June 25, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson: August 29, 1958-June 25, 2009

I realize that my blog is supposed to be about books, but I had to pay my respects somehow. Whether you loved him or hated him, Michael Jackson will always be one of the most influential music artists of all time. His music videos were what inspired me to be a dancer for so many years. His videos made me realize my very real love for dance. It is so difficult to believe that he is gone. It feels strange, but I am incredibly sad. Michael, may you finally have some peace.

"If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same then everything in between can be dealt with." - Michael Jackson

June 11, 2009

Time To Get Off Our High Horse

I'll be the first to admit that I sometimes hate giving in to popular reading trends. I resisted the Twilight series until a friend convinced me to try it. I also refused to read Nicholas Sparks (until seeing the movie version of The Notebook), and Jodi Picoult because they were so "main stream." I have since done the same thing with other authors. But, on a whim, I decided to try out a trilogy that sounded like it might be interesting, even if the writing wasn't so great. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. So what I am saying, is that it is time for some of us avid readers to get off of our literary high horses and quit judging people because they read "light reading" books. Here is the book that brought this all on:

"After three boys accidentally awaken an ancient evil near their small Maryland town, the tight-knit community finds itself lost to a Stephen King–style plague of madness and destruction for a week every seven years. Twenty-one years later, those three boys, now grown, are hoping to find a way to stop the evil before its third return, which may mean the end of the town; they don't know much about the anomalies, but they do know that [e]very time it gets stronger. This time, the town is graced by author Quinn Black, eager to document the paranormal mystery. When two more women arrive—one an associate of Quinn's, the other led to town by strange visions—the circle of six decide to face the oncoming apocalypse together."

Yes, Nora Roberts... the woman who has written over 500 books. I actually enjoyed this book. The trilogy should be good. The characters are very likable. It's really not bad, I promise!

June 10, 2009

Bah! I Adored It!

Georgette Heyer - These Old Shades

"Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, is known by friends and enemies alike as Satanas--the devil. On this particular evening, the dangerous rake crosses paths with Léon, a red-headed youth of low birth who is fleeing a certain beating at his brutal brother's hands. On a whim, Avon buys the boy and makes him his page. It soon becomes clear, however, that Léon is not what he seems, and that Avon has an ulterior motive for bringing him into his household. Set in pre-Revolutionary France, These Old Shades follows a twisting course as young Léon (or is it Léonie?) is swept up in a dangerous mystery: how to account for the page's amazing resemblance to the sinister Compte de Saint Vire, for example; and why will this man go to any lengths to get the youth in his power?"

I secretly hate that plot summary, but it was one of the only ones that I could find without doing it myself. But regardless, Georgette Heyer has done it again! With every book that I read by her, I fall more and more in love with her writing. This genre is exactly what a historical romanctic fiction fan craves! The romance is always just below the surface, so it doesn't slap you in the face. And the history... what could I possibly say about the historical aspects of the book? They are perfection. This particular book was wonderful because of the delightful Leon/Leonie. She reminds me a bit of Eliza Dolittle meets Jo March. And I adore her.

Fans of Heyer or of Jane Austen should definitely pick this book up for a read! Its mystery and romance is a perfect marriage. Enjoy!

Next up? I am trying out another vampire series called The House of Night. Everyone knows I love a good vampire story!

June 2, 2009

The Other Queen

"Biographers often neglect the captive years of Mary, Queen of Scots, who trusted Queen Elizabeth's promise of sanctuary when she fled from rebels in Scotland and then found herself imprisoned as the "guest" of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his indomitable wife, Bess of Hardwick.

The newly married couple welcome the doomed queen into their home, certain that serving as her hosts and jailers will bring them an advantage in the cutthroat world of the Elizabethan court. To their horror, they find that the task will bankrupt them, and as their home becomes the epicenter of intrigue and rebellion against Elizabeth, their loyalty to each other and to their sovereign comes into question. If Mary succeeds in seducing the earl into her own web of treachery and treason, or if the great spymaster William Cecil links them to the growing conspiracy to free Mary from her illegal imprisonment, they will all face the headsman."

Well, I finally got around to reading another Philippa Gregory book. While I liked the first two that I read (The Constant Princess, The Other Boleyn Girl), I was not necessarily a fan of this one. I think that Mary Queen of Scots was an interesting woman. But I found Gregory's writing in this book to be a bit long winded in the wrong spots. She went on and on and on about Bess's money and land obsession. It's like, "Alright, we get it." While she spent so much time on those sorts of things, the actual action sequences flew by without any sort of elaboration.

I don't know, parts of this book I did like. I mostly enjoyed the parts that Mary narrated. If you enjoy Philippa Gregory, go ahead and give this a shot. I listened to it on the Audio Book. I can't decide if that was a good choice or not. The voice of George Talbert was awful for me. But overall, I am glad that I can add another Gregory book on my "Already Read" pile.

Next for me? I am working on a fabulous Georgette Heyer! And I've got a trilogy by Nora Roberts that I am listening to on Audio Book. I never thought I would read any of her work since it's so.... well, you know. But I actually really like what I've got so far! Reviews will of course come!