Sunday, May 31, 2009

~More 1968~









Movies
2001: A Space Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, Funny Girl, The Lion in Winter, Oliver!


US GDP (1998 dollars): $910.6 billion; Federal spending: $178.13 billion; Federal debt: $368.7 billion; Median Household Income(current dollars): $7,743; Consumer Price Index: 34.8 Unemployment: 3.8%; Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.05 ($0.06 as of 1/7/68) .











Saturday, May 30, 2009

~ Music Flashback Saturday~ 1968~


This is something that I decided to do because I love music....especially oldies!

I was born in November 1964. I was exposed to music at a very young age....My father was a band director and my mom always had records playing at home. I remember her loving Joan Baez, Otis Redding, Frank Sinatra and others. My earliest memory of actually hearing songs and remembering them was when I was four. I loved The Monkees, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Each Saturday, I will pick a song from a year, going forward from 1968, that I remember and that I really loved. These songs bring back good memories for me....maybe they will you, too!

Where were you in 1968? What were you doing?


~I was four years old, living with my parents in Eastchester NY.~




Friday, May 29, 2009

~The Friday 56~


I saw this on Gaby's blog Starting Fresh, and I wanted to join in the fun!
Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions
on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*
Post a link along with your post back to this blog and to Storytime with Tonya and Friends here or at http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST

http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/

~In Maria's eyes, though, there was absolutely nothing wrong with James. He acted courteous and proper in her presence, and she was completely fascinated with his looks.~
The Circle of Friends Book III by L. Diane Wolfe

~FRIDAY FINDS~








A Widow, A Chihuahua and Harry Truman







I have not had the pleasure of reading this book yet. Since it is a Biography, I am adding it to my Non-Fiction Five Reading Challenge. Hopefully I can carve out some time this weekend to read it.


~"I will never regret having wandered into our local pet store that dreary, rainy Christmas following my husband's death, and falling head over heels for three pounds of dog that would change my live forever."~

From the inside flap:

For anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one, this story is all too familiar. Having lost her husband to cancer, Mary Beth Crain struggled to cope with the ensuing grief. Life seemed meaningless, and getting through the most mundane tasks took herculean effort.

One December day, wondering how she was going to survive her first Christmas as a widow, Mary Beth wandered into a pet store hoping to cheer herself up with a "kitten fix." Instead, she found herself face-to-face with the most adorable dog she had ever seen - a Chihuahua puppy not much bigger than her hand. Two weeks later, she was the proud, but terrified, owner of her first dog, and she was about to embark upon a singular adventure that would revive her spirit.


Mary Beth named the puppy Truman, after her idol, former President Harry S. Truman, whose down-to-earth wisdom she had often turned to during life's hard times. Inspired by the no-nonsense writings of a leader whose humility, optimism, and common sense shine through his words, and forced by the unquenchable spirit of her puppy to take a new and often hilarious view of the world, Mary Beth began her return to the land of the living.


In this touching and humorous story, Crain chronicles her journey from happiness found in mid-life, to illness, death and hopelessness, and back to happiness again. A poignant tale of widowhood is punctuated by wry and witty accounts of the high and low points of a new dog owner's life. Along the way, we also learn about Harry S. Truman and why he has earned such a hallowed place in the American consciousness.


Told with raw emotion, grace and charm, this story overflows with a warmth found only on the other side of adversity, giving the priceless gift of encouragement to all those who have ever loved and lost.


Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000
202 Pages
ISBN: 9 780062 516725




















Thursday, May 28, 2009

Better Late Than Never!





Here is the photo of me with Alice J. Wisler, author of How Sweet It Is and Rain Song! I went to see her at her book signing at Lifeway Christian Bookstore a couple of Saturdays ago. I am really slow in getting things done, especially when they involve downloading pictures from a digital camera (LOL).

Alice is not only an awesome author, she is a great person! It was fun getting to finally meet her after reading her blog and messaging her on Facebook.

If you haven't read either one of her books, you need to! :)


~Twice Blessed~


A great big ***HUG*** and thanks to Wendy at Wendy's Minding Spot for passing The Literary Blogger Award to me.

This award acknowledges bloggers who energize and inspire reading by going the extra mile! These amazing bloggers make reading fun, and enhance the delight of reading!

I received this award from Teddyree at The Eclectic Reader yesterday....SO....I am going to pass this on to a couple of new blogs that I have come across today that I have enjoyed reading!

They are:

Sharazad at The Dangerous Pages Review
Susie at My Guilty Pleasures
Alaine at Queen Of Happy Endings
Shari at Sandcastles & Green Balloons

~Booking Through Thursday - UNREAD~



UNREAD

Is there a book that you wish you could “unread”? One that you disliked so thoroughly you wish you could just forget that you ever read it?


The answer to this question is most definitely Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door. I was under the impression that it was a horror story of sorts...with ghosts, spirits, monsters...whatever. No. This turned out to be the most horrific story of human cruelty and evil...

If you want a better idea of what this book is about, just click HERE and read some of the reviews on Librarything. A whole lot of people feel the same way about this book as I do.


Which book is your UNREAD?



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's On Your Nightstand (May)

I saw this on DeSeRt RoSe's blog and thought I would participate!

This is a monthly event held on the forth Tuesday of the Month by 5 Minutes for Books.
You can participate in What's on Your Nightstand? in several ways. Choose what's appealing to you:
  1. Take a picture or simply give a list of the stack of books that you are in the process of reading or planning to read (it might be on your nightstand, on a bookshelf, or like me, under your bed).
  2. Give short reviews of the book or books that you read that month.
  3. Tell about what you are reading and why. I love to read the backstory on books. Did someone give it to you? Are you trying out a new genre at the recommendation of a friend (or website)? Did you stumble across a new author in a used bookstore?
  4. Fill us in on your reading habits. When are you reading these books? Is one reserved for bedtime reading? Does one stay in your car to be read while you are waiting? Do you read just one book at a time?
This is the first time I am participating in the event so here goes..

My Cat Spit McGee by Willie Morris

From the Inside Flap:
With endearing humor and unabashed compassion, Willie Morris--a self-declared dog man and author of the classic paean to canine kind, My Dog Skip--reveals the irresistible story of his unlikely friendship with a cat. Forced to confront a lifetime of kitty-phobia when he marries a cat woman, Willie discovers that Spit McGee, a feisty kitten with one blue and one gold eye, is nothing like the foul felines that lurk in his nightmares.

For when Spit is just three weeks old he nearly dies, but is saved by Willie with a little help from Clinic Cat, which provides a blood transfusion. Spit is tied to Willie thereafter, and Willie grows devoted to a companion who won't fetch a stick, but whose wily charm and occasional crankiness conceal a fount of affection, loyalty, and a "rare and incredible intelligence." My Cat Spit McGee is one of the finest books ever written about a cat, and a moving and entertaining tribute to an enduring friendship. ~I received this book through Paperbackswap.com

House of Steps by Amy Blackmarr
From Amazon.com:
With House of Steps, Georgia-bred writer and radio commentator Amy Blackmarr stakes her literary claim to a little slice of the Plains, an old farm on the outskirts of Lawrence, Kansas. Her house, she writes, was "built by a flower child as the 1960s faded," and it's a ramshackle creation indeed, full of odd angles, staircases that lead to paralyzing heights (whence her title), and unmapped nooks and crannies--just the sort of place where a curious person could find plenty of ways to pass the time. In vignettes that betray their origins as radio sketches, Blackmarr recounts her days of getting to know the ways of the landscape, the passing seasons, the flora, and especially the fauna, among which prominently figure ill-tempered wasps, spiders, and field mice. Her memoir has many charms, including her meditation on the silence that accompanies a life alone in the far countryside, a life sometimes fraught with danger but more often laced with wonder. --Gregory McNamee ~I purchased this book at a Library Book Sale.

Kira Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

From Amazon.com:
kira-kira (kee ra kee ra): glittering; shiningGlittering. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop on the street to stare. And it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering -- kira-kira -- in the future. ~ I got this book through Paperbackswap.com

I am planning on reading these books in the month of June. Spit McGee will count towards The Southern Reading Challenge, and House of Steps counts towards The Non-Fiction Five Challenge.

What's on YOUR nightstand?

~ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD~

Thank you to DeSeRt RoSe for awarding me with the One Lovely Blog Reward! I am very honored. Many thanks for thinking of me! :)



Please visit her lovely booklogue by clicking HERE.

~Book Review - Painting the Invisible Man by Rita Schiano~


I finished this book in less than two days....I just couldn't put it down.

Anna Matteo is a writer, who delves into her past looking for answers to her father's untimely death. This is a historical fiction novel, loosely based on true events. Her father, Paulie Matteo, has ties to the mob, and is linked to some criminal activity in Cranston, Rhode Island, where the story takes place. Anna is in college at the time. When she comes home for Christmas in 1976, she is confronted with the news of her father's demise.

Some thirty years later, Anna is overwhelmed to find out the truth about her father's murder...who ordered the hit, who did it....who was directly involved? She begins researching the trial of the accused murderer, Angelo Capraro, and she goes as far as dressing incognito to visit one of her father's oldest friends, Joey Cassella, the suspect that ordered the hit on Paulie... a man that was her first secret crush as a young girl....a man that she thought she could trust....a man that she could never envision hurting her father.

Rita Schiano truly has a gift for writing, and captures the characters and time frames perfectly. I am Italian, so that is another reason I enjoyed this story.

Painting the Invisible Man is a true glimpse of the life of Anna and her family in the 1970's, her relationship with her father, mother and brother, and the grown-up Anna; ready to face her fears and live her life without boundaries.

Read this book - you won't be disappointed.
My Rating: Five Stars

For more information about Rita, please visit www.ritaschiano.com.


Publisher: The Reed Edwards Company
223 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-9795347-0-6

****I just visited Amazon.com to find out more about Rita's previous book "Sweet Bitter Love" and saw that it had been reviewed recently! Go to http://wynsbooks.blogspot.com/2009/04/sweet-bitter-love-by-rita-schiano.html for the review. Oh, and I am putting in an order for this book. :)


~A Bloggers Dream - The Literary Blogger Award~


Gratzie mille (many thanks!) to Teddyree at The Eclectic Reader for presenting me with The Literary Blogger Award. I'm honored to be a recipient of this grand award, which acknowledges bloggers who energize and inspire reading by going the extra mile! These amazing bloggers make reading fun, and enhance the delight of reading!

The Rules:

1) Put the logo on your blog/post.
2) Nominate up to 9 blogs.
3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog.
5) Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

I am proudly passing this award on to:

Melissa @ Melissa's Bookshelf
mjmbecky @ One Literature Nut
Gwendolyn @ A Sea Of Books
Cathy @ Kittling Books
Cecile @ All I Want and More
Harvee Lau @ Book Bird Dog
Gaby @ Starting Fresh
The Bumbles @ The Bumbles Blog
Ladytink @ The Movieholic & Bibliophile's Blog

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

~Teaser Tuesday 5-26-09~



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! ;)

My mother grabbed me by the hand and ran across the street to the house of friends who had a special hiding place, a skillfully camouflaged cellar. Breathless, we knocked, and my mother begged for admittance. But there was no room there.
~Dry Tears; The Story of a Lost Childhood by Nechama Tec, page 27.

What's YOUR teaser today?

Monday, May 25, 2009

posted Pictures, Images and Photos

~Mailbox Monday~






Here's what I received last week!






If You Want Me To Stay by Michael Parker:


~When Joel Dunn Jr. leaves home with his little brother Tank in tow - in a truck he hardly knows how to drive - he doesn't know where he's heading. All he knows is that his daddy is not right, his brother Carter is being held captive, and he desperately needs to find his mother, wherever she might be.



So begins their journey from the town of Trent to the North Carolina coast, as Joel and Tank search for their mother, fueled only by peanut butter, potato chips, Coke and the powerful soul music their daddy taught them to love. Keeping the faith that she might be waiting for them, they move from one kindly stranger to another, Joel ever certain they are being guided to her door: "I was being passed from person to person," he says, "on my way back into her wide open window."



Caught between the endless idealism of childhood and the sobering tests of adulthood, Joel and Tank take a two-day journey that becomes a trip of a lifetime - to discover, in a stunning conclusion, that the one sure thing in life is often right by your side.

Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2005
177 Pages
ISBN: 1-56512-484-7






Crossing Blood by Nanci Kincaid:



~From School Library JournalYA-- With a palpable sense of place and soul-stirring prose, Kincaid's first novel weaves a delicate tale about transitions, as told by Lucy Conyers, a native of Tallahassee during the early 1960s. In a small town where civil rights struggles were only beginning to have an impact, the customs and mores of the Old South control nearly every aspect of her life. As the head of a white family living at the edge of the black section of town, Lucy's hard-working stepfather struggles to keep his family solvent and separate from the neighbors. Lucy's dilemma springs from her curiosity, admiration, and finally love for Skippy, the boy next door who is black. With hesitant and clandestine moves, she innocently tries to develop something more than a child's relationship with him, but events in the adult world prevent anything more than the most rudimentary of romances before their contact is forever broken. The sad, but not tragic, ending fits the story in a realistic way that speaks of Kincaid's knowledge of life in this region 30 years ago. This is a coming-of-age tale certain to stir the hearts of YA readers.- Carolyn E. Gecan, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA

Publisher: University Alabama Press; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (July 27, 1999)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0817310096
What was in YOUR mailbox today?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

~Book Review~ Blue by Joyce Moyer Hostetter


"Wisteria is the only thing me and Daddy ever argue about. I say the flower is purple and he says it's blue. I tell him I don't see how anyone can hate a flower that's so beautiful and smells so sweet. Daddy says he don't understand how anyone could love a vine that wraps itself around every limb on a tree like it wants to choke the life out of it."


Ann Fay Honeycutt becomes the man of the house the year of 1944, when her Daddy goes off to fight the war. Before he leaves, he gives her a pair of blue overalls and tells her "take care of your Mama, sisters and brother...you're the man of the house while I am away." Ann Fay takes the weight of the world on her little thirteen year old shoulders that year. She plants the garden, takes care of her sisters and little brother, and does most of the chores around the house.


"Daddy took my chin and made me look right at him. "I expect you to be the man of the house while I'm gone," he said. He handed me a pair of blue overalls. "You been wanting to wear britches ever since you first climbed that apple tree. I reckon this is your chance."


Ann Fay takes her responsibilities seriously, and does what is expected of her. The Polio epidemic hit that year, and when it strikes Ann Fay's family, her true strength and spirit are put to the test.
"I had no intention of crying, so I fussed at the wisteria instead. I yelled while I whacked. "You think you can take over the whole dad-gum world, don't you? Just like Hitler, swallowing up one country after another. Just like polio. Grabbing one baby and then going for the next one. You know what? I hate you!"


My thoughts on this book:


I read this book today...in one day. It is not a large book, 197 pages, but I had to finish it. I could not put it down. I fell in love with the characters, especially Ann Fay. I found myself crying for her, wishing that she hadn't had to grow up so fast, and go through all that she had to at her age. The author, Joyce Moyer Hostetter did a fantastic job with her research on polio and what those years were like for everyone who was touched by the disease that no one knew much about. Although the story was fiction, Ms. Hostetter used places, stories and some characters that were real. Hickory NC, where the story takes place was hit hard by the polio epidemic. The emergency hospital in Hickory was a real place, as mentioned in the story, as well as the story of "Polio Pete", the little black terrier dog that was adopted by the emergency hospital staff. It was said that he belonged to a polio victim that was in the hospital and wanted to stay by his owner's side.


This is book that I will without question rate 5 stars. It was an enjoyable yet sometimes sad read that I will never forget. It also touched me in another way - I have a cousin who had polio as a child. There is so much that I didn't know about the disease. After reading this story, I know so much more and now know what he had to endure getting well.


FIVE STARS
Publisher: Calkins Creek Books 2006
197 Pages
ISBN: 1-59078-389-1



~Smiley Saturday~

Anyone who knows and loves cats will appreciate this video! It is appropriately called "Ninja Kitty...The Stalking Cat".


~Visit Liyanaland!~


Please drop by and visit Liyana at Liyanaland. She received more than several awards, and generously passed them on to 100 bloggers! Bless Her Sweet Heart!! I am just excited because I finally got The Diego Award....I was chomping at the bit just to post that cute little Chihuahua's picture on my blog! (After all, I am partial to Chihuahuas, as if you didn't know!).


Anyway, please stop by and visit her....her blog page is beautiful...the colors and design very eye-catching, and she writes awesome book reviews.


Ciao!

~A Book Blogger's New Discovery Award~


I am so honored! Gaby at Starting Fresh has awarded me with A Book Blogger's New Discovery Award! Gaby...thank you! I am sitting here grinning like a fool!


I love every single award that I receive and this one is no exception. It means so much to me that others read my blog and enjoy it...after all, that is why I do it!


This award was created by the lovely J.Kaye at J.Kaye's book blog.


Here is how J.Kaye describes the award on her blog:


Highlighting new book blogs has always been important to me. It’s the reason I pass along blog awards to new bloggers or at the very least, new to me book blogs. Without an audience, especially at the beginning, the life of a blogger can be sort of dreary. It feels good when another book blogger promotes your blog. Besides, I like blabbing about other book blogs. If you’d like to join in, please feel free. This event will take place every Friday and I’ll be listing the new book blogs or websites I’ve discovered during the week. Some might even be a rediscovery.


Please drop by J.Kayes blog by clicking HERE....her site always has fantastic reviews, and she is a sweetie!


I need to take a rain check this morning on passing this award on to new blogs that I have discovered recently. I promise that I will do it soon!

Friday, May 22, 2009

~E Book Giveaway~


J. Kaye at J. Kayes Book Blog is hosting a giveaway!

The Ebook is Samantha at the Crossroads by S.K. Smith.

To enter the giveaway, please click HERE.

J. KAYE'S Rules:

• You must be 18 years or older

• Winners will NOT be notified by email. The winner will be posted here on June 26, 2009. If you don’t want to miss the announcement post, be a subscriber to the blog. Not sure how? Look in the right sidebar under Subscribe.

• Make sure your entry can be distinguished by others who post. Remember, you might not be the only John or Jane commenting below.

• Comment on J. Kaye's blog page and enter once



Multiple Entries for the Giveaway:

• Post about this on your blog and include the link with your comment below and you’ll be entered again.

• If you are signed up for anyone of the book challenges hosted here, you can enter again. All you need to do is go to the sign up page and find your number under Mr. Linky. Then, in the comment section below, tell me that number and the name you listed under Mr. Linky. (Example: # 80. - J. Kaye’s Book Blog) If you are signed up for more than one, be sure to list it. Each challenge counts as an entry.

• Are you a member of the Book Blog Challenges Yahoo Groups? Post your Yahoo ID in the comment section and that’s another entry.

• Are you a Blogger Follower of this blog? (Click here if you aren’t sure what that is.) If you are, mention this in the comment section. That’s another entry.

• Subscribed by email or with an RSS reader? Be sure to say so. That’s an additional entry.

• Following me on Twitter? If you mention it, that's another entry.

• If you post about this on Twitter, be sure to say so in the comment section. That's another entry.

• Stumble this post enter again.

• Are you a member at Facebook? What about one of the Ning groups below? Add me as a friend and that’s additional entries. Be sure to list which ones. (Link to Facebook is in the right sidebar and the Ning groups are at the bottom of this blog at the footer.)

• If you a subscriber of GetGlue.com, the add J_Kaye to your list of followers and that’s another entry. Also, my profile page is in the right sidebar under Blog Inquires.

• Add me to your Amazon friends – again my Amazon profile page is in the right sidebar under Blog Inquires. If you mention this and I can verify it, that’s another entry. Just be sure to mention this in the comment section below.

~Book Review~ In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor


From Amazon.com:

SLAVERY IS MORE THAN CHAINS AND SHACKLES

SLAVERY IS A STATE OF MIND



Immerse yourself in this highly anticipated political docu-drama set in the Deep South amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. Martha was a young white girl living in the Deep South, inundated with the racist sentiments of the times. But Martha's natural curiosity and generous heart led her to question this racial divide. When she discovered a primitive Negro family living deep in the woods near her house, everyone's life changed forever. Take the journey of a lifetime alongside Martha as she forges relationships that lead to self discovery and a clearer understanding of the world around her. In the Land of Cotton provides an outstanding snapshot of life in the South during those troubled times - a snapshot everyone should take a close look at, regardless of era or color.

I finished reading this book last night, and all I can say is "Wow! What a read"! Martha's story begins in 1956 when she is a young girl, living in Memphis TN with her family. She is somewhat of a loner, as her parents are gone quite a bit. She receives much needed attention and love from their housekeeper, Lucy Boyd. Lucy listens to Martha, who comforts her when she is troubled. Martha grows attached to Lucy, so naturally she is devastated to hear that when her father loses his job, they have to let Lucy go. Martha is determined to find where Lucy lives...Lucy cares about her and looks after her, unlike her parents. She sets off on her bike one morning, down a mysterious road, where Martha has seen Lucy go when she leaves to go home. She is so excited to find Lucy's home, along with all of Lucy's extended family and their homes....all located in a little grove they call Cypress Grove, after the huge Cypress tree that is in the center of their circle of homes. Lucy becomes a part of the Boyd family, feeling more like she belongs with them than with her own family. Martha befriends Silas, Lucy's nephew, and they become fast best friends. Martha knows that her friendship with Silas is dangerous, but she doesn't care....she comes to love him and the whole Boyd family. When her father lands a job in Texas and they have to move, Martha is devastated. But she and Lucy stay in touch, and through Lucy she is able to stay in touch with Silas. Things continued to get worse all over the country; Kennedy's assassination, riots, Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, The Viet Nam War....and all the while, Lucy and Silas manage to stay in touch knowing that each time that they are together they are falling more and more in love with each other.

The fact that this book is non-fiction made it even more special. I remember learning about the Civil Rights Movement in history class, but this was so much more than I ever read in any history book. Martha's prose is descriptive, concise and beautiful. This is a story that I will never forget, and I feel honored to have been given the chance to read and review it. Thanks to Martha and Bostick Communications for making that possible.
I highly recommend this book to everyone...it is a gem.

"To be part of history is a wonderful experience but, to stand perfectly still holding your breath those precious few seconds when you know history is imminent but before it is written; before it actually becomes history, that is overwhelming." ~Silas Boyd

Five Stars
Publisher: OutskirtsPress.com
272 Pages
ISBN-10: 1432734717

~Friday Finds~



Trudy's Promise by Marcia Preston.

From Librarything.com:

An Act of desperation divides a mother and her child. Only an act of faith can reunite them.

Trudy Hulst has no idea if her husband survived his attempted escape past the newly constructed Berlin Wall. But she knows too well the consequences of his actions. Now branded the wife of a defector, she faces life in prison. With no real choice, she is forced to follow, praying she can find a way to claim her child once she's in West Berlin.

Trudy survives a harrowing break from freedom...only to learn her husband was shot during his escape. Terribly alone, she wanders the wall like a ghost, living for brief glimpses of her son, now of reach behind barbed wire and armed soldiers. Desperate to regain her child, Trudy begins a journey that leads her to America, where she continues an odyssey of hope to find her son.

Publisher: Mira (March 1, 2008)
Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 0778325334

What did YOU find today?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

~Award Time~


Cathy from One Eyed Stuffed Bunny gave me an award....my cup runneth over!! Thank you so much, Cathy! Please go check out her blog and leave her a comment or two. She is so sweet :)

~Booking Through Thursday~A Second First Time~

Photobucket

Deb suggested this weeks Booking Through Thursday question.

What book would you love to be able to read again for the first time?

(Interestingly, I thought that I had thought this one up myself, but when I started scrolling through the Suggestions, found that Rebecca had suggested almost exactly this question a couple months ago. So, we both get credit!)


Wow, this is a hard one for me. There have been quite a few books that have blown me away the first time I read them ~ So much so, that I didn't want them to end. These are the books that I purchase for my own personal library. I at least want to know that they are there so that I may be able to read them again...it is kind of a "safety blanket" type feeling.

I am going to have to say the one book that I would love to be able to read again for the first time would be Meridien 144 by Meg Files. The book was published in 1991, and I had checked it out of the public library. The cover is plain black, with the title in pink, so it certainly wasn't a "cover attraction". I used to grab books off of the shelves randomly, not reading the inside flap or the back. I have come across many good books and authors this way (of course, not all of them are winners) and this is how I found Meridian 144.

Excerpt from Amazon.com:

Files's riveting debut novel begins with a bang, literally and figuratively. Kit Manning, an American woman teaching on a South Pacific island, is underwater, deep-sea diving, when "everything suddenly flares bright yellow." It's a nuclear holocaust, and when Kit, protected by her oxygen tanks, resurfaces, she finds her world decimated. Carefully underplaying the story of the disaster, Files gives it psychological truth by introducing scenes from Kit's past, showing her adolescent struggles with an unfulfilled mother as well as her devastated marriage, and we see that even without the nuclear apocalypse, Kit has felt her life to be in ruins. The authenticity of the character development offsets the contrivances in the plot. (Kit's trusty dog, for example, has been protected from the bombs, and Kit eventually finds other survivors, some menacing, some friendly, each handily endowed with particular expertise.) Superb pacing maximizes the suspense, propelling the reader to discover exactly how Kit will resolve her memories and face an extraordinary future.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Publisher: Soho Press; First Edition edition (October 1991)
Hardcover: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 0939149591

I bought a copy from Amazon about 8 years ago, and I have re-read it once. I love the story and I know that I will read it again.

What is your Second First Time book?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

~Cover Attraction~


Cover Attraction is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. She says "I'm a very visual person and love beautiful or interesting cover art. It entices, and invites me to stop and take a peek, instead of walking right on by."



Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler

ISBN: 0764204777
Subject: Christian Fiction

From Librarything.com: His words have unlocked a special place in her heart, but he lives in the one place she vowed she'd never return... Nicole Michelin avoids airplanes, motorcycles, and most of all, Japan, where her parents once were missionaries. Something happened in Japan. Something that sent Nicole and her father back to America alone. Something of which Nicole knows only bits and pieces. But she is content with life in little Mount Olive, North Carolina, with her quirky relatives, tank of lively fish, and plenty of homemade pineapple chutney.

Through her online column for the Pretty Fishy website, Nicole meets Harrison Michaels, who, much to her dismay, lives in Japan. She attempts to avoid him, but his e-mails tug at her heart.

Then Harrison reveals that he knew her as a child in Japan. In fact, he knows more about her childhood than she does! Will Nicole face her fears in order to discover her past and take a chance on love?

I haven't read this book yet...I purchased it last Saturday at Lifeway Christian Book Store, where I actually got to meet the author herself! My hubby snapped a picture of Alice & I and I had hoped to get it posted on here by now, but I have had a rough week, once again, filled with sinus headaches and picking up Strings ashes from the vet. I promise I will post it soon!

Why I like this cover: I love this cover because of the umbrella. It is pink, which is my very favorite color, so it caught my eye immediately. I also like the background of Nicole standing in the field, fully prepared for a rain storm to come along, with her bright umbrella!

What attractive cover did YOU find today?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

~Lemonade Award~


I have just been given the Lemonade Award by Wendy at Wendy's Minding Spot. Thank you so much, Wendy! You have made my day!

The Rules:

1) Put the Lemonade Award logo on your blog or post.
2) Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude.
3) Link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let the nominees know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5) Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award.

I nominate the following blogs:
  1. Book Bird Dog
  2. Just Jennifer Reading
  3. Today's Adventure
  4. Starting Fresh
  5. Serendipity
Five is all I have come up with....I know that there are many many others.....I love everyone's attitudes and gratitudes on Blogger, so you are ALL appreciated!

~Teaser Tuesday~


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! ;)

The confetti had not been swept up from all the New Year's Eve parties before George Wallace took his oath of office as Governor of Alabama. He was the epitome of hate in the south and quickly became the poster person for segregation. At his Inaugural speech he stunned the nation with his barbed words aimed at the Heart of Dixie; "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever".

In The Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor
Page 117

What's YOUR teaser today?

Monday, May 18, 2009

~Musing Monday~


Musing Monday is hosted by Heather at What Was I Reading?.

Today's question is: Do you remember how you developed a love for reading? Was it from a particular person, or person(s)? Do you remember any books that you read, or were read to you, as a young child?"


My love for reading was certainly inspired by my mother who as long as I have known her, has been a voracious reader. She always had a book in her hands. She used to read my brother and I bedtime stories. As we became older, my brother and I began to develop our own tastes for books. I read all of the Nancy Drew Series, my brother enjoyed sci-fi. The bookmobile used to come to our school once a month, and I would load up with more books. We also enjoyed our public library, where we used to check out enough books to fill our book bags.

I remember as a child, loving The Little House on the Prairie series. I had the boxed set, and would read and re-read them...I never grew tired of them. I also enjoyed James and The Giant Peach and Charlotte's Web.

I am so glad that I have the love that I do for reading and books. I have my mother to thank for that. She still loves to read, and when I go visit her I always bring her a book.

~Mailbox Monday~




















I had a pretty good week last week, book-wise.




In the mail I received:




We Are Not Forgotten by Joel Martin and Patricia Romanowski from Paperbackswap.com.


Circle of Friends Book III by L. Diane Wolfe, sent to me by the author to review (Thanks Diane!)




Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler from Lifeway where I met Alice at her book signing for her new book How Sweet It is....she is a great person and it was so much fun to finally meet her!


Love Finds You in Miracle Kentucky by Andrea Boeshaar - The people at Lifeway were giving this book away on Saturday, so I got it along with Rain Song.




Isadora; A Sensational Life by Peter Kurth - The biography of Isadora Duncan, an eccentric woman who in the 1920's, was the greatest pioneer of modern dance. I actually studied her method of dance while growing up in the 70's, so I was so excited to find this book! This was a Goodwill find.




What was in YOUR mailbox today?


Saturday, May 16, 2009

~Saturday Sadness~


As most of you know, I lost my cat String one week ago today. It has been a tough week, each day feeling a little less grief and pain, knowing that she is in a better place, and I will see her again someday.


On Tuesday, something compelled me to go to Petfinder.com, and look at cats for adoption. Not because I want to rush out and get another cat, I have 3 that need my attention and love right now, but because I wanted to search to see if there was another black and white kitty that resembled String. It is hard to explain....some of you may understand where I am coming from. I wanted to look....just to see if there was one that looked like her, almost like it would make me feel better to know that there are String-Look-Alikes out there. Of course, I caught hell from anyone who knew I was doing that. I kept hearing "She's gone, you can't replace her." - I know that. "Why are you doing that to yourself? It is only going to make you feel worse." - No, it makes me feel better. And finally, my husband, who didn't even give me a chance to explain WHY I was doing it: "WE ARE NOT GETTING ANOTHER CAT...LOVE THE ONES THAT WE STILL HAVE LEFT"...sometimes men really piss me off.


It is shocking to see the hundreds and hundreds of cats that need good homes. Petfinder lists cats from rescue leagues, as well as county humane societies. You can see their pictures, and sometimes a little blurb about where the cat was found, its personality, age, etc. It is a comfort to know that many of them are in no kill shelters, so even if they are not adopted, they may live out the rest of their lives receiving comfort, food and love.


I saw quite a few cats that looked like String...none that looked exactly like her, but some that resembled her quite closely. And then I found Adwen. Adwen is black and white, with the black mask around her eyes. Her nose is not black like Strings, but I could tell she had String's personality. There are three pictures of her posted...two of her sitting regally on a table, with her beautiful green eyes glowing, and one of her mid-meow, her mouth wide open. This was my favorite picture. I bookmarked her page, and looked at her funny little face several times a day throughout the rest of the week. Until yesterday. Yesterday, I clicked on the link and got the message "We're sorry, this pet's picture is no longer available." Well, I was a little upset, but thought, Great! She was adopted! She deserves a good home! But....something nagged at me. Something told me to call about her....something that said "maybe she is still available, and they just took her picture off of the website temporarily....I KNOW that I can talk Steve into adopting her"....all of these words running together in my head, while I dial the number. I told the lady on the other end of the phone that I was calling about Adwen...had she been adopted? She paused...then said "I'm sorry ma'am, she was euthanized this morning." Mid-cry I asked "WHY?" Her reply: "Her time was up." Click.


Mind you....I did this while I was at work, which I never should have done. Adwen lost her life, because no one had adopted her in her allotted amount of time, which obviously was not enough time. If I had taken her....If I had gone to get her on Tuesday, she would still be alive. It was MY fault. No, it was my HUSBAND's fault. I was sad and angry and went to the bathroom to have a meltdown.


Needless to say, I got to go home early, which really didn't help me much. I just came home and thought about it. I thought about it all evening, and first thing this morning when I opened my eyes. It's not fair. I know that it happens every day all over the country to millions and millions of animals. My father says to me "I know you're sad, honey, but you can't save them all." I know that. But why Adwen?


It was been such an emotional week for me. I was already grieving for String, and now I am grieving for Adwen. If I could...if it was humanly possible, I would save them all. No healthy animal would have to die because "their time was up".

Friday, May 15, 2009

~Friday Finds~





These are books that I found while browsing online this week...they have been added to my Wish List (LIKE I NEED MORE BOOKS...) but they sound SO GOOD! Can't resist!

The Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess:
“If I had given it much thought, I might have hesitated to marry a man for whom at the age of 45 much of the past was too painful to consider--for either of us. Truthfully, thought had little to do with it. Instinct did--the instinct to seize a sure and ebullient happiness or go down trying.”
Falling in love is arguably the greatest risk and leap of faith any of us take. There’s no guarantee for future happiness, no protection from the ugly scars of the past, no shield from tragedy--this powerful memoir reminds us why we bother.
At a lakeside cafĂ© in the summer of 1988, 31-year-old Glenda Burgess is sitting across from 44-year-old Kenneth Grunzweig and falling in love. Then Ken confesses that he has already been widowed twice, under harrowing circumstances. This tragic past, the age difference, Ken’s emotionally scarred teenage daughter--all might be enough to send anyone running, but Glenda believed in her instincts, believed more than anything that this lovely, generous man would shape her life. And Ken, who with his heartbreaking losses had long said that he’d given up on love, came to share a sense of their romantic destiny. The two embark on the sort of love affair that many of us don’t believe exist anymore--a grand romance that buoys them through the birth of two kids and fifteen magical years of marriage until tragedy strikes again in the form of a shadowy spot on Ken’s lung. The journey that follows will test their resilience and strengthen their devotion.
The Geography of Love is a book about believing in first instincts and second chances.
It is a poignant exploration of the depths of the human heart and our ability to love and to trust no matter the obstacles.
It is a reminder that “real” life is always richer, stranger, and more extraordinary than fiction.
It is the most moving love story you’ll read this year.

