Monday, January 31, 2011

Chosen Prey by John Sandford

First sentence:

"James Qatar dropped his feet over the edge of the bed and rubbed the back of his neck, a momentary veil of depression falling upon him."


"Lucas Davenport returns in the most harrowing and unexpected Prey novel yet -- the story of a congenial man, and his most uncongenial obsession...

Art history professor James Qatar's hobby was taking secret photographs of women. At night when he was all alone he'd dream about them and indulge his fantasies. Then one day his fantasy went too far. Now it's Qatar's turn to become an obsession -- of Davenport's. And for both men there's no turning back." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this mystery/thriller featuring Lucas Davenport. One of my favorite scenes was when Davenport meets the computer genius Kidd for the first time. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Mortal Prey.

Date read: 1/30/2011
Book #: 5
Series: Lucas Davenport, #12
Challenge: TBR Challenge 2011
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Mystery

ISBN-10: 0425182878
ISBN-13: 9780425182871
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2001
# of pages: 383
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing page

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Forever Today by Deborah Wearing

First sentence:

"Clive had no idea that Tuesday 26 March 1985 would be his last day of conscious thought."


"Clive Wearing has one of the most extreme cases of amnesia ever known. In 1985, a virus completely destroyed a part of his brain essential for memory, leaving him trapped in a limbo of the constant present. Every conscious moment is for him as if he has just come round from a long coma, an endlessly repeating loop of awakening. A brilliant conductor and BBC music producer, Clive was at the height of his success when the illness struck. As damaged as Clive was, the musical part of his brain seemed unaffected, as was his passionate love for Deborah, his wife.

For seven years he was kept in the London hospital where the ambulance first dropped him off, because there was nowhere else for him to go. Deborah desperately searched for treatments and campaigned for better care. After Clive was finally established in a new special hospital, she fled to America to start her life over again. But she found she could never love another the way she loved Clive. Then Clive’s memory unaccountably began to improve, ten years after the illness first struck. She returned to England. Today, although Clive still lives in care, and still has the worst case of amnesia in the world, he continues to improve. They renewed their marriage vows in 2002.

This is the story of a life lived outside time, a story that questions and redefines the essence of what it means to be human. It is also the story of a marriage, of a bond that runs deeper than conscious thought." -- from the inside flap

My thoughts:

I had heard about Clive Wearing's total amnesia on an episode of Radio Lab podcast about identity. This book not only gave an insight into Clive's condition but also how it affected his wife, Deborah.

Date read: 1/25/2011
Book #: 4
Challenge: Dewey Decimal Challenge 2011
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Memoir

ISBN-10: 0385606265
ISBN-13: 9780385606264
Publisher: Doubleday
Year: 2005
# of pages: 338
Binding: Hardcover
LibraryThing page

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Girl Who Remembered Snow by Charles

First sentence:

"Emma Passant's earliest memory was of snow."


"A professional magician, Emma Passant knows the hand is quicker than the eye. But how much of her own life has been an illusion? Her grandfather is murdered, and soon afterward a friend is killed by the same gun. So when her brawny assistant departs for greener pastures, Emma puts her act on hold and sets out to find some answers.

With only a pattering of clues, she follows a trail of cryptic words, rumors of stolen treasure, and her own vague snow-shrouded memories to the Caribbean, New York and Paris, where she discovers shattering deceptions made in the name of love--and the shocking truth about her own past." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

This was a good mystery about someone learning the truth about her past. I liked the interactions between Emma and Timoteo in San Marcos.

Date read: 1/10/2011
Book #: 3
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Mystery

ISBN-10: 0373262574
ISBN-13: 9780373262571
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Year: 1997
# of pages: 300
LibraryThing page


Friday, January 7, 2011

Skeleton's Knee by Archer Mayor

First sentence:

"I have a body for you."


"Vermont hermit Abraham Fuller kept mum on his gunshot wound. When it finally causes a fatal aneurysm some twenty years later, Detective Joe Gunther decides to investigate--and, for the first time, must leave his rustic Brattleboro beat.

The trouble starts in Fuller's garden where Gunther's crew digs up an artificial knee joint . . . attached to a very real human skeleton. Worse yet, the victim had been murdered. When a sniper machine-guns the hearse bringing the skeleton to the morgue, Gunther's first step is clear: find the manufacturer of the steel knee. It will mean trading Vermont for Chicago, where big city cops snub small-town gumshoes, too many people are hiding dark pasts, and a deadly trail could lead to a fresh new corpse--Gunther's own." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I liked this mystery featuring Vermont detective Joe Gunther and his experiences in Chicago. I liked how he noticed discrepancies in the crime scenes and how he worked on identifying all the players in the murder.

Date read: 1/6/2011
Book #: 2
Series: Joe Gunther, #4
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Mystery

ISBN-10: 0446400998
ISBN-13: 9780446400992
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Year: 1993
# of pages: 311
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
LibraryThing page

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ubik by Philip K. Dick

First sentence:

"Friends, this is clean-up time and we're discounting all our silent, electric Ubiks by this much money."


"Squeaking in his metal-insect voice, Stanton Mick floated to the ceiling of the room, his arms protruding distendedly and rigidly. 'Mr. Runciter, don't let your thalamus overide your cerebral cortex. This matter calls for discretion, not haste; calm your people down and let's huddle together in an effort to mutually understand.' His rotund, colourful body bobbed about, twisting in a slow, transversal rotation.

'I've heard of this,' Runciter said to Joe Chip. 'It's a self-destruct humanoid bomb. Help me get everybody out of here. They just now put it on auto; that's why it floated upward.'

The bomb exploded...

From first page to last, UBIK is a searing exploration of time travel, telepathy and the human condition faced with adversity. Drawing on his boundless resources of creation, Dick produced in UBIK a winner of a novel--bizarre intrigue, vaulting imagination and an action-packed plot. SF at its very best..." -- from the back cover

My thoughts:

I liked this science fiction novel of the past intruding into the present. I especially liked the scene where Joe sees an early twentieth-century elevator instead of the modern one that should be there.

Date read: 1/5/2011
Book #: 1
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: SF

ISBN-10: 0586037160
ISBN-13: 9780586037164
Publisher: Grafton
Year: 1969
# of pages: 224
Binding: Mass Market Paperback


Saturday, January 1, 2011

What's in a Name? 4 Challenge

Between January 1 and December 31, 2011, I will read one book in each of the following categories:

  • A book with a number in the title:
  • A book with jewelry or a gem in the title:
  • A book with a size in the title:
  • A book with movement in the title:
  • A book with evil in the title:
  • A book with a life stage in the title: