Sunday, June 21, 2009

Childhood Favourites Reading Challenge

Childhood Favourites Reading Challenge

When: December 21, 2008 - June 21, 2009
What: Read at least five favorite books from your childhood.

My list:

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

First sentence:

"When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle, everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen."


"When orphaned Mary Lennox, lonely and sad, comes to live at her uncle's great house on the Yorkshire moors, she finds it full of secrets. At night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors. Outside, she meets Dickon, a magical boy who can charm and talk to animals. Then, one day, with the help of a friendly robin, Mary discovers the most mysterious wonder of all--a secret garden, walled and locked, which has been completely forgotten for years and years. Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring it back to life?" -- from

My thoughts:

I enjoyed rereading this childhood favorite. I liked how Mary "blossomed" as she started caring about others and let others care about her. I also liked how she and Dickon showed Colin a new way to live.

Date read: 6/21/2009
Book #: 35
Challenge: Childhood Favourites Reading Challenge
Rating: 4*/5 = great
Genre: Children's Literature

Publisher: Children's Classics
Year: 1911
# of Pages: 234
Binding: E-book
LibraryThing Page

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban

First line:

"The tramp was big and squarely built, and he walked with the rolling stride of the long road, his steps too big for the little streets of the little town."


"'What are we, Papa?' the toy mouse child asked his father. 'I don't know,' the father answered. 'We must wait and see.'

So begins the story of a tin father and son who dance under a Christmas tree until they break the ancient clockwork rules and are themselves broken.

Thrown away, then rescued from a trash can adn repaired by a tramp, they set out on a perilous odyssey to follow the child's dream of a family and a place of their own.

What happens to the mouse and his child in their search for the magnificent doll house, the plush elephant, and the tin seal they had known in the toyshop is a tale to remember and return to." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

Although it's been many years since I had read this book, I still found it as poignant, funny and moving as I did when I was a child. I enjoyed the interactions between the tin mouse and his son in their quest to find a home and a family.

Date read: 6/16/2009
Book #: 34
Challenge: Childhood Favourites Reading Challenge
Rating: 4*/5 = great
Genre: Children's Literature

Publisher: Avon Books
Year: 1967
# of pages: 182
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing page

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

First sentence:

"Taran wanted to make a sword; but Coll, charged with the practical side of his education, decided on horseshoes."


"Taran is bored with his Assistant Pig-Keeper duties, even though his charge is none other than Hen Wen, Prydain's only oracular pig. He'd rather be doing something more heroic, like making swords and learning to use them.

When Hen Wen escapes and Taran goes after her, he finds himself farther from home than he's ever been. Soon he begins to realize that heroism is no easy task. With the dreaded Horn King on the loose and King Arawn gathering the forces of evil, Taran must look past his own dreams to warn the population of Prydain -- before it's too late." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I enjoyed rereading this childhood favorite featuring the characters Taran, Eilonwy and Fflewddur Fflam. I especially liked how Taran learned that being a hero takes more than swinging a sword and looking handsome. I look forward to rereading the next book in the series, The Black Cauldron.

Date read: 6/14/2009
Book #: 33
Challenge: Childhood Favourites Reading Challenge
Series: Chronicles of Prydain, #1
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genres: YA/Fantasy

ISBN-10: 0805080481
ISBN-13: 9780805080483
Publisher: Henry Holt
Year: 1999
# of pages: 186
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Sundial in a Grave: 1610 by Mary Gentle

First sentence:

"The work continues well."


" 'It's about sex, and cruelty, and forgiveness.'

Thus begins a sweeping historical adventure about two dueling swordsmen and the plot to kill a king in the grand tradition of Dorothy Dunnett and Alexander Dumas.

The year is 1610. Continental Europe is briefly at peace after years of war, but Henri IV of France is planning to invade the German principalities. In England, only five years earlier, conspirators nearly succeeded in blowing up King James I and his Parliament. The seeds of the English Civil War and the Thirty Years War are visibly being sown, and the possibility for both enlightenment and disaster abounds.

But Valentin Rochefort, duelist and spy for France's powerful financial minister, could not care less. Until he is drawn into the glittering palaces, bawdy back streets, and stunning theatrics of Renaissance France and Shakespearean London in a deadly plot both to kill King James I and to save him. For this swordsman without a conscience is about to find himself caught between loyalty, love, and blackmail, between kings, queens, politicians, and Rosicrucians -- and the woman he has, unknowingly, crossed land and sea to meet." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this historical fiction filled with adventure and intrigue set in 17th century France and England. At first, it seemed slow to me, but once Rochefort and Dariole meet Saburo and head to England, the pace definitely picked up.

Date read: 6/6/2009
Book #: 32
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Historical Fiction

ISBN-10: 0380820412
ISBN-13: 9780380820412
Publisher: Perennial
Year: 2005
# of Pages: 666
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spring Reading Thing Challenge 2009

It's time once again for the Spring Reading Thing Challenge! This challenge runs from March 20 - June 20, 2009.

My books:

Robin McKinley. Spindle's End -- finished 4/11/2009
Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball. Acorna: The Unicorn Girl -- finished 5/9/2009
Ann Rule. The Stranger Beside Me - finished 5/10/2009
Eoin Colfer. Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident -- finished 6/5/2009
Jack Olsen. The Climb Up to Hell
Bill Bryson. A Short History of Nearly Everything

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer

First sentence:

"By the age of thirteen, our subject, Artemis Fowl, was displaying signs of an intellect greater than any human since Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart."


"Eoin Colfer's bestselling antihero is back in Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident--the superb sequel to the hyper-hyped Artemis Fowl, shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year. The Arctic Incident sees the slightly older, perhaps slightly more mellow arch-criminal Artemis recovered from his last adventure, richer now that he has his half of a hoard of fairy gold, and happier since the Clarice Starlingesque superfairy Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon returned his mother's ailing mind to full health.

But there is still much unfinished business: Artemis Fowl Sr. disappeared when a daring escapade designed to free his family from their criminal--not to mention deeply lucrative--past and move the family's assets into legitimate enterprises went horribly wrong. Held captive by the Mafiya (the Russian organized crime syndicate) for over two years, he has been declared officially dead, but Artemis Jr. knows in his heart (yes, he does have one) that his beloved father is still alive, and he is determined to find him. Meanwhile Captain Short is temporarily on assignment to Customs and Excise as punishment for letting Fowl separate her and her People from their gold and is finding her stakeout duties a little dull. It soon becomes obvious that the pair have need of each other's considerable skills, and before long they are on track for an adventure that will ultimately have far-reaching consequences for both of them." -- from

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this second book in the Artemis Fowl series. I especially liked how Artemis, Butler, Holly and Commander Root worked together to save the day. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, The Eternity Code.

Date read: 6/5/2009
Book #: 31
Challenges: 999 Challenge, Celebrate the Author Challenge 2009, Spring Reading Thing Challenge 2009
Series: Artemis Fowl, #2
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fantasy

ISBN-10: 0439441439
ISBN-13: 9780439441438
Publisher: Scholastic
Year: 2002
# of Pages: 277
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page