Aug 31, 2008
Aug 29, 2008
Let me start by saying that this book is a work of fiction. Christian Fiction. It isn't a book on how to deal with grief nor is it a guide to any particular religous belief. It's simply one authors interpretation of how this man in the story copes with his anger and grief, some of which are directed at God. For me, this was a compelling read and I found the way Mr. Young demonstrated Mack's interactions and conversations with God to be very interesting. The author does not try to push one particular religion or another on to the reader, he only tries to show the beauty of one man's experience relating to and communicating with God in order to gain understanding and hopefully, closure.
I think the storyline was very well thought out and well written. It kept my attention all the way through. The further I got into the book, the faster I read because I was anxious to see what was next. In the final chapters I found myself needing to set the book down, and gather my emotions before continuing to the next chapter. I was very moved by the story and that's what I love about it. I like when a story has it's grasp on me up until the very end and this book didn't disappoint me in that regard. Honestly, I really didn't know what to expect from this book before I read it. I read many varying reviews but I went into it with an open mind and I truly enjoyed it. I think it would provide excellent discussions for any book club. I highly recommend this book.
If you'd like to learn more about this enlightening, unique book and William P. Young, go to http://www.theshackbook.com/. The entire first chapter is available for you to read online if you like.
Author: William P. Young
Publisher: Windblown Media
Published: May 2007
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Aug 28, 2008
Or, um, is it just me?
Aug 27, 2008
A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS is the second in the Bull Moose Dog Run series, the first being A DOG ABOUT TOWN. This story takes up where the first left off with Harry and Randolph both dealing with the disappearance of Harry’s girlfriend, Imogene, who was Randolph’s mistress before Harry was in the picture. The reader learns fairly early on that the mystery surrounding Imogene’s disappearance involves some Australian land and uranium rights that are soon to be willed to Imogene and certain people are willing to kill for them. The steady flow of dead bodies turning up all seem to point to Imogene as the killer, even though there are several spies disguising themselves as diplomats from the United Nations lurking about. Through the course of the investigation Harry discovers that he didn’t know his live-in girlfriend as well as he thought he did. He begins to question everything as the evidence piles up, which leaves Randolph even more determined to help prove her innocence. Randolph is able to learn a lot by filling in as a therapy dog for one of the diplomats. However, between the thyroid condition he is suffering from that leaves him easily exhausted and a murderer in close proximity, even his life is jeopardized.
When reading this book, its important to keep an open mind. There are parts of the book, that if taken too seriously could turn the reader off. It’s not a serious, bite your nails kind of mystery. I mean, it isn’t every day you read about a dog with his own email account or who orders his favorite books online. But with that being said, those are the quirky things about this book that make it entertaining and different. Basically, it’s a decent story with interesting characters. There are a lot of them to keep up with, but Englert is able to blend them all fluently. I could find things about the book to pick at, but then I remember that it’s a story about a dog trying to solve a mystery, so I choose to keep my perspective, sit back and enjoy the story.
A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS
J. F. Englert
Date Published: April 2008
Aug 26, 2008
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a reandom page.
Share with us two (2) sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
My two “teaser” sentences for today are from page 132 of CHASING WINDMILLS by Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of PAY IT FORWARD.
I started to ask Delilah to tell me how it was done, but then i realized I didn't want to know.
I wanted to believe it was love.
I just started reading this book, so I can't offer too much as to what it means, but I think it speaks for itself.
Aug 24, 2008
The books I ordered from Amazon arrived this week - two whole days earlier than expected much to my delight! Here’s what I got:
LIFE OF PI by Yann Martel
THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS by Meg Waite Clayton
THE LACE READER by Brunonia Berry
OUT STEALING HORSES by Per Petterson (just released in paperback)
Aug 19, 2008
One more thing before I shut down my computer - I want to mention a book giveaway from Naida at the Bookworm. She has a signed copy of MATRIMONY by Joshua Henkin she is giving away to a lucky reader. She's written a fabulous review of the book as well. You can read it here and also find out how to get entered into the contest. The drawing will be held Saturday, August 30th, so you have plenty of time. I have read so many great things about this book and I would love to win it!
Good Luck to everyone!
Aug 18, 2008
Last night I watched a classic documentary on VH1Classics. It was U2's Rattle & Hum from 1988. I've been a fan of the band since 1983 when, by pure luck, I was given a ticket to their concert because the person who was supposed to go got sick. What an impact that band had on me. With all the new bands that flood the market every year, U2 is a band that stands out. They're songs don't contain your average lyric about lost love or party times. Sitting there listening to those songs last night that I haven't heard in awhile, I was once again moved by their words.
U2 - Where the Streets Have No Name 1988
Aug 17, 2008
Aug 15, 2008
100 THINGS ABOUT ME MEME
1. I grew up on a farm
2. I believe in UFO’s
3. I learned to play the clarinet in the 5th grade
4. I wanted to play the saxophone
5. In the 8th grade I traded my clarinet for my friend’s saxophone
6. My parents made me give it back
7. My dad recently commented that he wished I’d played the saxophone
8. He didn’t remember the sax/clarinet incident
9. I’m very close to my mother
10. I look like my dad
11. I’m sarcastic
12. I like sarcasm
13. My best friend is sarcastic
14. We embrace it
15. I cry easily
16. I had a great childhood
17. I’m allergic to strawberries
18. My lips swell up when I eat them
19. I hate alligators (I have reoccurring nightmares of them)
20. I hate liars more than anything
21. I wish I wasn't so gullible
22. I started this blog because I was bored one day
23. I didn’t expect to love it so much
24. I get homesick when I’m away from home
25. I used to think I was clairvoyant at times
26. I’ve never told anybody that before
27. I’m good at trivia
28. My friends/family call me with random questions all the time
29. I lost a close friend to prescription drug overdose
30. The drugs ruined our friendship and her life
31. I spoke at her funeral
32. I think about her all the time
33. Most of my friends I’ve known for more than 10 years
34. I’ve known my boyfriend for 26 years
35. I met him when I was 18
36. He was 31
37. I instantly had a crush on him
38. I was married to someone else for 11 years
39. I worked at a lumber yard for 7 years
40. I did not load trucks
41. I used to work for a helicopter company
42. I did not fly helicopters
43. I love to go out to eat
44. I’m indecisive
45. I wish I was more sure of myself
46. My first car was a 1972 2 cylinder Honda Coupe
47. It was so small the boys from high school would pick it up and move it on me
48. I paid cash for it when I was 15 with my waitressing tips
49. I didn’t have a drivers license then
50. I don’t have a drivers license now
51. I’ve never been arrested
52. I’ve had my phone tapped
53. By the FBI
54. They were looking for a friend of mine
55. He was not a good person
56. I didn’t know that then
57. They told me
58. They shot and killed him
59. They called and told me that too
60. My first concert was Peter Frampton (1977)
61. My favorite concert was U2 in 1983
62. I always wanted a Chevelle Super Sport
63. I hate loud noises
64. I have excellent hearing
65. I used to write poetry
66. When I was younger I wanted to write short stories
67. I love dark chocolate
68. I have a brown thumb
69. I always wanted a green thumb
70. I watch soap operas
71. I'm a dreamer
72. I love old western movies (John Wayne)
73. I love Feta Cheese
74. Dark Blue is my favorite color
75. I once drank a jar of olive juice after I finished off the olives
76. I snore
77. I once won a trophy in a bass fishing tournament for biggest fish
78. I LOVE football
79. I’m named after a character on a soap opera, (thanks Mom)
80. I used to be a professional nail technician (Manicurist)
81. I hate black licorice
82. I’ve always wanted to play the piano
83. After reading a book about Helen Keller when i was a kid, I used to pretend I was blind to see what it would be like
84. I was diagnosed with a degenerative retinal disease (RP) at 25 yrs old
85. My sister has it too
86. I never thought I’d get married
87. I’m still friends with my first love
88. I love strawberry ice cream
89. I've never had stitches
90. When i was younger I quit a job to go see Journey in concert
91. My boyfriend at the time got sick and we had to leave the concert BEFORE Journey came out.
92. I got another job the next day
93. I never saw Journey in concert
94. I’m very sentimental
95. I showed Quarter Horses as a kid
96. I love to get up early in the morning (before 7:00) on the weekends
97. I hate sugar in my coffee
98. I never went to my Senior Prom
99. I love cold weather
100. Fire is my biggest fear
Probably more than you needed to know about me! I hope y'all have a great Friday!
