Toni - A Circle of Books
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
October/November was an exciting month for me as I got to join the vast group of Twilight Readers. If you follow my blog you know that I enjoyed the book and the movie A LOT!
At the end of Twilight there was a snippet from the first chapter of New Moon that left me peeking into this book even before I was ready to read it. I just had to know what happened next.
I actually took a few weeks to read this book in between Holiday hooplah and I really did enjoy it. It is hard to review this book without spoiling so I will just give my two cents overall.
I enjoyed Twilight more than New Moon. This book goes heavy duty into a secondary and even a third storyline. And both were fun to read. For the most part the book was really entertaining, as I loved to be back in Forks with Bella and the other kids and characters.
I found the action in this book a little less thrilling than in Twilight. I liked getting deeper into some of the characters. Okay, so... for those that say the book is not deep enough or the writing is not good enough for them, I see what you are saying. But the book is what it is. It is being told from a young girl's perspective in modern time. Yes, toward the end of the book there is a little "cheese."
I am kicking myself because I came across a few eloquent passages while Bella is going through a very emotional time and I wanted to share them and I didn't have my post-it pen. I plan to get those quotes out in the future.
Anyway... it was good for me to read... It was the sequel to Twilight!!!! Yay...Woo Hoo and Scream..... I am not sure what makes me get all giddy and excited when I read these books but I do really like them.
Thanks to Jenn from Jenn's bookshelf I have a copy of Eclipse waiting to be read. I am looking forward to it. Thank you Jenn.
Edited note: ( SPOILER ALERT!)
After writing this review, I went to read a lot of other reviews of the book (finally) and I am not sure my review does the book justice and I know it is vague for fear of spoilers. I read a lot of reviews about Bella's attitude and whining. I think Bella's behavior is appropriate considering what happened to her. In Twilight Bella was put through so much and to have it crash down on her in New Moon was devastating. I also found her quest for danger was justified considering the "pay off."
I really enjoyed her friendship with Jacob and was hoping that at some point Bella could let go and move in that direction. Nothing is better to me that best friends forever. I also enjoyed the turn /twist in the plot with Jacob and company. Perhaps a bit under developed?
I really enjoyed getting a bit more of Alice and finally the Cullens back into the scene. I didn't mind having to wait for them to appear again. Kind of like, it doesn't matter when you show up to the party as long as you show up!
I like how the book traversed to Italy and enjoyed the dramatic scene in the underground. Perhaps there were some cheesy scenes after that? I enjoyed the references to Romeo and Juliet. I am not so sure I enjoyed the moonless sky analogy. ( maybe at a different time in my life). Anyway, I enjoyed the very end confrontation with the three in the forest.
I am not so thrilled with the timeline for Bella's "change." It seemed like they (Bella and Edward) were joking around about it so much. Not sure how I feel one way or another about Bella moving in that direction. She seems clumsy and impulsive sometimes and this part makes me think she is to ga-ga to know exactly what she is thinking.
I also read this book with the stresses and joys of the holidays season. I picked this book because I wanted to read about characters that I "know" and love. I think it did the trick but I think I would have been more relaxed and not as cynical if I was reading at another not so busy time.
Beat the Reaper, Josh Bazell
As always thank you Miriam from Hachette for providing a review copy.
I would like to introduce my son Gary Harris. He read and reviewed this book for us! Thank you Gary.
A Book Review of "Beat the Reaper"
By Gary Harris
I picked up this book shortly after it arrived in the mail and right off fell in love with the provocative cover and title. Then I turned the book over and read the back. Blah, was the first thing that came to mind; a mafia book by a medical resident and a first book at that. I put off reading it until it came time to write a review for it.
"Beat The Reaper" starts off with so much energy and force that by page ten you are up to your neck in 'Peter Browns' narrative. The story is a first person account of an ex-mafia hit man, Bearclaw, who has gone into the witness protection program and is now a Doctor.
At a lightning pace he takes drugs, relives his past, questions his future, and then comes face to face with a ghost from his former life. I read this book in under four hours.
This book isn't a masterpiece of modern literature but it is entertaining and clever. The footnotes throughout the book remind me of the deadly one liners from "Fight Club"- with enough medical information to fill a second book called "The stuff the doctor didn't tell you".
I don't know if anybody ever beats the reaper, but this book definitely beat this reader. This book is a good read and I will look forward to Mr.Bazell's next work.
Here is the full description from Hachette.
- Publish Date: 1/7/2009, Hachette
*** Note my son is 23 years old this is not a teen book****
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I didn't mean to do it but I fulfilled another Lit Flicks Selection!
In December I read Flirting with Forty/ and watched the Lifetime movie. See my review and post here.
Another book/movie selection off my list. I hope to watch Little Women this weekend and scratch that off my list also. Check back for my review.
So my List so far:
2. Flirting with Forty.
3. Little Women (movie) review coming.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Thank you Miriam from Hachette.
Serena - Savvy Verse and Wit.
Wrighty - Wrighty Reads.
Dawn - She is too fond of books.
I will send out an email for you all to reply with your mailing address when I get home from work tonight.
This was a LOT of fun.
Hachette will be mailing your copies.
Friday, December 5, 2008
So this is my new companion Dexter. I got him to be my reading / knitting buddy. He is 13 weeks old tomorrow. ( I thought 11 but checked out his papers today).
I sure love this guy. Had to post a picture of him after all, from now on, he is the co-author of the blog! I will try not to do the "new parent thing" with a zillion pics.
Thanks for letting me indulge. Oh.. in case you didn't know he is a Basset Hound.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
A Novel, by Jane Porter and
NOW A Lifetime movie to premier Saturday December 6th at 9 PM/8c.
Thank You Miriam from Hachette.
Fun and Flirty. This is a curl up and veg out girly girl book. I enjoyed the book. I needed an escape from some of the cool foggy weather and other deeper issues in life. As a woman of 43, I can validate or sympathize many of the feelings that Jackie is going through even though I haven't been 40 and newly divorced with children. I do, however understand how one can get lost in caring for a family and wake up one day and say "what is left of me?" Jackie goes to Hawaii for her 40th birthday (she is practically forced to go) and in her own interest of happiness has this fling. Why not finally give in and have fun and see what is left of her romantic side? This reminded me of a movie from my era. Risky Business because sometimes in life you just have to say, "what the heck."
The book is on the lighter reading side. There are genuine and sweet times in the book that are sad, moving, uplifting and comical. I think a lot of moms, sisters, girlfriends can and will relate and have fun with this novel. It really is a fun flirty read. Perfect vacation reading, rainy day reading or everyday good reading.
What do I think? I think sometimes you have to say what the heck and just let go and read something girly and fun!!! Watching Jackie listen to her heart verses her head was entertaining. I think the book has a quality that makes you want to talk back to Jackie in the book as she questions her self. I enjoyed the book.
It is down-to-earth and full of every day challenges of motherhood and womanhood and how the two intersect and divide.
Full Description: (Novel)
He got the second home and the Porsche. She got the kids and a broken heart. Now Jackie, post-divorce and heading toward the big four-oh, is on vacation in sunny
Back home in
Author Bio (Jane Porter) and some other fun pictures: HERE
Visit Jane at her website: HERE
Check it out: Jane will be appearing on the Grand Central Publishing Blog Talk Radio Station on 12/5 at 1PM ET.
Check out this link for more Movie info.
Blog Tour Participants: (Check out the blogs that are featuring this book and movie if you don't see it tonight, check back and look tomorrow!!)
Check out this great shots from the set. Looking good!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Once again thank you Miriam from Hachette for sending the book for review.
First of all:
We have some fun stuff going on with the Promo for this book. Check out this photo contest on flickr.
Check out the Live Interview with Laura Miller here:
DATE: 12/4/2008 10:00 AM PT (one hour)
A Giveaway! Yep, Hachette is letting A Circle of Books host a giveaway.
Please leave me a comment about my review by December 9th and you will be entered into a random drawing for a free copy of this book.
Open to US and Canada.
Must have an address (no P.O. box)
Please provide a way to contact you if you win!
This book is a very in depth look into Laura Miller's long standing relationship with the Chronicles of Narnia. She explains her first reactions, her disappointments and then her reconciliation of the books to her own heart and soul.
It is a "deep" outstanding literary conversation. I have to say a few times I was like "what?" and I had to reread because for me at times it was a very academic read. I hate to say "over my head" because if I read carefully I was able to digest what is being conveyed. I am a firm believer that if you want to get something, just read slowly and aloud if necessary. I admire someone that can take their first reading experience and follow up with a complex and literary experience that can fill up a whole book.
She also ties in her disappointment with the Chronicles with her disappointment in some religious teaching in her life.
I thought this book was going to be a fictional story, so I had to readjust my thinking and brace myself for it. After that I realized that it is more of a literary commentary of books that I enjoyed as a child. There is no doubt that the author is committed to the topic and that she really writes from her heart and her experiences in life that connect to Narnia. And readers that have ever been captivated (obsessed) with a book will really be able to relate to Laura Miller's commitment in writing this book even if their view is different. I have a feeling that there will be varying views on this book.
I believe lovers of Narnia are going to really enjoy quotes and detailed writing from The Magician's Book. There is a lot of food for thought, plenty of issues to debate, and questions to ponder upon. There are a lot of notable quotes and thoughts in the book providing a sound foundation to the writing. But some might say it is over kill. What would I say? I would say it depends on my mood. After I got into it, I read a little each night, I could seriously appreciate the depth... but ask me if I am deep everyday....the answer is NOPE. The book is still by my bed with post it flags markers from my not so "deep" times.
I will also note that personally a few times in the book I felt the disappointment in the author's experience and it was sort of a bummer to me because her experience with Narnia as a "skeptic" was not my experience. My experience was always the surface value of the story. But I still enjoyed the book, the presentation and the academic presentation of opinion. Laura Miller presents a founded literary experience in this book.
Have some fun with the links to Facebook, Flickr, and the giveaway.
This is one of my favorite books of the Season. It is an outstanding novel that you should not miss reading this coming year! It comes out on January 8th, 2009.
To enter: (Canada and US only, Sorry no P.O. Boxes). The books are mailed from Hachette.
- For one entry, leave a comment on this post with your email. I will need a way to contact the lucky winner.
- For two entries, leave a comment on this post PLUS a little note on Dar or Toni's book chats this past week. (don't forget an email address). You don't have to read them all.. just a thought or opinion.
- For three entries, leave a comment and blog about the giveaway!
Dar from Peeking Between the Pages has three copies that she is giving away.
I wanted to thank Dar for the commitment to read together and the outstanding job she did on her chats and reviews. I had a complete blast!
And thank you Tiffany Baker for a unique, poetic, beautiful book.
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, Tiffany Baker
First of all I wanted to note just how fun it was to co-review a book with a fellow blogger and personal friend from across many miles. Dar, from Peeking Between the Pages. I seriously recommend doing this. Dar is such a thorough book reviewer and summarizer check out her final review HERE.
Here are my thoughts on the final parts of Little Giant.
I left off in my last chat discussing Truly in her new role and I felt at the time that Truly was finding herself. Truly continues to find herself in this book despite her ever growing body and a role in life that has her stuck. It is absolutely fantastic the way that Tiffany Baker weaves and molds the story with exquisite narration. The book becomes suspenseful and very dramatic in a very cozy way. It is very hard to put down as we have watched Truly and her struggles and then the story moves into her discovery that threatens to challenge her own existence and her family morales and values. How will Truly handle the power of the knowledge that she possesses? How does Truly handle the diagnosis given to her by Robert Morgan? He lords this information over her and uses it to control her. Will Truly be able to break free? How is Truly able to handle the attention from Marcus? So many questions and links into this clever and sweet drama. This book is about family tradition, loyalty, a small town and secrets revealed. It is also about making mistakes and forgiveness.
