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Quest to Read Them All – Truths and Roses

The next stop on my Quest to Read Them All brings me to an e-book I downloaded for free as a promo with another book I bought.  As the title of this series suggests, I have set out to read every book I own, even the ones I didn’t actually intend to purchase, and Inglath Cooper’s Truths and Roses was next on my To Be Read List.

Truths and Roses

In this case, not having actually paid for the book was a good thing.  It meant that I wasn’t nearly as annoyed as I would’ve been had I actually spent money on the book.  I just couldn’t get into the story.  I love a good romance novel as much as the next girl.  I can’t get enough of Susan Mallery and Catherine Bybee, but this book just didn’t draw me in.  I couldn’t get behind the romance between the traumatized small town librarian and the forced to retire professional football hero.  The book had all the required ups and downs of a good romance, I just wasn’t caught.  Definitely not one I would recommend or seek out the rest of this author’s stories based on.

 

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Quest to Read Them All – The Time Traveler’s Wife

OK, so I’m considerably behind the times in my To Be Read pile of books, but that’s what happens when your library ends up stored in tubs for an extended period of time…  This week my ongoing Quest To Read Them All has presented a book that I refused to watch the movie adaptation of until I had finished reading the original work.  I purchased Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife at the same time as the rest of the reading public, but I’ve only just gotten around to reading the book.

The Time Traveler's Wife

I’m not so sure I really liked the book.  I hate having to admit things like that, but if I can’t even be honest with myself about my preferences, then what’s the point in sharing my thoughts with the world at large (or at least anyone tat takes the time to read this blog).  I liked the premise of the story.  It was an interesting concept.  I enjoyed trying to keep up with the shifting nature of Henry and Claire’s relationship.  I wasn’t very fond of the almost martyr-like personality that Henry has throughout the story.  Yes he has an “affliction” but instead of making the best of this rare gift, he seems to punish himself and Claire.

I wonder if I will like the book better after I see the movie.  I’ve just added it to my Netflix instant que, so I might just try and watch it tomorrow.  Anyone have any feelings about this story?  Should I have approached it from a different perspective?  What did you guys think of Henry and Claire?  Is it weird that Kimmy was my favorite character?

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Quest to Read Them All – Single by Saturday

As I continue on my Quest to Read Them All I have once again returned to an author I have only recently discovered, but have come to love her work!  Catherine Bybee is a fantastic storyteller.  She creates a reality so compelling that you can consider the characters friends.  The next stop on my quest has brought me to the 4th book in Bybee’s Weekday Brides Series, Single by Saturday.

Single by Saturday

As you all know, I love a good series and this is no exception!  The 4th book in this saga joins Karen and her temporary husband mega-movie star Michael Wolfe as the navigate a difficult trip to Utah to visit his family.  While the tale can stand alone, it ties back nicely to all 3 of the other books in the series.  There are cameos by each of the previous leading couples, and the audience gets some great updates on their lives.  Bybee also introduces several new characters to the series in the form of Michael’s siblings.  Karen and Zach quickly become the main romantic focus, which allows this book to move away from becoming formulaic.  It does deliver a believable HEA (happily ever after), which might seem difficult when the heroine falls in love with her brother-in-law.  I only wish that Michael could have been more open about who he really is with his family and the world, but maybe that will become more plausible in the not so distant future.

I’m really looking forward to Rick and Judy’s story, Taken by Tuesday, which is currently available for pre-order, but isn’t due out until August 12, 2014.  Maybe the publishing gods will take pity on Catherine’s devoted fans and push up the release date, but if not there are still many, many books left in my Quest to Read Them All.

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Quest to Read Them All – Out of Focus

This stop on my Quest to Read Them All is completely accidental, but I might just revisit the town of Adams Grove again.  I was shopping for eBooks on Amazon, and Out of Focus by Nancy Naigle was a bonus book that I got for free when I purchased another book.

