Monday, 30 January 2012

Winter's Respite Readathon wrap up post

Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed this readathon, and amazingly I got a fair amount of time to read especially over the weekend. Considering I am expecting my study material any day now it was really nice to get a last weekends reading in!
Sunday's progress
Books read today: 3 (Atlantis, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon; Treasure Island)
Books finished today: 1 (Atlantis)
Pages read today: 369 (Atlantis 179, Outlander 143, Treasure Island 47)

In total I read:
Books read: 5 (Atlantis, Outlander, The Great Hunt, Treasure Island, Learning)
Pages Read: 1414
Books finished: 3 (Atlantis, The Great Hunt, Learning)

All in all, I was pleased with how much I have read, I met my goal of pages and I read 3 books. Quite good considering the size and the amount of time I had to read. I see that Michelle is planning a spooky readathon next time which I am looking forward to!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Winter's respite readathon update post

I have not dissappeared and have actually read a fair bit. Just have not had much chance to post. So, here is an update on where I am.

Mondays progress:
Books read today: 1 (Learning by Karen Kingsbury)
Pages read today: 190

Tuesday's progress
Books read today: 1 (The great hunt by Robert Jordan)
Pages read today: 93

Wednesday's Progress
Books read today: 1 (Learning
Books finished today: 1 (Learning)
Pages read today: 134

Thursday's Progress
(Lots of work, so didn't get much chance to read today)
Books read today: 1 (The Great Hunt)
Books finished today: 0
Pages read today: 52

Friday's Progress
Books read today: 1 (Atlantis by David Gibbins
Books finished today: 0
Pages read today: 152

Saturday' Progress
Books read today: 2 (The Great hunt, Atlantis)
Books finished today: 1 (The great hunt)
Pages read today: 424 (The great hunt 418, Atlantis 6)

Running totals:
Books read: 3 (The great hunt, Atlantis and Learning)
Pages read: 1045
Books finished: 2 (Learning + The great hunt)

Monday, 23 January 2012

Winters respite readathon starting line post

I noticed this on twitter this morning. I am not really sure how I missed it at all. I have joined in the previous two run by Michelle and definitely can't miss the winter one, even if we are in the middle of a blazing summer here!
I probably wont be able to get too much read this week, but definitely commit to reading as much as I can. I would like to read more than 1350 pages which is what I read for the last readathon. I won't commit to number of books because a few of the books on my list are 500+++ pages.
I am starting with Learning by Karen Kingsbury and The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan, which I am halfway through. Thereafter I will move onto my to be read pile, half of which is below. I may even stop off at the library over the next week, and I still have my book club books here. So, really the choice is unlimited.
Sorry for the poor quality of the photo, but I took it on my phone this morning, and didnt even notice that the books were higgledy-piggledy and it seems a bit blurred!

Pop over to Michelle at The true book addict for the starter post. Click on the readathon picture at the top for the sign up page.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Leaving by Karen Kingsbury

Leaving (Bailey Flanigan, #1)
Synopsis from Amazon.comThe Bailey Flanigan series begins with Bailey leaving Bloomington for the adventure of a lifetime. She has won an audition for the ensemble of a Broadway musical in New York City. She's determined to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but is she really ready to leave family and friends for the loneliness of the city? And what of Cody? His disappearance has her worried about their future and praying that their love can survive. In order to be closer to his mother in jail, Cody takes a coaching job in a small community outside Indianapolis. New friends, distance, and circumstances expose cracks in his relationship with Bailey Flanigan.

My review:
This book traces the lives of Bailey and Cody both trying to establish careers and lives for themselves. Whilst it is not all bad, there were a few things that did irritate me a bit and impacted on my enjoyment.
1. This is my first Karen Kingsbury book and it states that it is Book 1 in the Bailey Flannagan series. However, there is obviously a lot that has happened in the past to these characters in another series. It was quite hard to work out what was going on at times, which made it difficult to understand. I feel that it should be linked to another series, or some sort of recommendation made that you read those books first, rather than having it stand alone.

2. The characters are just too perfect. There lives are perfect, they always do the right thing, everything seems easy for them. It seems to almost come across that if you are a CHristian your life will work out perfectly and you will be perfect. This made it hard for me to identify with any of the characters. I didn't feel that the characters or the plot were developed enough during the book.
3. Lastly, I felt that there were a bit too many bible references etc. I am a Christian, although I dont really read much Christian fiction. What I have read in the past I have enjoyed. But this just seemed to go over the top which made it seem more like a sermon or devotional book, than a fictional story.

Although I have been fairly negative up to now, it is not all bad. The basics of the story are good, I enjoyed the plot. It is a very sweet story, very easy to read and it is certainly refreshing to have no sex or violence in the beook, just normal people enjoying a normal life. I also feel that if I knew a bit more of the background, I would probably have enjoyed it a bit more. I own the second book in the series and will definitely read it to see how things progress.

Rating: I gave it 2 out of 5 on Goodreads.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Bout of books wrap up post

Ok, so here is my final wrap up post for Bout of Books 3.0

Books finished on day 7: 0
Books finished since start: 1 and a half
Pages read on day 7: 116 (The Geneva Deception)
Pages read since start: 1349
Books read since start: Start Somewhere by Calvin Nowell, Kiss the girls by James Patterson, It's now or never by Carole Matthews, The Geneva Deception by James Twining, Duncton Tales by William Horwood. (These weren't finished, I read bits and pieces of them)

All in all, I enjoyed the readathon and the challenges I took part in. Even though I did not actually meet my goal I think my page count was pretty high. If I had chosen books that were less than 500 pages each, maybe I would have finished more. Thanks to Amanda for organising this readathon.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Bout of books 3.0 day 7

I didn't get a chance to update yesterday, so this is for two days. I had a very surprise visit from my best friend and ended up going to lunch with her, so did not really get much chance to read yesterday. I have read a bit today. So, since Friday night I have read the following:

Books read since Friday: 0
Books read all together: 1 and a half
Pages read since Friday:  290 (270 The Geneva Deception, 20 Start somewhere)
Pages read since start: 1233
#insixwords so hot I am battling to read

Friday, 13 January 2012

Bout of Books 3.0 picture challenge and update

Bout of Books
Todays challenge over at The reading housewives was to show a picture of your book, your snack and your drink. Tonight, I dropped Brenda off to youth and then had a couple of hours to read.
I have had a craving for hot chocolate for a day or so, but it is far too hot here So, I compromised and treated myself to some chocolate milk, which was yummy. Also, my packet of Lightly salted crisps and some rocky road chocolate. Yummy! Reading wise I am busy with Duncton Tales, but will possibly take a break to read a few shorter books.

Since my last update I havent had too much chance to read, but am happy with my progress so far.

Books finished today: 0
Books finished so far: 1 and a half (It's now or never and Kiss the girls)
Pages read since last update: 151 (136 Duncton Tales, 15 Start somewhere)
Pages read so far: 943
#insix words: Thank goodness its nearly the weekend!

Thursday, 12 January 2012


Whilst surfing today I discovered this meme and thought this was quite a nice set of questions. Pop over to Booking through Thursday if you would like to join in.

1. What’s your favorite time of day to read?

Any time! With working full time, studying part time and raising a daughter, I can't really say I have a set time to read. I will snatch a few minutes here and there at various times of the day.
2. Do you read during breakfast? (Assuming you eat breakfast.)
If I am eating alone yes, but not if I am with my daughter. Same goes for other meals, even in restaurants
3. What’s your favorite breakfast food? (Noting that breakfast foods can be eaten any time of day.)
Egg, bacon, mushrooms, toast

4. How many hours a day would you say you read?
Once again, depends on the day, but I try to get at least an hour in. Sometimes it is a lot more, sometimes less.
5. Do you read more or less now than you did, say, 10 years ago?
I have always read a lot, but during the period where my daughter was very young I found less time to read and didnt read much at all. Not to say that I didn't read, I always had a book on the go, but would take ages to finish it. That would put us from about 1998 - 2002  or so. Over the last few years I have been reading progressively more and more.

6. Do you consider yourself a speed reader?
Wouldn't say a speed reader, but I think I do read relatively fast.

7. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
To fly!

8. Do you carry a book with you everywhere you go?
Pretty much. I have one on the go at work, and one on the go at home. If I am going out I generally take one in my bag, unless I am just popping out to the shops. I have been known to buy a book to read at a fast food place because I cannot sit on my own without reading.
9. What KIND of book?
Paper, I would LOVE a Kindle though.
10. How old were you when you got your first library card?
I have had a library card as long as I can remember. My mum got us one as small children and we would go to the library weekly. True confession here: I used to read more books than I was allowed to take out. So, I used to sneak extra books out the library and sneak them back in the next week!
11. What’s the oldest book you have in your collection? (Oldest physical copy? Longest in the collection? Oldest copyright?)
I have a copy of David Copperfield which was my Grandfathers setbook at school. My mum subsequently used it as well. There is no date in it, but he was born in 1892, so it must have been published around 1900. There is another one with the same binding (can't remember the name right now) so it possibly came at around the same time. Oldest book in MY collection is some copies of Noddy from my childhood.
12. Do you read in bed?
Yes, in bed with a cup of coffee last thing at night, first thing in the morning, middle of the day, lol. Any time.
13. Do you write in your books?
I am absolutely unable to do this. I write my name only if they are going to be lent out. That is generally written in the inside front cover. Otherwise I cannot write in books, tear pages out, bend the corners etc. We had a very strict librarian in junior school who drummed this into me. Occasionally I will underline or star in a textbook, but this is very lightly in pencil.
14. If you had one piece of advice to a new reader, what would it be?
Read as much as you can get your hands on. Also, try and mix it up a bit, so you are not reading the same thing over and over. You may get bored and give up.
15. What question have I NOT asked at BTT that you’d love me to ask? (Actually, leave the answer to this one in the comments on this post, huh? So I can find them when I need inspiration!)
This is my first time here,  so dont really know what has been asked.

Review: Not that kind of girl by Catherine Alliot

Not That Kind of Girl
Picture links to Goodreads page
After being dumped at the altar Henrietta (Henny) falls in love and subsequently marries her boss, Marcus. The story starts about 15 years later when Henrietta, Marcus and their 2 children have just moved to the country and Henrietta takes a job as PA to a historian. After being found in a compromising, if innocent, position by her husband, her marriage starts to fall apart. Who should enter her life at this stage, but her ex-fiance Rupert. Who will she choose? Does her husband even want her? What are Ruperts plans? The book is set mainly between London and the countryside and some funny times ensue.

The majority of the book centres around Henny and her thoughts and feelings, as she tries to deal with these developments.  I am really in two minds about this book as there are some brilliant parts but some really boring bits. I found the main character to be really tiresome. Given to flights of fancy which made her do really stupid things. Although I guess that is sometimes what the genre is about, it really made me want to kick her! Henny would look at something and then we would have 4-5 pages of her imagining all sorts of happy or sad things happening. And then worse she would act on these even when there was no conceivable reason for her to do whatever she was doing.  There were times when the book dragged a bit, and could have probably done with having a 100 pages less fantasy. Having said that, the parts where there is any action are absolutely hysterical and had me laughing aloud. There are some scenes in the book which rank up there with my favourite scenes ever.
Rating: I gave it 3/5 on goodreads

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Bout of books 3.0 Day 3

Had work today, so I did not manage to read as much as I would have liked. However, I have managed to finish my first full book! I read It's now or Never  by Carole Matthews which was a really sweet, funny, romantic story!
Progress so far:
Books finished today: 1 (It's now or never)
Books finished so far: 1 and a half (It's now or never and Kiss the Girls)
Pages read today: 184
Total number of pages read: 792
#insixwords: Work interfered with my reading!

Review: Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs

Devil Bones (Temperance Brennan, #11)

Picture links to the Good reads page

A plumber doing some renovations on an empty house discovers an unknown part to the cellar, and with that a human skull,ritual implements and rotting animal carcasses. Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is called to investigate. Subsequently, a headless body turns up on a nearby lake shore. Many questions arise, who is the owner of the skull? Do the skull and the body belong to the same person? Why is there minimal decomposition on the body? Who is responsible? Before anyone knows what is going on a preacher turned politician starts making accusations of witchcraft and local citizens turn it into a witch hunt.

Kathy Reichs has really become one of my favourite authors and I usually thoroughly enjoy her books. However, I really struggled to get into this book in the beginning. It seemed to take a long time to get anywhere.  I found there was too much background information given considering that it was the 11th book in the series. Also, some of it had no bearing on the current story, so really was unnecessary. Also, there was too much theoretical information (I normally enjoy this, so not sure why it frustrated me in this book), and I felt that it sometimes interfered with the flow of the story. I also, generally prefer the books set in Canada, since I love Andrew Ryan and he did not get enough time in this book.
Having said that, the book is not all bad and I was never in any danger of giving up.The second half of the book is much faster than the first, and there are lots of twists and turns in the plot. I had guessed the culprit half way through, then with the way the story played out changed my mind about 4 times before finally discovering that it was my original suspect. Once you get into the story it is easy to read and goes quickly, so on the whole I did enjoy it.

Rating: I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Bout of Books 3.0 Starting line and updates

I have once again signed up for the Bout of Books readathon, which starts on Monday. I will update daily on this post, since I will have access to a computer and not use the phone to post, apart from Twitter that is.

Time committed to:Definitely Monday and Tuesday for most of the day. Wednesday - Friday I will be back at work, so not as much time. But then, will be back on the weekend.

I would like to read a minimum of 3 books, but will be thrilled with 5 or more. My ideal is to get a bit ahead in my goal to reach 120 books this year. I have quite a few long books on my TBR pile, so will count pages as well.

Books to be read:
I have about 15 books on my TBR pile, and 3 boxes of books in my house belonging to my bookclub, so I wont run out. I won't specify right now what I will read, since typically I specify and then read something totally different!

I didnt get as much chance to read as I liked, but did get some done. Going to bed now, so whatever I read in bed, will be added to tomorrows total.
Number of books I’ve finished today:  a half (Kiss the Girls)
Total number of books I’ve finished: a half (kiss the girls)
Total number of pages read: 351 (Kiss the Girls 312; Start Somewhere 14; Duncton Tales 25)
Today #insixwords: Tired because I woke early today
Things I learned on Twitter: Twitter not working on my phone today :-(
Books: Kiss the girls, Start somewhere, Duncton Tales


Number of books I’ve finished today: 0
Total number of books I’ve finished: half
Pages read today: 257 (It's now or never)

Total number of pages read: 608
Today #insixwords: Too much excitement here to read
Things I learned on Twitter: Once again no time to tweet!
Books: It's now or never

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If you would like to join in,  click on the picture above, or go here

Monday, 9 January 2012

Bout of books reading pile.

This is my reading pile for the Bout of Books readathon. It is basically just my to be read pile. However, I have a confession to make: There is another pile hiding behind that one, but this is really where I want to start. I also have all the books from my book club, so it is quite possible that I will read something from that if I get bored! What isnt in this pile is the book I am currently reading which is Duncton Wood by William Horwood.

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Is a weekly meme where we all get together and share what we have  been reading and will be reading. It is a great way to build up your reading list.
Last week I managed to read quite a bit. I wanted to get ahead on my reading challenge, so that I have room to play when I go back to work this week. I mainly read James Patterson, since I was staying with my sister who has just about all his books.

This is what I read last week:
  • Swimsuit by James Patterson
  • Don't blink by James Patterson
  • Run for your life by James Patterson
  • Step on a crack by James Patterson
  • Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs
  • Not that kind of girl by Catherine Alliot
  • Leaving by Karen Kingsbury
Reviews done last week:
What I am currently reading:
  • Kiss the girls by James Patterson - for some reason this book seems familiar but I have gone back and checked repeatedly and definitely have not read it. I am enjoying it though
  • Start somewhere by Calvin Nowell - a motivational weight loss book which I am definitely enjoying and identifying with. Will take this one slowly though.
Next on my list:
  • Not sure, but am doing the Bout of books readathon, so will definitely be reading!
For more reading inspiration, click on the picture above

Sunday, 8 January 2012

2011 Challenge Round up

Since we are a week into 2012, I thought I had better do a round up of 2011 challenges. I will try to be better this year about doing this as we go along.

100+ reading challenge
Goal: 100 books
Read: 108

Birth year reading challenge
Goal: 7
Read: 0
Oh dear, my main problem was since they were old books, I couldnt get them in my local library and needed to go into the main library in town, which I never got a chance to do. I may try and do this one this year.

Bronte sisters reading challenge:
Goal: 3
Read: 2
Oh dear.

Chunkster reading challenge
Goal: 6
Read: 20!

Lord of The Rings Readalong
Goal: 3 + 1 other Tolkien book
Read: 3 + The Hobbit

Mystery and Suspense challenge
Goal: 12
Read: 40!!!

Narnia Read a long
Goal: 7
Read: 7

New Author Challenge:
Goal: 15
Read: 32

Read me baby 1 more time
Goal:  13-20
Read: 18

Support your local library challenge:
Goal: 30
Read: 47

All in all, although I failed at 2 I think I did quite well. What I didnt do too well at is reviewing, I hope to be better this year!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Review: Swimsuit by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro


I have had a bit of a James Patterson readathon the last week, since I was staying with my sister and she has LOADS of them.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
A strikingly attractive swimsuit model, Kim McDaniels, goes missing at a photoshoot with the backdrop of an upscale hotel in Hawaii. Shortly after she vanishes, her distressed parents receive a shocking phone call – one that forces them to take the next available flight to Hawaii in a frantic effort to find their missing daughter. LA Times reporter Ben Hawkins is assigned to the case, and finds himself drawing on his experience as an ex-cop – particularly as the futile efforts of the local police are proving distinctly underwhelming. Ben may have his biggest scoop – but will it be at the expense of a young woman's life?

My review:
At the time I read this, I had only read one other non-Alex Cross book by James Patterson, and I felt that that book was a bit flat. However, this really did not dissapoint. It gripped me from the start, I started reading it at about 4pm on New Years day and finished that night, The short, punchy chapters make it easy to read, and easy to catch up if you need to leave it for a bit. That is if you can bear to leave it. He builds up the suspense slowly from the start of the book, and there are so many little clues throughout the book.. I liked the hero, Ben Hawkins, since I felt he was a normal sort of guy, that one could relate to. Although he had been a cop, he didnt have access to loads of fancy gadgets and backup, was just him on his own trying to solve the mystery.  Although he is a reporter and obviously out to get a story, you do get the impression that he really cares about the victims and the outcome of the case. One thing that surprised me though, is that the story is told, in a round about way, from the killers perspective, which makes for a different read. There are so many twists and turns in this book, with lots of violence and action.

The only thing I didn't really like, and it may sound a bit strange considering the rest of my review, is that sometimes I felt the book lost its direction a  bit. There was some unnecessary killing, and sometimes it seemed to go a bit in circles. However, overall it was an awesome read and perfect for a holiday or a long lazy day at the pool.

Rating: I gave it 5/5 on Goodreads

Support your local library challenge 2012

I thought this challenge had dissappeared, but found it today. I am still trying to save money and get rid of books, so going to join in again. I will go for 37+ books from my library.

Anyone can join.

You don't need a blog to participate. If you are a Non-blogger please leave a comment with a link (if you review elsewhere) to your review or with the book(s) you read.

Audio, ebooks (some libraries allow ebooks to be checked out), bound books are ok.

No re-reads

Challenge goes from January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012

Level 1 - Read 12 library books

Level 2 - Read 24 library books

Level 3 - Read 36 library books

Level 4 - Read 37+ library books

3. Atlantis by David Gibbins
4. Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs
5. Spring by William Horwoodp
6. Shopaholic ties the knot by Sophie Kinsella

Read me baby one more time 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge last year, it was so nice to rediscover old favourites. So, when I saw it was up again this year, I couldn't resist joining in again. I will once again go for Groundhog day reader, which means I must reread 13-20 books. Click on the picture if you would like to join the challenge.

1. Duncton Tales by William Horwood
2. The great hunt by Robert Jordan
3. Atlantis by David Gibbins
4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
5. Wilt on High by Tom Sharpe
6. The Dragon  Reborn by Robert Jordan
7. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
8. The shadow rising by Robert Jordan
9. Sarum by Edward Rutherford
10. The fires of heaven by Robert Jordan
11. Atlantis by David Gibbins
12. Lord of chaos by Robert Jordan
13. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
14. Duncton Rising by William Horwood
15. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
16. A crown of swords by Robert Jordan