New Years's Reading Resolutions...

December 28, 2010

A new year is just around the corner. I'm not one for making resolutions, because I tend to break them before I even finish stating the resolution. However, I'm going to make a few reading resolutions for 2011. I figure these have a better shot of being kept than a vow to lose my holiday/baby weight (even though my baby is 1 1/2).

So, here they are:
1. To discover at least one new author- if not more.
2. Read a book from a genre I normally don't read.
3. Try to go to an author signing this year.
4. Make my bookstore gift certificates last a month.
5. Read 1 Nicholas Sparks book I haven't read yet.

These are all I can think of right now. If I think of more I can always add to my list later. Here's hoping I have lots of reading success in the coming year. If you have set any reading goals for the coming year, I wish you much success with them. I'd love to hear what they are if you would like to share. We can cheer each other on!

Jen's Christmas- Reading Review

December 26, 2010

Now that Christmas has come and gone, my time allotted for Christmas reading has done the same. I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the books I read this year. I found some new books that will be added to my annual holiday reading list (The Christmas List), and I found a book that I never plan to pick up again (The Revenge of the Christmas Box).

I hope if you read any holiday themed books over the last month that you enjoyed them. There is just something about Christmas that translates very well into books. It's like the magic they hold is already there. Christmas books are a special breed all unto their own. I look forward to next year's books and wonder what I'll discover then.

I want to thank all of you who read my Christmas posts and commented on them. I loved hearing from you and reading your thoughts. I enjoyed sharing some of my Christmas Traditions with you. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!

Let's do this again next year!!

Jen's Christmas- The Mischief of the Mistletoe

December 21, 2010

The Mischief of the Mistletoe
By: Lauren Willig

326 Pages

Arabella Dempsey's dear friend Jane Austen warned her against teaching. But Miss Climpson's Select Seminary for Young Ladies seems the perfect place for Arabella to claim her independence while keeping an eye on her younger sisters nearby. Just before Christmas, she accepts a position at the quiet girls' school in Bath, expecting to face nothing more exciting than conducting the annual Christmas recital. She hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies...

Reginald "Turnip"Fitzhugh-often mistaken for the elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation- has blundered into danger before. But when he blunders into Miss Arabella Dempsey, it never occurs to him that she might be trouble. When Turnip and Arabella stumble upon a beautifully wrapped Christmas pudding with a cryptic message written in French, "Meet me at Farley Castle," the unlikely vehicle for intrigue launches the pair on a Yuletide adventure that ranges from the Austens' modest drawing room to the awe-inspiring estate of the Dukes of Dovedale, where the Dowager Duchess is hosting the most anticipated event of the year: an elaborate twelve-day Christmas celebration. Will they find poinsettias or peril, dancing or danger? Is it possible that the fate of the British Empire rests in Arabella's and Turnip's hands, in the form of a festive Christmas pudding? --

The Pink Carnation series is back and in time to celebrate the Christmas season! I loved reading this book. The characters were great and fun to read. I loved the banter between Turnip and his sister, Sally. Sally was just a fun character to read and get to know. I'm hoping Lauren Willig does a book with her as the main character sometime in the future.

Lauren Willig is amazing at combining good plot and good characters. They way she wove Jane Austen into the story was genius. Truthfully, that was one of the main reasons I was drawn to the book. I do wish there was more of the spy hunt in the book, but I thoroughly enjoyed what there was.

I apologize for the poor job I have done on this review. I am doing this among planning a big Christmas dinner and getting presents wrapped. I have by no means done this book justice and I will not be able to apologize enough for it. I almost decided to hold off on posting it, but wanted to give you guys the chance to pursue it if you wanted to. This was a series I loved in the beginning, but became disenchanted with over time. The first book, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, remains my favorite but this book is up there with it. It was good to see a great series bounce back!

Rating: Borrow From the Library/ Buy It

Jen's Christmas- Favorite Christmas Movies

December 20, 2010

Christmas is right around the corner. In my house that means Christmas movies will be playing-a lot! I thought I'd give you a list of my favorite ones!!

1. The Muppet Christmas Carol
This is the Muppet's take on the classic Dickens's work A Christmas Carol. I grew up on the Muppets, so this was an instant Christmas favorite for me. It gets played every year. My Mom and I would watch it together with a big bowl of popcorn. I still curl up with it, only now my 4 year old daughter will join me!

2. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Whenever I watch this movie I know I'm going to be giggling and laughing from the opening credits to the closing ones. This movie is HILARIOUS!! If you're big on physical comedy, you will thoroughly enjoy this movie. Chevy Chase decides to host a family Christmas at his house and what ensues is funny!

3. While You Were Sleeping
Lucy loves a man she sees every morning. The fact that she doesn't know anything about him means nothing. However, everything changes when she saves his life after he's pushed onto the train tracks. Before she knows it, she's mistaken as his fiance and welcomed into his family. A cute holiday comedy.

4. The Nightmare Before Christmas
In this Tim Burton holiday movie all the holidays are their own separate towns- never knowing about the others. But what happens when Jack, from Halloween Town, stumbles upon Christmas Town? How well can Christmas and Halloween blend together? So creative and fun to watch, this is my favorite Tim Burton movie.

5. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
My daughter was too young to enjoy the original cartoon, so we always played the Jim Carey movie when we'd entertain. I thought they did a great job remaking the movie. The movie is visually stunning. I love the make-up, hair, costumes, and sets were great. I also thought Jim Carey did a great job as the Grinch.

There you have it. Now you know what will be on in my house on any given time. I hope some of the movies that made my list are your favorites, too.

Jen's Christmas -- Christmas Eye Candy

December 17, 2010

I wish I was here!! I would be in a town like this at Christmas time. Throw in some ice skating and I'd be a happy visitor... just teach me how to ice skate first.

I'm getting presents wrapped for a Christmas get together with family tomorrow. I was able to wrap my youngest daughter's presents as well. Now I just have to find the time to wrap my oldest daughter's presents and finish up my Christmas shopping.

I hope to finish The Mischief of the Mistletoe over the weekend. I've enjoyed reading it and almost hate to have it end.

Hope all of you are doing well. Hopefully the holiday stress has missed you guys!

Jen's Christmas- Our Tree

December 14, 2010

Our Christmas Tree!

I thought I would give you a little insight into Christmas at my house. For starters, our tree is fake- hubby's doing, not mine. It's full of ornaments we've collected over the years we've been married. We have a tradition every year: we each get an ornament that represented us. We'd also get an ornament with the year written on it. My husband is a HUGE Star Wars fan, so there's Darth Vader, Darth Maul and others from the movies all over the tree. When our oldest daughter was born, we started getting her an ornament for her every year as well. She loved Sesame Street, so we have lots of Elmo, Grover, and Abby Cadabby ornaments. Both girls have numbered ornaments to mark the first 5 Christmases they have. Each year we add a number.

When we put up the tree, the hubby puts it together and strings the lights. Then we, as a family, put on all our ornaments. The first two to go on the tree are a bride and groom that was hand made for us when we got married, since it was the bride and groom that started it all. We play Christmas music, eat Christmas cookies, and have a great time decorating our tree. In the last couple of years we've included Grandparents in our tree decorating. My parents now come over and my husband's Dad lives with us, so they all get to be part of the fun. Decorating the tree has become a tree decorating party.

A lot of people have themed trees, or decorated in specific colors. While ours doesn't really have either of those, I guess you could say it's our family's history. You'll find ornaments that show little parts of our personalities on our tree. I can't wait to see what ornaments we get each year.

Jen's Christmas- 'Tis The Season

December 11, 2010

'Tis The Season
By: Lorna Landvik

Heiress Caroline Dixon has managed to alienate nearly everyone with her alcohol-fueled antics, which have also provided near-constant fodder for the poison-pen tabloids and their gossip-hungry readers. But like so many girls-behaving-badly, the twenty-six-year-old socialite gets her comeuppance, followed by a newfound desire to live a saner existence or at least one more firmly rooted in the real world.As Caro tentatively begins atoning for past misdeeds, she reaches out to two wonderful people who years ago brought meaning to her life: her former nanny, Astrid Brevald, now living in Norway, and Arizona dude ranch owner Cyril Dale. While Astrid fondly remembers Caro as a sweet little girl, Cyril recalls how he and his late wife were quite taken with the quick-witted teenager Caro had become when she spent time at the Dales ranch as her father was dying. In a series of e-mail exchanges, Caro reveals the depth of her pain and the lengths she went to hide...

This book had some cute parts and some dull parts. Overall it was a mindless read that makes for good filler while in between books. You won't finish the book and think "I want to read it again". I'm glad I read it. If you're looking for an easy read that isn't heavy and takes you out of your world for a bit, you may enjoy this book.

The whole time I read this book I kept picturing the main character, Caroline, as Lindsay Lohan. (In my defense, Caroline and Lindsay seemed to have a few physical traits in common.) I enjoyed reading the antics Caroline got herself into. Mistaking an urn for a toilet takes some talent- or A LOT of alcohol. Either way, I got a chuckle from it. It was nice to see a spoiled rich girl get her act together and walk out a better person. I also liked reading about the memories Caroline has of Astrid and Cyril. I was glad they all came together. I didn't even mind how predictable the ending was.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

Jen's Christmas- Revenge of the Christmas Box

December 9, 2010

Revenge of the Christmas Box: A Parody
By: Cathy E. Crimmons & Tom Maeder

Okay, I'm all for parodies- when they're funny. This one was just wrong. Not offensive wrong, but just wrong. When I discovered this book at my library, I thought it was going to be funny. I couldn't wait to read it. As soon as I picked it up from the library I dug right into it. 30 something pages later, I put it down. Yeah, it was disturbing- in my opinion. In all the ways I thought this book could parody The Christmas Box, I didn't think this was the direction they would take.

Revenge of the Christmas Box is a collection of little parodies based on the actual book. For those who aren't familiar with The Christmas Box, it's about a family who moves into an elderly lady's home to help her take care of it. As I said, I love a good parody. This is not a book of good parodies.

Take the little parody called The Christmas Icebox. This is the story of a lady who kept her daughter criogenically (sp?) frozen in a tube in her attic. OK. However, The Christmas Boxing Helena remains the most disturbing one- by far. In this story a cardiovascular surgeon places an ad for a couple to live in his home. Looking back, his ad should have been a tip off. When asked why he retired so early, his response was he did so for love. Well, his "love" is right there in his attic. She's alive, though I don't know how well. She's in a box- with no arms or legs. It seems the surgeon cut those off. The surgeon also teaches the husband how to do this so he can do the same to his wife. Yeah. Like I said, the book was just wrong.

I don't even know if you can get this book anymore without buying it used. B&N online doesn't have any new copies available. I found this book in my library's listings when I was checking to see if they had The Christmas Box.

Rating: Return It!

Jen's Christmas- The Christmas Box

December 7, 2010

The Christmas Box
By: Richard Paul Evans

125 Pages

When a couple and their daughter move into the house of an elderly woman they had no idea what awaited them.

This is the debut novel of Richard Paul Evans. This beautiful novel was on the bestseller lists for weeks. It's an amazing story of love. The Christmas Box is another one of those books I tend to read every year at Christmas time. I can curl up with it and read it in one afternoon because I get lost in the story. I was given this book and told to read it. I am so glad that I did.

Mary Anne Parkin places an ad in her local newspaper. She's looking for a couple who could move into her house (mansion, really) and help her run it, as she's getting too old to do so. The couple who answer the ad and their daughter move in soon after. Upon putting their things in Mary Anne's attic, the husband (who's name is escaping me right now) finds a beautiful wooden box which inside hold what appear to be love letters.

Fairly soon after the young family move in Mary Anne poses a question to the husband: Do You Know What The First Gift of Christmas Was? He soon discovers the answer to this question, the reason why Mary Anne's Bible has so many tear stained pages, the secret they feel she's hiding, and the wooden box he found in the attic are all connected.

This book is another amazing Richard Paul Evans read. It's a beautiful, touching story that I was blessed to read. Once you start this book, you will probably get sucked into it like everyone else has. The story reminds you that love is at the heart of everything important. I warn you, tears may fall. I hope this story works it's magic for you as it has for the millions who have read it. May it touch you like it touched me.

Rating: Buy It!!

Jen's Christmas- The Christmas List

December 6, 2010

The Christmas List
By: Richard Paul Evans
349 Pages

A case of mistaken identity introduces James Kier to what people really think of him. He then makes a list of people he has hurt and sets out to right the wrongs.

Oh My Gosh!! This was an amazing book! A phenomenal book! I was glued to the story and almost hated to see it end. I have another book to add to my yearly Christmas reading list.

James Kier is a selfish man. A man driven by money and his own interests. Whether that be screwing over friends, serving his wife with divorce papers while she's seriously ill. He's not even above encouraging someone to make a bad financial decision that leads to them losing their house and life savings. And while he does all this he never bats an eye or thinks twice. He's never remorseful.

All that starts to change when a paper mistakenly runs his obituary. Upon going to the newspaper's website Kier reads the comments people have posted and they are anything but sad. This leads James to make a list of 5 people he has hurt. He intends to make up to them what he has done. With varying results, James Kier sets out a path that eventually leads to him to what really matters in life- mostly his life.

The bulk of the book is the journey of James Kier and the realizations he comes to. If you like A Christmas Carol, you will probably like The Christmas List. I warn you, the odds are pretty good that you will cry when one character dies. Despite that, you are in for a heartwarming read. I immediately went to the bookstore and bought the book.

Rating: Buy It!!

She Stoops To Conquer (Journey Through The Classics)

December 4, 2010

She Stoops To Conquer
By: Oliver Goldsmith

This book isn't on the Barnes & Noble Classics list I've been reading from. This was one of the classics that came with the eReader my hubby downloaded onto my phone. I had never heard of it before and, upon reading the brief summary, I wanted to read it. Now that I have, I can say there's a reason it isn't a classic you heard a lot of.

I'd love to tell you the plot of the play, but I'm not quite sure what is was. All I can tell you is that it was a confusing read. I know that a father wanted to arrange a marriage for his daughter, but neither the bride or the groom were interested. I got lost in the numerous characters and the conversations they had that, truthfully, had me forgetting what was supposed to be going on.

I was really looking forward to reading the play and was disappointed it didn't turn out well. Who knows, maybe I'll give it another try eventually. As for now, I have cut my losses and hope to have better luck with the next classic.

Jen's Christmas- Christmas Vacation

December 1, 2010

Now that December has arrived, the countdown to Christmas has officially begun. And what better way to kick that off than with a movie that will have you laughing so hard you may cry. I give you another of my favorite Christmas movies and one that helps kick off my Christmas season. Readers, I give you...
This movie is beyond hilarious!! It's a holiday classic for a good reason! If you love physical comedy (I'm a HUGE fan of it), you will love this movie. What better way to deal with all the stress the holiday season brings that with a movie that puts a comedic twist on it all.

In case you haven't seen National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, let me tell you about it. Clark Griswald has always wanted a traditional family Christmas: family coming to stay, getting the tree, decorating the house. Well, he gets it and far more than he bargained for. As one thing after another goes awry, Clark's sanity starts to wobble.

My favorite scene is when Clark and family go to the snow hills to enjoy sledding. Clark has been working on a special kind of varnish at work, and decides this would be the best time to try it out. (Never mind that the varnish is meant for food and not aluminum sleds) Well, he races down the hills at lightening speed. It's hilarious.

There's also his Christmas lights display. After overdoing his house lights a bit, the first attempt yields no results. However, when he finally does get the lights to work, he shorts out the city. (My husband enjoys that scene)

This movie is one laughing scene after another. Curl up with a bowl of popcorn, a warm blanket, and enjoy to your heart's content.

Jen's Christmas- Shirley, Goodness, & Mercy

November 29, 2010

Shirley, Goodness, & Mercy
By: Debbie Macomber

Shirley, Goodness, & Mercy are Angels who have been given the case of Greg Bennett. Between abandoning his girlfriend upon finding out she's pregnant, to declining to give his friend the money to possibly save his wife's life, to not being there when his Mom dies Greg has had a rough life. Can he turn it all around?

This is the first book I've read from Debbie Macomber and I'm sorry this was the one chosen. My biggest issue with it was how unrealistic the resolution was. There was a LOT of build up as to why a deep hatred exists for several of the characters. There was a LOT of time to show why Greg is in need of redemption. However, there was NO getting to see it all happen. Literally one chapter he's hated and given the chance to do something selfless that would set the balls in motion. The next chapter, he's already done it and, once everyone finds out, they forgive and forget. I'm all for the happy ending and forgiveness, but this was a bit fast for me.

I think the problem is that the book is really short. My copy was a large print copy I found at the library, and it was only 110 pages. The way the story unfolded was a bit unbalanced. I would have made sense if the book was abridged, but it wasn't. This book wasn't a great one, but I haven't given up. I'm going to start reading another one with these 3 Angels and see if it's better.
I'm hoping it is.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

Jen's Christmas- A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol
By: Charles Dickens

What's Christmas reading without one of the most famous Christmas books of all? I read this book several years ago, and have decided I need to read it every year at Christmas time. For me, this book truly reminds me that Christmas spirit and the importance of Christmas is not depended on money. It isn't about how fancy or plentiful your decorations are. It isn't about how many presents you get or receive. No, it's about being with those you love and being truly grateful for that.

The Tiny Tim storyline is a little sad, but I found comfort in knowing all turns out well. My favorite part is still the final chapter, when Scrooge awakens to Christmas day a new man. I love reading his joy and excitement that was never there before. I also loved seeing how people in that time period spent Christmas. There were no presents, or few of them. There were lots of people coming together the enjoy whatever food there was and each other.

If you haven't read it before, I encourage you to. It's a quick read that is well worth it. May it touch your heart and soul like it has for so many others. Like Tiny Tim says, "God Bless us, Every One!"

Jen's Christmas- The Muppet Christmas Carol

November 28, 2010

We all have traditions that we do during the holidays. One of mine is to watch Christmas movies. One of my all time favorite Christmas movies is...

I grew up on the Muppets! I loved their TV show and several of their movies. So, when this movie was made it was thoroughly embraced by me. While I lived with my parents my Mom & I would make popcorn and watch it. That's when the Christmas season officially began in our house. I still watch it every Christmas.

They do a great job of telling the story. I love how some of the dialogue is taken from the book. Micheal Cane is an amazing Scrooge. Gonzo plays the narrator of the story and does a great job at it. My Christmas would not be complete without watching this movie!!

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Journey Through The Classics)

November 26, 2010

The Picture of Dorian Gray
By: Oscar Wilde

Once I finished the book, the first word out of my mouth was, "Wow". I can't remember the last time a book had me on such a roller coaster ride. The first half of the book in no way prepared me for the second half. I just didn't see the turn of events in the story coming. I went from think the book was odd to thinking the book was incredible.

