Tag Archive | Nancy Taylor Rosenberg

A to Z Reading Challenge 2011

Ok, so I’m a little late doing this, sorry, but better late than never eh!

In late 2010, I heard some people talking about reading novels from A to Z. I thought, what a brilliant idea, and decided to set myself a challenge of doing exactly that in 2011. As I was writing a blog about it, it occurred to me that other people may have the same idea. I googled A to Z Challenge and found this site – A to Z Challenge I didn’t have to start one all by myself!

I started with no plan at all, except to read the A to Z (author surname) in order, and stick pretty much to just those 26 books. In 2010 I’d read about 24 books, so knew I wasn’t going to be able to read many more than the 26.

Of course as time went by and I made my way through the challenge, I found there were other books I really wanted to read that either were a letter way further down the line, or that had a letter I’d already read, or already planned what I was going to read for it. I let myself read a couple of other novels – but only if I REALLY wanted to needed to.

I did cheat a little. Kinna. I didn’t actually finish 26 novels. There were 3 letters that for different reasons I didn’t finish the novel.

Letter L was Girl with a One Track Mind by Abby Lee, I started it and was enjoying it, but it was all about sex, when this girl had it, where she had it and how much she thought about it. Nothing really wrong with that, but I do most of my reading on the tube, I felt embarrassed reading it on the tube, so picked up M, and told myself I’d read L at home. I never got round to it.

Letter O was a really good book – The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell. I got it from the library (a god send, I couldn’t have afforded 26 books in 1 year on top of the ‘really want ones’), and took it to Sweden when I went. I’m not sure if it was on the flight, at the hotel, or our friends’ house, but somewhere I lost it. Typical. I ended up having to pay it in the end anyway. I’d gone on to P while I was away, and just never got the opportunity to go back to it. At some point, I would like to buy it, or borrow it and finish reading it.

Letter Z was a hard one, which I started before a few other letters. I unexpectedly finished the novel I was reading on a Sunday and didn’t have a chance to go and get the next letter. Boyfriend came to the rescue and gave me a Z – Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny. It was sci-fi which isn’t my choice, but I’d borrowed a couple off him in the years previously which I quite enjoyed. Lord of Light was not another one though. I just couldn’t get into, or really understand it. I gave it 50 or so pages, but couldn’t go on. When I gave it back to boyfriend, he said he’d had a hard job getting into it. Sigh.

So, I didn’t make 26 novels, but I started them all. In my book I finished it – yay!

Also, I didn’t review all, or add any of my review to the site, but to be honest, I didn’t find the website too easy to navigate, and lets face it, all I need is a little excuse and I won’t do something. I guess technically if I didn’t check-in, I didn’t really do it. In my mind I did though!

I’m really glad I did the challenge, I read a lot of authors that I’d never had done otherwise, and you know me, I love a challenge. But, I’d never do it again. I found it WAY too constrictive, and because I knew I couldn’t really read many other books, I felt guilty when reading one that wouldn’t go towards the challenge. There were times when I just HAD to read other books – like The Ugly Sister by Jane Fallon and Faking It by Lotte Daley – and there were many, many more times when I wanted to read another book, but just couldn’t. There were also quite a few letters where I was so torn over which novel to read. M was a good example, I had about 3 books with the letter M on my TBR shelf at home. So what did I do? I went out and bought another. Typical! It was New Moon (Twilight) by Stephanie Meyer.

I discovered some brilliant authors because of the challenge though – Jeff Abbott, Allison Brennan, Ilana Fox Rob Ryan, Nancy Taylor Rosenburg and Minette Walters. Weird – most of the new good authors write thrillers… what does that tell me? I say I prefer women’s lit (chick-lit), but it’s a close call. I did discover new chick-lit authors, but when I discovered them, I read them out of sequence and out of the challenge because I just HAD to read them there and then (Ali McNamara and Lotte Daley)

I know all the books are listed on my ‘Books’ page, but here’s a list of them – from A to Z. Just for fun, I’m putting a comment and rating out of 5 after each one – not something I usually do. The ones which I have reviewed have the links to the actual review.

A Kiss Gone Bad by Jeff Abbott – brilliant. Can’t wait to read the other ones in the series – 4.5/5

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern – Prefered her earlier stuff, but still pretty good – 4/5 (I couldn’t choose between the As, so read them both)

Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay – Loved it, love his work – 5/5

Fear No Evil by Allison Brennan – So happy I discovered her. Can’t wait to read the rest of the series 4.5/5 (ditto the comment re A for B)

The Famous Writer’s School by Stephen Carter – Not what I imagined. 2.5/5

Ex-Girlfiends United by Matt Dunn – Little slow 2.5/5

Past Mortem by Ben Elton – Good, he’s done better, but still good – 4/5

Spotlight by Ilana Fox – Didn’t expect to, but loved it 4.5/5

The Love Verb by Jane Green – As usual loved it – 4.5/5

This Book Will Save Your Life by A.M. Homes – Slow 2/5

A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro – Couldn’t get over the cultural difference – 2/5

The Truth About Melody Browne by Lisa Jewell – Once got into it, really enjoyed – 4/5

The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson – Loved every second – 4.5/5

Girl with a One Track Mind by Abby Lee – what I read was good. I will finish it at some point 3/5

Twilight: New Moon by Stephanie Meyer – Not as great as Twilight, but still good. 4/5

One Day by David Nicholls – Took a long time to get into it. Had me crying like a baby at the end though. 3.5/5

The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell* – I need to finish this – 3/5

Still Thinking of You by Adele Parks – as always a brilliant read from Ms Parks  4.5/5

