Thursday, 1 September 2011

Books I've Read This Month - August 2011

I managed to read about 10 books this month.  Well I say 10..... 2 of these I did abandon as they were really not doing it for me.  I do spend a lot of time reading so I can usually manage at least 6 -10 a month.



HEARTLESS ( Parasol Protectorate #4) BY GAIL CARRIGER

Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?


** I rate this 4/5 - really enjoyed this one and would recommend the series.


THE EARTH HUMS IN B FLAT by Mari Strachan

Every night, 12-year-old Gwenni Morgan flies in her sleep. She leaves the bed she shares with her sister and soars into the night sky, listening to the nighttime sounds of her small Welsh village below. Irrepressible Gwenni -- a dreamer full of unanswerable questions and unbounded curiosity -- is childlike yet touchingly adult. Reluctantly facing a modern world, she prefers her nightly flights to school and her chores. Blessed with the uncommon insight of a young girl, Gwenni's view of the world is unparalleled.



Quaint, odd, touched, funny in the head: Gwenni is all too familiar with the taunts of her peers and fields them with equanimity beyond her years. She knows she can no more change her nature than stop the sun
from rising. And when a neighbor goes missing, Gwenni turns amateur sleuth, determined to solve the mystery of his disappearance. Little does she realize that the trail she's pursuing will bring her uncomfortably close to home, and a dark secret.

** I rate this 1/5 - I had to abandon this one as it wasn't to my taste, I must add that a few friends have really enjoyed it.




 NIGHT WORLD VOL 2 (Dark Angel, The Chosen & Soulmate) by L J Smith

Vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters -- they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.

In Dark Angel, Gillian is saved from drowning by her guardian angel. Only visible to Gillian, Angel will fulfill her heart's every desire. But when Angel starts making strange and sinister requests, Gillian must question who he truly is and where he came from.

Armed with a wooden stake, martial arts, and the will to resist a vampire's mind control, Rashel struggles to avenge her mother's death in The Chosen. Then she meets Quinn, her soulmate, who is part of the world she has vowed to destroy.

Hannah receives notes warning her of incredible danger in Soulmate. But if death is her destiny, is the Lord of the Night World's love strong enough to save her?


** I rate this 3/5 - The first story I really enjoyed, the others lost points for me.


GETTING RID OF MATTHEW by JANE FALLON

A fabulous debut about a long-suffering nearly 40-something woman, Helen, and her affair with a family man named Matthew, who is not so surprisingly her boss. Just at the moment she decides it's time to dump him and get on with her life, she opens the front door to find Matthew on her doorstep. "I've done it" he announces triumphantly. "I've left her. I'm yours" he tells her, and proceeds to move in. She is not brave enough to throw him out. She then discovers how much she can't bear him. Wherein ensues a zany plot that involves figuring out that the best way to get rid of Matthew is to befriend his wife and convince her to take him back. The only problem is that Helen discovers she really likes Sophie, Matthew's wife, a lot more than she likes Matthew. And on top of that, she has a rather dishy stepson. Light as a feather but about real issues, GETTING RID OF MATTHEW is a deliciously funny novel that proves the peril of getting what you ask for.

** Rated this one 4/5 - I really enjoyed this chic lit novel, it was a light funny read.



 THE SAVAGE GARDEN by MARK MILLS

Tuscany, 1958

Behind a villa in the heart of Tuscany lies a Renaissance garden of enchanting beauty. Its grottoes, pagan statues and classical inscriptions seem to have a secret life of their own - and a secret message, too, for those with eyes to read it.

Young scholar Adam Strickland is just such a person. Arriving in 1958, he finds the Docci family, their house and the unique garden as seductive as each other. But post-War Italy is still a strange, even dangerous, place and the Doccis have some dark skeletons hidden away in their past.

Before this mysterious and beautiful summer ends, Adam will uncover two stories of love, revenge and murder, separated by 400 years... but is another tragedy about to be added to the villa's cursed history?


** Rated this one 2/5 - It didn't captivate me and was only ok.


TOAST by NIGEL SLATER

Toast is Nigel Slater’s truly extraordinary story of a childhood remembered through food. In each chapter, as he takes readers on a tour of the contents of his family’s pantry—rice pudding, tinned ham, cream soda, mince pies, lemon drops, bourbon biscuits—we are transported....
His mother was a chops-and-peas sort of cook, exasperated by the highs and lows of a temperamental stove, a finicky little son, and the asthma that was to prove fatal. His father was a honey-and-crumpets man with an unpredictable temper. When Nigel’s widowed father takes on a housekeeper with social aspirations and a talent in the kitchen, the following years become a heartbreaking cooking contest for his father’s affections. But as he slowly loses the battle, Nigel finds a new outlet for his culinary talents, and we witness the birth of what was to become a lifelong passion for food. Nigel’s likes and dislikes, aversions and sweet-toothed weaknesses, form a fascinating backdrop to this exceptionally moving memoir of childhood, adolescence, and sexual awakening.

** Rated this 4/5 - I really thought this was clever and I loved the local references.


EVE OF SAMHAIN By LISA SANCHEZ

As a college senior and server at Hanaford Park's hottest nightclub, twenty-one year old Ryann Pierce's plan was simple: work hard, make lots of money, and avoid the ass-grabbers at all costs. What she never planned for was Quinn Donegan—the living, breathing advertisement for sinful behavior that waltzed into her life.With an angelic face, a hard body and a butt-load of charm, Quinn had a way with the ladies—a lot of ladies. Cursed with a deadly, addictive touch, his trail of indiscretion blazed across five hundred years. Tired and jaded, Ryann is a shocking revelation Quinn didn't see coming.Filled with desire, yet unable to touch one another, Ryann and Quinn embark on a daunting journey, battling frustrating physical limitations while exploring their new love. In a race against the clock, Ryann learns she must plead for Quinn's life before…the Eve of Samhain. Determined to end her lover's suffering, not even the danger dogging her every move can keep her from her mission.

**  Rated this 1/5 -  I abandoned this one after 50 pages.  I really didn't like it.


HOW TO BE A WOMAN by CAITLIN MORAN

1913 - Suffragette throws herself under the King's horse.1969 - Feminists storm Miss World. NOW - Caitlin Moran rewrites The Female Eunuch from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller. There's never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven't been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain... Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina? Why does your bra hurt? And why does everyone ask you when you're going to have a baby? Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin Moran answers these questions and more in How To Be A Woman - following her from her terrible 13th birthday ('I am 13 stone, have no friends, and boys throw gravel at me when they see me') through adolescence, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, fat, abortion, TopShop, motherhood and beyond.

**  Rated this one 3/5 - See review on blog.



THE WHITE MOUNTAINS (The Tripods #1) by JOHN CHRISTOPHER

John Christopher's compelling science fiction saga about the interplanetary Tripods and Masters who threaten all life on earth.
Young Will Parker and his companions make a perilous journey toward an outpost of freedom where they hope to escape from the ruling Tripods, who capture mature human beings and make them docile, obedient servants.
 
**  Rated this one 4/5 -  See blog for review.
 
 
 
 
 
THE CITY OF GOLD & LEAD (Tripods #2) by JOHN CHRISTOPHER
 
John Christopher's compelling science fiction saga about the interplanetary Tripods and Masters who threaten all life on earth
Will, Beanpole, and Henry have managed to escape the Tripods. But instead of living in safety, in the small community of free people, they have chosen to embark upon a mission that may cost them their lives.
 
**  Rated this one 3/5 -  Not as good as the first book, but an exciting second instalment.
 
 
 
 

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