Archive for March, 2010

March 31st, 2010

2010 Books

by Gwen

January (15)

The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner 1933

The Case of the Sun Bather’s Diary by Erle Stanley Gardner  1955

The Case of the Demure Defendant by Erle Stanley Gardner  1956

Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd 2010

Where are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark 1975

The Forty Years War by Colondny & Shachtman 2009 NF

Hellraisers by Robert Sellers 2009 NF

Comfort Living by  Christine Eisner 2009 NF

William H. Miner by Joseph C. Burke 2010 NF

Little Alters Everywhere by Rebecca Wells 1992

The Motive by John Lescroart 2006

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez 2010

Water by Steven Solomon 2010 NF

The Women in His Life by Barbara Taylor Bradford 1990

A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett 1995

February (13)

Brigid of Kildare by Heather Terrell 2010

Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton 2010

Suddenly Frugal by Leah Ingram 2009

The American Revolution: A Grand Mistake by Leo Stauber 2010 NF

This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson 2010 NF

The Twilight Gospel by Dave Roberts 2010 NF

Blogging for Bliss by Tina Frey 2009 NF

The Professor & Other Writings by Terry Castle 2010 NF

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova 2010

The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo 2010

Among Thieves by David Hosp 2010

The Templars by Piers Paul Read 2003 NF

Doors Open by Ian Rankin 2010

March (24)

Alice & Wonderland & Philosophy 2010 NF

Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian 2010

The Duel & Other Stories by Anton Chekhov

Pride & Prejudice: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith 2010

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison 2004

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Walking to Gatlinburg by Frank Mosher 2010

Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk 2009 NF

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher 2007

The Secret by Beverly Lewis 2009

Sorcerers & Secretaries by Amy Kim Ganter 2007 Manga

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson 2009

Friends with Benefits by Darren Barefoot 2009 NF

Red Inferno: 1945 by Robert Conroy 2010

The Information Officer by Mark Mills 2010

The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris 2010

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown 2009

The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson 2009

Why We Read What We Read by Adams and Heath 2006 NF

Worst Case by James Patterson 2010

God’s Spy by Juan Gómez-Jurado 2007

Hide in Plain Sight by Marta Perry 2009 (Free for Kindle)

The Detective and Mr. Dickens by William J. Palmer 1990

The Help by Kathryn Stockett 2009

March 29th, 2010

The Detective and Mr. Dickens by William J. Palmer Review

by Gwen

Detective and Mr. Dickens

“In Victorian London, Charles Dickens and his protégé, author Wilkie Collins, make the acquaintance of the shrewdest mind either would ever encounter: Inspector William Field of the newly formed Metropolitan Protectives. A gentleman’s brutal murder brings the three men together in an extraordinary investigation that leads Dickens to the beautiful young actress Ellen Ternan, who would become the love of his life but who now stands accused of murder”

Reminding me of Sherlock Holmes, this was written in the form of a journal of sorts by Dickens’ sidekick, Wilkie Collins. I love how it mixed fact, fiction, and a murder mystery all in one delightful story that was a gentle reminder of the horror that was 1850’s London.

Dickens meets Inspector Field at a ghoulish hanging and is immediately drawn to learning more about what it means to be a detective. Eventually the right case for him to tag along on comes and Dickens and companion, Wilkie find themselves exposed to all sorts of things that gentleman are not usually. Read: Brothels, Victorian pornography, prostitution and in general the lowest class of the slums of London.

If you are a fan of Dickens or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this is a very pleasing read. My only complaint is that the copy I read was done in really small type. I don’t wear glasses, but this was tiny even for me!

The Detective and Mr. Dickens by William J. Palmer

Publisher: Fawcett; First Thus edition (September 23, 1992)

ISBN-10: 0345374711

ISBN-13: 978-0345374714

March 28th, 2010

What Are You Reading? (March 28, 2010)

by Gwen

Books completed last week:

  • The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson
  • God’s Spy by Juan Gomez-Jurado
  • Why We Read What We Read by Lisa Adams and John Heath
  • Hide in Plain Sight by Marta Perry
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Detective and Mr. Dickens by William J. Palmer
  • The Dreaming by Queenie Chan (Manga)
  • Worst Case by James Patterson

Books on tap for this week:

  • The Body of Death by Elizabeth George
  • Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting! by Robert Boich
  • Stained Glass by Ralph McInerny
  • Gallows Lane by Brian McGilloway
  • Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran
  • The Disastrous Mrs. Weldon by Brian Thompson

Posts/Reviews last week:

Books I Still Need to Write Reviews On:

Pretty much all of the above.

My Good News:

I won some swag from Quirk books and it came in this week. I am up to my ears in the audiobooks, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, as well as Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Thanks Quirk!

March 27th, 2010

Show Your Love of Books #6

by Gwen

You can’t read all of the time right? How about some bookish accessories?


Book Lover's Journal

Book Lover’s Journal by Kind Living Design, $11.50


Bookends 8” X 11” Print by Stubborn Dog,  $15

Sweet Dog Lovers Purse Recycled Orange Book

Dog Lover’s Book Purse by The BusyBeehive, $35

Read Red and Black Glossy Postcard

Read Postcard by Hesed Books & Gifts, $1.25

Do you have some favorite bookish accessories? Tell me about them or link them on up.



March 24th, 2010

Why We Read What We Read by Lisa Adams and John Heath

by Gwen

{A Delightfully Opinionated Journey Through Contemporary Bestsellers}

Adams and Heath took on a daunting task, trying to puzzle out what the best sellers of the years, 1990-2006, says about not only what we read, but what it says about us as a society. While they made some valid points, what shines through is their ability to laugh at us all with our choices.

The chapters are broken down into sections that highlight areas that Americans seem to be obsessed with in one way or another. Like ‘The Obvious’ in which they tackle Diet, Wealth, and Inspiration.

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your LifeDr. Atkins New Diet Revolution

From books like ‘Who My Cheese’ to ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ we are nothing but a society that wants to do better and be better, but only when the tips are given to us in easy to digest small simple pieces.

We all want to feel better and the juggernaut that was Chicken Soup for the Soul is there in every incantation to do just that. They give us hope and show us that our lives aren’t the only ones that suck, but it is all a matter of perspective. The right attitude will get you far in life, says Yoda.

Diet books…do we have to talk about the fads and crazy ideas out there? Diet books sell like hot cakes and if they say that they will get you thin without very little work, they sell like hotcakes with delicious maple syrup on them. What they don’t tell you is that any diet of health regime takes time. Most people just want the quick fix and when that doesn’t work, they are off to buy the next diet fad.

Just some of the other chapters:

3 – Black and White and Read All Over: Good and Evil in Bestselling Adventure Novels and Political Fiction (shows us that we hate evil and in books we like it very well defined. Serial killer=evil)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)Product Details The Brethren

4 – Hopefully Ever After: Love, Romance, and Relationships (There is something for everyone here, even if you are from Mars, I am from Venus, and Dr. Laura is blaming all problems on feminism)


5 – Soul Train: Religion and Spirituality (Faith, have you got it? Need me to point it out for you?)

While the approach of the book was tongue in cheek and therefore entertaining, I can’t help it think that the authors were judging us all by our reading and finding it lacking. There was so much text of the books that they were discussing that it made for a long drawn out read. I could have lived without that. The book could have easily been cut by 100 pages or more and been better for me. I was looking for more about why we read what we read, not fads, trends, doublespeak and trashing of the best selling books/authors.

Am I glad that I read it? Honestly, I could have passed on this one.

Why We Read What We Read by Lisa Adams and John Heath

Paperback: 340 pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.; 1 edition (October 1, 2007)

ISBN-10: 140221054X

ISBN-13: 978-1402210549