The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

by Catherynne M. Valente

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

This book gets the highest grade possible because it was awesome. You should read it. The end… Read More »

American Adulterer: A Novel

by Jed Mercurio

American Adulterer: A Novel by Jed Mercurio

I hated this book. That is all you should really know, but let me go into the details. This “novel” details the life of JFK beginning with his Inauguration as President of the United States until his assassination. Mercurio calls it a novel in order to not do the due diligence type of research that a non fiction book of the same topic would require. Read More »

The Sense of an Ending

by Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

I approach winners of the Man Booker Prize with caution, having been lead astray down that path ONE two many times. Read More »

Death in the Andes

by Mario Vargas Llosa

Death in the Andes by Mario Llosa

Confession,  I bought this book because my sister-in-law is Peruvian, and the author is a Nobel Prize Winner from Peru. Other than that, meh, I wasn’t sure what it would have in store for me. We all know my reluctance to read books by Nobel Laureates. Or perhaps you don’t. In that case, I generally find books written by Nobel Prize winners to be pretentious and not that great. There are a few exceptions, but this wasn’t one of them. Read More »

The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival: Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone

by Dene Low

The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival: Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone by Dene Low

You can ask anyone who knows me. I am easy to buy gifts for. Books and/or chocolate and you will get no complaints from me. My youngest brother got me this little gem for my last birthday. Apparently, he met the author somewhere and she chatted him up, and bam… off to Amazon.com he went. Read More »

The Green Bough

by Ann Ritner

The Green Bough by Ann Ritner

I love my husband… and every time I read one of these Peoples Book Club books that he found at a yard sale, I remind myself that I love him. I enjoy the fact that HE enjoys the fact that I love old books. As a result I plow my way through these ‘Christian fiction’ books with a smirk on my face. The Green Bough was no exception. Read More »

Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary

by Brandon Mull

Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull

This is my favorite book in the Fablehaven series thus far. In my experience the books tend to start out slow, and pick up speed towards the end of the first third, then they gain speed, and by the end is rolling so rapidly that it seems like Mull is rushing to get everything in that he had planned. The fourth book actually kept a nice pace throughout and it ended in a bit of a cliff hanger which makes you want to read the fifth book as soon as possible. Read More »

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow

by Brandon Mull

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow by Brandon Mull

I approached the third Fablehaven novel as a fully invested (less skeptical) reader, and as a result I enjoyed this installment. The third book begins right where the second book ended, I am not sure that I enjoy that irregular timing, but is serves to move the story along swiftly and there is nothing technically wrong with choosing to start a book then, it was just unexpected. Read More »

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star

by Brandon Mull

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull

I will admit after the first Fablehaven, I was a bit disappointed. I found a promising magical world, but characters that were slightly annoying. I was unsure if it was because Mull had a plan for the young characters to mature, develop, and grow on you. I decided to continue with the series on the hope (and hey, my brother lent me all the books so I had nothing to lose) and was glad that I did. The second Fablehaven book is much better than the first. Read More »

Death in the Stocks

by Georgette Heyer

Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer

I didn’t like this book. There, I said it. It feels almost unfaithful saying something harsh about Georgette Heyer’s work. The woman practically formed every idea I have about Regency Era living, but I have to be honest, her mysteries aren’t great. I find she tries to be too clever, and too flippant, and too trite. Read More »

Catching Fire

by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins


I was pleasantly survived with The Hunger Games and eagerly read the second installment. This might have tainted my opinion of the book. If I review several books in a series, I try to review right after I read them, or not read them one after another. I find it hard to look at each novel as its own separate entity without comparing it to the others. Catching Fire, just might be a casualty of how much I enjoyed the first book. Read More »

Why Shoot a Butler

by Georgette Heyer

Why Shoot a Butler by Georgette Heyer


I’ve made no secret that I generally dislike Heyer mysteries. This book is the rare exception. Why Shoot a Butler is another mystery set in a country weekend estate type setting with a lot of wealthy people hanging around each other seemingly shocked about a murder that has happened. I would hazard a guess that all Heyer’s mysteries have this similar setting, and sometimes it works. Read More »

The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Perilous Journey

by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart


When I think of the Mysterious Benedict Society books the words that come to mind are charming and whimsical. The second installment only increased my enjoyment in the series. This novel begins where the last adventure ended. Read More »

The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I resisted The Hunger Games for a long time. Why, you ask? Well, it seemed like it was the Twilight crowd that was jumping on the band wagon and saying how great the books were. No offense against that crowd, but Twilight isn’t exactly my thing. Read More »

Mockingjay

by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

So we’ve finally come to the last installment of The Hunger Games Series. Straight off, I was disappointed. The story was not compelling in its entirety, nor was Katniss very likable, coherent, or believable in this last book. There are scenes within the book that I thought lived up to the promise of the original idea, but I found Collins using some pretty cheap literary devises to move time along quickly. Read More »

Footsteps in the Dark

by Georgette Heyer

Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer

My love of Georgette Heyer is no secret, but the more of her mysteries I read, the more disappointed I become. Read More »

