READING CHALLENGES 2011

2011 Challenge: Criminal Plots Reading Challenge

One more, and then I think I’m done (unless something else really comes along and catches my eye and I can’t resist). I’m going to join the Criminal Plots Reading Challenge. It involves reading in the crime genre (again, my favorite!) Here are the rules:

So, what’s involved in this challenge you ask? It isn’t too difficult. It involves reading six books throughout 2011 (January 1 through December 31, 2011). One book should be read that fits into each of the following categories:

  1. A book by a new to you author who’s blurbed a book you enjoyed. So check out the cover of a crime fiction book you’ve enjoyed and see who blurbed that book and is also an author you’ve never read before.
  2. A book that has been made into a movie. It doesn’t have to be a movie you’ve seen but it can be. The book, however, should be one you haven’t read before. (Examples: MYSTIC RIVER, L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, LONDON BOULEVARD, HOSTAGE, etc.)
  3. A book with a protagonist opposite your own gender. So if you’re female, the protagonist should be male; if you’re male the protagonist should be female.
  4. A book set outside the country in which you live.
  5. A book that’s the first in a new-to-you series.
  6. A book by a 2011 debut author.

Other Important Details:

  • You can read the books in any format you choose: print, audio, e-book, etc.
  • You can read books from any sub-genre of crime fiction: hardboiled, P.I., police procedural, cozy, thriller, etc.
  • You do not need to have a blog to participate.
  • You can use the books for other challenges but one book cannot count for more than one category in THIS challenge.
  • Books do not need to be pre-determined. You can choose them at any time throughout the year. And you can read them in whatever order you choose.
  • At the conclusion, each participant that completes the challenge will be entered for a chance at one of three prize packs.

So there it is. I’m joining. I hope this one will be fun because it sure sounds like it!

  1. New author who’s blurbed a book you enjoyed:
  2. Book made into a movie: The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
  3. Book with a protagonist opposite your own gender: Double Cross by James Patterson
  4. Book set outside the country in which you live: A World I Never Made by James LePore
  5. Book that’s the first in a new-to-you series: Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
  6. Book by a 2011 debut author: Lonely Deceptions by D.R. Willis
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READING CHALLENGES 2011

2011 Challenge: Mystery & Suspense Challenge

I’m going to be doing this challenge in 2011 again! This is my absolute favorite genre of books, so it’s a given that I LOVE this challenge! Here’s what Book Chick City writes:

  • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 – 31 Dec 2011
  • Rules: To read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)
  • You don’t have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
  • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.
  • At the beginning of Jan 2011, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews. There will be a monthly prize too courtesy of the lovely Simon & Schuster – you must be signed up to the challenge and add the link to your review to be entered into the monthly prize draw.
Now, there are many different sub-genres of mystery and suspense – you can choose from the numerous sub-genres, from cosy mysteries such as Agatha Christie to the more hard-boiled kind like V I Warshawski by Sara Paretsky, or romantic suspense written by the likes of Linda Howard, forensic crime such as those written by Kathy Reichs and even paranormal/supernatural suspense such as Kelley Armstrong. I’m sure this challenge will have something for everyone! 🙂
To help you figure out and decide, I have updated a sub-genre list – to view this list go HERE.
That’s it! I’m so ready to start this challenge again 🙂 Looking forward to 2011 already!!
  1. Double Cross by James Patterson (Police Procedural)
  2. Judas Kiss by J.T. Ellison (Police Procedural)
  3. Where Are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark (Psychological Mystery)
  4. Cross Country by James Patterson (Police Procedural)
  5. Divine Justice by David Baldacci
  6. Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson (Cozy Mystery)
  7. Dying for Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson (Cozy Mystery)
  8. The Cereal Murders by Diane Mott Davidson (Cozy Mystery)
  9. The Tenth Justice by Brad Meltzer (Legal Thriller)
  10. Blood of My Brother by James LePore
  11. I, Alex Cross by James Patterson (Police Procedural)
  12. Supreme Justice by Phillip Margolin
4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, H, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, Review Book

REVIEW: When No One is Watching by Joseph Hayes

When No One is Watching
by Joseph Hayes

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 313
Rang: 4/5
Read: Dec. 1-4, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge
Yearly Count: 62
Format: Print

First Line: “I love this ride, Dano!” Blair Van Howe yelled exuberantly to his partner, who was passed out cold in the passenger seat.

On the eve of announcing his run for Congress, a charismatic Chicago politician causes a deadly accident. Panicked, he frames his best friend, a good-hearted alcoholic, and flees the scene. As one man tries to pick up the pieces of his shattered life, the other embarks on a meteoric rise to political stardom. But when a dogged detective digs deeper into the case, the political superstar must decide just how far he is willing to go to keep his dark secret.

I received this book for review courtesy of Megan at Phenix & Phenix Publicists. Overall, I enjoyed this story. There was actually two storylines throughout the book – one followed the path of Danny, the “driver” of the deadly car crash and the other followed Blair, the rising political superstar. The book itself moves at a very rapid pace, it spans 10 years in a short 313 pages. And what seems so strange when reading it is the fact that it feels as if Blair’s story is moving so much more rapidly than Danny’s story is, but I assume that it’s supposed to feel that way based on the two different storylines and the choices that the individual characters make. As the reader, we get to see Danny bring himself up from rock bottom – he goes to prison, he settles with the grieving wife, he cleans himself up and gets involved in AA, and then in the end nothing can save him. In alternating chapter, we also get to witness Blair’s rise to political stardom, from Congressman to Presidential candidate. And along the way, we see him falter and eventually crash and burn himself. Chapter 35 was especially poignant to me because Danny actually runs into the son of the man that was killed in the car crash – through AA. And from there we get to see what happened to the family that was torn apart because of the accident. This entire book is a really good testament to what can happen based on the choices that we make every day of our lives. Some people choose to take the high path, while others end up going in an entirely different direction. This book really illustrates what those choices could mean for you in the long run. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, it’s a really good read.

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

MINI REVIEW: Damaged by Pamela Callow

Damaged by Pamela Callow

Haunted by the death of her sister and wounded by her ex-fiancé’s accusations, Kate Lange throws herself into her new career at a high-powered law firm. When the grandmother of a lonely private school student seeks her counsel, Kate thinks it’s just another custody case. But then the teen is brutally murdered. And it isn’t only Kate who wonders if her legal advice led to the girl’s death. Put on notice by Randall Barrett, the firm’s charismatic managing partner, Kate must fight for her career, for her reputation—and for redemption. Unwilling to live with the damage she may have caused, Kate pursues the case on her own and unearths some chilling facts. Facts that lead straight to the heart of a legal conspiracy. Facts that lead Kate directly into the surgically skilled hands of the Body Butcher.

I read this book as an e-book and unfortunately I’m behind on my reviews, so this is only getting a mini-review. I enjoyed this book, it was a fast-paced and overall good read. But I had my issues with the main character, Kate. How stupid can one woman be? Seriously? First she gives practically a stranger the key to her house so that her dog can get walked while she is at work. Then she actually breaks into a funeral home in order to find evidence to support her theory. Really? Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book, because I did, I just had some issues with Kate as a character. I already have the second Kate Lange book loaded onto my Nook ready to read. I’m interested to see where she goes from here.

Rating: 4/5