Courtney (silverrain1139) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

My deadline was Dec. 8, 2009

Didn't make it and I really though I would. I'm not even going to make it by the 31st.
Books 27-36
27. Title: Guilty Pleasure
By: Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake may be small and young, but vampires call her the Executioner. Anita is a necromancer and vampire hunter in a time when vampires are protected by law--as long as they don't get too nasty. Now someone's killing innocent vampires and Anita agrees--with a bit of vampiric arm-twisting--to help figure out who and why. Trust is a luxury Anita can't afford when her allies aren't human. The city's most powerful vampire, Nikolaos, is 1,000 years old and looks like a 10-year-old girl. The second most powerful vampire, Jean-Claude, is interested in more than just Anita's professional talents, but the feisty necromancer isn't playing along--yet. This popular series has a wild energy and humor, and some very appealing characters--both dead and alive.

28. Bodies We've Buried: Inside the National Forensic Academy, the World's Top CSI Training School
Jarrett Hallcox
The latest authors to capitalize on the CSI craze are well situated to add something new to the literature. Hallcox and Welch run the National Forensic Academy, a state-of-the-art, hands-on crime scene investigation school for people in law enforcement, but those impressive credentials do not translate into a good read. Despite some interesting war stories, the bulk of the book is an overly technical, step-by-step description of the course of study given to academy students ("The problem, however, is that ninhydrin is not reliable when it comes to the zinc chloride process"), which is likely to glaze the eyes of all but the most die-hard fans of the genre. In addition, the authors' failed efforts at sardonic humor ("Though there are probably a few people we could think of to stick in front of a moving vehicle, our grant does not allow us to kill anybody"), and clunky, florid phrasing ("With the first lightning strike of a tree witnessed by man, he has forever been obsessed with this primordial heat") make what should have been a fascinating insider account a hard slog. B&w photos. (Jan. 3)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

29. Title: Son of a Witch
By: Gregory Maguire
The long-anticipated sequel to the million-copy bestselling novel Wicked

Ten years after the publication of Wicked, beloved novelist Gregory Maguire returns at last to the land of Oz. There he introduces us to Liir, an adolescent boy last seen hiding in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy did in the Witch. Bruised, comatose, and left for dead in a gully, Liir is shattered in spirit as well as in form. But he is tended at the Cloister of Saint Glinda by the silent novice called Candle, who wills him back to life with her musical gifts.

What dark force left Liir in this condition? Is he really Elphaba's son? He has her broom and her cape -- but what of her powers? Can he find his supposed half-sister, Nor, last seen in the forbidding prison, Southstairs? Can he fulfill the last wishes of a dying princess? In an Oz that, since the Wizard's departure, is under new and dangerous management, can Liir keep his head down long enough to grow up?

For the countless fans who have been dazzled and entranced by Maguire's Oz, Son of a Witch is the rich reward they have awaited so long.

30. Title: Lucky
By: Alice Sebold
When Sebold, the author of the current bestseller The Lovely Bones, was a college freshman at Syracuse University, she was attacked and raped on the last night of school, forced onto the ground in a tunnel "among the dead leaves and broken beer bottles." In a ham-handed attempt to mollify her, a policeman later told her that a young woman had been murdered there and, by comparison, Sebold should consider herself lucky. That dubious "luck" is the focus of this fiercely observed memoir about how an incident of such profound violence can change the course of one's life. Sebold launches her memoir headlong into the rape itself, laying out its visceral physical as well as mental violence, and from there spins a narrative of her life before and after the incident, weaving memories of parental alcoholism together with her post-rape addiction to heroin. In the midst of each wrenching episode, from the initial attack to the ensuing courtroom drama, Sebold's wit is as powerful as her searing candor, as she describes her emotional denial, her addiction and even the rape (her first "real" sexual experience). She skillfully captures evocative moments, such as, during her girlhood, luring one of her family's basset hounds onto a blue silk sofa (strictly off-limits to both kids and pets) to nettle her father. Addressing rape as a larger social issue, Sebold's account reveals that there are clear emotional boundaries between those who have been victims of violence and those who have not, though the author attempts to blur these lines as much as possible to show that violence touches many more lives than solely the victim's.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

31. Mistress of Justice
By Jeffrey Deaver
A plethora of generally interesting asides make this lethargically paced mystery an easy, yet ultimately a somewhat frustrating read. As we follow the paralegal days and jazz-piano-playing nights of Ms. Taylor Lockwood, we glimpse the truth behind the dark-wood panels of the venerable law firm Hubbard, White & Willis. Taylor's initial assignment is to retrieve a stolen document that could cost the firm a case and an attractive young litigator his job. The theft proves to be merely a subtext as one ferocious partner pushes for a merger, two older partners firmly oppose it and the rest of the principal players scramble for position while sides are drawn up. Taylor finds coked-up associates with grievances, partners with financial problems, and granddaughters to raise, not to mention call girls. Offices (including her own lowly hole in the wall) are soon bugged, and after an interminable wait, murder makes its entrance. Edgar-nominated Deaver ( Manhattan Is My Beat ) whips up enough atmosphere for a whole series here: late-night music, copious jazz lore, performance-art interludes, man troubles aplenty--the plucky Taylor partakes of them all. She's a likely guide to both the legal and the late-night, but this expansive mystery doesn't have enough narrative gears to shift through. Author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc

32. The Tunnels
by Michelle Gagnon
Though formulaic, the debut novel from Gagnon is saved by smart, appealing lead characters FBI Special Agent Kelly Stone and her partner, Roger Morrow. A distinguished New England college is in turmoil after two female students, each the daughter of rich and powerful families, are found butchered in an old campus tunnel system, with strange Norse symbols painted around them. Joining the agents on the case is former FBI agent Jake Riley, who now works as head of security for one of the dead girls' fathers. As more bodies turn up—and a student goes missing—Kelly and her team find themselves in a race to stop the mysterious killer. While Gagnon doesn't bring much new to the standard serial-killer plot line, she keeps things moving with a brisk pace and likable leads. Kelly's interactions with Roger carry a nice blend of warmth, humor and professionalism, bringing a sense of the real to their partnership. Kelly and Jake's relationship is no less interesting, and Gagnon wisely avoids forcing a romance between them. Gagnon's characters hold promise for an enjoyable series; she just need to find some cases worthy of them. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

33. Almost Moon
By Alice Sebold
Sebold's disappointing second novel (after much-lauded The Lovely Bones) opens with the narrator's statement that she has killed her mother. Helen Knightly, herself the mother of two daughters and an art class model old enough to be the mother of the students who sketch her nude figure, is the dutiful but resentful caretaker for her senile 88-year-old mother, Clair. One day, traumatized by the stink of Clair's voided bowels and determined to bathe her, Helen succumbs to a life-long dream and smothers Clair, who had sucked the life out of [Helen] day by day, year by year. After dragging Clair's corpse into the cellar and phoning her ex-husband to confess her crime, Helen has sex with her best friend's 30-year-old blond-god doofus son. Jumping between past and present, Sebold reveals the family's fractured past (insane, agoraphobic mother; tormented father, dead by suicide) and creates a portrait of Clair that resembles Sebold's own mother as portrayed in her memoir, Lucky. While Helen has clearly suffered at her mother's hands, the matricide is woefully contrived, and Helen's handling of the body and her subsequent actions seem almost slapstick. Sebold can write, that's clear, but her sophomore effort is not in line with her talent. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

34. Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers
By Michael M.D. Baden amd Marion Roach
Baden, a leading forensic pathologist and host of HBO's Autopsy, and Roach (Another Name for Madness) are a dynamic pair, delving into delightfully creepy material that can potentially bring murderers to justice or free an innocent on death row. Baden is a methodical and ethical medical examiner and consummate scientist. Every page reveals another aspect of the forensic sciences, leading the reader into the Cimmerian world of autopsies, murder scenes, blood-splatter analysis, the life cycles of blowflies in carrion, DNA fingerprinting and the methods for identifying unknown victims by their skulls, teeth and bones. The authors also touch upon the obscure yet fruitful fields of forensic botany and climatology. The material is exhaustive, yet the journey is never less than fascinating. For the reader (with a strong stomach) interested in the juncture of crime, law and science, this book is chock-full of practical information about death by unnatural means. The account is replete with a cast of weird, amiable characters, historical insights (where else this year will readers learn that Paul Revere took the first step in forensic odontology?), and reverence for the scientific study of the dead. Baden and Roach invite the outsider into the laboratory with a gripping sense of immediacy, and conversely, they bring the usually hidden forensic sciences into the light of day. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

35. Devil's Bones
By Jefferson Bass
The lack of a strong central plot undercuts the third forensic thriller by bestseller Bass, the team of Dr. Bill Bass, founder of Tennessee's world-renowned Body Farm, and journalist Jon Jefferson (after 2007's Flesh and Bone). Two cases occupy Dr. Bass's fictional alter ego, Dr. Bill Brockton—the death of Mary Latham, a 47-year-old Knoxville native, whose charred remains were found in a burned-out car, and a disreputable Georgia crematorium that simply dumped bodies on its grounds. These probes soon take a backseat to a cat-and-mouse game with the doctor's arch nemesis, Garland Hamilton, who tried to frame him for murder in Flesh and Bone. When Hamilton escapes from incarceration before going to trial, Brockton must keep looking over his shoulder. While a smattering of Bass's trademark authentic forensic detail lifts this main narrative thread, a more focused look at a single case might have made the novel a better read. (Feb.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

36. That Takes Ovaries: Bold Females and their Brazen Acts
By Rivka Solomon
The expression "that takes balls" is often used to describe actions that are especially difficult or daring. Solomon has coined a female variation to characterize the stories of the 60-plus women of all ages and backgrounds who responded to her Internet request for personal accounts of events that demonstrated an uncommon dose of courage and strength. Some can be described with terms like bold, self-confident, and inspiring; others are just plain crazy. One woman outsmarted a Detroit pimp, one reduced a burglar to tears by appealing to his black pride, one high-schooler decided to face the world with hairy legs. When presented together these stories form an inspiring collage of strength and creativity. Because the stories are told in the contributors' own words, each carries the humor and passion of each individual. Framed by an analytical introduction and a call to action in support of women's rights, the tales gathered in That Takes Ovaries! make for an interesting addition to any women's studies collection. Danise Hoover
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Tags: crime fiction

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