Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Review: Along for the Ride

Light enough for the beach but filled with characters that are fleshed out just enough to leave you wanting more, Along for the Ride is a good lighthearted read that's perfect when you just want to relax.

Auden West is a teenage academic pro and the daughter of Dr. Victoria West, English professor extraordinaire, and Robert West, an "in the works" writer. Her parents are divorced, and her father is remarried to a twentysomething young thing named Heidi. Auden's summer begins with an invitation from her stepmother to come visit them and the new baby, a girl named Thisbe. (It's from Shakespeare, Auden's dad explains. He likes names with character.) Uncharacteristically, Auden decides to visit, realizing that this could be her last chance to connect with her dad before college starts, and later, her life as an adult.

By the end of the novel, she's learned a lot about relationships with people (and not just the boyfriend kind-- her family and new friends as well). I liked this book because you get to see the main character grow as a person, but you also see the people around her grow as well. Most of the characters in this book started off being complete jerks, but as the novel progressed, they learned a bit from their mistakes and tried to become better people. As Adam and Maggie have taught her, it's worth it to keep trying.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Book Review: Sleeping Murder

Gwenda Reed, New Zealand native, is house shopping in England. Her new husband Giles is still abroad, and she's looking for a place where they can both settle down and raise a family. She's eager to find a nice house and begin getting it ready for him. She finds a beautiful house in Dillmouth and buys it, but that's where the trouble starts... from the uncanny familiarity of the house to the frighteningly shadowed memories of Gwenda's childhood, it's definitely a case for Miss Marple!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Book Review: Murder With Mirrors

A Miss Marple mystery by Agatha Christie, Murder With Mirrors is also published under the name They Do It With Mirrors. While visiting her friend Carrie Louise Serrocold, Miss Jane Marple senses that all is not quite right. Carrie Louise and her husband Lewis run a 'College' for young criminals to try and turn them away from their life of crime. Someone seems to be trying to poison good-hearted Carrie Louise, but she herself can't believe that anyone would try to do such a thing. Suspicion in such cases would naturally fall to the husband-- but Mr. Serrocold seems genuinely concerned for her health and appears to love her very much. Is it one of the young criminals, who are not allowed outside after dark? Or is it a family member after Carrie Louise's money? Everyone has a motive! Miss Marple must find out what's really beneath the surface before it's too late.

finished scarf!

It *only* took me six months or so, but it's finished at last! The scarf is made of 3 full skeins of Sugar 'n' Cream yarn, and the fringe consists of 35 pieces of yarn per side, varying color depending on the color of yarn in the rows above it. Not at all bad for a first-time knitter, and I now have something I can wear in the winter! I'm especially excited about this because I rarely complete projects I start (I usually grow bored about halfway through), but a friend encouraged me to finish and this is what I produced. :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Book Review: And Then There Were None

Also published under the title Ten Little Indians, this is an thrilling page-turner that will keep you up at night if you don't finish it in one sitting! Ten people are invited to a house on Indian Island. Slowly it's revealed that each of them have a rather sketchy past. One by one they are murdered-- but who's killing them, and why? (I can't say more or I'll spoil it entirely!) This is probably one of Agatha Christie's best works, and overall a chilling but excellent read.