Jun 29, 2008

The Sunday Salon: And The Winner Is . . .

Hello Saloners! I'm a little late today in getting my post up and its going to be a short one. As you may or may not know, Florida is the lightning capital of the world and yesterday Mother Nature apparently wanted to remind me of that fact. (As if I needed reminding). While I was out enjoying myself at a friends wedding, my house got hit. My neighbors tell me it waa a terrible storm. I lost 2 televisions, 2 telephones and MY COMPUTER! I was so upset when I got home! So I'm at my parents house using their computer! Well, enough of my woes . . .

I hosted a giveaway of my ARC copy of Maryann McFadden's THE RICHEST SEASON this week and its time to announce the winner! And the lucky bibliophile is . . . Naida over at The Bookworm! Congratulations Naida and I hope you enjoy your book! I'll be leaving a comment momentarliy on your Sunda Salon post and I'll get your mailing address so I can get your book to you. This was my first giveaway and it was a lot of fun. I'd like to thank all of you who participated.
I finished up GARDEN SPELLS by Sara Addison Allen this weekend. I loved that book! But more on that when I post my review in a few days, somehow, while borrowing someone elses computer! I also took Booking Mamas advise and picked up a copy of DRIVING SIDEWAYS yesterday. She loved it so much that I had to read it myself! I've read Jess Riley's blog and I love the way she writes! So thanks Julie P. for the recommendation!
I may not get to visit many of your blogs today as I'm not on my own computer. I hope you all are enjoying your Sunday and reading wonderful books! I'll see you 'round the blogs!

Jun 27, 2008

Friday Fill Ins - My First

This is my first Friday Fill-Ins! Questions courtesy of Jennifer this week; thanks, Jennifer!

1. Birthdays are scarier every year.
2. Spring is my favorite season because everything is coming back to life after the cold winter.
3. I feel my best when I'm organized.
4. Seafood is my favorite food!
5. First impressions are sometimes misleading.
6. The best piece of advice I ever received was learn to stand on your own two feet because that's what will get you thru the tough times.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to finishing laundry, tomorrow my plans include going to a good friends wedding and Sunday, I want to have some quiet time to read and relax!
Happy Friday Everyone!

Jun 26, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Definition

What, in your opinion, is the definition of a “reader.” A person who indiscriminately reads everything in sight? A person who reads BOOKS? A person who reads, period, no matter what it is? … Or, more specific? Like the specific person who’s reading something you wrote?

Interesting question. To me, a reader is someone who thoroughly enjoys reading in general. When I think of a 'reader', I picture someone who enjoys learning from reading, whether it be from novels, non-fiction, magazines, blogs etc. Even if you're reading a novel, I believe you learn from that story. You learn about the theme of the book, its locale, and many other aspects. Lately I've enjoyed many non-fiction books and I come away with so much insight into things I wouldn't ordinarily become familiar with. Reading = Learning.

On the other hand, I don't consider someone who only reads the local newspaper every day to be a 'reader'. There are a lot of people who read the paper daily who don't care to sit and read a book.

So in answer to this question, I would say I believe a reader to be someone who chooses to read and enjoyes learning from reading no matter what the format.

I'd also like to mention that there are still a few days left to enter my book giveaway. I'm giving away my ARC of THE RICHEST SEASON by Maryann McFadden. Simply leave a comment here by 6/28/08 at 9:00 pm to enter. Good Luck!

Jun 25, 2008

Books Old & New

Today I got a sweet surprise from my parents. They have this big ole chest that has been stored away in their house for years that’s full of family photo albums and things from our past. Well, they came across some old books from my childhood! Knowing how much I love books, they knew I’d be excited about this. One of the books they found was THE LAZY AUTOMOBILE. Apparently it has my name in it and states that I was 7 years old when I got that book. Oh my! That was 1971, so you do the math!! Or not! Another book is from my 4th grade class and it’s called ROADS TO EVERYWHERE. It’s a collection of short stories and poems for children. As a kid, I was sick a lot and I spent many hours curled up reading while my sister was outside having fun riding our horses with the neighbor kids. I would escape to the worlds of my books and I didn’t feel left out. I can’t wait to see what else they’ve discovered!
Now on to new books. There’s a grog (that’s a group blog for those who aren’t familiar with the term) that I visit several times a week called The Lipstick Chronicles. It’s hosted by six ‘Book Tarts’. Five of them are authors and one is a book seller. These women are so funny! They’re writing interests are women’s fiction, mystery, chick lit, romance and suspense. One of the authors is Nancy Martin, who writes The Blackbird Sisters Mystery Series. I love those books and have all but the latest one. If you have a minute you should visit their grog. It’s guaranteed to make you laugh. Sarah Strohmeyer is another of the authors on this grog. She released a new book on June 17th called SWEET LOVE. Read all about it here. The book is even being featured in this week’s People Magazine and described as a ‘sizzlin’ summer read’. I know many of you may not read a lot of chick lit, but if you’re looking for something light and funny to take to the beach or on a trip, this would be perfect. I actually haven’t read it yet, but I’ve read other books by these women and I’m never disappointed. Sometimes I need a break from all the serious books out there. I’m hoping to get my copy of SWEET LOVE soon and then I’ll post my review here on my blog. It’s officially Summer and its time for a sizzlin’ summer read!

Also, here’s a reminder about my book giveaway of THE RICHEST SEASON. You have until June 28 at 9:00 p,m. to enter by leaving a comment here. Also, Julie P. at Booking Mama is having yet another giveaway! This time it’s DRIVING SIDEWAYS by Jess Riley. Leave a comment here on her blog to get entered. Good Luck!

Jun 22, 2008

The Sunday Salon: A Book Giveaway

Hello and welcome! It's been a busy Sunday for me so far, so I haven't had the chance to read yet, but I'm hoping to open a book a bit later. The storm clouds are rolling in and that sounds like a great way to spend the afternoon. Reading while the rain comes down and the thunder grumbles. The book I've chosen is GARDEN SPELLS by Sarah Addison Allen. It came out in paperback last month and I was lucky enough to find a copy at the local used book store. I've heard so many wonderful reviews and its the type of book I normally wouldn't pick up. It's leaning towards the fantasy genre and I typically am not drawn to that. But so many fellow book bloggers have raved about it and have gotten me curious. I'm really looking forward to it.

I finished up a couple ARCs this week. The first was a biographical account of the life and death of Dr. Joe Slowinski, a herpetologist who dedicated his life to the study of snakes and their venom. He died in 2001 in Myanmar after being bitten by a krait, one of the most deadly snakes in the world. (Review here) The other book I reviewed was THE RICHEST SEASON by Maryann McFadden. (Review here) It's the story of two women who find themselves on Pawley's Island, South Carolina each making difficult choices in their lives. It's a nice summer read that will leave you wanting to feel the silky sand from the beach on your feet.

One of the highlights of this week was when Garth Stein, author of THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN sent me an email expressing his appreciation for my mention of the book and my rave reviews here on my blog! I was so surprised and happy to hear from him!

I've been seeing so many great book giveaways on the blogs lately, and I've decided to jump in with one of own! I've never given a book away on my blog, so this is a milestone for me. And I thought there was no better place to announce it than on The Sunday Salon. The book I'll be giving away is my ARC of THE RICHEST SEASON. To be entered in the random drawing, simply post a comment here on my blog before 9:00 pm Saturday June 28th. I'll announce the winner on next weeks Sunday Salon post! If you'd like an additional chance to win, mention this giveaway on your blog and link it back to me. (This contest is limited to residents living in the U.S. and Canada) Good luck to all of you! I'm so excited to be sharing my copy with some lucky reader!

