Monday, October 31, 2011

Brida by Paulo Coelho

This is the story of Brida, a young Irish girl, and her quest for knowledge. She has long been interested in various aspects of magic but is searching for something more. Her search leads her to people of great wisdom, who begin to teach Brida about the spiritual world. She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her about overcoming her fears and trusting in the goodness of the world; and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world, and how to pray to the moon. As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to become a witch. This enthralling novel incorporates themes that fans of Paulo Coelho will recognize and treasure—it is a tale of love, passion, mystery, and spirituality from the master storyteller. (from Goodreads)

 I loved The Alchemist -- if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it -- and have always been meaning to pick up another Paulo Coelho book. Brida just happened to be on sale at the library, so I scooped it up and put it on my TBR pile, where it remained for several months. I brought it back up again when I found the audiobook at the library and decided to give it a listen.

The most interesting aspect of this book for me was the interplay between witchcraft and Christianity. As a Christian, I must admit I never really thought the two shared similarities. But Coelho did a great job of drawing parallels between the two on several points throughout the book. He really made me stretch my mind, look at something I thought I knew about in a new way, and examine my own beliefs. I always love when a book can do that.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Until I Die - By Amy Plum

The Book Nerds have been anxiously awaiting the release of Until I Die by Amy Plum ever since we read Die for Me. Here is a link to our interview with Amy Plum as well. 

For those of you who haven't see it yet, here is the cover of Until I Die.  It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL.  I didn't think it was possible, but I think I like this cover better than the first.  The release is scheduled for May 2012 and like a kid at Christmas, we will be counting down the days. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Flo's Review: Michael made me miss my bus stop. He did. I was engrossed in a very action-heavy scene, mentally screaming, "Michael!! Noo!!!" when I thought to glance up and saw the bus driving away from the spot where I was supposed to get off. Needless to say, I did enjoy this book. Emerson is a strong, female character in all aspects of the word: physically, because she is a little thing (petite like me!) but she can flip a grown man. Strong emotionally because she makes the choice to fully be alive, rather than just present in life, but fully doped on medicines. I do have to say that there are a few scenarios in the book that I would have liked more explanation for. A lot of things were hinted at and suggested, then just simply accepted by Emerson. I would have liked McEntire to be more plain in some of her explanations. Also, I think Riverbend Park would have made an amazing epilogue. (I am trying to be non-spoilery, but if you've read the book, you should know what I mean.) I have a feeling the second book will start off with maximum velocity now that a lot of the explanation is out of the way.

Teri's Review
Uggg..I have the most embarrassing confession..don't laugh at me..but I do not understand time travel AT ALL .Seriously! You know that part in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure where they travel into time to get the key to get them out of jail?Yea...I was as confused as Ted was in the whole move. And don't EVEN get me started on the Back to the Future movies! So when I picked up Hourglass and read the cover, I felt I was doomed. The book does deal with time travel and there were parts of the book I still went Huh? in, you know wormholes, portals, stopping time, but it wasn't so bad that I didn't enjoy the book. And luckily for the most part I was able to understand it, as long as I read it and didn't dwell on what they were doing. I liked all the characters in this book, which is kind of unheard of from me..Micheal, Kaleb and Emerson, and even the lesser characters such as Emerson's family and her best friend Lily. The romance between Micheal and Emerson was electrifying ( hee hee, you will understand if you read the book) with some occasional interference from Kaleb and Ava. Toward the end of the book, there are some WOW moments, but I'm not going to spoil them for you. Read it for yourself. Then come back, and try to explain to me those parts that confused me, you know..the time travel parts..I'm really wanting to take on Dr. Who!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I am so glad that I read this book! The first person that I called when I finished this book was my mother.  My mother is an older woman (now) but was a teenager at the same time  this book was set in.  She was actually able to tell me more than what the book entailed.  She told me more about the sit-ins, the protests, and what it really meant to be in a different "class".  I felt like what she was saying happened a million years ago, but it was not. 
Skeeter knew that the world could change but she was not sure how to change with it.  It was the 1960's in Mississippi: Ablieen Clark was a black maid who worked for Skeeter's best friend and Minny, also a black maid who got fired from one job and had to lie to get another. 

Now, as badly as I want to tell you eveyr inch of this book.....I am not going to.  Because I feel that everyone need to read this book.  I laughed at Minny's craziness, I cried at Skeeter's and Ablieen's frustrations, and I cheered for the ending. 

It truly deserved every award it receives.

Snowman By Jo Nesbo

I did not realize when I started this book that it was #7 in the Series.  However, I did not feel lost in it at all.  There was enough back story to inform me of what had happened in the previous chapters.

Harry Hole is a heavy drinker and the love of his life has left him.  He is going through a tough time when he begins to investigate several missing woman.  As he conducts his investigation, he comes to the realization that this is a serial killer and he has struck before.

