Nov 30, 2009

2010 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge


I'm signing up for another challenge..This one is the 2010 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge hosted by Reading With Tequila.

Here are the rules:



The Levels:


Level I - Read 5 books from the 2009 Book Blogger Recommendation List

Level II - Read 10 books

Level III - Read 15 books

Level IV - Read 20 books

Level V - Read 20+ books



The Rules:



•Challenge will run January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010. Participants can join anytime throughout the challenge.



•Create an intro post, linking back to this post.



•Sign up with the MckLinky below. Please link to your challenge intro post, not your blog home page.



•Chose your own books from the list. You can decide to read books only on the Top 25 list or from the entire recommendation list. You do not have to make a list of books before the challenge begins.



•All forms of books acceptable (audiobooks, eBooks, etc.)

•Rereads do not count towards the completion of the challenge. The challenge is about discovering books that are new to you.

•You don't need a blog to participate.

•Reviews, while always appreciated, are not mandatory.







I'm going with Level IV - Read 20 books.

Quite a bit of those books listed I have, or my local library has, so it fits right in with my no buying books commitment.


1.  City of Bones- Cassandra Clare (review)
2.  City of Ashes- Cassandra Clare
3.  Stupid and Contagious- Caprice Crane
4.  Stargirl- Jerry Spinelli
5.  City of Glass- Cassandra Clare
6.  Perfect Chemistry- Simone Elkeles
7.  Catching Fire- Suzanne Collins
8. Just Listen- Sarah Dessen
9.  The Kite Runner- Khaled Hosseini
10.  One for the Money- Janet Evanovich
11.  This Lullaby- Sarah Dessen

Book of the Month (November)



My book of the Month for November is

600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster




600 Hours of Edward

This book truly is a good heartwarming read.  Edward is a great character, I was truly sad when the book ended.



What was your book of the month?

Nov 29, 2009

Sunday Salon




I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day!  I'm definitely paying the price from eating all that pumpkin pie...my pants aren't cooperating with me. : ( 




photo from utexas.edu

 I'm huge fan of college football, and I just have to give a shout out to my Longhorns.  They sure had me worried there for awhile, but we pulled through. 



My reading has taken a hittin' recently, but no problem. I seriously doubt I'll be getting  my November pick for my 1001 Books Challenge read, but I'm not going to sweat it.  I made the challenge a easy, stress free one, so I guess will be reading The Picture of Dorian Gray for December instead. 

This week I finished

Away Laughing on a Fast Camel: Even More Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson Book 5)

The Little Book


My review is up for The Little Book by Selden Edwards, but I've decided not to review the Georgia Nicolson books.  I'll just say it is a awesome YA series with plenty of laughs.  I recommend giving them a read.


Hope everyone has a great Sunday and week ahead.


Nov 28, 2009

Lady Ambrosia's Creations Contest

I came upon a great contest at Lady Ambrosia's Creations.  The contest is for a complete blog makeover design.

I've seen so many great designs by her, and I for one would love a chance to win.

Here's the link to sign up...link

Contest ends December 10th

My TBR

As I mentioned before I have a huge TBR, and for 2010 I'm making it my goal to get this way down.  I've joined the 100+ Reading Challenge with a goal of 210 books, and I've joined the YA Reading Challenge choosing the Stepping it Up level (50 YA books), hopefully that will help. I've seen some interesting challenges up, but some would require me to purchase books, and that's a no-no.  I've made a commitment to not buying books this year, but I know that will be very hard to do, so we'll see how that goes.  I'm not putting my PBS WL on hold though, so I will be getting some books in throughout the year.  I've already slowed down on the swaps, i'm currently in 2 only, and though i've been tempted to sign up for some in the last couple of weeks, I haven't. : ) 

Here's a picture of what my shelves are looking like....



I also have one more shelf to the side of this that I wasn't able to get in the picture, but it looks just like this.

Challenges have been a great way to motivate me to read..if anyone knows of some challenges out there that would be great for knocking this out, let me know.


Nov 27, 2009

Stephen King writing a sequel to The Shining?

While surfing the net I came upon a article about Stephen King mentioning that he was writing a sequel to The Shining.  I thought 1. I love The Shining, so I would love a sequel,  2.  It sounds too good to be true. 

What vibe do you get from the article?


 link

What do you think?  Would you  read it?

Nov 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day and The Longhorn/Aggie Game

By now everyone is laying around with a stuffed stomach, gotta love the food!  I really hope everyone had  a great Thanksgiving Day.  The best moment of today for me was watching my 3 yr old watch the Macy's Day Parade.  She was so excited with everything she saw, and of course when Santa came out she started dancing around.  I couldn't stop smiling. 

I'm truly blessed!

The perfect ending to my day would be a Longhorn win! Hook em' Horns!  It's currently halftime and we are up by a touchdown, but the aggies are playing hard and with heart.  I hope for a win, and the dream of a championship still possible.


Hook em' Horns!!!!!!

Game on!

eta:  Victorious!!!!

Nov 23, 2009

The Little Book by Selden Edwards




The Little Book


The Little Book - Selden Edwards

From Goodreads-

The Little Book is the extraordinary tale of Wheeler Burden, California-exiled heir of the famous Boston banking Burdens, philosopher, student of history, legend’s son, rock idol, writer, lover of women, recluse, half-Jew, and Harvard baseball hero. In 1988 he is forty-seven, living in San Francisco. Suddenly he is—still his modern self—wandering in a city and time he knows mysteriously well: fin de si├Ęcle Vienna. It is 1897, precisely ninety-one years before his last memory and a half-century before his birth.






It’s not long before Wheeler has acquired appropriate clothes, money, lodging, a group of young Viennese intellectuals as friends, a mentor in Sigmund Freud, a bitter rival, a powerful crush on a luminous young American woman, a passing acquaintance with local celebrity Mark Twain, and an incredible and surprising insight into the dashing young war-hero father he never knew.





But the truth at the center of Wheeler’s dislocation in time remains a stubborn mystery that will take months of exploration and a lifetime of memories to unravel and that will, in the end, reveal nothing short of the eccentric Burden family’s unrivaled impact on the very course of the coming century. The Little Book is a masterpiece of unequaled storytelling that announces Selden Edwards as one of the most dazzling, original, entertaining, and inventive novelists of our time.


I had really high hopes for The Little Book, and what I actually got was a book that was trying to hard.

I immediately fell in love with the description of the book thinking you can't get better than a time travel book with the setting of  beautiful Vienna, but I think the author tried too hard to make this profound.  It was so slow moving, and would drag on and on. In the beginning I got a feeling Wheeler was a sophisticated version of Forrest Gump, and I was liking the way it was going.  As the story goes along though I notice I was not invested in the character of  Wheeler, and there was nothing really endearing about him.   Wheeler fell flat, and my interest in the book waned.

I was also disappointed that the time travel wasn't explored enough.  We never really understand what's behind it.  What a huge letdown.  Though the historical points in The Little Book  were interesting.  I learned quite a bit about Sigmund Freud, and the war against Hitler. 

I do have to give recognition to main character of The Little Book, Vienna.  Selden Edwards did bring Vienna in the 1800's to life for me.  The descriptions of the place and time were beautiful, and you can tell the author did alot of research.  

The Little Book took me awhile to get through, it's not a book I would recommend, though if you're interested in reading about old Vienna, then I would say give it a try.

Rating: 2/5

YA Reading Challenge

I will be participating in the 2010 YA Reading Challenge hosted by J Kaye's Book Blog.
Here are the rules

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.



--Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post. To learn how to sign up without having a blog, click here.



2. There are four levels:



--The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels.



--Just My Size YA Reading Challenge – Read 25 Young Adult novels.



--Stepping It Up YA Reading Challenge – Read 50 Young Adult novels.



--Super Size Me YA Reading Challenge – Read 75 Young Adult novels.



3. Audio, eBooks, paper all count.



4. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.



5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.



6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to your post where your Young Adult novels will be listed. Include the URL so that other viewers can find this fun challenge. If you’d prefer to put your list in the sidebar of your blog, please leave your viewers the link to the sign up page. Again, so viewers can join the challenge too.


I've chosen to do the Stepping it Up reading challenge, which consist of 50 YA books.


  1.  City of Bones- Cassandra Clare (review)

  2.   The Secret Year- Jennifer Hubbard

  3.   City of Ashes- Cassandra Clare

  4.   Stargirl- Jerry Spinelli

  5.  Enthusiasm- Polly Shulman

  6.  Paper Towns- John Green

  7.  Startled by His Furry Shorts- Louise Rennison

  8.   October Breezes- Maria Hooley

  9.  City of Glass- Cassandra Clare

  10.   Love is a Many Trousered Thing- Louise Rennison

  11.  Artichoke's Heart- Suzanne Supplee

  12.   Oblivion Road - Alex McAulay

  13.   That Summer- Sarah Dessen

  14.  The Unwritten Rule- Elizabeth Scott

  15.  The Birthday Ball- Lois Lowry

  16.  Perfect Chemistry-Simone Elkeles

  17.   The Mark- Jen Nadol

  18. Prada and Prejudice- Mandy Hubbard

  19. The Oracle of Dating- Allison Van Diepen

  20. The Summer of Skinny Dipping- Amanda Howells

  21. The Karma Club- Jessica Brody

  22. The Clearing- Heather Davis

  23. The Carrie Diaries- Candace Bushnell

  24. Shadow Hills- Anastasia Hopcus

  25. Friend is Not A Verb- Daniel Ehrenhaft

  26. Leaving Paradise- Simone Elkeles

  27. Bruiser- Neal Schusterman

  28. Claire de Lune- Christine Johnson

  29. Jumping Off Swings- Jo Knowles

  30. Virgin Territory- James Lecesne

  31. NightShade- Andrea Cremer

  32. The Eternal Ones- Kirsten Miller

  33. Just One Wish- Janette Rallison

  34. The Juliet Club- Suzanne Harper

  35. Book of Love- Abra Ebner

  36. Nevermore- Kelly Creagh

  37. Gimme a Call- Sarah Mlynowski

  38. The DUFF- Kody Keplinger

  39. Geek Abroad- Piper Banks

  40. Tyger Tyger- Kersten Hamilton

  41. Return to Paradise- Simone Elkeles

  42. Mockingjay- Suzanne Collins
  43. Cracked Up To Be- Courtney Summers
  44. Just Listen- Sarah Dessen
  45. Incantation- Alice Hoffman
  46. Jane - April Lindner
  47. Something, Maybe - Elizabeth Scott
  48. Rules of Attraction- Simone Elkeles
  49. This Lullaby- Sarah Dessen
  50. Crash Into Me- Albert Borris

Nov 22, 2009

100 + Reading Challenge

I've decided to join in on the 100 + Reading Challenge hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog.  I figure this will be motivation to get some much needed TBR reading done.
The rules for this challenge are
1. The goal is to read 100 or more books. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

--Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post. To learn how to sign up without having a blog, click here.

2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Library books, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Books started before the 1st do not count.

6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to your post where your books will be listed. Include the URL to this post so that other viewers can find this fun challenge. If you’d prefer to put your list in the sidebar of your blog, please leave your viewers the link to the sign up page. Again, so viewers can join the challenge too.




My goal in 2010 is 210 books. 


  1.   Shanghai Girls- Lisa See (review)

  2.   City of Bones- Cassandra Clare  (review)

  3.   I Captured the Castle- Dodie Smith

  4.   The Secret Year- Jennifer Hubbard

  5.   City of Ashes- Cassandra Clare

  6.   Stupid and Contagious- Caprice Crane

  7.   Stargirl- Jerry Spinelli

  8.   Enthusiasm- Polly Shulman

  9.   Paper Towns- John Green

  10.   Startled by his Furry Shorts- Louise Rennison

  11.   October Breezes- Maria Hooley

  12.  Love is a Mix Tape- Rob Sheffield

  13.   City of Glass- Cassandra Clare

  14.  Love is a Many Trousered Thing- Louise Rennison

  15.   Spellmans Strike Again- Lisa Lutz

  16.   Reunion- J.L Penn

  17.  Mommywood- Tori Spelling

  18.   Artichoke's Heart- Suzanne Supplee

  19.   Oblivion Road - Alex McAulay

  20.   The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane-  Katherine Howe

  21.  The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest- Stieg Larsson

  22.  That Summer- Sarah Dessen

  23.   The Unwritten Rule- Elizabeth Scott

  24.  The Birthday Ball- Lois Lowry

  25.   Perfect Chemistry- Simone Elkeles

  26.   The Lies We Told- Diane Chamberlain

  27.   The Mark- Jen Nadol

  28. Passion, Betrayl, and Killer Highlights- Kyra Davis

  29. Prada and  Prejudice- Mandy Hubbard

  30. The Oracle of Dating- Allison Van Diepen

  31. Seven Year Switch- Claire Cook

  32. Obsession, Deceit, and Really Dark Chocolate- Kyra Davis

  33. The Swan Thieves- Elizabeth Kostova

  34. The Summer of Skinny Dipping- Amanda Howells

  35. The Karma Club- Jessica Brody

  36. The Clearing- Heather Davis

  37. The Carrie Diaries- Candace Bushnell

  38. Shadow Hills- Anastasia Hopcus

  39. Friend is Not A Verb- Daniel Ehrenhaft

  40. Leaving Paradise- Simone Elkeles

  41. Bruiser- Neal Schusterman

  42. Claire De Lune- Christine Johnson

  43. Lust, Loathing and a Little Lip Gloss- Kyra Davis

  44. Jumping Off Swings- Jo Knowles

  45. Survival in Auschwitz- Levi Primo

  46. Nightshade- Andrea Cremer

  47. Virgin Territory- James Lecesne

  48. Arcadia Falls- Carol Goodman

  49. The Eternal Ones- Kirsten Miller

  50. Bird in Hand- Christina Kline

  51. Just One Wish- Janette Rallison

  52. The Juliet Club- Suzanne Harper

  53. Crazy Love- Leslie Morgan Steiner

  54. Looking for Andrew McCarthy- Jenny Colgan

  55. Book of Love- Abra Ebner

  56. Nevermore- Kelly Creagh

  57. Beachcombers- Nancy Thayer

  58. Gimme a Call- Sarah Mlynowski

  59. The Duff- Kody Keplinger

  60. Summer's Child- Diane Chamberlain

  61. You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried- Susannah Gora

  62. Geek Abroad- Piper Banks

  63. Unchartered Unterritori- Tori Spelling

  64. Tyger Tyger - Kersten Hamilton

  65. O' Juliet- Robin Maxwell

  66. Return to Paradise- Simone Elkeles

  67. Just Like Me, Only Better- Carol Snow

  68. Mockingjay- Suzanne Collins

  69. Cracked Up To Be- Courtney Summers

  70. When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra - Colin Falconer
  71. One for the Money- Janet Evanovich
  72. Love in Mid Air- Kim Wright
  73. Two for the Dough- Janet Evanovich
  74. Shoe Addicts Anonymous- Beth Harbison
  75. The Weight of Silence- Heather Gudenkauf
  76. Just Listen- Sarah Dessen
  77. Sonata for Miriam- Linda Olsson
  78. Into the Wild- Jon Krakauer
  79. Incantation- Alice Hoffman
  80. You Had Me at Halo- Amanda Ashby
  81. The little Stranger- Sarah Waters
  82. The Kite Runner- Khaled Hosseini
  83. The Transformation of Things-Jillain Cantor
  84. Jane - April Lindner
  85. Something, Maybe- Elizabeth Scott
  86. Bright Lights, Big Ass- Jen Lancaster
  87. Rules of Attraction- Simone Elkeles
  88. This Lullaby- Sarah Dessen
  89. The Christmas Gift- R. William Bennett
  90. Super in the City- Daphne Uviller
  91. Juliet - Anne Fortier
  92. Crash Into Me- Albert Borris
  93. Lucky- Alice Sebold
  94. Rumor Has It- Jill Mansell
  95. Match Me If You Can- Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  96. Shit My Dad Says- Justin Halpern
  97. The True Story of Hansel and Gretel- Louise Murphy
  98. Starting From Square Two - Caren Lissner

Sunday Salon




This week was another slow week for me, and with the kids out for the Thanksgiving Holiday, I doubt I'll get that much reading done this week.  I finally got rid of that sore throat, and throbbing earache, but today I woke up congested, and my body is aching. Can I get a break!

With the new year just around the corner I've noticed all the challenges being posted.  I'm still lurking around reading about all the new challenges, looking forward to choosing which ones I'll be joining.   Right now I have a TBR of 350 plus, so I really don't want to buying so many books in 2010.  My main goal is getting some of these books read I have here, before adding more.  I will have to choose challenges that don't require me to have to go out and buy books. 

Everyone have a great Sunday, and week ahead!


Nov 18, 2009

Wishful Wednesday



What Books have you been wishing for lately. Weekly event hosted by Should be Reading.





The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3)

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

This series is so good.  I've been not so patiently waiting for this to come out.  I'm not really a huge fan of this genre, but these books are must buy for me.  Sadly, this is the last in the series.





