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Off the Shelf
Making your TBR pile smaller one book at a time!
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20th-May-2008 09:14 pm - Another one bites the dust
I just finished The Trinity Vector by Oregon author Steve Perry. A very intriguing book about three strange silver boxes that can tell you tomorrow's weather or the next winning lottery numbers. What they won't tell you is where they came from! Three people have one: a religious leader who wants to destroy them, a politician who wants them to increase his power, and a woman who fears them and wants no part of them. What will they do to obtain all three?

I'm still reading Crusade by David Weber & Steve White.

It looks like the next book will be The Lumby Lines by Gail Fraser.
19th-May-2008 07:15 pm - Finished, Current, Next
I finished The Android's Dream by John Scalzi the other night. It wasn't even close to what I was expecting which was androids and artificial intelligence. Oh no, the Android's Dream is a type of genetically modified sheep given as a gift to the Nidu, a friendly alien race, for use in their coronation ceremonies. Someone in Earth's government would like to sever diplomatic relations with the Nidu and have come up with a virus that is killing off that particular breed of sheep. Harry Creek, computer hacker extraordinaire, is charged with the task of finding an Android's Dream sheep before the Nidu decide to destroy war. It was a good book with plenty of laughs and new technological ideas I haven't come across before. And that's not even mentioning a brand new murder weapon. The murder of the Nidu ambassador was by farting at him. Okay, that one will only be found in a sci-fi book.

I'm currently reading Crusade by David Weber & Steve White and The Trinity Vector by Steve Perry.

Next up will probably be Innocent Mage by Karen Miller.
15th-May-2008 08:56 pm - Finished, Current, Next
Finished up Insurrection by David Weber & Steve White and The Soul Stealer by Alex Archer.
Another very good book by David Weber but read out of order - it's the last book, though the first written, in the Starfire series and is set in the future of the first three books. How do you run a star-faring civilization with FTL communications for only the Innerworlds and not for your outlying planets?
Alex Archer also has another very good book with the latest contribution to the Rogue Angel series. Annja Creed is invited to accompany a friend searching for a site for an archeology dig in Siberia. But as usual, trouble follows Annja and her sword.

I'm currently reading Crusade by David Weber & Steve White. It's the first book in the Starfire series.

Up next is The Android's Dream by John Scalzi.
I recently finished The Last Colony by John Scalzi. It's the last book in a very good science fiction trilogy. Humanity's competing with alien races for the limited number of inhabitable worlds in the galaxy to colonize.

Currently reading Insurrection by David Weber & Steved White. It's part of the Starfire series.

Next up is The Soul Stealer by Alex Archer. It's the latest book in the Rogue Angel series.
2nd-Nov-2007 07:59 pm - past, present, and future
I've recently finished Thursday Next First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde. A fine addition to the previous four books in this series but he sure left a cliff-hanger of an ending. Thursday Next is a Special Operative of Jurisfiction, which deals with crimes both to and against book characters. When Jane Eyre is kidnapped in the first book of this series, it's up to Thursday Next to rescue her before the last edition of the book has been rewritten and the classic story as we know it is lost forever.

I'm currently reading Cara Black's Aimee Leduc Investigations series. She's a private investigator in Paris, France who gets drawn from her specialty of computer security to investigate murder. It's not quite a cozy mystery, in my opinion, but it's close.

The next new author, after the latest shipments from Amazon, will be A Crime of Fashion mystery series by Ellen Byerrum. I've been told I must read them - they're fantastic.

What are you finishing up, currently reading, and plan on reading next?
7th-Sep-2007 10:21 am - Deadman's Switch
A terrific book by Barbara Seranella. Never a dull moment, this book was very hard to put down.
From Publishers Weekly
In this fresh first of a new series from Seranella, crisis management expert Charlotte Lyon—who channels her obsessive-compulsive disorder into more productive, professional hypervigilance—works to exonerate the owners of the Sunliner Express train that derailed en route to Palm Springs, Calif. A recent widow, Charlotte teams up with sexy, motorcycle-riding investigator Todd Hannigan from the National Transportation Safety Board, and the two suspect possible sabotage. Several witnesses saw a mysterious, helmeted Samaritan pulling survivors to safety before zooming off on his motorcycle. Why didn't he stick around for kudos? While Charlotte finds herself increasingly attracted to Todd, she wonders where he was at the time of the train wreck. To complicate matters, one of the two fatalities was movie-star-turned-philanthropist Rachel Priest, whose spoiled son, Sherwood, shows up and threatens a lawsuit. Then up pops Charlotte's dysfunctional mother, who competes with demands for her attention. Fans of Seranella's Munch Mancini series (An Unacceptable Death, etc.) will find much to like. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
12th-Aug-2007 06:53 pm - finishing up...starting next
I just finished The Chocolate Jewel Case by JoAnna Carl.
I don't consider this one of the better books in the series and rate it a 4. Whodunit was pretty obvious and half the problem was the main character's husband not communicating facts about people that she should have known. He says she's smart but then keeps her in the dark.
I'm still reading Cecelia Ahern's Love, Rosie and am already a few chapters into Stephenie Meyer's New Moon.
And next up is Rachel Caine's latest Weather Warden fantasy novel, Thin Air.
24th-Jul-2007 07:46 am - Elizabeth Bright, Cecelia Ahern
And once again I've lost an entire post due to internet glitching. Grrr. Try again...
I've cleared off 2 more mystery series off the tbr shelves this month: Alina Adams Figure-Skating mysteries (4) & Elizabeth Bright's Card-Making mysteries (7), along with the latest in various series that I'm keeping up on.

Alina Adams main character, Bex Levy, is a skating researcher for a tv sports network. I kept getting annoyed when Bex continued forgetting things she's learned just to make the story more dramatic or humorous. Easily read and easy to solve, that's it for me on this series.

Elizabeth Bright, a pseudonym of Tim Myers, has me adding the 3 series he writes to my list of books to look for. Jennifer Shane's brainchild of a shop, Custom Card Creations, hasn't been all glitter and tinsel. Customers are scarce and-after finally landing a client-Jennifer hears a murder over the phone. And when she receives a threatening note, it's clear someone has designs on her life, too. Now, between holding cardmaking lessons, trying to scissor her ex-fiancé out of her life, and piecing together a murder, Jennifer has really got her work cut out for her.

I've also finished If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern (8). This is the second book of hers I've read and I'm looking forward to the next one. Everything in Elizabeth Egan’s life has its place, from the espresso cups in her gleaming kitchen to the swatches and paint pots of her interior design business. Order and precision keep life under control - and keep Elizabeth’s heart from the pain and hurt she has suffered in the past. Being a reluctant mother to her six-year-old nephew while trying to keep her business on track is a full-time job for Elizabeth, and one that leaves little room for error—or fun.
Until, one day, Ivan unexpectedly comes into their lives. The mysterious Ivan is carefree, spontaneous and always looking for adventure — everything that Elizabeth is not. If You Could See Me Now is the extraordinary tale of Ivan and Elizabeth. Of how Ivan meets the love of his life before she even sees him, and how he teaches her that life is only worth living when it's blindingly colourful and the occasional mess. Yet just when Elizabeth is starting to trust him, it turns out that Ivan isn't at all who she thought he was.
23rd-Apr-2007 07:36 pm(no subject)
Hi! I've been a member of this community for ages, but haven't gotten around to posting. I hope you'll forgive my lurking. Anyways, on to the books...

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss was very good. I'd give it a 9. This book is in the fantasy genre, and it's the first of a trilogy.

Fourtune's Fool by Mercedes Lackey made me laugh out loud a few times, and was enjoyable overall. I'd give it a 6. Fantasy genre, 3rd book in the series(A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series), can be read out of sequence.
6th-Apr-2007 10:18 am - Jerrilyn Farmer
I'm on my fourth book in five days of Jerrilyn Farmer's Madeline Bean mystery series. This is another one of those culinary mysteries I love so much though this series so far one doesn't include recipes. There is enough descriptions within the story to make different things but if you don't write them down then you'll have to read the book again to find where it was!
Madeline Bean is the co-owner with her business partner Wesley Westcott of Madeline Bean Catering and they're just becoming rather well-known in Hollywood as the first book, Sympathy For the Devil begins the series. Very good books that I've rated an 8. (Pun not intended :)
26th-Mar-2007 02:32 pm - Cecelia Ahern
This book is not located in a section that I would normally look for a book to read, namely mystery, science fiction or fantasy. Not to say that's all I read 'cause it's not but I think the majority of the books come from those genres. So when books_au voted for PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern as the March book of the month, I wasn't sure I was going to read it. Once started though, it completely drew me in. Keep some tissues handy though 'cause it's a tear-jerker! Sad but happy and I loved it. from the book jacketCollapse ) I rate it a 9 as I look forward to other books by this author.

