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Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Wrap Up

This past year I've read almost double of my normal reads and I have the book blogging world to thank for that. I've always had a book going but since I've started blogging and reading blogs, I've been opened up to books I might not have normally read. It has been a fantastic 8 months and I look forward to the year to come.


Okay onto the list of books I completed this year:


1) Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher 1/6/2009 - Audiobok
2) Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires Book 3) - Rachel Caine 1/6/2009
3) Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires Book 4) - Rachel Caine 1/8/2009
4) Lords of Misrule (Morganville Vampires Book 5) - Rachel Caine 1/13/2009
5) The Bar Code Tattoo - Suzanne Wyen 1/6/2009
6) The Book Thief - Markus Zusak 1/28/2009 - Audiobook
7) The Bar Code Rebellion - Suzanne Wyen 1/30 /2009
8) Fearless Fourteen - Janet Evanovich 2/6/2009
9) Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead 2/13/2009
10) Evermore - Alyson Noel 2/24/2009
11) Nevermore - Neil Gaiman 3/4/2009 - Audiobook
12) Tithe - Holly Black 3/9/2009
13) Stardust - Neil Gaiman 3/17/2009 - Audiobook
14) City of Glass - Cassandra Clare 4/2/2009
15) The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson 4/10/2009
16) Wintergirls - Laurie Halse Anderson 4/15/2009
17) The Giver - Lois Lowry 4/19/2009
18) Looking For Alaska - John Green 4/20/2009
19) The Vampire Shrink - Lynda Hilburn 4/27/2009
20) American Gods - Neil Gaiman 5/7/2009
21) Exquisite Corpse - Poppy Z. Brite 5/11/2009
22) The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan 5/14/2009
23) Deadly Little Secret - Laurie Faria Stolarz 5/17/2009
24) Swollen - Melissa Lion 5/20/2009
25) Some Girls Bite - Chloe Neill 6/1/2009
26) Infected - Scott Sigler - Audiobook 6/5/2009
27) The Physick Book of Deliverance Cane - Katherine Howe 6/12/2009
28) Carpe Corpus (Morganville Vampires Book 6) - Rachel Caine 6/15/2009
29) Skin Trade - Laurell K Hamilton 6/25/2009
30) The Chosen One - Carol Lynch Williams 6/26/2009
31) Sister Wife - Shelley Hrdlitschka 6/29/2009
32) A Break With Charity A Story About The Salem Witch Trials - Ann Rinaldi 7/6/2009
33) If I Should Die Before I Wake - Han Nolan 7/9/2009
34) Blue Moon - Alyson Noel 7/12/2009
35) Twenty Boy Summer 7/14/2009
36) Fear the Worst - Linwood Barclay ARC I reviewed for Library Thing 7/22/2009
37) Living Dead Girl - Elizabeth Scott 7/24/2009
38) Mating Rituals of the North American WASP - 7/31/2009
39) Love You, Hate You, Miss You - Elizabeth Scott 8/2/2009
40) Contagious - Scott Sigler 8/6/2009 - Audiobook
41) Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater 8/10/2009
42) Plum Spooky - Janet Evanovich 8/14/2009 - Audiobook
43) Hunted - P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast 8/18/2009
44) Finger Lickin' Fifteen - Janet Evanovich 8/22/2009
45) Lament - Maggie Stiefvater 8/26/2009
46) Hush, Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick 9/1/2009
47) Dairy Queen - Catherine Gilbert Murdock 9/3/2009 - Audiobook
48) Secret Society - Tom Dolby 9/4/2009
49) Dragon House - John Shors 9/9/2009
50) The Man Who Loved Books Too Much - Allison Hoover Bartlett 9/13/2009
51) Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn 9/17/2009
52) Prophecy of the Sisters 9/21/2009
53) Gertruda's Oath - Ram Oren 9/25/2009
54) Dancing With Ana - Nicole Barker 9/26/2009
55) Hellbound Hearts - Various Authors 10/2/2009
56) Call Me Sonya - Sonya Tupone Lloyd 10/2/2009
57) Day By Day Armageddon - J.L. Bourne 10/3/2009
58) Call Me Kate - Molly Roe 10/6/2009
59) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling 10/8/2009 UK Audiobook
60) Bull Rider - Suzanne Morgan Williams 10/8/2009
61) The Postmistress - Sarah Blake 10/10/2009
62) Defenders of the Scroll - Shiraz 10/14/2009
63) After - Amy Efaw 10/19/2009
64) Flesh and Fire - Laura Anne Gilman 10/25/2009
65) Arcadia Snips and the Steamwork Consortium - Robert C. Rodgers 10/28/2009
66) Cleopatra's Daughter - Michelle Moran 10/31/2009
67) The Spellbinder - Helen Stringer 11/6/2009
68) Bitter Night - Diana Pharaoh Francis 11/9/2009
69) Cherries in Winter - Suzan Colon 11/11/2009
70) The Secret of Joy - Melissa Senate 11/16/2009
71) Struts & Frets - Jon Skovron 11/19/2009
72) Life After 187 - Wade J. Halverson 11/22/2009
73) Candor - Pan Bachorz 12/8/2009 Audiobook
74) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling 12/1/2009 UK Audiobook
75) Under The Dome - Stephen King 12/10/2009
76) The Road - Cormac McCarthy 12/15/2009 Audiobook
77) The Better Part of Darkness - Kelly Gay 12/16/2009
78) Men With Ties, Diary of an Emigre - Nastya Palikarpova 12/19/2009
79) Secrets of a Christmas Box - Steven Hornby 12/22/2009
80) The Poison Eaters - Holly Black 12/22/2009
81) Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman 12/22/2009 Audiobook
82) The Silent Gift - Michael Landon Jr & Cindy Kelley 12/29/2009
83) Dear John - Nicholas Sparks 12/30/2009 Audiobook

For me this is a completely insane amount of books. Looking back over the last few years my normal reading list amounts to around 40-50 books a year. Listening to audiobooks helped increase my total by a few but I've also spent less time gaming or web surfing and spent more time reading.

I've notice a lot of bloggers doing the top 10 of 2009 but as I look over my list of books I don't think I could just pick 10. There are so many books on my list that I loved and I enjoyed reading all of them. So I will just leave this post as a list of what I read this past year.

Maybe, just maybe I can manage 100 books for 2010. A New Year's Resolution possibility.

100 Mile Fitness Challenge Round 2



Well I barely squeaked by on the first round just completing my 100 miles on Monday. I really loved doing this challenge so I'm going to go another round starting January 1, 2010. If it's something you might like to do head over to the website to sign up.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Silent Gift - A Review

The Silent Gift - Michael Landon Jr. & Cindy Kelley (from publicist for review)

Synopsis (from back of book)
:

A story both bittersweet and heartwarming of a mother and her son...and of his unusual gift.

The decade of the thirties was a time of enormous uncertainty-for the world, for America, and i particular for one lonely, struggling mother and her disabled son. Their story is one of unyielding love and incredible sacrifices in the face of circumstances beyond belief.

But then The Gift appears...where has it come from, and why? How can a young boy who cannot communicate provide comfort and direction to seekers who learn of his special ability? Whatever the source, its presence brings a single shaft of light and hope to Mary and her beloved son, Jack...Will it be enough?

My Thoughts:


This book left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Such an amazing journey and story of a mother's love for her child. I was pulled in so much that I read the majority of it in one sitting.

As I read this story I found myself feeling very protective of her son and understood her fierce desire to see him safe. The authors created so many vast characters. At first I wasn't sure how they all fit in, but by the end of the story everyone had their rightful place. The book seemed to be more of Mary's story rather than Jack's, that surprised me a bit. But in the end it made perfect sense.

I visualize books I read and often times it's like watching a movie. This book fell into that category very well. It really was like watching a movie. I felt like I was there watching the story unfold right down to standing next to the lion cage Jack woke up in. I think this book would make a heartfelt movie and would love to watch it.

If you're looking for an inspirational, uplifting story, this would be a great choice!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A to Z Wednesday



Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.
Post:
1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)
4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments
Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.
(We all love comments, don't we?)
Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.

THIS WEEKS LETTER IS: U

Unleashed - Kristopher Reisz

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: February 2008
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
  • Format: Paperback, 352pp
  • Sales Rank: 32,848
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • ISBN-13: 9781416940012
  • ISBN: 1416940014

Synopsis

A sexy teen novel about a boy who falls in love with a girl who can shapeshift into a werewolf.

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up -Daniel Morning, son of working-class parents, shoulders a heavy load due to his family's high expectations. He works hard at school but his SATs aren't stellar, and his parents insist on having him classified as ADD so that he can take an untimed test to improve his score. He gets into Cornell, but it burns him knowing that he enjoyed an unfair advantage and he regrets his decision to go along with his parents' wishes. Then he meets biracial and dangerously sexy Misty, who has a tough-girl attitude that intrigues him. Very quickly they become a couple and he learns what she and her friends do in the old abandoned furnace night after night: they eat magic mushrooms and turn into wolves that roam the city, marking their territory as they go. Mesmerizingly addictive and sometimes bluntly graphic prose suits the topic perfectly, with sex and dope and shape-shifting all combining to lead readers down a path full of allegory and excitement. This novel is sure to be a word-of-mouth favorite among older teens.-Susan Riley, Mount Kisco Public Library, NY

Another book on my shelves I never quite got around too. I think if I stopped buying books, I might have enough on my shelves to last a few months easy.

The Weather

So I have been saying through out the book blogosphere all December long that you all can have the snow I didn't want any. Well unfortunately Mother Nature did not agree.

Now granted this is just an inch or so but I wasn't prepared for it. Thank goodness I was home for the day when it started. The snow caught us by surprise we were supposed to warm up to the 40's and have rain all day after a patchy freezing fog this morning. Look at all the rain we got! Our forecasters are still saying it's going to turn to rain but I'd sure like to know when. The day is almost over.

Okay I've had my rant and I'll stop whining for now. As long as it goes away lol.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading and it asks us to...


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here's my teaser this week:

"You know what I wish, Jack? I wish there was a hot chocolate factory in Chicago. I'd make it, and you could test it. We'd be a great team!"

The Silent Gift - Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelly, pg 42.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mailbox Monday & What Are You Reading

This is a weekly meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Join the fun and post what you got in your mailbox last week!

I got one book this week. Another slow week for me.








Witch and Wizard - James Patterson ( a Christmas gifts from my kidlets)














It's Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event hosted by J. Kaye of J. Kaye's Book Blog to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finished this week.









Books I finished last week:
The Poison Eaters - Holly Black
The Secret of a Christmas Box - Steven Hornby
Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman Audiobook

Currently Reading:
The Silent Gift - Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley
Dear John - Nicholas Sparks Audiobook

Books to Finish this Week:

The Silent Gift - Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley

Dear John Winners!


And the winners are:


Beth from Beth's Book Review (email received)
Miss Cindy from Simple Life and Reading (email received)
Jody
(email received)


Congrats to the winners!! I will be emailing you shortly and you have 48 hours to get me mailing information.

~EDIT~ All names and addresses have been submitted to Hachette

Weekend Roundup

















It has been a busy, full week. I left Wednesday to visit my family for Christmas. While I love visiting, it also wears me out. My husband had to work Christmas eve this year and that's when my family celebrates so he came down to pick us up on Christmas morning to take us home. I hated not having him with us for Christmas eve but what can you do?

The kids are having a blast with their new stuff. My oldest got a new guitar amp and My youngest got a Nintendo DS lite. Both loved their gifts. They got some little stuff too.
I got some new weight gloves and a new mouse for my laptop. Then later on Christmas day my laptop died. The darn video card/on board video went out. Not something I can just run out and fix. Thankfully I'm not without, we are a techie family and have a few computers in the house. I did love my laptop though.

Saturday we took the kids out to the mall to spend their gift cards. That was busy but not as bad as I thought it would be.

Today I don't have a single plan other than to watch TV, surf the net and hopefully get a little reading time in. I never read well when it's my honey's day off and he's had the last two off and the next two.

The picture above is the last of the snow pictures I set aside for December. It's taken at our Riverfront park and it's the building that has a beautiful, working carousel.

So last week wasn't the greatest reading weeks for me but now that Christmas is over I hope to get more read.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Poison Eaters - A Review

The Poison Eaters - Holly Black (Library Thing Early Reviewers)

Product Details (from B&N)

  • Pub. Date: February 01, 2010
  • Publisher: Small Beer Press
  • Format: Hardcover, 256pp
  • Sales Rank: 163,673
  • Age Range: Young Adult


Synopsis (from B&N)

In her debut collection, New York Times best-selling author Holly Black returns to the world of Tithe in two darkly exquisite new tales. Then Black takes readers on a tour of a faerie market and introduces a girl poisonous to the touch and another who challenges the devil to a competitive eating match. These stories have been published in anthologies such as 21 Proms, The Faery Reel, and The Restless Dead, and have been reprinted in many “Best of” anthologies. The Poison Eaters is Holly Black’s much-anticipated first collection of stories, and her ability to stare into the void—and to find humanity and humor there—will speak to young adult and adult readers alike.


My Thoughts:

This was a quick, enjoyable read full of delicious wickedness and strange tales. Holly does an amazing job weaving life into her stories. I can honestly say I enjoyed all of the stories in this collection and wish there were more to be read. From vampires to unicorns, to characters from books coming to life there's a story for all tastes within these pages.

If you're looking for a quick story to bide you over between appointments or just before bed, this would be the perfect book.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Secret of a Christmas Box - A Review

Secrets of a Christmas Box - Steven Hornby (From publisher for review)

Product Details (from B&N)

  • Pub. Date: September 2009
  • Publisher: Ecky Thump Books, Incorporated
  • Format: Hardcover, 248pp
  • Age Range: 7 to 12

Synopsis (from B&N)

Have You Ever wondered . . .

Why every year, pine needles from the Christmas tree find their way into rooms no one has been in?

Or why, at least one of your favorite tree ornaments is found broken no matter how carefully they were packed away the year before?

And who is it that rips the small holes in the wrapped presents under the tree?

Enter the magical festive world of the Christmas 'Tree-Dwellers', as Larry, a Christmas snowman, wakes up after the long sleep in the Christmas box, to find his brother is missing.

Desperate to find him before Christmas, Larry, along with his girlfriend Debbie, a newcomer Splint, and Larry's companion Tinsel, break the laws of the 'Tree-Elders' and escape down the tree and away into the house, to look for clues.

Away from the safety of the tree and in an unfamiliar world, the Dwellers stumble upon a dark and sinister secret that threatens their entire world.

Can Larry and the group make it back to the tree in time to warn the others, and finally uncover the truth behind the 'Secrets Of A Christmas Box'?

My Thoughts:

I started this book on December 1st and have been reading one chapter a night, intending to finish up on December 24th. I actually ended up having to finish the last two chapters on the 22nd. Holiday travel was going to interrupt my schedule.

This was a cute Christmas story. I don't think I will ever look at tree lights and ornaments the same again. I will say it had more violence in it than I was expecting and some scary moments. I would be okay with older children reading it. I'm not sure if it would be too scary for younger ones.

I really loved the character Larry. You just wanted to hug him. Debbie on the other hand was a bit annoying but I'm pretty sure that was his intent. Oh and lets not forget Tinsel. He was the cutest tinsel/dog I've ever read. Okay well the only tinsel/dog I've ever read, but he was still cute. Then there was Splint. He was a great little leader.

I loved all the illustrations in the book. They helped bring the book to life. I wish more books today did that.

At the end of the day I enjoyed this book a lot and reading it one chapter a night with your kids (older, younger, I would recommend parent skim book before deciding) would be a great way to spend the month of December.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Offline For The Holiday


Merry Christmas to Everyone!!

I will be offline until Christmas evening. I hope all of you in the blogosphere have a great holiday filled with warmth, love, family, and friends.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A to Z Wednesday



Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.
Post:
1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)
4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments
Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.
(We all love comments, don't we?)
Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.

THIS WEEKS LETTER IS: T

Twilight of Avalon - Anna Elliot

Synopsis (from B&N website)

Book One in the Twilight of Avalon Trilogy

She is a healer, a storyteller, a warrior, and a queen without a throne. In the shadow of King Arthur's Britain, one woman knows the truth that could save a kingdom from the hands of a tyrant...

Ancient grudges, old wounds, and the quest for power rule in the newly widowed Queen Isolde's court. Hardly a generation after the downfall of Camelot, Isolde grieves for her slain husband, King Constantine, a man she secretly knows to have been murdered by the scheming Lord Marche — the man who has just assumed his title as High King. Though her skills as a healer are renowned throughout the kingdom, in the wake of Con's death, accusations of witchcraft and sorcery threaten her freedom and her ability to bring Marche to justice. Burdened by their suspicion and her own grief, Isolde must conquer the court's distrust and superstition to protect her throne and the future of Britain.

One of her few allies is Trystan, a prisoner with a lonely and troubled past. Neither Saxon nor Briton, he is unmoved by the political scheming, rumors, and accusations swirling around the fair queen. Together they escape, and as their companionship turns from friendship to love, they must find a way to prove what they know to be true — that Marche's deceptions threaten not only their lives but the sovereignty of the British kingdom.

In Twilight of Avalon, Anna Elliott returns to the roots of the legend of Trystan and Isolde to shape a very different story — one based in the earliest written versions of the Arthurian tales — a captivating epic brimming with historic authenticity, sweeping romance, and the powerful magic of legend.


This is a book I'm ashamed to say I have yet to read. The poor thing has been sitting in my TBR pile for some months now. I hope to get to it sometime soon as I have heard a great many good things about it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading and it asks us to...


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here's my teaser this week:

My mother says that I don't think about consequences until it's too late. That might be true.

In Vodka Veritas short story. Part of The Poison Eaters by Holly Black due out February 2010. pg 83. (note this is an uncorrected proof subject to change upon final printing)

Award Time

So I have been horrible about posting awards given to me with the proper thanks to those great bloggers who passed them onto me. So please accept my apologies. Okay lets get down to business.

J.Kaye, Sheila, and Vicki all gave me this award for which I am very thankful for:


Here are the rules for this award. You must name 10 true and honest things about yourself .

  1. I would love to live away from home just once in my lifetime.
  2. I can't do public speaking. I literally can get sick from the thought of it.
  3. I'm a PC gamer. Not nearly as much as I used to be but I love gaming online with friends.
  4. I love extreme sports. Watching, not doing.
  5. I watch too much TV. The wonderful world of the DVR is both a blessing and a curse.
  6. I wish I were more creative. I would love to be able to draw or paint.
  7. I love animals.
  8. I want to travel abroad. So many places I love to see.
  9. I love art. I know nothing about it but I love to look at it. Especially photography.
  10. I am very loyal and dependable. Sometimes almost to a fault.

This award came from Jen's Book Talk. Thank you so much.








This came from Miss Cindy. Thank you for such a lovely award.








This came from Ryan over at Wordsmithonia, a great blog and one of my favorite people to chat on twitter with.

The rules are pretty simple. Answer the following questions with Single Word answers.

  • Your Cell Phone? Black
  • Your Hair? Short
  • Your Mother? Short
  • Your Father? Irish
  • Your Favorite Food? Pizza
  • Your Dream Last Night? Blank
  • Your Favorite Drink? Soda
  • Your Dream/Goal? Happy
  • What Room Are You In? Bedroom
  • Your Hobby? Reading
  • Your Fear? Falling
  • Where Do You Want To Be In Six Years? Europe
  • Where Were You Last Night? Home
  • Something That You Aren't? Sad
  • Muffins? Blueberry
  • Wish List Item? blanket
  • Where Did You Grow Up? Oregon
  • Last Thing You Did? Ate
  • What Are You Wearing? Clothes
  • Your TV? On
  • Your Pets? five
  • Friends? Family
  • Your Life? Settled
  • Your Mood? Sleepy
  • Missing Someone? Yes
  • Vehicle? Focus
  • Something You Aren't Wearing? Coat
  • Your Favorite Store? Borders
  • Your Favorite Color? Green
  • When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Today
  • Last Time You Cried? Movie
  • Your Best Friend? Mark
  • One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Work
  • Facebook? Yes
  • Favorite Place To Eat? Applebee's
Now I know I should be awarding these out but I'm so grateful to everyone that comes to my blog, that I think everyone deserves them.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mailbox Monday and What Are You Reading

This is a weekly meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Join the fun and post what you got in your mailbox last week!

I got one book this week. A very slow week indeed and I am grateful for that.








Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms - Jane Doiron (contest win)














It's Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event hosted by J. Kaye of J. Kaye's Book Blog to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finished this week.









Books I finished last week:
The Better Part of Darkness - Kelly Gay
Men With Ties, Diary of an Emigre - Nastya Polikarpova
The Road - Cormac McCarthy Audiobook

Currently Reading:
The Poison Eaters - Holly Black
The Secret of a Christmas Box - Steven Hornby
Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman Audiobook
Dear John - Nicholas Sparks Audiobook

Books to Finish this Week:

The Secret of a Christmas Box - Steven Hornby
The Poison Eaters - Holly Black
Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman

Weekend Roundup

Well this is the last weekend until Christmas and boy has it been a pretty busy one.

We finished up our shopping on Friday and Sunday. Saturday my honey works so I got to run out and pick up one more gift for him. The rest of the day I just relaxed.

I got a cookbook in the mail on Friday. One I had one a month or so ago. So on Sunday I went way out of my cooking comfort zone and made Mini Cheesecakes. I have no idea if they turned out and won't until tomorrow, but I'm crossing my fingers.

This picture is also from last December on my trip to downtown in all the snow and it fits the season perfectly.

I will be offline for part of the week. I am going to my grandma's house and there's no Internet there. It will be good for me. Gives me time to visit with my family and my mom, who now lives down there. I also hope to squeeze in some reading time in the evenings.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and here's to a week full of family, fun and most importantly lots of love.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Men With Red Ties, Diary of an Emigre - A Review

Men With Red Ties, Diary of an Emigre - Nastya Polikarpova (received from author for review)

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (October 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143273590X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432735906

Product Description (via Amazon)

The window of this taxi and I have something in common.

We are breathed on by strangers, covered by countless, dirty fingerprints, stained with coffee, oil, grease; it wears the poor window out, an exhaustion that a car wash cannot cleanse away.

My Thoughts:

This book caught me by surprise. It took me 40 or so pages to get into. I had a hard time keeping characters straight in the beginning. However that all changed very quickly and I found myself completely engrossed in the tale I was reading. I found myself fascinated by the stories that were told within the main story itself and before I knew it the story was over.

The book gives a glimpse into a high end strip club in NY and the girls that work for it. Alina was leaving the world to go back home. While this was going on another girl at the club was telling the new girl Alina's story. How she came to the club and the events that eventually had her leaving to go back home to a simpler life.

All in all, I really enjoyed the book even with the bumpy start.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

7th Heaven Winners!



And the Winners Are......
  1. Marjorie - Won already new winner is Bethie! (received email)
  2. Rubynreba (received email)
  3. Lindsay's Photography (received email)
  4. JoanneR (received email)
  5. A Mom After God's Own Heart - Never heard back from her. New winner is Cindi C. (email received)
All names have been sent out to Hachette as of 12/26/2009

I will send out emails and winners have 48 hours to email me mailing information. Soon as I get everyone's information, I'll send it out to Hachette.

The Better Part Of Darkness Blog Tour December 17, 2009

A Better Part Of Darkness - Kelly Gay (Blog tour from Pocketbooks)

Product Details (from B&N website)

  • Pub. Date: November 2009
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback, 416pp

Synopsis (from B&N website)

Atlanta: it's the promised city for the off-worlders, foreigners from the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon. Some bring good works and miracles. And some bring unimaginable evil....

Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. She's recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.'s Integration Task Force even harder. Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim -- but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?

My Thoughts:

This blog tour came at the perfect time for me. This book was exactly what I needed to clear my head after my last book. I really enjoyed reading it. Charlie is feisty, if sometimes rash character, and she can kick a little butt. Heck she can kick a lot more than a little. Hank her partner is just as well written and I find I have a soft spot for him. There were a slew of other characters I really liked. Charlie's sister Bryn, and Rex were fantastic.

The story was engaging and I was drawn into the world. I had a hard time picturing some of the characters but it didn't distract me enough to stop my enjoyment of the story.

I fantastic debut! I hope to get a chance to read more from Kelly.

Participating Blogs:

Parajunkee’s View: http://parajunkee.blogspot.com/
Crazy Books & Reviews: http://lindsayphotobook.blogspot.com/
The Book Tree: http://thebooktree.blogspot.com/
Book Junkie: http://myfoolishwisdom.blogspot.com/
Jeanne's Ramblings: http://www.jeannesramblings.com
Drey’s Library: http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com/
Poisoned Rationality: http://lastexilewords.blogspot.com
Found Not Lost: http://jmomfinds.amoores.com/
A Book Bloggers Diary: http://abookbloggersdiary.blogspot.com/
Booksie’s Blog: http://booksiesblog.blogspot.com/
The Life (and Lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object: http://haleymathiot.blogspot.com/
My Adventures in Mommyland: http://musingmainiac.blogspot.com/
I Heart Book Gossip: http://juniperrbreeeze.blogspot.com/
All About {n}: http://www.bookwormygirl.blogspot.com/
The Bibliophilic Book Blog: http://www.bibliophilicbookblog.com/
Jen’s Book Talk: http://jensbooktalk.blogspot.com/
Readaholic: http://bridget3420.blogspot.com/
Chick with Books: http://www.chickwithbooks.blogspot.com/
Reading with Tequila: http://readingwithtequila.blogspot.com/
Pick of the Literate: http://bookrevues.blogspot.com/
Books Gardens & Dogs: http://maryinhb.blogspot.com/
Wendy’s Minding Spot: http://mindingspot.blogspot.com/
Revenge of the Booknerds: http://booknerdextraordinaire.blogspot.com/
You Wanna Know What I Think?: http://www.kballard87.blogspot.com/
Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm: http://fayeflamereviews.blogspot.com/
Patricia’s Vampire Notes: http://patricias-vampire-notes.blogspot.com/
SciFi Guy: http://www.scifiguy.ca/
The Wayfaring Writer: http://moonsanity.blogspot.com/
Book Soulmates: http://booksoulmates.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Road Audiobook - A Review

The Road - Cormac McCarthy (Own)
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Recorded Books; Unabridged edition (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1428112782
  • ISBN-13: 978-1428112780

Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble website)

The searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece.

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

My Thoughts:

This is going to be a tiny review. If you are looking for a happy go lucky book, this ain't it. I really enjoyed it, but it is dark, dank, and dreary.

I listened to it in a few days, which for an audiobook is amazing for me. It had me hooked from the get go. It's just so sad. I had to fight back tears in some spots. I will say one thing, I really liked is they didn't give the characters names. It was just "the boy" and "Papa". I don't know why but this fit the book very well. The lengths that the father went to so he could protect his son were heartwarming and something that stayed with me during and after finishing the book.

I'm putting a warning on this because there are few disturbing scenes in the book and I can honestly say a couple of them will stick with me for a long time to come. The scenes aren't long in length but they pack a punch.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A to Z Wednesday



Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.
Post:
1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)
4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments
Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.
(We all love comments, don't we?)
Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.

THIS WEEKS LETTER IS: S
Soulless - Gail Carriger

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: October 2009
  • Publisher: Orbit/Yen
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback, 384pp

Synopsis

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

This book is in my TBR pile. I'm so anxious to read it, that it has it's own spot next to my desk with a few other top of my pile books.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading and it asks us to...


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here's my teaser this week:

"It's either that or nothing at all. Your choice."

I lifted an eyebrow, standing toe-to-toe with all six foot four inches of him. "Forget it. I'm not changing."

The Better Part of Darkness - Kelly Gay, pg 86

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mailbox Monday & What Are You Reading

This is a weekly meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Join the fun and post what you got in your mailbox last week!

I got a few book things this week. Some contest wins, A couple review books, and one I bought.







Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Bought)
















The Heretic's Daughter - Kathleen Kent (Contest win)
















The Poison Eaters - Holly Black (Library Thing Early Reviewer)
















My Soul To Take - Rachel Vincent (Contest win)
















Dear John Audiobook - Nicholas Sparks (Hachette for review)









Last but certainly not least I received two bookmarks from a contest win over at Literate Housewife. One Coraline bookmark and one WWNR (What Would Neil Read) bookmark that she made herself! I love them both!

It's Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event hosted by J. Kaye of J. Kaye's Book Blog to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finished this week.









Books I finished last week:
Under The Dome - Stephen King
Candor - Pam Bachorz

Currently Reading:
The Better Part of Darkness - Kelly Gay
The Secret of a Christmas Box - Steven Hornby
The Road - Cormac McCarthy Audiobook


Books to Finish this Week:

The Better Part of Darkness and The Road. I would love to get both of these finished this week.

Weekend Roundup

















So this has been a heck of a week for us. We've had sub freezing temperatures and in Oregon that usually means pipe issues, well it did for us anyways.

We woke up Wednesday to frozen pipes for the second year in a row, even though we did preparations after last years. Move forward to today, I woke up and our water pressure was like half of it's normal pressure. I sent my husband under the house and all the pipes looked good. He then went out back and found our outside faucet spraying water everywhere. We figured the spigot broke. We took off to our local hardware store and got a new one to put on. Did that and turned our water back on and I heard water spraying everywhere. We then learned our outside faucet goes into what used to be the pump house. Our house used to be on well water. Seems not only did our spigot break but the on/off valve did as well. So back to the hardware store for more parts. With the help of one of our closest friends, 20 bucks and a few hours of our time, we now have water back to our house and none spraying all over.

So total bill this week for plumbing 135 dollars. If our pipes freeze again I'm thawing them myself. Can't afford another 115$ plumber bill for 15 min that it takes to thaw the problem pipe.

It's now 5pm our time and I'm just getting sat down to relax for the remainder of the weekend. I did get a little bit of reading done but not nearly as much as I had hoped.

The lovely picture above is from this same time a year ago. We had several inches of snow last Christmas. Very, very rare for the Willamette Valley. It pretty much shut us down a few days. My son and I took the city bus downtown and got some great shots out at Riverfront Park. This lovely boat is the Willamette Queen. We hope to take a lunch cruise on it one of these days.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and here's some good vibes for a great week ahead!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Under The Dome - A Review

Under The Dome - Stephen King (Bought)

  • Pub. Date: November 2009
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Format: Hardcover, 1088pp
  • Sales Rank: 12

Synopsis


On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when -- or if -- it will go away.

Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens -- town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -- even murder -- to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.

My Thoughts:

Yes! I finally got this monster finished! I was beginning to think I wouldn't get to read anymore books this year at the rate I was going.

This was a huge undertaking for me. It has been a very long time since I read a book of this length. Two weeks later I have completed this monstrosity of a book. Mr King gives the reader so much information that for me, I have to slow my reading way down just to take it all in. I had to read in shorter bursts so I could digest it. You've got your main plot and then you have several smaller plots building through out that mix in with the main plot.

The premise of the story itself is interesting. The idea of being shut off from the outside world and see how you and your town would react to such a situation, I find intriguing. The characters all had varying reactions, all of which felt fairly plausible. I liked this. It gave the book a sense of realness.

I found the little snippets of political and literary views to be humorous, although It wouldn't surprise me if some people found it irritating on some level. But I definitely saw this scattered here and there throughout the book.

On to the characters. There's not a whole lot to say you either love them or you hate them. You get a pile of both in the book. One minute your all into the story and the next some idiot character has you seething. Boy did some characters have me seething so bad at times, I wanted to reach into the pages and throttle them!

Well this review went a little off course from my usual reviews. A little on the technical side for me. So my final thoughts, I liked it. It was long and the ending was a bit strange but all in all I really enjoyed it, even if it took me nearly two weeks to read.

~Special note for J. Kaye~ Yes it has an ending, a bit strange, but an ending was had.

~EDIT~ I forgot to mention there should probably be some warning for voilence, some sexual violence. It is Stephen King so violence and gore is normal but I decided I should note this just in case some don't know his writing style.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A to Z Wednesday



Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.
Post:
1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)
4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments
Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.
(We all love comments, don't we?)
Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.

THIS WEEKS LETTER IS: R

Product Details from B&N website

  • Pub. Date: March 2005
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback, 384pp
  • Sales Rank: 9,986

Synopsis from B&N website

R is for Ricochet is another thrilling installment in Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series.

Reba Lafferty was a daughter of privilege, the only child of an adoring father. Over the years, he quietly settled her many scrapes with the law, but he wasn't there for her when she was convicted of embezzlement and sent to the California Institute for Women. Now, at thirty-two, she is about to be paroled, having served twenty-two months of a four-year sentence. Nord Lafferty wants to be sure she stays straight, stays at home and away from the drugs, the booze, the gamblers.

It seems a straightforward assignment for Kinsey: babysit Reba until she settles in, make sure she follows all the rules of her parole. Maybe all of a week's work. Nothing untoward–the woman seems remorseful and friendly. And the money is good. But life is never that simple, and Reba is out of prison less than 24 hours when one of her old crowd comes circling around.

I love this series. I'm a couple books behind now that her new one is out, but I'll be caught up by the next one.

Candor - A Review

Candor - Pam Bachorz (Audiobook- Own)

Product Details (from B&N website)

  • Pub. Date: September 2009
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA
  • Format: Hardcover, 256pp
  • Age Range: 12

Synopsis (from B&N website)

In the model community of Candor, Florida, every teen wants to be like Oscar Banks. The son of the town's founder, Oscar earns straight As, is student-body president, and is in demand for every club and cause.
But Oscar has a secret. He knows that parents bring their teens to Candor to make them respectful, compliant–perfect–through subliminal Messages that carefully correct and control their behavior. And Oscar' s built a business sabotaging his father's scheme with Messages of his own, getting his clients out before they're turned. After all, who would ever suspect the perfect Oscar Banks?
Then he meets Nia, the girl he can't stand to see changed. Saving Nia means losing her forever. Keeping her in Candor, Oscar risks exposure . . . and more.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book even if it creeped me out. The characters were engaging and I found myself listening longer than I intended to find out what happened next. It was interesting to watch Oscar struggle with the voices he's hearing and decide whether to listen or not to listen to them. The ending actually caught me off guard. That really surprised me. Usually by the end of a book you have a full sense of how it's going to end. I didn't have that with this one. A very nice change of pace.

The premise behind this book kind of freaks me out. It's just plain creepy. These are the kind of stories that scare me. The what if this actually happens. What if somewhere there is a town just like this. Where you don't make your own choices but instead do what you are subliminally told to do? What if?