Welcome to A Circle of Books.

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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.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chosen, A Novel, by Chaundra Hoffman - Review

Color me happy, I read a book!

Thank you Jocelyn @ Kelly and Hall.  I really enjoyed this book.  I read it in a week or so.  I looked forward to reading it each night.  It is about Chloe who works for an adoption agency placing newborns with adoptive parents.   It is an interesting book with a bit of drama when a child ends up missing.  It gives a glimpse into the lives of the adoptive parents, the birth parent(s), and the life of Chloe in the middle of it all.  It read a little bit like a  Jodi Piccoult novel, and I say that loosely because I don't think the writing was the same.   But the writing was enjoyable and flowed well.   I would recommend the book and the author.  I found the characters real to life and I enjoyed the Portland, Oregon setting.  I enjoyed the drama without tears.  I also was happy the book was a quick read and wasn't cluttered up with a bunch of writing for the sake of writing.  If you know what I mean.

Hope you have a chance to check this one out.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Peanuts Collection

Treasures from the world's most beloved comic strip, Nat Gertler

Full Description

This fully authorized, one-of-a-kind illustrated book celebrates the 60th anniversary of the world's most beloved comic strip characters. A compendium of rare materials from the Charles M. Schulz Museum and family archives, The Peanuts Collection comes in a sturdy slipcase and features high-quality reproductions of original sketches, comics, and photographs from the world of Peanuts. Removable film cels, stickers, and booklets are included, as well as reproduction prints of Peanuts artwork ready for framing.

My Review:
This book's title does not lie.  It is a treasure of treasures!  I thought it was going to be a kind of cute picture book and I would review it in a night or two.   Not true! It has provided night after night of reading and enjoying the whole book.  From the moment I opened the book, I was enchanted.  Page after page is loaded with surprise after surprise.  It is the best collection of history, and artifacts of the Peanuts Gang that I have seen.  I adored it.  I could tell you all little perks and details, but to do so would wreck the complete euphoric treats that are bestowed upon discovering the contents.  As I opened the book and squealed with each surprise, my husband came over to the sofa and joined me on this wonderful journey into the history of Peanuts.  We slowly turned pages and examined the artifacts.   It is an exquisite collection of artistically presented gems for all Peanuts junkies.   Fans everywhere will be delighted.  It is the perfect gift.  I can't part with  mine but will keep it in mind for gift giving this holiday season.

Thank you Anna from Hachette Books.

About Author

Nat Gertler is the founder and author of Aaugh.com, a comprehensive resource for Peanuts collectors and fans. Gertler has written for Speed Racer, Flintstones, and NASCAR Adventures. He has authored horror works for Pocket Books, written a number of titles in the Complete Idiot's Guide series, contributes regularly to Hogan's Alley, a comics-related magazine, and is the founder and publisher of packager About Comics.

Little Brown and Company
Publish Date:10/25/2010
Size:11-3/4" x 10-1/4"
I will say the first photo doesn't do the book justice.  The book is large and thick and really quite a beauty for the coffee table.  It comes encased in a nice hard cover that slips over the book.  Oh what the heck.  I will show you one photo. 


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Just had to send out a post.... Dexter says "congrats Giants!!!!!!"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mailbox Monday October 11th

 Mailbox Monday- Welcome. This is a weekly event that was created from Marcia from The Printed Page.  It is being hosted in the month of October by She Reads and Reads. What came in your mailbox, book bag or into your library this week?   Here is what I accumulated over a the last three weeks.

My most long awaited book was the reprint of  Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore. (A treat from myself). It is the history of Aran Knitting AND a bunch of patterns that I have been dying to make for a few years now.  It will reside in my most cherished libraries of knitting books.  I haven't read it all but I have made a good dent in it and it exceeds my wildest expectations.

 I received Chosen by Chandra Hoffman from Jocelyn @ Kelly and Hall (thank you)
A bit about the book:
A young caseworker increasingly entangled in the lives of adoptive and birth parents faces life-altering choices when an extortion attempt goes horribly wrong in Chosen. Written in the spirit of Jodi Picoult and Anna Quindlen, Chosen is an extraordinary debut novel from Chandra Hoffman that deals with the controversial subject of adoption while providing a riveting read that will equally ensnare lovers of suspense, domestic drama, and literary fiction.

I also received Missing Lucile by Suzanne Berne, from Algonquin (Thank You).
A Bit about the book:
Even as a child, Suzanne Berne understood the source of her father’s terrible melancholy: he’d lost his mother when he was a little boy. Decades later, with her father now elderly and ailing, she decides to try to uncover the woman who continues to haunt him.

Every family has a missing person, someone who died young or disappeared, leaving a legacy of loss. Aided by vintage photographs and a box of old keepsakes, Berne sets out to fill in her grandmother’s silhouette and along the way uncovers her own foothold in American history.

Lucile Berne, née Kroger, was a daughter of Bernard Henry Kroger, the archetypal American self-made man, who at twenty-three established what is today’s $76 billion grocery enterprise. From her turn-of-the-century Cincinnati childhood to her college years at Wellesley, her tenure as treasurer of her father’s huge company, her stint as a relief worker in devastated France, her marriage to a professional singer, and the elusive, unhappy wealthy young matron she became, Lucile both illustrates and contradicts her times.

In the process of creating this portrait, Berne discovers the function of family history: “to explain what is essentially inexplicable—how we came to be ourselves.”

Hellos from Me!!
I am busy as heck.  I get around to pop in on blogs but I don't always leave a comment.  I got an IPAD and I think this is going to help keep up with all the lovely blog reading.    I am still trying to get through a few books.  I love my books just as much as ever,, but I am sure I got a bit burned out somehow.  I started reading more blogs than books. (well you know what I mean).  

This year has been about blog  balance and I don't feel blog stress anymore!  Yahoo!!!  I still do have some reading and blogging goals that I'd like to maintain.  Middle ground sort of evades me at the moment...and it needs to be about middle ground for me.    It has been over two years now since I started this book blog.    I love it here, I love the books and all the bloggy folks. 

I don't know that I can keep up with all the reviews that I want to do, but I do want to feature new books and stay connected.  I want to reward those who read with giveaways and I do want to participate in some of the blogging events and activities that everyone enjoys.

Thanks for everyone who stops by and if you leave me a comment know that it is always as special for me now as it was from the start. 

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mailbox Monday - September 20th

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at the Printed Page (my monthly version)  is on Tour and September it is hosted over at Bermudiaonion's Blog.

Here is what she got this week!

I am still on a slow down.  The last month I still have received some stellar books.  I am eager to read them, even when they show up as a surprise.  I am always thankful for books!

I received:

 Exley, a novel  by Brock Clark (thank you Algonquin) 

The Postcard Killers by James Patterson and Liza Marlund (thank you Hachette)
   (Audio Book)

Natural to a Super Natural Health, by David Herzog. (Thank you Atlas) 

Nothing Left to Burn, a memoir by Jay Varner. (thank you Algonquin)

The Jefferson Project by Thor Duffin (thank you Atlas) 

Stay tuned for more info on these books coming soon!

Have a great week!  Thanks for stopping by!

Exley, a novel by Brock Clark - Coming October 5th 2010

I received this great book to review from Algonquin. I picked it up and read the first 25 pages and I can tell I am going to like this book.  I just wanted to post a little preview.  This book comes out October 5th, 2010.  

A Bit About Exley

For nine-year-old Miller, who lives with his mother in Watertown, New York, life has become a struggle to make sense of his father’s disappearance, for which he blames himself. Then, when he becomes convinced that he has found his father lying comatose in the local VA hospital, a victim of the war in Iraq, Miller begins a search for the one person he believes can save him, the famously reclusive — and, unfortunately, dead — Frederick Exley, a Watertown native and the author of his father’s favorite book, the “fictional memoir” A Fan’s Notes. The story of Miller’s search, told by both Miller himself and his somewhat flaky therapist, ultimately becomes an exploration of the difference between what we believe to be real and what is in fact real, and how challenging it can be to reconcile the two.

Part literary satire, part mystery, Exley unleashes the enormous talent of a writer whom critics have compared to Richard Ford and John Irving and whose work has been called “absurdly hilarious” (Entertainment Weekly) and “wildly entertaining” (Daily Candy).

A Bit About Brock Clarke:
Brock Clarke is the author of two previous novels and two short story collections. He lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches at Bowdoin College.

A Bit of Praise:
EXLEY is already garnering early buzz, receiving a starred review from Kirkus: “Another literary high-wire performance by a novelist who is establishing himself as a unique voice in contemporary fiction ... A seriously playful novel about the interweave of literature and life.”

Winners - Audio - The Post Card Killers

Congratulations to the winners!  Thank you Anna @ Hachette Book Group!

Denny, Alaska

Read by Katherine Kellgren, Eric Singer and Reg Rogersy
An email is going out shortly.  Please reply with your address!! Congratulations!  This looks like a good one.  I am reviewing it too!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Winners - She's Gone Country - Jane Porter

And the winners are:

  1. Lu (love my kids and books)
  2. Dawn (librarygrinch)
  3. DeSeRt RoSe  (Thank you for the award too!)
Thank you Hachette Books for the giveaway.

I will be emailing you all shortly!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Giveaway - The Postcard Killers, by James Patterson and Liza Marklund

by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
Read by Katherine Kellgren, Eric Singer and Reg Rogersy

Paris is stunning in the summer. NYPD detective Jacob Kanon is on a tour of Europe's most gorgeous cities. But the sights aren't what draw him—he sees each museum, each cathedral, and each cafe through the eyes of his daughter's killer.  The killing is simply marvelous. Kanon's daughter, Kimmy, and her boyfriend were murdered while on vacation in Rome. Since then, young couples in Paris, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and Stockholm have been found dead. Little connects the murders, other than a
postcard to the local newspaper that precedes each new victim.

"Wish you were here. "

Now Kanon teams up with the Swedish reporter, Dessie Larsson, who has just received a postcard in Stockholm—and they think they know where the next victims will be. With relentless logic and unstoppable action, THE POSTCARD KILLERS may be James Patterson's most vivid and compelling thriller yet.

Giveaway Details / Rules
US & Canada Only
NO P.O. Boxes
Enter by September 15th, 2010
You are not eligible to win this title if you or someone in your house has won in another giveaway. (one per household)

To enter:
Simple leave a comment with your email address.  If you are a follower you get a double entry.

Special Thanks to Anna from Hachette Book Group.

Good Luck!!
Have a great weekend.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Envy - Audio Book by Sandra Brown - A Review

My book club picked this book to read this summer.  I was hesitant.  Don't get me wrong, I read a lot of Sandra Brown, but I haven't read them since the sizzling summer days of the 1990's.  I enjoyed that "sort" of thing back then.

The book takes us from The Florida Keys, to New York to St. Anne's Island, Georgia.  The author does a pretty good job of including scenic, historic and pop culture events into the story.   The characters are well developed and interesting. We go from the past to the future and bounce from location to location.  Saundra Brown does that well.

The book is a about authors and publishers, love, hate, money and ENVY.  Of course.   It was a good read.   I will post a summary below as I don't want to spoil. There are some twists and turns in the plot.  I believe most are predictable, but that isn't always bad.  Everything doesn't have to be a big ole surprise right?

If you like her novels for the gratuitous sex, then you won't be disappointed.  I think it went a bit too far, but that is just me.  I wasn't offended, (those who know me will know that isn't it).  I just found it unrealistic.  I won't expound, as I think my blog is still pretty "G" rated last time I checked.  I will say when I say unrealistic , I mean maybe very awkward, and near impossible, like I would cock my head to the side and try to get a mental image, and say...'naw...not happening.."   The over use of the "F" bomb is a problem.  Again, I am not a prude but it lost its effectiveness.  And there was an abundance of metaphors that drove me crazy.  Just a few too many. 

It was a good summer read.  Sandra Brown can put together a good plot.  I just got annoyed with some of the ingredients. I would recommend this book.  Summer read, airport read, vacation read..you name it.  I could see it as a movie, or mini series.  

The best part of the book for me is the book within a book. I gotta love that, and that part was really well done.   It makes it all worth while.

I listened to the audio.  I think I give the audio production and A-/B+.   Sometimes I  thought the Parker character sounded like a dumb oakie and the Southern drawl was off.  That could just be me.  I would recommend  it nonetheless.  I heard some of it in the car and I know passersby were looking at me as I cupped my hand over my mouth for a number of reasons.  (wink)

Click here to read a summary.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

She's Gone Country - Jane Porter Giveaway

Hey Everyone!

