Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Sunday Salon- Summer Reading

Good morning everyone and happy Sunday! I haven't posted on a Sunday in awhile as life seems to get so much more hectic in the summertime. I finished a couple of good books this week which brought my total number of books read to 59 so far this year. I'm on track to reach 100 books which is very exciting :) I know some of you have already surpassed 100 books but I'm doing really good so far. Now on to the books I read this week:
The first book that I finished this week was Summer Knight by Jim Butcher. This was the 4th book in the Dresden series and Harry was as enjoyable as ever to read about. The stuff that he gets himself into...I find myself captivated with this series when I am reading it and I fly through the books. I've spread out the first four books though as I really just want them to last :) Anyways, it was a great read and I'll be posting a review eventually.

I also finished Where Are You Now? by Mary Higgins Clark. It has been SUCH a long time since I read anything by this author and it was nice to read her again. I still prefer her earlier books to her later ones but I enjoyed this book alot. It ended up being a fast-paced mystery and although I figured out part of the whodunnit, I didn't figure it out entirely which kept me turning the pages. Another good read :)

I'm now reading To The Power of Three by Laura Lippman who is a new to me author. I went on a mystery/thriller kick while I was at the library and picked this one up because of a review that I recently read for another of this author's books. It sounded so good and of course I couldn't remember the title so I decided to give this one a try. I've just barely begun it but I'll let you know what I think about it soon. That's it out of me and hopefully I'll see you all next week :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner

The Last Queen is a novel of historical fiction based on the life of Juana of Castile. It begins with Juana's childhood and leads into her struggle to become queen of Spain. Juana faces heartbreak, love and betrayal among the pages of this story and the reader cannot help but root for her. Throughout the story she faces all hardships with strength and courage as she works to become the rightful queen of Spain and to protect her beloved country.

What an amazing read this was! I've begun to read more historical fiction this year than ever before and this trumps everything I have picked up so far. I was instantly attached to Juana's character and couldn't help but hope for the best. The pages of this book were filled with suspense and I found myself reading it long after I should have put it down. But Juana was such a strong main character and she faced such evil at times. And the ending blew me away...I didn't see it coming whatsoever. I cannot say that I'm a history buff and so I didn't have a clue where the ending was going. It was so sad but so perfect in the end. Suffice it say that I LOVED this book! One of the better historical fiction reads that I've picked up so far and I'll be looking for more by this author.

My Rating/Recommendations: 5 out of 5 and highly recommended!
Challenges: New Author Challenge, 100+ Book Challenge

**Woohoo, I finally reviewed a book. It has been weeks...literally. I'll catch up eventually but I'm going to work on getting review books posted first.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Library Loot and a Reading Slump

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-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.
I took EVERYTHING that I had checked out from the library back. And I mean everything. I just decided that I needed a fresh slate and some new books to go with it. While we were there I signed my son up for the summer reading program for the 1st time :) He just finished kindergarten and I want to make sure that he continues to read throughout the summer in the midst of all of the summer fun. He's excited about it and we came home with a bunch of superhero books to check out. Later on I went to the library by myself (such an unexpected pleasure) and picked up some new books since I didn't have any. I went for comfort reads and thrillers but I'll explain about that later :)

Absolute Fear by Lisa Jackson- New to me author but I've heard good things. JKaye even had a challenge to read as many of this author's books as possible which means she must be good.

The Dead Girl's Dance by Rachel Caine- 2nd in her YA series and one that I cannot wait to read as I really enjoyed the first book.

Four To Score by Janet Evanovich- I was in the mood for some fun reading and this will hopefully fit the bill. The first three books sure did :)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling- I'm ready to reread this the new movie is coming out sometime next month I think so this will be enjoyable to delve back into.

What's A Ghoul to Do? by Victoria Laurie- I've read this author's other series and enjoyed the first two books so I decided to try this series as well.

No One You Know by Michelle Richmond- I know, I know...I just had her other book checked out and I returned it unread. But this sounds so good and when I saw it sitting there on the shelf I had to bring it home with me.

Death on Demand by Carolyn G. Hart- The beginning to a new cozy series that sounds like fun. Plus, I'm trying to finish up the themed reading challenge and my theme is cozies so I'm gonna give this one a try.

Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper- It has been such a long time since I read a book by this author...I can't wait to visit these characters again.

You all know that I've been in a bit of a blogging slump but with everything going on it was a bit to be expected. What I didn't expect was to be struggling with reading as well...but I have been. Happy to say that I've snapped out of it with a few great reads including the second installment in the Fable series titled Animal Farm. I LOVE this series and am dying to pick the next volume up as soon as it comes in at the library. It is such fun! I realized I needed comfort reads which is why I picked up and finished An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris. And after that I read and enjoyed Visions In Death by J.D. Robb which is my all-time favorite series! Just like that I was hooked back into reading with a few of my favorite authors. I'm hoping that these library books keep me hooked into reading and keep the stress at bay :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Randomness and Then Some :)

Hey everyone! It has been awhile since I last posted so I thought I would catch everyone up on what has been going on. I took a much needed blogging break as I've just felt a bit burned out lately. I've got a lot going on lately and blogging just got pushed to the wayside. And I'm going to admit to being a bit glad as I needed a break. I am SO far behind on reviews that it is not even funny but I couldn't even get myself to sit down and type anything up. Can we say slacking? I am happy to say that I'm back now and ready to knock out a few of these reviews. But be patient as it is going to take a bit...I'm seriously like over 15 reviews behind! Aack!

In other news, I changed my TBR list up a bit. I usually keep a notebook by the computer where I write down titles and authors. But I wasn't using it when I went to the library and I was never knocking books off of it that I had already read. Plus, books were getting written down multiple times. So I started an Excel spreadsheet and I think that is going to be what I use from now on. It will keep me more organized and if I take the time I can add the books from my notebook on to the spreadsheet eventually. It'll be a project that I work on when I find the time :)

Also, Kara from World According to Books is the winner of Wild Highland Magic. Kara, congrats and I will be sending you an email soon asking for your shipping info.

Finally, I'm currently reading Behold, Here's Poison by Georgette Heyer and enjoying it. I really liked the first book I read by this author and am thinking that I am going to like this one just as much. Library-wise I have been taking my enormous stack back to the library slowly but surely...I just had too many checked out at once. I saved a few that I am dying to read and then at some point this week I will go back and get a few more books. I just hate when all I am doing is returning the books back unread-especially when I really want to read them. Anyways, just wanted to catch up with all of to ya soon!