Dec 31, 2008

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Roanoke by Margaret Lawrence

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we share titles that are soon to be released that we can't wait to read!

My pick for this week's "Waiting On" Wednesday is:
ROANOKE by Margaret Lawrence.
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: January 27th
Pages: 416
About the book:

In the spring of 1585, seven English ships sailed around Cape Feare and up the windswept coast of Florida.. Their mission: to gain a foothold in the Americas, a gateway to riches, an island fortress against the Spanish. But within ten years, the vibrant new colony had vanished without a trace.… In Hampton Court, Elizabeth is under siege—surrounded by sycophants, spies, and assassins who stalk her every move. Among those charged with protecting her is a tall, charismatic spy named Gabriel North…and when the queen’s advisers persuade her to send ships to the Americas, North is given a job for which he is perfectly suited: to seduce Roanoke’s Secota princess and gain information about a fabled treasure hidden in the wilderness.In Princess Naia, North meets a woman who bewitches him utterly—and he soon sees the dangerous deceptions from which his mission was born. As war and calamity crash down on Roanoke Island, Gabriel North becomes a wanted man in a desperate hunt that will lead back across the Atlantic—into a trap set by his enemies, and into a shocking act of treachery that swirls around Elizabeth herself….With the grace of a master storyteller, Margaret Lawrence brings to life a cast of brave hearts and blackguards, petty criminals and grand schemers, who play their roles in a searing drama of conquest, rule, and rebellion.

Is there a book you're waiting to be released?

Dec 30, 2008

2008: A Look Back

As the year comes to a close, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the books I've read this year. Although I started my blog in January 2008, I didn't actually start posting reviews regularly until February/March. I ended the year with 30 books read, which is amazing considering I really wasn't trying for a particular number, I just read what appealed to me. Following is the list of books I read, including links to the subsequent reviews. Take a look!

Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die by Nancy Martin
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews
Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The Ex-Debutante by Linda Francis Lee
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Just Who Will You Be? by Maria Shriver
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Snake Charmer by Jamie James
The Richest Season by Maryann McFadden
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
The Wentworths by Katie Arnoldi
House and Home by Kathleen McCleary
Driving Sideways by Jess Riley
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
My Husband’s Sweethearts by Bridget Asher
A Dog Among Diplomats by J.F. Englert
The Shack by William P. Young
Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan
Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (Review forthcoming)

It would be very difficult to pick a favorite, so instead I'll list my Top 5, in no particular order!

  • The Secret Life of Bees
  • Tomato Girl
  • The Kite Runner
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain
  • Mudbound
As for the year ahead, I do have a few goals in mind. First, I'm hoping to read 50 books, which will be something considering I work a full time job, but we'll see. The more important goal I have for myself is to read some classic literature. That is something I'm looking forward to since I've never focused on the classics before.

In closing, I'd like to thank all of the readers of my blog for your support and friendship. Starting this blog was one of the best things I've done and I'm so glad to have met you all and I'm looking forward to 2009 being even better! I want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year full of wonderful new books and of course, happiness!

Dec 29, 2008

Musing Mondays: Recommendations

How often do you recommend books to others, and who do you recommend them to? Do you only recommend books to your “reading friends” or to anyone you think might find the book interesting? What does it take for a book to make it to your ‘recommendation’ list?
My response:
Generally, I only recommend books to my "reading friends", however, there aren't many of them, so I don't get to do it a lot. I do have a few people in my life who do like to read, but they're so busy with kids, family, school etc. that they just don't have as much time to read as I do. But occasionally I do get asked What book is really good? from people who know I read a lot.
In order for me to recommend a book, it has to be one that left a big impression on me or affected me deeply. I would love to recommend books all the time, to everyone, because I believe there is so much to be gained by reading, but not everyone feels the way I do about it. As it is, if I do recommend a book to someone, they know it must really have struck a chord with me since I'm mentioning it to them. They tend to take it more seriously than if I tell them about every book I read.
For more on this subject visit Rebecca at Just One More Page , or click here!

Dec 28, 2008

The Sunday Salon:

Hello fellow book lovers! I'm getting a bit of a late start today with my TSS post because I couldn't pull myself away from the book I'm reading. That book is HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET by Jamie Ford, a debut author. I received the book from LT Early Reviewers last week. I only have about 60 pages to go, so I'll probably finish it later this evening. (I had to take a break and watch some football for awhile!)

I really enjoy reading first-time authors and this book is another example of why. It's a well written, interesting story. It's a story about a Chinese-American man who is re-living his teenage years in flashbacks to 1942 during WWII in the Chinatown neighborhood of Seatte. It was difficult being Asian then, but especially if you were Japanese. It's a story about forbidden love, the casualties of war and loyalty to both family and country. I don't want to say much more as I'll be posting my full review later this week.

I've been enjoying my days off from work, not doing anything really, just relaxing and reading. I've been stuffing my face with leftovers so I haven't been cooking either! We had fried chicken for dinner on Thursday instead of turkey so I took the last of the chicken, put it in my food processor, chopped it up and made some really yummy chicken salad. That'll be lunch for today.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed spending time with your families and friends. Each year, I'm anxious to open the gifts from my Dad. He has a work shop and it's pretty much off limits around the holidays. A few months ago he made me a beautiful cabinet for my new TV and that was supposed to be my Christmas present. But he also made me a lazy susan that matches my dining room table with places for my salt and pepper grinders. It's really lovely. He also found an old Ohio license plate (the state I was born in) with the year I was born in and he re-painted it and built a wooden frame around it. It's a unique gift that will always remind me of where I came from. My favorite gift is a necklace with an Indian arrowhead. As a boy, he lived near the Scioto River in central Ohio and he collected these arrowheads he found in the riverbeds. It's a beautiful necklace that is very special to me. I plan to take some pictures and post them here.

