Friday, June 8, 2012

Oh the books...

With my still jobless state and the way the economy remains I have turned more and more to my local library for things to read.  A few I have checked out and returned mostly electronically which I'm finding quite handy.  However I've discovered that each day about an hour before the library opens the free book bins downstairs are filled.  In the aftermath of the annual book sale then offerings have been great!  Each day I've gone home with at least four more books to add to my shelves, often thigns I wouldn't have explored if I'd had to buy the books.  Though I have been delighted to discover books I didnt own by authors I enjoy.

Deep Storm - Child  Loads of suspence, non-stop action, lurking conspiracy, and just the right touch of creepy...Mr Child does not disappoint.  Sat and read this one cover to cover completely forgetting to even stop for dinner. This one had me holding my breath and wondering just what I'd do if I were in the main character's shoes.

Will come back and post reviews as I can but here are the other books I read in the month of May.

Pillars of the Earth - Follet
Circle of Friends - Binchey
The Keep - Wilson
The Deep Zone - Tabor
The Serpant's Shadow - Riordan
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much -  Bartlett
All For You - Kurland
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel Series - Scott
Make More, Worry Less - Moss
Eat to Live - Furhman
Between Sisters
The Search - Roberts
The New Girl
Doctor Right - Tronstad

So far in June:
Games of Thrones - Martin
Too Much Temptation - Foster
Too Hot to Handle - Kaye

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Early Review Book: The Deep Zone by James M. Tabor

This book pushed all my favorite adventure/suspence buttons, thank you Mr Tabor! The Deep Zone is an excellent read...just don't start it at bed time because you will not be putting it down until all 400 pages have been read. I hope some of these characters will be back in future books I want to share more adventures with them. I've got an early review copy...the rest of you have to wait until April 3rd to pick up a copy it's a read well worth new release hardcover cost.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March Book Club selection:

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

 My apologies to Mr Bradbury but I didn't like this book any more as an adult than I did when reading it in high school though I appreciate the artistry of the work.  It is well written, inarguably gripping, has an undeniable point of view and certainly has kept the conversation on censorship going for more than 60 years.  There are just two thoughts in this book, or rather between the covers as one is part of the Coda not the story itself.  "It doesn't matter what you long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away." That is a lesson we should all take to heart during childhood and cling to throughout our lives.  The other, " not insult me with your beheadings, finger-choppings or the lung-deflations you plan for my works. I need my head to shake or nod, my hand to wave or shape into a fist, my lungs to shout or whipser with.  I will not go gently unto a shelf, degutted, to become a non-book."  In much the way of the wanderers at the end of Fahrenheit 451 we are all our own book and must find the inner strength to never allow outside influences to edit our story in ways that leave us but empty covers on dusty forgotten shelves waiting to be burned.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Good grief!

Legon Awakening by Nicholas Taylor This book was lent to me by a friend and I have very mixed feelings about it.  Had I been reading from a physical copy that I'd purchased I'd have been sending a very annoyed letter to the publisher right now.  However I've no idea if all the grammer, punctuation, and spelling mistakes in the ebook version were also in the printed version.  The strength of the characters and story telling are the only reasons I continued to read when the editing mistakes became a constant distraction.  Somewhere at the publishing company this book fell through a really big crack. I won't be purchasing my own copy and I'd think twice before I attempt further books in this series.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

On the Non-Fiction Side

Lately I've been catching up on my non-fiction reading, tough to do when you are in a silly book mood!

Treasure Hunter by W.C. Jameson Since the long ago day my brother and I found thousands of dollars while playing in the creek I've been fascinated by treasure and those who hunt for it.  W.C. Jameson's Treasure Hunter left me wanting...not to hunt treasure myself, or to rush through the book but rather to sit down with him over a beer and hear him tell the stories.  While the book was enjoyable enough I strongly suspect that Mr. Jameson's true gift would be that of a verbal storyteller. This book will be an easy one to pick up now and again to read a single story.  On a completely different note I struggled a lot with Mr Jameson's attitude that he was above the law and had the right to take whatever he wanted from where ever it happened to be.  I would not put this book in a child's hands without a continual conversation about morals and ethics.

Aries by Joanna Martine Woolfolk Throughout my life I've gone back and forth about being Aries.  Many of the characterists were a perfect match, others were so far off the mark I found it impossible to imagine them as part of the same person.  Reading Ms. Woolfolk's book on Aries though allowed for new insight and understanding of myself and makes me very grateful to the adults in my life who shaped me in such a way that the worst of the Aries qualities while present are heard in my head only as whispers and rarely acted upon. Whatever your sign, whether you believe in horoscopes are not I'd recommend reading the one of this series for your own sign just to see what you might learn about yourself.

The Whole Foot Book by Brett Ryan Fink, M.D. and Mark Stuart Mizel, M.D. This book is already on its way to becoming a well thumbed reference book! The information is presented in ways that make it easy to understand with excellent illustrations. The personal stories of others who experienced similar problems and their solutions served both as inspiration (or warnings) and kept me reading. As I move into yet another season of marathon training I suspect I will be reaching for this book often.

Many thanks to the authors Brett Ryan Fink, M.D. and Mark Stuart Mizel, M.D.
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza  I found this book utterly fascinating.  So much so that I will be shopping for a physical copy of the book since I was given an electronic version to review.  This is one I will be referring back to again and again.  The look at quantum theory, modern neuroscience and how we can truly change our own minds was riveting.  While that might sound like a tough read the author did an excellent job of keeping the topics accessible and easy to understand, readers should not be intimidated.  Grab a copy and take a journey though your own brain and see what happens.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Catching Up!

Nine feet of snow so far this winter has meant lots of great reasons to curl up with a book and read.  I've been having so much fun I haven't stopped to review so today is cath up time.

The Seduction of Sebastian St. James by Rachel Van Dyken This book made me really appreciate what a different world I live in compared to my counterparts during the Victorian era.  I don't usually expect a romance novel to having me sitting back and contemplating my own life, this one did.  Can you ask more of a book than to be both thought provoking and entertaining? I can actually see this book as a fun discussion book for a book group.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand This book is considered young adult fiction but I'd have no hesitation recommending it to adults as well.  It's well written and interesting.  Plus remember those awkward teenage moments just can't help but bring on cringing smiles.  Fascinating subject matter. Good enough to have me downloading book two at 3AM rather than going to sleep.

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand Very thought provoking book focused on the ways our choices impact not only ourselves but all those around us. Awesome for a discussion starter with your teens.  The characters in this trilogy grip you quickly and tend to stay on your mind long after you close the book.  I can't wait for book three!

Noble Intentions/Noble Destiny/The Trouble with Harry by Katie MacAlister I discovered these books while searching the names of some of my favorite authors to see if they had new books out.  What a delight to discover a series done before I had discovered this author. All three of the books were laugh out loud funny! Thank you Katie MacAlister for more books for my "go-to" shelf when I need to brighten my day.

Heart of a Knight by Barbara Samuel The title of this book doesn't even begin to cover the full range of the story. It's rare that a book really transports me, this one did.  Page by page I fell deeper in love with the characters and their joys and triumphs brought tears to my eyes.  An excellent read.

Invisible Assassin (The Queen's Blade #3) by TC Southwell Was every bit as good as book one. So much of the material covered, the choices faced by the characters was heart breaking. Where do you find yourself, build a future for yourself when duty and the fate of thousands rests on your shoulders? Will be interesting to see what comes next.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Perfect Reading Weather

What do you do when it's -12? Read of course!  The more books the merrier, Mother Nature has been providing the perfect excuse to huddle on my couch with a warm blanket, dark chocolate cocoa, and a big stack of books.  Ahhhh winter.

Ghost Memoir by Lady Nairna was a great little book.  My thanks to Rich Fahle for asking if I'd be interested in reviewing it.  Ghosts and Scotland, how could you go wrong? Of course I'll read it.  A memoir, yes, you hear Lady Nairna's story as well as several of her friends but it's also the tale of simply trying to get a book written. I'm still prone to giggling snorts over the ghost hunting! The ending left a good way. Here is the review I posted:

From the moment I first read a description of this little book I had a case of the giggles. Much of the book kept me in that same state. You can't help getting a case of wistful "what if?" syndrome while reading. What if I met Lady Nairna? What if ghosts decided I was worth talking to? Turning the final page I was sad, satisfied, hopeful,and broken hearted.
I hope Lady Nairna finds ways to share more of herself and her friends.
Child of the Mist by Kathleen Morgan This book was an interesting experience for me. Generally I find myself disappointed with "Christian" fiction. This author did a wonderful job of pulling me in and via her characters posing great questions about how to best follow the Lord in circumstances that mean doing so could cost your life. Or worse that of another. Read it cover to cover without a break and will definitely be seeking out other books in the series.
The Girl that Love Forgot by Jennie Lucas I don't often dip back into the short Harlequin romance books any more but this one caught my eye and I couldn't resist. There were moments when stereotypes annoyed me but overall the story of Annabelle and Stefano made for a wonderful read. If you are in the mood for a little brain candy this one is a bit like taffy with nuts in're going to have to work at it but the calories are worth it. Will be interesting to see what else comes from this author.
The Ugly Duckling Debutante by Rachel Van Dyken No matter what your thoughts of romance novels, especially historical ones (I usually avoid them like the plague.)you should take the time to read this one. Rachel Van Dyken's characters are all fabulously flawed and struggling to grow.  The interplay between them is well written and immediately pulls the reader in. Watching them grow over the course of the book was delightful.
Wedding Survivor by Julia London This is one of those books you almost hate to admit you read...much less that you liked it.  Every bit of it was bury your face in your hands, laugh until you snort funny.  I read it twice in a row and have no doubt that the next time I'm in dire need of a laugh I will be opening it again. From the book club meetings without books to the $20K wedding gown stuck in a tree the story doesn't disappoint. "Survivor" is exactly right for this wedding.

