Thursday, January 21, 2010

My new experiment

I have chosen eight books from my personal library. They are of varied genres - paranormal romance, urban fantasy, fantasy, mystery, young adult, and possibly literature. My goal is to read these books before the end of January, regardless of whatever else I read. I currently have an armful of books from my local library and for some reason I seem to be on a Jayne Ann Krentz kick lately but no matter what, I'm going to read these books:

Covet by J. R. Ward
Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher
Charmed to Death by Shirley Damsgaard
Lord of the Fading Lands by C. L. Wilson
Out of the Deep I Cry by Julia Spencer-Fleming
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Here goes...

1/13/10 Update: So far so good. Got lucky with Wicked Game. I even posted the review right away. I think Charmed to Death and The Eyre Affair will be my most difficult challenges. I also must remind myself that I am not required to read these eight back-to-back but since I don't want to swallow both my Jeri Smith-Ready books in one gulp I'll move on to Jim Butcher.

1/15/10 Update: Two days after I started Furies of Calderon, I'm still working on it. In fact, I'm not very far into the story since I haven't had much time in the last two days to read. Makes me think that I'm not going to finish my booklist before the end of January. I've got two library books to read as well: The First Rule by Robert Crais and Kindred in Death by J. D. Robb. Covet, Lord of the Fading Lands and The Eyre Affair are all books I have started to read but didn't finish. I hope to have time to read this weekend so maybe that will help pick up the slack.

1/16/10: I read some more of Furies of Calderon last night and I'm having a difficult time keeping focused with this one. Starting the first Harry Dresden book was great because I was sucked right into the story and completely charmed by Harry. In Furies, Butcher is setting up massive plot lines to carry multiple books in the future and I am completely lost. It doesn't help that fantasy novels with strange names tend to irritate me more than any other kind of book but I am determined to get through this since I have the next three in this series sitting on my shelf. As far as I'm concerned, a Jim Butcher book should never go to waste :)

1/21/10: Well, this is going better than expected. I've read five out of my eight and have enjoyed all of them. Originally I had picked nine books for this thing with A Dose of Murder by Lori Avocato being the ninth. What a disaster. It was so painfully obviously a ripoff of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, minus the humor. Definitely a DNF but not a wallbanger :) I just finished Out of the Deep I Cry by Julia Spencer-Fleming this evening and launched directly into To Darkness and To Death, the fourth in that series. I had planned to next read Kindred in Death by J. D. Robb seeing how it's due back at the library on Monday but I love reading about Russ and Clare and their predicament. They finally kiss in Out of... and I was kinda surprised by it. I had wondered how far Spencer-Fleming was going to push them before everything exploded in their faces (i.e. Russ's wife Linda finds out), especially if Clare lets her guard down and takes her collar off. Turns out coming thisclose to drowning and/or hypothermia is the breaking point. Now I get to find out what happens in To Darkness... Looks like Kindred in Death will be going back unread :)

1/27/10: Finished Lord of the Fading Lands yesterday. Loved it and am waiting to get it from PBS. Hopefully it will be sent today or tomorrow. Lord was different than I expected and I like that book two picks up where book one finished. Will be starting The Eyre Affair if I get the opportunity today but am not holding my breath since I expect to busy as I have much to do. Later.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

R. I. P. Robert B. Parker

I hate news like this. Robert B. Parker was found dead in his home yesterday morning by his wife, Joan. He was 77. Spenser and Hawk are two of my favorite literary characters ever and I am so sad that their creator is gone. Damn.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Angels seem to be all the rage these days. I, myself, am looking forward to seeing the movie Legion when it comes out in theaters. Hush, Hush (not sure about where this title came from) is about fallen angels and nephilim. Our heroine, Nora Grey, meets this guy in her biology class, Patch, her new partner. She's attracted to him but she's also kinda scared of him. Weird things start to happen to Nora after she meets him - she's attacked while driving her best friend's car but when she goes to break the bad news to her BFF, there's barely a scratch on the windshield. She finds her bedroom trashed and catches the perp escaping out her window but when she calls the cops, her bedroom looks normal. And what's with the strange scars on Patch's back? I liked this book and it kept me feeling edgy until the end. I was also glad that Patch didn't sparkle :) The sequel, Crescendo, should be out sometime this fall.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

As it turned out, all I needed was some quiet time so I could get totally sucked into this story. It took about 100 pages before it really hooked me good. And it took that long to introduce all the main characters. Don't get me wrong, this is no George R. R. Martin tome; at least with Butcher's books you can be reasonably sure that he's not going to kill off half the characters in one chapter but let's not get me started on Martin's books. Yikes. Anyway...

Two-thirds of my way through Furies I realized that the book reminded me of Tolkien's The Two Towers and then I saw the quote on the cover by Simon Green, comparing the book to Tolkien. Yay! I'm as smart as Simon Green :) Seriously though, there are a few similarities but this author is definitely more readable. I never did get all the way through Return of the King. Maybe someday, right? I have the next two books in the Codex Alera series and am looking forward to book two, Academ's Fury.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready

This book is an A...for awesome :) Here's the description from amazon:
Newbie marketing intern Ciara Griffin lands a job at WMMP, a station threatened with being sold to Skyware, a giant communications conglomerate, unless ad revenue picks up. A former con artist with a canny way with people, Ciara soon learns that the DJs are undead and specialists in the musical eras in which they were turned into vampires. One of them, Shane McAllister (turned in 1995), is really hot and dangerously tempting. In order to attract more listeners, Ciara promotes a new marketing strategy and the Sherwood, Md., station becomes 94.3 WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock and Roll, exploiting the fang factor (which no listener takes seriously) for profit. It works, until an ancient vampire cult wants to pull the plug. Also playing in is The Control, an equally ancient paramilitary group created to protect good vampires and kill bad ones. Smith-Ready's musical references are spot on, as is her take on corporate radio's creeping airwave hegemony. Add in the irrepressible Ciara, who grew up in a family of grifters, and the results rock.
This book made me want to buy more music. Specifically, the music the vamps played and the playlist in the front of the book. In fact, I spent a chunk of time this afternoon updating my iPod. I won't say any more than the blurb reveals since it covers everything and I agree with the review. I am so happy I have the next book in this series, Bad to the Bone, waiting to be read. The third one, Bring on the Night, comes out in late July. So, to sum things up: read this book!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dark Need by Lynn Viehl

First off, here's the blurb from
Homicide detective Samantha Brown is a tough, highly decorated cop. But twelve lonely years after she nearly died of a gunshot wound, she aches with a deep inner longing. In pursuit of a deranged killer, her only clue is a medieval cross inscribed "Lucan"-the name of the owner of a new nightclub near the murder scene. Drawn into a seamy underworld, Samantha falls for Lucan-who believes he's a vampire and Samantha is his reincarnated first love. Now, she must save this mysterious, seductive man who seems beyond redemption if he is to fulfill her deepest, darkest desires.

Best Book of December '09

What a story this was. I've tried to come up with a brief-ish description of this book but nothing I wrote sounded right to me so here's the very brief synopsis from
The Duke of Jervaulx was brilliant and dangerous. Considered dissolute, reckless, and extravagant, he was transparently referred to as the 'D of J' in scandal sheets, where he and his various exploits featured with frequency. But sometimes the most womanizing rake can be irresistible, and even his most casual attentions fascinated the sheltered Maddy Timms, quiet daughter of a simple mathematician.
Here's what I can add: Jervaulx worked with a Quaker mathematician to create some new type of geometry proof and only met the man's daughter once, the night before the rest of the world thought him dead. What really happened is that he suffered what sounded to me like a stroke and became a man locked inside his mind, his body unable to cooperate. Maddy discovers that he is still alive, supposedly "convalescing" inside her cousin's Quaker-run sanitarium, a place that caters to the wealthy set who have family members that are being punished by God for their wicked ways. So believes Jervaulx's mother. Anyway, Maddy is the only one who realizes what's happening to Jervaulx and believes that God has given her a mission: to help Jervaulx be cured. What she didn't bet on was that she would become the only person on the planet that Jervaulx wanted by his side. Or that she would fall in love with him.

I loved this book. It was so different than all the other romances from this period that I was totally captivated. Kinsale seems to be the type of author that likes to set this time period on its ear; of all the regency/victorian period romance authors I have read, Kinsale is the most original. I first read The Shadow and the Star, which put a ninja raised on the big island in Hawaii in London in the 1800's and while it wasn't my favorite and in fact, I was rather disappointed by it, that book was interesting. I have also read Kinsale's Midsummer Moon and Seize the Fire. Neither was as enjoyable as Flowers from the Storm but they were entertaining and better than average. Flowers has been by far my favorite. I would wish every book I read was this good but then life would probably get boring without something like this one to look forward to.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My To-Do List

Jen's To-Do reminder list for January:

1. Continue Lynn Viehl reviews with Dark Need, Darkyn book 3.
2. Talk about all the awesome Juliet Marillier books I've read lately.
3. Comb through my wishlist on BookMooch and update the Coming Soon list. My BM wishlist has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few months and while it is nowhere near the epic proportions of some members, it is 400+ books strong right now.
4. Post my favorite book of December but if you check out the list of books I read last month, it should be a no brainer.
5. Carry a notebook and pen on my person at all times - I can't remember anything anymore and I keep forgetting all the possible post ideas that pop into my head. *grumble*