5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2011, READING CHALLENGES 2011

2011.3 REVIEW – Where are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark

Where Are the Children?
by Mary Higgins Clark

Copyright: 1975
Pages: 290
Rating: 5/5
Read: Jan. 14 – 16, 2011
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense Challenge; TBR Dare; TwentyEleven Challenge; What’s in a Name 4
Yearly Count: 3
Format: Print

First Line: He could feel the chill coming in through the cracks around the windowpanes.

Blurb: Nancy Harmon had fled the vil of her first marriage, the macabre deaths of her two little children, the hideous charges against her. She changed her name, dyed her hair, moved from California to New England. Now she was married again, had had two more lovely children, and her life was filled with happiness … until the morning when she looked for her children and found only one tattered red mitten and knew that the nightmare was beginning again…

Review: This is Mary Higgins Clark’s first mystery novel. I found it just as thrilling as her recent novels! You could definitely tell that it was dated (1975), but that really didn’t take away from the actual storyline. In all honesty, this is a book that can be read 100 years from now and still be good. Overall, I thouroughly enjoyed this book. That’s not to say it was perfect, I did have a little bit of an issue with Nancy’s character. I guess it stems from me not liking such weak women characters. I have very little sympathy for weak women, so I didn’t really like Nancy’s character as much as I could have. I was also a little disappointed by the lack of background about Nancy. For  most of the book I kept scratching my head wondering if I had missed something, and then I decided that there was a lot that wasn’t revealed as early as it could have been. This is a 290 page book that was short, sweet and to the point. It could have had at least 30 extra pages in it to include this background. Of course, then I would probably be complaining about too much background, so I suppose that complaint is a double edged sword. Overall, I really did enjoy this book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

Sunday Wrap-Up

Sunday Wrap-Up, Jan. 16, 2010

Here’s my weekly wrap-up:

I participated in three memes:

  1. I welcomed one book in my mailbox this week
  2. I talked about my blogging/reading resolutions
  3. I talked about my reading in WWW Wednesdays

I posted one review:

I’ve really been using the schedule feature lately. Which is a good thing, because I will be going out of town this week. So if you don’t see as much of me you know why.

AUTHOR, Book Review, E, Fiction, Read in 2011, READING CHALLENGES 2011, SERIES, Taylor Jackson

2011.2 REVIEW – Judas Kiss by J.T. Ellison

Judas Kiss
by J.T. Ellison

Copyright: 2009
Pages: 395
Rating: 4/5
Read: Jan. 5 – 14, 2011
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense Challenge; TBR Dare
Yearly Count: 2
Format: Print

First Line: Blood. It was everywhere.

Blurb: It was a murder made for TV: a trail of tiny bloody footprints. An innocent toddler playing beside her mother’s bludgeoned body. Pretty young Corinne Wolff, seven months pregnant, brutally murdered in her own home. Cameras and questions don’t usually faze Nashville homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson, but the media frenzy surrounding the Wolff case is particularly nasty … and thorough. When the seemingly model mommy is linked to an amateur porn Web site with underage actresses and unwitting players, the sharks begin to circle. The shock is magnified when an old adversary uses the sexy secret footage to implicate Taylor in a murder – an accusation that threatens her career, her reputation and her relationship. Both cases hinge on the evidence – real or manufactured – of crimes that go beyond passion, into the realm of obsessive vengeance and shocking betrayal. Just what the networks love.

Review: Okay, so it took me forever to read this book. But not because I wasn’t enjoying it! I actually really liked this book. For whatever reason, I really like Taylor Jackson as a character! She’s witty, independent, smart, and manages to balance all of that with her love life and work life. It’s amazing what kind of insight the author, J.T. Ellison, has into the psyche of the character she has created. In this particular installment, many of the cases from Taylor’s past come back into her life. It’s interesting to see how she handles it all – along with the pressure of having some really embarrassing tapes being released to the media. This book does have some adult aspects to it, so I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. (But I’m not really a good judge when it comes to offensive material because I’m not offended by much of anything.) Overall I’m really looking forward to reading more Taylor Jackson, I’m dying to know what she does with the awful Delores Norris (what a despicable woman!).

Here’s a line that made me laugh out loud when I was reading:

She was starting to get a complex; just how many serial killers could the city of Nashville have in one day?

Meme, WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays – Jan. 12, 2011

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?

  • Judas Kiss by J.T. Ellison – I’m almost done with it though! It’s been a crazy week at work so far and my reading has suffered because of it.

* What did you recently finish reading?

*What do you think you’ll read next?

  • I’m not entirely sure … but after the week I’ve had so far, I need something light and easy!
Meme, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Jan. 11, 2010

Top Ten Bookish/Blogging Resolutions in which you can share all those things you things that you resolve to do concerning your reading or blogging life.

  1. Participate in as many memes as I possibly can. I pass up on a lot of opportunities when it comes to memes. I want to change that this year. I need to participate more, it will only help me become more well known in the book blogosphere, plus it will help me post everyday (hopefully!)
  2. Comment, comment, comment. I am determined to stop being such a lurker and comment on other people’s blogs more often. I have countless blogs in my Google Reader that I follow religiously, I want to let all these wonderful bloggers know that I’m enjoying their blogs!
  3. Review a book as quickly as I can. I noticed more than once in 2010 that I wasn’t reviewing books as soon as I possibly could. This meant that by the time I got around to reviewing the book, I was 2-3 books down the road and had trouble recalling specifics about the particular book I was trying to review. I don’t necessarily have to review the book on my blog immediately, I just want to make sure that I don’t let too much time pass before I have a chance to put words to my thoughts.
  4. READ MORE! I read 67 books total in 2010. Overall, I’m pleased with that number. But in November I only read 3 books! I could have easily hit 70 books had I not hit such a huge slump. I need to work out of those slumps. I need to pick up “fluff” books when I hit slumps. I need to make myself read as much as I possibly can.
  5. Pick up that Nook. I received a Nook Color for Christmas. I received it early, the day it came out. And I have read ONE book on it. ONE!! And I have loaded like 6-7 books on it. I need to pick it up more and read off of it more. I like to read two books at once. I always take a book with me to work. I need to make a plan to pick up the Nook and read it at night. (Unless of course the paper book that I’m reading at work is just that good and I want to read it more.)
  6. Schedule. I need to use the schedule feature more often. A lot of the things that I post on here I can use the schedule feature. For example, this is a scheduled post! I started this post on Jan. 4th, it’s now Jan. 9th and I’m editing on it some more 🙂 This is definitely a feature I need to use, especially since I tend to go out of town quite a bit. I hate having huge gaps in the dates of my posts. If I schedule, I can cut back on that.
  7. Find a better layout. Here’s the deal, I’ve had the same theme on my blog since the day I took it live on WordPress. I just keep changing the colors. I need something new. I need something better. I’ve been putting off changing things up because of all my widgets and needing the free time to mess with it all at once. I need to just schedule a weekend and sit down and take care of it all.
  8. Organize those book shelves. My in-laws bought me a nice 5 shelf book case for Christmas. Not one of those cheapies that I have from Walmart. A nice one. I need to get it put together (I love my husband!) and start getting my books better organized. I was using an Excel spreadsheet. That’s just not cutting it anymore. I have downloaded a free trial version of a book database software. I have begun inputting a little bit, if I continue to like it I will purchase the full version and go from there.
  9. Breaking up is hard to do. I need to break up with some of my books. Desperately. I need to just sit down and weed them out. If they’ve been on my shelves for too long I need to see about moving them to another spot and if they are still unread within 6 months, they need new homes. Period. End of story. I need to do this, my house is being overrun with books (and I have a huge house!). Besides, I am a little intimidated by the amount of books I have, it’s daunting, actually.
  10. Get my husband to read. My husband, bless his heart, is a civil engineer. He claims he hates to read. I keep telling him he hasn’t found the right book yet. I’m determined to find the right book, even if that means I have to hunt down James Bond and Indiana Jones books for him (his favorite movies). I don’t necessarily want to turn him into a book worm like me, but we travel a lot and it would be nice if I could get him to read a book on airplanes rather than bug me the whole trip 🙂
Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday – Jan. 10, 2010

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Monday is still on tour, with January’s spot being at Rose City Reader.

    Cop Hater by Ed McBain (PBS)

       Swift, silent, and deadly – someone is knocking off the 87th Precinct’s finest, one by one. The how of the killings if obvious: three .45 shots from the dark add up to one, two, three very dead detectives. The why and the who are the Precinct’s headaches now. When Detective Reardon is found dead, motive is a big question mark. But when his partner becomes victim number two, it looks like open-and-shut grudge killings. That is, until a third detective buys it. With one meager clue, Detective Steve Carella begins his grim search for the killer, a search that takes him into the city’s underworld to a notorious brothel, to the apartment of a beautiful and dangerous widow, and finally to a .45 automatic aimed straight at his head…

This was an impulse “buy” from PBS. I’m not sure what it was exactly that made me use a credit on this book, but it does look very good, and it’s a series that I’ve looked at trying quite often in the past.

Sunday Wrap-Up

Sunday Wrap-Up, Jan. 9, 2011

I’m going to be starting something new here on my blog. I’ve seen some other people do things like this and I think it’s a great idea. I want to start wrapping up what I’ve done here on my blog on a weekly basis. Here goes:

I participated in three memes this week:

  1. I talked about how I did with my 2010 reading goals in my Musing Mondays post
  2. I listed my Top 10 MUST READ books for 2011 in Top Ten Tuesdays
  3. And I participated in WWW Wednesdays

I also reviewed one book this week:

  1. Double Cross by James Patterson

I started a new page here on my blog:

  1. Books Acquired in 2011

Overall, I did pretty good here on my blog this week. I am trying to make a conscious effort to post more and participate more in 2011 than I have in my previous years as a book blogger. It’s hard to believe that I’m going into my 3rd year of blogging this year! Crazy! I’m definitely looking forward to making 2011 a wonderful year as far as my blog is concerned.

I cleaned up my blog a little bit last weekend – trying to get my 2010 things into more permanent locations and get my 2011 goals/challenges zeroed out to start all over again. I spend way too much time on the internet, and yet, not enough time on my blog! I hope to be able really get this blog into tip-top shape. You might be seeing some layout changes in the coming months, as I’m itching for something new (and yet dragging my feet because of the time it will take, and the insecurities I have with changing anything too much). Hope everyone has another great week this week!

5/5, Alex Cross, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2011, READING CHALLENGES 2011, SERIES

2011.1 REVIEW – Double Cross by James Patterson

Double Cross
by James Patterson

Copyright: 2007
Pages: 402
Rating: 5/5
Read: Jan. 1 – 5, 2011
Challenge: Criminal Plots Challenge; Mystery & Suspense Challenge; TBR Dare
Yearly Count: 1
Format: Print

First Line: At the time of his formal sentencing in Alexandria, Virginia, for eleven known murders, the former FBI agent and pattern killer Kyle Craig, known as the Mastermind, was lectured and condescended to by U.S. District Judge Nina Wolff.

Blurb: Alex Cross rejoins the D.C. police force to confront two of the most diabolical killers he’s ever encountered. Just when his life is calming down, Alex Cross is drawn back into a lethal game like no other. In Washington, D.C., a maniac stages his killings as spectacles in public settings. Alex is pursuing a genius of terror who has the whole city on edge. And the killer loves the attention – he even sets up his own web site and live video feed to trumpet his madness. In Colorado, another brilliant madman is planning a triumphant return. From his supermaximum-security prison cell, Kyle Craig has plotted for years an impossible escape. If he has to join forces with D.C.’s Audience Killer to get back at the man who put him in that prison – Alex Cross – all the better.

ReviewSpoilers possible. This is the 13th in the Alex Cross series. This is one of my absolute favorite series *ever*. It’s amazing what kind of trouble Alex always ends up in (or rather, what kind of trouble always finds Alex…). In this particular installment, The Mastermind (a.k.a. Kyle Craig) makes another appearance – in the form of a pretty interesting prison escape. Alex is also having to deal with helping his girlfriend, Bree, and best friend, Sampson, with the Audience Killer case in Washington, D.C. I thought it was very interesting how Kyle Craig was brought back onto the scene by the author. But what’s even more interesting is that at the end of the book, he is still at large! It sometimes seems a little improbable in regards to how many big cases Alex Cross and the Washington D.C. police department have to deal with. And even though some of the situations that the author poses to the reader seem almost entirely impossible, I still love this series! As soon as I finish an Alex Cross book, I’m always interested to know where Alex will go in the next book. This is one of the few series that I have found that has not really gone downhill as it progresses. I highly recommend this book and series.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Jan. 4, 2011

The Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. I decided to join in this week. Here’s the question and my answer:

Top Ten Books I Resolve To Read in 2011 

In no particular order:

  1. The Anatomy of Deception by Lawrence Goldstone – I received this book in the summer of 2010 from Paperbackswap, I need to read this book this year.
  2. Revoultion by Jennifer Donnelly – I won this book in a giveaway and I am so anxious to read it!
  3. The Tenth Justice by Brad Meltzer – I read and reviewed a digital ARC of The Inner Circle in December and I absolutely loved it so I am wanting to go back and read through Mr. Meltzer’s book list.
  4. The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl – I have had this book on my shelf for three years, I need to read it this year.
  5. The Insanity File: The Case of Mary Todd Lincoln by Mark E. Neely, Jr. & R. Gerald McMurtry – I have had this book on my shelf for almost two years after waiting on the wish list on PBS for over a year, I definitely need to get to this book this year.
  6. Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Edward Steers, Jr. – I bought this book a LONG time ago, like 5+ years ago, I think it’s more than time to read this one.
  7. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi & Curt Gentry – This is another book that has been on my shelf for way too long, definitely a great year to get to this one.
  8. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova – 2011 seems like a great year to finally read this book!
  9. The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks – Received this book late in 2010, after having my eye on it for some time; definitely want to get to this book this year!
  10. The Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy – Okay, so this one is a little sentimental for me. The very first date I had with my husband was in June of 2002 and we went and saw “The Sum of All Fears” at our local movie theater. I want to read this book (and watch the movie with my husband again!)