Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Has anyone been through a similar experience and care to share how they adjusted? Any words of wisdom will be appreciated, Thanks Friends!
*I have some posts scheduled to post later today so check back!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Happy Monday!! Here’s what I found in my mailbox last week:
- A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick (From the author)
- The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry (From Paperbackswap)
- The Last Time I was me by Cathy Lamb (From Paperbackswap)
- One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell (Won from Dar at Peeking between the Pages)
- Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (From Bookmooch)
What books came into your house last week?
Friday, September 26, 2008
I want to thank Avis at She reads and reads who highlighted my blog during BBAW week when she posted on the question about "the book blogs we love to read that didn’t make the list of nominations". You can read her post here.
Thanks to everyone!!!!!!!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Johnny Big Ears, The Feel Good Friend by John Paul Padilla
Description: Johnny Big Ears is just like every other five-year-old child, but when he starts his first day of kindergarten, children begin to tease him because of his enormously large ears. Follow Johnny as he faces the challenges that being different presents. How will Johnny react to being teased? Find out why Johnny turns out to be the winner in this book that addresses typical childhood bullying and offers children advice on how to deal with teasing.
This is a great book for children to be reminded about the importance of being unique and special even when they may feel different or left out at school. It can help a child who is being teased or bullied in school. The story is about a Kindergarten boy who is teased because of the size of his ears. He learns that it is important to love yourself and it's what's inside that is most important.
I enjoyed the twist on the names of the teacher and his new friend that also points out that everyone is truly different. I read this book along with my 9 year old son. We both liked how Johnny ignored the bullies and found other friends to play with. We both felt that the story was geared more towards Kindergarteners. The book is considered an easy reader for 3rd grade. We thought that it would be a nice story to read to a child in Kindergarten and/or a Kindergarten class. This could also be used by the guidance counselors to share with classes or individual students about teasing and bullying. This book has a great message that is so important for children to learn.
Monday, September 22, 2008
- Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas
- Queen of the Road: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus with a Wi by Doreen Orion.
- Sweet Love by Sarah Strohmeyer
- The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez (From Miriam at Hatchette books, will not be in bookstores until October)
What books came into your house last week?
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The Long Walk Home
Description: The miracle of love after loss and longing The Long Walk Home is a story about grief and hope, about love and loss, and about two people struggling with the agonizing complexities of ﬁdelity–to a spouse, to a moral code, to each other, and to a passion neither thought would ever appear again. By turns lyrical and gripping, set amid a landscape of breathtaking beauty and unpredictable danger, this is a story you will not soon forget.
It was the beautiful cover art that drew me to this book. The charm of the bold red door with the green boots resting on the doorstep were very inviting. I have a thing for beautiful, bold doors that are charmingly decorated with flowers and statues and other personal decor. When I was in Europe I noticed this trend or custom and on my walks and tours was drawn to these homes. I assume that this door represents the Bed and Breakfast cottage that the main character Fiona runs and operates in Wales. There is also a lovely black and white photo inside that shows a cottage that looks homey and lovely and makes one want to find a place like this to visit. For me, this novel was charming and homey and a novel about love that can blossom at any time in your life, even when it is unexpected. Alec comes to Wales to scatter the ashes of his ex-wife and best friend. He meets Fiona, who is unhappily married, when he stops along his walk across England, to find a room at her Bed and Breakfast. The story reflects life in Wales and the charm of the village where Fiona lives and the sheep farm that is also part of their property. The story goes full circle where Fiona and Alex must figure out where their love can go and if it is meant to be. For me, this was an enjoyable and relaxing read. I loved reading about life in Wales, the village and small country feel of shopping at stores that are not chains and being part of a community that cares about each other. For most people the saying is true that you can't judge a book by it's cover but in this case with The Long Walk Home, you can judge a book by it's cover and will be happy that you did! My only suggestion would be to avoid reading the Prologue until the end, it is only 2 pages but it does give away much of the ending of the story. I would wait until you finish the book to read it.
You can check out the author Will North's website here and take a walking tour across England.
