Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Circus Arrives Without Warning...

No, I an NOT talking about an invasion of teenagers, relatives or scary clowns.  In fact, in The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern there is not a clown to be found.  What you will find is a completely original and imaginative story about magic, manipulation and dreams coming true.

Everything about The Night Circus is mysterious.  There are no advertisements announcing its impending arrival, and no one knows how long it will stay or where it will go next.  Its tents and performers are clad exclusively in black and white, and the performances are beyond anyone's wildest dreams.  Oh, and it opens at nightfall and closes at dawn, which explains the whole Night Circus thing. If you are beginning to think that this is no ordinary circus, you would be correct.  Just like the black is balanced against the white, darkness is pushing against the light in this "Circus of Dreams".

Now, I could be more specific, but I think saying anything more will ruin the complete surprise of this fascinating tale.  This is Erin Morgenstern's first novel.  I hope she writes more!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Here's Another One...

It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.  ~Oscar Wilde

It's an "I AM Reading but Life Is Getting in the Way SO Here Is a Quote" Day

I know every book of mine by its smell, and I have but to put my nose between the pages to be reminded of all sorts of things.  ~George Robert Gissing

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Peter Abrahams ROCKS!!!

I discovered Peter Abrahams several years ago when my daughter was still in grade school.  I've always loved young adult and children's books, but her fantastic 3rd AND 5th grade teacher, Mr. Singley, introduced us to books we probably never would have read without him.  One of these was Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams.  This was the first book in his Echo Falls Mystery series, and I was hooked.  If you haven't read them, hop on Amazon or BarnesandNoble.com to order, or run to the library.  Today.  What I didn't realize until recently was Abrahams is also an acclaimed adult mystery writer.  Even better, and now things in my world make complete sense, he writes the Chet and Bernie mysteries under his pen name Spencer Quinn!!!  I LOVE Chet and Bernie!!!!  (See my post from 1/28/2011)  So now I have just read the first book in another series by Abrahams, and I love him even more.

Robbie Forester and the Outlaws of Sherwood Street is the story of Robbie, a 7th grader in a private school in Brooklyn.  Her father is a writer, and her mother is a Manhattan lawyer.  She has a big, lovable but cowardly dog named Pendleton.  All should be idyllic, but of course, things are not always what they should be.  Someone big and powerful is forcing longtime businesses and tenants out of their Brooklyn homes, and Robbie and her friends find themselves in the middle of big trouble. Injustice is in the air, and with the help of a mysterious homeless woman the rich begin to give to the poor.

Robbie Forester and the Outlaws of Sherwood Street is everything I love in a book.  It has great characters, atmosphere and imagination, and the potential for many more stories to come. I can't wait for the next one!

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran has recently been released as a movie starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.  It is the story of nine-year-old Oskar Schell, who is trying to find the lock that fits a mysterious key, hoping when he does to find a message from his father who died in the Twin Towers on 9/11.  However, Oskar's is not the only journey we follow in this book, and none of them are easy.

Things I liked about this book:

1. Oskar.  His emotions are relatable and realistic, and he is also an endearingly quirky kid.

2. Oskar's father Thomas.  What a great dad.

3. Mr. Black, Oskar's upstairs neighbor.  I'd love to interview him!

4. Stan the doorman.

5. The ending.

I read this book because I'd heard from a couple of people how they couldn't put it down.  I LIKED it well enough, but I think I would change the title to Extremely Weird and Sort of Unsettling.  I am definitely NOT going to see the movie, but if you've read the book or seen the movie, I'd love to hear what you think.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This Just In...

Two of my very favorite authors are coming out with their latest books!

Jacqueline Winspear's newest Maisie Dobbs mystery, Elegy for Eddie, will be released on March 27th.

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith is coming out on April 3rd.

I just pre-ordered both on Amazon.com.  I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!

There's nothing to match curling up with a good book when there's a repair job to be done around the house. ~Joe Ryan