Jun 21, 2008

Book Review: The Richest Season

Joanna and Paul have been married for 25 years, they have two grown children who are embarking on their own new, young lives miles away from their parents. Paul is a communications executive who has worked very long hours for most of his married life. Joanna, the dutiful corporate wife who always put her family first. Her career was her children and Paul, when he was home from his constant business trips. Until now. With the surprise news of yet another transfer and the thought of doing it alone, without the children, it was just too much for her to take.

Joanna makes a decision that will affect not only her entire family, but people she doesn't yet know, but will become very important to her life. Pawleys Island, South Carolina holds special memories for Joanna from her teens and she feels that if there's any place she can go to figure out what she wants to do with the rest of her life, that's where she needs to be.

Grace Finelli, a recent widow who has always dreamed of living near the ocean, is finally living her dream on Pawleys Island. After spending her life completely afraid to follow her own path, she has reached a point that its now or never. She has a beautiful beach house that is so close the sea, you can hear the waves kissing the dunes below her deck.

This is the story of two women who are each facing very different challenges in their lives and whether they like it or not, they need each other. Their needs are what bring them together and sometimes what pushes them apart.

Without getting into too much detail that may give the plot away, this is a story of regret and second chances. For the most part, the characters were believable to me, but at times, I found myself questioning the choices Joanna made. I didn't agree with some of them and it would irritate me. When you've been married to someone for 25 years, I believe you owe that person a little more than what Joanna showed her husband. Paul's character was very believable and I'm sure his corporate personality would be a difficult thing to live with. However, it bothered me that Joanna would up and leave without so much as a conversation with her husband. I don't think people in the real world just walk out of their life within hours of deciding and with no plan at all. Especially after being such an organized and profficient wife for so long. She showed more loyalty to her new friend, Hank in Pawleys Island than to her husband of 25 years. Another thing about Joanna and Grace is they came across a little cold. I think I was surpised that these two women didn't seem to bond with each other until almost the end. I was expecting a little more of a friendship between the two. That being said, I did enjoy the story and felt like I knew the characters pretty well even though I didn't agree with their actions all the time.

Maryann McFadden has a good writing style that flows easily from page to page. Her descriptions of the locale are so vivid you can almost smell the salt air and feel the wind on your face as you read. It is a lovely story about people and choices they make. There's not a lot of drama and it did get a bit slow for me at times, but I did enjoy the book. It would make a nice beach read for the summer.

Jun 19, 2008

Book Bloggin' & Garth Stein

Something really cool happened to me this evening and I just had to share my excitement. Last month I read a great book that I've been telling everyone who will listen about. It was THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein. (You can read my review here.) It's a wonderfully written story about a family, narrated by Enzo, the family dog, whose love for his master, Denny is imeasurable. I absolutely loved this book! There's not many books told from the prospective of mans best friend with the honesty and warmth that this book has. It's one of the best books I've read in quite some time. I've been watching it hover on the New York Times best seller list for the past few weeks hoping it'll break into the top 10. (It's at 15 right now.) Anyway, a few weeks ago there was a comment left here on my blog from the Marketing Director at Folio Literary Management. She indicated that she works with Garth Stein. She wanted me to know she saw my review and had forwarded it on to Mr. Stein. I was so excited! Well . . . imagine my surprise today when I actually got an email from Garth Stein!! He simply wanted to say he was happy I liked the book so much and that he visited my blog and he appreciated my post about it on my blog. He was so nice! I know it may not be a big deal to some, and I realize I'm such a book-geek, but that little email made my day!!
This is just another reason I enjoy book blogging so much. Not only do I read some really great books and meet some wonderful people who do the same thing I do, but sometimes you get an added bonus of one of the authors you really like acknowledging you. I never realized before starting my blog in January that authors were so approachable. I think that is a really cool thing. A few weeks ago, Meg Waite Clayton, author of THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS stopped by my blog and at first I didn't even realize who it was!! I felt so silly when I put it together! I'm a little slow sometimes!
Due to some circumstances in my life, I spend a lot of time at home and having my books, the internet and the blogging friends I've made helps to keep my world from being so small. I really enjoy all of the blogs I read daily and am always anxious for the next great read to come along.

