"The Handmaid's Tale" - Margaret Atwood - 1985

Well, I finally finished it. And it only took me a week and a half...(oh, and five years).

"Echo" - Francesca Lia Block - 2001

Awesome. The best and worst of L.A. from a native. A magically realistic tale of growing up with such an openminded perspective. A deceptively short read that lingers. Also, the cover art is perfect.

"Summer's End" - Kathleen Gilles Seidel - 1999

Forgot I read this one - it's like "The Family Stone" meets "Ice Castles" minus the triumphant blind skating.

"The Virgin Suicides" - Jeffrey Eugenides - 1993

Beautiful suburban girls don't hang around...

"Stardust" - Neil Gaiman - 1998

Finished up Stardust, the novel, earlier this week, spent the past two days watching Stardust, the movie, but not for the first time. Now that I can compare the two, I have to say I enjoyed them both very much, however I do wish I had read the book first. Gaiman's voice is wonderful, his words bring Fairie to life, the film uses CGI quite well to do the same. The movie is much more dramatic, which some might claim as a downfall, but I don't mind at all. The romance exists in the novel of course, but I'm a sucker for big proclamations and kisses it's perfect in the film version. The book and film end much the same, they simply take different paths to get there.

"Wedded in a Whirlwind" - Liz Fielding - 2008

Don't judge a book by its cover - while pretty, this cover doesn't really fit. The main characters are British (as well as the author) but the majority of the story takes place on an island in the South Pacific. In fact the H/H, trapped together in an underground temple, fall in love before they even see each other in the daylight. I found this an enjoyable read, although I wish I had read the heroine's brother's story first, as it is mentioned quite a bit. As for the title, this is a whirlwind romance - meeting, almost dying, bonding and falling in love essentially overnight - the wedding part seems really secondary. Sometimes I prefer brevity of series romance, primarily on days where nothing truly holds my attention. In this case, however, I would have enjoyed a longer more fleshed-out story. I'm always interested in how the author treats the H/H after the danger is over and each must return to their real day-to-day lives. I feel Fielding wrapped it up quickly and rushed the ending, probably to fit in the Harlequin format, and keep the page count down.

"The Annexation of the Living Room" - Christopher S. Bell - 2009

If you're looking at this blog chances are, you know Bell. He's prolific - music and novels and short stories, but this was my first. It made me feel angsty and depressed, so thanks? But for real, thanks for some great fake bands, and references to some great real ones - I still want those mixes. "The Annexation of the Living Room" is early in the Emment and Mary timeline, so there's some familiar names, and a lot to look forward to.

If you wandered here by accident, check out Bell's stuff and more at myideaoffun.org!

"The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie" - Jennifer Ashley - 2009

So, this book had a lot of hype, and then in return a bit of a backlash. For me personally, this book brought me out of reading funk. Although this novel went a little overboard on the love scenes, I found both the heroine and hero endearing and real, even when the events around them were not. Of the hero's three brothers, I am really looking forward to two upcoming stories. However, the one brother is a huge asshole, so we shall see if Jennifer Ashley can pull off his redemption.