Monday, May 4, 2009

Chasing Vermeer

Chasing Vermeer Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Are there ever just coincidences in the world?? THis book explores that question as eleven year old Calder is pulled into an adventure involving a stolen Vermeer, a really hip schoolteacher and a grouchy old woman.

It was confusing sometimes, but fun most of the time. There are codes and clues hidden throughout the book and illustrations. I spent a blissful rainy afternoon reading the book and solving the riddles and codes.

The ending didn't do a very good job of explaining WHY some of the coincidences happenned, but I am not super picky, so it didn't bother me all that much.

I plan on passing this to my ten year old next and see what she thinks.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Justice Hall by Laurie R. King

Justice Hall (Mary Russell Series, #6) Justice Hall by Laurie R. King

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This story starts 24 hours after the last book in the series, The Moor ended, but we revisit characters from an earlier book that I haven't read yet.

These books are all so exciting I have a hard time putting them down. In this installment Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes head to an old friends estate to try and persuade his cousin to go back to Palestine with him and leave the Earldom to the next generation. You quickly realize all is not as it seems as "accidents" soon take on a sinister tone.

Murder, intrigue, fake heirs, and King Tut fancy dress balls all make a fascinating mystery.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Ireland: A Novel Ireland: A Novel by Frank Delaney

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I so loved the first half of this book. A boy and his family are visited by a wandering storyteller in Ireland. (It was in the early 50's, I think...).

You are told the most amazing stories about Ireland. I was totally enthralled. After the storyteller is sent away by the boys mother it becomes this boys quest to find him again. And to collect his stories. It was very emotional and exciting.

And then the tone changed. As the boy grew older I began to care less about him. I am not sure why. When he goes away to college he has an absolutely disgusting professor that he loves. UGH.

The ending however was great. I don't want to give anything away, so I will just leave it at that!

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Saturday, March 21, 2009


Kendrick Kendrick by A. H. Holt

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I rarely read westerns, but we had this one and I decided to give it try.

I was pleasantly surprised. Kendrick is a warm, suspenseful novel with a bit of fun and romance thrown in.

Kendrick follows the story of Wayne Kendrick who pretends to be a gold prospector to investigate the disappearance of his close friend. They are some dangerous characters up on the mountain and Kendrick ends up having to deal with them all.

I was genuinely concerned about the characters. The story moved along at just the correct pace. I was never bored or overwhelmed.

I loved the resolution.

After reading it I read about the author and discovered that it was a woman...I should have guessed!!

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Friday, March 20, 2009


Fablehaven (Book 1)" src="" border=0> Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
If any of you have been regulars to my blog you might have noticed that this book has been on and off of my currently reading list about 5 times.

I know, no one has noticed, but it has!

Anyway, I REALLY wanted to enjoy this. My kids loved it and it is an LDS author. But I just didn't get into it. Maybe it is just that fantasy is not my fave genre. I actually hope that it sit because it killed me to just give it 2 stars. Sorry Brandon!!

It is well written, but I just was not engaged by the characters. The kids kept breaking the rules.

Maybe that was the problem. I have 4 teenagers and am not entertained by kids breaking rules because they think the rule makers are doing it just to be random and mean.

Hmm... I may have hit on the problem!!

If you like fantasy I give you the hearty recommendation of Ella and Harrison, who both begged me to read Fablehaven.

If you are at your wits end with your own kids, maybe wait and read it when your grand kids are acting up!!ha ha

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Thursday, March 19, 2009


Anne over at Not Entirely British is giving books away every week!!


So click HERE and get yourself signed up.

Mystery By Moonlight

Mystery by Moonlight Mystery by Moonlight by Mary C. Jane

My review

This is one of the first mysteries I read and I still keep it on my bookshelf. I re-read it once every few years and am always so pleased with it.

It is sweet and scary and fun. This would be a great book for your 2nd or 3rd grader to get an introduction to mystery writing. (It reads like a Nancy Drew)

I love a mystery that I can completely put myself into. When it is set in a very realistic way, I completely immerse myself. It cannot be too scary or dangerous, or it does not enchant me the way I want a book to.

I have not even checked to see if this is still in print, My copy is from the early 80's.

EDIT* I just looked this up on Amazon and it is out of print. She seems to have been published mostly in the early 70's. You local library might have her books. There were a ton of them. Now I want to read more!!

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies Lord of the Flies by William Golding

My review


rating: 2 of 5 stars
I read this in one evening, so maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance but... it was so confusing. I felt like I had started in the middle and then bits and peices were left out.

