Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Sunday Salon- February Wrap-up

I'm happy to say that February was a great month of reading for me and as of right now I am on track to hit 100 books this year. I know my reading will slow down in the summer time but for now I am enjoying the colder weather. Although I am about done with the snow :) Anyways, this month I read:

  • Fatal February by Barbara Levenson- This was so-so for me...on one hand I enjoyed the mystery and the main character but I did have some issues with other parts of the story. I ended up liking it but not loving it.

  • Ramses, Volume I: Son of Light by Christian Jacq- I've been wanting to read historical fiction this year and this was a perfect example of why. I LOVED this book and be on the lookout for a review of it this week at some point.

  • Heartstopper by Joy Fielding- Another good thriller from Mrs. Fielding! I'll be looking up her backlist and reading the other books that she has written.

  • The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick- I was sent this book to review and I'm so glad that I had the chance to read it. I'll be sharing a guest post on March 5th as well as my review so be on the lookout for it. Great read!

  • Wicked By Any Other Name by Linda Wisdom- If you remember back, I read and reviewed Hex Appeal by this author and enjoyed it. This is the next in the series and was just as enjoyable as the previous one that I had read. I HAVE to get the 1st book in this series and read it ASAP!

  • Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen- What a fun read! I read this for a bunch of challenges and am definitely going to be continuing on with this series.

  • Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn- This was a reread for me but a great start to this series. I will be reviewing and participating in a blog tour for this series so expect to see this review sometime this week as well. BTW-how do you incorporate YouTube videos into your posts? If someone could comment and let me know that would be great!

So that is it for me. I'm currently reading In The Woods by Tana French which is number 18 for the year. I'm not very far into it but I do like it so far. I'm also working on America and the Age of Genocide. I've learned so much from this book already! I'm behind in reviews as always (I've only reviewed one book for the month of February) but I am determined to catch up. I've also joined the 1% Well Read Challenge and Orbis Terrarum Challenge which is craziness but I'm excited! I'll be by to see all of your posts later today...happy reading :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

What is it with so many books having two guys chasing after the same girl? On the risk of going off on a bit of a tangent rather than reviewing this book, I have to say that it is becoming quite common. I mean Jacob and Edward in the Twilight books, Adam and Samuel in this series, Ranger and Joe in the Plum series (I haven't gotten to that point in this series but have heard about it) and I'm sure there are more out there. Quite the dilemma for the heroine. I suppose it is the idea of two guys fighting over the girl that is appealing but anyways before I get off track... :)

Give a brief summary:

In the 2nd installment in the Mercy Thompson series, Mercy helps Stefan out and gets herself into a worldwind of trouble. Now she is dealing with sorcerors, demons, vampires, and werewolves and has her hands full. Plus, she is still trying to sort out her feelings between Adam and Samuel.


Everything about this book and this series so far. Mercy's character is unique and likeable and I love that she is so headstrong. The world that Briggs creates draws me in and I get lost within the book. I love the chemistry between Adam and Mercy and am hoping that they eventually find each other. I also enjoy all of the other elements that Briggs includes within these novels including the fae, vampires, and other things that go bump in the night. This story was fast-paced and intense with a bit of edge to it that kept me turning the pages as fast as I could.


None. Other than I am ready for some resolution between the Adam-Samuel-Mercy triangle that is going on. But it doesn't detract from the story in the least in my opinion so I can't really count that as a dislike. I just want to know which guy she chooses! Chalk it up to my impatience but it will be one of the reasons why I pick up the next book sooner rather than later.

Additional thoughts?

Hmmm...give this series a try! It is a great start if you haven't tried any urban fantasy in my opinion and might get you more interested in this genre. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the 3rd book in this series. I'm liking this series so much that I might have to buy copies for my keeper shelf (which is rare for me).

My Rating/Recommendations: 4.5 out of 5; Recommended to urban fantasy and paranormal romance fans!
Challenges: Support Library Challenge, 100+ Book Challenge, 2nds Challenge, A-Z Challenge ("B" Author)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Library Loot- February 26th

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Alessandra that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post any time during the week-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky. And of course check out what other participants are getting from the library.

I really didn't go to the library this week other to pick up the books that came in for me. America and the Age of Genocide came back in so I'm back to reading that along with another book. I've gotten myself a bit overextended between review and library books so I might try going to the library less in the next couple of weeks. I am not sure if that will work but we'll see. I just have so many good books that I really want to read and not enough time in the day to get to them all. From the library this week came:

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah- I've been wanting to read this one for awhile now and finally got around to requesting it.

Heat Stroke by Rachel Caine- I read and enjoyed the 1st book in this series so I'm hoping that this one is just as good ;)

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga- This is for the Book Awards II and Orbis Terrarum Challenge.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld- I've been wanting to read this one for awhile now so I finally took the time to request it.

That's my loot for this week. Blogger is doing funny things with my pictures and the spacing so sorry for reposting this so many times. Let me know if you've read any of these and what you thought. Happy reading :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

Give a brief summary of the book:

Harper and Tolliver are back and this time Harper is showing her skills off to a college professor and his class. While it is obvious that the professor believes that Harper is a fraud, as only he has seen the secret records of how every person in the cemetary has died there isn't much he can say to discredit her especially when she finds an unexpected body. Before Harper and Tolliver know it they are caught up in the midst of another mystery with some clients from their past.


Hmm...I liked everything about this book. It was nice to get back to Harper and Tolliver and once again I found myself caught up in the mystery. Their relationship shifted a bit in this book which has made me more interested in seeing how the rest of the series turns out. I enjoy Harper's character and can't help but root for her. Charlaine Harris writes with such fluidity that I find myself carried on in her stories and before I know it the book is already finished. Seriously, I flew through this one :)


I can't say that I have any serious qualms with this series so far. I'm still a little bit weirded out by Tolliver and Harper's relationship but I think that is more from the fact that they haven't figured it out yet. I'll be interested in seeing the direction that Harris takes with this and personally I'm not sure which way I want it to go. LOL! I'm a bit wishy-washy on it.

Additional Thoughts:

The only thing that I want to add is that I obviously need to get going on the Sookie series if I am enjoying this one so much. I will definitely be picking up the 3rd book in this series and am planning on reading Harris' other mystery series as well.

My Rating/Recommendations: 4 out of 5; Recommended to mystery lovers but start with the 1st in this series
Challenges: Support Library Challenge, 100+ Book Challenge, A-Z Challenge ("G" Title)

**I've decided to use this format for books in series...I find it is hard to review them without giving away spoilers and this makes it easier :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Sunday Salon- Imitation In Death by J.D. Robb

Good morning everyone! I hope everyone is warm and cozy wherever they are. We just got a few more inches of snow here and it feels like winter may never end. That being said, yesterday was a perfect day to curl up with a book and that is just what I did. I gulped down New Moon by Stephanie Meyer and found that it was the perfect way to spend the day (aside from cleaning which couldn't be ignored). I also finished The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick this week and absolutely LOVED it! I'm excited to have found this new author and am looking forward to reading the other two books in this trilogy. I've picked up Wicked By Any Other Name by Linda Wisdom as my next read and am excited to begin it. Oh yeah, America and the Age of Genocide came back in from the library so I'm back to reading that as well. Yay! Well, that's my reading news for the week so on to the review:

Imitation In Death is a continuation of the In Death series featuring Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke. In this novel, Eve is dealing with a killer who imitates famous serial killers like Jack the Ripper. The killer leaves a note on the body of his first victim addressed to Dallas, and just like that Eve is caught up in a new case.

I really enjoyed this book and find that for me this series just gets stronger and better. I love the characters and their relationships with one another which is what makes this series for me. They grow from book to book and it is fun to see it. Eve is prickly and difficult but I just love her as the main character. And the ending of this book was great! I'm so excited to see how this changes or affects Peabody and Eve's relationship or if it doesn't change it at all. Of course, I love this series but if you haven't read it yet then give it a try!

My Rating/Recommendations: 4 out of 5; Recommended to those who enjoy mysteries, romance, and lots of character growth
Challenges: 100+ Book Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge, A-Z Challenge ("R" Author)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Call of the Highland Moon by Kendra Leigh Castle

If you all remember awhile back I got the chance to read Dark Highland Moon by this author and absolutely loved it. I was in the mood for a good romance and it fit the bill for me. Unfortunately, it was the 2nd book in this series and so I added the first one to my TBR list to go back to. I ended up requesting this one from the library when I realized I was craving another romance and happily this didn't disappoint.

Let's begin with a bit about the book: Gideon (a werewolf) has run to America trying to get his head on straight and learn to be the future leader of his pack. He is looking for something more but isn't sure what that is. Gideon has just decided to go back home and accept his responsibilities when he is attacked by a group of werewolves. Carly finds him in his wolf form on her doorstep wounded and brings what she thinks is a very large dog home with her. And the story begins...

I will admit that I am a sucker for a well-laid out romance once in awhile and this author can write one. I was hooked from the first page and barely put the book down unless I absolutely had too :) I loved the romance and chemistry between Carly and Gideon and couldn't get enough of their story. I wasn't sure how it was going to work between the two of them but the author pulled it all together in the end for me. The ending made the book for me and although I can't sure for sake of spoilers suffice it to say that it was awesome! I love the mix of paranormal and romance in this series and am so glad that I found out about this author. I would highly recommend this book to those who enjoy paranormal romances and of course the 2nd book as well.

My Rating/Recommendations: 4.5 out of 5; Recommended to readers of romance and paranormal romances (highly recommended!)
Challenges: Support Library Challenge, 100+ Book Challenge, 1st in a Series Challenge, Romance Reading Challenge

P.S.- I was lucky enough to score an ARC of the 3rd book in this series and am dying to read it! I'll wait till closer to the publishing date though and I think that I will reread the 2nd book while I'm at it :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Library Loot- February 18th

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Alessandra that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post any time during the week-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky. And of course check out what other participants are getting from the library.

I had to return a bunch of books this week (unread which was a bummer) and of course I picked up a few as well. I was in the middle of reading America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power but couldn't renew it so it went back as well. I've already re-requested it and hopefully it will come in soon. All of the books that I returned unread are on my TBR list and I will be checking out again at a later date. And just to add to the craziness I put a few on hold that I've been dying to read. I've come to realize that it makes me feel happier to have a few extra books checked out of the library just in case. In case of what, who really knows but I'm weird like that ;)

Here's what I picked up for this week:

Blindness by Jose Saramago- I've been meaning to try this author for some time now and this fits in perfectly with the Book Awards II challenge that I really need to be working on.

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen- This fits into a number of challenges I've joined plus I've been in the mood for a good cozy mystery.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale- Another one that I've been wanting to read for sounds so good!

What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn- Another one for the Book Awards II Challenge.

I have a few on hold from the library and if they come in during the next couple of days I'll try to add them. Sometimes I think that I just can't read fast enough :) If you've read any of these, leave me a comment and let me know what you've thought. It is much appreciated!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fatal February by Barbara Levenson

Fatal February begins with Mary Magruder getting rear-ended at the car wash. What follows is the beginning to a whole new change in Mary's life as she breaks off her engagement, starts her own practice as a lawyer, and begins a new love affair with Carlos the man who tail-ended her car. Mary is also dealing with a high profile case as she defends Lillian Yarmouth who is accused of killing her husband. Mary has bitten off more than she can chew as she is dealing with proving her client's innocence and dealing with being sued by her ex. Fatal February ends up being a light and easy legal thriller/mystery.

Let's start off with what I liked about this novel first. My favorite thing about the entire novel were the descriptions the author included of Florida. It is obvious that she has lived in and loved Florida and the way she describes the scenery in the book made me feel like I was there. The main character was fun to read about and kept me entertained throughout the novel. She wasn't afraid to make decisions and stick with them and was headstrong about the way she felt about different things. Plus, Mary just had a knock 'em dead attitude and you couldn't help but root for her. The mystery was interesting although not very complex and the ending had enough of a twist to keep me surprised.

Although I enjoyed Mary's character, I wasn't much of a fan of Carlos. In my opinion, Carlos and Mary's relationship was a bit one dimensional. I felt that the author could have developed their relationship more as it just didn't come across as very realistic. Carlos also didn't come across in a very favorable light to me and I found myself not caring for him very much. That being said I did like the book found it to be a light, fun read.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5
Challenges: New Author Challenge, 100+ Challenge, A-Z Challenge ("L" Author)

P.S. - Thanks to Lance for letting me be a part of this blog tour! I'm posting this a bit early since I have to work tomorrow :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Sunday Salon- Mini Reviews

Time to catch up on a couple of reviews and what better time to do it than during the Sunday Salon. This week I finished reading Heartstopper by Joy Fielding and it didn't disappoint. This was only my 2nd book by Fielding and I will definitely be reading more by her. After finishing Heartstopper, I picked up The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick. The Kingmaking is a historical fiction book based on the legend of Arthur. I'm not very far into it at all but so far so good. I'm still working on America and the Age of Genocide. Right now I'm reading about Cambodia and the KR and while it is not always easy reading it is definitely informative. So on to the reviews!

