Friday, December 12, 2008

American Wife

I would have enjoyed this book more had I not been told ahead of time it was loosely based on First Lady Laura Bush. (Ha ha and now I’ve told you the same) Yes, you can see some known similiarities but it is obvious that not everything can be known and the authors thoughts and opinions can make their way in.

So let’s go with this as just a novel, not an unofficial biography.

It is really good. It is a complete story in that you are not left wondering what happened after she got married or will there be a sequel? This takes you through start to finish(ish).

OK, I can’t ignore the fact that Lara Bush is the lead character. And it does make it interesting to think that all these things actually happened to her, but did they? Was she really involved in a fatal car accident as a teen? Was she really involved in a violent sexual relationship that resulted in an abortion? I don’t know for sure and I hate that. If I know it is just fiction I can live with it and not care. But if I think it is based on a real person then I wonder how much is actual truth and how much is just the author inserting their own biases.But like I said as a novel as a story it was interesting, and it drew me in. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to you.

Monday, December 01, 2008


Have I mentioned I enjoy memoirs? Yes even memoirs from young people who have had an interesting life (albeit long from being over).

I was a fan of the first season of 90210 when it first came out but not much after that. I don’t recall hearing much about Tori Spelling after that until a few years ago during her first marriage. It was “news” in my city of Glendale because she married an Armenian man. When that marriage didn’t last long it was tabloid fodder and then the reality show hell began. (I kid I love reality TV.) I did not watch So NoTORIous, but I am a fan of Tori and Dean Inn Love. I knew from watching the show that he was married when they met on set, but I didn’t realize she was as well. And of course, everyone (well everyone in LA at least) heard when her father died that she received a pittance of his estate as an inheritance. To you or I $800,000 would seem li9ke a fortune but to someone who has had unlimited spending all her life it can be tough to budget yourself.

The book is open and honest as Tori seems to be in her show as well. She speaks of her odd upbringing, her favorite memory of her father being the time they would pick up dog poo in the backyard. She admits to mistakes she has made regarding the “feud” with her mother and the failure of her first marriage. She talks about the nepotism involved in starting her acting career and also how it held her back at times as well.

This book is an easy read with a keyhole look into someone’s life that would seem glamorous but shows that glamour isn’t all that it seems.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Curtis Sittenfeld

In Sittenfeld's first book "Prep" a young "underpriveleged" girl gets a scholarship to a Boarding School in New England. She constantly second guesses herself and feels as though everything she does is being scrutinized by others and that if anyone does anything for her it is for a reason. When things do start going well for her and people see her for who she can be, she still doesn't quite trust that someone could like her for her that there must be an ulterior motive.

Perhaps the reason it took me so long to read this book is because it hurt to read about myself. That is how I live my life and I know I shouldn't but I do.

This is a very good book and leads you into her next book "Man of My Dreams". This young lady grows up in a very abusive home and is shunned by her father. That upbringing is ingratiated in her mind as she is not good enough for anyone and that if a man is ever in love with her it can only lead to no good. Her trials at relationships with her friends and lovers leads you through your own psyche and makes you (or me at least) think if you are doing the same thing.

I picked up these books in preparation of reading Sitenfelds latest novel "An AMerican Wife". This book is loosely written on First Lady Laura Bush. I was told if I read it I can't help but come away liking her. Her I already like, it's her husband I have a problem with. I'll let you know what I think of this when I read it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

All The Stars Came Out That Night

You really have to be a big baseball fan to be able to follow and/or enjoy this book. Thankfully I am. The storyline takes place in 1933 and follows Satchel Paige, Leo Durocher, Dizzy Dean and many others from that era in their attempt to hold a St. Louis Cardinals -vs- Negro League Ball Game. At that time A white team was not allowed to play against a Negro team. Common knowledge holds that the Commissioner didn't want anyone to know that the Negro players were just as good if not better than the white players. There are many smaller sub plots and even some sidetracks into Hollywood and kidnapping. But don't let that distract you from a good baseball story.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Daring Book Giveaway Winner!

The winner has been notified by email. Thanks all for entering. Another giveawy next week.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Pocket Book For Daring Girls

This book will be released on October 28, 2008, but this is your chance to win a copy here and NOW!

I received this copy at BlogHer from MomCentral and am passing on the goodness to you.

Andrea Buchanan is the mother of a daughter and a son, both of whom are equally daring. Before she was a writer, she was a pianist who once performed a solo concert at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. This is her fifth book.

Miriam Peskowitz is the mother of two girls, including an eight-year-old who climbs trees and leads spy missions in the backyard. She has been a camp counselor, an historian, a blogger, a musician, a professor, and is the author of several books, including The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars.

This is the followup to The Daring Book for girls, which was rated with 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon dot com.

If you have a daughter (geared towards 9-12, but good for all ages really) this book is a must have.

To enter leave a comment here, tweet this contest for a second entry, blog about it for another.

The winner will be contacted on October 5.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

More Than it Hurts You - Darrin Strauss


I realized this would be a Manchausen by Proxy story from very near the beginning. And, while I wasn't crazy about that premise, I know it is something out there and some light needs to be shed upon it.

However, about 100 pages in there is a blow by blow of the pain (yes pain) that is being inflicted on this poor 4 month old baby. It details the whimpers of the child, the painstaking moves by the mother to make it easier for her but more painful for the baby. That was it, I had to put it down and try hrd to put it out of my mind.

Normally after I read a book, I post it on Paperback swap for a trade, this book however, I put directly into the recycling bin. I do not want anyone to read it, I do not want it to prosper or profit. It is HORRID!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Confessions of a Contractor - Richard Murphy

I really disliked this book. I finished it, but I didn't want to. Not liking it tho, is totally a matter of my taste in "storytelling".
This book doesn't read like a novel per se, it reads like a conversation. Some like that. The reviewer of People magazine loved this book. As do many on Paperback Swap. It just wasn't my cup of tea.
The story is of a Los Angeles contractor (based on his own actual experiences) who finds himself involved on different levels with his clients. I thought it would be my kinda story as I enjoy "reality" type books as well as reality tv. But again it read like he was talking to his bar buddies instead of me. The story would have been better if it was written differently.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lake News - Barbara Delinsky

Another wonderful novel from Ms. Delinsky.

The main character is Lily Blake, a talented singer who shuns the limelight and cherishes her privacy. Tricked by a reporter into unwittingly giving an interview about her friendship with a a newly appointed Cardinal, she is accused of having had an affair with him.

Lily becomes a pariah and suffers the ultimate violation of her privacy as headlines all across the country proclaim her guilt. Hounded by the press, fired from her job, deprived of all public freedom, She returns in secret to her hometown of Lake Henry, in a remote, beautiful part of New Hampshire.
But returning to her birthplace and her family is not without its own stress and pain.

Driven by the need to exact justice -- and, for herself, some kind of closure -- from the media that changed her life forever, Lily forms an uneasy alliance with John Kipling, a journalist who was born and raised in Lake Henry's poorest neighborhood. His successful career as a big-city reporter has ended disastrously, and John has come back home to edit the local newspaper, Lake News. At first he sees Lily as a victim, as well as a subject for the book he hopes to write. But soon she becomes someone whose appeal -- and cause -- he cannot deny, even at the risk of taking on his former colleagues in her defense.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


That's not the name of a book, that's the name of me.

I have read many books since the last time I have posted but I have had just a bit of drama in my life over the last month (or two years give or take). I promise I will be back within a week with more reviews and even a giveaway (or 2).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Comfort Food - Kate Jacobs

Remember how much I loved THIS?
And how when I went to BlogHer there was this stack of books as schwag?
Well Comfort Food is by the same author as The Friday Night Knitting Club and just happened to be in that stack.
This time Ms. Jacobs has kept her focus on one main character but given you enough about each of the perimeter characters that she could continue on with them in other books (which I hope she will).
Augusta "Gus" Simpson is a cooking show cook. Think Paula Deen on Food Network. That is how she was pictured in my head the entire time. She has two grown daughters and is facing cancellation of her show. When a partner is thrown in that is younger, prettier and less experienced it makes for some madcap episodes. Throw in a couple of love interests for herself and her daughters and even an odd little mystery twist and you have a great read.
Ms. Jacobs has outdone herself again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mrs. Lieutenant

This is the story of 4 women from the four corners of a square. The square is their husband’s military service and while they are all going through the same thing, they are each coming at it from their own completely different background and beliefs. It is 1970 and the one thing they all have in common is the worry that their husband will go to Vietnam.

Sharon is Jewish, Kim is a Southern Baptist, Donna is a Puerto Rican Army brat and Wendy is Black.

The story is told in 3rd person but flows as if each woman is telling her own. You cringe when prejudices are shown and you cry when bonds are formed.

The book can look deceiving as being long and daunting because the type is large, which I enjoy as being easy to read at night in bed, but it makes it almost 500 pages.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Cross Posted at Good Reads and Paperback Swap

When you can figure out the end from the prologue you assume the book is not going to be good. But you (read I) stick with it because you hate giving up on a book. It’s the journey right? You know how it’s going to end but it the how you get from A to B that’s important.

I am so very happy that I stuck with this book. It starts out very cheesy, boy meets girl, boy wants to propose to girl, girl breaks up and marries someone completely wrong. Being an avid reader of “romance” novels you know boy and girl are going to get back together before the end of the book. The journey that Theresa Fowler takes you on in her first novel is one of Robert Frost proportion, the road less taken.

This is a fairly new book and as I mentioned it is her first novel. I will definitely put her in my authors to watch for category.

Side note to my sisters, this book hits a little close to home be prepared with a box of Kleenex. G-don’t read the end first, let her take you on the journey.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Two Books

Somehow it always works out that I finish both my hard copy and my electronic books at the same time. I finished The Girl Who Stopped Swimming just a few days ago and it was very good. I have been reading Joshilyn Jackson's blog for a while now and I have always enjoyed her writing. And while I have been disappointed by books from some of my favorite bloggers (I was only willing to try this one because I could get it from the library) I really liked this one. I can't wait to read her other books.

This morning I finish How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets and it was fantastic. I highly recommend it.

I am on my way to the library at lunch today to pick up my two new books.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Light of the Moon

Cross Posted at Paperback Swap
I have always enjoyed Luanne Rice novels. She usually does such good “beach reads”. This one while very good I would not classify as a beach read. Although it is a bit intriguing it misses the mark of mysterious.

A young woman loses her mother but makes good on her promise to “find Sarah and thank her”. Sarah is a Romany saint in France said to have travelled there with the 3 Marias. Of course while there she falls in love, but it can’t be that cut and dried, there has to be a problem of course. His ex-wife, his troubled daughter, her ex-boyfriend/partner. There is some French in the book that is not translated and leaves the reader to figure it out. Some I could some I didn’t care/need to.

I am not big on description. Honestly I don’t care what color her dress is or how it plays nicely off the colors of the flowers in the garden. I skipped over a lot of this in this book. And I don’t believe I missed a thing.

This was a good quick read (3 nights). With of course a happy ending.

Cheese Monkeys

No that’s not my summation, that’s the title.

It is the story of a young man in the late 50’s going to Art school. It involves his interaction with a Southern Bell “Maybelle Lee” and Himillsy (emphsis on the ills) his best friend/crush/oddest person on the planet. The entire story takes place in two semesters but mainly focuses on the Commercial Arts class in the second semester. The first half of the book (first semester) is really just a background story to get you vested into the characters.

Professor Winston is obviously an unhappy soul and has lost his grounding with reality. How this plays into the Art world is an interesting foray.

This book reminded me of the odd novels that my son enjoys (a la Fahrenheit 451, et. Al.) And immediately upon finishing it, I took it to him and recommended it. Not because he is an Art School student but because I believe it falls into his genre of reading. All in all this is a good albeit odd little book and a very easy read.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Secret Between Us

Anything for your children.

That is pretty much the premise of this book. A single mom who would do anything for her kids. Physical shielding for one and maybe something a tad bit illegal for the other. It is a great story of a mother’s love and relationship changes. Her relationship with her kids, her family, her ex-husband and other community members.

Barbara Delinsky has the ability to make you a part of the story in ways that make you feel what each character is feeling. This is not her first time around the rodeo.

I’m not doing this book justice, just know that it is good and you should read it. And by you, well you know who you are.

Monday, June 30, 2008

I surrendered

I gave up, ya happy?!

I told Erika on the cruise that i am incapable of stopping once I start reading a book, I need to know if it will get better. that was while I was reading Life of Pi and complaining the whole way through. But I stuck with it and guess what? It sucked. It was horrible. I didn't care for all the euphemisms or the subtext, I like my story told to me and there it is.

Anyhoo, earlier this week I started reading Between the Bridge and the River by Craig Ferguson. I enjoy Craig Ferguson on his talk show (although I am rarely awake to watch it). I had heard about his book when it came out a few years back and was anticipating it's arrival from my favorite book swapping place. It even had a review from Mitch Albom on the back which excited me.

I started reading it the first night and there were a lot of characters to keep up with in the first few pages. Long story short. After 100 pages I gave up. I didn't care if it got better, I didn't care which character was which and honestly I didn't care if the characters lived or dies (I think one was in the process of both).

Sorry Craig, I will continue to watch your show when I am awake but I won't be reading anymore of your books.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Debbie Macomber

Kathy comes out of her room the other night and asks if I have read the latest in the Dakota series, well no I haven't even read the first. SHe then rushes back to her room and gets me all 3. I am thankful to her for that (and for a million other things, but that's another blog)

When I was working the American Book Expo a few weeks back, I mentioned to Erika that Debbie Macomber was going to be doing a signing, she had no idea who that was. I will tell you she is one of my favoritest authors of all. She is good for light reading, a good cry, a great followthrough and all around good reading. The tagline on her website is "Wherever you are, Debbie takes you home." It's true.

Anyhoo, this series as I mentioned is referred to as the Dakota series. Dakota Born, Dakota Home and Always Dakota. In Dakota Born we meet and begin to love the residents of Buffalo Valley, North Dakota. The premise is that it is a dying town and needs something to revitalize it. Well, uh since you know there are three books already written (and probably more to come) then you know the revitalization happens. There are a plentitude of characters some predictable some surprising. There are family lines and single storylines, but most of all there is a sense of belonging. Not just the characters belonging but you, as you are reading you start belonging to the town as well. You want Kevin to go to Art school, you want Gage and Lindsay to admit they love each other, and you want to know what is hidden in the fireplace.

I highly recommend this series and Debbie Macomber other series Blossom Street and Cedar Cove. BTW Cedar Coves latest 8 Sandpiper Way is coming out inSeptember 2008.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bad Books

I just finished two books that I didn't like. Cyprus Revisited was one that Adrienne found in anticipation of our stop in Cyprus on our last cruise. It was awful. It started with a long, long history lesson. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a good historical novel, but in the good ones the action takes place within the history. In this one they disguised the history as dialogue, "So Professor, tell me everything you know about Cypriot history. OK....." It got a little better when they got into the story of a current revolution going on, but then they had apparently used up their page allotment and ended the book in an absurd manner in about two pages.

The other book was Tree of Smoke, a war novel. Why, on earth did I think I would suddenly enjoy a war novel? I have never enjoyed a war novel in the past. My record still stands.

I can't believe I kept reading. I talked about this with Adrienne a few weeks ago. She said she always keeps reading in case it gets better. I have cut my losses before (I can probably count the books on one hand) and stopped reading. I am not sure why I kept going, but I did, and I am not the better person for it.

The two I just started are very good so far. Of course, it could just be the contrast effect.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Friday Night Knitting Club

Walker and Daughter is introduced as a knitting shop that has a club materialize out of nowhere every Friday evening. When I begin reading I worry a little that this will be a poor attempt at imitating the Debbie MacComber knitting series.

The cast of characters are plentiful and hard to keep track of at first, but by the end I was hoping that the reason for so much info on each means this author will continue this club in future novels.

This is a first novel for the author and a very good one at that. There are twists and turns and smiles and yes some tears. At one point there were sobs and more than once outright laughing.

This is definitely one to not miss.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Losing It blah blah blah blah

I wish I would have lost the book before I read it.

I like Valerie Bertinelli, and I especially enjoy autobiographies. But this was more about her ex-husband Eddie Van Halen than it was about her. Her background and childhood info was slight, even her foray into television was quickly dispersed. THe majority of the focus was on her relationship with Ed.

Of course, it is my own fault. She is only in her late 40's so really is it too early for an autobiography? She was signed to a huge weight Loss contract, so writing a book when she is "in the news" is a total publicity stunt. It worked.

My one saving grace is that I did not buy this book. It cam from my favorite book place Paperback swap. I will return it to my bookshelf and hope that some other sucker will want to read it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


"I want to be you" is what young people starting out in television would say to Barbara Walters, her reply was always "Then you have to take the whole package". But that package has been kept as a closely guarded secret to the real world for her entire career. Even her age is speculated by different media (tabloid) outlets. This book reveals all.

As is usual in an celebrity's life, the beginning is not always pretty. She talks in detail about her sister and her deficiencies. Whether now with all the testing and diagnosing and help available might her sister's life have been different? How her Father worked night and day to make the world of entertainment an everyday thing for everyday people. Lou Walters didn't get much recognition in life but recently had a street named after him in NY, where the Latin Quarter once stood.

She talks about her many romances, and speaks candidly about her marriages. Her chapter on Merv was familiar to me as she talked about Lorimar and such. It reminded me of Kathy's Law School Graduation and when she received a card signed Merv and Barbara, I was flabbergasted!

The chapter on her daughter is beautifully written about an ugly time. A time most parents of teenage daughters go through but hid from their friends. It is good to read that with everything they went through, there is hope in the end.

The last third of the book deals mainly with her hundreds of interviews, it is fascinating to read how hard she worked to get the "get". How much travel and fatigue is involved.

I have never been a "fan" per se. But I am definately impressed with all she has done and the "glass ceilings" she has broken for many women.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

All Right

Currently reading:
Santa Fe Dead by Stuart Woods - murder mystery along the lines of Rober Parker. Nothing heavy or gruesome. A lot of back story though that makes me feel I missed a book, I usually read everything that comes out by this author so I need to go on to Amazon and see if I missed something in a Sante Fe series.

Just Finished:

Belong to Me - Marisa De Los Santos - great book. She wrote one Love Walked In that has been on my list forever however my library doesn't have it. It was just one I saw reviewed somewhere that I thought I would like, but never got to read. Then I say this one (Belong to Me) at the library and the blurb looked good. When I got it home I thought I recognized the author name and checked my list. Writing style is reminiscent of Miss Zoot, definately something my sisters would enjoy.

A Laura Lippman and an Ann Rule - not something I think you guys would enjoy.

Firefly Lane - Kristen Hannah - Very Beachesesque, although I have not read or seen Beaches it has now become its own genre, and this book definately fits. Best friends going through very different lives together. Well written and comfortable read.

On the dresser waiting:

Hold Tight - Harlan Coben, Phantom Prey - John Sanford - thrillers by authors I read everything by.

Candy Cane Murder - Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine, Leslie Meier - easy read "murder", think Evanovich, with a food theme.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Time has come

I am officially restarting the Amazon Readers. I am currently reading The Audition a memoir by Barbara Walters and will give you my review when I complete it.

What are you reading?