 1997
# of Pages: 407
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing Page

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mine by Robert R. McCammon

First sentence:

"The baby was crying again."

Description:

"Mary Terrell, aka Mary Terror, is a scarred survivor of the radical '60s. Once a member of the fanatical Storm Front Brigade, Mary now lives in a hallucinatory world of memories, guns, and murderous rage. . .

Laura Clayborne is a successful journalist, wife of a stockbroker, with a BMW and a house in the right Atlanta suburb. Her marriage foundering, Laura hopes that her newborn son David, will make her life everything it ought to be. . .

When Mary Terror steals Laura's baby from the hospital, a journey of the damned begins - through an America of wandering misfits, seedy motel rooms, '60s radicals disguised by plastic surgery, and a former FBI man out for personal vengeance. As Laura Clayborne closes in on Mary Terror, she will have to think like her, act like her - even kill like her. " -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This book grabbed my attention from the opening line and didn't let up until the end. With many twists and turns, I felt like I was with both Laura and Mary in the chase from Georgia to California while hoping that throughout the mayhem and chaos the baby would survive. I also liked how the narrative switched from Laura to Mary and back again.

Date read: 4/13/2008
Book #: 21
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Thriller

ISBN-10: 0671739441
ISBN-13: 9780671739447
Publisher: Pocket Books
Year: 1990
# of Pages: 487
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing Page

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Faerie Tale by Raymond E. Feist

First sentence:

"Barney Doyle at at his cluttered workbench, attempting to fix Olaf Andersen's ancient power mower for the fourth time in seven years."

Description:

"When successful screenwriter Phil Hastings decided to move his family from sunny California to ramshackle farmhouse in New York state, the old Kessler place seemed like an ideal base from which to pick up the threads of his career as a novelist. But the Kessler place was originally known as Erl King Hill - 'Hill of the Elf King'. Soon Phil's wife and daughter, and their two mischievous eight-year-old boys, began to sense that strange presences were moving in the centuries-old wood that tangled around their new home like the enchanted web of a huge, malignant spider...

Faerie Tale is a major work of the imagination in which a master of modern fantasy turns his pen to the timeless worlds of ancient Celtic myth - and the unspeakable terror that lurks beneath the ordered surface of modern everyday life." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This was a good dark fantasy set in the modern day. I liked the intermixing of Celtic mythical creatures with twentieth century people. I especially liked how the twins Patrick and Sean learn how to cope in the faerie world.

Date read: 3/25/2008
Book #: 20
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fantasy

ISBN-10: 0586071393
ISBN-13: 9780586071397
Publisher: Voyager
Year: 2001
# of Pages: 489
Binding: Paperback
LibraryThing Page

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Little Face by Sophie Hannah

First sentence:

"I am outside."

Description:

"She's only been gone two hours. Her husband David was supposed to be looking after their two-week-old daughter. But when Alice Fancourt walks into the nursery, her terrifying ordeal begins, for Alice insists the baby in the cot is a stranger she's never seen before.

With an increasingly hostile and menacing David swearing she must either be mad or lying, how can Alice make the police believe her before it's too late?" -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

When I first read the description I wasn't sure if I would like the book as it seemed clich├ęd. However, the narration which switched back and forth between Alice and the detective Simon a week later held my interest and the ending made it all worthwhile.

Date read: 3/25/2008
Book #: 19
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Thriller

ISBN-10: 0340840323
ISBN-13: 9780340840320
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Year: 2006
# of Pages: 357
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing Page

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Fourth Hand by John Irving

First sentence:

"Imagine a young man on his way to a less-than-thirty-second event--the loss of his left hand, long before he reached middle age."

Description:

"While reporting a story from India, New York journalist Patrick Wallingford inadvertently becomes his own headline when his left hand is eaten by a lion. In Boston, a renowned surgeon eagerly awaits the opportunity to perform the nation’s first hand transplant. But what if the donor’s widow demands visitation rights with the hand? In answering this unexpected question, John Irving has written a novel that is by turns brilliantly comic and emotionally moving, offering a penetrating look at the power of second chances and the will to change." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This book started with a touch of quirky humor but over time changed into a serious love story. I liked how Patrick learns about true love and compassion as he tries to win Doris' heart. I also found the insight into television news coverage informative.

Date read: 3/22/2008
Book #: 18
Challenges: Celebrate the Author Challenge, Numbers Challenge
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 0345449347
ISBN-13: 9780345449344
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Year: 2002
# of Pages: 313
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing Page