Sunday, November 23, 2008

Love and Other Natural Disasters

Love and Other Natural Disasters by Holly Shumas is the story of a woman, Eve, who is 8 months pregnant with her second child, who discovers that her husband is having an emotional affair. Eve must decide whether to forgive him or to get a divorce. The story follows the couple as they face these problems, holidays apart, family struggles and the birth of their daughter. I found the story and relationships very believable. It was a fairly easy read and had some humorous depictions of life with children. Overall, a good book. I recommend it to anyone who is married and has kids. 4 stars.

Just to catch myself up

I'm still taking a blogging break, but I wanted to post the books I've recently read (sorry, no in depth reviews!) so I will remember them and can add them to my 50 book challenge list.

So here's what I've been reading:

The Cure for Modern Life by Lisa Tucker (3 stars)
The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty (4 stars)
Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins (3.5 stars) (ARC, review to follow)
Love and Other Natural Disasters by Holly Shumas (4 stars) (ARC, review to follow)
Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlan (4 stars)
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks (3.5 stars)
Forever Lily by Beth Nonte Russell (3.5 stars) (ARC, review to follow)
Alphabet Weekends by Elizabeth Noble (4 stars)
Big Boned by Meg Cabot (4 stars)
Hidden Truths by Brenda Youngerman (3 stars) (ARC, review to follow)

Children's books:

Lady Flatterley by Linda Wagner (ARC, review to follow)
The Dragonfly Secret by Clea and John Adams (ARC, review to follow)
Hoo, Hoo- Who is in My Tree? by Megan Miller (ARC, review to follow)

I am currently reading Cage of Stars by Jacqueline Mitchard.

So I have 7 reviews to write until I am caught up. After that I'm on reviewing hiatus until after the new year! Hopefully I'll catch up soon.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thinking of Taking a Break

I am afraid I'm going to have to take a break from my reviewing for awhile. I'm expecting my 3rd child in January and I am busy trying to prepare for the birth. That, along with the holidays coming up, has me stressed and feeling rushed so I think I am going to take a book blog break for awhile. I will no longer review my fun reads for now. I will continue to review the ARCs that I have already received or requested, but I won't be requesting new ARCs at this time. I have a few ARCs to review that I have already read so I hope to post those soon. And I have a few more to read still. I am sorry to have to do this. I just don't feel like I have enough time in the day right now. I will keep up with my ARC obligations though and hopefully my break will be short. In the meantime, stay tuned!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Husband's Sweethearts

My Husband's Sweethearts by Bridget Asher is the story of a woman, Lucy, whose husband Artie repeatedly cheated on her and who is now dying. Lucy decides to come to terms with her husband's infidelity by meeting and inviting all of Artie's past girlfriends to come help her cope with his death so she doesn't have to go through the whole process alone. Along the way, she makes friendships and learns to forgive Artie for his infidelity and accept his death. The book had it's cute moments and it was well written. However, I just did not buy Lucy's feelings toward Artie and toward the women he cheated with. The light way infidelity was dealt with in the book did not sit well with me. I know the book was meant to be light and funny, but the subjects it covered from death to cheating were hard to take lightly. I just was slightly annoyed at Lucy's relationship with Artie and did not buy that she really loved him romantically. I did enjoy the book and I appreciated the writing. The characters were very real, likable, and had depth to them. I recommend the book to anyone who enjoys chick lit.

The Mighty Queens of Freeville

The Mighty Queens of Freeville by Amy Dickinson is a book of memoirs written by the national advice columnist who replaced Ann Landers after her death. The book is a serious of stories about the author following her early married life through the present time where she is a single mother of an eighteen year old daughter. I really enjoyed the stories. Dickinson's writing is very real and makes you feel as if you are a part of the story. She weaves the stories together easily and paints a picture of life in the small town of Freeville, where she grew up and her family lives. Her description of small town life seems very true and honest, especially her depictions of relationships between women, mothers and daughters in her family. Overall, I think it was a good book and I would recommend it to anyone who likes memoirs or reading about women's relationships.

