A Local Gem...

August 26, 2010

Today I explored a new book related gem in my area! This bookstore is GREAT!!! Not only do they sell new books, but they sell used books as well!! YES!!! Eclectic books has couches for you to curl up on!! My girls had a wonderful time in their kids corner, especially my oldest. This place is amazing!! I urge anyone who can get there (Murrieta, CA), to do so. I met one of the ladies who works there and she was so nice... bonus!!!

The store has it's own website with a link to Amazon for book buying pleasure! I have a feeling I'll be spending LOTS of money there! Oh yeah, and LOTS of time, too!! Please check them out!!

Of course, I didn't leave empty handed! One of my scores was Auntie Mame!! I pounced on it so fast!! (It'll be part of an upcoming reading invitation I have planned)

Shopaholic & A Baby

August 24, 2010

Shopaholic & A Baby
By: Sophie Kinsella
436 Pages (mass market paperback)

Sophie's beloved character, Becky, is back! Now that she's pregnant she has A LOT of shopping to do. A LOT of rational, reasonable shopping to do. However, all is not smooth in her world. Is someone else coming between Becky and her prince charming?

Sophie Kinsella is pretty much my go-to-author when I want to read a cute book where I'm gonna laugh. The hi jinks Becky gets into began in Confessions of A Shopaholic and carries through this book. I enjoyed this book so much!!

Enjoy as Becky navigates pregnancy, a relationship with her newly discovered sister, buying a "Family House", and learning her obstetrician is her hubby's ex. If you enjoy books that have you chuckling- then this one is sure to deliver!

Rating: Borrow From The Library/ Buy It

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.
By: Sam Wasson
204 Pages

A look at making the legendary movie Breakfast At Tiffany's, the legendary actress Audrey Hepburn, & the legendary time when women came into their own.

I waited a LONG time this book. I requested it from the library and anxiously awaited it's arrival. It was NOT worth the wait. Not only is the book slow going in respect to the making of the movie, but it goes into details you probably don't really care about. I was disappointed.

To begin with, the book is just over 200 pages. So you would think the author would want to focus on pertinent info. Sadly, he doesn't. I love reading about how the great movies are made, but it's not always an exciting process. This book is a prime example of that.

Rating: Borrow From Library/ Return It (if you bought it)

Journey Through The Classics Update!

August 17, 2010

Little Women
By: Louisa May Alcott

This was a re-read for me. I had read it many, many years ago so I didn't remember a lot of it beyond liking it. So, I included it on my classics to read list. Turns out, I had better success with it last time than I did this time.

The story is of 4 sisters who live with their Mother and wait for their Father to return from fighting in the war. I loved how close knit the girls were and how unselfish they were. Throughout the reading of this book I kept thinking how fun it would be to hang out with them. These sisters came into creation long before TV ever did, and the ways they found of amusing themselves were great to read about.

Beyond that I got bored with the book. The girls each have little tales in the book, but not much kept me glued. It's a book I can imagine people reading for the comfort factor.

Journey Through The Classics Update!

August 14, 2010

The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz
By: L. Frank Baum

This is my 2nd time reading this book and I loved it every bit as the 1st! The story of Dorothy trying to get back to Kansas is so enchanting and fun!

The book gets the story going right away- which I always love. A cyclone picks up Dorothy's house and lands it in Munchkinland. From this moment on Dorothy is in for one adventure after another. And on her journey to the Emerald City she runs into one interesting character after another.

I have to say, it's impossible to read the book and not compare it to the movie it inspired. I'll tell you now, there are some things shared by both, but A LOT of things NOT. I LOVED seeing what was kept and what was changed. For instance, there are no ruby slippers (in the book they are silver), nor is the Wicked Witch of The West chasing after Dorothy through the whole book. In fact, she plays a small role in the book and only after Dorothy and company go looking for her.

If you love the movie, you will probably enjoy the book! It's a great read that will go by quickly! I look forward to the day when I can read it with my girls. I am sure this is another classic that I'll read many, many times in the future!

Journey Through The Classics Update!

