Monday, January 26, 2015

THE COVE

Author:  Ron Rash
Genre:  Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2012
Personal Rating:  2.75/5 (eh +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Merritt Hicks
Yearly Count:  7


Laurel resides in the Appalachian Mountains with her brother and lives a difficult life due to the perceptions of a birthmark.  Laurel becomes intrigued with someone she discovers in the woods.  That someone changes both of their lives forever.

I love Ron Rash's work, but this one was a bit of a disappointment.  His ability to create vivid scenery and atmosphere usually keeps me glued to another time and place.  This time I was bored.  The last 1/4 saved the book.

Thoughts of Joy

Saturday, January 24, 2015

NO SAFE HOUSE

Author:  Linwood Barclay
Genre:  Thriller, Sequel to No Time for Goodbye
Published:  2014
Personal Rating:  2.75/5 (eh +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Brian O'Neill &
Graham Winton
Yearly Count:  6


In the same neighborhood as the Archers, a retired couple is murdered for no apparent reason.  Soon after, the daughter, Grace, chooses to rebel against her parents and date a wayward boy.  Trouble ensues.

When I saw another Barclay book in audio that I hadn't listened to yet, I was a happy person.  He usually writes with a family theme and that's different from most other thriller books I read, so I enjoy the variety it brings.  Unfortunately, this one didn't work for me.  Can't say specifically, other than it seemed too far from reality.

Thoughts of Joy
    

Saturday, January 17, 2015

BIRD BOX

Author:  Josh Malerman
Genre:  Horror?!?/Apocalypic, Standalone
Published:  2014
Personal Rating:  3/5 (just okay)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Cassandra Campbell
Yearly Count:  5


People going berserk has made it to the news.  Many times.  All over the country.  People need to protect themselves from the unknown.  Malorie is one of them.

This reminded me of Heart-Shaped Box (Hill) (Ahhhh!  Just realized they both have Box in the title), and I didn't like that one at all.  So, at least this one had something to keep me interested enough to finish.  However, there were times when I almost gave up.  It was so slow and boring.  The last 1/4 saved the book, and I have thought about it since putting it down.  That deserves a "just okay" for bringing it out of the dumps.  

I did not know what this book was about before diving in.  Had I known, I would had never picked it up.  I think this genre is ridiculous and not for me.

Thoughts of Joy

Thursday, January 15, 2015

SHOPAHOLIC TO THE STARS

Author:  Sophia Kinsella
Genre:  Chick Lit, Becky Brandon Series #7
Published:  2014
Personal Rating:  2/5 (not enjoyable)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Claire Corbett
Yearly Count:  4


The Brandon family move to LA for a few months in order for Luke to deal with a famous client.  Meanwhile, Becky decides she wants to be a stylist to the stars and sets out to do just that.

UGH.  So sad.  In general, I do not care for chick lit, but for some reason this series has tickled me.  In the past, Becky's antics and just plain silliness made me at the very least . . . grin.  I'm not sure if Becky has run her course with me or if this just wasn't a winner, because I don't remember even grinning once.         

Thoughts of Joy

Friday, January 09, 2015

SERIAL (Podcast)


Author: Sarah Koenig 
Genre:  Non-Fiction Crime, Season One
Published:  2014
Personal Rating:  4.25/5 (very good +)
Format/Narrator:  Podcast/Sarah Koenig
Yearly Count:  3


In Baltimore, 1999, a high school senior was murdered.  Her ex-boyfriend was convicted of her death, and as he sits in prison, he still maintains his innocence.  Koenig seeks the truth.

I really enjoyed walking through this story.  All my questions weren't answered to my liking, but most were addressed.  This was a great way to get realistic detective work without the gore that many books describe.  On the other hand, it is disappointing because it IS realistic and not all angles or events are clear cut.

There will be a Season Two with a new case later this year.  Can't wait.

Thoughts of Joy

Sunday, January 04, 2015

WHEN SHE WOKE

Author:  Hillary Jordan
Genre:  Dystopian, Standalone
Published:  2011
Personal Rating:  3.25/5 (just okay +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/
Heather Corrigan
Yearly Count:  2


Due to Hannah's indiscretion, she has been chromed Red.  She spends her time figuring out how to navigate her new world.     

I had no idea where this book was going and was surprised at some of the paths it took.  There were times when I was engrossed and wanted to hear more, but other times when I was disconnected and could care less.  It was definitely not Mudbound quality and not necessarily a read worth recommending, but not a total disappointment.

Thoughts of Joy

Thursday, January 01, 2015

THE FIFTH FLOOR

Author:  Michael Harvey
Genre:  Crime Fiction, Michael Kelly Series #2
Published:  2008
Personal Rating:  3.25/5 (just okay +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Stephen Hoye
Yearly Count:  1


Michael Kelly is approached by his ex-girlfriend to look into her husband's coming and goings.  While doing so, Michael stumbles upon a dead body.  

This one was filled with too much political and historical nonsense for my liking; however, I still have interest in continuing with the series.  I've listened to #1 and #3, so I have now filled the gap with #2. 

Thoughts of Joy
    

New Beginnings



The year of . . . GOING BACK TO BASICS!

GoodReads 2015 Reading Goal???*  NOPE.  NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!  Well, at the moment, that's how I feel about setting ANY reading goals.  I fell behind in February, 2014 and have been stressed out ever since because I couldn't get caught up (finally did in the nick of time with the help of graphic novels!).  Needless to say, it was not a pleasant reading year. :( Why? Why did I put that pressure on myself?  Stupidity.
Self-imposed stress is stupid. 


Because Plan A has been exhausted.  Here is . . . 



"Read whatever I want, whenever I want.  Period."

I think I can live by that.


All those NetGalley ebooks that I request will be read . . . IF I WANT TO!  All the Shelf-Awareness ARCs will be read . . .  IF I WANT TO!  All the unsolicited book offers will be accepted and read . . . IF I WANT TO!  Purchases, gifts, wins, suggestions, and all other books will be read . . . IF I WANT TO!

 There will be NO book that I will allow myself to read other than    . . . IF I WANT TO!

If I only read 25 books (random pick) this whole year, then that's fine with me.  I do not want ANY pressure, just excitement.  I want the joy of choosing and reading a book that I'm drawn to.  Easy peasy.  What a relief!  Who would have thought?



I'll leave you with this:

 There was one tidbit from Nora Ephron's book that has made me think.  Nora mentioned the idea of being "raptured" by books.  I think that is a really great word to describe when one is totally engrossed in a book.  You know, like when everything around you disappears, and you are transported elsewhere.  Then when you're interrupted (never fails!), you have to blink several times or gently shake your head to come back to the present.  What do YOU call that blissful event?  Unfortunately, it hasn't happened in my reading life as often as I would like.  I'm beginning to think that it's just the type of reader I am -- not necessarily the books that I read.  I know some people are lost in every book they pick up and others that read so lightly that nothing truly grabs them.

 What do YOU think?  What's the word(s) you use to describe being swept away in a book?  And . . . do you think it has more to do with the reader or the choice of books?


I hope your 2015 Reading Year is the best it's ever been!

Thoughts of Joy


*ADDENDUM:  I literally just set a GoodReads Reading Challenge Goal.  The reason I did it was because the badge is purple!  Yes, friends, that's the real reason.  : /  However, I made it so there will be NO pressure:  24 books.  I think I can handle reading and/or listening to an average of 2 books a month.  Oh dear.  What have I done?  Kidding.
   

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Best Reads of 2014



This year, I only have 13 books with ratings of 4/5 (very good) and above.  There's a new plan on the horizon to boost that number, though.  :)  These are my highest 4s:




1.  The Purity of Vengeance (Adler-Olsen) ~ Thriller






2.  Quiet (Cain) ~ Non-Fiction






3.  Me Before You (Moyes) ~ Women's Fiction






4.  In the Blood (Unger) ~ Psychological Thriller






5.  Madison Square Tragedy (Geary) ~ Graphic Novel






6.  Chasing Lincoln's Killer (Swanson) ~ YA Historical Fiction


December Reads






YEAR END STATS:

Monthly - Yearly

Audiobooks:  11 - 82

Books:  4 - 13

eBooks:  3 - 11

DNF:  1 - 1

New-to-Me Authors:  6 - 44

*Short Stories:  15 - 15

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

THE THIRD RAIL

Author:  Michael Harvey
Genre:  Crime Fiction, Michael Kelly Series #3
Published:  2010
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Stephen Hoye
Yearly Count:  106


Michael Kelly, former police officer, now private investigator, is on the L when a woman is shot near him.    

Oops!  I accidentally skipped the 2nd in this series.  I have it, but thought I already listened to it.  Skipping over it didn't cause me any problems, though. 

This one was interesting for me, because I'm very acquainted with Chicago, and I recognized most of the street names, etc.  More times than not, having a connection with the setting has a positive affect on my reading experience, and this was no different.  The storyline remained interesting throughout, but I hope I develop more interest in Michael as I read more in this series.  I don't feel I know enough about him.

Thoughts of Joy
     

Sunday, December 28, 2014

THE MARCO EFFECT

Author:  Jussi Adler-Olsen
Genre:  Thriller, Department Q Series #5
Published:  2014
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format:  eBook
Yearly Count:  105


From NetGalley:
All fifteen-year-old Marco Jameson wants is to become a Danish citizen and go to school like a normal teenager. But his uncle Zola rules his former gypsy clan with an iron fist. Revered as a god and feared as a devil, Zola forces the children of the clan to beg and steal for his personal gain. When Marco discovers a dead body—proving the true extent of Zola’s criminal activities—he goes on the run. But his family members aren’t the only ones who’ll go to any lengths to keep Marco silent . . . forever.

Meanwhile, the last thing Detective Carl Mørck needs is for his assistants, Assad and Rose, to pick up a missing persons case on a whim: Carl’s nemesis is his new boss, and he’s saddled Department Q with an unwelcome addition. But when they learn that a mysterious teen named Marco may have as much insight into the case as he has fear of the police, Carl is determined to solve the mystery and save the boy. Carl’s actions propel the trio into a case that extends from Denmark to Africa, from embezzlers to child soldiers, from seemingly petty crime rings to the very darkest of cover-ups.

 Bummer.  The first 4 books in this series I rated a 4.25/5.  This one did not quite make that status.  It took me 4 months to finish it, because it never fully drew me in.  I liked the Marco scenes, but not some of the unbelievable chase scenes.  I missed the natural shenanigans of Assad and Rose, but didn't like the camel references.  I didn't like the embezzler chatter.  All in all, it wasn't enough for me to enjoy the entire book.  A disappointment?  A little bit, yes.  But, I'm still eager for more Adler-Olsen.

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Penguin Group and NetGalley for providing me with this eGalley.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

TWILIGHT

Author:  Stephenie Meyer
Genre:  YA Graphic Novel, Series #1
Published:  2010
Personal Rating:  3/5 (just okay)
Format:  Book
Yearly Count:  104


Yes.  This is THE "Twilight" book in a graphic format.

The graphic format made this a light version of the whole story.  I, surprisingly, enjoyed the first book in this series.  It was my introduction to vampires, and it explained the hows and whys, etc.  This book lacked any detail of any thing.  I understood what was going on, because I could fill in the holes.  Due to that, it turned out to be just okay, instead of a confused reader.

The best news . . . it has fulfilled my GoodReads 2014 Reading Challenge.  WOO!!!  

Thoughts of Joy
   

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

THE BOOK OF MURDER

Author:  Guillermo Martinez
Genre:  Psychological Suspense, Standalone
Published:  2007
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/T. Ryder Smith
Yearly Count:  103


While a secretary's boss is on vacation, another author borrows her for a month.  Ten years later, she calls the borrowed boss with an incredible tale of deadly consequences. 

Goodness.  This one is difficult.  There's no doubt that I got deeply intrigued in the storyline; however, I wasn't thrilled with the telling, telling, telling.  There was just too much talk AT me.  The "He said - She said' theme was great, but the ending turned out to be unsatisfying.  :(  BUT, I enjoyed the ride getting there.

Thoughts of Joy
    

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

FLASHFIRE

Author:  Richard Stark
Genre:  Crime Fiction, Parker Series #19
Published:  2000
Personal Rating:  3.25/5 (just okay +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Michael Kramer
Yearly Count:  102


Parker, a criminal, gets taken advantage of and is out for revenge.

I liked this a bit better than the last Parker book I read, but I just don't seem to like his character.  It was fine for a quick listen, but I won't be hunting for more.

Thoughts of Joy

Monday, December 22, 2014

LITTLE BITTY LIES

Author:  Mary Kay Andrews
Genre:  Chicklit, Standalone
Published:  2003
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Debra Monk
Yearly Count:  101


Mary Bliss McGowan's husband has cleaned out their accounts and disappeared.  She comes up with a way to survive.

I don't really think this book was "good" in the sense that I usually rate.  Odd.  I know.  However, I felt like it was a good 5-6 hours spent on keeping me company while I cleaned.  :)  My chores flew by without my mind wandering or bemoaning the fact that I was cleaning, and I got another book audioread.  That's a great deal.  

Thoughts of Joy

I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK

Author:  Nora Ephron
Genre:  Non-Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2006
Personal Rating:  2/5 (not enjoyable)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Nora Ephron
Yearly Count:  100


Nora shares her thoughts on topics experienced by women.

My experience with this book was not positive.  The reason being . . . the majority of the book was negative.  It's supposed to be humorous - speaking the truth (Nora's truth) about real life disappointments.  I was not impressed and didn't appreciate the 'gotta laugh or we'll cry' kind of humor.  I guess I just wasn't in the mood for it.

Thoughts of Joy

Sunday, December 21, 2014

AND THEREBY HANGS A TALE

Author:  Jeffrey Archer
Genre:  Fiction, Short Story Collection
Published:  2010
Personal Rating:  2.75/5 (eh +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Gerard Doyle
Yearly Count:  99


And Thereby Hangs a Tale is a collection of fifteen short stories covering a variety of topics.

I really enjoyed about 5 stories, thought 5 were just okay and 5 couldn't keep my attention for anything.  My overall thoughts come out under just okay.  

Thoughts of Joy
  

Friday, December 19, 2014

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

Author:  Jane Austen
Genre:  YA Graphic Novel, Manga Classic Series
Published:  2014
Personal Rating:  4/5 (very good)
Format:  eBook
Yearly Count:  98


From NetGalley:
Pride & Prejudice is delightfully transformed in this bold new manga adaptation. All of the joy, heartache, and romance of Jane Austen’s original, perfectly illuminated by the sumptuous art of manga-ka Po Tse, and faithfully adapted by Stacy E. King.

Pride and Prejudice.  Never read it.  Now I have.  I will not venture into reading the novel version, but I am so glad I finally know this story.  The graphics were incredibly detailed and fully developed the characters and their feelings.  It was a pleasurable read . . . backwards and all!  :)

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Udon Entertainment and NetGalley for providing me with this eGalley.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

THE SCARLET LETTER

Author:  Nathaniel Hawthorne
Genre:  YA Graphic Novel, Manga Classic Series
Published:  2015
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format:  eBook
Yearly Count:  97


From NetGalley:
A powerful tale of forbidden love, shame, and revenge comes to life in Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter.

Faithfully adapted by Crystal Chan from the original novel, this new edition features stunning artwork by SunNeko Lee (Manga Classics: Les Miserables) which will give old and new readers alike a fresh insight into the Nathaniel Hawthorne's tragic saga of Puritan America.

 I enjoyed the idea of reading a Manga style graphic novel again and found this one to be pretty good.  The graphics were done well, but nothing compels me to say it was any better than that.  I definitely love the idea of reading classics in this format.  That idea is a 5/5!  :)

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Diamond Book Distributors and NetGalley for providing me with this eGalley.

LOVE, STARGIRL

Author:  Jerry Spinelli
Genre:  YA fiction, Sequel
Published:  2007
Personal Rating:  2/5 (not enjoyable)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Mandy Siegfried
Yearly Count:  96


Apparently this is the sequel to Stargirl, which I did not read.  Oops!  Anyway . . . Stargirl moves with her family and leaves behind her whole life.  It's written in epistolary style as Stargirl writes the longest letter to an ex-boyfriend.

I didn't enjoy this.  It didn't keep my attention, and I definitely didn't care for a character or two.  I just didn't buy in.  Maybe if I was a teen I'd enjoy it.  Who knows.  

Thoughts of Joy
   


Friday, December 12, 2014

PAGE BY PAIGE

Author:  Laura Lee Gulledge
Genre:  YA Graphic Novel, Standalone
Published:  2011
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format:  Book
Yearly Count:  95


Paige and her parents have moved to New York from Virginia.  Paige struggles with adjusting to a big city and all that a new environment brings.  Her love of drawing also suffers.

This had good insight into an artist's struggles (teen or not) and had interesting drawings.

Thoughts of Joy
   




EGGS

Author:  Jerry Spinelli
Genre:  YA Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2007
Personal Rating:  2/5 (not enjoyable)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Suzanne Toren & Cassandra Morris
Yearly Count:  94


Both coming from sad home lives, David (9) and Primrose (13) become awkward friends.  

I didn't like this one starting from the beginning.  I imagine it's supposed to be realistic fiction and that did not ring true to me.  I also didn't like the narration.

Thoughts of Joy
     

Thursday, December 11, 2014

RE-GIFTERS

Author:  Mike Carey, Sonny Lieu & Marc Hempel
Genre:  YA Graphic Novel, Standalone
Published:  2007
Personal Rating:  3.75/5 (good +)
Format:  Book
Yearly Count:  93


Dixie, a martial arts enthusiast, gets wrapped up in her thoughts of true love around the time of a tournament.

I enjoyed this graphic novel.  I was interested in the storyline and artwork.

Thoughts of Joy
       

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

SMILES TO GO

Author:  Jerry Spinelli
Genre:  YA Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2009
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Conor Donovan
Yearly Count:  92


Middle schooler Will Tuppence deals with life with his friends and family (mainly pesky sister).  

I enjoyed these characters; however, the storyline was pushed a bit too far towards the end.  This book is not intended for adult readers, so maybe the YA generation would accept and go with the flow easier than I did.  Despite that . . . still a good audioread.

Thoughts of Joy

Sunday, December 07, 2014

CHASING LINCOLN'S KILLER

Author:  James Swanson
Genre:  YA Non-Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2009
Personal Rating:  4.5/5 (excellent)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Will Patton
Yearly Count:  91


Chasing Lincoln's Killer is a young-adult version of Manhunt.  Both are authored by James Swanson and both are fascinating.

Thoughts of Joy

Saturday, December 06, 2014

WHOSE BODY

Author:  Dorothy Sayers
Genre:  Mystery, Lord Peter Wimsey Series #1
Published: 1923
Personal Rating:  3/5 (just okay)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/David Case
Yearly Count:  90


A male corpse is discovered in the bath tub of an architect. 

Hmmm.  This mystery concludes like a ridiculous (outlandish) comedy episode, but not humorous. 

Thoughts of Joy
 

Friday, December 05, 2014

MADISON SQUARE TRAGEDY

Author:  Rick Geary
Genre:  YA NF Graphic Novel, Series  
Published:  2013
Personal Rating:  4.25/5 (very good +)
Format:  Book
Yearly Count:  89


The murder of Stanford White (famous NYC architect) is revealed in a graphic novel format.

As (almost) always, another fantastic rendition of a 20th Century murder by Geary.  

Thoughts of Joy
  


Monday, December 01, 2014

STATION ELEVEN

Author:  Emily St. John Mandel
Genre:  Post-Apocalyptic, Standalone
Published:  2014
Personal Rating:  DNF #1
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Kirsten Potter



I've read numerous books this year that I really haven't enjoyed; however, this is the first one that I am actually putting in the category of DNF.  I listened to 2 of 9 CDs and simply couldn't bear another minute.  It obviously just wasn't for me, because I was incredibly bored. 

Thoughts of Joy


Sunday, November 30, 2014

November Reads






Monthly - Yearly

Audiobooks:  8 - 71

Books:  3 - 9

eBooks:  0 - 8

New-to-Me Authors:  6 - 38

*Short Stories:  0 - 0

Friday, November 28, 2014

THE CUCKOO'S CALLING

Author:  Robert Galbraith
Genre:  Mystery, Cormoran Strike Series #1
Published:  2013
Personal Rating:  3.75/5 (good +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Robert Glenister
Yearly Count:  88


From NetGalley:
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.


I have never had a desire to read a Harry Potter novel, so I thought this book would give me a perfect opportunity to read her (Rowling's) work in a genre that interested me.  Ultimately, I liked it, but I wanted to love it, and that didn't happen.  The good news was that it was very detailed and incredibly descriptive.  The bad news was that it was very detailed and incredibly descriptive.  There were times when it drew me in and others when I was annoyed beyond belief.  During the times when I was annoyed, the book dragged.  Other than that, I enjoyed the detective work and look forward to the next one.

Thoughts of Joy

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

THE SECRETS COME OUT

Author:  Marguerite Abouet
Genre:  YA Graphic Novel, Aya Series #3
Published:  2009
Personal Rating:  2.75/5 (just okay)  
Format:  Book
Yearly Count:  87


"Slice-of-life peek into African culture" continues.

I experienced an overload of soap opera events by reading this book.

Thoughts of Joy

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A GAME FOR SWALLOWS

Author:  Zeina Abirached
Genre:  YA Graphic Memoir, Standalone
Published:  2012 (English version)
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format:  Book
Yearly Count:  86


Two young children are left in their Beirut apartment when their parents don't return from visiting their grandparents.

This gave great insight into the civil war in Lebanon.

Thoughts of Joy
  



Thursday, November 20, 2014

HOLD FAST

Author:  Blue Balliett
Genre:  YA Mystery, Standalone
Published:  2013
Personal Rating:  2/5 (Not Enjoyable)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Bahni Turpin
Yearly Count:  85


The Pearls (Dash, Summer, Early and Jubilation) live in an apartment in Chicago.  Dash works in a library and loves to celebrate words.  He passes this love onto his family.  One day, Dash doesn't come home from work and the family seeks help, and then resort to some of their own sleuthing.

UGH.  I didn't like much about this book.  Instead of going on with a list of dislikes, I will say that I liked that there was a mystery.  AND, I thought the Chicago shelter scenes were interesting. 

Thoughts of Joy  

Monday, November 17, 2014

SMOKE

Author:  Ellen Hopkins
Genre:  YA Fiction, Burned Series #2
Published:  2013
Personal Rating:  3/5 (just okay)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/
Thaxton & Lavoy
Yearly Count:  84


Smoke is a continuation of Burned (#1) with Pattyn Von Stratten on the run and her sister at home with her mother and siblings.

I didn't remember Burned, so this was somewhat of a new story to me.  It was okay, but I don't think this one will stick with me either.  I wasn't bored, if that matters.  Well, yes it does, so that's good news.

Thoughts of Joy



Saturday, November 15, 2014

AYA AT YOP CITY

Author:  Marguerite Abouet
Genre: YA Graphic Novel, Aya Series #2
Published:  2008
Personal Rating:  3/5 (just okay)
Format:  Book
Yearly Count:  83


The saga continues of Aya and her community.

The many storylines seem like a soap opera.  However, I like the idea of reading a graphic novel for variety, and this series has kept my attention.

Thoughts of Joy

Thursday, November 13, 2014

THAT NIGHT

Author:  Chevy Stevens
Genre:  Thriller, Standalone    
Published:  2014
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Jorjeana Marie
Yearly Count:  82


Teenaged Toni and her boyfriend Ryan are convicted of a vicious crime.

I liked this story, but had no clue that it was about teenaged angst gone bad . . . very bad; therefore, I wasn't thrilled that I was unexpectedly listening to virtually a YA book.  Not only that, it was sooooooooo drawn out that I thought it was never going to end.  There were some minor twists that I liked, and I sympathized with the frustration and angst the main characters endured.  So, in the end, it was a good book, but not great.

Thoughts of Joy

Friday, November 07, 2014

STRONG POISON

Author:  Dorothy Sayers
Genre:  Mystery, Lord Peter Wimsey Series #6
Published: 1930 (WHOA! Had no clue!)
Personal Rating:  3.25/5 (just okay +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Ian Carmichael
Yearly Count:  81


A very theatrical performance due to British characters; however, in this case, it was very appropriate to express the proper intonation of the phrases.  BUT, I still am not a fan.

This was my first Wimsey book, and I was a little bit confused.  I didn't know if he was scheming, playing or serious.  His relationship with Harriet was baffling to me.  I did like some of the humor (Jeeves-like) in this book, but I have not been encouraged to read more.

Thoughts of Joy
   

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

DAMAGED

Author:  Alex Kava
Genre:  Thriller, Maggie O'Dell Series #8
Published:  2010
Personal Rating:  3.25/5 (just okay +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Tanya Eby
Yearly Count: 80


A cooler is found floating in the ocean filled with wrapped body parts.  Maggie is sent to investigate.

Keeping my attention is key, and this one did an okay job of it.  The story line was okay, but some of the events were unrealistic.  

Thoughts of Joy
   

Sunday, November 02, 2014

DEAD END IN NORVELT

Author:  Jack Gantos
Genre:  YA Fiction, Norvelt Series #1
Published:  2011
Personal Rating:  2.5/5 (eh)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Jack Gantos
Yearly Count:  79


Jack is grounded for the summer, yet his mother loans him out to an elderly neighbor to do chores.

I enjoyed some of the humor, but I didn't like the story.

Thoughts of Joy

Saturday, November 01, 2014

AN INVISIBLE THREAD

Author:  Laura Schroff
Genre:  Non-Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2011
Personal Rating:  3.25/5 (just okay +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Pam Ward
Yearly Count:  78


A 12-year-old, not 11 like the extended title states (discovered later he was 12 and not 11 - big deal!) asks for money from a woman walking by on a New York City street.  She offers him lunch at McDonalds and a relationship begins.

I have very mixed feelings about this book and think it's best to keep my specific thoughts to myself.

Thought of Joy
   

Friday, October 31, 2014

October Reads






Monthly - Yearly

Audiobooks:  8 - 63

Books:  3 - 6

eBooks:  0 - 8

New-to-Me Authors:  5 - 32

*Short Stories:  0 - 0

AYA

Author:  Marguerite Abouet
Genre: YA Graphic Novel, Aya Series #1
Published:  2007
Personal Rating:  3/5 (just okay)
Format:  Book
Yearly Count:  77


The story is set in 1978, suburban Ivory Coast, Africa.  It shows that Africa (during that time frame) had the same family, sibling and teen relationships as did the rest of the world.

It was fine.  I wouldn't recommend it, but it wasn't a bad read either.  However, I will be continuing with the series.  I need to catch up on my yearly count.  : /

Thoughts of Joy