Friday, October 31, 2008
Just to let you know that a review of Salvation in Death by J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts is up at Breezing Through :)
I hope you enjoy :)
Oh, and Happy Halloween ! Hope you guys have fun!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Something About Emmaline by Elizabeth Boyle
published by Avon in January 2005
Inventing a wife was the perfect solution...
Or so it seemed to Alexander Denford,Baron Sedgwick, when he made up Emmaline for the sole purpose of deterring the ton’s marriage-minded ladies and their infernal matchmaking mothers--thereby enabling him to enjoy his carefully planned life in peace. So imagine his surprise when a stunning stranger appears in his private bedchamber…and brazenly announces that she is "Lady Sedgwick!"
Until a tempting lady turns his life upside down...
This "Emmaline" has been living by her wits her entire life--and dearly desires what the dashing, much chagrined rake can provide: an entry into good society. In the meantime, she is plunging his household into chaos and, worse still, wreaking havoc with his heart. For there’s something about her spirit and fiery sensuality that Alex is finding impossible to resist. But before he can make his perfect love his actual bride, he’ll have to somehow become the ideal husband he never dreamed he could be.
Genre: historical romance
Series: The Bachelor Chronicles, book #1
The Story: For 5 years, Alexander Denford, Baron Sedgwick, has duped his family as well as the ton. Indeed, to deter all those matchmaking mothers and put a halt to his grandmother's nagging, he has invented himself a wife... Lady Emmaline. How does it work? Easy... when Alexander is in London, then his frail wife is in the country, resting and when he is in the country, his wife stays in London... again, resting and recovering from whatever illness ails her. Quite a clever plan... until Lady Emmaline materializes and takes over his home and life. Then, nothing goes right anymore in Sedgwick's ordered, organized, calm... and dull life... and suddenly, Sedgwick doesn't know if he wants to remain... so dull anymore.
My Opinion: Okay, so I've read a lot of books where the hero makes a deal with someone and pretend to be engaged or married to avoid all the matchmakings... but I've never read a book where the hero makes up a wife!! LOL :) That's what made me read Something About Emmaline during the week-end. It sounded like a good book and it was :)
So you have Alexander Denford, Baron Sedgwick, who has basically invented himself a wife. He thinks he is oh so clever, till he reads in the gossip sections about Lady Sedgwick finally appearing in London and when he receives the bag of bills, he immediately rushes to his London residence. Anyway, I thought the whole idea of the book was brilliant and really entertaining. Of course, in such a case, you need a witty heroine and Emmaline certainly is witty. She has a quick mind, a quicker tongue, a strong personality, is not afraid and knows how to bluff her way. Basically, I thought that Emmaline was a great heroine and really entertaining. I enjoyed seeing Alexander and Emmaline interacting with each other and how she always had the upper hand, the right excuse. LOL, it was also funny that everyone thought that Alexander was dull, even his grandmother!! LMAO :P
Of course, the first quarter of the book or so, Alexander spends his time being confused by Emmaline as well as trying to find how she discovered his secret and who sent her. I did think that Alexander fell for Emmaline a bit too quickly... the whole story takes place over a week or a bit more... That was way too quick to me. What I liked though is that Emmaline had already spent a month in Alexander's house and so, all the servants were already on her side. It was fun to see Alexander's staff trying to matchmake Alexander and Emmaline and I understood them... They all wanted Alexander to produce a heir so his cousin wouldn't be the heir anymore. I liked how the butler in this story wasn't so stuffy :)
So I thought the whole storyline was quite enjoyable and Emmaline was really fun to read. She really made the book. I would have liked to know a bit more about Alexander. I thought he wasn't as developed as Emmaline... not that I think I would have enjoyed the book more... Just to satisfy my curiosity. I did think the story took place a bit too quickly and would have preferred if it has taken place on a longer time period... There were quite a few twists at the end that I did not expect - all pretty good and cleverly included and worked in :)
Another complaint I would have though is there were a bit too many characters... and not everyone seemed to be necessary. For example, Templeton... Was he really needed? If I'm not wrong, this book was the first in the series; however, I felt like I missed the first book... Also, there was one or two loose ends in the book... Why did Templeton get Emmaline's father a pardon? However, those are small details and aren't too important to the storyline...
My Grade: B+. Definitively a good read, entertaining and funny :)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
My room is such a mess ^_^; I have books laying around everywhere... I've been meaning to clean up... but I've been spending my time on facebook instead... playing games ^_^; Another complaint before starting the review... How come the bookstore has received all the Zebra Kesington releases that are coming out tomorrow except for Marry Christmas by Jane Goodger? How come? Does that mean I'm going to have to order Marry Christmas? ugh.
Addicted to Love by Lori Wilde
published by Grand Central Publishing in October 2008
Growing up in Valentine, Texas, can make anyone believe in happily ever after. But newly declared recovering romantic Rachael Henderson has decided that love stinks. After having not one but two grooms ditch her at the altar, she announces her disenchantment in an uncharacteristic act of rebellion. She feels liberated...until she's arrested by Sheriff Brody Carlton. Once upon a time, being hauled against the taut, rippling body of her first crush would have had Rachael planning the wedding of the year. Now it spurs her to created Romanceaholics Anonymous, a twelve-step program for love addicts. Soon all of Valentine is divided as die-hard romantics clash with antilove cynics. But when Rachael starts fantasizing about a lust-filled affair with Brody, she goes against everything the program stands for. Should she protect her fragile heart...or find a way to have her wedding cake and eat it too?
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Wedding Veil Wishes series, Book #3
The Story: Rachael has grown up in Valentine, Texas... a town who celebrates Valentines and romance... However, she becomes quite disillusioned after being jilted at the altar a second time and after learning her parents are getting a divorce after 20-something years of marriage. To show her disenchantment with romance, Rachael creates Romanceaholics Anonymous, a twelve-step program for love addicts and people who tend to romanticize their life... However, it's very hard for Rachael to adhere to her own rules when sexy sheriff Brody Carlton keeps showing up and helping her out.
My Opinion: The reason why I had to get Addicted to Love was mainly because I was looking for a small-town romance book and this fit the bill... and this was definitively a good choice :)
The first scene of the book was extremely cute and gives the tone to the whole book. Rachael is angry and it's totally understandable and she takes out her anger on Valentine's symbol. LOL, I could just imagine her, painting huge lips in black in her wedding dress :P Just too cute!!! I really enjoyed Rachael's character... yes, she's disillusioned, but she doesn't blame others (well except Valentine)... but as Holly said, she doesn't become a man-hater and that's greatly appreciated. Instead, she takes responsibility... knowing that she romanticized her fiancés and all the situations she's been in too much... She decides to change and I think that was nice. As a result, she doesn't rush into this relationship with Brody and when her ex-fiancé comes back to her at the end, she knows exactly what happened, what went wrong, why their relationship did not work.
I really enjoyed Brody's character. He was a great hero, very balanced in my opinion. Brody lost his best friend in the 9/11 tragedy which pushed him to enlist and go to Iraq. While in Iraq, he lost his leg and then, his wife left him. I like that Brody's character was complex... He's not this alpha male, totally sure of himself and his sex appeal. He actually has a lot to worry... He came back to his hometown and became sheriff and won't let a prosthetic leg hinder him. With all he went through, Brody is a brave man and I think Ms Wilde handled the situation perfectly. We have a just enough angst from Brody to make him interesting and give him some depth, but not too much to drown the readers in. Yes, there were some self-doubts... but it doesn't stop him from pursuing Rachael... and there's none of the "I'm not good enough for her" inner battle. Thank you very much Ms Rachael.
Overall, the relationship between Brody and Rachael was very cute. Brody and Rachael were neighbors when they were younger and than Brody moved away. He was Rachael's first crush and the first boy who broke her heart. It was great to see Brody falls in love with Rachael, remembers some stuff that happened between them in the past. I loved how Brody didn't push Rachael into their relationship and waited till she realized her feelings on her own. My favorite part is when Brody wonders what would have happened if he didn't move? If Rachael and him didn't lose contact? If they kept growing next door to each other... That was extremely sweet I think :)
I have to admit that I wasn't too fond of the whole "Romanceaholic Anonymous" idea... I mean, it's hard to define love and romance and what's good and what's not... and how are you sure it's going to work and not. I also don't really like those story plots that make the whole town divided... but Ms Wilde handled it well... so kudos.
Aside from Brody and Rachael, there were two side stories... the first one was Rachael's parents... After 29 (?) years of marriage, they are getting a divorce... I didn't mind Rachael's parents story too much. The whole mess is due to some lack of trust... In my opinion, Rachael's mother should have pushed for the truth all those years ago... even if it would have hurt, even if it could have broken things... It was better for her to know if her husband cheated on her or not, then spend 20-odd years not being able to trust her husband and his feelings for her. I guess they were both at fault... It was kind of sad to see the father trying to win back the mother, but not knowing what to do :(
The second side story was about the mayor, his opponent and the election. That one, I could have done without. I didn't connect with neither characters and actually skimmed pass their parts. The storyline might have been important because of the division in the town, but yeah, didn't much care for it.
In conclusion, this was a great, sweet story :) I really enjoyed Brody and Rachael and I'm glad I gave this a chance. It was much better than the first book in the series, There Goes the Bride, which you really don't need to read to understand what's happening in this book.
My Grade: B+. If you're in the mood for small-town story or a sweet, cute story... this is it :D
Monday, October 27, 2008
Just to let you all know that this week, Book Binge's guest author for the whole week is Jodi Thomas!! Yay!! There's going to be a guest post, interview, reviews and etc... so be sure to drop by :)
To start off the week, I have a review of Ms Thomas' newest release Tall, Dark, and Texan!!!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Speaking of books, I'm having a great week regarding acquiring books, LOL :) Let see, I ordered some books online on Monday and all the books are already on their way. I should receive the bulk of it (Blood Lite - anthology, Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti and Trouble with Paradise by Jill Shalvis) next Monday; however, I'm hoping to get Salvation in Death by J.D. Robb today. Hoping being the important word in that sentence :P However, it says today's date for the ETA. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Another reason to keep my fingers crossed is the fact that Chapters/Indigo online indicator says that some of the bookstore in downtown have received their shipment of books from Harlequin... I love HQ!!! Seriously!! It's probably the only publishing house whose books arrive early and show up on shelves before the street release date :) Wish me luck, I'm trying to get Bad Penny by Sharon Sala and A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr. Those being the goal of today's hunt.
I also got Living with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong yesterday. Thanks to my sister who had a midterm exam on Monday though, I've already read half of it at the bookstore so I was able to finish it later yesterday night. Still, I'll probably be reading it again because I was skimming quickly and I probably missed some important details. My first impression however is that the book is a bit confusing - there are A LOT of narrators ^_^; The whole book was a wild chase and really not what I expected... however, Ms Armstrong really put it together at the end with the last quarter of the book. She definitively saved it... In the end, not the best, but not the worst book in the series... I have to say though, I'm hoping we're taking a tiny break from Hope in the next book. She's a cool character, but all her angst and issues - sigh - make my head turns.
Finally, yesterday and today, McGill is holding its annual bookfair. I went yesterday and had it all planned out. My car was parked near the building, so if I had to carry a box like last year, it'd be a short distance. I showed up at 8.50am with my Indigo bag so I could put all the books I was gonig to buy. I had enough cash and even slipped a check, just in case (they don't take debit or credit card). Even left my sweater in the car, because from my past experience, it gets really hot inside - so many ppl and everyone looking for books so frantically. So yeah, I was definitively ready and prepared... However, this year was a disappointment. Oh, I got some books and for a good price too. I mean, 16 books for 24.50$?!?!? Can only find it at the bookfair and that includes 2 hardcovers. Talk about cheap... Thing is, none of the books made me jump in excitment. None of the books made me yell SCORE!! I also think there were a lot less romance than in past few years... Either there are more and more romance readers converting to e-books or people just didn't want to part with their books. Also, if I see one more Sophie Kinsella - I would have screamed!!! UGH!!! Anyway, there were a lot of "male" books imo. By "male" books, I mean mystery and fiction books by male authors... Those are more popular with male readership and a lot of them were hardcovers... but then, I guess it makes sense right? Men don't tend to be as rat-packers than women. Hopefully, it'll be better next year.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I don't know if you've been following the economy, but the Canadian loonie is on the drop again :(
I don't know how I should feel... One part of me is worried, the other says that it happened already, so no need to fear too much. Still, it's a real roller-coaster and it casts a lot of incertitude :(
Ultimately, yes, I'm worried how it'll affect the price of books. I mean, it took forever for the books to come down in price... so what now? They'll go back up? NOOOOO.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
1. Read a book listed on RT’s All-Time Favorites List.
2. Read a New (to you) Author.
Broken Wing – Judith James
3. For Autumn, choose an author whose first or last name begins with “A”.
4. Read a book with a one-word title.
5. For Halloween, read a book with a scary theme. (ex. Ghost, Vampire, Witch, etc.)
6. Read a book that is part of a series.
7. For November, choose a book that has an “N” word in the title.
8. Read a category romance (ex. Harlequin, Loveswept, etc.)
NightCap – Kathleen O'Reilley
9. Read a Christmas/Holiday themed book.
Marry Christmas – Jane Goodger
10. Read a book published before the year 2000.
11. Read a book that contains an aristocratic title. (ex. Duke, Lord, Baron, Viscount, etc.)
When He Was Wicked – Julia Quinn
12. Read a book with a number in the title. (ex. Fearless Fourteen, Three Little Sins)
13. Choose a book where the heroine is an heiress.
14. Choose a book where the hero is a cop or lawman.
15. Read a book with “baby” in the title.
Monday, October 20, 2008
All right, so let's get on with my review :P
Power Play by Deirdre Martin
published by Berkley in October 2008
They were acting when they met. They dated under false pretenses. But their attraction was all too real.
A leading soap opera actress, Monica Geary is good at faking it. But pretending to fall for NHL star and notorious playboy Eric Mitchell is going to be her hardest role ever. Yet she has no choice, for she desperately needs an edge in order to maintain her daytime diva status.
Eric Mitchell is a man in demand. First he was traded to save the New York Blades, and now the publicity department has loaned him out to help save Monica Geary's career. What no one knows is that one of People magazine's hottest bachelors is also a closet soap opera fan. He's had his eyes on Monica for years-and can't wait to get his arms around her.
Genre: contemporary romance, sport romance
Series: Blade series, Book #8
The Story: Eric Mitchell has just been exchanged to the New York Blades with a very well-liked player. His new teammates and the fans have not warmed up to him yet and his cocky attitude is not helping. As a result, he needs some good PR. Monica Geary is a soap opera actress who's been on the W & F for 10 years and has kind of taken her role for granted. Now that her position in the soap opera is threatened by a younger and bustier actress, Monica realizes that she's been neglecting her fans and PR. As a result, Eric and Monica are thrown together by publicist Teresa Dante and have to fake going out together.
My Opinion: I've been in the mood for sport romances lately and Ms Martin is well-known for her hockey romance novels... I wasn't much of a fan Chasing Stanley, her previous release, but I've seen some good comments and reviews for Power Play and so decided to give it a chance.
Power Play was an okay book. The basic idea of the book wasn't bad, throwing two persons who needed publicity together to increase their popularity. What didn't work however are the two main characters... Unfortunately, Eric is the typical jock where he thinks that he's God's gift and has a very cocky attitude. I don't even think he knows the "real" him anymore and that is sad ^_^; He didn't have much layers and personality in my opinion. As for Monica, I thought she was annoying. She's a soap actress and is at a status quo in her career. She has this idea that being a day-time actress is not good enough, that it's not real acting; however, she is comfortable with her career, drawing a steady paycheck and doing what she loves, acting. My problem with her is that I thought she was superficial... doing "fake" things to attract attention from journalists to keep her face out there. I guess I would have been okay if she always did it, but in this case, she's renewing her relationships with fans and public only because she feels threatened. She did allude to this, saying that she felt bad and if it was wrong, but in the end, it's still the path she chose.
Basically, I thought the two main characters were hard to relate to and not very likeable. The storyline is quite predictable as well where Monica and Eric eventually fall in love after spending time together... Monica getting kicked off of W&F because she refused to sleep with the new producer therefore losing her role to Chesty... Of course, there are some good parts to the book... I enjoyed seeing the hockey players watching the soap drama and getting very involved, LOL. I also enjoyed the W&F script which was so unprobable :P Eric's attempts to win back Monica were very sweet, but it's the whole "How come she didn't fall for it?" afterwards... I mean, are you kidding me? You really think that it's going to be enough to win her back? The last scene where Eric proposes was very nice though...
My Grade: C... Just an okay book with an okay plot, but not very likeable characters. I doubt that I'll ever read this book again :(
Friday, October 17, 2008
All right, this post is mainly for my fellow Canadian bloggers, as I doubt that besides them, many of you use Chapters/Indigo online to order books :P However, feel free to comment and share and let me know how it is done in the States or internationally.
Okay, so let me put you in context before ranting... In Canada, the biggest bookstores chain is Chapters, which actually comprises Chapters, Indigo, World's Biggest Bookstore and Coles bookstores. In fact, if truth be told, Chapters suspiciously look a lot like Barnes and Nobles in the States... and that's where I mostly shop for my books.
All right, so most everyone knows that I have the "Must Have It NOW" syndrome when it comes to books... so if I can, then I'll shop in the actual bookstore and not online... However, Chapters online has great deals for books over 10$ (9% off), 14$ (24% off) and 25$ (34% off)... and so I usually order hardcovers and trade-size books online... Plus shipping is free over 39$...
Oh, I almost forgot... there's also pre-ordering. I mean, I have pre-ordering books on Chapters online down to an art. After many trials, I figured out that if you want to pre-order some books and receive it before the release date, you have to aim for 3 weeks in advance. Longer than that and your order get lost somewhere (proof - The Magical Christmas Cat... I pre-ordered that one about 1 month and 2 weeks in advance and I got my copy two days after release date)... Order it later than 3 weeks in advance and I don't know, they're too busy processing the other orders I guess and you get it late. 3 weeks is just about the right time.
So all this sounds great right? And it is... till things change :( and things have been changing lately :( First, I don't like the whole community thingie. Chapters online is very much like Amazon where you can post reviews and so on... Granted, not many people participate as with Amazon, but so what? There's already Facebook, MSN groups, blogs and so on... so why would I want to sign up to another community? Second thing I didn't like is the website revamp... They didn't change much, but just enough to annoy me. I don't like to see the synopsis of books when I'm searching for books. It takes place and it's distracting. Okay, so it's very minor, but I don't like it...
Last thing that I've just discovered this morning and which promted this rant... Chapters online freaking changed their shipping policies for pre-ordered books. Now, every pre-ordered books will cost 5.99$!!!! If the total amount of the books bought (including pre-ordered books) is over 39$, then you still get free shipping, but ONLY for the books in stock. Doesn't that suck? Why, oh why, did they have to do that? Well, I know... apparently, it's because the pre-ordered books are shipped individually, but so what?
I was thinking of pre-ordering books on Amazon now... However, you rarely receive those before the release date and then, I remembered... to get free shipping at Amazon, you had to group all the items of your order together so they would only do one shipment. Ugh, no good either.
I guess it means that I won't be pre-ordering many books in the future... Probably only the hardcovers of my very favorite authors... It sucks. So yeah, there you have it... I don't like changes :( Changes are bad and evil and rarely to our advantages :(
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
So guess what I'll be reviewing this month? Yeah, easy to guess since it's in the title of the post... but nonetheless... Dresden Files books 1 to 6!!! Oh yeah, I'm beating the odds this month... not one or two books, but six LOL :)
Okay, so here it how it went... I bought the Dresden Files 1-7 about 2 years ago on one of my shopping trip. Basically, I was bored and a bit depressed... I read somewhere that the Dresden Files was a good series and decided to try it out. Knowing myself, I bought all the books available at that time... Wouldn't want to love the first book sooooo much and have to rush back to the bookstore, LOL. I tried to read Storm Front, but never got into it... but I kept them... I mean, I have 7 books right? Then, my friend and co-worker asked to borrow a sci-fi book when he went on his trip... and well, I lent him the Dresden Files instead ;) Seeing how fast he gobbled them up, I decided to give the series another try... and I'm now to book 7 :)
Since I'm going to be reviewing the 6 books at the same time, the format of this post will be different... I'll post my thoughts on the series and then, my thoughts on each book. Also, beware, there might be spoilers.
The Dresden Files Series: Mr Butcher has definitively written a winner with this series. I really enjoying it and I like his takes on the different supernatural beings. For example, the vampires are divided into 3 courts: Red, White and Black. Each has its different characteristics and particularities and it makes for a very, very interesting world. So kudos to Mr Butcher, the world-building in this series is one of the best I've read :)
In addition to good world-building, I think that one of the reasons people keep reading this series is for Harry Dresden himself. Our hero is just simply fun to read :) He has a nice sense of humor, he's noble, tenacious, a great friend, a good brother... Simply put, he's a bland of old traditions and new world that makes you LOL. You can't help but root for him and he has this talent for being in such complicated and unimaginable situations :) The most surprising is how Mr Butcher was able to create such a balanced character... I mean, Harry's a good guy, but not too righteous that he wouldn't play dirty. He's been tempted one or twice and he's not entirely pure, but he gets back on his feet and usually does the right thing. He's nice-looking without being drop dead gorgeous and he's smart without having all the answers. Basically, he's all shades of grey and that what makes him so interesting.
Lara traced her fingers in light caresses over the sword at her hips. "You've made me the cat's-paw for you, Dresden. While making me think I had the advantage of you. You've played me at my own game, and ably. I thought you capable of nothing but overt action. Clearly, I underestimated you."
"Don't feel bad," I said. "I mean, I look so stupid."
Another winner in this book is Harry's cast of friends. They are so varied, ranging from humans to vampires. Harry doesn't solve all these cases by himself and if it wasn't for his friends, he'd be dead several times over. None of the characters are one-dimension... they are all well developed and we know what drives them. Also, Mr Butcher knows not to throw them all in one book, i.e. he spreads out their involvement and that's a smart thing to do. Even Harry's familiars are great to read - Mister, his 30 pounds cat; Mouse, his huge Temple dog; and Bob, the knowledge spirit inhabiting a skull and who reads romance :) It's all these characters that make the series so good :)
What about the storyline itself? I have to say that the first 3 books were the weakest in the series in my opinion. I think that Mr Butcher was finding his rhythm, looking for his groove... They followed the same pattern and it was predictable... however, once you start book #4, the tone of the series changes and it becomes a bit more serious... The storylines also thicken up and become multi-layered... there's not just the case that Harry is working, but a bigger story spanning the whole series. Also, Mr Butcher has a lot of surprises in his bag and keeps throwing them at us ;)
So what's not so good? First, there are some adjusting to be done... I have to admit I have difficulty adjusting to the timeline of the book. About one year goes by between each book ^_^; It's easy for Harry, because he's a wizard and doesn't age as fast... but what about his human counterparts? I think that "time" isn't well reflected in the book. It's just hard to believe so much time has gone by. Secondly, there's not much romance in these books ^_^; I personally don't need sex scenes, but I want some lovey-dovey feelings!! Finally, what annoys me is the background information repetitions... for example, in each book, Harry gives an explanation on his Blue Beetle or why Mouse was named Mouse... etc. I understand why there are all those recaps of what happened; however, at this point, I think it's unnecessary. This series cannot be read out of order... so readers have already read all these things a number of times already...
So who is this series for? I think readers who don't mind the lack of romance will enjoy this series. Everyone who enjoys urban fantasy will love this... If you're looking for different takes on the paranormal world, this is it :) You just need to get past the first 3 books and I guarantee, the rest will be a breeze :P
Series Grade: B++ (Would have been an A/A- if it wasn't for the first 3 books)
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
published by ROC in April 2000
Harry Dresden is the best at 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 or 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 in 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.
Magic. It can get a guy killed.
My thoughts: This was the introductory book and Mr Butcher did a great job. What's fun with this series is that we jump right into Harry's world... Harry already has a set of friends and contacts, so we're spared all the first meeting. This is not the perfect first book, but it's interesting enough and enjoyable.
My Grade: B
Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
published by ROC in January 2001
Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn't been able to dredge up any kind of work — magical or mundane.
But just when it looks like he can't afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.
A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses — and the first two don't count...
My thoughts: This book is basically Mr Butcher's take on werewolves :) I enjoyed the mystery, I thought it was very interesting; however, it lacked something. I like that we're discovering things with Harry and that he's not a know-it-all. While interesting, it didn't make a deep impression and it also followed the same pattern as as Storm Front, which made it a bit predictable.
My Grade: B-
Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
published by ROC in September 2001
Harry Dresden's faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory when you're the only professional wizard in the Chicago area phone book.
But in all Harry's years of supernatural sleuthing, he's never faced anything like this: the spirit world's gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble — and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone — or something — is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc.
But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn't figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself...
My thoughts: This is the weakest book of the series, without a doubt. First, what was weird is the book opened. Readers are immediately thrown into action and we're giving the necessary information along the way... which wasn't the way to go in my opinion. I thought the book was very confusing and I was wondering if I missed something. In addition, this is the book where Harry's gf turns into a vampire... and I'm sorry, but I really didn't enjoy her character... I always thought that reporter characters were annoying and she was no exception. Poor Harry. What I liked thought is that we were introduced to one of Harry's good friend, Michael and his family plays an important role in the series. In addition, this book cannot be missed, because one of the event is key to the rest of the series.
My Grade: C+
Summer Knight by Jim Butcher
published by ROC in September 2002
Ever since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, Harry Dresden has been down and out in Chicago. He can't pay his rent. He's alienating his friends. He can't even recall the last time he took a shower.My thoughts: One of my favorite books in this series. I just love it. At first, I wasn't sure what I would think of it, because I don't usually enjoy fairies... however, this book was great. The intrigue was very good and the whole book, just enjoyable. One of my favorite scene was the White Council meeting which was funny enough and also, you start to understand that world of wizards better. I also liked how Harry dealt with the fairies and in this book, you're really starting to believe that Harry is smart, LOL :P Also, he finally comes clean to Murphy, his cop friend and I think this was important.
The only professional wizard in the phone book has become a desperate man.
And just when it seems things can't get any worse, in saunters the Winter Queen of Faerie. She has an offer Harry can't refuse if he wants to free himself of the supernatural hold his faerie godmother has over him — and hopefully end his run of bad luck. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Queen's right-hand man, the Summer Knight, and clear the Winter Queen's name.
It seems simple enough, but Harry knows better than to get caught in the middle of faerie politics. Until he finds out that the fate of the entire world rests on his solving this case.
No pressure or anything...
My Grade: B+/A-
Death Masks by Jim Butcher
published by ROC in August 2003
Harry Dresden, Chicago's only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But now he's getting more than he bargained for.My thoughts: I really enjoyed this one as well. I have to say I didn't really like the whole Shroud of Turin mystery; however, the duel against the vampire, that was interesting. LOL, poor Harry :P I have to say it was hilarious to see him running from one life-threatening event to another, if he survived, LOL. The ending was sad and unfortunate, but yeah, I liked it :)
A duel with the Red Court of Vampires' champion, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards...
Professional hit men using Harry for target practice...
The missing Shroud of Turin...
A handless and headless corpse the Chicago police need identified...
Not to mention the return of Harry's ex-girlfriend Susan, who's still struggling with her semivampiric nature. And who seems to have a new man in her life.
Some days, it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. No matter how much you're charging.
My Grade: B+
Blood Rites by Jim Butcher
published by ROC in August 2004
Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, takes on a case as a favor to his friend Thomas — a vampire of dubious integrity — only to become the prime suspect in a series of ghastly murders.
My thoughts: See, there's always thing that I enjoyed and others that I didn't. I like the case Harry was working on - finding who set the Evil Eye on a movie producer... the whole linkage to the White Court vampires, a bit less. I love this book because in it, Harry discover the real identity of Thomas... however, I don't like how Harry pushes away his one time mentor, McCoy. Oh, and this is the book in which Mouse appears!! So yes, a solid book that makes the storyline goes forward... but at the same time, you have to wonder what's happening with Harry's life and the uncertainty is killing me, LOL. Luckily, I have the next few books and I don't have to wonder too long.
My Grade: B
PS - I have to say, I love the new covers better though :P
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
So everything should have been fine and this post should not exist... except that it does :( So what went bad? First, I had to wait at the border check point for 1.5 hour!!! It was loooong. Worst is, I don't get why it was so long since the custom agents only asked a few questions. So yeah, we were delayed and it basically screwed up all our schedule in the evening... but hey, can't do anything about it right? Plus, it was a long week-end, so it was kind of expected. Annoying, but predictable.
However, what got me all frustrated and unhappy is that I have... not one, but TWO computers down at home!!! TWO!!! Why did they have to crash down at the same time? so let see, my computer won't load Windows XP T_T It's basically stuck on the Dell splash... pressing on F2, F8 or F11 doesn't help. My dad's computer? It's been tricky for a while... First problem: Lack of disk space... yeah, yeah, I know. I can just delete some stuff to make place right? Well NO! My dad has nothing on that computer's hard drive. No pictures, videos, even Word or Excel files! So WTH am I supposed to delete? That's 40G of memory somehow/somewhere occupied... Apparently, I only have 29Mb left of space... and because there's so little space left, the anti-virus can't scan the computer... and result? Yep, you've guessed right... it's infected... not by one virus, but two. UGH.
*EDIT: So, I spent 3 hours this evening talking with tech support... My computer is back and running :P Which is great. I was hoping someone would come and take care of it, but no... I had to open the tower on my own. Luckily, it's okay now. My dad's computer is going to take more work... They're sending me the Driver and Utilities CD so I can run a diagnostic... but oups, I just learned from my dad that his computer was modified... so it probably won't work either... Ugh, help me... I'm about to shoot myself :(
So yeah, it totally sucked to come home, after about 6-7 hours of drive (which actually, should have taken only 4.5 hours)... and to come back to two broken computers :(
If you are wondering why I was so quiet this week-end, well I was in Boston for a family reunion :) My mom's aunt (my maternal grandmother's SIL) turned 80 years old earlier this year and we had a party. It's been already 2 years since we last visited them and they are not getting any younger... My mom's uncle is actually 89 y.o. this year... so when we got the invitation, my dad said that we definitively had to visit them before something happened to them ^_^; For this reason, my uncle of Quebec and his family also did the trip... and let me tell you, that is rare... extremely rare... So it was a great family reunion :P
The whole trip was great :) From my house to the grandparents' house, it's ~500km/300miles. It took us only 5h15m to make it to Boston and that included 1 restroom break and a stop at the liquor store in NH :P The scenery was gorgeous, with the leaves changing colors - red, yellow and orange... and the weather was sooo nice.
Basically, we spent the whole time with the family. The grandparents have 3 sons and 1 daughter. Only one son and the daughter are married and have kids (4 total) and so I have 4 cousins. The oldest is married and has a 3 y.o. boy and 11-months daughter and the three others are sisters and younger than me: 20, 18 and 16 y.o. respectively. Plus my 21 y.o. sister and 18 y.o. cousin from Quebec City :P Yes, girls power!!! LOL :) So at different times, we were hanging out with different cousins... but we pretty much spent the whole time together and that was cool. I've always wanted to be closer to my relatives, but we all live so far from each other :(
Besides eating, we went apple picking (the apples were HUGE!!) and went to the Quincy Market, plus shopping and of course, book shopping :) My cousins must think I'm crazy, but I always try to squeeze in the book shopping. Also, it's great because now, the cousins are old enough to drive, so I don't have to rely on the parents, aunts and uncles. My cousin from Quebec City was really excited about shopping, so I'm glad it fit in the schedule :)
The party was nice :) There was a slide show of pictures, covering the grandmother's life. It was fun, because there were a lot of my family's pictures in there too. Loved the ones with my maternal grandparents... Funniest moment of the party is when one of my uncles did a speech. It was very sweet, short and to the point. Then, grandmother said a few words which was okay... and then, grandfather stood up and said he wanted to add a few words... and he started recounting some stories of the past... and it lasted a long, long time. Everyone was gathered on the veranda and the funny part is that all the family members started sneaking back into the kitchen LOL It was hilarious, because one after the other, we showed up in the kitchen. The speech-giving uncle then said grandpa never knew when to stop :P We were looking for a way to interrupt him politely... perhaps by bringing the cake out... My dad suggested to cut the cake and have the younger ones give out pieces of cake... LOL, my aunt and my mom were like: Are you crazy? Grandma is going to be really mad!! (what can we say, she likes to be the center of attention). Then, we noticed that one of the old men has nodded off! LMAO!! Speech-giving uncle finally had to go out and made a signal :P Actually, I think one of the guests said something like: It's enough for today... we'll continue another time ^_^;
So yeah, lots of fun and laughs :P and I totally scored at the bookstore!! Here are the books I remember buying:
- Addicted to Love by Lori Wilde (been looking for that one!!!)
- Razor Girl by Marianne Mancusi (that one too!!)
- Broken Wings by Judith James (guess why I got it LOL)
- Small Favor by Jim Butcher (I'm almost all caught up in the Dresden Files series)
- Deep in the Heart by Sharon Sala
- Second Chances by Sharon Sala
- Head Over Heel by Susan Andersen
- All Shook Up by Susan Andersen
- Lola Carlyle Reveals All by Rachel Gibson
- The Descent by Jeff Long
- Year Zero by Jeff Long (these two are gifts for a friend. I was supposed to order them in my last online order, but I forgot ^_^; So I'm glad I could find them. Save me time and $$)
There is one more book that I got, but I can't remember which ^_^; I'll have to get home and check. I was very excited with the books I got because some of them are backlist books of my favorite authors and very difficult to find in Montreal. In addition, most of those books came out when the CDN$ was very weak, so there's a 3$ different btw the US and CDN price... So hey, I did save up lots of money!!! In addition to the books, I bought three book journals. These are meant to be book journals :P I got tired of looking for cute notebooks to make them into book journals, so i just decided why not buy those that are designed for it!
So yep, a lot of reading ahead and I'm definitively excited for it!! :)
Friday, October 10, 2008
Okay, so this was very fair, as I asked my co-worker to draw a name :P
Thanks everyone for participating :P This was really fun :P I guess I should do give-away more often :)
Hello everyone ;)
So how was your week-end? Anyway, I won't be babbling too much... I think that the title of the post says it all, LOL :) Yep, I'm having a contest! So here is the condensed story of why LOL :)
A lot of ppl are interested in this anthology, The Magical Christmas Cat, mainly because it contains a novella by Ms Nalini Singh. However, a lot of ppl are unsure as well, because it's an anthology and not everyone reads all the novellas in an anthology... so they don't want to put down the money for it. Totally understandable. Which is why, I'm giving away my second copy of The Magical Christmas Cat... Yes, you've read correctly... second copy. What can I say, I'm just way tooooo impatient to wait till my PRE-ordered copy arrives... and since I was at the bookstore and it was there, just in my face... well you can probably guess, LOL :)
So this is going to be very easy. Simply leave a comment to this post before hmmm, Friday October 10 - noon (Eastern time), and I'll announce the winner in the afternoon. Oh, and no restriction for the shipping... so Canada, US or international, you're all welcomed to participate :)
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
All right, so I've been tagged for a few meme in the past weeks and I'm getting to them :)
The latest meme going around is the "grab your book" kind and I've been tagged by Ames :)
Here are the rules: Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal/blog along with these instructions. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the closest. Tag five other people to do the same.
It's funny, because I still haven't reached p. 56, but who cares?
She supposed she'd have to attend a hockey game soon, just to keep the relationship thing looking realistic. She'd been careful not to dress too provocatively, showing just enough to entice but not so much she'd be surrounded by drooling men who thought her body began below the neck. She was surprised to find herself battling a mild case of nerves.
So what do you think, sounds good or bad? I have to say, those sentences were long! LOL :) Care to guess what book it is?
I have another meme to work on... This time, I've actually enrolled myself in this one... Blame it on insanity of the moment. Of course, it didn't help that Kristie kindly gave me "W".... Ugh, W peeps! I'm thinking of looking for 5 different Williams... but yeah, I'm still looking... So Kristie, I'm still working on it and I'm not giving up... but W was evol!!
Finally, I've been gift with the I Love Your Blog award from two different persons this week-end, Wendy and Brie! Thanks a lot ladies!!!
The rules for this award are that you need to: 1) Add the logo of the award to your blog 2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you 3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs 4) Add links to those blogs on your blog 5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!
It's unfortunate that I have to nominate 7 other blogs and cannot nominate Brie and Wendy again :( So here is my nominations:
Ames of Thrifty Reader
Rosie of Nobody Asked Me...
Jill of Romance Rookie
Kris of The Reading Spot
Chantal of Reading is Sexy
Isabel of All About Me
Cindy of Nocturnal Wonderings
Holly of What Were You Expecting
Li of Book Daze
Dev of Good Reads
Jennie of Jennie's B[ook]log
Kristie of Ramblings about Romance, etc.
Samantha of Book Minx
LOL, I just realized that it says at least 7 blogs :P
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Apparently, I'm not the only one to think this way. It seems like the increase of traffic at my blog is due to search results for Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James. I guess people must have been disappointed, not finding any information on it... So to make it up, I've read the book and decided to review it right away :)
Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James
published by Berkley in October 2008
COOL. CALM. COLLECTED.Genre: contemporary romance
Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her–not even her cheating ex-fiancé. So when she’s assigned to coach People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for his role in his next big legal thriller, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob’s charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.
CONFIDENT. FAMOUS. IRRESISTIBLE.
Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize that she may just be his perfect match...
The Story: The storyline of the book pretty much goes as described in the back blurb. Taylor Donovan is a lawyer from Chicago, presently on loan to the firm's LA branch to work a case against the EEOC. While in LA, the firm partner asks her to coach Jason Andrews, the number one star in Hollywood. Not having much choice, Taylor accepts reluctantly as it puts her behind in her work... Therefore, when she discovers that the superstar did not show up at either of the meetings planned because of an impulsive fun trip to Las Vegas, she is understandably pissed off and blows the star off when he finally shows up for his coaching. Taylor's attitude and rejection baffle and intrigue Jason... and the courting is on.
My Opinion: Okay, so what did I think of Just the Sexiest Man Alive? This was definitively an interesting book. Some parts I liked; others, not as much... but that's to be expected.
Let's start with the characters. I really liked the heroine. Taylor Donovan is pretty much the perfect woman: strong, driven, ambitious and she loves her job. I enjoyed her wit, sarcasm and humor. She got a lot of backbone and I liked that she wasn't easily swayed by Jason Andrews :P My only complaint is that we got very few information on her background and her relationship with her family. Perhaps, instead of seeing her with her friends, I'd rather see her and her family. Then, there's the hero. To tell the truth, I'm not sure whether I liked Jason Andrews or not, but he was an interesting character. Jason Andrews has been a star in Hollywood for 16 years and it shows. He's not the typical celebrity hero in romance looking for some normalcy in life... He likes his celebrity life to a point where he seems totally disconnected with "real" life. If it wasn't for his best friend who brought him back to Earth, I wonder how bad it'd be. The man is arrogant, macho and very conscious of his status in Hollywood. All these things aren't necessarily bad, but hardly endearing. Also, his ego is sooo big that it seems to fry his brain and therefore, he acted very immature in certain instances. Of course, he could be charming and friendly and he did a few cute things for Taylor... however, I don't know... I'm not sure if Taylor and Jason were truly a perfect match together.
The storyline was quite interesting and I liked the whole courtship between Taylor and Jason. I liked that Taylor didn't fall for Jason immediately and it took time for him to woo her. However, I'd like to have seen a bit more of them together. The ending seemed rushed to me and their HEA ending, a bit premature. Perhaps it would have been better to focus on Taylor and Jason instead of adding a third party - Scott Casey. (Okay, Scott Casey is definitively based on Orlando Blooms, LOL... and it was kind of funny, but it makes me wonder at Orlando Blooms real personality and it begs the question, does Ms James know him personally?)
It'd say the strong points of this book were the lawyer-ish aspect and how Ms James didn't sugar-coat the Hollywood scene. As it turns out, Ms James was actually a lawyer for many years before focusing on her writing and it shows in the book. Taylor really felt like a lawyer to me, the way she acted, the way she thought... that cross-examination scene between her and Jason was quite powerful and entertaining. Ms James' experience added authenticity to the book that perhaps other books lacked.
Finally, I think that Ms James' writing style is very easy to read, but it doesn't flow very well. All of her scenes were rather short and there was a break every time there was a narrator change, breaking the flow. Therefore, there is place for improvement... but I have a feeling that her voice will become stronger in the next book :P
My Grade: B. Ms James has definitively delievered a good effort with Just the Sexiest Man Alive and it is quite a good first book. My grade would probably have been higher if I've enjoyed Jason's character more and of course, as I said, there is place for improvement. However, I'll definitively be giving a chance to Practice Makes Perfect, Ms James' next book, released in March 2009. I'm sure that it'll be an even better book since Ms James will really be in her element, as both the H/H are lawyers :)
Monday, October 06, 2008
Just to let you know that Lori and I have buddy reviewed Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas over at Breezing Through :)
Hope you enjoy :)
Friday, October 03, 2008
In other news, everything is going well at work. As many of you predicted, the boss is finally starting to trust me. The past two or three weeks have been going very well and all the experiment I did were kind of successful. Of course, he still doesn't trust me 100%, but at least, it's getting better. The boss is going away on Monday till the 31st :) Believe me, my friend and I are looking forward to it LOL :) It's going to be fun, fun, fun :)
It's my sister's b-day on Monday... she's turning 21 and having a party tomorrow. She doesn't know what she wants for her birthday. As far as I am concerned, LOL, you don't know then you don't get a gift. I'll wait till there's something she really wants... because seriously, I don't want to go shopping. Not in the mood and anyway, shopping for my sister is sooooooooo difficult :( If only she could enjoy reading a bit more. Sigh. Of course, I'm not too tired to go buy books though LOL :) which is good news since a couple of the books I want are in :) Power Play, Just the Sexiest Man Alive and Night Falls Darkly... The Magical Christmas Cat is in too, but I pre-ordered that one... so I don't want to buy a second copy of it (smart of me right ^_^; ). Of course, the book I really want, i.e. Addicted to Love is still missing. Ugh.
Oh and I've been reading slowly these past 2 or 3 days. I blame it on Moonlight Resonance, a TVB series. Seriously, there's only TVB that can make such good family drama...
Thursday, October 02, 2008
So as I said yesterday, I think I'm going to start a monthly post on the new releases that I'm looking forward to!! Might help me remembering what I actually want to order when it comes time to buy books!! (A trick to my fellow Canadian bloggers... My theory when you do an online order and you want to have the books in advance? Order about 3 weeks before the release date... So far, that has worked very well for me. It doesn't work 100%, but I'd say ~80% of the time)
Addicted to Love by Lori Wilde: I'm not technically a fan of Ms Wilde, but I like contemporary romance, what can I say? I also like small town romance and also, the "I had a crush on you when I was a teenager" romance :) So I'd say this book is going to be perfect to me. Plus, Holly has reviewed it and seemed to really enjoy it! Now, if it could simply show up at my bookstore... (I really grrrr Grand Central Publishing, Sourcebooks and Dorchester - the books are always late - or sometimes, they just don't show up!!)
Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James: New author to me, but it's a contemporary romance. Need I say more? LOL :) So the plot isn't new, but if Ms James is able to pull it out, it could be veryyy good. Also, did you see the number of contemporary romance out there? Not much, so I need my fix.
Night Falls Darkly by Kim Lenox: This was brought up to my attention by Kmont. It's another paranormal and the storyline doesn't sound very original per se, but hey, Kmont liked it :) So I'm ready to give this new series a try :)
Power Play by Deidre Martin: Now, Ms Martin is kind of miss and hit for me. However, what is more rare than contemporary romance? Professional athlete's contemporary romance. I'm not a fan of hockey, but I'm just in the mood this kind of story...
Tall Dark Texan by Jodi Thomas: I've become a fan of Ms Thomas this year :) I've read all of her contemporary romances and am now tackling her westerns. So I'll be getting this one :P
Marry Christmas by Jane Goodger: So I've read one book by Jane Goodger and just loved it!! LOVED IT!! And this is her comeback book and well, it's about Christmas :) Oh, byt the way, did I mention arranged marriage? I'm soooo in!! I do think that October is a bit early though to be selling Christmas story already.
Living with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong: Kelley Armstrong? Do I need to say more? No, seriously... okay, Kelley Armstrong is an auto-buy for me. Especially if it's part of her Women of the Otherworld series! :) I'm looking forward to this one... new characters + some of Hope and Karl. I'm just sad that next year, there'll only be one Women of the Otherworld book :(
The Magical Christmas Cat - anthology: I'm buying this one for Nalini Singh's story :) Actually, I'm waiting it to arrive, since I have pre-ordered... However, Holly did review it and it seems that all the stories in it are good :) So that one might be a pretty good investment :)
Lucky Charm by Carla Phillips: Another contemporary romance... but I'm not sure if I really want it or not. Ms Phillips is hit and miss for me, with more misses... but I'll probably end up buying it.
Cast in Fury by Michelle Sagara: Not sure about this one either. Perhaps, I should read the first three books before right?
The Chosen Sin by Anya Bast: Ms Bast new series... Paranormal with vampires... I think i'm going to wait to see blogland's reaction before buying it :P
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
1) To Catch a Thief by Christina Skye: C-
2) Feint or Art by Hailey Lind: B-
3) The Horsemaster's Daughter by Susan Wiggs: B
4) Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake: B-
5) Price of Desire by Jo Goodman: C
6) That's (Not Exactly) Amore by Tracey Bateman: B+
7) Seduction of a Proper Gentleman by Victoria Alexander: C
8) Jinx by Jennifer Estep: B-
9) Storm Front by Jim Butcher: B
10) Fool Moon by Jim Butcher: B-
11) Grave Perils by Jim Butcher: C+
12) Summer Knight by Jim Butcher: B+
13) Secret Desires of a Gentleman by Laura Lee Guhrke: A-
14) Mr. Cavendish, I presume? by Julia Quinn: B/B+
So there it is, my reads for September. Have to say, I'm slightly under average... but not by much. As usual, the end of the month made a huge difference in the numbers... Seriously, I think I'm going to start looking forward to the end of the month, not just because of the Harlequin (Mira, HQN and Luna) releases come into store early, but also because I actually read! LOL :)
As usual, my review numbers suck though. I'm definitively going to work hard on it this month!! and I think I'll also start a monthly post series about which books I'm looking forward for the month :) Just so it reminds me of the books I actually want to buy. I did an online order this week and seriously, I just couldn't remember which books I wanted to read!!
I'm still looking for a good way to keep track of my reads... I've forgone the whole book journal for almost 2 months now... I miss it :( Shelfari isn't bad... but you know when you enter the date for a book? It doesn't show up!! It just says: read x times. I tried starting a google doc/excel spreadsheet... and I ended up putting lots of details... but I don't know :(