Sunday, July 31, 2011

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  It's a great way to share books I have purchased, borrowed to the library or downloaded to my nook in the last week.

I finally went to the library yesterday and picked up all of my books and here is what I got (sorry for the bad picture):

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
Christine by Stephen King
Push by Sapphire
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The Black Tower by Louis Bayard

What's in your mailbox?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review: "Eve" by Anna Carey

From Goodreads:  The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

My Thoughts:  I know that some people are getting tired of all of the dystopian books out there but I must say that Eve is a great read.  I kind of felt like it could have been a YA sequel to Stephen King's The Stand (minus the Walking Man and the supernatural aspect).  Anna Carey is a great writer and Eve sucked me in from the first page and kept me wanting to know what would happen next.  I enjoyed the characters of Eve and Caleb and their romance though I felt like Eve was very naive (naturally) and didn't catch on to the fact that she constantly needed to be watching her back.  There were parts that I found myself getting very angry with her and her actions because she didn't always make smart choices.  I really liked the character of Arden who had a lot more "street smarts" than Eve did.  I really hope that she continues on as a character in subsequent books.  This book is supposed to be the first in a trilogy and the end definitely left me with a lot of questions about the characters and their future.  I will definitely be picking up the next book.  4 stars.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Blog Hop (11)

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Crazy for Books.  It's a way to meet other bloggers and check out some cool new blogs.

This week's question is:  "Highlight one book you have received this week that you can't wait to dig into!"

Okay, I have a confession to make.  I have been so busy this week that I have not had time to get any new books.  I have several waiting for me at the library but I won't be able to pick them up until this weekend.  : (

Did you all get any exciting new books this week?


Review: "The Blue Light Project" by Timothy Taylor

From Goodreads:  From the Giller Prize-nominated author of Stanley Park comes a novel about the clash of art and advertising, the cultish grip of celebrity, and the intense connections that form in times of crisis.An unidentified man storms a television studio where KiddieFame, a controversial youth talent show, is being filmed. He is armed with an explosive device, and issues only a single demand, an interview with Thom Pegg, a disgraced former investigative journalist, down on his luck and working for a tabloid. The demand surprises everyone, Pegg most of all. So it is that Pegg finds himself inside the studio, in a position to uncover the truth.Outside, as the hostage taking heads into its third day, enthralled and horrified onlookers watch the drama unfold through a constant stream of media and rumours. In the throes of this crisis two characters — one running from former glory and the other from corporate burnout — meet and instinctively connect. Eve is an Olympic gold medalist and much-loved local daughter. Rabbit is a secretive street artist who has just completed a massive project involving mysterious installations on the rooftops of hundreds of buildings throughout the city.It's a fearful time, when people have grave doubts about the future and about each other. Yet when events collide, and Rabbit's installation is activated, people are shocked into seeing the power of beauty in the world, and the real possibility of hope. The Blue Light Project is a hard-hitting and emotionally wrought commentary on the forces that attract and repel us, and the faith that enables us to continue.

My Thoughts:  This was a Free Friday download for nook and I can see why after finishing it.  I honestly had no idea what was going on throughout most of this book.  There were about 4 different stories going on that the author tried to intertwine and failed miserably.  He would hook characters up without explaining how these people might know each other or have met each other and it was super confusing to keep things straight.  I also had a really hard time understanding the roof top installation projects and the whole group of underground people who helped with these projects.  I spent the entire story confused and bored.  I know the author was trying to write a social commentary but I feel like he did not do a good job of making his point clear nor did he do a good job of creating a coherent and cohesive story line.  1 star.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's top 10 list is:  Top Ten Books that Tackle Tough Issues

1.) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
2.) Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
3.) My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Even though I didn't like the ending, I thought it tackled some really difficult issues)
4.) Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
5.) Columbine by Dave Cullen
6.) We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families by Philip Gourevitch
7.) These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf
8.) Room by Emma Donoghue
9.) Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall
10.) Generation Kill by Evan Wright

What's on your list?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Review: "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult

From Goodreads:  Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.

My Thoughts:  I read this book in one day because I could not put it down.  The story was amazing; one sister, Kate, dying of cancer and another sister, Anna, brought into this world to save Kate.  The story centers around Anna's decision to petition for medical emancipation so she does not have to donate her kidney to her sister whose kidneys are failing.  This creates all kind of drama in her family especially with her mother, who has devoted her whole life to saving Kate.  I actually hated the mom in this story.  I know she did everything to save Kate but is was completely at the expense of the happiness of her other children.  She was extremely self-absorbed and really got on my nerves.  I loved all of the other characters in the story, especially Jesse who was Kate and Anna's brother.  He was very well-developed and I felt really bad for him.  All of this being said, as much as I loved this book, the end was AWFUL.  All I can say is WTF?????  The end of the story completely ruined the whole book for me and left me incredibly angry at the author and in tears.  I cannot believe that was the best ending she could come up with and now I am not sure if I want to read another Jodi Picoult book (this was my first).  2 stars.

Review: "Columbine" by Dave Cullen

From Goodreads:  Ten years in the making and a masterpiece of reportage, "Columbine" is an award-winning journalist's definitive account of one of the most shocking massacres in American history.

It is driven by two questions: what drove these killers, and what did they do to this town? 

 "On April 20, 1999, two boys left an indelible stamp on the American psyche. Their goal was simple: to blow up their school, Oklahoma City-style, and to leave 'a lasting impression on the world.' Their bombs failed, but the ensuing shooting defined a new era of school violence--irrevocably branding every subsequent shooting 'another Columbine.'

"When we think of Columbine, we think of the Trench Coat Mafia; we think of Cassie Bernall, the girl we thought professed her faith before she was shot; and we think of the boy pulling himself out of a school window--the whole world was watching him. Now, in a riveting piece of journalism nearly ten years in the making, comes the story none of us knew. In this revelatory book, Dave Cullen has delivered a profile of teenage killers that goes to the heart of psychopathology. He lays bare the callous brutality of mastermind Eric Harris and the quavering, suicidal Dylan Klebold, who went to the prom three days earlier and obsessed about love in his journal.

"The result is an astonishing account of two good students with lots of friends, who were secretly stockpiling a basement cache of weapons, recording their raging hatred, and manipulating every adult who got in their way. They left signs everywhere, described by Cullen with a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, FBI psychologists, and the boys' tapes and diaries, he gives the best complete account of the Columbine tragedy. 

My Thoughts:  WOW.  That's all I can say.  This is one of the best works of non-fiction that I have read in a long time.  I was worried that this book might be hard to get into but I seriously could not put it down nor did I want to.  I was a sophomore in high school when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 13 people at Columbine High School and I remember how scary it was and I watched enough on the news about it to think that I actually knew what had happened there.  Wrong.  I did not realize how many myths had been perpetuated about that day.  This book really goes into detail about what happened, what may or may not have made Eric and Dylan go through with their awful plan and the aftermath of that day.  It was so incredibly sad but fascinating at the same time.  Cullen's writing is excellent and I felt like he really did a good job of clearly laying out the facts about the survivors, families of the victim's and the police.  This is definitely one of the best books I have read this year.  5 stars.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  It is a great way to showcase books I have purchased, borrowed from the library and downloaded to my nook.  It is also a great way to meet other bloggers.  Here is what I received this week.

From the Library:

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Likeness by Tana French

From Net Galley:

Accidents of Providence by Stacia Brown
Eve by Anna Carey

What's in your mailbox this week?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Blog Hop (10)

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Crazy for Books and is a great way to meet other book bloggers and check out some really neat blogs.

This week's question is:  What's the one genre you wish you could get into but just can't?  

I wish that I was more interested in science fiction.  I have friends who really love this genre but every time I try to read a science fiction book, I get really bored or the story will seem really lame and I just give up.

What do you all think?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review: "Forever" by Maggie Stiefvater

From Goodreads:  The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie StievaterIn Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

My Thoughts:  I was so looking forward to this book but unfortunately I was pretty disappointed.  The story was great and I felt like this was the best book of the three...until the last chapter.  It felt like Stiefvater wanted the book to be a certain length and just ended the book.  There was no resolution to anything and the loose ends were not tied up!  I still want to know what happens to Grace, Cole and Isabel!!  I feel like Sam is going to be fine but I am not sure what will happen to the other three.  I really loved these characters and am kind of mad that the reader does not get any kind of finality.  Stiefvater made it clear in the Author's Note at the end of the book that this is the last volume in 'The Wolves of Mercy Falls' books and that made me even more frustrated.  I am giving this book 3 stars but only because everything up to the end was really good.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's theme is the "Top Ten Books that should be required reading for Teens".  Here is my list:

1.)  Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
2.) One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
3.) Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
4.) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
5.) Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
6.) We by Yevgeny Zamyatin-
7.) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
8.) The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
9.) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
10.) Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

What are your top ten books for teens?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

In My Mailbox (9)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and is a way to showcase books I have purchased, borrowed from the library or downloaded to my nook.  I have been trying to read books I already own so I have a small mailbox this week.

From the Library:  Columbine by Dave Cullen
                            To Serve a King by Donna Russo Morin

What's in your mailbox?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review: "Divergent" by Veronica Roth

From Goodreads:  In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

My Thoughts:  This book has a lot of hype surrounding it and was definitely worth reading.  I am not going to say much because I don't want to give anything away.  To me, Divergent felt like a mix of The Giver and The Hunger Games and is a great addition to the dystopian genre.  The writing is excellent and the characters were well-developed.  I love that this is another YA book with a young tough female heroine; Tris is a kick-butt kind of girl who is not afraid to do what she thinks is right.  Four is also a great character who I couldn't help but love.  Roth's story made me want to keep reading and the twists and turns in the story made it hard to put down and made the end so awful!  This book is obviously the first in a series and the cliffhanger ending was brutal!  I will be anxiously awaiting the next book.  4 stars.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: "The Confessions of Catherine de Medici" by C.W. Gortner

From Goodreads:  I was ten years old when I discovered I might be a witch... The sixteenth century: the era of queens. Catherine de Medici is an impressionable, mystical girl. She is orphaned and taken hostage by her enemies, and manipulated by her advisors; yet she is to become France's most powerful regent. History will make her name synonymous with evil, but she is all too human. Humiliated at the hands of her husband and his mistress, and haunted by her gift of second sight, she must rise above her troubles and fight to save her dynasty and adopted country from the brutal Wars of Religion... In THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI, C W Gortner vividly depicts the turbulent life of one of history's most notorious yet misunderstood women.

My Thoughts:  I have a soft spot for historical females who have been completely villainized and Catherine de Medici falls into this category perfectly.  I have read some biographies of her life and have always felt that history has forced her to take the fall for a lot of things that weren't completely her fault.  This book for the most part painted a good picture of Catherine de Medici though towards the end there were some questionable moments.  I liked that the story sucked me in and that the author made Catherine into a very sympathetic character.  She definitely had a hard life and the story really focused on how she tried to overcome the bad hand she was dealt and how she worked to protect her children and their inheritance.  I am now curious about the lives of her children because some of them were portrayed as being pretty awful and I am interested in finding out how true that is.  Overall, this was a very good book and I think that any fan of historical fiction would enjoy it. 4 Stars.

Book Blog Hop (9)

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Crazy for Books and is a great way to connect with other bloggers and find some really cool new blogs.

This week's question is:  How/where do you get your books?  Do you buy them or go to the library?  Is there a certain website you use like paperbackswap?

I get a lot of books from the library.  I am very picky about books that I purchase for my collection and I don't have a huge budget for book buying so the library is a great resource for me.  Also, the library in my town is amazing and has a fantastic collection so it makes sense that I would go there.

When I do buy books, I usually go to or Half-Price books.  I used to be a frequent Border's shopper but the local Border's closed a few months ago.

Where do you get your books?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review: "The Monster of Florence" by Douglas Preston with Mario Spezi

From Goodreads:  "Douglas Preston fulfilled a lifelong dream when he moveed his family to a villa in Florence. Upon meeting celebrated journalist Mario Spezi, Preston was stunned to learn that the olive grove next to his home had been the scene of a horrific double-murder committed by one of the most infamous figures in Italian history. A serial killer who ritually murdered fourteen young lovers, he was never caught. He is known as the Monster of Florence." Fascinated by the tale, Preston began to work with Spezi on the case. Here is the true story of their search to uncover and confront the man they believe is the Monster. In an ironic twist of fate that echoes the dark traditions of the city's bloody history, Preston and Spezi themselves become targets of a bizarre police investigation.

My Thoughts:  I like true crime books and this book was no exception.  It is told from two different points of view:  from the point of view of Mario Spezi, a journalist, who wrote about the crimes from day one, and Douglas Preston, a mystery novel writer, who came upon the story of the Monster while researching for a book he was writing.  It was cool to see the crimes from the point of view of Spezi who had actually witnessed several of the actual crime scenes whereas Preston's point of view was based a lot on information he got from Spezi.  While I enjoyed reading both of their points of view, the way the material was organized made it difficult to keep track of all the pertinent information and all of the possible suspects.  

The Monster of Florence and his crimes are truly fascinating but I think the book kind of got away from that part of the story and changed its focus to the justice system in Italy.  The book spends a lot of time showcasing how incredibly screwed up the Italian justice system is (no wonder they haven't found the killer yet) and wound up spending a lot of time talking about the Amanda Knox case.  It almost feels like this could have been two books, where one talked about the Monster and his crimes and the other detailed the problems with the Italian police.  Overall this was a good book but I kind of wish it had gone into more detail about the killer and his victims.  3 stars.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  It's a way to highlight books I have purchased, received or borrowed from the library.


City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Nook downloads:

Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (pre-order)

What's in your mailbox this week?

Review: "The Confession of Katherine Howard" by Suzannah Dunn

From Goodreads:  ‘England: firelight and fireblush; wine-dark, winking gemstones and a frost of pearls. Wool as soft as silk, in leaf-green and moss; satins glossy like a midsummer night or opalescent like winter sunrise…Little did we know it but that night we were already ghosts in our own lives…’ When twelve-year-old Katherine Howard comes to live in the Duchess of Norfolk's household, poor relation Cat Tilney is deeply suspicious of her. The two girls couldn't be more different: Cat, watchful and ambitious; Katherine, interested only in clothes and boys. Their companions are in thrall to Katherine, but it's Cat in whom Katherine confides and, despite herself, Cat is drawn to her. Summoned to court at seventeen, Katherine leaves Cat in the company of her ex-lover, Francis, and the two begin their own, much more serious, love affair. Within months, the king has set aside his Dutch wife Anne for Katherine. The future seems assured for the new queen and her maid-in-waiting, although Cat would feel more confident if Katherine hadn't embarked on an affair with one of the king's favoured attendants, Thomas Culpeper. However, for a blissful year and a half, it seems that Katherine can have everything she wants. But then allegations are made about her girlhood love affairs. Desperately frightened, Katherine recounts a version of events which implicates Francis but which Cat knows to be a lie. With Francis in the Tower, Cat alone knows the whole truth of Queen Katherine Howard - but if she tells, Katherine will die.

My Thoughts:  I chose to read this book as part of the Henry VIII challenge that I am participating in because I am kind of tired of reading books about Anne Boleyn.  I hoped that this book might provide a fresh look at Katherine Howard and her life but I was pretty let down.  If you have seen seasons of 'The Tudors' that pertain to Henry VIII's marriage to Katherine Howard, then you might as well not even read this book.  It is told from the perspective of one of Katherine Howard's maids and discusses her youth in the household of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk but doesn't really show who Katherine was.  I got the impression that the author doesn't think very highly of Katherine Howard and portrayed her as a selfish person who didn't care about anything or anyone but herself.  Do I think she was young, immature and made really bad decisions?  Yes, but what seventeen year old isn't like that?  Overall, I thought this book was boring and had a very abrupt ending (it ended before Katherine's execution).  2 stars.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Review: "The Bonesetters Daughter" by Amy Tan

From Goodreads:  At the beginning of Amy Tan's fourth novel, two packets of papers written in Chinese calligraphy fall into the hands of Ruth Young. One bundle is titled Things I Know Are True and the other, Things I Must Not Forget. The author? That would be the protagonist's mother, LuLing, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. In these documents the elderly matriarch, born in China in 1916, has set down a record of her birth and family history, determined to keep the facts from vanishing as her mind deteriorates. A San Francisco career woman who makes her living by ghostwriting self-help books, Ruth has little idea of her mother's past or true identity. What's more, their relationship has tended to be an angry one. Still, Ruth recognizes the onset of LuLing's decline--along with her own remorse over past rancor--and hires a translator to decipher the packets. She also resolves to "ask her mother to tell her about her life. For once, she would ask. She would listen. She would sit down and not be in a hurry or have anything else to do."
Framed at either end by Ruth's chapters, the central portion of The Bonesetter's Daughter takes place in China in the remote, mountainous region where anthropologists discovered Peking Man in the 1920s. Here superstition and tradition rule over a succession of tiny villages. And here LuLing grows up under the watchful eye of her hideously scarred nursemaid, Precious Auntie. As she makes clear, it's not an enviable setting:

My Thoughts:  I thought this book sounded interesting but it was even better than I expected.  It was a very fast read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It is the story of Ruth and her mother, LuLing, who is a Chinese immigrant.  They have a very complicated relationship mainly because neither one of them will open up to the other.  When Ruth discovers her mother's memoir, she learns things about her mother and herself that help her to better understand her mother and to help heal their relationship.  The writing in this book is beautiful and I loved the way Tan molded Ruth and LuLing into really deep characters.  I could easily relate to the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship and I really enjoyed the flashbacks to LuLing's past.  Overall this was a very good book and I would highly recommend it.  4 stars.
I noticed the ripe stench of a pig pasture, the pockmarked land dug up by dragon-bone dream-seekers, the holes in the walls, the mud by the wells, the dustiness of the unpaved roads. I saw how all the women we passed, young and old, had the same bland face, sleepy eyes that were mirrors of their sleepy minds.
Nor is rural isolation the worst of it. LuLing's family, a clan of ink makers, believes itself cursed by its connection to a local doctor, who cooks up his potions and remedies from human bones. And indeed, a great deal of bad luck befalls the narrator and her sister GaoLing before they can finally engineer their escape from China. Along the way, familial squabbles erupt around every corner, particularly among mothers, daughters, and sisters. And as she did in her earlier The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan uses these conflicts to explore the intricate dynamic that exists between first-generation Americans and their immigrant elders.

Book Blog Hop (8)

The book blog hop is hosted by Jen at Crazy for Books and is a great way to meet other bloggers and find cool new blogs.

This week the challenge is to promote a giveaway on another blog.  One of my favorite historical fiction blogs is Passages to the Past and Amy is giving away 2 copies of Catherine Delors novel "For the King".  You can view the giveaway information here.  The book takes place in Napoleonic France and looks really interesting.  So head on over to the site and sign up for the giveaway.  While you're there, you should take a look at some of the great books Amy has been reading!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Review: "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" by Erik Larson

From Goodreads:  Isaac's Storm, The Devil in the White City, and Thunderstruck have all proven Erik Larson's ability to adroitly craft multilayered nonfiction. In his new In The Garden of Beasts, he demonstrates that gift again as he unfolds the often startling story of William E. Dodd, the first American ambassador to Nazi Germany, and his family. History professor Dodd was an unlikely choice to represent the United States in Hitler's Berlin; indeed, he was FDR's fifth choice for the post. His on-the-job education in the barbarities of the "New Germany" sometimes contrasted with that of his romantic, impressionable, party-loving daughter Martha. Larson places these very personal stories within the context of the ever-worsening events.

My Thoughts:  I hate to say this but I was so glad to be done with this book.  It took me well over a week to finish simply because I could not get into it.  The story has an interesting premise; the idea of seeing how an American family dealt with living in Berlin as Hitler was coming to power really sucked me in.  I was not a huge fan of Larson's The Devil in the White City but this book sounded like it would be right up my alley so I decided to give Larson another chance.  Bad idea.  The Devil in the White City moved a lot faster than this book did and I thought that it moved slow.  I hate to say it but In the Garden of Beasts was kind of boring.  The people highlighted in In the Garden of Beasts were not super fascinating people and I really didn't care about them at all.  I thoroughly disliked Dodd's daughter Martha who plays heavily in the story and I didn't think that highly of Dodd.  The whole story made me angry; I just kept thinking that the whole world at that time was so naive and that it was no wonder Hitler managed to do so much damage because nobody cared to try to stop him before it was too late.  I really wanted to like this book but I feel like it completely fell flat.  It makes me really sad when a book has the potential to be great but turns out not to be.  2 stars.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  It's a way to highlight books I have purchased, borrowed from the library or downloaded to my nook.  It is also a great way to meet other bloggers!

From the Library:
The Confession of Katherine Howard by Suzannah Dunn

Received through a book exchange:
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Purchased for my nook:
The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance by Elna Baker

Free nook downloads:
Snake Skin by CJ Lyons
Surrender the Wind by Rita Gerlach
Outsider by Ann H. Gabhart
The Blue Light Project by Timothy Taylor
Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson

Hope you all have a happy 4th of July!  What's in your mailbox this week?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Book Blog Hop (7)

The Book Blog Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jen at Crazy for Books and is a way for book bloggers to meet new people and view awesome blogs.

This week's question is:  What keeps you reading beyond the first few pages of a book, and what makes you want to stop reading a book and put it back on the shelf?

If I am not sucked in to the story in the first few pages, I will stop reading.  I very rarely stop reading a book in the middle and put it back on the shelf.  I always feel like if I can make that far into a book, then I should just finish it.  The times that I have stopped and not finished a book have occurred when the book is so bad that I just don't want to read it and will find anything to do besides reading (which is normally not how I roll).  Currently there are two books on my shelf that I plan to finish but that I couldn't get through the first time.

What do you all think?
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