Thursday, December 03, 2009

Blog Anniversary

Wow, I've had this blog for three years now. Check back tomorrow to see what's going to happen next!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


My dear friend Bookfool is giving away an awesome cookbook!

Here is the link:

You'll have to copy and paste. I am not a big cookbook person but the ideas behind this one sound too good! So go check it out! Oh and if you decide to enter because of my blog tell Bookfool that Lover of Books sent you. :)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

November Read and Stats

Alright as you can see I only read one book this past month. Between getting ready for LO (Little One), him showing up almost 2 weeks early, settling into life and sleep deprivation things are now just settling down.

I loved A Violent Grace and plan on picking up Nutcracker today. Not sure when since I have things to do around the apartment not sure when it will get done.

Off to make the BB (big brother)some lunch before he goes off to school.

1. A Violent Grace by Michael Card

Total Books I read:1
New authors:0
Fiction: 0
Non-fiction: 1
Mystery: 0
Romance: 0
From the Stacks: 1
Books for Review: 0
Books I Bought: 0
Total Pages Read: 194 pages

Off to get stuff done.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Violent Grace by Michael Card

This is a deep intimate look at the hard road taken by Jesus. He is asked to not only give up his life to save others but at the cost of losing his relationship with his Father for awhile. Michael Card sets it all before you in twenty-one chapters. Taking each moment, one at a time, so that you can absorb it fully.

It felt so good to read about this as we enter the holidays. Many people know the true meaning of Christmas and this reminded me why that is so important. At first, I took one chapter a day but I wanted to finish a book this month. I found that it didn't matter how you read it as long as you took some quiet time to reflect on what was shown in the book. I've had this book for a very long time and am so glad I finally picked it up. I definitely want to read more by this author. He truly knows how to express himself whether in song or the written word.

Michael Card/ From the Stacks/ Devotional/ Christ/Non-fiction/ 194 pages

Tomorrow I start The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman. I am looking forward to reading this classic Christmas story.

Monday, November 02, 2009

My October Stats and Reads

Well I didn't finish a single book. :( Well between getting ready for the new baby and then his decision to show up a week and a half early among other things, my focus was elsewhere.

I am hoping to finish two books this month!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

September Stats and Reads Plus a Break

1.The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe 08-28-09 through 09-01-09 A+ (another fav)
2.The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson 09-01-09 through 09-04-09 B
3.Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear 09-04-09 through 09-09-09 A+ (Another fav)
4.The Midwife's Tale by Gretchen Moran Laskas 09-10-09 through9-13-09 B
5.The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews 09-14-09 through 09-17-09 B

Total Books I read: 5
New Authors: 3
Fiction: 4
Mystery: 2
Romance: 0
From the Stacks:0
Books For Review: 0
Books I Bought:0
Total Pages Read: 1,755 pages

I can't review The Fixer Upper since it has been so long since I read it. I have a lot on my plate with getting ready for the new little one. :) Way too much to do and only about 2 weeks left. I'd like to read a book this month but we'll see. :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Elizabeth Whitley always knew that she was to be in midwife. It ran in her family line and so she knew that was what she was supposed to do. Yet she lost her heart to a man who cannot return her feelings since he is in mourning. Taking care of her adopted daughter Lauren finally perks her up and keeps her going on. She must come to terms that she may never have children, learn to love again, and watch Lauren bloom.

Ms. Laskas has a fantastic emotional novel on her hands. Her characters run the gamut. I was impressed with the information she had to find and how records were kept even in the Appalachian mountains. I didn't know a lot about the place setting or the time that the book follows. The immense research that Ms. Laskas did really impressed me. Seeing the world through one person's eyes made it more poignant. Yet learning how to live and love the life you do have keeps running through the story.

Elizabeth had some hardships ahead of her. Not only with learning how to be a midwife but needing to stand on her own two feet. Her childhood love is unrequited for so long but she never gives up. Also figuring out how to be respectful and not push boundaries. When Lauren enters the picture, Elizabeth finds someone to put all her attention on and to help. Elizabeth's mother embraced everything about being a midwife. She just hopes that her daughter will follow and understand that there are parts that aren't so good. Lauren has an interesting life ahead of her with the gift she is given. The support she gets from not only her dad and Elizabeth keeps her going.

This debut by this author was a good start and I am curious to see what else she comes up with next. I am in awe of what she was able to write in one story. This is definitely an author I would more by. Some times I didn't quite understand Elizabeth's logic but figured it would reveal itself in the end.

Gretchen Moran Laskas/ New Author/243 pages/ Appalachian Mountains/ Historical Fiction/ 4 out of 5

I don't feel the cover represents the book as well but it's still nice. I'll pick up the next book I plan on reading tomorrow. Extra sleep would be a good thing to start out the week!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs has been called in to help on a case. There is a man who is threatening to do horrible things if his fellow soldiers do not get the help that they need whether it be pension or food. Having served as a nurse, Maisie might just have the insight into the world to help identify the letter writer. She has no idea how much over her head she will become or the fact that things will have to be monitored along the way. Can she do it before the worst happens?

Ms. Winspear crafts a story set in a time that one doesn't always like to remember. Yet through the pages, you get a glimpse into history and see how poorly things were handled. Yet her characters do their best to solve the crime and help the person involved if possible. The research involved in keeping a story like this accurate must be a lot. Yet I never felt like the story was rushed. The pacing was excellent!

Maisie is trying to find a way into her life. She is helping her assistant Billy Beale, yet making sure that he never feels like he is getting charity. She has the utmost respect for him and would hate to lose him. Billy's family is under a lot of stress and so Maisie wants to do her best to help them. Her best friend Priscilla makes an appearance and it was fun to see how those two relate to one another.

This series keeps on getting better! I truly hope Ms. Winspear continues it. There is a depth that I love and the time period just fascinates me. Maisie is a woman who truly wants to help others and it shows. I'm not sure where it could go next but I am pleasantly awaiting the next one, if there is one.

Jacqueline Winspear/ Maisie Dobbs series/ 302 pages/ England/ 5 out of 5

This one took a little longer than I thought it would but definitely was worth the time reading! I've started the next library book I have but not sure when I'll finish it.

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson

Owning a law office that runs out of 221 B Baker Street is very inspiring. Yet having to read old letters written to Sherlock Holmes seems a little odd at times. Reggie Heath finds himself in an interesting predicament. His brother Nigel decides to head off to Los Angeles to help with the answer to the letter. Reggie gets very confused and follows after him. A twenty year old letter spins into place old secrets coming to the surface.

Mr. Robertson has an interesting premise but it seems to fall flat at times. A letter from an eight year old girl who writes to Sherlock Holmes seems a little odd at first. I took a little believability to question the fact that someone would write to a fictional character. Yet the dialogue and the story line flows fairly well.

I found Nigel to be reckless and down right annoying at times. Reggie was just trying to piece everything together. There were times that he even began to question what he was doing in America. Doubting the main reason for being there and wondering if he could help his brother out of the hole he had dug himself into. The side characters were there but never really seemed to bring the novel forward much.

An interesting premise yet it lacked something. I really liked it but the ending seemed rushed. I liked how all the pieces did finally fit together. I was pleasantly surprised with the lengths the criminals went to keep the secrets buried. A little over the top at times, but I was curious what the author had for the motives behind it all. I expected a lot more out of this book than what I got. It wasn't a book I felt I had to read just had hoped for more than what I got in the end.

Michael Robertson/Mystery/ New Author/ 277 pages/ 3 out of 5

I am off to bed here soon, had an early morning unexpectedly and I work tomorrow close. I am hoping the next book will be better.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer working on her dissertation But her mom calls her last minute asking for help to go through Connie's grandmother's house. While going through her grandmother's house, she comes across a key with the words Deliverance Dane written on a piece of paper attached to it. This launches Connie onto a quest for a book that will help her understand not only her family history but the Salem Witch Trials as well. She starts to have nightmares and begins to wonder if she is tied to that part of history more than she could ever imagine.

Katherine Howe has a great debut novel on her hands. Not only because of her love of history but the detail was really good. Yes some liberties were taken but not much at all. I was impressed how well the book flowed from the past to the present. The characters had depth and the bad guys were not always so easily figured out. The journey she had Connie take was one that took some time but never felt like it ended abruptly.

I really liked Connie from the beginning. She didn't follow the normalcy in life but she knew something was out there for her. It was just a matter of time to finding out what that could be and possibly could be used for her dissertation Her best friend Liz kept her grounded and asked her the tough questions even more so than her mentor Professor Chilton. Professor Chilton drove me bonkers. I understand wanting to push the limits and do your best. But there were times that I felt he was going a little too far. Behind the scenes was Connie's mom Grace. She knew the job ahead of her daughter wouldn't be an easy one. Yet she kept encouraging her to seek deeper. There were times that I found Grace a little out there but as the story unfolded things made a lot more sense.

This is one book that captivated my attention and I was so excited to get my hands on it! Katherine Howe weaves a story that just won't let you go from the beginning to the last page. The twists in the plot had me guessing to see what the book really was. The ending surprised me quite a bit and I was pleased with how it ended. I cannot wait to see what this author does next and hopefully it's something soon. Even if that means it's an entirely different subject.

Katherine Howe/New Author/ Salem Witch Trials/ Magic/ 371 pages/ Favorite of the year/ 5 out of 5

I was going to wait till tomorrow but I cannot! This book was sooo good! I just had to share. My friend Nancy on Bookfoolery and Babble read this one and I had to pick it up! Great story and I hope this author writes more!!

August Stats and Reads!

Books I read:
1.Lords of Corruption by Kyle Mills 07-31-08 through 08-03-09 B
2.The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas by John Boyne 08-03-09 through 08-04-09 A+ (another fav)
3.The Agency by Ally O'Brien-DNF
4.The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White 08-05-09 through 08-12-09 B
5.Stalked by Brian Freeman 08-13-09 through08-14-09 A
6.In the Dark by Brian Freeman 08-14-09 through08-16-09 A
7.In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White 08-16-09 through 8-20-09 A+
8.The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf 08-21-09 through 08-23-09 A
9.Nefertiti by Michelle Moran 08-23-09 through08-27-09 B

Total Books I Read: 8
New Authors: 6
Fiction: 7
Chunkster: 1
Romance: 0
From the Stacks: 2
Books for Review: 1
Books I Bought: 0
Total Pages Read: 2, 722 pages

I was hoping to have the current book I am reading done but was very tired last night after work. So will finish that one up today! :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

A family destined to be in the record books in Egypt. But when the Pharaoh dies, Nefertiti must be married to the younger son of the two. Her family doesn't think it is a good idea but Nefertiti is determined to see that it works. But the one caught up in it all is her sister Mutnodjmet. Her life is taken away from her as she serves her sister. She'd do anything for Nefertiti but as time goes by, she wonders what kind of queen Nefertiti wants to become.

Ms. Moran has definitely done her research. Yeah a few things were changed but this is fiction after all. The story swept me up and it was written very well! Ms. Moran certainly knew how to place a scene before you and keep you turning pages. The characters evolve at a good pace. There is a lot of the history I wasn't sure about but I was able to follow the story line in spite of it.

Mutnodjmet is a wonderful character. I grew to really like her and wish she was real. She had her head grounded and she'd help her family in any way she could within reason. Her knowledge of herbs was phenomenal for that time. Nefertiti started out knowing what she was to become. Yet along the way, I felt she didn't care what others thought. At first, it wasn't a bad thing but over time, I felt she needed to be a little more open. Now mind you, I don't know what it is like to be a first wife. I've never had to really vie for my husband's attention. So this situation wasn't something I could relate to all that well.

A powerful debut by this author and I am curious to see where the next book in the series goes. I'm not sure when I'll be able to get to it but I plan on it eventually. This author explains herself in the back of the book with some of the things she changed. I understood why she did but before then I had no clue that she had really changed anything. I was pleased with her writing style and how the characters unfolded in the story. This is definitely a new author to me and one that I'll pick up with each new book.

Michelle Moran/New Author/ Egypt/ Historical Fiction/ 462 pages/ 3.5 out of 5

I plan on starting The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane sometime today but have a few things I need to get done around here first. :)I hope it lives up to all the hype I've heard about it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

Calli has not spoken since she was four years old. Watching her mother lose her baby was enough but someone whispered words in her ear. Now her best friend Petra talks for her. But when both girls disappear, questions arise if something more sinister has happened in this small Iowa town. Now it's a race for time to find them and hope that they can catch whomever is behind it all.

Ms. Gudenkauf has a fantastic emotional roller coaster on her hands. Between the emotions and old ties between two of the characters and the desperation felt by the parents, you just cannot put the book down. Ms. Gudenkauf captured small town life so well. I was enthralled with not only the process that they had to follow to do a search but how it was broken. Emotions were running high and all the points of view presented in the book flowed so well.

Between Ben (Calli's brother), Antonia (Calli's mom), Sheriff Louis, Martin (Petra's dad), as well as Calli herself, you got a good glimpse into what was going on. There is a lot of drama going on in this small town. Calli gets swept up into it.

This is one book that captured my attention from the beginning. For being a debut, it was amazing! There were twists and turns that just kept me turning pages. The idea behind it all made me curious to see how it would play out. I was never quite sure who the suspect was from the beginning. Something didn't add up but I wasn't able to figure things out till the end. Definitely cannot wait to see what this author does next!


Okay so I am a little behind in posting. I just finished a book this morning so not sure when I'll post the review.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White

Being a white collar criminal, Neil White gets sent to Carville, Louisiana to a Hansen's Disease colony. He has to serve time for one year. Yet when he enters, he is determined to just muddle through. But after meeting some of the patients there, things look completely different. He must find a way to get through his time served and he has an idea to write this book.

Mr. White truly looks at things and is very honest about a lot of the situations that happened. He shows that everything is not as it appears on the outside. The phobias we have in society are not always founded in truth. There is a lot more underneath the skin than what we may first think. He also shows how he got to the colony and what happened. But his main focus was his time spent on the inmate side of the colony.

I'm at a loss for words since this book was not only well written but opened up my eyes. I never knew that such a place existed in America. But they truly do try to make the patients comfortable and I was blown away with the care that they do have in the colony. If you are looking for something different to read, this is it. It not only makes you think but makes you grateful for what you do have in life.

Neil White/ New author/ Non-fiction/ Louisiana/336 pages/ 5 out of 5
I've got a lot on my mind so may not start anything new to read till tomorrow. Here is another review of this book. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In the Dark by Brian Freeman

Jonathan Stride thought that he had battled all his demons. An old friend of Cindy, his now dead wife, Tish comes to town focused on solving the murder of Laura. It's a case that has been unsolved for over thirty years. There are secrets that just should not come to light. Someone is determined to keep it that way. But will Tish be able to?

Brian Freeman sure knows how to get you in this fourth novel. The series moves along at the right pace. The surprises in this plot are outstanding. He hooks you from the first page. The depth of his characters will only make you want to read more. This is an author who doles out the clues one at a time. He also weaves in some local history that amazed me.

Having this case resurface is difficult for Jonathan. Serena is by his side supporting him through it all. I could see how things weren't always easy for her. But she was in it for the long haul. I was glad to see Maggie back as well. She has grown a lot since the last book. The characters in the series are evolving and expanding so that you feel like you've been visiting with friends.

I can't wait for the next book in the series. It's well worth it. But this mystery is full of violence and secrets. Someone was murdered so that they would keep quiet. This is one book that won't be easy to read at night. All in all, I was pleased with the twist at the end of the book. I never saw it coming. Once again, Brian Freeman outdid himself!

Brian Freeman/Minnesota/ Mystery/ Murder/ 357 pages/ 4 out of 5

I am now working on a non-fiction a friend recommended. I am really liking it and hope to be done soon. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Stalked by Brian Freeman

Jonathan Stride is settled at home in Duluth, MN with his girlfriend Serena. The case Stride is working on will affect his personal life when he gets a call from his partner Maggie about her husband being shot. Serena also feels like she is being watched but by whom? Can they piece everything together to figure out what is really happening or will it be too much to handle?

Brian Freeman is a genius! The twists and turns in this book had me wanting to keep reading even though I had things to do. I had to force myself to put the book down. It had creepy thrilling moments and the dark undertones that ran through out the book were balanced right. The story never seemed over the top and the sub plots all ran smoothly with the main plot line.

Jonathan is stepping into a new area with Serena. He is trusting her implicitly as well as finding how they fit together. Serena's past is coming back to haunt her. Yet she always makes sure to let Jonathan in on what is going on for the most part. They even had a way of discussing things together that they had to keep secret because of the cases they were working on till things were solved. Maggie was always there for the two of them. Even though she lost her husband, she wanted to find out who was behind it and why. She is a very determined woman.

Brian Freeman definitely will hold your attention. If you like Harlan Coben, this author writes in a similar style. I cannot wait to read the next one in the series to see where things keep going. Some loose ends from another book were tied up at the end of this one. I never would have seen it coming. This is one author that I read every time!

Brian Freeman/Mystery/360 pages/ Minnesota/ 4 out of 5

Off to the next one in the series and then some non-fiction.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White

Wart, or Arthur, is training to be a squire under the eyes of Sir Ector's watch. Sir Ector's son Kay will become a knight. When in the forest going after a lost hawk, Wart meets Merlyn. Merlyn becomes the new tutor for Wart and Kay. The adventures range from fun to mind boggling. Wart has much to learn and Merlyn is there to help him. There are also things of that time period, jousting and such that must be found time to learn as well. Will Wart be able to take his place at the new king?

Mr. White created a world that took some time to get used to. Having not read a children's classic in awhile, I had to get used to the vernacular all over again. Once I was able to follow it, the stories unfolded and I couldn't get enough. Mr. White truly knows how to get you to step into another world with ease. He takes all different kinds of characters and historical people to make this story work. I was truly pleased.

The Young Wart, Arthur, was shy at first. He knew what his station in life would always be due to the fact that he didn't know who his parents were. Sir Ector was kind enough to take him under his wing. Yet there were certain things Wart knew he'd never do. Or so he thought. Merlyn was a fantastic character! I loved seeing a new take on Merlyn. The other characters of King Pelinore, Sir Ector, Madam Mim and others brought the cast to a completion. The range of their personalities were fun to watch unfold.

The adventures were so much more fun than the Disney movie. I was truly impressed with how much was followed yet the things that were left out were my favorites. The beginning dragged for me but by the end, I was sad to see it end. This was a fun romp in period fiction and I am curious to see what else was written by this author. I wouldn't read this to anyone under the age of 10 only since there is some coarse language used. There were times I was surprised I didn't burst out into song with all the bits of songs that were part of the story!

T.H.White/288 pages/Children's Fiction/New Author/4 out of 5

Off to a mystery, need a change of pace!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas by John Boyne

Bruno comes home one day from school to find his family's maid Maria packing up his belongings. Confused as ever, he goes to seek out his mother for answers. It all comes back to his Father's job for the Fury. The new house is not like the one in Berlin at all. Bruno has no friends to play with and his parents get a tutor so he can continue his schooling. His older sister Gretel can be very annoying. He's not sure he'll make it at the new house until he explores and meets this little boy Schmuel who wears stripped pajamas and lives on the other side of the fence.

Mr. Boyne did a fabulous job with the story line. You really get to see the world at that time through a naive child's eyes. The beliefs that were held at that time show through this book. The black and white way of life is again shown very well. I'm not sure how the writer was able to write this book but it was well done.

I'm not really sure what more to say since I don't want to give away the plot. After finishing it up, I couldn't pick up another book. It's an emotional roller coaster and I am so glad I finally read it. It's definitely a favorite of the year so far since it expounded on so much that I knew. To see the inter workings of the Nazi from a child's perspective was something that I haven't come across before. Bruno is a little boy who will stay with me for a long time.

John Boyne/New Author/ Holocaust/Adult Fiction/215 pages/ 5 out of 5

I was impressed with the bland cover because then you didn't have any preconceived notions about the book. I am curious to read his other works as well as to see the movie.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Lords of Corruption by Kyle Mills

Josh Hagarty gets a chance at a job in Africa helping a charity. He's not sure it's a good idea but it sounds like it pays well and they're willing to help send his sister to college. Once he arrives, he finds out the true reason for the last guy's death and things aren't as they appear. Yet he wonders if there is anything he can do. The organization threatens the life of his sister and the only help comes from a woman who works in Africa as well as a journalist. Josh isn't sure who he can trust. All he knows is that he has to try or he won't survive.

Mr. Mills has a fantastic thriller on his hands. He kept things moving at a good pace and didn't get too gory. Things that happened in the book weren't always pleasant but it was never in detail which helped me get through it. The bad guys in this book were truly horrible. They had ulterior motives and things were presented so that it could be followed. I was never confused with what was happening.

I felt awful for Josh. All he wanted to do was provide for his sister and give her the life he never had. Yet at every corner, there were obstacles in his way. He had to figure out what was more important and deal with some very moral issues. No one is perfect but Josh did try his best to stick with what he believed. Annika was a wonderful woman who had spent many years in Africa in a small village. She was a huge help knowing the language and got them out of some tricky situations. Yet it was never sure if their lives were safe.

To think that there are corrupt charities out there breaks my heart, yet I know not everyone has the right reasons when starting one. This book presented a very real picture and kept my heart pumping. There were times I wanted to put the book down but I kept picking it back up to find out what would happen next. Mr. Mills knows how to keep you glued to the book to the very end. The coarse language got annoying after all but I know authors must stay true to how the characters talk. I am definitely thinking about reading more of his works.

Kyle Mills/New Author/Charities/Thriller/ 320 pages/ 4 out of 5

Well off to start The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas and then hopefully onto something a little on the lighter side of things.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

July Stats and Reads

I was hoping to finish one more but that didn't happen. Sooo, here is my list of books and stats.

1.Thursday Next by Jasper Fforde 07-01-09 through07-04-09 A
2.Dating Games by Leigh Michaels 07-05-09 through 07-06-09 A+
3.One False Move by Harlan Coben 07-06-09 through 07-07-09 A
4.The Note by Angela Hunt 07-08-09 through 07-09-09 A+ (fav this year)
5.The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks 07-10-09 through 7-12-09 A+
6.The Great Influenza by John M. Barry 07-12-09 through 07-25-09 B
7.Austenland by Shannon Hale 07-25-09 through 07-28-09 A+ (Another fav)
8.Waiting to surface by Emily Listfield-DNF

Total Books I Read: 7
New Authors: 4
Non-fiction: 1
Chunkster: 1
Romance: 1
From the Stacks: 5
Books for Review: 1
Books I Bought: 0
Total Pages Read: 2, 173 pages

I rarely have a DNF or Do Not Finish but this one was just way too depressing and just didn't grab my attention. Other things to get done today. Just wanted to make a quick post!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Jane Hayes has an obsession with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice among other Austen works. She is also thoroughly in love with Mr. Darcy. No man has ever measured up to that in the past 13 boyfriends. Her great-aunt Carolyn comes to visit with her mother. Once great-aunt Carolyn dies, Jane inherits a trip to England to a place called Pembrook Park. It is the world of Jane Austen brought to life. Jane is enthralled from the beginning. This could be the one thing that helps her understand her obsession and maybe conquer it once and for all.

Ms. Hale really knows her stuff. Her research shows and I completely felt swept up in the Regency world. Her characters had flaws but it made it even more real. The journey she took them on was interesting with the whole concept of play acting. It was difficult to distinguish at times what was real and what was just acting. I really did like seeing the world brought to life by one character's eyes. It made it more vivid and the challenges were interesting.

Jane sees a gift and takes it. She has to figure out how to just play along. Getting rid of her fantasy is the idea behind it all or at least toning it down. Knowing she'll never truly meet her ideal man, she takes the trip for what it is. A way to glimpse into the world she has always dreamed about. She looks over her past 13 relationships and sees what was wrong with all of them. Dreaming about Mr. Darcy is not a bad thing but it's hindering her real world relationships.

Can she find a way to enjoy her dream but go back to the real world? Jane certainly has her hands full with the way things are playing out in her play acting world. Ms. Hale did an amazing job with this story. It was also very sweet due to being set during the Regency period and the strict rules that they had to follow. I loved every minute of it! I will definitely check out the other works by this author that are geared more towards the Young Adult crowd.

Shannon Hale/ New Author/ 208 pages/Adult Fiction/ Regency World/5 out of 5

It took me longer than I wanted to put this one together. It was a great book though. Now I am reading another new author for me but not sure I'll finish it by the end of the month. We'll see.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Great Influenza by John M. Barry

Requesting this book back when I was still a member of Paperback swap, I wasn't sure what exactly to expect. Along the way, not only did I learn about our health care system, the background of the medical community all over the world, but also how we responded poorly at first to the flu epidemic of 1918. Mr. Barry only expected to show about the people behind trying to solve what caused it. It became so much more and you got so much background that it truly helped give you a great look into how things were formed.

Mr. Barry took his time and kept things interesting. I never lost interest or seemed like it was boring. There were a few multiple lines of things he had to describe but nothing overwhelming. I was impressed with his knowledge. He was able to find so much when there wasn't a lot of reporting done. People's lives were at stake and that was the main focus. They worked diligently night and day to find the cause of the illness so that they could produce a vaccination to curtail the deaths.

This was a book that fascinated me from the beginning. I would definitely love to read more by this author. He has a way of captivating your attention from the very first page till the end. He makes history come alive in the pages but never condemns anyone for their actions. He just presents the whole picture of what happened and leaves it up to you to decide. A book to check out if you love History and want to get a good picture of a huge event that changed lives forever.

John M. Barry/New author/ History/ Chunkster/ 546 pages/4 out of 5

Off to some lighter reading with Debbie Macomber.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bowing My Head in Rememberance

I just saw the article that Frank McCourt has died. A man who changed my outlook on reading and non-fiction is gone. Here is the link to the article from the NY Times.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A sad day

Frank McCourt, one of my all time favorite authors, is sick. His brother has come out and said they don't expect him to survive. If you'd like to read the full article, here is the link:

This is one author who I have loved to read since I picked up Angela's Ashes and knowing how impressed he was with the film made it even better! This will be a sad day if he does end up dying. I guess all I can do is watch and pray.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks

Jan loves being an actress but a tragic accident leaves her with a limp foot and the desire to hide herself. Meeting the doctor Charlie just turns her life up side down. Years later, after having no children, Jan is desperate. Sitting in her garden one day, she sees a fairy. A grown up seeing a fairy is unusual but then Tiki decides to help Jan with having a child. The baby girl is beautiful but underneath it all is a Fairy Queen who is not happy at all. They have a battle ahead of them that even they don't know how to handle.

Ms. Banks creativity shines through on this one. The fairies are real and there are good ones and bad ones which only makes it more true to life. The idea of being granted a fairy baby is so different. The story may be a little short but the detailed descriptions really pull this story. I was so pleased with how well it was written and the ending as well.

Jan may be a spoiled woman in the beginning but her heart shines through for her daughter Bindi. I loved the conversations with the fairy Tiki. Her husband Charlie doesn't believe her at first. Even I would have my doubts about what was said in this story. He never said she was wrong but that he couldn't believe her. I hated to see the story end.

This is one story that I have had for way too long. I'll treasure it forever and may even read it again. It's so beautiful. The battle between good and evil make it an even greater story. It pulls you in and I had to slow myself down so that I wouldn't read too fast. It grips you from the beginning and doesn't let you go till the very end. Having read this author before, I definitely want to see what else she has written.

Lynne Reid Banks/ New Author/ Children's Book/128 pages/ Fairies/ 5 out of 5

I read Maura's Angel by this author sent in Belfast, Northern Ireland so might have to re-read it since it's been years. The cover I'm posting is my favorite. They changed it and it doesn't have the same affect I think.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Note by Angela Hunt

Peyton MacGruder works hard for writing her column for the Tampa Times and is single. Yet when she learns her column “The Heart Healer” is ranked last in a reader poll, she is only given two weeks to turn it around. Then the unthinkable happens. PanWorld Flight 848 crashes and bursts into flames. Peyton is given a note in a plastic bag that is washed up onto the shore. This just might be what she is looking for and since there is not a lot of indicators she must search to find the intended for the note. She's determined to give the note to the intended owner. But as the story gains national attention, there is a lot more that Peyton will have to battle besides her emotions.

Ms. Hunt has always been a favorite author of mine. I've had this book for quite some time and was so glad to read another one of her stories. The emotion, the passion, and how she backs everything up with biblical things just blows me away every time. Ms. Hunt gets to the heart of the matter and doesn't let go till your own emotions are pulled to the surface. The characters are not perfect and you just hope to see things get better and that there is some resolution.

Peyton keeps her heart close and rarely reaches out to other people. This note handed to her changes her view of things and she begins to question the decisions she has made for her own life. The voice of reason often comes from her former boss Kingston Bernard. He is there when she truly needs a friend and offers her help with interviewing the possibilities she has for the intended of the note.

This story full of emotions truly showed how reconciliation is important since you never know when something may happen to take away that chance. Ms. Hunt gives you great insight to each characters' view of Peyton that she comes in contact with or works with. I truly appreciated that and never felt that it pulled away from the story itself. It only added a greater depth and insight that I found very helpful. This book may have just become my favorite of the year. Definitely a book to have tissues near by.

Angela Hunt/ Tragedy/ Christian Fiction/ 320 pages/ 5 out of 5

The book was much better than the movie since it was easier to follow in some aspects. It's not a horrible movie but the changes they made to it, I really didn't care for. They pushed some things for dramatic effect or genders that I found unnecessary. All in all, both are well done but pick up the book first if you are able. Sometime this weekend, I plan on picking up a young adult book that I've had for quite some time!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

One False Move by Harlan Coben

Myron is not the kind of guy who babysits, yet when he gets a call to keep an eye on the pro basketball player Brenda Slaughter, he cannot say no. The case is puzzling and he has known her for a long time. Brenda's mother disappeared twenty years ago, and is now getting calls to try to contact her. She is at a loss since she recently filed a restraining order on her father. The people popping out of the wood work wanting to keep things quiet range from a high society member to a mob boss trying to start a new women's basketball league. Things could get interesting and Myron is struggling in his own life.

Harlan Coben never disappoints me. The characters always come back and bring more depth to the story. As usual, the humor was there and I loved it! Win certainly knows how to move mountains. The man has a reputation and well earned at that. The series moves along nicely at a good pace and I am looking forward to reading the next one.

Myron has a lot on his mind. His relationship with his girl friend just isn't going where he would like at times but doesn't really want to push. Meanwhile Esperanza wants more out of her job than what she currently has. Myron struggles not only with all of it and how to handle it. Win doesn't help him make decisions just shows things to him in a different light. That is why I think they are such good friends is that they can flush things out and discuss without offending one another.

I am curious to see where this goes next and happy I have a few more books left before his latest comes out in paperback. This is one series that I have really grown to love and an author who always has a twist that I don't see coming at the end. Definitely an all time favorite author and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next!

Harlan Coben/ Myron Bolitar Series/ Mystery/400 pages/Sports/4 out of 5

I am off reading a Christian Fiction book that has been on my shelves for awhile now. Definitely need a break in reading styles.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Dating Games by Leigh Michaels

Rachel Todd is sick of friends wanting to set her up. She would rather stay single. “Crash” McKenna is his family's only client and they want to see him just as happy as they are. Yet if they work together, maybe it will finally get the line of dates off their backs. “Crash” knows their plan isn't all that simple so why is he going along with it?

Ms. Michaels is a fantastic writer. She has this family series that keeps you in stitches. The story moves along at a great pace and the twist at the end is one that I never saw coming. Though I rarely do see them coming in all honesty. She keeps you hoping for the best for the characters even if they are denying it themselves.

Rachel keeps all men at a distance. She knows her career could go somewhere and relationships just aren't her thing. She is a sweetheart but knows something is missing. The thing is the secrets in her past keep her locked away. “Crash” is sick of being fixed up by his family. He longs for his own family but knows that it will come along at the right time. The whole situation he finds himself in isn't how he'd have it happen but he's not about to turn away a gift.

Even though this is the last in the series, I loved it so much! I honestly didn't even know it was part of a series so it had no effect on the book itself. It can certainly be read alone and I'd love to get my hands on the rest of the series eventually. Ms. Michaels writes with such emotion that I had to go back and read the ending a second time cause tears were streaming down my face. The majority of the book was light and had me in stitches. It was nice to know that even older, authors still like to write clean simple romances. So much can be experienced in a simple kiss. I will definitely seek more of this author's work out! I think I found a new favorite author.

Leigh Michaels/New Author/Romance/187 pages/ Family/ Matchmaking/ 5 out of 5

Now off to something different, a Harlan Coben book. :)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde

Thursday will have quite a situation on her hands. Changes must be made or outlanders will no longer read. In the last fourteen years, readership has dropped. Having to hide her what she does, certainly doesn't make things easier than taking up a laying carpet job as a front. Her sixteen year old son would rather sleep than take up his destiny as leader of the Chronoguard. And having to train a new cadet in the book world is only the beginning. She has to face down her worst enemy, herself.

Mr. Fforde has done it again! It has taken me a long time to pick up this book and boy am I glad I have now! There is so much literature stuff involved in this book that it just makes me very happy. The depth of characters and seeing how the world has changed for Thursday has been enjoyable. There were a few times I wasn't sure how Mr. Fforde would wrap things up but old nemeses coming into play shook up this reader's world. The twists and turns in this plot had me flipping pages over and over again. This is one author who certainly knows how to write good fiction!

Thursday has grown up and has more children with Landon. Landon is still trying to write the great novel and not having a whole lot of luck. Thursday does her best to help him but it still seems to fall short. Not to mention that Thursday is battling the book world issues and trying to make her life better at the same time. Her son Friday just wants to play in a band and forget about the chronoguard even though her father was involved in that. Things cannot seem to get any more messy for Thursday.

I won't give away any of my favorite parts but I thank authors who have allowed Mr. Fforde to pop their characters in. It was seriously too much fun for this reader! I cannot wait for the next Thursday Next book and am curious to read the book he has coming out in December. Hopefully this time, it won't take nearly as long to get to it.

Jasper Fforde/ Thursday Next Series/ 384 pages/Literary/ 4 out of 5

Keep an eye open for a fun post in the next couple of days!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

My June Stat s and Read

Yes you read that right, it says read. I only read one book but boy it was a big one.

Total Books I Read: 1
New Authors: 1
Non-fiction: 1
Chunksters: 1
Mystery: 0
Romance: 0
From the Stacks: 1
Books For Review:0
Books I Bought: 0
Total Pages Read: 736 pages

My hours at work went up and down constantly plus being wiped out from the pregnancy hasn't helped much either. I am hoping this month to do much better and get another chunkster in. We'll see!

The Great Shame by Thomas Keneally

This book is full of situations and people that I've known about most of my life. Yet Mr. Keneally puts a new spin on them and gives them more depth than what I've ever read. He never truly paints things black and white in my opinion. He just puts all the information in front of you. This author certainly did his research and I was so impressed with the details that were on every page.

Mr. Keneally researched every aspect so that the span of the book made sense. The 19th century history book was fascinating from all angles. It started before the Potato Famine talking about the convict ships that went to Australia and went through the Civil War. His telling of history in Australia, Ireland, and America was captivating and there were times I couldn't put the book down. There are even times when the book centers on things that happen in Canada since they did land there as well.

The only part that lacked for me was not more about the author's ancestors. I guess I expected more than what I ended up with. The book featured a lot of people that I knew and it was interesting to read about the lives of people and where they ended up at the end. Being a big book can be daunting to most people, but if you keep with it, you will definitely be rewarded. I was sad to see it go but all loose ends were tied up. I am curious to read Schindler's List now since he wrote the book about it. The one thing Mr. Keneally did was make sure to point out where the mistakes were made by both sides yet never actually pointing fingers. This sweeping book of history encompasses so many things that it's difficult to write a review for this one. I am glad I did finally pick up this book cause it was worth every bit of time. I applaud Mr. Keneally for writing such a fantastic book and taking the effort to compile all the information.

Thomas Keneally/ New Author/ Non-Fiction/ History/736 pages/ 5 out of 5

Next up a quick post of my stats for last month.

Monday, June 01, 2009

May Reads and Stats

My reads:
1.Hold Tight by Harlan Coben 05-01-09 through 05-05-09 A+
2.Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon 05-06-09 through5-19-09 A+
3.Unspoken by Angela Hunt 05-21-09 A+
4.A World I never Made by James LePore 05-22-09 through05-25-09 A+
5.Backspin by Harlan Coben 05-27-09 through 05-28-09 A

My stats:
Total Books I Read: 5
New Authors: 2
Fiction: 5
Mystery: 3
Romance: 0
From the Stacks: 5
Books for Review: 1
Books I bought: 0
Total Pages Read: 1, 808

So I am feeling good even though I didn't read any chunksters. :) I am working on one right now. :)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

BackSpin by Harlan Coben

Myron Bolitar is over his head. Helping people is what Myron does best. But when the person is a golfer, Myron doesn't understand the game at all. He just knows a golfer's son has been kidnapped but the problem is that he really isn't sure about the kidnapping. The only other problem he has is that Win refuses to help him. This could make the case go horribly wrong.

Mr. Coben does it again! There are definitely some tense moments in this book but I fought to put it down to get things done. Myron is definitely challenged in this book and Mr. Coben shows it on every page. The situations in this book pull at you and even I began to wonder if Myron could solve this case. There were too many unknowns and too many questions. The twist at the end left me speechless. He surprised me yet again. That is why this author is always at the top of my list.

Myron still fought for his relationship with Jessica. Esperanza put some new demands on him but they were completely understandable. It might just change their relationship but hopefully for the better. Just have to wait and see how it plays out. Esperanza doesn't hold back her thoughts or feelings and that's what makes her such a great character. Win wasn't in the book a whole lot but when he was, you could see how much he was fighting the emotions. He wants to help his best friend but situations held him back. Their friendship was seriously tested but even Myron knew when to back off.

This series keeps getting better and better. I am so glad that I have quite a few books left to read especially the latest one. Mr. Coben keeps you guessing and the twists are ones that even I didn't see. The tension is well placed and Mr. Coben deals it out in the right doses. I hope to read the next book soon cause I cannot wait to see what happens next. Hopefully Myron won't be completely out of his element the next time.

Harlan Coben/ Myron Bolitar Series/ Adult Fiction/ Mystery/368 pages/4 out of 5

Off to non-fiction, but at over 700 pages not sure I'll finish by Sunday. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A World I Never Made by James LePore

Patrick Nolan gets a call from Paris, France about his daughter who committed suicide. He shows up to identify the body only to see that it isn't his daughter. Not sure what is going on, he goes along with her story. She must be in trouble and Patrick must find her. Then maybe things will make sense. Megan Nolan has always been carefree about her relationships since being a freelance writer gave her so much freedom. Now she is involved with a man who could threaten her entire world. But he could also give her the big break she needs. But is it worth it?

Mr. LePore has a fantastic thriller on his hands. There is more to this story than I could see just by reading the back of the book. The depth of the feelings of the characters definitely pulls you in and makes you want to read more. The headings with the time frame really moved the story along and helped keep a good handle on which story was being told whether it was Megan's or Patrick's. The minor characters had their place too because without them; the plot would have been very dull.

Patrick sees how he's messed up over the years and wants to help his daughter. But the situation will be more than he can handle. It will test him and put him in way over his head. Yet the main thing he focuses on is his daughter. Megan has always been rather non-chalant about her relationships. The man she meets on the train will show her how much she has to learn.

This was a book that grabbed a hold of me from the beginning. The twists and turns plotted will keep you turning pages. Mr. LePore took a world that is ever present in our minds and showed what it's effects could be on a young woman who is vulnerable but refuses to show it. It sweeps her up and shows her all that she has to learn still. The rules are broken and Patrick Nolan can only hope that it'll be enough.

James LePore/ New Author/ Thriller/272 pages/ Book for Review/ 5 out of 5

This was a great book and I love reading new authors. I don't remember what is next on the pile but I'll sure the review should be up soon! :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Unspoken by Angela Hunt

Glee Granger had always loved animals especially gorillas. Her life revolved around Sema, who she had taken care of since Sema was just hours old. They are able to “talk” using sign language. Sema isn't Glee's since she technically belongs to the zoo. Now, they want Sema back and though reluctant Glee agrees. It's the only way to keep working with Sema. One event changes it all and Glee begins to question all that she knows.

Ms. Hunt captivates her readers with such great characters. This author has been one of my favorites for a long time. She expresses in words what may be difficult to understand any place else. The situations described in this book inspired by actual events just blew my mind. Ms. Hunt certainly did her research and expounded on it. It is fiction but starting sooner who knows what we can accomplish in the animal world. Ms. Hunt shows again why she is good not only thinking outside the box but putting feeling behind it as well.

Glee questioned, struggled, and truly wanted the best for Sema. I cheered as she worked through everything and was in awe of the turn around. Glee certainly had a long road ahead of her but Sema was optimistic through it all. The director of the zoo bugged me to no end. I understand that his job is not easy but when it comes to zoos, the animals matter the most. The other minor characters all played their part. I don't want to give anything away.

This is one book that will make you wonder and question. It is very emotional so keep tissues nearby. This is one author who has not let me down ever! I'm throughly impressed and hope there are many more books to come.

Angela Hunt/ Christian Fiction/ Animals/336 pages/ 5 out of 5

This is one book that I didn't mean to read in one day. Opps! lol I'll pick up something else tomorrow. Off to bed I go.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon

The journey Anna Leonowens takes in this book is best known in the musical The King and I. There is quite a bit in the book that is not in the movie. The struggles are not easy and there are quite a few times that Anna wants to give up. She deals with the whim of a spoiled man, the King of Siam. But then that is how it's always been and she has a long way to go to get him to understand how to work with her.

Ms. Landon certainly did her research. She had the privilege of talking to people who knew Anna and that was so amazing!! I was blown away with the knowledge and how she imparted the stories that Anna wrote and put them into the story. There was a lot of culture in this book that you didn't get from the musical. There is only so much time to do much in the musical.

I liked the story even though at times it dragged. There was a lot of background information not only about the king, but included his harem, the Second King, and Anna's life growing up. Such a well rounded picture of a story that I haven't read such like it in a long time. If while reading the story, it seems to go really slow, keep it up! It is worth and the ending is the best! I was blown away not only by what Anna has been able to accomplish but how her influence helped shape a new King for the country of Siam to some extent. This is one story though partially fiction that I won't forget for a long time!

Margaret Landon/Siam/Anna Leonowens/416 pages/ Historical/5 out of 5

With the heat wave today, I was impressed that I finished this. Tomorrow a new book and hopefully this one won't take me so long.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hold Tight by Harlan Coben

A kid's suicide sets two families on edge. But no one knows it better than the kid's best friend Adam. His parents start noticing a change in him but are at a loss at how to help. They do the only thing that they can think of ... spy on him. Yet what they find leaves more questions than answers.

Mr. Coben spins a tale with twists and turns that will leave you guessing till the end. Or at least that is how it is with me. The connections in the story will leave you scratching your head. How he comes up with this stuff surprises me every time. Being a parent, on the other hand, this book truly made me think. It raised a lot of questions in my mind and I hope that I can do the best possible with my son.

The experiences both Tia and Mike as well as Betsy and Ron went through were heart breaking. They had done their best to raise their sons but one was gone. The struggle they dealt with was one a lot of parents struggle with. Are you raising your kids right?

I really did enjoy this book as much as it scared me at times. It all was affected by how I am a mom too. This book makes you think and Mr. Coben did a fantastic job since he is a parent as well. I definitely cannot wait to see what he comes up with next and I still have to get through the rest of his Myron series.

Harlan Coben/ Fiction/ Thriller/ Families/ 416 pages/ 5 out of 5

Off to another fiction book. :)Its called Anna and the King of Siam. :)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Teddi Gallo lives a life full of rules. She isn't always sure of them all but she is starting to feel like she is going crazy. The past is creeping up on her and that certainly isn't helping. She must get a handle on things or she may just become her mother. The last thing that she wants in the world. But can she figure out what is making her lose her mind?

Ms. Mittman takes a world full of problems and somehow finds humor in the little things. There were a lot of ups and downs but the friendships found for Teddi kept her going. The situations were interesting and you could really see how important her friends were to Teddi. Now she never over stepped her bounds but she kept them in mind. Always making sure to check on them.

