Monday, June 29, 2009

Traveling without a book

Don't you hate traveling without a good book? I'm not talking about air travel (yes, that too would suck) but getting in your car for a long ass road trip without a book. Even when you have great company in the vehicle it comes a time that conversation lags and you wish you could just turn on your book and emerse yourself in the book.

Last weekend I took my daughter to Houston for a job interview and since my parents have been hanging around the house the last 4 weeks (they are visiting from Puerto Rico) I decided to invite them. I'm not sure if the trip was enjoyable for them and although I want them to feel like they are welcome to join me, I sometimes hestitate to invite them because I feel they will not enjoy themselves. This was the case in this instance.

The interview was over in about 10 minutes (she was called in for a second longer interview later this week - way to go Dre!!) but the trip was about 4.5 hours. We then spent the rest of the day scoping out apartments in case she actually gets the job. The purpose of the trip was just that. If we had some time we would have tried to do some touristy things but unfortunately we didn't. So the parents spent the two days in a car and going from one apartment to another (we saw about 7-8) not so entertaining.

Those 4 1/2 hours of traveling were a bit on the boring side since they would not have appreciated listening to my audiobooks and I would have felt so rude turning on the iPod to continue listening to Cornelia Funke's The Thief Lord.

So I survived the trip but it made me realize how much I HATE traveling without a good book.

How about you? Do you have some essential you cannot fathom traveling without?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

Scottoline has another hit on her hands. Yes, it is not a Rosoto & Associates book but Scottoline has proven that she can step outside of her well known series and provide us with great work nontheless.

Ellen Gleeson is confronted with an adoptive parents worst nightmare when she sees her son's face on a "Have you seen this Child?" postcard. The age progressed image is that of a Florida boy called Timothy Braverman. The boy was kidnapped by a man that has a striking resemblance to the 'father' of her own adopted son. As a seasoned investigative reporter she cannot let the resemblance go and she finds herself jeopardizing her own career to followup on her suspicions even though the road can lead to heartache.

The tension in this story just seems to grow with every step Ellen takes closer to the truth and when you think that this story can go only one way, Scottoline throws us a curve ball out of no where and we end up sitting in the car staring off in space listening with bated breath to what is coming next.

If you didn't get it by my above statements let me spell it out: I loved this book! I could not turn off my iPod; I listened to it all in one day (which should not be a good thing since it was during a work day and then I had to go back and double check all my work).

If you don't know of Lisa Scottoline's work pick up anything in her backlist and you won't be disappointed but if you do, keep in mind that she writes a great ongoing series on a group of female attornies better known as Rosato & Associates so try to find one of her stand alone books (like this one!) so you don't fall into the middle of the series.

Grade: A
Format: Audiobook

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lethal Legacy by Linda Fairstein

I recently mentioned that my reading for June had picked up nicely. I am edging my way to completing my first challenge in 2009 by reading 100 books. Seeing that last year I read just over 100 during the whole year, meeting this challenge in the first 6 months of 2009 reflects a great reading year.

Now not all is rosey when it comes to reading because among the 100 books there are some great titles (Megan Whalen-Turner's Attolia Series; Kelley Armstrong's Bitten; Nalini Singh's work; etc) but you also have titles that were not so successful (Kay Hooper's CJ's Fate; Michele Bradsley's I'm the Vampire, That's why; Kinsella's Remember Me) and then you have those that disappoint you to the point that you wonder what happened to the author while writing the piece. Especially when the author has consistenetly been a winner in your book.

That was what happened with Linda Fairstien's new book Lethal Legacy. If you follow my blog you will know Fairstien has been a great source of enjoyment for me but Killer Heat really didn't give me the rush her work usually does and this last one... I could not believe how disappointed I was.

The story follows our trio of cohorts Alex Cooper, Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace as they investigate a murder that appears to be related to certain historical books from the NY Public Library. Now I was thinking that I would be loving this one because the whole bibliophile thing and being a big fan of libraries, NY being a weird variety of the ones we visit in our local town, but I felt lost from the get go.

Like for Killer Heat, there appeared to be way to much history thrown at the reader with out any real reason. I just can't see these people sitting around talking about the history of the library in so much detail. I love the history lesson but feed it to me seamlessly through the story. At one point I completely lost track of what these characters were after. Didn't really know what the crime was. Then Alex would mention the victim and I would then recall what was the end game.

The ending itself was very anticlimactic. The book flatlined early on and didn't give a sign of life again. After two disappointments I'm really going to have to rethink Fairstein's newer work. Unfortunately, she will no longer be an autobuy for me but I will still keep an eye on her since I know she has the potential to be great!

Grade: D
Format: Audiobook

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Update and News from Megan Whalen-Turner

Yeah, have not posted in a while but I have updated the blog. Ain't it looking pretty? I am sticking with this look for a while so I hope you all like.

Now on the reading front I have lagged off in May because it was a bit crazy at work and I had a graduation to attend.

I'm a bit proud on that front. :)

But June has picked up quite nicely (except for the last book I read which I will comment later) and yet that is not what has dragged my butt out of slackville to post.

I just heard the most wonderful news over at and I had to share with those that didn't pick it up on her blog. Megan Whalen Turner will have a new title released next year called A Conspiracy of Kings, adding another chapter to the Attolia series. It seems that this one is not focused on Eugenides but on Sophos - it's more a spin off than an actual new installment on the series. You can see the cover and a brief synopsis here.

If you haven't read the Attolia series you are missing out on great work. I first heard of the series around Valentine's day when there were a few posts about romance in the young adult genre and this series was mentioned. I found the premise interesting and looked it up. I devoured the books in short order. I loved the main character of Eugenides and the world Whalen-Turner built around him (a bit like old atlantean/greek mythology type). Gen first appears as the Queen's Thief in The Thief, he falls for the rival Queen in The Queen of Attolia and finally takes his place as King in The King of Attolia.

This new book has gone on my list of 'Most Anticipated Releases for 2010'

If you haven't read the series.. go out and get it so you will be ready for this new book!
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