Friday, January 31, 2014

2014 Reading Challenge
  I have read 8 of 50 books
2 books ahead of schedule
Silent Night by Robert B. Parker


Jan 31, 2014 

It's December in Boston, and Spenser is busy planning the menu for Christmas dinner when he's confronted in his office by a young boy named Slide. Homeless and alone, Slide has found refuge with an organization named Street Business, which gives shelter and seeks job opportunities for the homeless and lost. Slide's mentor, Jackie Alvarez, is being threatened, and Street Business is in danger of losing its tenuous foothold in the community, turning Slide and many others like him back on the street. But it's not a simple case of intimidation—Spenser, aided by Hawk, finds a trail that leads to a dangerous drug kingpin, whose hold on the at-risk community Street Business serves threatens not just the boys' safety and security, but their lives as well.

Unfinished at the time of his death, Silent Night was completed by Parker's longtime agent, whose decades-long association with Parker's work gives her unique insight and perspective to his voice and storytelling style. Her contribution also speaks volumes about their enduring friendship.


I thought this was a very simple mystery to read without a lot of depth or details. It was a quick read and didn't have twists like I enjoy in other mysteries. Even so, I did enjoy it. This is the second Spenser Series book I have read. As you can see above this is book 42.5 in the series. From what I understand the books do not have to be read in order. From what I understand as well is that the old TV show "Spenser For Hire" is a take off from these books. I never watched the show.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert


Jan 26, 20 14  

Read from January 20 to 26, 2014

This richly imagined novel, set in Hawaii more than a century ago, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known time and place---and a deeply moving testament to the resiliency of the human spirit. It covers an 80 year span from 1891-1970.

Rachel Kalama, a seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, dreams of visiting far-off lands like her father, a merchant seaman. Then one day a rose-colored mark appears on her skin, and those dreams are stolen from her. Taken from her home and family, Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantined leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i. Here her life is supposed to end---but instead she discovers it is only just beginning.


I found the book to be heartbreaking and uplifting, following the story of Rachel Kalama. With death all around her she still showed incredible strength and courage for herself and others. She dealt with each challenge and was a positive influence to all those around her. I admired her bravery in dealing with her illness and not letting it take over her life.

I also enjoyed this book because it opened my eyes to a problem, to which I had never given much thought to, even though it was unpleasant. I learned much about the leper colony on this small island of Hawaii. It was also very detailed and many of the political figures and certainly the locations were factual. I learned about Hawaii's history over the 80 year span.

There were themes of religion, culture, family life and politics within the book. I also like how the book ended even though the last 20 years were rushed through.

Since there were so many Hawaiian words throughout the book, I would have liked if the author included a glossary of the terms in the back of the book.  It would have definitely helped me!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Walking Shadow by Robert B. Parker


Jan 16, 2014  

bookshelves: 2014-new-authors
Read from January 12 to 16, 2014

A theater manager is being stalked by a mysterious figure and asks Spenser to help. Before he can start investigating, an actor is shot and killed on stage during a performance. An actress also complains of being followed. While he’s trying to figure out exactly what’s going on, Spenser gets threatened by the leader of the local Chinese gangs. After surviving a hail of bullets, Spenser and Hawk turn to gunman and gangster Vinnie Morris for assistance.

My Review:

Robert Parker is a new author for me. I am going to add him to my list of good detective story writers. A friend of mine gave me the book to read since I like the detective genre. This one did not disappoint me. It was an easy read that kept me guessing until the end. I did have some hunches though as I read through the book. Apparently, this is one of the books from The Spenser Series which includes 39 books!! I would imagine if I go back to the first book in the series, I will get some background information about the characters and the situations they have been through.

The only thing that annoyed me was the overuse of the word "said." It was constantly "I said, She said, or He said." There are lots of words that can be used to substitute for the word "said.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fairy Tale Weddings by Debbie Macomber


Jan 11, 2014 

Read from January 08 to 11, 2014

Fairy Tale Weddings contains two previously published Debbie Macomber novels. Cindy and her Prince is a modern retelling of Cinderella and Some Kind of Wonderful is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

My Review:

I usually don't like to read two stories in one book but this book was an exception. Cindy and Her Prince was ok, but I didn't particularly care for the story line. It was unrealistic to me because Thorne fell in love with Cindy almost instantly. I guess that is what makes the story a fairy tale but she was annoying to me since she couldn't make up her mind about their relationship.

Some Kind of Wonderful really held my attention more. The story line was more developed and more intense at times. I was drawn right into it from the beginning. I like how the two leading characters were there for each other and were influential in changing each others lives for the better.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson

Jan 07, 20 14  

Read from January 04 to 07, 2014

A missing little girl named Maggie Rose . . . a family of three brutally murdered in the projects of Washington, D.C. . . . the thrill-killing of a beautiful elementary school teacher . . . a psychopathic serial kidnapper/murderer who is so terrifying that the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police cannot outsmart him - even after he's been captured.

Gary Soneji wants to commit the crime of the century. Alex Cross is the brilliant homicide detective pitted against him. Jezzie Flanagan is the first female supervisor of the Secret Service who completes one of the most unusual suspense triangles in any thriller you have ever read.

Alex Cross and Jezzie Flanagan are about to have a forbidden love affair--at the worst possible time for both of them. Because Gary Soneji is playing at the top of his game. The latest of the unspeakable crimes happens in Alex Cross's precinct. It happens under the noses of Jezzie Flanagan's men. Now Alex Cross must face the ultimate test: How do you outmaneuver a brilliant psychopath.

My Review:

I really liked this book a lot since I enjoy reading suspense,mystery, and crime books. It was definitely a page turner for me. The chapters were only a few pages long which I like when reading books. I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next. Gary was definitely a sick cookie. The crimes he committed were horrific. There were some surprises throughout the story. I plan on continuing to read The Alex Cross series.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Secret Splendor by Sandra Brown


Jan 02, 2014  

bookshelves: new-to-me-authors, 2014-new-authors-for-me
Read from December 30, 2013 to January 02, 2014

She is a mother searching for her child . . .

After the death of her little boy, Joey, Arden Gentry feels a terrible emptiness. Divorced and devastated over the loss of her son, Arden is utterly alone.

But she has another son -- a child she agreed to give up at birth to save her marriage and her family from financial ruin. Now that Joey is gone, Arden is convinced that the son she'd never held could ease her overwhelming heartache.

After years of monitoring his whereabouts, Arden leaves Los Angeles behind and goes to Maui, where her son is currently living. But in the tropical paradise of Hawaii, Arden starts to doubt her decision to contact him. Because she knows that finding him could resurrect all the half-truths, secrets and unspeakable lies that surrounded his birth.

My review:
I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked the beginning chapter when the plot was introduced and I definitely liked the last 60 pages. I couldn't put it down. I was really into those parts.

The middle of the book was unrealistic to me. The way the 2 main characters fell in love so quickly was ridiculous. I do like how they both had self esteem issues and they were able to help one another overcome them. However, the explicit sex scenes, I could have done without. I found myself scanning over those parts since they became repetitive and they were fill-ins for the plot.

Without giving too much away, I was really annoyed with one of the characters since he was a dirty rotten scoundrel.