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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.