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.


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

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…

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