Recent additions to my TBR list

toptentuesday2

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme I take part in when I can think up answers! It’s a great meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week a new topic is presented. It’s not only fun to think about my list, but to read what other people come up with!

This week I’m talking about a few of the books I’ve added to my TBR list in the last few months. I hope to read the following books before too much longer!

E-books

1. Knots and Crosses

  • by Ian Rankin
  • Series: Inspector Rebus #1
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Setting: Edinburgh, Scotland

2. Shades of Milk and Honey

  • by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Series: Glamourist Histories #1
  • Genre: Historical Fantasy
  • Setting: Regency England, 1814

3. Prince of Thorns

  • by Mark Lawrence
  • Series: The Broken Empire #1
  • Genre: Fantasy

4. A Natural History of Dragons

  • by Marie Brennan
  • Series: Memoir by Lady Trent #1
  • Genre: Fantasy

5. Starrigger

  • by John DeChancie
  • Series: Skyway #1
  • Genre: Science Fiction

Audiobooks

6. Starship Troopers

  • by Robert Heinlein
  • Series: None
  • Genre: Science Fiction

7. Steelheart

  • by Brandon Sanderson
  • Series: Reckoners #1
  • Genre: Fantasy

8. The Firebird

  • by Susanna Kearsley
  • Series: Slains #2
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Setting: Scotland & Russia

9. The Bone Season

  • by Samantha Shannon
  • Series: The Bone Season #1
  • Genre: Fantasy

10. Starhawk

  • by Jack McDevitt
  • Series: The Academy Prequel
  • Genre: Science Fiction

What books have you added to your TBR list?

Review: Darkwalker by E. L. Tettensor

darkwalkerDarkwalker
by E. L. Tettensor
Series: Nicolas Lenoir #1
Genre: Fantasy Mystery
Published by Roc, 2013
E-book, purchased
360 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Once a legendary police inspector, Nicolas Lenoir is now a disillusioned and broken man who spends his days going through the motions and his evenings drinking away the nightmares of his past. Ten years ago, Lenoir barely escaped the grasp of the Darkwalker, a vengeful spirit who demands a terrible toll on those who have offended the dead. But the Darkwalker does not give up on his prey so easily, and Lenoir has always known his debt would come due one day.

When Lenoir is assigned to a disturbing new case, he treats the job with his usual apathy—until his best informant, a street savvy orphan, is kidnapped. Desperate to find his young friend before the worst befalls him, Lenoir will do anything catch the monster responsible for the crimes, even if it means walking willingly into the arms of his own doom……

No, justice was not blind. She was a prostitute, for sale to the highest bidder.

“Once I realized the law could be bought,” he continued, “everything changed. I saw what a farce it was, a lot of playacting, everyone just going through the motions, especially where the rich and powerful were concerned.

Cheers

  • I was engrossed in this mystery.
  • This is a dark story. Literally and figuratively! Much of the story takes place at night and Lenoir is depressed, stoic and apathetic during most of the story.
  • Nicolas Lenoir isn’t a very likeable character at first. He’s cynical and disillusioned when the story opens. He’s a police officer who doesn’t mind taking bribes and doesn’t care a great deal about the crimes he’s investigating.
  • There is a lot of internal dialogue and struggle by Lenoir in this book. I like that.
  • Sergeant Bran Kody wanted to work for Inspector Lenoir because he has the reputation for being the best. But Kody is disillusioned with Lenoir. I like Kody. I think he’s very much like Lenoir when Lenoir started out.
  • Zach, an orphan street urchin, sometimes works with Lenoir as an informant. Zach is street-savvy and smart. A fun character. Lenoir finds out he cares more about Zach than he had thought.
  • I was surprised about quite a bit of this story. I like that!

Jeers

  • The fantasy aspect was a little weak, but I like Nicolas and I think series can be great!

Author info

  • E. L. Tettensor and Erin Lindsey are both the same author. I read Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey earlier in March and though I didn’t love it, Bloodbound did make me want to read Darkwalker which I had bought quite awhile ago. Ms. Tettensor lives with her husband in Burundi and has visited five continents!

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I like this book a bit better than Bloodbound. I didn’t like the romance so well in Bloodbound, but really liked the fantasy. I like the mystery a lot in this book, but hope the next book has more fantasy in it. She can definitely write good fantasy so I want to read both the second books by Tettensor and Lindsey!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
  • TBR Pile Challenge–hosted by the Bookish blog
  • Ultimate Reading Challenge–hosted by the Popsugar blog (one word title)

WoW: Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes

 

I’m participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m Waiting-on-Wednesdaylooking forward to coming out in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

…………………..

Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes

Series: DCI Louisa Smith #2

Publication Date: March 30, 2015

Genre: Mystery (police procedural)

Synopsis: An old case makes Detective Inspector Louisa Smith some new enemies in this spellbinding second installment of New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Haynes’s Briarstone crime series that combines literary suspense and page-turning thrills.

Ten years ago, 15-year-old Scarlett Rainsford vanished while on a family holiday in Greece. Was she abducted, or did she run away from her severely dysfunctional family? Lou Smith worked the case as a police constable, and failing to find Scarlett has been one of the biggest regrets of her career. No one is more shocked than Lou to learn that Scarlett has unexpectedly been found during a Special Branch raid of a brothel in Briarstone.

Lou and her Major Crime team are already stretched working two troubling cases: nineteen-year-old Ian Palmer was found badly beaten; and soon after, bar owner Carl McVey was found half-buried in the woods, his Rolex and money gone. While Lou tries to establish the links between the two cases, DS Sam Hollands works with Special Branch to question Scarlett. What happened to her? Where has she been until now? How did she end up back here? And why is her family–with the exception of her emotionally fragile younger sister, Juliette–less than enthusiastic about her return?

……………………………..

Why I want this book:

  • I’m loving mysteries especially police procedurals.
  • I haven’t read the first book yet and I want to read both of the books.
  • I like reading a book about a female police officer.

Revisiting my favorite preteen books

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme I take part in when I can think up answers! It’s a great meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week a new topic is presented. It’s not only fun to think about my list, but to read what other people come up with!

This week I’m talking about revisiting childhood favorite books–specifically the books I read as a preteen (from about ages 8 – 12).

When I was a preteen I loved reading about animals–mostly horses and dogs–and adventure stories. Most of these books are old, too. Most of them came from my childhood library I spent many, many hours in. We didn’t have a bookstore in our little town. I finally whittled this down to 10 books, but it was hard!

The animal stories

The Black Stallion

  • by Walter Farley
  • originally published 1941
  • I think I read all of Walter Farley’s books. I loved them. When the movie came out years later I loved that, too.

White Fang

  • by Jack London
  • originally published 1906
  • I cried and cried. For me this book was similar to Black Beauty–lots of cruelty, heartache and sadness, but redemption and happiness by the end. I also loved reading about the north with the cold and snow.

Silver Chief: Dog of the North

  • by Jack O’Brien
  • originally published 1933
  • Similar to White Fang in the sense Silver Chief is part wolf, part dog and also mistreated. Silver Chief is found by a Canadian Mountie and learns to trust people again. The series is a great adventure with the bond between human and dog the centerpiece.

Dignity: A Springer Spaniel

  • by Col. S. P. Meek
  • originally published 1937
  • I loved the books Col. Meek wrote about dogs including: Jerry: The Adventures of an Army Dog and Ranger: A Dog of the Forest Service. He was in the U.S. Army in both WWI and WWII and many of the books dealt with military dogs, military personnel and public service. There are lots of adventures and the dogs are all smart and loyal.

Lad: A Dog

  • by Albert Payson Terhune
  • originally published 1919
  • I loved Lad and wanted a collie so much after I read about him!

The adventure stories

Robinson Crusoe

  • by Daniel Defoe
  • originally published 1719
  • I thought living on an island would be so exciting until I read Robinson Crusoe! It might be exciting, but also lonely and dangerous.

Captains Courageous

  • by Rudyard Kipling
  • originally published 1897
  • This book really fired my imagination when I read it. It shows how a spoiled boy can grow into a courageous and loyal man.

Island of the Blue Dolphins

  • by Scott O’Dell
  • originally published 1960
  • An amazing adventure about a courageous girl. Most of the books I read as a young reader have boys as the main character so this book really struck a chord with me.

The Black Arrow

  • by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • originally published 1883
  • This is one of the books which made my love historical fiction. I loved this adventure story about England’s War of the Roses.

 A Wrinkle in Time

  • by Madeline L’Engle
  • originally published 1962
  • I think this might have been the first science fiction book I read. My husband also read this book when he was a kid and we read it to our kids. Such a great, imaginative story for children.

What about you? What childhood books do you love? Do you want to revisit them?

Sunday Post: Mar 22

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The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

 

Last Week

Home & blog

Back in Iowa this week. We’re getting our stuff ready for our Ireland trip. Checking our lists. Buying a few things we need. Plus getting packed. Plus driving to Chicago. Getting excited!

I apologize for being so slow to answer comments and not visiting other blogs. I’m having trouble just getting my posts ready while I’m gone. I’m back home in Maryland at the end of the month and then I’ll start getting caught up.

Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

 

What I read this week

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie

New–Books, E-books, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

Library

None

E-books

None

Audiobooks

None

Next Week

Home & blog

We leave for Ireland the evening of Saturday, March 21 so I’m scheduling this post and can’t link it or answer any comments or the others I have scheduled for the week I’m gone.

I’m so excited about our trip. We’re (my husband, daughter and other family members) flying in to Dublin arriving early Sunday morning. Sunday we are traveling to Bunratty where we are sightseeing and staying the night. The next days we’re visiting the Cliffs of Moher (the cliffs shown in The Princess Bride movie), Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Cork, Blarney Castle, the Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough, Malahide Castle, Clontarf Castle, Dublin, The Guinness Storehouse and Trinity College. These are just the scheduled events. We also have free time to do lots of other activities. Fun times!

Blog Posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday–Revisiting my favorite preteen books
  • Waiting on Wednesday–Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes
  • Review: Darkwalker by E. L. Tettensor
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?

Review: The Future Falls by Tanya Huff

the-future-fallsThe Future Falls
by Tanya Huff
Series: Gale Women #3
Genre: Fantasy
Published by DAW Hardcover, 2014
Library book
326 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: When Auntie Catherine warns the family of an approaching asteroid, the Gales scramble to keep humans from going the way of the dinosaurs. Fortunately for the world, they’re wielding a guitar and a dragon.

The Gale family can change the world with the charms they cast, which has caused some supernaturally complicated family shenanigans in the past. So when NASA and Doomsday Dan confirm Auntie Catherine’s dire prediction, Charlotte “Charlie” Gale turns to the family for help.

But Allie is unavailable because the universe seems determined to have her produce the seventh son of a seventh son of a seventh son of a Gale.  And the Aunties can’t help because they’re tied to the earth – although they are happy to provide their delicious, trademark pies.  And in the end, all Charlie has is a guitar…

…and Jack. The Dragon Prince, and a Sorcerer.

“Belief is not a required component of ability.”

and

“There’s always hope, Charlotte, that’s the point of the story.”

Cheers

  • The Gale family is awesome.
  • The Aunties are awesome and scary.
  • I like Charlie. She was the main character of the last book and I love all the music and the way her music is her magic.
  • When Charlie finds out an asteroid is headed toward Earth she isn’t worried because she knows NASA will have already found it and have a problem for stopping it. However, NASA hasn’t found the asteroid in time and things look grim.
  • All the different ideas Allie uses to try to find a way to stop the asteroid are a good part of the book. She talks to scientists and other experts as well as her Aunties to find a solution. I like the systematic way she tries to find answers.
  • Allie, Charlie, Jack are the younger generation and are great to read about.
  • Allie and Jack are really fun to read about in this book.

Jeers

  • I really don’t understand how everything works at the end!
  • I thought some of the rules the Aunties have don’t make sense for Jack and Allie.

About the author

  • Tanya Huff is a Canadian author who writes fantasy and science fiction books.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I really like Tanya Huff’s writing and enjoy this series. I think I like her Torin Kerr series a little better though.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

TBR Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

magicbreaksMagic Breaks
by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #7
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Ace, 2014
E-book, purchased
348 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

Sometimes the Universe smiled. Mostly she kicked me in the face, stomped on my ribs once I fell down, and laughed at my pain, but once in a while she smiled.

and

On Harpy’s Drive we passed a row of trees, each one with its trunk unnaturally bloated and covered with black fuzz. I had no idea what the fuzz did, but we steered clear of it. The law of navigating post-Shift Atlanta was simple: if you don’t know what it is, don’t touch it.

Cheers

  • Reading this book is like seeing long-time friends whom you haven’t seen for awhile. But it’s like you just saw them yesterday.
  • This book is so much fun. Lots of action and excitement.
  • I love Kate and Curran! I love their honesty and respect for each other. They don’t try to change or stop the other from doing what they have to do.
  • Kate knows Curran will never give up on her. And she’ll never give up on him.
  • At one point in the book Kate says, “Giving up is dying quietly with your hands bound in a hut where the man who tied you up threw you. Hope is kicking your way out and running ten miles across snow and forest against all odds.” She shows both these qualities in this book.
  • The magic system is so interesting in these books. We learn more about how magic has changed the world and why magic and tech are warring with each other.

Jeers

  • I’m not quite sure what to think about her father!

About the author

  • Ilona Andrews is the husband-and-wife writing team of Gordon and Ilona. Their website has lots of great content including short stories plus a free serial. They also have a fun blog.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’m so happy with this book! I bought it when it first came out last July, but then wanted to wait to read it since I’d have to wait a year for the next one…lol. I’m so glad I finally read it. Can’t wait for the next book.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Reading Challenges

My spring TBR list

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme I take part in when I can think up answers! It’s a great meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week a new topic is presented. It’s not only fun to think about my list, but to read what other people come up with!

This week I talk about the books on my spring list of books to read.

These are the books coming out this spring I especially want to read:

April

A Desperate Fortune

  • by Susanna Kearsley
  • Series: None
  • Publication Date: April 7

May

Hallow Point

  • by Ari Marmell
  • Series: Mick Oberon #2
  • Publication Date: May 12

Uprooted

  • by Naomi Novik
  • Series:
  • Publication Date: May 19

Only a Promise

  • by Mary Balogh
  • Series: The Survivor’s Club #5
  • Publication Date: May

June

Dragon in Exile

  • by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
  • Series: Liaden Universe Publication Order #18
  • Publication Date: June 2

Hidden Huntress

  • by Danielle L. Jensen
  • Series: The Malediction Trilogy #2
  • Publication Date: June 2

Books from my TBR pile

I’ve had these books for quite awhile and want to finally read them this spring.

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

The Siren Depths by Martha Wells

Caliban’s War by James Corey

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

Earth Flight by Janet Edwards

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

I’ve chosen a total of twelve books for my spring reading list. Six new books and six from my TBR pile books. What books are on your spring list of books to read?

Sunday Post: Mar 15

rp_sundaypostmeme13.jpg

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

 

Last Week

Home & blog

I’ve been in Iowa since last weekend and now am in northern Wisconsin for a wedding! The weather is surprisingly warm here–in the 50’s during the day. There’s still snow along the side of the road, but things are melting. Some parking lots are skating rinks though since it gets below freezing every night. My daughters and I arrived very early Thursday morning (1 a.m.) so we were in time to meet everyone at a salon Thursday morning for manicures and pedicures. So much fun! I seldom have either so this was a treat for me and so fun to talk and catch up with relatives. One of my daughters is a bridesmaid so she is off getting her hair and makeup done the morning of the wedding. This is a big, family wedding. I think the bride wanted something a little smaller and more casual, but her sisters talked her into this. So she has a big, but casual wedding (seven bridesmaids and every child in the family is part of the bridal party!) The family is pretty laid back about it all!

We’re leaving early Sunday morning for the trek back to Iowa (eight-hour car trip). I’ve only managed to drop in occasionally during this week a few times and had book reviews scheduled so it has worked out well.

Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

 

What I read this week

Darkwalker by E. L. Tettensor

New–Books, E-books, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

Library

None

E-books

None

Audiobooks

Soldier Girls by Helen Thorpe

The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm

Next Week

Home & blog

We plan to arrive back in Iowa early Sunday afternoon. Then my younger daughter and I are getting ready for a trip to Ireland. We leave on March 21 and return on March 28. My husband is meeting us in Chicago for the flight to Dublin. And we’re joining 30+ relatives for the trip! The bride and groom from the wedding decided when they were planning the wedding that they wanted to go to Ireland afterward and they invited family members to join them. We will have our own bus and tour guides in Ireland and have many group activities, but also free time every day. There are still relatives in Ireland whom the family knows well and we will be spending some time with them, too.

So the next two weeks are busy and I will have some scheduled posts, but especially when we’re in Ireland won’t have internet access.

Blog Posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • TBR Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
  • Review: The Future Falls by Tanya Huff
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?

Review: Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

karen-memoryKaren Memory
by Elizabeth Bear
Series: Unknown
Genre: Fantasy (steampunk)
Published by Tor Books, 2015
Library book
352 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Set in the late 19th century—when the city we now call Seattle Underground was the whole town (and still on the surface), when airships plied the trade routes, would-be gold miners were heading to the gold fields of Alaska, and steam-powered mechanicals stalked the waterfront, Karen is a young woman on her own, is making the best of her orphaned state by working in Madame Damnable’s high-quality bordello. Through Karen’s eyes we get to know the other girls in the house—a resourceful group—and the poor and the powerful of the town. Trouble erupts one night when a badly injured girl arrives at their door, begging sanctuary, followed by the man who holds her indenture, and who has a machine that can take over anyone’s mind and control their actions.  And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the next night brings a body dumped in their rubbish heap—a streetwalker who has been brutally murdered.

…[T]he Marshal came in and I saw Bea and Priya both assemble their sweet, stupid faces in a hurry. What was funny was I saw him noticing them doing it and I saw the sharp little twist of his frown when he did. He got control of it again right quick, and I was left with the strange thought that everybody in that room just then was wearing a mask for the purpose of not upsetting one another.

and

…I flipped open the morning paper to check the Mad Science Report. No experiments were scheduled, and no duels had been announced–at least among the Licensed Scientists–but you never knowed when a giant automaton was going to run rogue unscheduled. Mostly the city makes the inventors keep to the edge of town. Mostly.

Cheers

  • This book is so much fun.
  • A big reason I like this book so much is because Karen Memery is such a great character. Her “voice” is delightful.
  • I like the steampunk setting of this book. The machines like the sewing machine are amazing!
  • Some of the steampunk machines are very scary. Often in the steampunk books I’ve read in the past the machines are neutral or just fun, but I think it’s natural that some would be used for “good” and some for “bad.”
  • The setting–a west coast city named Rapid City in the 1890s, similar to Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. The way the city is being built right on top of the old city with the streets raised is really interesting. It seems very claustrophobic for the people in the underground part of the city.
  • I grew up on West Coast and have many relatives who live on ranches–riding horses and herding cattle–so I recognize Karen Memery in many of my relatives.
  • It’s kind of nice to have a book which isn’t part of a series, but, of course, I’d love to read some more about Karen Memery and her world!
  • Karen is very matter-of-fact about working in a bordello. She did what she had to do when her father died leaving her an orphan. She isn’t very complimentary about most men, but when she meets men and women who are loyal, trustworthy and honest she’s instinctively drawn to them. The euphemism “seamstress” for the work these women do is very funny.
  • I like the friendships between the women and the respect the women have for Madame Damnable.
  • I like the stand these women take. It’s not an easy step to take a stand against the powerful men of Rapid City.

Jeers

  • Some of the characters are stereotypes–Madame Damnable, for example. But I still enjoyed the book a lot.

Author info

  • Elizabeth Bear is the author of many short stories as well as a number of other speculative fiction books. She has won a number of awards including Hugo and the John W. Campbell Awards.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I loved this book and want to read some more books by Ms. Bear.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Reading Challenges