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A Night Like This

A Night Like This  - Julia Quinn

The hero was not my favorite. The first thing he dose when encountering the heroin in a deserted hallway is kiss her. Which just goes to show that hes not a true gentlemen. Still I continued reading because I liked the heroin and things mostly got better. He was pretty much a clod but he really loved her so when they ended up together at the end I was okay with it.

His at Night

His at Night - Sherry Thomas I very much enjoyed reading this book. Although the hero did a few things that I felt were not romantic. I have trouble when hero's are not someone that I would envision trusting my daughter or best friend to but overall he proved to be a good person so I can forgive a little bad behavior.

The writing is very strong and compelling. It played that nervous edge quite well. The subject matter was a little dark so I never could quite laugh at some of the more ridiculous scenes, but I liked the light touch.

Scent of Magic

Scent of Magic - Maria V. Snyder I very much enjoyed the first one of the Healer series and because the first book didn't really resolve everything I started this one. I could not put it down, there were very few lulls and I never felt as if I could take a breath. Every chapter ended on a cliffhanger. It was very much like reading a thriller. Each chapter alternates between two narrators, one in first person, and the next one in third person, and although I understand the authors reasons for choosing to write the story this way I was a little thrown every time it happened.

For those reasons I did not enjoy this book as much as the first one and even though it ends unresolved I don't plan to read the next book.

Touch of Power (Healer)

Touch of Power - Maria V. Snyder Very satisfying read.

Gorgeous

Gorgeous - Paul Rudnick This goes to show how sexist I really am but I would not have known from the writing style that the female lead character was written by a guy. On par with Terry Pratchett in how real her thoughts and feelings are. So often when men write girls they make us one dimensional, and stupid. I have a hard time not getting angry when the main character can't find her way out of a paper bag.

Thankfully this main character while flawed is smart, generous and loving. She truly loved her mother, even though her mother was far from perfect. True to life there was just that little hint of anger and guilt mixed in, but the love was strong and real and I cried when her mother dies (this is not a spoiler as it happens in the first couple of pages).

Her best friend was wonderful. Someone everyone wishes that they had in their lives. Loyal, brave and just a little bit strange.

The prince of England is perfectly British and amazingly lovable from the first time he opens his mouth to gasp "You are so amazingly beautiful. Its appalling!" and takes care of her when she is crushed by the weight of her social responsibility.

There are many less admirable characters, but no one who is not incredibly real, who doesn't jump off the page at you and make you think. "I know someone just like that."

More difficult for me was the portrayal of beautiful people as super heroes of the modern world. Words used to describe her new beautiful self were things like "confident, magnetic, irresistible, a surreal goddess shaped rocket ship." When shes walking around the world after becoming beautiful she never has to use money or touch door knobs or even deal with the boring trappings of a mortal life, because armies of servants take care of everything. She describes how people step out of her way like water in front of Moses, how her world is a fairy tale of beautiful stuff and free perks, about how no one seems to begrudge her this because of her beauty. Although this may have been because everyone wanted a slice of her and it seems in some perverted way that beauty is almost the same as money. There were other moments like "This was when beauty became a bargaining chip, something you traded for something else." That made me vastly uncomfortable.

Although the author never dwells on the darker aspects of our cultures obsession with beauty and wealth, I felt it lurking under the luxury liner of the Titanic floating on the icy depth of the Atlantic ocean. Thankfully unlike that ill fated ship this story comes through the icebergs unscathed. It is blindingly magical and delightfully fun, without ever being silly or vapid. The descriptions of everyone are laugh out loud as are the action sequences.

It's a book meant to be read aloud.

A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter

A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter - William Deresiewicz I was wandering my library shelves when I found this book. What drew me wast the fact that it was about Jane Austen but was written by a man. I have never heard more disparaging comments about Jane Austen than from men who have never read her work. I took it home and was completely sucked in. In fact I started over at the beginning as started reading it allowed to my mother. She too was fascinated.

William is hash in describing himself befog reading Austens work. I cringed because I have met more than one of the kind of early twenty's man he described. But as the book progresses I had to wonder if he had really been so bad. How could anyone who can write so clearly and show so much understanding of the writings of a woman really have been such a pompous jerk?

It wasn't a burning question really, I enjoyed his dissections of each of Austen's six novels even as I disagreed with some of them. He shared wonderful intimate knowledge of the author, making her more of a person and less of a historical figure for me. Above all I liked the lessons that he learned from her books.

Instantly a favorite.

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, Revised and Updated Edition

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home - Susan Wise Bauer, Jessie Wise I really agree with the basic idea of the authors about how a base of knowledge for a child will help them in life. I really feel that if I have been given a better education I would have a lot easier time with life. But as usual I disagree with many of the specifics the author feels are essential. Not a book that I feel I would use as a whole but parts of it are valuable.

How to Tutor

How To Tutor - Samuel L. Blumenfeld This is the book my mother used to teach me how to read. Well actually its the 1973 edition but I couldn't find that on here. I was reading it to see if when my child is old enough if it would be useful, and I believe it would be. Hes fairly old fashioned. Not too surprising. He was old when he wrote it in the 70's.

