WWW Wednesday (2-19-14)

WWW Wednesday (2-19-14)What is wrong with me? I go from one book where I have to Google a bunch of French words to one where I have to do the same thing, only in Russian!

W…W…W…Wednesdays is a weekly reading prompt hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. 

TO PLAY ALONG, JUST ANSWER THE FOLLOWING THREE (3) QUESTIONS:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Now, on with this weeks W… W… W… Wednesday.

I am currently reading The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez. This is the last book of his I have to read until he publishes something else. I needed something that was light, a quick read, and funny. So, I grabbed this off the TBR shelf. Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

Even in Empire City, a town where weird science is the hope for tomorrow, it’s hard for a robot to make his way. It’s even harder for a robot named Mack Megaton, a hulking machine designed to bring mankind to its knees. But Mack’s not interested in world domination. He’s just a bot trying to get by, trying to demonstrate that he isn’t just an automated smashing machine, and to earn his citizenship in the process. It should be as easy as crushing a tank for Mack, but some bots just can’t catch a break.

When Mack’s neighbors are kidnapped, Mack sets off on a journey through the dark alleys and gleaming skyscrapers of Empire City. Along the way, he runs afoul of a talking gorilla, a brainy dame, a mutant lowlife, a little green mob boss, and the secret conspiracy at the heart of Empire’s founders—not to mention more trouble than he bargained for. What started out as one missing family becomes a battle for the future of Empire and every citizen that calls her home.

Since my last post (2-5-14), I have finished:

Still Life by Louise Penny. This is her debut novel and the first in the Inspector Gamache series. It is also the book that caused me to burn through my data plan Googling french words and phrases. It was a good little mystery though and the characters are likeable in their own ways. Here’s the description from Amazon:

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.

Still Life introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces–and this series–with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.

I also finished The Gentle Axe by R. N. Morris. This was definitely darker than Still Life. But, when you think about St. Petersburg in the early 1900’s, there probably wasn’t much “light” about it. Google got a workout from this one as well. Here’s the description from Amazon:

Stumbling through Petrovsky Park one cold morning in search of firewood, an elderly woman makes a horrifying discovery. A burly peasant twirls in the wind, hanging from a bowed tree by a rope about his neck, a bloody axe tucked into his belt. Nearby, packed neatly into a suitcase, is the body of a dwarf, a deep axe wound splitting his skull in two.

It does not take long for the noted police investigator Porfiry Petrovich, still drained from his work on the case involving the deranged student Raskolnikov, to suspect that the truth of the matter is more complex that the crime scene might suggest. Why do so many roads lead to the same house of prostitution and the same ring or pornographers? Why do so many powerful interests seem intent on blocking his efforts? His investigation leads him from the squalid tenements, brothels, and drinking dens of the city’s Haymarket district to an altogether more genteel stratum of society. As he gets deeper and deeper in, and the connections between the two spheres begin to multiply, both his anger and his terror mount.

Atmospheric and tense from its dramatic opening to its shocking climax, The Gentle Axe is a spellbinding historical crime novel, a book that explores the darkest places of the human heart with tremendous energy, empathy, and wit. As lucky as St. Petersburg residents are to have Porfiry Petrovich in public service, we are equally fortunate to have R.N. Morris on hand to chronicle his most challenging case to date.

Additionally, I listened to the audiobook of The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman also reads this version of the audiobook, which I think lends more to it. I don’t now why, but I really enjoy his stories as audiobooks but have a hard time reading them. I have started and stopped American Gods two or three times now. I AM going to read that one some day! I AM, dammit!!

I am making pretty good progress on the Catch Up Reading Challenge list. I crossed one more off when I finished The Gentle Axe. And I will probably head back to that list for my “next”. Here’s the updated list:

1) Nowhere Men: Vol. 1 by Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, & Jordie Bellaire

2) Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham & Lan Medina

3) Fables: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham & Mark Buckingham

4) The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin

5) Fever by Mary Beth Keane

6) Zero Day by David Baldacci

7) Islands of Destiny by John Prados

8) The Gentle Axe by R. N. Morris

9) Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist

10) Red Blood, Black Sand by Chuck Tatum

11) The Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie R. King

12) Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King

13) Justice Hall by Laurie R. King

14) The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes by George Mann

15) Still Life by Louise Penny

16) Phantom Prey by John Sandford

17) Buried Prey by John Sandford

18) Storm Prey by John Sandford

19) Stolen Prey by John Sandford

20) Wicked Prey by John Sandford

21) Split Second by David Baldacci

22) The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell

23) The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman

24) Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

25) Seaworthy by Linda Greenlaw

26) Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

27) The Rogue Crew by Brian Jacques

28) The Sable Queen by Brian Jacques

29) Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (To by realeased June 2014)

30) Revival by Stephen King (Release date TBA but has been confirmed it’ll be in 2014)

Until next week…

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WWW Wednesday (2-5-14)

WWW Wednesday (2-5-14)

W…W…W…Wednesdays is a weekly reading prompt hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. 

TO PLAY ALONG, JUST ANSWER THE FOLLOWING THREE (3) QUESTIONS:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Now, on with this weeks W… W… W… Wednesday.

I just started reading Still Life by Lousie Penny. Both my mother and sister like these novels and my mom keeps suggesting I start. So, I am starting Still Life tonight.

I, literally, just finished Fever by Mary Beth Keane. Beside being the tragic tale of Mary (Typhoid Mary) Mallon’s life, it is also an amazing portrait of New York City at the beginning of the 20th century. The filth, the struggles to find steady work, the people living stacked atop each other, etc. It really makes you appreciate what we have now.

Since last week, I also finished the audiobook of The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. I downloaded this from OverDrive because the cover was really catchy and the brief description caught my eye. It was a little darker than I expected (I should have read more of the description…all my fault). But, it was also one that I couldn’t stop listening to.   

I scratched one more off the Catch Up Reading Challenge 2014 list. (see below) So, I will keep working on completing it. I think it’ll be the next Lucas Davenport novel. We’ll see, though.

1) Nowhere Men: Vol. 1 by Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, & Jordie Bellaire

2) Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham & Lan Medina

3) Fables: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham & Mark Buckingham

4) The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin

5) Fever by Mary Beth Keane

6) Zero Day by David Baldacci

7) Islands of Destiny by John Prados

8) The Gentle Axe by R. N. Morris

9) Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist

10) Red Blood, Black Sand by Chuck Tatum

11) The Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie R. King

12) Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King

13) Justice Hall by Laurie R. King

14) The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes by George Mann

15) Still Life by Louise Penny

16) Phantom Prey by John Sandford

17) Buried Prey by John Sandford

18) Storm Prey by John Sandford

19) Stolen Prey by John Sandford

20) Wicked Prey by John Sandford

21) Split Second by David Baldacci

22) The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell

23) The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman

24) Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

25) Seaworthy by Linda Greenlaw

26) Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

27) The Rogue Crew by Brian Jacques

28) The Sable Queen by Brian Jacques

29) Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (To by realeased June 2014)

30) Revival by Stephen King (Release date TBA but has been confirmed it’ll be in 2014)

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WWW Wednesday (1-29-14)

WWW Wednesday 1-29-14The day began with sour milk and just got worse.”  Fever: A Novel of Typhoid Mary by Mary Beth Keane.

W…W…W…Wednesdays is a weekly reading prompt hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. 

TO PLAY ALONG, JUST ANSWER THE FOLLOWING THREE (3) QUESTIONS:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Now, on with this weeks W… W… W… Wednesday.

I am currently reading Fever: A Novel of Typhoid Mary by Mary Beth Keane. I grew up hearing the “Typhoid Mary” term and have used it to tease people who come to work or social situations hacking/sneezing, etc. But, I never knew the real story of Mary Mallon. It is interesting to read about the science of the time (much of which seems to be theory and conjecture). I am liking this so far.

I just finished The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley. Flavia is back and her life changes dramatically. Because this just came out and I don’t want to spoil anything, I won’t go into detail. But, I will say that the ending opens up great new possibilities for Bradley to have a lot of fun with Flavia in future books.

I’m making good progress on the Catch Up Reading Challenge 2014 list. (see below) So, I will probably grab one of the books on that list as my next. Which would you recommend? Leave me a comment.

1) Nowhere Men: Vol. 1 by Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, & Jordie Bellaire

2) Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham & Lan Medina

3) Fables: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham & Mark Buckingham

4) The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin

5) Fever by Mary Beth Keane

6) Zero Day by David Baldacci

7) Islands of Destiny by John Prados

8) The Gentle Axe by R. N. Morris

9) Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist

10) Red Blood, Black Sand by Chuck Tatum

11) The Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie R. King

12) Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King

13) Justice Hall by Laurie R. King

14) The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes by George Mann

15) Still Life by Louise Penny

16) Phantom Prey by John Sandford

17) Buried Prey by John Sandford

18) Storm Prey by John Sandford

19) Stolen Prey by John Sandford

20) Wicked Prey by John Sandford

21) Split Second by David Baldacci

22) The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell

23) The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman

24) Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

25) Seaworthy by Linda Greenlaw

26) Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

27) The Rogue Crew by Brian Jacques

28) The Sable Queen by Brian Jacques

29) Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (To by realeased June 2014)

30) Revival by Stephen King (Release date TBA but has been confirmed it’ll be in 2014)

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WWW Wednesday (1-26-14) [Because I just couldn't make it happen on 1-22-14]

WWW Wednesday 1-26-14“Science is the new Rock ‘n’ Roll” – in Nowhere Men by Eric Stephenson.

W…W…W…Wednesdays is a weekly reading prompt hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. 

TO PLAY ALONG, JUST ANSWER THE FOLLOWING THREE (3) QUESTIONS:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Now, on with this weeks W… W… W… Wednesday.

I am currently reading The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley. It seemed like we waited forever for the new Flavia De Luce novel. In reality, it’s only been a little under a year since Speaking from Among the Bones was published (January 29, 2013). Flavia is almost 12 years old and shows, once again, that she is wise beyond her years. I’d forgotten how Speaking from Among the Bones ended so the beginning of this book took me by surprise.

Since my last post, I have finished:

  • Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich. I laugh through the Stephanie Plum books every time! Between Stephanie’s constant bad luck with cars to Lula’s dietary habits to Grandma Mazur’s antics, I don’t think there is a single page that doesn’t at least make you chuckle. Even Stephanie’s father, who I think has had, MAYBE, 10 lines of dialogue in the 20 books, cracks me up.
  • Fables: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham. The second volume of this graphic novel series is a retelling of the George Orwell classic using the animal characters from classic fairy tales. It’s a new graphic novel series for me and one I will probably read fairly often. The illustrations are well done and the recasting of the characters is interesting and well thought out.
  • Seaworthy by Linda Greenlaw. This is the true story of Greenlaw’s brush with the law — in the form of the Canadian Department Fisheries. It’s a honest, and sometimes raw, look at the emotions behind wanting to do what you love and having fate/karma/kismet or whatever dogging you at every step. The book made me want to see the Discovery Channel reality show Swords: Life on the Line. Alas, Netflix doesn’t stock it…grrrrr!!!!
  • Nowhere Men by Eric Stephenson. This was one graphic novel series that I had high hopes for. It didn’t live up to them. Honestly, the newspaper/magazine “articles” included were yawn inducing and didn’t add much to the mix. They almost seemed like an excuse to save money on additional illustration work. I also didn’t find any characters to really love or hate and the ending didn’t leave me wanting for more. I won’t spend any more money on this series.
  • Phantom Prey by John Sandford. Only a few pages in, I knew I had already read this book. I was devouring the Prey series at one point and I think this was the last one I read before switching to Sandford’s Virgil Flowers series. So, I did something I don’t normally do — I reread it. Once a few details were filled in, the “who-done-it” factor was gone. But, I really like the team Sandford has created in his Minnesota BCA world. So, I still enjoyed the time I spent reading it.

I have no idea what is going to be my next book. It’ll probably be something from the Catch Up Reading Challenge 2014 list. I guess I will have to let you know on Wednesday the 29th. In the meantime, I’ll let you enjoy a picture of Stu the Reading Capybara with one of my books from today’s post….

Stu the Reading Capybara with John Sandford's Phantom Prey

Stu the Reading Capybara with John Sandford’s Phantom Prey

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WWW Wednesday (1-15-14)

WWW Wednesday 1-15-14“I debated telling him about Uncle Sunny getting an assful of buckshot, but decided against it.” – Takedown Twenty, Janet Evanovich

W…W…W…Wednesdays is a weekly reading prompt hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. 

TO PLAY ALONG, JUST ANSWER THE FOLLOWING THREE (3) QUESTIONS:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Now, on with this weeks W… W… W… Wednesday.

I am currently reading Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich. I’ve read all the Stephanie Plum books and in my opinion they just keep getting funnier. Add a giraffe named Kevin to an assful of buckshot and you get hilarity.

Since last WWW Wednesday, I finished King & Maxwell by David Baldacci and Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham. I discussed King & Maxwell last week. It didn’t disappoint. The last 150 pages flew by, as all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. Baldacci knows how to write action & political intrigue. It never feels “cookie cutter”, if you know what I mean.

Fables: Legends in Exile is a new graphic novel series for me. I thought the premise of the series looked interesting. It didn’t disappoint. The land of the fairy tales has been taken over by the Adversary. The characters from our favorite fairy tales find their way to New York City and establish a new society among the “Mundanes” (we humans in other words). This is not for the kids. The humor is adult, the illustrations are adult, etc. I am looking forward to volume 2.

Up next will be volume 2 of the Fables graphic novels. Then I will probably crack open something in the non-fiction realm.

Have a great week reading!

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2014 Catch Up Reading Challenge (Unofficial??) List

Last year I stumbled across the “Catch Up Reading Challenge” hosted by Tammy at Books, Bones & Buffy. It looked like it would be a fun adjunct to the Tewksbury Public Library’s 50 Books Challenge and it was! So, I decided to do my own this year.