Just a reminder that my First Giveaway Contest for the Autographed copy of The Professors' Wives' Club by Joanne Rendell ends tomorrow, September 21st. Make sure that you sign up now, check out all the details in the post here. Good Luck! I'll post the winner on Monday, September 22nd.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
She asked: We've been doing a great job talking about books, but what about blogging? It's half of what we do. What better way to show our appreciation than to share our very best tips. So, today, I ask you to answer two questions in any way you please...
- What is one thing you wish you knew about blogging when you started or what advice would you give a newbie blogger?
Since I just started Blogging a few months ago I would suggest finding a mentor or friend with a blog that you can ask questions and advice on setting up your blog. I've had several friends whom I've been able to ask questions and that has been a big help. Also, just follow your own creativity and instincts and make your blog your own. Don't feel pressured by what others are doing, you can learn what you like and always change and redecorate your blog with new templates and logos as you go along and learn more.
- What is your best blogging tip?
Blog often, comment on other blogs to get to know others and in turn they will spread the word about your blog. Since I just started my blog, I've found book bloggers to be the nicest people and they are supportive of other newbie bloggers, so don't hesitate to reach out and keep on blogging!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Check out Judy Larsen's website here.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
A Three Dog Life: A Memoir by Abigail Thomas
Book Description: When Abigail Thomas’s husband, Rich, was hit by a car, his brain shattered. Subject to rages, terrors, and hallucinations, he must live the rest of his life in an institution. He has no memory of what he did the hour, the day, the year before. This tragedy is the ground on which Abigail had to build a new life. How she built that life is a story of great courage and great change, of moving to a small country town, of a new family composed of three dogs, knitting, and friendship, of facing down guilt and discovering gratitude. It is also about her relationship with Rich, a man who lives in the eternal present, and the eerie poetry of his often uncanny perceptions.
This touching memoir is uniquely written in a free flowing style that can be a bit hard to follow at times as the chapters do bounce back and forth in time. It may be meaningful in the sense that it plays with your mind to recall where the author is going and what time period she is referring to. The author opens up her most honest and deepest thoughts and relates those to her daily events after her husband was injured in a car accident. It does make you stop and think how quickly life can change and in an instant your life can be going down an unknown path and new journey. I have a medical background and have worked directly with patients with Traumatic Brain Injury and found that the authors descriptions of experiences as a patient and family member are both raw and real. As a reader, I could empathize with Rich's short term memory loss and how that effected him and Abigail. The author gained great comfort from her dogs and her knitting and she talks about the effect of these things in her life. This is truly a very moving and touching memoir, keep the tissues handy as it will touch your heart.
Friday, September 12, 2008
The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
Book Description: At the age of fourteen, a young woman in 17th-century Persia believes she will be married within the year. But when her beloved father dies, collapsing in the field where he works with the other men from their village, there is no hope for a dowry. Alone and penniless, she and her grieving mother are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven,meant, of course, for her married life, to pay for their journey to Isfahan. There they will work as servants for her uncle Gostaham, a rich rug designer in the court of the Shah, and be lorded over by Gostaham's wife. Despite her lowly station, the young woman blossoms as a brilliant weaver of carpets, a rarity in a craft dominated by men. But while her artistic gift flourishes, her prospects for a happy marriage grow dim. Forced into a secret marriage with a man who will never take her as his first wife, the young woman is faced with a daunting decision: forsake her own dignity, or risk everything she has in an effort to maintain it. Amirrezvani infuses her story with lush detail, brilliantly bringing to life the sights sounds and life of 17th-century Isfahan: The dazzling architecture; the exotic Persian foods; the breathtakingly beautiful rugs. A sweeping love story, a powerful coming-of-age story, and a luminous portrait of a city, this is a universal tale of one woman's struggle to live a life of her choosing.
This is a beautifully written debut novel, an engaging coming of age story about a young persian girl in the 17th century. I enjoyed the rich pictures that the author paints of the beauty of Isfahan with details of architecture, persian foods, culture, views of the rivers and mosques. She describes colors in detail and richness especially with the descriptions of rugs and rug making.
The story covers the details of many life lessons such as love, loss, sacrifice, pride, honesty. It seemed to cover the details of life for women and girls during this time accurately. Sadly, women had very few rights and education and training was near impossible unless you were a man. There were many fables interspersed throughout the book which I grew tired of reading near the end. To me, there were too many which distracted my attention away from the main story.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
A BRAND NEW,
AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF
THE PROFESSORS' WIVES' CLUB BY JOANNE RENDELL!
Joanne Rendell was kind enough to send me an autographed copy of her wonderful debut novel to giveaway here to one of you for my first blog giveaway!! I am SO excited about this and hope that you are as well! Please check out my review below or click on here. You can also check out Joanne Rendell's website here.
Here are the rules:
- Comment on this post for one entry.
- Spread the word and blog about this giveaway and post a link back here for two more entries.
- Just for the fun of it, share an example of something that you have stood up for with a group of female friends and what you learned from the experience, this will add another two entries.
Please make sure to leave an email or webpage when you enter so that I can contact you. U.S. and Canada only please, due to shipping costs. Please enter by Sunday, September 21st. Good luck!
Book Description: Nestled among Manhattan U’s faculty housing, there is a garden where four women will meet—each with a scandalous secret that could upset their lives, destroy their families, and rock the prestigious university to its very core.With its shady maple trees, elegant iron gate, and high fence laced with honeysuckle, Manhattan U's garden offers faculty wives Mary, Sofia, Ashleigh, and Hannah a much-needed refuge. For Mary, the garden is an escape from abuse. For Sofia, it offers solace as she considers trading in her diaper bag for a briefcase. Then there’s Ashleigh, who wonders if she should tell her conservative father something that might well give him another heart attack. And last is Hannah, who rues jeopardizing her lukewarm marriage for one passionate night. As Mary’s husband, the power-hungry dean, makes plans to demolish this beloved garden, these four women will discover a surprising secret about a lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript—and realize they must find the courage to stand up for their passions, dreams, and desires.
I was thrilled when Joanne Rendell contacted me to read and review her new book which was just published this month. I jumped at the chance as I had an instinct that I would like the book. I am a fan of women's contemporary literary fiction and to me, this book fits the bill spot on. My instincts were correct and I have to say that I loved this book!
As the wife of a NYU Professor Joanne is a Professors wife in real life. She lives with her family and is a faculty fellow in residence in a dorm at NYU. She has real life experiences that immerse her in the life of academia. She also has a PhD in English Literature which is evident in her strong writing and the literary thread the book takes.
This is a wonderful debut novel that is a richly woven story about a group of four very different women who live in faculty housing and become friends through their love of the university garden. The garden is to be demolished in favor of a parking garage. Two of the women stand out more in the story for different reasons. Mary, a professor herself, hides a secret and is also married to the evil dean who is behind the focus to tear down the garden for his own hidden agenda. Sofia the mother of young children and the strength and catalyst that leads the group. Then, there are Ashleigh and Hanna strong characters but not the leaders that Mary and Sofia are in the book. Hanna is a wife, former model and now artist and MFA student who deals with her own secrets and battles. Ashleigh is a lawyer and girlfriend to Sam who is also a professor.
She has her own secrets and family issues to resolve. They band together to protest the destruction of the garden and their lives are never the same. There is a strong literary thread that is woven into the book related to Edgar Allen Poe which is worked through the storyline to the end where all is revealed.
To me, this was a story about the power of female friendships and standing up for what you believe. I highly recommend it and look forward to Joanne Rendell's next book which is to be published in 2009!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
About the book:
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is.
I was drawn to this book from the start from it's quirky title, rave reviews and the knowledge that it was an epistolary novel. I adore books like this that are told in letters. This book is reminiscent of 84 Charring Cross Road to me. It was a charming book that described events in a fictional way during a most horrific time in our history during the Nazi occupations of WWII. Despite the atrocities that occurred during the occupation of this island there is redemption by love and life that continues to go on and survives and thrives. The characters were enchanting and I fell in love with them as did Juliet. While reading this book, I found there were times of sadness , grief and tears as well as times of laugh out loud humor in the journey that the characters take you on. You'll have to read the book to find out why this literary society has their quirky name as I won't spoil it for you here! I highly recommend this wonderful novel, please grab a copy soon and enjoy the journey.
The backstory about the authors is another interesting but sad story so be sure to read about it here on the authors website.