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Bibliophile on Parade

Since I was a kids books have been the center of my life. The first book I ever really wanted to own was a copy of Dracula. My mother said no (I was eight). Since then I collected over 1700 books and with the e-reader I have downloaded over 300 more. I own 32 different copies of Dracula, 16 copies of Jane Eyre, and 7 copies of Shadows of the Wind. Even though I own an e-reader, it will diminish my desire to own and collect books. The smell of old is so enticing to me. If Frebreeze ever wanted to make a killing off of me they would create Old Book scent. Pure heaven.

Steampunk, Tea and Adventure

The Parasol Protectorate Boxed Set: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless and Timeless (Alexia Tarabotti) - Gail Carriger

Meet Alexia Tarabotti, spinster, daughter of an Italian, and lover of tea and treacle tarts.  She is your typical lady of good breeding in Victorian society, except for one little secret that few know, she is soulless.  Alexia is what the supernatural world refers to as a preternatural.  If she touches a supernatural being she temporally neutralizers their powers while they are in contact.  Vampires and werewolves become regular human beings and ghosts are exorcised (unfortunately for ghosts her touch is a permanent state).

Alexia has managed to keep her "condition" a secret from her friends and family, only agents of BUR, like the charming (sorry there is no sarcasm font) Lord Maccon, pack leader of the werewolves and a constant source of criticism where Alexia is concerned.  The story begins with book one, Soulless, Alexia is attending a party where she accidentally kills a rogue vampire who attacks her in the library.  Convinced that something is afoot she is determined to find out where this vampire came from and why he did not know who she was.  Attempting to keep her and his temper under control, Lord Maccon is tasked with solving this dilemma as well as the sudden disappearance of other vampires and werewolves across London.

What adds to the deliciousness of these stories is the entertaining and hilarious courtship of Alexia by Lord Maccon.  They have the same type of romance one would liken to old couples who have been married for years, but you are never sure why they got married in the first place because they act as if they despise each other.  Aided by their friends and collegues, Professor Lyall, Ivy Hisslepenny, and Lord Akeldama, this unlikely couple delve into a secret society that threatens every supernatural creature in England, and perhaps the world.

If you like steampunk, Victorian London, tea, adventure, supernatural beings, and bad hats, this is the series for you.  Each is better than the next and carriage rides will be the same again. :)

Greywalker Series is that Great Series You Were Looking For

Poltergeist (Greywalker, Book 2) - Kat Richardson

Several years ago I was setting up a display at work when this book "Poltergeist" by Kat Richardson caught my eye.  I picked it up and started reading the back in a second I was hooked.  Event though this is the second book in the series (book one is, "Greywalker"), it is still my favorite so far in the series.

These are the chronicles of PI Harper Blaine, who was attacked and beaten to the point of death.  After being dead for 2 minutes Harper is revived and discovers she is now a Greywalker, one who can navigate between the grey veil that separates our world from the world of the dead (or in some case undead).  Her world is turned upside down as she must learn to control this new ability while trying to stay off the radar of those who will try to use her for their own agendas.

The story lines in each book are intertwined and add layers to each new book in the series (fans of the Dresden Files will really enjoy these books).  The characters we meet are thoughtfully created and are either very endearing or terrifying to Harper's life.

In this story Harper is called upon to investigate a possible poltergeist that seems to haunting a university research group and now appears to have murdered one of the members of the group. As she digs deeper she discovers that the poltergeist was artificially created and may be controlled by one of the group members.  There is one great chase seen where Harper is hunting the poltergeist and she chases it through Seattle's downtown shopping district (she finally corners it in the Science Fiction Fantasy section of Barnes & Noble). 

Check out this series, it will be one you cannot put down and you will be begging for more in the series. 



One of the Greatest Writers of All Time

The Shadow of the Wind - Lucia Graves, Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Carlos Ruiz Zafon can be compared to some of the greatest artists of all time,  The way he writes can be compared to composer write symphonies or the way an artist paints a grand landscape, it is true harmony and beauty in the making.

Shadow of the Wind was Zafon's first novel in the US.  It is the intriguing story of love, loss, pain, mystery and secrets that can destroy everyone.  I cannot tell more for fear of ruining this tale for others to read.  Trust me when I say, you will not be disappointed.

If you doubt my assessment simply to Zafon's website and read "Why I Write."  It reminds who true writers are and the beloved gifts they impart to us.

For now I will simply say, Enjoy.

The Girl Who Started it All

The Secret of the Old Clock  - Carolyn Keene

I have two words for great mysteries, NANCY DREW.

Ever since my grandmother gave me the first book in this series when I was 8 years old I have been a devote lover of the Nancy Drew series.  Nancy is  a awesome character and great role model for young girls every where.  She is her own person and is not afraid to go where most girls (and some boys) would not dare to tread.  She is fearless and courageous, plus she is stylish and drives the coolest car in the world.

For the last 6 years I have been collecting the original cover editions of this series (2 more and I have the original series in the pre-yellow covers).

Say What You Want

Twilight - Stephenie Meyer

Okay, I am sure that everyone out there has an opinion on either this book or the movie or the writer.

I am going to say, "I don't care"

I had the distinct advantage of reading this novel before it was even released, and I loved it!!

If you look closely it is a typical tale of teens in love that are torn apart by the rules of society, you know she's human, he's a vampire, how will it ever work?  I know many readers dislike this book because they see Bella as the perpetual damsel in distress and Edward as the knight who berates and saves her.  This is not the story I read.  I saw a couple who struggle to make this impossible relationship work, and they will do anything to protect each other from any harm, especially Bella the so-called damsel.

Take another read, you might see a new story than the one everyone presumes it to be.


A Child's Voice, No Matter How Honest, is Often Ignored.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel - Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is the tale of a man who returns to his hometown and ends up getting lost in the memory of the day his world was turned upside down.  When he discovered that monsters are real, magic cannot save us all, and sometimes our parents do not always have the answers or believe what we see to be true.

If you wish to truly get the best benefit of this novel, read it first, then check out the audio book (read by Gaiman), it is a true treat.

True Love

Velveteen Rabbit - Margery Williams

I have a teddy bear that I have had for years named Daniel.  He is my Velveteen Rabbit.  My constant companion, sitting silently on my bed.  Listening to problems, cuddling with me on bad nights, or traveling the world with me (never leave home with out him), he is always there when I need him.

Okay now that you know way too much about that, The Velveteen Rabbit is a beautifully written story about a young boy and his bond with his stuffed rabbit.  This story will break your heart and make you smile all in the same moment.  I promise you will look at your favorite toy in a whole new light.

Sweet Valley High Series

Sweet Valley High: Three Novels - Francine Pascal

I know to many this series may seem like a bad after school special. BUT, it had a huge impact on my life growing up.  I was not the popular girl at school and by sharing in the lives of the Elizabeth and Jessica, I felt that all of us were the same underneath our outer shells.  We were insecure, troubled and heartbroken.  I love these books, event today I will still grab one off the shelf (yes, I still have the complete set) and dive back into that world of teenage angst.

Recently, Francine Pascal the creator of this series, revisited Sweet Valley in 2 adult novels.  I am not going to lie, they are written in the same style as her teen books, but jumping back into that world was a solid gold treat that any lover of Sweet Valley would love and appreciate.