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27 September 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (1): Books I Want To Reread

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish.This is my first time participating.  If you want to sign up or find more info on this feature, go to the Top Ten Tuesday page.  

And in keeping up with the Banned Book Week theme, there are 4 books on this list that have been banned at one time or another (marked with a **).  Don't forget to enter our BBW blog contest here.  To learn more about Banned Book Week check out the official site here and visit I Read Banned Books for more information on the Banned Book Week Giveaway Hop.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Books I Want To Reread.  
(in no particular order)

1. Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead - I was already a fan of Richelle Mead when I started this series, but I didn't know how AWESOME it would end up being. I love Seth and Georgina and the whole eclectic cast of this fantastic series. Flawed characters that you root for. I have the last book in the series waiting to be read. I am waiting for the right time because I don't want it to end.

2.  Parnormalcy by Kiersten White - Loved this book by Kiersten White. Seriously sarcastic and funny - Evie is one of a kind. I have the second book in the series, Supernaturally, in my To Be Read pile. I'd like to re-read this one to refresh myself on what happened before reading the second book.

3. The Hot Zone by Richard Preston - With the popularity of the new film Contagion, more people are interested in the possibility of a large viral outbreak. If you're afraid of stuff like this, DO NOT read The Hot Zone. t describes real events and is both fascinating and terribly frightening. It's also hard to put down once you start reading it. I'd like to read this again to see if I can scare the pants off myself again.

**4. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - I remember really liking this book in high school, though I haven't read it since. I'd like to get re-acquainted with this one.

5. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding - My copy was filched by a former acquaintance who said she wanted to read it and then never returned it. I asked for it back several times over the years and she make excuses for not returning it every time. Giving it up as a lost cause I finally bought another copy - this time with the lovely Tara McPherson cover that came out a couple of years ago. 

6. Preacher comic series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon - Another favorite comic series from my adolescence. Dark and twisted and totally original. I even had a poster for in my room. Cassidy was one of the first vampires I remember reading about who still ate food - just for the sheer joy of it. And drank. A lot. I have 1-5 of the trades on this, though I'd like to have them all one day. The covers by Glenn Fabry still blow my mind today.

7. Bone comic series by Jeff Smith - This year marks the 20th anniversary of Bone. Wow - this makes me feel so old but also proud that I was around when Bone was first published. Bone was one of my fave reads back when I was in junior high/high school.  I used to get my issues at the local comic shop whenever they came out. I haven't read it in years and I just found out that the version put out by Scholastic was colorized.  I am still loyal to the original black and white version though and want to get all of the trades.

**8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling - It's been a few years since I read the Harry Potter books. I'd like to re-read them all. Maybe in 2012.

**9. Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger - I read this in high school and don't remember being very impressed by it. I'd like to try it again to see if I like it any better.

**10.  A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle - Another book from my childhood that I really liked. I remember it being very trippy and very different from what I was used to reading. I want to re-read it to see if I still find it that way.

23 September 2011

Banned Books Blog Hop - Giveaway

Thanks so much to Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not a Writer and Jen of I Read Banned Books for hosting this blog hop.

My co-bloggers Thuy (RNSL Nite Lite) and Kimberly (The Windy Pages) and I all agree -- book banning is the pits! While we understand and respect parents' concerns about what their kids encounter in their lives, we believe in everyone's "freadom" to read and enjoy whatever they want.

follow @frootjoos on Twitter


To celebrate Banned Books Week, we will be posting themed reviews and articles throughout the week at readnowsleeplater.com and giving away a banned adult book to a lucky reader (the Nite Lite contest is open Internationally)!

See the Rafflecopter widget below for the details. Please DO NOT leave personal info in the comments section--the Rafflecopter widget will collect your contact info so we can tell you if you have won. The winner gets to choose their book prize (within the guidelines stated below) and will be notified by email through Rafflecopter.

Here are some banned book reading suggestions from the RNSL team. Clicking on the book cover will take you to the Goodreads page for each book.

Thuy recommends:

A Prayer for Owen Meany
by John Irving

The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood

Of Mice & Men
by John Steinbeck
Alethea recommends:

by Sapphire

by Vladimir Nabokov

Song of Solomon
by Toni Morrison

Here are a couple more links to banned book resources and articles.
Don't forget to visit the other blogs on this blog hop!

22 September 2011

Good News for Kindle Users

Anyone else excited about the news that Kindle users can now borrow books from public libraries?  In my opinion, the no library and no lending (which Amazon kind of resolved but not really) were the main strikes against my Kindle. I mean, I love it and all but it seemed silly not to have library or personal lending available.  I've already been to the Los Angeles Public Library site to try out the new function. Since my Kindle is old school and doesn't have wi-fi, I had to transfer it using my USB cord.  It seems to have worked though and I have waitlisted myself for several books already.  I don't see myself using this option all the time but it is a nice alternative to have.  Thanks, Amazon. To learn more about borrowing books from your local library, go to www.amazon.com/kindle/publiclibraries.

18 September 2011

The Taming of the Rake - Review

The Taming of the Rake (Blackthorn Brothers #) by Kasey Michaels 
Publication date: 26 July 2011 by Harlequin
ISBN 10/13: 0373775911 | 9780373775910

Category: Adult Historical Romance
Keywords: Historical, romance, revenge
Format: Mass market paperback, eBook
Source: e-ARC received from Netgalley for review

From goodreads:

Meet the Blackthorn brothers - Three unrepentant scoundrels infamous for being mad, bad and perilous to love.

Charming, wealthy and wickedly handsome, Oliver "Beau" Blackthorn has it all…except revenge on the enemy he can't forget. Now the opportunity for retribution has fallen into his hands. But his success hinges on Lady Chelsea Mills–Beckman—the one woman with the power to distract him from his quest.

Desperate to escape her family's control, Lady Chelsea seizes the chance to run off with the notorious eldest Blackthorn brother, knowing she's only a pawn in his game. But as Beau draws her deep into a world of intrigue, danger and explosive passion, does she dare hope he'll choose love over vengeance?

Thuy's review:

The Taming of the Rake is first in a series about the three Blackthorn brothers. The oldest son of a marquess and an actress, Beau's parents never married, leaving their sons with the unenviable title of bastard. After a marriage proposal goes sour, Beau leaves England to make his fortune. He returns years later wealthy and successful with a plan to get back at the man who humiliated him years before.  As the younger sister of the woman whom Beau's attentions were the focus of all those years ago, Lady Chelsea was there the night that Beau left England after her brother Thomas shows him exactly what he thinks about a bastard asking for his sister's hand.  Years later, Thomas is set to marry Chelsea off to the detestable Reverend Francis Flotley. To avoid her fate, she goes to Beau with a plan that will satisfy both of their desires. By marrying her, Chelsea can escape her family and Beau will have his revenge.

There wasn't anything particularly bad about this book but neither does it stand out. It was a quick read, and the characters are ok. It was an interesting twist that all the brothers are bastards but that it was a choice by their parents not to get married and make them such. They were educated and brought up well but in a very unconventional household. Beau is smart and charming but I couldn't help but be a bit disappointed in him. Given the title of the book, I was expecting more rakish behavior. He is, however, is quite the gentleman. He accepts Chelsea's proposal when he doesn't really need to and tries to keep her reputation in tact as they head to the altar. His brother Puck is one of the highlights of the book. He is hilarious and provides some levity to the proceedings. Jack, the middle brother, also makes an appearance, though he is a bit of a mystery.

Unfortunately I wasn't a huge fan of Chelsea. As a child, Chelsea shows signs of being intelligent and kind.  Fast forward a few years and that child is gone, replaced by a young women who, though clever, is immature and selfish. She comes up with the crazy scheme of running away with Beau because she wants to escape a bad marriage. While I don't blame her for not wanting to go through with the marriage, it is obvious that doesn't really think about the consequences of her plan. She shows up at Beau's house and forces him into a corner with her proposal. Though he does get revenge on Thomas, he also has to enter into a marriage that he wasn't prepared for with a woman he barely knows. There is also the possibility of a fight or duel happening if Thomas catches up to them. But Chelsea doesn't think about any of this when she runs off to Beau's house in the middle of the night. By the end of the book, she does become a bit more bearable, but not by much.

In the end I think the main problem with the story is that I didn't feel any real connection between Beau and Chelsea.  Besides their shared past, they don't have much in common. Chelsea is childish and bossy most of the time and her feelings towards Beau feel more akin to a girlish crush than true love. As for Beau, I can't figure out why he would fall in love with Chelsea.

Though I am interested in the other two Blackthorn brothers, I probably won't be continuing on with this series.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Visit the author online at www.kaseymichaels.com

14 September 2011

Envy - Review

Envy (The Fallen Angels #3) by J.R. Ward 
Publication date:  06 September 2011 by Signet
ISBN 10/13: 0451229452 | 9780451229458

Category: Adult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Keywords: Fantasy, fallen angels, romance, paranormal
Format: Mass market paperback, eBook

From goodreads:

Seven deadly sins. Seven souls to save. And a man and a woman treading the lines of danger, desire and deliverance ...As the son of a serial killer, homicide detective Thomas 'Veck' DelVecchio, Jr, grew up in the shadow of evil. Now, on the knife-edge between civic duty and blind retribution, he atones for the sins of his father - while fighting his inner demons. Assigned to monitor Veck is Internal Affairs officer Sophia Reilly, whose interest in him is both professional and arousingly personal. And Veck and Sophia have another link: Jim Heron, a mysterious stranger with too many answers ...to questions that are deadly. When Veck and Sophia are drawn into the ultimate battle between good and evil, their fallen angel saviour is the only thing that stands between them and eternal damnation.

Thuy's review: 

Envy is the third installment of Ward's Angel series where good and evil continue to battle for the fate of earth's souls. The fight this time around revolves around Detective Thomas "Veck" DelVecchio, Jr. from the Caldwell PD. Readers of Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series will remember Veck from Lover Unleashed. Veck's a suspect in a vicious attack on a suspectes serial killer and even he's not sure if he did it. Internal Affairs officer Sophia Reilly is assigned as Veck's partner in order to keep an eye on him and finds herself drawn to the intense detective. All the while, Jim Heron and his merry band of angels try to outsmart the demon Devina and win one for the good guys.

Another great read from J.R. Ward! Knowing that I wouldn't have another Ward book for awhile, I really tried to read slow and savor this one. There are some great characters and big developments in Envy. Veck is a complex and imperfect hero. The son of a notorious serial killer, he's been in the shadow of evil almost his whole life. He's tortured, afraid of how much of his father is inside of him and afraid of what he's capable of. Out of all of the books, I think Veck's outcome was the one that I was most unsure of. It was really easy to believe the internal conflict he was going through and, for awhile, I had my doubts about which way this one was going to go. Sophia is likable but isn’t a stand out personality. She's got the standard, smart, tough as nails cop thing going on. The heat between Veck and Sophia is scorching and there are some very steamy love scenes. There is also Avery funny interlude at Victoria's Secret that made me laugh.

Meanwhile, Jim’s obsession with Sissy Barten threatens to cause a rift in the team. I am not sure how this whole thing with Sissy is going to pan out, since it seems like Jim has some not quite platonic feelings for her and she is A) dead and B) only 19. I have confidence in Ward though and am interested to see where it goes. There are some big and surprising developments on Team Angel and I am sure we’ll be seeing the continuing repercussions of it in the future.

Devina’s still up to her dirty tricks. She’s such an interesting character, a mix of vulnerability, neurosis and undeniable evil. She is both fascinating and frightening to watch.

Keep and eye out, too, for the BDB cameos/mentions. I love that the two worlds cross over from time to time. And what's up with Caldwell? It seems to be full of paranormal action and deliciously hot men running around! I would like to move there, please.

Overall I was extremely happy with this book. I wish I didn’t have to wait another year for the next one. Maybe I should re-read Covet in the meantime...

Visit the author online at www.jrward.com and follow J.R. Ward on Facebook

09 September 2011

Moon Called - Review

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1) by Patricia Briggs
Publication date: 31 January 2006 by Penguin/Ace Roc
ISBN 10/13: 0441013813 | 978-0441013814 

Category: Adult Urban Fantasy
Keywords: Urban fantasy, vampires, weres, fae, shapeshifter
Format: Hardcover, mass market paperback, eBook

From goodreads:

Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they'll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I'm not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too.

Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.

She's tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.

But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself ... and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.

Thuy's review:

Moon Called is the first book in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Surprisingly, I hadn't heard much about this series until I spotted it earlier this year at the LA Festival of books (at the always awesome Mysterious Galaxy booth).  The covers were eye catching and I decided to give them a chance, and boy, am I glad I did.

Mercy Thompson, coyote shapeshifter and VW mechanic, is living a relatively quite life when runaway werewolf Mac shows up at her garage looking for work. Mercy decides that she can use the extra help while keeping an eye on him at the same time. Unfortunately, trouble follows Mac and all hell breaks loose. Mercy must work with the local werewolf pack, a vampire den and covert military ops to make it right.

I was really surprised by how much I liked Moon Called. Briggs does a great job of drawing a world full of its own unique characters and mythologies. Sure, you have familiar creatures like vampires and werewolves, but Briggs puts her own spin on them. Mercy feels like an old friend, someone you can have a beer and a laugh with.  She also likes to bake a lot, which made me like her even more.  She's a fascinating heroine - independent and stubborn , with a dry sense of humor and sarcastic wit. She's no invincible superhero but she's smart and loyal and manages to hold her own against some very scary creatures. I also love the chemistry  between Mercy and Adam.  There's not much romance happening just yet, but it promises to get steamier as the series goes on. There's a bit of a love triangle going on with Samuel in the picture, but I'm rooting for Adam. 

There are some great supporting characters in the book, too. Mercy's friend, Stefan, happens to be a vampire and a big Scooby Doo fan.  Adam's third in the pack, Warren, is probably the only gay werewolf I've ever met.  He and his boyfriend Kyle are adorable together. Jesse, Adam's human daughter is awesome as well and is funny as only a teenager can be.

There is plenty of action and intrigue to keep the book moving. Things did get confusing at the end with the double crosses and ulterior motives. I admit that I was confused about who was working for whom and what the end game of certain characters were. However, it all ends up working out and I am dying read the next book. This series promises to be a new favorite for me and I have already gone out and purchase the rest of the books in the series. Yes, I am that confident of its awesome-ness. If you haven't tried this series yet, get to it! You won't regret it.

Visit the author online at www.patriciabriggs.com and follow @Mercys_Garage on Twitter

06 September 2011

Hi and Welcome!

Hi, everyone. Welcome to Nite Lite, the companion site to Read Now Sleep Later, where we'll review non-YA books. Expect some urban fantasy, fiction, romance, paranormal romance and whatever else suits our fancy.  It's a bit of a work in progress but we do hope you'll come back. We have reviews, giveaways and other fun stuff planned.  If you like us, please subscribe to the blog for the most current updates. And comment! We love comments.  And cookies (just sayin').

Thanks for stopping by!
the Read Now Sleep Later gang