Category Archives: Book Reviews & Suggestions

TBR Pile Challenge: The Maze Runner

Oh, the agony!  James Dashner’s The Maze Runner stared at me for three days before I was allowed to read it.  It was finally my turn at the library, so I picked it up – but because it was part of my “2015 TBR Pile Challenge,” I couldn’t start it until the new year! This YA dystopian story has a unique premise: teenage boys have been sent one by one to an area where necessities are provided for them and they govern themselves, but they’re not only surrounded by a maze with deadly creatures, their memories have been wiped and they know nothing about their past except their names.  Runners are sent out daily to explore the maze (which keeps changing) to find a way out. The first third of the book actually felt a bit slow to me.  It’s not as tightly written as The Hunger Games and I … Continue reading

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2015 TBR Pile Challenge

I’ve never included reading goals in my new year’s resolutions because I read voraciously anyway. (Which is how I know words like voraciously.)  And I’ve never followed a reading list challenge because I like to read what I’m in the mood for at the time. I also like re-reading books. I’ve seen some interesting reading challenges, though. One started as a “Read England” challenge and spawned a “Read America” challenge, the idea being to read a book set in each English county or American state. I might do that someday, but the one that caught my eye for right now is one that focuses on my TBR Pile. For the uninitiated, TBR means “To Be Read,” and most readaholics have full e-readers and piles of unread print books.  “So many books, so little time” seems to be our slogan. My bookcases are often double-stacked – no surprise there – but … Continue reading

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Looking for Kids’ Books?

Hey all you children’s book lovers out there – look what I found!       It’s hosted over at Mother Daughter Book Reviews and if you’re looking for kids’ books, it’s the place to be – fantasy, history, multicultural, picture books and more.  Click the picture, then scroll down past the explanations and you’ll see thumbnails of a whole lot of new books to discover.       And if you’re a children’s writer, read those explanations and add your book to the list.  Cheers!

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Lynn Kurland, Where Have You Been All My Life?

Most of you know I love time travel.  I enjoy romance, as long as there’s more depth to the story than just misunderstandings keeping the would-be lovers apart.  And I’m far more interested in the story than the sex scenes. So how come it took me this long to discover Lynn Kurland and her time-travel romances? I picked up my first one a few months ago and have been enchanted ever since.  Kurland splits her books between two main families: the MacLeods in Scotland and the de Piagets in England.  Mostly they’re two separate casts of characters, but occasionally the two families cross paths. The MacLeod castle and grounds have places that are time travel portals, to the point that the Laird has private maps for the family with big red Xs, and lots of no trespassing signs for anyone else.  Different portals go to different times, but of course … Continue reading

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Amazon Book Reviews: 3 Stars or 4?

I’ll admit it: I’m chintzy with my book review stars.  I save my 5-star recommendations for books that are perfect – the ones I stay up all night for, the ones I’d re-read immediately, the ones for which I’d grab a total stranger by the shoulders and yell, “You’ve GOT to read this book!” Okay, I’ve never really done that last one, but I’ve felt like it.  And when I do, that’s the book that gets 5 stars from me. Most other books get 3 or 4 stars.  Four if I really liked it: well-written, good characters, no plot problems, and it leaves me with a good feeling.  Not necessarily a happy ending, but the right one.  (I don’t bother reviewing just to give 1 or 2 stars unless a book really makes me angry.) Three stars go to books that I liked, but weren’t quite as smooth.  Sometimes books … Continue reading

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