Tuesday, December 28, 2010
In a sleepy, snow-covered city, Cora Crowder is busy preparing for the holiday season. Searching for a perfect gift, a fortuitous trip to Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad's (a most unusual bookshop) leads to an unexpected encounter with co-worker Simon Derrick and the surprise discovery of a ticket for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball.
Every year, the matchmaking booksellers of the Sage Street bookshop host an enchanting, old-fashioned Christmas Ball for the romantic matches they've decided to bring together.
This year, will Simon and Cora discover a perfect chemistry in their opposite personalities and shared faith? Or will the matchmakers' best laid plans end up ruining everything this holiday?
This is a magical book full of wonderful people that will get you into the holiday spirit. I read this book right before Christmas and it was a perfect escape to wonderland. I don't typically read Christian fiction but this book caught my eye and looked very interesting and entertaining - hmmm - maybe some magic at work here?
The characters in the book start out living in their own little worlds. Simon and Cora have worked together for several years but really hadn't 'seen' the other person until they both received tickets to the Christmas Ball. Each character grows and becomes a better person because of the love that they get from others. The magic of the tickets encounter quite a few hurdles before things work out the way they are supposed to. There are some amazing side characters in the story that help the magic work.
I love Sage Street and all the wonderful shops on it. The street is only visible to those people that are open to the magic of the shops and the magic of Christmas. I love Christmas and this is the perfect book to read for the holidays.
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to exploring more works by the author, Donita K. Paul.
Watch the video trailer to this amazing book!
Download chapter one of Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball now!
Disclaimer -- I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
I saw this challenge on another blog, the Book Chick City blog and had to sign up for it. I love Stephen King's work and have almost all of his books. But the problem I have with collecting and owning his books is, I don't read them. The books constantly stay to my 'To-Be-Read' pile. This challenge will be my good excuse to read them!
My goal will be to read 6 of his books this year. And who knows, maybe it will be more - that is allowed.
The rules are posted on the Book Chick City's blog.
Here is the list of Stephen King books that I have read --
Monday, December 20, 2010
51. Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul
50. Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian
49. Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
48. Darkness Under the Sun (a novella) by Dean Koontz
47. The Floor of the Sky by Pamela Carter Joern
46. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
46. Vixen by Jillian Larkin
45. The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
44. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
43. Eden Springs : a novella by Laura Kasischke.
42. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
41. Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson
40. Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M.C. Beaton
39. Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand
38. The Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart
37. What is the What by Dave Eggers
36. This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson
35. The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews
34. When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson
33. Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
32. Fantasy in Death by J. D. Robb
31. The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers
30. Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes
29. No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
28. I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass
27. Kindred in Death by J. D. Robb
26. Writing Circle by Corinne Demas
25. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
24. Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
23. Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
22. True Colors by Kristin Hannah
21. Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg
20. I, Alex Cross by James Patterson
19. Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas
18. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
17. Knit Two by Kate Jacobs
16. Noah's Compass by Ann Tyler
15. Breathless by Dean Koontz
14. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
13. Little Women by Louisa May Allcott
12. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
11. The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
10. The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron
9. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
8. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
7. The Grass Dancer by Susan Power
6. Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger
5. The Rock Orchard by Paula Wall
4. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
3. Run by Ann Patchett
2. The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
1. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
I saw this reading challenge posted on another blog and was intrigued. It is a challenge against myself to read more in 2011 than I did in 2010. Sweet!! A reason to read more! You can read all about it on the Book Vixen's blog.
I am going for the "Out of Breathe" level - Read 6-10 more books. As of December 20th, I have read 50 books and I might be able to squeeze in another one or two before the end of the year. So that would make my goal around 60 books. I think I can do it!
Here is my list of books read in 2011 --
1. R is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
2. Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
3. Ur by Stephen King
4. Last Girls by Lee Smith
Monday, November 29, 2010
Can I just say, that I loved this book? I came to love and care for the characters, (most of them anyway) but especially Edgar, what an amazing young man he was. And the dogs, how can you not love the dogs? They really are the main characters of the book, as someone pointed out in our discussion. This book ends up being about the dogs and the people play a secondary role in the story.
I have a sister who is a veterinarian in Colorado and I thought about her a lot as I was reading this book. Since this story made me think of her, to me, that is a sign that she needs to read this book too. She is a very special and caring vet and I know that she will be taken in by this story just as I was. I am going to be sending my copy to her so that she can enjoy these wonderful dogs. Oh, and the people's story too.
Friday, November 12, 2010
So, what that means is -- very little time for me to read this weekend. I am currently reading Vixen courtesy of the B&N First Look Book Club. It is a very good book and I am pacing myself to not get ahead of the discussion. So in between reading Vixen, I am reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle for one of my other book groups.
A lot of books, so little time! I may have to take a day off from work to get some quality reading time in! =)
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I am currently reading Wake of Forgiveness via the Barnes & Noble First Look Book Club. This is an amazing book. The authors words are so descriptive and beautiful.
I am also reading Barefoot on my iTouch that I got thru Barnes & Noble also. Very enjoyable read for the summer.
I also make it my quest to listen to all of the Harry Potter books on audio this summer. So far I am on book 2 so far so it is going slower than I thought it would but I am enjoying them anyway.
So many books, so little time!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
You have a chance to win 2 copies of one of 54 titles! Check it out!! And good luck!!
Check out Therese Walsh's FB page for official rules and the list of wonderful books you could win!
Monday, July 26, 2010
I originally read about this book on some book site newsletter, I don't even remember where. The concept for the book immediately intrigued me.
The story follows 2 sisters that have witnessed the murder of their mother by their father. The 2 girls have totally different reactions and acceptance of their father after what he did.
I am not done reading the book yet but the author writes a very interesting story about how the lives of the 2 girls are influenced by what they remember and how they have resolved or are trying to resolve the issue of having a murdering father and no mother as they are growing up.
This is a book by a first time author which is very well written and is keeping me drawn in to finish it. I look forward to seeing what will come next from this author.
Synopsis -- Lulu and Merry's childhood was never ideal, but on the day before Lulu's tenth birthday their father drives them into a nightmare. He's always hungered for the love of the girl's self-obsessed mother. After she throws him out, their troubles turn deadly.
Lulu's mother warned her to never let him in, but when he shows up, he's impossible to ignore. He bullies his way past ten-year-old Lulu, who obeys her father's instructions to open the door, then listens in horror as her parents struggle. She runs for help and discovers upon her return that he's murdered her mother, stabbed her sister, and tried to kill himself.
For thirty years, the sisters try to make sense of what happened. Their imprisoned father is a specter in both their lives, shadowing every choice they make. Though one spends her life pretending he's dead, while the other feels compelled to help him, both fear that someday their imprisoned father's attempts to win parole may meet success.
The Murderer's Daughters is narrated in turn by Merry and Lulu. The book follows the sisters as children, as young women, and as adults, always asking how far forgiveness can stretch, while exploring sibling loyalty, the aftermath of family violence, and the reality of redemption. --from author's wesite.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I received this book from a book give-away on the blog Books and Such. I was the lucky person who got my name drawn to win the book! Thanks Donna!! This book will be going to the top of my TBR pile.
In 1942 and 1943, German subs are dispatched to the Gulf of Mexico to sick U.S. Vessels carrying goods and fuel. While taking a late-night walk, Helen Mason, widowed by the war, discovers the near-lifeless body of a German sailor. Enraged at the sight of Josef Landermann's uniform, Helen is prepared to leave him to die when an unusual phrase, faintly uttered, changes her mind.
In The Heart Mender, a small town must prepare itself for the worst the world has to offer, and Josef and Helen must reconcile their pasts to create a future. Andy Andrews once again provides a unique blend of historical fact and engaging fiction showing the poser of forgiveness. -- from the author's website
Monday, July 19, 2010
1. I searched ice cream in Proquest. I think ice cream came to mind because this past weekend was so blasted hot and I am still trying to cool myself off. I limited my search to full text and retrieved 11,545 articles. I then re-sorted my list to the most relevant instead of the default of most recent. Why not look at the most relevant articles first instead of the most current? Makes sense to me! I then looked at the Suggested Topics at the top of the search page and narrowed my huge list of articles to only 77 when I selected ice cream AND nutrition. I like the fact that I can easily limit those article even further by article type, i.e. Scholarly, Magazines, Trade or Newspapers.
Monday, July 12, 2010
1. I have never used the SIRS products before so this was very interesting. I searched for skunks again, using Sirs Discoverer. I tried both the keyword search and the subject search. Both searches eventually took me to the same information. The different types of sources are just a click away using the tabs at the top of the screen. The reading levels are clearly marked with the different colored books. Icons for the others items available, i.e. pictures, activities, etc are very clear and easy to find and use.
2. I searched for France using the Country Facts part of the Database Features. Available is information about population, geography and weather, economy, government and history - all the basic information that a student would need for a report. I searched United States under Maps of the World. I am amazed at the amount and type of information that is available. I also explored the Activities section and looked at the Food Projects & Recipes. This database as a whole would be wonderful for grade school projects and papers!
SIRS Issues Researcher
1. The Leading Issue topic that I chose was Online Social Networks. There is alot of information right at the very first screen - articles, pros and cons, timeline, global impact and even statistics. What more could a student want! Very nice!!
2. Curriculum Pathfinders - I selected Photography as my topic to search and got to it by clicking Fine Arts, Visual Arts and then Photography. This is a very nice, concise, easy way to zero in on a specific topic area. The information that is available takes me to websites that are useful to the topic I want to research. I was able to narrow my search down very quickly and easily to find photographs of war.
Friday, July 9, 2010
1. I searched for skunk in the World Book Kids Edition. Don't ask me why that mammal popped into my head. But they really are quite cute, don't you think? Too bad they are so smelly!
'Many skunks live underground. They are active at night and sleep during the day.' -- from World Book Kids
2. Then I searched for skunk in World Book Student Edition and really was amazed at how much more information was available and how it is written at a more advanced reading/comprehension level.
'Many skunks live in underground dens that they line with dry leaves. The spotted skunk, unlike the striped and hog-nosed species, can climb, and it sometimes lives in hollow trees. Skunks are active at night and sleep during the day.' -- from World Book Student
3. Using World Book Advanced, I searched the country of France.
On the left side of the page are the different sources available which is useful when a student has to have multiple sources for their project. They are all listed there and very easy to access. And the right hand column has Primary Sources listed, which are sometimes challenging to find. After clicking on the link for the country, the right and left columns change and allow for easy access to the specific information that the student would be looking for.
4. World Book Discover allows the patron to browse for a topic, i.e. American Government without really knowing specifically what they are looking for. By clicking on the links that come up, they are led on a path to the information that they are searching for. This type of searching is helpful for readers that are not that good in English because the 'suggestions' are there for them and they don't need to struggle with coming up with the correct search terms.
-- This was a good exercise for me since I had not really used the World Book Online. I love the paper editions of this title but I never gave the online a look-see. Very good source and one I will remember to point out to our students in the future.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I decided to give it another try, this time not focusing on the structure of the sentences but just letting the book flow over me. And guess what? I ended up enjoying the book. Can't say that I loved it, but I am glad I read it. We ended up having a very good discussion. And that is what it is about, right?
Synopsis from Amazon ---
The latest from Barry pits two contradictory narratives against each other in an attempt to solve the mystery of a 100-year-old mental patient. That patient, Roseanne McNulty, decides to undertake an autobiography and writes of an ill-fated childhood spent with her father, Joe Clear. A cemetery superintendent, Joe is drawn into Ireland's 1922 civil war when a group of irregulars brings a slain comrade to the cemetery and are discovered by a division of Free-Staters. Meanwhile, Roseanne's psychiatrist, Dr. Grene, investigating Roseanne's original commitment in preparation for her transfer to a new hospital, discovers through the papers of the local parish priest, Fr. Gaunt, that Roseanne's father was actually a police sergeant in the Royal Irish Constabulary. The mysteries multiply when Roseanne reveals that Fr. Gaunt annulled her marriage after glimpsing her in the company of another man; Gaunt's official charge was nymphomania, and the cumulative fallout led to a string of tragedies. Written in captivating, lyrical prose, Barry's novel is both a sparkling literary puzzle and a stark cautionary tale of corrupted power.
Friday, June 18, 2010
So this will be a good thing!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
They call themselves the Leopardi Circle--six members of a writing group who share much more than their works in progress.
When Nancy, whose most recently published work is a medical newsletter, is asked to join a writing group made up of established writers, she accepts, warily. She's not at all certain that her novel is good enough for the company she'll be keeping. Her novel is a subject very close to her heart, and she isn't sure she wants to share it with others, let alone the world. But Nancy soon finds herself as caught up in the group's personal lives as she is with their writing. She learns that nothing--love, family, loyalty--is sacred or certain.
In the circle there's Gillian, a beautiful, scheming, world-famous poet; Bernard, a pompous but lovable biographer; Virginia, a respected historian and the peacemaker of the group, who also happens to be Bernard's ex-wife; Chris, a divorced father and successful thriller writer; and Adam, the youngest of the group, an aspiring novelist who is infatuated with Gillian. And then there's Nancy, an unassuming fiction writer embarking on a new chapter in her own life. They meet to read their work aloud and offer feedback. Over the course of a year, marriages are tested, affairs begin, and trust is broken.
Through their complicated relationships, these eccentric characters share their families, their beds, and their histories, and soon find that buried secrets have a way of coming to light. Hearts break and emotions are pushed to the limit in this richly engaging tale of love, betrayal, and literature.
Friday, March 19, 2010
LibraryThing lists a new batch of books every month that a person can request. If you receive a book, all they ask is that you submit a short, honest review of the book on their website.
From Amazon: A story of reliance and resilience. Did you call out to us, Johnny, before your small body was dragged down under the water? Why didn't we hear you? I am sorry! I'll never forget.
