Monday, February 27, 2012

Quick reviews: Audiobooks

Across the Universe Across the Universe by Beth Revis
This young adult takes place on a spaceship. Amy and her family have been cryogenically frozen for a 300 year space flight to a new planet where Amy's parents are apart of a team preparing it for settlement. Except somehow Amy got woken up early. Through Amy, we see how the society on board the Godspeed has been changed from what Amy remembers on Earth. Its an interesting twist to the dystopian genre, with a real dose of science fiction. Lauren Ambrose and Carlos Santos were the readers on this and both did a great job. My only thing with this audiobook was I kept picturing Lauren in her Torchwood: Miracle Day role (Jilly), and her voice sounds older than I imagined for the 16 year old Amy, so I had trouble believing her in the role of Amy. 4 Stars

Leviathan (Leviathan, #1)Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
This was a fun, steampunk alternate history of World War I. The book follows Aleksandar, son of the slain Archduke Ferdinand as he flees those who murdered his parents; and Deryn Sharp, a girl who disguises herself so she can join the British Air Service. Its a fun story, narrated by the brillant Alan Cumming. I was disappointed that my libraries didn't have the other two in the series available on Overdrive yet. 4 Stars.

Tithe (The Modern Faerie Tales, #1)Tithe by Holly Black
Kaye Fierch grew up with faeries as friends until she and her mom start bouncing around following Kaye's mother's rock career. After one too many of her mother's bad boyfriends, they move back to Kaye's grandmother's house. Back at her childhood home, Kaye finds herself pulled into the happenings of the Seelie and Unseelie courts, and the unconnected fae. An early observation I had about Tithe was that for something described as a young adult novel, there are quite a few f-bombs in the novel. I think this had the most, for an adult or young adult novel that I've read. And since it was an audiobook, these stood out even more. This also reminded me a good bit of Wicked Lovely. Both have a teen girl, who has had a rough growing up and can see the fae; both find themselves caught between the kinder and rougher fae courts. I enjoyed Wicked Lovely, but I didn't end up liking Tithe quite as much. The story seemed to go on a bit too long, and the language got to be a little off putting for me. 3.5 stars

When She WokeWhen She Woke by Hillary Jordan
This is described as a retelling of The Scarlet Letter, but it is more than that. This is a Dystopian novel, and Jordan has developed so rigid and infuriating, that had I been listening at home, I would have been yelling at it. It is also an unusual type of dystopian to many of the ones I've read. Given the current times, it is a very plausible world that Jordan created. I really enjoyed this one.4.5 stars

The Evolution of Calpurnia TateThe Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
The cover caught my attention when I was looking for books for my nephews. Calpurnia is the only daughter of seven children. Her grandfather, retired from the running of the family farm, has become an amateur naturalist. Through Calpurnia, we learn about how to be a naturalist and scientist, as she questions the typical womens roles expected for a girl in turn of the century Texas. I could really relate to her. I'd recommend this with anyone interested in science, especially evolution and biology. 4 stars

Daughter of Smoke and BoneDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this, other than it was getting good reviews in a YA blogs. Karou lives in a gritty world, going between art school and errands for her chimera adoptive family. Taylor created such a vivid world, and it is wonderfully read by Khristine Hvam. It is technically a YA story, but it is strong and complex and if a few small things were different, it would easily cross into adult fantasy. I would highly recommend this one, in either format. 4 stars

Mailbox Monday and What I'm Reading - Feb 27 2012

Mailbox Monday is a traveling meme hosted by Metroreader this February.

This week the following wins arrived:
Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey ~ Won from Jehara @ Quirky Girls
arc of Fever by Lauren DeStefano ~ Won from Susan @ Wastepaper Prose
arc of Shadow Blizzard: The Chronicles of Siala by Alexey PEhov ~ Won from Tor-Forge

Thanks to all who've held contests!

I also finally took advantage of some gift cards and got the following for my Nook:
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
I am Number Four- The Lost Files: Six's Legacy by Pittacus Lore
I am Number Four- The Lost Files: Nine's Legacy by Pittacus Lore (preorder, out Tuesday)

From the library, all audiobooks:
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Legend by Marie Lu
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

What I'm reading is hosted by Bookjourney
I finished:
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Hearts Restored by Prue Phillipson
The Bonesetter's Daughter

I am reading:
The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
Room by Emma Donoghue
The Book Thief

Up Next:
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame Smith
Silent in the Grave

I have been neglecting reviews, including one I started while I was in the desert. If there is one you'd like to see on something I've finished or currently reading, I can put together one. And my library holds need to not all come in for a while. At least most

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mailbox Monday and What I'm reading

Mailbox Monday is currently hosted by Metro Reader.

I spent half of the last two weeks working out in the desert, so I have book build ups, and didn't get much reading done on account of being tired from wandering for 8-9 miles daily through the desert.

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by The Countess of Carnarvon ~ Won from Fodors and Random House. Thank you!
Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell
The World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes
Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell (From the fantasticness that is Bookperk)
Lovely blackwork knight bookmark won from Tanzanite's Castle Full of Books. Thanks Daphne!

I also went to the library to pick up a hold on a physical book. Which mean the obligatory roam of the book sale.
When Christ and his Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman
The Darling Strumpet by Gillian Bagwell
The Merry Monarch's Wife: The Story of Catherine of Braganza by Jean Plaidy
Queen of this Realm: The Story of Elizabeth I by Jean Plaidy
Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig
Mary Called Magdaline by Margaret George

Checked out
Wither by Lauren DeStefano

I also have checked out via Overdrive:
The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Room by Emma Donoghue

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame Smith
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

What I'm reading is hosted by Book Journey:

I finished:
Lady MacBeth by Susan Fraser King
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

I am reading:
Hearts Restored by Prue Phillipson
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Broken Sword by Robert Joseph Lewis
The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan

Up Next:
The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame Smith
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Room by Emma Donoghue

And I suspect I've already finished my Library reading challenge, due to my binge on the audiobooks. But they make record searches and transects go much faster.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The House of Velvet and Glass

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

This week, I am waiting on The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe, which just had the cover design released. Publication date is April 10, 2012.

Katherine Howe, author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, returns with an entrancing historical novel set in Boston in 1915, where a young woman stands on the cusp of a new century, torn between loss and love, driven to seek answers in the depths of a crystal ball.

Still reeling from the deaths of her mother and sister on the Titanic, Sibyl Allston is living a life of quiet desperation with her taciturn father and scandal-plagued brother in an elegant town house in Boston's Back Bay. Trapped in a world over which she has no control, Sibyl flees for solace to the parlor of a table-turning medium.

But when her brother is suddenly kicked out of Harvard under mysterious circumstances and falls under the sway of a strange young woman, Sibyl turns for help to psychology professor Benton Derby, despite the unspoken tensions of their shared past. As Benton and Sibyl work together to solve a harrowing mystery, their long-simmering spark flares to life, and they realize that there may be something even more magical between them than a medium's scrying glass.

From the opium dens of Boston's Chinatown to the opulent salons of high society, from the back alleys of colonial Shanghai to the decks of the Titanic, The House of Velvet and Glass weaves together meticulous period detail, intoxicating romance, and a final shocking twist that will leave readers breathless.
Another gorgeous cover design, and publication date will make this be a gift to myself. I can't wait for it.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mailbox Monday

February's host is Metroreader

This week I received the following for review:
Hearts Restored Lowcountry Ghosts: Stories of Alice Flagg, Confederate Blockade Runners, and Haunted Beads The Burning Sky (Halcyon #1)

And got the following on my Nook:
Winston's War (Winston Churchill #1)Still Life With Murder

I'll be out of town for work in the next week, so will be using the time to catch up on some of the reviews I was going to write.

Monday Musings

Found a new meme that sounds a bit interesting. Monday Musings is hosted by Should Be Reading. This week’s musing asks…

Did you do any reading in lieu of watching the football game, yesterday, or were you foregoing reading to watch the game? If you read a book (or books) what did you choose?

I *hate* American Football, and there is too much painful things (annoying sport, bad halftime shows, bad commercials...) for the rare few decent commercials. So my tv stayed off yesterday. Instead I worked on my audio library book binge, and listened to Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Needed to finish it so I could upload a few new ones to the device before my work trip.