Oct 26, 2009

Musing Mondays: Take Note

Today's Musing Mondays post is about note taking.

Do you take notes while reading - either for reviews or for yourself? Howe/wehre do you make these notes (on the page, post-its, scrap paper, notebooks, etc.)?

Although I don't take notes with every single book I read, I do when there is a subject that I want to learn more about. For instance, I am a huge coffee and tea fan, so when reading NO ONE YOU KNOW by Michelle Richmond, (the protagonist was a coffee buyer), I jotted down terms and bean types mentioned in the book so that I could learn more about them.

Other times I take notes for reviews if the book has a complicated plot or storyline, if it's a long book and I don't want to forget certain points when writing my review or if there's something that jumps out at me and makes a big impression. I usually always make notes when reading audiobooks. This may be partly because I'm still new to that format and I don't entirely trust my memory. Paper formats allow you to flip around and re-read, while audios rely on your memory.

I keep a notebook that originally started as a reading journal and that is where I keep my notes for books I read. I would never write on the page! If there are certain passages I want to remember, I'll fold the tip of the page down - but I feel weird doing that! I think Post-It's area a great idea too.

Do you keep notes while reading? For more musings or to participate in this weekly meme, visit Just One More Page.

Oct 19, 2009

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

The past few weeks have not provided me much reading time, but this week is going to be different! Here are my plans for the week . . .

I plan to finish LOOT THE MOON by Mark Arsenault in the next day or two with a review following shortly thereafter. This book has really captured my attention and I am enjoying it very much. The plot is interesting as well as the characters. I love a good crime novel with twists and turns and this definitely fits the bill!

I'm also looking forward to starting an audiobook this week. It is THE TIME OF MY LIFE by Patrick Swayze. I've always been a fan of his and was so saddened by his passing. This book is also narrated by Patrick, which will make it even better, I presume. I'm thinking I may need the Kleenex box close by for that one.

So, that is what I have planned for the week. Not a whole lot, but an enjoyable one for sure. To see what other bloggers are reading this week or to participate, visit J. Kaye's Book Blog.

Oct 6, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: Loot The Moon

Today is one of my favorite days of the week because it's time for Teaser Tuesday! This is where we. . .
  • Grab our current read
  • Let it fall open to a random page
  • Choose two sentences to share, without including any spoilers
  • Be sure to include the name of the book and the page number your teasers are taken from.
This is such a great way to get a taste of all the different books out there - as if my TBR pile wasn't bad enough! Oh well, I can think of much worse things!

My teasers this week are from a book that I just started reading today, so I have little insight as to what is going on really. The book is LOOT THE MOON, a new mystery by Mark Arsenault and I'd like to thank St. Martin's Press for sending it to me for review. This book will be released October 13. Here goes . . .

He took measure of his situation. After binding his feet with rope, taping his wrists together with duct tape - and choking what little fight had remained in Billy - they had bandaged the scrape on his palm with tape and an old T-shirt. That was probably so he wouldn't bleed in the car, Billy figured. ~ page 131

This is Mark Arsenault's second novel featuring the character of Billy Povich, a former journalist and 'beaten down gambler', who is trying to find the truth about a case involving a murdered superior court judge and the dead car-jacker who has been labeled the killer. As a favor to a friend, Billy noses around and he finds that things just don't add up. The closer Billy gets to the truth, the more his own life is in danger.

As I mentioned, I've just started reading this book today, but it feels like a book I'm going to enjoy. Just in glancing at the writing, I believe it's going to be a smart, swiftly paced mystery.

For more teasers and to participate in this weekly meme, visit MizB at Should Be Reading.


Recent Reviews:

The Summer Kitchen by Karen Weinreb

The Banks family has a very comfortable life with few worries. They live in the ultra affluent neighborhood of Bedford, New York, one hamlet over from where Martha Stewart lives. Nora and Evan Banks have three young children that attend private school, a nanny, fancy cars, and a large, beautiful estate with all of the luxuries that entails. It's very easy to get caught up in the lifestyle her husband's Wall Street job provides. Nora never questions Evan about finances and such, she simply allows him to have total control over that aspect of their life.

Nora seems to have the perfect life until one November morning when the Feds show up at their door before dawn to arrest Evan for various white collar crimes. Nora is caught completely off guard, having put all of her trust in Evan without question. Now, with Evan facing serious jail time and their finances frozen, Nora is left to not only come to terms with having a husband who broke the law, but she also has to find a way to provide for her boys and try to keep them in the lifestyle they are accustomed to. She decides to fall back on her love of baking and with the help of Beatriz, her nanny, and a few friends, she is soon baking her way out of her problems. But Nora soon learns what it's like to be on 'the outside' of Bedford society. She begins a journey that will teach her what is truly important in life and she learns some things about herself along the way.

My thoughts:

When I started reading THE SUMMER KITCHEN, Karen Weinreb's debut novel, I immediately felt I was going to like Nora. She seemed different than the other Bedford wives in that she didn't seem to be as . . . snobby, for lack of a better word. And though I kept that feeling for her throughout the book, I can't say that I related to her at all. Obviously, I don't live in that kind of lifestyle and I don't know any women who do, for that matter, so it was hard to put myself in her shoes. I liked the premise of the story about a woman trying to put her life back together after her husband's arrest, and the inner strength she discovers, however, I was expecting something with a little more depth. The story just didn't move me like I thought it would. I don't want to say too much for those who have yet to read it, but for me, the plot fell a little flat. I found parts of the story just weren't realistic for me. For instance, after her husband is arrested, Nora suffers another devastating loss and I was disappointed that this event was hardly addressed at all. I felt such an incident should've had more of an impact on Nora, which might have given me a more emotional connection to her. However, there was more focus on her sexual fantasies with one of the other husbands, than of the losses she endured. I also felt the story was forced at times -like the author was trying to make certain points before the end of the book. Speaking of the ending, although it was satisfying for the most part, it all just seemed a bit unbelievable to me.

THE SUMMER KITCHEN is light women's fiction, that unfortunately, didn't leave any lasting impression on me. I'd like to thank Nicole at Authors On The Web for sending me this book to review. If you've read this book please post a link in the comment section and I'll add it to this review. I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts.

Visit Karen Weinreb's website here.

Author: Karen Weinreb
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Published: July 2009
Pages: 336
Rating: 3 Stars out of 5 (It was just OK)

Oct 1, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Liar, Liar!

Suggested by Monibo -
Saw this article (from March) and thought it would make a good BTT confessional question:

Two-thirds of Brits have lied about reading books they haven't. Have you? Why? What book(s)?

In a word, NO. Although I have started some books that I never finished, I don't count those as books I've read. The main reason is that I'm a terrible liar and what if someone asks you something specific about a book that you've lied about reading? I'd rather focus on books I've actually read. I enjoy discussions with people who've read the same book as I have and lying about it wouldn't serve any purpose and in the end, it would become obvious that I hadn't actually read the book. There are many 'popular' books that the masses are reading that I do not, but I wouldn't lie just to fit in. Besides, the conversation could take a more interesting turn if asked why I'm not reading such a popular book (i.e. Harry Potter series or the Twilight series).

I find it interesting that the article lists George Orwell's 1984 as the most lied about book! I've never read that book and now I'm curious as to why so many have lied about it!

Have you ever lied about what books you've read? For more answers to this BTT question or to participate click here.