Archive for the ‘50 in 2012’ Category
This book was a recommendation, but I can’t remember from whom! I waited for a long time to get it from the library e-book borrowing program, so I started it completely blind. I had no idea what it was supposed to be about by the time I got it.
While getting my hair done, the woman in the next chair heard me saying I had just started it, and offered this, “I’ve never read a book with such pathological characters before.” She encouraged me to continue reading, but wouldn’t tell me the ending!
Gone Girl is the tale of Amy and Nick Dunne. On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy disappears. Nick receives a call at work from a neighbor telling him the front door of his house is wide open. When he goes to investigate, there appears to have been a struggle of some sort. And Amy is gone.
The case gets a lot of attention because Amy is the human equivalent of a beloved children’s book character, Amazing Amy. Her parents arrive in town to support Nick. But Nick’s support from everyone wanes as his involvement in Amy’s disappearance becomes murkier and murkier: no alibi, an affair, poor finances…
The chapters of the book alternate between Nick and Amy’s story-telling. The woman’s description of “pathological” is spot on. But at least one of the characters has some redeeming qualities.
Once I got into this book, I couldn’t read it fast enough. If I could have, I would have stayed up all night to finish it. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that moved me like this one did. It made me think how appearances matter, sometimes more than the actual truth. It also reminded me how manipulative and pathological normal-appearing people can be.
I love Carolyn Hart books. Which is why I feel silly being a little wary of her latest, What The Cat Saw. Lately, I find a book with a paranormal twist and I’m on guard for a really really bad ride. Most of the time I am wrong. Which was the case with this book.
Nela Farley suddenly developed the ability to read the minds of cats when her fiance was killed. When she goes to Oklahoma to help out her sister, she ends up rooming with a dead woman’s cat. The cat is telling Nela that the accident was not really an accident at all. But who would want Marian Grant dead? Why? Nela puts her investigative reporter skills to use and sets out to find the answers to those questions.
Hart has a pleasant, low-key way of telling a tale. I’m not saying she doesn’t create page-turners. But she keeps everything to a low simmer, bringing out the story slowly and delectably. If I was a wine drinker, I would make some comparison to a heady burgundy–whatever that is!
What Carolyn Hart does is make you want to know the characters better. Which is why I am tickled that What The Cat Saw is the first in a series, according to her website!
This is a can’t miss! Check it out!
I can always count on Sandra Brown (BEWARE: this is an incredibly annoying website, so visit at your own risk. If you do visit, you will be held hostage to mute-less music and a flashing intro that cannot be stopped!) to deliver a fast and pleasant read. Low Pressure delivered as expected.
In Low Pressure…
Bellamy Price writes a novel that was supposed to be cathartic. She needs answers to her sister’s death. Eighteen years earlier, Susan was killed at the annual Memorial Day picnic. Solving her murder and identifying the murderer was impossible after a tornado ripped through the park decimating evidence and the community. While Bellamy is looking for answers, someone else has their own agenda–Bellamy’s death.
This is a nice, easy read. The characters are interesting, the story well-told. You won’t be disappointed when you read this!
I love Sheriff Joanna Brady. She’s no-nonsense, practical, frazzled, and dedicated to her family and her job. J.A. Jance brings Sheriff Brady back for her 15th appearance in Judgment Call.
Sheriff Brady’s daughter discovers the first body while on an early morning horse ride. The body of her high school principal lies in the desert. While investigating the murder of the woman who isn’t exactly what she appeared to be, the sheriff’s department and local police learn the power of social media and teenagers. When a second body appears a few days later, the need to find the killer intensifies. Add new information about the decades-old death of Sheriff Brady’s sheriff father and the book has you flipping the pages as quickly as possible.
Judgment Call finds generations at odds. Whether protecting themselves or their loved ones, there will be clashes as the truth comes out.
I’ve been reading the Sheriff Brady books since the beginning and find myself excited whenever a new one is released. Have you read these? You should!
Pets are wonderful companions, but are so very difficult to photograph well. Luckily, Jamie Pflughoeft has written Beautiful Beasties: A Creative Guide to Modern Pet Photography to help us out!
Not only is the book filled with great tips on capturing our furry friends’ personalities on film, there are also great photos illustrating the techniques. I could spend hours just checking out the images!
Pflughoeft does a nice job covering photography in general. She has chapters on equipment (did you know you can rent lenses before you invest the money in buying them?!) and photography basics. I found the photography basics extremely helpful. I can never read information about ISO and aperture enough! Her writing style is low key and direct, so taking in the information is quite easy.
There is a chapter on composition, which is something I also cannot read often enough. Why do I always forget the rule of thirds?!
Beautiful Beasties goes in to great detail about the perils and joys of working with animals. The end of the book offers advice about starting your own pet photography business. But it is so much more than that if you are the owner of an animal. This book offers a way to capture our fur babies in the best way possible.
About the author (taken from the back cover)
Jamie Pflughoeft became addicted to photographing pets while studying animal behavior in college and working as a dog-walker and pet-sitter. She started Cowbelly Pet Photography in 2003, and today she serves commercial, editorial, and private clients as well as teaching photographers around the world about the exciting field of pet photography. Jamie also runs the Beautiful Beasties Network, an online community for pet photographers.
Would you like a chance to win a copy of this book for your very own? Leave a comment below before 5pm Sunday, September 30, 2012, answering one (or both!) of these questions:
- What is your biggest challenge when photographing your pets?
- What would you most like to learn from this book?
The giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only. A winner will be announced Monday, October 1, 2012, and will be drawn using random.org.
