Tuesday, March 31, 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."

This week, I am choosing the cover from "A Snowflake In My Hand" by Samantha Mooney.

The little black cat on the cover drew me right to this book. The cat is gazing out of a window, its little ears alert. It appears to be content.


Samantha Mooney was a veterinary research assistant in the oncology department of New York City's Animal Medical Center. While there, she came to personally know each and every cat on the ward, and all of their distinct personalties. She writes from her heart about the cats on that ward, knowing that while they could not be cured of their diseases, they still deserved good quality of life, which she gave to them unselfishly. She was particularly taken with one tiny black cat, whom she named Fledermaus. (The watercolor picture on the cover was done by Samanatha of her beloved kitty). Fledermaus was very petite and timid, and Samantha immediately took her under her wing. Together, they formed a very special bond.

I have to say that this is quite possibly the best book that I have ever read. Samantha's relationships with her feline patients were filled with compassion, love and respect. Even though this book is only 150 pages, it speaks volumes of the bonds that are formed between humans and animals. Every animal lover should own a copy of this book and read it cover to cover...with a box of kleenex close by. This one's a keeper.


Publisher: Delta (April 1, 1989)
164 pages
ISBN-10: 0385297211

Book Review: "Life As We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This chilling novel is written in journal entries by Miranda. She is a sixteen year old normal teenager...in high school, on the swim team, has her own group of friends. One evening, everything changes. A meteor crashes into the moon, pushing it off of its axis. This causes many earth-changing events such as erupting volcanoes, tsunamis and earthquakes. Life changes dramatically for everyone. There are food and gas shortages and intense changes in the weather. Miranda documents each one of these events as they unfold. She goes through stages of grief....disbelief, anger, sadness, and finally, acceptance. She realizes how much she loves her family and how much they love her. They all find out how important each one of them is to the other during this crisis. It draws them closer.This is a frightening story in the sense that something like this could really happen. I enjoyed this book for the most part, although I thought it was a little longer than it needed to be. The author was very descriptive, and painted a picture of what the little Pennsylvania town would have looked like after the incident. I could relate to the characters and what they were feeling.
Three Stars

Harcourt Children's Books (October 1, 2006)
Young Adult, 352 pages ISBN-10: 0152058265

Monday, March 30, 2009


Bookin' with Bingo is hosting a giveaway of "Whisper of Warning" and has a great interview with the author, Laura Griffin, also posted.

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizBe at ShouldBeReading.

  • 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!
"Maggie loved cold coffee. She used to pour a cup in the morning, let it sit for a few hours, and then pick it up just before lunch." ~The Dead Don't Dance by Charles Martin~

Book Review: The Orchard by Adele Crockett Roberston

The Orchard is the memoir of Radcliffe graduate Adele "Kitty" Crockett Robertson. Her daughter recently discovered her mother's diary, and wanted to publish her writings. This beautiful and amazing memoir chronicles Kitty's life from the time she leaves her comfortable home in Boston to grow apples and peaches on her family's orchard and farm near Ipswich, Mass. during the Great Depression.
Kitty survives the bank warning to foreclose on the farm, freezing cold temperatures, loss of apple and peach harvests, and much more,with only her dog, a Great Dane named Freya, by her side. She hires some very loyal workers to help her with the harvest, and fast friendships are formed. Especially with her lead helper, Joe La Plante. Together they conquer rain/snow storms, ruined harvests and the digging of a new well. Kitty's story is one of courage and strength, and the ability to overcome many discouraging obstacles that stand in her way.
Five Stars
Dial Press Trade Paperback (January 1, 1997)
256 pages
ISBN-10: 0553378597

Mailbox Monday

Here it is...another Monday. I received several books in the mail late last week, that I had ordered from Paperbackswap.com.
~One Mississippi by Mark Childress
~Kira Kira by Cynthia Kadhodata
~Shelter by Jayne Anne Phillips
I added two of these books to my Reading Challenge Lists.
Hope everyone has a great week! Happy Reading!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Sunday Salon

This past week, I finished "The Orchard" by Adele Crockett Robertson. I still need to review it. I am also reading "Life As We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer and "The Sweet In-Between" by Sheri Reynolds. Hopefully I will have those 2 finished this week.

Next on my list will be "The Double Bind" by Christopher Bohjalian. I am really going to put forth the effort to try to read two books at the same time. In the past, it has been difficult for me to do this, but I am willing to give it another try.

Since this is my first Sunday Salon post, I feel a little lost as to what exactly to blog about.

