Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Shadow Thieves by: Anne Ursu

This is Book One of The Cronus Chronicles. This book is rated for Ages 8-12. I told you when I started this blog I was an eclectic reader.
Ms. Ursu used up the first third almost half of the book getting the story set up, then the story began to pick up and had an exciting ending. I understand there are quite a few books in this series. I'm a little concerned that the age group this series is geared to might not be able to follow the story that well until they did some research on Greek myths. My children have been out of school for many years now and I know for a fact that they did not learn that much about Greek mythology in public school. I hope that the parents and mentors of the people reading these books will make sure that they get some background so they can enjoy this series. I know that at a later time I will probably seek out the rest of the series, but at this time I have books already on the pile to be read.

Happy Reading,
Beverly G ♥

A Death at the Rose Paperworks (Libby Seale) by: M. J. Zellnik

This is the second book about Libby Seale, unfortunately. As I stated in the review of the first book Midnight Ink Books has declined to publish any more of these books. It's a shame because this brother, sister team had a good series going and they left us with an excellent cliff hanger at the end of this book to make you want to pick up the next one as soon as possible.
I hope they are looking for another publisher and will have success in the future. This was a good 2 book read.

Happy Reading,
Beverly G ♥

Monday, June 14, 2010

Murder at the Portland Variety (A Libby Seale Mystery) by: M.J. Zellnik

I have just finished reading another historical mystery. This one is set in Portland, Oregon at the turn of the century. Since, I am unable to travel at this time this is a good way to visit places that I would like to see in person. There is a second book in this series which I am going to start reading tonight, so that review will be up next, but in doing a little bit of research to find out if there were other books coming out I discovered that Midnight Ink Books has not opted to publish the 3rd book. I also discovered that M. J. Zellnik is a brother, sister team, Miriam and Joe. It's a real shame that Midnight Ink Books has chosen to pass on the 3rd book because this is a wonderfully written story.
The cast of characters all have very interesting personalities and Libby Seale is what I like to call a "plucky" heroine. You get an interesting take on the workings of a vaudeville theater of the time. They also included in the story about the early use of the telephone, which I found very interesting because today the telephone is something that is so taken for granted and is practically permanently attached to people's heads.
Libby with the help of her new friend Peter solve the mystery with lots of interesting twists and turns and the Zellnik team end to story with you wanting very much to follow Libby into the next phase of her life.
I don't know that much about the publishing world, but I think I'm going to do a little more research and try to find out if the Zellnik team have been able to find another publisher.
If you like "plucky" heroines and some wonderful Oregon flavor at the turn of the century, this is a 2 book read for sure.

Happy Reading,
Beverly G ♥ 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Sword in the Grotto (Araminta Spookie) by: Angie Sage

   Last year I read the Septimus Heap series by: Angie Sage and enjoyed it very much. At that time I also found she had started a new series of stories about Araminta Spookie. Like the Septimus Heap series these books are on the shelves in the young peoples section of the store or library. However, at 60 years old, and having cut my reading teeth on fairy tales and fun stories I do sometimes like to read books written for our younger generation. I also like to watch "kid" movies. You have to remember you never get to old to have some fun and keep a fresh perspective on life.
That's one reason I like Araminta, she's always thinking of new things to get into. She lives in a very interesting house with her Aunt and Uncle, a couple of nice resident ghosts, and now the Wizzard's have come to live with them. Araminta always has a Plan, another reason I like her, I do like my lists and Plans, keeps life semi-orderly.
Start with the first book--The Haunted House and then this one for a fun quick read. You might even have some kids or grand kids who might like to read along with you.

Happy Reading,
Beverly G ♥

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Murder on Bank Street by: Victoria Thompson

  This was another good story in the ongoing Gaslight series. We started reading this series in 1999 with the first book Murder on Astor Place. Ms. Thompson started with a delightful group of characters and has developed them masterfully over the years. 
Sarah Brandt is a plucky heroine, and Detective Sgt. Frank Malloy is intrigued by this independent, smart woman. Sarah's husband was killed and in those times the police force was just being formed, without too much of a spoiler, Frank's perseverance has finally payed off and he has solved the mystery of who killed Sarah's husband. Now with two more books in the series already published we will see how Ms. Thompson carries on with the interesting lives of Sarah and her companions. 

Happy Reading,
Beverly G ♥ 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by: Alan Bradley

After being so immersed in the Outlander series this book was a nice light read. One reason I enjoyed this book was because a conversation with the author was included. I have to say when I start a new book I usually turn to the back of the book and read about the author, but if you can believe it I don't read the last page of the book. I like to kind of get a sense of the person who is writing. Alan Bradley has had a successful career and should be an inspiration to all, not just for his successes but because he is 70 years old and has found a fresh young character to bring to life for our enjoyment.
I came away from this book feeling like I had read about a budding Miss Marple. Mr. Bradley draws you into the life of Flavia de Luce and her family and fortunately for us there are more books about this delightful girl to come.

Happy Reading,
Beverly G ♥

100+ Reading Challenge

I only made it to 90 books this year. I am reading 2 now, but will not finish either before the end of the month. I have enjoyed participating in this challenge and look forward to starting my new list in January. I have new goals set for the new year and have become a more proficient blogger, so I have high hopes for 2011. Happy Reading--Beverly G ♥
1. The goal is to read 100 or more books. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

--Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post. To learn how to sign up without having a blog, click here.

2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Manga, Graphic Novels, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.

What doesn't count: Individual short stories or individual books in the Bible.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Books started before the 1st do not count.

6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to your post where your books will be listed. Include the URL to this post so that other viewers can find this fun challenge. If you’d prefer to put your list in the sidebar of your blog, please leave your viewers the link to the sign up page. Again, so viewers can join the challenge too.

I still feel I'm very new to blogging and so I'm kind of proud of myself today because I figured out how to get the challenge logo and rules over here to my post without blowing any thing up or seriously damaging my blog. After I finis this post I will see if I can get the logo as a clickable link on my side bar so all you visitors who might be interested in joining won't have to find this post in the archives.
When I found this challenge I looked back at my reading list for last year and I had read a total of 109 books and at this time last year I had read 51. However, last year I had not read any Chunkster books either.  Even though half of the year is gone I'm going to sign up and see if I can make it to 100 and hopefully surpass that number.  Without futher ado here is my--
List of Books Read in 2010 

1. A Veiled Deception---Annette Blair                   
2. The Cat, the Quilt, and the Corpse---LeAnn Sweeney
3. Finished Off---Rebecca Kent
4. The Diva Takes the Cake---Krista Davis
5. Death Loves A Messy Desk---Mary Jane Maffini
6. Scoop---Hannah Dennison
7. Homicide in Hardcover---Kate Carlisle
8. The Matters at Mansfield---Carrie Bebris
9. The Treacherous Teddy---John J. Lamb
10. The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion---Alice Kimberly
11. Stuck on Murder---Lucy Lawrence
12. Eggs Benedict Arnold---Laura Childs
13. A Death in Gascony---Sarah D'Almeida
14. Days of the Dead---Barbara Hambly
15. Booked to Die---John Dunning
16. Spackled & Spooked---Jennie Bentley
17. Outlander---Diana Gabaldon--850 pgs.
18. Dragonfly in Amber---Diana Gabaldon--947 pgs. 
19. Voyager---Diana Gabaldon--1059 pgs.
20. Drums of Autumn---Diana Gabaldon--1070 pgs.
21. The Fiery Cross---Diana Gabaldon--1443 pgs. 
22. A Breath of Snow and Ashes---Diana Gabaldon--979 pgs. 
23. An Echo in the Bone---Diana Gabaldon--820 pgs.
24. Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade---Diana Gabaldon
25. Lord John and the Hand of Devils---Diana Gabaldon
26. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie---Alan Bradley--370 pgs.
27. Murder on Bank Street---Victoria Thompson--324 pgs. 
28. The Sword in the Grotto (Araminta Spookie)---Angie Sage--
        146 pgs.

29. Murder at the Portland Variety---M. J. Zellnik--317 pgs. 
30. A Death at the Rose Paperworks---M. J. Zellnik--299 pgs.
31. The Shadow Thieves: Book One-The Cronus Chronicles---Anne Ursu--420 pgs. 
32. Rotten to the Core---Sheila Connolly--289 pgs.
33. The Lightning Thief---Rick Riordan--375 pgs.
34. The Sea of Monsters---Rick Riordan--279 pgs.
35. Fever Dream---Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child--405 pgs.
36. A Corpse for Yew---Joyce & Jim Lavene--277 pgs.
37. Death in the Truffle Wood---Pierre Magnan--201 pgs.
38. The Tale of Briar Bank---Susan Wittig Albert--294 pgs.
39. Patriot Hearts---Barbara hambly--399 pgs.
40. Bookplate Special---Lorna Barrett--301 pgs.
41. Some Danger Involved---Will Thomas--290 pgs.
42. To Kingdom Come---Will Thomas--276 pgs.
43. The Limehouse Text---Will Thomas--337 pgs. 
44. The Hellfire Conspiracy---Will Thomas--311 pgs.
45. The Black Hand---Will Thomas--289 pgs. 
46. With A Single Spell---Lawrence Watt-Evans--288 pgs. 
47. Riptide---Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child--465 pgs. 
48. The Sign of the Book---John Dunning--513 pgs. 
49. Death of a Witch---M. C. Beaton--227 pgs.
50. In The Nick of Time(Mrs. Jeffries)---Emily Brightwell--260 pgs.
51. Ringing In Murder---Kate Kingsbury--247 pgs. 
52. Harp, Pipe, & Symphony---Paul DiFilippo--288 pgs.
53. Wicked(The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West)---Gregory Maguire--409 pgs. 
54. The Capture---Kathryn Lasky--226 pgs.
55. The Journey---Kathryn Lasky--244 pgs.
56. The Rescue---Kathryn Lasky--197 pgs.
57. The Bone-Pedlar---Sylvian Hamilton--264 pgs.
58. Deadlier Than The Pen---Kathy Lynn Emerson--265 pgs.
59. Fatal As A Fallen Woman---Kathy Lynn Emerson--274 pgs.
60. No Mortal Reason---Kathy Lynn Emerson--273 pgs.
61. Lethal Legend---Kathy Lynn Emerson--237 pgs.
62. The Physician's Tale---Ann Benson--655 pgs.
63. The Necromancer---Michael Scott--389 pgs.
64. Ghost a' la Mode---Sue Ann Jaffarian--286 pgs.
65. If Books Could Kill---Kate Carlisle--280 pgs.
66. Street of the Five Moons---Elizabeth Peters--338 pgs.
67. A Poisoned Season---Tasha Alexander--306 pgs.
68. Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon---Nancy Atherton--278 pgs.
69. Mute Winess---Charles O'Brien--323 pgs.
70. The Windup Girl---Paolo Bacigalupi--359 pgs.
71. Black Ship---Carola Dunn--294 pgs.
72. Murder Past Due---Miranda James--294 pgs.
73. Oolong Dead---Laura Childs--307 pgs. 
74. The Capture---Kathryn Lasky--226 pgs.
75. The Journey---Kathryn Lasky--242 pgs.
76. The Rescue---Kathryn Lasky--194 pgs.
77. The September Society---Charles Finch--310 pgs.
78. The Enchanted Forest---Patricia C. Wrede--617 pgs.
79. Toast Mortem---Claudia Bishop--211pgs.
80. The Water Room---Christopher Fowler--356 pgs.
81. Seventy-Seven Clocks---Christopher Fowler--496 pgs.
82. The Magicians and Mrs. Quent---Galen Beckett--498 pgs.
83. The House on Durrow Street---Galen Beckett--685 pgs.
84. In a Gilded Cage---Rhys Bowen--274 pgs.
85. Legend of the Jade Dragon---Yasmine Galenorn--278 pgs.
86. Fire in the Mist---Holly Lisle--282 pgs.
87. The Court of the Air---Stephen Hunt--599 pgs. 
88. White Corridor---Christopher Fowler--
89. The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag---Alan Bradley--
90. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz---L. Frank Baum--

I have included number of pages in my most recent reads and will continue to do so from here on out, did not keep up with that before I found this challenge. 

Happy Reading,
Beverly G ♥

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Start To Finish

I begin my post tonight with a sigh. I have accomplished a reading journey of epic proportions. I have read seven books of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.
  • 850 pgs.--Paperback--Outlander--1991
  • 947 pgs.--Paperback--Dragonfly In Amber--1992
  • 1059 pgs.--Paperback--Voyager--1994
  • 1070 pgs.--Paperback--Drums of Autumn--1997
  • 1443 pgs.--The Fiery Cross--2001
  • 979 pgs.--Hardcover--A Breath of Snow and Ashes--2005
  • 820 pgs.--Hardcover--An Echo in the Bone--2009
I am entering the Chunkster Challenge in the Mor-bookly Obese category. This was to read Adult fiction or Non-fiction 450 pgs.or large type 525(mine wasn't large type), 6 or more books.
I had already read the Lord John Grey series by Ms. Gabaldon and enjoyed it. My friend who is a huge fan of the Outlander series suggested that I might read the books and take part in the Chunkster Challenge because they certainly do qualify. The Lord John books are about half what the Outlander books are. I wasn't quite sure, but after hinting that Lord John Grey was in the Outlander books and I would be surprised at his part in them, I agreed.
I was going to read each book, make a post here and on Chunkster then read the next in line. These were loaned to me from my friend's permanent library. Little did I know that when I got started reading it's very hard to find a place to put the book down. Needless to say I could see why so many people are huge fans of this series.
For all out there who have not read these books, I recommend them highly. Ms. Gabaldon  herself says it's hard to categorize just what genre these belong in. I won't even try to name genres here, but if you enjoy getting caught up in an all encompassing story  about people you feel like you come to know personally and follow them through their lives, this is a series for you. There is happiness, sadness, adventure, oh my, even after being finished with the last one for over a week I'm still savoring the whole experience.
I don't want to say much more here because the whole time I was reading these books my friend never once hinted at what was coming next except on a couple of occasions she would say,"Get ready for a roller coaster ride, or get out your box of tissues."  For all you who have read them you will know exactly what I mean and for all of you who haven't, please take some time for this series, you won't be disappointed.

Thanks for visiting,
Beverly G ♥