Thursday, September 30, 2010

Author Highlight: Brandon Sanderson

I have recommended Brandon Sanderson's books more often in the past year than any other author's books. He is an amazing author of fantasy books. He has the ability to create unique magic systems and worlds with every series/book he writes. His first published book, Elantris, is a stand alone novel, which is great for a quick preview of his style and ideas. Warbreaker is another stand alone of his, and it was a great quick read as well.

When I read the Mistborn Trilogy I was subtly reminded of the game Magic: The Gathering, and was delighted to learn later that Brandon Sanderson had indeed drawn some of his inspiration from that game. The magic system reflects that inspiration, but the plot line is original and exciting.

Each new book of his that I read, I am excited to see the new and interesting way Brandon plays with magic systems. His characters seem real, and his story lines run smooth.

Most of Brandon's books are written for adults, but he also has a great series for middle readers. Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians, the first of his youth series, is a hilarious story of a young boy with a special talent for breaking things.

Brandon Sanderson has a new book, which I just finished reading. It is called The Way of Kings, and is the first in a new series. I plan to review that book more in depth soon.

For a great read, check out anything by Brandon Sanderson. To learn more about this amazing author and his current projects, visit his website at

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Forgotten Book

This past weekend I went into a book shop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I saw an intriguing book and skimmed the back cover. I didn't have paper with me to write down the name of the book. I came out of the book shop, and continued shopping. Later, I realized that I had forgotten the name of the book.

Sadly, the weekend trip is over. I have no name for this book, only a desire to locate it and read its contents.

I may have to visit another book shop again soon, where I will wander through the aisles trying to find the forgotten book. Will I even be certain that I have found the right one?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Love Thoughts

I like the feel of books in my hand, and the smell of paper. I like how the right side gets lighter as I progress through the book. I judge books by their covers. If it doesn't have a good title and cover, I might not even pick it up. I love getting book recommendations from friends. I will give those books a try no matter what their title or cover.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Aprilynne Pike's second book about the world of fairies builds on the concepts of the first book, and furthers the story. In both books, she creates a unique world of fairies. Wings is the name of the first book, Spells is the recent release, and there are four books planned for the series. This book is written for young adults, and is therefore an easy read for adults. If you like fairy stories, you may like this unique twist on an old theme.

This story also provided some interesting discussions at our house about dating because the main character, Laurel, is caught between two competing love interests. This dilemma highlights the larger dilemma of her life, that of being caught between the human world and the fairy world.

This story will be enjoyed by girls, and perhaps adults, that are interested in fairy stories.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"A lot of books"

In our front room we have a tall bookshelf full of books. This bookshelf represents only a small fraction of the number of books populating our home. There are books in every room. A few days ago I had a visitor that said "you have a lot of books." I realized that she meant just the books in our front room, so I kind of chuckled. Then I led her into the den where she could see the five bookshelves overflowing with books. She was shocked. (Trust me, I am equally shocked when I go to people's houses that don't have books. They never seem like homes to me.) My visitor then asked if I had read all of the books. Nope. But I plan to eventually.

We do have a lot books. Occasionally, I feel the need to purge some books and then I get rid of some of them. I typically donate them, but sometimes I sell them in exchange for credit at the used bookstore. Because if I visit the used bookstore, you know I'm walking out with books. But the books keep creeping back up to larger numbers. They are tucked away in various corners and nooks. So, if you come to my house don't be fooled by the books you see--that's not all of them.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers

Do you know a child who is more connected to their peers than parents? Do you want to feel the closeness with your child again? The authors of this book show how peer-oriented attachment interferes with healthy child development, and why attachment to parents and adults is important.

This book explains attachment in a very clear, understandable way. It shows how children may have lost their attachment to parents and other adults. Even better, the book outlines a plan and solutions for keeping children attached to parents or helping them find that attachment if it has been lost. The steps are not complicated, and are possible for any parent who is sincerely looking for the missing connection with their child.

The final paragraph in the text is worth the price of the book.

I think all parents should read this book. It describes succinctly and clearly concepts that are of vital importance to our parenting. It helps make obvious an underlying dynamic in parenting that many parenting books do not address. If you are a parent, or if you work closely with children or adolescents, you should definitely read this book.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Books Finished August 2010

Angel Song by Sheila Walsh and Kathryn Cushman
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
Free Range Knitter: The Yarn Harlot Write Again by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Not Buying It by Judith Levine
Parenting: A House United by Nicholeen Peck
Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher
Spells by Aprilynne Pike
The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf
Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Young Wives by Olivia Goldsmith
Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded by John Scalzi

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Author Highlight: Suzanne Collins

Yesterday I finished the third book in the The Hunger Games Trilogy. I haven't read anything else by Suzanne Collins, but I enjoyed these books immensely. These books are so well-written I want to read everything by Collins.

The trilogy is written for young adults, but adults will enjoy this thought-provoking read as well. Each year in the Panem, the Hunger Games pit children against one another in a fight to the death. In this post-apocalyptic society, those in the Capitol live in luxury while the 12 Districts live in poverty. This story is one of courage and self-discovery. All three books in the trilogy are gripping and move the story along.

I could not put these books down. I highly recommend them. Set aside some time, and get these books.