I thought it would be nice to host a giveaway!

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, I have three copies of Jane Porter's, She's Gone Country.  I am going to review this book later on my blog but I thought it would be great to host a giveaway and get back in the giveaway groove a little.  This book is available on August 23rd!!
A bit about the book:
Jane Porter has returned with the type of bestselling novel that she writes best, featuring an almost-forty protagonist finding a second chance in life. SHE’S GONE COUNTRY is an entertaining tale of a modern-day woman, Shey, who has led a charmed life in New York City, gracing the covers of Vogue, and is now forced to reinvent herself by moving back to her hometown in Texas after her marriage falls apart. Shey soon realizes that in order to reinvent herself, she must let go of an uncertain future and a broken past, and allow for the possibility of new love in the present.

A bit about the author:
Jane Porter lives in Seattle, Washington, with her two children. You can find out more about her at www.janeporter.com.

Audio and Video

Giveaway details:
  • Leave a comment on this blog by September 1, 2010 and you will be entered into the drawing.
  • If you are a follower of the blog, you get an extra entry.  Make sure you let me know. One post or two, it makes no difference.  I need your email address to notify you that you have won.  If it is on your profile that is fine by me.
  • US and Canada Only
  • No P.O. Boxes
  • Hachette Books (Thank you very much) will send your book to you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mailbox Monday - August 16th

It has been awhile since I participated in Mailbox Monday.   It is hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page. Okay...last time I participated it was. But now it is on Tour.  Not sure what that means?  Me, neither but I am catching up and it appears that the August Tour is at Chick Loves Lit.

I haven't been accepting books, but I wanted to get my butt reading so I have accepted a few over the last 4 weeks, and some came by surprise.  

First off:  The Queen's Pawn from Christy English.  I intend to read it soon with pleasure!! It sounds great!  Thank you Christy.

A bit about the Book: (From Amazon)
A historical novel of the legendary Eleanor of Aquitaine and the one person she loved more than power-her rival for the throne.

At only nine, Princess Alais of France is sent to live in England until she is of age to wed Prince Richard, son of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Alais is an innocent pawn on the chessboard of dynastic marriage, her betrothal intended to broker an uneasy truce between the nations.

Estranged from her husband, Eleanor sees a kindred spirit in this determined young girl. She embraces Alais as a daughter, teaching the princess what it takes to be a woman of power in a world of men. But as Alais grows to maturity and develops ambitions of her own, Eleanor begins to see her as a threat-and their love for each other becomes overshadowed by their bitter rivalry, dark betrayals, conflicting passions, and a battle for revenge over the throne of England itself.

From Algonquin:   A Curable Romantic by Joseph Skibell (Thank you algonquin)

A bit about the book: (from Algonquin)

As far as romance goes, Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn is fairly incurable. Twice married, once divorced, once widowed—all by the tender age of twelve— he finally flees his small village and his pious, vengeful father. A lovelorn candide, young Dr. Sammelsohn wanders optimistically through history—pursued by the amorous ghost of his dead wife.

Arriving in Vienna in 1890, a chance encounter with Sigmund Freud leads our hero into the arms of Emma Eckstein, one of Freud’s most famous patients. Later he romances the beautiful and wealthy Loë Bernfeld, who carries him into the world of Esperanto and the universal language movement. Finally, Dr. Sammelsohn finds himself in the Warsaw ghetto in 1940, only to become a pawn in a battle over the path to heaven.

A Curable Romantic is a novel of personal and historical exile that could spring only from the literary imagination of a virtuoso. Often fantastical yet always grounded in tradition and history, it is that rare literary feat —a truly incomparable tale, ingenuously told, peopled with characters who live on in the memory.

Deep Nights, by Steven Sloan

A bit about the book:
A policeman, haunted by memories of past failures and faced with opposition from loved ones, finds himself under pressure to protect the citizens of his community. In Duncan Switch, most deep night shifts are usually quiet, but tonight’s converging events threaten to smother his efforts and test his ability. Protecting a fellow officer, a hostage situation and working the night shift short-handed tests the officers of Duncan Switch, Texas. One of them finds the biggest challenge of the night, still ahead.  Thank You Kim from AtlasBooks.

