Monday, May 31, 2010

Review: The Hidden Staircase

I have to say I liked this book better than the first book in the series (The Secret of the Old Clock) that I posted about here and here.  In this adventure Nancy is approached by her friend Helen to help solve the mystery of a "ghost" who is scaring her great aunt and great grandmother in their home with lots of "strange happenings."  At the same time Nancy is warned that her father, who is involved in some legal work involving property sales and the railraod, is in danger.  It is up to Nancy, with the help of her friend, to figure out who is getting into the house and how, but also to figure out if there is a connection between the warning about the danger her father is in and this "haunted" house.

In this book we find out that Nancy has a... boyfriend?, but he is mentioned, they go out for the evening and get back home in less than a page and we never hear about him again.  In other words, the same problem I found in the last book is still evident here.  Parts of the story that seem to come and go way too fast.  The actual mystery about the haunting of the house was quite intriguing.  This book definitely kept me trying to see if I could figure out how someone is getting inside and around this house.  A decent amount of suspense is present too.  I enjoyed trying to figure out how both mysteries would mesh together.  The one thing that bothered me personally was the continual mention of the intruder as a "ghost" by Nancy, when you know as she goes around looking for hidden passageways she doesn't feel she is dealing with a ghost.

I would rate this with 4 stars and I am looking forward to reading more of these mysteries.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Review: The Secret of the Old Clock

Well, I finished my first book for the Nancy Drew reading challenge.  The Secret of the Old Clock is a quick read, as I figure all the books in the series will be.  Nancy finds herself drawn in to a search for a will when she becomes acquainted with two elderly sisters who are the guardians of a little girl Nancy witnesses almost being run over by a moving truck.  Along the way, as she searches, Nancy discovers others who are acquainted with or related to the gentleman who has passed away.  They are all in need of some financial help of which the gentleman has promised them they would receive.  But his last will and testament leaves everything to another family.  Is there a later will?  That is what Nancy sets out to discover.
Out of 5 stars I would rate this book a 3.  The way the story moved along it seemed there were too many coincidences, where the information Nancy needed just seemed to fall into her lap.  There were scenes of minor conflict that seemed to be resolved way too quickly.  At times a scene would just be introduced and next thing I knew that part of the story was over with out a lot of detail.  Toward the end of the book we finally were introduced to some suspense that helped to move the book to its conclusion.  Definitely could tell this book was not written recently.  So proper and polite.  Though it would be great if kids these days were as respectful to there parents as Nancy is to her dad and to others she meets.  All in all I would recommend this book, especially if you are looking for a quick read.  It is a great introduction to Nancy Drew and if you are looking for something for your children to read you won't have to worry about foul language, etc.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Giveaway: The Last Christian

I am excited to share a book giveaway that I found out about through a link in the Suspense/Thriller reading challenge I am currently involved in.  This book sounds really interesting. I will not attempt to describe it myself, just go to A Few More Pages to see the description and review, and to sign up for the giveaway.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spring Reading Thing

Okay, so Lindsay over at Bytes of Memory clued me in on this "challenge."  Once again, starting late, but the beauty of this challenge is I can choose which books I want to read and change my list if I don't think I will make it.  I am so glad it is not too late to join this challenge!  And of course these books will count toward the 100+ challenge.  As I only have a month and a half to read these books I can get a idea how many books I will be able to read each month so I can pace myself for the rest of the year.  Here is my list of books I hope to read by June 20th (and I would sure love to know how everyone is able to get images of the books they are reading in their post, if anyone could give me a heads up):

Christian Suspense (also for the Thriller and Suspense challenge):

Deadline by Randy Alcorn
Dominion by Randy Alcorn
Last Light by Terri Blackstock
Night Light by Terri Blackstock


Einstein Never Used Flash Cards by Kathy Kirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff (need to finish this one)
The Baby Signing Book by Sara Bingham (also one I need to finish)
School Can Wait by Raymond S. Moore
Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education by Raymond S. Moore
The Power of Play by David Elkind (also need to finish)
Writing Stories: Fantastic Fiction from start to finish by David L Harrison

Nancy Drew: for the Nancy Drew Challenge:

The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene
The Bungalow Mystery by Carolyn Keene
The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene

I have an updated list here

So there you have it. If you would like to join me in this challenge just head on over to

Here’s a brief recap of how to be a part of Spring Reading Thing 2010:
  • Make a list of books you want to read (or finish reading) this spring. Your list can be as long or as short as you’d like. (Also, feel free to modify your list during the challenge if it’s not working for you.)
  • Write a blog post containing your list and submit it to the Spring Reading Thing post.
  • Get reading! The challenge goes from today, March 20th, through June 20th, 2010.
  • Check out other participants’ lists and add to your own to-read-someday pile!
  • Write a post about your challenge experience in June, telling us all about whether you reached your goals and how the Spring Reading Thing went for you. But remember: this is a low-pressure challenge that should be fun. As long as you do some reading this spring (and enjoy it!), that’s good enough for me.

Monday, May 10, 2010

2010 Reading List

I know this year is almost half way gone, but I am determined to make a go of these reading challenges.  I am not sure what blog I was on when I saw a great idea for organizing the reading list, but I am going to borrow the idea.  All of the books on the list will count toward the 100+ books challenge.  A "T/S" after the title refers to the Thriller/Suspense Challenge, while a "ND" after the title refers to the Nancy Drew Challenge.  After I am done updating January through April (I am having trouble remembering everything I read) I will also post the date I finished each book I list.  There will be a separate post for any details I share about each book or review I write, and the title will be a link to the post. 


1) The Scarlet Lady: Confessions of a Successful Abortionist
2) The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
3) The Duggars: 20 and Counting by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar
4) Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
5) New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
6) Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
7) Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer


8) The Secret of the Old Clock (ND)- 5/15/10
9) The Hidden Staircase (ND)- 5/17/10
10) Deadline (T/S)- 5/27/10
11) Tested by Fire (T/S)- 6/2/10
12) Day of Reckoning (T/S)- 6/4/10
13) Vital Signs - 6/6/10
14) The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner- 6/08/10
15) High Stakes- 6/11/10
16) A Fine Line(T/S)- 6/19/10
17) The Bungalow Mystery (ND) 6/21/10
18) Beguiled (T/S)
19) The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites
20) Teenage Vampire
20) Marked: A House of Night Novel 7/17/10
21) The Mystery at Lilac Inn (ND) 7/20/10
22) Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury
23) One by One by Gilbert Morris (T/S)
24) Time Riders by Alex Scarrow
25) The Clue in the Diary (ND)
26) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 10/4/10
27) Masquerade 10/5/10