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.


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.


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.....