Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Library Loot - January 28

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Alessandra that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post any time during the week-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

I went to the library today to return a few books (Call of the Highland Moon, Circus of the Damned, and Imitation in Death) that I finished. I had to browse the shelves for a bit though and came out as happy as a kid in a candy store :) Here is what I picked up this week:

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray- I've been wanting to read this one for awhile now as I've heard lots of good things. Plus, it'll fit a few of the challenges I'm in which is an added bonus. This is the 1st one in the series though, right?

Heartstopper by Joy Fielding- I read Charley's Web last year and really enjoyed it so I'm looking forward to this one. I was in the mood for a good thriller too which is why I grabbed it.

In The Land of Invisible Women by Qanta A. Ahmed, MD- This has been all over the blogsphere and I was SO excited to see it at the library. I just had to scoop it up :)

In The Woods by Tana French- Another book that I've been wanting to read for awhile. Can you guys see why I was so excited when I came home from the library?

The Butcher of Beverly Hills by Jennifer Colt- I picked this one up on a whim. It was in the mystery section and looked good so I'll give it a try.

That's it for me this week. One too many books probably but who cares? I'm excited to read them which is all that matters :P What did you get at the library this week?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Sunday Salon- Holidays on Ice

It is Sunday once again and time for the Sunday Salon. I've spent a lazy weekend of reading and watching movies with a little laundry thrown in. I'll get to what I've been reading this week but first a mini review of a book that I read during the holidays and haven't had a chance to talk about yet.

Awhile ago I finished Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris. I had heard lots of good things about the books and short stories that he has written so I was excited to read this. Plus, I was in the mood for a funny Christmas book. Holidays on Ice is made up of short stories all related to the holiday theme. For me it was a mixture of good and bad. The first story (sorry it has been too long ago) was my favorite about working at a department store as one of Santa's elves. It was hilarious and I found myself really liking the author's dry sense of humor. There were a few stories that were a bit over the top for my tastes but all in all I liked most of the stories. I will be interested to read more of Sedaris' work in the future and see what else he writes about. I rated this one a 3.5 out of 5.

Now on to more current book news. This week I finished a couple of books this week. I finished Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton. I enjoyed this book and decided that this is my favorite so far in this series. She seems to be a love/hate author with most people so I'll be interested to see what my thoughts are when I get farther along in this series. I also finished The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer and really enjoyed this one! It had a bit of suspense and mystery mixed into the book and I'll be honest I was entranced with the story. I will definitely have to give Mrs. Heyer a try again. Finally, I finished Call of the Highland Moon by Kendra Leigh Castle. I had read the 2nd book in this series first and so I went back to this one to catch me up. I absolutely loved the 2nd book and the 1st book did not disappoint. Ms. Castle is a very talented author and now I'm dying to read the 3rd book even though I'm not sure when it comes out :) It was a great reading week for me as I never usually read this much in one week! It helped that the kids went to bed early Friday night and my fiancee and I stayed up late reading/watching tv.

I'm currently reading Imitation in Death by J.D. Robb. I'm liking it so far but I'm not very far into it yet. I'm also working on American and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power. I'm taking my time with this one as it is a big read but I know that I'm going to be better off for having read it. That's it out of me and I'll see you all next week. Happy reading!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur

Full Moon Rising is the beginning of a new (to me) series that I was excited to read. Riley Jensen and her twin brother are half vampire and half werewolf and both work for the government concerning supernatural creatures. Trouble begins to brew when Riley's brother disappears and a vampire shows up on Riley's doorstep. Can she find her brother without becoming a guardian like her boss wants her to?
I'm finding that I am a huge fan of urban fantasy and this didn't disappoint. Keri Arthur creates a world that draws the reader into it and I couldn't help but root for Riley to succeed. It was a dark world filled with creatures of the night and lots of suspense. Riley was also up against the fact that it was the week before the full moon which meant that she was basically in heat. There was a lot of sex in this book which may deter some readers. It didn't bother me as a reader as it pertained to the story line but like I said before it might bother some. All of the answers weren't found at the end of the book which makes me want to read the next book in this series soon. The ending was satisfying though and I couldn't help but hope that the story would go the way I wanted it to in the following books :) All in all, I enjoyed this book and am excited to have found another series that I will be following.

