Monday, November 20, 2017

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel

The Land of Painted Caves

Author: Jean M. Auel
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (Random House)
Year: 2011
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age: Adult 18+

This is book #6 in the Earth Children series. I had to attempt to read this book because it is part of an Adult STEM Discussion at my library this month.

This review will be very short...I only ready about 200 pages of this book & I hated every minute of it.

Overall the story line isn't bad, but that being said there is way to many characters & the book is very descriptive. The author spends whole chapters describing landscapes & introducing dozens of characters that you are expected to remember. She also goes into great detail the customs, clothing, food, etc of the people. That content is interesting but the way it's presented is to difficult to read. I know I'm not the only person to not enjoy this book because it has an average 3 star rating on Goodreads. If there was less description & more focus on the story I feel like the book would be better. Needless to say I will not be finishing it.

I'm hoping that the discussion goes well because the person leading it is also not liking the book. Let's hope some people come that do???


Likes: -

Dislikes: All


Monday, November 13, 2017

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Midnight Crossroad

Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Year: 2014
Genre: Fantasy/Mystery
Age: Adult 18+
Welcome to Midnight, Texas where the heat is dry & the residents are an eclectic bunch of folks.

There's Fiji Cavanaugh who is a real witch, she runs a store for herbal remedies & talisman's out of her house but she could freeze you faster than a bolt of lightning.

Bobo Winthrop is a handsome thirty something man who owns the pawn shop in town & he is dating Aubrey Hamilton.

Joe Strong & Chuy Villegas are partners & they own the Tattoo Parlor & Nail Salon. They live there with their dog Rasta.

Madonna Reed & her husband Teacher just had a baby & they own & run the Home Cookin' Restaurant.

Then there's Emilio Sheehan who is the town reverend & he oversees the pet sematary & weekly services, plus the occasional wedding.

Olivia Charity has a mysterious job that everyone thinks involves finding & killing people. She lives in the basement below the pawn shop with Lemuel Bridger who is a vampire that siphons energy instead of drinking blood.

Then there is the Lovell family. Shawn is father to Creek & Connor. Creek is college age & Connor is 14. They are not native Midnighters, they moved to the are to escape a mysterious past so they fit right in.

Finally there is Manfred Bernardo. He is a psychic who makes his living on the internet through his many reading sites. He's also new to town & isn't sure if he fits in yet.
In this first book in the now finished trilogy Manfred has come into town at just the right time. Aubrey has gone missing & Bobo has no idea where she could be. Her dead ex-husband Chad Lowry, was killed robbing a bank & he was a member of the Sons of Liberty, a white supremacist group. Bobo & the rest of the town suspect that their leader Price Eggleston was behind her death.

After Aubrey's body is discovered down by the river the investigation & trouble begins. The Sons of Liberty start coming to Midnight to check up on Bobo since he too has a dark & complicated past that is similar to theirs. Bobo & Manfred are jumped one night, 2 men go missing after they come into the pawn shop, & then Fiji is taken as bait. Olivia & Lemuel are very useful in the cause because of their unique backgrounds & skills.

Mean while the rest of the residents of Midnight are spending their nights eating at Home Cookin' & trying to live their lives as normally as possible. But did Price really kill Aubrey or was it one of their own from Midnight?
There is a show that premiered in early 2017 on NBC based on these books. It features some new faces to television as well as some old favorites like Arielle Kebbel from The Vampire Diaries & Peter Mensah from Spartacus.

I watched the entire show on HULU since it had already aired. It was 10 episodes & I was sad to see it end. I won't go into too much detail but I know now after reading this first book that the show must include events from all books.

In short the show was very good & I enjoyed it. I watched all the episodes in about 2 days. It is well worth the time & it increased my desire to read the books. There are several very large differences between the 2 but I enjoy them both a lot.
Likes: The book had a great mix of characters & the story itself evolved quickly & kept my attention. Of course from watching the show I knew how it would end but I wasn't disappointed.

There wasn't as much romance going on in the book, so far at least, as in the show. I liked the mystery & all the diverse characters over wanting the romance. I'm hoping to see more but I wasn't upset by the overall lack.

As usual Harris takes supernatural characters & plants them in our world which creates an interesting mix. There are traditional details like vampires drinking blood but she introduces fun new elements like Lemuel's ability to take in energy from others.

I discovered I like mysteries. My usual genre is YA fantasy so this was new for me & I really enjoyed it. I have read several of her other books from the Sookie Stackhouse series 7 really liked them as well.

I listened to this book & plan on continuing through audio. The read has a good mellow voice with a slight Texas accent that keeps your attention.

