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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.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

I bought this and read it on my IPad. I enjoyed this book tremendously. To talk out it in detail is to spoil. There are not many big reveal plots in the story, it is just life. The life of women in a family. Three generations, four different woman.

It is a great book club read or girlfriend, mother-sister read. Guys might like it too, I just don't know any that would so I hasten to recommend. But I do not feel this was "chick lit."

It filled my need to read and veg and "visit" another family and "get away."

Think it would be a good summer read. Enjoy!

- Posted from my iPad

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

I got this book on my doorstep the other day and I opened it up and absolutely could not wait to start reading it.  I just wanted to put everything down and go read.   I am over half way through and I am completely enticed and riveted with the story and the characters.  Food for thought? oh yes!!!
Thank you Algonquin Books for sending this Advanced Reader Copy to me.  This book comes out in stores October 4th. 

From the author whose international bestseller, Mudbound, so hauntingly re-created America’s past comes a stunning creation of America in the near future, where faith, love, and sexuality have fallen prey to politics.
Hannah Payne’s life has been devoted to church and family, but after her arrest, she awakens to a nightmare: she is lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, and cameras are broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for home observing new Chromescriminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crimeis a new and sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red; her crime is murder. The victim, says the state of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the fathera public figure with whom she’s shared a fierce and forbidden love.
When She Woke is a stunning story about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of a not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated and convicted felons are released back into the population after being “chromed.” In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a path of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she has held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes the personal.

Praise from Booksellers

“I can’t wait to put When She Woke into everybody’s hands. Bravo to Hilary Jordan. “ —Roberta Rubin, The Bookstall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka, IL

When She Woke is a masterpiece . . . It is powerful, compelling, sensitive, and poignant. I read it in one sitting.” —Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

“Be prepared to lose sleep over the too-close-to-reality aspects of this beautifully written novel. Hillary Jordan’s When She Woke delves and connects and exposes in profound ways.” —Dana Brigham, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

“A novel that will inspire a provocative discussion among readers.” —Michele Filgate, McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY

When She Woke is a page turner. Just as Jordan so beautifully wrote about the injustice and tragedies of racism in America in her last novel, Mudbound, she now artfully exposes the injustices and heartbreak caused by religious extremism that, as she demonstrates in When She Woke, can arise from any rigid doctrine, even in heartland America.” —Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

“Wow! What a read! When She Woke has everything good and delicious that one wants in a book: great characters, steady plotting, and a thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, compelling, and unsettling story.” —Melinda Powers, Capitola Book Café, Capitola, CA

“I’m gobsmacked! When She Woke is riveting from page one.” —Emily Crowe, The Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

“There’s no doubt that When She Woke is an intense book!” —Jenn Northington, Word, Brooklyn, NY

“Put this one on your book club list, because everyone is going to want to discuss it.” —Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

When She Woke reads like a really good movie. It’s a transformational, awakening story disguised as a fast-paced thriller.” —Debra Linn, Books & Books, Bal Harbour, FL

“I found myself telling everyone I met about When She Woke—the story is that compelling.” —Christie Olson Day, Gallery Bookshop, Mendocino, CA

“Hillary Jordan is one of our most important political writers, and When She Woke is a very brave work.” —Lucy Kogler, Talking Leaves Books, Buffalo, NY

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Stolen Life, By Jaycee Dugard

I read this book Yesterday.  I just wanted to say it was not as hard to read as I thought it would be.  I am glad I saw the special with Diane Sawyer first.  Even when that came on, I was tentative whether I could bear to stay in the room to watch.  But during that interview Jaycee put me at ease and told her story.  Diane Sawyer was awesome and allowed her to tell it without jumping all over her with the next question.

I knew I wanted to read the book.  I am glad I read the book.  I am usually too sensitive to read this and I would never read a fictional Story about something of this nature.  But for me the story was one that needed telling, and I am thankful for Jaycee Dugard's bravery to tell it. 

I am not going to review the book or give details.  I just want to say that this is a horror story with a happy ending so far and I wish her the best life possible. Not near enough praise can be uttered, or written for  Officers Allison (Ally) Jacobs and Lisa Campbell, true heroes and good citizens doing their jobs by caring for other humans on the earth enough to speak up and make a world of difference.

I am inspired by bravery and courage as I reflect on this book.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Books and Books and Books oh My!

I have received some wonderful books lately.  I would love to take a moment to say thank you and post about them. I have not been reading lately but I am all set to end the reading drought that is for sure.   I was about to put this blog on hiatus, but I came here twice to do it and could not.  Too many good times.  I just have some figuring out to do.

In the meantime.. on to the books that I have received...they all seem a little bit perfect!!

The Watery Part of the World,  By Michael Parker (author's website)

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, I Am My Mother After All! by  Susan Kane-Ronning, Ph.D.

Mrs Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger by Lee Smith (author's web-site)

The Frozen Rabbi, by Steve Stern
About Steve Stern:
Steve Stern, winner of the National Jewish Book Award, is the author of several previous novels and novellas. He teaches at Skidmore College in upstate New York.

 Thank you Algonquin and Atlas Books!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Summer Reading Plans!!!!

Hello there.. Did I really say summer?  I do look forward to summer reading.  Some new options have arrived that I'd like to share.  They all look amazing!
(Thank you Random House and Penguin)
To Be Queen.  A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine.
by Christy English.
The author of The Queen's Pawn delves into the early life of the legendary Eleanor of Aquitaine in her new historical novel.

After her father's sudden death, fifteen-year-old Eleanor is quickly crowned Duchess of Aquitaine and betrothed to King Louis VII. When her new husband cannot pronounce her given name, Alienor becomes Eleanor, Queen of France.

Although Louis is enamored of his bride, the newly crowned king is easily manipulated by the church and a God that Eleanor doesn't believe in. Now, if she can find the strength to fight for what she wants, Eleanor may finally find the passion she has longed for, and the means to fulfill her legacy as Queen. 
Christy English has a bachelor's degree in history from Duke University. She lives in New York City.

My Fair Lady.  A memoir.
By Jen Lancaster

It's a JENaissance! The New York Times bestselling author of Pretty in Plaid gets her culture on.
Readers have followed Jen Lancaster through job loss, sucky city living, weight loss attempts, and 1980s nostalgia. Now Jen chronicles her efforts to achieve cultural enlightenment, with some hilarious missteps and genuine moments of inspiration along the way. And she does so by any means necessary: reading canonical literature, viewing classic films, attending the opera, researching artisan cheeses, and even enrolling in etiquette classes to improve her social graces. 
In Jen's corner is a crack team of experts, including Page Six socialites, gourmet chefs, an opera aficionado, and a master sommelier. She may discover that well-regarded, high-priced stinky cheese tastes exactly as bad as it smells, and that her love for Kraft American Singles is forever. But one thing's for certain: Eliza Doolittle's got nothing on Jen Lancaster-and failure is an option.

Half a Life. A memoir, by Darin Strauss

about this book (from Random House)
Winner, National Book Critics Circle Award (Autobiography)

In this powerful, unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss recounts a tragedy and its aftermath. In the last month of his high school career, just after turning eighteen, Strauss is behind the wheel of his father’s Oldsmobile, driving with friends, having “thoughts of mini-golf, another thought of maybe just going to the beach.” Then out of the blue: a collision that results in the death of a bicycling classmate and that shadows the rest of his life. In haunting, penetrating prose, Darin Strauss explores loss and guilt, maturity and accountability, hope and acceptance. The result is a staggering, uplifting tour de force.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Murderous Procession, Ariana Franklin

First Time in Paperback - trade edition
Tess Garritsen calls this one “my favorite book of the year!”
In 1176, King Henry II sends his daughter Joanna to Palermo to marry his cousin, the king of Sicily. Henry chooses Adelia Aguilar to travel with the princess and safeguard her health. But when people in the wedding procession are murdered, Adelia and Rowley must discover the killer’s identity, and whether he is stalking the princess or Adelia herself.

Thank you Berkley Books.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Something for Nothing by David Anthony

More Spring reading!  I can't wait. Thank you Algonquin.

About Something for Nothing

Martin Anderson has a racehorse, a deep-sea fishing boat, a vacation home in Tahoe, and a Caddy in the garage. But his life is in freefall. It’s the 1970s, and with the arrival of the oil crisis and gas rationing, his small aircraft business is tanking, as is his extravagant suburban lifestyle. Martin keeps many secrets from his wife, such as his mounting debt and his penchant for sneaking into neighborhood homes and making off with small keepsakes. So when he’s given the opportunity to clear his debt by using one of his planes to make a few drug runs between California and Mexico, Martin doesn’t think twice . . . or at all, for that matter.

Things quickly spiral out of control when Martin’s simple plan lands him in the midst of gun-toting Mexican thugs. After a narcotics agent arrives on his doorstep, he becomes increasingly paranoid, both about the police and about his associates in the drug world—a feeling that seems justified when he stumbles upon the scene of a brutal double murder. Martin wants out, but he wants his money, too.

Deeply funny and suspenseful, David Anthony’s novel is a perfect snapshot of the excesses of American culture.
photo of David Anthony

about David Anthony

David Anthony grew up in the Bay Area. He is an associate professor of early American literature in the Department of English at SIU-Carbondale. This is his first novel.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What you see in the Dark, by Manuel Munoz

Here is another ARC that I received and I am thrilled to read it.
Thank you Algonquin.

About What You See in the Dark

Bakersfield, California, in the late 1950s is a dusty, quiet town too far from Los Angeles to share that city’s energy yet close enough to Hollywood to fill its citizens with the kinds of dreams they discover in the darkness of the movie theater. For Teresa, a young, aspiring singer who works at a shoe store, dreams lie in the music her mother shared with her, plaintive songs of love and longing. In Dan Watson, the most desirable young man in Bakersfield, she believes she has found someone to help her realize those dreams.

When a famous actress arrives from Hollywood with a great and already legendary director, local gossip about Teresa and Dan gives way to speculation about the celebrated visitors, there to work on what will become an iconic, groundbreaking film of madness and murder at a roadside motel. No one anticipates how the ill-fated love affair between Dan and Teresa will soon rival anything the director could ever put on the screen.

This thoroughly original work is intense and fascinating in its juxtapositions of tenderness and menace, violence and regret, played out in a town on the brink of change.
photo of Manuel Munoz

about Manuel Munoz

Manuel Muñoz is the author of two short story collections, the most recent of which, The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue, was a finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He teaches creative writing at the university of Arizona in Tucson, is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship, and in 2008 was awarded the prestigious Whiting Writers’ Award. Find him online at www.manuel-munoz.com.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

When Tito Loved Clara, by Jon Michaud

I have been a bit remiss in posting the books coming in for review. I am excited to say that I will be busy reading this summer.  This sounds especially good.  Great title, great cover.
Thank you Algonquin.

                                               When Tito Loved Clara

About When Tito Loved Clara

Clara Lugo grew up in a home that would have rattled the most grounded of children. Through brains and determination, she has long since slipped the bonds of her confining Dominican neighborhood in the northern reaches of Manhattan. Now she tries to live a settled professional life with her American husband and son in the suburbs of New Jersey—often thwarted by her constellation of relatives who don’t understand her gringa ways.

Her mostly happy life is disrupted, however, when Tito, a former boyfriend from fifteen years earlier, reappears. Something has impeded his passage into adulthood. His mother calls him an Unfinished Man. He still carries a torch for Clara; and she harbors a secret from their past. Their reacquaintance sets in motion an unraveling of both of their lives and reveals what the cost of assimilation—or the absence of it—has meant for each of them.

This immensely entertaining novel—filled with wit and compassion—marks the debut of a fine writer.
photo of Jon Michaud

about Jon Michaud

Jon Michaud is the head librarian at The New Yorker magazine and a regular contributor to newyorker.com. His short stories have been published in North American Review, Denver Quarterly, Fawlt, and other journals. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with his wife (also a librarian) and their two sons.

Friday, March 11, 2011

West of Here by Jonathan Evison

Hello!  Nothing but good stuff in the mail. Thank you Algonquin Books.

About the book:

Set in the fictional town of Port Bonita, on Washington State’s rugged Pacific coast, West of Here is propelled by a story that both re-creates and celebrates the American experience—it is storytelling on the grandest scale. With one segment of the narrative focused on the town’s founders circa 1890 and another showing the lives of their descendants in 2006, the novel develops as a kind of conversation between two epochs, one rushing blindly toward the future and the other struggling to undo the damage of the past.

An exposition on the effects of time, on how something said or done in one generation keeps echoing through all the years that follow, and how mistakes keep happening and people keep on trying to be strong and brave and, most important, just and right, West of Here harks back to the work of such masters of Americana as Bret Harte, Edna Ferber, and Larry McMurtry, writers whose fiction turned history into myth and myth into a nation’s shared experience. It is a bold novel by a writer destined to become a major force in American literature. photo of Jonathan Evison

about Jonathan Evison

Jonathan Evison is the author of All About Lulu, which won the Washington State Book Award. In 2009, he was the recipient of a Richard Buckley Fellowship from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. He lives on an island in Western Washington.

And a nice book tote to celebrate and announce Algonquins Book Club Series. Check it out here!

I can't wait to dig in.  I have a little day trip coming up and I will be on a train...this is what is coming with me!

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Exciting Incoming Books

I am thrilled to be reading these books in 2011. It was like they were hand picked just for me!  Thank you Michael Taeckens, Algonquin Books

Pictures of You, Caroline Leavitt

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, Heidi W. Durrow

Paris Was Ours, Penelope Rowlands

Pale Rose of England, By Sandra Worth

I was thrilled to receive this in the mail last week.  I can't wait to get reading.  It sounds wonderful.

Synopsis (From Author's website)

From the award-winning author of The King's Daughter comes a story of love and defiance during the War of the Roses.

It is 1497. The news of the survival of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, has thundered across Europe, setting royal houses ablaze with intrigue and rocking the fledgling Tudor dynasty. Stepping finally onto English soil, Catherine arrives at the island of Saint Michael’s Mount, along with her husband and young son Dickon, their second child already on the way. With the keen support of Scotland’s King James IV, Richard—known in England as Perkin Warbeck—has come to reclaim his rightful crown from Henry Tudor. Based on a prophecy given Catherine by a seer that she would be loved by a king, she has no doubt Richard will succeed in his quest. But rather than assuming the throne she believed was their destiny, Catherine would soon be prisoner of King Henry VII, and her beloved husband would, unimaginably, be stamped as an imposter.

Nothing could shake Catherine’s belief in Richard and her loyalty to the man she loved. She became a favored lady-in-waiting to the queen, Elizabeth of York, but her dazzling beauty only brought her unwanted affections from a jealous king and enmeshed her in a terrifying royal love triangle. With her husband facing execution for treason, Catherine, alone in the glittering but deadly Tudor Court, finds the courage to spurn a cruel monarch and shape her own destiny, winning the admiration of a nation.

About the Author:
Sandra Worth is the acclaimed author of five historical novels chronicling the Wars of the Roses. Each is the recipient of multiple awards and prizes, including three Reviewers Chloice Awards and a Best Books of 2009 nomination.

Author's Website

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Tapestry of Love

Thank You Rosy Thornton.  She sent me a copy of her book The Tapestry of Love. It has a beautiful cover.  I can't wait to sink my teeth into this book.

    Book Description

A rural idyll: that's what Catherine is seeking when she sells her house in England and moves to a tiny hamlet in the Cévennes mountains. With her divorce in the past and her children grown, she is free to make a new start, and her dream is to set up in business as a seamstress. But this is a harsh and lonely place when you're no longer just here on holiday. There is French bureaucracy to contend with, not to mention the mountain weather, and the reserve of her neighbors, including the intriguing Patrick Castagnol. And that's before the arrival of Catherine's sister, Bryony.

    About the Author

Rosy Thornton teaches at Cambridge University.

Happy New Year Bloggers and readers.

I have received a few more lovely books that I will post this week.  I am not reading a lot of book reviews these days.  I like to browse the book store and be a little surprised.  But I will be stopping by blogs to comment and say hi more often.  Have a great week.  Thank you again to author Rosy Thornton for sending me this lovely book.