Book #7.1

The Knitting CircleI’m sorry to say that I only made it to page 17 of this book. Normally, I’m a big fan of the craft-related women’s friendship books. I loved Jennifer Chiaverini’s quilting books. However, the main character in this book is dealing with the death of her five-year old daughter. I tried to get past this, and go on reading, but I couldn’t. My son is just 15-months old. I can’t imagine a world without him, and I’m not ready to read about other parent’s loss – fictional or real.

Sorry, it looked like a good one.

P.S., I haven’t given any of the story away. This fact is evident in the first few pages. If you read it, I’d love to know your thoughts!

Book #7

The Redemption of Matthew Quinn

UPDATE: Read the comment! The author, Ms. Kathleen O’Brien herself, made a comment on my blog! Woo hoo! I’m so cool! Thanks, Kathleen :)

Book three in the Four Seasons in Firefly Glen, The Redemption of Matthew Quinn, is another goody from Kathleen O’Brien. Some of my favorite Glenners made appearances (namely, Suzie Strickland and Mike Frome), and I loved the heroine, Natalie.

I know there are those of you who automatically discount books published by Harlequin, but its your loss. Some of them are real gems – great stories that make you laugh out loud, care about the characters, and feel a little better throughout your day.

So if you’ve never read a Harlequin, start with Kathleen O’Brien’s Firefly Glen series – it won’t disappoint. I’m off to read the fourth book in the series.

Book #6

Plum Lovin' I just finished Plum Lovin’ by Janet Evanovich – a between the numbers Stephanie Plum book. I love all the Stephanie Plum books, and this one didn’t disappoint, except that it was remarkably short. I think it took about three hours total to read. But still, funny and ridiculous like all of Stephanie and Lula’s capers.

One thing I thought was funny (not ha ha) is that this is the first novel in the series (that I noticed) where Janet attributed an actual weight to Lula, the heroine’s hefty former-prostitute sidekick who dresses primarily in spandex. She put her at 180, 5’5″. Well, I’m 180, 5’2″. Lula’s weight isn’t so funny to me anymore.

Aw, yes it is. Its funny because of what she wears and what she eats and what she does. Perhaps I should revisit the shiny spandex look and see if it makes me a comedic genius.

That’s a plan doomed to failure. Read these books – they’re hilarious.

Book MEME

I don’t know what a MEME is, but I like this list, so I want to participate…I’m going to skip the italicizing bit – I’d like to make my way through the whole list.

Instrutions:
Look at the list of books below.
*Bold the ones you’ve read
*Italicize the ones you want to read
*Leave the ones that you aren’t interested in alone.

If you are reading this, tag you’re it!

1.The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2.Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3.To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10.A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12.Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)

14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16.Harry Potter and the Sorcerers’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)

20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) *My favorite book in the world – the only book I’ve read twice!*
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True(Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible (parts only)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)

52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54.Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80.Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth(Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100.Ulysses (James Joyce)

Book #5

Black Tulip

Well, I’ve finally finished The Masque of the Black Tulip.  Let me preface this review with some info. I listened to the first book in this series on audiobook. It was excellent – probably because the reader had an English accent, and it may have been abridged. That said, I did not enjoy this book nearly as much. I found myself skipping entire pages of internal dialog, and found the ending VERY unsatisfying.

Nonetheless, I’ve requested the third book in the series, something about an emerald, from the library. I’m really hoping for a conclusion to a few of the story lines started in the second book. It took me over a week to wade through the 400+ pages of the Black Tulip. If the next one moves as slowly, I will not finish it.

Caveat to readers: If you enjoy historical romance, you may love this book. I only kind of like historical fiction, I like these books more for the spy story lines.  This book was heavy on the victorian detail, light on the espionage.

Book #3

Babes in Arms by Kathleen O'Brien

Book #2 in the Four Seasons of Firefly Glen, Babes in Arms by Kathleen O’Brien – loved it! I read it in a day, and ordered the other two books in the series off of amazon the same day. Even cooler, I emailed the author to tell her how much I loved the first book, Winter Baby, and she emailed me back! A really nice, friendly email! So, read her books, she’s nice, and she’s an excellent writer.

Back to the book a little, there are some good laugh out loud moments, and I genuinely didn’t know how it was going to all come together in the end – which is a nice change of pace from most series romances. Excellent writing – far superior to a lot of popular romance novelists on the market today!

Book #4

Sammy's Hill by Kristen Gore

Funniest book I’ve read in a long time, and that includes Jon Stewart’s America. The ridiculous situations Sammy faces reminded me of so many people in my life, myself included, that I couldn’t help but relate to her plight. I would not categorize this book as Chick Lit – although I am a die-hard fan of the genre. I think this book would appeal to broader audiences. If so much of the comedy wasn’t in Sammy’s head, it would make an excellent movie.

Favorite moments:

  • Sammy practicing defensive stances against animal attacks
  • Sammy daydreaming about her involvement in just about every happening on Capitol Hill.
  • Sammy being an intelligent, believable character in spite of her ridiculous tendencies.

Read it already!

Book #2

Winter Baby by Kathleen O'Brien

Winter Baby by Kathleen O’Brien.
I’m a Harlequin junkie when the mood hits me, and I got this great book off of eHarlequin months ago. Luckily, I got the Signature Select edition, which has two books in it, so I’m already starting the next one. Great small upstate-New York town, believable characters, sweet love scenes…great find. I especially like that it’s a series, and there are four of the romances, and at least one mystery. Check out the author, Kathleen O’Brien’s website – she’s a stay-at-home mom living the dream! Congrats to her on her success. RWA members rule!

Book #1

Storm Runners

I received this book through First Look, my source of free galley copies. I loved it so much that I started reading all of Parker’s books. He uses simple language, simple characters with depth, and stories that don’t have a lot of Soap Opera twists and backwards turns.

The main gist is a cop’s family is murdered and he’s injured in the attack. When he’s ready to come back and join the living, he takes a job for a friend as a private security/body guard protecting a local weather girl. Her Katherine Hepburnesque character is experimenting with controlling levels of rainfall.

I really liked the unique story lines and interesting characters. This is my favorite Parker novel so far.