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Hello and welcome to my book blog. This blog is dedicated to books everywhere and the people who write and read them. Thank you for stopping by.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mailbox Monday August 31st

Mailbox Monday

Hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page.

Here is my mailbox.

This week I got A Friend of the Family, a novel, by Lauren Grodstein.
Thank you Algonquin! I can't wait to read this one.

About A Friend of the Family

Pete Dizinoff has spent years working toward a life that would be, by all measures, deemed successful. A skilled internist, he’s built a thriving practice in suburban New Jersey. He has a devoted wife, a network of close friends, and an impressive house, and most important, he has a son, Alec, on whom he’s pinned all his hopes. Pete has afforded Alec every opportunity, bailed him out of close calls with the law, and even ensured his acceptance into a good college.

But Pete never counted on the wild card: Laura, his best friend's daughter—ten years older than Alec, irresistibly beautiful, with a past so shocking that it’s never spoken of. When Laura sets her sights on Alec, Pete sees his plans for his son not just unraveling but being destroyed completely. Believing he has only the best of intentions, he sets out to derail this romance and rescue his son. He could never have foreseen how his whole world would shatter in the process.

Lauren Grodstein delivers a riveting story in the tradition of The Ice Storm, American Beauty, and Little Children, charting a father's fall from grace as he struggles to save his family, his reputation, and himself.

About Lauren Grodstein

Lauren Grodstein is the author of the collection The Best of Animals and a novel, Reproduction is the Flaw of Love, which was bo th a Breakout Book selection from Amazon.com and a Borders Original Voices pick. Her work has been translated into German, Italian, and French. She teaches creative writing at Rutgers University.

I love to see what you got this week. Happy Monday everyone. I will be blog visiting all week. It is good to post a comment here though to remind me to stop by.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book Review - Stand the Storm - Breena Clarke

I'd like everyone to check out Breena Clarke's web-site and look into reading this book.

My book club The Page Turners read this book for summer reading. I enjoyed reading this book with my friends and club members. We did use Breena Clarke's Questions and web-site for the Reading Group Guide in addition to coming up with a zillion other thoughts that we shared over a four week, weekly chat.

Check out Jenn's Bookshelf at a later date for some member reviews and thoughts. I want to thank Jenn in co-operation with Valerie from Hachette Book Group for arranging copies of the book for our summer reading.

My Review:

I want to say that the story of Annie, Gabriel, Ellen, and Mary is a powerful epic story. I really thought the plot and theme of this book was outstanding. I also liked the diverse and complicated characters. I was totally immersed in the sewing, knitting, quilting, tailoring and needlepoint. There was quite a bit of that in the book. For me it was enthralling. This is a very important and rich story. Therefore I recommend the book for anyone.

I did struggle with the harshly depicted life of a slaves. I know it is a harsh and brutal reality, but it was hard for me to read. The sexual abuse, rape and physical abuse was hard for me to digest and wrap the brain around. More so than other books that I have read on the subject. It was peppered in throughout the story. It did shape and define the characters actions. It was warranted and yet it was harsh. Even though it was rough, I do find that it added a very brave voice to the history of our Country. I thank Breena Clark for that.

Slave trader, slave seller, slave catcher, master, free coloreds, the "n" word (which isn't coming out of my mouth or off my keyboard) and many of the terms and practices involved with the enslavement and traffic-ing of human beings is utterly horrific and were everyday terms in this story. And yet here we have a story with a mother, a son, grandchildren, a community, and a nation struggling in a eruptive time that serves to take us to a time not so long ago where we can reflect, remember and broaden our understanding.

At times I felt the writing was too academic for the story. While I understood the writing, sometimes it seemed wordy. There were also many moments of powerful prose. For me the prose and academic writing didn't mix well. I am not sure if that makes sense. I tended to enjoy the "prose type" parts more than some of the thickly worded sentences. The material for me was heavy enough. This didn't not occur to me throughout the whole book, just towards the latter part. There were a couple of character issues for me that distracted from what I wanted from the story. I think it might add to the story for others.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of the book to review, and I bought a copy of the audio. I read the first half and listened to the other half. I HIGHLY recommend the audio. It is read beautifully, and the rich texture of the voice drove the story home a bit more for me.

That is it. I'd love to hear your comments. If you have questions, I will try to answer them.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mailbox Monday August 24th

Hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Check it out here.

This is what I got this week:

Ferris Beach by Jill McCorkle.

I got this from Algonquin Books. THANK YOU!

What came in your mailbox this week.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Winners - The Castaways - Audio

The Castaways, by Elin Hilderbrand

And the winners are:


Thank you for entering this giveaway. I appreciate those who follow, tweet and blog about the contest held here. And for those who read this blog as well. I will email everyone this weekend. Feel free to email me your mailing address in advance if you have the opportunity.

I was nominated for an award at the BBAW recently and I feel touched, humbled and honored to be mentioned among this very talented, uplifting and entertaining group of bloggers. Thank you.

Thank you Anna from Hachette Book Group for making this giveaway possible.

A bit about the book:
Greg and Tess MacAvoy are one of four prominent Nantucket couples who count each other as best friends. As pillars of their close-knit community, the MacAvoys, Kapenashes, Drakes, and Wheelers are important to their friends and neighbors, and especially to each other. But just before the beginning of another idyllic summer, Greg and Tess are killed when their boat capsizes during an anniversary sail. As the warm weather approaches and the island mourns their loss, nothing can prepare the MacAvoy's closest friends for what will be revealed.

Once again, Hilderbrand masterfully weaves an intense tale of love and loyalty set against the backdrop of endless summer island life

The White Queen - winners!!!

I'd like to say Congratulations to:
Joanne R

You have won The White Queen!

Thank you everyone for the Tweets, blog posts and for participating. I can't wait to read the book and I can't wait to read more of everyone's reviews and thoughts on The White Queen. Don't forget to check out the trailer at the top of my blog.

I will email you shortly. If you want to go ahead and forward your mailing address that would be great.

Happy Weekend to you.

Next up.... more winners!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Winners - Dying for Mercy

Thank you Katrina from wiredset.com.

Dying for Mercy, By Mary Jane Clark

We have winners.

The winners are :
Bingo - Bookin' With Bingo
Kaye - Pudgey Penguin Perusals

These two ladies just happen to have outstanding FABULOUS blogs. Visit them and you will not be disappointed.

If you didn't win Click here to get to Amazon to buy.

If you get a chance, please check out this link. Mary Jane Clark was on Good Morning America last week. AND there is a chance to win an autographed copy!!!

Mailbox Monday 8/17/2009

Mailbox Monday Hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
What did you get in your mailbox last week.

This is what I got in my mailbox. Pretty sweet.... my weeks are slower as I am not requesting books right now so I can catch up on reviews. But I can't wait to read this one.

The White Queen

By Philippa Gregory

On Sale August 18!

Click HERE to learn more about the book. I have a giveaway as well.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy Saturday

Just checking in!

I am reading Stand the Storm, Breaking Dawn and a few other books. I am having trouble focusing so I tend to knit more when I am in this state. I am very very excited about a few of my new books and I can't wait to get my mind chilled out in books.

I am reading Stand the Storm with my Book Club and we are enjoying it and having some good conversations on Tuesday nights via yahoo messenger. I hope to share more on this soon.

I will be popping in your blogs and reading and doing some commenting. If you have anything special that you want me to check out, please put a link on this post and I will come on over to visit.

I will post the Dying for Mercy winners today or tomorrow! Good luck everyone!

Hubby's leg is mending but doc says we are about 1.5 weeks away from feeling a big difference. He has been a trooper. The second surgery is set for Oct 28th. I have been a good nurse although I might say I am one of those sort of cranky nurses? I think I would be afraid to put it as a question to the patient. He might say yes, but there is no denying that I am efficient. I am a bit pooped out, but nothing that is going to kill me. Thursday night I had a weird allergic reaction and my lips got really big. I have a photo but really am way too chicken to post it.

