Friday, February 29, 2008

Celebrate the Author - Helen Bianchin


It is time to "Celebrate The Author" for February. I chose my favorite Harlequin Presents author, Helen Bianchin. I absolutely love all her books and reread them over and over.

Helen Bianchin

Most of her books are based in Australia. She has such a way of writing that creates vivid pictures in your mind and makes you hope for the ultimate love. They are feel good, hot and steamy, ultimate love, great reads. You can find a list of all her books and a brief biography at Fantastic Fiction.

I reread my two favortite books this month, The Spaniard's Baby Bargain and The Greek Bridegroom. I have read these two so much that my books are starting to show some wear and tear - LOL. You can find my full reviews here.

The Spaniard's Baby Bargain:

Rating: 5/5
Pages: 186
Completed: 2/28/08

The Greek Bridegroom:

Rating: 5/5
Pages: 184
Completed: 2/29/08

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie

I joined the Agatha Christie challenge and finished my first Agatha book all in the same day - LOL. This is the first book I have read of hers and it definitely won't be my last!! And no, I didn't figure out who did it before the ending.


After I finished the book, I went back and discovered all the little clues that I had missed. I guess I was looking at the big picture and not the small stuff.

In the famous words of Hercule Poirot, "Beware! Peril to the detective who says: 'It is so small - it does not matter. It will not agree. I will forget it.' That way lies confusion. Everything matters."

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is narrated by Arthur Hastings who is recouperating as a guest of John Cavendish at Styles Court. The country home is owned by John's step-mother, Emily Inglethorpe. She has considerable wealth and recently married a man 20 years her junior. When Emily is poisoned by strychnine, Hastings recruits his old pal, Hercule Poirot - a retired detective, to aid in the investigation.

This is the first book that introduces Hastings and Poirot. She wrote this in 1920 and Poirot's last case was published in 1975, Curtain. However, according to a couple of biographies I have read, she wrote this book back in the 1930's.

Rating: 4/5
Pages: 190
Completed: 2/26/08

Anything Agatha 2008

I have discovered a new challenge that began in January, but I am still interested in joining. I have been wanting to read Agatha Christie for quite awhile now. In fact, I have started the first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. So what better way to read more of her than to join a challenge.

Anything Agatha

This is being hosted by Joy at Thoughts of Joy

It runs from January through December 2008 and you can read anything written by Agatha Christie. She has links posted to places where you can find what she has written. I am hoping to read her books in order (I'm compulsive that way - LOL).

I will post my list soon.

Here is my list:

1. The Mysterious Affair at Styles 02/26/08; Review
2. Murder on the Links

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

High Noon - Nora Roberts

I love Nora Robert's High Noon. It was one of those suspense-filled, feel-good books, that keeps you guessing until the end. I am a big fan of all the Nora Robert's books that I have read - but this one will probably go in my favorites stack.


You can read my full review here.

Not only will it help me in my 888 and Romance challenges, but I think I can add this to my Chunkster challenge as well - it is over 450 pages. Yeah!!!

Rating: 5/5
Pages: 467
Completed: 02/19/08

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Gathering - Anne Enright

I have completed my first book from the Notable and Man Booker challenges. The Gathering by Anne Enright was a different style of book for me. I was intrigued by the subject matter, but was uncomfortable reading the style of writing the book was written in.

This was probably the most beautifully written book. Some reviews are quoted as saying "quality writing" and "pure poetry." I guess one review said it best, "one that requires more that one reading with which to fully come to grips." Maybe it was too over my head, because some parts I just didn't get. However, I am glad that I read it and opened myself up to other styles of writing. That was one of my goals this year - to broaden my reading. If I have time, maybe I will read it again and see if I get some of the parts that didn't do it for me the first time around.


You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3/5
Pages: 260
Completed: 02/17/08

100+ Book Challenge

100+ Book Challenge

This is a group sponsored over at Shelfari which I joined at the beginning of the year. J.Kaye has now created a button, a blog, and a yahoo group for the challenge also. So, I decided to go ahead and make a post for it on my blog too. You don't have to be a member of Shelfari or have a blog to join.

Our goal is to read 100+ books this year. Or, if you are starting now, within a year's time. I made it to 95 last year, so I have a good chance of making it this year. The only thing I see getting in my way is a reading slump (I have those sometimes) or my school work.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dracula - Bram Stoker

I have just finished my first classic - Dracula by Bram Stoker. It was a great read and I enjoyed it very much - parts kept me on the edge of my seat. Hopefully, with the enjoyment that I have had with this book, it will keeping me reading more classics.


I read this book online through The Literature Network. I really liked this website and plan on reading more from them.

You can read my full reveiw here.

Rating: 4/5
Pages: 684 (this was an ebook version - hardback is 464)
Completed: 02/12/08

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lakeside Cottage - Susan Wiggs

I just finished reading one of my favorite authors - Susan Wiggs. Her book, Lakeside Cottagae, was another winner with me. I loved the main story of the relationship between Kate and JD, but the sub plots were just as good. Kate's son, Aaron, was having some behavioral problems, and the summer at the lake proved to be a growing and maturing experience for him. The storyline of Callie, the runaway, and her experience at the lake was a well-written one too.


You can read my full review here.

This book can be included in my 888, Romance Reading, A~Z, and Book-a-Week challenges

Rating: 4/5
Pages: 402
Completed: 02/10/08

Friday, February 8, 2008

HP and the Sorcercer's Stone - J.K. Rowling

I absolutely loved Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. The movie was great, but reading the book made the experience that much more enjoyable. I was drawn in from the beginning. The characters were well-developed, and the storyline kept me so engrossed that I read the book in one sitting!


By reading Harry Potter, I was able to cross it off a number of challenges (it fit in so nicely with many that I am working on): 1st in a Series, 888, TBR, On the Porch Swing, Banned Books, Here be Dragons, 2NEW2U, Book-a-Week, A~Z, and A Novel Challenge's mini challenge.

Read my full review here.

Rating: 5/5
Completed: 02/08/08
Pages: 309

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Title Master Reading Challenge 2008

I really liked this challenge because not only does it challenge you to read, but it also challenges you to find 4 books with titles that have every word starting with the same letter.

Title Master Reading Challenge

I only have one book on my list but intend to update shortly:

1. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield 5/18/08; Review

Sunday, February 3, 2008

2NEW2U Challenge 2008



The only reason why I am joining this challenge is because there are so many new authors that I am going to be reading in the next few months - it would be silly not to. This challenge runs from February 1 to May 31, 2008. Read two or more books by authors you've never heard of or never read before. -OR- choose two books that are outside your comfort zone.

Here are a few of my choices:
  1. Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton 03/14/08; Review
  2. Never Change by Elizabeth Berg 04/13/08; Review
  3. HP and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling 02/08/08; Review
  4. Dead Perfect by Amanda Ashley 03/12/08; Review
  5. Light of the Moon by Luanne Rice 4/2/08; Review
  6. The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe 4/15/08; Review
  7. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer 4/9/08; Review

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Banned Book Challenge 2008

Banned Book Challenge

I have decided to join the Banned Book Challenge. I have always had this curiosity about banned books and why they were banned. The challenge lasts February 24 through June 30, 2008.

I am choosing my books from the Pelham Public Library's List of Banned Books 2008.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Lee Harper
  2. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  3. Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
  4. HP and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
  5. 02/08/08; Review
  6. HP and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  7. (More Harry Potter books)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Fool's Puzzle - Earlene Fowler

I am taking a break from Dracula and decided to read a quick read cozy mystery. I chose Fool's Puzzle by Earlene Fowler (part of my Amateur Sleuth Challenge). It was very funny and highly entertaining. I was engaged with the characters and couldn't put it down.


It is the first in her Benni Harper's series. I really enjoyed Benni's sharp wit and her bantering with her grandmother and Police Chief Ortiz.

This can be used for my Amateur Sleuth and A~Z Challenges.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 5/5
Pages: 237
Completed 02/01/08