Thursday, December 23, 2010

Judgement Day by Wanda L. Dyson

I'm not sure why I'm surprised that I enjoyed this book, but I am! And I did! It may be that I was somewhat distracted by the back cover mentioning that the reporter of the TV show Judgement Day, Suzanne, comes home to find the senator she is currently investigating unconscious on her living room floor. Not far into the story, this appears to not be the case. Yes, someone is unconscious on the living room floor, but the senator is too big a character and it's not him. This was somewhat confusing but once I got past that, the story was good and a very quick read. The characters were tempered with a little humor, and sweetened with a tiny dash of romance. There wasn't enough religion in the book to make it obvious and the story just rang true to the times. It could have been taken from the headlines. I found the relationship between the two detectives to be solid although they could have been fleshed out a bit more. The whole story could have been more detailed but still, it works. Would I call this my favorite read this year? No. But if you're looking for something light and entertaining, check this one out.

The Mistress of Abha by William Newton

I was intrigued to read this book because I've always been a fan of Lawrence of Arabia. That being said, I was disappointed in that I would have expected a little more action and adventure. I guess the action and adventure was had by our main character's father however, and some of his story is told within this story. This book is about a son's search for what happened to the man who was his father, but basically was absent from his life for most of his growing up years and consequently was larger than life. On the other side of the coin, however, as I got deeper and deeper into the story, and finally nearing the conclusion, I grew to appreciate the quiet solidity of the story. Maybe there wasn't a better way to tell it. We have a son in search of a father he barely knows but who appears to have disappeared from the face of the earth. We have a setting in a part of the world that is unknown to a number of people, and we have a story set in a time when this part of the world was in a state of change. In the end, when a book or story makes you want to go beyond and investigate some part of it further, then I think that qualifies as a good read. Once I turned the final page, I then turned to the internet to learn more about Abha. I wanted to see pictures of the area the story was set in, and learn more about the peoples that inhabit this desert land. A student of the history of the Arab nations and the Middle East might find this book even more enjoyable than someone who knows very little about this area of the world. Even so, it was still a good novel.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Flourish: Discover the Daily Joy of Abundant, Vibrant Living by Catherine Hart Weber PhD.

I have been slowly working my way through this book and find it an uplifting work. I think it is best suited to a study group, where it will inspire good discussion, or if working through it on your own, taken one chapter at a time, giving oneself time to meditate, reflect and absorb. This is not the type of book one can hurry through. Any ladies group would find definite benefit in adding this book to their studies list.

Magical Memories by Donna Fletcher

Occasionally I'm a sucker for a fluffy romance, and this book was no exception. It provided all the fluff and romance anyone could want and all wrapped up in magic! It was a feel good, love is all you need, love will heal anything type of story. The thing that might have made it an even better book would have been more detail. More historical facts, but then we do have to remember that this book is part of a "Magical Love" series and as such, it did very well. If you're one of those who wishes to believe in Witches and Warlocks, Fairies and Magical Spells, and especially Happy Ever After Endings, then you will find this an enjoyable read.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rushed to the Altar by Jane Feather

This was an enjoyable book. A light-hearted historical romance with a slight twist. Young woman with younger brother loses her brother to dastardly weak uncle after father's death. Young woman thinks something is wrong when her letters to her brother go unanswered and she sets off to find him and bring him home. Of course enroute she bumps into (literally) a handsome Earl who then comes to her rescue in more ways than the one he thinks. Amusing and light read and I'd recommend it to fans of historical fiction.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Having never read any of James Patterson's works before, I decided to give this series a try as it only consists of two books, When the Wind Blows, followed by The Lake House. I understand it also ties into the Maximum Ride series written for young adults. Although I found the story interesting, I found the writing somewhat immature. I felt that aside from the violence, the book is ok for young adults to read. Neither the writing, or plot are very complicated. I felt that this was a storyline that could have been fleshed out so much more. That being said, the story was a quick read that mostly held my attention. It is a story developed from headlines concerning genetic manipulation and creating a "better" human. I found it enjoyable from the perspective of children who can fly, and who wouldn't want to be able to fly, but wish the science and development had been more in depth.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich

Another fun read from Janet Evanovich and now I'm liking this series more. Although I found the first book humorous, I found myself laughing out loud during this one. If you haven't read any of the Stephanie Plum books, give it a try. Light, fun, a little mystery, a little romance, and just a great quick read! I'm planning to take a break before getting into the next one though. Got a lot of books on the go, so will be alternating series.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich's series has received a lot of attention in the past few years and if you're wanting a light but interesting thriller, check out her series about an out-of-work 30-something female who turns to her cousin for a job as a Bounty Hunter! I enjoyed the first in the series, "One for the Money". Bold, well-paced, and a little bit of everything! Humour, mystery, crime, thriller, romance....these books have it all. I've already started the second in this series and plan on working my way through all. Not quite Chic-lit...not quite thriller, but something in between and definitely worth the time.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, an American Town by Warren St. John

I read this book awhile ago and found it very interesting. A peek into the issues that refugees have to deal with in coming to America. Not only are they often coming from traumatic situations, they often don't speak english and the whole way of life of American people is foreign to them. Much like if we were to transport ourselves to a third world country with no prior knowledge of what to expect and not be able to speak their language. I think we'd all feel a little lost and alone.

This book is about a group of refugees who are pulled together in the spirit of sportsmanship and love of soccer. It's also about a coach who cared. I recommend this book to anyone concerned with the refugees of our world. It is inspiring and uplifting.

No Country for Old Men

I can see how this book would make a much better movie. I found the format difficult to follow. Sorry, but I like my punctuation marks. This book has minimal. I found it difficult to know who was talking. The story may be a good one...but I lost it along the way. I can't say I'd recommend the book, but there are some big names in the movie! Maybe I'll watch it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dewey's 24-hr Read-a-thon Update!

Hi All!
Hope you found lots of time for reading on Oct. 9th! I did, although I wasn't near a computer to update my blog. I also attended a friend's Celebration of Life for a part of my day. Still, I managed to finish one book, and read all of another. That's cause I even carried my reading over to the next day and immersed myself in just reading and Canadian Thanksgiving turkey dinner! Am I spoiled or what?! :)


Linda Castillo is a new author for me, but one I'm planning to read more of. Sworn to Silence is the first in her series about an Amish raised female cop who returns to the community she was raised in and becomes their Chief of Police. She must solve a series of murders reminiscent of a serial killer that tortured the community when she was growing up. The story grabs you from the very beginning and doesn't let go until the end. The characters are believable in all their faults and there is enough description of the Amish culture to give the reader an understanding without feeling overwhelmed with it. There's a little bit of everything here from heart-pounding suspense, to a little touch of romance. The story moves quickly and you may think you know who-dunit....but I'd bet you'd be wrong! I was. I highly recommend that fans of police procedurals and good thrillers in general find this book, read it and let me know what you think! I personally couldn't wait to get started on the next in the series, and am going to be anxiously awaiting the third!

The next book I read during the read-a-thon, and which I carried over to the next day because I just couldn't put it down, was the second in Linda Castillo's series, PRAY FOR SILENCE.

This book was every bit as good as the first one. Once again we visit the small town near an Amish community with Chief of Police Kate Burkholder. Again, a murder to solve. this time it's an Amish family and it appears senseless. It's late at night and I've been reading for quite awhile in quiet and my phone rings. I literally jumped! I was that caught up in the story. Linda Castillo has done it again. Always there is a little twist and you might think you know who-dunit...but I'd guess you'd be wrong. I love that about her books. In this book we also learn a little more about our Chief of Police Kate Burkholder and what makes her tick. We also learn a little more about the Amish. If you loved her first book, Sworn to Silence, then definitely pick this one up as well. All I can say is that I'm so looking forward to the next one in the series!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dewey's 24-hr Read-a-thon

Oct. 9. 2010 is the day set for Dewey's 24-hr read-a-thon! It’s sort of a reading challenge, only everyone participates at the same time. For 24 hours, we read books, post in our blogs about our reading, and visit other readers’ blogs. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day. I'm planning to participate as much as I can. Who wouldn't enjoy a day set aside for reading! I have a lot of books to catch up on, so finding enough to keep me busy won't be a problem. Come and join me! Follow my updates here, or on Twitter, although I'm planning to be very busy reading for most of the day and night!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Ghost by Robert Harris

I don't usually read Reader's Digest Condensed versions of stories, but this one caught my attention and once caught, I looked for a copy of the book. Not finding one, I resorted to the condensed version. That's an indication of how drawn in I was to the story. Layer upon layer upon layer is carefully revealed, drawing the reader deeper into the story. Wonderfully suspenseful and very well-written. The Ghost-writer steps into the middle of a mystery to write a memoir for a politician and finds himself with much more than appears on the surface. It will keep you guessing until the very end. I'll be looking for more by this author and definitely recommend this book.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What I'm currently reading.....

I always seem to have more than one book on the go at any one time. Right now I'm reading The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson, Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy, a story called The Ghost by Robert Harris that I wish I could find the book, but have to be satisfied with the Reader's Digest Condensed version of, and a book about Fathers and Daughters. I'll be reviewing these as I finish them.

How Time Fly's!

Can you believe it's September again!? This past year has been one of lots of changes and many books being read. The reading always continues, doesn't it?

Although this isn't everything, here's a mini-update on what I've been reading in the past little while...

Dragon by Clive Cussler -Another great Dirk Pitt adventure that pulls you in with almost non-stop action and adventure. I say almost because towards the end I felt it lag just a tiny bit and the ending disappointed slightly. Otherwise a great thrill read! That Dirk Pitt can do anything!

Always by Jude Deveraux - Normally I love Jude Deveraux's books, and normally I love paranormal/time-travel type stories but I had a little trouble with this one even after I realized it's part of a trilogy. I was lost with the references to previous storyline and felt left hanging at the end. This book is likely best read in the proper order and I may come back to it once I find and read the others. For this particular book in this particular trilogy, I only give it 3 stars. I recognized the Montgomery name from Ms. Deveraux's other series and love that she follows the same family throughout history. Guess I need to find the beginning and start there!

Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales for Our Life and Times by James Finn Garner - A delightful little romp through those familiar fairytales we all grew up with but this is not how we remember them. I found this politically correct version amusing, quick and light reading. Worth the effort.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Three stars because it is very well written, but it took me a long time to read this book. I found the pace extremely slow-moving and the story somewhat disconnected. I would only recommend this book to those who prefer a more literary experience.

The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Neffenegger - Having been a fan of Time Travel all my life, this book intrigued me by the title alone. It is a love story played out in time. I found it very well conceived and put together. Keeping the different incidents in perspective and connected when one character is moving forward in time chronologically, yet interacting with the time-travelling character who is jumping backwards and forwards randomly is a major feat. I found the date/time and characters ages that preceded each event were extremely helpful in keeping things in perspective. I also liked the assist given at the beginning of each event that indicated whose perspective we were looking at, Henry, or Clare. This is definitely a book I would recommend.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - I originally wanted to read this book because it was and is so popular. I was disappointed over all. I give kudos to Elizabeth Gilbert for having the courage to take a year and go and live in not just one, but three other countries. Who wouldn't love to do that? As for the personal heart-rending and spiritual revelations, I think we all go through that at some point in our lives. We are all searching and some of us even find what we're looking for. Not all of us want to write about it, but Elizabeth does it very well. The books is an enjoyable read and a spiritual odyssey. The one thing I take away from it is the confirmation of something I already discovered for myself in a similar, although less dramatic manner. We need to find our own inner strength, make peace with ourselves and love ourselves as we are. Then we can move forward in the world.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - Ok, so I gave in to all the hype surrounding this book and I must say that it didn't disappoint. I found it a slow start up to about the first 200 pages or so, or about the 5th chapter and was questioning what all the hype was about, but then I found it had drawn me in to the point of staying up most of the night reading a bit, then putting the book down and trying to sleep only to turn the light back on cause I had to read just a bit more. The pace isn't fast, or hard-hitting, but rather a slow steady burn with enough twists and discoveries to keep you interested and drawn along until the end. Now I need the second and third books in this series. I'm sure they will be every bit as good and I heartily recommend this trilogy!

Perfect for the Beach by Lori Foster, Janelle Denison, Erin McCarthy, MaryJanice Davidson, Morgan Leigh and Kayla Perrin - This collection of romances are quick reads designed to take along to the beach, or anywhere else you might be vacationing, and pick up and put down at your leisure. I enjoyed most of the stories, but found I couldn't get interested in one of them. Still, a nice way to spend some relaxation time.

Masquerade by Nancy Moser - I enjoyed this book. A light-hearted historical romance with just enough Christian reference to make it believable and enjoyable yet not overwhelming. I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of drawings of fashion that was used in the book. It shows an interest and dedication of the author to the realistic descriptions of fashions of the time the story is set in. The storyline has been done before, but in this case it was very enjoyable. The novel also includes questions for a book group.

The War Memoirs of (HRH) Wallis, Duchess of Windsor by Kate Auspitz - Maybe I'm to much of a romantic, but I've always been intrigued that a man who could be King would give up his crown for he woman he loved. For that reason I requested this book from the ER program. I admit to not knowing much of the history of Wallis and Edward before reading this and maybe that would have put the book in better context for me. Unfortunately through this book I lost a lot of my admiration for Wallis and Edward. The book is well-written and quite realistic so that the reader forgets it is a novel and not a real memoir. I didn't discover the footnotes until quite well into the book and wished I had seen them earlier as I felt that they do add to the understanding along the way. Wallis as the main character is portrayed as vain, selfish and not above allowing herself to be used by those who "handled" her and Edward throughout. I rapidly came to dislike her and her flirtatious, self-centered ways.Edward is there in more of a supporting role and I found Wallis' treatment of him less than admirable. I suppose if the facts are true, then he maybe was somewhat boyish as he seemed to be more interested in entertaining activities rather than world affairs.I did enjoy the many references to historical figures. The world becomes a smaller place when looked at on such a grand scale. What I might have wished for more of would be background details, but being a memoir, I guess that implies a more one-sided focus and the author accomplished that extremely well.

Periwinkle Isn't Paris by Marilyn Eisenstein - This is a wonderful children's book about a young girl who dreams of Paris. She loves everything to do with Paris and wants to go there. Who doesn't have a place they have wanted to go all their life? This one is worth sharing with that special young reader in your life.

Summer After Summer by Ann Defee - A light fun little romance following the main characters from childhood where Jazzy has a crush on one of her best friends boyfriends, Charlie, into adulthood where they acknowledge their love for each other but previous commitments get in the way, and then years later when they return to where it all began. This book is one of Harlequin's Everlasting Love series where "Every great love has a story to tell." A unique perspective and a modern, everyday take on romance. I enjoyed this light-hearted read.

Sheiks of Summer by Susan Mallery, Alexandra Sellers and Fiona Brand - This was a nice light read comprising 3 stories where the male lead is a Sheik. I particularly enjoyed the last story which also involved reincarnation and genetic memory. A little bit of a different twist.

Under the Dome by Stephen King - I haven't read any Stephen King for quite a few years, but decided to give this one a try when it was offered to me. I found the story well-written but lengthy and found myself wishing it would just get to the point. In the end, I was less than impressed with this book. It is not something I would recommend to any but a Stephen King fan.

Stardust of Yesterday (Haunted Hearts Series) by Lynn Kurland - I enjoyed this light fantasy that includes romance, ghosts, and a castle. What more could one ask for in a romantic fantasy. If you believe in ghosts or wish for something a little out of the ordinary, this book is for you. I'll be looking for more by this author.