Posts Tagged ‘Reading’

C & I both love to read and absolutely LOVE checking out eBooks from our local library.  Many books I have read in the last year or two were happy surprises I found while browsing the online selections.  Today’s book is one of those and it is “Mr. Churchill’s Secretary: A Maggie Hope Mystery” by Susan Elia MacNeal.

Here is the first line:

“Half an hour before Diana Snyder died, she tidied up her desk in the typists’ office of the Cabinet War Rooms.”

This book is set in England during the Blitz of World War II and tells the story of an extremely intelligent woman, Maggie Hope,  stuck working as a typist to do her part during the great war.  Needless to say, Ms. Hope finds herself in the middle of a mystery while working as Winston Churchill’s secretary. 

I am a sucker for historical fiction whether it is set in the 1740s, 1840s or 1940s and this was a great book.  This is also a series (Yay for series!) so I plan on reading more of the Maggie Hope books.

Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.

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I usually do Book Beginnings posts every other Thursday, but I stumbled upon a new book a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to share with you.  While C & I were on vacation, we were shopping at Target and I spied a new release that finishes a trilogy I have read and really enjoyed.  The name of the book is “The Book of Life” and it is written by Deborah Harkness.  The first books were “A Discovery of Witches” and “Shadow of Night”. 

Here are the first lines:

“Ghosts didn’t have much substance.  All they were composed of was memories and heart.  Atop one of Sept-Tours’ round towers, Emily Mather pressed a diaphanous hand against the spot in the center of her chest that even now was heavy with dread.”

Doesn’t that make you just want to jump into the story and let it take off with you? I think I sped-read through this book because I wanted to know how Ms. Harkness pulled together all of the story lines into one grand conclusion and it is one GRAND conclusion!  The characters are smart and complicated in their own ways, but the writer makes you care for (almost) all of them for different reasons.  If you like fantasy fiction, please give this trilogy a go.  You won’t be disappointed.

Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.

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Book Beginnings has a new host, Rose City Reader, and I am so glad she decided to continue this link party!  Don’t forget about A Few More Pages.  Just because she isn’t able to host anymore, doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve some reader love.  Other bloggers link up the books they are reading and their feelings toward them.  It is always interesting reading.

Today, I am bringing you the first few lines of the fourth Harry Potter book: Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.  I have really enjoyed the first three and this one is just as good.  Ms. Rowling’s imagination and creativity are amazing and I wish I had just a drop of  her writing ability!

“The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it "the Riddle House," even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there.  It stood on a hill overlooking the village, some of its windows boarded, tiles missing from the roof, and ivy spreading unchecked over its face.”

Doesn’t this sound like a sad place to be?  It turns out to be a dangerous place to be for one poor man and a temporary safe haven for another very bad man.  This book, along with the others in the series that I have read, are awesome.  I can easily understand how these books exploded onto the scene and I am glad I decided to give them a try.

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Book Beginnings

Hello, my fellow book lovers and welcome to this edition of Book Beginnings.  Pop on over to A Few More Pages to see this and other blogger’s posts about books they are reading now.

My first lines come from “Explosive Eighteen” by Janet Evanovich.  Ms. Evanovich is great at cranking out funny and entertaining easy reads, and this is no exception.  All of the Stephanie Plum books are great!  If you want to laugh out loud, try her books.

“New Jersey was 40,000 feet below me, obscured by cloud cover.  Heaven was above me, beyond the thin skin of the plan.  And hell was sitting four rows back.  Okay, maybe hell was too strong.  Maybe it was just purgatory.”

What has Stephanie got herself into this time?  Well, you will just have to pick up this book and find out.  It is a heck of a ride!

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Book Beginnings

Please join me and other bloggers today over at A Few More Pages for Book Beginnings.  Here’s the scoop…pick up the book you’re reading now and jot down the first line or two then tell us what you think. 

My post today is about “Garden Spells” by Sarah Addison Allen.  I had already read “The Peach Keeper” by this author and was really impressed.  I received three other of her books for Christmas and “Garden Spells” was the one I started first.  Here are the first few lines:

“Every smiley moon, without fail, Claire dream of her childhood.  She always tried to stay awake those nights when the stars winked and the moon was just a cresting sliver smiling provocatively down at the world, the way pretty women on vintage billboards used to smile as they sold cigarettes and limeade.”

Doesn’t this paint a beautiful, mysterious picture in your mind?  I haven’t finished this one yet, but I am really enjoying it.  It has a little magic, a little sisterly love, and a little Southern charm all thrown together. 

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Thoughtful Thursday-Bookworm Edition

Did you all, my readers, think I have stopped reading since I haven’t had a bookworm post in so, so long?  Never fear, I have had a book in my hand all spring and summer long and have read some really good books and some not so good ones, too.  Let’s take a look, shall we??

I guess I had better say something first…I read for pure pleasure.  Unless it is the Bible (the perfect instruction manual for life) or a cookbook/gardening/how-to book, I read to get lost in another world or another life.  Books are an escape for me and I love them!  Sometimes I think I should have been a librarian in some big old library full of rare and precious books, but maybe that is because of the book I am reading right now.

I am in the middle of “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova, and it is so good.  If you recall, I wrote a short post about another book by the same author called “The Swan Thieves”, and I think I like “The Historian” better than that one. 

I have also read the first two books by Stieg Larrson: “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and “The Girl Who Played With Fire”.  My co-worker, K, has the third book, “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest”, and I can’t wait to get a hold of that one, too.  I highly recommend these, but with one caveat.  The first book starts out a little slow, but don’t give up on it.  If you can make it through the first 50 pages or so of story background information, you will be rewarded.  The plot takes off from there and doesn’t stop until the very end.  The second book, not weighed down by history, takes off at a run and keeps going.  It is great!  These will be the only three books by the author because he passed away shortly after the third books was completed.  So sad!

Two other books that I have read this summer and enjoyed were food-related.  Yay!  One of my favorite topics!  The first was “The Hundred Foot Journey” by Richard Morais and “A Year in Provence” by Peter Mayle.  My local library was having a summer reading program for adults and these two books were on the reading list.  I didn’t get signed up in time to complete enough books before the deadline, but it was fun to read some different authors that I have never heard of before.

My favorite of the two was “A Year in Provence”.  I think I finished it in three days and wished it was much, much longer.  It is about the author and his wife’s first year of living in the Provence region of France, and it is a true story, which makes it even more entertaining.  “The Hundred Food Journey” is fiction, but good as well.  An Indian family decide to move from India to England and then France after the death of a special family member.  The interactions between the Indian family and the locals of France is especially entertaining.

I also read “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert since I had heard a lot about it, but had not yet seen the movie.  I don’t think I will bother with the movie.  I finished the book, but it was a struggle.  This is also a true store of one woman’s journey to put her life back together after a difficult marriage and divorce.  She travels to Italy (to eat), India (to pray), and Indonesia (she finds love) to recover from her sadness.  I guess the best way to say it is that I was very uncomfortable with her religious decisions.  It seemed like she wanted to take the “best” parts of every religion and put them together to make some sort of hybrid.  That just doesn’t fly in my book.  If you want the easy, happy, and loving parts of God, you must also take his rules along with them. 

I hope you enjoyed my little book review list.  I hope to start on the Harry Potter series soon.  I like the movies and want to try the books, too.  Happy reading!!

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