Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WWW Wednesdays September 28

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?  

I am currently reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am reading this book for one of my book groups and I have to say I will be glad when I am done with it and can move on to something else. We are meeting later this week. Whew! 


What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished The Orphan Sister by Gwendolen Gross. Loved it! I will be posting my thoughts soon. The book made me think about the complexities of families and how what we think we might know about our own family may not really be what it is.


What do you think you’ll read next?

Next I am going to lose myself in Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich. I need to get to the library today to pick up my hold and then I am diving in! 

Nobody bother me tomorrow!! Stephanie, here I come!!

Happy reading everyone!
Can't wait to see what everyone else is reading. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

I read banned books!

I work in a library and libraries all over are celebrating Banned Books Week this week. 

From the ALA (American Libraries Association) website ~~

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States. 

Here are some links to sites that are great to show what this event is all about. 

Frequently Challenged Books ~ More specific information is found using the links below  

AND you can check out all these wonderful blogs that are participating in the Banned Books Week Hop and maybe win some wonderful stuff! I am not participating in the blog hop this year but plan to next year.

Now go get a banned book to read!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Gin & Chowder Club by Nan Rossiter

Set against the beautiful backdrop of Cape Cod, The Gin & Chowder Club is an eloquent, tender story of friendship, longing, and the enduring power of love. . .

The friendship between the Coleman and Shepherd families is as old and comfortable as the neighboring houses they occupy each summer on Cape Cod. Samuel and Sarah Coleman love those warm months by the water; the evenings spent on their porch, enjoying gin and tonics, good conversation and homemade clam chowder. Here they've watched their sons, Isaac and Asa, grow into fine young men, and watched, too, as Nate Shepherd, aching with grief at the loss of his first wife, finally found love again with the much younger Noelle.

But beyond the surface of these idyllic gatherings, the growing attraction between Noelle and handsome, college-bound Asa threatens to upend everything. In spite of her guilt and misgivings, Noelle is drawn into a reckless secret affair with far-reaching consequences. And over the course of one bittersweet, unforgettable summer, Asa will learn more than he ever expected about love—the joys and heartache it awakens in us, the lengths we'll go to keep it, and the countless ways it can change our lives forever. . .
~~synopsis from Goodreads

I loved this book. I loved the setting of Cape Cod. Cape Cod is a place that I would love to visit someday. And this book took me there now. I could really feel the place from Ms. Rossiter's writing. She is a very good writer and the words seemed to flow off of the pages and through my mind.  

The Gin & Chowder Club is a beautiful story of love and broken hearts. The story made me happy but it also made me cry a little too. There was a lot of growing up to be done after that summer.

The only thing I seemed to have trouble with was the age thing between the two main characters that have the affair. The young man was heading off to college and the women was older and a family friend. 

I know, I know, this kind of thing happens all the time but I kept going back to the fact that he was only 18. Only 18! And there didn't seem to be very much angst about that fact. Sometimes I just didn't let myself think about how young he was. Other than that, the story was great and I am glad that I read it. 

Author's website

I received this book from Goodreads for my honest opinion. Thanks Goodreads!  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

This is amazing...........

You really need to look at these pictures in shadow!


Dirty White Trash by Tim Noble & Sue Webster

Check the link below for some more amazing shadow art!

Shadow Art – The Reality That We Imagine

We see what we want to see. We perceive the world around us in our own way and sometimes it is far from reality. We have got used to rely on our feelings and emotions when we see or judge something and sometimes this leads to the misinterpretation of the things around us, because feelings and emotions can’t be objective. For example, let’s look at the shadow art. Each sculpture is a masterpiece that leaves amazing shadows on the walls and each of us can find something new in these shadows, while this sculpture is nothing more than pieces of materials joined together to make the breathtaking chaos. As usual, the artists of this trend use ordinary stuff or even just rubbish to create the shadow art sculptures and the projector helps the viewers to turn on their imagination and see the cool shadows on the wall. Let’s enjoy of the most interesting shadow artworks that are collected in this post now!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WWW Wednesdays September 21

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Orphan Sister by Gwendolen Gross. I just started it last night but so far I am loving it.

I am also, sort of, reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am two-thirds of the way through it (Eat and Pray). I just need to have it read by the end of the month for my book group so I am going to wait on the Love part. I was struggling with the book and was finding other things to do besides read because I really was not into this book. Now that I put it aside, I am enjoying books again and am ready for some fun reading.

Interesting how a book we like, or maybe don't really care for, can influence our immediate reading habits.

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished 2/3 of Eat, Pray, Love. (see above) I also read Here, Home Hope by Kaira Rouda and The Last Page by Lacy Camey. My review for Here, Home, Hope will be posted soon. I read The Last Page for a blog tour that is going on right now. I will be posting my review and an author guest post on October 6th!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Next I am not sure what I will be reading. No book group or blog tours in the immediate plans so it will be just whatever is on my book shelf that I have been wanting to read, just because I want to. Hmmm, maybe it should be Smokin' Seventeen or Indulgence in Death to get myself caught up on those series. Yep, I'm thinking I am going to read one of these. FUN!!

Happy reading everyone!
Can't wait to see what everyone else is reading.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blogger app

I just downloaded the Blogger app to my iTouch. For free!! Free is awesome!

Now I have to try it out to see if it is worth it. Lol.

I could see where this could be very handy for quick posts when I am away from my computer.

Please bear with me while I play with it.

What app do you have that you love?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Road trip to select books

Today was the day that my book group took our trip to Barnes and Noble to select our books for the upcoming year. The nearest B&N is an hour away so this is a big deal and we have not traveled to do this for a couple of years. It was great to do it again and the day ended up to be a beautiful day for a road trip. After our book selection process, we went out for dinner in the big city before heading home. Let me tell you, this is my idea of a fabulous time!

OMG, let me tell you - it was so awesome seeing all the books that I have been seeing in the blogging world, right there in person! All those beautiful covers! And I could pick them up, hold them and flip through the pages. I was in Heaven! 

So, my book group has a fun way of selecting our books for the upcoming year. In September, we select all of the books for the next year. Every member bring 2 book suggestions to the group. We give our pitch for the books (read the synopsis, personal recommendations, etc.) and then we have a vote to see which one of them the group wants to read. It is always amazing to see the variety of books that we select. We then assign months to the books and usually the person that suggests the book hosts the group that month. It always seems to work out and we always have a great pile of books to read. I can't wait to dive into them! 

If you belong to a book group, how do you and your members select the books that you read? 
It would be interesting to hear about your method. 
I hope it is as fun as ours!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WWW Wednesdays September 14

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?
  • I am currently reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert for my book group and Here, Hope, Home by Kaira Rouda, just for fun. 
Eat, Pray, Love is not as bad as I thought it would be. Is that terrible to say?
And I just realized that both books that I am currently reading have 3 words in their titles, separated by commas. Weird, huh?

  • I recently finished reading --- well nothing new since last week --- I just keep plugging away at the 2 books above.

I am really enjoying Here, Hope Home but I have to get Eat, Pray, Love read for our book discussion.

  • Next I am definitely going to treat myself and finally read What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. It sounds like a great book and it's been on my list for a while.

Happy reading everyone! 
So many books .... so little time!

Monday, September 12, 2011

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

Trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, David considers using the water in a vase of flowers and his chain of associations takes him from the French countryside to a hilariously uncomfortable memory of buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina. 

In essay after essay, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life-having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane or armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds-to the most deeply resonant human truths. Culminating in a brilliant account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris's sixth essay collection is a new masterpiece of comic writing from "a writer worth treasuring" (Seattle Times).~~synopsis from Goodreads

Ok, I went into this book sure that I would not like it. It was a selection for my book group, definitely NOT selected by me. The cover really put me off, I had NO idea who David Sedaris was, AND it was a book of essays. What? We aren't supposed to read ESSAYS in our book group! How can we talk about a bunch of different stories?

I started plowing through the book. Okay, so this guy is a little funny, I'll give you that. So I kept reading - I always try to finish the books we select. Somehow I happened to find a video on YouTube of Sedaris reading the very essay I had just read. OMG, hearing him read his own work was hilarious. I guess I just wasn't reading them 'right'.

After that I was able to really get into the book and thoroughly enjoyed it! I was able to hear his 'voice'. And we had so much to talk (and laugh) about when we discussed the book. It helped that we had plenty of good food and good wine too. 

As an aside, my book group went out to dinner to discuss Sedaris' book. Well, a local gentleman who has his own vineyard (and who happens to be loaded, money-wise) came into the restaurant while we were enjoying our drinks, before ordering dinner and discussing the book. He started talking with us, maybe a little flirting was going on, and he ended up buying each of us a glass of his very own wine. What a nice guy!!  So you can imagine how hilarious we thought Sedaris' book was after 2 drinks. Most of us are light-weights when it comes to alcohol anyway. We had a great time laughing about with the book.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Parking Garage Book Mural

I love this picture! 

For more information about the photographer, Michael R. Allen, and to see his other works, check out this Flicker link --  

Parking Garage Book Mural

Borrowed from


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WWW Wednesdays September 7

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

  • I am currently reading Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda.

  • I recently finished The Gin & Chowder Club by Nan Rossiter and The Chocolate Diaries: Secrets for a Sweeter Journey on the Rocky Road of Life by Karen Linamen. My thoughts on The Chocolate Diaries is here. It was a great little book with some great advice and some yummy reading!

