Saturday, October 31, 2009

~Flashback 1990~



ECONOMICS:
US GDP (1998 dollars): $5,743.80 billion
Federal spending: $1252.52 billion
Federal debt: $3206.6 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):
$29,943
Consumer Price Index: 130.7
Unemployment: 5.6%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.25

EVENTS:
  • The X rating is replaced by NC-17 (no children under 17).
  • Ninety-nine percent of U.S. households have at least one radio, with the average owning five.
  • The Simpsons debuts on Fox and becomes an instant hit.
  • Euro dance band Milli Vanilli admits to lip-synching hits such as "Girl You Know Its True," and has its Grammy award revoked.
  • Seinfeld debuts on NBC.
  • Entertainment Weekly hits newsstands.
MOVIES:
Dances with Wolves, GoodFellas, Henry and June, Reversal of Fortune


BOOKS:
SCIENCE:







Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Birthday To My Girl, Cecile!


Today is Cecile's birthday (of All I Want And More). Cecile is one of a kind; Generous, caring, funny, compassionate, and one of the dearest friends that anyone could ever hope for. Please stop by her blog and wish her a very happy day.

Happy Birthday, Cecile....and many many more!



The Friday 56 - October 30, 2009


The Friday 56 is hosted by Tonya at Storytime With Tonya and Friends!

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 Tonya's blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

"Aren't you going to say something, son?" the parishioner asked him. John had no response. He had only been a graduate student at Tayson University for two weeks and didn't feel prepared to engage in the lay counseling yet. It just felt wrong. Shouldn't they at least give me a full semester first? ~The Manufactured Identity by Heath Sommer.



Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Sea of Books: Book Giveaway: IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT by Lisa Dale

A Sea of Books: Book Giveaway: IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT by Lisa Dale

Booking Through Thursday - Blurb


Suggested by Jennysbooks:

Something I’ve been thinking about lately: “What words/phrases in a blurb make a book irresistible? What words/phrases will make you put the book back down immediately?”

If the phrase "coming-of-age" is in the blurb, then I am definitely interested. Also, if I see that the story takes place in the south, and is narrated by a child or teenager, I know that it is a book that I will like. "Memoir" is another word that I search for...I love memoirs!

If I see "Historical" anywhere in the blurb, then I put the book back down...I don't care for historical fiction. "Murder Mystery" or "Whodunit" I don't read those, either.

I am never drawn in by "New York Times Bestseller", or "Oprah's Book Club". I will pick these books up and scan the back covers or inside sleeves...but it is usually not something that I am interested in.

What about you? What "blurbs" draw you to a certain book?








Wednesday, October 28, 2009

~Book Review - In A Perfect World by Laura Kasischke~

Product Description From Amazon:

This is the way the world ends...

It was a fairy tale come true when Mark Dorn—handsome pilot, widower, tragic father of three—chose Jiselle to be his wife. The other flight attendants were jealous: She could quit now, leaving behind the million daily irritations of the job. (Since the outbreak of the Phoenix flu, passengers had become even more difficult and nervous, and a life of constant travel had grown harder.) She could move into Mark Dorn's precious log cabin and help him raise his three beautiful children.

But fairy tales aren't like marriage. Or motherhood. With Mark almost always gone, Jiselle finds herself alone, and lonely. She suspects that Mark's daughters hate her. And the Phoenix flu, which Jiselle had thought of as a passing hysteria (when she had thought of it at all), well . . . it turns out that the Phoenix flu will change everything for Jiselle, for her new family, and for the life she thought she had chosen.

From critically acclaimed author Laura Kasischke comes a novel of married life, motherhood, and the choices we must make when we have no choices left.


fall post divider Pictures, Images and Photos

My Thoughts: Once I started reading this book, it was very difficult to put it down. I was so caught up in Mark and Jiselle's love story, and whether or not his children were going to accept her into the family. Ms. Kasischke's characters are likable and easy to connect with. I felt Jiselle's elation when she and Mark were married, and I felt her pain when his eldest daughter gave her a terrible gift that first Christmas the family celebrated together. I felt joy when they were able to come together as a family to survive the challenges that were ahead.

What happens in this story is very real and very frightening. Ms. Kasischke paints a perfect portrait of what life would be like if (or when......) a virulent pandemic sweeps the nation, and what is left in its aftermath.

