Posts Tagged ‘ mysteries ’

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

This weekend seemed like a small sampler of how buy my June is going to be. Not only is it one of the busiest months for me at work, but I already seem to have plans piled up around my ears. Lots of it will be fun just not as laid back as these past couple months have been. Saturday I got to see Olympic hopefuls for the U.S.A. Equestrian Team compete at a course in Devon, PA. Today, went to a christening for the son of close friends that took up almost the entire day. While it’s great to see friends and enjoy the beautiful weather, I also thrive on my alone time to write, read, and relax. 🙂

I can’t complain too much as I have been reading a lot lately. Here’s what’s new:

  Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs – I’ve been on a Reichs kick lately and have devoured her last three books. She’s a perfect summer on the porch read. Her books are filled with detailed mysteries, heart pounding plot twists, and great characters. Also perfect for a day at the beach!

  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – This is another book that I should have read a long time ago, but for some reason never had. I appreciated this book, but felt as though it would have been more profound if I had read it when I was younger. I remember reading 1984 when I was young and it just blew me away. This one, not so much. It’s a thought provoking concept of the future and playing with the idea of a utopia (kind of) society. If you haven’t read it, it’s definitely one that should be on your TBR list.

  Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed – When a colleague of mine saw this book she exclaimed, “Oh, that sounds like a horrible story!” I was confused as I had read the blurbs on this memoir and thought the idea of a woman hiking to find herself again sounded like a great story. But what she thought when she read the title was that this woman got lost literally and then was found literally. I could see how the tagline would be a little confusing without any prior point of reference. Regardless, I’ve been listening to this one on CD and loving it. I love memoirs to begin with, but combine one with soul-searching and the outdoors and it doesn’t take much to win me over.

  Jubilee by Robert Kirkman – I picked up this graphic novel because it was penned by Robert Kirkman and I’m a huge fan of his Walking Dead series. So far though I’ve been a bit disappointed by the lack of wow factor. While the story progresses, it’s not very exciting and definitely not what I would consider a good representation of Kirkman’s work. Still, it is a fun, fast read.

Hope you have a great week! Happy reading! 🙂

Memorial Day Fun

  My weekend was filled with sun, family, bbqs, and swimming. And lots and lots of reading. I checked out a couple of Kathy Reichs’ forensic mysteries just so I could sit on the porch and read something I knew I would love.

The pools in my complex opened this weekend so a lot of the weekend was spent relaxing poolside. The water was still freezing but very refreshing after basking in the sun. Got a little burnt because I forgot to bring sunscreen to the pool, but fortunately I’ve been blessed with a complexion that will allow it to fade into a healthy glow. 😀

I love grilling in the summer. Everything just seems to taste better. I’ve been loving all the fresh fruits and veggies that are starting to come into season and can’t wait for corn on the cob on the grill! Yumumum!

It was a wonderful, relaxing weekend. Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend too however you chose to celebrate it.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature! And if you’re into reading YA and MG books like I am, check out What Are You Reading: From Picture Books to YA @ Teach Mentor Texts.

I’ve had a great week. I decided to take a couple days off work to finally get some writing done and run errands I kept putting off! So despite the days being busy, they’ve also been very productive. I added a new work in progress widget to my sidebar. It’s been a lot of fun seeing it creep forward, even if it doesn’t happen overnight. 🙂 Now I’m enjoying football playoffs in front of a crackling fire while it’s in the low 20s outside. Ahhhh…. 🙂

Sparks by S.J. Adams – Follow the (almost) holy quest of Debbie as she follows her new found friends Emma and Tim in an attempt to find her best friend Lisa. Complicating matters is Debbie’s realization that she has a major crush on Lisa and needs to tell her before Lisa takes her relationship with her boyfriend to the next level. Filled with made-up religions, quirky characters and awkward situations that make YA novels so much fun, Sparks is a great, fun-filled read.

  Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James – Renown for her engrossing mysteries, James is now touted as Austen incarnate with her latest novel. My current book on CD, James’ novel is set six years after the conclusion of Pride and Prejudice, Pemberley is thrown into a whirlwind of murder, mystery and mayhem. Mystery and English drama? Sign me up! 🙂

Not a very busy reading week due to my writing goals, but it’s been enjoyable nevertheless! 😀

Happy reading!

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

I had a wonderful weekend. Went to a baby shower, watched football, read, and did some hiking. The temps here were warmer than in Florida (!) and we took full advantage. Even took the dog to the very muddy dog park. He loved it of course. 🙂

As for reading, I started a new slew of books this week. Yay!

  Brewmaster’s Art by Charles Bamforth – This is one of the Modern’s Scholars books on CD and the first I’ve ever tried. The series features lectures of a variety of topics taught by learned people in those respective fields and are taken out often from my library. With Brewmaster’s Art not only is the topic interesting to me, as you may have gathered from my post yesterday, but Bamforth is very knowledgeable and makes his lectures very engrossing. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about beer and the art of brewing, check out this book on CD!

  Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa – The illustrations struck me first with their sharp contrast and dreamlike quality. This beautiful little graphic novel begins with a happy family living a happy life in the countryside when three horsemen appear on the horizon. The story becomes about the quest of a parent’s love for their child and what they are willing to do to save the ones they love.

  Death and the Lit Chick by G.M. Malliet – This is the second in the St. Just mystery series. I really enjoyed the first in the series and had to grab the second right away. When the “wildly successful darling” of the chick lit world winds up dead at a writer’s conference, suspects are around every corner as the darling wasn’t quite so darling after all…Oooohhhh! I’m already hooked! 🙂


I just found out about an awesome shoot off of Book Journey’s Monday Reading meme for YA and children’s books. Check it out!

Happy reading! 😀

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading is hosted by the fabulous Sheila over @ Book Journey. Start the new year off with a good book recommendation!

I feel great about how much I accomplished in 2011. I had record views and subscribers to my blog in 2011. Hoping to break those records in 2012! I read 107 books and finished another novel. I joined a new writing group that I love and I ran a half marathon and felt great. I challenged myself by doing things outside my comfort zone like going hang gliding, going to Book Expo America for the first time by myself and surviving Comic Con NYC solo too.

Not too shabby… Now on to making 2012 even better! 🙂

I’m starting the new year off with a race, some reading, and football. Ahhh…perfect! Here’s what I’m reading this week:

  This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel – This is my first experience with Oppel although I’ve heard a lot about his books before this. Oppel is an excellent writer and quickly brings his readers into the world of Victor Frankenstein as a brooding teen discovering the dark arts of alchemy for the first time. The story is engrossing and adventurous while still staying true to who Frankenstein would be if Shelley were to write him as a much younger man. I’m listening to this one on CD and the narrator is very good making the experience even better.



  Death of a Cozy Writer by G.M. Malliet – I’m always on the lookout for a good mystery. I especially love a good mystery this time of year when I can snuggle under a heap of blankets next to a cheery fire and get lost in an English village where some dastardly deed has been done. The problem is wading through piles of mediocre mysteries to get to those treasured few that shine above the rest. So when I saw one of my favorite mystery authors Louise Penny write a blurb on the latest Malliet novel, I knew I had to pick up the series. This is the first one in a series set in England and features the sharp Detective Inspector St. Just. It’s a perfect blend of readability, eccentric characters, and murder. Already looking forward to reading the next in the series. 🙂


  Mud, Sweat and Tears by Bear Grylls – Bear Grylls has to be one of the most interesting men around today. A former member of the British Special Forces before breaking his back in three places after a parachuting accident in Africa, he now stars in the reality show Man vs. Wild where he survives through a combination of determination and wilderness knowledge in desolate locations around the world. I’m just beginning this autobiography and am looking forward to learning more about this rugged man.



Happy reading and happy new year! 😀

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

Tis the season for some great books! Despite my busy schedule, I’ve been reading some amazing books. It’s a great variety right now too, so they’ve been keeping me entertained. 🙂 Hope you’ve been reading some great books and enjoying this season of giving.

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley – If you haven’t read any of Bradley’s marvelous books yet, you must pick them up! His protagonist is eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, poison aficionado and amateur sleuth. It’s remarkable to capture the innocence and perfect tone of an eleven-year-old and still make her seem sharp and savvy so the targeted adult audience won’t lose interest. Not only are the English mysteries divine, but Flavia’s character is so unique that I’m sure you’ll devour these books as I have.

Habibi by Craig Thompson – The illustrious author of the autobiographical graphic novel Blankets has given the world another gem. Six years in the making, this tome was illustrated and written by Thompson and captures many stories at once: love, Christianity, Islam, history, action, suspense, and depth of character. I don’t know much about Islam, so the story that Thompson weaves is both magnificent and informative. Beautiful.

Death Cloud by Andrew Lane – I’m listening to this on CD and it’s a lot of fun. The narrator is British, but does a wonderful American accent in addition to his array of British ones. This novel is about a young Sherlock Holmes which Lane successfully captures. Sherlock has a strong group of mentors that guide him in his early deductive skills and a web of mystery that captures his curious mind. Definitely worth reading!

One Sweet Cookie edited by Tracey Zabar – My library was fortunate enough to host a cookie program featuring Tracey Zabar as well as Tina Casacelli who owns the bakery Milk & Cookies and recently penned a cookie book of the same name. It was a fun program plus there were cookies for everyone in attendance which were amazing! Today I tried two of these recipes and my fiance tried two separate ones for our annual Christmas cookie day o’ fun. While two turned out great (the Thumbprint cookies and the macaroons), two absolutely flopped! These recipes were sent in by renown bakers and pastry chefs and supposed to be home baker friendly, but although we each followed our recipes to a T they flopped. The Snickerdoodles were too solid and the Flourless Chocolate Cookies were too runny. Blech! While I’m sure there may be other good recipes, I think I’ll switch to a different cookie book for my next batches.

Happy reading!

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

It was another beautiful day here on the East Coast. My half marathon is fast approaching (Philadelphia Half Marathon, Nov. 20) and I’ve been working to get those runs in so I’m ready for the big day. Today I ran 8 miles on a trail close to my house. It was like running through a postcard it was that picturesque. Absolutely beautiful. It definitely didn’t feel like 8 miles with that scenery all around me! 🙂

I’ve been reading some great, great books, hope you have too!

  A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny – I love, love Louise Penny. Even her name is perfect for a mystery author – Louise Penny. Perfect. I’ve been reading Penny since she wrote her first book and I was amazed by both her great writing skills and her skillful gift at telling a good mystery story. Now, she’s getting well known and, as it is with every famed author, her name is beginning to dwarf the title of her book. 🙂 But good for her! I think everyone should read her novels, starting with the first Still Life as they build on one another, and am happy that she’s gotten so much acclaim. Her latest in the Three Pines series deals with the art world which is my background and previous life so I enjoyed all the art references. The only disappointment is finishing as I will have to wait again for her next brilliant novel.



  The Clockwork Girl by Sean O’Reilly and Kevin Hanna – A great little graphic novel filled with beautiful illustrations and a great story about love and acceptance.





  The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides – I’ve never read Eugenides before, but picked this book on CD up based on his previous popularity. So far the story is interesting and the narrator does a good job as well. The story follows a girl through college in 1982 as she majors in English and researches the role of marriage in literature. The primary thrust of the story however deals more with her pursuit of men and how those relationships both bud and wither. Eugenides paints a great picture in regards to the multiple layers that relationships hold and how these in turn affect one’s life. It’s a little too narrated though, but maybe once I understand where Eugenides is taking his readers, I’ll appreciate the story more.



Happy reading! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Pop on over to Sheila’s blog @ Book Journey and see what all the fuss is about!

Now that the crazy holiday season is over, I finally have time to sit down with my blog (and my books) and update you all on what I’ve been reading. Yay! 🙂

American Vampire by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, and Rafael Albequerque – One of the most beautifully illustrated graphic novels I’ve ever read, this tale is not for the faint of heart. Touted by the king of macabre as taking back vampires and returning to their heartless, blood-lusting origins, Stephen King is true to his word. Originally created by Snyder, he brought King on to write and plan the storyline for this new series that takes vampires back to the late 18th – early 19th c. The story is engrossing and made even more vivid by Albequerque’s representation of the story in graphic novel form. If you don’t have a queasy stomach, I highly recommend it!

The More I Owe You by Michael Sledge – A novel of historical fiction, Sledge writes in captivating prose about the poet Elizabeth Bishop and her journey to Brazil. Her two week holiday turned into a seventeen year stay when she falls in love with architect and socialite Lota de Macedo Soares. Wrapped in the wonderful and tenuous dichotomy of a turbulent political era in Rio de Janeiro and the beauty and creativity of the women’s lives, both together and as individuals, Sledge manages to hit a perfect pitch that will appeal to all readers.

The Complete Book of Running by Amby Burfoot – As a huge fan of Runner’s World, both the website and the magazine, I had to grab their publication of all things running. Burfoot asks the experts and inserts her own words of wisdom throughout this book. Topics range from injuries to training programs to cross-training to women’s running to nutrition. If you’ve ever had questions about running, this is the book for you!

Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner – I’ve never read any of Gardner’s works before, but am excited to finally be listening to her latest on cd. Suspense surrounds Detective D.D. Warren as she embarks on her latest gruesome case. Disturbed children, a murdered family, a psychic and a burgeoning love interest rest in the heart of Gardner’s latest thriller. I love crime shows and crime novels and am looking forward to how Gardner’s intriguing story unfolds.

That’s what I’ve been reading – what have you been reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Hop on over to Book Journey and visit our wonderful hostess, Sheila, and join in the reading fun!

I don’t know where the weeks are going! One minute I’m writing my blog post for Monday’s readings and the next I’m writing the blog post for this Monday’s readings. Oh boy! I have a funny feeling that the holiday rush is officially here for me and it won’t be letting up any time soon. I’ve already started the lists for gifts I want to get people for Christmas as I hate the feeling of rushing last minute to buy presents. Fortunately, I don’t have as much on my docket as the past few weeks, so I should have the energy to write more than I have been. 🙂 Yay!

This week I just started a great book on CD:

The Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt – I just started listening to this middle grade book about two friends who get involved in the solving of a mysterious art crime. The narrator sounds like someone who would do the voice-over on a TV show about a pretty but snarky and down-to-earth girl, so I was instantly pulled into the story. I’m excited to pick up the next in the series about these crime-solving friends!




Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny – I have been waiting for the next book in the Inspector Gamache series for a long time. I love Louise Penny’s mysteries about the amazing inspector who lives in Canada, loves his wife and remains virtuous throughout all tribulations. Penny is one of those authors where she creates a world so descriptive and vivid that I feel as if I know the characters like family. Readers are introduced to a small town filled with quirky characters that are always involved in the mysteries somehow, although not all the mysteries take place in the town. If you like mysteries or just a wonderfully well-written book, read Louise Penny. Even her name is amazing – Louise Penny. Go on, say it. And, read the series in order (Still Life is #1) as while the mysteries are separate, the characters do build as the series progresses.



That’s all for me this week. What have you been reading? 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? sponsored by Sheila @ Book Journey.  I have a BIG pile of books waiting for me to read them, but I’ve been working through some of them and loving every minute. 🙂

PLUS – Some great new books I’m really looking forward to reading!

Kathy Griffin: Official Book Club Selection – As I’ve mentioned on my book lists before, I’m a big fan of Kathy Griffin. I think she’s hilarious. Some might find her offensive, but I love her sense of humor and her candid look on life. I listened to her book on cd and she read it herself, which made it thoroughly enjoyable.

100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson – I’m listening to this on cd as well and the narrator is great. Henry the twelve-year-old semi-orphaned boy who goes to live with his aunt, uncle and three cousins, discovers a wall covered with tiny little doors that had been covered with plaster long before. When the plaster crumbles and the cupboards are revealed, a new door of adventure is opened to Henry who until now has only known a mundane life. I really love the way Wilson starts this book – I’m not too far into it yet – and can’t wait to see what happens!

Prom Dates From Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore – I really, really liked this book. The cover was what first attracted me – let’s be honest, we all judge good books by their covers – and after a few pages I completely got sucked into the wonderful characters of this novel. Maggie is a spunky heroine who has the unwanted gift of “seeing” things. When these things start coming into her world, Maggie is forced to accept her gift and help from a hot and charming college guy to help save her high school from destruction. It’s like the best, most quirky characters from Buffy but without the vampires – just hell demons. I’m already looking forward to reading the rest of the series and the first book of her second series – Splendor Falls.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke – I’m about a third of the way through this mystery and am mildly interested so far. I picked up this book because Fluke’s mystery series is very popular and I love a good mystery series. There’s just something about the writing though that doesn’t sit well with me. I’m not sure what it is, it just doesn’t flow as well as some other mysteries I’ve read. I know writing often improves after the first novel, so I’ll see how the mystery itself ends before I decide whether or not I want to continue with the series. We shall see….

New YA books I’m psyched to read:

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin – Mystery surrounds the night that Avery Hood’s parents die. Devlin takes her readers through Avery’s grief to put the pieces of what happened together and throws in some romance in the process. (I’m hoping for a good story and crossing my fingers that it doesn’t involve yet another werewolf…sigh.)

Legacies: A Shadow Grail novel by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill – I’m a huge fan of Lackey’s other sci-fi/fantasy novels and am super excited for her new YA endeavor. Spirit White is sent to live at a boarding school/orphanage where dark things are lurking endangering the lives of the students who live there. I hope there is enough novelty that having another boarding school setting won’t prove to be mundane. Knowing Lackey’s brilliant writing, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed. 🙂

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus – I loved the cover to this YA novel too, but what really sold me was the inside blurb. The story is made up of plots so different from a lot of YA novels that seem to be squeezing onto the shelves these days, I was instantly attracted. Manjiro is lost at sea with his friends, stranded on a deserted island, and unable to return to his homeland of Japan. Promises of high sea adventures, history, and inner turmoil and the desire to become someone great make this book seem like an exciting read.

How about you – what have you been reading?