Monday, May 30, 2011


Author: Cornelia Funke
Year: 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown

Once upon a time. . .  

Cornelia Funke decided to tell another tale about stories coming to life (much as she did in Inkheart) and although this book sounds a bit like Inkheart, it is a completely different story. In Reckless, Jacob Restless has discovered a world beyond the magic mirror in his father's study. In this world, Jacob learns that fairytales do exist; however, they're not exactly the same stories we learned growing up. One day, Jacob's little brother, Will, follows him through the mirror, is injured and all seems lost as Jacob is now must figure out a way to rescue his little brother or he will lost him forever.

Ms. Funke is a master storyteller and, like Inkheart and Dragon Rider before it, I was enchanted and loved the book. I found myself lost in her magical world and when the story was over, I wanted more. Great book.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Unwritten: Volume 3: Dead Man's Knock

Author: Mike Carey and Peter Gross
Year: 2011
Illustrator: Ryan Kelly
Publisher: Vertigo Comics

This is the third volume in The Unwritten series. It continues the story of Tommy Taylor and includes such adventures as the release of the new Tommy Taylor novel, Tommy's confrontation with this father and his discovery of more details about his purpose.

I continued to love this series. I like that way it blurs the line between fiction and reality and brings into question what is a story and what is not a story. I also love the references I see in the story to Harry Potter. I know it makes me sound like a huge fangirl but I get all giddy everytime I see a Harry Potter reference anywhere.

I think this series is a must for any lover of books.

Decision Points

Author: George W. Bush
Year: 2010
Publisher: Crown

"Decades from now, I hope people will view me as a president who recognized the central challenge of our time and kept my vow to keep the country safe; who pursued my convictions without wavering but changed course when necessary; who trusted individuals to make choices in their lives; and who used America's influence to advance freedom. And I hope they will conclude that I upheld the honor and dignity of the office I was so privileged to hold. Whatever the verdict on my presidency, I'm comfortable with the fact that I won't be around to hear it. That's a decision only history will reach."

The is George W. Bush's memoir of his time in office. Here he explains what he considers to be some of the most important or dramatic events of his presidency. Bush approaches each situation in a matter of fact way, explaining the information that he had at the time, the steps he took to gain more information and how he came to his decisions whether they be right or wrong.

I found some of the stories heartbreaking such as Bush's experiences of 9/11, his visits to Ground Zero, and the decisions he had to make after that. I also found many parts enlightening; in particular, more of the story was revealed relating to the Federal government's slow response to Katrina that shows that there is more than one side to every story. Or how the "Mission Accomplished"

I appreciated Bush's candor in the book in overcoming his own personal demons such as alcohol. I also enjoyed reading about his obvious love and devotion to his wife and family.

Parts of the book got bogged down with details about the minute decisions in government that would probably bore the most avid political science major. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Red Herring Without Mustard

Author: Alan Bradley 
Year: 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Press

This is the latest installment in the Flavia de Luce mysteries. This time Flavia gets mixed up with a traveling gypsy and, of course, murder follows her around. I love these stories. They are delightful tales that take place in an idyllic time even though Flavia's family circumstances are anything but idyllic. I love the way that Flavia seems to outwit the local police in solving the murder cases. I also like the way that there's always the understory about Flavia's mother and what happened to her.

I highly recommend these books.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean

Author: Justin Somper
Year: 2006
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Fourteen year old twins, Grace and Conner Tempest, grew up listening to their father's tales of a ship of Vampirates sailing the seas. He sung a shanty about the Vampirates to them to comfort them when they were scared. After their father's death, Grace and Conner decide to run away. They steal his boat and set out to sea and straight into a storm. Their boat is destroyed and the twins are picked up by two different pirate ships - one of them by the Vampirate ship. Each child struggles to deal with ship life and with the possible death of their sibling and their undesirable need to continue looking for each other.

I enjoyed this book. It wasn't great but it is a different idea and storyline and a good, if shaky, start to the series.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Emerald Atlas: Books of Beginning

Author: John Stephens
Year: 2011
Publisher: Knopf Books
Narrator: Jim Dale

I found this book while wandering through Barnes and Noble and was enchanted by the cover (because green is my favorite color). Then, I saw where the audiobook was narrated by Jim Dale and knew I had to listen to the audiobook. I love Jim Dale and have listened to every book narrated by him.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. It's the story of Kate, Emma and Michael. Three orphaned children who are constantly being moved from orphanage to orphanage. Ten years after being abandoned, they end up being the only children at an orphange in Cambridge Falls. While exploring the orphanage, they come across a green book which they later learn is called The Emerald Atlas. The Atlas allows the children to travel back in time where they end up where their adventures begin.

I loved this story. It was fun and engaging, full of magic and reminescent of so many great fantasy series (such as Narnia, Harry Potter and The Golden Compass). Jim Dale, as always, was brillant. I loved his work so much that I didn't even mind that the obviously three American orphans spoke with a British accent.

This book left me wanting for more and I highly recommend it (although you might want to wait until closer for the second book to be released).

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Curse of the Spider King: The Berinfell Prophecies: Book One

Authors: Wayne Thomas Batson and and Christopher Hopper
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Narrator: Greg Whalen
Year: 2009

The elven world of Allyra is attacked by the Spider King and destroyed in one battle. In the midst of the battle, the seven heirs of the leaders of Allyra are kidnapped and hidden on earth. There they are adopted and raised as normal earth children. They have no idea of their real heritage. Now thirteen years old, the Age of Reckoning, the elven lords are coming into their powers as teenagers on earth, learning the truth about their identityand being hunted down and attacked by the sentinels of the Spider King. 

I got this audiobook during a sale on audible. It took  me a long time to get around to listening to it and when I finally did, I enjoyed immensely. The narrator was good and the story was very good. There is lots of background and mythology development. It's definitely from the Lord of the Rings family tree.

I would normally recommend this book without hesitation but I learned after listening to the book that (1) it is part of a planned trilogy and (2) the publisher is dropping the series. I'm extremely disappointed that there's a possibility that I won't get to finish the series someday. Hopefully, if they can't find a new publisher, the authors will considering self-publishing as an ebook. 


The Walking Dead: Volume 2: Miles Behind Us

Author: Robert Kirkman
Illustrator: Charlie Adlard
Publisher: Image Comics
Year: 2009

I'm loving this series. I'm amazed at how much of a storyline and plot the comics have. The author continues to develop the characters and makes me emotionally connected to the characters.

I can't wait to get the next volume from the library!


Author: Brian Wood
Illustrator: Ryan Kelly
Publisher: Oni Press, Inc.
Year:  2008

This graphic novel is a collection of twelve short stories  featuring Megan McKennan. Megan is a young girl who leaves her home with nothing but a backpack and sets out to discover herself and find out where she belongs. Each story is set in a different city and follows Megan's attempts to succeed. 

I really enjoyed this set of stories. At times I found Megan's adventures were a bit unrealistic but there was definite strong emotions in this story. Megan was very believable and I wanted her to find herself and be happy. 

I definitely recommend this graphic novel. It's got a great storyline. The artwork's pretty good too.