Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reading Challenges Update: October 2012

Here is where I stand with the challenges I have joined after the month of October (only challenges that I read books for this month are featured here):

Mystery & Suspense (12/24)
11. Trickster's Point by William Kent Krueger
12. The Shadow Man by Mark Murphy

Chick Lit (3/12)
3. Pillow Talk by Freya North

Horror & Urban Fantasy (32/48)
27. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
28. Ghosts in the Graveyard by Kim Bowman
29. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
30. The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen
31. Dead World by Shannon Rouchelle
32. Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan

Standalone (12/15)
12. Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill

Immortal (10/12)
9. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
10. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

Short Story (2/3)
2. War Stories by Elizabeth Doyle

Elsewhere Online: October 2012

As you know from my In My Mailbox posts, I review for two other websites ( and As I cannot post my reviews there and here, but I would still like to count the books I read for the challenges, I am going to have a post like this at the end of the every month listing the books I reviewed and what challenges the went towards.

Title: The Fallen Star
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Challenges: Horror & Urban Fantasy

Title: Dead World
Author: Shannon Rouchelle
Challenges: Horror & Urban Fantasy

Title: Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World
Author: Simon Callow
Challenges: n/a

Title: Darkness Falls
Author: Cate Tiernan
Challenges: Horror & Urban Fantasy

Title: Memories of Murder
Author: Lara Nance
Challenges: Horror & Urban Fantasy

Title: Iron Hearted Violet
Author: Kelly Barnhill
Challenges: n/a

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: 10/21-10/27

For Review (here and on Bookloons):
The Circle of Tivedon by Ryan Shorten
The Woman from Paris by Santa Montefiore
The Legend of Mickey Tussler by Frank Nappi
Sophomore Campaign by Frank Nappi

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
Eustice by Alex Gulczynski
The Color of Grace by Linda Kage
Hollyweird by Terri Clark
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Shelter by Harlan Coben
Seconds Away Harlan Coben
The Widow and the King by John Dickinson
Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

Swaps on Swap-Bot:
Temptation by Jude Deveraux

Bought on Kobo:
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Bought from Amazon:
Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

Friday, October 26, 2012

War Stories

War Stories
by Elizabeth Doyle
published by Two Harbors
ISBN 978-1-937928-40-7
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: Short Story

The nine pieces of short fiction that author Elizabeth Doyle collected into War Stories sure pack a punch.  Each story deals with war of a kind, some in a more direct way than others.  But each is beautifully written yet incredibly melancholy.  Doyle gives hope, but it always comes after an tragic price.  War Stories is not for the faint of emotional heart, but it is a stunning collection for those who can take some tears.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Title: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Author: Helen Simonson
Publisher: Random House
Why Read?: For Fun
Challenges: n/a

Thoughts: Although the characters were much older than me, I found them very relateable.  This is a charming, uplifting, wonderful read.

Rating: 4 stars

Stacking the Shelves: 10/14-10/20

For possible review (here and on Bookloons):
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman
Nobody Has to Know by Frank Nappi
Tempestuous by Kim Askew & Amy Helmes
Exposure by Kim Askew & Amy Helmes
The Namesake by Steven Parlato
The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab
Louder than Words by Laurie Plissner

Princess by Courtney Cole
Torn Together by Emlyn Chand
Careful by Isobella Jade
Breaking Lauren by Jordan Deen

Swaps on Swap-Bot:
I Don't Want to Be Crazy by Samantha Schutz

Requested from Paperbackswap:
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Pillow Talk

Title: Pillow Talk
Author: Freya North
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 978-1-4022-5446-8
Why Read?: Book Club
Challenges: Chick Lit

Thoughts: I loved how important Tanzanite was to this story as it is my favorite gem.  I also liked how everything ending up resolving at the end.  What I didn't like was how slow the beginning was.

Rating: 3 stars

Friday, October 19, 2012

Why Do Men Have Nipples?

Title: Why Do Men Have Nipples?: Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini

Author: Mark Leyner & Billy Goldbery, M. D.
Publisher: Three Rivers
Why Read?: For Fun
Challenges: n/a

Thoughts: A tongue-in-cheek look at many medical questions people are afraid to openly ask.  The chapter openers were rather of unnecessary, yet the IM conversations were fun but could have done without the awkward timestamps.

Rating: 2 stars

The Shadow Man

The Shadow Man
by Mark Murphy
published by Langston Street
ISBN 978-1-938296-30-1
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: Mystery & Suspense
Mark Murphy’s debut novel, The Shadow Man, is a dark, atmosphere thriller set in the haunting city of Savannah, Georgia.  In it, Malcolm King, a respected surgeon finds himself the suspect in a serial murder case that involves surgical precision.  Someone – or something – seems to be setting him up, targeting him, but Malcolm can never get a good glimpse of his tormentor.  As the bodies pile up, Malcolm’s psychological state become more and more tenuous, leading up to one heck of an ending.

Murphy’s fast-paced writing immediately draws the reader in, and the mood permeates every word.  This helps to immerse the reader into Malcolm’s world, making the pages fly by as the terror builds.  Mark Murphy carefully walks the line between mystery and horror making The Shadow Man the perfect psychological thriller.  For a debut novel, this is one amazingly strong story.

Rating: 5/5

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rebel Angels

Title: Rebel Angels
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Delacorte
Why Read?: For Fun
Challenges: Horror & Urban Fantasy, Immortal

Thoughts: Normally the middle book in a trilogy is just meant to be a build-up to the climax in the third, but Rebel Angels has such a strong plot that it could almost be a stand alone.  The dark intrigue and plenty of riddles kept the story moving rapidly and now I cannot wait to see how things end for Gemma Doyle and her friends.

Rating: 5 stars

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stacking the Shelved: 10/7-10/13

For Review (on Bookloons):
At Left Brain Turn Right by Anthony Meindl
The Steam Mole by Dave Freer
Hello, My Name is Pabst by Miek Bruno & Kerry Sparks
Trevor by James Lecesne

Ruby by Amanda Burke
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Requested on Paperbackswap:
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Wolf Hall by Hilary Hantel

Ghosts in the Graveyard

Title: Ghosts in the Graveyard
Author: KimBowman
Publisher: Astraea
Why Read?: Book Club
Challenges: Horror & Urban Fantasy

Thoughts: This is a cute MG novella perfect for Halloween.  Young readers will get a thrill out of the ghostly chills, but what really makes Ghosts in the Graveyard work is the ending.  With most stories, the beginning tends to be the strongest - not so with this one; the ending is perfect.

Rating: 4 stars