Winnie-the-Pooh makes friends with a penguin to mark anniversary | Books | The Guardian

milne_90_bestbearNinety years after AA Milne’s first book about Christopher Robin’s bear, the much loved children’s character is returning with a new companion

Source: Winnie-the-Pooh makes friends with a penguin to mark anniversary | Books | The Guardian

Any other grown-ups looking forward to reading this? I LOVED Winnie-the-Pooh, and Tigger, too. And I still do. As I discovered a few years ago when my sister and her son, Brady, were visiting. Reading him The House at Pooh Corner brought back memories.  I wonder if Disney has bought the rights, yet?

From Nalini Singh’s Weblog: Silver Silence

Yay!  I was hoping Silver would get the next book.  If the Architect of the Consortium manages to take out her grandmother, then Silver will be the new matriarch of the Mercants.  Whether or not the plot succeeds, he/she will incur the clan’s enmity.  And Silver’s.  As for her man, the first person to pop in my head was Malachi.

Other candidates:  Remi would be fun.  A lot of people are suggesting Bo, which would be interesting, but I really think he will end  up with Miane.    And I think Tanique will be with be with the girl they rescued in Allegiance of Honor.  Can’t remember her name off the top of my head.

Source: Nalini Singh’s Weblog: Silver Silence

LibraryReads September List

library_reads_logo_websiteForman_LeaveMeLibraryReads has released their September list, and the favorite, Leave Me by Gayle Forman, looks pretty good. It’s main character, Maribeth Klein, is a magazine editor, wife, and mother of preschool-aged twins. Her life is so busy, so demanding, that when she has a heart attack and doesn’t realize it. Told to rest, she tries but this seems to be an imposition on the lives on others, she packs up and leaves. Of course, with distance, her life looks very different.

Colgan_BookshopPatchett_CommonwealthThe Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan and Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth also perked my interest. In the first a city librarian loses her job, moves to Middle-of-Nowhere, Scotland, and buys a van which she turns into a bookmobile, and the second features two families closely intertwined by adultery, betrayal, and abandonment.  A married father of four and a married mother of two leave their families to be with each other.  Commonweath explores the aftermath.

Bolton_Daisy I find I’m wavering back and forth about Sharon Bolton’s Daisy in Chains about a man convicted for being a serial killer, and, continuing to protest his innocence, hires a hotshot lawyer famous for getting convictions overturned. When I check, it actually sounds more intriguing on Goodreads than at LibraryReads.

Also on the list is the second book in Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library series, The Masked City. I haven’t gotten around to reading the first one, yet, but they sound interesting.

What about you? Anything on this list going on your TBR pile?

July Reads 2016

The Tiger and Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky turned out to be an interesting read, if a bit long. The revelation about Maniye’s mother, the Tiger Queen, I saw coming a mile away, the one about her father, however, shocked the hell out of me. Still didn’t like him. At first, I rooted fervently for the Tigers to make a come back and kick some serious Wolf ass, but, after I met the Tigers, I hoped someone would show up and defeat them both. I think I’d prefer to be a Serpent, a Bear, or a Horse. I don’t know if I’ll follow Maniye and her companions to the Sun River Nation in The Bear and the Serpent or not.

Next was Once a Soldier, the first book in Mary Jo Putney’s Rogue’s Redeemed series. This is a spin-off of her Lost Lords. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The secondary romance in this book was more interesting the primary one. The tiny kingdom of San Gabriel, between Portugal and Spain, fictitious though it is, does sound like a place I’d like to visit.

After that, I read the first three books in Stephanie Rowe’s Order of the Blade series. In this series, the Order is a group of elite, immortal warriors of the Caledon people (I’m still not entirely clear on what a Caledon is) formed to combat rogue Caledons. See, Caledons are fated to go rogue when they meet their fated mates, so the Order kills either them or, if it’s a member of the Order, their mate. Not sure if I’ll continue with this series.

Lisa Kleypas’s Marrying Winterbourne, book two of the Ravenels, was fun. I’ll go back and read the first one Cold-Hearted Rake, sometime before the third book, Devil in Spring comes out in February.

I tried to read Against the Wind by Kat Martin, but only got a couple of chapters in before I tossed it. Boring. Same with Cathy Maxwell’s The Fairest of Them All. That one was just plain stupid.

Next up, Rock Wedding. This is not my favorite of Nalini Singh’s series, but they don’t completely such. However, this one left something to be desired. It just didn’t have the charisma, that’s the best word I can think of to describe it, of Singh’s other novels.

Things improved with Eloisa James’s My American Duchess. I’m hoping for a sequel about Cedric. I also had fun with the first two books of Isabella Bradford’s Breconridge Brothers trilogy, A Wicked Pursuit and A Sinful Deception.

When I find the time, I’ll start Amulya Malladi’s new book, A House for Happy Mothers which will, probably, be followed by Amy E. Reichert’s Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.

How about y’all. Anything good?

June Reads 2016

Allegiance_SinghJune was a slow reading month for me. I started off with what I think of as waiting room reads The Forgotten Child and A Baby and a Wedding by Lorhainne Eckhart. I picked them because they were free on Amazon, and, frankly, they weren’t particularly memorable. Sitting here, typing this, I can’t really remember what they were about except that it involved an autistic child, a doormat, and what I’ve seen another blogger aptly refer to as an Alpha-hole.  I’m just left with the overall impression that they sucked.

After that, I dived heart first into Allegiance of Honor and loved every moment of it. It was awesome! I could wish we’d Sighs_Robertsspent more time with the wolves, though, because for a book with an ensemble cast, it was definitely cat-centric.  Read my full review:  Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh.

Then there was a quick re-read of Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts before I picked up her latest, Bay of Sighs. It was fine. This isn’t shaping up to be my favorite of her trilogies, but it was interesting. Mostly, I think, due to the mermaid. That’s new. The rest of the cast, not to mention the overall plot, is kinda deja vu.

Albion_TampkeFinally, I read Ilka Tampke’s debut novel, Skin, which for some unknown reason was re-titled Daughter of Albion here in the States. Skin, in my opinion, is much more apt. I enjoyed this one immensely and am eagerly awaiting the sequel. Historically speaking, we know what happens, but how do the characters cope with it?  Here’s my full review:  Daughter of Albion by Ilka Tampke.

After I finished it, my reader’s palette was still feeling a little atavistic so, instead of picking up Britt-Marie Was Here like I’d intended, I reached for The Tiger and the Wolf by new-to-me author Adrian Tchaikovsky. So far, it’s good.

What have you been reading?

Daughter of Albion by Ilka Tampke

To the rest of the world, this book bears the title Skin, and it is much more apropos.

Born to the skinless, or lost to their families before naming, the unskinned were not claimed by a totem.  Their souls were fragmented, unbound to the Singing…The passage from womb to world was only half a birth–the body’s birth.  Our souls were born when we were plunged, as babes, into river water, screaming at the cold shock of it, given our name and called to skin…Skin was our greeting, our mother, our ancestors, our land.  Nothing existed outside its reach.

Beyond skin there was only darkness.  Only chaos.

Because I was without skin I could not be plunged or named.  I was half-born, born in body but not in soul.  Born to the world but not to the tribe.  I could never marry lest skin taboos were unknowingly betrayed.  Deer did not marry well to owl.  Owl to oak.  At Ceremony I had to be silent, and keep to the edges.  For where would I stand?  What would I chant?

I lived with these losses, but the one that hollowed my chest was that I was not permitted to learn.  All learning began and ended with the songs of skin.

Left at the kitchen doorstep the Tribequeen’s dwelling as a babe newborn, cord still attached, Ailia was raised by the Cookmother. Being an orphan without known blood kin, she was skinless, outside the tribe.  Without skin she was forbidden to marry and permitted no knowledge.  Even something so basic as learning to swim was denied her.  And yet, the seeds of Knowledge were within her, fostered by the Mothers and they would not be denied.

In the first century A. D., Cunobelinos, King of the Catuvellauni, began to carve out the beginnings of an empire for himself in southeastern Britannia.  Conquering, first the Trinovantes, a tribe allied to Rome.  But the king chose his timing well, for the Romans were otherwise occupied following their shocking defeat at Teutoburg Forest.  He with his sons and his brother, would continue to expand their influence to Cantii and the Artrebates before his death in about A. D. 40.  One of his sons, Caratacos, completed the conquest of the Artrebates, and their king, Verica, fled to Rome, providing the Romans under Claudius just the excuse for which it had been waiting to invade Britannia for the second time.  The Romans are no respecters of skin.

Ailia finds herself torn between the two worlds.   When her skin is finally revealed, you kind of want to smack yourself because it was rather obvious with clues galore scattered throughout the book.

Skin/Daughter of Albion is a wonderful story about a young woman’s need to belong.  Her struggle for knowledge, for love, and for family.  Ilka Tampke’s world is richly imagined, drawn from our small knowledge of Druidic doctrine and the traditions of the Aborigines which, somehow, fit together seamlessly.  When the sequel comes out, I’ll definitely be reading it.

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

There may be a few minor spoilers, be warned.

Allegiance_SinghThe pacing was quite different from the other books in the series, so it took me a chapter or two to get into the rhythm, but after that, Allegiance of Honor was a treat for heart for all of us devoted to the characters of this series.  Ms. Singh describes this book as an ensemble cast, and it is, but there’s also a focus, though a soft one, on Lucas and Sascha.  On Naya.

But, as promised, there were scenes with just about everybody.  We got to meet the pupcubs and see Xavier reunited with his Nina.  Annie and Kaleb, finally, meet.  We see more of BlackSea, and of Faith’s brother.  I smell a romance there.  I’m also getting that vibe from certain members of BlackSea and the Alliance.  We’ll see. And, of course, there’s Anthony and Nikita.  Just what is going on there will be used to torture us for many books to come, I think.  The fun kind.

And, then there’s the Architect.  Who, by the way, I still think is Shoshana.  She’s been way too quiet for way too long not to be up to her neck in the Consortium.  And, as always, her overweening ambition is going come back and bite her in the ass.  The Architect has a rather long and bloody list of assassinations in their long range plans for world domination and, leaving aside the Changelings on that list, on the Psy will put her on the bad side of a particular powerful Clan and its extremely ruthless and cunning matriarch.  In the end, that final epic showdown, I think it might end up, at the heart, being Shoshona against Nikita.  There will be other players, of course, but they’ll be the epicenter.  Also, whether of not Shoshona is or is not the Architect, I have a feeling the Alliance chips are going to play into her Queen Bee delusion.  And isn’t it interesting that the Architect has so much respect for, and was so observant of, Zee Zen?  Truthfully, that part was just enough to poke a small hole in my Shoshona = Architect conviction.

I love this series and can’t wait for Wild Embrace in August.

Rating:  4.75 out of 5 stars

LibraryReads July 2016

library_reads_logo_websiteRosen_DressThe LibraryReads July list is out.  I’ve had my eye on Nine Women, One Dress for a while.  It sounds like the perfect girl-read for a summer’s day kicked back in the front porch swing sipping iced tea.  Or on the beach with a margarita.  Whatever floats your boat.

The new Liane Moriarty, Truly Madly Guilty, may also be worth a look.  Their review makes it sound way more interesting than the official blurb does, I’ve gotta say.  This one’s a we’ll see.Oliva_Last-One

Another book to capture my interest was The Last One by Alexandra Oliva.  This one surprised me.  To be honest, I’ve never liked Survivor or any of its spawn.  It’s always struck me as ridiculous.  And, as a plot device in fiction, it really hasn’t done anything for me.  Kresley Cole’s No Rest for the Wicked comes to mind.  That book annoyed the hell out of me.  Enough, that my reading of the Immortals After Dark series stalled for a long time.  And it had vampires, Valkyries, and other paranormals to liven it up.  But The Last One actually sounds really good.  Of course, I have a weakness for post-apocalyptic fiction.  Sigh.

What about y’all?  Anything catch your eye?

Column of Fire, a third Kingsbridge novel, coming fall 2017

It’s time for fans of Ken Follett and his awesome Pillars of the Earth to do a happy dance.  We’ll be back in Kingsbridge next fall.  The new book is “provisionally titled ‘A Column of Fire’.”  Hints dropped so far include:  Elizabethan Era, Francis Walsingham’s spy network, and a portion of the book being set in Seville, Spain.

I adored Pillars of the Earth and World Without End.  You can bet this one will be on my most anticipated reads list come January.

May Reads 2016

TangleofNeed_NaliniSinghThis month has, mostly, been occupied by my Psy-Changeling reread and am more than ready for Allegiance of Honor. Even after this third time reading Tangle of Need, I still think Adria got gypped. That one continues to irritate me.

Between visits with the leopards, the wolves, and the Psy (oh my!), I read a few other things.  I really enjoyed the latest in Lorraine Heath’s Hellions of Havisham series, The Earl Takes All.  Although, I do think Julia was way less pissed than she should have been.  She forgave Edward too easily.  Earl-Takes_HeathOnly Beloved, the last book in Mary Balogh’s Survivors Club, was another good one, and I also enjoyed her novella, Another Dream, in Once Upon a Dream.  Wulfric Bedwyn continues to be one of my favorite fictional gentlemen.  Less enjoyable was Eva Leigh’s The Temptations of a Wallflower, the third installment in her Wicked Quills of London series. I almost choked on some of the purple prose spouted by The Lady of Dubious Quality.Beloved_Balogh

Next was Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. It didn’t take two chapters before things started going down hill. Sittenfeld’s Lizzie Bennett is, obviously an idiot, a condition to which I vehemently object in that character. I managed to stick it out until chapter 38 when Jasper’s last name was revealed. It kind of dashed my last hopes for Liz’s intelligence. However, on the bright side, Sittenfeld’s Mr. Bennett made me laugh every bit as much as his Austenian counterpart, but, alas, this was not enough to induce me to continue.

I picked up the much anticipated by me Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman and the very interesting sounding Daughter of Albion by Ilka Tampke, but I haven’t found the time to dive into them, yet.  That’s for June.

What have y’all been reading and loving lately?