Thursday, October 20, 2005

September's Books

I only read 9 books in September. Although none of them were particularly long or difficult, I just didn't find as much time to read this month. As of the end of September, I had read 97 books. To match last year's total of 150, I'll have to average 18 books per month for the rest of the year. I'm unlikely to do that.

Here are the books read in September. A few of them are reviewed in the blog—links lead to

  1. Bio Rescue by S. L Viehl
  2. Dream Country by Luanne Rice
  3. Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
  4. Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
  5. Rising Tides by Nora Roberts
  6. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  7. The Mask of Ra by P. J. Doherty
  8. The Horus Killings by P. J. Doherty
  9. Point Blank by Catherine Colter

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Banned Books Week

It is Banned Books Week again. I get a big kick out of celebrating the Freedom to Read. I've read many of the books on the 100 most frequently challenged books, though I have only read The Chocolate War from the 10 most frequently challenged books in 2004. Looks like I need to get busy and read some challenged books.

"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech."—Benjamin Franklin

What I find discouraging is that year after year there is still a need to observe Banned Books Week.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Book Relay, Part II

I've been playing at BookRelay for the page month or so. I've participated in three relays so far. Unfortunately, one of these died and I had to ressurect it by accepting my own offer and posting another book to see if anyone was interested in it. But, I've had the opportunity to read some books that I might not have discovered at all if it hadn't been for this book-trading site.

The Mask of Ra by P. J. DohertyThe Mask of Ra by Paul Doherty was offered in an exchange for "first books in a mystery series". I looked it up on and decided that it sounded pretty good. The person who was offering it had commented that she started reading the book, didn't like it, and never finished it. But I figured that even if I didn't enjoy the book, I could offer it to someone else. Turns out that the story was fun to read.

Set in 1479 BC, the book begins as Pharoah Tuthmosis II is triumphantly returning to Thebes from a series of battles along the Nile. He's barely home when he drops dead in his wife's arma. Tuhatsu, half-sister as well as wife to Tuthmosis, is of even more royal lineage than the dead Pharoah and she decides to take the title for herself. Needless to say, Egypt is in an uproar. When it is suspected that Tuthmosis's death was caused by a snakebite, the captain of his guard is arrested for failing to protect the Pharoah. Enter Amerotke, cheif judge, who must sort out the truth of this and several other murders by snakebite.

I got so interested in the Pharoahs that I spent several hours researching online and reading about the succession from Tuthmosis II to Tutankhamun.

The Horus Killings by P. J. Doherty Along with The Mask of Ra, the Relayer sent the second book in the series, The Horus Killings, so I went straight on to that book as soon as I finished the first book. In this story, Amerotke must again solve the murders of priests and scholars amid the politcal turmoil caused by Hatusu's claim to the throne. Having convinced her privy council to support her bid to be recognized as Pharoah and won the hearts of the populus by defeating the Mitanni hordes, she now needs the approval of the high priests of the various temples. They convene a conference to determine if there is any precedent for having a woman rule the country. Unfortunately, someone is so opposed to granting Hatusu the title of Pharoah that supporters are being murdered horribly.

I intend to find the other books in this series. The mix of history and intrigue is pretty good. The characters have quite a contemporary feel to them, and yet there were no historical discrepancies that I could find. I think that must be a difficult task—to create characters who seem at home in the historic setting, yet just as human as the people you run into today.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

What I've been reading recently

In addition to reading books for pleasure, I spend a lot of time reading web sites, including blogs. There are about 50 blogs that I try to follow, using Bloglines to monitor these sites for new posts. And, I just started kicking the tires at, a social bookmarking site. So now I'm following more links to interesting stuff to read.

So what books have I read recently?

Bio Rescue by S. L. ViehlSet in the same universe as the Stardoc series, this novel introduces Jadaira, a young female resident of Kevarzangia Two. A member of the aquatic species native to K-2, Dair and others of her generation are serving in the military as pilots for planetary patrol. Life on K-2 is getting more stressful due to the large number of land-dwelling refugees who are crowding onto the planet. Dair and her fellow pilots are asked to pilot medical rescue crews to effect recovery of those injured while trying to escape the warring factions in the Pmoc Quadrant.

I was on a business trip & needed something to read, so I picked up Bio Rescue by S. L. Viehl. I had read her Stardoc novels featuring Cherijo Grey Veil and I knew that I did not want to read any more of those for a while. (Cherijo's perils include not only the normal action/adventure stuff, but some pretty heavy psychological abuse. I'm not up for that right now.) But, from the back cover, I saw that this book was not part of the Stardoc series, so I bought it.

