Thursday, May 31, 2012

As the final weeks of the semester roll on, I have less time for stuff other than studying and writing papers, so I totally forgot that today was the end of the month until about 2 minutes ago. So no end of month review today...maybe tomorrow, or in the next few days.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nora Roberts Reading Challenge Update

I've read six books towards this challenge this year; three new books (Celebrity in Death, The Witness, and The Last Boyfriend), and three old books (The Art of Deception, Impulse, and Temptation).

I just recently finished Impulse and Temptation in a 2-in-1 book called Windfall.

Windfall: Impulse\TemptationWindfall: Impulse\Temptation by Nora Roberts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Impulse had the feel of a Harlequin romance novel.  It should be titled something like The Greek Billionaire's Summer Fling. I don't know, it just felt like that kind of story.  I liked Rebecca and Stephen but at a few different points I wanted to hit Rebecca.  I felt like if she was so smart she should have been able to put a few more things together and realize that Stephen was more than what she believed him to be, but *shrug* such is the case with romances.

I liked Temptation a little bit more.  Eden and Chase were really great.  These two felt more like the Nora Robert's characters that I love.  They fight each other and themselves before finally admitting they care for each other. I prefer a battle to the female running away. I really like that Eden goes full steam ahead in her new life and embraces the challenges of working/running a summer camp.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Color Coded Reading Challenge - White

The White Queen: The Cousins War Book OneThe White Queen: The Cousins War Book One by Phillipa Gregory

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a book that I did not finish but I'm giving this book 2 stars because I did like the beginning. It started off as one of those audio books where I couldn't get out of the car because I wanted to listen to more, but then I hit a wall.

I have a half hour commute to work and I don't like to listen to the radio so I listen to audio books. When I would prefer to listen to the radio and constantly scan channels I know I've lost interest in the book. I went from loving the foreshadowing of Elizabeth's feelings about her Grey sons to not caring how she makes it out of sanctuary the second time or how the princes end up in the tower. I know the history and the stories and at the point I stopped listening there wasn't anything compelling me to keep listening.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Time to replace the book?

Miranda's Viking (Spellbound) (Silhouette Intimate Moments No 568)Miranda's Viking (Spellbound) by Maggie Shayne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is by far one of my favorite books. I just re-read it again this weekend. I can't really tell you why I like it so much, but I keep coming back to read it again.  One of the things I do really like about the book is the development of Rolf's English.  Maggie Shayne did a good job of showing his progression of learning from simple phrases to longer sentences and from broken English to pretty near perfect.

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Having just re-read this book this past weekend I noticed a few things about my copy.  I think it might be time to replace my much loved book. This book wasn't new when I bought it like 8 years ago, but it really has been beaten up since it's come into my possession.
Here is what my copy looks like:

The cover is starting to rip off, so the pages are all staring to rip out from this point on. As I turned the first ten pages I think it got worse

When Ellie (mom's pug) was teething she chewed anything she could get at, from the looks of this corner, she got at this book.

I've put in an order on Paperback Swap for a new copy. I'll hold onto this one until it dies...I can't get rid of it yet.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

S.E. Hinton Book Talk & Signing

Before I went to book club this month I stood in line to see S.E. Hinton.  If you've never read The Outsiders then you missed out on an amazing experience as a teenager.  Go read it now!

There were two books I remember reading in middle school that I just had to own so I could reread them.  One was The Giver and the other was The Outsiders.  So when I heard that S.E. Hinton would be doing a signing at one of my local Barnes & Nobel's stores I just had to be there.

The Nook Blog has a Q&A with Hinton and these are similar questions and answers we heard at the singing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book Club - May

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Characters - 1/2 Star
Plot - 1/2 Star
Setting/Accuracy - 1/2 Star
Genre -1

Rounded down because I just couldn't get over the "Twilight References."

Characters - I want to like both characters and it's upsetting when I can't stand one of them, in this case it was Anna.  She was forgettable.  Christian was interesting, if I end up reading the other books it will be to find out more about him.

Plot - I found myself skimming quite a bit of this book.  Going in I thought possible just the sex scenes but really the book didn't really hold my attention all that much.  I wanted it to have a good story, so I could at least say that about it, however, if it wasn't that I wanted to finish it for book club I probably wouldn't have finished the book.

Setting/Accuracy- I don't know much about the setting so it just seemed safe to give it a half a star in this category.

