Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Double Review Post

As you all have heard (and maybe quite frequently) I am completely behind in book reviews. It doesn't bother me too much but I do want to attempt to catch up at some point before the year is over. It probably won't happen but at least I can try which is why you are getting two for one today :)
The first book that I am going to review is Deadly Night by Heather Graham and is the 1st book in her Flynn brothers trilogy. Graham was a new to me author that I found scanning the web and I picked this book out of the many she has written using Fantastic Fiction (I love that website!). Deadly Night introduces us to the three Flynn brothers with Aiden being the main focus of the story. Basically, the brothers learn that they have inherited a plantation in New Orleans from an unknown family member. While trying to figure out what to do with the historical house, Aiden finds out that there are mysterious things going on with the house and meets Kendall who is a fortune-teller. The two get involved in the mystery surrounding the house and the story goes from there. My thoughts on this one are going to be short and sweet as it has been awhile since I read it. I liked it (but didn't love it) and was interested enough to want to continue on with the trilogy and read more of this author's books. I liked the supernatural aspects that were included throughout the story and felt that it made it less like a typical romantic suspense novel. It didn't always flow well for me but it was a suspenseful page turner and I ended up enjoying it.

The 2nd book that I am reviewing is Deadly Harvest by Heather Graham and is the second book in the Flynn brothers trilogy. In Deadly Harvest, Jeremy (another Flynn brother) is trying to help his good friend find his missing wife with the help of a possible pyschic named Rowenna. This was the perfect read for me right now as it was set in the fall and talked about the cooler weather and the leaves changing. Plus, it had the scary legend of the Harvest Man who was thought to be a killer coming back to life again and again. I also liked that it was set in Salem so there were references to the witch trials and other historical aspects of that area. The story for me had a really great set-up and an interesting mystery to go along with it. Unfortunately at times it seemed like it needed a good editor and didn't always flow as well as I would have liked. That isn't to say that I didn't enjoy because I really did. Once again though, I just didn't love it although I wanted to :)

All in all, these were both good reads that were page turners for me. I'm looking forward to picking up the 3rd book, Deadly Gift, from the library at some point. And I will be reading more of this author's books in the future.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

R.I.P. IV - A Challenge

I've been in the mood lately for the creepy, atmospheric novels that draw you in and don't let go. So I was more than happy to see that Carl is once again hosting the RIP challenge as it is the perfect way to greet fall and the change of weather. There are multiple ways to participate in this challenge but the main things are
1. To have fun and
2. To add to your reading lists :)
which I already have been as I've been pouring over everyone else's lists. I'm so excited now that I cannot wait to begin and plan to read as many books as I can!
Needless to say I'm signing up for Peril the 1st which requires the reader to read 4 books from any subgenre including suspense, gothic, horror, and more... I don't even have to make up a list which is always a good thing when I am concerned for challenges but I have made a reading pool to use to help me out. I'm a bit overly excited though which means I have a notebook page filled with options so I'm not going to share all of my reading pool with you...just a select few. Here are some of the books I'll be choosing from:
  • The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • The Sister by Poppy Adams
  • The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  • Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
  • The Last Sister by Megan Kelley Hall

There are so many books that I want to get, I cannot wait to see what everyone else reads! My library checkouts are going to be out of the roof but I'm already one happy camper :) If you have any suggestions of other books I should check out (especially a good gothic novel or ghost story) then feel free to leave it in the comment section.

Library Loot- August 26th edition

After weeks of being good at the library, I just went on a huge splurge and picked up a bunch of new reads. I've been in the mood for the chilly and the creepy, gothic reads that begin to fit this time of year. So I'm sure that it is no suprise that I was thrilled to see the RIP challenge is back (which I will be posting about later today). I picked all of these up before I even realized that this challenge was coming near which is why I'm excited to see that some of these fit right in. Don't be suprised to see the next few months filled with books fitting this genre as it is exactly what I am in the mood for lately. Plus, with the rainy dark weather that has been going on the past day and 1/2...well, who could resist?? The challenge hasn't even started yet and I'm already dying to put a bunch of books on hold (eep!). I'm so excited that it isn't even funny! And it looks like my library checkouts are about to get out of control again :)

Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn- Found this one while I was browsing at the library and I couldn't resist that cover.

I'm Watching You by Karen Rose- I've been hearing a lot about this author after reading reviews of her books on a fellow blogger's blog. It sure sounds like a good thriller with some romance thrown in.

The Sorrows of an American by Siri Hustvedt- I picked this one up solely based on the feeling that I had heard good things about it...not for sure but it does sound really good.

The Sister by Poppy Adams- This sounds SO good and will fit perfectly in with the RIP challenge.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn- This author's newest book has been all over the blogsphere and I decided to give this one a try first.

The Ghost and the Dead Deb by Alice Kimberly- 2nd in the cozy mystery series featuring PI Jack Shepard. I enjoyed the first book a lot so I'm looking forward to this one.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare- Another book filled with everything that goes bump in the night or so I've heard. I'm looking forward to this one as everyone seems to enjoy this series!

Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy- This will probably be my only pregnancy read but it is one that I've been meaning to read since I was pregnant with my daughter.

If you have any book suggestions for me (especially a good ghost story) please share! And I love to hear your thoughts on any of these if you've read them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Book and Blog Randomness

This post is probably going to go in all directions so I thought I should give you a word of warning :) First of all, I realized I hadn't shared any summer pics with all of you so here are two of my favorites.

I've been a bit behind the times and finally yesterday started up my own google reader. It is a slow process for me as now I've got to subscribe to all of my favorite blogs and I'm not always clear on if I'm doing it right. We'll see I guess...I do have a question though: how do I comment on the posts that I read? Or can I not do that and does that mean I have to go back to whomever's blog just to leave a comment? And I really want to figure out how to comment as that is the whole point when I read a post that I enjoy. Any tips or info you can give me on google reader will be appreciated!

Oh yeah, I'm also becoming a follower to all of your blogs through friend connect (which may or may not be the same thing). Haven't quite figured that one out yet either but I'll get there when I have a bit more time on my hands. I'm still not joining Twitter as I just don't have that much time in between my children and work. Which brings me to my next point:

I'm pregnant again ;) Crazy, I know. And I'm not exactly sure how to prepare for having three children. It may be chaos. I've been holding off on sharing the news for awhile but as I am into my 4th month (17 weeks to be exact), I thought I would share and let you all know the good news. I'm going to be one busy lady!!!

In more book news, I'm currently reading The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson. I'm going to admit to not having strong feelings towards it either way yet but I think that is due to the fact that I LOVED The Goose Girl so much that no book is going to be able to compare right now. I am interested in the story but it just hasn't pulled me in yet.

So that's it out me for today. I'll be working on visiting your blogs and hopefully subscribing to them in the process ;)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Library Loot- August 12th

Hosted by Eva at A Striped Armchair and Marg at Reading Adventures. We share what we each picked up at the library during the week.

I did good at the library this week as I took back two books read (Blindness and Iron Kissed) and only brought 4 books back home. And as an added bonus I've already reviewed Blindness which just doesn't happen...seriously, I'm still almost thirty reviews behind with no hopes of catching up anytime soon. Anyways, here is what I took home from the library this week:

Kissing Sin by Keri Arthur- 2nd in the Riley Jensen series and one that I am looking forward to. It has been awhile since I read the first book but I'm hoping the series is as good as I remember.

Vanish With The Rose by Barbara Michaels- I picked this one up because I was in the mood for a creepy, atmospheric read after the huge thunderstorm last night and after reading Amy's review of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I've read Be Buried In The Rain by this author and really enjoyed it. (BTW-I don't have the audio version but this is what the cover of my book looks like so I used it)

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs- So the other day I was thinking about possibly writing a post on all of the series I read and the fact that I'm only caught up on a few of them...and I was thinking how nice it would be if I read this book and caught up on this series. It was like karma when I saw this book waiting for me on the shelf at the library :P

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters- Had to give this author a try...that's the only excuse I have.