Galway Bay

Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly

Historical fiction





Fire

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Fire is the prequel to Graceling. 





What books are you wishing for?

Nov 17, 2009

Christmas Reading Challenge Book Picks


As I mentioned before I'll be participating in a Christmas Reading Challenge, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict.  I'm really excited about this challenge, because I cannot remember ever reading a Christmas book before. I could have, but if I did, it obviously wasn't memorable. lol!   I had a lot of fun coming up with titles to read for this and I have some reads picked out already.





The Gift: A Novel

The Gift by Cecelia Ahern

From Goodreads-

Lou Suffern is practised in the art of concealment. He is, also, always overstretched, trying to do too many things at once. His overburdened schedule gives him few moments of peace, even in his sleep. And when he spends time at home with his wife and family, he is always distracted, and, mentally, somewhere else. On a cold winter morning, Lou is on his way to work when he encounters Gabe, a homeless street dweller, sitting outside an office building. Lou is intrigued by him, and contrives to get him a job in the post room. But this act of charity rebounds on him, and Gabe’s presence begins to grate on Lou -- particularly when he discovers that the latter seems capable of being in two places at the same time. Christmas is drawing near, and before the season is over, Lou’s life will be irrevocably change by the casual act of kindness he has performed.



Apart from the sheer storytelling skill of The Gift, perhaps Cecelia Ahern’s most considerable achievement is the way in which she has taken a narrative which could easily have moved into rather twee territory, and very efficiently kept sentimentality at bay. That's not to say that the novel isn't deeply affecting, without ever trying to engage our emotions in a synthetic way, Ahern succeeds in involving us completely. In fact, the title could be said to be apposite -- it's a book that deserves to be a gift given by many people to the readers in their lives. --Barry Forshaw





The Christmas List: A Novel




The Christmas List by Richard  Paul Evans

From Goodreads-

Dear Reader,
When I was in seventh grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Johnson, gave our class the intriguing (if somewhat macabre) assignment of writing our own obituaries. Oddly, I don't remember much of what I wrote about my life, but I do remember how I died: in first place on the final lap of the Daytona 500. At the time, I hadn't considered writing as an occupation, a field with a remarkably low on-the-job casualty rate.

What intrigues me most about Mrs. Johnson's assignment is the opportunity she gave us to confront our own legacy. How do we want to be remembered? That question has motivated our species since the beginning of time: from building pyramids to putting our names on skyscrapers.

As I began to write this book, I had two objectives: First, I wanted to explore what could happen if someone read their obituary before they died and saw, firsthand, what the world really thought of them. Their legacy.

Second, I wanted to write a Christmas story of true redemption. One of my family's holiday traditions is to see a local production of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. I don't know how many times I've seen it (perhaps a dozen), but it still thrills me to see the change that comes over Ebenezer Scrooge as he transforms from a dull, tight-fisted miser into a penitent, "giddy-as-aschoolboy" man with love in his heart. I always leave the show with a smile on my face and a resolve to be a better person. That's what I wanted to share with you, my dear readers, this Christmas -- a holiday tale to warm your season, your homes, and your hearts.

Merry Christmas





A Christmas Carol (Value Books)


The Christmas Carol- Charles Dickens

From Goodreads-

One of the best-loved and oft-quoted stories of "the man who invented Christmas"--English writer Charles Dickens--A Christmas Carol debuted in 1843 and has touched millions of hearts since. Cruel miser Ebeneezer Scrooge has never met a shilling he doesn't like. . .and hardly a man he does. And he hates Christmas most of all. When Scrooge is visited by his old partner, Jacob Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come, he learns eternal lessons of charity, kindness, and goodwill.





On Strike for Christmas

On Strike For Christmas- Sheila Roberts

From Goodreads-

At Christmastime, it seems as though a woman’s work is never done. Trimming the tree, mailing the cards, schlepping to the mall, the endless wrapping—bah humbug! So this year, Joy and Laura and the rest of their knitting group decide to go on strike. If their husbands and families want a nice holiday—filled with parties, decorations, and presents—well, they’ll just have to do it themselves. The boycott soon takes on a life of its own when a reporter picks up the story and more women join in. But as Christmas Day approaches, Joy, Laura, and their husbands confront larger issues in their marriages and discover that a little holiday magic is exactly what they need to come together.


Sheila Roberts gives the best gift of all in this funny, heartwarming novel that touches the very core of Christmas spirit.




