Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Patti's Picks 2013

Patti’s Picks 2013

Here is my list of favorite books of 2013. I don’t have a strict list of criteria for a favorite book; sometimes I just love it, or it makes me happy, or I read it at the right time, or it’s wonderfully written. The books are in alphabetical order by author’s last name. I love sharing lists and books that I love. Happy 2014 and Happy Reading!!!

Crombie, Deborah; The Sound of Broken Glass (#15 in series, mystery)

Deveraux, Jude; Knight in Shining Armor (time travel romance)

Faye, Lyndsay; The Gods of Gotham (#1, historical mystery)

Grecian, Alex; The Yard (#1, historical mystery)

Gunn, Elizabeth; Eleven Little Piggies (#9, mystery)

Harrison, Cora; Deed of Murder (#7, historical mystery)

Harrison, Cora; The Sting of Justice (#3, historical mystery)

Hoffman, Beth; Looking for Me (fiction)

Kelly, Carla; The Admiral's Penniless Bride (romance)

Kowal, Mary Robinette; Without a Summer (#3, historical, fantasy)

Krueger, William Kent; Ordinary Grace (fiction)

MacNeal, Susan Elia; His Majesty's Hope (#3, historical mystery)

MacNeal, Susan Elia; Princess Elizabeth's Spy (#2, historical mystery)

Penny, Louise; How the Light Gets In (#9, mystery)

Robins, Madeleine; The Sleeping Partner (#3, historical mystery)

Rowell, Rainbow; Attachments (fiction)

Rowell, Rainbow; Eleanor and Park (YA fiction)

Rowell, Rainbow; Fangirl (YA fiction)

Scott, Jerry; Triple Shot, Double Pump, No Whip Zits; A ZITS
Treasury (comic collection)

Stabenow, Dana; Bad Blood (#20, mystery)

Weber, David; Fire Season (#2, YA science fiction)

Willig, Lauren; The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (#10, historical mystery)

Winspear, Jacqueline; Leaving Everything Most Loved (#10, historical mystery)

Hanagarne, Josh: The World's Strongest Librarian: a Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family

Schwalbe, Will; The End of Your Life Book Club (memoir)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Reading Plan Check-in

Hello All!

I've made a dent in the To-Be-Read pile since the beginning of November, and I've been having a wonderful time! Here's the update:

Books that unfortunately didn't work for me:
Adams, Ellery; A Killer Plot (mystery)
MacLean, Sarah; A Rogue By Any Other Name (historical Regency romance)
Donaldson, Julianne; Blackmoore: A Proper Romance (historical romance)
Weber, David; Treecat Wars (with Jane Lindskold) (young adult science fiction) [I think with this one, it was the timing--I've loved this series, but it didn't grab me when I started it]

Books I've read & enjoyed have been:
Jenkins, Beverly; Destiny's Embrace (historical romance, western)
Rowell, Rainbow; Attachments (fiction)
Miller, Leigh Rae; The Summer I Became a Nerd (young adult fiction)
Hines, Jim C.; Libriomancer (fantasy)
Copperman, E. J.; Chance of a Ghost
Jamison, Sugar; Dangerous Curves Ahead (mystery/romance)
Parker, Robert B.; Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday Novel (with Helen Braun) (mystery)

Still reading:
Aaronovitch, Ben; Midnight Riot (mystery)
Shalvis, Jill; Christmas in Lucky Harbor
Willis, Connie; Miracle and Other Christmas Stories

Still hoping to get to some of the following over the holidays:

(From the library)
York, Sheila; A Good Knife's Work (mystery, 1940s)

Checked out the following since the original post :) :
Price, Kalayna; Grave Dance (fantasy)
Robertson, Imogen; Instruments of Darkness (historical mystery)
Shaber, Sarah; Louise's Gamble (mystery, 1940s)
Brennan, Marie; A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir (historical, fantasy)
Harrison, Cora; Laws in Conflict (Ireland, historical mystery)
Hall, Patricia; Dead Beat  (1960s, England, mystery)
Rosenfelt, David; Bury the Lead (mystery)

(At home):
Michaels, Barbara; Ammie Come Home (romantic suspense)
Balliett, Blue; Wright 3 (children's mystery)
Nguyen, Bich Minh; Pioneer Girl (advance copy) (fiction)
Allen, Sarah Addison; Lost Lake (advance copy) (fiction)
Crusie, Jennifer; Tell Me Lies (romance, fiction)

Recent books by the following authors:
Jenn McKinlay/Josie Belle, Julie Hyzy, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Juliet Blackwell, Naomi Novik and John Scalzi (all at home).

I moved the request date for the following until after the holidays:
Gilbert, Elizabeth; The Signature of All Things (fiction)

There have been several blocks into my reading time--I'm expecting out-of-town company (this is a very awesome thing!), so I'm in the process of a major housecleaning, and I had to go out and buy a new computer (in the end, also an awesome thing), requiring some research and some shopping.

Additionally, this reading plan does NOT stop at the end of the year. I'm going to keep on going, reading WHAT I WANT TO READ, though throwing more nonfiction into the mix. With my original plan, I have been reading only fiction. Here's the link to the original post: 


I hope all of you find some time during the holiday season to do some reading of exactly what you want to read!

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Reading Plan for the Rest of 2013

Hello All,

I'm going to do something radical for the next 2 months. I'm only going to read fiction, and I'm only going to read WHAT I WANT TO READ. Crazy, I know!

By no means have I been reading books I don't want to read. But I seem to be reading things that I think I should read (new fiction, nonfiction books regarding health or maybe a social issue); this isn't working for me right now, and I'm not enjoying reading like I should be.

I do realize I will never run out of things to read--I read new books, old books, and I re-read books I love. And I also re-read books to get back on track with a series that somehow I've missed a few of the more recent entries. So I decided to take care of me and have a lot of fun, because that's what reading, and life should be all about!

Some of the books in the To-Be-Read pile of fiction include:

(From the library)
Adams, Ellery; A Killer Plot (mystery)
York, Sheila; A Good Knife's Work (mystery, 1940s)
Jenkins, Beverly; Destiny's Embrace (historical romance, western)
Aaronovitch, Ben; Midnight Riot (mystery)
Rowell, Rainbow; Attachments (fiction)
Miller, Leigh Rae; The Summer I Became a Nerd (young adult fiction)
Hines, Jim C.; Libriomancer (fantasy)
MacLean, Sarah; A Rogue By Any Other Name (historical Regency romance)
Jamison, Sugar; Dangerous Curves Ahead (mystery/romance)
Weber, David; Treecat Wars (with Jane Lindskold) (young adult science fiction)
Parker, Robert B.; Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday Novel (with Helen Braun) (mystery)
Donaldson, Julianne; Blackmoore: A Proper Romance (historical romance)
Gilbert, Elizabeth; The Signature of All Things (fiction)

(At home):
Michaels, Barbara; Ammie Come Home (romantic suspense)
Balliett, Blue; Wright 3 (children's mystery)
Nguyen, Bich Minh; Pioneer Girl (advance copy) (fiction)
Allen, Sarah Addison; Lost Lake (advance copy) (fiction)
Crusie, Jennifer; Tell Me Lies (romance, fiction)

Recent books by the following authors:
Jenn McKinlay/Josie Belle, Julie Hyzy, Julia Spencer-Fleming (actually catching up on her series), E. J. Copperman, Juliet Blackwell, Naomi Novik and John Scalzi (all at home).

And some Christmas reads and re-reads will be thrown in during December, especially those by Connie Willis, and Jill Shalvis (romance, Christmas in Lucky Harbor, which contains the 1st 2 Lucky Harbor books, plus 2 Christmas novellas). And possibly Charlotte Macleod's Rest You Merry (mystery, almost an annual read for me), Miss Read's No Holly for Miss Quinn (fiction, another annual read) and Sandra Boynton's Christmastime (long out of print, but worth tracking down; it's hilarious).

And who knows what else might catch my eye over the next 2 months...?

Happy Reading!!!

PS No, I do not intend to hibernate over the next 2 months; there will be sports-watching, socializing and, of course, working :).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig

Hello All,

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig was a lot of fun for this reader. It combined romance, adventure and mystery in a classic Regency setting.

Gwendolyn Meadows has been second-in-command to the spy the Pink Carnation in Paris. She returns to England to help find the Pink Carnation's younger sister who has gone missing from  her boarding school. Young Agnes has run away accompanied by her friend Lizzy, whose father has returned from India to be with his daughters. Gwen ends up joining Lizzy's father, William Reid, and together, with compatriots, they search the English countryside for the girls.

Gwen and William's adventures include witty banter, each taking care of the other as situations arise, and a romance begins despite their worries.

One of the best things about this book for me was the age of the characters. Gwen admits to being in her forties, and William is in his fifties. Yet they are not kept on the shelf or made to be comic characters on the sidelines. This is their story and their romance is front and center. As a reader in my late forties, I thank the author for writing this particular book.

Highly recommended!

Happy Reading!

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig 2013 Penguin 9780451414724

This book was sent to me for review by Penguin; no other compensation was offered or accepted for this review.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Tucson Festival of Books

Hello All!

I'm so excited to be participating as a panel moderator at the Tucson Festival of Books again this year. The Festival is being held the second weekend of March, Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10. I am moderating three(!) panels, which has definitely been some work, but will definitely be fun over the Festival weekend.

For those of you in Arizona, and for those of you who are interested in things I'm doing and authors I'm reading, below is where I'll be and when next weekend:

Tucson Festival of Books 2013
Patti’s Panels

Different Voices
When: Saturday 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Where: Student Union - Santa Rita Room
Genre: Mystery
Spencer Quinn
Elizabeth Gunn
Naomi Hirahara
Patti O'Brien

Keeping it Cozy
When: Sunday 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Where: Student Union - Santa Rita Room
Genre: Mystery
Lisamarie Jelderks
Rebecca Hale
Jenn McKinlay
Patti O'Brien

Reluctant Detectives
When: Sunday 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Where: UA Bookstore
Genre: Mystery
Naomi Hirahara
Kate Mathis
Donis Casey
Patti O'Brien

Hope to see some of you there!
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Patti's Picks of 2012

Patti’s Picks:Favorites of 2012

The following is a list of books I enjoyed reading the most in 2012. Happy Reading in 2013!!!

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim (fiction)

In a Witch’s Wardrobe by Juliet Blackwell (mystery with witches)

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (YA fantasy)

So Damn Lucky by Deborah Coontz (mystery)

Necessary as Blood (bk 13) and No Mark Upon Her (bk 14) by Deborah Crombie (English mysteries)

Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie (screwball romance)

My Lady Judge by Cora Harrison (1500s Irish mystery)

A Discovery of Witches (bk 1) and Shadow of Night (bk 2)  by Deborah Harkness (fantasy)

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn (fiction)

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elias MacNeal (1940s English mystery)

Fatal Winter by G. M. Maillet (English mystery)

The Buzzard Table by Margaret Maron (mystery)

Red Velvet Revenge by Jenn McKinlay (mystery)

A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (Quebec mystery)

Redshirts by John Scalzi (humorous science fiction)

Restless in the Grave by Dana Stabenow (Alaskan mystery)

A Lonely Death by Charles Todd (1920s English mystery)

Blackout by Connie Willis (time travel)

Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear (1930s English mystery)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

The Truth About Style by Stacy London

In Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero 
by Otto Penzler