Saturday, November 30, 2013

Reading Challenges Update: November 2013

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

Audio Book (12/12) - COMPLETED!
11. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
12. The Sky Devil by L. Ron Hubbard

Graphic Novels (6/12)
6. Funny Misshappen Body by Jeffrey Brown

Chunkster (4/6)
4. False Memories by Dean Koontz

Elsewhere Online: November 2013

As you know from my Stacking the Shelves 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: Fallen
Author: Traci L. Slatton
Challenges: Dystopia

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Painted Lady

Title: The Painted Lady
Author: Felicia Rogers
Publisher: Astraea
ISBN: 978-1-59212-329-2
Why Read?: Book Club
Challenges: n/a

Thoughts: I really liked the part of the story about the trial and the mystery surrounding it, and I thought Elizabeth and Bruce were very cute together.  I did find it too preachy for my tastes in spots, even for a Christian romance.  Also, there seemed to be a few continuity issues towards the beginning.

Rating: 2 stars

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Sky Devil

Title: The Sky Devil
Author: L. Ron Hubbard
Publisher: Galaxy
ISBN: 978-1-59212-329-2
Why Read?: For Fun
Challenges: Audio

Thoughts: Once again, another fun audio version of a L. Ron Hubbard adventure story - or actually,  stories.  Aside from The Sky Devil, this also contained the short stories "Buckley Plays a Hunch" and "Medals for Mahoney".  All three work together as the main character has to deal with "savages" in an "exotic locale" (remember, these were written in the 30s).  The title tale, though, was the most engaging, especially since the main character is taken for a djinn.

Rating: 4 stars

The Case of the Invisible College and Other Mysteries

Title: The Case of the Invisible College and Other Mysteries
Author: Andrew May
Publisher: Post-Fortean
ISBN: n/a
Why Read?: For Fun
Challenges: n/a

Thoughts: This was a fun collection of Holmesian mysteries that all seemed to have a touch of the supernatural...but didn't.  May's style is spot on, mixing the right amount of mystery and humor.  Definitely check out this hidden gem.

Rating: 5 stars

Dead Dreams

Dead Dreams
by Emma Right
published by Right
ISBN n/a
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: n/a

The new adult genre is really taken off, but mainly just in romance.  Therefore, it is more than refreshing that Emma Right decided to write Dead Dreams in a genre that is sorely lacking in great offerings for those over the age of 12 yet not adults yet - mystery/thriller.

Brie O'Mara is excited to be out on her own, even if it means having to get a roommate.  Sarah seems like the perfect one, especially when it comes to paying rent.  However, Sarah has many secrets and soon drags Brie in on a scheme that is anything but above aboard.  Brie must decide what is more important: having the money she needs to do whatever she wants or keeping her life as it is.

This is a fast read with pretty good intensity.  The one thing that kills the pace, though, is Brie's frequent foreshadowing regrets.  This is a device that is used often in thrillers, but Right tends to overuse it, which slows the story and makes Brie a tad annoying.  Otherwise, it is a solid read and good addition to the genre.

Dead Dreams is perfect for any new adult fan wanting something more.  Emma Right is definitely on the right track with this series.

Rating 3/5

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves: 11/17-11/23

For possible review (on Bookloons):
Red Cross of Gold by Robert Jay
The Living by Matt De La Pena
Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider

Requested from Paperback Swap:
Terrier by Beka Cooper
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Bought on Amazon:
Black Dog by Stephen Booth

Bought on Open Road:
The Truth about Truman School by Dori Hillestad Butler

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stranger in a Strange Land

Title: Stranger in a Strange Land
Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Publisher: Blackstone
ISBN: 0786174307
Why Read?: Book Club
Challenges: Audio

Thoughts: First off, the only thing I really knew about this book was that it was mentioned in Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire", so that is to say, I didn't really know anything.  I was even surprised to discover that it was sci-fi when my sci-fi/fantasy book club was discussing possible selections.  It is indeed sci-fi, but more than that, it is 60s, but I was only able to really get that after I switched from the paperback to the audio book.  I liked it better as audio, but I still only liked the parts Jubal was in - didn't really care for any of the other characters.

Rating: 3 stars

False Memory

Title: False Memory
Author: Dean Koontz
Publisher: Touchstone
ISBN: 0-553-58022-1
Why Read?: For Fun
Challenges: Chunkster

Thoughts: Very interesting premise, and for the most part, very engaging.  However, there were a few slow parts and it was simply too long.

Rating: 3 stars

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Funny Misshapen Body

Title: Funny Misshappen Body
Author: Jeffrey Brown
Publisher: Touchstone
ISBN: 978-1-4165-4947-5
Why Read?: For Fun
Challenges: Graphic Novels

Thoughts: Memoirs are always best when they are in graphic novel format, so I had high hopes for Funny Misshappen Body.  Brown definitely delivers with a black-and-white typically 6-panel page retelling of his life thus far, a life that anyone from his generation can relate to.

Rating: 4 stars

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Stacking the Sheles: 11/10-11/16

For review (on Bookloons):
The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill

Bought on Amazon:
Fear by Inaccurate Realities
The Murder Wall by Mari Hannah

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Stacking the Shelves: 11/3-11/9

For review:
Children of the Knight by Michael J. Bowler

First Reads from Goodreads:
Love and Nightmares by Wayne Mansfield

LibraryThing Early Review:
Ardent Forest by Nancy Jane Moore
Dead Ground by Chris Amies

Selections for Astraea Press Book Club:
The Painted Lady by Felicia Rogers

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Stacking the Shelves: 10/27-11/2

For possible review (on Bookloons):
Splendor by Elana K. Arnold
Loud Awake and Lost by Adele Griffin