Monday, January 28, 2013

Fever by, Mary Beth Keane

Fever by, Mary Beth Keane
Published by, Simon & Schuster, Inc. Scribner
Pub Date   Mar 12 2013

We have all heard of Typhoid Mary, but do any of us really know her story I know I didn’t. This is historical fiction so I’m sure liberties were taken in the telling of the story but that did not in any way stop this from being a fascinating read. Mary is an Irish immigrant, a cook and lives with a man without being married to him, so even before the Dept. of health comes for her she has a few strikes against her, it being the very early 1900’s. The author not only tells us about Mary but also gives a slice of life of New York City in the early 1900’s, the class structure, the housing, the jobs and even a horrifying glimpse at the triangle fire.

When Mary is first approached by Dr. Soper, you can’t help but wonder as she did if he is just making this all up to make a name for himself and using Mary for his own ends and honestly right up to the very end I wasn’t sure, was it just coincidence that some of the families Mary worked for got sick, people were getting sick elsewhere too so how was it Mary’s fault? This is just one of the questions that will really make you think while reading this book. I still don’t quite understand why Mary only infected people when she was cooking and how that didn’t happen every single time she cooked, she cooked for many families that never got sick. Even though Mary isn’t the most likeable person in the world you still can’t help but feel for her, here she is doing her job living her life and out of nowhere comes this man who calls himself a doctor telling her she is infecting people with typhoid and should come with him for tests. Now in the 1900’s or 2000’s what woman is going to take this man’s word and just go away with him, I too would have thought he was nuts!

When Mary is picked up by the police on Dr. Soper’s orders she fights it, she just can’t understand, she is not sick so how can she be passing it on to others, and you can’t help but sympathize with her, would you have thought any different? When she is taken to North Border (a small island with a hospital with TB patients) which was something I couldn’t understand, was Mary immune to every disease out there? Why weren’t they worried about her catching TB when they put in the hospital there? They did eventually build her a cabin, which would have said to me guess what you’re not leaving! Mary is fighting all of this tooth and nail and still I couldn’t help but empathize with her. She finally gets a lawyer who is trying to get her released , but all the doctors that testify during the court proceeding seem to make Mary out as feral child who needs supervision or a wanton murderer making people sick on purpose, and of course there is always a dig about her living arrangements. Needless to say this court hearing doesn’t go in Mary’s favor so she is hauled back to North Border.

A couple years later when she is finally released there are very specific stipulations, No Cooking, and she must check in with the Dept. of health every three months. Well we have learned by now how stubborn Mary is and she doesn’t believe anything these doctors are saying about her, she is good for a little while but she does love to cook and one thing leads to another and Mary does go back to cooking and everything is fine for awhile until things aren’t anymore and Mary finally has to face the facts of her life.

Mary and her live-in boyfriend Alfred have a volatile relationship and is on again off again whenever he gets to drinking too much, but Mary loves him, this was just an added element of this book to tell us of her relationship but it was a good story even if their relationship was dysfunctional, it tells us about Mary and what kind of woman she was.

I could not stop reading this book and am now going to read some others about Mary because I found her and her case fascinating. I am left with some question; Do you think this kind of thing could happen now? Do you think it does? How do you think the press would have handled this situation in the present day? Would you have thought as Mary did? Or would you have seen the truth and not gone back to cooking? It is really hard to step into someone’s shoes and say well I would have handled this differently, I would have listened to the doctors (when actually Soper was NOT a doctor) or would you have vehemently denied it like Mary did, I myself would have run as Mary ran when they first tried to bring her in, and when you have been completely isolated from everything and everyone you know and held a virtual prisoner, when in your mind there is nothing wrong with you would you have gone back to the job you loved?

Ok,  can you tell I loved this book and that it really brought up so much to think about, I think this book will become a must have for bookclubs , and I will be recommending to anyone who asks (or doesn’t) for my opinion. This book tells a great and fascinating story, gives a great “feel” for the time period and setting and will leave you thinking about it for a long time after you are done.

What are you waiting for? Go pre-order this one NOW!

5 Stars
I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher Simon & Schuster

Sunday, January 27, 2013

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2013

 It is International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2013

 To honor this day I’d like to spotlight the book Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor, & Lisa Rojany Buccieri. Eva is an amazing woman you can learn her story here on her Candles Holocaust Museum Site. So important to never forget and make sure these atrocities never happen again.

Recently I read her book Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz

Synopsis from Goodreads
Eva Mozes Kor was 10 years old when she arrived in Auschwitz. While her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, she and her twin, Miriam, were herded into the care of the man known as the Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele. Mengele's twins were granted the privileges of keeping their own clothes and hair, but they were also subjected to sadistic medical experiments and forced to fight daily for their own survival, as most of the twins died as a result of the experiements or from the disease and hunger pervasive in the camp. In a narrative told with emotion and restraint, readers will learn of a child's endurance and survival in the face of truly extraordinary evil. The book also includes an epilogue on Eva's recovery from this experience and her remarkable decision to publicly forgive the Nazis. Through her museum and her lectures, she has dedicated her life to giving testimony on the Holocaust, providing a message of hope for people who have suffered, and working toward goals of forgiveness, peace, and the elimination of hatred and prejudice in the world.

My Review:
I was interested in this book because I have watched the documentary Forgiving Dr. Mengele and as a librarian I am always looking for non-fiction books written for middle grade or young adult. I also have found that now I want to read the stories from the survivors, everyone knows the story of Anne Frank she is the go to book about the holocaust especially for this age group and I am glad to have a found this compelling story from a survivor I think that is what makes Eva & Miriam’s story so important is they survived the awful things this lunatic Mengele did to them and so many others. Her letter forgiving what Mengele and the Nazi’s did to her and countless others is an amazing act of compassion and courage.

This quote from the Declaration of Amnesty Eva wrote for the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz is so powerful I love that she chose not to be a victim anymore and how forgiving liberated her too-
“I hope in some small way, to send the world a message of forgiveness, a message of peace, a message of hope, a message of healing. Let there be no more wars, no more experiments without informed consent, no more gas chambers, no more bombs, no more hatred, no more Auschwitzes.”
-----------------Eva Mozes Kor

That is the reason this book is so important for young people the telling of the story and the learning to live with the atrocities done to you and in the end to find the strength within you to forgive, that is what makes this a powerful read. It is a short book but sure packs a lot into it.

Another thing I found fascinating was how the guards and such at the camps said the twins were the lucky ones because they got the special attention from Herr Doktor but what these poor children went through was not special, it is horrific when you read in Eva’s own words what was done it is horrifying, the experiments and tests he did we won’t allow on animals let alone children. That is another reason this book is so important is so we never forget, be always vigilant so nothing like this ever happens again.

I recommend this to all middle grade & young adult readers and for the adults that want even more of the story try Echoes From Auschwitz: Dr. Mengele's Twins: The Story Of Eva And Miriam Mozes by Eva Mozes Kor, Mary Wright and also the documentary I mentioned above Forgiving Dr. Mengele as of this writing it is streaming on Netflix.

4 Stars

I received this book from netgalley & the publisher for a fair and unbiased review

Friday, January 25, 2013

Agatha Raisin and Vicious Vet by M. C. Beaton narrated by, Diana Bishop

Agatha Raisin and Vicious Vet by M. C. Beaton narrated by, Diana Bishop
Received from Audiobookjukebox Solid Gold Reviewer Program
Produced by, AudioGo

I haven’t read the first book in this series so I do think I was missing a little bit of background on Agatha, honestly I’m not sure what I thought of her, some things I learned about her in this book, she is looking for a man, she thinks every man should fall in love with her and she wants to wear a bikini. Now this last one had me confused because the narrator of this book sounded older and I’m not sure how old Agatha is supposed to be but certain things she does and says didn’t feel right for the voice narrating this audiobook.

Diana Bishop narrated this version and I enjoyed her voice and her cadence of the piece I’m just not sure if she sounded too old for Agatha or if I have Agatha’s age all wrong. But I wouldn’t hesitate to listen to this narrator again.

I liked how the Cotswold village was almost it’s own character and I did enjoy the very British feel of this one, I think if you are a fan of cozy mysteries and are a bit of an anglophile I think you will enjoy this series. There are some funny moments, and this is a cute little cozy in a series that I have been meaning to try, I did enjoy this and may read more of them in the future but it didn’t make me want to run out and get the next one immediately.

3 stars

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Turn Left-Companion Books- Frozen & Out of the Easy

I just finished reading Frozen by, Mary Casanova( my review here) and Out of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys (my review here) and I think Josie and Sadie Rose could have been friends I will be recommending people read both back to back. Out of the Easy’s Josie is Sadie Rose if her mom had lived, the two books together would be an interesting discussion., I just found it fascinating reading these two books back to back, Sadie Rose’s prostitute mother died she grew up in a fancy house and wanted for nothing but her voice, Josie oh she’s got a voice but she also has a mother who still lives in the brothel. These 2 books are kind of a “turn left” situation when read together. Although set on opposite end of the country and decades apart Sadie Rose in 1920 Minnesota and Josie is in the Big Easy in the 1950’s I think they make very good companion books.
Both of these books will leave you thinking about these characters long after the last page and I think for either bookclubs or even highschool classes these two books are fascinating back to back.

Out of The Easy by, Ruta Sepetys

Out of The Easy by, Ruta Sepetys
Received from netgalley
Publication date : February 12, 2013

This book was so hard to put down, it grabbed me immediately and didn’t let go till the very last page and I was sad it was over. In New Orleans in 1950 we meet Josie she lives above the bookshop she works in but she didn’t always live there, she used to live with her mother at a brothel her mother still lives there, Josie started sleeping in the bookshop after she had had enough of the icky men and her mother stealing from her. When her boss Charlie figured out she was sleeping at the shop he put a room together for her and she has lived there ever since.

I loved Josie, her spirit was great and her dreams big, she wants to go to Smith College but can the poor daughter of a prostitute be accepted to a fancy school like that? But Smith College is expensive if she is accepted where will she get the money. Josie wants this so bad that she gets herself if a few situations that found me screaming at the book and hoping beyond hope that certain things don’t happen to her!

 The supporting characters in this book are such a memorable bunch including her mother’s Madam Willie who is actually more of a mother to Josie than her own mother ever could be. The driver Cokie who always believed in his Josie girl and even gambled his own money to try to help her pay for college because he had no doubt she’d be accepted he was one of my favorites in this book. Then we have the 2 boys, Patrick, Charlie’s son who knows all of Josie’s secrets but does she know all his? And Jessie, badboy mechanic with a somewhat similar upbringing to Josie and will do anything for her. Then there is Josie’s mother what a piece of work this woman is she makes you cheer for Josie even more once you get to know her!  

I truly enjoyed this book and will be recommending it to anyone and everyone young adults to adults will enjoy this book, I have already pre-ordered this for our library. I will now be going back and reading Ruta Sepetys first book and will be looking forward to anything else this author writes!

4 ½ Stars
Received from netgalley for a fair and unbiased review

The author has a great video on her site about how this book came about check it out here 

See my musings here about Out of the Easy by, Ruta Sepetys and Frozen by, Mary Casanova being great companion pieces.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Can You Help Me Find Happy Books?

An older friend of mine is going through a very serious health crisis and at bookclub after reading Little Bee, she said “boy I hope our next book is a happy book I can’t deal with anything really heavy I need to read something happy.” She has a nook on my account so I decided to fill it up with happy books I’m a librarian, I read a lot of books this should be a breeze. Yeah not so much….
I have realized I don’t read many “happy” books there may be happiness in them but there is always another darker element to the story. I have favorites that make me happy or cheer me up but usually it’s more about the characters I cared about when reading them, also I am in a different place than she is, she is the sweetest lady who would do anything for you and has had some hard knocks, and next month has to has surgery and will be laid up for at least 6 weeks.

So what I need is your help dear readers can you please recommend some happy books?

She is a fan of Dave Barry and Fannie Flagg (but she’s read them all) she reads pretty much anything , except Romance and fantasy and sci-fi. She has already read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, The Homecoming of Samuel Lake and the Stephanie Plum Series, which were the main ones that came to mind she doesn’t read fantasy but I may suggest her trying it maybe start her out with The Eyre Affair or my other happy book The Hitchhikers Guide but not sure she’d read them.
And please no self-help you can make yourself happy crap!

 I have been searching for 2 days and in searching I’ve realized this is kind of a personal question because everyone has different reasons for certain books to be happy books to them.
All I’ve come up with is so far is:
Edith Wharton Complete works
The Works of PG Wodehouse
A few Poirot and Miss Marple
The Best American Humorous Short Stories

Pretty sad I know Please help me find something from this century!

Either comment on here or you can find me on twitter @MissSusie66

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Audiobooks on Twitter Part 2

Audiobooks on Twitter Part 2

I decided to make a second post with a link to the original Audiobooks on Twitter Part 1 the audiobook world is growing exponentially we have 55 new people since the last list in June 2012.
I hope anyone seeking out your favorite narrator ,audiobook publishers, bloggers or people like me who are audio addicts , will find this list helpful and will come join the audiobook explosion. Oh and by the way I am @MissSusie66
Authors write the words, but for audiophiles a narrator brings those words to life and I thank them.

Here are some narrators to follow on twitter:

Jenna Lamia @JennaLamia
OfficiallyEuanMorton @OfficiallyEuanM
Luke Daniels @luckylukeekul
Stina Nielsen @StinaNYC
Adam Verner @adam_verner
Mike Vendetti @AudioBookByMike
Stefania Lintonbon @AudioMysteryTym
Ann Simmons @asimmons208
Quiana Goodrum @QuianaGoodrum
carol monda @fyodor1881
Karen Richter @KarenRichter18
Peter Ganim @ganimaniac
Andi Arndt @andi_arndt
Matilda Novak @MatildaNovak
Christina Delaine @ChrisDelaine
Larry Oliver @olivervoiceover
Pamela Lorence @LorencePamela
Nicole Poole @WordsmiffAudio
Catherine Gaffney @cathgaff
ErinMallon @ErinMallon
Lisa Cordileone @lisacordileone
Joshua Swanson @Joshua_Swanson

Bloggers & Audioreviews & Audiophiles:

Mary Burkey @mburkey
Jeff Harris @audiobookfan
Brenda Lee @AudioGal2
AudioGals @AudioGals
Laura Ashlee @owltellyou
Audiobiliophile @AudioBookRev
Michael Alatorre @le0pard13
Melissa @Mimmibklvr
Jen (ABookandaLatte) @bookandlatte
DianaDC @Saschakeet
DWD's Reviews @DWDsReviews
Baby Bat Krista @Cubicleblindnes
Laurie Cavanaugh @lacavanaugh

AudioBook Biz:

miette @miette
Ambling Books @AmblingBooks
Larry Gibson @LarryGibson8
Irie Parker @ParkerIrie
Melanie Donovan @msdonovan1
Chris Barnes @ChrisBarnesVA

AudioBook Publishers:

ACX @acx_com @downpour_com
AudioGO Library @AGOLibrary
Brick Shop Audiobook @BrickShopAudio
AudioComics @AudioComics
Bolinda audio @BolindaAudio
WeProduceAudiobooks @AudiobookProdcr
Isis Publishing @Isisaudio
Whole Story Audio @WholeStoryAudio
Brook Forest Voices @BrookForestVoic
Distant Spires @DistantSpires
W. F. Howes Ltd @WFHowes

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Old Buzzard Had It Coming by, Donis Casey narrated by, Pam Ward

The Old Buzzard Had It Coming by, Donis Casey narrated by, Pam Ward

I requested this title from the Audiobookjukebox to review because of the title and I enjoy cozy mysteries, I did expect it to be a little more fun (because of the title) I expected more humor, it was also very formulaic.

I enjoyed the characters, Alafair was fun and I liked the setting of place and time and thought it was well done in taking us into a different time. As I said this was a little predictable we of course know that Alafair will figure out who killed the old buzzard and there were the usual red herrings. I enjoyed the different people in town from both sides of the track.

This is the first book in a series and I would get the second book and just hope it gives a bit more meat to the story. I did enjoy getting to know Alafair and her family and I do look forward to reading about them again.

There were times Pam Ward’s narration reminded me of Lorna Raver but not quite as good. She did do a good job at all the different voices and I would listen to her narration again. I just couldn’t help the Lorna Raver comparisons.

3 Stars

Monday, January 14, 2013

Little Bee by, Chris Cleave narrated by, Anne Flosnik

Little Bee by, Chris Cleave narrated by, Anne Flosnik

“People wonder how they are ever going to change their lives, but really it is frighteningly easy.”
― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

This was a beautiful story and I fell in love with Little Bee, her attitude on life ,the storyteller and the scars were such beautiful metaphors for life be happy you survived and don’t let what happened to you dictate your whole life. I loved this quote;

I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.”
― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

I liked the way the author made these distinctions in language and speech the way Charlie puts things and the halting way Little Bee talks I thought said volumes about these characters (see below how great this is on audio!). When Little Bee changed her name I thought she changed it to something beautiful and strong and she picked it herself and for me it felt like her first step to freedom, a freedom she never stopped believing she would have I think that’s what I loved about her she is a survivor but she doesn’t just survive she lives. I also enjoyed what she said about proverbs where if she tells a little story then says “that is a proverb in my country” people will suddenly shake their head yes, yes and look solemn. This cracked me up because I could see this working!

I kind of wish there hadn’t been the Lawrence storyline, I guess it made Sarah more human? more flawed? But maybe I didn’t like this storyline because I didn’t like Lawrence, even though we never really get to know Andrew I can’t help thinking he was a better person than Lawrence could ever be but that’s just my opinion of him. Andrew was such a huge part of the story yet we never really get to know him we only have the reasons the people left behind have deduced as to why he died the way he did we never get to hear from him what led him to that end. There I times Sarah does annoy me it’s in the little things it gets a little better in the scene with Charlie at the river but then she rides off and I felt just leaves Little Bee to fend for herself with the police. I felt she was at times self-centered but then there were times of such huge compassion Sarah was kind of an enigma there were times I liked her and many times I didn’t.

I loved Charlie/Batman too I felt so sorry for him but I loved watching his relationship with Little Bee grow and couldn’t help wondering if this growing relationship was one of the reasons when Sarah thought about sending Little Bee away is that she was jealous with no one to blame but herself.

Audio production: I not only fell in love with Little Bee I fell in love with her narrator Anne Flosnik ,she was perfect in her narration, her voices for Little Bee, Sarah and Charlie were fantastic I thought she did great on Little Bee’s broken Queen’s English and the odd way Charlie talked was that much more enhanced by her narration, her accents and inflections were so great! I will be looking for many more from this wonderful narrator!

4  Star book
5  Star narration

Thursday, January 10, 2013

City of Women by David R. Gillham, narrated by, Suzanne Bertish

City of Women by David R. Gillham, narrated by, Suzanne Bertish

There was so much sex in this book that it really took away from what could have been a fascinating story about the women of Berlin during the war this book had it all, hiding Jews, the SS coming to search your home but the real story of the time seemed to get lost in all the sex these women were having. There are times when I was really enjoying the suspense of the story and it’s really good then she says something like kiss me to whoever will listen and it just takes me out of the story because it’s so farfetched that while all this stuff is happening that she would say it. I know I sound like such a prude and really I’m not but I am one that would rather not have a description of body parts or who was on top of whom I’m more of a, they went in the bedroom and closed the door type of person and my own imagination can fill in the blanks.

BUT I did like this book I just wish there had been more of the historical story and less sex. I had to keep listening I needed to know Sigrid’s fate and the fate of all the people she has been helping. I did really like her story I’ve read plenty of books about England during the war but never one about Berlin and the women left behind, I hope that the parts about them helping Jews and not totally buying into the Fuhrers beliefs were true but I’m just not sure they had as much sex as the author would like us to believe. Ok enough talk about the sex.

I will say I liked this story, and as I said was fascinated by the setting of Berlin during WWII it makes you wonder how many Germans had Jewish friends, lovers, neighbors and the choices they had to make about these people in their lives would you choose what Sigrid’s mother in law did or what I feel is even more reprehensible what Egon did. But you can’t really judge what you would do in this situation because unless you are there with the threats over your head you have no idea what you would do. I am hoping everything turned out in the end *no spoilers*.

I loved Suzanne Bertish’s narration of this, her voice is like a cross between Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman so throughout this book the images in my head were like an old black & white movie and Sigrid was played my Lauren Bacall and all the other women were Ingrid Bergman. I would definitely listen to this narrator again I truly enjoyed her narration! (PS if you don’t know who I am talking about in this paragraph you need to tune into TCM more often or find the Big Sleep starring Bogie & Bacall  and the movie Gaslight for Ingrid Bergman).

3 ½ stars

I received this book from the librarything early reviewer program but fell behind on my reading and ended up buying it on audio.(which I am so glad I did!)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Frozen by, Mary Casanova

Frozen by Mary Casanova
Young Adult historical fiction
published by,University Of Minnesota Press

I really liked the character of Sadie Rose, she is a tough cookie but I also liked that we saw this softer side as her memories of when she was young came crashing down on her, the memories of the night her mother died and she almost froze to death in a snowbank but that night she not only lost her mother but her voice too but that was eleven years ago and now Sadie is having flashes of both memory and voice and the memories are not at all what she expected.

Of course you kind of have a little inkling of the truth behind what happened to Sadie’s mother but I didn’t care I wanted to see how the story played out. I liked Sadie’s journey from mute half prisoner to talking woman of the world. The awful truths about herself and her mother and father could have easily done a person in but not Sadie Rose they only made her stronger. I loved the other characters in this especially Hans & Aasta they were my favorites. My only small problem with the story is I’m not sure at the end if (hmm how do I saw this without a spoiler) …if things would have worked out so quickly or would more of a fight been put up or that that was enough “justice” for her parents. ( Read the book and hopefully that sentence will make sense to you).

This was a great young adult historical fiction set not that far from my home I thought the author did a great job at evoking the time and place in this book I just think the ending will be a problem for some people (I was a little iffy on it myself) but overall I enjoyed this book and would read others by this author as I very much enjoyed her writing. This would have been a solid 4 but the ending felt a bit rushed and not as believable as I had hoped.

3 ½ stars

I received this book from netgalley & University Of Minnesota Press for a fair and unbiased review

See my musings here about Out of the Easy by, Ruta Sepetys and Frozen by, Mary Casanova being great companion pieces.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis Narrated by, Adenrele Ojo , Bahni Turpin, Adam Lazarre-White

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis Narrated by, Adenrele Ojo , Bahni Turpin, Adam Lazarre-White

I have never been one for Oprah’s books usually a sticker saying she picked it makes me run the other way but this one sounded like one I’d really enjoy…however…

I am not sure what to say about this book it is well written but the choppiness of all the stories made it a little hard to follow, it seemed like just when you were starting to care about one of Hattie’s children the story would jump to another. Also Hattie was not that likeable it doesn’t seem like she was a good mother or that August was a good father or that they were good together. It seemed like losing those first 2 babies turned Hattie’s heart to stone yet she went on to have more and more children and didn’t seem to love any of them all that much. Also each of these children is extremely flawed and I think the author is saying it is the way they were raised but it seemed no one rose above no one did better it seemed that the poverty that gripped Hattie gripped her children too and it set them down paths to unhappiness. I’m sure this is a realistic depiction of some families and how circumstance will mark you forever but I think I would have liked this story much better if even one these children had been given a happy ending of some kind. Also the ending was so abrupt I thought I had missed downloading a part.

The audio production: this book was narrated by, Adenrele Ojo, Bahni Turpin,& Adam Lazarre-White I have only listened to Bahni before and I am a huge fan, I was also very impressed with the other two narrators they both did a great job but Adam Lazarre-White was hands down the new narrator find for me he is fabulous reminded me a lot of Dion Graham he has that silky low voice but Adam’s had a little more gravel to it which I really enjoyed I will be looking for more narrated by all these narrators!

I would read another book by this author because her writing was very good but this book was just kind of middle ground for me.

3 Stars
5 Star Narration

Friday, January 4, 2013

Touch & Go by, Lisa Gardner

Touch & Go
Release date Feb.5th, 2013
I was lucky enough to receive an early review copy from Netgalley & Dutton Publisher

Lisa Gardner cements her title as the queen of suspense this is another edge of your seat, keep you guessing, oh why didn’t I see that coming, kind of book.

It was great to see Tessa Leone again (I would highly recommend reading Love You More before this book so you understand Tessa’s background) it was a nice follow up so we we’re able to see how her and her daughter are doing since the events in Love You More. Tessa is now working for a private security firm and one of their top clients seems to be missing and not just him, his whole family.

As always with Lisa Gardner’s books it is very hard to review without giving anything away, but I will try…I really enjoyed Tessa in this one and her interaction with Wyatt a small town sheriff whom I also really liked and hope to see more of the two of them in future. We get a little touch of DD but that was all that was needed, I will admit to hoping when the FBI swooped in it might be one of the Quincy’s but no such luck! Then there is the kidnapped family who we get to know intimately flaws and all and you can’t help but hope everything works out for them. The kidnappers are interesting too she doesn’t give us cardboard cutouts but fleshed-out characters who we also get to know. As I said Lisa Gardner knows how to write a great suspense filled novel, I was up until 2 am for a few nights in a row and had to force myself to go to bed because I didn’t want to stop reading!

Another hit for Lisa Gardner highly recommend!

4 ½ stars

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Year in Review

Here is my master list of everything I've read this year.To see my favorites check out this post below is my Stats page from goodreads

I had a great reading year I was a bit pickier about the books I read and quit reading books I just wasn’t connecting to that is why I have so many high starred books.
5 Stars
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake: A Novel by, Jenny Wingfield
The Silence of Trees by, Valya Dudycz Lupescu narrated by, Xe Sands
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by, Matthew Dicks narrated by, Matthew Brown
Yellow Crocus by, Laila Ibrahim
A Grown-up Kind of Pretty by, Joshilyn Jackson
Ashen Winter by, Mike Mullins
The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by, Christopher Healy narrated by, Bronson Pinchot
Beyond the Bougainvillea by, Delores Durando
Catch Me by, Lisa Gardner
Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson by, Lyndsay Faye narrated by, Simon Vance

4 ½ stars
The Last Queen (narrated by, Marguerite Gavin) & The Confessions of Catherine de Medici: A Novel & (narrated by, Cassandra Campbell) & The Queen’s Vow by, CW Gortner
The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon's Court by, Michelle Moran
The Secret Keeper by, Kate Morton narrated by, Caroline Lee
The Time Keeper by, Mitch Albom narrated by, Dan Stevens
Defending Jacob by, William Landay narrated by, Grover Gardner
The Dressmaker by, Kate Alcott
Fair Game by, Patricia Briggs
Timeless by, Gail Carriger narrated by, Emily Gray
Cold Sassy Tree by, Olive Ann Burns narrated by, Tom Parker
The Cove by, Ron Rash Narrated By Merritt Hicks
Insurgent by, Veronica Roth narrated by, Emma Galvin
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by, Seth Grahame-Smith narrated by, Scott Holst
Step on a Crack by, Mary Anderson narrated by, Xe Sands
My Name Is Not Easy by, Debby Dahl Edwardson narrated by, Amy Rubinate & Nick Podehl
January First: A Child's Descent into Madness and Her Father's Struggle to Save Her by, Michael Schofield

4 Stars
The Roots of the Olive Tree by, Courtney Miller Santo narrated by, Karen White
The Art Forger by, B.A. Shapiro narrated by, Xe Sands
The Orchardist by, Amanda Coplin narrated by, Mark Bramhall
Secondhand Spirits: A Witchcraft Mystery by, Juliet Blackwell narrated by, Xe Sands
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by, Robert Massie narrated by, Mark Deakins
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by, Stephen Chbosky narrated by, Johnny Heller
Gone Girl by, Gillian Flynn narrated by, Kirby Heyborne, Julie Whelan
Winter Shadows by, Margaret Buffie
Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society: A Novel by, Amy Hill Hearth
A Dog named Christmas, A Christmas Home & A Christmas with Tucker by, Greg Kincaid narrated by, Mark Bramhall
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by, Annabel Pitcher narrated by, David Tennant
This One and Magic Life: A Novel of a Southern Family by, Anne C. George
The Dry Grass of August by, Anna Jean Mayhew narrated by, Karen White
The Rose Garden by, Susanna Kearsley narrated by, Nicola Barber
The Unseen by, Katherine Webb
The House I Loved by, Tatiana de Rosnay narrated by, Jennifer Mendenhall
The Woman at the Light: A Novel by, Joanna Brady
Stay Close by, Harlan Coben narrated by, Scott Brick
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel by, Jamie Ford narrated by, Feodor Chin
Ready Player One by, Ernest Cline narrated by, Wil Wheaton
Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile by, Julia Fox narrated by, Rosalyn Landor
Sophie and the Rising Sun by, Augusta Trobaugh narrated by, Rue McClanahan
A Place of Secrets by, Rachel Hore narrated by, Jilly Bond
The Age of Miracles by, Karen Thompson Walker narrated by, Emily Janice Card
The Prisoner of Heaven by, Carlos Ruiz Zafon narrated by, Peter Kenny
Mr. Churchill's Secretary: A Novel (Maggie Hope) by, Susan Elia MacNeal narrated by, Wanda McCaddon/Donada Peters
The Mark of the Golden Dragon: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Jewel of the East, Vexation of the West, and Pearl of the South China Sea (Bloody Jack Adventures) by, LA Meyer narrated by, Katherine Kellgren
The Importance of Being Earnest by, Oscar Wilde narrated by, James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, Neil Dickson, Jill Gascoine, Christopher Neame, Matthew Wolf
These Things Hidden by, Heather Gudenkauf narrated by, Ali Ahn, Angela Lin, Angela Goethals
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by, Fannie Flagg narrated by, Lorna Raver
Blackbird Fly by, Lisa McClendon narrated by, Denice Stradling
The Lost Years by, Mary Higgins Clark narrated by, Jan Maxwell
The Bee-Loud Glade by, Steve Himmer narrated by, Mark F. Smith
Revolver by, Marcus Sedgwick narrated by, Peter Berkrot
Prophet's Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints by, Sam Brower
O Little Town by, Don Reid
Locomotion by, Jacqueline Woodson narrated by, Dion Graham
Wicked business by, Janet Evanovich narrated by, Lorelei King
Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by, Jennifer Worth narrated by, Nicola Barber
Crocodile on the Sandbank by, Elizabeth peters narrated by, Barbara Rosenblat
Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz by, Eva Kors
Locker 572 by, L.T. Kodzo

3 ½ Stars
Sky Dragons by, Anne & Todd McCaffrey
The Well of Lost Plots: A Thursday Next Novel by, Jasper Fforde narrated by, Emily Gray
Heading Out To Wonderful by, Robert Goolrick narrated by, Norman Dietz
The Ruby Ring by, Diane Haeger narrated by, Elizabeth Wiley
Stories:All-New Tales by, Neil Gaiman narrated by, Anne Bobby, Jonathan Davis, Peter Francis James, Katherine Kellgren, Euan Morton, Neil Gaiman
The Wedding Gift by, Kathleen McKenna
Little Century by, Anna Keesey narrated by, Tavia Gilbert
A Land More Kind Than Home by, Wiley Cash narrated by, Lorna Raver, Mark Bramhall, Nick Sullivan
The Things They Carried by, Tim O’Brien narrated by, Tom Stechschulte
Collapse of The Veil by, Alison Lohans narrated by, Arielle Lipshaw
Her Royal Spyness by, Rhys Bowen narrated by, Katherine Kellgren
Deadlocked by, Charlaine Harris
The Jungle by, Upton Sinclair narrated by, Paul Boehmer
Sisters in Mystery by, Al Sarrantonio narrated by, Arielle DeLisle
The House Girl by, Tara Conklin
Great Classic Holiday Stories by, Various Authors & Narrators

3 Stars
Cutting Season by, Attica Locke narrated by, Quincy Tyler Bernstine
Feedback by, Robinson Wells
The Tigers Wife by, Tea Obreht narrated by, Susan Duerden, Robin Sachs,
Come Home by, Lisa Scottoline narrated by, Maggi-Meg Reed
Playing with Matches by, Carolyn Wall
Shadow of Night by, Deborah Harkness narrated by, Jennifer Ikeda
Prime Suspect by, Lynda la Plante
Amos to Ride a Dead Horse by, Stanley Gordon West
Blue Asylum by, Kathy Hepinstall narrated by, Kate Forbes
The Rum Diary by, Hunter S. Thompson narrated by, Campbell Scott
Warm Bodies by, Isaac Marion narrated by, Kevin Kenerly
365 Energy Boosters by, Sandra Kornblatt

2 ½ Stars
Scorpio Races by, Maggie Stiefvater narrated by, Steve West, Fiona Hardingham
Death of a Gossip by, MC Beaton narrated by, Davina Porter
The Handmaids tale by, Margaret Atwood
Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by,Stephanie McAfee narrated by, Cassandra Campbell

2 stars
Westhope: Life as a Former Farm Boy by, Dean Hulse

Did Not Finish
Casual Vacancy by, JK Rowlings------Just not my cup of tea no matter who wrote it!

2012 Favorites

I had a great reading year I was a bit pickier about the books I read and quit reading books I just wasn’t connecting to that is why I have so many high starred books. So what I am going to do is try to breakdown my reading for the year. You can visit my Goodreads page here to see all the great books I read this year I know I am missing many but it was really too many to name ,so I will make another post just listing what I read.
Books read 121- including some short stories I won’t list on my master list.
Out of those 81 were audiobooks
I listened to 779 Hours of audiobooks

 The Second Empress by, Michelle Moran

Favorite Young Adult: Ashen Winter by, Mike Mullins, 
Insurgent by, Veronica Roth narrated by, Emma Galvin,
  Viva Jacquelina!: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Over the Hills and Far Away (Bloody Jack #10) by L.A. Meyer narrated by, Katherine Kellgren

Favorite Middle Grade: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by, Chistopher Healy narrated by, Bronson Pinchot

Favorite Mysteries: Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson by, Lyndsay Faye narrated by, Simon Vance 
Catch Me by, Lisa Gardner 
 Defending Jacob by, William Landay narrated by, Grover Gardner
Stay Close by, Harlan Coben narrated by, Scott Brick

Favorite Non-Fiction Audiobook: Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie narrated by,Mark Deakins, 
 SisterQueens: The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile by, Julia Fox narrated by, Rosalyn Landor

Book that I was most surprised  to have loved: The Time Keeper by, Mitch Albom narrated by, Dan Stevens

Other 5 Star Books:
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by, Matthew Dicks narrated by, Matthew Brown
Beyond the Bougainvillea by, Dolores Durando
A Grown-up Kind of Pretty by, Joshilyn Jackson narrated by the author
Yellow Crocus by, Laila Ibrahim