Headhunters

November 9, 2012

Roger Brown is the King of the Heap; the best Headhunter in Norway. But being King of the Heap isn’t enough to support his lifestyle or that of his wife, the beautiful Dianne. It does however provide intimate knowledge of an applicant’s lifestyle and assets and the ability to place them at a particular place on a given day and time. This information allows Roger to embark on a successful second career – art thief. Things go smoothly for Roger until he steals a painting from the wrong person and this turns his comfortable existence upside down.

I was really intrigued by this book when I heard Anne talk about it on BOTNS, especially since the set-up for the crime was so unique. I think Jo Nesbo is a really imaginative and compelling writer and I want to say that I liked this book but I can’t because I couldn’t stand any of the characters. I thought they were all awful people. No matter how ingenious the plot or how unexpected the turn of events, I couldn’t get over my dislike for the characters.

I know that Jo Nesbo is one of the more popular Scandinavian crime writers but it’s going to be a while before I pick up any of his other books.

What Kind of Book Reader Are You?

November 8, 2012

Michael of BOTNS led me to this article (and it’s follow-up) that asks the all-important question “What Kind of Book Reader Are You?” and then proceeds to enumerate the most  descriptive and comprehensive list of readers I’ve come across.  Based on the list I am three kinds of reader plus I another kind I would add to the list.

I am a

Delayed Onset Reader #1. You are without a doubt a book lover, and when you walk into a bookstore or any place books are available, you can’t help yourself, you buy one or many. When you get home you put them aside, often reverently, as if they were art, displaying them on a bookshelf or propping them up on your bedside table, pages ready to meet your eyes as soon as you have the moment. But you’re very, very busy, and days, weeks, or months may go by before you actually crack open one of these books. It’s not for lack of trying! When you finally do, you will be overjoyed by all the learning and emotional depth and humor and writing quality that exists in this book that’s been sitting within reach all along, and you will be amazed that you waited so long to ever open it

The Cross-Under. You are a grown-up who reads Y.A. or kids books, or a kid who reads adult books, and there is a place for you in society, finally. Your existence acknowledged after so many years, you no longer have to feel shame at your questionable reading habits but can instead bask in the admiration of book blogs and feel a part of the vanguard. You are not ruled by categories; you are a free thinker. When you were in elementary school a librarian told you a book was “Too old for you.” You read it anyway, and there’s been no going back.

The Re-Reader. You know what you like, and instead of branching out and possibly finding something new that you don’t like, you focus on what you do. You read the same books over and over again, returning to them as if they’re old friends, which, pretty much, they are. Your book-reading motto is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The type of reader I would add to the list is the

The Cheater.  You are so excited that you are finally holding a long-awaited book that you can’t help but check the back page to see how it all ends. Knowing how the book ends does not spoil your enjoyment of the story. You do want to know the how and why of the story so you will read the book from start to finish even if you know how things turn out. Most of the time.

I used to be

The Hopelessly Devoted. You stick to the authors you like, and you read them, pretty much exclusively, whatever they write, good or bad, regardless of reviews or the opinions of your friends or family. Everyone knows what to get you for your birthday or holidays. You are a true fan….

What kind of reader are you?

Anne Perry

November 4, 2012

I think any fan of English historical fiction is familiar with the name Anne Perry but I have never read any of her books until now. Perry has two main detective series – the Thomas Pitt series and the William Monk series. I couldn’t tell you why I chose one over the other but the book I picked up is the fourth in the William Monk series.

William Monk is brilliant yet arrogant former London Police Detective – in the beginning of the series he was still employed by the London Police Force but in the book I am reading he has since resigned – who has lost his memory due to a road accident. Although it doesn’t affect his abilities, the memory loss has Monk questioning the kind of man he was before the accident and reconciling it with the man he is today.

Perry’s style is different from other historical mysteries I have read. She has several lead characters and has them all expressing their point of view. Also, her mystery does not end with the arrest, in this case, of the murder. She has also included the trail; a sort of Victorian “Law and Order”. Of course this is all based on a single book so I don’t know if this holds true for all her books.

I have liked what I have read so far and am happy to have found another long-running series to enjoy.

Starters

October 29, 2012

Callie Woodland lives in a United States recovering from a biological war that has resulted in a population of children and teenagers, known as “Starters” and the elderly or “Enders.” Desperation leads Callie to Prime Destinations, a body bank, where, via microchip, Enders can rent Starter bodies to relive their youth. After three rentals, Callie will have enough money to move herself and her sick brother to a place where they can be safe from the marshals who arrest and institutionalize unattended minors. But on her last rental, Callie’s microchip fails and she begins living her renter’s life. Then she learns Prime Destination’s real agenda and she is the only one who can stop them from making the rentals permanent.

When I first heard about this book I thought it was interesting in a creepy kind of way. The idea of renting out your body to a stranger is as unimaginable to Callie as it would be to most of us but Callie doesn’t really have a choice. I have an aversion to female leads but I liked Callie. She’s a strong character in all senses of the word. I also like how she doesn’t accept her fate but doesn’t whine about things she can’t change.

Aside from that, the book was a straightforward – but good –  dystopian thriller that you know will have at least one sequel. Then you get to the end; a completely unexpected, throws you for a loop, makes you want to grab the next book ending. If Starters didn’t get you at the beginning it will definitely hook you at the end.

Comfort Reading

October 18, 2012

  I’ve been comfort reading the last couple of weeks because I’m too tired to figure out what I want to read next.   I’m not  tired of books but rather it’s the tiredness you feel when the year is about to end you know you still have so much to do. When that happens I always turn to David Eddings.

I don’t read fantasy but the Belgariad and the Malloreanare  my all-time favorite books. Older Brother introduced me to these books at the time when I wanted to read everything that he read. That didn’t last very long but these books have stuck with me ever since. Even after all these years, even if I know the story inside our and back and forth, they still  make me smile.

What is your comfort read?

Graveyard Book

August 24, 2012

With his family murdered, Nobody “Bod” Owens is lovingly raised by the inhabitants of the local graveyard. They grant him Freedom of the Graveyard which gives him the powers of the dead to protect him from a killer they know is still looking for him. But has Bod grows up, both he and his guardian know that he must face his past for him to have any future in the world of the living.

I wasn’t aware that Graveyard Book was a series of short stories so I was disappointed that after the opening chapter the stories became more mundane (well, mundane to someone who reads a lot of crime fiction). I wanted to know why Bod’s family was killed, not so much about his adventures in the graveyard. But as Bod got older the stories got more interesting and it was nice to see how all his adventures tied-up together.

There is still so much I wanted to know about Bod  -about his past and his future –  but I guess those would be stories beyond the graveyard. Wouldn’t that be a great title for the sequel?