About Me and My Blog and Amazon Store

My photo
Langley, BC, Canada
I love to read. I love books. I like to talk about books and recommend them. I read everything including cereal boxes and junk mail! I heard once that if you're not reading at least 3 books at a time you're not reading enough! This blog will keep track of the books I've read and whether or not I liked them. It will be a little bit of everything from Christian fiction to Science fiction and fantasy. Feel free to participate by suggesting books to review and giving your comments. Occasionally I am given free books by Publishers in exchange for a review. I am not told how to review them or compensated in any way for the review.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi

In the Author’s Note at the beginning of the book, John Scalzi calls Agent to the Stars, his practice novel. The novel he wrote just to see if he could write. He can.

The premise of the book is that an alien race wants to make first contact with earth. They’ve been hovering over the planet for years observing life on the planet through the TV shows beamed into outer space. The Yherajk (for that is their name) have an image problem. They are smart and funny but ugly. Fearing that their outer appearance will make them unwelcome they have decided that the best way to introduce themselves to the human race is to hire a Hollywood agent.

This book is funny. The premise is fun, the banter is witty and the story is both heart-warming and silly. The only thing I didn’t really care for was the way the ending was presented. The actual conclusion is brilliant but it’s almost as if the writer decided it was time to shorten the story and he uses newspaper headliners to make the leap over the concluding months. I could have easily read the extra 100-150 pages it would have taken to flesh out the rest of the conclusion. And I sincerely hope there is a sequel in the works.

If you are a science-fiction fan and you like your aliens witty, intelligent and friendly then you will like this book.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb

Thanks to Penguin Books I received a copy of J.D. Robb’s latest book Indulgence in Death to review.

Eve Dallas is a New York City police lieutenant who is known as the top murder cop in the city. She is married to a wealthy man who is also considered to be the best in his line of work. Together, they are the quintessential power couple.
There is a game afoot and it involves murder. It’s Eve’s job to find out who is killing people who have become the best in their line of work. The murders involve exotic weapons, places and people. It’s a world that Eve can navigate because of her position as well as her marriage.

J.D. Robb always tells a good story. The story is in the investigation and the conversation. This is a very verbal book. There is lots of banter and discussion. As with her other books, the reader knows early on who the killers are. It’s the reasoning and interplay between the characters that makes the book interesting.
Along with the murders, the other themes are familiar ones. Friendship and family are key concepts in this series. Eve is learning to accept friendship and family and to allow herself to be loved. To find out why this is difficult for her you will need to start at the beginning of the series and find out about her background. Indulgence in Death is another great look into the criminal mind and the minds of those who serve and protect.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chasing the Night by Iris Johansen

Chasing the Night is Iris Johansen’s latest Eve Duncan book. Eve Duncan is a forensic sculptor who can take pieces of a skull and flesh it out so that a recognizable face appears. Her particular expertise is children’s faces. She is called on when bones are found to help identify them and her work has led to many criminals being put behind bars. But the work is personal for Eve. She lost her own daughter to murder and the body has never been found. That sorrow and desire for justice for her daughter gives her a special connection with the children whose faces she is trying to recreate.

I’ve enjoyed many of Iris Johansen’s books over the years but I think this is her best one yet. A child has been taken from his mother when he was a baby and brought up by a murderous criminal. This criminal has been taunting the mother, an FBI agent for years and the mother has finally decided to launch an all-out effort to find her son. To do this she needs Eve Duncan’s help.

The themes in this novel are about family ties and love and how true evil distorts everything. Iris Johansen knows how to tell a good story. This book was hard to put down and the ending is truly satisfying. If you have never read a book by Johansen this is a good one to start with. If you have read her books then this one will be an entertaining addition to your collection. Chasing the Night is a 10 out of 10.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Read this book. In fact, go out and buy it, don’t even get it from the library. This is the type of book that you could read during a crappy day or week and feel better instantly. Sadly the author died just as the book was being published so I don’t think there will be a sequel although her niece (an author in her on right) did help with editing and finishing the book.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a book club filled wtih quirky, funny and endearing people. The setting is the Island of Guernsey just after the end of World War 2,

The main character is a writer, Julia who is finishing up a book tour. She receives a letter from a man on Guernsey who has come upon a secondhand book of hers with her name and address in the front. He writes asking for the name of the bookstore and address where she bought the book because he wants to read some more. With that a corresopndence begins and Julia’s life is changed forever.

The story is told in letter form. Notes back and forth between all the characters. It’s a charming way of telling a story and makes you feel a bit like you’re reading someone else’s diary. There is much about how the book club came into existence and how each of the characters endured the occupation of Guernsey by the Germans.

This is one of the best books I’ve read this year. The story is poignant and the characters are a delight to get to know. I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the book “Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones”. I highly recommend that you read and enjoy this book.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

8 Days to Live by Iris Johansen

I’ve been asked to do a review on Iris Johansen’s new book Chasing the Night. While I was waiting for the book to arrive I thought I’d better catch up on her books as I haven’t read one in awhile. So I bought 8 days to Live.

This novel’s main character is Jane,. She is an artist who has run afoul of an evil cult loosely based on Judas Iscariot, Jesus’s betrayer. The cult has earmarked her for death on April 1.
The action involves her attempts to discover who is behind the cult, and who has been murdering those close to her.

This is a good thriller with definite themes of good vs evil and love vs hate. Johansen gets a bit more graphic in her descriptions of murder scenes than I would like but I appear to be one of the few people who doesn’t enjoy CSI-type investigations. If you like that sort of thing then you will enjoy this book.