Monday, February 20, 2017

The Swap

by Nancy Boyarsky

I loved this mystery!  There was a lot of action and surprises.  And the story line was new.

Gilded Cage

by Vic James

I requested this title from NetGalley.  When Istarted reading I realized it was a YA dystonian novel and almost stopped reading.  I decided several years ago that I didn't enjoy YA books anymore.  Most have too much teen-age angst and are written at a lower reading level.  However, Gilded Cage grabbed my attention and I continued reading and enjoying it.

I thought the book was well written with layers of complexity and interesting characters and story line.  The book is set in an alternate modern day England where Equals rule and the commoners have to spend ten years of their life in slave towns.  The Equals have Skills or the ability to do magic.

The chapters alternate between a few different characters.  I generally enjoy reading books that give perspective from different characters so I liked that.  Plus we meet different people in the different settings - some in the most powerful family's enclosure and some in a dirty factory town.

The book is well paced and kept my interest throughout even though there were some major events happening in my life.  As I neared the end I realized that everything wasn't going to be resolved in the next few pages at that this was book one in a trilogy or series.  I will definitely be watching for the next installment.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Perilous Undertaking

by Deanna Raybourn

Love the cover!  This is the second installment in the Veronica Speedwell mystery series.  I read the ARC for book one, A Curious Beginning, and was thoroughly delighted with it.  You can read my review HERE

I didn't enjoy A Perilous Undertaking as much.  Veronica is a high-spirited, free-thinking young woman that doesn't mind discussing her dalliances and her feelings about "physical congress."   Here's a quote from Veronica, "Whilst I was perfectly forthright about such matters, Stoker possessed a charming reticence to discuss his baser urges."  I thought there was too much of Veronica's forthrightness and it grew wearisome.   Add to Veronica's coarseness a courtly, elderly woman, Lady Wellingtonia, who was every bit as salacious.  

A few days before starting this book I had added Veronica to a list of favorite characters.  I don't think that highly of her anymore and she is not someone I want to identify with as I tend to do with the main female character.

It's interesting to me that I was put-off by Veronica's crassness, but not bothered by the debauchery of a group of people involved with the accused murderer.  Perhaps it is because I didn't become personally attached as I did to the main character.  

Raybourn's writing style, idioms, and vocabulary seemed to fit the late 1800s, though I'm not an expert.  It just felt like I was reading in that time period.  I highlighted many words that I wouldn't know their meaning if they had not been in context.  I like picking up new words and idioms.

 Would I recommend this book?  Not readily and certainly not without conditions.  There are so many books that entertain, enlighten, and enrich - why waste time of less than satisfying reads?

One to Five

by Ryan Scott

You gotta love a cookbook that features"Foolproof Hard-Boiled Eggs" as its first recipe.  When I saw the title I would have bet money that he boiled his eggs like I do.  Nope. Going to have to give Ryan's eggs a try.

The philosophy behind this cookbook is to master one basic recipe, like hard-boiled eggs, and spin it into five quick, affordable, and crowd-pleasing dishes. I like it!

I enjoy reading cookbooks and looking at the pictures, unfortunately I didn't get to make any of the recipes before reviewing this book - blame it on a month of flu/cold.  I liked the introduction and pictures of Ryan and his mother.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Trigger Warning

by Neil Gaiman

I don't usually read short stories but when this one showed up on Pixel of Ink for $2 I grabbed it because it was Neil Gaiman. I enjoyed the introduction. After reading the first 2 or 3 stories I was feeling bewildered. I felt like I might not be smart enough or imaginative enough to "catch on" to the meaning or purpose of these stories. As if my ego wasn't deflated enough, my husband started reading this book and absolutely loved the story about the chair. I was about to quit and start a new book but I persevered and enjoyed the rest of the stories. My favorite story was the one about Sherlock Holmes. Next favorite was probably the spin on Sleeping Beauty.