Sunday, March 30, 2008

16 Lighthouse Road

Debbie Macomber
Genre: Fiction
Published: 2001
Personal Rating: 2.5/5

Olivia Lockhart, a judge in Cedar Cove, Washington, lives at 16 Lighthouse Road. This book revolves around Olivia and all those in her life including: her mother, her children, her friends, her ex, her new male friend, and the people she presides over on the bench. AND, there are offshoots from the people already mentioned. So, there is a mega amount of characters all sharing the drama in their lives.

This type of book is just not for me. The concept of meeting people in a town and learning about their lives isn't all that bad, but to me this is like knocking on a stranger's door and asking them to share their life with you. I'm assuming that's the point of the book, Welcome to Cedar Cove!, so that may be a very nice compliment, but I have no interest in these people. Don't get me wrong, they are good people, but I can experience this is my daily life. I would rather read something else. Life is too short.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

One Hundred Years of Solitude

My review for this one got a little long!

The gist is a thumbs-up.

Click here if you'd like to read the whole thing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lean Mean Thirteen by J. Evanovich

In anticipation for Fearless Fourteen, which is being released in June, and for my numbers challenge, I re-read Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich. I have already written up a review on this novel, so I'm not going to do another one. However, I will say that this series never gets old. It's easy to go back and reread each of the books and even if you don't remember what has happened previously, it's not a big deal. You can easily read them out of order and not really miss anything.

Monday, March 24, 2008

4th of July

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pub. Date: June 2006
ISBN-13: 9780446613361
Sales Rank: 270
Series: Women's Murder Club Series, #4
Edition Description: Reprint
I continue to work my way through the Women's Murder Club books. This one was fun to finish as I was in San Francisco at the time. I was able to wander some of the streets. My goal was to walk the route Inspector Boxer takes every Saturday morning but I just didn't have time. Once again, Lindsay and her crew forged through a mess of a case but this time it was to defend Lindsay after a young girl and her brother are shot during a police altercation. In spite of a manditory R&R Lindsay and the gals get wrapped up in a serial murder case as she awaits her fate. Next time I go to California I'll have to check out Inspector Boxer's Half Moon Bay retreat!

Three Cups of Tea, anyone?

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: January 2007
ISBN-13: 9780143038252
Sales Rank: 12
Edition Description: Reprint
If only my friends had told me Greg was from Montana....I would have read this book much sooner! If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. For anyone who has said, why should I vote, what can one person do or for anyone who has wondered what can one person do; this book is for you. With little to no "how to" knowledge this one man set out to make a difference simply by relying on those who had helped him. The result has been an education for hundreds of children in the remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Even with national recognition Greg can be found in his basement in Bozeman, MT when he really needs to think through things inspite of having a "real" office after many years of being a grass roots operation.
By treating individuals of different cultures and faiths with a neutral, mutual respect, Greg Mortenson has literally built bridges, not to mention schools in some very remote places. If you are struggling with your "role" in society or your place in your community, read Three Cups of Tea for a bit of encouragement. Enjoy!

The Dark One by R. Thompson

I ended up switching one of my picks for The Dark One by Ronda Thompson when I heard about her death. There is a more detailed review at my site, but here's something....

Overall, the story was good. The characters were engaging and they made you want to continue reading. I've been in a reading slump for the past couple of weeks, but I never felt like I wanted to put the book down. I started this book last night and I finished it within a day. I probably won't go out and buy these books, but I will be checking out the rest of the series from my library.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

2nd Chance

2nd Chance
by James Patterson
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 400
Rating: 4/5
Read: March 21-22, 2008
Challenge: Numbers Challenge
First Line: Aaron Winslow would never forget the next few minutes.
The Women's Murder Club returns in this second installment of the series! This time, they are up against a brilliant murderer who is seemingly killing people at random. But Lieutenant Lindsay Boxer is under the impression that the killings are somehow related and that there is a serial killer on the loose. But in order to convince her boss and co-workers, she has to enlist the help of her girls in the Club. And what they find out will rock the city to it's core.

This was another great one from James Patterson! This one read so incredibly fast and was a great read!! I still do not know why I waited so long to start this series, but am definitely glad that I'm reading them now!!

Finishing this book also completes the Numbers Challenge. (My first finished challenge! Yay! - I'll post a end-of-challenge round-up post shortly).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

7th Heaven

I just finished 7th Heaven by James Patterson. I really enjoyed this book. It was very easy to read and the ended was a huge surprise. I just hope this book sticks with me longer than some of his other books. I'll keep reading his books as I can though. I always like them even though I might not remember them a month from now.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Crossposted from my blog:

Title: Half of a Yellow Sun

Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
ISBN: 978-0-676-97812-4
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, a divison of Randon House
Pages: 433/Hardcover

I have had this book since September 2007. I just never got around reading it. And after finishing it today, I ask myself why didn't I read it sooner?

Half of a Yellow Sun is a very well written book. It captures the reader's mind as soon as he/she starts reading it.

The story starts with 13 years old boy Ugwu, from the nearby village, being employed as a houseboy for University professor Odenigbo, who is filled with revolutionary zeal. Ugwu calls him master and fascinated by the numerous books in master's house. He is not treated as a servant. Rather his master sends him to the primary school for the children of the Univirsity dons. Ollana comes to live with Odenigbo as his mistress, giving up a life of luxury with her parents, in Lagos. Meanwhile Richard, an Englishman, falls hard for Kainene, Ollana's twin sister who refuses to belong to anyone. Their lives cross, merge and intertwine. Fragility of their relationship is tested by the all-consuming violence.

Ollana and Odenigbo share a beautiful relationship despite being not married. Richard loves Kainene but she remains aloof. Ugwu, meanwhile is very faithful to his master and Ollana and Baby, their daughter. The smaller charaters too leave a mark on the reader.

This novel is haunting in the sense that it is set in 1960s when Biafra struggled for independence from Nigeria. The violence that follows because of it is very chilling and shattering. There are ethnic wars between class and race.. The descriptions are stark and the reactions are horrific. The ultimate question is who should take moral responsibility for all this bloodshed. Why allegiances has to asked again and again?

When Ugwu is conscripted and said to be dead, Ollana breaks down. It is so poignant to see her shouting at Odenigbo in her angst. For Master, Ollana and Baby, Ugwu is more than a houseboy. He is family.

In the midst of ongoing war, we see Kainene and Ollana working for the betterment of the refugees intheir own way. There are disappointments but there are promises kept too. We may see death, rape, pillage but we see belief and hope in humanity too.

For someone so young, Adichie has good insight. She sure knows what she is writing. Very beautiful prose, it keeps us totally involved. She brings Modern Africa alive for us. That is reason enough to read her. She is a worthy succesor of Chinua Achebe. I truly recommend it for all.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

1st to Die

1st to Die
by James Patterson
Copyright: 2001
Pages: 462
Rating: 5/5
Read: March 2-4, 2008
Challenge: Celebrate the Author; Triple Eight - From my TBR Shelf & 1st in a Series; Numbers Challenge
First Line: It is an unusually warm night in July, but I'm shivering badly as I stand on the substantial gray stone terrace outside my apartment.
In the first installment of the Women's Murder Club, Lindsay (homicide detective), Claire (medical examiner), Jill (assistant DA) and Cindy (crime reporter) form their club in the wake of a possible serial killer in San Francisco. Targeting couples on the night of their wedding, the bride and groom killer is rocking the city. With few clues at the crime scene, Lindsay decides to form the group in order to catch the killer before he takes the lives on anymore newlyweds.

I loved this book! I'm not sure why it sat on my shelf for so long before I ever picked it up, but I absolutely adored it!!! It was such a quick and enjoyable read. I even found myself crying a little at the end. Excellent book ... I can't wait to get to the second one!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Rule of Four

The Rule of Four
by Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 446
Rating: 4/5
Read: Feb. 29-March 2, 2008
Challenge: Numbers Challenge
First Line: Like many of us, I think, my father spent the measure of his life piecing together a story he would never understand.
The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a Renaissance text, and Tom Sullivan have always had a love-hate relationship. This book consumed his father's life. And during his final year at Princeton, he finds the book consuming him and his roommate, Paul Harris. As Paul tries to figure out all the pieces to the puzzle of this book, the deadline for his senior thesis hovers above him. But then, a long-lost diary is found and Paul believes he has solved it. But before he has time to finish his thesis and state his conclusions, thereby revealing the final pieces to this mysterious puzzle, he has to fight forces that are against him. With the help of Tom and their two roommates, Gil and Charlie, they embark upon a journey that might kill them all.

I really enjoyed this book. Although it does seem to lag in certain places, overall I felt myself rushing through it because it was so suspenseful! I could hardly wait to get to the end of it. I have read that some people are likening it to The Da Vinci Code, but I wouldn't. I felt that in a way it was much better than Dan Brown's book, whereas in other places (like the writing style) it did sort of lack what Brown's book had. It's hard to describe, but definitely an enjoyable read!