I very much enjoyed this book and I'm glad to see that a sequel is already available in hardback. I'll pick it up next year when it comes out in paperback.

Dream Country by Luanne RicelI picked up Luanne Rice's Dream Country at the library because I'd enjoyed the other books authored by her that I had read. This one did not disappoint. After her 3-year-old son Jake went missing in the Wyoming wilderness, Daisy took Jake's twin sister Sage and moved back to her home in Connecticut. Daisy's husband James could not bring himself to leave his family ranch, since he was determined to be there if Jake ever came back. When Sage runs away from home and toward the father that she's never had a chance to get to know, Daisy returns to Wyoming.

Dream Country is one of the better novels that I've read by Rice. The characters are well developed and the plot is expertly crafted. The inevitable romance just fits and doesn't disrupt the narrative. All-in-all, an enjoyable experience.

Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen Anna Quindlen is one of the best authors around. She hasn't written many novels, which is a shame. I don't read much nonfiction, so I'm sure I'm missing out. Oh well.

Black and Blue tells the story of Fran, a battered woman who assumes a new identity as Beth to hide from her abusive husband. Quindlen avoids the cliche endings one might expect from a novel on this theme and brings things to a close which is realistic, although it's not the "happy ever after" ending you'd want.

Sea Swept by Nora RobertsNora Robert's Chesapeake Bay trilogy introduces the three Quinn brothers, each adopted by Ray and Stella Quinn. Each book focuses on one of the brothers, from the delinquency which brought them to the attention of Ray and Stella to the healing these parents brought to their troubled sons. Sea Swept is the story of Cameron Quinn, oldest of the Quinn brothers.

The story begins as Ray Quinn is critically injured in a car wreck and Cam rushes home to be with his family. When he arrives at the hospital, in addition to his brothers, Cam meets 10-year-old Seth, whom Ray had rescued from his drug addicted mother. Ray extracts a promise from all the boys to keep Seth and make him a legal part of the Quinn family. There's a steamy romance and just a trace of the supernatural to keep Robert's regular readers happy.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Lisa Yee saw my blog!

OK, I'm Jazzed!

A couple of days ago, Lisa Yee left a comment in my blog to let me know she had read my review of her book, Millicent Min, Girl Genius. So cool! Of course I have now spent 2 hours reading her blog and website, following links to other author's sites, etc. In one scene in the book, Millicent is wearing a t-shirt which reads "So many books, so little time" which is one of my common complaints. I've also realized that there so much Internet and so little time. Would that I could figure out some way to forego sleep without going crackers after a day or two.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Missing throughout the Summer!

Oh my gosh!

I knew that it had been a long time since I posted anything to this blog, but I didn't realize that the entire summer had gone by without a single post. I can use the excuse that I was travelling for most of the summer, but since I took my laptop with me and I never was without Internet access for more than a day or two, it would just be an excuse.

At least I kept on reading. Here's the summary of the books which I completed in June, July, and August. I'm updating the home page and the "Books so far this year" page and will have them posted shortly.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Book Relay

Tonight I was cruising through the blogs I read and found this post from Miss Tree. She sent me to the Book Relay site where things look like fun. Unfortunately, I'm in the middle of this two week trip, so I won't be able to mail anything until mid-June.

This week's books

I know that I'm not finding the time to write about each of the books as I finish them. At this point, I consider myself lucky to remember to write them down. Since a lot of the books that I'm reading come from the Sanger Public Library, I'm really glad that the librarian will print out a list of the books I've borrowed for me from time to time. I use the print-out to make sure that I didn't forget to write the title, author, and ISBN down. The only problem with the listing is that the InterLibrary Loan books don't show the titles. But, I'm still better off than if I didn't have the list at all.

Since I posted last Sunday, I've finished four more books and I'm just going to log them all in a single entry in the blog.

White Thunder A month or so ago, I gave the librarian a list of 20 recently published (or scheduled) books which I would like for her to consider adding to the collection. This was one of them, and as soon as it arrived, she called me to come get it.

The last time FBI agent Andrew Thomas was seen, he was attempting to interrupt a healing ceremony in a rural area near Shiprock. Ella Clah, a special investigator with the Navajo Tribal Police and former FBI agent herself, is assigned to lead the search for the missing agent. Although FBI supervisors are convinced that Thomas was kidnapped by Navajos to punish him for distubing the Sing, Ella soon discovers that the reason is more sinister. Through perserverance (and some luck) she discovers that Thomas' current case involved exposing a fraud ring involving Social Security benefits.

