Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wizards, Princesses, & Dragon Boats?: Magyk by Angie Sage

Hello, everyone! Thank you for stopping by my blog! Hopefully you've discovered a new book or two while pursuing the current posts. I aim to please with fresh titles, whether new or old, so if you ever have a suggestion for a post, request for a review, or comment to share, feel free to post directly to my page. I will be sure to respond as quickly as possible!

That said, I was working through a multitude of emails and tweets (gotta love Twitter) while listening to the contents of my iPod today....all the while trying to determine what book to post next. Believe it or not, nothing was calling to me! I mean that's not to say I haven't read any good books lately or anything, but I had to dig a little deeper to pull one out of the proverbal hat today (those of you with blogs know what I mean....when you can't find something that sits just right). Don't worry! It's a good one! Part of a series in fact....today's pick is......

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The first installment in the (currently) 4 part Septimus Heap series starts out with a rather sad and bewildering tale. Silas Heap is bringing herbs to his wife pregnant wife, Sarah. He is in a rush to get back home as their baby (number seven!) is being born any moment! On his way, he discovers a bundle along his path. Curious by nature, he picks up the "package", removes the rags coverings the contents......to discover a baby girl! So small, sweet, and innocent, he can't rightfully leave her there, not to mention the fact that Marcia the Extraordinary Wizard tells him to claim her as his own, telling no one of how she came to be in his home. How was he to explain this new addition to his friends and neighbors....let alone his wife!


As if guided by the hands of fate, Silas arrives back at his humble abode in the Ramblings befuddled by these current events, to a fleeing midwife, proclaiming the young Septimus has died! The seventh son of the seventh born is to possess extra ordinary magical powers and thus this passing is heavy in both their hearts and their minds. Sarah Heap is beside herself at the loss of her newborn boy, but what is a husband to do? The only thing he can....he gingerly gives the baby girl to his wife. She is so distraught that she doesn't inquire as to how or why the baby is there. Lucky for Silas, as he is still mulling that around in his head. Who is this baby girl and what of her strange arrival? Why would Marcia be so adament about keeping her origins a secret? What of their own baby, Septimus? The midwife declared him dead upon his birth, but no one ever saw the baby...



Flash forward ten years and we find the same baby as a young girl by the name of Jenna. She is beginning to wonder why she doesn't look like her brothers but loves them so much that it is merely a passing thought. Marcia Overstrand, Extraordinary Wizard, reveals that Jenna is the long lost princess and that she and the Heap's are in danger. DomDaniel, necromancer and evil to boot, are after control of the castle and an end to all good praticed within its realm. Meanwhile, the disguarded child taken from the Heaps on that same fateful night is discovering that he too is not all he was told. Raised as Boy 412 in the makeshift army of thugs residing within the castle, he has never quite fit in....with good reason! It turns out in fact that boy 412 not only has a magykal heritage, but is the long thought to be dead Septimus Heap! Think this realization brings an easier life? Boy are you wrong! He is in more danger now than even he knows!


I came upon this book while browsing the local bookstore shelves for a new read while awaiting the next installment of Harry Potter. Once again, the cover drew me in. (what can I say, I'm a sucker for an interesting, eye-catching picture...oooh! Pretty colors!) Septimus Heap reads like Harry Potter's little brother (if he had one...hey, J.K. Rowling! There's a story idea for you!). The story line is a bit more basic, although tinged with magyk in a similar form. The writing style is more simplistic, making this a much quicker read, and yet thoroughly enjoyable. The character drawings strewn throughout the book aid in creating a face to go with the characters described within the pages. When fully immersed in the world created by author Angie Sage, you will certainly feel for them through the troubles they experience and fight at their sides (in your mind of course) against the evil that just won't die! Highly recommended for fans of the Potter series, both the young and young at heart...



Feel free to leave your comments and feedback.
Until next time...happy reading!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bookworms Carnival: A Feast for the Senses

Is it just me or does it give everyone that little rush of "YES! Look at me world!" when you see your name or writing posted on another site? (Okay, so if it's just me, don't tell me! Let me enjoy the fantasy!)

Such is the experience I had this morning when going through my Twitter page posts (say that ten times fast!)...The Bookworms Carnival has landed LIVE on A Bibliophile's Bookshelf blog! Now if that sounded like Greek to you, don't worry, I'm still explaining...read on, read on....


The Bookworms Carnival was set up to help the book blogging community build out their network and spread the word about fantastic books! The 34th Edition focused on Young Adult Fantasy, and if you are a frequent visitor to my blog, you probably have noticed quite a few of my own reviews and wanderings tend to stray into this genre. That being said, when submissions were requested for inclusion, I was eager to participate. I sent in one or two crossing my fingers that they may end up being chosen...but not holding my breath (hey, my blog is still taking baby steps compared to some and I don't think blue is a good facial color).

Bright eyed and bushy tailed...okay, running late, and finally catching up on Twitter feeds, I see the LIVE link to the posting and TADA! I'm listed! Yay me and my little book blog! (insert imaginary video of a happy dance here...) Not one to toot my own horn (for long at least), I must say that there were several other blogs and books listed as well that were either on my TBR (to be read) list or have now newly migrated to it. I just love the fact that sites like these make it that much easier to share good books read, recommendations for future reads, and friendly conversation on much loved topics!

Feel free to leave your comments and feedback!

Until next time...happy reading!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Food for Thought

Ahhh....the world of books. On the shelf, they call to you (figuratively), whispering echos of the tales they could tell. In your hands, they hold a magical adventure just waiting to be experienced by you, the reader. The turn of a page may have you face to face with your wildest dreams.....or your darkest nightmares. Their enchantment does not lessen with time, but grows as it makes a place in your heart and mind. To think, so many can read the same book, and yet walk away with entirely different experiences....the true wonder of the written word.




Today's 'Food for Thought' post will highlight a new site I stumbled across on my daily internet travels. The site is called Young Adult Book Central. As can be guessed from the site name, they mainly deal with books in the Young Adults and Children genres. This includes many of the recent stars featured on this blog such as Twilight, Harry Potter, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and much much more.


The site itself was created by author Kimberly Pauley...she penned the novel entitled 'Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, teen vampire (maybe)'. It started out back in the day as a pit stop for those looking for new books and was developed over time into the blossom we see today. There are book reviews from actual professional book reviewers, as well as those from readers like us. One of the best features I have to make mention of is the opportunity not only to share your review, but win books as well! How? Well, she does a much better job of explaining the four options available on the site, but the easiest by far (and less chancey) is to submit 15 reviews. For every 15, you get to choose a book off of the Prize Bucket list. These aren't just random novels you've never heard of though....they come from the advanced reader copies she receives, donations from authors, as well an unclaimed prizes from past contests. A few titles currently mentioned include 'The Year of the Dog', 'Fabulous Terrible: The First : The Adventures of You ', and 'Oliver Nocturne'.

I don't know about you, but I am more than happy to share my opinions with others in this arena...the option of getting a free book just makes it that much more appealing.

Feel free to leave your comments and feedback!
Until next time...happy reading!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Books to Movies: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Welcome to another entry sure to greet fans of all ages! Noticed the plethora of magic oriented books around these days? They're literally everywhere! However, when great literature and the silver screen meet, real magic often results. It becomes pure poetry in motion. Sound too cliche? Maybe, but if the wand fits, use it! Take this rather popular book series and movie franchise for the perfect example...today's choice is...



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Harry Potter's life is one he would rather forget. That is up until the age of eleven. You see, prior to this particular birthday, Harry lived his day to day life as the outcast of the Dursley family. Both of his parents passed away when he was only a baby, and thus needing guardians, Harry was left in the less than capable hands of his only blood relatives. Their spoiled son, Dudley, was not the brother any child would desire and so his troubles had a willing antagonist. But I digress, let us not dwell on his shadowy past but move forward to his future.



Upon the stroke of midnight on his eleventh birthday (is it only be or can you not help but think of a particular Disney princess story at this junction), Harry's world is truly turned upside down. Hagrid, a giant in both size and heart, comes to fetch the young lad. When asked why, the truth is finally revealed....Harry Potter is a wizard! Acceptance letter in hand, Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is his final destination...or is it? There seems to be more to the story of how his parents came to meet their end and well as how he obtained a particular lighting shaped scar on his forehead. Are the stories true? Has evil come to Hogwart's once again to finish what it started so many years ago?


You'll have to read it to find out...although I am fairly certain most people have either read the story or seen the movie by this time. (If not, where have you been hiding? This series is only one of the most talked about series of our age.) Both young and old can share in the magic, the mystery, and the adventures that author J.K. Rowling bestowed upon the pages of these novels. Is there a pinch of magic left behind for the reader with each book? Perhaps...how many other series can claim fans in all age ranges and yet boast books that range in size from approximately 200 pages upwards to 870? The newest fashion statement when the fifth installment (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) came out became tote bags just to carry your copy around!


I myself find it refreshing when any book series catches on at this large of a scale, drawing "new blood" to reading. Let's face it...true bookworms are harder to find in our age of technology, although the e-book is aiding in the comeback as well. Personally, I prefer the weight and feel of the book in my hands. The smell of the pages (no, I don't run around sniffing books...I'm just helping you to draw a mental picture), the intricate font specially chosen for the title, the images seen on both cover and chapter pages...and of course the added benefit of not having to remember to charge the battery helps too!


