Thursday, October 6, 2011


Oops! After I updated everything I never came back. Here's what's been happening.
A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

This continues to be a very violent series. Each chapter brings us to a different character so we see what is happening in different locations pretty much at the same time. My sympathies lie mainly with the Stark family. Arya is trying to get back to her mother, Jon is trying to stay alive north of the Wall, Sansa is trying to hook up with a nice person who will take care of her, Rob is trying to fill his father's shoes and get his kingdom back, Bran is trying to get back home, too, on the back of a one word giant, and Catelyn is trying to find what's left of her family and get them back together. I decided I needed a long break after reading the 1,000+ pages of this book to allow my soul to relax and repair. Oof!  My rating for this book: ***1/2

A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
Three Pines #7
This is the latest installation of the excellent mystery series that takes place in a tiny town in the Quebec province. What makes this series so amazing is the character development. Over the series the reader has come to feel like they really know the inhabitants and we feel horror and fear when it seems like one of them could be the murderer. The investigator, Chief Inspector Gamache, is the best listener, allowing information to join clues and impressions to help him form an accurate picture of what happened. And if, along the way, the reader learns a little about the art world, all's the better.
My rating for this book: ****

Under the Mesquite
by Guadalupe Garcia Mccall
I requested this ARC hoping that it would be a good addition for the school library since it featured an immigrant Mexican family, like so many here. Lupita is the oldest child of a family that spends its working and attending school in Texas and visiting family in Mexico. Things go along just fine until her mother develops cancer. Even after treatment it returns and for a while Lupita was the head of the family while her father was with her mother at the treatment center. At times the family was without food of any kind and the children would go to their friends' houses and hope for the best. One of the problems I had with this book was how everything conveniently and predictably got solved. For instance, an ice cream truck broke down in front of their house which helped feed them that day. Yeah, right! This book was presented as a novel in verse but it felt to me that was a convenient way to stretch the book out from a novella to a respectful number of pages. My rating for this book: **

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Oh, my goodness, was this a fantastic book!!!! I was totally captivated by the story which started in two parts, 50 years apart, one illustrated and one in text. Both characters were deaf and left their homes searching for something in New York. The illustrated pages zoom in and out and give you the feeling you are watching a movie. One of the settings is the fantastic Natural History Museum in New York City. Please treat yourself to this book. My rating for this book: *****

Rise the Euphrates
by Carol Edgarian
I bought this book at the San Francisco Library book sale. It gave me an introduction into the history and culture of the Armenian society. They are the original Christians living in the shadow of Mt. Ararat in Turkey, and who have been persecuted throughout history by Islamic Turks. Casard was a young girl when the Turks massacred her family in a genocide known as the Indignities. She suffered guilt all her life because she let go of her mother's hand when the women and children of her town were forced to jump into the Euphrates
River. She managed to survive, grew up in an orphanage, made her way to America where she married a Russian Armenian and had one daughter named Araxie. Araxie disgraced her family by marrying an orad, an outsider, and had three children. One of these, was a girl named Seta who is the narrator of the story. Casard's grief and guilt was felt down through the generations and had different effects on everyone. The story dragged for a while when Casard died, she was such a dynamic personality, but I persevered and finished the story. It was like The Joy Luck Club but with and Armenian family instead of a Chinese family. My rating for this book: ***1/2

No comments: