Monthly Wrap Up

February 2008 Wrap-Up

February 2008 Wrap-Up
Got 12 books in this month! Another great month of reading for me! Here’s my end of the month wrap up:
  1. Milo Speriglio, The Marilyn Conspiracy –> This book had a lot of promise, but I felt that the writing style was severely lacking. It could have been a lot better. 3/5
  2. Thomas Harris, Hannibal –> Overall, this book was enjoyable. However, the part that was set in Italy really lagged for me. Enjoyable, but not the best in this series. 4/5
  3. Tom Coffey, The Serpent Club –> I loved the plot line of this book. However, I felt that the writing that constantly switched from first to third person was very confusing. 3/5
  4. Taffy Cannon, Class Reunions are Murder –> This one actually surprised me! I’m usually not much into “cozy” mysteries, but this one was really enjoyable. 4/5
  5. Thomas Harris, Hannibal Rising –> Without a doubt, the absolute worst book in the series. I was so disappointed in this one. It held so much promise, we were finally going to be able to figure out what made Dr. Lecter into the monster that we know him as. But to me, the book just didn’t do what it was designed to do. I was really disappointed by this one. 3/5
  6. Danielle Steel, Accident –> This one surprised me a lot. I have always been pretty adament about hating romance novels, but I really enjoyed this one a lot! It was a good story and wasn’t completely full with sex. It had just the right amount of romance in all the right places. Very good read. 5/5
  7. Larry Watson, White Crosses –> This one was a surprise for me as well. It hooked me from the first page and I practically flew through it. I found myself understanding the main character in ways that I never thought I would. Highly recommended. 4/5
  8. Erica Spindler, See Jane Die –> I absolutely loved this book! I love Erica Spindler! This book is a lot like her others in that the ending is never what you think it will be. Highly recommended. 5/5
  9. Greg Iles, Blood Memory –> Greg Iles is a favorite author of mine, and this one was really enjoyable. The book focused a lot on childhood abuse which is a touchy subject for some, but I really, really enjoyed it! 5/5
  10. Dave Holloway, Aruba –> This book was a disappointment for me. I waited a few months for it on my WL on PBS and couldn’t wait to get to it when it came in the mail. But for me, it just wasn’t any good. There was almost nothing personal in this book. All I could see is that Dave Holloway is an angry man. He used almost none of the space to tell the world who Natalee really was, which would have made the book so much better. I wouldn’t waste my time with this one. 2/5
  11. Thomas T. Noguchi, M.D., Coroner –> This book was kind of boring to me. It started out really interesting, but it just slowly went down hill. I just didn’t care for it. It also wasn’t written very well, either. Not recommended. 2/5
  12. Andrew Britton, The Assassin –> WOW! This one shocked me. At times I was a little bogged down by the Iraqi information/names as well as the military terminology. But the story was really great and the last 250 pages were extremely action packed. Very good book overall. 4/5

Here are some statistics in regards to my reading:

  • Books read: 12
  • Pages read: 4,909
  • New Authors: 8
  • Fiction: 9
  • Nonfiction: 3
  • Read for Challenges: 8

Friday Fill-Ins

Friday Fill-Ins #61

1. I’m looking forward to going to St. Louis next week.
2. I don’t handle criticism very well.
3. Fettuccine alfredo is something I could eat every day.
4. Warmth and sunlight puts me in a good mood.
5. Paducah here I come!
6. I don’t have any tattoo(s).
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to Don Taco for dinner, tomorrow my plans include the final SIU home game and Sunday, I want to sleep in!
4/5, AUTHOR, B, Book Review, Fiction, Read in 2008

The Assassin by Andrew Britton

The Assassin
by Andrew Britton
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 586
Rating: 4/5
Read: Feb. 23-28, 2008
Challenge: Suspense & Thriller Challenge – political thriller; Triple Eight – 500+ pages category

First Line: Anita Zaid folded her arms as she glared across the cavernous lobby of the Babylon Hotel.

There is an explosion at the Babylon Hotel. A high ranking Iraqi official is critically wounded. Another attack is made on another high ranking Iraqi official. For CIA Agent Ryan Kealey, it can only mean one thing: someone is trying to take over by disposing of these people. But for Kealey, it becomes a little more personal. In his quest to find the truth, he runs across the madman who killed his fiancee the year before. The same madman, coincidentally, that everyone thought was already dead. But in order to convince his superiors, Kealey has to risk his entire career in order to catch this man once and for all and to put a stop to what could possibly be the worst attack on American soil – one that would ultimately be worse than 9/11.
WOW! This book for me was really, really good! It started out for me kind of slowly. I was a little bogged down by all of the Iraqi names and places as well as the military terminology. But once I got used to it, the book went really quickly. It was high paced and enjoyable in the last 250 pages – which is where all the action is. I would recommend this book to those who do enjoy books of this nature. This was my first time reading a spyish-type political thriller, and I highly enjoyed it.
2/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, N, Nonfiction, Read in 2008

Coroner by Thomas T. Noguchi, M.D.

Coroner
by Thomas T. Noguchi, M.D.
Copyright: 1983
Pages: 252
Rating: 2/5
Read: Feb. 23-27, 2008
Challenge: No challenge; personal read

First Line: In my memory, as I write, there is a montage of tragic scenes.

Dr. Noguchi was the “coroner to the stars.” He performed the autopsies of individuals like Marilyn Monroe, Robert F. Kennedy and Janis Joplin. He was also highly controversial in some of his findings. In this book he finally reveals his true thoughts and feelings behind some of the details of his most famous autopsies.
I didn’t care for this book. It started out really good but it just seemed to be quite repetitive near the end. I was really disappointed in it. When I read the description on PBS I thought it would be a lot better and I regret using a credit to order this book. I wouldn’t recommend this book whatsoever.
2/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, H, Nonfiction, Read in 2008

Aruba by Dave Holloway

Aruba: The Tragic Untold Story of Natalee Holloway and Corruption in Paradise
by Dave Holloway
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 203
Rating: 2/5
Read: Feb. 18-23, 2008
Challenge: Triple Eight – True Crime Category
First Line: I cannot tell you how much it hurts to lose a child.
This is the story of the Natalee Holloway case from her father, Dave Holloway’s perspective. I remember following this case and watching it unfold in horror in 2005. I could not believe that such a beautiful young lady could simply vanish off an island. I was also shocked that these parents let 100+ 18-year-olds go off to Aruba with only 7 chaperons! But my feelings aside, I felt that this book was really lacking in feeling. I felt as if I was just reading a true crime book written from the perspective of a person who had no involvement in the case whatsoever. All I could feel was anger coming from Dave Holloway when he should have been writing a more heartfelt story in my opinion. I just didn’t care for this one at all.
Friday Fill-Ins

Friday Fill-Ins #60

This is my first time doing this, but it looks like fun!!!

1. Exploring is the best thing about traveling.
2. I love a good cup of hot chocolate when I’m cold.
3. I often use ink pens when balancing my check book, even though I know I shouldn’t.
4. I’m reading From a Buick 8 right now; I am not too sure I’m going to like it.
5. Politics is something I dislike talking about.
6. When I visited Paris I most looked forward to seeing the Eiffel Tower.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to watching House with Nathan, tomorrow my plans include going to the SIU-Nevada game and Sunday, I want to skip David’s birthday dinner!
Booking Through Thursday

BTT – Format

All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?
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This is a really good question. I had my answer all typed up once and then realized that I was contradicting myself! So I’m going to try this one more time. I was going to say that I would prefer hardcover books. However, as I was typing it out and explaining the reasoning behind my answer, I realized that I was really leaning more towards paperbacks. So I’m in a quandary here. I want to answer hardcover and paperback both! So there’s my answer: I would have both. I couldn’t choose between one or the other. Each has it’s advantages in my opinion. On the side of the paperback, they’re smaller, lighter and easier to carry around. But to defend the hardcover, I feel that they open better for me and lay in a more comfortable way (at least for me they seem to). I always struggle with brand new paperbacks; I can never get them to open far enough and have yet to manage to break the spine without tearing all the pages out! However I can also put one in my purse and read during my free time throughout the day (not really an option with a hardcover unless I was carrying around one of those gigantic purses that seem to be in style nowadays).

So I’ve probably ruined the whole point of this question, choosing one over the other. But in my perfect library, I would have both. However, I must add that I would want to have all of the books that I wanted for my personal collection (those that I would be keeping forever) in hardcover whereas the books that came and went through my shelves would be paperbacks.

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, I, Read in 2008

Blood Memory by Greg Iles

Blood Memory
by Greg Iles
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 764
Rating: 5/5
Read: Feb. 17-21, 2008
Challenge: Triple Eight – 500+ pages category

First Line: When does murder begin?

Forensic expert Cat Ferry is suspended from an FBI taskforce when she begins experiencing panic attacks at the crime scenes of a string of brutal murders in New Orleans. Digging into her psyche for answers as to why she is having problems leads her back to her hometown of Natchez, Mississippi. There she is confronted with bloody footprints in her childhood bedroom. This discovery only brings back the memories of her father’s unsolved murder when she was eight years old. She wants to find out what memories she has suppressed over the years, but what she finds out in the end might damage her even more.
Oh my gosh … I absolutely *LOVE* Greg Iles! This was another great book! This was such a fast paced book that I could barely tell that it was so big. The story line was great and tragic at the same time. Like most of his other books, this one definitely has adult content. But seriously, for those of you out there reading this who have *not* read any of his books, just try one, they’re great!
5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Read in 2008, S

See Jane Die by Erica Spindler

See Jane Die
by Erica Spindler

Copyright: 2005
Pages: 474
Rating: 5/5
Read: Feb. 14-15, 2008
Challenge: Celebrate the Author; Triple Eight Challenge – From my TBR Shelf Category; What’s in a Name (First Name category)

First Line: Heart thundering with exertion, fifteen-year-old Jane Killian treaded water.

Jane Killian was nearly killed as a teenager. After years of numerous reconstructive surgeries, she is finally at a place in her life where she has everything to live for. She has a great husband, a budding career as an artist, and is in the early weeks of pregnancy. All of that is shattered, though, when her husband Ian is arrested for murder. Shortly thereafter, she begins to receive threatening notes that indicates that the man that tried to kill her as a teenager has found her to finish the job. She sets out to find out the truth, with the help of her sister, Dallas Police Detective Stacy Killian. However, when they learn the truth, it will rock both of their lives.

This book was amazing! I am never disappointed by Erica Spindler. It never fails, you think you’ve got it figured out and, BAM! she hits you with a curveball out of left field! I absolutely love it! I definitely recommend this book to anyone!

Booking Through Thursday

BTT – After the Honeymoon

Here’s something for Valentine’s Day:
Have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite author? Was the last book you read by the author so bad, you broke up with them and haven’t read their work since? Could they ever lure you back?
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I am slowly falling out of love with Stephen King. When I was in high school, I read a ton of his earlier works. Carrie, Firestarter, It, Insomnia, Rose Madder, Desperation, Misery, Pet Sematary, The Shining, the list goes on and on of what I read in high school. I just absolutely loved all of his books and read them like crazy! I could hardly wait to get my hands on the next one I could find. That being said, last year I read Lisey’s Story. I hated it. Plain and simple. Could not stand it. And all I could think of the whole time was … could he possibly get any stranger? And what’s so ironic about that question is that that is what really drew me to him in the first place. I liked his books because they were so unlike anything else I ever read. But with Lisey’s Story I just have no explanation with what happened. I still am not sure what the point of that book was supposed to be. It was just terrible for me. I would like to say that I am looking forward to his latest, Duma Key. But I’m simply not. I’ve read the blurb on the back of the book the last two times that I was in the bookstore, but I simply cannot make myself pick it up because I don’t want to spend the money on the hardcover version and then end up absolutely hating it. BUT … I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel yet. What I’m probably going to do is go back and read some of his older ones again, the ones that I loved so much in high school, and see if my opinion of those have changed as well. But I’m almost on the brink of giving up on his newer books.