Rating/Recommendations: 4 out of 5 and a recommendation to those who enjoy dark urban fantasy.
Challenges: 1st in a Series, New Author, 100+ Challenge, A-Z ("A" Author), Support Your Library Challenge

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Library Loot- January 21- 27

Another week and more books...what can I say other than I love the library! This week I returned a few (Innocent Traitor and Rogue) not because I didn't want to read them but because I wasn't in the mood for them right now. Well, with Rogue I figured out that the ending was left open for the next book (yep, I peeked) and decided to wait until that book is out too. Then I won't have to be mad and waiting for the 3rd book :) It makes sense in my mind..LOL! I finished Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton and I'm thinking that this was my favorite so far in this series. I picked up from the library starting from the left:

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs- I loved the first book in this series and am excited to read this one!

The Outcast by Sadie Jones- Picked this one up for the Book Awards Challenge and because I've heard good things about it so hopefully...

Ramses Volume I: The Son of Light by Christian Jacq- This is for the historical fiction challenge

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr- YA and Book Awards challenges

There you have it..another week and some new finds. I've been seriously thinking about checking out a couple of graphic novels..we'll see. See ya next week!
**Sorry I keep re-posting this but Blogger isn't cooperating with the pictures and the spacing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Meme and Other Random Goodies

Kimberly from Darque Reviews tagged me with a meme and I've decided to play along. Here are the rules:

Link to the person who has tagged you.Write down six things that make you happy.Post the rules.Tag six others and let them know you did it.Then tell the person when your entry is complete.

Six Things That Make Me Happy:

1. My son and my daughter (of course) but really the things they come up my mind they are both geniuses already even if they are only 1 and 5 :)

2. My fiance - He isn't mentioned on here a lot as he is a nonreader *gasp* but no matter why I will try to entice him to the dark side..LOL!

3. Books of course

4. A good thunderstorm

5. The library- my favorite place in the entire world

6. Scooby Doo episodes- I love watching these with my kids as they both are Scooby fans.

Six Bloggers that I am tagging:

1. Ladytink

2. Jackie at Literary Escapism

3. Naida at The Bookworm

4. Dar at Peeking Between the Pages

5. Teddy Rose at So Many Books

6. JKaye

and anyone else that would like to play of course ;)

In other news, I am making a few changes. I still have leftover reviews from 2008 but I've decided to hold off on those and post mini reviews for them (one a week) on my Sunday Salon post. I've been neglecting the Sunday Salon and this will be a great way to get me back into the habit of posting and visiting on Sundays. For 2009 reviews, I will be posting a rating and a recommendation. I think that it is hard to rate a book and then not want to go back and change the rating later on. Plus, the different types of books just make it hard for me to decide on my ratings. On the other hand, I really like looking at the ratings when other bloggers do it so I've decided to do a little bit of both. Let me know what you think!

I finished The Bluest Eye and ended up really enjoying it. I will be posting a review of Full Moon Rising this week at some point. I'm reading two books right now which is unusual for me (see sidebar) but as one is nonfiction I needed to have another one to fall back on. We will see how this goes. America and the Age of Genocide will take me awhile to get through but I can already tell that it is going to be worth it. That's all out of me for now :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Inside Out Girl by Tish Cohen

I recently realized that I was falling behind in my 2009 reviews while trying to catch up on the leftover books from 2008. Inside Out Girl had been sitting on my review pile for some time patiently waiting for me to read it. I'm so glad that I finally did pick this book up as I really enjoyed it.
Inside Out Girl introduces us to Olivia and her father Len. Olivia has NLD which is a nonverbal learning disorder. We are also introduced to Rachel, a single mother of two, owner of a parenting magazine, and a overly cautious parent. When Len and Rachel start dating, Rachel's children are furious as they go to school with Olivia whom they know as "inside out girl". Before anyone knows it, certain circumstances will change all of their lives forever.
Ms. Cohen really knows how to weave and tale and made me really care about Olivia and what happened to her. There are many different situations that the characters had to deal with throughout the story. I thought that this helped me as the reader see the characters grow and change in ways for the better. I really enjoyed this story and am so glad that I finally gave it a chance. A great way to start 2009 off on the right foot.

