Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You Know What

So you know what??

Every day I get on here with the intention to finally catch up on my book reviews.

But it just ain't happening.
What is my problem? (aside from my obvious procrastination issues)

Dunno.

1. I've been sick again.

2. Little miss has been sick also (try getting chocolate puke out of an area rug...it involves a spray washer, soap and heavy warm clothing because it was freezing outside.......and the blasted rug is still not dry several days later)

3. I also have A LOT of baking that has been done/ needs to be done for bake sales/ Girl guide events/ Christmas presents, etc.... so please excuse the extra 5 lbs I've put on since the beginning of the holiday season. A good chef/baker always tests her food for quality control. (yes that IS what I keep telling myself)

4. Obviously this extra weight is making me tired, so I've been napping......

what else? Ok it's probably obvious.....I'm lazy and I've been spending my time reading as opposed to blogging about it.

I'm setting a pre- New Year's resolution.

I'm going to have all the books I've read, reviewed and blogged by Jan 1st 2010.

so there you have it, no more excuses. time to get my arse in gear.......................................once I try this fudge I just made, and finish reading this book I've started................oh and take a nap.....

Friday, November 27, 2009

Book Number 65

Oooh I remember this book.....

The Novel: Snow Angel
The Author: Thom Racina
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/r/thom-racina/snow-angel.htm

I can clearly remember loving the end of this book. I was a bit frustrated with some of the "going-ons" throughout, not because of poor writing, but because I was thinking "come on lady can't you see that he IS the bad guy, DUH!"
The villain was very interesting in an oh so creepy way. The central character was well written as well, although I just wanted to shake her and tell her to smarten up.
What I found to be particularly interesting was that the author revealed the murderer at the beginning of the novel. There was no figuring out the villain, it was all laid out for us to see.
This tale was thrilling throughout. I enjoyed the dynamic between the characters and the sheer level brashness the antagonist provides.

I give "Snow Angel" a rating of 3.75 out of 5.

Another author that I'll make a point to read more of.

Book Number 64

Memory don't fail me now, I've got a lot of books to review and it's been quite awhile...

The Novel: One Dangerous Lady
The Author: Jane Stanton Hitchcock
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/h/jane-stanton-hitchcock/one-dangerous-lady.htm

Why do I always do this?
Another book that is the second in a series. Dang It Bobby!
Fortunately One Dangerous Lady was another book that had enough detail about the first book that I wasn't lost...too much...
I really liked the characters in this book. The glimpse into a lifestyle that I will probably never experience first hand was pretty interesting (billionaire socialite lifestyle). It's nice to "see" how the other side lives. It was also nice to have some major drama with a nice plot twist or two.
I found several characters to be just a little too annoying, but it made the nicer characters all the better.
I enjoyed this novel, it was entertaining and left me wanting to read more by this author.

I give "One Dangerous Lady" a rating of 3.5 out of 5.

:o)

Book Number 63

Well I guess it's time that I actually blog about the books that I've read.

The Novel: The Alibi Man
The Author: Tami Hoag
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/h/tami-hoag/alibi-man.htm

The Alibi Man is the second book in the Elena Estes Series. I haven't read the first book, usually this bothers me, but with The Alibi Man, I wasn't lost. It had enough detail that I didn't need to read the first book to get a proper glimpse into the main character's life.
This novel had enough detail and flashbacks about the first book that I was not left in the dark at all...which really is a plus for me.
The characters were well developed. The central character was a strong female with a kick ass attitude.
The novel is graphic enough to turn stomachs and delivers a lot of suspense. The action and dialogue were well done and I was fully entertain throughout the whole novel.
I enjoyed that I couldn't figure out whodunit. It's nice to go beyond the predictability of most suspense/action novels.

I give "The Alibi Man" a rating of 4 out of 5.

Tami Hoag really impresses me with her strong dominant female characters. It's nice to imagine stepping into the role of the central female character and come out of the battle with a few scars but a whole lot of attitude and a sense of justice served.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Moon Movie and Cake

So I've read a lot of books lately but I just haven't had the time (lazy) to blog about them. One reason I haven't had time is because I've been obsessed with creating a cake for the New Moon Movie.

My sister and I made plans to see New Moon this opening weekend. We've been waiting and waiting and waiting, and yay! we finally got to see it.


It Was Awesome!

Hubby saw it with us, and he enjoyed it too. He didn't even roll his eyes when I kept exclaiming "my boyfriend is in this movie......oh look there's my boyfriend.....oh look there's my other boyfriend......hey he's cute, he's also my boyfriend......"

Anyway, here's a few pictures of my cake .....


It took me FOREVER. Yeah it's not perfect, but I think it's pretty good for an amateur cake creator.



If it's not obvious, I'll explain...

It's a movie reel (New Moon The Movie)

as well as the book.

The cake is a pound cake with cream cheese frosting in the middle. Slathered with buttercream frosting and covered with marshmallow fondant. The book and center of the movie reel are made out of rice crispy treats covered in fondant. The flowers, the letters and the top of the movie reel are made with gumpaste.



I have to mention, I did not have any special tools, nor do I have any training. It was a hard process with lots of revisions, but I think it turned out pretty well.

















Thursday, November 5, 2009

Book Number 62

Another not bad "random library pick".

The Novel: You Don't Scare Me
The Author: John Farris
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/f/john-farris/you-don-t-scare-me.htm

You don't scare me was pretty entertaining although lacking in parts.
I felt the build up was good to a point but then fell flat near the end. The character development was well done but the continuity could use some work.
I enjoyed the quirky main characters. But more could have been done surrounding the plot.
Although horror is not required to be realistic, there were parts that should have seemed realistic just didn't measure up. (it's like watching a movie with special effects and being able to tell the CGI parts from the parts that are actual stunts)

I give "You Don't Scare Me" a rating of 3.25 out of 5.

You Don't Scare Me didn't really scare me, but it did keep me entertained for an afternoon.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Book Number 61

This book was the newest in a kickass series. I love it when I find a really good author that has an entertaining series of books.

The Novel: Doomsday Key
The Author: James Rollins
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/r/james-rollins/doomsday-key.htm

Doomsday Key is the sixth novel in the sigma series, and like I said in my intro, It was kickass! As per usual James Rollins keeps up the action and the suspense with a hair raising adventure. The characters that I've come to know from his previous sigma novels are just as great smart and dangerous and risky as usual.
The action rarely takes a break, and I had a hard time putting this novel down until the end.
What I particularly enjoy about novels by James Rollins is that he takes a subject that is fact and bases his stories around it. He is knowledgeable about so many cool things, and what he doesn't know he finds out.
He scares me. His novels scare me. And I'm so dang happy to read his books.....

I give "Doomsday Key" a rating of 4.75 out of 5.

I was excited to find out that James Rollins writes fantasy novels under a pen name. I haven't read any of those novels yet, but if they are half as entertaining as his Sigma books I am going to be so happy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

OK I'll Admit It

I am spectacularly behind right now. I've read a bunch of books but haven't blogged about them (see the side book list, like I said way behind) I'm also really behind on my reading.

Being behind on my reading doesn't bother me too much (ok, maybe a little) because I know that eventually I'll catch up and I'll meet my goal of 300 books in a year.

I've got plenty of excuses why I'm behind, but the big one is that I've been sick with this blasted cold. I spent a whole week in bed and didn't even turn on the computer (so there ya go, a good enough reason not to blog)

I could have spent that time in bed reading, but I figured the fastest way to get better would be to sleep, so my reading time was cut way way down...but as a bonus I got to wear my PJ's all day and I don't feel one damn bit guilty about it either!

So anyway, there's my reasoning take it as you will......

I'm starting to feel better now aside from a cough that just will not go away, arrrggggg (which in turn leaves me a bit breathless, but I figure its a good reason to take it easy and get some reading done)

I feel as though I've read more books that I have...it's weird.... It's probably because I fell asleep so many times reading that I reread several pages over and over, and now it feels like I've read an extra book....dunno.

well that's enough of my excuses now it's really time to buckle down and get this reading and blogging done.

Book Number 60

From Juvenile/ Young Adult to Chick Lit. It was a nice change.

The Novel: The Way It Is
The Author: Patrick Sanchez
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/s/patrick-sanchez/way-it-is.htm

I think this is the first chick lit novel I've read that was written by a man. I was pleasantly surprised. I should have not assumed that a man can't write about females as well as a girl can, because I was wrong (you know what they say when you assume)
I really enjoyed The Way it Is. The characters were interesting and believable. I felt a connection with one of the main characters being as I'm not stick thin. Mr. Sanchez did a good job of getting into the mind of a "fat" chick and laying it all out there for us readers to see.
I was only a bit disappointed that the ending for one of the characters wasn't quite resolved to my liking...which gave me a glimmer of hope for a sequel (but I'm pretty sure it isn't going to happen).
I really liked this novel and I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

I give "The Way It Is" a rating of 4 out of 5.

Good on ya Mr. Sanchez. A dude who understands, or at least writes like he does.....

Book Number 59

It's been awhile so I'll get straight to it then.....

The Novel: Tunnels
The Authors: Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/w/roderick-gordon-and-brian-williams/highfield-mole.htm

Tunnels is the first in a series of 3 novels written for juveniles/ young adults. This novel came highly recommended by my friend Sian. (And yes I am finally blogging about it Sian so you can relax now lol)
I found this book to be well written, but so long. It took me several days to get through this novel. The writers spent a lot of time developing the characters and their motivation that by the time it got to some action I was getting a little tired of reading it.
The idea behind tunnels is fascinating. When the action got started I was really getting into the plot and was kept interested....which is of course, why I had to read the second novel in the series fairly soon after.
Tunnels was a little dark which I like, but surprised since the target reader is in the pre-teen/ teen age...but when I think back to when I was that age and I actually preferred stories with a little bit of grimness...so it just goes to show that I'm getting old I guess.
I wish the beginning of the novel was a little more compact so that the interesting stuff happened quicker. But the wait was worth it if you have time.

I give "Tunnels" a rating of 2.75 out of 5.

moving along then......

** Note: As I've come to review the second novel in this series I've felt that I have to amend my original rating down from 3.25 to 2.75.
Changing my rating would normally be against my own rules, however this series is the exception.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Book Number 58

Time to catch up with my blogging. Hopefully I remember what I though about these next 5 books, because it's been awhile since I've read them....

The Novel: Pretty Little Liars
The Author: Sara Shepard
Link: http://www.prettylittleliars.com/series.vm

Pretty Little Liars is the first in a series of Young Adult novels. It's full of young "angsty" teen girls who all have secrets. It's pretty interesting once you get past the teen angst and focus on the plot. I enjoyed this novel and it brought me back to my high school days....although, I can't remember being that superficial, and I really didn't get into the whole party scene....
This novel went by fast. It was entertaining and fast paced. It was nice having the story told from several point of views.
This novel was very "high-schoolish" so as an adult it was hard to completely relate, but it was fun to think back to my past. ((and as a parent it has me freaked about about when my daughter will reach the teen years...it's not going to be fun))

I give "Pretty Little Liars" a rating of 3 out of 5.

I'm going to continue on with the series as I have to know who the antagonist is. I can get past all the teen angst and enjoy the story. And this novel helped me think of several discussions I need to have with Little Miss before she gets to that age when "kids know everything and parents know nothing"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

No Time / Lazy

Well I really have to face the fact that I will not reach book #75 by tomorrow. I just can't do it. I've read 62 books thus far, but there is just no way I can read 13 books by the end of tomorrow. Even if I had all of tonight and all day free tomorrow I still couldn't do it. I'm not a machine dammit!

I've decided sometimes life is about the small goals, but other times it's about the bigger picture. So yeah I didn't meet my mini goal this month, but I know I'll complete the 300 books by July 8th 2010.

The Bigger Picture....yep, that's the ticket.

I have excuses...lots....but it all comes down to me being too busy/lazy to read this month. I'll catch up though, it just might take awhile. So hows about we (when I say "we", I really mean "I") focus on trying to read up to book #100 by November 8th.
Ok??
Good then!
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* ok, so I still have to blog about 5 books that I've read. I'll get to it, just not right now........

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Book Number 57

10 days to read 18 books...oh shit....

The Novel: The Falling Boy
The Author: David Long
Link: http://www.amazon.ca/Falling-Boy-Novel-David-Long/dp/0452279976

Sometimes a book has to be read at the right time, with the reader in the right frame of mind. I wasn't in the right frame of mind to enjoy The Falling Boy. I could tell that this novel was well written and its detail was well done...but I just couldn't get into it. I forced myself to finish this novel. It was hard for me because I knew that this novel is probably a really good read, but I just couldn't absorb it and get into it. I find this with a lot of David Long's novels. I really enjoyed The Inhabited World, but each novel of his that I've read since just hasn't peaked my interest.
I think I'm going to take a break from David Long for awhile. I'll give his novels another go when I'm less pressured to read novels at a fast pace.
Another thing, sometimes I don't take well to novels set in the past (this one being set in 1952-1960) Sometimes I'm perfectly fine with novels set in other times, but if I'm already having a hard time getting into a novel, it doesn't help if it is set in a time I wasn't born yet.

I give "The Falling Boy" a rating of 2.75 out of 5.

Hopefully the next novel will go a lot quicker (and be more interesting)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Book Number 56

Another book down, a gazillion left to go. Time to quit slacking and start reading I'd say. Dang it Bobby!

The Novel: The Wedding Girl
The Author: Madeleine Wickham
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/w/madeleine-wickham/wedding-girl.htm

I find some works by Madeleine Wickham to be hit and miss. The wedding girl was a hit. It was pretty entertaining. I was sufficiently stressed out for the main character and was hoping that things would work out for her. Some characters were irritating (which I assume was intentional). The story was entertaining, although some parts didn't seem plausible (although, I don't always expect true to real life in my fiction, that's why it's fiction).
Near the end there was a twist with the sister character. It kind of came out of nowhere...not exactly true, there was some allusion to her plight.... but the resolution to her situation was too convenient and probably could have been left out of the story and the novel still have been a good chick lit. Although not as upbeat and silly as I expect my chick lit to be. So, in conclusion, I found this book to be good, but not great. I liked that it was a quick read and it wasn't "heavy" like some other types of novels.

I give "The Wedding Girl" a rating of 3.25 out of 5.

:o)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Book Number 55

Another author on my fave list. I always can count on Dean Koontz to entertain me with his tales.

The Novel: Relentless
The Author: Dean Koontz
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/k/dean-r-koontz/relentless.htm

Dean Koontz is great. I have always enjoyed his novels. I can't recall one that I dislike.
Relentless is an edge of your seat tale. The reader is pulled along for an entertaining yet scary ride. Dean Koontz is great at what he does. He is especially proficient with his character development. I enjoy how each of his novels (this one especially) have an undertone of something supernatural, but done in such a subtle way.
This novel has a thrilling/scary plot, yet there are amusing elements (mostly character related). Koontz's bad guys are pure evil, which make the good guys that much better.
Relentless is riveting and well worth taking the time to read.

I give "Relentless" a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

My only problem with Dean Koontz's novels is that I've read most (or all) of them. I often get impatient waiting for him to release something new. He really is good at what he does. He's consistent and each novel is immensely entertaining.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Book Number 54

I love it when a book surprises me.

The Novel: Snow Flower And The Secret Fan
The Author: Lisa See
Link: http://www.lisasee.com/snowflower/

Sometimes a novel is just so perfect in the way it can transport the reader into another time, place and culture. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan does this gracefully.
Beautifully written. Mesmerizing. Vivid details make it easy for the reader to place themselves into the story observing and feeling the emotions of the characters.
This is an engrossing and memorable novel. I felt so many emotions while reading this book. I just couldn't put it down, I had to convince myself to go to bed and stop reading. As soon as I had the chance this novel was back in my hands so that I could finally finish this beautifully woven tale.

I give "Snow Flower And The Secret Fan" a rating of 4.75 out of 5.

I am seriously considering purchasing this book so that my daughter, when older, can read this this fascinating tale.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Book Number 53

Sweet a fantasy novel! I'm picky with my fantasy genre, so it's got to be a good one for me to be happy.

The Novel: Dreamfever
The Author: Karen Marie Moning
Link: http://www.karenmoning.com/novels/dreamfever/index.html

This novel is 4th in a series of 5 (5th yet to be published). It's an interesting series and it's imperative to read the novels in sequence.
The novels are set in Ireland. The scene description is so rich (and terrifying). Character and "monster" descriptions are so well done that I've almost had nightmares.
This novel has the elements that I look for; humour, sex, action and violence.
If you enjoy the fantasy genre, this novel and it's predecessors are a good choice.

I give "Dreamfever" a rating of 4 out of 5.

Time to get my arse in gear and read some more before I fall even further behind.

Book Number 52

Not much time for blogging so I'll get straight to it...

The Novel: Foreign Body
The Author: Robin Cook
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/robin-cook/foreign-body.htm

Foreign Body has some characters (Jack Stapleton / Laurie Montgomery) that I've read in other Robing Cook books. These two characters aren't central to the story, therefore you don't have to read the other books with them in it to know what's going on. This book is technically in the Jack Stapleton / Laurie Montgomery series, but they seem to be secondary characters.
I enjoy almost all novels written by Robin Cook, and Foreign Body was no exception. The novel was action packed and fast paced. I enjoy medical mysteries a lot (because they freak me out) and this novel was a good one. Nice character development, interesting plot.
My one issue with this novel is that it ended so abruptly. The ending seemed rushed and thrown together. Actually when I really think about it, this novel was great until the ending which disappointed me a lot. The ending itself was a nice conclusion, but was executed poorly. It's almost as if Mr.Cook ran out of time and banged out the last pages in a few hours.
All that being said....

I give "Foreign Body" a rating of 3.25 out of 5.

I've recently found that a lot of my favourite authors (ie: Patricia Cornwell, Robin Cook, Stephen King) from "back in the day" are writing "sloppier" than they used to, with disappointing results. It's almost as if they feel that they don't have to work as hard anymore now that they have several novels published with national acclaim. It's ok for them because they get paid (books sell on the author's reputation) but it sucks for us the reader because sometimes we put out money for "shit". (That's why I'm a fan of the library)

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm So Behind

Little Miss has started Grade 1. What this means for her is a full day at school. What this means for me is a full day to relax and read.....right?
Nope, not here.
I've been so busy lately and so tired at night that I haven't finished a book in awhile. I am so behind.
I really seriously thought that I would have oodles of time for reading, I was deluded obviously.
On the plus side I'm actually awake (and clean) before 8 am, I'm actually getting some exercise, and now I have friends (although my caffeine intake has increased exponentially).

That's it!!! I'm buckling down and spending the whole weekend reading. I have to if I'm going to meet my goal. I CAN do this, I need to accomplish my goals. What I need is a kick in the pants, or a "Git R Dun" comment.

There are so many books that I want to read right now. I feel like I've wasted my reading smarts on too many crappy books lately. Thank goodness some of the books I ordered from the library are here, or on their way. Whoot!

Another reason I haven't read very much....I'm so farkin' tired. Yesterday I donated blood, and as soon as I got home at 7:30pm I crashed in bed. I slept through the whole night (probably snoring loud enough to wake the dead). It's weird for me to be sleeping at night (as opposed to reading all night) and not sleeping until noon or later.


What's this??? Am I becoming a responsible parent? A good wife, with dinner on the table and house (sort of) clean ??
Being this way is seriously impeding my reading progress. Don't get me wrong, my family is worth it...but dang it, Bobby, I really want to be lazy and do some reading.

This weekend it will be done.... "do or do not, there is no try" Master Yoda

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Book Number 51

Just to clarify : short stories count as long as they are compiled together in a book. I said it once and I'll say it again...my blog my rules. Get used to it. :o)

The Novel: Blue Spruce
The Author: David Long
Link: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Blue-Spruce/David-Long/e/9780684815893

Just like any collection of short stories, you're gonna get some good ones and you're gonna get some bad ones. I found the majority of the short stories in this collection were pretty good. Some were dry and I could feel myself skimming rather than reading for those ones.
David Long usually does a good job with the basics (character development, plot, etc) so most of his stories came across as well written.
Judging short stories is a lot different than judging a regular novel. With short stories you'll often find that there isn't a defined ending, or perhaps the story seems to start right in the middle of something...it's all good though, variety is nice.
All in all "Blue Spruce" was a pretty good read, it was nice to have variety. It was also easier for me to leave the book on my bedside table when I wanted to sleep as I didn't have to become invested in specific characters or plots.

I give "Blue Spruce" a rating of 3 out of 5.

Time to move on to "meatier" types of stories. I need some action, I need some suspense.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Book Number 50

Being a milestone, I feel as though Book #50 should have been an extraordinary book. It's pages should have been filled with tales of intrigue, action, drama and humour. I should have picked a different book if I wanted to make my 50th book an auspicious occasion. Dang It, Bobby!

The Novel: The Daughters of Simon Lamoreaux
The Author: David Long
Link: http://www.amazon.com/Daughters-Simon-Lamoreaux-Novel/dp/0684854147

Well this book is easy to review. It was bloody boring. I'm sure others may disagree, but this book could not hold my attention. It was a struggle to finish. It took me several days to read this 270 page novel.
I can't even tell you if it was well written (as in good character development, etc) Because I was so bored. I just felt I had to get through it so that I could move on and read something vastly more interesting.
I'm disappointed. I really enjoyed the last novel I read by David Long (book #32: The Inhabited World). I know that not every book a person writes will be good, but this book was shit compared to "The Inhabited World".
Ah well, I've got 2 other books here by David Long that I intend to read this week, we'll see if he redeems himself.

I give "The Daughters of Simon Lamoreaux" a rating of 2.25 out of 5.

I am so bloody behind on my reading. This book took so long to read, I'll never be able to reach my reading goals if I let books like this into my life. They can't all be good I suppose.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Well Did I Do It?


Did I read 25 books this month? Nope. Dang it! I was just way too tired. I couldn't read more than 3 novels yesterday.
I tried, sleep won the battle.
I feel a little disappointed in myself as I was one book away from meeting my mini goal...but then I though "ah fuggedaboutit...I'm not even getting paid to do this, it's not a job just a personal goal, it's not a biggie"
And really how hard will it be to read 26 books this next month instead of 25 (probably hard if I slack off, which I won't thank you very much)
I need a new strategy, I have to try harder to read most of the books at the beginning of the month rather than at the end when I'm freaking out and trying to jam 4 books into one day.
It should be easier to get my reading done now that Little Miss is in school full day (whoot!). I just have to retrain my body to sleep at night and read during the day. My whole sleep-read-eat cycle is messed up. Time to smarten the heck up and be a normal person who doesn't read until 4 am.
Anyway, off topic...but isn't my kitty so cute. Tarantino wasn't happy that I didn't finish my mini goal, can you tell from his expression in the picture?? See that look, it's a look of disappointment, or maybe hunger? dunno.
So to get back to the topic at hand, my reading goals. I will have read 75 books (total) byOctober 8th, thereby getting back on track to the ultimate goal of 300 books in a year.
Alright then? Good!

Book Number 49

A nice easy fun read after the last novel. Just what I needed to mellow me out a bit.

The Novel: Finger Lickin' Fifteen
The Author: Janet Evanovich
Link: http://www.evanovich.com/novels/novel/226

I don't have much to say about this novel other than it was just as good (if not better) as the other 14 "Stephanie Plum" novels.
This novel had the right mix of humour, violence, action, too tight clothing (Lula), disgusting amounts of snack foods, and sex.
If you've enjoyed any of the other Stephanie Plum novels then you have to read this one as well. I am waiting for this series to be made into a movie (waiting impatiently) It's been in the works for awhile now and I'm getting restless. This is exactly the type of novel (or series of novels) that would make a perfect action-comedy.
People I especially enjoy about the Stephanie Plum series: Lula the ex 'ho. Grandma Mazur (I hope I'm exactly like her when I'm that age). Sexy Morelli and Sexy Ranger, rawr. Stephanie Plum, so hilarious... but I really don't get the love of peanut butter and olive sandwiches. And so many others, ah heck I love them all...except that bitch Joyce Barnhardt.....

I give "Finger Lickin' Fifteen" a rating of 4 out of 5.

It will be way too long of a wait for #16, I just can't stand it.

Book Number 48

And so began a long long night of reading..... At least the novels I crammed into one night were pretty good ones.

The Novel: The Hunger Games
The Author: Suzanne Collins
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/c/suzanne-collins/hunger-games.htm

Wow! I really liked this novel. It was powerful. It was action packed. It was nerve wracking.
The premise of the novel reminded me of that short story by Shirley Jackson "The Lottery" http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/lotry.html
The premise of this novel is so horrible (a fight to the death, survival of the fittest) And even worse, involving 12-18 year olds. So horrible, yet such an interesting read.
This book scared me and enthralled me.
There is so much that is good about this book....the character development, the plot....
This look into a dystopian future had me scared out of my wits.
I looking forward to the second book so much, I can't stand it.

I give "The Hunger Games" a rating of 4.75 out of 5.

I'm glad I had something light to read after this novel, I needed to mellow out a bit before going to bed. I am not joking when I say this novel freaked me out. The whole "what if?" feelings...It's like natural disaster movies, I can imagine this happening and it scares me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Book Number 47

Book 47 done! Yay! But that means I still have 3 more books to read before tomorrow if I want to meet my mini goal of 25 books in a month. Hubby has graciously taken Little Miss out to play and he will happily spend time this evening playing video games...so who knows, I may just be able to complete my goal.

The Novel: Men Of The Otherworld
The Author: Kelley Armstrong
Link: http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/aMOTOW.htm

As a fan of Kelley Armstrong and her Otherworld series, I was glad that she had written Men Of The Otherworld. I enjoyed the look into some of my favourite character's pasts. It's nice to see the story and the motivation behind the characters and their behaviours.
The book was well written and kept me entertained the whole way through. This is a book that a person could read without having read the other Otherworld books.
Fans of Kelley Armstrong should definitely read this book, and those who have not read her books before, Men Of The Otherworld is a good place to start.

I give "Men Of The Otherworld" a rating of 4.5 out of 5.

Now enough blogging for me, time to get reading again.....deadlines, deadlines. Fortunately for me I work best under pressure.

Book Number 46

Another book I've been waiting for, for a long time. I had read all the books in the series awhile ago so I was waiting impatiently for this one to be published and arrive at my library for me. I'm glad it's here and I've read it.....but I finished it in about 2 hours so now I'm bummed that it's over and I'll have to wait forever for the next book....sigh....

The Novel: Undead and Unwelcome
The Author: MaryJanice Davidson
Link: http://www.maryjanicedavidson.net/betsy.html

The most recent novel in the "Undead" series. I love this series. I love vampire books with humour. I love the main character "Betsy", I enjoy her attitude and her style.
The plot was well done and the other characters are also well developed (but you need to read the other books in the series first to get the full back story)
There is just the right amount of violence to go with the steamy parts (aka: naughty time). I enjoy MaryJanice Davidson's take on the whole vampire/ werewolf genre. It's different from a lot of other vampire novels I've read. The rules are different and I enjoy that (it can get a bit boring having everything be the same).
My biggest problem is having to wait for the next book in the series.

I give "Undead and Unwelcome" a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

As I've said numerous times before, I am not a patient person (in regards to my reading), the wait for the next MaryJanice Davidson Novel is going to be hard for me.....and I may just get a little cranky.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Book Number 45

Another book done, whoot!

The Novel: Sweet and Deadly
The Author: Charlaine Harris
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/h/charlaine-harris/sweet-and-deadly.htm

Charlaine Harris's first novel. Not bad. She's certainly improved with her Sookie Stackhouse series, but this stand alone novel was pretty well done.
A nice basic mystery with appropriate plot twists. Charlaine Harris does a good job with the character details.
This isn't a book that I'd necessarily, call up my mum and tell her she HAS to read it, but it's a pretty good book and a good way to pass the time.

I give "Sweet and Deadly" a rating of 3.5 out of 5.

As of this date I've read everything Charlaine Harris has to offer. I'm pretty excited for the next Harper Connelly book out on October 27th. I also can't wait for the next Sookie Stackhouse novel, whenever that comes out.

Book Number 44

Well I finished the Dreamhunter sequel. Still unsure, but I'll try my best to give an honest opinion.

The Novel: Dreamquake
The Author: Elizabeth Knox
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/k/elizabeth-knox/dream-quake.htm

This novel was as well written as the first. The character development is rich and the scenes are well described.
The writing is dense (as in a lot packed into each page). I found the first book of the series and the first 1/2 of the second book was mostly setting up the story with some interesting plot twists. The action really started half way through the second book (remember this is just my opinion, others may disagree and find the whole book was action packed).
I enjoyed this book a lot more than the first. Once the action (really) started, I found myself not being as distracted by real life, and found myself more absorbed into this novel.
I almost wish the 2 books were mashed into one with a lot of the beginning and back story left out. Don't get me wrong, both of the novels were well written....I just found myself being easily distracted by other things and had a hard time focusing solely on the books I was reading.

I give "Dreamquake" a rating of 3.5 out of 5.

check out post "Book Number 42" for my update about that book.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Book Number 43

It's been slow going with my reading as of late. I've got this bloody self imposed deadline and yet I find myself not reading (napping). I just don't get what my problem is. I will have to read a whole bunch of books in the next few days if I am to meet my mini-goal of 25 books this month. I feel I need a good kick in the ass.......or maybe a "suck it up buttercup" comment....
Anyway....On to what I have actually read....

The Novel: Cocktails For Three
The Author: Madeleine Wickham
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/w/madeleine-wickham/cocktails-for-three.htm

Some easy going chick-lit. Nice quick read.
This novel was entertaining, although some of the character development was a little disappointing. I was expecting equal coverage for the three main characters, but the novel was slightly more focused on just one with the other two characters getting less "page time".
*A bit of a spoiler* There was one part where the pregnant character (3 weeks from due date)was in a bar drinking alcohol..It bothered me a lot. I had a hard time not thinking about that as I read about this character and her life. I feel kind of dumb for judging a fictional character, but I did.
Aside from my own prejudices about prenatal drinking...I enjoyed this novel. I didn't have to think while reading it and I got through it fast (which is important if I want to meet my mini goal)

I give "Cocktails for Three" a rating of 3.5 out of 5.

Hurray another book finished! Whoot!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Book Number 42

I decided to get this book (and it's sequel) because Stephenie Meyer (Author of the Twilight Series) recommended them. I will take book recommendations anywhere I can get them. I love reading different kinds of books and the best way to do that is by a recommendation...HINT HINT...I would love more book recommendations please.... ;o)

The Novel: Dreamhunter
The Author: Elizabeth Knox
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/k/elizabeth-knox/rainbow-opera.htm

The plot behind this book is unique. I've not read anything similar (yet), so this book definitely had that going for it. Apparently this book is considered Young Adult fiction...I found it read unlike other YA books aside from the main character being in her teens. This novel was less romance and teen angst and more based around the fantasy genre.
I'm not set on my opinion about this book. I'd like to read the sequel first to form a true stick-to-my-guns opinion.
I found the novel to be very descriptive so I could picture the setting easily. The characters were interesting and the plot unique......but even still, I just can't decide if I like this novel or not. This is one of those times that I feel I need to read the sequel to form an honest opinion and decide whether or not I'd recommend this novel.

Therefore....

I give "Dreamhunter" a rating of ??? out of 5.

How can I not know??? I just don't, not yet. But I'll come back and update my rating once I've read the other novel.

***UPDATE: I decided that I didn't like this novel as much as the second in the series...so I give "Dreamhunter" a rating of 3.25 out of 5.
I'd recommend this series if you can stick with it through the first novel because the second is a lot more action packed. I did find both novels well written, I just had a hard time giving them 100% of my attention.

Book Number 41

I love novels like this one. So easy to just read and get absorbed into the story.

The Novel: The Pull Of The Moon
The Author: Elizabeth Berg
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/b/elizabeth-berg/pull-of-moon.htm

The Pull Of The Moon was fantastically written. Elizabeth Berg must be one of those people that just sits and observes. She writes like people talk, she writes how people think and feel.
To write a story so basic, but with such detail and remarkable style.....I am just awestruck.
Elizabeth Berg doesn't just write novels, it's as if she transports the reader into the character's mind. Often humorous, sometimes sad, other times poignant and insightful.
I liked and identified with the main character (Nan).
The way the novel was written was unique (The form of journal entries and letters to her husband) With both past and present glimpses into Nans life.

I give "The Pull Of The Moon" a rating of 4.5 out of 5.

Elizabeth Berg is at the top of my Fave Authors List (one I've created in my head and have yet to post about, but I will soon). I'm going to make a conscious effort to read everything she's written...and once I've done that I'll complain non stop that she's taking way too long to write more.....because that's how I roll, man.....

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Inspiration & Adventure

Inspiration and Adventure. Sometimes inspiration will lead you to do something reckless or fantastic or mundane, but more often than not inspiration leads to adventure.

The idea, the inspiration, to take a walk to the candy store to get the 99 cent grab bag is an adventure. The adventure could be what you find in the candy bag.... will you get a candy necklace? What about a giant sour soother? Or the weird marshmallowy banana? You know whatever you find in that bag is going to taste good. There's choice there. The choice to share that coveted cola bottle candy with your husband, or give your six year old child the creepy fangs that you both like to pretend are your real teeth until you can't stand it anymore and swallow it whole.
Or maybe the walk itself is the adventure. The choice of which path to take, the gravel road past the Sikh Temple, or the paved road with the sidewalk that leads you past a giant hedge with the large barking dog. Will you pass by someone you know? Will you see that your neighbours have left their garbage can out for the last 4 days in a row and you turn to your husband and you both just nod, because you both feel the same way. The garbage can is bloody empty, take it in already.
What if The Adventure leads to inspiration? The walk to the candy store turns into a 1/2 hour walk to the park where you see an old couple on the swings laughing and you wish you had a camera to capture this moment. Or you are walking along the path near the river and you are inspired to jump in clothes and all.


I find that books often give me inspiration. I've been inspired to read new kinds of books. I've been inspired to review books and blog about it. I've been inspired to almost toss a book across the room in a fit of rage (book #3). I've been inspired to research. I've been inspired to start a new hobby. I have been inspired to volunteer. I have been inspired to be a better parent. I have been inspired to try new things. I have been inspired.

I realized this weekend that sometimes the inspiration to begin an adventure will end in a way you didn't imagine.


Inspired by the book Creepers I wanted to go "urban exploring". I didn't want to break into a building or get all decked out in the middle of the night. I wanted to explore something accessible, something that wouldn't get me arrested and that I could bring my family with me.

My inspiration started with my good friend Mr. Google. I new what kind of place I wanted to explore. I didn't care if it didn't fit the exact definition of urban exploring. It was still an adventure. I decided to start my adventure with researching abandoned churches on Vancouver Island. There's something so beautiful about old churches.

I found a few listings for Butter Church in Duncan. The next day, accoutered with our cameras, Hubby, Little Miss and I set out to find Butter church. We couldn't find exact directions to the church just a vague location and a street name. Comiaken Hill, Tzouhalem Rd. Duncan, BC.



Quick Description: The original mission church for the Cowichan Indians built in 1870 but abandoned in 1880 in favour of St Ann's Church. It has remained for over 100 years a haunted structure on the hill, abandoned, deconsecrated and desecrated

Armed with our Vancouver Island map and the (half-assed) directions, we set out to find this old church. Our map didn't have a reference for Comiaken Hill. We found Tzouhalem Rd no problem as we've travelled this road before. We spent 45 minutes just driving back and forth on this road trying to find some indication of where this church may be. One of us had the brilliant idea of looking for St.Ann's Church and then scouting the area near by to see if the old church was near. Looking on the map there wasn't a listing for St.Ann's church (we don't have a laptop so we couldn't google, sigh) But there was a few roads listed nearby that sounded promising (St.Ann's drive) We made several loops in that area through nicely maintained cul-de-sacs.

I was mortified because our old clunker of a car was quite noisy and I'm sure the surrounding neighbourhoods thought we were casing the area.

Another fruitless half hour we resigned ourselves to the fact we may never find this church and "hey it's all about the adventure, right?" But my Hubby, the persevering guy that he is, took it upon himself to ask for directions. Ha! Brilliant!


Parking the car (half on the sidewalk) He approached two women walking their dogs. "hey do you guys live around here?" Not creepy at all, right? Actually it wasn't since we were all there and Little Miss was trying to pet their doggies, and I'm sure all the neighbours were watching and wondering why this piece of shit car was parked in their nice neighbourhood.



He then proceeded to ask them if they knew where the church was and how we could find it.
With some easily explained directions we were on our way again.



Success!


We drove by the stairs leading to the church about 10 times earlier that day. We had even spotted people walking up the old stone path.


The old church was so beautiful in it's simplicity, but it was also so sad to see the state of decay. It's truly baffling at the level of disregard people have for property and culture.
We found the church and in doing so found adventure and inspiration. The thrill of the search, the inspiration to capture this beauty and decay on film. The lessons we learned and the lessons we (hopefully) taught Little Miss.

Book Number 40

Only 260 more novels to read. I have to pat myself on the back because reading 40 novels in less than 2 months is pretty good I think. Yay me! Whoot!

The Novel: Shakespeare's Counselor
The Author: Charlaine Harris
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/h/charlaine-harris/shakespeares-counselor.htm

This is the last book in the Lily Bard Series up to this point. I don't know if Charlaine Harris is planning to write any more Lily Bard books, but I've finally read a book in this series that actually made me want to read more about the character. Before I was just reading the books because I hate to start a series and not finish it, and the books were pretty interesting (just not as interesting as her other series'). This book was first published back in 2001 with a reprint done in 2005...so I have a feeling that this was the last one in the series.
I felt so much more for Lily in this book. I had a better sense of who she was and I didn't find her as "cold" as I did in the other books. Also there was A LOT less focus on the character's work out habits (which were starting to bore me, if not make me feel damn lazy).
The conflict and mystery weren't as straight forward as usual so I had a harder time figuring out the bad guy. I enjoyed this novel and I was happy to see a deeper look into Lily's relationship with Jack.