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder   As always Maria V. Snyder's latest does not disappoint.  I found the main character's constant struggle to not use the gifts she was born with thought provoking and the politics well written.  One character was truly offensive to me and I found myself mentally yelling at the author for including him...I'm sure you'll be able to guess who he is as you read...  Overall I loved the book and cant wait to see where the story goes next.

Now it's back to more serious reading Joe Dispenza's "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" is a fascinating look at quantum physics, modern neuroscience, and self improvement. I'm loving it so far.  Will have a review for you next week, stay tuned.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A mixed bag

The Son of Neptune is the first Riordan book I struggled to read. Were I not already a big fan this book probably would have landed on the shelf without ever having been finished. That said, KEEP READING the last quarter of the book finds the author hitting his usual stride and the story coming to life. Made it well worth slogging through. Brace yourself though...this is not a stand alone book. You need to have read the Percy Jackson books as well as Book 1 of this series to make sense of the story...and it doesn't end it just pauses mid scene to await the next book. My biggest pet peeve. I understand from a marketing perspective why this happens as it pretty much guarantees you sales on the next book but it's so very annoying.  In my opinion every book in a series should stad completely on its own whether or not I've ever read the others in the series or by the same author.  Not making them tht way always makes me feel a bit like I've been cheated.

As an Alaskan though I had to grit my teeth and roll my eyes at the inaccurate descriptions of the scenes set here in Alaska. Though I still have the giggles about blue giants playing with moose as if they were toys. That would explain a lot.  Over all I'm glad I read it and look forward to the next book if only so I know what happened at the end of THIS book.
Whispers in the Dark Maya Banks latest addition to the KGI series is every bit as exciting as the previous three books. Whispers in the Dark found me frequently holding my breath and reading as fast as I could, I absolutely loved it. Waiting for book five will be a painful exercise in anticipation. I have fallen in love with the whole Kelly family and just thoroughly enjoy the depth Ms Banks gives to every character. Thank you for another great read!
The Secret of Quantum Living I adored Mr Kinslow's easy conversational style of writing. Through most of the book I felt as if I were sitting with a friend over coffee rather than sitting on my couch reading. With simple language and exercises he made what could have been an intimidating topic interesting and approachable. This book has given me a very different perspective on myself and the world in which I live.

Looking forward to reading more from Mr Kinslow.
Now my "currently reading" list contains just two books. Maria V Synder's "Touch of Power" which if off to a very good start and "Ghost Memoir" by Lady Nairna whose description alone had me laughing. Today it is cold and snowy...a perfect day for books.

Monday, January 2, 2012


The past two weeks have been filled with books that have touched me and changed pieces of my heart.

Spirit Bound by Christine Feehan had some interesting ideas to contemplate and I found myself enthralled by the idea of custom kaleidoscopes. I loved the contrast in the characters, one who hid their talents, one who lived and breathed theirs, that was a fascinating dichotomy.  Overall though this book was a disappointment with the feel of a placeholder in the series.  I am hoping the next book in the series will find Ms Feehan on top of her game again.

Night Road by Kristin Hannah was won by our book group and had us pushing back our normal schedule in order to read this one for January's discussion. The author's portrayal of the grieving process in so many different ways via her characters was simply perfection.  I found myself crying frequently and touching the pages as if to somehow ease their grief. Stellar read and I can't wait to discuss it with my reading group.

A Simple Act of Gratitude by John Kralik There are only a few books I can point to and say without hesitation that simply reading it changed who I am forever.  This one did.  As I look back on a year of grieving the loss of my husband I see so many missed opportunities for me to be grateful...that has already begun to change and there will be many thank you notes flowing to those who've walked this journey with me in the months to come.  This is a definite MUST READ book.