I’m a reader, I love to read. Give me a good book, I’m happy. Books take away the pain, books help you escape from the mundane, books take you on mini vacations and books enlighten us in ways we never saw coming. The following are some books that have given me some pleasure in the past few months.
1. The Time Traveler’s Wifeby Audrey Niffenegger
Audrey Niffenegger’s innovative debut, The Time Traveler’s Wife, is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.
The Time Traveler’s Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare’s marriage and their passionate love for each other, as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals – steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.
I loved this book, I wanted to read it before seeing the movie as I heard the movie just doesn’t live up to the book.
2. An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon – The much anticipated 7th installment of Gabaldon’s Outlander’s series does not disappoint her devoted fans. All the main character’s plus appearances from some we thought we would never see again make an appearance in this big book. Be prepared to become enthralled with the lives of Jamie and Claire as they continue their journey still madly in love with each other. Word of caution, there are some major cliffhangers in the end of the book so there will be an 8th in the series!
3. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen - In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it.
The Waverley’s have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, NorthCarolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.
New author for me and I really like her writing!
4. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen – Twenty-seven-year-old Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night…. Until she finds it harboring none other than local waitress Della Lee Baker, a tough-talking, tenderhearted woman who is one part nemesis—and two parts fairy godmother…
This is a quick read with a few surprises! I do like Allen’s style of writing and look forward to her next book.
5. Quentins by Maeve Binchy – Is it possible to tell the story of a generation and a city through the history of a restaurant?
Ella Brady thinks so. She wants to film a documentary about Quentins that will capture the spirit of Dublin from the 1970s to the present day. And Quentins has a thousand stories to tell: tales of love, of betrayal, of revenge; of times when it looked ready for success and times when it seemed as if it must close in failure. But as Ella uncovers more of what has gone on at Quentins, she begins to wonder whether some secrets should be kept that way…
Really loved the way Binchy tells the story of the people who are all entwined together through one place, Quentins. Beautiful story.
6. Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning – He has stolen her past, but MacKayla will never allow her sister’s murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac’s every thought—and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust.
This is the fourth book in a series and I’ll warn you, start with the first one because each one ends with a cliffhanger!!
7. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr – Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; everything. Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr’s stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.
Nice faery tale for those of us who still believe in them!
8. Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr - Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.
Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.
Second in the “Wicked Lovely” series and darker but very good!
9. Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr - Sethnever expected he would want to settle down with anyone—but that was before Aislinn. She is everything he’d ever dreamed of, and he wants to be with her forever. Forever takes on new meaning, though, when your girlfriend is an immortal faery queen.
Aislinn never expected to rule the very creatures who’d always terrified her—but that was before Keenan. He stole her mortality to make her a monarch, and now she faces challenges and enticements beyond any she’d ever imagined.
Third in the “Wicked Lovely” series and the best. I really liked this one and look forward the next!
10. The Bride and The Beast by Teresa Medeiros – Think Beauty and the Beast, but so much better!!!
I’d been prowling the crumbling ruins of Castle Weyrcraig for so long that I could no longer remember if I was man or beast. Then one stormy night the superstitious Highlanders of Ballybliss decided to leave a helpless virgin bound to a stake in the castle courtyard to satisfy my insatiable appetites. My demands might strike terror in the hearts of men, but this bold beauty dared to defy me. After she informed me that she didn’t believe in dragons, I had no choice but to make her my prisoner—or risk being exposed to those I had sought to deceive with my dangerous masquerade.
Soon I found myself stealing into the moonlit tower just to watch her sleep. Little does she know that beneath this beast’s gruff exterior beats the passionate heart of a man. Gwendolyn Wilder may not believe in dragons, but I intend to use all my sensual wiles to teach her to believe in something even more magical—true love.
I enjoyed this “fairy tale” with a twist (the twist being it’s for adults!) After reading this book I’ve decided to call my hubby “Beast” now….at opportune moments of course!
The following books are in line to be read, I always have a stack of “TBR” books…..lately it’s been rather high!
11. Charming the Prince by Teresa Medeiros – Medeiros’s trademark humor and potent love scenes will enchant audiences once again with the introduction of Sir Bannor the Bold, a rough-hewn warrior who battled the French dauntlessly for 14 years. But Bannor’s deepest secret is that he is terrified of his 12 (count ‘em, 12) motherless children who have run wild for years, tormenting the residents of his keep. At his wit’s end, the exhausted lord dispatches his man to find a new wife to manage his brood, hopefully without adding to it. Bannor seeks a woman who is everything his children are not–quiet, biddable, and well-behaved. And preferably “some maternal, bovine creature who will prove to be no temptation to my appetites,” he specifies. Instead, he finds himself wed by proxy to Lady Willow Mallory, a slender, raven-haired beauty who has played unpaid and unappreciated nursemaid to her numerous step- and half-siblings for years. From an inauspicious beginning, Bannor and Willow struggle to forge a relationship, first with his estranged offspring and finally with each other. By the time he learns that love isn’t a sickness of the heart, Bannor must rescue Willow from the clutches of a covetous admirer.
Currently reading…so far, I like it.
12. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown – Here’s the stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling–a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.
I bought this book at Chicago O’Hare airport due to a man behind me raving about it and he literally talked me into it. A) He either really liked the book. B) He works for the publisher. C) He was Dan Brown.
13. The Complete Novels of Jane Austin - Collected together in one volume, The Complete Novelsshow the development of Austen as a writer and social commentator. From the early optimism and youthful energy of Northanger Abbey to the quiet and subtle art of Persuasion, this collection reveals the breadth of one of the best loved novelists of all time.
A lovely way to spend cold winter evening, curl up by a fire and sipping tea and visiting with old friends such as Mr. Darcy!
Do you have a good book suggestion?
And please remember our friend Janet (Fond of Snape) on Friday as she will be having surgery. Send her all the positive vibes, prayers and good thoughts you can and I know she will not only greatly appreciate it but feel the love surround her.