Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mistborn Group Read - Week Three

"The Hero of Ages shall be not a man, but a force. No nation may claim him, no woman shall keep him, and no king may slay him. He shall belong to none, not even himself."
p.307 e- book

Welcome to week three of the Mistborn Group Read discussion hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.

This past week's reading covered Part Three, chapters 16- 25 and it was superb. A lot happened, and for me, the intrigue continues to build. I can see plans failing, and people getting themselves into a bind - missteps, overly- confident, betrayal, and maybe even death. This world and the people within are making themselves better known to this reader thanks to Sanderson's ability to build a story and reveal facts bit- by- bit without feeling info is being dumped. For me, I like not knowing the inner workings of the characters' minds rather finding out about their past and current thinking right along other characters. Enough for now, just do know, this book has not let up on the intrigue - I am thoughly enjoying this story. I am remain hooked.

Fair warning - SPOILERS are contained within the answers to the questions.

Do remember to checkout Mistborn Group Read, Part 3 to see what other group participants have to say about the book thus far.

1. During the past week there's been a lot of speculation as to the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Now that we finally know the answer, does it change anyone's opinions of the Lord Ruler?

I am almost convinced that the Lord Ruler is not the almighty powerful the people believe him to be - he is not alive, not in flesh anyway. I think he was a man who did great things thus the hero status, but he was just that - a man. I am not sure where he fits with the mist wraith, and ash, but I bet he has something to do with these problems. Through his reign, the society was set-up to as it is now. I think either, the secret that he no longer lives has been kept hidden for all this time, or he has been successively replaced without public knowledge. Frankly I do not know what is going on - just speculating - but I do know I will be very surprised to find him alive and still quite in control. What the quotes have done for me is give the Lord Ruler human qualities - he was not all powerful at one point, a man trying to make his way in life.

2. What did you think of Elend's group of subversive nobles? Do you think that Kelsier is right to dismiss people who could be potential allies, or is this another case of his anti-nobility biases showing?

I am not too impressed with Elend's group. I view them as spoiled rich boys who are bored and find entertainment in talking big talk against the system. At this moment, I have a hard time believing that they would place their lives and status on the line to stand up for what they believe in - their thoughts. It would be fantastic if they were to help change their society but it is a dangerous thing, inducing and then implementing change, and nor do they have the rank yet to do so. Bottom line though, the danger, when face to face with the danger I think they would conform and sell out anyone to save themselves. I would love to be wrong.

I don't think Kelsier should instantly dismiss them, but yet, how can he not. The nobility have not, on a whole, lent themselves for being trusted. The problem is this, leaning heavily towards anti- nobility could lead to miss opportunities that could be of big importance.

3. What's your favorite part of the book so far?

This is a tough question. This story is building and if one aspect of the story was missing then another aspect would suffer. But Vin has stood out to me, specifically her interactions with Sazed and Kelsier. Sazed's role is that of educating and guiding Vin, and Kelsier - in my mind - has taken on a fatherly type role. But I will say, Vin has me currently concerned that she is far too vulnerable to Elend's whims. While I am okay with her interactions with Elend, I just do not want her to be vulnerable to him - he has not earned that right yet, and maybe never.

4. Now that Kelsier's plan has hit some major stumbling blocks, what do you think will happen next? Do you think he can still succeed in defeating the Lord Ruler?

I don't think he will ultimately give up. He and his team will reconfigure their plans. And this time, maybe a new plan will come to light that has greater potential to overthrow the Lord Ruler. While I do believe that there is potential for success, I do not believe that his original plan lent itself to success. In order to be successful, I do believe, that the oppressed population must believe they deserve more and can have more. Without that belief, you have a passive population. I have hopes that the Skaa will not remained oppressed, and a balanced government will be out into place.

Bonus: For anyone who has read "The Way of Kings," were you surprised at all to see Hoid pop up? What do you think of his role here?