Dislikes: -


Friday, November 3, 2017

November 2017 TBR

I'm hoping to catch up on my reading this month since we have a three day weekend for Veteran's Day. If I don't finish I HAVE to at least get one book read for an Adult STEM Discussion we are doing at the library at the end of November. So here is my November TBR:

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Origin by Dan Brown

Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly
Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead

Darker by E.L. James

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson

Stay tuned for review throughout this month!

October 2017 Wrap-Up

This month I managed to read 4 books although I was hoping to read a lot more. My work had a HUGE Halloween carnival & I had some special projects going on so that delayed me a little. I'm hoping November will be better between this weekend & Veteran's Day weekend I should be able to get a lot of reading done. So these are the books I read in October: 

The Nighty-Nightmare by James Howe 
My review is here.
This was the fourth book in the Bunnicula series.

Return to Howliday Inn by James Howe
My review is here.
This is the fifth book in the Bunnicula series. 

Bunnicula Strikes Again by James Howe
My review is here.
This is the sixth book in the Bunnicula series.

Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allen Crow by James Howe
My review is here.
This is the seventh & final book in the series. I'm happy to have finished the series. This final book had quite a gap between it & the last one so there was a little bit of a disconnect but I still enjoyed it. 

Stay tunes for my November TBR!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow by James Howe

Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow

Author: James Howe
Publisher: Aladdin Books
Year: 2006
Genre: Mystery
Age: Juv 8+
This is the last book in the Bunnicula series.

Pete & Toby have been reading a book series called FleshCrawlers by their favorite author M.T. Graves. So when there is a contest to write about why you love the books & win a visit from the author, Pete is all over it. Of course Pete wins & the family starts prepairing for the visit. However the author has some very strange requests & wants to meet the families unique pets like Bunnicula the vampire rabbit. The visit doesn't go as planned & the author is weirder than anyone imagined. Graves also has plans for Bunnicula that could put the whole family in jeopardy. Can Chester, Harold, & Howie save Bunnicula before it's too late?
Likes: This is the last book in the series. I really enjoyed them but I'm ready to move to something else.

Although this book was not as funny as the others it was still good.

The pictures are illustrated by a different person & the book overall was different from the others. But there was also a significant gap between this & the last one.



Bunnicula Strikes Again by James Howe

Bunnicula Strikes Again

Author: James Howe
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Year: 1999
Genre: Mystory
Age: Juv 8+
This is book #6 in the Bunnicula series.

Bunnicula is back to his old ways-sucking the life out of vegetables. That is until Mother's Day passes and he starts getting sick. The big question is, where is Bunnicula's mother? Since he was found at the movie theater in downtown Centerville years ago could she still be there after all this time? Or is she gone forever?  Chester leads Harold & Howie on a daring adventure to try & find her before something awful happens to Bunnicula. Can they find Bunnicula's mother before the old theater gets demolished?
Likes: There is only 1 more book to go in this series!

Once again it was a fast funny read

At one point Chester calls Bunnicula a spinach sucker &  I was dying laughing

Howie is up to his usual puns & they never get old

Dislikes: -


Monday, October 9, 2017

Return to Howliday Inn by James Howe

Return to Howliday Inn

Author: James Howe
Publisher: Avon Books
Year: 1992
Genre: Mystery
Age: Juv 8+

This is the 5th book out of a total of 7 books in the Bunnicula series.
Our old pals Harold, Chester, & Howie are back at Chateau Bow-Wow or Howliday Inn as they named it from their last trip. This time there is a group of new friends joining them. Jill the vet's assistant is being helped this summer by a girl named Daisy. There are several dogs including Linda a West Highand White Terrier, Bob a Cocker Spaniel, a Great Dane named Hamlet, a weasel, a parrot named Ditto, & 2 cats who are trouble named Felony & Miss Demeanor.

Not too far into their stay the group hears a voice coming fro the dirt. They discover a pink collar with the name Rosebud on it & a pile of bones. Apparently the ghost of Rosebud has come back to warn them & share her tragic story. She fell victim to the secret of Chateau Bow-Wow, hidden behind the door of Dr. Greenbriar's office. The others must discover what the secret it before it's too late & they all suffer the same fate as Rosebud.

The group must also reunite Hamlet with his owner who is a Shakespearean actor. Using Chester's reading skills they figure out where Archie lives & bust out of Howliday Inn. It turns out to be an eventful trip & a happy ending for everyone.
Likes: This story was a little less creepy than the others. It turns out that the ghost of Rosebud isn't actually talking to them. Hamlet is playing a trick on all of them.

The ever present humor is still going on in this book just like the others.

It was a quick easy read at less than 150 pages.

I'm happy that I only have 2 books left in this series. I enjoy it but I'm ready to know the end & move onto another series or book.

Dislikes: -


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Nighty-Nightmare by James Howe

The Nighty-Nightmare

Author: James Howe
Publisher: Aladdin Paperbacks
Year : 1987
Genre: Mystery
Age: JUV 8+

This is book #4 in the Bunnicula series. I didn't get this one on audio because it is unavailable. I'm going to have to finish the series by reading the regular books.
Once again we are with Harold, Chester, Howie, & the Monroe family; Bunnicula stayed home for this new adventure. The family is on vacation at Boggy Lake & they decide to go on an overnight camping trip. Along the way they run into some fellow campers down by the lake. Brothers named Bud & Spud, & their dog named Dawg. Bud & Spud are an interesting pair but they turn out to be helpful in the end.

Harold, Chester, Howie, & Dawg get separated from the group & have to spend the night in the woods. Too bad it's a full moon & Saint George's Day- the night when evil, dark spirits come out at midnight. Chester entertains the group with a scary bed time story about vampires & Bunnicula's supposed origin as they hunker down through the storm. In the morning they find their way back to camp only to discover the Monroe's as well as Bud & Spud are not there.

Where could they have gone? Maybe they were kidnapped by the mysterious brothers & taken to the spooky house they saw in the woods last night? Or maybe worse...
Likes: This story with the tie in to Bunnicula's possible origin is pretty cool. Whether it's true or not remains to be seen

The creepy atmosphere of the stormy woods at night gives you goosebumps

Despite the bad circumstances there is a happy ending!

Dislikes: This book wasn't as funny as the last few but it was still good. I'm wondering if that is because I listened to the others on audio


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Series I Want to Finish &/or Re-read

I started looking through my Goodreads lists this last week & realized there was quite a few series that I need to finish. Some I started years ago & they are finally all published so it's the perfect time & some are still in progress & I'll be waiting anxiously.

I also realized that I have only ever read some of my favorites through once. If possible I'd like to squeeze in a re-read here & there. 

So this is a list of series I need to finish &/or re-read! (Some series fall into both categories because I need to re-read them then read the new ones as they come out)

The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
(I read the first 3 books around the time The Maze Runner movie came out. I thought it was a great series. Now that all 5 books are out & I own them all I'd like to re-read the first 3 then read #4 & #5)

 Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull
(I read all 5 of these books & the newest in the sequel series just in the last 2 years. It's a great series that I plan on owning so I can re-read them all)

 The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia
(I read all of the 4 original series books around the time the Beautiful Creatures movie came out. I enjoyed them. Then a few years later I was happy to see a sequel series & I read book #1 in that. Now that book #2 is out & I own all 6 books in the collection I'm looking forward to a re-read & finishing the series) 

Blackout duology by Robinson Wells
(This series was originally recommended to me by a student of mine when I was a school librarian. I really liked book #1 then I didn't ever get my hands on book #2. It's going to be a series that I get in on ILL or from my library, I don't think I like it enough to buy it, but I do want to finish it. So I'll be re-reading book #1 & then reading book #2 to finish it off)

 Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard
(Can we just take a moment to say this series is amazing! I only read book #1 when it first came out. Now as the other books have finally started coming out I'm looking forward to re-reading #1 & finishing off the series with the others. There is still 1 more book to come out in 2018 & then the series will be complete. I plan on owning all of these so I can read them again & again!)

 Point Last Seen duology by April Henry
(I originally heard about these books at a conference in 2016 & I thought they would be really interesting. My library at the time got both of them so they are still available in my system. I read book #1 & enjoyed it then just never got to #2.)

 Uglies series by Scott Westerfield 
(This was "The Hunger Games" of my generation. I remember all the hype about these books coming out when I was in high school. I read book #1 way back then, about 10 years ago. Now that all the books have come out & he's still writing other series I'd like to re-read #1 then finish off the series, my library has them all.)

