Thursday, December 27, 2007

UPDATED - challenges for 2007 and 2008

Since my life is quite hectic and I don't even get to read much right now, I've decided to leave all challenges until December. Then I'll make a fresh start with a clean slate and no worries about the past. And with definitely much less challenges! LOL

I came to the conclusion, that I'll do my own Series Challenge, the Book A Week Challenge with the Yahoo Group, once again the TBR Challenge, and the YA Challenge.

My challenge book lists are:

for the Series Challenge
Laura Childs' Tea Shop mysteries (#6 Chamomile Mourning to end) (3)
Carolyn Haines' Sarah Booth Delaney mysteries (#4 Crossed Bones to end) (4)
Tohko Mizuno: In A Distant Time (#5 to end) (3)
Arina Tanemura: Shinshi Doumei Cross (#4 to end) (4)
Arina Tanemura: Full Moon Wo Sagashite (#3 to end) (5)
-> 19 books

for the TBR 2008 Challenge
Leslie Meier: Mistletoe Murder (since Feb 07)
Charlotte MacLeod: The Family Vault (since Apr 07)
Charlotte MacLeod: The Withdrawing Room (since Apr 07)
Jodi Picoult: The Tenth Circle (since May 07)
Agatha Christie: Lord Edgware Dies (since I don't know when - oops!)
Agatha Christie: Peril At End House (since I don't know when - oops!)
Rebecca Moesta & Kevin J. Anderson: Island Realm (since June 07)
Laura Childs: Chamomile Mourning (since June 07)
Carolyn Haines: Crossed Bones (since May 07)
Stephenie Meyer: Twilight
Richard Montanari: The Rosary Girls
Kathryn Lilley: Dying To Be Thin (on wishlist since I first heard about it)

Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler’s Wife (since 2006)
Harlan Coben: No Second Chance (since July 07; on wishlist since 2006)
Heinrich von Kleist: Die Familie Schroffenstein (since April 07)
William Shakespeare: Macbeth (since April 07)
Lee Harris: The Valentine’s Day Murder (since February 07)
Elaine Viets: Dying In Style (since 2006)
Charlotte MacLeod: The Palace Guard (since Apr 07)
P.B. Kerr: Children of the Lamp - The Ashkenaten Adventures (since mid-2007)
Enid Blyton: The Naughtiest Girl Vol.3 & 4 (since May 07)
Carolyn Haines: Hallowed Bones (since May 07)
Shirley Damsgaard: Charmed To Death (since early 07)
Thomas D. Cyrol: Baseball (since Feb 07)

for the YA Challenge
Rebecca Moesta & Kevin J. Anderson: Island Realm
Stephenie Meyer: Twilight
Enid Blyton: The Naughtiest Girl Vol.3 & 4
Ann Brashares: The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants
Hergé: Les Aventures de Tintin - Les Cigares Du Pharaon (Cigars of the Pharaoh)
P.B. Kerr: Children of the Lamp - The Ashkenaten Adventures
Mari Mancusi: Boys That Bite
Donita K. Paul: Dragonknight
Meg Cabot: The Princess Diaries 8
Arina Tanemura: Full Moon Wo Sagashite #3-4
Arina Tanemura: Full Moon Wo Sagashite #5-6
Gosho Aoyama: Detective Conan #5-6

Due to the fact that I didn't even manage to read the first in the Twilight series, I decided to skip this series for now and instead added 3 manga series to make up for it.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Behind on everything :'-(

I know I'm waaaaay behind on everything. Right now life is so busy I hardly get to approve comments within 48 hours :-( But I intend to get better. Meanwhile, I also was insane enough to join NaNoWriMo - not as if I have the time for this LOL

Here are a few tests I took just for fun when I couldn't sleep:

I am nerdier than 63% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out! says I'm a Cool Light-Weight Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

Those two are follow-up tests and were really interesting. I knew I'm a bit of a nerd. At least not completely LOL

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Third Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Very High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Moderate
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Very Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

My bad side ROFL! Yes, I indeed love food - which is why I'm currently baking some coconut cookies - yummie! And the dough for tea cookies is currently in the fridge to get real cool :-P

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Apprentice

Number: 102
Title: The Apprentice
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Started: September 13, 2007
Finished: September 28, 2007
Pages: 413
Genre: mystery

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: From Mom and mine shared bookshelf.

First Sentence: [translate by: me] Today I saw a man die.

Cover Blurb: [translate by: me] A hot summer in Boston. Detective Jane Rizzoli is called in an exclusive residential area where she finds the corpse of the medic Richard Yaeger. The forensic examination shows that Gail Yaeger was raped in front of her husband before his throat was cut through. And Gail Yaeger disappeared.
The perverse arrangement of the murder evokes haunting memories in Jane. Only a year ago she arrested a psychopathic serial killer - after she almost fell prey to him. And all of a sudden Jane realizes that she once again is becoming the center of events...

Reason For Reading: It was part of the medical mystery challenge hosted by Debi and I also just had to read more about Det. Rizzoli and Maura Isles.

Comments: Well, as I mentioned in the review to The Sinner, I'm reading this series starting with #4 (Body Double) backwards before I read from #5 on until I'm all up to date. This now causes me a problem because The Apprentice

Favorite Part: The first appearance of Agent Gabriel Dean :D

Miscellaneous: The German title was "Der Meister", which translates to "The Master".

Rating: A-

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Ritual Bath

Number: 101
Title: The Ritual Bath
Author: Faye Kellerman
Started: September 22, 2007
Finished: September 25, 2007
Pages: 358
Genre: mystery
ISBN: 0-380-73266-1

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: It has been waiting for me on my shelves for a bit.

First Sentence: "The key to a good potato kugel is good potatoes," Sarah Libba shouted over the noise of the blow dryer.

Cover Blurb: Detective Peter Decker of the LAPD is stunned when he gets the report. Someone has shattered the sanctuary of a remote yeshiva community in the California hills with an unimaginable crime. One of the women was brutally raped as she returned from the mikvah, the bathhouse where the cleansing ritual is performed.

The crime was called in by Rina Lazarus, and Decker is relieved to discover that she is a calm and intelligent witness. She is also the only one in the sheltered community willing to speak of this unspeakable violation. As Rina tries to steer Decker through the maze of religious laws the two grow closer. But before they get to the bottom of this horrendous crime, revelations come to light that are so shocking that they threaten to come between the hard-nosed cop and the deeply religious woman with whom he has become irrevocably linked.

Reason For Reading: It was for a buddy read and I also had wanted to read this book for quite a while now.

Favorite Part: The last scene, when Peter Decker decides to no deal with the press and instead danced with the other men. That was such a great scene *sigh*

Miscellaneous: Argh! How those reporters mis-pronounced "yeshiva" it hurts my eyes to read it and my ears to imagine the sound! So much for good research...

Rating: A-

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ah well...

Well, as you might see the reviews have beena bit shorter lately. I'm just way behind on reviews and other things for my blog, so I'd like to catch up a bit before the new semester begins.
Also, it seems I'm ill with the flu, so I can't concentrate too well right now. I hope to feel better soon, though, so that I can get back to normal.

Also a short info: I have a few wonderful meme's waiting.

Murder Uncorked

Number: 100
Title: Murder Uncorked
Author: Michele Scott
Started: September 17, 2007
Finished: September 20, 2007
Pages: 220
Genre: mystery
ISBN: 0-425-20684-X

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: I got this book along with a few others from two wonderful women. Thanks, girls!

First Sentence: Nikki Sands hated her job almost as much as she hated her past.

Cover Blurb: Nikki has just set foot on Napa Valley's rich soil when she realizes her new job may not be as safe as she thought. First off, Derek Malveaux is dosconcertingly sexy. Second, his top winemaker is dead in the bushes outside Nikki's cottage. It doesn't take a connoisseur of foul play to know something's taken a terrible turn...

Reason For Reading: In a way for the Cozy Mystery Month, but also because it sounded like a fun read.

Comments: I'm everything but a wine connoisseur. Actually, I tried wine once and decided it's not for me. I love my various tea blends :)
But nonetheless, I just had to try this mystery. And it was a great decision because it is an awesome first in series.

Favorite Part: Oh so many! LOL

Rating: B+

Trick Or Treat Murder

Number: 97
Title: Trick Or Treat Murder
Author: Leslie Meier
Started: September 03, 2007
Finished: September 14, 2007
Pages: 245
Genre: mystery
ISBN: 1-57566-219-1

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: I got this book along with a few others from two wonderful women. Thanks, girls!

First Sentence: "I could just kill him."

Cover Blurb: It's October in Maine, and everyone in Tinker's Cove is preparing for the annual Halloween festival. While Lucy Stone is whipping up orange-frosted cupcakes, recycling tutus for her daughters' Halloween costumes, helping her son with his pre-teen rebellion, and breast-feeding her brand-new baby, an arsonist is loose in Tinker's Cove. When the latest claims the life of the owner of the town's oldest house, arson turns into murder.
While the townsfolk work to transform a dilappidated mansion into a haunted house for the All-Ghouls festival, the hunt for the culprit heats up Trick-or-treat turns deadly as a little digging in all the wrong places puts Lucy too close to a shocking discovery that could send all her best-laid plans up in smoke...

Reason For Reading: Just for the fun of it, a little for the Cozy Mystery Month and also to get out of a slump.

Comments: This was my first Lucy Stone mystery and I heard a lot about the books way ahead. I heard about Lucy, Bill, Toby and the girls. About their antics and their relationship(s), about how they are and what they will be doing. And now I'm finally part of the story, I read about them and I will read about them in the future.
I was a bit reluctant to read it as I heard quite a bit about Bill and his at times weird to rude behaviour. When I finally got to the book, though, I was glad because it is written in a wonderful way and I am already excited to read another of the Lúcy Stone mysteries!

Miscellaneous: I already have the first in series on my shelves. This was the third in series.

Rating: A-

Tears Of The Moon

Number: 99
Title: Tears Of The Moon
Author: Nora Roberts
Started: September 14, 2007
Finished: September 17, 2007
Pages: 413
Genre: romance

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: From , a German swap page

First Sentence: [translated by: me] Ireland is a land of poets and legends, of dreamers and rebels.

Cover Blurb: [translated by: me] Daydreams seem to be enough for the musically high talented Shawn Gallagher besides his job in the family-owned pub. Neither Brenna O'Toole, his best friend, nor his siblings Aidan and Darcy can understand why he doesn't make something out of his talent. But his longings are in another world full of music, myths and magic - until the love of a bubbly red-haired curly head sneaks into his heart, secretly and completely unexpected...

Reason For Reading: It was what I needed to get out of a slump.

Comments: To be honest, I'm a bit afraid I might spoil the story line of the Gallagher trilogy for someone who reads this without having read the books. So I will refrain from my own thoughts other than:
It was a great book, though I enjoyed the first better. Also, it was fun to see the dynamics between the sisters and the visitors in the pub again!

Favorite Part: When Darcy catches them kissing!

Miscellaneous: I want to go to Ireland!!!

Rating: B+

Friday, September 7, 2007

The case Madeleine

Well, I haven't posted anything at all about this case even though I followed it as close as I could. The reason for my not posting was, that I had a then uncommon thought about the whole situation, but chose to leave it alone. I had discussed it with some people I know, but that was different.

But finally, my thought from all the weeks ago is officially a possibility.

Madeleine's parents, Gerry & Kate McCann, are now officially suspects in the disappearance of their 4-year old daughter. I had been suspicious weeks ago already, because they kept meeting important people to get more press coverage. It was too public.

I hope that they'll at least find the poor girl so that she can rest in peace, so that other family members have a place to go to...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Series Challenge

I hope I now understood how Mr Linky works, so if those of you who mentioned that they want to join in could please add your name (and the link your blog/website) to Mr Linky (if it appears, that is ;) ), it would be great! That way we'd have a complete list of all participants and it would probably be easier to check out your posts and your progress.

The original three post for the Series Challenge can be found here, here and here.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Trouble With Valentine's Day

Number: 96
Title: The Trouble With Valentine's Day
Author: Rachel Gibson
Started: September 2, 2007
Finished: September 2, 2007
Pages: 350
Genre: romance
ISBN: 3-442-46218-6

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: It's one of Mom's.

First Sentence: [translate by: me] Valentine's Day sucked.

Cover Blurb: [translated by: me] Kate Hamilton has problems with men: First her long-time boyfriend Manny rejects her proposal, and when she tries to seduce the charming Rob in a bar, he flees from her head over heels. Desperate from so much failure, Kate retreats to a small town in the mountains of Idaho, where her Grandfather lives. But even there she doesn't find tranquility, because her Grandfather's new neighbor is Rob...

Reason For Reading: I needed a fast, fun read, and so far Rachel Gibson always gave me just that!

Rating: B+

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Number: 95
Title: Steamed
Author: Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Conant
Started: August 28, 2007
Finished: August 31, 2007
Pages: 287
Genre: mystery
ISBN: 0-425-21038-3

Language: English

Where The Book Came From:

First Sentence: Om Saturday morning I woke up at eight, poured a nasty cup of coffee that had automatically brewed itself at 5:00 a.m. instead of the programmed time of 8:00 a.m., and plopped myself at my kitchen table to do some early mourning people watching out the window.

Cover Blurb: Chloe Carter, food connoisseur and resilient survivor of failed romances, is forever on a quest for the perfect meal and the perfect man. Getting both in one shot is irresistible. That's why Chloe (aka GourmetGirl) accepts a date with DinnerDude online. Too bad her fellow food lover is just another cheap, pompous, well-fed bore. But there must be an easier way to run out on a tab than being stabbed to death in the men's room.

Talk about a rocky love life. Chloe's first date of the week is murdered - and her second is a sweet chef who'd be ideal if he wasn't the prime suspect. As the investigatioon plunges the amateur sleuth into the gourmet restaurant scene, she discovers a cutthroat world rife with killer competition, stormy love affairs, and a recipe for Baby Bok Choy Slaw that's to die for...

Rating: A-

The Jasmine Moon Murder

Number: 91
Title: The Jasmine Moon Murder
Author: Laura Childs
Started: August 18, 2007
Finished: August 22, 2007
Pages: 245
Genre: mystery
ISBN: 0-425-19986-X

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: It was on Mt. TBR.

First Sentence: Theodosia Browning rested her steaming cup of tea atop a marble gravestone and gazed tát the ghostly tableau unfolding before her.

Cover Blurb: Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning and her staff are catering an unusual Charleston society benefit - a "Ghost Crawl" through the spooky grounds of the historic Jasmine Cemetery. Sadly, the doctor who thought up the event doesn't live to enjoy his own work. He drops dead during the Crawl, and it looks like foul play - but how could such a fine, upstanding sitizen have any mortal enemies? Theodosia starts stirring things up with her own investigation to find the do-badder behind this most uncharitable act. But before long, chasing down the culprit gets her in hot water up to her neck...

Rating: A-

New Orleans Mourning

Number: 94
Title: New Orleans Mourning
Author: Julie Smith
Started: July 17, 2007
Finished: August 30, 2007
Time: 13 hours and 39 minutes
Genre: mystery

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: I got this one from

Cover Blurb: [from] This Edgar Award-winning work offers a revealing glimpse into the hidden world of New Orleans high society and an intricately plotted murder mystery. The novel introduces rookie cop Skip Langdon, as she investigates a seamy Mardi Gras murder.

Everyone in town is shocked when Chauncey St. Amant, a prominent citizen and this year's King of Carnival, is killed on his parade float by a shooter in a Dolly Parton get-up. Skip Langdon is assigned the case because of her own upper-crust background. Skip's investigation takes her deep into the Garden District to dig up the St. Amant family skeletons and a dangerous ancient secret.

Reason For Reading: I wanted to try something completely new, something I hadn't heard anything about, so I picked this one. It sounded interesting, but I didn't remember anyone mentioning it.

Comments: My feelings about this book are ambivalent. When I first started listening to it, it was okay, then it got great. While I was on vacation, I made a break listening to it and once I was back, it felt bad. And when I had gotten back into the story it was great again - before it turned confusing!
I'm not sure whether I will read another of Smith's mysteries yet, but it is still possible. At first, though, I have to try to figure out what this book really was like. It's been a while since I felt so confused by a book!

Rating: B


Number: 75
Title: Relic
Author: Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Started: July 2, 2007
Finished: July 15, 2007
Time: 17 hours and 3 minutes
Genre: mystery/thriller/sci-fi

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: I got it from

Cover Blurb: [from, translated by me] In the Museum of Natural History in New York, two horribly battered bodies are found. Since they are close to the opening of a new exhibition, the head of the museum doesn't want to make a big fuss about the two dead, but then, more bodies are found, accompanied by a weird stench...

Reason For Reading: I wanted to listen to something in German because during a course at university, where I had to translate English texts into German, I realized I had forgotten quite a few words *blush*

Comments: This was "a wild ride"! LOL At least you could call it that. It had everything I was looking for at that time and I'm still impressed with the storyline and the research that must be behind this work!

Rating: A-

Web Of Evil

Number: 62
Title: Web Of Evil
Author: J.A. Jance
Started: ???
Finished: July 1, 2007
Time: 10 hours and 30 minutes
Genre: mystery

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: I got it from

Cover Blurb: [from] The highway from Los Angeles to the Palm Springs desert is parched, unforgiving, and deadly. In the suffocating stillness of a car trunk, a man, his mouth and hands bound with duct tape, awaits his fate. What possible enemy could be bitter enough to commit such a heinous crime? And when will the monster make another move?

