MORE new books in the house. *groan* (Chris is rubbing off on me! ...and don't you dare say , "Like mother, like son!")
Well.. honestly not all of them are "new".. 3 are from the used book store (3 books=3.00 dollars) Christmas Chronicles is from Sam's: 6.00, and the rest are from Amazon... *sigh*
1.Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens: with illustrations by George Cruikshank. First published in 1838. This version published 1987, the illustrations are "originals from 1638. (one dollar at used book store)
Oliver Twist was Dickens's second novel and one of his darkest, dealing with burglary, kidnapping, child abuse, prostitution, and murder. Alongside this gallery of horrors are the corrupt and incompetent institutions of 19th-century England set up to address social problems and instead making them worse. The author's moral indignation drives the creation of some of his most memorably grotesque characters: squirming, vile Fagin; brutal Bill Sykes; the brooding, sickly Monks; and Bumble, the pompous and incorrigibly dense beadle. Clearly, a reading of this work must carry the author's passionate narrative voice while being flexible and broad enough to define the wide range of character voices suggested by the text.
You know me I am always for a hardback copy (if affordable) and this one sure was! Add to it that it (although it has no paper cover) has a nice cover anyway and.. AND.. has the original illos inside! Picking this up was a no brainer! But I still wonder at myself at how I got to a place where I actually read Dickens and Collins!
2. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by To Franklin (new book from Amazon)
Edgar Award-winning author Tom Franklin returns with his most accomplished and resonant novel so far—an atmospheric drama set in rural Mississippi. In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county—and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town.
More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they've buried and ignored for decades.
Another that is a little unusual for me in that it's a mystery but it doesn't take place in old England. However, I do admit it sounds like a good read!
3. the Magician's Book : A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia by Laura Miller (new from amazon)
From Publishers Weekly
Jam-packed with critical insights and historical context, this discussion of C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia from Miller's double perspectives--as the wide-eyed child who first read the books and an agnostic adult who revisits them--is intellectually inspiring but not always cohesive. Finding her distrust of Christianity undermined by her love of Lewis's indisputably Christian-themed world, Salon.com cofounder and staff writer Miller seeks to "recapture [Narnia's] old enchantment." She replaces lost innocence with understanding, visiting Lewis's home in England, reading his letters and books (which she quotes extensively) and interviewing readers and writers. Lengthy musings on Freudian analysis of sadomasochism, J.R.R. Tolkien's Anglo-Saxon nationalism and taxonomies of genre share space with incisive and unapologetic criticism of Lewis's treatment of race, gender and class. The heart of the book is in the first-person passages where Miller recalls longing to both be and befriend Lucy Pevensie and extols Narnia's "shining wonders." Her reluctant reconciliation with Lewis's and Narnia's imperfections never quite manages to be convincing, but anyone who has endured exile from Narnia will recognize and appreciate many aspects of her journey.
Talk about "unusual".. I haven't even read the Narnia books! (but I do have them) I like a little controversy so I bought this for the tbr pile.. lord.. all of these go in the tbr pile!!!!
4. Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card (new from amazon)
From School Library Journal
Card's latest work of speculative fiction twists together tropes of fantasy and science fiction into something fine indeed. Rigg and his father are trappers by trade, but Rigg has been instructed throughout his 13 years in languages, sciences, history, and politics. The teen is therefore somewhat mentally prepared for the quest that his father thrusts upon him with his dying breath–to go to the capital city and find his sister. Both Rigg and his friend, Umbo, have a special ability that aids them–Rigg can see the paths of all living things, regardless of intervening obstructions or even time, and Umbo can seemingly change the movement of time itself. Needless to say, the two meet various friends and foes and can't always tell which is which as they journey onward. Juxtaposed with this main story is an entirely different narrative, told in a page or two at the beginning of each chapter. This is the tale of Ram Odin, human pilot of a colony ship from Earth, traveling to a new world with the use of space-folding technology. The combination of science fiction and fantasy as well as a surprising revelation at the end harken back to genre classics like Robert Silverberg's Lord Valentine's Castle (HarperCollins, 1980) and Roger Zelazny's Nine Princes in Amber (Doubleday, 1970).
It had to be the weather for me to get so many books that I am unsure of! I don't particularly like Orson Scott Card.. mostly because I just don't read sci fi. This book went up and down with me.. I'd read a review that said, I might like this... then another that said, hmmm maybe not so much. So I am not sure *why* I got this other than I WANT to like his books! sheesh.
5. Misfortune by Wesley Stace (1.00 from used book store)
One of the most auspicious debuts of recent years, Wesley Stace's Misfortune follows the rise, fall, and triumphant return of Rose Old, a foundling rescued from a London garbage heap in 1820 by the richest man in Britain. Lord Geoffroy Loveall, whose character has been shaped by perpetual mourning for a sister who died in childhood, seizes on the infant as a replacement for his beloved sister. With the help of trusted servants, he arranges for the child to be lovingly brought up at his ancestral mansion, Loveall Hall--to all appearances, his biological daughter and unhoped-for heir. No matter that the baby is not a girl.
The story thus far is so engaging, and the details of Rose's childhood so playfully rendered (when she was first brought to Loveall Hall, the staff of 250 included a servant whose sole responsibility was to iron newspapers before their second reading), that it is with reluctance that the reader meets the inevitable rude, scheming relatives whose plotting will lead to the "misfortune" of the title. Luckily, Stace (the given name of the musician John Wesley Harding) takes too much delight in Rose to dump her back on the garbage heap, or at least not for long. The cross-dressing love child of Great Expectations and A. S. Byatt's Possession, Misfortune will find you breathlessly tracking the movements of its principal players, and applauding the most ridiculous twists of fate. --Regina Marler
Ok, so.. the inside flap of this book sold me. It's old England and a real twist on anything I've read so far!
6. Bing Crosby: A Pocketfull of Dreams the Early Years 1903-1940 by Gary Giddins. (1.00 used book store)
Those who remember Bing Crosby only for "White Christmas" may be surprised to find jazz-critic Giddins, the author of books on Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker, singing Der Bingle's praises as "one of the handful of artists who remade American music in the 1920s." Through a combination of careful research and precise, remarkably insightful analysis of vocal technique, Giddins shows how Crosby, the first white singer to recognize the genius of Louis Armstrong, remade our notion of pop singer (the term didn't even exist before Crosby), developing a vocal style that was based on intimacy and naturalness--the very opposite of the artificial, effeminate tenors who were fronting orchestras before Bing. Following Crosby's development from childhood in Spokane, Washington, through a revolutionary period with Paul Whiteman's band (where Bing quickly associated himself with other top jazzmen including Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer, and Joe Venuti), and on to his phenomenal solo career, on record, on radio, and in the movies, Giddins reveals how Crosby transformed mass entertainment, whether it was teaching a generation of American singers how to use a microphone or redefining what it means for an actor to "play himself." Above all, though, there was the Crosby persona: "Bing was quintessentially American, cool and upbeat, never pompous, belligerent, or saccharine, never smug or superior. He looked down on no one and up to no one." Or, as Artie Shaw put it: "Bing Crosby was the first hip white person born in the United States." In the course of reestablishing Bing as a hipster, Giddins has contributed a landmark study of popular singing in the first half of the twentieth century. But, like Bing, he does it without pomposity, and he swings.
Now and then I get Biographies or Autobiographies to read.. for 1.00 I couldn't resist. Mostly I like reading about what it was like in the industry way back then.
If you are interested in Bing and think you'd like to read this..be aware it's only book one..and at the moment Amazon has book 2 listed at 99.00 !! In other words.. look for it in a used book store!
7.The Christmas Chronicles by Jeff Guinn (6.00 at Sams)
Jeff Guinn's Christmas Chronicles have enchanted hundreds of thousands of readers, young and old. Now readers can enjoy all three novels in one elegant paperback volume. A superb holiday gift for anyone on your list, this book includes:
-The Autobiography of Santa Claus: In this enchanting holiday classic, St. Nicholas himself takes readers through seventeen centuries of Christmas magic. For anyone who has ever wondered...you're right to believe in him!
-How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas: In this delightful tale, the first lady of Christmas herself relates the story of how she and a very brave group of people once saved a treasured holiday from being lost forever.
-The Great Santa Search: Santa takes readers on a sleigh ride through the history of Christmas in America that lands smack-dab in 2006, as a reality television show threatens to destroy the true spirit of Christmas.
A joy for families to read together during the holidays, the Christmas Chronicles are the prefect way to bring Santa's special magic into your Yuletide festivities.
Ahhh well.. I was in Sams with my girlfriend and saw this.. I must have been in a Christmas mood..that's all I can think of ! hahaha.
...then I get to add Wee Free Men that I received as a gift from my son Chris..
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
When Tiffany Aching sets out to become a witch, she faces ominous foes and gains unexpected allies. As she confronts the Queen of Fairies and battles an ancient, bodiless evil, she is aided (and most ably abetted) by the six-inch-high, fightin', stealin', drinkin' Wee Free Men!
Laugh-out-loud humor and breathtaking action combine in the books that launched the unforgettable adventures of a determined young witch and her tiny but fierce blue friends.
I didn't know until I talked with Chris that the book actually is a combination of the first two in the series (and I sent for a used copy of book 3!)
Now I ask you.. do I need yet another Series?? Not! No! Nix! Nada!
But so be it.. I have another series! *shaking my head* I need help! I REALLY need help to stop buying books!!! At least until my tbr pile gets cut in half!!! (of course, that could take the rest of my life! argh!)