A book that I read awhile ago but haven't had the chance to review is Shadow Game by Christine Feehan. Shadow Game is the first in the "game" series (I believe) and introduces us to Lily and a bunch of men that are army trained for their psychic abilities. Lily has psychic abilities herself and forms a strong connection with Ryland the commander of these men. Danger lurks as there are others who don't want these men known as the Nightwalkers to exist.
I'm going to cut to the chase and say that this one was just okay for me. I liked the idea behind the story but it didn't flow very well for me and I didn't connect with any of the characters. I don't mind reading about sex but even those scenes seemed forced in the book and not very realistic. There was almost too much emphasis on Lily and Ryland's sexual relationship and not enough on the actual storyline. I'll admit to being a bit disappointed with this one but curious enough to give the second book in this series a try. If that one doesn't work for me than I'll just figure that this series isn't for me. I know Feehan has other series that I can try as well but I'll have to wait and see.
My Rating: 3 out of 5

Don't Talk Back to Your Vampire by Michelle Bardsley is the 2nd book in the Broken Heart series and was a fun read. I really enjoyed the first book and was excited when I found this one at the library. Eva is the town librarian and another one of the new vampires that was formed after Lorcan attacked. She is dealing with all of the issues that go along with being a vampire as well as a single mother to a teenage girl. And then she realizes that she has to deal with her growing attraction to Lorcan the vampire who killed her.
This was a fun, enjoyable read that I picked up and then couldn't put down. I enjoyed the chemistry between Eva and Lorcan and was rooting for them to find their happy ending. Eva was a strong main character and I liked reading about her. I identified with her love of books (who wouldn't?) and her love of animals. While I didn't love this one as much as I did the first book in this series, I did enjoy it and will be looking for the third soon. A great series so far and I do recommend if you enjoy paranormal romance.
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer

When I began The Reluctant Widow I wasn't sure what to expect, and I was delighted to find that this was such a fun read. Elinor Rochdale gets on the wrong coach (she is supposed to begin a new governess position) and finds herself caught up in a whirlwind adventure. She meets Mr. Carlyon, is convinced to marry his dying cousin, and becomes a widow all in the course of one night. Unfortunately, after becoming a widow she finds that she is caught up in a mystery that she cannot get out of along with a bit of danger. The best part though is that there is so much more to this book and before I knew it I was caught up in the novel.

I was instantly entranced when I began reading this novel and drawn into the time period. Elinor is a strong female main character which was surprising considering the time period that the book was set in along with the fact that she isn't wealthy. She has a dry sense of humor and wit that she used on Lord Carlyon constantly throughout the story. There were a few times that she had me laughing out loud and I really enjoyed her character. Georgette Heyer's characters all came alive for me in this novel and I enjoyed reading about their interactions with one another. I also enjoyed the character of Cousin Nicky and how Elinor dealt with him and his youthful exploits. The writing was easy to get into and helped me to feel that I was in that time period.

All in all, this book pleasantly surprised me and I will be looking for more by this author. Filled with dry humor, mystery, suspense, and a bit of romance, The Reluctant Widow was a great read that I will definitely be recommending. For all of you who have read Georgette Heyer, what do you recommend that I try from her next? And a huge thanks to Danielle from Sourcebooks for sending me this wonderful novel. I loved it!

My rating/Recommendations: 4.5 out of 5; Recommended to anyone who enjoys romance and/or historical fiction

Challenges: New Author Challenge, A-Z Challenge ("R" Title), 100+ Challenge, Winter Reading Challenge, Historical Fiction Challenge

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Sunday Salon- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Good morning Sunday Saloners! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is one of those books that I put off to review too long and is now leftover from 2008. I've gushed over the series a lot here and I'm not going to stop now. Let's just start off with a brief and hopefully spoiler free summary:

The book begins with Harry, Ron, and Hermione at the Weasley house getting ready for Charlie's wedding. They are also trying to prepare for the journey that they are about to embark upon. The action starts shortly after and before the reader knows it we are on the journey with them looking for the Horcruxes. Rowling is a very talented author and is able to pull the reader into the story with ease. Whenever I was reading any books in this series I found myself immersed without even realizing it. I literally could not put these books down and would be reading them late into the night.