Maybe I should begin with a little about me. I am new to blogger...I just joined last week. I found out about it through LibraryThing.com. I noticed on someone's profile page that they listed a homepage link. I clicked on it, and loved what I saw. I thought "I would love to try this...." and here I am. I have never blogged before. It is very satisfying, being able to write about the books that I read....putting my feelings into words. I am also a very "visual" person...I enjoy doing things and then admiring my finished product. I think that is why I loved my dog grooming job....taking a dirty, disheveled dog, and working a miracle on it. Same with a blank blog page...I have loved setting mine up.

About me: I grew up loving books and reading. My mom is an avid reader, and has passed the loved of books down to me and my younger brother. 3 years ago, my brother introduced me to Paperbackswap.com...it was love at first sight! Since then, I have increased my library to the point that I have SO many books to be read, that I am feeling a little overwhelmed. When I joined Blogger and started reading other people's posts, I felt like I had found a place where I could spread my wings and be creative! I also love to browse others pages and get ideas about books that I can add to my own library, older books that I have never read. Newer books that I have seen but didn't really like their covers (I know, don't judge a book by its cover!) and have read other bloggers reviews and thought "wow...I WOULD really like that book...I will have to check it out!" Also, The Challenges....what a great way to get me jump-started on my reading and to keep reading consistently. I used to devour books at a faster pace, so I want to get back up to speed on that. My husband is a TV Watcher...it is on constantly. I have never liked tv...I always read. I have found myself being sucked in to some of the mindless shows that he watches and I feel I am wasting precious reading time. Time to get back on track and do what I love to do.
So! Please visit my page any time. I am looking forward to meeting others making friends.
Hope everyone has a great week....Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Non-Fiction Five Challenge 2009

This challenge is being hosted by Trish's Reading Nook.

I have wanted to join more challenges, and this sounds like something I will really enjoy!

The Rules (unchanged from previous years)

1. Read 5 non-fiction books during the months of May - September, 2009 (please link your reviews on Mister Linky each month)

2. Read at least one non-fiction book that is different from your other choices (i.e.: 4 memoirs and 1 self-help)

My list is as follows:

~Like Family by Paula McLain

~House of Steps by Amy Blackmarr

~Dry Tears by Nechama Tec

~House on the River by Nessa Rapoport

~The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

Saturday Smiley

Every Saturday at LighteningOnline is “Smiley Saturday”. Why? Because Lightening likes to make people smile.

This is game that everyone can play. I hope you will decide to join in the fun! The more the merrier indeed!

1. Copy the above image and insert it into your post. Use of the image is optional but it makes me smile when I visit your post and see it! Maybe it will make your readers smile too.

2. Write you Smiley Saturday post - smiling is the theme. How you interpret that is up to you.

I keep this video saved on my computer so that I can watch it often. I think it is so unusual and cute....plus I love cats!

If you weren't smiling before....I'll bet you are smiling now!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

~Extended Reading List~

I have decided to make a list of books that I want to read beginning June 21st, after the Spring Reading Challenge 2009 is over. These will be my Summer Reading Challenge books!

~Standing Still by Kelly Simmons

~My Life With George by Judith Summers

~With And Without You by Deborah J. Wolf

~My Lost and Found Life by Melodie Bowsher

~One Mississippi by Mark Childress

~The Perfect Age by Heather Skyler

~Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

~Plea of Insanity by Jilliane Hoffman

~An Egg on Three Sticks by Jackie Moyer Fischer

~Phoebe by Diane Noble

~Garden of Dreams by Leslie Gould

~A Sundog Moment by Sharon Baldacci

~The Anxiety of Everyday Objects by Aurelie Sheehan

~Friday Favorites~

Friday Favorites is something new that Lori at Lori's Reading Corner has come up with. Please visit her blog to find out more about it, and to post your Friday Favorite!
This is my first Friday Favorite post and I am quite excited about it! This week I am choosing the book Every Good And Perfect Gift by Brenda Jernigan.
I am a HUGE Southern Fiction fan, and this novel does not disappoint!
It takes place in the early 1950's. Complete with a small North Carolina town, a ten-year-old girl who can see God, a free-spirited mother and one fiesty granny, this novel is not only entertaining, but heartwarming as well.
Harmony; 1st. ed edition (May 22, 2001)
288 pages
ISBN-10: 0609607901
Rating: 5 stars
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

~Booking Through Thursday~

What is the best "Worst" book you have ever read? Suggested by Janet.

This is a book that you really liked, despite it getting poor reviews....

This book got some poor reviews from both critics and other readers. Since I happen to like storylines such as this, set in the rural south, I loved it. I usually don't read romances, either...but this one is certainly worth reading!

5 Stars

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cover Attraction ~ March 25th 2009

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 to stop and take a peek instead of walking right on by."
The cover of this book grabbed my attention right away. A winter scene, set in West Virginia (where I have lived before) at twilight. I could see myself standing on that very street, breathing in the cold winter air.

This week my Cover Attraction is The Coalwood Way by Homer Hickam.
I enjoy reading memoirs. Reading a story about something that really happened appeals to me immensely. I especially like reading non-fictional stories that take place in the 50's and 60's, when life was better and less complicated than it is now. A great example of a story like this, is Homer Hickam's The Coalwood Way.

This is the memoir of Homer Hickam. He is a former NASA engineer and also author of the book Rocket Boys. The Coalwood Way is a follow up to that book. He tells the tale of the autumn of 1956, when he is sixteen years old, in the town of Coalwood, West Virginia. Homer and his friends start a club called "The Big Creek Missile Agency". They build homemade rockets and have big dreams of going off to college and landing good jobs when they are older. Homer and his father don't see eye to eye on that issue. Homer Hickam Sr. is superintendent of the Coalwood Mines. He doesn't want Homer Jr, to be disappointed if his dreams do not come true. Homer's mom, Elsie, supports her son 100%. Her desire is to leave Coalwood, WV and move to Myrtle Beach, SC. She wants her husband out of the coal mines, as he has already begun Black Lung Disease.
This is a truly wonderful memoir! The story stays with you long after you have finished reading it. (Five Stars)
Island Books; 1st edition (September 4, 2001)
400 pages
ISBN-10: 0440237165

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Book Review: The Starlite Drive-In by Marjorie Reynolds

This is one of my favorite books of all time. I first borrowed it from the library in 1997 and loved it so much, I purchased a copy from Amazon Marketplace Used Books. The copy of the book I received is autographed, so it makes it even more special.

Reminiscent of "To Kill A Mockingbird", "The Starlite Drive-In" is a tale about twelve year old Callie Ann, whose father owns The Starlite Drive-In. Her story takes place in the summer of 1956.

Years later, the grounds where the drive-in had been were being prepared for new construction. Workers had come across human bones. Now forty-nine years old, Callie Ann immediately remembers the Summer of 1956. That was the summer of the visit from Charlie Memphis. Callie Ann's father hired him to do odd jobs at the drive-in. Charlie Memphis tackled many chores while he was there that summer...including curing Callie Ann's mother of Agoraphobia. The rest of the story is.....well, I don't want to spoil it....you will have to read it for yourself!

In this wonderful coming-of-age story, Marjorie Reynolds draws you in and keeps you guessing until the very end.

The Berkley Publishing Group/A Division of Penguin Putnam Inc.
ISBN: 0-425-17264-3
*One of ALA's Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults
Five Stars

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Things To Do

My Saturday Rituals

My Saturday Rituals pretty much stay the same for each Saturday. I usually get up early, to have "my quiet time". I use this time to get on the internet, search for books, get on Facebook, and now get on Blogger to blog! It is so addicting! Each Saturday, I make time for a nap. I usually lie down around 2 or 3. If I don't get my Saturday Nap, I turn into an irritable crab. Saturdays are also "grocery shopping day", "other errand day" "laundry day"...the list goes on. I try to do some small tasks during the week, so I am not so loaded down on the weekends, but it usually doesn't work out that way. I used to be such a "Susie Homemaker"...wonder what happened? Here is a brief description: When I was in my 30's I was married to my first husband, who worked in radio. He worked every Saturday. So, my Saturdays would start out with me cleaning the entire house. We lived in Florida, and had a small two bedroom home. I could clean it in a decent amount of time. Then, I would go to the library, and get a big stack of books and spend the rest of my day reading, curled up on the couch, in a clean house. I am in my 40's now. My current husband doesn't work on Saturdays. I live in a 3 bedroom house, which gets cleaned when I feel like it, which is not very often. So...I am usually curled up on my couch, in my dirty house, reading or blogging. When I complain to my mother about "not being able to clean my house on Saturdays and then feel like doing other things" her comment is "Well, you were in your thirties then...." I am 44 now. Does this mean I will no longer be able to clean my house, then go shopping? Does this mean I am OLD?

Book Review: Invisible Sisters: A Memoir by Jessica Handler

"For the first time, I felt abandoned. I knew that Susie had been sick for more than a year. I had been told that she was going to die. I was ten years old, and death was not a clear concept in my mind".

