Friday, October 29, 2010

At Long Last.....

I think I am probably the only person on the planet that has NOT read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins! It's been on my wish list forever! On my lunch hour today, I went to TJ Maxx to browse around. They had some books.....a choice few, and The Hunger Games was one of them, at a very very decent price. Needless to say, it went into my cart, with 4 other AWESOME books. The others I bought are a big SECRET because they are going to be part of the GRATITUDE GIVEAWAY beginning November 17th, and running until November 28th. These new books will be included, along with some other ***GOODIES***. Be sure to pop back by during that time to enter the giveaway.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

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! ;)

My teaser today comes from The Help by Kathryn Stockett:

~He rubs his brow with his white shirtsleeve and I see why his shirts are always so dirty. And he is sort of handsome. For a white man.~ pg. 139

What's YOUR teaser today?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review - One Good Dog by Susan Wilson

From Goodreads:

Adam March is a self-made “Master of the Universe.” He has it all: the beautiful wife, the high-powered job, the glittering circle of friends. But there is a price to be paid for all these trappings, and the pressure is mounting—until the day Adam makes a fatal mistake. His assistant leaves him a message with three words: your sister called. What no one knows is that Adam’s sister has been missing for decades. That she represents the excruciatingly painful past he has left behind. And that her absence has secretly tormented him all these years. When his assistant brushes off his request for an explanation in favor of her more pressing personal call, Adam loses it. And all hell breaks loose.

Adam is escorted from the building. He loses his job. He loses his wife. He loses the life he’s worked so hard to achieve. He doesn’t believe it is possible to sink any lower when he is assigned to work in a soup kitchen as a form of community service. But unbeknownst to Adam, this is where his life will intersect with Chance.

Chance is a mixed breed Pit Bull. He’s been born and raised to fight and seldom leaves the dirty basement where he is kept between fights. But Chance is not a victim or a monster. It is Chance’s unique spirit that helps him escape and puts him in the path of Adam.

What transpires is the story of one man, one dog, and how they save each other—in ways they never could have expected.

My Thoughts:

I love Susan Wilson's writing. I own one of her other books, Beauty, which I loved so much that I bought a copy for my own personal bookshelf. One Good Dog easily fits into that category...I loved it THAT much that I am adding it to my shelves.

At first, I hated the main character, Adam. He is a pompous ass. After he gets what I think he deserves, the story takes on a different twist. Adam must work so many hours of community service as penance for his crime. It is during this time that he begins to metamorphosis into an honorable man. He works at a men's homeless shelter, he runs very low on money. He is forced to live in a tiny apartment and has to do without all of the luxuries that he has become accustomed to. He adopts a dog without really meaning to....he tells himself he will "foster" the dog until other arrangements can be made. Then, he meets Gina, who owns the pet store across the street from his apartment. It is a "chance" meeting that grows into something more. Adam's life changes drastically into something he never imagined.

I didn't want this story to end. Fortunately, it ends on a grand note, and I was completely satisfied at the end. I did need some Kleenex, though. Recommended!

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2010)
0312571259 (ISBN13: 9780312571252)

Photobucket Outstanding!

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's Friday!

Friday Finds is hosted by Should Be Reading.

An enchanting book for Tweenagers to Keenagers set in the early 1940's. Connee discovers that staying in the home of wealthy cottage owners is both exciting and lonely. Sally, who becomes her best friend, lures her into mischief and adventure in the elegant summer resort - Bella Vista - managed by Connee's parents. Sally's big brother, Joe, challenges them to outsmart his tormenting antics. Connee learns that false pride can thwart her happiness and that Sally,though carefree, has a painful secret.The action takes place in the mountains of North Arkansas during a period of history when there was no air conditioning. All over the nation, those who could afford it escaped the sweltering heat of their city homes and spent whole summers in the cool of resorts. Lazy days were spent fishing, playing cards, or just sitting on screened porches to enjoy the cool breezes. They rode horses at dawn, swam in pools or lakes, and at night foxtrotted or jitterbugged to the music of Big Bands. Author Constance May Waddell (Connee) discovered her childhood diaries, musty with age. Tears fell on the moldy pages as she re-read them. She decided that now was the time to keep the promise she'd made to Roseanne Matofsky (Sally) as Roseanne lay dying at the age of forty-one. Constance would write the stories of their delightful teen escapades so that Roseanne's children and grandchildren could hear them just as Constance had told them to her own. This is a book of real happenings, captured through the eyes and reality of a young girl in a different time and a different place. Waddell hopes those who read it will experience an era when children could safely catch rides with strangers and when it was not unusual for whole families to work together in a business.

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (March 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0759679940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0759679948

What did YOU find today?????

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

~Waiting On Wednesday~

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

My pick today comes from a recommendation from Shellie at Layers Of Thought!

