a Springtime reading update

Photo May 02, 11 56 19 AM

I’ve been doing that terrible thing I do where I read several books at once and take forever to finish any of them because I’m constantly switching between stories. At the moment, I’m having an affair with…

Photo May 02, 1 25 05 PM


Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

This epic tome of epic proportions is a spinoff of The Last of the Mohicans, though you don’t need to be familiar with the history of Hawkeye to appreciate this novel. It follows the life and times of Elizabeth Middleton, who arrives in New York from England to settle on her father’s estate, known as Paradise. She soon learns that her father has more planned for her than she realized when agreeing to join him and her brother in Paradise, but Mr. Middleton’s plans are foiled when Elizabeth meets Nathaniel Bonner, Hawkeye’s son who lives between two worlds. The novel is part love story, part adventure, and filled with historical detail and interesting characters.

Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl

I actually finished this one! I downloaded Keeping the Castle while testing my library’s new 3m Cloud subscription (for which I was responsible and was dying to test it out before leaving), so it was really a random choice but a wonderful read nonetheless. The blurb on the digital copy likens it to I Capture the Castle, but while it has a similar theme (teen girl lives in a castle with her mad family), I would say that the similarities end there. Keeping the Castle is more Regency farce than coming of age novel. It’s a fun read for any Jane Austen fan, but the narrative bears more resemblance to the comedy in Bridget Jones than Dodie Smith’s classic.

Tanamera by Neol Barber

I only just started reading this one a few days ago and haven’t been able to make much headway yet, but it offers a fascinating account of life in Singapore in the early 20th century. I read it’s supposed to be loosely based on a true story, but don’t know enough about the history to comment on that. It reminds me a bit of Gone with the Wind, especially the account of privilege, balls, and life on the rubber plantations.

VB6 by Mark Bittman

I enjoy the occasional book about food and lifestyle, and VB6 intrigued me from the moment I first saw it for sale at Target. I finally got around to picking it up from my library and have been reading it in the mornings. I was curious to read his take on eating vegan before dinner, since this is something that I’ve been doing for a few years and have found it to be really effective for keeping my own health issues in check.


February reading wrap-up

Finally finished A Dance with Dragons, the only TBR book I’ve managed to read from my personal collection… Oh well, the year is young and my ROOT challenge entry is modest. Suffice it to say, Dragons left me torn and shaken with a hefty side of withdrawal.

Have mostly been reading books on writing lately. Among these, Stephen King’s On Writing may be my favorite, but James Scott Bell’s Revision and Self-editing for Publication is the most useful. Both are great reads and sources of writerly inspiration.

Next up… The Cuckoo’s Calling (after about 300 holds, it finally arrived at my library 🙂 ).


It’s a weakness…

So I checked out a book… It was a hold request, it would be wrong of me not to pick it up… Right? Yes, I think so. Good. All agreed.


Summer Reading, part 4

Summer is very nearly over. Just a few more weeks and students will be back and it will feel like all work and no play once again. I’ve managed to read (or try to read) most of the books on my self-appointed summer reading list, with the exception of the Kate Locke book… I’ve been distracted by library holds that arrived all at once. I’ll try to get to it before the summer ends.

My latest read was Among Others by Jo Walton, a story about magic, ethics, sci-fi, and growing up. It’s one of those books that starts slow but then sucks you in and doesn’t let go even after you’ve finished. I stayed up reading this one (and I’m a strict 8 hour sort of girl, I don’t stay up for any old book).


Of course, despite my best effort to be a responsible book keeper, I’ve gone out and acquired more books… It can’t be helped. I’ve been wanting to read these for ages and they were autographed, so I gave in.


I really only went to the shop for the pins… Talk about impulse buys.

Summer Reading, part 2…

or getting my YA on

Finished Beautiful Creatures last night and can’t wait to get my hands on Beautiful Darkness. I was really surprised that I enjoyed the book as much as I did. I’d been getting away from YA during the last year… I’d had a hard time finding books that I could connect with and was starting to worry that I was losing my youthful whimsy. I haven’t lost it :). Beautiful Creatures drew me in from the start. It’s not perfect—there are some scenes that turned me off, especially the party scene, and it’s YA, so there is bound to be the near insta-love element that is so common in this kind of fiction, but it worked for me.

What I find especially engaging is the way that the Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl evoke the unique character of the South. The individual voices are wonderful–especially among the adults in the book. Who doesn’t love Ethan’s kooky aunts and the magical Amma?–and the settings are nicely rendered and imagined. There is a great atmospheric quality to the narrative that almost reminds me of Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches series (without all the minute details).

I was afraid this would be one of those in-the-shadow of Twilight books, but it is most definitely not. The romance between Ethan and Lena is easy and develops naturally, though you know it’s bound to happen the moment they meet and there’s that shock of attraction (and I do mean shock). There’s love and sacrifice, but it’s not a toxic love, and that’s one of the best things I can say about any YA depiction of romance.

Even as I write this, I find myself thinking of The China Garden by Liz Berry, another great YA read about a family curse and one of my favorite books. I’m sure fans of Beautiful Creatures would love it too!

Summer Reading, part 1

or book geek problems…

I love my library, but sometimes I am overwhelmed by the number of holds that I receive at the same time. Like the ones I received this week. I started Clockwork Princess, only to receive Beautiful Creatures a couple of days later… so I had to put CP on hold because BC is a no-renewals, high demand copy. Must read it now, or else! And it is awesome! I’m totally engrossed in the story and so glad I decided to give it a shot. I’m falling in love with YA again this summer.

Now, I’m almost through the book… my reading has slowed to a few stolen moments now that I’m so focused on writing… but now another of my long-time hold requests just came in! Must finish BC and start Bitterblue before I can get back to CP. ZOMG! It’s like a race to finish before my check out period is up.

And let’s not even talk about my getting back to GofT. A Storm of Swords is mocking me with its secrets.


there will be books!

Seriously. I promise. I’m reading way too many at a time as it is. I’ll post soon(ish).

But, for now, I’m planning the summer reads because summer is the best time to read like mad and stay out of the dreadful heat.

Some of my picks…

  • I will finish A Clash of Kings.
  • I’ll re-read The Great Gatsby
  • I’ll finally get to Elizabeth George’s The Edge of Nowhere (received it for review ages ago)
  • And read Cassandra Clare’s A Clockwork Princess, Gail Carriger’s Espionage & Etiquette and Kate Locke’s The Queen is Dead.
  • Also, I will check out Jo Walton’s Among Others from the library’s display.

I think I’m aiming too far here…

Reading Recap: 2012 in books

I read 54 books this year (to date). That’s less than I read last year, but more than I read the year before that. Either way, I met my goal of reading 50 books in 2012. To commemorate this year of reading, here are the best books I read this year (in no particular order).

Best Books I read in 2012

God Save the Queen (The Immortal Empire, #1) by Kate Locke

Paris in Love by Eloisa James

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Deerskin by Robin McKinley

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith (I published a review of this one, but guess I never blogged about it?)

You can check out all the books I read in 2012 on GoodReads.

Monthly Round-up: November 2010

Monthly Round-up for November 2010

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Currently Reading
No Greater Sacrifice by John Stipa
Felicity’s Story Collection – American Girl Collection

On Hold
Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson

The Monthly Round-up is a regular feature wherein I list the books I read each month.