Archive | December, 2006

For Jane Austen enthusiasts (or anyone who likes a fast, funny read)

29 Dec

You don’t have to be a teen to enjoy Polly Shulman’s YA novel Enthusiasm – a fun, romantic tale of a modern day teen looking for her own Mr. Darcy.
Julie’s best friend, Ashleigh, is an “enthusiast” who takes up one craze after another. Most of the time, Julie doesn’t mind going along with her friend’s latest obsession, but then Ashleigh reads Julie’s favorite book Pride and Prejudice. Before you can say “Jane Austen” she’s wearing antique dresses, learning to dance a quadrille and crashing an all-boys school’s dance to look for the perfect gentleman. Not only does Ashleigh take ownership of Julie’s favorite book, the boy she chooses as her perfect Mr. Darcy is the same boy Julie secretly adores. I really liked both Julie and Ashleigh. Their friendship is a delight, so despite all the problems and misunderstandings that ensue, there is a lightness and humor that make this a book you could read in one sitting ( I know I did!). Kathy B


Mavis has her baby!

29 Dec

I love the mix of murder, romance, and humor that author J. D. Robb has in her “in Death” futuristic mystery novels. The lastest, Born in Death, ends with Mavis having her baby but only after her best friend, Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the New York Police and Security Department, investigates two brutal torture-murders and tries to locate a missing friend of Mavis who is also pregnant. Eve also has to find time to buy a baby present for Mavis, host a baby shower at her home and, with her husband Roarke at her side, attend birthing classes. Not only do Robb’s characterisations make these people come alive, but she deftly describes the murder scenes and autopsies without being too graphic. The writing makes all these elements work together wonderfully. Reneebornindeath

Dragons mixed with the Napoleonic Wars

28 Dec

The fantasy novel His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik is a wonderful mix of sailing ships, dragons and life in the 1800’s. After a hard-fought sea battle, Captain Laurence of HMS Reliant boards the French ship he defeated and discovers an unhatched dragon egg. Before they can make it to land, the dragon hatches and chooses the captain to be his handler. Laurence’s naval career comes to an end and he finds himself training as an aviator. His bond with Temeraire, an intelligent dragon unlike any other in the British service, only deepens. The military action and developing relationship between man and dragon pulled me into this alternative world and I quickly finished the book. I was pleased to be able to continue their story in the next two books in the series, Throne of Jade and Black Powder War. My fifteen-year-old nephew also loves the series. I hope you do to. Renee

If you enjoy historical mysteries…

1 Dec

I recommend Some Danger Involved, the first in a series by author (and librarian!) Will Thomas. Set in Victorian London, young Thomas Llewelyn is down on his luck and in desperate need of a job. After a strange interview process, he becomes the assistant to the enigmatic “enquiry agent,” Cyrus Barker. These enjoyable mysteries are told from Thomas’ perspective, and while the story is entertaining and the author brings Victorian England to life, it’s the relationship that develops between these two very different men that I most enjoyed. Cyrus Barker is a true original and Thomas seems bemused yet fascinated by his secretive boss. The next two titles in the series are To Kingdom Come and The Limehouse Text. Enjoy! Kathy B