September 8, 2010

What I've Read Recently...and LOVED!

Caution! Some of these books might be on your "I've never heard of these" on at your own peril :-)

I shall share a few of my favorite reads that I've recently completed. After viewing the list you might ask yourself, "What is wrong with this lady?" But, if you know me, you already ask yourself that question.

Water for Elephants (S. Gruen) Loved every bit of this book. The narration is well-planned...we follow Jacob Jankowsi, a would-be vet with his father until his parents are killed in a car crash. Jacob hits the road, and one night jumps on a train. Little does he know that that one jump will change his life forever--for the better and the worst. Gruen delights readers with circus life during the depression, with strong character development and a strong plot. You root for the animals, who are heinously mistreated by the ringmaster, and you root for the workers. Basically, this books makes you "root"!

Fly on the Wall (E. Lockhart) AUDIO! (That's right; I listen to books in the car, go me!) Lockhart brings an interesting concept into YA literature through the character of Gretchen, a high school sophomore who has a best friend and a crush, Titus. Gretchen struggles with the opposite sex and makes a random comment, "I wish I could be a fly on the wall in the locker room." Little does she know that that singular comment will change her life, forever.Loved this book! The audio reader really brought out the character of Gretchen and enhanced Lockhart's plot.

Countdown (D. Wiles) This documentary novel takes its reader in 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis. By using an adorable main character, fifth grader Franny Chapman, Wiles spins an authentic tale of friendship, family, and fear.The reader will be captivated with Franny's family, which is sometimes a bit on the "nutty" side, as well as the print material that is cleverly woven throughout the book between chapters.This is an absolute must-read for anyone who loves history, the 1960s, or children literature.

Suddenly Supernatural 4: Crossing Over (E. C. Kimmel) My favorite in the series! Kat Roberts is an ordinary middle schooler with one exception, she's a medium. This can cause a bit of trouble for her at times, but with best friend Jac at her side, anything is possible. In the fourth installment, Kat is headed to Canada for a few days with her classmates. There's one major problem--her bus keeps "collecting" ghosts. Can Kat help the ghosts cross over without embarrassing herself in front on her crush, Ben? Kimmell hits a home run with this installment in Kat's world. The writing is right on target, and she truly captures the awkwardness of first crushes.

Sincerely (C. Sheinmel) A cute novel - two books in one - about the pangs of growing up (and apart from your best friend). Sheinmel uses Sophie and Katie in an interesting way, presenting one story through two sets of eyes. Sophie's story is first, and the reader laughs and cries with her as she loses her best friend, experiences her parent's divorce, and tries to find her own way. Sophie's story really focuses on her school and home life. Her only friend seems to be in a pen pal all the way across the country, Katie. Katie's story is different from Sophie's - hers is centered on her home life and the trouble she experiences with her mother. Both are adorable, likable characters the reader will enjoy.

Insatiable (M. Cabot)  Cabot has stepped into the world of vampires...and added a nice twist of comedic relief to go with it. Meena Harper is your typical New York single girl, if by typical you consider being a writer for the #2 rated soap on television and living with her unemployed brother. But, Meena has a gift that many men cannot handle, a gift that seems to attract another sort of man--being able to predict people's death. Speaking of death, while walking her dog early one morning Meena just about meets her own after a colony of bats attack her. But a talk, dark, handsome stranger saves her...and falls in love with her. There's only one problem--this talk, dark, handsome stranger is the prince of darkness. Can Meena save herself while trying to fight her urge to love the unattainable? Cabot gives readers a fun read in her vamp tale. Meena is a fun character that readers will pull for, and Lucien is the vampire with a soul (unlike his father or his brother). With a nice mix of drama, romance, and comedy, Cabot spins a tale that will keep chick lit lovers turning the pages.

Hush, Hush (B. Fitzpatrick) Fitzpatrick brings a new heroine to the forefront for teens...Nora Grey. Nora is a regular sophomore with a fiercely-loyal best friend who finds her world rocked one day when her Biology teacher has the class switch partners. Enter Patch - a fallen angel who seems mysteriously drawn to Nora...and Nora is drawn to him. This is a case of the book jacket not doing justice to the novel. Fitzpatrick's story is fast-paced, allowing readers just the right amount of action, of love, and of family. On a special note, I chose this novel as the FIRST pick for the new YA Teacher Book Club for my fellow teachers. The meeting is not until next week, but the feedback has been positive. Many papers have gone ungraded and many minutes/hours of sleep have been lost because the teachers could NOT put this book down.

Please Note: I read all the time; I'm always reading something. The above books are ones that have been read within the last four weeks. These are books that I read, loved, and recommend to others. This is not my complete list; it is abridged. Please watch for future posts where I list book recommendations.

What am I currently reading? Clockwork Angel by Cassandra for my review of this awesome book!!! Because it is awesome, and it will have its own review.


  1. Please feel free to leave your own recent reads

  2. I started Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men and put it down due to distraction, though I've loved it generally. Spent today reading the old Doctor Who novel "Vampire Science" (I say old, it was like 99 or so). If you like Doctor Who and's an interesting cross over, but it does feel like it rambles a bit.

    The Garth Ennis "Preacher" series of graphic novels makes for some fun comic-book reading. Moody and Texas and all "end of the world" with religious symbolism and violence.

    Hmm, what else. Reading through Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. Nothing like a mounting sense of dread to help you through a novel. And a book called The Fly, which I think is about the decay of the human spirit, or something.

    Besides those, Brian Keene's very-quick-read novella The Cage, and some other Discworld novels (always a treat, to me), I did a quick pass through a few backlist books (Death of Grass, Jaws, The Lowland Rider) and found them somewhat intriguing, but not necessarily knock outs. The Lowland Rider is probably the most compelling of the three, even if the ending is deep in the dark fantasy half of horror.


I would love to hear from you