Thursday, July 23, 2009

Books, Books, Books!

Hi All!

It has been a while since I have shared what I have been reading and the pile of books is getting taller and taller. So, I decided to share a few to try to keep the pile manageable!

There are four books in this batch and they were all left on the Pacific Princess after I finished reading them. There is a neat system in the ship's library where you can exchange paperbacks you have brought with you. For a two week cruise, this service saw a lot of action!

Anyway, here are the books.

First is The Summer I Dared by Barbara Delinsky.

This was a fun read about a woman who takes an island passenger ferry to visit her aunt for a vacation. She is at a crossroads in her life. Her marriage is strained and everyone thinks they know what she SHOULD do. Julia, the main character, heads to the island for some time to figure things out.

However, before the ferry, and Julia, can reach the island, tragedy strikes. A luxury yacht rams the ferry destroying the ship and killing everyone on board except for Julia, a rugged fisherman, and a young woman who is left mute by the experience.

Against her family's wishes, Julia stays on the island for an extended vacation and as the summer progresses, she finds out more about herself than she ever thought she would.

This is a wonderful book about a woman's introspection and about how life can change in an instant. A great summer, or anytime, read!

Next on the pile is The Bastard by John Jakes.

Apparently, this book is one in a series John Jakes wrote to celebrate the American Bicentennial. Wow, have I been out of the loop about these books. I had never heard of them.

The Bastard is a historical fiction work which follows a young man (I have forgotten his name!)through his journey, both physically and metaphorically speaking, to the young U.S. colonies. The man, who is the bastard son of an English Lord, struggles to find his place in the world after his claim to his father's inheritance is rejected by his father's wife and son. After fleeing from England to the colonies to avoid the wrath of his half brother, the man works for a printer who is heavily involved in the revolutionary movement.

As the book progresses, the man finds himself embroiled in the events leading up to the American Revolution such as the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. He is surrounded by people like Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, and Sam Adams.

This book is long and can drag at times due to the thick historical plot but, it was certainly worth reading.

On a lighter note, the next book is Toxic Bachelors by Danielle Steel.

For a long time, I resisted reading Danielle Steel. I had read many of her books and for some reason, decided that I didn't need to read any more. However, lately I have been picking up some of her books here and there and have really enjoyed them.

Toxic Bachelors was a book I picked up at the book sale on a whim (and because I needed to spend that entire twenty dollars!). The story was good enough to start to make me wonder if my aversion to Danielle Steel was misguided.

Three confirmed bachelors, Charles, Adam, and Gray, have a tradition of spending one month each summer sailing around the world on Charles' luxury yacht, the Blue Moon. They enjoy their bachelor life and don't ever want to change. Until they begin meeting incredible women.

Each of the men struggle valiantly against the lure of these women who seem to slide seamlessly into their lives.

This book is a good read and is light enough to be summer reading and yet meaty enough to be read in front of the fire on a winter evening. It is a masterful mix of frivolity and real emotion which pulls a reader in and doesn't let go until the last word on the last page.

Next up is an amusing little book I picked up purely due to the title - What Do You Say To A Naked Elf? This book by Cheryl Sterling was a pleasant surprise.

While the title got many looks from other passengers as I carried it and read it around the ship, the plot caught my attention almost immediately. An intricate combination of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and romance, this book turned out to be a wonderful read.

The main character, Jane Drysdale, is driving home from a successful home party where she showed off "marital aids" when she hits what she thinks is a rabbit on the road. The fact that the "rabbit" looked like a man for a few seconds throws Jane for a loop even as her car swerves off the road due to a blown tire. She ends up unconscious after the car hit a tree and comes to as another man is pulling her from the wreckage.

Confused from the accident, Jane doesn't realize that the man and his friends are leading her into a totally different world filled with fairies, elves, and other magical beings. Finding herself in an alien world, Jane struggles to find her equilibrium while being faced with murder charges! The rabbit she hit with her car was an elf who shape shifted into the form of a rabbit.

The longer Jane remains in this odd world, the more wrapped up she becomes with the people and with her rescuer, Charlie, in particular. She soon learns that there is more going on in this world than she originally thought.

This book is a delightful romp into the world of fantasy with unexpected twists and turns and enough romance thrown into the mix to keep things "interesting." If you get a chance, look for this book and sit back for a good read!


Voice Update: I had an official Speech therapy session yesterday and so I got a nice, long massage. My voice is doing really well considering all of the talking I have been doing at work. YEAH!


Mental P Mama said...

Great reviews!

Anonymous said...

I read those John Jakes books many years ago and found them somewhat entertaining. I think eventually, they wore me out!