And lastly.
Salvation City, by Sigrid Nunez from Lydia with Riverhead Books.

Salvation City, a novel  (from the author's Website)
(Riverhead Books, Coming September 2010)
After losing both parents to a flu pandemic that seriously threatens his own life as well, thirteen-year-old Cole Vining is sent to live with an evangelical pastor and his wife in Salvation City, a small town in southern Indiana. There, Cole feels sheltered and loved but never as if he truly belongs. Everything about his new home is vastly different from the secular world in which he was raised. As he tries to adjust, he struggles also with memories of the past, a struggle made more difficult by the fact that he had lost his parents at a time when family relations were at their most fraught and unhappy. How is he to remember them now? Are they still his parents if they are no longer there? Must he accept what those around him believe, that because his parents did not know Jesus they are condemned to hell? During this time, Cole finds solace in drawing comics, for which he has a remarkable gift, and in fantasies about being a superhero.
Salvation City is a story of love, betrayal, and forgiveness. It is about spiritual and moral growth, and the consolation of art. It is about belief—belief in God and belief in self. As others around him grow increasingly fixed on the hope of salvation and a new life to come through an imminent rapture, Cole imagines a different future, one in which his own dreams of happiness and heroism begin to seem within reach.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Easy Peasy Blue Cheesy.....

I actually do have some bookish things to post coming up this week.  I am going low carb on Monday so this afternoon it is about a nice lunch of blue cheese bread.

And we are talking easy..

Bread: (rustic baguette).

Fresh Pressed Garlic and Butter..use less than a cube and if anyone asks if they are fattening you say..."I used less than a cube on the whole loaf..."  BRWAhhhhhha ha ha
(note....I do know bettter, olive oil works just fine too!!)

Spoon the melted, sauteed butter onto the thin sliced baguette. It is good to let is spill over, it helps for a buttery sizzling bottom.   Sprinkle with basil and blue cheese.  Not a blue cheese fan? Use Jack or cheedar, it turns out divine.

I put in the oven for 6 minutes on 400 hundred, then  turn to broil for three minutes.
 mmm... hate to be an enabler...but I saw Eat Love Pray yesterday and this was my hearts desire for lunch today.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Poem - Golden Gate Bridge

 *Inspired by my recent trip to San Francisco, I post this poem.  For trip details check out my other blog.

The Mighty Task is Done

By Joseph P. Strauss, Chief Engineer
Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District
Written upon completion of the building of the Golden Gate Bridge in May 1937

At last the mighty task is done;
Resplendent in the western sun
The Bridge looms mountain high;
Its titan piers grip ocean floor,
Its great steel arms link shore with shore,
Its towers pierce the sky.
On its broad decks in rightful pride,
The world in swift parade shall ride,
Throughout all time to be;
Beneath, fleet ships from every port,
Vast landlocked bay, historic fort,
And dwarfing all--the sea.
To north, the Redwood Empire's gates;
'To south, a happy playground waits,
in Rapturous appeal;
Here nature, free since time began,
Yields to the restless moods of man,
Accepts his bonds of steel.
Launched midst a thousand hopes and fears,
Damned by a thousand hostile sneers,
Yet ne'er its course was stayed,
But ask of those who met the foe
Who stood alone when faith was low,
Ask them the price they paid.
Ask of the steel, each strut and wire,
Ask of the searching, purging fire,
That marked their natal hour;
Ask of the mind, the hand, the heart,
Ask of each single, stalwart part,
What gave it force and power.
An Honored cause and nobly fought
And that which they so bravely wrought,
Now glorifies their deed,
No selfish urge shall stain its life,
Nor envy, greed, intrigue, nor strife,
Nor false, ignoble creed.
High overhead its lights shall gleam,
Far, far below life's restless stream,
Unceasingly shall flow;
For this was spun its lithe fine form,
To fear not war, nor time, nor storm,
For Fate had meant it so.

Monday, July 12, 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird - 50th Anniversary

I came home from work, got the mail, sat down and started reading.  I stopped only to post this little note!!!!

 I am reading To Kill a Mocking Bird, by Harper Lee courtesy of Harperperennial (Modern Classics)   Thank you Amy.

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the book, and I have never read it.  I have seen the movie a few times.   I have to say out of all the book notes and commentary I have ever heard, this one seems to top many, if not, most lists.   I am sorry I haven't read it but in a way it is cool to have something so great to read now when I can appreciate it most.

I am so thrilled  to be reading this book this Summer.   I can't wait to report back on it.

Book Description
Harper Lee's classic novel of a lawyer in the Deep South defending a black man charged with the rape of a white girl.

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many distinctions since its original publication in 1960. It won the Pulitzer Prize, has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie. Most recently, librarians across the country gave the book the highest of honors by voting it the best novel of the twentieth century.

For more info click here.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Book! Far Bright Star, Robert Olmstead

Hello Everyone:
I haven't participated in Mailbox Monday in a while, but I wanted to post about this great book I received from Algonquin! Thank you!  I think this book sounds awesome and I wanted to share with everyone.  

About Far Bright Star

The year is 1916. The enemy, Pancho Villa, is elusive. Terrain is unforgiving. Through the mountains and across the long dry stretches of Mexico, Napoleon Childs, an aging cavalryman, leads an expedition of inexperienced horse soldiers on seemingly fruitless searches. Though he is seasoned at such missions, things go terribly wrong, and his patrol is suddenly at the mercy of an enemy intent on their destruction. After witnessing the demise of his troops, Napoleon is left by his captors to die in the desert.

Through him we enter the conflicted mind of a warrior as he tries to survive against all odds, as he seeks to make sense of a lifetime of senseless wars and to reckon with the reasons a man would choose a life on the battlefield. Olmstead, an award-winning writer, has created a tightly wound novel that is as moving as it is terrifying.

photo of Robert Olmstead

About Robert Olmstead

Robert Olmstead is the author of six previous books. Coal Black Horse was the winner of the Heartland Prize for Fiction and the Ohioana award and was a #1 Book Sense Pick and a Borders Original Voices selection. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEA grant, he is a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Update on me!  I am slowly getting some readng Mojo back. I am reading Hungry Woman in Paris, by Josephina Lopez and I am re-reading The Witching Hour by Anne Rice.   So many of you have sent me regards and love regarding my mom. I wanted to report to everyone that she is now cancer free.  She had her PET Scan a few weeks ago and all is great!  Thanks to all for you kind words, notes, prayers and thoughts.

Happy Hump Day and before you know it I'll be popping by your blogs!!  

Love and Sunshine,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hark.... A Book Review!

Everyone is Beautiful,  by Katherine Center, a review by Toni.

First of all, I want to thank Dar from Peeking Between the Pages for this book.  I won the ARC on her blog a long time ago.  Thank you Dar.

I started this book about three weeks ago.  I planned to just devour it in a day or so.  It didn't happen that way for me and that is my fault, not the book's.   I had heard so many wonderful things about the book, but a few pages into it,  all the mommy stuff, sticky hands, brat kids and what not, it just drove me nuts. I didn't even find it all that funny either.  I kept thinking, why do I want to read about this mother of three, pudgy from pregnancy, blah blah ... once again......been there done that and DON'T want to read a book about it (anymore) Once again, I will tell you that it was entirely my attitude or maybe just my mood.

Final result: The book was heartwarming, down-to-earth, and yes, funny. Before long I found myself enjoying it, smiling through the kid episodes. For me the book took off when issues were more centered around  Lanie, Peter, Amanda, Nora, Nelson and Josh.  I liked the adult elements/themes of the book.    After all is said and done, I put this one in the pile of books I would recommend, and books I enjoyed.   I shed a tear at the end and did a girl power fist pump too!  ( I am passing it along to my daughter).

It was charming and if you want to get lost in a sweet book, I'd say this should do the trick. I don't usually categorize books as a "beach read" or "summer" read because all books are anytime read depending on life.   But if you need one for the beach bag, or travel tote, I'd toss this one in for sure.  I hope this is the book that breaks my reading slump. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vacation at Home...


I have been MIA in the blog world.  Trying to find the balance and get out of my reading slump. I have literally been having to sit down and tell myself to read.   I am reading Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center.  When I started reading it, I kept rolling my eyes.  It was my bad attitude and not the book.   As my attitude gets better, so does the book. I should finish today or tomorrow.

I had some Toni  time on the patio for my first day of vacation.  I was unable to go on vacation, but I felt peace and quiet this morning.

Here is the patio:

And of course Dexter says "Hi" from the bathtub!

I have also been reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.  It is a really good read in my opinion.  I don't know what book I will pick up next but I look forward to reading something really good.  I am thinking it will be something Tudor related.

Happy Wednesday.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mailbox Monday 5/24/2010

Hello everyone!  Happy Monday.

Welcome to Mailbox Monday.  A great weekly blog ring of folks who post what came in their mailboxes in the way of books.  It is hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page. 

I haven't been posting as I haven't been accepting books for review for a while.  Trying to catch up.  Before I share what I received, I just want to say I am still out here.  I  still do read blogs.  Many days I make the choice of reading a few and commenting on a few or getting to read more and not commenting.  I never found that right balance for 2010 that I wanted, but I still love books and book blogs/bloggers.   I will be seeing you around the web.  Maybe mid to late summer I can get caught up and I can offer some book giveaways. 

This week I got:  The Lion, by Nelson DeMille.  And it is coming out June 8th, 2010!!!!!

About the book:
In this eagerly awaited follow-up to The Lion's Game, John Corey, former NYPD Homicide detective and special agent for the Anti-Terrorist Task Force, is back. And, unfortunately for Corey, so is Asad Khalil, the notorious Libyan terrorist otherwise known as "The Lion." Last we heard from him, Khali had claimed to be defecting to the US only to unleash the most horrific reign of terrorism ever to occur on American soil. While Corey and his partner, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, chased him across the country, Khalil methodically eliminated his victims one by one and then disappeared without a trace.

Now, years later, Khalil has returned to America to make good on his threats and take care of unfinished business. "The Lion" is a killing machine once again loose in America with a mission of revenge, and John Corey will stop at nothing to achieve his own goal -- to find and kill Khahil.

About the author:
Nelson DeMille is the author of 15 previous novels. He lives on Long Island, New York.
Thank you Henry from Hachette Book Group for sending me this ARC to review. 
Publish Date:6/8/2010
Size:6" x 9"

Monday, May 3, 2010

Winners - Delayed

So sorry about the delay.   I am actually sick as a dog today.  This post was to go out last week but it has been lingering as a draft because I wanted pictures.  But I did add links so if you want to know more about the books, click on the links to go back to the original giveaway link.

Winners of the audio set of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith:

Anne - From Ontario.
Anne-Marie T
Dawn M

Winners of Presumed Innocence by Scot Turow:

Gwendolyn B
Kaye (Pudgy Penguin)
LA Musing

Winners of The Cradle by Patrick Somerville:
Nicole C
Jennifer (Crazy for books)   

Have a great week.  I will be sending you all an email.  If you want to forward your mailing address to me in advance, feel free to do so. Just put the title of the book and WINNER in the subject line.

Friday, April 30, 2010

South of Broad, by Pat Conroy - book tour April 30th

About South of Broad

Leopold Bloom King has been raised in a family shattered—and shadowed—by tragedy. Lonely and adrift, he searches for something to sustain him and finds it among a tightly knit group of high school outsiders. Surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, as well as Charleston, South Carolina’s dark legacy of racism and class divisions, these friends will endure until a final test forces them to face something none of them are prepared for.
Spanning two turbulent decades, South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest: a masterpiece from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.

About Pat Conroy:
Pat Conroy is the bestselling author of nine books: The Boo, The Water is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, My Losing Season, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life and South of Broad. He lives in Fripp Island, South Carolina.
Visit Pat Conroy’s website for more info about his work.

I am the last stop on the Tour.  Please check out all the stops! 

Pat Conroy’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Thursday, April 1st:  Jen’s Book Thoughts
Monday, April 5th:  Lit and Life
Tuesday, April 6th:  Rundpinne
Wednesday, April 7th:  Meanderings and Muses
Friday, April 9th:  Luxury Reading
Monday, April 12th:  Books and Cooks
Tuesday, April 13th:  The Brain Lair
Wednesday, April 14th: Po(sey) Sessions
Thursday, April 15th:  Raging Bibliomania
Monday, April 19th:  Life in the Thumb
Tuesday, April 20th:  Maggie Reads
Thursday, April 22nd:  Stephanie’s Written Word
Friday, April 23rd:  Sherri’s Jubilee
Monday, April 26th:  The Literate Housewife
Tuesday, April 27th:  Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, April 28th:  Library Queue
Thursday, April 29th:  Lakeside Musing
Friday, April 30th:  A Circle of Books

Stayed Tuned for my Review in the next week.  Prince of Tides is one of my favorite books ever. And one of my favorite book to movie stories also. I am not disappointed by this book so far in the least.  A bit of "life" happened and I need to catch my breath and finish this book.   Thank you Lisa (TLC book tours)  for allowing me to be a part of the great tour.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mail Box Monday April 26th

Hello and Happy Monday:
Welcome to Mailbox Monday hosted by Marica at the Printed Page.  It is a great big Monday blog event to see what books arrived  this past week(s).   I saved about three weeks of books to add on this lovely Monday.  I will be around on Mailbox Monday but I am seriously cutting off the supply of books coming to my house, so that I can systematically devour my piles.  
I received Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow.  Thank you Hachette Book Group.
(see my giveaway ending April 27th for this one.)

I received Black Hills by Dan Simmons (Audiobook) I am so eager to bust this one out and listen.  Thank you Hachette Book Group.

A bit about this book:
In BLACK HILLS, Dan Simmons weaves the stories of Paha Sapa and Custer together seamlessly, depicting a violent and tumultuous time in the history of Native Americans and the United States Army.

The other audio book that I received is:  Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, by Seth Grahame-Smith.  Thank you Hachette Books.  Please enter my giveaway here.

From Stephanie at Workman, I received: College in a Nutskull, compliled and edited by Professor Anders Henriksson.  
About the book:
He's back. Anders Henriksson, author of The New York Times bestseller Non Campus Mentis (retitled Ignorance Is Blitz), returns with even funnier, nuttier, more outrageous material culled from the actual exam books of real college students. And it's a hoot that covers all subjects of the core curriculum, including: American History: "The Underground Railroad was built as the nation's first public transit system." Art: "Cubism is art from Cuba." Religion: "Moses led his Islams out of Egypt. Bananas from heaven arrived to feed the hungry people. These events are described in the Book of Zeus." Philosophy: "Plato did his thinking in the Cave of Al Gore." Economics: "The theory of surplus value is Marx’s idea that you always shop with coupons." Music: "Bach's sacred choral music includes the B Minor Mess. . . . All one million of his famed works can be found in his BMW. He had over one hundred children and was, of course, very famous for his work with his organ. Two of his successful sons were Jesus Christ Bach and Bacherini." Literature: "Jay Gatsby moved to East Egg because it would be a good place to raise his chickens." And Psychology—or is it Theater Arts: "Most people are either straight, gay, or thespian."

Published in the irresistible form of a spiral notebook, a pure parody of a course-by-course study guide (complete with doodles), College in a Nutskull is stuff that just cannot be made up—bloopers and blunders and desperate attempts to bluff the right answer, woven together to give a hilarious, unintentionally brilliant report on the state of American higher education. A comedy, that is, for anyone not paying tuition.

And once again from the wonderful Hachette book Group, I received The Cradle by Patrick Somerville. Please enter my Giveaway.

Thank you for the books publishers.  Everyone have a great week. I hope you can read to your hearts contents.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Winners - Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright!!

Congratulations to the winners of Love in Mid Air, by Kim Wright.  I had great fun with the Tour.  Thank you Hachette Book Group!!  The winners are:

Doreen F.
Serena (SV&W)
Teresa (teresasreadingcorner)

Those receiving the Complimentary lotion will be notified by email.
Thank you for commenting and participating.

Winners!! Ted Dekker Tour Prizes -

Sorry for the delay folks!

The Grand Prize winner of the book The Bride Collector and the Spooky Guy is:  


Runner up winners of the book only are:
Wendy (Hines),
and Janel.

Congratulations to the winners!  Thank you Hachette books for the Giveaway