Tag Archives: To Be Read

Top Ten Tuesday: Book On My Summer Reading List

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Time again for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish).  This week’s theme is a “summer freebie” so I’m going to make a list of the books I hope to read this summer.  (We just signed up for our library’s summer reading program yesterday and I’m ready to go!)

  1.  Lockdown by Laurie R. King
  2. The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
  3. Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
  4. Bad Girl Gone by Temple Matthews
  5. Ten Dead Comedians by Fred Van Lente
  6. Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet by James Goss
  7. Vicious by V.E. Schwaub
  8. Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles
  9. It by Stephen King (re-read)
  10. The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

That should keep me busy this summer! And, of course, there will be reading to Shortcake so she can get prizes too!

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TBR Challenge: “Mission Canyon” by Meg Gardiner

Meg Gardiner’s second novel in the Evan Delaney mystery series shows the same assuredness of storytelling that won me over in “China Lake” but ends up being a far more satisfying and complete reading experience.

Several years ago, Evan’s boyfriend, Jesse, was paralyzed in a hit and run incident. Jesse’s good friend was killed and all the evidence pointed toward it being a deliberate hit and run incident, with the car’s driver, Franklin Brand, going on the run. Now, Brand is back in town, but for what purpose?

As Evan follows Brand to make sure he doesn’t leave town, she’s slowly drawn into a web involving the incident and who the real target of the incident was. As Evan uncovers the truth of what happened and why, her own life becomes threatened and the discoveries she makes could fundamentally alter her life and her relationship with Jesse.

I came to the Evan Delaney series after reading Gardiner’s “The Dirty Secrets Club” and being impressed by it. Hungry for more, I picked up “China Lake” and while there were snippets of what I liked from “Secrets” in there, it still felt like a first novel. With “Mission Canyon,” the trappings of a first novel are gone and Gardiner settles in with a satisfying, page-turning mystery thriller that sets everything up well and then delivers a nicely done payoff in the end. I want to say this story is a bit more personal for Evan, but that would be doing a disservice to “China Lake” since it was a story about her protecting her nephew in peril from an evil religious cult. The big difference is that it feels like Gardiner doesn’t have as big an axe to grind here with the antagonists and they come off as far more effective and threatening that way. They’re not quite the evil, moustache twirling kind of villains that we got in “China Lake” and the book is a lot stronger for that.

Also, having had a novel to get to know Evan, the book is more successful as we see and hear Evan’s relentless belief in those she cares about and her dogged determination to defend them. It makes one of the novel’s turning points and twists a bit more shocking when you come to it. It also helps to make Evan grow as a character and not just be a stock, plucky female private investigator.

All in all, “Mission Canyon” is a far more complete and satisfying novel than its predecesor. I wonder if I’d read it first if I’d regard it as highly as I do “Dirty Secrets Club.” After all, part of the fun of a novel author is the joy of discovering their tricks and storytelling technique in the first novel you’re exposed to.

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Series Challenge Season Two

I missed the first season of the Series Challenge but I’ve decided to participate in the second season.  The challenge is run by Crazy Cozy Murders and you can find out more about it here.

Again, the challenge will be for 6 months, from June 1st, 2008 until November 30th, 2008. And the rules are:

1. There is no set number of books you have to read, you just have to read the books so that you are all up-to-date with the series.

2. Post your review of the books on your blog, no matter how long.

3. Post a link to your reviews with the Mr Linky that I will set up as soon as this challenge starts.

4. Always remember this is for fun!

I’ve decided that for the challenge, I will try to finish three series I’ve been working on.  The first is the Temeraire series by Naomi Novak.  Yes, it’s cheating since I put the fourth book as part of the To Be Read Challenge…

The second is Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files. I’ve read the first six books and will work on the other four.

Finally, I will try to read the rest of Orson Scott Card’s Tales of Alvin Maker series.  I’ve read the first and second book and, again, have the third on the list for the To Be Read Challenge.   But I figure why not at least try and finish the entire series this year.

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