Thursday, December 31, 2009

December's Book of the Month

Hello Everyone! I chose the picture posted above because it reminds me of reading to my daughter Mareena when she was little. Every afternoon until she was about eight or nine years old, we would take one of her books that she wanted to read or that she was reading and we would curl up together on my big bed. 

We would spend an hour or so reading a chapter of her book, and then take a nap together. Her absolutely favorite author at that time was an English author named Enid Blyton. Ahh, nice memories...

My picks for 'Books of the Month' will be decidedly more adult these days, but they will be from almost any genre. December's Book of the Month is: 




The Basement by Bari Wood
Published as: The Basement in May 1995
Publisher: William Morrow and Company


Birth Name: Bari Eve Wood
Born: 31 December 1946 in Jacksonville, Illinois

Canonical Name: Bari Wood
Pseudonyms: None

The Basement by Bari Wood was the thirty-sixth book that I read in 2014. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since December 1, 2009 - although the book was Mareena's 'just because' gift for December of 2009, because I had misplaced my first copy. The second reading of this book took me five days to finish. This book is a definite keeper for me.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bari Wood - The Basement

36. The Basement by Bari Wood (1995)
Length: 290 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 25 December 2009
Finished: 30 December 2009
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 December 2009
Why do I have it? I like horror and Mareena got this for me as a " Secret Santa" Christmas present.

Wealthy Connecticut housewife Myra Ludens is well aware of the inexplicable fear most people experience upon entering her cellar. While she knows that other people may feel dread, Myra truly believes that she is living in her dream house. However, her dream is about to turn into a nightmare...

For what Myra doesn't realize is that the recent remodeling of her basement has reawakened an evil presence that demands vengeance. Researching the history of her house, Myra discovers that in 1695, a woman by the name of Elizabeth 'Goody' Redman was hanged for witchcraft. Goody Redman's body was subsequently buried on Myra's land. To release the tormented spirit, Myra performs an impromptu exorcism - to her detriment.

In my opinion, this was an excellent book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Ms. Wood really knows how to create a chilling atmosphere, and I also appreciated the slow and steady increase in the horror - which was sustained throughout the story. I give this book a definite A+! - it's certainly a keeper for me!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Robert Goddard - Painting the Darkness

35. Painting the Darkness by Robert Goddard (1989)
Length: 446 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Started: 15 December 2009
Finished: 22 December 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 November 2009
Why do I have it? I like historical mysteries and Robert Goddard is a new author for me

I just finished reading Painting the Darkness by Robert Goddard. It's bit of an involved plot, but I'll try to explain it. One mild autumn day in 1882, William Trenchard sits smoking his pipe in his family home. When a stranger approaches him, he is puzzled but not overly worried. Trenchard cannot know what havoc will be wrought on his life and all he holds dear.

The stranger announces he is James Norton - but is, in reality Sir James Davenell - former fiance of Trenchard's wife, Constance. He disappeared 11 years ago and was declared a suicide. Now he's back to claim his inheritance and Constance. Sir Hugo, James' brother, and his mother Lady Catherine, are convinced that James Norton is an imposter and force Trenchard - who fears the loss of his wife - into an uneasy alliance against him. But Trenchard must plumb the depths of his despair before he can uncover the shocking secrets of the Davenell family.

I thought this book was really well-written, although the plot was very convoluted it was very good. I give this story an A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, December 14, 2009

Margaret James - The Haunting of Sara Lessingham

34. The Haunting of Sara Lessingham by Margaret James (1978)
Length: 337 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Started/Finished: 14 December 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 November 2009
Why do I have it? I like historical mysteries and Margaret James is a new author to me


Someone is out to drive 17-year-old Sara Lessingham mad. Sara is now living with her relatives in Victorian England after she lost her parents in a fire that she might have set. I read this in one day and it was very good if a little silly in parts. I give this story a B+!

B+! - (89-85%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Judith Guest - Errands

33. Errands by Judith Guest (1997)
Length: 335 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 12 December 2009
Finished: 13 December 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 November 2009
Why do I have it? I like Judith Guest as an author and have several books by this author on my TBR pile.


I just finished Errands by Judith Guest. When Keith Browner succumbs to cancer, his wife Anne faces life raising their three children amidst grief and loneliness. 12-year-old Harry is rebellious and guilt-ridden in his role of man of the house, 11-year-old Jimmy is a loner, Nine-year-old Julie keeps a journal, trying to cope with her grief and the grief of those around her. Jess, Anne's sister, tries to help, but she is saddled with problems of her own - including a relationship with a married man. Anne resists Jess's help as her life spirals out of control. I thought this book was excellent, the characters were well-developed and really drew you into the plot. I give this story an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stephen Piziks - Exorcist: The Beginning

32. Exorcist: The Beginning by Stephen Piziks (2003)
Length: 256 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 9 December 2009
Finished: 11 December 2009
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 9 December 2009
Why do I have it? I like horror and Mareena was nice enough to let me read this book first, before her.

I just finished reading Exorcist: The Beginning (call it a pre-reading) last night. My daughter received it from Paperback Swap. Lancaster Merrin comes back from World War II physically and spiritually drained. He decides to take a sabbatical from the priesthood and goes far from his native Holland to Africa to excavate a Byzantine Church found buried in pristine condition on the day it was completed.

Directly beneath the Church, Merrin finds an ancient crypt and also finds himself face-to-face with Evil. As madness descends on the natives and a British contingent of soldiers sent to guard the excavation site, Merrin watches helplessly as atrocities of the war are repeated on another village - atrocities that he hoped to never see again. And the horror has only just begun. I give this novel an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jerry Oppenheimer - Martha Stewart Just Desserts: The Unauthorized Biography

31. Martha Stewart Just Desserts: The Unauthorized Biography by Jerry Oppenheimer (1997)
Length: 399 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction
Started: 3 December 2009
Finished: 9 December 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 November 2009
Why do I have it? I like unauthorized biographies and have always been curious about Martha Stewart's life.


I just finished Martha Stewart Just Desserts: The Unauthorized Biography by Jerry Oppenheimer. I thought that this book was great; it is a must-read for anyone who wants to know the 'dirt' on Martha Stewart. I give it an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Norah Lofts - The Lost Queen

30. The Lost Queen by Norah Lofts (1969)
Length: 302 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 28 November 2009
Finished: 2 December 2009
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 14 April 2009
Why do I have it? I like Norah Lofts as an author and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

This is the story of Queen Caroline of Denmark and her love affair with Doctor Struensee. Princess Caroline-Matilda was King George III's sister and married King Christian of Denmark. This historical novel is based on fact and brings to life eighteenth century Denmark. I love Norah Lofts as a writer and give this story an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reading Wrap-up for November at Moonshine and Rosefire


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Rosefire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog. I originally posted my reviews over at my daughter's blog, Emeraldfire's Bookmark but am now in the process of transferring them all over to my own blog. My daughter makes blogging look like so much fun that I thought that I would try it out for myself! :)

Anyway, I started out November with 631 unread books lying around the house and ended the month with 628 books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from Paperback Swap and a Library Book Sale that we went to on the 20th.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile 


Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- The Magic Cottage by James Herbert
- One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens
- The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Dear Doctor Lily by Monica Dickens
- The Unholy by Michael Falconer Anderson
- The Sweet Taste of Burning: A Novel of the Occult by Paul Andreota
- Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy
- The Hampton Sisters by Bernard F. Conners
- Wife Found Slain by Caroline Crane
- Woman Vanishes by Caroline Crane
- The Visitor by Jere Cunningham
- Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier
- The Haunting of Sara Lessingham by Margaret James
- Hollywood's Greatest Love Stories by Dick Kliener
- Celebrity Detox: (The Fame Game) by Rosie O'Donnell
- Martha Stewart Just Desserts: The Unauthorized Biography by Jerry Oppenheimer
- Ruin Creek by David Payne
- Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
- Blessings by Anna Quindlen
- The Perfect Summer by Luanne Rice
- Moment of Truth by Lisa Scottoline
- Demon Summer by Elaine Booth Selig
- The Stars Shine Down by Sidney Sheldon
- Change Baby by June Spence
- Blind Eye: How the Medical Establishment Let a Doctor Get Away With Murder by James B. Stewart
- The Forbidden Zone by Whitley Strieber
- False Witness by Dorothy Uhnak
- Blood Sisters by Judith Henry Wall
- Painting the Darkness by Robert Goddard

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Spartina by John Casey
The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, not a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 3
Pages Read: 797
Grade Range: A! to B+!

So, there you go! The reading month that was November. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight