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Books 76-80

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Jul. 8th, 2005 | 01:05 pm
mood: blahblah

I haven't been reading as much as I intended to this summer... I seem to spend the majority of my time staying out all night with my friends and then sleeping all day, with a pinch of fanfiction reading and writing on the side.

Also, I think I seriously hurt myself goals-wise by attempting to read too many books at once. I never get anything finished if I'm juggling 5 or 6 books at the same time. :-/

Anyway, books!

76.) Title: Lily Dale: The True Story of the Town that Talks to the Dead
Author: Christine Wicker
Marcia's Grade: B. This is an interesting non-fiction book. It's all about Lily Dale, New York, which is apparently the oldest all-Spiritualist community in the United States. Lily Dale is actually only a few hours from me, but I had never heard of it until I happened upon this book. I really want to visit there now, because the whole concept of Spiritualism fascinates me. There actually used to be a little Spiritualist church up the street from me, but it's gone now. Anyway, the material in this book is really interesting, but the author's style leaves something to be desired. The prose is very plain and dull, and Wicker has this annoying habit of starting a story and then making you wait five or six chapters for her to pick up where she left off, often on a cliffhanger. By then, I'd totally forgotten what she was talking about. This is worth reading if you're interested in Spiritualism, the occult, or religions, but otherwise, probably skip it.

77.) Title: Firethorn
Author: Sarah Micklem
Marcia's Grade: A-. Good, dark fantasy. The heroine, Firethorn, is a "sheath," a camp follower/commoner mistress to a privileged warrior. Firethorn's world is drawn in excruciating detail, and her voice seems to jump right off the page. There's lots of violence, including a lot of schocking violence against animals (horses in particular), but it's not gratuitary-- Firethorn's world is a brutal one, filled with war and sacrifice to fickle gods. Still, I wouldn't recommend reading it if you have a weak stomach. The book is really engrossing for the first few chapters, lags a little in the middle, and then really picks up pace at the end. Very impressive writing for a first time author, let alone a first time fantasy author, because as much as I love the pageantry and magic of fantasies, the writing in them is not always that great. This is the first in a projected trilogy, and I'm looking forward to reading the next one.

78.) Title: Skinny-Dipping
Author: Claire Matturro
Marcia's Grade: A. This is the first in a series featuring Lilly Rose Cleary, a sassy defense lawyer in Sarasota, Florida. It's hilarious, laugh-out-loud funny, and also quite suspenseful. I started reading it before bed one night and ended up staying awake until the wee small hours of the morning finishing it. Highly recommended for fans of zany, light-weight mysteries and high-quality chick lit.

79.) Title: Best Foot Forward
Author: Joan Bauer
Marcia's Grade: A+. This is the sequel to Rules of the Road, which I read several years ago. It's even better! Bauer never disappoints--- if you're looking for a good young adult book to read, I suggest you pick up one of hers. Her characters are well-drawn, quirky but amazingly real, and her storytelling is heartwarming without being preachy. Just great, great stuff.

80.) Title: The Hunter's Moon
Author: O.R. Melling
Marcia's Grade: A-.The first few chapters of this YA fantasy are rather dull and uninviting. But once Gwen, our young heroine, and her Irish cousin, Findabhair, start on their journey of Ireland and Gwen struggles to save Findabhair, who's been abducted by the Fairy King, the story starts picking up. By the end, it's totally engrossing, stay-up-all-night reading. The story is perhaps not entirely unpredictable if you've read a lot of fairy based fantasies, and while Gwen is a likable heroine, the characters around aren't as developed as they could be, and character developments seem to happen far too quickly. It's a good read though, and the first in a trilogy, so I'm looking forward to the next one in this series, as well.

It's very cloudy and meh today. I think I shall go the library later this afternoon!


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