Sunday, October 28, 2007

Plato and A Platypus Walk Into A Bar by Thomas Carthcart and Daniel Klein

Philosophy can be rather boring if it is not taught right. There is a lot you can learn about how we started our world and why people think certain things. I really enjoyed it and a few of the jokes in the book I knew about. They just made a lot more sense because of the idea applied behind them.

These authors really know how to express their thoughts very well. I had taken a Western Philosophy course when I was in college so I believe that did help me a little. But as they explained things, I remembered things slowly. I had a difficult time putting this book down because it was so funny. But what better way to tell something that will stay with you than with jokes.

I really don’t want to give this book away. It covers a lot of different philosophies and in pretty good depth too. I came away with some information that I did not know and remembering a lot of information that stuck with me. If philosophy is an interest to you then I would recommend it. And since it is written by two men that have philosophy degrees, that helps a lot in making this book very creditable. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.

Thomas Cathcart, Daniel Klein, New Authors, Non-Fiction, 208 pages, 4 out of 5

I have two more books for review and then I hope to read The Seance by Heather Graham.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Took A Leap of Something

Today I signed up for Nanowrimo. I am going to write a novel next month. I hope to finish it. We'll just have to wait and see. :) maybe you guys can keep me going. :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani

A young woman has to leave the life she knows and move to the city. Her father dying has sent her whole life upside down. Now her and her mom’s fate is in the hands of relatives that live in Isfahan. Her uncle weaves carpets for the shah. But being headstrong is going to get her in some serious trouble. That puts her mother and her in a serious desperate situation that she is not sure that she can get them out of. She is forced into a marriage by contract that will be renewed every 3 months. Now she has to figure out if that is what she wants and will she be able to keep weaving carpets.

Ms. Amirrezvani knows how to weave a tale. With all the research she did, this book came alive for me. I know very little about this culture but she was able to put into terms that I could understand their cultural heritage and the things that they held dear. I found the young woman very easy to understand and I enjoyed her. She was true to herself and her beliefs.

The young woman had great talent. Her uncle only had to help her figure out how to do things correctly whether it was color or design for a carpet. It did not take her long and she was getting commissions and hiring people to help her. That was so amazing! I was completely astounded. Her marriage really tested her and she had to figure out what was more important being tied to a man by contract or find someone who she knew would not give up on her.

This book was beautifully written and I was able to see how much she cared for presenting a story. She had to change a few facts but the fact that she was honest about it made it even better at the end. I truly enjoyed this book and hope to see more by this author!
Anita Amirrezvani/Fiction/377 pages/Persia/New Author/ 4 out of 5

Right now I am reading a book to then use it to interview an author! :) Then after that it is Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Away by Amy Bloom

Lillian Leyb lost all her family except her daughter Sophie. She thinks she is still alive but she leaves her home to go to America. She has a cousin visit her only to tell her that Sophie is alive. Now Lillian is determined to find her daughter and reclaim her. But it will be a long journey and will it end happily.

Ms. Bloom is an author who does know how to tell a story. Though I found a lot of the story completely unnecessary and the flow was not really there, some people might enjoy this. She really is able to create characters that you want to root for and hope for the best. Yet something always seemed to be lacking in this book. I am not sure what but it jumped a bit too much for my taste.

Lillian was a lady I could root for. I could understand why she wanted to go see her child so much. If I ever lost my child, I would go as far as she did. Okay maybe not quite as far but I would work diligently to find him. I loved when she spent time in the theatre and learning about that time of life was interesting. There were times though I found information presented not needed since to me it took away from the story and Lillian’s journey.

This was not a great book and I do not think I will read more by this author. I have heard it got great reviews and I wish I could give it one. But it was tedious and I could not wait to finish it. I do not like to leave a book unfinished because my opinions change sometimes by the last sentence. Unfortunately that was not the case with this book.
Amy Bloom/ Adult Fiction/ 240 pages/ 3 out of 5

Well off to read some reivew books and then not sure what is next. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You've Been Warned by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

Kristin Burns loves taking care of Dakota and Sean. Her job as a nanny is very fulfilling. She is just waiting for her life as a photographer to start. She is in love with a man and he is almost hers. She can only hope it will happen soon. But fear starts to enter her life and she sees things that no one else seems to see or know.

Normally I really like a James Patterson, but this one feel flat. I read it quickly but it just seemed odd to me. There was not much substance but it was not exactly fluff either. It was just a weird book that I just cannot recommend.

Kristin whines all the time and lives a lot of that behind her camera lense. Now having said that, she seems like a nice person but carrying on with the man she does is not so smart. She is deluding herself I think in a lot of ways. Yet she cannot seem to get herself to understand that. Her dreams become more vivid and real and then she starts to think she is living them.

It is not a badly written novel. It is well written but was odd and strange. I only hope his novels get better cause this was a serious disappointment.
James Patterson/ Howard Roughan/ Thriller/ 376 pages/ Fiction/ 3 out of 5

Now I am reading Away by Amy Bloom though I just started it. So I hope this one better.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bound for Murder by Laura Childs

Carmela is helping set up for a friend’s pre-wedding party. She is having a good time. Things seem to go wrong when the groom is found killed. Carmela is asked to help them out again and she is not sure if that is so smart. She has to wrap a murder that has more questions than answers and she has to shift through it all.

Ms. Laura Childs really knows how to write a series. I really enjoyed how the characters are growing. It was a blast. This author has won me over. I cannot get enough! I really cannot wait to be able to read the next one. The characters are really good. I do often get mad at Carmela but it is not like she is snooping because she is not asked to. Her friends know that she can and so they ask her. Ms. Childs really gets the feelings and emotions across in this book.

Carmela is such a good person. I know she can get annoying but I really wanted her to figure things out. Her heart was in the right place. I really loved her creativity and her want to help others. I just hope things are settled in the relationship department. I feel awful for her but maybe things are ironed out. Ava was as flamboyant as ever. She is one of my favorites. Wren was a sweetie too. These ladies would be a blast to hang out with.

I loved this book! I hope to read the rest of the series cause I am enjoying it. The tips and the recipes really make this book even better. I cannot wait to see how Carmela deals with her relationships and whom she decides to choose. Those ladies are always so creative it makes my head spin. Of course if I worked in a scrapbook store, I would probably be as creative.
Laura Childs/ Cozy Mystery/ 256 pages/ 5 out of 5/ Scrap booking

I was surprised at how fast I finished this one. Now I am reading You've Been Warned. :) SO far not sure what to think.

Photo Finished by Laura Childs

Carmela is hosting a late night crop at her store. All the usual ladies are there and having a great time. But when the neighboring antiques dealer is found dead in the alley. Carmela’s customers start to look suspicious. Carmela only hopes she can figure it out and fast.

Ms. Childs does it again! These wacky characters had me laughing. The suspense was very prevalent. Yet the main focus was on Carmela’s creative efforts. I could not get enough of this story and kept turning the pages as soon as I finished one. Ms. Childs really brings you to a great place in her stories. I cannot get enough of them and seem to like each one better than the last!

Carmela really questions her relationship with Shamus or the lack there of it seems. If she needs help, he is the first one she calls since she trusts him. Shamus is a sweet talker but has a sensitive side that drove me nuts. There is nothing wrong with being sensitive but it seems he only got upset when she got something that he wanted. Ava was back and full of drama! That woman was so busy but found time to keep tabs on Carmela.

This series just keeps getting better. I have been completely captivated. Now if I could only juggle my reading and scrap booking, that would be ideal.
Laura Childs/ Cozy Mystery/ 272 pages/ 5 out of 5/ Scrap booking

Off to read the third one in the series and then it is James Pattersons' You've Been Warned, then Away by Amy Bloom and then review books. :) With a week off of work this will be easy!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Keepsake Crimes by Laura Childs

Carmela Bertrand loves running her scrapbook shop in New Orleans. She started it so that she felt like she was doing something meaningful. Business sure is booming until one of the elite dies during Mardi Gras. Now she feels she has to figure out who is behind the crime because the police have tagged her estranged husband Seamus as the prime suspect. An important clue lies in a place she would never think to look. That would be one of her customer’s scrapbooks.

Laura Childs tells lovely stories. I was swept up in the town and the people who live there. The town is not fictional but the characters she created were wonderful. It was nice to read a story set in that town that had nothing to do with vampires. Mind you they have their place, but this was a light and refreshing read. It was just what I needed.

Carmela has some figuring out to do in this book. Being estranged from the man she thought loved her is not easy and then when he is the main suspect in a crime. She does not want to see him hurt but at the same time she wonders if she should really help him. After all, he walked out on her and she was left scrambling. Yet Carmela decides to be the better person and help him out. She has a lot of surprises coming her way and she has no idea who really did commit the crime. The customers for her shop were so eccentric. I just fell in love with them. Ava was my favorite and the one she seemed to spend the most time with. She was also creative whether making masks or selling items in her voodoo shop.

This is a great way to start out the series. I cannot wait to read the next one. I found all three books in one and that book is called Death by Design. It is nice to have them all together and that is pretty rare. As a person who scrap books I also enjoyed it for the ideas she used. Though not sure I would use them, they do generate some ideas of my own.
Laura Childs/New Author/Cozy Mystery/256 pages/Scrap booking/ 4 out of 5

So up nextg are Photo finished and Bound For Murder than You've Been Warned by James Patterson and then last but not least is Away by Amy Bloom. :) Have a good weekend all. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dead Guy Interviews: Conversations with 45 of the Most Accomplished, Notorious, and Deceased Personalities in History by Michael A. Stusser

You ever wanted to know some real honest things about people who are dead? Well this is the book for you! I got a little annoyed from time to time with the political perspectives of the author. But then politics were important to everyone involved so I just let it go. I enjoyed all of the interviews because I actually learned a lot more than I thought I would from this book. Some of the comments and answers were down right hilarious. Fresh honesty was very prevalent in this book but that is what I liked best.

The author Mr. Stusser presents these interviews as if they are happening right then. I really liked that aspect and all the sideline comments really helped. Each interview showed the certain person’s characteristics come out. Whether he was talking to Napoleon or Edgar Allen Poe, the banter went back and forth. Some were surprises to me while others I knew well from when I was studying them in college.

I don’t want to give much away but really if you want a good non-fiction that makes you not only think and laugh. This will do all that and more! I could not get enough of the witty comebacks and funny repartee from both the interviewer and the interviewee. I was amazed at how much I didn’t know about the different people. There is just not much more I can say but head to your nearest book store and pick this one up!

Michael A. Stusser/Non-fiction/ 304 pages/ 4 out of 5

Up next another book to review for CTR and then I am going to start the Scrapbooking series by Laura Childs.

Monday, October 15, 2007

One of the Money by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum is very broke and so she needs to make so money fast. She goes to see her cousin Vinnie to apply for the filing job. It turns out it is filled but they need someone to help them with bounty hunting. So Stephanie does not see any other way to get money so she agrees. The case she gets though is Joe Morelli, a former cop convicted of murder one. Stephanie has no idea what she is getting herself into or how difficult bringing in this guy will be. Tailing her is an ex-prize fighter; she just hopes that she will be able to complete her assignment without being killed in the process.

Ms. Evanovich is a great writer. I really liked how she put these characters in place. I felt really bad for Stephanie but she toughed things out. That was one thing I really liked about all the characters. They came across as very real! I could see myself running into any of them. Now mind you, I would never want to meet the fighter. But there are people out in our world that are like him. Ms. Evanovich knows how to tell a story that just pulls you in. I could not get enough and I pretty much read it all in one morning.

This is just the first in the series and I cannot wait to read the rest of them. I have heard bits and pieces. I can see why Stephanie would struggle between both Joe and Ranger. They are both hot men and seem to really be interested in helping her. I hope to read the next one soon.
Janet Evanovich/ Mystery/ 290 pages/ 4 out of 5

This was a really good book. I have a book to review for CTR and then another one to review that I will post the review here.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Tunnels by Michelle Gagnon

Special Agent Kelly Jones has dealt with some real creepy cases in her time with the FBI. But the case coming up will be one that will have sleepless nights and a loss of appetite. There are killings being done in the tunnels underneath an Ivy League college. Yet it will only get worse as she is led down a perilous route that will only have one come out alive. Being that it is her alma mater, she is determined to figure out who is behind the horrible scenes.

Ms. Gagnon builds a world that is completely twisted. I found myself falling underneath the spell and being completely horrified which what was being unfolded in this book. The research she had to do was phenomenal. I was thoroughly pleased with how well she was able to present the things she had to study with mythologies. It was certainly a daunting task that she lived up to with every page turned.

Kelly had a past that she was trying to keep from meeting her present. I truly felt for this character. The pressure she was under did not help matters. When solving a crime, time truly is of the essence. She wanted to see justice done and put herself into the case fully. I was impressed! I also liked the minor characters of her partner Roger Morrow and the former FBI Agent Jake Riley. They brought so much more to the story than I thought possible. It really rounded out the characters.

This book is definitely creepy and scary! I was taking in by this book and could not put it down. Great read if you love scary! I hope to see more by this author whether with these characters or not. She is a wonderful author!

New Author/Scary Book Challenge for AN2R/ Michelle Gagnon/ 299 pages/ 4 out of 5

This was a good one! I hope she writes more. :) Off to read a review e-book and then One for the Money by Janet Evenovich.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly

Penelope Thornton-McClure finally felt like she was getting somewhere in her life. She had moved back to live with her aunt and help her run the mystery bookstore. She has also lined up an author who would hopefully bring in profit. Penelope had no idea that he would drop dead in the same spot as a P.I. had done years before. How did she know this? The ghost of the P.I resides in the bookshop. He is unable to leave the place. Pen wonders if she is imagining it all or is he really there?

Alice Kimberly is a fantabulous writer! I was pulled into the story immediately. The characters were not out of the ordinary but yet I felt like I was among friends. The setting was real and I truly felt for the characters. It was not an easy thing to do but Penelope was really trying! I applauded her so much. The scenes were real and I could not get over the fact at how it all played out. I had an idea of who was behind the whole scheme but when revealed it all seemed to fit really well. There was nothing that didn’t seem plausible to me.

Penelope really thinks she has lost her mind. She has never talked to ghosts before but this is certainly a new experience. She has to figure out how she is going to deal with this and if she will accept this into her life. The ghost is a wonderful man. He wants to help her and only hopes she will see that the advice he can give her can truly help her. I loved her aunt Sadie. She was a great woman. Sadie had her head on straight and could tell Pen things that no one else could.

A haunted bookstore was a concept to me that didn’t seem so far-fetched. I love bookstores since I have worked in one. I could not put this book down. It pulled me in from the beginning and I cannot wait to read more in this series!!! I am on pins and needles to see what will happen next!

261 pages/New Author/ Alice Kimberly/ Cozy Mystery/ 5 out of 5

This was a wonderful quick read that I lost myself in! I hope to read the next one soon!

Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote

The friendship that man and dog share has always been wondered about. We only know so much. Mr. Kerasote explores this in his book, Merle’s Door. He not only talks about what he gets from his dog but the evidence that backs it up. It is really interesting since I have always thought about having a dog. This book has confirmed it for me. It is truly an emotional book but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is amazing how they were even able to find each other in the first place. I loved reading about the journeys that they took together. They had a full life of good and bad experiences.

