Gods Behaving Badly is an amusing and irreverent look at the Greek gods in the twenty first century. Many of the gods are living together in a crowdedGods Behaving Badly is an amusing and irreverent look at the Greek gods in the twenty first century. Many of the gods are living together in a crowded house in London. The gods engage in infighting and sexual escapades even as their powers diminish. Alice and Neil are mortals who become manipulated by the gods. In Neil, the gods find an unexpected hero who does more than rescue Alice.
Gods Behaving Badly is a light, fun read. The personalities of the gods are consistent with the traditional stories even as they live in the modern world. While the gods barely see Alice and Neil as people (most think Alice has only gone on holiday when she does not show up to work for weeks), Phillips creates a more in depth picture of their relationship for the reader. Phillips writes engaging and humorous dialogue and has great descriptive passages about the underworld.
The edition I received has a 'Reading Group Guide' in the back which contains an article by the author as well as discussion questions. The book may not be suitable for all book groups however, as there are numerous sexual references and some language....more
Although I have read some reviews that felt Undone was a bit predictable, I was completely taken in by the story. I wanted to know what happened to KoAlthough I have read some reviews that felt Undone was a bit predictable, I was completely taken in by the story. I wanted to know what happened to Kori that caused her to change so dramatically and understand why Serena went along with her friend's crazy ideas. Kori and Serena were both highly emotional characters and Taylor did a great job bringing those emotions off the page. I could feel the depth of Serena's loss and how utterly lost she was in her own life without Kori to ground her. All of the secrets which are revealed in the book are highly emotional as well and reveal a lot about the characters' interactions with each other and their own behaviors.
I think this is a great book for older teens as there are many references to sex and drug use, as well as some foul language. Normally these are things that would turn me off to a book but they all fit into this story of rebellious (and hurting) teens. I don't think the book would have the same impact without these elements....more
I am one of those people who can only digest non-fiction books full of scientific-based information in small doses at a time. Luckily for me, the layoI am one of those people who can only digest non-fiction books full of scientific-based information in small doses at a time. Luckily for me, the layout of this book is perfect for this approach. Colbin breaks each chapter into even smaller, more manageable sections. It was easy for me to read a bit, put the book aside for a bit to digest that information, and then pick up the book again without having to reread to regain my bearings in the book. Colbin uses a lot of references and scientific studies to back up the information she presents, which in some cases flies in the face of traditional thinking about bone health. She truly takes a holistic approach to the subject: explaining how the skeletal system functions when healthy, looking at how problems develop with the bones, and demonstrating how healthy eating, exercise, and mental/emotional/spiritual well-being can improve overall bone health.
Then there are the recipes. Colbin focuses on leafy greens as a vegetable source of calcium but she also provides many other recipes as well. A few that I would like to try are Broccoli with Mushrooms, Salmon Frittata with Fresh Dill, Avocado-Cucumber Soup, and Hearty Shrimp Bisque. Colbin also provides recipes for many types of stock, which she says are rich in minerals that we need for our bones.
Overall, I found Colbin's book to be very informative and easy to follow. As with any book on health, please talk to your doctor or health care professional before self-diagnosing or self-treating any health condition....more
I adore the magical realism in Sarah Addison Allen's books and The Sugar Queen is no exception. The characters are all searching for something and havI adore the magical realism in Sarah Addison Allen's books and The Sugar Queen is no exception. The characters are all searching for something and have unique talents and quirks which bring them together. Josey, Della Lee, and Chloe give the reader hope that lives can change and lost dreams can be recovered....more
Men of the Otherworld focuses on the male werewolves: Malcolm, Jeremy, and Clayton Danvers. I had not read these stories when they were available on AMen of the Otherworld focuses on the male werewolves: Malcolm, Jeremy, and Clayton Danvers. I had not read these stories when they were available on Armstrong's website so it was a great way to get their background stories. While it is definitely not necessary to know this information when reading the books of Women of the Otherworld, knowing so many more details about the men does add a new dimension to those books. Now we understand why Jeremy is different from the other werewolves and how Clayton came to be so damaged. Although the book contains two short stories and two novellas, Armstrong's focus on the werewolves and movement through time make it easy to forget that this isn't just a single novel....more
I enjoyed Dragonfly in Amber, possibly even more than Outlander, but the book was too bloody long. Although I loved learning more about the charactersI enjoyed Dragonfly in Amber, possibly even more than Outlander, but the book was too bloody long. Although I loved learning more about the characters and getting to know new ones, I felt like it took me forever to get through this book. By the time I reached the end I had already forgotten parts from the beginning.
