Book Review - Murder Game, Doctor Who novel by Steve Lyons

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Murder Game (Dr. Who Series) by Steve Lyons is yet another great Doctor adventure. The Doctor follows a distress call to the year 2146 and the run down Hotel Galaxian. Here he finds a role-playing murder mystery game about to get underway. Soon however the game becomes all too real. There are twist and turns in the story in true Doctor fashion and the introduction of the Selachians an alien aquatic warrior race.

The second Doctor travels with two companions in this novel, Ben and Polly. I have never seen an episode with this Doctor but it simply doesn't matter. Even without being able to picture the second Doctor in my head, just knowing the Doctor and his personality was enough to quickly get me into this story.

It is hard for me to say if I liked Murder Game better than Many Hands because I feel like I already know David Tennent as the Doctor much more than the second Doctor (see I don't even know his name) which makes me want to say I liked Many Hands better but in fact both stories are excellent and do a great job of capturing the Doctors voice.

I read this as part of my Doctor Who Reading Challenge, join up here.

Currently "Reading":
Book - Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 1) by Charlaine Harris

Book Review - The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything) by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I have been keeping a journal since I was twelve years old, it is a great release for me. So it's no surprise that I love books written in the style of a diary or journal. When I received The Truth: I'm a Girl, I'm Smart and I Know Everything by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein as part of her virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion I was delighted to find the book is actually a diary of a ten year old girl. It is a fictional diary but it is written with such honesty I felt like at times I was reading my own journal from years ago.

Dr. Holstein is a psychologist who has spent 25 plus years working with children and it shows. She captures perfectly the high emotions, joys, worries and fears of a girl on the brink of becoming a young woman. When I was younger, experiencing that in-between stage of life there were books that helped be through, such as Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume, books that let me know I wasn't alone. The Truth by Dr. Holstein has that same magic. The magic to not preach or belittle, it doesn't tell you what to do or even how to do it but simply lets you know you are not alone.

When you are hitting puberty and the emotions are flying, you don't know what to do and with the need to distance yourself from your parents you don't know whose on your side and all you keep wondering is if your friends and the other kids in your class feel the same way but of course you can't ask them, a book like this is exactly what you need.

Back in the day when parents didn't really talk to their kids about that stuff a book like this would be given as a gift to a girl then never mentioned again. Today, now that talking is encouraged and much more commonplace this book could be used as a conversation starter for so many issues that arise in a young woman's life. Boys, bras, friends and even moving could be explored between a Mother and Daughter if they took the time to read this book together.

The Truth: I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything read alone will show any girl that the things she is feeling are normal and that she isn't the only one in the world going through them and together with a loving parent as support this book will be the beginning of a great bonding experience and open the doors for many helpful discussions.

What's in a Name Challenge

Friday, December 11, 2009

I just signed up for another reading challenge which shouldn't be too hard (I hope). This is the third reading challenge I put myself up for in the coming year. I hope I am not overflowing my plate. I don't think so, we'll see I guess. I haven't picked out any books to read for this challenge yet but I will soon, I have to check out my library to see if I already have anything that fits in this challenge, I think I do.

So here's how it works: Between January 1 and December 31, 2010, read one book in each of the following categories:

  1. A book with a food in the title: Clockwork Orange, Grapes of Wrath, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  2. A book with a body of water in the title: A River Runs through It, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, The Lake House
  3. A book with a title (queen, president) in the title: The Murder of King Tut, The Count of Monte Cristo, Lady Susan
  4. A book with a plant in the title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Wind in the Willows, The Name of the Rose
  5. A book with a place name (city, country) in the title: Out of Africa; London; Between, Georgia
  6. A book with a music term in the title: Song of Solomon, Ragtime, The Piano Teacher

Currently "Reading":
Book - Critical Mass by Kathleen Henry
E-Book - The Alphabet Challenge by Olga Gardner Galvin
Audio - The 7 Stages of Motherhood: Loving Your Life without Losing Your Mind by Ann Pleshette Murphy

Wife's Guide to Inlaws Review used on author's website

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Recently I reviewed, A Wife's Guide to (difficult) in-laws by Jenna D Barry. The author Ms. Barry has included part of my review on her website. This is very exciting for me because it is my first time one of my reviews has been used in this way. Take a look at her website, poke around a little bit there is a lot of great information there.

