Book Review: Because of Winn-Dixie

I recently did a reread (by audiobook) of Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo–and realized I’d forgotten pretty much all of the book–and remembered anew why I get so annoyed by the notion that kids books can’t deal with complex themes and ideas.

Because of Winn-Dixie is about India Opal, ten years old and newly moved to Naomi, Florida.  When she meets a stray dog in the produce section of a Winn-Dixie supermarket, she promptly dubs him Winn-Dixie and brings him home.  Winn-Dixie proves to the most charming and friendly of dogs, who helps Opal find new, somewhat unconventional friends.

This was a lovely book that is both a sweet and funny story about a childhood summer, and a deep and complex story about friendship, loss and the secrets everyone carries. Continue reading

Posted in Juvenile, Reviews | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Book Review: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

I recently found myself with a long drive coming up and–no audiobook to hand!  So naturally I snatched up And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, read by Hugh Fraser–a narrator I’ve encountered with Christie before, and already on the shelf at my local library.

Even though I wasn’t thinking about the R.I.P. Challenge, I think my subconscious must have been at work–and since this fits the challenge and I listened to it at the right time, I’m counting it!

The story opens with ten people, unconnected to each other, all summoned by various means and reasons to visit a deserted island.  The eight guests and two servants are at the house on the island, but their host is unaccountably absent–and at dinner, a gramophone record plays with a chilling message.  Each individual is accused of being responsible for someone’s murder.  And then one by one, by different means and methods, people on the island begin to die.  The murderer must be among those who remain–but who?

Apart from Murder on the Orient Express, I think this is Christie’s most famous novel.  For that reason I’m glad I “read” it, although it was not my favorite Christie–which is a personal preference that others may not agree with! Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Imaginary Illustrations #2

Last week I started a new blog feature, sharing quotes from my (unillustrated) books, paired with pictures.  Today I have a quote from my upcoming book, The Storyteller and Her Sisters.  As you might guess, it’s from the titular Storyteller–and is a sentiment I can relate to!

I tell stories

Posted in Novel News | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Pre-Order The Storyteller and Her Sisters!

Storyteller Cover 1 - SmallI have, of course, told you that my next novel will be out soon…but you can buy it now!  Well, pre-order, at least. :)

Storyteller is now listed on Amazon and you can pre-order a Kindle copy today.  Don’t have a Kindle?  It should be available for pre-order on Smashwords within the next week.

All ebooks will be delivered and the paperback will go on sale on October 10th.

And if you’re still on the fence about buying, might I suggest checking out the excerpt now available on Goodreads?  You can download the first three chapters…but I make no promises that it won’t leave you waiting anxiously for October 10th and Chapter Four!

Posted in Novel News | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Movie Review: The Giver

The_Giver_posterI was twelve when I first read The Giver by Lois Lowry, and then reread it again recently when the fourth book in the quartet came out. It’s one of my favorite dystopias, so I was intrigued—and alarmed!—by the movie version. I went to see it mostly out of curiosity, and while it wasn’t perfect, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it was done.

The book and the movie both tell the story of Jonas, who lives in a community where all of life is carefully ordered and arranged by a ruling council of elders. When Jonas comes of age, he is assigned the role of Receiver, to receive the memories of a time before the community. Jonas’ time with the old Receiver, now dubbed the Giver, and the memories he receives, open his eyes (almost literally) to the world around him. Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged | 3 Comments