Genre - I've read erotica before and enjoyed it (Hell's Eight!).  To me erotica pushes the limit of what is "normal" and this book does do that, so it deserves a full star.  I just didn't particularly like the way it pushed my comfort limit.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Book Trailer Thursday: The Family Corleone by Ed Falco

Book Trailer: The Family Corleone – Ed Falco:
Publisher’s Summary:

“New York, 1933. The city and the nation are in the depths of the Great Depression. The crime families of New York have prospered in this time, but with the coming end of Prohibition, a battle is looming that will determine which organizations will rise and which will face a violent end.

For Vito Corleone, nothing is more important that his family’s future. While his youngest children, Michael, Fredo, and Connie, are in school, unaware of their father’s true occupation, and his adopted son Tom Hagen is a college student, he worries most about Sonny, his eldest child. Vito pushes Sonny to be a businessman, but Sonny-17 years-old, impatient and reckless-wants something else: To follow in his father’s footsteps and become a part of the real family business.”
The award-winning reader's blog of the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers, MA.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2012 James Beard Awards

Hi, my name is Amelia, and I'm addicted to cookbooks. I can't help myself, I have to buy them. I'm trying really hard not to, so I've been using Pinterest to keep track of cookbooks. But then I had to see that 2012 James Beard Awards had been announced and now I want to buy more cookbooks.

Here's one that I would love to own, but I can restrain myself from purchasing.
Cookbook of the Year
Modernist Cuisine, by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet, (The Cooking Lab)

Here's one that will be hard to hold back on purchasing!
General Cooking
Ruhlman’s Twenty, by Michael Ruhlman. (Chronicle Books)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Book Trailer Thursday - The Mongoliad

Description from Amazon.
A note on this edition: The Mongoliad began as a social media experiment, combining serial story-telling with a unique level of interaction between authors and audience during the creative process. Since its original iteration, The Mongoliad has been restructured, edited, and rewritten under the supervision of its authors to create a more cohesive reading experience and will be published as a trilogy of novels. This edition is the definitive edition and is the authors' preferred text.

The first novel to be released in The Foreworld Saga, The Mongoliad: Book One, is an epic-within-an-epic, taking place in 13th century. In it, a small band of warriors and mystics raise their swords to save Europe from a bloodthirsty Mongol invasion. Inspired by their leader (an elder of an order of warrior monks), they embark on a perilous journey and uncover the history of hidden knowledge and conflict among powerful secret societies that had been shaping world events for millennia.

But the saga reaches the modern world via a circuitous route. In the late 19th century, Sir Richard F. Burton, an expert on exotic languages and historical swordsmanship, is approached by a mysterious group of English martial arts aficionados about translating a collection of long-lost manuscripts. Burton dies before his work is finished, and his efforts were thought lost until recently rediscovered by a team of amateur archaeologists in the ruins of a mansion in Trieste, Italy. From this collection of arcana, the incredible tale of The Mongoliad was recreated.

Full of high adventure, unforgettable characters, and unflinching battle scenes, The Mongoliad ignites a dangerous quest where willpower and blades are tested and the scope of world-building is redefined.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Month in Review - April

The first semester of my work towards my second masters degree started this month.  This is week five and I'm please that I'm able to still get some pleasure reading in while doing a lot of intense reading for my two classes.

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10)Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No enough Z for my liking but it was a great story. How long do I have to wait for the next book?

Keep a Little SecretKeep a Little Secret by Dorothy Garlock
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was our April book Club pick.

No MercyNo Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

WOW! While not a favorite, it was a good one, I've always thought the Peltier brothers sounded interesting, I hope we see more of them in the future.

Sherrilyn added a nice little twist to help set up future books. Can't wait to see where she takes this.

Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #20)Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another really good book, thought not a top favorite.

I like when we take a break from New Orleans to see some of the other Dark-Hunters around the states. I honestly didn't care for Abigail all that much. I liked Sundown and all the other characters in this book. I think we have been started down a path towards Nicks book. Any one else think so?

This was my first read from Net Galley. I still haven't written a review for it, still trying to figure out what I want to say about the book.

The Turn of the ScrewThe Turn of the Screw by Henry James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had to read this for school. It's the perfect book to apply all these literary theories too, but it left me really confused. It could be that I sped read it to finish it in less than a week.

The WitnessThe Witness by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This one is definitely a new favorite!
Really enjoyed the story and the characters. Only I wish there had been more time spent with Sunny!

Review of this book can be found over at Central New Jersey - Jane Austen Society of North America.

Audio Books: I finished listening to the Hunger Games Trilogy and really, really liked them all! I also listened to Stranded by Lori Foster. It was an okay story for a little novella that focused mostly on the characters pinning away for each other before finally combusting.