Dexter good ole buddy of mine was just at this point where I figured I had a good dog and he was just behaving so well. Since the leg break, and my busy schedule, this dog is acting horrible. I mean really horrible. He wants to eat, chew and destroy things. He wants to taunt me, he won't come when I call him he looks over his shoulder and dares me to follow. He pretends to wait for me and when I get a foot away and runs. Of course then he stops and looks at me like..."this is fun.. wanna do it again." I swear he is taunting me and laughing at me.

Here he is this morning in the sun. See the look on his face. I was going to work and needed him to come in the house. The look... "come and get me.. yeah.. try it.. " I need to take him for some serious runs to tire him out. I am sure it is just an attention thing.... or I am in hella big trouble. Yes, I said Hella. The dog is going to drive me to drink and swear. Okay that is kind of a lie. I drink and swear anyway. Have a great day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Winners - The Lost Dog, Michelle de Krester

Thank you Valerie from Hachette Book Group for this awesome giveaway.

The winners are:


I will be emailing you for your snail mail soon. Thank you for following A Circle of books and entering in the giveaway.

A bit about the book:

Tom Loxley, an Indian-Australian professor, is less concerned with finishing his book on Henry James than with finding his dog, who is lost in the Australian bush.

Joining his daily hunt is Nelly Zhang, an artist whose husband disappeared mysteriously years before Tom met her. Although Nelly helps him search for his beloved pet, Tom isn't sure if he should trust this new friend.

Tom has preoccupations other than his book and Nelly and his missing dog, mainly concerning his mother, who is suffering from the various indignities of old age. He is constantly drawn from the cerebral to the primitive--by his mother's infirmities, as well as by Nelly's attractions. THE LOST DOG makes brilliant use of the conventions of suspense and atmosphere while leading us to see anew the ever-present conflicts between our bodies and our minds, the present and the past, the primal and the civilized.

A bit about the author:
Michelle de Kretser is a Sri Lankan who has lived in Australia since 1972. Her previous book, The Hamilton Case (L,B 2004) received the Commonwealth Writers Prize (SE Asia and Pacific) and the Society of Authors' (U.K) Encore Award for best second novel of the year. It was also first runner-up 2004 for B&N's Discover Award in Fiction and a New York Times Notable Book. THE LOST DOG is her third novel.

Giveaway - The White Queen - Philippa Gregory

We have a brand new Giveaway for August. Thank you Katrina from Wiredset. We have two copies to giveaway to anyone in the World. Gotta love that!!!

Details upfront.
(But PLEASE check out the video and the links)

Simply leave a comment on this post for One entry into my random drawing. If you post a link on your blog or tweet about this contest you get Five entries. All Circle of books Followers get an extra entry. Winners will be announced on or about August 19th.
If you don't win check out the links below to order your copy.

Don't forget I need a way to contact you. Please leave an email, if it is in your profile that is cool. :)

Why not start by:

Becoming a fan of The White Queen: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-White-Queen/108761054009


Following The White Queen: http://twitter.com/WhiteQueen_book

The White Queen

By Philippa Gregory

On Sale August 18!

Pre-Order here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1416563687/simonsayscom

Book description:

Philippa Gregory, "the queen of royal fiction" (USA Today) Presents the first of a new series set amid the deadly feuds of England known as the Wars of the Roses.

Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.

The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.

With The White Queen, Philippa Gregory brings the artistry and intellect of a master writer and storyteller to a new era in history and begins what is sure to be another bestselling classic series from this beloved author.

About the author:

Philippa Gregory is the New York Times bestselling author of several books, including The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance. A writer and broadcaster for radio and television, she lives in England. She welcomes visitors and messages at her website, www.philippagregory.com.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mailbox Monday August 10th

I had a few wonderful Items arrive.

I got:
The Bourne Deception, Robert Ludlum Audio (Contest)

and I got:

The Puzzle King by Betsty Carter from Algonquin. Thank you.


On a gray morning in 1936, Flora Phelps stands in line at the American consulate in Stuttgart, Germany. She carries a gift for the consul, whom she will bribe in order to help her family get out of Hitler's Germany. This is the story of unlikely heroes, the lively, beautiful Flora and her husband, the brooding, studious Simon, two Jewish immigrants who were each sent to America by their families to find better lives. An improbable match, they meet in New York City and fall in love. Simon--inventor of the jigsaw puzzle--eventually makes his fortune. Now wealthy, but still outsiders, Flora and Simon become obsessed with rescuing the loved ones they left behind in Europe whose fates are determined by growing anti-Semitism on both sides of the Atlantic.

Inspired by her family's legends, Betsy Carter weaves a memorable tale. In the tradition of Suite Francaise or Amy Bloom's Away, she explores a fascinating moment in history and creates a cast of characters who endure with dignity, grace, and hope for the future.

This cover is so beautiful. The story sounds so good. I can't wait to read it.

Thank you for stopping by my mailbox. Happy Monday.

Winners - The Blue Star, by Tony Earley - Hachette Book Giveaway

Thank you Valerie from Hachette Book Group for this awesome giveaway.

We have five winners:

Shooting Stars Mag
Debs Desk
Belinda M

Thank you for following A Circle of books and participating in the Giveaway.
You should be getting and email from me requesting your snail mail address. Feel free to send in advance if you'd like.

The Blue Star, by Tony Earley

Seven years ago, readers everywhere fell in love with Jim Glass, the precocious ten-year-old at the heart of Tony Earley's bestseller Jim the Boy. Now a teenager, Jim returns in another tender and wise story of young love on the eve of World War Two. Jim Glass has fallen in love, as only a teenage boy can fall in love, with his classmate Chrissie Steppe. Unfortunately, Chrissie is Bucky Bucklaw's girlfriend, and Bucky has joined the Navy on the eve of war. Jim vows to win Chrissie's heart in his absence, but the war makes high school less than a safe haven, and gives a young man's emotions a grown man's gravity. With the uncanny insight into the well-intentioned heart that made Jim the Boy a favorite novel for thousands of readers, Tony Earley has fashioned another nuanced and unforgettable portrait of America in another time--making it again even realer than our own day. This is a timeless and moving story of discovery, loss and growing up, proving why Tony Earley's writing "radiates with a largeness of heart" (Esquire)

About the Author:
Tony Earley is the author of four books: Here We Are in Paradise, a collection of stories; the novel Jim the Boy; the personal essay collection Somehow Form a Family; and The Blue Star, a novel forthcoming in Spring, 2008. A winner of a National Magazine Award for fiction, he was named one of the twenty best writers of his generation by both Granta, in 1996, and The New Yorker in 1999. His fiction and/or nonfiction have appeared in Harper's, Esquire, The New Yorker, The Oxford American, The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Best American Short Stories, New Stories from the South and many other magazines and anthologies. He is a native of western North Carolina and a graduate of Warren Wilson College and The University of Alabama. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife and daughter, where he is the Samuel Milton Fleming Associate Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Three Column Blogger Tip

Most of you out there have your fabulously designed blogs. I have been struggling with my own design. Well I am HTML illiterate. And thank you all for bearing with my blog as it had the "unwrapped sidebar" items recently. My sidebars and middle sort of ran into each other. I didn't know how to fix it.

I just wanted to post where I got the information to do a three column minima layout.

Three column layout.
and here is where I got to figure out how to wrap the side bars and shrink them down.

Just wanted to pass along the tips.

Happy Tuesday. We are off to get some screws in the hubby's ankle. Surgery should take about an hour.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tuesday Haps...

Hey everyone.. I missed Mailbox Monday as I had an empty mailbox. That is okay, my cup runneth over and I am reading out of my own greedy little piles right now.

I am reading three books right now. So I am hoping that August will have three book reviews. I will keep you posted.

I am doing a 30 posts in thirty days in my knitting blog. A Blog of My Own. For those who don't know I originally started with my knitting blog. In January 2010 it will be three years since I started that blog. I have been feeling that it was neglected due to the high pace of the book blogging world. I love my knitting blog. I was excited today. In a response to a comment today I actually was my 500th comment! You can see it is a humble little blog. Anyway, you can find me daily there this August. Not a lot of book talk, but you can see what I am up to with my hands.

I will be at my desk more later in the week. My husband broke his leg yesterday. He slid into 2nd base. So I am working, playing nurse, cooking and doing the driving. Books and knitting are cool for doctors appointments and emergency rooms. We have to see the ortho doc to proceed with a cast and further issues tomorrow.

I am dying to read every one's reviews and check out your mail boxes. You know me,I will show up sooner or later on your blog.

I will close with a cute picture of my niece and my great nephew on my recent trip to Bodega Bay. Two precious people.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Book - Dying for Mercy - Giveaway!

Hello and Happy Saturday. I am please to announce that I have another great giveaway. Thank you Katrina from wiredset.com.

Dying for Mercy, By Mary Jane Clark

Book Description:

When death shatters the serenity of the exclusive moneyed enclave of Tuxedo Park, New York, Eliza Blake, cohost of the country's premier morning television show KEY to America, is on the scene. While attending a lavish gala at her friends' newly renovated estate, Pentimento, Eliza's host is found dead—a grotesque suicide that is the first act in a macabre and intricately conceived plan to expose the sins of the past involving some of the town's most revered citizens.

Determined to find out the truth, Eliza and her KEY News colleagues—producer Annabelle Murphy, cameraman B.J. D'Elia, and psychiatrist Margo Gonzalez—discover that Pentimento holds the key. Nestled in the park's sprawling architectural masterpieces, picturesque gardeners' cottages, and lush, rolling landscape, the glorious mansion is actually a giant "puzzle house," filled with ingenious clues hidden in its fireplaces, fountains, and frescoes that lead them from one suspicious locale to another—and, one by one, to the victims of a fiendish killer.

As Pentimento gives up its secrets, it becomes clear that no amount of wealth or privilege will keep the residents of Tuxedo Park safe. But just when Eliza unearths one final surprise, she comes face-to-face with a murderer who believes that some puzzles should never be solved.

About the Author:

New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark has written 12 novels, all set in the high stakes world of broadcast journalism. She worked at CBS News headquarters in New York City for three decades, her experience there leading her to create KEY, a fictional television network. What her characters can get involved in as they cover their assignments is as varied as the stories on the morning or evening news. Her media thrillers are published in 22 languages.

Fast-moving, unpredictable, and always changing, the television news world offers a never-ending stream of ideas for Clark’s books. Her writing style has been described as “clear and speedy.” Influenced by years of writing television news stories, where every second counts, she gets right to the action in her suspense novels, in which every word is a clue.

The daughter of a FBI agent, Clark grew up in Westwood, New Jersey, and graduated from the University of Rhode Island. She is the mother of two grown children and lives in New Jersey and Florida. She spends her time researching her next novel, writing, concocting new plots while walking the beach, decorating, and supporting causes close to her heart, including research for a cure or treatment for fragile X syndrome.

On Sale Today!

Order here: http://www.amazon.com/Dying-Mercy-Mary-Jane-Clark/dp/0061286117/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247761503&sr=8-1

Trailer for Dying for Mercy:


I have two copies to giveaway. Enter on or before August 14th. Winners announce August 15th or so.

  • US residents only.
  • Just leave one comment here for one entry.
  • For five entries Tweet about the contest or post in your side bar.
Good Luck Everyone.

The Castaways, Elin Hilderbrand - Audio Giveaway,

Happy Saturday to all. Thanks to Anna at Hachette Book Group I have three audio copies of The Castaways, by Elin Hilderbrand to offer.
  • Contest to run through August 20th. Winners announces on or about August 21st.
  • Just leave a comment on this post and you will be entered in a random drawing.
  • US/Canada Only and NO P.O. boxes.
A bit about the book:
Greg and Tess MacAvoy are one of four prominent Nantucket couples who count each other as best friends. As pillars of their close-knit community, the MacAvoys, Kapenashes, Drakes, and Wheelers are important to their friends and neighbors, and especially to each other. But just before the beginning of another idyllic summer, Greg and Tess are killed when their boat capsizes during an anniversary sail. As the warm weather approaches and the island mourns their loss, nothing can prepare the MacAvoy's closest friends for what will be revealed.

Once again, Hilderbrand masterfully weaves an intense tale of love and loyalty set against the backdrop of endless summer island life.

Good Luck and Enjoy.