Alphabet Challenge

I had never heard of a reading challenge until the end of last year.  I felt like I was in a reading rut, so I decided participating in a challenge might be a good way to get past that.  The Alphabet Challenge was the first one I decided to do.  Now for those who don’t know this challenge is really simple and there a few different ways it can be done.  Some choose to read a different book title starting with each letter of the alphabet.  And still others will choose to do this by author (either first name or last name).  I decided to use book titles for my first challenge.  This is what I read this year to fulfill by alphabet challenge.

A – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
B – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
C – Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
D – Destiny’s Dowry by Rosemary Gard
E – Evermore by Alyson Noel
F – Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
G – The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
H – The Host by Stephenie Meyer
I – Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
J – Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts
K – Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler
L – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
M – Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
N – No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
O – Odd Hours by Dean Koontz
P – Pillars of the Earth by Kent Follet
Q – The Quincunx by Charles Palliser
R – Rasputin’s Daughter by Robert Alexander
S – The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk
T – The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Sutterfield
U – Uglies by Scott Westerfield
V – The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill
W – Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
X – The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton
Y – The Yellow Room Conspiracy by Peter Dickinson
Z – Zelda’s Cut By Phillippa Gregory

I was extremely lucky that I enjoyed most of these books.  But, I didn’t start this blog until I was probably more than half way through this challenge.  I would have to say my favorites were Memoirs of a Geisha, Secret Life of Bees, and Water for Elephants

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Published in: on October 31, 2009 at 2:42 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

Title: The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication: April 2006 by Miramax
Pages: 375
ISBN: 9780786838653

Description: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse: Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. Percy’s mom decides it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends, one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena, Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I’ve always been interested in Greek mythology, so this book caught my eye really quick!  The story is extremely simple, which is not suprising since it is written for middle schoolers.  But, it was a fun and fast read.  My only issues were the ease in which the problems were solved and the mythology presented in the book.  For example, why would a 6th grader be able to take out a minotaur so easily?  And then beat Ares, the God of War, in a battle?  There was also a lot of mythology introduced in this book, with little explanation behind it.  I knew most if because I’ve studied Greek mythology in high school and in college.  But, how much of this would the average middle schooler know?  Still, a very fun way to introduce mythology to young readers!  I’ll continue on with the series.

Blood Bound (Mercedes Thompson, #2) by Patricia Briggs

Blood Bound (Mercedes Thompson, #2)

Title: Blood Bound
Author: Patrica Briggs
Published: January 2007 by Ace
Pages: 292
ISBN: 9780441014736

Description: Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.  
But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I enjoyed this book much more than Moon Called.  Maybe it’s because this one dealt with the vampires.  The wolf pack is there, and you get more insight into the inner workings of the Alpha and his pack.  But, I loved the vampires.  This seethe (as its referred to in the book) is more how I picture vampires.  They are evil and not to be trusted.  Even Stefan, who Mercy considers to be a friend, I wouldn’t want to be alone with in a room.  I loved the descriptions of how each mythical creature’s magic works.  And the scene with the demon and Mercy at her trailer actually freaked me out a little (made me wish I wasn’t reading it late at night with all the lights off)!

The Manufactured Identity by Heath Sommer

The Manufactured Identity

Title: The Manufactured Identity
Author: Heath Sommer
Publication: June 2009 by Tate Pub & Enterprise Llc
Pages: 308
ISBN: 9781606965504

Description:  Months after his mysterious disappearance from a routine fishing trip, no one really expects over-the-hill Texas housewife Lory Latchley to find her missing husband—especially her husband. The Manufactured Identity is clinical psychologist Heath Sommer’s ever-escalating immersion into the world of unlikely friends who each awaken to find their faithful companions missing without warning or reason. Desperate to find meaning in their pain, they are thrust by the auspices of fate into a common thread of mystery and human frailty. In the end, the fate of all may reside in the unstable hands of rookie pastor John Joe, but ultimately Lory and her newfound partners will uncover a truth so unnerving it makes even infidelity look palatable.

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I was intrigued from the first couple pages of The Manufactured Identity.  I love psychological mystery/thrillers, and have to say that this is one of the best.  I’ve found most doctors turned writers try not to show too much of their psychology backgrounds in a story they’ve written.  But, I found this book was the opposite and I loved every minute of it.  But, then I have a B.S. in psychology so I sort of revel in this kind of stuff.  I wasn’t sure were the story was going for a while and there are a lot of characters to keep track of.  But, as I soon found out, this was all part of the point.  It was fascinating to watch the story unfold and I was completely shocked at what the whole truth entailed.  I thought the person revealed in the end was different, so I liked being surprised.  In the end was very glad to have read this book!

* A special thanks to the Author, Dr. Heath Sommer, for the chance to review this book!

Published in: on October 27, 2009 at 2:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

First, off this is hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog.  If you want to participate, head over and join in the fun!

Read Last Week

  • The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • The Manufactured Identity by Heath Sommers – review to come tomorrow!

Currently Reading

  • Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

To Read This Week

  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  • Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber
  • Magic Study (Study #2) by Maria Snyder
Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 1:23 pm  Comments (4)  
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In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

I loved my mailbox this week.  Granted these all came in one package, but I was so excited to get it.  Thanks again to my mother in law for the gift card!

Tattoo    My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1)   Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception   Bewitching Season (Leland Sisters, #1)   The Devouring   I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1)

  • Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1) by Rachel Vincent
  • Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle
  • The Devouring by Simon Holt
  • I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I Would Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1) by Ally Carter
Published in: on October 25, 2009 at 2:04 pm  Comments (2)  
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Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Published: October 2008 by Harcourt Children’s Books
Pages: 471
ISBN: 9780152063962

Description: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill.   As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.   When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.   She never expects to become Po’s friend.   She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

I Give This Book 5 Stars!

I have to be honest in saying that I felt Graceling started out a little slow.  But, the story builds very quickly until you feel like the book is going at breakneck speed towards the end.  I was fascinated by the idea of the Gracelings.  Gracelings are people born with rare talents and can be distinguished from regular people by their different colored eyes.  The lead character Katsa is one of them.  Her grace is killing people.   As she struggles with her Grace, her Uncle’s command of her, and her own thoughts of who she really is, she discovers that she is more than what everyone sees.  She does this with the help of Po, a Graceling Prince.  Po is a wonderful male lead character who is willing to sacrifice everything for Katsa.  I was riveted by their developing relationship.  But, the story isn’t all about finding who you are and romance.  The action takes your breathe away.  Katsa and Po must save a young princess whose father is hiding something that no one will believe.

Published in: on October 24, 2009 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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