I also had a treat on Christmas Eve when I got a call from an old friend from Tennessee. He moved to Knoxville about 10 years ago, got married and moved on with his life, but we've managed to maintain our friendship, which means a lot to me. He's someone who knows me well and is easy to talk to. We had a great conversation and the years just melted away. It was like getting an early Christmas present.

I'm off now to check out some blogs and see what eveyone else is up to today. Did anyone get any good books for Christmas? I didn't get any, but it's probably just as well. If you could see my TBR pile, you'd understand! Have a good day everyone and I'll see you 'round the blogs!

Dec 25, 2008

BTT: Merry Christmas!!

Today's Booking Through Thursday is about wintery books. What MizzB wants to know is … what are the most “wintery” books you can think of? The ones that almost embody Winter?

I'm going to answer this a little differently because I'm sure there are others who can name many more wintery books than I can even think of. So instead, I'm simply going to name the wintery books I've read this year and hope that will suffice.

The first one that comes to mind is LAST NIGHT AT THE LOBSTER by Stewart O'Nan, which I read a couple months ago. It takes place on Christmas Eve in Connecticut during a blzzard. It's a great little story (only 160 pages) and the cover of the book is amazing as well. Even though I read it in October, it had me reaching for the blankets to keep warm! lol You can read my review here.

Another wintery book I read this year was THE SUGAR QUEEN by Sarah Addison Allen. This story takes place in a small touristy ski town in North Carolina. The images the author paints in your mind leave no doubt of snow drifts, ice and cold air blowing all around. The characters even make snow angels at one point. I read this book in August and living in Florida, that is a HOT time of year. it was a treat to think of all the snow and ice as I was reading this cute story. You can catch that review here.

Another wintery book I read in August was THE SHACK by William P. Young, This was a very interesting book that I enjoyed very much. In fact, I just got a phone call from my aunt in Ohio yesterday and she thanked me for telling her about this book. She went and bought several copies and gave them to her daughter and a few close friends and they are all enjoying reading it as well. You can read my review here.

Well, I think that about does it for the wintery books I've read this year. Now I must go and finish the rest of my holiday cooking so I'll be ready to go when my dad arrives to pick me up. I want to wish all of my friends in the book blogging world a wonderful, merry Christmas and may you all have lots of love and joy surrounding your family today!


Dec 23, 2008

Teaser Tuesdays 12.23

Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays!
TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read

  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” 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!
    Please avoid spoilers!
I'm especially excited to share my teaser sentences today! They are from an advanced copy of Jamie Ford's debut novel, HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET.

Keiko nodded slowly, contemplating its effects as she looked around the barren streets. "No Japanese are allowed outside of our neighborhoods from eight o'clock at night to six in the morning. We are prisoners at night." ~ page 94.

This book is scheduled to be released January 27th, 2009.

Dec 22, 2008

Musing Mondays: Holiday Book Giving

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about Christmas book buying…

In these last few days before Christmas, I'm sure there are plenty of us scrambling to get our last minute shopping done. Are you buying any books for friends or family (or even yourself)? Do you expect to receive any bookish gifts from others - books, or book-related?

Fortunately, I finished my Christmas shopping last week, so I don't have to battle the last minute crowds! I've really had to scale back my gift buying this year. Truth is, I may or may not have a job anymore at the beginning of 2009 - my boss is still trying to figure out a way to keep our doors open, but I'm being realistic. (After all, I am the bookkeeper and I know first hand what our situation really is.) Therefore, I only bought presents for my immediate family. Many of my friends are in the same boat as I am, so we were in agreement about our gift-giving this year.

The only reader in my family is my dad and yes, I did buy him a book. (Bob Schieffer's America). Books are my favorite gifts to give, especially when I know I've given them a book they really wished for. Just seeing the look of surprise on their face makes me happy. However, there aren't a lot of bookish people in my life, so those times are fewer than I wish. I would love to buy everyone in my family a book, but that just wouldn't work.

For that same reason, I don't expect to receive many bookish gifts this year. My mom has been known to give me books because I'm always talking about one book or another. However, this year I'm especially looking forward to the gifts from my dad, because he's a wood worker and he always makes his gifts and they're always so beautiful. He doesn't allow us in his shop when Christmas time nears - its like Santa's Workshop out there!!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and that you have much joy this holiday season!

Dec 21, 2008

The Sunday Salon: 12.21

After missing a few Sundays, it is good to be back! I feel like I'm finally coming out of my reading slump. I don't know what else to call it, but I think it has passed. Does anyone else ever find themselves in a reading slump? If so, how long do they last? Recently, I had a hard time getting into a few books, so finally I laid them aside, which I don't usually do. I will get back to them, but I felt I needed to read something I was really excited about, rather than something I 'needed' to read.

I received a copy of HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET by Jamie Ford in the mail Friday that I'm really excited about and I think that helped with my mood. The book came from Library Thing Early Reviewers. The book, which is getting high praise from the book world is Mr. Ford's debut effort. As you may know, I'm a big fan of first-time authors so this was an added treat for me as a reader.
The story, which begins in 1986, is centered around fifty-six year old Henry Lee, a Chinese-American who has lived in the Chinatown neighborhood of Seattle his entire life. He's recently lost his wife of 37 years to cancer and is struggling to maintain a relationship with his college-aged son.

Not only is this a story of family, but also of forbidden love, racism and the tragedies of war. In 1942 much of the west coast was considered war territory after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, so consequently, it was very dangerous to be Japanese during those years. This story involves the deportation of Japanese families to internment camps here in the US in the 1940's. Through Henry, we learn how difficult it was to be Asian at that time and also the danger in forging a friendship with a Japanese-American girl he attended school with.

I'm only about 70 or so pages into the book, but already I'm connected to the characters and their lives. Jamie Ford's storytelling ability is apparent early on with the way in which the story unfolds with such ease, even with the flashbacks to the war years.