The writing and the storyline is very fresh and unique and I can't see anyone not being captivated by this book.
CLICK HERE to read a full description of the book. CLICK HERE for info on where to buy.
Thank you again Miriam from Hachette for the ARC.
Okay.....so check back SOOOOOON for a pretty exciting Giveaway.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Hello and Welcome to Day 4 of the Little Giant Chat.
Dar with Peeking Between the Pages will surely have more thoughts also in our co-review of this top notch "compelling" novel.
I am just a few pages shy of Chapter 19 as I had to make some deviled eggs and prepare to go out for Thanksgiving Dinner. But I had some quiet time this morning before the cooking to read.
By Chapter 13 Truly is in a different place than the horse farm and even though she puts up with a lot of verbal abuse from the Evil Doctor Morgan, it seems as though she is accepting her life and her new role as a caregiver for Bobbie. It is bittersweet to read as we can see all the love that she has to give and yet she has taken a back seat to the role of mother and wife because she doesn't feel that she will ever have that option in life. But nonetheless we see that her spirit is not crushed it sort of just is numb and busy with the tasks of a household. It is sad and maddening to read. But what she is doing and how she is supporting sweet Bobbie is an insight to her sweet soul.
In chapter 16 we get to see where this book is heading with "the quilt" that has been mentioned so many times and the story gets back on another focused and interesting story. We can see that Truly is coming to life in this revelation and I love to see her come alive. Not alive for a normal person but alive compared to the dull, lonely life that she has been living so far in this book.
Marcus also sees this in Truly and he is intrigued with what she is up to. Doctor Robert Morgan has no clue what she is up to but he is up to his own schemes and plots and his latest deception involves Amelia.
The prologue spells it out as far as what is happening and through the chapters the author let's the narration build up the suspense as to how and why this will come about. It is done in an excellent narrative voice.
So that is what is going in the story in the vaguest sense. The writing continues to be clever, poetic, and original. I am really bummed (not really) but sort of, that I have to leave the book to go to dinner.
Let's check out what Dar has to say over at Peeking Between the Pages.
Happy Day to all.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Once again I am having a fun time co-reviewing a book with Dar from (Peeking Between the Pages).
Here are some of my thoughts on Chapters 7-13. I am going to do my best just to make a comment or two as part of the joy in reading this book has been to watch the story unfold.
Truly continues to be hounded and harassed by other children in school but she does have a few sidekicks and I think for her that is her saving grace. I don't even know if I could take the story if we didn't have some friends for Truly.
The book setting now enters the time of the Viet Nam War and there is a tie in with the story and some of the community members in Aberdeen.
In chapter 8 we meet Bob Bob Morgan and follow his quest for Serena Jane. Serena Jane continues to live up to her legacy as the town beauty queen with a major disappointment that changes her dreams and hopes. We find out some of the insecurities of Serena Jane and it reiterates the theme in life, that beauty is only skin deep and beauty alone does not save a person from the hard knocks of the world.
I am keeping this post shorter and unrevealing as I do not want to spoil. The book is a Page Turner and I believe it will make a great book club selection. So go ahead and add it to your list. The story is good, the writing is enchanting.
To see what we have been talking about check it out!
Day 1 here and here.
(Toni and Dar)
Day 2 here and here .
(Toni and Dar)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
As always thank you Miriam from Hachette.
Truly becomes more near and dear to my heart as she faces unfair circumstances in life that are far beyond her control. Just as in real life beauty is only skin deep and Truly has a gift inside of her and a little light that isn't being put out by the cruel and very unusual ways of Aberdeen County.
By the age of five she starts school and for the first time she hears herself referred to as a Giant. Truly is so young that she doesn't completely realize the implications of the wording and still holds out hope that it could be a unique quality or a gift.
A notable passage for me is a part in which Truly has a letter from her teacher that she has to take home to her father. She saves the letter for later and she begins to practice the letters by tracing the beautiful script handwriting of her teacher. She notes that she is trying to "master the linear vocabulary of elegance, determined to make one thing about me as beautiful as as possible." Oh! That caused pangs in my heart. The contents of the letter are very pointed and negative about Truly and yet she only wants to copy the beautiful handwriting, to see beauty in something, anything.
As Dar mentioned last night the narration of Truly telling the story is very unique in the sense that she has complete memory from birth.
By Chapter 6 Truly is already 12 years old. Her inner character is starting to be revealed. How Truly takes what life has offer her without a vindictive heart is amazing. She is able to face being taken away from her beautiful, "normal" older sister Serena Jane with the dull acceptance that in life beauty matters, and she is a beast. And yet she is not drowning is self pity.
Truly is starting to make an impact in a small way in a few in the County of Aberdeen as she becomes close and a trustworthy companion to Amelia her new "foster sister."
I didn't get as far as I had anticipated and I know this is a lot of gab for only 80 pages, but the book is very "talk" worthy. For anyone out there that has an ARC, I know you will enjoy this book. Join in the conversation and the fun.
Don't forget to check out what Dar has to say.
To see our posts from last night check it out here and here.
I just wanted to say that I changed one of my Lit Flicks selection to Twilight because after reading the book and finding out that a movie was coming up, I was so excited!
I am not going to give a big big review. The movie has been out only a few days. I left several comments on Maw Books Blog where there is a nice discussion going on, but I figured those who were reading there really wanted to know and discuss it.
I liked the Twilight the movie a lot. I was caught up in the movie just like the book and I look forward to the second one. I loved the scenery, the characters, and the story line. I didn't mind the slight change here or there in the plot. Actually I was jazzed about Twilight all weekend after seeing it.
I am a Full - Fledged Twilight fan now. And proud of it. :)
My book review here.
Monday, November 24, 2008
First of all Thank You Mariam from Hachette for sending the ARC.
