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Recently read

This is a little something new, and different. One of the problems with constantly reviewing recently read books is, well the act of actually writing the review. Sometimes, I just don't know what to say about it. So here then, I've decided to just list them for you... Poke around, and enjoy.

December/January
Where You Belong by Barbara Taylor Bradford.
Recently returned from Kosovo, Valentine Denning has to come to terms with the death of her lover, Tony, the secrets he left behind, and the secrets within her own family, that threaten to tear her apart, and her indecision on where her life is to go from here.

The Last Rogue by Deborah Simmons.
Harlequin about a London Socialite and a pretty young Homebody. A fun little Romance with a gothic tinge.

The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan.
A funeral and a secret bring together Winnie and Pearl, mother and daughter. While Pearl has to tell her mother about her illness, Winnie has a much bigger secret: The truth about Pearl's father, and her life in China during the 1920s-1940s. Once again, another fine offering from Ms. Tan. :)

February-May:
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery.
Two young girls make their (different) ways in London society, pre and post Waterloo. Classic, but ... slow.

Blood Price by Tanya Huff.
A rash of vampire-esque murders lead a retired Toronto dectective and a 500 year old vampire to work together to solve the crime and take down the criminal before "all hell breaks loose, literally". very good. (And the recent Lifetime movie follows fairly well on the book, as well).

Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.
Adorable introduction to Mia: a teenager, just trying to make it in her New York high school, who suddenly finds out she is heir to the throne of Genovia.

Princess in the Spotlight. by Meg Cabot
More insanity for Mia as she finds out her mother is having her math teacher's baby! Her lessons are rolling along, the paparazzi won't leave her alone, social life at school isn't much better, Michael still doesn't know she exists, and she's possibly on the road to becoming the first royal juvenille delinquint! If the eggplant throwing incident is any indication! Just as adorably funny as the first.

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
The humorous, scary story of a firey vampire hunter, Anita Blake, seeks the individual responsible for the recent rash of murders against her local vampires, while trying to avoid becoming a murder victim herself. Excellent.

Face the Fire by Nora Roberts.
The final volume in the Three Sisters Island series. Mia must face down her demon stalker, or die trying, while meanwhile trying to come to terms with her recently returned ex-lover, Sam.

The Europeans by Henry James
European born and bred siblings come to America seeking cousins; one finds love, one disappointment. classic James

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
part six of the Chronicles of Narnia. Eustace returns to Narnia, with a new friend in tow--Jill--and they are charged by Aslan to find Caspian's son and bring him home. fun, as all of the series is.

Melymbrosia by Viriginia Woolf, editted by Louise DeSalvo.
An early version of VW's first novel, The Voyage Out, Slightly different than the published version, and if you can get it, one every VW fan should read. :)

Virginia Woolf's First Voyage Out by Lousie DeSalvo.
Dr. DeSalvo's thoughts on the manuscripts and history of Melymbrosia, and a good companion to the book.

June
The Woman Who Rides Like A Man by Tamora Pierce. The third book in the Alanna YA series, where Alanna comes to be the Shaman of a tribe and decides where her relationship(s) with George and Johnathon might go next.

Rhapsody by Elizabeth Haydon and Prophecy by Elizabeth Haydon
Books one and two of the Symphony of Ages saga. Rhapsody, Achmed and Grunthor--Singer, Assassin, and Bolg Sergeant--escape the doomed Island of Serendair for a new home half way across time...what awaits them there, is dark and forboding, and a little neanderthal. What happens? You'll have to read to find out. :)

July
The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake is back, and this time, on the hunt for a ruthless killer, controlled by a voodoo priestess and a greedy old lech. Will she survive their combined attack ;) Will they survive her fierce wrath when they try to take her out? :) With Anita in charge, what do you think?

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
(Full review coming soon to Immortal Grace)
A Witch, a vampire, and very tough little pixie--government agents dealing in keeping the otherworld creatures at bay--quit their job with the IS, and only then does all hell break loose, with the witch (Rachel) on the agency's hit list, and on the hit list of the most powerful councilman in Cincinnati, when she tries to uncover his secrets. Will she survive the concerted effort to put her among the dead? Will she survive her vampire partner's ardour? You'll have to check it out.

July/August
Crossed Quills by Carola Dunn.
A Regency Romance. A young man, secretly publishing bawdy novels under a pen name, seeks the help of a well-known political commentator, "Prometheus" to kick start his new career in the House of Lords. Little does he know that that well-known commentator is a lovely young woman, the very one from whom he seeks information of "Prometheus"; nor will she tell, for fear he will reject she, her work, and her admiration.

Raven's Ransom, by Haley Ann Solomon
A Regency--and very cute--romance concerning three sisters and their grandfather, the Earl of Raven's, scheme to see them well-married. :) He offers his inheritance to the three girls, without naming which of the three he's going to bestow it upon, and all London begins courting the sisters, and wackiness ensues; as each girl finds her soulmate (and some interesting chaps they are too! :)) and that not everything always goes as planned.

Princess In Love by Meg Cabot.
The third Princess Diaries novel. Mia has a boyfriend, but she is quite unsure of him, (will he ever ask her to the Non-denominational Winter Dance?), and despairs of ever catching the eye of her true love: Lilly's brother Michael!

September/October
Key of Light, by Nora Roberts.
Three women, strangers, and completely different from one another, are brought together by an eccentric couple to go on a mythic quest to save the souls of three imprisoned demi-goddesses. :) Another excellent title by Ms. Roberts.

StormWarden by Janny Wurts
A wizard accused of destroying a village taken prisoner, his young admirers divided between staunch admiration and a feeling of hatred sprung from betrayal, war, jealousy. But all is not what it seems. When the wizard risks his life to keep cataclysm at bay, it is up to his young admirer to take on the mantle of the next Stormwarden; and her brother must make a choice between his hatred, and blind faith and ambition. Interesting beginning to what promises to be a fine trilogy.

October:
Secret of the Wolf by Susan Krinard The third in the Forester Family series is . . . pretty good, if very different from the previous two. In a nutshell? It's the story of Quentin's new life in the Americas and how he went mad.It was good, but... in relation to the other two, very strange. Still, it was a good book, and we recommend it.

Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The first in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Frodo inherits the One Ring from his uncle Bilbo and sets off on an adventure, with 8 companions, in order to destroy the Ring in the fires of Mordor, and the agents of the Dark Lord, Treachery and small hope, right at his heels. Awesome, beginning to a much-beloved tale.

November/December:
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
The first in the trilogy. An orphan, brought up at Jordan College, Lyra is a headstrong little girl, and somewhat of a brat, in this reader's opinion; accompanied by her daemon Pantalimon, she and her friends really have nothing more to worry about than the Gobblers that have been stealing children, for some unknown purpose. Then, Lyra decides to enter a room she shouldn't and so doing, hears of research going on in the North, armored bears, and some mysterious substance called Dust; from that moment, her entire life changes; she's introduced to an elegant, mysterious woman, and soon making plans to go North, until she overhears more rumors of Gobblers and decides she would probably do best to get away from Mrs. Coulter as fast as she can. Rich in detail, and beautifully written, scary and delightful at once, we would advise the reader to forget all the hype surrounding the novel and its movie adaptation, and read it with an open mind. :) We are sure you will understand why it is so beloved.

(Yes, I realize I forgot to add this, but given the circumstances surrounding my reading of it--does the word "hospital" help at all? :(--I hope you will forgive me)
The Majipoor Chronicles by Robert Silverberg
The second in the intriguing series, we herein follow the young Hissune as he sneeks his way into Castle Mount's archives, learning about Majipoor's intriguing history, through the eyes of inhabitants long dead. From the reclusive Thesme and her tryst with a shapeshifter, to the adventurous (and forlorn) captain Sinnabor Lavon and his voyage on Majipoor's vast ocean, to the legends of Arioc and the youth of the King of Dreams, and even that of Lord Valentine, himself, Hissune learns more about Majipoor's history than possibly any other citizen has ever known, and for good reason. :) A nice set of stories, these, and highly enjoyable. If you like well-crafted Science Fantasy, you should definitely check out Mr. Silverberg's work.

More to come...

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Updated May 5, 2008