Photo taken March 6, 2009
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman – Heard of this gem from Orson Scott Card’s review, which sums it up better than I can. All I’ll say is that this is one of the best fantasy books I’ve read recently.
Conrad’s Fate by Diana Wynne Jones – Jones has been one of my favorite children’s authors for years, although I’ve lost touch with some of her more recent books. This book delves back into the Chrestomanci world with a slightly older Christopher Chant (from The Nine Lives of Christopher Chant). I’ve liked all of the Chrestomanci books, and this one was no exception.
Strangers In Death by J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) – I haven’t read any of the books from Nora Roberts’ mystery series before, and despite missing out several volumes’ worth of background information and history, found that I was still able to get into the story. I’ve since checked out all the other ones that I could find at the library; for now, let’s just say that these mysteries have some “adult” material so I wouldn’t recommend it to my nephews and nieces, and I’ll have more comments next time about the series in general.
Julia and the Hand of God by Eleanor Cameron – I’d read Eleanor Cameron’s children’s book A Room Full of Windows when I was younger, but I didn’t realize that she had a prequel with a younger Julia. Eleanor Cameron’s books are a treat; after reading this one, I went back to the library to check out A Room Full of Windows again as it’s been years since I’ve read it!
Helping Me Help Myself by Beth Lisick – I said last time that my genre of choice seems to be memoirs of people who do crazy things for a certain amount of time and then write about it. This falls into that genre, but it’s one of the few that I didn’t enjoy. Lisick chronicles her year of trying out different self-improvement programs from the major “gurus” of the day, including going on a Richard Simmons cruise (which is the highlight of the book). She writes with plenty of humor, but her journey into self-improvement just seemed shallow and pointless to me – as if it were written because of a book deal, instead of from the heart. I’m coming down on her book pretty hard; perhaps it’s because I enjoyed The Year of Living Biblically so much last time for A.J. Jacob’s mix of humor and humility. Lisick’s self-deprecating humor isn’t quite the same as humility, and her openness about her life isn’t the same as authenticity.
Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger – I watched “The Devil Wears Prada” but hadn’t read it and was curious to try out a book by this author. I saw it through to the end but wished I had followed my instincts and given up after the first few chapters, because overall I didn’t like the characters or the storyline. My impressions: Shallow, incoherent, and unbelievable.
Come to the Table: The Slow Food Way of Living by Alice Waters and Katrina Heron (editor) – Short articles about specific farms (think organic, sustainable, quality) with plenty of beautiful photography and a collection of mouth-watering recipes at the end.
Amazing Baby by Desmond Morris – This was a really cool book with beautiful photography and fascinating facts about developing infants and toddlers.