Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 50 Book Challenge

The Sinner
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Scorch Trials
Heat Rises
206 Bones
Tactical Crime Analysis
The Invisible Woman: Gender, Crime, and Justice
Crime Analysis With Crime Mapping
1st to Die
The Maze Runner
Devil Bones
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Bodies We've Buried: Inside the National Forensic Academy, the World's Top CSI Training School
Dead to the World
The Apprentice
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
Songs My Mother Sang to Me: An Oral History of Mexican American Women
Bones to Ashes
The Surgeon

Kimberly's favorite books »

Here are all of the books I read in 2011. As you might be able to tell I did not reach my goal of 50 books. I read 49 in 2011, but I am only a little bummed about it. It would have been nice to reach 50, but to be honest I cannot tell you the last time I was able to read more than 5 books, that were not required for school. Yes, there are about 4 books I had to read for classes, but they were not typical text books. I discovered many great books and series that I have fallen in love with. I am glad that I had the chance to read them and hope to find many more great books in 2012 while I am trying to reach 50 books again and doing a To Be Read Challenge at the same time.

The Sinner Review

As I write this I am one book away from reading 50 books this year. I added four books I read for school, but they were not your usual textbook so that is why I counted them. I am reading number 50 right now, but I am not sure I can finish it by midnight tonight.

Synopsis: Jane Rizzoli is the only female detective in the homicide unit. On her new case, she is faced with something that will forever change her life. Is she ready to face this new change? Maura Isles ex husband comes into the picture, but is there an alternative motive for his visit after three years of no contact.

Review: I am still on the fence on whether I like this series or not. It's not the best series I've ever read in the mysteries genre, but not the worse. This book hasn't given me ant help in figuring that out.

I did enjoy the book hence the 5 stars on GoodReads. It was a great story that had twists and turns that kept you engaged. Like any other mystery book that I enjoy I never saw the ending coming. I hate guessing who the killer is half way through the book. I was always surprised and happy to see where this book was going.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In My Mailbox: Christmas Edition

In my mailbox is a weekly event hosted by The Story Siren.

This is my Christmas edition for In my mailbox because I got some boos for Christmas and with some of the money I got for the holidays I bought some others. Trust me I could have gone crazy with buying several books, but my to be read pile keeps getting bigger and bigger and I am getting close to the start of a new semester, which means less time to read.

Books Given as Gifts
Heat Wave by Richard Castle. It's the first book in the series and I read it earlier in the year on my Kindle. My mom knew I was looking for Heat Rises and that I had bought it, but wasn't sure if I had read the others. 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It's a well established fact that I LOVE this book and the series. This summer I downloaded it on my Kindle and after reading it and falling in love with it I asked for it for Christmas. I was hoping for the collectors edition, but doesn't matter really I have the actual copy of the book. 

Black Mass by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill. I love my Irish heritage and I read as much as I can about my people... okay I am also German, but I identify with my Irish side more. I also just took an Organized Crime class at school and the Irish mob was severely left out. I have actually been thinking about getting this book, but haven't gotten around to buying it. Thanks to my boyfriend I don't have to. 

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. Another dystopian series that sounds interesting to me. I think most of this genre speaks to me and I was excited to get this book from my Secret Santa... but WHO ARE YOU?

Books Bought with Holiday Money
Divergent by Veronica Roth. Another YA dystopian novel I have been toying with getting. I honestly was hoping to get Enclave, but they didn't have so I went with this one instead. It was a toss up between this and the Scorpio Races.

The Death Cure by James Dashner. Yes, you all know that I have been loving this series and that I really want to find out what happens to Thomas and the Gladers. I'm in the middle of a book and I really want to start this one, but I know if I do I will forget about the book I already started.

So those are the books I got, what good books did you get for the holidays?

Top Ten Tuesday: Fallen's Top Ten Books Read in 2011

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's top ten list is my top ten books I've read in 2011.

Like a lot of people I think this is going to be hard to list. I read some great books, but I am not sure I have read 10 great books. I also not sure how to order them because some books are equal in my mind so I am going to order them the best I can.

1. The Hunger Games- I read this book on pure accident. I saw it listed on Amazon's top books list and after reading the synopsis I decided I had to read it. I didn't expect it to be so amazing and just pull me into it.

2. The Maze Runner- Another book I wasn't sure about, but once I read it I was completely taken by it and instantly fell in love with it.

3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo- To be honest I thought this books and the others were crappy chick lit books based on the commercials I saw of the book with people reading it on the Kindle. I sampled the book on my Kindle and soon found out that it was not cheesy chick lit, but an amazing crime/mystery book.

4. The Scorch Trials- Just like with The Maze Runner this book took me under it's spell and I could not wait to see where it took me.

5. Mockingjay- While this book is the last of the series I thought it was amazing, not as amazing as The Hunger Games, but it wrapped up the story and had some amazing elements to it.

6. Catching Fire- Yes, the second book comes last for me, but I still found it interesting the story about the past Hunger Games.

7. The Girl Who Played with Fire- Since I loved the first book I had to read the other books in this series. I thought this one was pretty good.

8. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest- Same as the book above.

9. Swan Thieves- I enjoyed her first book The Historian, since that's what I studied in school before I switch to criminal justice. So when I saw she wrote a new book about a painting I had to read it. A very interesting story that I think was written just a bit better than The Historian.

10. Sin in the Second City- The history nerd in me had to pick up this book. It is interesting to see all the parts of Chicago that worked together or against each other. It's all about prostitution in Chicago and the Everleigh sisters who were on top.

So what is on your top ten books you read in 2011?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas or any other winter holiday if you do not celebrate Christmas. I had a nice holiday with my family and am not trying to figure out what to do with all of the toys my son got that we have no room for in our house.

I will be doing an in my mailbox post Christmas edition later, since I got some cash and want to buy some books that have been trying to jump into my hands for a while. So once I decide to brave the crowds of those who are returning items and using gift cards I will post what I got.

I will say that I got an amazing book from my boyfriend and two others that I have already read and had on my kindle, but got them in paperback because I love them that much.

Stay safe and enjoy the holidays

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Book VS Movie: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

American Movie Poster
Yesterday, I saw this movie with my best friend. I read the book and loved it, I've even watched the Swedish versions of the movies. So when I heard they were doing an American adaptation I was excited. I know the books are always better than the movies, but for me, there are some things I just can never imagine right so I like to see the movie so I can see possibly what others saw.

This... not sure what to call it other than Book VS Movie post will be mostly the differences between the book and the movie and my thoughts about those. This means there will be spoilers, so if you don't want to know what happens in the book and/or movie than do not read this post. I will mostly discuss the overall movie, what thoughts and then break down things I did or did not like about the movie compared to the book.

So the movie overall was pretty good. I will discuss this later, but I was very happy with it up to a certain part of the ending and that just made me not like it as much. The acting was good, the movie stayed true to the book for the most part. There was some minor details that was left out, but I honestly didn't think those would make it into the movie, since some of them didn't make it into the Swedish version either. The music was good, it was done by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. If you are not familiar, Trent Reznor is the singer from Nine Inch Nails so the sound of the music fits him and the movie pretty well. The opening credits reminded me of a Bond Film, no parts of the movie just some crazy shit and a very interesting song.

So now we get to the part of this post about the movie compared to the book. I hope to explain everything, but it has been some time since I have read the book, so not all the details are fresh in my mind.

Book Cover
The movie started off very strong with being almost spot on with the book. I was very pleased to see that they started off with the retired police detective and Vanger on the phone talk about the present he keeps receiving. The movie like I said was very good and there was little that I did not like about it. The things I was disappointed with however left me feeling a little annoyed by it, because it seem like it made the ending... messy.

The first thing that has been bothering me about this movie compared to the book has since I've seen the trailer. Rooney Mara playing the female lead of Lizbeth Salander. I guess maybe Noomi Rapace is exactly how I imagine Salander and the way they have Rooney Mara's look at Salander just doesn't fit for me. Not sure how you can get a gothic punk loner image wrong, but it just doesn't work for me. Also, when I was reading the book and watching the Swedish movies I actually liked Lizbeth. They way Mara player her I just did not like her nor could I connect to her. I am not sure why, even the sex scenes between Mikael and Lizbeth did not help any. I didn't feel that lusting connection that the two have in the book.

The other thing that completely pissed me off. I tried not to sit there and shake my head when I saw it. If you have read the book and I hope if you have gotten this far in my post you have because this will spoil everything if you have no clue about the story. They find Harriet through her cousin who lives in London... now in the book her cousin calls Harriet who is living in Australia widowed with sons and running her own sheep farm. In the movie the cousin in London is Harriet who is a lonely investment banker. This maybe no matter to people who have not read the book, but I thought this part of the book was very interesting. In the movie, if felt like they just wanted to ended the search for Harriet and get to the part of Mikeal shutting down the man who sued him for libel and all. I felt it was sloppy and just put me in a sour mood for the rest of the movie, which was done close to the book.

What they left out. Now since I didn't reread the book, not all the details are fresh in my mind, but these are about stuck out in my mind. Most of them are nothing major in case you are wondering.

First there is no mention of Lizbeth's hacker chatroom, which isn't anything major, but still it explained a few scenes in the book. Second, they left out her ability to memorize everything. I cannot remember the term, but she didn't have to write things down or anything. Again, not major and there is a scene, but it's so short that I am not sure anyone got it.

Another thing left out is the prolong relationship between Lizbeth and Mikael. In the book, when Mikael is writing his article and all about Wennerstrom corruption. There Lizbeth realizes she is in love with Mikael and because they enjoy the holidays with Elvis she buys him a gift just to see him. In the movie she buys him a leather jacket. So the ending is right, just not the gift.

