THE MAN WHO LOVED BOOKS TOO MUCH by Allison Hoover Bartlett

Read: Oct 21 - 28
Source: Penquin Group for review
Category: New Writer
Pages: 258

John Gilkey is a thief, but not a normal thief, he steals rare books from anywhere and anyone and anytime. This is the story of a man who criminally and repeatedly steals rare books, not to read but because he felt that they made him a more important person if they were in his possession.
The narrative is by a writer who is researching a book about rare books and the criminals who market stolen tomes and reveals the rare book market in a strange light.
I had a very difficult time with this book for several reasons. First, at no point anywhere near the beginning is the reader given any idea of the tract that the story is headed - meaning I saw no plotline. I was about 75 pages into the book when I figured that no plot was the plot and just went with it.
Next, I wasn't sure whether the book was supposed to be about John Gilkey (the book thief) or Ken Sanders (who was a book security specialist) and worked to recover lost stolen books. I also did not like the way that the author/writer in the story kept trying to justify Gilkey's behavior or make it seem as if it was understadable considering his background.
Lastly, when I finally decided that Gilkey was the center figure, I came to that conclusion simply because the writer kept going on and on with him about how he stole this book and how he would steal that book. It got pretty boring toward the end. Informative to a degree but definitely not a keeper.



Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about note taking… hosted by Just One More Page

Do you take notes while reading – either for your reviews or for yourself? How/where do you make these notes (on the page, post-its, scrap paper, notebooks etc)?
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks.
For me, I have to answer, it depends. If the book is just a fun read (i.e. a cozy mystery, romance novel, etc.) I very rarely will take notes. However, if it is a book that I know that I need to review ( i.e. ARC, ER books) and there is something that I want to remember for the review, I will mark it with a post-it or write it down on the page that I have setup to write my review on. I will jot down ideas or questions if I am reading a book for a discussion group.


WHOSE BODY? by: Dorothy Sayers

Read: Oct 24
Source: Public Library
Category: Leaders
Pages: 156

This is the first of the Lord Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy Sayers. It was originally published before the depression and has a distinct style that still stands up by today's standards.
Lord Peter, an unemployed aristocrat, enjoys his hobby of investigating crimes and uses his social situation ( the son and brother of a duke) to help Scotland Yard inspectors solve some unusual crimes.
In this story a naked man is found dead in the bathtub and the Dowager Duchess (Peter's mother) asks him to search for the killer. Peter's friend Inspector Parker is searching for a missing businessman and the two decide to swap cases not realizing what else has been swapped. Little do they know what lies ahead.
I have heard of this series, mainly through the PBS series (which I've never seen) and decided that this was the right time to try it out. The style is sharp and amusing. Even though the story is set nearly 100 years ago, it still held my interest and entertained.


Hidden in Plain View

Welcome to the weekly feature where we use Random.org to pick a book from our library shelves (real or virtual) and bring it out into daylight. To join in, pick a random book from your library and tell us:

title, author, #of pages, edition, (tags, and collections if LT)

why that book is in your library, (how and when you acquired the book)
whether you've read it or not
if so did you like it and why;
if not, do you plan to read it?
Well, I have 352 books in my library (books that I actually own) and the random number today is 171 -

Title: Katherine
Author: Anya Seton
# of pages - 640
Tags & Collections - Romance,2004&B4 READ, OWNED, Favorites
Acquired - 1980s
I enjoy British historical books especially the Plantaganet era.
I have read this book several times. How much of it is true, I don't know, but it is a great love story.


BENNY AND SHRIMP by Katarina Mazetti

Read: Oct 18 - Oct 20
Source: FSB Associates /Caitlin Price - ARC review requested
Country - Sweden
Pages: 209

This is a tale of two lonely people who meet at a cemetery and "fall in love" but are completely incompatible as to their lifestyle and desires of what life has for them.

Fortunately, for me, it was a short book. I was ready to give up on it about 100 pages in, but decided to brave it for the duration. It wasn't my style of romance, it was very depressing because neither of the characters appeared to be happy with what was happening. I didn't care for the writing style - it was just too choppy.

I'm not sure that the book really shows Sweden in a great light or if it just shows farming in a bad light.



Read: Oct 2 - Oct 17
Source: Public Library
Category: Audio Book
Pages: 462

This was a very complex book in that not only was it a complicated thriller, it was also full of history and political drama. Granted, the historical references in some instances were pure fiction, but it definitely held my attention and drove me to the conclusion.

The Alexandria Link is the second in the Cotton Malone mysteries by Steve Berry (a friend, I hear, of Dan Brown and his books are very much in the same vein). Cotton is a retired federal agent who is drawn back into a situation that he thought was buried. His son is kidnapped and the ransom request is not money. He must reveal the whereabouts of a person who he secreted away years before and only he knows where the person is. The evolving story is intricately woven between the search by Cotton and events that are handled by Cotton's former boss and his friend.

The Alexandria Link is the search for the lost library of Alexandria and the historical nuances are very compelling. Compounding this search with the political unrest of the Middle East, kept me intrigued. The only drawback was that at times it was difficult to follow because of the habit Mr. Berry had of jumping back and forth between different threads of the mystery.


Read: Oct 13 - Oct 17
Source: LT ER program - review requested
Category: LT ER
Pages: 317

I really didn't know what to expect when I got this book through LT's ER program so I was pleasant surprised as I read this light-hearted romance and realized that there was another book that preceded this one. (I'll have to find it.) The title kind of threw me off because, though it ends in a romantic manner, I wouldn't really classify it as a typical romance, it was more the journey of two people to find themselves so that they could come together.

Meredith Guidry, the heroine, is in her mid-thirties and has had a "crush" on Major O'Hara (that's his real name) for 8 years while he worked with her. Since he doesn't seem to be interested in her, Meredith makes pledge to herself on New Years Day to make an effort to move on and find someone to share her life with. In the meantime, Major is harboring secrets, including his feelings for Meredith, which complicate matters. The journey that both characters take in this story is amusing, entertaining, and at points enlightening. A fun read.


Book Buy Bonanza!

I went to the bookstore today with a few books that I was searching for on my list. I found most of the ones on the list and much more.
Here's what I came home with:
Cozy Mysteries:
Real Murders - Book 1 Teagarden Mysteries
Sew Deadly - Book 1 Southern Sewing Circle Series
Murder on Monday
Murder on St. Mark's Place
Knit Fast, Die Young - Book 1 Knitting Mystery
Hanging by a Thread - Needlecraft Mysteries
Died in the Wool - Book 2 Knitting Mystery
Middlemarch by George Eliot - I couldn't pass this one up on sale for $3
Talk of the Ton
Marriage Bed
Darcy's Temptation
I hit the jackpot!

And the Winner is....

So my first giveaway is officially history and I have to admit, it was loads of fun!

Everyone mentioning the recipes that are their favorites, (I even had to request a few, though I'm sure they're not on my diet.)

But you're all waiting to know who the big winner is... so without further ado, (using Random.org) the lucky winner is....

Thanks to everyone who entered and I hope to have another giveaway soon! So keep an eye out here at Chèli's Shelves!


Reminder! Giveaway ends tonight!

Just a reminder that the giveaway entry period ends at midnight tonight so be sure to enter for your chance at The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship. Click the Link!

Thanks for all who entered and for all the great memories/recipes we shared!


WREATH OF DECEPTION by Mary Ellen Hughes

Read: Oct 10 - Oct 13
Source: Interlibrary Loan
Category: Crafts in the background
Pages: 368

Jo McAllister, A recent widow, returns to her hometown to open a craft store with her best friend. On the day of the grand opening, the clown that she hired to greet the customers is found dead in the storeroom after the festivities. The police seem to zero in on her since the murder took place in her shop, with knitting needles from her stock. Jo feels that she needs to vindicate herself and with the help of her friends and the crafters that come to her different workshops, she finally figures out the culprit, but maybe a bit too late.

I loved the characters in this story. The way that the author used not just the older members of the small town but also Charlie, Jo's 15 year old godson, to wheedle information that Jo needed to solve the murder was very amusing. Jo's character especially was well-presented making her very believable and sympatric. I'm going to have to track down another of this series.


Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is a book meme hosted by The Printed Page.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I have missed playing Mailbox Monday for the past few weeks so I want to catch up. These are the Books that have come to me in the mail during the last week of September and the first week of October.

A Separate Country by Robert Hicks - I won this at Librarything during a group read. It was really fortunate since it is the next group read!
Loving Mr. Darcy and Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy : Two Shall become One - I won these two books on someone's blog (I misplaced whose - my apologizes, let me know and I'll give you proper credit - Bella caught me - she gave them to me!) - I am saving these for my Pride & Prejudice sequel category in 2010.
Holiday Grind - I received a signed ARC from Cleo Coyle by requesting it from her website.
Secrets of a Christmas Box - ET Books ARC request

Three out of the five I will be reading shortly so watch for my reviews!



Read: Sept 30 - Oct 9
Category: Followers
Pages: 468

Aggie Sloan-Wilcox and her husband, Reverend Ed Wilcox, have escaped Emerald Springs for a romantic weekend in New York City but one of Ed's flock track them down when her spouse goes missing in the same city. Using their time on the Big Apple to try and find Joe Wagner, Aggie and Ed find out more than they want and not the person for which they are searching.

Returning home, Aggie, at Ed's request, befriends Maura (Joe's wife) and continues to try to find the wayward spouse. Joe, who worked for the Food Bank, is missing on one of the most important days of the year and not available to help with the Food Bank's annual fundraiser. Hw many more requests for help could be placed at Aggie's feet - Now the obnoxious wife of the town's mayor has dropped dead at the chocolate fountain while attending fundraiser. Hazel Kefauver (the deceased) was not a popular person but how was she poisoned in front of everyone? The Mayor wants Aggie to look into it.

While trying to track down what happened to Joe and solve Hazel's murder, Aggie has a few minor mysteries to solve as well - what happened to the punch bowl and who is doing the construction in the dead of night at Junie's quilt shop? All this while trying to be a good wife, mother and friend.

This cozy mystery was absolutely delightful with all the twists and turns as well as the amusing situations that Aggie had to deal with.


STAMPED OUT by Terri Thayer

Read: Sept 30 - Oct 6
Category: Crafts in the background
Pages: 381

April Buchert decides to head back to her roots when she discovers that her husband is a no goo scoundrel. She leaves everything in San Francisco and heads to her hometown of Aldenville, PA to try to put her life back together. Her father, owner of a construction company, offers her a job and a place to live in an old barn that he has restored and modernized. Besides the living space, he uses it for his office and it is just down the road from her mother's house.

The big job that Ed Buchert hires April is to restore a mural for an extremely particular client and April has difficulties since she's never doe this type of work before. Her father, working for the same client nearby, runs into his own difficulties when during demolition, a skull is found. Since her father's company did the original construction, he is a suspect.

April turns to her best friend Deana, and her Stamping Sisters Club to help her find out what happened so long ago and clear her father's name.

The book was enjoyable but not terrific. I had numerous issues -- the characters (some were never completely identified, April's appearance was never really fleshed out, names were not complete), the craft aspect was not very integral to the story other than getting the characters together, some of the characterizations were very trite, and insufficient clues. I doubt that I will read another in this series any time soon.


Hidden in Plain View

Tina at Tutu'sTwoCents has a new meme.... Feel free to play along, just post a link to on her blog, so we can all stay in touch. This is a chance to dig a little deeper into our personal libraries to find books that may be languishing on the shelves and bring them out for a better look.  To join in:

1. Pick a random book from your library (I used random.org to pick mine from my LT catalog).

2. Tell us

#of pages
tags, and collections (if LT)
why that book is in your library
whether you've read it or not
if so did you like it and why;
if not, do you plan to read it?
how and when you acquired the book

I have 335 books in LT that I own, so this week Random.org chose book #233. This book has been a favorite of mine for years.

by Jane Aiken Hodge
374 pages
Tags - ROMANCE, ^2004&B4
Collections - READ, OWNED, Favorites
This book is in my library because every now and then I want to be able to pull it off the shelf and re-read it.
I purchased this book many years ago after I had borrowed from the library several times and realized that I wanted it  in my permanent library.