Wednesday, February 29

Book Review: Great Expectations

Title: Great Expectations

Author: Charles Dickens

Pages:  460

Summary: One of Charles Dickens most fascinating novels, Great Expectations follows the orphan Pip as he leaves behind a childhood of misery and poverty after an anonymous benefactor offers him a chance at the life of a gentleman. From the young Pip’s first terrifying encounter with the convict Magwitch in the gloom of a graveyard to the splendidly morbid set pieces in Miss Havisham’s mansion to the magnificently realized boat chase down the These, Great Expectations is filled with the transcendent excitement that only Dickens can so abundantly provide. Written in 1860, the height of his maturity, it also reveals the novelist’s bittersweet understanding of the extent to which our deepest moral dilemmas are born of our own obsessions and illusions.

My Rating: 7.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was my first Dickens book I finished. It was slow in a lot of parts, I do wish I picked up a book of his that moved a little faster for a first time read, but overall it was a very well written and enjoyable read.

I enjoyed the look a Pips life and how he grew up, the author parallels the depressed life of Pip and the almost grey setting perfectly - Dickens was fantastic at creating an atmosphere to allow the reader to truly appreciate the feel of the book. The writing style also adds to the reading experience. I absolutely love the authors style of writing and you can easily get lost in it. I did find this book to move slowly and even the writing style, there were a lot of slow spots.

The characters were also well done, Pip was a very intriguing character and I enjoyed the look at his life from childhood to adulthood. I hated some characters because they were just that miserable group of people. For the most part I thought the author did a good job at creating a complex cast of characters. Unfortunately none of them really stuck with me - the characters were well thought  - the characters were well thought out yes, but none are ones that will stick with me now that I'm done with the book.

Overall a very enjoyable read and I look forward to reading another Dickens soon.

Would I recommend it to read: I would it was a good book, the plot does have a lot of slow parts, but the overall story was a great coming of age tale
What to read next: The Count of Monte Cristo, More Charles Dickens

Friday, February 17

Book Review: The Paris Wife

Title: The Paris Wife

Author: Paula McClain

Pages: EBook (324)

Summary: Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unravelling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.

My Rating: 6.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The book was good, but not great, the writing was good, but at times it fell flat and like the plot of the book, didn't hold my interest. I was a bit hesitant  to read this book to start with, because I wasn't sure it was my thing, and for the most part - I was right.

I did enjoy exploring the life of Hemingway - he's portrayed like Hemingway was actually like (at least from what I've learned about him). There was no surprise Hemingway wasn't the best husband in the world, nor that he was a bit self-absorbed. But I still enjoyed learning about his life and how he became the writer he's known to be. Maybe because I already know all his faults, I found him easy to enjoy as a character in the book and his actions, not so surprising or shocking as I would have, had I been blind to what he was really like.  Hadley, on the other hand I knew nothing about, but found her to be a very weak, unlikeable character. Although she had a bit of a rough time in her relationship with Hemingway, I find it hard to sympathize with her, when she took little control of the situation, and let everyone in her life lead her around.

The writing fairly good, I did find it to fall a bit flat at times, and the plot repeated itself a lot  - it was stretched out, although it gave a well rounded review of the years they were together - it became boring after a while, as they were constantly going to a dinner, social events, bull fighting etc with a particular person or group. In the first half of the book I found it interesting, as this inspired Hemingway to write his first novel - but after a while it got repetitive and boring.

Overall it was a interesting book, I learned a little more about Hemingway and his life, but it wasn't exactly a book for me.

Would I recommend it to read: If you're interested in Hemingway's love life, particularly his years with his first wife than I would. A good book, just not great - not a book I'd highly recommend. But some readers would enjoy it.

What to read next: Sun Also Rises by Hemingway - since it was mentioned and had an influence on the characters in the book.

Book Review: The Dogs and the Wolves

Title: The Dogs and the Wolves

Author: Irène Némirovsky

Pages: 212

Summary: Ada grows up motherless in the Jewish programs of a Ukrainian city in the early years of the twentieth century. In the same city, Harry Simner, the cosseted son of a city financier, belongs to a very different world. Eventually, in search of a brighter future, Ada moves to Paris and makes a living panting scenes from the world she has left behind. Harry Simner also comes to Paris to mingle in exclusive circles, until one day he buys two paintings which remind him of his past and the course of Ada’s life changes once more. . .

My Rating: 7.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was a good read which started off strong, and had a fairly good ending, but some of the stuff in the middle lost the fell and flow of the overall story.

As with her previous books, the writing, flow and story was lovely, as was the metaphor she used for the overall story, although this time I noticed issues due to it being a translation more than in previous books I read by the author, it was done fairly well. The author did a fantastic job at painting a picture of the lives and classes of people of Jewish faith in the Ukraine, during the early twentieth century - which is where the title is influenced from. The class differences we shown brilliantly, and the author managed to give the reader a feel for what life was like for the characters during the time period - especially in her comparison of rich versus the poor.

The second part of the book takes the reader to Paris which is where the author lost me a bit. The tie in of a small romance/affair didn't grip me as a reader - I was happy with reading about the characters and their struggles to survive, how they identified themselves and how the changing times influenced them. I wish the author had stuck with that, instead of bringing the love affair. I found it to be weak from what we learned of the characters and I found it to be weak in how the author told it.  I also didn't enjoy the characters as much as I have in her previous books. They were well developed and complex - but they didn't live up to the standards I've come to love from her other books.

In the end, it was a good read - not my favourite by the author, but a good read nonetheless.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, this may not be my favourite book by the author, but it was still a well written book and story.

What to read next: Jezebel, Fire in the Blood and David Golder, also by the author.

Monday, February 13

Book Review: Living With the Dead

Title: Living With the Dead

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Pages: 457

Summary: Robyn Peltier’s life is just about as normal as it can get . . . until she moves to L.A. for a fresh start as an A-list publicist and her celebutante client is gunned down at a nightclub. Normal is a thing of the past as she is suddenly the prime suspect in a murder investigation and an unwilling participant in a grisly supernatural turf war. (As if it wasn’t hard enough dealing with Hollywood tabloids!) Robyn’s best friend, half-demon tabloid reporter Hope Adams, and her mysterious boyfriend, Karl, are determined to clear Robyn’s name with the help of a homicide detective with the uncanny affinity for the dead, and a very persistent ghost.

Soon Robyn finds herself at the heart of a world she never knew existed - one she was safer knowing nothing about.

My Rating: 6.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I have to say for a Women of the Otherworld book, this one was a disappointment. It could have worked if it was a standalone novel, that had connections to the series, but this book fell flat for me.

One of the biggest issues for me was that the main protagonist wasn't supernatural nor was she really the "main character" in the book. While her role in the story was important, I felt she took the back seat in the story.  Events occurred, and she just happened to be there at the wrong time, which in the end, caused her to be wrapped up with supernaturals.  The other characters in the book seemed to have more weight and importance than Robin, which just didn't seem right to me. As the main character she should have the center of attention, not be drifting along with every else.

Another issue I had was the book had far too many narratives,  I believe there were five in total. Normally, I enjoy books with multiple narratives, but  it did not work for this book. It took away from the usual atmosphere that found in the  other books from the series.  It suppose to focus on the women, preferably the main character of the story, not random men we'll probably never see again.  I also found that some of the narratives weren't completely distinct from each other. Colm and Adele narratives often seemed to blend as one person, rather than two separate people.  I also found there was to many threads to the story, instead of coming together to make a clever, complicated story, it fell apart.

Although I'm not a big mystery fan, the author did do a good job at creating a mystery to solve. Some things were predictable, but I did enjoy the way the author built up suspense for the story, and tried to keep the reader guessing on some characters true motives. But overall, this book did not work for me. I think if this was a standalone book I would have enjoyed it more,  but as part of the Women of the Otherworld series, it just didn't have that same flair as the other books.

Would I recommend it to read: This wasn't my favourite of the series, in fact it's up there with my least favourites that I've read by the author, if you enjoy the series, than read this. I'm not sure how much this book is needed to read the rest of the series, so in order to finish it, you'll probably need to read this book.

What to read next: Frostbitten, Waking the Witch, Spellbound (the next three books in the series)

Sunday, February 12

Book Review: The Girl Who Lived on The Moon

Title: The Girl Who Lived on The Moon

Author: Frank Delaney

Pages: EBook

Summary: "Once upon a time there was a girl who lived on the moon." And when she comes to earth on a moonbeam, and grants the human race insights that would delight a Jungian and calm a six-year-old to sleep, we must wonder if times were different then, when "fish danced the polka on the surface of the sea and the birds said their prayers out loud."

"A good story, well told, makes children of us all." Bestselling author Frank Delaney's second instalment of Storytellers continues the tradition of the great traveling storytellers, who practiced their skills across so many lands since before the invention of time. Beginning with The Druid, Storytellers celebrates a craft, that while recognized as Irish, finds within it elements that transcend borders and time.

My Rating: 9/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This is the second story  of a series of short stories the author has written and like the first, it was just as well written, told and developed as the first.

I enjoyed this one a little more than The Druid, mainly because I enjoy stories with mythology/magic surrounding the moon. This had a bit of magical/fantasy feel to it, as the author explored a setting of people who lived on the moon. I thought the author did a fantastic job at giving the reader a good taste of setting on the moon, and the main characters adventures down on Earth. Like with the first story, the characters and story are fully explored and developed, even in such a short amount of time.

This book, like the first short story, are told in a way, that it sets up an atmosphere, that the story is being told to you personally by a story teller - which makes it a great read on a cold day, in front of the fire. The quality of writing is, phenomenal and the author is quickly becoming one of my all time favourites - this book has me witting for the next instalment of the series and to quickly dive in to the next to be read novel of his I have sitting on my shelf.

Would I recommend it to read: As with the other short story, I would recommend this to read, especially to fans of the author, Irish fiction and short stories. This one is also a good book if you enjoy Irish folklore.

What to read next: Ireland, Tipperary - just about anything by the author works. Also Irish Folklore, fairytales etc., would be a good choice too.

*I've Combined this book and The Druid to count as one entry, but both are separate books and have separate reviews.

Book Review: The Druid

Title: The Druid

Author: Frank Delaney

Pages: EBook

Summary: Long long ago, when the pigs ate the apples off the trees and the birds flew upside down - so begins a tale by an Irish fireside. And thereby Frank Delaney, the New York Times bestselling author of Ireland, launches STORYTELLERS, a new series of short stories in the oral tradition, created specially for e-readers. In his first story, this master of the legendary form creates THE DRUID, a fascinating character full of cunning and false magic, who tries to win the hand of a beautiful girl.

My Rating: 8.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This is part of a series of short stories the author has written and if you haven't experienced him yet, than this is a good place to start. This book was a wonderful little short story and reminded me of the mini stories  within author's novel, Ireland. Tie in some mythology and magic, and you have a very good story.

I enjoyed the introduction, as the author explores the idea of storytellers, setting up the atmosphere of listening to the story teller personally telling the story the reader, focusing on the experience of having the story being told to you as much as the story it self - much like his novel, Ireland. The story was very well written, and the author managed to create some very developed, complex and interesting characters in a short time. He was also able to give some background information and description of events, setting or mythology, without compromising the story or character's overall development. The writing was superb - it was just as good as his novels, and just like his novels, you are able to become lost in the writing and storytelling.

Overall, a very well done short story - had me looking forward to the next instalment from the Storyteller series, which I read almost immediately
Would I recommend it to read: I would, especially to fans of the author, Irish fiction and short stories.

What to read next: Ireland by Frank Delaney, the other short story in the Storytellers series, The Girl Who Lived on the Moon (I believe there are more to come)

*I've Combined this book and The Girl Who Lived in the Moon to count as one entry, but both are separate books and have separate reviews.

Wednesday, February 8

Book Review: The Boxcar Children

Title: The Boxcar Children

Author: Gertrude Chandler Warner

Pages: EBook (150 pages)

Summary: Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny, four orphaned brothers and sisters, suddenly appear in a small town. No one knows who these young wanderers are or where they have come from. Frightened to live with a grandfather they have never met, the children make a home for themselves in an abandoned red boxcar they discover in the woods. Henry, the oldest, goes to town to earn money and buy food and supplies. Ambitious and resourceful, the plucky children make a happy life for themselves–until Violet gets too sick for her brothers and sister to care for her.

My Rating: 8.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This book was a childhood favourite of mine and re-reading it now still as me smiling as I entered the story of Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny.

I probably read this book fifty times as a kid, although I do remember it being longer than it was, it was still enjoyable and most of the book, save the ending I remember quite well. I also remember how neat it was the kids, who were my age at the time create their own little house out of a boxcar, found dishes and lived in the woods. It was what made it so fun to read, and what made in a fun little read this time around. You can really appreciate the characters and the message of taking care of yourself and siblings through rough times.

The story was a quick read for me, I think a lot of young readers would enjoy the book, finding it fun and adventurous that kids their age, survived without their parents in a boxcar in the woods. The book was published in the early forties, so the attitudes and stereotypes do represent the times, although they aren't very obvious, and most young reader wouldn't notice them they are there, not necessarily a bad thing, but an observation. The language used is easy to read I'd say it would be a good choice for the 7 - 12 range. I also found the author finished off chapters in a way, that would make a young reader (or young at heart, who aren't familiar with the story) want to read onwards, just to find out what happens to the children next.

Overall it was a fun read, the children in the book are sweet and loving, and brought back childhood memories of me, reading one of my favourite books.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, this was a childhood favourite. It's a perfect book for a young reader, and the series, if memory serves correct was fun to read as well.

What to read next: More books from the series, Anne of Green Gables

Challenges: 12 in 12, 100+ Challenge, EBook Challenge

Tuesday, February 7

Book Review: The Sense of Ending

Title: The Sense of Ending

Author: Julian Barnes

Pages: (Ebook 150 pages)

Summary: This short, intense new novel follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he never much thought about--until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present. Tony Webster thought he'd left all this behind as he built a life for himself, and by now his career has delivered him into a secure retirement much as an amicable divorce has left him still fond of his ex-wife and daughter, who now has a family of her own. But suddenly Tony is presented with a mysterious legacy that obliges him to reconsider a variety of things he thought he'd understood all along, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and place in the world.

My Rating: 6.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: While I enjoyed the writing style, the deep examination of the human psyche and some of the philosophical thought this book explored, in the end it didn't work out for me.

The writing is top notch, I did enjoy that aspect of the book, it was hard to pull away from the book, because the author, for the most part, writing was well done. I could have dealt without a few descriptions, which I found disrupted the flow of the book, but the author is good at what he does.

The story itself intrigued me for the first half of the book. I thought it was a great idea of a man recalling how he grew up, trying to determine which was true memory and which wasn't - I loved the philosophy behind how even your own memories, ones that are important to you, can be, in a sense, incorrect or shifted from what truly happened. It was a very interesting theory. While I didn't care much for what happened in the main character's childhood, I did appreciate what the first half of the story brought to me as the reader. Then it all fell apart for me. I found the second half of the book, despite the fact it was so short, to be drawn out, and the drama between Tony and his girl friend from his teen years - to be wasteful. I grew bored quickly. The book seemed to lose what it was about, to create some kind of dramatic climax between Tony and his ex-girlfriend. The second half of the book also caused to really dislike the characters in the book, who as adults, were still acting like petty children for no real good reason. Maybe I missed something, but I didn't quite understand how Veronica's secret and reasoning for her actions were justified and kept so hidden, and I don't get Tony's need for her acceptance and revealing of her secrets.

In the end, the second half of the book didn't work out for me as I would have liked, and affected my overall experience with the book. It went from a very good book, to a mediocre one.

Would I recommend it to read: I think I still would. It's quality writing, the story was good enough. I found it fell apart near the end, but I think a lot of reader would enjoy the book.

What to read next: Not sure what I'd recommend, fellow Booker Prize winners, The Finkler Question and Offshore People, because all three have won the prize.

Challenges: 12 in 12, 100+ Challenge, EBook Challenge, New Author Challenge,

Book Review: Offshore

Title: Offshore

Author: Penelope Fitzgerald

Pages: 180 pages

Summary: On Battersea Reach, a mixed bag of the temporarily lost and the patently eccentric live on houseboats, rising and falling with the tide of the Thames.

Belonging to neither land nor sea, they belong to one another in a motley yet kindly society. There is Maurice by occupation a male prostitute, by chance a receiver of stolen goods, by nature a friend to all. And Richard, an ex-navy man whose boat, much like its owner, dominates the Reach. Then there is Nenna, an abandoned wife and mother of two young girls running wild on the muddy foreshore. It is Nenna's domestic predicament that, as it deepens, draws the relations among this disparate community together in ever more complex patterns.

My Rating: 7.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was a short book, but it managed give the reader a cast of intriguing characters, that were deeply examined, combined with wonderful prose, it was an overall good read. I did find the ending to be rather abrupt, and a little bit bittersweet.

I enjoyed the ending in a sense, because of the symbolism it carried; the ending blended with the mood of the book and the characters in it, but there was a lot left unanswered. Much of the plot just wasn't tied up enough for me. Part of me wonders if this was intentional to help fit in with some of the themes of the book, which does work if that's the case, but I still have the feeling the story wasn't complete. I also found the story to progress slowly, it was very character driven, so I'm partly grateful for it to move slowly, but it being such a short book, I wished it had been longer because then the slow progression would have in perfectly.

The writing is lovely, I enjoyed just reading the book base on the writing alone. The author did a wonderful job at showing the loneliness and disconnected feeling of the characters from the rest of society. I also enjoyed how the author managed to tie in the setting of life on the barges , into the book has a whole and used it to help create the overall mood of the book. A good book little book, but I wish it was longer - I think it's what's missing from the book to make it become a fantastic read.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, it lovely writing. The book is slow moving, but it does examine the characters and I guess you could say, makes commentary on the poorer, working class in London.

What to read next: The Bookshop also by the author

Challenges: 12 in 12, 100+ Challenge, Alphabet Challenge

Friday, February 3

January 2012 - Wrap-Up

This was an awesomely fantastic reading month for me. I've managed to kick off the new year with, hmm insert a creative metaphor here, and that's what I've done for the first month of a year. Which is good, because other aspects of January kind of sucked. But, moving on to the positive, things will be better ahead, and some other fantastic changes will be happening very soon too - which will likely affect how much I will be reading in the next couple of months - likely reading less. So I got a head start. . This month has also been quite the Canadiana month for me as I read (and bought) a lot of books by Canadian authors and/or Canadian setting.  Also this month had a Virginia Woolf theme to it, unintentional, but I found our birthdays are on the same day! Which I think is very cool I share a birthday with one of the greatest literary women authors of the 20th century. So I also dedicated some time in reading and  erm allowing her book to follow me home. So overall, a good month in books.

This month also brought some changes to my blog - my old template is gone, and I went with a more generic one, provided by blogger, and added my own flair to it. I have to say, I love it. The old template was gorgeous, I loved the old book/scroll feel to it. But to many issues, and then something happened with the host and I didn't want t have to deal with those issues any more. It wasn't a custom template, it was a free one anyone can get, so I changed it, and it worked out great. Other bloggers still have a similar background as me, but I'm happy to be able to customize and play with it to match my personality and the personality of the blog more. Still playing with some formatting, and a few times I've deleted and saved thigns I didn't mean to do (like my reviews by year, oh that was bad, oh so bad. I had to find a cached version and copy and paste it and... yeah. So I plan on saving a hard copy now. Learn from mistakes.) I'm also loving the threaded comments. I'm able to respond to people easier now. Before I waited a while to see if others would post, then address everyone in one post. Now I can address every one individually and I'm better (so far) at responding to everyone's comments. And, now that I've rambled on more than I intended to (I wrote this in word, before I posted it in the morning, after a nice large cup of coffee! :D), here's my month wrap up below!

The Books

I doubt I'll be able to read as many books as I did this month every month - and although I am impressed with the amount I read this month, I don't want to read that much each month - well I don't want to feel I have to read that much, might be a better description. To reach my personal reading goal of the year I need to read about 10 - 12 books a month - which is a good pace. This month just got be way ahead, so in the upcoming months, where I may not have time to read a lot I've made up for it. Anyways, the books! I did read some great books this month, and quite a variety of them too. I read a couple collections of short stories, a collection of poetry, a book that was on my TBR list since 2004-5 (bought it in university still haven't read it till now). I finished a series I started when I was 13, and read a book I highly anticipated as being fantastic, that actually wasn't. My favourite book this month was Virginia Woolf's Selected Short Stories. Anil's Ghost, A Long, Long Way, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, and The Dream World are also highly recommend - as all were fantastic reads. My least favourite was Alone in the Classroom. Followed by Transitions, which was the biggest disappointment for me as well

The Challenges

I'm very happy with my challenges this month, and have a great head start on most of my challenges.  As usually, but unintentional, the one challenge to get control of Mount TBR is lower than it should be. I've made a tiny dent into it, but wanted to make a nice big dent - mostly it's because books follow me home, and I read them instead/it grows. I also finished a challenge already! Which was the Canadian Award Winners Challenge, where I read 5 books. I enjoyed the challenge, and it made me read some of the books that have been on my TBR list for a while, including Childhood. It also made my TBR list bigger as I saw a lot of books I may want to read in the future on the list of possible books to read too. I'm still reading books in the Canadian Reading Challenge V as well. Although I finished it back in October (it runs, until July 1, 2012). I'm now up to 30/13 books. So below is my challenge progress, and again, fairly happy with it.  I think I'll finish most of my challenges this year, and finish them early, but many of them of higher levels than what I choose - so ones that I finish early, I may aim for the next level. But I was careful this year to do things that would be challenging, but not over whelming, knowing I can aim or higher later.
Completed Challenges:
Canadian Award Winners Challenge - 5/5 COMPLETED January 24, 2012


Countries Visited

This month, I managed to visit a few countries including Canada (British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), I also visited Newfoundland - which was its own country during the time period of the book. Other countries I visited were, USA, England, Ireland, Belgium, Sri Lanka. I also journeyed to the Pegasus galaxy, visiting a few planets there too!

Books That Followed Me Home
If you saw my recent post, you know a lot followed me home. And unintentionally (sort of) I had mini themes for books this month including Canadiana, Virginia Woolf and WWI.

A Long, Long Way - Sebastian Barry (EBook)
Through the Black Spruce - Joseph Boyden
The Gate of Angels - Penelope Fitzgerald
Offshore People - Penelope Fitzgerald
WoT 13- Towers of Midnight - Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Light Lifting - Alexander MacLeod
The Last Salt Gift of Blood - Alistair MacLeod
On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan
The Soldier's Return - Alan Monaghan (Ebook)
Anil's Ghost - Michael Ondaajte
The Dream World - Alison Pick
Irish Country Village - Patrick Taylor
Guns of August - Barbara Tuchman (Non-Fiction, EBook)
Storm Glass - Jane Urquhart
The Return of the Soldier - Rebecca West (EBook)
Between the Acts - Virginia Woolf (EBook)
Night and Day - Virginia Woolf (EBook)
Selected Short Stories - Virginia Woolf (EBook)
The Voyage Out - Virginia Woolf (EBook)
The Years - Virginia Woolf (EBook)
The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai - Ruiyan Xu
Fauna - Alissa York

Harvest Moon - Mercedes Lackey, Michelle Sagara, Cameron Haley
The Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories - Edited by Jane Urquhart, various authors

And that was my January - a great blast off to the new year. I hope all of you were able to have a good month and read some great books. Happy reading!