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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, February 28, 2010

Mailbox Monday February 28th, 2010

Hello there!
I have been MIA for a few weeks of Mailbox Mondays.  This Mailbox Monday will represent three weeks of mail. 

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page.  Thank you Marcia for hosting.

If you were blog reading yesterday, you will know that I got
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See from Rochelle from Random House.  What a treat and surprise.  Thank you.

From Anna at Hachette Books I received The Swan Thieves, By Elizabeth Kostova.  (I can't wait to listen to this audio books read by Treat Williams and Anne Heche).  Thank you Anna.

From Random House Books I got South of Broad, by Pat Conroy.  (Look for me to participate in a blog tour on April 30th).  Thank you Lisa M. for thinking of me for the tour.

From a win at Peeking Between the Pages (thank you Dar!!) I got Daughters of the Witching Hill, by Mary Sharratt.

From Erica at Harper Perennial I received a copy of Postcards from a Dead Girl, a novel by Kirk Farber.   Thank you Erica.

From Algonquin books I received, Secret Son by Laila Lalami.  Thank you!

Have a great week! 

Sunday Shanghai Surprise!!

Thank you Rochelle Clark, from Random House Publishing Group!!

I didn't even know it was on my porch but apparently it got delivered on Saturday! What was it? I got a lovely box with Lisa See's book Shanghai Girls.     I just can not wait to read this book.  I loved The Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and I have heard that this one does not disappoint also.

Look at this picture!  The box also had chocolate enclosed.  And  as a suggestion for a book club treat, I got a complimentary bag of  Hershey's Bliss!  What a treat!  My book club meets online...I wonder if I will share by mail or just say..."get your own bag."

This book has been recommended as an excellent book club read.  I think I am going to pitch it to my club. (It has come up as a nomination).  I believe it missed the radar a few times and  but now more than ever, I want to share this special story with my reading group. 


In 1937, Shanghai is the Paris of Asia, a city of great wealth and glamour, the home of millionaires and beggars, gangsters and gamblers, patriots and revolutionaries, artists and warlords. Thanks to the financial security and material comforts provided by their father’s prosperous rickshaw business, twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Though both sisters wave off authority and tradition, they couldn’t be more different: Pearl is a Dragon sign, strong and stubborn, while May is a true Sheep, adorable and placid. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree . . .. until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth and that in order to repay his debts he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from California to find Chinese brides.

As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, one that will take them through the Chinese countryside, in and out of the clutch of brutal soldiers, and across the Pacific to the shores of America. In Los Angeles they begin a fresh chapter, trying to find love with the strangers they have married, brushing against the seduction of Hollywood, and striving to embrace American life even as they fight against discrimination, brave Communist witch hunts, and find themselves hemmed in by Chinatown’s old ways and rules.

At its heart, Shanghai Girls is a story of sisters: Pearl and May are inseparable best friends who share hopes, dreams, and a deep connection, but like sisters everywhere they also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. They love each other, but each knows exactly where to drive the knife to hurt the other the most. Along the way they face terrible sacrifices, make impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are–Shanghai girls.

 Anyway..I do have a Mailbox Monday to post but I couldn't help sharing this great little surprise all on it's own.  So many in blogland have read this one. I will be sure to let you know what I think when I read it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Hello everyone!

I hope you enjoyed my February giveaways. I will have some more exciting giveaways coming up!

I wanted to take a moment to let you know that Geri at One More Foggy Notion has a few giveaways. So while you are waiting for more offerings here at A Circle of Books, hop on over to her blog and see what she has going on. She has already posted some great reviews also.


I bet you want to know what they are, don't you? The answers are only a click away. I am still buried in some personal issues and work and will be checking in and spreading the love soon.

Take Care and have a great week.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Giveaway - Black Hills - Dan Simmons - Audio

A wee bit about the 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.

Read by Erik Davies and Michael McConnohie (Sample here)
Become a fan on Facebook
Visit Dan Simmons Web-site.

Thanks to Anna at Hachette Books, I have 3 copies of the audio cd's to offer.

1 entry - leave a comment with a valid name and email address.
2 entries - follow this blog and leave a comment with a valid name and email address.
5 entries - follow this blog and leave a comment with a valid name and email address and twitter and or post about the giveaway.

I do allow for combined posted comments. You may notify me of everything in one comment or separate. Whatever works for you.

US and Canada ONLY. No P.O. boxes. This contest ends March 5th, 2010

Winner !! Postcards from a Dead Girl, A Novel by Kirk Farber

And the winner is:


Thank you Erica from Harper Perennial!
Kathy, congratulations, I will email you soon, for your information to forward.

If you didn't win, the book is on sale now.

Winners - The Crazy School, by Cornelia Read

The Crazy School, by Cornelia Read


Sue (s.mickelson)

Kaye - Pudgy Penguin


Thank you everyone for participating. I'd love to hear what you think of the book.
Thank you Valerie at Hachette Books.

I'll be sending you an email. Feel free to forward your mailing information in advance

Winners - The Last Song, by Nicholas Sparks

And the winners are:
Doreen - via Facebook entry
It's Just Me Wendy
misusedinnocence (woo hoo second win this week)

Thank you everyone for participating. I'd love to hear what you think of the book.
Thank you Valerie at Hachette Books.

I'll be sending you an email. Feel free to forward your mailing information in advance.

Winners - The Swan Thieves by Elisabeth Kostova

The Swan Thieves, by Elisabeth Kostova

Muse in the Fog

Thank you everyone for participating. I'd love to hear what you think of this audiobook.

Thank you Anna at Hachette Books.

I'll be sending you an email. Feel free to forward your mailing information in advance.

Winners - Tough Selling in Hard Times, b y Tom Hopkins

Bonnie M
Frank Sandy
Renee G

Thank you everyone for participating. I'd love to hear what you think of the book.
Thank you Valerie at Hachette Books.

I'll be sending you an email. Feel free to forward your mailing information in advance.

Giveaway - Last Snow and First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader

Last Snow
Released on February 16th.

New York Times bestselling sensation Eric Van Lustbader created the legendary Nicholas Linnear of The Ninja and brought Jason Bourne into the twenty-first century. Now, Lustbader brings us Jack McClure, a street-smart ATF agent who saved the president's daughter from a criminal mastermind. Now Jack is a special advisor to President Edward Carson, and Carson's daughter, Alli, refuses to let him out of her sight.

First Daughter
Jack McClure has had a troubled life. His dyslexia always made him feel like an outsider. He escaped from an abusive home as a teenager and lived by his wits on the streets of Washington D.C. It wasn't until he realized that dyslexia gave him the ability to see the world in unique ways that he found success, using this newfound strength to become a top ATF agent.

When a terrible accident takes the life of his only daughter, Emma, and his marriage falls apart, Jack blames himself, numbing the pain by submerging himself in work. Then he receives a call from his old friend Edward Carson. Carson is just weeks from taking the reins as President of the United States when his daughter, Alli, is kidnapped. Because Emma McClure was once Alli's best friend, Carson turns to Jack, the one man he can trust to go to any lengths to find his daughter

Thanks to Anna, The Book Report Network, on behalf of Forge Books I have a copy of each of these books to give. I am going to make it fun. If you are picked in this drawing, you get both copies for one grand prize. This is a one entry drawing. Just enter the contest with a valid name and email address and I will pick a winner on March 1st. US and Canada Only.

For author info: Check out his site here.

-An Excerpt from LAST SNOW

-Praise for LAST SNOW


-A book trailer for FIRST DAUGHTER

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

American Rust Winner!

The winner of American Rust, by Philipp Meyer is Geri.

Congrats to Geri.

Please see my review here.

Thanks to everyone for entering, blogging, tweeting. Please see my side bar for more giveaways.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bel Canto, by Anne Patchett - A Review by Toni

I read this book with my book club for our January read. I actually listened to the audio. It is a book about a hostage situation that takes place in South America. It takes place in the home of the Vice-President of the country, where a Japanese business man has been invited to celebrate his birthday. A world famous opera singer has been invited to perform at the occasion. The event is taken over by terrorists. So we have a multi-culture, multi-gender hostage situation that takes place for several months in large home.

I believe the writing is eloquent and descriptive. Even quite beautiful at times. The beauty of the writing didn't seem to match the story. I don't know if I read this book at the wrong time in my life or what, but it didn't click for me. I wonder if listening to the audio changed my view of the story? For me the story was far fetched. I believe I am too sensitive in nature to turn a hostage situation into an event where true love can blossom. I believe the story could have happened with a stranded cruise ship on an island, or people stuck in an airport. I find it hard to believe that if I was held by gunpoint, in fear of my life, kept away from my family and friends, that I would have an open heart to love and acceptance of my captors. Since I have never been a hostage, I was unable to "step into the shoes" of the hostages that soon become "friends" with their captors. Even though I know there is a documented syndrome where this happens. Examples: (Patty Hearst and Jaycee Lee Dugard).

