Monday, August 30, 2010

Mailbox Monday August 30

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

This month's hostess is Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit. Thank you Shanyn for hosting. Be sure to check out her blog. She has been a wonderful hostess! Thank you Shanyn!

I got one book this week. I need to do serious catching up on my reading so it's all good. I have been kind of lazy the last few weeks as far as my reading goes. We have been enjoying the last of our summer vacation. School starts this week so we are getting back to our routines. Where did summer go?

I was very interested in this story when it was happening so I am anxious to read both this book and the book that the Ling sisters wrote, Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home. I'm hoping the library has the other book.

The World is Bigger Now by Euna Lee

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble

For the first time, Euna Lee—the young wife, mother, and film editor detained in North Korea—tells a harrowing, but ultimately inspiring, story of survival and faith in one of the most isolated parts of the world.

On March 17, 2009, Lee and her Current TV colleague Laura Ling were working on a documentary about the desperate lives of North Koreans fleeing their homeland for a chance at freedom when they were violently apprehended by North Korean soldiers. For nearly five months they remained detained while friends and family in the United States were given little information about their status or conditions. For Lee, detention would prove especially harrowing. Imprisoned just TK miles from where she was born and where her parents still live in Seoul, South Korea, she was branded as a betrayer of her Korean blood by her North Korean captors. After representing herself in her trial before North Korea’s highest court, she received a sentence of twelve years of hard labor in the country’s notorious prison camps, leading her to fear she might not ever see her husband and daughter again.

The World Is Bigger Now draws us deep into Euna Lee’s life before and after this experience: what led to her arrival in North Korea, her efforts to survive the agonizing months of detainment, and how she and her fellow captive, Ling, were finally released thanks to the efforts of many individuals, including Bill Clinton. Lee explains in unforgettable detail what it was like to lose, and then miraculously regain, life as she knew it.

The World Is Bigger Now is the story of faith and love and Euna Lee’s personal conviction that God will sustain and protect us, even in our darkest hours.

I received this book for my honest review from Broadway Books.

What great books made their way into your home?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mailbox Monday August 23

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

This month's hostess is Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit. Thank you Shanyn for hosting. Be sure to check out her blog.

This week I received two books. One for review and the other for the Barnes and Noble First Look Book Club.

Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie

Synopsis borrowed from Barnes and Noble

Andie Miller is ready to move on with her life. She wants to marry her fiancé and leave behind everything in her past, especially her ex-husband, North Archer. But when Andie tries to gain closure with him, he asks one final favor of her. A distant cousin has died and left North the guardian of two orphans who have driven away three nannies already, and things are getting worse. He needs someone to take care of the situation, and he knows Andie can handle anything....

When Andie meets the two children, she realizes the situation is much worse than she feared. Carter and Alice aren’t your average delinquents, and the creepy old house where they live is being run by the worst housekeeper since Mrs. Danvers. Complicating matters is Andie’s fiancé’s suspicion that this is all a plan by North to get Andie back. He may be right because Andie’s dreams have been haunted by North since she arrived at the old house. And that’s not the only haunting....

Then her ex-brother-in-law arrives with a duplicitous journalist and a self-doubting parapsychologist, closely followed by an annoyed medium, Andie’s tarot card-reading mother, her avenging ex-mother-in-law, and her jealous fiancé. Just when Andie’s sure things couldn’t get more complicated, North arrives to make her wonder if maybe this time things could just turn out differently....

I received this book for review courtesy of St. Martins Press

The Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart

Synopsis borrowed from Barnes and Noble

On a moonless Texas night in 1895, an ambitious young landowner suffers the loss of “the only woman he’s ever been fond of” when his wife dies during childbirth with the couple’s fourth boy, Karel. From an early age Karel proves so talented on horseback that his father enlists him to ride in acreage-staked horseraces against his neighbors. But Karel is forever haunted by thoughts of the mother he never knew, by the bloodshot blame in his father’s eyes, and permanently marked by the yoke he and his brothers are forced to wear to plow the family fields. Confident only in the saddle, Karel is certain that the horse “wants the whip the same way he wants his pop’s strap . . . the closest he ever gets to his father’s touch.” In the winter of 1910, Karel rides in the ultimate high-stakes race against a powerful Spanish patriarch and his alluring daughters. Hanging in the balance are his father’s fortune, his brother’s futures, and his own fate. Fourteen years later, with the stake of the race still driven hard between him and his brothers, Karel is finally forced to dress the wounds of his past and to salvage the tattered fabric of his family.

Reminiscent of Kent Haruf’s portrayals of hope amidst human heartbreak and Cormac McCarthy’s finely hewn evocations of the American Southwest, Bruce Machart’s striking debut is as well wrought as it is riveting. It compels us to consider the inescapable connections between sons and their mothers, between landscape and family, and between remembrance and redemption.

I received this book to participate in the Barnes and Noble First Look Book Club. I can't wait to discuss this one.

What wonderful books made their way into your home?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City

Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City by Holly Denham

Summary from the back of the book:

Dear Holly, isn't it shocking...?

Things are finally going Holly Denham's way: she's in love, she's getting the recognition she deserves at work, and her friends and family have graciously opted to avoid disaster for the moment.

Just when Holly is starting to settle into her new life, scandal erupts and Holly finds herself-and her in box-at the center of a gossip whirlwind that threatens everything she's worked so hard for.

Written entirely in emails, this follow-up to the UK smash hit Holly's Inbox will keep you glued to its pages as the scandal running rampant in the city threatens to ruin Holly's hard-earned and long-awaited happiness.

My thoughts:

I read Holly's Inbox by Holly Denham just a short time ago and I really loved it so it was no surprise that I felt the same about this installment of Holly's life. The book is again told through email format which I find delightfully sinful! Holly's life is both fun and complicated. She seems to have it all together in the beginning of the book with a new job promotion and a great boyfriend, but as Holly's life goes we know it won't be that way for long. Chaos soon rears it's ugly head and life for Holly takes an ugly turn. All of Holly's old friends are back and a few new ones emerge too. This book was one I couldn't put down. I found myself reading at the stove cooking dinner. The book looks like a chunkster with over 500 pages but the emails read fast and one could easily polish this book off in a day. Once you get wrapped up in Holly's hilarious antics you won't want to put it down. As with the other book, I found myself laughing out loud. I only hope we will be blessed with more installments Of Holly's crazy life. I want more! As the book ended I could only imagine where Holly's life will go next. This book could stand alone but I highly recommend reading both books. You don't want to miss a moment of Holly's crazy life! I would give both books five stars!

I received this book for review courtesy of April at Sourcebooks. This in no way influenced my review.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Holly's Inbox

Holly's Inbox by Holly Denham

Synopsis borrowed from the back of the book:

It's Holly Denham's first day as a receptionist at a busy corporate bank, and frankly, it's obvious she can't quite keep up.

Take a peek at her email and you'll see why: what with her crazy friends, dysfunctional family, and gossipy co-workers, Holly's inbox is a daily source of drama. Laughter, friendship, and romantic interludes keep her going, until one day, Holly's secret past begins to catch up with her...

Written entirely in emails, this compulsively readable UK smash hit will keep you laughing and turning the pages all the way to its surprising and deeply satisfying ending.

My thoughts

I loved this book! It is light and hilarious! It doesn't take long to figure out that Holly is in over her head at her new job as a receptionist at a huge corporate bank. She is like a fish out of water! Reading her emails to her friends and family and fellow employees made me feel like a bit of a spy but it was so fun! Holly's sarcastic sense of humor is very similar to mine. I caught myself laughing hysterically out loud many times. The shocking part of the whole book is finding out that Holly Denham is actually a pen name for Bill Surie. He is not only the author of the book but the owner of a placement service for receptionists and secretaries in London. I wonder if any of these emails are based on true emails that he has come across in his work? Although this format is a bit different than most books, I found it easy to read and follow along. I highly recommend this book! I liked it so much that I am starting to read the sequel immediately! Trust will enjoy Holly! She is an interesting character!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mailbox Monday August 16

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

This month's hostess is Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit. Thank you Shanyn for hosting. Be sure to check out her blog.

Only one book for me this week. That is okay since I am so behind in my reading lately. I am trying to get back into the swing of things. My brain seems to be on summer vacation. Speaking of you see the date on the post? Where did the summer go? School is just around the corner. Why doesn't the winter fly by as fast as the summer does? Sigh!

I know I have been neglecting the blog lately. I am on a mission to get things back on track and hopefully will do a better job. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia by Mary Helen Stefaniak

Summary borrowed from Goodreads

A big-hearted story of a Depression-era small town turned upside down by a worldly teacher. Narrator Gladys Cailiff is eleven years old in 1938 when a new, well-traveled young schoolteacher turns a small Georgia town upside down. Miss Grace Spivey believes in field trips, Arabian costumes, and reading aloud from her ten-volume set of The Thousand Nights and a Night. The real trouble begins when she decides to revive the annual town festival as an exotic Baghdad bazaar. Miss Spivey transforms the lives of everyone around her: Gladys's older brother Force (with his movie-star looks), her pregnant sister May (a gifted storyteller herself), and especially the Cailiffs' African American neighbor, young Theo Boykin, whose creative genius becomes the key to a colorful, hidden history of the South. Populated by unforgettable characters—including three impressive camels—The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia rides a magic carpet from a segregated schoolroom in Georgia to the banks of the Tigris (and back again) in an entrancing feat of storytelling.

I received this book for review from Librarything Early Reviewers

I am looking forward to reading this as I love Southern Lit.

So what wonderful books mad etheir way into your home?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mailbox Monday August 9

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

This month's hostess is Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit. Thank you Shanyn for hosting. Be sure to check out her blog.

I received 5 books this past week. One was a win and the others are for review.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

This was a win from Nicole at My Book Views. Thank you Nicole!

To Your Dog's Health by Mark Poveromo
I received this for review from Lisa. Thank you Lisa! I am very interested in this as I have a dog with food issues. I have been reading a bit of this book and it is very interesting. I will be writing a full review after I read the whole book.

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
I received this book for review from Harper Collins through Shelf Awareness. Thank you to them both. This has a beautiful cover. This looks to be a very good romance with a bit of mystery thrown in. I love a good story set behind the Iron Curtain.

Eighteen Acres by Nicolle Wallace
I receeived this book for review from Simon and Schuster through Shelf Awareness. Thank you to them both. This is a novel written by a political commentator. This sounds like it should be very good!

Keep The Change by Steve Dublanica
This I received for review from Harper Collins also. Thank you to them again. We have an ongoing argument around our house as to how much one should tip in certain situations. I thought this would be the perfect book to address that situation with!

I'm probably driving everyone nuts with my changing of how I do my Mailbox Monday posts. I am trying new ways out as to how I list the books. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

So what interesting things did you find in your mailbox?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mailbox Monday August 2

"Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
If you’re new to Mailbox Monday welcome! Thank you to everyone who stops by Mailbox Monday. Whether you comment or visit I appreciate your taking the time to drop in."
Quoted from Marcia at The Printed Page

This month's hostess is Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit. Thank you Shanyn for hosting. Be sure to check out her blog. It's very cute!

I received two books this week, one I won and the other came from a book fairy.

29 by Adena Halpern

Summary from Goodreads
A young-at-heart 75-year-old gets her wish to be 29 again in this magical new novel from Adena Halpern, author of The Ten Best Days of My Life.

I won this from Kay at My Random Acts of Reading Thank You Kay!

Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson

Summary borrowed from Goodreads
Rose Mae Lolley is a fierce and dirty girl, long-suppressed under flowery skirts and bow-trimmed ballet flats. As "Mrs. Ro Grandee" she's trapped in a marriage that's thick with love and sick with abuse. Her true self has been bound in the chains of marital bliss in rural Texas, letting "Ro" make eggs, iron shirts, and take her punches. She seems doomed to spend the rest of her life battered outside by her husband and inside by her former self, until fate throws her in the path of an airport gypsy---one who shares her past and knows her future. The tarot cards foretell that Rose's beautiful, abusive husband is going to kill her. Unless she kills him first.

Hot-blooded Rose Mae escapes from under Ro's perky compliance and emerges with a gun and a plan to beat the hand she's been dealt. Following messages that her long-missing mother has left hidden for her in graffiti and behind paintings, Rose and her dog Gretel set out from Amarillo, TX back to her hometown of Fruiton, AL, and then on to California, unearthing a host of family secrets as she goes. Running for her life, she realizes that she must face her past in order to overcome her fate---death by marriage---and become a girl who is strong enough to save herself from the one who loves her best.

BACKSEAT SAINTS will dazzle readers with a fresh and heartwrenching portrayal of the lengths a mother will go to right the wrongs she's created, and how far a daughter will go to escape the demands of forgiveness. With the seed of a minor character from her popular best-seller, GODS IN ALABAMA, Jackson has built a whole new story full of her trademark sly wit, endearingly off-kilter characters, and utterly riveting plot twists

My book fairy is Susan at West Of Mars Thank you Susan!

Be sure to check out all four blog links! They all have wonderful blogs!

So what great books came into your home?