April 2010Monthly Archives

Book Blogger Hop

It’s Friday! Time for the Book Blogger Hop at Crazy For Books. Click HERE to discover loads of other great book blogs. Please make sure that you leave a comment on the blogs that you have visited to let them know that you “hopped” by.

Happy Hopping and I hope y’all have a great weekend! While you are here be sure to check out the following contests happening today.

  1. A.S. Peterson’s The Fiddler’s Gun (autographed copy!)
  2. Blogmania Giveaway! Crazy!


Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson

Before Green Gables Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson

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I grew up with Anne of Green Gables. As a pre-teen I yearned for my own bosom friend like Diana, I wanted to taste raspberry cordial (although not get sick), I wanted to walk through a forest and quote poetry. I even wanted red hair, although Anne with an E would say that hers was the bane of her existence. More than once I would find myself in the depths of despair and I can remember thinking at those times that yes, my life was a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.

So to say that I was cautious as I approached this book would be an understatement. Honestly, it was the cover that tipped the scale for me, I couldn’t resist it. It’s a beautiful, fantastic cover and so tastefully done I decided to give the story a shot.

My first impression was.. how dreary. I mean, Anne’s life before Green Gables was not fun and games so I wasn’t surprised by how bleak the story is – on the surface. But then I started to pay attention. Budge Wilson did a fantastic job of bringing out the bright spots, a teacher here, the touch of a hand to Anne’s shoulder in encouragement there. There were reasonable explanations for the development of many of Anne’s quirks – how she learned to use Ipecac, where she came up with many of the long words she arrived at Green Gables with, her friend in the glass, etc. Although the circumstances Anne grew up in were dreary and bleak, the character that L.M. Montgomery created was so full of light, so bright and wonderful and beautiful, that even the bleak surroundings in this book couldn’t dull it. And Wilson did a fantastic job of portraying Anne as a young child as Montgomery’s Anne… with an E.

I highly recommend this book. It surprised me and I think it’s the first novel spin-off of a favorite classic that I can truly appreciate and love on its own merit.

View all my reviews >>

Blogmania – April 30, 2010

Okay – so I have an hour this morning and I’ve decided I need to do this! (I’d been looking forward and I need to do it and before I head out the door I’m positive I can through something together).

You have arrived at Blog #41 out of 122 Blogs.   We’ve done all the work for you. No hunting or surfing. Each blog will have a number and each new blog link will have a number. These numbers will allow you to keep track of which blogs you’ve visited and how many are left to visit. Why not take a moment to make a list of blog numbers  1-122 and check off the blogs as you go.

Here is my Giveaway:

  • 1 Amazon Wishlist Book of your choice (Max $15) – 1st prize
  • 1 Book of your choice from my 2010 List of Books Read (Paperback only) – 2nd prize

How to enter:

You must leave a comment with your email address included. In addition, let me know what the best book you’ve read this year is.  This is open internationally.

BLOGMANIA’S PARTICIPATING BLOGS:

Our blog owners live in different time zones, some will be posting very early on April 30th and some will post a few hours later. Please allow for this time difference. If a giveaway is not post when you visit, make a not to revisit that blog later.

Listed below you’ll find links for all our participating blogs. If you get stuck, kidnapped, bushwhacked, ambushed, or end up at a dead-end, check back here. After the dust settles and you’ve recuperated from this 24 hour blogging marathon, be sure to let us know if you enjoyed our ‘Loot Scoopin Mania’.

PLEASE have fun with Blogmania. And if for any reason one of our participating blogs has failed to post their Giveaway, please accept our apologies. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances can mess up the best laid plans.

You can find a full list of the participants at: http://betweenthelinesandmore.blogspot.com/

Friday: Week in Review

I haven’t done one of these in a while and I really need to get back on the ball regarding them.  First, let me talk about what has been going on for the last two weeks and has my household all crazy.

My nephew who is 7 was diagnosed with HSP (Henoch-Schonlein purpura) 9 days ago.  Since that time he’s been unable to eat, developed a nasty rash, had painful swelling of his joints and, as of two days ago, began vomiting liquids. For those of you unfamiliar with HSP the description is as follows:

Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) is a form of blood vessel inflammation orvasculitis. There are many different conditions that feature vasculitis. Each of the forms of vasculitis tends to involve certain characteristic blood vessels. HSP affects the small vessels called capillaries in the skin and frequently the kidneys. HSP results in skin rash (most prominent over the buttocks and behind the lower extremities) associated with joint inflammation (arthritis) and sometimes cramping pain in the abdomen. Henoch-Schonlein purpura is also referred to as anaphylactoid purpura.