Jack & Rochelle by Jack & Rochelle Sutin:
“A story of heroism and of touching romance in a time of fear and danger.” —USA Today
There are two voices intertwined in the narrative: those of Jack and Rochelle. Now and then they interrupt each other. This is the way they have told these stories for the past fifty years: side by side, listening intently each to the other, at the ready to speak up lest a single detail be lost. These stories are their lives—the testament of their survival and their love for each other. —from the Preface by Lawrence Sutin In this gripping memoir, Jack and Rochelle Sutin recount their struggle to survive the Holocaust as part of a band of partisans in the forests of Poland. Told through their son Lawrence, the book brings alive the reality of months spent hidden in a dank underground bunker unaware of the outside world. Jack and Rochelle is more than just an account of stark survival, however. It is also the tale of an almost impossible love affair that has lasted more than fifty years, and an eloquent reminder that history is made up of the often deeply moving details of individual lives.


Sandrine's Letter to Tomorrow by Dedra Johnson
Despite being a straight-A student and voracious reader, eight-year old Sandrine Miller is treated as little more than a servant by her mother, who forces Sandrine to clean house, do chores and take care of her younger half sister, Yolanda. On top of the despair of her life at home, Sandrine must confront growing up against the harshness of life in 1970s-era New Orleans, where men in cars follow her home from school and she is ostracized because she is a light-skinned black girl. The only refuge Sandrine has against her bleak world is spending summers with her beloved grandmother, Mamalita. After Mamalita’s death, Sandrine realizes that she must escape from her mother, from New Orleans, from everything she has known, if she is to have any kind of future. In the tradition of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye and Alice Walker's The Color Purple, Sandrine's Letter to Tomorrow is a brilliant debut from an important new African-American voice in literary fiction.

What have you found today?


















Thursday, May 14, 2009

~Book Review~ Torched by April Henry


When Ellie's aging hippie parents are busted for growing marijuana in their basement, Ellie is forced to make a terrible decision; help the feds by going uncover to help bust a radical activist group known as MED (mother earth defenders) and her parents will not serve jail time OR do nothing and she will be sent to live in a foster home as her parents will be locked up. Ellie decides to help out...her decision based solely on her father's poor health. The MEDics, as they are called, are a group of young adults who are hell bent on saving the earth from man-made pollution and destruction. Ellie is younger than all of the other members in the group, and forms a special bond with Coyote, a cute blue-eyed, curly-headed guy whom Ellie falls head over heels for. The feeling seems to be mutual, and Ellie feels terrible betraying Coyote's trust in her. So far, the group has committed acts of vandalism to animal research facilities and suv dealerships. When there becomes talk of actually harming people, Ellie panics. This is the very reason that the feds want her undercover - to bust the MEDics for taking human lives. Torched was a fast-paced roller coaster ride with a lot of twists and turns, and a little romance thrown in for good measure. I enjoyed it! This is a recommended read. 4 Stars Publisher: The Penguin Group 212 Pages ISBN: 978-0-399-24645-6

Gluttony ~Booking Through Thursday~



Mariel suggested this week’s question

Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

I would definitely say yes, I suffer from Book Gluttony. My TBR pile has steadily grown over the months to the point where I find myself questioning "will I even live long enough to read all of these books?"

Books are my greatest weakness. About once a month, I go through my TBR pile, and read the back covers and flaps to reintroduce myself with the stories. Often times I find that I am not interested in the story anymore...it doesn't hold "the spark" it did when I first bought and or traded it. When that happens, I donate those books to the Senior apartment complex library where my mom lives, or the county libraries.

At the rate I'm going, I will never run out of books to read. I have a full stocked library to last me a very long time. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

~Cover Attraction Look Alikes~



Cover Attraction is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. She says "I'm a very visual person and love beautiful or interesting cover art. It entices, and invites me to stop and take a peek, instead of walking right on by."

I love the cover of Verbena by Nanci Kincaid. I came across the other cover today on Amazon.com and thought...."wow, that looks familiar!"

Verbena:
From Booklist
What a mess! The family in Kincaid's third novel is a fascinating mess of southern charm. Verbena (Bena for short) is an exceptionally nice sixth-grade teacher in Alabama, who has five almost-grown kids and a nice husband named Bobby. Then Bobby is killed in an auto crash, and--surprise--he wasn't alone. Then Bena's oldest son brings his new girlfriend, the younger sister of Bobby's lover, home for dinner. And she lets slip that a baby also died in the car crash. Kincaid has lots more in store for the ever-resilient Bena, who seems perfectly capable of standing up to everything the twisting and turning plot throws at her. Through it all, Kincaid's writing is as real as it is delightful. Take this small piece of teacher Bena's description of junior high: "Skin broke out, hearts broke open, lockers were broken into, heads got busted, kids got busted. Lies got told and the truth got told, too--and both were terrifying." Bena's life is kinda like that. She's good, and so is her story. Peggy Barber
Copyright © American Library Association.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

~Teaser Tuesday~


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! ;)

I jumped about a foot, then looked back. Through the open window of an old, metallic green car slowly moving down the street, a bald guy with a cigarette between his lips was staring at me. ~Torched~ by April Henry Page 70

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