Dec 31, 2009

A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker

A Match Made in High School

A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker

Publicating Date- February 2010

From Goodreads:

When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: Jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.


A Match Made in High School was a fun, and original young adult book. The whole marriage course was a great idea to get the characters from different cliques to have to interact with each other. I loved that you had the main character, Fiona, paired with the popular jock guy, Todd. Surprisingly Todd is a cheerleader, and not some football player.

I enjoy the interaction between Fiona and Todd. The pranks were hilarious, and fun. Johnny Mercer was a character that came in and out of the storyline, so I didn't really feel that attached to him. Yeah, his character was a great guy, but I didn't really feel like I knew him. I am a total fan of Todd. Amanda was the typical snotty cheerleader with a sensitive side. All together the characters were great, and I enjoyed all of them, just wish some were put more into the forefront.

I for one was wishing for a different ending, but in no way was it a disappointment, nor did it take away from this good book. I would definitely read another of Kristin Walker's books. Very entertaining.

Rating: 4/5

Around the World Tours

Book of the Month- December

Book of the Month for December


Sloppy Firsts- Megan McCafferty

Sloppy Firsts

From Goodreads:

My parents suck ass. Banning me from the phone and restricting my computer privileges are the most tyrannical parental gestures I can think of. Don’t they realize that Hope’s the only one who keeps me sane? . . . I don’t see how things could get any worse.”

When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad’s obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany’s lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?

A fresh, funny, utterly compelling fiction debut by first-time novelist Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts is an insightful, true-to-life look at Jessica’s predicament as she embarks on another year of teenage torment--from the dark days of Hope’s departure through her months as a type-A personality turned insomniac to her completely mixed-up feelings about Marcus Flutie, the intelligent and mysterious “Dreg” who works his way into her heart. Like a John Hughes for the twenty-first century, Megan McCafferty taps into the inherent humor and drama of the teen experience. This poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don’t have to go back and grow up all over again.

Dec 27, 2009

Sunday Salon

Christmas has come and gone, and the new year is just around the corner.  I have a feeling of relief for some reason.  This year hasn't be the best for me, it's funny how a new year can signify hope.  That's why I love New Year's Eve.

I read more this year than last because I stopped working February of this year, so of course more time, equals more reading. : )
I made a goal of 210 books this year, which is actually less than I have read this year.  It's funny, but I hope to actually get less reading in, and more family, and friends time.  My top books of this year are posted on my Book of the Months, and on the 31st  I will pick my overall top favorite book of the year.

As for the Christmas Challenge I'm in i've read 2  books so far.  I just need one more in, and I will have completed it. 

Hope everyone had a great Christmas, and have a SUPER New Year's!

Dec 26, 2009

Karma by Nancy Deville


Karma by Nancy Deville

From Goodreads:

While having a seemingly harmless glass of tea at a bazaar in Istanbul, Meredith Fitzgerald, a beautiful soon-to-be married American doctor finds her privileged world turned upside down. It takes only seconds. As she s waiting for the police to come collect an abandoned gypsy girl left in her keeping, Meredith s vision starts blurring, the bazaar music turns into a high-pitched whine, and she recognizes the chloral hydrate in the tea taking hold of her body. In this gripping novel a confusing scenario grows yet more frightening as Meredith realizes that, like two and a half million women and children worldwide, she too has been abducted and swept into the dark world of the human sex trade. We watch in horror as the once confident, self-reliant doctor finds herself trafficked to Mumbai and trapped in brothel compound where she s expected to work as the doctor. But maybe, just maybe she s not as helpless as she appears. An accomplished first novel, heartfelt and compulsively readable. Written in the style of a memoir, Karma is a brilliantly crafted story of courage, friendship, and spiritual awakening.


Karma is a scary fiction book, that could easily be nonfiction. It's about a American Doctor Meredith who gets kidnapped in Istabul, by a group of people that are involved with the trafficking of women.

It was really a jolt of reality reading about women who are kidnapped in foreign countries, prostituted and bought by the highest bidder. These women and sometimes young girls are treated inhumane, and sold as if they are cattle. There families never find out what happens to them. I know this has been getting more common. It really is a scary eye opener.

Karma does have a lot of medical terms in it being that Meredith is a doctor, and author Nancy Deville is a bestselling Health Book writer. I never got confused because she would explain what the terms were, but it would slow this otherwise fast paced book.

I really enjoyed Karma. It was a well thought out researched book about something that is going on in today's world. I love reading books with topics that are important.

Rating: 4/5
Karma comes out January 2010
This book was sent to me by the author for review.

Dec 21, 2009

All The Numbers by Judy Merrill Larsen

All the Numbers: A Novel

All The Numbers by Judy Merrill Larsen

From Goodreads:

How much do you love me?” Daniel asked his mother.

“I love you all the numbers.”

What begins as a sunny August afternoon on a bucolic lake turns into a tragedy when a Jet Ski swerves fatally close to shore. It’s a day Ellen Banks could never have prepared for, a day no mother should ever have to live through.

The moment her son James is killed, Ellen must face the unimaginable while trying to remain strong for her older son, Daniel, who witnessed the fateful accident and blames himself. Ellen’s shock and grief soon give way to defiance as lawyers and policemen who once vowed to support Ellen’s desire for justice succumb to political pressure and back away. Still, Ellen is determined to see the reckless young man pay for his crime and to heal her family’s deep wounds. But first she must heal herself.

An unforgettable journey of power and emotion, All the Numbers poignantly depicts a woman’s reckoning with her own vulnerability and finding in the wisdom of motherhood the redemptive grace to begin again.


I have heard so many good things about All the Numbers that I was looking forward to reading it.  It has been compared to Ordinary People which is a book I love.  Well, I was a little disappointed.

First, All the Numbers is a tear jerker.  If you are going to read this, do have a box of kleenex in hand.  It was really sad when James dies, and I kept on thinking about my own kids, and I couldn't imagine going through what Ellen was.  As a mother this book touched me.

My problem with All the Numbers is it's originality, or lack thereof.  I've read this story before, and some were more better.  I think Ordinary People was a great book about grieving over the loss of a loved one.   Ellen was a mother who in the writers eye had no flaws, or only a few.  She was perfectly pieced together, and it bothered me.  I wanted more from her, not grieving because  I felt Ms. Larsen did a great job describing what Ellen was going through.  I wanted more of Ellen's realness.  I just thought the character of Ellen fell short.

All the Numbers is a tear jerker, though in my opinion it's not a great read, it's still worth the read.

Rating: 3/5


I decided I wanted to change things up, and I've gone and mess things up.  All my widgets are gone.  I thought I had saved them to notepad, but I can't find it. : (

This is hard stuff.

I'll get back to it a little later, after some sleep.

Dec 20, 2009

The Gift by Cecelia Ahern

The Gift: A Novel

The Gift by Cecelia Ahern

From Goodreads-

New York Times bestselling author Cecelia Ahern spins a witty, warm, and wise modern-day fable of love, regret, hope, and second chances.

extremely successful executive, Lou Suffern is always overstretched, immune to the holiday spirit that delights everyone around him. The classic workaholic who never has a moment to spare, he is always multitasking while shortchanging his devoted wife and their adorable children. And ever since he started competing for a big promotion, he has barely seen his family at all.

One frigid morning in an uncharacteristic burst of generosity, he buys a cup of coffee for Gabe, a homeless man huddled outside his office building. Inspired by his own unexpected act of kindness, Lou decides to prolong his charitable streak and contrives to get Gabe a job in his company's mailroom. But when Gabe begins to meddle in Lou's life, the helping hand appears to be a serious mistake. Gabe seems to know more about Lou than Lou does about himself, and, perhaps more disturbingly, Gabe always seems to be in two places at once.

With Lou's personal and professional fates at important crossroads and Christmas looming, Gabe resorts to some unorthodox methods to show his stubborn patron what truly matters and how precious the gift of time is. But can he help him fix what's broken before it's too late?


The Gift is a well-crafted sentimental tale of a man who puts work before family. It's a morally induced book with the old "time is precious" motto, but i loved it cheesy or not.

Lou is not a character you like, but I didn't not care for him either. I was surprised that instead of anger towards his character, I was actually rooting for him to change his ways. I wanted so much for him to really get it. Lou has the demanding job, and the go-go-go attitude, but his family is shunned to the back. He has no time for them, nor does he feel bad about the beginning. The character of Gabe was a guardian angel type, and a little creepy. I really don't feel who he was was really explained, but I assumed he was something like Lawrence from It's a Wonderful Life only everyone could see him.

The writing was very good. There definitely a improvement in Cecelia Ahern's writing, especially with the prose. I love P.S I Love You, and it's still my favorite of Ms. Ahern's books but her writing has matured from that book.

I've heard people say that The Gift is too preachy, but I didn't feel that while reading it. I thought the whole time and family is precious storyline actually swayed away from being overly preachy. The ending wasn't what I would have liked but then again maybe the impact of what she was trying to get would have been less.

The Gift, though sad was a wonderful Christmas book. I enjoyed reading it, and look forward to more of Cecelia Ahern's book.

Rating: 4/5

Dec 14, 2009

A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

A Countess Below Stairs

A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

From Goodreads:

After the Russian revolution turns her world topsy-turvy, Anna, a young Russian countess, has no choice but to flee to England. Penniless, Anna hides her aristocratic background and takes a job as servant in the household of the esteemed Westerholme family, armed only with an outdated housekeeping manual and sheer determination. Desperate to keep her past a secret, Anna is nearly overwhelmed by her new duties—not to mention her instant attraction to Rupert, the handsome Earl of Westerholme. To make matters worse, Rupert appears to be falling for her as well. As their attraction grows stronger, Anna finds it more and more difficult to keep her most dearly held secrets from unraveling. And then there’s the small matter of Rupert’s beautiful and nasty fiancée...


The Countess Below Stairs is the first book I've read by Eva Ibbotson, and it won't be my last. This book was a lovely written romance, and I can't wait to read more from this author.

After having to flee from Russia Anna, the Countess and her family find themselves with no money. Willing to do anything to help her family, Anna finds a job working for Rupert, the Earl. Quickly Anna is loved by all there, from the other help, to the dowager, and most important Rupert. Of course, no good romance to go without a mean, and spiteful wrench. Rupert is engaged to Muriel, and just as quickly all can tell Anna is a kind person, they can tell Rupert's fiance is not a nice women.

The Countess Below Stairs was a thick book with close to 400 pages, but I read it as if it was 100. I couldn't stop reading it. It wasn't cheesy, and most importantly I liked the main characters. Anna wasn't dependent on a man, and she certainly wasn't whiny, and Rupert also was a great strong character.

My biggest complaint with romances is they can be cheesy. I'm one that rolls there eyes at jewelry commericals (have you seen those lately..uugh).  The Countess Below Stairs has just the right amount of romance. The only problem I had with this book was I wish Rupert and Anna had more interaction. I get that back then people fell in love quickly, but a couple of more moments between them would have felt more believable to today's readers. Regardless, I knew they cared for each other, so it wasn't all that important.

The Countess Below Stairs was a enjoyable romance. If your looking for a light romance I would recommend this book.


Dec 11, 2009

Without One Plea by Ben Mitchell

Without One Plea

Without One Plea by Ben Mitchell

From Goodreads:

When Chet Monroe is offered a job as a law professor at a university near his hometown of Mission Springs, Mississippi, he jumps at the chance to get away from the bustle of New York City and start a new life. The small town is happy to welcome home a successful native son.Chet doesn't come home alone, however. He brings with him his longtime lover, Drew Weatherly, who takes a job at the local bank. The men know that the town may not be accustomed to an openly gay couple, but their plan is to slowly gain acceptance, easing the neighborhood into an understanding of their relationship. Everything seems to be going well until the local Baptist minister, Brother Gene, begins to suspect that the two men are more than just friends, and he's squarely against allowing them to work their way into the community on their own terms.As tensions begin to rise, Chet is accused of the unthinkable: raping a local boy he befriended. Now, winning over the community is no longer a choice but a necessity if he's to keep his freedom in Without One Plea.


Without One Plea is a view into a conservative southern town. The book was entertaining, and yet, very relevant. Chet and his partner Drew move back to Chet's hometown, and things are quite as comfortable as they were living in a metropolitan area. Chet still hasn't come out to his family, or friends, and with the town under the spell of the baptist church minister, who yells about damnation and sinning in his sermons, the 13 year relationship between Chet and Drew starts to unravel. When Chet is accused of raping a boy, Without One Plea takes a turn into a legal thriller.

The characters in Without One Plea are what makes this book great in my opinion. Chet is the small town golden boy who isn't all like he seems from the outside. I could see that he didnt want to lose his golden boy image, and that made him hesitant to come out to family, and friends. Drew on the other hand gave me the impression that he just wanted to live life happily with Chet, and didn't want to take on the small southern conservative town, add in the minister who didn't want to lose control over his parishioners, and the town. What a evil man, and to be preaching about God to really boiled my blood. The legal thriller aspect of this book was well written, and a page turner, obviously I don't want to give anything away so I'll leave it at that.

I thought Without One Plea was great book, and I would recommend this to anyone who likes reading legal thrillers.

Rating: 4/5

Sent to me by author for review.

Dec 10, 2009

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!"


Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

From the publisher:

The four Dollanganger children had such perfect lives -- a beautiful mother, a doting father, a lovely home. Then Daddy was killed in a car accident, and Momma could no longer support the family. So she began writing letters to her parents, her millionaire parents, whom the children had never heard of before.

Momma tells the children all about their rich grandparents, and how Chris and Cathy and the twins will live like princes and princesses in their grandparents' fancy mansion. The children are only too delighted by the prospect. But there are a few things that Momma hasn't told them.

She hasn't told them that their grandmother considers them "devil's spawn" who should never have been born. She hasn't told them that she has to hide them from their grandfather if she wants to inherit his fortune. She hasn't told them that they are to be locked away in an abandoned wing of the house with only the dark, airless attic to play in. But, Momma promises, it's only for a few days....

Then the days stretch into months, and the months into years. Desperately isolated, terrified of their grandmother, and increasingly convinced that their mother no longer cares about them, Chris and Cathy become all things to the twins and to each other. They cling to their love as their only hope, their only strength -- a love that is almost stronger than death.

This book is one of my favorite books of all time.  I read it in junior high, and I couldn't get enough.  The whole series is worth a read in my opinion.  Love the movie, also.

I recently saw two new covers for Flowers in the Attic. 

I like that they modernize the cover, so it can appeal to today's readers.


This is the cover for the 2 in 1.  It has both Flowers in the Attic, and Petal in the Wind.

Love the cover!

Dec 9, 2009

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans

The Christmas Box

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans

From Goodreads-

Richard Paul Evans originally wrote The Christmas Box as an expression of love for his two daughters, never intending for it to be published. Many Christmas seasons (and a rich publishing contract) later, this touching tale relates the meaning of Christmas in a profound but simple way. Rick, Keri, and their 4-year-old daughter, Jenna, are hired as caretakers and are welcomed into the home of Mary, an ailing widow, just in time for the holidays. Before long, it becomes apparent that Mary cherishes their companionship, and this young family begins to understand that their relationship to Mary is more special than any one of them could have realized. These tender relationships, fraught with real-life struggles, are the backdrop for unraveling a mysterious secret that gently propels the reader through this short story. Unlike most generic Christmas stories, Evans manages to bypass triviality, imbedding these pages with humble truth and emotion. This tiny treasure will cause you to rejoice in the blessings of the season while stirring up a childlike vigor as old profundity is revealed anew. In a season often shrouded in selfishness and materialism, Evans reminds the reader that the only way that we can genuinely love one another is by accepting the greatest gift of love ever given--that of a Father who "so loved His children that He sent His son, that we might someday return to Him." --Jill Heatherly


The Christmas Box is about a man who learns what is truly important from a older lady Mary. He learns that family, and loved shared is what life is about. I really didn't understand the whole concept of the Christmas box, but I understood what the author was trying to convey.

The book was very short, 128 pages, but to be honest any longer I might have started to get bored. At times it was a little to Hallmark for me, but I did tear up at the end when Mary's story is revealed.

Any book that immediately gives me the urge to hug my children, and give them kisses all over their faces gets a passing grade from me.

My favorite sentence from The Christmas Box

"...a parent's pure love for a child, manifested first by a Father's love for all His children, as He sacrificed that which He loved most and sent His son to earth on that Christmas day so long ago"

Rating: 3/5

Dec 6, 2009

Book to Movie --- The Last Station

I was searching the web for a list of James McAvoy movies...I'm a huge fan, and came upon a trailer for a new movie he is in, The Last Station.  The Last Station is a movie tie-in of the book, The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Final Year by Jay Parini.  The book, and movie look really interesting, plus James McAvoy is in it. 

The Last Station Trailer

The Book

 From the Publisher

A New York Times Notable Book

As Leo Tolstoy’s life draws to a tumultuous close, his tempestuous wife and most cunning disciple are locked in a whirlwind battle for the great man’s soul. Torn between his professed doctrine of poverty and chastity and the reality of his enormous wealth and thirteen children, Tolstoy dramatically flees his home, only to fall ill at a tiny nearby rail station. The famous (and famously troubled) writer believes he is dying alone, unaware that over a hundred newspapermen camp outside awaiting hourly reports on his condition.

Jay Parini moves deftly between a colorful cast of characters to create a stunning portrait of one of the world’s most treasured authors. Dancing between fact and fiction, The Last Station is a brilliant and moving literary performance.

Sunday Salon

This week was nice and relaxing up until Friday.  We had a cold front come in early Friday morning, and it was so cold in the house when we got up (67 Degrees), I realized our central heating wasn't working.  I had to call up someone, seems like a couple of little things needed to be replaced.  Total cost for parts and repair 250.00...oh well, it could have been worse. 

As most can tell from some of my post, my family are huge Texas Longhorn fans, and last night was one of those games when you wish you didn't watch or care about sports.  The game wasn't good for my heart.....or my sanity! lol!  It all came down to 1 second, and a field goal.  We came out victorious but props to Nebraska's defensive line.  I wish I would have recorded the scene at my house last night right before, and after that field goal.  You would have thought we were insane.

Hook Em' Horns

Book reading wise this week was great.  I knocked out the first book for the Christmas Reading Challenge.  I read The Christmas Box, which wasn't even on my list to read.  I went to the library Thursday and grabbed it last minute.  My review should be up soon. 

This week I read:

Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything

Fly in the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything by E. Lockhart

A Visit from Voltaire

A Visit From Voltaire by Dinah Lee Kung

Go Figure

Go Figure by Jo Edwards

The Christmas Box

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans

Dear John

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

A Countess Below Stairs

A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

The Naughty List (The Naughty List, #1)

The Naughy List by Suzanne Young

As I mention earlier I went to the library on Thursday and picked up a couple of books:

The Christmas Box

Dear John

The Angel Experiment

The Christmas List

Sloppy Firsts

Have a great Sunday and week ahead.

Dec 4, 2009

The Naughty List by Suzanne Young

The Naughty List (The Naughty List, #1)

The Naughty List by Suzanne Young

From Goodreads-

As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn’t enough responsibility!

Tessa Crimson’s the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad–turned–spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn’t be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty!

When Tessa’s own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa’s sneaky ways end in catastrophe?