What makes this book great is that you see the struggles that Harry and his friends go through to find the Horcruxes. I was rooting for them the entire time and trying not to rush through the book to see how it was going to end. I felt like we saw the characters grow in this book and I couldn't help but wish they were my friends too :) The last 200 pages or so of this book were amazing and once I got to this point I couldn't stop. The emotions that ran through me as I read it were such a mixture that at one point I was smiling and a little while later I was crying. What an amazing read! My only complaint was I wanted more at the end but even that wasn't really a complaint. I just wasn't ready to leave Harry's world and would have been happy to keep reading even more.

This series were my top reads of 2008 and I believe I rated each of them a 5 out of 5. I will be rereading this series in the future and will be glad to revisit my friends at Hogwarts. I can't help but restate that if you haven't read this series (or believe it is just not your thing) then you might give it a try. Highly recommended and with only positive things to say!

** In other Salon news, I finished two books this week. Fatal February by Barbara Levenson was a review book and I will be posting my review on the 18th for the book tour. I have a bit of mixed feelings on this one but you'll have to wait for my review to see why. I also finished Ramses: Son of Light by Christian Jacq and was entranced by this novel. There are more in this series that I will be picking up soon. I'm currently reading Heartstopper by Joy Fielding but not very far in so I'll save my thoughts for later. My mom gave me a borrowed copy of New Moon to read so I'll probably be jumping back into that series soon. That's it out of me so I'll let you all get back to reading :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton

**This interview/review format was borrowed from Bookfool. She's great at it and always has the most interesting reviews :)

Give us a brief summary (spoiler free):

Circus of the Damned brings Anita back and dealing with the possibilities of having to be Jean Claude's human servant. She is also involved in a police investigation where it looks like vampires are attacking people. Trouble is brewing and of course Anita is in the middle of it.

What did you like about this book?

I liked this book because we were able to see a different side of Anita. She is struggling with her feelings for Jean Claude, trying to date, and working insane hours as always. Before she knows it she is also dealing with multiple master vampires and trying not to be killed. I also liked ending of this book even though I can't share the details with you here for fear of spoilers. Suffice it to say that it came across as more realistic than previous books.


Hmm...a dislike for me is that these books can be a bit gory. "Chunks of human flesh" is a bit of a turnoff. I tend to skim through those parts but I do love the action involved in the book. It keeps you on your toes wondering how Anita will manage to survive.

Additional thoughts?

I know I'm only three deep into this series but this one is my favorite so far. I related more to Anita and I liked seeing that she struggled with her feelings over Jean Claude. Plus, as I've said previously I liked the ending of this one. I'm anxious to see what troubles Anita gets herself into next. And I almost forgot that I enjoyed the character of the new zombie animator that was introduced. Although I've already forgotten his name ;) All in all, a good read and I will be continuing on with this series.

My Rating/Recommendation: 4 out of 5; Recommended to those who enjoy dark urban fantasy.
Challenges: A-Z Challenge ("C" Title), Support Library, 100+ Challenge

**I'm planning on getting a few more reviews posted as soon as I can. I hate getting backed up and I'm already falling behind for this new year.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Library Loot- February 5th

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Alessandra that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post any time during the week-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky. And of course check out what other participants are getting from the library.

Okay, I seriously was not going to go to the library this week. I had looked at my towering stack of books that I already had checked out and at my review books stack and decided I would skip a week. And that it wouldn't hurt me one bit. But then I had to stop over at Eva's blog and see what everyone else found at the library and I was bitten by the library bug. I realized I couldn't not go but if I went I would just pick out maybe one great book. Great intentions, huh? I ended up walking out with 6 and will probably be kicking myself later but right now I'm happy :) No pictures this week though because I'm supposed to be working on my resume and other various items for possible fall teaching jobs.
  • Bitten by Kelley Armstrong- I believe this is considered urban fantasy (correct me if I'm wrong) and fits in well with some of my challenges.
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker- I found this while browsing through the YA Classics section and couldn't pass it by.
  • Night by Elie Wiesel- I've been meaning to read this one for awhile now. I'm currently reading America and the Age of Genocide and the section I just finished was over WWII. Hence, my renewed interest in reading more from this time period.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde- One of my reading groups is reading this (I believe) and if they aren't I've decided I still want to :)
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi- I've gone over to the dark side and decided to try a graphic novel. I also picked up the second one and will use these for my year of reading dangerously.
  • Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi- I picked up both of these because I heard you are supposed to read them together. I went to a library that I usually don't go to a lot and figured I should get both while I was there.

So that's it for me. Once again, too many books but obviously I haven't let that stop me. I'm reading Ramses: Volume I by Christian Jacq right now and am loving it. I am so glad that I picked this one up and will be reading the rest of these. Still plugging away at America and the Age of Genocide as well. Happy reading!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

I'm going to be honest here and admit that I had no idea how to even begin to review this book. Toni Morrison is already noted and celebrated as an amazing and important author of our time. This is her first novel and also my first time reading anything by her. I can't even begin to fathom what her other books might be like and how amazing they must be.
In The Bluest Eye, we are introduced to Claudia (our narrator) and her sister Frieda. From the beginning the reader also knows that while Claudia is narrating this isn't her story and unfortunately that this isn't going to be a happy story. Once I wrapped my mind around that fact I was ready to begin this novel.
The story is centered around Pecola Breedlove and her family known throughout town as the ugliest family. Throughout the novel there are times where we see past events from Pecola's mother and father's lives. Sadly, it is thru these events that shape the unfortunate events that are soon about to take place.
This isn't an easy read by any means but it is an amazing book. I can't say much else. Morrison is a gifted writer who through this novel is able to comment on society's obsession with beauty, race, and families. I think that some of the points she makes might have flown right over my head and this book would definitely warrant a rereading in the future. Just to give you a taste of Morrison's writing:

"Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do."

Morrison's writing is both stark and beautiful. Sorry, I would have shared more with you but I've already taken the book back to the library. While this wasn't a happy novel by any means it was such a great novel that I can't help but recommend it to anyone and everyone. Be advised that there are graphic parts that are cringeworthy and a bit painful to read. It is only painful because as the reader you become invested in the characters. I wanted a happy ending even if I knew that I wasn't going to get it. All in all, a book that will probably be considered a classic in the future. I am definitely going to read more of Morrison in the future!

My rating: 5 out of 5
Challenges: TBR Challenge, New Author Challenge, Support Library Challenge, Winter Reading Challenge, A-Z Challenge ("M" Author), and Book Awards Challenge II (Pulitzer Winner), Year of Reading Dangerously, 100+ Challenge

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Sunday Salon - Matrimony by Joshua Henkin

I didn't review anything this week (I was busy substitute teaching among other things) so I think I'll use this time to catch up on a review that I was planning on posting. The author, Joshua Henkin, has been all over the blogsphere promoting his book so when I got the chance to read it I was very excited. I am happy to say that I wasn't disappointed!

Matrimony begins with the reader being introduced to Julian Wainwright who is off at college and is an aspiring writer. At college he meets Carter who will become his best friend and Mia who will become his wife. Henkin takes us on an emotional ride through Julian's life. We get to see the struggles and joys of marriage and the highs and lows. I enjoyed this novel and loved following along with Julian and Mia's life. I came to care about the characters and of course wanted to see everything end happily :) Mr. Henkin writes with a nice flow and I found myself swept away with the story and its' characters. Here is a passage that I particulary enjoyed just for the writing itself:
"She nudged Julian out of bed and they shambled in their pajamas through the house. She felt desperate for him to know her better, felt a conviction that despite having been with her for three years, he didn't apprehend her at all. From her parents' bedroom came the sinister whirr of the white-noise machine. She felt somnolent, guiding Julian through a haze from which she feared she would never emerge."
I also liked that we got to see Julian's struggles with writing and trying to write a book. This was a family and friendship oriented novel that is worth reading. All in all, a good read and I'm glad that I picked it up.

My Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommendation: Recommended for those who enjoy general fiction, women's fiction, or just a good book.
Challenges: New Author Challenge, 100+ Challenge, Winter Reading Challenge, A-Z Challenge ("H" Author)

In other Salon news, I had a very successful reading month in January. I know I probably won't be able to keep it up but if I could I would definitely make 100 books this year. I'll try to get an end of the month post up but who knows when...maybe next Sunday. I finished Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris and Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs this week. Both books were the 2nd in their series and very enjoyable. I can't wait to continue on with both of these series. I'm currently reading Fatal Febuary by Barbara Levenson (for review) and America and the Age of Genocide. I have a bunch of good books checked out from the library as well as review books so I need to get to reading :) So many books, so little time as they say! To all of you football fans, enjoy the Superbowl!