Surprised? I am surprised now. I did not pick this up, a shame. I did look it up though and from the little I read, I think this is rather interesting. Two thoughts - how would Hoid have connections in vastly different worlds? Is he immortal? Are we sure it is the same character rather than different characters with the same name? Okay...that was three questions.


"Suspicion is healthy in our profession - but only to an extent. I'd rather trust my men than worry about what will happen if they turn on me." p.258 e- book

"I can't believe people read books this big, she thought. Despite the large lettering, each page was filled with words. It would take days and days to read the entire thing." p.270 e- book

"Still, the Lord Ruler's story reminded Kelsier of the legends he had heard - stories whispered by skaa, discussed by noblemen, and memorized by Keepers. They claimed that once, before the Ascension, the Lord Ruler had been the greatest of men. A beloved leader, a man entrusted with the fate of all mankind." p. 308 e- book

"Ah, Ham , Kelsier thought. I wish I could explain everything to you. Plots behind plots, plans beyond plans. There are always another secret." p.324 e- book


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mistborn Group Read - week two

Sazed frowned. “The answer should be obvious, I think. People are valuable, Mistress Vin, and so - therefore - are their beliefs. p.164 e-book

Welcome to the second week of the Mistborn Group Read hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.

I have wanted to read this book and seeing that Carl and the gang were going to read it together, I thought, now is the time for me to read it too. My plans were to discuss this book with everyone on their blogs, and within the comment section of Carl’s blog. I was not going to post about it on my blog, but here is the deal - I Am Hooked! This book has utterly snagged me in. This should be of no surprise as I discovered with The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson is an amazing storyteller. He knows how to craft a story with such brilliance that my mind reels in awe. Mistborn is following suit - not to the same scale as WOK, but nevertheless, such fabulous storytelling. So, anyway, since I am being swept away by this story, I cannot help myself, I am posting my thoughts of the story thus far here on my blog. Hopefully, for the next few weeks, I will continue to post my thoughts to questions asked, and will then wrap-up this book with a post of my overall thoughts which shall be spoiler free as usual.

For these discussion posts, do know this SPOILERS are most definitely written, and this week, we are discussing through Part Two. If you have not read this book, you may not want continue reading. My fair warning to you.

Before I move on to the questions, I need to reflect a bit on my own.

This book is amazing. This last chapter in part two had me clutching the book with one hand, and twisting my shirt with the other - intense it was. My heart was pounding for fear that either Vin or Kelsier would not make it out of the palace. My gosh, what they faced. Simply amazing they did survive. For Kelsier, the crew is quite upset with his rash move of allowing Vin to tag along with him, but I am not. He was in a spot, and he knew Vin was coming along regardless of what he said. I actually think he saved her life because he did allow her to come and therefore taught her how to utilize atium. I am very much liking their relationship growth. These two characters interact in believable ways which only adds strength to the story. I am curious though, how old is Vin? I cannot quite place an age on her. How old is Kelsier? He seems much older than Vin but I also am thinking that the age difference is probably not as vast as I think. One last reflection - I really liked the interaction between Vin and Elend. I think the addition of Elend has some great story potential. I cannot wait to see how that character plays out.

Now, finally, onward to the questions.

1. The nobility, the skaa, and the Lord Ruler have integral roles in the novel and yet we haven’t really interacted with them much. Do you think there is a reason for this? Have you formed an opinion about them?

I have not formed a real solid opinion, but I will say, I think that by keeping them in the background has certainly added to the questioning and wondering that I have - my attention is being held due in part to the lack of interaction with these people. Besides, I have great faith that as this book progresses - as the series progresses - we will see more interaction with the Skaa, at the very least.

2. Religion plays a vital role in the story. What is your opinion about the role of religion under the Lord Ruler? What do you think of Sazed's role as a Keeper. again, I do not have any solid thoughts. I will say though, thus far, any speak about religion does not feel very religious to me rather more cultural like. So, I feel slightly in the dark about the religions. But, I am thinking that the religion under the Lord Ruler is not really a religion rather a tool of his to keep the people under his complete control. There is something up with the Lord Ruler, but immortal is not one of them. I am very curious as to how he will eventually come into play during this book.

