Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Marvelwood Magicians by Diane Zahler


Eleven year old Mattie can read minds, her mom tells fortunes, her father is an illusionist and her brother can disappear.  They perform at fairs and carnivals.  They have always hidden the fact that their talents are real.  When they join a circus and their talents are threatened, it is up to Mattie to save the day.  There is magic, circus, and fun in this great children's book.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

11/22/63 by Stephen King

I read this book in two days and one evening.  I could not put it down. I had not really ever been interested in the JFK story, despite having grown up in the Dallas area for most of my life.  However, just a few years ago, I learned that my grandma had dated Jack Ruby.  That piqued my interest in the event.  In this story, Jake finds that there is a way to travel through time and he is commissioned to go to 1963 and stop Oswald from killing Kennedy, but it will take some time and planning since the portal in time only leads to 1958 and time doesn't like to be changed. During that time, Jake, who changes his name to George, becomes a part of the past, but will he be able to change it?  Totally fantastic book.  Next, I plan to watch the TV series that is based on the book.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea
This book is like a very long description
of an acid trip.
Bees and honey
and swords and honey
and keys and honey
and owls and honey
and a bunny who is a girl who is a bunny
and cats and books and stories
and a starless sea
and a harbor
a dollhouse,
and dancing
and Max of the wild things
and video games
and I think, it is most likely, that
the owls are not what they seem
although that is another story.
Many stories in one story.
A mysterious underground
magical world.
Love stories.
"It doesn't feel real, but it does feel familiar."
A very long, sticky story of fantasy and mystery and honey.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

I read this book during the Covid 19 pandemic and while it has a lot of science fiction elements in it, the political and cultural and religious elements are eerily close to what we see playing out right now.  In this book, the main character's  younger sister is the first of the "walkers", a growing group of people who are strangely sleepwalking across the country.  The CDC joins the group trying to determine the cause of the strange phenomenon, but some of the CDC members are later called away to deal with a pandemic which some people believe is caused by the walkers.  As the pandemic progresses, we see conspiracy theories, right wing militia groups, religious zealots and mass anarchy. It is a kind of creepy book to read during a pandemic.

Monday, April 27, 2020

This I Know by Eldonna Edwards

This I Know
The story begins in the 1960s when Grace is 11 years old.  She has always known things that other people don't and she talks to her twin brother who died when they were born.  Her aunt calls it a gift, but her evangelical preacher father calls it witchcraft.  As the story progresses, Grace's gift, that she calls her "knowing" shows her things that help other people, but her father thinks it is satanic. The story follows Grace as her mother falls into depression after giving birth to Grace's youngest sister.  It is a touching story and I think people will enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Eelia Sherman

This is a fun to read story about 12 year old Nick, who has run away from his mean uncle only to wind up as an apprentice to the Evil Wizard Smallbone whose enemy is a loup garou named Fidelou.  Nick learns magic and learns about his own self worth in this story.  It has excitement and magic and I think that middle school age children will enjoy it very much.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

I'm Not Dying With You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

Two high school girls, who only know who each other is because they have a class together, are thrust together when a high school football game turns into a riot with a shooting involved.  They escape together only to wind up in another riot as they attempt to locate Lena's boyfriend. 

Friday, March 6, 2020

No One is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference

I listened to the audio book of this collection of Greta's speeches of the course of about a year.  I enjoyed listening to Greta's speeches and I am proud of her for speaking out about the important issue of climate change.  She is right that we need to do something about it now, not later.  I hope that she and many other young people will take up the charge and actually make the changes that need to be made.  Greta is an inspiring young woman and we all need to take heed to her words.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare

The Girl with the Louding Voice
I listened to the audio version of this book, which was very well done.  The story is powerful and raw and tells the story of a 14 year old girl in Nigeria who is forced to marry an old man as his third wife.  She later runs away only to be enslaved as a house maid to a woman who beats her.  Yet through it all, she remains strong, wanting to become a teacher to help other girls become educated.  I highly recommend this book.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House

Eleanor goes to the mysterious hill house and spends a week with three other people.  The house is said to be haunted and it speaks to Eleanor and twists her mind as well as the minds of the others who are there with her. 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Harry Potter: Knitting Magic: The Official Guide to Creating Original Knits Inspired By the Harry Potter Films by Tanis Gray

Harry Potter: Knitting Magic: The Official Guide to Creating Original Knits Inspired By the Harry Potter Films

Not only does this book have lovely patterns, but each has an explanation about which movie it is based on and where you can see what it is based on in the movie with photos from the movie as well. The patterns are well written and there are instructions in the back of the book that explain some of the more difficult bits. This book is a must-have for Harry Potter loving knitters!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
The author of this book explains that racism is a system of white power and control over black people.  This is different from mere prejudice or discrimination.  It is a system that is based on an ideology and we live in this system, therefore, by her definition, all white people are racist, however, she does not define racist as someone who intentionally doesn't like people because of race, but rather as unintentional members of a system of racism.  The book is enlightening and brings up some very good points. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Purrfect Magic (Whisker Witchcraft, #1) by Samantha Coville

Purrfect Magic (Whisker Witchcraft, #1)
This is a cute, short, lighthearted fantasy.  Eighteen year old Harper Bishop got into the prestigious Jourdemayne Academy of Witchcraft easily because her parents are famous witches and she is famous for being their daughter as well as for her own fashion sense.  She begins by not attending her college classes until she hears kittens calling her and students begin dying. Now it is up to Harper to find out who is killing the students and stop them.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Knit Two (Friday Night Knitting Club #2) by Kate Jacobs

Knit Two (Friday Night Knitting Club, #2)

It has been 5 years since Georgia's death and Dakota and the members of the Friday night knitting club have floundered some in their grief, but in this poignant tale, we see them grow and find themselves.

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Friday Night Knitting Club (Friday Night Knitting Club #1) by Kate Jacobs

The Friday Night Knitting Club (Friday Night Knitting Club, #1)
This book made me laugh and cry, which, I think, makes it an excellent book.  It tells the story of several very different women who knit at a local yarn shop in New York City.  The story centers on Georgia, a single mother, and owner of the shop, but other main characters include Anita, an older wealthy widow and Georgia's mentor and several other women who meet together on Friday nights to knit, chat, and eat muffins and treats made by Georgia's 12 year old daughter, Dakota. 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Sugar Spells by Lola Dodge

Sugar Spells (The Spellwork Syndicate, #2)

This is a sweet story (see what I did there?) about Anise, a teenage witch who bakes using her magic, but after a battle in the first book, which I haven't read, she is tainted with death  magic, which is not good for her or her baked goods.  She works to rid herself of the death magic and to free Wynn from his debt in this slightly silly tale.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Beartown (Björnstad #1) by Fredrik Backman

Beartown (Beartown, #1)
It took me a long time to read this book because I don't care for sports.  The first half of the book is just hockey and how the people of the town have made hockey their lives and I just could not get into it at all.  I put it down once at 33% for many months and then again at 50% and then I finally picked it up and finished it.  I love Bakman's other books that I have read, but the excessive sports focus in this one was just not interesting to me.  It is a good book and I think that people who do like sports probably will enjoy it more than I did.  The book, however, really isn't about hockey, it is about rape and how sports fans, among others, tend to blame the victim.  It is a well written story.