Monday, April 28, 2008

Time for a little variety - Sci-Fi/Fan & YA

Ok...well I'm still savoring the last "In Death" book but I'm sure I'll be done with it tomorrow. Like I said before, I have to enjoy this one because it will be a fairly decent stretch until the next one and that seems rough considering I've spent the past 2 months straight with these characters.

Moving on, I thought I would try something a little different. It mentions in my profile that I work part time at a bookstore. Well one of the benefits is that I get to recommend books (or up sell) to customers. We also have an endcap display devoted to just "Staff Picks." I take advantage of this wall and I must say my picks just fly off the display. So I thought I would share a few of those today to fill the gap until I read and finish the next book.

First up is one of my all time favorite book series:

The Black Jewels Trilogy By Anne Bishop. I have loaned this series (first the individual books then this omnibus copy) to so many people I can't begin to list. Every single one of them has loved it and read all the other little accompanying books. Don't think it is just my female friends that enjoyed this series...the male ones like it too!

A Sci-Fi/Fantasy book set in a dark world where the caste system is matriarchal. Filled with magic, betrayal, and utter devotion these characters firmly entrench themselves in your good graces from the first introduction. One of the few books where I did, in a very cliche way, laugh out loud and cry enough to need a kleenex.

Next up is a young adult...actually probably a few YA books as I am the only one at the bookstore who reads them:

Ginny is a 17 year old girl who has just recieved a letter from her aunt Peg. The thing is her aunt passed away a few months earlier. In this letter are directions that will lead Ginny on a scavenger hunt across Europe one little blue envelope at a time. Think one insane scavenger hunt/road rally. But Ginny is the only player and she can't have a cell phone, laptop/computer, or even a music player of any sort. She can only use what aunt Peg has provided.

The premise of this book is what intruiged me enough to buy it (even with my awesome 33% discount). The evening I finally got to it in my "to be read" pile I figured I would read a few chapters then go to sleep for the night. Fast forward to me yawning hugely and turing the last page in the wee early morning hours. Translation: Jenny stayed up way too late finishing the book. But I just couldn't put a pause on the adventure.

I really did enjoy this book and felt as though I was on the trip with Ginny. My only issue is the fact that this 17-year-old who's mother is supposedly very straight-laced and organized didn't have a problem with the whole adventure and has absolutely no contact with Ginny throughout the trip. Beyond that it is a wonderful story about a girl discovering things about herself and her family that help lay the groundwork for the rest of her life.

Ok, I was going to do another one but I have an early wake-up call for job #1 tomorrow. Maybe I'll add the other YA book during the day.

"In Death" Series By J.D. Robb - Adult Mystery/Thriller

I may be hanging myself with a short rope (yes the death pun is intentional) by using the almighty Ms. Robb (AKA Nora Roberts) as my first review. Then again taking on a series of books that number 30+ in novels and short stories is a tall order no matted how you look at it. I orginially started these books a number of years ago then wandered away around tale #20. About a month and a half ago I decided, with the help of the friend who first got me into the series, to attempt to forge my way through the entire series. And I have. And boy did we have our ups and downs.

I'm not going to go through book by book and give you the low down. Instead I'll give you what drew me into the series as a whole. What we have is a series about a NY police Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her devoted significant other Roarke in the relatively near future (wikipedia lists it circa 2058). Both of these characters have traumatic backgrounds that lay the foundation for the wonderfully witty, devoted, and determined people we meet in the books. Eve with the help of Roarke and her trusty sidekick Officer Delia Peabody work in Homicide to solve whatever murders fall in their keeping.

I'm sure thats information you can get anywhere...including wikipedia. But here is my take. While I love Eve and Roarke and their dynamic it is the secondary characters, their evolutions, and their interactions with Eve that pulled me through these books. I wanted to see Peabody as she grew under Eve's guidence (not gentle by any means...more snarky and saracstic). In the same vein I wanted to see Eve grown as a person because of her relationship with Peabody. There is a number of other supporting players, Detective Ian McNab with his bright flamboyant style but true (slighty perverted) heart, Captain Ryan Feeney who is Eve's trainer and the father of her heart, Dr. Charolette Mira who knows Eve better than Eve does, and lastly but certainly not leastly Mavis. Ahh Mavis. I can't even go there. Read for yourself.

If you haven't guessed by now I adore these books. Its true like any series some books are better than others but as a whole it is all engrossing. My only issue is the fact that so many of these high porfile murders happen on Eve's watch and there is always a swift (literally almost always within a few days) wrap up of the case. There isn't much to show the reality of juggling cases and the reality of cases going cold. But even with this one bit of slight dissatisfaction I can't help but feel sad that I am nearing the end of the most current book. I will have to wait till fall for any new Eve adventures, but you can start from the beginning now and truly enjoy!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Getting Started

Well hello. This is the maiden voyage of my attempt at sharing my vast reading collection. Or at least sharing informantion about it. I'm a 26-year-old recently graduated unemployed certified seconday english teacher. That makes me sound both impressive and a bit pathetic all at the same time. Oh well. I also work part time at a bookstore. These two combined with my life long love affair with books have led me to having more books than clothes and very minimal space for anything in my room that isn't binding and paper.

In this blog you will find my thoughts and opinions on the different books that make their way to my shelves. I am an avid Romance reader, a Young Adult book enthusiast, and a fan of Urban and Sci-Fi Fantasy. Mind you, I'm not limited to those by any means but they are what I prefer to read in my space time.

So let me tell you how this is going to be set up. In the Title line I will give you the title of the book and the author followed by the section of the bookstore you are most likely to find the book. I'll usually try to provide a picture of the cover and give you a run down on the book plot and characters. After that will be my free form babbling about what I like or don't like about what I read. See. Simple.

Now as I work with kids throughout the summer I hope to gather more titles and new authors to my ever expanding list but please feel free to send me any suggestions you might have as well.