Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Runner by William C. Dietz

This is a story set in a future where Earth’s technology has allowed humans to colonize the universe for thousands of years, but has also forgotten that technology.  A little boy is identified by his caretaker monks as a reincarnated guru.  The monks hire a messenger to protect him from a rival sect who also identified a boy as the reincarnated guru, and to deliver him to another planet.  There, he will undergo a test to be sure he’s the right guy.  Along the way, the duo is joined by others who join the cause to keep the boy safe.  It was an interesting journey, but really hard to follow.  I also reread Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card, and much preferred those stories.

A few books for the week

Judgement Call by J.A. Jance:  I thought this was one of the better books in the Sheriff Brady series.  The high school principal is killed, and the investigation reveals lots of layers.  Lots of plot twists made the ending really interesting.  I don’t know how writers can keep up with subplots and false leads.  There was only one instance where I thought she dropped the ball, and it wasn’t significant.

XO by Jeffrey Deaver:  This is a Kathryn Dance novel, and Lincoln Rhyme and company make an appearance.  A young singer is being stalked, and people around her are dying.  Her friend, Kathryn, happens to be in town, and horns in on the case.  Deaver had way too much fun comparing the victim to Taylor Swift.  I didn’t think that character was well-developed.  It was a decent story, though.

Storm Cycle by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen (her son):  I have got to remember that she really throws a lot of romance into her books.  And there was double the romance in this one!  Rachel Kirby is a genius who developed an innovative way to utilize computers, in part to research a cure for her sister’s fatal disease.  As she seeks out this cure, she’s caught up in a race to make millions and a search for an ancient Egyptian doctor’s possible treatment for her sister’s disease.  The action was good; the romance too predictable and contrived.

Books I’ve Read Lately

*Aunt Dimity & the Village Witch by Nancy Atherton:  This was the latest in the Aunt Dimity series, and I loved it.  Every so often, I start a book by hearing my “reading voice” as I’m reading, and then the voice vanishes as I become immersed in the story.  To me, that’s a good book.  I always find a few faults with this series; mainly that her boys that Lori dotes on are usually on their own somewhere.  In this one, Lori becomes involved with a newcomer to Finch who is trying to solve a mystery created hundreds of years ago.  The whole village becomes part of the search for clues–which are found a little too easily, in my opinion.  But in a book that deals with a dead main character who communicates by journal, you have to put aside those suspicions.

*Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling:  One of my favorite blogs, Nice Girl Notes, is having a book study, and I thought it would be fun to join it.  Yeah, who am I kidding?  I can’t read 2 chapters at a time!  The author of this book is a writer and actress on the show, The Office.  I didn’t like the few episodes I saw, but I liked this book.  She’s self-depreciating, but in a gentle way, and funny.  She tells about her life through incidents and lists, and even includes pictures.

* One Book in the Grave by Kate Carlisle:  The latest in the bibliophile series (at least until Aug. 7th), Brooklyn finds a friend who died 3 years ago actually faked his death.  Murders take place all around her, and she focuses on keeping her friends and family safe while figuring out where her relationship with Derek is headed.  My aunt brought up a point that in every book in this series, Brooklyn has one incident where she gets a shot in at Christianity.  I noticed it in this book.

* Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes:  This is a young adult novel.  It actually took me until the middle of the book to figure out it was a vampire book!  Every other day, Kali is a typical teenage girl.  On the off days, she’s an immortal hunter of demons.  Not a social joiner, she makes some unlikely friends, and becomes involved in figuring out a conspiracy.  Humorous and fast-moving, it was a fun book.

Blindman’s Bluff (Faye Kellerman) and The Innocent (David Baldacci)

Blindman’s Bluff is part of the Peter Decker series.  This one had a lot more twists to it than I remember others in the series having.  A wealthy family is gunned down, killing several members of the family.  Since the main guy employed ex-cons for his security, it seems like it would be an easy matter to figure out  the who and the why.  A blind man overhears a conversation between two of the people involved in the killings, which adds more pieces to an already-complicated puzzle.  This one was a lot of fun to read–well, as much as reading about murders can be!

Robie is a hired killer for the government in The Innocent.  He’s very good, and when he steps into a situation that doesn’t look right, he refuses to kill the target.  That’s when his world goes crazy.  And since his world was already pretty crazy…it’s pretty intense.  Baldacci usually plays a little loose with suspension of disbelief.  He always involves a little romance, too–not my favorite parts.  Robie gets thrown together with a 14 year-old girl with major problems of her own.  The romantic interest comes later, as Robie is figuring out what went wrong, who he can trust, and how in-depth this situation really is.  A good read.

Books this week

I’ve read a couple of new-to-me books in the last week, but mostly I’ve been revisiting some favorites.  I started rereading Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity series, and have read Aunt Dimity’s Death, Aunt Dimity and the Duke, Aunt Dimity’s Good Deed and now am on Aunt Dimity’s Christmas.  Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card was one that I had been missing, and couldn’t put it down last night.  I’m really excited about the movie that’s in post-production for Ender’s Game.  Some of my favorite actors are in it–Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield.  I also reread Catching Fire and Mockingjay, since I hadn’t read them in a couple years.  A new book I tried was a Janet Evanovich book–Thanksgiving–but it had wayyyy too much romance to it, even though it had a lot of humor.  I already blogged on the young adult book I read, and the only other book I hadn’t already read that I finished was Jonathan Kellerman’s latest, Victims.  This one was a pretty typical Alex Delaware novel, and I flew through it.  I’m halfway through Love and Logic in the Classroom, and have a shelf full of books to work on this week!

Young Adult: The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango

Anymore, my 13 year-old doesn’t want me anywhere around when she’s reading.  It’s that whole figuring-out-identity thing.  So when she handed this book to me and told me I HAD to read it, I did.  Even though it’s totally not my thing.  This is a novel based on a true story of Farinango’s childhood in Ecuador.  There is a huge cultural difference between the indigenous (my accent marks are all missing) and the mestizo (not indigenous.)  Farinango is sent to live with a wealthy family at the age of 7, where she realistically became a slave.  She grows up with this family, teaching herself to read, write and explore science, until she makes an escape as a teenager.  Farinango is in charge of her own destiny, exploring the differences between the privileged, poverty, and everywhere in between.  She picks her way through a minefield of belonging to two cultures.  It was a thought-provoking book.

David Baldacci: Zero Day

Woo-hoo!  A new Baldacci book!  It has a familiar plot, but it was a good ride anyway.

John Puller is investigating a general’s death.  Of course, nothing adds up, he’s in a small town where everyone mistrusts him, and there’s way more than what was originally presented to him.  Of course, he’s not one to lie down when an order is given, but to fight his way to the truth.  And of course, there’s a woman he’s trying not to be interested in, but is anyway.  Pretty familiar stuff.  The characterization is well done, though, and the journey is what you read a book for, right?  The journey in how Puller pulls (get it???) the pieces together is worth the read.