Friday, September 29, 2006

FIRC update

Now that I've finished The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library (see below) I have to update my FIRC again.

My up-to-date list of books to read till December 21, 2006 is:

want to's:

Maria Beaumont: Mis(s)fit
L'Ombre Sur Montparnasse
Sue Grafton: C is for Corpse
Cameron West: First Person Plural
Nancy Fairbanks: Truffled Feathers
Laurell K. Hamilton: The Laughing Corpse
Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity and The Good Deed

extra credit:

Azar Nafisi: Reading Lolita In Tehran
Tamar Myers: Gilt By Association
Jeanne Ray: Julie and Romeo
Meryl Sawyer: Lady Killer

We'll see what will be next, but most likely I will start reading L'Ombre Sur Montparnasse, a mystery in French, as I have to get back into reading and understanding French ASAP.

The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library

Alice Kimberly - The Ghost and The Dead Man’s Library [3rd Penelope Thornton-McClure & Jack Shepherd]; 254 pages (B+)

It is the third and so far last installment in the series about bookshop co-owner Penelope Thornton-McClure and ghost Jack Shepherd. Penelope and her aunt Sadie visit an old friend of Sadies', Peter Chesley, who gives them the entire collection of Edgar Allen Poe books in the Phelps edition. Those books are very rare and therefore rather valuable. As soon as they leave Mr. Chesley, he is murdered. This means the copies are now Aunt Sadie's, as he said he wanted her to have them, should he die before they are sold. Soon after the first copy is sold, its acquirer, a Franco-Canadian lawyer, who actually bought a copy for his uncle, is found dead, presumably because of a car accident.

It seems as the books get worse as I read a long - well, not really bad, but each time I graded the book was a little less good than the one before. Go figure... What annoyed me a little with this one was, that the author still feels the need to take about two sentences per book to explain how it sounds when those New Englanders talk (the “r” is missing). At least after the second book, you should’ve got it. And if this is your first book, then it won’t matter either, as it is not a clue to the crimes. I don’t think it is necessary to point it out that often. Also, it was not so good, that all but one cop were described as stupid and incapable of really doing their job. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the book, so that the rating still is a good B+. I just like how Penelope and Jack interact!


Thursday, September 28, 2006

exams and the next semester

My mind has finally come back and I'm actively thinking about law school again.

As you may or may not remember, I had two exams earlier this year, and I really, really, hope, I (a) will get the results soon and (b) passed them. It's been almost three months now since I took the exams, I think I really deserve to know the results, but that's law school - a waiting game!
Also, I actually intended to write a paper. I started, had all, or pretty much all the info I needed - but I was too slow *gr* I ended up not handing it in because of that and because I thought I had to pass the exam next semester in the latest in order to be able to use the paper's result - it ended up not being that way, though I was told so at the deanship... So much for good info. Anyway, it happened and I can't change it now.

As for next semester, my schedule is already set and it seems to be a busy time, but I'm rather sure I can do it and I doubt it will be much of a problem. I only have to sit down and concentrate a little better than I did last semester.

I'll be busy on Mondays from 12p.m.-2 p.m. and 4p.m.-6p.m. - two hours off in between is not too good, but I suppose I'll just try to catch up on some things during that time.
On Tuesdays I have 10a.m.-12p.m. and 2p.m.-4p.m. - the two hours in between again for some catching up.
Wednesdays 8:30a.m. through 12p.m. two different classes, but no break, so I can use noon for some work.
Thursdays I have 2p.m.-6p.m., again two different classes, so I have the morning off to work.
Fridays I actually have nothing.

On top of that, I will have a few classes over the next 4 semesters to get the DUDF, which is a diploma on French law. I can't wait for these classes, but I'm also anxious because I just don't know how good my French is. I really have to work on that during the next few days and weeks. :-) Anyway, I'm really excited about this chance!!!

Fall Into Reading Challenge update

I've finished the first book for the Fall Into Reading Challenge (btw, I've decided to use the abbreviation starting today, it is far too long ;-) ), so it is time to give you an update.

I finished Victoria Laurie's Killer Insight last weekend already, but I didn't find the time to post about it, unfortunately.

This fourth, and so far latest installment, in Victoria Laurie's Abby Cooper series
Abby works as a professional psychic, but she sure didn't see that coming! Short after Dutch wants "some space to concentrate on his current job", a friend from Denver, Colorado, calls and asks Abby to come early and be her bridesmaid because one of the other bridesmaids ran off to her ex-boyfriend's new place in California. Not long after that, Abby discovers, that the missing bridesmaid didn't run off, but is dead. When one bridesmaid after the other disappears, Abby has to hurry up a little to find the murderer, before it is her turn to die.
This was one shocking from the very beginning. Who would've thought Abby and Dutch were going to break up? And then there's the bridesmaids killer as well. The fourth installment may not be the absolutely best in series, but I really enjoyed it a lot and it is sad that I finished it that fast. If you like a wonderful, hilarious, a little paranormal cozy series, you should definitely try that one!