August 13, 2010

Ok, I really wanted to like this book. The first time I read it, I didn't finish it. At the time I thought it was just a case of classics burn out, since I had been reading them non-stop for a good period of time. So, this time around I thought would go better. Turns out, the book wasn't great then for a reason and it wasn't great now for a reason.

Persuasion, in my opinion, suffers from the all too familiar illness of the story and story description not matching. The description says the book is about Anne Elliott who fell for Frederick. They were engaged to be married, but she broke it off after being influenced by those close to her that he wasn't good enough. Now, several years later, Frederick has returned and the tables have turned. Frederick is no longer poor and Anne's family now is. Will they fall in love again and get the happy ending they originally wanted?

I threw in the towel with about 100 pages left to go. I have to say, very little interaction between Anne and Frederick had happened. If I hadn't read the summary before starting the book, I would never have thought these two characters were the focal point of the book! None of the other characters, or the other story lines, were able to make up for what the book lacked.

Sadly, time had no affect on me in regards to this book. I didn't finish it then or now for the same reason. It just wasn't good. I usually enjoy Jane Austen, too. Oh well. On to the next!!

When This Blonde Table Danced

August 12, 2010

We've all heard the phrase: "What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas". That's all well and true... unless you have witnesses and photos. In my case there was both, so my Vegas trip lived on in infamy. And I blame my dear husband for every bit of it!!! It's his fault this happened.

My hubby and I had 2 weddings when we got married. Not being one of those little girls who dreamed of her wedding, the big elaborate ceremony was all his. Mine was our little Vegas ceremony. Every time we ever went to Vegas we always made a stop at The Hard Rock Cafe. We both LOVE their shakes and collected the glasses they came in. So, of course, we had to go there during our wedding weekend.

For those of you who haven't been to this restaurant, when they play "YMCA" over the system some of the waitresses get up on a platform and dance to it. My new hubby & I decided that when they played it we'd both get on our chairs and dance along. Well, they played it and I got on my chair.... AND HE BACKED OUT!!! Sadly, I was already dancing by this point thinking he'd be on his chair any second. Even more sad, one of the managers was right by us. So I got taken up to the platform with the dancers.

So, there I was. Dancing like an idiot, in front of people, and plotting my new hubby's death. And there he was, taking pictures and loving every minute of it. (Thankfully, I have the pictures in my possession.) I'd like to say that after 10+ years of marriage I have forgiven my other half for this. I have not. But I'm working on it...maybe.

I'm Waiting!!!......

August 9, 2010

I have never claimed to be a patient person. As they say, when God was giving out patience i got tired of standing in line waiting my turn. So, you can only imagine my frustration at my library right now. I've been waiting for my book to come in for over a week!! Seriously?!

According to the library catalogue, my book is "being transferred between libraries". My question is what is taking it so long to get from them to me! I want my freaking book already!

Now watch, it'll come in within the next day or so. After I make a big old stink here! Well, here's hoping.

Journey Through The Classics Update!

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
By: Robert Louis Stevenson

Running on the theory that humans have good & evil sides to them, Stevenson tells the story of a doctor who experiments with this theory. Dr. Jekyll creates a formula that is able to turn him into another person, physically. This alter ego, Mr. Hyde, is full of evil and is disliked by all who see him. Dr. Jekyll's experiment gets out of hand when Hyde murders a man. From then on this experiment gets out of control.

I liked this story. Though Stevenson is wordy and elaborately descriptive in telling this tale, I still liked it. I often found myself having to re-read parts of the story so I could figure out what was going on. This is definitely a book I would read again. Chances are I'd get more out of it the second time around since it would fill in the holes from the first reading. This book will find a great home on my bookshelf.

Journey Through The Classics Update

August 7, 2010

Breakfast At Tiffany's
By: Truman Capote

When you hear the title Breakfast At Tiffany's what do you think of: the book or the movie? Chances are it's the movie- and there's a reason for that. In a nutshell, this book reminded me of swiss cheese. It's good, but the holes make you feel like it's missing something- though I don't know what. Odd...

In this book, you meet Holly Golightly. Good time party girl who, it turns out, ran away from one situation and lived to do the same thing again. At 14, Holly marries a widower with children. In time, she leaves. 5 years later her husband finally tracks her down. Nothing comes of it and he goes back home by himself. When she gets the notice that her beloved brother has died in the war, she demolishes everything in her apartment out of grief. Lastly, she gets arrested for being the go between for an incarcerated mobster and his lawyer. What does she do? What any good time gal would- she flees to Brazil.

I felt like all these things could have brought so much more to the book, but they were never explored to their fullest potential. I don't know if this was purposely done, or not. But it made me feel like the book was missing something. I would have liked a little more.

Journey Through The Classics Update

August 4, 2010

By: George Bernard Shaw

Idle curiosity drew me to this story. I wanted to read the work that My Fair Lady was based on. Well, I have read it. Gotta say, while I'm glad I read it, I don't think it's something I'd read again. For starters. I had no idea it was a play and not a book. Sometimes I have a hard time connecting with plays because they don't always give you the details books do. Such is the case with Pygmalion. You got the story of her big transformation before and after it happened, but nothing of it during. Even if Mr. Shaw had done subtle things during the transformation, I think it would've been easier to embrace the story.

I found Henry Higgins to be awful in the play. He was conceited, a jerk, and unlikeable for me. I was happy to find out he and Eliza don't fall in love in the end as they did in the movie. Pickering was a far more likable character. He was more understanding to Eliza and more sensitive. He treated her with far more respect than Higgins ever did. I also loved Henry's Mother, Mrs. Higgins. She was fun to read about.

Journey Through The Classics Update

August 3, 2010

Daisy Miller
By: Henry James

I read this book years ago, but didn't remember much about it beyond liking it. Well, I have now re-read it and can't quite figure out why I liked it before. Some classics are considered classics for obvious reasons. Not so with Daisy Miller.

The story is about Daisy Miller's first trip to Europe. There she spends most of her time with 2 men: Mr. Winterbourne and Mr. Giovanni. She has no qualms of going on walks with either of them (sometimes both), or on trips with them. When people begin talking about her and giving her the cold shoulder due to her behaviour she can't see what the big deal is. Well, she meets her doom during a trip with Mr. Giovanni to the Roman Coliseum at midnight. She gets sick and dies.

For being only 62 pages long (the B&N version), it wasn't so bad. However, I still think it's a story that had no obvious plot or point. Sadly, I think my copy of the book will get donated once I read Washington Square. Though, I have to say, it was fun to see my birthplace (Scnectady, NY) in a book!

My Journey Through The Classics!

August 2, 2010

It's no secret that I love to read the classics. Several years ago I made a list of the ones I wanted to read. I made pretty good progress with it, but stopped when I had my oldest daughter. Whenever I read a classic I always hope it's on the Barnes & Noble Classics list. (Sadly, not all of them are.) I love the way they do them. I love the footnotes they include. I love the information they give on the authors and the book itself. I've always preferred their books to any other classics.

Well, I have decided to renew this challenge to myself from years ago. I have recently re-compiled my list of the classics I want to read (Somehow it got longer this time. Go figure). Some of them are ones I read years ago, but don't remember very well, so I'm going to re-read them. Some are ones I never would have read before, but now am willing to give them a try. I know it's gonna take me a LONG time to get this LONG list accomplished, but I hope to do it. And I hope to have a great time reading great books while doing it.

Up first is one I read years ago, but don't remember much beyond my liking it.
Here we go for round 2: Daisy Miller

Daisy Miller: James paints a vivid portrait of a vibrant young American girl visiting Europe for the first time. Lovely, flirtatious, eager for experience, Daisy meets a wealthy American, Mr. Winterbourne, and a penniless but passionate Italian. Her complex encounters with them and others allow James to explore one of his favorite themes, the effect of Americans and Europeans on each other. -- bn.com (I edited a little)

You're welcome to read with me. Or, if you'd like, make your own list and work your way through it. If you'd like to peruse the Barnes & Noble Classics List, here is the link to it:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/Classic-books-Barnes-and-Noble-classics/379000132/?cds2Pid=18918

My 1st Blog Award!!!!

Here Are The Rules:
1. Get really excited that you got the coolest award ever!
--- already done! I woke up my poor, sick hubby to tell him!
2. Choose 1 of the following options for accepting the OMB award:
get really drunk & blog for 15 minutes straight or as long as you can focus
write about your most embarrassing moment
write a "Soundtrack Of Your Childhood" post
take a picture of yourself 1st thing in the morning, before you do anything else, & post it
3. Pass the award on to at least 3, but preferably more, awesome bloggers.

I'm so excited to win an award!!! I feel so special!! And here is the list of other blogs I'd like to pass this award to:

That's Queen Bitch to you
The Bookish Type
Til We Read Again
Alison's book Marks
Sniffings of A Slugdog
Sagi's Randomness
I'm choosing the "Write A Soundtrack" for my childhood. Here you go!!
*The soundtrack for the movie Annie
(I blasted it all the time. I can't stand it now)

*The Beach Boys
(They were the 1st LP I ever got)

*"In The Mood" By Glenn Miller
(Whenever it played I ran to dance to it)

*Debbie/Deborah Gibson
(She was my favorite & still is)

Book Memories

August 1, 2010

The Phantom Of The Opera
By: Gaston Leroux
320 Pages**
(**B&N's classics version of the book)

My Husband & I have seen the musical twice and LOVED it. So when I found out it was a book first, I was hesitant to read it. Would it be as good? Well, I eventually read it, and it was every bit as good as the musical, though it different ways.
In the musical, the theatre does Opera shows, whereas the book does Ballets. Among some other differences that were minor for me, I LOVED the book! It was every bit as magical for me as the musical was. I would have a hard time deciding which was better: the book or the musical.

While some of the characters in the book didn't make it into the musical, I loved reading about them. The Parisian was a particularly favorite. The book was phenomenal with telling the story of the Phantom. You get a better look at him and why he is driven to the lengths he goes to. You get a much better look at his world under the theatre in the book and I enjoyed that to no end.

The ending is more heartbreaking in the book, I think. Though I have to say, I would've been heartbroken with any ending. This book was definitely one of those stories that pulls you in and keeps you glued. I can see myself reading this book many times more to come. It has become one of my all-time favorite classics!

Family Ties

Family Ties
By: Danielle Steel
336 Pages

When Annie Ferguson inherits her nieces and nephew after a tragic accident kills their parents, every one's life changes. Annie, who was on the verge of claiming the future for herself, now becomes the Mother didn't expect to be. After devoting her adult life to them, they have become grown ups themselves. Now what is Annie to do? Is she too late find the love?

This book had such potential. However, in my opinion, Danielle didn't deliver. When the story gets going, the children are all grown up and living their own lives. It was touching to read how close knit everyone was, but that's about it. I never even finished the book because the storyline just couldn't keep me interested. Maybe I'm one of those readers who would have been more interested in how everyone survived the deaths and grew up. I don't know. I just know that less than 200 pages in I didn't care to see how it all went from A to Z.

The nephew having a relationship with his assistant law professor was cheesy to me. To make matters worse was how the professor became an obsessed, clingy, desperate woman after their first night together. Seeing how he catered to her drama was a big issue with me. She's a mother of 2 young kids herself and threatening to kill herself if he left her. What the hell?! He didn't know how he felt and never had teh balls to tell her flat out. Instead, he just didn't argue with her when she'd tell him. Sorry, nothing about that storyline did anything for me.

You also have your token family rebel. She's got piercings and tattoos. She marches to the beat of her own drummer. All fine and good, not everyone is meant to travel the same road. And then you have the daughter who is the commitment phobe. She gets involved with a guy in the same industry she's in and he cheats on her, of course.

Very little about this book- what I read of it- was unpredictable. I knew how it was going to end, but didn't care to see how everyone got to their designated ending. As I feared it would be, this book was a disappointment. In fact, it marks the first time I ever stopped reading a Danielle Steel book before finishing. Here's hoping for better luck with her next one.

Rating: Borrow From Library

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