November 26, 2008

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

I was picked for a copy of Kelly Armstrong’s Bitten in October’s LT ER contest. The novel is about a werewolf named Elena living in Toronto. Elena has made the choice to live in Toronto and try to lead as normal a human life as she can away from the ‘Pack’. She struggles more than other werewolves, having become one by being bitten and being the only female werewolf in her world. Now I have to say that vampires & werewolves are not my thing at all. So why did I try to win a copy do you ask? Bitten was one of Chapters Top 10 Beach Reads in 2007 and was also listed as number 34 in Chapters Canada’s Best 100 Fiction 2006. I was a bit curious so I thought what the heck!

I would say that I was expecting to dislike the content of the book and was biased to be negative about it but Armstrong wrote a very well developed, gripping, supernatural story. Elena’s background interspersed throughout the narrative rather than up front all at once worked well. I was very much engaged in Elena’s frustration and ineptitude in adapting to living mostly in the human world. I particularly liked the descriptions and expressiveness of the characters when they were werewolves, how they felt, what they saw, their sense of freedom and aggression. What I did not enjoy was Elena being in a relationship with Philip but still having strong feelings for Clayton and her being unable to choose…. I dislike some of the choices she made but on the other hand I suppose they made the storyline more realistic and were true to the werewolf world Armstrong created.

For a 550 page novel, the story progressed fairly quickly and was very engaging. I am confused whether this story is supposed to be classified as romance? I don’t think it fits into the romance category but firmly fantasy. I liked Elena and am interested in finding out more about her and Clay so I would probably read Stolen & Broken.

My Rating: 4.0


November 25, 2008


Today's question- Blog Widgets. Do you use them? Do you have them on your blog? Do you know what I'm talking about? :-) A blog widget is that list of books "From my LibraryThing" and such, that you'll sometimes see on someone's sidebar. If you use it, do all of your books show up or do you have it set to only show certain books? Do you have a search widget, which would allow your blog readers to search your library? Have you ever made a photomosaic of your book covers? You can find widgets and photomosaic information on the "Tools" tab in LibraryThing.

I do use blog widgets.  I think they add many more layers of interest to your blog.  I have all sort of widgets but I like especially my own customized "Recent Books from My Library" LibraryThing widget.  I do not have a search widget but I did create a widget from Picasa that shows jpegs of Eye-Catching Books Covers and a counter widget. I have never made a photomosiac of my book covers.

November 23, 2008

The Book of Love by Kathleen McGowan

I am so lucky!!! I won a copy of The Book of Love by Kathleen McGowan, the second book in The Magdalene Line Trilogy. I loved the first book, The Expected One and got my friends and family to read it as well. The book is not released until March 2009 so I count myself very fortunate that I won this ARC.

I found the Simon & Schuster Canada Facebook group Simonsays Read! Bookclub only a couple weeks ago, they were having contests to win a few titles and no sooner had I entered than I got The Book of Love in the mail...I was so surprised. What a great bookclub with the books available to win!! Now I just need to finish and review Bitten by Kelly Armstrong, an ARC I won from LibraryThing's EarlyReviewer's program, so I can read The Book of Love.

Visit Kathleen McGowan's website at

If you loved The Red Tent or The Da Vinci Code or Labyrinth I guarantee you will love Kathleen McGowan's novels!

November 20, 2008

Subterranean by James Rollins

Subterranean was the last of James Rollins books that I had not read and I suppose it was a so-so experience. I do love the fast-paced action/adventure that Rollins delivers but I think there was just too much going on in this story. 


A research team is sent to discover a new environment found underneath the bottom of the world, there they discover the unimaginable…but what they have not been told is that another research team walked through the same passages before them…and disappeared. I do love the blend of scientific details Rollins includes but Subterranean was a little too fantastical to me. It is interesting that the research teams discovered another type of environment underneath Antarctica but another “humanoid” species living devoid of light for eons…too much for me. Also the book ended without the members returning to their own world…which I thought unrealistic and hard to believe. So although this story delivered all the action I wanted the plot just did not do it for me.

My Rating: 3.0

November 18, 2008

Tuesday Thingers

Popular this month on LT: Do you look at this list? Do you get ideas on what to read from it? Have you read any of the books on the list right now? Feel free to link to any reviews you've done as well. Here's the list and my answer: 1.The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 2.Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron 3.Nation by Terry Pratchett 4.Brisingr by Christopher Paolini 5.Anathem by Neal Stephenson 6.American Wife: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld 7.The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer 8.The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski 9.Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland 10.Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) by Stephenie Meyer Once in awhile as soon as I login to LT I take a look at the Popular This Month list. I am always excited to learn that the books I want to read a lot of others do too. I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and enjoyed it very much. I thought the epistolary format was very effective. I was won an ARC for Any Given Doomsday and I have just received it. I am waiting for Brisingr and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle to come out in trade paperback before purchasing and reading.

November 16, 2008

Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange

Now having read Pamela Aiden's series and a range of other Jane Austen fan fiction novels, I would compare Amanda Grange's Mr. Darcy's Diary as better than other fan fiction but not on par with the Pamela Aiden novels. The last one-fifth of the book was the most interesting to me, as it provided a "what could have happened" glimpse into the lives of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam and their acquaintances after their marriage. I think Amanda Grange had the best of intentions and made a solid effort at summarizing Pride & Prejudice from Darcy's perspective, unlike other the other Jane Austen fan fiction authors who almost make a mockery of one of the world's greatest works of fiction.
My Rating: 3.5

November 11, 2008

Tuesday Thingers

Today's question: LT Things- t-shirts, bags,cue cats- are you into the "stuff"? Do you use a cuecat to enter your books, or do you enter them manually? What do you think of the stuff?

I have an LibraryThing membership, that's about all my LT stuff, though I have received a numer of ARCs using LT's EarlyReviewers program. A great program!!! Thanks LT. Before I got my LT membership I had pulled all my isbns into Bookpedia using websites such as,, and to find isbns. Then when I got my LT membership I imported all the isbns from a .csv file I created with Bookpedia. With Bookpedia and LibraryThing I don't need anything more to organize my books. I think "the stuff" is a great way to promote pride in something you really love using and are proud to promote. GO LT Nation!

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

Naked in Death is 19th on the All ABout Romance's Top 100 Romance Books 2007 list. I have read a lot of the later In Death series books and finally worked my way back to where it all started. I do find it difficult to believe that Naked made it to 19th on the list. I love the In Death series, can't wait to read each new novel in the series and usually rate every effort a solid 4.0 but I can only give Naked in Death the same and no more. 

Naked in Death is a very good book and I think it earns its place more so because it was one of the first, if not the first, introduction into a new sub-sector of the Romance genre - Futuristics, but I think there are a lot of other books out there that deserve to be in 19th place more than Naked... 

My Rating: 4.0 Chapters

Deep Fathom by James Rollins

Another solid effort! To rack up the suspense Rollins has habit of seemingly killing off characters but then all of a sudden they are alive again. Some readers may dislike the predictability of this but I get involved with the characters and hate to see then go...Deep Fathom was sort of the exception to the rule and I was a little disappointed to see some characters I was interested in not come back...but then there was this twist at the end of the novel that led to a satisfying conclusion. Good read. 

My Rating: 4.0


November 7, 2008

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

Another great Tudor historical fiction novel by Philippa Gregory. There are a lot of reviews out there on The Boleyn Inheritance and Phillipa Gregory's other Tudor more certainly will not disrupt the mix. I did not mind that the story switched between Jane Boleyn, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard...I thought it created a lot of suspense although I had to check myself from skipping ahead all the time, impatient to see what happened next for the characters. Jane Boleyn seemed like such a sympathetic character in the beginning and then she turned into this terror. Poor Katherine Howard has absolutely no sense (great believable writing) and you can't help but laugh out loud at her multiple times throughout the novel and even toward the end when is sentenced to death. And stalwart Anne of Cleves...who finally comes into her own and gains the freedom she deserves. 

You'll not want to put this gripping story down!! Definite must for historical fiction readers and Phillipa Gregory fans. 

My Rating: 5.0  


November 5, 2008

Michael Crichton

Not everyone would have loved Michael Crichton's books I'm sure but I did very much and I am so sad that he has passed away from cancer. I remember being struck by his novel Congo and how much technical information he included. I felt like I was learning something as well as being taken on an adventure. After that novel I went on to read all of his other novels with The Andromeda Strain, Eaters of the Dead and Congo being favorites, although I have yet to read Next (because I hate the tall paperback format and I always buy paperbacks). I would visit his website once every couple of months eagerly waiting for an announcement of a new novel. He never shied away from controversial topics like global warming in State of Fear or sexual harrassment by a women in Disclosure. I know many people loved not only his novels but his movies and Television shows. He will be missed.