I also finished 2 mysteries, Dead Man's Bones by Susan Wittig Albert is a China Bayles herb & teashop mystery and French Fried by Nancy Fairbanks is a Carolyn Blue culinary mystery. It was disappointing how obvious whodundidit was when you still had half the book to go but as these are both later books in each series, the characters you've come to like keep you reading and there are plenty of surprises in the first to keep it interesting including an ending that leaves you wondering about a new character. Not so many twists in the second but still a few funny spots keep it interesting. I gave both of them a 7.
Spock Strange
15th-Mar-2007 08:17 pm - Gray Ghost
I finished Gray Ghost by William G. Tapply tonight. This is the 2nd book in his Stoney Calhoun series and kind of reminds me of that tv show John Doe with variations. Stoney was struck by lightning 7 years ago and remembers nothing about the time before he woke up from a month-long coma. He now lives a quiet life in Maine where he works as a fishing guide and gets periodic visits from a government man who continues to ask if he remembers anything from his former life.
An intriguing continuation of the series.
13th-Mar-2007 08:15 pm - Rogue Angel
Rogue Angel is turning into one of my favorite series. The latest one came in the mail yesterday and I just finished reading it! This is the fifth book in a fantastic series which started in July 2006. The sixth book comes out in May 2007. A book every two months from Alex Archer, a writing duo known separately as Mel Odom and Victor Milan.
The first book, Rogue Angel: Destiny, introduces Annja Creed, an archeologist and co-host of a cable tv show called Chasing History's Monsters as she's searching for evidence of a strange creature, La Bete, who supposedly killed a hundred people in France between 1764 and 1767.
13th-Mar-2007 01:29 pm - Killer Insight by Victoria Laurie
Laurie, Victoria ~ Killer Insight ~ A Psychic Eye Mystery 04

This is a discussion book on a list I'm on and so I skipped right from the first in the series to this one, but still I really enjoyed it. Abby's psychic gift certainly takes away the need to stumble over the bodies and keeps the plot racing along. Abby herself is fun, and the overall tone is light. I was happily convinced the murderer was somebody quite different, so I don't know who was more surprised – me or Abby. My only grumble about this book was that it started with a scene from the end of the story – a style I particularly dislike.

Just after I post this I'm off to buy the two I skipped and pre-order the next. :o)
9th-Mar-2007 08:21 am - Trudi Canavan
Voice of the Gods is the final book in the Age of the Five trilogy by Trudi Canavan. Even with all the speculation I did throughout the series, especially in Last of the Wilds, there was no hint of which, if any, way things would turn out. Plenty of twists and surprises left me thinking one thing, then another and even at the end when I knew the ending I was shocked with another surprise or two. A wonderful conclusion to this series leaves me hoping the Author will continue writing stories in this universe.

I still have three books to read from the last box Amazon sent and another shipment is on its way! (Don't you just hate it when the books come out at the end of the month [Feb 27] and others come out at the beginning[Mar 6]?)
8th-Mar-2007 05:08 pm(no subject)
Command Decision is the fourth book in Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's War series and things continue to heat up keeping Kylara Vatta on her toes.
The story started out quickly and, like the Energizer bunny, kept going and going and going. I didn't want to put the book down! A very good book that has me looking forward to what I think will be the last one in the series.

Alone by Lisa Gardner is the first book in a new mystery/thriller series featuring a Massachusetts State Police sniper. Bobby Dodge is the Trooper on duty when the domestic dispute call comes in: a man holding his wife and child at gunpoint. Dodge positions himself in a nearby apartment window and watches through his sniper scope. When the man's finger tightens on the trigger, he has a split second to react...and forever pay the consequences. This was a pretty good book, very suspenseful, with an extra twist at the end! I'm looking forward to the next one which I just found out is at the Library waiting for me!

I'm still reading Voice of the Gods,the last book in the trilogy by Trudi Canavan, and I'm not going to be taking this one to work with me on Sat. because I'm going to finish it tomorrow! (only because there's not time tonight lol)
28th-Feb-2007 04:51 am(no subject)
My books are coming, my books are coming!! :D

#4 Command Decision in Vatta's War by Elizabeth Moon.
The latest adventure of Ky Vatta after leaving her family's business to join the SpaceForce Academy.

#14 Ground to a Halt in Hemlock Falls by Claudia Bishop.
A culinary cozy mystery (with recipes!:) to be solved by the Quilliam sisters, owners of The Inn at Hemlock Falls.

#11 The Watchman in Elvis Cole/Joe Pike by Robert Crais.
The latest in this private detective series is the first to feature Joe Pike as the main character instead of his partner, Elvis Cole.

#4 Killed by Clutter in A Domestic Bliss mystery by Leslie Caine.
Another humorous cozy mystery featuring the interior designer Erin Gilbert and her competitor, Steve Sullivan.

#9 Guess Who's Coming to Die? in A Thoroughly Southern Mystery by Patricia Sprinkle.
Another murder to be solved by Georgia magistrate Yarbrough.

I'm gonna have to get with the reading program if I'm going to finish the two series I'm in the middle of before these books get here!
Live long & prosper
25th-Feb-2007 06:12 pm - Michele Scott, Trudi Canavan
I finished Murder by the Glass by Michele Scott yesterday. This is the 2nd book in her Wine Lover's mystery series.
Nikki's best friend Isabel agrees to cater a wedding - before finding out that the groom is the guy she's been dating for several months. After the ceremony, Nikki takes a glass of wine to the bride while she's changing only to find her passed out on the floor dead. Since the dearly departed made plenty of enemies, there's no shortage of suspects - many of them Nikki's friends.
I can really see that she started out as a romance writer with this book. It seemed that the main character was more worried about her attraction between two men, her boss and her best friend's brother, than she was in getting her best friend out of jail by finding the real killer. The motive for murder was just as tenuous in this book as in the first one.
It does include some interesting recipes.

I'm also in the middle of Last of the Wilds which is the second book in the Age of Five trilogy by Trudi Canavan. I really enjoyed her Black Magician trilogy which was faster paced but much less complex than this one.
I have no idea where she's going with the series though I'm enjoying speculating about it!
spoilers and speculationCollapse )

If you've already read all three books (I waited 'til they were all published before I started the first one) you'll probably get a laugh out of all the different things I've come up with!

I've also started Scent to her Grave by India Ink (Yasmine Galenorn). It's the first book in her Bath and Body mystery series. It's pretty good so far and I'm all the way up to page eight! :D Then I had to leave for work this morning.
22nd-Feb-2007 01:05 pm - Introduction
Hi folks!

I'm a book buying addict with a massive TBR problem and a recently developed obsession for cozy mysteries. Other than those few issues I'm perfectly safe to be around. :o) I live in New Zealand, buy mainly from the US, and my husband is talking about me getting a job to support the book habit.

I read and collect a variety of books from old-fashioned English school stories through to current YA sf/f and cozies. And romance. I'm a bit of a content-wimp so don't like anything to too dark or depressing. Going against the oft-quoted advice, I do choose my books by their covers.
26th-Jan-2007 09:34 pm - February's books
Here's some of the books coming onto my tbr stack next month:

Feb 1, 2007
Voice of the Gods is the last book in Trudi Canavan's Age of Five trilogy. I've been waiting for all three before starting the first one! I've been told that this series is not as good as her Black Magician series which I thoroughly enjoyed. The author says it's not a YA fantasy, containing sex, drugs and violence.
She's also planning on more books in her Black Magician universe. She has a prequel trilogy laid out: The Ambassadors’ Mission, The Rogue, The Traitor Queen are the titles in The Traitor Spy trilogy.

Murder Off the Books is the first in a series by Evelyn David featuring a retired DC cop turned private eye. His partner is an Irish Wolfhound named Whiskey.

Feb 6, 2007
Ground to a Halt is the second book in Claudia Bishop's (Mary Stanton) Casebooks of Dr. MacKenzie.

Feb 27, 2007
Killed by Clutter is the fourth Domestic Bliss mystery by Leslie Caine (Leslie O'Kane). Erin Gilbert is an interior designer competeing with her rival, Steve Sullivan.

Command Decision is the fourth in Elizabeth Moon's Vatta's War series.
Spock Strange
13th-Jan-2007 02:21 pm - Barbara Seranella
I just finished what is evidently the last Munch Mancini Crime Novel. The author, Barbara Seranella, has a new book coming out in 2007 featuring a new character - Charlotte Lyon. I hope she's just starting a new series and will continue writing about Munch!

What to read next? Not sure, probably another mystery. I can't seem to get into the scifi/fantasy mood yet. :( I've got several waiting: 2 David Weber's, Elizabeth Haydon, Juliet E. McKenna to name some of them. These are the ones I couldn't wait to get ahold of and now I don't feel like reading them. What's up with that?
Spock Strange
16th-Dec-2006 04:00 pm - Is your TBR pile getting smaller?
Mine is!
I've finished the Nameless Detective and Rogue Angel books that have been published. There's a new Rogue Angel book coming out in...get this - #4 comes out in January, #5 in March, #6 in May. Wow, even with two authors taking turns writing the books, that's fast! I love it!! ;-D

The pile was getting smaller until I made a list of the books I read coming out:
January, besides the Rogue Angel book, has the start of a new series by Patricia Sprinkle, the 2nd Multiverse book by David Weber and Linda Evans and the 15th book in Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak series.
February sees the last Priestess of the White book by Trudi Canavan along with the 4th Vatta's War book by Elizabeth Moon, the 2nd book in Claudia Bishop's new mystery series, and the 4th Gilbert and Sullivan book by Leslie Caine.
March brings the 2nd Stoney Calhoun book by William G. Tapply - he's the one that was hit by lightning and has amnesia (sorta like the TV show John Doe but not completely!), the 10th Rett MacPherson's Tori O'Shea mystery, the 9th Joanna Fluke cookie mystery, the 3rd Multiverse book by David Weber and Linda Evans - these are coming out almost as fast as the Rogue Angel ones and they're twice as thick!, and a new Kim Harrison's Hollow's book.
April either starts slowing down or I haven't discoverd the others yet but there's Carolyn G. Hart's 18th Death of Demand book, Jennifer Chiaverini's 10th Elm Creek Quilt novel, Robert W. Walker's 2nd Inspector Ransom book - 1860's World Fair, Rachel Caine's 2nd Morganville Vampire YA book and a new book by Steven Brust and Emma Bull.
May has the 13th Benni Harper book by Earlene Fowler and the 17th Prey book by John Sandford.
Rachel Caine has the 6th Weather Warden book coming out in August but that's getting a bit too far ahead! Besides, I don't have anything else listed yet! ;) Well, other than an unknown release date for Isobelle Carmody's 5th (last?) Obernewton book The Sending. It was supposed to be published July 2005 but the last I heard (Oct. 2006), it hadn't been written yet.
Spock Strange
8th-Dec-2006 01:48 pm - Hardcase by Bill Pronzini
What starts out as a simple adoption research - a young woman finds out she was adopted after the death of her parents and wants to know why she was given up for adoption - turns out to be anything but when he runs into a small town coverup. Now he's uncovered the monster, who has another person to kill...
A bit of humor was his search for an assistant with computer knowledge. I look forward to seeing her in more of the series.
7th-Dec-2006 03:01 pm - Demons by Bill Pronzini
It's the kind of case he hates to take and only when he really needs the money. But it's a friend of a friend so he agrees to at least listen to what Kay has to say. She knows her husband is having an affair and just wants to know who she is because her husband is not just having an affair, he's totally obsessed with her. And as an added twist, the family is getting harassing phone calls telling him to leave Nedra alone.
So he follows her husband to a house where he discovers the other woman has been missing for almost four months. Is she dead or alive?
On the personal side, Kerry, his lady friend, has gotten backlogged at work and doesn't have any spare time. But a friend of the Nameless Detective mentions spotting her in a downtown bar with another man - and it wasn't a working dinner, if you know what I mean. She was kissing him. So does he follow her like a cheap, sleazy private eye or trust her? Is she thinking of breaking up with him or is there an explanation to the dinner.
The end may surprise you, it certainly did me!
3rd-Dec-2006 02:49 pm - Epitaphs by Bill Pronzini
I'm really not sure why he continued with the case. He wasn't getting paid for it, it was a favor to the old men he's watched play bocce ball for years and the reason for his involvement, the accusation of theft against one of the old men's granddaughters, had been withdrawn and resolved. Other than the fact that he hadn't met the granddaughter yet and he didn't want to confront the issues with his partner were the only reasons for the worlaholic detective to continue the case.
Well, that and there wouldn't have been a book about it if he hadn't! :)

From Publishers Weekly
With unerring plotting and an unabashedly retro narrative style, Pronzini ( Quarry ) moves his San Francisco-based "Nameless Detective" ever closer to the mortality the book's title suggests. Now nearing 60, work-driven, solitary and often scared, Nameless is watching a game of North Beach bocce when one of the oldsters asks him to help a granddaughter who has been accused of stealing money. Gianna Fornessi proves tough to locate. Her apartment is fancier than an unemployed single girl's should be, and she is mysteriously "away"; her roommate is at first indifferent, then is found dead. The girls' profession becomes clear as a paper-and-phone chase leads Nameless to a series of pimps, porn publishers and customers. In his own life, meanwhile, Nameless grows closer to his woman friend Kerry's elderly mother and more distant from his longtime partner, Eberhardt, who is still steamed over an argument and is thinking about striking out on his own. Pronzini has made the dogged, blinkered existence of a detective his exclusive domain in this relentlessly grim yet thoroughly absorbing series.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

In about the Author, this is the first book where it's mentioned that he lives in Ca. & is married to Marcia Muller. I wonder when they moved up to Portland, before moving back down. Guess I'll just have to keep reading and find out!
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