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Friday, December 31, 2010

A Bone to Pick

A Bone to Pick

This is the second book in a mystery series.  Aurora Teagarden, a librarian, inherits a house and a large sum of money from her friend Jane.  While Roe is cleaning out the house, she finds a skull in a storage trunk.  Roe begins to investigate where the skull came from and how it ended up in Jane's house.  Good twists and turns in this book, I enjoyed it.  I will continue this series.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Strain

At almost 600 pages, this book kept me hooked the entire time I was reading it.  It was creepy good, which is high praise in my book.  A plane lands and most of the passengers are dead.  A CDC doctor is called in to investigate whether or not a virus is to blame.  What he discovers surprises even him.  The dead don't stay dead; they rise again as vampires and turn others into vampires.  Eph, the doctor, meets up with an old man who seems to have a great deal of knowledge about how to slay these vampires.  They team up with an exterminator and they begin to hunt the vampires so they can find the vampire master.  This book was well-written and I cannot wait to read #2 on my Kindle.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Forge (YA)

Forge (YA)

This is the second in the series.  It took me longer to get into this book than the first (Chains) but by page 100 I was hooked.  Curzon is the main character in this book and he becomes a soldier.  He and Isabel have gone their separate ways.  Curzon still dreams of true freedom, as does Isabel.  There is a third book in this series and I will read that one too when it comes out.  This book was on the historical fiction book list for a YA literature that I am taking.  I enjoyed it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Book Whisperer

The Book Whisperer

We are using this book in a literacy research  group that I am instructing and I liked it a lot.  It is definitely geared towards middle school more than the high school courses I teach, but there were ideas and forms that I could take ideas from and use in my classroom.  The writing style flowed well in this book; we had some teachers in the research group who were also reluctant readers and this book was user friendly for them.  I love the idea of a classroom full of books and kids who love to read--well I guess a girl can dream, right?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ashes (YA)

Ashes (YA)

This book is YA historical fiction set during WWII.  It details Hitler's rise to power and the hatred towards Jews.  The book also deals a bit with the book burning that was done in Germany during this time period.  Gaby is a young German girl trying to understand how someone like Hitler could gain power.  This is a good, quick read.  It was on the book list for my YA literature class.  

Friday, December 24, 2010

Truly Madly

Truly Madly 


This book is first in a cozy paranormal series.  Lucy has the psychic ability to see where lost items are; she tries to keep this a secret.  Her family owns a matchmaking business and Lucy takes over the company while her father is on medical leave.  Lucy begins to believe that she may be a viable member of the company after all.  She is drawn to Sean, a PI in the same building as the company.  Together the two of them try to solve a mystery involving a matchmaking client.  Good secondary characters in this book, I loved Grendel (Lucy's cat) and Dovie, Em and Marisol.  This book had a good mix of humor, mystery and romance.  I won a signed copy of this book from the author, who is a very nice lady.  I will continue reading this series.

Falling In (YA)

Falling In (YA)

This book was on the fantasy book list for a YA literature class that I am taking.  Fantasy and science fiction are not my favorite genres but this was a cute, quick read.  Isabelle has always felt a bit off from the other kids in school and one day she opens the door in the nurse's office and falls into a different world, where children are hiding from the supposed witch who is going to kill them.  Isabelle finds unexpected family and friendship in this new world, where having "gifts" can deem you a witch.  I liked how the book was sort of a story within a story and the writing was good.  I borrowed this book from the library.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Letters (Kindle)

Christmas Letters (Kindle)

I love Debbie Macomber's writing; she is one of my comfort authors.  I love her Blossom Street series and while one does not need to have read those to enjoy this one, this book is set on Blossom Street and has some of those characters in it in side roles.  KO and Wynn meet and begin dating but they have very different viewpoints on some very major issues which put a crimp in their relationship.  But it is Christmas time and that can make things happen like they would not happen at other times of the year.  A nice, comfortable holiday read.  I read this book on my Kindle.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wicked Girls (YA) (Kindle)

Wicked Girls (YA) (Kindle)

This book is a YA verse novel about the Salem witch trials.  The book is told from the multiple viewpoints of the teenage accusers.  As always when I read a book about this time period, I am shocked by the power given to these girls.  So many innocent people suffered at their accusations.  It frustrates me.  However, this book was well written and detailed that time period well.  The verse format worked well and the book read smoothly.  This book was on the historical fiction book list for a YA literature class that I am taking.  I read this book on my Kindle.

A Secret in Salem

A Secret in Salem

This book includes characters from the soap opera "Days of our Lives", of which I am a longtime fan.  I think that it would be a decent read on its own, but a much better read if the reader knew the characters from the show.  Marlena and John have left Salem and are dealing with his paralysis.  Shawn and Belle are sailing around the world.  Jack, Jennifer and Abby are keeping the newspaper business in the family.  All of that made me want to go back to watching the soap opera on a daily basis.  There are new characters that are important in the book and these new characters are interesting enough to hook the Days fans--Charley, Jackson and Chance could fit in seamlessly with the Salemites.  Decent mystery and romance, this was a fun read.  This book was sent to me by Sourcebooks for review.

A Cat Named Squeeky

A Cat Named Squeeky

Squeeky was a stray cat that a couple ended up being ruled by for many years.  Squeeky taught them cat vocabulary and the joys of having a pet.  She had a good long life and this was a good, quick read for cat lovers.  Being owned by six cats currently, I could definitely relate to many parts of this book.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Revolution (YA)

Revolution (YA)

This book is YA historical fiction.  Andi is a tough as nails teenager trying to deal with the horrific loss of her younger brother.  She is not doing well at school and her father decides to take her to Paris with him so he can supervise the writing of her thesis, which is on an 18th century musician.  While in Paris, Andi finds the diary of Alex, another tough as nails girl during the French Revolution and Andi begins to broaden her horizons about tragedy and loss.  This book is almost 500 pages but it kept my interest.  Revolution is  well written and Andi is a good character.  This book was on the reading list for my YA literature class.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Red Pyramid (YA)

The Red Pyramid (YA)

This is the first book in a new science fiction/fantasy series.  Carter and Sadie are brother and sister; their parents are experts on Egyptian history.  Their mother dies when they are young and Sadie stays with her maternal grandparents while Carter travels the world with their father.  At the beginning of the book, their dad brings them to a museum and that is when things begin to really get interesting.  Carter and Sadie are connected to Egyptian Gods in ways that they did not even know were possible.  This book has great action and well written characters; the author obviously research Egyptian history well.  This book will keep readers engrossed, even at its chunky 500 plus page length.  This book was on the book list for the science fiction/fantasy month of the YA literature course that I am taking; I borrowed this book from the library.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Black Beans and Vice (Kindle)

Black Beans and Vice (Kindle)

This is the 6th book in the cozy culinary mystery series and I have loved them all.  In this book, once again James Henry and his Supper Club friends have a murder to solve.  This, along with their personal lives, is keeping them busy.  Love blooms for a variety of characters in this book, and tragedy strikes just as many.  Cozy readers will love this book and I hope that the rumor of this being the final book is just that--a rumor.  There are some unanswered questions that I hope will be answered at a later date.  I read this book on my Kindle.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Buzz Off

Buzz Off

This book is the first in a cozy mystery series.  Story runs a store and has a beekeeping business on the side.  Her partner in that business, Manny, is stung to death at the beginning of the book.  Story thinks that something is strange about his death and begins to investigate.  Shortly after, the girlfriend of Story's ex-husband is killed and he is arrested for the murder.  While Story has no love lost for her ex, she does not believe he murdered his girlfriend so she begins to investigate that too.  As often happens in these types of books, Story gets herself into some trouble.  This book has good characters (I especially liked Hunter and Ben), and a decent mystery.  The text speak of Story's sister got annoying after a while and the character of Story's mother was very shrill but otherwise, I enjoyed the book.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Paranormal Challenge

I signed up for a Paranormal Reading challenge in 2011--to read 12 paranormal/fantasy books.  This shouldn't be too hard for me since I love this genre.  The challenge can be found on the blog nittgrittydownanddirty.blogspot.com if you want to sign up.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Annexed (YA)

Annexed (YA)

This book is the fictionalized version of living in the annex from Peter's point of view.  Previously, we had only had Anne's version of things.  This book is incredibly moving and extremely well written.  It tells of the difficulty of living in such cramped quarters for so long, the immense longing for a return to their normal lives and the utter fear of being brought to the concentration camps.  Detailing life in the camps was powerfully done.  This book was on the book list for a YA literature class I am taking and I think it was my favorite book thus far.  I highly recommend it.

Pemberley Ranch (review book)

Pemberley Ranch (review book)

I am a sucker for the "modernized" or "classic with a twist" books, especially when they involve the works of my favorite author, Jane Austen.  In this book, Darcy is a ranch owner in the wild west.  Lizzy and he meet when she rides her horse on his land and of course they do not hit it off right away.  I love how no matter what the setting, the timeless love story remains the same.  The west is a new twist on the setting and circumstances and I enjoyed it.  Caldwell's writing stays true to Austen's sense of the characters and I thought this book was well done.   

This book was sent to me from Sourcebooks to review.

Take Me with You (YA)

Take Me with You (YA)

A quick read on the book list for the historical fiction month of a YA literature class that I am taking.  Two girls are in an Italian orphanage.  One wants to find her mother, one her father, a GI fighting the war.  This is a quick read and shows the burning desire of young girls to have a feeling of identity and self.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Storm in the Barn (YA)

A Storm in the Barn (YA)

This was a graphic novel about the Dust Bowl.  I wish it had more text--there wasn't much of a written storyline to it.  Jack wants to do something to make himself useful but he cannot find a way until he finds the rainmaker in the barn--then he feels he can bring the rain back.  This book showed the desperation felt during that time period and showed illness etc from it but I do not think it did so as effectively as say, the book Out of the Dust.  I borrowed this book from the library and it was on the book list for the historical fiction month of my YA literature class.

A Faraway Island (YA)

Two sisters are sent from their home during the war to Sweden for their own safety.  Nellie, the youngest, seems to adjust fairly well.  Stephie, the eldest, has more issues adjusting and finding her way in her new home.  This is a good, quick read.  Stephie and Nellie show how the war tore children from their parents and their homes.  This was a book originally written in Swedish but the translation is done extremely well.  I think girls especially would enjoy this book.  I borrowed this book from the library; it was on the book list for a YA class that I am taking.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Countdown (YA)

Countdown (YA)

This book is a YA historical fiction book that was on the book list for my YA literature class.  This book takes place during the Bay of Pigs, which is an interesting time period for a YA book.  Franny, the main character, reminded me a bit of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird.  I almost gave up on this book as the first part is a little slow and I can see kids getting bogged down while reading it.  I am glad I stuck with it though because I liked the second half of the book much more than the first half.  I enjoyed seeing Franny mature as a person and I liked the secondary characters a lot--her younger brother Drew, her "crazy" Uncle Otts and her neighbor Chris.  I borrowed this book from the library.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Darcy Christmas (review book)

A Darcy Christmas

This book is a nice holiday read geared to fans of Jane Austen.  Three short stories, using Darcy and Elizabeth from Austen's Pride and Prejudice, center around Christmas.  The first story has Darcy being Scrooge from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  I liked the twist of using a twist on a classic within a twist of a classic.  The other two stories pick up where Pride and Prejudice left off and continue the story of Darcy and Lizzy and their families.  Christmas is the focus and is used to marked births, deaths, happiness and family moments.  The three writers stick to Austen's style and her ideas of the characters.  I enjoyed this book a lot, and I am one who does not read many holiday books.  This book was sent to me by SourceBooks to review.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Relacement (YA) (Kindle)

The Replacement (YA) (Kindle)

This book was creepy good.  Mackie is a "replacement", an other who was put in place of a baby stolen from its crib.  Mackie cannot handle blood, steel or step on sacred ground.  But he is more human than most people.  Mackie is a great character--he has total hero qualities.  There are good twists and turns in this book, good characters and great writing.  I really enjoyed this book.  This book was on the book list for a YA literature class I am taking.  I read this book on my Kindle.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Unraveled (YA) (Kindle)

Unraveled (YA)

This is the second book in a YA paranormal series and picks up right where book #1, Intertwined, left off.  Aden, Victoria, Mary Ann and Riley are fighting the witches and goblins to stay alive.  Aden is still trying to find the connection between the witches and soul Caleb.  This book had a lot of action and good twists and turns.  The romances of these two couples heat up.  It seems as if there will be a third book, and I hope there is and I will read it.  This book was on the book list for a YA literature class that I am taking.  I could see both HS girls and boys enjoying this series.  I read this book on my Kindle.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Eternal Ones (YA)



Haven remembers past lives. Her religious grandmother thinks she is possessed by the Devil. Haven feels the need to go to New York City to find her past love, Ethan. Haven's friend Beau helps her get there and that is when things really take twists and turns. Haven visits the O Society--a... group for people who were reincarnated. But are they good or evil? Is Ethan (now Iain in this life) her true love or her would be murderer? This book is a mix of romance and paranormal. It was a good read. The characters were interesting and the star crossed lovers bit was not overdone in a tacky way. This book was on my YA literature class book list and I was also sent this book to review by the publisher. I would recommend it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

No Moon (YA)

No Moon (YA)

No Moon is YA historical fiction.  Gardy becomes a nursemaid for a rich family.  The regular nanny gets injured right before the family is to sail on Titanic's maiden voyage.  Gardy  takes the nanny's place.  We all know how that sailing went for the Titanic.  Without getting into too many nasty, gritty details (this is a middle school book after all), the book goes over the horror that the passengers faced, the frustration of losing so many unnecessarily and a bit into the aftermath for the survivors.  This was a good, quick read and I could see middle school girls really enjoying this book.  I read this book for a YA literature class that I am taking this year.  I borrowed this book from the library.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tired Max and Maggie

Maggie looks like she's planning on smothering Max in his sleep but both were just very, very tired.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Intertwined (YA) (Kindle)

Intertwined (YA) (Kindle)

This book is the first in a YA paranormal series.  Aden has souls trapped within his body.  People think he is crazy and hearing voices in his head.  Then he meets Mary Ann and for the first time ever, the voices become quiet.  Throw in Riley, a werewolf, and Victoria, a vampire, and you have some great paranormal relationships forming.  I enjoyed this read.  Good characters, good twists and turns, good action and good romance made it a quick read for me.  I read this book on my Kindle and have #2 waiting to read.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Other (YA)

Other (YA)

Gwen is Other--1/2 human, 1/2 Pooka (shapeshifter).  She is trying to fit in to a society that is still somewhat biased against Others.  Then, in her hometown, someone begins hunting and killing Others.  Is it one of the werewolves or is a White Knight, a member of a religious society?  Gwen investigates to try to save herself and those she cares about.  This was a good, quick read.  I enjoyed it a lot.  I borrowed this book from the library.
You can buy all sorts of cat toys but they love cardboard boxes the best.  Here is Lucy, our 13 year old Maine Coon, claiming the red box as her own :-)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Linger (YA) (Kindle)

Linger (YA) (Kindle)

Linger is the sequel to Shiver and is a werewolf love story.  Sam used to be a werewolf and is now human.  He loves Grace.  There are new werewolves in Mercy Falls--Cole and Victor.  Grace's parents are concerned by her relationship with Sam and conspire to keep them separated.  Grace is sick and wants to be with Sam more than ever.  This book continues their romance and its cliffhanger ending makes me want to read #3 right now.  I read this book on my Kindle.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Child of the Northern Spring

Child of the Northern Spring

This is the first book in a trilogy.  I have never read anything by this author before and I liked the writing of this book.  It reminded me of Phillipa Gregory, one of my favorite authors.  This book was about Guinevere and her life and legend.  It was interesting to read about Guinevere's family and childhood; that was something that didn't happen in Morte D'Arthur, which I read in college.  Guinevere was a tough female character and I liked that about her.  I would recommend this book to fans of historical fiction.  The writing was sophisticated, the characters stem from legendary stories and there was enough action and romance to keep readers engaged.

