Notes from Mt. Bookpile

A much better quarter than last: 55 books read!

Children's/Young Adult
  • Cathy's Book, Sean Stewart Not as interesting as it thinks it is; trying too hard to be a bit "different" (with links to websites, drawings, scribbled notes) but not good enough a plot to really care
  • Daughter of Light, Pamela Walker good for Middle School girls - a little fantasy, a little realism, and a very strong female lead
  • Evil Star, Anthony Horowitz Suffers a bit from sequel syndrome, but otherwise a good read; just lay off the repetition (I got it the first time when one character was described as "the female Bill Gates"!)
  • The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas, Tracy Mack Not a bad version of the Baker Street Irregulars (and I'm glad they changed the title from the original, "Amazing Wallendas"!)
  • The Floating Island, Elizabeth Haydon Fun start to an interesting series; if all the books are this good, should keep YAs happy for a few years
  • Framed, Frank Cottrel Boyce Very cute, and a good lesson in Art History, too boot
  • Good Girls, Laura Ruby One of those "lesson" books, but not so heavy-handed that it'll turn kids off
  • Grace's Turn, Christy Carlson Romano Can't imagine where Christy got the idea for this plot... This was tested on three YAs and they all liked it, so the star of "Kim Possible" and "Even Stevens" may have another career on her hands!
  • Hell Phone, William Sleator Tested this one on a few YAs and they thought it was too scary for the suggested age group (that and the plot didn't grab them).
  • Homefront Doris Gwaltney Not bad historical fiction, from WWII
  • The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs, Jack Gantos 'nuff said
  • Notes from the Midnight Driver, Jordan Sonnenblick Again, a no-so-heavy-handed message/lesson learned book
  • Nova and the Charmed Three, Tea Emesse Just tried too hard to be good for the target audience, rather than letting the story flow
  • Pirate Curse, Kai Meyer Not just pirates, but girl pirates. Who could resist?
  • Revenge of the Shadow King, Derek Benz "Normal" teens caught in supernatural stuff... yawn
  • The Road to Inconceivable, J. M. De Matteis Hints of other books kept intruding, but I think younger readers won't notice (or mind)
  • Secret in the Tower, Candice Ransom A American History version of the Magic Treehouse series - young kids should like this one
  • Secret of the Spiritkeeper, Matt Forbeck Sigh. Yet another one written for an age group, not because it's actually a good story.
  • Sold, Patricia McCormick Harrowing story, and not for the younger reader
  • Stones of Abraxas, K.Osborn Sullivan Another "feels like I've read it before" book
  • Storm Thief, Chris Wooding I've read similar before, but this has just enough of a twist to be enjoyable
  • Such a Pretty Girl, Laura Weiss Again, pretty harrowing and not for the younger reader, but older (teens+) readers might enjoy it
  • Urchin and the Heartstone, M. I. McAllister A sort-of "Redwall" for the younger kids, and pretty readable

  • A Princess of Roumania, Paul Park Set in "our" world and "another" Roumania, and suffering mightly from being the first in a series
  • Almost Friends, Philip Gulley Ok, if I said "quiet" about a Quaker book, would you hate me? Because that's exactly what this is, and definitely a series I'll be checking out more.
  • Ancestor Stones, Aminatta Forna An interesting look at Africa's history, told by four different women (all wives of the same man, and aunts to the "narrator")
  • Big Hair and Flying Cows, Dolores J. Wilson Not my cup of tea. But someone else might like it
  • CoronadoDennis Lehane 'Nuff said
  • The Expected One, Kathleen McGowan I can, and will, probably go on at some length about this genre, but for right now, all I'll say is NO THANKS
  • I, Mona Lisa, Jeanne Kalogridis Good historical fiction, but this obsession with Leonardo is just eluding me
  • Keep Going, Joseph M. Marshall Newage
  • The Last Wife of Henry VIII, Carolly Erickson Historical fiction, but with less history than I'd like
  • Sabine, A.P. Ohhh - French girls... possible lesbianism... smoking... possible vampirism...yawn
  • Saffron and Brimstone, Elizabeth Hand Bizarre series of short stories, but well worth reading
  • Spider Kiss, Harlan Ellison'Nuff said
  • Versus, Keiko Yamada My first manga. And possibly my last, but not because I thought it was bad - just too confusing as to how to read the damn things!
  • Winkie Clifford Chase Tried too hard to be weird, but for weirdness sake: when a teddy bear comes to life (Pinocchio? Velveteen Rabbit?), gives birth and becomes a suspected terrorist, it's just too much
  • The Zero, Jess Walter If you enjoyed Memento, you'll like this (and the setting doesn't really matter)



  • The Bookwoman's Last Fling, John Dunning Good, competent, but the magic in the series isn't quite there
  • Caught Stealing Charlie Huston For lovers of hard core
  • Dying Flames, Robert Barnard seems to be a one-off (not a series book) and enjoyable
  • Dying Light, Stuart MacBrideFor lovers of hard core procedurals
  • Kiss Her Goodbye Allan Guthrie, Yet another hard core procedural
  • The Oxygen Murder, Camille Minichino A little too cozy, but I think my father will like it (the main sleuth is a physicist)
  • The Rossiter File and Undertow Thomas Rendell Curran Nice procedural series set in post-WWII Newfoundland
  • Unseen, Mari Jungstedt Set in Sweden; saw the twist from a mile away but not bad otherwise


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