Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mr. Pip

Mr. Pip

Lloyd Jones

4 out of 5

From where the first chapter begins to where this books ends is nothing short of a surprise. Usually, you can pick up a book, read the first chapter or two and know the direction that the writer wants to take you - not so with Mr. Pip. What begins with a classroom enjoying Great Expectation will lead the reader to a devastating end that has a young child rebuilding her life --with the help of Charles Dickens and an unforgettable teacher lovingly call Mr. Pip.

Told from the perspective of young Matilda, the reader is introduced to Mr. Watts, a white man who has come to a small island near Papua New Guinea to teach the local children. However, his teaching is a little different then what you would expect. His whole curriculum is based off Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.

Amidst the racial conflicts between the blacks and the redskins, Mr. Watts, or Mr. Pip - as he wants the children to call him, begins the Dickens tale and quickly draws the children in, while gartering the mistrust of many adults, into Pips world and thereby captivating the children during the liberation struggle that is going on around them.

This is no sweet little tale, the times and people are brutal, but with determination, Great Expectations, Mr. Pip and Matilda's story will live on for many generations.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Support Your Local Library Challenge - COMPLETE

2010 Support Your Local Library Challenge
Goal: 25
Out of a possible 5

1) Dead to the World 4
Charlaine Harris

2) Gone 4
Lisa Gardner

3) Little Giant of Aberdeen County 4
Tiffany Bakker

4) Trial By Fire 4
JA Jance

5) Reisling Retribution 4
Ellen Crosby

6) Summer on Blossom Street 4
Debbie Macomber

7) Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist 3
M. C Beaton

8) Mozart's Ghost 3
Julia Cameron

9) The Burying Place 5
Brian Freeman

10) Starter Vegetable Gardens 5
Barbara Pleasant

11) True Food 4
Annie B. Bond

12) Deja Dead 4
Kathy Reichs

13) Mrs. Malory Investigates 4
Hazel Holt

14) Killer Pancake 3
Diane Mott Davidson

15) Ghouls Gone Wild 4
Victoria Laurie

16) An Irish Country Doctor 5
Patrick Taylor

17) The Bride Will Keep Her Name 4
Jan Goldstein

18) Maisie Dobbs 3
Jacqueline Winspear

19) The Pioneer Woman Cooks 5
Ree Drummond

20) Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death 4
MC Beaton

21) A Glimpse of Evil 5
Victoria Laurie

22) Coop 4
Michael Perry

23) The Cruellest Month 4
Hazel Holt

24) Grounds for Murder 3
Sandra Balzo

25) Forever Odd 4
Dean Koontz

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

First In A Series / Cozy Mystery - COMPLETE

First in a Series Cozy Mysteries 2010 Goal: 12
rated out of a possible 5

1) Hooked On Murder 4
Betty Hechtman

2) Death By Cashmere 4
Sally Goldenblaum

3) The Cat, The Quilt And The Corspe 2
Leann Sweeney

4) The Long Quiche Goodbye 3
Avery Aames

5) The Nanny Murders 3
Merry Jones

6) Just Desserts 4
G.A. McKevett

7) Fatal Fixer-Upper 3
Jennie Bentley

8) Wish You Were Here 4
Rita Mae Brown

9) Murder is Binding 4
Lorna Barrett

10) Paper, Scissors, Death 3
Joanna Campbell

11) A Slice of Murder 3
Chris Cavendar

12) Maid for Murder 3
Barbara Colley

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Nanny Murders

The Nanny Murders

Merry Jones

3 out of 5

Very boring and I had to work exceptionally hard to keep my head in the game, but the very end was quite creepy and almost had me wanting to give the book a higher rating.

Zoe Hayes, the lead character, lives in an upper class close-knit Philadelphia neighborhood where the local nannies begin to disappear. Zoe, an art therapist in a mental hospital, and her daughter are quickly thrown into the foray when Molly finds a human finger in the snow and with this clue, Zoe knows that the serial killer has to be one of her neighbors.

I know a huge jump in the storyline, but pretty much this is how it happened. Of course, you have to throw in the police detective that will make their lives complete and then when the killer is found and the trumpets blare they will all live happily ever after. Unfortunately, that is where the creepy part comes in. When your mom works in an institute for the seriously deranged, part of her work might come home with her and a Steven King-esque twist appears just when you were not expecting it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Death Without Company

Death Without Company

Craig Johnson

5 out of 5

I really enjoy this series. Book one was good, but I think that this one, Death Without Company, was even better. The storyline and character development brought the characters into a realism that had you wondering if you really did know these people.

Walt Longmire's decisions are never easy, but when Mari Borja is found dead at the same Assisted Living Facility as Lucian Connally, the retired sheriff of Absaroka County, Walt is throwing into the middle of a twisted story that has his scratching his head and wondering just who isn't tell the whole truth.

Walt's department of misfits and new recruits has him questioning how the Crow, the Cheyenne, the Basques, millions of dollars in methane gas and an abusive drunk named Charlie Nurburn all come together and have their individual parts in the death of Mari. Add in his deputy Vic who is the most brazen character in this book, and Henry Standing Bear and his rather interesting use of non-politically correct English and you have both an excellent mystery and an entertaining insight into Durant, Wyoming.

I space these books out in fear that I will run out of the adventures of Walt Longmire. Highly entertaining and definitely a book that you have to pay close attention to or you might just miss the little clues along the way.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Hanging Tree

The Hanging Tree

Bryan Gruley

3 out of 5

I've heard it said that it takes a lifetime to write your first book and you only have six months to get the next one out, well that is exactly how this one felt after reading the first Starvation Lake mystery, waiting expectantly for this one and being disappointed in the slow pace and real lack of plot.

Once again, the readers are back in Starvation Lake with Gus Carpenter, editor of the Pine County Pilot, where Gracie McBride, the girl who left town eighteen years earlier is found hanging from the said "Hanging Tree". The tree where the local teens hang shoes to mark memorable moments in their lives.

The problem is that Gus does not see Gracie's death as a suicide. Things just are not adding up and with the influence of a new resident in town and Gracie's less than savory past, the new owners of the newspaper want to quickly put Gracie's death to rest and move on with the new goings on in town.

Overall, the book was flat to me. No real climatic moment, nothing that really stood out as a redemption moment that would have made the whole reading experience worthwhile.

Very much a disappointment after I had so enjoyed the first book in this series.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

So Far This Year

Total Pages Read 11034
Fiction 15
Non-Fiction 6
Mystery (All Genres) 29
New Authors 31
Audio 9
Young Adult 1

Total Books Read 51

This isn't quite the true refection of my reading for the month. I have about 12 reviews still to be written but haven't gotten to them. Hopefully, by next month I will be caught up.

September Reviews:

Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting

Seven Up

Fly Away Home

Wish I had more to add, hopefully, I will do better next month.