Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tagged with an Author meme

I was tagged by Kathleen at kbookreviews and Gwen at Litlicense to play this author meme.

Author Meme Rules: Link to the person that tagged you, post the rules somewhere in your meme, answer the questions, tag six people in your post, let the tagees know they’ve been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog, let the tagger know your entry is posted.

1. Who’s your all-time favorite author, and why?
Let's start with a tough one. I would say I don't have one all-time favorite author. I've had several over the years who have come and gone. As my reading tastes change so do authors who I would consider favorites.

OK, OK twist my arm. The "In Death" series by J.D. Robb is a long-time running favorite. I'm always on the hold list at the library for her newest in this series. Now though instant gratification will be mine. I'll be able to order the newest release through my Kindle on it's release date and have it in my hot little hands within a minute. No more waiting for me! And for a person with no patience this better than sliced white bread. 'Nough said. You're either fan or not.

2. Who was your first favorite author, and why? Do you still consider him or her among your favorites?
Marguerite Henry. I remember as a child going to our local library, literally a little two room log cabin, and checking out her books such as Misty of Chincoteague, Misty's Twilight, Stormy: Misty's Foal, et cetera. These stories transported me to world of wild island ponies and fed my girlhood imagine. Like most young girls I was enchanted with horses and went through quite a phase though I knew better to ask for one of my own! At the time I read, and re-read, everything by her that I could get my hands on.

3. Who’s the most recent addition to your list of favorite authors, and why?
Susan Carroll. I have been totally captivated by her Daughter of Earth series ~ The Dark Queen, The Courtesan, The Silver Rose, The Huntress and The Twylight Queen (to be released some time next year). For me this is good historical fiction. The story lines are a bit unique tying together elements of white and black magic with historical time and place.

4. If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would first pop out of your mouth? Are there any you’d add on a moment of further reflection?
In addition to some mentioned earlier in this post here are some all current & long-time favorites: Vince Flynn, Linda O. Johnson, David Baldacci, Deanna Raybourn, Shirley Damsgaard, Michael Connelly.

There aren't any I'd add right now upon reflection but I'm sure by the of the year some might go and some new names might appear.

5. I'm tagging:

1. Planet Books
2. Allison's Attic
3. Ticket to Anywhere
4. 1 More Chapter
5. A Novel Idea
6. Books on the Brain

Friday, May 30, 2008

Legerdemain by James J. Heaphey

James J. Heaphey
History Publishing Company
283 pages
This book provided by Lisa Roe ~ Online Publicist

We were surprised by one another.
~ First sentence, chapter 1, Legerdemain ~

Legerdemain is the story of deceit involving once major powers fading from the geopolitical scene and two new powers emerging from World War II and now competing for global dominance in the balance of power. It is set in Morocco, North Africa, but extends into Cyprus and the Middle East. The political problems of the era are hauntingly similar to the problems the U.S. faces today in that part of the world. ~ From the Author's note, Legerdemain ~

First off I knew going into this book that trying to keep all the players straight would be a tall order as it's difficult enough to do so in today's changing geopolitical landscape yet one that is set approximately 50+ years ago. That said I concentrated on story itself and what Mr. Heaphey was asked to do in his role as an undercover operative in the U.S. military. He had a very busy year in 1952. Everything from keeping his cover story in tact as managing editor of the base newspaper, The Minaret, to infiltrating cells of Istiqlal (Freedom Party struggling to free Morocco) to taking down a spy ring that was in his own backyard. Actually one of the spies was employed by Mr. Heaphey at the newspaper in addition to being married to a U.S. military officer.

Reading Legerdemain gives one an understanding of why the U.S. is, at times, viewed negatively in foreign countries around the world today and why certain fanatical off shoots of religious organizations desire to see the U.S. taken to its knees. There are dealings revealed in this book that weren't part of my history class in school. I now understand more about the cold war and U.S./Russian and U.S./French political relations than before. If you are a fan of U.S. military history this is one book that you might think about adding to your library.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tuesday Thingers... observations of the responses for Tuesday, 5/27

So I just spent the last half hour or so checking out comments posted to this week's Tuesday Thingers question hosted by Marie at The Boston Bibliophile. For those who missed this week's question here it is: how many books do you have cataloged in your LibraryThing account? How do you decide what to include- everything you have, everything you've read- and are there things you leave off?

I didn't comment on personal blogs this week so I decided to post my observations here. It was a very interesting tour of how one chooses to use Librarything. So far 30 comments have been posted and almost everyone is a "purist" in the sense that they log only those books they physically own just like a brick and mortar library. Some feel very strongly that LT should be used only to track those books they own and not for any other purpose. I find that view very interesting and will leave it there. That being stated if I only used LT to catalogue the books I own instead of using it as, let's say, a reading journal or reference resource, I wouldn't have a LT account. I don't have a physical book library in my house. I don't keep the books I've read and I seldom re-read books. I read a book and pass it on or read and return to the neighborhood library. Now I'll read a book, on my Kindle, and then delete the content when I'm done. I won't be passing those books along but they will be "kept" on my Amazon account so that I can download them again, at anytime, if I want.

I do remember reading a comment or two along the theme that they used LT to catalogue what they've read so if they're browsing a bookstore they can check their LT account to see if they've read or have in their TBR pile a book they're interested in buying so that they don't purchase a duplicate book. I too use LT this way. I'll be browsing the shelves at my local brick & mortar bookstore or even the virtual world of Amazon and come across a book that interests me. Now does it interest me because it fits my reading tastes or does it interest me because I've already read it and it was a really good book? So before I make that purchase let's just take moment to check LT. This has saved me on more than one occasion from purchasing duplicates and allowed me spend my $$$ on books I haven't read.

May we each use LT as fits our needs and move on. Personally I think it one's of the best sites around and love the book community all the more because it. One of the wonderful things it's done is allowed me to find others who share my passion for books and reading and share that passion though each of us does it in our own way.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Dark Lantern: A Novel by Gerri Brightwell

The Dark Lantern
Gerri Brightwell
Crown Publishing
336 pages

She sits stiffly on the seat of the cart, her whole self held in against the tumult of the city. ~ First sentence, The Dark Lantern ~

Devon-born housemaid Jane Wilbred has snared her new post with the Bentley family with a letter of reference she forged, omitting any mention of the possibly pertinent fact that her late mother was a notorious murderer. That, however, is trifling compared to the shady games being played both upstairs and downstairs at 32 Cursitor Road while the family matriarch lingers on her deathbed, especially the struggle between mysterious beauty Mina Bentley, wife of younger son Robert, and the wan stranger who claims to be the widow of older brother Henry (drowned recently while sailing home after years in India). Meanwhile, Robert is focused on a battle closer to his heart: winning official recognition for anthropometry, the science of identifying criminals by body measurements. Far from being an arcane digression, Robert's passion eventually figures into the intricate and surprising plot.

Another winning book for me. From the start I wasn't sure exactly what to expect with this story but what I got was a very entertaining, finely crafted read. Full of cunning, deception and intrigue. Every character in this book, especially the leading ladies have some secret to hide and carefully guard because it could be their downfall. Some are not above using what they know, or suspect, the bring others down to save themselves. While the characters may not be admirable and you may even despise them you have to admire their devious ways. The ending is a surprise and not where I thought I'd end up. If you are a fan of Deanna Raybourne's Lady Julia Gray books Silent in the Grave and Silent in the Sanctuary check out The Dark Lantern. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

The Whole Truth by David Baldacci

The Whole Truth
David Baldacci
Grand Central Publishing
416 pages

"Dick, I need a war."
~ First sentence, The Whole Truth ~

Nicolas Creel is a man on a mission. He heads up the world's largest defense contractor, The Ares Corporation. Dick Pender is the man Creel retains to "perception manage" his company to even more riches by manipulating international conflicts. But Creel may have an even grander plan in mind.

Shaw, a man with no first name and a truly unique past, has a different agenda. Reluctantly doing the bidding of a secret multi-national intelligence agency, he travels the globe to keep it safe and at peace.

Willing to do anything to get back to the top of her profession, Katie James is a journalist who has just gotten the break of a lifetime: the chance to interview the sole survivor of a massacre that has left every nation stunned.

I loved this book. A gripping page-turner start to finish. From the minute Nicholas declares he needs a war to very end where Shaw and Katie have done their best to prevent Nicholas' war there is a whole roller coaster ride in between. One minute you think "Ok we've got 'em" then "they've slipped away again." Around every corner is another twist to the story. Watch out for the character(s) you least expect because they just might be the ones you should be watching closely. With society today being spoon fed what those in power want us to believe and manipulating the media to fit their needs I could envision some, if not all, of this happening. This is David Baldacci at the top of his game. I enjoy reading Mr. Baldacci's work and this is one of his finest. If you're a fan of Vince Flynn and his leading character Mitch Rapp you might just want to give Shaw a try.

Hopefully Shaw, Katie and Frank will be back for an encore just as he's done with the Camel Club.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesday Thingers...

Marie at The Boston Bibliophile asks: how many books do you have cataloged in your LibraryThing account? How do you decide what to include- everything you have, everything you've read- and are there things you leave off?

My LT library has almost reached the 1,200 book mark. It includes a combination of books I've read over the last 10+ years that I managed to track, books from my TBR pile and some wish list books. It does fluctuate as I've taken some TBR books out that I'll never read and donated to the local bookstore.

I mainly use LT to track what I've read or plan to read. I own very few of the books catalogued as I don't tend to re-read. I use to keep an Excel spreadsheet to track what I've read but it was getting out of control. Then I discovered LT about an year and half ago and I've been hooked ever since.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Patriot Hearts by Barbara Hambly

Crowds started to gather outside the President's House not long after breakfast. ~ Patriot Hearts, 1st sentence.

Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison and Sally Hemings: four exceptional women who prevailed over the dangers and hardships of a time like no other, as the men they loved fought for a young country's freedom.

This is a very ambitious book. It covers a 28-year span in the lives of these extraordinary women. For the most part it does a credible job though I feel that trying to cover these four very complicated lives is also a downfall of the book. At times I found myself having trouble keeping the players straight. Each main character has a large or extended family and, nicknames, in addition to given names are used interchangeably for several characters. Also, and I thought only British royalty had a claim to this, several characters go by the same name or a version thereof. I found myself losing track of which character was actually being referred to and their place in the story being told. I feel the story would have been better served covering either a shorter time frame in history or focusing on the most closely related relationships between 2 of the 4 main characters.

Also switching time frames was, at times, confusing. For each of these 4 leading ladies we spent time with them looking back into their earlier life and in the present as it relates to the story. While the author tried to set apart the change in place & time by separating the story sequences with a break it wasn't always clear to me that it had transitioned.

I felt she did a very credible job in setting time and place. Speech, characterization, descriptions, etc. all seemed to fit with the story. One can envision the British troops marching on the Federal City and setting fire to the Presidential Mansion. Just a one can see Thomas Jefferson forever renovating Monticello. Taking tea in the parlor with the ladies while the gentlemen smoke cigars and loudly discuss the political issues of the day, and there were many to be discussed.

Overall I loved the history included in this story and marveled at these 4 strong, independent, leading ladies. I would read more from this author and in fact have her book, The Emancipator's Wife stored on my Kindle for future reading.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Kindle ... arrived today!

It definitely felt like Christmas at my house today. Not only did I receive Apples and Oranges: My Brother and Me, Lost and Found by Maria Brenner in the mail today from Nicole at Authors on the Web but my Amazon Kindle arrived courtesy of the UPS man.

I haven't fallen in love this fast with a piece of technology before. I unpacked it, quickly read the users manual provided on the Kindle (paper copy also included), purchased a brand new best seller for $9.99 and had it delivered in under a minute. All of this start to finish took maybe 10 minutes, 15 minutes tops. I don't buy hardbacks. Normally I'm on the hold list at the library, waiting sometimes weeks or months for my turn to come around. Or I wait until the paperback version comes out a year later and then start haunting the used bookstores for a copy. Now instant gratification. For a person who lacks in the patience department this is the perfect toy. Another plus is no more overweight bags when going on vacation because I've loaded up on books which, of course, are necessities compared to, say, clothing and suntan lotion.

Having 200+ books at my fingertips is a reader's delight. All those wonderful titles to choose from and no waiting.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reading journal ... Patriot Hearts & a quote

Patriot Hearts, page 224

This is a very ambitious book attempting to cover the lives of Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison and Sally Hemings over a 28 year period (1787-1815). While the history of our country during this time is undeniably fascinating the cast of characters is overwhelming and, at times, difficult to follow.

Reading Patriot Hearts brings to mind the following quote:

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. ~Author Unknown

I've lived several different lives and visited places I never could have gone if it hadn't been for my love affair with books. My books, soon to be an Amazon Kindle, can take me from the pressures and reality of every day life and allow me to create my own alternate universe right in the comfort of my own home. Reading has transported me to the royal courts of England during the reigns of Richard VIII, Elizabeth I and Queen Mary. I've been to future with Lt. Eve Dallas, Roarke and the always entertaining cast of characters from the "In Death" series by J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts. I was there for the building of the Taj Mahal, witnessing the inspiring and tragic love affair of a man and his wife in Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors. Recently I spent 2 years living on an atoll in the South Pacific by reading The Sex Lives of Cannibals (Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific) by J. Maarten Troost. I discovered an atoll is probably not going to make my list of the top 10 places to relocate but it was a fun and wild ride. If I want to right injustices, take on the bad guys, kick some serious butt, be very opinionated, even with POTUS, and be the unassuming hero I only have to pick up the "Mitch Rapp" series by Vince Flynn.

Ah, to live another life and still enjoy the one I have is the best of both worlds. Nope, I wouldn't trade my books, or Kindle, for most anything you have to offer for denying myself the pleasure they bring is to live in a black and white world.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday Thingers...

This week's topic: Discussion groups. Do you belong to any (besides Early Reviewers)? Approximately how many? Are there any in particular that you participate in more avidly? How often do you check?

So I actually had to stop by Librarything before answering just to check the groups that I'm either a member of or just watching. The total is 12. By nature I'm an introvert and that trait has followed me into the virtual world. I'm much more likely to listen, or in this case read, than actively participate. I like to hang back, mull over what's being discussed and then possibly offer something to the group. No jumping in feet first for me. I'm gatherer not a hunter. For me my most active group is the 50 book challenge and that's not really a discussion group as are most others so it fits my introverted personality. I usually check in 3 to 4 times a week just to see what's going on.

Thank you to Marie at The Boston Bibliophile for hosting this new LT meme.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Reading Journal ... Saturday, 5/17/08

Patriot Hearts, page 35

This is a fictionalized story about Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison and Sally Hemings. Usually my interest in US history runs to the Civil War but I figured this would be an interesting perspective on the early years of our country from the spouses of the Founding Fathers. It is a bit confusing with so many characters.

I finished The Sex Lives of Cannibals Friday night. The book, for the most part, is an absolute riot. A laugh out loud, side splitting romp through two years of living on an atoll in the South Pacific. For such a small place lots of mis-adventures take place.

I spent most of yesterday re-formatting my blog. The ER group at Librarything started a book blog web ring thread which lead to several of us adding blog links to our own sites. As I only had a 2-column blog I felt I needed a 3-column blog to accommodate all these links. It was a bit of an adventure as I'm not the slightest bit HTML savvy. It was easy to update to 3-columns thanks to Blogcrowds. The hard part was updating the color scheme to the look I was currently using. That's where being HTML savvy would have come in very handy. If anybody had stopped by during that process they would have thought I was on some serious mind altering drugs. I had to turn all text and tags outrageous colors and then work my way back to a pleasing color scheme.

This same group has also started a new group meme on Tuesdays which I didn't participate in this week. I'm a bit behind but look forward to joining next week.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Sex Lives of Cannibals (Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific) by J. Maarten Troost

"It can't carry water."

This was an interesting problem for a fire truck on an island without anything like hydrants. Tarawa's lone fire truck was of a certain age and long past its prime. It resided at the airport, where, to satisfy regulatory need, it was trotted out to edge of the runway to attend each landing and takeoff. That it could do nothing in case of fire was entirely beside the point. ~ The Sex Lives of Cannibals (Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific), page 84 ~

At the age of twenty-six, Maarten Troost - who had been pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock of life by racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs - decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better.

Yes, he should have known better but luckily for us he didn't. What he and the beguiling girlfriend, Sylvia, encounter over the next 2 years is nearly unbelievable but true. Their adventures are delivered in humorous fashion for there is no other way to survive on an atoll. You must take everything that comes your way with a grain of salt. In some cases quite literally. Life on an atoll is beyond anything any one of us living in the States could comprehend much less live through. At times this book had me laughing out loud. Taking a "bath" in the ocean because you've spent the day cleaning water tanks, that still have no water, only to discover that your swimming buddy is a shark. Or listening to La Macarena for hours on end at ear-splitting decibels. It's one of those rare books that when you're reading in public trying to suppress your laughter and amazement those around you will turn and stare. And the fun doesn't end of here for he's written a second book, Getting Stone with the Savages, which as moved to right near the top of my TBR pile.

Cultural note ~ for those of you who are animal lovers and count among your family members the cats and dogs who share your hearts and homes you'll want to skip Chapter 14.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Reading Journal ... Wednesday, 5/14/08

The Sex Lives of Cannibals (Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific), page 109

This book is absolutely a riot. It's one of those books that when you read it in public you better be prepared for people turn and look because you're laughing hysterically and just can't help yourself. Even the smallest situation in the hands of J. Maarten Troost becomes one of epic portions with just right amount sensibility thrown in just so you he hasn't completely lost it. The writing is as out there as his life on Tarawa. One of those books I just can't seem to put down and pick whenever the opportunity presents itself. Sneaking paragraphs and chapters in between email and answering that dang ringing phone. Don't my co-workers know that I have something better to do. Just the table of contents alone is full of his humor and gives one a taste of what's to come if you choose to step inside this adventure.

The scene where he encounters the shark while swimming off the reef, actually Tarawa' version of a bath after cleaning the water tanks, is priceless and well worth the money paid for this gem.

A sample of what's to come:

Chapter One
In which the Author expresses some Dissatisfaction with the State of his Life, ponders briefly prior Adventures and Misfortunes, and with the aid of his Beguiling Girlfriend, decides to Quit the Life that is known him and make forth with all Due Haste for Parts Unknown. ~ The Sex Lives of Cannibals (Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific), Table of Contents ~

Some Like It Hot Buttered by Jeffrey Cohen

Some Like It Hot Buttered, Double Feature Mystery #1
Jeffrey Cohen

Monday, May 12, 2008

Reading Journal ... Monday, 5/12/08

The Sex Lives of Cannibals (Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific), page 30

Now tell me who could resist a book with sex and cannibals in title? I love travelogues. If I can't physically travel there then what better way is there to go then through a book. I'm starting chapter 4 this morning and already I've laughed more in the first 30 pages then I laughed at a book in a long, long time. They've barely gotten out of the states and the grand mis-adventure has begun.

Just finished Some Like It Hot Buttered by Jeffrey Cohen for the Yahoo! book group Cozy First Mysteries. It's a new series with, I believe, lots of potential. It contains movie references so it helps if one is a movie buff especially comedy, black and whites at that. Movie trivia aside I enjoyed the book and didn't figure out the villains until the main character did it for me.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan

My great-aunt, widowed at fourteen, was a manglik. Three months after marriage, her husband was hit by a double-decker bus. He died instantly at the age of twenty-one. As custom dictated, she never again wore jewelry, or a tip (bindi) on her forehead, or sindoor in the part of her hair - all symbols of a married woman. Nor did she remarry, as widow remarriage was - still is, but to a much lesser extent - considered shameful in traditional Hindu culture. ~ The Hindi-Bindi Club, page 223 ~

For decades they have remained close, sharing treasured recipes, honored customs, and the challenges of women shaped by ancient ways yet living modern lives. They are the Hindi-Bindi Club, a nickname given by their American daughters to the mothers who left India to start anew - daughters now grown and facing struggles of their own.

For Kiran, Preity, and Rani, adulthood bears the indelible stamp of their upbringing, from the ways they tweak their mothers' cooking to suit their Western lifestyles to the ways they reject their mothers' most fervent beliefs. Now, bearing the disappointments and successes of their chosen paths, these daughters are drawn inexorable home.

I loved this book. It's one of my top choices so far in '08. It's witty, humorous, insightful, real. It's more than chick lit, more than mother-daughter relationships. It's about honoring family and tradition. The struggles and triumphs of blending two cultures vastly different from one another - Eastern beliefs with Western attitudes. Because the author was raised in a household very much like those of her characters this book is authentic. She knows of what she writes. She brings her characters to life and makes us care bout them. She involves us in their lives. I actually wanted to know these people, be a part of their world. I'd like to visit more with them. I want to know how their stories play out.

Just because people don't love you the way you want, doesn't mean they don't love you the best they can. ~ The Hindi-Bindi Club, page 19 ~

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Reading Journal ... Thursday, 5/8/08

The Hindi-Bindi Club, page 220

I'm so enjoying this book. Witty, humorous, insightful, real life. I could go on and on but need to save something for my review once I finish. At times I feel like I'm reading about my life or at least parts of it. I hope the book girls like it as much as I do.

May book binging isn't going as I hoped. I know it's only May 8th and I'm on my 3rd book but it doesn't seem like I'm getting much quality reading time. I figured once I got done with double shifts at work that I'd have my nose in a book in my spare hours but not to be. I'm trying to catch up on chores like grocery shopping and laundry. Also TV shows in the DVR queue need watching as they won't stay there forever or I'll get so far behind I'll never catchup.

Trolling one of my favorite book blogs today (Caribousmom) I came across a home for book bloggers: Book Blogs. I immediately signed up. What a wonderful way to come together, share my passion for reading & books with other who feel the way I do and find great book-related blogs in one place. I can feed my habit without having go to several different sites. I put a Book Blogs member badge on both my blogs.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Reading Journal ... Wednesday, 5/7/08

The Hindi-Bindi Club, page 82

I usually stay away from Chick Lit style books but I have to admit this one is better than most. The mother-daughter expectations of the 3 main characters, daughters of immigrant Indian mothers, is very interesting. While for the most part the daughters are Americanized they struggle with their upbringing and heritage which is 180 degree different. Where this is headed I don't really know but the ride should fun.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Reading Journal ... Monday, 5/5/08

The Hindi-Bindi Club, page 1

Just finished Southern Fried by Cathy Pickens. This is my 1st book for May's Book Binge. I'm between so-so and recommended on this one. I think it'll take reading the second in the series to get a good feel for the main character, Avery Andrews.

The next book to read was a toss up between The Hindi-Bindi Club and The Sex Lives of Cannibals. How does one pass up a travel memoir with a title that has sex and cannibals in it? The Hindi-Bindi Club won as it's my f2f BC book. Seeing as I didn't read the one for last month and we're having dinner next week I thought I'd better get started. The Sex Lives of Cannibals has been on my Amazon wish list for a while now so it's right at the top of the TBR pile, probably right after Some Like It Hot Buttered by Jeffrey Cohen for a Yahoo! book group.

Southern Fried by Cathy Pickens

Southern Fried by Cathy Pickens
Southern Fried/Avery Andrews #1

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Reading Journal ... Book Binging in May

book binge

I'm book binging in May thanks to Literaryfeline.

Here’s how it goes: For the month of May, participants keep track of each and every book you read. At the end of the month, everyone will blog their list of books. Simple, no?

