Friday, July 29, 2011

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read as a way to find new blogs and make some new friends.  Go to Parajunkee to find the other participants.  This week's question:

Q. Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you? 

 I can't stand blabbermouths.  I often wish people would be quiet so I could think and read in peace.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: Vanished in the Night by Eileen Carr

Vanished in the Night 

Title: Vanished in the Night by Eileen Carr
Publisher: Pocket Books
Published: July 26, 2011
ISBN: 9781439183878

    Vanished in the Night begins with the discovery of human remains at a construction site in Sacramento, California.  When the police arrive to notify Veronica Osborne that the remains belong to her long missing brother Max, she is both saddened and relieved.  She finally knows what happened to her brother.  Panic takes over when she realizes that the officers suspect her father in the death which is quickly ruled a homicide.  She knows her father, George Osborne, is a hostile drunk with a history of abusing Max but she can't give in to the possibility that he might have killed Max.  Veronica decides to conduct her own investigation to protect her father and find out what happened to Max.  Her desire to keep her dad out of harm's way is only intensified by her annoyance and lust for the detective on the case Zach McKnight.  Neither does Zach expect to develop feelings for Veronica who utterly annoys him with her meddling in the investigation and refusal to let him do his job. As more deaths occur, the police delve into the past to figure out the killer's motivation and try to stop him.  The increasing danger of the case brings Zach and Veronica together.  This togetherness sets the killer off and he makes Veronica his next target.  Now Zach has to stop the killer before he gets Veronica.

Vanished in the Night is a pretty quick,enjoyable read; I read it in one day. We learn pretty early in the book who the culprit is but we are on edge waiting for him to finish his plan or be caught by the police.    The main characters are well written - Veronica as the eager to please child of violence and alcoholism and Zach as the reform school graduate turned cop.  The choices made by the characters seem in keeping with their personality as described.  The only detraction for me was some of the pop culture references and dated slang; all in all, this book was a great read for a summer's afternoon.

**This book was provided by the publisher Pocket Books in exchange for my honest opinion.**

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: The Skin Map by Steven Lawhead

The Skin Map (Bright Empires) 

Title: The Skin Map by Steven Lawhead
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: August 2010
ISBN: 9781595548047

  On an ordinary day, Cosimo "Kit" Livingstone is rushing to go shopping with his girlfriend, Wilhelmina.  However, this is no ordinary day.  Rerouted trains, a malfunctioning transit card, unhelpful station agents, and traveling an unfamiliar part of London, all seem to conspire to keep him from his shopping trip.  Ducking down an alley for a shortcut, Kit stumbles into an isolated storm.  After emerging from the storm, he meets a man purporting to be his great grandfather Cosimo Livingstone.  The elder Mr. Livingstone requests his help for an epic mission.  Initially Kit scoffs at the old man, but when the old man calls him by his given name and peaks his curiosity, Kit agrees to a short conversation.
  As they make their way to a pub, Kit starts to suspect he's not in London anymore.  At first he thinks, he is in one of those historical villages for visitors.  Over a quick drink, his great grandfather enlightens him to the existence of ley lines, energy trails recognized and marked by ancient man.  The markers were placed at the spot where one could jump from one dimension of the galaxy to the next.  The ancients had knowledge but in the present ages the knowledge of the leys and their uses and how to navigate them have been reduced to superstitions.  Cosimo needs Kit to help him on a quest for a relic related to the use of leys.
  Kit is understandably flustered and refuses to get sucked into a scheme by some random old dude.  When he manages to return to his London, he treks to Wilhelmina, who is none to happy to see him.  Somehow eight hours have passed between his entrance and exit from the other dimension.  Wilhelmina is pissed to have spent her day off waiting for Kit only for him to arrive late telling some weird story.  Determined to prove his story, Kit takes her to the alley and shows her the ley.  In the journey between dimension, they get separated and Kit reunites with Cosimo and sets of to find Wilhelmina before it's too late.

I found the concept of the book enjoyable and somewhat original given my limited forays into sci-fi, time travel, quest literature.  The characters are ok.  Kit and Wilhelmina are ok main characters.  In the beginning of the book, Kit seems like a loser so I guess the choice between his boring life and interdimension travel was pretty easy.  Wilhelmina is way more interesting because she manages to assimilate to her new reality and accomplish many things and really hits her stride - all with only the barest understanding of what has happened to her.  Nevertheless while there are original plot points and characters, some of the other characters are pretty much from central casting.  New world, same old plot.  Reading through the book, I noticed a pretty massive inconsistency in the logic of the books universe; it happened several times.  While I realize this is the first in a series and maybe the inconsistencies will be explained later in the series, these are still pretty big plot holes.  For me, it was like watching a car get swallowed by a pothole.  That being said, I honestly can't say whether I would read book two of this series.  I find the whole idea interesting but what if the inconsistency is stll there.

***  This book was provided by in exchange for my honest opinion.  *** 

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm Back!!!!!!!!!!!!

So last weekend, my network card in my laptop crapped out on me.  I thought it was my internet but after checking it was the card.  I ordered a new one, installed it yesterday, so here we are  I totally didn't mean to go a week without posting but posting from my Droid not Incredible is like circling the outer circle of Hades.

That being said thanks for sticking around and joining.  Hi new followers.  I had time to read tons of books and get some great posts going in addition to my backlog so without further adieu.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View as a way to find new blogs and make some new friends.  Go to Parajunkee to find the other participants.  This week's question:

This week's question: What do you do when you're not reading?

Lately, I've been fishing a lot at different piers around Brooklyn, going to free events around NYC, hanging out with friends, and wishing summer would never end.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.  We post about all the books we are waiting to be published.

I'm waiting for A Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate.  I've loved her other work so far and have high hopes for this book.

The Taste of SaltFrom Amazon:
Award-winning novelist Martha Southgate (who, in the words of Julia Glass, “can write fat and hot, then lush and tender, then just plain truthful and burning with heart”) now tells the story of a family pushed to its limits by addiction over the course of two generations.

Josie Henderson loves the water and is fulfilled by her position as the only senior-level black scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. In building this impressive life for herself, she has tried to shed the one thing she cannot: her family back in landlocked Cleveland. Her adored brother, Tick, was her childhood ally as they watched their drinking father push away all the love that his wife and children were trying to give him. Now Tick himself has been coming apart and demands to be heard.

Weaving four voices into a beautiful tapestry, Southgate charts the lives of the Hendersons from the parents’ first charmed meeting to Josie’s realization that the ways of the human heart are more complex than anything seen under a microscope.

What are you waiting for this week?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Swag to the 4th Power

Miss Timmins' School for Girls: A Novel
Miss Timmins School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy

From Amazon:

A murder at a British boarding school in the hills of western India launches a young teacher on the journey of a lifetime
In 1974, three weeks before her twenty-first birthday, Charulata Apte arrives at Miss Timmins' School for Girls in Panchgani. Shy, sheltered, and running from a scandal that disgraced her Brahmin family, Charu finds herself teaching Shakespeare to rich Indian girls in a boarding school still run like an outpost of the British Empire. In this small, foreign universe, Charu is drawn to the charismatic teacher Moira Prince, who introduces her to pot-smoking hippies, rock ‘n' roll, and freedoms she never knew existed.
Then one monsoon night, a body is found at the bottom of a cliff, and the ordered worlds of school and town are thrown into chaos. When Charu is implicated in the murder—a case three intrepid schoolgirls take it upon themselves to solve—Charu's real education begins. A love story and a murder mystery, Miss Timmins' School for Girls is, ultimately, a coming-of-age tale set against the turbulence of the 1970s as it played out in one small corner of India.

Silver Sparrow
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

From the author's website

With the opening line of Silver Sparrow, “My father, James Witherspoon is a bigamist,” Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man’s deception, a family’s complicity, and the teenage girls caught in the middle.
Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon’s families– the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, only one of them knows they are sisters. It is a relationship destined to explode when secrets are revealed and illusions shattered. As Jones explores the backstories of her rich and flawed characters, she also reveals the joy, and the destruction, they brought to each other’s lives.
At the heart of it all are the two girls whose lives are at stake, and like the best writers, Jones portrays the fragility of her characers with raw authenticity as they seek love, demand attention, and try to imagine themselves as women.

Donatella Cooks
Donatella Cooks by Donatella Arpaia
From Amazon

Dubbed "the hostess with the mostest" by Zagats, Donatella Arpaia is a ubiquitous and striking presence on the national food scene. Literally raised in the business, she knows precisely what makes a guest feel welcome, whether in one of her wildly popular restaurants or one-on-one in her home. Yet every day she meets would-be home cooks—sophisticated, confident, successful women with discriminating palates—whose confidence evaporates at the kitchen door.
For these discerning diners, Donatella has written Donatella Cooks, a sassy, spirited guide to cooking and entertaining with flair. Writing with humor, wit, and practicality, she covers every element of a great evening, from super simple yet delectable food to the perfect music, drinks, and d├ęcor. Her foolproof recipes are brimming with bold flavor yet so easy to prepare even novice cooks can pull them off without breaking a sweat. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a cocktail gala for dozens, Donatella Cooks has the winning formula for the perfect evening.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

French Lessons Contest Winners

For my French Lessons giveaway, there were two contestants for two prizes.  Luckily, each contestant was able to win what she wanted.  So without further ado,  here are our winners. 

Darlene, you won the audiobook. 
Donna, you won the paperback book.
Thank you ladies for participating in my contest.:) 

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.  We post about all the books we are waiting to be published.

This week I'm looking forward to Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist. He wrote Let the Right One in (Let Me In in the US). 


Per Amazon:
From the author of the international and New York Times bestseller Let the Right One In (Let Me In) comes this stunning and terrifying book which begins when a man's six-year-old daughter vanishes.One ordinary winter afternoon on a snowy island, Anders and Cecilia take their six-year-old daughter Maja across the ice to visit the lighthouse in the middle of the frozen channel. While the couple explore the lighthouse, Maja disappears -- either into thin air or under thin ice -- leaving not even a footprint in the snow. Two years later, alone and more or less permanently drunk, Anders returns to the island to regroup. He slowly realises that people are not telling him all they know; even his own mother, it seems, is keeping secrets. What is happening in Domaro, and what power does the sea have over the town's inhabitants?