Monday, November 30, 2009

Mailbox Monday November 30

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia over at The Printed Page. We post about the wonderful books we find in our mailboxes. I thought I would have to skip this week but lo and behold there was a book in my mailbox today! I am so excited to receive this book.

Wishin' and Hopin" by Wally Lamb (this was a win from Carey at The Tome Traveller, thank you Carey!)

Description from the book flap

LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone's turntable, and Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette!) is doing his best to navigate fifth grade—easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy.

Back in his beloved fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, with a new cast of endearing characters, Wally Lamb takes his readers straight into the halls of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School—where Mother Filomina's word is law and goody-two-shoes Rosalie Twerski is sure to be minding everyone's business. But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette, straight from QuÉbec, and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kabakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin' and Hopin' barrels toward one outrageous Christmas.

From the Funicello family's bus-station lunch counter to the elementary school playground (with an uproarious stop at the Pillsbury Bake-Off), Wishin' and Hopin' is a vivid slice of 1960s life, a wise and witty holiday tale that celebrates where we've been—and how far we've come.

What wonderful books did you find in your mailbox?

Thankfully Reading Weekend Wrapup

This post wraps up my Thankfully Reading Weekend. I only got one book read and reviewed, The House On Tradd Street by Karen White. Not sure how many hours I spent reading. I found myself dozing alot this weekend when I tried to read. It was just that kind of weekend and I loved it. I was happy that I got one book read and I would participate in more weekends like this. I was able to get some reading in but still spend time with my family. It was the perfect weekend! Thank you to the Book Blog Social Club for hosting this great event! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thankfully Reading Weekend Update

Just a little update. I finally finished and reviewed The House on Tradd Street by Karen White. While I enjoyed the book I kept finding my eyes closing while I was reading so it took me awhile to read it. I think I'm a little too relaxed this weekend. The book sure was good so that wasn't it. Maybe it's the fact I think we have ate our way through the long weekend here. Food plays a huge role in the holidays in our house. I have spent a lot of time eating, napping and reading with a bit of tv thrown in too. Now I am off to decide which book to read next.

The House On Tradd Street

Synopsis(courtesy of Barnes and Noble):

Practical Melanie Middleton hates to admit she can see ghosts. But she's going to have to accept it. An old man she recently met has died, leaving her his historic Tradd Street home, complete with housekeeper, dog—and a family of ghosts anxious to tell her their secrets.

Enter Jack Trenholm, a gorgeous writer obsessed with unsolved mysteries. He has reason to believe that diamonds from the Confederate Treasury are hidden in the house. So he turns the charm on with Melanie, only to discover he's the smitten one...

It turns out Jack's search has caught the attention of a malevolent ghost. Now, Jack and Melanie must unravel a mystery of passion, heartbreak—and even murder.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book. It has a historical fiction feel to it even thought it takes place in the present time. I loved the mystery and the paranormal feel to the story too. The house in the story reads like a character. I think old homes are characters and have stories to tell if we just listen. I liked that there is some romance in the story but it doesn't overpower the mystery that is trying to be uncovered. I think Karen White did an excellent job describing the house and I truly felt at times like I was right there in the story. Melanie was quite interesting. She was not thrilled at all inheriting the old house. She became obsessed with it quickly though and made obnoxious schedules for the work that needed to be done on the house. Jack was interested in finding out the mysterious history associated with the house but soon found himself under the spell of the house too. The two of them take quite a journey learning the secrets that the house holds. I don't want to give too much of the story away. It really had me on the edge of my seat. I look forward to reading the next book, The Girl On Legare Street to find out what mystery Melanie and Jack will uncover next.

I read this library book during the Thankfully Reading Weekend.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankfully Reading Weekend

The Thankfully Reading Weekend has begun. I am taking it one book at a time and not having a set plan. I am a quarter of the way into The House On Tradd Street by Karen White so that is where I am starting. I'll be reading, snacking, and snuggling with the furkids. I had the family here for Thanksgiving so I am ready to put my feet up, read and relax! Check out Book Blog Social Club to read the Thankfully Reading post.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fall Into Reading Challenge Update

I am participating in The Fall Into Reading Challenge hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days. We have one month to go. I don't know if I will get my list all read. I have many review books that need to be read and reviewed. Here is where I am at on the challenge.

1. The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim
2. Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
3. Sworn To Silence by Linda Castillo
4. Sarah's Promise by Leisha Kelly
5. Confections Of A Closet Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado
6. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
7. Beautiful Mess by Diamond Rio
8. Blue Like Playdough by Tricia Goyer
9. The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
10. The Moon Looked Down by Dorothy Garlock
11. The Day The Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
12. No Time To Wave Goodbye by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Not bad but I do have a ways to go.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankfully Reading Weekend

I read about this on someone's blog as I was blog hopping and I thought it sounded like a fantastic idea! I am so far behind on my reading and have no plans to shop this weekend so why not! I will be cooking dinner for the family on Thursday so I had planned on a quiet weekend with books, movie-watching and alot of eating at home anyway.

Thanks to Jenn from Jenn's Bookshelves for this great idea! The weekend will be very informal which I am totally loving! I am looking forward to this big time! Why not join in?

Mailbox Monday November 23

Okay so it is not Monday. I am late. Life is crazy in our house right now. Better late than never, right?

Mailbox Monday is generously hosted by the wonderful Marcia over at The Printed Page. It's where we can post about the wonderful books that made their way into our homes.

1.Through The Heart by Kate Morgenroth (Courtesy of Penguin)

Nora and Timothy have lives that are worlds apart. Nora lives in a small Kansas town, living paycheck to paycheck, working in a coffee shop. Timothy lives in Manhattan, responsible to no one and nothing except managing his family's millions. When these two meet, it seems like the beginning of a fairy tale. Except Nora is not your typical damsel in distress, Timothy does not quite fit the role of a gallant prince, and fairy tales don't include a dead body.

As Nora and Timothy take turns telling their sides of the story, the reader is caught in the net of their love, and the chilling murder that results. With big questions of love, fidelity, filial responsibility and the role of fate, Through the Heart is a page-turning love story with a jaw dropping twist readers won't soon forget.

2.Truly Madly by Heather Webber (Courtesy Of Barnes And Noble)

When psychic matchmaker Lucy Valentine is hired by a new client, she's shocked to find he has a skeleton in his past--literally.

3. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (a win from Zia at My Life In Not So Many Words)

"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."
So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her -- her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, THE LOVELY BONES succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy.

What treasures came to your mailbox?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hush, Hush

Synopsis (courtesy of Barnes and Noble):

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

My Review:

I enjoyed this book even though I haven't been a young adult for many, many years. I really enjoyed the characters of Patch and Nora and felt the chemistry and romantic friction between them. Patch comes off as that bad boy that teenage girls seem to be drawn to. I was not fond of a few of the other characters like Vee and Elliot. Vee is the friend that always seems to get Nora in trouble. She kind of annoyed me as did Elliot. The storyline kept me guessing and reading. Just when I thought I had the story figured out it would take a twist in a totally different direction. Just a small warning, there are some steamy scenes in the book. They don't get too far but they are there. It is a quick read and I understand there is a sequel in the making. I look forward to reading what happens to Patch and Nora.

I think this would make a great Holiday gift for an older teen girl.

I received this Advanced Readers Copy from Simon & Schuster. A special thanks to them.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mailbox Monday-November 16

Mailbox Monday is where we all post what wonderful book goodies we found in our mailboxes last week. It is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. A special thanks to Marcia!

First off is The Opposite Field by Jesse Katz.

Second I received Chocolate A Love Story by Max Brenner.

Feel free to visit Marcia and play along. What books came to your mailbox?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beautiful Mess

I have been a Diamond Rio fan for many years. I am the proud owner of a Diamond Rio red guitar pick caught in a concert many, many years ago that I attended with my sister! I was given the opportunity to read their story thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers, so needless to say I jumped at the chance. Beautiful Mess starts out July 4, 2005 in Nashville where Diamond Rio is putting on a disastrous performance.The band that everyone knew and loved did not sound good. They were in trouble. The book then goes into the background of how the group came to be. Some started out as Opryland amusement park employees. It was interesting to see how the group that ended up being Diamond Rio came to be. Then there is a chapter on each band member that goes into their life and how they came to be a part of Diamond Rio. The group started out being called The Tennessee River Boys but eventually came to be known as Diamond Rio. As the guys gained popularity they decided to succeed they needed to swear off the pitfalls that threaten so many performers-alcohol, drugs, and women on the road. These guys have stuck together as a group and family even in the tough times. The book does discuss the difficulties they have faced and how they overcame them. They also believe strongly in giving back to the community through their charity work. I would recommend this book to fans of Diamond Rio and country music fans. Diamond Rio with help from Tom Roland tell their story in a very interesting way. I found it to be a quick read. The book also comes with a free online audiobook read by the band and ebook. Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for this review copy.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia over at The Printed Page. A special thank you to Marcia for hosting! Go on over to her blog and play along!

This last week I received 4 books.

First off is The Information Officer by Mark Mills (courtesy of Random House).

Next up Traveling With Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd (won from Gwendolyn at A Sea Of Books- special thanks to Gwendolyn!)

Small Kingdoms by Anastasia Hobbet (my first Librarything Early Reviewers win!)

Last but not least I purchased One Simple Act by Debbie Macomber.

What goodies came to your mailbox?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Best Friends Forever

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:

Some bonds can never be broken...

Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That's what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they're both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school's scapegoat.

Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents' house in their small hometown of La Prairie, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She's just returned from Bad Date #6, when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, with a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. "Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie,...

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book. It was fun, light and quirky. This book has it all, mystery, family and most of all friendship. All the twist and turns all three take kept me reading almost nonstop. In the very beginning a crime is committed and it drew me in. I had to know why it happened and who did it. Then Jennifer tells us the history of Valerie and Addie's friendship, first as young girls, then as teenagers and now as adults. Boy the high school years sure brought back memories. I felt like I was right there again but this time I was with Addie and Valerie. Now as adults after a high school reunion Valerie shows up on Addie's doorstep in trouble. The two go on the lam even though they have been estranged since high school. The book takes on a very Thelma and Louise feel but in a fun way. I really hated Valerie at times. She seemed like trouble to me. Then I would feel sorry for her because I don't think she could really help it due to her strange upbringing. I felt much compassion for Addie who overcame so much in her life. She grew from a shy, weak girl to a strong woman. This was a great story of friendship and the bumps it takes along the way. I will be looking to read more of Jennifer Weiner's books.

I received this galley to review as a courtesy from Simon and Schuster. A special thank you to them.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia over at the Printed Page. Check out her blog to play along.

I was so excited to be offered this book by the author. I had seen it on a few other blogs and instantly fell in love with the cover and the title! I'm hoping to get to it soon! I'm very excited about this book!

It's been a crazy week here as our oldest dog, Cooper became somewhat paralyzed with a recurring back injury. He was put on meds to help him but the meds have given him an ulcer. He has required 24/7 care from me so things are a bit behind here but we hope we are on the mend. Not much reading was done here at all but I'm hoping he will begin to rest well and I can get some reading time in.

What did you get in your mailbox?