Monthly Wrap Up

July 2009 Wrap-Up

July 2009 Wrap-Up

Here’s my end of the month wrap-up:

  1. Catherine Coulter, The Cove
  2. Catherine Coulter, The Maze
  3. James Patterson, Sail
  4. Ted Dekker, BoneMan’s Daughters
  5. James Doulgeris & V. Michael Santoro, The Dyodyne Experiment
  6. James Patterson, Cat & Mouse

Here are some statistics in regards to my reading:

  • Books read: 6
  • Pages read: 2,224
  • New Authors: 4
  • Fiction: 6
  • Nonfiction: 0
  • Read for Challenges: 6
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Alex Cross, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, Read in 2009, SERIES

REVIEW: Cat & Mouse by James Patterson

Cat & Mouse
by James Patterson

Copyright: 1997
Pages: 451
Rating: 5/5
Read: July 25-31, 2009
Challenge:  2009 100+ Reading Challenge; RYOB 2009
Yearly Count: 38

First Line: The Cross house was twenty paces away and the proximity and sight of it made Gary Soneji’s skin prickle.

Gary Soneji is back! And he’s back with a vengeance and out for Alex Cross’s blood. He waits patiently in Cross’s basement to kill Cross and his family. But instead, he goes on a killing rampage … knowing quite well that Alex will follow him. But what Alex finds out will shake him to the core: Soneji has nothing to lose anymore, he’s dying. That’s why he goes on such a rampage leaving the scenes gruesome. But then the two finally have a face off in the tunnels underneath NYC. Only one can survive. Cross is sure that he sees Soneji die. So when he gets attacked in his own bed he swears that Soneji is back, because he promised Cross that he would get him even if he was to die. That what he had put into motion would outlive Soneji. But while all this is going on, another crazed serial killer is at work, a madman that is known as Mr. Smith is killing randomly in the United States and across Europe. And he’s chosen Alex Cross as a worthy opponent to stop him. And that’s exactly what Alex sets out to do.

Okay, so that probably wasn’t the best description of this book. I enjoyed it, but it was really difficult for me to explain it without giving too many spoilers away. There was really two plot lines going on with both of them loosely weaved in together – see, very difficult to describe! Anyway, as always with James Patterson’s books, it was a fun and quick read. I will say that I do believe that the Alex Cross series is 100% better than the Women’s Murder Club series (which I’m up-to-date on, but burned out on at the same time). With Alex Cross, he just continues to grow and grow as a character as well as his relationship with his friends and family members. I really enjoy this series a lot. Don’t ask me why, but I know that sometimes James Patterson’s books are very formulaic; but he’s one of my favorite authors! I highly recommend this book if you haven’t read it! It’s definitely a page-turning suspenseful thriller not to be missed!

Friday Fill-Ins, Meme

Friday Fill-Ins #135

1. It’s time for me to stop being so lazy.

2. Kentucky; it’s not a bad place for us to have settled.

3. I must be crazy

4. Love is the best thing I have ever known.

5. My life is simply in a wonderful place right now.

6. The last time I laughed really loudly was last night with my grandma.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going out to eat with my mom and grandma, tomorrow my plans include reading and playing with Buster and Sunday, I want to relax!

Booking Through Thursday, Meme

Booking Through Thursday, July 30, 2009 – Recent Funny

btt button

What’s the funniest book you’ve read recently?

Okay so I’m late on this question, but I ended up not going home last night and instead stayed at my grandma’s house because Nathan was gone for a couple of nights and I didn’t want to go all the way home just to be by myself (and Buster of course!) Anyways, on to the question.

I hate to admit it, but I haven’t read anything laugh out loud funny here lately. However, what I read is very similar to what I prefer to watch on TV and/or movies ….. and that usually doesn’t have any comedy involved. I don’t know why. It’s not like I don’t have a sense of humor, or that I don’t find things funny. But I just don’t really care anything about humor in a book for some reason. Sure, I enjoy a good chuckle every once in a while, and I will say that I’ve only read the first three Stephanie Plum books, but I just LOVED Grandma’s character! She’s a hoot. But really, humor isn’t something I need in a book to keep me going …. I prefer blood and guts, lol. Talk about morbid, huh?!

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, July 27, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Mondays

Monday, July 20
A Taint in the Blood by Dana StabenowA Taint in the Blood by Dana Stabenow

Thirty-one years ago in Anchorage, Alaska, Victoria Pilz Bannister Muravieff was convicted of murdering her seventeen-year-old son, William. The prosecution convinced the jury that she set fire to her home while both of her sons were trapped inside. William died and the other, Oliver, narrowly escaped. Victoria was sentenced to life in prison, and though she pled not guilty at the trial, she never again denied her guilt. Now Victoria has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and her daughter, Charlotte, who’s always believed in her mother’s innocence, wants her free. Kate Shugak is the only PI Charlotte can find who’s willing to take such a long-shot case. Kate figures it can’t be bad to do a favor for the Bannister family, one of the wealthiest and most prominent families in Alaska’s short history. As she begins her investigation, Victoria refuses to cooperate. But it seems she isn’t the only one who wants to leave the past in the past, as Kate finds herself caught in a web of deception, secrets, and danger….

I received this one from another MBS buddy as a birthday book. I’m looking forward to this one, it sounds interesting!

Tuesday, July 21
The Double Eagle by James TwiningThe Double Eagle by James Twining

Somehow, impossible, someone has invaded Fort Knox and stolen five of the world’s last remaining Double Eagles – the $20 gold coin ordered destroyed by President Roosevelt during the Great Depression. Now, one has resurfaced during an autopsy in France – in the stomach of a murdered priest. Disgraced FBI agent Jennifer Browne needs to recover the priceless coins to resuscitate her stalled career – and her investigation is pointing her toward Tom Kirk, a brilliant international art thief who wants to get out of the game. But Kirk’s only chance for freedom – and survival – is to find the missing coins, joining Browne, an unlikely ally, on a breakneck race across the globe and into the lethal heart of a shocking conspiracy of greed and power .. and death.

I’ve had my eye on this for a while now. Actually for at least 2 years when a co-worker’s wife told me about her reading it at the company Christmas party. But lately I’ve been lucky enough to build up some credits over at PBS and I finally used one to order this book (I hope it’s good!) So I’m looking forward to reading this one finally!!

Wednesday, July 22
Time Bomb by Jonathan KellermanTime Bomb by Jonathan Kellerman

By the time psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware reached the school the damage was done: A sniper had opened fire on a playground, but was gunned down before any children were hurt. While the TV news crews feasted on the scene and Alex began his therapy sessions with the traumatized children, he couldn’t escape the image of a slight teenager clutching an oversized rifle. What was the identity behind the name and face: a would-be assassin, or just another victim beneath an indifferent California sky? Intrigued by a request from the sniper’s father to conduct a “psychological autopsy” of his child, Alex begins to uncover a strange pattern of innocence, neglect, and loss. Then suddenly it is more than a pattern – it is a trail of blood. In the dead sniper’s past wsa a dark and vicious plot. And in Alex Delaware’s future is the stuff of grown-up nightmares: the face of real human evil.

I got this one from another BOB swap off PBS, I’m just trying to get as many of the early Delaware books as I can so I can start the series.

New York Dead by Stuart WoodsNew York Dead by Stuart Woods

Everyone is always telling Stone Barrington that he’s too smart to be a cop, but it’s pure luck that places him on the streets in the dead of night, just in time to witness the horrifying incident that turns his life inside out. Suddenly he is on the front page of every New York newspaper, and his life is hopelessly entwined in the increasingly shocking life (and perhaps death) of Sasha Nijinsky, the country’s hottest and most beautiful television anchorwoman. No matter where he turns, the case is waiting for him, haunting his nights and turning his days into a living hell. Stone finds himself caught in a perilous web of unspeakable crimes, dangerous friends, and sexual depravity that ahs throughout it one comnon thread: Sasha.

I got this one as the second in the BOB swap. I’ve been wanting to start this series from the beginning so I was pleased to see this one available.

Thursday, July 23
The Aztec Heresy by Paul ChristopherThe Aztec Heresy by Paul Christopher

In search of a Spanish galleon in the Caribbean, Finn Ryan and her partner, Lord Billy Pilgrim, find evidence of a lost Aztec Codex. The invaluable book, created by fifteenth-century explorer and accused heretic Hernan Coretz, is said to reveal the secret location of the lost City of Gold. Finn and Billy soon realize they are not alone in their quest. Also on the trail is the head of a menacing religious cadre, who would kill to get teh Codex first, as well as a sociopathic billionaire, with his own sinister reasons for wanting to possess it. But while trying to find the Codex – and stay alive – Finn and Billy come upon an even greater and more explosive secret. This mystery will take them from the jungles of the Yucatan to the Sonoran Desert, where the stakes are life and death – and the game is just beginning.

I ordered this off of Frugal Reader. I bought Rembrandt’s Ghost at the used bookstore and wanted to get the rest in the series before I started. This is the 4th in the series.

The Lucifer Gospel by Paul ChristopherThe Lucifer Gospel by Paul Christopher

Young archaeologist Finn Ryan and charismatic pilot and photographer Virgil Hilts are scouring the Sahara for the long-lost tomb of an apostle. But they find somethign they weren’t looking for: signs of a decades-old murder, along with an ancient Roman medallion bearing the infamous name of a fallen archangel. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that they’ve found a piece of a much bigger puzzle – and a trail of clues that could get them killed. Forced to flee from a relentless enemy, Finn and Virgil are pursued across the globe. From the sinister ruins of an ancient monastery to a sunken ship in the Caribbean, the two desperately search for a truth that can save their lives, but might shake the foundations of history…

This is the second in this series. I now have 2-4 … I still need to find 1 before I can start (I was hoping it would pop up on a Boxer’s account at PBS or on FrugalReader because I really didn’t want to waste a PBS point on it…. I guess we’ll see)

READING CHALLENGES 2008

Harry Potter Reading Challenge

HarryPotterReadingChallenge

I shouldn’t … I really shouldn’t, but I’m going to anyway. I’m going to join the Harry Potter Reading Challenge. Two years ago my mom and dad bought me the hardcover boxed set for Christmas right after it came out on Amazon. Would you like to know what’s sad?! I never even picked up any of the books. In the past I have read books 1, 2, 5, and 6. I have somehow missed 3 and 4 and I purposely did not read 7 … heck, I don’t even know the spoilers because I didn’t want to know! So this challenge is something that I need because I’ve been wanting to start the series from the beginning and read it all the way through. My original intentions was to do this before I saw the 6th movie, that didn’t happen. But now I’m more determined than ever to read the series in its entirety in order. This challenge will help me achieve that. So here are the rules:

Calling all muggles!  Do you aspire to master the craft of wizardry or witchcraft?  Well if so you can start your research here!**waves wand**

Introducing the Harry Potter Reading Challenge

<<cough cough>> Dang all that awesome mist and fog is getting me all verklempt.

Anyway, the deets:

What: Read or listen to all seven books in the Harry Potter series

  • Sorcerer’s Stone REVIEW
  • Chamber of Secrets
  • Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Goblet of Fire
  • Order of the Pheonix
  • Half-Blood Prince
  • Deathly Hallows

When: The challenge will run from August 1, 2009 to July 31, 2010.  I know we’re all busy with life and work and other such fun things so join up whenever you want, there are no deadlines to the challenge besides the end date above.  :)

So there we go, I’m going to read all the books in the Harry Potter series! I’m going to make myself do it … I’ve only been talking about reading the whole series through forever now … now I’ll really get around to it! I’ll be linking my reviews back to this page.

AUTHOR, Book Review, D, Read in 2009, READING CHALLENGES 2008, S

REVIEW: The Dyodyne Experiment by James Doulgeris & V. Michael Santoro

The Dyodyne Experiment
by James Doulgeris & V. Michael Santoro

Copyright: 2009
Pages: 448
Rating: 4/5
Read: July 20-25, 2009
Challenge:  2009 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge;
Yearly Count: 37

First Line: Summer days in New York City could either be hot and oppressive or sparkling and glorious.

A research team has developed an amazing new technology: a computer system that can track people secretly with unimaginable accuracy. The system is called DaNA, and it is spread as a virus that can pass to others that the original person comes into contact with. What would make the country want to use this technology? Well, the idea behind it is that it can be used to track down criminals’ accomplices really trying to hone in on the drug cartel. But the research team gets orders from Homeland Security that they must put this system into use, before they can really test it out and work out all the kinks. What they find is unbelievable – six nuclear bombs hidden is six cities across the country. But as the team rushes to track down the terrorists in charge of these bombs, they find out something worse is happening …. DaNA is mutating and is spiraling out of control.

I received this book from Merritt Talbott at Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists for review. I don’t normally read books like this, but the blurb that she presented me just sounded too good to pass up. And when I finally got to reading the book, I have to say that I was definitely not disappointed! I found it to be a fast read, even with everything going on. It was easy to read as well, especially with some of the names and subplots it could have gotten confusing at times, but I had absolutely no problem with it. I really took to Sarah’s character, I thought that she was really well written and believable (which is something very important in my opinion). Overall I’m glad that I was given the opportunity to read this book, because I probably never would have seen or heard anything about it if I had not been contacted about it simply because it is a little out of my comfort zone, but I really do recommend this one to anyone.

Life

Buster says …

GET THIS THING OFF OF MY HEAD!!!