Louisa Gardener is the fourteen-year-old nursemaid to the young daughters of a wealthy, titled family living in London, England, in 1912.
Despite the bullying Nanny Mackintosh, for whom she is an extra pair of hands, she loves her work and her young charges. Then everything changes. The family decides to sail to New York aboard the Titanic. An accident to the children's nanny, only days prior to the sailing, means that Louisa must go in her stead. She cannot refuse, although she dreads even the mention of the ocean. Memories she has suppressed, except in nightmares, come crowding back.
When Louisa was five and her sister seven years old, their two-year-old brother died on an outing to the seaside. Since that time, Louisa has had a fear of the ocean. She blames herself for the accident, though she has been told it wasn't her fault.
If Louisa refuses to go on the voyage, she will be dismissed, and she will never get beyond the working-class life she has escaped from.
How Louisa learns self-reliance, overcomes her fears, and goes beyond what is expected of a girl makes No Moon an unforgettable story.
Friday, March 5, 2010
I had registered my book club on a publisher's website and then forgotten about it. Lo and behold, I won a book!! And chocolate to enjoy with it!
Shanghai Girls is a book on my TBR list so it is really nice now to have a copy in my house ready to read when I can.
ABOUT THIS BOOK
In 1937 Shanghai — the Paris of Asia — twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree — until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth. To repay his debts, he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides. As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, from the Chinese countryside to the shores of America. Though inseparable best friends, the sisters also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. Along the way they make terrible sacrifices, face impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are — Shanghai girls. -- Random House
Friday, February 19, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
I love the book and will be recommending it to others to read!
Synopsis (from B&N)
What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High, from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12 should be just another day in her charmed life.
Instead, it turns out to be her last.
Fortunately, she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
We shall see!
Monday, February 1, 2010
I knew from the first chapter how the story was going to end but that drew me into the story to find out why it ended that way and to find out more about these 2 wonderful characters that I had been introduced to. Actually all of the characters were very enjoyable and memorable - very good character development by the author.
I especially loved all the stories about the girls camp, the bears and the crows. How enchanting! The love story was very sweet and at times it was a little unbelievable that these 2 people could be so perfect and so perfect for each other. But I know that there are people and relationships like theirs out there so it is possible.
I will recommend this book to my friends who love a good love story and who enjoy reading books with nature settings. This book was very relaxing and I felt like I was out in nature with the characters!
Friday, January 29, 2010
This book was an easy read and I found myself reading it with a smile on my face. The characters in the book were such quirky people that you just had to love them. And because they were kinda strange, everything they did and said made me smile and sometimes laugh.
This author has another book out, The Wilde Women which sounds like it will be just as entertaining and will be going on my list of books to read.
Friday, January 8, 2010
From Amazon -- "The Reader is a brief tale about sex, love, reading, and shame in postwar Germany. Michael Berg is 15 when he begins a long, obsessive affair with Hanna, an enigmatic older woman. He never learns very much about her, and when she disappears one day, he expects never to see her again. But, to his horror, he does. Hanna is a defendant in a trial related to Germany's Nazi past, and it soon becomes clear that she is guilty of an unspeakable crime. As Michael follows the trial, he struggles with an overwhelming question: What should his generation do with its knowledge of the Holocaust? "We should not believe we can comprehend the incomprehensible, we may not compare the incomparable.... Should we only fall silent in revulsion, shame, and guilt? To what purpose?"
I have to admit that I have already seen the movie. (Yikes! Before I read the book? Really?) I really liked the movie and so far, I am liking the book too. It is hard to not have the movie playing in my head while I am reading, but that is not necessarily a bad thing, is it?
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I was ecstatic when I found out that I WON a copy of the book because I was a fan on Facebook. I never win anything and to win Niffenberger's new book!!! Wow!! I savored reading the book and held off reading it in order to get things finished for Christmas cause I just knew when I started it that I would not want to do anything else.
Well, the book did grab me from the first chapter and I really, really liked the book. But I do have to say that I found it a very strange read. Niffenberger must have a very peculiar mind to write such odd books. But I do like them.
Another one of my all time favorite authors is Stephen King. Hmmmm, so what do you think that says about me??
Monday, January 4, 2010
I am currently reading The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold. I absolutely loved The Lovely Bones by this same author. This one seems more disturbing to me. I almost put it down very early in my reading and I did not want to continue reading it to the end. But I kept on, thinking it should get better. I suppose I could say that is is getting better but as I am reading it, I keep thinking about the 'next' book I am going to read and am just waiting to finish this one.
That is really not a good sign, is it? Oh well, I am almost done with it and then I can move on.