  • Next I think I am going to read either What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (it's a library book and I need to get it back) or I need to get started reading the book for my book group Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I have to be honest, I am kind of dreading reading Eat, Pray, Love. I watched the movie and loved it. But who wouldn't love a movie with Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem? But reading the book? Can't say I am excited about it. How about you all - has anyone read it and what did you think? Should I open my mind and give it a chance? Do you think I will like it? 


So many books..... so little time!

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

The Andreas sisters were raised on books – their family motto might as well be, ‘There’s no problem a library card can’t solve.’ Their father, a renowned, eccentric professor of Shakespearean studies, named them after three of the Bard’s most famous characters: Rose (Rosalind – As You Like It), Bean (Bianca – The Taming of the Shrew), and Cordy (Cordelia – King Lear), but they have inherited those characters’ failures along with their strengths.

Now the sisters have returned home to the small college town where they grew up – partly because their mother is ill, but mostly because their lives are falling apart and they don’t know where to go next. Rose, a staid mathematics professor, has the chance to break away from her quiet life and join her devoted fiance in England, if she could only summon up the courage to do more than she’s thought she could. Bean left home as soon as she could, running to the glamour of New York City, only to come back ashamed of the person she has become. And Cordy, who has been wandering the country for years, has been brought back to earth with a resounding thud, realizing it’s finally time for her to grow up.

The sisters never thought they would find the answers to their problems in each other, but over the course of one long summer, they find that everything they’ve been running from – each other, their histories, and their small hometown – might offer more than they ever expected. ~~synopsis from author's website

I loved, loved, loved this book! You have 3 quirky sisters from a quirky family that have to come together when their mom gets sick. But really, that is not the reason they all come home. They are each dealing with issues in their lives and home is the 'safe' place. Almost immediately they fall into the same roles that they had when they were growing up, even tho' they are all completely different in their other lives. 

There is a lot of wisdom in this story and it is wonderful to see the sisters 'figure it out' and see the paths they choose. This is a book that I read slowly so that I could savor it. I am looking forward to reading it again, it is that good! If you have sisters, you will be able to relate to the dynamics of the sisters in this book. Aren't we all a little weird  around our families?

(P.S. I am one of 3 sisters and the only one in our family that is not quirky)

This book has some great lines - check out my post for a couple of my favorites.

The Chocolate Diaries by Karen Linamen

Ready to Make Some Sweet Changes? 

Karen Linamen dishes up a satisfying blend of moxie and mocha, sharing stories from dozens of women who reveal savvy strategies for embracing a sweeter life—even while traveling rocky roads. If you’re hungry for more joy, reasons to laugh again, ideas to help you heal, and reliable hope leading to a sweeter future, this journey will leave you satisfied.

Funny, transparent, and uplifting,
The Chocolate Diaries is like taking a road trip with good friends who are wise about life. And while you’re at it, indulge (just a little) in the quirky recipes for concocting chocolate delights out of whatever ingredients you can round up in your kitch. The road may still be bumpy, but you’ll be having too much fun to care. ~~synopsis from Goodreads

The subtitle of this book is Secrets for a Sweeter Journey on the Rocky Road of Life. Don't ya love it? 

What an amazing book! This book contains some great advise, presented in a very fun way. And the author talks about chocolate -- a lot!  How yummy is that? Ms. Linamen has a great sense of humor and I think I would love to be her friend - she would be so much fun. 

Some of her chapter titles and her words of wisdom at the beginning of the chapters are a hoot. Check these out and if these don't make you want to read this book, I don't know what will.

Great chapter titles 
  • Nobody Knows the Truffles I've Seen  
  • There's More to Life Than Chocolate (Sometimes There's Chocolate with Nuts) 
  • Chocolate-Covered Bacon Lollipop, Anyone?  
Words of wisdom that I enjoyed  
  • In case of heated argument, add chocolate. It makes everything sweeter and can help two people stick together.  
  • Prayer. Friends. Laughter. Tears. What a recipe for healing! Throw in some chocolate and there's a good chance you could fix the world. 
  • Every morning, put eating chocolate at the top of your to-do list. That way, you'll always get one thing done. 
I will especially follow that final words of wisdom tidbit - it makes sense to me!
There are also some great recipes and ideas for enjoying chocolate throughout the book - bonus!! 
I really enjoyed this book and got some great advice but not in a 'preachy' kind of way. It did give me some things to think about. I loved her writing so much I am going to check out some of her other books. Maybe Ms. Linamen can help me in other aspects of my life. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers for review. I was not obligated to provide a positive review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Labor Day Greeting

Micky and Minnie say it all! 


And I love Maxine so I had to include this one too! 

I hope everyone has a great day and hopefully you have the day off. 
But if you don't, thanks for laboring.  

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