Aug 14, 2008
Fictional ones? Or non-fiction? Or both?
Do you consider yourself a sports fan?
Because, of course, if you’re a rabid fan and read about sports constantly, there’s a logic there; if you hate sports and never read anything sports-related, that, too … but you don’t have to love sports to enjoy a good sports story.
(Or a good sports movie, for that matter.)
Aug 13, 2008
Author: Bridge Asher
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Published: August 2008
ating: 3 Stars (out of 5)
Aug 12, 2008
In other news, I received a message yesterday from BelleBooks that Sarah Addison Allen's audio cd of her new novella, IN MY DREAMS is available and they've asked me to give it a listen. I love Ms. Allen's books and I'm anxious to get my hands on this cd. This is what BelleBooks is saying about IN MY DREAMS:
"Grace. Charm. The everyday magic of everyday life. Welcome to Clementine, North Carolina, where the mysteries of love, loss and friendship bloom with quiet wisdom. Sarah Addison Allen, the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells and Sugar Queen, brings her wise and magical storytelling to a novella about life in a small North Carolina town."
Aug 11, 2008
This story centers around Josey Cirrini, a 29 year old woman who still lives with her mother, Margaret and does everything possible to gain her acceptance, which she’ll probably never get. Josey lives her life for her mother and the hope that the people of Bald Slope, North Carolina will one day forget what a terrible child she was and how horribly she treated Margaret. Because of her mothers’ relentless bossing around and Josey’s desire to make amends, she doesn’t have any friends, unless you count the sweet treats and romance novels she has hidden in a secret space in her closet. Those friends don’t judge her, they make her feel good. Margaret certainly would not approve of these indulgences. However, things start to change when local rough girl, Della Lee shows up in Josey’s closet one day and threatens to tell her secret unless she does a few things for her. Desperate to keep her secret, Josey reluctantly does what Della Lee says and even though Josey doesn’t realize it right away, she begins to change. Through Della Lee, Josey meets Chloe, who has just found out the love of her life has cheated on her. Their friendship grows quickly and Josey becomes someone Chloe turns to and trusts. Chloe has a special relationship with books that brings a whimsical feel to the story.
I liked this story and the cast of characters very much. They each have their own issues, but it all fits in together to tell a complete story with a satisfying ending. As I’ve said before, I’m not big into the fantasy genre but what I like about Ms. Allen’s books is that the magical element is subtle and incorporated into her stories very nicely. As with Garden Spells, it didn’t monopolize the story at all or become to ’out there’. THE SUGAR QUEEN was an enjoyable, quick read and I would recommend it to anyone, especially those who enjoy magical realism.
THE SUGAR QUEEN
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Publisher: Bantam Books
Published: June 2008
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
Aug 10, 2008
Here’s what I accomplished this week in books. First, I posted my review of Jess Riley’s DRIVING SIDEWAYS. I can’t say enough about this wonderful book. You can read my review here. Also, if you'd like to win a signed copy of the book, go to Bookroom Reviews Weblog and get entered. You can read all the details there. This week I finished reading THE SUGAR QUEEN by Sarah Addison Allen and also Bridget Asher’s MY HUSBAND’S SWEETHEARTS, which comes out August 19th. I’ll be posting those reviews in the coming days.
As far as what I’m reading now, author J. F. Englert recently sent me two of his books, one of which was recently released. It’s a murder mystery that is sure to be different. I’m only about 50 pages in and I’m still learning about the characters, so I'll have more about that in the days to come. I’m also reading CHASING WINDMILLS by Catherine Ryan Hyde that was realeased back in March.
A few days ago, one of the bloggers featured a What’s On Your Nightstand? post. I’m sorry, I can’t remember who actually initiated it, but I remember seeing it on several blogs. They all posted photos of their nightstands loaded with books from their TBR lists. It was amazing to see the towering books! I didn’t actually participate, because I didn’t have the means to provide a photo at the time, but I made a mental list. I was really surprised at how many I had! Here’s what I came up with (in no particular order):
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (partially read)
Good In Bed by Jennifer Weiner (partially read)
While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West From Within by Bruce Bawer (partially read)
The Constant Gardener by John Le Carre (partially read)
The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood
Down River by John Hart
Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty
Whew! I may have left a few off, but that looks like a pretty good list to me! (You should see me Wish List!) I hate leaving books unfinished, so the ones I've started should get priority.
Last weeks Booking Through Thursday was about worlds and eras in books and posed the question, In what book world/era would you want to be or NOT want to be? Also, What author would you want to write your story? That was easy for me, I didn’t want Stephen King to write my story! No way! I went with Sue Monk Kidd. A lot of people answered that they would not want to be in the Margaret Atwood book THE HANDMAID’S TALE. Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with this book, but after reading so many people referring to it, I have to check it out. I have an Atwood book on my list that I got as a trade, but not that one. I thought that was an interesting topic for BTT and I enjoyed reading everyone’s answers very much.
So, that was my week in books. I’ve realized I need to pay some attention to those books I’ve started and not finished. They’re good books, but for one reason or another I laid them off to the side. My goal will be to finish those books by the end of the year. Shouldn't be a problem, right?
Well, I’m off to the blogs now to see what y’all are reading and to get some ideas for new reads. Hope everyone has a peaceful, enjoyable reading day! Thanks for stopping by!
Aug 7, 2008
Are there any particular worlds in books where you’d like to live?
Or where you certainly would NOT want to live?
What about authors? If you were a character, who would you trust to write your life?
Well, I can answer the second part of this question very easily. I certainly would not want to live in the world of A Thousand Splendid Suns. That would absolutely be terrible to live in fear of the fighting all the time and as a woman to be treated with such abuse and disrespect. On the other hand, I think it would be interesting to live in the times of Lonesome Dove or Gone With the Wind. The only drawback there is no air conditioning or indoor plumbing and that would suck, especially given the long gowns women wore in those times! But I would love the horse and buggy days! As far as locales go, I think I'd like to live in Dorothea Benton Frank's low country near the ocean. Pawley's Island or Sullivan's Island. That would be a great place to live! Very laid back. I know for sure I would not want Stephen King to write my story. It would probably be creepy and scary! However, I would trust Sue Monk Kidd to write my story. I love the way she writes, especially in The Secret Life of Bees.
What about you? What world would you like to be in?
Aug 5, 2008
We love you Harold and we'll miss you,
Lou, Carol and the girls
Aug 4, 2008
That’s exactly what Leigh Fielding did Much to the dismay of her over-protective, angry older brother, James. But its not surprising he wouldn’t approve of this rebellion of sorts; he lives a very responsible life with not a lot of consideration for the spontaneous. But there are good reasons why James has become the person he is. Maybe its because their mother ran off to California without ever looking back when Leigh was just five years old and he was fifteen. Not to mention the loss of their father a few years later.
I won’t say that it is a quick read, because for me, it wasn‘t. The story is told by Leigh as if the reader is a new friend and she’s talking about a very important time in her life. There was so much in this book, that I wanted to read it slowly and not miss anything. It all just worked!
Author: Jess Riley
Published: May 2008
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Would I recommend this book? YES!
Aug 3, 2008
Happy Sunday Saloners! I still can’t get over the fact that it’s August already! Where has the year gone? I’ve had a pretty exciting book week and I thought I’d share it with all of you today here at the Salon.
This has been a very exciting week for me. My friend Lisa at Books On The Brain and Trish from Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin? have started a new online venture called TLC Book Tours and they’ve invited me to be one of the first hosts of a book tour in September! How happy was I to have been thought of??!! The author I will be hosting is Kathleen McCleary, the author of HOUSE AND HOME, a book I just recently read and reviewed. (Read review here) She will be my very special guest on Wednesday, September 10th, so please stop by! It’s my first author guest appearance, so I’m very excited and grateful to Lisa and Trish! Be sure to check out their website for additional tours and information on upcoming authors.
Now on to the books! I finished DRIVING SIDEWAYS by Jess Riley this week and I’ve been working on that review. I should have it in the next day or two. It took me a little longer to read it, but I had other things going on that kept me away from the book. I received several books in the mail this week that I’m excited about. Two were from Random House and two were from the authors. Library Thing picked me to review MY HUSBAND’S SWEETHEARTS by Bidget Asher this month. Here’s little about the book.
From Publishers Weekly:
Faced with the imminent death of her charming, cheating and estranged husband
Artie, Lucy Shoreman decides to call the names in his little black book and
invite the ladies to his Philadelphia home to say a final farewell. For her
part, 30-ish Lucy, who's 18 years Artie's junior, can't decide whether she loves
or hates the man, while her much-married mother insists he deserves forgiveness.
As a broad spectrum of his ex-lovers arrives, including a surprised
mother-and-daughter duo and a troubled young woman Lucy takes under her wing,
Artie's previously undisclosed and estranged grown son, John, shows up and seems
as wickedly appealing as Dad. Asher, a pen name of prolific author Julianna
Baggott, takes the edge off her sharply drawn characters with a succession of
familiar sentiments. But flashes of wit and a parade of memorable women keep
pages turning as Lucy grows increasingly and endearingly confused about her
feelings toward Artie, John and the rest.
Sounds like it could be pretty interesting. I’m ready for a juicy story! MY HUSBAND’S SWEETHEART’S goes on sale August 19th.
Another book I received this week was CHASING WINDMILLS by Catherine Ryan Hyde. She wrote the book PAY IT FORWARD that became a movie starring Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacy. If you haven’t seen the movie, read the book first! The movie is great, but books are always even better! This is her latest release about two young people who meet while riding the New York City subway and how their relationship evolves and impacts each of their lives. Here’s what’s being said about it:
"A sweet tale openly modeled on West Side Story… a gentle tale centering how people come to grip with their pasts.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Simple and captivating. It is [Sebastian's and Maria's] voices–at once utterly credible and heartbreakingly naive–that make the book, and while this is being billed as an adult novel, its closest stylistic relative is S.E. Hinton's YA classic The Outsiders.” –Publishers Weekly
“Hyde writes evocatively of the visceral nature of first love. Her characters are well developed, and she describes settings economically but effectively. The ending is realistic and satisfying. Short chapters make for a page-turning read and the distinct voices are sweet, soul-baring, and honest.” –School Library Journal
Needless to say, I was thrilled when Ms. Hyde asked me if I’d like to review this book for her. I’m really looking forward to reading it. Another author sent me two of his books this week to review. His name is J.F. Englert and he has a series of mysteries called The Bull Moose Dog Run Mysteries. He’s just released the second in the series titled, A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS that follows A DOG ABOUT TOWN, the first release. The interesting thing about these books is that the main character is Randolph, a black lab. A very high brow black lab. I’ve heard these books are very entertaining. I received an email after the author had noticed my earlier review of THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, another canine-narrative.
In reading the blogs this past week, there was one book that was mentioned on a few different sites that has really caught my attention. It’s called THE LACE READER by Brunonia Barry, a first time author. It’s a murder mystery set in modern day Salem and it is getting a lot of attention, all positive. Originally self-published, it is being re-released and there’s talk of a trilogy. Check out Jill’s post at Breaking The Spine for a great preview of this much anticipated book.
I just have to mention one more thing before closing this post. When I got up this morning I was flipping channels on the tv and came across To Kill A Mockingbird. It had been years since I saw that movie, so I watched it. It made me remember how much I loved the book. I read it for the first time in the 10th grade. Unfortunatly I lost my copy years ago, but I intend to find a copy for my collection. I typically don't re-read many books, but that is the exception to my rule. Is there a book that you love that you would read over and over again? Well, I hope all of you had an interesting week as well. I look forward to reading your blogs and catching up!