The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it?

The Naughty List is a quick, cute read. Tessa is Head Cheerleader, and leader of the SOS, a secret spy group that investigates possible cheaters. She is in a two year relationship with her Basketball player boyfriend, Aiden, but when suspicions arise concerning Aiden, Tessa's life becomes more than she can handle.

The Naughty List had a neat concept with the whole spy organization, but it was too bubble gum for me to say it was a great read. Tessa's personality was to sunshine, and rainbows, and I couldn't get into her character. I did like Aiden and Tessa relationship though, it seemed real. I thought the cases, and what lengths they would go to for the info was interesting.

I also loved to hate Christian and Chloe, there characters added a whole other dimension to the story. There manipulations gave The Naughty List Cruel Intentions feel. Christian was alittle scary for awhile there, he was in total stalker mode.

I do have to mention something that was majorly annoying to me. What was up with the whole "Strawberry Smoothie" stuff? I know she used sayings like that instead of cursing, but again to bubble gum for me.

All in all, I liked it, but I'm definitely not raving about it. I would be interested in reading the second book to find out what's going on.

Rating: 3.5/5

Around the World Tours

Dec 2, 2009

A Visit from Voltaire by Dinah Lee Kung

A Visit from Voltaire

A Visit from Voltaire by Dinah Lee Kung

From Goodreads-

When an American mother-of-three finds herself overwhelmed in her new home in Switzerland, a visitor pops up offering to cure her son's asthma, her husband's growing indifference, and her own resentment of life. Is he the village nutter or - as he claims to be - the greatest mind of the eighteenth century? This talkative character wearing kneebreeches and wig is the last straw. Though she begs him to go home, he unpacks his mouldy trunk instead. Slowly V. becomes her warmest friend as they laugh and quarrel, and he teaches her the best lesson of all: how to live life to its fullest.

A Visit from Voltaire is a book enriched in history and fun banter. First of all I had no idea who Voltaire was and that he was actually a real person. What first drew me to the book was the thought of a frazzled mother and wife learning how to enjoy life from a french ghost circa 1700's . What I got was much more, the stories that the Voltaire would tell was a look into history, and he sure did a lot of name dropping, but that is the nature of Voltaire. He is full of energy, and has a zest for life which becomes contagious.

The flow of the book was my only problem with A Visit from Voltaire. At times I felt the momentum slow down, and it would start to get a tad boring, but then it would pick up again. Throughout the whole book it fluctuates between really interesting to stale. In the end though the book did put a smile to my face. I want my own Voltaire.

All in all I thought A Visit from Voltaire is a interesting book with flair.

Rating: 3.5/5

This book was sent to me for review.

Dec 1, 2009

Chick Lit Challenge 2010


Doing another one!  Okay this will be my last challenge I sign up for, I just couldn't resist.


The Chick Lit Challenge 2010 runs from January 1 - December 31st. The goal is to read at least 8 chick lit books during the year. Books can be listed ahead of time or as you go along. Books can also be used for multiple challenges.

To participate, please sign up by commenting on this post. There will be a separate post for you to comment with your book review links.

Books read:

1.  Stupid and Contagious- Caprice Crane
2.  Reunion- J.L Penn
3.  Passion Betrayal and Killer Highlights- Kyra Davis
4.  Seven Year Switch- Claire Cook
5.  Obsession, Deceit, and Really Dark Chocolate- Kyra Davis
6.  Lust, Loathing and a Little Lip Gloss- Kyra Davis
7.  Looking for Andrew McCarthy- Jenny Colgan
8.  Just Like Me, Only Better- Carol Snow
9.  One for the Money- Janet Evanovich
10.  Two for the Dough- Janet Evanovich
11.  Shoe Addicts Anonymous- Beth Harbison
12.  You Had Me at Halo- Amanda Ashby
13.  Super in the City- Daphne Uviller

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 pants aren't cooperating with me. : ( 

photo from

 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

Contest ends December 10th


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?


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 siècle 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