Here's the list of books that are left on my FIRC list:

want to's:

Alice Kimberly: The Ghost and The Dead Man's Library
Maria Beaumont: Mis(s)fit
L'Ombre Sur Montparnasse
Sue Grafton: C is for Corpse
Cameron West: First Person Plural
Nancy Fairbanks: Truffled Feathers
Laurell K. Hamilton: The Laughing Corpse
Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity and The Good Deed

extra credit:

Azar Nafisi: Reading Lolita In Tehran
Tamar Myers: Gilt By Association
Jeanne Ray: Julie and Romeo
Meryl Sawyer: Lady Killer

Right now, I am reading Alice Kimberly's The Ghost and The Dead Man's Library. So far it is really good and I hope to be able to finish it before the weekend.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Fall Into Reading Challenge

I just discovered the Fall Into Reading Challenge while reading this blog. It seems like a wonderful way to read some more books off of my Mt. TBR. As you might remember, it is rather huge (96 books including my five current reads).
As the next semester will start on Oct 9, I won't be able to read much then, but I think I should be able to read 3 books a month, maybe even 4.

So let's say I'll read 3 books a month, that would be 9 books within 3 months. As I might always be lucky to read a little more I'll add some as extra credit. And don't forget the bookrings I will get within the next months!

want to's:

Victoria Laurie: Killer Insight
Alice Kimberly: The Ghost and the Dead Man’s Library
Maria Beaumont: Mis(s)Fit
Ann Brashares: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
L’Ombre Sur Montparnasse

Sue Grafton: C is for Corpse
Cameron West: First Person Plural

Nancy Fairbanks: Truffled Feathers
Laurell K. Hamilton: The Laughing Corpse
Nancy Atherton
: Aunt Dimity and the Good Deed
Jayne Anne Krentz:
Hidden Talents
Joanne Fluke
: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

extra credit:

Azar Nafisi
: Reading Lolita in Tehran
Tamar Myers: Gilt by Association
Jeanne Ray: Julie and Romeo
Meryl Sawyer: Lady Killer

We'll see whether this will change within the next week...

Monday, September 4, 2006

Have you heard about Steve Irwin?

I can't believe this really happened. Watching his animal documentations, I learned more about animals that I ever did at school.

Oh, right, maybe you haven't heard or read... Steve Irwin died a few hours ago while filming a documentation about marine life in Queensland, Australia. He was stung by a stingray in the breast, which is supposed to have cause a cardiac arrest. His American wife Terri and his children Bindi Sue (8) and Robert Clarence (2) have not been with him on the trip, but according to police, family has been informed.

Friday, September 1, 2006

August reading - as part of procrastination

Harlan Coben: Just One Look; 383 pages (B)
When Grace Lawson picks up a bunch of photographs at the local Photomat she doesn’t know what this will cause. Among the pictures is an old picture of five people, one of them Grace’s Husband, Jack. When Grace shows him the picture, Jack leaves the house and disappears. When Jack does not return and the police don’t see a reason to search for him, Grace starts investigating herself. This is a wonderful book ful of intrigue and suspense. I wouldn’t compare it to Coben’s Myron Bolitar series, but this thriller is awesome!

Barbara Hannay: The Blind Date Surprise; 156 pages (B-)


Susan Stephens: The Sheikh’s Captive Bride; 156 pages (B-)


Shawna Kenney: I Was a Teenage Dominatrix; 169 pages (B+)

Shawna Kenney’s memoir about her life as a dominatrix is shockingly honest. She doesn’t hide behind the “it was actually pretty cool”, but tells it like it was. She met some strange men with strange fantasies, who paid a lot of money for her services. This memoir certainly was worth the time I spent reading – and I would have read more, if offered.

Alice Kimberly: The Ghost and the Dead Deb [2nd Penelope Thornton-McClure & Jack Shields]; 260 pages (A-)

After the first Haunted Bookshop mystery Penelope Thornton-McClure & Jack Shields are finally back. A year after an author died right in the shop during a reading, Penelope prepared the shop for another reading. This time the author is a friend of a murder victim and she wrote a book about the murder as it has never been solved. Not long after the reading, she disappears and is found murdered. It is Penelope and Jack's turn to solve the case... I just loved this one, plus it had a new "addition" - but that you'll have to read for yourself!

Victoria Laurie: Better Read Than Dead [2nd Abby Cooper]; 296 pages (A)
This time, Abby Cooper, a real psychic earning her money with her gift, helps out a friend reading some wedding guests. After only a few readings, Abby discovers that the wedding is in fact a Mafia wedding and leaves, pretending she is sick. Of course, the mob boss is not too happy the psychics at his daughter’s wedding left early. On top of that, there’s a serial rapist on the loose close to Abby’s office and it is Abby’s job to help Milo find him, after one of her clients was attacked after a reading. I just loved this book! Abby is a wonderful quirky, but strong character. The book is wonderfully written and leaves me with high hopes for the next in series, A Vision of Murder.