Her children kept me in stitches. My only one isn't as old as any of them but I guess I better be prepared for whatever is in style. Teddi's mother was an interesting woman. She had tragedy in her life but never really seemed to get over it. Now mind you, it wasn't an easy situation either but I felt that there should have been some progress.

Right now, I am not sure I'll pick up the rest of the series. I have too many of my own books I'd like to read. Plus the first one hit a little too close to home. Teddi is well-written and she does learn to stand on her own two feet a little more. Yes, spouses are there for support but when you're alone at home all day, you need to figure out how to do some things on your own. Ms. Mittman definitely has a good series too bad it had to be ended so quickly. I wish her much success in whatever she writes next.

Stevi Mittman/ Chick-lit/ 304 pages/ New Author/ 3.5 out of 5

I am almost done with the book I am currently reading but have a movie to watch today! So we'll see, I might have double reviews posted.

Monday, May 04, 2009

April Stats and Reads

Here are the books I read:
1.The Stamp of Glory by Tim Stafford 03-26-09 through04-03-09 C
2.Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde 04-08-09 through04-27-08 A+
3.Love at First Flight by Elizabeth Strohfus and Cheryl J. Young 04-28-09 A+
4.The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger 04-28-09 through 4-29-09 C+
5.Who Makes the Rules Anyways? By Stevi Mittman 04-29-09 through 04-30-09 B

Total Books Read: 5
New Authors: 4
Fiction: 4
Non-Fiction: 1
Chunksters: 1
Romance: 0
Mystery: 1
From the Stacks: 4
Books for Review: 0
Books I Bought: 0
Total Pages Read: 1, 536 pages

Well I'll post my review of Who Makes The Rules Anyway tomorrow. :) Off to get some laundry done.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Andrea Sachs wants a good job and knows she'll have to work hard to find one. Yet when one drops in her lap, she thinks it's the greatest thing ever. She's going to find out how that is so not true once she meets the most demanding boss ever. It might just take over her life but if she wants to get ahead, she may have to sacrifice a few things.

Ms. Weisberger has a good story on her hands of dedication gone wrong. Now it doesn't help that the boss is a total control freak either. The minor characters really pulled a long this book for me and I am curious to see how things turn out in the movie. Most of the book kind of dragged as I read some of the more outrageous things Andrea was put through.

I truly felt for Andrea when she had to keep sticking up for her job and how after a year things would only get better. Her family, her best friend Lily, and her boyfriend Alex never understood to some extent. They thought she was taking things too far and all Andrea could see was the prize of getting a better job. There were times where she rolled her eyes and didn't want to deal with it but kept reminding herself of the things that could come.

It was a good book for the most part. I have had my horrible bosses in some of my jobs but nothing even close to this. It had funny moments but a lot of it fell flat. The ending is what saved the book in my opinion but well to find out you're going to have to read it yourself. I am definitely curious to see what other books that Ms. Weisberger has written.

Lauren Weisberger/Fashion/ Chick Lit/360 pages/3.5 out of 5

I did have to put the book down yesterday so I didn't finish it in one day. I'm glad I did cause I enjoyed the second half of the book so much better. Off to another chick lit book that I've hung onto way too long.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Love at First Flight: One Woman's Experience as a WASP in World War II by Cheryl J. Young

Elizabeth Strohfus is an amazing woman. She fell in love with flying after her first flight given to her by a local man who hadn't had his pilot's license for very long. After telling him one more time about 10 times, the guy had to land the plane cause he was sick. Elizabeth, on the other hand, was no where near air sick at all. She was a natural. Getting a loan from the bank wasn't easy but Elizabeth managed it so she could take flight lessons. In 1942, she joined the Civil Air Petrol. The rest is history. She sent in her application to join the WASP Organization. There was a lot of hard work ahead of her but it was all worth it in her eyes. She could fly pretty much anything that could go in the air for the most part. Also, she had a lot of training ahead of her whether in class or in the air. She stuck with it through it all!

Ms. Young did a great job painting such a vivid story through songs, pictures, and the words from Mrs. Strohfus' mouth. I am so proud that both women are from Minnesota. I may not have lived here all my life but that is so cool that a local woman had the courage to take on the risks that come along with flying. This is a story that anyone should read whether young or old. You get such a good glimpse into life for women in the military from the beginning. It took forever for them to be recognized but they were! Definitely something worth reading and it won't take a lot of time either. Yet there is so much to learn.

Cheryl J. Young/Elizabeth Strohfus/ Women Pilots/ World War II/ 72 pages/Non-fiction/ 5 out of 5

Monday, April 27, 2009

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next is back. This time, she wishes her husband Landon was around but he's been eradicated. So trying to get her life back to normal won't be easy. She has to explain her absence, get her job back, and figure out how to get rid of Yorrick Kane. Not to mention, someone wants her dead. There is a lot on her plate but all she really would like most of all is reliable child care.

Mr. Fforde does it again! I loved this series so far. It is pure genius and full of ideas that I could never come up with. I love how she can jump into books and interact with characters. She has problems to solve and she keeps her head on her shoulders. His characters may be from all sorts of places but they are ones that keep drawing you into the book. Mr. Fforde puts things together that I never would have thought of.

Thursday, being a single mom, deals with life and trying to keep her work at bay. Her family supports her even though her mother is a little bit misguided in her efforts. Joffy is back and being a good brother. She just wishes she could get Landen back for good. She doesn't like being on her own any longer than necessary.

This is one of the best books in the series and I am bummed that there is only one left to read so far. It sounds like there is another one coming in the series which makes me happy since it took me so long to pick up this series. I had heard of this author for his other series but will definitely check that one out in the meantime. Definitely a series for literature nuts and mystery fans a like.

Jasper Fforde/Mystery/Thursday Next series/416 pages/ Chunkster/ 5 out of 5

Never knew how tired I would be with this second pregnancy. I am hoping to read a couple more books yet this month. We'll see.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Stamp of Glory by Tim Stafford

Set in the 1800's, this book is a glimpse into the Anti-Slavery movement and the impact one family has on it. Using some big names along the way, it shows every side of the issue. Yet change must be taken in order to move forward.

Mr. Stafford was a bit dry at times and the story lagged. I understand that it was a difficult issue then but it seemed like everything kept falling apart. It was a bit of a downer type book and I wasn't sure why I picked it up in the first place.

This is one author who disappointed me. I felt like so much was missing and there was a lot packed in which made the book lag. So all in all, if you like this type of subject, there is a lot of information. It's not graphic in the least, which only made the story get better. I just wish it would have lived up to my expectations. I might have to check out this author's other works.

Tim Stafford/Christian Fiction/ 1800's/Anti-Slavery Movement/ 3 out of 5

It took a long time to read but then I'm pretty tired. Onto the next one!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

March Stats and Reads

Here are the books I read:
1.Leap of Faith by Queen Noor 02-26-09 through 03-02-09 A+
2.Domestic Affairs by Eileen Goudge 03-02-09 through 03-04-09 B
3.Dog on It by Spencer Quinn 03-04-09 through 03-05-09 A
4.Losing It by Valerie Bertinelli 03-05-09 through 03-06-09 A
5.The Last Mermaid by Shana Abe 03-06-09 through DNF
6.Fade Away by Harlan Coben 03-24-09 through 03-25-09 A

Total Books I read: 5
New Authors: 4
Fiction: 3
Non-Fiction: 2
Chunksters: 1
Romance: 0
Mystery: 2
From the Stacks: 5
Books for Review: 1
Books I Bought:0
Total Pages Read: 1, 925

Being pregnant has definitely slowed me down in the reading department. lol Oh, well. I liked pretty much everything I read except for the one I didn't finish. I'll try it again another time.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fade Away by Harlan Coben

Myron gets the chance of a lifetime. He gets to play basketball but there is a catch. He needs to find a famous basketball player before it gets out that he's missing. An alleged injury has taken the ball player out for now. But can Myron figure it out in time? Or is there more to this that even he cannot solve?

Mr. Coben does it again in the third book of the series. He moves the plot in a great way. The friendship between Myron and Win still cracks me up. The mystery at times had more questions than answers. Yet Myron never gave up and kept his obligations to the other players. Mr. Coben knows how to make you really believe in what is going on and keep you guessing till the very end. Or he does with me anyways.

I love Myron. He is a great character who I never get tired of reading about. His best friend Win cracks me up at every turn. He is a man you definitely would not want to cross. The man has knowledge that serves him well in any situation. Esperenza is a woman who speaks her mind and doesn't hold back. While sometimes that is good, it often drives Myron bonkers. Yet they find a way to still work together.

This is one series I don't want to see end. Though I know that time will come eventually. Mr. Coben keeps me turning pages and does little to disappoint me. I cannot wait to pick up the next one and plan on it soon!

Harlan Coben/Mystery/ Myron Bolitar series/ 384 pages/4 out of 5

I finished this one awhile ago. But being wiped out, I haven't had a lot of time on my laptop. I am hoping to finish my current book to add to my month's list. We'll see.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Losing It-And Gaining it Back One Pound At A Time by Valerie Bertinelli

In this non-fiction memoir, Valerie shares her journey from beginning of her career as an actress to when she started on Jenny Craig and how that was successful. It delved into how her mind worked from the beginning and how she was able to change her way of thinking. She always made sure to mention it wasn't easy at first but the results she saw kept her motivated to keep going.

I admire Ms. Bertinelli for sticking things out. There was a lot of stress on her life maybe even more so than I can think of. Being an emotional eater certainly didn't help but she was able to work on it and work through it.

It's an every day thing that she works on. I really enjoyed her honesty. I do my best not to pry into other people's lives. Celebrities need their privacy too. Yet if it is blasted across the papers, it's difficult to ignore it. A lot of the book happened before I realized what was going on and I applaud for Ms. Bertinelli for sharing her journey. It definitely takes some guts. And now she is finally happy and knows that to herself she must be true.

Valerie Bertinelli/ Non-fiction/277 pages/ Memoir/4 out of 5

I finished this book yesterday but with work and everything never got a chance to write my review. This was a great book and I highly recommend it!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Dog On It by Spencer Quinn

Chet is a loyal dog and his master Bernie runs a private investigator business. Their first case in awhile seems like just a routine missing persons case. Yet Chet can tell his master is bugged by something. There is more to this case than either one of them can imagine. But can they solve it in time so the young lady isn't hurt?

Mr. Quinn tells the story from Chet's point of view and I really liked it. It gave the book a different feel which is rarely found in books today. There is action, adventure, loyalty and a twist that I didn't even see coming. Seeing the characters through Chet's eyes, you can tell who is good and who has ulterior motives. It was a fun book and I couldn't get enough.

Chet is a loyal dog and I really liked him from the beginning. Bernie was a little rough around the edges but after all, he was a man who had been kicked down. He is picking himself off but he may have a long way to go. These two together make a good team even though they don't always understand each other but that's reality.

This is a book that is first in a series that the second one cannot come out soon enough! Mr. Quinn has a fantastic way with words that keeps you turning pages. I was impressed with the book from the beginning. Definitely an author to keep an eye on.

Spencer Quinn/ New Author/Mystery/320 pages/Dogs/4 out of 5

Great new mystery series but a great new author! Off to another non-fiction!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Domestic Affairs by Eileen Goudge

Three women are portrayed in this book. Lila, who had everything and lost it all due to her husband's bad decisions and needs to start over. Abigail, who was best friends with Lila and whose mother was their house keeper till her mother made some bad decisions and they had to leave. Conception who worked in a factory and could not save her daughter from a fire that happened in the factory. She now wants revenge of the Senora who took her daughter's life. These women might just be the healing balm the other needs.

Ms. Goudge writes stories that grip your heart. Her characters have a lot of things that they need to process. The story grabs your attention from page one and doesn't let you go. The lives of all the characters involved might just change drastically if things are not taken care of. There is heart, humor, love and healing throughout the book. I was impressed with how well each delicate situation was handled and shown such tender care. Nothing was taken lightly and each action was thought out to some extent.

Lila was working on rebuilding her life. Abigail couldn't see what was missing in front of her while having her illustrious career. Conception just wanted to make sure that the Senora knew what her decisions had caused. Each woman had their motives and they just had to find their healing.

This was not an easy book to read at times but I was curious to see how it would all end. And while in my mind, it was a happy ending. I'm not sure if everyone would agree. Things were difficult and change had to happen. It would just have to be seen if the change worked well or not at all. The three women were strong of heart and had more courage than they realized. They just had to find it and embrace what was before them. Ms Goudge is an author I would definitely see what her other books are about and would pick them up in a heart beat.

Eileen Goudge/ New Author/ Relationships/ Friends and Family/ 437 pages/ 4 out of 5

This was a good book but difficult to get through at times. Off to another review book.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Leap of Faith: Memoris of an Unexpected Life by Queen Noor

Not knowing a lot about Jordan, I was taken captive by this book. The beauty of a country not known much about was just part of the book that was captivating. The Queen herself had such ups and downs in her marriage, I kept wondering if something was just going to fall apart. Yes, she had dedicated her life to serve her new country but that didn't mean she never wanted to give up. Though she never did say that anywhere.

The love between her and King Hussein was so beautiful. Each day they made sure that they were near each other though they never held hands in public. They kept all their emotions, feelings, and physical actions in private. Of course, the media ripped apart everything that they could get their hands on, which was very upsetting.

The whole journey that they had shared was amazing through supporting each other and knowing when to debunk rumors and when not to touch them with a ten foot pole. The relationship was so tried and true, it inspired me. I would love to visit their country and see some of the places that were described in this book.

This is one book that I won't soon forget.

Queen Noor/Non-Fiction/ Jordan/ Marriage/ New Author/Chunkster/ 496 pages/ 5 out of 5

I cannot say enough to how much this book impressed me! It was truly helpful!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Monthly Stats and Reads for February

Well my hours went up and down and well other things have started to be dealt with so my reading time wasn't the greatest! But here we go. :)

1.The Messenger by Daniel Silva 01-30-09 through02-04-09 A
2.Darling Daughters by Debbie Macomber 02-05-09 through02-06-09 A+
3.The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark 02-06-09 through 02-12-09 C
4.The Sanctuary by Raymond Khoury 02-12-08 through 02-23-09 A
5.Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult 02-23-09 through 02-25-09 A+
6.Love in the Fast Lane by Jenna McKnight 02-25-09 through02-26-09 B

Total Books I read: 6
New Authors: 2
Chunksters: 1
Romance: 2
Mystery: 1
From the Stacks: 5
Books for Review: 1
PBS Sent:0
PBS received: 0
Books I Bought:1
Total Pages Read: 2, 464 pages

No non-fiction, I just didn't finish it in time so will have to read a second one this month. :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Love in the Fast Lane by Jenna McKnight

Scotty Templeton loved being a race car driver. But an unexpected ghost threw him for a loop literally. He got injured and had to listen to the ghost or his life would never be the same. Maggie Cooper had her life all mapped out. Yet even her boyfriend felt lacking. When she meets hot headed Scotty, things heat up in more ways than one. The ghost wants something accomplished but Scotty wasn't sure he could keep his hands off Maggie and follow instructions. Each of them is determined who will win?

Ms. McKnight did her research with this one down to the tiniest detail. That impressed me as well as the characters that had me in stitches. From Grammy, Ruby, down to Coop (the ghost) himself. A lot of things were on the line but humor was still there. She played the serious parts very well as making sure that the humor stayed throughout.

Maggie's last desire is to fall in love with a race car driver after all her previous experience hadn't always been so great. Her dad was rarely there or they were on the road with him. Scotty was definitely hot headed but more than anything he wanted that ghost gone. Grammy wanted to see Maggie happy but knew that there was going to be a fight on her hands. Coop wanted to take care of some final things so his family could be set for life.

This book was one fast paced ride! I couldn't get enough of the heat between Scotty and Maggie. Yet I knew there had to be more than just heat to keep the two of them together. Ms. McKnight weaved a story that captured my attention from the beginning. Having chatted with her only made me more intrigued to read this story and am happy to finally take it off my to be read pile. The minor characters have a part to play as well and made the story so much more fun! Definitely an author I want to read more of her work!

Jenna McKnight/ New Author/Romance/ Ghosts/Racing/384 pages/ 4 out of 5

This is a great book and onto my non-fiction for the month!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Change Of Heart by Jodi Picoult

Shay Bourne is convicted of killing a cop and his stepdaughter. Once brought to jail on Death Row, or what passes for it, since there hasn't been anyone sentenced to die execution style in a long time. The priest called to be spiritual counsel tries to understand what Shay wants. As well as a new lawyer, Maggie just wants to make sure she does what her client wants. But what he wants is to give his heart to the sister of the victim he killed. It's going to be a long up hill battle for all and it will add depend on June Nealon if she'll accept the heart on her daughter's behalf.

Ms. Picoult knows how to pick them. She takes a topic and truly makes you think. I wished at times to have Shay's perspective but then this book probably wouldn't have been so powerful. The different view points got a lot across and I was so enthralled with this book. It tested the limits of even my beliefs but I realized that is what she wanted to do. She wants to make you think about where you are and have you come to your own conclusion. She never says what is right or wrong and that's why I come back to this author time and again.

Maggie had to deal with the faith she had and a client who really didn't want help. He had things figured out just wanted to go through with them. Father Michael say things that even he wasn't sure were happening. Lucius, the cell mate next to Shay, was shocked by all that he saw. June doing her best to deal with the deaths of her loved ones wasn't sure she could accept the one thing that could keep her life going.

This is one book that will keep you turning pages from every point of view. It does test boundaries but like every other book I have read by her truly makes you think. This is definitely going on my list of favorites for just how open she is with all sides of the issue. I can say I am not for the death penalty but I can see in which instances it might be the only way. Ms. Picoult really does her work and it shows on each and every page.

Jodi Picoult/ Chunkster/ 480 pages/ Adult Fiction/Death Penalty/ Faith/ 5 out of 5

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Sanctuary by Raymond Khoury

An army team on a routine mission finds a lab that has horrible experiments taking place. Yet never finding the man who set it up leads to present day. Evelyn is contacted by her old friend that he may have something in his possession that'd she like a lot. But before it's all over, things could get interesting. Lives are at stake!

Mr. Khoury kept the level of suspense up very high. His characters are in depth and I love every minute I have with them. There are surprises around every corner. His writing may be fast paced but still very easy to follow. The jumps back and forth in this book between present and past were so much fun since a lot of things were explained. The idea of a long life has been touched on by other people. But yet it seems to have bad situations since you cannot tell everyone about it.

Evelyn wasn't sure what she was hearing. She wanted to find out what was going on since her dig in Iraq. Mia, her daughter, just wants life to go back to normal but the secrets she will find out will change her opinion. Possibly even the way she looks at life.

This is one book that will pull you in from the beginning. Though on a little bit different level than his last book, Mr. Khoury writes fantastic fiction that is griping. The idea of someone trying the experiments that they did during the time frame given didn't surprise me. It was just the lengths that they went to in order to try. Things weren't too graphic so the squeamish at heart should be okay reading this one.

Raymond Khoury, Thriller, Long Life, 432 pages, 4 out of 5

A lot has been going, and I'll do my best to update my blog as often as I can.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark

Luciano is taking off the streets by a chef in the house of the most powerful man in Venice. There are rumors of a book that not only has a love potion but a potion to make gold. Those who keep the book a secret may have to fight for it with their lives. Luciano's loyalty to his friends and a girl named Francesca will be tested. On his journey to the truth, it will uncover things beyond his wildest dreams.

Ms. Newmark had a fantastic premise in mind. The research she had to do to keep everything accurate astounded me. She lost me in the middle where you saw the end coming. That upset me to no end! I like twists and turns, a surprise a long the way. Even though you may see the inevitable coming, you don't want it given away.

Luciano has a lot of growing up to do. He must realize that there is more to life than what his friends hold dear. But can he accept what is being shown to him?

This book was up and down and while it engrossed me into the spell it cast. It fell short. The characters were wonderful but knowing the ending just ticked me off. If you like history and not minding knowing how the book ends, this is the book for you.

Elle Newmark/ New author/ 384 pages/ Italy/ Secret books/3 out of 5

I found it so entertaining but that one little thing I cannot let go. Maybe I'm weird.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Darling daughters by Debbie Macomber

Yours and Mine

Joanna Parsons is a single mother who insists that she will not get married again. Her 11 year old daughter Kristen has something else in mind. With her best friend Nicole's help, she wants her mom to get married to Nicole's dad Tanner. These girls are definitely determined but will it be enough?

This is a sweet story of two hearts that were broken and may just have found the right person to heal them. The girls are conniving but even they have stuff to work through. It's a heart warming story and I couldn't get enough.

Lone Star Lovin'

Cattle Rancher Cody Bailman never thought he'd love ever again. His daughter Heather has other ideas. When Sherry Waterman arrived in town early to check out the place, she never knew that she'd fall head over heels in love with a man who didn't know how to love anymore. Yet Heather thinks she is perfect for her dad.

This is another sweet story of two people who need to learn how to love from the heart. Sherry had seen all her friends get married and wanted her own romance. Cody didn't want nothing to do with romance. Sherry wanted to be swept off her feet and wouldn't take marriage lightly.

I loved both of these stories even though at times I wanted to bang the heads of the people who were getting set up by their daughters. I understand being stubborn and not wanting to give up your freedom but sometimes I never thought it'd happen.

Debbie Macomber/ Romance/ Daughters/384 pages/5 out of 5
This was a cute book off to read a review one!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Messenger by Daniel Silva

Gabriel Allon is asked for help once more. This time though, lives are truly at stake. His boss Ari Shamron gets into his car only to be attacked by bomb. Gabriel is furious at the events and is determined to figure out who is behind it. The Vatican is under attack as well. There are plots inside that even Gabriel cannot even fathom. There just may be enough time to get people saved this time.

Mr. Silva is an amazing author and his books just keep getting better. The conflict that Gabriel deals with each time he gets asked for help. The research that must be done is incredible. Mr. Silva keeps the plot moving along at a reasonable pace.

Gabriel may finally be getting somewhere. Yet the past still keeps him back at some point. He must finally reconcile the things inside himself so that he can move on. Ari is there to help him but the majority of the healing must be Gabriel's own doing. Julian is also waiting in the wings to help Gabriel any way he can when it comes to art. Sarah is the new girl on the block. With her background, she'll be essential to solving the case.

This is one book that kept me on the edge of my seat. It seemed like every time you turned around someone was getting shot at or there was a plot that was being foiled. Mr. Silva knows how to entertain yet at the same time you learn so much. I was so impressed with the ability of the whole team to work together and salvage things if that is what is called for. I am sad to see this series end in a few books but love how it is progressing along.

Daniel Silva/ Mystery/Thriller/ Spy story/ 400 pages/ 4 out of 5

This was a really good book! I'm excited to start a new book tomorrow. :)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

January Stats and Reads

1.Glad Tidings by Debbie Macomber 01-01-09 A+
2.Murder with all the Trimmings by Elaine Viets 01-02-09 through 01-04-09 A+
3.Dana's Valley by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan 01-04-09 through 01-05-09 A
4.The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky 01-06-09 through 01-07-09 A+
5.The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells 01-07-09 through 01-13-09 A
6.19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult 01-13-09 through01-14-09 A+
7.No Angel by Penny Vincenzi 01-14-09 through 01-19-09 A
8.Other People's Business by Pamela Yaye 01-19-09 through 01-20-09 A
9.Fit To Be Tied by Karen Kendall 01-20-09 B
10.Nora, Nora by Anne Rivers Siddons 01-21-09 through 01-24-09 A+
11.A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick 01-24-09 through 01-26-08 A+ (fav this year)
12.If You Really Loved Me by Ann Rule 01-26-09 through 01-29-08 B

Total Books I read: 12
New Authors: 5
Fiction: 11
Non-Fiction: 1
Chunksters: 4
Romance: 2
Mystery: 1
From the Stacks: 12
Books for Review:
PBS Sent:
PBS received: 1
Books I bought: 3 (with gift card)
Total Pages Read: 5,255

I didn't finish the book I am reading. :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

If You Really Loved Me by Ann Rule

Most people would do anything for love. But would they go to the lengths where they would kill? That is the story of David Alan Brown and his fourteen year old daughter Cinnamon. His wife Linda was shot in her sleep by Cinnamon but first she said she did it, then she didn't remember but could she finally tell the truth. David was a powerful man with his data recovery program. Women fell at his feet. Cinnamon did finally confess and was sentenced to prison for twenty four years. Her world crashed around her and the one person she trusted seemed not so trustworthy anymore. There is more to this story than it first appears.

Ms. Rule truly delves deep into this one. She gives a lot of information that at times didn't seem all that relevant but at the end made sense. Intricate details were given and the pictures truly did help develop the story. She asked questions and got the answers she could. Looking into as many documents she could. I am not sure how much she had access to but with the things she was able to write about, there had to have been a lot.

That is definitely one thing I like about this true crime author, she never leaves a stone unturned. It may mean meeting with the people involved in the case if she is able. Obviously Linda was no longer around and that's so sad. I don't think I will ever understand what went on but I am okay with that. Ms. Rule truly does a wonderful job. This is one author who never disappoints and the after word was truly helpful. I may be noisy but I wish all that were involved that they find peace.

Ann Rule/ Chunkster/ Non-fiction/True Crime/Family/Murder/ 608 pages/ 4 out of 5

This was a good book and at times pretty creepy. Off to a thriller. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick

Evelyn Dixon gets the shock of her life when her husband asks for a divorce. On a whim, she drives to Connecticut to see the fall colors. While walking around town, she veers off the beaten path and finds this little court yard that the shops are mostly gone. But one of them used to be a quilt shop. Not sure what else she can do, she decides this will be the perfect thing to do with her new life! She wants to build a community with this shop most of all and she'll have to work on that one thread at a time.

Ms. Bostwick has enthralled me in this book. Being a quilter myself, I loved this from beginning to end. This is my second book by her and completely different plus a longer story as well. Her character development was really good in this one. I truly felt for the characters.

Evelyn Dixon finally may have her dream come true. But it's going to be a lot of work in the process. And things are just looking up when a challenge comes her way. Liza, Abigail, and Margot may just be the angels in disguise that she needs. As they all help heal each other, a friendship binds them together like no other.

I loved this book from the beginning. The surprises around every corner were nice. The four women had to learn to forgive in their own situations and if they didn't it might just hold them back from something greater. None of them were going to find it easy but once they did forgive, things would unfold in front of them in ways they never thought possible. This is one author who pleases from beginning to end. I cannot wait to get my hands on her other books!

Marie Bostwick, Friends, Quilting, 288 pages, 5 out of 5

This is a book that is heart warming and touching. I couldn't get enough of it! This is definitely my favorite this year!