Friday, June 20, 2014

Fiction: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson


Life After Life by Kate Atkinson is the book that has busted my blahs.  It's been a while since I have grown so very personally attached to a character and I am attached to Ursula, the main character of Kate Atkinson's newest novel.  I am attached, hook, line and sinker, to the whole delicious idea of this story.  This book does much more than extrapolate  how an individual life would be different if that ONE thing were to change.  No, Life After Life explores the multitude of ways in which one moment, (and therefore, each moment) can be far-reaching beyond what one can imagine.  And once I understood how the plot was shaking out, I liked playing out each little thread and rooting for Ursula each time, right to the very end. 

For more detail, consider the summary below from the MORE online library catalog:  "What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can -- will she?"--Provided by publisher

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Reading Blahs....

I haven't been reading much.  It's not for lack of material,  as there are always a couple of books lounging by my nightstand. But mostly, the books I've brought home have been of the "read-a-couple-chapters-and-then-return" variety.
I started reading A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan and I'm about half way through, and it's okay, but, again, I could walk away... sigh.
Here's my short summary so far:
Vignettes into the lives of aging, disgruntled, unhappy humans, from teens to elderly, with their choices framed largely by their regrets at not being enough of whichever particular thing they were chasing after.
Perhaps I need to return to some classics, or perhaps reread an old favorite.  I'll keep you posted.

Summer Reading Program

Book Club

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Wow, this has taken me forever to write. Seriously, I'm pretty sure this was November's post. For the lateness I'm sorry. 


The House of Hades is a truly wonderful book, and it's the fourth book in a series, and the series it is a part of is what many people are now calling a "Sequel Series". So, in reality I should start from the beginning.

Rick Riordan started Percy Jackson and the Olympians in June of 2005, the first book of five being titled The Lightning Thief. In the first few chapters you meet Percy Jackson(the main character who is around twelve at this point in time), Grover Underwood(who is older than one might think),Annabeth Chase(a very wise girl), and Sally Jackson(Percy's mom, who has an amazing secret). Percy finds out about his heritage in a very dangerous way, and embarks on a fabulous journey which held the 9 year old Rhiannon by the ear. I absolutely love this book.  

The Sea of Monsters, the daring sequel, is another book that also captivated me. Grover, Percy and Annabeth go to save a friend, and end up in some very peculiar places. Percy also meets a long-lost someone who isn't completely human. 

The Titan's Curse, in the third book of the series we meet two very interesting characters, Bianca and Nico De Angelo. They seem to be older than they look, and wiser than you would know. Bianca joins the Hunters of Artemis, and leaves Nico behind, but Nico had Percy promise that if he were ever to find her and travel along, Percy was to do everything in his power to make sure that Bianca would stay alive. But something dangerous has risen.

Next comes The Battle of the Labyrinth, a book that is still vivid in my memory, and it's not going anywhere. Someone from the past that never died resurfaces, and an old friend of Annabeth's is rising to dangerous power. People from the camps are disappearing and Percy is ruthless once again and try's to stop it all. He needs some good luck.

The Last Olympian is the thrilling end to the first series, where an incredible force - I'm sorry, that's multiple incredible forces - rise, threatening everything the trio and the Gods and Goddesses have stood for. The Gods and Goddesses decide that in order to defeat these crazy creatures from the depths of Tartarus, the demigods might need some godly help. The book ends in a fascinating way, causing the reader to be overjoyed that Mr Riordan has continued to create other worlds.

Now, the next series!

The Lost Hero starts with a new characters prospective, and the narrator has a familiar last name. He has no memory of who he once was, just that he was something.

Son of Neptune follows Percy, but he's not in Kansas anymore, Toto. He also has lost his memory, the only thing in his head is her name. Annabeth. Over and over again, on repeat. He must figure who this girl is and why he loves her so much{Sorry, spoiler's alert!!}

In The Mark of Athena seven demigods join together to save something, and Riordan leaves us with a killing{almost literally} clifhanger. The Seven have been seperated, and something dangerous is brewing(Can you tell I want to get to the point?)

House of Hades(Finally)

When Riordan left us at the thrilling end of The Mark of Athena, he agitated many of his fans. Agitated isn't the correct word, probably, but it's the only word I can think of, so please, pretend you understand what I am saying(No, really, don't. I would absolutely love it if you think I am doing something incorrectly and would please tell me, it'd be awesome. That didn't make sense either, but it's been a long day..) **SPOILER ALERT!!** After throwing our favorite 'Ship' into Tartarus, Riordan switches between The Agro II and Percy and Annabeth down in Hades' realm, the Seven weave an exellent story, containing lots of fingernail-biting events and tales that will make you put the book down in embarrasment because someone did something stupid. Rick Riordan overdid himself on his book, and The Blood of Olympus is coming out in October 2014, so if you enjoyed this series, there's more coming. 

~Rhiannon Zwieg

{P.S. if you read through all of that, I applaud you. Thank you for getting to the end of this LONG overdue and Lengthy post! xx} 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fiction: The Rent Collector by Camron Wright

The Rent Collector by Camron Wright was a compelling read, partially because it had come so highly recommended by so many different types of readers. This is always intriguing to me.  And, while I thought I knew the storyline start to finish right from the opening paragraph, there was a wonderful story within the story that turned the whole thing into a bit of a realistic fairy tale. Enough so that I kept turning the pages to see where they would lead.  Elements of delight show up in the most surprising places in this world when you are open to their possibility.  That was the gift this book offered to me.

For more detail, consider the summary below from the MORE online library catalog:  Sang Ly struggles to survive by picking through garbage in Cambodia's largest municipal dump. Under threat of eviction by an embittered old drunk who is charged with collecting rents from the poor of Stung Meanchey, Sang Ly embarks on a desperate journey to save her ailing son from a life of ignorance and poverty.

January Book Club