Tag Archives: Friday Finds

Friday Finds – May 1

friday-findsWhen I was a child, my mother was always telling me, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.”

I’ve been thinking that the same applies when it comes to books. I was taking a look at the links I’ve been hoarding this week, links to blog posts about books that I simply must have in my TBR.

This, I think, is one reason for my recent embarrassment of riches from my local library … my eyes are bigger than my, uh, reading time available. (Got to work on that phrasing.)

Here’s what caught my eye this week:

From Deborah at Books, Movies & Chinese Food (and yes, I totally and absolutely fell in love with the name of her blog!) comes Play It Again, SAHM, by Meredith Efken. The book is the last one in a series about an email group of stay at home moms – and if that wasn’t intriguing enough, Deborah’s enthusiastic review definitely would have done the trick.

Next up is Hannah’s review of Season of Secrets over at Chicklish. Amazon didn’t have a summary of Season of Secrets (by Sally Nicholls), but Hannah writes that “It’s a story of love, hurt, loss, and strange, mysterious magic.” I love that phrase – strange, mysterious magic …

Of course, Cathy over at Kittling Books stuck another title onto my TBR. She’s always doing this – in fact, she’s responsible for the enormous stack of Deborah Crombies waiting for me right now. She finds these incredible mysteries and then has to go and review them, so that I’m always coming away from her blog with yet another title (or three) that I really have to read. The fact that she’s been dead accurate so far, in that I’ve loved every book I’ve discovered through her blog, makes things even worse, because, as they say, “resistance is futile” and so my TBR list grows. This time around, Cathy’s reviewed The Cold Blue Blood, by David Handler, and I’m hooked when she tells me who the main characters are, before I’m even into the review.

Shannon over at Confuzzled reviewed Wicked Game, by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush, and this line from her review caught me, hook, line and sinker: “This was a thrilling book. It even gave me dreams at one point, and not good ones.” Not that I’m in line for anything but good dreams, but still, I definitely want to read this one.

Anysia has a review of a book called Dissecting Death over at Booklorn, and this is a book I’ll be getting the next time I’m online at Chapters. The full title is Dissecting Death: Secrets of a Medical Examiner and it’s written by Frederick Zugibe and David L. Carroll. I need this one because I’m working on a story right now – my novel from last year’s NaNoWriMo – in which I’ve discovered the pathologist is going to play a larger role than I had originally thought she would. The thing is, though, I’m not particularly knowledgeable about forensics! So this one is perfect.

Next is an urban fantasy series: the Dresden Files series, by Jim Butcher. I read this review at Lesa’s Book Critiques and knew immediately that it’s a series I want to get to know better. I mean, really … a wizard in Chicago? It sounds like such fun. Not to mention that Lesa says it’s one of the best books she’s read this year.

Now for Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen, which has actually been on my TBR list for a while, but I’ve just never gotten around to it. Then I read Brie’s wonderful review at Musings of a Bibliophile and realized I needed to do something about digging this one out of the depths and getting a start on it.

I’ve been kind of jumping all over the place this week, some mystery here, some chick lit there, a splash of urban fantasy here and there, so it’s probably no surprise that I now really want to read Peter Walsh, too. He’s a decluttering and organization expert, and MizB’s review of his book, It’s All Too Much, with her talk of the “tough love you need to hear, but in a good way”, had me scribbling his name onto my list.

MizB also happened to blog about a light fluffy romance with a female main character who was into quantum physics. It should be pretty clear by now – I’m powerless to resist the pull of stuff like this. Then I saw Amazon’s description of The Life of Reilly, by Sue Civil-Brown, and realized it also has a ghost in it. Talk about no resistance. I was more like a puddle by then.

Next up is Too Good to Be True, by Kristan Higgans, which has a pretty good storyline. Truth be told, I like the “I’m pushed into a corner, I’m going to have to make up a gorgeous hunk that I’m dating so no-one will feel sorry for me” storyline almost as much as I like Cinderella storylines.  S. Krishna’s review clinched this one for me.

Then I stumbled onto this review of Angora Napkin at Joanne’s Book Zombie. I mean, a graphic novel about an all-girl band that has zombies in it, plus some good rock ‘n’ roll? When I get my hands on this one, I’ll have to read it quickly before my daughter sees it, that’s all I can say.

And even when I’m doing things like hunting up giveaways for the big Sunday book giveaways post, I’m still stumbling onto titles to add to my TBR list. There’s a giveaway for I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You, by Ally Carter, over at Things Moms Like, and the book sounds so much like The Squad series (you can read my review here), if I don’t win it (yes, you bet I entered!) I’ll have this one on my shopping (or library holds) list.

The last thing to catch my eye this week? Lizzy at Lizzy’s Literary Life has a great review of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the first of an upcoming series of detective novels featuring 11-year-old Flavia de Luce. It sounds like great fun, and now it’s on my list.

I think that’s the reason why my eyes are so big. I look at each of these books and I can see the fun I’ll have reading them. And that’s something I can’t resist.

For more Friday Finds, make sure to visit Should Be Reading.

Friday Finds: Mostly Mysteries

This week’s Friday Finds – books that I’ve discovered this week, that I would love to add to my TBR pile – is heavy on mysteries …

Fidelis Morgan’s Countess Ashby de la Zouche mystery series (found at Kittling: Books):

French Lessons, by Peter Mayle (found at Beth Fish Reads)

The Journal of Curious Letters (13th Reality Series) by James Dashner (found at J.Kaye’s Book Blog)

The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright (found at Kittling: Books)

The Seer of Shadows, by Avi (found at Literate Lives)

The Likeness, by Tana French (found at Reading Room)

To read about more book finds, check out Friday Finds.

Friday Finds: Children’s Books

This week I’ve pared down my “Friday Finds” list to the children’s books I’ve added to my “I Want To Read That!” list:

The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets, by Nancy Springer: found via Semicolon. Here’s the Amazon synopsis:

Everyone knows Dr. Watson is Sherlock Holmes’ right-hand man—so when he goes missing, it’s a shock. Even Sherlock hasn’t, well, the slightest clue as to where he could be. Enola is intrigued, but weary; she’s still hiding from her older brothers—and getting involved could be disastrous.

But when a bizarre bouquet shows up at the Watson residence, full of convolvulus, hawthorn, and white poppies, Enola must act. She dons her most discerning disguise yet to find the sender—and quickly, for Enola knows the blossoms symbolize death!

The Enola Holmes series looks so good, I’ve actually added the other titles in the series (The Case of the Left-Handed Lady, The Case of the Missing Marquess and The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan) to my list too.

Theodosia and the Serpent of Chaos, by R.L. LaFevers, found via Bookish Ruth’s Currently Reading List (on her sidebar – I find I look at everyone’s Currently Reading sections). Here’s the synopsis:

Theodosia Throckmorton has her hands full at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London. Her father may be head curator, but it is Theo—and only Theo—who is able to see all the black magic and ancient curses that still cling to the artifacts in the museum. Sneaking behind her father’s back, Theo uses old, nearly forgotten Egyptian magic to remove the curses and protect her father and the rest of the museum employees from the ancient, sinister forces that lurk in the museum’s dark hallways.

The Unnameables, by Ellen Booraem, found via KT Literary. The synopsis from Amazon:

Medford lives on a neat, orderly island called—simply—Island.

Islanders like names that say exactly what a thing (or a person) is or does. Nothing less.

Islanders like things (and people) to do what their names say they will. Nothing more.

In fact, everything on Island is named for its purpose, even the people who inhabit it. But Medford Runyuin is different. A foundling, he has a meaningless last name that is just one of many reminders that he’s an outsider. And, to make matters worse, Medford’s been keeping a big secret, one that could get him banished from Island forever.

When the smelliest, strangest, unruliest creature Island has ever seen comes barreling right into his rigid world, Medford can’t help but start to question the rules he’s been trying to follow his entire life.

A whimsical fantasy debut about belonging, the dangers of forgetting history, and the Usefulness of art, The Unnameables is one of the funniest stories of friendship you’ll ever read, with a cast of characters you’ll never forget.

Christmas with Anne, by L.M. Montgomery, found via Reading to Know. I’m very thrilled to find a collection of LM Montgomery stories that I haven’t read yet (two, actually – I haven’t read Across the Miles yet, either.) Here’s the synopsis for Christmas with Anne:

Share Anne’s delight at receiving the dress of her dreams, the joy of a young woman reunited with her long lost brother on Christmas Eve, and the surprise of a trio of sisters who inadvertently end a family feud by arriving at the wrong uncle’s house for Christmas dinner.

Featuring some well-loved characters from the Anne of Green Gables books, as well as plenty of new characters, this collection of short stories by L. M. Montgomery celebrates the joys and tribulations of Christmas and the hope of the new year.

Friday Finds

I ended up with a huge list this week, so in this week’s Friday Finds post I’m paring the list down to my absolute “I must get my hands on this” list:

When Wanderers Cease to RoamWhen Wanderers Cease to Roam, by Vivian Swift:

I found When Wanderers Cease to Roam through this review at Bermudaonion.

Synopsis from Amazon: “Filled with watercolors of beautiful local landscapes, seasonal activities, and small, overlooked pleasures of easy living, each chapter chronicles, month by month, the beautifully mundane perks of remaining at home—from curious notices in the local paper to the variations of autumnal clouds. At once gorgeously rendered and wholly original, this delightful and masterfully observed year of staying put shows us how the details of travel and the details of our lives remain with us—how they can nurture and sustain us, and how the past and the present become, in the end, intertwined.”

Ms. Bookish thoughts: Doesn’t it sound like an absolutely delightful read? It’s a lovely idea for a memoir, and the idea that home can be just as fulfilling as travel is a beautiful one.

The Squad: Perfect CoverThe Squad: Perfect Cover, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes:

I found The Squad: Perfect Cover through this review at Abby (the) Librarian.

Synopsis from Amazon: “Bayport High’s Varsity cheer squad is made up of the hottest of the hot. But this A-list is dangerous in more ways than one. The Squad is actually a cover for the most highly trained group of underage government operatives the United States has ever assembled. They have the perfect cover, because, beyond herkeys and highlights, no one expects anything from a cheerleader.”

Ms. Bookish’s thoughts: High school cheerleaders who are really CIA operatives – what a fun premise! I also like the fact that the protagonist is a teenage hacker who particularly want to be a cheerleader.

Foreign CorrespondenceForeign Correspondence by Geraldine Brooks:

I found Foreign Correspondence via Page after Page’s Friday Finds post from last week.

Synopsis from Amazon: “As a young girl in a working-class neighborhood of Sydney, Australia, Geraldine Brooks longed to discover the places where history happens and culture comes from, so she enlisted pen pals who offered her a window on adolescence in the Middle East, Europe, and America. Twenty years later Brooks, an award-winning foreign correspondent, embarked on a human treasure hunt to find her pen friends. She found men and women whose lives had been shaped by war and hatred, by fame and notoriety, and by the ravages of mental illness. Intimate, moving, and often humorous, Foreign Correspondence speaks to the unquiet heart of every girl who has ever yearned to become a woman of the world. ”

Ms. Bookish’s thoughts: When I was a teenager, I signed up for a foreign pen pal program, and I found myself corresponding with pen pals from Japan, Finland, France, the UK and Australia. I still have all their letters in a binder, and every time I look through them, I remember how much I learned about other cultures through them. I think Foreign Correspondence will be a very intriguing read.

The Diamond of Drury LaneThe Diamond of Drury Lane, by Julia Golding:

The Diamond of Drury Lane, found through this review at Semicolon.

Synopsis from Amazon: “She’s Cat Royal – four foot four, with long red hair, green eyes and not a penny she can call her own. But she does know a secret – where a treasure is hidden in the theater that is her home. The problem is, she isn’t the only one looking for it. One adventure leads into the next, taking Cat – and readers — through the colorful streets of late 18th Century London. The exciting mystery – filled with fascinating characters, lots of incident, theatrical spectacles, and even a bit of political intrigue – will thrill readers.”

Ms. Bookish’s thoughts: I don’t often read historical fiction, but I love the theatre and I love kidlit books that are about children’s adventures. Cat Royal sounds like such a fun character. The book also won the Smarties Book Prize in 2006 (2007 was the last year the prize was given out); with the Smarties Book Prize (which was awarded to the first three Harry Potter books), an adult panel chose the shortlist but children voted for the winners.

Friday Finds: A Fantastical Week

My list this week includes several fantasy books – making it a fantastical week! Almost all the items in the list have come from blog hopping – lots of fabulous book blogs out there, reading some really wonderful books that are very definitely new-to-me.

From Stella Matutina’s great list of Fantasy Picks for the Holidays Part II, I added the following books to my TBR (and expect to have them both in my hands very soon, in which case they might very well appear in next week’s Monday Mailbox post!):

Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog, by Ysabeau S. Wilce. What a great title! And Stella’s review of the book really sold me on this one.

Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books by Francesca Lia Block. Another great looking title – I love the story idea, and you get all the Weetzie Bat books in this one omnibus, except for the one about Weetzie as an adult, which sounded like a great bargain to me.

Because of this week’s Tuesday Thingers, I ended up adding the following books, courtesy of LibraryThing’s popular books list. I’m hoping to have a few of these arriving here soon, too:

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron. I love cats, and I love libraries, and this one puts both together, which sounds good to me.
Anathem, by Neal Stephenson. This futuristic alternate universe novel sounds like it might be very captivating. I decided to keep it on my want-to-read list even after finding out it’s 960 pages!
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This didn’t jump out at me initially, but then I visited other Tuesday Thingers posts and changed my mind (see? It doesn’t take much to influence me, really: something like “This book is good” works well.)

I discovered the following book on another of my blog hopping rounds, but forgot to star the review that I had read, unfortunately, so I can’t point you in her/his direction, but whoever you are, thank you! It was a great review and I added the book to my want-to-read list right away as a result!

The Darcys and the Bingleys, by Marsha Altman. I actually don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books – I first read it when I was 13, and have been re-reading it every year or so ever since. The humorous spin that Altman puts on this “sequel” sounds appealing to me.

Finally, on a “quick trip to the library to pick up some holds” I of course did some wandering around (my personal dictionary has a different definition for “quick” when it comes to library visits). I picked up the following discoveries:

The Christmas Visitor, by Anne Perry. I haven’t read any of Perry’s detective fiction; as mentioned above, I don’t read very much historical fiction, and even though her series is a detective series, it just hasn’t called to me (yet). But this might be the start of it all, right?

The Yoga Teacher, by Alexandra Gray. I have not read anything about this book – I see that there aren’t any reviews up at Amazon yet, either. But I like yoga (when I remember to make the time for a class, that is), and the premise was interesting: a pharmaceutical rep decides to become a yoga teacher and goes from England to California back to England again.

And okay, honestly, the thing that caught my eye the most in the blurb? This: “With an eye for the absurdity and humor in every encounter, Alexandra Gray gently skewers our society’s preference for a quick-fix nirvana, in this chronicle of one woman’s quest for love and meaning in a world numbed by materialism and psychotropic drugs”. I’ll have to see if the book lives up to the blurb.

How to Be Single, by Liz Tuccillo. I actually did read a review of this on a blog a couple of weeks ago, and my apologies again, I didn’t make a note of the link. I still was unsure whether I wanted to read the book, but one thing stuck in my mind from this review. The reviewer said it reminded her of Sex in the City meets Eat Pray Love. So when I saw this at the library, I decided, why not.

So that completes my round-up for today’s Friday’s Finds. And I’m going to try very hard to remember to star the reviews which prompted me to add a book to my want-to-read list.