Saturday, December 19, 2009

Challenges 2010

Okay, this post can totally be skipped over and it won't hurt my feelings whatsoever. I'm joining a bunch (and I mean a BUNCH) of challenges and rather than doing a bunch of individual of posts for each one...I just don't have the time or I'm going to do one really long post. Really long... and I'm going to admit right now that I'm joining way too many challenges. But there are so many good ones out there this year that I just cannot resist. Oh boy!

First of all, I'm joining the 100+ Reading challenge as it looks like I am just going to fall short this year. So maybe next year I'll make it to 100 :) I'm also going to join the Christy Awards challenge which has already begun and is totally outside of anything that I ever usually read. I'm going in as a Total Fiction Newbie but would like to read more if possible. 2010 will be a year of pushing my reading boundaries a bit and this challenge will help with that.

I'm also joining in on the Graphic Novels Challenge. I'm going with the intermediate level (3-10) as I read 2 graphic novels this past year. So I think that I'm going to up the bar for next year.

I'm also joining the Series Challenge Season 4. I participated in (and actually finished) this challenge last year and since I'm a series kind of girl...perfect challenge for me.

Another challenge that is already ongoing but that I am now joining is the Women Unbound challenge. How can I resist this one? I'm going with the Bluestocking level which requires 5 books with 2 of them being nonfiction.

Two other challenges that I am participating in again that I joined last year are the 1st in a series challenge and 2nds challenge. I'm going with Addicted on both challenges which requires 12 books for each. Figured if I could do it this year (which I did :P) then I could do it next year.

I'm also joining in on the Chunkster challenge which I didn't quite finish this year. I'll be participating at the chubby chunkster level (love the names btw) which is only 3 books. Definitely doable!

I reread...I know there are those out there who don't but I definitely like to go back to books that I really enjoyed. So the Flashback Challenge was a challenge that I had join in on. I'm going with the Bookworm level that only requires 3 books but who knows if I'll reread more. Especially if I continue rereading the Harry Potter series. And I'll admit that I am craving some Harry Potter right now.
Last year, I searched and searched for a good historical reading challenge. Now this year there are a bunch. So of course I'm joining in with the Historical Fiction reading challenge at the fascinated level which is 6 books.

And the lovely Jackie is again hosting the New Author challenge. I'm so close to reading 50 new authors this year and would love to do it again next year. But I'm going to start off with saying 25...playing it safe since I'm joining so many challenges.
Next, I'm joining in on the Social Justice Challenge. The amount I participate in this one is on a month to month basis which leaves it really open for me. A good thing for sure!

Another challenge that I completed this year and am joining again for next year is the Support Your Library challenge. This is such an easy challenge for me and I just can't resist. I'm going with the Just My Size level which is 50 books.

And I'm joining the Young Adult challenge which I also completed this year...or I'm going to after I finish the book I'm reading :) I'm going with the Mini YA reading level as I don't read a ton of books that are YA. I would like to read more though...

Okay, we're almost there. I'm also joining in on the Twenty Minute Book Club Challenge at the Aluminum level. This only requires 4 books but I may read more if I can.

The Fantasy Reading challenge is another easy challenge for me that I'm joining in on. Going with the Addicted level which is another 12 books...I better hit 100 books at the rate of challenges that I'm joining. LOL!

So that's it for me...I'll probably end up joining a few more but this is it for now. Call me crazy but I am SO excited about 2010. It should be a great year of reading! And I apologize to all of the challenge hosts for not taking the time to make seperate challenge posts. But I did try to link up to you :) Now if I could just clean up my sidebar... and if the spacing would go the way I want to...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Sunday Salon- Back to Blogging

Whew! Where did November go and how are we only two weeks away from Christmas?? Sorry that I've been gone lately but I was sick (which is absolutely no fun when you are huge and pregnant too) and then I took a bit of a blogging break. I'm back and feeling better than ever minus the whole huge thing but I can't really change that right now. And I have about a zillion posts running around in my head that I need to get to but for now I thought I would catch you up with my reading and just say hello :)

I'm currently reading Stolen by Kelley Armstrong. This is the 2nd book in this series and I'm hoping to enjoy it as much as I did the first. As I have yet to review the first book, Bitten, I'll probably end up doing a double review post at some point. In fact, I may be doing a lot of those in the near future. I'm so far behind... I'm also still reading The Woman in White which is going well but let's face it: there is NO way that I am going to finish it before the new year. I'm still reading it in small sections which really does work for me.
Last night, I finished reading The House on Tradd Street by Karen White. While I don't think that I liked it as much as so many others did, I did like it enough to want to read the next book. Hmm...that sounds weird to me so suffice it to say that I liked it but didn't love it. I also recently finished reading Heat Stroke by Rachel Caine which was a great follow-up to the first book in the series. I'm currently about 10 books away from hitting 100 books read this year and have accepted the fact that I probably won't make it. I'm okay with that though as it has been a really good year for me reading wise.
I'm sure that I'll post about my reading goals for 2010 in the near future but they have been rolling around in my head for the past couple of weeks. Plus, all of the challenges that I want to join...I don't think that I can resist some of them. I've put a hold on my library check outs and am just trying to read from the stack that I have because they will all go back at the end of this year. I've decided to start all over with new library loot in 2010 :) Fun, fun... Anyways, my apologies for not being around more these past few weeks and hopefully I will catch up at some point. My google reader is at 1000+ which means I've got some reading and commenting ahead of me. Talk to you soon and happy holidays!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Seriously...I'll be back soon but for now I'm just reading "easy" reads that don't take much out of me and working on getting better.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Sunday Salon - Library Loot Edition it a no-no to combine The Sunday Salon and Library Loot into one post? Probably but I can't wait any longer to share all of the goodies that I have brought home from the library lately. And I haven't shared my reading progress, it IS Sunday :) Let's start with the obvious which is that once again I have way too many books checked out. I honestly don't care though as I am so excited about some of these. I can't possibly read all of these but I'm sure going to try.
In reading news, I'm currently reading Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block. Heard about this author on a couple of other blogs and I couldn't not give her a try. I've only finished the 1st Weetzie book but I liked it. Different but good is my opinion so far. I'm also still working on The Woman in White but my reading on that one has definitely slowed down. Not for any real reason other than I don't pick it up at times. I do like it though so I'm not sure exactly what my problem is. But on to my library finds:

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood- From Publishers Weekly: "Intrigued by contemporary reports of a sensational murder trial in 1843 Canada, Atwood has draw a compelling portrait of what might have been." I loved The Handmaid's Tale so I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray- From Goodreads: "A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy..." This is reloot for me but how can I resist this cover? And that description? I will HAVE to get to it this time!

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson- I've been wanting to read something by this author for awhile now. It is about 3 different mysteries that are all tied together somehow...not sure how but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson- From Goodreads: "In this universal drama of family love and misunderstandings, of resentments harbored and driven underground, Lawson ratchets up the tension with heartbreaking humor and consummate control, continually overturning one's expectations right to the very end." Sounds intense but good!

Graceling by Kristin Cashore- I've yet to read a bad review of this book so of course I took this one home with me.

Heat Stroke by Rachel Caine- Book 2 in the Weather Warden series and one that I've been meaning to pick up for awhile now. I really liked the 1st one so I'm looking forward to this! And I believe that this may be reloot as well.

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent- From Goodreads: "Kent paints a haunting portrait, not just of Puritan New England, but also of one family's deep and abiding love in the face of fear and persecution." I picked this one up based on Dar's review and am really, really excited about it.

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton- From Goodreads: "Set as the war-shattered Edwardian summer surrenders to the decadent twenties, The House At Riverton is a thrilling mystery and a compelling love story." Sold! Sounds so good :)

Spindle's End by Robin McKinley- I was in the mood for a retelling of a fairy tale and this one jumped out at me. This is the retelling of Sleeping Beauty and hopefully it will be just what I am looking for.

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White- Another recommendation that I found over at Dar's blog. If you guys haven't checked her out you should. And this one is billed as a mystery with ghosts so of course I couldn't resist.

