Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Murder as a Second Language by Joan Hess, 292 pages

I read a lot of murder mysteries; funny, historical, or serious. So I know who I like and who I don't, and Joan Hess is always on my like list. While the Claire Malloy series is my favorite of her two, I still consider them a solid read.

Killing Cupid by Laura Levine, 261 pages

I really enjoy these murder mysteries featuring Jaine Austen. She is a believable character and the stories are always hilarious. I think one of my favorite parts are the emails from her parents. I enjoy their mini-story just as well. These books are always lots of fun.

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg, 347 pages

This has been reviewed by others so I won't say a lot but it was fabulous. I read it in one sitting because I didn't want to put it down. Fanni Flagg creates some of the most compelling and interesting characters, and this is one of her best books.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Ultra: Seven Days, 232 pages

This was one of the best superhero graphic novels I've ever read. It's from the viewpoint of a female superhero, and it's interspersed with pages that look like advertisements, magazine covers and articles. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

The World of Pooh by A.A. Milne, 314 pages

I was reading a mystery novel that that the main character was re-reading a Pooh book and I realized I've never actually read one. This collection featured The Complete Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. These were absolutely sweet and I regret that I never read them to my children. I'm very glad I picked this up.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, 509 pages

This was the January book for Readers Without Borders. This was a great swashbuckling adventure book, and I like that we're reading some classics. I appreciate them more now than when I was in high school.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Jane Austen's England by Roy & Lesley Adkins, 422 pages

This book looked at what life would have been like during Jane Austen's life. It covered everything from fashion to funerals, work and play, crime, punishment, medicine, and everything in between. It was detailed and interesting, and I love learning all the little details. While this wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, if you like minutiae
and trivia, this would be a good book.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Young Miss Holmes Casebook 5-7, 560 pages

This is the finale of the manga series featuring Christie Hope, the niece of Sherlock. This has been an interesting take on the Sherlock genre and my introduction to manga. While the highly sexualized drawings fo the women were distracting at times, it was still an interesting read.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Great Santini by Pat Conroy, 536 pages

My book club had read "My Reading Life" by Conroy, and it referenced this book in it. I was intrigued so I decided to give this a go. This is a thinly fictionalized look at Conroy's life growing up with an abusive Marine father. This was a superb read, emotional and engrossing without being too much of a tearjerker. I like how one book will lead you to another, than another, with you having 50 books on your "to read" list before you know it.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Killer Librarian by Mary Lou Kirwin, 306 pages

This was a wonderful book that feed into all I love in a good read. It featured a mystery book loving librarian who, on a trip to England, comes across a dead body. The passion for England, books and book stores in general was just a perfect combination for me. Plus, the book was an out and out enjoyable read. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

The Burry Man's Day by Catriona McPherson, 365 pages

This is the second book in a mystery series set in 1920's Scotland. Dandy Gilver is a society matron who has a tendency to get drawn into investigating mysteries, usually with whimsically humorous results. Witty and funny with a deft touch at characters, the author has created some books that are a treat to read.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers, 387 pages

This very dark teen series, features covent-trained assassins who are the daughters of Death. The first two books have been really good and I'm looking forward to the third one coming out.

Something Old, Something New by Lynn Johnston, 404 pages

I'm a fan of the comic strip For Better or For Worse, and was jealous when I saw Laura had read a treasury of them. She was nice enough to loan me her copy. It was a treat to read this book before falling asleep.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Greetings of the Season, A Regency Collection by Barbara Metzger, 194 pages

There is just something fun about a collection of regency short stories with a Christmas theme that are romantic, fast-paced, and humorous, and Barbara Metzger is one of the best at combing those characters. I was excited to get to review this book and it didn't disappoint.

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey, by The Countess of Carnarvon, 272 pages

With the success of Downton Abbey, everyone is fascinated by the house and family behind the show. This book, written by the current Countess of Carnarvon, looks at not only the history of the house but the family that the show is based upon. Fans of Egyptology recognize the name of Carnarvon as the partner of Howard Carter, the men who discovered King Tut's tomb. The struggles the family faced to save the house during and after WWI and WWII are featured, along with many personalities that visited the estate. This was an informative read, that was engaging at the same time. Fans of both English history and Downton Abbey will want to give this a read.

Villains, Scoundrels, and Rogues by Paul Martin, 300 pages

This was a fascinating review copy I got to read, featuring some of the worst of the worst in American history. Slave traders, outlaws, and even the cop who deserted his post as Abraham Lincoln's bodyguard are featured. The book was well-written and entertaining, with many characters chosen that I'd never heard of before. I finished the book with a craving to learn more about the characters featured.

Five Little Peppers and Their Friends by Margaret Sidney, 209 pages

Another Five Little Peppers book.

Five Little Peppers Abroad by Margaret Sidney, 199 pages

I've been working my way through the Five Little Peppers books. These are around one hundred years old, and I'd read the first one as a child, but never realized there were more in the series. Just a nice touching read that reminds me of Little Women.

The Big Book of Missouri Ghost Stories by Troy Taylor, 278 pages

This was a very well-written collection of Missouri ghost stories. It featured some old favorites and some I'd never heard of. The combination of history mixed with the ghost stories added a new depth that usually found in ghost story collections. A great read, all in all.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Towering by Alex Flinn, 296 pages

Alex Flinn does fairy tale retellings that have been updated to modern times. This one is a take on Rapunzel, with the lettuce being a drug (what else would have a woman willing to trade her baby for it?) I enjoyed the book, feeling that it was quite strong up until the very end. I felt like it fell apart just a little bit and wrapped up way too neatly, but still a good teen read.