The Graveyard Book

by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


I am always on the lookout for good children’s literature. I enjoy kids books that tackle interesting concepts without getting heavy handed and overly preachy. A children’s book should also be fun. Neil Gaiman’s book mingles fantasy and adventure with a bit of silliness. Read More »

The Bascombe Novels

by Richard Ford

The Bascombe Novels by Richard Ford

Technically, there are three novels composed in the Bascombe Novels. First, The Sportswriter, second, Independence Day, and third, The Lay of the Land. I toyed with the idea of reviewing each of these separately, but I read them together and neither book stands above or below the others. So, all together now…  Read More »

Root out of Dry Ground

by Argyle M. Briggs

Root Out of Dry Ground by Argyle M. Briggs

I like old books. I like the smell of their pages and how they  look on my bookshelves. I like the nice book bindings, and the sometimes beautifully colored illustrations. Apparently, my nine month old son agrees because he is eating the book as I type. Read More »

Nightingale Wood

by Stella Gibbons

Nightingale Wood by Stella Gibbons

Ah, refreshing, refreshing Stella Gibbons. I really like her style. When my husband and I were dating, or perhaps I waited until we were engaged, I made him read Cold Comfort Farm aloud with me. The poor man had to endure my constant, “I saw something nasty in the wood shed.” It must not have put him off too much, because here we are. But I digress. I was prepared to like this book, and I did. Read More »

Every Man Dies Alone

by Hans Fallada

Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada


I loved this book. Loved it. I’ve read my fair share of forgettable WWII novels. This wasn’t forgettable at all, and I was crying at the end. You have to love a book that makes you cry. To understand and appreciate this book one needs to know its writer. Hans Fallada is the pseudonym of Rudolf Ditzen, morphine addict and author who was institutionalized multiple times and lived through the Third Reich. He was neither overtly supported, nor criticized the Nazi Party. He took the middle of the road route that he so detests in his novel Every Man Dies Alone. Understanding Fallada’s self loathing helps one greater appreciate what he is trying to say. Read More »

Faithful Place

by Tana French

Faithful Place by Tana French


This novel is the third in French’s Murder Squad series. I raved about the first, and enjoyed the second, and I liked Faithful Place, but I am finding with each book, I am less invested. Read More »

The Weird Sisters

by Eleanor Brown

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown


This book begs the question, should Shakespeare enthusiasts be allowed to write novels? I am not sure they should. I get it, he was a playwright, he was witty, he was innovative… but people, it’s been a long time, we can move forward. But no, Brown, lets her love of Shakespeare flow in this novel. Read More »

The Victoria Vanishes

by Christopher Fowler

The Victoria Vanishes by Christopher Fowler

This novel is the second in A Peculiar Crimes Unit series. If you recall the first book received decent marks, and I was interested in the sequel. Unfortunately, the sequel isn’t as good as the first book. Again we find Arthur Briant and John May in the midst of a possible unit shutdown as Bryant decides it is time to retire. Before retirement can happen, one last case must be solved.  Read More »

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling

by Maryrose Wood

The Incorrigilbe Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

Can you tell a book by its cover? All I know is when I saw the cover illustration which sports three children and a pale governess, I was sold. My husband commented on how nicely bound the book was, and he IS the authority in this house, as he did take a class on book binding in college. More than a nice cover, The Mysterious Howling is a fun, feel good story about how a little love and understanding can make even the most daunting situation, rewarding. Read More »

Past Imperfect

by Julian Fellowes

Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes

Oh, Julian… why did the book have to end that way? Why? Wait, I feel I am spoiling this review by letting my feelings overcome me. Let us start at the beginning. I have long had a love for Mr. Fellowes (which is why I feel I can call him Julian). Read More »

Waiting for the Barbarians

by J.M. Coetzee

Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee

I am skeptical when I pick up books by Nobel Laureates. There is something so pretentious about the Nobel and Pulitzer prizes. Read More »

The Likeness

by Tana French

The Likeness by Tanna French

I bought this book with the expectation of being disappointed. I really enjoyed French’s In the Woods and figured that she would use many of the same devises she’d used in the first book, but that I would see them coming and it just couldn’t be good. How pleasantly surprised I was to discover that not only did I absolutely enjoy the book, I can’t wait to read the third installment in her Murder Squad series. Read More »

The Clothes on Their Backs

by Linda Grant

The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant

Another self important and whiny story about a girl whose parent’s survived World War II. I’ve read a lot of these types of books in my day, and this wasn’t a great one. Read More »

No Wind of Blame

by Georgette Heyer

No Wind of Blame by Georgette Heyer

I remember my first Georgette Heyer novel at the tender age of 12. Friday’s Child. I loved it and it began a quest to read every Georgette Heyer Regency Romance I could find. I also started on her mystery and her other historical fiction, but didn’t appreciate them, and stuck with what I liked. Now that her mysteries on in re-print, I thought it was high time to give them another try. Read More »