Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sunday Salon - Online Reading Groups

Way back when, I originally started this blog in large part because of Yahoo book groups and reading challenges. Before I even knew what a book blog was, I had found Yahoo's book groups and was happily immersed within the community even if I was a lurker the majority of the time. My only problem was (and still is) that I am such a weird reader. Maybe electic would be a nicer word but weird works for me. You see I have the tendency to want to read EVERYTHING. There are very few genres that I won't read and some of the genres that I don't read a lot of...well, I always plan on reading more from those genres :) All of this means that I was joining groups left and right: paranormal/urban fantasy groups, general bookish groups, literary fiction groups. You name it and I was probably a member of it if it was related to books. I finally had to cut back some as I had joined too many groups and couldn't keep up with any of them. (BTW- I have a tendency to never do anything in moderation when it comes to books) And then I created this blog and got away from my groups entirely.

The other day I realized that I really wanted to participate in a book group that discusses books. Maybe even with a monthly group read. And since it just isn't possible for me right now to belong to a face to face book club, I decided I need to find an online book group that is right for me. Except I can't quite find what I'm looking for as I need a group that reads from multiple genres. I don't want a club that just reads classics for instance...instead I would like one that has a month where they read a classic and then maybe the next month they read something entirely different. Is there anything like this out there??? I could go with one of the groups that I already belong to but that would mean trying to decide which book group "read" I should go with which is a bit problematic for me. Especially since I still belong to multiple groups of different genres. I want to read them all. Seriously. I have issues :) Are there any amazing online book groups out there that you think I should check out??? And does anyone else think I have enough on my plate and should probably not even be worrying about all of this?? LOL!

In reading news, I'm currently reading Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler. It's pretty good but I'm not quite connecting with the main character and some of the choices that she is making. I just have a different direction that I want her to go in if that makes any sense and so I'm waiting to see if she'll get there. It is keeping me turning the pages pretty fast though which is always a good thing. I also received a few new books this week in the mailbox again. Books in the mail = happy Sam! I should probably save this for the Mailbox post that I'm still planning on doing from my last Salon post but I'm too excited. I got a GORGEOUS copy of Blameless by Gail Carriger in the mail on Friday!!! I literally squealed in delight as I cannot wait to read this book and have been waiting quite impatiently for it. Thank you Orbit Books for sending me this!!!! (I'm pretty sure I love you now ;) Gail Carriger has moved on to my must-read author list especially after Changeless (which I think I still need to review. Ugh!) So you know that I'm looking forward to reading this one. And look at that cover. Gorgeous! I'm a super happy reader right now :) Alright, I'm pretty sure that is enough Sunday book talk for out of me for today...I'll be by to visit all of you soon as soon as I finish this cup of coffee.

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Wrong Mother by Sophie Hannah

This book is a thriller all about the choices that we make and the consequences of those decisions. Sally Thorning is a working wife and mother of two children who made a decision a year ago that is now coming back to haunt her. Because Sally lied to her husband and went on what was supposed to be a "business trip", but was in fact a vacation away from her everyday life. On her weekend away Sally met a man named Mark Bretherick...the name of a man who is now on television because his wife and daughter have been murdered. But the Mark Bretherick on television isn't the Mark that Sally met and spent time with while she was away.

How seriously creepy is that?? Sally goes on a trip alone, meets and has an affair with a man, and then goes back to her every day life. Except that the man she an affair with isn't the man he claimed to be and now Sally doesn't know who she spent the weekend with. Plus, there are creepy things happening to her and Sally is starting to realize that someone is out to get her. This book was a definite page turner for me. On one hand, I had a bit of a hard time relating to Sally. Not that I don't understand the need for alone time but the decisions she made on her weekend away weren't the smartest ones. But the dislike for her affair was immediately set aside as different things began happening to her that showed Sally to be in danger. The mystery aspect of the book was very compelling and I didn't figure out who the "bad" guy was until the end. And trust me, I was turning pages and reading as fast as possible trying to see what was going to happen next. My only complaint was the ending was a bit bleh and by that I mean that I wasn't very impressed with it. It was an okay ending but nothing amazing. It was still a really good, suspenseful read though. This book definitely made me think about the every day decisions that we make and how it can affect our lives.

Bottom Line: A good thriller and an author that I plan to read more of!

Disclosure- I got this book from the library :)
*I read this book for the following challenges:
New Author Challenge
Suspense/Thriller Reading Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
Support Your Library Reading Challenge

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Sunday Salon - Busy, Busy

So I am sure I'm not the only one that is in back to school mode lately. My oldest is going into second grade (I'm not sure how that has happened) and it means lots of school supply shopping, organization, and everything else that goes along with getting him ready to start school in a week. This summer has just flown by if I do say so myself. Unfortunately it means that I've had to cut back on my bloggy time as I try to get everything ready. And spend some quality time with all of the kiddos before the madness starts up again. I'm not ready...I'm really not. But I don't have a choice so into the craziness we will plunge again!

In reading news, I'm still moving along quite well even if I can't seem to keep up with the reviews. Since I last posted a Sunday Salon I've read a few books including Into The Darkness by Barbara Michaels which I was underwhelmed with. I was definitely disappointed as I really enjoyed the first book that I read by Michaels last year or the year before which was Be Buried In The Rain. Hopefully, I'll be able to post a review soon sharing all of my thoughts on it. I also finished Another One Bites the Dust by Jennifer Rardin and Red Hot Fury by Kasey Mackenzie which were both two good urban fantasy reads. I love me some urban fantasy :) I'm currently reading French Milk by Lucy Knisley which is my 1st graphic novel for the year. How sad! I really need to make an effort to read more from this genre as I'm really liking this book so far. In fact, it is the perfect genre to mix things up with my reading so I don't go in a rut. I'll have to keep that in mind the next time a slump comes around. And the pictures are awesome...I wish I could draw like that!

In other book related news, I've been lucky enough to receive a few good books in the mail lately. I'm thinking that it is time to do a In My Mailbox post for the first time just to share the goodies that I have received so keep an eye out for that maybe this week. And of course I've been visiting the library and am in need of a new library loot post as soon as possible. I just might be drowning in books... but I can't say that it is a bad thing :) Enough out of me...I'll be around to see what everyone else is reading sometime today. Hope you all have a great week!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre

Blue Diablo begins with Corine's ex-boyfriend Chance showing up at her store and home in Mexico looking for help. Corine is a handler, which in a nutshell means that she is able to touch different objects and tell the object's history as well as sometimes more from touching it. Chance's mother has disappeared and his only lead is an object that he believes she left behind as a clue to where she has gone. Now it is up to Corine and Chance to track his mother down to bring her to safety and while they do that they may just get a little more than they bargained for.

For me a good book needs to have strong, interesting characters that make me want to read their story. Luckily enough, Corine and Chance were great main characters to read about. The history between them is present throughout the story and is always something that is between them. I liked that the author didn't make it easy for them: they still hurt from the past and each other but at the same time the feelings that they had for each other were still there. I was just waiting to see if they would be able to work everything out. The storyline itself was fast paced and interesting. I liked the idea that Corine was able to get the history of something just from touching different objects. And I thought it was interesting that the handling of these objects caused Corine different levels of pain depending on what she touched. It made this book different from a lot of books that are out there in this genre. The entire read was very satisfying and this is an author that I want to read more of and soon. I can't wait to see what will happen between Corine and Chance in future books! All in all, a great read.

Bottom line: This is a definite book and beginning of a series to check out if you enjoy urban fantasy! Recommended!

Disclosure- Library book :)
*I read this book for the following challenges:
New Author Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge
1st in a Series Reading Challenge
"A" Author in A-Z Challenge (personal)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris

Books in series are SO hard to review sometimes. How about I start off with the warning that it is VERY likely that there will be spoilers for previous books within this review...I'll try not to let anything slip but no guarantees. Now that I got that off of my chest, let's begin!

Harper and Tolliver are back in the latest and final (I believe) book of this series doing what they always do...finding the dead. Harper gets asked to read the grave of a dead Texas rancher and once again gets caught up in the mystery surrounding the death of the deceased. Except this time family secrets are starting to swirl around for Harper and Tolliver especially since Tolliver's father is out of jail and trying to make contact with him. With Harper being back in Texas, her sister's mysterious disapprearance from years back begins to raise more questions and it looks like Harper is in over her head this time with bodies starting to pile up.

What can I say about these books besides that they are addicting? I've always loved the premise that Harper can find dead bodies and tell their cause of death due to being struck by lightning when she was a teenager. The mystery in this book tied up all of the loose threads from the previous three books which was satisfying for me. I flew through this one as I really wanted to see what had happened to Cameron from so long ago. And parts of it I had guessed but other parts I didn't see coming at all. So it was a good ending for me and a quick read. Still a bit of an ick factor with Harper and Tolliver's relationship but other than that I really liked this book. In fact, I'm wishing that this wasn't the end and that Charlaine Harris was planning on writing more of these books. Which means that it looks like I'll be checking out some of her other series sometime soon!

Bottom line: A great ending to an interesting series....but I would start from the beginning of this series if I were you :)

Disclosure: Another book from my local library...I'm boring like that.
*I read this book for the following challenges:
Suspense/Thriller Reading Challenge
Support Your Library Reading Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
"H" Author for A-Z Challenge (personal)