Sunday, August 23, 2009

Unforgettable: The Stone Fey by Robin McKinley

I bought The Stone Fey because it was written by Robin McKinley. I'd never heard of it, I had no idea she had written this picture book, but I was very excited to take it home and read it.

The Stone Fey was soooo not what I was expecting. First, it's not a kid's book. (Well, it is labeled as ages 9+.) I think the story and the characters are too complicated for a lot of kids.

The story, as I remember, follows a young woman who meets a stone fey on the mountain, who keeps going back to the mountain to be with the fey. She very nearly gives up everything normal about her life because of her obsessive need to be with him.

I didn't like this book at first, mostly because I wasn't expecting anything like it. But this is the kind of book that settles into your soul and nests there, and every now and then, some aspect of your life will line up unexpectedly with something from this book, and you will feel a kind of enchantment.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2009--and Muse Book Reviews was nominated!

Even though I've been really lax about updating my blog and keeping up with all the blogs in my reader (last week I finally sat down and went through over 1200 posts), I'm really excited about the upcoming Book Blogger Appreciation Week.

And imagine how surprised I was to find an e-mail in my inbox last Thursday informing me that Muse Book Reviews has been nominated for the BBAW award for Most Eclectic Blog!

Many thanks to the person(s) who nominated me. And thanks to Amy of My Friend Amy and all the volunteers who are going to make this year's BBAW even more amazing than last year's!

I also see, going through all those posts, that I missed the BBAW meme posted a couple weeks ago. So, here's that:

1) What was the highlight (something that happened, a post, an activity, etc.) of BBAW for you last year?

Last year, I had no idea there were so many book blogs out there, so what I mostly remember was being completely enchanted by all the other blogs.

2) What is one new blog you discovered during BBAW last year?

Oh, gracious. After BBAW last year, I had over 300 book blogs in my reader. I don't remember which ones I found during BBAW, but if I put a list on the wall and threw a dart, I'd bet that the one my dart hit would be one of them.

3) What tips would you share to help others get the most out of their BBAW experience?

Don't make any other plans for BBAW. You're going to be glued to your computer all week.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart

Beth Kephart's writing has an elegance I envy. Graceful, lyrical and defiantly simple, her command of language is evident in her blog as well as her books. Well, I'm assuming it's evident in her other books; I'm a little embarrassed to admit that though I've been meaning to read Kephart's books since I found her blog, it took My Friend Amy's drive to get me to the bookstore to order it.

In Nothing But Ghosts, narrator Katie has lost her mom to cancer and is trying to cope by taking a summer job for the reclusive old lady down the street, whose life becomes a mystery for Katie to figure out. Why did Miss Martine disappear? And when? How is it possible that no one has seen her in all those years?

The characters are so delightful I couldn't get enough of any of them--I wish the book had been longer so that I could have spent more time with them. Actually, come to think of it, the characters were almost too perfect. Katie's father, an art restorer, has infinite trust and patience with his daughter; his only flaw seems to be that he loses track of time and gets lost in his work and stays up all hours. And who doesn't love the fashion plate librarian, who's another mystery in Katie's life?

Seriously, I want more. (In the best sense of wanting more.)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I asked my library to bring The Hunger Games in, so they put it on the purchase request list (which doesn't guarantee they'll get it in) and said if they got it, I'd be the first on the waiting list. But I couldn't wait. I bought this book last weekend because so many book bloggers were so excited about the sequel being released in September.

I read The Hunger Games immediately, in a matter of hours (split up by grown-up things I had to do). And then I reread the end.

I tried to move onto another book a couple days later, but I just couldn't. My head was still stuck in The Hunger Games. So I read it again. (My husband thought this was very odd bevahior.)

On the second reading, I noticed a few errors (copy editing) that I didn't notice the first time through. For those who don't know, I almost always spot these mistakes the first time through. That I didn't notice a single one should tell you how engrossed I was in this story.

This book is Survivor meets the Roman Colloseum, and it has the feel of The Long Walk by Richard Bachman (Stephen King) with a teenage love triangle. Seriously, how can you go wrong?

Now I'm one of the people eagerly awaiting Catching Fire, which you can pre-order at your favorite bookstore.

If you are also eagerly awaiting the sequel, you should bounce over to BookWorming in the 21st Century and enter her Catching Fire giveaway.

Did I mention this is the best book I've read this year?