Mr. Kerasote really gets to the heart of the matter and shows how the relationship is different than most. They learn how to talk to one another and communicate. It takes some time but they also learn how to just be with each other. Their time line for their day is not always the same but they seem to figure out how to deal with things. Mr. Kerasote always lets Merle know that he will come back. It is like working with a child almost but at the same time they truly respect each other. All the research that was presented in this book made me think about my views of dogs. They really do become part of the family.

There were places that were not easy to read when it came to thinking about Merle’s life before he met Mr. Kerasote as well as a few other things but do not want to give anything away. This was a true heart felt book that I really enjoyed! I highly recommend it for all you animal lovers. It is a great book that shows you a different way of looking at things. Merle was quite the dog and I enjoyed reading about his experiences with bison, coyotes, and other animals he met along the way!
416 pages/ Ted Kerasote/New Author/ Chunkster/Non-fiction/ 5 out of 5

This was a great book! I am definitely interested in reading more by this author. Off to read The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Dead Men Don't Lye by Tim Myers

Benjamin Perkins has no idea what is going to happen to his crazy life until he finds the dead body of the man who was dating his sister Louisa. She is considered the prime suspect. Benjamin’s on and off again girlfriend Molly cannot seem to get it out of her head that someone else committed the awful crime. His family is asking him to figure out who really did it but he is not sure how that will happen. He has soap making classes to teach as well as consoling his sister. He better do it soon before he gets himself into some hot water.

Tim Myers was the author of the month for my group for September. I was immediately pulled into the world of the Perkins family. He really let you into the life of this town and all its eccentricities. He had me laughing through most of the story. He was able to create each individual character so that they each stood out on their own. It was wonderful to see! The family was close but at the same time the siblings found it annoying. Yet when they needed it, they found it rather comforting as well. It was very realistic to a lot of families today.

Benjamin really did not want to poke his nose around at first. But once he started, it was not easy for him to slow himself down. His siblings are so much fun. I really liked Cindy. She was the youngest and doing her best to find her place in the family. The soap shop and factory that they ran was so cool to see. Family run businesses are not as common as they used to be. Most kids want to do their own thing and make their own way in the world. That was not true of the Perkins family. They truly loved wherever they were involved. They all took turns on the shop floor, which was fun to see. I also enjoyed meeting Kate and I would love to see her more often to see where things go with her.

I ended up picking this series cause it is the shortest of the bunch. Reading about the soap making class that Benjamin taught was really cool. It was many years ago but I have been to a shop like this but it was in the South of France when I was 18. It brought back a lot of memories as well as the wonderful tour they took us on. I wish I still had the soap I bought back then but I lost it one of the times I moved. I would definitely be interested in reading more of this series. I highly recommend it. A good family cozy mystery that is nice and full of surprises!

Tim Myers/New Author/ Cozy Mystery/ 240 pages/ 5 out of 5

Right now I am reading Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote. I hope to finish it soon. :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Candy Apple Red by Nancy Bush

Jane Kelly is no longer interesting in having a serious relationship with a man. The last time she did, it led her to Lake Chinook, Oregon. He left her and she has settled into her life. It all comes back again when the body of Bobby Reynolds still has never been found. His mother Tessa needs information and hires her through their mutual friend Marta. Jane has to go to the Historical Society’s party where she runs into the last man she dated. To top it all off, she gets a call from her mom saying she has inherited a dog. Her best friend Dwayne is trying to stop her from helping Tessa. He thinks she will not get paid.

Nancy Bush is a good writer. You really get a good glimpse into this small town. I could not get enough and I even grew up in a small town. Jane was so funny. Nancy did an incredible job with twists and turns. This is one writer who knows how to pull you into a story and not let you go till it is done.

I truly enjoyed Jane Kelly. She was the type of person I would love to have as a friend. Dwayne was something else and rather hot too. I could tell he really was looking out for Jane’s best interest. The Binkster, the pug dog, was so cute and her expressions she gave Jane had me in stitches. Jane was stubborn though and it got her into some interesting situations. Ones that had me laughing out loud and leaving her with pictures she would rather not have stuck in her head.

