Thursday, January 31, 2013

Review | Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1) by Lee Child

Killing Floor is the first book in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child.

While passing through a small Georgia town, former cop Jack Reacher is arrested for murder. Jack knows that he didn't kill anybody. But he doesn't stand a chance of convincing anyone.

The Jack Reacher series is a lot different than I expected. It turns out Killing Floor is actually my style of read. I assumed these books would be more military in nature, but Killing Floor is a crime thriller that just happens to star an ex-military cop. I'm now wondering if the Stephen Hunter books are at all what I thought they were either.

Killing Floor was a very fast read. I love a good page turner so I will be sticking with this series for a while. The brutal nature of the crimes were a little over the top for me, but I don't think it was more than the average reader can handle. If you are a fan of page turning mysteries, Killing Floor is a great book to check out. I can only imagine the rest of the series will prove worthwhile as well.

7/10: Recommended Read

Have you read any of the Jack Reacher series? Have you seen the Tom Cruise movie yet? I'm a fan of Tom Cruise, but I won't have the chance to check out the movie for a while.


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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday | Ghostman by Roger Hobbs

I've been on a little bit of a crime thriller kick lately, and Ghostman sounds like a most excellent upcoming release. Ghostman is Roger Hobbs debut novel,and it seems to be generating a lot of buzz.
Stunningly dark, hugely intelligent and thoroughly addictive, Ghostman announces the arrival of an exciting and highly distinctive novelist.

When a casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry, the man who orchestrated it is obliged to call in a favor from someone who’s occasionally called Jack. While it’s doubtful that anyone knows his actual name or anything at all about his true identity, or even if he’s still alive, he’s in his mid-thirties and lives completely off the grid, a criminal’s criminal who does entirely as he pleases and is almost impossible to get in touch with. But within hours a private jet is flying this exceptionally experienced fixer and cleaner-upper from Seattle to New Jersey and right into a spectacular mess: one heister dead in the parking lot, another winged but on the run, the shooter a complete mystery, the $1.2 million in freshly printed bills god knows where and the FBI already waiting for Jack at the airport, to be joined shortly by other extremely interested and elusive parties. He has only forty-eight hours until the twice-stolen cash literally explodes, taking with it the wider, byzantine ambitions behind the theft. To contend with all this will require every gram of his skill, ingenuity and self-protective instincts, especially when offense and defense soon become meaningless terms. And as he maneuvers these exceedingly slippery slopes, he relives the botched bank robbery in Kuala Lumpur five years earlier that has now landed him this unwanted new assignment.

From its riveting opening pages, Ghostman effortlessly pulls the reader into Jack’s refined and peculiar world—and the sophisticated shadowboxing grows ever more intense as he moves, hour by hour, toward a  constantly reimprovised solution. With a quicksilver plot, gripping prose and masterly expertise, Roger Hobbs has given us a novel that will immediately place him in the company of our most esteemed crime writers.

Ghostman will be released February 12, so hopefully I will be able to check it out soon.

What upcoming releases are you pining for this week? Let me know in the comments (or leave me a link!).

This post is being shared as part of Breaking the Spine's "Waiting on" Wednesday.


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Monday, January 28, 2013

Currently Reading | The Death of Bees

It has been hard to blog with a newborn in the house! Thankfully, I've been able to read OK (on the Kindle), but writing or typing has not been happening. I did finish writing a grocery list yesterday, but I never actually made it to the store...

I'm currently reading The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell.
Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved.
I like The Death of Bees so far. The writing style is pretty different, so I'm enjoying the change of pace.

I'm going to catch up on some reviews this week. I read some more Jack Reacher and some cute middle grade reads. I also read a Nelson Demille story that I hated called Rendezvous. I may or may not review that one.

I hope everyone has a fantastic reading week. Be sure to let me know what you are reading this week (or leave me a link so I can visit!).

This post is being shared as part of Book Journey's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Notable New Book Releases: Jan. 6 - Jan. 12

Confession: I have never read Brenna Yovanoff. Her books always sound like something I would like, too, so maybe I'll start with Paper Valentine. These are the books that caught my eye this week:

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Amazon | Goodreads

The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record.  The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.

For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one.  Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders?  Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.

With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets.  She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.

Paper Valentine is a hauntingly poetic tale of love and death by the New York Times bestselling author of The Replacement and The Space Between.

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Amazon | Goodreads

At the end of World War II, Jack Baker, a landlocked Kansas boy, is suddenly uprooted after his mother's death and placed in a boy's boarding school in Maine. There, Jack encounters Early Auden, the strangest of boys, who reads the number pi as a story and collects clippings about the sightings of a great black bear in the nearby mountains. Newcomer Jack feels lost yet can't help being drawn to Early, who won't believe what everyone accepts to be the truth about the Great Appalachian Bear, Timber Rattlesnakes, and the legendary school hero known as The Fish, who never returned from the war. When the boys find themselves unexpectedly alone at school, they embark on a quest on the Appalachian Trail in search of the great black bear. But what they are searching for is sometimes different from what they find. They will meet truly strange characters, each of whom figures into the pi story Early weaves as they travel, while discovering things they never realized about themselves and others in their lives.

Jinx by Sage Blackwood
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Amazon | Goodreads

In the Urwald, you don't step off the path. Trolls, werewolves, and butter churn–riding witches lurk amid the clawing branches, eager to swoop up the unwary. Jinx has always feared leaving the path—then he meets the wizard Simon Magus.

Jinx knows that wizards are evil. But Simon's kitchen is cozy, and he seems cranky rather than wicked. Staying with him appears to be Jinx's safest, and perhaps only, option. As Jinx's curiosity about magic grows, he learns to listen to the trees as closely as he does to Simon's unusual visitors. The more Jinx discovers, the more determined he becomes to explore beyond the security of well-trodden paths.

But in the Urwald, a little healthy fear is never out of place, for magic—and magicians—can be as dangerous as the forest. And soon Jinx must decide which is the greater threat.

Sage Blackwood introduces a daring new hero for an innovative new world as Jinx is joined by friends, battles enemies, and discovers that life beyond—and even within—the forest is more complex than he can imagine, and that the Urwald itself needs him more than he could ever guess.

Did any of these books make it on to your shelves this week? Be sure to let me know what books you were excited about this week.


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Monday, January 7, 2013

Currently Reading | The Twelve, Jack Reacher

I finally finished reading The Twelve. I was very disappointed! I had no idea who most of the characters were, and the timeline was too confusing. I'm not going to post a review because it would just be a whole lot of complaining. Despite all that, I loved The Passage hard core so I'm still going to read book 3.

I've started reading the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child. I'm on the second book right now, and I'm enjoying the series. It is different than I thought it would be! These books are actually more my style than I was expecting them to be.

Have you read the Jack Reacher books? I have a question for you! The Jack Reacher movie that just came out is based on book 9. Books 1 and 2 seemed to be very stand alone. Are they all that way? Can I read book 9 out of order without spoiling anything?

What are you reading this week?

This post is being shared as part of Book Journey's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Notable New Book Releases | Dec. 30 - Jan. 5

I'm a fan of this week's new releases. Maybe it's because I'm reading Jack Reacher right now, but Gun Machine sounds really great. These are the new releases that caught my eye this week:

Gun Machine by Warren Ellis
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Amazon | Goodreads

Warren Ellis reimagines New York City as a puzzle with the most dangerous pieces of all: GUNS.

After a shootout claims the life of his partner in a condemned tenement building on Pearl Street, Detective John Tallow unwittingly stumbles across an apartment stacked high with guns. When examined, each weapon leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. Someone has been killing people for twenty years or more and storing the weapons together for some inexplicable purpose.

Confronted with the sudden emergence of hundreds of unsolved homicides, Tallow soon discovers that he's walked into a veritable deal with the devil. An unholy bargain that has made possible the rise of some of Manhattan's most prominent captains of industry. A hunter who performs his deadly acts as a sacrifice to the old gods of Manhattan, who may, quite simply, be the most prolific murderer in New York City's history.

