Monthly Wrap Up

June 2008 Wrap-Up

June 2008 Wrap-Up

Here’s my end of the month wrap-up:

  1. James Patterson, Mary Mary –> Really good in my opinion. One of the Alex Cross series. Fast paced and action packed. Highly recommended. 4/5
  2. Nora Roberts, Blood Brothers –> The first in the Sign of Seven Trilogy. I really enjoyed it. It was definitely a little strange but I still liked it. 4.5/5
  3. Danielle Steel, Johnny Angel –> Extremely weird book. And boy do I mean weird. But I still enjoyed it. Steel is slowly becoming an author that I look for whenever I’m in a bookstore. 5/5
  4. M.C. Beaton, The Deadly Dance –> Part of the Agatha Raisin series. I was not impressed by this one at all. It was too fluffy for my taste. Just not my style of book. 3/5
  5. Max Allan Collins, The Titanic Murders –> Put something with the word Titanic in it and Tara will pick it up. However, I could have skipped this one. It was good, but the writing lacked a little bit. Just okay for me. 3.5/5
  6. Harlan Coben, The Innocent –> I simply cannot say enough good things about this author! He’s just frickin’ awesome in my opinion. I have yet to read a Coben book that let me down. This one was no exception! 5/5
  7. Linda Fairstein, Entombed –> Part of the Alex Cooper series. A new series for me. I liked it, but I felt it could have been better. It had it’s ups and it’s downs, but I will definitely be looking into this series more. 4/5
  8. Kathy Reichs, Deadly Decisions –> Part of the Temperance Brennan series. I’ve only read two of this series (1st & now 3rd) and I’m about ready to throw in the towel. I love the TV show Bones, but this series just does nothing for me. I’m still undecided about it. 3.5/5

Here are some statistics in regards to my reading:

  • Books read: 8
  • Pages read: 2,797
  • New Authors: 3
  • Fiction: 8
  • Nonfiction: 0
  • Read for Challenges: 4
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Challenge Wrap-Up

Finished Challenge – Title Master Challenge

Finished my fourth challenge! I finished MizB’s Title Master Challenge today. And just barely I might add. I read all four books required for this challenge in the month of June and barely got the last one finished today before the July 1st deadline. Whew!! For some reason when I signed up for this challenge I was really excited, but then when it came down to it I wasn’t thrilled. I ended up changing 2 of my choices and only liking one of the two that I did keep. Oh well, live and learn (to make better selections, lol!!) Here’s my wrap up:

The rules were to read four books with the words in the titles starting with the same letters. Sounded pretty easy and it wasn’t too hard to find books that fit the description.

I read:

  1. M.C. Beaton, The Deadly Dance
  2. Nora Roberts, Blood Brothers
  3. James Patterson, Mary Mary
  4. Kathy Reichs, Deadly Decisions

Favorite: Blood Brothers (Roberts)
Least Favorite: Deadly Decisions (Reichs)

3.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, R, Read in 2008, SERIES

Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs

Deadly Decisions
by Kathy Reichs

Copyright: 1999
Pages: 368
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: June 25-29, 2008
Challenge: Title Master Challenge

First Line: Her name was Emily Anne.

When nine-year-old Emily Anne Toussaint is fatally shot on a Montreal street, Dr. Temperance Brennan feels compelled to stop the senseless killings that she encounters. The fact that little Emily Anne was an unintended target by a ruthless biker gang war only fuels Tempe’s anger even more. But when she delves deeper into the cases more and more bodies keep popping up. And it won’t be until her nephew, Kit, is in the line of fire before it will all come to a screeching halt.

This book was just okay for me. I skipped the second in the series (a pet peeve of mine) because I needed to read this one before my July 1st deadline in the Title Master Challenge. Did I enjoy this one?! Not particularly. I love the TV show Bones, but for some reason this series just isn’t doing much for me. I own the others in the series and will probably trek on, but I’m still unsure about this series. It was just okay for me.

4/5, Alex Cooper, AUTHOR, Book Review, F, Fiction, Read in 2008, SERIES

Entombed by Linda Fairstein

Entombed
by Linda Fairstein
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 500
Rating: 4/5
Read: June 21-24, 2008
Challenge: No challenge; personal read

First Line: I looked at the pool of dried blood that covered the third-floor landing of a brownstone on one of the safest residential blocks in Manhattan and wondered how the young woman who’d been left here to die yesterday, her chest pierced by a steak knife, could still be alive this afternoon.

Manhattan ADA Alex Cooper is horrified when she realizes that the Silk Stocking Rapist is back on the streets raping women. But she’s mystified when the skeleton of a young woman is unearthed standing upright in a wall in a Greenwich Village brownstone where Edgar Allan Poe once lived. It’s a scene that Poe could have written. It will take a lot of strength and patience in order to get to the bottom of this case. It takes Cooper and her coworkers to the Bronx Botanical Gardens where a secret society of Poe fans may hold all the answers to this macabre story.
This was my first Alex Cooper experience. While I enjoyed it, I felt it could have been better. The story line was great but in some places I found myself struggling to keep up. It seemed to me that she used way to many descriptions in some places where I really didn’t need them. I know that sounds weird, but I just want things to be plainly spelled out for me, I don’t need elaborate descriptions or anything and that’s what I got out of this book. Will I be looking more into this series, of course, but I also hope that it improves some.
5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Read in 2008

The Innocent by Harlan Coben

The Innocent
by Harlan Coben
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 503
Rating: 5/5
Read: June 19-20
Challenge: Triple 8 – 500+ Pages Category

First Line: You never meant to kill him

Matt Hunter’s life as he knows it ends one night when he was innocently trying to break up a fight and ended up a killer. Nine years later, as an ex-con, he has it all – a wife, a baby on the way and they’re in the process of buying a house. But one phone call from his wife’s cell phone will tear everything he’s worked for apart. He will find himself once again in trouble with the law, this time completely innocent, and on the run trying to figure out his wife’s past.
Let me just say first, I LOVE HARLAN COBEN!!! I mean, I absolutely love everything I read by this guy!! I have yet to find a “eh” book by him. This one was just a total roller coaster ride! I had no idea what was going on and was completely shocked at the end! I highly recommend this book!
3.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Read in 2008

The Titanic Murders by Max Allan Collins

The Titanic Murders
by Max Allan Collins
Copyright: 1999
Pages: 256
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: June 14-18, 2008
Challenge: Back to History
First Line: From the beginning, mystery and controversy have been stowaways on the Titanic’s crossing into history.
Jacques Futrelle, famous mystery author was one of the many passengers on the maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic in April, 1914. He was one of 1,500 passengers that did not survive the sinking. When author Max Allan Collins received an anonymous phone call asking if he knew that there had been bodies found during a trip to the wreckage. The first thought that pops into mind, is, well, yeah of course there would be bodies, it’s essentially a cemetery. But when the caller states that they were found in canvas bags, he immediately gets Collins’ attention. What follows is Collins’ take on what had happened on board the Titanic based on the information that Jacques Futrelle’s daughter Virginia gives him.
When I saw this book in the used book store I grabbed it up simply because it had the word “Titanic” in it’s title. (Self-proclaimed Titanic junkie right here!). But I really enjoyed it. I only rated it a 3.5/5 simply because it could have been so much more, but after reading the Epilogue I understood why it was written the way that it was. Collins wanted to stick to as much historical facts as he could and it’s really what makes the book so interesting. He includes things about the ship, the passengers and the crew that he learned from his research that I didn’t know anything about. If you enjoy anything related to the Titanic or just like a good mystery pick this book up.
Meme

Meme: Celebrate the Author

What has been your favorite book that you’ve read for the Celebrate the Author challenge?
~ My favorite book so far has been my February read, Erica Spindler’s “See Jane Die” I just love Spindler’s books and this one was really good!!

What has been your least favorite book?
~ I have to say that I was not at all impressed by June’s read, M.C. Beaton’s “The Deadly Dance” This was not my type of book at all … it sounded interesting but it was just too fluffy for my tastes.

What one author or one book would you suggest to other participants?
~ Only one?! LOL! Okay, I would recommend Harlan Coben to anybody! I absolutely love the guy! I read “No Second Chance” in January, but I just finished reading “The Woods” a few weeks ago and it was AMAZING! Plus I just picked up “The Innocent” yesterday and am looking forward to getting to it. Read this guy if you never have!!

Have you discovered any new authors along the way?
~ Yeah, I have. M.C. Beaton was a new author for me (unfortunately I didn’t care for her book). I also read James Patterson for the first time (I know, I know, unbelievable). And Patterson is quickly becoming a favorite of mine! I’ve got a few other authors for the upcoming months that will be new for me also.

Would you be interested in participating in this challenge again next year? Why or Why not?
~ Yeah, I think I would be. There are so many different possibilities out there that I could choose 12 completely different authors next year! I’d be all for it!

3/5, AUTHOR, B, Book Review, Fiction, Read in 2008

The Deadly Dance by M.C. Beaton

The Deadly Dance
by M.C. Beaton
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 233
Rating: 3/5
Read: June 7-8
Challenge: Title Master Challenge; Celebrate the Author Challenge; Initials Challenge

First Line: The thing that finally nudged Agatha Raisin into opening her own detective agency was what she always thought of as the Paris Incident.

After getting mugged in Paris, Agatha Raisin decides that she’s going to open up her own detective agency. Shortly thereafter she realizes that it’s not as the movies portray. She has to deal with missing pets and even finding a man’s son who has run off with his car (with the car being the most important thing to the man). But when Catherine Laggat-Brown walks in and states that there has been a death threat made on her daughter, things finally begin to heat up for the agency and Raisin. It will take all Agatha has and will even put herself into danger in order to get to the bottom of this case.
This was just an okay book for me. It was a little what I consider fluffier than what I normally read. It was a nice break from my “harder” reading, but I’m definitely not rushing out to look for the other books in this series, but I’m glad I gave her a try.
5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Read in 2008, S

Johnny Angel by Danielle Steel

Johnny Angel
by Danielle Steel
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 210
Rating: 5/5
Read: June 6-7, 2008
Challenge: No challenge; personal read

First Line: The sun was shining brightly on a hot June day in San Dimas, a somewhat distant suburb of L.A.

Seventeen-year-old Johnny Peterson is your all-American high school senior. He’s a star athlete and his classes’ valedictorian. But his promising future will come to a crashing halt when he is killed in a car accident on prom night, leaving his family and high school sweetheart, Becky, left to pick up the pieces. But when his mother, Alice, suddenly falls ill and is admitted to the hospital, something happens .. Johnny appears to her. What she first believes is either a dream or medication turns out to be more than real for Alice. He has been sent back to tie up the loose ends and help everyone with their grief. He performs numerous miracles that will change the lives of those that were nearest and dearest to him in life before he must return once again.
I’ll admit it …. I’m starting to become a true fan of Danielle Steel. This is the second time I’ve read her and both times I’ve been more than overwhelmed. This one made me laugh, think about my family and cry. Although I will admit the story line seems a little weird with Johnny coming “back” it worked out quite nicely, I thoroughly enjoyed this quick and easy read.
4.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, R, Read in 2008

Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts

Blood Brothers
by Nora Roberts
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 314
Rating: 4.5/5
Read: June 4-5, 2008
Challenge: Title Master Challenge

First Line: It crawled along the air that hung heavy as wet wool over the glade.

Every seven years in Hawkins Hollow mysterious things happen for one week in July. People go mad and do unspeakable things without any memory afterward. The strange happenings is what brings author Quinn Black to Hawkins Hollow in order to do research for her upcoming book featuring Hawkins Hollow. When she arrives in early February to interview three men who were boys when the terror first began, Quinn herself begins to experience strange things. It will take all the bravery and strength of six men and women to bring this terror to an end.
This is the first in the Sign of Seven Trilogy. It definitely had it’s ups as well as its downs. There were a few spots that were wayyyy weird, but the topic of the trilogy is weird to begin with. But I’m definitely looking forward to getting the second one through PBS.