Miscellaneous Ramblings

Keeping?

Hello, my name is Tara and I’m a hoarder. I hoard everything from little scraps of paper that I have no idea why I feel the need to keep to books that I have read and know for a fact that I will never read again. Although I could go on for days about my pack-rat mentality, I just want to discuss keeping books.

I love books. I love to browse books at the library or bookstore. I love to buy books. I love to swap books on PBS for new books. I just love to own books. Period. End of story. But there comes a time when you just have too many. I have countless books on my shelves that I look at and scratch my head asking myself what I was thinking when I picked that particular book up. Books that I know for a fact I will never in this lifetime read for whatever reason, I have lost complete interest in. Do I swap them on PBS or even trade them in at my favorite used bookstore? Nope. They still sit on my shelves.

I am a major fan of reading books that belong to a series. I like to get as many of the books in a particular series as I can before I start the series. And then when I read them I hate to part with them. It’s like pulling teeth. Seriously, it’s that bad. Although I’m getting better at reading books and then clearing them off my shelves, I am having trouble parting with some of my books. For example, I have read the first four books in the Kinsey Millhone series by Sue Grafton. It’s not a favorite series, but I have most of the books and I’m determined to get through them – eventually. So, have I gotten rid of the first four books that I’ve already read? Nope. There they sit, taking up room in my already overflowing shelves. Is this a series that I will ever re-read? Doubtful. So what’s my problem? Who knows. I’m doing the same with the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell. I’ve really been reading those books here lately and am really enjoying them – but seriously, will I ever re-read them? Probably not. The only books that I really WANT to keep because I have a pretty decent feeling I would re-read at some point in the future are the Alex Cross books by James Patterson. That is my absolute favorite series.

But in all honesty, I’m not a re-reader. So why do I feel the need to keep books? I mean, I’m obviously always going to keep my Harry Potter hardback books. That’s a given. But, really, why do I feel the need to continue to hoard these books? Isn’t it supposed to be like anything else – out with the old, in with the new? Think of all the new books I could make room for if I could just stand to part with some of the ones I already have!

Does anyone else have this hoarding books mentality?

Advertisements
Monthly Wrap Up

March, April & May 2010 Wrap-Ups

Oh my, time has gotten away from me again and I am once again behind on my monthly wrap-up posts. This is not due to the fact that I have been reading like a mad woman. It’s been quite the opposite, actually. I’ve been in somewhat of a slump. However, these past few months I have really worked on the Kay Scarpetta series. That’s really been great. Plus, I’ve been reading my own books – rather than library books! Yay! I’m trying to get my shelves cleared off somewhat – to make room for new books of course 🙂 Anyway, here is what I’ve read the past three months:

  1. Patricia Cornwell, Cause of Death
  2. Beverly Barton, The Dying Game
  3. Tess Gerritsen, The Apprentice
  4. Patricia Cornwell, Unnatural Exposure
  5. Jefferson Bass, Carved in Bone
  6. James Patterson, The Big Bad Wolf
  • Books read: 6
  • Pages read: 2,191
  • New Authors: 1
  • Fiction: 6
  • Nonfiction: 0
  • Read for Challenges: 6

May

  1. David Baldacci, The Camel Club
  2. Gregg Olsen, Victim Six
  3. Patricia Cornwell, Point of Origin
  4. James Patterson, The 9th Judgment
  5. Erin Healy, Never Let You Go
  • Books read: 5
  • Pages read: 2,048
  • New Authors: 1
  • Fiction: 5
  • Nonfiction: 0
  • Read for Challenges: 5

Okay, so I was looking back over this list and I am once again pleased to report that out of the 17 books I’ve read these three months, only one of them was a library book, three were review books and 8 of them were on my shelves before 2010! Those are great stats for me!!

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, H, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, Review Book

REVIEW: Never Let You Go by Erin Healy

Never Let You Go
by Erin Healy

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 338
Rating: 4/5
Read: May 24-28 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010
Yearly Count: 26

First Line: For seven years, Lexi Solomon had been as cold as the wind that raced down the mountain above her home.

Lexi Solomon has worked unbelievably hard to keep everything together since her husband left seven years ago. But then things start to fall apart all over again. Her husband is back in town, her sister’s murderer is up for parole and an old “friend” is demanding payment on a debt that Lexi knows nothing about. Things are happening that Lexi can feel but not explain. Sometimes it feels as if she is losing her mind. But there are forces behind Lexi and her family that will keep everyone safe, if Lexi just opens her mind to it.

This is a review book that was provided to me by Amy Currie with Phenix & Phenix Publicity. I snatched up this review opportunity because I recently read Burn by Ted Dekker & Erin Healy. Overall, I enjoyed this book. However, it wasn’t one of my favorites. I personally did not consider it to be very suspenseful as it is categorized. It held my interest well enough, but I had my doubts with the ending. I am not a religious person in the least, and Christian books are a little out of my comfort zone. This is not my first Christian fiction book, but this one was the first one I had some issues with. I guess it was a little more in your face than I prefer. But that didn’t take away too much from the overall story, just a little bit. I’m just a skeptic, and this book brought out my skepticism. But I would still recommend it, it’s a good clean read.

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Quitting?

My husband and I were out of town this weekend on a quick trip to St. Louis to see some friends and catch a couple Cardinals games. Since it was a three hour drive (each way!) I got a lot of reading done in the car.  I had a little bit of trouble getting into a new book this morning, so it made me start to think about quitting books – you know, setting them aside to either pick up again some other time or just to give up on them completely.

Three or four years ago I would have never quit reading a book in the middle of it. It just wasn’t me. I couldn’t hardly stand to do it, it made me feel like a failure. It made me feel like a bad person. A few years and a few hundred books on my personal shelves later, I realized that I was being silly. Now I have somewhat of a personal “policy” where if a book doesn’t catch my attention by 50-100 pages I’ll set it aside. Sometimes I’ll just set it aside for another day, other books I won’t return to.

This brings me to my current read .  I’ve got Ted Dekker’s The Bride Collector from the library. I waited on a wait list for a few months for it. And I’m at page 96 and I don’t like it. It’s times like these that frustrate me. Last year I read BoneMan’s Daughter. A few months ago, I read Burn (that he wrote with Erin Healy). I enjoyed both of those books. So I was really looking forward to this one when I saw it was coming out. I waited patiently for it. And now I’m frustrated with it. So what do I do? Do I suffer through it because I want to like it, or do I set it aside? A few years ago I would have stuck with it and finished it (even if it took me a month to do so). Now, I’m not sure it’s worth it. Without thinking about the fact that this book has to be returned to the library by June 2nd, is it really worth my time to suffer through a book I don’t like before the 100 page mark in order to finish it and potentially be really disappointed by it and write a possibly negative review?

Could this book turn out good? – Possibly.

Is it worth taking the time and risk not liking it? – Probably not.

So my question to you, dear readers – how do you handle “bad” books? [I hate to say bad, because my opinion of a book is not necessarily everyone’s opinion]. What do you do when you encounter a book you want to enjoy soooooo much and yet you just can’t stand to read it? Do you suffer through something or do you give it up?

My opinion? …. Life is way to short to read books that don’t appeal to you! So I’ll take The Bride Collector back to the library. Do I feel guilty? Maybe a little bit. Will I worry about it? Probably not. Might I try this book again sometime in the future? Possibly. But for whatever reason, this book is not working out for me. I’m quitting it.

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES, Women's Murder Club

REVIEW: The 9th Judgment by James Patterson

The 9th Judgment
by James Patterson

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 355
Rating: 5/5
Read: May 20-22, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010;
Yearly Count: 25

First Line: Sarah Wells stood on the roof of the carport and snaked her gloved hand through the hole she’d cut in the glass.

A young mother and her baby are gunned down while leaving a shopping mall. There are no witnesses and all that is left for Detective Lindsay Boxer is a cryptic message written in lipstick. The same night a famous actor’s wife is brutally shot in her bedroom in what appears to be a burglary gone wrong. Lindsay has her work cut out for her in trying to piece together the pieces to all the puzzles. With women and children being murdered throughout the city and multiple burglaries occurring, Lindsay has her work cut out for her in order to solve both cases before it’s too late.

This is the ninth in the Women’s Murder Club series. Overall the book was good, but I really didn’t like how the book really revolved around Lindsay so much. I like the other characters in this book and there was just so little involvement with those supporting characters. The ending was interesting, it left a big question mark with me in terms of where the next book will take the WMC and it’s readers. In all honesty, I prefer the Alex Cross series to this one, but it’s still an interesting series.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010

REVIEW: Point of Origin by Patricia Cornwell

Point of Origin
by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright: 1998
Pages: 356
Rating: 4/5
Read: May13-19, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010;  RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 24

First Line: Benton Wesley was taking off his running shoes in my kitchen when I ran to him, my heart tripping over fear and hate and remembered horror.

