Jeanine O'Loughlin

Fantasy, Science Fiction & Historical Fiction Author, Blogger, and Geek

Tag: books

Friday Book Recommendation


So this book has both a place of love and hate in my heart. When I was in the 6th grade I was in an advanced English group who read books that were a grade or two ahead, and this was one of our first books. I loved the story and viewing a part of the real world from the perspective of a dog. Then I changed schools and in 7th grade was assigned the book again, and then I changed schools again in 8th grade, and had to read the book a THIRD time. I liked the book, but by the third year of writing book reports and essays I was ready to chuck my copy into the recycling bin. I haven’t read it since, but I remember it really well. The story of Buck, a mutt of a dog living a life of luxury as a family pet gets thrust into the life of a sled dog during the notorious Yukon Gold Rush. He changes hands of several owners, some good, some bad and we learn about humanity through the eyes of a single dog. I’ve always believed you can really understand the nature of a person by how they treat their pets, and I think this book really started me on that path.

**FOR PARENTS: I would not recommend this book for children younger than about 12 due to some of the violence involved. If you’re a parent be prepared to talk to your child about animal abuse and other related topics as they are very prevalent in the book and can be upsetting for animal lovers.**

Happy Reading!


Friday Book Recommendation


Many of you have probably seen these movies or at least heard of them as they’ve taken the teenage and young adult market by storm. I read these books when the first movie came out after hearing several friends and family raving about them. After the first book I found it a charming, fast-paced action/adventure story with dystopian flare. However, as I progressed through the second and third books I found that there was much more to these stories than an action flick.

One short coming I think a lot of young adult novels have is that they put teenagers into these extreme situations who come out triumphant at the end. Some of these experiences are quite traumatic and include death and grief or other strong emotions which are often glossed over in the attempt to move the story forward. I found this very issue addressed in this trilogy of books, showing just what kind of trauma and damage can happen to these young people from being thrown in these situations. There is PTSD, depression, mental programming and much more.

Then there’s the controversial ending. I, like many, were rooting for a good happy ending, and was given something unexpected instead. At first I was angry and bitter, but after given time to think and analyze through the stories I found the ending to be quite fitting and really made me absorb the overall theme and message I felt the books were trying to convey. Now as with all literary analysis I can’t say for certain that this was the author’s intent but it’s how I was able to really take a lot away from the books beyond “wow Katniss is a badass.”

So even if you’re sick of hearing about these books and movies if you haven’t had the chance to read them I would suggest you do, but look for the psychological story beyond that of the adventure and war.

Happy Reading!

Friday Book Recommendation


I mentioned this book in my father’s day post. Discussing Atticus Finch and the affect he had in teaching his children about doing the right thing. This classic American tale is a must read as you live through the trial through the eyes of Scout a young girl growing up in Alabama.

The story engages in a discussion about doing what is right and what is human in the face of great advertise. To hold out when everyone around you is telling you to do what you know in your heart is wrong. As a great wizard once said “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.” – Dumbledore (2001)

Happy Reading!

Friday Book Recommendation


A Matter of Magic by Patricia C. Wrede (one of my favorite authors), combines two previously separate novels into one; Mairelon the Magician and The Magician’s Ward. Set in Regency/Victorian England but where magic is real and the study taken on much like law or natural sciences. Kim, a street urchin from London is hired to break into the wagon of a stage magician performing in the market and steal an innocuous silver bowl. However, she quickly comes to learn that this stage magician may not be performing just parlor tricks for pennies. A quick job becomes a life-changing adventure of intrigue, magic, and excitement.

I have read both of these novels more times than I can count and are in my top five favorite books. I first read these when I was about twelve to thirteen and they are quick page turners even then. I highly recommend these for both kids and adults looking for some fun light adventure stories. The strong pairing of Kim and Mairelon is one of my favorite and it’s hard not to fall in love with both of them.

Happy Reading!

August Babies – Piers Anthony & The Xanth Novels

August did not have any compelling holidays to celebrate, so this month I’ll be posting about authors who were born in the month of August.


Piers Anthony 8/6/34 – Present (Age 81)

Piers Anthony is an English-born American author who is most famous for his long-running novel series set in the fictional realm of Xanth. Mr. Anthony was born in England but moved to the United States when he was 6 becoming a naturalized US citizen while serving in the US Army in 1958. He was a teacher at Admiral Farragut Academy in St Petersburg Florida before becoming a full-time writer. At this time he and his wife made a deal that if he could sell a piece of writing within one year she would continue to work to support him and his writing career. At the end of that first year he had managed to have one of his short stories published.

Mr. Anthony commonly states that he originally intended the Xanth novels to be a trilogy, but after the wild success fo the first three books decided to expand on the series to nine books. His extremely devoted fan base persuaded the author to continue writing the series which is now open-ended and has 39 books published with two additional announced titles. Mr. Anthony considers one of his greatest achievements publishing a book for every letter of the alphabet.

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