Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summer Reading Program

Our library is having its Adult Summer Reading Program.  It’s a program designed to encourage adults (18 yrs +) to read more.  You can include audio books, digital books and, of course, books made of paper but no cheating by thinking “I’ve seen the movie, the book can’t be different – mark that down as read”.  No, no – you must read (or listen to) the book.  Participants keep a log of the books and at the end of the program, turn in the list.  The library has gone to various local business owners and obtained prizes for a drawing.  The individual book logs get put into a box and names are drawn out to win the prizes. 

Honestly – my first thought was – too bad adults have to be bribed with a prize to read.  Second thought - Wow!  I like to read.  Easy peasy.  This is the first year I’ve signed up.  So, here are a few books for your summer reading program –

The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart
This is the first of a trilogy about the Arthur Legend.  Originally it came out in 1970.  I read it way back then and the other day while looking for something else, I came across it again.  It’s just as good a read 40 years later.  The Crystal Cave is written from the view of Merlin (Myrddin Emrys).  It opens when he is a very young child in Wales, the illegitimate son of a Welsh princess.  The Romans have recently left Britain, which is now divided into a number of kingdoms, loosely united under a High King.  This first book ends with the birth of Arthur, when Merlin is still a youngish man.   Between the first page and the last, there are mysteries, mayhem, wars, illicit love affairs, miracles, historical events, magic.  It’s good – gets 5 STARS.

Ok, so the next couple of books fit perfectly in the “easy summer read” category.  Still, they are very entertaining and I enjoyed them.

Devil May Care by Elizabeth Peters
Ellie is to house-sit for her eccentric aunt, who lives in one of the oldest towns in Virginia.  The aunt has a large number of cats and dogs, the primary reason for Ellie’s house sitting.  However as soon as her aunt leaves, ghostly manifestations start happening.  Descendants of the towns six founding families quarrel and interfere and generally cause trouble as Ellie and a neighbor, Donald Gold, attempt to figure out just what is going on.  Entertaining – yes.  Stars - hmmm, maybe 3.7.

 The Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters
In an English manor house, modern admirers of King Richard III (one of Shakespeare's big bad villains) are gathered for a weekend of make believe and discussion.  Thomas (a Ricardian) invites his friend Jacqueline Kirby to the house party where he and other Ricardians dress like historical figures of the time.  However, all does not go as planned when a prankster starts recreating the murders of Richard III. Although no one is seriously injured, Jacqueline is convinced the accidents are leading up to an actual killing.  One of the fun things about this book is that the “Sherlock Homes” sleuth is a woman and the "Watson" is a man.  Very entertaining.  Easy read.  Stars – 4. 

Working for Bigfoot by Jim Butcher
First of all – I like the Harry Dresden books – all of them.  They have everything I like – magic, wizards, vampires, trolls, ghouls, lions, tigers and bears!  That said, Working for Bigfoot is comprised of 3 novellas, about three different cases Harry does for Strength of a River in His Shoulders, one of the legendary forest people, a Bigfoot.  Good, good, good.  Entertaining – yes lots!  Stars – at least 5.

Now, these last two are the kind of books I generally like – witches, fae, magic, good/bad guys and so forth.  However, they do fit into the Romance category which is not normally my choice of book.

Moonshadow by Thea Harrison
There are two protagonists in this book.  LAPD consulting witch Sophie Ross and Nickolas Sevigny, a Daoine Sidhe (Knight of the Dark Court).  Sophie has been tasked with a challenge to enter a magically sealed house in England.  After arriving, she quickly becomes involved in an ancient war between the sidhe Dark and Light Courts.  And, things proceed from there.  Sophie and Nickolas are totally opposite and continually at odd with one another.  Nickolas was born in the time of long ago kings while Sophie is a modern woman.  It’s ok – although way more “romancey” than I usually like but the story is entertaining.  I’d give it 3 stars.

Then the second book in this series continues the story about the Dark Court vs the Light Court although the characters are mostly different.  Morgan was introduced in book one.  Book two is his story.

Spellbinder by Thea Harrison
 The story is about kidnapped Sidonie Martel, an extraordinary musician but a total human without any magical ability and Morgan Le Fae, a powerful sorcerer and enslaved captive of Isabeau of the Light Court.  Honestly, I didn’t enjoy this one much at all.  It went right off the skids into hot sex without a saving story line.  I rather doubt I’d read a third one if it comes along.  Stars - one droopy star.

I am currently listening to Dune by Frank Herbert.  Yes, I read it back in the late 1960’s when it first came out but much time has passed since then.  Yep, yep – good, good, good.  After that – I have a stack of 5 more books (visiting Amazon is dangerous!) to read. 

Take care

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