hestergray: (book lady)
I don't read nearly as much as I used to. :(

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
BOOK OF THE MONTH
I really enjoyed this book. Lee Strobel is a journalist who used his investigative skills to do research and interview experts to find out if Jesus was indeed the Christ. Interesting how he started out as an atheist, wanting to disprove the whole thing, and ended up a Christian, swayed by the evidence that he didn't know was out there.
hestergray: (book lady)
Yeah, I'm still catching up on things. And yeah, they both win by default.

November:

There's No Place Like Here by Cecelia Ahern
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
Not my favorite book by Cecelia Ahern, but still enjoyable. Sandy Shortt is a woman who has always been concerned about where things (or people) go when they are missing. Most people don't think twice about losing a sock in the wash, but Sandy would spend days looking for even the smallest thing like that. As an adult, she starts her own missing persons agency. Then one day, she goes missing herself, and she finds out where all the missing things go. And then all she wants is to get back home.

December:

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
Ryan gave this to me to read because it's one of his favorite books. I thought it was okay. It had some good things to say about life, and about the important things in life. But I didn't particularly care for the way it was written. It was like every little chapter or mini chapter had to end with a profound sentence that was supposed to tug on your heartstrings. I get annoyed when I feel that a book or movie or song or email forward is purposely trying to tug on my heartstrings. I guess I'm cold and unfeeling that way.
hestergray: (book lady)
I'm a little embarrassed that again, I finished only one book. I can try to defend myself by telling you that it was 688 pages, but still. I've been slacking on reading lately.

The World According to Garp by John Irving
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
It's a winner by default, but it probably still would have won anyway. This is a good book. Not in that it makes readers feel good, or that the characters display good behavior, because neither of those is true. But it is well-written and a very interesting story, with captivating characters. The main character is Garp, who is the son of a sort of feminist, and it tells about his life, and the struggles he goes through as a father and writer. John Irving has a way with words that I enjoy, especially in his even better book, A Prayer for Owen Meany.
hestergray: (sally reading)
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
Yeah, it wins by default, since it was the only book I managed to finish this month. (I'm still in the middle of three others. Hopefully I can finish those for October.) Just in case there are spoilers... )
hestergray: (book lady)
How Not to be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler
This is a young adult book that I thought was pretty good. Not awesome, but it kept my interest. It's about Maggie, a teenager whose parents are like nomads, always moving to different places every few months or so. Maggie has gotten very good at learning how to fit in at her new schools, becoming friends with the popular crowds. But in their latest venture, she decides she doesn't want any friends at all, so that it won't be so hard to leave. She does all the weirdest things she can think of so that the popular kids won't be friends with her. Of course, she doesn't realize that being weird will still make you fit in with the weird kids, and she makes friends unintentionally. I don't have much in common with Maggie, but it was still a funny book.

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
I didn't think this book was awesome, but I have to give the award to something. This was still really good though. It's a young adult fantasy book about a servant girl named Dashti who serves a rich young lady named Saren. Saren is punished for not marrying a horrible man, and the punishment is being locked in a tower for seven years. Dashti, of course, goes with her. They don't stay in there forever though, and some interesting things happen. It's very well-written.

Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown by Maud Hart Lovelace
I went back to this series, which I left off some time ago. The main characters are now twelve years old and they're more interesting than before. They're very sweet books, and I like the stories. This was amusing.
hestergray: (book lady)
Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
This is book three of Mma Romotswe, right? I think so. I liked reading more about her secretary in this one. She's a cool lady.

Free Byrd by Paul Byrd
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
Paul Byrd is a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. He's not a great writer, so some things in his book came out a little awkward. But he is very honest, and I really appreciated that. It's a book about his Christian faith, the struggles he's had, and how that fits into major league baseball. He seems like a really cool guy. He explains how being a Christian doesn't mean that everything will be perfect for you, or that you won't be tempted by sin, and sometimes give in to it. He focuses on the importance of a relationship with God.

