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We read to know we are not alone.
A friend lent me this book. The only thing I knew going into it was that it was science fiction and had won several awards including the Hugo Award. I don't read a lot of sci-fi, mostly just Isaac Asimov (Foundation and Robot series).

The story is about a boy nick-named Ender. He is a "third". The book takes place when it is illegal for parents to have more than two children. However, since his parent's had all ready produced two children with incredible promise and intelligence, they were given a permit to produce another child. Ender is constantly teased and bullied by his older brother and kids at his school for being an outcast, a third. He is only close to his sister, Valentine.

When Ender turns 6, he is taken from his family to attend a military type school off planet. This is where the book turns into a sort of sci-fi "Lord of the Flies". Ender struggles to find his place and survive while doing it. Earth is going to be engaging in a battle against an alien race called the Buggers so, the students are being trained in battle techniques for a soon to come war.

I really liked this story. The ending really took me by surprise, though others I have talked to said they saw it coming. The version of the book I read had a foreword written by the author explaining some of his plot points and defending himself against some of his critics. I had some of the same questions, but he defended it well.

Anyway, great book!

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I was lucky enough to find this while I was picking up a reserve book at the library. I LOVE Christopher Moore books, so I snatched this up right away.

In Fool, Christopher Moore journeys back to 13th century England in a delightful, loosely based remake of Shakespeare's "King Lear". Moore borrows liberally from comedies and tragedies alike. He delights in using a mixture of Shakespearean quotes mixed with present day British comedy.

Even though his vampire books are my favorites, I found myself immersed in his latest book and finished it in about a day and a half.

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I've been reading Steve Martini's series of Paul Madriani stories for many years now. I love them in the way that I love Perry Mason books. Paul Madriani is awesome in the court room. He constantly stumbles on seemingly un-winnable cases, the odds are stacked in the prosecution's favor, he doesn't even know for sure whether or not to trust his client, but Madriani pulls the proverbial rabbit out of the hat and surprises the reader with his legal acrobatics.

However, I'm not sure what Steve Martini was thinking when he wrote his latest legal thriller. We get the client who has all the odds stacked against her, we get the cocky prosecutor who thinks he holds all the cards, but there is NO court case. No legal finagling. Instead, Paul Madriani changes his role as lawyer, to that of Paul Madriani, Secret Agent Man.

No. Just, no. The story was good, but if Martini wanted to write a spy thriller, he should have just invented a new main character (and perhaps started a new series?). Oh well, it was still entertainment.

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This is the newest offering from Jeffery Deaver featuring his protagonist Katherine Dance, the kinesics expert. Dance is searching for a teenager who, after being attacked on a blog, goes after the people who dissed him.

However, in a Deaver novel, nothing is ever as it seems. There are so many twists and turns, that near the end, I was a bit confused who was who. This was just a minor problem, just a little page turning to get it straight, but he likes to lead the reader down one path, then smack into a brick wall.

Still, an enjoyable ride. If you like his other stories, this won't disappoint.

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I have to admit, this is the best book I've read this year. Wally Lamb is not a prolific author, but when he does put out a book....wow. It's worth the wait.

This is the story of Caelum Quirk. A man who has to confront not only the secrets of his ancestors, but has to find a way to to keep his life together in the wake of the Columbine tragedy that has caused his wife to become debilitated by post traumatic stress syndrome. The story frequently jumps from the present to the past. Interesting parallels are created by the circumstances of his great grandparents, his parents, and his own marriage.

The ending is somewhat sad, but satisfying. And Caelum finally finds the "hour he first believed."

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I was hesitant to read this book since all the reviews on it called it depressing. I found it to be the opposite. Yes, Burroughs led an unconvential, somewhat sad childhood, but he writes about his struggles with a sense of humor and very little bitterness. His novel reminds me a bit of David Sedaris's writing style, they are both self-obsessed gay men, but Burroughs is uniquely himself.

Obviously his experiences shaped the person he grew up to become (a very successful writer). I have added his novel "Dry" to my to read list.

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Since I've gotten sucked into reading the series, I found it interesting to find that the author wrote a companion book for the first four books in the series. Gabaldon talks about how she came up with the characters and plot, the writing process, research, and other tidbits. Since I've been working on my own novel, I found it really helpful to find that she faced some of the same difficulties. I was surprised to find that she regularly posts to bulletin boards in order to get reader's opinions on passages she is currently writing.

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I had always considered Jodi Picoult a less talented version of Alice Hoffman, but this is probably the best work I've read by Ms. Picoult.

Before Anna was born, she was conceived to be genetically compatible to her sister Kate. When Kate was 3 years old, she was diagnosed with Leukemia and her parents, desperate to save her, decided to have another child who could provide a blood transfusion. However, the harvesting did not stop there. Anna gave blood, bone marrow, and underwent many painful procedures. When told Kate needed a kidney, Anna decided to hire an attorney to give her control over her own body.

The story is told from everyone's viewpoint: Anna, Kate, brother, mom, dad, lawyer, even the court-appointed guardian has a say. This is interesting because the reader finds themselves sympathizing with each character, but at times it became complicated. Several times I had to turn back a page to see who's POV I was reading. It is a heart wrenching decision that is much more complicated than it seems on the surface. The ending took my breath away. I thought I knew exactly what would happen, but WOW! Not like that.

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This series manages to suck you in and want more, more, more. The second book in the series picks up where Outlander left off. This time, the Frasers are taking up residence in 18th century France. This book contains everything we loved about the first book including floggings, brushes with famous people, TMI, accusations of WITCHCRAFT! and even surprise butt sexx. Again, the story is filled with historical details and all those things you wanted to know about life in the 1700's but were afraid to ask.

I am looking forward to Voyager!

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I like time-travel stories and I like historical fiction, so Outlander seemed like a good choice.

First the good parts: The historical facts were very well-described and truly interesting. The main character, Claire, sometimes tells us more than we want to know about the habits of 18th century people. I was interested in what they wore, what they ate, how they treated their ailments. Good stuff.

Next, the not so good: An alternative title could have been "The Never-Ending Story". Oh, wait, that one is taken. I could have done without the romance part of the book. At times, it was too much of a historical soap opera. It is just not possible that soooooooooo many trials could befall two people (Claire and Jamie). Plus, we had to endure chapter after chapter of them making love like bunnies. Just a few discreet scenes would have sufficed. I felt like I was constantly being bombarded with the fact that they were in looooove. Yes, we get it!

The non-ending made me curious to read the sequel. I know, I know, it will be more of the same, but it was still a good story.

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