Monday, November 30, 2009

Under the Dome

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Hardcover: 1088 pages
Publisher: Scribner
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439148503
ISBN-13: 978-1439148501
From Publisher's Weekly: King's return to supernatural horror is uncomfortably bulky, formidably complex and irresistibly compelling. When the small town of Chester's Mill, Maine, is surrounded by an invisible force field, the people inside must exert themselves to survive. The situation deteriorates rapidly due to the dome's ecological effects and the machinations of Big Jim Rennie, an obscenely sanctimonious local politician and drug lord who likes the idea of having an isolated populace to dominate. Opposing him are footloose Iraq veteran Dale “Barbie” Barbara, newspaper editor Julia Shumway, a gaggle of teen skateboarders and others who want to solve the riddle of the dome. King handles the huge cast of characters masterfully but ruthlessly, forcing them to live (or not) with the consequences of hasty decisions. Readers will recognize themes and images from King's earlier fiction, and while this novel doesn't have the moral weight of, say, The Stand, nevertheless, it's a nonstop thrill ride as well as a disturbing, moving meditation on our capacity for good and evil.

Famous for writing horror books that contain vampires, ghosts, space aliens, the devil or demonic clowns, King has now given us something that is even more scarier - the human mind. What could be more scary than to have a large group of people confined to one area and shut off from the rest of the world?

The town of Chester's Mill gave me visions of the supermarket from THE MIST, only on a larger scale. Corrupt minds, religious fanatics and a thirst for power are capable of pushing certain people beyond the grip of what is normal. For those of you who thought there could be no one as evil as Randall Flagg (THE STAND), you haven't seen anything until you see 2nd Selectman Jim Rennie. Wrapped up in a religious package with a two-sided agenda, Rennie welcomes the mysterious dome that has enslaved his town. Now he has the opportunity to do the one thing he wants most in the world - control an entire town and have the people worship him as their savior.

Full of political maneuvers and corrupt law enforcement, with a little science fiction thrown in, UNDER THE DOME is a testament to the power of story telling that only King is capable of. Although 'SALEM'S LOT, THE STAND and THE DARK TOWER series will always be my favorite books by the master of horror, this new tome will have a place of honor with my King collection. Worthy of reading more than once, although you may have to fight carpal tunnel syndrome just to hold this book up while reading.

I am, and will always remain, a Constant Reader; and I thank you Mr. King for another great read!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (book #3 of the Harry Potter series) by J. K. Rowling.

This 3rd book was published in July 1999 and won the 1999 Whitbread Book Award, the Bram Stoker Award and the 2000 Locus Award. In an interesting note, this is the only novel in the series that does not feature Lord Voldemort in some form.

Harry and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, are entering their 3rd year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In the beginning, Harry runaway from the Dursleys after getting angry with Uncle Vernon's visiting sister and blowing her up like a hot air balloon; she blows away. He has his first encounter with the Knight Bus and eventually ends up at the Leaky Cauldron, where he learns that the murderous Sirrus Black has escaped from Azkaban Prison.

On the Hogwarts Express, the train is stopped and searched by the horrible Dementors, the evil creatures who guard Azkaban - they are looking for Sirrus Black. During the course of the book, Harry learns that Sirrus Black is actually his godfather and that it was he was was responsible for the death of Harry's parents.

This was my favorite book when it was released and it still rates in my top 3 favorite Potter books. There were so many new things we learned about the world of magic and I was enchanted with all the fascinating new details. However, this is probably my least favorite of the movie adaptations.

After the release of this book, buying Harry Potter books would never be the same again. By the time Azkaban circulated the USA, Harry Potter mania was in full swing. I can still remember where I was when I waited in line to by the 4th book in the series.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Bobbi's Book Nook is now featured on Check it out!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Overcoming Twilight

The Daily Beast’s Shannon Donnelly has listed the next top 6 young adult books series that may surpass the TWILIGHT sensation. To read her full story, check out The Daily Beast.

  1. 1.) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
For those who find TWILIGHT's Bella a bit on the weak side, you will love Rose, a half-mortal/half-vampire warrior (a Dhampir). Rose is feisty and headstrong and she is sworn to protect the Moroi—mortal vampires who walk in the sun, feed without killing, and grow old and die—from the Strigoi, vampires of the traditional immortal-killing-machine variety. I have read this series and I really enjoy the stronger character of Rose.

2.) Fallen by Lauren Kate

I have not read this series, but it is on my To Be Read (TBR) list. Hedging their bets that vampires are on the way out, this new series by Delacorte Press is about fallen angels. There are currently 2 more books scheduled to be released next year.

3.) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I LOVE this series - it is currently my favorite young adult series. This wonderful trilogy highlights a dystopic future where, after a failed rebellion against the fascist Capitol by the 12 districts of the fictional country Panem, the government requires each district to send two children to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised event where the 24 tributes fight to the death. Can we all say Fatal Death Reality TV? The last book in the trilogy is scheduled for release next year and Collins is busy writing the screenplay for the first movie adaptation.

4.) Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

This is another series I have not read, but it is now on my TBR list. This series is a reimagining of WWI Europe and War is brewing between people divided between two distinct schools of thought. One side, the Clankers, believe machinery will be the salvation of mankind. The other side, the Darwinists, power their world with living creatures that have evolved into fantastic creations, from carriages pulled by enormous half-wolf tigers to whales-turned-airships.

5.) The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

This is a series about zombies, and after falling in love with last years "Pride, Prejudice and Zombies," I knew I had to give it a try. In a town reminiscent of living behind the Berlin Wall, zombies breach the walls surrounding a quiet village, sending the residents on the run. This series will be a trilogy with the 2nd book being released in March.

6.) The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith

Already in love with Smith's writing before VAMPIRE DIARIES became a smash hit on the CW network, this series was popular before TWILIGHT was a twinkle in Stephenie Meyer's eyes. The love triangle between human Elena and two warring vampire brothers, Stefan and Damon, reminds me of a young adult version of Laurell K. Hamilton's ANITA BLAKE VAMPIRE HUNTER series. If you love TWILIGHT, you must give VAMPIRE DIARIES a try.

Katerina Stoykova-Klemer

... Katerina Stoykova-Klemer's new chapbook - THE MOST - from Finishing Line Press, is now available for pre-order. The book will be released in March 2010.

Katerina is also the author of the bilingual poetry book, THE AIR AROUND THE BUTTERFLY. She is the host of ACCENTS - a Radio Show for Literature, Art and Culture. Listen to ACCENTS every Friday @ 2pm EST on WRFL 88.1 FM Lexington or stream live from

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book #2 of the Harry Potter series) by J. K. Rowling

This book was published in the United Kingdom in July 1998 by Bloomsbury and in the United States in June 1999 by Scholastic, Inc.

The plot follows Harry's second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, during which a series of messages on the walls on the school's corridors warn that the "Chamber of Secrets" has been opened and that the "heir of Slytherin" will kill all pupils who do not come from all-magical families. These threats are followed by attacks which leave Muggle-born students of the school "petrified" (that is, frozen). Throughout the year, Harry and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger investigate the attacks, and Harry is confronted by Lord Voldemort, who is attempting to regain full power.

In this book we get to see much more of Ron's little sister, Ginny - she plays a major role in the plot of the story. We are also introduced to Moaning Myrtle - a ghost who lives in the girl's bathroom on the third floor. Gilderoy Lockhart is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, but he is not a character I enjoyed very much - I was happy to see him get his "just reward" in the end.

We also learn the existence of house elves in the world of wizardry when we are introduced to Dobby. Dobby is the lovable house elf who tries to warn Harry not to return to Hogwarts for his 2nd year. Dobby will go on to play important roles in future books of the series, although he has been cut out of all but one movie.

By the time this book was released in the USA, people just beginning to read this series. It wouldn't be until after the release of book #3 that Harry Potter became a raging success in the USA.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Betrayed (House of Night, Book 2) by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312596294
ISBN-13: 978-0312596293

From Amazon:
Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night. She’s come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite group. Best of all, Zoey’s made some new friends and she finally feels like she belongs--like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. And despite the best efforts of her mother and step-loser John to humiliate her publicly during parent visitation, she’s earned the respect of her professors and High Priestess, Neferet.

The second book in the House of Night series, Betrayed picks up where Marked left off - Zoey, newly Marked as a vampyre fledgling, is starting her new duties as Leader of the Dark Daughters. With the help of her good friends Stevie Rae, Erin, Shaunee, and Damien, Zoey wants to find a new direction for the group after her nemesis, Aphrodite, was dethroned as the leader.

This book sees Zoey's love life in turmoil - torn between her obsessed ex-boyfriend Heath; new squeeze and fledgling vampyre, Erik; and part time teacher and Vampyre Poet Laureate, Lornen. Zoey feels herself being torn in three totally different directions.

While trying to sort out her love life and change directions of the Dark Daughters, Zoey must also come to grips with the disappearances of several humans from her old school system. All the evidence is pointing toward a vampyre involvement, but is there something else going on?

And then the unthinkable happens - just when the dynamics of Zoey and her group of friends is beginning to work like a fine oiled machine, one of their group is lost forever. Or is she?

This story is continued in the next book of the series, The Chosen.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas Giveaway

Check out what the Book Giveaway has this week:


Bop on over and see how to get entered to win!

Legend of Papa Noel Book Giveaway

Check out this great new Book Giveaway Blog I just found:
Book Giveaways. There are currently several books up for grabs!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cym Lowell: Book Review Party Wednesday - Live!#links#links

Cym Lowell: Book Review Party Wednesday - Live!#links#links

Way Back Wednesday - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone aka Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (in the USA) (Book #1 of the Harry Potter series) by J. K. Rowling

This is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling and featuring Harry Potter, a young wizard. It describes how Harry discovers he is a wizard, becomes close friends with Ron and Hermione and makes a few enemies at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With the help of his friends, Harry stops an attempted comeback by the evil wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry's parents and tried to kill Harry when he was one year old.

The book was first published as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on June 30, 1997 by Bloomsbury in London, and in the United States under the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by Scholastic Corporation in 1998. It won most of the UK book awards that were judged by children, and other awards in the USA. The book reached the top of the New York Times list of best-selling fiction in August 1999, and stayed near the top of that list for much of 1999 and 2000. It has been translated into several other languages and has been made into a feature-length film of the same name.

I first read this book as Philosopher's Stone in the winter of 1997 and instantly fell in love with the characters. I had read the first 3 books in the series before Sorcerer's Stone became such a huge hit with the release of the 4th book in the series. I must confess, I have probably read each book in the series at least 5 times each - more for the first 4 because I read them to my daughter. This is a book series I look forward to reading to my grandchildren.

Note: I also own a first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone as seen in the first picture.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan - author of the PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS series - announces his next series to be released next May. This is a new middle-grade fantasy series set in ancient Egypt.

In THE RED PYRAMID, Book #1 of The Kane Chronicles, kids will meet Carter Kane, 14, and his sister, Sadie, 12, descendants of Egyptian magicians who battle gods accidentally released in the present. (Watch out for the god of chaos.)

You can read the entire press release at Publishers Weekly.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Marked: A House of Night Novel

Marked: A House of Night Novel (House of Night series #1) by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312360258
ISBN-13: 978-0312360252

Originally released in paperback, this series has now been re-issued in hardcover.

By now, you would think young adult readers would be getting tired of the whole vampire genre, but the hunger continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Critics seem to compare every new vampire book to the TWILIGHT series, but I think this is selling some great books short.

MARKED is the first book in the House of Night series and I feel you need to take a look at the clever writing and interesting twist to this time-worn subject. Cast senior (mom P. C.) and Cast junior (daughter Kristin) introduce us to the world of a vampire finishing school some have described as TWILIGHT meets HARRY POTTER. The House of Night is a school for fledgling vampires-to-be - where those who have been "marked" come to go through the change and learn how to be true vampires.

Fledgling vampires are marked by a vampire tracker for the change. This is how we are introduced to the main character, Zoey Redbird. One day Zoey is a normal teenager just trying to fit in and the next moment she is marked as different from the rest. But not only is she different from her human friends, she is also different from other fledglings. All fledglings are instantly "tattooed" with the outline of a moon on their foreheads - the symbol they have been chosen. However, Zoey's mark is entirely filled in after a dream confrontation with the Goddess Nyx.

Zoey leaves behind her family - a mother who is the victim of emotional spouse abuse, a step-father who is a religious fanatic, and Grandma Redbird, her Cherokee grandmother (on her mother's side). She also leaves behind her football player boyfriend who has started to drink excessively and her best friend who talks more than she listens. Zoey's mother and step-father are narrow-minded religious nuts, but her grandmother is supportive and helps her make it to the House of Night in time. Zoey's friends at first are scared of her, but then try to reconnect to disastrous results.

And to make matters worse, on her first day at the House of Night, Zoey meets a High Priestess-in-training who immediately turns into a nemesis. But Zoey soon learns she has unusual abilities - she is able to call all 5 elements - Earth, Wind, Water, Fire and Spirit. She realizes she has been chosen by the Goddess Nyx for a specific purpose and she is determined to follow her destiny.

MARKED is a fast read and I did not want it to be over - good think I already had the 2nd book - BETRAYED - waiting in the wings. It's well-written and held my interest from start to finish and I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Sharing Books

I thought I'd share this from my writing blog:

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about social reading:
How much of your reading do you share with others (outside of blogging?) Do you belong to a book or library club? Do you trade books with friends? Do you tell others what you’re reading?

I love to share with others what I'm reading or have read. Besides having 2 book review blogs - Bobbi's Book Nook and MCPL Book Nook - I have a weekly book review column in THE HARRODSBURG HERALD and I do freelance book reviews for KENTUCKY MONTHLY Magazine. I also post my reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GoodReads, Jacket Flap, I'm Reading (Facebook) and Shelfari. I have also started a Facebook group for my book review blog, Bobbi's Book Nook (please come join me!) and I routinely link my book reviews to Facebook and Twitter.

Yes, sometimes my friends get tired of hearing my talk about books all the time! But I also have a group of friends who love to read and hear about what I'm reading, so it is for these people (and myself) that I keep ranting on about great books.

I also belong to a local book club at the Mercer Public Library in Kentucky - the Mercer Library Lunch Bunch Book Club. We meet on the 4th Tuesday of every month and typically have from 8 to 15 participants. This month we are reading THE RED TENT by Anita Diamant (a book I read many years ago and loved!) - I am rereading the book for the second time to refresh my memory. We get together at lunch time, bring a sack lunch, and spend an hour discussing our likes and dislikes of the current book. You get a wide range of perspectives because our participants range in age from 28 to 70+, plus, we have lots of fun.

Because most of my local friends are not readers, I don't usually swap books, but occasionally I will send a book to a friend far away. I'm a huge book whore, so I usually hold on to almost all of my books!