Monday, December 28, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
1. The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
2. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters
3. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
4. The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel
5. House on Tradd Street by Karen White
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
1. The Help is written from multiple points of view. Did you enjoy the different points of view? Was there one character you enjoyed reading about over the others?
2. Hilly is definitely the villian of this piece yet the author paints her as a good mother. Was it hard for you to reconcile these two opposite pieces of her personality? What do you think drove Hilly to treat the help (and eventually Skeeter) in such terrible ways?
3. Miss Skeeter has some rough relationships throughout the novel. What are your impressions of her relationship with her mother? What about Stuart?
4. What do you think was the eventual motivation or reason that the maids stepped forward to help with the book?
5. What are your overall thoughts on the novel?
So get typing and don't forget to come back throughout the day and reply to other members' comments!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
**I bought this book in England while on vacation and did not realize that it hasn't been published in the U.S. yet. There was no publisher or page numbers available on the Internet. (Sorry!)
Summary: Gemma is kidnapped while on vacation with her parents. Her captor, Ty, takes her into the rugged Australia outback where she must fight for her life.
Review: Stolen is an interesting read. The story is written completely from Gemma point of view as she relays her side of the story to her captor and tries to make sense of what has happened to her. A young adult novel, it was an easy read and had some very intense moments. My only concern with the novel is that Ty's character is still a mystery at the end. I would have loved rotating chapters by both Gemma and Ty so the reader could understand both characters motivations for their actions. Well written and entertaining, I would recommend this book. Rating: *** out of 5.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Summary: Testimony is the story of a sex scandal that breaks out at a small New England private school and shows the repercussions through the eyes of the students and their parents.
Review: An intense novel that tackles a difficult subject through multiple characters, Testimony is a fantastic read. It is hard to feel sympathy towards many of the characters whose actions are met with the deepest consequences, but the author delves deep into each character so the reader can feel their emotion and understand their intent. At times a slow read, the book leaves the reader to contemplate how one act can change so many lives. Rating: ***1/2 out of 5.
Just a quick reminder that Barney's Online Book Club will be discussing The Help by Kathryn Stockett this Sunday, November 29th! All are welcome to join the discussion. Please email me if you have any questions and I will 'see' you on Sunday!
Monday, November 9, 2009
What are you reading this week? This meme is hosted by J.Kaye's Book Blog.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
1. The Widow's Season by Laura Brodie
2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
3. The Condition by Jennifer Haigh
4. Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell
5. Playing House by Fredrica Wagman
Monday, November 2, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Police officer Jessica Villareal has always played by the book and tried to do the right thing. But now, she finds herself approaching midlife divorced, estranged from her daughter, alone, and unhappy. And she's wondering if she ever made a right choice in her life. But then Jess discovers a girl and her father living off the radar in the Oregon woods, avoiding the comforts-and curses-of modern life. Her colleagues on the force are determined to uproot and separate them, but Jess knows the damage of losing those you love. She recognizes her chance to make a difference by doing something she's never dared. Because even though she's used to playing by the rules, there are times when they need to be broken...
What did you find this week? Friday Finds is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
1. Many blog reviewers have mentioned that telling the story through multiple characters made the story difficult to follow. Do you agree?
2. Did you sympathize with any of the characters? Why or why not?
3. Who do you feel is to blame for Silas's death?
4. How do you feel about Rob's assessment at the end of the novel? Do you think he (and the other characters) will lead a better life because they survived the scandal?
5. What was your over impression of Testimony?
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
This one paragraph really reminds me of the 'Testimony' story:
The lowlight of this giant love-in came that January, when a sophomore girl slid into the locker room for the varsity hockey team and fellated five boys in succession. This story passed from students to parents to the headmaster to prosecutors and The Boston Globe. The ensuing scandal was devastating for almost everyone involved. The school was nationally embarrassed, and sometimes girls who’ve graduated from Milton are asked if they are the serial fellator. The five boys involved were expelled, and the three older ones were charged as adults with statutory rape — charges that were eventually dismissed. Controversially, the girl was not expelled. She was placed on administrative leave and eventually transferred.
For more of this article, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/books/review/Toure-t.html
Thanks Deb for the great info!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Just a quick reminder that the discussion post for Barney's Online Book Club will go up on Sunday, October 25th. We will be discussing Testimony by Anita Shreve. All are welcome!
What are you reading? This meme is hosted by J. Kaye at J. Kaye's Book Blog.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I just wanted to let you know that I will be on vacation for the next two weeks. I am taking a tour of England, Scotland, and Wales and am leaving today. When I get back, I will post reviews for The 19th Wife (my library book club's selection) and getting ready for Barney's Online Book Club meeting in October. Thanks for all the comments and I will 'see' you when I get back!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
1. Why did you start blogging?
Monday, September 14, 2009
What are you reading this week? This meme is hosted by J. Kaye over at J. Kaye's Book Blog!
Friday, September 11, 2009
My Friday Find this week is By the Time You Read This by Lola Jaye. I found this book while reading Book Chatter, Harper Collins online newsletter. Here is a description from their website:
When he discovered that he had only six months to live, thirty-year-old Kevin Bates picked up his pen and wrote The Manual—advice for his five-year-old daughter, Lois, to live by, laugh at, and follow from twelve until thirty. Seven years later, when Lois is given The Manual, she can barely bring herself to read her father's words, the pain of his loss is still so raw. Yet soon Kevin's advice is guiding her through every stage of life from teen angst to career arcs, to knowing when she's at long last met "the one." While The Manual can never be a substitute for having Kevin back, the words left behind become Lois's steady support through all of life's ups and downs, and prove invaluable to unlocking the key to happiness.
What did you find this week? Friday Finds is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
1. Testimony by Anita Shreve
2. Pope Joan by Donna Woolfork Cross
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
4. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
5. Bird in Hand by Christina Baker Kline
In the comments section, tell me your first and second choices. All the titles are linked to their Barnes and Noble page, please take a few minutes to read the summaries and physical descriptions. Please also make sure that the book is available in your area.
If you are not on the email list, please leave me your email address so I can add you. New members are always welcome! If you are on the email list, you will receive book club news and links to all the posts. I will not count your votes if you are not on the email list. The voting will end on September 13th at 8pm EST. The results will be posted on September 15 and the discussion will take place on Sunday, October 25th. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small hotel in the heart of New York City, and Scarlett lives there with her four siblings - Spencer, Lola, and Marlene.When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are expected to take over the care of a suite in the once elegant, now shabby Art Deco hotel. For Scarlett's fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite, and a permanent guest called Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn't quite know what to make of this C-list starlet, world traveler, and aspiring autobiographer who wants to take over her life. And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn.
What did you find this Friday? Friday Finds is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Let the discussion begin!
1. How did you initially feel about Julie and the Julie/Julia project? Did your perceptions of Julie change during the course of the book?
2. What do you think was Julie's true motivation for the Julie/Julia project?
3. Do you feel that all of her family and friends were supportive of the project?
4. Did anything in the book surprise you?
5. What were your impressions of Julia Child's dislike of the Julie/Julia Project? Do you think Julie handled Julia's dislike appropriately in the book?
6. What were your overall feelings about the book?
Friday, August 28, 2009
When successful twenty-nine-year-old Manhattan attorney Emily Haxby ends her happy relationship just as her boyfriend is on the verge of proposing, she can’t explain to even her closest friends why she did it. Somewhere beneath her sense of fun, her bravado, and her independent exterior, Emily knows that her breakup with Andrew has less to do with him and more to do with...her. “You’re your own worst enemy,” her best friend Jess tells her. “It’s like you get pleasure out of breaking your own heart.” As the holiday season looms and Emily contemplates whether she made a huge mistake, the rest of her world begins to unravel: she is assigned to a multimillion-dollar lawsuit where she must defend the very values she detests by a boss who can’t keep his hands to himself; her Grandpa Jack, a charming, feisty octogenarian and the person she cares most about in the world, is losing it, while her emotionally distant father has left her to cope with this alone; and underneath it all, fading memories of her deceased mother continue to remind her that love doesn’t last forever.
What did you find this week? Friday Finds is hosted by Should Be Reading.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
by Julie Powell
Little, Brown and Company, 2005
Barney's Online Book Club Selection -- August 2009
Summary: Julie is unhappy with her life. So she decides to cook her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking over the course of one year.
