Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I used to read more mysteries than I do now and I am so glad that I picked up a copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This is a hard review to write as I don't want to give too much away as to spoil the story for those who haven't read the book yet. This book has a slow start, a few friends warned me that the first 150 pages would be slow and it was. It was filled with lots of information but I still found it interesting and wasn't tempted to put it down. So, if you're reading it and find the beginning slow...don't give up, it gets SO much better!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoowas truly spellbinding to pulled me in and I couldn't put the book down near the end. This book covers it all including murder mystery, family sagas, family secrets, love story and financial intrigue and mystery. There are several story lines within the book that I didn't have a problem balancing as I read. There is the storyline of Mikael a political and financial journalist who is charged with Libel. He runs and co-owns a magazine called Millenium, thus the series is referred to as the Millenium series. Mickael is hired to investigate a missing person case and the woman has been missing for over 40 years.

My favorite storyline and character is Lisbeth a twenty-something pierced and tattooed young woman with a horrible past full of secrets. She is intriguing and mysterious and her mind works at a genius level including her computer hacking abilities. Her social skills are limited and this causes her a lot of problems. Her past gets intertwined into the story as she teams up with Mikael to help him solve the missing person case.

There are definitely disturbing parts to this book that are graphic in nature so be forewarned if this is something that bothers you. I usually don't tolerate graphic abuse very well and there are definitely squeamish and violent scenes in this book but the storyline was so amazing and intelligent that these dark aspects didn't destroy my opinion of the book . There was a lot of violence towards women in this book and it seemed excessive. The ugly side of human nature shines through loudly. I can understand why the title was originally called "Men who hate women" when it was first published in Sweden.

Sadly, Stieg Larsson was a Swedish writer and journalist and died before the Millenium Trilogy was published. There are two other books in the trilogy The Girl who Played with Fire (which I just finished and will have a review posted shortly) and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest which is to be released in paperback in the U.S. at the end of October.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Q&A with Joanne Rendell and a Giveaway of Crossing Washington Square

I am so pleased to welcome Joanne Rendell , author of Crossing Washington Square to Redlady's Reading Room today. I was fortunate to read and review Joanne's wonderful first book, The Professors' Wives Club last year. I was thrilled and honored that she asked me to read and review her second novel as well. Joanne is the kind of author that is very generous in reaching out and connecting with her readers. You can read my review from yesterday of Crossing Washington Square, here which is another wonderful book of contemporary women's fiction.

Joanne has kindly shared some of her thoughts about

How did you first get the idea for Crossing Washington

The idea for this book evolved over a few years. As someone who has lived the
academic life (I have a PhD in literature and now I’m married to a professor at
NYU), I’ve always loved books about the university – books like Kingsley Amis’
Lucky Jim and Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys. But what I noticed about such campus fiction was the lack of female professors in leading roles. Even the female
authors like Francine Prose and Zadie Smith, who’ve written campus novels, they
too focus on male professors. Furthermore, most of these male professors are
disillusioned drunks who quite often sleep with their students! I wanted to
write a novel with women professors taking the lead and I wanted these women to
be strong and smart and interesting – instead of drunk, disillusioned, and
preoccupied with questionable romantic liaisons!

What was the most fun scene in your book to write?

Crossing Washington Square is a story of two very different women and their very
different love of books. Rachel Grey and Diana Monroe are both literature
professors in the old boys club of Manhattan University. While this should
create a kinship between them, they are very much at odds. Rachel is young,
emotional, and impulsive. She wrote a book about women’s book groups which got
her a slot on Oprah and she uses “chick lit” in her classes. Diana is aloof,
icy, and controlled. She’s also a scholar of Sylvia Plath who thinks “beach”
fiction is an easy ride for students. But as is often the case, it’s a man that
truly divides the two women. Smooth-talking Carson McEvoy, a visiting Harvard
professor, has his sights on both Rachel and Diana and gets sparks truly

If your book were to become a movie, who would you cast?

Crossing Washington Square loosely echoes Austen’s Sense and Sensibilty –
with one professor being led by her sense, the other by her sensibility. I love
the Ang Lee adaptation of Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Kate
Winslet playing the two very different Dashwood sisters. Therefore I’d love Emma
and Kate to play my professors!

Who’s your favorite character and why?
That’s a tough one! My knee jerk response is to say Professor Rachel Grey
because, out of the two female leads, I identify most with her. Rachel teaches
chick lit in her classes and has to defend her work and the genre to her stuffy
colleagues who think only the classics and literary fiction should be studied.
As a grad student, I would be reading classical literature and poetry by day,
but then secretly read popular women’s fiction at night (Bridget Jones’ Diary, I
have to say, is one of my all time favorite books!). Rachel is also flawed
and emotional, yet good and honest and brave. I like that about her.

Every time I revisit the book, however, I like Professor Diana Monroe
more too. She’s super smart and has great poise and grace as a teacher. She’s
the kind of uber-professor that every academic secretly wants to be. She’s also
pretty darn scary in her austerity and brilliance. But she has a vulnerability
too and her life started out pretty tough and therefore, every time I revisit
the book, I like her more.
Have you had a "rock star" moment regarding your writing career? If so,
what was it?

My first novel was The Professors’ Wives’ Club. A couple of months after its
release, a woman contacted me and said she’d read and enjoyed the book. She told
me she was a professor’s wife and after a few emails, she revealed that she was
the wife of a very distinguished professor of cultural studies whose work I’d
read, who I’d seen giving keynotes talks at conferences, and whose work greatly
influenced the writing of Crossing Washington Square. Not really a “rock star”
moment, but still exciting to know the wives of influential professors
(professors I really dig!) read my book.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I have a six year old son who is homeschooled, so that’s what I’m mostly doing
when I’m not writing. Although, “homeschool” is somewhat a misnomer as we spend
a relatively small amount of time schooling at “home.” We live in New York so
are lucky enough to have an amazing array of fun and educational places on our
doorstep. Benny and I, together with his homeschooled friends, are always out on
trips to the Met, the Natural History Museum, aquariums, zoos, galleries,
libraries, and parks. When we’re not out and about, Benny and I love to read –
either together or separately. I’m so thankful he loves books like I do!

What are you working on right now?
I’m working on final edits for my third novel which was bought by Penguin last
fall. The novel tells the story of a woman who thinks she might be related to
the nineteenth century writer, Mary Shelley. On her journey to seek the truth
and to discover if there really is a link between her own family and the creator
of Frankenstein, Clara unearths surprising facts about people much closer to
home – including some shocking secrets about the ambitious scientist she is
engaged to. The book is told in alternating points of view between Clara and the
young Mary Shelley who is preparing to write Frankenstein.
Thank You Joanne!



Joanne has graciously offered to give away a copy of Crossing Washington Square to one lucky reader.

For each entry, please leave a seperate comment, this will make it easier to draw a winner as I won't be able to go back and count each entry. Also, make sure that you include your email or that your email is in your blog profile. If I have no way of contacting you by email, your entry will automatically be withdrawn.

  • For One Entry: Leave a comment and with a way to contact you.

  • For a Second Entry: In a SEPARATE comment, Blog about this giveaway and share a link(posting in your sidebar is fine).

  • For a Third Entry: In a SEPARATE comment, Twitter about this giveaway add @Bonnieredlady and share a link, if you can.

This giveaway is ONLY open to US and Canada.

I'll use to draw a winner and the contest will end on October 9th , 2009 at Midnight EST. Good Luck!!

********GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED*********

Monday, September 28, 2009

Review: Crossing Washington Square by Joanne Rendell

Joanne Rendell, author of The Professors' Wives Club takes readers back to the fictional university of Manhattan U in her second novel Crossing Washington Square. This is not a sequel but a stand alone novel that follows two strong, independent and highly different professors, Rachel and Diana. Diana is highly respected, serious, and gives off an air of superiority but poise and grace to those around her. Her main scholarly interest is in Sylvia Path's writings and she has a comfort and ease with students. Rachel is young, passionate, emotional and less experienced as a professor. Her scholarly interests are in contemporary women's fiction and how they relate to classics such as how Jane Austen's books relates to Bridget Jones Diary and The Devil Wears Prada. The two women have differing viewpoints as to the relevance and importance of popular women's fiction compared to literary fiction. I found this theme of contention between Rachel and Diana's views of literature relevant today as there are differing viewpoints among many readers as to the value of "chick lit" vs. "women's fiction" vs. "literary fiction" and "classics". Ms. Rendell's writing challenges the reader to analyze these differences and points out that there is much more substance and relevance to the lighter chick lit or women's fiction novels than what appears in a title or a cover.

As a reader, we get a glimpse into academic life among the departmental politics and relationships between professors as peers and between professors and their students. We get to see two strong female academic professors grow and develop and challenge their own core beliefs about literature and how to present their differing views in an academic setting with respect. There's also a little spice added to the story as Diana and Rachel are both attracted to the same man who appears quite handsome and alluring to them both. This adds some fun twists to the storyline.

