Tag Archives: robin mckinley

Sept 2017 Book Review

29 Sep

I don’t have a lot to share with you this month since my to-read list is longer than my just-read list! Ha.

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Spindle’s End  by Robin Mckinley – On her name-day, Princess Briar-Rose is cursed by Pernicia to one day prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a never-ending sleep. But Katriona, a young fairy, kidnaps her in order to save her from her fate. She takes the princess to her small village and there, her aunt and her raise Briar-Rose where no one knows her true identity. But Pernicia won’t easily give up the chance to exact revenge for a defeat over four hundred years old.

~I first read this in 2015 and have to say that I enjoyed it even more this second time. The world-detail that bothered me last time didn’t even phase me. I’m not sure if that’s because I’ve been reading more fantasy since then or just because..well, I’ve already read it. Perhaps a little of both, eh? Either way, this book has shot to the top ten of my favorite ‘fantasy’ books – right under Mckinley’s Beauty  and Sanderson’s Elantris and Mistborn.

 

The English Garden Series – The Visitor and The Pursuit by Lori Wick – Set in the early 1800s in England, this series has a delightful ‘Austen’ feel that I love.

~Watch for a full – separate -review of this next week!

The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie OMartian – Worrying about your marriage isn’t going to do anything, but praying about it can change everything! This book is set up in a prayer-a-day format with stories from real-life and verses that go with the topic. Some of the topics are: his spiritual walk, his health, his roles as father/leader/etc, his emotions.

~ I knew I needed to get back into the habit of praying for my OH (and our marriage) so I pulled this off the shelf again and am glad that I did. I have marked the prayers that I felt were especially relevant for him and us and have plans to go back over them regularly. I reviewed this here a few years ago as well.

Currently Reading:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (how have I not finished this yet? I’ll tell you. my copy was printed in the 1800’s so I won’t read it while: eating, bathing, outside with the puppy playing in the water, etc….)

Stepping Heavenward by Mrs. E. Prentiss

Jewish Roots by Dan Juster

 

On my To-Read Next List:

Beside Still Waters by AnnaLee Conti

Collected Poems of Henry Thoreau

Pillar of Fire – Rev. J. H. Ingraham (printed 1864)

Samantha Among the Brethren by Josiah Allen’s Wife (printed 1892)

Brandon Sanderson books from library

 

~While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.~

What have you been reading? 

~Laura

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review – Boundaries

Book Review – July 2016

3 Aug

Ahem. Let’s just pretend that it’s  about 4 days ago, shall we?! What with traveling and trying to get through a monster of a book about Lyme Disease, I went for light reads last month.

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Just Above a Whisper (book 2 Tucker Mills Trilogy) by Lori Wick – Indentured servant, Reese Thackery’s life gets another hit when the owner of her contract dies and the bank becomes the holder of her fate. The bank owner’s son, Connor Kingsley, comes to investigate and soon releases her from service. He then hires her to keep house for him, but Reese can’t decide how she feels about him. Can both put aside the hurt of the past and learn to trust again?

~Honestly, I think these two characters are some of my favorites of Wick’s. Reese’s attitude throughout her trials is how I would sincerely like to be! If I could move to the small town of Tucker Mills, I would do it in a heartbeat. And I always forget that this is smack dab in the middle of a trilogy, but it certainly works as a stand alone!  There is nothing in this novel that I don’t like! An absolute favorite. 

An Assembly Such as This bk 1 by Pamela Aidan – Darcy can’t believe the company he’s forced to keep when he follows his friend, Charles Bingley to Hertfordshire to check out an estate for sale. As he spends his days fending off Miss Bingley’s attentions and supervising Bingley, he finds himself falling for Elizabeth Bennett, quite unwillingly. When an old nemesis unexpectedly shows up in the form of George Wickham, Darcy is left dealing with old emotions, and growing concern about Elizabeth’s friendship with him.

~I found this novel while browsing a used bookstore years ago and am SO very glad I took a chance on it and grabbed it! To finally find a well-written novel from Darcy’s perspective (of Pride and Prejudice)  is like a literary dream come true. I enjoy the characters that Aidan creates in Darcy’s world. His butler, Fletcher, is one of my favorites. If you’re a fan of Jane Austen, you simply MUst read this book! IF you’re a fan of the Regency Era, you must read it!! 

The Hero and the Crown by Robin Mckinley – With rumors of her mother being a witch from the North, Aerin has never been accepted as rightful heir of Damar’s king.  It’s said in whispers that her mother entrapped her father into marrying her, and then died of despair after having a daughter instead of a son. And so, Aerin grew up as a bit of an uncomfortable oddity, not able to hide completely but not able to properly claim her place in court. No one knows the truth of her destiny, that she is to become the wielder of the Blue Sword.

~ This is another novel that I took a risk on in a bookshop, one in Cannon Beach Or! I’ve read it once before and enjoyed it just as much this second time. Aerin’s journey is exciting as she goes from awkward reminder to hero. And we all love a female hero who wonders at the calm in her voice and how she instinctively knows what to do. 

 

Come back for a review on Ralph Moody’s Little Britches series!

I never did finish the Trim Healthy Mama book or Captivating…. They just fell by the wayside with everything going on. You’ll see I’m still reading Why Can’t I get Better? , it’s a good book about Lyme disease and chronic pain but it’s so in-depth and also written for doctors that i’m getting bogged down by it all. I’m starting to think of returning it to the library early and finding another book about Lyme that maybe isn’t so hard to get through.

 

Currently Reading:

Why Can’t I get Better? by Richard Horowitz, M.D.

The Fields of Home by Ralph Moody

Duty and Desire bk 2 by Pamela Aidan

 

To-Read List:

Mary Emma and Company by Ralph Moody (bk 6)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The rest of the Tucker Mills Trilogy by Lori Wick

While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

 

Book Review – Dec 2015

4 Jan

So I admit that I completely forgot about doing this post last month! Oy vay. And then I realized that I also have forgotten to do the Heart of India series review. Oy Vay times two.

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But! I completed my reading challenge on Goodreads! And just in the last few days of December too – click here if you want to see all that I read (and subsequently, all I reviewed here on SGL)

~I have added links to each book to amazon if you want to get one of these books for your very own! Thanks for supporting my blog. ~

God-Fearers – Gentiles and the God of Israel -by Toby Janicki – How do non-Jews participate in the modern revival of the Messianic Jewish? This book  brings together what is known on late Second-Temple Era Judaism and early Christianity to answer this question, and to introduce  those first non-Jewish believers, called God-Fearers.

I reviewed this last month, and my opinion stands now that I’ve finished it!

Chateau of Echoes by Siri L. Mitchell – Frederique Farmer owns her own castle that she’s turned into a bed and breakfast. She doesn’t know that the diaries of a fifteenth-century girl are about to upset her entire life.  Soon she hires a college student and agrees to an American writer being a long-term guest.What happens is more intrigue and possibilities than she ever imagined.

I’m not sure if there is Mitchell novel that I love more than this one. Seriously. I mean, put together reading, writing, cooking, mystery and medieval times? YES. There is some talk of intimacy throughout – it is very delicately put (i mean, come on, I’M reading it) but I do like to tell when it’s present. 

Beauty by Robin Mckinley – Beauty had never had the grace and beauty of her sisters but she tried to make up for it in other ways. Her father was a gentle soul and never noticed the differences between them. But when he came home one day with a story of an enchanted castle and its terrible owner, along with the promise he had had to make, Beauty knows that she is the only one who can go and fulfill the promise. She alone must go to the castle, and to the Beast.

I feel like I’ve been talking about this book for ages without actually having reviewed it here on SGL. I adore this book. Mckinley’s worlds are fantastic – when Beauty is with her family, and then in the castle with the Beast. I never get tired of it. In fact, I still demand quiet in certain parts of the book, savoring them as if it was the first time I’d read it. She wrote another version of this fairy tale and I like it as well but not near as much as this one.

To be a Jew by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin – This has been acknowledged as the classic guide – full of information and daily inspiration – to Jewish attitudes, law and philosophy. From Shabbat to Succot, dietary laws to family life, birth to death and mourning, this book shines the light on how to live a devout life.

I will admit that I’m struggling getting through this one. Nothing against the book itself, though. While it is ‘meatier’ than God-Fearers was, it is still very well written. I think it intimidates me a little bit, (yes, books can intimidate!!!) and that alone makes it hard to pick up. I do look forward to working my way through it though.

Under Eastern Stars  and Kingscote (Heart of India series books 2 and 3) by Linda Chaikin — I am going to review these as a whole series.  You do not want to miss it, I enjoy this series so so much.

I can’t believe that I read 5 (and started another) books during the crazy month of December! We made another trip to Powell’s bookstore (miles and miles and stories and stories of any type of book you could want!) so I have added these three books to my to-read list for January:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Dragonhaven by Robin Mckinley (I just cannot get enough of her books!)

It’s always fun to have something new to read, and I now have a little pile growing.

Did you get any books for Christmas or Hanukkah? 

~Laura

 

Book Review – August 2015

28 Aug

Happy end of August! Not that it’s really sunk in yet that summer is pretty much over – we are looking forward to vacation next week (finally one we are going on together!!!) which includes a wedding, lots of time with friends and family and possibly buying a car! EEK!

This month has been one full of reading a rather random assortment of books. But, really, it would be boring to read all one genre in a month wouldn’t it? Aug2015bkrvw

The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas On the brink of the happiest day of his life, Edward Dantes is thrown in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Years later, he learns of a treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo. He then focuses on escaping the grim fortress and, after finding the treasure- exacting revenge on the three men who ruined him. — I am reading this on my phone, which means it’s going much slower than if I had a book to pick up! I am loving the complexities of the story, and realizing that, of course, the movie changed some major components of it. I might need to get a copy just so I can actually finish it.

The Problem of Pain – C.S. Lewis – Man has been plagued by one question for years – ‘if God is good, why does he allow pain?” Lewis, who is known as the ‘greatest Christian thinker of our time’, answers this complicated question and seeks to heal a hurting world.  – I have this next to my bed to read before falling asleep = it’s taking me a very long time to get through….But I am learning from it and figure it will become a yearly read.

The Storekeeper’s Daughter – Wanda E. Brunstetter – Daughters of Lancaster County, book 1 – In Amish country in Pennsylvania, tragedy strikes  – Naomi Fisher’s mother dies in an accident. At the time when she should be going to singings and riding in a courting buggy, she is instead taking care of her seven siblings and helping her father in the family store. Just when she thinks she can’t take one more day in the restrictive world she now finds herself, the unthinkable happens. And any confidence she, or her family, had in her is shattered – will she be able to continue on? – This was a re-read for me but still just as enjoyable. Brunstetter rarely lets you down with her novels. The gospel message is clear throughout, without being overkill. I hope you know what I mean by that….I enjoy the slow-paced nature of books set in the Amish world, and inevitably feel incredibly lazy with having washers for clothes and dishes….and plenty of time to read novels!

The Hero and the Crown – Robin Mckinley – She had always known the story of how her mother, the witchwoman, had used a spell to get the king to marry her. Aerin had heard it from beginning to end many times – how, after giving birth to a daughter instead of the longed-for son, her mother had turned to the wall and died of despair. Being the daughter cast her into a difficult position – one with a destiny she couldn’t see. But through determination and with a willing war-horse, Aerin would learn that her destiny was far greater than anyone believed – she was to be the hero who would wield the Blue Sword, Gonturan. –  I picked this book up (along with #2 in the series) at Jupiter’s bookstore in Cannon Beach Or. Seriously, I love going to that bookstore. No matter what else I do while in the cute seaside town, I spend at least an hour in the cram-packed-full-of-used-books bookstore. I have read a few of Mckinley’s books – Beauty being one of my favorites – so I decided it was worth risking it. It is fantastic. A new world and language to get sucked into, plus it’s about a sword-wielding heroine? Yes please. The twists and turns and the growing that the heroine does from beginning to end are engrossing.

The Secret – Charlotte Bronte  – A collection of short stories by Charlotte and her siblings are in this light read. Each are set in the imagined world of Verdopolis and are full of intrigue, lies and love. – These were very fun to read even though due to taking so long to read them I did get a little confused about the repeating characters. The heroines are all gorgeous and brave and true while the heros are handsome and trustworthy and the villians easy to spot by their dark brows and evil intent  – all in all, very charming stories.

The Blue Sword – Robin Mckinley  – Harry Crewe, newly orphaned, has come to the desert land of Damar, a place of secretive, magical Hillfolk and the Outlanders. Her life is a bit dull and ordinary – until she is kidnapped by Corlath, the king of the Hillfolk. She begins training in the arts of war, even though she doesn’t understand it.  –  This is the second book in the series (not sure it’s actually a ‘series’ though) of the world of Damar. Absolutely engrossing so far. Fantastic characters and I do love a bit of magic in my novels. And when a book can make me forget I’m eating lunch, well, you know it’s good.

Hope you find something to fill the coming weekend,

Laura

What are you reading lately?

A Thought about Writing…errr, Reading…

18 Aug

I had a fun realization the other night that I wanted to share here on SGL! I have been reading a book by Robin Mckinley (review to come end of the month!) and as it is a book for young readers, the area i’m wanting to get into – it has been good to read for more than just the obvious fact that it’s a great book!

dragon readingforblog

When working on being a writer —-reading becomes research.

Score.

I’ve been researching for years and didn’t even know it.

So here’s to finding books that not only draw you into their worlds and make you sad when it’s over, but that also make you think about story structure, word choice and if, perhaps, you really do need a dragon in your novel.

Happy writing friends!

~Laura

~I got the picture here ~

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