Saturday, October 30, 2010

In My Mailbox (57)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

For Review:

Received an ARC of Dennis Lehane's Moonlight Mile from the publisher. Lehane is a really good writer, and I'm looking forward to this one as it revisits characters from one of his older books. The first story was good, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Amanda McCready was four years old when she vanished from a Boston neighborhood twelve years ago. Desperate pleas for help from the child's aunt led investigators Kenzie and Gennaro to take on the case. The pair risked everything to find the young girl - only to orchestrate her return to a neglectful mother and a broken home. Now Amanda is sixteen - and gone again.

Happy reading everyone!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cat Thursday (The Friday Edition)

Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Sorry I'm a day late, but I wanted to share a couple of pictures with you for Halloween, so better late than never!

Would love to receive this little guy for trick or treat!

                                                                   Isn't he too, too cute???

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Review: Full Moon City Anthology

Full Moon City edited by Darrell Schweitzer & Martin H. Greenberg

Source:  Review copy received from the publisher

Rating:  4/5

From New York to Los Angeles to Bucharest, fifteen never-before-published tales by some of the world’s finest fantasy and horror writers celebrate the newest incarnations of an age-old terror that strikes when the moon is full . . . the werewolf. No longer confined to the forests, these modern monsters can be found in places you frequent every day - and never before thought to fear. (Goodreads synopsis)

My Thoughts
It's no secret that I love anthologies! And what could be better than a book full of werewolf stories? Almost nothing! One of the reasons I love anthologies so much is that I can revisit old favorites as well as discover new writers, and this collection was no exception. There are stories from some of my favorites, like Holly Black and Carrie Vaughn, and stories from new-to-me writers that I want to further explore.

Rather than dissect each story in this collection, I just want to touch on a few. I Was a Middle-Age Werewolf by Ron Goulart was an amusing look at a down on his luck Hollywood writer who finds himself cursed with being a werewolf. I also got a kick out of Darrell Schweitzer's Kvetchula's Daughter, about a nice Jewish girl whose life is "ruined" when her parents become vampires. What can I say, I like wacky humor!

In a different vein, No Children, No Pets by Esther M. Friesner is about a six year old city werewolf who lives in Central Park. Don't think I've ever read a story where the main character was a child werewolf before. Or would that be a werewolf cub? Very original!

My two favorite stories were Kitty Learns the Ropes by Carrie Vaughn and The Bitch by P.D. Cacek. I've read several books in the Kitty series, so it was nice to see her again. And while I haven't read Cacek before, this story about an old girlfriend who refuses to let go was really good! Loved the ending!

All in all, I think this was a really nice collection of werewolf stories. Some were not as strong as others, but it's a good anthology. The good stories outweigh the weaker contenders, and the authors are all talented writers. Definitely recommend this one!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In My Mailbox (56)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

For Review:

Received a review copy of Cookie Swap by Lauren Chattman from the publisher. I had dropped off my business card at Workman Publishing's BEA booth back in May, and was pleasantly surprised when this showed up in my mailbox! I love cookies, and have already got my eye on a few new recipes to try!

When Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists offered me a chance to review The Big Ten of Grammar, I jumped at the opportunity! Believe it or not, I was never taught grammar during my entire public school education. William B. Bradshaw has identified the ten most frequent grammatical errors, and I'm looking forward to learning what I'm doing right, and fixing whatever I'm doing wrong!

Looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to and jumping back into the blogosphere! Have been crazy-busy at work, but am trying to avoid turning into a workaholic. There are only so many hours in a day, and work is taking up entirely too much of my time. I need my reading and blogging time!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cat Thursday (25)

Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to highlight pictures of cats, little tidbits about what our kitties are up to, or any snippets about cats we've come across. Love cats and love funny pictures, so wanted to share my latest find with you!

Going to a wedding this weekend, so have weddings on the brain...
Poor groom doesn't have a chance! *L*

Friday, October 8, 2010

I've crossed to the dark side....

Well, I finally did it. I crossed to the Dark Side....


Despite my firm stance against eReaders, I finally caved and bought a nook. Thanks to a very generous gift, it didn't cost very much, and I have to admit that it's pretty slick. And while I've downloaded over 50 eBooks, they were all free.

nookish delight

What was the tipping point? Why did I finally decide to cross to the Dark Side (aside from the promised cookies, which I'm still waiting for)? Have to admit that NetGalley eARCs were the final push off of the fence for me. They have so many awesome eARCs available, and I just don't like reading books on my PC. I like to read curled up on my couch, and even a laptop is not conducive to a comfy reading experience.

So between the ever increasing availability of eARCS and the awesome number of eBooks I can borrow from my public library, I caved. I'm so ashamed! (not really)

The big test was a recent trip. Normally, I would fill up my backpack with several paperbacks. Bulky and heavy, I have to admit that books take up a lot of room. And if I'm flying? Fuhgeddaboudit! Too expensive in terms of both cost and packing space. Decided to take my new nook for a test run this trip and left the physical books at home. It was a win-win! The nook didn't take up much room, was lightweight, and I had a plethora of books to choose from! (word of the day = plethora) I even felt oh-so-stylish with the pretty cover I picked up:

Jonathon Adler Punctuation Cover
One of the reasons I decided on this particular cover was because of the pockets inside. I went to the store and checked out all of the covers, and kept coming back to this one. It's the Jonathon Adler Punctuation Cover. Has a big question mark on the back as well. Love it!

Jonathon Adler Punctuation Cover

So all in all, I'm very happy with my new nook. It's lightweight. I can read curled up on the couch, with one hand free to pet my cat or drink my tea. It's very simple to download books from online or sideload them from NetGalley or the library. And I'm really happy with the design!

Not as bulky as the Sony eReader or as clunky-looking as the Kindle, I think the nook is the best of the major eReaders out there. I researched several of the other devices, but was hesitant to go beyond the big names as who knows if PanDigital or Alex or Libre would still be around down the road? And the iPad was just too expensive. Of course, should anyone want to send me an iPad, I'd be more than happy to accept!

Am curious to hear how many others have crossed to the Dark Side? I know that Kindle and Sony have lots of fans out there, so wondering why you decided on that particular device? I tend to do research to narrow down my choices, then want to see the item in person to decide what appeals to me the most. I freely admit that I can be swayed by looks, and I think my new nook is very sleek looking.

So come....join me! We have cookies........

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cat Thursday (24)

Michelle over at The True Book Addict came up with a fun idea for a meme! "Cat Thursday" is a way to highlight pictures of cats, little tidbits about what our kitties are up to, or any snippets about cats we've come across. I love all those funny/cute cat pictures out there!

Come to the dark side...

I'm not sure if this cat is scary-funny, or just scary-scary...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Review: Getting There by Gerry Boylan

Getting There by Gerry Boylan

Source:  ARC provided by Phenix & Phenix Litarary Publicists

Rating:  3/5

In 1973, after a shocking event turned his life upside down, Luke spent his youth hitchhiking along I-75 between Florida and Michigan, meeting an extraordinary cast of characters, surviving the dangers and tragedies of the road, and falling in love. Fast-forward thirty years: Luke now struggles to reconcile the boy he was with the middle-aged father he's become. And he wonders whether it's wise to trust the young hitchhiker he's picked up on his latest road trip. (Goodreads synopsis)

My Thoughts:
I read this story right after finishing Gerry Tales, which may have been a mistake as it was inevitable that I'd compare the two. This is a work of fiction, but I found myself preferring his book of true stories. There were a few instances that reminded me of one of his true stories, which makes sense as even with fiction, authors are inspired by their real life.

The book alternates between Luke's past as a young hitchhiker, and his present as a father driving his daughter to college. For some reason, this one didn't flow as smoothly as his other book. Again, I probably made a mistake reading them back to back, but hindsight is 20/20.

Gave this book a 3/5 as I didn't really like present Luke, and thought that past Luke was a more sympathetic character. It was still an okay read, but I didn't really care for the young hitchhiker they picked up on the way to college. On the whole, I'd say that this was an average story that didn't really grab me. I still think that Gerry is a talented writer, but I prefer his non-fiction.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Review: Gerry Tales by Gerry Boylan

Gerry Tales by Gerry Boylan

Source: ARC provided by Phenix & Phenix Litarary Publicists

Rating: 4/5

In this collection of personal essays, Gerry Boylan recounts a lifetime of adventures and misadventures. His stories are sweet, loopy, and hilarious, ranging from hitchhiking experiences gone awry to the birth of his first child (sans painkillers or doctors, but with pinochle-playing buddies and malted milkshakes). Whether he's fleeing in terror from a marauding bat or causing a thousand-bicycle pileup in Beijing, he'll have you laughing at his unique mixture of lunacy and heart. (Goodreads synopsis)

My Thoughts:
I love the subtitle of this book: How I Lived Happily Ever After Despite Stabbing Myself in the Back, Scalding My Cojones, and Really Pissing Off My Wife During Childbirth! Gerry talks about these subjects, and many more! It reminds me a little of Dave Barry's collection of columns, only the author bio doesn't mention that Gerry was ever a columnist, so guess he's just a good writer with lots of funny stories. And boy, are they funny!

Gerry grew up in a large Irish Catholic family in the 1950's. Not sure why so many Irish Catholic Baby Boomers grow up with so many amusing stories, but maybe it has something to do with having so many siblings? Whatever the reason, I really enjoyed this book! None of the stories rang false, and it was a fast, fun read.

Gave this book a 4/5 as the stories were amusing, Gerry is a talented writer, and none of the stories were silly or boring. A great book if you're looking for an amusing collection of short tales.

You can learn more about the very amusing Mr. Boylan at his website: 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

In My Mailbox (55)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books. The book gods were generous this week! And I strongly deny my DH's unwarranted assertion that I was petting and crooning to my new babies books! *L*

For Review:

Received a huge envelope full of books from Simon & Schuster that turned me into a puddle of joy! Seriously. A puddle of joy! Ever read that someone was 'aquiver with excitement'? That was me when I opened this envelope! I have never received this many books from a publisher before, and every single title was perfect! I hope this doesn't sound stupid, but I feel like I've died and gone to book heaven!

I remember reading about The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer by Lucy Weston and thinking it sounded interesting, but can't remember requesting the ARC. Doesn't matter, as I'm a huge Queen Elizabeth I fan, and can't wait to read about her as a vampire hunter! Couldn't find a cover picture as it's not due out until January, but the cover on the ARC reminds me of a historical fiction title. Sorry I don't have a camera handy to show you, but trust me, it's very pretty. :)

Received the anthologies Full Moon City and Blood Lite II: Overbite. I love anthologies, and the authors in these two collections are amazing! How can you go wrong with Holly Black, Kelley Armstrong, Allison Brennan, Tanith Lee, and company?

Bleak History by John Shirley looks right up my alley! It's about a bounty hunter who specializes in supernaturals. He's just trying to make a living, but the government has their eye on him. Uh-oh...

There were also two zombie titles in my package of joy: Dying to Live by Kim Paffenroth, and Rise Again by Ben Tripp. I'm really starting to like the new breed of zombie, as they aren't the old school zombies who were easy to kill and a little on the boring side. The new style zombie is awesome!

So now can you understand why the above six titles turned me into a quivering puddle of joy?

But wait....there's more!

Received review copies of Adam & Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin from William Morrow publishing. These were a nice surprise, as I hadn't requested them and don't remember winning them in a contest. While not my usual genre, they both look interesting and have pretty decent reviews on Goodreads.

I sincerely hope that I don't sound like an obnoxious brat about all of the books I received this week, but I'm just so excited about receiving so many great titles! I had given up on contacting publishers because I never get a response, so I was beyond thrilled when these came in the mail! If these were contest wins that I forgot to put in my spreadsheet, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.

Happy reading!