Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception

Lament:  The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater is a magical tale that is sure to make you wonder about the things that go bump in the night.  The story is about an incredibly gifted young girl, whose life turns upside down when a mysterious stranger walks into her life.  Dierdre  has always had a bit of stage fright when it comes to performing her harp for large groups, but everything changes when she meets Luke, who both calms and inspires her.  With Luke’s help, Dierdre finds out that she is a much stronger individual than she once thought.  However, her puzzling new friend seems to be both hunting and protecting her from evil faeries who want her dead.  The prologue sets the entire novel up perfectly with its ominous tone.  Stiefvater does a wonderful job circling around and resolving the prologue rather than leaving it forgotten in the main story.  This novel has a fantastic faerie world.  Stiefvater brings to focus many types of faeries as well as showing  the different cultures.  I appreciated a darker look at the magical creatures, since in most faerie myths, and especially the Celtic myths that she refers to, they are known as tricksters.  However, Stiefvater balances out the dark faeries with her pure heroin, making the tale truly about good and evil. And yes, the teen love story was quite sweet throughout.  All and all, I found this to be a wonderful read for anyone interested in faeries or magic.

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November Bestsellers

We had so much fun at our first Local Author Open House event yesterday.  It was great to get caught up with some of the authors and find out what they have worked on, or what they are working on.  We will be continuing to have Local Author Open Houses every fifth Saturday of the month (assuming there is a fifth Saturday in the month).  This means we should have at least four open houses a year, so if you didn’t make it yesterday you will still have a chance to attend later on.  Check out our Facebook page to see pictures and be sure to keep an eye on our website for event updates.

Here are the November bestsellers for Mostly Books.

Passages In Caregiving by Gail Sheehy

61 Hours by Lee Child

American Assassin by Vince Flynn

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia De Rossi

Worth Dying For by Lee Child

10  Presence Process: A Journey Into Present Moment Awareness by Michael Brown

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Bodhisattva: How To Be Free, Teachings to Guide You Home

Nicole Grace’s newest book, Bodhisattva: How To Be Free, Teachings to Guide You Home, is a vivid and intensely inspiring work.  Within the pages of this book you will find over 60 verses of transformative poetry that have the power to open your eyes to rich and vibrant understandings about the world within which we live.  Written in an informal and very personal tone, no verse is overwrought with poetic formality that might otherwise obscure the clarity of her message.  Rather, each teaching is revealed in a very direct and natural communication.

As you read, her voice becomes your own voice, and you suddenly are seeing the world through shining eyes that perceive only the brightest and most beautiful possibilities:  A trapped wasp is no longer simply an annoying, and perhaps threatening, pest, but a fellow seeker searching for freedom from the bonds of suffering.  One of the beautiful things about this transformation is that it occurs with such a subtle grace and ease.  Never do you feel like you are pushed into understanding a metaphor or teaching with heavy handed language and analogies, but rather you are allowed to witness its unfolding as you would a flower, leaving you with the feeling “How else could it have ever possibly been?”.

Those who’ve read and enjoyed Ms. Grace’s earlier book, Mastery at Work, will find the same deep spiritual waters in Bodhisattva.  As with the former book, reading the later reinvigorates your sense of purpose, meaning and interconnectedness to the world around you.  It puts a fire in your belly and arms you with tools to take on the harsh day-to-day press of existing in the modern world while maintaining a  sense of balance, beauty and gratitude.

Thanks for your review Marc!

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Night Watch

Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko is the first book in in the Night Watch series.  The story takes place in modern day Moscow, Russia where two organizations are trying to keep the balance between good, and evil.  The Night Watch organization watches over the Dark Ones to insure that the treaty between the Light and Dark Ones remains followed and that the balance continues.  The Day Watch in turn watches over the Light Ones for the very same reason.  Naturally, your Dark Ones are your evil creatures such as, vampires, shape-shifters, withes, dark magicians, etc.  The Light Ones are still magical beings, or Others, but they are fighting for the side of good.  Anton, are reluctant hero, is an Other who works for the Night Watch.  Typically, he works with analyzing data and is not out in the field keeping track of the Dark Ones, but now the boss has decided it is time for Anton to get his feet wet.  While out on his first mission, Anton discovers a girl with a very powerful dark vortex over her head.  The vortex means doom not only for the girl, but for the world for it would tip the balance towards evil.  Anton soon sets out to help save the girl.  The story is divided up into three different missions that Anton takes on and each one builds off the previous story.  I really liked this aspect of the book.  It was fun to see the different types of magical characters and different problems that came up.  The overall story is quite complex and it will be interesting to see where Lukyanenko takes the series in the next book, Day Watch (although I am sure this will be the story form the Dark Ones perspective which should be fun.)

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American Assassin

Vince Flynn’s latest novel American Assassin is sure to have his readers instantly hooked.  This novel is the back-story to the character Mitch Rapp and how he became an assassin.  The CIA knows that a new war is approaching, the war of terrorism.  Now they must find people willing to kill for the country without putting on a uniform.  Mitch Rapp wants retribution for the lives that were destroyed during the Pan Am attack, and has no problem becoming an American assassin that the CIA need.  Written in the traditional Flynn writing style and sure to have you quickly turning the pages.  Rapp’s back-story is just fascinating and grabs you right from the beginning.

