Weekend Update: April 30, 2011

>> Saturday, April 30, 2011


This week:
I finished reading The Tudor Secret by C. W. Gortner and I have to admit that it took me longer than it should have because it was just too easy to put down (thus the 2.5 star rating). I also finished my audiobook The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny. Once again the wonderful Ralph Cosham makes listening to that series such a pleasure.

I started reading You Believers by Jane Bradley and I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while now. My friend Eleanor is quoted on the Unbridled Books page for this book and any time she is that enthusiastic about a book, I know I need to read it.

My current audiobook is Seeing a Large Cat by Elizabeth Peters. I decided I was due to spend some more time in Egypt with Amelia Peabody.


Other than books and reading:

My employer treated us to a lunch cruise on the Willamette River this week. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to get a couple of decent photos with my iphone from the boat. Those are over at Out on a Whim.

We’re still waiting for the arrival of Spring weather for more than an hour or two around here. I did manage to find a few signs of spring out there though.






Added to my TBR List (To Be Read) this week:

The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry

Within a matter of a few days I saw a rating of 4.5 stars at S. Krishna’s books and a 5 star rating from Eleanor. When two of my most reliable recommendation sources agree about a book like that I know I have to read it.



Purchased this week:
Hawaii by James Michener

When The Hubster and I were discussing whether we wanted to listen to the Sarah Vowell audiobook Unfamiliar Fishes about Hawaii, I mentioned that much of what is mentioned in the description I was familiar with from reading Hawaii by Michener. I discovered that he had never read that one. This needed to be remedied. My worn and battered mass market paperback edition that I think I first read when I was in 9th grade and then re-read multiple times could not possibly survive another reading so I bought the trade paperback edition for The Hubster. My old beat up copy is one of my most treasured possessions because I read and re-read it and it remains one of my all time favorite books.




















I can’t wrap this up without the current library stack even though it hasn’t changed from last week.

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The Tudor Secret by C. W. Gortner

>> Friday, April 29, 2011



The Tudor Secret by C. W. Gortner

Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: #1 in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 327
Source: Copy provided by publisher through Bookbrowse


The Short Version:
Tudor England and the scheming for the throne near the end of King Edward VI’s short reign is the background to this story of a servant of the powerful Dudley family who becomes a spy for the then Princess Elizabeth.

Why I Read It:
I loved Gortner’s The Confessions of Catherine de Medici and when I had the opportunity to read this first in a proposed historical spy series I jumped at it.

The Book:
Brendan Prescott, a servant to the powerful Dudley family arrives at court as a squire to Lord Robert Dudley and is soon wrapped up in a web of deceit, lies and secrets. Henry VIII’s son and successor Edward VI is rumored to be ill and dying. The powerful families of the time are maneuvering for power and control. The Dudley family is in the best position plotting their next moves. One of those is get Lady Jane Grey married to one of their sons and declared Edward’s successor.

Another of their sons, Robert Dudley may or may not be making plans at odds with those of his father. He sends his squire, Brendan Prescott with a message and a token for King Edward’s sister Princess Elizabeth. Brendan manages to end up working as a spy for Elizabeth’s protector William Cecil. Brendan’s loyalty to Elizabeth and his desire to learn the truths about his own history drive him. In an intricate web of plots and schemes his well placed mistrust of nearly everyone and his desire to see that the Princess is protected from those who want to prevent either her or her half-sister Mary from becoming Queen puts Brendan in a series of dangerous situations.

My Thoughts:
It’s been a while since I immersed myself in some Tudor Historical Fiction and I knew from his previous book about Catherine de Medici that I enjoyed C.W. Gortner’s writing, but this one fell a bit flat for me. It started out promising with an apparently naïve young man being sent to court at a time when scheming and plotting was at its dirtiest and nastiest. Within a few short pages he’s gone from his first exposure to life at court to being sharp enough to be conscripted as a spy for a member of Elizabeth’s inner circle. I know it’s historical fiction but some of the quick turnarounds and emotional attachments in this one just seemed too quick.

Despite that, I liked Brendan Prescott as a character. He seemed to have a strong inner place from which he made his decisions and alliances. The secondary characters that he joined up with along the way were interesting and for a planned series might make a good core of recurring characters.

Although the facts of history made some of the plot predictable, there were secrets and more secrets and that’s what kept me reading. I didn’t really feel a strong attachment for the characters and never really felt engaged in the story. I know it’s planned as a series, but I’m just not sure it’s a series I’ll bother to continue reading.


Rating 2.5/5

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Confessions of a Serial Reader – The ones I’m caught up with

>> Thursday, April 28, 2011


So I’ve admitted that I’m hopelessly overcommitted to more series than I can read in a year, but I did set a goal to get caught up in or complete at least a few this year. Please note that I did not commit to not adding that many or more series to my list.

For my purposes, I consider “caught up with a series” to mean that I’ve either read all that are available or that the next one I have to read is the last book or most current release. Any series that I have two or more to read is one I do not consider caught up. This time around, I’m focusing on the series that I have a wait before the next one is published. Next month I’ll take a look at those series where I still need to read the most recently published in order to remain caught up.

One negative to getting caught up is that the next book is months away and not the next trip to the library or bookstore.

The Ones I’ve read all that are available:

I’m not including series that are complete (like Harry Potter) but these are series that are continuing and I’m waiting for the next to be published. Book covers and links are the last book in the series that I read.

Rachel Knight by Marcia Clark – 


This one is almost cheating because only the first book has been published, but it counts, right? I loved Guilt by Association and am happy to know there’s another on the way.


Gideon Crew by Douglas Preston an Lincoln Child – 


Again, the first in the series was only released a couple of months ago. Nevertheless, this is an interesting series and I’ll be watching for the next one. At least in this case I have many other books by this author team (their Pendergast series) that I haven’t read yet.


Kari Vaara by James Thompson – 


This is one of the very best new series I’ve run across in the past few years. If you haven’t read them yet, you should. Set in Finland they are a wonderful opportunity to read some crime fiction not set in a large US city.


Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear – 


I’ve read several of these in the past few months and while it’s nice to be caught up, I’m going to miss having a Maisie story to turn to any time soon.


Cedar Cove by Debbie Macomber – 


This has been one of my reliable relaxing like sitting down for coffee with friends series. I usually read them in the summer and hope this year’s book is available around vacation time.


What about you? What series are you eagerly watching the new release calendars for? What is your most anticipated next to be published series book?

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Wordless Wednesday #82

>> Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fan Palms
Ixtapa, Mexico



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Audiobook – Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

>> Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2005
Read by: Sarah Vowell
Source: Library

The Short Version:
A fascinating and at the same time hilarious tour through the first three Presidential assassinations and the people and places connected to them.

Why I Read It:
It was this review at S. Krishna’s Books that convinced me to request this audiobook from the library. It sounded like just the thing for The Hubster and I to listen to on our road trip to Southern Oregon.

The Book:
I can’t possibly begin to summarize this book so I’m going to post the publisher’s description.

Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other -- a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

From Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to the Dry Tortugas, Vowell visits locations immortalized and influenced by the spilling of politically important blood, reporting as she goes with her trademark blend of wisecracking humor, remarkable honesty, and thought-provoking criticism. We learn about the jinx that was Robert Todd Lincoln (present at the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and witness the politicking that went into the making of the Lincoln Memorial. The resulting narrative is much more than an entertaining and informative travelogue -- it is the disturbing and fascinating story of how American death has been manipulated by popular culture, including literature, architecture, sculpture, and -- the author's favorite -- historical tourism. Though the themes of loss and violence are explored and we make detours to see how the Republican Party became the Republican Party, there are all kinds of lighter diversions along the way into the lives of the three presidents and their assassins, including mummies, show tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, and a nineteenth-century biblical sex cult.

My Thoughts:
Let me put it this way. The day after we finished listening to this, I logged on the library website and requested two more of Sarah Vowell’s audiobooks. She reads them herself and that’s the only way they would work. She’s a regular contributor to NPR’s This American Life, so it’s perfect for her to read her own books.

This was just pure enjoyable listening. I loved the mixture of well known history, obscure facts and tidbits and the author’s asides.

The historical facts are fascinating and the verbal side trips the author takes while telling the story are also fascinating and often laugh out loud funny. It’s helped along by her deadpan delivery and voice (she voiced the teenage daughter in The Incredibles). The dry wit and delivery had us laughing so much at times that I had to back up the ipod because we’d missed something.

It was fun to learn some interesting tidbits of history as well as thoroughly entertaining listening. I’m now a fan of this historic tourism thing as told by Sarah Vowell.

The audiobook is abridged and while I normally avoid abridged audiobooks like the plague, I had been assured that it was still enjoyable and it also appears to be the only audio version available.


Rating 4.5/5

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Weekend Update: April 23 ,2011

>> Saturday, April 23, 2011


This week:
We Listened to Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell on our trip to Southern Oregon last weekend. What a fun road trip audiobook. I’m definitely getting more of her audiobooks for future road trips. I finished reading Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark and was quite impressed with her debut in the world of crime fiction. I’ll be watching out for her follow up book. I started The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner which is an intresting blend of historical fiction and spy story.


Other than books and reading:

I spotted this while walking from work to the library downtown this week and it made me happy. This is my very favorite color of tulips.

We took one of our routine weekend trips to Ashland in Southern Oregon to see a couple of plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We usually go once in the spring to see what we want to see that’s playing in the indoor theaters and then another trip later in the summer once the outdoor theater opens. This trip we saw Measure for Measure and Julius Caesar. I’d never seen Measure for Measure before and it’s intriguing, and I’m still not sure whether or not I like the play. The production was done in a 1970’s LA type of setting and it put an interesting spin on the story. Julius Caesar was in the smallest of OSF’s theaters so it was a very stripped down version. Sometimes that’s nice because without a big production the focus can be more on the words and language. It was an interesting comparison to a larger more elaborate production we saw in one of the larger theaters a few years ago.


Riding in the car and listening to an audiobook is great for making progress with a knitting project. I finally have enough of the baby afghan done that the pattern is becoming apparent. I’m very happy with how it’s turning out, but I am also learning that lavender is exceptionally difficult to photograph because it wants to look blue. Now the question is whether or not I’ll get it done by the end of June.




I also managed to come up with a good name for my photo (and other random nonsense) blog. At least I think it’s a good name. It’s now officially called “Out On A Whim”. The link will remain over there on the right in my sidebar, but if you want to subscribe directly to it, I’m certainly not going to stop you. This week over there are a bunch of photos I took of some old abandoned and falling down houses I saw out in the country. To me they just have such interesting textures, lines and untold stories.


Added to my TBR List (To Be Read) this week:

Trespass by Rose Tremain

I first heard about this one from S. Krishna’s books, and then The Literate Housewife had so many positive things to say about the audio version that I requested that version from the library.

In Their Blood by Sharon Potts

This one sounded like an intriguing crime fiction story by a new author.


Purchased this week:
The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

This one had been on my TBR list since I read about it at Bookbrowse, but when it was mentioned on Twitter this week it reminded me it sounds like an interesting and potentially fun read. The Hubster is a chemist so something about The Periodic Table of the Elements is appropriate for us to read. I have a feeling it might be a book that’s good for reading a chapter at a time between my other books.


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

I’m still not really sure why It took me until now to read these, but I’m enjoying the heck out of them.

There’s one addition to the library stack this week. I really need to read False Mermaid soon since I’m running out of renewals for that one.

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Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark

>> Friday, April 22, 2011


Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark

Genre: Crime Fiction, Legal Thriller
Series: #1 in the Rachel Knight series
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 327
Source: eGalley provided by publisher through NetGalley

The Short Version:
After a co-worker is found dead, District Attorney Rachel Knight finds herself working one of his problematic cases and at the same time trying to find out the truth and disprove rumors about the circumstances of his death.

Why I Read It:
I’ve been watching the Mulholland Books site ever since this new imprint featuring suspense fiction was announced. This book is their first release and yes it’s by THAT Marcia Clark which is also one of the reasons I wanted to read it.

The Book
Rachel Knight is a District Attorney in the Special Trials Unit which takes on the most complex and high profile cases in L.A. When a colleague is discovered dead in an apparent murder suicide, she refuses to believe what the initial speculation leads people to think about her friend. She soon realizes that she didn’t really know him as well as she thought. Despite clear instructions to stay away from the investigation into his death, Rachel isn’t going to let it go until she clears her friend’s name or faces truths she doesn’t want to have to face.

At the same time she inherits a high profile case of his. The investigation into the rape of a prominent physician’s daughter is handed to the Special Trials Unit because the girl’s father is a heavy contributor to a local politician.

With the help of her fellow prosecutor and friend Toni and also Detective Bailey Keller, Rachel takes on both investigations, both the one she’s been told to stay out of and the one she’s been assigned to wrap up quickly.

My Thoughts:
I’m optimistically calling this the first in the Rachel Knight series because I know that Marcia Clark is working on a second book and I read via Twitter that it’s in her editor’s hands. That makes me very happy because I was very impressed with this fiction debut by an author best known as the prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case.

The characters were likeable and fun. Clark knows what she’s writing about, so the legal details read true and the twists and turns in the cases don’t come off as too far fetched and coincidental to be believable. The story moved along at a good pace and there was a good mixture of tension, action, and a touch of humor here and there.

I liked the friendship and working relationship between the three women at the core of the story. Rachel is likeable, but flawed enough to not appear as a superwoman against the world. There were likeable male characters too, including a detective that Rachel manages to spend time with and not have it turn into a distracting romantic relationship, and a seriously likeable gang leader who is one of the prime suspects.

Marcia Clark has a winner with this one as far as I’m concerned. I enjoyed the writing style, the characters and the story. I’m definitely looking forward to more of Rachel Knight and her friends and highly recommend this one to folks who enjoy crime fiction.

Rating 4.5/5

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Wordless Wednesday #81

>> Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hibiscus
Ixtapa, Mexico



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A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear

>> Tuesday, April 19, 2011



A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear

Genre: Mystery
Series: #8 in the Maisie Dobbs series
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 261
Source: eGalley provided by publisher through NetGalley


The Short Version:
Maisie Dobbs is recruited by the British Secret Service for an undercover investigation of activities at a private college but finds much more to investigate after a murder.

Why I Read It:
I have enjoyed every book in this series more than the previous ones and this is no exception and the only bad thing about being caught up is that now I have a long wait for the next one.

The Book:
Maisie Dobbs is a private investigator in 1930’s London. In this installment of the series she is recruited by the British Secret Service to go undercover as an instructor and a private college in Cambridge. They are concerned about activities a the college that may not be in the interests of the government.

Shortly after Maisie is hired and begins her work a the school, it’s founder is murdered. Maisie is caught up in the middle of multiple investigations. The Secret Service needs her to preserve her cover as a teacher and her primary investigation into possible communist groups at the school. At the same time she’s involved with Scotland Yard’s Special Branch in the investigation of the murder.

As she delves into the present and past activities of the students and faculty, Maisie uncovers a multitude of secrets, including probable governmental coverups of events that happened on the battlefields of World War I. Maisie also develops a growing concern over the activities of a group that is supportive of Germany’s developing Nazi Party. Although the Secret Service is far more concerned about Communists than Nazis, Maisie sees trouble on the horizon.


My Thoughts:
Once again the historical setting and background is as interesting as the central mystery. That’s probably my favorite part about this series. The portrayal of the period between the wars is fascinating. As the wounds and aftermath of World War I begin healing, the signs of what is coming from Germany and other parts of Europe are beginning to garner more and more attention.

In the meantime, Maisie’s personal and professional life continues. Her recruitment by the Secret Service is perhaps a beginning of a new aspect of her life as an investigator. I hope that’s the case as I find it quite fascinating. Maisie’s personal life took quite a turn in the previous book and in this one Maisie is still adapting to her new circumstances and relationships. I liked the path her father’s story is beginning to take and can empathize with Maisie’s unease when she first learns of it.

I always enjoy the parts of the story that relate to Maisie’s assistant Billy Beale and his family and it’s nice to see some positive things happening in that part of the ongoing story too.

The central case in this one was again a different kind of case for Maisie and although there were a lot of suspects and stories to track it all flowed well and kept my interest. The side story of a former co-worker of Maisie’s was good but I felt like that one was sidelined a bit near the end and wrapped up a bit too quickly and neatly compared to how it had started to develop. Nevertheless this is another strong and satisfying episode of a series that I continue to highly recommend.


Rating 4/5

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Weekend Update: April 17 ,2011

>> Sunday, April 17, 2011


This week:
Wow! Where did this week go? I feel like I’ve been on the run non-stop since Monday morning.

I did manage to finish A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear and once again I thoroughly enjoyed a visit with Maisie Dobbs and 1930’s London. I started Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark and have been frustrated by my lack of time to just sit down and immerse myself in it. So far it’s an interesting crime/legal thriller and from what I’ve read a promising fiction debut by the well known prosecutor.

I’ve been enjoying listening to The Hubster read Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward. The giggles coming out of him as he reads it make me happy. I love handing him a book that I just know he’ll enjoy.

Other than books and reading:
Sunday was a long day for us. The Hubster ran his first (and maybe only?) marathon. I’m so proud of him for finishing!

The race was out in the countryside west of Portland, so after I dropped him off at the start I took the opportunity to do some wandering with my camera. It was kind of a damp morning but not really raining hard so everything was soft muted colors.


It was apparently my day to find interesting abandoned and falling down houses and barns that day. I haven’t finished editing all the photos but I’ll be getting those done and posted on the Posterous Blog in the next few days.


There it is again. I really have to come up with a better name for that than “SuziQoregon’s Posterous”. Seriously, that name even bores me.

I made a little bit of progress on the baby afghan, but not enough to make a progress photo worthwhile. Maybe by next week there will be enough of it to show the pattern.


Added to my TBR List (To Be Read) this week:

Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book: 10 3/4 Anniversary Edition by Brian Froud
This one came to my attention due to a lighthearted and totally unrelated conversation but once I started reading about this book I decided I want to read it. My library had a copy and just glancing through it has me looking forward to sitting down and absorbing it. The artwork is beautiful and the story seems fun.


The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

After reading and loving Heads You Lose I’ve been considering Lisa Lutz’s Spellman books. Enough of my bookish friends have chimed in to tell me that although quite different from Heads You Lose, they’re fun and good so I’ll give the first one a shot.


Purchased this week:
I didn’t buy anything this week, mostly because I didn’t have time.

The library stack increased by one this week due to the book I talked about earlier.

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Audiobook – A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny

>> Friday, April 15, 2011


A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny

Genre: Mystery
Series: #4 in the Inspector Armand Gamache series
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Publication Date: 2009
Read by: Ralph Cosham
Source: Library

The Short Version:
Inspector Armand Gamache and his wife have their annual anniversary getaway trip interrupted by both a murder and the appearance of people they consider friends among the suspects.

Why I Read It:
I have thoroughly enjoyed the audio versions of the earlier books in the series and the combination of the author’s excellent stories and the reading of Ralph Cosham will keep me coming back for more.

The Book:
The Manoir Bellechasse is a lakefront resort not far from Montreal. Inspector Armand Gamache and his wife are there for their annual anniversary vacation. There aren’t many other guests but there is a family reunion of the Finney family. Wealthy and not interested in socializing with the couple they presume to be some lowly shopkeeper and his wife.

The Gamaches are stunned when the late arrivals to the family reunion turn out to be Peter and Clara Morrow, friends they know from Three Pines. The surprises continue when Peter’s sister is found dead and it turns out she may have been murdered.

It’s an isolated setting with a limited cast of suspects in the guests and staff of the resort. It’s complicated by a family that puts no fun at all in dysfunctional as well as the complication for Gamache of someone he knows among the probable suspects.

My Thoughts:
Last week, in my review of Bloodroot I talked about the difficulties of a series that is primarily set in a small town or circle of people. It becomes necessary for writers to change the scenery up a bit but it’s typically at the cost of having some or most of the recurring characters largely absent from the story. This is the situation in this book. While the previous books have been set in or near the small village of Three Pines, this one shifts the action just a bit to a nearby resort, but manages to have a couple of the regulars from Three Pines tag along into the story.

I enjoyed this one and this time around Louise Penny had me fooled. I was sure I knew who the killer was but I was wrong.

The characters and the family dynamics are interesting and make for a complex investigation. The secondary characters are fun and interesting but I still missed some of my favorite regulars from Three Pines.

I liked the way that Penny managed to take the story away from Three Pines for a change of pace but at the same time managed to have the story give an in depth view of the history of one of the regular characters.

This is a wonderful series for audio and I continue to be happy that I chose it as the way to experience it. Ralph Cosham is a wonderful reader who in my mind has a voice that just is Armand Gamache. At the same time he manages to give a well done characterization of the other characters. His reading pace to me matches Inspector Gamache’s measured and unhurried approach to his investigations.

If you haven’t tried this series yet, I highly recommend that you not only give it a chance but also that you try the audio versions.


Rating 4/5

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Wordless Wednesday #80

>> Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Palapas and Palm Trees
Ixtapa, Mexico


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Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward

>> Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward

Genre: Mystery/Humor
Publisher: G.B Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 301
Source: Copy Provided by Publisher

The Short Version:
A hilariously unique combination of mystery story and story of how the two authors collaborated to write it.

Why I Read It:
When I first heard about the book it sounded very different and quirky but at the same time something that might appeal to my sometimes dark sense of humor.

The Book
Paul and Lacey Hansen have been on their own since their parents tragically died. They’ve managed to stay in their family’s home but make their living with an illegal marijuana growing operation in the basement. So when a headless corpse shows up in their front yard, they’re not exactly eager to call the cops. Who’s dead, how and why ends up being a wildly and entertainingly meandering and darkly funny tale.

In addition to the story of Lacey, Paul, the corpse and all the crazy people in their rural northern California town, this book is also about how the book was written.

Liza Lutz and her former boyfriend David Hayward agreed to co-author this book in an interesting way. They agreed to a few rules:

  • They would alternate chapters with Lutz writing the odd chapters and Hayward the even chapters.
  • They would not plan out the plot ahead of time, each author would move on from whatever happened in the previous chapter.
  • They could not undo plot or action from the other person’s chapters.

The result is hilarious and a mystery in itself as to whether the co-authors will even be speaking to each other before the book is finished.

My Thoughts:
When I was telling The Hubster about this book he commented that ‘it sounds like part fiction, part non-fiction and part improv show’. He is absolutely correct.

The mystery written by Lutz and Hayward is a bit of a madcap story that twists and turns around a town full of quirky interconnected secondary characters. The added element of the authors themselves and their writing process interjected into the story is what makes it so unique and funny. In most of the chapters are footnotes to that chapter’s author made by the other as they read it. At the end of each chapter are their notes to each other and an ongoing story in itself. The comments on the other person's writing, plotting, characters and ongoing conversation about their history together start out humorous and fun, but soon become a bit darker as they engage in a bit of revenge plotting when turns in the story introduced by one are taken in unexpected directions by the other.

I giggled my way through this and have been telling everyone I know who likes their humor a bit on the quirky and dark side to read it. The Hubster is reading it now and I’m enjoying hearing the giggles coming from his recliner.

If you're looking for something a little different and a lot of fun, get this book.

Rating 4.5/5

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Weekend Update: April 9 ,2011

>> Saturday, April 9, 2011


This week:
I had a ton of fun with the Moonlighting for Murder Mystery Theme week here on the blog this week. The Amazing Jen at Jen’s Book Thoughts is the most wonderful host and coordinator of this kind of blog event that could possibly exist. She gave all the participants plenty of lead time and information and follow up along the way to make this just a fun thing for all. I didn’t have nearly enough time this week to visit all the participating blogs and catch up on all the posts but I plan to head over to Jen’s blog and check the link lists on her Moonlighting for Murder posts to make sure I check in on all the participating blogs. It’s one of the fun things on my to do list for this weekend. I’d recommend you do the same because there’s a lot of great book recommendations and very creative posts out there as a result of this theme week.
Moonlighting for Murder
click on the logo above to get to Jen’s blog and all the links to participating blogs

I had a good reading week. I finished up the incredibly unique Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward. I’m telling everyone I know to read this book because it is crime fiction like you’ve never read before and if you have a penchant for slightly dark humor like I do, you’ll love it.

For the past few weeks I’ve been a little frustrated that every book I pick up, while enjoyable, seems to take much longer for me to get through than I think it will. That’s partly due to lack of reading time but also partly due to inability to concentrate. What I needed was a fast paced book that I know I’d enjoy and could blow through in just a couple of days so I headed for a James Patterson book. It was just what I needed. The 6th Target is from the Women’s Murder Club series and was a fun quick read. After that I started A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear. It’s the latest in the Maisie Dobbs series and I’m enjoying it quite a bit.

I also finished up my audiobook this week. I pulled into the driveway Thursday night with 7 minutes left of the book so I sat in the driveway and listened to the end of A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny. This is another good series and is just wonderful on audio. Yesterday morning I clicked the ipod right into the next book in the series, The Brutal Telling.

Other than books and reading:
I posted a few photos on the Posterous blog earlier this week. Forest Park in Portland is beautiful no matter what time of year and I had the chance to get some photos last weekend. It’s a great spring for moss in the Northwest this year. We have quite the bumper crop of it. If you want to check out the photos, here’s the link and a sample.

Speaking of that Posterous blog - I really want to rename that, but haven’t come up with anything good yet. “SuziQoregon’s Posterous” is just so very boring.

Much of my free time this week was focused on blog stuff and reading but I did continue the baby afghan. I was hoping to have enough done to be able to post a progress photo, but there was the “mistakes that made tearing out 6 rows of baby afghan necessary” incident the other night and we’ll just not talk about that any more. Maybe next week I’ll have progress photo.

Added to my TBR List (To Be Read) this week:
Madison House by Peter Donahue

I was browsing Hawthorne Books site and found this historical fiction about turn of the century Seattle that looked interesting.


Purchased this week:
Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith.

I’ve had this series on my radar ever since I read Hockensmith’s holiday short story collection (Naughty: Nine Tales of Christmas Crime). Now that I’m making some progress catching up on a few of my current series it’s time to start a few that I’ve been thinking about.

No change in the library stack this week other than both books have been renewed.

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