Welcome to A Circle of Books.

Hello and welcome to my book blog. This blog is dedicated to books everywhere and the people who write and read them. Thank you for stopping by.

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Books -Summer 2012





Summer brings good opportunities for reading and I have been remiss to post some great new reads I received to review.   Still on an on and off reading drought. 

Reading News:
I finished the Hunger Games Series and was pleased.  I didn't post a review on the final on because it would just spoil it even to mention who is in the book.  Interesting series.  Every now and again I can get caught up with the end of the world and the survival of different  groups of people.  It is thought provoking, but a little depressing.

 I am in the middle of Sidney Sheldon's Angel of Darkness.  It is good.  A little scary for me, but it is good and they are on the killers trail.  So I need to finish it.    I might have paused on this on because I figured it out early....but you never know!


Violin news!
Yes, it is true when I am not knitting  or reading I am playing the violin.  I am into it 7 months and I am truly enjoying it.  I had my first recital.  Yes, you heard that... all the little ones and OLD me.  It was terrifying but fun, but terrifying, but motivating, and did I mention terrifying?

Dexter News!
My best pal and Editor friend Dex is doing great.  He is approaching  four years old and he is just the best dog ever. 

That is about as much as an update as I have for now. 

Thanks to Penguin, and Harper Collins for the books to review. 



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Half a Life, a memoir, by Darin Strauss - A review by Toni

I sat down and read this book a week ago, on a Thursday. I read the book in one sitting.  The writing style is magnificent and resonates as sincere and honest.  The memoir is articulated in a very deep, and moving way.   "Half my life ago, I killed a girl."  When Darin Strauss is 18, he is driving with friends in a car and a girl on a bike swerves across two lanes into his car and she dies.   The book is about a half a life of  thoughts, actions, and  memories all connected to a single life altering instance in this young man's life.  It is  powerful and emotionally rich. It is one of the best bits of honest prose that I have read in a long time.  You can open up the book on any given page and find a piece of incredible soulful writing.

I received this advanced readers edition of the book a year ago from Random House.

*** photo taken from the Author's Website.

edited for a correct link and grammar.. sheesh!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins - A Review by Toni

This is the second book in The Hunger Games Series.  As the story opened up, I did not have any idea where the story was going to go.   I did not have any clue what was going to happen in this book at all!  And I am not going to spoil it now that I do know.  Once the book got going, it was a complete page turner until the end.  There were a lot of "wow" moments, tons of action, and quite a cliffhanger ending.  It was great reading.  I really enjoyed it. This book should translate well onto the big screen.   I had planned to take a break and read something else, but Mockingjay is already loaded on my Ipad and I started it last night.  I have no idea what the next book holds, but I am very excited to read on.

Thanks for stopping by!
Toni

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Hunger Games - a review by Toni

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

I enjoyed this book.  I have been in a reading slump for quite sometime.  This book really got me reading and turning pages fast.   Reading this book actually was in competition for my knitting and violin playing.   At first I was in a bit of an alarm, thinking that it might be too graphic or too unimaginably horrific to read.  I quickly warmed up to the characters and the main theme.  I enjoyed a lot of the aspects of the book. The survivalist parts of the book were compelling also.   I am thankful that the book was not overly graphic in any way as I would not have been able to read.  So at the end of the book, I had only one option left.  And that was to quickly download Catching Fire!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Twilight reread and New Books- Algonquin - 3/27/2012

Hello!
I rarely reread books.  Let alone YA fiction...let alone... vampire books.   However, this past week I decided to delve into Twilight about 3 years later to see what I thought now.  I had picked up a  Valentines Day special $2.99 Kindle edition book.  
I won't go into full review detail again, but there were parts that I had forgotten and I liked it!   Parts that were left out in the movie, were very good in the book.    (I am sure I have watched the movie 10 times or so) To note a few:  How Dr. Cullen came into existence was left out of the movie; also the key part of the story that links Alice's change into a vampire that really spurned on Jame's obsession with killing Bella. I read it slowly and took the time to note the vocabulary and characters.

I think the book is a fine young adult book.  I would recommend it as a young adult read.  I think aside from the plot there are great references to classical music, literature, and history.  Not bad for a sappy vampire love story.

I will not be rereading the other books.  Twilight was my favorite read from the series and I enjoy the movie too.   I loved all the direct quotes from the book that were inculcated into the movie.   The movies that follow in the series seem to have less of that, which is okay, because I believe the other books needed sprucing up.  I was glad the writing for the big screen took  liberties with the stories.

I am looking for a series to read, and true to my character, always years behind everyone else, I just downloaded Hunger Games.  I know absolutely nothing about the books, series or movies.  All the blogging reviews from a few years ago is a distant memory, except, where there is smoke there is fire, so I am expecting good things from the series.

And then I'd like to note that a few books arrived at my house.  Thank you Algonquin.

The Aleppo Codex by Matti Friedman
Coming May 15th.  For Details click on this Link.

And

The Coldest Night, Robert Olmstead
Here is the link about this book.

Thanks for stopping by.
Toni

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Books - Algonquin

I have had nice selection of books arrive in my mailbox to keep me busy reading this Spring.  Thank you Algonquin.

One that was especially exciting for me is:
 Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick.  (remember A Reliable Wife?)  I already started this one and it starts out interesting and it holds great promise as a good read.


And here are the others I received.
 
Until the Next Time, by Kevin Fox
Running the Rift, by Naomi Benaron


The Receptionist, Janet Groth

A Wedding in Haiti, Julia Alvarez
West of Here, by Jonathan Evision (Paperback).  My son gave this book a five star rating.
All Woman and Springtime by Brandon W. Jones

Happy February and Spring to all.  I am still looking forward to catching up on blogs and books.  Thanks for popping in!

Toni

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen - Review

I finished reading this book after the first of this year.  I really enjoyed this book.  GREAT storytelling, and a few adorable characters made the book one of my favorites in a long time.  I adored the book.  There are heartbreaking parts in the story, and I had a hard time as I grimaced through the animal abuse.  But it added a validity and realness to the story.    It was a beautiful story.

I give this book five stars.    And I have to note that I watched the movie within a week or so of finishing the book.  It was wonderful.  Almost as good as the book.  The circus essence of the story was not lost in the movie.  The book, however, had a special message about aging that was not presented in the movie.


Happy New Year to all.  

2012 is here!!!!  I am still reading, knitting, spinning and now learning to play the violin.  (so very exciting)

I have some books to  announce and I hope to host a few giveaways.   I am still out here, ever so quietly.


Cheers!!!
Toni