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Display Name: Ryner
About me: I'm a tea-drinking library girl, geocacher, blogger, photographer, scrapbooker and Muse fan.
Reading Interests: Historical fiction, fantasy, science, skepticism, romance with real plots, and anything else that catches my eye.

Ryner's Book Lists
Cooking with Kids (7 titles)
Cookbooks with kid-friendly recipes, designed to get your little one interested in how meals are created in the kitchen
Just thaw and enjoy! (23 titles)
Cookbooks designed for the make-ahead or freezer cook
Larger than life: legendary characters (4 titles)
Books I've read and enjoyed about the lives of gods, heroes of folklore and other legendary characters

Another recommended title not available at the library
* In Camelot's Shadow (Zettel)
Across the fabric of time (9 titles)
Books I've read and enjoyed in which time-travel plays a role
Wartime fiction and nonfiction (15 titles)
Books I've read and enjoyed that are set during wartime
Show all 9 booklists by Ryner

Ryner's Comments    
Cover ArtSplendor
by Anna Godbersen
As this final book in the Luxe series begins, Henry Schoonmaker has joined the army but due to his father’s far-reaching influence, and to his frustration, he finds himself safely out of harm’s way in untroubled Cuba. He is unaware that Diana Holland has liberated herself from the constraints of New York society life and followed him, earning her keep by engaging as a barmaid. Back home, Elizabeth (née Holland) Cairns is finding that the security and promise of happiness she believed to finally have found are being threatened by evidence of something shady and unfathomable. And when Henry’s wife Penelope discovers back in New York City that she has attracted the attentions of a visiting European prince, she finds that she isn’t so bothered that Henry has abandoned her after all.

Hardly anyone lives happily ever after, but this was a decent and appropriate conclusion to the series. My instincts felt somewhat vindicated upon reading of Elizabeth’s troubles -- something hadn’t seemed quite right, but I was for some reason doubtful that the author was going to go in that direction. I appreciated how the author ultimately treated Diana and Henry’s relationship -- realistic if not satisfying. Penelope’s comeuppance was brilliant.   posted Jul 8, 2014 at 11:31AM

Cover ArtThe impossible lives of Greta Wells
by Andrew Sean Greer
Following her twin brother Felix’s death and her split with Nathan, her partner of ten years, Greta’s physician suggests electroconvulsive therapy to combat her feelings of depression and loneliness. What Greta doesn’t expect, however, is that each of the sessions somehow transports her into other versions of herself in one of several alternate time periods, including Greta of 1918 and Greta of 1941. In each of these separate realities, her close family and friends remain consistent, but their lives have played out differently, and Greta gets the feeling that her counterparts are trading places with her and living her 1985 life just as she is spending time in theirs. What happens when the twenty-five procedures have concluded?

I really relish stories about time travel, although I suppose Greta’s experience is something more like dimension travel. I wondered constantly about the other Gretas and what they were thinking and feeling. I was sort of expecting them leave notes for one another or otherwise attempt to communicate in some way, if only to share the feeling of "WOW! Isn’t this crazy what is happening to us?" I enjoyed the book, though it fell a little short of "unputdownable."   posted Jul 2, 2014 at 12:17PM

Cover ArtHotel Transylvania : a novel of forbidden love
by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Having grown up in the country, young Madelaine de Montalia arrives in 18th-century Paris to be introduced to society while living in her aunt’s opulent household. She is immediately whisked from event to lavish event, all the while catching the attentions of numerous eligible men, including some with potentially sinister intentions. She finds she is inexplicably drawn to the charming, kind Comte de Saint Germain, who seems vastly different in some way from all of the others.

I’d never heard of this title (or series) before picking up this book, and yet I can’t imagine it wouldn’t have been at least somewhat popular when it was published in 1978. It has it all: intrigue, deception, romance, violence, treachery, forbidden fruits, elegance. And vampires -- not the sparkly, beautiful, tormented vampires of contemporary literature, but a vampire who is, other than being sophisticated and wealthy, just trying to get through the live(s) fate has dealt him, in reality an incredibly lonely existence.   posted Jun 29, 2014 at 2:49PM

Cover ArtThe name of the star
by Johnson, Maureen
With her parents temporarily teaching American law at an English university, Aurora (Rory) has enrolled at Wexford, a private school in London. Just as she is getting acclimated to the school, her roommates and English customs at the start of the school year, the city is stunned by a murder. The victim was killed in the same location and in the same manner as Jack the Ripper’s first victim in 1888. When several more copycat murders are committed over the course of the next month, each occurring on the same day, in a similar location and by a comparable method as those from the tragic events of 1888, London goes into panic mode while also simultaneously welcoming the media spectacle. After discovering that she has seen a strange-looking man who was invisible to everyone else, Rory begins to fear for what role she may play in the mystery.

The Name of the Star was both charming and engaging, though I was initially dubious about the subject matter, not being especially enthusiastic about ghosts or the supernatural. I really enjoyed the authentic feel of Rory’s first-person narrative from a teenage perspective in the way that the teenagers in Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park rang slightly false. Looking forward to the sequel.   posted Jun 29, 2014 at 1:57PM

Cover ArtEvery Secret Thing [electronic resource].
Kate Murray, a Canadian reporter on location covering a murder trial in London, is suddenly approached by an elderly man who offers to tell her about another murder that occurred many years ago. Oddly, he also asks after her grandmother. Tragically, only moments after offering Kate his card and beginning to walk away, he is struck by a passing car. An investigator by nature, Kate resolves to uncover further details about what the man was trying to tell her, but before long she realizes that there is someone else out there who doesn’t want any of it to come to light.

I selected this book because I’m lately in the middle of a Susanna Kearsley binge. It is somewhat different, however, from her other works, and I realized later that it was originally published under a pseudonym, perhaps for that reason. The big reveal at the climax was unsatisfyingly disappointing, though I can’t quite put my finger on why. All in all, was moderately enjoyable, but thrillers aren’t typically my thing.   posted Jun 29, 2014 at 10:58AM

Show all 215 comments by Ryner

What Ryner is Reading
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