Monthly Wrap Up

January Wrap Up

January 2008 Wrap Up
Well. I did a lot of reading this month. I was able to get in 14 books! Wow! I also have two more going, but will not get them done by the end of tonight. Here’s my end of the month wrap up:
  1. Nancy Grace, Objection! –> I was not impressed by this book. I was slightly disappointed in it actually. I felt that it was incredibly repetitive and highly opinionated (which is Grace at her best, but I felt that this book was lacking a lot). I could have skipped this book completely. 2/5
  2. Harlan Coben, No Second Chance –> This was an excellent book! It was extremely fast paced and enjoyable. Plus, the ending was quite a shock! 4/5
  3. Michael Fleeman, Laci –> This book was slightly disappointing. It is definitely not the best Laci book out there. It was just a re-hash of the information that everybody already knows! 3/5
  4. Kathy Reichs, Deja Dead –> The TV show Bones is loosely based upon this series. I say loosely because the only similarities is the fact that Temperance Brennan is featured in the book. It ends there. Needless to say, I definitely prefer the tv show. I was just not impressed by this book whatsoever. I found myself struggling to keep up with all of the terminology and brief statements in French. 3/5
  5. Tom Piccirilli, The Night Class –> This was definitely not a favorite of mine! I had trouble following what was going on and was extremely confused by the ending. Probably not his best. 1/5
  6. Mary Higgins Clark, Two Little Girls in Blue –> Classic MHC at her best! This one definitely does not disappoint! I loved it! It was so good and I just cannot say enough good things about it! 5/5
  7. Alice Blanchard, Darkness Peering –> I enjoyed this book quite a bit. New author for me and I was quite impressed as well. It was fast paced and the ending was a great surprise! 4/5
  8. Christopher Andersen, After Diana –> This was a great book discussing the comings and goings of the royal family after the death of Diana. Some of the stories are crazy to believe, but this book was great!!! 5/5
  9. Lisa Gardner, Gone –> This book was a good one. I enjoyed it a lot. It was fast paced, enjoyable and intriguing. The ending was a complete shock!! It was great! I found myself turning the pages quickly! 4/5
  10. Mark Fuhrman, Murder in Greenwich –> This was an okay book. I knew the story of the Martha Moxley murder and it stuns me how it was bungled from day 1. However, I felt that some of the writing was weak in certain spots. Overall good, though. 4/5
  11. Greg Iles, The Quiet Game –> I cannot say enough good things about Greg Iles! I absolutely love his works!! This one was wonderful! It was a real page turner! I loved it! 5/5
  12. Iris Johansen, The Face of Deception –> This is the first in the Eve Duncan series. I enjoyed it a lot. It was a great page turner and and had lots of twists and turns. 4/5
  13. Walter Lord, The Night Lives On –> This is a nonfiction book about the sinking of the Titanic. I enjoyed this book, but it was a little slow in some places. Overall I enjoyed it, though. 4/5
  14. Susan O’Malley, The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates –> Andrea Yates had serious mental problems. Unfortunately, she didn’t get all the help she could get and tragedy struck the Yates family. O’Malley did a lot of research and produced a somewhat good book. However, I didn’t really like the writing style. It would be great in some places and awful in others. Overall, I wasn’t incredibly impressed. 3/5

Here are some statistics in regards to my reading:

  • Books read: 14
  • Pages read: 5,252
  • New Authors: 10
  • Fiction: 8
  • Nonfiction: 6
  • Read for Challenges: 10

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Nonfiction, O, Read in 2008

The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates by Susan O’Malley

The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates
by Susan O’Malley
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 371
Rating: 3/5
Read: Jan. 25-29, 2008
Challenge: Triple Eight – True Crime category
First Line: A little before 10:00am — 9:56, to be exact — Russell “Rusty” Yates’s cell phone rang in the sixth-floor Shuttle Vehicle Engineering Office he shared with three other National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) employees.
O’Malley discuses the Andrea Yates case. She goes into a lot of detail in regards to the mental illnesses that Yates suffered from. There is no doubt that this woman was severely ill. Unfortunately, things could not be straightened out for her and she instead killed her five children. This case captured the attention of the nation: what kind of a woman could kill all of her children?! And besides that, O’Malley goes into great detail about the family dynamics and how Andrea’s illness overshadowed everything. I only wish that more could have been done for this woman so that five innocent lives could have been saved. That being said, I personally did not care for this book. I remember this case going to trial and keeping up-to-date. I felt that the writing style and layout of this book was a little weak. I understand that the author had to discuss a lot of mental illness and religious matters, but I felt a little bogged down in those areas. I simply was not impressed.
4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, L, Nonfiction, Read in 2008

The Night Lives On by Walter Lord

The Night Lives On
by Walter Lord
Copyright: 1986, 1987
Pages: 226
Rating: 4/5
Read: Jan. 28-29, 2008
Challenge: Back to History
First Line: Just 20 minutes short of midnight, April 14, 1912, the great new White Star Liner Titanic, making her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, had a rendezvous with ice in the calm, dark waters of the North Atlantic.
In this book, Walter Lord attempts to tell the story of the Titanic. He tries to figure out why certain things occurred – things which ultimately caused the Titanic’s demise. He especially focuses in on why Captain Smith seemingly ignored the numerous ice warnings and why the ship Californian was nearby and ultimately ignored the distress flares. He also delves a little into the main players of the disaster, including some passengers. He uses the Senate hearings and the British inquiry into the event for most of his sources. I enjoyed this book. The beginning was a little slow, but it quickly picked up pace. This was the first book I had ever read on the Titanic, having being fascinated by the event for years and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended.
4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Eve Duncan, Fiction, J, Read in 2008, SERIES

The Face of Deception by Iris Johansen

The Face of Deception
by Iris Johansen
Copyright: 1999
Pages: 446
Rating: 4/5
Read: Jan. 24-25, 2008
Challenge: Triple Eight Challenge – First in a Series category
First Line: It was going to happen.
Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan wants nothing more than to find the body of her murdered daughter and do her work. Unfortunately, work is all she has for now. But her world is turned upside down when billionaire John Logan confronts her, offering her a large sum of money for the use of her services. Unsure of his reasons, she reluctantly agrees to the job. What she will find out in the process will not only stun the nation when revealed but also puts her and her closest family and friends in danger.
This was a really good book! I enjoyed it a lot! It was a good introduction to the Eve Duncan series and I want to pursue this series more. I highly recommend it!
5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, I, Read in 2008

The Quiet Game by Greg Iles

The Quiet Game
by Greg Iles
Copyright: 1999
Pages: 559
Rating: 5/5
Read: Jan. 21-23, 2008
Challenge: Triple Eight Challenge – 500+ Pages category
First Line: I am standing in line for Walt Disney’s It’s a Small World ride, holding my four-year-old daughter in my arms, trying to entertain her as the serpentine line of parents and children moves slowly toward the flat-bottomed boats emerging from the grotto to the music of an endless audio loop.
Prosecutor turned novelist Penn Cage returns to his hometown of Natchez, Mississippi, a few months after his wife’s death to sort things out with his young daughter. But peace and quiet is the last thing that he gets, for instead he finds himself mixed up in a murder investigation. Unfortunately, the murder happened some twenty years in the past and everyone seems to want to forget about it. But Penn cannot leave well enough alone and insists on seeing the case solved.
I loved this book!! I love Greg Iles’ books and this one definitely does not disappoint. It was full of lots of intrigue and twists and turns. This book is definitely a page turner and I highly recommend it! [Note: There is a lot of adult material in this book.]
4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, F, Nonfiction, Read in 2008

Murder in Greenwich by Mark Fuhrman

Murder in Greenwich: Who Killed Martha Moxley
by Mark Fuhrman
Copyright: 1998/1999
Pages: 401
Rating: 4/5
Read: Jan. 18-21, 2008
Challenge: Triple Eight Challenge – True Crime Category; What’s in a Name challenge (Place category)
First Line: Although she had lived in Greenwich for only a little more than a year, Martha Moxley had made many friends.
Mark Fuhrman goes into great detail about the Martha Moxley murder case. In this book he really goes into how the Greenwich police bungled the case practically from day one. To say that they were unprepared and inexperienced for such a case would be quite an understatement. Fuhrman’s book really tore the case wide open. He made the world look at the case in a new light and made them want to solve this case regardless of what it took. He clearly states that Michael Skakel is the murderer and that suspicion needs to rest on him rather than the other suspects. I enjoyed this book. I’m glad that he took the initiative to dive into a case that was long cold and also something that most Greenwich residents wanted to forget about completely.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, G, Read in 2008