Wow! I really need to work on my self control :P And if you can't guess, the rest of my Sunday will probably be spent reading so I can make progress in my towering stack of books. Plus, I'll be stopping by to see what you all are up to. Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kissing Sin by Keri Arthur

Give a brief summary of the book:

Kissing Sin finds Riley lying naked in an alley, unable to remember how she got there or the previous days that have obviously passed by. She figures out all too soon that she needs to escape, and escape fast, as someone is after her and won't be happy that she is free. Once again, Riley is up against an unknown force that is trying to create the perfect breed of species and they want her as one of their test subjects.


I liked everything about this novel and this series so far. This was a fast-paced novel that I couldn't put down as I was constantly trying to figure out what was going to happen next. And who was behind everything that is going on...I flew through this book. Riley is a great main character. She is strong and sure of herself and doesn't make apologies for the way she is. As the reader, I can't help but like her. Especially as we see her struggle with the possibilites of becoming a guardian and the killing of others that will be involved. I also like the mix that makes her both werewolf and vampire. Keri Arthur made it even more interesting in this book as she gives Riley new talents that she is just beginning to discover. Definitely a series that I will continue following!


Hmm...I can't say that I have any real dislikes. I will say that I have a hard time relating to Riley when it comes to having multiple sexual partners all of the time. Which is going to sound odd unless you've read this series. Suffice it to say that it is an integral part of being a werewolf and while I understand that...well, I just have times where it is a bit too much. But it doesn't make me like the story any less if that makes any sense. Probably not :)

Additional Thoughts?

I'm finding after reading this 2nd book that I really, really like this series and am eager to pick the 3rd book up. I'm curious as to where the author will take the next book and am also curious as to how Riley will grow. I'd recommend this series (start out with the 1st one though) to paranormal romance lovers and those who enjoy urban fantasy. But be prepared to not want to set this book down once you start it!
*Reading Order*
2. Kissing Sin
LoL! Sorry but I'm going to stop there. And that is 3 for 3 for me in November so far...I am on a roll. Now if I could get some other back reviews posted...another day. Be on the lookout for a new library loot post soon. I have a BUNCH of books that I'm so excited to share about but I'm waiting until the last 2 requests come in from the library.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Veiled Deception by Annette Blair

A Veiled Deception is the first in the cozy mystery series featuring Madeira Cutler who is a fashion designer with a love and flair for vintage clothing. But when she comes home for her youngest sister's wedding, trouble begins to brew as her sister's nemesis is found strangled with a bridal veil. Now Madeira is out to clear her sister and her family's name as well as find out who the killer really is. And while doing that she begins to discover and explore the new paranormal gifts that she inherited from her mother.

Hmm...what to say about this one other than I liked it. It wasn't great or anything but it was a fun enough read. Madeira, or Maddie as she is most often called, is an interesting main character with a lot of quirks. The way she talked at times was a bit over the top but other than that I liked her. The mystery itself was interesting and I especially liked the visions that Maddie was having of previous women wearing the same wedding dress. It was definitely a cozy mystery with nothing too over the top but a fun read nonetheless.

All in all, I would recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers who enjoy reading about fashion as well. As for myself, I'll be reading the 2nd book at some point but I won't be rushing out or anything to grab it. Good but not great :)
P.S. - 2 for 2 so far this month on reviews...woohoo!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

"Each Reader must choose a piece of lace. It is hers for life. It might be a pattern handed down through generations or a piece cosen by the reader for its beauty or familiarity. Many Readers prefer the handmade laces, particularly the laces of old Ispwich or the new circular pieces made by the women of Yellow Dog Island. - The Lace Reader's Guide" p. 6 of The Lace Reader

I'm not even sure where to begin with this review other than to say that I found this book to be an amazing read. The Lace Reader begins with the reader meeting Towner, the main character, who admits freely that she lies and that her name is really Sophya. Towner is going back to her hometown as her Great Aunt Eva is missing. While there she will be forced to confront her demons from the past and work through the issues that are still haunting her today. The women in Towner's family are all lace readers and can read the future in the lace. But something has caused Towner to vow never to read lace again...

Oh my I enjoyed this book! From the very beginning, I was swept up in the story that the author had written and the atmosphere that she had created. I didn't quite know what to make of Towner, I mean she admits right from the beginning that she is crazy and that she lies. So I wasn't sure at any point in the book if she was telling the truth which made for an interesting read. I ended up just letting the author take me for a ride and what a ride it was! The story was told from different viewpoints at time but it didn't detract from the story whatsoever. In fact, it made me feel even closer to the main characters. I ended up caring about Towner even though I couldn't entirely trust the story that she was telling me. And the ending of this book...blew me away. Seriously, I might have seen pieces of it coming but really in the end when I closed the book I was stunned. I think that this would be a great book to read with a book group and have a discussion over. I myself would love to hear what other readers thought of the ending of this book.

All in all, I found this to be an amazing read and will probably go on to my top reads of 2009. I'm pretty sure I've gushed enough over this go pick it up and give it a try. I doubt that you'll be disappointed. Highly recommended.

P.S.- This is me meeting my November goal of reviewing books directly after I read them. I can't possibly get more behind on reviews if I do this and I'll try and catch up on a few reviews that I am behind on at some point in this month as well.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano

From Goodreads:

"When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody's name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family."

My Thoughts:

The Girl She Used To Be swept me up from the beginning of the novel and didn't let go until the end. This is a fast paced moving novel that focuses on what a lack of identity can do to an individual. Melody has been multiple names and faces throughout her lifetime but never the person that she wants to be which is Melody. She is caught up in the net that is the witness protection program and struggling to find herself amongst all of the lies. Melody was an interesting main character for me. I didn't always like her or her actions at times but I couldn't stop myself from caring about what happened to her...even when she didn't care herself. The main problem I had with this book was the believability issues. As a reader, I really had to stop myself from nitpicking and just enjoy the ride. Because it is a good ride and like I said before, I found myself caught up within the pages of this book. But it isn't realistic whatsoever which did cause a few problems for me especially at the beginning of the book. All in all, I liked this book and would definitely pick up more by this author in the future.

(I received this book from the lovely folks at Hatchette and unfortunately am just now getting around to reviewing it. )

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Library Loot - October 22nd

So I really didn't need anymore library books. Really. But that has never stopped me from checking out books from the library even when I know that I cannot possibly read them all. And I can't seem to help myself when I come across all of these lovely reviews from my fellow bloggers. I mean really, what's a girl to do? Here's what I picked up when I went to the library yesterday (by myself..such a treat!)

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale- All of the blame goes to Nymeth for this one. I read her review...added it to my neverending TBR list and snatched it up when I came across it while browsing through the nonfiction shelves.

The Observations by Jane Harris- Lesley at A Life In Books recently reviewed this one and boy did I want to read it after reading her review. She said it fits the RIP challenge bill so I'm going with it and hopefully I will get to it soon :)

The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman- I've heard of this author from multiple bloggers but haven't read anything by her yet. And actually I had a different book checked out by her previously but then I looked at the synopsis for this one and decided that I wanted to read this one more. I'm such a moody reader.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmaelf Beah- I found this one browsing in nonfiction as well. Plus, I was hoping to read this one for a couple of challenges so I was excited to find it.

Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block- A new to me blogger (I'm so out of the loop sometimes) Debi recently reviewed this one and it sure sounded good. Then Andi reviewed a different book by this same author and I knew I was going to have to give her a try. Found this one on the shelves and couldn't, don't you love this cover??

The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine- I've read the 1st book in this series and enjoyed it. Stephanie always seems to love these books which made me want to continue on even more! going to the library and checking all of these books out is basically due to everyone else and their wonderful reviews. I can't resist...and just think of all the books I'm going to learn about after you guys get done with the readathon. I can't participate myself...gotta work but I will try and stop by to cheer you all on. As always, share your thoughts if you've read any of these!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An "In Death" Series Post

I really, really, really need to catch up on my reviews. And one way to do that is knock off two reviews with one stone and talk about one of my favorite series. As regular readers of my blog know, I love, love, love the In Death series by J.D. Robb (better known as Nora Roberts). I'm going to take the time to FINALLY review two of her books that I read awhile ago that are a part of this series.

Divided In Death is according to fantastic fiction, the 21st book in the In Death series and luckily for me this series is still going strong. In this book, Eve is investigating a murder that looks like a setup and the prime suspect is one of Roarke's own employees and a personal friend. What makes this book different than previous books in the series, is that Eve and Roarke are straddling different sides of the line. Roarke takes the murder as a personal attack against him while Eve has to view it from a more technical viewpoint and from a cop's eyes. I liked this one a lot because we (the reader) got to see a different side of their relationship. It made their relationship seem like it was stronger and I just can't help but love these books because of it. The mystery kept me guessing and involved and I flew through this book just as fast as the others. Definitely recommended.

Visions In Death is the next book in the series and was another strong addition to this series. In this book, Eve is up against a killer who is killing young women and removing their eyes. With little to go on, Eve may be on her most difficult case yet especially when she begins to work with a pyschic who seems to be having visions relating to the murders. Peabody played a more prominent role in this one which was a nice change. Plus, I just love the dynamics between her and Eve so I had a fun time reading this book. Another fast-paced mystery with a great ending that I didn't see coming whatsoever.

All in all, these are fun reads for me that never fail to draw me out of a reading slump. They always keep my attention and I end up turning the pages as fast as I can. I'd recommend these to anyone that enjoys a good mystery with some romance thrown into the mix. But start at the beginning with Naked In Death!
Series Order:
1. Naked In Death (hah, I'm going to have to stop there as there are just too many to list)
but I will leave you with a link to my 1st post that I did on this series which was Holiday In Death ...sorry I read all of the others before I started blogging. If I ever catch up on this series I plan on rereading them all :P

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Lost Sister by Megan Kelley Hall

Awhile back I read and enjoyed Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall (clink on the title to read my review). When I heard that the sequel had come out...well, I had to pick it up so I instantly requested it from the library. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations but here are some of my thoughts.

Warning: This review MAY have spoilers. There is just no way to get around it because the reader needs to read Sisters of Misery before they should give this one a try. The Lost Sister picks up where the previous book left off and shows the reader what Maddie has been up to since going away to school and leaving her hometown (and bad memories) behind. Maddie is still searching for Cordelia and trying to figure out what happened to her after that horrible night on the island. The book is written in multiple viewpoints which allows the reader to begin to see things from Cordelia's experiences to where she is and what she is planning on doing. But mysterious forces are still at work which will draw both of the girls deep into danger once again.

I'm going to split this review into two parts: what worked for me and what didn't. One of my favorite things about this book were reading about the different meanings of the tarot cards beginning at each chapter. It was really interesting and made me want to learn more. I'm glad that we finally find out what happened to Cordelia as the 1st book left me curious and wanting more. It was also nice to see a stronger Maddie, one that stood up for herself and made better decisions. I was able to relate to her even more in this book which was a positive thing.

Not everything worked for me in this book and one of the main problems that I had was the jumping around in narration. It wasn't always clear who was talking at times and it interrupted the flow of the story more often than not. And this bothered me as I think that the flow of the story is an important aspect to me enjoying it as a reader. I also had a hard time getting into the storyline and it wasn't until the end that I found myself really wanting to find out what was going to happen. The ending itself was pulled off nicely as it did keep me reading but all in all, I had a very easy time putting this book down.

I'll still be looking for more books by this author even if this wasn't my favorite book. Has anyone else read this? What were your thoughts...did you like it better than I did? And lastly, leave a link to your review and I'll add it to this post to give readers some other opinions on this book :)

P.S. - In other book-related news, I received Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (won in a contest @ Stark Raving Bookaholic - thanks again!!!) in the mail as well as an unexpected read from Orbit Publishing called Bite Marks by Jennifer Rardin. Don't know why they sent me this but as it is SO up my alley, well...I'm already requesting the 1st book in this series from the library :) Another new author and series for me to start...and I'll say a big thanks as well!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Sunday Salon- 10/4

Good afternoon everyone! I'm getting a bit of a late start as it has been a lazy day in my household. My parents have my children for the weekend which meant I slept in for the 1st time in probably two years. We had a wedding last night so it has been an enjoyable weekend so far but unfortunately it has been book-less. I'm hoping to remedy that today at least until my babies are brought back to me :)

In reading news, I'm currently reading Booked To Die by John Dunning. Although I'm not very far into it yet, I am liking what I've read so far. I thought that it would be interesting to read a mystery that is centered around books and it has been. I plan on reading a good chunk of it today. I'm also still reading The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins. It is such a good book but I'm taking it slowly and reading a little bit from it each day. This really seems to be working for me and I'm thinking that maybe I should keep doing this with other classics or chunksters.