Crossing Washington Square was an enjoyable novel to read that truly exemplifies women's fiction. It has strong characters, a story that challenges you to think about popular vs. literary fiction in a way that is fun and entertaining. I found these discussions some of the most enjoyable parts of the book as they made me think about differing viewpoints about literature and preconceived notions about genres. As readers, we can miss out on a vast amount of worthwhile books if we write off a whole genre (such as chick lit) without judging it for ourselves and being open minded.

Book Club Worthy: Absolutely! Crossing Washington Square would be a fabulous choice for a book club as it would facilitate great discussions about popular vs. literary fiction, academics, women's dynamics and relationships in the work environment, college students, life as a professor etc. There is a list of discussion questions at the back of the book as well as a conversation with the author. You can find all of this and more at Joanne Rendell's website, here.

Listen to a podcast interview with Joanne Rendell at Free Book Friday, here.

About the Author:

Joanne Rendell was born and raised in the UK. She has a Ph.D. in literature and lives in New York City with her husband, a professor at NYU, and her son.

Visit her website at:

Thank you to the author for sending me an advanced reading copy.

*Make sure to stop back tomorrow for an interview with Joanne Rendell and a giveaway!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Interview on School Experiences with Food Allergies: Flourishing with Food Allergies by A. Anderson

Last month, I reviewed Flourishing with Food Allergies by A. Anderson. As many of my readers know, I've shared here that my 10 year old son Andrew has major food allergies and the worst offenders for him are life threatening anaphylactic allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. This subject is near and dear to my heart and one that I have great passion for. As a mother, I want to protect my child from dangers and I also have the responsibility to teach him personal responsiblity and independence. When you are dealing with food allergies, it is a challenge to keep in balance. For me, the hardest situation is preparing for the new school year going back to school and ensuring all plans are set into place and that my son is in a safe environment. There are no guarantees and that is the scariest part for parents of children with life threatening food allergies. You have to prepare, cover the bases, educate and set up action plans so that your child and the teachers, students, staff, bus drivers, support staff are all aware. Each year, there is more awareness in my son's school district but there are always challenges and bumps along the way.

In reading Flourishing with Food Allergies, Ms. Anderson's older son had just finished kindergarten and was entering first grade. I was interested in hearing her perspectives from her school experiences with her son and to share them with you.

Here is an interview with Ms. Anderson that answers some of those questions:

How have you handled the school situation and do you have any further thoughts and experiences?

Before school started, I brought my son in for a “challenge test” where he drank milk at the doctor’s office. We decided to do this because while his skin prick test was positive, the blood test for dairy came back negative. Further, I felt that after five years I really needed to know if he would actually react to drinking or eating dairy. The results of the test where that when milk was placed on his lips there was no reaction, but, when he was given ¼ teaspoon he developed a hive on his lip area and started to feel uncomfortable in this throat which manifested in his clearing his throat repeatedly. This reaction occurred within about one minute and the doctor administered epinephrine. This reaction was devastating to me, as I had hoped he had outgrown his dairy allergy. But to react to such a tiny amount of dairy really saddened and worried me a great deal.

I immediately called the nurse at the school, as the first day was approaching. I explained the situation and the results of the test. She called a meeting with the principal and my son’s school teacher so that we could all decide how best to keep him safe. We agreed that he would use a tray on which to eat his snacks and lunch to avoid unnecessary contact with allergens and also spilt milk--literally. We also agreed that he would sit at the peanut-free table so that he didn’t have any unnecessary exposure to peanuts or tree nuts (hopefully) since we have not given him either of these in the hope of fending off an allergy by introducing them when his digestive system has healed and matured. He was also placed in a peanut-free classroom with a teacher trained on health issues and administering Epi-Pens, who agreed to never allow him to have any food other than that brought from home.

Although I was emotionally drained from the worries of my son entering kindergarten, he was thrilled and thrived in school. My other worries about his not attending pre-school, were apparently unnecessary, because his teacher reported that his academic skills, attitude and social skills were all excellent and he was a pleasure to have in class. I remember feeling so pleased when she told my husband and me that every morning when she asked him how he was today, he would respond, “Great!”

But there were a few issues that did arise.

The first was the school bus. My son desperately wanted to take the bus. Since he was too little to carry and administer an Epi-Pen himself, we did not ask for permission that he bring his Epi-Pen Jr. onto the bus. We felt it could also endanger other children if it was taken from his person. So I began to question the emergency procedures of the bus. My questions included: Does the bus driver know how to administer an Epi-Pen? How long would an ambulance take arrive at the bus if there was an incident? Would the ambulance have an Epi-Pen Jr.? Would the ambulance emergency personnel know how to administer it? If there was a first responder (police or fire) would they have an Epi-Pen Jr. and know how to administer it?

As I began to question, I found the answers to my questions through the local fire department chief. She was pleasant and very responsive to my questions. She asked for time to work through the issues, the plan and to discuss the execution of an emergency process involving an allergic reaction with her school and bussing company counterparts. The process took a few months, but she identified the problems, carried out discussions at the regular meetings and developed a solution along with the means for improvements to the process as required by law. Specifically, while the ambulance would have the Epi-Pens and trained personnel, there was a communication gap that existed between the first responder and the school: There was no private channel over which to communicate with the school so as to ascertain which children had health issues on a particular bus that is in an emergency. So she budgeted a few thousand dollars to purchase this private channel so they would be in compliance with HIPPA privacy laws. She also set forth an interim solution until that channel was in place.

I am providing the details of the bus emergency plan that she worked up on my blog at Flourishing With Food Allergies. It is important for me to state that if parents ask these questions of their own town, that they do so respectfully. A parent’s concern for their child should not manifest into anger at the town officials or school employees. Patience is important as well. This process took several months--but it was well worth the effort and the peace of mind it gave me. The fire chief even thanked me for being patient and nice--which leads me to believe that people often get impatient and angry over issues such as these.

The second issue that arose during the year was in December, when a friend of mine who volunteered at the school, advised me that my son was sitting alone at the peanut-free table, because the teachers moved him to the end of the table to avoid the other children at that table who were eating diary. This made my friend feel sorry for him and made my heart ache. Because my son had no reactions at all over the first four months of school and showed an ability to understand and comply with his allergy, my husband and I decided that he should be moved to the regular lunch table. But the nurse at the school was not pleased about this decision, as she felt he was safe where he was sitting.

Even so, I persisted with this change and explained that I had to be concerned not only with my son’s physical well being, but with his emotional well being as well. My pediatrician strongly concurred with me and sent the nurse a note stating that my son should be fine at the regular lunch table since he was not sensitive to dairy by touch or through the air. It took about four weeks to get the school to agree to move our son. During this time, I wrote two letters requesting the move, the pediatrician faxed in his note, the nurse and I had two ten to twenty-minute phone conversations. The nurse also requested that I come in for a lunchroom meeting with the principal, cafeteria manager, teacher assistant and her to see the “chaos” of the lunchroom. Finally, she requested that I sign a waiver. Only then was everyone agreeable that our son could sit near people eating dairy at the peanut-free table. If that went well, then he’d be moved to the regular lunch table after a few more weeks. During the entire year he ate his lunch on a tray to avoid spills and to serve as a reminder to others that he has food allergies. (He said he liked eating on the tray.) Once he moved to the regular table, he seemed quite happy and there continued to be no reactions.

The third issue that occurred was in his peanut/tree nut-free classroom. One time when I was emptying his backpack, found his brown paper bag that contained his snack had a “NUT BAR” in it. One of the other children had brought these in and the teacher sent one home in each child’s back pack. This nut bar had both peanuts and milk. I was perplexed and disappointed with this decision. I asked the teacher why she did this, via email, and she replied that she thought someone in our house might enjoy it. I disagree with this decision and kindly let her know my preference for the future. On another occasion, she advised me that she planned an experiment where the children were to make butter from shaking heavy cream in a jar. When I expressed my concern to her and offered other science experiments that I found on the Internet, she decided not to do the “butter-making” experiment.

In summary, the issues for us involved:

  • Confirming the school bus, town emergency and school personnel had a school bus emergency procedure in place that took food allergies (and other health issues especially asthma) into consideration;

  • Starting off at the peanut-free table at lunch, then migrating to the regular lunch table half way through the year, when no reactions occurred; and

  • Communicating with the classroom teacher about candy bars and experiments in the classroom.

Has it changed your perspectives on school that she wrote about in the book?

I don’t believe so.

I feel that not sending my son to preschool was a good decision for him. He was ready for kindergarten both academically and socially. His spirit was good. He had no issues regarding separate from me. In fact, he once told me he didn’t miss me at all, then he thought about what he said, and added, “Well maybe a little mom…” I think in an effort to make me feel better. The only con to this decision is that I was less prepared than I could have been. Specifically, I was not used to others caring for my son so I felt quite worried when he entered kindergarten.

I feel that doing the challenge test was necessary to confirm my son’s reaction to dairy for him to know, for me to know and for the school nurse and teacher to know. Although the results were terrible, and made me feel worried, I also felt somewhat vindicated that my careful avoidance of dairy over the past five years was necessary and that I hadn’t been overreacting or “crazy.”

In summary, I feel it was important for me to think through each concern carefully and question various school and bussing procedures. I also feel that being proactive and initiating communication was important to alleviate worries and obtain answers. Further, reconsidering previous decisions such as the best place for my son to sit during lunch is something that I think is reasonable. Also, being patient, kind and respectful is important for everyone involved, but mostly for the sake of the child’s health and happiness.

Thank you to Ms. Anderson for sharing her hearfelt and personal experiences. You can read more information on her website Flourishing with Food Allergies.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What's Your Favorite Book This Week?

I found this What's Your Favorite Book This Week Feature at J. Kaye's Blog and decided to share my thoughts here after leaving a comment. I've been in a bit of a reading funk lately as I had a rough road with a prolonged bout of Bronchitis that took over a month to recover from. I hadn't been able to focus on reading or blogging as much. I have some reviews to write and catch up on and I will get to those soon. This week, I finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and so far it's hands down my favorite book of the week. I haven't been reading as many mysteries lately and I really enjoyed this one. It has some squeamish and graphic scenes but it is such a powerful story and it is extremely well written. I couldn't put it down while reading the last half of the book. I immediately started the next book in the series The Girl who played with Fire by Stief Larsson that I was fortunate to win from Stone Soup (A BIG thank you to Katrina!)and it arrived in the mail just last week. I found out that the 3rd and final book The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest won't be released in hardback until May 11, 2010 BUT I found even better news that there will be a paperback edition available October 21, 2009 and I've already signed up for an email alert to be notified by Amazon when it will be ready! It's strange that the paperback edition will be available before the hardback edition but I'm not complaining. It will be easier to wait until October rather than next May for the next book in the series.

So what about you? What's your favorite book this week?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Review: Solving Zoe by Barbara Dee

Solving Zoe by Barbara Dee is an entertaining look at middle school life through the eyes of Zoe, a 12 year old girl who is in 6th grade at a private gifted school in New York. Zoe follows in the footsteps of her gifted sister who is is the drama queen of the family and usually gets the main parts in the school plays and her brother who is a math Olympiad genius. Zoe is figuring out how she fits in to the school and amongst the other kids including a distancing relationship with her long time best friend Dana. A new friendship develops with a boy new to the school, Lucas. He is different and many of the other kids don't like him. Lucas is a cryptanalyst and is able to decipher ciphers and hieroglyphics. Zoe finds his private notebook and is able to decipher some of the ciphers Lucas has written. This takes the story down a different path in which Zoe in which Lucas challenges her to be real and true to herself. He may go about it in a way that causes Zoe even more trouble at school and with her classmates. Zoe is responsible for pet sitting lizards and she learns that she must follow her own instincts when problems arise. There are many lessons Zoe learns along the way and I like that she learned that being different and not fitting in has its benefits. Zoe learns that it's important to be true to yourself and follow your instincts even when other kids challenge you to be the same as they are so that they will accept you. It takes a lot of maturity and strength to stand up to the "popular" crowd.

Solving Zoe is a wonderful example of middle school fiction at its best. The story is funny, entertaining and the characters are drawn with a depth and complexity that don't make them just superficial characters. The story itself is one that the reader can learn about ciphers and cryptanalysis in which the author presents in an interesting fashion. There are examples throughout the book of ciphers and in the back of the book there is an answer key with explanations and background information. Ms. Dee also includes a list of sources to explore books about codes and ciphers that is a great resource that complements the book.

Make sure to check out Barbara Dee's website, where you can find out more information about Solving Zoe including discussion questions and information about the author.

Barbara recently started a blog as well so stop by and visit Barbara Dee Blogs.

*Thank you to the author for sending me this book.

Mailbox Monday: Catching Up Again...

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. I didn't post a Mailbox last week as I was still in recovery mode from a severe case of bronchitis and other complications which took over a month to recover from. I'm getting back into the swing of things and plan to be blogging more regularly again. Here is my Mailbox for the past two weeks:

Re-issues from Harper Collins and TLC Book Tours:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Review: Pieces of Ice by Timothy D. Bellavia and Kristin Walsh

Guest Review of Pieces of Ice: An Autobiographical, Tell-All, Picture Book by Timothy D. Bellavia and Kristin Walsh, written by my friend and avid book reader Bonnie Findlay.

(available on

Description from Amazon:
"Although (Pieces of Ice) has illustrations, simple language, and point of view seemingly through the eyes of a child, the reader quickly realizes that the book is not for a child. There are tales of humiliation, parental indifference, religious intolerance, an abusive lover, even a bout with skin cancer - all of which somehow ride the line between sadness and hilarity."

You see them in church. You see them at parent/teacher conferences. You see them on vacations. Them. THE PERFECT FAMILY. Maybe people think your family is THE PERFECT FAMILY. But is there such a thing as THE PERFECT FAMILY? In public most families put on their best behaviors to appear that way. Many families ARE loving and somewhat happy. But perfect? Of course not.

Timothy Bellavia appeared to belong to THE PERFECT FAMILY but looks can be decieving. He comes from a loving family, but misunderstanding, anger, and embarassment abound in Tim's book as he describes growing up an effeminate male and later "comes out" as a gay man. His protection mode? Freezing up his emotions, like "pieces of ice", freezing out whatever or whoever hurt or offended him.

At the same time, Tim is able to look back and write these anecdotes with a droll sense of humour that will make the reader smile, perhaps laugh a bit...reading about Draino had me giggling.

In the Epilogue, Tim writes, "Perhaps I have healed myself through this memoir, and maybe it will help heal others." He is a survivor. I see this book as a help to others-to help show them they are not the only ones-they are not alone.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATIONS: Tim messaged me: "Well, the illustrations were mainly done throughout my time in NYC. They date back to 1994 through the present time. I tend to take the sketch diary literally. Some of these illustrations are simple pen and ink drawings that were enhanced through photo collage. [Kristin Walsh and I] took pictures of textures on our cameras and popped them into place. Thus giving the book a feel of textures ... kind of like those old Ginn and Company basal readers from school."

*Review submitted by Bonnie Findlay*

Check out Timothy D. Bellavia's website, here.

Check out this Pieces of Ice Book video:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mailbox Monday~September 7th~Happy Labor Day

    Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.

    From Paperbackswap:

    Sunday, September 6, 2009

    Sunday Salon: On the Mend

    I shared last week in my Sunday Salon post that I was fighting a cough. Well, the cough turned into bronchitis so that is the reason why you may have noticed that I haven't been posting as much or commenting on your blogs this past week. I'm on the mend, but it's a slow process. I haven't been as focused with my reading and have had trouble sticking with a book. I did finally pick a winner and started reading Solving Zoe by Barbara Dee which has been an enjoyable read so far. Look for my review this week. Do you guys have this dilemma when you're sick? Often, I can read more when I am sick and resting but this cough has made it difficult to focus on much.

    I received the Your Blog Rocks Award from Laura at Laura's Reviews:

    Thanks Laura! Laura passed this award on to recent blogs she had visited that rock. I'm going to do the same and award this to 3 new blogs that I've recently found and added to my google reader.:

    Tuesday, September 1, 2009

    Review: Crossed Wires by Rosy Thornton

    Crossed Wires by Rosy Thornton is a charming, cozy and gentle novel about two single parents whose lives cross by fate through the phone lines of the call center at an auto insurance company. Mina is a single mom of one shy and isolated daughter Sal and works at the call center. Peter is a widow and single dad of twins Cassie and Kim who is struggling with his own loneliness. They live in different villages two hours away from each other and develop a friendship through their phone calls. They share their feelings and issues related to parenthood and support each other along the way, all at a distance. Their lives connect unexpectedly and it is enjoyable to watch their friendship develop along the way. Crossed Wires is a slow paced and delightful book to read with a cup of tea or coffee by your side as you discover the joys life can bring to two people whose lives cross by fate. Crossed Wires highlights those unexpected friendships that have the possibility to grow and change you as a person and bring joy to your life unexpectedly. If you're looking for an enjoyable book to read this fall or winter, pick up a copy of Crossed Wires.

    You can read more about the author Rosy Thornton who is a professor at Cambridge and author of several books in addition to Crossed Wires , here at her website, Rosy Thornton.

    Thank you to the author for sending me this book.