Dean Koontz

Recently I read two books by Dean Koontz, A Big Little Life and Watchers.

Both books featured golden retrievers as main characters. Koontz has a tendency to write books that have dogs in them, and in most cases the dog is a golden retriever.

I really liked A Big Little Life. It had me laughing most of the time and crying in the end. The book is about the Koontz’s first pet dog, Trixie, whom they adopted from Canine Companions for Independence. Trixie was an extremely intelligent golden and Koontz shares her many antics throughout the book. If I had known how the book would end though, I would not have read it because the way he describes Trixie’s last moments was too similar to Aspen’s. The way he described her breathing had me sobbing for almost half an hour. It’s been a year since Aspen passed away from Leukemia, but the way we lost her still bothers me.

The book, Watchers, also had a golden retriever as the main character, so got my attention right away. Einstein has escaped from a military research laboratory along with another highly intelligent, but not so cute or cuddly creature.

I don’t want to give any of the book away because I thought it was quite well written and worth reading. I just found it to be a little too unrealistic for my taste. I am not a science fiction fan though, so if you are, read this book, and if you aren’t, read it too because Einstein was adorable.

Book review: Dog Eat Dog: A Very Human book About dogs and Dog Showing by Jane Stern

I just finished reading the book Dog Eat Dog: A Very Human Book About Dogs and Dog Shows by Jane Stern.

here’s a link to to reviews about the book on Goodreads.

As everyone knows, Huib shows canyon about three or five times a year. We didn’t start his show career until he was two and a half years old, which is probably a bit on the older side to make a debut, but canyon loves to strut his stuff around the ring and it’s been a really good experience for us.

I found this book to be one of the best books I’ve seen written about dogs and dog showing. Jane focuses on Bull Mastiffs, so the reader learns tons about the breed and about the politics that exists within the showing of them. I also really liked the way in which jane presented the interactions between show exhibitors and explained the ways in which some shows can already be decided before the dogs ever take the ring.

I had to laugh at the commentary Jane shared from ringside because it reminded me of times I’d heard similar comments from people watching or even made similar comments myself.

Dog showing and breeding are definitely not things you want to go into to make money or with the mindset that your dogs are unbeatable. Both are something people should do because they enjoy it because it’s definitely not a money maker and there are going to be ups and downs, with the downs often being long ones.

If you’re interested in learning about the dog show scene, I totally recommend this book. the facts are sometimes out of date, but the showing parts are almost spot on.

Final Books For 2013

Since the last time I wrote about the books I’d finished, I’ve completed 12 more.

Blow Fly by Patricia Cornwell
Trace by Patricia Cornwell
Predator by Patricia Cornwell
book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell
Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell
The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell
Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell
Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell
The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell
Mistress by James Patterson
D is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton
Dust by Patricia Cornwell

I probably won’t finish anymore books before the end of the year, so my final count for 2013 is 71 completed books.

Lots Of Reading

Since the last books I wrote about, I’ve completed a lot more.

I’m not sure I’ll remember everything, but I think I read:

B Is For Burglary by Sue Grafton

Monday Morning by Kathy Reichs

Defending Jacob by William Landay (I linked this book to a review written by a friend)

Thankless In Death by JD Robb (Just released in September)

Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell

Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell

Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell

The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell

From Potter’s Field by Patricia Cornwell

Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell

Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell

Point of Origin by Patricia Cornwell

I may have forgotten a couple, but those are the ones that come to mind. I’m not really sure I’ll be writing about the books I’m reading next year, unless there’s something that makes me think, but I’ll finish off my 2013 book list anyway. I’m just not sure anyone who reads this blog is really interested in hearing about what I’ve read, especially when most of the time I don’t write the greatest book reviews.

So, for 2013, I think I’m up to 59 completed books…not too bad…

Books 46 And 47 For 2013

Here are two more books to add to the completed book list for 2013.

“The Search” by Nora Roberts and “Deadly Decisions” by Kathy Reichs.

The past few weeks have been a little stressful, so I have found myself returning to the In Death series. I’m not sure why, but I find the books interesting and easy to read when stressed. So, in between reading “The Search” and “Deadly Decisions”, I’ve begun to re-read the “In Death” series.

“The Search” is about a woman named Fiona, who runs a dog training school and volunteers for search and rescue missions. Fiona has moved to a small community to escape her past and make a life for herself. all is going as planned until one day she receives a red scarf in the mail and the FBI shows up.