~Jessica Handler lost her younger sister Susie to leukemia in 1969. This is a coming-of-age story, set in the south in the 1960's. Jessica comes to think of herself as "the well sister", after Susie becomes ill, and her baby sister Sarah suffers from a rare blood disorder, which will eventually take her life. Jessica learns what it is like to have to deal with love and loss, pain and hardship. All of which will teach her what it takes to survive, and begin to live again.

I found that I enjoyed this story more in the beginning. Towards the middle and the end, it got harder for me to keep focused. The story's timeline jumps around, and I found that hard to follow. I did, however, enjoy reading about Jessica and her family in the 1960's. I grew up in the same time period and it brought back lots of memories.

PublicAffairs (2009), Hardcover, 272 pages
1586486489 / 9781586486488
3 Stars

Friday, March 20, 2009


Yay! Friday is finally here. Two whole days of doing whatever I want, including READING! I have a tendency to let everything else go....housework, yard work, laundry...sometimes even cooking dinner. My reading time is precious to me, since I feel that I don't get enough time to do it. I am currently reading "Invisible Sisters" by Jessica Handler. It is an Advanced Reading Copy that I snagged through The Early Reviewers program on www.librarything.com. I am enjoying it so far, albeit a very sad story. I will give a review here on my blog once I have finished it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Coming Up On 2 Years

2 years ago, on March 31st, I lost my beloved dog "Sheltie". At 16 years of age, she had been perfectly healthy, except for arthritis in her hips. She had been on the canine arthritis medication Rimadyl, and she tolerated it well. We took her often to have her liver function checked, as the medication could be damaging to her liver. In mid to late February, she started to lose her hearing, and began having panic attacks, to the point where she would shake, whimper and salivate. Our vet recommended an anti-anxiety drug for her. We started her on Clomicalm, which really seemed to help her. Not too long after she started on the Clomicalm, she began vomiting. We became concerned when she couldn't seem to stop. What had happened was that the two medications were affecting her liver. She was nauseated, dehydrated, and jaundiced. She started the vomiting on Monday. By Saturday, she was gone. In between those days, she spent time at the emergency vet clinic, where they gave her iv fluids and something for her nausea. By Friday, she was completely worn down. Steve and I had to make that most difficult decision...which was to let her go. Saturday morning, before she left us, she stood out in our front yard, in the March sunshine. The wind was blowing, which she loved. She turned her little Sheltie face into the wind, and closed her eyes...she knew. She left us gently that day. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her and miss her. My sweet Sheltie girl. She and I had 10 wonderful years together, and she was the best dog that anyone could ever hope for.
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First Day of Spring

Tomorrow, March 20th is the first day of Spring. The new season brings with it an air of anticipation...seeing new flowers bloom, and past flowers return. Warmer weather, long walks, enjoying the outdoors, and planning summer vacations! This year (as in many past years) Steve and I are planning our annual trek to Myrtle Beach, SC. We sometimes prefer to go in October, for our anniversary, but the last couple of years, we have gone in June and July. This year we are hoping to rent a beautiful but simple condo, right on Cherry Grove Beach. The owner accepts pets, so Peanut and Lilly will accompany us. We are thinking good thoughts....of ocean breezes and the smell of suntan lotion...and of warmer weather to come.

Books Ordered from Paperback Swap!

I have ordered some books on Paperback Swap. These books are not from my Wish List, but are titles that I have come across while viewing other members libraries on www.librarything.com.

*Standing Still by Kelly Simmons
*With You and Without You - Deborah J. Wolf
*Time Like A River by Mary Alice Monroe
*The Perfect Age -A Novel by Heather Skyler
*One Mississippi by Mark Childress

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Review: Flying In Place by Susan Palwick

Emma is twelve years old, her parents are still married to each other, and lives what appears to be a normal life. But things are far from normal. Her father has been sexually abusing her for years. Every morning, just before dawn, he visits her bedroom. Emma has found a way to deal with these early morning visits....a way to get away from "The Breathing"....she leaves her body. She flies up to her ceiling and looks at the bodies down below, and feels nothing. While she is "flying on the ceiling" she meets Ginny. Ginny is the sister that Emma never knew. Ginny passed away before Emma was born. Ginny can fly. Together, Ginny and Emma fly in the early hours of each morning. Ginny tells Emma things that she never knew...family secrets, an aunt she has never met. Emma becomes determined to find answers. She wants the attention and acceptance from her mother, who still grieves for Ginny. And to confront her father, stand up to him, and stop the abuse forever.

Tor Books (2005), Paperback, 192 pages
0765313863 / 9780765313867
4 Stars


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