Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Totals

Books Read:
  1. Dash of Death- Claudia Bishop
  2. Far From You- Lisa Schroeder
  3. Bone Volume 3: Eyes of the Storm
  4. Bone Volume 4: The Dragonslayer
  5. French Milk-Lucy Knisley
  6. The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam- Ann Marie Fleming
  7. Mouse Guard Fall 1152 - David Petersen
  8. The Color of Earth- Kim Dong Hwa
  9. Stitches- David Small
  10. Bone Volume 5: Rockjaw
  11. Tainted- Brooke Morgan
  12. Crossing Washington Square- Joanne Rendell
  13. Italian for Beginners- Kristen Harmel
  14. Secrets of Eden- Chris Bohjalian
  15. Almost Perfect- Brian Katcher
  16. Beautiful- Amy Reed
  17. Nature of Jade- Deb Caletti
  18. Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  19. Rainwater- Sandra Brown
  20. Shiver- Maggie Stiefvater
  21. The Power of Half- Kevin and Hannah Salwen
Total Pages : 6,063

Favorite Book(s):  Secrets of Eden, Almost Perfect, Nature of Jade, and Beautiful Creatures
** I couldn't pick just one!!!!

100+- 37/100
Reading From My Shelves- 0/20
2010 States Challenge- 13/52
All About the Brontes- 2/6
Gilmore Girls Challenge- 0/10
GBLT- 1/4
Graphic Novel- 9/10
Historical Reading- 3/6
Jane Austen- 0/6
Japanese Literature- 1/1 COMPLETED
Random Reading- 3/12
Sookie Stackhouse- 1/9
Support Your Library- 34/100
Terry Pratchett- 0/4
The Pub 2010 - 3/10

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Six Sentence Saturday

Welcome to Six Sentence Saturday.
Where I try to express my thoughts on recent reads using only 6 sentences!!!!.
At the end of each review I will post a
rating scale of 1-5 using the cute and original (lol) Playing Cards.
Rating scale will be as follows:

5 of Hearts- You must read this book NOW!!
4 of Hearts- A great read, put it on your TBR list.
3 of Hearts- Glad I read but no big deal

2 of Hearts- Why did I finish this?
Joker Card - Don't bother (why did I?)

Italian for Beginners- Kristen Harmel
** This book was absolutely charming!! I love books that take place in Italy because this is a country that I want to visit so bad I can taste the wine!!!! I loved how Cat finally decided to live her life for herself for once and took that brave first step by just up and going to Italy without much thought. Once she arrives things don't exactly go the way she was hoping, but the ups and downs helped her grow as a person and a woman! In the end she learns what makes HER happy and realizes that at some point, you need to jump without looking. You're not going to read anything utterly life-changing from this book, but I'm sure that if you enjoy women's fiction then you would like this!
My Rating:

Crossing Washington Square - Joanne Rendell
** I absolutely enjoyed every single page of this "women's literature" novel. I found the two main characters very interesting and each intricate in their own way. I loved the idea of studying Classics and then comparing them to modern "chick lit." I felt like I was in a front row seat listening to the professor debate the merits of "trash literature" and how in the world anyone would think it made for important reading. You also have a delightful mix of men with the irresistible cad and the boyish romantic guy. I think this book would make a fun movie!!!!

My Rating:

Secrets of Eden - Chris Bohjalian
** How to write a review on this one, yet not spoil it for others???? I've decided not to tell you much, except that Bohjalian is at the top of his game with his latest release. I loved the story and once I started reading there was no stopping until the last page.


My Rating:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Review: Rainwater by Sandra Brown

Title: Rainwater
Author: Sandra Brown
Pages: 256
Published: 2009
Genre: Fiction/Historical Fiction
Source: Library
Who Recommended Book to Me: Diane of Bibliophile by the Sea with her wonderful review!

 A romantic historical novel about an independent woman who runs a boarding house in Dust Bowl Texas.

My Thoughts:

 I haven't read Brown in ages because frankly, I was burned out on her writing. That has changed with this little gem. She states in the opening pages how she had been working on this book for quite a while and was really writing it for herself, thinking that her editors/publishers wouldn't care for it because it wasn't like her other books. I hope she realizes now that she should trust her own instincts first and that if she's happy with what she's writing ( and not under pressure to write another formula driven best seller) that others will enjoy it too! It was refreshing to read a book where the characters cared about morals, the edicts of society, and that helping your neighbor was more important than yourself. I learned some very interesting facts about the government's program, Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, where they paid farmers not to plant cotton, food crops, and to kill (more like massacre) their livestock. As always, there was a lot of corruption when the American farmer had to deal with the government back then. Pretty much the same as today.  The two main characters, Ella and Rainwater, are people that you will fall in love with. They each have a strong moral compass,and were willing to lend a hand no matter what the consequences may be. I felt this book gave me
a snapshot of an era gone by, and helped me really appreciate how Americans made it through the Great Depression. This book was a quick, entertaining, and enlightening read ,and one that I can totally feel comfortable recommending to others!!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Review: Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Pages: 563
Published: 2009
Genre: YA
Source: Library
Who Recommended Book to Me: Sheree of The Eclectic Reader wrote a wonderful review and I knew I had to read it!

