Friday, February 28, 2014

Shadows in Flight

Fiction by Orson Scott Card.

Shadows in Flight (Ender's Shadow Series #5)

I found another installment in the Ender's Game series that I hadn't read. (See my previous post about Ender in Exile.)

It was pretty good. (Again, you really need to read these in order, though. See the chart below, if you want.)

You can read either of the two large boxes (in order) after reading Ender's Game.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lookaway Lookaway

Fiction by Wilton Barnhardt.

Lookaway, Lookaway

I could not get interested in this book. The characters were realistic and well-drawn, but you couldn't like them. It felt like the author had real contempt for the people in this story, if not all Southerners and/or the entire human race.

If the author hates his characters, why should I be interested in what happens to them?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Paper Towns

Fiction by John Green.

Paper Towns

I've read several "teen" books by John Green recently (including An Abundance of Katherines) and they are all good. This guy is really good at getting inside his characters' heads, and taking the reader with him.

This story is about a boy in his last weeks of his senior year, and an adventure he has with the crazy beautiful girl next door. It is super-cool from a teen perspective, and super-scary from a mom perspective. And I'm old enough to have both perspectives at once.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Returned

Fiction by Jason Mott.

The Returned

What if the dead returned?

Not all of them, just some of them. And not in a zombie-apocalypse or Pet-Sematary kind of way. They just came back to the world, looking exactly as they had before they'd left it, no matter how many years had passed since their deaths.

That's the premise of this book. On a personal level, how wonderful that a child who died over forty-five years ago has returned to his parents alive! Except... how strange that the boy is still only eight years old, and the mother and father are an elderly couple who are not quite sure if he really is their son come back to life.

And, on a larger scale: Where can you PUT all these extra folks? What will they eat? Are they a threat to the living? What should the Government do about it?

This was an interesting and thought-provoking book, albeit a little creepy, and not particularly cheerful.

But what can you expect from a book about dead people?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Bone Season

Fiction by Samantha Shannon.

The Bone Season: A Novel

This book had a big buildup in its advertisement. From b&

The first pick of NBC’s Today Book Club 
Featured in New YorkUSA Today, and Forbes, and on 
It appeared on every summer reading list for 2013, from Entertainment Weekly to USA Today. Now, the debut that thrilled readers everywhere is available in paperback.

It's a sci-fi story that imagines a dystopian future in which many people have developed clairvoyance. The world is ruled by dictators who want to suppress them, and citizens are divided into "normals" and "unnaturals."

Sounds cool,  right?

That's obviously what the publishing and marketing team thought. There is already a movie in the works and  the author promises a seven-novel series. 

Unfortunately, I didn't like it. Sorry.

This is just my opinion, but the plot was confusing and the characters flat. The story just didn't grab me.

Maybe the movie will be better.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

You are the Love of my Life

Fiction by Susan Richards Shreve.

You Are the Love of My Life

Good book: it's set in the Watergate era without (fortunately) being ABOUT Watergate.

It's about a woman who moves back to her childhood home on the outskirts of DC, and about the people in the neighborhood. Nearly everyone has something to hide...

I'm not sure about the title. It's more about secrets to me than about love.

Other books I've read by this author: A Woman Like That

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Fiction by Rosamund Lupton.

Afterwards: A Novel

A great book, this is an emotional thriller with a surprise ending.

Other books I've read by this author: Sister.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

An Abundance of Katherines

Fiction by John Green.

An Abundance of Katherines

This is a novel about an eighteen-year-old genius boy who has dated nineteen girls named Katherine, all of whom have dumped him. He sets out on a road trip with his Muslim friend and ends up in Gutshot, Tennessee.

It's way better than my synopsis makes it sound.


Other books I read by this author: The Fault in our Stars,  Will Grayson Will Grayson.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ender in Exile

Fiction by Orson Scott Card.

Ender in Exile (Ender Quintet Series #5)

This is a "direct sequel" to the book Ender's Game, the early-eighties science-fiction novel recently made into a film.

First of all,  Ender's Game itself is a great book. And the movie didn't stink.

Also I liked this book as well. But you have to have the background of the other book to enjoy it. At least Ender's Game, if not more of them.

The thing is, this author has already written a full trilogy of not-so-direct sequels, along with a series of (5) parallel novels, set in the Ender universe. (All of which I have read by the way, and loved. ) But some people might find a set of ten books a bit excessive. (Not I, said the cat.)

NOTE: (For a handy chart on the order of the Ender novels, see my later review of Shadows in Flight.)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Beautiful Child

Nonfiction by Torey Hayden.

Beautiful Child

A really good book, this is the true story of a special education teacher and the child she helps.

I listened to this on audiobook in my car which really makes it come alive. (However, the narrator on Ghost Girl was better. Sorry.)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dark Places

Fiction by Gillian Flynn.

Dark Places

Cool book. A little dark, but I guess that's to be expected...

I also read by this author: Gone Girl

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter's Tale

Fiction by Mark Helprin.

Winter's Tale (Movie Tie-In Edition)

Sorry. I just couldn't get interested in this one. I tried for two weeks and then it was due back at the library...

It's probably my own fault.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Eleanor and Park

Fiction by Rainbow Rowell.

Eleanor & Park

A sweet romance meant for older teens.

It's set in the late 1980's so it's quite relatable for old-lady-me as well.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sycamore Row

Fiction by John Grisham.

Sycamore Row

This was a good book, reprising a few characters from "A Time to Kill," which was one of Grisham's best.