Saturday, May 31, 2014

Reading Challenges Update: May 2014

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

Ebook (17/25)
16. Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves by Dianne Ascroft
17. Stealing the Moon and Stars by Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens

Graphic Novels (7/12)
6. Out of Picture 2 by Daisuke Tsutsumi & Michael Knapp
7. Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, & Langdon Foss

100 Books in a Year (51/100)
47. Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves by Dianne Ascroft
48. Out of Picture 2 by Daisuke Tsutsumi & Michael Knapp
49. Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, & Langdon Foss
50. Stealing the Moon and Stars by Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens
51. Irenicon by Aidan Harte

Dystopia (2/5)
2. Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, & Langdon Foss

Free Reads (19/30)
19. Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, & Langdon Foss

Stacking the Shelves: 5/25-5/31

For review (on Bitten by Books):
The Serpent Bearer by Frank Say

LibraryThing Early Review:
The Right Bitch by Doranna Durgin

Received in Book Riot Quarterly:
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King
The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin
A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

Elsewhere Online: May 2014

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: Irenicon
Author: Aidan Harte
Challenges: 100 Books in a Year

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Stealing the Moon & Stars

Stealing the Moon & Stars
by Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens
published by Camel
ISBN 978-1-60381-984-8
Why Read?: Review
Challenges:  E-Book, 100 Books in a Year

In Stealing the Moon & Stars by Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens, private investigator Jordan Welsh is called into the Moon & Stars Children's Cancer Foundation to find out who has been embezzling from the organization.  She immediately racks up a few candidates, but she'll need the help of her business partner (and love interest), security specialist Eddie Marino to crack the case.  Of course, things are bigger and more dangerous than Jordan realizes at first, and it turns out that there is more to Eddie than she ever imagined.

The suspense part of Stealing the Moon & Stars was good - not hard-boiled, but just a solid PI mystery.  The romance, though, left me wanting.  Many of the interactions between Jordan and Eddie lacked the correct tension, and Jordan's thoughts concerning him seemed confusing (I honestly thought they were a steady couple at first).  Things do heat up, but the beginning just felt off.  The characters also hit me the same way.  Jordan, especially, takes some time to get to know as I can never connect with a main character who first comes off as the type of woman I cannot stand.  This, though, is where Smith and Steffens do a great job of proving that appearances can be deceiving.

As the first in the Jordan Welsh & Eddie Marino series, Stealing the Moon & Stars has a lot to recommend it.  I look forward to see what Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens have in store next for this duo.

Rating:  3/5

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: 5/18-5/24

For possible review (on Bookloons):
Hexed by Michelle Krys
The Strange Maid by Tessa Gratton
Bad Luck Girl by Sarah Zettel
Divided by Elsie Chapman
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Get Jiro!

Title: Get Jiro!
Author: Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, & Langdon Foss
Publisher: Vertigo
ISBN: 978-1-4012-2827-9
Why Read?: Book Club
Challenges: Graphic Novels, Dystopia, Free Reads, 100 Books in a Year

Thoughts:  Imagine a world where food is the only business left.  This is the premise for this highly imaginative dystopian.  Foss's artwork is not exactly my thing - one of the main characters just does not look right to me - but Bourdain (yes, that Anthony Bourdain) and Rose's storyline is exciting and not too unrealistic.

Rating: 4 stars

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Out of Picture 2

Title: Out of Picture 2
Author: Daisuke Tsutsumi & Michael Knapp
Publisher: Villard
ISBN: 978-0-345-49873-1
Why Read?: For Fun
Challenges: Graphic Novels, 100 Books in a Year

Thoughts:  This is a wonderful collection of sequential art short stories in a variety of styles.  My favorites - both for artwork and story - are "Crawdaddyo" by Lizette Vega, "The Carnivore" by Vincent Nguyen, and "Plane Food" by Willie Real.

Rating: 5 stars

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves

Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves
by Dianne Ascroft
published by Davog
June 2012
ISBN 978-1-907530-24-1
Why Read?: Review
Challenges:  E-Book, 100 Books in a Year

The six stories that Dianne Ascroft presents in Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves are true slices of life for her Irish characters.  Some are contemporary, some historical, but all are definitely Irish.

The one problem with “slice of life” tales is the lack of a major climax, and with short stories, this is particularly felt, making the reader wonder what the point was.  The story with the best flow is “Much More Than a Dancer”, but this suffers from stilted inner thoughts that sounded much more like telling than showing.  “Just a Cough” was also one I liked for the wonderful man versus nature conflict, however, the title led me to expect a much different – and more climatic – ending.

What Dianne Ascroft excels at is creating the feel of Ireland.  If you are looking to be transported to the Irish countryside for a few minutes, then Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves is your ticket there.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: 5/11-5/17

First Reads from Goodreads:
Enduring Courage by John F. Ross

Bought on Amazon:
The Twelfth Tablet by Tom Harper

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: 4/27-5/10

For possible review (on Bookloons):
We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt
The Secrets of Tree Taylor by Dandi Daley Mackall
The Lovely and the Lost by Page Morgan
Bloodwitch by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

First Reads from Goodreads:
Rotten at the Heart by Bartholomew Daniels
Clan Lord by Joel Babbitt
Living Dead Lovers by Jonathan Dunne

LibraryThing Early Review:
Seeing America by Nancy Crocker

Requested from Paperback Swap:
The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas by Chris Ewan
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn