April 27, 2003
City of Light by Lauren Belfer

City of Light by Lauren Belfer: a stunning debut novel set in Buffalo, New York in the spring of 1901.

This is both a murder mystery and a study in relationships and how the things we ignore can change our lives forever. I was absolutely entranced by this book and found it one of the best books that I have read all year. It’s simply a must read.

April 15, 2003
Cerulean Sins by Laurell K. Hamilton

Cerulean Sins by Laurell K. Hamilton: eleventh novel in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series.

As far as the series goes, this one wasn’t necessarily up to par, but I still enjoyed it. Plus, after being so invested in the characters and the plots, there’s no way that I wasn’t going to read it.

All in all, a good read, but not the best of Laurell K. Hamilton’s work.

April 10, 2003
Girls' Poker Night: A Novel of High Stakes by Jill A. Davis

Girls' Poker Night: A Novel of High Stakes by Jill A. Davis: another one of those “zany chick” books that I seem to have read so many of, especially lately. I was particularly drawn to this one because I’m a poker player. I knew that this book wouldn’t be addressing the game itself, really, but it gave me an added incentive to give it a try.

Unfortunately in this particular case, this book has sunk very low on my list of “chick” books that I can recommend to others. It had a pretty good start, but by the time it ended I didn’t really care about anyone in it all. As a matter of fact, I would be hard pressed to come up with any specific details relating to the book it was that bland.

I really can’t recomend this book at all unless you absolutely adore books in this genre and even then I am sure you could find one that was more memorable and more interesting than this one turned out to be.

April 02, 2003
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman: this is the second time that I’ve read this book and it’s still as wonderful as the first time I read it about three years ago.

Practical Magic is set in our time and in our world, but also in a world where a lover’s passion is so strong that butter melts in their house. Where the ticking of a beetle can signify death for someone that you love. I think we all used to have some of this magic in our world, but we lose it as we get older and reality takes a stronger hold on us. Reading this book is a wonderful way to recapture the amazing in the every day.

The story revolves around sets of sisters in the Owens family - the aunts, Gillian and Sally, and Sally’s girls. All of the women in the Owens family are beguiling and they also happen to be witches. This aspect seemed more focused on in movie (very highly recommended) than in the book, but it’s an important element nonetheless. The relationships between the family is both one of love and one that is convoluted through choices that are made.

While it may sound like a sappy book, the way it is handled makes it anything but. The characters are deep and interesting and you can’t help but experience their longing, their worry, and their love. This book is simply lovely and has become one of my favorites of all time, always staying with me. I can not recommend it enough.