White Thunder by Aimée & David Thurlo is the twelfth book in this mystery series featuring Ella Clah. As usual with this series, the Thurlos teach the reader about Navajo customs and beliefs by weaving the lessons seamlessly into their narrative. Reading the author profile in the back of the book, I discovered David is Navajo and has lived most of his life within the Navajo Nation in the Four Corners area of the US.

Millicent Min, Girl Genius Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee was a very delightful story for juvenile readers. During the summer between her Junior and Senior years in High School, 11-year-old Millie is allowed to enroll in one class at the nearby University, but she must also join a volleyball team with girls of her own age. The problem is that Millie doesn't know how to get along with her peers. It seems that she feels compelled to tell everything she knows about a subject, which makes things uncomfortable.

Millie quickly discovers that reading all about the game of volleyball and being able to calculate the flight path of a spinning ball doesn't help her at all when it comes to actually playing the game. And, if volleyball weren't enough humilation for the summer, she's been assigned to tutor Stanford Wong so he can pass to 7th grade.

Things start looking up when Millie makes friends with Emily on her volleyball team. But Millie failed to mention that she has a high IQ and when Emily finds out, she feels betrayed and Millie has to figure out how to make things right.

Lost Lake I read Lost Lake by Phillip Margolin on Audio CD, listening to it during my hour-long commute into Dallas and back each day. Margolin isn't an author that I had read before, and the Audio format gives me a chance to try out a new author from time to time. That's how I first experienced Tom Clancy -- reading Red Storm Rising as a Book on Tape.

The story begins in 1985 at the home of Congressman Eric Glass in Lost Lake, CA. He's just been brutally murdered and his house guest, Vanessa Wingate, is the only eye witness. Vanessa identifies Carl Rice as the murderer, but before she can be questioned by local police and the FBI, her father (an influential Army General) spirits her away to a mental health center.

Jump forward to the present. Vanessa is working as a reporter for a supermarket tabloid, though she'd like to move to one of the legitimate newspapers. She's blocked in this endeavor by the fact that she spent a year in the mental health facility and continues to proclaim that it was her father who ordered Rice to murder the Congressman. One night, she sees a television broadcast about a brawl at a Little League game in Portland. Amazed, she recognizes Carl Rice whom she hasn't seen for over 15 years. She believes it will only be a matter of time before her father arranges Rice's murder. Knowing that he's the only one who can help her prove that her father was behind the murder of Glass and others, she heads out to Oregon where Rice, now going by the name of Dan Morelli, is being held by the local police.

This novel is fast paced and full of intrigue, action, suspense, and even a bit of humor. I recommend it and I plan to find more books by Margolin.

The Priestly Sins I've wanted to read Andrew Greeley's The Priestly Sins ever since I read a review on his website several months ago. I got the chance this week when I saw the paperback in Barnes and Noble. This is one of several books I picked up with the gift card Ben gave me for Mother's Day.

Greeley tackles the issues of sexual abuse head on in this story of newly ordained Father Hugh Hoffman. Just six weeks into his first parish assignment, he hears a scream in the rectory and runs into Father Lyon's room as he is assaulting young Todd Sweeney. Horrified, Hugh reports what he saw to the boy's father, the pastor of the parish, the police, and even the Bishop, only to discover that everyone is more interested in covering up the event. In fact, the Bishop has Hugh committed to a local mental health facility and upon his release sends him off to graduate school and out of the diocese.

Fr. Andrew Greeley uses this likable young priest to tell the story of the long-running attempts by some in the Catholic Church to cover up the sexual abuse of children, often moving the abuser from parish to parish. Greeley is as critical of the administrators of the Church as he is of the pedophile priests themselves. Throughout the novel, though, you can see Greeley's abiding faith in God and the Church, confident that the problems can be overcome.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Romantic Mysteries -- or Mysterious Romances

I've noticed that there has been quite a lot of cross-over between the Romance and Mystery genres. Nora Roberts even brought in a trace of Science Fiction when she set her . . . in Death series in the near future of 2050. Now don't get me wrong, I really like good character development and nothing helps this along better than showing us the relationships the character has developed in his or her "life". But, the books I'm talking about are those that include a couple of steamy scenes which can sometimes border on the edge of pornography.

Flashpoint Early Saturday morning, I finished reading Flashpoint by Suzanne Brockmann. I had picked the book up at my local Public Library, deciding to check it out based on the description on the slipcover. It turned out to a very enjoyable read, even though there were some rough spots in the writing. And, it certainly fit into the category of a Romantic Mystery.

Lead character Tess Bailey is a computer expert and support specialist who wants to be a field agent. She's completed all the training and passed all the tests, but it looks like she's never going to get a chance to be an agent because she's so good at her current job. Quitting her job with the Agency, she travels to the headquarters of Troubleshooters, Incorporated, a private covert agency for an interview. There, she finds former agents and parters Lawrence Decker and Diego/James/Jimmy Nash. She's immediately hired and sent to earthquake-ravaged Kazbekistan in a team posing as relief workers to try and locate a laptop rumored to contain al-Qaeda plans.

Before Kazbekistan and before Decker and Nash leave the Agency, Tess helps Nash extract Decker from an undercover operation gone wrong. Nash winds up going home with her that night for a steamy one-night stand. There are a couple of problems, though. First, Nash is aware that Decker is very interested in Tess. And, although he thought it was only going to be one night, Nash found himself falling for Tess -- hard.

Cut to Kazbekistan. The romantic triangle produces lots of tension, particularly since Tess and Nash are posing as husband and wife. Add in the culture of rabid Islamic customs, a fugitive American woman, and a ruthless local warlord and the stage is set for action, adventure, and not a small amount of sex.

Okay. I liked the book. I'll probably read more by Brockmann. I even stayed up late so I could finish the book in time to return it to the Library by the due date instead of renewing it.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Books of April

These are the books which I completed during April. I didn't get many reviews written here. And, as you can see, I'm not doing much better with May's books. Links here lead to

  1. Every Boy's Got One by Meg Cabot
  2. The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd
  3. Flinx's Folly by Alan Dean Foster
  4. Second Glance by Jodi Picoult
  5. Sing the Four Quarters by Tanya Huff
  6. Double Homicide by Jonathan and Faye Kellerman
  7. The Exploration Chronicles: Signals by Kevin D. Randle
  8. The City of Ember by Jeanne Deprau
  9. Fifth Quarter by Tanya Huff
  10. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Andrew McCall Smith
  11. The Sunday Wife by Cassandra King
  12. Truesight by David Stahler, Jr.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Fifth Quarter

Fifth Quarter I have now completed the second of the books in Tanya Huff's fantasy series about the Kigh. Fifth Quarter tells the story of Vree and Bannon, brother and sister, assassins, and forced to share Vree's body when Bannon's is stolen by Gyhard, a rogue soul over 100 years old.

Gyhard is one of only two or three who know how to manipulate the kigh which constitute the Fifth Quarter. Until this time, the bards have been able to communicate with kigh of the Four Quarters: air, water, earth, and fire. The presence of a Fifth Quarter has long been suspected, but none of the bards trained at Bardic Hall have been able to provide it existed. Karlene, a bard stationed in the Havalkeen Empire meets the joined Vree/Bannon character and learns how to communicate with the two kigh within.

Maybe it was that simple after all. Maybe the bards had never needed to learn to Sing the fifth quarter because they couldn't not Sing it. Every time they touched an audience, or one listener, or one hundred, they were Singing the fifth quarter.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The books of February and March

I let myself get so busy doing miscellaneous things that I haven't kept up my usual postings to my blogs. So, better late than never, here are the lists of books read in February and March this year.


  1. Greenwitch by Susan Cooper
  2. The Grey King by Susan Cooper
  3. Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper
  4. Dragon's Kin by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey
  5. Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy
  6. High Five by Janet Evanovich
  7. The Wailing Wind by Tony Hillerman
  8. Hot Six by Janet Evanovich


  1. Seven Up by Janet Evanovich
  2. The Cat Who Went Bananas by Lillian Jackson Braun
  3. The Visitor by Sherri S. Tepper
  4. Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich
  5. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  6. Miss Julia Meets Her Match by Ann B. Ross
  7. Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
  8. To the Nines by Janet Evanovich
  9. The Bishop at Sea by Andrew M. Greeley
  10. Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich
  11. Hard Truth by Nevada Barr
  12. Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sing the Four Quarters

Sing the Four Quarters With this book, I begin a brand new fantasy series by Tanya Huff. The setting is somewhat midieval—so much of fantasy is—in a world where individuals born with certain musical talents can communicate with the spirits of the four elements. The "kigh", as these spirits are called, inhabit air, water, earth, and fire and have the attributes of their respective elements. Sing the Four Quarters tells of a bard named Annice who has the rare talent to be able to Sing to the spirits from all four of the elements or quarters.

Annice is not only an extremely talented bard, she is also the youngest sister of King Theron. Ten years earlier, she forfeited her royal privileges to begin training at Bardic Hall and she has been estranged from her family since that time. In retaliation for what he perceived as her abandonment of her duties to him and the kingdom, her brother's first pronouncement as King was to forbid her to marry or to bear children without his permission. As the story begins, Annice discovers that she is unexpectedly pregnant. She wants to carry the baby to term, but that would constitute treason—which is punishable by death.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Dance of the Dissident Daughter

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter I have to say that finishing The Dance was difficult. I started this book in January with a great deal of enthusiam. After I had read 40 pages or so, I called Beth to tell her about the book. Sometime in mid-January, I put the book down and didn't pick it up again until late February. (Of course, Beth finished the book long before I got started reading again.) I read with eagerness, glad to follow Sue's journey from dissatisfaction into awakening. And then I bogged down again. It's been almost a month since I had last opened the book, but I threw it into my carry-on bag for today's flight to Cleveland.

And finished it around 22:20 CDT.

I have to agree with the woman who recommended this book — it's probably the most significant book I will read this year. I will now re-read the book and mark those passages which speak to me most loudly.

Every Boy's Got One

Every Boy's Got One Meg Cabot has once again created a rollicking good story. I don't think it's quite as zany as The Boy Next Door, but Every Boy's Got One is quite funny with just enough improbable situations to keep your attention.

And, when you've finished the novel, there's an addendum by Meg Cabot which tells you that much of the book come from her own experiences trying to get married in Italy. I very much enjoyed the book and am hoping to get my hands on Boy Meets Girl fairly soon.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Three more from Janet Evanovich

High Five Hot Six Seven Up

Ever since Beth endorsed these books last fall, I've been quickly reading through the series—in and among books from other genres. For the most part, I've checked them out of the library; it's really a good thing that my local library owns all the book in the series. For whatever reason, I didn't have enough time to finish High Five before it was due back at the library. Since I was planning a long business trip, I dipped into Barnes & Noble and picked up all three of these books to throw into my suitcase.

Stephanie Plum takes on various "bail enforcement" assignments along with managing her on-again, off-again relationship with Joe Morelli and a growing physical attraction to Ranger. Due to her low financial situation, in High Five Stephanie takes on occasional surveillance job from Ranger. That compensates for the main "fugitive" tracking that she undertakes for her family—unpaid, of course.

I think it was Hot Six, though, which I enjoyed the most. I caught myself laughing out loud at the ludicrous scenes and situations. First, after an argument with Stephanie's father, Grandma Mazur moves out of the family home in a huff. Since she hadn't had time to find a place to live, she moves into Stephanie's one bedroom apartment, leaving Stephanie sleeping on the couch. Now, the couch might not be such a bad place to sleep, but people keep breaking into her apartment in the middle of the night.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Nights of Rain and Stars

Nights of Rain and Stars Nights of Rain and Stars is another delightful novel from Mave Binchy. This one is set in a small village in Greece, where four strangers from America, Ireland, England, and Germany are drawn together when they witness a tragic boat accident. As they watch the villagers cope with the horrific event and its aftermath, they learn more and more about each other and become close friends. All four are running away from something and looking for something to run towards.

Thomas' ex-wife has remarried and he wants for his son to get to know his step-father without being pulled in two directions. Elsa is running away from a lover whom she no longer trusts. David feels trapped by expectations that he will take over the family business though this is something that he detests. And Fiona has run off with a totally unsuitable man against the advice of her family and friends.

These four also forge friendships with some of the locals: Andreas who runs a tavern outside the village, Georgi his brother who is a policeman, Vonni an Irishwoman who has lived in the village for more than 30 years, and Maria the widow of the boat's owner. Vonni, now a wise woman of the village, plays a pivotal role in the lives of the four newfound friends, helping them to see the truth in their situations.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Dragon's Kin

Dragon's Kin I'm really glad to see that Todd McCaffrey is now contributing to the lore of Pern. While there has been quite a bit of fan fiction written about Pern, Ann McCaffrey had asked that no one write in the same time frame as her books and not use her characters. Todd, as heir to the planet will be able to write in any time period. Dragon's Kin by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey begins during the second interval, which places it solidly between the time of the first book in the series Dragonflight and its prequels such as Dragonsdawn. The action in this newest novel is set in the Natalon mining camp and focuses on several young people who raise a hatchling watch-wher and discover much more about the abilities of these small kin to the dragons.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Silver on the Tree

Silver on the Tree I was in a hurry to finish this book and thus finish the series. Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper neatly ties up the saga as the Old Ones, led by Merriman and Will Stanton, again team with the three Drew children and Bran, a Welsh boy with a mysterious heritage, to challenge The Dark's bid to control the world. As with the other books in The Dark is Rising sequence, the children must follow clues to gather the objects of power needed to stand against The Dark.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Grey King

The Grey King The Grey King is the fourth book in The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper. In this story, the reader is introduced to Bran Davies who lives in Wales; and discovers that in addition to the Light and the Dark, there are forces of High Magic which may not intercede in the conflict between Light and Dark.

Will Stanton and Bran join in a quest to locate the Sleepers while the servants of the Grey King attempt to prevent them from completing this part of the prophecy.

Of all the books in this series, this one didn't feel tied up at the end. But, I'm already reading book #5 Silver on the Tree and am eagerly awaiting the conclusion.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Greenwitch Greenwitch by Susan Cooper is the third book in The Dark is Rising sequence. The first book Over Sea, Under Stone stars three Engish siblings Simon, Jane, and Barney and their great-uncle Dr. Merriman Lyon, affectionately called "Gramerry", as they recover a Midieval chalice while beset by the forces of Darkness. The second book, The Dark is Rising, has Merriman orienting the newest of the Old Ones, eleven-year-old Will Stanton, and directing him in gathering the six Signs of the Light. In this third novel, all the children are together as they vacation in a coastal town (setting of Book One) and attempt to recover the parchment document containing the key to translating inscriptions found on the chalice.

Altogether a delightful, though short, book. I'm already a couple of chapters into the sequel, The Grey King.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Dark is Rising

The Dark is Rising The entire five book sequence takes its name from the title of this book. The Dark is Rising is the second book in the series and introduces another major character, Will Stanton. On his 11th birthday, Will discovers that he is the last born of the Old Ones. To come into his full power, he must locate the six Signs of the Light and protect them for use in the coming battle between Light and Dark.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Nights in Rodanthe

Nights in Rodanthe I had not read any books by Nicholas Sparks, even though he's certainly been popular lately. So when I saw this audio CD set on the shelf at the library, I figured it would be a good way to get to know a new author. While the outcome of the story was quite predictable, I did enjoy listening to it very much. I guess I'll look for other books by Mr. Sparks, and maybe try to track down one or more of the movies made from his novels.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Skeleton Man

Skeleton Man I think this is the most recent of the Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn novels from Tony Hillerman. Sometimes when I enjoy a series or author as much as this one, I lose track of what I've read and what I haven't.

In this novel, Hillerman introduces a decades old mystery involving the robbery of a remote trading post that Leaphorn had investigated long before his retirement. Now it appears that event may be related to an even earlier mid-air collision over the Grand Canyon and the recent murder of a local jeweler. Mix into this a contested will which DNA evidence may help resolve, Hopi religious practices, and the engagement of Jim Chee to Bernadette Manualito and you have another delightful novel set along the northern border of Arizona and New Mexico.

Friday, January 21, 2005


Blessings I had never read a book by Anna Quindlen, so when I saw this audio CD set at the library, I figured it would be a good introduction. Over the years, I'd been aware of Quindlen's non-fiction books and columns in various publications, but somehow had missed the fact that she also wrote novels.

One thing that I particularly liked about this book is that it didn't attempt to resolve all the problems introduced in the story. The 'hero' didn't wind up getting everything he wanted, or even everything that you felt he deserved. Finished listening to this book sitting in the garage because I wasn't going to get out of the car until it was done.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Portuguese Irregular Verbs

Portuguese Irregular Verbs Having read and adored several books by Alexander McCall-Smith, I asked my local public library to locate a copy of this book and its two sequels. I figured they would request them through InterLibrary Loan, but when they called me to tell me the books were in, they had purchased them. I hope they weren't terribly expensive, because these were somewhat disappointing. While the situations were amusing and even funny from time to time, I found the characters very annoying. I returned the second book (At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances) unread. Oh well.