So overall I give the movie 4 stars. Just because of the two elements I mentioned that bothered me about the movie that took away one star.  If you enjoyed the book, I think you will enjoy the movie as well, just be prepared to have some things omitted for the sake of... well probably time and for the audience that hasn't read the books.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Scorch Trials Review

People either love sequels or they hate them, regardless if it's a book or movie. So when I bought this book and started reading it I was excited to see what was going to happen next, but a little afraid like so many other sequels, it would fall short of the excitement the first book brought.

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety . . . until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated—and with it, order—and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.

The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder—does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED? (Taken from GoodReads)

Like I said above I was excited to read this book, but as afraid it would leave me  feeling disappointed. For me the middle book or the second book of a series/trilogy are always the redheaded step child. They either are way over done, or too much like the previous book that you forget all about the book you just read. This is how I at least feel. 

The Scorch Trials left me without much of a breath as I was reading through it. Everything about the plot and story was new without feeling like someone else wrote this book. The action and elements of the book were different and gave you the feel that they were no longer in the Glade or Maze, but someplace new.

The book constantly made you feel like Thomas, not knowing who to believe or what was going on. You feel like him that anything could be going on. You feel like for Thomas being alive and living through this is so hard, especially when he knows he has some big part of it. I honestly want to run out right now and the The Death Cure, but it's midnight here and none of the bookstores are opened. 

I gave this book 5 stars on GoodReads, because trust me it's that great of a book. If possible I would give it 10 stars. I am not sure which book I like better between The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials, but I am very glad I picked up these books and started to read them. 


My Video review

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Should be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading:

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. I started this book about a week ago and I have been really getting into it. I cannot wait to finish it because it is getting really good.

I recently finished reading:

206 Bones by Kathy Reichs. I have really enjoyed this series and I have a few more books until I am caught up in the series. I was happy this book was written better than the previous book.

What I think I will read next: 

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. I got this book from the secrete santa, but no clue as to who it is... I am hoping to read this one, but if not, I'll probably read The Sinner by Tee Gerritsen.

What are your answers to these questions?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Movie

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Yes, I know this is not a book, but it's a movie based on a book that I LOVED. The movie is actually released today here in the US. I won't get to see it until Friday though, so I have to wait till then to go see it. So it fits the waiting part and it's released on Wednesday. I actually never seem to know about upcoming books so I will probably be mentioning movies based on books or books that are already release that I am waiting on getting either from the library (need to go there more often) or that I buy from the bookstore. 

Synopsis: Mikael Blomkvist is a journalist who is hired by a wealthy man to find out who murdered his niece 40 years ago. Blomkvist hires an eccentric girl, Lizbeth Salander to help him solve this 40 year old mystery that holds an even bigger secret than they even realized. 

I am not sure how true this movie version will be to the book or the Swedish versions of the films, but I am still very excited to see this movie. I think Daniel Craig is the perfect actor to play Blomkvist. I am not familiar with Rooney Mara, but I know that I loved the actress who was in the Swedish movies. 

I'll include the 8 minute trailer that really gives you a nice summary of the story without ruining the twists this story has. 

So what are you waiting on for the week? Comment below and let me know.

Top Ten Tuesday

Yes, I am starting to do more of these events/memes and it's starting to be a lot of fun.

This one is done by The Broke and the Bookish, where each Tuesday they pick a topic and you list your top ten responses. I have been reading their responses and this one I really like.

What Ten Books I Hope Santa Will Bring

1. Enclave by Ann Aguirre
2.  Divergent by Veronica Roth

3. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan 

4. Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs 

5. The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl 

6. 3rd Degree by James Patterson

7. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

8. Triangle: The Fire That Changes America by David von Drehle 

9. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

10. 11/22/63 by Steven King 

This is my list of top ten books I hope santa brings me. More than likely I will buy them myself with any giftcards I get, but still books I hope to get for Christmas. What books are on your list.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Musing Monday #1

I saw this on a few other blogs and decided that this was the best way to keep posts on my blog. It's a weekly event by MizB over at Should Be Reading. Each Monday she asks a question and fellow readers and bloggers answer it.

This week's question: What's the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?

My answer for this is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Yes, I have both covers on here because I love the bottom one, because I bought my copy in Ireland and I think that cover is better than the US cover, which is the top one. 

This book is about a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany. Orphaned and raised by strangers the book tells her life with the people around her and how they all deal with the war. The book is told through Death's viewpoint, which is different and amazing. 

This book has just about everything for someone. There's history, adventure, drama and possibly a little romance. It haven't found a person who has hated me for recommending this book to them. 

Well there you have it, if you want to answer this question you may do so in the comments, either a link to your blog if you do this weekly event as well or just comment which book you would choose and why. 
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