Monday, November 26, 2012

Reading Nation

I happened upon this information while happily surfing book news....

                           It's   Book Week Scotland

While I live in the U.S. I harbor a secret (and probably totally unrealistic) crush on all things Scotland. This love began...of course...from books, every since I have been a kilt loving, bag pipe listening, Scottish festival go-er. Even going as far as tracing my 'people' back to Scotland (as I was told our family once hailed from there) but only got as far as the potato famine in Ireland....still pretty stoked I got that close to Celtic roots.

The universe must have known about this week before I did and conspired to make me a part of it because the book I am currently reading is by a Scottish writer. Review to follow of course, but so far so good! 

I love when any country has special events to celebrate reading on a national level. If you are interested in what Scotland has cooked up, hop on over and see for yourself.

Happy reading indeed.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Old school

The Thin ManThe Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

Nick and Nora Charles are Hammett's most enchanting creations, a rich, glamorous couple who solve homicides in between wisecracks and martinis. At once knowing and unabashedly romantic, The Thin Man is a murder mystery that doubles as a sophisticated comedy of manners.

My rating and take


I love Nick and Nora Charles! This is the first time we have met in print, my previous encounters with them have been courtesy of the TCM channel, where a few of the movies will be aired once again on December 18th. I did enjoy the witty banter between the characters, and as usual for me with mysteries, I had no idea who-dun-it.
I found it interesting that the bio about the author stated he had worked for the Pinkerton Detective agency, he must have had no end of interesting contacts to write about from that job.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Food for thought

                                    Happy Thanksgiving!

Before the turkey coma hits take a gander at my selection of recommended books (in no particular order) that are either about food or have food in the title. Bon Appetit!

Like Water for ChocolateLike Water for Chocolate

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School in ParisThe Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and IndonesiaEat Pray Love

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1)The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Sunday, November 18, 2012

No further

                              Blood Smoke and Mirrors by Robyn Bachar

Blood, Smoke and Mirrors
Even a bad witch deserves a second chance.

Wrongly accused of using her magic to harm, the closest Catherine Baker comes to helping others is serving their coffee. Life as an outcast is nothing new, thanks to her father’s reputation, but the injustice stings. Especially since the man she loved turned her in.

Now the man has the gall to show up and suggest she become the next Titania? She’d rather wipe that charming grin off his face with a pot of hot java to the groin.

Alexander Duquesne has never faltered in his duties as a guardian -- until now. The lingering guilt over Cat’s exile and the recent death of his best friend have shaken his dedication. With the murder of the old Titania, the faerie realm teeters on the brink of chaos. His new orders: keep Cat alive at all costs.

Hunted by a powerful stranger intent on drawing her into an evil web, Cat reluctantly accepts Lex’s protection and the resurrected desire that comes along with it. Lex faces the fight of his life to keep her safe...and win her back. If they both survive.

Warning: This book contains one tough and snarky witch, one gorgeous guardian, explicit blood drinking, magician sex, gratuitous violence against vampires and troublemaking Shakespearean faeries.

My rating & take

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This book had much of the right ingredients to make a great book but somehow still fell flat. I found myself not caring enough about the characters to rouse my ire at the fact that they were not well developed at all. This is book one in the Bad Witch series and maybe things get better as the writer and series progress but I can't stick around to find out. There are too many undiscovered gems out in the world to be stuck with a 'meh' book.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A little late but...

I didn't intend to do a post for Veterans Day but having given it some thought I think it is the right thing to do. So I hope this is a 'better late than never' kind of a thing.

Since it is all about the books here at BBBL I have two recommendations that while very different in content, share battlefields of a sort and are both written by veterans.

                                                A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to ArmsIn 1918 Ernest Hemingway went to war, to the 'war to end all wars'. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded and twice decorated. Out of his experiences came A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway's description of war is unforgettable. He recreates the fear, the comradeship, the courage of his young American volunteer and the men and women he meets in Italy with total conviction. But A Farewell to Arms is not only a novel of war. In it Hemingway has also created a love story of immense drama and uncompromising passion.

                                                       Finding Fish

Finding Fish: A MemoirBaby Boy Fisher was raised in institutions from the moment of his birth in prison to a single mother. He ultimately came to live with a foster family, where he endured near-constant verbal and physical abuse. In his mid-teens he escaped and enlisted in the navy, where he became a man of the world, raised by the family he created for himself. "Finding Fish" shows how, out of this unlikely mix of deprivation and hope, an artist was born -- first as the child who painted the feelings his words dared not speak, then as a poet and storyteller who would eventually become one of Hollywood's most sought-after screenwriters. A tumultuous and ultimately gratifying tale of self-discovery written in Fisher's gritty yet melodic literary voice, "Finding Fish" is an unforgettable reading experience.

While I can't say either is lite reading, I can say both were rewarding reads.

I just want to send out my humble thanks to all who have, and who are now serving in the military, as well as their families who give up much to support the endeavor.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Magic at an end

                                          Magic for a Price by Devon Monk
Magic For A Price (Allie Beckstrom, #9)Allison Beckstrom’s talent for tracking spells has put her up against some of the darkest elements in the world of magic, but she’s never faced anything like this.

Magic itself has been poisoned, and Allie’s undead father may have left the only cure in the hands of a madman. Hunted by the Authority–the secret council that enforces magic’s laws–wanted by the police, and unable to use magic, she’s got to find the cure before the sickness spreads beyond any power to stop it.

But when a Death magic user seeks to destroy the only antidote, Allie and her fellow renegades must stand and fight to defend the innocent and save all magic…
My rating & take
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This book represents the ninth and final book in the Allie Beckstrom series. I am sad to see it go as I have enjoyed every book along the way. I do feel satisfied in the ending but can't escape the feeling that I wanted more from it. The first 40 pages or so didn't feel like it had the author's touch and was repetitious in a way I do not recall plaguing the other works. After that it did fall into a better flow. For some reason I was expecting a bigger splash somewhere in this story, whether it was going to be a bigger conclusion to the action, or a big 'yeah we beat the bad guys forever' love scene between the two main characters, I can't say. But I do have my suspicions on my preference! While my socks didn't get knocked off, I am also not weeping in it's all good.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Great vid

I know next to nothing about Samhain Publishing, but I plan to change that thanks to a great video they made about the ease of downloading books to your e-reader directly from their site. You should give a watch too, even if you don't own an e-reader. It was made in honor of the seventh anniversary of the publishing house. I like the way they celebrate!!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A wee bit chilly

                                       ICED by Karen Marie Moning

Iced (Dani O'Malley, #1)The year is 1 AWC—After the Wall Crash. The Fae are free and hunting us. It’s a war zone out there, and no two days are alike. I’m Dani O’Malley, the chaos-filled streets of Dublin are my home, and there’s no place I’d rather be.

Dani “Mega” O’Malley plays by her own set of rules—and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the rare humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.

My rating and take


This is book 1 of a spin off series from the highly entertaining Fever series. Since the ferver series ended I had been very much looking forward to more from this author. I would not say I was disappointed in this offering, but rather that I felt it was not up to Ms. Moning's usual standard. I felt the editing could have been tighter to control the unnecessary babbling of the main character, who is a 14 years old girl. I just did not think we needed reminding of her age through the whole book. That being my biggest detractor from the story I will say I did appreciate all the characters I have come to know and care about from the fever series coming into their own in this new series...and yes I will be buying the next book when it becomes available. No leaving friends, er, favored book characters, behind for me.

Monday, November 5, 2012

How is it for you?

In reading an interview with author Sandra Cisneros she said something that was fascinating to me,

"I think all books are medicine, and and they are meant for a person who has an ailment of a certain kind. That's why certain books don't speak to us, because we're not ill with that ailment."

Have you ever given much thought to what you read and why?

                                           Liz Scott