Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

Summer Knight - Bk 4 in The Dresden Files
Jim Butcher
ROC, 2002

Reading Challenges
100+ Challenge
TBR Challenge
Series Challenge

About The Book
This is the fourth book in The Dresden Files series. Harry has been moping and feeling sorry for himself after what happened to Susan. When he ventures out it rains toads, which is never a good thing. His three o'clock appointment is one of the faerie queens who wants Harry to solve a murder. Can Harry solve it before midnight on Midsummer night?

My Thoughts
It was nice to dip back into this series. The writing and the characters were familiar. I like how the crime solving in this one wasn't so straight forward.  

I'm really a fan of Harry's support cast; namely Billy The Werewolf, Murphy, Mister and Bob. I think Bob gets some of the best lines! I hope we get to see more of Bob. 

This book focuses on firstly the White Council. Harry finds himself up in front of them again. They aren't his biggest fans. We also get to know more about the Faerie... and Toot Toot from Storm Front makes a reappearance. I did enjoy this one, although the action didn't move as fast as the previous books. I'm looking forward to book 5!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Addition by Toni Jordan

Toni Jordan
Text, 2008

Reading Challenges
100+ Challenge
TBR Challenge
AWW Challenge

About The Book
Grace Lisa Vandenburg counts. The letters in her name(19). The steps she takes every morning to the local cafe(920); the number of poppy seeds on her slice of orange cake, which dictates the number of bites she'll take to finish it. Grace counts everything, because numbers hold the world together. And she needs to keep an eye on how they're doing.

Seamus Joseph O'Reilly (also a 19, with the sexiest hands Grace has ever seen) thinks she might be better off without the counting. If she could hold down a job, say. Or open her kitchen cupboards without conducting an inventory, or make a sandwich containing an unknown number of sprouts.

Grace's problem is that Seamus doesn't count. Her other problem is... he does.

My Thoughts
Some times reading is just easy and it almost feels like you are swimming through the words. Other times it's difficult and feels like you are walking on dry sand. At the moment, for me it is easy. I just swam through Addition. It was funny and heartwarming and sweet and serious and I feel like I'm leaving friends behind now that I've finished it. I will have to read it again!

Grace Lisa Vandenburg is funny and sweet but blunt and counts everything. Seamus Joseph O'Reilly is sweet and strong and likes Grace. I giggled to myself quite often throughout the novel. I love the quirky humour in this book, which starts quite near the beginning with a scene in the supermarket when Grace realises she has only 9 bananas in her basket but that Seamus, who is in the line behind her, has a single banana. She decides to take his banana so that she has her full quota of 10.

I saw Toni Jordan at the Sydney Writer's Festival in 2008, just after Addition was released. She was on a panel with Chris Womersely and maybe someone else..., talking about first books and the road to publication. It was a good talk... but then I always find hearing an author talk about their work makes me so much more intersted in reading it. That being said... it's taken 5 years to take my copy off the shelf and start reading it.

A lot of reviews I've read say that Addition is about counting. I'm not really sure I agree with that. Sure counting plays an important part in the book but it is more Grace's comfort system as she can only cope in a world where she knows the numbers involved. I think it's more about being who we are and doing what we need to do to cope with life. 

The most poignant moment of the novel comes near the end when Grace says:
Most people miss their whole lives, you know. Listen, life isn't when you are standing on the top of a mountain looking at the sunset. Life isn't waiting at the altar or the moment your child is born or that time you were swimming in deep water and a dolphin came up beside you. These are fragments. Ten or twelve grains of sand spread throughout your entire existence. These are not life. Life is brushing your teeth or making a sandwich or watching the news or waiting for the bus. Or walking. Every day, thousands of tiny events happen and if you're not watching, if you're not careful, if you don't capture them and make them count, you could miss it. 
You could miss your whole life. (p217)


Monday, January 20, 2014

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project
Graeme Simsion
Text, 2013

Reading Challenges
100+ Challenge
TBR Challenge

About The Book
Don Tillman is a professor of genetics and lives his life by a strict schedule. He may have Aspergers but is undiagnosed. He decides he wants to find a wife and comes up with a foolproof way of finding one. Only things don't go according to schedule when Rosie Jarman visits his office.

My Thoughts
And now for something completely different to the Dresden Files... The Rosie Project was a well written light read. It was sort of like Sheldon Cooper falling in love.... only I don't think Sheldon would be as willing to give up his schedules as Don was.

I can see why this book was talked about so much last year. I really enjoyed it! It took a little while to warm up to Don's voice, but once I did I was hooked and was torn between wanting to keep reading but not wanting to finish it. It was funny and heartwarming as socially awkward Don learns how to be less awkward and falls in love. I really liked both Don and Rosie and enjoyed their story. There were some funny moments, such as the Jacket Incident. I liked how Don at one stage referred to Rosie Time - which is when they ate dinner at a late hour, as my fiance and I have "Casino Time" which is eating dinner at 9pm or later.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Grave Peril (Book 3 of the Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher

Grave Peril - Dresden Files Bk 3
Jim Butcher
Orbit, 2001

Reading Challenges
100+ Challenge
Series Challenge
TBR Challenge

About The Book
Ghosts are being stirred up and tormented by The Nightmare. Harry, Chicago's only wizard for hire, is on the case. He has to solve it before it attacks any more mortals.

My Thoughts
I read on Good Reads that this is the beginning of the series getting really good. I don't know if I read too many Dresden Files books too close together, but this one didn't really do anything for me. It was good, and had the action I've come to expect after 2 books. Book 2 was just so great that I guess this one had a lot to live up to and it didn't quite make it for me at least. I think that it is a problem with me, not with the book.

We do get to find out more about Harry's background in this book and I like the way his character is being developed. Susan annoyed me in the first half of the book. Is she really just dating Harry to get a story? I found that a bit too much and began not to like her. I like how the author puts his own spin on vampires and werewolves to give the myths a new lease on life. This one focused on ghosts and vampires. With vampires being an ugly creature underneath the human exterior.

I am going to take a break from this series for a little while and will come back to it later.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fool Moon (Book 2 of The Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher

Fool Moon - Bk 2 of The Dresden Files
Jim Butcher
Orbit, 2001
p 391

Reading Challenges
Series Challenge
TBR Challenge

About The Book
Harry Dresden, Chicago's only wizard for hire, is asked by the Special Investigations Unit to investigate murders that happen at the time of the full moon.

My Thoughts
WOW! Talk about action packed!! I really didn't want to put this book down to do boring things like work and sleep. One night I read this before going to bed and then couldn't sleep because my head was buzzing from a particularly tense action scene.

This book picks up where book one, Storm Front, left off but steps up the action tenfold. This one focuses on werewolves but the author puts his own spin on the usual myths. Who knew there were so many types?

There was a bit of repetition of some of the things that were covered quite comprehensively in the first book - such as wizards affecting electrical equipment, his relationships with Murphy of the Special Investigations Unit, but the story really picked up after that. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014

As you might be starting to realise I can't resist a good challenge... I'm not very good at finishing them but am enthusiastic about starting them. Since I'm not so good at completing the I will start with the lowest level and aim for a Stella Level which is to read 4 (and review at least 3) books by Australian Women writers. 

For details and signup information visit the challenge's webpage -

I hope to read
Addition by Toni Jordan (finished 17/1/14)
Bay of Fires by Poppy Gee (finished 26/1/14)
Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks (finished 6/8/14)
All That I Am by Anna Funder (finished 9/7/14)

If I think I can make it to the Franklin Level (read 6) I'll try and read
Piano Lessons by Anna Goldsworthy
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

TBR Reading Challenge

I am going to attempt the TBR reading challenge this year as I have many bookshelves and boxes full of books that I am yet to read and want to read. This challenge is hosted by Evie Bookish and the details about the challenge can be found here

I am aiming for a minimum of  A Firm Handshake (1 -10 books) but hoping for A Friendly Hug (11 - 20 books).

I have made a start on the challenge before signing up and have read

Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

I also plan on reading:
The other books in the Dresden Files Series
Liar Bird by Lisa Walker
Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Addition by Toni Jordan
House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Storm Front (Bk 1 of The Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher

Storm Front - Book 1 of The Dresden Files
Jim Butcher
Orbit, 2000

Reading Challenge:
100+ Challenge
Series Challenge

About The Book
Harry Dresden is the best as what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity of capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things – and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a – well whatever.

There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting.

My Thoughts
I bought the first eight books in this series from a street fair a couple of years ago and have been meaning to get around to them ever since. I thought about taking them home with me to read over Christmas… for the past two years but never did. It looks like 2014 will be the year to read them! I was at the beach when I started reading this book and within no time I was up to page 48 and it was time to go. It didn't take long to finish it, just another day and a half!

I quite enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of the series. There was quite a bit of time spent setting up the premise of the Dresden Files world. Some of it was repeated a bit, but once the story got going I was hooked. It is an Urban Fantasy tale, which has humour throughout, to keep it from getting too dark.

The book moved at quite a quick pace. I didn’t even mind that it was told in first person… and I really don’t like first person narration. I guess it is because Harry Dresden doesn’t spend a lot of time on self reflection and that is a refreshing change.

Right on to book 2… 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Freda's Voice 100+ Book Challenge

 Freda’s Voice is hosting the 100+ Book Challenge in 2014. I’ve unofficially been attempting this challenge in 2012 and 2013, but I thought I’d sign up again this year.

So the rules are as follows:

1. Create a post, but list as you read, either a blog or GoodReads, somewhere I can see it, and leave your url to that post in the Linky below.
2. Read some books. Any books. No limit in pages, even the phone book counts if that is your fancy. Just read!
3. That's it!

You can find more details here -

I will list the books here and also on GoodReads with the tag 100+ Challenge.  


            Storm Front

            4 of 5 stars

            Storm Front

            by Jim Butcher



            4 of 5 stars

            Fool Moon

            by Jim Butcher





2014 Series Reading Challenge

Well it’s reading challenge signup season again. It’s been a couple of years since I joined a challenge and I thought I might give it a go again, because my life won’t be busy enough this year…

So I’m going to give the Series Challenge a go. It is hosted by Read Sleep Repeat. The details page is -

I have a couple of series that I would like to start, and finish… namely

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Wool Trilogy by Hugh Howey – I have read the first one Wool, but have Shift and Dust to go.

2013 Roundup

Huh, it's been 9 months since I last posted. That's pretty bad. I could have had a baby in that time... I didn't though!! I got engaged and have been busy with wedding plans and well life really... oh and reading!!

I read a total of 60 books in 2013, which is quite good. Although I only managed to finish 16 books in the second half of the year! I may get around to posting the reviews I wrote offline, but I may not...

One of the members of the Wednesday book group asked if I had the Guinness World Record for the number of unfinished books! Shamed. However, I only had one month where I didn't finish any books. That's less than last year!!

There is a mix of fiction and non fiction titles in this list, as apparently I've been in the mood to read a bit of non fiction lately. As I went through my list, I thought a couple of times to myself 'oh was that this year?'. My favourite titles from this year are, in no particular order: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, Oranges & Sunshine by Margaret Humphries, The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do, Local Wildlife by Robert Drewe, Wool by Hugh Howey and both the Danny Wallace books. 

Here is a round up of the titles I finished.

The Tournament - Matthew Reilly
Burial Rites - Hannah Kent
Floodline - Kathryn Heyman

Animal Farm - George Orwell

The End: The human experience of death - Bianca Nogrady
Navel Gazing: One woman's quest for a size normal - Anne Putnam
The Book of Why - Nicholas Montemarano
The Happiest Refugee - Anh Do


Into My Arms - Kylie Ladd
Coming Clean - Kimberley Rae Miller
Local Wildlife - Robert Drewe
Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger
More Awkward Situations for Men - Danny Wallace
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery
The Last Runaway - Tracy Chevailer

Fractured - Dawn Barker
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
Little Coffee Shop of Kabul - Deborah Rodriguez
Awkward Situations for Men - Danny Wallace
Fever - Mary Beth Keane

Legacy - Larissa Behrendt
Listening to Country:A journey to the heart of what it means to belong - Ros Moriarty

Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood
No, I Don't Need Reading Glasses - Virginia Ironside
Sister - Rosamund Lupton
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce

Books Can Be Deceiving - Jenn Mckinlay
The Dinner - Herman Koch
The Engagement - Chloe Hooper
Great House - Nicola Krauss
Sex, Lies and Bonsai - Lisa Walker
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating - Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Get Well Soon: My (un)brilliant career as a nurse - Kristy Chambers
Jew - D. O. Dodd
The Library of Unrequited Love - Sophie Divry
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Off the Road: a modern day walk down the pilgrim's route into Spain - Jack Hitt

State of Wonder - Ann Patchett
The Young Widow's Book of Home Improvement - Virginia Lloyd
The Starlite Drive-In - Marjorie Reynolds
The Good Psychologist - Noam Shpancer
Wool - Hugh Howey
Oranges and Sunshine - Margaret Humphries
8 States of Catastrophe - Karenlee Thompson
The Help - Kathryn Stockett
The Flight of Gemma Hardy - Margot Livesey


Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green & David Leviathan
The Lighthouse - Alison Moore
This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You - Jon McGregor
The Maltese Falcon - Dashiel Hammett
Everyday - David Leviathan
Travels in the Scriptorium - Paul Auster
Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips journal - Chris Colfer
Unholy Pilgrims: How one man thought walking 800 kilometers across Spain would sort out his life - Tom Trumble
Then - Julie Myerson
We Don't Live Here Anymore - Matt Nable
The Cleaner of Chartres - Sally Vickers
The Light Between Oceans - M. L. Stedman
A Corner of White - Jaclyn Moriarty