Monday, January 31, 2011

Musing Mondays (Jan.31)

Musing Mondays are hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. This weeks musings asks...
What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?

Nothing stops me from sleeping. Well no that's not entirely true, but books don't. I'd have to say there is not one book that I actually lost sleep over because I was trying to read it all at once. Not even Harry Potter. I've totally thrown my day away on books though. Not so much anymore because I'm so busy. Now I read right before I go to bed, just a couple chapters or so. Oh wait, just remembered there was one book I was trying to finish but it was pretty late and I kept falling asleep. It was A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Writing Rituals

Writer's have always had their own special techniques that help them develop idea's and focus on their work. It can be staring up at the ceiling, pacing, even talking aloud to themselves. Here's an interesting article from Masters Degree.Net that was brought to my attention about 20 Acclaimed Authors and Their Unique Writing Rituals. It's really interesting, and amusing. Do you have any writing rituals? Tell me all about them in the commen section. :D

Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (Jan. 28)

It's time for another book blogger hop~! That exciting part of the week where we all head on over to Crazy-For-Books to add our blogs to the hop linky, and purusue through a fantastic bunch of other book blogs. This weeks hop question is: "What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011? Why are you anticipating that book?"

Well this one is pretty hard for me since I usually don't know a book is coming out until well, it comes out. In that respect I guess I'm a terrible bookaholic. Thanks to my fellow book bloggers though I do know when a couple of books are coming out, so I'd have to say out of the ones I do know I'm most excited for Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins the sequel to the very funny and engaging Hex Hall. The other one would have to be Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick. What releases are you looking forward to? Leave your answers in the comment section.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WWW Wednesday (Jan. 26)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? Right now I'm reading Right Side Talking by Bonnie Rozanski and Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.

What did you recently finish Reading? Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (review coming soon-ish)

What do you think you'll read next? Probably The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins because I've been intrigued by it for a while and finally saw it at the library. It's supposed to be rather gruesome. One can only hope. :P

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

So after some experimenting I decided to go back to my old format of reviewing. Although I won't put the author and title because well, you can see them. :D Oh and extra thanks to Katherine from A Love for Literature for being my editor this week, because my brain couldn't.

Genre: Mystery/Horror
Reading Level: Ages 16 and up

Summary:“The dead don't talk. I don't know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn. Maybe he has a gift, maybe it’s a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out. Sometimes they want justice, and Odd’s otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo's sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it's different.

A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world's worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd’s deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15.

Today is August 14.

In less than twenty-four hours, Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd travels through the shifting prisms of his world, struggling to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock 'n' Roll. His account of two shattering days when past and present, fate and destiny converge is the stuff of our worst nightmares—and a testament by which to live: sanely if not safely, with courage, humor, and a full heart that even in the darkness must persevere.

My Thoughts: When I first started this book, I instantly disliked it. Mostly because it gave away an ending to an Agatha Christie novel I wanted to read, and secondly because I found Odd Thomas to be somewhat of a drip.
After I cooled off from my initial frustration and got back to reading, I couldn't deny I found the story very intriguing. Dean Koontz is a very good writer; he can suck you into a story and he knows how to pace his plots. Even Odd became a likable character after a while thanks to Koontz's heartfelt and sincere characterization. He's a normal guy, just trying to get through life with an abnormal gift. The thing I appreciated about Odd was his drive to do the best he could with what he had. He didn't try to ignore his gift, he used it to the best of his ability, and even when things were exceptionally bleak (which is often in this novel) he kept moving forward, he kept fighting and never gave up. I'd have to say that through Odd, I came to like the other characters.
This is written in first person narration, it's a series, and like so many first books,the side characters tend to be less fleshed out and mere props in the background. But it wasn't as bad in this one thanks to Odd's obvious warm affections for them. Even the ones he didn't love (his psychotic parents for one) were well drawn through Odd. To have a main character strong enough that you can learn all about the side characters through them is an amazing accomplishment.
The plot twists are numerous, and several times I said aloud, "I was not expecting that~!" which is always cause for the people in the room where you're reading to look up and say "What?". The supernatural aspect of the novel was put together very well. The ghost weren't chatty floating plasma, just spectral echo's of their live counterparts that silently asked Odd for his help, and for some reason that made it very believable. I'm not sure why non talking ghost are more believable then talking ones are. Probably because talking ones instantly put an image of Casper in my head.
Anyway, despite the twist and turns, the decent pace, and the sometimes laugh out loud dialog, I can't say I enjoyed this book. Frankly it scared the heck out of me, and not in the good way. The bad guy is definitely scary, because there are real people out there that are sick and demented and a book like this makes them seem closer to you then you'd ever known. I was just left so disheartened, scared, and frustrated with the final outcome I couldn't like it.
Content: Language, sexual references, lots of violence and disturbing images (Especially if you have a fantastic imagination and have ever said "that was a crazy movie~!" after reading a book.)
Rating: 2 and a half stars out of 5.
Recommend: I'm gonna have to say yes, for people who like terribly scary thrillers and loosing sleep.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Back to Hopping~!

