Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Dowager Royina Ista is bored. Her daughter is married. Her husband is dead and she is kept in a castle with nothing to do. So she decides to take on a pilgrimage as an excuse to get out and travel. She leaves her retinue behind and travels as a simple woman. However, demons are loose in the country and the gods are arranging for Ista to be their helper in getting them back.

I picked up this book because I had heard of the author but never read her. I didn’t realize that it was the second book in a series set in this world. The previous book seemed to focus more on other characters though so I don’t think I missed much. Like most fantasy it took a while for me to get into this world and learn the conventions. After that though it was really good. It came down to a story about a middle aged woman finding her place in the world and learning to stand up for herself.

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

This is book two of the Heroes of Olympus series that takes place after the Percy Jackson series. In the last book Percy was missing. Now we find out that he lost his memories. The book opens with him finding his way to a camp for the Roman demigods. He is taken in even though they suspect that he may be a Greek spy. He goes on a quest to Alaska to stop Gaea from waking her most powerful giant.

I stayed up half the night to read this one. Book one of this series focused on what the Greeks are doing to prepare to fight Gaea and this one focused on the Romans. They will be working together it seems in subsequent books. This is a series that I wish I didn’t know about until it was finished since I want to know what happens and the next book doesn’t come out until Fall 2012. 🙁

The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart

The Tower of London had contained a Royal Menagerie until the 1800s. This is a story of a Beefeater and his wife who live in the Tower. They are grieving the loss of their son when the Queen decides to restart the Menagerie. She choose him to run it because he owns the oldest tortoise in England.

I ordered this book on my iPod in an airport on the way to Portugal last year. I was never able to get past the first chapter. I’m glad I finally settle down to read it. The book is quirky. The characters are strange but understandable.
I found out that the library has a search feature that will sometimes let you search for books by location. I used it some find some books for the Where are you reading challenge.

Arkansas Traveler by Earlene Fowler

This is part of a series about a folk art historian named Benni Harper who is a nosy busybody solves murders. (I’m not a mystery fan.) She is visiting her hometown in Arkansas for a church reunion. Her friend is the first woman and first non-white person to run for mayor in this town and her campaign is getting a lot of racial harassment. When one of the biggest troublemakers, the son of her opponent, is murdered Benni decides to investigate.

I picked this up because the info on the library computer managed to have the search terms “white supremacy” and “quiltmaking” on the same page. That’s not something you see every day.

The Blight Way by Patrick McManus

Sheriff Bo Tully of Blight, Idaho has a murder on his hands. It was just called in by the head of a family of criminals. They wouldn’t have called it in if they were involved so now Tully has no leads. He takes his ex-sheriff father out with him to investigate. It is his 75th birthday and nothing says “Happy Birthday Dad” like a nice murder investigation.

I was thrilled when I saw this listed for Idaho. My father got a few Patric McManus books when I was in high school and I read them over and over. Those were some of his outdoor essays and they were hysterical. This was the first novel of his I have read and it didn’t disappoint. The characters are sarcastic and funny. The mystery makes sense. I’m looking forward to reading a few more of his novels.

My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir by Noelle Hancock

On her 29th birthday the author vows to live out the Eleanor Roosevelt quote, “Do something everyday that scares you.” The author has a lot of things that scare her. She spends the next year flying fighter jets, climbing mountains, singing onstage, and doing standup comedy for example.

I like memoirs like this one that show people trying something new.
New Where are you Reading updates – Arkansas, Idaho