Thursday, January 8, 2009

2009 1st in Series - The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton

The Quiche of Death is book number one of the Agatha Raisin Mysteries. I originally thought there were three in this series and boy was I wrong! I checked on Amazon yesterday and last I saw they were up to book #18. It might go beyond that but I gave up searching at that point.

I really enjoyed this book. Agatha Raisin is a smart, pushy, no nonsense kinda gal. In other words....LOVE HER! This was very easy reading as it took me all of a day to get through the book. Agatha is a very lovable character. The situations she gets herself into are always good for a laugh. If you like light mysteries, I highly recommend this book.

Here is a summary from about the book:

Putting all her eggs in one basket, Agatha Raisin gives up her successful PR firm, sells her London flat, and samples a taste of early retirement in the quiet village of Carsely. Bored, lonely and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest: Surely a blue ribbon for the best quiche will make her the toast of the town. But her recipe for social advancement sours when Judge Cummings-Browne not only snubs her entry-but falls over dead! After her quiche's secret ingredient turns out to be poison, she must reveal the unsavory truth...Agatha has never baked a thing in her life! In fact, she bought her entry ready-made from an upper crust London quicherie. Grating on the nerves of several Carsely residents, she is soon receiving sinister notes. Has her cheating and meddling landed her in hot water, or are the threats related to the suspicious death? It may mean the difference between egg on her face and a coroner's tag on her toe...

Monday, January 5, 2009

2009 Support Your Local Library - Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Listening to this made me think of that saying....."Would you like some cheese with your WHINE!?" I really wanted to like Notes from a Small Island. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson is one of my favorite books. There were a few laughs here and there but the amount of complaining this man does just grated on my nerves. I struggled from the first disk to the last. I hate to say it but I was glad when this one ended.

Here is a summary from about the book:

"Before his return to the U.S. after a 20-year residence in England, journalist Bryson (Made in America) embarked on a farewell tour of his adopted homeland. His trenchant, witty and detailed observations of life in a variety of towns and villages will delight Anglophiles. Traveling only on public transportation and hiking whenever possible, Bryson wandered along the coast through Bournemouth and neighboring villages that reinforced his image of Britons as a people who rarely complain and are delighted by such small pleasures as a good tea. In Liverpool, the author's favorite English city, he visited the Merseyside Maritime Museum to experience its past as a great port. Interweaving descriptions of landscapes and everyday encounters with shopkeepers, pub customers and fellow travelers, Bryson shares what he loves best about the idiosyncrasies of everyday English life in this immensely entertaining travel memoir."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2009 Support Your Local Library - The Heretic's Daughter

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent

Yet another book gets crossed off the list. I enjoyed this one. I do have to say it was tough going at first. I was warned that it was slow but to stick with it. There were a few moments in the beginning where the story would pick up and hit it's stride but then it would bottom out again. I would say the book never really held my attention until the mother was arrested. From there the story picked up speed and I could not put it down. I loved that the narrator was 10 years old. It brought a different perspective to the story. I also loved how strong she was. There were many times I had to remind myself she was only 10 years old. She came across as being an old soul who was very wise in her years.

Here is a summary from about the book:

"A family's conflict becomes a battle for life and death in this gripping and original first novel based on family history from a descendant of a condemned Salem witch. After a bout of smallpox, 10-year-old Sarah Carrier resumes life with her mother on their family farm in Andover, Mass., dimly aware of a festering dispute between her mother, Martha, and her uncle about the plot of land where they live. The fight takes on a terrifying dimension when reports of supernatural activity in nearby Salem give way to mass hysteria, and Sarah's uncle is the first person to point the finger at Martha. Soon, neighbors struggling to eke out a living and a former indentured servant step forward to name Martha as the source of their woes. Sarah is forced to shoulder an even heavier burden as her mother and brothers are taken to prison to face a jury of young women who claim to have felt their bewitching presence. Sarah's front-row view of the trials and the mayhem that sweeps the close-knit community provides a fresh, bracing and unconventional take on a much-covered episode."

If you are interested in the Salem witch trials or stories that reflect on that time I recommend reading this book.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sci Fi Experience 2009

Carl is once again hosting the Sci Fi Experience.

I love this challenge because it forces me out of my comfort zone. I read everything but Sci Fi. Why? It is not because I don't like it. Like a new sweater it gets pushed to the bottom of the pile by old favorites.

I took this straight from Carl's blog:

"As I said last year, this is an experience and not a challenge. There are no reading lists, book requirements, etc. I do not argue about what is or is not considered ’science fiction’. Nothing about this two month period of science fiction celebration should cause anyone to feel obligated to participate. I host two other very involved challenges throughout the year and the last thing I want to do is start a new year adding stress to your busy lives or my own. This is simply a time to experience how exhilarating science fiction can be."

I am going to challenge myself to read at least one Sci Fi book.

Want to join me in the experience?

Click here.

Outlander Challenge 2009

The Rules:
  1. Sign up!
  2. You must read each of the six current Outlander Series novels prior to the publication of An Echo in the Bone (scheduled publication September 2009).
  3. The format can be of your choosing (audio, book, Kindle, etc).
  4. You must post your thoughts/comments/inspirations/critisisms at least once on each book.
  5. Books can crossover to other reading challenges if you wish.
  6. Have fun!

I just grabbed "Outlander" the other day to use as part of my 2009 Audio Book Challenge. I'm glad we are able to crossover with other reading challenges. That helps! I have heard nothing but great things about this series. I can't wait to get started.

To join me in this challenge click here.

Cornelia Funke Challenge

Zoealea over at Zoe's Book Reviews is hosting a Cornelia Funke Challenge. It started on December 1 , 2008 and ends March 1, 2009. But there is still time to sign up.

Cornelia Funke has written numerious books, one of which is currently becoming a movie.

Here are the rules:

1. You must read at least three books that are written by Cornelia Funke (i.e. Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath, etc.)

2. When you join, please leave a comment on Zoe's blog, with a link to where you posted which Cornelia Funke books you are going to read.

3. You can join at any time between today and March 1, 2009.

To join me in this fun challenge click here.

I am going to be reading the following Cornelia Funke books:
  1. Inkheart
  2. Inkspell
  3. Inkdeath

I have been wanting to read this series for some time now. I can't wait!

52 Books in 52 Weeks

Challenge yourself to finish reading 52 books in 52 weeks for 2009!

This is a challenge that is taking place over on Ravelry. You must be a member to participate. The group is 52 Books in 52 Weeks.

Care to join me in this challenge?

Click here