Monday, June 30, 2008

Free Books

Tanabata at In Spring It Is Dawn is having a book give away, but you need to hurry and comment before Saturday. There are some great books up for grabs.

Harper Collins Publishing is also having a great book give away, Free Books For a Year Sweepstakes.

Also, Wendy at Home Is is giving away a copy of Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle. But you need to hurry - July 3 is the deadline for commenting or sending an e-mail.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My First Graphic Novel Challenge

I have completed the Graphic Novel 2008 Challenge. To participate in this challenge, you must read at least six graphic novels before December 2008.

The graphic novels I have read include:

1.)Anne Rice's the Vampire Lestat

2.)Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Vol. 1

3.)The Gunslinger Born

4.)Anita Blake: First Death

5.)Anita Blake: Guilty Pleasures HC #1

6.)Anita Blake: Guilty Pleasures HC #2

Happy reading!

My First Chunkster Challenge

I have finished my first reading challenge: The Chunkster Challenge. This challenge called for reading one book a quarter that is over 450 pages (regular type) or 750 pages (large print text).

Here is my list of books and the page counts:

1.) Twilight - 512 pages
2.) New Moon - 608 pages
3.) Eclipse - 640 pages
4.) The Host - 624 pages
5.) The Six Wives of Henry VIII - 656 pages
6.) The Other Boleyn Girl - 672 pages
7.) The Boleyn Inheritance - 528 pages
8.) The Queen's Fool - 512 pages
9.) The Virgin's Lover - 448 pages (this book was 2 pages short of the guidelines, but I figured several of my books were way over 450, so I decided to count it.)

And to think, I still have six more months to go in this year. So many books, so little time. Happy reading!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Keep Yer Cool Challenge

Keep Yer Cool Challenge

I just signed up for this challenge! This is for anyone who is interested in saving the environment and reducing global warming. To be a part of the "Keep Yer Cool Challenge", visit Crunchy Chicken by clicking on the challenge icon. Tell your family, friends and neighbors!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This blog is now available through a link at I would like to thank the ladies of AllMediocre for including my site on their blogroll.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Host

Stephenie Meyer, bestselling author of the Twilight series for young adults, proves she can write for all audiences with her first adult novel, The Host. This book opens up a whole new world and set of characters and we learn from them what it really means to be human.

The human race has been invaded by alien beings called "souls", spectral essences that take over and reside in the human body, basically erasing the human's existence. With access to all their emotions and memories, souls don't die so much as move from planet to planet and gain new healthy bodies. When the soul Wanderer arrives on Earth, she takes hold of the body of Melanie Stryder. The only problem is Melanie won't back down easily and eventually, Melanie is trapped within Wanderer's mind, the literal "voice in her head". With Melanie's memories of her lover Jared and brother Jamie, Wanderer seeks out Melanie's desires and in turn starts to desire them as well.

While the heart of The Host is essentially a love triangle story, there's a lot more underneath the surface that let's it stay in your mind a lot longer than just being simply about a great cast of characters. The idea of alien takeover will obviously bring about resistance and people wanting to fight back and yet we find the Souls are actually way more peaceful and even more courteous than most humans are. The love triangle is also better handled and doesn't seem so forced or childish. The characters are also quite endearing and even though some of them don't get as much prominence as some of the others, they add a bit more depth and character to everything.

Undoubtedly the best character in the whole thing is Wanderer herself who has more conflicting emotions and feelings and in some cases, way more humanity. Melanie - one of the few characters I can recall that's just simply a disembodied voice - is also well handled. As far as the book itself, the pacing of it doesn't really have a climax to it in an action sense where there's lots of activity and moving around and some parts of the book don't so much drag the book down but keep it level. We spend a lot of time within a certain place for practically the whole book and there's only so far you can go before it starts to feel claustrophobic, but it still maintains your interest.

Although this book was slow going for the first 100 pages - getting to know the environment and the characters - when it picks up its pace, the book reads very quickly. In recent interviews, Ms. Meyer has stated that a sequel to The Host is planned for the future. I am very interested in the world of this book and I look forward to reading more about this new "Earth". I would recommend this book to anyone who has a love of science fiction or supernatural fiction. If I had to label this book, I would describe it as a combination of Love Story and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

P. S. One thing to mention to others reading this book; make sure you read the end of the book. This book has a "fake" ending. When you think the book is finished, there are several blank pages before the actual ending of the book.

Page count: 624

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Medical Mystery Madness Book Challenge

June 1 - November 1, 2008
Medical Mystery Madness Book Challenge
Books can overlap with other challenges. You can substitute if a book ends up not appealing to you.

WHAT: Pick anywhere from 3 or more medical mysteries/thrillers to read and discuss with fellow medical thriller fans.

WHEN: June 1 to November 1

WHO: Anyone

WHERE: Hosted by Twiga

WHY: Seeing others' lists would give us more ideas of other medical thrillers out there that we might not be aware of yet. Those that want to read the same books can do buddy reads if they'd like.

HOW: Post the list of medical thrillers that you plan to read on your blog and then sign up in the comments to this post.
I have completed the Medical Mystery Madness Book Challenge. Books I have read for this challenge include:

--Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell
--The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen
--Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The answer to the trivia question from

What color were Dorothy's slippers in the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum?

Silver. The shoe color was changed to take advantage of the new techicolor technology.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Coal Tattoo

The very talented Silas House continues his long love letter to Kentucky in this starkly beautiful, third novel, following Clay's Quilt (2000) and A Parchment of Leaves (2002). Although it follows characters created in his previous novels it is not a sequel. These are all stand-alone books that a person can enjoy reading in any order.

In coal country, when a miner survives the collapse of a mine, he'll often surface with a permanent mark stamped onto his skin--a greenish blue imprint, sometimes jagged-edge, sometimes smooth--a symbol of endurance and sacrifice. A coal tattoo. In Silas House's new novel, everyone who's raised in Black Banks is indelibly marked by and forever connected to the place, which is how it is for Anneth and Easter. At the heart of The Coal Tattoo is the story of these two sisters who can't live together, but can't bear to be apart. Left to raise themselves in a small coal mining town in Tennessee, Anneth and Easter are as different as night and day.

The two sisters can't stand to live together, but can't bear to be apart. One worships the flashy world of Nashville, the other is a devout Pentecostal. One falls into the lap of any man, the other is afraid to even date. One gets pregnant in a flash, the other desperately wants to have child. This is what's at the heart of Silas House's third, masterful novel, which tells the story of Easter and Anneth, tragically left parentless as children, who must raise themselves and each other in their small coal-mining town. Easter is deeply religious, keeps a good home, believes in tradition, and is intent on rearing her wild younger sister properly. Anneth is untamable, full of passion, determined to live hard and fast. It's only a matter of time before their predilections split their paths and nearly undo their bond. How these two women learn to overcome their past, sacrifice deeply for each other, and live together again in the only place that matters is the story of The Coal Tattoo.

As with the previous two books, The Coal Tattoo is beautifully written, describing in detail the backdrop of the mining town of Free Creek and the surrounding areas. The beauty of these three books is not just in the description of the mountains and the land, but of the simple life that the characters live. Silas House has a way with words, and the novels evoke memories of a time long gone. It brings to one a feeling of nostalgia.

I highly recommend The Coal Tattoo, as well as Clay's Quilt and A Parchment of Leaves, to anyone who loves reading the deep, rich words that come from the Appalachian region of Kentucky. Silas House is a true Kentuckian with a nack for prose that elevates him to one of the literary greats of our time

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Blood Noir (Anita Blake #16)

My favorite fiction author is Laurall K. Hamilton and she writes two series: The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series and the Merry Gentry series. Blood Noir is the 16th Anita Blake book and this series just keeps getting better and better.

Doing a favor for Jason - one of vampire hunter Anita Blake's werewolf lover - puts Anita in the center of a full-blown scandal that threatens master vampire Jean-Claude's reign—and makes her a pawn in an ancient vampire queen's new rise to power.

Wherever Anita Blake goes, trouble follows. Even an innocent trip to North Carolina to help out her good friend Jason goes wrong right from the start. In LKH’s newest novel, Jason's estranged father is in a hospital with only days to live, so Anita volunteers to be his 'girlfriend' to prove to his father once and for all that he’s a “normal” guy. As soon as they get to his home town, Jason finds himself involved in a case of mistaken identity with a well-known, and infamous, local celebrity. Between dealing with press ambushes, insulting bodyguards, a drunken bachelorette party, and Jason’s bizarre family dynamics, the pair decide they have had enough. But then Marmee Noir, the oldest living vampire, makes an appearance and Anita finds herself involved in the most frightening and dangerous situation yet. The best Anita Blake book in years!!