Busterandcone

So we got Buster fixed yesterday. I was hoping that he would be a good little boy and not give us any trouble this weekend while he’s still recovering from his surgery. …. WRONG, oh boy was I ever WRONG! He slept the entire ride home from the vet and was kind of out of it for a little bit. But by 8pm last night, he was ready to romp! And when I say romp, I really mean it. We usually take him to the hallway upstairs, shut all the doors, and play fetch. He was ready to go play that! He’s been a handful to say the least 🙂 Hopefully we’ll all survive this weekend!!

READING CHALLENGES 2008

Random Reading Challenge

RandomReadingChallenge

So Wendy over at Caribousmom has come up with a really neat challenge that I’m going to sign up for! It’s called the Random Reading Challenge; I’m looking forward to it because it’s going to really help me weed through my TBR pile. Part of my problem with reading from my TBR pile is that I have a lot of trouble picking which one to read next, so this one will definitely be helpful! Here is what Wendy wrote:

August 1, 2009 – July 31, 2010

Are you stuck in a rut? Do you always find yourself reading from set lists or feeling committed to reading one book while another book screams at you from your TBR mountain? Has your reading become completely scheduled? If so, the Random Reading Challenge may be just the thing to put the spontaneity back into your reading.

For this challenge, readers will be choosing books randomly from their TBR stacks. You may select one of three levels of participation:

Level I:

You are just a tad compulsive about your reading – you love your lists and schedules. Being spontaneous is not something that comes naturally to you.  To complete the challenge, force yourself out of your rut and read just six books.

Level II:

You really want to break away from all those lists, but you do still have a responsibility to your reading groups, other challenges and all those review books. Six books is too little, but twelve is too much. Stretch a little and read nine books for the challenge.

Level III:

Throw away the lists, don’t look at your schedule, bring on the joy that comes with the freedom to chose books randomly. Read twelve books for the challenge.

Rules (come on, you didn’t think I would be THAT random did you?!?!?):

  1. NO lists allowed. Books for the challenge are chosen one at a time when the mood strikes.
  2. Sign up at any time during the challenge period using Mr. Linky below. Please give me a direct link to your blog post about the challenge. If you do not have a blog, no worries. Simply enter your name and leave the URL box on Mr. Linky blank.
  3. Book reviews are not required, but if you want to write a review I will be providing a review Mr. Linky after August 1st.
  4. Books are selected one at a time using the following procedure:
  • Randomly select any number of books from either your physical OR your virtual TBR pile (I don’t care how you do this, but it must be random…no “cherry picking” allowed)
  • Assign a number to each book based on how many books you selected (ie: if you selected 14 books, assign each book a number from 1 through 14; if you selected 28 books, assign each book a number from 1 through 28…you get the idea)
  • Go to THIS SITE and use the TRUE RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR located in the upper right hand corner of the page to randomly select the book you will read. NO CHEATING – whatever the random number generator generates is the book you must read!
  • Each time you select a book for the challenge, you will use this procedure. You many select different books each time, choose a different amount of books each time, etc…have fun, mix it up, keep it random.

So I’m really looking forward to this! Not only am I in a rut, but I find myself wanting to rebel against the lists that I have made up for the challenges that I’m currently in. So I am going to commit to Level III and read 12 books. I think the way I’ll do it is make sure that all my books are up-to-date on my Goodreads page and I’ll use those numbers there; I haven’t taken any advantage of the ordering of the TBR pile there, so it will be completely random for me. So that will be my easiest method without “cherry picking.” I’m definitely looking forward to it!

My list will be kept here:

  1. The Piper’s Sons by Bruce Chandler Fergusson
  2. The Godwulf Manuscript by Robert B. Parker
  3. Denial by Keith Ablow
  4. Roses are Red by James Patterson
  5. Shall We Tell the President? by Jeffrey Archer
  6. Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell
  7. The Dying Game by Beverly Barton
  8. The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen
  9. The Camel Club by David Baldacci
  10. The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen
  11. The Coffin Dancer by Jeffery Deaver
  12. Pacific Vortex by Clive Cussler
Friday Fill-Ins, Meme

Friday Fill-Ins #134

1. Not reaching my goal of reading 100 books this year is not the end of the world.

2. Sitting here, listening to the sound of rain falling, I am content.

3. Black raspberry ice cream from Big Olaf’s on Longboat Key, FL tastes so good!

4. Sometimes, putting others first is something that leaves me with a really good feeling.

5. The ocean is breathtaking, really.

6. Well, maybe there is some hope for me to meet my personal goals this year.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to taking care of Buster once I pick him up from the vet (he’s getting fixed today), tomorrow my plans include laying around the house and hopefully cleaning and reading and Sunday, I want to go up to my parents for dinner!