Friday, October 31, 2008

RIP III Challenge wrap up

I'm not on my laptop, so I don't have all my cool graphics. But I wanted to make sure to post my wrap up for this challenge today.

I did Peril the First, which challenged us to read 4 books. And I did that and then some! I thought I had read 5, but then I remembered that I finished Tithe after the challenge started. So here's my list:

1. Tithe by Holly Black
2. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
3. Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
4. 100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson
5. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I did read some short stories here and there throughout the past 2 months, too, which added to the atmosphere. This challenge is so much fun! I sure hope Carl hosts it again next year!

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I don't know what I can say about The Graveyard Book that hasn't been said already. Bod (short for Nobody) is taken in by a local graveyard after his parents and sister are murdered and raised by the "locals" - a la Mowgli in the jungle book. Bod is granted the Freedom of the Graveyard and thus is able to do things like pass through walls and "fade" so that he is not easily noticed. As Bod learns what happened to his parents, he decides he will one day exact revenge. Does he succeed? It's Gaiman, what do you think?
Another winner from Neil Gaiman. And a bonus book for me for the RIP III challenge!

100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson

I finished 100 Cupboards last week, but never got around to writing my thoughts. (I hesitate to call what I write "reviews.") I read this for the RIP III Challenge, and it definitely fits. It, however, was not nearly as creepy as I expected based on other reviews I had read. Mysterious, yes. Exciting, yes. Scary - only sometimes.

Henry finds himself living with his aunt and uncle in Henry, Kansas after his parents are abducted in South America. After settling into his attic bedroom, he notices the plaster on the walls starting to chip and a knob sticking out of the wall. After a bit of chipping away, Henry discovers that his whole wall is covered in cupboards of various sizes - a total of 99 cupboards. When he peers into one to find that it leads to another world, he is puzzled (well, obviously!) and begins to investigate, along with his cousin Henrietta. And he discovers more than just the cupboards.

This is a quick read, and it is the first in a series. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series eventually!

This was my (official) final book for the RIP III Challenge - although I did get one more read before the deadline! Another review to come today, hopefully.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's Tuesday, Where Are You?

How shameful that I haven't posted in a week!

Today I am in a graveyard in England; no, actually, I believe I am currently at a pizza parlor in the Old Town near the graveyard. As I am about 10 pages shy of finishing The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, I won't say anymore so as to avoid spoilers!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's Tuesday, where are you?

Well, I finished 100 Cupboards today and haven't started my next book yet, but I really want to get back on track with blogging, so I'll say where I was today.

I was in Henry, Kansas fighting a witch and finding out a bit about where I came from and trying to stay out of more trouble.

By the way, I really enjoyed 100 Cupboards and look forward to reading the next in the sequel at one point. Hopefully a better review will follow soon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Well, I tried

I decided to try to read for a few hours as a half-hearted participation in the readathon and did get a little over an hour of reading in. Then I spent the next hour and a half seething because my 10-year-old boy didn't come home when I told him to. By the time I finally was in a mental place to read again, I was zonked and fell asleep within a few minutes. I really hope I'm available next time!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I hear there's another fabulous Read-A-Thon going on today, hosted by the equally fabulous Dewey, author of the hidden side of a leaf blog. I, unfortunately, am at work all day today, and then have to work again tomorrow afternoon, so there will be no read-a-thoning for me this go 'round. There is a possibility I will be home this evening while my husband does his stargazing thing (I'm trying to decide if I want to go or if I want to recharge after working), in which case I think I will use my time reading along for a few hours. We'll see. I hope everyone is having a great time, and I hope to be able to join you the next time!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

This was just such a fantastic book! I had read wonderful reviews, and I was not disappointed in the least. I used to be a huge Patricia Cornwell fan (back in Kay Scarpetta's good ol' days), and I love historical fiction. This was a combination of both. Best of both worlds!

Someone is killing children in Cambridge, and the Jews are being blamed. As this is inconvenient for Henry II (who depends on the Jew's money), he asks the King of Sicily to send an expert from Salerno, the hotbed of medical knowledge at the time. The King sends Simon of Naples, a renowned investigator and a Jew, and Adelia, a "doctor to the dead," along with their Saracen companion, Mansur, to England to help. 

This book is not for the weakhearted (or weakstomached), but if you enjoy forensic mysteries and/or historical fiction, you are bound to enjoy this book!

This is book 3 of 4 for the RIP III challenge!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Short Story Sunday

I haven't read any spooky stories the past few Sundays because, well, I forgot. Yesterday I brought home two books from work (oh, the joys of working in a public library): Scary Stories, which is an anthology with stories from a wide range of authors, from Dean Koontz and Stephen King to Edgar Allan Poe. I read two from this book so far: "Kittens" by Dean Koontz and "Genesis and Catastrophe" by Roald Dahl. The Koontz was creepy, but the Dahl was just weird.

The other book I brought home is Weird Hauntings: True Tales of Ghostly Places. I haven't read any from this book yet, but they're short and I figure I'll read a few later on.

In other RIP III news, I'm really enjoying Mistress of the Art of Death, although I've had a hard time finding time to read this week. Things are finally settling back to normal this week, after the hurricane - this will be my first week at my new(ish) job working my "normal" schedule, and I'm so glad to finally be able to settle into a routine. I think my family will be glad of that, too.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Weekly Geeks #19

This week's theme was to create a list of best books of 2008 (so far). These must be books that were published in 2008 or at the very least late 2007. Here's my list:

Black Ships by Jo Graham
The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (late 2007)
Masterpiece by Elise Broach
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

And, while I haven't yet finished it, I feel fairly certain Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin will also make this list.