Jun 18, 2008

Review: The Snake Charmer: A Life & Death in the Pursuit of Knowledge

I am not a lover of snakes. In fact, they scare me to death. A friend of mine had one as a pet once and she would always try to get me to hold it. She just didn’t understand my extreme fear of them and that I had no desire to get to know her ‘pet’. I have a problem with reptiles as a whole. I won’t even go into my fear of alligators and my reoccurring nightmares I have of them. Living in Florida, this is a problem for me. Anyway . . .

Since he was a kid, Dr. Joe Slowinski had an interest in snakes that became an obsession as he grew older. Being a herpetologist, he made a name for himself as one of the most respected scientist to study venomous snakes. His entire life was dedicated to his research of these mysterious creatures. It is ironic that the very snakes he held so dear would end up taking his life.

In September 2001, Dr. Slowinski, along with his team, went to the Burmese jungle, in Myanmar, which is among the least explored areas in the world. This was his eleventh trip to the area. Between the terrain being so treacherous and the elements, it is nearly impossible to travel unless you are highly skilled and fully prepared for the experience. But he was confident there had to be previously unnamed venomous snakes in the region and he was determined to have a successful expedition. Sadly, that isn’t what happened.

This is a fascinating book by Jamie James, a journalist and author who resigned from The New Yorker in 1999 to relocated to Indonesia to write about Asia. In 2004 he actually traveled to the mountainous village in Burma where Dr. Slowinski had been bitten, and ultimately died, to begin his research for THE SNAKE CHARMER.

If you want to know about snakes and the different regions they come from Mr. James has put together an amazing course of study. It is a virtual herpetologist encyclopedia that offers a wealth of information on the snakes that Dr. Slowinski studied. The second half of the book chronicles the final expedition that took his life. Even if you’re like me and you don’t care for snakes, you can’t help but be impressed with his work.

Jun 17, 2008

Readers & A Book Giveaway!

There are so many great book blogs out there that I've become addicted to reading and it can be very time consuming to visit each individual website. But I have found the greatest helper! OK, I admit it - I may be a little slow, but I only recently (in the last few months) figured out what a 'reader' is and what it does. In my particular case, Google Reader. Since I only started blogging in January, I'm still learning about all this new technology. Everyday I learn something new.

I wonder how I got along for so long without using the Reader tool. If you haven't familiarized yourself with this timesaving little gem, I would highly recommend checking it out. I spend half the time I used to reading all the blogs I enjoy so much. I even have the online version of my local newspaper included so every morning, within minutes I'm caught up on what's happening in my community. Time is so short as it is and this really makes it nice. Since I now have my list of blogs that I subscribe to in my reader, (and that list grows every week!) I simply go to my Reader and there they all are!

Speaking of great blogs, my blogger buddie Julie P. at Booking Mama has a terrific post today. It's an interview with Meg Waite Clayton, the author of the new novel, THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS, which is being released today, in fact! She was one of the lucky ones to receive an advanced copy so you can also find her review there as well. In addition, Ms. Julie has an extra copy of the book, so she is giving it away to one lucky reader! All you have to do is go to Booking Mama and leave a comment to be entered! Good luck everyone!

Jun 15, 2008

The Sunday Salon

Hello and Welcome! Hard to believe its Sunday once again! It's been a HOT Sunday here in Florida! Very humid. The afternoon storms are beginning to roll in and hopefully will bring with them some cooler air for the evening.

Yesterday I got a call from Baroni's Twice Read Tales, my local used book store letting me know that a copy of GARDEN SPELLS by Sarah Addison Allen had come in. How excited was I?! Since I don't drive, I immediately called my best friend and being the wonderful person she is, she drove me right over so I could pick it up. (She's familiar with my book obsession) I've read so many great reviews of it and with her new book, THE SUGAR QUEEN coming out, I want to be up to speed on her work. I was all ready to jump into that book. However, after I got home, I found in my mailbox the ARC of THE RICHEST SEASON by Maryann McFadden from Library Thing. GARDEN SPELLS will have to wait awhile longer.

I started THE RICHEST SEASON this morning and quickly went through the first 50 or so pages. Happily, I'm finding I'm really enjoying the story so far. The descriptions of the locale of Pawleys Island in the Low Country are so vivid, I can almost smell the salt air and hear the waves crashing. I'm quickly developing connections with the characters and wanting to know more about them. This is a quick, easy read, so I should have my review later in the week.

I hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend and that you're reading a book you love! Now its time for me to visit some blogs! Have a great week everybody!

Jun 12, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Clubbing

A combo of two suggestions by: Heidi and by litlove

Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (ot, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?

Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience?

Sadly, I've never participated in a book club. Not because I didn't want to, but the opportunity has never presented itself. Most of my friends are either non-readers or too busy with their families and/or work. Plus, I live in a small town, that, how can I put this? . . . that is not over-flowing with groups of this sort. ;)

Even though I have no experience in a book club, I believe the best way to choose books would be to have each member submit a couple titles (depending on how many members there are) and decide as a group. That will ensure that no one gets left out. I've heard of some clubs that take turns and have each member pick the book for the following month and host the discussion. However, in doing that one person is dictating what will be read. What if no one else in the group is interested in that book? The discussion may fall a little flat. I believe I would prefer to have each person suggest and the group as a whole decide. If one particular member feels strongly about a book, that person could be the host for that discussion.

I love reading all kinds of books, so I don't think I would appreciate a book less because I didn't choose it myself. I may or may not like it as well, but I'd still read it and get the most out of it. If I were reading a book for a group discussion, I'd probably not read as fast and make sure I absorbed it all. That would ensure better participation with the group. I think it would only affect my reading experience in a positive way.

How about you? Are you in a book club or do you prefer to read on your own? If you have been in more than one club, what is the average length of time spent in each? And why did you leave a club?

Jun 10, 2008

Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns

I don't quite know where to start with this one. Obviously, its a fantastic book with a heart-wrenching story of friendship, family and love. Khaled Hosseini is turning out to be one of my favorite authors. One reason is that he can create an incredible story of two women that is classified as fiction, but we all know there are thousands of Mariams and Lailas in Afghanistan who have lived lives very similar to these characters. And through his writing he captures our attention, gives us a connection to them and makes us want to keep reading. When I first started reading A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, I made the comment that I didn't like it as well as THE KITE RUNNER. Next time I won't make that assumption until I've read the entire book. Looking back, perhaps it wasn't that I felt I didn't like it as much, but more likely it was the content that bothered me. Being a woman living in a free country, the treatment of these two women by Afghan men and most especially, their husband was extremely disturbing to me. I didn't want to believe that severe physical and mental abuse and oppression still exists in the world today. Its a beautifully written book with a story that can't help but pull at your heart. So yes, I did like it as much as THE KITE RUNNER. I just have to separate my two feelings about the book and the reality of the brutal treatment of women in the name of Allah that is real even today in the Muslim culture.

The story of how Mariam and Laila's lives became entangled together is a journey into survival of everyday life during civil wars in Afghanistan. The relationship starts out as anything but friendly, being pitted against each other by their shared husband. But eventually they are able to see that they don't have to fear each other. In fact, they can be allies and make the best out of a terrible situation and try to bring some happiness into their miserable lives. Their relationship begins to evolve into something neither of them expected, but they both needed desperately. Simply by changing their views of each other it made a huge impact on their lives. It became two against one instead of each fending for themselves putting Rasheed, their husband, at a disadvantage. Hence, his manipulation of them grew more intense and cruel.

This story of friendship and love is beautifully woven into the simultaneous ugly madness of civil unrest happening around them. The brutality of war is as shocking as the love story is heart-wrenching. I found myself in tears many times and had to take moments to let it sink in before reading on. You can't help but feel deeply for the characters of this book. Not to mention the real people of Afghanistan. Some of whom are still living as refugees in neighboring countries after fleeing their homeland out of fear.

A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS is an amazing book that brings a great fictional story together with real current events that affect our world today. I will be recommending this book to anyone who will listen.

Jun 8, 2008

The Sunday Salon: Do You Ever Feel Guilty?

Hello and thanks for visiting my Sunday Salon! I've had a pretty uneventful book week, but I am enjoying reading A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, which I'm almost finished with. I can't say I like it as much as THE KITE RUNNER, but it is still a great book. I'll have my review in a day or so. I am still waiting on 2 remaining ARCs, one from LT and one from The Book Network. Hopefully they'll arrive soon.

Yesterday I spent most of the day with my mom and sister. It was a girls day out. We went to the pet store where my sister adopted another kitty, went shopping and just had fun. We haven't had a day like that in awhile and it was great. We had a delicious lunch of Caesar salad with shrimp and lobster. It was a fantastic, light lunch. Afterwards, I went to my local used book store and traded in some books I've had for awhile and really didn't care for too much. I ended up with $30 of store credit towards future purchases, which thrilled me! While there I found a copy of Anne Tyler's BACK WHEN WE WERE GROWNUPS that I've been wanting to read. I've never read any of her books so I'm looking forward to that. I also picked up A WALK IN THE WOODS by Bill Bryson. It's the sometimes humorous, sometimes frightening account of his trek up the Appalachian Trail. That one is actually a birthday present for my boss who is a kayaker/bicyclists and an avid reader. I know he'll appreciate the book. And hopefully will let me borrow when he's finished!

I got up early this morning, put some chicken in my crockpot for dinner later, whipped up a veggie omelet for breakfast, then grabbed a cup of coffee and read for a few hours. I didn't make it to church this morning, but even though I've been reading, I've had laundry going that I didn't get to yesterday, so at least I have the illusion of doing something productive while I'm reading! I don't know why, but sometimes I feel guilty when I close off the world and sit and read for hours. Like I should be doing something. I guess it comes from the work ethic my parents instilled in me. I keep telling myself its ok to relax and do nothing sometimes. I still struggle with it though. Do any of you ever feel that way? Or is it just my weirdness coming out? LOL I'd love to know your thoughts on this.

I hope you all enjoy your Sunday and the books you're reading. I'm going to go mix up an iced cappuccino from my Toddy cold-brewed coffee system, (if you love coffee and you've never tried this you should check it out - its delicious!) grab my book and read for awhile longer. Happy Reading!

Jun 5, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Trends

Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?

My taste in books has definitely changed over the years. When I was younger, I read alot of romance novels like Danielle Steele. Then I turned to legal thrillers, mainly John Grisham. After awhile though, I got burned out and found I didn't like them as well. I read a lot of contemporary fiction and suspense. I'm not a big self-help reader, however I did find Joyce Meyer's BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND to be helpful during a difficult time I was going through. I never used to read non-fiction, but now I'm reading quite a lot of it. One subject in particular that has grabbed my attention is the impact of the Islamic culture on Europe and America. Although its an uncomfortable subject for some, I feel its important to be aware of it. WHILE EUROPE SLEPT by Bruce Bawer is an excellent book on this subject. As far as fiction, nowadays I enjoy novels about family and friendship. I also enjoy suspense. I have not read much Historical Fiction. It doesn't interest me much, but I'm not opposed to it. Science Fiction and Fantasy are two genres that I don't care for and probably wouldn't read. My reading material has definitely become more serious and challenging and I think that comes with age.

Since I began book blogging I've really opened up my horizons and read some great books that I normally wouldn't have come across. I get so many recommendations that I've become obsessed! But I can think of worse things to be obsessed about! I'll take books any day!

Jun 2, 2008

Tagged: Favorite Music Meme

My book blogger buddy, Karen over at Planet Books has tagged me for the music meme. I’ve never participated in a meme before and this one is perfect for me because, like Karen, I LOVE music. So let’s get started . . .

1. Who is your all time favorite group/singer/musician?

It always goes back to Eric Clapton for me as my all time fave singer, (Second is Elton John – I could listen to him play the piano all day long!) I still love listening to Clapton from way back when he was in Cream. The guitar is my second favorite instrument after the piano and I love to hear him play it. His blues pieces are fabulous. However, on his ‘Pilgrim’ album, released in 1998, he showed an all together different side of his talent and it is my favorite of all. It’s different from anything he’s ever done and it’s mesmerizing. I played it at a pool-side party years ago and I can’t tell you how many people asked what album it was and commented that they were really enjoying it. As far as my favorite group, it is U2. Bono’s voice is amazing! I could listen to him recite the yellow pages and be happy! I saw them in concert in 1983 in Jacksonville and they blew my socks off! That was the ‘War’ tour that took them to the top with ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’. My favorite musician is Chris Botti, a smooth-jazz trumpeter and composer whose music flows effortlessly. He does a version of 'Emmanuel' that is stunning. It’s the first song I ever hear him play and I was hooked.

2. Who was your first favorite group/singer/musician?

I was born in the mid sixties so when Journey hit the scene in the mid to late 70’s I was in my teens and I fell in love with Steve Perry’s voice and Neil Schon’s rifts! As a teenager, I even quit a job to go see them in concert!

3. What’s the most recent addition to your list of favorite albums?

I have eclectic taste when it comes to music, so I enjoy many genres. One artist in particular that comes to mind is Mary J. Blige. I can’t speak for her early releases, but her ‘The Breakthrough’ album is incredible. It has some rap on it, but its not the gansta rap that I don’t care for. The songs are written by her and they tell the story of her rise from rough beginnings to where she is now. Through her music it’s easy to see how she has evolved. ‘The Breakthough’ is always in my cd player.

4. If someone asked you who your favorite groups/singers/musicians were, which ones would be the first to pop out of your mouth?

Ok, first off my tongue is always Clapton, these would follow: Elton John, Journey, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, Allman Bros. Band, Stevie Ray Vaghn. I tend to prefer individuals to groups. I’m a southerner and I love my southern rock! Some others I like are: Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Annie Lennox, Alicia Keyes, Santana, Lionel Richie, Nickelback, Martina McBride, Sugarland, Trisha Yearwood – who is severely under-rated IMO, I could go on and on!

That was fun! If anyone would like to participate, feel free! You can leave your answers in a comment or link it to your site. Thanks for the tag, K!

Jun 1, 2008

The Sunday Salon: Rough Week

Hello Sunday Saloners! Its been one of those crazy weeks for me. As I mentioned last month I adopted a kitten (Jax) and he now rules my life! But I don't mind. I made the big decision to have him de-clawed this past week and its killing me!! I feel horrible about it. He came home from the kitty hospital yesterday and I've been loving on him ever since. (You guessed right, I don't have children) He seems to be doing better than me, thankfully. But even with the anxiety, I did have an eventful book week...

Since finishing THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN last week,(click here for review), I picked up THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING by Joan Didion that I'd started a while ago and decided to finish for once and for all. Looking back, I'd change that decision if I could. Explanation here. I got a package mid-week of ARC's and included was JUST WHO WILL YOU BE? by Maria Shriver. What an inspirational little book! Click here to read my thoughts on the book. While I wait for the rest of the ARC's to arrive, I am reading A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS. I have been looking at this book on my table for so long and finally am getting the chance to read it. I just know its going to be fabulous! I was surprised to see that Meg Waite Clayton, author of the upcoming THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS had visited my blog and left a nice comment. At first, I didn't realize who it was! Then I said, 'Whoa!" I'm really looking forward to reading her book when it comes out. Its actually listed on my blog as my top TBR! I didn't get an advanced copy to review, but I'll make sure I get mine from the bookstore as soon as it becomes available!

Well its time to give Jax his antibiotic, so I'll say good-bye and happy reading! See you next Sunday at the Salon!

I've added a pic of my Jax