I'm enjoying this book so much already and I feel like it will only get better. Personally, I know so little about the circumstances of that time and place, so I'm enjoying the history lesson I'm getting at the same time. It's amazing to learn some of the things that happened in my own country that played such an important part in history, but that are rarely ever spoken of.

I don't want to get ahead of myself, because I've only started reading, but I think this is definitely the book to get me moving again! This book will be released on January 27th so be sure and look for it in your favorite book store. I'll also be posting my review once I finish the book, so please come back soon!
Now I'm off to check out some of your blogs and find out what books have you excited! I hope you all are enjoying your weekend and not getting overwhelmed with all the Christmas preparations! Merry Christmas!!

Dec 18, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Book Giving

Do you give books as gifts?
To everyone? Or only to select people?
How do you feel about receiving books as gifts?

I do give books to a few people as gifts. However, I wish I could give books to everyone - mainly because I want them to love the stories as much as I do. There are certain books that I think certain people in my life would really enjoy if they would take the time to read, but many of them simply are not readers. I could so easily match someone's personality with a book that I think they'd enjoy, but if they're not into reading, it would just sit and collect dust. So I end up getting them something I know they would use or appreciate more. I do have a select few people that I buy books for and those are the gifts I enjoy giving the most.

As far as receiving books - I'M ALL FOR IT! I don't know any avid reader who doesn't LOVE getting books as gifts! There are so many books I'd love to read and I love it when someone surprises me with a book! My mother teases that she never has a problem wondering what to get me because there's always a book I'm talking about. I also love book store gift cards! After using a gift card, I always let the person who gave it to me know what book I chose and how much I am looking forward to reading it. I think it lets them know how much I love their gift, even though they didn't actually pick it out.

When giving books as gifts, do you actually pick out a book or do you give a gift card so they can choose their own?

Dec 15, 2008

Musing Mondays: On The Go Reading

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about reading on the go…
I always like to have a book with me at all times – call it a nerdy grown-up security blanket – and rarely do I leave the house without slipping one into my bag (even if I KNOW I’m not going to have a chance to read it). Do you take a book with you? Do you take whatever book you’re currently reading, or do you have a special on-the-go book? And do you have a preference for a these types of book (paperback, hardback; short stories; poetry etc)?
My response:
This is an easy one for me. I NEVER leave home without a book in my bag, even if I'm not sure I'll have time to read any of it. When I gave up driving a year ago, I became very dependant on other people to help me get where I need to go. Thankfully, I have family members and friends who help me out and I appreciate their time in doing so. Therefore, sometimes, I may have to hang out while waiting on a ride, so having a book to read is the best way to spend that time. Not to mention how fast the time goes while waiting if you're reading. Sometimes I get so entranced in my reading they have to honk the horn to get my attention!
Typically, I only read one book at a time, so that is the one I take with me. Although I prefer to carry trade paperbacks, sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. I carry a pretty big bag, so taking along a hardcover isn't too big a deal - I just take off the dust jacket and leave it home so it doesn't get torn or damaged.
Another good thing about always having a book and pulling it out, is that it creates converstations with people around me. I may be wrong, but I believe reading is very popular right now and when people see you with a book, they inquire as to what you're reading. It opens a whole dialogue and its another way to promote the books I read. I love sharing my love of books with people and if I am responsible for even one person going to the bookstore to find a book to read, then I feel pretty good about that.
Are you an on-the-go reader or do you do all of your reading at home?

Dec 11, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Reading Time

1. Do you get to read as much as you WANT to read?

Absolutely not! If I had my wish, I’d quit my job and read 8 hours a day! My favorite time to read is first thing in the morning when my brain is fresh and my eyes aren’t tired. During the week, by the time I get home from work, do the daily things around the house, its usually close to 9:00pm before I can sit down to read and by then, I’m so tired, that I fall asleep after a few pages. The weekends are better, but I still struggle for reading time.

2. If you had (magically) more time to read–what would you read? Something educational? Classic? Comfort Reading? Escapism? Magazines?

If I magically had more reading time, I’d definitely spend more time on the classics. That is actually my goal for 2009. I’ve read very few of them and I’d really like to familiarize myself with books such as PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and JANE EYRE and I’d like to re-read THE GRAPES OF WRATH that I origianally read in high school.

What about you? If you had all the time in the world, what would you choose to read?

Dec 9, 2008

Teaser Tuesday: Matrimony

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly event hosted by MizzB at Should Be Reading TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” 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!
Please avoid spoilers!

I’m sharing two sentences from the novel MATRIMONY by Joshua Henkin, a book I’ve just started reading.

She turned her mother’s hospital room into a shrine. She unplugged the lamps and lit candles and incense and put on tapes of Native American oboe music and covered the walls with photos of the family. ~page 86

If you'd like to participate in Teaser Tuesdays or to read other comments, click here.

Also, check back later this month when I'll be hosting a giveaway of MATRIMONY! I'll have more details later!

Dec 8, 2008

Musing Mondays: Readin' & Reviewin'

How long do you wait after finishing a book before you pick/start another one? How many books do you have planned ahead or do you pick up random books from your tbr pile (if you have one)? Do you review right away or keep reading and come back to it later?
My response:

Usually when I finish a book I really liked or one that left a strong impression on me, I like to wait at least a few days before starting a new one. I don’t like to jump into another one right away. That being said, if it was a book that was just ok to me, then I would be quicker to start another one.

I do plan ahead what book I’m going to read next, however sometimes that changes often. If I have several ARCs to read, then I already know what I’m reading next, but if I’m caught up on those, I typically have at least 4 or 5 that I pick from my TBR mountain. Either way, its a hard decision!

I don’t like to put off writing my reviews. Usually I start right away, but I allow several days to finish it. I’ll write a review, then leave it for a day, then go back and re-read it to make sure my feelings are accurate and not just spur-of-the-moment.

With my full-time job, I find it hard to read multiple books each week, so I read a book, then write the review. I like for the book to be fresh in my mind, therefore, I don’t put off the review. I find that if I rush into the next book I’m more apt to push the characters that I’ve just ‘met’ out of my mind quicker, without savoring those good stories. For instance, when I read THE KITE RUNNER, I waited a whole week before picking up a new book. I feel like I owe it to the author, who put their heart and soul into writing that book the time to reflect and remember what I liked about it. My reading is done for my pleasure, not to see how many books I can read and I find pleasure in reminiscing about a book if it really touched me.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you go from book to book or do you wait a day or two to start another? For more answers from other bloggers, click here.

Dec 6, 2008



Tim Tebow and the rest of the Florida football team showed what they are made of this afternoon by beating the undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship game. Next stop: The National Championship!! GO GATORS!!!

Dec 4, 2008

BTT: 5 For Favorites

Today MizzB asks:

1. Do you have a favorite author?
2. Have you read everything he or she has written?
3. Did you LIKE everything?
4. How about a least favorite author?
5. An author you wanted to like, but didn’t?

My response:
Now, you wouldn't think these would be a hard questions to answer, but for me, they kinda are.

Do I have a favorite author? Hmmmm . . . yes, its always the writer of the last book I read and loved! OK, many years ago my favorite was John Grisham. Bought and read EVERYTHING he wrote in record time. Then, about 12 novels in, I got bored. More recently though, I would say Mary Kay Andrews is one of my favorite authors. I love the wit and humor of her southern fiction and her characters are just that - they are real characters. I'd love to have them as my friends! They're quirky and fun.

Yes, I've read everything she's written under the name Mary Kay Andrews and many of the mysteries she wrote under her real name, Kathy Trochek. But as far as the Mary Kay Andrews' books, there's only been one that left me a bit disappointed, but I will always read her books.

As far as least favorite author - that's hard too. Only one comes to mind. I could use her as the answer for questions 4 and 5. I really wanted to like this author. I looked forward to reading her book for many months before I actually did. When I finally did read it, I hated it. The book was THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING, written by Joan Dideon. I wrote a review on it earlier this year. It was not a positive review, but it was my true feelings on the book.

Have you liked every book your favorite author has written? Do you have a least favorite author? For more BTT answers click here.

Dec 3, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Jo-Jo from Jo-Jo Loves to Read tagged me a few weeks ago for Wyn’s Sunday Meme.

The meme:

1. What book is on the left hand side of your computer or closest to the left hand side?
The closest book to the left side of my computer is THE THIRTEETH TALE by Diane Setterfield. The reason it is that I just received it in the mail a few days ago and I laid it there as a reminder to catalogue it on LibraryThing.

2. Are you reviewing it, is it your favourite, or is it there for some other reason and specify.
I have not yet read this book, but I'm so anxious to get started. This book is different than what I normally read and just by reading the dust jacket and other snippets, I am already curious to get to know Vida and Margaret, the two heroines of the story. It promises to be an interesting tale. This book I'm reading for my own pleasure.

3. Go to page 38 and write down from the 2nd paragraph, the first 4 sentences. (Actually this is the second and third paragraph to make up 4 sentences.)

She ushered me in and closed the door behind me. The key turned in the lock without a sound and there was not a squeak as the well-oiled bolts were slid noiselessly into place.

Standing there in my coat in the hallway, I experienced for the first time the most profound oddity of the place. Miss Winter's house was entirely silent.

4. Tag 4 friends and pass them this avatar.
Instead of tagging individuals, I'm going to leave this open for anyone who would like to participate. Thanks Jo-Jo for tagging me for this meme. It was fun and now I'm even more excited about reading this book!

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we share titles that are soon to be released that we can't wait to read!

My pick for this week's "Waiting On" Wednesday is from an author who has been around forever yet I've read none of her books. Her name is Maeve Binchy and her new book is titled HEART and SOUL.
From Amazon: With the warmth, humor, and compassion we have come to expect from her, Maeve Binchy tells a story of family, friends, patients, and staff who are part of a heart clinic in a community caught between the old and the new Ireland.Dr. Clara Casey has been offered the thankless job of establishing the underfunded clinic and agrees to take it on for a year. She has plenty on her plate already—two difficult adult daughters and the unwanted attentions of her exhusband—but she assembles a wonderfully diverse staff devoted to helping their demanding, often difficult patients: the infectiously cheerful nurse; the indispensable office manager who can’t quite manage her own life; the Polish girl who’s come to Ireland to put a bad love affair firmly in her past and the booming Irish economy in her future; the young doctor who has a special touch with his patients; the physical therapist who undertakes a very different kind of therapy involving a local priest and a stalker.Before long they manage to establish the clinic as an essential part of the community and Clara must decide whether or not to leave a place where lives are saved, courage is rewarded, and humor and optimism triumph over greed and self-pity.

Heart and Soul is Maeve Binchy at her heartwarming storytelling best.

Although the book has already been released and is currently #1 in Australia, the UK, Ireland and Canada, it won't be published here in the States until February. I'm looking forward to getting to know this most adored author.

Maeve Binchy
Publisher: Knopf
Pages: 432
Release Date: February 17, 2009

Dec 1, 2008

Giveaway of Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde

I read CHASING WINDMILLS by Catherine Ryan Hyde back in September and I really loved the story! (Read my review here). Several weeks ago, J. Kaye had a promotion on her MySpace page for people to nominate a book to be read and reviewed in November. I nominated this book. Well, it was chosen and reviewed and was also featured on her blog as part of the Noontime Book Chat. The rules were that the person who nominated the chosen book was to receive a copy, but since I already have a copy, I'm offering mine that I won from J. Kaye to be raffled off to a lucky reader! To be entered, go to J. Kaye's Book Blog and leave a comment on that post! The deadline is December 13th, so there's plenty of time to get entered!

