Sunday, January 27, 2013

The House at Tyneford

The House at Tyneford
by Natasha Solomons

Genre: Historical Fiction

Review: When you run out of Downton Abbey episodes, you can get your fix by reading this book! Elise is living a life of luxury in 1938 Vienna with her opera singer mother, Anna, and Julian, novelist father, and musical sister Margot. She doesn't quite fit in with them, but also doesn't realize how much she love sher family until she is forced to leave Austria for Tyneford, England.

Working as a domestic servant may save her life. She falls in love with the sea, the classic English manor house with gardens, and golden-boy heir Kit and his kind father, Mr. Rivers. Solomon writes amazing setting descriptions with a well-paced plot--unique among the WWII novels.  

Song to Read by: Downton Abbey opening theme

Semi-Charmed Life

Semi-Charmed Life
by Nora Zelevansky

Genre: Women's fiction

Review: Bea is facing the classic college-senior dilemma: What next? She is thinking about freedom vs. security, and she wants a taste of adventure. Hailing from the artsy Bernstein family that never leaves Manhattan, she's ready for soemthing new. Her ordinary life ends when Veruca, the latest famous-for-being-famous media darling, sweeps her into her whirlwind socialite lifestyle with a hint of magic and sinister-ness. The novel has a cute love story, quirky sense of humor, and relatable characters.

Song to read by: "Don't You Worry Child" by Swedish House Mafia

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Catching Fire Movie Photos

Just a few photos from the movie adaptation of Catching Fire, Part II in the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The photos were released by Entertainment Weekly.,,20419951_20662753,00.html#21262793

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Isabel Dalhousie is back!

The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds
by Alexander McCall Smith

Genre: Mystery series

Review: I love this thoughtful series. Readers follow Isabel, a philosopher and amateur sleuth, on her ruminations and adventures as she helps others and negotiates domestic life with her husband Jamie, niece Cat, friend Eddie, baby Charlie, and her indomitable housekeeper. Once again, Edinburgh is a character in the story, as is the Scottish countryside. In this installment of the series, Isabel helps a friend of a friend search for a stolen painting with a deeper meaning.

Delightful Author Website:

If you live in Southern CA, this author is coming to Newport Beach Public Library for a as part of the Witte Lecture series: 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Silver Linings

Silver Linings Playbook
By Matthew Quick

Genre: Literary Fiction/Popular Fiction

I saw the movie first, before reading the book, and loved it! Then I received the book for Christmas. The movie is quite different from the book, but both are good in their own ways.

Review: Pat Peoples is out of the mental institution, determined to find the silver lining in every life event, to gain good character, read through his ex-wife Nikki’s English syllabus and get in extremely good shape in order to win her back.  The reader follows Pat through his transition back into regular life, from therapy sessions, to Eagles games, to spending time with the beautiful yet disturbed Tiffany. The character’s voice is funny, approachable, yet heartbreakingly honest, kind of like Holden Caulfield at 35.

Read it and go see the movie!

Author Website: Link to Movie Trailer is on his website.

Song to Read by:Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler