House Of Stone

March 27, 2012

House of Stone
By:Anthony Shadid
307 Pages
Anthony Shadid recounts the rebuilding of his ancestral home. As he takes you on that journey, he tells you the history of the Middle East this home lives within. He also allows you to meet his family.
Anthony gives you an eye opening look into the world of war that he reports on. The things he sees will affect you. What drew me the most was the story of the house and his family.
The Middle East is a part of the world I know next to nothing about, but have a  new appreciation for. I encourage anyone who is fascinated by the Middle East to read this book. Anthony Shadid takes you by the hand and introduces you to this world and all the people who live there.

The Book Of Lost Fragrances

March 13, 2012

The Book Of Lost Fragrances
By: M.J. Rose
384 Pages
*** Reviewed By: Betsey Brooks ***

 "...When Robbie L’Etoile of the failing House of L’Etoile perfumery discovers, in the family’s Paris workshop, pottery shards holding traces of a perfume that can cause recall of previous lives, he shares his discovery with archaeologist Griffin North, an old family friend who’s the ex-lover of Jac, Robbie’s clairvoyant sister and a myth scholar. After exposure to the shards, Jac finds herself balancing visions of the lives of grieving lovers from the past with her own complicated feelings about Griffin. Robbie, a Buddhist, later disappears after the Chinese mafia learns he intends to give the pottery to the Dali Lama to support the hopes of Tibetans in exile." ---Publisher's Weekly

This was a wonderfully fast paced read with a surprise in each chapter. The story swirls around pieces of pottery found in an Egyptian tomb. They have a sent of an ancient perfume which has an unusual effect on those that smell it. The L'Etoile who was there for the discovery has hidden it. Finding and having these pieces mean different things to a variety of people. The story tell of journey each person takes trying to obtain them. 

The main character is Jac L'Etoile. The  L'Etoile family has been making perfumes in France  for many generations and is well known internationally. Jac and her brother, Robbie, are now in control of the company. Their father developed Alzheimer's and is no longer able to continue. Unfortunately, his condition wasn't diagnosed before he made many poor business decisions. Between that, and the failing economy, the company is in deep financial trouble. Robbie has taken over the company and is attempting to get things back on track.

Jac never wanted anything to do with the company. She moved to the United States and is a well known author who has her own television show called Mythfinders. In both her book and show, Jac explores the origins of myths and legends. Jac is very different from the person she presents to people around her. She has visions of past lives that take over her consciousness.  While Jac is in the US, Robbie has been working to make some sense of the mess his father has made both physically in the lab and in papers left all around. He finds something that he feels can put the company back on its feet. Robbie needs Jac's help. Robbie disappeared and a body is found in the lab. Jac comes home to find her brother.

A second character is Xie  Ping. He is an award winning student artist in a Chinese college and  a person of interest to the Chinese government. Xie's earliest years were spent in Tibet but that ended with his "rescue" from a burning Buddhist  temple. A group of 4 artist have been invited to go on and exhibition tour in Europe. The tour may change Xie's life forever.

The past and the future are woven throughout this story and play a key roll in it's climax.

Another strand of the story tells of various people that want the pieces of pottery because of the effect they have. Proving reincarnation is a driving force to some. Others want it because of its historic value. But then there is another group that  want it to disappear forever. It becomes a life and death struggle as their paths intertwine.

If you are looking for a book that will capture you from the very first page and not let go until the very last word, look not further than The Book Of Lost Fragrances. M.J. Rose takes you on an adventure you won't want to stop reading about. It was  hard to put down once I got into it. However each chapter is so well crafted, it was easy to pick back up. I read this in 2 sittings. If I had been on a vacation I would have read it straight through. That is the pull it has on you. This is a remarkable book you will not forget about once you've finished it.

I would encourage any reader to purchase this book. The historic information is fascinating and come to life through the exquisite details. Thank you to the author for taking me on a wonderful journey.

Rating: Buy It!

Explosive Eighteen

March 12, 2012

Explosive Eighteen
By: Janet Evanovich
305 Pages

Stephanie is slipped a photo without her knowing. Turns out the photos is more than just a picture. Hired thugs are chasing her down to get it.