I have read all Laurell K. Hamilton's books, and while she has had her ups and downs as a writer her last couple of books 'this one included' are starting to return to her original focus. Other reviewers have complained that there is to much sex, but I find that her last couple of books have toned that down and started turning back towards to the proper direction, the characters. The sex is still there, but it is not so prevalent, and lets be honest if Anita had suddenly become puritanical it would make less sense to her character and story line than anything else. I choose not to give anything away, but this book has brought the focus back to the character of Anita and her friends, and that is what has made this series great more than the zombie raising and vampire battles.

There are many reviewers who are posting horrible reviews for this book, but I am not one of them. Anita Blake's world is one I enjoy visiting and even when there are no new books, I have been known to go back and re-read previous books.

If you are a Laurell K. Hamilton fan, then Blood Noir is a 'must-have' book to add to your collection.

This review is for 3 Book Challenges:
Southern author; southern setting.
2008 Recently Published book.
888 Challenge - a vampire book from the vampire category.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


The Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull is a wonderful children's series that will help fill the void since the last Harry Potter book. These books were recommended by Richard Paul Evans, author of The Christmas Box.

1.) The first book in the series is simply titled, Fablehaven. Fablehaven is a mystical game preserve for magical creatures.
"None who enter will leave unchanged"
13-year-old Kendra and her 11-year-old brother Seth think they are in for a boring two weeks at their grandparent's home in Connecticut, a home with lots of rules. Grandpa offers no good reason to stay out of the woods but he does promise terrible punishment - confinement to the attic playroom - if Kendra and Seth disobey the rules. Naturally, Seth goes into the forest and beyond. What waits for him is beyond his comprehension. Kendra meanwhile, takes time to unravel a puzzle Grandpa has given her, involving three keys that belong to three hidden keyholes in the playroom. These keys lead her to the discovery of "Drink the milk" - drinking the milk allows humans to see the mysteries that await in the forest.

Excitement and adventure allow the siblings to delve deeper into the secrets of Fablehaven. Grandpas has hidden much from them until they have proven they are the right sort of people to experience Fablehaven in its natural state. The plot of Fablehaven is fast paced, precise and perfect. It is a mesmerizing tale and the characters instantly turn into children the readers know and learn to love.

This is a wonderful book and I see great things on the horizon for Brandon Mull.

2.) Book number two, Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star. At the end of the school year, Kendra and Seth find themselves racing back to Fablehaven. Grandpa has invited three specialists - a potion master of Samoan ancestry who keeps lots of good stuff bottled up; a mystical creature trapper who has the strangest and most horrible roommates ever; and a magical relics collector with lots of cool tricks up his sleeves. The Society of the Evening Star, an ancient organization is determined to infiltrate the preserve and steal a hidden artifact of great power. Time is running out. the Evening Star is storming the gates. If the artifact falls into the wrong hands, it could mean the downfall of other preserves and possibly the world.

This book stands out for the exciting and colorful characters (on both sides) including the Sphinx who is always on the move; a gluttonous beast that will stop at nothing until he has eaten everything on his menu; plus fairies, imps, goblins, and an assortment of others, alive, undead, reanimated and even catatonic.

Will Kendra learn to use her fairy gifts in time? Will Seth stay out of trouble? Can they overcome paralyzing fear? This books picks up where the first book left off and it is just as good of a read as the first. Children of all ages will enjoy this book.

3.) Book number three, Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague. Kendra and Seth are only a few weeks from heading home from Fablehaven and starting school, when a new threat makes the likelihood of going home an impossibility. Creatures of light on the preserve begin to turn dark. Because of the new abilities Kendra acquired from the fairies in book one, she has become a target of the Society of the Evening Star is she returns home. As if that is not enough, she is invited to join the Night of the Dawn, an organization pledged to protect magical preserves. She travels on a secret mission to protect Fablehaven, as well as the other magical preserves.

This third book contains some of the best writing, action and story-telling of the series so far. Valuable lessons for kids and families are deftly woven into the story without being preachy. The action is even more intense so very small children may not be ready for this book, but tweens and teens will gobble it up. Here's waiting for book number four!
Young Adult Book Challenge

Bookworms Carnival Challenge