I kissed her again, pulling her up into my arms. Kissing her was like breathing. I had to do it. I couldn't help myself. I pressed my body against hers. I could hear her breathing, feel her heart beating against my chest. My whole nervous system started firing at once. My hair was standing on end. Her black hair spilled into my hands, and she relaxed into my body. Every touch of her hair was like a prick of electricity. I had been waiting to do this since I first met her, since I had first dreamed about her.

My Thoughts:

There isn't much that I can add to the all of the other wonderful reviews out there about this book. All I can say is that this story knocked my socks off!!! I loved the dark gothic feel and the characters were very well crafted and developed. This is a love story that captures you from the very first time Ethan and Lena communicate with each other. I could not tell that there were two authors, this story is seamless and flows wonderfully!! If you want to read more about this book then visit the author's website: Some Loves Are Cursed. I'm very excited to know that there will be another book!!!

Highly Recommended!
out of 5

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Library Loot- February 24

Hosted by Eva at A Striped Armchair and Marg at Reading Adventures.
We share what we each picked up at the library during the week.

I know that when I list how many books that I've read, people are like wow! that's a lot of reading. Here is the insanity behind it....I have a problem. I feel like I MUST get these books down before they're due back to the library. When I renew one and still don't get it finished I feel bad. Weird huh? So I'm working really hard on getting through my loot and then I need to rethink how many books I check out at one time. I'm going to TRY to limit myself to 4 books per week. If I keep with this then I should be able to get those ARCs read, and start reading books from my own shelves! I have NOT read one book from my own shelves yet this year!!! Sad, very sad!!! 

Here's what followed me home last week:


Blaming this book on - Sheila of One Person's Journey Through a World of Books. She wrote a fantastic review and I love reading about the Amish culture.

Blaming this book on - a co-worker. She raved and raved about this series last week, so while she was standing there gushing about this book, my excitement level kept getting higher and higher. Next thing I know...I'm requesting it from the library!!!

City of Refuge - Tom Piazza

Blaming this book on - Wendy of Caribou's Mom. I absolutely LOVED her review and I knew that this was a MUST read book for me!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays and It's Tuesday..Where Are You?

I live on the edge of Boundary Wood forest and have always had a fascination with the wolves that run wild. Once when I was little a group of wolves pulled me off of my tire swing. I really thought that I was going to die, but a wolf with eyes that pierced mine saved me. We have a connection and just recently it occurred to me that there may be a human trapped inside this wolf's body!
~ Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater


TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

As the hours crept by, the afternoon sunlight bleached all of the books on the shelves to pale, gilded versions of themselves and warmed the paper and ink inside the covers so that the smell of unread words hung in the air.
This is what I loved, when I was human.


Monday, February 22, 2010

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

Mailbox Monday
is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.

My mailbox was good to me again. I've been so lucky and won some great books!!

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman
** I won this one from Bibliophile by the Sea and it is AUTOGRAPHED no less!!!! I've read nothing but fantastic blogging reviews so I can't wait to crack the spine on this one!

Dog Among Diplomats - J.F. Englert
** I won this one from Rhapsody in Books. I really love the cover.....don't you????
He reads Proust. Surfs the net. Is the soul of diplomacy.
And when it comes to solving crime,
Randolph is the dog for the job.


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.

I was able to read all three books that I had on deck from last week.

Beautiful- Will post review on Six Sentence Saturday 2/27
Nature of Jade- Will post review on Six Sentence Saturday 2/27
Beautiful Creatures- review for this one is scheduled for Thursda
y the 25th.

Books on deck for this week:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Blogging Awards

I want to thank each person who has ever sent an award my way and I apologize if I haven't posted them in a more timely manner. I always tell myself I'll do that on this day and before I know it...this day has come and gone more than 30 times!! I sincerely appreciate the awards, I'm just a slacker when it comes to posting them on my blog!


I received this award from Jennifer of Reading with Tequila. I so love her header and her blog.

7 unknown facts about me:
  1. All those juvenile movies that are stupid and gross and have really stupid jokes.....the same ones that I tell my sons are dumb...secretly I enjoy most of them!
  2. I could go days without feeling the need to leave my property. As long as I have food, my fave drink, and a lot of good books
  3. I would never dress up if I didn't have jeans and a t-shirt!
  4. I suffer from anxiety attacks (thanks Mom for the gene) and slight OCD.
  5. As long as I have my family I don't need material things...they mean very little to me.
  6. I hate wearing or my birks is the only way to go!
  7. I will never, ever skydive ........ever!

I received this award from JoAnn of Lakeside Musing. Her header is gorgeous and shows us a favorite view of hers from her home. Love it! Thanks JoAnn for passing this one on to me!! When Pistol was a kitten I was forever taking pictures of her and Bruce together. When she first arrived in our yard, he was deathly afraid of her. Now, they're like an old married couple!!


I met another blogger from Michigan!!! Allie of A Literary Odyssey passed this award on to me! Thanks so much Allie!!!

A Prolific Blogger is one who is intellectually productive…
keeping up an active blog that is filled with enjoyable content.

I'm not sure how intellectual I am, but I do try to have fun!! Thanks again, Allie!


Natalie from The Book Inn honored me with this blogger award.
Isn't it adorable???

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Six Sentence Saturday

Welcome to Six Sentence Saturday.
Where I try to express my thoughts on recent reads using only 6 sentences!!!!.
At the end of each review I will post a
rating scale of 1-5 using the cute and original (lol) Playing Cards.
Rating scale will be as follows:

5 of Hearts- You must read this book NOW!!
4 of Hearts- A great read, put it on your TBR list.
3 of Hearts- Glad I read but no big deal

2 of Hearts- Why did I finish this?
Joker Card - Don't bother (why did I?)

Part Two of my Graphic Novel reviews!! Again the picture posted is from the inside pages of these books and not their covers.

Bone:The Dragonslayer Volume 4 and Rock Jaw Volume 5 - Jeff Smith
** These books tickle my funny bone!! Yes, pun intended....they always make me laugh, smile, or sometimes feel a little sad. I've developed quite a fondness for Fone, Smiley, and Bartleby (their baby rat creature buddy). The story is progressing quite quickly and I've been pulled into their world. Each time I close one volume I can't wait to open the next. The only problem with that, is soon I will have read the entire series and that will be a sad day indeed!
My Rating for both:

Mouse Guard Fall 1152 - David Petersen

** I can't believe I'm saying this (I don't like mice)but.....I loved the mice in this colorful, adventurous graphic novel!! Each mouse has a different color cloak and they have taken an oath to protect the territories and to keep the borders safe. The three main guard mice are Saxon, Kenzie, and Rand. Each one has their own strengths and they meshed well together as a unit. The illustrations are pretty darn awesome and I love the vivid colors. You don't have to be a kid to enjoy this one, but if you want to score brownie points with your 8+ kids in the house, then bring this gem home...they'll love it and YOU!
My Rating:

Stitches: A Memoir - David Small
** This one was my hardest book of the pile to read. David's life was not pleasant. In fact, at times I thought his parents were cruel and unfeeling. The images of his parents and grandparent's faces actually scared me and I'm an adult. Imagine how it looked to a small child who feels insignificant and unwanted when you have these people constantly screaming at you?? Not all graphic novels are fun to read and this one certainly made me uncomfortable in spots, but in the end David was able to break free from the dysfunction of his family and the insanity that raged within his mother and grandmother.
My Rating:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bookmarks Wishlist and an interesting pick for Best Books of 2009

There's nothing I like better than getting a new edition of Bookmarks Magazine in the mail. I think this is the ONLY magazine that I read from cover-to-cover! There are several features that I love to read: letters from readers, Have You Read, Book Group Profile and then of course, all of the reviews of the new releases. As I was cruising through the pages I made note of several books that I want to read. Some of them I've already heard about from my lovely blogging friends, while others are new to me. Here are the ones that caught my attention:

A Friend of the Family - Lauren Grodstein
** From reading the synopsis this one sounds like it could be sinister....I like that!

Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - Barbara Demick
**As a person who really doesn't know much about North Korea this book has many interesting aspects that have drawn me to it. Her information comes from defectors of this country.

Blacklands- Belinda Bauer
** Diane's review from Bibliophile By the Sea sold me on this one! Plus it has that creepy vibe to it!!

House Rules - Jodie Picoult
** I already have this book on request with my library. All I have to say is that this one better knock my socks off or else I'm going to have to rethink my decision to read any future books by Picoult.

Too Much Happiness - Alice Munro
** This is a collection of 10 short stories and they deal with individuals in the aftermath of violence, tragedy, and heartbreak. I've never read Munro so this seems like a good place to start.

Becoming Jane Eyre - Sheila Kohler
** I'm slightly obsessed with Charlotte Bronte right now, due to The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte. I'm hoping that this one is original and will keep me interested!

Remarkable Creatures- Tracey Chevalier
I've loved most of her books with the exception of Burning Bright. That one I truly hated!! But I've read great blogging reviews of this one so I'm looking forward to reading it one day.

Where the God of Love Hangs Out - Amy Bloom
** Another collection of short stories, these are divided into 2 sets of four linked stories and four standalone. The last sentence in the review of this book caught me, "Each story is a small tribute to human nature at its best and worst."

Now to the interesting pick for Best Books of 2009. Bookmarks states this: In which we hope to mitigate the arbitrary nature of year-end "best books" lists by bringing the results together into one big arbitrary list. As I was browsing through the list my eyes stopped when I read "The Believers by Zoe Heller. I just read/reviewed this book a few weeks ago and really didn't enjoy it. I found almost all of the characters despicable and disgusting. Every single BOOK BLOGGER felt pretty much the same way. But according to SF Chronicles, The New Yorker, and NPR, we bloggers are stupid because this book was so good that it must be on a list of Best Books of 2009. Thanks anyway, SF, New Yorker, and NPR....I'll go with my gut feeling and the "arbitrary" thoughts of my fellow readers....this book was atrocious and there was really no redeeming value to be found.