Welcome to A Circle of Books.

Please visit Toni/CoolpinkOne (ME!!) at my new blog:


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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I look forward to reading and blogging with everyone in the year to come.

Toni - A Circle of Books

Friday, December 19, 2008

New Moon - Stephenie Meyer

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 - Guest Review - Gary Harris

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.

is the full description from Hachette.

Publish Date: 1/7/2009, Hachette
Sounds like a fast good read eh?

*** Note my son is 23 years old this is not a teen book****

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lit Flicks - Flirting with Forty -

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:

1. Twilight
2. Flirting with Forty.
3. Little Women (movie) review coming.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Give away - Tomato Girl -

Dar at Peeking Between the Pages is having a giveaway for Tomato Girl.!!
Check it out here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winner Giveaway - The Magician's Book

We have a winner! Congrats!!!!

The winner of the Magician's Book is:

The Giveaway Diva (here)

THANK YOU!! Miriam from Hachette for sponsoring this event.

Your book will be shipped from the Publisher.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Winners - The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

Thank you Miriam from Hachette.

Congrats winners!!
Serena - Savvy Verse and Wit.
- 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

Meet Dexter

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

Flirting with Forty, a Novel and Lifetime Movie!!

A Novel, by Jane Porter and
NOW A Lifetime movie to premier Saturday December 6th at 9 PM/8c.

Thank You Miriam from Hachette.

My Review:
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 Hawaii and staring down her upcoming birthday-alone. But not for long. She's soon falling for Kai, her gorgeous, much younger surf instructor, and the wild passionate fling they have becomes the biggest surprise of Jackie's life.

Back home in Seattle, Jackie has to struggle with single parenthood...and memories of Kai. He hasn't forgotten her. Yet thousands of miles of ocean-not to mention an age difference that feels even wider-separate them. And, of course, her friends disapprove. When a choice must be made, can she, will she risk everything for her chance at happiness?

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

The Magician's Book - contest -interview-review

The Magicians Book, A Skeptics Adventures in Narnia, by Laura Miller.

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.

Giveaway Details:

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!

My Review:

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.

Giveaway!! Little Giant of Aberdeen County

Thank you to Miriam from Hachette for providing THREE copies of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, by Tiffany Baker. Yes, that is correct, three lucky readers of A Circle of Books will be entered for a random drawing held on December 8th!!!! (read to the end.. there are more than just three copies in blog land available)

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 -final chat and wrap up!

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.

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.