I've once again rejoined the world of book blog hopping~! The Book Blog Hop is hosted by Crazy-For-Books and gives all of the book bloggers out there a chance to see each others blogs, and get to know one another. So click on the link, add your blog, and find other interesting and like minded bloggers~!
This weeks question: "Why do you read the genre that you do? What draws you to it?"
I love questions like this. :D Well I'd have to say the number one reason I adore the mystery genre and always have is because I also enjoy puzzles and riddle's. I love not knowing an answer and having to figure out what it is. I also enjoy surprise. I try my hardest to figure out how everything goes together before the end, and if I'm not right I enjoy learning the truth, and if I am I'm usually like: 0.0
Another reason I like mysteries, and this mostly applies to well written ones, I enjoy the intricate plot lines, the characters who usually have a strong sense of justice, I love the feeling of having my mind boggled. When I read a good mystery I don't stop thinking about it for days.
What is your favorite genre and why do you love it? Put your answer's in the comment section. :D

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? Right now I am reading "Hush Hush" by Becca Fitzpatrick. I just went to the library and was a bit annoyed they didn't have the books I wanted, and so in a fit of annoyance I decided to check this out. Yeah I know it doesn't make much sense to me either. :P I started it two days ago, and highly expected to be bored by it, but so far I'm surprisingly intrigued.

What did you recently finish reading? "Odd Thomas" by Dean Koontz (review coming soon) and "Only the Good Spy Young" by Ally Carter. (review also coming soon)

What do you think you'll read next? I have several selection from the library that I am interested in such as "The Golden Compass" by Philip Pullman, "Starcross" by Philip Reeve (lots of Philips) and "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift along with a couple others. I'm never quite sure what I'll pick to read next, so I don't like to say anything definite. What are you reading? Finished Reading? What do you plan to read next? Share your picks in the comment section. :D

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder By Joanne Fluke

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder is about a small town baker Helen Swensen who comes to work one day only to find the local dairy man dead in her stores back alley way. Her brother in law gets the case, and enlist Helen to help him solve the case, in hopes that it will lead him to a promotion. Using her conversational skills and unassuming looks Helen goes about investigating sparse clues and interviewing suspects. Writing novels about amateur detectives is a difficult task. How do you get your character, with no police training into the throws of an official investigation without making it completely unbelievable. The more I read mystery novels the harder it seems. Being that this was a small town, where the crime rate was low, and murder sent all the police officers into a tizzy it didn't feel as unbelievable, as say if it were taking place in the big city.

The characters were enjoyable, Helen was unique enough to be interesting as well as accessible. Her relationship with her family is explored and I enjoyed the fact that her sister helped her out a lot with her investigations. The other characters were well done, although none of them were intimately explored. The only character I did not like (and no I'm not talking about whoever the murderer is :P) was the police officer introduced in the end. He messed with the nice relationship Helen was developing with her dentist friend Norman.

Now plot wise it was a bit flimsy. The action opened up fairly quickly but then it died down just as fast. Although it wasn't completely boring it still wasn't as nicely paced as I like my mysteries. The ending was also pradicteble not matter how hard the author tried to throw you a red herring. It is not quite as fun knowing who the killer is before the slueth does. It doesn't make them seem very bright, or that they should have a mystery series all about them.
Content: Murder, some language I think, references to an abusive relationship, and someone takes inappropriate pictures but it's not in much detail.
Rating: 2 and a half stars out of 5
Recommend: For fans of light mysteries.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish~! This weeks category: Top Ten Books I Resolve To Read in 2011.

My list of books to read this year are:
1. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
I've been wanting to read a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery for ages. For some odd reason though I could never seem to get around to it, but this year I finally will~! wish me luck.

2. The Complete Sherlock Holmes Volume 1 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Love Sherlock, and am looking forward to finishing this book.

3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Loved Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, and started reading Jane Eyre last year, but didn't even make a dent in it, because it was the start of my dry spell. I'm hoping to see it through until the end this year.

4. The Cranford Chronicles by Elizabeth Gaskell
Read Wives and Daughters last year and greatly enjoyed it. A lot of people consider this to be Gaskells best work, so I'm really looking forward to reading it. I figure if it's better then W&D I'll absolutely love it. It's also much shorter which is always a bonus.

5. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
Read Oliver Twist when I was 13 or so and loved it. This is another giant book I started last year, and I was enjoying it, but I put it down for a while which is bad for me and never picked it up again. I feel especially bad about this since my dear friend lent her copy to me, and I know she really loves it, and I feel awful for keeping it so long. No need to worry Katherine I'll get it back to you soon. :D

6. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
I once again meant to read it last year, but didn't. The tragedies of my life. I read The Time Machine last year and was like this for a whole day: O.o I did lend it out to a friend who brought it back to me and promised me it was a spine tingling read. Oh yeah~!

7. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
This is the last book by Austen I have to read. I've also heard it's one of the hardest to get through, but I've grown into quite an Austen lover over the years so I think I can handle it.

8. 1984 by George Orwell
Animal Farm was a very traumatic experience for me. Needless to say I needed some time before reading another Orwell novel. This one is next on my list, and I am looking forward to it, I find the plot intriguing and it doesn't involve poor innocent barn yard animals so I think I'll like it better. Animal books always make me cry.

9. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
One of Montgomery's "Adult" novels I've been eyeing this one for quite some time. I really hope I get to reading it this year.

10. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe
This man is a genius. I re-read A Tell Tale Heart this year and was even more mind boggled then I had been when I first read it. I think it's the closest I'll ever get to being in the mind of a killer and I must say that frightens and makes me feel better all at the same time. I love Poe for creating the detective story, so I am very excited to read the Dupin tales.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Musing Mondays and It's Monday~! What Are You Reading?

Musing Monday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. This weeks question is: How many books did you read in 2010? If you had a reading goal, did you meet it? What books are you most looking forward to reading for 2011 (either new, OR ones that have sat on your shelves for a while)?
Sadly I only got around to reading 43 books in 2010. *sigh* I blame my reading dry spell. Which thank g-d I got over~! I didn't have an exact reading goal, I was just trying to read as many as I could. Unfortunately I didn't even put a dent in the amount of books I read when I was 10 which was around 80 or so.
For 2011, I have a lot of books I plan on reading. Most of them are part of my Agatha Christie library. :D I am also hoping to read a lot of Steampunk books, Leviathan, Soulless, BoneShaker, and World Shaker are just some of the books I have on my list. I've also got some chick-lit's on my list too. This week from the library I got Only the Good Spy Young, by Ally Carter, and The Cinderella Society, by Kay Cassidy.

It's Monday What Are You Reading is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey. It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.
Book Read Last Week: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke (Review coming soon...)
Currently Reading: Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
What I Want to Read Next: Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter