Friday, December 31, 2010

The Friday 56, The Help

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it to Freda's Voice.

This week the book is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I heard so many good things about this book that I had to read it. I’m almost done with it and hoping to finish it tonight and I’m really liking it. I hope it finishes as well as it started.

The sentence:

It is kinky, more pubic than cranial, and whitish blond, breaking off easily, like hay.

It kind of makes me feel better about my hair, which is not a dream but not quite as bad as this sounds.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor Review

Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor by Chuck Black


(from the back of the book)
Sir Quinlan leaves his boyhood friend to serve the Prince, fighting a battle darker and more intense than any he’s ever known. The mysterious Sir Baylor recruits him into the ranks of an elite unit of knights known as the Swords of Valor, but when tragedy strikes and everyone blames Quinlan, the Swords of Valor disband, ending a legacy of heroic deeds.

Alone and despairing, Quinlan wanders the kingdom, fleeing his past. His providential encounter with Taras, a mysterious Silent Warrior and former trainer of Valor Knights, offers Quinlan a chance to redeem himself and learn the ways of the secret warriors.

The training is grueling, and just when Quinlan seems to have left his failures behind, he receives an impossible challenge from the Prince – one that will force him to face his past… and the mighty men who blame him for the tragedy that ruined them.

Can Quinlan reunite the Valor Knights in time to save the people from the Dark Knight’s evil plot to rule the Kingdom of Arrethtrae, or will the Valor Knights lose the most important battle of all?


This is the fifth book in the Knights of Arrethtrae series. There is a little intro so that new readers will have some idea of the world of the knights going into the story. Not having read any of the other books I found it helpful because it gave me some context for the story I was about to read but this book can certainly stand alone and you do not have to have read the others first. There is no mistaking that this story is a biblical allegory. There is nothing subtle about the message here. And sometimes, especially when Quinlan is speaking to his trainer, Taras, it can get a bit preachy but that is forgivable as that is much of the point of the book and it is an important part of Quinlan’s training and his entire journey. The book does a good job of making the fight of good versus evil a real battle that we all have to be aware of and the dangers if we ignore it. It also brings up some important biblical issues. Quinlan must make some hard choices, leave behind what he has known, face struggles, failures and his own self-doubt, make decisions based on faith alone and often must act when it would be easier to just go home. It also explores the fact that God often chooses the unexpected people, how even those who have the outward appearance of being a follower are not always so, that there will still be tragedy and heartache, and many other biblical truths that our heroes and those around them face. It doesn’t shy away from the harder aspects to try and make a happier story. Although it is an allegory and is meant to teach a lesson it is still an exciting adventure story with action, suspense and a little mystery and magic. In the back that are a lot of discussion questions (and answers) that will get readers thinking more deeply about the story and will help readers understand concepts that they might not have gotten from just reading the book. I like that the questions encourage the reader to look to the Bible for the answers. It is a story about knights and there are sword fights and danger and adventure but the message is always at the forefront. It is a strong, forceful message. I don’t think that is a bad thing but it might turn some people off and might be better suited to children who are already interested and trying to learn more instead of a story to spark the first interest.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Remember Why You Play

Bless Their Hearts Mom is giving away a copy of Remember Why You Play by David Thomas.

To enter leave a comment with a way to contact you if you win.

Extra entries? Oh, yeah. There are a bunch.

•Follow Bless Their Hearts Mom on Blogger/Google Friend Connect (1 entry)
•Follow Bless Their Hearts Mom on Twitter (1 entry)
•Follow Bless Their Hearts Mom on Facebook (1 entry)
•Follow Bless Their Hearts Mom on Networked Blogs (1 entry)
•Tweet about this contest (2 entries), include @BTHM1 in your tweet! (this can be done DAILY for 2 entries PER day)
•Subscribe to Bless Their Hearts Mom (2 entries)
•Share/ Post about the giveaway on Facebook (2 entries)
•Stumble the post/giveaway (2 entries)
•Have / Put the "Bless Their Hearts Mom Blog" Button on your blog or website (3 entries)
•Enter the post link in a Giveaway Linky on another site (4 entries)** MUST provide link to the Giveaway Linky!
•Blog about the giveaway (5 entries)


Get all that? Well, hold on. There are a few more things you need to know.

Each entry must be entered separately.
The contest is open until January 14th.
The contest is open to the US and Canada.
And the winner has three days to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bride and the Beast Movie Review

Bride and the Beast
With Charlotte Austin and Lance Fuller

(From imdb.com)
When Laura and Dan get married, she's more interested in Dan's gorilla. It's revealed through hypnosis that she was Queen of the Gorillas in a previous incarnation.


Did I expect this to be a good movie? Of course not. With Ed Wood’s name on it anywhere you knew it wasn’t going to be a masterpiece. I did expect it to be somewhat entertaining though, in a cheesy sort of way. The gorilla suits were indeed laughable and the plot ridiculous beyond a doubt but you need more than that to make a good B movie. You need something to make it worth watching. There was nothing here that made this movie truly fun to watch. There weren’t even any moments when you burst out laughing at just how bad the whole thing was. In fact, it was all rather boring. It has all the features that make a bad movie, poor acting, poor script, stock footage and bad gorilla effects, without any thing to make it into true cheesy goodness.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Prostho Plus Vocabulary

All these words are from Prostho Plus by Piers Anthony. They are mostly dental terms, of which he uses a lot.

Gingival: of or pertaining to the gums

Buccal: of or pertaining to the cheek

Occlusals: pertaining to the masticating surfaces of the premolar and molar teeth

Malocclusals: a misalignment of teeth and/or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches

Sprue: an opening through which molten metal is poured into a mold

Perspicacious: having keen mental perception and understanding; discerning

Distal: situated away from the point of origin or attachment, as of a limb or bone; terminal

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Not So Pre-Christmas Giveaway

Luxury Reading is having a Pre-Christmas Giveaway. Or at least it was when she posted it. I'm a little late but you still have plenty of time to enter.

What could you win?

Huck by Janet Elder

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig

Blast From The Past (Allie Finkle’s Rules For Girls) by Meg Cabot

Chef by Jaspreet Singh

The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge by Patricia Duncker

The Memory Bank by Carolyn Coman and Rob Shepperson

There will be 3 winners and 2 books for each.

All books are new or like new.

To enter leave Vera a comment saying which two books you would like to win. And remember to make sure you include your e-mail address.

Extra entries: (make sure you post each entry separately):
- Subscribe via e-mail, follow or subscribe to the feed of Luxury Reading. (1 entry each)
- Enter another giveaway on Luxury Reading. (1 entry each)
- Follow Luxury Reading on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway. (1 entry, 1 tweet per day)

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Deadline to enter is midnight on January 12th.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Prostho Plus Review

Prostho Plus by Piers Anthony

(from the back of the book)
What’s keeping you from your grand tour of the universe? Are you afraid of being caught out in the vastness of space with a painful cavity and no one capable of fixing it? Well fear not – the galaxy is simply teeming with dentists!

For Dr. Dillingham, dentist of Earth, it was the shock of his life – captures by aliens, forced to fix a strange cavity in an even stranger mouth; them whisked off to deep space. But luckily for the good dentist, Dillingham discovered that he liked zooming about the galaxy, solving unprecedented problems and making new and decidedly different acquaintances. And when he was offered the chance to apply to the Galactic University of Dentistry as Earth’s first (and only) applicant, Dillingham had a choice to make: go back to his safe little world of bored housewives and miles of braces, or make a mark for mankind among the teeth of the stars.

It was really no choice at all.



This is fun light reading. It starts off quickly, there is no long build up to lead us into the story but instead the doctor’s adventure starts right away. The quick start does get the book moving at a good pace but it also sends us off without knowing the characters very well. It is an interesting concept to look at galactic travel from the viewpoint of a dentist and Anthony does a great job of giving the good doctor a variety of mouths, teeth, and problems to work on. And Dillingham finds that there is much more to dentistry in space then he ever could have imagined as he finds himself mixed up in politics, being sold, being hunted and having to do some impromptu electrical work on robot teeth. Dillingham does tend to explain his procedures a lot at times and you get lessons on how to fill cavities or what happens when your occlusion is imperfect. It also sometimes reads like a public service announcement on the importance of brushing and flossing. But I think that adds to the fun of reading about a poor kidnapped Earth dentist who really cares about healthy teeth, no matter where they are found. It’s fun, short and moves quickly and is an interesting slant on the story of mankind’s first contact with alien life. It is well worth your time, especially if you are looking for something that is not too deep.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Friday 56, The Journals of Lewis and Clark

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it to Freda's Voice.

Okay, it’s late but it’s still Friday and I don’t want to miss two weeks in a row since I’m trying to get back on track here. So…

This week the book is The Journals of Lewis and Clark selected and with an intro by John Bakeless. I love stories of explorers and there is some very interesting stuff here although it can also get pretty repetitive at times. But you just can’t beat the story told in the explorers own words.

The sentence:

A fat dog was presented as a mark of their great respect for the party, of which they partook heartily, and thought it good and well flavored.

Yummy! I wonder if it taste like chicken.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Books I Finished in November

Wow. What happened to November? Time has been getting away from me lately. I have no idea where the last two weeks went. And now I find that it is already December. I’ll have to start thinking about Christmas gifts. But not until after I do my list of books I finished in November.


2% of 2% of All the World’s Stories
Collection of stories written by children who go to an after school program call 826 Boston. It’s interesting to try to follow the train of thought in some of these stories.

Sky Burial by Xinran
For such a powerful story I expected to be moved more than I was.

Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 by David Peterson
I liked this one as much as I liked the first one. Which was quite a bit.

The Front Porch Prophet by Raymond Atkins
I loved all the characters in this book, which is good because it is character driven.

Dead Pan by Gayle Trent
A cozy mystery that didn’t hold many surprises. It wasn’t bad but I think there are better out there.

The Bait and the Trap by George Challis
Who doesn’t love swashbuckling? Dashing heroes, flashing swords and beautiful maidens.

The Pets by Bragi Olafsson
Huh? So it had a slow start but then I got interested only to be left with an ending I didn’t get.

Prostho Plus by Piers Anthony
A poor Earth dentist thrown into deep space to take care of the galaxies teeth. It’s fun but be prepared to be convicted about poor oral hygiene.

Resolution by Robert Parker
Second in the series. I love these books so far. Parker has made these two guys men I would like to meet.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Coming of age tale with just a touch of science thrown in. I like how you get to experience Calpunia’s sense of wonder.

Discoveries: Writing by Georges Jean
Not as interesting as I had hoped it would be. It’s a history of writing, script and printing which I thought I was interested in until I read this book.

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley
An interesting look at a man who is losing his ability to think and realizes it as it is happening. Which sounds depressing but it isn’t.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nerd Test

I took the Nerd Test. Turns out I'm a High Nerd. I'm actually surprised I didn't get a higher score on the dumb/dork/awkward portion. But only 18% scored higher than me in the history/literature portion.


NerdTests.com says I'm a High Nerd.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get geeky images and jokes, and talk to others on the nerd forum!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reading Challenges

I recently finished the last of the reading challenges that I had signed up for this year.

I did four (4):

Support Your Local Library Challenge
Young Adult Book Challenge
Books Off the Shelf Challenge
75 Books in 2010 Challenge

And I’m wondering whether I’m going to do any next year. I must admit that I like to make lists of the books that I’ve read and I do like the feeling that I reached some kind of goal when I fill in the last book. But I’m not sure why I do reading challenges. I tend to pick ones that don’t really push me at all. I was pretty certain I would have no problem completing all of these because it wouldn’t be much different from what I would have read anyway. And I also tend to pick numbers that are not impressive. So they don’t get me to read faster, or read something I might not read otherwise. So what is the point? I’ll have to think about next year. Do I just want to do my normal reading and call it a challenge like I did this year? Do I want to pick a challenge that might actually be a challenge? Or do I want to forget the whole thing? I think if I decide to do 2011 challenges I’ll want them to be worth doing. Something that will make me have to try to finish it. Even if that means, in the end, that I don’t. I have a month to figure out what I’m going to do. But knowing me I’ll procrastinate until sometime in June and the whole point will be moot anyway. We shall see.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Friday 56, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it to Freda's Voice.

The book this week is The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Tate. I recently finished this one and liked it. It’s about a girl in 1899 who doesn’t want to learn to sew and cook but wants to be a scientist instead.

The sentence:

I honked away and felt somewhat better.

Well, that’s good news for her but probably not so good for her grandfather who just lent her his handkerchief.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WWW Wednesdays (November 17th)



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Leave a link to your post (or the answers themselves if you do not have a blog) in the comments of Should Be Reading.



What are you currently reading?

Resolution by Robert Parker
I had high hopes for this one and so far I’m not disappointed.

What did you recently finish reading?

Prostho Plus by Piers Anthony
A dentist gets kidnapped by aliens and pressed into service in space. I never knew how dangerous being a dentist could be

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
All Callie wants to do is catch bugs with her grandfather but her mother wants her to learn to sew and cook. It’s a fun coming of age tale. I like how Kelly conveys the wonder of discovery.

What do you think you'll read next?

I don’t know but I’ve been thinking I want to read some nonfiction since I haven’t read any in a while. Maybe The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean. Then again, maybe not.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Buck Rogers: A Life in the Future Review

Buck Rogers: A Life in the Future by Martin Caidin

From the book jacket:

In that instant, Buck saw his plane was going to crash directly into the crowd.

Hundreds of people would die, while others would be burned horribly as the fuel tanks exploded. With what little control he had left, he kicked the rudder hard and threw the Fokker into a flat spin, away from the screaming throng on the ground. He also gave up his one and only chance at a controlled crash from which he could survive.

In those final moments, everyone watching knew that Buck had made his final decision…

Form the moment of the terrible crash that should have ended everything, the very life of Anthony “Buck” Rogers hung by the thinnest of threads…

…until he regained consciousness more than four hundred years later. His body literally reconstructed by advanced medical technology and nursed back to health by the tender care of Wilma Deering, he is ready to face his new future in the twenty-fifth century.

Here, for the first time, is the true story of Buck’s life in the future… as only he can tell it.



This certainly is not the Gil Gerard or Buster Crabbe Buck Rogers I’m familiar with. However, that is not why I didn’t really enjoy this book. It does still have a sense of campy fun to it but there were large chucks of it that were rather boring. When Buck wakes up in the future he has to be told all that has happened while he was out of the loop. All 400 odd years of it. There are also long passages about the strengths and weaknesses of every plane Buck has ever flown and detailed descriptions of how the future technology works. I understand that certain things need to be explained to us as the readers as well as Buck but it got pretty dry at times and I found some of it hard to slog through. The plot also seems to jump about randomly. They are on one mission and then on to the next without any sort of transition or anything that ties it all together. Which would work if it came in monthly installments but doesn’t really come together into one cohesive novel. And there are a lot of interesting characters but no one is developed very well. Caidin seemed to want to fit everything in the Buck Rogers myth in this book and it becomes some what of a jumbled mess. I think it would have worked out better if some things were left out and one story line was developed more fully. I’m assuming that the racist attitude of everyone in the book was an attempt to stay close to the feelings in the original stories but it still seemed tacky to me. And it all came together in an ending that wasn’t as satisfying as I had hoped for. There is a reproduction of the Phil Nowlan’s 1933 'Buck Rogers in the 25th Century' novelette included at the back of the book that is a lot of fun and which, unfortunately, I found more interesting than the book itself.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Stieg Larsson

Haven't read Stieg Larsson's trilogy yet? Or know someone who hasn't? Then it is your lucky day because Bookin' With Bingo is giving away the whole set to one lucky winner. The winner will get The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (TPB), The Girl Who Played With Fire (TPB), and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (HC).


To enter you have to go vote for Bookin' With Bingo on the We're on the Fence page. Bingo has put the link on their page to make it easy for you.

For more entries:
+1 Comment on which novel you would want if you could only have one

+1 Comment on who you want to win the books for

+1 Comment on something you find interesting on Larsson's website

+1 Blog or Tweet and leave Bingo the link

+1 Comment on another Bingo giveaway that you have entered, you can do this for each giveaway you enter but make sure they are all in separate comments

Giveaway ends at 6:00 PM EST on December 2nd.

Open to the US only, no PO boxes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Friday 56, The Pets

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it to Freda's Voice.




The book this week is The Pets by Bragi Olafsson. I just finished this book about 10 minutes ago. The idea is that some guy doesn’t want to let his visitor in so he hides under the bed and hopes he goes away but instead he climbs in the window and stays awhile. It was a slow start but then when the guy was actually under the bed I got interested. And then it just stopped. I actually flipped the pages back and forth wondering where the missing text could be. I scanned the little bio of the author and the translated too. I’m sure there is some deep meaning in the ending that I just didn’t get. I have to admit that I don’t really like books that make me feel as if I am not smart enough to be reading them.

Anyhow… the sentence is:

I feel the need to cheer myself up and decide to make instant coffee with whisky.

I use tea myself, which still sounds kind of sad but at least it isn’t instant coffee. I don’t know how instant coffee can cheer anyone up even with whisky added.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WWW Wednesdays



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Leave a link to your post (or the answers themselves if you do not have a blog) in the comments of Should Be Reading.



What are you currently reading?

The Pets by Bragi Olafsson
I’m only on page 40 but so far I’m not impressed. I’m hoping it picks up.

The Bait and the Trap by George Challis
This one isn’t quite as good as The Firebrand which came first but it is still a lot of fun.

What did you recently finish reading?

Front Porch Prophet by Raymond Atkins
Finished. I liked it a lot.

Dead Pan by Gayle Trent
A cozy mystery with an amateur sleuth. Nothing much surprising.

What do you think you'll read next?

Resolution by Robert Parker
I’d only read his Spencer books before I tried Appaloosa and I liked it so much I want to read the rest in this western series.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Arizona Free Review


Arizona Free by Doug Martin

(from the back of the book)
When three co-workers searching for a way out of the corporate rut they an irresistible multi-level marking product called DiNAmite it was love at first sip. But as Jason, Tony and Cloe soon find out, there’s more than just caffeine in that supercharged energy drink: it’s chalk full of dinosaur DNA, and it’s causing some unusual changes in peoples’ behavior… and bodies.

Based on a completely untrue story, Arizona Free will have you wondering if artificial DNA transcription is really all it’s cracked up to be, and just how far you’d go to serve your corporate masters. For an energy drink experience that’s out of this world, a little mayhem is in order. Caution: it’s a trip



A book about an energy drink that contains dinosaur DNA and has unexpected effects on the people who drink it sounded quirky and fun. And in some ways it is. But in other ways it falls flat. Such as the characters, which are all rather underdeveloped. And I found myself distracted by the odd dialogue that didn’t sound natural. And once the aliens showed up I realized that is was not the book I was expecting. It reads like a bad sci-fi movie where everyone is running around doing things that don’t make any logical sense. The twist at the end helps to explain this somewhat and it also helps itself by the fact that it knows it reads like a bad sci-fi movie and keeps reminding us of the fact, making it evident that that is the intent but at times it is too self-aware of the fact and makes the point a little too blatantly. And poking fun at itself can only go so far and it isn’t quite enough here since it failed to make me laugh more often than not. It had its moments of wit and cheesy sci-fi goodness but in the end there just were not enough of them to pull this up to a good book.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Friday 56, Dead Pan

The Friday 56 has moved. It will now be hosted by Freda's Voice. And you should come and visit at its new home.

The rules have changed slightly too.

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it to Freda's Voice.


The book this week is Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold by Jennifer Ackerman. I have not started this one yet but it does seem like the right time of year for it. Especially since my nose is a little stuffy as I type this.

The sentence:

But nose cells had one distinct disadvantage -- they're attached to the rest of the human.

I always hated that about nose cells. Why don't they grow up and move out already?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Free Books For Fall

Library Girl Reads is having a November Book Giveaway. Go to the prize page to see the list of books you get to choose from.

To enter all you have to do is leave Library Girl a comment saying which book you would like to win.

For extra entries:

+2 Post about the giveaway on your blog or link to it in your sidebar and leave the link.
+1 Be a Google Connect Follower or subscribe by email to Library Girl Reads.
+1 Link to this giveaway on Twitter or another social media site and leave the link

Open to US addresses only. (Shipping is expensive!!)

Deadline for entries is November 27, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WWW Wednesdays (November 3rd)



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Leave a link to your post (or the answers themselves if you do not have a blog) in the comments of Should Be Reading.



What are you currently reading?

Front Porch Prophet by Raymond Atkins
I’m still reading this. I’m still liking it.

Dead Pan by Gayle Trent
A cozy mystery with a lot of baking going on.

What did you recently finish reading?

Sky Burial by Xinran
From the story it told I expected this to be more powerful than it was. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it but parts of it just held no interest for me.

2% of 2% of All the World’s Stories
A bunch of really short stories written by kids in a program called 826 Boston, which helps kids with creative writing. It is interesting to see how the kids get from one place to the next.

Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 by David Peterson


What do you think you'll read next?

The Pets by Bragi Ólafsson
A man doesn’t want to answer the door so he hides under his bed, only to have the visitor break in and start living in his house. It sounds interesting and I’m looking forward to it but I’ve read some reviews that weren’t so great so I may be disappointed.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

B-I-N-G-O

I know I say this all the time but I never get tired of it and I’m sure you don’t either. So I’m going to say it again. Bookin’ With Bingo is giving away a bunch of books.

For Fat Witch Brownies Cookbook by Patricia Helding go here. Ends November 14th. Open to the US only, no PO boxes.

For Angelology by Danielle Trussoni go here. Ends November 15th. Open to the US only, no PO boxes.

For Petty Magic by Camille DeAngelis go here. Ends November 15th. Open to the US only, no PO boxes.

For The Confession by John Grisham go here. Ends November 16th. Open to the US only, no PO boxes.

For the audiobook My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space by Lisa Scottoline go here. Ends November 16th. Open to the US and Canada, no PO boxes.

For Cross Roads by Fern Michaels go here. Ends November 16th. Open to the US only, no PO boxes.

For Deadly Intent by Kylie Brant go here. Ends November 16th. Open to the US only, no PO boxes.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Books I Read in October

10 this month. Not bad but 3 were young adult, 1 was just a little over 100 pages and 1 was a kid’s graphic novel.


Jennifer Government by Max Barry
Interesting concept of a future where everything has been privatized and everything is about profit.

Princess Bride by William Golden
Good, but I liked the movie better.

Donegal: Irish Justice by James Lower
See my review here.

Weight by Jeanette Winterson
This didn’t do much for me but at least it was short.

Blue Girl by Charles de Lint
I liked this one. I have come to expect to run into characters that I find too annoying to care about in stories about outsiders but I didn’t have that problem here.

Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Managed to be fun without being cute and too nice about everything.

Arizona Free by Doug Martin
Not really a fan of this one. Clunky dialogue and all kind of goofy and weird, but not in a good way.

Vampire Zero by David Wellington
Evil vampires which is good but an unlikable and unrelatable heroine which is not. I'll probably eventually read the next one though to find out what happens.

Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 by David Peterson
I love the art in this graphic novel and the fact that there are panels without any words so the graphics get to tell a lot of the story.

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
Bond. You really can’t go wrong.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Friday 56, Keep Your Enemies Closer

Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Okay. So the book this week is Keep Your Enemies Closer by Sharon Oliver. It is closest to me because I’m sitting at the front desk in the library where I work (where I should be working but am doing this) and someone just returned it. So I don’t know anything about the book except that it says ‘the finest in Christian fiction’ at the bottom.

The sentence:

She wanted to keep Otis busy and away from his drinking cronies.

Harder than it sounds, I’m sure.

The Luxury of Reading

Luxury Reading is giving away more stuff!

For the Adopt a Dog Month Book Giveaway go here. Open until November 10th to the US and Canada.

For the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook by DeDe Lahman and Neil Kleinberg go here. Open until November 10th to the US and Canada.

For Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant go here. Open until November 15th to the US and Canada.

For Virgin and the Crab by Robert Parry go here. Open until November 15th to the US, Canada, and European Union.

For Stories: All New Tales edited by Neil Gaiman go here. Open until November 15th to the US only.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WWW Wednesdays (October 27th)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Leave a link to your post (or the answers themselves if you do not have a blog) in the comments of Should Be Reading.



What are you currently reading?

Front Porch Prophet by Raymond Atkins
So far I’m really enjoying it. It is definitely a book that is character driven.

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
What can I say? I like Bond books.


What did you recently finish reading?

Vampire Zero by David Wellington
I keep hoping that I will start to like the heroin in these books and I just never do.

Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 by David Peterson
I love the art in this graphic novel. I also like that it doesn’t have tons of words and the art really gets to help tell the story. That is probably because it’s written for children.


What do you think you'll read next?

Probably either Sky Burial by Xinran or Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 by David Peterson or both.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Appaloosa Movie vs Book

Appaloosa by Robert B. Parker
Appaloosa with Ed Harris

Appaloosa is about Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, two lawmen, who are asked to come to Appaloosa to get rid of Bragg who is taking over the town.

And the movie is about exactly the same thing.

But it is about more than the fight against Bragg, it is also about the kind of men that these two friends are and about their friendship as well. The way the two play off of each other can be hilarious at times but the story has a tragic side too. There is the worry for the heroes when it looks like the bad guy has gotten the upper hand. There is the exasperation at Cole who seems bent on things that are not good for him. There is the genuine caring for these two good guys and their quiet but certain friendship. The villain is slimy, the heroes nice guys the town’s people interesting and the love interest convoluted to say the least. I liked it a lot.

And I can say the same thing about the movie as well. It did a good job of capturing the feel of the book and the characters. Much of the dialogue is taken word for word from the book. There are no scenes when you are wondering where that was in the book. There are no new characters that you have to wonder where they came from (mostly anyway). The witness against Bragg is a different person in the movie than in the book but that is really the only change in cast that you see. There are a few scenes that didn’t make it to the movie. But most of them you really don’t miss. They are things are along the lines of Hitch has a conversation with someone and tells Cole about it later and in the book you see both the original conversation and the one with Cole and in the movie you only see Hitch talking to Cole. And although the scenes do not feel redundant in the book you can surmise enough from the second conversation that you don’t even know anything is missing. In all it is a very faithful book to movie conversion.

I would have a hard time trying to say which I liked better. So I’m going to pronounce this one a tie. I saw the movie first so I had the actors in my head as I read but in this case I was okay with that. If you want to make up your own mind about what people look and sound like than you should obviously read the book first. But I don’t think you will be disappointed in either of them no matter what order you choose.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Donegal: Irish Justice Review


Donegal: Irish Justice by James Lower

(from the back of the book)
In this historical novel, the Ku Klux Klan thought the town of Donegal, Indiana, would be the perfect place to organize a new chapter. They intended to run out the blacks, Jews, Irish, Catholics, and immigrants so they could gain economic control of the area. What the Klan did not count on was the determination of an Irish Catholic baker who was determined to save his town.

Historical facts are skillfully woven into this absorbing story of conflict that pits former good friends, neighbors, and customers against one another while struggling with a declining business environment, family issues, and religious tenets.


Lower does a wonderful job of setting the scene here. Donegal comes to life and you get to know the characters. He shows you their lives and makes the story not just about the Klan but about the people. By showing their past was well as the present he gives context and depth to them. You get to live with these people for a while and that makes the story a much more personal one. I like that he does not focus on the Klan to the exclusion of all the other issues and problems in these people’s lives. The Klan is part of the story but it is very much a story about the people of Donegal. It is also an interesting look at the Ku Klux Klan itself. It is an insidious force that starts to take over the town making promises that sound good and claiming to believe in moral values. In a time when times are hard, where the people are scraping by and they have come through so much already it can almost make you understand why people are drawn to the promises that the Klan gives but without ever making excuses for them. And knowing the history and the strength of the people you can also see why some have the need to stand and fight to save the town no matter what. There is enough tension to keep you wanting to know more and enough suspense to keep you guessing and enough of a twist at the end to surprise you. The fact that it is based on real events just makes it that much more interesting.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Friday 56, Vampire Zero

Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.


Okay. It's still Friday for another 20 minutes or so, so technically I made it.

This week the book is Vampire Zero by David Wellington. I'm having trouble remembering why I thought I liked Wellington's books so much that I wanted to read them all. But I keep plugging away at them for reasons I'm not completely sure of.

The sentence:

The body was still decaying at an accelerated rate, and by the time they arrived he would probably be nothing more than stinking goo and splintered bones.

Isn't that nice? If that doesn't make you want to read this book nothing will.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spooktastic ARC Giveaway

Frual Plus is having a Spooktastic ARC Giveaway.

What can you win?

Prize Pack #1 – Two Winners:
The Witches’ Kitchen
The Saga of Larten Crepsley: Birth of a Killer
Bloodthirsty
Dark Song

Prize Pack #2 – Two Winners:
Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story
The Adventures of Nanny Piggins
Tumtum & Nutmeg: The Rose Cottage Tales

Prize Pack #3 – One Winner:
The DUFF
The Daughters
The Daughters Break the Rules

What are the rules?

Valid for Residents of the U.S. and Canada, age 18 and older. Please no PO Boxes.
This Giveaway will end Friday, October 29, 2010.

How do you enter?

You must be a subscriber to Frugal Plus. And remember that your subscription must be active so check your email to activate it.

There are also many ways to get extra entries. They include (but are not limited to):

Place Frugal Plus’ Button on your Blog
Become a Member of Frugal Plus via Google Friend Connect
Like Hachette Book Group on Facebook and let them know that Jill @ Frugal Plus sent you.

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WWW Wednesdays (October 20th)

That's right. My last post was last week's WWW Wednesdays. I haven't blogged anything for a week. But everything has gone a little crazy at work and I have had a lot to adjust to. And to be honest I don't think I've adjusted yet. I am tired all the time. In fact I should be in bed right now. But I'm doing this instead. I hope I can still get up in time for work tomorrow.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Leave a link to your post (or the answers themselves if you do not have a blog) in the comments of Should Be Reading.


What are you currently reading?

Vampire Zero by David Wellington
It is slow going. Everything is slow going at the moment though so it might not be the book. But the more I read Wellington the more I wonder why I read Wellington. I think I have myself convinced that I should like his stuff but in reality I don’t like it as much as I imagine I should.

What did you recently finish reading?

Arizona Free by Doug Martin.
Umm, well the dialogue was awkward and the plot a little hokey. It had moments of the kind of cheesy fun you get from bad sci fi but overall it was unsatisfying.

What do you think you'll read next?

The Front Porch Prophet by Raymond Atkins
This is a book that has been on my TBR list for a long time. I didn’t want to go and buy it though and my library didn’t have it. Until I suggested they buy it. So now I can finally read it. If I ever finish Vampire Zero.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WWW Wednesdays (October 13th)


To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Leave a link to your post (or the answers themselves if you do not have a blog) in the comments of Should Be Reading.


What are you currently reading?

Arizona Free by Doug Martin
I expected weird but I'm not sure it's weird in a good way.

What did you recently finish reading?

Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Story about a girl who poses as a boy and goes out hunting pirates. It's fun but without everything coming out right or going well.

What do you think you'll read next?

Vampire Zero by David Wellington
I was going to be done with vampire books for a while, and I have taken a small break, but this one is from the library and since I was the one who suggested that they purchase this book I really think I should read it before I bring it back.

Well Bless Your Heart

Want to win some stuff?

Bless Their Hearts Mom is giving stuff away.

For He Blew Her a Kiss by Angie Printup go here. Open until October 25th to the US and Canada.

For What I Thought I Knew by Alice Eve Cohen go here. Open until October 25th to the US and Canada.

For K.T. Tunstall's new CD Tiger Suit go here. Open until October 27th to the US and Canada.

For the How To Make Bows DVD and manual go here. Open until November 2nd to the US and Canada.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mistress of the Art of Death Vocab

Here are some words from The Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin that I had to look up.


Catafalques: an ornamental structure sometimes used in funerals for the lying in state of the body

Unbellifers: a plant of the carrot family

Lepidopteral: belonging or pertaining to the Lepidoptera, an order of insects comprising the butterflies, moths, and skippers, that in the adult state h

Sheela-na-gig: figurative carvings of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva

Lesemajeste: a crime (as treason) committed against a sovereign power

Pourboires: tip, gratuity

Withies : willow; especially : osier
: a flexible slender twig or branch (as of osier)

Glaive: sword; especially : broadsword

Houri: one of the beautiful maidens that in Muslim belief live with the blessed in paradise

Dado: the part of a pedestal of a column above the base b : the lower part of an interior wall when specially decorated or faced; also : the decoration adorning this part of a wall

Mistress of the Art of Death Review

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

From the book jacket

In medieval Cambridge, four children have been murdered. The Catholic townsfolk blame their Jewish neighbors, so to save them from the rioting mob, the Cambridge Jews are placed under the protection of the king. Henry II is no friend to of the Jews – or anyone, really – but he believes in the law and order, and he desperately needs the taxes he receives from Jewish merchants. Hoping scientific investigation will help catch the true killer, Henry calls on his cousin, the King of Sicily – whose subjects include the best medical experts in Europe – and asks for his finest “master of the art of death,” the earliest form of medical examiner. The Italian doctor chosen for the task is a young prodigy from the University of Salerno, an expert in the science of anatomy and the art of detection. But her name is Adelia; the king has been sent a “mistress of the art of death.”

In a backward and superstitious country like England, Adelia faces danger at every turn. As she examines the victims and retraces their last steps, she must conceal her true identity in order to avoid accusations of witchcraft. Along the way, she’s assisted by one of the king’s tax collectors, Sir Rowley Picot, a man with a personal stake in the investigation. A former Crusader knight, Rowley may be a needed friend – or the fiend for whom they are searching. As Adelia’s investigation takes her along Cambridge’s shadowy river paths, and behind the closed doors of its churches and nunneries, the hunt intensifies and the killer prepares to strike again…



Franklin does a wonderful job of bringing the setting to life. It is filled with suspicion and hate, intolerance and superstition. It is a dark dangerous place but you also get to see the hope and the good of the people who Adelia meets along the way. The acts committed against the children are bloody and horrid and they are often described in detail. And Adelia, being a doctor and trying to be impersonal, talks about the things that were done in cold scientific facts that gives both the crimes and her a hard edge. Adelia is a woman in a field where women are not accepted and she has had to learn not only to deal with the hard facts of her profession but also with working under the constraints place upon her by society. To do that she thinks of herself not as a woman but as a doctor and sometimes I think she pushed the point too hard and too often and her constant reminders of who she is and what she knows makes her come off as pompous. A romance develops that you can see coming and I don’t know that it adds much to the story but it doesn’t detract from it either. The ending is rather sensational and dramatic as compared to the rest of the book. And maybe it is not completely historically accurate but any faults I found in the story I was able to overlook because it was enjoyable to read. Adelia and the characters around her, including the dog, are interesting and well drawn. The reader is provided with a good picture of the world of the time and the thoughts and politics of the people. There are enough suspects and danger and clues to make the mystery fun to follow. And it is even alright if you can figure out a few things before you are told because you will still want to read through to the end.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Learn some history

Don’t know anything about American history? Don’t despair.

A Sea of Books is giving away 2 copies of The Mental Floss History of the United States: The (Almost) Complete and (Entirely) Entertaining Story of America by Erik Sass with Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur.

RULES FOR ENTERING THE GIVEAWAY:

Leave an original comment saying you would like to win, including an email address with your comment so you can be contacted.


You can earn an extra entries by:

Being or becoming a Follower or Subscriber of A Sea of books.

Blogging about the contest and providing a link to the post

Tweeting about the contest and providing the link

Stumbling, Digg it, or Technorati Fave it

Make sure that you leave a separate comment for each entry.



Winners must provide a U.S. or Canadian street address. No P.O. Boxes.

Deadline for entry is 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, October 14, 2010.

The Friday 56, The Princess Bride

Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week the book is The Princess Bride by William Golden. Fun and light and just what I needed right now. But I have to admit that so far I like the movie better.

The sentence:

She had entered her room as just an impossibly lovely girl. The woman who emerged was a trifle thinner, a great deal wiser, an ocean sadder.

