What great books did you hear about / discover this past week?

I didn't think that I would have any FINDS this week since I was finishing one trip (Maine) and taking a few days on another, but I managed to get to the Library so here are my Finds of the week.

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
The Quilter's Legacy by Jennifer Chiaverini


Library Loot

When you go to the Library, do you find anything surprising?
What kind of Loot did you come home with?

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
Size 12 is not Fat by Meg Cabot
The Quilter's Legacy by Jennifer Chiaverini

SUNRISE by Jacquelyn Cook

Read : July 27-29
Category : Books I found I want to read
Pages : 293

History tells us that in 1849 William Butler Johnston, an elder railroad baron/banker, married Anne Tracy in Macon GA. SUNRISE brings their romance to life. The author has taken the journals and letters of this family and woven a tale of their lifelong love affair which started on their European Grand Tour honeymoon, endured the death of numerous children, family and friends, and survived the suffering of deprivation during the Civil War.

Johnston adored his Miss Annie so much that he built her "fairy castle" - the historical Johnston-Felton-Hay Mansion that still stands in Macon. The characters that the author has created in this book reflect not just the times but the spirit of the people. The characters were actually living breathing people who Ms Cook has given personality and feelings through extensive research.

This book read rather quickly, due to the fact that there were no long sweeping passages that you would expect from this genre bt read more like a journal telling the actually history of the time. There are a few times when it started to drag, but soon recovered and is well worth the time taken to read.
It's no Gone With the Wind, but since I enjoyed the historical information that was wound into the story so much, I rank it in good/great read category.



Read: July 21 - 26
Category : Favorite Authors Books I haven't read
Pages : 712

How ironic that Holmes and Russell return after a nearly a year to their home in Sussex at the same time that they return to us after a 4 year absence. Back at their beginnings, Russell is again the apprentice to Holmes as beekeeper. Missing bees, however, have to take second place, when confronted with the surprise appearance of Damian Adler, Holmes' son.Holmes must first reflect on this presence and then attend to the problem which brought the two together - the disappearance of Damian's wife, Yolanda with their 4 year old daughter, Estelle.

Disappearing into the night as Holmes frequently does, Mary is left to undertake the bee mystery. Finding a resolution that she feels will satisfy her husband, she heads to London to assist Holmes using her brand of logic (the feminine side).

Throughout her time with Holmes, Mary Russell has observed the strangest human behavior but this case, due to the family relationships involved, has its own kind of madness to observe. Russell employs her own special talents in the area of religious cults while delving into the skeletons in the closet of the missing young woman from Shanghai. The trail she must follow leads her to the Children of the Light and eventually the darkness that she must shatter.

I was disappointed that Russell was still lacking a bit in her self-confidence when she first arrived back, but understand her gradual return to self as the story progressed. I was glad to see that Mycroft had a larger part in this story. I particularly approve of the way Russell's concerns for Holmes' feelings were conveyed throughout. The story after the initial development was fast-paced and kept the reader driving or should I say "flying" to the end.

I regret that we had to wait four years for Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes to return to us. This series never fails to educate, entertain, and excite. I'm glad that the next is scheduled for 2010. As soon as I know the title, it will be on my wishlist.


Friday Finds

What great books did you hear about / discover this past week?
Since I was traveling this week I didn't think that I would have any Finds, but I was visiting with tutu of www.tutus2cents@blogspot.com and after a morning of assisting with cataloging and perusing the shelves I am leaving Tina's tomorrow with these finds.

Carbs & Cadavers by J.B. Stanley
A Killer Stitch by Maggie Sefton

and two to help me with my novel

The art & Craft of Novel Writing
Guide to good writing

Who knows what else will find its way into my suitcase before I leave tomorrow.



Read : July 18 - July 19
Category : Followers
Pages : 272

Corporate espionage is the main theme of this Bath and Body mystery. Persia Vanderbilt and her Aunt Florence's business Venus Envy has competition from Bebe's Boutique and things are not gong well. The rose crop has been sprayed with a deadly insecticide, malicious rumors of poor quality ingredients are circulated, and their computer is hacked removing all records, but the theft of Persia's scent journal is the final disaster which forces Persia and company to set a plan in motion to resolve the murder of one of Bebe's associates and recover the scent diary.

This mystery was a little slow developing but had its moments. There were amusing moments with an adolescent Casanova, a new romance under development, and Persia's viewpoint on how to catch a man. Not a great book, but entertaining.

Sunday Salon

Today I am going to be reading. I am trying to finish a book that is due back at the library later this week, but since I will be visiting with Tutu (see Tutu's Two Cents) I need to finish it by tomorrow so that I don't get any late fees. Then if I progress well, I'll work on finishing the take down of (don't laugh) my Christmas village. (my other obsession besides reading)

Hope everyone has a great one!



Read : July 13 - July 17
Category: Favorite Authors
Pages: 290

Theodosia and her faithful friends of the Indigo Tea shop - Drayton and Haley - are confronted at an orchid auction they are catering with the untimely death of their friend Mark Congdon. Drayton is particularly affected since Mark and he were both Orchid collectors. As in the past, Theodosia doesn't set out to investigate the murder, but gets sucked in by circumstances. This mystery was the most action packed of the series so far, and a delightful read.

Friday Finds

What great books did you hear about / discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

Between the library and the bookstore I did great this week!
The Queen's Bastard by C.E. Murphy
Death by Cashmere by Sally Goldenbaum
The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Serpent's Tale by Ariana Franklin


MY SISTER'S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult

Read : July 12 - July 16
Category : Surprise, Books I find want to read
Alex Award------------------------------
Pages : 528 pages

This book lived up to my expectations and more. This family drama about the ethics of creating a child to serve as a living donor for another child and the ramifications of the situation for all the members of the family took my breath away. The detail of the different viewpoints in the family showing the parents driving need to save their sick child, the donor child's search for identity, the sick child's need to just be normal, and the "unneeded" child's search for recognition was heart-wrenching.
The writer also managed to interweave the feelings of the legal participants. The guardian ad litem's ability to see both sides of the issue - Anna's need to choose and Kate's parents need to help their sick child, no matter what, was effectively written, while her inability to make a recommendation mirrored Anna's feelings of being unable to prevent herself from waffling from continuing her lawsuit and ending it. The Judge's loss of a child reflects the fear of Sarah and Brian who have been battling to preserve Kate's life since she was 2. And of course, there is Campbell, Anna's attorney. His presence only serves to magnify denial - his regarding his medical issues and the family regarding the imminent death of Kate.
What I found particularly interesting was having the story told at different times by different characters. Since the story always seemed to be in the first person, as if the characters were talking directly to you, the reader, the story seemed much more captivating then if it had been told in the third person or constantly from the same point of view. Needless to say, I'm glad that I read this book, and hope that I am never put in such a situation. I'm just glad that I've signed my donor card, have you?

Jodi Picoult confronts a stormy real-life debate with a polished compassion, sympathy and understanding.


I went to the bookstore today and even though I only wanted 2 things I walked out with 10.

Here are my buys of the week(?)month(?)Year(?)

Death by Cashmere
A Murderous Yarn
The Queen's Bastard
Diva Runs out of Thyme
Death at Bishop's Keep
Virgin's Secret
The William Sonoma Wine Guide
Death on Demand
Design for Murder
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


Library Loot

The Language of Bees (the newest Mary Russell mystery - finally able to get my hands on it)
A Tale of Two Cities (decided this would serve my Classics category)
The Serpent's Tale (sequel to Mistress of the Art of Death)



Read : July 9 - July 12
Category : Favorites Author's books I haven't read yet!
Pages : 496 pages

Magnus Hauk is dead, but with his dying words he places the safety of the kingdom of TERAH into the hands of his fairie queen, Lara, until their son is ready to rule. This is extremely unusually, since Terah does not recognize women for governing ability. Lara will be a Shadow Queen hidden behind the Regency Council of Taj's uncles.
While Lara works to prepare her son for his future, her oldest daughter is spirited off by unknown magic and Lara with the assistance of her mentor, Shadow Prince Kaliq, must find what is happening in Hetar and prevent further infiltration by the Dark Lords.
Lara has to deal with petulant children, evil and dark magic, and the overwhelming greed and self-indulgence throughout the kingdoms of the Twilight Lords and Hetar.
This is the fifth book in the exciting tales of Lara the Fairie woman who captures the hearts of mortals and magical creatures alike. The erotic fantasy shows how even in fantasy, mothers can safeguard their offspring only so much and no matter how they may want to protect them, their children as they grow will make their own decisions and their own mistakes.
Those who have never met Lara and the World of Hetar will be spellbound and while realizing that there are many more adventures that they have missed, will go searching for the previous volumes of this series.
This volume , as all previous series selections, does not fail to captivate the reader.


Unnatural Causes by P.D. James

Read : July 10
Category : AudioBooks
Pages : 272 pages

The Adam Dalgliesh series continues in this book about the murder of a high profile mystery writer who is found dead in a dinghy. Closer examination shows that the victim's hands have been chopped off. Superintendent Dalgliesh wouldn't even have be involved in this murder if he hadn't been visiting his Aunt in Monksmere on the Suffolk coast.
The open lands, the steep cliffs, and the raging tides bring the setting off the Suffolk coast to life. Dalgliesh, who is not part of the investigation, must sit back and while the regional inspector handles the process of trying to discover what happens. The autopsy shows that the writer died of natural causes, but then what happened to his hands?
Dalgliesh does some of his own investigating and it leads to some interesting developments.
This is the third P.D. James book that I have read, and I'm not sure that I am going to continue the series. It may be the style or the out-of-date situations since they are written nearly 50 years ago. It was enjoyable, but maybe not memorable.



Read : July 3 - July 8
Category : ER Books
Pages : 324 pages

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite stories so when I saw an opportunity to see the tale from Darcy's side rather than Elizabeth's, I put in my name and was rewarded with is ARC copy. Knowing how the story evolves is both an advantage and disadvantage because the reader keeps waiting for certain portions of the tale to unfold. It was enlightening to see the story from another viewpoint but I think that it may also spoil some of the romance.
Why does it spoil the romance? In P&P we see Elizabeth's change of heart as she learns of Darcy's activities to save her family's reputation but in this book, you might wonder if Darcy is just trying to save his pride because of his own stupidity in handling the situation with Wickham.

In this book the author takes liberties with the character of both Darcy and Georgiana. Darcy is shown taking advantage of a housemaid at Netherfield, with his libertine friend Lord Byron, both of which contradict conversations that he has with Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice.

For Georgiana, Austen implies that she is rescued from Wickham before any permanent damage happens, however, Slater in this book, gainsays this by writing of the scene of her deflowering and Darcy's late arrival. Austen shows her as an obedient, quiet childlike young girl, while Slater portrays her as tempermental and calculating one moment and sweet and innocent another.

Lastly, I really didn't care at all for the section at Lord Byron's ancestral home.
I enjoyed the opportunity that this book presented, but I can't say that I liked the book. Placed beside the original story of Pride and Prejudice, it definitely falls short.


Read : July 3 - July 8
Category : AudioBooks
Pages : 256 pages

Inspector Dalgliesh is called to the Steen Psychiatric Clinic when the body of the administrative officer is found stabbed to death in the records room. The building was completely locked up so there are only a limited number of suspects.
This book was originally set at the time when electro shock and LSD were used to help patients shed their inhibitions and assist doctors to identify their problems.
There are numerous twists and turns and just when you think that the solution has been revealed, another twist leads down a different path.
Not a great mystery, but not bad either.



Read : June 28 - July 1
Category : Audiobooks
Pages : 416 pages

The Kitchen God's Wife is the powerful story of the personal hardships and struggles of a Chinese woman during the Chinese war with Japan. During the narrative, the reader gets a peek into this part of Chinese history as well as the culture and societal prejudices.
This overwhelming story tells of the degradation of an abusive husband and the triumph of the human spirit. It probes into the role of the Chinese culture of the time and how the secrets of families effect their members in unforeseen manners. Winnie's forced by her "sister" to reveal all of her secrets to her daughter. Her life story is filled with misfortune and hope. At times depressing and at others inspiring, this entrancing, vibrant, elegant, and unforgettable tale of womanhood, fortitude, and love, is intertwined with light comedy and the curative power of truth.

Winnie's tale shows the inhumanity of arranged marriages and horrific treatment of women. As Winnie relates the events of her life before her emigration to a new life in the USA, the steadfast devotion and loyalty of her female friends support Winnie and aid her flight to freedom. In the end, their continued assistance bring her closer to her daughter at time when they both need each other.

This was a very difficult book to read because of the horror that is conveyed in this tale. If nothing else it makes you appreciate the freedom of our society and the blessings of our lives.

FATALLY FLAKY by Diane Mott Davidson

Read : June 28 - July 1
Category : New Books in a Old Series
Pages : 474 pages

Bridezilla Billie is getting Goldy ready to tear her hair out. The bride has changed the date three times, the menu twice, and now in the middle of catering another wedding, Billie informs Goldy that she has added 50 additional guests for her wedding 2 days away which means that there has to be a venue change as well as more preparation cooking.

In the meantime, Goldy's old doctor is found dead at the bottom a ravine, which leads her dear godfather to investigating the cause. When he is found mugged at the reception for Bridezilla Billie, and later dies, Goldy takes over. Lead by clues from her godfather and her overwhelming need to find out what happens to her friend and loved one, Goldy gets involved in intrigue surrounding fraud, drugs and murder.This was a quick read because the story kept drawing you further and further into the web before your intuition glistens. Davidson never fails IMHO!