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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Ring of Solomon

The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud.
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH;(November 2, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1423123727 

From Booklist
*Starred Review* Called a Bartimaeus Novel, Stroud’s latest opens in a time and place (950 BCE Jerusalem) so far removed from the nineteenth-century British setting of the self-contained Bartimaeus trilogy that even the word prequel overstates the connection. Still, one unforgettable character from the trilogy energizes the current book as well. After outwitting and slaying his master in the opening chapters here, the mouthy, sardonic djinni named Bartimaeus is summoned to the service of yet another magician from King Solomon’s court. Meanwhile, across the desert in Sheba, a young royal guard called Asmira embarks on a dangerous quest, hoping to save the queen and their land by stealing King Solomon’s ring. Although Stroud’s writing is never less than inventive and entertaining, the first 100-page section feels like a prelude to the rest of the novel, which takes off when idealistic Asmira encounters jaded Bartimaeus and they begin to make their way toward Solomon and his ring of power. The climactic scenes hold surprises for the reader as well as the characters. As in the trilogy, some chapters are related in third person, while others are narrated by Bartimaeus, and the latter chapters often include informative and amusing footnotes in his distinctive voice. A riveting adventure for Bartimaeus fans, old and new

When I had found that Jonathan Stroud had written another book using the conceited djinni with a very off beat sense of humor I immediately sent for the book, because I had so loved his trilogy where I first met Bartimaeus and found myself laughing out loud at a demon!  

...then as the book arrived and I was setting it atop my horrendous tbr pile I began to wonder...
Could Stroud really capture the essence of Bartimaeus once again?  Could he find the same insulting humor in the djinni as he once had?

I feared I'd be disappointed so I read a few other books before I finally picked up The Ring of Solomon.

I didn't have to read too long before I knew without a doubt that Bartimaeus was back in all his glory!   I smiled and chuckled and even laughed at times while reading this book... Jonathan Stroud had done it again! He had successfully given me yet another fun book to read!
I loved it.

I will keep it with the trilogy and read it again one day.
If you read the first trilogy let me put your mind to rest and tell you that I promise you will like this book too!

No, it does not take place in England as the trilogy did.  But that doesn't matter.  What does matter is Bartimaeus has returned once again, and if Jonathan Stroud is smart (and I think he is) ..he won't "release" Bartimaeus, but keep him as his slave for more books to come!

Any book he writes that has Bartimaeus in it, is a book I will buy, devour and totally enjoy!
Thanks Mr. Stroud ! I hope I haven't seen the last of that particular djinni !!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Book of Air & Shadows

The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber.
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: William Morrow;(March 27, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0060874465 

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this ingenious literary thriller from Gruber (The Witch's Boy), the lives of two men are changed forever by William Shakespeare and the letters of Richard Bracegirdle, a 16th-century English spy and soldier. Jake Mishkin, a Manhattan intellectual property attorney and a bit of a rake, goes on the run from Russian gangsters. Albert Crosetti, an aspiring filmmaker working for an antiquarian bookstore, finds that life is more exciting than movies—perhaps too exciting. Together, Mishkin and Crosetti travel to England in search of a previously unknown Shakespeare manuscript mentioned by Bracegirdle. Though the pace sometimes slows to allow Mishkin, Crosetti and Bracegirdle to divulge interesting aspects of their personal lives, these digressions only make the story more engaging. The suspense created around the double-crosses and triple-crosses works because of the close connection readers forge with Crosetti in particular. The mysterious murder of a Shakespearean scholar, shootouts in the streets of Queens and an unlikely romance all combine to make for a gripping, satisfying read.

I was beginning to wonder if I would ever finish this book!  As you can read, the review above made this book sound pretty good and when I found it on sale for like about 5 dollars I figured I'd give it a shot.

Most of the book confused the heck out of me.. too many people to keep straight, sometimes using first names and other times last names, that doubled the problem for me.

I felt as if I kept loosing who was being talked about and where did this one come from etc.. but I persisted!  The book was broken up a bit with ciphered letters at the end of most of the chapters. In the beginning, reading them can be quite a challenge, but after a bit I could read them without a problem. (except they were italic and I hate reading pages of italic.)
And I will say I liked the idea of this story even if it isn't a new one and  as many mysteries do, the last 1/4 of the book came alive with action and I was pleased with the ending.

I think others who don't have the difficulty I seem to have with too many names will find this quite a decent read, so I don't want to leave you all thinking it's a "stinker".. it's not.  But I do feel I kept loosing touch with the book, putting it down and not rushing to pick it up again. (that and finishing making the afghan probably had something to do with it..heh) 

My reading is about as fast a molasses flowing  in winter!  I can't believe this is only my second book in January! Needless to say I won't be posting a "what I read in January" post!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Reckless by Cornelia Funke
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books(September 14, 2010)
ISBN-10: 031605609X 

From School Library Journal
Funke takes readers on a new adventure into a magical place where the dark side of fairy tales holds sway. Jacob Reckless, like his father before him, escapes into the Mirrorworld, and all is well until his younger brother, Will, follows him in and falls under the enchantment of the Dark Fairy. Through an injury, she turns him slowly into a Goyl, a person made of stone. Jacob is determined to rescue his brother and restore him to himself. Accompanied by his companion, a shape-shifter girl/vixen named Fox, and Will's girlfriend, Clara, Jacob journeys with Will to find the antidote to the spell. With a large cast, including a dwarf, powerful fairies born from water, deadly moths, man-eating sirens, unicorns, and the terrifying Tailor with fingers ending in blades and needles, the story includes multiple fairy-tale motifs as the characters grapple with fear and despair while on their seemingly hopeless quest. The action picks up midway through the book and races to an exciting climax. Despite some loose plotting and broadly drawn characters, readers are pulled into the thrill of the story. The themes of guilt, responsibility, abandonment, and love, in the context of the many dangers in the Mirrorworld, contribute to a serious tone. Ultimately the characters keep faith with what matters most to each of them. 

Cornelia Funke has to go down as one of the best story tellers there are.  She is fantastic.
This book is a young persons book but she still has ways of making her story interesting to even old folks like me.

Now, I'm not saying that I love, love, love this book.  I am afraid she spoiled me on the Inkheart series and this doesn't come close to that. But it still was enjoyable.  I wouldn't say it's for everyone, but as a YA book it's very very good. (in my opinion that is)

What I found a nice touch was that every so often a "fairy tale" is mentioned, such as Snow White and Rapunzel, I thought it was quite clever how she did it.

I am sorry I took so long to finish reading this book.. I was being torn between the book and crocheting (still crocheting ) and even television, which i generally share with reading and it's not a problem.

In all honest here I have to say that this read for a younger person quite a bit more then Inkheart did.  So if you liked Inkheart and you think you might like this book.. well.. you might but I don't think it's up to Inkheart standards.  

But I'm still glad I read it.  I'm glad to remember what a really excellent story teller Cornelia Funke is.