Tuesday Top Ten

top ten anticipated sequels

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week’s challenge was to list the top ten upcoming sequels that I’m anticipating.  Since I have tried to give up on reading series until all of the books are coming out, this was a tricky list for me, but there are a couple of series that I still have not finished…

Next-in-Series YA Novels:

  1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth – The final book is out!  And as soon as my daughter is done with it, I will take my turn!
  2. Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – A fun series – – I’m not “dying” to read the next book, but it should be entertaining.
  3. Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore – See #2.
  4. Just One More Year by Gayle Forman – I read the first book in the series, Just One Day, without realizing it was part of a series, so now I want to know the end of the story!

Next-in-Series Adult Fiction – Coming Soon!

  1. Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich – Always hilarious and books that I always am excited for each November.
  2. Sycamore Row by John Grisham – John Grisham returns to the setting of A Time to Kill, one of my favorite Grisham novels.

I’m Going to Have to Wait a Long Time…

  1. Eden in Winter by Richard North Patterson – I’m really reaching now, since this book doesn’t come out until July 2014, but I really enjoyed the different directions he took with the first two novels, Fall from Grace and Loss of Innocence, and am looking forward to seeing where he goes now.
  2. By Its Cover by Donna Leone – The next book in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series isn’t due out until April 2014, but I am ready for another dose of Venice!
  3. The Hollow Girl by Reed Farrel Coleman – The Moe Prager novels are some of my favorites, truly some of the best detective writing out there today, coming out in May 2014 this will be the last in the series!  😦
  4. Others that have not yet been announced and that I will have to wait far too long for – the next Inspector Gamache book by Louise Penny, the next Odd Thomas book by Dean Koontz, and probably many more that I can’t think of right now…

Deeply Odd

deeply odd

Deeply Odd is the seventh book in the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz.  What I love about this series is the character of Odd Thomas – the story lines are odd as well – demons, time travel, dark spirits, anything unbelievable and strange can find its way into these books.  They might not be the type of books that would hold my attention if it was not for Odd Thomas himself.  A fry cook who can see the spirits of the dead and helps them to move on – he is quirky, witty, humorous, trusting, humble, frightened and courageous.   In Deeply Odd he is still the character I have come to love.

In this latest installment of the series, Odd has a vision of children being killed and is on a quest to find the culprits and stop their nefarious deeds.  It will take him down a path of alternate realities with demons and dark spirits, but he will have the assistance of the dearly departed Alfred Hitchcock and his ghost dog, Boo, when things start to go wrong.  Along the way he is joined by a new character to the series – Edie – and she is a fresh addition – an elderly woman who is smart and brave, funny and supportive and kind – and she knows where to get some high-powered weapons when all else fails!  Annemarie, the enigmatic young pregnant woman from previous novels, plays a very small role, a relief to me since I find her vagueness annoying.

The story line does fall into the larger story arc of the series, seemingly heading towards a cataclysmic event, as Odd begins to discover and understand the greater forces of good and evil that are at work.  All in all, it was nice to spend some time with Odd again, and I look forward to our next meeting.

Title:  Deeply Odd: An Odd Thomas Novel
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 352
Publication: Bantam, May 2013

Tuesday Top Ten

toptensummertbr

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week’s challenge was to list the top ten list of books that I want to read this summer.  There are WAY more than ten, there are always way more than ten books on my TBR list, and I am probably forgetting some or there are some that will hop to the top of the list later this summer when I realize they are coming out, but here’s what I’m looking forward to right now…

  1. How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny – Most anticipated book for me is definitely this one, I cannot say enough wonderful things about her Inspector Gamache series of books and have even managed to hook my husband!  The last book left me hanging and I have waited nearly a year and can hardly wait any longer!
  2. Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz – I’m a big fan of the Odd Thomas series and just getting started on the latest installment!
  3. Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – I love Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book was one of my family’s favorites for story time, and I am looking forward to his latest adult novel.
  4. In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods by Matt BellNext in my Indiespensables subscription!  They haven’t steered me wrong yet!
  5. The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth Silver – This thriller is getting a lot of positive press, and I’m hoping it will live up to the hype.
  6. The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel – Behind every great man… I just can’t imagine sending my husband into space (of course, there ARE days…), and I think it’s fascinating to get a glimpse of these women who share that bond.
  7. Silver Starr by Jeanette Walls I really enjoyed her memoir and the novel based on her grandmother’s life.  I’m hoping that her fiction work is as engrossing!
  8. City of Hope by Kate Kerrigan – Having read and enjoyed Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan, I am looking forward to reading this follow-up story of the characters.
  9. Cozy Mysteries – A bunch of my favorite mystery series have new books coming out this summer –  Angora Alibi by Sally Goldenbaum, Cookbook Conspiracy by Kate Carlisle, Body in the Piazza by Katherine Hall Page, …  easy, quick, fun summer reading!
  10. Summer Reads! – There are a bunch of authors who come out with books each summer that are perfect quick reads for sitting on the back deck or the beach with an iced tea – Ladies’ Night by Mary Kay Andrews, The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan, The Last Original Wifeby Dorothea Benton Frank, Island Girls by Nancy Thayer, Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand, …

Tuesday Top Ten

toptenlightfun

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week the challenge is to create a list of the books that you read when you need to read something light and fun.  My list consists mostly of series and genres that I enjoy in between reading more serious fare, they are always a quick read, enjoyable, leaving me ready to tackle something else.

  1. Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich – My husband always knows when I am reading one of these novels, since this is the one series, without a doubt, that always makes me laugh out loud.
  2. Cozy Mysteries – I am a huge fan of mysteries of all types, series, standalones, fluffy mysteries, and more serious fare.  In the cozy genre some of the authors I go to for a quick and fun read include Alexander McCall Smith, G.A. McKevett, Laura Childs, Kate Carlise, Sue Grafton, Carolyn Hart, Joan Hess, etc.
  3. Not-So-Cozy Mysteries – There are some mystery series that I read that I definitely do not consider light & fun, but that provoke greater thought (Louise Penny, Reed Farrel Coleman, Donna Leon) and require greater commitment from me as a reader.  There are however, a number of darker mystery series that I still consider light & fun reads from the pens of such authors as Lee Child, John Sandford, Jonathan Kellerman, etc.
  4. Picture Books – OK, so if I really need something light and fun, I spend some time with my kids and some picture books.  While there are picture books out there that address very serious and difficult issues, there are many more that are just plain fun (especially Dr. Seuss!).  Let’s face it, even ecological disaster seems lighter when told in rhyme with great illustrations…
  5. SOME YA series – I want to be careful here, because while there is plenty of light and fun reading in the young adult genre, there are also stark, dark, and difficult novels as well.  But I have had fun breezing through a number of YA series including The Hunger Games, Immortal Devices, The Iron Fey, Artemis Fowl, Harry Potter, Pendragon, etc.
  6. Beach Books –  You know the books I’m talking about, those great covers showing beautiful beaches and picnic baskets – a chance to get lost in some seaside town where you know the ending is always going to be happy and true love will always prevail.
  7. SOME Juvenile fiction – Like the YA category, this is another category where there is plenty to be found that is serious, but there is also a ton of fun stuff out there with great humor about growing up, families, relationships in school, and friendship.  My Fun Stories to Share post has some of the recent favorites that I read with my kids.
  8. Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz – While this series can be dark and disturbing at times, I always love the quirkiness of Odd which lends levity to otherwise dire situations.
  9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – A childhood favorite, one that I try to re-read every now and then, it is always comfortable and brings me back to my teenage days when I wished to be Jo.
  10. The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum – OK, the flying monkeys aren’t really all that bad in the book, and the witch doesn’t even appear until towards the end, but there’s actually greater violence in the book than there is in the movie!  I just finished reading it out loud to my kids for the first time and the world of Oz is always good for escape.  Oh, and by the way, the slippers were silver…

Tuesday Top Ten

toptenlessmore

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week the challenge was to choose the books that you thought you wouldn’t like and did – or those that you that you would like and didn’t.  This was a tough list for me – I try to read without expectation – and often it’s not until after I finish a book that I realize it failed to meet/exceeded expectations I didn’t even know I had!

First, five books I didn’t like as much as I thought I would:

  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – I did like this book, just not as much as I thought I would given all of the hype surrounding it.  Sometimes I think the more a book gets talked up the more likely I am to be disappointed by it…
  2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed – Another book that received a lot of attention (thanks to Oprah) and build-up that I found disappointing.  I wanted to hear more about the actual trail, the things she saw and the people she met.  Instead it seemed like a frustrating story about a person destined to make poor choices and shift blame onto others.
  3. Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes – Award winners are dangerous – subconsciously the expectations are high which makes it easier to be disappointed.  While the language was beautiful I was disappointed by the story and the characters.
  4. Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara – This showed up on my to-read list after reading The End of Your Life Book Club and since it was number 22 of the best English language novels written in the 20th century I thought I couldn’t go wrong.  It wasn’t awful, I just didn’t understand it being in the top 100.
  5. 1776 by David McCullough – This is a wonderful book about the first year of the American Revolution, well researched and showing a seemingly unbiased account of events.  Unfortunately, I am a lover of stories and I wanted this book to tell me a story – it often felt too much like a textbook to me (although a very well researched and well written one) and I’m not a fan of most textbooks.

Now onto five books that I liked much more than I anticipated:

  1. Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I wouldn’t want to have a top ten list without this book in it somewhere!  Truthfully, I picked up this book at the bookstore and looked it over a number of times before I actually bought it.  Another holocaust book?  Nah – not today…  I never imagined the heartbreaking beauty that would be captured in those pages.
  2. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz – I went through a period during my teenage years where I read a lot of Stephen King and a lot of Dean Koontz until I was honestly bored by them.  When my husband picked this one up and encouraged me to read it I was doubtful, but I love Odd and have become a true fan of this series.
  3. Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – I expected to like this book, it’s about a bookstore after all!  I didn’t expect to love it, to love the melding of technology and antiquity, to become so engaged with the quirky set of characters and their quest.
  4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – I heard a lot of wonderful things about this book which made me a bit wary.  I wonder if buzz about a book will actually start to lower my expectations??  But the buzz around this story was well deserved and as Eleanor & Park fell in love I fell in love with them.   My review is coming soon!
  5. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys – I was a fan of the author’s first book, Between Shades of Gray, but admittedly was concerned about her ability to write again so masterfully about a different time and place.  If anything, I ended up being a bigger fan of Out of the Easy, and was completely engrossed by both the setting and the characters.