Thursday, May 31, 2012

Books #3, #5, #11, #13, #18, and #20 - The Alex Cross Series

                   (above: just some of the books in the massive Alex Cross series by James Patterson)

So far, in my quest for 100 books, six of them have been part of the Alex Cross series by James Patterson. I can't review them individually without giving things away to those who are not yet familiar with the books, but I will share a bit about them as a whole and why you should read them ASAP. =)

BOOK #3: The Big Bad Wolf
BOOK #5: London Bridges
BOOK # 11: Mary, Mary
BOOK # 13: Cross
BOOK # 18: Double Cross
BOOK #20: Cross Country
All 5/5 stars

After completion of Cross Country, I still have at least five more books to go in the series, as there are four more already published about Cross, and one set to be released next year. There are even more books about him that I read before making the 100 list. Needless to say, I'm addicted to Alex Cross. Why? James Patterson is a great writer of suspenseful mysteries and crime novels. His other books are great; his Alex Cross series is phenomenal. Cross is a detective in a poor area of Washington, D.C. He lives with his hilarious Nana, and his two children. His wife was murdered in a drive-by shooting years before the first novel begins, and it was never solved, a fact which haunts him. Cross is so interesting because he also has a psychology degree and has experience as a practicing psychologist. This comes in handy as he hunts serial killers.

For the most part, each book deals with a different terrifying serial killer, often with nicknames such as "The Wolf", "Matermind", or "Casanova" to name a few. Cross not only utilizes his skills as a detective to find and capture these killers, he also uses his psychology background to analyze these people and why they do the things they do. Often, the serial killers like to do things a certain way and discovering what way that is and why often helps significantly in finding them. Cross also goes through a few romantic relationships throughout the novels, which appeals to romantics like me. =) His family life is also entertaining, and at times scary, because Cross's work sometimes puts his family and himself in danger.

Anyone interested in mysteries, serial killers, crime novels, or even psychology would probably enjoy this series. The reason I've read so many of them so quickly is because they are page-turners for sure! The short chapters often end on cliffhangers so you never want to put the book down, and as soon as you finish one, you're dying to get your hands on the next! I love the series more than anything else Patterson has written, and I recommend it to almost anyone!

I'm a huge lover of mystery and crime novels, so if anyone has a suggestion of a book or author I should check out, just comment and let me know! Happy reading! =)
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” - Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (a novel on my to-read list!)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Book #1 - Alphabet of Thorn

For my first official post, I wanted to write about the first book on the my ongoing list of books since March 1st that are a part of the 100 books that I hope to read this year!

BOOK #1: Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia McKillip
5/5 stars

I finished this book on March 6th, 2012 after only a few days of reading it. Alphabet of Thorn is a fantasy novel, but before any non-fantasy lovers groan as they think of wizards and hobbits, give it another chance! I first encountered McKillip while interning at Shaker High School this fall, when I read The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, another favorite that I may later review! I have always been a lover of the Harry Potter series, as anyone who knows me should know. =) However, I have never been a huge fantasy buff, and was apprehensive about interning in a Science Fiction and Fantasy elective class this past fall. However, when my supervising teacher introduced me to McKillip, I fell in love with her writing style. Her words are truly beautiful and even breathtaking sometimes. Her characters are dynamic and I became so invested in them. I couldn't wait to get my hands on more of her work.

Alphabet of Thorn is a novel about a young woman named Nepenthe who is an orphan, and has been raised by royal librarians (pretty much my dream upbringing...haha just kidding ;) ). She has been taught to translate ancient books written in various mysterious languages over the years. However, when she is brought a secret book written in a language of symbols that look like thorns, she not only faces one of the most difficult translations of her life, but the book may hold more power than she thought. The novel goes back and forth between Nepenthe's present, and an ancient legend described in the thorn language, that may have more impact on the present situation than anyone could have guessed. The kingdom is in danger and under the new rule of a young, unstable Queen, and Nepenthe must race against time to solve the mystery of the thorns before it's too late.

Once again, McKillip drew me in with her lyrical language, and riveting mysteries. Obviously the protagonist's love for literature felt familiar to me, but magic was also very present in the novel, and it was a different kind of magic than I had encountered before. I would recommend this novel to any lover of fantasy for sure, but also to those who have only dabbled in the genre. It is a great novel to try if you have not read much fantasy and aren't sure how you feel about it yet. I think it's likely that this book could sway at least a few readers to read more fantasy novels in the future.

"Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps. It must be fed; it cannot be ignored."- Patricia A. McKillip

It's My New Blog!!!


After encouragement from friends and family, I've decided to make a blog to document all of the reading I do and share my favorite books with everyone! I'm trying to read 100 books this year, and since March 1st, 2012, when I came up with the idea, I've read 25 books and full-length plays to date. I will be blogging about my favorites, and including guest blogs from anyone who wants to share their favorite books and authors! My dream is to be an English teacher, and I love reading and writing and talking about both, so feel free to comment or suggest books! I want to share my love of reading with everyone in my life, and share the ways in which it has impacted my life. I hope that you all enjoy this blog! Keep reading!


P.S. For those who may be interested in where the URL "inexhaustiblesourceofmagic" came from, it's one of my favorite quotes from a beloved childhood series, Harry Potter. The full quote is: "Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic" - Albus Dumbledore =)