Thursday, December 1, 2011

November Month in Review

Book Club
This month we read Lady Sophia's Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes

2011 Support Your Local Library Challenge
I checked out six books and renewed a bunch too.

Ice by Linda Howard (aduiobook)
The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
The First Husband by Laura Dave
London Under by Peter Ackroyd
Jane Austen's Emma by Nancy Butler and Janet Lee
The Scandal of Lady Eleanor by Regina Jeffers

Men in Uniform - 2011 Reading Challenge
I read one book for this challenge this month:

Ice by Linda Howard

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book Club - November

Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (2011)

Author:Grace Burrowes
Series:#1 in Windham Sisters
Published:October 1, 2011
Publisher:Sourcebooks Casablanca
# Pages:416


Description:
"Grace Burrowes passes 'the hair rose on the back of my neck' test...{her} voice embeds itself in your brain." -USA Today A luminous holiday tale of romance, passion, and dreams come true from rising star Grace Burrowes, whose award-winning Regency romances are capturing hearts worldwide. All she wants is peace and anonymity... Lady Sophie Windham has maneuvered a few days to herself at the ducal mansion in London before she must join her family for Christmas in Kent. Suddenly trapped by a London snowstorm, she finds herself with an abandoned baby and only the assistance of a kind, handsome stranger standing between her and complete disaster. But Sophie's holiday is about to heat up... With his estate in ruins, Vim Charpentier sees little to feel festive about this Christmas. His growing attraction for Sophie Windham is the only thing that warms his spirits-but when Sophie's brothers whisk her away, Vim's most painful holiday memories are reawakened. It seems Sophie's been keeping secrets, and now it will take much more than a mistletoe kiss to make her deepest wishes come true... "Burrowes's sensual love story...rises above the crowd with deft dialogue and delightful characters." -Publishers Weekly (starred review) (20110823) -- From Amazon.com Product Description

Review:
Again I completely forgot about this blog post. Possibly because we really didn't talk about the book at the meeting.  I enjoyed the book, I read the other books Grace wrote in her Windham siblings books, there are three books about her brothers that technically come before this one, but you don't really have to read them.

Monday, October 31, 2011

October Month in Review

Book Club
For October we read Divine Evil by Nora Roberts. This is one of my favorite books of her and I was happy to suggest it and glad it seemed to be well received.


2011 Support your Local Library Challenge

This was a big month I checked out 13 books (as well as a few DVDs). One of the last ones I checked out was the Steve Jobs biography. This book is massive, I have no idea how I'm going to read it and write my NaNoWriMo novel in November.


Men in Uniform 2011 Reading Challenge
I read one book this month and technically he was a cop so I counted it but he was never in a real uniform.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Book Club - October

Book: Divine Evil
Author: Nora Roberts

Description:
Famed sculptor Clare Kimball has commanded the attention of the New York art world, but troubling memories from childhood have drawn her home to Maryland, to the town where she grew up and where her father died so long ago in circumstances never really explained. Nothing much has changed in Emmitsboro—except Cameron Rafferty, the onetime high-school bad boy turned town sheriff. The only hint of Cam’s wild nature is the light in his eyes when he looks at Clare. In Cam’s strong arms Clare is seduced into falling in love—and into believing that her small-town world is safe.

But within the dark woods of Emmitsboro, something evil is spreading its poisonous power. Now Clare must pay the price for digging up the secrets of the past . . . and confront an evil that may be unstoppable—because those who practice it believe it is divine. (from Goodreads.com)

Review:
I'll be honest I almost forgot to do this post (kinda like last month). I love this book! Shelly and I both really enjoy reading it so when we were trying to find a good book for October we kept suggesting this book until every one else agreed to it sounded good too. We both agree that the main reason we love the book is because of the last few paragraphs. There is a nice little twist that neither one of us can see coming, even now that we know it's there, we just can't see any lead up to the twist.

The rest of the girls seemed to have mixed feelings about the book. Not everyone finished it, but they all had good things to say about what they had read and were willing to finish the book. Every one agreed that it was really dark and twisted and while a Nora Roberts novel it doesn't contain a lot of romance. It also received some negative points for because of it's age, the characters are chain smokers, and topics and styles are still very early 90's.

Only one woman had a big complaint. She didn't like Clare. It's kind of hard to get really into a book when you don't like the main character but she did say that she liked everything else about the book.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September Month in Review

Book Club
It was when I sat down to do this month in review that I realized I never did a book club posting. Then I couldn’t remember what we read, then it hit me, we read the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance book by C.L. Wilson and I obsessively read them all in like 2 weeks because the series was so good, but I didn’t like the first book all that much.  