Some of what he has to say needs to be taken with a grain of salt, such as the statement he blithely makes about how children won't balk at inconsistency in the language, the exact problem I had with learning to read.

But much of the basic premise works. And even now I found that going through his exercises and reading his explanations for spelling and how words are constructed really improved my understanding of the language. Its funny how after reading copiously for years my basics sort of fell out of my head.

Over all I believe that a person using this book would have to be careful to tailor the lessons to the child they were teaching, but you would not require any other books to teach a child.

Phonics Pathways: Clear Steps to Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling

Phonics Pathways: Clear Steps to Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling - Dolores G. Hiskes Initially I thought this book looked good. I liked the explanations about words and sounds. In fact I learned quite a lot from reading the later pages. But after starting at the beginning and going through the teaching method I decided that it might be useful to someone trying to teach a child as an adjunct but not as a whole program. The beginning worksheet exercises are fine but the pages are very busy with cartoons and cutesy phrases on the sides that a child who is learning to read would need someone to read to them, and have nothing to do with the worksheets. The book also focuses on games. No amount of games and 'fun' are going to inspire a child to learn to read fluently. Reading is intrinsically the goal of learning to read. Knowing whats on a page and what it means is what a child needs to be 'rewarded' by. Not outside rewards and game's that will be immediately taken away once the child learns to read.

Not the best but has some good stuff.

Spellcast

Spellcast - Barbara Ashford My mom and I picked this book up on a whim at our local used bookstore because we laughed when we read the first couple pages. The writing style is great.

It's written in first person. The main character Maggie quickly summed up people and places in such wonderful biting and vivid descriptions that we would find ourselves laughing out loud. Maggie's witty way was her way way of holding the world at bay. She had a lot more to offer the world than she believed and her attitudes towards life were obviously holding her back. Sometimes I got a little frustrated with her mental gymnastics but for the most part I found her rather charming.

The subtle way the mystery of the theater (and its inhabitants) is revealed reminded me of a Mary Stewart or Suzanna Kearsly novel. All of the side characters are just as detailed as the mystery and I fell in love with many of them.

The only reason I did not give this book five stars is I disagreed with the direction that the author chose to go in the end. Despite that small flaw its very romantic and all in all a wonderful book. I'm so glad I read it.

Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival

Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival - T.S. Wiley, Bent Formby This book has tons of information that is backed up with footnotes. Half the book is citations. I like that. The only thing is that the tone of the book vacillates between hysterical and flippant. The flippant comments are quite funny sometimes but are a little inappropriate, and the hysterical tone of some of his other statements makes it hard to take him seriously despite his use of footnotes.

Unfortunate he tends to repeat himself and he doesn't give a lot of information about how to apply the data he is giving you. For example he talks about how bad it is to not sleep and explains in detail why, and what is happening to your system, he also explains that if you stay awake too long that you can mess up your system entirely and never be able to sleep naturally again. But he dose not give tangible applicable statements about how many hours you have to stay up to achieve this breakdown, and what you can do if you have 'broken' yourself this way.

Over all a little difficult.

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks - Kathleen Flinn I really enjoyed this book. It taught me a lot about cooking, even though I already know a lot about cooking from my readings over the last few years. Its exactly the kind of book I was looking for a few years ago, and I wish I'd had it then.

One small thing that I want to mention, is in the chapter where she teaches a spontaneous class at a party about how to make salad dressing, she says that rancid oil is not bad for you. Its a commonly held belief, but the science is coming in that even though rancid oils don't make you sick immediately, they are horribly bad for you, and over time can cause all kinds of big problems. From obesity, plack in your arteries, leading to heart problems, osteoarthritis, and imuneosurrpression.

It is true that once in awhile if you eat rancid oil it will not kill you but the problem is that people are often eating these kinds of oils every day, and they will kill them and not in a nice way.

Other than that one paragraph. I love this book, Would recommend it for everyone interested in cooking, or worrying about their weight or just feeling disconnected from their life and wanting to find some form of control. :)

The Scent of Shadows (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 1)

The Scent of Shadows - Vicki Pettersson I wanted to like it but I just found the main character too mean to be able to enjoy at all.

The Taken: Celestial Blues: Book One

The Taken - Vicki Pettersson I really like Kit. She was warm and sweet and very likeable. The main character was solid but not quite as wonderful as kit. The story is great but it is a bit dark. The bad guys are really bad but its nicely contrasted with the good guys being really good.

The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on $40 a week)

The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on $40 a week) - Robin Mather I know I never finished it but that was only because my library only had it electronically and for some reason it wouldn't work on my kindle and I had to read it on my computer and I hate reading at my computer and eventually it was taken away from me. Still it was a wonderful book.
SPOILER ALERT!

A Bucket of Ashes (Gilded Age Mysteries, No. 6)

A Bucket of Ashes - P.B. Ryan This has to be one of the best historical romances I've ever read. Of course it takes six books to get there but its such a wonderful story I hardly minded.