 The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
(I started reading this series when the first movie came out & it is sooo good. I enjoyed all the books & the movies. I also own all of them so I'll be doing a re-read of the whole series)

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
(I read Eragon way back in high school when the movie was coming out. The other books haden't been published at the time. Now that they are all published I'll be re-reading #1 & finishing off the series) 

 The Palace Chronicles by Margaret Peterson Haddix
(I read Just Ella long before the movie came out & LOVED it. Once the movie came out I bought it & read it many times. It wasn't until recently that I discovered she had continued the series. So I'm very excited to own all of these & re-read #1 then finish off the series) 

 Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan
(Once again this is another series that started long ago & they are finally all published along with many other books by this great author. I own all of these in the first series & I got all the way through book #4 before I stopped. So I'll be re-reading the first 4 then finishing it off. I'm hoping to get into his other books as well)

 The Glittering Court series by Richelle Mead
(I started reading this series as soon as it came out. I don't own them yet but I plan too. The first book was surprising but very good. So I'll be re-reading #1 then continuing with the series. I know a third book is in the works)

 The Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown
(I don't read many books that are "for adults" I read mostly YA but this is a series I have been into for many years & proudly own them all. I read Angels & Demons after The Da Vinci Code movie came out years ago. Most people don't realize the movies are out of sequence from the books. The newest one Origin comes out in a few days & I'm so excited! I'll be re-reading this series eventually. Probably not right before Origin but we'll see.)

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
(I have been following, reading, & LOVING this series since the beginning. As soon as I heard the words sci-fi fairytale retelling I fell in love. I own them all including the novella book & I  plan on re-reading them many times over)

 Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
(Don't even get my started on the queen of new adult fantasy herself SJM. I have read all of her books & LOVED LOVED LOVED them. This series is pretty long & still in progress but I plan on finishing it then one day owning it & re-reading them all)

A Court of Thorns & Roses series by Sarah J. Maas
(This series...I can't...beautiful, powerful, never ending love, happy ending, fantasy, & much more! I actually like this series more than TOG. I've read then all but don't own them yet, I plan to in the future. I've re-read the first one abut 10 times, it's my favorite one. The second one I've read about 3 times & I've only read #3 the newest one once. I want to do a binge read on them some day. There are also so squeal books planned for in the future, it's going to be going on for years)

 The Great Library series by Rachel Caine
(This is another mind blowing series that is just a work of art. I own all three book currently published & I plan on owning all of the others in the future. I know about 5 books right now but if she published more I would read them. I read #1 & have yet to get to #2 & #3, it's on the list for soon LOL)

 The Girl at Midnight trilogy by Melissa Grey
(I received the first book in a YA subscription box a few years ago when it first came out. I really liked it right away. Now that the other 2 books are out & the series is complete I plan on re-reading #1 & then finishing it off. I'm not sure if I will buy the other 2 or just get them from the library)

 Stranded by Jeff Probst
(Who knew that famous TV personality & host of the show Survivor would write a book series for kids! I read book #1 in this series after I got it from the book fair for my school library several years ago. I really enjoyed the story & it was a quick read. He has continued the series & I'd like to read them all. I will probably have to get them in on ILL which is fine with me.)

 The Wicked Years by Gregory Macguire
(I have been obsessed with The Wizard of Oz my whole life, the books & the movie. So as a teenager hearing about a spin-off I was excited. I read Wicked many years ago & I also own it. At the time I didn't know it was a series. I also became obsessed with the musical, I saw it a few years ago & fell in LOVE. So I plan on re-reading #1 & then finishing the series & possibly owning all of these books)

Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
(I thought the movie for this book series was pretty good. I hadn't read the books at the time but I caught on quickly. I binge read these from my school library in about 2 months, I was obsessed once I started reading. This series like The Glittering Court I plan on owning one day & re-reading. There is also a spin-off series featuring one of the main characters from later in the book that I'd like to read as well)

 Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
(I was in college when I started reading these books based on the recommendation of my boss at the time. She was so right, they are amazing! All the books weren't published at the time & the show on HBO had just started. I own all the books but only got to #9 before I grew tired of waiting for them to be published, so I started watching the show. The show was AMAZING! It's totally worth it despite it being slightly different from the books. She also has a series that just got a new show as well called Midnight Texas. After I'm done with these I'd like to get into those books & the show)

 Bunnicula series by James Howe
(I just recently discovered this series on audio. I'm on book #4 & I plan on finishing it this next month hopefully. It's funny, cute, & a little bit creepy but very good.)

 Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
(I don't need to give a lot of explanation on this series. It is the ultimate book series & it will always have a place in my heart & on my shelf. It occurred to me the other day that I had not ever re-read it...WTF! I own them all, they are scattered some paperback, some old library copies, & some hardcover. I'd like to buy the whole series on e-book to make it better & easier for me to read.)

 The Kendra Chronicles by Alex Flinn
(I originally read Beastly back in high school, long before the AWFUL movie came out. At the time it was just one book. Now Flinn has written several others & the series is complete as far as I know. I plan on re-reading #1 & then finishing off the series. I'm a sucker for a fairytale retelling)

I'm sure there's some that I'm forgetting but that's all for now. Stay tuned for reviews etc. as I re-read & finish series in the (hopefully) soon future...