Jul 31, 2009

Friday Finds: Books About Books

What interesting books did you come across in your travels this week? Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. I'm especially excited about these two finds because they are books about books, which I LOVE!

The first book I found while visiting Fizzy Thoughts. It's called THE YELLOW-LIGHTED BOOKSHOP by Lewis Buzbee. It's been out for a few years and has less than 200 pages yet it sounds like a charming book celebrating books and bookshops. If you love books, this one sounds like a real gem. I can't wait to read it myself. You can read Jill's review here.

My other find this week was in a review I read at Book Chatter and Other Stuff. The book is THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This story starts out in Spain in 1945 and centers around Daniel, who was raised around books and after reading one particular book becomes so enthralled with it he sets out to find other books by this elusive author. This quest sends him on a path of adventure and danger. This book just screams out to me READ ME!! Thanks to Tina for such a great review and recommendation. You can read Tina's review here.

These are two books I can't wait to read! Have you read either of these books? If so, leave me a link - I'd love to read your thoughts as well. What books did you discover this week?

Jul 27, 2009

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Happy Monday everyone! Today is the day we reflect on books we read last week, what we're reading this week and any reveiws we've written.

Last week I posted my review of THE ONLY TRUE GENIUS IN THE FAMILY by Jennie Nash - [Review here].

I finished reading NO ONE YOU KNOW by Michelle Richmond. I'll have my review ready soon, but let me just say - I really liked this book!!

This week I'm planning to read:
  • STEALING WITH STYLE by Emyl Jenkins - This is the first book in the Sterling Glass Mystery series. The next book, THE BIG STEAL was released earlier this month and I wanted to get in on this series from the beginning. It centered around an antiquities appraiser and I thought it sounded like fun.
  • THE NIGHT GARDENER by George Pelecanos. - I've been seeing his books around the blogs and have been wanting to try one. I went to the library hoping to get THE TURNAROUND, but it was not available, so I grabbed this one instead. I'm really looking forward to getting into it.
Visit J.Kaye's blog for more responses to this weekly event!

Jul 23, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Preferences

Which do you prefer? (Quick Answers) My Answers are in bold
  • Reading something frivolous? Or something serious? Serious
  • Paperback? Or hardcovers? Hardcover
  • Fiction? Or non-fiction Fiction
  • Poetry? Or prose? Prose
  • Biographies? Or autobiographies? Autobiographies
  • History? Or historical fiction? Historical fiction
  • Series? Or stand-alones? Stand-alone
  • Classics? Or best sellers? Classics
  • Lurid, fruity prose? Or straight-forward basic prose? Straight-forward
  • Plots? Or stream of conscienceness? Plots
  • Long books? Or short? Long...Short...I don't know...
  • Illustrated? Or non-illustrated? Non-illustrated
  • Borrowed? Or owned? Owned
  • New? Or used? Either
To read more quicky responses, visit Booking Through Thursday!


Recently Reviewed Books:

Jul 22, 2009

The Only True Genius in the Family by Jennie Nash

Claire's father was a world famous photographer, known for his beautiful, spontaneous shots of the scenic western wonderland he loved so much. As a child, Claire didn't see much of her father once he became renowned for his craft and divorced her mother to relocate to Utah. While visiting her father during summer vacation when she was fifteen, he gave her a 35mm camera to take her own pictures. He offered no instruction or encouragement, just sent her on her way. After that day of shooting film, on the walk back to the truck, Claire slipped on a rock and the camera went flying out of her hands, hitting the ground, lens shattered. When she asked her father if the film would be okay, he angrily replied, 'Nope,' and that was the end of her picture taking for several years. She didn't pick up a camera again until she was twenty-three years old when a college friend asked her to take photos of her wedding. Reluctantly, Claire agreed.

Now in her mid fifties, Claire is a successful commercial food photographer, doing work for Bon Appetit, O Magazine and other high profile media. She isn't the genius her father has been labeled, but she's happy with her work and feels comfortable with the niche she has carved out for herself. She's married to Harrison, a hard working, supportive and loving husband who helps her with her business. She has a daughter, Bailey, an artist who is graduating from college and starting a promising career of her own.

When Claire gets a call that her father has died in a skiing accident, she is forced to re-arrange her schedule, which includes some clients that Harrison has worked very hard to get, and fly to her father's home in Driggs, Idaho to meet with the lawyers about his estate. It is there that she learns that her father left Bailey not only a huge trust, he also gave her sole rights to reprint images from all his negatives, which means she is the only one to decide what gets reproduced and by whom.

The closeness that Bailey shared with her grandfather was obvious. They seemed to speak the same language of art, light and color, making Claire feel like an outsider. She never had that connection with her dad, and though she was happy that Bailey did, she couldn't help but be a little envious - or was it jealousy?

While helping to put together a retrospective of her father's work, Claire begins to question her own career; every decision, every photo she takes. Ultimately, things start to unravel. She does things she knows she shouldn't do, but she just can't seem to stop herself. It doesn't help Claire's confidence that Bailey's young career is starting to shine or that it all seems to come so naturally to her. Claire begins to wonder if the genius that her father had in him is in Bailey, but absent in her own genes. Is that even possible?

Jennie Nash's THE ONLY TRUE GENIUS IN THE FAMILY is a great book for so many reasons. Not only is it a story of a daughter who longed for her father's attention and approval, it's also a story about the different types of connections you can have with those closest to you. That as a family, we may not all relate in the same way, but that doesn't make us outsiders to each other. There are also revelations that surface that show the loyalty in this family to someone who may not have seemed to show loyalty to them. This book also brings up the subject of what constitutes the natural ability of an artist.

Once I started reading this book, I flew through it. I think I even read half of it in the first sitting. I liked the premise of the story, learning a little about photography, painting and the different appoaches to each. It was all very interesting to me. But, surprisingly, most of the time, I didn't care for the main character, Claire. I hated some of the things she did and I felt she could've treated her husband better. She often came across as selfish to me, thinking of herself more than others. Don't get me wrong, I did feel for her with some of the things she went through. Claire was always second guessing herself, over thinking everything, most times to a point of self distruction. But that's OK. Maybe that's what helped make the story so believeable to me. People aren't perfect. Families have flaws and in showing Claire's flaws, it brought a realistic feel to the story. I wondered while reading, if that's how the author wanted Claire to be perceived, or was it just me?

The fact that I didn't love the main character, doesn't mean I didn't love the story. I really did. Without giving anything away, I just want to say, I loved the very end. I felt satisfied and the fact that I had some problems with Claire, were dimished in the final pages. To me, that's the work of a great author.

If you get the chance to read this book, you really should. If you're in a book club, this would make such a great pick. There is so much to be discussed here. I'd like to thank Jennie Nash for so kindly sending me a copy of this book that I've had my eye on ever since it came out. Jennie is also the author of THE LAST BEACH BUNGALOW. She is currently working on her next novel. You can visit her website for more information on Jennie and her books.

Author: Jennie Nash
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Published: February 2009
Pages: 304
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Jul 21, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: No One You Know

Today is Tuesday and that means it's time for a teaser! Here's how it works, in case you don't know . . .

  • Grab the book you're currently reading
  • Let it fall open to a random page
  • Choose two teaser sentences to share, being careful not to include any spoilers
  • Name the book you're reading so we know where your teasers came from
This week, my teasers are from NO ONE YOU KNOW by Michelle Richmond

It was hatred I felt for him, and when hatred goes deep enough, no affection can compare. For love to take hold there must be available space in the mind and heart; I was so eaten up with anger toward him, I could not make room. ~ page 66

This is a book I've been wanting to read for some time. I'm less than 100 pages in, but already I feel completely drawn into the story. I'm glad I'm finally making the time to read it. I also have on my shelf THE YEAR OF FOG, also by Richmond, and plan to read it as well.

For more teasers, visit MizB at Should Be Reading.

Jul 20, 2009

It's Monday! What are you reading?

This weekly event is hosted by J.Kaye and this is where we share what books we've read in the last week, reviews we've done and our general reading plan for the week ahead. If you'd like to play along, visit J.Kaye 's blog for all the details.

Last week was productive for me. More than usual, so I'm pretty happy! I reviewed two books:
  • THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON by Kate Morton [Review here]
  • THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY (Book 1) by Alexander McCall Smith [Review here]
I finished one other book this week:
As for this week, I'm reading Michelle Richmond's NO ONE YOU KNOW and STEALING WITH STYLE, the first book in the Sterling Glass Mystery Series by Emyl Jenkins. That's the plan anyway, but it could change.

What are your reading plans for the week?

Jul 19, 2009

The Sunday Salon: BBAW and a Smoothie!

It's hard to believe that we're heading into the end of July! It's been such a hot summer and I've been spending a lot of time indoors to escape the humidity of these oppressive days here in Florida. Before long kids, parents and teachers will be gearing up for another school year and we book bloggers will be preparing for the 2nd Annual Book Blogger Appreciation Week, which is September 14th thru 18th this year!

BBAW was started last year by Amy (at My Friend Amy) as an effort to show appreciation for the fabulous community of hard working bloggers who love books and love to share that love of books with others. This year, BBAW has it's own blog, which will help make things run smoothly (and will make Amy's life a lot easier). The registration process is now open, so be sure to visit the BBAW Blog and get signed up so you don't miss out on any of the fun! Nominations will be accepted soon, so keep checking back for progress updates.

Did I mention it's HOT here in Florida?? As a way to keep cool this summer, I've been drinking smoothies and I have to say - I'm addicted! They are the perfect summer cool down! So today, I thought I'd share with y'all my basic smoothie recipe. They are quick and easy to make right at home and they're so much better for you than milk shakes, which is my weakness in the summer months!


1 cup yogurt (vanilla or plain is the best for the recipe)
1 cup apple juice
1 cup frozen fruit
2 cups ice

Put all ingredients in blender and blend to desired consistency. Use more or less apple juice to get desired thickness.

I'm going to spend the afternoon reading NO ONE YOU KNOW by Michelle Richmond and enjoying my own fruit smoothie! I hope you get the chance to try one yourself and if you do, I hope you like it! Enjoy your Sunday!


Recently reviewed books:

Jul 18, 2009

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Book 1) by Alexander McCall Smith

I know I'm a little late in reading this series, considering it started in 1998, but in my quest to read more mysteries this year, I knew I wanted to begin a series and I'd heard so much about THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY that it was an easy choice. Currently, there are 10 books in the series, so I have a ways to go.

What I discovered right away is this isn't your typical mystery book. And Mma Ramotswe isn't your typical private detective. The beginning of this book introduces Precious Ramotswe to us, her family background and how she became the first lady detective in Botswana. Then she moves on to describe what it was like in those first days at her agency.

Once she gets her office set up and her secretary hired, she doesn't have to wait long for clients to start requesting her services. Initially, it's wives wondering about the goings-on of their husbands, a father who wants to know where his teenage daughter is spending her time after school and a few cases of thievery. Mma Ramotswe is fortunate to be able to resolve these cases quickly and the word soon spreads that she is a successful lady detective. However, there was one case that, even when first approached by the client, she doubted she would be able to solve. This bothered Mma Ramotswe and was always in the back of her mind. It was the case of a missing boy who was presumed dead.

I'm not going to say anymore about the cases, so as to not give anything away to those who haven't yet read the book . What I will say is with each case Mma Ramotswe takes on, she relies on her morals and her own life experiences to get to the truth of matters. Mma Ramotswe is a strong, independent woman who isn't afraid to be on her own. She has good friends and has made a comfortable life for herself and she believes her life is full - but is it really?

Alexander McCall Smith's writing in this book is wonderful. It's different than anything I've ever read. It's a very simple writing style that allows the story and it's characters to take center stage. This isn't a deep, mysterious read, rather, it's a simple, pleasant reminder that there is good out there. Mma Ramotswe never uses violence to solve her cases - she uses her wits and intellect as she moves from case to case.

Here's one of my favorite passages that gives a hint of the overall tone of the book -

Mma Ramotswe smiled at her old friend. You can go through life and make new friends every year - every month practically - but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.

She reached out and touched Dr. Maketsi on the arm, gently, as old friends will sometimes do when they have nothing more to say. ~ page 221

I am so glad I've decided to read this series of books. I love the fact that the story is based in Botswana in Africa. Not only is it a refreshing change, it's very interesting to learn about this land. Through Mma Ramotswe, Mr. Mcall Smith's love for Africa is ever present and contagious.

The next book in the series is TEARS OF THE GIRAFFE and I'm hopeful I'll be just as pleased with it as I was with this first book. Click here for a podcast of an interview with Alexander McCall Smith from Amazon.

Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Publisher: Originally published by Polygon Edinburgh, in 1998. Published in trade paperback by Random House in 2002
Pages: 235
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Jul 17, 2009

Friday Finds 7.17

What great books did you discover in your travels this week? Friday Finds is hosted weekly by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Here are my finds for the week:

DIRTY LITTLE ANGELS by Chris Tusa. I discovered this debut novel over at Diary of an Eccentric. You can read Anna's review here.

BOUGHT by Anna David. I discovered this very interesting book while visiting The Literate Housewife's blog. Her review is here.

CROSSING BLOOD by Nanci Kincaid (Deep South Books). I read Missy's review at her blog, Missy's Book Nook. This is a YA book that has been out for awhile, but the mixed race storyline interests me. You can read Missy's review here.

What books caught your eye this week?

Jul 16, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: TBR...Where Are You?

This is a follow up to last week's question:

Do you keep all your unread books together, like books in a waiting room? Or are they scattered throughout your shelves, mingling like party-goers waiting for the host to come along?

My response:

For the most part, I keep my unread books on a couple of end tables in my living room. One of them was a gift my Dad made, specifically for my books. I keep books that I plan to read next on the top so that I can see what I have waiting. Beccause it would be impossible to keep ALL of my unread books on these tables, others are 'mingling' on the shelves with books I've already read. I started out keeping books by the same author together, but it's getting impossible to do that due to lack of space. It's becoming clear that I've got to get a new system! In fact, my dear friend came to take me to lunch yesterday and said, 'Wow Lis, you need more shelves!!'

Do you have a special place for your unread books?

To read more replies to this bookish question or to play along, click here! Anyone can play!


Books I've Recently Reviewed:

Jul 14, 2009

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

I've had this book sitting on my shelf for about a year. I don't know why it took me so long to read it, but all I know is that I'm really glad I finally did.

THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON was Kate Morton's debut novel in April of 2008. It's a sweeping, somewhat haunting tale that takes place in England between the first and second world wars. It tells the story of not only Lord Ashbury's family, who lived at Riverton House, but also the staff who made the household run smoothly and effieciently for so many years.

Grace Bradley, who began working as a servant at Riverton in 1914 at the age of 14, is the narrator. She is now in her nineties, living in an assisted living facility facing her own mortality, the others having already gone long before her. She has been approached by a filmmaker who wants to tell the story of the poet, who in 1924 committed suicide beside the lake at Riverton during a lavish society party. According to reports, the only witnesses were sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, grand daughters of the late Lord Ashbury. This is not the first time Grace has been asked to share her experiences, but before now, she's always refused. However, with all the memories that come flooding back as she visits the house all these years later, she feels that it is time to tell the story - the real story of that tragic night at the lake. But in doing so she must also reveal other secrets that she buried decades earlier as part of her loyalty to the family. Some of these secrets will only make the events more tragic, while others will change lives, even today.

One of the things that drew me to this story is the time and location it takes place. The more I read historical fiction, the more I adore it - especially stories of old England and it's traditions. Another reason I think I like this novel so much is that it reminds me of THE THIRTEENTH TALE. It's not as Gothic as Setterfield's book, but has similiar characteristics.