Donna Andrews: You’ve Got Murder [1st Turing Hopper]; 298 pages (C+)

Turing Hopper is a scentient AIP, an Artificial Intelligence Personality. When her creator, Zack, does not come to work without telling her for several days, she starts to worry. Upon contacting some friends of Zack’s, she gets the feeling something is wrong. With the help of Maude and Tim, she goes to work searching for Zack, only to discover that some sinister people are plotting against the AIP program and trying desperately to find Zack. For some reason I just didn’t get into this book. It appeared to be rather boring and annoying. I had hopes it might pick up a bit later in the book, but I was disappointed again. It just wasn’t a book for me.

Newt Scamander: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them; 64 pages (B+)

This is one of Harry Potter’s schoolbooks, the book for Care of Magical Creatures. It was a short read, yet amusing and it was a little like sitting close to Harry during one of his lessons. An extra were the annotations by Harry, Hermoine and Ron. Their remarks throughout the book made me laugh even more.

Kennilworthy Whisp: Quidditch Though the Ages; 64 pages (A-)

Harry’s second schoolbook on Quidditch, well, actually it was more of a library book, was another good addition to my Potter-missing self. Always a fan of Quidditch (you’ve got to love the scenes on the field, be it in the book or in the movie!) I couldn’t wait to read it, and I was right. If we could use broomsticks to fly, Quidditch would be my game! The book explained where Quidditch originated from, explained the exact rules and gave a short overview of the most important British and Irish teams.

Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity and the Duke [2nd Aunt Dimity]; 348 pages (B)

In Aunt Dimity and the Duke I missed Aunt Dimity, because unlike in Aunt Dimity's Death Aunt Dimity hardly ever appears.
Emma is from the US and originally she had planned to spend some weeks in Great Britain with her then boyfriend, but he breaks up with her before they cango on the trip to marry a younger, thinner and blonder woman than Emma. So Emma goes on the vacation to see some gardens by herself and when she meets the Pyms, they talk a while before they tell her to go see a special garden which is actually not open for public. The Pyms give her a card with their recommendation to give the owner of the garden, a duke, and when Emma gets there the Duke thinks she is there to design his garden. Seems like Aunt Dimity had her fingers in the game again ;-) It is a wonderful book and I can only recommend the series!

Sarah Strohmeyer: Bubbles In Trouble [2nd Bubbles Yablonsky]; 315 pages (B)

Bubbles Yablonsky was supposed to be the Maid of Honor at a friend's wedding. When her friend Janice, the bride, does not appear Bubbles sets off looking for her, only to find Janice gone and her uncle, with whom she lived, dead. Despite the fact that everyone wants it to be either an accident or at least something domestic with Janice as the murderer (After all, where they live they have security all the time and those rich retirees don't want their home to be a place where a stranger could possibly come in and kill one of the inhabitants!). So Bubbles sets off to find out what really happened and lands in Whoopee, PA (which, btw, is a tiny town in Dutch Country, half way between Intercourse and Paradise *g*).

MaryJanice Davidson: Undead and Unwed [1st Betsy Taylor]; 260 pages (B-)

The day Betsy Taylor died pretty much everything went wrong for her. First, she misses her bus, then she gets laid off – and upon getting home she discovers her cat left her again. This is when she hears the cat meow-ing on the street, waiting to be saved from the cold snow. Betsy gets out to retrieve the cat when a car meets her and makes her fly through the air straight into a tree. This would actually have been it, had Betsy not been attacked a few months earlier. About three days after her death, Betsy wakes up in a morgue and discovers, that she can’t die anymore – she’s a vampire! This book left me confused and unsure whether I want to read the next in series or not. I can’t explain it, but something was weird. Her best friend isn’t scared in the least, when Betsy arrives the day of her funeral and explains that she is now a vampire. But the story was really funny and wonderful. It took me a few days to make up my mind about that series, but now I know I couldn't live without reading more about Betsy Taylor!!!

Plum Sykes: Bergdorf Blondes; 371 pages (C+)

In this book, some Park Avenue Princesses are on the hunt for a PH
- a prospective husband. The main character, an un-named journalist who grew up in England, first stumbles onto a photographer while she is trying to get her friend Julie Bergdorf a PH. It is Julie after whom the Bergdorf Blondes are names as she has the perfect blonde hair.

My book-self

I just made a test to see what kind of a reader I am - and here's the result. Maybe not too clear, but I can live with it:

Your Personality: All-Rounder!

Your responses showed you fitting equally into all four reading personalities:

Involved Reader:
You don't just love to read books, you love to read about books. For you, half the fun of reading is the thrill of the chase - discovering new books and authors, and discussing your finds with others.
Exacting Reader: You love books but you rarely have as much time to read as you'd like - so you're very particular about the books you choose.
Serial Reader: Once you discover a favorite writer you tend to stick with him/her through thick and thin.
Eclectic Reader: You read for entertainment but also to expand your mind. You're open to new ideas and new writers, and are not wedded to a particular genre or limited range of authors.

If you want to take the test click here.