I didn't bond with the characters. Sometimes within a story, I can see little glimpse of myself in a character or at least relate. I couldn't seem to relate to these characters, and actually didn't even really care about the leading lady. It all seemed too casual and sugar-coated. The bad guys were not bad enough and the victims didn't act like victims. I did experience some enchantment from time to time. I was touched by a governess who stitched up the cheek of the Vice President. It was a moving scene that I found believable. The descriptive writing supported this scene well and I was moved.

I didn't hate the book but rarely found myself wanting to read on and to know more. The end seemed to be realistic and yet, not what I was wanting or expecting. That being said, it is definitely a book that I would say read for yourself and see if it takes hold for you. I have read numerous wonderful reviews. One of my book club members said it is one of her all time favorite books. She had a lot of wonderful points to share about the book. She found a lot of beauty in the everyday events of the story and life of the situation.

I would definitely read more from this author.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Giveaway Postcards from a Dead Girl, by Kirk Farber

Thank you Erica from Harper Perennial (Olive Edition Blog) and (Twitter)

I have another great book to offer:

Postcards from a Dead Girl, A Novel by Kirk Farber

This book goes On Sale 2/16/10

A Bit about the book

Postcards from a Dead Girl is the story of Sid, who is slowly but surely becoming unhinged by the postcards he receives in the mail from his ex, Zoe. They’re coming from locales as exotic and varied as Barcelona, London, Paris, and New Jersey, and they’re taunting him. So embarks on a journey of his own, chasing Zoe and her postcards, looking for the answers that will help him move on and let himself fall in love again. Awesome fact about this one: Kirk Farber, the author, works as a librarian in Colorado as his day job.

Please leave a comment here if you are interested in a chance to win. I need a valid email so I can contact you if you win.

Followers receive an extra entry. It doubles your chance to win!

US and Canada Only. The contest ends on 2/17/2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Have to share ...and it's not Monday!!

Hello everyone!
I missed Mailbox Monday this week. It is my favorite meme. It is hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page. I can't wait until next Monday to share so I am sharing on Wednesday. It is just too dang exciting. I will be popping by your mailboxes this week also. If you want to leave a link to your mailbox, please feel free to do so.

So this week I received:

Knock Out Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer and How to Prevent Getting it in the First Place, by Suzanne Somers. This was a gift from a friend at work. What a nice gift, don't you think?
Love in Mid Air, a novel by Kim Wright. Thank you Miriam from Hachette Book Group. Stay tuned in March for a blog tour of this one.
Keeping the Feast by Paula Butturnini. Thank you Lydia Hirt from Riverhead Books. (Riverhead books on Twitter)
The Crazy School, a novel, by Cornelia Read. Thank you Valerie from Hachette Book Group. Check out my Giveaway!!!
Reading Group Guide

Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910, by Jeffrey H. Jackson. Thank you Michelle Fitzgerald from Palgrave Macmillan (Shelf Awareness Promotion). I already delved into this one a bit, and I am loving it.

Have a fantastic week.

**edited...this was supposed to post tomorrow (2/3).oh I guess it is tomorrow somewhere right? and edited to include a forgotten book. Oh dear...where is my mind?

Winner - The Little Giant of Aberdeen County - Tiffany Baker

Hello and good evening!

I'd like to announce the winner of a beautiful hard cover copy of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker. Thank you to Valerie from Hachette books for sending me this lovely book. If you would like more information on this book please click here for more information.

The winner is: Sheri @ A Novel Menagerie. If you haven't ever checked out this blog... oh you will be so glad you did. Congrats to Sheri. (I will be emailing you !!)

I have once again been MIA for about 7 days. That is about 25 days in blogland when it comes to catching up. I will be checking on on my favorite blogs and of course leaving my comments soon. I have a lot going on personally and ...well ... "it is what it is." But I continue to blog free of guilt this year.

I missed Mailbox Monday this week....but I can't wait to share so you will find my awesome books on another post this week. Another blessed week for sure.

If you can believe it I still am finishing up Bel Canto, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and A Reliable Wife. I admit to having a week of NO reading. It is what happens when I can't focus. That also..."is what it is." I am excited for the upcoming blog events and blog tours. I have a pretty cool treat in March. (shhhhhh...it's a secret)

My book club started reading Cane River, by Lalita Tademy this month. It promises to be a good if not great read. Many of the club are sailing right through it and loving it already.

Have a great rest of the week. I love reading all the comments. For those that popped in to say hi on this giveaway ...."just to say hi." Well... thank you. That is sweet and you can be sure I will blabbing away with comments soon.