This book was sent to me by SourceBooks to review.  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Good Old Dog (review book)

This book was a reader friendly book detailing how to get the most out of life for your senior dog.  Common diseases and health issues were discussed.  Treatment options were reviewed.  A section was devoted for the recommended diet for an older dog.  I found this book personally helpful as I have an 8 year old Jack Russell Terrier.  I also recommended this book to a fellow teacher; she teaches a Pre-Vet class at our high school. 

I received this book from Net Galley for review.  I read it on my Kindle.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Dead Tossed Waves (YA) (Kindle)

The Dead Tossed Waves (YA)  (Kindle)

This is the sequel to The Forest of Hands and Teeth.  The Mudo (Zombies) are back and after the people so they can infect them.  Gabry is a teenage girl who goes over the safety barrier with some not so good results.  Gabry begins to question if there is more to life than just the safety of the barricaded village and she has two love interests--Catcher and Elias.  This book has good suspense and a decent romantic triangle to it.  I don't know if there will be book 3 or not but if there is, I'd read it.

I read this book on my Kindle.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Revolver (YA)

Revolver (YA)

Sig and Anna's father dies after falling through the ice in their small mining town.  Shortly after, a huge, evil man Wolff comes looking for the gold that their father supposedly stole from him.  He holds the kids hostage and threatens to kill them if they don't tell him where the gold is and they have no idea what he is talking about.  Showing courage, the two end up making the odds a bit more even.  A good, quick read that YA boys would especially like, I enjoyed this book.  I borrowed this book from the library.

Monday, October 18, 2010

13 to Life (YA) (Kindle)

13 to Life (YA)  (Kindle)

First book in a YA paranormal series, Jessica's dealing with a lot of changes in her life.  Then she meets Pieter, a new boy in school with a hint of mystery about him.  They become close but he's hiding a somewhat wolfish secret.  A good, quick read--I enjoyed this one a lot.  #2 comes out in Febuary; I will continue this series.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bright Lights, Big Ass

Bright Lights, Big Ass 


This is the second memoir by Jen Lancaster and it is hilarious.  Jen writes about her life as a temp while trying to begin her life as an author, her husband Fletch, her pit bulls and her cats.  She has a dry, sarcastic wit that is totally funny.  These books are great fun reads.  Jen is brutally honest, not just towards other people but also when looking at her own life.  Love her writing!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Lost Dogs

The Lost Dogs

This book tells the heartbreaking tales of Michael Vick's fighting pit bulls.  What horrors these dogs were put through.  I think Vick is a great football player but questioned his humanity as I read this book.  These dogs were treated horribly and were not allowed to be dogs.  Throughout it all, these dogs somehow kept a soul and craved love and attention.  I find that utterly amazing.  As these dogs were saved by rescue organizations, they slowly began to move past the horrors that they had faced and most ended up finding some sort of homes that worked best  for them.  This book was moving.  

I borrowed this book from the public library.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Passionate Brood

As a big historical fiction fan, I am amazed that I have not read this author before.  The back of the book showcased several of her novels, all of which sound good.  I will have to read more by this author at some point.  In this book,
Richard the Lionheart is the historical figure of focus.  Thrown into the mix is if Robin Hood was Richard's foster brother.  This book holds true to the genre with jousting, warring, and using women as pawns to power.  The writing style is similar to that of Philippa Gregory, whose writing I love.  This book is well-written and the author obviously has done her research.  I always cringe at the plight of women in this time, as they really had no say over who they would marry or where their lives would take them.  I recommend this book to fans of historical fiction.

I received this book from SourceBooks  to review.  

I am Number Four

I am Number Four

A great read and I am not a huge fan of science fiction.  Lorien is a planet that was devastated by evil aliens.  Nine children and their guardians were sent to Earth for safety.  John is number four.  Numbers 1-3 have been killed.  John has been moving from place to place all of his life with his "father" Henri.  They end up in Paradise, Ohio and John becomes emotionally invested in the town.  He decides they'll stay and fight, and fight they do.  I really enjoyed this book and there seems to be potential for more in the series.  I hope it continues.

I borrowed this book from the public library.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In the Arms of Mr. Darcy

In the Arms of Mr. Darcy

This book is based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  Lizzy and Darcy are happily married and have a son.  This book continues their story but also focuses on some of the more secondary characters of Austen's book--namely Darcy's cousin Richard Fitzwilliam, his sister Georgiana and Lizzy's sister Kitty.  These characters finally get a storyline of their own and become further developed and begin romantic relationships.  I always enjoy seeing how Lizzy and Darcy's "happily ever after" looks to an author different than Austen.  This book stays true to Austen's writing style and her vision of these characters.  It is interesting to see how many books in today's market use Austen's works as a basis of their plot.  Guess there is a reason that her books are still being read and used as a foundation today. 

I received this book from SourceBooks to review.

Mr. Darcy's Obsession

Mr. Darcy's Obsession

This book picks up the story of Pride and Prejudice but changes things a bit in that Darcy and Elizabeth did not end up together.  Neither did Bingley and Jane.  Lizzy has been sent to live with her aunt and uncle and helps take care of their children.  Jane has married a shopkeeper.  Their lives are definitely not the happy ones that readers will surmise theirs to be after reading Austen's novel.  But Mr. Darcy decides to woo Lizzy and ends up being a stand up sort of guy.  Bingley is pining away for Jane and tries to find his way back to her.  Through trials and tribulations, this romantic story reunites the hero and heroine, as all should be.  Excellent writing, this book keeps to Austen's style.  I enjoyed it a lot.  I am constantly amazed by how many books based on, continuing, or changing Austen's books that there are on the market--but I like this genre.

I received this book from SourceBooks to review.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Cat, The Professor and the Poison

The Cat, The Professor and the Poison

Second book in a great cozy mystery series, this book was just as good as the first.  In this book, Jillian discovers a farm with a bunch of cats being used for research purposes.  Jillian goes to free the cats and finds the professor dead from poison.  Her cop friend Candace begins to investigate and of course Jillian must get involved as well.  In this book we meet Kara, Jillian's step daughter.  I love the cats in these books.  I love this series and cannot wait for #3 to come out in the spring.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Demon Princess: Reign or Shine (YA)

Demon Princess: Reign or Shine (YA)

First book in a cute paranormal YA series.  Nikki has just turned 16 and finds out she is a "darkling"--half demon, half human.  This explains why her father mysteriously left her mother all those years ago.  Michael, a Shadow/servant, comes to bring Nikki to the Shadowlands where her father is a demon king.  Nikki is prepared to hate him but realizes he is not that bad of a person, ummm demon.  A cute, fun story, I will read #2 which is on my Kindle.

I borrowed this book from the public library.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

House Rules

House Rules

Emma's son Jacob is autistic.  He is obsessed with forensic science.  When Jacob's tutor is killed, Jacob becomes a suspect.  Emma hires a newbie lawyer, Oliver, to defend Jacob.  Oliver feels that the only defense is insanity due to his Jacob's autism.  But there are many twists and turns to this story and as this book is told from multiple narration, readers will be kept guessing until the very end.  This book was a good read.
Max is enjoying time in his hammock.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Hunted of 2060

This book reminded me a bit of "The Host", only without taking 200 pages for me to get into it, which is a good thing.  April is a shifter and the militia has declared war against all shifters.  April meets a twin sister that she never knew that she had and with her, a band of shifters.  They begin to fight back against  the militia.  But April is unable to totally disregard her human side, mostly due to her love of Robert.  This book had good characters and good action.

The author sent me a copy of this book for review.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Maggie wants to review books

Maggie is a F5 Savannah.  She is long and lean and apparently has decided it is time for me to stop typing and pay attention to her!
 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Lady in the Attic

The Lady in the Attic

This is the first book in a cozy mystery series.  Annie's grandmother has died and left Annie her house in Maine.  Annie heads there from Texas to check out the estate.  Upon arrival, Annie finds a needlework piece that her grandmother had in the attic; the piece features a woman unknown to Annie.  As Annie settles in the house, she meets a group of knitters, friends of her grandmother, and they begin to try to solve the mystery of who the woman in the piece is and why this piece was hidden away.  Good characters makes this book a good read.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Come Back, Como

Come Back, Como

The author's daughter has always wanted a dog.  The author and his wife promise on her 12th birthday that she can get one.  She chooses Como, a terrier mix shelter dog.  Como has issues--he does not like to be caged in, he has trust issues with men, including the author, and he has teeth of steel when it comes to destructive chewing.  But slowly, Como becomes part of their family and  this is a great book for dog lovers.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What Alice Knew

What Alice Knew

William James, his brother author Henry James and their invalid sister Alice James are working to figure out who is Jack the Ripper.  Each sibling brings a specific skills set to the investigation, making them an effective team.  I have always found the Jack the Ripper murders interesting and I enjoyed this book and its detailing of an investigation.  This book has a great writing style and is an excellent literary mystery.  It had good twists and turns and good action.  I would recommend this book.

This book comes out on September 7th; I received an ARC from the publisher to review.

Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall

A good book of historical fiction, this book focuses on Thomas Cromwell, Henry's secretary.  Cromwell was an interesting part of the TV series "The Tudors", so this book interested me.  That whole lifestyle is interesting to me--I would not have lasted long during those days!  The chess game of matchmaking and power getting is amazing to read about to me.  Good writing style, it was similar to that of Phillipa Gregory, which is a good thing to me.  This was the first book I bought for my Kindle :-)  

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Definitely Dead

Definitely Dead

This is the sixth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series.  In this book, Sookie heads to New Orleans to clean out the apartment of Hadley, her cousin who was recently killed.  Of course bad things happen to Sookie and she gets herself in and out of many jams.  Romantic interests in this book include vampires Eric and Bill and shapeshifter/tiger Quinn.  Great action--I love this series.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bookplate Special

Bookplate Special

Third book in the cozy mystery Booktown series.  In this one, Tricia's college roommate, Pammy, overstays her welcome as a guest and also apparently upsets some of the townspeople as Tricia soon finds Pammy's body in a dumpster.  Tricia begins her own investigation and also checks out Capt. Baker, the new cop in town.  She and Russ are having romantic issues so she's open to testing potential chemistry with Baker.  Another good book in this series, though the freegan part of the book was a bit odd and seemed a little forced at times.  I have #4 here to read at some point.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stay

Stay

Van (Savannah) has long been in love with her best friend Peter.  She didn't plan for him to fall in love with her best friend, Janie.  The book opens with Van being Janie's maid of honor and trying to deal with residual feelings for Peter.  To help her get over him, Van orders a German Shepard puppy over the internet.  Once Joe, a huge puppy, arrives, Van's life is no longer lonely.  Joe's hunky vet, Alex, is just a nice benefit.  Good romance with good characters, I enjoyed this book a lot.  I borrowed it from my library.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Organize Your Corpses

Organize Your Corpses

First book in a cozy mystery series featuring Charlotte, a professional organizer.  She is hired by her former teacher who later ends up murdered and Charlotte is considered the prime suspect.  Charlotte begins her own investigation with help from a great cast of secondary characters including friends Sally and Jack, new friends Rose and Lilith and Charlotte's two dachshunds.  I enjoyed this book very much and will continue with the series.  I bought this book from Barnes and Noble.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry

Julia and Valentina are twin sisters.  Their mother is a twin as well, though her twin dies early in the book.  Their aunt leaves the girls her flat in London, as long as they agree to live there for a year and not let their mother in the flat. The girls go to London and realize that the ghost of their Aunt Elspeth is in the flat.  Valentina begins to feel the need to separate herself from Julia and form her own identity.  That is when things take a unexpected turn.  Good writing but this book had a slow start for me and I was disappointed in the ending.  Overall, I enjoyed the book.

I received the book from the publisher for review.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pepperoni Pizza Can Be Murder (4.5/5)

Pepperoni Pizza Can Be Murder (4.5/5)

The second book in a cozy mystery series set in a pizza parlor.  In this book, one of Eleanor's employees, Greg, is accused of murdering his nasty, older brother Wade.  Eleanor and her sister Maddy decide to begin their own investigation to clear Greg's names.  This book was a good mystery with good twists and turns.  I hope that this series continues.

I borrowed this book from my public library.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Killing Edge (5/5) (Kindle)

The Killing Edge (5/5)  (Kindle)

Years ago while in college, Chloe and her good friends Victoria, Brad and Jared survived a horrible massacre.  Years later, Chloe has become a therapist, a model, and a sketch artist for the local police department.  One model disappears and then some killings start to happen that are similar to the massacre.  A PI is hired to find the missing model and Chloe is drawn romantically to him.  The two team up to investigate.  This book was a great thriller--I had no idea who the murderer was until the very end.  Great action, great characters and just enough romance made this book a great read.  I read this book on my Kindle.

An ARC of this book was sent to me by Netgalley.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Roasting in Hell's Kitchen (4/5)

Roasting in Hell's Kitchen (4/5)

Hell's Kitchen is one of my guilty TV pleasures and I love Gordon Ramsay.  He wrote this book and he writes like he speaks--I loved it.  The book details his childhood, his relationships, his start as a chef, his ups and downs--very good, quick read.  Fan of his TV shows will not be disappointed.  

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lost for Words (YA) (4.5/5)

Lost for Words (4.5/5) (YA)

Something has happened to Sophie's older sister, Emily, but Sophie doesn't want to talk about it.  The book opens with Sophie's therapist giving her a notebook to use to journal her feelings.  At first she writes little to nothing but as the book progresses Sophie begins to open up, at least in the journal.  Readers are then able to piece together what happened to Emily.  A good work of realistic fiction.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Real Murders (4.5/5)

Real Murders (4.5/5)

First in a mystery series, Aurora Teagarden is a librarian who has created the "Real Murders" club, where members research and discuss actual murders.  This club takes a devious turn when murders begin happening in their small town.  Aurora begins to investigate the murders with help from her two potential love interests: Arthur, a cop, and Robin, a mystery writer.  Good mystery and good characters, I will continue reading this series.

RIP Kiki 2004-2010


Since my furkids are part of my blog, I figured I should post about Kiki, aka my bitch cat.  Kiki was diagnosed 2 years ago as having HCM (a heart condition).  She was at that point given less than 6 months to live.  She far surpassed that, which I chalk up to her nasty attitude and her will to live :-)  A few days ago, Kiki had a stroke that did damage to her hind end.  She was in obvious discomfort so I brought her to my vet to be put to sleep.  He examined her and said that he would predict a major stroke for her in the next 24 hours so that made me very sure that I was making the right decision to put her to sleep.

The house is much quieter with her gone--probably because she growled more than our dog.  I will miss her miserable little fur self.

RIP Kiki

Seriously, I have tons of books

Go to Kris's blog at http://notenoughbooks.blogspot.com/ and see just how many books I really have in my house!

Thanks Kris for this fun feature on your blog!

Melissa

Friday, August 13, 2010

Moon Called (5/5)

Moon Called (5/5)

First in a paranormal series focusing on Mercy, a mechanic who is also a shape shifter.  Raised by werewolves, friends with vampires and fae, Mercy is one tough chick.  The local alpha and Mercy's neighbor, Adam, is injured and his teenage daughter is kidnapped.  Mercy gets involved in helping Adam and rescuing Jessie.  Good action, great characters, decent romantic aspect (Mercy has great chemistry with werewolves Samuel and Adam and also with vampire Stefan), I will continue reading this series.

I bought this book from Barnes and Noble.

Sprinkle with Murder (5/5)

Sprinkle with Murder (5/5)

First in a new cozy mystery series, this book is set in a cupcake short and of course it made me crave cupcakes (if only I baked!).  Melanie, Angie and Tate are childhood friends who have become business partners.  Tate is engaged to a nasty woman but the girls are trying to like her and agree to make wedding cupcakes.  Shortly after receiving samples, the nasty woman ends up dead and Melanie is the prime suspect.  She begins her own investigation.  Good characters, good setting, predictable victim but with a not so predictable murderer, this book is a good read.  I have already put book #2 on order (it comes out in January).  I bought this book from Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Heart of the Matter (5/5)

Heart of the Matter (5/5)

Nick and Tessa are married with 2 young children.  Nick is a great plastic surgeon; Tessa is a stay at home mom.  Nick's new patient, Charlie, is a young boy with burns to his face and his hand.  Valerie is Charlie's mother--she is a single mom and a lawyer.  She and Nick form a strong connection and they find themselves falling for each other.  Told in alternating chapters from the point of views of Tessa and Valerie, this book tells a tale of love and problems.  I expected to hate some characters and root for others but I really ended up caring for all three.  A great read.  I borrowed this book from my public library.

Emma and the Vampires (5/5)

Emma and the Vampires (5/5)

This book is probably the best written of all the classics combined with paranormal books I've read so far.  This book took my favorite Jane Austen novel (Emma) and gave it a new twist with one of my favorite genres (paranormal), and did it in a great way.  In this book, Mr. Knightly and Mr. Elton are good vampires, there are bad vampires, Emma slays the bad vampires and she still takes time to play matchmaker for her friend Harriet.This book stays true to Austen's style while modernizing it with the current love of paranormal reads.

A great read and I loved the author's note about how he wanted young adult readers to like this book--as a teacher, I think this is a great way to get students to read some of the classics that they otherwise might be hesitant to read.  I enjoyed this book greatly.  

I received this book from Sourcebooks to review.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Firefly Lane (4.5/5)

Firefly Lane (4.5/5)

Kate and Tully have been friends for over 30 years.  They have survived bad childhoods, failed relationships, career changes and moves cross country.  But even a long friendship can stall out for a while, until something so major happens that the pair are forced back together again.  Tully is a hard character to like and I wanted Kate to find a better friend but I guess that would have defeated the purpose of the book :-)  

A good read and my first by this author.  I will read more.  I borrowed this book from a friend.

Paper, Scissors, Death (5/5)

Paper, Scissors, Death (5/5)

This book is the first installment in a cozy mystery series.  Kiki's husband is murdered and she is deemed a suspect so she begins her own investigation.  With her husband's death, Kiki's life is changed--she loses money, she loses friends and she faces losing the custody of her 11 year old daughter, Anya.  But with her job at the scrapbook store, good friends, a lovely Great Dane and a blossoming romance with a police detective, she might be able to make it.  This was a good mystery with good twists and turns and great characters.  I really enjoyed this book and will continue with the series (there are three books, to date).  I borrowed this book from my public library.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City (4.5/5)

Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City

Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City is a great example of British chick lit, even if it was written by a man :-)  In this book, second in a series but very readable as a stand alone since that is how I read it, Holly is in the market for a promotion at work, she is ready to step it up in her relationship with her boyfriend but she has some serious doubts about her worthiness, and she is surrounded by a crazy crew of friends and coworkers.  This book is told entirely through email messages and while this book is huge, it flies because of the format, the humor and the way the characters are developed through these email messages.  Holly reminded me a little of Bridget Jones, in that she was a likable but somewhat clueless character.  I will go back and read the first book in the series at some point because I did enjoy the characters so much and want to see the begin of them.  I heartily recommend this book to readers of chick lit.  I enjoyed it a lot. 

This book was sent to me by SourceBooks to review.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sizzling Sixteen (5/5)

Sizzling Sixteen (5/5)

The latest in the Stephanie Plum series does not disappoint.  In this one, Vinnie, Stephanie's boss, is kidnapped and Stephanie decides, with help from Lula and Connie, to try to rescue him, with varying degrees of success.  The continued romantic triangle of Ranger/Stephanie/Morelli heats up.  I laugh out loud while reading these books--I love the antics of Stephanie, Lula and Grandma.  I highly recommend these books.  

I borrowed this book from my public library.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Caught (5/5)

Caught (5/5)

Coben's books are thrilling mysteries that will immediately hook readers in.  Caught tells the case of Dan Mercer, accused of being a pedophile and set up in a televised sting by reporter Wendy.  Wendy begins to question whether or not Dan is really guilty.  As she investigates, she discovers that Dan's college roommates were all involved in scandals in the last year and this makes her very curious.  Twists and turns abound in this book and will keep readers guessing until the very end.

I love Coben's writing.  I borrowed this book from the public library.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Seven Year Switch (5/5)

Seven Year Switch (5/5)

Jill's husband left her and their daughter seven years ago.  Now he has unexpectedly returned, with impeccable timing since Jill has begun to date a businessman.  Seth, the husband, wants to spend time with his daughter and pick up where he and Jill left off.  Jill realizes that in order to have a future, she needs to sort through her past first.

A good, quick summer read; I enjoy Cook's writing.  I read this book in one day.  I borrowed it from my public library.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Long Quiche Goodbye (5/5)

The Long Quiche Goodbye (5/5)

The first book in a new cozy mystery and set in a cheese shop, Charlotte's nasty landlord, Ed, is killed outside of her shop.  Charlotte's grandmother is accused of being the murderer.  To clear her grandmother's name, Charlotte begins to investigate and gets herself into some tight spots along the way.  I loved that this book had a Ragdoll cat in it, since I have three myself.  A great culinary mystery, I cannot wait to read the second book of the series.  I bought this book from Barnes and Noble.

Perfection (4.5/5)

Perfection (4.5/5)

Julie's husband Henry dies unexpectedly.  Approximately seven months after his death, Julie discovers that Henry was repeatedly unfaithful to her during their marriage.  Julie begins contacting the women the her husband had affairs with to figure out what type of relationship they had.  In order to move on and provide a good home for her young daughter, Julie realizes she must make some sort of peace or understanding of the actions of her husband during their marriage.  This book is at times raw, at times sad but always real.  I give Julie props for writing about this.

I borrowed this book from my public library.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The White Queen (4.5/5)

The White Queen (4.5/5)

The first in a new three book series by a great historical fiction writer.  Elizabeth is a young widow when she meets Edward, who is fighting to become King of England.  The two marry in secret and once he is on the throne life becomes a series of dangerous twists and turns.  Excellent read.  I bought this book from Barnes and Noble.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Dark Divine (YA) (5/5)

The Dark Divine (YA)  (5/5)

I will admit that for much of the beginning part of the book I was wondering: "is this a vampire book? a werewolf book? or none of the above?"  but that also kept me reading.  I wanted to find out about the "Monster of Markham Street".  Grace's childhood friend/crush Daniel returns to her school.  Grace's parents and her brother Jude want her to stay away from Daniel but she can't help herself--she's drawn to him.  But is he safe to be around?  Good YA paranormal book with good characters and a plot with just enough mystery to keep a reader guessing.  I enjoyed it.  I borrowed this book from my public library.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dead as a Doornail (5/5)

Dead as a Doornail (5/5)

Fifth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series.  I love this series and this book was a great installment.  It had it all--the vamps (Eric and Bill), the Weres (Alcide), the Shifters (Sam, Calvin and the new one, Quinn) and Sookie continues to get herself in some sticky situations.  This series is pure fun.  Sookie's romantic options are plentiful, though I'm rooting for Eric.  I bought this book at a library book sale.  

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Murder Takes the Cake (4.5/5)

Murder Takes the Cake (4.5/5)

1st in a cozy mystery series.  Daphane is a cake decorator who stumbles on her neighbor's dead body.  Police decides the neighbor was murdered and Daphane begins to investigate, putting herself in harm's way.  Good mystery and good characters, I will continue with this series.  I borrowed this book from my public library.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Handle with Care (5/5)

Handle with Care (5/5)

Charlotte's daughter, Willow, is born with brittle bone disease.  Life as she knew it is over and becomes extremely difficult.  Six years later, Charlotte decides to sue her ob/gyn for malpractice, even though she is her best friend.  Families and friendships are ripped apart.  The dreaded Picoult ending is found in this book but I thought this book was great.  I bought it from Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stirring Up Strife (4/5)


Stirring Up Strife (4/5)

First in a cozy mystery series where a bible study group tries to solve a murder to clear the name of one of their friends.  Though I am not religious, I enjoyed this book.  It had a good mystery and good characters.  I do enjoy Stanley's Supper Club books much more.  But I will continue this series; I have #2, Path of the Wicked, on my Kindle to read.  I bought Stirring Up Strife from Barnes and Noble.

The Necromancer (YA) (5/5)


The Necromancer (YA) (5/5)

4th in a YA fantasy series, which I love and am excited to see that it looks like there will be book #5.  Nicholas Flamel, his wife and the twins of legend are fighting to save humanity from the Dark Elders and bad magical creatures.  At the same time, Flamel is fighting to stay immortal to save himself.  Good action and good characters made this a great read.  I borrowed this book from my public library.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Current Reads

I have several books going right now:

Handle with Care
The Necromancer (YA)
Firefly Lane
House Rules
Stirring Up Strife
Her Fearful Symmetry
The Killing Edge (Kindle)
Wolf Hall (Kindle)
Real Murders

No wonder it's been a week since I finished my last book--I am juggling too many at once!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gizmo

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (4/5)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Henrietta Lacks had cervical cancer and her doctors took cells from her without her knowledge to experiment on and these cells became huge in the land of scientific advancement.  Her family got no monetary benefit from these cells being sold all over the world.  This book is part science and part memoir but even a non-science person like me enjoyed it.  We hope to use this with our IB students in the future; there is a lot to discuss in it.

I borrowed this book from my public library.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bookmarked for Death (5/5)


Bookmarked for Death (5/5)

This is the second book in this series. Tricia Miles owns a mystery bookstore. An author is killed in her store while there signing her books. Tricia begins to investigate the murder and is apparently getting close because the murderer comes after her. A good cozy mystery series. I enjoy the book talk and Miss Marple, Tricia's diva cat.

I bought this book from Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Lost Symbol (4.5/5)


The Lost Symbol (4.5/5)

I anxiously awaited Dan Brown's new book because I loved The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons so much. This book, while having a bit of a slow start, did not disappoint. Robert Langdon is back to solve symbolic puzzles and there are tons of twists and turns. I read the last half or so straight through because I didn't want to put it down.

I bought this book from Barnes and Noble.