This is a fantastic book and I'm sure you'd enjoy it. If you are unaware, Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of PAY IT FORWARD, the amazing book that was made into a movie starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment. According to Ms. Hyde's MySpace blog, CHASING WINDMILLS is also going to film! How exciting for her!

Good luck to all of you who enter!

Musing Mondays: Christmas-Time Reading

Musing Mondays is a weekly even now hosted by Rebecca from Just One More Page and here is this weeks musing:

With the holiday season now upon us, how does it affect your reading? Do you have more, or less, time to read at Christmas? Do you read Christmas themed/related books?

If you'd like to play along, click here. To read other comments click here.

My answer: Typically, the holiday season doesn't really affect my reading too much. I don't have a large family or big parties to go to so my reading time is pretty much the same as usual. Actually, if anything I may get more reading done depending on how many days off I have from work. I love to read in the early morning hours, so if I don't have to rush off to the office, I read instead of sleeping in.

As far as holiday-themed books go, I don't usually seek them out, but if I run across one that I think I'll like, I'll read it. Most of the time I've got so many other books to read that I don't look for holiday books.

How doe the holidays affect your reading? Do you read holiday-themed books?

Nov 30, 2008

The Sunday Salon: I Love New Books!!

Good Morning Saloners! This week I finally finished OUT STEALING HORSES by Per Petterson, a Norweigan author. I say 'finally' because it took me three times longer to finish it than it really should have. You can read my review of the book here.

I also received a few new books in the mail this week that I'm excited about. I'm a member of The Literary Guild and they are always having special savings. This time it was get a book free with each one you buy AND 1.99 shipping! I couldn't resist! These are the books I chose:

THE AUDACITY OF HOPE by President-Elect Barack Obama

THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield


Three of them are pretty chunky books, but I'm due for a chunkster! I'm especially excited about THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON. I've read positive reviews about it and honestly, I love the cover with that staircase! I'm a sucker for beautiful staircases!

A few weeks ago on Good Morning America they were talking about the audio version of THE AUDACITY OF HOPE and they played a portion of when Senator Obama met George W. for the first time at the White House. It was really interesting (and funny). It was even better because it was Senator Obama's own voice telling the story. I didn't get the audio version, but I think I'll enjoy the book all the same.

Have any of you read these books? The one I know the least about is THE THIRTEENTH TALE, but it sounds very intriguing and I'm really looking forward to it. But first I have a few ARC's I need to read. Well I'm off to church, but when I get back I'll check in on the blogs to see what the rest of you are reading today!

Nov 28, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

Sending Get Well Wishes to your Dad, Janet!

1. My stomach is so full right now.

2. Potatoes (sweet and mashed) is what I ate the most of on Thursday.

3. The yard needs some attention from me.

4. At home is where I'd rather be at any given time.

5. The smell of warm cider reminds me of winters in my childhood hometown.

6. Uninterupted, restful sleep is what I need right now!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to eating leftovers and hanging out at home, tomorrow my plans include watching the Florida/Florida State football game and Sunday, I want to read and blog!

If you'd like to play Friday Fill Ins, click here! To read other answers click here!

Nov 27, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: What I'm Thankful For

Today is Thanksgiving here in the U.S.
Now, you may have noticed that the global economy isn’t exactly doing well. There’s war. Starvation. All sorts of bad, scary things going on.
So–just for today–how about sharing 7 things that you’re thankful for?
This can be about books, sure–authors you appreciate, books you love, an ode to your public library–but also, how about other things, too? Because in times like these, with bills piling up and disaster seemingly lurking around every corner, it’s more important than ever to stop and take stock of the things we’re grateful for. Family. Friends. Good health (I hope). Coffee and tea. Turkey. Sunshine. Wagging tails. Curling up with a good book.
So, how about it? Spread a little positive thinking and tell the world what there is to be thankful for.
This is a great BTT on Thanksgiving. Here is my list of 7 things:
1. I'm thankful that both my parents are healthy and are able to get around and do the things they enjoy doing in their twilight years. And I'm thankful I get to spend time with them.
2. I'm thankful that in this sluggish economy I still have a job, unlike many, many others in the field of construction in my area.
3. I'm thankful for my boyfriend and my other close friends because without them, life just wouldn't be the same.
4. I'm thankful that my eye disease hasn't yet prevented me from reading all of the wonderful books I enjoy so much.
5. I'm thankful for the internet that has enabled me to pariticipate in a book blogging community where I have met some incredibly wonderful people that I otherwise would not know and that we can share our love of books with each other.
6. I'm thankful for all of the wonderful writers of the books we all love so much and for their creativity. It's a wonderful thing to be able to escape daily life simply by opening a book and going to another place and time.
7. Lastly, I'm thankful to God for making everything possible and for His love of all things.
I want to wish all of my friends out there a most wonderful Thanksgiving! I appreciate your friendships and look forward to interacting with you every day. For someone like me, who doesn't have the ability or independence that I once had before my eyesight got bad, having the blogging community has been so important to me. My world doesn't seem quite so small anymore and you all are the reason for that. Thank Your for your friendships. Happy Turkey Day!!

Nov 26, 2008

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Bound South (Paperback)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we share titles that are soon to be released that we can't wait to read!

My pick for this week's "Waiting On" Wednesday is BOUND SOUTH by Susan Rebecca White. I love southern fiction and I'm really looking forward to this debut novel. There is no available cover image as of yet so you'll just have to picture it in your mind.
From Publishers Weekly: White's wonderful debut charts the clash of Southern tradition with present-day issues from the perspective of three white females over the years of 1998–2008: Louise Parker, a frustrated, pampered matron living in an affluent Atlanta neighborhood; Caroline, her rebellious teenage daughter; and Missy Meadows, the young daughter of Louise's impoverished housekeeper, Faye. While Missy yearns to reconnect with her father who abandoned the family to become a preacher and Christian TV soap star, Caroline embarks on a scandalous affair during her senior year with Frederick Staunton, her high school drama teacher, and they run off to San Francisco. The relationship fizzles, but Caroline chooses not to come home; back in Georgia, Missy and Charles, Louise's gay son, make a fateful journey to Durham, N.C., to surprise Missy's father. White's wit and graceful prose yield sharp insights about family, friendship and faith in the ever-changing South.
Author: Susan Rebecca White
Publisher: Touchstone
Pages: 368
Release Date: February 9th, 2009
(I have no idea why my spacing isn't working on blogger, so you'll have to excuse the crammed-up look - Ugh!)

Nov 25, 2008

Book Review: Out Stealing Horses

All this that Franz talked to me about was news to me then, but I had no reason to doubt anything he said. Why he should tell me about those times, when my father had never done so, was a question I sat pondering as he talked on, but I did not know whether I could ask him that and have an answer I could live with, for he must certainly have thought I knew all about it already and was merely amused to hear another version. -page 130

OUT STEALING HORSES by Per Petterson is a story about fathers and sons, families and secrets. The story is told by Trond Sander in late 1999 when he is sixty-seven years old. It's a time when he has chosen solitude over the bustle of city life after the deaths of both his wife and sister. Trond decides that he wants to live out the twilight years of his life alone in the remote north forests of Norway. However, the unexpected happens when one night he meets a man who lives not far from his own riverside cabin. There is something familiar about this man that brings back memories of Trond's teenage years, specifically the summer of 1948 when everything as he knew it changed.

Trond tells the story of that summer when he and his father left their family home in Oslo to help fell trees high in the forests of Norway and the simple life they led there. But when Trond returned to Oslo in the fall, he would not be the same boy as before, and neither would his father be the same man, for he learned things about his father's life that he had no knowledge of until that point.

This is a story told with simplicity and with the beauty of the place and time they lived. At sixty-seven, Trond re-lives that summer in flashbacks as he settles into his new life. The story is not hard to follow and flows smoothly between time. It's all very picturesque in your mind and you can almost hear the river rushing and feel the snow falling, as winter time approaches in 1999.

I had heard a lot about this book and was looking forward to reading it. The premise of the story seemed interesting, but I have to be honest and say that I had a hard time getting through this book. I've read other reviews that were glowing, but I just didn't love it. I don't know if it was something in the translation from Norwegian to English that lost me somewhere or not. For me, this was a very slow read. I found myself back-tracking and re-reading whole pages to make sure I was getting what the author wanted me to feel. Also, I couldn't get used to the extremely long sentences that seemed to go on and on. Another thing is that the last fifty or so pages were the most interesting for me. Per Petterson has a simplistic way of writing and it was impressive, however I just never connected with it the way others did. Like I said, I didn't not like it, it just wasn't one of my favorites.

Matt at A Guy's Moleskine Notebook loved this book very much and wrote a great review. I encourage you to click here and read his review to get a different perspective of this very interesting book.
Author: Per Petterson
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Date Published: April 2007
Pages: 250
Rating: 3 out of 5 (I liked it but didn't love it)

Nov 24, 2008

Musing Mondays: Book Fads

This is Rebecca's first week hosting Musing Mondays and I'd just like to say good luck to her! Here's this weeks musing:

How do you feel about wide-spread reading phenomenons - Harry Potter, for instance, or the more current Twilight Saga? Are these books so widely read for a reason, or merely fads or crazes? Do you feel compelled to read - or NOT to read - these books because everyone else is?

Personally, I'm not a big fan of the wide-spread phenoms. I haven't read any of the Harry Potter or Twilight books. It's not that I don't think they're worth reading, they're just not my favorite types of books. I guess you could call them fads or crazes, but I've never been one to follow fads. I would rather spend my time reading a book I'm really interested in - there are just way too many great books out there that I want to read than to spend time reading something just because its the 'in' thing to read.

I have to mention one thing though and I'm not sure it's relative to this subject, but this reminded me of it. As I was lying in bed the other morning listening to my radio trying to get the cobwebs out of my brain before getting up, I heard two local disc jockeys talking about the new 'Twilight' movie. One was commenting that he'd never heard of it. The other said something like: 'I guess it's taken from some books some lady wrote.' Wow! I'm sure Stephanie Meyer really appreciated that. I don't even read her books and I was irritated for her. I really wanted to call them up and tell them what idiots I thought they were. But then again, maybe I'm just too touchy about it because I'm a reader.
If you'd like to read other comments for Musing Mondays click here.

Nov 23, 2008

The Sunday Salon: Ramblings and a Recipe

Here we are arriving at another Sunday Salon and working our way to the holidays! I can’t believe Thanksgiving is here! Although it is my favorite holiday, it just doesn’t seem possible that the year is almost over.

This week was pretty interesting on the blogs. On Monday I participated in Musing Mondays, which is now being hosted by Rebecca from Just One More Page. If you’d like to participate, click here on Monday morning for the day’s question. Last Monday’s musing was a short book meme. One of the questions was: Do you plan on reading a holiday-themed book this season? Most responders said no. I was a little surprised by that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not rushing out and buying the first holiday book that comes out, but I thought I was more the exception than the rule. What about you? Do you read holiday-themed books?

Booking Through Thursday
posed a very good question about reviewers being honest about books they really didn’t like when asked by an author to review said book. There was quite a bit of discussion on this topic and it was unanimous that reviewers should always be honest, even if they are getting a free book from an author. It all comes down to integrity and being constructive with the criticism if the reviewer didn’t care for the book. I was a little surprised to learn that some bloggers don’t accept review copies at all and that some reviewers choose only to write reviews on books they like. Personally, I write reviews on every book I read, mainly to help keep track of the books I’ve read for my own purpose. Fortunately, there hasn’t been many books that I didn’t like. If you’d like to see some of the comments left on my blog about this topic, click here.

I joined Book Blogs this week. It’s a social networking site where you can meet other bloggers and book lovers and discuss anything bookish! I’ve only had a little time to nose around but from what I can see, it looks like I’m really going to enjoy it. I’ve already found many of my blogging friends! If you’d like to check my page out, feel free to click here. Maybe I’ll see you there!

In non-book news I just have to mention the fantastic hair cut I got yesterday! I had very long hair that was in desperate need of some change. Because my hair is so long and I like to have it highlighted, it cost a fortune so I’m not always able to have it done like I want to. But I couldn’t put it off any longer! I went to the salon yesterday and had 41/2 inches taken off and highlights put back in and I am back to looking like my old self! I was beginning to feel frumpy! I’m so happy now and feel like I lost 10 pounds! (If only that were true!) Just in time for the holidays! Isn’t it great what a pair of scissors and someone who knows how to use them can do for your attitude??
As for the rest of today, I plan on just hanging out at home, finishing OUT STEALING HORSES, which has taken way too long to read and doing some cookie baking. I put some pork chops in the slow cooker for supper later. I found this great recipe on Recipe Zaar that has an Asian twist to it. Check it out:

Slow Cooker Pork Chops
6 boneless pork chops
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp ginger
¼ cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper

Just put the pork chops in the slow cooker, mix the remaining ingredients together and pour over the chops. Cook on low for about 6-7 hours. You can thicken the juice with a little corn starch and serve it over rice. How easy is that?

Well, I’m off to clean up my mess in the kitchen, then find my book and start reading. I’ll be checking out the blogs later to see what everyone is up to today. Thanks for visiting!

Nov 21, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

1. The last band I saw live was Clint Black (front row - thanks Sis!).

2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is being with my family and of course THE FOOD!

3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is short.

4. Thoughts of having a long holiday weekend fill my head.

5. I wish I could wear my comfy slippers to work!

6. Bagpipes make me feel sad.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to housework, tomorrow my plans include getting a drastic hair cut (at least 5 inches) and hightlights and Sunday, I want to bake, read and relax!

For more Friday Fill Ins click here! Thanks Janet!

Nov 20, 2008

Book Through Thursday: Honesty

Here is this week's BTT question, hosted by MizzB:

I receive a lot of review books, but I have never once told lies about the book just because I got a free copy of it. However, some authors seem to feel that if they send you a copy of their book for free, you should give it a positive review.
Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?
This is a very important question and I'm so glad MizzB brought it up! This is an easy one for me. I, also receive many ARC's from marketing directors, publicists, publishers and many direct from the authors themselves and I always make it clear that I pride myself on writing honest, forthright reviews. There have been times when I was a little concerned that the author would be upset about my less-than-glowing review, but I've never had any bad experiences.
There was one book in particular I really didn't like and when I forwarded the review to the publishing agent, I explained that I hoped the author wasn't too upset. The agent responded that it was fine as long as it was my honest opinion. A few have even come right out and stated that 'just because we send you a book, doesn't mean we expect you to write a favorable review'. If I don't care for a book, I try to give constructive criticism and not just negative comments. I believe that the author wants to hear all reviews and even if its not a positive one, the book is still being talked about and sometimes a negative review can lead to even more attention for the book in the long run. I think that's a good way to look at it.
I have wondered sometimes about how other reviewers feel about this. I've seen a few book blog websites that review many, many books, but I rarely see a negative review. Can they all be great books? Maybe, but I doubt it.
I hope it doesn't get to the point where we reviewers have to put disclaimers on our sites. I think it should be understood that our opinions are that - opinions and its OK to not like a book. This is a changing time for book reviews. With the fast-growing book blog community, I believe the average consumer is relying more on us book bloggers for reviews and recommendations than the paid reviewer. It's everyday people who buy the books, and I think they look to us for honesty. I certainly hope it stays that way. We can do our part by continuing to be forthright and honest in our reviews.
Where do you stand on this issue?

Nov 19, 2008

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Saints In Limbo

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we share titles that are soon to be released that we can't wait to read!

My pick for this week's "Waiting On" Wednesday is SAINTS IN LIMBO by River Jordan. Although I only learned of this author very recently and I haven't read any of her five books, I am intrigued by this one. I guess you could call it Southern Christian Fiction with a Stephen King twist. Check this out from the author's website:

Ever since her husband, Joe, died, Velma True's world has been limited to what she can see while clinging to one of the multicolored threads tied to the porch railing of her rural home outside Echo, Florida.

Then one day a stranger appears at her door. Without knowing why, the agoraphobic widow welcomes him into her kitchen for coffee while she tells him stories of how life used to be, before her purposes were "all dried up." Just before disappearing as suddenly as he came, the man presents Velma with a special gift, one that allows her to literally step back into the past through her own memories to a place where Joe still lives and the beginning is closer than the end.

While Velma is consumed with the man's gift, her son Rudy is also being presented with a challenge to his self-centered, complacent lifestyle. And a teenage girl winds her way to Echo, determined to unravel the mysteries her dead mother left behind. As secrets old and new come to light, Velma finds herself unmoored from the fears of the past and feeling her way toward freedom.

This lyrical, Southern novel weaves mystical elements with tangible touches of God's redemptive grace to reveal a pattern of irresistible hope.

This sounds like a truly interesting book and I am looking forward to its release on May 19, 2009. What new book are you anxious to read? To read more responses from other "Waiting On" Wednesday's bloggers, please click here.
Update at 1:40pm: Ms. Jordan has seen this post and has graciously offered to send me an Advanced Reader Copy next month and has asked me to read and review her book! I'm so excited! You'll want to be sure and check back for that review! Thanks River!

Nov 17, 2008

Musing Mondays: What Are You Reading?

