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

REVIEW: City in Shadow by Evan Marshall

City in Shadow
by Evan Marshall

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 182
Rang: 4/5
Read: Oct. 29-31, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge
Yearly Count: 58

First Line: Anna Winthrop arranged throw pillows on the twin bed, then stepped back to admire her handiwork.

Anna Winthrop sees a scared woman leave a note outside her apartment. It reads: HELP ME. So Anna sets out to do just that. She spots her out at a restaurant with a respected doctor. Then she sees her running in Grand Central Station. But each time the woman vanishes as quickly as she appears. Then her body is found in the Hudson River. All the while, a career-making story leads investigative journalist Nettie Clouchet to a human trafficking ring. A woman acts as bait trying to find her missing sister. And Anna’s cousin, Patti, visiting from Cincinnati, searches New York’s dark streets, without saying why. All roads lead back to the Kirkmore, an apartment building where some dirty secrets are being kept, more terrifying than ever imagined.

This was a review book sent to me courtsey of Julie at FSB Associates. Overall I thought that this was a good book. It’s in the middle of a series, something that I generally do not like to do, but when this book was pitched to me it really caught my attention. Like I said, overall it’s a good book. However, it was hard to get into at first simply because there were so many storylines going on. But once I got a good grip on who was part of what storyline, it was a good book to get into. I was surprised by some of the twists and turns the story took. I was also surprised by how stupid some of the characters could be! I found this to be an enjoyable read, and would be interested in reading the others in the Anna Winthrop series. Highly recommended.

5/5, Alex Cross, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES

REVIEW: Cross by James Patterson

by James Patterson

Copyright: 2006
Pages: 377
Rang: 5/5
Read: Oct. 25-29, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Finish That Series Challenge;  RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 57

First Line: “I’m pregnant, Alex.”

Alex Cross was a rising star in the Washington, D.C. Police Department, when his wife was gunned down by an unknown assailant. He wanted revenge, but his children needed him. So he poured himself into his job. But eventually he burned out. That’s what has led him to resign from the FBI and take up practicing psychology full-time. Things are going well in his life for the first time in a long time … at least until his old partner, John Sampson, shows up with a serial rape case asking for help. When a connection to Maria’s death pops up during the investigation, Alex may finally get the chance to seek vengeance for his wife’s death. Will he finally be able to get his answers?

This is the twelfth in the Alex Cross series and I still can’t get enough of this series! Overall I enjoyed this book. I’m glad that there was some closure for Alex regarding Maria’s death. But I have to admit, I didn’t really care for the way this book began. It was kind of confusing in places. But overall, it was still great. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a good, quick read.


E-Reader Suggestions?

Okay … so I want to make the jump to the e-reader. But I’m stumped as to which one to buy. Kindle – Nook – Sony? I’m kind of leaning towards either the Kindle or the Sony. I like the fact that the Sony would be more flexible for other sources of ebooks. But I also like to one-stop shopping of the Kindle and Nook. The prices seem to be cheaper on Amazon than Barnes and Noble. But the books on borders.com that can go on the Sony are even cheaper. Price isn’t really an issue for me right now – this will be my large Christmas gift from my grandmother. I really want something easy to use. So let’s start a discussion, pros/cons of the different e-readers. Ready? Go!

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES, Taylor Jackson

REVIEW: 14 by J.T. Ellison

by J.T. Ellison

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 402
Rang: 5/5
Read: Oct. 19-24, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge;  RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 56

First Line: Would the bastard ever call?

In the mid-1980s, the Snow White Killer terrorized Nashville. As abruptly as the killing started, it ended. Now it seems like the killer has started up again – four new bodies have been found that look exactly like the Snow White Killer’s work. Or is there a copycat? Nashville Homicide Lieutenant Taylor Jackson has the gut feeling that it’s a copycat at work. But she’s also a bit distracted trying to plan her impending wedding. Taylor knows that she won’t be able to enjoy her three week honeymoon unless this case is wrapped up. But the twists and turns that the clues will take them on will surprise everyone in the end.

This is the second in the Taylor Jackson series. You can read my review of the first book, All the Pretty Girls. This book really sucked me in from the first page and I wanted to know the truth. There were definitely some pretty shocking twists and turns that made this book just that much better. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a good thriller. Plus, I have the next two books on my shelves and am definitely looking forward to getting to them soon.

Meme, On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist, Oct. 23, 2010

So for today’s “On My Wishlist” I have two books that are coming out early next year.