Review: This book was not what I anticipated. I thought it would be Julie's account of cooking through Mastering the Art of French Cooking and all the crazy kitchen mishaps that happened along the way. It is that and so much more. Julie feels stuck in a dead-end job, is nearing thirty, and is concerned about her ability to have children. So she decides to take on a project to help her feel more fulfilled. The project ends up changing her life. Julie Powell's account of her year of cooking is entertaining, revealing, and down right funny. There were times when I was reading and unsure of the point she was trying to make (such as connections between cooking and The Joy of Sex or Buffy The Vampire Slayer), but eventually she makes her point. Through these analogies you feel like she is a friend telling you an interesting yet complex part of her views on life. This book is an interesting memoir, filled with funny stories of Julie's family and friends and the year in which she completed the impossible. I only wish there was more then a glimpse of Julia Child's life, although you do feel the connection that Julie has with her. Rating: **** out of 5.
**** On Sunday, August 30th, there will be a discussion of Julie and Julia on Barney's Book Blog. All are invited. Click here for more information!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell (discussion is Sunday, August 30th -- all are invited!)
Destined for an Early Grave by Jeanniene Frost (good, but so far not my favorite of the series)
Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker (almost finished, review this week)
Want to play along? Go to J.Kaye's Book Blog and join the fun!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I reviewed No One You Know by Michelle Richmond this week. This was my library book club's selection and our meeting was Monday. We even spoke to the author herself. She was wonderful and gave us a lot of information about how she wrote the book. My mom absolutely loved this book and we both recommend anyone who enjoys a character driven mystery to check it out.
In other news, Barney's Online Book Club's discussion of Julie and Julia by Julie Powell is next Sunday (August 30th). This should be a fantastic discussion and I invite anyone who has read the book to join us next Sunday. The more the merrier!
Also, this week the BBAW nominations were announced and I was very lucky to be nominated for 4 awards (Best New Blog, Most Concise Blog, Best Literary Fiction Blog, and Best Book Club Blog). Thanks so much to the bloggers who nominated me. I am thrilled!
Okay, so I am off to try and finish a book and enjoy my Saturday. I hope you have a great day as well!
Friday, August 21, 2009
It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife. Soon after Ann Eliza’s story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfolds–a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father’s death.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think?
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
by Michelle Richmond
Bantam Books, 2009
Summary: Twenty years after the death of her sister Lila, Ellie comes face-to-face with her sister's lover, the man she believes killed Lila. After their brief encounter, Ellie begins to investigate what really happened to Lila on that fateful night.
Review: An interesting look at how traumatic events can change the life of those left behind, No One You Know is an engaging read. Michelle Richmond describes the very different lives of two sisters. Lila, a mathematical genius, whose life is taken away too soon and Ellie, an average girl whose life is scarred by the death of her sister. The novel is part character piece and part mystery as Ellie looks for her sister's killer more than twenty years later. The murder and it's outcome are strongly written and the ending was satisfying for this reader. I was struck by the intensity of Ellie's perceptions of herself and her place in the world, which are questioned and altered due to the death of her sister. The only difficultly I had with this book was the mathematical puzzles presented, not being interested in math I had a hard time understanding and concentrating on those sections. Rating: **** out of 5.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker (just started, getting some good blog buzz)
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell -- Barney's Online Book Club Selection
A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton (a re-read)
Read / Reviewed / Reviews to come:
Montana Rose by Mary Connealy -- review
Already Dead by Charlie Huston -- review
Evermore by Alyson Noel -- review
High Five by Janet Evanovich -- S. Plum Challenge -- review
No One You Know by Michelle Richmond -- Library Book Club -- review to come
What are you reading?
Friday, August 14, 2009
At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, The Magicians boldly moves into uncharted literary territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren't black and white, love and sex aren't simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.
Sounds utterly fantastic, doesn't it?
Thursday, August 13, 2009
by Alyson Noel
St. Martin's Griffin, 2009
Summary: Ever moves to Southern California after her family is killed in a car crash. After the accident, Ever is left with psychic gifts and struggles to control them. She is drawn to Damien, a new student at her school, who can tone down the intensity of her new powers with his touch.
Review: A paranormal romance for the young adult crowd, Evermore is an entertaining novel. The story is strong in the beginning and Alyson Noel had a great gift for storytelling. Noel develops interesting characters and gives readers an unique twist on the paranormal genre. I felt the main character of Ever was interesting -- racked with guilt over the accident, determined to live a normal life, and enraptured by a boy she just met. There were parts of the plot I found somewhat confusing, especially at the end when the villain needs to be defeated. Overall, a quick and fun read that should go over well with the Twilight crowd. Rating: *** out of 5.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
by Charlie Huston
Ballantine Books, 2005
Summary: Joe Pitt is a rouge vampire and private investigator living in Manhattan. While looking for a zombie infecting the population, he is called in to investigate the disappearance of a wealthy teenage girl.
Review: Wow -- this book is not for the faint of heart. Already Dead is gritty, morose, and action packed. Joe is a vampire who is living on his own and is balancing his individual lifestyle around the politics of neighboring vampire clans. Much of the story revolves around vampire politics and how Joe can make a living without getting too involved. Joe is tough and makes no excuses for his choices. He is a fantastic character that jumps off the page. The writing is strong, especially the dialogue, and the plot is fast paced. Most likely not for the vampire romantics, but overall this novel is a great read. Ratings: **** out of 5.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
by Mary Connealy
Barbour Publishing, 2009
Summary: When Cassie Griffin's husband dies, she ends up marrying rancher and preacher Red Dawson before other area cowboys can claim her as a wife. Pregnant and alone, Cassie learns to love Red and their life together even as it is threatened by the obsession of local goon Wade Dawson.
Review: A fun story that is filled to the brim with scripture and lessons on how to be a good Christian, Montana Rose is a fun read. If Christian fiction is not your genre, I would pass on this book. There is very little violence and bad language and a whole lot of love thy neighbor. Even though I read very little religious fiction, I couldn't help but enjoy this book. Mary Connealy tells a great story, filled with interesting characters, and the pages just fly by. Rating: *** out of 5.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sorry I am late with my post but I have the day off of work and have been sleeping and reading and laying around most of the day. It has been fabulous!
No One You Know by Michelle Richmond (very good, for book club)
Persuading Annie by Melissa Nathan (just started)
Read / Reviewed / Reviews To Come:
Montana Rose by Mary Connealy -- review to come
Evermore by Alyson Noel -- review to come
Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips -- review to comeAlready Dead by Charlie Huston -- review to come
The Bronte Project by Jennifer Vandever -- review
The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal -- review
What are you reading this week?
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Reviewed This Week:
Friday, August 7, 2009
My Friday Find this week is by a local author, J. North Conway. His book, King of Heists, is not my normal fare (being non-fiction) but I absolutely love stories about bank robberies. Here is the Barnes and Noble description:
King of Heists is a spellbinding and unprecedented account of the greatest bank robbery in American history, which took place on October 27, 1878, when thieves broke into the Manhattan Savings Institution and stole nearly $3 million in cash and securities—around $50 million in today’s terms. Bringing the notorious Gilded Age to life in a thrilling narrative, J. North Conway tells the story of those who plotted and carried out this infamous robbery, how they did it, and how they were tracked down and captured.
What is your Friday Find?
*** Interested in joining an online book club? This month Barney's Online Book Club is discussing Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. All are welcome! Click here for more information.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
by Jennifer Vandever
Shaye Areheart Books, 2005
Summary: Sara is a Bronte scholar and has always believed in romantic and torturous love. That is until her fiance leaves her, she loses her job because of Princess Diana scholar, and her ideas for a movie based on the Brontes is turned into anything but historically accurate.
Review: The Bronte Project is an interesting ride. The novel is one woman's journey to live the romanticism of the Brontes' novels. Jennifer Vandever shows the funny side to academia, the humorous competition and the ridiculous controversies. Sara is a wonderful character -- funny and smart. As she tries to get over a broken heart, she stumbles through her life making decisions not based on what will make her happy. It is only through a unique cast of supporting characters that she does truly find the ending that is right for her. This novel is not chick-lit, it works in the same way that Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Single works, it has the characters making hard decisions that the reader may not agree with. Rating: ***1/2 out of 5.