I give "Shakespeare's Counselor" a rating of 3.75 out of 5.

Another series finished. I'm glad to have finished this series with the urge to want to read more about this character.

Book Number 39

I heart David Morrell's writing. Another book that could be made into an action packed movie.

The Novel: Scavenger
The Author: David Morrell
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/m/david-morrell/scavenger.htm

The second in the Frank Balenger series (first being Creepers). This book was as well written and entertaining as the first.
I was sucked in immediately. As I was reading I was seeing an action movie in my head.
I was sufficiently grossed out in parts, fascinated in others, and just enthralled with the whole book.
I enjoy how David Morrell introduces information about interesting subjects into his books (geocaching, time capsules, etc) This man knows what he writes, and does it well.
I always enjoy a novel that has me doing research about it's topics. I find that Scavenger and Creepers both had me googling like crazy.

I give "Scavenger" a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

If you enjoy David Morrell's writing then I think you'd also enjoy books written by James Rollins (Amazonia, Subterranean, etc) http://www.jamesrollins.com/.
Both authors have a way with words and know their outdoorsy survival techniques.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Book Number 38

This book motivated me to google, which is a pretty great thing.

The Novel: Creepers
The Author: David Morrell
Link: http://www.horrorworld.org/creepers.htm

I really enjoyed this book. It was really well written and continued to keep me interested the whole way through.
I enjoyed the premise (which inspired me to google) of urban exploring.


Main Entry: urban exploration
Definition:
the study of parts of civilization that are normally unseen or off-limits, such as abandoned structures, drains, sewers, tunnels, etc.; also called
infiltration, reality hacking, urban caving, urban spelunking, urbex

The story isn't just about urban exploring, which would have been pretty good as is, but also involves murder and mayhem and all sorts of creepy going-ons.

The characters were colourful and I felt myself on the edge of my seat hoping that they would succeed in their adventure.
This book had me staying up until all hours just so I could finish it. It was engrossing and nerve wracking. I really liked this novel a lot.

I give "Creepers" a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

I discovered after finishing this book that David Morrell is the author who brought John Rambo to the world. Why didn't I know this before??? Dumb! I feel as though I've wasted a lot of time by just discovering David Morrell now. Now I've got a lot of catching up to do if I want to read his other novels. Fortunately for me I had the foresight to order the novel that follows Creepers....and I'm reading it now, so expect a review soon.....

Book Number 37

Back to the familiar with book #37.

The Novel: Shakespeare's Trollop
The Author: Charlaine Harris
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/h/charlaine-harris/shakespeares-trollop.htm

This is another book of Charlaine Harris's that I knew what to expect so I wasn't surprised when I enjoyed this book.
I am still slightly put off by the character Lily Bard, she's just kinda cold...but that's the way she is....and I don't always have to love the main characters.
The book was as well written as the other 3 in the Lily Bard series. The plot was interesting enough to keep me reading (I finished it in a few hours).
The only issue I have is that it was fairly predictable. I find with some of Charlaine Harris's other series (ie: Sookie Stackhouse) she adds new elements to each book to spice it up a bit. The Lily Bard series doesn't really change much with each book. Although I still find it interesting enough to have the next book in the series sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read.

I give "Shakespeare's Trollop" a rating of 3.25 out of 5.

Pretty good, but not great.

Book Number 36

This book is not at all what I expected. The cover says "A Novel Of Suspense" it was, but not in a way that I expected at all......maybe I should spend some time actually reading the book jacket....

The Novel: The Watchers
The Author: Mark Andrew Olsen
Link: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Watchers/Mark-Andrew-Olsen/e/9780764204685

The one thing I didn't realize about this book was it's full-on, in your face, religiousness. It was a good story based around (a lot) of belief and good vs evil, while the main character is running for her life trying to solve the mystery.
The writing was good, the character development was great, the plot was pretty good too...I just had a hard time getting around all the preaching. (I'm all about everyone following their own religious path, but I don't personally subscribe to an organized religion, so this book put me off slightly with all the "preachyness")
Aside from the religious overtones, the book was really good. I was interested in what the characters were doing and where they were going. I enjoyed the danger of their quest and I always like a story about a strong woman protagonist.

I give "The Watchers" a rating of 3.5 out of 5.

There is a sequel to this book called The Warriors. I intend to read this book as well. I liked the first book enough to get past all the preaching, so I figure I'll probably enjoy the second as well.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Book Number 35

Only 15 more books to go to meet my mini goal (25 books, by Sept 8th). So essentially book a day...shit...the next few books I have are rather long.
As I often say to hubby, I'll say to myself "Suck It Up Buttercup!"
If only all books could be as easy to read as book #35 was.

The Novel: The Debutante Divorcee
The Author: Plum Sykes
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/s/plum-sykes/debutante-divorcee.htm

Plum Sykes is an excellent Chick-Lit writer. I was easily absorbed into the superficial, exciting, rich life of the characters.
Lots of amusing socialite conflict. Perfect literary escapism. An easy read that had me laughing at some of the character's quirks, shaking my head at some of the underhanded things women do to each other, and hoping that it would all work out in the end.

I give "The Debutante Divorcee" a rating of 3.5 out of 5.

Sometimes it's nice to just sit back and read a book that doesn't make you have to think. This is the book for doing just that. It's the perfect lounge at the beach book.

The Big Time Out 2009


I have to mention that I had The Best Time at "The Big Time Out 2009" Concert the other weekend (15th). We saw and listened to so many good bands, it was awesome. As you can see from the pic of Little Miss, she had a great time too.
We were all so excited to see Mother Mother play live. Little Miss asked several times to listen to their CD over and over and over.
But wouldn't you know it, she happens to fall asleep right before her favourite song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txOG28a94ps. She was so upset in the car on the way home after midnight, ((talk about getting our money's worth (noon- midnight..ish)). So we listened to the CD again on the way home. I didn't complain, I was all hyped from the concert...and hubby needed some music to keep him alert for the long drive home.
I enjoyed so much of the concert, the music, the performances, the food, the outhouses (well, not really...but they didn't stink at all! yay for that!)
There was also some drama with some peeps around us. A guy almost had his car jacked by his ex wife. Other people were sleeping on the grass (or enjoying the music really stoned??dunno) and they were trampled several times...but hey it was dark and y'all were laying down...what do you expect.....AND I believe that if you're there to enjoy a concert there should be no napping (unless you're a kid).
I saw the neatest looking woman with her cool hippie style (I was ultra jealous) I covet her orange flowy hippie pants so much (not as ghastly as they sound). There were so many interesting people around, it was great. One guy with a mullet, another with a rasta hat, several people were rocking the bands t-shirts, a couple of females all dolled up (why? you're in a field, it's a concert not a runway show.....and why do you think that just because you're pretty you can just budge in line at the porta potty????????)
Anyway, it was fun and I really want to go again next year. So many bands that I now love. Is it just me or does everything sound better in an open field, sung live, and with cool people wandering around on stilts and the neat talented people rocking the hoola-hoop like I've never seen....
These performers/musicians/dancers/ marching band.....so talented.....http://thebigtimeout.com/performers/
Okay I'm slightly ashamed to admit, I even got a chance to read some of a book while I was there. Whatevs, there was some down time between performers.
I also was really impressed at how clean the event was. There were several cans labeled recycling, compost, landfill & returns. I thought this was a brilliant idea. They even had people working there that checked the cans and made sure stuff went into the right can (although I was slightly put off when one of the workers ate his dinner, still wearing the same gloves he used to pick garbage out of the cans with...I had to look away, gag factor was high).
There was even a cool kids section with play-doh, and lego and other cool things. They even had free sunscreen.
The Big Time Out 2009 was truly a well organized family fun event. If there was any rowdiness going on at the beer gardens I didn't notice.

Book Number 34

I decided to give this author another try. I've read books by her that I've enjoyed and some that I didn't like at all.

The Novel: Sleeping Arrangements
The Author: Madeleine Wickham
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/w/madeleine-wickham/sleeping-arrangements.htm

Well, I went into this novel not knowing what to expect. I've enjoyed novels by Madeleine before, and I especially enjoy the novels written as her alter ego Sophie Kinsella....but I've been disappointed in the past so I was wary....
I enjoyed this novel. Sleeping Arrangements was well written and entertaining. Most characters were colourful and well described.
I was amused at the situation and I could feel the tension building amongst the characters. I was appropriately appalled at times and laughed out loud at other instances.
This novel was a nice read and I finished it rather quickly. This is the kind of novel I have come to know and love from this author and I feel she's redeemed herself since the last book of hers that I read (A Desirable Residence....DID NOT LIKE)

I give "Sleeping Arrangements" a rating of 3.5 out of 5.

I'm glad I liked this novel, or I might have been put off by Madeleine Wickham / Sophie Kinsella, for awhile.

Book Number 33

Charlaine Harris again, Yay! I really love most of her writing.

The Novel: A Secret Rage
The Author: Charlaine Harris
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/h/charlaine-harris/secret-rage.htm

I was really happy to read a "stand alone" book of Charlaine Harris's. As her second novel published, it's a good one.
I enjoy a good mystery with a dark subject matter. This story was written in the first person POV and deals with a harsh crime (Rape).
We see this horrific experience through the main characters eyes and watch how she deals with it, as well as how she strives to find the rapist.
I was right there along with the character trying to figure out whodunit, and was cheering her on when she had some nasty violent vigilante thoughts.
There isn't the usual humour that you find in most of Charlaine Harris's books, but that's ok because the story was well done and humour was not needed at all.
This was a strong book with a strong central character. Charlaine Harris did a wonderful job navigating this painful and delicate subject.

I give "A Secret Rage" a rating of 3.75 out of 5.

I recently read that Charlaine Harris herself is a rape survivor. I admire her strength and I hope writing this novel was cathartic for her.

Book Number 32

Another male author to make the female to male author ratio a little more fair (32:7)

The Novel: The Inhabited World
The Author: David Long
Link: http://www.davidlonglit.com/davidlonginhabited.html

I enjoyed this novel. It was thought provoking and captivating. The character development was impressive.
There was a distinct attention to detail as the main character Evan delves into his (past) life and his observances during his time spent in his purgatorial existence.
We have a look at the families that have lived in Evan's house after he died from Evan's point of view. Each family had it's own distinct attributes and quirks, which made the little looks into their lives all the more interesting.
The story has an interesting flow as it jumps from the past to the present and back. I enjoyed the look into Evan's life this way as the author took his time with giving the reader the full picture.

I give "The Inhabited World" a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

Another good choice for a "random library pick". I will check out some other works by David Long as I found this book interesting and well written.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Book Number 31

I waited for this book for what seems like FOREVER.

The Novel: The Awakening
The Author: Kelley Armstrong
Link:http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/aAwaken.htm

This book is the second novel in the Darkest Powers Trilogy. This book doesn't give you a back story into the first book (titled: The Summoning) Therefore, it is imperative that you read the first novel in the series to understand anything that is going on at all.
I did read the first book so I was well informed, and sucked into the story deep enough that I was waiting (not patiently) for this novel to finally get published and into my library.
This book was as well written as the first and I got an even better look into the character's lives and their motivations.
I read this book really quickly, as I needed to know what would happen next. Of course the book leaves you hanging at the end, and I will have a real hard time waiting until May 1st, 2010 for the 3rd novel (The Reckoning) to be released.
This book is well written, action packed and a pretty good tale that kept me entertained. It is a Young Adult fiction, but other than the fact that the characters are teens it is written well enough that people of any age (apart from little kids of course) will enjoy it.

I give "The Awakening" a rating of 3.75 out of 5.

I wish that the next novel would be released sooner, why can't these writers write faster dang it?!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Number 30

Book #30 was another one of those "I must pick out a random book at the library, and it should be a male author...hey look at this, I didn't know Jimmy Buffett wrote novels, cool let's give it a go"

The Novel: Swine Not?
The Author: Jimmy Buffett
Link: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/books/archive/bookarchive.php/Swine_Not%3F:_A_Novel/13849

This novel wasn't what I expected, at all. After picking up this novel I did a bit of research into Jimmy Buffet's writing career, and I had heard good things about most of his novels. So I guess I went into this reading experience expecting a lot.
I was wrong to assume (ass-u-me?? yep)
This book is "supposed" to be a novel for adults. In reality it's a poorly disguised children's novel.
There wasn't much in the way of character description (physically) although I did have a glimpse into some of the character's (Rumpy the pig) inner workings and it was interesting.
What I found to be interesting (not necessarily in a good way) is that one of Jimmy Buffet's friends had written a manuscript with the whole concept of a pig living in an hotel. Jimmy was supposed to edit it and get it ready for it to be sent to publishers. Instead he took the idea, expanded on it (with the friends permission) and turned out a novel. He fully admits this in his book.
Overall, I didn't mind the book as a quick escape from the long day I had, but it's not "The Great American Novel" that's for sure. I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it, however I think my 6 year old wouldn't mind the tale if I read it to her.

I give "Swine Not?" a rating of 2 out of 5.

I am still willing to give Jimmy Buffett another try, but this time I'll actually get a book that has several good reviews. Although it may be awhile before I get around to reading any more of his works.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Book Number 29

Well I had to get another Jen Lancaster book.
I had to.
She's just too funny. I'm almost all caught up now, apart from her first book that has so many dang holds on it at the library that it'll be a long long wait until I get to read it.

The Novel: Pretty in Plaid A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or The Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase.
The Author: Jen Lancaster
Link: http://www.jennsylvania.com/jennsylvania/
Synopsis:
The hardcover debut from the New York Times bestselling author— the prequel to Bitter is the New Black.In Pretty in Plaid, Jen Lancaster reveals how she developed the hubris that perpetually gets her into trouble. Using fashion icons of her youth to tell her hilarious and insightful stories, readers will meet the girl she used to be.Think Jen Lancaster was always "like David Sedaris with pearls and a super-cute handbag?" (Jennifer Coburn) Think again. She was a badge-hungry Junior Girl Scout with a knack for extortion, an aspiring sorority girl who didn't know her Coach from her Louis Vuitton, and a budding executive who found herself bewildered by her first encounter with a fax machine. In this humorous and touching memoir, Jen Lancaster looks back on her life—and wardrobe—before bitter was the new black and shows us a young woman not so very different than the rest of us.

Well what did I think about this look into a young Jen Lancaster's life??? I loved it. Possibly not as funny as Bright Lights, Big Ass or Such a Pretty Fat....BUT it still was dang hilarious.

Because I've enjoyed everything I've read by Ms. Lancaster, and I fear that I'm due to repeat myself if I take the time to write a regular review, I'm going to go in a different direction.....
Whilst reading this book, I decided that I must write down which pages had made me laugh out loud. You'll just have to read the book to see what I'm talking about.
1) pg 16...Her reference to a Brownie craft involving a toilet paper roll turned Christmas ornament.....and her subsequent response.
2) pgs 33-35....More Brownie/ Girl Scout related anecdotes.....funny to me because I totally get what she's talking about....if you've ever been involved in guiding/ scouts as a member or leader, you'll think this is hilarious also.
3) pg 146...The footnotes had me laughing out loud.
4) pg 231...Her letter to her apartment building neighbours. Funny!