Warren Ellis's body of work has been championed by Wired for its "merciless action" and "incorruptible bravery," and steadily amassed legions of diehard fans. His newest novel builds on his accomplishments like never before, announcing Ellis as one of today's most daring thriller writers. This is twenty-first century suspense writ large. This is GUN MACHINE.

The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell
Publication Date: January 2, 2013
Amazon | Goodreads

Today is Christmas Eve.
Today is my birthday.
Today I am fifteen.
Today I buried my parents in the backyard.
Neither of them were beloved.

Marnie and her little sister, Nelly, are on their own now. Only they know what happened to their parents, Izzy and Gene, and they aren't telling. While life in Glasgow's Maryhill housing estate isn't grand, the girls do have each other. Besides, it's only a year until Marnie will be considered an adult and can legally take care of them both.

As the New Year comes and goes, Lennie, the old man next door, realizes that his young neighbors are alone and need his help. Or does he need theirs? Lennie takes them in—feeds them, clothes them, protects them—and something like a family forms. But soon enough, the sisters' friends, their teachers, and the authorities start asking tougher questions. As one lie leads to another, dark secrets about the girls' family surface, creating complications that threaten to tear them apart.

Written with fierce sympathy and beautiful precision, told in alternating voices, The Death of Bees is an enchanting, grimly comic tale of three lost souls who, unable to answer for themselves, can answer only for one another.

White Dog Fell from the Sky by Eleanor Morse
Publication Date: January 3, 2013
Amazon | Goodreads

An extraordinary novel of love, friendship, and betrayal for admirers of Abraham Verghese and Edwidge Danticat

Eleanor Morse’s rich and intimate portrait of Botswana, and of three people whose intertwined lives are at once tragic and remarkable, is an absorbing and deeply moving story.

In apartheid South Africa in 1976, medical student Isaac Muthethe is forced to flee his country after witnessing a friend murdered by white members of the South African Defense Force. He is smuggled into Botswana, where he is hired as a gardener by a young American woman, Alice Mendelssohn, who has abandoned her Ph.D. studies to follow her husband to Africa. When Isaac goes missing and Alice goes searching for him, what she finds will change her life and inextricably bind her to this sunburned, beautiful land.

Like the African terrain that Alice loves, Morse’s novel is alternately austere and lush, spare and lyrical. She is a writer of great and wide-ranging gifts.

The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon
Publication Date: January 2, 2013
Amazon | Goodreads

The summer of 1985 changes Reggie’s life. An awkward thirteen-year-old, she finds herself mixed up with the school outcasts. That same summer, a serial killer called Neptune begins kidnapping women. He leaves their severed hands on the police department steps and, five days later, displays their bodies around town. Just when Reggie needs her mother, Vera, the most, Vera’s hand is found on the steps. But after five days, there’s no body and Neptune disappears.

Now, twenty-five years later, Reggie is a successful architect who has left her hometown and the horrific memories of that summer behind. But when she gets a call revealing that her mother has been found alive, Reggie must confront the ghosts of her past and find Neptune before he kills again.

Did any of these books make it on to your wishlist or bookshelf this week? Have you had a chance to read them yet? Be sure to let me know what books you were excited about this week especially if they didn't make it onto this list!


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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! | Reading Resolutions

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is looking forward to this new year as much as I am.

Reading Resolution

Every year I set reading goals for myself, and I'm super excited about my plan for this year: to have no plan! I had a rough year in general last year. Combine that with pregnancy brain, and I just wasn't able to read as much as I would have liked. I'm slowly getting my brain and my reading mojo back, and I plan to spend a lot of time reading strictly for pleasure. I plan to have no idea what I'm reading next until I pick it up and dive in.

GoodReads Challenge

Since the plan is to have no plan, the only challenge I'm joining this year is the GoodReads Reading Challenge. I'm in for my normal goal of 50 books for the year. [Are you on GoodReads? Let me know so I can add you as a friend.]

Happy New Year!

I hope this is a spectacular year for each of you!!

Do you set reading resolutions? What are your goals for this year?


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