The Sunday Salon ~ I’m Loadin’ Up the ARCs for April!

The Sunday Salon.com

Good Morning and Happy Sunday everyone 😀

I’ve been busy reading and working hard to catch up with myself, and I’ve finally managed to be on track to accomplish my goal of 75 books by December 31st. I’m even a little ahead with 21% of my reading complete while there’s only 19% of the year spent. I read Wuthering Heights, The Appeal, Heart-Shaped Box, and Derailed this past week, and started The Book Thief Saturday evening. I doubt I’ll be breaking any reading records this week, though, since I have two dentist appointments, a choir concert, and a school meeting to go to, not to mention a serious need for spring cleaning, laundry, gardening, dishes and spring cleaning. I hope to at least get through Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, though.

All this frenzied reading, though, has made me remember all the ARCs and other books I’ve committed to reviewing… about 35 books. I dug them all out of Mt. TBR today and stack them in the Books on Deck shelf which is now making me a little claustrophobic sitting between the two: Imposing and collapsing Mt. TBR to my left and towering and condemning Books on Deck to my right. My plan is to declare April as ARC month… and probably May and half of June, too. I’ve been feeling a bit irresponsible with all those books just sitting around and waiting on me to fulfill my committment. And now I feel a bit better.

So, should I thoroughly shame myself by posting the list of the books I owe reviews for? Books that have been sitting on Mt. TBR, gathering dust, and being passed over and forgotten?

*sigh* full-disclosure and acknowledging my problem and all that, in no particular order:
1. Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland ~this is an LT ER book, and I can’t remember when I got it.
2. Memoirs of a Fortune Teller and Vigilante Witch Hunter by Gary Turcotte. I received these books recently, and the second is the sequel book to the first.
3. An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
4. The Tutu Ballet by Sally O. Lee ~ETA finished and reviewed 🙂
5. Mischief Maker’s Manual by Sir John Hargrave
6. The Forbidden Daughter by Shobhan Bantwal. This is an unbound galley I received after a cold request. I have trouble in and of myself with an unbound galley, like it’s not a real book. Anyone else have that problem?
7. Stealing Athena by Karen Essex. Yes, I really HAVE had it THAT long.
8. The Power Makers by Maury Klein
9. I, Robot by Howard S. Smith
10. The Spirit of the Place by Samuel Shem. What? I thought I read that one…
11. The Aviary Gate by Katie Hickman
12. Surviving Ben’s Suicide by C. Comfort Shields
13. Guernica by Dave Boling
14. So Long at the Fair by Christina Schwarz. I don’t think I got this book in lieu of a review, I think I won in on a blog contest.
15. First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader.
16. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale
17. The Art of Listening by Seth Barnes
18. Operation Blue Light by Phillip Chabot
19. When a Man Loves a Woman by LaConnie Taylor-Jones
20. My Father’s Paradise by Ariel Sabar
21. Shadow of Colossus by T. L. Higley
22. Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi
23. Schooled by Anisha Lakhani
24. The Mysterious Receding Seas by Richard Guy
25. The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti . Yes, like I said… I have had them THAT long… I’m a bad, bad kitty.
26. Red Letters by Tom Davis
27. Blue Genes by Christopher Lukas
28. The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis
29. Swimming With Strangers by Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum
30. Forbidden Tales: Sword by Da Chen
31. The Icy Hand: Something Wickedly Wierd vol 2 by Chris Mould -finished and reviewed 😉
32. The Terminal Spy by Alan S. Cowell
33. Nation by Terry Pratchett
34. The Organ Grinder and the Monkey by Sam Moffie
35. Last Night I Dreamed of Peace by Dang Thuy Tram

ok… I think that’s it… for now… but I know I have a few more on the way. SO… any suggestions on how to organize this list? Any books I should read right away? Were there any that you particualarly liked or wanted to know about? HELP ME!!!! :-p

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Derailed by James Siegel

derailedTitle:  Derailed

Author:  James Siegel

Hardback:  339 pages

Publisher:  Warner Books, Inc.

Publish Date:  February 2003

ISBN:  0446531588

Every day Charles Schine rides the 8:43 to do the job he has done for over a decade in a New York advertising agency.  With a wife and an ill child who depend on him, Charles is not a man who likes changes or takes risks… until he is late for his regular train – and sits down across from the woman of his dreams.

Her name is Lucinda.  Like Charles, she is married.  Like Charles, she takes the train every day to work in New York City.  Her train is the 9:05, and tomorrow she will be on it again – and so will Charles.  For there is something about Lucinda, the flash of thigh beneath her short skirt, the way every man on the train is eyeing her, something about this time of the morning that will make Charles take a chance he shouldn’t take, break a vow he shouldn’t break, and enter a room he should never enter…

In a matter of days, a flirtation turns to a passion, and Charles and Lucinda are drawn into the dark side of the American Dream.  In a matter of weeks, Charles’s life is in shambles.  A man is dead.  A small fortune is stolen.  Charles’s home is violated and everything violently spirals out of control.

But Charles is about to discover that once you leave the straight and narrow, getting back on track is the most perilous journey of all.  And for Charles, that journey – of lies, terror, and deception – has just begun…

An extraordinary work of Hitchcockian psychological twists and high-voltage intensity, this novel brilliantly weaves together a man’s past and present into a story of menace – and hurtles us toward an astounding, surprising ending.  Brace yourself for a roller-coaster ride through the frightening darkness that lies waiting around us – and within us – once our lives become DERAILED …

Derailedby James Siegel,  dust cover blurb

Derailedby James Siegel  is full of twists and turns and punch-in-the-gut dramatic stops that propel the story forward at a terrifying pace.  It’s very easy to have sympathy for Charles, though it was through his own actions that the world is crumbling down around him, and to will him to win out over Vasguez and his accomplices.  Derailed illustrates the “line upon line, precept upon precept” and “slippery slope” concepts as Charles crosses farther and farther into moral ambiguity while trying to hide his adulterous indiscretion, a secret any reader with a brain KNOWS will eventually come out.

All in all, the book is a good book in that it entertains and thrills the reader.  It does experience some slow spots, but those are more for the purpose of lulling the reader in order to amplify the coming shock.  And for the most part, the story is believable and possible, enough is established before the bomb that saves Charles goes off to prevent it from feeling like a deus ex machina.  However, beyond the initial horror of the rape scene and terror of being stalked, the book isn’t memorable.

Derailedby James Siegel is intense, has a lot of violence, language and sex, and not for sensitive readers or anyone under 18.  I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

I have a feeling Derailed is a better movie than book. Here’s the movie’s trailer: