Owlie13's Tag, You're It! 1010 Challenge

Talk1010 Category Challenge

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Owlie13's Tag, You're It! 1010 Challenge

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Edited: Dec 27, 2009, 10:51 am

D'oh! I've changed my mind already. I decided the tag choices was too limiting. So, I'm going the more traditional route including 'clever' category titles.

1. By the Book (police/police procedural)
2. Foreign Fare (books set outside the U.S.)
3. Daffy for Digits (numbers in the title)
4. Deadly in the Dark (urban fantasy or noir mysteries)
5. Fabulous Firsts (first in a series)
6. Memories of Me (biography/memoir)
7. Prose from the Past (historical fiction)
8. Spooky and Sexy (paranormal and/or paranormal romance)
9. Suspenseful Stories (suspense/thriller)
10. Tomorrow's Thrills (science and speculative fiction)

Edited: May 18, 2010, 11:31 pm

By the Book
1. Freezer Burn by D.H. Dublin (started 10/11/09 -- finished 10/13/09)
2. Scattered Graves by Beverly Connor (started 12/26/09 -- finished 12/29/09)
3. Undone by Karin Slaughter (started 01/09/10 -- finished 01/11/10)
4. You'd Better Believe It by Bill James (started 02/06/10 -- finished 02/06/10)
5. Dust to Dust by Beverly Connor (started 02/26/10 -- finished 03/02/10)
6. The Darker Side by Cody McFadyen (started 03/09/10 -- finished 03/11/10)
7. The Mercedes Coffin by Faye Kellerman (started 03/26/10 -- finished 03/31/10)
8. Par Four by Elizabeth Gunn (started 04/08/10 -- finished 04/09/10)
9. In The Dark by Brian Freeman (started 05/01/10 -- finished 05/03/10)
10. Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs (started 05/14/10 -- finished 05/16/10)

Edited: Jul 22, 2010, 10:45 am

Foreign Fare
1. In the Woods by Tana French -- Ireland (started 10/10/09 - finished 10/11/09)
2. Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason -- Iceland (started 10/23/09 - finished 10/25/09)
3. Quiet as a Nun by Antonia Fraser -- England (started 12/13/09 -- finished 12/16/09)
4. Sky Burial by Xinran -- Tibet (started and finished 01/26/10)
5. Raven Black by Ann Cleeves -- Shetland Islands (started 02/17/10 -- finished 02/19/10)
6. The Delicate Storm by Giles Blunt -- Ontario, Canada (started 03/03/10 -- finished 03/05/10)
7. The Chemistry of Death by beckettsimon::Simon Beckett -- Norfolk, UK (started 03/13/10 -- finished 03/14/10)
8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson -- Sweden (started 04/11/10 -- finished 04/14/10)
9. Haunted Ground by Erin Hart -- Ireland (started 07/15/10 -- finished 07/17/10)
10. Snow Angels by James Thompson -- Finland (started 07/20/10 -- finished 07/22/10)

Edited: Oct 5, 2010, 10:59 am

Daffy for Digits
0. Patient Zero by maberryjonathan::Jonathan Maberry (started 07/09/10 -- finished 07/12/10)
1. One Drop of Blood by hollandthomas::Thomas Holland (started 11/27/09 -- finished 12/02/09)
2. Two Journeys by Clemens P. Suter (started 07/17/10 -- finished 07/20/10)
3. Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding (started 01/02/10 -- finished 01/05/10)
4. Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest (started 04/02/10 -- finished 04/05/10)
5. Five Card Stud by Elizabeth Gunn (started 04/10/10 -- finished 04/10/10)
6. Six Geese A-Slaying by Donna Andrews (started 03/14/10 - finished 03/14/10)
7. Seven Up by Janet Evanovich (started 09/23/10 -- finished 09/26/10)
8. Eight Days to Live by Iris Johansen (started 08/19/10 -- finished 08/23/10)
9. 9 Dragons by Michael Connelly (started 11/23/09 -- finished 11/25/09)

Edited: Apr 25, 2010, 1:31 am

Deadly in the Dark
1. Paths Not Taken by Simon R. Green (started 10/14/09 -- finished 10/15/09)
2. Greywalker by Kat Richardson (started and finished 10/16/09)
3. Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (started 10/26/09 -- finished 10/27/09)
4. City of Souls by Vicki Pettersson (started 12/03/09 -- finished 12/04/09)
5. Prey by Rachel Vincent (started 12/05/09 -- finished 12/08/09)
6. Vicious Circle by Mike Carey (started 01/15/10 -- finished 01/20/10)
7. Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews (started 02/19/10 -- finished 02/24/10)
8. Strange Brew edited by P.N. Elrod (started 03/21/10 -- finished 03/23/10)
9. Norse Code by Greg van Eekhout (started 04/05/10 -- finished 04/07/10)
10. Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison (started 04/17/10 -- finished 4/22/10)

Edited: May 25, 2010, 12:22 am

Fabulous Firsts
1. Dog on It by Spencer Quinn (started 12/09/09 -- finished 12/10/09)
2. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (started 12/20/09 -- finished 12/22/09)
3. Trick of the Light by Rob Thurman (started 12/29/09 -- finished 01/01/10)
4. The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton (started 01/27/10 -- finished 02/01/10)
5. Already Dead by Charlie Huston (started 02/24/10 -- finished 02/25/10)
6. Undone by Rachel Caine (started 03/12/10 -- finished 03/13/10)
7. Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels (started 03/15/10 -- finished 03/17/10)
8. Triple Play by Elizabeth Gunn (started 03/19/10 -- finished 03/21/10)
9. Child of Fire by Harry Connolly (started 04/15/10 -- finished 04/16/10)
10. The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz (started 05/24/10 -- finished 05/24/10)

Edited: Oct 5, 2010, 10:58 am

Memories of Me
1. Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford (started 10/20/09 -- finished 10/23/09)
2. Escape by Carolyn Jessop (started 10/27/09 -- finished 10/29/09)
3. In My Hands by Irene Gut Opdyke (started 11/26/09 -- finished 11/27/09)
4. Lost Splendor by youssoupofffelixprin::Prince Felix Youssoupoff (started 02/02/10 -- finished 02/05/10)
5. Zelda: A Biography by Nancy Milford (started 02/11/10 -- "finished" 02/16/10)
6. Just Imagine by Michelle Caffrey (started 05/12/10 -- finished 05/13/10)
7. The Liars' Club by Mary Karr (started 05/16/10 -- finished 05/18/10)
8. The Know-it-All by A.J. Jacobs (started 08/04/10 -- finished 08/06/10)
9. Winging It by Jenny Gardiner (started 08/23/10 -- finished 09/02/10)
10. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher (started 10/04/10 -- finished 10/05/10)

Edited: Aug 3, 2010, 11:41 pm

Prose from the Past
1. Murderers Prefer Blondes by Amanda Matetsky (1950's) (started 11/12/09 -- finished 11/17/09)
2. Veil of Lies by Jeri Westerson (1384 London) (started 01/21/10 -- finished 01/22/10)
3. The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld (1909 New York) (started 05/03/10 -- finished 05/06/10)
4. The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard (1830 West Point Academy) (started 05/20/10 -- finished 05/23/10)
5. The Unquiet Bones by Melvin R. Starr (1300's London) (started 05/27/10 -- finished 05/28/10)
6. The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox (Victorian England) (started 06/02/10 -- finished 06/10/10)
7. Ode to a Banker by Lindsey Davis (ancient Rome) (started 06/17/10 -- finished 06/19/10)
8. The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl (late 19th century Boston) (started 06/23/10 -- finished 06/26/10)
9. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (1907 Wisconsin) (started 07/22/10 -- finished 07/24/10)
10. Dissolution by C. J. Sansom (1537 England) (started 07/27/10 - finished 07/31/10)

Edited: Aug 13, 2010, 10:01 pm

Spooky and Sexy
1. Definitely Dead by harrischarlain::Charlaine Harris (started 10/17/09 -- finished 10/20/09)
2. Demon Ex Machina by Julie Kenner (started 11/01/09 -- finished 11/04/09)
3. A Vision of Murder by Victoria Laurie (started 11/07/09 -- finished 11/10/09)
4. Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh (started 12/23/09 -- finished 12/26/09)
5. Wolf at the Door by Christine Warren (started 01/24/10 -- finished 01/25/10)
6. Broken by Kelley Armstrong (started 03/06/10 -- finished 03/09/10)
7. On the Edge by Ilona Andrews (started 04/25/10 -- finished 04/27/10)
8. Killer Insight by Victoria Laurie (started 05/19/10 -- finished 05/20/10)
9. Me and My Shadow by Katie MacAlister (started 05/29/10 -- finished 06/02/10)
10. Dead and Kicking by Wendy Roberts (started and finished 08/12/2010)

Edited: Jun 16, 2010, 9:56 pm

Suspenseful Stories
1. Just After Sunset by Stephen King (started 10/29/09 -- finished 11/01/09)
2. Kill Chain by Meg Gardiner (started 11/04/09 -- finished 11/07/09)
3. Lying with Strangers by James Grippando (started 11/10/09 -- finished 11/12/09)
4. The Furies by Bill Napier (started 11/20/09 -- finished 11/23/09)
5. Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger (started 01/06/10 -- finished 01/08/10)
6. Dark Tiger by William G. Tapply (started 03/17/10 -- finished 03/19/10)
7. The Enemy by Lee Child (started 03/24/10 -- finished 03/26/10)
8. Hallowed Ground by Lori G. Armstrong (started 04/23/10 -- finished 04/24/10)
9. The Devil's Punchbowl by Greg Iles (started 04/27/10 -- finished 05/01/10)
10. Night Kills by John Lutz (started 06/15/10 -- finished 06/16/10)

Edited: Jul 8, 2010, 2:44 pm

Tomorrow's Thrills
1. Mars Life by Ben Bova (started 11/18/09 -- finished 11/20/09)
2. Salvation in Death by J.D. Robb (started 12/16/09 -- finished 12/20/09)
3. Endurance by viehlsl::S.L. Viehl (started 01/12/10 -- finished 01/15/10)
4. Night Train to Rigel by timothyzahn::Timothy Zahn (started 02/07/10 -- finished 02/10/10)
5. Riverworld and Other Stories by Philip Jose Farmer (started 03/31/10 -- finished 04/02/10)
6. Brain Thief by Alexander Jablokov (started 05/07/10 -- finished 05/11/10)
7. Steal Across the Sky by Nancy Kress (started 06/11/10 -- finished 06/12/10)
8. Turning Point by Lisanne Norman (started 06/13/10 -- finished 06/14/10)
9. Chimera by Rob Thurman (started 07/02/10 -- finished 07/03/10)
10. Consequences by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (started 07/03/10 - finished 07/07/10)

Sep 17, 2009, 8:29 pm

Some great categories you have selected. I will be watching how you fill them up. Have a good challenge.

Sep 18, 2009, 1:10 am

I like your categories - catchy titles, too!

Oct 10, 2009, 11:57 am

First up: In The Woods by Tana French. I've heard good things about this book - so far it's living up to them. I can't get the touchstone to work in the listing post, keeps sending it to A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Sigh.

Edited: Oct 10, 2009, 10:17 pm

Bryson's A Walk in the Woods is an awesome book if you haven't read it!! We actually ended up hiking some of the AT because of that book.
Love your categories btw. Good luck.

Oct 10, 2009, 10:18 pm

#15 - actually I have. I've read a few of his books and enjoyed them quite a bit. It's just that it's quite a different read than the Tana French novel.

Oct 11, 2009, 1:08 pm

Finished In the Woods today. Really an amazing book - gives you such a great sense of place and atmosphere. I will definitely read more by French.

Oct 12, 2009, 10:21 am

Believe it or not, but The Likeness is even better than In the Woods. An excellent beginning to your Challenge.

Oct 17, 2009, 11:32 am

While on a business trip in Philadelphia, I finished three books. 5 hour flights make it easy!

Freezer Burn by D.H. Dublin
-- enjoyable series set in Philadelphia (coincidence!) about a Crime Scene Unit. Some interesting twists in this one.

Paths Not Taken by Simon R. Green
-- one of his Nightshade series with John Taylor. This one involves time travel and as the characters say, "that makes my head hurt". This volume explained some happenings from earlier in the series, which is always nice. He really has created an incredible world with the Nightside.

Greywalker by Kat Richardson
-- first novel in the series. Urban fantasy, set in Seattle. The main character (a PI) dies for 2 minutes after a brutal attack, and when she is revived is able to see and (somewhat) enter "The Grey" -- a space between our world and another. Some original concepts. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Oct 20, 2009, 10:59 am

Definitely Dead -- Charlaine Harris
-- One of the Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire) mysteries. A new love interest for Sookie and not much time spent at home -- lots of interaction with the Vampire Queen in New Orleans. I had stopped reading this series for a while (no real reason) but I'm glad I started back up again. I have about 4 more waiting for me.

Oct 23, 2009, 11:21 am

Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford
-- Interesting memoir from Jessica Mitford "the great muckraking journalist". Originally written in 1960, it tells of her upbringing in England and ends when her husband of three years goes off to fight in World War II. Gives an insight into both England and the United States of the early 20th Century, especially the years leading up to WWII.

Edited: Oct 25, 2009, 7:09 pm

Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason
-- I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I know nothing about Iceland, and this book really captured the flavor of that country for me. Excellent character development - I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

Oct 26, 2009, 9:26 am

#22 I love this series and am currently waiting for Arctic Chill from the library.

Oct 26, 2009, 11:52 pm

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
-- From the Mercy Thompson series. She can 'shape-shift' into a coyote, but she's not a were-animal. She was, however, raised by werewolves, and counts them among her closest friends. In this volume, we learn much more about the fae and Mercy comes to a decision about her future. An enjoyable series.

Edited: Nov 1, 2009, 4:50 pm

Escape by Carolyn Jessop

-- All I really knew about polygamy was what I learned from the HBO series, "Big Love". This is the frightening (and all too real) story of Carolyn Blackmore Jessop, who was born into the radical polygamist cult of the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter-Day Saints. She tells her story from her life as child with two mothers, including her physically abusive (and apparently mentally ill) birth mother through her 17-year marriage to Warren Jessop. From age 18 to 35, she had eight children and suffered incredible emotional abuse at the hands of both her husband (who was 32 years her senior) and his many other wives.

Ultimately, it is a story of hope, as Carolyn does escape this life (at no small cost) and became the first woman to gain full custody of her children after leaving the FLDS.

Nov 1, 2009, 4:50 pm

Just After Sunset -- short stories by Stephen King

-- A new collection of stories from the "Master of Horror". A fairly mixed bag in terms of genre: supernatural, suspense, gross-out, subtle horror. Likewise, a somewhat mixed bag of quality, but overall I enjoyed reading it. I haven't been crazy about his newer novels, but these stories are more what I'm used to with King. I think my favorite was "The Things They Left Behind", a story about the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy. Very moving. Recommended.

Nov 4, 2009, 10:41 am

Demon Ex Machina by Julie Kenner

-- The premise of this series is "What if Buffy the Vampire Slayer grew up, moved to the suburbs and became a soccer mom?" Kate Connor has to deal with a toddler, a teenage daughter who wants to be a Demon Hunter like her mom, her husband who has just learned her secret and a couple of the biggest, baddest demons to ever walk the earth. I thoroughly enjoy this series - this book is the 5th installment.

Nov 5, 2009, 10:43 pm

You're off to a flying start. Demon Ex Machina sounds interesting, I will have to check into that series.

Nov 7, 2009, 4:39 pm

Kill Chain by Meg Gardiner

-- 5th book (and last so far) in the Evan Delaney series. This story takes Evan from California to Bangkok and London in an effort to save her father. Lots of action and suspense -- a little more far-fetched than her other books -- but thrilling and a good read. According to the author, there are more stories to be told about Evan - I hope so, since the ending of this one was pretty open-ended.

Nov 10, 2009, 10:46 am

A Vision of Murder by Victoria Laurie

-- From the "Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye" series. In this installment, Abby has to deal with a haunted house, an injured (and cranky) boyfriend, stolen jewels, ghosts, and a sister who has reached her wits' end with their parents. The author of this series is also a professional psychic, and every time I finish one of her books, I'm tempted to have a reading done. Recommended.

Nov 12, 2009, 9:26 pm

Lying with Strangers by James Grippando

-- A stand-alone thriller. A first-year resident goes through a "series of bizarre and frightening events" -- including cybersex, stalking, lawsuits, infidelity, familial betrayal, and murder. The pace moves along pretty swiftly, and there are some neat twists and turns, however, and I'm not sure why, I just didn't care for the book. It's really nothing I can put my finger on, it's usually the sort of book I enjoy. I didn't really care all that much about the characters though. Maybe it's a book more suited for the beach or on a long airplane ride.

Edited: Nov 18, 2009, 8:50 am

Murderers Prefer Blondes by Amanda Matetsky

-- Set in 1954 New York City, this book is the first in a series about Paige Turner (yes, she knows all the jokes about her name) who is a secretary/proof reader at a detective magazine, but who really wants to be a writer. Given the climate of the time, this is not as easy as it sounds now. While working on her true mystery story, Paige manages to get very involved in trying to solve a murder, despite the handsome police detective telling her not to worry "her pretty little head about it."

The book does give a real sense of that time and place, but it was a little heavy-handed with the pop culture references. People don't really say "and then I picked up my Lucky Strikes cigarettes and walked over to my Sylvania TV." I enjoyed it enough to give the next in the series a try -- maybe that one won't be quite so insistent about establishing the fact that it's 1954.

Edited: Nov 20, 2009, 11:46 pm

Mars Life by Ben Bova

-- 'Hard' science fiction combined with social commentary. The story details the interactions of the ultraconservative religious right, the Navaho nation, and the Mars explorers -- science, politics and religion clash with sometimes explosive results. Some of the short chapters don't really lead anywhere, the portrayal of most of the religious leaders and the politicians is a little heavy-handed, and the ending is a little abrupt, but some interesting concepts are presented. I don't read a lot of science fiction any more, but I enjoyed this one.

Edited: Dec 13, 2009, 10:32 am

The Furies by Bill Napier

-- I probably could have put this in the 'historical fiction' category, since about half of the book takes place in 1940's Nazi Germany, but I left it in the 'suspense' category.

A biochemical weapon explodes in Arizona, and there seems to be ties to a top-secret Nazi bioweapon program. There are some convoluted relationships between various intelligence agencies and the story goes from London to Hollywood to Siberia. As I noted, a large chunk of the narrative tells the story of a German soldier/scientist who works on a top-secret weapon program where the goal is to disperse anthrax and sarin over London and Washington DC. I actually found that part of the story more interesting, and was somewhat disappointed every time the narrative switched back to the present. All in all, it was a pretty good story, and I recommend it for people who like conspiracy and thrillers.

Nov 26, 2009, 11:05 am

Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly

-- 15th in the Harry Bosch series and this one takes us from California to Hong Kong, where Bosch's ex-wife and daughter live. A murder of a liquor store owner leads Bosch to investigate the crime rings known as the triads, as well as his daughter's kidnapping. A fast-paced thriller with a different feel from the other books in the series -- not as much actual detective work and more action. Some interesting themes including duty to family. I don't think I would suggest this being the first Harry Bosch book you read, and I don't think it's totally representative of the rest of the series. But I do recommend it.

Nov 26, 2009, 11:47 am

>35 owlie13:

I had the same reaction. It was pretty pedestrian until about 1/2-way through, then took off.

Nov 27, 2009, 6:03 pm

In My Hands by Irene Gut Opdyke

-- A very powerful book written by a true hero. Irene was a 16-year old nursing student in Poland in the fall of 1939. When the Nazis invaded, this Catholic girl (who looked German) was brutally attacked and left for dead by Russian soldiers. Her subsequent journey took her into Russia where she worked in a hospital, back into German-occupied territory where she eventually became the housekeeper and mistress of a Nazi Major. Along the way she gave warnings to the Jewish ghettos when pogroms were coming, brought food and supplies to refugees hiding in the woods, single-handedly saved a dozen Jews by hiding them in the Major's house, and fought in the Resistance. This is an amazing book, in part because of the simple prose and almost matter-of-fact retelling of her heroism. Love, not Hate.

Nov 27, 2009, 10:58 pm

In My Hands sounds like quite a book! It's immediately going on my wish list.

Edited: Dec 3, 2009, 8:56 am

One Drop of Blood by Thomas Holland

--Interesting novel that takes you from the jungles of Vietnam in 1966 to a present-day small Arkansas town. The deaths of a Navy corpsman and a "John Doe" corpse are somehow intertwined and it's up to the Director of the US Army Central Identification Lab and an FBI agent to solve the mystery of how and why. You can tell this is the author's first book - there are some missteps along the way but nothing too serious. I did have a bit of a hard time following some of the DNA explanation as to how the different parties got involved, but I think that was just me. Overall, I would recommend the book. You certainly get an insight into the difficulties of identifying the war dead, and into small town Arkansas. After the descriptions of the heat and the chiggers, I don't think I would want to visit there in the summer!

Dec 4, 2009, 11:36 pm

City of Souls by Vicki Pettersson

-- 4th in the "Signs of the Zodiac" urban fantasy series. I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series, about a woman who realizes that she's actually a 'superhero' - a member of a troop of 12 (agents of the Light) who guard the city against the Shadow agents. It really brought some new twists to the genre. But by the 4th book, I'm starting to get very tired of all the darkness (no pun intended) and the fact that there seems to be a year of unhappiness and angst for every 5 minutes of joy. Betrayals abound and it's just unrelenting. I realize that these types of books are gritty by definition, but there has to be something besides continual misery for me to enjoy and appreciate the characters. So, again, I'm just not sure how I feel about the book. Not a rousing recommendation.

Edited: Dec 11, 2009, 1:26 am

Prey by Rachel Vincent

-- 4th in the Werecats series, and another good story. Faythe's boyfriend has been banned from the territory, she has to help a terrified teen with her Were Shift, and is on her way to the trial of another tabby who faces a death sentence. New responsibilities, betrayal and death are just a part of what happens. Edgy and dark, but not entirely bleak, this book sets the stage for a major confrontation between the different factions in Werecat society. A very good urban fantasy series and highly recommended.

Dec 11, 2009, 1:25 am

Dog on It by Spencer Quinn

-- Very enjoyable mystery, the first in the Chet and Bernie series. Bernie Little is an ex-cop turned private eye, but the star of the book is the narrator, his partner Chet. Chet just happens to be a dog. The mystery part is not the best, but the clever narration saves the book. It really sounds like a dog is telling the story - at least what I think a dog would sound like if he could narrate a story. Very creative and I'm looking forward to the sequel. Highly recommended (especially to dog owners/lovers).

Dec 16, 2009, 10:51 am

Quiet as a Nun by Antonia Fraser

-- This was a re-read, but I probably read it first over 25 years ago, so I really didn’t remember what happened. This is part of the Jemima Shore (investigative TV reporter) series; in this installment she is called back to the convent school where she spent her youth. The Reverend Mother wants her help in solving a mystery involving the strange death of Jemima’s childhood friend, who had become a nun. Originally published in 1977, the book is somewhat dated, but it’s an interesting mystery as well as a look at the politics and society of that time. Jemima’s lover is a married M.P. and while he’s off-screen for most of the book, there is a real undercurrent of such things as Catholicism, the poor and the influence of television.

Dec 20, 2009, 6:45 pm

Salvation in Death by J.D. Robb

-- One of the "In Death" series, with Eve Dallas as a police lieutenant of a future New York. The formula is pretty predictable, but the story was interesting with enough twists to keep your attention. If you like the series, this is a fairly good installment.

Edited: Dec 22, 2009, 11:33 pm

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

-- One of the best urban fantasies I've read in a long time. Some very original ideas (which isn't easy to do any more in this genre). As one of the blurbs says, this is a perfect blend of the two elements 'urban' and 'fantasy'. I've already pre-ordered the 2nd in the series, which isn't due out until March. Short version of the story: a Changeling (Faerie mother, human father) has to find the murderer of one of the pureblood "secret regents" of San Francisco. (When I say she "has to", I mean it. If she doesn't, she will die.) Highly recommended.

Dec 23, 2009, 12:13 am

45> I loved Rosemary and Rue as well! I was getting tired of the "Ass kicking urban fantasy chick" genre and wasn't even going to read that book but I am so glad I did! It was a fresh premise, some very good writing and I cannot wait for the second one to come out!!

Dec 24, 2009, 12:07 pm

45, 46> I don't read a ton of urban fantasy, but Rosemary and Rue sounds good enough that I've added it to my wishlist.

Dec 26, 2009, 10:50 pm

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

-- Paranormal romance with a fair amount of "romance" (erotic interludes). Interesting concept - there are basically three types of humanity: Psy who have removed all emotions from their lives, Changelings (weres) and humans. None of the groups want much to do with each other. One Psy woman, who thinks she is broken because she is feeling emotions meets an Alpha of a pack of were-cats. In addition to dealing with each other, they try to find out who is killing changeling women. An intriguing mystery as well as some pretty steamy 'romantic' scenes. Overall, a pretty good beginning to a series. Recommended (if you like this genre).

Dec 29, 2009, 8:59 pm

Scattered Graves by Beverly Connor

-- "A Diane Fallon Forensic Investigation". In the last book, Diane was replaced as the head of the crime lab after a new mayor was elected. This installment deals with the aftermath of that in addition to the murders of both the new mayor and the newly-appointed chief of police. Good twists and a nice fast pace to the story. Recommended.

Dec 30, 2009, 9:07 am

Fun list! I'm going to follow your "Memories of Me" category - I have a memoir category on my challenge list that needs to be filled in, and the three you've read so far look really interesting to me.

Dec 30, 2009, 9:24 am

Thanks for the review of Rosemary and Rue. Amazon has been pushing it at me so it's been on my horizon for awhile. With these positive words it just bumped up a notch on the TBR.

Dec 30, 2009, 10:31 am

#50 - Thanks. The next one I'm going to read is by Prince Felix Yusoupoff (the man responsible for the death of Rasputin). Russian history has always fascinated me.

Dec 30, 2009, 10:31 am

#51 - It really was a good book - I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Jan 1, 2010, 11:37 pm

Trick of the Light by Rob Thurman

-- The first of a new series by the author of the Cal Leandros books. This one takes place in Nevada, and tells the story of a bar owner who is out to revenge the death of her brother. She is looking for an artifact known as the Light, and plans to use it to find out the name of her brother's killer. Lots of action and quite a few twists, some of which are somewhat obvious but others that really are surprising. The writing was a little off - quite a bit of unnecessary repetition of details - but overall a satisfying start to the series. Recommended.

Jan 6, 2010, 1:00 am

Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding

-- Another first in a series. Lots of action but clearly not an invicible heroine -- after all, she starts out dead. Some very interesting characters and a new spin on vampires (Bloods), goblins and trolls. Recommended.

Jan 9, 2010, 10:40 am

Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger

-- What would you do if the life you thought you had was just a series of lies? Granted, they were beautiful lies, but still... Ridley Jones has to answer that question when she finds a package on her door that sends her down a path of discovery. A good story, fairly well-written. The narrator often speaks directly to the reader, saying things like "you probably don't think that was very smart, do you?" Very suspenseful with twists and turns throughout. I did find the heroine a little dense - she was having trouble figuring out things that seemed quite clear to me. But then again, I had the advantage of sitting on my couch reading, not actually living these events. All in all, recommended.

Jan 11, 2010, 11:28 pm

Undone by Karin Slaughter

-- This installment takes place a few years after the shocking events in Beyond Reach. It also brings together the characters in her two series: Sara Linton from Grant County and Will Trent/Faith Mitchell from the Atlanta series. As usual, Slaughter spins an engrossing tale of evil and psychological suspense. I read another review commenting that Sara felt like a ghost in this book, and I found that true. While she plays an important role, I really felt like she was just going through the motions. The real stars of the book are GBI agents Trent and Mitchell. Given the horrific events, I don't feel right saying I enjoyed this book, but I certainly recommend it. Warning - the torture descriptions are especially graphic and not for the faint of heart/stomach.

Jan 15, 2010, 10:49 am

Endurance by S.L. Viehl

-- Well, that's two books in a row where torture plays a prominent role. Endurance continues the "Stardoc" series, with the main character enduring her capture and slavery of the brutal Hsktskt (and no, I never really pronounced that name while I was reading it). Lots of action, some new alien species discovered, and the usual twists and betrayals. It does end on a hopeful note, however, so I'm praying that the next installment is a little less violent.

Edited: Jan 20, 2010, 10:28 pm

Vicious Circle by Mike Carey

-- Exorcists, were-animals, a succubi who is trying to be human, zombies and ghosts: all these and more can be found in Vicious Circle. Felix Castor (an exorcist) is trying to find the soul of a young girl but he's not the only one. His quest takes him through plenty of action and some nice character development. If you are looking for urban fantasy with a strong male protagonist, I highly recommend this series.

Jan 21, 2010, 7:51 am

I am really enjoying the Felix castor series, it nice to know I am not the only one!

Jan 22, 2010, 8:34 pm

Veil of Lies by Jeri Westerson

-- Very enjoyable "medieval noir" set in 14th C. London. Crispin Guest is a disgraced knight who must now make a living using his wits as "The Tracker", finder of lost things. He's hired to find out if a merchant's wife is unfaithful, but the merchant is murdered before Guest can make his report. While trying to solve that murder, he comes across an international plot as well as a mysterious religious relic. I don't read a lot of books of this genre, but I'm going to be looking for more by this author. Highly recommended.

Jan 26, 2010, 12:27 am

Wolf at the Door by Christine Warren

-- I thought this was the first in a series, but turns out it wasn't. That's OK though -- the series is really about the world of The Others, not these individual characters, so I didn't feel like I was coming into the middle of the story. The Others are the weres, shapeshifters, witches, vampires, etc. who inhabit our world and are trying to decide whether or not to reveal themselves. Some pretty erotic encounters between the two main characters. I think I'm deciding I prefer the supernatural part to the sexy part of this category. But if you like this genre, you would probably enjoy this book.

Jan 27, 2010, 12:38 am

Sky Burial by Xinran

-- I picked this out for my "X" author in the alpha challenge; it's not a book I would normally read. I'm glad I did. This fairly short book (201 pages but big type and large margins) tells the story of Shu Wen who travels from her home in China to Tibet in search of the truth about her husband who was reported dead. They had only been married for 100 days when she received the news from the Army. Over the next 30-odd years (starting in 1959) she lives in the "vast landscape" of Tibet, spending most of that time with a Tibetan family who rescued her. This is an amazing story of love, faith, and survival. Recommended, especially if you want to learn more about Tibet and its people.

Feb 1, 2010, 11:01 pm

The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton

-- Well, I wanted to like this book. I've always been intrigued by archaeology and love a good mystery. I'm not sure where this story went wrong for me, but it was a real struggle to finish it. There were some interesting facts about Mayan history, but I didn't read this as a history book. The dialogue was pretty clumsy as well. Overall, not recommended.

Edited: Feb 6, 2010, 12:41 am

Lost Splendor by Prince Felix Youssoupoff

-- Fascinating memoir by the man who killed Rasputin. Written in 1953, Prince Felix tells his life story from birth to his flight from Russia in 1919. Along the way he tells stories about the Royal Family and, of course, the murder of Gregory Efimovich Rasputin. Recommended, especially if you're interested in Russian history.

Feb 6, 2010, 2:50 am

I read The Xibalba Murders for my X read in the Alphabet Challenge. I too was very disappointed. What's even worst, when I ordered The Xibalba Murders I also ordered the next two in the series!

Feb 7, 2010, 12:10 am

You'd Better Believe It by Bill James

-- Police procedural set in a small town outside of London. Written in 1985, this is the first in the series of Detective Colin Harpur novels. It was interesting for me to see the differences (and similarities) between US and British police. A quick and enjoyable read. Recommended.

Feb 10, 2010, 11:30 pm

Night Train to Rigel by Timothy Zahn

-- Combination thriller/mystery/science fiction about a plot to take over the galaxy's transportation system. Plenty of action and aliens that looks like giant chipmunks, combined with a real mystery. I had some trouble understanding the technical bits, but then again, I always do. I'll more than likely look for other books in the series. Recommended.

Feb 16, 2010, 9:00 pm

Zelda: A Biography by Nancy Milford

-- Well, I tried. I read every word of the first 126 pages, then skimmed the remaining 250. But I'm calling this one done. It was an interesting portrayal of an interesting woman and her time, but there was just SO MUCH detail! This was originally written as a doctoral dissertation and it shows. It felt like every day of Scott and Zelda's life together was mentioned -- each and every day. In addition, a large portion of the book is taken up with reprinting letters and other writings. Only recommended if you are extremely interested in the 1920's/1930's or the Fitzgeralds.

Edited: Feb 19, 2010, 4:43 pm

Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

-- I certainly see why this is an award-winning book. Excellent character development, great sense of place (the Shetland Islands) and an engrossing mystery concerning a missing child and a murdered young woman. I will definitely be on the lookout for the other two books in this series. Highly recommended.

Feb 24, 2010, 10:44 am

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

-- Excellent addition to the Kate Daniels series. The bulk of the story takes place at the Midnight Games, an ultimate preternatural fighting tournament. Andrews has done a great job of creating this alternate-universe Atlanta where magic and mundane take turns in the world. I really am enjoying this series and recommend it highly to anyone looking for a good urban fantasy (with a little romance thrown in).

Feb 25, 2010, 11:08 pm

Already Dead by Charlie Huston

-- Wow. I've heard quite a bit about these books, but this was my first exposure to the world of Joe Pitt, Vampyres and Charlie Huston. It's a wild ride - not for the faint of heart - and a very different vampire world than that of Charlaine Harris et al. One review (Fangoria) called it "Hard-boiled horror, pulp noir vampires, decaying urban souls" which is an apt description. I'm definitely going to pick up the other books in this series.

Feb 26, 2010, 8:47 am

Huh. If I'm ever tempted to dive into the paranormal genre, that sounds like more my style. Are you positive that the vampires come without feelings and hair gel?

Feb 26, 2010, 8:55 am

#73 -- Well, I won't say they don't have feelings, but not the way you are thinking. I did not, however, see a drop of hair gel. I definitely think it would be worth a try. It was a pretty quick read - took me three bus rides (about 30 minutes each).

Mar 3, 2010, 11:35 am

Dust to Dust by Beverly Connor

-- Another "Diane Fallon Forensic Investigation". This one involves plenty of murders, ranging from 60+ years ago to present-day. Interesting facts about pottery presented along the way. This is one series that I think does get better as it goes along. Some stilted dialogue, but I can live with it. Recommended.

Mar 6, 2010, 12:07 am

The Delicate Storm by Giles Blunt

-- Sequel to Forty Words for Sorrow, one of the best mysteries I've ever read. I enjoyed The Delicate Storm - it's a very different novel than the first one, but good in its own right. Another eloquent portrayal of the Canadian North. Highly recommended.

Edited: Mar 9, 2010, 8:54 pm

Broken by Kelley Armstrong

-- One of the "Women of the Underworld" books, this entry returns to Elena Michaels, who is the werewolf featured in the first two books of the series. Elena is pregnant, and as the only living female werewolf, you can imagine how important this pregnancy is. Throw in a time portal, Jack the Ripper, zombies, a vampire, witches and sorcerers, and you've got "Broken".

Lots of action and a few twists. Overall, enjoyable and recommended.

Mar 11, 2010, 8:46 pm

The Darker Side by Cody McFadyen

-- Secrets and truth, sins and contrition. These concepts are at the heart of this thriller featuring FBI Agent Smoky Barrett. As usual for McFadyen, he presents a thought-provoking and graphic story. Recommended.

Mar 13, 2010, 1:43 pm

Undone by Rachel Caine

-- The first novel in her new series; this one deals primarily with the Djinn. Cassiel, one of the Old Djinn has been cast out and now has a human body. After being found by David and Joanna (from the Weather Warden novels), she is sent to stay with an Earth Warden in New Mexico and to serve as his assistant. Cassiel learns of a new frightening threat to both humans and Djinn and tries to fight it. I enjoyed this quite a bit and am looking forward to the sequel.

Mar 15, 2010, 5:20 pm

The Chemistry of Death by Simon Beckett

-- Dr. David Hunter, former forensic anthropologist, moves to rural Norfolk after a personal tragedy. He takes up the life of a quiet village doctor and keeps to himself for the next three years, until two boys find a decomposing body in the woods. He reveals his past, and helps the local police track down the killer. A very fast-paced thriller with a shocking ending. Recommended.

Mar 15, 2010, 5:25 pm

Six Geese A-Slaying by Donna Andrews

-- Enjoyable cozy, this one taking place during the annual Holiday Parade. As if camels and elephants weren't enough excitement, someone murders Santa Claus! Or at least, they murder the unpleasant individual who is playing the part. I actually figured out who the murderer was even before the murder took place, so clearly the plot wasn't the important part. But it was a quick read, with some witty dialogue and a few nice moments. Recommended, as long as you aren't looking for deep thoughts or classic literature. It does help to have read the other books in the series, since knowing the background of the players helps you enjoy the humor.

Mar 17, 2010, 11:15 am

Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels

-- First in a series. Pepper Martin, former "snooty" society girl, finds herself working for minimum wage as a cemetary tour guide after her surgeon father goes to prison for Medicare fraud and her rich boyfriend dumps her. While there, she falls and hits her head on a headstone. After that, she starts seeing the ghost of a murdered Mafia don, who demands she help him find his killers. The book started slow for me, but by the end, I found myself enjoying it. Halfway through, I had already decided that this would be the only book of the series I would read, but the latter half redeemed it for me. I will probably try at least one more to see if it continues to improve.

Mar 19, 2010, 7:46 pm

Dark Tiger by William G. Tapply

-- A nice mystery by the late William G. Tapply that is the third and (I assume) last of the Stoney Calhoun series. A beautiful setting in the lakes of Maine, an intriguing mystery, and a small amount of resolution to puzzles presented in the first two books. All in all, a pleasing way to sum up this all-too brief series. I will miss not having any more Tapply books to look forward to (although I do have the last of his Brady Coyne series left to read).

Mar 21, 2010, 5:52 pm

Triple Play by Elizabeth Gunn

-- Enjoyable first novel. Detective Jake Hines is on the police force in a small Minnesota town when he comes across a mutilated corpse that's been posed on a park softball field. When a second similarly posed body is found, he realizes they are looking for a serial killer. There are clues for the reader, but nothing horribly obvious. The characters are nicely developed, and I'm looking forward to reading the other books in the series. Recommended.

Mar 24, 2010, 8:59 am

Strange Brew edited by P.N. Elrod

-- Collection of short stories by authors I know and a few new ones. The Jim Butcher/Harry Dresden story is pretty good - not as impressed by the Charlaine Harris one. Overall, there were more good stories than bad, so it was a worthwhile purchase.

Mar 26, 2010, 8:22 pm

The Enemy by Lee Child

-- Part of the Jack Reacher series, this book takes place when he was still a Major in the Army Military Police. He investigates a series of murders and this investigation takes him to a huge conspiracy. Along the way he learns some startling facts about his family. A different take on Reacher -- it was interesting to see how he operated when he was still in the system instead of totally on the outside. Recommended.

Mar 31, 2010, 8:36 pm

The Mercedes Coffin by Faye Kellerman

--A Decker and Lazarus novel. Two murders - fifteen years apart. Both killed execution-style and left in the trunk of a Mercedes. Finding the connection (if there even is one) will take lots of leg-work and some lucky breaks. Recommended.

Apr 2, 2010, 10:13 pm

Riverworld and Other Stories by Philip Jose Farmer

--Short stories written by the Hugo Award winner. I enjoyed the Riverworld story; I had read the novels many years ago, but not this short story starring Tom Mix. The rest of the stories in the book weren't really my cup of tea.

Apr 5, 2010, 9:27 pm

Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest

--A Southern gothic ghost story and voodoo mystery, this is Priest's debut effort. Highly recommended.

Apr 8, 2010, 12:26 am

Norse Code by Greg van Eekhout

-- A stand-alone book combining modern-day San Francisco and Norse mythology. The NorseCODE referred to by the title is a means of using genetics to find descendants of Odin, but this piece of the story quickly gives way to the more important tale of finding a way to stop Ragnarok (the end of the world). Humor, action, gods and monsters combine to make this an enjoyable story. Recommended.

Apr 9, 2010, 9:38 pm

Par Four by Elizabeth Gunn

-- Police procedural set in the town of Rutherford, Minnesota (think Rochester). Drug dealers, burglaries, kidnapping and murder all come into play during Jake Hines' first week as Chief of Detectives. How Jake and his team put the puzzle pieces together make for an interesting story. Recommended.

Apr 11, 2010, 11:10 am

Five Card Stud by Elizabeth Gunn

--I'm liking this series more with each book. There is real character development - you get to know about the personal lives of the detectives as well as there being interesting cases. I'm curious to see what happens next, which for me, is the sign of a good book. Recommended.

Apr 14, 2010, 10:55 pm

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

--I had put off buying this because I didn't think it could live up to its reputation. But then my SantaThing got it for me, and since it fit perfectly into both my alpha challenge and this one, I finally dove in. I'm so glad I did. It's not a perfect book -- other people have mentioned how the first 50 pages are boring, and some of the corporate description goes on for too long. But overall, it's an amazing book. Family secrets, a "locked room" murder mystery, financial corruption, and bureaucratic abuse of power come together in an explosive thriller. I just ordered the sequel. Highly Recommended.

Apr 17, 2010, 1:07 am

Child of Fire by Harry Connolly

-- A local (Seattle, Washington) author has created an amazing set of characters in his first novel. A small town has a "Predator" from another world in its midst, and it's up to Annalise (a sorcerer) and Ray (her assistant and also the narrator) to track it down and kill it. Lots of suspense and some very original ideas. Highly Recommended.

Apr 20, 2010, 1:19 am

Because of your praise of the series, I've added the first Jake Hines book to the wishlist. I liked Girl With the Dragon Tattoo quite a bit, but thought the sequel was even better. Now I'm anxiously waiting for the 3rd book to come out (June, I think). I'm passing on Child of Fire, though. I have a pretty low tolerance for paranormals.

May 18, 2010, 11:39 pm

So, I haven't posted in a month. I've been reading and updating the original lists, just not reporting on individual books. I really don't like writing reviews - I think I do a lousy job and always sound repetitive. So, here are just some highlights of the past month.

On the Edge by Ilona Andrews -- new series about a world that lies between our world (with Wal-Marts) and a world of pure magic. Interesting concepts - I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Brain Thief by Alexander Jablokov -- science fiction about artificial intelligence, a sixty-foot fiberglass cowgirl, a serial killer and other assorted characters. Described as "cyberpunk noir". I'm not sure why, but I liked it.

The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld -- historical fiction about Freud's only visit to America. Somewhat reminiscent of The Alienist which I liked.

May 18, 2010, 11:50 pm

I'll have to look the Norse Code book up. It sounds like an interesting idea.

Jun 2, 2010, 11:15 am

Me and My Shadow by Katie MacAlister

-- Paranormal romance about dragons. The author has written a few intertwining series where major characters in one become minor characters in the next. This particular series is about the Silver Dragons. I basically enjoyed the book, but there was a lot of repetition both of theme and language. I was getting tired of hearing about how huge the pregnant woman was and the over-protectiveness of her husband. But overall, recommended if you like this genre. However, don't start with this book - go back to the first in the series. Actually, you should start with the Aisling Grey books (who becomes the minor character in this series).

Jun 16, 2010, 9:59 pm

The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox

This took me a while to get interested, but after a while I couldn't put it down. The writing style is very evocative of 1850's England and there is a great sense of time and place. It's a long book and not an easy read, but I found it worth the effort.

Jun 20, 2010, 10:49 am

Ode to a Banker by Lindsey Davis

Of the ancient Rome mystery series, I think I prefer the Falco series. Interesting stories, social commentary and more humor. This installment has Falco exploring the world of publishing and banking. It's always fun to see how some things change and some stay the same. Recommended.

Jun 20, 2010, 1:42 pm

Glad to see someone on a "good books" run. And, you're doing a fantastic job on this challenge! Congrats to you! When you finish, do you think you'll start another 1010 Challenge? Or just read what comes along? If I finish early, I'm not sure what I'll do. I know I have enough other internet challenges, aside from the LT ones, and was curious to see what you have planned, if anything.

Have a nice Sunday!

Jun 21, 2010, 1:32 am

I'm hoping there will be an 1111 challenge here (11 books in 11 categories for 2011). I've already started thinking about my categories! I'm also on my 2nd alphabet challenge here, and probably will start a 3rd when I'm done with that one. I've decided I like that method of choosing what to read next.

Jun 26, 2010, 2:03 pm

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl

Historical mysteries about a series of murders based on Dante's Inferno. Some very vivid descriptions of the murders (not for the weak of stomach) and the horrors suffered by Civil War soldiers. The beginning of the book drags somewhat - lots of discussion about Harvard politics and publishing - but it soon picks up the pace. The story seems to be historically accurate, at least as far as I can tell, with the obvious exception of the murders. Recommended.

Aug 16, 2010, 10:51 am

Almost done - only four books to go. I've really slacked off posting my mini-reviews - I would rather be reading books than writing about them, I suppose!

Some highlights of the past 6 weeks.

Patient Zero
Interesting take on zombies - these are created by a man-made virus and aren't REALLY zombies - they just act like them.

A Reliable Wife
A very different type of story than I usually read. Taking place in 1907 Wisconsin, this is a tale of love, revenge, despair and hope. Recommended.

I've always been fascinated by Henry VIII and his wives, and this historical mystery uses those characters as background. Well done and I will look for the rest in the series. Recommended.

The Know-it-All
A very funny description of how one man decides to read the entire Encyclopaedia Brittanica. I thoroughly enjoyed this and recommend it highly.

Aug 16, 2010, 5:33 pm

>104 owlie13: I just read Dark Fire, the 2nd book in the Matthew Shardlake series a couple of weeks ago. I didn't think it was quite as good as Dissolution, but it was an above average read. I have the 3rd book in the series, Sovereign, on my TBR shelf and in my queue for next month.

Sep 2, 2010, 11:01 am

Only 2 books to go, and about 5 weeks to get them done! Just one memoir and one with "Seven" in the title, and I can put this challenge to bed.

Sep 24, 2010, 10:34 am

Started my next to the last book today. I was trying to get through my numbers challenge without using any from the Stephanie Plum series since it was so obvious, but time's running out!

Oct 5, 2010, 11:01 am

Complete! My last book was a memoir Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher. A quick read, but interesting. It was basically a transcription of her stage show, and probably better listened to than read, but it was a good way to finish up this challenge.

Bring on 11 in 11! Since this one ran from 10/09 - 10/10 for me, I'm running the next one from 11/10 to 11/11.

Oct 5, 2010, 11:33 am

Congratulations on completing the challenge! Looking forward to 11-11!

Oct 5, 2010, 11:58 am

Congratulations! See you in the 11-11...

Oct 5, 2010, 5:51 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Reading 100 books is certainly an achievement to be proud of!

Oct 6, 2010, 1:55 pm

Congratulations, owlie!

Oct 6, 2010, 10:27 pm

Congratulations. We'll see you in the 11-11!

Oct 18, 2010, 1:36 pm

Belated congrats! See you next year!