I was especially confused when Simon was killed. And then my big question; How did they get on the island??

A plane crash? There was no plane. THey talked about a plane and a fire. Why were they all on the plane to start with. WHere were they and where were they going?

If someone has answers, PLEASE enlighten me.

I just didn't get it. ANd I think it is a classic. And I have no idea why it was on my bookshelf or where it came from.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book The Graveyard Book by">Neil Gaiman


This is the story of Bod Owens. He was a toddler when his parents and sister where killed and he was taken in and protected by ghosts in the local graveyard. He is raised and taught by the residents in the cemetery.

As he grows he begins to learn of his history and yearns to spend time among the living. But life among the living is dangerous for Bod.

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I had no idea what this book would be like and I was pleasantly surprised. I love when characters that are traditionally "bad" are shown being good.
The growth of the boy, Bod, both physically and emotionally is well thought out and interesting. I really cared what happened to him and wanted him to make good choices.

The part in the middle when he was in the desert was a little slow for me, but necessary for developing some of the other characters, so I didn't mind.

I would like top read this again sometime now that I know all of the twists and turns, to see what foreshadowing I missed the first time.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Hound of the Baskervilles

The people living on the moor are terrified of a ghost hound that is being seen at night. It is running alongside a ghotly carriage. They both glow in the dark, and now people are dying...
Holmes will get to the bottom of it.
My Thoughts:
Another exciting Holmes mystery. I actually read it before I read Sherlock In Love because I wanted them to be chronological.
It was fun to revisit this story especially after having read The Moor last year.
I love the style of writing and the suspense. Conan Doyle exploits with the paranormal are legendary and I enjoy how they just get hinted at in this story.
The topography and the people of the moor area are fascinating. And a little creepy.
Definitely worth reading. Again!

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Importance of Being Ernest

This book is so funny. I laugh out loud when I read it. And then want to follow whoever is in the room with me and read them selections that I am finding particularly amusing at the moment.

I believe my family dreads it when they see me reading it.

It is such a gem.

Two Ernest's. No wait, NO ERNEST'S! An ailing friend in the country. A troublesome brother in town.

A baby in a bag left at the railway station?

And when the baby is finally found, 30 odd years later it is the return of the bag that is most celebrated.

I love that part.

I can't really give you a review, just go and read it. It is short and sweet, just three acts, I think. You will not be dissapointed.

The Moonstone

I don't have enough good to say about this book. It had me hooked from the beginning. It is the tale of a missing Indian diamond- the Moonstone. The tale is unfolded with a certain calm urgency, if that makes any sense.
It is set in England in the 1840's and was written by Wilkie Collins. He was a friend and sometimes rival of Charles Dickens. The original edition of the Moonstone was as a serial in Charles Dickens weekly magazine.
Several of the key players write a narrative of what they saw on the days preceding the disappearance, the actual incident and then the activities of the following year. This allows you to see totally different and sometimes contradictory sides of the story.
It is satirical, thoughtful, suspenseful, and romantic.
There are even some loose ends that are left dangling, just a little tease mind you, but enough that I will lay in bed many a night pondering them.
Two big thumbs up.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sherlock In Love

Set two years after Holmes has died a depressed and confused Watson keeps seeing him around every corner. But as his illusions start to become more real he is drawn into the past through his and Holmes' journals. Watson discovers a common thread that runs through several of their great adventures that was until then unknown to him.

As Watson investigates present day happenings it reveals a history of Holmes which he had no idea about. This book is one of the best I have read: warm, comforting and familiar. And yet it reveals an ending that I NEVER saw coming and that knocked my socks off.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Free book alert

Anne over at Not Entirely British is running weekly contests!

I agree, very generous of her!So go check it out.

This week the book is:Cameron Taylor's Does Your Bag Have Holes? 24 Truths That Lead to Financial and Spiritual Freedom.

April, this may be right up your alley. Not that I am trying to say I have been up your alley. Oh, wait something is going terrribly wrong with this post!

Just go and check out this giveaway!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Reading Challenge

I decided that for one of my New Year's Resolutions that I would join 3 reading challenges!

Are you so excited also?

So the first is the Young Adult Book Challenge

And because I don't know how to stop myself I also am joining the

Cynthia, why are you joining this one?

1. I love love love historical fiction

2. Look at the button:

Hello Mr. Darcy!!!

Young Adult Reading Challenge

This is the post where I will list my Young Adult Reading Challenge Books
1. The Last Treasure by Janet S. Anderson
2. The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope