E-reader giveaway!

Bibliophilic Book Blog is giving away and e-reader of your choice, can you beleive it!

The donation of this ereader came from a loving family who is using it as a 'thank you' to BBB for all that they do for deployed Soldiers.

Good Luck!



Read: Jan 25 - Jan 30
Format: audio, CD 8 Discs, 9.75 hours, 352 page equivalent
Source: public library
Setting: Venice, Italy
Narrator: David Colacci
Subject: FRAUD, transvestites, money laundering
Category: Cuddle up with a cozy mystery
Challenges: 101020, SYLL, 75 Book, Audio
Stars: 3½

Commissario Guido Brunetti's mysteries third installment exposes several imperfections in Brunetti's nature -- some charming, some perplexing, all fascinating.

A man's body wearing a dress and new high-heeled shoes, beaten beyond recognition, is found in an area frequented by prostitutes. What initially is thought to be a transvestite's violent death, slowly evolves into a tale of intrigue involving lawyers, fraud, money laundering and transvestism.

Guido notices that the shaving of the body doesn't appear to be expertly done which leads him to question if the victim was truly a transvestite. His own sensitivities make the Commissario question his prejudices as his investigation treads through the world of the demimonde. At the same time as Guido is struggling with his own bigotries he has to deal with his private satisfaction as his superior, Vice-Questore Patta, copes with the departure of his wife in the arms of a well-known pornographer.

Paola and the kids go off to vacation without Guido which necessitates the need for additional characters to interact with Guido so we are introduced to Signorina Elettra Zorzi, a new secretary/assistant. Supposedly the secretary to Patta, her abilities for computer hacking as well as contacts in the "outside" world bode a great future for this character.

The social observations at the end where the victim's widow states that no matter that it was proven that her husband was not a transvestite, he will always be remembered for being found dead in dress, makes the reader stop to think of what else Brunetti's future will comment on in society.

Again, a winner with Commissario Guido Brunetti.



I've been meaning to get back to my memes!

This week I hit the library twice and came away with several interesting books!

Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century this is the book that will serve as my salad course in my full course meal category.
The Complete World of Greek Mythology Since I started the Percy Jackson series I've been meaning to refresh myself on my Greek gods.
The Book of Scandal - a Romance for February - month of romance.


Zachary Taylor : Soldier, Planter, Statesman of the Old Southwest by K. Jack Bauer

Read: Jan 17 - Jan 27
Format: Hardback, 327 pages
Source: Public Library Interlibrary Loan
Subject:Presidential Biography, Mexican War
Setting: Texas, Mexico, Washington
Category: Who/What/When/Where/How/Why? - Bios/history
Genre: History
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, SYLL, USPC
Stars: 3

Have you ever heard of Zachary Taylor? Do you recognize the name? Other than having been the President of the United States sometime before Lincoln, would you know anything about him? Would you think that people would elect a man who had never served in an elected office? As I read this book, I was filled with questions about a man who served as the 12th President of the US and no other executive or legislative office.

What makes politicians think that they are qualified to give orders for a military action and what makes military men think that they are qualified to govern? Throughout this book Zachary Taylor faced issues dealing with the orders of the government officials sending orders to him for the military actions whether it was the War of 1812 or the Mexican American War. It is a shame that during a time when communications between the battlefield and Washington took weeks, politicians would make policy changes and send orders which resulted in difficulties for the military leaders to obey without increased dangers and loss of life to the army troops. The biggest question is, did he learn from that situation?

The man was an enigma, that's what the book said. I agree. He appears to be non-partisan in the short time that he served as President. During the election time, he did not campaign, but stated when asked about running for the office " My opinion has always been against elevating a military chief to that position." but that if he was elected he would serve "so as to be President of a nation and not of a party." When the members of the Whig party were drawing him into the election he tried not to step on the toes of any of the major political players and wouldn't answer as to his stance on the issues. He merely said that he would support the decisions of the Congress as long as they did not violate the Constitution.

President Taylor appears to have seen issues in only black or white and only had the ability to use his military training to handle those issues. If he didn't understand or feel qualified to handle a problem, he apparently passed it on to a subordinate. He had no clear plan of what needed to be done when he took office, and he didn't give the impression that he wanted anyone else's ideas either. He ultimately flew by the seat of pants through several issues before his unexpected death.

I was actually looking forward to reading this book about the life of the 12th President of the United States. I knew absolutely nothing about Zachary Taylor and was anxious to find out about the man. The details that were disclosed about his life and activities were many, yet I don't think that I'm really sure of his standings on the issues of the time even after reading this book, the man is still an enigma. I good general yes, president, not sure.

One note - I don't understand the title because yes, he was a soldier, but I wouldn't say that he was a statesman and I never really saw him as a planter, either.



Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about borrowed books.
Where do you keep any books borrowed from friends or the library? Do they live with your own collection, or do you keep them separate? Do you monitor them in anyway.
I keep the books that I borrow from the library in a basket that sits in front of the bookshelves that I use for the books that I am planning on reading in the near future. That way they are separate but all together. Once I finish a library book, I have a red bag that is my designated "Book Bag" and I will put them into this red bag so that all I have to do is grab it when I'm headed back to the library. As for monitoring, my library has a Internet notification system as well as an online account monitoring system. I can log on and check what books I have, when they are due, renew them if necessary, and place new books on hold. It's great!

Kaye at Pudgy Penguin Perusals is hosting a giveaway for a Black Sheep Knitting Mystery book titled Knit, Purl and Die. The book is the second in the series by Anne Canadeo.
Check it out!

BORDERLINE by Nevada Barr

Read: Jan 14 - Jan 18
Format: audio, 11 Discs, 12½ hours, 384 page equivalent
Source: Public Library
Setting: Big Bend Natl Park, Texas
Narrator: Barbara Rosenblatt
Subject: Illegal Border crossings, rafting expeditions, politics
Category: I Heard it!
Genre: Mystery
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, SYLL, Audio
Stars: 3

This is the 15th novel starring Anna Pigeon as our favorite National Park Ranger. Anna is on administrative leave after the incidents at Isle Royale and is taking a rafting expedition in Big Bend National Park with her husband Paul Davidson and several college students.

This story departs from the normal Anna Pigeon tales in that Anna is not "on duty" yet somehow gets involved in the intrigue of a political marriage gone bad, a murdered pregnant woman, while a new born baby is at the center of the tale.

The story seems to be missing some the attention that the other books have had on the National Park where the story takes place. I never got the feel of the park itself and I felt that the story was too much centered on who the baby was rather than how it all happened. There were many great parts (amusing, thrilling) but overall, not one of my favorite Anna Pigeon stories.


MY NAME IS WILL by Jess Winfield

Read: Jan 17 - Jan 19
Format: Trade Paperback, 300 pages
Source: Blog giveaway
Subject:Shakespeare, drugs, sex Setting: Santa Cruz, CA
Category: Books found on the Internet/thru LT/at the library/in a bookstore
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, BOSC

I don't really know what to say about this book. It's basically about a graduate student named William Shakespeare Greenberg who rather than spend the time and effort he needs to on his thesis, he spends his time getting laid, smoking pot, and other reprehensible activities. I saw no value in this book at all.

I guess it just wasn't my type of book.

New Giveaway - Future Hope

"Earth 2156. Humans have consumed the resources of the Milky Way and are desperate for survival. Thanks to the work of a brilliant female mathematician, astropilot David Sanders has one final chance to save the world by exploring inter-dimensional space. Striving for personal fame, Sanders instead discovers a spiritual truth that could transform his soul and the entire human race."

So let's make this fun... to enter, click on comments below and;

1. Leave a comment - tell what you would like to have happen to the earth in the future.
2. Leave another entry if you're a follower (or become a follower and tell me.)
3. Blog about the contest and leave me a link in a third comment. (sidebars are OK).

No PO Boxes, US residents only. (sorry non-US residents)
One of your entries (or your blog profile) must have an email address so I can contact you.

Contest ends February 15th. If I cannot contact the selected winner, I will choose again



Read: Jan 14 - Jan 18
Format: large Print 618 page
Source: Public Library
Setting: Denmark, Venice, Asia
Subject: world takeover, biological warfare, miracle cure, Alexander the Great
Genre: International intrigue
Challenges: 101020, Thriller Suspense, 75 Book, SYLL, Chunkster
Stars: 3½

This book is the third installment of the Cotton Malone mystery series and it continues to utilize the historical mysteries of the past to entertain in the here and now. In this story Cotton is drafted out of his retirement by friends to assist them in preventing the Supreme Minister of the Central Asian Federation from utilizing biological warfare to take over the world.

Okay, I know that that sounds pretty melodramatic, but basically that's the plot. It doesn't seem that it would be plausible but Steve Berry somehow manages to take these unusual situations and make you suspend your belief, and go with the characters through their trials and emerge from the dangers triumphant.

I really like this series and look forward to the future installments.


WHISKEY SOUR by J.A. Konrath

Read: Jan 8 - Jan 15
Format: Paperback, 276 pages
Source: Public Library
Setting: Chicago
Subject: serial murder
Category: A Full Course Meal
Genre: mystery-police procedural
Challenges: 101020, Thriller Suspense, 75 Book, SYLL
Stars: 2½

The heroine of this tale is named Jack Daniels so when I was looking for a book that would give me the "Cocktails" for my Full Course Meal, I thought this would be perfect. It fit the category but was not particularly palatable for me. The story is set in Chicago and tells of a serial killer who targets "sluts".

This mystery wasn't really a mystery because the reader knows right from the beginning who the bad guy is and what he is thinking and doing. He is vicious and sadistic. The descriptions of his crimes are graphic and frightening. He went after Jack without any real provocation other than the fact that she was in charge of the investigation into the brutal crimes he committed. Character development left something to be desired.

I have ready many murder mysteries but these murders are among the most grisly that I've read, (and I have read about the BTK murders). It was sickening to read about the sexual assault of his victims both alive and dead. It truly was frightening so much so that at times I had to put the book away because I couldn't bare anymore. Thriller, yes...entertaining, no. I definitely will not be continuing this series.

Editorial: I have to say that I do not feel that the graphic details of the viciousness that were included in this book were warranted and that the story would have been more palatable without all the specifics. I also believe that the details included could lead to them be used in real life and that would very sad.



Read: Jan 9 - Jan 13
Format: audio, 8 Discs, 9¼ hours, 303 page equivalent
Source: public library
Narrator: Suzanne Toren
Subject: bad business, murder, recipes
Setting: Lake Eden Minnesota
Category: Cozy mystery, culinary mystery
Challenges: 101020, SYLL, , 75 Book, Audio,
Stars: 3

For all those who are regular Hannah Swensen fans, this was as enjoyable as all the others with the renewed appearances of Moishe, the cat, Hannah's two boyfriends, Dolores (her mother),her sisters, niece, and co-workers.
Hannah is supplying cookies to Crazy Elf town where Christmas trees are sold along with other amusements to entertain the tree buyers. The shady business owner is found murdered by Hannah and Norman (boyfriend #1) and while Hannah tries to solve the murder, she also tries to figure out why Carrie (Norman's Mother) seems to be hiding something from her friends and son.
It is delightful how the recipes that are included (28 total) are interwoven in the story and how the characters fit together so perfectly. Looking forward to the next one.



