Sep 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Finding Nouf

It's Tuesday and time for another Teaser! Here's how it works:

  • Grab your current book and let if all open to a random page.
  • Choose two sentences as your teasers
  • Include the title, author and page number you took your teasers from
  • Do NOT include any spoilers
Today I'm taking my teasers from FINDING NOUF by Zoe Ferraris. I had started this book several months ago but laid it off to the side because I had several books going at the same time. I'm really glad to be getting back to it because it really is good story. Not to mention that I'm fascinated by Saudi Arabian cultures.

My Teasers:

Although the comment was spoken modestly, it prompted him to think of the other reasons she might have come.  It was, in a way, an accusation: You think dirty thoughts.  He felt a brief indignation.  ~ page 133

Thanks for stopping by today for Teaser Tuesday! Be sure to visit MizB at Should Be Reading each Tuesday for more Teasers! 

Sep 22, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Public

This week's Booking Through Thursday asks:

Do you carry books with you when you're out and about in the world?  And, do you ever try to hide the covers?

My Answer:

Yes, I always have a book with me when I'm away from home. When I worked I would read on my lunch hour but even now that I'm unable to work, I still have a book with me at all times. Because I'm unable to drive, I depend on others to help me get around and sometimes that mean having to wait for someone to pick me up. I get a lot of reading done during those times.

No, I've never been ashamed of having people see what I'm reading. I think reading is very under rated and more times than not, people are curious as to what I'm reading. I've even had people say to me that seeing me with a book, encourages them to try to make more time to read. I think that is wonderful. I realize many people don't have as much free time to read as I do, but if the want is there, they'll make time to read even if its for just a few minutes a day.

Now that I have a Kindle, it is even easier for me to take a book along. It fits in my purse easily and I can whip it out anywhere! I believe the more people see other people reading, it can only be a positive influence, so I'm proud to show I'm a Reader!

Sep 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: A Vamp Thing

Teaser Tuesday asks you to:

  • Grab your current book and let it fall open to a random page
  • Choose 2 teaser sentences 
  • List the title, author and page you took your teasers from
  • Go to Should Be Reading and post your answers to share with other participants
My Teaser:

I'm taking my teasers from DEAD TO THE WORLD by Charlaine Harris.  This is the fourth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series and I've been enjoying it every bit as much as Book one, DEAD UNTIL DARK. My teasers are from page 128

It didn't take much to make me happy.  A long night with a dead guy had done the trick. - Sookie on just having a very pleasurable night with the very sexy Eric.

Sep 18, 2011

[TSS] A Lot of Books and an eBook Offer!

Hello and thanks for stopping by today! I've spent the first part of my weekend sorting through my books. Not just sorting but moving them.  I've always wanted to make one of the bedrooms in my house a home library and that wish is finally coming true. I had to get rid of a few pieces of furniture and do some rearranging but it is starting to come together. Previously, I had my books spread out in different parts of the house and now I am able to keep them all together in my new reading room. Thanks to a few friends, I've acquired a couple of really nice book shelves and luckily, they match!

Yesterday was spent putting the bookshelves in place and gathering all the books.  As I was going through them and putting them on the shelves (Not in any order yet) I was hit with the reality that I have WAY too many books that I haven't read! I knew I had a lot but - Wow! I still have about 50 more books to move in there but I'll need another bookshelf. Once I get them all in the same room, I plan to arrange them all in alphabetical order by author name. I'm curious, how do you arrange your books? Title? Genre?

I'm really looking forward to finishing my new room and spending more time in there - although I'll have to share the room with Jax, my cat, because that's really his room. He sleeps in the recliner in there every afternoon. I may have to get another chair! Once I get everything situated and the room is complete, I'll share a photo but right now there's still too much to do. But it's shaping up nicely. I love walking down the hall and seeing all my beloved books in once place! It makes my heart happy!

On another note, I want to give a shout-out to Bonnie at Redlady's Reading Room. Yesterday she posted on Facebook a free ebook offer for Kindle and Nook users from Pixel of Ink. It's called The Everything Soup, Stew and Chili Cookbook and with my favorite time of year approaching, this cookbook sounds perfect.  I downloaded mine to my Kindle immediately and now I want to share it with you too. Just click on the title and it will take you there. Thanks again Bonnie!

I won't get much reading done today because I'm headed over to a friend's house to watch football and munch out on some yummy treats and drink some wine. Each of our favorite teams play in back to back games on TV so I'm sure it'll be fun. We're pretty serious about our football down here in the South! (Especially college football which pretty much dominates our Saturday's)  What are your plans today?

Thanks a lot of stopping by Books and Cooks today. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Sep 15, 2011

BTT: Replay

This week's Booking Through Thursday question asks:

Have you ever finished a book and loved it so much you went back and started re-reading it again? (And if so, please give us the titles!)

This is a simple one for me.  No, I've never done that. There have been books that I dearly loved and wished they'd never end, but for me, there are just too many fabulous books out there that I want to read for the first time.  I rarely ever re-read books, with only a few exceptions - the classics.  Right now, actually, I'm re-reading TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, but the first time I read it was almost 30 years ago, so does that even count?! I'm enjoying it so much and re-discovering things in the book, its like I'm reading it for the first time.

As I'm writing this, I realize though, there may be one book that I re-read right after I finished it and that was when I was a young girl and the book was CHARLOTTE'S WEB. However, I don't know if I finished it the second time around.

How about you? Have you ever loved a book so much you re-read it right after you finished it? Be sure to check out the Booking Through Thursday blog to read more thoughts on this topic.

Sep 14, 2011

W.W.W. Wednesday

Hello and welcome to W.W.W. Wednesday, where we share the books that have our attention by answering these three simple question . . .

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What are you planning to read next?
My Answers:

What are you currently reading?  I'm reading DEAD TO THE WORLD by Charlaine Harris and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee.  I started both of these books a few months ago. I usually always have a Sookie Stackhouse book going that I read in between other more serious novels. (This is book #4 in the series) Its a quick, easy read that is my guilty pleasure.  I read a chapter of TKAM each night before bed. because I love the book and it puts me in a happy place.

What did you recently finish reading?  I recently finished and reviewed CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER by Tom Franklin. If you'd like to read my review, you can find it here. I also just finished IRON HOUSE by John Hart. I'll have more on that when I post my review in a few days.

What are you planning to read next?  That is a good question. When I'm not reading review copies, what I read depends on my mood. I was going to go the library to get some books yesterday, but I've decided that I want to spend some time reading the books I already have on my own shelves.  I have many to chose from. I may read THE LACE READER, or THE BOOK THIEF, which I've had for awhile now or THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN.  i guess I'll know when I pick it up!

Stop by Should Be Reading if you'd like to participate in W.W.W. Wednesdays, but beware, your TBR pile will grow, I promise you! Thanks for stopping by! 

Sep 11, 2011

[TSS] Review: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (Kindle Version)

As those who are familiar with my blog know, I am a huge Southern Fiction fan. I can say without hesitation that Southern Fiction is my favorite genre.  And after reading CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER, Tom Franklin, an Edgar Award winner, has become one of my favorite authors. 
(There are no spoilers in my post)

This story set in Mississippi tells of two boys who weren't supposed to be friends. But they were so much more than friends. it was a time when black children and white children weren't to spend time together. But these boys did - for a time.

A few short years later in high school though, they had gone their separate ways. Larry Ott didn't have any friends but Silas Jones had become a popular star baseball player and looked forward to a college scholarship to Ole Miss.  Life got much worse for Larry when local girl Cindy Walker disappeared after being on a date with Larry and was never seen or heard from again. The girl was never found and though the community blamed him, Larry never confessed to the crime. He simply had no explanation of what happened. His silence only condemned him further.

More than twenty years later, Silas returns and becomes the town Constable but he and Larry's paths do not cross. Then, eerily, another local girl disappears and all the speculation and accusations come flooding back and Larry's already solitary existence is made even more painful. As Silas, who believes in his heart his old friend is innocent, looks for answers, Larry fights for his life after an attack at his home leaves him in critical condition and under arrest.

My Thoughts

I was so anxious to read this book after reading some great reviews of fellow bloggers.  I waited two months for it at the library, then went ahead and downloaded the Kindle version instead.  It is s quick read with easy southern dialogue. Franklin paints a truthful, vivid picture of life in Southern Mississippi and the effect that years of accusations can have on one man and the sense of shame on another for not standing by his old friend.

The story is not a complicated one and is written with such simplicity and small-town feel that its poignancy is magnified.  Franklin allows the story to unfold in a natural manner allowing the reader to put the pieces together slowly while the revelations sink in. I felt such sorrow for Larry Ott and his family for how his life was formed because of a single night in his teen years. I struggled with my feelings for Silas but in the end, he won me over. The supporting characters added to the validity of the story and were very believable as well.  

Though he didn't over-describe the settings, Tom Franklin left me with such a realistic picture of this small town in Mississippi. I felt like it could be any small southern town down the road. And I can't not mention how much I LOVE the cover! It's just beautiful! This book has made me curious about his other work and I plan to familiarize myself with it. This book is one of my favorites of this year and I highly recommend it.  It's just good literature.

Author: Tom Franklin
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
Published: October 2010
Printed Pages: 304
Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

Sep 8, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Queue

What are you reading now?
Would you recommend it?
What's next?

It's been awhile since I've participated in BTT but its nice to be back! Here are my answers:

What are you reading now?  I'm reading IRON HOUSE by John Hart. It's his fourth novel and the second one that I have read.  Its really good southern suspense.

Would you recommend it?  I absolutely would recommend this book. It starts off quick and doesn't stop!

What's next?  I haven't decided yet but I really want to read DOMESTIC VIOLETS by Matthew Norman.  I'm also considering reading THE LACE READER by Brunonia Barry.   I've had that one for awhile and just haven't gotten around to reading yet.

I'm so glad you took the time to stop by today for my BTT post and I hope that you'll come back soon and don't forget to hit 'Join This Blog' to the left if you like what you see! Thanks again!

Sep 7, 2011

Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Stieg Larsson

What really is there left to be said about this trilogy that hasn't been said over and over? It became a world-wide phenomenon and for good reason. I was a late comer to the scene, though, because I don't normally read this type of crime novel and I'll be honest, I was a bit intimidated by the books at first. OK, I said it. It's out there! But once I picked up THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO  and began reading, I couldn't stop. Truthfully, that first book was a tough one to get through with all its character development and background information, but I felt the payoff was well worth it. I know many of you didn't feel the same way.But I immediately went into THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE and I loved it even more. There was much less detail and background and more of just a great crime story. Now we get to THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS NEST....

My Thoughts

I loved the way this last book took off right from the ending of the second book. It didn't skip a beat. And in my opinion, it just got better and better. As usual with these books, there were a lot of characters to keep track of, especially with the realization of a secret society within the police operating under some very lethal people with many secrets to hide that would do anything to keep those secrets hidden. This was political intrigue at its finest. For me, this was not a book that you could just whiz through. I read each page intently so I could keep those characters straight in my mind and my reading experience was better for it.

I appreciated that Lisbeth Salander was in a guarded hospital room under arrest for much of the story but with the help of Mikael Blomkvist, she still managed to fight for herself and use her computer skills and contacts to expose those who were trying to do her harm. This book brought together everything we'd learned about Salander and her horrific past and answered all of the questions the first two books raised.

I was very satisfied with the ending of the book albeit a bit sad as well. I was so wrapped up those characters for so long I hated to see their story end. Stieg Larsson was definitely a wonderfully gifted writer and it is a shame he died so young and was unable to continue with more great stories.

I highly recommend this entire trilogy if you haven't read it. No one is more surprised than myself at how much I enjoyed it. And if you've read the first book and had trouble finishing it, please don't let that deter you from reading the next two books. They do get better.  

Author: Stieg Larsson
Publisher: Knopf
Published: May 2010
Printed Pages: 576
Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

Sep 6, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Iron House

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It's Tuesday already and that means another teaser! Teaser Tuesday has always been one of my favorite memes to participate in because its such a great way to peek inside of the many different books that are currently being read. If you're not familiar, here are the guidelines -

  • Grab the book you're currently reading and let it fall open to a random page
  • Choose 2 teaser sentences to share, being careful NOT to include any teasers
  • List the title, author and page number you took your teasers from
It's that simple! Today I'm taking my teasers from John Hart's new novel, IRON HOUSE. As is all of his work, its very suspenseful and full of twists and unexpected turns. I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

Michael saw red as a day from childhood flashed into his mind with such clarity it was physical.  Julian was eight and had been missing for an hour when Michael finally found him in the same bathroom where Hennessey would later die with a rusted blade in his neck. ~ page 126

For more great teasers, visit Should Be Reading every Tuesday.

Sep 4, 2011

The Sunday Salon: A New Season

Happy Sunday and welcome to Books and Cooks! September brings a new season and along with it comes excitement! I'm looking forward to the next few months for a few different reasons. First, as you know, I've had a difficult summer with the loss of my father after a long battle with cancer. Its been hard to get used to the loss but we are taking it a day at a time. I'm hopeful that with the new season, it will bring a fresh start for my family.  With September also comes the college football season, which I am especially excited about. The first games were yesterday and my team, the University of Florida Gators did not disappoint. Although it wasn't a great match-up, a Win is a Win! We'll take it!

With everything going on, I still managed to read a few really good books in the last few months. The latest one was CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER by Tom Franklin. I'll be posting that review in the next day or so. Many of you told me it was a great book and you were right! Southern Fiction is my favorite genre and Tom Franklin did a terrific job. But more on that later this week.

I'm reading a new novel by John Hart right now. It's called IRON HOUSE. I became a big fan of his work after reading THE LAST CHILD a few years ago. His writing was poignant and gripping and so far this new book has proven to be equally as good. The story revolves around two brothers, Michael and Julian, who were abandoned as babies and grew up in an orphanage in North Carolina until Michael, who is the oldest, was ten years old. Julian, being younger and not as strong as his brother was always being tormented by the older boys. But Michael was there to protect him - most of the time. Tragedy struck one winter night and Michael was forced to run away from Iron House, leaving Julian behind. The story continues as Michael, now a grown man, working for the man who took him off the streets of New York as a boy, now wants out of the dangerous and violent life he was brought in to all those years ago.

I'm really enjoying this story so far and it promises to only get better. If you have never read John Hart and you like suspenseful, edge of your seat Southern Fiction, you should definitely check him out.

As for today, I have a very relaxing day planned.  When I'm not flapped out in my comfy chair with my book, I'll be online playing Scrabble with my cousin in Texas.  (She is the queen of Scrabble, but I'm beating her at the moment!)  John is away at a bow shoot, so its very quiet here today. I should get a lot of reading done. Enjoy the holiday weekend and please visit again soon!