Thursday, September 30, 2010

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

Books like this make me wonder why I don't read mystery series more often. A is for Alibi begins with the reader meeting Kinsey Millhone, a private investigator who is asked to reinvestigate a murder that happened over seven years ago. She is hired by Nikki Fife, the wife of the murdered man, and the person that has been accused, convicted, and recently released from prison. Kinsey goes back to the beginning of the original investigation to see if she can dig up some new evidence and new answers. What she finds brings her more danger than she ever expected.

Kinsey may be one of the most likeable sleuths that I've ever read. I instantly related to her character and her personality. Grafton was able to make her come across as realistic, tough, slightly vunerable, and just a fun character to read about. Kinsey's character made this book for me and was one of the reasons that I liked it so much. I enjoyed following along with the investigation throughout the book and trying to solve it myself along the way. Let's just say that I was majorly off and hadn't a clue who the bad guy was :) But it made the ending all the more suspenseful and I flew through it. All in all, a great beginning to this series and I can't wait to read more about Kinsey's investigations and adventures.

Final Thoughts: Highly recommended to any mystery lovers out there!

Disclosure: Checked out from the library...
*I read this book for the following challenges:
100+ Reading Challenge
1st in a Series Challenge
Suspense/Thriller Challenge
Support Your Library Reading Challenge
"A" Title for A-Z Challenge (personal)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

On My Wishlist (or Radar)

I love browsing for books and looking at book publishing websites...I add books to my TBR list by the dozen. I decided to participate in Book Chick City's meme On My Wishlist but I'm mixing it up with The Booksmuggler's Radar where they also share books that they either have or want to get their hands on.

The Sweet Scent of Blood ( #1) by Suzanne McLeod

"My name is Genny Taylor. I work for It's a great job, pays the rent, lets me do the thing I'm good at - finding magic and cracking it - and the bonus is it's run by witches, which stops the vamps from taking a bite out of me. Not that vampires are the big bad any more, not since they launched a slick PR campaign - oh, and they brought the goblins on board. Now the vamps are sought-after celebrities, and Getting Fanged and taking the Gift are the new height of all things cool. But only if you're human. And I'm not. I'm Sidhe fae. And I know firsthand just how deadly a vampire can be."

Sounds like a great beginning to a new to me series. I want this one NOW!

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

"A long lost letter arrives in the post and Edie Burchill finds herself on a journey to Milderhurst Castle, a great but moldering old house, where the Blythe spinsters live and where her mother was billeted 50 years before as a 13 year old child during WW II. The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives looking after the third and youngest sister, Juniper, who hasn’t been the same since her fiance jilted her in 1941.
Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins to unravel her mother’s past. But there are other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected. The truth of what happened in ‘the distant hours’ of the past has been waiting a long time for someone to find it."

I read and loved The House at Riverton by this author earlier this year so I instantly had to add this book when I saw it on Fantastic Fiction's website. Yay!

Cold Magic (Spiritwalker #1) by Kate Elliott

"Young Cat Barahal thinks she understands the world she lives in and her place in it, but in fact she is merely poised unaware on the brink of shattering events. Drawn into a labyrinth of politics involving blood, betrayal and old feuds, she will be forced to make an unexpected and perilous journey in order to discover the truth, not just about her own family but about an ancient secret lying at the heart of her world."

I love the cover of this one and the premise sounds SO interesting! I was lucky enough to be sent this one for review and am just itching to read it!

Daughter of Hounds by Caitlin R. Kiernan

"They are the Children of the Cuckoo. Stolen from their cribs and concealed in shadows to be raised by ghouls, they are now changelings in service to the creatures who rule the world Below and despise the world Above. Any human contact is strictly forbidden and punishment is swift and severe for those who disobey. Raised by her widower father, Emmie Silvey has a precocious personality and striking yellow eyes that have left her a solitary child. But that changes when two women enter her life-one who stalks her, one who haunts her dreams- both insisting that her entire life is a lie and warning her of an encroaching darkness."

I was looking for urban fantasy and found this book which sounds awesome. It isn't recent (I believe it was published in 2007) but I instantly added it to my wishlist after reading the above summary.

All of these books look and sound amazing...I just need to get my hands on them :) And find the time to read them of course. What have you added to your wishlist lately??

Monday, September 20, 2010

Banned Books and Speak by L. Anderson

There isn't much to say that hasn't already been said. If I was affiliated with Missouri State in any way whatsoever, I would be embarrassed because of what a certain associate professor had to say. I refuse to link to it because it gives it that much more attention. Instead I'll link you to Laurie Halse Anderson's blog and her reaction to it. And I will link to my thoughts on Speak. Speak is NOT porn. I will continue to read banned books and books that are challenged. Thank you to all of those who have taken the time to share their thoughts on this subject.
Speak out and let your voice be heard!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

BBAW - Better Late Then Never

So I'm super late to the BBAW party but that isn't unusual as I seem to always be late to blogger festivities and events. Life just gets in the way sometimes and unfortunately I miss out on the fun...especially when it comes to Dewey's 24 hour readathon but that is another story for another day :) I didn't want to not participate though (even though technically it is already over) especially when there were some good topics this time around. I've decided to do a BBAW combo post where I share a little bit of everything all in one post. I'm going to start off with Marg from Adventures of an Intrepid Reader's impromptu interview questions as if I had seen her call for this on Monday or whenever I totally would have signed up. Instead, I read the post after the fact but have decided to share my answers anyways. Hopefully she doesn't mind...

What is your blog called? What is the inspiration behind the name?

Of course, my blog is titled Sam's Book Blog and I can't say there is any great story behind my name. I've thought about changing it but never have so it has just kinda stuck. My significant other came up with a new name that I would like to change to at some point but that is for a different day. Maybe.

What kind of books do you like to read?

I'm going with anything and everything for this answer. One of my favorite genres is urban fantasy but I also enjoy mysteries, romance, general fiction, nonfiction, and everything in between. Seriously, when I was younger my goal used to be to read every book in the library. Although I didn't consider the fact that there were constantly new books coming into the library every day :) And I think that reading a mixture of genres helps to keep reading fresh for me.

What is your favorite recent read?

This is easily Blameless by Gail Carriger which I just finished earlier this week. I can't seem to get enough of this brand new series and am not looking forward to waiting until next year for the next book. I've said this before and I'll say it again, "I will be reading anything that Gail Carriger writes."

Where is your favorite place to read?

My favorite place to read is curled up underneath a blanket at the end of my couch while my S.O. watches television. Or curled in bed while reading to my kids but that isn't reading my books..that is reading theirs.

Share one thing about yourself that your readers might not know.

I had to think about this one for a minute. You might not know that besides reading I enjoy being outside, watching football, running, and an entire host of things that are not book related. And I'm a really bad cook. Hence why I never participate in the weekend cooking posts or anything like that. Because you don't want cooking tips from me. Ever.

BBAW Forgotten Treasures:

A book that I don't see or hear a lot about on book blogs that is one of my all-time favorites is Moloka'i by Alan Brennert. I read this one before I began blogging but it is one of those books that still stick out in my mind. Since I don't have a review to link up to I'll leave you with the synopsis from Goodreads:

"Young Rachel Kalama, growing up in idyllic Honolulu in the 1890's, is part of a big, loving Hawaiian family, and dreams of seeing the far-off lands that her father, a merchant seaman, often visits. But at the age of seven, Rachel and her dreams are shattered by the discovery that she has leprosy. Forcibly removed from her family, she is sent to Kalaupapa, the isolated leper colony on the island of Moloka'i."

I highly recommend reading this one and plan on rereading it myself sometime soon. It is an amazing book. And the cover is just gorgeous in my opinion. I can't say enough good things about it which is why I chose it for my forgotten treasure. Read it!

Well, that is about it for my BBAW combo post. Maybe next year I'll actually participate during the week of BBAW and not after but we'll see. And a huge thanks to Amy from My Friend Amy for creating BBAW and organizing it. Hope everyone has a wonderful week of reading!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Keep by Jennifer Egan

Even though I read this book earlier this year (and just never reviewed it), I'm thinking that this is the perfect time to review it as fall begins to change the colors of the leaves and the nights get cooler. I picked up The Keep when I saw it was longlisted for the Orange Prize Project in 2008 and I'm glad that I did. The Keep was a slightly eerie read with lots of atmosphere and weird happenings going on.

The book begins with the main character Danny going to Germany to help his cousin Howie renovate an old castle into a hotel. Except that Danny and Howie haven't seen each other since they were teenagers and had a mysterious "prank" go awry on them. The tension between the two characters is there from the start even if the reader is only getting Danny's viewpoints and has to guess on Howie's actions and motivations. Before long Danny is caught up in the midst of eerie happenings that are more strange then anything and the question remains, "Why did Howie ask him here?"