I will never look at any animal the same after reading Zoo by James Patterson and Micheal Ledwidge. I’m waiting for all the household pets and neighborhood wildlife to start changing…
Jackson Oz is a young biologist who dropped out of graduate school to start tracking strange animal attacks around the world. No one wants to hear his theories about the increases and even argue that they don’t exist. When a zoo keeper is attacked and killed by the lions in his care, Oz knows something is happening. When he travels to Africa to document animal attacks there, he barely escapes with his own life. His friend is dead at the hands of attacking lions, but Oz has video evidence of something seriously wrong with the behavior of the animals. Not only are they attacking humans; their normal hunting habits have radically changed.
Oz returns to the United States with a young woman he rescues from a certain attack and death at the hand of crocodiles. She is an ecologist whose entire research group was killed by African wildlife. Together they start spreading the word about the changes happening in the animal world. Still, no one wants to take them seriously until the entire human race is being threatened.
Once a solution is identified and safeguards are put into place, the animals begin returning to normal. But can man maintain the changes necessary? Or will the privileged among us insist on ignoring them?
Patterson and Ledwidge bring us a thought-provoking read during an election year and to a society commited to its creature comforts and conveniences. What if you had to change your way of life to save the human race? Could you? Would you?
Zoo has affected me much like Stephen King’s Pet Sematary did back in the day. I’m waiting…watching…
I found out about the Kelly Flynn books by Maggie Sefton on Ravelry. And I was sucked in by the promise of a cozy mystery with a knitting link.
The first book of the series is Knit One, Kill Two. You know I have to start at the beginning!
Washington, D.C., accountant Kelly Flynn…
returns to her Colorado home town to handle her recently murdered aunt’s estate. Her trip is meant to be temporary, just to wrap things up. But her aunt’s murder is bothering her and she doesn’t like the way the local police are handling it. It seems too convenient to blame the murder on a local vagrant. There’s $20,000 missing, a family heirloom disappeared, and a broken knitting needle. What does it all mean?
The local ladies take Kelly under their wing, finally getting her into knitting. Aunt Helen had tried many times over the years to teach Kelly, but she had always resisted the lure of the needles. But she feels at home in the knitting shop located in what was once Aunt Helen’s family home. She loves the bright colors and the soft, pet-able yarns. She also loves the camaraderie of her aunt’s circle of friends.
Family secrets are revealed. Another murder occurs. But Kelly perseveres and finds the guilty party. And knits her scarf…
I loved this book and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I’ve got book two all ready to download on my devices. The characters are likable. The sleuthing probable.
Let me know if you’re a fan of this series. Personally, I can’t wait to read more!
who’s hunting down a Mexican drug czar. Bennet and his team know where he’ll be and they are determined to bring him down. But their plan goes awry and he slips away from them. Soon enough they catch up to him, but even behind bars and during his trial, he’s capable of intimidating people through murder and mayhem. When the threat comes close to home, Michael and his family are faced with touch decisions.
I picture Michael Bennett as Detective Elliot Stabler (aka Christopher Meloni). Except surrounded by a bunch of kids (there are 10 little Bennett’s!) and an Irish nanny (pictured in my head as Jane Leeves; I never said my accents were on track!). Oh, and a priest grandfather who looks and sounds like Burgess Meredith!
As I read, I was constantly waiting for closure. I wanted something to happen to the bad guy…fast! I wanted everyone to be safe. I wanted a nicely wrapped up little tale by the last page of the book.
I got none of those things. The ending was shocking to me. And, as always with a Patterson series, left me wanting more. Now!
It’s an OK read. I know, I just can’t muster up a lot of energy for this one. The story:
Judge Ramsey Hunt is shot in the back on the patio of his seaside home. The miracle is that he isn’t dead because he was turning toward his wife who called to him from the house. He is, however, in grave condition. Luckily, he’s friends with married-to-each-other FBI agents, Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich, who rush in and save the day.
Maybe it’s my mood, but dang these two are just to freaking perfect. They’re gorgeous and talented and great agents and wonderful people with a wonderful child. It’s a little monotonous that the protagonists have no flaws!
It’s not put-down-without-completely-reading awful. It was just tedious. Maybe these characters have outlived their ability to carry a story any longer. I did like some of the secondary characters quite a bit and could definitely invest some quality time reading about them.
I guess I’ll say that this is one is getting a lukewarm thumbs up from me. Not terrible. Not great. I think Catherine Coulter has definitely done better in her past FBI Series.
This time the hot duo is…
…after the Luxuria Stone, which might be infused with lust or true love. After professor Gilbert Reedy is thrown from his balcony, Diesel grabs Lizzy to help with the investigation. When it is discovered that the dead man has a hand print burnt into his skin, they know they are onto something hot because Wulf and his minion, Hatchet, are also on the trail. Lizzy reluctantly puts away the cupcakes she makes as the pastry chef for a bakery in Salem, Massachusetts, and joins Diesel in the search for the Luxuria Stone. With help from Glo (the wanna-be) wizard and Carl (the monkey with personality), they chase down clues and solve riddles. But who will end up with the Luxuria Stone?
My only complaint about Janet Evanovich is that she is not prolific enough. Couldn’t she get a little James Patterson in her and put a Stephanie Plum or Lizzy & Diesel novel out every few months?! Pretty please?
This time Diesel was quite dreamy for me because I keep picturing him as Thor (aka Chris Hemsworth). I’m not complaining, except I didn’t want Diesel to go away!
As you can tell, I loved the book and I can’t wait for the next one! I’ve got to go back and re-read all her other books…darn!