Out of Focus

I figured free is good, so what the heck.  Their promotional scheme worked!  Now I want to know about the other residents in Adams Grove, so I’m going to have to go back and check out some of Ms. Naigle’s other stories.  Out of Focus was a nice combination of healing, rebirth, mystery, unrequited love, and burgeoning romance.  It wasn’t over the top in the hearts and flowers department, and it didn’t push reality too far in how the young widow handled moving on after the loss of her husband.  I was engaged by the characters, but I would have liked to meet Turtle Mike and Maggie sooner in the book.  However, that would have made Casey’s growth less believable and the story less wholesome.  Perhaps the author will revisit Casey and Jake.  I also loved the connection and friendship between Casey and Cody.  I want to know more about these people and the quiet little town they call home.  I’m going to go check out Nancy Naigle’s website and see what comes next or maybe before…

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Quest to Read Them All – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

As I continue along on my Quest to Read Them All, I have once again made my way to a childhood favorite.  This is the 10th book in my year long journey to revisit the books I loved as a child.  This month’s book is one I look back on fondly; however, I must admit that the movie held a much larger draw.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl is undoubtedly a children’s literature classic.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I remember enjoying the book, but loving the movie!  Gene Wilder made the character of Willie Wonka come to life in such a fantastic manner.  I saw the movie for the first time in school. (Does anyone else remember fondly the substitute teacher rolling a TV and VCR into the classroom on the top shelf of a 3 tier cart?)  At our very next library period I went looking for a book about the crazy adventures of the eccentric chocolate maker.  I was extremely excited when I found the Roald Dahl classic.  It was so much fun to go back and reread this classic.  I had forgotten how many differences there were between the book and movie.  I guess I superimposed the movie onto the book.  I wanted there to be geese, but there were squirrels.  I wanted the Oompaloompas to have orange skin and green hair, they didn’t.  These differences made reading the book even more fun.  It was cool to go back through and note the parts that were not what I expected or remembered.  I’m now going to have to go dig out my Willy Wonka DVD and find the Johnny Depp version on Netflix.

Which version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is your favorite?  The book? The Gene Wilder movie? or the Johnny Depp movie?

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Quest to Read Them All – Sapphire Blue

This week in my Quest to Read Them All I chose an eBook.  I’ve ready many books on my Kindle.  I am not a purist that must feel the pages between my fingers.  I love all books, and am usually in the middle of at least 3 at any given moment (one or more of which is digital).  This week I read the 2nd book in Kerstin Gier’s time travel trilogy, Sapphire Blue.

Sapphire Blue

It was every bit as good as the first book.  It answered some of the questions left from Ruby Red, while leaving enough unanswered to keep the reader interested enough to look forward to Emerald Green.  In the first book, we met Gwyneth Shepherd, her traveling companion and possible love interest Gideon de Villiers, her best friend Lesley, and a host of other interesting people, ghosts, and demons.  The second book finds us again following Gwen on a slightly confusing  journey through time.  Normally, I really don’t enjoy books that are confusing.  I want the plot to be interesting, entertaining, and enjoyable.  However, the reason that I find the confusion in this trilogy acceptable (entertaining even) is because the reader isn’t the only one confused.  Gwen herself is kept in the dark about the reason and purpose of her time travel.  She had not been trained or prepared as the previous travelers had been for the “mission” connected to the journeys.  This seeming treachery is a key part of what keeps the action going.  I, for one, want to know what and why they are keeping the information from Gwen.   Lesley is on a mission to keep Gwen safe, and plans to do that by keeping her informed and helping her try and figure out what the Circle is hiding from her.  I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens next for Gwen and her friends!

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Quest to Read Them All – Revenge Wears Prada

As I continue on with my Quest to Read Them All, I have made my way back to an author who’s works I have loved and enjoyed.  My first encounter with Lauren Weisberger was reading The Devil Wears Prada.  I fell in love with the book, the characters, and the fashion (oh the fashion).  I was less enamored of her later works, but I was too intrigued by her return to the Devil that I loved to hate to pass up the chance to add Revenge Wears Prada to my library when it came out.

Revenge Wears Prada

The old saying, “You can never go home again,” is very applicable in this situation.  The book opens with a terrifying dream sequence centering around Andy Sachs and the infamous Miranda Priestly, but that isn’t the direction the book takes.  Yes, Miranda does play a part in the book, but the book centers around Andy’s life and new business venture.  We catch up with some of the other characters from the first book, but the most amazing return was Emily.  Emily, the infamous 1st Assistant to Miranda during Andy’s tenure at Runway, and Andy have joined forces to launch a specialty magazine called The Plunge.  The premise of the book was interesting and plausible (in a high end Manhattan sort of way), but it just didn’t catch me in the same way that the original did.  I missed the high paced craziness, and the way that the book centered around the magazine in The Devil Wears Prada.  The second book was less focused.  It seemed to be missing something as a result.  I still enjoyed Andy, but I was disappointed in her lack of growth, despite the 10 year time difference in the two works.   Overall, I enjoyed the book, but it won’t be an automatic reread, and I probably wouldn’t go see the movie (if there ever was one).

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