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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Totals



Books Read:
1. To Conquer Mr. Darcy : 4/5
2. Fallout : 4/5
3. The Life You Imagined : 4/5
4. Dangerous Neighbors : 4/5
5. Holly's Inbox  4.5/5
6. Georgette Heyer's Regency World : 4/5
7. The Miracle of Prato : 4/5
8. The Lumby Lines : 4/5
9. An Echo in the Bone: 5/5

Total Pages: 4,106
Favorite Book(s): An Echo in the Bone

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday...What are you reading?


Mailbox Monday
is hosted by Chick Loves Lit (August Host)
We share what books that we found 
in our mailboxes last week.


 
Vanishing- TLC Tour Stop 9/15
The Heir- Sourcebooks Casablanca review book
A Darcy Christmas- Sourcebooks Landmark review book

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Hosted by Sheila
One Persons Journey Through a World of Books
Weekly meme where we discuss the books you've read
and those you plan to read in the coming week.


Read and reviewed last week:
Georgette Heyer's Regency World- fascinating information to Regency fans 4/5
Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City- fun romp in London 4.5/5
The Miracle of Prato- fascinating historical fiction 4/5
Leap Year 3/5
The Time Traveler's Wife- 3/5
It's Complicated- 5/5

Tentative reviews for this week-
August Wrap-up- Tuesday
The Lumby Lines (FSB)- Wednesday
An Echo in the Bone- TLC review Thursday
The Marshall Project- Friday reviewed by Janel of Janel's Jumble


Same books from last week are still on my nightstand!



Saturday, August 28, 2010

Six Sentence Saturdy Movie Reviews

Leap Year
Released Jan 2010
Source: Checked out from my library for .75 cents
My husband watched this one before me and thought there was no chemistry between the leading man and woman, so I was prepared to be disappointed. Well, amazingly enough I thought this was a cute movie. I have this thing for Ireland so I'm sure that played a huge role in my enjoyment. I have to admit that I ended up with a bit of a crush on the Irish barkeeper. The love story was o.k. but not that believable to me. I would totally recommend that you rent this DVD..not worth the $$ to own.
My Rating:






The Time Traveler's Wife

Released: 2009
Source: Checked out from my local library .75 cents
I have avoided watching this movie for a full year because I LOVED the book so much that I just did not want to be disappointed. Well, I was!!! The first part of the movie was incredibly slow and if you hadn't read the book, you would be wondering just what the heck was going on. I had to explain a few things to my husband as we watched this. The last 45 minutes were saved by the introduction of Alba....she made the movie for me. This movie didn't elicit very many emotions for me and that in my book makes it nothing to write home about!
My Rating:  Alba raised this from a 2 to a 3







It's Complicated
Released: 2009
Source: Checked out from my local library .75 cents
OMG.....I absolutely loved loved loved this movie!! Meryl Streep just gets better with age and for once I really enjoyed Alec Baldwin. I enjoyed watching how this story played out and thought there was real chemistry between all of the actors. I believed everyone. I cried right at the beginning of the movie where Meryl's character walks back into her empty house and wonders what she's going to do now that her children are grown and flying the coop. This is one movie that I would watch again!!!
My Rating:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

'The Miracle of Prato' TLC Book Tour Stop

Author: Laurie Albanese and Laura Morowitz
Published: 2009, Harper Paperbacks
Pages: 372
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours
Synopsis from TLC:
Italy, 1456. The Renaissance is in glorious bloom. A Carmelite monk, the great artist Fra Filippo Lippi acts as chaplain to the nuns of the Convent Santa Margherita. It is here that he encounters the greatest temptation of his life, beautiful Lucrezia Buti, who has been driven to holy orders more by poverty than piety. In Lucrezia’s flawless face Lippi sees the inspiration for countless Madonnas and he brings the young woman to his studio to serve as his model. But as painter and muse are united in an exhilarating whirl of artistic discovery, a passionate love develops, one that threatens to destroy them both even as it fuels some of Lippi’s greatest work.



My Thoughts:
Filippo Lippi- Virgin/child/2 angels
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres of all time and little did I know when I agreed to read this book for TLC that I would also become a fan of the Renaissance period too! This collaboration between Albanese and Morowitz worked beautifully.  They captured my attention and imagination from the very beginning line. I was absolutely enthralled with this story as I felt that the characters came to life before my very eyes. My heart always aches when I read stories where the women's lives are under the control of the men in their family. Lucrezia and her sister Spinetta became very real to me and so did their pain. I became very involved in artist Filippo Lippi's life. I understood why he was willing to beg, borrow, and steal in order to paint. The best part of this whole book is that the story is based upon actual people. I love it when authors take a period of time that I know next to nothing about, and  create a story that reels me in and leaves me wanting to learn more! This one is sure to be a hit with readers of historical fiction that feature famous artists!!


Rating: 4/5 

                                                  


Thank you to TLC for asking me to be a part of this book tour.
Check out the other tour stops HERE.

Check out the Discussion Guide for The Miracles of Prato.

 

About Laurie Albanese and Laura Morowitz

Laurie Albanese is the author of the novel Lynelle by the Sea and the memoir Blue Suburbia, which was named a Book Sense Best Book of the Year and was an Entertainment Weekly Editor’s Choice selection.
Laura Morowitz is a professor of art history and coauthor of Consuming the Past: The Medieval Revival in Fin-de-Si├Ęcle France. They both live in New Jersey with their families.
Read the co-author Q&A here.

'Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City'- Holly Denham

Synopsis from back cover: Written entirely in emails, this follow-up to the UK smash hit "Holly's Inbox" will keep you glued to its pages as the scandal running rampant in the city threatens to ruin Holly's hard-earned and long-awaited happiness.

1. Words to describe the book: saucy, hilarious, fun, cheeky, page-turner

2. Location or characters you met:
  • Holly: What is not to like about Holly? She's got it together, well mostly, except for the bad habit of putting her bills in the freezer and pretending they don't exist. But look past that to her big heart and how loyal she is to her friends. I love this character. She's someone I could easily call a friend.
  • Jason : He's the best best-friend a girl could ask for. I like his personality and how he always wants to take care of Holly.
  • London: This is a city that I must visit before I die! I love the descriptions in the book and the way English people talk. The slang is pure enjoyment for me!!
  • Boyfriend and family-perfect mix of cute, quirky, zany, and realistic....great combination!
3. Things you liked/disliked:
  • The email format is a hit with me. I really got into the whole communications scenario between the various characters.
  • How the author was able to weave a story that felt complete using so little dialogue!!
  • Cast of characters truly makes this book.
  • I would like some definitions to the Brit slang used- just so I know how to incorporate correctly into my every day life!
4. Rating:  4.5/5 



Thank you to April  of Sourcebooks, Inc. for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review.
My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.
They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel.



Release date:  August, 2010
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 535
Genre:  Hilarious British Chick-Lit
ISBN: 978-1-4022-4114-7


Review Style patterned after Show Me 5

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

'Georgette Heyer's Regency World' by Jennifer Kloester

Author: Jennifer Kloester

Genre:  History, Non-Fiction

About: This is truly everything you ever wanted to know about Heyer's Regency world and beyond!

Descriptive Words: factual, fun, lists, great illustrations

Thoughts: I wanted to read this one because I've read a few of Heyer's Regency romance novels and thought it would be fun to try to understand the customs, rules, clothes, food, and the monarchy from that time period. This book does not disappoint at all. There are so many aspects from the Regency era that it can be a little mind-boggling at the beginning. I recommend that you read this book in chunks, because there is so much information that your head may explode....SERIOUSLY! I can tell you one thing...I would never be allowed into the upper crust because I wouldn't be able to remember all of the rules of etiquette!! My favorite chapters were:

  • The Gentle Sex- everything a young lady needs to know and oh, so much more!
  • Up and Down the Social Ladder- this was great information as to how the class system was dictated.
  • On the Town-how to get in with the very best Patronesses so that you will marry well! Oh, and after you're married and have produced an heir, you may have as many affairs as you want as long as you don't flaunt them! O' la la!!
  • Eat, Drink, and Be Merry- no wonder the rich were fat!!They ate all of the time!
  • Who's Who in the Royal Family- I really enjoyed this one. I don't know the monarchy and this was a much needed chapter!!
  • If you're a fan of information the appendix is awesome!!!

Source: Danielle of Sourcebooks, Inc.


Recommend? I would, especially to fans of Heyer, Austen, and the Regency time period. This has everything you would ever need to know and while I was reading it, I found myself filling in some questions that I had while reading their books.

Rating: 4/5

I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author. They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel.

Available August 2010
ISBN 9781402241369
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.

About the author: Jennifer Kloester is Georgette Heyer's official biographer, and had access to private papers and other confidential information, discovering a wealth of new material on the immensely private author.



Review style courtesy of Lynne's Book Reviews

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday....What Are You Reading?


Mailbox Monday
is hosted by Chick Loves Lit (August Host)
We share what books that we found 
in our mailboxes last week.

Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire- TLC Book Stop September 16th
Wild Night (Hunter Kiss Series #3)- publisher for review

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Hosted by Sheila
One Persons Journey Through a World of Books
Weekly meme where we discuss the books you've read
and those you plan to read in the coming week.



Read and reviewed last week:
The Life You Imagined- Michigan author and great read!! 4/5
Dangerous Neighbors- another awesome book by Beth Kephart 4.5/5
The Lovely Bones- movie review 2/5

Tentative Reviews for the week:
Georgette Heyer's Regency World- Tuesday
Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City- Wednesday
The Marshall Project- Thursday reviewed by Janel of Janel's Jumble
Reapers Are the Angels- Friday (Reviewed by Marc)
Six Sentence Movie Reviews:
It's Complicated
Leap Year
The Time Traveler's Wife

Books on the nightstand:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Six Sentence Saturday Movie Review

The Lovely Bones- The movie has to be STELLAR or highly anticipated before I'll plunk down 7 bucks to see it in the theater. Boy, am I glad that I didn't pay 7 dollars to see this one! Remove everything in your mind if you have read the book....start with a clean slate and try not to reference the book at all. It wasn't that I hated it but ,I really did despise the cheesy heaven scenes...just did not work for me at all. What did work, though, was Stanley Tucci- he scared the %^*@ out of me!!!!! So if you have been wanting to watch this movie, do what I did and rent it from your library for cheap!!! I don't feel too bad having spent 75 cents on this one!


* disclaimer- I rented this movie from my library. Therefore, I am entitled to say whatever I want. I am not a professional movie reviewer, just a normal every day person who likes to watch an occasional movie or two.


 My Rating:
 

Friday, August 20, 2010

'Dangerous Neighbors' by Beth Kephart

1. Title of book: Dangerous Neighbors

2. Words to describe the book: mystery, heartache, sibling love and hatred, growing pains, history, thought-provoking, the U.S. perched precariously on the edge of modern inventions, women's suffrage, and a changing society.

3. Location or characters you met:
  • Katherine: She is the youngest of twin girls, yet she has always felt responsible for the welfare of her sister Anna. She's thoughtful, quiet, contemplative, follows the rules, and takes much to heart.
  • Anna : She is the impulsive twin and though she doesn't mean to be hurtful, many of her actions could pose disastrous consequences to her sister and family. She's a dreamer and sees no difference between classes in society. She's ruled by her heart and rarely ever thinks with her head.
  • Philadelphia: This city is so rich in U.S. history and it's one that I want to visit some time in the future. 
  • 1876 Centennial Exhibition- directly quoted from book-" a World's Fair of unprecedented proportion that brought upwards of 10 million people to fairgrounds just west of central Philadelphia during a six-month period." Can you just imagine how crazy and exhilarating this time in history would have been for those that lived there?
4. Things you liked/disliked:
  • The writing was simply exquisite. I've read almost all of Kephart's work and believe that she is a pure word poet. The scenes flow into one another seamlessly and the descriptive words that she used invoked quite sharp and vivid pictures in my mind!
  • Being a bit of a history buff, I was totally enthralled with the Centennial Fair and all that it encompassed. I love a book that makes me want to do some research. I also love a book that uncovers a time period of United States history that I knew nothing about!
  • I enjoyed the love story between Anna and her baker. Oh, to be young, naive, and so in love with someone that you would pretty much risk all sorts of wrath just to be with that person.
  • I ached for Katherine. As a mother, I wanted to grab her and crush her to my heart to give her some sort of comfort. Comfort that her own mother refused to acknowledge and to give. I am glad that Katherine's father seemed to be somewhat attuned to Katherine's emotions.
  • I absolutely was thrilled to see that Beth has made a teacher's guide for this novel. My teacher's are always looking for books that will be interesting, informational, and exciting. Having a guide makes it that much easier to recommend to a teacher who is looking for an unique time period of United States history to share and enrich our children's education.
5. Rating:  4.5/5 



Thank you to Nicole of Winsome Media Communications. for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review.
My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.
They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel.

Review Style patterned after Show Me 5

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday Blues...

Have you just ever had those days where blogging and writing reviews just seem to take the most effort ever? Well, for some crazy reason I'm really experiencing it...BIG TIME! I meant to post my review today of 'Dangerous Neighbors' but never got around to doing it this morning. Now I feel like half of the day is gone so why bother...I'll just write it up later tonight to post tomorrow. I think the problem is I'm feeling a little burned out on reviews!! OMG!!! I've been thinking about this for the past two weeks actually and have wondered how I can get my review MOJO back...haven't come up with any real good answers. I have decided though that I'm going to keep using Lynne's review style and Show Me 5. I like them... a lot, and they help me put my thoughts in a more streamlined manner. I think I put too much pressure on myself! How many book bloggers think this too?? Are we still reading for fun or to just meet a deadline???? I'm just curious if others have experienced this too. Please share your experience, cuz' you know misery loves company!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

'The Life You Imagined' by Kristina Riggle

Author: Kristina Riggle

Genre:  Women's Fiction

About: Two high school friends that find themselves back in their hometowns, re-evaluating their lives. Each one has their own problems and find that they're not alone. Are they living the life they imagined? Or is there something they would have done differently if they could?

Descriptive Words: tender, heartfelt, real, emotional, comfortable, addictions

Thoughts: I jumped at the chance to read this book when Jen of Devourer of Books offered this one as a Book Club selection. I can't believe that I haven't read Riggle before! Especially because she a Michigan author! I was immediately drawn into the storyline because I'm at that age where you often times sit back in a contemplative mood and wonder "what if" and "is this the life I imagined I would have?" The characters were what I loved about this book. Riggle made them human...oh, so human. I saw a little bit of myself in each of the women we're introduced to and that was the connection I needed that allowed me to totally immerse myself in their stories. The other aspect of this book that I heartily enjoyed was that Kristina placed her story in her wonderful state of Michigan. I loved seeing the names of cities that I was familiar with and the way in which she described Haven and the family convenience store really hit home with me.


Source: Jen and Harper Collins

Why I Chose: The storyline sounded very interesting. I'm always drawn to stories about women and their problems.

Recommend? Hands down...YES! This is a realistic story about women and how we try so hard to make everything perfect in our lives until we realize that we're just not happy. This is a look at four women's struggles with food, perfection, gambling, and waiting for someone to make them happy.

Rating: 4/5


Thank you to Jen for hosting her book club. Without that I probably wouldn't have picked up Kristina's book and for that I will forever be thankful! I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author. They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel.
If you pick up a copy of this book, please join us on September 7th and 8th for an online book club discussion right here at Devourer of Book! I will have two copies of “Real Life and Liars” to give away to randomly chosen participants..

BTW: Kristina Riggle will be signing books November 5th in Saginaw at the Barnes and Noble on Tittabawasse Rd. I'll be there picking up her first book. Would love to meet up with any Michigan bloggers that evening!!!!


Review style courtesy of Lynne's Book Reviews

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back to reality...weekend photos to share.

Well, it was wonderful while it lasted. But all good things must come to an end, right? I had a blast with my husband this past weekend and yes, Margot, we had a few "Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Moments!" So without further ado, here is my weekend in photos!
Me and the Uber-Excited Husband!! (he hates his picture taken) Just starting out on the trails.

Pictures taken while zooming through the woods


Parts of the trail take you through the forest that was burned and is coming back to life.



Saw these huge tracks and made Matt stop so I could get a picture....could it be coyote???

Nope, just someone's dog out tracking bear!! What a bummer..but it did make my husband laugh!

We came upon this fast moving river.....it was beautiful.

I had to roll up my capris and get in...it felt wonderful because the temps were 90+ on Saturday.
Not sure what this is...some sort of Quail

Sorry for the blurriness- she popped out while we were cruising down some seasonal roads

Two fawns!! Aren't they adorable!!!!

The sky seems so much blue-err up north!

Right across from our campsite


Well, that's just a few pictures from our weekend. Thanks so much for all of your wishes of fun and "togetherness"....we had a great time. I'm pretty charged up and ready to get back to the regular schedule of blogging, visiting, reading and reviewing!!!



Monday, August 16, 2010

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday...What Are You Reading?


Mailbox Monday
is hosted by Chick Loves Lit (August Host)
We share what books that we found 
in our mailboxes last week.




Dangerous Neighbors- blog tour for Winesome Media Communications
29- won this book from Kay @ My Random Acts of Reading
The Impostor's Daughter- won this book from Joy @ Thoughts of Joy
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Hosted by Sheila
One Persons Journey Through a World of Books
Weekly meme where we discuss the books you've read
and those you plan to read in the coming week.



Read and reviewed past two weeks:
Conquering Mr. Darcy- loved this romp into a "what if" book about Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth 4/5
Broken (Slaughter)- excellent addition to a fantastic series 4/5
A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6)- wonderful from beginning to end 5/5
Still Missing- this one scared me!! 5/5


Tentative reviews for this week:
The Life You Imagined- Wednesday
Dangerous Neighbors- Thursday
The Marshall Project- reviewed by Janel of Janel's Jumble
Reapers Are the Angels- Saturday (Reviewed by Marc)
Books on deck for next week: