I've read a couple of good thrillers lately. First up is Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. I know a lot of people think that Dan Brown's writing isn't great, but I really enjoy his books. His plots are intricate and, for the most part, don't make me want to roll my eyes and toss the book at a wall (occasionally, especially in Angels & Demons, I lost the suspension of disbelief, but mostly I can hang in there with him). Anyway, in The Lost Symbol, Robert Langdon, the Harvard symbolist form The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons is back. This time, Langdon is called to our nation's capital to rescue his friend and mentor, Peter Solomon. In order to find his friend, Landon must unravel some of the country's hidden history, travel through secret tunnels and chambers buried beneath D. C., and decipher ancient Masonic symbols and rituals. It was a fun, fast, and fascinating read. I'd give it 3.5 roses (very good).
Next up was another fast moving thriller--1st to Die by James Patterson. 1st to Die is the first book in Patterson's Women's Murder Club series and it's been sitting around on my shelf for way too long. Like Brown, Patterson is a master break-neck plotting. The action never slows down and with Patterson's one to two page chapters, it's easy to stay up way too late and devour his books in a night or two. This book introduces a group of women--Lindsey Boxer, a San Francisco homicide detective; Claire, a medical examiner; Cindy, a reporter; and Jill, an assistant D.A.--who join forces to help stop a manic who is going around killing newlyweds. Unfortunately for them, the manic is famous which puts pressure on the police department to make sure they get it right (and they do, eventually). This one was certainly good enough for me to continue with the series. I gave this one 3 roses (good).
And, last but not least, I finished up the third installment of the Sookie Stackhouse series, Club Dead, written by Charlaine Harris. In Club Dead, Bill, Sookie's vampire boyfriend, is working on a secret project for the Queen of Louisiana. A secret project that winds up getting him kidnapped. Eric, Bill's bloodsucking boss, sends Sookie and a werewolf friend after him. I didn't enjoy this book as much as I liked the first two in this series. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I don't usually like vampire books. They just don't do much for me. I think part of my problem with this book was that Bill is just being a jerk. And, while Eric is okay, I don't really like him as a mate for Sookie either. In fact, the only character I really liked was the werewolf, Alcide. If I didn't already have the fourth book in this series on my shelf, I'm not sure I would continue but I have it so I'll give it a whirl and see if it gets any better. Ath this point, though, I'm not sure I'm going to stick it out through book #10. I'd give Club Dead 2.5 roses (okay).
In the interest of full disclosure, books labeled with this icon have been written by members of my local RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter. I always strive to give my honest opinion in all reviews on Passion for the Page and I try not to let my personal feelings sway my opinion, but just so ya know--I've meet these authors at least once.
Challenges I'm Participating In
Seasonal Reading Challenge (SRC)
SRC Summer 2011 Challenge -- 6/1/11-8/31/11
11 / 57 tasks. 19% done!
Tasks in progress: 2
2011 Reading Resolutions -- 1/1/11-12/31/11
1. Read 125 books -- 30/125
2. Read 50 books from physical TBR shelf -- 12/50
3. Read 3 books in 5 different series I’ve already started -- 2/15 4. Read 12 books on my Filling in the Gaps list -- 2/12 5. Read 12 books on the New Classics list -- 3/12 6. Read 10 category romances that have been sitting on my shelf forever! -- 2/10 7. Read 10 books for Around the World in 80 Books -- 3/10 8. Read 1 book in each Dewey Decimal classification -- 2/10 9. Read 10 1001 Books -- 4/10 10. Read 5 hardbacks on my shelves -- 0/5 11. Read 5 books for Booking Around the States -- 1/5 12. Read 5 books from my Trade Paperback shelf -- 2/5
AL = When Did We Lose Harriet? by Patricia Sprinkle AK = Time Bandit by Andy & Johnathan Hillstrand AZ = The Man From Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller AR = CA = East of Eden by John Steinbeck CO = The Sign of the Book by John Dunning CT = Vision in White by Nora Roberts DE = FL = Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston GA = Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell HI = Moloka'i by Alan Brennert ID = IL = I'm Watching You by Karen Rose IN = IA = Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron & Bret Witter KS = In Cold Blood by Truman Capote KY = Irish Rebel by Nora Roberts LA = Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells ME = The Secret Life of Lobsters by Trevor Corson MD = Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts MA = Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman MI = A Superior Death by Nevada Barr MN = Welcome to the Great Mysterious by Lorna Landvik MS = Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg MO = MT = Left to Die by Lisa Jackson NE = NV = NH = Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult NJ = Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich NM = NY = A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith NC = Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen ND = OH = Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie OK = OR = PA = Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer RI = SC = Islands by Anne River Siddons SD = Black Hills by Nora Roberts TN = The Fifth Victim by Beverly Barton TX = Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr UT = VT = Wife for Hire by Janet Evanovich VA = Tribute by Nora Roberts WA = True Colors by Kristin Hannah WV = Red Helmet by Homer Hickam WI = WY =
35 / 50 states. 70% done!
Around the World in 80 Books
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak -- Germany 2. Paddy Clarke Ha, Ha, Ha by Roddy Doyle -- Ireland 3. Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs -- Canada 4. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie -- Nigeria 5. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry -- Denmark 6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez -- South America 7. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali -- Somalia 8. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz -- Dominican Republic 9. The World in Half by Cristina Henriquez -- Panama 10. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga -- India 11. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson -- Sweden 12. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer -- Nepal 13. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert -- Italy, India, Indonesia 14. The Red Door by Charles Todd -- England 15. River of Eden by Glenna McReynolds -- Brazil 16. Wild Swans by Jung Chang -- China 17. The Lost City of Z by David Grann -- Brazil 18. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows -- Guernsey 19. Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat -- Haiti 20. By the River by Steven Herrick -- Australia