For simplicity’s sake, and to allow people time to hear about it and sign up if they want, we’ll start on Monday, May 5th. We will all publish our lists on June 1.

Other rules:

- You can include books you re-read, so long as you re-read them in between May 5 and 31.
- You may also include books you start but don’t finish, just note the page at which you gave it up. Something like, “Quit, page 47 of 322″.
- You may only include books you read aloud to your children if they are at least 125 pages long.
- Students may include textbooks (if they’re at least 100 pages long).

Book Binge

Friday, May 2, 2008

Takeover by Lisa Black

No cover image available, Early Reviewers book through Librarything

Forensic scientist Theresa MacLean is investigating a grisly murder when she gets word that her finance has been taken hostage with seven others in a bank robbery. Arriving at the scene, she discovers that the police have brought in Cleveland's best hostage negotiator. Handsome, high-profile Chris Cavanaugh hasn't lost a victim yet but Theresa wonders if he might be too arrogant to save the day this time around.

Wary of Cavanaugh, she seizes an opportunity to trade herself for her injured fiance. Once on the inside, Theresa will use all her wiles, experience, and technical skill to try to get control of the crisis. Yet nothing can prepare her what is about to unfold...

This is a very good first book from debut author Lisa Black. She starts right in the with suspense and doesn't let up until the hostage situation reaches it's final resolution. Tension builds and then backs off only to build up over and over again throughout the plot line. Ms. Black puts her background in the forensics field to good use and highlights a skill that you won't see on CSI on Thursday nights. This is one book where you must pay attention to the way characters say things as clues are hidden within the context of a statement.

You never know exactly what the hostages takers have in store for their victims nor do you clearly understand their motive until the end. Lead character Theresa MacLean is full of surprises of her own. She doesn't necessarily do the unexpected but she does lead down you an unexpected path to a co-conspirator.

This book kept me turn pages and I definitely look forward to reading more from this author.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Reading Journal ... Thursday, 5/1/08

Takeover by Lisa Black, page 160 (no cover image available)

This a good read from a debut author. I'm about 1/2 way through. It's been moving along at a good pace with just the right amount of tension. The characters are an interesting mix and you never quite know what her lead character or hostage takers are going to do and what their ultimate plans might be. There is definitely suspense here and, I believe, she is achieving her writing goal.

I was able to play the Booking Through Thursdays ( meme today. I haven't done this in so long and really missed answering book(ish) questions. Today's was an easy one: At the airport, no book in hand, what do you do? Check out the link for answers.

April's reading stats below. While not the usual number of books for me, it's low ~ about 1/2 my usual consumption ~ I've taken into account I worked double shifts the whole month so I didn't do too bad.

1. The Appeal by John Grisham
2. A Rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith
3. Franklin and Lucy by Joseph E. Persico/Early Reviewers
4. The Venetian Mask by Rosalind Laker/Early Reviewers
5. Predatory Game by Christine Feehan

Mayday ... Booking Through Thursday - 5/1/08

Quick! It’s an emergency! You just got an urgent call about a family emergency and had to rush to the airport with barely time to grab your wallet and your passport. But now, you’re stuck at the airport with nothing to read. What do you do??

And, no, you did NOT have time to grab your bookbag, or the book next to your bed. You were . . . grocery shopping when you got the call and have nothing with you but your wallet and your passport (which you fortuitously brought with you in case they asked for ID in the ethnic food aisle). This is hypothetical, remember….

I immediately head into withdrawal, tremors wrack my body and desperation sets in when I realize that I'm bookless. Only by heading to the closest book seller at the airport and surrounding myself with "friends" does the recovery process start. If I happen to be reading a current best seller I'll simply replace it. I have no problem buying a 2nd copy as it's for a good cause. If I can't replace my current reading selection I will start seeking out favorite authors in hopes that I can find a treasure in the form a book that I haven't read yet. If no replacement copy or favorite author I'll take a chance on a new-to-me author that I've been wanting to try and just haven't gotten around to due the towering TBR piles that have taken over my home office. As a last resort I'll buy a magazine. I can't leave empty handed. I must have something to read.