Yesterday afternoon my nephew was admitted to the hospital.  He’s doing better today, keeping fluids and some food down and hopefully will be released this afternoon.

What does this mean for me?  Well.. my nice tidy schedule has been all over the place these last few weeks.  With my nephew being home all week and me occupied in keeping him company/sitting with him all my best laid plans for participating in the Blogathon this weekend (today) were dashed.  So for those of you visiting today that expected to see something here, I do apologize, and plan on participating in September.  I just simply did not have the time or resources to plan for today due to the unexpectedness of this sickness.

So aside from this, nothing much else has happened this week.  I hope that your week has been less eventful!  And here’s hoping that my nephew is on the mend and will be back to his normal, cheerful, talkative self very quickly.

The Kingdom Keepers: Disney at Dawn by Ridley Pearson

Disney at Dawn (The Kingdom Keepers, #2) Disney at Dawn by Ridley Pearson

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Again, were I not a Disney fan, I would not like this book as much as I did.

In some ways this book was better than Disney at Dark (Kingdom Keepers #1). The mystery was more interesting and the information given was fascinating (as far as how the parks run etc). It definitely was action-packed but it still lacked something.

Still, I’m struggling with the portrayal of the kids in these stories. They just.. act like what an adult would envision a kid to be like (if that makes sense?) Everything just falls into place for them, they make all the right decisions and they are way too mature for 14 year old kids. I love pre-teen fiction but this one really toes the line between interesting and just plain annoying.

I will be reading the next one – how could I not with the ending in this one? but at this point I’m expecting more of the same. As a Disney lover though, I’ll take what I can get when set in the magical background of Disney World.

View all my reviews >>

The Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson

Disney After Dark (The Kingdom Keepers, #1) Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson

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I probably liked this book more than I would have if I was not the Disney fan that I am.

Having worked at Disneyworld and enjoyed numerous visits both to Florida and California Disney Theme Parks, I loved getting reacquainted with the parks and the employee only areas described in the book. I loved all the references made to the Disney characters and think Pearson did a fantastic job of capturing what it feels like to be in the park and part of the park.

The book was full of action and it’s easy to see that a pre-teen/young teenage boy would love this story. There’s clear evil and good characters. It has everything from Pirates to Tom Sawyer to the evil Maleficent.

The only gripe I have with the book is that, at times, it felt more like a promotional book for Disney then an actual story. The characters lacked the “something” that other pre-teen books have shown me is possible (See: Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins) I think the idea behind this series is fantastic and I will read the next in the series, I just wish it’d been less about the setting and more about the story.

View all my reviews >>

Dancing for Degas by Kathryn Wagner

Dancing for Degas Dancing for Degas by Kathryn Wagner

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When I was a girl I was absolutely obsessed with books about ballerina’s. That in itself was not so uncommon, I know my little niece loves her ballet classes and dreams of being able to dance on stage and perform.

For years I’ve admired Degas’ paintings depicting the ballerina’s in Paris. There is just this.. calm, quiet grace about them. I’m not knowledgeable about art, by any means, but I’ve always enjoyed looking at these paintings and imagining the lives of the girls posing for them.

Kathryn Wagner delves into the life of a woman who may inspired many of Degas’ paintings. A look into the life of the Parisian ballerina’s is also offered and the story turns into a beautiful, if somewhat tragic, romance between the ballerina and the artist.

This was a beautifully written book. I read it in a morning, unable to put it down and breathed a sigh of somewhat wistful relief at the ending.

View all my reviews >>

The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Yup. Still a favorite. There are moments when I read this book where I can hear the call by Theoden as he leads Rohan to Gondors aid. I can smell the ash in Mordor as Frodo and Sam make their way across the barren lands and creep up the side of the mountain.

What is amazing to me is that, for a book that is centered so solely about the Ringbearer and his quest, there is actually not that much time devoted to Frodo and Sam. There is always so much happening, battles and the rallying taking place to get to those battles. But all the while, as I read about these huge scenes and feel the enormity of them, I also feel how closely tied everything is and how small the world is in the sense that if Frodo fails – Middle Earth fails.

I have a few favorite moments in The Return of the King. One the movie did fantastically well, the other was completely ignored by the movie.

The first is, of course, Eowyn’s battle with the Lord of the Nazgul. If Middle Earth were a real place, if we were allowed to go there and to live in whichever place we choose I wouldn’t choose the peaceful land of the Shire, the cold beauty of Lothlorian or the regal beauty of Minas Tirith. I’d choose Rohan. The strength of character in the men there is apparent even through the treachery of Wormtongue. (And I have to admit having a bit of a crush on Eomer – even more so than on Aragorn). Eowyn facing down the Lord of the Nazgul is such a powerful scene that even as I think back on it, my heart leaps into my throat and I feel a thrill from my head to the very tips of my toes.

And my second favorite moment in this book is the Hobbits return to the Shire. I love feeling the confidence that they themselves feel and enjoy watching them take their newfound knowledge, skill and judgment and show themselves to be the worthy Hobbits they are. And there’s something just.. satisfying about seeing their enemy reduced to what he is.

I seriously could go on and on about this book and how fantastic it is. I know I’ve seen some comments from folks who have not read the trilogy informing me that they haven’t read it because it intimidates them. Don’t let these books intimidate you if you haven’t read them. I envy you your chance to explore them for the first time. And if you think you know the story because you’ve seen the movies – let me assure you that you don’t. The level of detail and back-story woven through these books is so complex that the movies, although they were beautiful and well-done, just cannot compare to the original tale put down here by Tolkien.

View all my reviews >>

Two-Sided Tuesday: April 27, 2010

Wow, things have been somewhat crazy around here for the last week or so! I was so sad not to be able to find the time to put up Two-Sided Tuesday last week, but I had a great idea then and I’ll be using it now!

I remember the first time I saw this book in Barnes and Noble.  I was immediately caught by the cover and title and thought to myself “Hmm, I haven’t read a book on witches in a long time”.  What’s funny (at least to me) is my book club last month had to make our selections for the next six months and this book was proposed for the same exact reason.  Unfortunately, by that time I’d already read this book and had been completely underwhelmed by it.

Here’s what I did love about the book – the setting was fantastic and the premise was really quite a good one.  I wanted to know more about the history and to explore the believable aspect of the story but instead was plunged into some kind of murder mystery that was predictable, a little too over the edge and turned the book into a paranormal cross of historic/modern fiction instead of the plain historic fiction I’d been looking for.

Then I stumbled across this book:

Before I talk about this book I want to let you know; this is not a book on the Salem witch trials.  This book pre-dates that by almost 200 years and takes place in Germany.

This book revolved around the Malleus Maleficarum (“The Witch’s Hammer”).  Through the eyes of a family (grandmother, mother and daughter) we follow the story of what it was like to be a healing woman in a village during a time when the Malleus Maleficarum was a prominent book with the clergy and when everyone was on the lookout for a “witch”.  The author very carefully and accurately approached the trials of these women and, although horrified, I was unable to put the book down due to the immediate and forceful connection I felt to the characters.  It delivered exactly what I had been looking for in Deliverance Dane and I highly recommend it to those seeking a book about witch trials.

You can see my review of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane here.

You can see my review of The Witch’s Trinity here.

Do you have a Two-Sided Tuesday?  Enter your link here!

It’s Monday, what are you reading?

Sheila from One Person’s Journey through a World of Books hosts this meme and I love to participate in it!  Head on over and check out her blog and the great participants there.

While you are here, be sure to check out my giveaway of A.S. Peterson’s The Fiddler’s Gun! It ends this week, so hop on over there and enter!

Books I read this past week:

  1. The Bridegrooms by Allison Pittman
  2. Unknown by Rachel Caine
  3. The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason
  4. The Girl with the Glass Feet by Ali Shaw
  5. Coming of the Storm by Kathleen and W. Michael Gear

Currently Reading:

  1. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

Books to read this week:

  1. Dancing for Degas by Kathryn Wagner
  2. The Good Son by Russel McLean
  3. Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson
  4. Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
  5. The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
  6. The Kingdom Keepers II by Ridley Pearson
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