First is an author I always read.  He’s definitely a favorite author! With a release date of 1/4/11, Greg Iles’s newest thriller:

 Penn Cage’s father, Dr. Tom Cage, stands accused of murder, and each effort to defend him unearths new, shocking secrets, leaving Penn to question whether he ever really knew his father at all. At issue is the murder of Tom’s former nurse, Viola Turner. The district attorney is quick to point the finger at Tom, citing his decades-old relationship with Viola. When Tom is taken into custody, Penn must explore the dangerous territory of Tom and Viola’s shared history, set squarely in the most harrowing years of civil-rights-era Mississippi. What was the relationship between Tom, Viola, and the ‘Double Eagle Club,’ an ultraviolent group of hardened men who considered themselves smarter, tougher, and more elite than their peers in the FBI-infiltrated Ku Klux Klan? In Natchez, Mississippi, where the past is never truly past, long-buried secrets tend to turn lethal when exposed to the light of day. For Penn Cage, the cost of solving this case is no exception.



And second is what sounds like another really great book from a great author. With a release date of 1/11/11, Brad Meltzer’s newest work:

 There are stories no one knows. Hidden stories. I love those stories. And since I work in the National Archives, I find those stories for a living. So says Benjamin January, a young archivist who spends his days working with the most important documents of the U.S. government. When Clementine Kaye, his first childhood crush, shows up at the Archives asking for his help tracking down her long-lost father, Benjy tries to impress her by showing her the secret vault where the President of the United States privately reviews classified documents. It is also where Benjy and Clementine accidentally happen upon a priceless artifact-a 200-year-old dictionary that once belonged to George Washington-hidden inside a desk chair. Eager to discover why the President is hiding this important national treasure, the two soon find themselves entangled in a web of deception, conspiracy, and murder that will reveal the most well kept secret of the U.S. Presidency.



So what’s on YOUR wishlist this week?


A Contest From the Authors of “The Marshall Plan”

I usually don’t advertise a lot on this blog, however, I am scheduled to read and review Evan Marshall’s City in Shadow in the next few weeks, so I thought I would share this contest because I think a lot of people would be interested in it. Evan Marshall and Martha Jewett, literary agents and authors of The Marshall Plan are offering a contest in celebration of NaNoWriMo! You can read all the pertinent info/contest rules here. Good luck to anybody interested 🙂

Meme, On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist, Oct. 16, 2010


So, I just came across the meme On My Wishlist, hosted by Book Chick City.  I like the idea of this meme, and hope to participate in it weekly. I have a pretty large selection of books on my PBS wishlist and reminder list combined. I hope to be able to share 1-3 books each week.

First is a book that I am eagerly anticipating the release of in March of 2011, the 4th book in the Archie & Gretchen series:

With Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Portland detective Archie Sheridan can finally rest. Meanwhile, the city of Portland is in crisis. Several people have drowned in heavy rains that have flooded the Willamette River. But the medical examiner discovers that in fact the latest victim was poisoned before she went into the water—she didn’t drown. A little detective work shows that so far three of those previously thought to be accidental drownings have actually been murdered. Portland has a new serial killer on its hands, and Archie and his task force have a new case. Meanwhile reporter Susan Ward is following up on an entirely separate mystery: the dramatic flooding has unearthed a skeleton, a man who might have died during catastrophic flooding more than sixty years ago that washed away an entire neighborhood and killed at least 15 people. As Archie follows the bizarre trail of evidence and evil deeds to catch his killer, he has to battle the rising waters of the Willamette first.

And second is a book that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time.

What do you get when a woman who’s obsessed with death and U.S. history goes on vacation? This wacky, weirdly enthralling exploration of the first three presidential assassinations. Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot), a contributor to NPR’s This American Life and the voice of teenage superhero Violet Parr in The Incredibles, takes readers on a pilgrimage of sorts to the sites and monuments that pay homage to Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley, visiting everything from grave sites and simple plaques (like the one in Buffalo that marks the place where McKinley was shot) to places like the National Museum of Health and Medicine, where fragments of Lincoln’s skull are on display. An expert tour guide, Vowell brings into sharp focus not only the figures involved in the assassinations, but the social and political circumstances that led to each-and she does so in the witty, sometimes irreverent manner that her fans have come to expect. Thus, readers learn not only about how Garfield found himself caught between the Stalwarts and the Half-Breeds, bitterly divided factions of the Republican party, but how his assassin, Charles Guiteau, a supporter of the Stalwarts and an occasional member of the Oneida Community, “was the one guy in a free love commune who could not get laid.” Vowell also draws frequent connections between past events and the present, noting similarities between McKinley’s preemptive war against Cuba and the Philippines and the current war in Iraq. This is history at its most morbid and most fascinating and, fortunately, one needn’t share Vowell’s interest in the macabre to thoroughly enjoy this unusual tour.

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Tagging Fun!

So, I saw this at Random Ramblings and since she tagged everyone, I thought I would join in 🙂

The Rules

1) Accept the tag and link to the tagger at the beginning of your post.
2) Answer the questions honestly in your post by listing four things.
3) Pass on the love by picking four other people to tag and listing them at the bottom of your post. Notify them that you tagged them.

4 random things that are in my handbag
1. ink pens – lots of them, I’m like obsessed!
2. chapstick
3. gift cards that I still have from my birthday … in July…
4. chewing gum – i never leave home without my orbit!
 4 favorite things in my bedroom
1. my book shelf
2. my bed – we got new bedroom furniture last year for my birthday and I still love it!
3. my alarm clock with a GREAT snooze button 🙂
4. the mini light that i use to read a book while my husband sleeps
4 Things on My Desk
1. my husband’s old computer that doesn’t work anymore
2. dust
3. post-it notes
4. nail polish, for some odd reason
4 Things I’ve Always Wanted To Do (but haven’t yet)
1. go to Egypt
2. go zip lining …. going to be doing this in Alaska next May though!
3. go to a U of I basketball game (and I’m not even a huge Illini fan, just would love to go once)
4. sky dive … but not sure if I’ll ever come up with the guts to do it
4 Things I Enjoy Very Much At The Moment
1. buster the westie 🙂
2. reading
3. college basketball
4. spending time with my husband
4 Things You Don’t Know About Me
1. I have OCD about certain things.
2. I prefer quiet nights in
3. I am not a creative person …
4. I watch too much TV
4 Bloggers I am Tagging
Anyone who wants to join in 🙂
4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, G, Nonfiction, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010

REVIEW: The Fun of Dying by Roberta Grimes

The Fun of Dying: Find Out What Really Happens Next!
by Roberta Grimes

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 149
Rating: 4/5
Read: Oct. 8-15, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge
Yearly Count: 55

From the back of the book:

If you wonder whether death ends life, how it feels to die, or what heaven might be like, this book is for you. If you worry about a lost loved one or fret about the death of a pet, all the answers to your questions are here. And if you are afraid of death, if you worry that your life has no meaning, or if you have given up on religions, then let this book ease some of your fears while it brings new meaning to your life. Nothing written here is based on the teachings of any religion. Instead, this book draws on more than a century’s worth of evidence to explain in detail how death feels, how it happens, and – most importantly – what comes next. Accounts of near-death experiences are just a small part of the afterlife evidence. A lot of the best death-related evidence was produced in the first half of the 20th century, and it has been ignored ever since by mainstream science and mainstream religions. When it is put together with more recent discoveries, it tells a consistent and amazing story. The Fun of Dying is a complete account of how dying feels and what comes next. Read it, learn the truth, and apply its lessons so you can enjoy your best life forevermore!

I received this book courtesy of Megan Renart at Phenix & Phenix Publicists. This was a quick and easy read, while I didn’t really agree with some of the points that the author made, overall I felt as if it was an interesting read. I haven’t read a lot of books regarding this topic so it was definitely a new learning experience for me. I’m not very religious, so my thoughts in regards to what happens after death are kind of vague. I personally liked the fact that the author made it perfectly clear early on in the book that she is not an “expert” in this field, that she has a career other than studying death (an attorney). I feel like that fact made this book just that much more readable. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn more about death and what happens afterward.

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

REVIEW: Predator by Patricia Cornwell

by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright: 2005
Pages: 456
Rating: 4/5
Read: Oct. 10-14, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Finish that Series Challenge; RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 54

First Line: It is Sunday afternoon and Dr. Kay Scarpetta is in her office at the National Forensic Academy in Hollywood, Florida, where clouds are building, promising another thunderstorm.

Dr. Kay Scarpetta is now freelancing with the National Forensic Academy in Florida when a new case comes her way. With the help of her team, Pete Marino, Benton Wesley, and her niece, Lucy, they will uncover a trail of surprising clues. Two sisters have gone missing, and the clues are confusing. Someone is trying to point Kay in a particular direction regarding this case. While another killer, one safely behind bars and involved in a psychiatric study with Benton, tries to send Kay in another direction. One by one, connections will be made and all leads will point to the psychopathic mind of a jailed serial killer’s mind.

I enjoyed this book … until the ending (or lack thereof). I suppose the next book in this series will begin where this one abruptly left off. There were quite a few unanswered questions in this book. Overall, though, I thought that this book was a lot better than the past couple of books in this series, but it’s still not nearly as good as the earliest book in this series.