I'm a mom of 3 kids, and I love to read and watch movies, and I'm picky about what my kids read and watch.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

BOOK: Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants
by Sara Gruen

Ugh.  I tried.  I really tried.  I couldn't take it.  I abandoned this book about 1/4 of the way through.... too much to be disgusted by; language, sexuality and violence.  This book has it all if that's the kind of trash you are looking for.

BOOK: The Secret Keeper

The Secret Keeper
by Kate Morton

The first book I read by this author (The Forgotten Garden) was compelling and shocking so I expected the same from this book.  I was not disappointed!  It grips you from the very first chapter and never lets go.  The title suggests there is a big secret, but you will never guess what it is.

There is some mild language and violence (nothing graphic), and mild sexuality (mostly implied).

Recommended for:  Adults

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

BOOK: The Magic Thief (Book One)

The Magic Thief
by Sarah Prineas

One of my friends received this book as a gift from a friend years ago but no one ever read it.  When my 9-year-old was sick this summer (and his siblings were out of town) I wanted to read aloud to him and decided to give this one a try.  We were both delightfully surprised.  The story is fun and compelling and the writing is decent (I was occasionally annoyed by the clunky style, but that may have been mostly because I was reading it aloud).  It is a bit of a Harry Potter rip off, but that's OK.... the author knows what sells to kids. 

There is no offensive language, but a bit of very mild violence (thugs beating up a boy), and a few mildly frightening scenes. 

Recommended for:  Ages 8-12

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

BOOK: A Mortal Curiosity

A Mortal Curiosity
by Ann Granger

I enjoyed this sequel to the The Companion, a Lizzy Martin mystery set in Victorian England.  It's a compelling and clever story that kept me guessing.  Like the first book in the series, the characters take turns narrating (mostly Lizzy and the detective with whom she is romantically involved), which I find annoying in some books, but it mostly works here. 

It's a murder mystery so there is necessarily some violence that occurs but it's not graphic (mostly implied), but nothing else that might be offensive.

Recommended for:  Adults

Monday, August 26, 2013

BOOK: Midnight in Austenland (Shannon Hale)

Midnight in Austenland
by Shannon Hale

I read the author's Austenland years ago and enjoyed it, giggling through it and finding it mostly silly and predictable.  But still, very fun.  I expected much of the same from this book but was surprised, and not in a bad way.  Though the premise is still the same (single woman, Jane Austen fan, struggling with love life spends time at a fantasy Austen-theme park) the story takes a turn into a bit of mystery and suspense.  

There may have been some mild language, but if there was I don't remember any.  And because this a "Austenland" everything is very proper.... translation:  no sex scenes. 

Recommended for:  Women 16 and up

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

BOOK: The Shoemaker's Wife

The Shoemaker's Wife
by Adriana Trigiani

I thoroughly enjoyed this marvelous novel based on the lives of the author's grandparents.  I don't really know how to describe this book without giving a summary of the story, but I don't believe in summarizing.  So, I will just say that it's a wonderful story about people who live, love, struggle, survive, and thrive.  They endure change (and sometimes embrace it) and find the beauty in hard work.  They know what really matters and they make sacrifices for it.

The book is well-written, though sometimes the descriptions go on a little long.  Most of the time it was charming, but occasionally I just wanted the story to move forward faster.  There is a bit of language and a few scenes of mature subject matter but nothing truly offensive.

Recommended for:  Adults

Friday, April 12, 2013

BOOK: Friday's Child

Friday's Child
by Georgette Heyer

Every time I read one of Heyer's extremely enjoyable novels I can't help but think, "Why on earth has this book not been made into a film?  BBC, where are you?  This is perfect material for your audience!"  This book is particularly suited for film... I can well imagine it as a delightful and extremely popular "Masterpiece" mini-series.

I don't know how she managed to do it, but though every one of her novels is set in similar circumstances and setting, they are all quite unique in plot and character development.  As in the other Heyer novels I have read, I found myself frequently sighing, grinning, or laughing out loud.  Even though I knew all would end well, I found myself on the edge of seat, eager to find out what would happen next, never quite sure who would end up with whom, or how the author could possibly bring it all around to the inevitable "happily ever after."  What can I say?  It's just pure fun!

None of Georgette Heyer's books contain anything offense other than an occasional mild swear word or reference to a dishonorable man who has taken advantage of some naive damsel. 

Recommended for.... anyone who loves to read and be entertained!