I will continue with the series but I'm going to take a break and read some shorter books for a bit until I feel like I can tackle another one of this length....more
It isn't often that I read "chick lit," not because I don't like it but because I tend to forget about it. It isn't the type of book that I think to sIt isn't often that I read "chick lit," not because I don't like it but because I tend to forget about it. It isn't the type of book that I think to seek out when I'm in a library or bookstore. So I'm always glad when I read something for a book club that I wouldn't have picked up on my own and rediscover why I enjoy something.
Can You Keep A Secret? was just that kind of book for me. It reminded me that sometimes I need to take a break and read something that is fun and light on the surface even when it does examine some deeper aspects of relationships. I was hooked on Emma from the beginning of the story. Her chatty voice drew me in and I listened along as if I were on a journey with a close girlfriend. Sometimes I struggle with books that are supposed to be funny when the main character has everything go wrong because I don't see the humor in the suffering. With Emma, I was totally mortified right along with her as Jack hinted at her secrets in various situations but I was able to find it funny as well.
My heart dropped with Emma's when there was a twist that I didn't see coming and I wondered if miscommunications and secrets really would be the end of things for Jack and Emma.
Can You Keep A Secret? was a fast read and a bit of an emotional roller coaster with more depth than seen at first glance....more
Terri Clark's debut young adult novel is a fast-paced, thrilling read.
Trinity Michaels has the ability to dream walk. It is ability that she doesn't Terri Clark's debut young adult novel is a fast-paced, thrilling read.
Trinity Michaels has the ability to dream walk. It is ability that she doesn't want as it often leads to her seeing the darker side of people and their secrets. The worst by far was dreaming of Kiri the day after her parents reported her missing. Trinity was able to help the police find her but it was too late - she had already been murdered. Her killer, Rafe Stevens, was sent to a mental institution instead of jail. Now Rafe has escaped and he has developed the ability to invade people's dreams and mix them with reality. He is after Trinity in her dreams and if he kills her in her dreams she will die for real. At least Trinity doesn't have to face the danger alone as she finds an unlikely ally in Dan Devlin, the son of the lawyer who kept Rafe Stevens out of jail.
Terri Clark writes fast paced action and witty dialog that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. The novel is dark and twisted while also containing humor and even some romance. Clark peppers the text with contemporary references that today's teens will easily relate to. Her characters are interesting and dynamic with solid motivations for their actions. While there is no word currently about future books starring Trinity, Clark certainly leaves the possibility open.
Although I do not normally read graphic novels I won a copy of Holly Black's Kin as part of my prize package from a contest on Brooke Taylor's blog.Although I do not normally read graphic novels I won a copy of Holly Black's Kin as part of my prize package from a contest on Brooke Taylor's blog. I'm so glad Brooke introduced me to this graphic novel because I probably wouldn't have found it any other way.
Rue Silver's mother has disappeared and when a student at the local college is murdered Rue's father becomes a suspect in both cases. As Rue struggles with her mother's disappearance and wonders whether her father was involved, she begins to see things in a new way. People and places look different as she sees what is truly there and not the normal images that the faeries want the humans to see. In order to save her mother, Rue must unravel family secrets and discover her true heritage.
Holly Black does an amazing job at writing very sparse narrative that conveys a complex story. Rectangular text boxes let the reader in on Rue's thoughts while conversations take place in the conventional word bubbles. The characters' motivations are complicated and Black reveals the drive behind the characters' actions with a measured pace that fits well with Rue's investigation.
The black and white illustrations by Ted Naifeh fit Black's dark story perfectly. Each frame fits with the mood of the characters and shadows are used heavily to convey the unknowing. The characters are often sharp lines and angles with heavy facial expression.
The narrative and illustration work well together in expressing the depth of Rue's emotions as she struggles with so much uncertainty.
Kin is the first book in The Good Neighbors series and I can't wait to read the rest and find out how Rue handles her new knowledge and what happens to her mother. The second book is scheduled for release in 2009 and the third in 2010....more
Australian rare book expert Hanna Heath has the opportunity to examine the Sarajevo Haggadah, a priceless Jewish book that survived war. The book is oAustralian rare book expert Hanna Heath has the opportunity to examine the Sarajevo Haggadah, a priceless Jewish book that survived war. The book is one of the earliest known Jewish texts with illustrations. Hanna must repair the book so it can be placed in a special display. During her examination, Hanna finds small clues to the historical journey the book has taken to arrive at this point and she is able to learn something about the people who created and owned it.
People of the Book is a wonderful novel based on the real Sarajevo Haggadah. Chapters alternate between Hanna in 1996 and an important event in the history of the book. In Hanna's chapters, she investigates artifacts found in the book. The following chapter explains the presence of that artifact in the book. The chapters are very clearly labeled with the artifact, location, and year. This makes it very easy to transition between times and places.
Although the story focuses on a Jewish text and contains Jewish terms and traditions, I did not need to have a previous understanding of these traditions to enjoy the book. The focus is not on the traditions so much as it is the people who created each piece of the work and how the pieces came to be pulled together into one volume. The history is not simply the history of the book but, as clearly stated in the title, it is the story of the people of the book. Each had their own story and left their own mark. In her examination of the book, Hanna becomes a part of its story and so her personal story becomes important.
People of the Book is a fantastic historical novel. Brooks provides incredible detail in describing the Sarajevo Haggadah and the historical events surrounding it. It is obvious that she spent much time researching her subject in order to provide the most accurate portrayal. She also writes strong characters and dialogue. Overall I would highly recommend People of the Book. The edition I received has a Readers Guide, making it an ideal historical fiction selection for a book club.
Chainfire is the ninth book in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series and the first book in the Chainfire Trilogy. At first, I was confused about whyChainfire is the ninth book in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series and the first book in the Chainfire Trilogy. At first, I was confused about why a book would be considered a part of two series but after reading it I completely understand.
The Sword of Truth series follows Richard as he learns about his family history, his destiny, and his role as the Seeker of Truth while fighting epic battles along the way. He is joined in his adventures by Kahlan, who is the Mother Confessor, his grandfather Zedd, various Mord-Sith, and Sisters of both Light and Dark. The initial books detail the battle against Darken Rahl as he attempts to extend his cruel rule. However, there is an even larger threat to the people coming from the Old World. As the new leader of D'Hara, Richard must find a way to defeat the Imperial Order. Each book in The Sword of Truth series reveals another obstacle that must be overcome as a part of the overall battle for the people's freedom.
Chainfire begins with Richard fighting for his life after being wounded in a battle he doesn't even remember. When he wakes from unconsciousness, he discovers that Kahlan, his wife, is missing. However, the worst part is that his companions do not remember that she even exists. They insist that he does not have a wife and that all the Confessors were killed in the initial battle with Darken Rahl. Richard insists that Kahlan is real and that he must rescue her from who or whatever wounded him and captured her. Cara and Nicci begin to fear for Richard's sanity and wonder if the injuries he sustained have altered his memories. As I read the book, I felt Richard's frustration as he tried to convince his friends that Kahlan was real and that he was not crazy. The book essentially follows his search for the truth even though all evidence seems to be against him. While he is searching for Kahlan, the D'Haran forces are facing overwhelming odds against the Imperial Order in the larger battle.
Chainfire is part of two series because it does continue the overall storyline of The Sword of Truth Series. However, there is one main difference between this book and the previous eight. In all of the other books in this series, the conflict for that book is resolved by the end even though the overarching battle against the Imperial Order continues to thread through each one. In Chainfire, there is very little resolution by the end of the book. Richard does find evidence that convinces his companions that Kahlan is real and discovers how she could have been erased from everyone's memories. He also learns what needs to be done in order to counteract the magic that caused the Chainfire event. However, he is unable to act on that knowledge immediately and has not found Kahlan by the end of the book. I will have to read the second book, Phantom, and the third book, Confessor, to see how the rest of the story goes. Confessor is also the final book in The Sword of Truth series.
The Sword of Truth series has become more political and philosophical as it has grown. In Chainfire, the explanation of the magic is complicated and rather confusing. Goodkind did an excellent job at portraying Richard's frustration at being unable to convince anyone of Kahlan's existence, his worry over her disappearance, and his self-doubt as he found no evidence to support his memories. As the reader, knowing of Kahlan's existence from earlier books, I was felt Richard's confusion and frustration along with him.
Overall, I greatly enjoy this series and am looking forward to reading the final two books. The CW currently has a show called Legend of the Seeker which is based on the first book in The Sword of Truth Series, Wizard's First Rule. My husband and I attempted to watch the initial episode but we found ourselves very frustrated with the substantial changes that had been made in the initial storyline and the relationships between the characters. If you are a fan of the books, I would not recommend the show....more
Deirdre Monaghan is a very talented young musician. She leads a pretty normal life until she meets Luke Dillon. Suddenly, she beings to see things othDeirdre Monaghan is a very talented young musician. She leads a pretty normal life until she meets Luke Dillon. Suddenly, she beings to see things other people can't see and her life takes on a dangerous twist.
Maggie Stiefvater's first young adult novel, Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception, is a great read. Stiefvater's characters are complex and intriguing. The dialogue flows easily, even when Luke is forced to be cryptic about his situation and his part in what is happening with Deirdre. Emotions run high throughout the book as Deirdre struggles to understand her gift of sight, her family's history with the fey, and the current threat posed by the faerie queen. Stiefvater also blends historical faerie lore with the technology of today, creating a sense of drifting between times.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the sequel, Ballad, which is scheduled for release sometime this year....more
I was very excited to receive this book from the Early Reviewers Program as the story sounded like it would fit perfectly with my library of urban fanI was very excited to receive this book from the Early Reviewers Program as the story sounded like it would fit perfectly with my library of urban fantasy, traditional fantasy, and paranormal titles. Unfortunately, I was ultimately disappointed in this book.
I had never read anything by Lori Handeland before and did not realize that her background is as a romance writer. This was clearly evident in Any Given Doomsday with explicit sexual scenes and from the descriptive style. While I do not object to sex scenes in general in the books that I read, I dislike them when it takes away from the plot or becomes a central element in the plot as it did in this book. Handeland herself makes a comparison for this series to the Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton - I would clarify this by saying it is much closer to the recent Anita Blake books in which sex has taken over the story than the original books which actually had plot lines. I am a fan of the early Anita Blake books but the recent ones have so much sex in them (and so little story) that I no longer enjoy reading them. A fan of the current Anita Blake books would probably enjoy Any Given Doomsday.
I thought the actual story was pretty good - Elizabeth Phoenix is a psychic and ex-cop who is thrown into a world she didn't know existed after being found unconscious by her murdered foster mother's body. Now she must learn to deal with her growing new powers while learning about a large variety of paranormal creatures. Oh, and don't forget about saving the world.
If the local library purchases the second book in this series I will probably give the series one more shot before writing it off completely. However, I would not spend money on these titles....more