Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Recommended for Culture, History, and Trivia Fans

The Intellectual Devotional: American History by David S. Kidder and Noah Oppenheimer

Read from January 1, 2008 to December 31st, 2008, this devotional isn't the typical religious sort. Instead, David Kidder has created a devotional dedicated to American history with categories of science, art, history, music, politics, and more. Each page is a tidbit of information that your history books may or may not have ever mentioned, giving you something to consider each night before bed. What you learn depends upon your current knowledge of American history. Either way, it's a gem for your nightstand.

Now for 2009, I'm going back to the book that started it all - the original Intellectual Devotional.

Notes from the playlist: "Rough and Ready" by Trace Adkins

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Recommended for Young Readers

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

My third favorite of the Little House books (and book #2 of the series), Laura and her family have moved from the woods where things are getting too crowded with people and out into the wide open prairie. Here they will build a new house with real glass windows, where Pa will farm instead of hunt, and where Native Americans roam (and occasionally show up!). Wonderful to read and imagine yourself back during the times of the West when people traveled in covered wagons and ventured out into the wild yonder with everything they owned riding along with them.

Notes from the playlist: "Ukelele de Chocobo" by Nobuo Uematsu

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Recommended for Fantasy/Romance Lovers

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Slotted in the romance section of the store, don't let its genre placement fool you. At all. There is essentially no romance in this book, but that doesn't mean it isn't a kickass bit of fantasy involved. With nasty Fae roaming the streets, MacKayla Lane is on the trail of her sister's killer, and lurking behind her is the mysterious Jericho Barrons and a super-sexified Fae prince, V'lane. Something big is about to go down in the city of Dublin and everyone wants Mac - for various unsavory reasons. This is the first of a five-book string, so if you plan to get on the ride, you'd better be ready for it to take some time. Oh, you'll have a great time while you're on it, but you'll have to wait patiently for book #5 since Dreamfever (#4) just came out August 18th. Still, if you're just starting the series, you'll have time to enjoy them all while she finishes the final book.

Read the Epinions review here!

Notes from the playlist: "Frozen" by Within Temptation

Friday, September 11, 2009

Currently Reading

Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder

I don't know why it's taken me so long to get to this book. Maybe because the count was always off at work and I kept thinking maybe it would just come in (instead of being smart and just ordering it). The library certainly didn't have it. Now, however, I'm painfully broke, but lucky for me, the library system here (as I moved in August) had it - right down the road. Yay!

Already the story is chugging along. I like that Maria doesn't waste time filling you in on what happened in the previous books the way other authors do (I like to think that by the time you read book 5 you shouldn't need any recapping), though I did forget who a couple characters were since it's been so long since I last read Magic Study. She certainly makes sure to cut off chapters in a way that make you want to keep on reading, though Yelena has already done a few of her *slightly* irritating headstrong things (that sort of "I can do everything myself" attitude). With a nasty fugitive on the loose and one of her family member's missing, it will be exciting to see where Yelena's life leads her this time. Here's hoping that Valek makes another appearance! (all the ladies love Valek)

Maria V. Snyder's first book already made it onto this blog - Poison Study!

Notes from the playlist: "Sand in My Shoes" by Dido

Monday, September 7, 2009

Recommended for Young Readers

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

My favorite series as a child (and still one of my favorites as an adult), I adored reading about the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder: how she lived during the days of log cabins, when her Pa went hunting, the smoking of meats, playing with dolls, and indulging in the tiny presents brought to her by her Pa when he returned from his visits to town. I ate up every word and know that children today do the same. Her descriptions about food always made my mouth water and the hardships she and her family went through, such as huge snow storms, always held me in awe. I don't even need to handsell this book because it does so well on its own (but I still do if I can). This is my second favorite book in the series (my favorite to come soon!) and I'm sure there are children out there waiting to put this book at the top of their list.

While other children saved their money for toys or candy, I saved mine to buy these books. And guess what? I still have them.

Notes from the playlist: "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Recently Finished

Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare and The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan

This all started due to the advent of this.

The trailer makes the movie look like a whole lot of fun. Nevermind that I'm a 25-year-old girl. However, I'm also one of those people who loves to read the books and compare them to their film counterparts. Add to that I've been wondering about Darren Shan's Cirque du Freak series ever since I laid eyes on it at work, and you've got a recipe for a reason to head to the library.

Darren Shan (yes, the character uses the same name as the authoer as this is a "true" story writen by him - even though Darren's not even his real name) never wanted to be a half-vampire. But thanks to the Cirque du Freak, his strange best friend, and his fascination with spiders, now he is. He'll have to come to terms with his vampire self if he is to survive...and there's a lot in store for him.

I checked out the first two books since these are located in the teen section (juveniles in the library). They've got their elements of horror, but the characters' ages allude me so I'm not sure how to visualize Darren. The movie makes him look, gosh, almost 16, but in the book he sounds a lot younger. Still, it is an interesting couple of books, and now I'm interested in how the rest of the series goes. After all, I still haven't met the Vampire Generals...

Read the Epinions reviews here and here!

Notes on the playlist: "Youth of the Nation" by P.O.D.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Whoops! I completely forgot to mention this. Last month I reviewed Stephanie Garber's amazing book Caraval for the web blog I curre...