I am going to be talking about this book with Dar from Peeking Between the Pages this week. I am excited to co-review a book with Dar.
Dar and I have been part of an on-line book club for over five years and we have read OVER 60 books together. I look forward to having this special time with her.
So far in the first section we are just getting to know about the "doctor" legacy of the Morgan Doctors and we are learning about the Town of Aberdeen.
We are given insight to Truly's birth. I think she is going to be a really likable character. Just the origin of her name and the events following is a very enticing introduction to this book.
In the first segment we are introduced to the Evil Amanda Pinkerton. She is just nasty as can be.
From the start I really like this book. I think the writing is enchanting and clever with a lot of imaginative phrases. I mean really good. This might be a favorite for me in this year. I really do not know what is going to happen but I am so excited to find out.
This book is coming out in hardcover January 2009. Keep your eye out for it!
Please tune in with A Circle of Books and Peeking Between the Pages all week long to hear about what appears to be a captivating original novel. We are just two good friends sharing a book together this week. It doesn't get much better than that.
Stay tuned for more. We would love to hear your thoughts.
Hello Everyone! I just wanted to remind you that tomorrow, November 25th, Knit Two by Kate Jacobs is coming out!!! I am actually going to be reading and reviewing with the rest of the world.
I opened up the book and it felt good to be back with the group from the Friday Night Knitting Club. Please tune in more this week for my review. Meanwhile here is a great interview with Kate Jacobs.
A Conversation with Kate Jacobs
Did you think you’d write a sequel as soon as you finished The Friday Night Knitting Club, or did that decision come later?
I was exhausted right after finishing The Friday Night Knitting Club! It was my first novel and I was ready for a good, long nap after all that writing! Though, in all seriousness, I had some other characters rumbling around in my brain and their stories deserved telling. So I wrote Comfort Food. That said, I always had a future mapped out for the members of the knitting club, and, after hearing from so many fans who were eager to know what happens, it didn’t seem fair to just keep it all to myself. Writing this sequel was truly a joy, and I’m excited to share the new book with readers.
Without giving too much away, are there things that will surprise readers in KNIT TWO?
KNIT TWO is set about five years after the first book, and all of the characters are older and, in some cases, more mature. Dakota is in college now. Though just because we get older doesn’t always make us wiser! There are new friendships between the characters, folks who didn’t know each other as well in the original, and overall the sequel is much more upbeat than the ending of the first book.
Which character do you identify with most strongly? How much of yourself did you put into these characters?
Well, I really love all the characters – I forgive them all their flaws and mistakes. I identify with many of the struggles the characters have, to some degree, but that is something many women could say. Issues about career, about getting married, about mapping out our lives (and learning how quickly things can go off-road). I’m there in the book, and then again I’m not there. Sometimes I put personal things in quite consciously – I did that more with Comfort Food, in which the best friend has the same last name as my best friend, for example. Other times, little bits of me just seep into the characters, and it could be a favorite food they have or a pet peeve. But I tend not to write one fully developed character who is a stand-in for me – that would be too revealing!
To what extent are the characters based on your own circle of family and friends?
In The Friday Night Knitting Club, I could point to Georgia’s Gran and the similarities with my own grandmother, who was a great knitter, great baker, and great lady. And so opinionated! Or I could share that when I was a little kid, I loved to bake – as Dakota does – and then when I was a teenager I was so like Darwin, who is suspicious of everything domestic. In KNIT TWO, the characters have all continued to grow and change, and Gran is mostly off-page in Scotland. So they’re all moving beyond these similarities and truly becoming themselves.
Your characters are of different races, religions, and economic backgrounds, but their friendship mostly transcends those factors. That said, Dakota, Georgia’s daughter, has to confront some issues related to her biracial background. So what does all this say about the way these kinds of differences affect friendships between women in the real world?
My personal world is made up of friends and family who are different from me – and so I think it’s important that the group in the novel be multiracial, multigenerational, and have different religions and sizes of bank accounts. That’s real. Because at our core, regardless of differences, I think we all share similar desires for community and connection. We want to love and be loved. And, like the women in KNIT TWO, most of our conversations revolve around what we’re dealing with in any given moment, whether it’s something about our work or our family. In other words, our struggles and similarities form the basis for our friendships. That said, differences do remain. It’s important to be honest about them, not to pretend they don’t exist. It is very difficult to ever fully comprehend another person’s struggles when we cannot personally relate, when we haven’t walked in their shoes. That’s why compassion is such a crucial element in a relationship. And why I try to bring compassion to writing honestly in my novels.
KNIT TWO is primarily a story of friendships between women, like The Friday Night Knitting Club, but you also include some significant male characters, and there’s one particularly close but platonic male-female friendship. Women’s friendships are certainly special, but can men join the circle, too, maybe as associate members?
Of course men can join! And it’s not just characters. Over the past year, I’ve heard from a handful of men who’ve read the book, and that’s been a delight. Personally, my husband is my best friend, and many women I know have important men in their lives. It seemed only appropriate that men have a place in the novel, and developing the platonic friendship was a way to show a male character in more than just the role of the love interest.
What is it about knitting that makes it so popular right now, both traditional and hip at the same time?
Knitting is a lot of things all wrapped up in a ball of yarn. It’s memory of good old days and sweet grandmothers. It can be an assertion of personality, of irony, of creativity. It can be a luxurious indulgence using the fanciest materials, and it can be a budget-minded holiday scarf using yarn on sale. You can knit all alone, or you can find a group and knit with them. Knitting has the flexibility to meet our needs for a creative and emotional outlet, and it has a very soothing rhythm. It nurtures, and I think that’s a very good thing in times of uncertainty.
How’s your own knitting going? When do you find time for it?
I have so many half-finished projects it is becoming ridiculous! Our guest room has turned into a stash room, which is good for me but crowded for guests. I’ve moved into my afghan phase – well, it’s more about throws I can make in one piece – and that’s all I want to knit lately. The only hiccup – and it’s a good problem to have – is that I’m so busy writing, talking to book clubs, going on tour, and so on that I only have time for a few rows here or there. However, knitting on large needles has really helped stretch out my wrists, which can become stressed after being perched on the keyboard all day. So now I have an excuse to sneak in a little knitting!
The Friday Night Knitting Club was extremely popular with reading groups, and you spoke to many of them by phone. Will you do the same thing for KNIT TWO?
Absolutely! I talk to about 40 clubs every month. It’s good fun. The telephone call-ins started when a group from Minnesota invited me to chat with them during their meeting. I was nervous but I ended up having such a good time that I blogged about the experience at katejacobs.com. Suddenly, I had more invitations, and that’s when I decided to put a button on my website. Now I talk to clubs any day of the week. I’ve talked to clubs from the back of a cab, standing in a line for missing luggage at the airport, driving a rental car on a visit home to see my parents. (I had a headset so I was driving hands free!) Setting up the calls is easy: A member of a group just needs to send me the date & time of their club’s get-together and if I can fit it in, I will!
A big part of KNIT TWO takes place in Italy. Did you travel there on research? How tough a trip was that?
Oh, terribly difficult, trying to figure out how to eat everything and see everything! No, it was delightful, of course, every day filled with new discoveries. My husband was with me and we both love history and walking and hearty dishes of pasta, so it was a perfect trip for us. We learned a lot, I would say, as do the characters in KNIT TWO. Isn’t it funny how sometimes we have to go somewhere else to see what we already know?
Food plays an important role in both The Friday Night Knitting Club and KNIT TWO. You’ve also written a novel about a cooking show called Comfort Food. Are knitting and friendship and food all intimately connected with one another? Is that why you include both knitting instructions and recipes at the end of KNIT TWO?
Well, food keeps us going, after all. I write often about characters trying to nourish themselves, typically in an emotional sense but also in a physical sense. And whereas cooking is an important part of many characters’ lives in Comfort Food, baking is significant to one member of the Friday Night Knitting Club. I know sometimes kids change their ideas of what they want to do multiple times, but I always knew what I wanted to do. So does Dakota. As for the pattern and recipes, it can be fun to have little extras in a book. Not to mention that almost every book club I speak with has made Dakota’s muffins from The Friday Night Knitting Club, so I thought they needed a new recipe to try!
New York City -- the Upper West Side of Manhattan, to be specific – is almost another character in the book. You grew up in western Canada, lived in New York for a long time, and now live in Los Angeles. But New York continues to have a hold on your imagination. Why?
That’s something I’ve thought about very often, in fact. You know, I didn’t like New York very much when I initially moved there. Too loud, too busy. It didn’t feel like my place. But a couple of things happened. For one thing, I made a great group of friends – we used to always get together on Tuesday nights (and no, we didn’t knit!) – and that helped make New York feel more like a community. For another, I met the man who became my husband, and he grew up just outside the city. But I suppose also the mix of having my first apartment, my first job, becoming an adult, all happened in New York. And being in the city on 9/11 solidifies a connection, that’s for sure. While I do love California – the weather is amazing, the people friendly – right now I feel that I understand, in an intimate way, small-town Canada and urban Manhattan. And I don’t think I’ll ever be done exploring the lives of New Yorkers. Frankly, I think of myself as a Canadian-born New Yorker who just happens to live on the West Coast. As I say in my books, it’s all about defining yourself as you want to be.
Do you have a website where readers can get in touch with you and learn more about your books?
I am always reachable at www.katejacobs.com. I check my own email, typically daily, and love to hear from readers. I get a kick out of emails that begin with “Please tell Kate…” It’s me! Plus the website has a list of my tour events, a blog and all the relevant news about the books, including first chapter excerpts and reading guides. In addition, I post almost every interview or podcast I do, so there is a lot of material to find out more.
Are you working on a new book now?
I’ve been asked this question often lately – which I suppose is a good thing! Yes, I am happily working on a new book already. There are a lot of stories I want to tell. But I’m a bit particular about not talking about what I’m writing until it’s quite far along. So you won’t get any details yet!
What is the core message of KNIT TWO? What do you hope readers take away from it?
The Friday Night Knitting Club was about forgiveness, about getting beyond regret and moving forward. It was also about becoming independent and learning to live on one’s own terms, as well as this idea of how important it is to have strong female friendships, and to recognize and honor those relationships. KNIT TWO is about the power of legacy, about how we hold on so tightly because we’re afraid to let go – and how sometimes the letting go allows us to keep a better hold on things in the long run. This story is about falling into patterns and figuring out if and when it’s time to break those patterns. About when it’s time for acceptance and when it’s time to be courageous and be bold. It’s about the idea that success is a journey, not a sprint, and that the answers for one moment in our lives may not be the answers for another. Ultimately, KNIT TWO is a novel about hope.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
We have winners for Gods Behaving Badly.
Thanks to those who blogged about the contest. It sure helped your chances!
Thank you Valerie from Hachette.
There were 17 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
(Results were input on Random.org)
(Timestamp: 2008-11-24 00:21:38 UTC)
- TJ Baff
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The Gate House, by Nelson DeMille
This book did not let me down. It exceeded my expectations for entertainment in every way. I haven't read any of Demille's other books, so I didn't know what to expect. This is a sequel book, but there is no need to read the first one to really enjoy this one. (But I can say I am eager to read it now!)
The book takes place post 911 and there is a feeling for everyone in the story that the world will never be the same again, or safe. (Who can't relate to that?) John Sutter has returned home after being abroad for 10 years to find the old wealthy estates and neighborhoods sold and sub-divided. The Golden Age seems to be dwindling. The story gets going when Anthony Bellarosa, the son of the deceased Mafia Don Frank Bellarosa, appears at the Gate House where John is staying. He is there to draw and lure John back into the violent world of the Mafia Bellarosa family. From there, Demille weaves a very entertaining story of love, regret, family protection and redemption.
