Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tallgrass - Sandra Dallas

Rating: 5 Better than a new Derby Hat and the winning horse (¨¨¨¨¨)
Pages: 336
Challenges: A-Z Challenge (Title T)
This is about Rennie Stroud and her family and what happens to them when a Japanese are rounded up during WWII to stay at an internment camp. On top of the negative feelings for the Japanese a child is murdered at a house near the camp. The town blames the Japanese. The Stroud family though befriends the Japanese and the story follows 4 Japanese characters as well as the Stroud family and several of the towns people.
I thought this book developed the characters really well and did a good job of telling their story. It doesn't leave you hanging at the end either! I would highly recommend this book. I also liked the Diary of Mattie Spenser from Sandra Dallas.

Autumn Blue - Karen Harter

Rating 3 Don’t bet on this one…wait for the movie (···)
Pages: 304
Challenges: Themed Reading, A-Z Challenge (Author H)

Synopsis (from
A lyrical, character-driven novel about a single mother who struggles to save her troubled young son and finds help in the most unexpected place.
Sidney Walker should have married her ex-boyfriend Jack when she had the chance, then maybe her teenage son, Tyson, wouldn't be under house arrest for attempted robbery. Her retired neighbor, Bradbury, has stepped in temporarily to watch Tyson while she's at work, but Sidney needs to make a permanent change. She knows what Tyson needs is a father, and though she's attracted to the deputy sheriff involved in his case, Jack wants to get back together and would make a far better parent. As autumn rolls across the landscape, Sidney must decide between doing what's best for her children and following her heart.


I almost gave up on this book at page 50. I didn't because I selected it for the Reading Full Circle Challenge. I wasn't sure what would happen if I lost a connection book, so I stuck with it. Lucky for me it improved, but it was pretty predictable. I loved Millard Bradbury who is a great character...after Tyson started staying with him and he felt he had something to live for. It was nice to see that the two neighbors needed each other and became a family. This book also had a lot of Christian undertones which was nice to see in a non-Christian book. There are so many other great books out there that I wouldn't recommend this one.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

From The Stacks Challenge - Finished!

My first Challenge complete and a few days early too!! Whoo hoo! I had a great time reading for this challenge and as you can see from my blog I have gone challenge crazy!! Here are the details on From the Stacks challenge.

I read...

1. The Negotiator (Dee Henderson) - Finished Jan-08

2. The Alphabet Sisters (Monica McInerney) - Finished Nov-07

3. Seven Loves (Valerie Tureblood) - Finished Dec-07

4. Hunger Moon (Suzanne Matson) - Finished Nov-07

5. Raising Hope (Katie Willard) - Finished Jan-08

I liked all of them but Seven Loves. I send all my books to my friend Patty in China, so she is thrilled I have been reading books that I own!! :) But I am sorry to say that doing the challenge did not stop me from purchasing more books. I found Paperback Swap and got several used books. Oh well...
This also makes 3 books read in January for National Read Novels Month!

Raising Hope - Katie Willard

Rating: 4 Tell a Friend over a Derby pie (ääää)
Pages: 311
Challenge: From the Stacks, A-Z Challenge (Title R)
This book is about 4 women a grandmother (Maime), her daughter (Sara Lynn), Ruthie, and Hope. Hope was abandoned by her father to his sister Hope and his ex-girlfriend (not Hope's Mom) when Hope's Mom died. They moved in with Maime and Sara Lynn and the book picks up with Hope is 12. Their lives are changing and the book is how they are changing (I don't want to give anything away).
One of the things that I thought was really neat about this book is that it is told by all 4 women's perspectives in the first person without the benefit of the narrator's name at the beginning of the chapter. But it wasn't hard at all to follow who was speaking! Some would start and the end of the previous persons narrative and towards the end of the book you know the characters well enough that you know who is telling the story. The story also went from current time to the past and back and forth, but it made a lot of sense. I would love to be able to write like this.
I REALLY enjoyed this book and probably would have given it a 5, but I didn't like the ending. I felt like it ended without tying out a couple of loose ends. I wanted to know more about the characters after the book ended. I hope Katie Willard is working on a continuing book!! I looked on Barnes & Noble...nope no second book yet. UGH... This too shall pass...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A-Z Reading Challenge

Thoughts of Joy is hosting an A-Z Reading Challenge.
~ align the author's last name or the title of a book (excluding "the", "a", etc.) with its corresponding letter in the alphabet
~ enter a different book for each author and title (total of 52 books)
~ complete the alphabet lists anyway that suits your fancy
(i.e.: complete each list separately in alphabetical order, read both "A" entries, then "B" entries, fit whatever you're reading into either list, etc.)
~ complete the challenge in the year 2008
Since I joined 50 08 I figure that the A-Z Challenge is only 2 more books! :) We'll see if that theory turns out. I will post my books as I complete them on the sidebar.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Wilde Women - Paula Wall

Rating: 4 Tell a Friend over a Derby pie (ääää)
Pages: 320
Challenges: A-Z Challenge (Title W)

When you start this book you think it is going to be about the Wilde Sisters (Kat and Pearl) who are not speaking because Pearl caught Kat sleeping with her fiance Bourne, but the book is also about the characters of the town. Pearl comes back to town to get revenge on her sister and to shake things up. And boy does she...

I really liked this book and all the people it introduced. I like how Pearl changed the town and the town changed her too. And how sometimes things are not as they appear.

I really liked both Kat and Pearl and a lot of the other characters in the town. This is one of those books you hope there is a second book telling about what happened to all the characters. I also really enjoyed the Rock Orchard by Paula Wall.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

50 Books in 2008

Today is Jan 13. I have finished 1 book this year. I have signed up for the 50 books in 2008. To keep on target:
  • I have to read 4.1 books a month
  • I have 7 days to read a book

So I am behind. I should be finishing my 2nd book tomorrow! Yikes! I am in the process of listening to 2 books on CD, so I think I might still be able to catch up...I better get it going so I can!

Last year there was a read-a-thon in October...I will have to read for the whole 24 hours to catch up. I have already warned my husband that I want to get a hotel room for this weekend. :) LOL! That will be the only way my 1 year old will let me read for more than 10 minutes!! :) But she is a joy. Today she is into everything!! She loves taking lids off of things and exploring what happens when she dumps things get the idea!! I have come to terms with the fact that my house will be a disaster for a while! Now just to get more time for reading....I think the writers strike will help me since all the shows will be repeats!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Negotiator - Dee Henderson

Rating: 4 Tell a Friend over Derby Pie (ääää)
Pages: 296
Challenges: 2008 TBR, First in a Series, From the Stacks, A-Z challenge (N TItle)
The first book of the year is complete!! I really enjoyed this book.
It starts out with Kate walking into a Negotiation with a man who has taken a bank employee and customers hostage. In this situation she meets Dave who is a hidden hostage and also an FBI agent. After the situation is resolved with Dave's help they strike up a friendship. Well the mystery of the bank hostage situation develops when a plane is bombed and it seems Kate is in the middle of the mystery. Dave is right at her side as a friendship develops. Kate is also an orphan and has formed a "family" with several other orphans who we all meet in this book - they take the last name O'Malley and are very protective of each other.

Kate is a very likable character and I want to read more about the O'Malley's. Luckily this is the first book in the series and there is a prequel about Dave and his sister Sara, who the book mentions was stalked and Dave protects her. So I am interested to read that book too. Dee Henderson has made some very likable characters and I am sure each one can carry a book of their own. There are 5 more books in the series plus the prequel!

This book satisfies 3 of my challenge books:
From the Stacks
1st in a Series
2008 TBR Challenge Alternate

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Book Clubs

I live in Louisville, Kentucky and have been looking for a book club. The search has not gone well so I decided to start my own. You can check out the site at One More Page Cafe. I have invited some friends from church and 2 have accepted. So the good news is that we will at least start with 2!

I am looking forward to the book discussion...our first meeting won't be until March.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Chunkster Challenge

So Many Books, So Little Time is hosting a Chukster Challenge. Since I already have several books that qualify for Chunksters I thought I would join this. It will help inspire me to read the big books and not blow them off for the quicker reads. Here are the details:

*To qualify the book must be 450 pps regular type OR 750 pps large text.
*You must read FOUR chunksters (one each quarter), you OBVIOUSLY may read more
*The Challenge will run Jan 7th, 2008 - Dec 20th, 2008 (the only chunky thing occupying my mind over Christmas is ME! AND I am using my foresight remembering my inbox on Dec 31st/ Jan 1 of THIS year when all the challenges ended). BUT any chunkster started after Jan 1 qualifies.
*OH THERE WILL BE PRIZES - one a quarter. Prizes to be determined later ( so making the rules on the fly here, peeps). Think small and fun, not big and chunky.
*Sharing reviews mandatory, format still to be determined.
*Join by leaving me a WEE comment. I will work on a list of active participants to be shared here. There is a sign-up deadline of March 1st, so tell your friends and neighbors but only until then.

So what are my books?

1. Voyager – Diana Gabaldon (Also TBR challenge)
2. Drums of Autumn – Diana Gabaldon (Also Themed Reading Challenge)
3. For the Roses - Julie Garwood (Also 1st Series Challenge)
4. Change of Heart – Jodi Picoult (Reading Full Circle Challenge)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

1st In a Series

I decided to join Thoughts of Joy's First in a Series Challenge. Here are the rules:

  • Read 12 books that are the first in any series (new authors not required)

  • You may read your chosen books any time during the year; however, most plan to read one a month

A lot of people selected mysteries...these aren't my favorite books so I have searched Amazon for 1sts and here is what I came up with.

  1. Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke (Love Comes Softly Series)
  2. The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini (Elm Creek Series)
  3. The Negotiator by Dee Henderson (O’Malley Series)
  4. Dakota Born by Debbie Macomber (Dakota Series)
  5. High Country Bride - Linda Lael Miller (The McKettrick Series)
  6. Land of my Heart by Tracie Peterson (Heirs of Montana)
  7. Cape Refuge by Terri Blackstock (Cape Refuge Series)
  8. The Texan's Touch by Jodi Thomas (Texas Brothers Trilogy)
  9. To Love and to Cherish by Patricia Gaffney (Wyckerley Trilogy)
  10. For the Roses by Julie Garwood (Clayborne Series)
  11. Shameless by Karen Robards (Banning Sisters Trilogy)
  12. A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray (book 1) (YA)
I am looking forward to reading these and have started the Negoitator!