Friday, March 20, 2009

new favorite

when you find an author that you like, you know you can pick up any book and not be disappointed, right? my list of that ilk includes :

maeve binchy w i l l a c a t h e r fannie flagg nick hornby rosamunde pilcher anita shreve anne rivers siddons amy tan even my buddy, uncle stevie

and now i've added sarah addison allen to my list.

i, of course, loved the debut of garden spells and recommended it to everyone in the library--whether they asked for help or not. it was so magical... and i loved that the garden had a life of it's own, and the whole thing with the secret powers of the herbs and plants... okay, it's just another that i loved!!

yet, you never know if a debut novel is going to be a flicker that quickly fades, or the first of many great books. but now that i have finished the sugar queen, i know that garden spells wasn't a charming drop in the pan, and neither is the author.

the sugar queen is just as magical and enchanting as i hoped. there are a few things going on here, josey is controlled by her bitter mother, is in love with her mailman, and has a strange woman living in her closet--the closet that holds josey's stash of sweets, romance novels and travel magazines (that's not a sign of repression, is it?); and then there is chloe and the books that appear to her. not like the books she finds on the shelf at the store, but like the books, that follow her from work to home and back again!! oh, man how would that be? i 'spose it could be annoying when you don't want to listen to the books... chloe is like that and the finding forgiveness book that's hounding her.

when josey and chloe team up (with the pushing of the lady in the closet) wonderful things happen for both of them... i don't want to say too much because this book unfolds slowly like a flower in spring... and before you know it, you're stuck and you never want to leave. and don't worry, it's not as sugary sweet as the title may lead you to believe... enjoy!

happy reading!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

it's like meth!

this cursed facebook is as addictive as meth... i'm sure of it!

despite facebook, i finally finished Outlander by Diana Gabaldon... and i have to say that it was rough going for the first 300 pages. but then, time came to a screeching stop. all i wanted was to be in scotland... and i wanted to be curled up in a ball on my couch reading to see what would happen next!

why? what happened to change my mind? i was blown away with how well-written this book was, and then again how can you not love a book that has romance, time travel, highland lore and history, danger, suspense... and, i hate to gush over a beautifully rugged (and funny, oh so funny) scotsman-- i dare you not to fall in love with jamie.

one of the things i love about this book is that we get to read about a strong female character!claire is a modern 1945 woman, she's been a field nurse for 6 years, she has ideas and opinions and she stands her ground... even with her new husband. and sometimes she pays for her strong-willed nature, and other times this independence is what saves men's lives... mainly, jamie's.

in spite of both of their stubborn natures, jamie and claire have so much passion for each other... it's intoxicating. you want whatever they have to flow out of the book and wash over you. the publisher says that she's leading a double life because "she has a husband in one century, and a lover in another"... that confused me. i kept waiting for her to go back to 1945--spoiler alert--but given the chance, she doesn't go. frank is a distant memory, so to me there is no double life. she chose the life she wanted... jamie.

i love this book, against all preconceived notions about it. i was reluctant because of the "paranormal" tag and the heft of the book, lame, lame excuses! and now i can't imagine not reading this book, or the 6 following! in fact, i have already bought Dragon Fly in Amber from, and claire and jamie will be traveling with me to arizona!

this is totally a side note, claire is also the name of the character in the Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger... which is a pretty good "paranormal" book too! i'm not sure why i shy away from these. when i read them, i really like them... for example, i loved the TTW so much, i painted my kitchen so i could look "busy" while finishing listening to it!