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Throwback Thursday (23) December 13, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books. While the spotlight is always on the new releases, Throwback Thursday features a book published five or more years ago.

Title: A Thousand Splendid Suns

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Original Publication Date:  May 22, 2007

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

Summary:

A Thousand Splendid Suns spans two generations and details the lives of two women and their struggles in Pakistan. The first is Miriam, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman who eventually marries an older abusive man.  The second is Laila, a young girl who becomes the second wife of the same man. This is the story of their struggles.

Khaled Hosseini is better known for his book The Kite Runner but I liked A Thousand Splendid Suns more. I was more terrified for the characters in this book then I was in the other because they were female. It’s sexist I know, but I’m female so the correlation is there.

The atrocities the women suffered under Rasheed, their husband were unspeakable and I had a hard time reading it. I still feel it’s something to be read. It’s something that people need to know about. To gain sympathy for a people and to gain understanding for a people you need to gain knowledge first. In this way, reading is the gateway to that knowledge. This book is a significant piece of that gateway.

If I had to rate this book I’d rate it a five star book and I so rarely give five stars these days. It’s something to definitely pick up when you can stomach it. Just make sure you have something else to cheer you up afterwards.

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Throwback Thursday (22) December 6, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books. While the spotlight is always on the new releases, Throwback Thursday features a book published five or more years ago.

Title: Something from the Nightside

Author: Simon R. Green

Original Publication Date: January 1st, 2003

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

John Taylor is not a private detective per se, but he has a knack for finding lost things. That’s why he’s been hired to descend into the Nightside, an otherworldly realm in the center of London where fantasy and reality share renting space and the sun never shines.

This series is something along the vein of the Dresden Files. It’s gritty and full of magic just like Harry Dresden’s world. Except it has its own magic, its own characters. Its distinctive in that way too. The Nightside is a landscape that is hard to forget. It’s full of sorcery and demons. Witches and bounty hunters. It’s also full of violence. It’s definitely not light-hearted.

Although this series is dark, it’s still fun. It’s another series I keep meaning to pick up again. One of the many on my list.

Throwback Thursday (21) November 29, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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2 comments

 

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books. While the spotlight is always on the new releases, Throwback Thursday features a book published five or more years ago.

Title: The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

Author: Laurie R. King

Original Publication Date: 1994

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

Long retired, Sherlock Holmes quietly pursues his study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. He never imagines he would encounter anyone whose intellect matched his own, much less an audacious teenage girl with a penchant for detection. Miss Mary Russell becomes Holmes’ pupil and quickly hones her talent for deduction, disguises and danger. But when an elusive villain enters the picture, their partnership is put to a real test.

This was another recommendation by my mother. She was attracted to the books because of the Sherlock Holmes slant. I liked it because it had an “audacious teenage girl.” Mary Russell is just about my favorite female mystery novel character. She’s smart and resourceful. She’s charismatic and she can impress the great Sherlock Holmes.

I also like how King handles the romance between Russell and Holmes. It’s never overly emotional or full of gushing frivolity. There may be a certain twinkle to the eye, but it’s not lewd. It’s handled with dignity and decorum as befits the great Holmes.  It’s also a partnership. Holmes is never a dictator to Russell. He treats her as an equal in intellect. He even teaches her how to disguise herself so she can tail suspects.

There are instances of misunderstanding, as in every relationship. But they’re handled between two thinking adults with conversation and communication after tempers have cooled. Holmes never treats her like an infant despite her youth. That’s what I like the most in this book.

It’s a very good read and because it doesn’t take place in our own time, it’s practically timeless. If you like mysteries this one is worth picking up!

Throwback Thursday (19) November 8, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Title: Dragonflight

Author: Anne McCaffery

Original Publication Date: 1968

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

HOW CAN ONE GIRL SAVE AN ENTIRE WORLD?

To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise—and take back her stolen birthright.

But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will be deep and last forever. It will protect them when, for the first time in centuries, Lessa’s world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Dragons and their Riders once protected the planet from Thread, but there are very few of them left these days. Now brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save her beautiful world. . . .

Dragonflight is the first book in Anne McCaffery’s epic Pern series which spanned decades. It was one of the first fantasy books I read with a female protagonist. I didn’t have much experience with them so I didn’t think much of the faults that I would later reflect on when I reread it, which I did earlier this year. You can read my review here.