Currently "Reading":
Book - Critical Mass by Kathleen Henry
E-Book - The Alphabet Challenge by Olga Gardner Galvin
Audio - The 7 Stages of Motherhood: Loving Your Life without Losing Your Mind by Ann Pleshette Murphy

Book Review - Pride Prejustice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

From the moment my husband sent me a picture of this book that he just happened to see in a book store while he was working out of town I wanted to read it. I like zombies, zombie movies, zombie books and the general idea and mythology of zombies just intrigues me for reasons I can't explain. So,Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! by Seth Grahame-Smith and of course Jane Austen seemed to be right up my alley.

I had forgotten one very important thing, I hate Jane Austen. OK I don't hate Jane Austen personally after all I don't actually know her but I do hate her books. I am a slow reader and her books drag on and on and on in a way that only Charles Dickens can match (yep don't like him either), it's weird because people say to me "you love to read so much but you don't like Jane Austen?" and I say "that's right I don't like her, mainly though it's because she sucks and I can't get past it." other readers who in fact enjoy books like Sense and Sensibility are at times offended but I call it like I see it.

When I announced that I had acquired the audio version of Pride, Prejudice and Zombies a friend told me it was like the original story with zombies thrown in but I didn't take her seriously, I thought how can you just add zombies in to a story like Pride and Prejudice? You have to change the story a bit don't you? surely you do. We'll I will be honest here I have never been able to finish Pride and Prejudice, I've tried but I just can't do it so I can't tell you exactly what is different from the original but I can tell you that it reads just like Pride and Prejudice with zombies thrown in here and there.

The family isn't just down on their luck, they are down on their luck and there are zombies in the fields, according to the review in Bookmarks Magazine as posted on Amazon this book answers some questions that arose in the original novel such as Why were those troops stationed near Hertfordshire? and Why did Charlotte Lucas actually marry Mr. Collins? of course I wouldn't know these questions existed because of my aforementioned aversion to Jane Austen but I am glad the zombies could help.

Even though I didn't love this book it did get me to read a Jane Austen novel and actually I am now very interested in watching at least one of the many movies that have been made from this book just to get a feel for the original story, I guess that's something.

If you are interested you can watch the book trailer here along with a book trailer for Seth Grahame-Smith's newest venture Sense, Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Currently "Reading":
Book - Critical Mass by Kathleen Henry
E-Book - The Alphabet Challenge by Olga Gardner Galvin
Audio - Latest episode of This American Life

Dangerously Funny, the things i find on NPR

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" by David Bianculli was just added to my must read list after another successful perusing of the NPR website. I am really starting to like the NPR website. I have liked the radio station for years but for some reason it has taken me all this time to read their website.
I used to watch the Smothers Brother with my Mom and Dad. Their show was on the air from 1967 - 1969 and I am not that old so they must have been showing reruns on a station I can't remember. I had no idea at the time that they were reruns but I remember loving to watch the show with my parents. It was funny and I didn't always get the joke which let me know it was for grown-ups and the fact that I didn't get the joke and I was still allowed to watch it made me feel grown-up. I had no idea at the time that they were pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable on television and standing up for the freedom of speech. I was just enjoying the moment.
Now as I read excerpts from Dangerously Funny on the Internet and listen to the story on Fresh Air (also on the NPR website) I want to go back and watch those episodes. I want to experience the Smothers Brothers all over again in a totally different way. This book has reopened a door to a part of my life I had almost forgotten and I haven't even read it yet.

Read the NPR article here along with an excerpt from the book and the audio from Fresh Air.

Currently "Reading":
Book - Critical Mass by Kathleen Henry
E-Book - The Alphabet Challenge by Olga Gardner Galvin
Audio - Latest episode of This American Life

5 best books to share with your friends

Friday, December 4, 2009

I am always searching the Internet for new tidbits on books, authors and anything literary. One thing I love about books and especially books in this day and age is that there is a book about anything and furthermore there is always a book I haven't read. New books are published constantly and I can never keep up.
I stumbled upon an article titled: "The Best Five Books To Share With Your Friends" on I haven't heard of any of these books but they all sound great and have now been added to my To Read list.

1. Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo by Werner Herzog
2. Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli
3. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis hopefully I don't have to say the author here
4. The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines by Mike Madrid
5. Everything Matters!: A Novel by Ron Currie Jr.

Read the whole article here

I am really interested in Supergirls and Everything Matters! I wonder if they have them at my library? I'll have to check that out brb...that would be a no, guess I'll check out the bookstore instead. No worries.

Currently "Reading":
Book - Critical Mass by Kathleen Henry
E-Book - The Alphabet Challenge by Olga Gardner Galvin
Audio - Latest episode of This American Life

Book Review - The Songbird in My Heart by Mark Steven Rhoads

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I received The Songbird In My Heart: The Magnificence of Being by Mark Steven Rhoads for review a little while back, I was in the middle of another book at the time so I couldn't start it immediately but I couldn't help but flip through the pages just a little bit. When I did I decided to set it in the bathroom and start picking at it. It made a wonderful warm bath contemplative read.

The pictures are brilliant and calming, a snow covered path, orange and red leaves in Autumn, beautiful flowers in bloom. They are initially what got my attention but as I started to read the words started taking center stage with the pictures as a wonderful supporting cast.

The Songbird In My Heart is honest while at the same time being uplifting. How often do you find that in real life? Not very, but definitely something I would like to experience more of in my day-to-day. Stories from the author's life are gently woven with wonderfully simple, thought provoking poetry and sprinkled with photos that are clear and crisp yet obviously snapped by the author on and around his property in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The fact that the photographer is not a professional makes each photo even more special, he is capturing the world all around him just as his words encourage us to "recognize the simple magnificence that is you."

I loved this book, every little piece about it and I hope beyond hope that Mr. Rhoads writes another as he mentions he intends to do. Sometime when I finish reading a book that I have received for review, I give it to a friend or trade it at a local used book store but this one is going up on my shelf, it's here to stay.

Here is a book trailer I found on Mr. Rhoads website.

Currently "Reading":
Book - Critical Mass by Kathleen Henry
E-Book - The Alphabet Challenge by Olga Gardner Galvin
Audio - none right now hopefully I can pick something up soon.

Doctor Who: The Many Hands by Dale Smith

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This is the first book Doctor Who book I have ever read, but it sure won't be my last. I have wanted to read Dr. Who books for a while now so I started a Doctor Who Reading Challenge to motivate myself, then pickup this book from the local library.
The Doctor loved Rose but I liked Martha Jones so my first Doctor Who book had to be The Doctor and Martha. Doctor Who: The Many Hands by Dale Smith was one of the few Doctor books just waiting for me to read them so I picked it up and gave it a whirl. Smith captured The Doctor's voice so well, the spirit of the book and the TV show is the same and it reads like the roller coaster ride that most of the Television episodes show you.
The Many Hands is fast, fun and highly entertaining. I flat out did not want to put it down, in the beginning there are zombies but of course as Martha and The Doctor dig deeper we find out that the "zombies" are in fact part of a sinister experiment being conducted by a local scientist and his "son" using alien technology. I love when Doctor Who links "real" history into their episodes and books in this one keep an eye open for Benjamin Franklin. This one gets two thumbs up I can't wait to pick up my next Doctor Who novel.

Currently "Reading":
Book - Critical Mass by Kathleen Henry
E-Book - The Alphabet Challenge by Olga Gardner Galvin
Audio - none right now hopefully I can pick something up soon.

