Saturday, March 29, 2014

Book Nerds Unite!! @

Please tell me you are already signed up on Goodreads.  If you're not, and if you truly consider yourself an avid book reader, then go to right now and get started.  But don't get too sucked in… I do want you to come back and continue reading this blog.  ;)

It is my favorite site to keep track of my books --what I've read, what I'm reading, and --most importantly-- what I want to read (I have a very long "to read" list).  ;)  You can connect with friends (feel free to add me as a contact! *wink wink*), read book reviews (although they won't be as awesome as my reviews), and even enter giveaways to get early release copies of books (I have won!  So it's legit!).  It gives recommendations based on your books and ratings… in short, it's a book lover's dream come true.

Hopefully I'm preaching to the choir here, but if you haven't checked it out yet I do highly recommend it.  And if you know of any other good book sites, please tell me!  :)

"The Splendour Falls," by Susanna Kearsley

This was Kearsley like I've never read her before.  I am a big fan of hers, so I was more than excited when this showed up at my local library.  After reading her more recent books, most of which I now own, I tried to find some of her older ones (including this book) without success.  Thankfully, her newer books have been a hit so this book and Mariana are now easy to get your hands on.  :)

If you have read her newer books, they do tend to fall into a familiar pattern (sort of).  This one is an exception.  Yes, there's a touch of romance --it wouldn't be a Kearsley book without romance! --but it's a mystery.  And a good one!

Emily Braden, our heroine, travels to Chinon, France, to meet up with her cousin, Harry, after he talks her into taking a much needed break.  He has a reputation of being quite unreliable, so she wasn't surprised to arrive in Chinon and find Harry was missing.  As she settles into her hotel, she gets to know the people staying there along with a few of the locals, and as she begins to uncover the hidden history of the castle, she discovers that her cousin may be in danger, and that she may be in danger herself.

This book is a fun and easy read… all in all, I quite enjoyed it.  :)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

More pages than the Bible

One might think, roughly 4000 pages into a story, that the plot is getting a tad bit tiresome and perhaps even drawn out… ok, with that many pages it would be a lot drawn out... but Diana Gabaldon's Outlander Series is a rare exception.  I do believe the story is getting better and better as the hundreds of pages fly by!

This is the fourth book in the Outlander Series.  I recommend --no, I insist!-- that these books be read in order, starting with Outlander.  It is a must read for anyone interested in historical, time-traveling romance.  (If that just made you barf, then you will not share my enthusiasm over these books and you can quit reading this right now, with my blessing.)

Gabaldon's writing is amazing, to put it humbly.  From her pen (or keyboard?), the characters, history, and places in these books come alive.  I would definitely put this book into the "romance" category, but it is very much a historical novel too, beginning a couple years before the Jacobite rising of 1745 and continuing on from there, taking you to England, Scotland, France, and eventually the American colonies (where this particular book takes place). 

The series starts out with Claire, an English WWII war combat nurse who finds herself transported back 200 years through an ancient stone circle.  She meets and falls in love with a Scottish highlander named James Fraser, and… well… the rest is history!  Haha.  (I couldn't resist.)  Ok, honestly, I can't sum it up neatly.  I'm a reader, not a writer, and so much happens in these books!  I really have tried to explain it to my husband, but without success.  He just rolls his eyes once I get to the falling in love part (party pooper).

Anyway, I could go on and on and on about this series (which, obviously, Gabaldon does) but you'll just have to read it for yourself.  And, as a special treat, once you have read the first book, Outlander, you will be ready for the TV series that is beginning this summer on STARZ.  (Check out the website here!!)  But seriously folks, read the book first!  Every honest book nerd will affirm that the book is always better (except for Nicholas Sparks' books, I'll admit --there always is an exception).

For now, read and enjoy Outlander and try to get caught up before the 8th book in the series is released this June… you know I am.  Perhaps by the time I finish that book I will be writing my review for it in Gaelic.  ;)