When Dorian Gray sits for his picture to be painted he has no idea how his life will change. While the painting is being done he becomes friends with the painter, Basil, and a man named Lord Henry. During their conversation Dorian makes a comment about hoping to stay young looking forever and let the picture age instead. Well, it happens and unleashes more than Dorian bargained for.

Dorian becomes a heartless man. He falls for an actress and propses marriage to her. When he brings his 2 friends to her play in order to see her, her acting is horrible. After the play ends he promptly dumps her. The next morning Dorian learns she killed herself. The painting slightly changes, but noticeably so. From then on, as Dorian ruins one life after another, in one form or another, the painting continues to alter. Dorian turns to blackmail and murder- all of which show in the painting. When Dorian finally decides to destroy the painting that haunts him, he is the one found dead on the floor looking old and wrinkled while the painting shows the youthful man who posed for it.

While reading this book I went from not understanding why The Picture of Dorian Gray was considered a classic, to thinking the story was strangely entrancing. By the time I was reading the second half I couldn't wait to find out what else happened. So many things occured that I didn't see coming. All I can say it, "Wow". I have a hard time doing justice to the book, or my reaction to it. It was a great read.

Christmas Reading Request!!!

November 21, 2010

Attention all bloggers, readers, & book lovers!!! I need help. I want to start reading Christmas themed books, but not the same ones I always see. If you have a recommendation or suggestion, please leave a comment below because I would LOVE to hear it. I appreciate all the help you can give me. If you heard of a good book, or read a good Christmas book tell me about it! Thank you so much!!

The Christmas Cookie Club

November 18, 2010

Ann Pearlman
The Christmas Cookie Club

I read this book last year and loved it! Once a year a group of women get together. Each brings cookies that they hand made. They share the cookies and why the cookie is special to them. I loved this aspect of it. It made me want to have a Christmas cookie party- which I may try to do this year. Each chapter is a cookie and the story of the woman who made the cookie. And each chapter includes the recipe so you can make the cookies , too, if you like.

I loved reading this book. I loved the idea of people coming together in the name of cookies!! I hope you give it a try and enjoy as much as I did. Maybe you'll even find a cookie recipe you like, too!

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much...

November 16, 2010

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much
By: Allison Hoover Bartlett
258 Pages

Gilkey is a man who steals rare books. A career criminal he used fraud to get most of the books, but he never sold them. What drove him to steal such rare books? Ken Sanders, self proclaimed "bibliodick", wants to know. He also wants to know where the books are. This is the story of the book thief and the man who caught him. The author claims Gilkey stole the books because he loved them. Or did he steal them for show?

I was very disappointed with this book. I couldn't wait for my library to get this book in so I could plunge right into it. I started reading this book with such high hopes, and none of them came true. I don't think Gilkey stole the books he stole because he loved them. He wanted to be envied by others and he wanted the status he felt they would give.

The book was very choppy and disorganised in it's re-telling of the events. It took awhile to finally get the ball rolling, but once it did you didn't get much farther. The book would focus on Gilkey for a bit and then switch to Sanders. By the time you went back to one of them you might need to be refreshed as to where you left off.

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much had such potential to be a really good read and I'm disappointed it wasn't. You just bounced around from here to there.

Rating: Return It/ Borrow From The Library

And My Magic Number Is...

November 15, 2010

In 1990 I wrote my first song. I've been doing so off and on ever since. Once I fill up a notebook it gets stored in a storage bin- and I'm currently on my second bin. Well, I've been curious for awhile to see how many I've written. So, I finally tallied them all up. I wasn't expecting the number I reached. In fact, I had someone else double check my math because I didn't trust that I did it right. Turns out did. Here's my magic number...


Playing The Game

November 14, 2010

Playing The Game
By: Barbara Taylor Bradford
385 Pages

Annette Remmington, a London art consultant and private dealer, is at the top of her game. She is considered a rising star in the international world of art, and has a roster of wealthy clients who trust her judgment and her business acumen. Her success reaches new heights when a rare and long lost Rembrandt finds its way into her hands, which she restores and sells for top dollar. Called the auction of the year, Annette becomes the most talked about art dealer in the world.
Annette is married to her mentor and personal champion, the much older Marius Remmington. For twenty years, Marius has groomed her into the international art star that she has become, not to mention saving her from a dark and gritty past. She is his pride and joy, and as her best advisor, it’s with great care that he hand picks only the best journalist possible to do a profile on his beloved wife in a popular London Sunday newspaper. Jack Chalmers is a bit of a celebrity himself, becoming one of the top journalists of his time. Marius believes only he will be able to capture the true brilliance of his lovely wife. But Marius never intends to put his marriage in jeopardy. How could he have known that the connection between Jack and Annette would ignite so many secrets? And how could he know that Jack would uncover a scandal that could ultimately destroy them all?

I've been a fan of Barbara Taylor Bradford for years. However, her latest books have all been part of a series that I had become disenchanted with. So, as excited as I was to read this book, I started it with some trepidation. Was it going to be good? I'm happy to say Playing the Game exceeded all my expectations. I loved reading this book! After a few less than great books, I dare say Barbara Taylor Bradford is back!!!

I'm not really an art fan, but I loved the art plot line. Discovering what paintings were fake and who was involved with them was a blast. Throughout the book you discover some methods people employ to create fake art and sell it as real. It blows my mind that people would do such incredible things at the risk of getting caught.

The main character, Annette, was a wonderful character to read. She survived a horribly abusive childhood and made a success of her life. She had a remarkable grave that carried her through truly tough times. She spent her life protecting and looking after her sister, Laurie. The two of them found happiness and a future in the world of art.

Annette's husband, Marius, was a character I disliked right off the bat. I had a feeling he was involved in the forgeries, but looked forward to finding out exactly how. Learning how far back and the lengths of his manipulation with Annette was disturbing, but not shocking. He's one of those loathsome characters that no matter what bad thing they've done, it doesn't surprise you.

My favorite aspect of this book was the art storyline. As I said, I've never been a huge art fan, so that says something. You know it's a good book and a good author when they can sweep you up in something you normally wouldn't be swept up in.

Rating: Buy It/ Borrow From the Library

Library Stalking!!

November 12, 2010

I found this book at the bookstore. Being broke and all, I wasn't able to buy it. So I did the next best thing, I checked to see if my library had it. They did and I put a request in for it. And now I'm anxiously waiting for....

