Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What are You Reading Wednesday - Jan 26


I hate it when I finish a good book and then have to start a new one with new characters and a new style.  It's frustrating to leave characters I care about. 

But. . . I have three books started.

I started reading 5th Horseman, by James Patterson, last week as my "bedtime" book but I have decided that I can't read about murder before going to bed.  Not a good fit. 

So last night I started reading Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, before bed and it's kind of disturbing too.  I think it should be all right.  I've seen the movie (didn't love it) and I'm familiar with the story.

And that brings me to my "main" book which is The Distant Hours by Kate Morton.  Right now I'm slightly intimidated by it's size but so far, I'm enjoying her writing.  It might take me a while to finish but I'll get it done. 

The question is, which will I finish first?  Coraline is pretty short but I don't always read for very long at night.  Still, I should get that finished pretty quickly.  I'm going to shelve 5th Horseman for a little bit just because I can't read it at night and The Distant Hours will take a while.  Time will tell.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays - January 25

I haven't done a Teaser Tuesday for a while but I want to get back in the habit!

Today's teaser comes from Wither by Lauren DeStefano. 

Rhine is a young woman who was kidnapped and sold as a bride.  The story takes place in a dystopian future where lifespans are dangerously short and the way of doing everything has changed. 

From page 87:

I hesitate, unsure if I can trust her with my plan to earn Linden's trust and escape.  She seems resigned to rotting in this mansion, but maybe it never crossed  her mind that there could be a way out.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, is a completely satisfying book.  I say that because the story was neatly wound up and questions were answered.  One of my pet peeves lately is with books that don't really have a conclusion.  I get irritated with books that plan for sequels and don't really end.  It leaves me feeling very unsatisfied and let down.  Fortunately Across the Universe didn't do that.

Before I started reading, I imagined this book was about a teen romance set on a space ship.  I was really wrong.  Yes, the story took place on a ship in outer space and there was a touch of romance, but it wasn't the focus of the story at all. 

Amy is a teenager who has chosen to accompany her parents on a mission to colonize another planet.  She is cryogenically frozen and placed on a ship bound for the planet.  The trip is set to take three hundred years.  When she is unfrozen fifty years too early, she must cope with life on a ship where she is a stranger.  The people who were born and raised on the ship are very different, mono-ethnic and all look very similar.  She stands out with her red hair and pale skin. 

Elder is a sixteen year old boy who is the future leader of the ship.  He will replace Eldest, the current leader and his teacher.  Elder is intrigued with Amy and her tales of Earth.  With new information he begins to question the system of control that Eldest is using on the residents of the ship. 

This book is full of mystery, conspiracy and secrets.  I think the author did a fabulous job making sure that questions were answered and things made sense.  When the story came to it's conclusion, I felt that I knew everything I wanted to know - except what happens next!  The story did end and I don't know if a sequel is planned, but I would read it.  I encourage anyone to read this, don't be afraid of the science fiction element because it's not really a sci-fi book.  It's more of a dystopian world - that takes place on a space ship. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich

Visions of Sugarplums is a "between the numbers" edition of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series.  This story takes place between books 8 and 9.  I was actually surprised that it advanced the series as I thought it was going to be more of a stand alone book. 

Stephanie wakes up one morning to find a strange man in her living room.  Fortunately, this is not an unusual situation for her.  She tends to have that problem regularly.  Diesel is something not quite human and that puts Stephanie more on guard than normal.  Stephanie's current case is to find a man named Sandy Claws (appropriate at Christmastime) and Diesel is trying to find him as well.

The story moves right along as the paperback is only around 160 pages.  There are a few developments regarding Stephanie's family but nothing much changes in her very mixed up love life. 

These books are all on the light and fun side which is a nice thing to read when life gets a little heavy. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich

Hard Eight, by Janet Evanovich, is the eighth book in the Stephanie Plum series.  I've grown terribly fond of the characters after reading eight novels.  The books are easy to pick up and jump right in because I know what I'm getting into.  It's like going to a party where you know everyone!  No awkward moments. Some books in the series are pretty light and don't have much substance but I didn't find that with Hard Eight.

Hard Eight is one of the few books in the series where I really felt that Stephanie was in big trouble.  Stephanie started off trying to find a mother who had disappeared with her young daughter.  In the process she angered a very bad "business" man who made it his job to terrorize her.  And he terrorized her in some severely creepy ways.  There was also the very needed humor -especially with the introduction of Albert Kloughn.  Such a needy little guy!

Throughout the story, I was completely drawn in to see what was going to happen to Stephanie next.  It was actually pretty dark and scary.  This is definitely one of the better books in the series as far as suspense goes.  I really enjoyed it and look forward to continuing the series.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What Are You Reading Wednesday - Jan 12

This week I am reading Across the Universe by Beth Revis.  It's a love story set in space. Or I assume it's a love story!  I'm only about seventy pages in.  I'm actually quite attached to the story already and I am really looking forward to getting back to my book!  I love being excited about what I'm reading!

Tonight I'm going to start reading Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich.  I've found that reading lighter books before bed is a good thing for my brain.  I'm familiar with the characters and it's like hanging out with friends before I go to sleep. 

So my Lunchtime Book is Across the Universe and my Bedtime Book is Visions of Sugar Plums

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

The Emerald Atlas, by John Stephens, is a bit of fantasy and adventure with a large dose of reality.  Kate, Michael, and Emma are siblings who were taken from their parents one Christmas Eve and begin a life of moving from orphanage to orphanage.  Kate, the eldest is the one with the memories of her parents and knows that they loved her very much.  She and her siblings continue the hope that somehow their parents will find them or come back for them. 

When they end up in Cambridge Falls at an orphanage where they are the only children, strange things begin to happen.  They find a book that takes them back in time and their adventure really gets going at that point. They find an evil witch, a kind wizard, an army of odd zombie like creatures, and some kind people who are willing to help them. 

I did enjoy the story.  The first one hundred pages or so were a bit slow going as the stage was set for the adventure.  There were moments where I doubted I would have much good to say about it, but that didn't last. Once the children went back in time, the story became fun and quite intriguing.  It was interesting to try to figure out the what and the why of things, how time travel worked, the history of the book, and the secret to why the children were taken from loving parents.  The character were wonderful.  King Hamish's tantrums made me laugh and the bravery of Gabriel nearly had me in tears.  I feel that Mr. Stephens wrote a rich, interesting book and I look forward to the future sequels.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What Are You Reading Wednesday - Jan 5

So I decided to create my own Wednesday series where I'll write about what I'm reading and how it's going.  I apologize if other blogs are doing a meme similar to this.  This is more for me as I have very slim readership!  I'm beginning to think that I'm just doing this blog for my own personal reading record.  If so, that's fine.  I'm still doing something.

So. . . What Are You Reading Wednesday begins!  (I've got to come up with a graphic!)

This week I am *still* plugging away at The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens.  It was an ARC that I received from the publisher and I know there is a lot of hype about this book.  So far it's not blowing me away, but it's still keeping me interested.  My lack of reading time and my distraction with Angry Birds on my iPhone have kept me from finishing the book.  I'm over halfway through at this point.  I hope to have it finished this weekend.  I'm traveling this weekend which usually means a lot of time to read in the car.

I'm also reading - barely started actually - Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich.  It's the 8th (duh) book in the Stephanie Plum series.  I can't say much as I think I'm on page 16.  It's my bedtime book but I've been so tired at night that I just haven't been able to read much.  There's a good chance I'll have that finished this weekend too!  Let's hope that by next Wednesday I will have two new books going!  

Monday, January 3, 2011

Goals for 2011

It's time to clean up this blog and get rid of most of the challenge lists.  I'm not doing any formal challenges this year.  This year I hope to clean out my bookshelves.  They are sagging.  I know myself well enough to know that I will always have full shelves, but I would like to get to the point where my shelves are full but the extra piles are gone.

I'm hoping to accomplish that by reading at least 50 books this year and twenty-five of those (hopefully more) must have been on my shelves or piles or Kindle when the clock struck midnight on Jan 1, 2011.  That of course meant I needed a new spreadsheet to keep track of what I acquire during the year.  I just love spreadsheets.  There is already one book on it as I downloaded a free book to my Kindle on Saturday.

Now as for the Kindle?  Out of those 25 books, only five of them can be from my Kindle.  That doesn't help me clean off my shelves, and that's the purpose of this challenge.

This led me to think about where I get my books.  Why do I have so many?  I read 65 books this year and only about a dozen of those were read on my Kindle.  Yet my shelves are still full.

I get about a dozen advanced readers copies of books from various publishers.  They all get read in the timeliest manner I can manage so they really don't sit on my shelf for very long.

I buy about a dozen actual- paper not digital - books a year from various stores.  Usually these are books from authors I love and am chomping at the bit to get my hands on the book.  I typically read those quickly as well.

The biggest chunk comes from the library book sales.  It's easy to buy a book when it only costs 50 cents.  It's not so easy to get it read when there are so many other books to read.   I average eight books a sale so that means I'm buying at least forty-eight books a year and those are usually the lowest priority.  That's where I need to think and cut back.  Those sales are sagging my shelves.  I'll still go but I'm going to take a little more time. 

So that's where I stand.  I hope 2011 is an awesome year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Books Read in 2011!!!


1. The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
2. Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich
3. Visions of Sugarplums by Janet Evanovich
4. Across the Universe by Beth Rivas
5. Wither by Lauren DeStefano


6. The 5th Horseman by James Patterson
7.  City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
8.  The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler


9.  Max by James Patterson
10.  Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich
11.  Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon
12.  The Beach House by James Patterson
13.  Gone with a Handsomer Man by Michael Lee West


14.  The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
15.  The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
16.  The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
17.  The Sweetest Thing by Elizabeth Musser


18. Behind the Gates by Eva Gray
19.  Night Road by Kristin Hannah
20.  If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster
21.  What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarity
22.  Matched by Ally Condie
23.  Just Listen by Sarah Dessen


24. Airhead by Meg Cabot
25.  Being Nikki by Meg Cabot
26.  Runaway by Meg Cabot
27.  Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
28.  The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin
29.  Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
30.  Honeymoon by James Patterson.


31.  Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes by Robin Jones Gunn
32.  Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
33.  To the Nines by Janet Evanovich
34.  Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
35.  Forever by Maggie Stiefvater


36.  The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
37.  Joy School by Elizabeth Berg
38.  Prophecy - The Fulfillment by Deborah A. Jaeger
39.  The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center


40.  The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern
41.  That Summer by Sarah Dessen
42.  The Search by Nora Roberts
43.  Deeply Desperately by Heather Webber


44.  The Sixth Target by James Patterson
45.  Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
46.  Seriously I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
47.  So Many Books So Little Time by Sara Nelson
48.  Now You See Her by James Patterson
49.  7th Heaven by James Patterson


50.  The Mist by Stephen King
51.  The 8th Confession by James Patterson
52.  The 9th Judgment by James Patterson
53.  The 10th Anniversary by James Patterson
54.  The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (Audio Book)
55.  Coming Home by Mariah Stewart
56.  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


57.  The Next Always by Nora Roberts
58.  The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson
59.  Twas the Night by Sandra Hill, Trish Jensen, and Kate Holmes