I can’t wait to read more in this series to see what happens next. This is a book I highly recommend. It was clean and full of surprises. The ending was a complete shock for me and I want to see how it all plays out.
Nancy Bush/Cozy Mystery/310 pages/5 out of 5

Now mind you I may be completley out of line by considereing it a cozy mystery. But jane is not a investigator yet nor was the death described in detail. :) I read this one awhile ago but have been reading so many review books and working so many hours that I am just finally caught up now. Right now I am reading Dead Men Don't Lye by Tim Myers. I am extremely impressed with this this cozy! Well off to bed!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Shoot from the Lip by Leann Sweeney

Abby Rose has another case on her hands. This time though she has to work with the TV show called Reality Check. Emma needs help and they want to help her. But when she is told about a missing sibling and she never told them about that. She wants to back out on the whole thing. Abby is her ally and by her side to help her as much as she can. But she has problems to deal with on her own. Her sister Kate is hanging out with a man who Abby does not approve of. Yet Kate seems oblivious to it.

I was thoroughly impressed with Leann Sweeney’s writing. It has been awhile since I read the last book in the Yellow Rose series but it did not matter. I felt like no time had passed and was very comfortable with how it was all portrayed. The emotions experienced are amazing and the trials that the characters are up against seem odd but real. But life is not always normal and the odd does happen quite often.

Abby was quite the character. I could see why she wanted to help and I thought it was great she made sure everyone knew what was going on. She didn’t want there to be any surprises that could hurt. Abby is very protective of her sister which I found very refreshing. Kate just wanted to experience something different for once. I could understand that too. But there was more under the surface than either once could imagine.

I love this series and I cannot wait for the next one to come out. These characters are fun to read and it will be interesting to see what will happen in the next one. This is definitely one mystery series that gives you some good laughs as well as makes you think.
280 pages/Leann Sweeney/Cozy Mystery

I read this book awhile ago but with more hours I have not had a lot of time to post my blogs or reviews. :) So there you go!

September Reads and Stats

For starting a new job, I believe Idid rather well. :) Here they are :

198. The Quickie by James Patterson 8-31-07 through 09/01/07 A
199. Little Pink Slips by Sally Koslow 09-01-07 through 09-02-07 A
200. Shoel by Patricia Robins 09-02-07 through 09-03-07 A
201. Life with Apache by Linda Lattimer 09-03-07 A
202. Vivaldi’s Virgins by Barbara Quick 09-03-07 through 09/05/07 A
203. Midnight Legacy by Dee Tenorio 09-05-07 through 09/06/07 B
204. The Friday House by D.K. Gaston 09-06-07 through 09-09/07 B
205. The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax 09-09-07 through 9-14-07 B
206. 36 exposures by Linda Mooney 9-14-07 A
207. Shoot from the Lip by Leann Sweeney (Cozy) 9-14-07 through 9-15-07 A+
208. Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot 9-15-07 through 9-16-07 A+
209. Come Whatever May by Sandee McCain 9-16-07 through 9-17-07 A
210. Object of Romance Anthology 9-18-07 A
211. Not the Marrying Kind by Hailey North 9-19-07 through 9-20-07 A
212. Candy Apple Red by Nancy Bush (Cozy)09-20-07 through 9-22-07 A+
213. The Down Home Zombie Blues by Linnea Sinclair 9-22-07 through 9-27-07 B
214. The Sin Club by Rachelle Chase 9-27-07 A
215. Wednesday Night Witches by Lee Nichols 9-27-07 through 9-28-07 A

Total Books Read: 18
New Authors: 14
Fiction: 17
Chunksters: 1TBR:
Cozy Mystery: 2
Books Reviewed: 11
From the Stacks:
Books I Bought:Total Pages Read: 5,297