In the late 1990s, John Gilkey stole his way through a significant number of expensive antiquarian book collections. Ken Sanders, a book collector and security chair for the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, noticed the pattern of thefts and began pursuing Gilkey, whose obsession with his precious old books led him to commit a flurry of other crimes—stealing credit cards and forging checks. Bartlett opens up the quirky world of book collecting fanatics with respect but occasionally too much adulation—a perspective that Judith Brackley is guilty of in her more effusive moments. But on the whole, Brackley's enthusiasm is welcome; she excels when exploring the minutiae and arcana of the book collecting subculture and executes the male voices well, with a clear distinction and depth.

Doesn't this book sound sooo interesting?! The cover is what first caught me, then the title had my curious. By the time I finished reading the summary I knew I had to read it. Luckily, my library had it. I can't wait to get my hands on it!!

Auntie Mame

November 7, 2010

Auntie Mame
By: Patrick Dennis
292 Pages

Mame is a wealthy woman who knows everyone and who's life is one big party. That is until her brother dies and leaves his 10 year old son, Patrick, to her. Mame has her own way of doing things, but you can't help falling in love with her.

This book was one of my used bookstore gems. I've seen the Lucille Ball movie of the book, but I've never read the book, so I was looking forward to reading it. This book didn't disappoint. It was so much fun to enter into the madcap world that is Mame's life. By the time I finished the book I was in love with Mame and all her craziness. We could all use a little Mame in our lives.

How do you do justice when describing Mame? She's a madcap, crazy lady who lives her life by her rules and doesn't care what anyone else thinks. When Patrick enters her life, she immediately embraces him and taking care of him. Together they go on a crazy journey called life and grow up together.

The book is perfectly titled. The best part of the book is Mame. Reading all the things she does and how she handles what life throws at her is great. When she loses all her money in the Great Depression she's forced to get a job. Reading how she handles this is hilarious! The list of jobs she works attempts is equal to the amount of laughs they bring you. Upon marrying her husband she goes down to Texas to meet his family- including the woman he was engaged to prior to Mame. That is full of hilarity. Mame claims to be a thorough horse rider, but scrambles for ways out of having to prove it. When she does have to, you will enjoy the ride.

By the time the book ends you can't help but love Mame. I'm trying not to give too much away. I'm also trying not to give away all the funny parts. Each chapter is one adventure and they will have you laugh. I know this review is hardly doing the book justice, but it was a great book!

Review: Borrow From the Library/Buy It!

Playing the Game (Library Stalking)

November 5, 2010

I'm checking their website several time a day in the hopes that it comes in...

Barbara Taylor Bradford's newest release is out & I'm not so patiently waiting my turn for it. If I were on my computer I would be able to include a summary of the plot, but Hubby's computer is REALLY temperamental.

Why I almost didn't vote...

November 3, 2010

Ok, this about sums it up!!

I am the first to admit, that I haven't voted the last several years. I could not bring myself to cast a vote for people I didn't think I could trust to do the job. I always felt that my right to vote wasn't fought for so that I could cast a meaningless vote. I refuse to do the eeinie, meenie, minie, mo thing when it comes to voting.

The biggest issue I have about politicians is, probably, the same most have: I don't trust them. In the past, so many spent their campaigns making promises that never came true. The other issue I have is with the mud-slinging. Bashing your opponents does NOT show me how capable you are. In fact, nothing will cost you my vote faster than bashing others. I want to know what you're going to do if you get the job. I don't care to know what so and so did. We have to focus our attention on the present and the future, let the past alone.

Between not having the time to research the opponents and all the propositions, and taking care of 2 little girls I thought my chances of voting were slim. However, I looked over the ballots and felt compelled to vote on a few. I didn't vote for everything, but I did vote for things I felt really drawn to. Whether my votes won out in the end, I don't know. I'm just glad I did voted.

Northanger Abbey (Journey Through The Classics)

October 31, 2010

Northanger Abbey
By: Jane Austen
Apparently I have attempted to read this book before. Whether I finished it, I have no clue because I don't remember ever reading it. Go figure. However, this time I didn't finish it. I got more than half way through before throwing in the towel. I couldn't take the slow moving plot or the annoying cast of secondary characters any longer.
I wanted to like this book, but couldn't. The story is about Catherine falling for Henry Tilney and going to his house where things are odd. Half way through the book there was no sign of the house visit in sight. Catherine's friend, Isabella, was an annoying twit. Isabella's brother, John, was an arrogant and manipulative jerk. Even Catherine's love interest, Henry, drove me nuts. The only character I did like was Catherine.
For those who have read Northanger Abbey and liked it, I am glad you did. Sadly, I am not among those who did.

The School of Essential Ingredients

October 25, 2010

The School of Essential Ingredients
By: Erica Bauermeister
255 Pages

Lillian owns her own restaurant and one Monday a month holds a cooking class in it, The School of Essential Ingredients. Meet her students for this session and get a glimpse into their lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's not a page turner in the usual sense, but I couldn't wait to pick it back up whenever I had to put it down. Each chapter is devoted to a student, and a brief glimpse into their lives. Some of their stories are heart warming, touching, and heartbreaking. Others were less interesting. But throughout each chapter the class is making something and I couldn't help but wish I was picking everything up through osmosis, or something.

I always love reading books that having cooking or baking as a central character. I live vicariously through the story and, for the time I am reading the book, feel like I'm a better cook than before I started. The main character, Lillian, is supposed to be in her 30s, but my mind refused that. The way I interpreted her was in her 50s or 60s. She had that motherly knowledge of who needed what and when that comes with age.

This book would be a perfect read for a rainy day or a long car trip. I can see myself re-reading this book again in the future.

Rating: Buy It/Borrow It

Reader's Paradise...

The sight of this picture made my legs go weak. I don't know where this place is, nor the name of it. I just know I want to be there... NOW!! 3 stories of books... Oh yeah!!

All those books to browse through. All the treasures I would find. All the money I would spend. M husband may not like it, but I'd be GREAT!

Sleeping Arrangements

October 22, 2010

Sleeping Arrangements
By: Madeleine Wickham
295 Pages

"... a delightful story of British families forced to spend their vacation together after a mutual friend promises them the same week in his Spanish villa. Chloe Harding hopes that a holiday will soothe the strain between her and longtime partner Philip Murray, who is worried that a recent takeover of his company may cost him his job. Their hopes are dashed when they arrive and find another family already settled at the villa. To Chloe's disappointment, she'll be sharing the space with Hugh Stratton, the beau who broke her heart 15 years ago. Now married to high-maintenance Amanda and with two children, Hugh apologizes, and though Chloe initially expresses nothing but hurt and disdain (all the while keeping their past a secret from Philip), she eventually considers beginning life anew with Hugh. Wickham does a bangup job of creating believable characters-even Amanda is less vapid than she at first seems. Surprises abound as the plot unfolds, and the families begin to wonder whether their mutual friend made an innocent mistake in getting them together."

