Jan 28, 2011

Does Size Really Matter?

Does Size Really Matter?

I've been noticing how much my reading has changed over the years, and boy has it changed.  One of the biggest things I have noticed is my aversion to big books.  As a teenager and well up to a couple of years ago my motto was "the bigger the better". 

InheritancePaloverdePrior to PBS (paperbackswap) or the discovering of "chick lit" I didn't have a book collection/library.  I joined PBS in 2007, and when I joined I only had a couple of books here and there that I would buy because my local library didn't have any "chick lit" books.  Before my discovery of chick lit I would go to the library (really small, and crappy) and get books that were fat.  I loved really big books because I wanted to stretch the reading experience out.  I would check out Jacqueline Briskin books because they were big, and about strong women, or Judith Michael.  These books were epic stories spanning decades in the lives of the chacters.  I loved them, sadly I don't read them anymore..

I discovered the genre of chick lit after picking up Bridget Jones Diary at a library.  After that I couldn't get enough of it.  Of course, I swayed towards the big books.  Anything less than 400 pages I didn't want. I was use to my Briskin's and Michael's size.  Even when I joined PBS I would look at page count, and if it had less than 350 pages I just wasn't going to order or WL it even if it sounded great.  Wierd, I know but that was just my preference.

Now for the last probably 2 years I can't get myself to want to read a really big book.  I still have Stephen King's Under the Dome and Duma Key in my TBR, as well as other popular big books.  Don't get me wrong I want to read them but now they seem so time consuming.  I think because now I have so many books I dont' want to spend so much time on just one. 

I kind of miss the days of old when I was just glad to be reading.  I wasn't worried about all the books I haven't read, but was concentrating on what I was reading at the time.

Jacqueline Briskin, Judith Michael I think back on you with fond memories.  I don't miss getting made fun of though because of those crappy covers, but your stories were magnificently weaved, and your heros were to die for.

I also want to add that I kind of outgrown the chick lit phase.  I read them every now and then, but it use to be all I read.  My local library now has a wonderful collection of chick lit books thanks to yours truly.

What do think about size?

Jan 25, 2011

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Still Missing
Author:  Chevy Stevens
Genre:  Thriller/Mystery
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Date Published:  July 6th 2010

What a freaky scary book. I read this in such a fast pace, and I loved every minute. The thriller/mystery genre is one I dabble in here and there, and the main reason for this is I never get the seating on the edge of my chair feeling I expect from the genre. Still Missing is the reason I continue reading thriller and mysteries though. I was so engrossed in this novel it’s amazing that I remembered to cook dinner…wait, I didn’t. We had McDonald’s that day.

Still Missing is the story of the kidnapping, captivity, and escape as well as consequential emotions that follow of Annie O’Sullivan. The novel starts off with Annie at her therapist.

“If we’re going to do this, it’s going to be done my way. That means no questions from you. Not even one sneaky little “How did you feel when...” I’ll tell the story from the beginning, and when I’m interested in hearing what you have to say, I’ll let you know.”

If that’s doesn’t have you turn the page with a quickness then I don’t know what will. The story is being told during Annie’s therapy sessions. The chapters are actually called sessions. Most of the sessions are of Annie telling the story of the kidnapping, but then you have sessions about what she’s going through post nightmare. The tale that Annie tells is frightening to no end. Seriously, this is a women’s worst nightmare. I kept on reading way until the night because I need to know how she escaped, how she managed the torture. How the hell did she survive?

Chevy Stevens wrote a debut novel that did the unusual for me, it kept me on the edge of my seat. Thank you for that Ms. Stevens, and for that you have a fan for life.

Is this recommendable…hell yeah!

Go read it!

Jan 24, 2011

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

It's Kind of a Funny Story
Author:  Ned Vizzini
Genre:  Young Adult
Publisher:  Miramax
Date Published:  April 1st 2006

From Goodreads:

Like many smart, ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner seeks entry into Manhattans most prestigious school, Executive Pre-Professional High School. With single-minded determination, he works night and day to ace the entrance exam and gets in. Thats when everything starts to unravel. Once Craig starts his new school, he realizes hes just one of many brilliant kids, and he isnt even brilliant, hes average. As Craig starts getting so-so grades, he sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. He begins to have trouble eating, sleeping, and thinkingthats when he tells his parents hes depressed. He goes on medication and talks to therapists, but things keep getting worse, until one night Craig feels so low that he seriously considers suicide.But instead, Craig calls a hotline. The counselor tells him to get to the nearest hospital, and before he knows it, hes signed, sealed, and delivered into one of Brooklyns finest psychiatric units.Craigs new roommate is an Egyptian schoolteacher who refuses to get out of bed. His neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, and a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors.But somehow in this motley crew, Craig finds real friends and kindred spirits who give him strength. This is a remarkably moving and authentic picture of the physicality, the despair, and even the hilarity, of depression.


The beginning of It’s Kind of a Funny Story was iffy for me. I wasn’t sure if it was my cup of tea per se, and I even contemplated stamping a DNF on it. I’m so glad I continued, because soon after I completely fell for this book and Ned Vizzini’s quirky writing.  

Craig Gilner is a smart 15 year old with a lot on his mind. He is consumed with making good grades, and being excellent at the things he does that it starts to infect his everyday life. Things become too much to deal with like grades, school and girls. The pressure and anxiety soon overcome him so much that he is seriously thinking about suicide. The majority of the story takes place at an adult psychiatric unit, as Craig is the main character the other patients become the supporting cast. There are some really great funny moments, as well endearing ones taking place in the unit. Honestly I can’t give the synopsis it’s due justice.

I think there is a little of Craig in everyone, and that’s why you become so engaged while reading It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Seriously, he’s an awesome character with real life worries and thoughts. He loves peeing because it’s such a simple thing. You need to pee, so you get up and do it. It needs no thought or planning. You got to love a protagonist that makes you see urinating in a whole different light.

Ned Vizzini is a really great writer. His writing is real, and cool. I totally would love to drink a cup of coffee with him. I’m glad I stuck with it. Highly recommended!

I was happy to find out that it was made into a movie. It should be out on DVD soon.

Movie Trailer

Jan 22, 2011

On My Wishlist (4)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post.


Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield

Awakening in a bleak landscape as scarred as her body, Cass Dollar vaguely recalls surviving something terrible. Having no idea how many days—or weeks—have passed, she slowly realizes the horrifying truth: Ruthie has vanished.

And with her, nearly all of civilization. Where once-lush hills carried cars and commerce, the roads today see only cannibalistic Beaters—people turned hungry for human flesh by a government experiment gone wrong.

In a broken, barren California, Cass will undergo a harrowing quest to get her Ruthie back. Few people trust an outsider, let alone a woman who became a zombie and somehow turned back, but she finds help from an enigmatic outlaw, Smoke. Smoke is her savior, and her safety. For the Beaters are out there. And the humans grip at survival with their trigger fingers. Especially when they learn that she and Ruthie have become the most feared, and desired, of weapons in a brave new world....

Expected published date:  Feb. 22 2011

Hating Olivia: A Love Story (P.S.)

Hating Olivia : A Love Story by Mark SaFranco

Max Zajack's life is cheap rooms, dead-end jobs, and suicidal fantasies until he meets the alluring and mysterious Olivia Aphrodite, and everything goes to hell.

Max is a struggling musician and wannabe writer. His life is in a rut until one night, while playing a gig at a local club, he gazes out into the crowd and sees Olivia. Before long, they are sharing a bed and host of dark vices that begin to consume them. Their love turns toxic, sending them spiraling downward toward the inevitable. Violently romantic, viscerally honest, Hating Olivia is the story of two loners whose obsessive love brings them to the edge of destruction.

Already published


Mad Love

Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors

When you're the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can't write it. Alice needs a story for her mother—and she needs one fast.

That's when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol's voice in her head and see things she can't explain, she must face the truth—that she's either inherited her mother's madness, or Errol is for real.

Published January 4th 2011

Jan 20, 2011

Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser

Wish You Were Dead
Author:  Todd Strasser
Publisher:  EgmontUSA
Genre:  YA Thriller/Suspense
Date Published:  October 13th 2009

From Goodreads

The day after anonymous blogger Str-S-d wishes the popular girl would die, Lucy vanishes. The students of Soundview High are scared and worried. Especially frightened and wracked with guilt is Madison Archer, Lucy’s friend and the last person to see her the night she disappeared.

As days pass with no sign of the missing girl, even the attention of Tyler, an attractive new student, is not enough to distract Madison from her growing sense of foreboding. When two more popular students disappear after their names are mentioned on Str-S-d’s blog, the residents of Soundview panic.

Meanwhile, Madison receives anonymous notes warning that she could be next. Desperate to solve the mystery before anyone else disappears, Madison turns to Tyler, but can she trust him when it becomes clear that he knows more than he’s sharing?

The clock is ticking. Madison must uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearances . . . before her name appears in Str-S-d’s blog.


When I first finished Wish You Were Dead I thought it was a relatively good creepy book, but looking back to write this review my opinion has changed a bit. As a whole it has a creepy vibe because of the missing kids, but the characters fell flat to me. The who done it also seems left field, and I have problems with the way everything unfolded.

There was a level of suspense in Wish You Were Dead, honestly I had no clue who the kidnapper/crazy person was which was nice. As I mentioned it was creepy because of the kidnapped kids, which is realistic, and that always adds to said creepiness. The story is told through the eyes of Madison, one of the elite kids at school. It seems the kidnapper is targeting the elite kids. A anonymous blogger blogs about the torment they endure from some of the popular kids, and they then suddenly one by one they go missing. I thought it was a unique book, there was just some problems I had with it.

The main thing lacking in Wish You Were Dead is character development. All they characters fell flat to me, and it’s very hard to get into a book if you don’t give a sh*t about them. Also, when the crazy person is revealed you are completely caught by surprise not because of the great plots and turns but because it’s so freaking left field.

This is my first Todd Strasser book I’ve read, and I wasn’t really impressed, but it wasn’t all together a failure. I think I will give him another try.

Jan 14, 2011

Wanted: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Ruby Red

From Goodreads

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon, the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

Sounds great!! I totally want this, badly.  Ruby Red is actually the first book in a trilogy.
Publishing Date:  May 10th 2011

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

linked to description on Goodreads

Dairy Queen
Author:  Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Genre:  Young Adult
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin
Date Published:  June 4th 2006

15 year old D.J. Schwenk made me proud to be a female.
Dairy Queen is about D.J. Schwenk, her life and thoughts about a lot of things. Her dad  has medical problems which leaves the chores and upkeep of the farm on her shoulders. She milks the cows, loads hay and so many other things. She has a quite a bit of responsibity.  Football is what she knows though. Her older brothers who no longer live at home are football legends in their small town of Red Bend, Wisconsin. She learned quite a bit about the sport helping them practice, and watching their games, so when the opportunity arrives for her to train their town rivals quarterback she jumps at the opportunity. Why wouldn’t she, she knows and loves football. While training Brian she wonders what really is stopping her from trying out for her high school time? Yeah, she has a lot of responsibilities at the farm, but when is it going to be about her and what she wants?

I really enjoyed Dairy Queen, and most importantly the main protagonist, D.J. She was an individual, and honestly I haven’t read a book with such an awesome 15 yr. old. She has spunk, and follows the beat to her own drum no matter what. She’s strong, and capable, there’s no girly whining from D.J. When she starts training Brian I enjoyed the progression of their friendship. In the beginning obviously they are from rival towns, they dislike each other, but slowly the walls start tumbling down.

Dairy Queen is a very simple book, no frills. Refreshing. I was surprised to learn that this is actually a trilogy. They all have been published already! Now I have to go out and buy the next two books ASAP. I need to read more about D.J.

Dairy Queen Trilogy

Book 1:  Dairy Queen
Book 2:  The Off-Season
Book 3:  Front and Center

Jan 12, 2011

The Elusive 3 Rating and Ratings in General

“A three ain’t for me” – Jesse (the hubby)

"If it's a four, go on and send it to my door"- Jesse

When I first started Coffee, Books and Laundry I would rate the books I read on a 1 through 5 system, sometime in early 2010 I decided to eliminate ratings because it seemed too subjective. I came to that decision because my husband who is by no means a passionate book lover wouldn’t touch a book if a book was rated 3 or below (that’s if he touched one at all). I would try to tell him that a three is actually not a bad rating, but he wasn’t buying it. After debating book ratings with him I decided to eliminate them from my blog, but I recently started thinking about putting them back. I love looking at ratings when reading a review, in fact I usually skim a review and look for the rating.

For instance, my last review posted, In the Woods would have gotten a rating of 3 from me. I enjoyed it, but had some problems with it also. With my husband’s logic he would have read the review, and saw the rating and would have passed on reading it. WTF! I thought it was entertaining with some minor annoyances. Basically, it wasn’t a waste of my time.

Is a 3 rating equal a C grade, 5 an A, 4 a B and so on? In that case a 3 is still freaking passing!
What does a three rating mean to you? What do ya’ll think about ratings? Is the 1 through 5 system too plain? Most importantly though, do you debate whether you should give a book a try with a rating in the 3's on Goodreads or Amazon?

Jan 9, 2011

In the Woods by Tana French

In the Woods
Author:  Tana French
Publisher:  Viking Adult
Genre:  Mystery/Thriller
Date Published:  May 17th 2007

 In the Woods has some flaws but I found the story Tana French weaved engrossing.

Detective Rob Ryan along with his partner Detective Cassie Maddox get assigned the case of 12 yr. old Katy Devlin, who was found murdered at a archaeological site in Knocknaree, Ireland. The site of the murder brings back painful memories for Detective Rob Ryan. 12 yr old Rob along with his two best friends Jamie and Paul went into the woods in Knocknaree where the archaeological site is now and only Rob came back. Covered in blood and completely traumatized he has no memory of that day, so consequentially the case of Jamie and Paul remains unsolved. The case of Katy Devlin brings back some memories that affect Detective Ryan as well as her case.

