Friday, February 21, 2014

Knots and Crosses By Ian Rankin

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Title: Knots and Crosses
Author: Ian Rankin
ISBN: 9780312536923

Goodreads SynopsisDetective John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders...and he's tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain's elite SAS. Now he's an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and ignores a series of crank letters. But as the ghoulish killings mount and the tabloid headlines scream, Rebus cannot stop the feverish shrieks from within his own mind. Because he isn't just one cop trying to catch a killer, he's the man who's got all the pieces to the puzzle... 

Sara Says...

I originally heard about this book and series when the author appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (which I absolutely love). In this interview the author discussed the release of the newest book in this series, the Inspector Rebus Series. At this point, there are nearly twenty books in this series. 

In the interview, the book they were discussing got my attention and I was interested enough to go looking for it online. It didn't take me long to discover that this was a new book in a very lengthy series, and to get to the most recent book being discussed, I would have to start from the beginning. So, I found the first book in the series, and placed my order. 

Knots and Crosses is the first book in the Inspector Rebus Series. This is a series of crime/detective novels. In this book the reader is introduced to John Rebus and his life as an inspector in Edinburgh. The reader learns that he has a troubled past and several aspects of his life are relatively unstable. 

In the end, I enjoyed this one. I haven't read a detective/mystery novel in a long time. I used to read a lot of them, but over time, I kind of drifted away from them. So, it was nice to go back to a good one that I enjoyed read. 

Pros: There were several things about this book that I really liked. To begin with, I loved the setting of this novel and the role it plays in the development of the plot. I love Scotland and I love Edinburgh. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure to visit, and as a result, I am always naturally drawn to books and movies that are set there. To me, this adds a "realness" to the story. I also really like main characters that aren't your typical "good guys." Inspector Rebus is not a normal, run-of-the-mill good guy. He has demons from his past that still continue to haunt him as well as a few skeletons in his closet. But, for me, as a reader, these are the types of things that really draw me to a character. 

Cons: There were also a few aspects of this novel that were a little bit of a distraction as I was reading. Given, this book was written in the 80's, there are details that are no longer relevant. The references to technology and how it is used to conduct investigations are a bit dated. Also, there are moments of this book that feel very predictable. If you've read enough mysteries and detective stories, sometimes there are things that are to be expected and it can be pretty easy to see them coming. And, as a reader, I don't like to be able to tell what is going to happen next. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable quick read. I will probably continue to read my way through this series over time. I won't be marathoning through all of them to get caught up to the most recent books. This is the kind of easy series to jump into and enjoy. 

I would definitely recommend this book, and probably this series, to anyone who normally enjoys detective/crime mysteries. Also, I think this book could be enjoyed by other who enjoy the backdrop of the setting, even if this genre isn't their typical comfort zone. This could be an easy and comfortable way to ease into this type of reading.

Do you have any thoughts or comments about this series? Or even about any crime or detective series? Is there a particular series that your love or hate? I know this is a very popular genre and a lot of the time people have a lot to say whether they like these types of books or not. So, I would love to hear your ideas.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Throne of Glass Read-Along

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Unless you've been living under a rock, you have probably heard of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. But, if you are like me, you may have heard a lot about it, but have never gotten around to reading it. Until now...

Lainey from gingerreadslainey is an amazing BookTuber. She has tons of great booky videos and she is behind this great idea for a read-along. I highly suggest you stop by her site and give some of her videos a look.

I'm super excited to read this one. Everything I have heard about this series is wonderful. So, jump in, read along, and join in the read-along on Twitter with the hashtag #ReadTOG

I would love to know your thoughts about this book and if you're joining in on the fun...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Olympics Obsessed!

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Yay! It's time for the Olympics again! I don't know about you but I become obsessed and addicted every time the Olympics occur. It doesn't matter what it is, summer games, winter games, curling, gymnastics...I watch it all.

I get so into it all that everyone around me knows that is all I am thinking about for the duration of the games. I check the medal count web pages continually. I have an Olympics list on Twitter with the best tweeters for the events.

Personally, for the winter Olympics, I have a few favorite games and a few favorite athletes. My favorite events are figure skating...ALL of the figure skating, and snowboarding...ALL of the snowboarding. But, like I said, I'll watch all of them. I also enjoy some of the skiing and the speed skating.

When it come to athletes, of course I'm rooting for my fellow Americans, but there are a few athletes from other countries that I enjoy watching as well.

I adore Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, skating as a pair for the American team. These two are so interesting and fun to watch.

I love the young Japanese figure skater, Yuzuru Hanyu. This is his first trip to the Olympics and he is amazing! If you get a chance to watch him, do it!
Another amazing skater is the Russian, Evgeny Plyushchenko. He skates so beautifully and precisely. He is a joy to watch.

Moving on to snowboarders...

I have a few of my favorites to share as well.

Of course, I love Shaun White! I LOVE Shaun White! He is probably one of my favorite winter Olympians, ever! I was super sad to hear that he dropped out of the new slopestyle event, but I guess I can understand if he wanted to focus his attention on the halfpipe. I am missing his long, red locks though!
I am also rooting for Shelly Gotlieb. She is the oldest woman competing in the new slopestyle snowboarding competition. She is 33. I am kind of hoping she will show some of these young gals up.
 Keep in mind, these are just a few of my favorite. I will be making a few more posts about the Olympics as the games continue and I will also continue to post about some more of my favorite athletes.

What about you? Do you love watching the Olympics like I do? What event is your favorite? Do you have a favorite athlete?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What's Out This Week

There are tons of new books coming out this week, but these are a few that I am most excited about. 


 Title: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: February 4, 2014
ISBN: 9780312642976

Let's talk about Cress for a little bit. This is the third book in The Lunar Chronicles, the first two being Cinder and Scarlett. This is a series of fairy tale retellings set in the future. After hearing all about Cinder on BookTube, last fall I finally gave in and read it and...I loved it. So, I am all about this series now. If you haven't read it, I strongly encourage you to give it a shot.  

Title: Ignite Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: February 4, 2014
ISBN: 9780062085573

This is the third book in the Shatter Me series by Taherah Mafi, following Shatter Me and Unravel Me. This series follows Juliette, who is able to harm people through her touch. There are also two novellas in this series that fall after the first and second book in the series. The novellas, "Destroy Me" and "Fracture Me," add more depth and insight into the story and characters that isn't available in the main novels of the series. This is a really interesting series that is high on my recommendation list.

 Title: Twisted Sisters
Author: Jen Lancaster
Release Date: February 4, 2014
ISBN: 9780451239655

Let me just say, if you aren't reading Jen Lancaster, you are missing out. I absolutely love Jen Lancaster and I always eagerly await her next release. She is amazingly witty and clever and continuously makes me giggle and truly laugh out loud. She is absolutely genuine and sincere in her writing. She started out blogging and writing memoir, but this is her publication in the fiction world. I am super excited about this book. And I'm looking forward to reading all about the sisters and their relationship in this new novel.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Scentsy February Warmer and Scent of the Month

If you remember, I am a Scentsy Consultant. I love this company and everything I get always smells amazing and I love the way my house smells.

Each month Scentsy offers a brand new scent and warmer of the month. And this is the warmer of the month for February.

Isn't this guy cute? His name is Chantecler and he is available for 10% off during the month of February. According to Scentsy "The rustic charm of the French countryside is captured in beautiful white ceramic."

The lovely scent that accompanies this warmer for February is Sparkling Citrus Pear. "Sweet nashi pear enlivened by citrus zest and bright lemon verbena." This fantasic scent is also available for 10% off during the month of February.

This scent and this warmer are both lovely products. Be sure to take advantage of this discounted price while you can during the month of February. You can click here to shop and order. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or comment below.