I soon came to remember that we really didn’t talk about the book at our meeting, so I’m going to blame that on why I didn’t write a post. I’ll make sure I write a really good one for October.

We read the Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson.

2011 Support your Local Library Challenge
I checked out seven books this month (as well as a few DVDs). I had a little bit of everything mixed in this month.
  1. Lady of Light and Shadows by  C. L. Wilson
  2. Queen of Song and Souls by  C. L. Wilson
  3. Crown of Crystal Flame by  C. L. Wilson
  4. Tea and Destiny by Sherryl Woods
  5. Save as Draft by Cavanaugh Lee
  6. Ready Player One by Ernie Cline (Audiobook)
  7. Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for one
  8. Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance
  9. Blood Born by Linda Howard and Linda Jones
  10. Too loud, too bright, too fast, too tight: what to do if you are sensory defensive in an overstimulated world
  11. Does the noise in my head bother you? By Stephen Tyler

Men in Uniform 2011 Reading Challenge
Trial by Fire by Jo Davis

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Month in Review

Book Club
For August we read A Courtesan's Guide to Getting Your Man by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan. I really liked the part written by Celeste Bradley.


2011 Support your Local Library Challenge
I checked out seven books this month (as well as a few DVDs). I had a little bit of everything mixed in this month.
  1. Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson
  2. The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly
  3. The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
  4. Cook this, not that! by David Zinczenko
  5. WeightWatchers new complete cookbook
  6. The good neighbor cookbook by Sara Quessenberry
  7. King of Sword and Sky by C. L. Wilson


Men in Uniform 2011 Reading Challenge
I didn't read any Men in Uniform books this month, but I did read quite a few about Highlanders in Kilts.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Personal Libraries of Celebrities

I found this over on the blog read this!:

The Personal Libraries of Celebrities

Diane Keaton's Home Library

Some of these libraries are absolutely stunning.  I'm very green with envy, seeing as my own personal library is a few wooden book cases and baskets filled with books crammed into any available space in my house.  I will say that not all of them are my taste. I think a home library should be warm and inviting some place you want to curl up in and read a book, for me Keith Richards' would be my ideal followed by Nigella Lawson's but only if there's a big comfy chair to sit in.

Click here to see the 19 other libraries that made the list

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Thoughts on the Forbes’ Highest Paid Authors List

Now I'll be honest I'm not a huge James Patterson fan.  I've read a few of his books and I've enjoyed them, but I'm not reaching for his novels first.  I know he's very popular, his books are in constant circulation at the library and the holds list for his new book is always incredibly long.  That being said I don't think he should be considered for this list because of this co-author deal with his novels.

I know authors use ghost writers and I'm fairly certain that some of my favorite authors use them too, but they still have novels coming out at a normal pace of one or two a year, sometimes three. But in this one year span James Patterson is credited with 10 books. He released 9 in 2010 and has currently 6 books out in 2011.

I just question how involved he is in the writing of all these books and how much is the co-author and how much is him.  I kind of want to be cynical and think that it's the co-author writing the book and he just approves that it's written in his style and slaps his name on the cover.

Putting all that aside it's an impressive list and I guess it's a good sign that people are still reading, no matter what format they chose.



James Patterson Tops Forbes’ Highest Paid Authors List: "
This week Forbes published their annual list of the highest paid writers. Novelist James Patterson leads the pack with $84 million–a $14 million increase from last year.

Here’s more from the article: “The jump comes courtesy of a 17-book, $150 million deal Patterson signed with his publisher, Hachette Book Group, in 2009. The peerlessly prolific Patterson, who works with a team of co-authors to boost his output, published 10 of those books during this period. All told, including his backlist, he had an astonishing 20 titles on PW’s year-end lists of bestsellers, comprising more than 10 million copies.”

Like Patterson, Stephenie Meyer and John Grisham write both children’s and adult books; they both made the cut raking in $21 million and $18 million respectively. The authors on the list who write exclusively for children include Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney, Suzanne Collins and J.K. Rowling. The list included three members of the Kindle Million Club. Below, you can check out the top five authors.

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
"

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Thoughts on the Banned Sherlock Holmes Book

I saw this over at Gallycat yesterday and just laughed. I laugh because it's absurd that one Sherlock Holmes book would be challenged over another when both would have questionable material.  I can understand challenging a book and I can understand when a book is removed (though I don't always agree it was the right decision). I don't understand why they would only challenge one book for one character's thought and not all Sir A.C. Doyle's books for the main characters continual use of drugs.

Sherlock Holmes is a drug addict. If you've read the books, you know this fact. I can understand not wanting sixth graders to read about a man who uses cocaine when he's bored. If the book was challenged and banned from the reading list for this reason I'd accept it, it's understandable. The book wasn't.

I've done some digging and found that A.C. Doyle apologized for his portrayals of Mormons in this book and admitted that he had been misled by the writings of the times that were very Anti-Mormon. I see this as a missed teaching opportunity. We can't say times have changed because we still live in a world where there is misinformation about religions and cultures that aren't true, but are believed because the "anti" voice is louder than the voice of reason.  This could have been a chance to teach these sixth graders about searching for the truth and not believing everything you hear.

How To Download a Free Copy of Banned Sherlock Holmes Book: "
A Sherlock Holmes book has been banned from a school district in Virginia for allegedly expressing anti-Mormon sentiments. The school board removed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s A Study in Scarlet from sixth-grade reading lists after a parent complained that it was anti-Mormon.

If you’d like to read the controversial work, Project Gutenberg has the free download. Jacket Copy has a first-hand account about attending school in this district.

New York Magazine has more: “The book, which includes a character who thinks marrying a Mormon is ‘a shame and a disgrace,’ will still be available to older students who wish to pollute their minds. Sixth graders will be left to read other Holmes books that include such wholesome topics as injecting cocaine with a special syringe that has its own leather case.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Club - August

A Courtesan's Guide to Getting Your Man
Author: Celeste Bradley, Susan Donovan
Published: 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
# Pages: 384

Plot
Regency London’s most celebrated courtesan, The Blackbird, was a woman before her time—uninhibited, financially independent, and free to live by her own rules. Schooled in the sensual arts by the one man she loved the most, she recorded every wicked detail in her diaries…

When Boston museum curator Piper Chase-Pierpont unearths The Blackbird’s steamy memoirs, she’s aroused and challenged by what she finds. Could the courtesan’s diaries  be used as a modern girl’s guide to finding love and empowerment?One curious curator—and one very lucky man—are about to find out…
(Goodreads.com)

Review
The book was written by two authors and from two points of view and was divided into four volumes. The historical story was about Ophelia Harrington, or as she was known for a time The Blackbird. The contemporary story was about Piper Chase-Pierpont, a curator doing an exhibit on Ophelia Harrington. 

-Volume One-
This volume was a struggle to get through for a few reason:
1. I didn't like Piper. She's that female character who is smart, or we have to at least assumer she is based on her current age and her backstory, but she does some really stupid things.
2. I didn't like the "gap" in her back story. The author doesn't come right out and say it at first, but Piper is 29, ten years ago (age 19) she was in a graduate class and started lusting after the professor, Mick (our hero). This isn't something the author shares, you kind of have to figure it out for yourself that she was 19 and in graduate school and has to be smart if she's already a senior curator at 29.3. We get introduced to the idea that while she's great on the inside she needs to change on the outside.
The only saving grace to this volume was Ophelia's story. While I couldn't fully believe her choice to become a courtesan was her only option, it still was engaging.

-Volume Two-
In this volume both women decided to take that step forward and make a change and it felt like the book took a step forward and got better.  From this point on I was hooked and felt the book improved.

-Volume Three-
In this volume both women are introduced to a big problem.  Each one has to face what could be a life altering experience. Piper is force to realize she can't live this idealize relationship with Mick and Ophelia is brought up on murder charges.

-Volume Four-
While we get our happy endings with both stories I was left with the feeling that there could have been more.  This was how most of the book club women felt too, only 2 of us said we overall liked the book.  Everyone else seemed to be frustrated with at least half of the book. We all agreed that Ophelia's story alone would have made a great stand alone historical romance.

Monday, August 1, 2011

July Month in Review

Book Club

For July we read The Bride by Julie Garwood. Normally characters and plots like this one annoy me but I really enjoyed reading this book.


2011 Support your Local Library Challenge

I checked out sevenbooks this month (as well as a few DVDs). I had a little bit of everything mixed in this month. I had a mystery, a historical romance, a nonfiction selection and cookbooks.
  1. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
  2. SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an elite Navy Seal Sniper by Howard Wasdin 
  3. The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones
  4. Solo Suppers: Simple Delicious Meals to Cook for Yourself by Joyce Goldstein
  5. The Wedding by Julie Garwood
  6. The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser
  7. Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendell & Candy Tan


Men in Uniform 2011 Reading Challenge
  • SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an elite Navy Seal Sniper by Howard Wasdin 
  • The Cop Next Door by Jenna Mills

Monday, July 18, 2011

July Book Club Review

The Bride
Author: Julie Garwood
Series: #1 in Lairds' Brides Series
Published: 1989
Publisher: Pocket Star
# Pages: 384

Desciption
By edict of the king, the mighty Scottish laird Alec Kincaid must take an English bride. His choice was Jamie, youngest daughter of Baron Jamison...a feisty, violet-eyed beauty. Alec ached to touch her, to tame her, to possess her...forever. But Jamie vowed never to surrender to this highland barbarian. He was everything her heart warned against—an arrogant scoundrel whose rough good looks spoke of savage pleasures. And thought Kincaid's scorching kisses fired her blood, she brazenly resisted him...until one rapturous moment quelled their clash of wills, and something far more dangerous than desire threatened to conquer her senses... -- From Amazon.com Product Description

Honestly, I can't really pick up what I liked and disliked from this book.  Normally I don't like books where I cringe over most of the actions of the characters and I found myself doing it with Jamie quite frequently.  I said normally because I liked this book, I couldn't put it down and finished it on one lazy Sunday.  Alec and Jamie were a perfect balance of seriousness and fun/crazy/stupidity. 

The group liked the book overall, I don't think it was a top favorite though, but it was well received.  There was one big complaint and that was about the "villain" in the book.  Not to spoil it, but there was a dislike to the characterization of the person. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

June Month in Review



For June we read Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh.  I loved it and quickly read through the rest of the series finishing Kiss of Snow while on vacation this month. 

I checked out three books this month (as well as a few DVDs).  I’m still working my way through The Help and I love the three voice actresses they have for the audio book.  
  1. Three in Death by J. D. Robb
  2. The Help by Katheryn Stockett [audio book]
  3. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares


I didn’t read any books about men in uniform this month L.
Nora Roberts Reading Challenge
While I didn’t read any Men in Uniform books, I was able to knock some books off this reading challenge.  I read all the novellas in the In Death series and Carnal Innocence before I watched the Lifetime Movie.

Monday, June 20, 2011

June Book Club Review

Slave to Sensation (2006)
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: #1 in Psy-Changelings
Published: 2006
Publisher: Berkley
# Pages: 352

Description
In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of "rehabilitation"- the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was.... Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion-and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities-or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation... -- From Amazon.com Product Description

Likes:
Can I get away with saying, “I liked practically everything about this book,” and call it a day? I guess I can but to be more specific I liked the world that Nalini Singh created; it is filled with Psy, psychic beings who pretty much rule everything, the Changelings and Humans. The big thing that always gets me through a book is the likability of characters and I liked the characters both Psy and Changeling. The best was that the story itself was good and kept me interested.

Dislikes:
I really didn’t dislike much in the book. The main thing was that lack of human characters in the book, though we do finally meet some a few books into the series.

Overall Impression:
I really liked the book and quickly started reading the others in the series. The book was well received by the members of the book club and while we did discuss the book we spent quite a bit of time just talking this month.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May Reading review


For May we read Cain’s Reckoning by Sarah McCarty.  This was quite an interesting discussion group.  Our one member didn't show, this book would have been very much NOT to her liking. Overall I think we liked the book, there was complaint that she was a rape victim and how the sex scenes just didn't fit with that part of her.  There was also a lot of discussion on who would or wouldn't be reading more of the series to find out about Desi's sister and the other men of Hell's Eight.  I might, but it would be down on my list of series to read.  

I checked out eight books this month (as well as a bunch of DVDs and a magazine or two).  I passed my goal for the year of checking out 30 books.  I don’t know why I set my goal so low, so let’s move on and see how many I do check out this year.  I finished reading two of the books I checked out last month and I’m still working on finishing Final Jeopardy.  I’ll be reading Death of a DJ and Moby-Duck in June.

  1. The Other Side - Possession in Death by J.D. Robb 
  2. The Heroine's Bookshelf by Erin Blakemore 
  3. Midnight in Death by J.D. Robb
  4. The collected stories of Winnie-the-Pooh [sound recording]   by A.A. Milne
  5. The half life [sound recording] : a short story by Jennifer Weiner
  6. "21" : the story of Roberto Clemente : a graphic novel by Wilfred Santiago
  7. Death of a DJ by Jane Rubino 
  8. Moby-Duck: The true story of 28,800 bath toys lost at sea and of the beachcombers, oceanographers, environmentalists, and fools, including the author, who went in search of them by Donovan Hohn


I finished four more books during this month. I finished up both SEAL series I was reading.  I don’t know what I’ll be picking up next. I want to add an honorable mention to Stumbling Along the Beat: A Policewoman's Uncensored Story from the World of Law Enforcement by Stacy Dittrich
  • SEALed Forever by Mary Margret Daughtridge
  • Get Lucky by Suzanne Brockmann
  • Taylor's Temptation by Suzanne Brockmann
  • Night Watch by Suzanne Brockmann

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May Book Club Review


Caine's Reckoning (2007)
Author:
Series:
Published:
2007
Publisher:
Spice
# Pages:
480

Description
The Hell's Eight is the only family he's ever needed, until he meets the only woman he's ever wanted?
Caine Allen is a hardened Texas Ranger, defini...moretely not the marrying kind. But when he rescues a kidnapped woman and returns her to town, the preacher calls in a favor. One Caine's honor won't let him refuse.
From the moment he beds Desi, Caine knows turmoil will follow. Desi might have the face of a temptress, but she also has a will of iron and while she needs his protection, she's determined that no man will control her again. They establish an uneasy bond, but it isn't enough for Caine. He wants all Desi has to offer. He wants her screams, her moans, her demands; everything. Yet there's still a bounty on Desi's head, and keeping her sexually satisfied is proving easier than keeping her alive. -- From Amazon.com Product Description

Likes
 Where to start...I guess with the fact that we didn't know this was an Erotic Adventure when we picked the book for book club.

I guess the main thing I like was that Desi was broken and she didn't heal over night or with her first sexual encounter with Caine.  Yes I think it was still too fast to be realistic but it was nice to see her continue to shy away and tense up when in situations that she truly would have had she been real.  

I liked the men of Hell's Eight.  They are all damaged in some way and have come together to build lives.  There is also Tia who takes care of the men, she's really great.

Dislikes
Honestly there wasn't a lot I disliked, but just things I could have done without, like the 3 chapter long sex scene.


Discussion
This was quite an interesting discussion group.  Our one member didn't show, this book would have been very much NOT to her liking. Overall I think we liked the book, there was complaint that she was a rape victim and how the sex scenes just didn't fit with that part of her.  There was also a lot of discussion on who would or wouldn't be reading more of the series to find out about Desi's sister and the other men of Hell's Eight.  I might, but it would be down on my list of series to read.  

Monday, May 2, 2011

April Reading Review


For April we read Lie with Me by Stephanie Tyler.  This was the first book in her Shadow Force series.  Overall I really liked the book and when I finished the book I put the next one on hold.  I have since read both and I’m patiently waiting the release of the next book in the series.

For April we read Lady Vernon and Her Daughter by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway.  The Authors were present at the meeting and it was great being able to discuss with them the changes and choices they made with Jane Austen’s Lady Susan.

I checked out six books this month (as well as a bunch of DVDs and a magazine or two).  I broke down and got Lover Unleashed because there was no way I could wait for the paperback in November to read it, and it was great! I read two more of the books I checked out Promises in the Dark and Invincible and I’m currently reading Final Jeopardy. 

  1. Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward
  2. Promises in the Dark by Stephanie Tyler
  3. Final Jeopardy : Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker
  4. Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  5. Can you get Hooked on Lip Balm by Perry Romanowski
  6. Pink Boots and a Machete: My Journey From NFL Cheerleader to National Geographic Explorer by Mireya Mayor


I finished six more books during this month. I took a break from my Navy SEALs obsession with the exception of Identity: Unknown.  Part of the reason is that I’ve been reading them on my Nook and I’ve caught up with the available books and part was that I just needed a break.  I read the first two books of the Stephanie Tyler series Shadow Force; these guys are military but gray ops kind of guys.  I also read the New York Bachelors series by Jule McBride which tells the story of three brothers who are all police officers in NYC.
  • Lie with Me by Stephanie Tyler
  • Identity: Unknown by Suzanne Brockmann
  • The Hotshot by Jule McBride
  • Promises in the Dark by Stephanie Tyler
  • The Seducer by Jule McBride
  • The Protector by Jule McBride