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen – took ages to get into the story – 2.5/5

Trans Am by Rob Ryan – fast paced, gripping – 4.5/5

Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton – loved. Better than her first (and, you know –New York) – 4.5/5

Mitigating Circumstances by Nancy Taylor Rosenburg – Brilliant 4.5/5

Die for You by Lisa Unger – Not what I expected in a really good way. 4/5

The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine – slow, slightly boring. 2.5/5

The Sculptress by Minette Walters – Excellent – 4.5/5

The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai by Ruiyan Xu – Really enjoyed it 4/5

Amrita by Banana Yoshimoto* – again, couldn’t get over the cultural differences 2/5

Lord of light by Roger Zelazny – just couldn’t get into it – sci-fi really isn’t my thing – 1/5

All in all, it was a good year, but I’m glad it’s over and I can read what I want to read, not what’s next on the list!

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Mitigating Circumstances by Nancy Taylor Rosenburg – Review

Corruption, violence, rape and a mother’s vengeance are the explosive ingredients of this exceptional thriller. Promotion to chief of the Sex Crimes Division, and a budding romance with colleague Richard Fowler, give DA Lily Forrester the courage to end a bad marriage. Once she gets teenage Shana through the divorce, she can really start to live her own life. But the dream is shattered when a brutal intruder invades her home and attacks Lily and her daughter. And – distraught, terrified, frantic to protect Shana – Lily takes the law into her own hands . . .

This is another book that my Aunt picked up from a charity shop and offered to me before she took it to her holiday rental flat in Bournemouth. I am so glad she did.

I found the first chapter quite hard going as there were lots and lots of different characters thrown at the reader, but once I made it through there and realised who the important ones were and weren’t, I really got into it.

I couldn’t put it down, I was totally gripped. In the mornings I get a tube, then can either walk to work, or change to another tube for a 4 minute journey. Everyday when I was reading this I took the 2nd tube, just so I could read for those extra 4 minutes. I loved it that much.

I read it a few months ago (I know, I should have reviewed it then – naughty me!), so don’t remember too many details to review thoroughly, but I remember enough to have googled Nancy Taylor Rosenburg and been very happy to find she’s got LOADS more novels that I can read. The Mystery & Suspense Challenge 2012 is going to be a fun one!

*As well as counting this in the Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge I’m using it as R in the A to Z Challenge. I know this is cheating a little as it should be a T (last name), but I genuinely thought she was Nancy Taylor-Rosenburg when I picked it up (Nancy Taylor – Rosenburg didn’t even cross my mind), so I’m going with it! Out of the rules I’ve broken for it (my own specified rules even if not the real ones) this is a minor one. Cheat? Maybe, but I don’t care. I’m just glad I thought it or I would have missed out on this awesome book!

Quick End of Week Update

That’s a bit of a silly title really. I have nothing to update you with. Remember that post on Wednesday, when I was really positive about how I was doing with my writing etc? Well, I’ve fallen off that writing wagon. Damn.

On Wednesday, I got home from work, and was literally shattered. I didn’t really have enough energy to make dinner, so I persuaded boyfriend to do it (yay for boyfriends who can cook 🙂 ). Writing? Nah, didn’t have a look in.

Yesterday, I went to a friend’s for dinner, then to the pub for one. By the time I got home, I only had time for a quick catch up with my boyfriend before bed.

Today, I’m going to change that! I’m going to go home, and I’m going to write a load of words. It may not be enough to make up for the last two days, but I’m damn sure it’s going to be more than the 500 that are my goal to write today. Sure of it.

I have been reading a lot. On Wednesday night, I pretty much read all night. Yesterday I had a total of 2 1/2 hours on trains and tubes. I read for the whole of that time. I’m reading Mitigating Circumstances by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg, and absolutely loving it. I’ve not read a thriller for ages, and can’t remember why not, I love them. I love good ones anyway, and this really is a good one!

I probably won’t be blogging again until Monday (my ROW80 check ins on Sunday usually come on Mondays!) because I don’t have internet at home… BUT on Sunday, it’s Blog Action Day. Come back here to see my doing my usual rambling on, but this time about FOOD not WRITING!

Still Going Well – ROW8- Check-in 12th Oct

I’m still rocking my word goal this week. OK, so that means Monday and Tuesday, not that long, but I’m still rocking it. Because I’m loving the graph thing, and as I’ve done more words than yesterday when I did a graph (here) here’s another to show my progress:

 

He he. I’m loving this. Even more I’m loving that the actual line is getting higher and higher above the goal line.

Last night I got home, cooked and watched a movie. I then turned on the laptop to write, but couldn’t get anywhere. Eventually I started writing, got into it, and managed 611 words. pretty good going. Obviously not as good as 1733 on Sunday, or the 826 on Monday (yes, I’m bragging that I’m doing so much better than my 500 word goal every day!).

On Sunday, on the check-in blog, Kate suggested getting a buddy for the challenge. I didn’t have to look for one, because one came looking for me. The lovely Laura from NovelKicks and her own blog, sent me a text asking if I wanted to buddy up with her. As I met her in real life a few weeks ago, and know I really like her, I quickly agreed.

Man is she tough. She’s been texting me everyday to find out how I’m doing. I think yesterday I might not have done any, if it wasn’t for her asking how I’d done. Thanks Laura. 🙂

I’ve got 2 hours of train journeys tomorrow for work. I’m really looking forward to it, because it means I get to sit and read on work time – woop! I’ve just started Mitigating Circumstances by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg. I’m only on page 21 but already getting into it. I’ve not read a proper thriller for ages, and I feel like this is just what I need right now. Bring on tomorrow!