In other reading news, I recently finished a book that ended up being a bit of a disappointment to me as a reader. Especially since I so loved the 1st book by this author. I'll admit to having troubles now with what to write in the review...I may wait awhile before I post my thoughts. It begs the question of how do you all handle negative review writing...I don't want to come across as too critical and I do want the good points to come across. BUT...the bad parts need to be shared as well as I honestly wouldn't be comfortable recommending this one without reservations.

Anyways, I'm planning on reading, watching football, reading, and reading/visiting your blogs today. Hope everyone has a wonderful and relaxing Sunday!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Library Loot- The Mystery Edition

It has been a few weeks since I shared the books that I've been finding at the library. And of course I have a ton of books checked out but when has that ever stopped me from bringing a few more home?? A couple of weeks ago I read a post over on Nymeth's blog about mysteries and that coupled with another post (I'm drawing a blank on where I read it) and all of the comments and suggestions concerning mysteries put me on a mystery kick. So I started looking up some of the authors that other bloggers were suggesting and went from there :) Now I have a bunch of new library books as well as a few on hold that will hopefully come in soon.
Warning: My computer or Blogger (take your pick) isn't cooperating today which is why you are only getting some of the covers and not all. Sorry!

Whose Body by Dorthy L. Sayers- My cover doesn't actually look like this one but oh well. She is listed as a classic mystery author and this is the 1st book in her Lord Peter Wimsey series.

A Morbid Taste For Bones by Ellis Peters- 1st book in the medieval mystery looks SO good.

The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry- A Victorian mystery featuring William Monk.

Booked To Die by John Dunning- A mystery featuring can anyone resist that? :P

Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert- Not a mystery but one that fits the RIP bill...I couldn't let you think that I had got off of that kick yet either.

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews- 2nd book in this series and one that I have been meaning to read for awhile now.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie- Of course I have a Christie novel checked out if I am on a mystery kick (and my cover doesn't look like this either...I told you I was struggling)

The Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman- I have Eva's review to blame for this one.

Rogue by Rachel Vincent- Another book that I've been meaning to read as I loved the 1st on in this series.

Larceny and Lace by Annette Blair- Just because it looked cute :)

So this is the majority of what I have checked out these past few weeks. Sorry for the crazy post but I was seriously having issues. Share your thoughts and if you have any other amazing mystery author suggestions, please share! I love adding to the tbr list!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie

Dead Man's Folly is another mystery featuring the infamous Hercule Poirot but what makes this book different is that a murder has not been committed...yet. Adriane Oliver, the crime novelist, has been asked to help create a murder mystery game and calls Poirot to come assist her as she believes that a real crime is about to be committed. She gives Poirot little to go on though as all of her suspicions are based on a "feeling" that something is off. And then a murder does happen and of course Poirot is there to investigate.

This book had all of the elements that make up a classic Christie novel in my opinion. There were plenty of characters (or suspects if you like) which kept me looking at the list of characters in the front of the book from time to time. Of course there was the whodunnit element that kept me guessing throughout the novel. And the clues that don't seem to mean anything until the end of the novel when everything begins to add up. I found myself caught up as always in the mystery that Christie was creating even though this wasn't my favorite one that I've read. She just has a knack for keeping me in the dark until the end and I never am able to figure out the mystery on my own. That being said, this wasn't my favorite novel but I'm having a hard time figuring out why. I guess that it comes down to the fact that And Then There Were None still is my all time favorite novel by Agatha Christie (so far).

All in all though, it was a good read and one that I would recommend :)

In other Agatha Christie related news, I've joined the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge. Kerrie told me about it and of course I couldn't not join. She is planning on reading all of Christie's books (which has always been a personal goal of mine) but she is trying to read them in order. I can't say that I care if I read them in order or not but I did happen to grab a new Christie book from the library and it turns out that it is the very 1st book featuring Herule Poirot. So that will work out nicely as I begin this challenge...I am already counting the books that I've read by this author and reviewed on here already for this challenge. I may reread And Then There Were None at some point but that is because I enjoyed it so much.

That's it out of me for today...I hope everyone enjoys their Sunday!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Into Reading 2009

I absolutely cannot resist joining this challenge even if I probably shouldn't. All that is required is that I come up with a reading list and then read, read, read. I've decided to make my list HELP me with finishing up a few of the challenges that I've got going on. It might work and it may not so we'll have to see. And I am limiting it to ten as I don't want to overdo it :P

My list will begin with:
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie ( this one is just to continue my goal of reading ALL of the books written by this author)
  • Rogue by Rachel Vincent- for the 2nds challenge
  • The Lost Sister by Megan Kelley Hall- YA challenge, 2nds, and RIP challenge (and I am currently reading this so it had to go on the list)
  • The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins- RIP challenge and another one that I am currently working on
  • A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Behl- TBR challenge
  • A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters- 1st in a series challenge and because Nymeth put me in the mood to read a good mystery
  • The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry- RIP challenge
  • Survivor in Death by J.D. Robb- to continue on with my favorite series
  • The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gillman- a reread from a long time ago
  • Aunt Dimity and the Duke by Nancy Atherton- 2nds challenge and so I have a cozy mystery on my list

There you have it wish me luck on finishing all of these. I may change the books that I read but probably not the categories, so in other words I will definitely read a cozy, books for my ongoing challenges, etc. I'm looking forward to this and to seeing what everyone else is reading (and adding to the TBR list of course)!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Musings

How about another post of random book related (and non-related) things for Sunday? Sound like a plan...good!
First of all, ignore my currently reading sidebar that said I was reading Bone Crossed. I'm not. I mean I want to be but I put it there thinking that I was going to read it next and then wasn't feeling it. So I picked up Wicked Lovely instead and just polished that book off last night. I am still reading The Woman in White and really like it so far. Not sure what I'm going to pick up next to read along with the Wilkie Collins book. I'll have to let you know.
I had my ultrasound this week and am happy to announce that I'm having a boy. I was going to wait and share the news with my review of Belly Laughs but I'm not patient enough. We are all very excited and everything looks good so far.

I didn't participate much in BBAW even though I intended to. Life just gets in the way sometimes. Luckily enough for me I have had a very quiet Sunday and have been able to visit all of your blogs and catch up on some posts. I tried to leave comments as well but you know how that goes. Just by taking a day of blog hopping, I am feeling very reading-inspired and have been adding to my TBR list like crazy. Seriously, I just love reading reviews and finding more books that I would like to read.
I've read a few posts on blogging burnout which leads me to my next random topic: mood reading. Seriously, the best way that I have found is to take a step back and make sure I am reading what I want to be reading. I've quit accepting review books (personal choice) as I'm just too moody of a reader. And while I still have a pile that I'm working on, I'm liking the lack of commitments to what I want to read next. Which is why the library and I get along so well :) I can pick up whatever I'm currently in the mood for at the library and then take them back when I realize that now I don't feel like reading those books anymore. LOL! Seriously though, if you are feeling a bit burnout then I recommend taking a few steps back. It helps!

I've added some new blogs to my google reader but sadly I still haven't quite adjusted to the google reader. Really, it is just me but I tend to forget to check it. I just haven't made the switch from reading your posts on your actual blogs to reading them in the reader. I'll get there.

So about a month ago, Suko was kind enough to award me with the Zombie Chicken Award. I'm really, really bad about these type of things but I am going to finally say thank you for it as well as pass it on. The award says:

"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken-- excellence, grace, and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all."

This is quite funny (who comes up with this stuff) but I am honored that she decided to share it with me. I HATE sharing these as I always end up skipping someone that deserves it but apparently I have to give it a shot...or risk the wrath and stuff like that. How about I give this award to:

  • Jackie at Literary Escapism
  • Ladytink
  • Naida
  • Laughing Stars at Stark Raving Bibliophile (new to me blog)
  • and of course, right back at Suko from Suko's Notebook

You can find all of these blogs in my sidebar as apparently I'm too lazy busy to link up to them. And how about if I risk the wrath and nominate every single blog in my sidebar. I love all of your blogs. I'm off to go figure out which books are due at the libray tomorrow and maybe request a few more as I'm feeling a bit book crazy. What would I do without the library and your blogs to fuel my addiction?

P.S.- I hate Blogger's spacing issues! Seriously...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

In this debut novel, Gillian Flynn brings the reader a fast-paced, intense read that kept me captivated. Camille Preaker is a second rate journalist who has returned to her hometown in order to report on the murders of two young girls. The police have little to go on and Camille finds herself drawn into the investigation. But Camille has demons of her own that she is going to have to face while she tries to break this story open.
I'm going to start off with the fact that I cannot believe that this is the author's first novel. It was such an intense read but it was SO good. Camille is an interesting main character, strong at points and weak at others, and such a different personality. Half of the book I was focused on trying to figure her out, what made her tick, and why she made the choices that she was making. I found myself caring about what happened to her without even realizing it. Flynn creates such a dark atmosphere to the story where you know bad things are happening but you have to wait and see what they are. The characters are all well thought out and the story flows along with ease even as it takes the reader into its' depths. The ending of the story was the only part of the story that didn't quite live up to my expectations but looking back now I'm thinking that it was better than I initially thought. All in all, this was a great read and a great way to begin the R.I.P. IV challenge.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 or really good!
P.S.- Readers should be warned that this is a dark read at times. Maybe it is the pregnancy hormones (I've been feeling out of whack lately) but I really felt for the main character but didn't always like the decisions that she made. Plus, cutting is involved which is a difficult topic. Personally, I will be picking up this author's second book sooner rather than later but I felt the need to give you a heads up...just in case and all that :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark by Donna Lea Simpson

Give a brief summary of the book:

Lady Anne goes to help her friend who believes that there are werewolves near the estate where she now lives with her new husband. While there, Anne meets the Marquess of Darkefell, who seems to have secrets of his own, as well as finding herself in the midst of a mystery. And could there really be a werewolf hunting in the countryside?


I loved Lady Anne Addison's character. She was a strong woman who wasn't afraid to be herself. I also really enjoyed the historical setting of this mystery and found myself drawn into the story at once. The author succeeds in creating a slightly creepy atmosphere with hints of possibility towards the supernatural. The mystery itself would probably be considered a cozy mystery but it was a good one that kept me guessing.


That is easy...the ending of the story. In fact, I about threw the book after I finished with it. I HATE when authors leave endings open and I am not expecting them to. But then I found out that this is the first book in a series and that there will definitely be a 2nd book. Well, that was another story and helped me to tolerate the ending with a bit more ease than I originally did. (Note: I do not seem to mind open endings if I am prepared for them or if someone warns me ahead of time...I'm kinda goofy like that)

Additional Thoughts?

All in all, I'm glad that I was given the chance to read this book and I will be picking up the 2nd book when it comes out...hmm...I should check on that. The author has a strong main character to base the series off of and I will be looking forward to more of Lady Anne Addison!
P.S.- My apologies to the author for taking so long to get this review posted. It truly was a good book :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Library Loot- The R.I.P. Inspired Post

I LOVE this time of just naturally puts me in the mood for reading :) And after joining the R.I.P. IV challenge, I just can't seem to stop checking out reads for the challenge. If you haven't joined in on the fun then you really should consider giving it a try. I've been adding to my TBR list like crazy and the challenge just started. So I've got a bunch of R.I.P. inspired reads to share with you today:

The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton- This challenge is the perfect excuse for me to dip into this series again.

Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast- I found this one as I was perusing other participants' lists and realized that it has been on my TBR list for awhile now. It sounds really good too!

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson- This book looks absolutely, positively spooky! I'm so excited to read it but a bit nervous too :)

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr- I've checked this one out before and haven't had the chance to get to it yet but I will this time...I think.

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry- Have you seen the reviews on this one?? It sounds sooo good and of course I snatched it up when I saw it on the shelves.

I was in seventh heaven when I got home from the library with all of these the other day. If you've read any of these or have another suggestion for a good gothic read then please share! In other reading news I am currently in the midst of two books: Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn which is going quite quickly and The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I'm just dipping into The Woman in White slowly but it pulling me in already. I can already tell that this is the perfect read for this time of year :) Happy Fall!