Saturday, October 29, 2011

Books Are Life - Vita Libri Has Moved!!

Hi all,

Books Are Life – Vita Libri has moved to WordPress! 

I wasn’t liking the overall look of my blog over at Blogspot, so I decided a change was in order.  A new theme, a new look, but the same content. 
I look forward to connecting with WordPress book bloggers and continuing to share my love for reading and my passion for books with my current followers!

Come follow Books Are Life - Vita Libri at
Hope to see you soon!
And remember,
Books Are Life,

Book Review - Eve by Iris Johansen

Title: Eve
Author: Iris Johansen
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN:  9780312651206

Synopsis (from 
Eve Duncan’s mission in life is to bring closure to the families who have experienced the agony of a missing child. As a forensic sculptor, she is able to piece together bones, create a face, and bring an identity to a child who would have otherwise gone unidentified. Eve is brilliant, driven, and tormented—because her own daughter, Bonnie, was taken from her years ago. But now, with the help of a CIA agent, Eve has uncovered some startling new evidence: A man with a connection to Bonnie that had been all but buried. His name is John Gallo. He’s from Eve’s own past. His whereabouts are unknown. And he might just be the missing piece to the puzzle that has haunted Eve for years…

My thoughts:  This is the first book in a new trilogy taking a closer look at the each of the main characters in Iris Johansen's Eve Duncan series - Eve, Quinn, and Bonnie! 

I have read the entire Eve Duncan series and have been a huge fan for years.  I loved this book!  I loved how it was laid out, spending the first half of the book taking us back into Eve's very early years, her time with John Gallo (father of her beloved daughter Eve), and the birth of her daughter. The second half then took the reader on an exciting ride to hunt down Bonnie's kidnapper/murderer.  Did John Gallo kill Bonnie as CIA agent Catherine Ling suggests?  What is John Gallo's real story? 

I thought it was really intriquing getting a glimpse into Eve's past and how she got where she is today.  It really puts some perspective on all of the other books in the series. 

The cliffhanger ending of course has me digging right into "Quinn" to see what happens!!!

I do sincerely hope that the mystery of who kidnapped/murdered Bonnie is finally wrapped up after this trilogy however.  As much as I love the Eve Duncan Books, I do feel that the Bonnie story line is getting a bit old and a bit dragged out after a decade of this series.  Please Iris Johansen, give us faithful readers a final answer to this puzzle and give Eve and Quinn some peace.  It's enough already.

My rating:  : ) : ) : ) : ) : )  Loved it!  

And remember,
Books Are Life,

Book Review - Black Ice (Harry Bosch #2)

Title:  The Black Ice (Harry Bosch #2)
Author:  Michael Connelly
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing
ISBN:  0446613444
Format: ebook

Synopsis (from  Narcotics officer Cal Moore's orders were to look into the city's latest drug killing. Instead, he ends up in a motel room with a fatal bullet wound to the head and a suicide note stuffed in his back pocket. Working the case, LAPD detective Harry Bosch is reminded of the primal police rule he learned long ago: Don't look for the facts, but the glue that holds them together. Soon Harry's making some very dangerous connections, starting with a dead cop and leading to a bloody string of murders that wind from Hollywood Boulevard to the back alleys south of the border. Now this battle-scarred veteran will find himself in the center of a complex and deadly game-one in which he may be the next and likeliest victim.

My thoughts:  I am loving this Harry Bosch series - they have become my go to ebooks while on the elliptical in the gym!  In this second book in the series, hard-core cop Harry Bosch sets out to investigate the death of narcotics officer Cal Moore.  As the invetigation gets heated, things are of course not what they seem. 

The book takes you on an exciting journey from the streets of LA to the drug wars of Mexico!  The characters are real, the story fast and intriguing with plenty of police corruption, twists, and turns to keep things interesting!  This book also lays out Harry Bosch's connection to Defense Attorney Micky Haller (from Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer).

This series is worth a read!  I'm moving quickly on to #3 Concrete Blonde!

My Rating:  : )  : )  : )  : )  Liked it!!!!

And remember,
Books Are Life,
Hosted by Crazy for Books . . . this weeks question is: 

“What is your favorite Halloween costume?
Even if you don’t celebrate, what kinds of costumes do you like?”

I don't really enjoy Halloween that much and have never really celebrated it, but I do love the tiny, little kids who come trick or treating in the most adorable little costumes, like lady bugs, princesses, etc.  They are sooooo cute!!!