You won't laugh while reading this book. You won't cry while reading this book. You won't be missing much if you don't read this book. But, if you're looking for a simple, breezy storyline, this may be a book to consider.

For the most part, the storyline is predictable. Two of the people have a romantic history that has haunted them ever since. Of course, they sleep together. Another two people both work for companies involved in a takeover. One is higher up than the other. Of course, that comes with it's own issues and they get addressed.

There aren't any standout scenes. The only standout character was the Nanny because she was a free spirit and so different from the other main characters. The amount of times one or more characters got drunk got a little annoying only because I thought other directions could have been taken with the story and the characters.

I'm glad I read Sleeping Arrangements. I have tried to read a couple of this author's other titles, but have never gotten very far. Odd, since this author is the pen name for Sophie Kinsella and I love her books.
Rating: Borrow From The Library

The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow (Journey Through The Classics)

October 17, 2010

The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow
By: Washington Irving

Before I even started this book I had a feeling I was going to like it and I was right!

My brother-in-law described this story to me as the classic jock vs nerd fighting for the affections of the same woman. I kind of agree with that, since that is part of the story. Though I think it's more a tale of using one's fears against him.

Sleepy Hollow is a little town in New York. Among it's residents are: Ichabod, the town teacher; Brom, the town jerk; Katrina, the woman both men want to marry; and various spirits. You have the Galloping Hessain and The Headless Horseman being the most notable two. When Brom notices Ichabod's feelings for Katrina, he decides to play tricks on the teacher. His last trick is the meanest of all. Playing on Ichabod's fears of the ghost stories told of what happens in the town at night, Brom dresses up as the Headless Horseman and proceeds to chase Ichabod. The next morning, the only thing left to find of Ichabod is his hat.

A fun little story that I could see myself reading every year around Halloween. However, I will always be frustrated that Brom won the woman's heart in the end when he deserved a big kick in the ass instead. However, knowing that Ichabod finds success in another town is a small consolation.

Frankenstein (Journey Through The Classics)

October 16, 2010

By: Mary Shelley

Frankenstein was one of those books you knew of long before you ever read it- if you chose to. It has it's own following. It plays a big part of pop culture today- especially come Halloween time. And it has been my experience through hearing other peoples' thoughts on it that you will either love it or hate it. I, however, fall into neither of those categories. I did not love the book, but I wouldn't go so far as to say I hated it since I did finish it. I can say this: I didn't like it very much. I will probably never read it again, and couldn't wait for it to be done.

Victor Frankenstein is a lover of science- mainly Natural Science. His desire to make a name for himself in this field leads him to build a living, breathing creature. Once his creation is complete and comes to life the reality of it scares Frankenstein enough to flee his apartment. When he finally returns, the creation is nowhere to be found. (Eventually you read the creation's story on how he passes this time. When the two do come face to face again the creation asks Frankenstein to make him a companion. He agrees, but destroys his work half way through. The failure to live up to his end of the agreement send the creation into a murderous revenge. He proceeds to kill everyone Frankenstein loves.From that point on the two become locked in a bitter battle.

I'm not a fan of overly descriptive and wordy authors. Mary Shelley is such a writer. I found she spent too much time describing things that held no real bearing with the actual story. She got me lost more than once while setting the scene. I have to say that it got to the point where it took away from the book's plot for me. She did have me feeling sorry for the creation. Through no choice of his own he was made and forced to spend his life wishing for loving human contact and never getting any.

For those who enjoyed this book, I am glad you did. I am glad that I read it. It's not the kind of book I normally would. I'm always happy to put myths to rest and am able to do so with one myth: Frankenstein is NOT the creation, but the creator.

Rating: Borrow From Library/ Return It If You Bought It

And The Winners Are...

October 11, 2010

I'd like to thank all of you who commented on my "Eenie Meenie Minie Moe" post. I was having a hard time deciding what books to read and you guys made it easier! Thank you, thank you!!

So here are the books I'm going to read & the order I'm going to read them in:

#1. Frankenstiein By: Mary Shelley

My Hubby has decided to read this book with me! He got a copy on CD since he has a long commute. I love reading books with him, so this should be fun!

#2. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow By: Washington Irving

I can't wait to start this one! I think it's gonna be a great Halloween read!

If I still have time after these 2 books are read, I plan to read Dracula. Thanks again to everyone who left comments!!


October 10, 2010

By: Danielle Steel
326 Pages

Dumped by her boyfriend of 6 years. Laid off by the job she had for 10 years; Brigitte Nicholson had the week from hell. What was she to do now? Get lost in her family history while doing a favor for her Mother? Once Brigitte discovers the Indian relative, Wachiwi, that's exactly what she does. Who was she? What was she like? And how did she come to meet, marry a French Marquis and be presented to the King and Queen? Brigitte doesn't know, but she decides to find out.

Legacy was leaps and bounds better than Danielle's last book Family Ties. I got so engrossed with the Wachiwi storyline and her life story! I've always said that Danielle does historical fiction well, and this storyline was a prime example. The details she used made me forget that I knew nothing about Indian life from 100s of years ago. I loved reading how Wachiwi goes from her Indian life to France. It was truly a great story. My only complaint with it was that it seemed to end abruptly. You never get her complete story. You don't know how she died, only that she died a few months apart from her husband's. I wish you got her whole life's story.

Brigitte's storyline was good for the most part. She's the girl who never had ambitious goals and it cost her in the end. She spent 7 years devoted to a book about the history of Women's right to vote only to abandon it. I was able to relate to her in these respects since I'm not an overly ambitious person myself and have spent years on a project near and dear to me that may never get completed. Towards the end of the book I got a little bored with Brigitte and, but I was routing for her to take the leap of faith she never took before.

I'm glad I read Legacy. It was so fun! This book was a great escape into a world I knew nothing about.

Rating: Borrow From Library

Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe...

October 7, 2010

Here's my dilemma. I want to read another classic, but I don't know which one. Since this month is Halloween, I narrowed my choices down to a few...

Legend of Sleepy Hollow



Which one should I read?

Mini Shopaholic

October 3, 2010

Mini Shopaholic
By: Sophie Kinsella
419 Pages

Becky's back with a whole new set of adventures. There's her 2 year old daughter who has a habit of throwing fits in a dramatic fashion. She's decided to throw her husband a surprise birthday party but, somehow the Internet and the press get involved. And there is the endless attempt at buying a house. Will #5 be the lucky one?

I've been a fan of the Confessions of A Shopaholic series since it's debut. You can't help but giggle at Becky and the way she can rationalize her actions. One thing is for sure, whenever you read this series, you are guaranteed a smile through out the books.

That having been said, let's focus on Mini Shopaholic. Overall, I enjoyed it. I think my only complaint was that the book seemed to be mis-titled. The biggest storyline wasn't dealing with her daughter, but planning her husband's surprise party. But, if that's the biggest issue I could find with the book, I think we're ok.

The book had a handful of scenes that out a smile on my face. I couldn't help chuckle when Becky's daughter, Minnie, manages to get thrown out of yet another Santa's Grotto. In total that's 4 Minnie and her family has been banned from. It's not every day a 2 year old turns the reindeer into a climbing invitation. Of course, a scene ensues.

Getting Minnie baptised wasn't without it's hiccups either. Call it really bad timing when the Bank of London financially collapses while the ceremony is waiting to begin. The guests get wind of it through the Internet on their phones and hysteria breaks out. Everyone races out of the church in the hopes of securing their money before it's gone for good. Everyone-- including the Priest himself. He does go to Becky's house later that day to apologize and make an impromptu baptism.

I'm saving some of the other giggly scenes for you to discover. The book was definitely worth a read. Loyal fans of the series will enjoy visiting Becky and her crazy life. The way the book ends made me think there is another Shopaholic book possibility.

Rating: Borrow From Library

October Reading...

Here's a few books I aim to read this month. I don't know how many of them I'll actually get to read, but I'm gonna try.

By: Danielle Steel

One of my favorite authors. However, her books have been hit or miss the last few years. We'll see if this one is a hit, or if it'll miss like her last release was.

Sleeping Arrangements
By: Madeleine Wickham

I'm yet to finish a single book by this author. This is the pen name used by Sophie Kinsella, the author of the Confessions of a Shopaholic series, so I don't quite understand why I struggle. I LOVE Sophie Kinsella, so it's odd.

Anyway, Im giving this pen name another try. We'll see if I have any success this time around.

The Romance Readers' Book Club
By: Julie L. Cannon

I was sold on this book once I read the description of it. I hope it's as good as it sounds like it may be. I've never read a book where a 15 year old was the main character and the story is of how this genre speaks to her and her friends. Mix together 3 teens and an "eccentric" Aunt, and you could have the making of a good read. I intend to find this out.

Attack of the Teeth!!!!!

September 27, 2010

No one said being a parent was easy. While it comes with endless amounts of joy and wonderful memories, it also has a dark side rarely talked about. Well, I'm gonna share one of the those dark moments with you. Here's a taste of teething...

My year old just went through another bout of teething. She cut her first 2 teeth at 4 months old when the bottom fronts came in together. After getting 8 teeth in total over the next few months, she took a break for a little while. No, I should say, her teeth were just plotting and buying their time.

For about 1-2 weeks my baby was cranky, fussy, and clingy. We were on the look out for more teeth, but if she doesn't want you poking around in there she won't make trying to do it easy. For about a week- if not more- her sleep during the night was next to non-existent. She would sleep for a couple of hours only to stay awake for a couple of hours. For reasons we could not figure out, she wanted nothing to do with her crib at night. Instead, she enjoyed sleeping in our bed with us.

Her Daddy and I were exhausted! We were at the end of our ropes! Then, while making her laugh on the floor one day, I got a glimpse of something...signs of teeth! One forced examination later left me a little shocked. Turns out, my littlest lovebug was cutting 4 TEETH!!! Not just one, or two. Nope! She was cutting 4 of them. And 2 of them were her top back molars!! No wonder she's been having such a hard time lately!! No wonder she wanted to to be held all the time and sleep with us!

Now everything made sense. Since aceptametaphine doesn't phase her, we got out the baby Motrin. Her sleep has gotten back to normal. She's back to her little wonderful self. We're all still a little worse for wear, but we survived the latest invasion of the teeth.

All that's left to do now is wait for the bottom molars and teeth to show up!

The Girl With No Shadow

September 26, 2010

The Girl With No Shadow
By: Joanne Harris
444 Pages

The wind has always dictated Vianne Rocher's every move, buffeting her from the French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes to the crowded streets of Paris. Cloaked in a new identity, that of widow Yanne Charbonneau, she opens a chocolaterie on a small Montmartre street, determined to still the wind at last and keep her daughters, Anouk and baby Rosette, safe. But the weather vane soon turns, and Zozie de l'Alba blows into their live. Charming and enigmatic, Zozie provides the brightness that Yanne's life needs as her vivavity and bold lollipop shoes dazzle rebellious and impressionable preadolescent Anouk. But beneath their new friend's benevolent facade lies a ruthless treachery for devious, seductive Zozie has plans that will shake their world to pieces.

I LOVED this book's predecessor, Chocolat! When I found out about this book I couldn't wait to visit the characters I came to love. What I got was another book that needed to leave well enough alone. I think the book would have been a better service to a whole new set of characters instead of doing the disservice to previously successful characters.

The book takes place 4 years after Chocolat. Anouk is now older and dealing with cliques in her school. The baby Vianne was pregnant with at the end of Chocolat was born, Rosette, and refuses to talk at 4 years old. Vianne is now using a different name and living a whole new life for the sake of her girls.

Everything I loved about Vianne's personality and the way she interacted with people has seemed to have been lost in those 4 years. While, eventually, she gets most of it back, it was not a welcome surprise, and a little too late for me. She becomes involved, and later engaged, with a man who is selfish, snobby, and a jerk. You realise very early that she's only with him because of the stable life he represents and would offer the girls, but he's a jerk to them. Their ultimate split up was welcomed with open arms.

Chocolat's bad guy was the Priest, The Girl With No Shadow's is Zozie. She has made a life for herself by stealing other people's ids, and sometimes taking their lives. Her plan for Vianne is to take over her life. So the whole book is watching her do this. Seeing how she charms the customers, Vianne, and goes after Anouk as her keepsake.

Overall, I was disappointed. I had such high hopes for this book, and none of them were realised. The next time I miss these characters I'll just reread Chocolate.

Rating: Borrow From Library


September 23, 2010

By: Joanne Harris

Summary: enchanting novel about a small French town turned upside down by the arrival of a bewitching chocolate confectioner, Vianne Rocher, and her spirited young daughter.

Since I'm currently reading the sequel to this book, I thought I should do a post about Chocolat. I loved this book! I was drawn in by the main character, Vianne. This mysterious woman comes to quiet, church-centered town and dares to open a chocolate store! She somehow knows what everyone likes, what they need, and it drives the town's priest insane. The whole chocolate part was my favorite! Reading of Vianne making it, decorating it, and serving it had me drooling! Joanne Harris did a phenomonal job of creating a story around my favorite treat!I also loved watching this group of characters unapologetically come together.

I loved the secondary characters! There was only a couple that I didn't enjoy reading about, but that's how Joanne wants them to come across. The mysterious drifter, Roux, who you can't help but become drawn to. The priest who refuses to believe the store won't be the end of the town.

Woven throughout the book is the story of Vianne's life. The mother storyline, after awhile, got a bit dark for me and uninteresting. Her mother's death was not something I needed to have drawn out the way it was. A brief synopsis would have been fine with me. I also got fed up about fearing the dark man. However, through learning of Vianne's past you come to see why she's the drifter she is.

I loved all the little magic ever so subtly involved. It wasn't an amount that would have freaked me out, but enough to make the book all the more interesting to read. This is definitely a book I would read again; I'd just skip past the mother storyline after awhile.

If you decide to read this great book, I strongly advice doing so with some kind of chocolate with you. I am convinced it made the reading experience all the more magical and enjoyable!

Journey Through The Classics Update!

September 19, 2010

The Turn of the Screw
By: Henry James

This was another re-read for me. I enjoyed it the first time and struggled with it this time. Of all the things I've forgotten about the book, I can't believe I forgot how wordy Henry James is. He got elaborately descriptive with his writing to the point that I had to read more than a few sentences and paragraphs over again. I eventually got to the point where I didn't bother reading it again if I knew nothing important was missed.

Having said that, the plot of the story was great! I love a good ghost story that isn't too scary. Henry James told a great story and at a great pace. The story is the re-telling of a governess's time taking care of 2 siblings in their Uncle's country house. She's the latest of a few people who had taken care of them, and a couple of them haven't left the children...

I may read this book again, someday, but it wouldn't be any time soon. It's not a book I recommend reading if you aren't able to invest a chunk of time, despite it being barely over 100 pages long. I also wouldn't read this book if you're reading others as well. For me, at least, I had to dedicate a lot of concentration and time to it because of the way Henry James wrote it.

The Leaning Tower of Jen...

September 14, 2010

For the past 2 days I have looked like this. My back has been spasming and in no time, I am leaning to the right. To say it's painful would probably be redundant, but it is.

I've spent pretty much all of today in bed. The one good thing out of this is that I've been able to get a little bit of reading done- but not much.

When no amount of ibuprofen did anything to help, I took matters into my own hands. I was sure that a piece of cake from my daughter's birthday party would fix me. Is there anything good cake can't fix?! Apparently, there is because it didn't do the trick. I then began to bribe my back. I pleaded that if it would stop spasming on me I'd give it chocolate chip cookies. I swear it knows because it started getting better. But I'm still in bad shape.

Oh well, no one can say I didn't try. I wonder if I should charge admission for people come check out the real life version of the historical landmark? Just a thought...

Journey Through The Classics Update!

A big reason I wanted to read this book was wanting to see how close the book was to a movie made of it. In the 1990s the movie "Clueless" was made as a modern day adaptation to the beloved book. As happens with many adaptations, things tend to get lost in the translation, and I wanted to see if this pairing was going to be another example of that. It wasn't. The book and the movie were pretty darn close! More over, both were great!

Once I started reading Emma, I didn't want to stop. I remember reading it in far less time than I expected to. My husband was home from work, so I've no doubt that's why. I was just enthralled with the story. I thoroughly loved reading to see how much the book and movie had in common.

Emma was the girl who took people under her wing in the thought of knowing what was best for them. In some cases she was right. She took excellent care of her Father. Some she was off... way off. When she befriends Harriet, she decides to find her new friend a husband. In the end, the match was not made and love was almost missed out on by everyone involved.

As enchanting as Emma was, I do have to say I wasn't expecting her to treat Harriet in the way she did towards the end of the book. Other than that, I loved the book.

This Blonde Vs. Facebook...

September 13, 2010

Alright, so I've been wanting to post pictures on Facebook so my family & friends could see them. Most of the pictures I take these days are done on my iPhone and I even had my hubby download the Facebook app. I've had my phone for over a year & the app on it for a little less than that.

I have tried and tried to figure out how to post the pictures from my phone with no success. Well, a few days ago I happen to see a little camera icon next to the space where you write what you want to say. I clicked it and sure enough I was able to pick pictures from my phone's library.

I was so happy and peeved all in one! It was that easy and RIGHT THERE!! I still don't want to discuss it, but I had to share this moment with you all.
Oh well. Better late than never?

Journey Through The Classics Update!

September 11, 2010

**Rebecca is not on the Barnes & Noble Classics list. This is one of the several classics I'll be reading that is not on it.

By: Daphne Du Maurier

This is another re-read for me. While I don't remember much of it from the first reading, I do know it didn't take me as long to read as it did this time.

Overall, I liked the book. I found the first half slow going and even boring at times. I felt like it took awhile to get really going. But once it got good, it got REALLY good. The second half of the book was great! I had a hard time putting it down when I had to. Laundry was put off until I had no choice about it because I couldn't wait to see what happened next.

The character Mrs. Danvers, the head house employee, was one of those characters you want to throttle! As awful as this may sound, that woman needed a good dose of reality to hit her in the face. Somewhere along the line she forgot she was an employee- a replaceable one at that- and not the owner of the house.

I was a little disappointed with the ending. I would have liked a bit more closure. All you know is that Manderley is on fire, but there's no resolution as to who did it, though you have 2 good ideas. I can't really put my finger on it, but I thought the book would end in a different way.

September 11, 2001 Tribute

September 11, 2001

A tear can be shed.
Blood can be bled.
But we will never forget
The living, now dead.

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