Okay, I'm not even sure if that synopsis/brief summary of mine makes sense because this book is SO strange and there is so much more going on. I alluded to the fact that the reader knows how Danny feels and what he is thinking but it isn't Danny that is telling the story. In fact, it is an unknown narrator who is in prison for reasons unknown. Like I said, strange. The multiple stories and viewpoints that are all really the narrator's story make up for an interesting combination. And the author does a great job of creating a creepy atmosphere filled with tension from the start. While for the first half of the book I didn't quite know what was going on, I didn't really care and was more than happy to see where the book was going to go next. Howie and Danny's friendship was different and Howie was a mysterious character that I could never quite figure out. Danny was also a character with lots of different questions surrounding his background and the life that he had been previously living. I liked it though that I was constantly questioning everything and getting pulled into the story. This book was filled with mystery, suspense, and a little bit of gothic thrown all together to create a weird but good read.

Final Thoughts: Interesting. I'm not sure what to say other than that. Just an interesting but strange read (and it WAS a bit strange).
Disclosure- Library book.
*I read this book for the following challenges:
New Author Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
Orange Prize Project (longlist in 2008)
Support Your Library Reading Challenge
"K" Title for A-Z Challenge (personal)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How I'm spending my Sunday...

Yes, we're Bears' fans....for better or worse :) Unfortunately, the oldest is sick so I can only share the youngest bears' followers in this household. I'm currently reading Blameless and I *heart* Gail Carriger! Seriously. Back to reading on Monday!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Summary from Goodreads:

"Choose....A quick death....Or slow poison....

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace-and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust-and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison."

My Thoughts:

Loved it! This is one of those books that instantly pulls you in and I was caught up in Yelena's world and the difficulties she faced from the very beginning. Yelena was a very interesting character to read about. She is facing death every single day and she doesn't crumble. Instead she tries to figure out ways in which to escape and make a better life for herself. The reader is only given pieces at a time of Yelena's life prior to being jailed which kept my curiousity throughout the book. I wanted to know what had happened and how it related to everything that Yelena was now experiencing. The book itself was easy to read, captivating, and when I finished I instantly wanted more. By far my favorite parts of this book were the characters and the world building. I was transported while reading this book into Yelena's world and the life that she was living which made it a great read for me! I can't seem to say enough good things about this book so I'll end it with this being one of those books that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

Final Thoughts: Maria V. Snyder has created a world that I couldn't get enough of- I'm super excited to continue on with this trilogy and see how Yelena continues to face the difficulties that lay before her.

Disclosure: Another book from my local library.
*I read this book for the following challenges:
New Author Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
Once Upon a Time Challenge III (how am I still reviewing books for this?)
Fantasy Reading Challenge
Support Your Library Reading Challenge
"P" Title for A-Z Challenge (personal)

Friday, September 3, 2010

R.I.P. V Challenge

If you even knew how excited I was to hear that sign-ups had gone up for the R.I.P. V Challenge...well, maybe I shouldn't go there. Just know that I have been waiting quite impatiently for this challenge for months and have been in the mood for dark, deliciously creepy novels for awhile now. I'm SO excited that the wait is finally over!!!!! I have every intention of spending the next two months reading books for this challenge. Books that fit into the genres of

Dark Fantasy.

I've been perusing everyone's pools of books for this challenge and adding to my TBR list like crazy. I'm planning another RIP library loot post like last year. I'm also hoping to read, read, read and maybe creep myself out. Just a little bit :) So of course I'm signing up for Peril the First which only requires me to read 4 books. I'm hoping to read even more than that though and maybe even watch a scary movie. I say maybe because even though I like reading creepy books...well...I'm a wimp when it comes to movies. Especially movies that are older and scary (like Amityville Horror). Can I say nightmares?? For now let me share some of the many, many possibilities of books that I might read for this challenge (and let me assure you that I have many more written down :P).

And yes folks, I have many, many more that I want to read but Blogger is being a pain with sharing the covers so we'll leave it at this for now. I'm looking forward to reading all of your reviews and adding even more to my TBR list. Thanks once again to Carl for hosting this wonderful challenge! Happy reading!!!!