I know I'll be reading at least the four I've listed, but if I come up with more than the list will be longer.  I've had some suggestions from other bloggers, so i'll be looking at those and if any seem enjoyable to me, I think the more the merrier.

Nov 15, 2009

Sunday Salon

The Sunday Salon.com


 For the last couple of days I've had a sore throat, and a major throbbing in my right ear, though luckily no fever.  It has been a slow reading week for me, everytime I would lay down to read, I'd end up falling asleep. I completed three books, 600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster, Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph, and The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriaty.


Shrinking VioletThe Year Of Secret Assignments600 Hours of Edward


I'm currently reading The Little Book by Seldon Edwards.  I'm also getting my books picked out for the Christmas Reading Challenge, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict.  If you have any Christmas book recommendations, please send them my way. 

Have a great Sunday and week ahead!


Nov 11, 2009

600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster


600 Hours of Edward


600 Hours of Edward- Craig Lancaster

From Goodreads-

Edward Stanton is a man hurtling headlong toward middle age. His mental illness has led him to be sequestered in his small house in a small city, where he keeps his distance from the outside world and the parents from whom he is largely estranged. For the most part, Edward sticks to things he can count on...and things he can count. But over the course of 25 days (or 600 hours, as Edward prefers to look at it) several events puncture the walls Edward has built around himself. In the end, he faces a choice: Open his life to experience and deal with the joys and heartaches that come with it, or remain behind his closed door, a solitary soul.


600 Hours of Edward is a wonderful, inspirational story of a man who has Asperger's Syndrome. This was a quick read for me, I couldn't get enough of Edwards story. This is author Craig Lancaster's first novel, and he really did a wonderful job portraying the life of someone with Aspergers.


Edward is such a endearing character, it's very hard not fall in love with his idiosyncrasies. I was captivated by his huge heart, and his funny, quirky ways. At the beginning of the book, we definitely see a pattern in his life that's comforting for him. That is what he prefers, and needs to function in life. He needs to abide by schedules, and routines, but slowly as the book progresses we see his schedule getting interrupted, and new people coming into his life. At first he is very troubled by it, but slowly he realizes what he is getting...friendship, and a life. Donna, and her son Kyle are new neighbors, and when kyle befriends Edward, a friendship is struck, and Edwards grows from this new friendship. A big part of the book is Edwards relationship with his dad. It is a very sad, and disheartening to see how father and son relate to each other. I was rooting for Edward to get the love, and respect he deserved. He also takes a dab at online dating, hilarity ensues. I couldn't stop smiling while I was reading about the date.

Every morning Edward has to document the time he woke up, and the previous days forecast. He takes this data, because he likes to see the patterns, and he prefers facts. Every night he watches a Dragnet episode, but only the episodes that are in color, 1967 through 1970, and they have to be watched in order. Every chapter begins with the data about the forecast, and the time he woke up, and every chapter ends with a brief description of the Dragnet episode. I love that he starts every paragraph about the Dragnet episode with the episode number, when it aired, the episode's name and him mentioning it is "one of his favorites".

One of the most enjoyable parts of 600 Hours of Edward is his letters of complaint. After the "Garth Brooks incident", when he wrote 49 letter of complaints to Garth Brooks, which resulted in Garth Brooks getting a restraining order against him.  His therapist comes up with the idea to write the letters of complaint but never mail them out. He writes complaints to many people throughout the book. They are very funny, and I laughed quite a bit reading those letters.

600 Hours of Edward really is a great, charming book, that touches your heart. I laughed, I cried, and I was sad when the book ended.


Rating: 4.5/5


This copy was sent to me by Riverbend Publishing for review.

Nov 10, 2009

Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon

Dismantled: A Novel


Dismantled- Jennifer McMahon

From Goodreads-

Henry, Tess, Winnie, and Suz banded together in college to form a group they called the Compassionate Dismantlers. Following the first rule of their manifesto--"To understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart"--these daring misfits spend the summer after graduation in a remote cabin in the Vermont woods committing acts of meaningful vandalism and plotting elaborate, often dangerous, pranks. But everything changes when one particularly twisted experiment ends in Suz's death and the others decide to cover it up.



Nearly a decade later, Henry and Tess are living just an hour's drive from the old cabin. Each is desperate to move on from the summer of the Dismantlers, but their guilt isn't ready to let them go. When a victim of their past pranks commits suicide--apparently triggered by a mysterious Dismantler-style postcard--it sets off a chain of eerie events that threatens to engulf Henry, Tess, and their inquisitive nine-year-old daughter, Emma.



Is there someone who wants to reveal their secrets? Is it possible that Suz did not really die--or has she somehow found a way back to seek revenge?









Dismantled is a book about secrets, and how damaging they can be to people's lives.  I was drawn into the world of the Compassionate Dismantler from the beginning, and as the secrets started to unravel, I was hooked.  Who doesn't like secrets?  

What really grabbed me first were the characters, they were really well written, and clear cut. The author was throrough in describing them, and giving them voices, making sure we understood who they were.  Suz, by far left the strongest impression on my.  In the beginning I was indifferent to her, but as the book progressed, I really started to dislike her.  We learn about Suz through flashbacks, because at the start of the book she is already dead.  Tess, and Henry's memories, and flashbacks of her make her seem larger than life, and later very manipulative.  Another strong character was Emma, who is Tess, and Henry's daughter, she plays a big part in this book, and she helps move the story along.

The pacing of the book is great.  The suspense just kept on building up as you turned each page.  At times I found the book scary, it would give me chills.  Danner, Emma's imaginary friend, is very creepy, but I wished she was explained more. Dismantlers  will definitely keep you reading until late in the day.  The ending is impressive, and creative. 

Dismantled is a well written thriller with great memorable characters.  If you are looking for a wonderful suspense/thriller book, I would suggest picking this one up.

Rating: 4.5/5



Nov 8, 2009

Sunday Salon




This week has been kind of slow in the reading department for me. I just didn't find much time to really sit down, and read.  I manage to read three books, though two were short YA books.  I've been reading quite a bit of YA lately, honestly, I think my daughter has a lot to do with that.  Though i've been surprised how much i'm enjoying them.  My daughter's reading has picked up, and either she'll read something and ask me to read it, so we can discuss, or I'll read it first to see if it's appropriate for her. 

I'm currently reading 600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster, and I'm really enjoying it.  It's about the life of a 39 yr old man who has Asperger's Syndrome.  I should probably be done with it by tomorrow.  Keep in the lookout for the review. 

I have to make a shout out to my Texas Longhorns!  They were on fire yesterday.

Have a great Sunday, and week ahead!

Melissa

Nov 6, 2009

Review of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick




Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

From Goodreads-

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.


I was first drawn to Hush, Hush, because of it's cover, then reading the book description and discovering it was about fallen angels, my interest was peaked even more. 

First, I really enjoyed the whole concept of fallen angels.  It was unique, and very interesting.  Patch's story of how he became a fallen angel was what kept me turning the pages into the night.  The beginning of the book is a prologue dating back to 1565, and those couple of pages grabbed my attention quickly.  Throughout the book the readers are getting little bits of information here and there about the prologue, so we can understand more about how this began.

From the prologue I could sense this was going to be darker than most YA books I've read.  It has a sinister feel, and when Patch was brought into the story, I could tell he wasn't no Edward.  His vibe was dark, and ominous.  I liked it at the beginning, but then it became almost as if the writer was trying to hard to make him a "bad boy". 

The only thing I have a problem with in Hush, Hush  is the relationship between Nora, and Patch.  I didn't understand Nora's attraction to Patch, other than he was good-looking. He came off egotistical and was just plain nasty to her.  It didn't set a good example to the books audience, young adults.  I didn't feel the love, or even like in them, and then we are suppose to believe that they are soul mates of some kind, at the end.  I wasn't buying it.

Hush, Hush  was a quick read for me, and I enjoyed it for the most part. The best thing about this book was the fallen angels concept.  I'm interested in reading the next book in the series, to see where the fallen angels idea goes.

Rating- 3.5/5

Award

I received the Superior Scribblers Award a couple weeks ago from Michelle, at The True Book Addict.  I really enjoy visiting her blog, not only for her great posts, but also for her impeccable taste in music.  Make sure you go check out her blog, its great!



Now for the rules:


•Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

•Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

•Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

•Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

•Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.
 
 
I'm passing the award to these five Superior Scribblers
 
Sherrie at A View of My Life
 
Jenny at Take Me Away
 
 
Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit
 
Cindy at Princess Bookie
 
 
 

Nov 5, 2009

Review of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams




The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams

From Goodreads-

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.



Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.


Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don't forget to bring a towel!
 
 
I've had the whole Hitchhiker's trilogy sitting in my TBR for a couple of years now, so to get me motivated to start, I made a challenge, The Douglas Adams Hitchhikers Challenge.  I'm so glad I read this, because I have never read anything like it before, and it was hilarious to boot.
 
I knew stepping into this challenge that this series has a cult following, and I was intrigued, but still doubtful of its said brilliance. Wow, what imagination Douglas Adams had!  The book was extremely hilarious, and strange.  I already knew from reading reviews that it was a humorous read, but I had no idea how far out there it was.  I was laughing so hard when they described one alien forms horrendous punishment, reciting his bad poetry.  Douglas Adam makes fun of the human race throughout the whole book, and I laughed all the way through. 
 
One of my favorite quotes
 
"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons."
 
  The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is very creative, and nothing like i've read before.  I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

Rating: 4/5

Throwback Thursday




Throwback Thursday is a weekly event hosted by Jenny of Take Me Away.

"It is the time each week to recognize those older books… an older book you’ve always wanted to read, or one that you have read and love; maybe one from your childhood; or review an older book -- how about even a classic!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




The Thorn Birds


From Goodreads-

Colleen McCullough's sweeping saga of dreams, struggles, dark passions, and forbidden love in the Australian Outback has enthralled readers the world over. This is the chronicle of three generations of Clearys, ranchers carving lives from a beautiful, hard land while contending with the bitterness, frailty, and secrets that penetrate their family. Most of all, it is the story of only daughter Meggie and her lifelong relationship with the haunted priest Father Ralph de Bricassart—an intense joining of two hearts and souls that dangerously oversteps sacred boundaries of ethics and dogma.


A poignant love story, a powerful epic of struggle and sacrifice, a celebration of individuality and spirit, Colleen McCullough's acclaimed masterwork remains a monumental literary achievement—a landmark novel to be cherished and read again and again.


I had heard many great things about this book, and finally read it about 8 yrs ago, and completely fell in love with it.  It definitely is a saga with so much going on, you literally are engrossed in it until the end.  I recently came upon Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series, and after reading good things about it, I'm now in the process of getting all 7 books in the series, so I can start.



 

Nov 4, 2009

"Waiting on" Wednesday - Not My Daughter






"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.




This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:




From Fantastic Fiction:
 
When Susan Tate's seventeen-year-old daughter, Lily, announces she is pregnant, Susan is stunned. A single mother, she has struggled to do everything right. She sees the pregnancy as an unimaginable tragedy for both Lily and herself.



Then comes word of two more pregnancies among high school juniors who happen to be Lily's best friends-and the town turns to talk of a pact. As fingers start pointing, the most ardent criticism is directed at Susan. As principal of the high school, she has always been held up as a role model of hard work and core values. Now her detractors accuse her of being a lax mother, perhaps not worthy of the job of shepherding impressionable students. As Susan struggles with the implications of her daughter's pregnancy, her job, financial independence, and long-fought-for dreams are all at risk.


The emotional ties between mothers and daughters are stretched to breaking in this emotionally wrenching story of love and forgiveness. Once again, Barbara Delinsky has given us a powerful novel, one that asks a central question: What does it take to be a good mother?
 
 
I haven't read much of Barbara Delinsky's books, but this one seems great.  I have two girls, and i'm interested in reading about mother and daughter relationships.
 
Released January 5, 2010

 
 
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Doubleday (January 5, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385524986

Wishful Wednesday




What Books have you been wishing for lately. Weekly event hosted by Should be Reading.



With so many new, interesting books coming out, and plenty of older books I really want to read, its so easy to come up with a couple of books I'm wishing for.


Fiction



Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel


I wasn't  really fan of The Time Traveler's Wife, but the book description on this one sounds really good, and I'm always willing to give a author another try.




The Last Dickens: A Novel


I'm a fan of both mysteries, and historical fiction, why not get both in one book.  I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this.



Nonfiction




Jack and Rochelle: A Holocaust Story of Love and Resistance


This one is going to have my emotions flying all over the place.  Enough Said.






Woodstock: Three Days That Rocked the World


I saw a special on TV about Woodstock not to long ago, and after watching it I immediately started searching for books about it.  This one seems really cool, the description says there are a lot of pictures and interviews.



What are you wishing for this Wednesday?