Category: Books (Page 40 of 45)

Now Reading: Charlaine Harris – Shakespeare’s Counselor

photo-201So here we are on the last book in the series, it seems like it’s come far too soon! I hate it when I read a series that ends without tying up all the loose ends, like Harris’ Harper Connelly series that I read last year. What I really want from this book is for it to end in a good place. I know there won’t be any more books in the series as this one was written over 10 years ago, so it would be nice to know what will happen.

Saying that though, I don’t want it to do like what Rowling did with the last Harry Potter book, and just have a couple of chapters tacked on the end about the future. I’d rather be left wanting more than to be disappointed with how it ended.

From reading the back of the book, it doesn’t seem like we will already know the victim in this book, but nothing would really surprise me. This town seems more dangerous than the town of Midsummer…

Review: Charlaine Harris – Shakespeare’s Trollop

Charlaine Harris - Shakespeare's TrollopWoohoo! Finally caught up on my reading challenge, so I’m back on track now! This was book 5 out of 100, it’s been hard so far, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep it up all year!

In my last post, I speculated that I thought this book would be about Becca Whitley or Deedra Dean. Turns out I was kind of right on both counts.

Deedra was found dead by Lily right at the start of the book. All the way through the book, we were lead to believe that it was the sheriff’s brother that was guilty of the murder, but in a shocking twist at the end, we found out that Becca Whitley was not actually Becca Whitley, just someone pretending to be her in order to claim inheritance from a rich family member. Deedra had figured her out, so ‘Becca’ killed her to keep her quiet.

I also wondered about what would happen with Lily’s relationship with Jack. I was pleased to find out that they have agreed to move in together, and that they will be staying in the town of Shakespeare rather than moving to Little Rock. I guess a move would kind of throw off the book title for the last in the series!

I really enjoyed the book, although I do wish it was a bit longer. There seems to be a lot of build up throughout the book, and then murder seems to be solved very quickly and the book is over before you know it. Still another great book from Charlaine Harris though!


Now Reading: Charlaine Harris – Shakespeare’s Trollop

photo-19Onto book 4 out of 5 in the Lily Bard series, which I have to say, I’m really enjoying!

Having already read 3 books out of the series, it feels like I’m getting to know everyone within the town of Shakespeare, so from reading the title of the book, I guessed that it would either be Becca Whitley or Deedra Dean that would be the victim. Having read the back of the book, I was disappointed to find out that it was Deedra, as she seemed like quite a nice person, if a little promiscuous (as you can probably tell from the title of the book).

I’ll be interested to find out how Lily is involved this time, she seems to have an uncanny knack for finding dead bodies, I’d be a little worried if I were her. I’m also interested in seeing how her relationship with Jack carries on, she seems to be falling for him quite hard, but she’s still cautious after what has happened in her past.

I still have a bit of catching up to do with my 100 book reading challenge, but it feels like I’m getting there…

Review: Charlaine Harris – Shakespeare’s Christmas

photo-18Thankfully (and as I had hoped), this book was not actually about Christmas, just set at Christmas, which meant I enjoyed it more than I thought.

This book saw Lily go back to her hometown for her sister’s wedding, which meant she had to confront all the people from her past, who she had not seen since she left town when everyone stopped being able to look her in the eye.

Two people were killed early on in the book, but the main storyline was not about the murders, but about a little girl that had been abducted 8 years before. Lily’s private detective boyfriend (Jack) just happened to be in the same town to investigate after he had been mailed a picture in connection with the abduction. There were three possible girls that it could have been, including the daughter of her sister’s fiancé, so it was a race against time to find out the culprit before her sister possibly married an abductor.

When the mother of one of the 3 children turns up dead outside Lily’s sister’s house, things get a bit stranger, especially when her last words are ‘The Children’. At this point, Lily decides that she will help Jack to investigate, so that they can find out the truth before her sister’s wedding.

In the end, it turns out that the culprit is a man who likes little girls a bit too much, and abducted the baby on an impulse after his baby boy was born and died. Lily finds this out in a dramatic chapter while she is baby-sitting the three girls and their siblings. It was definitely a very tense part of the book, but also quite emotional too, especially when one of the girls hides her little brother so her dad can’t hurt them.

Only two books left in the series now and already I don’t want it to end, really looking forward to the next one.


Now Reading: Charlaine Harris – Shakespeare’s Christmas

photo-18I’m now onto book 3 of 5 of the Lily Bard series that my parents bought me for Christmas. I’m loving this series so far, so I’m guessing that this one is going to be just as good.

The only thing I hope out of this book is that it’s not too Christmassy. It seems like a long time since Christmas now, so I don’t want to read anything too festive. But on reading the back of the book, it looks like it might just be set at Christmas time rather than actually about Christmas.

From reading the description, it looks like we’re finally going to be introduced to Lily’s family at her sister’s wedding. It’s been two books so far and we don’t know anything about her family, other than she moved away after the terrible things that happened to her. The only problem is her sister might be marrying a killer…

Before this set of books, I’ve never really read murder mysteries before, but I’m really enjoying reading them. I have the feeling that because they’re Charlaine Harris there’s a bit more romance in these books than a usual murder mystery, but that’s one of the reasons why I like Charlaine Harris.

Review: Charlaine Harris – Shakespeare’s Champion

photo-17Finally finished this book, it took me longer than I thought it would so unfortunately I’m still behind on my reading challenge.

I enjoyed this book even more than the first in the series. After having being introduced to the characters in the last book, you can feel more involved in the story.

This major storyline of this book was to do with racial tensions and a gang of white supremacists out to cause trouble. I know this book was written a while ago, so is set in the 90’s, but I didn’t expect the book to go quite so far.

This book was a lot more violent than the first one, and I found myself quite shocked a couple of times. First of all was when a bomb went off after a meeting at a church, and I read this:

“I saw the head of the woman beside me separate from her body as a collection plate clove through her neck.”

Next was towards the end when the main character (Lily) and her friend Mookie were confronting the gang of men. The books that I read usually have happy endings, so I was shocked to read this:

“I glimpsed Mookie fixed to the wall by an arrow through her chest. Her head sagged to one side and her eyes were open”.

Apart from being a little freaked out by a couple of parts, I really enjoyed this book. The worst part of a book for me is usually the end, knowing that it’s going to be over soon, so the best part about reading a set of 5 is that you know that there’s more coming!


Now Reading: Charlaine Harris – Shakespeare’s Champion

photo-17This is book 2 of the Lily Bard series by Charlaine Harris. The last one was awesome, and left it at a bit of a cliff-hanger in Lily’s life, so I’m excited to see where that goes in this book.

After being introduced to the inhabitants of the town of Shakespeare in the first book, I’m quite interested to see who will be killed in this book. From the pictures on the front of the book, I’m guessing it will be someone from the Body Time gym that Lily goes to which narrows the group down, but I’m guessing that whoever dies, it will still be a shock to me.

In the first book, it was easy to see why Lily would get involved in solving the murder, but I’m intrigued to see how she will be involved this time. All I know is that it will probably be another great book, being written by one of my favourite authors.

To keep on track with my reading challenge, I should really have finished this book by tomorrow, which is probably not going to happen, but I reckon by the end of this 5 book series, I’ll be back on track.

Review: Charlaine Harris – Shakespeare’s Landlord

photo-16As I expected, I read this book very quickly (especially compared to my last book). And also as expected, it was great!

I already knew that I loved Charlaine Harris and this book was awesome just like the others. This one was slightly different to the other two sets that I have read, as it had nothing to do with the supernatural, just a straight-up murder mystery. I think this set is one of her earlier sets, written in the mid 90s.

As with all of the main characters in her books, Harris always gives them an ‘interesting’ back story, and Lily’s was definitely interesting. I won’t go into too much detail here in case you want to read the book, but I was quite shocked when I read that chapter, there was a lot more violence than I had expected.

I think my favourite part of this book was the narrative style, it made it very hard to put down. I picked it up this morning, and before I knew it an hour had passed and I had read over 100 pages.

I’ve never really read murder mystery books before, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, and spent most of the book trying to guess the culprit. In the end, I was totally wrong. I kind of liked that though, it’s much better when books aren’t predictable.

The end of the book was left quite wide open with regards to Lily’s personal life and her future in the town, so I’m interested to read the next book and see where it goes.


Now Reading: Charlaine Harris – Shakespeare’s Landlord

photo-16Book number 2 on my 100 book reading challenge is Shakespeare’s Landlord by Charlaine Harris. I’ve read two sets of books by Charlaine Harris – the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series, and the Harper Connelly series. I absolutely loved both sets of books and couldn’t put the books down once I’d started.

I’ve now got two other sets of books from Charlaine Harris, The Aurora Teagarden series and the Lily Bard series. I got the Lily Bard series for Christmas from my parents, so I will be reading that one first. The review on the back of the book sounds pretty impressive:

“Harris writes about Lily with a quiet compassion that is compelling. A fine writer has written her best book yet.”

The books are considerably shorter than the last book I read, and given how much I liked her last books, I think this’ll catch me right up on my reading challenge.

On a totally unrelated note, my replacement iPod came today. Apple issued a recall for some first generation iPods, and mine was included. It had been in a drawer for 3 years, but I dug it out and sent it off, and the replacement arrived 7 weeks later. I was quite surprised that the iPod I got back was an 8GB new model, it’s way better than the one I sent them, and will be perfect for in the gym!

Review: Jonathan Franzen – The Corrections

photo-14So this book was the first of my 100 book challenge, and it took a lot longer than it should to read it, serves me right for picking such a long book to start off with! I need to read one book every 3.5 days on average, but here we are on the 6th January, and I’ve only just finished it.

It took me a long time to get into this book, and I found it really hard to keep up at some points. The book jumped around a lot between the present time and the past, with no indication that the time had changed. I found myself a lot of times having to go back a couple of pages to make sure that I hadn’t missed something obvious.

My favourite books are the ones where I feel connected to the characters, but I just didn’t get any kind of connections to the characters, except Alfred and Enid, who were just such a lovely couple that you couldn’t help but feel sympathy for them and their situation.

As well as jumping forward and backward through time, there was also a lot of switching between characters, so at times it was hard to get a good flow from the story. Most of the book seemed to be about the back story for each of the characters, and about halfway through the book, it suddenly switched to a set of people that hadn’t been mentioned for the last 300 pages. I found it quite strange that it switched so suddenly without an explanation, although it did all became clearer later.

The ending of the book really disappointed me. After the copious amount of detail in the rest of the book, the ending seemed very rushed, and I was left with a feeling like after I read the last Harry Potter book – it felt like the last chapter was added on as an afterthought. The book was already at over 600 pages, so I don’t think it would have harmed to just add a little more detail.

All in all, I would say the book was okay, but definitely not one of my favourites, and probably not one that I will read again for a while.


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