I loved the scribbles in the margins, the notes in the front of the books that told their stories, the ways they passed from one person to another. “To Jennifer, Christmas 1921. May these words stay with you.” The stray phrases and numbers jotted on the side of a page – “Indian Taj, 74th Street” emerging from the margins of Utopia, “BUY PUMPKINS” blaring up at me from the back cover of To the Lighthouse. As I sat behind the register, carefull erasing the penciled marks, I felt as if each book had a secret to tell, only to me.
Lil is a fallen fairy, one who broke the ultimate sin by falling in love with a human. And not just any human, but the fantasy of many a young girl, Prince Charming. Lil was the fairy godmother to Cinderella and in charge of getting her and the Prince to meet and marry, but she made the mistake of taking a peek at the Prince in advance and her heart’s fate was sealed.
Now, Lil is living as an old woman in New York City working as small used bookstore. The owner of the store is a friend who finally recovered from his divorce and when a beautiful young woman walks in to the store, Lil thinks getting them together will be her way back home. There is a charity ball coming up and the couple agrees to attend together and Lil can feel the fairy world coming for her.
This is not your average fairy tale retelling. It is dark and offbeat, which I liked, but Lil was not a character I fell in love with, even though I wanted to. I mean who wouldn’t love a fairy godmother? I liked the way the story was told, alternating between New York and her past life as a fairy. I really wanted to like it more, but it did keep me interested the whole way through.
I recommend this if you like fairy tale retellings or fairies.
This was a library copy.
I liked the fact that I had to find books that I never would have looked at before. I started on one shelf at the library and read the first book that had a title that started with K (Killer Mousse by Melinda Wells) and loved it. I also used the library to find an author for X and discovered the sweet gem, Sky Burial by Xinran. And I never would have considered The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton without the need for an X title. If you are titling your book, consider starting it with an X!
You can find the list of books I read for this challenge here.
This was fun and I hope to do it again next year. Thanks for hosting it, Becky!
In school, I had hated math so much that the mere sight of the textbook made me feel ill. But the things the Professor taught me seemed to find their way effortlessly into my brain – not because I was an employee anxious to please her employer but because he was such a gifted teacher. There was something profound in his love for math. And it helped that he forgot what he’d taught me before, so I was free to repeat the same question until I understood.
The mathematics Professor was in a car accident in 1975 and as a result he lost his short-term memory. Every 80 minutes his brain resets and the only memories he has are the ones made before the crash. He spends his days in a cottage on his sister-in-law’s property solving math problems for prize money. To make it through he writes notes on scraps of paper and pins them to his suit jacket, which he wears every day.
The Housekeeper, a single mom, is hired to take care of him and the cottage during the day. When she starts bringing her son, who the Professor nicknames Root, the three form a bond over math and baseball.
This Japanese story is charming and original. There are actual math problems in the book and not being a math lover myself (or maybe math doesn’t love me?) I was surprised at how I was drawn into the heartfelt story. There was beauty in the simplicity of the writing and in the math. I was rooting for these three who needed and loved each other. There were even some nice surprises to be found along the way.
I highly recommend this one.
This was a library copy.
Book 1 in the Sarah Woolson series
Despite claims to the contrary – some, I fear, voiced by members of my own family – I pride myself on being an honest woman. As a matter of principle, I hold dissimulation of any kind in contempt. That said, I probably should add that I also subscribe to the old adage “God helps those who help themselves,” even if this sometimes entails being economical with the truth.
First paragraph of the book
Sarah Woolson is a strong young woman living in a time when strong women were frowned upon. It’s 1880 and she has managed to get an interview with a leading law firm, but she is promptly shown the door because of her sex. Not willing to step aside she steals a client and the firm takes her in to save face. Now she must travel around San Francisco trying to prove her client innocent of murdering her rich husband and one of his powerful friends.
Sarah is take no prisoners kind of gal and this really irks the lawyer who is assigned to following/helping her with the case. And her brothers prove helpful as does her judge father. She is not afraid of getting her hands dirty, but her mind is her best asset. There is a lot to like about Sarah.
The mystery was good. I didn’t figure it out until right before Sarah did and it was a satisfying ending. The family was a warm and fun and accepting of Sarah, well except for one brother running for California Senator, and I look forward to learning more about them as Sarah continues her adventures in the next book.
This did remind me of the Deadly series by Brenda Joyce if you are a fan. Not any romance in this one, but I do see potential.
This was a library copy.
The last two quizzes are here and here and there is still time to participate. If you are the first one with the right answer in those quizzes or this one you will earn an extra entry in my Birthday Book Giveaway.
What is the common denominator in these book combinations? Tell me the number and what you think the five books have in common, Go ahead and take a guess – you could be right! And #10 is movies. I got the idea from my 9 in ’09 last Friday.
Set in San Francisco – Mark (who is probably voting for Michael Irvin right now in Dancing with the Stars)
2nd book in a trilogy – Candice
Books made into movies starring Emma Thompson – Candice
Fictional US Presidents as chracters – Debbie (Wrighty Reads)
Main characters are named John – ‘Nise
One of main characters is gay – Strangelove
Edgar Award winners for Best Novel – Mark
Set in Ireland – Stranglove
Redheaded Protagonists – Strangelove
Directed and written by Nora Ephron – Kathy (bermuuda onion)
I just finished The Post man Always Rings Twice by Cain. It was my 6th book. 950 pages, 7 hours of audio book listening and no sleep. Here’s what I read…
My favorite was The Housekeeper and the the Professor. Here are the wrap up questions…
1. Which hour was most daunting for you? 6:30-7:30 AM
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? The Ellen Degeneres book helped me laugh, so probably any hunor book would work.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I thought it was great.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everything. Liked the mini challenges – even if I didn’t win anything.
5. How many books did you read? 6
6. What were the names of the books you read? see above
7. Which book did you enjoy most? The Housekeeper and the the Professor by Ogawa
8. Which did you enjoy least? Manhunting by Crusie
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? Too tired to come up with anything right now.
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I would love to participate again. I would probably devote some hours to cheering as well as reading.
I had a great ime in my first read-a-thon and look forward to posting this and heading to bed. Even as the sunslight streams into the room.
I just finished listening to the audio book Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie. It was nice to be mobile for a few hours. The light, fluffy romance was perfect for this time of the morning, except maybe the end dragged a bit. Of course, it could be that anything is going to drag a bit when I’m this tired!
Pages read – 830
Hours spent listening to audio book – 7 hours
I think I have just enough time to read The Postman Always Rings Twice.
Dewey is a book blogger I’ve heard a lot about in the past year. She’s the one who began the Read-a-Thon and less than a year ago she passed away. I think the tremendous outpouring of love from the bloggers who knew her and the continued success of the Read-a-Thon are great tributes to Dewey.
I have finished my 4th book, The Funny Thing Is…by Ellen Degeneres. Some chapters made me laugh out loud which has pepped me up a bit. Not sure what I’ll be reading or listening to next. Still need a few minutes to recover from the last second Michigan State loss.
Pages read – 830