Three & 1/2 Stars

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061766119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061766114
I have read Ms. Kasischke's previous novels and highly recommend them, too!

Laura Kasischke teaches in the University of Michigan MFA program and the Residential College. She has published seven collections of poetry and seven novels. She lives with her family in Chelsea, Michigan.

~Waiting On Wednesday~

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I don't read historical fiction....It's just not my cup of tea. However, I came across this book while browsing on Amazon.com, and it sounds like something I would enjoy......

The Book Of Fires: A Novel by Jane Borodale

Product Description

Reminiscent of Year of Wonders, a captivating debut novel of fireworks, fortune, and a young woman's redemption

It is 1752 and seventeen-year-old Agnes Trussel arrives in London pregnant with an unwanted child. Lost and frightened, she finds herself at the home of Mr. J. Blacklock, a brooding fireworks maker who hires Agnes as an apprentice. As she learns to make rockets, portfires, and fiery rain, she slowly gains his trust and joins his quest to make the most spectacular fireworks the world has ever seen.

Jane Borodale offers a masterful portrayal of a relationship as mysterious and tempestuous as any the Bront√ęs conceived. Her portrait of 1750s London is unforgettable, from the grimy streets to the inner workings of a household where little is as it seems. Through it all, the clock is ticking, for Agnes's secret will not stay secret forever.

Deeply atmospheric and intimately told from Agnes's perspective, The Book of Fires will appeal to readers of Geraldine Brooks, Sarah Waters, Sheri Holman, and Michel Faber.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (January 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670021067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670021062
What are YOU waiting for today?




Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (with some whining.....)


Hi Everyone:

I missed posting yesterday....was home from work with some kind of bug.....still don't feel great today, so I will keep it short and sweet!

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! ;)

Jiselle grabbed Sam's arm, hurrying him away from the doors, which hesitated once and then closed with an electrical finality behind them. "Shit!" someone shouted from inside the store, and there were more shouts following it - curses, cries of dismay, protest, exasperation, disbelief muffled by the glass between the world and Wal-Mart. pg 155, In A Perfect World by Laurel Kasischke

Whats YOUR teaser today?







Sunday, October 25, 2009

~More 1989~


Fog descending over East River Mountains, Bluefield, WV. Photo by Mel Grubb.

1989 is one of those years that I don't remember "fondly". I moved in with my boyfriend (fiance) from the radio station...his name was Mark. He was fired from the station where we worked together, and went to work at another station. I quit my job, and just kind of floundered around, doing temp work.

In June, he was offered a position at a radio station in Bluefield, WV (we were still living in Charleston at the time). He accepted, and we made the move 100 miles to the south, to Bluefield. Talk about culture shock. Bluefield was very small (in comparison to Charleston) and there were no available apartments for rent when we got there. There was, however, a single wide trailer available, so that is where we lived. I was able to sign on with a temp agency there, and worked sporadic temp jobs. Mark was "the morning guy" at the radio station, and a manager, so it was a step-up for him.

I remember first arriving there and seeing the sign "Welcome to Bluefield; Nature's Air Conditioned City" and wondering what that meant. Bluefield is referred to as The Southern Gateway to West Virginia. Bluefield is nestled in the Southern Appalachian Mountain Range. Its relatively high elevation is responsible for its moderate summer climate which earned the city its title.

Right after we moved in, I went to the animal shelter and adopted a kitten, because, a house is not a home without a kitten! I chose a tiny torti and named her Katie. She immediately became my baby and I spoiled her rotten.

With the lack of steady work there for me, I fell behind paying my debtors. An opportunity arose for me to go to NY and work for the telephone company. There was a strike going on, and they were looking for people to man the phones in their call centers. My best friend from high school worked there and got me on as a temp. I flew up there and lived with my Dad, and worked 10 hour days to pay off my credit cards. Of course, no one warned me that I would have to cross picket lines every day, and would be considered a "scab"....how lovely. I endured 8 weeks, paid off all of my cards, and returned to West Virginia in time for Christmas.

What about you? What were YOU doing in 1989?







Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Dance Happy Dance - A New Award!!!


The Awesome and Lovely Lisa at Lit and Life has presented me with The Great Look Award!

This award is meant to pat on the back the ones paying particular attention to their blog presentation.

And the rules here are:


1. Post the award on your blog, with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award to 5 other blogs that your particularly like. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

I have chosen the following blogs to present this award to:

Cecile (My favorite Hussy!) at All I Want And More

Snow Impressions by Laurel Rain-Snow

Diane at The Book Resort

Wrighty at Wrighty Reads

Kaye at Pudgy Penguin Perusals

Happy Saturday everyone!
















Flashback 1989




Tens of thousands of Chinese students take over Beijing's Tiananmen Square in rally for democracy (April 19 et seq.). More than one million in Beijing demonstrate for democracy; chaos spreads across nation (mid-May et seq.). Thousands killed in Tiananmen Square as Chinese leaders take hard line toward demonstrators (June 4 et seq.).

A San Francisco Bay area earthquake measuring 7.1 in magnitude, killed 67 and injured over 3,000. Over 100,000 buildings damaged or destroyed. (Oct. 17)


Economics

US GDP (1998 dollars): $5,438.70 billion
Federal spending: $1143.17 billion
Federal debt: $2868.0 billion
Median Household Income
(current dollars):
$28,906
Consumer Price Index: 124
Unemployment: 5.3%
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.25


Events

  • Salman Rushdie's novel Satanic Verses is published and sparks immediate controversy. Islamic militants put a price on his head.

  • America's beloved comedienne Lucille Ball dies at age 87.

  • Visionary Jaron Lanier coins the term virtual reality and produces the equipment to experience it.

  • Saturday Night Live's comedienne Gilda Radner passes away at age 42 from ovarian cancer.

Books

Oscar Hijuelos, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love











Friday, October 23, 2009

Completed - The Fall Reading Challenge


I have completed The Fall Reading Challenge! My list only consisted of four books. I didn't want to choose more than that because I am still reading for the Random Reading Challenge as well!

The books completed were:

The Widow's Season by Laura Brodie Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker Who Do You Think You Are by Alyse Myers
Driving With Dead People by Monica Holloway

What books have you completed for your challenges?




It's Friday Meme Time!!


Tonya at Storytime With Tonya and Friends is the host of THE FRIDAY56!
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 Tonya's blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Healthy people, it was said, could withstand this rather minor infection. Drug users could not, of course. Nor the children of drug users. It was true that medical professionals and the depressed were at special risk.~ In A Perfect World by Laura Kasischke






~Book Review - The Widow's Season by Laura Brodie~


Synopsis from Amazon.com:

From Publishers Weekly
Brodie weaves an engaging tale of grief and loss in her What if? debut. When Sarah McConnell's husband of 17 years dies in a kayaking incident, she is left widowed and childless at the age of 39. But David's body is never recovered, and after three months of seeing glimpses of her husband at the grocery store and her home, Sarah wonders whether she really is a widow. On Halloween night, David shows up at her front door and offers a plausible explanation for his absence, and Sarah is, understandably, relieved yet also distraught—since she's the only person who has seen him, is he real? Or is she going crazy? Brodie expertly walks the line between reality and fantasy, life and death, heartache and love, leaving readers hoping for the best and prepared for the worst—without ever really knowing the truth—until the final five pages. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

My Thoughts:

Thi
s was a fantastic read that kept me engrossed the whole time I was reading it.

Laura Brodie did a fabulous job with the story and the characters. You are drawn in to the story from the very beginning, and are not sure what is fantasy and what is reality. I was kept on the edge of my seat every time that Sarah thought that she saw her husband somewhere....was it really him? Was it his ghost?
I hated to put this book down - I wanted to stay home from work to finish it. When a book is that good, you know that the author has accomplished what they originally set out to do....captivate their audience. I want to read more by Laura Brodie!

Four 1/2 Stars

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425227650
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425227657

For more information about the author, please visit her website at http://laurabrodieauthor.com.








~The Lovely Blog Award~



My new blog buddy Michelle over at The True Book Addict has honored me with The Lovely Blog Award!! Thank you, Michelle, and congrats on all of the awards that you have received!




~Friday Finds - Waking Samuel by Daniel Coyle~


From Publishers Weekly

A nurse finds solace in her work with a mysterious brain-injured patient in this poignant, brooding first novel by Coyle, a contributing editor at Outside magazine and the author of the nonfiction book Hardball: A Season in the Projects. In the suburban Seattle hospital where she works, Sara Black is assigned to care for an anonymous patient in his early 20s who was found on a nearby beach with a bullet in his head. She has some success with her patient, who is in "a state of suspended disrepair," but she is preoccupied with her own suffering: two years ago her four-year-old son was killed in a car accident; she was the driver. One day, her patient begins to speak. Giving his name as Samuel, he slowly provides a fragmented account of having been stranded on a remote Alaskan island. Despite the misgivings of her husband, Tom, Sara's involvement with Samuel deepens, until she begins reliving her accident by telling him stories about her son. The suspense heightens when Sara finally learns her patient's full name and contacts his family in Chicago, only to discover that the police have verified his death. But the island story line turns lurid and cartoonish as Coyle delves deeper into Samuel's involvement with a mysterious young man named Kjell, his sister and their diabolical marine biologist father, Dr. Spero. Despite this lapse in tone, Coyle tells Sara's story with graceful eloquence and authority, tracing the subtle trajectory of her return to a state of emotional equilibrium.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1 edition (October 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582342814
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582342818
What did YOU find today????



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

~Waiting On Wednesday - Bloodroot by Amy Greene~



From Amazon.com:


Review:
"This stunning debut novel is a triumph of voice and setting. Following one family from the Depression up through the present, the story is . . . set in a remote region called Bloodroot Mountain, so named for the rare flower that grows there, which can both poison and heal. The family's struggles with poverty and human cruelty and their search for connection are set against the majestic Appalachian landscape, which is evoked in the simplest and most beautiful language. At the center of this dramatic story is Myra Lamb . . . born with sky-blue eyes and a talent for connecting with animals and people. Allowed to run free on the family's mountaintop, Myra is a charismatic figure who eventually draws the romantic interest of John Odom, the wealthy son of business owners in town. Their marriage, which starts out with so much promise, gradually turns abusive . . . The long repercussions of their violent relationship, on both Myra's children and Myra's own sanity, are played out through the decades as each family member speaks to the lasting effects of John Odom's hot temper. With a style as elegant as southern novelist Lee Smith's and a story as affecting as The Color Purple, this debut offers stirring testimony to the resilience of the human spirit."
—Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist (starred)

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (January 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307269868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307269867
What are YOU waiting for today?




Tuesday, October 20, 2009

~An Awesome Cookbook~


I am very fortunate to have received a copy of Jane Doiron's cookbook Make-Ahead Meals For Busy Moms!

Although I don't have any children (other than the fur-covered kind) my husband and I are SO tired when we get home from work, and I like to have a home-cooked meal every evening. This cook book is full of recipes that allow you to cook ahead of time, freeze your meals, then just pop them in the microwave during the week!

I just received the cook book yesterday, so a review will be forthcoming. I want to thank Jane for sending me a copy. This cook book will be a life-saver!




Test Your Awareness

My husband showed this to me and I was blown away. I need to start paying better attention to what is going on around me! :)






~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! ;)

Sarah's blood had registered the news before her mind, going suddenly cold, her teeth chattering so hard she could only reply to Carver with a low, animal moan. She remembered experiencing the initial stages of shock, her tongue all thick and fuzzy, her body bending double. ~ pg 132, The Widow's Season by Laura Brodie

What's YOUR teaser today??


Monday, October 19, 2009

The Christmas Reading Challenge 2009


Michelle at The True Book Addict has announced her first reading challenge, The Christmas Reading Challenge 2009! Here are Michelle's details:


The Christmas Reading Challenge:
  • will run from Thanksgiving Day, November 26 through New Year's Eve, December 31, 2009
  • you can choose 1 - 3 books...I know it seems a small amount, but it's a busy time of year and the challenge is only a little over a month.
  • These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore or a book of Christmas short stories (sorry, no children's books, but YA novel is okay).
  • Be sure to check back here in a couple of days, I will have a list of new Christmas books coming out and some old favorites to recommend.
  • Be sure to come back and link your post here on Mr. Linky. This is my first time using it so if it doesn't work, leave your link in the comments. Please leave a comment after you post your link in Mr. Linky. Thanks!
My pick for the challenge is Grace by Richard Paul Evans.






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