And Remember,
Books Are Life,

Friday, October 21, 2011

Book Review - Murder by Mocha by Cleo Coyle

Title:  Murder by Mocha (Coffeehouse Mystery #10)
Author:  Cleo Coyle
ISBN:  9780425241431
Publisher:  Berkley Prime Crime

Synopsis (from  Clare's Village Blend coffee beans are being used to create a new java love potion: a "Mocha Magic Coffee," billed as an aphrodisiac. The product, expected to rake in millions, will be sold exclusively on Aphrodite's Village, one of the most popular online communities for women.
But at its launch, one of the website's editors is murdered. Clare is convinced a bitter killer wants the secret formula. Can she catch who's gone loco for mocha?

My thoughts:  I really liked this book, heck I really like this entire series.  I started reading this series simply  because coffee is one of my favorite things on the planet and I thought it would be fun, but now I find myself also really enjoy the characters in this series.  I don't know how she does it, but the author keeps these characters fresh, interesting, and unique even 10 books into the series.

We all know that many cozy mysteries are a bit formulaic in how things proceed:  murder happens, shop owner automatically becomes amateur sleuth trying to solve the mystery, shop owner falls in love with the cop in charge of solving the mystery, crazy antics ensue.  Cleo Coyle's series does not at all feel that way to me, it feels more real, yet with plenty of fun and interest along the way.  

Not to mention there are fabulous looking recipes in the back of the book! 

Keep on writing, Cleo, because I'm coming back for a refill with Book #11.

My rating:  :  )  :  )  :  )  :  )  Liked it!

And remember,
Books Are Life,

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book Review - Black Echo (Harry Bosch #1)

Title:  The Black Echo
Author:  Michael Connelly
ISBN:  0446612731
Format: ebook

Synopsis (from  For maverick Lapd homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal...because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.

My thoughts:  I got interested in reading this Harry Bosch series after seeing the Lincoln Lawyer a while back.  I am glad I started it.  I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the rest of the series.  Harry Bosch, a hard-core, maverick, in your face LAPD homicide detective tries to solve the case of a body found in a drainpipe.  The case brings back his days as a tunnel rat in Vietnam.

Of course, there are some stereotypical traits to some of the characters, particularly Harry Bosch - hard-core, sketchy past involving Internal Affairs, rule-breaker, with many demons in his past.  This didn't get in the way for me.  I still found the characters real, edgy, and likable. 

I have started the second in the series, Black Ice, and look forward to reading the rest of the series. 


Rating:  : )  : )  : )  : )  Liked it!

And remember,
Books Are Life,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Great Cozy Shopping Trip!!

Well there is nothing like a trip to Barnes and Noble to cure the stress of a bad week . . . it was like "Cozypalooza" for me today as I picked up a couple of great new reads . . .

Tragic Toppings by Jessica Beck
(Donut Shop Mystery series #5)

A Sheetcake Named Desire by Jacklyn Brady
(first in the new Piece of Cake Mystery series)

Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay
(first in the new Library Lover's Mystery series)

Death by the Dozen by Jenn McKinlay
(Cupcake Bakery Mystery #3)

Shoe Done It by Grace Carroll
(first in the new Accessories Mystery series)

Enjoy your weekend all,
And Remember,
Books are Life,

Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Happy Friday!  Friday means its time for the Book Blogger Hop by Crazy For Books! 

This week's question is: 

“What is your favorite spooky book (i.e. mystery/suspense, thriller, ghost story, etc.)?”

I don't read a lot of spooky, horror type books, but I remember reading the Flowers in the Attic series back in the day!  Freaky! 

Happy weekend!
And remember,
Books are Life,

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A lovely literary suprise . . .

I headed to the library tonight to pick up a couple of books that were finally available and imagine my surprise when I get a free Advanced Reader's Copy just for checking in on Foursquare at the library!  Fabulous!  To a book lover like myself this is like being a kid in a candy store!

So what did I get you ask . . . (ok, so it came out 2/22/11 so it's not so advanced, but I'm happy :)

Synopsis (from

Freelance writer Troy Chance, the protagonist of Henry's impressive first novel, impulsively, and literally, dives into trouble when she sees a youngster fall from a ferry boat on Lake Champlain. Troy manages to rescue the boy, discovers that his fall was no accident, and after brief, anonymous reports to the police, embarks on an ill-conceived attempt to become the boy's protector. Bonding with the boy, she eventually learns his name, Paul Dumond; his age, six; and that he and his mother had been kidnapped and his mother later shot and killed. Troy locates Paul's Canadian father, Philippe, and reunites father and son, but she is unwilling to end her involvement. When the police can't find the kidnappers, Troy starts to probe more deeply into the lives of Philippe, his abducted wife, and Paul's captivity. Henry adroitly handles Troy's exposure to new emotions as she re-examines her life and relationships. An inconclusive ending may signal that Chance's journey is not yet over. (Feb.)

And remember,
Books Are Life,

Monday, October 3, 2011

Book Review A Murderous Glaze by Melissa Glazer

Title:  A Murderous Glaze (A Clay and Crime Mystery #1)
Author:  Melissa Glazer
Publisher:  Penguin Group
ISBN:  9780425218365

Synopsis (from  In Maple Ridge, Vermont, Carolyn Emerson planned to ease into her golden years running her paint-your-own-pottery shop, Fire at Will. She never expected to uncover a dead body in the shop, and she certainly didn't plan on a drop in live clientele.

Now it's up to Carolyn and her shop's pottery club, The Firing Squad, to help clear her name. But can she find a killer and more customers without her own brush with death?

My thoughts:  This is an older cozy mystery series that I just discovered on Paperback Swap.  Set in a quaint town in Vermont, Carolyn, the owner of the paint-your-own-pottery shop, Fire at Will, finds a body in her shop.  Carolyn and her friends in The Firing Squad set out to solve this mystery before the shop goes under.

I really enjoyed this first installment in the Clay and Crime Mystery.  I enjoyed the main character and the different personalities of the various members of The Firing Squad.  Like most cozies, of course the main character believes she is somehow law enforcement and immediately starts to try to solve the murder. 
I found the book fun, relaxed, quirky, and enjoyable.  A fun, quick read!!!
I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

My rating:  : )  : )  : )  : ) Liked it!!!!

And remember,
Books Are Life,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cozy Mystery Challenge Wrap-Up

Well, I completed this years Cozy Mystery Challenge!  Yay!  I signed up for the Ambitious Level (11+ books) and was able to finish 12 cozies during the challenge!  I do LOVE my cozies!

Here is my wrap up:

1.  Buzz Off by Hannah Reed (Queen Bee Mystery Series #1)

2.  Steamed by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant (Gourmet Girl Mystery Series #1)

3.  Simmer Down by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Comant (Gourmet Girl Mysery Series #2)

4.  Turn up the Heat by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Park (Gourmet Girl Mystery Series #3) 

5.  Fed Up by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant (Gourmet Girl Mystery Series # 4)

6.  Cook the Books by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant (Gourmet Girl Mystery Series #5)

7.  Paper Scissors Death by Joanna Campbell Slan (Kiki Lowenstein Scrapbooking #1)

8.  Cut Crop & Die by Joanna Campbell Slan (Kiki Lowenstein Scrapbooking #2)

9.  Photo Snap Shot by Joanna Campbell Slan (Kiki Lowenstein Scrapbooking #3)

10.  Make Take Murder by Joanna Campbell Slan (Kiki Lowenstein Scrapbooking #4)

11.  Sentenced to Death by Lorna Barrett (Booktown Mystery series #5)

12.  Lost and Fondue by Avery Aames (Cheeseshop Mystery #2)

And remember,
Books are Life,

Book Review Lost & Fondue by Avery Aames

Title:  Lost and Fondue (Cheeseshop Mystery #2)
Author:  Avery Aames
Publisher:  Penguin Group
ISBN:  0425241580

Synopsis (from 
The fair town of Providence has settled down to normal after last year's murder.  Jonquils are in bloom.  The Cheese Shop is thriving.  and Charlotte's romance with Jordan is flourishing.  But when her friend, Meredith, decides to throw a fund-raiser to create a liberal arts college out of a long-abandoned winery--a winery that is rumored to hold not only buried bodies but buried treasure--Charlotte's joie de vivre deflates like a bad souffle.
Charlotte's fears are realized when an art student is found dead in the wine cellar, and Meredith's niece is the main suspect.

My thoughts:  I thouroughly enjoyed the first book in this mystery series and was eagerly awaiting this second book.  Unfortunately, this book somehow fell completely flat for me.  I was waiting to see how the budding new relationship between Charlotte and Jordan would progress - and this book barely mentioned Jordan much less their relationship.  I realize that the reason I enjoy reading cozies so much is that I enjoy when the book is set in whatever shop or place is the "cozy" place for me - whether that be a bakery, a coffeeshop, or in this case the cheeseshop.  Again, this book was set for the most part in a different location and rarely spoke about the cheesesho, therefore taking some of the "cozy" aspect of it out of it for me.  Maybe it's just me - but I had a hard time getting through this simple read!  I somehow wasn't connecting to the characters, the mystery, or the overall story!  Knowing me, I will probably jump back in to this series for the third book coming out in Februrary 2012:  Clobbered by Camembert. 

Rating:   : )  :)  :)  It was ok!

And remember,
Books Are Life,

Book Blogger Hop!!!!!

“In honor of Banned Books Week, what is your favorite “banned or frequently challenged book”?”
here for 2010-11 list in PDF format. You can also click HERE to view past years and choose from any of those titles!

My answer:  The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver  (on 2009 - 2010 challenged/banned book list)!!!

Happy Hopping,
And remember,
Books Are Life,