Monday, September 19, 2011

The Faerie Ring by KiKi Hamilton

It's just over a week from the release date of Kiki Hamilton's The Faerie Ring. I've been excited about this book since I first heard about it months ago. Here's the trailer for the book, for your viewing pleasure!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Man in the Moon by William Joyce

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Title: The Man in the Moon
Series: The Guardians of Childhood
Author: William Joyce
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 56
ISBN: 9781442430419
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Author Website: www.theguardiansofchildhoodbooks.com
Twitter: @simonschuster
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4/5 stars

Product Description From Amazon:
Up there in the sky.

Don’t you see him?

No, not the moon.

The Man in the Moon.

He wasn’t always a man.

Nor was he always on the moon.

He was once a child.

Like you.

Until a battle,

a shooting star,

and a lost balloon

sent him on a quest.

Meet the very first guardian of childhood.

MiM, the Man in the Moon.

Charming. That's the simplest, most appropriate word to describe The Man in the Moon, the first offering from William Joyce and his The Guardians of Childhood series of picture books and chapter books. It's a simple little story about how MiM, the Man in the Moon, came to live in the moon. I could really make this review all spoilery, but since the book is so short (it is a picture book, after all), I'll just leave it at impressions. Joyce creates a world for MiM that is both beautiful and slightly dark, breathing new life into some of our favorite early childhood fairy tales (here's a hint: the next book that will be available is a chapter book titled Nicholas St. North). Joyce's art has its usual flair and distinctive look, and it really adds to the overall feel of the story. I'm glad that I picked this up and will be looking forward to the rest of the series!

I know this is a short review, but really, you should just pick up The Man in the Moon and discover its joy for yourself.

Happy reading!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Catching up on reviews

Faithful Readers, reading continues to be slow. I'm still getting all my ducks in a row from the whirlwind crazy that was this past summer, but I thought I needed to get a couple of reviews done. I've never been so far behind in all the years that I've run From My Bookshelf.

So. I'm going to be reviewing like mad for the next couple of weeks. I'm going to schedule these out a little so that they don't all come crashing in at once, but I want to try to get back on track.

Nothing else to see here. Carry with your usual day. And watch some Doctor Who. It's amazing.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai

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Title: The Borrower
Author: Rebecca Makkai
Narrator: Emily Bauer
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780670022816
ISBN: 9781611744460 (audiobook)
Publisher: Viking Adult
Audio Production: HighBridge Company
Author Website: rebeccamakkai.com
Twitter: @rebeccamakkai, @VikingBooks
Format: Audiobook (received through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program from publisher)
Rating: 4/5 stars

From Amazon:
In this delightful, funny, and moving first novel, a librarian and a young boy obsessed with reading take to the road.

Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy's help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes with celebrity Pastor Bob. Lucy stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from Pastor Bob and the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path. But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the man who seems to be on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

First and foremost, your going to have to have a rather elevated suspension of disbelief when getting into this story, but it's worth it. Lucy Hull is a children's librarian in Hannibal, MO, when she inadvertently kidnaps Ian Drake, a 10-year-old boy who Lucy has grown fond of because of his love of reading. He may or may not be gay, and it appears that Ian's parents are trying to "de-gay" him through an Evangelical pastor. Lucy knows in her heart that this is wrong, so when Ian turns up in the library one morning where he had obviously slept the previous night after running away from home, Lucy doesn't do much to stop him when Ian "blackmails" her into driving him to Vermont to see his grandmother. This is where the story becomes a little far-fetched; I had a hard time believing that Lucy would actually go along with Ian, at least to driving such a long distance. But Rebecca Makkai made Lucy and Ian such likable characters, and while their adventure seems completely implausible, I still enjoyed every moment of it, cheering them on throughout their cross-country caper.

Makkai has a great sense of humor that she sprinkles throughout her story. I found myself laughing out loud several times while listening to the story. She's also able to add in a decent amount of emotion to her story; I found myself genuinely concerned for the outcome of the story and what was going to happen to Ian and following Lucy's revelation about her own life, what was going to happen to her. For a debut book, Rebecca Makkai has impressed me. I'll be looking out for more by her in the future.

I'm pretty sure that I would have enjoyed this story had I been reading it, but Emily Bauer's narration was just so damned good. She has a great reading voice and brought the "just right" touches to so many parts of the story. I would love to find more books narrated by her.

If you're looking for a fun book and don't mind a slightly far-fetched storyline, I'd recommend The Borrower; if you're looking for something of the same to listen to on your commute, I'd recommend it even more. You won't be disappointed.


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