Saturday, October 20, 2007


First things first, there are three additions to the blogrolls, one to each. I decided to put Bittersweet under "Bookish Blogs" because Molly tends to write about books more than anything else. YA readers, keep an eye out for Miss Molly. Trust me.

Also, Diversey Grand is back to blogging, so she'll go on, because she's cool.

AND! Working with Diversey and some other cool women, my new project is Puffery. We talk about toiletries and stuff. If you think I have opinions on books, don't get me started on bubble bath. And really, the bathtub is the best place to read books, right? It's still in its infancy, but I hope you'll check us out.

Next week Saturday, I'm going to Books for the Beast, a YA lit conference up in Baltimore.

There are two small group lit discussions, each with a 5 title reading list. I should, uh, probably get cracking on that, shouldn't I?

OK, that's a little disingenuous, as there were a few items on the list I've already read. (Private Peaceful was reviewed here and Revenge of the Witch which I blathered on about recently here. Also, Kampung Boy which is part of my reviewing backlog.)

Earlier this week, I finished two of the books. So that leaves 5 to go. So, basically, this is a read and blog weekend. I'm considering myself in training for next year's 48 hour challenge. But with a paper to write for school. And a bunch of reviews to write that aren't for the blog. And a bunch that are. My "to review" pile is staggering up. Not to mention the list. I have about 64 unblogged books right now. Aiyo.

Anyway, the ones I've read so far are... (hopefully, by the time I'm done posting, I'll know if I want pizza or Chinese for dinner and will have stopped craving sharp cheddar cheese. I don't want to go to the grocery store. It's raining. Finally.)


Double Helix by Nancy Werlin

There's always been something special about Eli. Something he can't quite put his finger on. His mother is dying a horrible, prolonged death from Huntington's. His father his pushing him to get the genetic test. Eli doesn't want to know. What would he do if the answer was yes and he knew what would happen when he reached middle age?

On a drunken impulse, Eli writes an email to Dr. Wyatt, a father of modern transgenics, asking for a job as he takes a year off between high school and college. By some miracle, he gets it. Eli's father is dead set against Eli taking the job. Eli knows his parents knew Dr. Wyatt when they were students, but what is the mystery?

How many basements does Wyatt Transgenics have?

This book raises many of the basic questions about medical and bio ethics. The twisty ending is fairly predictable, but it's very well written and a good read.

I'm just not entirely sure why it's in the suspense/horror category. I guess it's kinda suspenseful. Overall though, a good read.

No Shame, No Fear by Ann Turnbull

This is for the historical fiction section.

At the beginning of the English Restoration, Susanna Thorn leaves her rural home to find work in the city. Her father is in prison and the government has taken their cow, bed, and loom to make up for the tithes to the Church that her Quaker family hasn't paid.

William Heywood is the son of an alderman. He's just finished studying at Oxford and at the end of the summer, will start his apprenticeship to a silk merchant in London.

William and Susanna meet by chance and can't stop thinking of each other. Risking scandal, William seeks her out at meeting. They fall in love. Parliament passes the Quaker Act and meeting is outlawed. With the tumult and chaos of all the adults in their lives going to jail, William and Susanna cling to each other even more.

Told in alternating points of view, Turnbull writes a gripping and terrifying account of Quaker persecution. She works in an amazing amount of detail and history without it ever stepping over the story.

My only problems lie in the love affair. Will turns to Quakerism and leaves the values he was raised with behind at the drop of a hat. It seems really sudden. He never really questions turning away from his family and the luxury he was raised in.

Also, they go a lot further than you usually see in historical fiction. (Seventeenth century petting?!) I'm wavering on this. I know what was "proper" in the context, but hormones are hormones, and I've also wondered if there is a research gap between the proper ideal and the practice of real life.

That said, the Chinese food is on its way I need to go find out What Happened to Cass McBride?


Lotus Reads said...

Welcome back! Thank you for the reviews and for pointing us to some terrific blogs, I'm going to be checking them out right away!

Jennie said...

Thanks Lotus. Life has been kind of crazy lately. These last 2 days in particular. Ai yai yai.