I can't say how many times I grinned or laughed out loud while reading this book. The writing is witty and down right funny and then it draws the reader into a very captivating story. It is a modern day mob story, and yet it has a lot of down to earth situations. Overall it is much less violent that I had imagined.
Sarcastic much? Oh yes, John Sutter is dripping with sarcasm, page after page of hilarious insights of "tell me how you really feel John Sutter."
Location, Location, Location, that's what I am talking about!! The setting of the story is very interesting and the author really provides a lot of detail and history for the reader. I really felt I wanted to be walking along one of these 200 acre estates smelling the cool, salty air of Long Island Sound. Fancy mansions, servants, and the lifestyles of the rich and famous, oh who can resist?
I recommend the book!
Thank You Miriam from Hachette.
Read a few other reviews here: Bermudaonion.
At Home with Books.
Check out the group on Facebook.
Full description: (from the Hachette Website)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille delivers the long-awaited follow-up to his classic novel The Gold Coast.
When John Sutter's aristocratic wife killed her mafia don lover, John left America and set out in his sailboat on a three-year journey around the world, eventually settling in London. Now, ten years later, he has come home to the Gold Coast, that stretch of land on the North Shore of Long Island that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America, to attend the imminent funeral of an old family servant. Taking up temporary residence in the gatehouse of Stanhope Hall, John finds himself living only a quarter of a mile from Susan who has also returned to Long Island. But Susan isn't the only person from John's past who has reemerged: Though Frank Bellarosa, infamous Mafia don and Susan's ex-lover, is long dead, his son, Anthony, is alive and well, and intent on two missions: Drawing John back into the violent world of the Bellarosa family, and exacting revenge on his father's murderer--Susan Sutter. At the same time, John and Susan's mutual attraction resurfaces and old passions begin to reignite, and John finds himself pulled deeper into a familiar web of seduction and betrayal. In THE GATE HOUSE, acclaimed author Nelson Demille brings us back to that fabled spot on the North Shore -- a place where past, present, and future collides with often unexpected results.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I got Tagged by Dar at Peeking Between the Pages and Sharon at Sharon Loves Books and Cats.
- Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence, as well as two to five sentences following there.
I have about 24 books in arms reach. Since I am Blog (December) touring for this one I picked it.
Flirting with Forty, Jane Porter, pg. 56
"Where the hell did that shoe go? "That's a really nice offer but I've got plans tonight." He looks surprised. "You do?" I nod and spy the sandal underneath Butch's lounge chair. Right underneath his butt. Right where I won't go. I want my shoe, but I 'm not going to reach between his legs to get it.
Okay, so I have never been tagged, so I played but didn't tag since I am sort of a newbie!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Dar at Peeking Between the Pages is giving away a few copies of Broad Street.
and she has another one for the Magician's Book, A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia.
*****You have until November 20th for the Magicians Book and November 21st for Broad Street.
My friend Jenn, of Jenn's Bookshelf has a giveaway for God's Behaving Badly at her site that ends on November 22nd.
Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit has a give away that ends November 17th for The Sighing of the Winter Trees by Laura Grossman.
And since you are blogging around and might need and excuse to be on the computer so long... uh.. you were looking for a soup recipe right? (wink) so check out this Soup recipe on Bermudaonions Blog.
Happy weekend to all and don't forget I need comments too....so pretty please show me the love. :) I was told recently that begging sometimes worked.
We have a Winner!!It was a small little group for this Giveaway! But that meant better chance for all.
Congrats to Sherry. I will email you. Your book will be mailed from Hachette.
Thanks everyone for stopping by and participating.
Thank you Anna from Hachette for providing books for this giveaway.
***** please check back soon for my Review on this beautiful book ******
There were 3 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
Timestamp: 2008-11-15 19:27:05 UTC
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The Firemaster's Mistress
Published 2008 HarperCollins
*First published in Great Britain 2005, HarperCollins
Historical Fiction is such a blast to read. Part of Grandma's motto that "you learn something new every day."
Thank you Jeremy from HarperCollins for sending me this book.
The summary pretty much lets you know what the book is about. The Gun Powder Rebellion of 1605.
I really enjoyed learning about this bit of history along with a nice tale of Kate Peach, Francis Quoynt, and Boomer Quoynt. The characters are really lovable and interesting.
The story has a nice back drop of Brighthelmstone (Brighton, West Sussex) by the sea. And the family home, Powder Mote (fictional) of Francis (son) and Boomer (father) Quoynt. The story also takes place in London where many of the Inns mentioned were authentic Inn, one in particular was recommended by Shakespeare (The Elephant Inn Southwark).
Oh the places you'll go! This was a fun and interesting read. Kate has lost her family and is alone in the streets of London. She had been love with Francis in the past but after their love affair ended, she was all alone with no family or friends. In order to stay off the streets, she is being kept by a lover who is also caught up in the scheme of the rebellion and Kate ends up on the wrong side of the law. She is forced to flee and ends up in an interesting place. She is of the Catholic faith which has been banned by the English government. Francis is being used by Robert Cecil as a spy and/or traitor to the crown.
Most of the book you are in suspense as to who is on what side. Francis himself is a perplexed on what is happening and who he can trust. Kate doesn't know who to trust either. Boomer is a steadfast and admirable character but there is question into his abilities as he is getting older and side effects of the "Firemaster" business. So with all this going on, I kept reading with interest to find out the destiny of these great characters and I am glad I did.
A few times the book had a few elements that read a little "romancey." In the beginning I was thinking, uh...hum...a bit much on the "heavy desire" for me, but it didn't last too long, and the rest of the story was lively and interesting. The author used some fun terms like "snog off!" And Francis even said, "friggin."
Just when you think you know what will happen next, the end is full of surprises, adventure, and drama.
Over all, this is how I like my History. A little drama, steam and reality. Have fun with this book.
Featured at the end is : The History behind the Story. Always a nice feature in a Historical Fiction book.
