January 19th, 2010

london

Book 4: Silent Scream by Lynda la Plante

Book 4: Silent Scream (Anna Travis Book 5)
Author: Lynda la Plante, 2009
Genre: Crime. Police procedural.
Other Details: Trade Paperback. 515 pages.

Amanda Delany is a beautiful and talented young British actress whose film career is on the rise. She is a favourite with the tabloids given her many high profile affairs with a number of fellow actors as well as her excesses with drugs and alcohol. She returns home after a long night shoot and sometime between then and when her driver calls to collect her the next day, she is brutally murdered in her home. Detective Inspector Anna Travis is assigned to the case. As the investigation proceeds a very different picture emerges of the young actress and there are also plenty of suspects. In addition, Anna's boss has suggested that she apply for a promotion to Detective Chief Inspector. He feels she is ready for it though her former boss, DCI James Langdon, holds a different opinion. His demanding overseeing of the Delany case also causes Anna more pressure.

Although I've seen some TV adaptations of Lynda la Plante's work, this was my first experience of her writing. This is the fifth in the series featuring Anna Travis and it is usually my practice with series to begin at the beginning. In this case though I'd received the book via a Simon & Schuster giveaway and also had recently seen the TV adaptation of the second book in the series, The Red Dahlia, and was eager for more. I felt the TV programme did give me a strong introduction to the main characters. Some of the background given in the book did spoil me for plot points in earlier books in this series, though I don't really mind as this was such an engaging read. I will now go back to the earlier books and read in order.

I found Anna Travis a very appealing central character with both strengths and flaws. The writing throughout was good, drawing me quickly into the story and not letting go until the final pages. It really was very hard to put down, which is a quality I always want in a crime novel.
El Corazon

24. Prisoners of the Sun; 25. Detective Comics #28 -- June 1939; 26. The Great Brain Does It Again

Prisoners of the Sun
by Herge

Started/Finished: January 16, 2010

Fair to middling story, I guess, but the artwork of the South American landcape and Incan temple was marvelous. I am getting tired of the Captain's blistering barnacles and hope he takes a break for the next couple of adventures. 64 pages. Grade: B-
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Detective Comics #28 -- June 1939

Started/Finished: January 16, 2010

The Batman story in this one was lame, not any better than any of the other bad mysteries spread throughout this issue. There were a couple of OK pieces, namely the Slam Bradley one that was the very last story in the issue. 68 pages. Grade: D
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The Great Brain Does It Again
by John D. Fitzgerald

Started: January 16, 2010
Finished: January 17, 2010

Tom's schemes were a little less mean in this one, but that also kind of made some of them boring. I liked the one about building a rollercoaster in their backyard though. 129 pages. Grade: B-
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Total # of Books Read in 2010: 26
Total # of Pages Read in 2010: 4,089

Currently Reading: Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens; The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
Reading Soon: More Tintin; The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy; The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet; Last two Great Brain books by John D. Fitzgerald; The Thirsty Muse: Alcohol and the American Writer by Tom Dardis; Chuck Klosterman IV; Seasons in Hell by Mike Shropshire; More Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus
El Corazon

27. Land of Black Gold; 28. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Volume 1; 29. Detective Comics #29

Land of Black Gold
by Herge

Started/Finished: January 17, 2010

This Tintin book was funnier than most. I guess they all try to be funny, but this one worked for me. It was a decent adventure story too. 64 pages. Grade: B
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Volume 1
edited by Scott Allie

Started/Finished: January 17, 2010

The Spike/Dru story set at the 1933 World's Fair was OK, not great. I really enjoyed the adaptation of the original Buffy movie script. And it's cool to read some stories set between the time Buffy burns down the gym and moves to Sunnydale. A fun read if you're into Buffy at all. 320 pages. Grade: A-
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Detective Comics #29 -- July 1939

Started/Finished: January 17, 2010

The Batman story was ok but nothing special. It's funny to see how they still hadn't figured out very much of the Batman mythos, like Bruce Wayne changing into his Batman costume in his bedroom and driving a normal car to stop crime. The other stories in this issue were pretty lame except for the Speed Saunders story which was nothing great either but it reminded me of a 1930s detective radio show. I've looked ahead a few issues and it doesn't take five or ten more before Batman really takes off and becomes a lot better drawn and written. I'm looking forward to it. 68 pages. Grade: C-
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Total # of Books Read in 2010: 29
Total # of Pages Read in 2010: 4,541

Currently Reading: Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens; The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
Reading Soon: More Tintin; The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy; The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet; Last two Great Brain books by John D. Fitzgerald; The Thirsty Muse: Alcohol and the American Writer by Tom Dardis; Chuck Klosterman IV; Seasons in Hell by Mike Shropshire; More Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus
El Corazon

30. Destination Moon; 31. Detective Comics #30 -- August 1939; 32. Explorers on the Moon

Destination Moon
by Herge

Started/Finished: January 18, 2010

The artwork in this one was great, especially the panels with the rocket on its launch pad, but the story was b-o-r-i-n-g. I probably should have first read Tintin at a younger age. I've enjoyed some of these adventures but for the most part they just haven't tickled my fancy. 64 pages. Grade: C
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Detective Comics #30 -- August 1939

Started/Finished: January 19, 2010

The Batman story itself wasn't great but the artwork was tons better. Batman still looks goofy with the extra pointy long ears on his mask but the backgrounds were much crisper/tighter. 67 pages. Grade: C-
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Explorers on the Moon
by Herge

Started/Finished: January 19, 2010

Fantastic artwork. Ok enough story, I guess. 64 pages. Grade: B-
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Total # of Books Read in 2010: 32
Total # of Pages Read in 2010: 4,736

Total # of Non-Comic Books Read in 2010: 10
Total # of Non-Comic Book Pages Read in 2010: 2,911

Currently Reading: Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens; The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
Reading Soon: More Tintin; The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy; The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet; Last two Great Brain books by John D. Fitzgerald; The Thirsty Muse: Alcohol and the American Writer by Tom Dardis; Chuck Klosterman IV; Seasons in Hell by Mike Shropshire; More Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus
Read myself to sleep
  • vylotte

Books #3-6

#3, Hellblazer #2, The Devil You Know, by Jamie Delano, David Lloyd, Mark Buckingham

Holy 80s comic Batman! This is about beginnings and endings. The beginning of Constantine's friendships with the people in book one, the beginnings of his troubles. And some resolutions as well, of the plotlines that began with the mysterious woman in the first book, and his ghost in the machine.

It heavily embraces all that is cringe-worthy of the 1980s, the greed and flash and nasty hair. It's worth reading if for nothing else. But be warned, when they say "graphic" novel, for Hellblazer they mean it.

#4, The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, by Max Brooks

Recorded zombie attacks throughout history, graphic novel form.

#5, Dead Until Dark (Sookie Sackhouse book #1), by Charlaine Harris

I came to this book after having seen Season one of True Blood, and was surprised to see just how much the show followed the book. So, no surprises here. I enjoyed it, it's not life-changing but it is entertaining. Most interesting of all is depiction of every-day small-town Louisiana life. Moving on to book 2.

#6, Sandman #1, Preludes and Nocturnes, by Neil Gaiman

The first in the Sandman books, it lays the foundation for the series introducing Dream and, briefly, Death and Destiny. What happens when Dream is captured, and the aftermath leading from that. Oh, and hello there Constantine, nice to see you, albeit it briefly. Incredibly fine storytelling, I am finally reading the series in order, start to finish.
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amy poehler

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6. The Giver by Lois Lowry - I actually really liked this book. I picked it up not knowing what it was about but it was very Brave New World-y but I kind of liked it better. I just wish the ending could be more solid but other than that I liked it and the whole idea of it. How much we take all these memories we have for granted and yet if they ever disappeared we would be living in a very boring world.
Shivery

Book 3: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Here is book three from my Book List 2010. The link leads to a more detailed review in my journal.

3. Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman © 2008
Pages: 310
Thoughts: Link
Review in five words or less: Chilling, creepy, creative; loved it.
Personal Rating: ««««¼ out of five.

This book starts off with a brutal and horrific mystery which leads the protagonist to a graveyard. With nowhere else to go and no means to support himself, Bod finds himself in the care of the graveyard ghosts. As the years pass, we see him at different ages, learning what it means to be alive and being taught the ways of the dead. As Bod grows older, he begins to ask questions about his past, and he finds that solving the mystery is a key point.

The story eerily unfolds with a lot of suspense and an air of mystery. Even though I was anxious to figure out the whole thing, it was perfectly paced with Bod's adventures as he grew up. I was able to figure out the mystery early on, but it didn't affect my immense enjoyment of the book. Bod is such a great character and is someone I would want as a friend. His insatiable curiosity, thirst for adventure, and propensity for trouble is tempered with kindness and compassion. The illustrations were also great and enhanced the creepiness. The only thing I found jarring was one description in the first chapter.

I highly recommend this Newbery Award winning book to everyone.


3 / 50 books. 6% done!


939 / 15,000 pages. 6% done!

Current book: Witch & Wizard by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
sunny

One of Chick Lit's Finest

Book 1 of 50
The Bestseller by Olivia Goldsmith
704 pages

4 stars

Goldsmith is one of my favorite authors because her characters are so rich, her plots so intricate, and her storytelling (usually) so clear and eminently readable. I think she dropped the ball slightly with The Bestseller because it’s overly long and at times plodding. The premise is that publishing house giant Davis and Dash is preparing for its fall list, featuring five new titles, but only one will be a bestseller. We follow these five books and their authors as well as a few of the editors and agents involved with getting the books published on their journey. All of the little stories are interesting and very well detailed, but I do feel the book could have benefited from cutting out a lot of it. Goldsmith has proved in the past that she can tell a hell of a story in half the length of this opus, so I’m a little puzzled as to its length. Still, if you like chick lit and are looking for a good story with romance, revenge, characters you love and characters you love to hate, this book has it all and I do recommend it. However, if you’ve never read anything by Goldsmith before, read The First Wives Club first - it’s by far her best book.
Sookie comforts Eric

No. 4 for 2010

Title: The Last Song
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Rating: 5/5
Book: 4/50 (8% completed)
Book in personal challenge with niun: 4/50 Fantasy, 3/50 Mystery and 0/25 Classics
Pages: 390 pgs
Total Pages 1,711/15,000 pages (11.41% completed)
Next up: The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

This is easily my favourite Nicholas Sparks book!! I loved that the story was told from different characters' point of view. I definately recommend this one to everyone and if you do read it, make sure you have a box of kleenex on hand.

xposted to 50bookchallenge, 15000pages and bookworm84

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KK - Kelly

2 and 3

2.
Take A Thief
by Mercedes Lackey

Start/Finished: January 12, 2010/January 13, 2010

I do enjoy Mercedes Lackey books, and Skif is probably one of my favorite thieves to read about. I do think I'm going to go read the books about Alberich next, though, because however awesome Skif is, Alberich makes him look like a noob.

Pages: 448

Grade: B


3.
The Epic of Gilgamesh

Start/Finished: January 11,2010/January 15, 2010

Okay, so technically it was assigned by a teacher. But still, it was interesting. Gilgamesh and Enkidu are interesting characters, and it's interesting to see the ways the events referenced within it could be interpreted. The bit about the Deluge was really cool, in my mind. Not something I'd choose for myself, but I've had far worse assignments. Like American classics.

Pages: 100

Grade: B-