Ali Reynolds is traveling that same blistering, lonesome highway, looking forward to putting her past behind her. But her cheating husband is in a hurry for a divorce, and the television network that wrongfully dismissed her for the sole sin of being over 40 will face her in court as well.

As she passes the site of a horrifying accident, Ali is grateful that it's no longer her job to report the news, until she finds out that the news is her own: the victim is Ali's cheating husband. And soon she'll find herself the prime suspect at the center of a terrifying web of evil.

A twisted and lethal drama of heart-pounding suspense, Web of Evil asks the question: If hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, just what punishment could that fury unleash?

Reason For Reading: I heard a few remarks about J.A. Jance in one of my online reading groups and had to see for myself how good she writes!

Comments: This was the second in series, so I was a bit off at first. I didn't know the characters, so it took a bit to get to know them, but I just loved Ali's blog entries, so I read on. This book was filled with suspense and I already have a second of Jance's books on my iPod - but not with Ali, this time with JP Beaumont (I chose A Long Time Gone).
If you haven't tried this series now: Do it! I can really enjoy it!

Rating: A-

reading challenges

To make it easier I decided to create one post for all my challenge reads. Here you will find all the books I intend to read for my various challenges.

2007 TBR Challenge
one book/month throughout the year
Nancy Atherton - Aunt Dimity Digs In
Stephanie Barron - Jane And The Unpleasantness At Scargrave Manor
(review here, finished Apr 07)
Enid Blyton - Malory Towers omnibus 5
(finished Mar 07)
Ann Brashares - The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants
Harlan Coben - Drop Shot
Janet Evanovich - Seven Up
Theodor Fontane - Frau Jenny Treibel
Nancy Peske & Beverly West - Cinematherapy For Lovers
J.D. Robb - Naked In Death
(review here, finished Mar 07)
Julia Spencer-Fleming - In The Bleak Midwinter
Susan Sussman & Sarajane Avidon - Audition For Murder
(review here, finished Jan 07)
P.J. Tracy - Dead Run

additionals for the 2007 TBR Challenge
Catherine Alliot - The Old-Girl Network
Jane Austen - Mansfield Park
Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights
Bill Bryson - In A Sunburned Country
Bill Bryson - The Lost Continent
Tom Clancy - Without Remorse
Hillary Rodham Clinton - Living History
Jeffery Deaver - Speaking In Tongues
Nancy Fairbanks - Death A L'Orange
Sue Grafton - C Is For Corpse
John Grisham - The Brethren
John Grisham - The Testament
Robert Ludlum - The Bourne Identity
James Patterson - 1st To Die
Cameron West - First Person Plural: My Life As A Multiple

RBL Summer Mystery Reading Challenge
6 mysteries between June 1 and August 31
Elizabeth Peters - Crocodile On A Sandbank
(review here, finished June 07)
Kathy Reichs - Déjà Dead
(review here, finished August 07)
J.A. Jance - Web Of Evil
(review here, finished July 07)
Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain - Gin & Daggers
(review here, finished August 07)
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child - Relic
(review here, finished July 07)
Julie Smith - New Orleans Mourning
(review here, finished August 07)

Medical Mystery Challenge
2+ medical mysteries between June 1 and November 1
Eileen Dreyer - With A Vengeance
Tess Gerritsen - The Apprentice
Kathy Reichs - Déjà Dead
(review here, finished August 07)

Classics Challenge
3-5 classics between July 1 and November 30
Honoré de Balzac - The Girl With The Golden Eyes
(review here, finished July 07)
Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights
Theodor Fontane - Frau Jenny Treibel

alternates for Classics Challenge
Jane Austen - Mansfield Park
Paul Auster - Moon Palace
Victor Hugo - Les Misérables

Something About Me challenge
5 books between August 1 and November 30
Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights
Sophie Kinsella - The Undomestic Goddess
Audrey Niffenegger - The Time Traveler’s Wife
Stephenie Meyer - Twilight
Josh Grogan - Marley and Me

alternates for Something About Me Challenge
Bill Bryson - A Short History Of Nearly Everything
Jonathan Stroud - The Amulet of Samarkand
Anne Frank - Diary Of A Young Girl

Cozy Mystery Month challenge - possibles
September 2007
Nancy Atherton - Aunt Dimity's Christmas
Nancy Atherton - Aunt Dimity Beats The Devil
Rhys Bowen - Death Of Riley
Lilian Jackson Braun - The Cat Who Could Read Backwards
Rita Mae Brown - Wish You Were Here
Jill Churchill - In The Still Of The Night
Shirley Damsgaard - Charmed To Death
Eileen Dreyer - With A Vengeance
Janet Evanovich - Seven Up
Nancy Fairbanks - Death A L'Orange
Joanne Fluke - Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
Sue Grafton - C Is For Corpse
Lee Harris - The Valentine's Day Murder
India Ink - A Blush With Death
Anna Maclean - Louisa And The Missing Heiress
Leslie Meier - Mistletoe Murder
Leslie Meier - Trick Or Treat Murder
Tamar Myers - The Ming And I
Emilie Richards - Let There Be Suspects
Madeleine E. Robins - Point Of Honor
Michele Scott - Murder Uncorked
David Skibbins - Eight Of Swords
Julia Spencer-Fleming - In The Bleak Midwinter
Victoria Thompson - Murder On Astor Place
P.J. Tracy - Dead Run
Peter Tremayne - Absolution by Murder

Déjà Dead

Number: 90
Title: Déjà Dead
Author: Kathy Reichs
Started: August 9, 2007
Finished: August 17, 2007
Pages/Time: 532
Genre: forensic mystery
ISBN: 0-671-01136-7

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: From the ever-growing Mt. TBR.

First Sentence: I easn't thinking about the man ho'd blown himself up.

Cover Blurb: Her life is devoted to justice - for those she never even knew.
In the year since Temperance Brennan left behind a shaky marriage in North Carolina, work has often preempted her weekend plans to explore Quebec. When a female corpse is discovered meticulously dismembered and stashed in trash bags, Temoe detects an alarming pattern - and she plunges into a harrowing search for a killer. But her investigation is about to place those closest to her - her best friend and her own daughter - in mortal danger...

Reason For Reading: I loved the TV series Bones and heard so much about the books I just had to read the first one - and it also fitted in with the medical mystery challenge and the RBL Summer Mystery Challenge, which helped me speed up on reading it.

Comments: It has been a while since I read this book, but I'll try to get a good summary up. I found all the terms about forensic pathology really hard to understand at first, which distracted at me during the first few chapters and made it hard for me to concentrate in the story for more than an hour. But once I had gotten into the story it was flowing along just fine.
It sure is more hard-boiled that the other mysteries I read these past few months, but it was still comfortable to read. It was not overly bloody and Reichs used the "gory details" only in places where it made sense and added to the story line.
Of course, it was quite a difference after watching the TV show, especially because Tempe "all of a sudden" has a daughter and an ex-husband. It changes her character quite a bit in my opinion, but not necessarily to the bad...

Miscellaneous: There are quite a few differences between the TV show and the books, but I think both are good in their own ways! I'll sure enjoy both the next season of Bones and the next books with Tempe :)

Rating: B+

Friday, August 31, 2007

Gin & Daggers

Number: 88
Title: Gin & Daggers
Author: Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain
Started: August 04, 2007
Finished: August 09, 2007
Pages: 255
Genre: mystery
ISBN: 0-451-19998-7

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: It was on my bookshelf.

First Sentence: "Care to take a closer look, Mrs. Fletcher?"

Cover Blurb: Jessica Fletcher is off to London to deliver the keynote address at a convention for the International Society of Mystery Writers. She's also looking forward to seeing her mentor, Marjorie Ainsworth, who's hosting a party on her estate to celebrate her latest book. But a routine business trip becomes murderous business - when Jessica discovers Marjorie stabbed to death in her own bedroom.

Gossip about Marjorie's failing health and an unknown ghostwriter takes on more serious meaning now that everyone - including Jessica - is a suspect. Inspector George Sutherland of Scotland Yard is eager to help with the investigation for reasons that go a bit beyond the professional. And Jessica's sleuthing introduces her to a whole new side of London, populated with some very colorful - and sinister - characters.

Reason For Reading: I absolutely love the TV series and try to watch it whenever I have the chance, so of course I couldn't hold off much longer reading the books as well :-)

Comments: Oh wow! This is the first in series and I can't believe I held off reading it so long! I might just chose this series as one for my series challenge, though it's a long series and I doubt I can finish it within the 6 months I chose for the challenge.

I missed watching the show as it hasn't been aired in a while, but it seems those books are a wonderful way to re-connect with my beloved characters from Cabot Cove!

Oh, There is one thing I realized while reading and writing this review - while I got it as a mass market paperback I don't even have any traces that the book has been read. Appears I got lucky ;-)

Favorite Part: When Seth and Sheriff Metzger come to "rescue" Jessica. They're such good friends, I would've wondered if they hadn't appeared...

Miscellaneous: It's one of those first the TV show, then the books series, and it seems the author(s) did a wonderful job. I read a few book-after-movie/TV show books and usually it's rather disappointing.

Rating: A-

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back from the vacation

I'm back from my vacation. I spent two weeks away from everything, but read only 2 books:
Kathy Reichs: Déjà Dead
Laura Childs: The Jasmine Moon Murder
But I had a wonderful time and in the end, that's what counts!

I will post a few reviews over the next couple days, but I'm still swamped with unread mail, so it'll be a while until everything's back to normal ;)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

On vacation

I'll be on a vacation now. I'll take quite a few books with me. Probably way more than I can read, but anyways...

Since I'll be offline, I won't be able to approve new comments, so please bear with me. Also, once I'm back I'll have quite a few new reviews for you!

The books I'll take are:

Kathy Reichs: Déjà Dead
Margaret Atwood: Cat's Eye
Theodor Fontane: Frau Jenny Treibel
Stephanie Barron: Jane and the Man Of Cloth
Robert Fate: Baby Shark
Carolyn Haines: Crossed Bones
Laura Childs: The Jasmine Moon Murder
Susan Conant & Jessica Conant-Park: Steamed
Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights
a Harlan Coben (I forgot the title, it's the one where this guy made a mistake and 20 years late, life changed and everything, he becomes suspect in a murder)
a Stephen Booth (first in series, I think, if I'm right it should be Black Dog - have this one in German and am not sure about the English title, only know the German one)

See you all once I'm back - and if you have a comment on the books I'll take along, feel free to post. I'll update ASAP!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Undead and Unemployed

Number: 89
Title: Undead and Unemployed
Author: MaryJanice Davidson
Started: August 09, 2007
Finished: August 10, 2007
Pages: 272
Genre: paranormal romance with some mystery added
ISBN: 0-425-19748-4

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: It was on my bookshelf for quite a while

First Sentence:
Police Interview of Robert Harris.
June 30, 2004
55121 @02:32:55-03:45:32 A.M.
Filed by Detective Nicholas J. Berry
Fourth Precinct, Minneapolis, Minnesota

After being treated at the scene, Mr. Harris denied the offer of hospital care, and consented to accompany the responding officers, Whritnour and Watkins, to the precinct for an interview.

Cover Blurb: Nothing can make Betsy Taylor give up her shoe fetish - even dying and rising as the new Queen of the Vampires. Being royally undead isn't all it's cracked up to be - there are still bills to be paid. And Betsy is determined to live as normally as possible, even if it means getting a job. A "feet" she accomplishes with panache, landing her dream job selling designer shoes at Macy's.

Things couldn't be better - except for her new friends, who keep pestering her while she's on the clock. As if she has time to socialize when there are deliciously sinful shoes to try on - and buy at a discount. It seems that vampires are being murdered in St. Paul, and they're all clamoring for Betsy to do something about it. The worst part is she's going to have to enlist the help of the one vamp who makes her blood boil: the oh-so-sexy Sinclair. Now, she's really reading on dangerous ground - high heels and all...

Reason For Reading: I just was longing for another of Betsy's adventures - and it seems I read the first (and only previous) exactly a year ago in August 2006 *g*

Comments: Hilarious! Simply hilarious, and nothing helps against it. I read this book during various commutes/short trips for a few shopping sprees and it was just great! I had troubles putting it down even though I usually got to a new chapter short before we arrived - but then I started the next chapter not paying attention and had to stop two pages into the new chapter - horror!

I don't think it'll take another year before I read the third book about Betsy's adventures. It has good chances to be included in the series challenge starting in December. It's a fun series and I stand wonderful chances to read the entire series till the end of the challenge.

With this series, I immediately feel back at home, so to say. I pick up the book, open it, and all the characters are back in my mind. I know who they are, where to place them and how they're related, despite the long time since I last read the book. The author simply created love-able characters and it's always fun to meet them.

Favorite Part: Probably all the annoyance Betsy felt when it came to Sinclair. You get it if you know the books!

Rating: A

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Princess Diaries: Seventh Heaven

Number: 87
Title: The Princess Diaries: Seventh Heaven
Author: Meg Cabot
Started: August 2, 2007
Finished: August 3, 2007
Genre: YA
ISBN: 0-330-44155-1

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: It was on my Mt TBR (now 148 books high).

First Sentence: Dear Dr Cark Jung, I realize that you will never read this letter, primarily because you are dead.

Cover Blurb: Sexy dancing? Lilly thought I was sexy dancing! With J.P.! In front of Michael!

Poor Mia. Not only has she made a total ass of herself with J.P. (aka the Guy Who Hates It When They Put Corn In The Chilli), trying to prove she's a super chilled party girl, she's also bankrupted the student council. Way to go, Princess!

Just as Mias scared that she's lost Michael and a ton of money, Grandmere steps in with a fund raising plan. She's going to stage a musical in front of the world's hottest celebs - and the star will be none other than Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldy Thermopolis Renaldo!

Reason For Reading: I had rather unexpectedly finished the book I brought home with me from my parents' for the night/the next day, so I picked this one up.

Favorite Part: That's a hard one, but I think the most hilarious part was when Mia was fussing about Michael's party and when she was at the party later on...

Miscellaneous: I want more!!! I think I'm going to re-read the series so that I can get the half-books in between.

Rating: B+

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Blush With Death

Number: 86
Title: A Blush With Death
Author: India Ink
Started: July 27, 2007
Finished: August 1, 2007
Pages: 272
Genre: mystery
ISBN: 0-425-20966-0

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: It was on Mt TBR for quite a while.

First Sentence: My name is Persia Vanderbilt, and I bill myself as a sensory specialist.

Cover Blurb: In Gull Harbor, Washington, the local bath and body store - Venus Envy - takes care of all the town's beauty needs, from custom-blended oils to relaxing spa services. And behind the counter sits Persia Vanderbilt, the niece of the proprietor, who has a nose for mixing scents - and a mind for solving murder...

There's only one #1...

There's a new makeover maven in town, and she spells big trouble for everyone at Venus Envy. Bebe Wilcox has just unveiled her own boutique, and she won't stop until her shop has put everyone else out of business. Nothing is out of bounds, from stealing fragrance recipes to computer hacking and sabotaging supplies. But when one of Bebe's pushy saleswomen ends up dead, the stakes become much more dangerous. Staging a public falling out with her Auntie, Persia gets hired at Bebe's Boutique and begins snooping for evidence of wrongdoing. But can she find the goods before the killer decides to find her?

Reason For Reading: It was a buddy read that we arranged for because some of us couldn't participate the first time around.

Comments: While I just didn't get into the book when I first started to read it maybe half a year ago, I this time enjoyed it a lot. I assume it was just the wrong timing back then - and I already ordered the third, Glossed and Found.

I enjoyed to see how Auntie Florence and Persia went on with the plotting and how they reacted in different situations. The interesting part about the book was the character development, compared to the first in series, Scent to her Grave. The reader got a much deeper insight into Aunt Florence's and Persia's past. On top of that q few really interesting new characters have been introduced in this installment and hopes are high they will return in the future.

Miscellaneous: As soon as I was back at my computer with an internet connection, I ordered the next in the series and I can't wait to read it. Actually, I intend to take it with me on my vacation in about 10 days :-D

Rating: B+

Monday, July 30, 2007

Something About Me Challenge - my reads

After a looong time to decide I finally made up my mind which books I'd like to read for the Something About Me Challenge. I made a list of all the books that would probably fall into what I can actually finish and so I came up with a looong list. Then I separated this list into books I already read and books I intend to read. But enough with the talking, here's my list - or my lists:

Those are the books I intend to read for the challenge - along with some alternates:
Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights (Trish, Suey)
Sophie Kinsella: The Undomestic Goddess (Margo)
Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler’s Wife (Dewey)
Stephenie Meyer: Twilight (Suey)
John Grogan: Marley And Me (Lynne)

Bill Bryson: A Short History Of Nearly Everything (Raidergirl3)
Jonathan Stroud: The Amulet Of Samarkand (Suey)
Anne Frank: Diary Of A Young Girl (Pattie)

Those are the books I intend to read one day:
Orson Scott Card: Ender’s Game (Karlene, Becky)
Madeline L’Engle: A Wrinkle In Time (Juli)
Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway (Trish)
Louisa Mae Alcott: Little Women (Alyson, Lucca)
Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales (Faith)
Truman Capote: Breakfast At Tiffany’s (Lucca)
Cornelia Funke: Ink Heart (SheReads)
Anita Diamant: The Red Tent (Sarah Miller)
Eve Ensler: The Vagina Monologues (Soleil)
Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Crime And Punishment (JMC)
V.C. Andrews: Flowers In The Attic (Margo)
Jane Austen: Pride And Prejudice (Bookworm, Pattie)
William Shakespeare: Twelfth Night (Ellen)
Chaim Potok: My Name Is Asher Lev (Heather)
John Dunning: Booked To Die (Bonnie)

And those are the books I already read:
John Grisham: Runaway Jury (Historia)
Jodi Picoult: My Sister’s Keeper (Trish)
Helen Fielding: Bridget Jones’ Diary (Trish, Tiny Librarian)
Jasper Fforde: The Eyre Affair (Valentina, Heidijane)
Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird (Janet, Stephanie)
Lois Lowry: The Giver (Sarah Miller)
Alice Sebold: The Lovely Bones (Chasida)
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Bookworm)
Lorna Landvik: Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons (Tiny Librarian)
Earlene Fowler: Fool’s Puzzle (Nattie)
Kim Edwards: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (3M)
Enid Blyton: The Naughtiest Girl In School (Sally)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

What's A Ghoul To Do?

Number: 85
Title: What's A Ghoul To Do?
Author: Victoria Laurie
Started: July 19, 2007
Finished: July 26, 2007
Pages: 281
Genre: paranormal mystery
ISBN: 0-451-22090-5

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: Sat on my bookshelf since it was released.

First Sentence:"Good morning, Miss Holliday," the real estate agent cheerfully greeted me outside 84 Dartmouth Street.

Cover Blurb: M.J. Holliday's a medim with a message - her business is helping lost souls cross over to the other side. But what if the ghosts want to stay put?

M.J. Holliday has two rules. One, she and her partner, Gilley Gillespie, work alone; and two, she doesn't date clients. But when handsome Dr. Steven Sable needs her help, the specter-spotting sleuth is ready to break both of her rules.

Is seems the hot doc's grandfather jumped from the roof of the family lodge in an apparent suicide. But Dr. Sable knows in his bones it was foul play, and strange things keep happening at the lodge. He'll hire M.J. and Gilley- but only if he can come along. Hey, the duo needs the money - and looking at eye candy all weekend doesn't sound too bad either...

But once they reach the lodge, the three realize they're dealing with more ghosts than just Granpa Sable's. And the spooks keep playing nasty tricks on their human visitors. To the untrained eye, it would appear that ghouls just want to have fun. But M.J. knows they're communicating their distress - and it's up to her to figure out why...

Reason For Reading: I read her other series and enjoy it a lot!

Favorite Part: When Gilley broke a bone and Dr. Sable and M.J. kept making fun about it - it was hilarious, after all!

Rating: A-

Friday, July 20, 2007

classics challenge - the reviews

So, the classics challenge has been going since about 3 weeks already and a few books have been read, so I think now is a good time to post a list with the links to the reviews!

Jane Austen: Sense And Sensibility (Alyson - Bibliophiles Anonymous)
Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey (Laura - Musings)
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound Of The Baskervilles (Literary Feline)
Louisa Mae Alcott: Little Women (Trish - Trish's Reading Nook)
Baroness Emmuska Orczy: The Scarlet Pimpernel (Trish - Trish's Reading Nook)
Jane Austen: Persuasion (Literary Feline)
Zora Neale Houston: Their Eyes Were Watching God (Laura - Musings)
Oscar Wilde: The Picture Of Dorian Grey (Literary Feline)
John Steinbeck: East Of Eden (Laura - Musings)
Mary Shelley: Frankenstein (Trish - Trish's Reading Nook)
Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre (raidergirl3)
Oscar Wilde: The Picture Of Dorian Grey (raidergirl3)
Willa Cather: O Pioneers! (raidergirl3)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound Of The Baskervilles (raidergirl3)
Elizabeth Gaskell: North and South (Laura - Musings)
Daphne du Maurier: Don't Look Now pussreboots
Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre pussreboots
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra: Don Qixote (Rhinoa - Rhinoa's Ramblings)
Gilgamesh (Rhinoa - Rhinoa's Ramblings)
Homer: The Iliad (Rhinoa - Rhinoa's Ramblings)
Homer: Odyssey (Rhinoa - Rhinoa's Ramblings)
Edgar Allen Poe: The Complete Tales And Poems (Rhinoa - Rhinoa's Ramblings)
Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol pussreboots
Kurt Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse Five pussreboots
Robert Louis Stevenson: The Ebb-Tide pussreboots

Literary Feline's wrap up
raidergirl3's wrap up

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The English Breakfast Murder

Number: 80
Title: The English Breakfast Murder
Author: Laura Childs
Started: July 15, 2007
Finished: July 19, 2007
Pages: 265
Genre: mystery
ISBN: 0-425-19129-X

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: From my bookshelf.

First Sentence: Stars twinkled in the indigosky as dusk settledover South Carolina's Halliehurst Beach like a blanket of spun silk.

Cover Blurb: Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is about to embark on her first turtle crawl - and her latest murder investigation...

It is a truly exhilarating experience for Theo - helping Charleston's Sea Turtle Protection League shepherd hundreds of tiny green loggerheads safely into the sea. But just as she's about to celebrate all her hard work with some hearty Lung CHing tea and spicy gumbo, she spots a dead body bobbing in the waves. It turns out to be local art dealer Harper Fisk - a man with an eye for fine antiques. Could his death have anything to do with the sunken treasure and gold bullion rumored to be somewhere near Halliehurst Beach? Deep in her heart, Theo knows that murder is indeed brewing in Charleston - and it's up to her to get to the bottom of it before the culprit's greed stirs him to kill again...

Reason For Reading: It was a buddy read for ARM and I just love this series!

Favorite Part: "[...] It's fun coming to someone's rescue. Especially at my age."
"Why, Miss Dimple," said Theodosia, quickly appropriating the teapot. "You're barely middle aged."
"Only if I plan to live to be a hundred and fourty," she quipped back.

Miscellaneous: While reading the first two pages, I felt again the urge to finally get a pet - and a turtle at that! We never had real animals, "only" ducks, hens and some rabbits. Now I've been thinking about getting a turtle or two (are they better in pairs or alone?) again, after about five years...

Rating: B+

Monday, July 16, 2007

Book meme

Found this one over at Rebecca's.

1. Total Number of Books I Own: Uh, way in the higher hundreds...

2. Last Book I Bought: Claudia Bishop - The Case Of The Roasted Onion; Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Conant - Steamed; Livia J. Washburn - A Peach Of A Murder (one order)

3. Last Book I Read: Susan Kearney - Enslaved

4. Five Books that Mean a Lot to Me: more than 5, I could never limit it!

5. Tag five people: If you're reading this, you are tagged! :)

6. Now reading: more than one book ;)

One Word Meme

Borrowed from Bookfool at Bookfoolery & Babble.

1. Where is your mobile phone? bed

2. Relationship? want

3. Your hair? good

4. Work? Sorry?

5. Your sister(s)? non-existent

6. Your favorite thing? books

7. Your dream last night? Huh?

8. Your favorite drink? tea

9. Your dream car? Audi

10. The room you're in? bed

11. Your shoes? black

12. Your fears? plenty

13. What do you want to be in 10 years? mother

14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? family

15. What are you not good at? pleny

16. Muffin? yummy

17. Wish list item? books

18. Where you grew up? Seckmauern

19. The last thing you did? read

20. What are you wearing? blogs

21. What are you not wearing? shoes

22. Your pet? rabbits

23. Your computer? functional

24. Your life? messy

25. Your mood? grumpy

26. Missing? excitement

27. What are you thinking about? relationships

28. Your car? non-existent

29. Your kitchen? bah

30. Your summer? mixed

31. Your favorite color? blue

32. Last time you laughed? today

33. Last time you cried? dunno

34. School? boooring

35. Love? Sorry?

My HP personality

Thanks to Rebecca from Fond of Books who had this on her blog:

Find out your Harry Potter personality at LiquidGeneration!

Be prepared to have a HP crazy blogger here for the next days. I can't wait for Saturday and I'm already driving everyone around me crazy with it ;)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Girl With The Golden Eyes

Number: 71
Title: The Girl With The Golden Eyes
Author: Honoré de Balzac
Started: July 12, 2007
Finished: July 12, 2007
Pages: 95
Genre: classic short story

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: From my bookshelf.

First Sentence:

Cover Blurb: [from - my copy didn't have cover blurb] The story follows the decadent heir Henri de Marsay, who becomes enamored of the titular beauty, Paquita Valdes, and plots to seduce her. Though he succeeds, he becomes disillusioned when he discovers she is also involved with another lover, and plots to murder her. When he arrives to kill her, he discovers she's already dead by the hand of her lover - his half-sister. She declares that Paquita came from a land where women are no more than chattels, able to be bought and used in any way. In the last lines of the story, de Marsay idly tells a friend that the girl has died of consumption.

Reason For Reading: It was originally for a class which I dropped, and for the classics challenge

Comments: Ugh! I read this one today within about 2-3 hours and it was sooo boring! I'm not sure whether it was Balzac's writing or Henry de Marsay whose evil plot against Paquita was just too much. She's a beautiful girl, she is intelligent as far as women had a chance to be intelligent back in the 1800s. So why should I feel with him for being a fool who wants her as his lover but nothing more? It would ruin the bit of reputation she has left aside from being from a country where women don't count much.

Miscellaneous: I would have dropped the book at page 2 if it hadn't been a challenge read!

Rating: D

A Good Man Walks In

Number: 70
Title: A Good Man Walks In
Author: Ginna Gray
Started: July 12, 2007
Finished: July 12, 2007
Pages: 192
Genre: romantic mystery

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: From my bookshelf.

First Sentence: [translated by: me] Tom abruptly woke up.

Cover Blurb: [translated by: me] Alone in a romantic beach house in the Carrbieans with Tom McCall, whom she was raving about in her youth! But there's little time for passionate nights for Rebecca with the attractive FBI agent. She is on the run from her unpredictable dangerous ex-husband. And when she tracks her down, she also doesn't seem to be safe in Tom's arms...

Reason For Reading: I needed some fluff for bed-time and to disctract me from the upcoming examsn.

Comments: Well, the cover blurb is rather - umm - inaccurate? I mean, they are alone on small Carribean island - but passionate nights? Not so much, at least at first, and later to a certain degree only. And she's not safe in Tom's arms? You don't send a guy away who could take care of your aggressive ex just because the ex wants you to do this. If you do, you have to know that it's sort of a risk! Even if you want to show him you can stick up for yourself and don't need anyone, Tom could at least have stuck around!
I mean, it was such a typical TDTL situation.

Otherwise I really enjoyed Gray's characters and the setting, so the TDTL didn't rate it down any further.

Miscellaneous: The description of Tom (pirate-like - short hair on the sides and upfront, longer hair in the back, long dagger as an earring, unshaven etc.) made me laugh out loud as it is so not the typical appearance in a romance-like book!

Rating: B+

The Bare Facts

Number: 69
Title: The Bare Facts
Author: Karen Anders
Started: July 11, 2007
Finished: July 12, 2007
Pages: 255
Genre: romance

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: From my bookshelf.

First Sentence: [translated by: me] Listen, Haley.

Cover Blurb: [translated by: me] Hot erotic fantasies are topic of Haley's first column. Fantasies she has, but due to a lack of a partner, she can't live and therefore can't describe in an exciting way. Then she remembers Dylan Malone, her only One-Night-Stand - with enough champagne to be uninhibited. But since the champagne not only quickened her libido, but also befuddled her memory, Dylan has to help out again. And his shock about Haley's brazen request gives way to prickling anticipation...

Reason For Reading: It was lying around and looked old and lonely. I felt sorry for the book.

Comments: I have this feeling I'm only reading this type of books right now - which actually isn't true, because during the day I'm reading some of the heavier stuff. And exams and a paper are coming up. I wished I would see progress with my other books, but other than the audio, there's no real progress to be seen :( I am really looking forward to the last Harry Potter now, as it'll be a last short "vacation" before I have to sit down and concentrate on my paper!

But enough with the whining already. I enjoyed the characters and it was fun to see them deal with their differences, especially when it came to social standing. Back at school we were a mixed class, we had quite a few upper class kids as well as a few lower middle class kids (I'm not sure about the lower class, but I'd assume there were a few as well), so it was interesting to compare.

Rating: B+

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Taste Of Fantasy

Number: 68
Title: A Taste Of Fantasy
Author: Isabel Sharpe
Started: July 9, 2007
Finished: July 10, 2007
Pages: 250
Genre: romance

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: From my bookshelf.

First Sentence: What I can't seem to get my brain to stop obsessing over is: How do you know when love is real?

Cover Blurb: If you've had the ring... And walked down the aisle... But the "I do" turned into "I don't..." Get a Man To Do!

Samantha Tyler is still smarting from her divorce, so happily-ever-after is the last thing on her busy legal mind. But with her libido far from dead, finding a Man To Do - purely to take the edge off - seems like the perfect plan. And sexy Jack Hunter seems like the perfect wrong guy - anyone who photography women as objects for a living must be practically a Neanderthal, right? Exactly the kind of man to give Samantha exciting, mind-blowing sex with none of the risks of a real romance of the heart.

But when she agrees to work with Jack as one of his models, Samantha begins to realize his commitment to his career only hints at the tenderness and passion below the surface. Has she picked herself a Man To Do she'd like to do forever?

Reason For Reading: I needed some fluff to fall asleep.

Comments: Hm, back to "my" language! ;) What wasn't mentioned in the cover blurb was the thriller-aspect of this book. I was taken quite by surprise when I read it, but I won't complain here! It added to the plot in a nice way though it could have been woven in a bit better. But I won't complain about that, cause I enjoyed the characters a lot, it was what I expected and the writing was good!

Rating: B+

Undercover Wife

Number: 67
Title: Undercover Wife
Author: Debra Webb
Started: July 8, 2007
Finished: July 9, 2007
Pages: 199
Genre: thriller / romance

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: From my bookshelf.

First Sentence: [translated by: me] What's so important it couldn't wait till the day after tomorrow?

Cover Blurb: [translated by: me] Dangerous, maybe deadly - but Erin's only chance. Only if she helps the FBI to crack the computer data of drug boss Esteban, the arraignment against her will be dropped. And so she and Agent John Logan infiltra the organization. They play their roll as lovers absolutely perfect. Esteban trusts them - at first...

Reason For Reading: I needed some fluff to fall asleep.

Comments: Ah! I like thrillers - and this one had romance mixed in. So it was perfect for bedtime reading, as it was not only the suspense that usually keeps me up until I'm either done with the book or I've fallen asleep during reading. (Meaning the book stays in bed with me until the next morning.) If you need some reading for that time, or just some light reading for in between, it's certainly a great choice.

Rating: B+

The Frenchman's Bride

Number: 66
Title: The Frenchman's Bride
Author: Rebecca Winters
Started: July 6, 2007
Finished: July 7, 2007
Pages: 156
Genre: romance

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: From my bookshelf.

First Sentence: [translated by: me] Vincent Rolland got out of the shower in his London hotel suite and reached for a towel.

Cover Blurb: [translated by: me] Hallie Linn isn't can't fall in love! Even though fantastic looking millionaire Vincent Rolland fascinates her so much. That she and Vincent are coming dangerously close in his fantastic French Château, which puts her in the biggest moral conflict in her life. After a grave blow of fate she had vowed to go to a cloister forever. But the passionate feelings for Vincent puts her to make a decision that almost breakes her heart...

Reason For Reading: I needed some fluff to fall asleep.

Comments: Ah, I didn't enjoy part of the plot as it was a bit too made up for me, but I just loved the setting, how the chateau and the villages close by were described. Made me want to take a trip to France right away.

Rating: B

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Desert Virgin

Number: 65
Title: The Desert Virgin
Author: Sandra Marton
Started: July 5, 2007
Finished: July 6, 2007
Pages: 156
Genre: romance

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: From my bookshelf.

First Sentence: [translated by: me] Cameron Knight was thirty-two years old, slender, musculous, over 6'3" tall and had green eyes.

Cover Blurb: [translated by: me] Abducted and sold to a harem - the destiny of ballet dancer Leanna seems to be sealed. Until attractive Cameron enters her life. Putting his own life at stake he frees her from the grip of the sultan of Baslaam. During a dramatic flight through the desert, Leanne can withdraw herself from day to day less from the fascinating masculine charisma of her savior, in a magical oasis she finally surrenders to his persuasiveness. But when she admits her love, overjoyed by luck after an intoxicating night, he rejects her ice cold...

Reason For Reading: I needed some fluff to fall asleep

Comments: I just like foreign countries a lot, and as long as money's tight I enjoy travels in my mind even more! With those fluffy novels I get fluff, perfect bedtime literature and travels of the mind!

Favorite Part: The part where Cameron sees Leanna again for the first time after they both have returned home.

Rating: B

Friday, July 6, 2007

Emilia Galotti

Number: 64
Title: Emilia Galotti
Author: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Started: July 2, 2007
Finished: July 2, 2007
Pages: approx. 71
Genre: classic, play
ISBN: 9-783872-911483

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: from my shelf (re-read)

First Sentence: [translated by: me] The Prince (at his work desk which is full of letters and papers, he's reading some of them) Lamentations, nothing but lamentations!

Cover Blurb:


[from] Set in Italy, Emilia Galotti tells the story of a virtuous young woman of the upper middle class. The absolutist prince of Guastalla, Hettore Gonzaga, becomes obsessed with the idea of making Emilia his lover after their first meeting. He thus gives his conniving chamberlain, Marinelli, the right to do anything in his power to delay the previously arranged marriage between Emilia and Count Appiani. Marinelli then hires criminals who shortly thereafter murder the count on his way to the wedding. Emilia is quickly brought to safety in the count's nearby summer residence. Unlike her mother Claudia, Emilia does not yet recognise the true implications of the scheme. A few moments later, Countess Orsina, the prince's former mistress, comes to the residence as well. Out of frustration over her harsh rejection by the prince, she attempts to convince Odoardo, Emilia's father, to avenge Count Appiani by the means of stabbing the prince to death. Odoardo, however, hesitates in agreeing with this proposal and decides to leave the revenge in the hands of God. Emilia, who must remain under the protection of the prince due to another intrigue on Marinelli's behalf, attempts to convince her father to kill her in order to maintain her dignity in light of the prince's exertions to seduce her. The father agrees and stabs her, but immediately feels appalled by his deed. In the end Odoardo leaves the matter to the prince. He subsequently decides that Marinelli is responsible for the catastrophe and has him banned from his court. Ultimately Emilia's father recognises God as the absolute authority.


Reason For Reading: I had to read it for class (on honor in literature).

Comments: Ah well, what can I say. It is a classic and to me those are either hit or miss - there's no in between. And this one is a hit. Emilia is a young woman engaged to Count Appiani. On the day she is to leave for her wedding, the Prince hears about the upcoming wedding and is in a way devastated because he wanted to have her from the day he saw her. So he plots to have her despite the scheduled wedding.

I liked the character studies and was rather fond of this bourgeois tragedy because it doesn't follow the standards set by the French model of this era (it premiered in 1772).

Miscellaneous: It was a re-read and my old copy back from school didn't have a summary. The one on is pretty good, IMO.

Rating: B

Web Of Evil

Number: 62
Title: Web Of Evil
Author: J.A. Jance
Started: June 17, 2007
Finished: July 1, 2007
Time: 10h 12min
Genre: mystery

Language: English

Where The Book Came From:

First Sentence:

Cover Blurb: [from] The highway from Los Angeles to the Palm Springs desert is parched, unforgiving, and deadly. In the suffocating stillness of a car trunk, a man, his mouth and hands bound with duct tape, awaits his fate. What possible enemy could be bitter enough to commit such a heinous crime? And when will the monster make another move?
Ali Reynolds is traveling that same blistering, lonesome highway, looking forward to putting her past behind her. But her cheating husband is in a hurry for a divorce, and the television network that wrongfully dismissed her for the sole sin of being over 40 will face her in court as well.

As she passes the site of a horrifying accident, Ali is grateful that it's no longer her job to report the news, until she finds out that the news is her own: the victim is Ali's cheating husband. And soon she'll find herself the prime suspect at the center of a terrifying web of evil.

A twisted and lethal drama of heart-pounding suspense, Web of Evil asks the question: If hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, just what punishment could that fury unleash?

Reason For Reading: I read it for the RBL SUmmer Mystery Challenge and because I had heard a lot about the author.

Comments: It's been a while since I listened to the book, and I don't remember any problems I had, I only remember the amazing plot. I loved listening to it and wished there was more available.

I was sucked in and had troubles pressing pause because I had to go to class and I was sorry when I came close to the end because I didn't want the plot to stop. In a way, Ali, her family and friends became good friends while reading it. I didn't want to be afraid for them when they were in danger.

The twists in this "novel of suspense" (that's the subtitle, which I didn't add above) were awesome and I believe Miss Jance is an awesome writer whom I'm lucky to have discovered.

I already have another of her books on my list for future acquirements, and it won't take me long, I's say!

Favorite Part: When all of a sudden Ali's entire family appears in L.A. to help Ali. I love families that stick together no matter what!

Rating: A-

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Great Novel - BTT

Blogging Through Thurdays

What with yesterday being the Fourth of July and all, I’m feeling a little patriotic, and so have a simple question:

What, in your opinion, is the (mythical) Great American Novel? At least to date. A “classic,” or a current one–either would be fine. Mark Twain? J.D. Salinger? F. Scott Fitzgerald? Stephen King? Laura Ingalls Wilder?

It doesn’t have to be your favorite book, mind you. “Citizen Kane” may be the “best” film, and I concede its merits, but it’s not my favorite. You don’t have to love something to know that it’s good.

Now, I know that not all of you are American–but you can play, too! What I want from you is to know what you consider to the best novel of YOUR country. It might be someone the rest of us haven’t heard of and, frankly, I think we’d all like to get some new authors to read.

In fact, while we’re at it–I’m curious about the geographical make-up of this meme. So, while you’re leaving your link to your post, tell us where in the world you are! (For the record, I’m in New Jersey, USA.)

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Now that I'm back - for some reason I forgot about last Thursday until Monday and decided it was too embarrasing - forgetting a whole day, I mean!

I'd consider To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee a classic. And also John Steinbeck's works.

Otherwise, I'm in Frankfurt, Germany ;)

Discworld quiz

I just found this quiz over at Nymeth's and since I'm reading my very first Discworld novel right now (The Colors Of Magic, AFAIR), when I'm at my parents. I've never been big on fantasy, but this book is really interesting!

Which Discworld Character are you like (with pics)
created with
You scored as Rincewind,You are Rincewind! Greatest survivor of all times! But a rather inept wizzard. You seem to be going from bad to worse, without slowing down. Rather miserable with your luck, the luggage that follows you around offers little comfort.

Which Discworld Character are you like (with pics)
created with



The Librarian


Carrot Ironfounderson


Commander Samuel Vimes


Esmerelda (Granny) Weatherwax


Gytha (Nanny) Ogg


Lord Havelock Vetinari




Cohen The Barbarian




Which Discworld Character are you like (with pics)
created with

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

In Her Shoes

Number: 63
Title: In Her Shoes
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Started: June 13, 2007
Finished: July 2,2007
Pages: 421
Genre: chick lit

Where The Book Came From: (a German exchange platform)

First Sentence: "Baby," groaned the guy - Ted? Tad? - something like that - and crushed his lips against the side of her neck, shoving her face against the wall of a toilet stall.

Cover Blurb: Rose Feller is thirty; a successful lawyer with high hopes of a relationship with Jim, Mr Not-Quite-Right, a senior partner at her firm. The last thing she needs is her messed-up, only occassionally employed sister Maggie moving in: drinking, smoking, stealing her money - and her shoes - and spoiling her chance of romance. If only Maggie would grow up and settle down with a nice guy and a steady job.

Maggie is drop dead gorgeous and irresistible to men. She's going to make it big as a TV presenter, or a singer, or an actress. All she needs is a lucky break. What she doesn't need is her uptight sister Rose interfering in her life. If only Rose would lighten-up, have some fun - and learn how to use a pair of tweezers.

Rose and Maggie think they have nothing in common but a childhood tragedy, shared DNA and the same size feet, but they are about to find out that they're more alike than they'd ever believe.

Reason For Reading: It's a group read at one of my online book discussion groups and it sounded like a fun read!

Comments: Considering that this is my first by this author, I have to drag out an often used sentence: Why the heck did it take me so long to discover this author? And it is true here. What could have been your average chick lit ended up being a wonderful story about life, what being sisters means (or brothers, or brother and sister), and that sometimes you just need to take a break from what you've been doing to get a whole new look at life and maybe seize opportunities you wouldn't have come across otherwise.

At first, I held back quite a bit while reading this book. I had long before set it down under "chick lit" in my mind, and I was not up for that then. And then I watched the movie, enjoyed it - but it was a chick flick. So when the book started out the way the movie started out, I didn't really get into it.

In the end, the book was definitely different from the movie, much better to be honest (I kept seeing the Maggie in the book as a Cameron Diaz look-a-like, depite the fact that she has brown hair in the book)! The characters were far more developed. You could see how Maggie developed from a woman who relied on her looks to a person who discovered that she could use her brains, that her teacher might have been right about her being intelligent, just not in the regular way. Rose, on the other hand starts out as a woman totally fixed on her career to someone who realizes that there is more to life. Once the sisters have accomplished this, they appear to find good men - in one case in a place she certainly wouldn't have expected it!

This means two things for me:
1) I won't watch the movie again before reading the book.
2) I will try my best not to put books into a certain category before reading it.

Favorite Part:

Miscellaneous: In a way, it reminds me a bit in my room mate and me - and my brother and me... Does that make sense?!?

Rating: A-

on a much lighter note...

I found out a bit ago that I - that is me, Kathrin, also known as oisec, the book addict, the nerd, the person who never, ever wins anything - will get a book because I actually *gasp* WON a book at Katrina's Books Galore #10. I've been thinking about how to express my joy and the excitement best, for all those days since I found out, but I can't. I don't have the right words to express this all. I think the last time I won something I was maybe 8 - I got a watch where you didn't see the hours, but it had an index for the seconds that had an elephant - and it's a similar feeling, IIRC.

The book is: Donita Paul: DragonKnight

Katrina's summary:

Trapped in an evil spell--can the knights of Paladin be rescued?

Before vowing his allegiance to Wulder as a knight, Bardon heads to the mountains for solitude. His life is suddenly complicated by a woman and her granddaughter, N'Rae, on a mission to rescue the woman's son trapped in a chamber of sleep. Bardon learns that more of Paladin's knights are imprisoned--and suspects one of them is Dragon Keeper Kale's missing father.

The secret is in their hands--and hearts.

The band travels north, uncertain of their destination and encountering numerous perils. When they unlock the chamber, they discover a dozen knights--who cannot be awakened. The journal holding the secret to rousing them is in an unknown language. How can they find the help they need, and overcome even graver obstacles, to rescue the knights?

Return to the land of dragons and magic you discovered in DragonSpell and DragonQuest, in this finely crafted and memorable work of fantasy fiction with a core of eternal truth.

Thank you so much, Katrina and Ms. Paul, for making this possible! I'm really excited and can't wait to read the book :)

this is me trying to understand

Okay, I keep twisting the fact that the people responsible for last week's attacks in London and Glasgow are doctors. I can't figure it out. They are doctors, their job is to save people and then they plan those attacks in which they could have killed hundreds?!? How does that go along with the Hippocratic Oath?!? I don't get it! I just don't get it. This is paradox at best.

If someone out there can explain this to me so that it makes sense, go ahead, I'm willing to listen... (unless it is propaganda, that is ;) )

upcoming reading

I have one book coming up to be read that I'm really excited about... It is John Twelve Hawks' The Dark River, Book Two in the Fourth Realm Trilogy and sounds awesome and intriguing. I have this book high up on my TBR stack and I intend to start it this weekend, if I can finish two of my currents till then (for some reason my current reads got out of hand and I'm trying to sort out 5 books at the moment). If I don't get to this book at the weekend I know I'll get to it within the next week.

I borrowed a short summary from the publisher's site:

A frantic race to save a long-lost Traveler.
An epic battle for freedom.
Two brothers whose power puts them on a collision course . . .with each other.

In The Traveler, John Twelve Hawks introduced readers to a dangerous world inspired by the modern technology that monitors our lives. Under constant surveillance of the ‘Vast Machine,’ a sophisticated computer network run by a ruthless group, society is mostly unaware of its own imprisonment. Gabriel and Michael Corrigan, brothers who were raised “off the grid,” have recently learned they are Travelers like their long-lost father— part of a centuries-old line of prophets able to journey to different realms of consciousness and enlighten the world to resist being controlled. But power affects the brothers differently. As The Traveler ends, Gabriel hesitates under the weight of responsibility. Michael seizes the opportunity—and joins the enemy.

THE DARK RIVER opens in New York City with a stunning piece of news. Gabriel’s father, who has been missing for nearly twenty years, may still be alive and trapped somewhere in Europe. Gabriel and his Harlequin protector, Maya, immediately mobilize to escape New York and find the long-lost Traveler. Simultaneously, Michael orders the Brethren—the ruthless group that has been hunting Gabriel—into a full-scale search. Gabriel yearns to find his father to protect him; Michael aims to destroy the man whose existence threatens his newfound power. The race moves from the underground tunnels of New York and London to ruins hidden beneath Rome and Berlin, to a remote region of Africa that is rumored to harbor one of history’s greatest treasures. And as the story moves toward its chilling conclusion, Maya must decide if she will trade everything to rescue Gabriel.

A mesmerizing return to the places and people so richly portrayed in The Traveler, THE DARK RIVER is propelled by edge-of-the-seat suspense and haunted by a vision of a world where both hope and freedom are about to disappear.

You can also check out the site for the series here:

Oh I'm so excited about this! I can't wait to start it, so I should probably get back to finishing up my currents ;)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

classics challenge - a few additional comments

It was brought to my attention, that I missed some explanations for the classics challenge, so I thought I'd add a few comments now.

Of course, it is okay to use re-reads for the challenge. Don't we all prefer a good classic to one we don't enjoy at all?

And then, if you started a chunkster classic (400+ pages) before July 1st, and you've not yet reached page 50, then feel free to add this one to the list.

Also, if you want to join in, please do so before August 16th (I'm thinking about drawing a "winner" out of those who finished the challenge on time for a little goody).

Then, there's another thing - cross-overs with other challenges: There are so many challenges out there and many signed up with more than one, so of course it is okay if you have cross-overs.

And if you made up a list and find you don't want to read one of the books, you can change that until August 16th as well :)


Just a quick addition: I am still reading, but so many books at a time I don't really see any progress. I hope to finish another book next week or so!

former Sticky Post

***Sticky Post: This post will be on top until June 30. Newer posts can be found below. Thanks! ***

Here are some posts that originally were sticky posts, but they are sooo long I decided to instead only post the links to the posts.

reads for reading challenges

classics challenge - the lists

idea for a series challenge - not before December 2007! - for this challenge neither the time frame nor a proper name has been set, so if you are interested and/or have an idea let me know!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Me - addicted? Nooooo!

I just saw this at Marg's Reading Adventures and thought I should try it.

72%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Online Dating

I can live with this result, I think. Not even 3/4...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

This blog apparently would be R-rater

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

I just had to try this and see for myself...

6x murder
3x dead
2x death
1x corpse

And all this makes me R-rated?!? Wow! If I was as old as some people judge me to be (usually about 17, sometimes 20), I wouldn't be allowed to read this book, but I'm the author - insane, if you ask me...

But then - wasn't it Shirley Temple who was allowed to act in the movies, but didn't get to see her movies because she was too young?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Splintered Bones

Number: 61
Title: Splintered Bones
Author: Carolyn Haines
Started: June 22, 2007
Finished: June 25, 2007
Pages: 354
Genre: mystery
ISBN: 0-440-23721-1

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: My TBR stack, which should be melting, but isn't because I keep adding books to it.

First Sentence: There is something about warm soil that connects the past and future into the present.

Cover Blurb: She may be a Mississippi belle, but Sarah Booth Delaney is no pampered daddy's girl. Unwed and over thirty, Sarah has her own set of problems - like coping with regular hauntings by her great-great-grandmother's nanny, a busybody of a ghost who's set on marrying her off to the first suitor who comes calling. But when an old friend is in trouble, Sarah Booth doesn't hesitate to get involved.

Eulalee McBride has confessed to murdering her husband... and she wants Sarah to dig up the dirt on the violent scalawag to prove he got what he deserved. Sarah Booth suspects her friend is lying through her pearly whites... but why? There's certainly no lack of suspects in Zinnia Mississippi, including Bud Lynch, a horse trainer, who arouses killer lust in the town's women. As Sarah Booth begins to put together the pieces of the case, a killer is preparing to strike again. And this time it could send one late-blooming southern sleuth into an early grave....

Reason For Reading: It's a buddy read for one of my online reading groups.

Comments: I'm trying to get my thoughts down without any spoilers as I believe you just have to read this book by yourself to discover all the twists and turns. And there are quite a few, believe me!

Ms Haines manages to not ignore the side characters (IMO there are no minor characters, just characters that don't play such a big role) and how they develope.

We've known Eulalee McBride already when she comes in as a major character. Before she was a friend, but that's about it. And in this installment we find out a lot more about her and her life. Same goes for Tinkie, who did appear right from the beginning, but again she seems to grow and we see more of her personality.

I just loved the twists and turns Ms Haines created. It has been a while since I last read a book with that many, yet everything was resolved in the end.

Also, I consider it still a lot of fun that Sarah Booth is not on the look out for a husband, no matter what Jitty says. Instead, in my eyes, she now has three good guys lined up. I hope to see a resolve to this soon, but I can also wait a bit longer, because the author keeps it light.

Okay, I'm afraid I'm babbling along as I really don't want to give away anything about the story. I better leave it at that: It is a great part of a great series and if you like the South, independent women and fun characters (including the dogs, Chablis and Sweety Pie), I'd definitely recommend it!

Favorite Part: That must have been Tinkie coloring Sweety Pie's fur!

Miscellaneous: I'm going to pick up the next in series some time today and I really can't wait!

Rating: A-