3. Are you for/against/or ambivalent about Kelsier’s plan to overthrow the Lord Ruler? Do you think his heart is in the right place or is it just revenge?

I certainly do see the need to overthrow this ruler for the Skaa, but I have serious doubts that life will be better for them afterwards. The Skaa really need to wake up and take part of the action to have any hope of being a free people. With that said, right now, I think Kelsier’s plan will fail as it stands. Yet, I do not rule out the ability of Kelsier and team to come up with some brilliant ideas to accomplish the task at hand. As for Kelsier himself - I think in the beginning the plan was more about revenge, but I think now - at the end of this reading section - he is starting to wake up and see reality of his plan and all those who could be hurt such as Vin, but he is only starting to wake up. I think he has a good heart even during his moments of doing no good.

4. Vin and Kelsier are the main characters of the novel, yet there are many characters. Is there a certain character who intrigues you more than the others?

Besides Kelsier and Vin, I am absolutely intrigued by Sazed, and I mean absolutely. He is a wealth of knowledge, and frankly, he seems quite powerful to me and maybe even more so than the mistborn, obligators and inquisitors. Vin is quite fortunate to have this man in her corner. He is certainly watching out for her, and I do believe he is going beyond what is required for the task of his role. Yes, I am most fascinated by him. I do wish for a better visual of his looks in my mind. I think I may need to reread the part that described his appearance. He has many layers, I just know it, and we have only been given the top layer so far. That is what I think. What about you? Do you think he is multidimensional with a lot more for us to discover? I do think I will be disappointed if Sanderson does not flesh him out more and ingrain him deeper into the story.

Other Thoughts:

~ I am reading this book in the e-book format. I am liking it, but am finding it slightly disturbing that I cannot readily see how much I need to read for the week’s goal. Nevertheless, I do believe I will continue reading this series on my Nook as it is rather convenient and light weight.

~ The opening passages for each chapter are highly intriguing. The further we go, the more they are making me curious and questioning who is speaking. I am finding these opening passages to be of more interest, to me, than the ones in The Way of Kings. Also, while I am not certain who it is, at one point I was thinking it was the Lord Ruler, but then I waver and think it is Kelsier. So, at tines, i think it was written from the past, and then other times it seems to be written from the future. Ultimately, it may be someone entirely different, but not once have I thought it to be Vin.

Quotes/Passages that have stood out:

“Every action we take has consequences, Vin,” Kelsier said. “I’ve found that in both Allomancy and life, the person who can best judge the consequences of their actions will be the most successful....”. p.134 e-book

“Perhaps you should,” Sazed said. “If, upon examination, you find that the Ministry’s teachings do not suit you, then I would be pleased to offer you an alternative.:

“What alternative?”

Sazed smiled. “That depends. The right belief is like a good cloak, I think. If it fits you well, it keeps you warm and safe. The wrong fit, however, can suffocate.” p.152 e-book

The idea of someone who can play with their emotions, who can ‘mystically’ get them to do certain things, makes them uncomfortable. What they do not realize - and what you must realize - is that manipulating others is something that all people do. In fact, manipulation is at the core of our social interaction.” “Think about it. What is a man doing when he seeks the affection of a young lady? Why, he is trying to manipulate her to regard him favorably. What happens when old two friends sit down for a drink? They tell stories, trying to impress each other. Life as a human being is about posturing and influence. This isn’t a bad thing - in fact, we depend upon it. these interactions teach us how to respond to others. p.171 e-book

Friday, April 6, 2012

Song of the Week: Sing to Jesus

This is the first Friday of the month which means my song of the week theme is…. Most played song on my iPod in the past week.

I cannot tell you the most played song, because my laptop is still out of commission, and I am too lazy to set-up my iTunes elsewhere. BUT, I do know which artist I gravitated towards most, AND I know which song is in my head most.

These words have brought peace and comfort.

Come, you weary
And He will give you rest

These words are very fitting for the day - Good Friday.

Come and see
Look on this mystery
Lord of the universe
Nailed to a tree

Christ our God
Spilling His holy blood
Bowing in anguish
His sacred head

Truly, this song - Sing to Jesus by Fernando Ortega soothes the soul; peace is felt.

The music - soothing voice and meaningful lyrics - of Fernando Ortega seems to be my "comfort music" for this year, so far.

Has a song brought you a sense of peace?


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFever

“... while I am Death's daughter and walk in His dark shadow, surely the darkness can give way to light sometimes.”

Grave Mercy
His Fair Assassin, book one
by Robin LaFever
copyright: 2012
publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
format: e-book
pages: 560 for hardcover
source: NetGalley
finished reading: March 25, 2012

Read for... A NetGalley ARC that looked very interesting.

Back Cover: Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.
Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make.

First Sentence:
I bear a deep red stain that runs from my left shoulder down to my right hip, a trail left by the herbwitch’s poison that my mother used to try to expel me from her womb.

My Thoughts: The cover gained my interest, and then the description reeled me in. I had high hopes for a good YA fantasy story. I was not disappointed. This is one very good and intriguing fantasy within a historical backdrop of 15th century Brittany . Whoa! Fantasy and history in one book - my two favorite genres blended wonderfully albeit more fantasy than history- I was in reading bliss.

Robin LaFever crafted a fabulous story full of twisting and turning intrigue which was steeped in fantasy elements, political maneuverings, superstitions, internal conflict, and all with a dab of romance. This is not a high-action, kick-butt adventure story. Rather, it was driven by a smart plot with smart characters who displayed the ability to figure things out with not only intellect but also with emotion. This is not a in-your-face story. It smoothly flows from page-to-page, gaining your attention bit by bit along the way. And for certain, my attention was claimed. While I could come up for air, from time to time, as the story builds and subtly releases information; I was not bored once. Quite the opposite. I greatly appreciated the subtleness.

Ismae, our narrator, brought the reader along on her journey from barely escaping an arranged brutal marriage to being brought under the guidance of the Convent at St. Mortain. There she grows and learns the skills necessary to fulfill her duties for the god of death. The Convent gives her purpose, and restores her life. While there, Ismae learned the art of discernment and to maintain her own integrity. There is much to admire about Ismae.

Yes, there is intrigue. Things are going on, and discoveries need to be made. History is turning, lives are changing. Through all that, a romance starts. I did indeed enjoy the relationship between Ismae and Duval. Their romance does not over-power as it slowly builds and remains secondary in the characters’ minds. It really is a good love story with tastefully handled moments. Not all-consuming, but quite important.

While I greatly enjoyed the narrative, there were a few moments, early on, that I felt were a bit forced, chunky, and too many “tellings” rather than “showing”. Thankfully, the bump in this story’s path smoothed out and continued weaving plot and characters throughout with a great pace, and enough detail for much interest.

I liked the convent aspect, but could not fully embrace serving the god of death. It seemed evil and wrong to me, even though the message was ultimately not evil. I think, for me, the god of death equates with serving of dark - it connotates evil and wrongness in my mind. Like I said, the story did indeed have a good message, at the end. Do you want to avenge or show mercy? Mercy is a far better way to live life.

Bottom line: Beyond the minor narrative issue, and the focus on the god of death - this book receives no complaints from me. It is a full story dipped with a fabulous romance that is nicely written. The characters and plot smoothly fit and worked. While this is a first book in the series, it is complete on its own. Yay for that!

Book Cover: As I mentioned, the cover grabbed my attention. I like it very much, and it suits the story.

Side Notes:

- I could not help but be reminded of Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. They are similar yet different. The story seemed to remind me of Poison Study far more earlier on, and then took on its own life. I enjoyed both books; not certain if I could rank one above the other.

- This is a YA marketed book, but outside of the fact that Ismae is 17 years old, this book does not feel YA. Many times I forgot Ismae’s age, and that of Anne (Duchess of Brittany). Anne is 12. I reminded myself of the setting; 1485 and fact is 17 was considered an adult; marrying age for certain. Ismae, and especially Anne felt and interacted in ways beyond their ages as we are accustomed to in our time of living.

- I recommend this book for an older YA reader - not the younger set.

Note Worthy Quotes:

Whenever you are ready, or if you never are, my heart is yours....”

“Surely He does not give us hearts so we may spend our lives ignoring them.”

“There is no shame in scars, Ismae.”

Sunday, April 1, 2012

What's On Your Nightstand? March Recap - April List

Last week, What's On Your Nightstand? was hosted by 5 Minutes for Books.

I will use my What's On Your Nightstand? post to recap what I read the month prior, and to list my plans for current month.

March was a pretty good reading month. I completed 4 books on my to-read list, and added a couple more based on a reading mood. Only one earned a DNF tag. A new series to love, and a YA(ish) book that gains myinterest. Also, who would've known that an essay book would be to my liking? Not I. One book, surprisingly,I did not like so well. And yet another gave me words to ponder. Yes,March was a good reading month.


Books Read - March
My "review", if done, will be hyperlinked to book title.

Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
Completed on March 1st

GoodReads Description: This witty collection of essays recounts a lifelong love affair with books and language. For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story. Writing with remarkable grace, she revives the tradition of the well-crafted personal essay, moving easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family.

- Excellent book, and for a few reasons it ranks as one of the best. While I could set it down, I was equally anticipating picking it back up again. A book I want to own.

A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd

Read for... Bess Crawford Series Read Along

Completed on March 5th

GoodReads Description: The daughter of a distinguished soldier' Bess Crawford follows in his footsteps and signs up to go overseas as a nurse during the Great War' helping to deal with the many wounded. There' serving on a hospital ship' she makes a promise to a dying young lieutenant to take a message to his brother' Jonathan Graham: "Tell Jonathan that I lied. I did it for Mother′s sake. But it has to be set right." Later' when her ship is sunk by a mine and she′s sidelined by a broken arm' Bess returns home to England' determined to fulfill her promise

- A very good book that was very hard for me to put down

An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd

Read for...Bess Crawford Series Read Along
Completed on March 18th

GoodReads Description: Tending to the soldiers in the trenches of France during the First World War, battlefield nurse Bess Crawford can’t help but notice the photo of a young pilot’s wife every time she tends to him. But then at the railway station, in a mob of troops leaving for the front, Bess glimpses her familiar face. Back in France, Bess sees a newspaper with the woman’s face on the front page. She’d been murdered—the very day Bess saw her. Bess is soon on the search for a devious and very dangerous killer—a search that will put her own life in jeopardy.

- I loved this book!

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
Read for... 2012 TBR Pile Challenge

Completed on March 20th

GoodReads Description: They carried malaria tablets, love letters, 28-pound mine detectors, dope, illustrated bibles, each other. And if they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a nightmarish war that history is only beginning to absorb. Since its first publication, The Things They Carried has become an unparalleled Vietnam testament, a classic work of American literature, and a profound study of men at war that illuminates the capacity, and the limits, of the human heart and soul.

- I liked and didn’t like this book. It did not grab me as I expected it to, but it also was not a bore.

Haunting Warrior by Erin Quinn

Read for... My Book Manifesto, it is off my shelves
Completed on March 26th

GoodReads Description: When his father vanished after uncovering the secrets of the ancient Book of Fennore, Rory McGrath transformed from an innocent boy into a troubled, cynical man. Leaving Ireland, he shunned his family, his heritage-and the very magic that defined his people for centuries.Then he began dreaming of an ethereal beauty, who calls him to return home to a destiny that will take him beyond the realm of anything he imagined.Lured to the castle ruins where his father disappeared, Rory is plunged back in time, and into the body of another man-a man betrothed to the very woman of Rory's dreams. In possession of the secrets of his past, his family, and his identity, her hold on Rory is inescapable. For she is his doom, his salvation-and his destiny.

- I liked this book, but did not love it. There are many fabulous things about Haunting Warrior; the setting, the time-travel, the plot. Yet, the characters did not fully work for me.

Hope for the Separated by Gary Chapman

Read for...a friend read this book and found it interesting, she Kindle loaned me the book.
Completed on March 26th

Goodreads Description: The unfortunate reality is that Christians are separating and divorcing at the same rate as the unbelieving world. But does separation have to mean the end' You may not feel like reconciling. You may not see hope for a reunion. But the biblical ideal for a separated couple is reconciliation. So how do you do it' When doors slam and angry words fly, when things just aren't working out, and even when your spouse has abandoned your trust, there is hope. Hope for the Separated will show you through God's Word that your marriage can be restored. Recognizing that restoration will not happen for everyone, Dr. Chapman also gives insightful advice for those who experience the pain of divorce.

- A very easy and quick read. This book focuses on attitude of an individual. Through attitude change, heart change and positive relation / action will follow suit. I agree with the premise of the book, for the most part. There is a lot of great stuff within these pages to ponder regardless of where you stand, but do not look here if you are looking for some practical “this is what you should do” type of advice. Again, the focus is more on one’s own attitude; heart and mind, mostly mind.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFever

Read for....NetGalley e-book ARC
Completed on March 28th

Goodreads Description: Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

- The cover gained my interest, and then the description reeled me in. I was not disappointed. A very good story, it was.

Did Not Finish (DNF)

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

I just could not continue on. I made it to page 50, and the thought of reading more of such entrenched allegory that would just not let up, well, it tired me out. I would much prefer more story and less allegory to make the point clear. besides, I could also not help but feel that the entire story could have been told in 100 pages, instead of stretching it out. Anyway, I could be very wrong seeing how this book is firmly thought as a wonderful classic - there is a wealth of pondering thoughts and points to take away. I am willing to try this book again at a later date. Even so, while reading, I could not help thinking - "My gosh. I made my son read this." "no wonder the boy was not eager.". He was around the age of 13. True, I had the story in audiocassette for him, but still....boring. Sorry Ben.


Books to Read - April

I doubt that I will read all the books listed. If I read a total of 5, then I will be pleased. I listed 10 for sake of choosing based on my reading mood.

1. The House of Tyneford by Natasha Solomoms
Reading for... Books and Movies April Read-Along

Description: It’s the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna. Nineteen-year-old Elise Landau is forced to leave her glittering life of parties and champagne to become a parlor maid in England. She arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay, where servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn. But war is coming, and the world is changing. When the master of Tyneford’s young son, Kit, returns home, he and Elise strike up an unlikely friendship that will transform Tyneford – and Elise – forever

2. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Reading for... Mistborn: The Final Empire Group Read hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings

The first round of questions will come our way on April 9th so there is time to still sign-up. To sign-up and see schedule, check out Mistborn: The Final Empire Group Read post. I plan on participating, but most likely on the discussion level via commenting on Carl’s blog.

GoodReads Description: What if the hero of prophecy fails? What kind of world results when the Dark Lord is in charge? The answer will be found in the Mistborn Trilogy, a saga of surprises and magical martial-arts action that begins in Mistborn.

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier "snapped" and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

3. Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

Reading for... The Little Red Reviewer Lies of Locke Lamora Read Along
Starts around mid-April for this second book of the sequence

GoodReads Description: In his highly acclaimed debut, The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch took us on an adrenaline-fueled adventure with a band of daring thieves led by con artist extraordinaire Locke Lamora. Now Lynch brings back his outrageous hero for a caper so death-defying, nothing short of a miracle will pull it off.