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Book Discussion Reminder

Don’t forget, we will be discussing the novel The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga on Saturday November 20th at 1pm.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  This novel is set in India and is about a the hardships and class separations that exist and the one man who sets out to tell the foreign visitors of their struggle.  I have been told this is an excellent book and is sure to stay with you once you have finished reading it.  For a more in-depth review, checkout our blog post on October 27th.

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Guardians of Ga’Hoole

The Capture Kathryn Lasky

This is the first in a 12(!) volume set of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole – definitely written for kids.  I took a friend with me to see the movie and she said it was too violent for her little grandson – but I loved it; though they compressed the movie from several of the books.  Our protagonist, Soren, is a young barn owl who is out of his nest on the ground and gets kidnapped to a deep canyon by bad owls who brain- wash the young owls they take, for some nefarious purpose.  Soren and his elf owl friend Gylfie escape with the idea of finding Ga’Hoole, the legendary tree that houses the Guardians of myth and bedtime stories.  Along the way they encounter and are joined by a burrowing owl, Digger; and Twilight, a true orphan who learned all he knows the hard way.  They learn to trust each other and form a band.

The Journey Kathryn Lasky

The band encounters adversity with weather, crows and adventures along the way, plus a place of dreams which is too good to be true, making them want to stay forever.  Eventually, however, all arrive at the island tree and find that the legends are true.  There are guardians of Ga’Hoole!  I’d forgotten about Mrs. Plithiver, the nest snake retainer of Soren’s family who they encountered in The Capture, who travels with them.  She is a lovely nanny type who teaches manners and was responsible for cleaning the nest (she was also delightful in the movie).  I’m looking forward to the other volumes even after the movie; as is the usual case, movies are all action and I like the books for the depth of developing characters and plot lines.  In the best mystery tradition, clues are dropped for later enlightenment.  So far, a delightful read.

Thanks Nancy!

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The Professional

I just finished reading Robert Parker’s The Professional.  The twists and turns of the plot are fun and keep the reader interested.  The dialogue between Spenser and Hawks is so clever and amusing, I wish there had been more.  This mystery is different from the other Spenser novels that I’ve read, and the whole reading experience was quite enjoyable.  I might have to read it again next year.

Thanks Polly for your review!

This novel does sound fun.  Spenser is hired to track down and stop a gentleman who is now blackmailing some of Boston’s wealthiest ladies, as well as having an affair with them.  Unfortunately, the women are starting to die and the blackmail case quickly turns to a murder case.

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Wherever You Go, There You Are

I have always loved the title Wherever You Go, There You Are but haven’t read it until recently.  Everyone these days seems to be interested in stress reduction and achieving inner peace.  Kabat-Zinn covers the principles of mindfulness (the ancient Buddhist method of stress reduction) fully.

He does a good job of combining science, stories and practical advice on letting go, being mindful daily and staying in the present moment.  He gives instructions and exercises on being fully within the moment from cleaning the kitchen to walking upstairs.

There is also a section on trust and how to learn to be more open and honest, one on being grounded and living a simpler life.
He gives many, many different types of mediation and how to do each.  You can find the one that will work for you.
He  is also the author of Full Catastrophe Living.

If you are not in Tucson, you can now order from our website and have them sent directly to you or download them to ANY ebook reader from our new site. mostlybooksaz.com

Thanks Tricia!

Gypsy Crown

The Gypsy Crown by Kate Forsyth is a wonderful adventure about the determination and desire of two young children to free their family.  This books is recommended for fifth through ninth graders, but I absolutely loved it.  Emilia and her cousin Luka are the only two family members who have not been thrown into jail due to being a gypsy and in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The two set out to find their kin and reunite the magical gypsy charm bracelet.  If they can get all five families and all five charms together, they may be able to free their family.  Naturally, the two run into all kinds of trouble, but most of the trouble comes from being chased by one of the government’s men;  Coldham, or the thief-taker, seems to know exactly where Luka and Emilia are going.  It takes a bit of magic and good friends in order to avoid being captured.  This tale takes place in 17th-century England and is filled with historical information, which made the story even more enjoyable to me.  Forsyth also included a section at the end to talk in more detail about the historical portions of the book.  Even if you child doesn’t read the note at the end, they are sure to learn about England’s governmental turmoil, as well as the restrictions and laws placed on gypsies.  I also loved how the two main characters represented the different points of view at the time.  Emilia strongly believes in the magic of the charms and other gypsy paraphernalia, whereas Luka believes more in using his mind and body to free his family.  In fact, Luka doesn’t put much stock in the idea of magic even though his family is continually telling him that it exists.  Overall, Forsyth  delivers an action-packed adventure full of twists and turns making this book a great read.  If you are interested in her adult books, try her fantasy series The Witches of Eileanan followed by the Rhiannon’s Ride series.  They are both wonderful series filled with witches and magic, not to mention action and suspense.

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