Read: Dec 31 - Jan 8
Format: audio, PLAYAWAY, 13 hours, 445 page equivalent
Source: public library
Narrator: Alan Nebelthau
Subject: James Polk, President, US History, western expansion
Setting: California, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, DC
Category: History.Biography
Challenges: 101020, SYLL, USPC, 75 Book
Stars: 3

James Knox Polk is remembered mainly as the first "dark horse" president but historians feel that he was a near-great president. He grew as a politician under the tutelage of Andrew Jackson. He was a compromise candidate of the Democrat party in 1844 after serving as Governor of Tennessee and Speaker of the House of Representatives. He promised before election that he would only serve one term ad that his objectives were to reduce the tariff, create an independent federal Treasury, annex Texas and bring in Oregon and California . He accomplished all of these while serving as commander-in chief during the Mexican American War.

Polk was a no-nonsense President who, when Rivers and Harbors legislation was proposed ( the largest bit of pork barrel legislation ever put before the congress) at the same time as important legislation regarding tariff reduction, Polk waited for the passage of other vital legislation before vetoing the rivers and harbor bill with the message "many of the projects were of a local measure and far beyond what could be called essential to the nation's commerce" .He stated that "to call the mouth of a creek, a harbor, cannot confer the authority to spend money for its improvement."

"Should this bill become law, the precedent that it establishes will inevitably lead to large and annually increasing appropriations and drains upon the treasury. For it is not to be doubted that new and other localities will demand of their representatives in Congress " equal representation.

Polk presidency seems to be mirror reflection of what is happening in today's politics - he was accused of starting the Mexican War and the Whigs were constantly battling to show him up, but when it came time to act, the appropriations that were needed were passed without issue. To this day we have unnecessary expenses for "improvements" that are not needed simply as part of pork barrel legislation. What a shame that we did not learn from history.



Read: Jan 1 - Jan 8
Format: audio, Overdrive, 7.5 hours, 456 page equivalent
Source: public library
Narrator: Michael Paige
Subject: art, bargain with the devil
Setting: England
Category: Surprise: Books I want to read
Challenges: 101020, SYLL, 75 Book, Audio
Stars: 3

Dorian Gray was a young man that had his portrait painted by Basil Hallward. Basil had a "crush" on Dorian and felt that the Dorian's "beauty" and his association with young man was the reason for Basil's new success. While at Basil's, Dorian is introduced to Lord Henry Wotton and is fascinated by the philosophies which embrace hedonism professing the pursuit of beauty and sensory satisfaction are the primary reasons for existence. This leads to Dorian's "bargain with the devil" to have his portrait absorb the ravages of age rather than his own visage.

Art seems to be key in this book - the portrait is mandatory to the plot, but then there is the character of Sybil Vane, whom Dorian Gray "loves" except that what he loves is not the girl but the characters that she represents on the stage. When he no longer worships her art, he no longer loves her.

Dorian Gray's debauchery is cataloged throughout and the activities that he engages are made apparent by the ravages to the portrait.

Knowing to a certain degree what the story was about, the beginning was hard for me to get into. But once the story proceeded to the details, it was more entertaining.

THE LOST THRONE by Chris Kuzneski

Read: Jan 1 - Jan 8
Format: Unedited Proof Book, 495 pages
Source: publisher for review
Setting: St Petersburg, Russia; Greece
Subject: murder, smuggling, antiquities
Category: ER/ LT Recommendations
Genre: mystery-police procedural
Challenges: 101020, Thriller Suspense, TBR, 75 Book, Endless Europe, Chunkster

DJ Jones and Jonathan Payne are disturbed while on vacation and enlisted to rescue a damsel in distress (Allison) who has witnessed the murder of her employer in St. Petersburg, Russia. Determining that the reason for the murder by a hit man has something to do with what Allison's boss was looking for, the three set out on a treasure hunt.

At the same time Nick Dial, the head of Interpol's Homicide division is investigating the brutal mass slaying of an entire community of monks in Greece. The stories are fast paced and intricately interwoven throughout until they converge at a thrilling climax.

I received this book for review from the publisher, and to be honest, I had delayed reading it, now I wished I hadn't. I found out that this was the third in a series with these characters and I will definitely be looking for the first two books. What a great way to start 2010!



Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about New Year reading.
With the New Year here already, do you have any reading resolutions or goals (challenges aside) for 2010? Perhaps a new author? Genre? Want to read more non-fiction? Write more reviews?

2009 was my year of the mystery and 2010 is my year of the histories. I will be concentrating on the Civil War area , pre and post included. I have all my challenges outlined on the Challenge tab and also want to read more of my own books than I did last year.


E reader giveaway

Bibliophilic Book Blog is hosting a giveaway of your choice of an e-reader. If you win, chose the one you want!


Recap for 2009

When I look back at my reading for 2009, I am really very happy with what I accomplished. I read a much greater diversity of genres/topics than ever before in my life and found so many new series and writers that I want to pursue. But the best part was the fellow readers that I found and friends that I have made. That said, here is the summary for 2009!

Total books read (including audiobooks) 162
Owned books 40
Library Books 122

Cozy Mystery 51
Mystery 27
Fiction 19
History/Bio 24
NonFiction 3
Romance 14
Youth 16
Classics 8

Book 101
Audio 61

New Writers 96
New Series Started 45
Continuing Series Books 45

Books on my list at start of 2009 81
Books read from that list 49

Challenges completed
999 Challenge #1 - 81 no overlaps
999 Challenge # 2 - 81 no overlaps
First in a series goal of 12 new series - read 45 first in a series
Support Local Library 50 Bks goal- 122
75 Book Challenge LT
75 Book Challenge X 2
100 Book Challenge LT
Great Summer Readoff - 40 books June 1 - August 31
August Reading Challenge - 14
2009 Terp Challenge - 28/28
Audio Book Challenge - 12 goal - completed 61
Christmas Challenge - 4

Ongoing Challenges
US Presidents Challenge -10/43
The Europe Endless Challenge -- 4/51
50 State Challenge - 25/51
Best of 2009
Cozy Mystery
Series Three Pines Mysteries
Book A Rule Against Murder
Series Mistress of the Art of Death
Book Mistress of the Art of Death
Series World of Hetar
Book Shadow Queen
Series His Majesty's Dragon
Book His Majesty's Dragon
Classics Black Beauty
Fiction Rhett Butler's People
History/Bio Patriarch:George Washington and the New American nation
NonFiction Wedding of the waters : the Erie Canal

Most thought provoking - Time Traveler's Wife
Funniest - Christmas Sucks

Worst book on the list Grandma Gets Laid
Most Disappointing Blind Assassin
Biggest diappointment for the year Classics Category

Of all the books that I read in 2009, my top pick was .....

I only hope that I have as great a time and books in 2010 as in 2009!

2010 Challenges

2010 101010 Challenge status 20/120
120 books - 10 Categories with 10 books - bonus category of 20

Thriller Suspense Challenge - status 3/12
12 books (I read 75+ in 2009 so this is a no brainer.)

Support Your Local Library status 13/75

I'm going for 75 books. ( I read 120+ in 2009 so I think this is another no brainer.)

TBR Challenge - status 0/12

12 books from your list of owned that have been waiting at least 6 months.

A Murderous Yarn
Hanging by a Thread
Hooked on Murder
Murder in miniature
Death by Cashmere
Through the Grinder
The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy
The Second Mrs. Darcy**
Homicide in Hardcover
Murder is binding
Gilt by Association
Dead Cat Bounce

Phase II of the US Presidents Challenge status 12/43

read biographies of all the Presidents before the end of the current Presidential term (I've read the first 10 and am progressing on to the next 10+)

75 book Challenge - status 20/75

read 75 X2 in 2009 but I love the people in this group! I found so many great books just by seeing what they were reading.

Within the 75 book Challenge I am also incorporate my own Title Challenge by using the TIOLI Challenge (TIOLI translates as Take It or Leave it)

The Europe Endless Challenge -- 6/51

50 State Challenge - 27/51

your map

Audio Book Reading Challenge 7/50

Chunkster Challenge 3/6

Read your Name Challenge C H E L I

Happy New Year!


I want to wish all my fellow book lovers a very happy New Year and hopes that all your books are winners in 2010!