Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Curses Dark as Gold

A Curse Dark As Gold is a brilliantly woven tale filled with romance, ghosts, witchcraft, folk magic, the struggles of Georgian society set in rural 18th century England. The characters are distinct and language effortlessly weaves the story around you. From start to finish I was drawn into this tale and found myself thinking about the characters and the story long after I had finished it--always a good sign.

Upon the death of her father, seventeen-year-old Charlotte inherits the family business--the Stirwaters woolen mill. But the mill is in trouble and the townspeople talk in hushed voices of a curse on the mill that goes back generations.

Charlotte doesn't believe in the curse, but even she can't explain away some of the strange happenings at the mill. As the mill falls further and further into debt, Charlotte will do anything to save the mill even if it means striking up a bargain with Jack Straw. A strange little man who can spin gold out of straw--for a price.

With an uncle who apparently wants to help and a rival woolen mill poised to take over Stirwaters, Charolotte bargain with Jack Straw appears to created a web that will destroy all she holds dear--the mill, her family, the townsfolk, and her heart.

A Curse Dark As Gold is a brilliantly woven tale filled with ghosts, witchcraft, folk magic, the struggles of Georgian society, and of course romance. Bunce does a wonderful job of creating characters that are distinct and language that weaves the story effortlessly around you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What do you do?

I know I haven't posted a review in awhile and it's not because I haven't been reading, I have, but rather because I haven't been able to fully recommend the books I've been reading. (When I started the blog it was with the intention of only blogging about the books I LOVED).

I call it the "they were good except for fill in the blank" problem. The stories were great and kept me entertained, but then "bam" something would be thrown. I have a really hard time when "adult" things are thrown into YA literature. (I don't like seeing it in adult novels, but I feel that the readership is better able to handle it)

A majority of the last novels I've read had references to sex--from fantasies to it actually happening-- drugs, drinking, smoking, violence and language. I even picked up an "award winning" YA novel only to find the main characters having sex in the first paragraph. I didn't read the rest of the novel, but upon further investigating I found that the novel included sex, rape, and sodomy among it's adult themes.

I think glamorizing immorality, drugs, drinking, and smoking in YA novels is a scary trend. It sends the wrong message and forces kids to grow up too soon. We all have to be adults way too soon, why can't we just enjoy childhood a little longer?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March Madness

It's bracket time. And while most of us associate March with March Madness, there is another contest I'll be watching. It's the School Library Journal Battle of the Kid's Books. 16 books judged by 15 author will one book coming out as the "greatest of all." I haven't read a fair number of titles on this years lists--to be honest I'm still working my way through last years list--but those that I have I've really liked.

Since last years winner was the The Hunger Games, I'm expecting this year to bring another book that I love. So fill out your bracket and don't forget to vote for the book you want resurrected before the big announcement on April 5th.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Aren't these covers beautiful?

I grew up reading novels that my mom and grandmother grew up reading--Girl of the Limberlost, The Little Colonel series, Gone Away Lake, Lion in the Box, Miracle on Maple Hill, and Daddy-long Legs.

Most of these books have been lost to the average reader which is why I was so excited to see that Bloomsbury is issuing a new series that brings back to the public view "lost" novels of the twentieth century.

Aren't the covers of the just beautiful? I love the bold colors and combined with the black and white illustrations and graphic elements.

I know that I'll be putting these titles on my to read (and to buy) list.

The Brontes Went to Woolworths

A charming novel from the 1930s that revels in young innocence prior to the First World War and celebrates the fantasies of childhood.

Henrietta's War

Told through letters and charmingly illustrated by the author, this novel is a hilarious, wry, but often very moving portrait of life in rural wartime Britain.

Miss HargreavesMiss Hargreaves

An endlessly surprising fairy tale from the 1930s, introducing an unforgettable heroine and a story that shows that anything is possible with a little imagination

Love's ShadowLove's Shadow

The twists and turns of romance, misunderstanding and domestic life in Edwardian London entwine in this pin-sharp comedy by the woman Oscar Wilde called his 'Sphinx'

A Kid For Two Farthings

A Kid for Two Farthings

A magical 1950s tale of hopes and dreams that reveals the spirit of East End’s vibrant immigrant community and the charm of a little imagination

Mrs Tim of the Regiment

Mrs Tim of the Regiment

Ever observant, always witty and more than a little mischievous, the Mrs Tim diaries reveal a timeless tale of a young woman often out of her depth, but, always with an eye for the amusing side of life.

*I took the imagery and book description from the Bloomsbury website