So that is my loot for this week. I'm still currently reading The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale and am SO glad that I picked it up finally. I love it so far!! Share your thoughts on any of these if you've read them....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays (My 1st!!)

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

Grab your current read.Let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given! Please avoid spoilers!

My Teaser:

"She's lovely and graceful and witty and courtly, and all that a princess should be." Geric shrugged, and he no longer smiled. "But there was some darkness with her arrival...

found on pg. 190 of The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Blindness by Jose Saramago

Blindness begins with a man going blind at a stoplight with an unknown type of "white blindness." He goes to an opthamologist to get his eyes checked and in hopes for a cure to the blindness which doesn't happen. Shortly thereafter all of the patients that were in the waiting room and the doctor himself go blind with the same instant white blindness. When news of this gets out, the government declares an epidemic and rounds up all of the blind internees and anyone who came into contact with them, to put them in an old, out of use mental aslyum. From there the story progresses, following the blind through their struggles to survive in a rapidly deteriating environment which no one can see except the doctor's wife. Blindness is one of those books that will stick with the reader for a very long time.

I'm not sure that I have the words to adequately review this book and do it justice. The reader knows from the beginning that this isn't going to be a light, happy read just from reading the book flap. But it is more than that...the author creates such a dark, intense atmosphere within the story that it completely drew me in and made me feel like I was there at times. I'm going to admit though that I didn't always want to read this knew that there were bad things that were going to happen. And part of it was just waiting for them to happen. Another interesting aspect about this book is that we are never given the names of the main characters. The characters decide for themselves soon after they go blind that names are no longer important and focus more on other things.

This is a book that just begs for discussion in so many ways. I would love for anyone who has read this book to share your thoughts on it in the comment section. It is hard to say I loved it or even enjoyed such a dark book but I did find it to be a worthwhile read. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone though because it is not an easy read and some of the things that happen to the characters are pretty horrible. I did have questions at the end that were left unanswered. One of them was who was the narrator? At times it felt like the narrator was one of the blind and at other times if felt as if he/she was someone else completely. I have another question that would be open to debate but it is a spoiler so maybe I'll talk about it in the comment section.

All in all, a worthwhile read for me and a book that I won't be forgetting about anytime soon.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 (I debated on giving it a 5/5 but I just couldn't quite give it a 5 star rating...)
Challenges: 100+ Book challenge, Support Your Library challenge, New Author challenge, Year of Reading Dangerously challenge

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Library Loot- August 6th

Hosted by Eva at A Striped Armchair and Marg at Reading Adventures. We share what we each picked up at the library during the week.

How has another week gone by already? Summer is flying by and I cannot keep up ;) Sorry I haven't posted since last week but I've been busy getting my son ready for first grade which translates into shopping and dentist appointments and fun stuff like that. I'm almost finished with Blindness by Jose Saramago and am hoping to finish it up either tonight or tomorrow. I was bad at the library this week and picked up even more books although I still have a pile that I need to get to. Here is what I found and couldn't resist:

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross- I first read a review on this book at Maw Books which sold me on this book and since then have read a few other reviews that convinced me to grab this one up as soon as I saw it.

Deadly Harvest by Heather Graham- 2nd in the Flynn brothers trilogy and one I am looking forward to....although I haven't quite reviewed the 1st book yet ;)

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen- This one has been on my TBR list for forever!!! I cannot wait to get to this one!

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong- Another new to me paranormal series that I've been meaning to try.

The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King- I picked this book up solely because of Eva's reviews of this series.

I also re-checked out The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale for the TBR challenge. Hopefully I can get to it. My hours at work are going to be going up which is a good thing for the paycheck (overtime!) but a bad thing for my reading and blogging. So forgive me if I'm slow at commenting back but I do want to hear your thoughts if you've read any of these!