Ratings/Recommendations: 4 out of 5; Recommended to those who enjoy contemporary fiction or a good book :)

Challenges: New Author Challenge, 100+ Book Challenge, A-Z Challenge ("C" Author), Winter Reading Challenge

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Library Loot- January 14-20

Woohoo! A new week and more new books from the library. You gotta love it :) I had the rare opportunity of going to the library by myself (a luxury for sure) this week which is why I picked up a few more than usual. Don't ask me how I am going to read all of these as I haven't quite figured that one out for myself. It still didn't stop me though so here they are:

  • The World Without Us by Alan Weisman- I've been hearing about this one all over the internet and couldn't resist. Yay!

  • Hold My Hand by Serena Mackesy- Look what you can find when you actually browse through the books. The back of the book has it likened to "a modern day Rebecca" so I couldn't resist.

  • Call of the Highland Moon by Kendra Leigh Castle- I accidentally read the 2nd one in this series and LOVED it so I'm going back to the first one.

  • Glass Houses by Rachel Caine- 1st in a series and YA challenges

  • "A Problem From Hell" America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power- This is for the World Citizen challenge and I can't wait to crack this one open.

  • Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner- Another browsing find.

I totally scored on library books this week :) I'm almost halfway thru The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. I'm enjoying it so far but I'm kinda waiting for the shoe to drop. You know it is a sad basically tells you that in the first few pages and I'm just waiting till I get there. It is a really good read so far and I can't believe that this is the first book that I've read by this author. That is it out of until next week. If you wanna play along, click on the picture and it will take you to Eva's post.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Awhile back, ABC Family had a Harry Potter marathon on television and of course I had to record all of the movies. Then one of the movie channels had the 5th Potter movie and I recorded that....before you knew it I was in Harry Potter heaven :) Seriously though, I really have loved this series and was excited to have all of the movies recorded so I can watch them whenever. It put me in the mood to get back into the series and so I started The Half Blood Prince.
What a freakin amazing writer Rowling is!!! I honestly don't know what else to say. These books have been so awesome and of course this one just tops the rest. Most everyone besides myself has read these but just in case stop now if you haven't.

Dumbledore is beginning to show Harry what he is going to have to do to destroy Voldemort along with showing Harry Voldemort's beginnings. I liked getting to see more of Dumbledore is this one as well as seeing Harry and his relationship grow. It seems like he trusts Harry more now which is a good thing. I loved seeing how Ron, Harry, and Hermoine's relationship is evolving. I just love these three characters and want them to be my friends. LOL! I can't help but immerse myself in the world Rowling creates while reading these books. I literally could probably read this series again and again. I really liked Harry's internal struggle over his feelings for Ginny. The relationships, the action, the world Rowling creates makes for an amazing read and this series will go on to my top list of reads ever. I laughed at this book, I cried (a lot at the end), and I instantly picked up the last book of this series. I couldn't help myself as I had to have more. Great read and highly recommended (like you couldn't tell :)!!!!!!!!
My Rating: 5 out of 5

Another review from 2008 knocked off my list! Yay! Oh yeah, after watching all of the movies I am absolutely DYING for the next movie to come out. This is one that I will be going to see in the theaters for sure!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Library Loot and an Award!

Most of you already know how much I love the library! Eva over at A Striped Armchair is hosting this new weekly meme about which library books you have checked out from the library. What a great idea and I have to participate in this one :) Click on the picture if you want to see what other participants have gotten. I have checked out:

Rogue by Rachel Vincent (the 2nd book in the Werecat series)

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (for a few of my challenges I'm participating in)

The Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake series 3rd book)

Innocent Traitor by Allison Weir (for the Historical fiction challenge)

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (I've never read anything by this author but have heard such good things)

I have a few on hold as well but I'll wait to share them until they come in :)

In other news, I was awarded The Butterfly Award from a fairly new to me blogger, Ladytink. I haven't a clue where I found her blog but I'm so glad I did as it is a great blog. She reads some great books and I really like the detail she puts into her reviews. She says I need to add more pictures to my blog so I'll work on it ;P LOL! I'm really bad at it but I am learning. I forgot to save the rules but they basically said to pick and link up to 10 bloggers for this award.

1. Jackie at Literary Escapism
2. Naida at The Bookworm
3. JKaye at JKaye's Blog
4. Lisa at Books, Lists, Life
5. Andi over at Tripping Into Lucidity
6. Trish from Trish's Reading Nook
7. Ladytink
8. Kimberly from Darque Reviews

and can I stop lazy...and say everyone else in my blogroll. Seriously, I check out all of these blogs at least once a week. I can't keep up with all of the books that I add to my TBR list from checking out these blogs. It is an addiction :)

Keeping with making this another really long post I'm here to let you know that I have joined a couple more challenges: The Historical Reading Challenge and the Chunkster Challenge. The Chunkster challenge has such fun levels of participation that I couldn't resist and I was dying for a Historical reading challenge. I've only finished two books in 2009 so far and who knows when I will get those reviews posted but it will happen. I still have about 6 reviews leftover from last year including the final two Harry Potter books. Best series ever!!! Enough out of me as I should be cleaning. Yuck!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Darcys & the Bingleys by Marsha Altman

From the back cover:

Three days before their double wedding, Charles Bingley is desperate to have a word with his dear friend Fitzwilliam Darcy, seeking advice of a most delicate nature. Bingley is shocked when Darcy gives him a copy of The Kama Sutra-but it does tell him everything he needs to know. Eventually, of course, Jane finds this remarkale volume and in utmost secrecy shows it to her dear sister Elizabeth, who goes searching for a copy in the Pemberley library...

What a fun book this was to read! Just that little excerpt gives you an idea about what the book is about but it also about so much more. The reader is drawn into the upcoming marriages and then the married life of both couples. I was enchanted with this book as I got to see how the relationships between Charles and Jane and Darcy and Elizabeth grow and mature. One thing that I liked about this book was their was so humor thrown into the story and I couldn't help but laugh at a few parts. Elizabeth had a dry sense of humor that I could relate to and I really liked her as a character. The book also encompassed Charles' sister Caroline and her possible marriage prospects. I honestly wasn't sure if I would like this book and was pleasantly suprised when it turned out to be a great read.
Now that I've written the basic review and my thoughts I have something to share: I've never read Pride and Prejudice. Aack! When I requested to review this book...well...I wasn't so sure about it for this reason, and now that I think about I'm not sure what I was thinking. But I had read a really good review on another book blog and it made me want to give it a try. Boy, I'm so glad I did. It has inspired me to read the original Pride and Prejudice just to see how this whole story started. I've been wanting to read Jane Austen (yes, I haven't read anything by her) for some time and this may be the key to me picking up this book. Who would of thought? Anyways, I really ended up enjoying the book and am glad that I gave it a chance!
My Rating: 4 out of 5
P.S.- This is another book that I read in 2008 but haven't had a chance to review. I will catch up eventually :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane

My first review of 2009 is going to be a book I read in 2008. LOL! I recently finished Perfect....On Paper and boy was it good! It starts with Waverly Bryson's fiancee breaking up with her just weeks before the wedding is about to occur. The book chronicles the aftermath of everything Waverly has to deal with to get over her fiancee and begin to love herself. Perfect On Paper is filled with Waverly's "misadventures" in getting back into the dating game. Add to that a so-so job that Waverly isn't too enthused about and two great best friends and you have a perfect combination for a fun read.
I really enjoyed reading about Waverly's life and her adventures back into dating. There were some laugh out louds moments in the book especially when it came to Waverly running into her ex. I was rooting for her from the beginning as I thought the author did a great job of portraying Waverly in a realistic fashion. She wasn't perfect...she did make some mistakes and that was part of the fun of reading this book. As a reader, I just couldn't help but really like her. The ending was good with enough of a twist that it didn't go exactly where I thought it would. All in all, I thought this was a fun read. Readers who enjoy chic lit. and romance or even those who are looking for a "fun, light" read will enjoy this book. Thanks so much to Tracee for sending me this book to review!
My Rating: 4 out of 5