Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Challenge (The Only One I Did and Still Failed)

I actually came really close to finishing this challenge. Thought that it sounded a whole lot easier then it turned out to be.

Now on to new challenges for next year

8 Books in 8 Catagories in '08

Cozy Mystery
1. Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin - Nancy Atherton
2. Innkeeping with Murder - Tim Myers
3. Murder on the Rocks- Karen MacInerney
4. Dying to Sell - Sefton
5. The Gourdmother - Maggie Bruce
6. Steamed - Conant
7. Death Perception - Laurie
8. Decaffeinated Corpse - Coyle

New to Me Male Authors
1. Murder Over Easy - Marshall Cook
2. The Resort - Bentley Little
3. The Killer's Wife - Bill Floyd
4. The Wednesday Letters - Jason F. Wright
5. Hunting the King - Clenott
6. Charity Girl - Lowenthal
7. The Fisher Boy - Anable
8. Mammoth Murder - Crider

1. Chosen By A Horse - Susan Richards
2. Louder Than Words - Jenny McCarthy
3. Church of 80% Sincerity - David Roche
4. Last Lecture - Randy Pausch
5. Up for Renewal - Alter
6. The Way I See It - Grandin
7. It Ain't All About the Cookin' Paula Dean

Young Adult
1. Rules - Cynthia Lord
2. 100 Cupboards - Wilson
3. Breaking Dawn - Meyers

1.Hasty Death - Chesney
2.Fortieth Birthday Body - Wolzien
3.The Night She Died - Simpson
4.Last Breath - Shuman
5. Don't Talk Back to Your Vampire - Bardsley

New Books in 2008
1. Every Last Cuckoo - Kate Maloy
2. Demons Are A Ghoul's Best Friend - Victoria Laurie
3. Stalked - Brian Freeman
4. The Hunted - Lee
5. The House at Riverton - Morton
6. Carpool Diem - Star
7. Beach House - Green
8. Our Lady of Pain - Elena Forbes

Titles with Numbers
1. 311 Pelican Court
2. 44 Cranberry Point
3. 50 Harbor Street
4. Six Good Innings - Kreidler
5. The 19th Wife

New to Me Female Authors
1.How to be Lost - Amanda Eyre Ward
2.Don't Tell - Karen Rose
3.Remains of the Dead - Roberts
4.The Heroines - Eileen Favorite
5.Interred with Their Bones - Jennifer Lee Carrell
6.Merlot Murders - Ellen Crosby
7.Ashes to Ashes - Tami Hoag
8.Earthly Pleasures - Karen Neches

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Still Alice

Still Alice

Lisa Genova

5 out of 5

One of my favorite books this year. I highly recommend this touching story of Dr. Alice Howland and her very personal journey into Alzheimer’s.

When Dr. Howland, a decorated Harvard professor starts having slight memory lapses she chalks it up to menopause, what else could it be, with her schedule she doesn’t have time for much more, that is until the lapses are more frequent and more terrifying.

With her husband a Harvard Research Scientist they explore the possibilities and medical trials with each wanting to take a different approach. What ensures are a couple of heartbreaking discoveries, laughter and the healing of old wounds. But what is lost is what makes this book so remarkable – Alice takes you on her own personal journey though this disease and you see it from the inside, from the person and not just the textbook. When she makes the comment of -- how can you remember what you have lost when you can’t remember what had you had-- just brought the whole thing home for me. What if you can’t remember the person you once were and the people that had meant so much to you?

Near the end of the book Alice gives a speech to the Dementia Care Conference that is just heartbreaking. For that one moment in time, she is once again the Alice Howland that her friends and colleagues know, love and respected. For that one moment in time she is Still Alice.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Made from Scratch

Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life

Jenna Woginrich

4 out of 5

I picked up this book for a quick little chapter read to see if I would be interested and didn’t put it down until I had read the whole book. Very much in the same vein as Animal, Vegetable, Miracle but without all the peachiness.

Woganrich takes you through her experiences in homesteading and living a simpler life. Each chapter begins with her discussing her adventures, successes, and failures then ends up with mentoring tips. All the stuff you are looking for without all the hours of research.

The chapters can be taken or dismissed depending on your wish to undertake this particular part of your own adventure into homesteading, but I did have to laugh when I came to the one on Dogs as Work Animals. I own Pugs and there is not a single working gene amongst them so that part just won’t work for me.

The other chapters on Bees and Chickens are quite interesting and it’s quite refreshing to read an author in this field that will actually discuss their failures and mentor you to your own successes

Great book and going to her website you can see what she has been up to in the year since.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008



Linda Greenlaw

3 out of 5

Almost a 4, but parts of this book turned more into a boating and sailing for dummies instructional manual.

Jane Bunker has decided that she is done with her high pressure career as a homicide detective in Miami and traded it all in for Green Haven, Maine. Being an insurance investigator has got to be easier. That is until her showing up for her first day of work and she comes across the body of the towns troublesome drunk.

The town tries to brush it off as an accident, but with the back of his skull smashed in, Jane’s detective brain takes over and starts trying to piece the whole mystery together.

Unfortunately, she starts to ask one too many questions and finds herself in quite a harrowing situation. One way or another she is going to find the answer. And it may end up hurting the apparently good people of this close knit community.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

High Five

High Five

5 out of 5

Janet Evanovich

To date, I think this was my favorite book in this series. All the characters were there in all their feistiness. Even Grandma Bella and her Evil Eye.

Once again Stephanie is out of money and will take any FTA, this one turns out to be a very stubborn “littler person” who in turn decides to move into Stephanie’s apartment, which wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn’t already distracted by her overly cheap Uncle Fred who went MIA while trying to right a $2.00 wrong at the trash company.

Things start to heat up when she starts spending a little too much time with Ranger and now is having the Ranger/Morelli conflict. Some girls have all the luck. Now to find Fred, who’s wife really doesn’t mind that he’s missing, keep out of the way of a psycho boxer, get a dwarf (after calling Stephanie a loser, the gets called names too), choose between Ranger and Morelli, keep a taser away from grandma, chauffer a child sheik, dodge a killer, and stop getting cars destroyed all seem to be a week in the life of Stephanie.

Great fast paced book with lots of storylines and great giggles. I highly recommend this one.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blood Island

H. Terrell Griffin

4 out of 5

I was loving this book until the author took that dangerous left turn into the land of “best-friend-with-Cancer” cliché, which ended up in a total tail spin into the land of “my-friend-the-bartender-who-has-better-computer-hacking-skills-then-the-FBI” nightmare. Come on- really!

Griffin has real talent. A fast paced thriller that has you turning pages until you hit the roadblocks that seem to separate the great writers from everyone else.

Third in the Matt Royal series.

Life is looking good in Longboat Key, Florida, for retired attorney Matt Royal; that is until his ex-wife, the love of his life, appears and asks for Matt’s help in locating her missing stepdaughter. What first appears as a spring break gone wild scenario, Matt and friends are drawn into the world of a religious fanatic who is determined to bring the world to its knees.

As I said, great fast passed thriller, just wish he would have been more creative with a couple of his characters.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Millionaires

The Millionaires

Inman Majors

3 out of 5

This book never flowed for me, too bumpy and glitchy and at times, downright boring.

All the great components were there, the wealthy southern boys, the wives, the mistresses, the money, the political wrangling, but it just didn’t come together for me.

Now why exactly did the author throw in screenplays and poems, that was just too much.

Bring this back to the drawing board and write the good book that is hiding in there somewhere.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back on Blossom Street

Back on Blossom Street

Debbie Macomber

4 out of 5

For a person who doesn’t usually like Macomber’s books, I actually enjoy this series. I can’t explain it either, since Macomber usually has whiney weak woman as her characters -- this series seems to show women of strength. Those that take charge and move on in their lives instead of waiting for men to guide them.

Susannah’s Garden, the florist located next to a Good Yarn is where Colette Blake has gone to get over the death of her husband and the affair that she had had with her boss.

Once again the women of the story, Colette, Susannah, and Alix have come together in Lydia’s knitting class to share their fears and hopes and traumas; much of which involves Colette’s pregnancy and Alix’s impending marriage to Jordan. Plus a trauma that hits Margaret’s family and rocks them to the core.

This series of books is a good break from reality. I recommend this series over her mushy and redundant Cedar Cove series.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Simmer Down

Simmer Down

Jessica Conant-Park
Susan Conat
3 out of 5

I really didn’t like this one as much as the first in the series. This one was choppier and the murder really seemed inconsequential.

Chloe has finally landed her dream man, Josh Driscol, but while preparing for the opening of his new restaurant a rival club owner is found dead. Of course there are too many suspects and the story twists in so many different directions that the reader doesn’t understand what path the authors are trying to lead you down.

It was more like the writing team had no plan for this book and just kept going until they came to 300 pages and decided to stop. I sure hope the next one is better.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Don't Talk Back To Your Vampire

Don’t Talk Back To Your Vampire

Michelle Bardsley

3 out of 5

The first in this series was good, this one just fell flat.

Broken Heart, Oklahoma is still getting back on it’s feet after the Consortium came to town and turned eleven single mothers into vampires. This story is told by town librarian Eva. Now all she has to do is fight off the Wraiths and find out how to get Lorcan, the twin brother of Patrick, from the first book, to see her in a whole new way.

The only thing that kept me reading was very interesting magical lore that is interwoven periodically through this story.