Book Review - Wife's Guide to In-Laws by Jenna D. Barry

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I was recently sent an electronic version of Jenna D. Barry's book A Wife's Guide to In-laws: How to Gain Your Husband's Loyalty Without Killing His Parents. I want to start out by saying I don't have a horrible relationship with my in-laws. In the beginning there was some tension, I don't think I am the only one who felt it but I do think that it was mostly due to us all being thrust into a brand new situation and not knowing exactly how to act around the other person. Now we have a pretty good relationship, certainly nothing compared to the overwhelming examples listed in this book. But drawing on those first years of our relationship still trying to figure each other out I can see how a person could become overbearing and uncompromising though I do question how much of it is the in-laws and how much of it is actually the wife.

The constant war with your in-laws will take a toll on your marriage, quite possibly the ultimate toll. Since none of us want that to happen, if you are currently waging this war I suggest you read this book. The Wife's Guide to In-Laws will take you step-by-step through pinpointing exactly what your issues are, setting up a plan to address them and actually following through with the plan you set up with lots of examples along the way. Actual sentences you can use when talking to your in-laws or your husband can give you the extra confidence you need to address the issues you are having with respect and sensitivity while at the same time standing your ground.

At times in situations like this a wife can feel helpless, after all they aren't your parents what right do you have to ask them to back off? The Wife's Guide to In-Laws does a wonderful job of building confidence in the reader letting you know that just because you are married to your husband doesn't mean his family can cross your personal boundaries and make you uncomfortable. You do have the right to respectfully decline an invitation or ask them to call before they just drop by your house. At the heart of this book is the need to be honest with yourself. pick the battles that truly matter most to you then stand your ground in an understanding but firm way.
A Wife's Guide to In-laws: How to Gain Your Husband's Loyalty Without Killing His Parents will teach you how to do just that.

Currently "Reading":
Book - Critical Mass by Kathleen Henry
E-Book - The Alphabet Challenge by Olga Gardner Galvin
Audio - none right now hopefully I can pick something up soon.

Book Trailer -

Monday, November 30, 2009

Here is a book trailer for the book For the Love of St. Nick by Garasamo Maccagnone which I reviewed recently, you can read that review over here.

Currently "Reading":
Book - Doctor Who: The Many Hands by Dale Smith
E-Book - A Wife's Guide to In-laws: How to Gain Your Husband's Loyalty Without Killing His Parents by Jenna D. Barry
Audio - Not listening to anything right now.

What's on My Nightstand

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This post is part of the What's On Your Nightstand carnival hosted over at 5 Minutes for Books

First let's start with the books I finished this month, I actually haven't been keeping track of the books I have been finishing very well so here is what I remember (isn't that awful? Don't answer that.)

1.The Songbird in My Heart by Mark Steven Rhoads. I really liked this one though I haven't finished the review for it yet, must get on that.

2. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. Didn't love this one as much as I had hoped and also late on the reviewing thing. I've been so lazy recently.

3. The Many Hands: a Doctor Who Novel by Dale Smith. I just finished this one this morning, the books are as good as the show, this was the first Dr. Who book I have read and I already picked up a new one from the library. btw I am hosting a Doctor Who Reading Challenge, check it out.

I also read a lot of Kid's books but of course I do that every month. I must have read more books than that but those are the only ones I can remember right now. Lets move on to the ones I have on my nightstand to finish this month.

1. first off is the Wife's Guide to In-Laws by Jenna D Barry. I have been reading this book for a while and I really need to finish it but I like my in-laws so it's a little hard to get through and it's really repetative but more on that when I finish it then review it.

2. The Murder Game a Doctor Who Novel by Steve Lyons. This is the new book I picked up from the library today.

3. Critical Mass by Kathleen Henry this is another one that I am in the middle of, I am liking it so far.

4. Interfictions 2 by various artists. I know people who have stories in this one so I am really looking forward to reading it.

5. The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything) by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein. I am really looking forward to reading this one too. It looks like a great read.

So there you have it my month in review and the month to come, lets see how it works out this time.

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