So many books, so little time

So, Dear Readers, I find myself conflicted. I have so very many books to read, all screaming for my attention and taunting me with their promises of amazing adventures. Unfortunately, I find myself unable to concentrate for too very long. The end of the school year fast approaches and there is yet much to be done with my students, not to mention taking care of a husband with a healing broken bone.

So things are bit busy. Therefore, I apologize for the long time between updates. Is there any way you can ever forgive me?

I shall do my best to be back with reviews and excitement soon, dears. I promise.

Spring is upon us!

Two more days, my dear ones. Two more days and then Spring will be here officially. YAY! Unfortunately, I have not had much time lately to read, because of life issues. I am hoping, with the end of school and spring/summer vacation, that I will be able to bury myself in books and read until my bibliophile heart’s content.

I am very, very much looking forward to that! ^_^

The Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale

I was amazed and delighted to find out last year that Shannon Hale had rewritten the Grimm’s fairy tale  The Goose Girl. I loved the story of Isi and her adventures in Bayern, far away from her kingdom of Kildenree. I loved the book and Hale’s re-imagining of the characters and events; she drew you in with Isi and Falada and all that they endured on the road to and in Bayern to return Isi to her rightful place.

The second book in the series is called Enna Burning, which follows a character introduced in The Goose Girl. The best part? This book has been a pain in the rear to find in the bookstore. I have been able to find the other two books in the series but never, ever this one. I mentioned this to a student whom I saw reading the book and the next day, she gave it to me, citing that she never re-reads her books. I was very, very excited, to say the least. YAY!!

Book News!

I am so very, very excited! The first sequel to Eyes Like Stars has been announced by Lisa Mantchev. The book will be released on May 25, 2010, and I am extremely excited to read the continuation of Bertie’s adventures with the Midsummer fairies and Ariel, on her way to find Nathaniel, whose been snatched away by the wrathful sea goddess. But I worry about Bertie’s heart. Will it be able to survive Ariel’s machinations and airy allure? Will she be able to keep her heart strong for Nathaniel, or will she lose her heart to the fae sprite that desires to conquer her so? With all that Bertie has learned about her past, her personal history, will she be able to brave the unknown to find her life-long friend, and survive with her soul intact?

I love Jason Chan’s artwork and am just ecstatic that he has continued to do the cover art for Lisa’s novels. I enjoyed Eyes of Stars, as it is chock-full of Shakespeare’s characters, and Shakespeare is a dear old friend of mine.

Lisa is a greatly enjoyable writer and a wonderful PR person. She’s been running contests for advanced reader copies of Perchance to Dream. I want to keep up on this so that I can enter one when the time comes. ^_^ If you’d like to read more about Lisa, visit the Theatre Illuminata, and see for yourself what an awesome writer and person she is.


Update 10/14/2011 – The third book in this series is now available: So Silver Bright.

The Sight, The Light Bearer’s Daughter, and Silksinger

These three books are my newest buys. Out of three, I have read the predecessors of two of them. Firebringer by David Clement-Davies was an epic novel about the red deer that filled Briton in its ancient days. I really enjoyed the story of Rannoch and his herd. The Sight is Clement-Davies epic about the wolves of Transylvania. I have tired to read this book before but ended up giving it to a student as a goodbye present, as she enjoyed Firebringer even more than I did. So I am excited to read it this time through.

I read O.R. Melling’s first novel The Hunter’s Moon and very much enjoyed it. It was my first experience with the dark side of the Fae, especially the fae myths and stories of Ireland. I am hoping that The Light Bearer’s Daughter will be just as fun. If the glossary is any indication, it will be. 🙂

Silksinger is the sequel to Blackbringer by Laini Taylor. I have just begun Blackbringer but Silksinger’s cover was too enchanting to leave behind.  I shall definitely be putting these books in my classroom when I am done with them.

Currently Reading: The Smile by Donna Jo Napoli

Begun, 1/30/2010: I’ve enjoyed Donna Jo Napoli’s stories, the way she weaves in the details and descriptions of her characters and settings. I don’t remember where I found this book but I bought it for my classroom. No one has touched it yet so I decided to give it a spin myself, especially since I finished two books this week.

And here we go! 🙂

Paused: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

OK, so I caved and picked up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith at the Scholastic Book Fair. A fellow teacher told me about it last year and I was rather skeptical but having read Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, I figured it might be worth a look. It’s interesting so far and I love the fact that there are illustrations; just hilarious.

Mr. Bennett is much more assertive in this version, as he is concerned with keeping his daughters trained in the “deadly arts” against the scourge that has lately scoured England, ie. zombies.

Mr. Bingley is a just as good-natured and handsome as before but a bit clumsy, as he is not as proficient in musketry as a young lady would like in these difficult times. As I said, it’s interesting.

I shall keep you updated, dear readers. ^_^

UPDATE, 2/9/2010: Too many books to read! I shall return to this one later. 🙂

Between Two Queens by Kate Emerson

I enjoyed Kate’s first book The Pleasure Palace, even though it felt a tad forced with  the big plot climax. But it was still nicely-written, so I am looking forward to this second installment in her Tudor Secrets series.

This story is based on the diaries and letters of a maid-in-waiting to Queen Jane Seymour named Nan Basset, a young woman who always thought of love as a game to be won. Such a game is dangerous when it is played with such men as Henry VIII.

As I said, I’m very excited to read this book, though I have a few to finish before I can take it on. ^_^

Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce

My previous experience with Tamora Pierce consists of her Daughter of the Lioness duet (Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen) and I truly enjoyed those books. I love Pierce’s ability to weave a story and characters that you just fall in love with.

So far I really enjoy Evvy, or Evumeimei as Luvo calls her. And I ADORE Luvo. Who wouldn’t adore a living, walking, talking heart of a mountain composed of green and purple crystal in the shape of a bear? I love the way that Pierce describes ambient mages like Evvy (stone) and Rosethorn (plants) and their powers. Evvy’s connection with stone and gem is just…for lack of a better word, magical.

Evumeimei is fiesty, distrusting and as hard and hale a character as one could want. Having already gone through gang warfare over her magic and a war proper, being just a teenager, Evumeimei is rightfully somewhat hateful of humanity, preferring the company of her rocks and Luvo. I adore her.

So I am very much looking forward to finishing this story, as well as reading Pierce’s novel that covers the time of the war that Evvy and Rosethorn went through on Gyongxe. Yes, very excited! ^_^

UPDATE, 1/29/2010: Oh, yes! I was right. I adore Evumeimei! She is an awesome, though stubborn, character.  Pierce’s descriptions of her ambient power with and within stone are engrossing and beautiful. I never stones could be so fascinating. Her interactions with others are a constant surprise to her, especially when they do something that causes her to respect or even like them. She doesn’t have much use for humans, obviously, so it’s fun to watch her have to admit that some humans are worth the breath in their lungs. Pierce writes Evvy in such a way that you almost agree with her that most human beings just aren’t worth dealing with and you can feel her love for her stones and the care that she gives them. A very well-written character.

I have about a 1/4 or 1/5 of the book left to go. Perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to finish it today. That would be two books finished in a week. 🙂

FINISHED, 1/29/2010: I finished the book today and I was rather satisfied with the ending. It felt rather unconventional but it fit in with the story quite well. By the end of the story, you have seen facets to Evumeimei and Luvo that you never expected.

I adored this book! It’s been a few years since I read a Pierce novel and I once again realize why I enjoy her work. I cannot wait for her book on the war in Gyongxe. I need to read Street Magic, the novel where Evumeimei is introduced into Pierce’s world through Briar Moss, another former street rat and “green” mage.

Bravo, Tamora! Another story well-woven!

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner

I pulled this book off the shelf in my classroom because I needed something to read along with my students during Friday reading (I forgot my book at home). I bought this book at the Scholastic Book Fair for my classroom and had not had a chance to read it yet.

I must say that I have been pleasantly surprised and intrigued by this book thus far. On the eve of the French Revolution, a young boy named Yann, along with his lifelong friends Tetu and Topolain, are called away to a Marquis’s chateau in the countryside to perform for the glittering aristocracy on one of the coldest of winter nights. At this chateau, he discovers hidden passages, a neglected heiress named Sido, and witnesses Topolain’s murder. Now Yann and Tetu are on the run for their lives and Yann is constantly surrounded by more questions than answers.

I’m very excited to continue reading this book. ^_^

UPDATE, 1/26/2010: I am enjoying this book far more than I thought I would. The start feels a bit slow at first but it soon picks up and the start begins to unravel its secrets. I am about 84 pages away from the ending and the plot has become gut- and heart-wrenching. Sido is so much more than I expected, as is Yann. It’s a very good and very frightening representation of what went on in Paris during the French Revolution.

I am looking forward to the “plan”, to see how it turns out. YAY! I’m so glad I am enjoying this. ^_^

FINISHED, 1/27/2010: I enjoyed this book very much! It was much more interesting than I thought it would be a first. The end of the story was a little disappointing; not so much a happy ending as a heroic “we hope everything turned out to be a happy ending”. The blood and terror of the French Revolution are almost palpable and Gardner does a wonderful job of bringing it and the magic of Yann’s history to life.

As I said, I truly enjoyed this book! I also aced the Accelerated Reader test for it. ^_^ YAY! Now, onto the next book.