What I didn’t like about the book was the misogynistic roles the women had, but what I probably should take into account when I read this book is when this book was written. Feminism was a radical extremist group in 1968 and McCaffery may not have wanted to turn readers away. I can’t say for sure what her motives were but women’s rights weren’t a given. It was a relatively new thing.

Taking all that into consideration this is a very good book. It has dragons with a symbiotic relationship with humans. They are the  saviors of the planet! How much sweeter could it get? And Lessa? She ends up saving them all. So she does end up with much more power then she originally had. I think it’s McCaffery’s sneaky way of giving women their due.

When I read this in January I hadn’t reflected on all this to this extent. If I had I would have given it a much higher rating. I might have to go back and edit my review!

Throwback Thursday (17) October 25, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Title: Coyote Blue

Author: Christopher Moore

Original Publication Date: January 1, 1993

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

As a boy growing up in Montana, he was Samson Hunts Alone — until a deadly misunderstanding with the law forced him to flee the Crow reservation at age fifteen. Today he is Samuel Hunter, a successful Santa Barbara insurance salesman with a Mercedes, a condo, and a hollow, invented life. Then one day, shortly after his thirty-fifth birthday, destiny offers him the dangerous gift of love — in the exquisite form of Calliope Kincaid — and a curse in the unheralded appearance of an ancient Indian god by the name of Coyote. Coyote, the trickster, has arrived to transform tranquillity into chaos, to reawaken the mystical storyteller within Sam … and to seriously screw up his existence in the process.

This was the first book I read by Christopher Moore and I loved it. Christopher Moore is one of the funniest authors I’ve ever read. I need to reread the book to get a sense of it again because I last read it in 2008 but Coyote was one of the best characters ever. Ever since then, whenever I’ve come across a book with a Coyote character I’ve tried to read it.

It’s because of this book that I was turned onto the world that is Christopher Moore. I usually save his books until I’m feeling pretty down. His books will lift me out of a funk and cheer me up. His writing helps me gain perspective. Needless to say, I’m a huge Christopher Moore fan.

 

Throwback Thursday (15) October 11, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Uncategorized.
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6 comments

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Title: No Lesser Plea

Author: Robert Tanenbaum

Original Publication Date: May 1st 1987

Available at: Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Publishers Weekly:

Tanenbaum has written an exceptionally good contemporary novel about the criminal justice system. Set in New York during the early ’70s, the book focuses on young, idealistic assistant D.A. Butch Karp and his conflicts with both a single criminal and the politicized bureaucracy that seemingly makes a travesty of justice. In his first murder case, Karp is prosecuting Mandeville Louis, a brilliant killer who has feigned insanity, hoping to protect himself from trial until the court system eventually forgets about him. But the determined Karp refuses to let Louis’s ruse succeed. While Karp is trying to put Louis behind bars, he is also caught up in the politics of the D.A.’s office as petty bureaucrats struggle for control of their turf and power. An attorney himself, Tanenbaum has infused this book with a strong collection of characters, a raunchy energy that crackles in the out-of-office lawyer talk and a basic sense of outrage at a system that is failing miserably.

This is the first book in the Butch Karp series that now numbers at twenty-four novels. It’s a hugely successful series because of the colorful characters. Butch Karp is a Jewish prosecutor and Marlene Ciampi begins the series as a prosecutor herself. Their careers see them in various positions but their relationship remains rock solid. Eventually they have children and Tanenbaum manages to include them in the series as equally important characters as well.It’s a masterfully done series. I don’t normally read this genre so you know it’s special if I’m gushing about it.  The plots are over the top but I read it for the characters  not for the realism.

I was first introduced to it by my mother of all people. I was in between books and she was gushing about these books. I happened to pick it up for no good reason other then I was in the mood for something different. I’m so glad I did. If I hadn’t I would have really missed out on a really good thing.

In my room, I have a box full of Tanenbaum’s. My friend Kate gave them to me and I treasure them. Eventually I’ll reread the series. Eventually I’ll get to the new book.

Throwback Thursday (14) October 4, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
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6 comments

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Title: After Dark

Author: Haruki Murakami

Original Publish Date: January 1, 2000

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

A short, sleek novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami’s masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore.

At its center are two sisters—Eri, a fashion model slumbering her way into oblivion, and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny’s toward people whose lives are radically alien to her own: a jazz trombonist who claims they’ve met before, a burly female “love hotel” manager and her maid staff, and a Chinese prostitute savagely brutalized by a businessman. These “night people” are haunted by secrets and needs that draw them together more powerfully than the differing circumstances that might keep them apart, and it soon becomes clear that Eri’s slumber—mysteriously tied to the businessman plagued by the mark of his crime—will either restore or annihilate her.

