Daily Archives: August 23, 2009

The View From Monday

I’m participating in It’s Monday, What are you reading? at J. Kaye’s Book Blog.  Head over there to see what others are reading.

Looking Back

I had a good reading week, both regarding the quality and quantity of the books I read.  I’m still a bit behind on reviews– those that are posted already are linked from the title of the book.

The Gift of an Ordinary DayI can’t even begin to say how wonderful I found The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison.  This memoir was beautifully written, and really had me reflecting on the value of the ordinary in our lives.  I’m thrilled that Hachette books is allowing me to host a giveaway for 5 copies, I’d encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already.

Laced with MagicI also read Laced With Magic by Barbara Bretton for a blog tour next Wednesday with Pump Up Your Book Promotions.  I’ll give my full review then, but I will say now that I really enjoyed reading it.

OnlyMilo I picked up Only Milo by Barry Smith for a quick, in-between other books read.  It went even faster than expected, both due to the short length and the entertaining read.  Look for my full review soon!

That was my reading on paper for the week.   On audio, I had:

Mercy StreetMercy Street by Mariah Stewart was a good romantic mystery/thriller.  I really liked the characters, and look forward to reading more of this author’s work.

Looking for AlaskaI listened to Looking For Alaska by John Green to discuss with my Book Club L on Wednesday.  I’m really looking forward to hearing what the other members thought about it– there is much to talk about here.  I’ll post my review on Thursday, after incorporating what my club members had to say. And yes, I liked it.

Total for the week: 5 books (although I’m not quite sure Only Milo counts as an entire book!).  Woo Hoo!

Looking Forward

I’m currently planning on starting Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant tomorrow (on paper).  After that (or if I need to break for a lighter read) I’ll pick up How to Tame a Modern Rogue by Diana Holquist.

I have The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman queued up on my MP3 player.  At some point during the week, I’ll start listening to Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas for my other book club, currently scheduled to meet on Labor Day.


Posted by on August 23, 2009 in books, summary


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Mailbox Monday

I’m participating in Mailbox Monday from Marcia at The Printed Page.

The postman rang twice this week.

how to tame a modern rogue The first time, the package contained How to Tame a Modern Rogue by Diana Holquist. This book looks to be both fun and funny. I hope to read and review it within the week– then I’ll be posting a giveaway for 5 copies of it! Thank you to Hachette books, for the opportunity to read it and the giveaway.

The second time, there was an even bigger package from Hachette books. I’d received an e-mail that I had won a tote bag of books through Elin Hilderbrand’s wonderful web site. I’d entered the giveaway because I really wanted the cool tote bag and the opportunity to read Barefoot. When I found out I’d won, I felt I needed to admit I’d already received review copies of A Summer Affair and The Castaways, but I promised I’d find good homes for the new copies if they showed up on my doorstop. I didn’t hear back, but the package arrived with all 3 books and the coveted tote bag!  Again, thank you to Hachette Book Group.
elin hilderbrand tote

I’m particularly please to note that I did NOT add more books than I can read in a week to my TBR shelf. I’m really making an effort to be careful– I turned down two books that I really would have liked to read and review.

So, what was in your mailbox?


Posted by on August 23, 2009 in books, meme


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Review: Mercy Street by Mariah Stewart

Mercy Street: A Magellan Project Novel My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an enjoyable listen.


On a balmy spring evening, four high school seniors–three boys and a girl–enter a park in the small Pennsylvania city of Conroy. The next morning, two of the boys are found shot to death, and the girl and the third boy are gone. After three weeks with no leads and no sign of either of the two missing teenagers, the chief of police begins to wonder if they too were victims. But with no other suspects, the authorities conclude that one of these kids was the shooter.

The missing boy’s grandmother, a secretary at the local parish church, maintains his innocence. On her behalf, the parish priest, Father Kevin Burch, hires former detective Mallory Russo as a private investigator to figure out what happened in the park that night. Mallory had ended her nine-year stint with the Conroy police force some time ago after becoming a target of a smear campaign. Now a true-crime author, Mallory is surprised to receive the priest’s offer–and highly intrigued by the case. She can’t help but accept the challenge–especially when she learns that her investigation will be financed by Father Burch’s cousin the reclusive billionaire Robert Magellan, a man whose own wife and infant son disappeared without a trace a year ago, a man who understands the heartache of not knowing what happened to a loved one.

Detective Charlie Wanamaker is facing another sort of tragedy. He fled Conroy years ago with no plans to return to what he considered a dying factory town–until a family emergency brought him back. Finding the situation much worse than he’d thought, he trades his job as a big-city detective for one with the Conroy police department. Assigned to the park shooting case, Charlie quickly realizes that the initial investigation left a lot of questions unanswered. Unofficially, he teams up with Mallory to uncover the truth and find the two kids, dead or alive. What Charlie and Mallory discover will take them down a twisted path that leads to an old unsolved murder–and justice for a killer with a heart of stone.

This was a character centered book. I was very interested as I learned more about Mallory and Charlie.  Both of them dealt with difficult situations with grace, but not perfection.  They both were fleshed out enough to be real to me.  I enjoyed the relationships they had with other people– Mallory with Joe, the police chief;  Charlie with his family and his new friendship with Joe.

I liked the way the relationship between Mallory and Joe developed– first respect, then friendship, then more.   They truly developed as partners.  It went quickly, but didn’t wasn’t a “love at first sight, now I can’t live without you” relationship.

I also was drawn in by the conflict within the police department, and fascinated by Magellen’s story.  This wasn’t a terribly long book, but I felt I met a lot of people while reading it.

The mystery itself wasn’t bad, but wasn’t compelling.  It should have been, I suppose– a killer on the loose, kids are missing.  It just didn’t tug at me the way the personal stories did.

I’m looking forward to future books in this series– this book set them up nicely, if in a slightly unbelievable way.

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Posted by on August 23, 2009 in books, reviews


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