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text 2018-07-31 16:03
Highlights of July 2018
A Perilous Undertaking - Deanna Raybourn
The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson
Bog Child - Siobhan Dowd
A Poisoned Season - Tasha Alexander

I read more this July than I anticipated, chalking up 21 books.  These four really stood out for me and I'll definitely be interested to read more from these authors.

 

In fact, I already have Tasha Alexander's A Fatal Waltz in my reading pile at home.  I'm hoping to add the second Shades of London (The Madness Underneath) to my Halloween Bingo reading list.  If I'm lucky, I'll also be able to use Deanna Raybourn's A Treacherous Curse in the Halloween cause.

 

I also note that my public library has two more titles by Siobhan Dowd:  The London Eye Mystery and A Swift Pure Cry.  Once I've notched a few more titles towards this year's reading goals, perhaps I'll wander off mission with one of them.

 

Still a month left in the Summer of Spies!  I've got lots of good reading ahead.

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review 2018-07-05 16:30
The Name of the Star / Maureen Johnson
The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson

Jack the Ripper is back, and he's coming for Rory next....

 

Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school just as a series of brutal murders mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper killing spree of more than a century ago has broken out across the city. The police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man believed to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him - the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target...unless she can tap her previously unknown abilities to turn the tables.

 

Another example of really enjoyable YA literature. It reminded me of Paul Cornell’s London Falling (although it is not nearly so dark) what with the Jack the Ripper references and ghostly presences. But the main character, Rory Deveraux, made me think of Karen Marie Moning’s MacKayla Lane (the Fever series)—both are Southern girls with professional parents who go to school in the U.K. Both girls are capable of seeing things that ordinary people can’t—MacKayla sees the Fae, Rory sees dead people. However, Rory is much less self-absorbed & she is smarter and funnier as a main character.

I really enjoy this author’s sense of humour! I adored her descriptions of Claudia, the school’s house mother: “Something about her suggested that her leisure activities included wrestling large woodland animals and banging bricks together.” She is, in fact, the field hockey coach and very devoted to that sport. Later, Rory says, “She introduced herself to my parents with one of her mighty, bunny-crushing handshakes. (I’d never seen Claudia crush a bunny, to be fair, but that’s the approximate level of pressure.)” Perhaps she’s a bit of a female Hagrid, despite the fact that this is not a school for wizards.

The real details of homework, living in residence, cafeteria meals, etc. grounded the novel for me. Rory gets drawn into the paranormal gradually, but still has to cope with reading assignments and essays like a regular student. Rory has just the right amount of snark in her soul to make all these tea-drinking, field hockey-dreading moments highly entertaining. She also acquires a small circle of reliable friends, reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I’m not sure when I’ll be able to pick up book two, but I am very much looking forward to it!

 

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text 2018-07-04 16:59
Reading progress update: I've read 28 out of 384 pages.
The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson

 

Rory meets Claudia:

 

"Something about her suggested that her leisure activities included wrestling large woodland animals and banging bricks together."

 

 

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text 2018-06-28 15:45
TBR Thursday
Casino Royale - Ian Fleming
The Desert Spear - Peter V. Brett
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold - John le Carré
The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson
The Secret Adversary - Agatha Christie
Jade City - Fonda Lee

After a very fun buddy read, I must now settle down & finish both a book club selection (Looking for Alaska) and a non-fiction selection (The Good Gut).  Also for book club (because we are combining two months' meetings) I better start The Name of the Star.

 

Then I'm going to move on to Casino Royale while I still have They Came to Baghdad clear in my memory.  Also on the Summer of Spies list are The Spy Who Came In From the Cold and The Secret Adversary.

 

Looking towards my writers' conference in August, I'll be reading The Desert Spear (second book in the Demon Cycle by Peter Brett) and Jade City (by Fonda Lee, one of this year's panelists).

 

July 1st is Canada Day, so I get July 2nd off work as a statutory holiday.  I've booked this Friday as vacation too, to give myself a 4 day break.  Right now the weather predictions are not all that promising, so I may get more reading time than anticipated!

 

Have a great weekend, friends!

 

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text 2018-06-21 22:40
TBR Thursday
The Hazel Wood - Melissa Albert
The Fuller Memorandum - Charles Stross
Looking for Alaska - John Green
They Came to Baghdad - Agatha Christie
The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold - John le Carré

I will finish The Bourne Identity soon.  Then I'm off to visit The Hazel Wood and see what the Fae are doing there.

 

For The Summer of Spies, I'll be reading The Fuller Memorandum, They Came to Baghdad and The Spy Who Came In From the Cold

 

RL Book club selections are Looking for Alaska and The Name of the Star.

 

Life is interfering with my reading these days.  Do you ever go weeks without anyone wanting to do things on the weekends, and then suddenly everyone wants to do something on the SAME weekend.  Just like no one phones for days, then suddenly everybody calls.

 

Off to the mountains on Saturday (Peyto Lake) with my trusted friend Barbara.  With any luck, I will have photos to share on Monday.

 

Have a fun weekend, y'all.

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