Once upon time a I looked forward to the Stephanie Plum releases. I waited impatiently to read what new adventures Stephanie and company would find themselves into. I couldn't wait for the laughter and hilarity to begin. However, I fear those days are fading fast.

Not only did this book fall way short of my Stephanie Plum expectations, it was an anti-climatic storyline followed by an anti-climatic ending. My favorite characters have always been Grandma Mazor and Lula, and both were off their game this time around.

The story line's in the book were barely there and easily forgettable. There was little to no of the magic that made this series the smash it was. As usual, the love triangle between Stephanie, Joe, and Ranger is still in effect and makes no progress. Stephanie has botched attempts at getting her FTAs, but none of them were funny this time around. In fact, I got annoyed with Stephanie for putting up with the crap she does.

Joyce comes back in a storyline that had potential. She was trying to sell information to a group of jewel thieves. Thinking they wanted her dead, she goes into hiding. Turns out she wasn't on their radar and they aren't what she thought they were.

I've never been so disappointed in the Stephanie Plum series as I am with Explosive Eighteen.

Rating: Borrow From The Library/ Return It if You Bought It!

How To Eat A Cupcake

March 1, 2012

How To Eat A Cupcake
By: Meg Donohue
270 Pages

...what happens when two childhood friends, Annie and Julia, reconnect as adults and decide to open a cupcakery. But success in their new baking business venture will depend upon their overcoming old betrayals, first loves, and an unexpected and quite dangerous threat. --

Annie and Julia literally grew up together. The two were inseparable all through their childhoods, but things changed once they entered High School. Annie is painfully aware that she's the daughter of the help surrounded by wealthy kids. Things go from bad to worse when she's accused of stealing things belonging to other students. She's placed on suspension, and her college of choice is notified. The future she holds so dear suddenly hangs in the balance. Was she right in assuming it was Julia who started the rumors of Annie being the school thief?

Before everything could be resolved, and her name cleared, Annie's beloved Mother dies. Now there is no reason to stay. Once she's able, she goes to her college and Julia goes to hers. Never the two shall meet again, if Annie has her way.

A decade passes and Annie has been asked to cater a party for the wealthy Lolly St. Clair- Julia's Mother. To further the shock of being back in the house she swore never to set foot in again is seeing Julia there as well. Julia is back at home planning her wedding. However, there's more to her moving back home than anyone knows. Life in New York came to a screeching halt for Julia, landing her in the hospital. No one knows she was even there, and no one knows why she was there- not even her fiance, Wes. What secret is she withholding? Will she ever get the nerve to tell Wes the truth behind it?

After eating one of Annie's cupcakes that Julia has hidden after the party, she has an ingenious idea: She & Julia could open a cupcakery! Annie isn't as enthusiastic and rejects Julia's offer. However, she later changes her mind and agrees. While Annie is the reluctant partner, there is someone who is dead set against the idea.

While planning and opening Treat, incidents begin to occur. From graffiti being sprayed on their counters, to throwing a rock at the front window, the incidents grow more serious. Mild scare tactics don't stay mild, but take a dangerous turn. Who is doing all of this? Why are they against the store? Is it someone they both know? Could the mysterious hooded man be the culpret or is a saving grace in disguise?

Throw in the guy from high school Annie had a crush on, but Julia dated and you have a wonderful reunion that is screaming for cupcakes. Jake is now pursuing Annie, but doesn't turn down meeting up with Julia for drinks at bars. One meeting goes too far when Annie catches the two in a kiss. Does it matter who kissed who? Can she forgive them?

This book was fun to read. I will admit that during the reading of this book I had to buy cake mix, but that's beside the point. I enjoyed reading about the turbulent relationship Annie and Julia had. It was interesting to see what wedges drove the two apart, and how they were able to get passed them. I was caught off-guard by a few surprises. How To Eat A Cupcake was a very nice and welcome distraction to my stressful weekend. I must warn you: don't read this book without a plate of cupcakes with you. It just makes the reading all the better.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

Copyright © 2009 Grunge Girl Blogger Template Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template
Girl Vector Copyrighted to Dapino Colada