Jul 31, 2008
Jul 29, 2008
Jul 27, 2008
Jul 25, 2008
Jul 24, 2008
My evenings have been spent moving old tv cabinets, re-arranging my home office, hooking up tv’s, computers and telephones and learning how to operate them. It’s exciting but tiring as well! Especially for a sight-impaired person like myself. It took me 2 and a half hours to hook up my computer last night. I’m sure most people would’ve had it done in under an hour. That task was made even more daunting because HP forgot to pack the mouse and one of the power cords! So I spent 30 minutes going through the boxes again making sure I didn’t overlook them with my bad eyes and then accusing Jax (my cat) of running off with them! After searching high and low, I’m positive hey are simply not there!
Jul 23, 2008
Also, Lisa over at Books On The Brain is reading QUEEN OF THE ROAD by Doreen Orion and loving it. Lisa describes it as a romantic travel memoir of a year the author and her husband spend traveling the country. She hasn't finished the book, but she says it's really quite funny. She has informtion on her site about a a giveaway of that book as well. You can click here to get full details on how to enter.
Jul 21, 2008
Now, if I could get more than five minutes at a time to read, I'd be in good shape! My kitten, Jax, who is now 6 months old, can sense when I pick up a book. I have a chair in my bedroom that I love to read in - it has great lighting, and its comfy. He can be asleep in another room and I will sneak in there, sit down, open my book and instantaneously I hear, 'Meeeooooowww!' It never fails!! Then he jumps in my lap smack-dap on the book and that does it! He's such a cuddler and I don't have the heart to put him down, so I guess I've created a monster!!
Jul 19, 2008
HOUSE & HOME by Kathleen McCleary is a beautifully written story about one woman’s obsession with a house she so lovingly made into a home for her family and what that obsession almost cost her. Through many twists and turns Ms. McCleary weaves a story of friendship, love, lust, dreams and the reality of everyday life. Set in picturesque Oregon, she paints vivid pictures in the reader's mind of the cozy town they live in and the beautiful house that causes so many people so much turmoil. And it begs the question: What makes a house a home? Is it the physical house itself or is it the family inside who make the memories that makes it a home? That is the question Ellen must answer.
I enjoyed this book very much and liked the writing style of this first time author. However, there were things about Ellen that did bother me, but not to the point that it took away from the story or made me dislike her. It was simply a feeling of What is she thinking? Especially in the beginning, I felt she cared more for the house and put it before her family. And I felt she didn’t give her husband and their marriage a fair chance. That being said, I enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more from this author. I think HOUSE & HOME would be a great reading choice for a book club.
Kathleen McCleary is featured on EveryWomansVoice.com. It is an amazing website featuring many Voice authors and includes reading guides, information on upcoming books and even chances to win copies and so much more. If you like womens fiction it’s a site worth checking out!
House & Home, by Kathleen McCleary
Published: July 2008
Would I recommend this book? Most definitely
Also reviewed on Books on the Brain, Planet Books and Breaking the Spine
Jul 18, 2008
Jul 16, 2008
One of the televisions is functioning, but all the people are blue. It’s like The Blue Man Group who perform in Vegas. Since I can only handle watching blue people for so long (not to mention the fact that there’s not much on tv anyway) I’m getting a lot of reading done. I’m finding I don’t miss it all that much. What I really miss is my computer.
I’m happy to say that in the 15 years I’ve had this homeowners policy, this is the first claim I’ve made and they (Cotton States Insurance) are making the process go smoothly. I’m having everything replaced and as it turns out I’m making out like a bandit! For the small deductible amount I have to pay, I’m getting much better items than I had before and they’re being shipped to me! I don’t have to go shopping (which I despise), worry about who’s going to drive me, how much I can spend and how to get the stuff home. It’s such a breeze!!
Yesterday, my claims guy called and we went over the items I’ll be receiving. Wow! Am I happy or what?! Since the CRT televisions are becoming extinct, all of my tv’s are being upgraded to LCD HD Flat Panels!! My 27” was upgraded to a 32” HD Flat Panel widescreen! I’m so excited! My computer was upgraded from a Dell (ancient model) to a HP w/ Vista Premium. I’m not so sure about the Vista part, but I’ll give it a try. I can always downgrade back to XP if I want. (Or so I’m told)
Because I spend so much time at home, it’ll be nice to have all new toys! Oh and believe me, I’m investing is some top quality surge protectors too!
Jul 14, 2008
Letting Go: Saturday was a milestone for me. Since I quit driving last November, my pretty red Dodge pick up had been sitting motionless, except for the times it got moved to have the yard mowed. The squirrels were trying to take it over and if you could see the size of the squirrels I’m talking about, you’d understand my concern. My neighbor, who has almost no trees in her yard feeds them peanuts and corn on the cob, which they bring to my tree-filled yard, eat the corn then discard the cobs. It took me awhile to figure out where all the cobs were coming from. These squirrels are mammoth-sized!
Because of my eye disease, I’ve known for quite awhile that for the safety of others I needed to give up the privilege of driving, so I’ve taken baby steps:
November ‘07: Quit driving
February ‘08: Cancel Insurance
May ‘08: Turn in drivers license to DMV. (They look at you funny when you tell them that’s why you’re there. I’m guessing they don’t get that much!)
July ‘08: Sell beloved truck
I finally bit the proverbial bullet and sold my truck. To my cousin. Hey, at least I sold it! I’ll still get to see it occasionally, as she has offered kindly to tote me anyplace I should need to go. This may sound silly to some, but I have an attachment to that truck. I’ve had that truck almost longer than my ex-husband and unlike him, it has never let me down. It’s a beautiful truck – shiny red with a diamond plate toolbox and pretty chrome wheels. I live in the south and we southerners love our trucks! Even we women southerners.
As I was cleaning out the glove box and console compartments it was like a stroll down memory lane. I found things in there I’d forgotten about or should’ve destroyed long ago.
After we traded money for title and hugged, my cousin climbed in my truck and drove it away. I became weepy as I watched it creak down the street (it needs shocks) for the last time. No more will the ‘Remember #3’ Earnhardt decal be seen on the dark tinted window – it will be replaced by a Harley Davidson decal, I’m sure.
So my loving boyfriend took me out to get my mind off my truck. We had a nice dinner and met some friends for drinks afterwards, which leads me to the next thing that kept my mind off my electrical issues at home.
Lesbian Encounters: I don’t know what it is about me that attracts lesbians but I have more women hit on me than men. Even with my very handsome boyfriend sitting next to me. I have had friends who are lesbians, and I don’t have issues or anything, but they seem to be more bold than men.
Saturday night as we were waiting on friends to arrive for drinks, this nice looking woman approaches John and I and starts immediately fingering my hair and telling me how pretty she thinks it is. She introduces herself as Dee and I introduce myself and my boyfriend. She continues to shower me with compliments and finally moves on. John says to me smirking, ‘We haven’t been out in weeks and the first 5 minutes we’re here, a lesbian is trying to pick you up.’ I counter with ‘You don’t know she’s a lesbian’. He says, ‘Trust me’. Later when our friends arrive, I ask if she knows anyone there with the name Dee. My friend quickly replies, ‘Oh, yeah, she’s the lesbian sitting across the bar.’ My boyfriend almost choked on his drink.
Later a couple comes in who are friends with my friend and joins us. Very nice people and a good looking couple. We have a good time with them and later as they’re leaving, the woman (petite blonde, big boobs) comes over, runs her fingers through my hair and says in my ear, ‘why don’t y’all come to our house and join us in the hot tub?’ I’m two for two! John just shakes his head.
So his mission to get my mind off my truck worked. I didn’t think about my truck at all!
Jul 11, 2008
Jul 10, 2008
Judith Wentworth: The matriarch who cares more about appearances than her family’s needs.
Conrad Wentworth: The eldest son and cruel womanizer.
Rebecca Wentworth-Jones: The uptight daughter who needs pills just to get through the day.
Norman Wentworth: The homosexual, cross-dressing youngest son who hates his family for their lack of acceptance.
Paul Jones: The attention-starved son-in-law who is afraid to speak up.
Monica: The teenage, drug using granddaughter who thinks she’s smarter than everyone.
Little Joey: The grandson who is a kleptomaniac and doesn’t’ see anything wrong with it.
You’ve just met the Wentworths. A rich, spoiled, southern California family as dysfunctional as they come.
Katie Arnoldi’s THE WENTWORTHS is a bold, dark, erotic story of an elite rich family. Some have called it a satire, but that would mean that it was funny or makes fun of the people or their lives. It did do that to an extent, but as I read on I found it more disturbing than anything. I'm no prude and I do like dark comedy, but I would be more likely to label it sadistic. There were a few funny lines early on, but not enough to label it humorous, in my opinion.
The story is told in the first person by each member of the family, along with a few outsiders. It’s easy to tell whose perspective you’re reading by the varying personalities and the quirky titles of each chapter. The chapters are very short, sometimes only a page, which gives the book a choppy feel. It’s not a novel that flows with dialogue. Basically, the story is about a woman who first tries to worm her way into the family with no luck then tries to teach Conrad a lesson. It’s also about how this family reacts to even the most mundane happenings, such as Judith’s obsession with finding missing silver tongs from a tea set.
To be honest, this book was just ok for me. After I finished it, there just wasn’t much I was left with. And nothing really started to happen until the last 50 or so pages. A lot of time was spent explaining the personalities of the characters and how, in they’re own words, they felt about each other.
I understand Ms. Arnoldi’s first novel, CHEMICAL PINK was a surprise cult hit and I’ve read there’s talk of a screenplay. I’m sure there will be a similar following for this latest release. It’s not a book for everyone, but if you’re in the mood for bold, explicit, R-rated fiction, this is the book for you.
Author: Katie Arnoldi
Publisher: Overlook Press, March 2008
Would I recommend this book? Probably not
Jul 7, 2008
Summer is a great time for book giveaways and I'm sure some of you may have heard about the awesome 14 book Summer Reads Giveaway from Trish over at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'? sponsored by Hachette Book Group USA. The deadline is July 12th so you still have some time to get in on this amazing offer! Entering is easy! Simply post a comment on Trish's blog to get one entry. There are many other ways to get additional entries as well, so click here for more details about the contest. As many as 5 people can win 14 books from all different genres including mystery, historical fiction, true crime, romance, memoirs, general fiction just to name a few. You don't want to miss out on this opportunity!
I have several ARCs that should be arriving soon that I'm particularly excited about. Two of them are women's fiction, which I love. One is THE REST OF HER LIFE by Laura Moriarty. Another is a debut novel HOUSE AND HOME by Kathleen McCleary. If anyone has read either of these books. let me know how you liked them. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Along with the women's fiction, I have some interesting mysteries by J.F. Englert to review that are sure to be entertaining. They are the first two books from a fairly new series called The Bull Moose Dog Run Mystery Series. They feature Randolph, a high-brow black lab who is not only the narrator, but also cracks the case! The first is A DOG ABOUT TOWN and the follow-up is A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS. I've been told they're cleverly witty and very well written. I'm sure they'll be fun to read!
Don't forget to enter Trish's giveaway! Good Luck to everyone!
Jul 6, 2008
Jul 3, 2008
Since Mother Nature played a nasty little joke on me last weekend by striking my house with lightening and frying all my electrical possessions, I'm packing up some books and my kitten and going to my sisters for the long weekend. Besides, she has a pool!
I'm currently reading THE WENTWORTHS by Katie Arnoldi, the author of CHEMICAL PINK, the suprise New York Times bestseller. I got this book as an ARC from AuthorsOnTheWeb a few weeks ago. It's an interesting read and by that I mean a little strange. And I'll leave it at that for now. I've got less than 100 pages to go then I'll borrow someone elses computer and post my review. (Just call me The Nomad Blogger!)
As for this weekends reading, I'm taking with me DRIVING SIDEWAYS by Jess Riley. I have so been looking forward to this book and I think its the perfect choice to take to my sisters and read while lounging poolside. My sister has gone out of her way to ensure that we have a wonderful weekend and I can't wait! We've got food, drinks and fireworks!! Saturday evening is the Pepsi 400 NASCAR race in Daytona, so I won't be doing any reading then! We live close to Daytona Beach and we are die-hard NASCAR fans, so we'll be cheering our driver on! Who's our driver? you ask? DALE EARNHARDT JR. of course!!!
I hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July!!
Jul 1, 2008
Claire is the older of the two sisters and she embraces the Waverley traditions while Sydney has tried to run away from them. After all, their mother hated their home town and ran away from it not once, but twice leaving two small children behind the second time. The two girls deal with their mother’s choice to leave them in very different ways. Claire stays in Bascom and learns the treasured family recipes from their grandmother. She uses the flowers from their special garden in her recipes she makes for her catering business, which is very popular in the community even though some prefer to be secretive about it. Sydney, on the other hand, had little interest in the strange practices and felt she didn’t belong, even though she was born in Bascom and Claire wasn’t. So Sydney leaves town and lives very similarly to how she imagined her mother must’ve lived. Wild and crazy with adventure. And ultimately fear. And it’s that fear that sends her and her daughter home to Bascom.
Garden Spells is the most refreshing, entertaining book I’ve read in some time. I breezed right through it and felt the Waverley magic on every page. I also enjoyed all of the interesting and quirky supporting characters. It not only centers on the two sisters, but a whole cast of characters that easily fit with one another. The story itself was fresh and different. It’s about family, friendship and loyalty. I didn’t know what to expect as I’m not a fan of the fantasy genre, so I didn’t know how I’d feel about this magical realism. But I found it was something I really enjoyed. It was not over the top and it was well incorporated into the story. I can say now I am a fan of this type of writing.
This debut achievement of Ms. Sarah Addison Allen is quite captivating and I look forward to reading more books from her. In fact, her new book The Sugar Queen was just released last month and I’ve heard from early reviewers that it’s equally as entertaining and enjoyable.
Click here to visit Sarah Addison Allen’s website to find out more on Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen and other author news.
Sarah Addison Allen
Publisher: Bantam, August 2007
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!