After Dark
moves from mesmerizing drama to metaphysical speculation, interweaving time and space as well as memory and perspective into a seamless exploration of human agency—the interplay between self-expression and empathy, between the power of observation and the scope of compassion and love. Murakami’s trademark humor, psychological insight, and grasp of spirit and morality are here distilled with an extraordinary, harmonious mastery.

After Dark was my introduction to Murakami’s writing and I instantly fell in love with him. His writing is not only mesmerizing and entrancing, it’s vivid and mysterious. His character hold a mystique to them and Mari had an ethereal quality that I loved. Once I finished this book I was hooked on Murakami. I would go on a binge reading fest reading only his books for quite some time. He also introduced me to the wonderful world that is Japanese writing. I would eventually slow down but I still have a soft spot for his prose and for this book.

Throwback Thursday (12) September 20, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
Tags: , , , ,
2 comments

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Title: Kushiel’s Dart

Author: Jacqueline Carey

Original Publication Date: March 15, 2002

Available at: Amazon Kindle Barnes and Noble

From Goodreads:

The land of Terre d’Ange is a place of unsurpassing beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good…and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

Phèdre nó Delaunay is a young woman who was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye. Sold into indentured servitude as a child, her bond is purchased by Anafiel Delaunay, a nobleman with very a special mission…and the first one to recognize who and what she is: one pricked by Kushiel’s Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one.

Phèdre is trained equally in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber, but, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Almost as talented a spy as she is courtesan, Phèdre stumbles upon a plot that threatens the very foundations of her homeland. Treachery sets her on her path; love and honor goad her further. And in the doing, it will take her to the edge of despair…and beyond. Hateful friend, loving enemy, beloved assassin; they can all wear the same glittering mask in this world, and Phèdre will get but one chance to save all that she holds dear.

Set in a world of cunning poets, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and a truly Machiavellian villainess, this is a novel of grandeur, luxuriance, sacrifice, betrayal, and deeply laid conspiracies. Not since Dune has there been an epic on the scale of Kushiel’s Dart-a massive tale about the violent death of an old age, and the birth of a new.

Kushiel’s Dart is a stunningly sensuous high fantasy book. Phedre no Delaunay is a deceptively strong heroine that I truly enjoyed reading about. The book is about courtesans but it isn’t as naughty as it sounds. It’s not out and out erotica. It’s all done with a bit of class. Although there is BDSM between the pages it’s not a shocking revelation. It’s not dirty or anything like that.

The book doesn’t solely revolve around sex either. There’s court intrigue that is fascinating and dangerous. I was left wondering what the motives were of several people all at once. Who had possible double dealings? What were their secret aspirations? It was something that had me thinking along with the plot throughout the book.

It’s been awhile since I read this book, but I still remember it with a great deal of fondness. I keep meaning to reread it and I know I keep saying this every Thursday, but I mean it every time. Maybe I’ll just set aside one month to reread my favorites. This would definitely be among them and since I have Carey’s newest trilogy awaiting me. It would be the perfect time to revisit this trilogy.

Throwback Thursday (1) June 21, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in Book talk.
Tags: ,
6 comments

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Title: Storm Front

Author: Jim Butcher

Available at: AmazonBarnes and Noble

From Goodreads: The novels of the Dresden Files have become synonymous with action-packed urban fantasy and non-stop fun. Storm Front is Jim Butcher’s first novel and introduces his most famous and popular character-Harry Dresden, wizard for hire.

For his first case, Harry is called in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with the blackest of magic. At first, the less-than-solvent Harry’s eyes light up with dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage. Now, that black mage knows Harry’s name. And things are about to get very…interesting.

The Dresden Files is the first real Urban Fantasy series I ever really got into. With Jim Butcher’s pithy, sarcastic sense of humor, I became a quick fan of his work. Dresden is one of my all-time favorite characters and I still look forward to new books in this series to this day. It’s something of a treat to sit down and read a new Dresden File book.

I”m amazed at how long this series has run. It’s not often that a series can go this long, this successfully without losing steam. Somehow Butcher hasn’t lost his touch.

I look forward to many more adventures with Harry Dresden and I hope the ride isn’t over anytime soon!