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.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

It’s taken me years to get into this series.  But with the movie coming out these books are popular again and I thought I’d give it another try.  Plus I liked the idea that there are 18 books in the series that I get to read if I like.
Stephanie Plum has just lost her job and is running out of options.   She’s sold her furniture to pay bills and needs to find a job.  Her mother suggests asking her Cousin Vinnie for an office job.  Vinnie runs a bail bonding company and as luck would have it, doesn’t need anyone for the office.  He is down a couple of bounty hunters though and Stephanie talks him into giving her his most wanted fugitive worth $10,000.00 to her if she can bring him in.  The fugitive is a police officer accused of killing an unarmed man.  The good part is she went to high school with him and Stephanie figures bringing him in will be easy. Of course it isn’t or there wouldn’t be a book.  Much mayhem ensues with Stephanie becoming the target of an insane boxer and the fugitive police officer coming to her rescue a few times. 
I enjoyed the story and will continue to read the series.  Stephanie has a crazy Italian family with a Grandmother who will have you laughing out loud.  I could do with less sexy bits but I’m a bit of a prude when it comes to my reading most people probably wouldn’t be bothered by it.  It does fit in with the story so I’m hoping that the rest of the series is a bit tamer in that regard.  On the whole though it was a quick easy read and I looked forward to Two for the Dough, the next book.


The Tiger by John Vaillant

This book was a complete departure from my usual reading.  First of all it is non-fiction.    I know I should read more non-fiction but I’m just not interested in it.  Secondly, it’s a book about animals, and I’m not really an animal person.  But this was a choice by my book club so I had to read it.
The book is a true life tale about a man-eating tiger that terrorizes a village in Russia and the team of men sent out to kill it.  It’s told in kind of a revolving story style.  One chapter about the man the tiger killed; the next chapter about the tiger; the next one about the man who lead the team of hunters.  There’s a lot of detail in this book.  There’s evolutionary theory about the development of the tiger and the land it lives in; there’s some animal psychology with a lot of mythical and folk lore knowledge thrown in.    He also includes a lot of background on the political climate of Russia at the time.  These particular tigers are becoming extinct and the author is passionate about his desire to preserve them.
The story is told like a mystery.  The murder occurs; the group has to identify and hone in on the one tiger responsible; then they have to track him and bring him to justice.  In between the gathering of facts are stories about the characters involved.
The key point of the book is that the author believes the tiger killing the man was an act of revenge against the man who had stolen some of its food.    I found this a bit farfetched and though it might have been handled better as a novel but apparently some animals do have long memories and can reason to this extent. 
The book is very well written and has some beautiful descriptions of the land in it.  I think it’s probably worthy of all the hype it’s received even though it’s not my particular cup of tea.  I did finish the book and am glad we read it.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Buried in a Book by Lucy Arlington

This is the first novel in a new series.  Lila Watkins is a middle aged single mother of one son who has just lost her job as a newspaper journalist.   While looking for a new job she comes across an ad for an intern at a literary agency in town called “A Novel Idea”.    It’s a bit of a step down instead of a step up in her career but she’s always wanted to be a literary agent and this might be a way of getting her foot in the door.    Of course, she gets the job and is on the scene when a local homeless man is murdered in the reception area of the agency.
This is a fun book for people who like to read.   It provides a bit of an inside look into how publishing a novel  works and besides getting to know the ins and outs of a literary agency there is a good murder mystery to solve.    This is an easy to read, entertaining book and I look forward to the next one called “Every Trick in the Book.”
One of my favourite things about the book might be the dedication which reads   “To aspiring writers of all ages.  The world needs more stories.  Don’t give up on yours.”   

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This was a complete departure in reading for me; I usually don’t read young adult stuff and wasn’t very interested in reading these books.  But my new book club was reading the Hunger Games so I decided to give it a try and was hooked from the first chapter.
The premise is horrifying.   It’s set in a futuristic society which has arisen after the destruction of North America.  A Capitol district populated by the rulers of the society is surrounded by 13 districts.  There was an uprising against the Capitol resulting in a Treaty that among other things ushers in the Hunger Games.  These Games are the Capitol’s way of providing a yearly reminder and punishment for the people who instigated the uprising.  Each year 2 children are chosen from each district to participate in a televised battle to the death.  There can be only one victor.    As the description in the book says “this is the Capitol’s way of reminding us how totally we are at their mercy.  How little chance we would stand of surviving another rebellion”.
The main character is a 17 year old girl named Katniss.    The book opens with the reaping, a time when the 2 participants from each district are chosen, 1 male and 1 female.  Katniss is not chosen but her 12 year old sister is and Katniss invokes and old rule that says she can volunteer to go in her sister’s place.
That’s all of a summary I will give you.  This book is a page turner.  In fact I stayed up late a few nights to finish it.   Katniss is a strong female character.   After the first chapter I completely forgot that she was only 17years old.  Yes, there is some violence in the book but it is in context and not overdone (in my opinion).   By the time I was finished the book I needed to read the rest of the series.  It is well developed and again in my opinion, well written.   I won’t say anything about the other two books as it’s impossible to say much without giving the story away. 
There are strong themes of good and evil, love, family and of course coming of age throughout the series.    This book evokes strong emotion from people.  My book club had people who loved it and others who hated it.   I think that if you can stomach the premise you will get to read a really good story with likeable characters and things to think about.   I highly recommend this series.