Carrie Grethen is back in this installment in the Kay Scarpetta series. This time she has escaped from the mental institution where she was being held while awaiting her trial. When Kay receives a letter from Carrie, it just brings all the horrors that Carrie has caused to Kay and her closest family and friends. She must put Carrie out of her mind when she is called to the scene of a horrific house fire. But what she never expected was to find a link between the house fire and Carrie. The amount of hatred that Carrie has toward Kay and everyone close to her is sometimes unbelievable and Carrie will do everything in her power to break the famous Dr. Scarpetta.

This is another good one in this series. I know that a lot of people have complained that as the series went on it went a little south in terms of quality. Maybe I haven’t reached that point, or maybe I just really like this series. But I will say that this one had a few slow parts for me. Overall I enjoyed it, but there was a little bit of what I would consider padding (you know, useless info/words that just add to the page count). There was a surprising turn of events in this book, however, and that really kept things going near the end of the book. I was sad to see how it turned out, but I’m anxious to see where Ms. Cornwell takes Dr. Scarpetta in the next installment!

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, O, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010

REVIEW: Victim Six by Gregg Olsen

Victim Six
by Gregg Olsen

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 406
Rating: 5/5
Read: May 8-12, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010;  RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 23

First Line: “Quiet, bitch,” he said. “Be a good girl and do as I say.”

When one girl goes missing the police assume that she’s run back to her home country. But when the second and third go missing they realize that something is not right. And when the bodies are discovered, Detective Kendall Stark can’t help but feel like she’s somewhat to blame for what is going on because she didn’t take the disappearance of the first girl very serious. When the body count reaches four and a fifth woman goes missing, things in the little town of Port Orchard, Washington hit a fever pitch. With the awareness of a serial killer in their midst, one dubbed the Cutter by the local newspaper, Kendall and her partner Josh Anderson have to do everything in their power to track down this killer and finally put an end to the terror in their town.

Gregg Olsen is one of my MUST read authors. Although I must admit, I’ve never read any of his true crime books (and I enjoy true crime) I have read all of his fiction novels. He can come up with some of the sickest, twisted stuff and I just can’t get enough of it! Now, I will state that this particular book started out slow for me. However, I stuck with it and definitely enjoyed how it ended up. I particularly liked how the title of the book made sense to me after I finished reading. Sometimes I wonder where book titles come from, but this one made perfect sense to me. Granted, Gregg Olsen’s books are not for the faint of heart, and I wouldn’t really recommend them to just anyone, but I can’t help but love his writing and I really enjoyed this one!

4/5, AUTHOR, B, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES, The Camel Club

REVIEW: The Camel Club by David Baldacci

The Camel Club
by David Baldacci

Copyright: 2005
Pages: 593
Rating: 4/5
Read: May 1-7, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010; Random Reading Challenge;  RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 22

First Line: The Chevy Suburban sped down the road, enveloped by the hushed darkness of the Virginia countryside.

There is a secret club in Washington. It’s members are four rather eccentric guys who study conspiracy theories and try to find out the truth behind certain governmental actions. They are led by Oliver Stone, a very mysterious man. Their efforts have very little impact on current events until they witness a murder. Determined to keep themselves alive and solve the murder, they have to work together with a somewhat disgraced Secret Service agent in order to keep the country from spiraling into an uncontrollable war of unimaginable proportions.

This is my first time reading David Baldacci (even though I have like 6 or 7 of his books.) This is a book that I’ve had on my shelf for more than a couple of years now and one that I have actually picked up and put aside twice before. The third time was definitely a charm for me and I am so glad that I was finally able to read this book because I did enjoy it. I must say that overall I enjoyed this book. However, I thought that it had a slow start (which might explain why I had previous trouble getting into this book). I also had trouble with all the flip-flopping back and forth between the different story lines in the beginning of the book. It took me about halfway through it before I was really able to get a good grasp on what exactly was going on and who all the characters really were. But I must say I was intrigued by the storyline itself, it was a very good plot in my opinion.