Here’s a picture of the CURC shelf!

Catch Up Reading Challenge Shelf

“Stu the Reading Capybara” is keeping on eye on me! It’s all about accountability!

Here’s the list:

1) Nowhere Men: Vol. 1 by Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, & Jordie Bellaire

2) Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham & Lan Medina

3) Fables: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham & Mark Buckingham

4) The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin

5) Fever by Mary Beth Keane

6) Zero Day by David Baldacci

7) Islands of Destiny by John Prados

8) The Gentle Axe by R. N. Morris

9) Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist

10) Red Blood, Black Sand by Chuck Tatum

11) The Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie R. King

12) Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King

13) Justice Hall by Laurie R. King

14) The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes by George Mann

15) Still Life by Louise Penny

16) Phantom Prey by John Sandford

17) Buried Prey by John Sandford

18) Storm Prey by John Sandford

19) Stolen Prey by John Sandford

20) Wicked Prey by John Sandford

21) Split Second by David Baldacci

22) The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell

23) The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman

24) Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

25) Seaworthy by Linda Greenlaw

26) Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

27) The Rogue Crew by Brian Jacques

28) The Sable Queen by Brian Jacques

29) Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (To by realeased June 2014)

30) Revival by Stephen King (Release date TBA but has been confirmed it’ll be in 2014)

Leave me a comment and let me know what books/authors you’re going to catch up on this year.

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WWW Wednesday (1-8-14)

WWW Wednesday 1-8-14I had a feeling that I was missing something when I started reading my current book. But, I have a history of assuming (and you know what happens when you ass-u-me!!) that I have the first book in a series and then finding out different. Here we go again…LOL!

W…W…W…Wednesdays is a weekly reading prompt hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. 

TO PLAY ALONG, JUST ANSWER THE FOLLOWING THREE (3) QUESTIONS:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Now, on with this weeks W… W… W… Wednesday

I am currently reading “King & Maxwell” by David Baldacci. From my intro, you can tell what happened when I started reading it. Baldacci was talking about past events like I am supposed to know what is going on. So, now I am going to be playing catch-up with the series. It’ll be like a whole bunch of prequels, I guess. The good news is that I have the first book in the series on my TBR shelf. In this volume, King & Maxwell take on the case of a teenaged boy who wants answers around his fathers supposed death in Afghanistan.

I finished reading “Innocence” by Dean Koontz. It’s a multi-layered mystery around two young people with their own secrets whose lives come together just as the world is about to change forever. Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that the twists at the end were interesting but a little weak for Koontz. I was kinda disappointed. Not his best effort.

Next, I’ll be reading “Split Second” by David Baldacci. I might as well start getting caught up with the King & Maxwell series. LOL!

Have a great week reading!!

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First Book for 2014 50 Books Challenge

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Well narrated audiobook from Black Stone Audio via OverDrive Media app on my Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphone. I love this app!

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WWW Wednesday (1-1-14)

WWW Wednesday 1-1-14Today is my 1 year anniversary with WordPress. I’ve enjoyed sharing my reading adventures with everyone and hope that 2014 will bring great reads to all.

W…W…W…Wednesdays is a weekly reading prompt hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. 

TO PLAY ALONG, JUST ANSWER THE FOLLOWING THREE (3) QUESTIONS:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Now, on with this weeks W… W… W… Wednesday!

I am currently reading “Innocence” by Dean Koontz. It’s a multi-layered mystery around two young people with their own secrets whose lives come together just as the world is about to change forever. It’s a little deeper than the Koontz books I have read in the past and I have been kind of a strange place for reading. So, it has taken me longer than usual to read this.

Since my last W… W… W… post, I finished both “A Novel Way to Die” by Ali Brandon and “Martin Lukes: Who Moved My Blackberry” by Lucy Kellaway.

“A Novel Way to Die” is the second book in the Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series. These are light, fun stories. Hamlet, the bookshop’s mascot, is very helpful in solving the crimes and has an attitude that you can help but enjoy.

“Martin Lukes: Who Moved My Blackberry” is a hilarious satire of modern corporate world. Martin Lukes is the epitome of a corporate ass. His over-inflated ego and sense of self importance makes him detestable and likeable at the same time. If you have had any experience in the corporate world, you’ll enjoy this book.

January 1 starts a new Tewksbury Public Library 50 Books Challenge. This year, I tied my 2012 total of 83 books. I am aiming for 85 in 2014. I am thinking that I will start with “King and Maxwell” by David Baldacci. His books are always quick reads. It’ll be a good start for 2014.

Happy reading!

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Christmas 2013 Book Haul

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And I received a Reading Capybara!

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Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

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