There were so many more instances in which I had my beverage come shooting out of my nose because I found something she wrote really funny.

I give "Pretty in Plaid" a rating of 4 out of 5.

I like how I can just relax and laugh while reading Jen Lancaster's books. It's nice to just chill out, not think and just laugh at someone else's life for a bit.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Book Number 28

I have been making a more conscious effort to read more male authors. The last 27 books I've read have been predominantly female authors (a ratio of 23:4). Thus, I've taken the time to grab random books at the library with male authors and book covers that catch my eye. This novel was one of those choices.

The Novel: Natural Elements
The Author: Richard Mason
Link: http://www.amazon.ca/Natural-Elements-Richard-Mason/dp/0307267466

I liked this book. It was dense and long, but well written. Natural Elements an inventive work of fiction that has realistic historical elements.
The characters are colourful and well described. I found myself wishing and hoping that Joan's magic pedals were real and not just the signs of an elderly woman succumbing to dementia.
I could feel Eloise's stress and was hoping for a miracle on her part as well.
The historical flash backs gave me a good look into life during the time of the Anglo- Boer war of 1899- 1901.
All in all, I find that this is a book where realism and the fantastical meet to form a beautifully written engrossing tale.

I give "Natural Elements" a rating of 3.75 out of 5.

I'm glad I picked this novel. Another good choice done on the basis of cover art and the fact that it was written by a male.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Book Number 27

I have been slow with my reading since I jammed 5 books into 2 days awhile back. I've been working on Book #27 for a few days.

The Novel: Breakneck
The Author: Erica Spindler
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/s/erica-spindler/breakneck.htm

Breakneck is the 2nd book in the Kitt Lundgren series. I've read the first in the series so I was happy to have the second arrive at my library for me. The one thing about Breakneck is that you don't really have to have read the first in the series (Copycat). There is enough background info that you are not lost at all. Although the first in the series was really good, so I recommend you read it regardless.
I really enjoyed this book. The characters are well developed. The book is full of emotional disquiet. Breakneck is a fast-paced action novel, that leave the reader (me) wondering what is going to happen next.
I enjoy that the novel is based around two female detectives. It's nice to see a mystery novel where the central characters are strong independent women with the skills to kick some ass, but the tenderness to be emotional during times of personal stress.
You can't help but be sucked in to the story and root for the good guys (errrr girls) and hate the bad guy with a vengeance.
The ending had an interesting twist and I couldn't have imagined who the bad guy was.

I give "Breakneck" a rating of 4 out of 5.

I really hope Erica Spindler continues to write about these two wonderful female detectives. She has a good thing going here and I am looking forward to seeing what other dangerous situations the women find themselves in.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tired & Excited

Tired and still in my PJ's. I hope we don't have any visitors today because I am seriously thinking about not getting dressed.

There is a reason people go to sleep at a reasonable time.
I decided last night that my 4 am bedtimes are not acceptable, and could be the leading cause of me being a giant crankenstein in the morning (who am I kidding, the afternoon is more like it).

So I went to bed at a reasonable time last night (11pm). I got all settled in and decided, well since I'm here I'll just read a bit.
Finally I look at the clock, it can't be too late right? 12:30am, dang it! Turn out the lights, and surprisingly I am asleep right away.
1:30am Hubby comes to bed, lights a blarin', doors a crashin', toothbrushes a vibratin'.....
me: "what the Hell!!??!!" look at clock, scowl at hubby, put a pillow over my head.
hubby looks at me sheepishly "sooooorrrrryyyyy"
me: "yeah you are!"
me again, standing up this time " Slave! Feet rubbing now! please"
Hubby, shrugs shoulders "ok"

And do you think I could get back to sleep after that? Nope.
Hubby is all settled in asleep snoring away, while I lay there with nice smooth moisturized feet and legs, but a really big snarl just on the cusp of being released from my mouth.
Oh, brilliant idea, I'll just listen to my ipod and instead of cool rocking music that's sure to keep me awake, I'll just listen to the score from the Lord of The Rings....
4 am, still flippin awake.

Tonight I'm wearing earplugs and will forgo the feet rubbing if it means I can get to sleep at a regular time.

**Oh, I am super excited! Only 3 more sleeps until I make the trek to Cumberland and get to see some of my favorite bands (Mother Mother) in concert.
http://thebigtimeout.com/

Little Miss is excited too. It should be a really great Saturday and I don't even have to leave the Island. Now I have to think about what to pack for the day. Thank goodness I am really great at making lists, I shouldn't forget too many important things (like the tickets).

Maybe I'll make a list now while I'm awake and alert. Too many sleepless nights are probably killing brain cells, at this rate I won't have the mental capacity for making lists if I don't get some proper sleep soon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Off Topic, Juvenile Behaviour

Random thoughts, Juvenile behaviour...This is not how I am all the time. Normally I am a rational, intellectual person.
but once in awhile.......

Sometimes I get it in my head to do weird things, or I try and convince people to encourage me to do weird things.
Not weird as in perverted or illegal. Just regular weird. Weird as in people might say "what the heck were you thinking? that's just dumb"

A few years back when the movie "Super Troopers" came out, I was fascinated by it's wackiness and I seemed compelled to do dumb shit a la super trooper style.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0247745/

Do you know how hard it is to convince people to have a syrup chugging contest? It's impossible. Maybe because the people I am friends with have a higher maturity level than I do...I dunno. I was only 22 at the time, and it really seemed like a good idea (alcohol may have been involved).

This is the reason I should probably not watch Super Troopers 2 when it is released...ahhh who am I kidding, I'm going to watch it and I'll probably find something in the movie that makes me want to do dumb shit. sigh.

Anyway, I've got the urge to do something weird again.
I've been thinking a lot about crazy diets lately. Remember the grapefruit and bacon diet of the past? It's been proven that a diet restricting a person to 1 or 2 foods is generally not a good idea....common sense right?
Well it's been so freakin hot out, and I've been slamming 7-11 slurpee's like they're going out of style, and noshing on Mr.Freeze freezies like you wouldn't believe.....all sugar, all the time, baby.

I have been eating regular foods as well.....but the crazy diet fad has got me thinking....

How long could a person survive on freezies alone, and how much weight could a person lose???
Would a person (me) be hungry 24-7 and have to eat my body's weight in frozen deliciousness just to not go into some kind of hunger coma?

yep, this is the crap I think about ..... and try to convince my hubby that me doing it would be a good idea and/or have hilarious/possibly dangerous results.

Don't worry I won't be starting a freezie diet anytime soon (or a slurpee diet either)...but sometimes I just wonder, hmmm what would it be like?

Like I said, dumb weird shit.......

"the snozzberries taste like snozzberries"

Book Number 26

This book I discovered by reading Jen Lancaster. She was trying to get this book out of her library in "Bright Lights, Big Ass"...and well I thought, hey if she likes the book I might as well give it a go. I enjoy chick lit so reading this book wasn't a stretch for me.

The Novel: Bergdorf Blondes
The Author: Plum Sykes
Link: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/s/plum-sykes/bergdorf-blondes.htm

I liked this book. It was a nice escape into a life I will never experience. A life of glamour, fashion, jet setting, and one night stands.
I found this novel to be very descriptive, obviously this author knows a thing or two about living the high life and enjoying such finery as Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, and the like.
Although some of the character's were quite shallow, they were still interesting with each of their own little idiosyncrasies.
The novel is very much escapism literature, However, there are some serious parts (an attempted suicide) which gives the novel more depth and makes it even more interesting.
This book is an example of how I like my chick lit to be, nice, light and humorous with a happy ending.

I give "Bergdorf Blondes" a rating of 3.5 out of 5.

As a debut novel, Plum Sykes did a bang up job. I guess it does pay to write what you know.