I saw this giveaway, and I wanted to mention it! As I am in love with all things Jane Austen, I want to make sure my readers get a chance to win some of these prizes. One of the prizes, by the way is a complete set of Jane Austen's Novels. There are tons of great, non-Austen prizes as well.
Sorry about the Tuesday Weekend Wrap-up, but I post-poned my normal edition since my weekend was long! Yay for Memorial Day! Having said that, let's get this round-up started...
Books I finished...
So this will be a weird section, because I had to stop reading a book without having finished it. If you read my earlier posts, you would know that I had to stop reading Sacrilege, by S.J. Parris. Now that I know there are two other books in the series, I have begun collecting them. So, after 100 pages, I am pausing that book until I finish the other two.
On to the book I legitimately started and finished this weekend. I can say this that I am hanging my head in shame for not starting this series sooner. I started and finished City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare, this weekend. I will definitely be posting a review on that one. I would like to pose a question to readers, especially those who have read Cassandra Clare's other books. Is anyone else noticing character similarities? We shall see...
Books I started...
I have started reading The Flower Bowl Spell, by Olivia Boler. As a preview for everyones, check back in on June 15 & 16. I will be posting a review of the The Flower Bowl Spell and the author will be doing a guest post!!!!
Your best friend or a vicious killer? You won't know until the 11th hour.
Lindsay Boxer is pregnant at last! But her work doesn't slow for a second. When millionaire Chaz Smith is mercilessly gunned down, she discovers that the murder weapon is linked to the deaths of four of San Francisco's most untouchable criminals. And it was taken from her own department's evidence locker. Anyone could be the killer--even her closest friends.
Lindsay is called next to the most bizarre crime scene she's ever seen: two bodiless heads elaborately displayed in the garden of a world-famous actor. Another head is unearthed in the garden, and Lindsay realizes that the ground could hide hundreds of victims.
A reporter launches a series of vicious articles about the cases and Lindsay's personal life is laid bare. But this time she has no one to turn to--especially not Joe. 11TH HOUR is the most shocking, most emotional, and most thrilling Women's Murder Club novel ever.
I have read all of the Women's Murder Club books, and wow, it's been eleven editions. It's weird how many years of my life I have been reading about these characters. Obviously, since I have invested all of this time, I enjoy the books. If you ever check out my Good Reads shelves, you will see that I really enjoy James Patterson, as well.
I was worried when I started this book, because one of my favorite parts of the previous installments was the story of Lindsay finding romance. There was always a lot of sexual tension between her and her partner, Conklin. And obviously, there is a lot of chemistry between Lindsay and her former FBI boyfriend, Joseph Molinari. When they got married, and now pregnant, I thought the romantic drama would diminsh. I should have known better.
If there is anything that James Patterson is good at, it is bringing the drama. In 11th Hour, the bottom falls out of Lindsay's marriage. As a reader, and a person invested in their relationship, I was definitely taken on the ride with her.
As for the murders, Patterson wove two different serial killers into this book, and as only a good writer can, he made you feel sorry for one of them. I love trying to solve the crime, and while I had my suspicions, I can never really make a guess when reading one of his thrillers. He is always twisting the plot and characters to the point that I doubt even what I know. This is a good book to read, especially for those who have read the others.
This post is technically not about a book, but instead about the frustration of reading a book. Specifically, the frustration of finding out that the book you have been reading is part of a series. This is especially frustrating when there is no mention of previous books on any part of the book.
It might just be me, but I can't stand to pick up a story in the middle. I know that there are tons of books that are within a series that can stand alone. Furthermore, this author was particularly good at making the reader understand the past events without having read the books. However, I cannot help but feel I have missed vital parts of the characters pasts without having read the previous books.
Now that I know, I can't seem to get past it. I had to stop reading book #3, and now that I am involved, I have to go get book #1 and #2. Does anyone else feel this way?? I really hope I am not sitting alone on crazy island with this one.
Anyway, I have started reading a new book, City of Bones, while I wait for the two prequels to Sacrilege. Ironically, one of the two prequels was already on my to-read list, so at least I am consistent.
In my push to get 100 followers, I am doing a giveaway. I have a new, paperback copy of the first hunger games! All you have to do is be a follower of my blog. The winner will be randomly chosen, and I will send you a message if you win. I will be chossing the winner on July 4, 2012. US only :(
I have decided to make a post every Monday wrapping up my weekend of reading. Basically what books I finished, started, or got interested in.
This weekend I finished the latest installment of the Women's Murder Club, by James Patterson, 11th Hour. Great book, and I will reserve the majority of my thoughts for my full review, but it was a really enjoyable read.
I started reading Sacrilege by S.J. Parris. I don't know much, but it seems really good so far!
London, summer of 1584: Radical philosopher, ex-monk, and spy Giordano Bruno suspects he is being followed by an old enemy. He is shocked to discover that his pursuer is in fact Sophia Underhill, a young woman with whom he was once in love. When Bruno learns that Sophia has been accused of murdering her husband, a prominent magistrate in Canterbury, he agrees to do anything he can to help clear her name.
In the city that was once England's greatest center of pilgrimage, Bruno begins to uncover unsuspected secrets that point to the dead man being part of a larger and more dangerous plot in the making. He must turn his detective's eye on history—on Saint Thomas Becket, the twelfth-century archbishop murdered in Canterbury Cathedral, and on the legend surrounding the disappearance of his body—in order to solve the crime.
As Bruno's feelings for Sophia grow more intense, so does his fear that another murder is about to take place—perhaps his own. But more than Bruno's life is at stake in this vividly rendered, impeccably researched, and addictively page-turning whodunit—the stability of the kingdom hangs in the balance as Bruno hunts down a brutal murderer in the shadows of England's most ancient cathedral.
What’s better than a wedding? Four weddings! Meet the women of Vows, Connecticut’s most fabulous event planners, who know how to create the perfect celebration—but have to face their own jitters when it’s their turn to walk down the aisle.
I listened to all four of these novels on audiobook. Ironically, the characters in these books are well thought out. I feared that the four women, and the corresponding men in their lives, would get repetitive. But, honestly, Nora Roberts did a great job creating seperate personalities for each of her characters.
She also did a great job of running themes throughout the four books that tied them together. For instance, Mac's (the photographer) mother, Linda, played a villain's role throughout the series. Linda exposed the inner fears of each of the characters and created turmoil and conflicts throughout.
I listened to the entire series on audiobook, and I really think it made a difference. The characters were distinguished by the narroator very well. It helped seperate the women and men for me, because they all had a different voice and different phrasing.
I would definitely recommend this series for anyone who has ever experienced love or friendship. It's also a great read for anyone who like weddings! As someone who loves watching wedding shows, like Say Yes to the Dress, I really enjoyed reading how the women planned the events. Makes me want to open a business of my own because it sounds so perfect!!!
Next up to be reviewed is 11th Hour by James Patterson, so stay tuned!
I will admit, that initially I read John Adams by David McCullough for silly reasons. I wanted to watch the series on DVD, and it bugs me to watch something based on a book without having read the book. Also, it's over 650 pages, so I have now read 3 books of more than 450 pages this year. I am only 2 away from my goal of five!!! The point is that I wasn't excited about reading this book...but I should have been.
I have to be honest, I rate nonfiction books against other nonfiction books, simply because I am not as interested. I don't get as lost inside of them as I do fiction books. Please bear that in mind when comparing this to other books I have rated. Moving on...
The best part about this book was learning the personal relationships that occurred between our founding fathers. When I think of the American Revolution, I think of these great men who came together to fight against and stand up to tyranny. In truth, the revolutionaries were a group of flawed individuals who rarely agreed on anything (sound familiar?).
Between disease, poverty, and war, the country was extremely lucky to come out the revolution with independence. Once gaining independence, the country was lucky to come out of the drafting session with any semblance of a working constitution. Egos, power struggles, and personal agendas nearly destroyed what would become the most unique republic ever created.
David McCullough's book explains these struggles in beautiful detail, all while telling Adam's personal journey. After finishing the book, the reader understands how difficult John Adam's life must have been, not only for him but also for his family. Independence came at a price.
Today I received a reminder that Deborah Harkness's, Shadow of Night, is coming out on July 10, 2012. When I read the first installment, A Discovery of Witches, I knew I was hooked. I seriously suggest that everyone read this book!!! In honor of the new release, which I have been waiting more than a year for, I have poted the synopsis from the first book. Hopefully, you will read this synopsis and need to read the book. And if you read this book, you will need to read the next one!
A Discovery of Witches....When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.
For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.
Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.
This is the 12th installment in the Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris. I have read every book in the series, and I always look forward to the newest addition. Lately I have felt that the series is getting unfocused. In the first several books, the reader was sucked into Sookie Stackhouse's life as she navigates a world where vampires have made their existence known. Now, twelve books later, Sookie has fallen in and out of love with her first boyfriend (a vampire named Bill) and is currently in love with a powerful vampire named Eric.
One of the strongest driving forces within the series is Sookie's love interests. Most recently, it has been the love and sexual tension that exists between Sookie and Eric; however, in this installment, the relationship does not come forward with any prominence. This is especially jarring, since Sookie is dealing with the possibility that Eric might leave her and go through with an arranged marriage with another vampire.
Though the characters are as engaging as ever, the story was not as focused. I was left yearning for more interactions between Sookie and the vampires. I also wanted more action. The book was full of internal dialogue with Sookie, which allowed for a lot of character development for the protagonist, but the other characters were almost forgotten at times.
All in all, I still love the books. I would recommend these books for anyone interested in vampires, fantasy, or just fun/easy reading. I love Sookie, Bill and Eric. Though the last few books seemed to have drifted from the core sentiments that made me want to read the series, the books still share with me a charaacter that I have come to care about. I wouldn't start with this book, but if the author doesn't, I won't end with this book, either.
So I am doing a reading challeng that requires that I read 5 books that are 450 pages or more. So far, I have read 11/22/63 by Stephen King and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. I am exactly 80 pages from being done with my third book in this reading challenge, John Adams by David McCullough. I will post my thoughts when I finish.
My point in giving this information is this...what's next? I several other reading challenges going, and one day I will post a list or a tracker of some sort. I might take a break from these challenges and read the new Sookie Stackhouse novel. Time for a trip to Barnes and Noble!!! I am also way behind on James Patterson books! I need suggestions ASAP! They can be anything by anyone!!!