My friend Dar at Peeking Between the Pages also reviewed this book here.
Check out this great giveaway! Valerie from Hachette Book Group is generously offering a fantastic Giveaway of the upcoming book God's Behaving Badly. FIVE COPIES are being given away at A Circle of Books.
(Check out the Hachette site!! Lots of good books coming your way).
ABOUT THE BOOK: Gods Behaving Badly By Marie Phillips
Being a Greek god is not all it once was. Yes, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse-and none too happy about it. And they've had to get day jobs: Artemis as a dog-walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, Dionysus as a DJ. Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees-a favorite pastime of Apollo's-is sapping their vital reserves of strength.
Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed-but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?
To read more click here
Doesn't this sound fun and sassy?
To win simply leave a comment with a line or two about what sounds good about this book!
***Contest is open to USA/Canada (no P.O. boxes please)
***One per household.
***You need to be over 18 to enter.
I will need to be able to contact you via email so please leave me away to contact you if you win.
REALLY want additional chances to win? If you would like THREE entries, blog about this contest. Please let me know that you have blogged about the contest in your comment.
I can accept comments until November 22nd at Midnight. Winners to be email and announced on November 23rd.
Good Luck Everyone!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I am a late comer to reading this book. The story behind my involvement in reading this book is such. I saw my co-worker reading this beautiful book (not Twilight) but one of the later books in the series over the summer and I inquired about the book. She told me how good it was and how she was hooked and could not wait for the up coming release of the latest book in August. I was intrigued and inquired into my book club and I think at that point someone mentioned that it was Young Adult and Vampire. So I was not as enthused as before. I don't typically read Young Adult. A few of my book clubbers (The Page Turners) did read the series or at least some of them and it stayed in my mind. I felt that I wanted to read them but I was going to read at a time when I had less on my plate. So I had a few further conversations with my co-worker and told her that October I would read the series. It would be my Halloween treat. But still I didn't want to be a sucker for a gorgeous book cover.
Well I forgot.. and Wednesday, November 6th I was talking with her and she said, "hey, I thought you were going to read the Twilight books in October." I said, "that's right! I am going to buy it at lunch today." And I did! ( yes... I still buy books... a lot of them!!) Anyway my co-worker Nikki is just in love with the books and she glows when she talks about them so I thought let's go! I just don't get more glowing recommendations than that!
My Vampire Book / Movie History:
I really enjoyed the book. As I mentioned before, I didn't expect a lot from the book but I wanted a story and I wanted something simple. I just wanted to get lost in a book and just feel like I couldn't put it down. I was so pleasantly surprised. Even though it is young adult for some reason I was expecting too much violence and gore. This was not the case. Meyer was able to write really well and keep my heart pounding without writing a graphic novel.
I feel I got more than I expected and I am really thrilled with the book. As much as I like the stories of Vampires, I haven't really read or watched much about them. I did read Anne Rice's, The Vampire Le Stat years ago. It was very intense for me at the time. I also watched, Interview with a Vampire. Being a huge Cruise/Pitt fan, I just loved that movie, however intense it was. Also as I get older and the "times" change, even for young adult I was curious as what young adult means in this day and age.
But still, I haven't watched any TV series or other vampire movies. (Blade, Buffy??) I do recall watching some late night vampire movies when I was in high school. The plot was something like this. The vampire is sleeping in a coffin and then wakes up as the moon rises (organ music, a bit of clouds pass over the moon). The kind where the vampire gets the woman to look into his eyes and he lures her up the stairs by an open window, in the bedroom of a Victorian mansion Then he gets her to surrender as he bites her neck she is tormented between pleasure and pain and then flies out the window as a bat. Sometimes after the bite the victim's eyes turn cold and zombie like and then she is now a vampire also. Do you get the picture?
Back to my review:
I enjoyed this book and I call it a real Page Turner. I think Stephenie Meyer did a great job with this book for young adults and other readers alike. Meyer has a way of creating suspense and excitement in a scene without having to resort to graphic detail. She writes pages and pages of prelude into a scene that kept me reading until late in the night. I fell in love with Clumsy Bella and the ever stoic and charming Edward.
At first Edward annoyed me. Maybe not annoyed me, but I felt he was messing with Bella and I hated to see her so conflicted. It wasn't until later that I grew to understand him and his motives. I was drawn to the Cullen family and their love and protective nature along with their sense of community, family and values. (Vampires??) The rich backdrop of Forks, Washington provided the most excellent scenery for the book which made it an excellent cool November read.
I have heard some feedback now on the next in the series which has lead me to believe that I won't be satisfied, but I don't think that will be the case. I am in the scenes with these characters now for the long haul. Whatever Meyer wants to do with them I will be content. I am 500 pages in 3 days vested into this story and I am not going anywhere. I read the sneak peak into the next book and I am happy.
Do I recommend the book. Yes I do! I believe it is good to get lost in a book. I also think it is a series that I can and would recommend for young adults. I like the pure love in the book. Meyer writes of a love that is pure and unselfish and I found a innocent and rich quality in the story without a lot of complexity. Meyer wove a wonderful story with outstanding characters and I am zooming out to buy New Moon, very soon.
I had to go to three stores to find the edition with the apple on it, since the movie is coming out November 21st. I had no idea there was a movie coming out. But you betcha I will be there to see it. I am very curious to what they will do with this story line.
A few fellow Blogger's reviews:
Dar at Peeking between the Pages
Since I just read this book and the movie is coming out, I am going to change one of my Lit Flicks Challenges to include Twilight.
In the meantime I started The Gate House tonight and will be finishing The Firemaster's Mistress this weekend. Look for an upcoming review.
Friday, November 7, 2008
I have received some great books to review from Miriam from Hachette.
Thank you so much for sending me the books and allowing me to review and participate in the Blog Tours!!!
I wanted to say that it is like Christmas in Oct/Nov 2008. I am very very excited about the upcoming reviews for my blog. Please check back soon to see what I got and what books I am reading this Fall/Winter. You will not be disappointed.
I wanted to let Jeremy from Harper Collins know that I am grateful and thankful for the books that he has sent. I have another review to start.... and a book to read. I have blogged about one and the next one you will have to check back!
I wanted to also extend a thank you to those that have viewed my blog and left me comments. (or even if you just read). This world of book blogging is a warm and sharing community. Thanks to those that are watching me learn the ways of blogging, commenting, and giveaways and thank you for being so very patient with me.
Please check back this weekend I want to post about some very special blogger friends!!!
Be of good cheer and thanks for stopping by my Circle of Books.
******** Please see my giveaway and leave a comment for the book giveaway. It would make a great Holiday Gift!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Good News! A Giveaway!
Hachette books is generously providing a copy of this book to one reader of A Circle of Books.
For decades Americans have turned to LIFE to see, understand, and remember the most important events and people of our time. Just as LIFE once opened up the glittering Kennedy White House, LIFE now focuses its lens on Barack Obama. The American Journey of Barack Obama covers the candidate from his childhood and adolescence to his time as editor of The
Harvard Law Review and his Chicago activist years, culminating with the excitement and fervor of the historic 2008 Democratic National Convention. The unfolding drama of Obama's life and political career is cinematic in scope, and never has it been presented so compellingly. In addition to a powerful array of photographs that were taken by many of the country's greatest photographers (and some that were snapped, in the quiet moments, by Obama family members themselves), this book also includes a Foreword by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, an
incisive narrative biography and original essays by some of our finest writers, including Gay Talese, Charles Johnson, Melissa Fay Greene, Andrei Codrescu, Fay Weldon, Richard Norton Smith, Bob Greene and several others. Many readers will find a new understanding of Obama. All readers will feel that they are bearing witness to a singular, undeniably American story.
The contest closes on November 14th at midnight, Pacific Time. The winner will be announced and contacted on November 15th!
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on my blog with a way to get a hold of you (a link, an email, etc.).
(will ship to US and Canada addresses)
Monday, November 3, 2008
I just had to stop to jaunt a passage from Little Women. While I am enjoying this book tremendously, I do pause to consider the writing. ( in a good way of course) When I selected this book for my annual September read for my book club, I had no idea that it was Young Adult. Of course, after thinking about it and going into my memory banks from my childhood, I recall seeing Little Women and Little Men in the shelves of the library section that I frequented most.
The first part of Little Women "read" as young adult for me. And the book continues to be suitable for young adult readers. It is warm, vibrant and charming in the story and characters. I was, and still continue to be captured by the innocence of this book.
Regarding the following passage, I am interested if most think that a young adult in this day and age would assimilate this type of writing and whether or not young people in your own life would opt to read this book. I am not expecting anyone to get the gist of the context of the reading but was curious about the words and the length of the paragraph. What do you think?
" It was a pictorial sheet, and Jo examined the work of art nearest her, idly wondering what unfortuitous concatenation of circumstances needed the melodramatic illustration of an Indian in full war costume, tumbling over a precipice with a wolf at his throat, while two infuriated young gentlemen, with unnaturally small feet and big eyes, were stabbing each other close by, and a disheveled female was flying away in the background with her mouth wide open."
I am curious... what do you think? I am curious as to this book, back in the day did young adults have much more of an attention span? That is quite a sentence for a young adult. Was the book made a classic from the story, from adults that had a deep appreciation for the outstanding writing? Who read this book to initially promote it to such a fantastic classic? Young adults or Adults? While it makes no difference to me how it was promoted because I do recognize the classic element of the book and love it, I still wonder.
I dug deep into my furthest memories and I recall checking out the book in 7th grade or so, drawn to it's voluminous size. I remember attempting to read it and never getting very far into the story. I opted out and read something else.
Anyway.... I am enjoying it now. Now is my time to appreciate this unique and eloquent novel.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Books Books and more Books!: Spooktacular Hachette Book Group Giveaway!!!!
So this is my first Blog Tour. It was an exciting and intriguing book to get to review and blog about!
The Book: Life After Genius
Author: Ann Jacoby.
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't think that the front flap grabbed me and I still wasn't 'grabbed" in the very first few pages. I was not even sure what the description implied by an "academic thriller." I even thought the main character Theodore Mead Fegley was going to an annoying character that I couldn't grow to like. You know how sometimes you are just not in the mood for something. Well I am so glad that this Blog Tour served as motivation to read and finish the book!!!
I loved it.
I was very pleasantly surprised because book just got better and better for me. I liked the way the book goes from past to present creating suspense. The narrative voice that lent us insight intol Mead's thoughts and actions is key in this story and most excellently done. The story keeps unfolding and unfolding and really kept me entertained and drawn into the character Mead.
Along the way Mead's parents, as well as, Uncle Martin, Aunt Jewel, Percy become that "small town simple family" with circumstances that I could relate to and with whom I could sympathize.
Mead is a quirky guy. It is interesting and heartwarming to see him grow up and become more responsible for his actions and some of his own misinterpretations. It is very interesting and compelling to find out just what will Mead do next!
The end was quite gripping and I was unable to put it down. For me the book has some characteristics of the HBO series Six Feet Under. As well as many other books or movies that I have read or encountered in other story lines that have the main character being bullied, mistreated and misunderstood. I was reminded of Dolores in Wally Lamb's, She's Come Undone and other coming of age characters all the way back to my childhood. Even in the Beverly Clearly books.
For me the end was heartwarming, fair and VERY much a "can't put it down" story. I liked the unique quality of the plot and the easy reading that is sprinkled with humorous quirks of Mead. This book caught me on a light and easy mood making it the perfect book to read at this time.
I wish to thank Miriam from Hachette for providing this book to me. Happy Reading Everyone!!!!! It comes out today!!!
Life After Genius: My space link.
Check out others involved in the blog tour at: