Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The following is a list of book titles with the link on posts where they were featured or reviewed in The Bibliophilic Night Owl.


#
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

A

At Risk by Alice Hoffman


B
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
The Books of Rachel by Joel Gross
Bridesmaids by Jane Costello


C
The Center of the World by Andreas Steinhöfel
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

D
The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

E
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje


F
The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland
The Four Temperaments by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shieve

G
Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland

Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The God of Spring by Arabella Edge

H

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


I

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Inklings (Book 1 of The Oxford Chronicles) by Melanie M. Jeschke
In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant

J


K


L
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier

The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich
Last Voyage of the Valentina by Santa Montefiore
Leonardo's Swans by Karen Essex
The Life Room by Jill Bialosky
The Lost Diary of Don Juan by Douglas Carlton Abrams
The Lost Language by Marianne Villanueva
Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

M
Marrying Mozart by Stephanie Cowell

The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich
The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instruments: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instruments: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

N
The Nightingale’s Nest by Sarah Harrison


O
Old Liberty by Marshall Terry

One More Chance by Juan Miguel Sevilla


P
The Painted Kiss by Elizabeth Hickey
The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland
Pure by Julianna Baggott
The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved and The Well-Beloved by Thomas Hardy

Q


R
The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble

Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger


S
Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan

School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
School for Good and Evil: A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani
School for Good and Evil: The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani
The Secret Supper by Javier Sierra
The Serpent in the Garden by Janet Gleeson
The Seville Communion by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

Slayer of Gods by Lynda S. Robinson 
Spring Moon by Bette Bao Lord
The Surface of Earth by Reynoids Price
Symphony by Jude Morgan


T
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story by Rachel Kadish
Too Great a Lady by Amanda Elyot

Tuxedo Park by Laura Furman


U
Uncommon Faith by Trudy Krishner

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett


V
The Vanishing Point by Louise Hawes


W
The Wayward Muse by Elizabeth Hickey
The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho

X


Y
The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond


Z

Slayer of Gods by Lynda S. Robinson

(In which I really changed my mind.)

***

After reading The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, it dawned on me that reading mystery is not as uninteresting as I used to think. Now that was a hasty generalization, I know. And to further accentuate my hasty behavior, there was a time when I picked up a book from a tall pile in my favorite bargain store and read the synopsis inside the jacket. The mere fact that it deals with ancient Egypt was enough for me to clutch it really close. After having it covered with plastic, I reread it and discovered it was the sixth and the last book in an Egyptian-inspired series. I was still thankful it wasn’t somewhere in the middle, though.

Lynda S. Robinson’s Slayer of Gods concludes the Lord Meren series. A concoction of ancient Egypt, detective mystery, murder and heresy, the novel opens up with an annoying, old duck loitering in an elaborate palace of Lord Meren, the Eyes and Ears of Pharaoh Tutankhamen and the determined investigator in search of Queen Nefertiti’s murderer. The duck belongs to Satet, a witness who is killed as she searches for her pet. Satet’s murder starts the series of clues and traces and danger of finding the culprit responsible for the great Queen’s untimely demise more than a decade ago.

If there’s one thing that amazes me with this novel is the old-fashioned ways of tracking a criminal – which nonetheless work. During the time when CSI-like investigations and astonishing forensic science don’t exist, detectives rely on spies, rumors, plain common sense and some chance of luck. And when it comes to squeezing information, instead of the polygraph test there is the confess-before-I-count-to-ten method which works too, however ruthless that sounds. But the ruthlessness doesn’t stop there, of course. For a criminal, once found guilty has only two (because I don’t consider exile a merciless punishment) choices– a slow or quick death.

The novel is filled of lessons about trust, loyalty, the threat of a woman’s charm and the horrifying power of religion. Oh, I could have easily used a biblical allusion had it not been for my dislike of spoilers!

Regardless of the novel being a fragment of a series, it is written well enough to stand alone. The references made in the reigns of the previous pharaohs as well as other events relevant to the present crime do not result to a painfully curious mind or a reader’s disappointment for not being able to read the earlier books. The pace was fast enough but not too hasty to leave gaps in the narration, thus crafting a solid, smooth flow to the conclusion that twisted my heart and made me sigh.


Currently reading

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

Friday, May 27, 2011

Into The Old World Reading Challenge

(In which I am into another challenge.)

***

Into The Old World Reading Challenge


I’ve recently joined a reading challenge that will run until the end of this year. The challenge features books that were published before 2009 – which was one reason to thank Booksale. And this is one reason why I’m more positive that I’ll be able to do well here. As required, I’m posting my partial list of TBR books for this challenge.
Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman

Slayer of Gods by Lynda S. Robinson

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich

The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved and The Well-Beloved by Thomas Hardy

Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shieve

Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman

Old Liberty by Marshall Terry

Marrying Mozart by Stephanie Cowell

Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan

Slayer of Gods by Lynda S. Robinson

Symphony by Jude Morgan

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich

The Lost Diary of don Juan by Douglas Carlton Abrams

The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved and The Well-Beloved by Thomas Hardy

The Serpent in the Garden by Janet Gleeson

The Seville Communion by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

The Surface of Earth by Reynoids Price

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Wayward Muse by Elizabeth Hickey

Too Great a Lady by Amanda Elyot

Uncommon Faith by Trudy Krishner

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Third Sentence Thursday: The Slayer of Gods by Lynda S. Robinson


(In which I flipped back and counted.)


***

This is the first time that I will be joining a meme again after a long time. And yes, it’s my busy schedule I always blame. But this one’s interesting. If I understood it right, all I have to do is post the badge, count sentences and write something.

Third Sentence Thursday

Third Sentence Thursday is a meme hosted by Sniffy Kitty to showcase a book’s third sentence magic.

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence here (in the comments) or if you don't have a blog, just post it in the comments!

My first sentence is from The Slayer of Gods by Lynda S. Robinson.
Around her, in the breezy coolness of late evening, servants gossiped in the kitchen yard. – page 1
Gossiping. One of human’s most entertaining and dangerous past times. It’s really interesting that we find a conduit for our boredom in others' mishaps. And the ones most notorious for the penchant of juicy word-of-mouth tales are the servants – which are more often than not more dangerous.

As what Tracy Chevalier wrote in The Girl with the Pearl Earring, a master expects her servants – no matter how innocent-looking they are – to eavesdrop after a certain period of serving the household. And then what? That servant would soon be stealing too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

(In which I got a peek of what he might have thought of.)

***

Tracy Chevalier’s art fiction bursts with surprises as she uncovers the possible root of a masterpiece branded as the Dutch Mona Lisa. No one is sure who the girl was, as no one is certain about how the real Vermeer worked or lived. In her treasure of a novel, Chevalier presents a story behind the painting that seems to be so real that it must have been true.

Girl with a Pearl Earring is also the basis of the 2003 film under the same title starring Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth, Tom Wilkinson and Cillian Murphy. The novel takes off as the seventeen-year-old Griet was introduced to the painter Johannes Vermeer and his wife, Catharina, when the two visited her house. She understands then that she is to be their maid as a consequence their family needs to face when her father, a skilled tile painter lost his vision in an accident. On top of the eccentricities she has to deal with each family member including the other maid, Tanneke, Griet faces bigger challenges as her role shifts from being an all-around servant girl to an artist’s assistant.

Unlike other art fictions, the other captivating thing about this novel aside from the beautifully imagined plot is the narration. In other works that feature the life and work of an artist, the narrator is usually either the artist himself or an omniscient one with above-sufficient knowledge about art and its creation. In Chevalier’s novel, however, the narrator is Griet – an innocent maid ignorant of the world let alone art. But since the novel is expected to develop, Griet’s description moves from describing a palette knife as “a knife with a diamond-shaped blade“ to calling it what it is; from addressing van Leeuwenhoek’s camera obscura as a box with a diabolic magic to confidently calling it a camera obscura.

Chevalier reiterates the importance of knowing one’s place and maintaining one’s self all throughout the novel, which is as necessary and life-saving as knowing etiquette. For while it’s hard to be a maid in a household sinking in debts and serve a family full of inappropriate pride and to assist a reticent, emotionally unstable and selfish artist, it’s easy to get lost in the entire mayhem.


Currently reading

Slayer of Gods by Lynda S. Robinson