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is a short meme:

WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW? Right now I'm (still) reading Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. It's a slow read, but very good.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING, and WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? I recently finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I loved it! What an interestingly different sort of book. It was a very enjoyable read. You can read my review here if you like.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WILL READ NEXT? It's a toss-up between Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagan or The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent . I'm having a hard time deciding!

WILL YOU READ ANY HOLIDAY-THEMED BOOKS SOON? I haven't really thought about it, but there is one holiday-themed book I enjoyed awhile back that I wouldn't mind reading again. It's Mary Kay Andrews' Blue Christmas. (She's the author of Savannah Blues, which I loved!) In fact, I believe it's being re-releasing for the season. It's a cute story and it's only 208 pages, so you can read it pretty quickly.

Nov 16, 2008

The Sunday Salon: Good Will Hunting

Good Morning Saloners! Unfortunately, I didn't get a whole lot of reading done this week. In fact, I don't think I read a single page. It's been a tough week for me at work, and I found it very difficult to concentrate on reading. The economy has really hit my industry (new construction) very hard here in central Florida, which makes it nerve-wracking just to go to the office. I work for a small contracting company and its us 'little guys' who are struggling to keep the doors open, literally. Thankfully, the week ended on a more positive note than it started, but even so, I was emotionally drained by Friday. Even though I'm only an employee and ultimately the responsibilities don't lie on my shoulders, I just don't want to see all that my boss has worked for over the years go down the tubes. I've been his bookkeeper and friend for almost ten years and he's never treated me as anything other than his 'team mate' in business. Maybe soon, things will start to turn around, but until then it's hard not to worry and when I worry, I have a difficult time reading.

Yesterday I did some retail therapy, which did help my mood. I didn't go crazy or anything, just got a few things I needed. But I did take some clothes to the Good Will and while I was there I checked out the books they had. Wow! I had never considered looking for books at Good Will! What a surprise it was to see the entire back wall filled with books! I was with my mom and she was such a good sport while I scoured the shelves! I limited myself to two books, but they are beautiful hard covers in pristine condition! I picked up John Grisham's THE INNOCENT MAN and Jennifer Weiner's GOODNIGHT NOBODY.

I used to be a major John Grisham fan. I have almost all of his books. However, there was a time when I grew tired of his stories. THE INNOCENT MAN is his first, and I believe only non-fiction work. I have been wanting to read it ever since it came out. He has a new fiction book coming out on January 27th, 2009 titled THE ASSOCIATE that I'm hoping will be the one to get me interested in his stories again.

As for Jennifer Weiner, I have GOOD IN BED, although I haven't read it yet. I've heard she is a really talented writer and I look forward to both of them.

As for today, the weather turned much cooler overnight and it's only supposed to be in the mid 60's here today, so I dug out my crockpot and put beef stew on for later. My boyfriend arrives home today from a week-long hunting trip so I thought it'd be nice to have a hearty supper ready so I wouldn't have to be in the kitchen. The only thing I have left to do is make a banana bread or dessert. I love this time of year when it's cool outside and it smells so yummy inside. Who knows, I may even get the chance to do some reading later.

What are your plans today?

Nov 14, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

Happy Friday Everyone!

1. Please feel free to tell me how you really feel.

2. When I sharpen a pencil I can't help sniffing it occasionally. ( I know, its wierd)

3. My favorite thing to cook is anything stir-fried.

4. Good music is something I can't get enough of.

5. That's the thing I love most about blogging - I 'meet' soooo many great people who also love books .

6. When I hear people say with a smirk that they hate to read, it always makes me think to myself, what the heck?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to sorting clothes for Good Will, tomorrow my plans include taking clothes to Good Will, then going to the new Kohl's store for comfy new pajamas and Sunday, I want to spend time with my honey when he gets home from his week-long hunting trip!

Nov 13, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Why Buy?

I'm really running late, but here is the BTT quetion for today:
I’ve asked, in the past, about whether you more often buy your books, or get them from libraries. What I want to know today, is, WHY BUY?

Even if you are a die-hard fan of the public library system, I’m betting you have at least ONE permanent resident of your bookshelves in your house. I’m betting that no real book-lover can go through life without owning at least one book. So … why that one? What made you buy the books that you actually own, even though your usual preference is to borrow and return them?

If you usually buy your books, tell me why. Why buy instead of borrow? Why shell out your hard-earned dollars for something you could get for free?
Yes, I'm a regular buyer of books and I make no excuses for it! Although I went through a spurt earlier in the year of borrowing from the library, which was nice, I do prefer to own the books I read. One reason I choose to buy is that I don't want a time schedule on the books I read. What if I am reading more than one book at a time? (Which I often do) If its a popular book, I'd feel bad if I returned it late or needed it longer. Another reason is if I really like an author I like showing my support by buying a copy. Most of the books I get from the public library are books that I want to read, but they may not necessarily be that special to me.
Most importantly, I don't mind shelling out my hard-earned money on a book occasionally because that is my one vice. I'm not one to go out and spend a lot of money on clothes, shoes, or things like that. I don't waste my money on alcohol or drugs - I chose to buy books. Books are important to me and I enjoy them immensely and I have no guilt about it at all. Besides, many of the books I buy are from the used book store, so I'm not having to pay full price. I know people who will spend $200 on a purse! That's not me. Do you know how many books I could get for $200??

Nov 11, 2008

Teaser Tuesdays: Out Stealing Horses

Each week TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” 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!

Please avoid spoilers!

This week my teasers are from page 130 of OUT STEALING HORSES by Per Petterson.

All this that Franz talked to me about was news to me then, but I had no reason to doubt anything he said. Why he should tell me about those times, when my father had never done so, was a question I sat pondering as he talked on, but I did not know whether I could ask him that and have an answer I could live with, for he must certainly have thought I knew all about it already and was merely amused to hear another version.

This from sixty-seven year old Trond Sanders remembering back to when he was fifteen and learning things about his father for the first time.