Monday, March 24, 2008

The Sister - Poppy Adams

Personal Reading: 3 Don’t bet on this one…wait for the movie (···)
Book Club Reading: 4 Tell a Friend over a Derby pie (รครครครค)
Challenge: Spring Thing, A-Z Challenge: A Author
This book is about 2 sisters who haven't seen each other in 20 some years. Vivian is coming home to her childhood home where Ginny has lived all of her life. This story goes back in time to tell us why it has been so long since Vivian has been home and the reasons she left. It also tells us the story of Ginny and her life with her parents.
The one aspect of this book that I found difficult involves all the technical details of moths. I am not that interested in I found myself skimming these sections. I am sure that I missed some analogies in skipping these sections, but I was having a really hard time with them.
This is another book that is hard to describe without giving too much away. Here's the deal though...if you want a book that tells you all the answers you are not going to like this book. If you like a book that leaves a lot up to your interpretation you will love this book. Because this book doesn't lay all the answers out I think it would be a great for a book discussion.
This is a first discussion book on Barnes & Noble. This is my first on-line book discussion and my first Advanced Read! It has been an interesting experience. I would do a few things differently next time. I think I would drop everything I was reading at the time to concentrate on the advanced reading book, because I would rather discuss each chapter with everyone else while they were reading. I think this would be more enjoyable in the process. Instead I was worried about spoilers so I waited until the end, but I think it would have been more fun to participate in the discussions.
I would read more by Poppy Adams.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Another day...another challenge

I am still on my challenge crazy quest.... I am joining the Once Upon A Time II hosted by Carl. I am not normally a big fantasy reader, but I LOVED Harry Potter. I saw Stephanie's list at The Written Word and looked that the synopsis at B&N and decided that this sounds like a fun challenge. I think I loved her list because the books were pictured...I have an obsession with buying books. I picked several that were on Stephanie's list. They are mostly Young Adult so hopefully I will get through them fast and they won't affect my other challenges. :) I also want to finish the Thursday Next Series, which I started last year, so this is a great opportunity for that! This challenge lasts until June 20.

I am going to do Quest One: Read five books from any category or combination of category.

1. Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
2. Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
3. Stolen Child by Keith Donohue
4. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
5. Something Rotten: A Thursday Next Novel
6. Thursday Next: First Among Sequels
7. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (I have this on request at the library, but I am #9 so I am not sure it will come in before the challenge is over)

This one might interfere with the Spring Thing Challenge, but I am trying to increase the number of books I am reading so we'll see in June how I did!! :) Several of these are YA so I think I might be OK. Also my real goal with Spring Thing was to read one book a week...I will be happy if I complete this regardless of what the books are!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Endings: Booking Through Thursday

Book-a-rama asked the following

You’ve just reached the end of a book . . . what do you do now? Savor and muse over the book? Dive right into the next one? Go take the dog for a walk, the kids to the park, before even thinking about the next book you’re going to read? What?

My reaction is different depending on the book. If I didn't like it I feel relief. Other books I like to savor and mull the book over - especially if it was a shocking book. Some books necessitate housework... (i.e. the book was so good I HAD to finish it so I ignored everything else that needed to be done), so after the book it's catching up with housework.

But more often then not I LOVE to start new books! So if it is not too late in the evening I will start one immediately...and eventually get to blogging it. Though I do love marking it off my challenge lists!!

If I was Oprah...

If I was Oprah I would buy everyone an Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer (ETAT)! You may think I am crazy I know...When I was having my gallbladder out the nurse touched my forehead with this wand thing and brushed it across my forehead. It indicated that I had a temp. I asked her about it and she said the thermometer is very accurate and that WalMart sells them. Well, as a Mom who has had a child who was sick most of her first year I thought this was fabulous. My little one doesn't like the rectal thermometer (and neither do I!) and gets mad with the under the arm method. So I thought this was a great alternative! Well yesterday my little one had a fever, so I got the ETAT. She was asleep and I was able to take her temp!! Whoo hoo!! Sure enough 100.8. This morning 102.7...I think it may have broke now. Well she still doesn't like to get her temp taken, but this way is MUCH easier! So if I were Oprah you would be getting a $35 ETAT!

Also, while I am dreaming. I (as Oprah) would pick One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus as my book club pick. This is one of my all time favorite books that a lot of people haven't heard of! It's in diary format so it is very easy to read. I have recommended this to all my friends who have asked me for a book recommendation and they have all loved it!

But in reality, I am happy that I am not Oprah. If I was Oprah I wouldn't be a Mom - and being a Mom is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had! I wouldn't give it up - even for Oprah! Also, I still think there are thousands of great books that can be recommended!

What product would you give to your audience if you were Oprah? What book would you pick for the book club?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How can I read more books?

For all of you that can read 100 books in a do you do it? Today I was sitting in the dentist chair wishing I could do something other than listen to the sound of the drill and was wishing I had brought an audio book to listen to. It would seem like the 1.5 hours I spent there not to be such a waste! Then I started wondering how many other times should I take a book or an audio book to keep from wasting time and get more books read. So all you readers out there who have more than 11 books read at this point in a year can you give me some insight to:
1. When you read?
2. How much time to read a week?
3. What things take away from your reading time?
4. Are you a speed reader?

Thanks for indulging me!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

DNF - Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath is my first book this year that I have decided NOT to finish. I was reading this with my husband who is taking a college literature class. Well I got 45 pages in and have decided that Nope I am not interested in finishing.

I have to say I feel quite bad that it is a classic and tons of people have loved it and I can't get through it...but oh well. I don't feel bad enough to suffer through 581 pages of it!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Thing Reading Challenge 2008 -Specifics

I went back to Callapidder Days and the Spring Thing Reading Challenge needs a few more specifics than I originally detailed. So here are some more details...

Goal 1. Finish Themed Reading Challenge.
Goal 2 Read the following:

1. Blue Moon – Luanne Rice
2. Blue Water – A Manette Ansay
3. The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini (Elm Creek Series)
4. Dakota Born – Debbie Macomber (Dakota Series)
5. A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray
6. Drums of Autumn – Diana Gabaldon
7. The Sister – Poppy Adams
8. Family Tree – Barbara Delinsky
9. Looking for Peyton Place - Barbara Delinsky
10. Lake News - Barbara Delinsky
11. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Negativity Meme

Dewey posted the following meme that I thought I would participate in:

1. When you dislike a book, do you say so in your blog? Why or why not?
Yep – I think that people reading my blog have a right to know if I didn’t like a book. If I don’t like a book that my friend asks me about I tell them I didn’t like it. But on the other hand you will know if I love a book too.

2. Do you temper your feelings about books you didn’t like, so as not to completely slam them? Why or why not?
I don’t try to slam anything, but then again sometimes I don’t temper what I say. Though in saying that, I often wonder why some books bring a strong reaction in me and most of those that do I like because they give me a strong reaction.

3. What do you think is the best way to respond when you see a negative review about a book you enjoyed?
I don’t really like to start a negative fight with other bloggers. I think it’s best to tactfully express my opinion and maybe raise some thought provoking questions. I also think one of the fabulous things about reading in America is that we have so many book choices and so many interests. Just because I didn’t like a book doesn’t mean that someone else will.

4. What is your own most common reaction when you see a negative review of a book you loved or a positive review of a book you hated?
I don’t usually say anything or might tell what I most like about the book, but typically I don’t comment.

5. What is your own most common reaction when you get a comment that disagrees with your opinion of a book?
I haven’t gotten a lot of comments on my blog but I think disagreeing comments are good – people are reading and taking interest in what I am saying. That would be flattering. I think that I would also feel bad that they disagree, but on the other hand people have different opinions and that is what is awesome about living in America!

6. What if you don’t like a book that was a free review copy? What then?
I would still give an honest review of the book.

7. What do you do if you don’t finish a book? Do you review it or not? If you review it, do you mention that you didn’t finish it?
I don’t review the book, but I have a list on my blog of books that I can’t finish. If I did review it I would mention that I didn’t finish it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gallbladder Surgery Over!

yeah - the gall bladder is out. I feel good - very sore and I feel like I ate 3 bags of cotton balls, but other than that I am good. I even finished a book yesterday!

Love Comes Softly - Janette Oke

Rating: 5 Better than a new Derby Hat and the winning horse (¨¨¨¨¨)
Pages: 240
Challenges: Novella Challenge, 1st in a Series, A-Z Challenge L: Title

I read this book because I love the Hallmark movie and the book didn't disappoint! It is about Marty who looses her husband as soon as they get to the west. All she has to her name is a covered wagon with a broken wheel. A man proposes that he marries her, because he needs a mother for his young daughter (his wife died also) and she needs a house. Clark promises her that if she stays through the winter he will pay her fare to go back to the East. This story is about Marty and Clark's relationship and how Marty learns to be a homestead wife and mother. Also, Marty is pregnant with her husband, Clem's baby.
If you have seen the movie the book is different, but with the same story line. For example, in the movie Missy - Clark's daughter is 6 or 7 years old, in the book she is 2. In the movie, Marty learns to cook from some books she bought in the book one of the neighbors teaches her to cook and shares her recipes with her. Also in the book you learn a lot more about the neighbors and the ending is different than the movie. The ending has the same result, but it is a different climatic end. I would recommend this book and can't wait to read the rest of the series!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Five Fortunes - Beth Gutcheon

Rating: 5 out of 5
Pages: 398
Challenges: 2008 TBR, (F: Title)

This is a book about 5 women who meet at a fat camp:

Jill – who has issues in her past that are coming back forcing her to deal with them.
Amy – her marriage is falling apart and she is trying to help her daughter Jill deal with her issues.
Carter – a private detective who’s case has taken a personal toll
Laurie – she has recently lost her husband and is trying to deal with her grief
Rae – a wealthy older woman who has been to the fat camp 22 times and is dealing with the deteriorating health of her husband

They meet at the fat farm and become friends. The book details how their lives intersect as they go back to their lives and leave and still interact with each other and help each other. Laurie decides to run for a local political race and some of her friends join her. Jill and Carter strike up a friendship and Jill helps Carter with one of her investigations.

It’s hard to describe this book without giving a lot away, but I will say that I LOVED it! I would highly recommend reading it. It kept me entertained and I wanted to keep turning the pages to know what was happening.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Surgery Friday

I will probably be off-line for a few days. I am having my gallbladder removed Friday. So I hope to be recovering and reading...:)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring Thing Reading Challenge 2008

Callapidder Days is hosting a Spring Thing Reading Challenge. This is one of the easiest challenges - Set your own goals and it could be anything or any amount of books. It runs from March 20 - June 19. I am tossing around a few goals. Here they are:
  • Finish 2 challenges
  • Read 1 book a week, which is 13 books...but maybe I should put in a little fudge I will stick with 13!
  • I would say that I don't want to purchase anymore books...but who am I kidding...I could never do that!

This will be a fun challenge!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

This Heart of Mine - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Rating: 5 Better than a new Derby Hat and the winning horse (¨¨¨¨¨)
Pages: 432
Challenges: A-Z Challenge H: Title

From Barnes & Noble Review (
Susan Elizabeth Phillips proves that not only can opposites attract, they can spark great flames of passion. In This Heart of Mine, Phillips pits the heart of a professional football jock against that of a free-spirited writer of children's books. The result is an electrified battle of wits and wiles that is, at turns, both affecting and amusing. These two star-crossed lovebirds couldn't have less in common, and their initial coming together is marked by conflict, rancor, and even tragedy. Yet over the long haul, they discover that love can not only bloom in these seemingly infertile soils, it can thrive.
Molly Somerville has long had a secret crush on the Chicago Stars' key player, quarterback Kevin Tucker. Kevin's career is hard for Molly to escape, given that Molly's older sister, Phoebe, is the owner of the team. Consequently, Molly also knows about Kevin's penchant for dating gorgeous bimbos and his puzzling need to partake of risky, life-endangering hobbies, a trait that drives Phoebe crazy. Molly, however, can relate to this part of Kevin, as she has shown a tendency toward some pretty reckless behavior herself.

When fate places Molly and Kevin alone together for a weekend in Phoebe's isolated cabin, sparks fly and passions flare when both refuse to leave. In the end, Molly makes her most reckless decision yet by climbing into bed while Kevin is sleeping and seducing him before he knows what's happened. When she ends up pregnant, Kevin insists on marrying her for propriety's sake. And when Molly then has a miscarriage, it leaves both of them wounded and wary. Forced to spend their summer at the beleaguered and rundown wilderness resort that Kevin has inherited from a relative, the twosome spruce the place up and get it to turn a profit. In the process they discover the healing power of love, but not before learning some hard truths about themselves, their pasts, and their feelings for each other.

Phillips includes several intriguing subplots in This Heart of Mine and tackles some issues that are emotionally and ethically touchy. Although she wisely avoids offering easy solutions and neatly tied packages, she does provide plenty of resolution. And despite all the pathos, there's plenty of humor to be found. In fact, in the end, shared laughter proves to be every bit as powerful as shared love. -Contributing editor Beth Amos is the author of three novels, including Cold White Fury and Second Sight.
Loved it!! It's a new twist that the guy marries the girl out of obligation and then they fall in love. I have really liked a lot of Susan Elizabeth Phillips' other books also. I love the characters she creates and the situations that are out there but very believable! Her characters aren't perfect and make mistakes. She also is carrying her characters from one book to the next, but as supplementary characters which is great so you know what is happening in their lives. But that is not to say that you can't pick up any of the books at any time and follow them. If you haven't read her and like contemporary romance I highly recommend this author.

Spring Read-a-Thon

Dewey at the Hidden Side of the Leaf is gathering interest in a Spring Read-a-Thon. Get over there fast she is going to decide by tomorrow if she is going to hold a Spring Read-a-Thon.

Dewey hosted one in October and I was bummed that I couldn't do it. I only had discovered Dewey's site a couple of weeks before the 24 hour bonanza and couldn't get my act together (with my 1 year old) to be able to do it. It looked like such fun reading everyone's blogs that participated that I said I didn't want to miss another one. Dewey organizes cheerleaders to encourage people to continue and there are prizes and mini-challenges through the night. I definitely want to participate and help with the cheering and organizing. It will be interesting to see how it goes with a 1 year old, but it seems flexible enough that it is do-able.

I have asked my husband for a hotel stay for Mother's Day that I was going to use for the October Read-a-Thon, so this will be a good test on how it goes being at home. :) I figure I will get my most reading done between 8:00pm and 6:00am when my daughter is asleep!

The Awakening - Kate Chopin

Rating: 3 Don’t bet on this one…wait for the movie (···)
Pages: 190
Challenges: A-Z Challenge: C Author; Novella
Annotation (BN.Com)

An American classic of sexual expression that paved the way for the modern novel, The Awakening is both a remarkable novel in its own right and a startling reminder of how far women in this century have come. The story of a married woman who pursues love outside a stuffy, middle-class marriage, the novel portrays the mind of a woman seeking fulfillment of her essential nature.
This is not a book that I would normally read, but my husband is taking a Lit class, so I thought it would be fun to read a book together! He isn't a big reader so this was a special treat.
This book is about Edna Pontellier a married woman who has an affair with an unmarried man - Robert. She falls in love with Robert in a time where women having affairs was not acceptable behavior. Once she is awakened to what life can be she is no longer satisfied with her life. She then makes some drastic and unconventional decisions and changes in her life.
I thought that this book was entertaining and interesting. Some of the criticism of this book during the time it was published is that it is sexually provocative, which in 2008 is interesting since it only alluded to the fact that Edna had sex. I had to re-read the chapter a second time to see if I understood! It was interesting to have to imply a lot of what happened versus knowing exactly what happened and it challenge my comprehension. I thought it was a good read and I am happy to say that I have read at least one classic this year!
Can you imagine the critics of the Awakening reading some books today! Whew! That would be something.

The Touch - Colleen McCullough

Rating 3 Don’t bet on this one…wait for the movie (···)
Pages: 624
Challenges: 2008 TBR, Chunkster, A-Z Challenge: M Author

Synopsis (from B&
Not since The Thorn Birds has Colleen McCullough written a novel of such broad appeal about a family and the Australian experience as The Touch.
At its center is Alexander Kinross, remembered as a young man in his native Scotland only as a shiftless boilermaker's apprentice and a godless rebel. But when, years later, he writes from Australia to summon his bride, his Scottish relatives quickly realize that he has made a fortune in the gold fields and is now a man to be reckoned with.

Arriving in Sydney after a difficult voyage, the sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Drummond meets her husband-to-be and discovers to her dismay that he frightens and repels her. Offered no choice, she marries him and is whisked at once across a wild, uninhabited countryside to Alexander's own town, named Kinross after himself. In the crags above it lies the world's richest gold mine.
Isolated in Alexander's great house, with no company save Chinese servants, Elizabeth finds that the intimacies of marriage do not prompt her husband to enlighten her about his past life -- or even his present one. She has no idea that he still has a mistress, the sensual, tough, outspoken Ruby Costevan, whom Alexander has established in his town, nor that he has also made Ruby a partner in his company, rapidly expanding its interests far beyond gold. Ruby has a son, Lee, whose father is the head of the beleaguered Chinese community; the boy becomes dear to Alexander, who fosters his education as a gentleman.

Captured by the very different natures of Elizabeth and Ruby, Alexander resolves to have both of them. Why should he not? He has the fabled "Midas Touch" -- a combination of curiosity, boldness and intelligence that he applies to every situation, and which fails him only when it comes to these two women.

Although Ruby loves Alexander desperately, Elizabeth does not. Elizabeth bears him two daughters: the brilliant Nell, so much like her father; and the beautiful, haunting Anna, who is to present her father with a torment out of which for once he cannot buy his way. Thwarted in his desire for a son, Alexander turns to Ruby's boy as a possible heir to his empire, unaware that by keeping Lee with him, he is courting disaster.

The stories of the lives of Alexander, Elizabeth and Ruby are intermingled with those of a rich cast of characters, and, after many twists and turns, come to a stunning and shocking climax. Like The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough's new novel is at once a love story and a family saga, replete with tragedy, pathos, history and passion. As few other novelists can, she conveys a sense of place: the desperate need of her characters, men and women, rootless in a strange land, to create new beginnings.

This book was broken into 3 sections. I really enjoyed the first section and would have rated it a 4, but the book took a nose dive from there. I thought section 2 was a 2 and section 3 was a 3...for an average rating of 3. I thought that there was too much information about the details of mining and the story slowed down considerably. I did like the characters and thought they were all believable. Though I was disappointed in Elizabeth who couldn't seem to overcome her preconceived notions of her husband even if he didn't respond well in the beginning of their marriage.

This is my first Colleen McCullough book I would be interested to hear from you if you have read her books and have liked them! I am not sure I will read more of her books or not.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Snow in Kentucky!

Shockingly it has snowed in Kentucky!! We have more than one foot! Just in case anyone is reading from an area that normally gets's different in Kentucky. Because we rarely get snow the cities don't invest in equipment like they do in other areas. I am originally from Illinois and snow is much different there! In addition, when the snow plows are out they don't plow exactly like they do in Illinois. Last time the plowing was less than stellar - on a road where there are 2 lanes and a turn lane the left turn lane and the right lane would be plowed!

It snowed 3 inches earlier in the year and some schools were out for 3 days...the joke was for each inch they got 1 day off...if that trend continues some schools will be out for 2 weeks! Also, one of the highways the Gene Snyder is nicknamed The "Gene Slider" when it gets slick out...and highways close. They also display closings across the bottom of the TV. By 3:00pm churches were calling off. Snow is different in the South!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Change of Heart Drawing

Girls Just Reading are hosting a drawing for Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult. I LOVE Jodi Picoult books and each one is different from the other. If you haven't read her pop over and sign up for the drawing - before March 13.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I am still here!

I am still reading I have read in Feb:

The Touch by Colleen McCullough
I have been reading to my husband for a Lit class that he is taking, so I have some other short stories that we read. We also read the Awakening by Kate Chopin.

Work is slowing down a little bit, so I will try get reviews posted early next week. The first book club meeting of the club I organized is Saturday and I haven't started the book yet!! So I have to get that finished this week. We are reading Five Fortunes by Beth Gutcheon.

I also got a free first read book!! The Sister by Poppy Adams that I am really looking forward to reading...So I have a lot going on! Will write more soon!