In this novel, Kate Morton has woven a beautiful story of a prominent family with the heartbreak of loss the wars bring, the loneliness those left behind endure, as well as the anguish of those who survived the war, only to continue the battle in their minds once they returned home. The story is so well crafted, it unfolds seamlessly, allowing each revelation to exposes itself naturally yet surprisingly. Add to that the superbly developed characters. There's an honesty about them that creates such a realistic picture of their lives. Through Grace's current life at the nursing home and largely through flashbacks to her time as a Lady's Maid to Hannah, she finally shares her story.

This book was pure pleasure to read and kept my attention through to the last page. Grace was a delightful hostess in the telling of this family's saga and her words so believable, you can't help but have compassion for her.

Kate Morton released her second novel, THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN this past April and I'm looking forward to reading it as well. You can visit her website for more information, including reading group discussion questions for your book club. Ms. Morton is currently working on her next novel, THE DISTANT HOURS, which will be released worldwide in 2010.

Author: Kate Morton
Publisher: Atria
Published: April 2008
Pages 480
Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5 (Highly Recommend)

Also reviewed at:
If you've reviewed this book, leave me a link in a comment - I'd be happy to add it.

Teaser Tuesday: The Only True Genius in the Family

Happy Tuesday everyone!! It's time for another Teaser! You know the rules -

  • Let your current read fall open to a random page
  • Select two sentences to share
  • Name the title of the book so we know where your teasers came from
  • Be careful not to include any spoilers in your teaser!
Today I'm sharing two sentences from THE ONLY TRUE GENIUS IN THE FAMILY by Jennie Nash . . .

"I met you when you had a camera in your hands," Harrison said, "and I've lived with you for twenty-three years, most of which time you've had a camera in your hands. It's ridiculous to suddenly say that you don't have the right DNA to be an artist." ~ page 117

I am really enjoying this book that I've wanted to read ever since it came out last year. It's very interesting to read about different types of photography while readimg a good story.
To read more fun teasers, visit Should Be Reading, hosted graciously by MizB.

Jul 12, 2009

The Sunday Salon: Changing Habits and a Rant

Good Morning Saloners! I thought I'd post about my reading this week, but then something else came to my mind that has been gnawing at me lately. Not really a big thing, more like a wondering. But I'll get to that in a minute . . .

I've had a great reading week, which always makes me feel good! I finished THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON by Kate Morton the other day. It was kind of a big book (470 pages), so it took me a bit longer. I'll be posting my review very soon. For now, I'll just say that after reading it, I'm looking forward to her latest book, THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN.

Usually, I only read one book at a time, but after taking a trip to the library this week and coming home with 5 books, I've decided to try the multiple book reading thing again. So far, it's working OK for me. Maybe it's because of the variety of books. All I know is, I'm making good progress on 3 of them.

My main focus has been on THE ONLY TRUE GENIUS IN THE FAMILY by Jennie Nash. I'm a little more than half way through it. It's such a quick read and I'm enjoying the story very much. Another one I'm reading is THE #1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY (Book One) by Alexander McCall Smith. I've been in the mood for a series and I've heard so much about this one that I had to see for myself. I don't get HBO so I've never seen the show based on this series, so I didn't really have any specific expectations. What I've discovered is a wonderfully sweet character in Precious Ramotswe. This isn't your typical mystery. It's so much more than that, and the simplicity of the writing just adds to it. I'm pleasantly surprised by Mr. McCall Smith. And I love that it takes place in Africa! I'm also reading NO ONE YOU KNOW by Michelle Richmond. I've been wanting to read this book for so long! I'm not very far into it, but I can tell I'm going to like it a lot.

Now, on to the thing that I've been wondering about: Now that I've been unemployed for a few months and I've seen some of the daytime talk shows, I'm wondering: Why don't they have any authors as guests on these shows? Especially on the morning shows like TODAY or Good Morning America etc.? Especially now that's it's summer and that seems to be the only time the media promotes books. Instead all we see is a long line of actors/actresses promoting movies. And let's face it, most movies start out as books! It just bugs me! Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against movies - I like movies - but I can tell you that a good book stays with me longer than any movie does. It's been said that people, in general, aren't reading . . . well maybe if books were promoted like movies are promoted, that could change. As it is now, the only place the general public learns about books is from the library and book stores. It just seems to me that with so many great authors out there, they deserve some attention too. A little more than a three minute segment on a morning show between skin care tips and how to grill the perfect burger! Come on people!!

Something that I have seen that surprised me was a commercial for a James Patterson book. I think there should be more of these. Again, I have nothing against James Patterson, but contrary to what a lot of people probably think, he is NOT the only human being writing books! Personally, I'm not a big fan, but at least his publicists are on the right path! I understand advertising like that takes money and many authors, especially new ones, can't afford that, but I would like to see more book promotions in different media sources. Spreading the word of books can only lead to more people reading! And that's a good thing!

OK, I got that off my chest and I feel better. Like I said, I'm not against movies, I'm just tired of the media pushing their idea of what entertainment is on us. They over-saturate us with celebrity-related topics. I would much rather tune in to an interview with the author of a book that interests me. Maybe get some insight as to how they came up with the story - that sort of thing. Am I the only one that feels like this? I certainly hope not. What are your views? Do you think people just wouldn't care? I hope not.

Well, that's where my head is today. For now, I'm going to go get another cup of coffee and read for awhile then catch up on my blog reading. I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing day doing whatever it is that makes you happy.

Jul 9, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Unread Challenge

Today we were presented with the Unread Book Challenge. We are to either list or take a photo of the unread books we have stacked on tables, floors or where ever. These are the books that we've always meant to read, but for one reason or another, haven't gotten around to it. They are also the books that make us feel guilty about bringing other books home!

I think this is a great idea for a BTT post. It's just the thing I need to make me realize I've got some great books laying around the house waiting to be read! Although, it's a bit ironic that I just brought home five books from the library this week! Oh well . . .

Here's my list of unread books (in no particular order):
  • Matrimony by Josh Henkin
  • The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
  • Good In Bed by Jennifer Weiner
  • All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve
  • The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • The Lace Reader by Brunonia Berry
  • The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond
  • Whistling in the Dark by Leslie Kagen
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
  • Man of the House by Ad Hudler
  • Down River by John Hart
  • The Associate by John Grisham
  • Run For Your Life by James Patterson
  • Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult
  • The Poisenwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards
  • The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty
  • The Moment Between by Nicole Baart
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
And those are just the ones that I can think of right now!! There are more, I'm sure tucked away in places gathering dust! I've got some really great books! What books do you have laying around?

Jul 8, 2009

Library Loot July 8-14

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva (A Striped Armchair) and Marg (Reading Adventures) to encourage book bloggers to share the books they've checked out from the library. If you'd like to participate, simply link your post using Mr. Linky any time during the week. Eva is hosting this week. It's a great way to share books!

Here's my Library Loot for the week:

I usually don't take out this many books at a time, but I think I ended up with good variety to choose from. I spen
t a couple hours just browsin
g and it was so enjoyable. Most of the time I'm in such a hurry that I just run in and run out, but I didn't want to do that today. I'm really looking forward to diving into these books!

What books did you borrow this week?

Jul 6, 2009

It's Monday! What are your reading?

Each Monday, J.Kaye poses the question - What are you reading this week? Sometimes I know exactly what I'm going to read, and other times, it changes as the days go by.

This week, though, I have a pretty good idea. I've been reading Kate Morton's THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON and I should be finishing it early this week.

As for what's next, I'm hoping to borrow a copy of THE ONLY TRUE GENIUS IN THE FAMILY by Jennie Nash from the library this week. I read the first chapter as part of Books-A-Million's Preview Club several weeks ago and was immediately hooked by her writing style. It just seemed so readable and something I would enjoy.

While I'm at the library I'm going to check out a few authors and see what is available. They are:
  • George Pelecanos - THE TURNAROUND or THE NIGHT GARDENER I'd be thrilled with either of these two books.
  • Emyl Jenkins - STEALING WITH STYLE. This is the first in the Sterling Glass Mystery Series and it just soundS like good fun. The second book, THE BIG STEAL is to be released later this month so I want to be ready!
  • Charlaine Harris - The Southern Vampire Series - I've never been one to read vampire-themed books, but this series has my attention. I've heard so many bloggers talking about Sookie that I have to meet her!
  • Elizabeth Berg - I've been wanting to read one of her books for awhile.
I could list several more, but I'll stop there! I'm anxious to see what I bring home. What about you? Do you have a plan for the week, or are you like me and it's up in the air?

Jul 5, 2009

[TSS] Just When I'm Feeling Low, My Blogger Buddies Lift Me Up!

I must say, I've been feeling a little inadequate lately. Let me tell you why. As hard as I try to find more reading time, it just doesn't seem to happen. There's always something (or someone) to muck up my plans. It's very frustrating! I do have a lot of personal stuff going on that takes my attention, but we all have that, right? Anyway, I had a real blow to my bookish ego last Monday. I'm a regular participant in Musing Mondays, hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page. The musing for last week was about mid year statistics and how your 2009 reading is going. Well, I tallied up the books I've read and I felt pretty good about it. My number was 20. OK, that's not a staggering number, but hey, I'll live with it.

THEN, I started reading other responses to the musing. OH MY GAWD! I am in complete awe of my fellow book lover buddies! You guys ROCK! The numbers I saw were beyond impressive. I'm talking - 114 books read so far this year!?! . . . and several were in the 50-ish range and beyond. Wow! While I was so impressed with y'alls numbers, I quickly wished I'd skipped that week's musing. But it was too late to go back and hit the 'Delete' button!!

So, I've been a reading fool this week. However, I only read one book at a time and the book I'm reading this week is a bit of a chunkster, (470 pages - anything over 400 is a chunkster to me!) so I still haven't finished it! And that hasn't helped my feelings of inadequacy at all. But I decided to put it out of my mind and try not to think about it. Easier said than done.

THEN, something happened to make me say, 'Hey, I don't care about that anymore'. I was the recipient of two blog awards, both signifying friendships made through my blog. I was so touched. The first was from Laura at Laura's Book & Movie Reviews. It was the Proximidade Award. The second was from Missy from Missy's Book Nook and it is The Bookworm's Award for BookFriends. Both of these awards represent friendships made through blogging and that is very special to me. And here's why. . .

In the last couple years, my eye disease has progressed and has taken some of the freedom to come and go as I please with it. My world had gotten kind of small - then I found the blogosphere! That changed my life! I have met some of the most awesome and kind people all over the world and I am so proud to call them 'friends'. That's why these awards mean so much to me. If you haven't visited Laura or Missy's blogs, please stop by and say hello to them.

I will be passing both of these awards on to other bloggers in the coming days. But right now I have to go get ready to attend a surprise birthday party for my cousin. Probably won't get much reading done today, but . . . at least I have my friends!

Jul 2, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Memoirs

Do you read celebrity memoirs? What ones have you read or do you want to read? Which non-existant celebrity memoir would you like to see?

This is a pretty simple one for me. I'm not generally a big reader of memoirs. Twenty years ago I read a biography of Marilyn Monroe, that I found very interesting. I also read Dolly Parton's memoir, which was very good and eye opening. One of the most difficult ones I've read was Christopher Reeve's STILL ME, that I read in 1998. More recently I read Elizabeth Edwards' SAVING GRACES. I have a memoir on my TBR pile and that is THE GLASS CASTLE by Jeanette Walls, that I'm hoping to read this year.

I can't really think of a celebrity memoir that hasn't been written yet that I am anxious to read. Most times, if they are a celebrity, I'm a fan because of their talent, not for their personal life, so I feel like it's not necessary for me to know everything about them in that regard. Case in point, Michael Jackson. I respect him tremendously for his musical genius, but I don't really understand or feel the need to know more about his eccentric personal life. These days, the media over saturates us with celebrity coverage, making me far less likely to pick up their memoir. Even with Farrah, I've seen so many television reports and shows on her life lately, I don't think theire's anything in a book that probably hasn't already been aired. That's not to say I won't read memoirs, I'm just very selective of the ones I do read.