Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks

Welcome to the 2012 Read 52 Books in 52 Week Challenge


Also the home of the Mind Voyages, 12 in 2012, Well Educated Mind, Jane Austen and A to Z mini challenges

The rules are very simple and the goal is to read one book (at least) a week for 52 weeks.

  1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012. 
  2. Our book weeks will begin on Sunday.  
  3. Participants may join at any time.
  4. All books are acceptable except children books.**
  5. All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc.
  6. Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2012.
  7. Books may overlap other challenges.
  8. Create an entry post linking to this blog. 
  9. Come back and sign up with Mr. Linky in the "I'm participating post" below this post.
  10. You don't have a blog to participate.  Post your weekly book in the comments section of each weekly post.  
  11. Mr. Linky will be added to the bottom of the weekly post for you to link to reviews of your most current reads. 
All the mini challenges are optional. Mix it up anyway you like. The goal is to read 52 books. How you get there is up to you. 

**in reference to children books. If it is a child whose reading it and involved in the challenge, then that's okay.  If an adult is doing read aloud with kids, the book should be geared for the 9 - 12 age group and above and over 100 pages. If adult reading for own enjoyment, then a good rule of thumb to go by "is there some complexity to the story or is it too simple?"  If it's too simple, then doesn't count.  

Sunday, December 25, 2011

BW 52: All wrapped up and tied with a ribbon!



Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you and yours.   There are a few presents under the tree that look suspiciously like books.  *grin*   Love it when my family shops off my Amazon wishlist.  Hope you get everything you want and more for Christmas.  The year seems to have passed in a flash and we are ending it with gratitude and optimism for a joyous new year.   Our quest to read 52 books is coming to an end for this year.  How did you do?  

  1. Did you reach the goal of 52 books or did you manage to beat your own personal best? 
  2. What book are you ending the year with? 
  3. Did you discover a new author or genre?  Did you love them or hate them?
  4. Did you challenge yourself to read more non fiction if prefer fiction or more fiction if you prefer non fiction?
  5. Did you read from a list or wing it?
  6. How many classics did you read?  What did you think of the writing style or author? 
  7. Name one book that you thought you'd never read and was pleasantly surprised you like it.
  8. What are your top ten favorite books?
  9. What are your ten least favorite books?
  10. Did you start any books that you just simply couldn't finish?
  11. What did you think of the mini challenges and did you join in or complete any? 
  12. Did your family join in on the fun?   
  13. How many books have you added to your wishlist since the beginning of the year? 
  14. What was your favorite thing about the challenge?

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who joined in.  I hope you enjoyed your reading year and discovered some new and interesting authors and genres.  Thank you to all who followed our progress. Are you ready to join in yet?  *grin*  I had a lot of fun and look forward to another year of exploring different topics, books and authors.  Best wishes for a happy reading new year!

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Link to your last read and/or wrap up post for 2011. Please link to your specific post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field,type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis or indicate wrap up post.   In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post.


If you don't have a blog, leave a comment in the comment section about your reading year. 




Sunday, December 18, 2011

BW 51: Happy Birthday Jane Austen

Jane Austen
We are talking about all things Jane Austen today in honor of her birthday which was December 16th.  Although she only wrote six novels, her books have remained popular and some of the most widely read over the years.  Her novels:  Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion are all available on line for your reading pleasure.   Links are available in the Jane Austen tab up above.  You want to know a little secret.  I haven't read a single one of them...yet.  I don't have any excuses since I do have all her books.   Which brings us to why one of the mini challenges is to read the works of Jane Austen.  So as challenge to myself I am committing to the freshman level and reading at least two books.  How about you?

Austen's books have also spurred a number of Austen inspired books.  Sourcebooks is celebrating all things Darcy and making them available through all online book sellers in ebook format for $1.99 each through December 30th. 

A Darcy for Everyone! Sourcebooks Celebrates Jane Austen’s Birthday!

From Tuesday December 13th – Friday December 30th the following eBooks will be priced at $1.99 at all online e-tailers. Whether you like Darcy as a tortured vampire, a modern day rock star, a Texas rancher or anything and everything in between! There truly is a Darcy for everyone!

A Darcy Christmas – Carolyn Eberhart, Sharon Lathan and Amanda Grange

Darcys and the Bingleys – Marsha Altman

Darcy’s Voyage – Kara Louise

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star – Heather Lynn Rigaud

The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice – Abigail Reynolds

Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One – Sharon Lathan

Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard – Belinda Roberts

Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife – Linda Berdoll

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre – Amanda Grange

Pemberley Chronicles – Rebecca Ann Collins

Pemberley Ranch – Jack Caldwell

Searching for Pemberley – Mary Lydon Simonsen

Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy – Sara Angelini

Darcy and Fitzwilliam – Karen V. Wasylowski

For more information check out this link at Sourcebooks


Also check out The Republic of Pemberley and Jane Austen.org  for all things Jane Austen. 



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Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2012 Read 52 books in 52 Weeks



Are you ready for another round of Reading 52 books in 52 Weeks?  Whether you are just joining in or continuing on for another round, the rules are very simple.  The goal is to read one book (at least) a week for 52 weeks.  Make the year easy and casual or kick it up by exploring new to you authors and genres. Challenge yourself to read at least one classic a month or delve into that chunkster (more than 600 pages) you always wanted to tackle.  The goal is to read 52 books. How you get there is up to you.   

I have several mini challenges to make it fun: 


12 in 2012: Read 12 books in 12 different categories

A to Z challenge: Read books alphabetically by title and/or author.

Jane Austen: Read all things Jane Austen

Mind Voyages: Explore the hugo and nebula winners, take side trips through the different decades reading the nominees.

Well Educated Mind: Explore the classics in five categories: Fiction, Autobiography, History/Politics, Drama and Poetry.

The mini challenges and weekly challenges are optional, Mix it up anyway you like.
  1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012. 
  2. Our book weeks begin on Sunday.  
  3. Participants may join at any time.
  4. All books are acceptable except children books.
  5. All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc.
  6. Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2012.
  7. Books may overlap other challenges.
  8. Create an entry post linking to this blog.
  9. Sign up with Mr. Linky in the "I'm participating post" below this post.
  10. You don't have a blog to participate.  Post your weekly book in the comments section of each weekly post.  
  11. Mr. Linky will be added to the bottom of the weekly post for you to link to reviews of your most current reads.


Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm participating in 2012

I'm participating in 2012

Sunday, December 11, 2011

BW50: X is for Qui Xiaolong


 Qiu Xiaolong

I just finished reading "Death of the Red Heroine" by novelist and poet Qiu Xiaolong, book one in his inspector Chen series and found it to be extremely interesting.  Set in the mid 1990's in China, it was a police procedural blending fact and fiction delving into the politics and culture of the country.  Publisher's Weekly says:

"Set a decade ago in Shanghai, this political mystery offers a peek into the tightly sealed, often crooked world of post-Tiananmen Square China. Chen Cao, a poet and T.S. Eliot translator bureaucratically assigned to be chief inspector, has to investigate the murder of Guan Hongying, a young woman celebrated as a National Model Worker, but who kept her personal life strictly and mysteriously confidential. Chen and his comrade, Detective Yu, take turns interviewing Guan's neighbors and co-workers, but it seems most of them either know nothing or are afraid to talk openly about a deceased, highly regarded public figure. Maybe they shouldn't be so uneasy, some characters reason; after all, these are "modern times" and socialist China is taking great leaps toward free speech. Chen and Yu make headway when they stumble on Wu Xiaoming, senior editor of Red Star magazine, who apparently was involved with Guan before her death. Tiptoeing around touchy politics and using investigative tactics bordering on blackmail, Chen slowly pieces together the motives behind the crime. The author, himself a poet and critic, peppers the story with allusions to classical Chinese literature, juxtaposing poignant poetry with a gruesome murder so that the novel reads like the translation of an ancient text imposed over a modern tale of intrigue. This is an impressive and welcome respite from the typical crime novel."

I discovered Qui Xiaolong while searching for an author whose name begins with X for my a to z by title challenge.  Glad I discovered him and look forward to reading more of his Detective Chen novels. The books in the series are:


Death of a Red Heroine
A Loyal Character Dancer 

When Red is Black


A Case of Two Cities

Red Mandarin Dress 

The Mao Case
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Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

BW49: 2012 Readalongs and Events


Hello my darlings!  I am in the midst of working on the site for 2012, revamping the mini challenges so if you see some of the pages disappearing or changing, you'll know why.  If you have any suggestions for a mini challenge or challenge within the challenge, let me know.  

I've come across a few 2012 read-a-longs and events that look interesting.   I just finished reading J.R. Ward's first novel in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series - Dark Lover. If you are into vampires, you'd probably enjoy this one.  I love series and enjoyed it enough to want to read the rest of the series.  Unlike Christine Feehan's Dark series which was just a bit too emotional and ridiculous for me and had me quitting the series after the first couple books.  And it just so happens Literary Escapism is hosting a Black Dagger Brotherhood Read-a-long which will run through the end of March.  

For those who like George R.R. Martin, Adventures of 2.0 will be hosting a Read-a-long of A Game of Thrones, and The Lit Bitch will be hosting A Game of Thrones challenge to read the whole series. 

For those wanting something a bit more seriousness to it,  A Literary Odyssey is hosting Shakespeare Reading Month in January or Breadcrumb Reads group read of  Reading Shakespeare: A Play a Month.

Howling Frog Books (don't you just love that title) will be hosting a Greek Classics Challenge which should fit in nicely with our Well Educated Mind Mini challenge (which unfortunately I totally failed at this year.)

I'll be posting the Mr. Linky Sign up for 2012 in a couple weeks.  Happy Reading!

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Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

BW48: Book link love


We are coming in to the homestretch with just 5 weeks left in our quest to read 52 books. I'm in the homestretch with NaNoWriMo and close to the 50,000 word mark so today we'll check out some more authors who blog.  Hopefully it will give you a few new ideas for books to read in 2012.  Have you started your book bucket list for 2012?  An eclectic mix of writers of crime, paranormal, thrillers, suspense, romance.

I follow these group blogs and have read many of their books.

Murder She Writes:   Lori Armstrong, Allison Brennan, Toni McGee Causey, Sylvia Day, Laura Griffin, Sophie Littlefield, Jennifer Lyon, Roxanne St. Claire, Karen Tabke and Debra Webb. 

The Deadline Dames: Another group blog by writers of paranormal, romance, thrillers:  Rachel Vincent, Devon Monk, Jackie Kessler, Jenna Black, Karen Mahoney, Keri Arthur, Lillith Saintcrow, Rinda Elliott and Toni Andrews. 

Riding with the Top Down:  Leanne Banks, Kylie Banks, Helen Brenna, Debra Dixon, Kathleen Eagle, Cindy Gerard, Lois Greiman, Michelle Hauf, Betina Krahn and Christie Ridgeway.

The Debutante Ball:  Changes each year - meet the new class of 2012:  Joanne Levy, Erika Marks, M. Molly Backes, Rachel Bertshe, Linda Grimes.

If you haven't checked out my favorite author blog  Murderati lately, they've made a few changes, added some new faces, lost a few. 

Have fun exploring. Happy Reading!

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Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.




Sunday, November 20, 2011

BW47: Big U, little U, what begins with U


In my quest to complete the A to Z challenge by author and title, I am up to U. I managed to squeak past Q with a two-fer when I read Quicksilver by Amanda Quick. How lucky was that! So, U. Big U, Little u, what begins with U.

I came across this interesting little book the other day about mathematical obsession and thought I'd give it a go: Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel of Mathematical Obsession by Apostolos Doxiadis. In the process get to read an new author as well.  Plus there is always my fall back gal when it comes to the alphabet, Sue Grafton and her Alphabet Series with p.i. Kinsey Milhone set in the 1980's pre cell phones and computers.  

So now the search is one for an author whose first name or last name ends with U.  AND, their books sound interesting and hopefully aren't chunksters that will take forever to read. I have Leon Uris's QB VII on the shelves and read it several years ago. It's on standby in case can't find anything else. Not ready to delve into any of his other stories. Will save him for next year.  So did a bit of searching and found a few people I've never heard of before. 


Then you have the known - Upton Sinclair and  John Updike.  Plus a list of freebies on Project Gutenberg that you can check out at your own risk.

After a bit of Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble browsing,  decided I'll go with Lisa Unger's Beautiful Lies.  Sounds quite interesting and thankfully so easy to download on my nook. 


Synopsis:  What if your family was a lie?  What if your name was a lie? What if your whole life was just a pack of Beautiful Lies?

If Ridley Jones had slept ten minutes later or had taken the subway instead of waiting for a cab, she would still be living the lie she used to call her perfect life. Instead, she's in the wrong place at the right time to unleash a chain of events that begins with a mysterious package on her doorstep. A package that informs her that her entire world is just an illusion. Forced to question everything she knows about herself, Ridley wanders into dark territory, where everyone is hiding something.
Anyone else doing the A to Z quest?  If you are, which letter are you on?  

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Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

BW46: A poetic moment

Courtesy of Zedam Nabil
I'm in the midst of typing up all my crazy writings for NaNoWriMo so leaving you with a poetical moment that rings so true. 


Drop a Pebble in the Water

by

- James W. Foley -



Drop a pebble in the water:
Just a splash, and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples
Circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center,
Flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling
Where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water:
In a minute you forget,
But there's little waves a-flowing,
And there's ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing

To a great big wave have grown;
You've disturbed a mighty river
Just by dropping in a stone.

Drop an unkind word, or careless:
In a minute it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples
Circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading
From the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them,
Once you've started them to flow.

Drop an unkind word, or careless:
In a minute you forget;
But there's little waves a-flowing,
And there's ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart
A mighty wave of tears you've stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy
Ere you dropped that unkind word.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness:
Just a flash and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples
Circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort
On each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn't believe the volume
Of the one kind word you gave.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness:
In a minute you forget;
But there's gladness still a-swelling,
And there's joy a-circling yet,
And you've rolled a wave of comfort
Whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water
Just by dropping one kind word.
 

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Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

BW45: Haunted Bookshop Mysteries



Mix together a book shop, haunt it with a disembodied spirit of a private eye, and you have the makings of an interesting mystery series.   Alice Kimberly aka Cleo Coyle of the Coffee House Mysteries has come up with a wonderful cozy mystery series that is quite entertaining.  I read the first book in the series and will be going back for more and reading the rest of the books in the series. I'm a series junkie. 







The Ghost and Mrs. McClure
The Ghost and the Dead Deb
The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library 
The Ghost and the Femme Fatale
The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion

The Characters:



Penelope

After her husband’s suicide, young widow Penelope Thornton-McClure moves herself and her young son from New York City back to her little seaside New England hometown of Quindicott, Rhode Island. When she arrives, however, she finds her aunt Sadie Thornton in financial trouble and about to lose the family's old bookshop. 

Unwilling to allow the business to fail, Pen cashes her late husband’s life insurance money and uses every penny to overhaul the inventory and remodel the place. As fate would have it, the construction rouses the spirit of a dead man, a private investigator from New York who’d been gunned down on the premises in 1949 while investigating a murder. 

     Waking from a half-century of slumber, the hard-boiled ghost is less than thrilled to find himself cosmically imprisoned within the fieldstone walls of Pen’s bookstore...

Jack
Shepard, PI
 
In life, Jack's pulse pounded to the rhythm of the city streets: the smoky dice joints and swingin’ suds clubs. Why couldn’t he have been gunned down in a joint like that? Instead, he got lead poisoning in the god-forsaken sticks, eternity in cornpone alley. There's only one thing that makes this backwater existence tolerable. Her name is Penelope...

     Okay, so the broad is one of those annoying do-right, fair-play Jane types, but she has a nice face, a sweet voice, and Jack always had been a sucker for redheads. If he hears her thoughts right, Penelope doesn't even believe in ghosts. Well, he never believed in them, either. But, brother, had he been wrong.

     Now he's a disembodied spirit, sentenced for his sins to exist in a world he hardly knows. Lucky for him his purgatory comes with an auburn haired angel, a doll named Penelope he can't stop watching or watching over...   
 

Coming January 3rd, 2012

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 Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

BW 44: Parasol Protectorate

#1


How about dipping your toes into Steampunk.  I picked up Gail Carriger's Soulless, the first novel in her Parasol Protectorate series.   It's Victorian English society meets vampires, werewolves, ghosts type of story, with some romance and comedy thrown.  Sound interesting.  There are five books in the series including: 

#2

#3

#4
#5
Look up Steampunk on Amazon and you'll come across a wide variety of very interesting and what look like, entertaining non fiction and fiction books.    Including The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature  by Jeff Vandermeer, another interesting writer well worth checking out.   

Steampunk Bible



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Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

BW 43: National Novel Writing Month

Modern Water Clock by Bernard Gitton
The clock is ticking down to National Novel Writing Month and writing 50,000 words in 30 days.  Crazy idea that I discovered back in 2007 and have participated in ever since.  It's stressful, time consuming and wild, but fun as you create a story while ignoring your inner editor as well as household duties and other activities for 30 days.  It helps if you have understanding family members who are aware all your energy is going to be taken up with writing.   I had thought of bypassing the whole challenge this year but between my husband encouraging to join in again and a wonderful idea that's been growing by leaps and bounds, I decided to do it once again.  Guess it is turning into an annual thing.  

The goal is to simply write and hopefully by the end of the month, you have the makings of an interesting story.  Of course it will need loads of editing, but that's all part of the writing process.   Plus the process of sitting down and writing at least 1667 words a day forms a habit so by the end of the month, if you aren't already in the habit of writing everyday, it will have become a habit.  So, just to let you know if November's Sunday posts are a bit short or perhaps wacky, you'll know the reason why. 

There are lots of writers who are pantsters who basically just write, fly the seat of their pants and make things up as they go, without any planning.  Then there are the plotters - those who outline, create character sketches, and map out their stories.  I lean more toward plotting, than pantster.  This year I found a great  book to help me out -  K.M. Weiland's Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success which is available in both book and ebook format.   It is chock full of useful information and highly recommend it. There are several authors out there in the blogosphere who are very encouraging when it comes to NaNoWriMo and  have been posting tips on their websites.   

Larry Brooks who wrote Story Engineering:  Mastering The Six Core Competencies of Successful Writing as well as several fiction novels has come up with 31 Empowering Posts in 31 Days.

Alexandra Sokoloff, who writes spooky, scary mystery thrillers which I really enjoy as well as Screenwriting Tricks for Authors has come up with a series of great articles which are immensely helpful.

And if you are wondering if anything good comes out of this craziness, here is a link to a list of authors who have had books published which they started during nano.  Maybe I'll be on that list in a few years.  *grin*

Anyone else joining in on Nanowrimo this year? 

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Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

BW42 - Old New York

Chrysler Building courtesy of joiseyshowaa's



We did a bit of futuristic armchair traveling with J.D. Robb aka Nora Roberts who introduced us to a futuristic new york in her In Death series.  Let's do a bit of historical fiction traveling in old New York.  I found a series of mystery books and authors that  haven't read yet thanks to Bookmarks Magazine.

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

B&N Synopsis:  "The story opens in 1906 in New Rochelle, New York, at the home of an affluent American family. One lazy Sunday afternoon, the famous escape artist Harry Houdini swerves his car into a telephone pole outside their house. And almost magically, the line between fantasy and historical fact, between real and imaginary characters, disappears. Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, J. P. Morgan, Evelyn Nesbit, Sigmund Freud, and Emiliano Zapata slip in and out of the tale, crossing paths with Doctorow's imagined family and other fictional characters, including an immigrant peddler and a ragtime musician from Harlem whose insistence on a point of justice drives him to revolutionary violence."

Time and Again by Jack Finney

B&N Synopsis:  "Sleep. And when you awake everything you know of the twentieth century will be gone from your mind. Tonight is January 21, 1882. There are no such things as automobiles, no planes, computers, television. 'Nuclear' appears in no dictionary. You have never heard the name Richard Nixon." 

Did illustrator Si Morley really step out of his twentieth-century apartment one night -- right into the winter of 1882? The U.S. Government believed it, especially when Si returned with a portfolio of brand-new sketches and tintype photos of a world that no longer existed -- or did it"


Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen
Book one in the Molly Murphy Series set in the early 1900's.    Author Synopsis:  Molly Murphy has to flee from Ireland and finds herself in deep trouble on Ellis Island in Murphy's Law.



Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson
Victoria Thompson's Gaslight series starting with Murder on Astor Place set in the late 1800's.   

B&N Synopsis:  "After a routine delivery, midwife Sarah Brandt visits her patient in a rooming house-and discovers that another boarder, a young girl, has been killed. At the request of Sergeant Frank Malloy, she searches the girl's room, and discovers that the victim is from one of the most prominent families in New York- and the sister of an old friend. The powerful family, fearful of scandal, refuses to permit an investigation. But with Malloy's help, Sarah begins a dangerous quest to bring the killer to justice-before death claims another victim."

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ink to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

BW41: Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts - October 10, 2011

Happy birthday to my favorite author - the diva of romance and romantic suspense Nora Roberts.   I discovered her books back in 2007 and fell in lurve.  She has written almost 200 novels (complete booklist) including a number of stand alone books as well as series which are all unique and interesting.  She writes the type of stories that make you fall in the love with the characters and makes you want to turn right around and read the book over again, when you are done.  She also write a futuristic crime novel series called the In Death series under  the pseudonym J.D. Robb.  There are 33 books (chronological list)  in the series (which I've read most of them twice) and I just finished the latest New York to Dallas.  And I recently started listening to audio books in the car and am currently listening to Naked In Death which is the very first book in the series. I can sense that listening to the series will keep me busy for quite a while.    Besides being a prolific writer, she and her husband own a bookstore in Maine called Turn the Page and also a historic inn called Inn Boosboro with rooms named after literary characters including Eve and Roark from the In Death series.  She has a new trilogy named after the Inn Boonsboro and the first book is The Next Always being released on November 1st.

Tidbits from her website:

  • Every Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb title released in 2010 hit the New York Times bestseller list.  That’s keeping up a streak started in 1999.

  • With Treachery in Death (February 2011) Nora will have published 195 full-length novels.

  • Nora has written 173 New York Times bestsellers including 27 written as J.D. Robb and one written together with J.D. Robb

  • Since her first bestseller in 1991, Nora’s books have spent a total of 879 weeks on the New York Times list…that’s equivalent to more than 16.5 consecutive years of weekly bestsellers.

  • Nora’s books have spent a combined 178 weeks at the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list – that’s more than 3 years.

Once you read one of her books, you'll understand why.

Happy Birthday Nora!

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Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

BW40: Spooktacular October


I've seem to have gotten into a vampire, werewolf, ghosts, angels and demons reading kick lately.   Last year for the month of October I read Frankenstein and was surprised because the story wasn't even close to what the movie had been like.  Maybe I had watched Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein one too many times *grin*    Then I read Dracula: The Undead by Dacre Stoker, Bram's great grandnephew, inventive sequel to Dracula. 


Barnes and Noble: At last—the sequel to Bram Stoker's classic novel Dracula, written by his direct descendant and a Dracula historian  Bram Stoker's Dracula is the prototypical horror novel, an inspiration for the world's seemingly limitless fascination with vampires. Though many have tried to replicate Stoker's horror classic- in books, television shows, and movies-only the 1931 Bela Lugosi film bore the Stoker family's support. Until now.

Dracula The Un-Dead is a bone-chilling sequel based on Bram Stoker's own handwritten notes for characters and plot threads excised from the original edition. Dracula The Un-Dead begins in 1912, twenty-five years after Dracula "crumbled into dust." Van Helsing's protégé, Dr. Jack Seward, is now a disgraced morphine addict obsessed with stamping out evil across Europe. Meanwhile, an unknowing Quincey Harker, the grown son of Jonathan and Mina, leaves law school for the London stage, only to stumble upon the troubled production of "Dracula," directed and produced by Bram Stoker himself.

The play plunges Quincey into the world of his parents' terrible secrets, but before he can confront them he experiences evil in a way he had never imagined. One by one, the band of heroes that defeated Dracula a quarter-century ago is being hunted down. Could it be that Dracula somehow survived their attack and is seeking revenge? Or is their another force at work whose relentless purpose is to destroy anything and anyone associated with Dracula?

I thoroughly enjoyed it, however, I've never actually read Dracula by Bram Stoker.   Decided this year I'm finally going to read Dracula, especially since I'm on the fore mentioned vampire kick.  Plus I happened to stumble across his very first book The Snake's Pass which looked really interesting so picked it up:



Amazon:   Arthur Severn, a young Englishman on holiday in the west of Ireland, is forced by a storm to stop for the night in a mysterious village, where he hears the legend of "The Snake's Pass." Long ago, it is said, St. Patrick battled the King of the Snakes, who hid his crown of gold and jewels in the hills near the village. But it is not only legend that haunts the town. The figure of the demonic money-lender Black Murdock looms over the village, as he searches for the lost treasure while manipulating the townsfolk to his own evil ends. Even more threatening than Murdock is the shifting bog, personified as a baneful "carpet of death," which will swallow up anything -- and anyone -- in its path. Art and his friend Dick will brave the dangers of the bog to seek out the treasure, but the sinister machinations of Murdock will lead to a deadly conclusion! Featuring a slow accumulation of terror worthy of Le Fanu, The Snake's Pass was Bram Stoker's first novel. A clear precursor to Dracula, The Snake's Pass was the only of Stoker's novels set in his native Ireland. This edition follows the text of the first edition published at New York in 1890.

Come along and join me in a spooktacular read of  Dracula by Bram Stoker.  And along the way, you may as well check out his other stories.

What spooktacular books are you reading this month?

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Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

BW 39: Banned Book Week


Celebrate reading!

It is that time of year when we get to celebrate our freedom to read whatever we choose.
American Library Association:  "Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week.  BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings.  Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections.  Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society."

The most frequently challenged books in 2010 were:

1) And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson;
3) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
4) Crank by Ellen Hopkins;
5) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins;
6) Lush by Natasha Friend;
8) Nickel and Dimed  by Barbara Ehrenreich;
9) Revolutionary Voices edited by Amy Sonnie;
10) Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

The most frequently challenged classics are listed below. See the reason why here.

  1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger 
  3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck 
  4. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker 
  5. Ulysses, by James Joyce 
  6. Beloved, by Toni Morrison 
  7. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding 
  8. 1984, by George Orwell 
  9. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov 
  10. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck 
  11. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller 
  12. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley 
  13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell 
  14. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway 
  15. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner 
  16. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway 
  17. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
  18. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
  19. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison 
  20. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell 
  21. Native Son, by Richard Wright 
  22. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey 
  23. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut 
  24. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway 
  25. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London 
  26. Go Tell it on the Mountain, by James Baldwin 
  27. All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren 
  28. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien 
  29. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclai
  30. Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence 
  31. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess 
  32. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin 
  33. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote 
  34. The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie 
  35. Sophie's Choice, by William Styron 
  36. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
  37. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
  38. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles 
  39. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs 
  40. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh 
  41. Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence 
  42. The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer 
  43. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
  44. An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser 
  45. Rabbit, Run, by John Updike 

What challenged book will you be reading this week?
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Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.

If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.