Gone by Lisa Gardner

by Lisa Gardner
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 448
Rating: 4/5
Read: Jan. 16-18, 2008
Challenge: No challenge; personal read
First Line: She is dreaming again.
Former FBI Agent Rainie Conner is missing. Her car is found on a deserted highway in the middle of the night with the engine running, her car door open and purse still on the front seat. Her husband, ex-FBI profiler, Pierce Quincy goes nuts trying to help with the investigation. Rainie has a lot of ghosts in her past, has one of them come back to haunt her? Or was this a stranger to stranger abduction? Regardless, the police and Pierce have to team up to follow the ransom notes and find Rainie – dead or alive.
I enjoyed this book. I thought it was well written and read quickly. This was the first book I’ve read by Lisa Gardner and thought it was really good. The twists and turns were really good. The kidnapper was a complete shock (yet not surprising if you know your psychology). I recommend this one to anyone.
5/5, A, AUTHOR, Book Review, Nonfiction, Read in 2008

After Diana by Christopher Andersen

After Diana: William, Harry, Charles, and the Royal House of Windsor
by Christopher Andersen
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 301
Rating: 5/5
Read: Jan. 10-16, 2008
Challenge: Triple Eight Challenge, Biography/Autobiography Category
First Line: He took a few steps toward the body, gasped, then reeled back as if struck by an unseen hand.
Christopher Andersen delves into the private lives of the Royal Family since the tragic “accident” that took Princess Diana’s life. He not only details the comings and goings of Princes William and Harry, but also the actions of Prince Charles and his mistress (and now wife) Camilla.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I’ve only read one other Diana book and this one was much better. I’m fascinated by the Royal Family. I’m also fascinated by Princess Diana’s untimely death. This book does a wonderful job of telling the stories of the young Princes’ lives after their mother’s death.
4/5, AUTHOR, B, Book Review, Fiction, Read in 2008

Darkness Peering by Alice Blanchard

Darkness Peering
by Alice Blanchard
Copyright: 1999
Pages: 316
Rating: 4/5
Read: Jan. 14-16, 2008
Challenge: No challenge; personal read
First Line: Police Chief Nalen Storrow found the dead girl lying faceup in a rust-colored runoff pond on the westernmost corner of Old Mo Heppenheimer’s cow pasture.
A young girl is found strangled in Flowering Dogwood, Maine. The investigation leads to the Police Chief’s son, Billy, as the only suspect. Almost twenty years later, the ex-Police Chief’s daughter, Rachel, now a police officer in Flowering Dogwood, wants to reopen the case. Soon after another young woman goes missing and turns up dead. And once again, Billy is the prime suspect. Will Rachel find that the truth would only hurt her in the end?
I enjoyed this book. I’ve never read anything by Blanchard, but I was thoroughly impressed by her writing. I found myself turning the pages quickly only to realize that at the end the killer came out of left field (with a few subtly laid clues which I of course missed!). I recommend this book to anyone! I really enjoyed it!!
5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Read in 2008

Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark

Two Little Girls in Blue
by Mary Higgins Clark
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 390
Rating: 5/5
Read: Jan. 10-11, 2008
Challenges: What’s in a Name (Color category); Numbers Challenge; Triple Eight Challenge,
From my TBR Shelf category
First Line: “Hold on a minute, Rob, I think one of the twins is crying. Let me call you back.”
Margaret and Steve Frawley’s three year old twin daughters, Kelly and Kathy, have been kidnapped from their own room, their babysitter knocked unconscious. When the ransom note comes in for eight million dollars, the money is put up by Steve’s employers. Unfortunately, only Kelly comes home safely. But when Kelly begins to voice concern that Kathy is not dead, as was widely assumed, Margaret goes frantic trying to bring Kathy home safely.
I loved this book! It was great!!! The twists and turns were wonderful. I love reading Mary Higgins Clark … she never disappoints! This book read rather quickly and was enjoyable. Another A+ effort by MHC!