Deadline by Chris Crutcher
A high school senior finds out that he only has a year to live. He wants to have as normal a year as possible, so he doesn't tell anyone. He decides to stir things up before he goes though, and interesting things happen. It was a good book.
hestergray: (sally reading)
Grass for His Pillow by Lian Hearn
This is Tales of the Otori: Book Two. I'm still enjoying the story and the characters in this alternate Japanese history.

Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith
The second book about Mma Romotswe. She is still clever and pleasant to read about.

Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich
An in-between Stephanie Plum book. It's not one in the regular series. It's an extra book for St. Patrick's Day. It's funny how for the in-between books, she doesn't want to mess up the storyline of the regular series, so Joe and Ranger are both conveniently really busy with other things, and don't enter into the story much.

The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs
BOOK OF THE MONTH
From the author of The Know-It-All, also a wonderful book, comes this book about his quest to follow the Bible literally for a year. He tries to follow even the most obscure rules found in the Bible, like not wearing garments of mixed fibers and not boiling a goat in its mother's milk. He researched different religious groups that took certain rules to the extreme, like the snake-handlers. He visited different people and places, like the Amish and Jerusalem. I found this book fascinating. There were some rules that he came up with modern equivalents for, and I liked reading about those. He's a really funny guy, and now he's my Facebook friend.
hestergray: (books)
Blessed are the Cheesemakers by Sarah-Kate Lynch
I listened to it again because it's so good. It's about two old men in Ireland who make cheese. They're getting old and they need to find someone to replace them. There's a bunch of other fun characters too who have conflicts to solve.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
This is an eerie, but good, book. It's the first in a series. The main character, Dexter, is a serial killer who will always have a sort of nagging feeling to kill. He has learned to keep it under control though, by only killing other serial killers. Kind of ridding the world of horrible people. But he's kind of horrible himself. It's somewhat gory, but it also has a strange humor. Dexter feels no real emotions, and his attempts to pretend like he does are funny.

Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
This is book one in the Tales of the Otori series. It takes place in Japan a long time ago, but it creates a different history of Japan, and there are fantasy elements as well. The country is divided into tribes that are at war with each other. A young man named Takeo escapes from his village when it is attacked, and he is rescued by Lord Otori Shigeru. Shigeru trains Takeo to fight in the hope that one day, he will be able to sneak across the nightingale floor and kill Iida, the bad guy. Another story going on at the same time is that of Kaede, a girl who has spent most of her life as a hostage/servant at a castle. I really enjoyed this book, and now I'm almost done with the second one in the series.

The Careful Use of Compliments by Alexander McCall Smith
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
This is the fourth Isabel Dalhousie book. Isabel is still pondering philosophical issues, and she has yet another small mystery to solve. I can't really tell anything about the story, because I'd be giving away things that happen in previous books. I'll just keep saying that these are really good.
hestergray: (sally reading)
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
This book is amazingly good. As the back of the book says, when they met, Henry was 36 and Clare was six. They got married when Henry was 31 and Clare was 23. Henry suffers from Chrono-Displacement Disorder, which means that sometimes, especially when he's stressed or scared, his body resets itself to another place and time. Not like ancient Rome or anything, just times from his own life. He has no control over it. He can't take anything with him, not even clothes. He usually stays for a few hours, maybe a day, and then he spontaneously returns to the present. The story is about the two of them trying to have a normal life together, but it's very difficult. Great book.

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
This is a cute, young adult book about an all-girls school that appears to be an elitist school for rich girls. Actually though, it's a school that teaches very smart girls how to be spies. They all have a vast knowledge of weapons and martial arts, and they can speak fourteen languages. The main character, Cammie, is out on a mission/school assignment where she meets a boy from the local town. She has to figure out how to date this guy without him finding out she's a spy. The audio book reader would not have been my first choice for this character, but I still enjoyed it.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
I really liked this book. It's about Mma Precious Romotswe and how she starts her own business, a detective agency, in Botswana. She gets some interesting cases to solve, and she solves them with her own cleverness.

The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs
Very funny book. It's kind of a memoir of "one man's humble quest to become the smartest person in the world." By reading the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica from A to Z in a year. He joins Mensa, tries to get on "Jeopardy!", and does get on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?". All the while, he shares interesting facts that he learns from the encyclopedia.

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
I've read this one before, but the audio book is good too. It's about a teenager who starts a swim team of misfits at his school. Chris Crutcher's books are always fantastic.

How I Paid For College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship, and Musical Theater by Marc Acito
This is about Edward Zanni, a high school senior in 1984 who wants to study acting at Juilliard. However, his rich father refuses to pay for his college unless he studies business. So Edward and his friends try to figure out how to pay for his college education. It leads to things like embezzlement and fraud and getting in trouble. Also, Edward struggles with his own sexuality, as he has a girlfriend, but finds himself attracted to boys as well. Despite his tendency toward crime and his strange (and unnecessarily graphic) sexual exploits, this book was really well-written and funny. I enjoyed it.

The Right Attitude to Rain by Alexander McCall Smith
The third book in the Isabel Dalhousie series. I still love this series, and this book took it in a very different direction. I'm excited to read the fourth book.
hestergray: (sally reading)
Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith
I listened to this one again because I liked it so much the first time. It's very funny! It tells about the various antics of Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, an expert in the field of Portuguese irregular verbs.

Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen
This was pretty funny. His style is kind of like Dave Barry's. The story is about a woman who is a little nuts and she gets really upset about a telemarketer who was rude to her on the phone one day. She plans a big scheme to get back at him and teach him some manners. She lures him to Florida where she takes him and his mistress on a kayaking tour of some swamp lands. Her ex-husband and her son are following her. A private eye is following the telemarketer. It's all pretty absurd, but in a good way.

Shakespeare by Bill Bryson
This isn't a travel book, like Bill Bryson's other books, but it's still his witty style. He explains how we don't actually know very much about William Shakespeare. Most of what we think about his life is speculation. Bryson gives the biography of Shakespeare telling what we can be sure of, and what probably happened, and what probably did not happen. It's a good little history, as he also talks about the times and places in which Shakespeare lived.

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith
I finally remembered that I wanted to continue reading The Sunday Philosophy Club series, so I found the second book. I really like it! Isabel Dalhousie is a middle-aged woman who lives in Edinburgh. She thinks about philosophic issues a lot. In this story, she meets a man who has received a heart transplant, and now he has a memory that he believes belonged to the donor. It's sort of like a little mystery that Isabel has to solve. I'm becoming a big fan of this author.

Sex God by Rob Bell
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
Rob Bell's second book. In this one, he talks about sexuality and spirituality, and how they relate to each other. I liked his explanations of all the wedding symbolism in the Bible - things that I didn't even realize had anything to do with weddings. Like when Jesus talked about going to prepare a place for us, in the Jewish tradition, that's what a man would say to a woman when they became engaged. And then the man would go build an addition onto his father's house, so he and his bride would have somewhere to live after they got married. I've heard analogies of the Church being God's bride before, but this book made it more specific, and more personal, as he also talked about how this relates to our lives on a smaller scale. It was really interesting.

Thale's Folly by Dorothy Gilman
This book is simply delightful. Thale's Folly is a big house that was once owned by Harriet Thale. When she died, the house went to her nephew. Andrew is the 26-year-old son of the nephew, and his father sends him to the house to gather information about the house and lands so they can sell it. When Andrew arrives at the house though, he finds four occupants still living there and they don't want to leave. He spends some time with them and finds that he really likes it there and doesn't want to leave either. It's a very pleasant story.
hestergray: (sally reading)
The Measure of a Lady by Deeanne Gist
This is set during the California gold rush. A young woman and her two teenaged siblings arrive in San Francisco without their father, who died on the ship on the way there. The three of them don't really know what to do because they come from a more refined society and San Francisco is mostly a bunch of dirty tents and dirty men. The only women in town are prostitutes. They get help from a saloon owner who lets them stay in his unused shanty. The young woman is very concerned with being proper, not only because of the way she was brought up, but because she is a Christian. The two siblings get into a lot of trouble. I liked it okay.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
I've read this one before, but this time I listened to the audio book, read by Fisher Stevens, who I really like. It was just as good as I remembered, maybe even better.