I loved reading about fiona and her dogs. It was interesting to read about the training of search and rescue dogs. the other parts of the book were just bonuses.

“Deadly Decisions” is the third book in the Temperance Brennan series. Brennan has been called back to Montreal early. there have been a high number of motorcycle gang related killings and Brennan has been asked to sort through the remains of two gang members who were victims of a car bombing. While sorting through the various pieces of bones, Brennan learns of a young girl who was also killed in the bombing. the girl’s death sparks a need within Brennan to become more involved in finding the perpetrators and bringing a close to the senseless gang violence.hh

Reading And More Reading

I’m not sure why the series has grabbed me, but I couldn’t stop reading the books and have now completed the most recent book in JD Robb’s In Death series.

In total, there are 39 books and a few other books that include some of Robb’s shorter stories that include Eve Dallas, roarke and friends.

since my last entry, I’ve read:

* Ceremony In Death
* Vengence In Death
* Holiday In Death
* Midnight In Death
* Conspiracy In Death
* Loyalty In Death
* Witness In Death
* Judgement In Death
* Betrayal In Death
* Interlude In Death
* Seduction In Death
* Reunion In Death
* Purity In Death
* Portrait In Death
* Imitation In Death
* Remember when
* Divided In Death
* Visions In Death
* Survivor In Death
* Origin In Death
* Memory In Death
* Born In Death
* Innocent In Death
* Creation In Death
* Strangers In Death
* Salvation In Death
* Promises In Death
* Kindred In Death
* Fantasy In Death
* Indulgence In Death
* Treachery In Death
* New York To Dallas
* Celebrity In death
* Delusion In Death
* Calculated In Death

Of her shorter stories, I’ve read:

* Ritual In Death, and
* Possession In Death

I have a few more of her shorter stories to read, but will eagerly await the release of her next book in the “In Death” series.

With these 35 books, I think my 2013 completed book list is up to 45. If I keep reading ebooks, instead of braille, I will probably complete over a hundred books by the end of the year.

Books That Make You Think

Have you ever read a book that left you thinking? A book that left you thinking, yes, that is exactly how I feel?

Well, I’m reading a series that is doing just that.

I’ve just begun reading the In Death series by JD Robb (Nora Roberts), from the beginning.

So far, I’ve read the first four books; “naked In Death”, “Glory In Death”, “Immortal In Death” and “Rapture In Death”, and have begun the fifth.

Before I go into what the books are about and my review of them, I’ll explain why the series has me thinking, “Yes! This is exactly how I feel” and “Maybe I should change the way I feel”.

Intertwined with the crime and mystery aspect of the books, is the relationship between Eve Dallas, the main character, and the former thief turned Irish billionaire who loves her, Roarke.

Now, you’re probably wondering, how does this apply to my life…here it is…

Throughout the progression of the relationship between Eve and roarke, she’s constantly asking herself why this man, who could have any woman he wanted, wants her and loves her so deeply. she sees herself as nothing more than a broken child who worked her way up to becoming a superstar homicide lieutenant. meanwhile, rorke is a handsome billionaire who could have any woman in the world.

It sounds so weird, but I find myself asking this same question about Huib. I know he loves me to death, but I keep wondering why. Why did he choose to be with me? Why does he feel content with supporting me and with being responsible for helping me, when he could have chosen to ignore my attempts at making him notice me (almost 13 years ago) and be with someone less demanding of his time and efforts?

I guess Eve and I both share the common feeling of not being worth the effort. Of not being anything special, but ourselves.

After months of trying to make Eve understand why he feels so deeply for her, and to show her that she is indeed worthwhile, Roarke finally gets angry and says it straight out. He tells her that he needs and wants her, and that she needs to learn to just accept that.

This is when I began thinking. thinking about my questions regarding why Huib has chosen me. thinking about what sorts of issues my questions might be causing without me knowing. Thinking about why I shouldn’t feel worthwhile and deserving of Huib’s love and devotion.

Huib has chosen to be with me. We have been together for almost thirteen years. We’ve been married for almost seven and a half years. Does it really matter why he chose me? Does it really matter why he cares so deeply? I do deserve to be with Huib, so I’m going to stop over thinking things and just accept the fact that I need him (not financially, but emotionally) and just maybe, he also needs me.

Instead of going into what each book is about, I’ll just say that I love the series so far. the outcome is a little predictable, but you’re always left wondering who the “bad guy” is up until the end. It’s a little hot and steamy when you get to the parts involving eve and roarke at home, but there’s enough crime and suspense mixed into the book, so you’re not left feeling as though you’re reading a cheesy romance novel.

So far, I have twenty-four books to read from the series, but there are another ten or more after that I need to find.

It’s always fun to have a series that pulls you in, especially one that goes on for so long.

Updating The 2013 Book List

I’m totally horrible about updating my finished book list, but here’s four more books to add to the 2013 list.

Hide And Seek by James Patterson. I really liked this book. the book starts out with the main character, Maggie Bradford, hiding under her front porch with her young daughter. They are hiding from her husband, who is drunk and she is convinced, ready to kill them both.

Maggie becomes a famous country star, but her past comes back to haunt her when she gets involved with a celebrity soccer player, who has a terrifying temper.

Mary Mary by James Patterson. Another great book. This is the first Alex Cross series book I’ve ever read, but it’s not the first in the series, so I’ll definitely need to look up the others. Alex and his family have traveled to California for a long awaited vacation. But, as always, his vacation is cut short, when he is contacted by his boss to check out a murder scene in Beverley Hills. There is someone targeting people in the movie industry and Alex is asked to help the Las Angeles Police Department solve the case. The book is full of twists and turns, with some personal issues in between, but I felt Patterson did an amazing job at keeping the reader wondering what was coming next.

Deja Death by Kathy Reichs. This is the first book in the Temperance Brennan series, but not the first I’ve read. As you will notice in my other reviews, I love this author. She does an amazing job at putting together a good story, while also adding some scientific and criminal tidbits throughout. Brennan has come to Quebec to work on some cases she has piling up, when a call comes in regarding a garbage bag that had been found by hydro workers clearing trees from the power lines. she was looking forward to a relaxing weekend, but she immediately knows this isn’t going to happen when she smells the unmistakeable scent of death.

Delusion In Death by Nora Roberts/JD Robb. this is the second book I’ve read from the Eve Dallas series and again, I’ll be looking for more. the book starts out with a group of friends having drinks at an upscale bar. The two women go to the washroom to “touch up” and while chatting, one of the women begins getting a headache and feeling suddenly angry. the women return to their table and chaos insues. Eve Dallas and her partner, Peabody, are called out to the bar where over eighty people are dead. Dallas must figure out what caused a bar full of complete strangers to begin attacking one another.

the first two books were read in braille, but the last two were read with my iPhone. I don’t have any braille books left that interest me and I have put my services on hold with the move, so I’ll probably have a few more books read soon.

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Regarding the upcoming move.

Huib and Cessna return tomorrow with Caleb (I talk about him in other blog posts).

We’ll pack up the rest of the house, and then pick up the U-HAUL sometime Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, we’ll set off towards guelph, stopping in Huntsville to pick up some of my step-father’s furniture he left with my sister, and then Barrie to pick up new mattresses from Costco.

We’ll arrive in guelph around 4:00pm, where my Aunt Tracey and cousin, Zachary, will be waiting to help us unload.

Just 5 more days of living in the north!!!

Book #2 Of 2013

It took me a while, but I have finally gotten around to finishing my second book of the year – Entanglement by Michael Brooks.

Nathaniel Virgo is a journalist for The Herald, a London-based newspaper. He has just recently moved over to the science beat, and his first assignment is to attend a Quantum conference in Baltimore. While at the conference, a scientist gives him a disk that will turn his world upside down.

I felt the book was too long and thought it jumped around too much. I wasn’t able to stop reading though, I needed to know what would happen to Nathaniel and his daughter Katie.

For anyone who is interested in quantum science and political corruption, I recommend you check this book out.

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For anyone who is following our countdown to moving day – 53 days to go!

Book #1 Of 2013

The Overlook, by Michael Connelly is the thirteenth book in the Detective Harry Bosch series.

From Michael Connelly’s website:
“A doctor with access to a dangerous radioactive substance is found murdered on the overlook above the Mulholland Dam. Retracing his steps, Harry learns that a large quantity of radioactive cesium was stolen shortly before the doctor’s death. With the cesium in unknown hands, Harry fears the murder could be part of a terrorist plot to poison a major American city.”

I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading more of this series.