Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rebel Heart

Author:  Moira Young
Series:  Dust Lands, Book 2
Year: 2013
Publisher:  Margaret K. Elderry
Pages:  432


Saba thought her world would return to normal after they defeated the Tonton and rescued her kidnapped brother Lugh. The family head west for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But a formidable enemy is on the rise. What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants?

I'm totally amazed at how easy and quick these books are to read. Rebel Heart is engrossing and unputdownable. It'd been a while since I'd read Blood Red Road and Moira Young gives no recap but eventually everything came back to me. I love these characters. I love Young's writing style. It's effortless and smooth. Saba's pain and fears were my pain and fears. My first act upon finishing this book was to look up the publication date of the final book (just a few weeks away). I recommend picking up this series and checking it out. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sex Criminals: Vol. 1: One Weird Trick

Author:  Matt Fraction
Illustrator:  Chip Zdarsky
Year: 2014
Publisher:  Image Comics
Pages:  128

Goodreads Summary:

Suzie’s just a regular gal with an irregular gift: when she has sex, she stops time. One day she meets Jon and it turns out he has the same ability. And sooner or later they get around to using their gifts to do what we’d ALL do: rob a couple banks. A bawdy and brazen sex comedy for comics begins here!

I'm intrigued with these graphic novels. I felt like there was a lot of set-up in this collection for what's going to happen with the stories. The artwork was interesting and colorful. The story is unique and has tons of possibility. I enjoyed these and I'm sold enough to keep reading. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover

Author:  Sarah MacLean
Series:  The Rules of Scoundrels, Book 2
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Avon
Pages:  373

Goodreads Summary:

Lady Philippa Marbury is odd. The bespectacled, brilliant fourth daughter of the Marquess of Needham and Dolby cares more for books than balls, flora than fashion and science than the season. Nearly engaged to Lord Castleton, Pippa wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she's never seen before marriage. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London's most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross.

Like any good scientist, Pippa's done her research and Cross's reputation makes him perfect for her scheme. She wants science without emotion—the experience of ruination without the repercussions of ruination. And who better to provide her with the experience than this legendary man? But when this odd, unexpected female propositions Cross, it's more than tempting . . . and it will take everything he has to resist following his instincts—and giving the lady precisely what she wants.

These are such fun romances. Sarah MacLean does a wonderful job of writing characters that I love. They make me smile, laugh, cry and love. If all romances were this good, romance would be the top genre in America. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fragile Things

Author & Narrator:  Neil Gaiman
Year:  2006
Publisher:  HarperAudio

Goodreads Summary:

A mysterious circus terrifies an audience for one extraordinary performance before disappearing into the night, taking one of the spectators along with it . . .
In a novella set two years after the events of American Gods, Shadow pays a visit to an ancient Scottish mansion, and finds himself trapped in a game of murder and monsters . . .
In a Hugo Award-winning short story set in a strangely altered Victorian England, the great detective Sherlock Holmes must solve a most unsettling royal murder . . .
Two teenage boys crash a party and meet the girls of their dreams—and nightmares . . .
In a Locus Award-winning tale, the members of an excusive epicurean club lament that they've eaten everything that can be eaten, with the exception of a legendary, rare, and exceedingly dangerous Egyptian bird . . .
Such marvelous creations and more—including a short story set in the world of The Matrix, and others set in the worlds of gothic fiction and children's fiction—can be found in this extraordinary collection, which showcases Gaiman's storytelling brilliance as well as his terrifyingly entertaining dark sense of humor. By turns delightful, disturbing, and diverting, Fragile Things is a gift of literary enchantment from one of the most unique writers of our time.

In short, this is another great installment from Neil Gaiman. Some of the stories blew me over (A Study In Emerald) and others were forgettable. But the entire time, I was lost in the world of Neil Gaiman's imagination (which has no competition). This story collection is worth picking up just for the American Gods story featuring Shadow. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Author:  Truman Capote
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Audible Studios
Michael C. Hall

Goodreads Summary:

It's New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany's. And nice girls don't, except, of course, Holly Golightly. Pursued by Mafia gangsters and playboy millionaires, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease. She is irrepressibly 'top banana in the shock department', and one of the shining flowers of American fiction.

This was one of my best surprises this year in audiobooks. I bought it solely because Michael C. Hall was narrating and ended up loving it. Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of my all-time favorite movies but I never had a desire to read the book. But this looked like a wonderful narrator so I figured "what the heck." What a wonderful story! It's got this magical writing to it that had me picturing the movie. I could see the characters from the movie. The actors so perfectly embodied the characters they played. The book was a bit darker than I remember the movie being but this is a terrific audiobook.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Let the Great World Spin

Author:  Colum McCann
Narrators:  Numerous
Publisher: Recorded Books
Year:  2009

Goodreads Description:

In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in bestselling novelist Colum McCann’s stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people.
Let the Great World Spin is the critically acclaimed author’s most ambitious novel yet: a dazzlingly rich vision of the pain, loveliness, mystery, and promise of New York City in the 1970s.
Corrigan, a radical young Irish monk, struggles with his own demons as he lives among the prostitutes in the middle of the burning Bronx. A group of mothers gather in a Park Avenue apartment to mourn their sons who died in Vietnam, only to discover just how much divides them even in grief. A young artist finds herself at the scene of a hit-and-run that sends her own life careening sideways. Tillie, a thirty-eight-year-old grandmother, turns tricks alongside her teenage daughter, determined not only to take care of her family but to prove her own worth.
Elegantly weaving together these and other seemingly disparate lives, McCann’s powerful allegory comes alive in the unforgettable voices of the city’s people, unexpectedly drawn together by hope, beauty, and the “artistic crime of the century.” A sweeping and radical social novel, Let the Great World Spin captures the spirit of America in a time of transition, extraordinary promise, and, in hindsight, heartbreaking innocence. Hailed as a “fiercely original talent” (San Francisco Chronicle), award-winning novelist McCann has delivered a triumphantly American masterpiece that awakens in us a sense of what the novel can achieve, confront, and even heal.

This is a beautifully written book that is not at all what I was expecting. First off, for some reason, I thought this was going to be nonfiction and it's not. Truth be told, I bought the audiobook without even reading the description. I'd just heard so many people talking about what a great book it was and it was on a sale. I ended up being impressed with the way Colum McCann was able to tell all these interlocking stories with one common theme - they each happened around the tightrope walking between the Twin Towers. 

I almost wish I'd read this book as at times I got lost in the audiobook. I wouldn't realize that narrators had changed and would have to rewind a bit to find out what happened. All the narrators did a wonderful job and one of them (whose name I couldn't figure out) did an amazing job. But I still felt like I missed something by doing an audiobook.