Plato and Platypus Walk Into a Bar... by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein
This was okay. It combines philosophy with humor, sort of telling why jokes are funny. They explain a little thing from philosophy and then tell a couple jokes that illustrate the point.

A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
Another book that I love so I listened to the audio book. It was read by the author, which is often a bad idea. In this case, she did pretty good except I thought she talked too fast in some parts. Still, too fast is better than too slow. It really is a great book.

Finding Your Perfect Mate by H. Norman Wright
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
I have to give the award to something, and I can't give it to re-reads. This one was okay. It was another book that Karie loaned to me. I don't like the title because it's so cheesy and embarrassing, but the book had some nice ideas. I didn't agree with everything he said, but I found some things helpful. One interesting thing was his comparison of finding a mate and finding a job. He said that when you're looking for a job, and praying that God will lead you to the right one, that doesn't mean you sit around waiting for it. You send out resumes and fill out applications and make contacts, and yet no one would accuse you of not relying on God to show you what to do. In the same way, he says you don't have to sit around and wait for God to plop someone in your lap. It's okay to use resources like internet dating sites and asking people to set you up on a date, because you're still relying on God to show you the right person. Personally, I've never tried an internet dating site, not because I thought God wouldn't like it, but because it seems so unromantic. These days though, maybe it really is a good way to go, because they way we go about finding a mate is a lot different than the way people used to do it. Anyway, the whole book was rather unromantic and practical, which is probably good for a dreamer like me, but also kind of defeating.
hestergray: (sally reading)
Jennifer Government by Max Barry
This one was interesting, but a little bit hard to follow. It takes place in the future, when everyone takes the company they work for as their last name. Hack Nike accidently gets involved in a new marketing strategy at Nike that involves killing some of the people who buy the new shoes. He doesn't want to do it, of course, so some people are after him, including Jennifer Government. But she's not one of the bad guys. She wants to help. I thought it was okay.

The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
This is a cute, fantasy book. There is a magical island that has all sorts of fantasy creatures. To get to the island, there is a gateway at Platform 13 that opens for nine days every nine years. The king and queen of the island have a newborn son, who is accidently taken to the non-magical world during one of the gateway openings, and is stolen. Nine years later, some beings from the island go through in order to rescue the prince. They run into some complications, of course, and it turns into quite an adventure! (Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] modmerseygirl!)

Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
A single mom has started her own catering business, but things go wrong when someone ends up poisoned at a post-funeral gathering that she's catered. The police have to shut down her business until the mystery is solved, so she sets out to solve it. It was okay.

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
This is a non-fiction book, looking at what really makes people happy. It was interesting, especially learning about different studies that have been done. But I don't think that all of his theories are correct. I did like the part about the importance of the frontal lobe in the brain.

If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern
I loved this one the first time, so I listened to it again. It's about a woman named Elizabeth who never has fun. She's very strict with her nephew Luke, who she has to raise, and with her own life. She's pretty miserable. Then she starts to see Luke's imaginary friend, Ivan, who looks about her age, but has a lot more fun than she does. She doesn't know that Ivan is imaginary though. She thinks everyone else can see him too. He teaches her how to have fun and it's a lovely story.

Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
I really liked this one. I read his first book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, a few years ago, and I remember the basic ideas in it, but I don't remember much of the content. Basically, he was saying that, as a Christian, dating just to date was a bad idea. Purposeful dating, which he calls courtship, is a better idea. In this second book, he explains how dating with a purpose works. Courtship is dating to determine if God would have these two people marry. He explains how a courtship doesn't have a recipe with specific rules to follow. It has to start with a desire to glorify God. If it ends in marriage, that's great, and if it doesn't end in marriage, it is still a success. In his case, it did end in marriage and he couldn't be happier.

Love Among the Chickens by P.G. Wodehouse
This is a goofy, little comedy with some dry, British humor. It's about a man named Jeremy Garnet whose loud, obnoxious friend, Mr. Ukridge, wants him to start a chicken farm with him. Mr. Garnet takes on the challenge, and falls in love with a woman in the process. Ukridge is a little bit annoying, but other than that, it was cute.
hestergray: (sally reading)
Company by Max Barry
I liked Syrup so much, I just had to try more books by Max Barry. This one was pretty funny - a lot of corporate humor, like Office Space, and probably The Office, even though I never watch that show. The story is about a young guy just out of college who goes to work for a big company as a sales assistant. The problem is that he starts trying to figure out what the company actually does, and no one knows. Everyone is so secretive. The plot was okay, but the characters were extremely hilarious. It's not as good as Syrup, but I still enjoyed it.

Christmas Letters by Debbie Macomber
This was a short, cute book. The main character writes Christmas letters for other people, because she's good at making their lives sound interesting. She meets a guy who wrote a wacky book about child-raising, and they argue about it. But they really like each other. It was okay.

Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card
I've read this book before, and when I read it, I had a hard time getting into it. Actually, I couldn't really get into the series until half-way through the second book. (I kept at it because the series was recommended to me by someone whose opinion I trust.) But this time I listened to the audio book, and it was a LOT better than I remembered. It takes place in America in the 1800s, but it's an alternate American history. Countries and territories are divided up differently, and governments are different. And some people can do little kinds of magic. They call it "having a knack." Alvin is the seventh son of a seventh son, so he has especially powerful knacks. But he also has to constantly avoid being killed by water. Water is always out to get him. It's a really good book.

A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
This is a great book. It's not really about modest dress, although she does mention that somewhat. It's more about how society shouldn't be trying to cure girls of their shyness or their "hang-ups" about sex - that these things aren't bad, they are natural and helpful. She talks about how women want men to behave like gentlemen, but they don't want to behave like ladies, so we shouldn't be surprised when men don't. She talks about how sex education is being taught to younger and younger children, so it's no wonder that sex offenders keep getting younger and younger. She covers many different topics in regard to modesty, and goes into a lot of detail. I was impressed with all the research she's done. I really enjoyed reading it.
hestergray: (sally reading)
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
This is about an American girl who goes to live with her cousins in England. Right after she gets there, a war starts and things just kind of shut down. Like, there's no gas, little food, and medicine is scarce. They have to figure out how to survive on their own, and it's even tougher after they get separated. I thought it was an interesting story, but I didn't really like the way the main character talked as she narrated the whole thing. (Thank you, Kimma, for getting this for me for my birthday!)

Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway by Dave Barry
He talks about the history of our government for a while, gives a little tour of Washington, D.C., and then goes off on a tangent about the 2000 presidential election. Kind of funny, but overall, just so-so.

Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
I couldn't remember if I'd read this one yet, and now after reading it, I still can't remember. It's good though. It's about a high school senior named Louie who is on the football team. He makes a stand after the coach orders the team to cheat and hurt a certain player on their rival team. It's a typical Chris Crutcher book, which means it's a really good young adult novel.

Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
Thanks to Brenda for the recommendation. I really liked this book. It's a young adult book about two friends. The main character, Julie, really likes to read and her favorite book is Pride and Prejudice. Her friend, Ashleigh, is an enthusiast. She goes through phases where she'll be really into something for a while, and then she moves on to a new interest and throws herself into that one. Her latest craze happens to be Pride and Prejudice. They go to a dance at an all-boys school, hoping to find their Mr. Darcys. Well, they do, but unfortunately, they've picked out the same boy. I thought this was really funny and cute.

Syrup by Maxx Barry
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
Listening to this book was like watching a really good movie, if that makes any sense. It's about a recent college graduate who calls himself Scat, and he wants to be rich and famous by going into marketing and coming up with fabulous ideas. He comes up with an idea for a new cola, and pitches it to an executive at Coca-cola. The executive is a young, gorgeous girl named 6, and she actually likes the idea. It starts a plot where I kept thinking things would work out, and then something would come out of nowhere and mess it up. It was awesome. And I really like the writing style. This author is hilarious.
hestergray: (books)
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
This is the third book in the series. It started off kind of slow, but then it got better. Bella has some big decisions to make, now that Edward and Jacob are both at the center of her life. But Bella does kind of annoy me. She's very needy and dependent, and she needs to get some hobbies that she can enjoy on her own, without the company of vampires or werewolves.

Moneyball by Michael Lewis
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
I found this book to be fascinating. It's about baseball and stats, which may sound boring, but since I like both baseball and math, I didn't think it was boring at all. Plus, there's a lot of story going on at the same time, so it wasn't dry. Mostly, it's about how a baseball team with a small payroll can be really smart about how they spend that money, so that they can compete with the teams that have large payrolls. Specifically, it's about Billy Beane, the General Manager of the Oakland A's. He came in with a new philosophy, some new staff, and new computer software that completely changed how a baseball front office was run. By looking at stats in new ways, and coming up with new stats to accurately measure what they wanted to measure, they were able to put together a team that kept winning more games than it was "supposed" to, while at the same time, not spending very much money. Billy Beane has mad drafting and trade negotiaion skills, and it was also pretty funny to read about his reactions to different situations. I feel like I'm not describing this very well, but I loved reading this. It was just fascinating. Especially knowing that it's true.
hestergray: (books)
I seemed to start several books this month and then not be interested enough to finish them. So there's only two.

Him Her Him Again The End of Him by Patricia Marx
This is about an American grad student at Cambridge who is having a hard time sticking to a thesis topic. She meets a philosophy professor for whom she develops an unhealthy obsession. They start going out, but he's such a jerk and I really don't know what she saw in him. She was attracted to his intelligence, but he was so snobby about it. He was kind of annoying actually. Eventually, she got wise to his wandering ways and tried to move on with her life. It worked for a while, but he came back and other things happened. Anyway, this was a surprisingly funny book. It kept making me laugh.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
I decided to read this book after [livejournal.com profile] tingilya spoke so highly of it. It was really good. Just a captivating story. It's about an old author, Vida Winter, who wants her true biography written. She chooses a young woman named Margaret to write it. Margaret spends a few months living with Vida Winter and listening to her story. And it's a great story, with fascinating characters. One of the characters is named Hester, so that gave me another reason to like it.
hestergray: (books)
Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
Finally, a new Stephanie Plum book! They're fun and fluffy.

Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card
Finally, done re-reading Bean's series. I officially feel ready for the final book that will bring both Ender's and Bean's books to a close. Anytime, OSC. Don't make me wait too long.

Dream Angus by Alexander McCall Smith
This is a short, easy read. It's part of a series of myth novels, each written by a different author. Angus is from Celtic mythology. He brings dreams and love to people. This book combines his old myth with some short stories set in modern times, but that still include an Angus character. I love Alexander McCall Smith.

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
Rob Bell is a minister with some interesting ideas, insights, observations, and explanations about Christianity. I like the way he explains things, using scripture references as backup and applying them to present scenarios. I borrowed it from a staffer at camp, so I only had five days to read it. It would have been nice to go through it more slowly, because it's so intriguing.
hestergray: (books)
Blessed are the Cheesemakers by Sarah-Kate Lynch
Once again, it's an Irish book with a nice story and lovable characters - the kind that just gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. This one is about two old men who make cheese for a living. It's an old family business, and they'd like to keep it in the family. However, they feel it's time to pass it on to someone else, and unfortunately, they don't really have any family. The one guy does have a 29-year-old granddaughter that he hasn't seen since she was five. And coincidently, circumstances in her life bring her back home right when he needs her. At the same time, an American guy has been going through some rough times, and he goes to Ireland to take a little break. And he kind of gets roped into the cheesemaking business too. Add to all that the pregnant, vegetarian milkmaids who sing "The Sound of Music" every day to the cows, and it's just very entertaining.

The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love by Jill Conner Browne
This is pretty funny. The Sweet Potato Queens are an actual group of women in Jackson, Mississippi, who dress up every year for the St. Patrick's Day parade. But even more than that, they have style and attitude and their own queenly way of life. She talks about men, hair, food, and friends, and there was always something making me laugh. I totally want to try her recipe for "Chocolate Stuff."

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Sometimes I'm not sure if it was the book itself that annoyed me, or if it was the reader. Either way, it started off fine, but got more annoying as it went. It's about John, an army guy who is on leave when he meets Savannah, and they fall in love. But it's tough to keep their relationship going when he's in Iraq and other countries, and she is going to school.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
It had been a while since I read the sixth book, and I wanted to finish it before the seventh one came out. I did, with about seven hours to spare.

Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
This was a little boring. It's about a young woman named Harper who can sense dead bodies and then "see" how they died. People hire her to find missing loved ones, and solve their mysterious deaths. She takes on a job in a small town, and then more mysterious things happen and she has to stay and figure them out. Her step-brother goes around with her on all her jobs, and it was annoying how dependent she was on him. One little thing would happen, and she'd freak out until he was with her.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
I loved this book a whole bunch. Rowling is very smart and she's a great story-teller. I wonder what she'll write next.
hestergray: (books)
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
The sequel to Twilight, about Bella who is in love with a vampire, Edward. In this one, Edward breaks up with Bella thinking it will be good for her. It's not good for her. She gets really depressed for a long time. But Jacob, a werewolf, becomes her new best friend, and she starts to cheer up. I liked the ending, and I'm looking forward to the third book.

Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas and Dancing in My Nuddy Pants by Louise Rennison
The next two books about Georgia, the 15-year-old British girl with many teenage problems. She's really funny.

Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys by Dave Barry
Hilarious. I love Dave Barry. This book explains why guys like violence (they possess the noogie gene), why guys MUST watch sports (concern rays shoot from their foreheads and affect the game in favor of their team), and why guys are bad at relationships (they could be married to a woman for 50 years and still not even be aware that they are IN a relationship). Among many other things.

You Suck by Christopher Moore
Not my favorite Christopher Moore book, but still very funny. It's about Jody, a vampire, who has just turned her boyfriend Tommy into a vampire. And now they have to figure out how to carry on as normally as possible, while only being able to come out at night and being immortal and stuff. They get a minion named Abby Normal, who is a goth teenager and is very amusing. This book is pretty much a sequel to Bloodsucking Fiends, which I haven't read yet, because I didn't know that You Suck is a sequel. I figured it out though when they kept referring to events that recently happened, and I confirmed it by looking at Moore's website. It still works well enough on its own.

She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD
This is the sequel to A Girl Named Zippy, which I love, and this one was just as good. It's the memoirs of Haven's (Zippy's) childhood, growing up in a small town in Indiana. She is a fascinating child, and is always able to tell something thought-provoking about each of her memories. Her story-telling is like nothing else I've ever read.
hestergray: (books)
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
This is the start of a series about a teenager named Bella who falls in love with a vampire named Edward. He pretty much loves her too, but he also has a constant desire to drink her blood, which is inconvenient. It's intriguing and well-written.

Haunted and Twilight by Meg Cabot
BOOK OF THE MONTH AWARD (Twilight)
The last books, numbers five and six, of the Mediator series. I really liked this series. It was funny and interesting. It's about Suze, a mediator, who can see and talk to ghosts. It's her job to help ghosts finish their unfinished business so they can move on to the afterlife. Her main problem is that she's in love with a ghost named Jesse who haunts her room.

(Also, isn't it funny that there are two books called Twilight this month?)

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomerey
This was my second time through this book. I still love it. 29-year-old Valancy finds out that she only has a year to live, so she stops acting like the perfect daughter she's always been, and sets out to actually enjoy her life.

Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella
These books always crack me up. In this one, you can probably guess, Becky the shopaholic marries her boyfriend Luke. The problem is that Luke's mother is planning a big wedding in New York City, and Becky's mother is planning a wedding at home in England - and they're both on the same day.

Pulling Princes by Tyne O'Connell
The title makes more sense after the main character, British teenager Calypso, explains that "pulling" is slang for "kissing." So she and her friends are always talking about how they want to "pull fit boys," which means "kiss attractive boys." Calypso goes to an all-girl boarding school and she's doing her best to fit in with the cool girls. She also gets the attention of Prince Freddie, who attends the nearby boys' boarding school. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
I finally got around to reading this one, and it didn't disappoint. I love this series. I think girls of any age could relate to the things these characters go through, even if they're only remembering their own adolescence.

On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison
Book number 2 about Georgia, who is now going out with Robbie, and is very excited about it, despite having to put up with all the normal woes of a fourteen-year-old.
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