Mid-Year Update

First Half of 2012 in Review

Wow, I can’t believe the year is half over already. Of course I find it hard to believe that we also welcomed our baby boy already as well – those 40 weeks of pregnancy seemed to fly by (well, technically only 39 for me).

Anyway, a shameless self-promotional plug – Happy Birthday to me 🙂

Moving on.

I have to say that with everything that has gone on this year, it is truly amazing that I have managed to read 17 books.  And three of those were completed AFTER Garrett arrived. There’s not much else to do with a baby who has to stay elevated for 30 minutes after he eats to relieve his reflux. At 2 in the morning. 🙂 Of course I’ve spent more than my fair share on Pinterest during those moments as well – downloading the iPhone app was the worst move – it’s soooo addicting! However, I am only going to be mentioning the first 16 in this post seeing as how the 17th book was completed in July.

Anyway, you guys are here about the books not to hear my rambling.

Visually, here’s what I’ve read so far this year. Clicking on the individual book covers will link you back to my review:

Overall I’m quite pleased with this year’s read thus far. I’ve read some really good ones. I can say with certainty that at least 3 of the above books will make my yearly Top Ten reads (Damage by John Lescroart; The Pawn by Steven James; The Wrong Man by David Ellis) with another two definitely being in the running (Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow; Stolen Prey by John Sandford).

The only thing that disappoints me is that I have yet to read a non-fiction book this year. Of course that’s probably due to the fact that my concentration level is at an all-time low. Unfortunately that’s not likely to change anytime soon. So I may or may not get any non-fiction reading done this year. I’m reading purely to escape right now. So I need quick, fun, exciting reads.

Statistically:

  • Fiction: 16
  • Non-Fiction: 0
  • Pages Read: 6,720
  • Sources – Personal Copy – 12
    Review Copy – 3
    Library Copy – 1
  • Male Authors: 12
  • Female Authors: 4
  • New-to-Me Authors: 5
  • Part of a Series: 14
  • New Series Started: 6
  • Copyright Year – 2012: 3
    2000-2011: 9
    1990s: 2
    1980s: 2
  • Challenge Update – Mystery & Suspense 2012: 14/12 completed – 100% completed
    Off the Shelf 2012: 12/30 completed
    The Eclectic Reader Challenge: 5/12 completed

So there you have it. That’s all the stats I can think to come up with right now. To briefly discuss them, I’m glad that I’ve been reading off my shelves – that is something I desperately need to do! I’m disappointed that I have only read 4 books by female authors, I need to work on upping that! However, I am ecstatic that I have found 5 new-to-me authors so far this year. As far as book series goes, I am hopelessly addicted and did not need to start 6 new series in the first half of this year! Oh well. I’m very pleased as to where I am on my challenges. I have successfully completed the Mystery & Suspense Challenge, but I am going to continue to work toward the 24 book option of the challenge; Off the Shelf, I think I’ve done pretty good. I’m pleased as to where I am on that one as well; The Eclectic Reader Challenge I’m a little disappointed in, because the genres that I have read are the ones that are easiest for me. I need to get started on the other more challenging genres – that is what this is about, challenging myself!

I think that’s all I’ve got for right now. I hope everyone has a good rest of the week and weekend and happy reading 🙂

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Kay Scarpetta, RATING, Read in 2012, READING CHALLENGES 2012, SERIES

2012.17 REVIEW – Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell

Scarpetta
by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright: 2008
Pages: 579
Rating: 4/5
Read: June 26 – July 5, 2012
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense 2012; Off the Shelf 2012
Yearly Count: 17
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb: Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta takes an assignment in New York City, where an injured patient in Bellevue Hospital’s psychiatric prison ward has specifically asked for her. While Scarpetta examines him, she listens to one of the most bizarre stories she has ever heard.

Oscar Bane says his injuries were sustained in the course of a murder … that he did not commit. Is Bane a criminally insane stalker who has fixated on Scarpetta? Or is his paranoid tale true, and it is he who is being spied on, followed, and stalked by the actual killer? The one thing Scarpetta knows for certain is that a woman has been tortured and murdered – and more violent deaths will occur…

In the days that follow, Scarpetta, her forensic psychologist husband, Benton Wesley, and her niece, Lucy, who has recently formed her own forensic computer investigation firm in New York, will undertake a harrowing chase through cyberspace and the all-too-real streets of the city. It is an odyssey that will take them at once to places they never knew but also much, much too close to home.


Review: Okay, here’s the deal: In 2010 I went kind of bonkers and read the first 15 Scarpetta books pretty much back to back. I got burned out. Big time. In fact, I wrote a pretty negative review of the 15th book in the series, Book of the Dead. I made it relatively clear that I was burned out in that review and that I was not impressed with where this series was going. Fast forward a year and a half later and I decided to pick up book 16, Scarpetta. It was more curiosity than anything. I remembered perfectly clearly that I was unimpressed by the previous book and that I was especially ticked off with the direction the character development was going in. Oh and the fact that Dr. Scarpetta could not stay put – she was constantly moving, two new cities in two books! For me to remember that clearly so long after reading it why I hated that book speaks volumes – I must have really not liked it. However, I was determined to give her one more shot (two actually, since I’ve still got The Scarpetta Factor on my shelf).

So what do I have to say about this book? Well, it read pretty quickly for me – and when you have a 5 week old baby in the house and you are able to read “quickly” it must not be too bad of a book.

First I want to discuss the characters. I still am not impressed with Pete Marino and how Scarpetta handled (or rather, pretty much chose to ignore) the situation that occurred between the two of them in the previous book. I knew she would forgive him when she really should not have even considered such a thing. Lucy wasn’t nearly as obnoxious in this book and I think Benton is going to start coming around (hopefully) in his relationship with Kay. The supporting characters were good in this book. Jaime Berger was pretty prominent in this book (it is set in NYC, which is where Berger has always been) and I’m confident she will figure prominently in the future books as well.

The storyline was interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where dwarfism played a part in the plot. That was kind of interesting. I was also impressed with the who-dun-it part. When the blurb says things hit too close to home, well that is spot on accurate in this case. The who-dun-it part was a surprise to me, I couldn’t believe how it ended up unfolding in the end. I will say that I was a little disappointed in the overall ending. When you’ve got a 500+ page book, I kind of feel that the ending sometimes needs more than 5 pages. I know there has to be some kind of a happy medium between too drawn out and too rapid, but this particular ending was lacking a little bit in my opinion. However, I will say that everything was wrapped up relatively nicely – I didn’t think it had too much of a cookie-cutter feeling, but questions were answered at the end.

So what is my overall opinion of this book? I enjoyed it. I’m not entirely sure I’m back on board with this series yet, though. I think I will take it one book at a time. I also think that having such a long break since reading the previous book helped my opinion of this one. I went into it with a more open mind, rather than still being irritated from the last installment. Without a doubt, the early Scarpetta books are wonderful, but this one wasn’t too shabby in my opinion. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I would highly recommend this book, but I wouldn’t discourage people from giving it a shot (if they’ve read all the previous books and have become burned out like I did).