Monday, December 29, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.
Synopsis (from BN.com)
Heiress Caroline Dixon has managed to alienate nearly everyone with her alcohol-fueled antics, which have also provided near-constant fodder for the poison-pen tabloids and their gossip-hungry readers. But like so many girls-behaving-badly, the twenty-six-year-old socialite gets her comeuppance, followed by a newfound attempt to live a saner existence, or at least one more firmly rooted in the real world.
As Caro tentatively begins atoning for past misdeeds, she reaches out to two wonderful people who years ago brought meaning to her life: her former nanny, Astrid Brevald, now living in Norway and Arizona dude ranch owner, Cyril Dale. While Astrid fondly remembers Caro as a special, sweet little girl left in her charge, Cyril recalls how he and his late wife were quite taken with the quick-witted teenager Caro had become when she spent a difficult period in her life at the ranch as her father was dying.
In a series of e-mail exchanges, Caro reveals the depth of her pain and the lengths she went to hide it. In turn, Astrid and Cyril share their own stories of challenging times and offer the unconditional support this young woman has never known. The correspondence leads to the promise of a reunion, just in time for Christmas. But the holiday brings unexpected revelations that change the way everyone sees themselves and one another.
At once heartfelt and witty, ’Tis the Season bears good tidings of great joy about the human condition–that down and out doesn’t mean over and done, that the things we need most are closer than we know,and that the true measure of one’s worth rests in the boundless depths of the soul.
This was a quick read and a fun book. It didn't get into a lot of character development, but it was really creative on the ways it kept a letter type format even when the 3 main characters were together! Very creative. If you want a quick fun read then I would recommend this.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Being pregnant this Christmas has made me think a lot of Mary and her pregnancy with Jesus. I can't imagine being 9 months pregnant and riding on a donkey!! Speed bumps in the car hurt - let alone riding on a donkey!! Plus don't get me started on the scariness of having a first baby (this is my second) or giving birth in a barn! I just really can relate to what Mary had to go through this Christmas! :) Ever since my daughter was born the song, "Mary Did You Know" has been my favorite song. I can't imagine what Mary went through with the scandal of being pregnant without being married and knowing you were giving birth to Jesus.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Rating: 2 Drink more Mint Juleps before reading (åå)
Eve is a free-lance music teacher living in a small town with her parents. She runs into Luck McClure who is commiserating the loss of his wife (6 years ago) in a bottle of alcohol. He grabs her in his arms and calls her a brown mouse. Later they meet again when Luck accidentally throws a ball through her car windshield. Luck doesn't remember who Eve is though he does remember seeing a brown mouse during his drunken stupor. Eve rekindles Luck's heart and he actively pursues her. Eve on the other hand is full of insecurities and questions his feelings. Will their relationship advance beyond casual acquaintances?
I thought this book was ok. I got a little frustrated with all of Eve's insecurities and just wished at times she would enjoy the moment (which is a good lesson for me!). I especially enjoyed the snowing scenes and when Luck and Eve were snowed in. I used to live in Illinois and we would get snowed in frequently. Here in Kentucky when it snows it is best to stay in because snow removal teams are not very experience nor are people driving...but as for being snowed in we rarely get enough snow. :( Bummer. And if we do get snow -no worries it will have melted with in a week! I would like a couple of good snow days a year! The other thing I liked about this book is that Eve's Mom is a baker and loves baking at the holidays...so do I. But I have forgone baking this year in favor of a health baby. My gestational diabetes keeps me from eating sweets and let me tell you I CAN'T make them and not try them! LOL! So I have decided not to bake this year...instead I am cleaning and organizing the house to get our small 2 bedroom condo ready for another baby. I guess that is a good exchange!
I do like Janet Dailey but have enjoyed some of her other books much better, for example the Calder Pride series.
Friday, December 12, 2008
The things I have done are in BOLD!
1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (I call them Sanity Days)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted (in chalk in New Orleans)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (oops)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant
37 out of 100...
Trish at Trish's Books has posted this Meme via video...well I love it!! Now I am not ready to post a video because who knows how much time that will take. :) And I have to get working on house cleaning because the house has greatly suffered in my work schedule, but I thought I would answer 7 things about me:
Since my anniversary was 2 days ago I thought I would have 7 things about me and my Husband:
1. I met my husband in High School History
2. I punched my future-husband in HS History for saying something that is still too inappropriate to repeat.
3. We met up 15 years later through Classmates.com, went to Pizza at a local pizza shop and soon started dating.
4. We tend to balance each other out well - he tells me to relax and I tell him to stop relaxing and fulfill his promises.
5. We both dislike cleaning - little did I know that this would make for an always messy house...and that it would drive me crazy before him...hence I end up cleaning more.
6. I always said I would Never move for a guy...well never say never - I now live in Louisville, KY and moved for him!
7. We had 2 weddings and until this post only 3 people know about the first one! You see we were living together and as my Christian faith began to grow I was feeling that we should not be living the way we were. So our Pastor agreed to marry us in July and then again for the family in December. So we had 2 friends at our little wedding (the way that I wanted to get married) and 150 or so at the big wedding (how he wanted to get married). It's not necessarily something that we try to keep a secret - it just doesn't really get brought up much! ;)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Chris at Stuff Dreams Are Made Of and Robin at A Fondness for Reading are hosting a very special challenge in honor of Dewey from The Hidden Side of A Leaf. Chris writes:
1. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
2. What I Was by Meg Rosoff
3. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
4. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
5. Matrimony – Josua Henkin
6. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
7. Chocolat by Joanne Harris
8. What Mothers Do by Naomi Stadlen
9. The View from Satruday by EL Konigsburg (newbury)
10. The Higher Power of Lucky – Susan Patron & Matt Phelan (Newbery Challenge)
11. The Luncheon of the Boatin Party – Susan Vreeland
12. On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan
13. The Penelopiad – Margaret Atwood
14. The Road – Cormac McCarthy
15. The Pesthouse – Jim Crace
Monday, December 8, 2008
Young Adult Romance Challenge (5 out of 6 needed) - Feb 28
Themed Reading Challenge (4 out of 4 needed) - Feb - July - Jane Austin Theme
Romance Reading Challenge (5 out of 5 needed)
Read Your Own Books Challenge (25 out of 25 needed)
Support Your Local Library Challenge (12 out of 12 needed)
PUB Challenge (9 out of 9 needed)
Christian Readers Challenge (4 books out of 4 needed)
The Numbers Challenge (5 out of 5 needed) - January - August 1
Audiobook Challenge (12 out of 12 needed)
Book Awards II Challenge (1o out of 1o needed) -June 1
I am sure more to come!!
Synopsis (from BN.com)
Friendship, loyalty, and love lie at the heart of Meg Waite Clayton’s beautifully written, poignant, and sweeping novel of five women who, over the course of four decades, come to redefine what it means to be family.
For thirty-five years, Frankie, Linda, Kath, Brett, and Ally have met every Wednesday at the park near their homes in Palo Alto, California. Defined when they first meet by what their husbands do, the young homemakers and mothers are far removed from the Summer of Love that has enveloped most of the Bay Area in 1967. These “Wednesday Sisters” seem to have little in common: Frankie is a timid transplant from Chicago, brutally blunt Linda is a remarkable athlete, Kath is a Kentucky debutante, quiet Ally has a secret, and quirky, ultra-intelligent Brett wears little white gloves with her miniskirts. But they are bonded by a shared love of both literature–Fitzgerald, Eliot, Austen, du Maurier, Plath, and Dickens–and the Miss America Pageant, which they watch together every year.
As the years roll on and their children grow, the quintet forms a writers circle to express their hopes and dreams through poems, stories, and, eventually, books. Along the way, they experience history in the making: Vietnam, the race for the moon, and a women’s movement that challenges everything they have ever thought about themselves, while at the same time supporting one another through changes in their personal lives brought on by infidelity, longing, illness, failure, and success.
Humorous and moving, The Wednesday Sisters is a literary feast for book lovers that earns a place among those popular works that honor the joyful,mysterious, unbreakable bonds between friends.
I thought this was pretty good. It was a good discussion book for our reading group and was a fast read.
"All I Want for Christmas..."
Life in the White House means never having a moment to yourself. As the President's daughter and official hostess, Jocelyn Wakefield longs to escape the media circus that surrounds her every move for just one day. Impossible? Not with a wig, some very different clothes, a secret tunnel, and a grandmother with a butler, both of whom are willing accomplices...
But being anonymous in Washington, D.C. at Christmas time may turn out to be an impossible dream after all when she collides with political columnist Grady Tucker—a man who could publish her exploits in papers nationwide. But Jocelyn is about to discover that Grady is more than just a journalist looking for a story—and that the magic of love can never be disguised...
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Challenges: 1st in a series
Synopsis (from BN.com)
Olivia Lockhart16 Lighthouse Road Cedar Cove, WashingtonDear Listener,You don't know me yet, but in a few hours that's going to change. You see, I'm inviting you to my home and my town of Cedar Cove because I want you to meet my family, friends, and neighbors. Come and hear their stories - maybe even their secrets!I have to admit that my own secrets are pretty open. My marriage failed some years ago, and I have a rather . . . difficult relationship with my daughter, Justine. Then there's my mother, Charlotte, who has plenty of opinions and is always willing to share them.Here's an example: I'm a family court judge and she likes to drop in on my courtroom. Recently I was hearing a divorce petition. In Charlotte's view, young Cecilia and Ian Randall hadn't tried hard enough to make their marriage work - and I agreed. So I rendered my judgement: Divorce Denied.Well, you wouldn't believe the reaction! Thanks to an article by Jack Griffin, the editor of our local paper (and a man I wouldn't mind seeing more of!), everyone's talking.Cedar Cove - people love it and sometimes they leave it, but they never forget it!See you soon . . . Olivia
This was a really good book! I liked all the characters and want to know more about them. She left some mysteries of the characters and what happens hanging so it makes you want to read more. Luckily I have the next book!
Synopsis (from bn.com)
A practical and inspirational book based on the principle of sowing and reaping. If we sow fear, what will be our harvest? And conversely, if we sow faith, what will we grow? This book moves the reader beyond fear and guilt about giving and into confidence, security, and excitement. Andy Stanley unpacks our irrational fears about money, helping us to discover that generous giving is actually an invitation for our heavenly Father to get involved in our finances and resupply us with enough seed to sow generously throughout our lifetime.
This book gave me a new perspective on giving. One of the concepts that made me think the most is Jesus having dinner. If Jesus was coming to dinner would you give him leftovers or would you go the the store and prepare a special meal? Most likely I would make a special meal, but if that is the case why do I give him the left overs of my money...and giving to the church is not the first thing I give my money to? It is a concept I have been mulling over and changing my perspective on. Andy Stanley really has a way of making you think about different perspectives. Listening to his lessons are always enlightening.
Challenges: 1st in a Series, Stephenie Meyer mini-challenge
Synopsis (from bn.com)
About three things I was absolutely positive:
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him–and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be–that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
“I’D NEVER GIVEN MUCH THOUGHT TO HOW I WOULD DIE– I’d had reason enough in the last few months –but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this. . . . Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of something else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something.”When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret. What Bella doesn’t realize is the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back. . . .Deeply seductive and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight will have readers riveted right until the very last page is turned.
I am not sure if I rated this book as a 4 because I had high expectations. I liked this but I didn't think it was a you have to read this book. Maybe it's that I am not that into vampires. I am not sure I just didn't think it was fabulous. I am planning on getting some of the other books but I don't have to read them immediately.
Life's a bit of a beach these days for Ginger Walsh, who's single at forty-one and living back home in the family FROG (Finished Room Over Garage). She's hoping for a more fulfilling life as a sea glass artist, but instead is babysitting her sister's kids and sharing overnights with Noah, her sexy artist boyfriend with commitment issues and a dog Ginger's cat isn't too crazy about. Geri, her BlackBerry-obsessed sister, is also nearly over the deep end about her pending fiftieth birthday (and might just drag Ginger with her). Toss in a dumpster-picking father, a Kama Sutra T-shirt-wearing mother, a movie crew come to town with a very cute gaffer, an on-again-off-again glassblower boyfriend, plus a couple of Red Hat Realtors, and hilarity ensues. The perfect summer read, Life's a Beach is a warm, witty, and wise look at what it takes to move forward at any stage in life.
Challenges: 1st in a Series
Synopsis (from BN.com)
From 1854 to 1929, more than 200,000 homeless children left New York City on orphan trains to find new lives across the country. Some found loving homes; others experienced physical and mental abuse. Bridie's Daughter brings that world to life in this second novel in Robert Noonan's Orphan Train Trilogy.
Bridie's Daughter is an eye-opening tale that follows four teen-aged children who are filled with hope, concern and uncertainty, as they ride the rails to an unknown future. Once the train stops, however, it's a roll of the dice where they'll each end up.
Bridie McDonald, a wealthy spinster, finds in Catherine the daughter she has always wanted. Catherine learns to love Bridie and her new elegant home, but is concerned about Bridie's relationship with Jack, her mentally challenged handyman.
Though most of the citizens of Newberry, Illinois, befriend these children, some are not so welcoming, believing all the orphans from New York City are bastards and should be treated as such.
I really liked this story, but I wished it went into more detail. It was fast moving and a lot happened, but the author didn't explore in depth reasoning of decisions. So if you want a good story and a quick read but aren't expecting a lot of in depth knowledge of the why people are making decisions.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Rate: 3 Don’t bet on this one…wait for the movie
Challenges: Novella Challenge - but it's over :(
Synopsis (from BN.com)
When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, and Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large.
I thought this book started out really good and really interesting, but my interest in it wained towards the end. I would recommend other Novella's over this one.
In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it.…The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants—from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys—except for Claire’s rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire’s quiet life is turned upside down—along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they mustdeal with their common legacy—if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom—or with each other. Enchanting and heartfelt, this captivating novel is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own….
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Thanks for the great turn out. Sorry this has taken me a little time to get put up. Murphy's Law struck me and the last 2 weeks of work have been the busiest for me all year. Plus the baby is exhausting me!! So please accept my apologies for getting this posted so late!
Here are some interesting authors that are new to bloggers. What are your thoughts on these authors? Stop by their blog and leave them a post!
Blog: Out of the Blue
The Triumph of Deborah - this is a biblical fiction book
Blog: Things Mean A Lot
Review: Anatomy of a Boyfriend
Blog: Bobbi's Book Nook
EVERNIGHT by Clauida Gray - this is the first book in a new series about vampires.
The Outsider by Ann Gabhart - this is a Kentucky author who lives near Bobbi and conicidentally near me too! This book is about the Shakers of Harrodsburg, KY.
Are You there Vodka, It's me Chelsa ARE YOU THERE VODKA, IT'S ME CHELSA by Chelsa Handler - hilarious memoir written in short story form.
The MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY and THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY AND THE PERILOUS JOURNEY by Trenton Lee Staurt - a new series of books about a secret society for children. I have one book review posted; the other will follow.
Blog: Blue Stocking
Blog: 30+...A Lifetime of Books
Review: Books That Changed My Life - Essays from 71 Authors
Blog: Bookworms and Tea Lovers
Review: Finding new authors - Samantha did a post on how she is introduced to new authors.
Blog: Literary Escapism
Quondam by J. Gibson - (Fantasy)
Tiger Eye by M. Liu - (Paranormal Romance)
Night Huntress series by J. Frost - (Urban Fantasy)
Nightwalker by J. Drake - (Urban Fantasy)
The Accidental Demon Slayer by A. Fox -(Paranormal Romance)
When He Was Bad (Anthology) - (Paranormal Romance)
Through the Veil by S. Walker -(Fantasy)
Blog: The Blue Stocking Society
Review: Book Blog Side Effect
Blog: Becky's Book Reviews
Review: Simon Holt's The Devouring
Blog: Adventures in Reading
Review: A Handbook to Luck by Cristina García
Blog: Pick of the Literate
Review: The Disappeared by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Love Walked In by Marisa De Los Santos
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Life As We Knew It by Susan BethPfeffer
Monsters of Templeton by Laura Groff
Five Fortunes by Beth Gutcheon
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
This carnival got a great response!! Thanks to all who participated!!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Challenges: Pub Challenge, Summer Thing
Synopsis (from bn.com)
In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all---beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer's end they've become TullyandKate. Inseparable.
So begins Kristin Hannah's magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.
From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness.
Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn't know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she'll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she'll envy her famous best friend. . . .
For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship---jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they've survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.
This book was great!! I really felt for the characters and it may be because I am very hormonal but I cried and cried through this book! The author sets up sections by starting with a song for the era, which brings back songs that I haven't heard in a long time.
If you like books about women's relationships you will like this book!! I would highly recommend it! I will read more books about this author.
Friday, August 1, 2008
I do have a good reason! I am expecting a baby! Feb 23 is my due date and I can't seem to get enough sleep, so my normal reading time is now sleeping time. I don't remember being this tired with my first - I must have blocked that out! Although I do remember the nausea very well. So far it has been better this time and I vowed to take meds this time! I lost weight with my first in the first 4 months because every other day I was loosing my meal.
Also work has been crazy...but who wants to hear about that? Not me!
Now it is August 1 so we'll see how it goes this month! I figure I am ahead of the game since I am about to finish 1 and 200 pages into another!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Challenges: Chick Lit, Summer Reading Thing
Synopsis (from BN.com)
Lost and found People disappear every day, some because they choose to leave their old lives behind, and some for more unpleasant reasons. Things, too, disappear: mittens and cell phones, wallets and luggage. In every case, someone is left behind; someone is left to wonder what happened.
Ever since her classmate Jenny-May vanished when they were ten years old, Sandy Shortt has been obsessed with finding things. Now grown, Sandy's obsession has become a calling, with her own agency devoted to locating missing persons. But with every failed case, Sandy is plagued with questions: Where do missing people go? Are they alive or dead? Did they intend to disappear, or did they suffer some cruel fate? As these questions threaten to consume her, Sandy suddenly finds that she, herself, has disappeared, and that she has found all the answers she's always searched for in a magical place where all lost things and people go.
A romance that explores the meaning of loss and love, There's No Place Like Here is Cecelia Ahern's most satisfying, most inspired, most entrancing novel yet.
I did not like this book at all. I thought it was slow and at some points very confusing whose perspective the story was being told from (I listened to it on CD). I didn't like the story concept that there is this black hole - a mysterious world where missing things/people go. For some reason Sandy found herself here. They don't explain how or why and then mysteriously leaves with no explanation of how and why. Just weird. This is classified as Chick Lit, but it's not what my impression of Chick Lit is. Has anyone else read this? What do you think?
I have PS I Love you in a challenge and I am hoping that it is better!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Challenges: Summer Reading Thing, Reading Full Circle Challenge
Synopsis (from BN.com)
Paige has only a few vivid memories of her mother, who left when she was five. Now, having left her father behind in Chicago for dreams of art school and marriage to an ambitious young doctor, she finds herself with a child of her own. But her mother's absence, and shameful memories of her past, make her doubt both her maternal ability and her sense of self worth.
I really like Jodi Picoult books but I struggled with this one. I had a hard time with first I cannot believe that a child who was abandoned would abandoned her own. OK she just left for a while, but when she left she didn't have any intent on coming back. Second, she seemed to have very little anger against her mother for leaving her. I just really struggled with Paige and didn't believe she would react the way that she did. Also I struggled with her as a mother leaving her child. So needless to say I struggled a lot with this book but FINALLY finished it. If you are interested in Picoult I would start with Salem Falls and skip this one!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
A tribute to classic film and true romance, Love Walked In tells the story of two women – one older, one younger – and the unexpected ways in which their lives are forever changed by chance.
For thirty-one-year old Cornelia Brown, life is a series of movie moments, and "Jimmy Stewart is always and indisputably the best man in the world, unless Cary Grant should happen to show up." So imagine Cornelia's delight when her very own Cary Grant walks through the door of the hip Philadelphia café she manages. Handsome and debonair, Martin Grace sweeps Cornelia off her feet, becoming Cary Grant to Cornelia's Katharine Hepburn, Clark Gable to her Joan Crawford. Meanwhile, on the other side of town, eleven-year-old Clare Hobbes must learn to fend for herself after her increasingly unstable mother has a breakdown and disappears. With no one to turn to, Clare seeks out her estranged father, and when the two of them show up at Cornelia's café, the lives of Cornelia and Clare are changed in drastic and unexpected ways. A cinematic and heartfelt debut that pays homage to the classic Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story, Love Walked In is sure to win over critics and readers of contemporary fiction.
Sarah Addison Allen tells the tale of a young woman whose family secrets—and secret passions—are about to change her life forever.Twenty-seven-year-old Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night…. Until she finds it harboring none other than local waitress Della Lee Baker, a tough-talking, tenderhearted woman who is one part nemesis—and two parts fairy godmother…
This is about a new maid (Helena) who spoke very little English that was hired
to help Margaret after a hip replacement (including bathing which this quote is
about). “But Helena could never quite grasp what was required of
her. She would sit on the lowered toilet lid, her eyes adverted, anxiously
wringing her hands while Margaret sat in the tub and played charade to get her
to understand soap.(7)”
“Della Lee, you’re living in my closet, you’re blackmailing me over candy, and you are currently wearing 16 articles of clothing. It’s amazing to me that you think I have problems. You need to form a plan for yourself (60).”
“’Why do you buy books you don’t even read?’ our daughter asks us. That’s like asking someone who lives alone why they bought a cat. For company of course. (180)”
Rating: 4 Tell a Friend over a Derby pie (ääää)
Challenges: Pub Challenge, 1st in a series (Sisters of the Heart), Summer Thing
Synopsis (from BN.com)
When Anna decides it's time to leave her abusive boyfriend, she doesn't know where to turn. Rob has completely won over her parents, and the entire community, with his good looks and smooth charm. Only Anna has seen his dark side.
Desperate, she runs to the only place she's ever felt completely safe—the Amish Brenneman Bed and Breakfast, where Anna met life-long friend Katie Brenneman. The family welcomes her in, and with few questions asked allows her to stay, dressed in Plain clothing, and help around the inn.
Katie's older brother Henry is the only one who doesn't take too kindly to the intrusion. He tries to ignore Anna, knowing no good would ever come from caring for an Englisher like her. But as he gets to know Anna, he discovers her good heart and is surprised with her readiness to accept their lifestyle.
The more time Anna spends with the Amish, the more she feels she's found a true home. But how can she deny the life she left behind? And will her chance for happiness be stolen away by the man from her past?
Fabulous! I really enjoyed this and it was a great book to read during the Read-a-thon. I liked that a majority of the characters were Christians when the book started, so it wasn't the Christian formula that someone finds God - they have God from the beginning. It was entertaining and kept me turning the pages. I even gave this to my friend who was doing the read-a-thon with me and she read it in one sitting too! I can't wait to the other books of the series come out!
Challenges: Summer Reading Thing, TBR
In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Here are the post-event survey questions:
1. Which hour was most daunting for you? 3:00 am! That is when I started to get really tired!
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Life as We Knew it - Susan Beth Pfeffer
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
My suggestions are how I would approach it differently and I would change my expectations of what I can get done!! :)
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I thought it was very well orginized - it was great to win prizes and read and build a community with other readers. I have added about 10 more people to my google reader!! It was already busting at the seems!
5. How many books did you read? only 2, but I did some cheering and organization too - time just flew by!!
6. What were the names of the books you read? Sugar Queen and Hidden
7. Which book did you enjoy most? Hidden, but I really liked them both
8. Which did you enjoy least? none I liked both of my books!
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? Nope I thought they were awesome!
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Absolutely I would participate next time! I think I would probably do the same roles, but I would expect less reading and I would also try to do more prep before the 'thon.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Btw- Hubby did really good with our little girl and I think it was good for them to have some bonding time!! :)
I'll do a summary later today! Thanks for all of you cheering me on!! I lucked out and read 2 great books!! :)
I am determined to finsh this book before the 'thon is over I have almost 100 pages to go - so I am putting my nose in the book!! :)
I also won a prize this hour!! 5 Book mooch points!! Whoo hoo!! It pays to stay awake in the wee hours - less competition for prizes (well...really I slept for 1.5 hours!)
Ok - 1 hour of solid reading coming up!! :)
I you like young adult books then Becky's site is the place to be!! :) Do you have a site that you love and who adds to your TBR pile? If so let me know!!
I also want to finish Sugar Queen I am on page 134 and it ends at 276 so even with my slow reading this should be completely doable!! Though my total page count will be low!! HA! Maybe Dewey has a prize for the slowest reader!! :)
Next hour: some breakfast and coffee....
Facts about Bald Slope
* They have a bald headed festival (for bald people)
*The ski resort was founded my Marco Cirrini (the main character - Josey's father)
* The Cirrini house is the most prominent and unique house in the town
* There is a restaurant called the Eat & Run
* There is a eccentric woman living in Josey's closet (who seems a little imaginary to me - for example she thinks nothing of wearing 16 layers of clothes, never seems to eat, is getting more and more translucent, etc.)
Saturday, June 28, 2008
1. What are you reading right now?
Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
2. How many books have you read so far?
A measly one!
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Reading, reading, reading
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
Yes - my friend Trish and I went to a hotel. It's my first time away from my 21.5 month old, so my hubby is super Dad this weekend. I was a little concerned early on when he told me he didn't realize our daughter signing (with sign language) Juice AND going to the fridge was an indication that she wanted something to drink- but he seems to have done well. Thanks to the Romps whose house he went to (they have kids too)! But really he is a good Dad and I am happy they have had this bonding time. I know my daughter and she will find a way to let him know what she wants! :)
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Not too many once we got settled at the hotel - none of our kids around!
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How fast an hour goes!! I look up after reading 10 pages and 30 minutes have passed...were did the time go?? Also since I so rarely get to read a book cover-to-cover I forget how fun that is!!
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
I think the only suggestion is to have more lead time as the date. It is an effort to get the weekend off Mom duty. : ) But then on the other hand I could barely wait for the weekend to get here!
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
I think that I would probably break the time out into Cheerleading hours and reading hours because time really does go fast! Also I would get settled where ever I was going to be earlier - it was inevitable today that I couldn't get to Georgetown until 12:30 (I live 1 hour away and had a physical book club meeting - since I organize and it's new I really can't miss) - so this cut about 2 hours off my reading time.
9. Are you getting tired yet?
Yep - my normal bed time is 8:30 -9:00pm...it's now 11:20 and I am feeling it - I have started the coffee. I am hoping to get a second wind around 3:00 or 4:00 my usual waking time!
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
Not that I can think of - but I love the tips others are leaving. The one things that is nice is reading with Trish - every once in a while we stop and talk a little bit that helps keep us awake. :) I think next year that I will call it the 'thon like Dennis at Bart's Bookshelf!
I LOVE these 14 book prizes - where else can you get 14 books for free!! :) Go Dewey!! And if we haven't said this enough tonight - thanks for having this brain child and having the guts to do all the work to start it!! And whew is this a lot of work!! I can't believe you did this all by yourself without going insane last time!! :)
It's 10pm and I am starting to get tired, but I am going to have a cup of coffee. :)
It's 9:00pm here and I am starting to get tired - also missing my baby girl since it is past her bed time. :) I am going to take a break and cheer for the next hour or so...
I posted comments on 3 people's sites. : ) Back to reading!!
Number of books read since you started: working on #1
Pages read this hour: 9
Running total of pages read since you started: 53
Amount of time spent reading: 1 hour
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 1 hour 55 minutes
Mini-challenge this hour: 0
Other participants visited: 0
Prize you’ve won: 0
Number of books read since you started: working on #1
Pages read this hour: 20
Running total of pages read since you started: 44
Amount of time spent reading: 1 hour
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 1 hour 20 minutes
Mini-challenge this hour: 0
Other participants visited: 0
Prize you’ve won: 0
Pages read: 14
Running total of pages read since you started: 14
Amount of time spent reading: 20 minutes
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 20 minutes
Mini-challenge this hour: 3
Other participants visited: 3
Other blog posts: 4
Prize you’ve won: 0
Where are you reading from today? The Hampton Inn in Georgetown, KY (10 minutes north of Lexington). My wonderful hubby got me a hotel room for Mother's day - because my maximum normal reading time is 2 hours during my daughter's nap.
3 facts about me …
*This is the first day in my daughters 21.5 months that I have not slept in the same house with her. Not sure when I will start having withdrawal but my guess it will be in hour 2! LOL! I keep thinking - this is Mommy's mini-vacation! I have talked my husband out of taking away her pacifier (cold turkey) today, so hopefully the day will go well for them too!! (anyone have any advice on getting rid of the pacifier?)
*I am reading today with my friend Tricia...she has just started blogging so pop over to her site and leave her a comment. She only has one post up right now - but I hope to have that changed by the end of the day!!
*We have snacks! I have brought Twizzlers, Starburst, a chocolate chex mix, gum, international coffee, and chai tea. Trish is bring snacks too. Btw - my daughter barley let me out of the house with the snacks...she found my stash this morning as I was packing. Starburst seem to be one of her favorites (there is nothing like being handed a wet squishy starburst!) :)
How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
I brought 11 books with me - and since I am a slow reader I will probably get 3 read!! LOL! Some of them are young adult that I have discovered from the blogging community!! I will post what I am reading during the read-a-thon so check back here! :)
Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
I think I read about 30 pages an hour (I know very lame compared to some others 100! But I have convince myself that being a slow reader means that I savor every word) so I would like to read:
Pages - 720 (but realistically I would like to read 1,000)
Books - at least 3
Comments on blogs & keeping my blog updated- I am going to make an even goal of 100 (including my update posts)...I'll keep count on my comments & updates!!
Any advice for people doing this for the first time?
I didn't do this last year, but my advice would be have fun and if you read the whole 24 hours great and if not then oh well. Also, take advantage of the read-a-thon. The great thing about it is building a community, so read others blogs and leave a comment - even if you normally lurk! We all love comments and you never know you might end up commenting on 100 too!!
Leave a comment here with a link to your Introduction Meme and you will be eligible for a prize of 2 books one will be Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky! You can read my review here and the other book is your choice from Dewey's list. Looking forward to hearing all your responses!
Congratulations to Aoi Sakura for winning the prize!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Rating: 3 Will make a good movie (···)
Challenges: Pub Challenge, Summer Thing
Synopsis (from BN.com)
Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother make sure the literal family skeleton stays in the closet or turning scraps of fabric into nationally acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister Thalia, an impoverished Actress with a capital A, is her polar opposite, priding herself on exposing the lurid truth lurking behind middle class niceties. While Laurel's life seems neatly on track--a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in suburban Victorianna--everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question the night she is visited by the ghost of a her 13-year old neighbor Molly Dufresne. The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Molly's death is inexplicable--an unseemly mystery Laurel knows no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Only her wayward, unpredictable sister is right for the task, but calling in a favor from Thalia is like walking straight into a frying pan protected only by Crisco. Enlisting Thalia's help, Laurel sets out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about her family's guarded past, the true state of her marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.
I really liked the characters in the book and the funny happenings with Laurel's back woods relatives. I also liked the relationship with her and her sister and I thought that the mysteries developed well!