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The State of the Bookcase | March ’09

March 31, 2009

2009_0130books0004Spring is here and my reading is kicking into high gear. Of course it helped that I had 9 days of no distractions as my hubby went and worked the LPGA tournament in Phoenix. So for the month I read 15 books, had 2 DNFs and tore through 5,040 pages. More in-depth thoughts for most of these books can be found in my Pondering the pages posts.

shanghaigirls1Title: Shanghai Girls
Author/website: Lisa See
336 pages
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: May ’09
Genre: Historical fiction
I liked it but not as much as Snow Flower and Secret Fan and Peony in Love. This is much more modern and I really enjoy her books set in ancient China.

bahamaburnout

 

Title: Bahama Burnout (5th in the Mick Sever mystery series)
Author/website: Don Bruns
264 pages
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Publication date: March ’09
Genre: Mystery
A good, solid mystery. I look forward to reading more of this author’s work. What really a winning point with me was I didn’t have to read the other books in this series first before diving into this one. I usually like to read my series in order but I didn’t have that luxury with this series but I didn’t miss anything character-based.

falsecolours1Title: False Colours
Author/website: Georgette Heyer
352 pages
Publisher: Casablanca
Publication date: 1963
Genre: Regency romance
I’ve been advised not to judge Geogette Heyer’s work by this book but I didn’t finish. I put it down after 3 chapters.

meowisformurderTitle: Meow is for Murder (4th in the Kendra Ballantyne mystery series)
Author/website: Linda O. Johnston
272 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: February ’07
Genre: Cozy mystery
I love this mystery series; lighthearted and fun

frightoftheiguanaTitle: The Fright of the Iguana (5th in the Kendra Ballantyne mystery series)
Author/website: Linda O. Johnston
256 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: October ’07
Genre: Cozy mystery
I love this mystery series; lighthearted and fun

mrsperfectTitle: Mrs. Perfect
Author/website: Jane Porter
432 pages
Publisher: 5 Spot
Publication date: May ’08
Genre: Women’s/contemporary fiction
My favorite JP book. Much more than a beach read. She nails today’s issues with great insight and a touch of humor.

charmedtodeathTitle: Charmed to Death ( 2nd in the Bewitching Mysteries series)
Author/website: Madelyn Alt
304 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: December ’06
Genre: Cozy mystery
Another one of the many lighthearted and fun mystery series I enjoy.

peopleofthebookTitle: People of the Book
Author/website: Geraldine Brooks
384 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult
Publication date: January ’08
Genre: Historical/contemporary fiction
I thought this was a very good book until the ending. The ending didn’t ‘fit’ with the rest of the story. The historical chapters are absolutely fascinating. I would read other novels by this new-to-me author.

firstfamilyTitle: First Family
Author/website: David Baldacci
464 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: April ’09
Genre: Suspense/action/thriller
Another solid book in the Sean King/Michelle Maxwell series. One of the my favorite authors. I’ve read all his novels.

palacecircleTitle: Palace Circle
Author/website: Palace Circle
432 pages
Publisher: Broadway
Publication date: March ’09
Genre: Historical fiction
I found it a pleasant read; nothing to write home about. I believe it is the first in a new trilogy.

bonemansdaughters1Title: BoneMan’s Daughters
Author/website: Ted Dekker
416 pages
Publisher: Center Street
Publication date: April ’09
Genre: Suspense/action/thriller
This is not a book for the faint hearted! His work has been labeled Christian fiction but there is nothing preachy about this book. After just one book he has become a favorite and I intend to work my way through his back list of suspense/thriller books.

the-scarecrowTitle: The Scarecrow
Author/website: Michael Connelly
448 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: May ’09
Genre: Suspense/action/thriller
Not a Harry Bosch novel but every bit as good. I met up again with Jack McEvoy from The Poet. Mr. Connelly is another favorite author and I’ve read all his novels.

afraidTitle: Afraid
Author/website: Jack Kilborn
384 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: March ’09
Genre: Horror
Plain and simple: you need a iron cast stomach to read this book. This one of those books where if you made into a movie there’s be no way in hell I’d watch yet I can read this stuff and it doesn’t bother me. It reminds me a lot of classic Dean Koontz whose novels I enjoy and happens to be another favorite author of mine.

sideyardsuperheroTitle: The Side-Yard Superhero
Author/website: Rick Niece
192 pages
Publisher: Synergy Books
Publication date: March ’09
Genre: Memoir
This charming book is peppered with down home goodness, days gone by, and the friendship between two very remarkable boys – Rick Niece and the side-yard superhero himself, Bernie Jones. There’s your typical cast of  eclectic small town characters. I laughed, I cried and was touched in that hidden, deep down place within my heart. An absolutely wonderful book about a time and place that really doesn’t exist anymore and the enduring meaning of friendship. This is the 1st book in a trilogy and I’m looking forward to books 2 & 3.

collisionofangelsTitle: Collision of Angels
Author/website: A Higher Call/Michael Carver
438 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing
Publication date: December ’08
Genre: Faith-based fiction/thriller/suspense
OK so this book is an example of why I tend, at times, to be leery of reading faith-based fiction. It’s a tad heavy-handed along the preachiness lines. I didn’t finish reading only 52 pages (6 chapters).

darkpursuitTitle: Dark Pursuit
Author/website: Brandilyn Collins
288 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: December ’08
Genre: Faith-based fiction/thriller/suspense
This book is the exact opposite of Collision of Angels in terms of including faith in the storyline. If I hadn’t known this was a faith-based author and book I would have thought I was reading straight suspense. While I did figure out the killer’s sex I didn’t figure out who the killer was until revealed in the story line. I enjoyed this book and would read more from this new-to-me author.

standthestorm1Title: Stand the Storm
Author/website: Breena Clarke
336 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: July ’08
Genre: Historical fiction
While I never quite got used to the vernacular of the characters this is a interesting story of a mother and son who work as bonds people in a tailor shop in Washington D.C. before and during the Civil War. They eventually buy their freedom and make a name for themselves.

***
Favorite book: BoneMan’s Daughters
Least favorite book: False Colours/Collision of Angels

***
Genres:
Memoir – 1
Women’s/contemporary fiction – 1
Contemporary/historical fiction – 5
Mystery – 4
Suspense/action/thriller – 5
Horror – 1

Total pages – 5,040

Challenges
eBook – 2
New author – 10
ARCs/Review copies – 13
’09 Pub – 7

***
2009 progress
Total pages: 10,796
Books read: 32
DNFs: 5

Challenges
eBook – 8/10
New author – 24/65
ARCs/Review copies – 27
’09 Pub – 16/9 (Done!)

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8 Comments
  1. March 31, 2009 5:37 am

    Your bookcase looks nice and tidy. I’ll be reading The Side-Yard Superhero soon – glad to see it’s good.

    • April 3, 2009 6:07 pm

      I’m kind of obsessive about keeping my books pristine and perfect. The Side-Yard Superhero is a very charming book.

  2. March 31, 2009 7:23 am

    you are a busy bee. Congrats on all those pages and all those books!

    • April 3, 2009 6:08 pm

      Thanks. Shipping the hubby outta town for 9 days helped some. 🙂

  3. March 31, 2009 12:05 pm

    Boy, you sure kicked some reading butt this month. Way to go!

    • April 3, 2009 6:09 pm

      Thanks. Just think if I’d finished those 2 DNFs. 🙂

  4. April 1, 2009 8:38 am

    I loved reading your list so much that I printed it out so that I could make sure I marked a lot of these as must reads!!

    • April 3, 2009 6:09 pm

      I’m glad you found something of interest. 🙂

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