After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can’t rest for long—and are soon back to what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

4. A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd

Reading for... Bess Crawford Read Along

GoodReads Description: World War One battlefield nurse Bess Crawford is featured for a third time in A Bitter Truth. Bess reaches out to help an abused and frightened young woman, only to discover that no good deed ever goes unpunished when the good Samaritan nurse finds herself falsely accused of murder.

5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Reading for... Re-Read (almost done)

My past Outlander Reviews: Outlander Re-Read Thoughts: Outlander

6. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Reading for....Re-Read. I am very much in the mood for THIS book and for Jamie and Claire. I will finish Outlander re-read before jumping into this one. yes, I am skipping the second book, but that is okay and the beauty of a re-read.

My past Voyager Review: Voyager

7. The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

Reading for .... continuing the Read Aloud with Elliana, Classics Challenge, 2012 TBR Pile Challenge

GoodReads Description: One of the world's best-loved stories of shipwreck and survival, The Swiss Family Robinson portrays a family's struggle to create a new life for themselves on a strange and fantastic tropical island. Blown off course by a raging storm, the family-a Swiss pastor, his wife, their four young sons, plus two dogs and a shipload of livestock-must rely on one another in order to adapt to their needs the natural wonders of their exotic new home. Inspired by Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, this classic story of invention and adventure has fired the imaginations of readers since it first appeared in 1812. Freely translated over the years, with major sections excised and new subplots added, the novel is published here in its original English translation, fully restored for a new generation of readers.

8. Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble

Reading for... My Book Manifesto, Nook book in my e-reader

GoodReads Description: Anastasia Romanov thought she would never feel more alone than when the gunfire started and her family began to fall around her. Surely the bullets would come for her next. But they didn't. Instead, two gnarled old hands reached for her. When she wakes up she discovers that she is in the ancient hut of the witch Baba Yaga, and that some things are worse than being dead.

In modern-day Chicago, Anne doesn't know much about Russian history. She is more concerned about getting into a good college until the dreams start. She is somewhere else. She is someone else. And she is sharing a small room with a very old woman. The vivid dreams startle her, but not until a handsome stranger offers to explain them does she realize her life is going to change forever. She is the only one who can save Anastasia. But, Anastasia is having her own dreams.

9. The Fire Lord's Lover by Kathryne Kennedy

Reading for...My Book Manifesto, Nook book in my e-reader

GoodReads Description: In a magical land ruled by ruthless Elven lords, the Fire Lord's son, Dominic Raikes, plays a deadly game to conceal his growing might from his malevolent father—until his arranged bride awakens in him passions he thought he had buried forever.

Lady Cassandra has been raised in outward purity and innocence, while secretly being trained as an assassin. Her mission is to bring down the Elven Lord and his champion son. But when she gets to court, she discovers that nothing is what it seems, least of all the man she married. But beneath the gilded castles lies an unspeakable evil, greater than either Dominic or Cassandra had ever fathomed, and without each other they may not survive.

10. Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

Reading for....My Book Manifesto, Kindle book in my e-reader app

GoodReads Description: When Eva's film star sister Katrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Katrina's ashes and in doing so return her to the place where she belongs.

But Eva must also confront the ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own. For the house where she so often stayed as a child is home not only to her old friends the Halletts, but also to the people who had lived there in the eighteenth century. When Eva finally accepts that she is able to slip between centuries and see and talk to the inhabitants from hundreds of years ago, she soon finds herself falling for Daniel Butler, a man who lived--and died--long before she herself was born. Eva begins to question her place in the present, and in laying her sister to rest, comes to realise that she too must decide where she really belongs, choosing between the life she knows and the past she feels so drawn towards.



How was your March reading month?
What is on your nightstand for April?



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