Okay, based on that sentence it does not sound light and fun. But trust me, it is. If you’ve seen the movie you have a pretty good idea what I mean. And if you haven’t seen the movie, what’s wrong with you? Go and watch it right now.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

WWW Wednesdays (October 6th)


I'm late today. I honestly forgot it was Wednesday. I've been really tired and rather stressed lately and somehow which day it is hasn't been important enough to keep track of. Of course I won't forget when it's Friday.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Leave a link to your post (or the answers themselves if you do not have a blog) in the comments of Should Be Reading.


What are you currently reading?

Princess Bride by William Golden
I read this a long time ago but just saw the movie again and thought I'd go back and give the book another look too.

Donegal: Irish Justice by James Lower
I like how Lower makes you feel like you know his characters.


What did you recently finish reading?

Jennifer Government by Max Barry
I liked it. I like the concept of a whole world gone corporate where everything has been privatized and seeing what impact such a world might have on people.


What do you think you'll read next?

My head is not together enough to answer this question at this time. It will just have to be a surprise to all of us. I do have some library books piled beside my bed but none of them are due yet so they will probably sit there a while longer. I think it will have to be something light and fun like Princess Bride though. I don't want to have to think about it too much.

Free Books!!!

I Heart Monster had some good luck at the Smart Chicks tour and is passing it along. She won a bunch of books. Some of which she already owned. And since she's just that nice she is passing them on to one lucky winner.

What books? Well...

A paperback copy of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
A paperback copy of The Forest of Hands And Teeth by Carrie Ryan
A signed paperback copy of The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
A copy of the new bind-up for the first two books in the Morganville Vamps series by Rachel Caine
A signed ARC of White Cat by Holly Black
A hardcover of The Hollow by Jessica Verday
A signed hardcover of Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
A signed copy of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Awesome, right?


To enter go over and fill out the form. You can get extra entries for being a subscriber, a Facebook liker, a Twitter follower and for tweeting and linking to the giveaway on your blog.

Ends 11/5. Open to North America and European Union

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Are you a Readaholic?

If you are you should run on over to Readaholic and see what you can win.

For Aching For Always by Gwyn Cready go here. Ends October 14th. Open to the US only.

For My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me go here. Ends October 15th. Open to the US and Canada.

For The Shut-Down Learner by Richard Selznick go here. Ends October 15th. Free shipping in the US, but if you are outside the US you are responsible for shipping costs.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Friday 56, Jennifer Government

Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week the book is Jennifer Government by Max Barry. Everything has been privatized, the police have to find funding in order to fight crime and people take the last name of the company they work for. Hey, you might have to provide a credit card number before the ambulance will agree to come to your aid but at least there are no more taxes.

The sentence:

“I tell you, those Founding Fathers knew their s**t.”

I’m sure they would be happy to hear he thought so.

Books I Finished in September

9 this month. Not all that good, not all that bad. But I’ve had a lot going on so I’ve decided to be very happy with it.


Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Can you believe I’ve never read this before? As everyone probably knows it is an entertaining tale of pirates, high seas adventure and treasure. I like how Stevenson was able to keep you wondering if Silver was all bad or if he was going to be able to redeem himself somewhat.

Roma by Steven Saylor
See my review here.

The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell
I like the protagonist and the way she sees the world. There was a piece in the middle with the family in the woods that seemed strange to me in a ‘what is that doing in there’ sort of way but it wasn’t enough to derail the story for me. Came up with some surprises too.

Silver: My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder by Edward Chupack
It was interesting to see Silver’s life before Treasure Island but I was kind of disappointed that the parts with Jim Hawkins didn’t match up with the Treasure Island story.

Monster Planet by David Wellington
I couldn’t really get into this one. With zombies and mummies and magic it seemed like it would be right up my alley but it just seemed all over the place to me. It didn’t help that I didn’t care about anyone in the entire story.

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
I liked it but I wanted to like it more. I liked that it was about all the people and not just the vampire and that it was a nice mix between the vampires being good and evil. But I wasn’t blown away like I had hoped to be.

Appointment with Death by Agatha Christie
Can’t go wrong with Agatha Christie.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The last in the trilogy. I think Collins does a good job of staying true to the feel of the first two but I’m rather ambivalent about the ending. I felt like we missed some things when Katniss was not looking or was unconscious.

Fragment by Warren Fahy
I’m ambivalent about this entire book. It felt like it couldn’t make up its mind whether it was a ‘run for your life’ action story, serious commentary on human impact or a lesson in science so it took turns being all three.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

DIno Vicelli Review

Dino Vicelli, Private Eye in a World of Evils by Lori Weiner

(from the back of the book)
This story transports the reader to an alternate-reality version of New York City, in which talking dogs interact regularly with humans, the hero, Dino Vicelli, is a private investigator who just happens to be a sharply dressed Italian greyhound with a great fondness for cigars. He takes on what initially appears to be a routine missing person case but soon finds himself in the midst of a sinister plot that involves kidnapping, murder, and bizarre scientific experiments aimed at controlling the world. As he investigates this strange case, Dino repeatedly encounters mortal danger, while also finding romance with a beautiful blonde Afghan dog.
With its unusual twists on the traditional detective story genre, this book blends elements of humor, suspense, and fantasy.



Dino Vicelli is a quirky little novella that has some fun moments. It also has some issues as well. It’s cute and I like the interesting twists of the talking dogs in a noir setting and the other fantasy elements involved. And I know that it is to add to the noir feel of the book but ‘doll face’ and ‘lambie pie’ and the like were used slightly too much and started to feel overbearing. I also think that a bit of editing might have helped a lot. Sometimes the writing was awkward. Phrases like ‘he pulled her over to a big steel drum as they climbed in,’ or saying that someone went to the ladies’ room to get coffee or that someone had an uncanny resemblance to himself were just enough to be distracting. I know some of it is nitpiking but once I noticed it, it started to jump out at me everywhere and interfered with the story. It’s fun, goofy and quick. I think there is potential here for some fun adventures with Dino in the future but I’m not sure we are quite there yet.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BookHounds

BookHounds has a lot of stuff going on and you should head on over!

For GoD and DoG by Wendy Franciso go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 2nd.

For Tracy Anderson's 30 Day Method go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 2nd.

For Dare to Take Charge by Judge Gledna Hatchett go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 7th.

For the audiobook The Postcard Killers by James Patterson go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 11th.

For the September Romance giveaway go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 13th.

For Two Lethal Lies by Annie Solomon go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 13th.

For Simply Irresistable by Jill Shalvis go here. US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends October 14th.

Monday, September 27, 2010

When Rose Wakes

The Book Butterfly has a wonderful interview with Christopher Golden and a chance to win a signed copy of his book, When Rose Wakes.

To enter all you have to do is fill out a very simple form. You get extra entries for being a follower too.

Rules:
1.You must be 13 year or older to enter.
2. Open to entrants with a valid U.S. mailing address only.
3. Entries must be received by Midnight EST on October 11th 2010.
4. Once contacted, winners have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Friday 56, Appointment with Death

Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

The book this week is Appointment With Death by Agatha Christie. You can’t really go wrong with Agatha Christie.

The sentence:

It’s really much better to be friendly – and kind. You could be if you tried.

I don’t know. I think it depends on who you are supposed to be friendly and kind to. Some people make well-nigh impossible.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Number One Novels

Number One Novels has an interview with Toby Ball and is giving a copy of his book, The Vaults.

To enter:

1. Leave a comment after the interview. (+1)
2. Follow the blog. (+1)
3. Post about NON (mentioning "Number One Novels") on your own blog and leave the link. (+1)
4. Tweet about this interview and contest (mentioning "Number One Novels") and leave the link. (+1)
5. Purchase something from the Official Number One Novels Amazon Bookstore* and leave the date and name of your purchase. (+10 per purchase!)

It is open to the US only and ends at midnight on September 26th.

And if you don’t win (or even if you do) you should go back next week and see what new and exciting book Number One Novels is giving away.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WWW Wednesdays (September 22nd)



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Leave a link to your post (or the answers themselves if you do not have a blog) in the comments of Should Be Reading.

What are you currently reading?

Appointment With Death by Agatha Christie

Fragment by Warren Fahy
I haven’t gotten very far and someone has already been eaten so that’s a good sign but some of the characters can very easily turn into clichés so I’m reserving judgment for now.

What did you recently finish reading?

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
I think I might have been expecting too much from this book. I had heard great things. It was good and I liked it but I was expecting something more.

What do you think you'll read next?

Donegal: Irish Justice by James Lower
I got it from the Members Giveaway on Librarything and they asked for a review so I want to get to this one soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Roma Review





Roma by Steven Saylor

(from the back of the book)
From its mythic beginnings as a campsite along a trade route to its emergence as the center of an extensive, powerful empire, Steven Saylor’s breathtaking novel brings to vivid life the most famous city in the ancient world. Told through the tragedies and triumphs of the descendants of two families, Roma shows the events, the people, and the turning points in history that have come to symbolize ancient Rome in the modern imagination.



Roma covers 1000 years of history. It does this by skipping over large chunks of time and stopping along the way at important and often famous events like Romulus and Remus’ founding of Rome, Hannibal, the building of the Appian Way, the assassination of Julius Caesar among others. Saylor manages to keep a sense of continuity and maintains a flow through the entire 550 page narrative by following one family through time. The setting and the characters are well written and even though the characters keep changing and you only spend a small portion of the book with each of them you get to know them all and get a good look at the world they live in. You also get to learn about Rome; how her famous roads were built, religious ideas and ceremonies, the changing of politics over time. And even though the time span is so long it does not feel like the book tries to cover too much. Having everything laid out together gives you a nice perspective on all these famous events as they relate to each other and to the passage of time. I found it very interesting the way Saylor would recount an event when it happened or show you the beginning of a religious rite and then show you how the event was remembered centuries later so you could see how things passed into legend and became part of tradition. Saylor brings to life many of the famous stories of Ancient Rome in an entertaining and very readable way.

Urban Fantasy Galore

All Things Urban Fantasy has turned one. And there is a great giveaway to celebrate the blogoversary. Hop on over and fill out the very easy form to enter.

One winner will get all 35 titles in this list.

•Bad to the Bone (WVMP Radio, #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready
•The Best of Dreams of Decadence by Angela Kessler
•Blue Diablo (Corine Solomon, #1) by Ann Aguirre
•Captivate (Need, #2) by Carrie Jones
•Crave by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz
•Darkfever (Fever, #1) by Karen Marie Moning
•Darklight (Wondrous Strange, #2) by Lesley Livingston
•The Dead Girls' Dance (The Morganville Vampires, #2) by Rachel Caine
•Double Cross (The Disillusionists Trilogy, #2) by Carolyn Crane
•Dust by Joan Frances Turner
•Faefever (Fever, #3) by Karen Marie Moning
•Foresight: The Gods of Fate - Book I by Sherry D. Ficklin
•Grave Witch (Alex Craft, #1) by Kalayna Price
•Happy Hour at Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, #1) by Marta Acosta
•The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, #2) by Julie Kagawa
•Lasher (Lives of the Mayfair Witches, #2) by Anne Rice
•Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2) by Ilona Andrews
•Magic Lost, Trouble Found (Raine Benares, #1) by Lisa Shearin
•Midnight Alley (The Morganville Vampires, #3) by Rachel Caine (CD audio book)
•On the Edge (The Edge, #1) by Ilona Andrews
•Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Jaz Parks, #1) by Jennifer Rardin
•Prospero in Hell (Prospero's Daughter, #2) by L. Jagi Lamplighter
•The Quotable Slayer by Micol Ostow
•Rebel (Eyes of the Republic, #3) by Claire Delacroix
•Silver Borne (Mercedes Thompson, #5) by Patricia Briggs
•Sins & Shadows (Shadows & Inquiries, #1) by Lyn Benedict
•Spiral Hunt (Evie Scelan, #1) by Margaret Ronald
•Stray (Shifters, #1) by Rachel Vincent
•Touched by an Alien (Katherine "Kitty" Katt, #1) by Gini Koch
•Tyger Tyger (Goblin Wars, #1) by Kersten Hamilton
•Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, #2) by Stacia Kane
•The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles by Ray Rhamey
•Wicked Appetite (The Unmentionables, #1) by Janet Evanovich
•Wicked Game (WVMP Radio, #1) by Jeri Smith-Ready
•Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, #1) by Lesley Livingston


Contest is open until October 15th.
Open to the US only.