Monday, February 19, 2007

Barbara Seranella - No Human Involved

No Human Involved
Seranella's 1st book
1st book featuring Munch Mancini, ex-druggie and jailbird in 1970s Los Angeles, California
275 pages
Harper Choice

A strung-out waif-cum-ace auto mechanic, Munch Mancini is trying to get clean and get her act together. But temptation and problems keep pushing her closer to the edge. Lke the murder of her abusive father, "Flower George". The cops have her pegged for the crime, and now she's got to stay out of sight of a certain cop named mace St. John. At first it's easy because Mace isn't looking that hard. But when his prime suspect becomes linked to the gruesome murders of several not-so-innocent women, the weary homicide detective goes into overdrive. If Mace wants to solve these murders, he'll have to find Munch. And if Munch wants a new life, she's got to find a way to cut a deal. But as they will both discover, there's a precarious line between trust and betrayal - and the temptation to cross may be too strong to resist.

I'm reading this one in memory of Barbara Seranella, a wonderful person who left far too early. I meant to get and read this book for far too long, I'm afraid :-(

First (two) sentence(s):
"Buy you a drink?"
Munch turned to size up the man who had spoken to her.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Lee Harris - The Thanksgiving Day Murder

The Thanksgiving Day Murder
Harris' 6th book
6th book featuring Christine Bennett, ex-nun and college teacher in New York
245 pages
Fawcett Gold Medal

A celebration of abundance becomes a day of loss.
More than a year ago Natalie Gordon went to buy a balloon at the Thanksgiving Day Parade and dissolved into thin air. The police and a private investigator still have no leads. So when Natalie's despairing husband pleads with ex-nun Christine Bennett to help, she can't say no.

Not only are Natalie's present whereabouts a mystery, but so is her past. Someone has stripped her personnel file in her old office. Even her husband knows strangely little about her.

Starting with a cardboard box of Natalie's belongings - a few books, keys, some cosmetics - Chris searches for a life someone has tried very hard to erase and finds a cast of characters so chilling that murder seems not only inevitable but likely to happen again....

I've started this book earlier this morning on my way to work, after finishing Them Bones last night and in dire need of a comfort read. Chris just works that way for me :-) I'm already at page 80 and if nothing gets into my way, I should be able to finish it this weekend!

First sentence:
I drove my cousin Gene back to the residence for retarded adults after mass that very cold Sunday morning.

Carolyn Haines - Them Bones

Lines to remember:
[my addition: Sarah Booth and Jitty talking about love life and marriage, in general and about Jitty's in the past]
"I don't suppose you ever heard of a small disruption called the War Between the States. Funny how a thing like romance takes a backseat to survival."

When Sarah Booth Delaney, unconventional Southern Belle and Daddy's Girl, is in monetary trouble, she lets herself be persuaded by Jitty to "dognap" fellow Daddy's Girl Tinkie Bellcase Richmond's dog. When she retrieves Chablis for Tinkie, the woman decides Sarah Booth is just the right person to dig in the past to uncover the truth abot Hamilton Garrett the Fifth and his involvement in his father, Hamilton "Guy" Garrett the Fourth, and mother's, Victoria Garrett, deaths. Little does Sarah Booth know that danger and death go hand in hand with this job offer.

This first in a series with a new-to-me setting introduces the reader to Sarah Booth and some of the other residents of Zinnia, Mississippi. I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery, though I at first had my problems with the setting. There is just a huge difference between the part of the U.S. I know through stories and the part this mystery is set in. I didn't know much about the South, but as soon as I was used to the "way of life" (for lack of a better word, which most likely will come to my mind as soon as I'm in bed), I had a hard time putting down the book.

Despite some bigger questions left open, which is rather usual for mystery series, the story was well developed. Most of the characters were likeable (you have to have some more evil regular characters, don't you?) and I can't wait to go back to Zinnia. The second in series is luckily already ordered and I hope to get it soon!

Rating: A-

Thursday, February 8, 2007

classics challenge

Okay, I've read about booklogged's classics challenge, but since I was absolutely sure I couldn't make 5 classics within two months, I stayed away from it - in a safe distance, though obviously not safe enough.

I'd like to try something similar:

I'd like to try to read 3-5 classics in a time frame of 5 months. This way, there would be enough time for other reads, but one could also spend some good time reading classics, maybe to broaden one's horizon, maybe just to get some books off Mt. TBR.
When exactly this is going to take place is still open as I'm trying to figure out when things won't be that busy.
Since I know some classics are rather hefty in size, I've decided to make the number of books a bit more loose. Books over 450 pages are definitely big ones and harder to get through than classics that have about 250 pages.

I'll pick mine from the following classics:

1. Victor Hugo - Les Misérables (in French, 913 pages)
2. Jane Austen - Mansfield Park (in English, pages)
3. Paul Auster - Moon Palace (in English, pages)
4. Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights (in English, pages)
5. Theodor Fontane - Frau Jenny Treibel (in German, pages)
6. Tom Wolfe - The Bonfires Of The Vanities (in English, pages)

call me crazy, but...

... if I had two job offers and didn't know which one to take - I'd check out the library system in the two places.

So far I've never had really close ties to a place I've been. Wherever I spend the night, I say "let's go home" when I'm not there. Might drive some people crazy, but that's me. I know to enjoy my time in my hometown, but in the end, it is a 2,000 inhabitant and to have some fun outside of home, you have to take a car unless it is carneval. There's no way around it!

For now, I spend money on books whenever I have some left (well, except for this year, because of the New Year's Resolution), so I have something to read. Let's face it, the library system here sucks big time. They hardly have any interesting English books - and keep me from getting into their "wide" variety of mysteries"! ;-)

So, yes, I'd pick a job after the library system if the basics are the same. I mean, I don't want to spend all my money on books, it's just that right now I don't have the choice, and considering how much money I must have spent on books in the last three years or so, it would probably be a wise decision. I could save lots of money and could maybe get a vacation out of it more regularly ;-)

P.S.: How I got to this thought? Well, I'm on DL and we've been talking about libraries and library systems in the past couple days.

some more quizzes until I'm done with Them Bones...

Just found these quizzes at 3M's:

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Northeast
The Midland
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Monday, February 5, 2007

Rachel Gibson - S ex, Lies, And Online Dating

Lines to remember:
"Tell me about your Internet dates."
Oh yeah. "Out of all men I've met online, seventy percent were just looking for quick s ex and were real losers. Twenty percent were lonely and desperate for a girlfriend, any girlfriend. The jury is still out on the last ten percent."

[my adition: This happens while Lucy and Quinn are having a chocolate torte.]
"Sometimes, chocolate is better than s ex," she said.
"Sunshine, nothing is better than s ex."
She set the fork on her plate and pushed it aside. "I guess that would depen on your basis of comparison."

Mystery writer Lucy Rothchild is researching for her next book and goes on a couple of Internet dates. Meanwhile, there's a serial killer on the loose in Boise - a woman asphyxiating men she dated before. On her last date, she meets with Quinn, supposedly a plumber, while she pretends to be a nurse. Only, Quinn is an undercover cop hunting down the serial killer and Lucy is his top suspect.

I actually wasn't in the mood for a romance, but this book had enough mystery and suspence to make me want to read it. I actually finished it within a day, because I couldn't put it down. The characters were likeable and I couldn't find plot holes. There is not much to day about this book other than I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, couldn't put it down, and would always read it again!

Rating: A-

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Rachel Gibson - S ex, Lies, And Online Dating

S ex, Lies, And Online Dating
Gibson's 10th book, this time featuring Lucy Rothchild, mystery author, and Quinn McIntyre, Boise cop
352 pages

S ex...
What is it about men anyway? Bad cars, bad jobs, even bad teeth - nothing convinces them that they can't snare a Size Two Babe witha D-cup chest. And after way too many internet dates with men named "luvstick" and "bigdaddy182", Lucy Rothchild should know.

Butt sitting across from her now is "hardluvnman", and he seems different - sensitive, honest, and
hot! He says he's a plumber, while Lucy claims she's a nurse! She's really a mystery writer, dating online while researching her next book. Hey, everyone lies a little, don't they?

And Online Dating...
But Quinn's really an undercover cop hunting down a serial killer, and he sees Lucy as his top suspect. And while he could really go for this smart, sexy woman with the killer bod - if that's the only thing "killer" about her - he knows he needs to wine and dine her and discover the truth. Hey, he realizes the dating scene can be deadly - but this is ridiculous!

I held this book in my hands quite a few times before I finally got it - with a gift certificate my brother had given me for Christmas. It sounds too much fun to read to skip this book - and besides the "Size Two Babe" part, it also sounds rather familiar ;-)

First paragraph:
[my addition: E-mail from Lucy to her friends, Adele, Clare, and Maddie]
Hey all,

Tonight is my last Internet coffee date. His name is hardluvnman. I pray he has his teeth.

Wish me luck,

another book quiz

I found this quiz at Book-a-rama and thought it was really cute.

You're The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!

by Douglas Adams

Considered by many to be one of the funniest people around, you are
quite an entertainer. You've also traveled to the far reaches of what you deem possible,
often confused and unsure of yourself. Life continues to jostle you around like a marble,
but it's shown you so much of the world that you don't care. Wacky adventures continue to
lie ahead. Your favorite number is 42.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Actually, I have this book on my shelves and hope to read it soon LOL!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

reading for 2007

I found a similar list at 3M's Booklist and think it is a good idea.

This is my TBR list for 2007 - well, I doubt I'll be able to read them all, but at least those are the books I haven't read so far, but hope to read some day.

B got book through Bookcrossing
E book is in English
F book is in French
G book is in German
O own the book

001. Douglas Adams: Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (G, O)
002. Dante Aligheri: The Divine Comedy (G, O)
003. Catherine Alliott: The Old-Girl Network (E, O)
TBR challenge?
004. Catherine Alliott: Going Too Far (E, O)
005. Kelley Armstrong: Bitten (B, E)
006. Kelley Armstrong: Stolen (B, E)
007. Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity Digs In (E, O)
TBR challenge?
008. Margaret Atwook: The Blind Assassin (E, O)
009. Jane Austen: Mansfield Park (E, O)
TBR challenge?
010. Paul Auster: Moon Palace (E, O)
011. AVI: Sometimes I Think I Hear My Name (E, O)
012. Stephanie Barron: Jane & The Unpleasantness At Scargrave Manor (E, O)
TBR challenge?; buddy read in August
013. Ann Bauer: A Wild Ride Up The Cupboard (E, O)
014. Charles Baxter: The Feast Of Love (E, O)
015. Mark Billingham: Lazy Bones (B, E)
016. Ulf Blanck: Flucht In Die Zukunft (G, O)
017. Enid Blyton: Dolly Sammelband 5 (G, O)
TBR challenge?
018. Enid Blyton: Dolly Sammelband 6 (G, O)
019. Kate Borden: Death Of A Tart (E, O)
group read in March
020. Rhys Bowen: Death Of Riley (E, O)
021. Rhys Bowen: Evan Help Us (B, E)
022. Ann Brashares: The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants (E, O)
TBR challenge?
023. Lilian Jackson Braun: The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (E, O)
024. Lilian Jackson Braun: The Cat Who Talked Turkey (E, O)
025. Rita Mae Brown: Wish You Were Here (B, E)
026. Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights (E, O)
TBR challenge?
027. Sandra Brown: Alibi (G, O)
028. Bill Bryson: A Short History Of Nearly Everything (E, O)
029. Bill Bryson: In A Sunburned Country (G, O)
TBR challenge?
030. Bill Bryson: The Lost Continent (E, O)
TBR challenge?
031. Gwendoline Butler: Coffin Underground (B, E)
032. Tony Buzan: Use Your Head (G, O)
033. A.S. Byatt: Possession - A Romance (E, O)
034. Laura Childs: Death By Darjeeling (E, O)
buddy read in January

035. Laura Childs: Gunpowder Green (E, O)
buddy read in March
036. Laura Childs: Shades Of Earl Grey (E, O)
buddy read in May
037. Tom Clancy: Without Remorse (E, O)
TBR challenge?
038. Harlan Coben: Drop Shot (E, O)
TBR challenge?
039. Patricia Cornwell: Post Mortem (E, O)
040. Robert Crais: The Monkey's Raincoat (B, E)
buddy read in April 2008
041. Thomas D. Cyrol: Baseball (G, O)
042. Mary Daheim: Just Desserts (E, O)
buddy read in February

043. MaryJanice Davidson: Undead And Unemployed (E, O)
044. Jeffery Deaver: Speaking In Tongues (E, O)
TBR challenge?
045. Jeffery Deaver: The Stone Monkey (E, O)
046. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Complete Adventures And Memoirs Of Sherlock Holmes (E, O)
047. Jeffrey Eugenides: Middlesex (E, O)
048. Janet Evanovich: Seven Up (E, O)
TBR challenge?
049. Janet Evanovich: Hard Eight (E, O)
050. Janet Evanovich: Visions Of Sugar Plums (E, O)
051. Nancy Fairbanks: Death A L'Orange (E, O)
TBR challenge?
052. Robert Ferrigno: Flinch (B, E)
053. Joanne Fluke: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (E, O)
054. Theodor Fontane: Frau Jenny Treibel (G, O)
TBR challenge?
055. Rachel Gibson: Simply Irresistible (E, O)
056. Rachel Gibson: Sex, Lies, And Online Dating (E, O)
057. Sue Grafton: C Is For Corpse (E, O)
TBR challenge?
058. Sue Grafton: D Is For Deadbeat (E, O)
059. Sue Grafton: F Is For Fugitive (B, E)
060. Sue Grafton: L Is For Lawless (B, E)
061. John Grisham: The Brethren (E, O)
TBR challenge?
062. John Grisham: The Testament (E, O)
TBR challenge?
063. John Grisham: The Last Juror (G, O)
064. Carolyn Haines: Them Bones (E, O)
buddy read in February
065. Laurell K. Hamilton: The Laughing Corpse (E, O)
066. Lee Harris: The Thanksgiving Day Murder (E, O)
067. Lee Harris: The Passover Murder (E, O)
068. Josef Haslinger: Opernball (G, O)
069. Hergé: Les Cigares Du Pharaon (F, O)
070. Mary Higgins Clark: Loves Music, Loves To Dance (E, O)
071. Mary & Carol Higgins Clark: He Sees You When You're Sleeping (E, O)
072. Linda Howard: Cry No More (G, O)
073. Nicole Hunter. Waiting For The World To End (E, O)
074. India Ink: A Blush With Death (E, O)
075. Donna Kauffman: The Cinderella Rules (G, O)
076. Faye Kellerman: The Ritual Bath (E, O)
077. Harry Kemelman: Sunday The Rabbi Stayed Home (B, E)
078. Jack Kerley: The Hundredth Man (B, E)
079. P.B. Kerr: Children Of The Lamp - The Ashkenaten Adventure (G, O)
080. Sophie Kinsella: The Undomestic Goddess (E, O)
081. Jayne Anne Krentz: Hidden Talents (B, E)
082. Erik Larson: The Devil In The White City (B, E)
083. Francois Lelord: Hectors Reise oder Die Suche nach dem Glück (G, O)
084. French Language Learning Mystery: Coups de Feu à Versailles (F, O)
085. French Language Learning Mystery: L'Ombre Sur Montparnasse (F, O)
086. Robert Ludlum: The Bourne Identity (E, O)
TBR challenge?
087. Anna Maclean: Louisa And The Missing Heiress (E, O)
088. Chris Manby: The Matchbreaker (B, E)
BC bookring

089. Nick McDonell: Twelve (G, O)
090. Leslie Meier: Trick Or Treat Murder (E, O)
091. Michael Moore: Dude, Where Is My Country? (E, O)
092. Tamar Myers: The Ming And I (E, O)
093. Azar Nafisi: Reading Lolita In Tehran (E, O)
094. James Patterson: 1st To Die (E, O)
TBR challenge?
095. James Patterson: The Midnight Club (G, O)
096. Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club (E, O)
097. Nancy Peske and Beverly West: Cinematherapy For Lovers (E, O)
TBR challenge?
098. Cathy Pickens: Southern Fried (E, O)
group read in February

099. Jodi Picoult: Vanishing Acts (E, O)
group read in January

100. Chaim Potok: The Chosen (B, E)
101. Tracy Quan: Diary Of A Manhattan Call Girl (B, E)
BC bookring
102. Jeanne Ray: Julie And Romeo (B, E)
103. Kathy Reichs: Déjà Dead (E, O)
104. Anne Rice: The Witching Hour (B, E)
105. Emilie Richards: Beautiful Lies (E, O)
106. Emilie Richards: Let There Be Suspects (E, O)
107. J.D. Robb: Naked In Death (B, E)
TBR challenge?
108. J.D. Robb: Purity In Death (B, E)
109. Nora Roberts: Convincing Alex (G, O)
110. Madeleine E. Robins: Point Of Honour (E, O)
111. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Living History (E, O)
TBR challenge?
112. Herbert Rosendorfer: Die Donnerstage Des Oberstaatsanwalts (G, O)
113. Geneen Roth: Breaking Free From Compulsive Eating (G, O)
114. Meryl Sawyer: Lady Killer (B, E)
115. Michele Scott: Murder Uncorked (E, O)
116. Barbara Seranella: No Human Involved (E, O)
buddy read in February
117. Robert Shapero: Wild Animus (E, O)
118. Kerrelyn Sparks: How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire (B, E)
BC bookring
119. Julia Spencer-Fleming: In The Bleak Midwinter (E, O)
TBR challenge?
120. Sarah Strohmeyer: Bubbles A Broad (B, E)
BC bookring
121. Susan Sussman with Sarajane Avidon: Audition For Murder (B, E)
TBR challenge?

122. Victoria Thompson: Murder On Astor Place (E, O)
123. P.J. Tracy: Dead Run (E, O)
TBR challenge?
124. Peter Tremayne: Absolution By Murder (E, O)
125. Cameron West: First Person Plural - My Life As A Multiple (B, G)
TBR challenge?
126. Jacqueline Winspear: Maisie Dobbs (E, O)
buddy read in January

127. Tom Wolfe: The Bonfire Of The Vanities (E, O)

January reads

Okay, 11 books and only 6 of them finished - that's bad!

Here they are:

01. Chris Manby - The Matchbreaker; 340 pages; rating: DNF
02. Anne Rice - The Witching Hour; 1207 pages; rating: DNF
03. Laura Childs - Death By Darjeeling; 242 pages; rating: A-
04. Sophie Kinsella - The Undomestic Goddess; 416 pages; rating: DNF
05. Meryl Saywer - Ladykiller; 416 pages; rating: B
06. Nora Roberts - Convincing Alex (in German); 300 pages; rating: B
07. Jacqueline Winspear - Maisie Dobbs; 292 pages; rating: DNF
08. Mary Daheim - Just Desserts; 220 pages; rating: B+
09. Cathy Pickens - Southern Fried; 326 pages; rating: C
10. Susan Sussman & Sarajane Avidon - Audition For Murder; 250 pages; rating: B+
11. Jodi Picoult - Vanishing Acts; 417 pages; rating: DNF

Longest book finished:
Meryl Sawyer: Ladykiller (416 pages)

Shortest book finished:
Mary Daheim: Just Desserts (220 pages)

Mystery series I've read:
Laura Childs' Theodosia Browning
Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs
Mary Daheim's Judith McMonigle
Cathy Pickens' Avery Andrews
Susan Sussman's Morgan Taylor

Mystery series I started:
Laura Childs' Theodosia Browning
Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs
Mary Daheim's Judith McMonigle
Cathy Pickens' Avery Andrews
Susan Sussman's Morgan Taylor

January reading - an overview:

books read in in total: 16

books started in total: 10

books finished: 6

books not finished: 5

books read in by genre:
15 fiction
9 Mysteries
3 Suspense/Thrillers
2 Romance
1 non-fiction

authors read by gender:
5 female
0 male

books read by author's gender:
12 female
3 male

new-to-me authors:
Chris Manby
Anne Rice
Laura Childs
Meryl Sawyer
Jacqueline Winspear
Mary Daheim
Cathy Pickens
Susan Sussman

new-to-me authors I most likely won't read again:
Chris Manby
Jacqueline Winspear
Cathy Pickens

books read by rating:
2 A
3 B
1 C
0 D

book size:
short books (- 200 pages) ~ 3
intermediate books (201 - 450 pages) ~ 12
chunksters (451+ pages) ~ 1

books by type:
1 hardcover
9 trade paperback
6 mass market paperback

Jane Austen...

I am Catherine Morland!

Take the Quiz here!