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Showing posts from July, 2013

Skellig by David Almond

Skellig is an American Library Association Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book; it's a juvenile fiction book, and it's about 200 pages long with short chapters and it's a rather fast read.  A few years ago the library got a book called My Name Is Mina which was David Almond's follow up to Skellig.  I put both books on my reading list because I wanted to read Skellig first.  It turns out that while My Name Is Mina is the follow up to Skellig, Mina is actually a prequel to Skellig.

Michael and his parents and baby sister (who remains nameless until the very last sentence of the book) have moved into a new house that can modestly be described as a fixer upper.  It needs lots of work on the house, on the yard and on the garage--everything's dirty, falling together, overgrown, covered in debris, and been left to ruin and neglect by the previous, elderly owner.  But Michael's parents have big plans for the house, although after his sister is born prematurely and must …

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is subtitled "found among the papers of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker."  I'm not usually one to read the classics (unless I'm required to read one of them for a class).  However, since Sleepy Hollow, Fox's take on the classic short story by Washington Irving, will debut this fall, I thought I should read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" first even though in the world of the TV show the short story itself does not exist.

The premise of the show is this: somehow both Ichabod Crane and the infamous Headless Horseman are transported from the time of the American Revolution to the present day.  The Headless Horseman begins terrorizing Sleepy Hollow's local denizens anew, and Crane joins forces with a female sheriff's deputy/detective to 'solve' the crimes perpetrated by the Horseman.  And one would assume ultimately to find a way to stop the Horseman once and for all.

I believe the show is getting mix…

The Mourning Hours by Paula Treick DeBoard

The Mourning Hours is the first novel by Paul Treick DeBoard.  The story opens in the middle of the night on a highway in Wisconsin where Kirsten's on her way home for the first time in years.  While it's not a happy homecoming for Kirsten and her siblings, it will lead to closure, healing and redemption for her family.  This is a story about a missing girl, but its focus is the aftermath of her disappearance on her boyfriend's family and the toll it takes on them as public opinion convicts him as guilty of causing her disappearance.  The other night I had thismuch left of the book to read, and we still didn't know for sure what happened to this girl, and I thought, 'I swear if I get to the end of this book, and we still don't for FOR REAL what happened to this chick, I'm not going to be happy.'  Lucky for you all I was happy with the ending so you don't all have to listen to me gripe about it.

After the story opens in the present, we flashback fift…

The Sisters Mortland by Sally Beauman

The Sisters Mortland by Sally Beauman stars a rather incestuous group of friends made up of a triumvirate of sisters and three male friends.  The story is atmospheric, lyrical, gothic and complicated.  Okay complicated might be putting it mildly describing the dynamics running beneath the surface of this tragic family and its slightly dysfunctional entanglements binding them one to another that ultimately rend them asunder and estranged.  The story is divided into three parts told from three different perspectives--that of the youngest sister, Maisie; Daniel Nunn, the poor, village boy of Romany descent who's a childhood friend of the family; and Julia, the eldest of the sisters.

The story opens in the seemingly idyllic summer of 1967, but appearances are deceiving and when the summer's through, a summer in which change is expected as childhood friends grow up and strike out on their own, the Mortland family and those who loved them will never be the same.  There are three Mor…

Before The Poison by Peter Robinson

Before The Poison by Peter Robinson is the first book I've read by this author.  He has written other books. I'm not sure what I think about this book.  It kept me reading, but lately I've been finding that I'm ambivalent about these books once I reach the end.  I don't really have strong feelings one way or the other about this book or any of the characters in this book.  The thing I liked about this book was the historical mystery and the detective work/research involved in piecing it together.  There is also the implied supernatural element that is ever so subtly tiptoed around that I didn't really know what to make of it--like it's said the narrator may or may not be 'more sensitive' to the next world and that this is in the end how he knows with such certainty what exactly occurred in the house the night its last occupant croaked.  Once he's gone as far as he can go with the concrete research, the results of which he uses to flesh out a the…