Now, I will admit that I became a true fan of the series prior to the fourth books release. I had seen the titles floating around the local bookstore, but never really paid it any mind. One day, I was browsing the shelves for a new title, and BOOM! I had discovered the trade paperback version of this title. Yes, my friends, I first purchased the cheapest version I could find...how was I to know if I was going to like it? Once I began reading, I was hooked! I easily read through the remaining volumes accessible to me at the time and then hungrily awaited the 4th books arrival. With each release dates approach, I had another midnight pick-up to plan for...even though I had no intention of reading the book until the next day. (I just had to have it in my possession! My precious! Oops! Wrong series....) The final book in the series was the only one I actually stayed up to read...at least until the words started to get fuzzy and make absolutely no sense.

Ahhh....a good book will take you on the adventure it holds merely by letting your imagination run wild, but for those with slightly less active creativity (there is no shame in that by the way....that's one of the reasons movies were invented!), Hollywood gave us the blockbuster hits to put faces with the beloved characters. PRESTO! Now we are able to go on the adventures with our friends and family whenever we wish...just pop in the DVD! I can hear many of you now....stop groaning, you're hurting my ears! The movies are not carbon copies of the books...alas they are adaptations (interpret as slimmed down shadows of their former glory). While I can freely say that the movies do leave out quite a bit, and most fans would rather a longer run time on the film than the removal of their possibly favorite parts, they have still done a wonderful job on such a mammoth project! I mean it would be technically impossible to satisfy every reader, every fan, every writer, and so on....they had to make the tough decisions so that we could actually get the movie. Be grateful for what they do include, share with others what they don't and use them as a platform to support the book versions once again!

Whew! I don't post for a few days and all of a sudden there is enough for a short story! I think I have been long-winded enough for today...don't you?


Feel free to leave your comments and feedback!
Until next time...happy reading!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Roving Reader


Seen a book & felt compelled to share?
Here's my attempt to satisfy....
Seek out
'Eyes Like Stars'
by
Lisa Mantchev.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Wonderful Demise of Benjamin Arnold Guppy by Gina Collia-Suzuki

Hello and welcome to another installment of my book blog! I hope everyone had a wonderful (and safe) 4th of July holiday! Did you get to see the fireworks in your area, or did you watch them on TV? (guilty!) Maybe you had a cookout with your friends and family? Whatever your pleasure, I'm sure we can mostly agree on one thing...holidays are WAY TO SHORT! Once the lovely 3 day weekend is over, back to the daily grind. Oh, well...such is life, make the best of it! Also, I just wanted to draw your attention to a new "feature" listed in the left side bar of my blog...it is a picture/link to The Literacy Site. (You know...I talked about it and its merits in by prior posting.) Please take a moment to follow the link to help donate books to those less fortunate.

Okay, okay...I'm done rambling (for now)....Today's book of choice is...


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Have you ever been an apartment dweller? Perhaps you've had a friend that was? If so, it is hardly uncommon to hear stories of "the neighbors did this" or "the neighbors did that". Usually they stay the realm of too much noise, or leaving their garbage cans out longer than needed...nothing too big to handle. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There is always the chance that you will encounter that one rare breed of neighbor that finds wrong in anything and everything that you do. This is a story of neighbors reaching their wits end and just how far one may go to rid themselves of bothersome problems...whatever form they happen to take!

Interesting title, right? The story does not disappoint either...drawing you in to find out just what will happen next. For further story line information, visit my full review. (Not too many spoilers, just more details than I prefer to put here.)

Feel free to leave your comments and feedback!

Until next time...happy reading!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Food for Thought

In light of the upcoming holiday (Happy Independence Day!), I decided to turn the blog posting of the day over to a good cause. Don't worry...you won't be inundated with SPAM messages or anything as I speak from experience on using the site I am about to recommend. Just click on the logo below, it's as simple as that....




I know what you're thinking...what good is that going to do? Well, I will tell you...patience is a virtue! No, seriously...this site, along with the family of sites connected to it, allows web visitors to click on the "Click to Give - It's FREE" button and add your support to their endeavor. Their goal is to provide books to those not as able to afford them. The sponsors of the site pay for the books, all you have to do is CLICK. Want to help donate an added bonus? Check out their merchandise. A portion of all purchases made in their store also go to this fantastic cause.

Help support this amazing cause today and share the joy of reading with the future of tomorrow.
Feel free to leave your comments and feedback!
Until next time...happy reading!
Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...
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