The Fates Will Find Their Way: A Novel by Hannah Pittard:

Sixteen year-old Nora Lindell is missing. And the neighborhood boys she left behind are caught forever in the heady current of her absence.

As the days and years pile up, the mystery of her disappearance grows kaleidoscopically. A collection of rumors, divergent suspicions, and tantalizing what ifs, Nora Lindell's story is a shadowy projection of teenage lust, friendship, reverence, and regret, captured magically in the disembodied plural voice of the boys who still long for her.

Told in haunting, percussive prose, Hannah Pittard's beautifully crafted story tracks the emotional progress of the sister Nora left behind, the other families in their leafy suburban enclave, and the individual fates of the boys in her thrall. Far more eager to imagine Nora's fate than to scrutinize their own, the boys sleepwalk into an adulthood of jobs, marriages, families, homes, and daughters of their own, all the while pining for a girl—and a life—that no longer exists, except in the imagination.

A masterful literary debut that shines a light into the dream-filled space between childhood and all that follows, The Fates Will Find their Way is a story about the stories we tell ourselves—of who we once were and might someday become.

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Ecco

What are YOU waiting for???

Monday, October 11, 2010

Review - The Sky Always Hears Me And The Hills Don't Mind

From Goodreads:

I borrow the car again from Grandma and drive out to my hill. I scream I AM A BIG FAT ZERO, plus I AM SWEARING OFF KISSING FOREVER, and I HATE BEING A SECRET SEX FIEND, about sixteen times each. Then I sit very still and watch a hawk swirl over the fields. I have to get a new life before I go crazy.

Sixteen-year-old Morgan lives in a hick town. Her mom was killed in a car accident when she was two, her dad drinks, and her stepmom is a non-entity. Her boyfriend Derek is boring and she can't stop staring at her coworker Rob's cute butt. Then there's the kiss she shared with her neighbor Tessa . . . But when Morgan discovers a devastating secret about the one person she completely trusted, her entire world crashes and she must redefine her life and herself.

Compelling and complex, The Sky Always Hears Me is a fast-paced narrative with raw humor and a heart-wrenching twist.

My Thoughts:

A cute story about Morgan, a high school girl who lives out in the middle of "Central Nowhere" in Nebraska. She's a typical teen who has lots of friends, a boyfriend, and excels in school. She has a favorite spot that visits frequently, that she calls The Hill. It is where she goes when she wants to scream out her frustrations, whatever they may be. She also enjoys writing fortunes on Post It Notes and leaving them random places for others to find. The story covers her relationship with her grandmother, in which some family secrets are revealed that throws Morgan into tailspin. Partner that with her break-up with her long-time boyfriend, kisses from a girl who adores her and a new relationship with a guy that she works with at the grocery store, and you have one FANTASTIC novel that is just begging to be read! Loved it!

Photobucket Very Good!

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Flux; 1 edition (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738715042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738715049

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Review - Ten Minutes From Home: A Memoir by Beth Greenfield

From Goodreads:

Ten Minutes from Home is the poignant account of how a suburban New Jersey family struggles to come together after being shattered by tragedy.

In this searing, sparely written, and surprisingly wry memoir, Beth Greenfield shares what happens in 1982 when, as a twelve-year-old, she survives a drunk-driving accident that kills her younger brother Adam and best friend Kristin. As the benign concerns of adolescence are re­placed by crushing guilt and grief, Beth searches for hope and support in some likely and not-so-likely places (General Hospital, a kindly rabbi, the bottom of a keg), eventually discovering that while life is fragile, love doesn’t have to be.

Ten Minutes from Home exquisitely captures both the heartache of lost innocence and the solace of strength and survival

My Thoughts:

Ten Minutes From Home is a well written memoir by Beth Greenfield, which tells the heartbreaking story of a car accident that takes the life of Beth's little brother Adam, and her best friend Kristen. In 1982, a drunk driver causes her family's accident. Beth chronicles her years after the accident, growing up in a home full of sadness and despair. She doesn't know how to deal with her grief, and becomes angry with her parents, especially her mother, because her mother outwardly expresses her sadness to anyone and everyone, which becomes an embarrassment to Beth.
Beth learns over the course of years how to deal with her grief and loss, with the help of school counselors and therapists. She and her parents grow close again.
Although I have never had to deal with this kind of loss personally, I felt Beth's pain....her sadness and guilt, and completely understood her actions as she grew into a teenager, acting out in order to receive her parents attention. This is a very good memoir, one I will remember for a long time.

Photobucket Very Good!

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Harmony (first published 2010)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Finally Friday!!

Friday Finds is hosted by Should Be Reading.

A scalding exploration of love, marriage, fidelity, and betrayal.

"Meet me at five,"
the voice said on the answering machine. Four ordinary words yet, when heard by the wrong person, enough to change the course of a marriage.

Marooned in Hollywood while writing a screenplay based on his latest bestselling novel, Miles King records in his journals his escalating conviction that his glamorous wife, a New York-based journalist named Maggie, is having an affair with Miles's favorite student.

Amidst the sun-buffed egos and the longing for connection and fame he encounters at every cocktail party and no-name bar in Hollywood, Miles finds unexpected comfort in an affair of his own with Lucy, a young mother whose open, eager mind sparks an irresistible passion in him. A potent brew of lust, guilt, anger, and betrayal, Miles's journals reveal his constantly shifting emotional state and the perils he must navigate as his fantasies become increasingly hard to distinguish from reality.

In Hollywood Savage, acclaimed novelist Kristin McCloy probes one modern man's psychological depths with stunning accuracy, and illuminates the ways men and women try desperately to reveal themselves to one another, while still always keeping a part of their hearts a secret.

What did YOU find today???

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review: Blackout Girl by Jennifer Storm

From Goodreads:

"Where the hell am I? How did I get here?"

Beginning at the age of 12, Jennifer Storm asked herself these questions many times after waking from alcohol-induced blackouts. During her teens and early twenties, Storm turned to alcohol to deal with the traumas in her life. In addition to alcohol, she also experimented with drugs, and eventually began using crack to deal with the deep black hole of sadness, loss, and unworthiness that she felt inside herself.

That is, until she awoke in a hospital psych ward and saw bandages on her wrists. "The doctor came in and said I was a very lucky girl to be alive," she explains, "and for the first time in my life, I believed it." She agreed to transfer to a rehabilitation center, though she wondered how life would be without alcohol and drugs. "Even as I asked myself this question, I quietly just knew I would never need them again. That inherent knowledge gave me a greater sense of peace than I had ever felt before. It was intoxicating in a whole new way."

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this memoir more when it got towards the end, and Jennifer was in her healing process. The beginning and middle parts were difficult for me to read, mainly because I felt so angry at her for her actions. Her behavior was so self-destructive...and I felt sorry for her parents. This is why I gave it a three star rating. However, towards the end of her story, I warmed up to her a great deal. She overcomes her addictions, attends college, and chooses a profession that is perfect for her. I found this to be a good but challenging read.

Photobucket Good

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden Publishing (February 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592854680
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592854684

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

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! ;)

My teaser today comes from Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix by Charles R. Cross:

~The guitar became his life, and his life became the guitar. With the instrument in hand, his next fixation became finding a band.~ pg. 65

Whats YOUR teaser today???

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Review: Before I Say Goodbye by Ruth Picardie

From the back cover:

Ruth Picardie was thirty-three when she died, a month after her twins' second birthday and just under a year after she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. For Ruth, a journalist, it seemed natural to write about her illness. She published only seven columns for Observer Life magazine before she became too sick to continue, but her moving, funny and very human account drew a huge response from readers all over England.

Before I Say Goodbye juxtaposes these columns with correspondence from readers, e-mails to her friends, letters to her children and reflections by her husband and her sister. The result is a courageous and moving book, entirely devoid of self-pity, that celebrates the triumph of a brave and wonderful woman's spirit.

My Thoughts:

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to read and review an appropriate book for the theme, and fortunately this was the book that I chose. I've had this book for quite awhile, wanting to read it, but waiting for the spirit to move me to pluck it off of my shelf.

Ruth's story is not one of bemoaning her predicament. It is the story of her life before and after her horrendous diagnosis; life with her husband and her children, the love of her job, the silliness that is shared between her and her friends, and her crass view of cancer...its intrusion into her life.

Her lump, when first detected by Ruth herself, was determined by her doctors as being a "fibroadenoma", a non-cancerous lump of the breast. Pacified by the diagnosis, Ruth and her husband Matt wiped the worry from their minds. Approximately a year after that diagnosis, the lump began to grow. Ruth returned to her doctor demanding answers. By that time the lump had turned cancerous....a very aggressive type of cancer, which quickly spread to her bones, lungs, liver and brain.

Ruth mentions in her book that she had to demand to be given MRI's and CT Scans to detect the cancer's spread. I can't imagine a doctors careless indifference about listening to a patient in pain. It is scary and surreal that this actually happens.

"Death is a hard concept for adults to grasp too. Through tear-blurred vision, it was easy to imagine that she might suddenly sit up and order a glass of fruit juice or a mug of hot chocolate. It takes not minutes, nor even months, but perhaps years for one to register and accept, at every stratum and substratem of one's being, the loss of a loved one. Even now it feels unreal most of the time. How could it have happened, after all? It wasn't part of the plan."

~After Words by Matt Seaton, pg. 131.

Very Good!

Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Penguin UK (May 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0140276300
ISBN-13: 978-0140276305

Early detection saves lives! Check your breasts once a month, and get your yearly mammograms. ~Find A Cure~


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