Athena's Book Challenge 2013

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Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Athena on Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:27 am

(01) Ruth Perkison - Vera's Still Point

BLURB:

Vera Curran is in love with her own repression. She's a forty-year-old Republican lesbian librarian from a rural county in Virginia who gladly sustains her life by doing the same insipid routine day in and day out. She wakes up, treks through her "shelving the 900's" days, and puts milk bones out for the dog each night before curling up to read a book and watch the world through her window. Vera hasn't had sex in years... and has forgotten exactly why. Then out of nowhere there is a new member of the faculty - Frankie Bourdon - an ex-navy pilot who left the military to teach high school and to try and change the public school's curriculum by adding homosexual sex education. Before you know it, the two begin to forge a relationship that begins on a simple sticky note. Soon Vera is reminded of exactly what it is that she has been missing in life.
Just last year I read something by Ruth Perkinson for the first time. It was Piper's Someday. Like this novel Vera's Still Point is about a subject which is unusual. It's a rather sad book but I loved to read about the development from a shy character to a women who embraces who she is. However it made me sad to read that nowadays lesbians and gays still have to live in fear of losing their job. This note in her acknowledgment touched me:
My apologies for the nearly one thousand student I thought ... for almost ten years. I never mentioned the word homosexuality ever. This book is for the ones I could have helped more but was paralyzed into staying silent by my own fear and shame

I absolutely recommend it.

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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by ElaineB on Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:28 am

The changes in the last generation have been astonishing. There remain pockets of this kind of repression but it used to be everywhere. (And I'm only talking about the U.S. In some other countries it is still bad or has gotten worse.)

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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Athena on Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:34 pm

ElaineB wrote:In some other countries it is still bad or has gotten worse.
Absolutely.
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Athena on Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:08 pm

Before I forget....

Disclaimer: In compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255 (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm), I hereby declare that all books read and reviewed by me on this site have been purchased by me (or my wife), borrowed from the library, or received as a gift from someone other than the author, publisher, or editor; that I have not been requested to write a review by the author, publisher, or editor; and that I have received no compensation in any form for posting these reviews.
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Athena on Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:15 pm

(02) Blayne Cooper & T. Novan - Madam President

BLURB:

Devlyn Marlowe, the first woman President of the United States, has just been elected. Breaking with the tradition of hiring a political writer to chronicle her administration, President Marlowe selects Lauren Strayer, a professional biographer with a reputation for absolute honesty. Lauren, her incredibly ugly pug dog and her computer take up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where she begins to understand and eventually love the complex woman who is both the leader of a great nation and the mother of three children.

Although I love to read Blayne Cooper and T. Novan I never read Madam President. Lily urged me to do so and I am very thankful for that. The story was exciting as well as funny at some points but also had some sad elements. The chemistry between the two main characters was just fitting. If you enjoy a good romance story, read it.
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by BassGuitarGirl on Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:12 pm

Athena wrote:(01) Ruth Perkison - Vera's Still Point

This one sounds really good. I'll have to check it out! Thanks for sharing this. Very Happy
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Athena on Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:24 pm

Hope you like it.
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by BassGuitarGirl on Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:04 pm

BassGuitarGirl wrote:
Athena wrote:(01) Ruth Perkison - Vera's Still Point

This one sounds really good. I'll have to check it out! Thanks for sharing this. Very Happy
Aha! I keep my word. I downloaded this book to my Kindle yesterday! My sweetie and I are heading for a long weekend down at Disney World (we live nearby), and I now have a new book to read at the pool! Smile
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by BassGuitarGirl on Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:04 pm

Um, I think I just quoted myself. How embarrassing! :oops:
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by ElaineB on Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:05 pm

LOL

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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Deej on Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:12 pm

I've done worse. :roll:

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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Athena on Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:59 pm

Me too. LOL
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by BassGuitarGirl on Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:27 am

I've started "Vera's Still Point" on my kindle. The first chapter kind of meandered around a bit, but I see that things are settling down in the second chapter. Colorful characters! Should be interesting!
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Deej on Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:08 pm

Hope you enjoy.

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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Lilien on Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:30 pm

Bass Girl!

Madame President is really good one. We also bought sequel ''First Lady'', both are really good reads. To be honest these two are on my Best Off list and they were one of the first books I read. I really recommend it if you love a good romance-comedy novels.
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Athena on Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:05 pm

BassGuitarGirl wrote:I've started "Vera's Still Point" on my kindle. The first chapter kind of meandered around a bit, but I see that things are settling down in the second chapter. Colorful characters! Should be interesting!

What I noticed was that at the first two page there are a bunch of characters and names thrown at you. But as you said things are settling down.
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by BassGuitarGirl on Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:25 pm

Lilien wrote:Bass Girl!

Madame President is really good one. We also bought sequel ''First Lady'', both are really good reads.
Fabulous. I'll check these out, too. So many books, so little time. And I'm trying to WRITE one, too! Wish I could be disciplined and put in regular "seat" time every day! :roll:
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Athena on Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:33 pm

BassGuitarGirl wrote:So many books, so little time.
I absolutely agree.

BassGuitarGirl wrote:And I'm trying to WRITE one, too!
Cool. Good luck with it.
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Athena on Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:38 pm

(03) Jen Campbell - Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

Like the title already says this is a collection of questions custumers asked at a bookshop.
BLURB:

'Can books conduct electricity?' 'My children are just climbing your bookshelves: that's ok...isn't it?' A John Cleese Twitter question ['What is your pet peeve?'], first sparked the "Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops" blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller's collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor. From 'Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?' to the hunt for a paperback which could forecast the next year's weather; and from 'I've forgotten my glasses, please read me the first chapter' to 'Excuse me...is this book edible?' This full-length collection illustrated by the Brothers McLeod also includes top 'Weird Things' from bookshops around the world.

Several times I had to laugh out loud to what I read but just as often I just had to shake my head wondering about the behaviour of people described in there.
I recommend it. 4 Stars
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by ElaineB on Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:02 pm

I worked in a bookstore for four years. Yep, people ask the darndest things.

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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Athena on Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:30 pm

(04) Marion Zimmer Bradley & Deborah J. Ross - A Flame in Hali (Part 3 of The Clingfire Trilogy)

BLURB:

In the era of The Hundred Kingdoms, a time of war and unrest, King Carolin of Hastur and his friend Keeper Varzil Ridenow work selflessly to put an end to the destruction caused by the long range weapons of the magical matrix Towers. But Eduin Deslucido-who once called Carolin brother-has been consumed with a vengeful rage, and will stop at nothing to destroy the king and his plan for peace.

As all the previous stories I enjoyed to immerse into the Darkover world. This time the story is written from the point of view of a villain. Eduin's destiny is to revenge his family and to kill all the Hasturs. He doesn't stop at anything to fulfill his father's wish. He brakes every oath he has sworn when he was a Laranzu. But still Bradley is able to portray the tragic site in his character. That he is also deeply in love with Varzil's (his sworn enemy) sister Dyannis makes the plot even more interesting.
I give it 4 stars.
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Athena on Wed May 22, 2013 3:28 pm

Lately I have been readin some Agatha Christie books. I do have a plan to read all of her books. Not this year or next year but just when I am in the mood for it. I don't plan to set myself a time limit.

Ok, here we go:

(05) Agatha Christie - The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side [Murder Mystery]

Synopsis:

Marina Gregg, a famous movie star wants to settle down in St. Mary Mead. When one day she held a party she meets Heather Badcock who is a devoted fan of hers. Shortly after their conversation Heather Badcock is dead, poisened as it is found out later. Miss Marple starts to investigate...

This book is, in my opinion, one of Christie's best. There are a lot of interesting storylines which come all together when Miss Marple finds out the shocking truth in the end.

While I was reading I was so fascinated by the book that I kept talking about the plot to Lily, so she knows the whole story as well and likes the book, too. laugh

(06) Agatha Christie - Endless Night [Supernatural]

Synopsis:

Gipsy's Acre is a truly beautiful upland site with views out to sea and, for Michael Rogers, it stirs a child-like fantasy. He wants to settle there, amongst the dark fir trees. Yet, as he leaves the village, a shadow of menace hangs over the land. This is the place where accidents happen. Perhaps Michael should have heeded the locals' warnings: "There's no luck for them as meddles with Gipsy's Acre."

I must say if I didn't know this was an Agatha Christie novel I would have not taken it for one. The narration is quite different from her usual books. Which doesn't need to be a bad thing. I just mean that it takes unusual long until something happens. Instead Christie spends a lot of time in describing the main characters. The ending is similar to one of her most famous books. That is all I'm going to say ;)

(07) Agatha Christie - Sad Cypress [Murder Mystery, Detective]

Synopsis:

An elderly stroke victim dies without having arranged a will! Beautiful young Elinor Carlisle stood serenely in the dock, accused of the murder of Mary Gerrard, her rival in love. The evidence was damning: only Elinor had the motive, the opportunity and the means to administer the fatal poison. Yet, inside the hostile courtroom, only one man still presumed Elinor was innocent until proven guilty: Hercule Poirot was all that stood between Elinor and the gallows!

In this story I read beforehand who the murder was which was partly good and bad. Good because I paid much more attention to the guilty person's behavior, bad because it's less exciting when you know beforehand who it was. All in all it was a decent story.

(08) Agatha Christie - The Thirteen Problems [Short Story Collection, Murder Mystery]

Synopsis:

The book consists of 13 short stories, in each of them Miss Marple appears. A random group of friends and family members gather at her house on tuesday to tell a mystery which the others have to solve. The only person capable of having all the right answers is Miss Marple. This is why an investigator believes her in the last story when she claims that there was a murder when everybody else thinks that there was only an accident.

Some really good stories with some twists as only Christie can write them.
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Deej on Wed May 22, 2013 5:21 pm

I love Agatha Cristie's books, I think she was brilliant. LOL

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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Athena on Thu May 23, 2013 2:27 pm

I agree. Friends
I remember that you also have a collection of all her books.
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Re: Athena's Book Challenge 2013

Post by Deej on Thu May 23, 2013 3:33 pm

I do, if they weren't hard covered books, I'd send them to you to read, but it would cost a fortune. LOL

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