Nov 30, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday

A weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish

This will be the first I ever participate in this meme, but I really enjoy reading what everyone's top ten is so I figure why not join in.

This week's top ten is

Top Ten Characters I'd Like to Be Best Friends With

1. Bridget Jones from Bridget Jone's Diary
I love Bridget Jones, she's quirky, funny, and oh the trouble she gets herself into.

2.  Benny Hogan from Circle of Friends
This was the first book I read that I fell in love with, Benny was the main reason.  She reminded me of myself.

3.  Dexter from This Lullaby
I just finished this Sarah Dessen book, and I loved Dexter.  He is fun, spontaneous, and such a free-spirit.

4.  Sophie Katz from The Sophie Katz Series
She's hilarious, and my life would always be an adventure with her as my sidekick.

5.  Marianne from Sense and Sensibility
She seemed like a optimistic, and I love hanging out with people like that.  I'm so cynical.

6.  Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City
Come on she's Carrie Bradshaw..enough said, plus we have a shared love of all things fashion.

7.  Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium series
I would just feel like a bad ass having her as my best friend.

8.  Georgia Nicholson from the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson Series
What can say I like drama, and fabulosity.

9.  Frankie Landau-Banks from The Disruptable History of Frankie Landau Banks
The mischief, and mayhem we would cause.

10.  Forney from Where the Heart Is
Need someone stable to keep me grounded.  What a sweet man.

As you can tell I need chaos in my life, and fun times.  Honestly ask my two best friends (which I've had since grade school), our parents, and now husbands say the three of us together equal trouble.

Nov 29, 2010

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

This Lullaby
Author:  Sarah Dessen
Genre:  Young Adult
Publisher:  Puffin
Date Published:  March 8th 2004

From Goodreads

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?


This Lullaby is one of my favorites of Sarah Dessen, mainly because of the male protagonist, Dexter (isn’t that a awesome name, and it fit the character so well). The story is told through Remy, and though I liked her character, she was very annoying sometimes with her overly cautious ways. She is definitely jaded. She has good reason to not believe in love, her mom is currently going on her 5th marriage, and she really never knew her dad other than he wrote a popular song titled “This Lullaby” about her.  Somethings just irked me quite a bit like she was so cynical, and negative, but looking back at the story it made for a better one. She was able to learn from her wrong decisions, and grow.

The progression of Remy coming into her own doesn’t happen with a snap of the fingers, Ms. Dessen slowly inches main character to some realizations, and I’m appreciative that she takes the reader through Remy’s journey. I also loved that Remy had her core friends, and they had realistic thoughts, and problems.

Now for the best part of This Lullaby…ahh Dexter. What is it exactly about Dexter that is so charming, I don’t know, maybe it’s his persistence, his freedom, his easiness. You have to read it for yourself, but I guaranteed you will love him.

This Lullaby is up there with some of my favorites, more and more I think of Dexter it inches closer and closer to the top. A great YA..I seriously had this in my TBR shelves for a couple of years now, can't believe I didn't pick it up sooner.

Challenges:  Blogger Recommendation, YA

Nov 25, 2010

Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question:

"What is your favorite book cover?"

There are so many covers I like but two come to me right off the bat.

Josie and Jack by Kelly Braffet


Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Funny how they are two totally different looking covers.  I love the simplicity of Josie and Jack, and colors, it just makes me want to pick it up and see what it's about.  Along for the Ride is nostalgic for me, brings me back to being a YA when life was more simple, but course I didn't realize that back then.  My teenage self would have talked your ear off with teen!  By the way both books were good!

Nov 24, 2010

New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year

Hmm, I've only read one book from the list...The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson.  Totally agree about this book, everybody who had read the first two were waiting on pins and needles for this one, including myself.

There is a couple that I've been wanting to read like  Great House by Nicole Krauss, Room by Emma Donoghue,and One Day by David Nicholls. 

I think i'm going to make a personal challenge to read as many as I can. 

Any thoughts on the list?

Nov 20, 2010

Jane by April Lindner

Author:  April Lindner
Genre:  Young Adult
Publisher:  Poppy
Date Published:  October 11, 2010

I LOVED Jane!  First, I would like to put out there that I have never read Jane Eyre, so I don't have anything to compare it to.  It's hard to believe though that I wouldn't have enjoyed this book having read Jane Eyre...anyways.

Jane had a rough childhood, basically overshadowed by her siblings.  She was the ugly duckling, and was treated like the stepdaughter.  When her parents die, and stocks left by her parents to her don't amount to much money, Jane has to drop out of Sarah Lawrence, and get a job.  She gets a job as a nanny taking care of famous rock star Nico Rathburn's daughter.  While taking care of the little girl, she begins to fall for Nico, and Thornfield Hall, but all isn't perfect.  Jane is warned not to go up to the third floor, and Jane knows something is not right,  fires start in the middle of the night, laughing and cackling noises come from upstairs, and Nico brushes these things aside as if they are not a big deal, but Jane knows there is more to the story. 

I immediately was drawn to Jane, I can't help I love the underdogs.  She flashes back to moments with her family, and you realize how horrible she was treated.  You get to understand why Jane is practical, and serious, and plain, she had to be that way to live with her family.  When Jane gets the job with Nico, she doesn't gush like a school girl, infact she remember's just a little of his music because her brother was fan, but she has to do research on him to get a better idea of who she will be working for.  She was just a no nonsense kinda girl.  Nico was an enigma to me...really, does a rock star fall for the plain jane girl?  Well, Ms. Lindner's rock star does.  Author Ms. Lindner decided to make Nico a man dealing with his past, and over the typical rock star antics.  He seems a man ready to do things right, and enjoy moments that just are.  I liked him immediately as well.  I knew I would love Jane because I loved the characters.  I think they were exactly what they needed.

Jane is a love story with a dark gothic touch to it, the characters are wonderful, as well as the writing.  I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good love story.  I really want to read Jane Eyre now.

Nov 14, 2010

Sunday Salon

Hope everyone is having a great Sunday!
My numbers have reading numbers, that is.  This year I've noticed instead of reading 5-6 books a week, I'm reading 1 maybe 2.  I was on a good roll at the start of January, but as I mentioned before, something disrupted my life for the worse in late Jan. and after that my life went on a downward spiral.  It is slowly getting better but i've notice my reading has changed.  I joined the 100+ Reading Challenge this year, and my goal was 210 books, which was totally doable for me pre life changing ordeal, but i'm currently at 83 books.  Um, yeah...not gonna make it.  There are a couple of other challenges I signed up for that I'm not going to complete, but I did complete the Chick Lit Challenge.  YEAH!!  I'm kinda debating whether I should join any for next year.  We'll see..

As for this week in reading, I completed The Transformation of Things by Jillian Cantor.  I really enjoyed it, and finished it in two days.  I'm currently reading Jane by April Lindner.  I'm really liking it so far, surprisingly I've never read Jane Eyre, but will probably be putting it in my list of classics I really want to read before I say goodbye to this life.  Not quite sure what I will pick up next, but I do know before November is out I will be reading The Christmas Gift by R. William Bennett.  I really want to get the review out by the last week of November.

Have a great Sunday, and week ahead!

Nov 13, 2010

The Transformation of Things by Jillian Cantor

The Transformation of Things
Author:  Jillian Cantor
Genre:  Women's Literature
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Date Published:  November 2nd 2010

“Is reality a dream, or are dreams our reality”

Life isn’t always grand when you’re part of the elite. Jennifer and Will are part of the upper society in their town of Deerfield. Will is a judge, and is never at home, and Jennifer plays tennis at the country club, is part of a Ladies Club. On the surface they are fine with their lives, so encumbered in it they don’t really realize that they aren’t happy. Then Will gets indicted on bribery charges, and things start becoming clear. Could this be the best thing to have happened to them? Jennifer slowly realizes what is important and how much they are missing with a meaningless life with the help of herbs and the sudden ability to get into peoples lives and minds through dreams.

The Transformation of Things is a cleverly written novel that is part fantasy. There is quite a bit of relatable things going on. Don’t we all get caught up on appearances, and the portrayal of over the top bliss? Though at the beginning things our hard, Jennifer finds out who her friends are, and what actually makes her happy. Author, Jillian Cantor adding these herbs giving Jennifer the ability to look into someone elses life and thoughts was brilliant, because with it she was able to have Jennifer discover what was really important, and to realize that everybody is not perfect, and life isn’t always as it seems.

Character wise I was glad to get to know Will. Usually in books that are about marriages and life in general have the husband come in and out of the story and really never get to know them, but with Will I really felt that Ms. Cantor put thought into who he was.

I really enjoyed how much emphasis she put on being a mother. The stress and feeling of losing oneself in motherhood was greatly touched upon in The Transformation of Things. As a mother of three I could relate to Lisa, Kat, and Kelly. The insight to their lives was a nice touch of my reality. It made me feel connected to the story.

Overall, I’m very pleased with The Transformation of Things. I read this over a two day period, closing the book satisfied.

Nov 10, 2010

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner
Author:  Khaled Hosseini
Genre:  Historical Fiction/Literary Fiction
Publisher:  Riverhead Trade
Date Published:  April 27th 2004

From Goodreads:

An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from the final days of Afghanistan’s monarchy to the atrocities of the present.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption. And it is also about the power of fathers over sons -- their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

The first Afghan novel to be written in English, The Kite Runner tells a sweeping story of family, love, and friendship against a backdrop of history that has not been told in fiction before, bringing to mind the large canvasses of the Russian writers of the nineteenth century. But just as it is old-fashioned in its narration, it is contemporary in its subject -- the devastating history of Afghanistan over the past thirty years. As emotionally gripping as it is tender, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful debut.

I can't believe I had no interest in reading The Kite Runner, I finally gave in after I found a copy at a consignment store for cheap.  There was no way I was leaving that store without a book in my hand.  WOW!  This is one of the best books i've read of late, so well written, and the story was heartwrenching.

The bulk of the story takes place in 1970's Afghanistan, Amir and Hassan are best friends, but come from totally different social classes, infact Hassan is Amir's servant.  Hassan really got the short end of the friendship, because Amir was not a very good friend.  Amir teeter totted between loving Hassan and resenting him.  I came to really love the character Hassan, he definitely pulls at your heart strings.  Things come head to head when Amir's resentment of Hassan become too strong which leads to Hassan and his dad leaving the household.  Soon after Afghanistan becomes war torn, and Amir and his dad escape to America.  What happens after is really the second half of the book. 

I'm most impressed with how emotionally involved I was with the characters.  I cried a couple of times reading this, and that really says something about the writing.  When someone can write something that touches you deeply enough to feel something real, well, kudos.   I also loved learning about the Afghan culture.  The kite running tradition was really interesting, though hard to picture.

There are a couple of things that made me think "too perfect" like the fact that Amir comes head to head with Assaf, his and Hassan's childhood enemy, as a adult.  What are the chances?  Assaf is now a taliban leader, and I just thought the confrontation between him and Amir was too unbelievable.  I understand why he did it though, I so hated Assaf that I wanted him to get his, and well he did.

The Kite Runner is  Mr. Hosseini's debut novel, what a impact he made in the literal world.  The Kite Runner is about love, friendship, jealousy, and the human heart.  I cannot recommend this one enough.

Nov 9, 2010

A Couple of Mini Reviews


Incantation by Alice Hoffman

Incantation was a really quick interesting read.   The story revolves around a ugly time when Jews were being persecuted for the beliefs.  At one time all Jews were required to change to Christianity, though some refuse to do so, and those people are now outcast, pushed to live outside of society.  During this time Estrella is experiencing her first taste of love, and betrayal.  A very heartbreaking story.

Shoe Addicts Anonymous

Shoe Addict Anonymous by Beth Harbison

Shoe Addict Anonymous revolves around four women who are bound together by there love of shoes.  Through a support group for women with shoe addiction these women find friendship, and girl power.   Some storylines were better than others, and I did find myself extremely annoyed with one of the characters, Jocelyn.  I started to skim through her parts because I wanted her so bad to get a backbone, definitely was frustrating.   In the end I enjoyed the book, and was glad I read it, but don't expect much out of it.  Pure fluff.


Nov 8, 2010

"50 Great Books Every Young Women Should Read"

MiddlesexArielI was directed to an article "50 Great Books Every Young Women Should Read" from an email.  I really enjoyed the article, and the list of books,  I'm surprised how many books I haven't read.  I've read 8 of the books on the list, and they were all great  books, so I have high hopes for the others.

What do you think of the books on list?  Agree?  Disagree?

The Memory Keeper's DaughterGone With the WindAnne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Thanks to Ms. Smith for bringing this article to my attention.

Nov 3, 2010

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Little Stranger
Author:  Sarah Waters
Genre:  Literary Fiction
Publisher:  Riverhead
Date Published:  April 30th, 2009

From Goodreads:

With The Little Stranger, Waters revisits the fertile setting of Britain in the 1940s-and gives us a sinister tale of a haunted house, brimming with the rich atmosphere and psychological complexity that have become hallmarks of Waters's work.

The Little Stranger follows the strange adventures of Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. One dusty postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline - its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.

Abundantly atmospheric and elegantly told, The Little Stranger is Sarah Waters's most thrilling and ambitious novel yet.


The Little Stranger is my first Sarah Waters experience, it was really a great Halloween reading pick.  Definitely subtle in it's scariness, you really had to appreciate the scene Ms. Waters was painting with her words.  She didn't jump out and say BOO, but slowly let the creepiness of the situations melt over you. 

The Little Stranger's main character is the old dilapated mansion, Hundreds Hall.  Again, the description of the mansion had your imagination picturing a ominious place.  You could sense the evil lurking in every shadow, and hallway.  Author Sarah Waters takes her time and uses her words wisely building the suspense until you must find out what's next. Hundreds Hall at it's heyday was a beautiful place but tragedy seemed to always find it's way to the house, the worse being the death of a child from an illness.  The cream of the crop reigned there, and the townspeople were fascinated with the people living there, and moreso the mansion itself.  One of the most enamored with the mansion is one of the local Doctors, Dr. Faraday, who as a kid completely fell under it's spell. 

Ms. Waters  unquestionably puts emphasis on developing her characters.  The first half of the book really is for you getting to know the characters, so that you can learn to care about them.  I loved that about The Little Stranger.  I felt like I knew all the characters personally, so much I knew about them.  I knew the faces they made when frustrated, embarassed, etc.  As Dr. Faraday starts enmeshing himself with the occupants, the Ayers, I think it is the mansion fueling his want to help the family and not so much the family itself.  As things start falling apart with the people connected with Hundreds Hall, the Little Stranger shows it's evil.

My only complaint in The Little Stranger is the ending.  Infact, the ending was open ended.  In reading some reviews I see some feel it ended as it should have, I was disappointed.  I feel you are left taking a guess, and I would rather be told by the author what she intended.
The Little Stranger is gothic historical tale that is riveting, and written brilliantly.  I am now looking forward to reading more from Sarah Waters. 

Nov 1, 2010

Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright

Love in Mid Air
Author:  Kim Wright
Genre:  Literary Fiction
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing
Date Released:  March 29th, 2010

From Goodreads

A chance encounter with a stranger in an airplane sends Elyse Bearden into an emotional tailspin. Suddenly, Elyse is willing to risk everything: her safe but stale marriage, her seemingly perfect life in an affluent Southern suburb, and her position in the church. As Elyse embarks on a risky affair, her longtime friend Kelly and the other women in their book club begin to question their own decisions about love, sex, marriage, and freedom. In the end it will take an extraordinary leap of faith for Elyse to find--and follow--her own path to happiness.


Love in Mid Air is a uniquely written book about a common situation. We’ve all read books about marriages stopping dead in it’s tracks, infidelity and mid life crisis, but Love in Mid Air has a different vibe.

I was impressed by the realness of the main character Elyse. Elyse is not the cookie cutter wife who is discarded for the token hot younger women, she is infact the one who wants, and dreams of a better relationship. I really felt for her, and understood her frustration with her husband, who could never really see her, nor hear her. When Elyse meets a man on a flight, she finds her self torn between doing what’s expected or what she wants. There is no combing over things in Love in Mid Air, Elyse really struggles with the thought of divorce, and how it will impact those in her life. At times I would get frusterated with her, because some of it seemed so selfish, but that is the part of me that is rooted with my belief of “for better or worse”. I can’t help it, I’m old fashion in my thinking of what all a marriage is.

There were quite a bit of female bonding in the book between Elyse and her close girl friends, but I never quite got off, or felt any closeness to those character, to me Elyse was the star of this novel, and everyone else faded into the background.

Love in Mid Air errupts all sorts of emotion from you as you read it. I’m surprised due to the topic that I didn’t hate Elyse, but really I just found her human. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a drama filled real look at a marriage that is drowning in emptiness.