The police do not want the public to know that there is a serial killer on the loose and they need a scapegoat. Harry is it.

Through the twist and turns of the book you start to feel really bad for Harry and all that he is going through.  The book did hold my attention and I did not see the ending coming at all. I would recommend it for others to read.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

"For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life." (From Goodreads)

I wasn't going to do a full review for this one, since I know that I am the late one to the party in reading it. A look at my Goodreads feed shows that, seriously, a LOT of my friends have already read it. But I was writing up a little Goodreads review and it was getting lengthy, so here we go:

The first book always has the issue of trying to set up the supernatural world. I felt in this book it took a little too long to get to the Big Reveal, especially since I am assuming (which is bad, I know) that most readers already know what Patch is before they even start reading.

I think the series of strange occurrences could have been cut down. There were more than a couple of times when I found myself rolling my eyes at some "scheme" Nora and Vee had cooked up. On a random note, I did not really like Patch for the majority of the book. It's just funny because everyone always swoons about him, and BookNerd Teri even ranked him just below Jace in her brackets. But amidst all that I was like, "Patch? Ehh....he's not nice! He's sketchy! He might be trying to hurt her!"
But it was a line from him at he end of the book that I thought was the sweetest line EVER and left me feeling all warm and fuzzy and eager to read Crescendo. I think the second book in the series will be better than Hush, Hush due to the fact that the scenario is already set up.


Monday, October 3, 2011

October Read Alongs

Monthly Read: Possession by Elana Johnson
Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.
But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashed Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous: everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play. (Barnes and Noble Overview) 

Mystery Corner: The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. After two years of wrong turns, Haller is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as Haller prepares for the case that could launch him into the big time, he learns that Vincent's killer may be coming for him next.
Enter Harry Bosch. Determined to find Vincent's killer, he is not opposed to using Haller as bait. But as danger mounts and the stakes rise, these two loners realize their only choice is to work together.
Bringing together Michael Connelly's two most popular characters, The Brass Verdict is sure to be his biggest book yet. (Barnes and Noble Overview)

Book to Movie: Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant

Maupassant's second novel, Bel-Ami (1885) is the story of a ruthlessly ambitious young man (Georges Duroy, christened "Bel-Ami" by his female admirers) making it to the top in fin-de-sihcle Paris. It is a novel about money, sex, and power, set against the background of the politics of the French colonization of North Africa. It explores the dynamics of an urban society uncomfortably close to our own and is a devastating satire of the sleaziness of contemporary journalism.
Bel-Ami enjoys the status of an authentic record of the apotheosis of bourgeois capitalism under the Third Republic. But the creative tension between its analysis of modern behavior and its identifiably late nineteenth-century fabric is one of the reasons why Bel-Ami remains one of the finest French novels of its time, as well as being recognized as Maupassant's greatest achievement as a novelist. (Barnes and Noble Overview)

Book Review-10th Anniversary James Patterson

Goodreads Summary 

For every secret
Detective Lindsay Boxer's long-awaited wedding celebration becomes a distant memory when she is called to investigate a horrendous crime: a badly injured teenage girl is left for dead, and her newborn baby is nowhere to be found. Lindsay discovers that not only is there no trace of the criminals--but that the victim may be keeping secrets as well.

For every lie
At the same time, Assistant District Attorney Yuki Castellano is prosecuting the biggest case of her life--a woman who has been accused of murdering her husband in front of her two young children. Yuki's career rests on a guilty verdict, so when Lindsay finds evidence that could save the defendant, she is forced to choose. Should she trust her best friend or follow her instinct?

There's a different way to die
Lindsay's every move is watched by her new boss, Lieutenant Jackson Brady, and when the pressure to find the baby begins interfering with her new marriage to Joe, she wonders if she'll ever be able to start a family. With James Patterson's white-hot speed and unquenchable action, 10th Anniversary is the most deliciously chilling Women's Murder Club book ever

Teri's Review
I have always been a James Patterson fan, which is saying a lot, as I usually do not read mysteries at all.  You can probably tell from my lack of reviews each month on our mystery posts. His books are easy to read, filled with short chapters and not to many details to bog down my mind. 10th anniversary didn't fail to entertain me , I have always enjoyed the Lindsey Boxer stories and was thrilled that she and Joe finally tied the knot. As usual in James Patterson's books, several stories are taking place over the course of the book. This one mostly dealt with a teenager who misplaces her newborn, a series of drugged rapes and a murder trial for Yuki.

James Patterson's stand alone books are some of my favorites, and several have been written with Maxine Paetro. Maybe this is why I enjoy James Patterson so much. It is refreshing to read a book, even one in a series, that can be read without having to read all of the preceding books. I can promise a twist at the end..always..with James Patterson. But they end, and you can go on without having to wonder what happens next...until the next one comes along.