I was quickly grabbed by In the Woods, and it did not let me go until I read the last page. I don’t often read mystery/thrillers but after reading this I wondered why the hell I don’t. It was thrilling, and I was kept on pins and needles wondering who killed Katy, and what happened in those woods twenty years before. I thought Ms. French did a wonderful job intertwining both these cases making for double the ride.

As I mentioned in the beginning there were flaws in In the Woods that irked me. Detective Rob Ryan appeared totally incompetent as a detective at times. I would find myself wondering how someone could be so stupid and not realize something especially a detective. Detective Cassie Maddox was a way better detective in my opinion, and I wanted her to shoot her partner a couple of times for being plain stupid. The biggest no-no though was the ending. This could have been a 5 star book even with the Detective Barney Fife (Rob Ryan), but the ending shattered it. It didn’t put this book super low that I won’t recommend it, because even with the ending I thought it was a pretty good solid debut.

Would I recommend this, yes but I’m warning you the ending could possibly piss you off. I am looking forward to the reading the next book, The Likeness, and I do believe I found another author to keep a look out for.

End the end, did I luurve it..no, but I really really liked it.

Jan 5, 2011

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

Sh*t My Dad Says
Author:  Justin Halpern
Publisher:  Harpercollins Publishers
Date Published:  May 4th 2010

It's hard to believe that there is someone out who hasn't heard of Sh*t My Dad Says, so I'm going to keep it short and simple. 

It had me literally laughing my ass off!

It is a very short read, but every bit of it is entertaining.  Each chapter starts with a dad story then there is a couple of pages of the infamous quotes. 

If you are looking for something funny pick this up. 

Jan 4, 2011

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 Books I Resolve to Read in 2011

1.  The Book Thief- Markus Zusak
Heard so many great things about this one, and yet I still don't pick it up.  What the hell is wrong with me?

2.  Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
After finishing and loving Fountainhead I really wanted to dive into Atlas Shrugged, but honestly the size is daunting.  I know though that it will be worth it..I hope.

3.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Yeah, I still haven't read this one.  Kody Keplinger told me in an author chat that I MUST read this.  She was the gazillion person to tell me this, so finally I will read this.  I promise!!!

4.  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
I've always wanted to read this, and one of my favorite bloggers, Jenny at Take Me Away loved it.  We have similiar taste, so I'm excited about this one.

5.  Vampire Academy- Richelle Mead
I wanna see what the hype is about.

6.  Madame Bovary- Gustave Flaubert
Ever since reading one of my favorite books, Little Children, this has been on my must read list.

7.  The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
It's been in my TBR forever getting passed over and over for years.  It's your time...it's your time.

8.  The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Shadow of the Wind is my favorite book, I can't believe I haven't read this yet.  Sorry, Mr. Zafon.  I'm getting on it though.

9.  The Forgotten Garden- Kate Morton
Again i've heard good things, kept meaning to pick it up all of 2010.

10.  The Jessica Darling Series- Megan McCafferty
Loved book 1 and 2.  Why the hell have I not finished up this series?

Jan 3, 2011

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel
Author:  Louise Murphy
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Penguin
Date Published:  July 29th 2003

From Goodreads:

In the last months of the Nazi occupation of Poland, two children are left by their father and stepmother to find safety in a dense forest. Because their real names will reveal their Jewishness, they are renamed "Hansel" and "Gretel." They wander in the woods until they are taken in by Magda, an eccentric and stubborn old woman called "witch" by the nearby villagers. Magda is determined to save them, even as a German officer arrives in the village with his own plans for the children.

Combining classic themes of fairy tales and war literature, this haunting novel of journey and survival, of redemption and memory, powerfully depicts how war is experienced by families and especially by children, and tells a resonant, riveting story.


The True Story of Hansel and Gretel is a hard book to put down, as well as a hard book to digest.  The setting, Poland during War World 1 is a horrific time for the people living there.  The Germans occupied and ran everything, and so much brutality was happening in small little villages.  The True Story of Hansel and Gretel is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel turned up a notch. 

Author Louise Murphy's writing is really great.  I could see what these families were dealing with, I could feel there hopelessness, then hopefulness.  I hated the Nazis, I loved the children that didn't know better, or could hardly remember what life was like before the Germans came rushing in with there guns, and brutality. 

The ending is bittersweet, but I couldn't expect a pretty ending.  I completely feel for The True Story of Hansel and Gretel, and Louise Murphy's writing. 

It's amazing how hard it is to write a review for something you LOVED!

Just read it!