Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Title: Undead and unworthy

Author: MaryJanice Davidson

Publisher: Jove Books

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-515-14773-5

Series or stand-alone: #7

Setting: Minneapolis, MN

1st Sentence:

Bored, I crossed the carpet in five steps, climbed up on Sinclair's desk, and kissed him.


A continuation of the series, Betsy and Eric have been married for two months but married life's not easy she's finding out. What with having to raise her half-brother, being haunted by a really annoying ghost and ancient vampires released who are out for blood - namely hers.

These books are always easy brain candy reads for me but seven books into the series and I still enjoy the campy humor I find in them. I'll read #8.


Title: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an accidental country girl

Author: Ree Drummond

Publisher: William Morrow

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-0-06-165819-8

Series or stand-alone: Non-fiction

Setting: Oklahoma

1st Sentence:

I grew up on the seventh fairway of an idyllic golf course in a corporate town of 35,000.


This book should be illegal because it is full of food porn. The cookbook is country living, hot guys in chaps, children, and food, glorious food. And I mean GLORIOUS food. Her website is filled with stories and photos about life on the ranch and recipes, recipes, recipes!

Did I mention the food?!?

'Nuff said.


Title: The secret between us

Author: Barbara Delinsky

Publisher: Doubleday

Copyright: 2008

ISBN: 978-0-385-51868-0

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting: Driving distance of Boston

1st Sentence:

They were arguing in the seconds before impact.


From the author's website:

Physician Deborah Monroe and her teenage daughter Grace are driving home one night in a raging rainstorm when their car hits a man who is on foot on the road. He subsequently dies, throwing Deborah and Grace into emotional turmoil. They share a secret concerning the accident, a lie that takes on a life of its own and threatens both their everyday lives and the special bond between them. And it refuses to go away, growing larger with each denial, jeopardizing ties Deborah has with her renegade sister and their father, a recent widower, and with the ex-husband whose role in their children's lives is at stake. As details emerge about the accident victim - an aloof local teacher who wove his own web of secrecy - Deborah must find a way to reconcile her worst fears with the truth of that terrible night.

The Secret Between Us is about a lie gone wrong, about making bad choices for the right reasons. This book explores the limits of responsibility - mother to daughter, daughter to father, husband to wife. It examines the price that we pay for denying the truth.

This was the first Delinsky book I read and I think mainly because I've always categorized her as a 'romance' author. If I had to pick one thing that I didn't like about this book, it's something I've been seeing more and more of and that is loose ends with no resolution. It seems the things that stick out as important to me get left by the wayside and then I am left to wonder what happened. I'm not a big fan of that at all.

Delinsky's new book, NOT MY DAUGHTER, was just released in January and I already have my name on it to read once it's shelf-ready. It looks really good.

January 2010 #1 - PLEA OF INSANITY

Hey, happy new year! Here's wishing you all a year of fantastic reading!

Title: Plea of insanity

Author: Jilliane Hoffman

Publisher: Vanguard Press

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-1-59315-507-0

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting: Miami, FL

1st Sentence:

The old, two-story Spanish-style house sat back away from the street, nestled behind lush tropical foliage and towering palms.

When David Marquette is arrested for killing his wife and three children, Rick Bellido brings Julia Vacanti on board to help prosecute. But when David enters a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, it turns Julia's world upside down.

I thought this was a great legal story with some interesting plot twists and good character development. Hoffman's book, RETRIBUTION, remains on my list of all-time favorite reads.

Another note of interest: I ordered a copy of this for my personal library. The copy that I read was hardcover, the copy I received was paperback. And they have different beginnings. I'm now interested to read the paperback to find out how many differences there are. It's not like I read or received an ARC or Uncorrected Proof. Anybody know why this could be?

December #5 - 13 1/2

Title: 13 1/2

Author: Nevada Barr

Publisher: Vanguard Press

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-1-593-155-53-7

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting: Rochester, MN and Jackson Square, French Quarter, New Orleans, LA

1st Sentence:

"By the Month or by the Night" read the sign over the entrance to the trailer park.


Dylan, aka Butcher Boy was convicted of killing his family in the '70s. Polly was Mississippi trailer trash. In present time, their paths cross but is history destined to repeat itself?

I did have some problems with the vagueness of the writing and the way that it jumped around from character to character, but I enjoyed the setting very much.

My favorite thing about the book was the meaning behind the title.

December #4 - THE HELP

Title: The help

Author: Kathryn Stockett

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-0-399-155-34-5

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting: Jackson, MS

1st Sentence:

Chapter 1
August 1962
Mae Mobley was born on a early Sunday morning in August, 1960.


I had reservations about this book because it goes so far outside the scope of what I typically read, but I loved it and nearly a month later and it is still with me. It also made the list of my top 5 favorite books read in 2009.

Skeeter Phelan, a white woman who is disgusted with the prejudices around her enlists the help of some of the black women who work for her friends to tell her what it's like to work for the white families for which they work. And write a book about it. But times in the south in the sixties aren't all that easy and the women face danger by speaking ill of their employers. I thought it was a great representation of the time and I think it would make a fantastic movie!


Title: Lakeshore Christmas

Author: Susan Wiggs

Publisher: Mira

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7783-2689-2

Series or stand-alone: #6

Setting: Avalon, New York

1st Sentence:

The boy came to the edge of town at twilight, at the close of a winter day.


Maureen Davenport is the town librarian and has volunteered to head up the local Christmas pageant/program working with Eddie Haven, childhood star serving community service for an accident that happened years ago.

The story was okay and if I was going to read a Christmas story around Christmas time, I guess reading about librarians would only be second to reading about vampires. However, I didn't like the way the story wasn't resolved and I will never know who got the engagement ring. It was like the author just wanted to wrap the story up. This is one reason I avoid romances. Oh yeah, and the sap would be another reason.


Title: Weekend warriors

Author: Fern Michaels

Publisher: Zebra Books

Copyright: 2003

ISBN: 0-8217-7589-8

Series or stand-alone: #1

Setting: McLean, VA

1st Sentence:

Washington D.C.
The traffic was horrendous on Massachusetts Avenue, but then it was always horrendous at this time of day.


Seven women, all who had wrongs done to them, come together to enact their own kind of justice when the legal system fails them.

I liked the premise, the plot had potential, and I liked the revenge extracted in the book. However, the writing and dialogue made me cringe every time I read another passage and although my patrons really seem to LOVE this series, I will not be reading another.

December #1 - ON BULLSHIT

Title: On Bullshit

Author: Harry G. Frankfurt

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Copyright: 2005

ISBN: 0-691-12294-6

Series or stand-alone: Non-fiction

1st Sentence:

One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit.


The only reason I read this book was because it came across my desk as a book that I was sending out through interlibrary loan and it was short and I remembered all the fuss it received when it first came out. Normally I would not read this type of book. And probably won't again.

The author note says he is a renowned moral philosopher and a Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Princeton University. My dad is a degreed philosopher and he is one of the biggest bullshitters I know.

Want to guess what my opinion was of this book?

November #4 - LEVEL 26: DARK ORIGINS

Title: Level 26: Dark Origins

Author: Anthony E Zuiker

Publisher: Dutton

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-0-525-95125-4

Series or stand-alone: #1

Setting: Malibu Beach, CA

1st Sentence:

It is well-known among law enforcement personnel that murderers can be categorized as belonging to one of twenty-five levels of evil, from the naive opportunists starting out at Level 1 to the organized, premeditated torture-murderers who inhibit Level 25.


This book is the first digi-novel, a very interesting concept, written by the creator and executive producer of the CSI shows. You read the book and then there are chapters where you go to the website and watch a short video clip to enhance the reading experience. The bad guy, Sqweegel, is a very creepy and gooey guy and I liked the digital interaction. I'll be looking for the second book.