Chasing Diana

Chasing Diana by Jack and Robin Firestone is a screenplay book written by the only American couple to witness the car accident that resulted in Princess Diana's death. I had never read a screenplay before and I was not comfortable with the format. I found myself wondering what the characters were thinking. I found the characters to be very one dimensional and stereotypical. I thought the story was overall interesting, but at times very predictable and the dialogue was somewhat cheesy. I wish there were more details about Diana in the book as well. I chose to read the book because I am interested in the mystery surrounding Diana's death, but none of my questions were answered in this book. I think if the book was an actual book, instead of a screenplay, I would have enjoyed it more. I guess to someone who is used to reading screenplays the book may be a better read. The book was a very quick read. If the book is made into a movie, I would be interested in seeing it because it would be very action packed. I do recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading screenplays and watching action movies.

Kevin Takes a Trip

Kevin Takes a Trip by Liesbet Slegers is a very cute little board book. It is a very simple story about a boy named Kevin taking a plane trip with his Grandma. My 3 year old really likes it and asks me to read it over and over. My 16 month old likes it too.The illustrations are bright and vivid. I look forward to reading other Kevin books to my kids in the future.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Schooled by Anisha Lakhani is the story of Anna Taggert, a fresh-out-of-Columbia-University teacher who begins teaching at an elite Manhattan private school and finds herself thrown into the world of spoiled rich kids and their parents willing to do anything to get their child an A. Due to the low salary she receives, Anna starts to tutor students on the side and gets caught up in the perks the extra money and popularity with her students provide. Soon she is overcome with guilt that she is letting her students get away with not really learning or doing their own work and she faces a dilemma over whether to continue tutoring or go back to her first love, teaching. I waited to receive this ARC for over 2 months so I was very excited to finally read it. It did not disappoint. I really loved this book! It was fresh, interesting, and I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed all the references to fashionable brands and pop culture. Overall it was a very cute story. I really look forward to reading more books by Lakhani. 5 stars!

Love The One You're With

Love The One You're With by Emily Giffin is the story of Ellen, a woman who is a happily married newlywed, or so she thought, until she runs into her ex-boyfriend and can't get him out of her head. Ellen has to decide whether to choose to stay with her husband, a perfectly nice guy who is oblivious to her dilemma, and the one that got away, who is kind of a jerk. The story is meant be light hearted and funny, but, although I wanted Ellen to be happy, her problem had me frustrated with her and uncomfortable with her possibly choosing her ex over her sweet husband. I did enjoy the book and I am a big fan of Giffin's writing, I just was a little disappointed because I had been looking forward to reading the book for a while and felt slightly let down. It was a good book and I did enjoy it, I just didn't feel it was quite as good as Giffin's other books. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys chick lit or books written by Emily Giffin. 4 stars.

Keeping Faith

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult is the story of Faith White, a 7 year old daughter whose parents are in the process of divorcing and who, though raised in a non-religious family, is now hearing and seeing visions of God, performing miracles, and experiencing stigmata. It is an intriguing story that makes the character's and the reader question what their religious beliefs are and what is the truth. The mother-daughter relationships in the book are very real and complicated like they are in real life. I really enjoyed the book, although I did find that it was a little slow moving in parts. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Picoult's work or who finds themselves questioning truth in religion and in all aspects of life. 4 stars.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Tenth Case

I really enjoyed this book! The Tenth Case by Joseph Teller is a legal thriller in which a criminal defense attorney, who goes by the nickname Jaywalker, defends Samara Moss, an Anna Nicole Smith type gold digger whose millionaire husband is found murdered. I do not usually read legal thrillers, but I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. It had many twists and turns, a surprise ending and held my attention. The gritty characters seems very true to life and I could picture the action as if it were a movie. Joseph Teller is a great storyteller! I liked this book so much that I passed it on to my husband, who is not a big reader, and he liked it too! I look forward to reading the next book in the Jaywalker series. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good mystery. 4 stars.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Most Uncommon Degree of Popularity

A Most Uncommon Degree of Popularity by Kathleen Gilles Seidel is the story of Lydia Meadows, who discovers on the eve of 6th grade that her daughter Erin and her 3 best friends are the most popular clique at school. Lydia is shocked, because she herself was never popular, and unsure how to deal with her daughter's new found popularity. All goes well for Lydia and Erin until a new girl moves to town and turns their lives upside down when she displaces Erin from her group of friends and creates drama and havoc in the school. Lydia and Erin navigate the world of teenage popularity and angst and discover in the end how much true friendship means and how unimportant popularity is compared to believing in and staying true to yourself. This was a very well written, interesting book. I enjoyed the story and found the world of teenage drama fascinating (but also scary to look forward to as a mother of a daughter!). It was a light, easy read and I recommend the book to anyone who likes mommy lit or who has a daughter. A very cute book! 4 stars.

The Manny

The Manny by Holly Peterson is the story of Jamie Whitfield, a working mother who is trying to navigate life through high society in New York City, while balancing a needy husband, 3 kids and a demanding job in the television industry. Jamie's husband, Phillip, works long hours and rarely spends time with their children, who are beginning to suffer for make attention, especially Dylan, Jamie's oldest son. Enter Peter, a male nanny, who is able to give the children a male role model and the father figure they crave. Jamie finds herself unhappy in her marriage and soon looks to Peter to fulfill her own needs as well. This book was a really easy, enjoyable read. I identified with Jamie's feelings as a mother and found myself pulling for her. The story was quick and all of the characters were believable. I look forward to reading the sequel. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read chick lit or mommy lit and is looking for a fun read. 4 stars.

Happiness Sold Separately

Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston is the story of Elinor and Ted, a married couple undergoing problems with infertility. Elinor discovers Ted is having an affair with his personal trainer, Gina, and is unsure of whether their marriage is worth saving. Their lives become even more complicated when Ted, unable to stay away from Gina, develops a friendship with her 8 year old son. Elinor and Ted separate and get back together numerous times over the course of the book. None of the characters are particularly likable, but they were all real and believable. They all have their flaws and I found myself torn over whether Ted and Elinor should stay together or separate. I was able to identify with the feelings of infertility and sadness of miscarriages and I thought those details were true and well written. I felt the end of the book kind of fizzled out and I wasn't really happy with the lack of closure, but overall it was a good book. 3 and a half stars.

Beyond The Blonde

Beyond the Blond by Kathleen Flynn-Hui is the story of Georgia Watkins, who grew up as the daughter of a hairdresser in a small town in New Jersey and went on to become a stylist to the rich and famous at a top salon in NYC. She runs into obstacles along her journey, from wacky clients to ticked off coworkers and eventually finds love and happiness. Georgia is a likable, refreshing depiction of a hairdresser who is smart and genuine. Her friends, coworkers and customers are also believable characters. The overall story was a light, easy read. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes chick lit. I look forward to further books by Flynn-Hui. 4 stars.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Recovering from Ike

We live in TX and have been without power/internet from damage caused by Hurricane Ike. I have 4 or 5 reviews to post though, so please bear with me! I'll post them in the next few days.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bed Rest

Bed Rest by Sarah Bilston is the story of Q, an expectant mother who is put on bed rest after it is discovered the baby doesn't have enough fluid. The book is written from the point of view of Q writing in her diary about all her visitors (or lack there of), marital stress caused by her husband working too much, family and friend drama, and her worry about her baby. Despite the rather serious subject matter, Q is an endearing narrator and her story is funny, light and interesting. I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read and I identified well with Q. I am looking forward to reading the sequel, Sleepless Nights. This was a very good book and I recommend it to anyone who has ever been pregnant. 5 stars.

Sisters of Misery

Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall is the story of a popular high school girl, Maddie, who belongs to the cool crowd at school and is forced to bend to the (sometimes evil) will of Kate, the leader of her clique. When Maddie's cousin Cordelia moves to town, Kate and her friends let their jealousy of beautiful Cordelia take hold until something awful happens to tear Maddie and her family apart. The mysteries abound when Cordelia disappears in this small town where whispers of witchcraft fill the air. I really enjoyed this book. The suspense and mystery had me chilled at times, but I could hardly put the book down. Although the book is written from the point of view of a teenager about her life, it did not read like young adult fiction. The mystery of Cordelia continues and I can not wait to read the sequel to this book. I recommend this book to anyone who likes books about high school mean girls and mystery all rolled into one. One of the best books I've read in a long time. 5 stars.

Confessions of a Contractor

Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy brings us into the world of a contractor. Henry is a contractor that sometimes gets involved with his female clients. This time he has gotten involved with two women at once, who happen to be former best friends. Drama ensues. I really enjoyed this book. I was fascinated by the details and hints on hiring and maintaining a good relationship with your contractor. The complex relationship between a contractor and his client is something I had never considered before. It was a very unique idea for a book and very entertaining. The romance aspect told from the man's point of view was refreshing. This was a fairly light read and I recommend it to anyone looking for a something different with a bit of romance. 4 stars.

First Daughter

First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader was not the kind of book that I normally read. I do like suspense and mystery at times though so I thought I'd try something different. The book is about a loner investigator, Jack, who had a hard life growing up and has the scars to prove it. He is called to help in the investigation of the president-elect's daughter's disappearance. This book has a lot of plot twists and many characters, which made it a little confusing to follow. It was a pretty good story, although I think it fizzled out at the end. Overall, it was a pretty good book and held my attention despite the many twists. I would recommend the book to anyone who likes suspenseful crime novels. 3.5 stars.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

American Wife

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld follows the life of Alice from girlhood into womanhood. It is the story of how she found love, lost it, found it again, got married and how her husband, Charlie, became the President of the United States and how she dealt with that. Overall, I enjoyed most of this book. I did not realize going in that Charlie was based on George W. Bush. I felt a little turned off by that. There were no clues all along until the story flashed ahead several years to the present and we are clued in that Charlie was the president during 9/11 and has a very low approval rating, along with many other things that make it obvious that he is supposed to be GWB. I felt blindsided by that. I also did not like the way the story ended. Alice betrayed Charlie while remaining true to herself and her beliefs, but we are not made aware of the consequences this has to their marriage and what happens next. I did enjoy the beginning 3/4ths of the book. I really enjoyed the characters, writing and storyline and I thought it was a very good book (minus the GWB aspect). I still think it is a book worth reading and had great potential to be an excellent book. I just wish Sittenfeld had not copped out and had not based Charlie on a real person. Especially a person who is so polar and who many people dislike. I gave the book 3.5 stars.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Apologies again!

I'm so sorry I haven't posted lately. My 3 year old daughter has been in the hospital for 6 out of the last 8 weeks. I have been reading but not reviewing. I have 4 reviews to post and more on the way. Please bear with me!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

So Long At the Fair

Wow! I enjoyed So Long at The Fair by Christina Schwarz right up until the end. The book was written as flashbacks between the past and the present. The present day story takes place of the course on one day and focuses on a wife, Ginny, and a husband, Jon, who is having an affair with a coworker. Jon is conflicted and unsure of whether to leave his wife or breakup with his girlfriend. The past story deals with what happened many years ago, when the Jon and Ginny's parents were young and knew each other. I really enjoyed the writing style, the flashbacks, and the characters. I was really caught up in the characters and wanted to know how it would end. Would Jon choose his wife or his mistress? Unfortunately, the book had a horrible ending with no closure and left me hanging. I could hardly believe that it ended the way it did. I don't know if Schwarz was trying to let the reader choose or if I just "didn't get it", but I was very disappointed. Overall, I did like the book and enjoyed the story, I just wish it had a clearer ending so I wasn't left to wonder what happened to the characters' lives. 3.5 stars.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tan Lines

Tan Lines by J. J. Salem was written from three characters perspectives. Liza, a left wing feminist new talk show guest; Kellianne, a southern bell mistress to a rich old man and aspiring actress, and Billie, a drug addicted pop musician trying to make it big. These women are all old friends and decide to spend the summer together in the Hamptons. The book is about all of the drama that happens to them over the course of that summer. I did enjoy the book. I enjoyed the characters of Liza and Kellianne, but I did not like the character of Billie. I enjoyed the scandal. drama, and romance of the book. It's a good beach read and it was a fast, easy read. I enjoyed the book and I recommend it to anyone who wants a quick "trashy" read. 4 stars.

Stealing Athena

Stealing Athena by Karen Essex was told through the perspective of two women, one living in ancient Greece as a mistress to Pericles and one living in the 1700s as an ambassador's wife in the same area. The chapters alternated between the two time periods. The stories never seemed to flow together. They were too separate without enough in common to make the book work. I found the story set in ancient Greece to be more interesting than the later story, but both were very drawn out and slow. The end was particularly frustrating, because the two women's stories did not have enough resolution. I think this book had a lot of potential, but it did not live up and fizzled out at the end. I recommend it to anyone interested in ancient Greek history and art because those people may get more out of the descriptions of the art and the time period than I did. Overall, I enjoyed parts of the book and gave it 3.5 stars.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Surviving Ben's Suicide

Surviving Ben's Suicide by C. Comfort Shields is the story of a woman whose college boyfriend and first love committed suicide. Sheilds describes how she met Ben and fell in love with him, and how she dealt with his mental illness and his eventual death by suicide. She illustrates their tumultuous relationship with great detail. Once Ben killed himself, Sheilds describes how it took many years to recover from the suicide and how she went through many phases of grief. I have never known anyone who committed suicide.personally, but I was still fascinated by the intricacies in Comfort and Ben's relationship and everything that led us to the suicide. I also thought it was very interesting how Comfort learned to accept Ben's suicide and not blame herself. Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was very honest and raw at times and you could feel the author's pain. I would recommend the book to anyone who has lost a loved one through suicide. 4 stars.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Safety of Secrets

I really enjoyed The Safety of Secrets by Delaune Michel. It is the story of a woman, Fiona, who has been friends with her best friend, Patricia, since first grade. They share a secret of something horrible that happened to them as children, but despite that, have maintained their relationship into adulthood. Now their past comes back to haunt them and one of them betrays the other by telling their childhood secret. I really enjoyed the character of Fiona. She was down to earth, despite living among the plastic in LA. I identified with her because she was pregnant after having had a previous miscarriage and, having been in that situation, I felt Michel got the feelings and fear that go along with that right on. I wasn't too fond of Patricia and at times I wondered why Fiona remained her friend, but in the end I understood. Fiona's feelings as a new mother and facing her issues with her own mother were real and I identified with her easily. Overall I thought it was a very good book. It was an easy read and most of it was funny, light material, despite dealing with some serious issues. I would recommend this book to any woman, because I think any woman can identify with the character of Fiona and learn from her mistakes. 4 stars.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

As Good As It Got

As Good as It Got by Isabel Sharpe is the story of 3 women going through huge changes in their lives and how they make the best of a bad time. The women all meet at a camp for women recovering from the physical or emotional loss of a loved one. They all made life changing decisions during their 2 weeks at camp. I really enjoyed this book. The 3 main characters were very likable and believable. They all had aspects of their personalities and personal stories that I could identify with. The book was an easy read and was easy to follow. Overall, the book was very good and I recommend it to anyone. 4 stars.

The New Yorkers

I was looking forward to reading The New Yorkers by Cathleen Schine. It had a cute dog pictured on the cover and the blurb on the back sounded like it would be interesting: a story about people living on a single block in NY and their dogs. It was a good idea for a book, however there was not enough to the story to make it entertaining. The story was very meandering, slow, and was very hard to follow with little "point". There were very few likable characters, except for the dogs! I did not like the way the book resolved. The story was dragged out so long it didn't make sense for it to have such a neat, tidy ending. Overall, I was very disappointed and would not recommend this book. 3 stars.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bear with me!

I'm so sorry I haven't posted in awhile. My 2 year old daughter is having health issues and has been in the hospital 3 times over the past 3 weeks and is still in currently. Couple that with our home Internet not working right now, I haven't had much time to catch up (or to read much for that matter!). Please don't give up on me though! I have gotten 5 ARCs in the past few weeks and I'm going to be very busy reading and I reviewing! I also have one ARC I have already read to review. Hopefully I will get that done and posted in the next few days. I'll update my blog as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience!

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Little Late... "Tuesday" Thingers

Sorry this is late! This has been a hectic week as my daughter was in the hospital so I'm just catching up.

Last week I asked what was the most popular book in your library- this week I'm going to ask about the most unpopular books you own. Do you have any unique books in your library- books only you have on LT? How many? Did you find cataloging information on your unique books, or did you hand-enter them? Do they fall into a particular category or categories, or are they a mix of different things? Have you ever looked at the "You and none other" feature on your statistics page, which shows books owned by only you and one other user? Ever made an LT friend by seeing what you share with only one other user?

I don't own any books that no one else owns. I have one book that myself and one other user owns. It's "The Belles of Charleston". You can find my review of it on this blog and LT. The cataloging info was already entered on that book.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Hidden by Shelley Shepard Gray is the inspiring story of a young woman, Anna, on the run from an abusive relationship and a life she is not proud of. She seeks refuge with an old friend who is Amish and hides out at her friend's family's bed and breakfast. While there, she adapts easily to their simple ways and their work ethic. Anna falls in love with the Amish way of life and ultimately decides to alter her life's journey and become Amish. There is a touch of G rated romance as Anna also finds love with her friend's brother. The book is a very sweet, simple story and a quick, easy read. While I would consider the book religious fiction, the references to God and praying are relatively few and not overpowering. Reading the book sparked in me an interest in learning more about the Amish and their customs. I look forward to reading more about Anna and the rest of the Brenneman family in the continuation of the series. 4 stars.

The IBS Healing Plan

The IBS Healing Plan: Natural Ways to Beat Your Symptoms by Theresa Cheung is a fully comprehensive guide for people dealing with IBS and it includes very many ways to treat IBS. The book explains exactly what IBS is and how it is diagnosed. The most interesting sections include how diet affects IBS, stress and IBS and ways to manage stress, and daily living with IBS and all the embarrassing things that go with it. The book discusses traditional ways to treat IBS- from digestive aids and over the counter medicines to prescription drugs- and non traditional ways to treat IBS- including vitamins, herbs, acupuncture, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, stretching exercises and more. I found the A to Z of IBS symptoms to include many symptoms which a person would not think was related to IBS and it is very interesting all of the ways to treat each symptom. I really enjoyed the personal stories about people dealing with IBS on a daily basis. This book was very well researched and very in-depth at covering all aspects on IBS. I definitely recommend this book to anyone with IBS. 4 stars.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday Thingers

Today's Question: What's the most popular book in your library? Have you read it? What did you think? How many users have it? What's the most popular book you don't have? How does a book's popularity figure into your decisions about what to read?

Answer: The most popular book in my library is The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I read it a few years ago and really enjoyed it. 23, 314 other LTers have it in their library. The most popular book(s) I don't have are the Harry Potter books. I don't think a book's popularity figures into my decision to read which books at all.

The Lady Elizabeth

I really enjoyed reading The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel by Alison Weir. The book is about Elizabeth I's early life from the time of her mother Anne Boleyn's death to the time she becomes Queen of England. I did not know anything about Elizabeth's life and it was so interesting reading about all she survived in order to become Queen. I thought the book was very well written. I would have really liked the book to keep going so that I could more about Elizabeth's life as she reigned. I will definitely be looking into Alison Weir's other novel and into more fiction and non-fiction works about Elizabeth I. 4 stars.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday Thingers

Today's question is about tags- do you tag? How do you tag? How do you feel about tagging- do you think it would be better to have standardized tags, like libraries have standardized subject headings, or do you like the individualized nature of tagging? What are your top 5 tags and what do they say about your collection or your reading habits?

I do tag books that I've read in my library with descriptions about the books subject. I also tag books that are in my library that I want to read as "wishlist". I don't really think we need standardized tags because there are so many tag options that someone may think of a ag for a book that no one else would, but is still a good tag.

My top 5 tags are:

read years ago - This indicates to me that I didn't read the book in 2007 or 2008.

wishlist - Books on my list to buy and read

read in 2007 - Self explanatory

own? - Books I have read but I can't find in my library

motherhood - Books about life as a mother

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Better Than Chocolate

Better Than Chocolate by Susan Waggoner seemed like an interesting story in which a woman's husband invents a "chocolate zero" type product and becomes famous turning their family and lives upside down. However, it was a dissappointment to me. I was looking forward to reading it. The book took me a long time to get through. I started it and stopped to read something else, picked it up and tried it again several times before I finally forced my self to finish it. It was slow moving and dragged on. The writing was actually good and I liked the characters, but the story was not believable. It was almost a fantasy, and I was not expecting that. The story dragged without much happening and when the story finally resolved, it just left me, as a reader, hanging. Overall, I don't think I'd recommend this book. It left me unsatisfied and sorry I had wasted my time on it. 2 stars.

Dr. Rob's Guide to Raising Fit Kids

Dr. Rob's Guide to Raising Fit Kids by Robert S. Gotlin is a very good book for parents of serious, competitive athletes and amateur coaches. To me, it wasn't a book that was extremely relevant to parents of regular kids that aren't athletic that need help staying fit. There was a small exercise section that did have some exercises that children who do not participate in sports could do, but overall I'd say the book is geared towards parents of children who participate in team sports. That said, the book is very detailed and gives great advice on many things. There is a breakdown of each age group and what that age child gets from their sport experience. Dr. Rob tells the best age to start sports, gives a guide to buying sports equipment for each sport, and includes a section on healthy menus and yummy recipes that can benefit all children. The section for coaches and the section on how to manage injuries both were very detailed and would be very beneficial to the parent of a competitive athlete who is also a coach of their child's team. Overall, I would recommend this book to any parent who has a child that participates in team sports. I think it's a worthwhile book that can teach any parent about keeping their little athlete safe and healthy both mentally and physically. 4 stars.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Songs for the Missing

Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan

I really enjoyed this book. It is about a teenage girl, Kim, who goes missing and what happens to her family following her disappearance. Her mother, father, friends and younger sister each have different responses and ways of dealing with losing Kim. I found all of the characters very real and easy to identify with. The story was a bit slow moving but was very well written. I knew from the excerpt on the back of the cover that Kim would most likely not be found, that the book wasn't really about that, but about the other characters' journeys in coming to grips with life without her. But I was a bit disappointed that the ending wasn't tidier. I do understand that that was exactly the point the author was trying to make, that not everything has a satisfying resolution. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it. 4 stars.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesday Thingers

Tuesaday Thingers is a group of Librarything Early Reviewers that have book blogs. We have a webring (see booksandblogs link on the right). We are also doing a weekly question that we all will answer on our blogs.

Today's Tuesday Thingers question is:

Why LT? Why did you choose to open and maintain an LT account? Do you/did you use other online cataloging/social networking sites, like GoodReads or Shelfari? Do you use more than one? Are they different or do they serve different purposes?

I chose Librarything after I saw the link on someone else's blog. I had never catalogued my books before. I thought the task would be too daunting, too difficult. But once I found LT, I saw how easy it was. I really enjoy keeping track of what I have read. It makes me feel a sense of accomplishment to keep up with how many (and which) books I've read. Because I'd never kept track of them before, in the past I would find myself buying and start reading a book, only to realize that I've read that book before. Now I don't have that problem. I loved how I could read reviews of books and see what other books might interest me. I haven't ever used any other cataloguing site so I am not familiar with those at all.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Author Meme

I was tagged by Lisa over on Alive on The Shelves for an Author Meme!

1. Who’s your all-time favorite author, and why?

This is really hard for me. My favorite books in the past have been chicklit, although I'm trying to branch out more. And most of those authors that I like a lot only write one or two books. So it's really hard to pick just one! I like Meg Cabot, Jennifer Crusie, Sophie Kinsella, Emily Giffin, Jane Green, Marian Keyes, Philippa Gregory, Sarah Mlynowski, Wendy Markham, Anne Rice and Alexandra Ripley. I guess out of that "short list" (ha ha) my favorite is Sophie Kinsella. Her books are such funny, light reads. I really enjoy them.

2. Who was your first favorite author, and why?

My first favorite author was Lucy Maud Montgomery who wrote the Anne of Greene Gables books. I loved those so much as a little girl.

3. Who’s the most recent addition to your list of favorite authors, and why?

My most recent addition would be Philippa Gregory. I have only read 2 of her books so far but there are 3 more that I'm dying to read when I have time.

4. If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would first pop out of your mouth? Are there any you’d add on a moment of further reflection?

I guess, see my list in #1. With some of those on my list, I went through a phase where I read all of their books and no others. I loved those books so much. And while I haven't read them since, I still remember the stories fondly and consider that author one of my favorites.

5. Tagged: I can't find anyone else to tag! If you haven't done the author meme yourself, consider yourself tagged by me!

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child by Dr. Robert Sears

As a mother, I sometimes feel overwhelmed with all of the decisions I make as a parent on a daily basis. It is so hard to make the best decisions for your children and you just want them to be happy and healthy. Choosing whether/and how to vaccinate your kids is no easy decision. There is so much biased literature out there and the debate can be very heated. The possible (unproven) risk of autism connected to vaccinating is scary to me. So I chose to read this book because it is written by a well-known doctor, Dr. Sears, and he is neither anti- or pro-vaccination. He describes each vaccine, what it's made of, how it's made, the risks and side effects of it, and much more. He lays out all of the options in a clear, way that any parent could understand. The book also includes 2 alternative vaccination schedules. After reading the book, I have a good idea of which vaccines I want to have administered to my children and when. I now understand which vaccines should not be given together also. This is a book I would recommend to any parent who is struggling with decisions regarding vaccinations. 5 stars.

Win The Flirt!

Free Book Giveaway contest of The Flirt by Kathleen Tessaro here!

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton

The Wednesday Sisters is the story of 5 women and their friendship over the years. This book started off a little rocky. There are 5 main characters and not much of a description of each one or introduction to the story. It seems like you are just thrown into the story right from the first page and that was confusing to me. But once I learned more about the characters and got to like them and became interested in their lives, the book grew on me. One thing that bothered me was the historical references in the book. It seemed like Clayton was trying to chock the book full of references to things that happened throughout the 60's and 70's in order to give the reader a better sense of the time period. But to me, that didn't work and seemed to be "trying too hard". But once I overlooked that and began to care about the characters, I really enjoyed the book. I enjoyed the characters' plights to maintain strong friendships, raise families, and their efforts to become published writers during a time when women were considered inferior to men. I wanted to know more of what happened to these women over their lives up until the present. I wanted to know more at the end of the book. I recommend this book to women, mothers and people that enjoy writing with the hope of being published someday. A good, quick easy read. 4 stars.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

This was a good book with a good story and characters that were likeable and believable. It was about a high school shooting done by a bullied student and about victims, perpetrator, and their families. The story was quite slow moving for most of the book. I enjoyed the story, but I feel that the book could have been shorter and faster. I didn't enjoy this book as much as I normally do books by Picoult, because it was so difficult to get through. But it was overall a good book.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bogged Down with Books!

All of a sudden a bunch of books have fallen in my lap! I just received today my Librarything April ARC, The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. Yesterday I received my Barnes and Noble Firstlook book for June, Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan. Also I got a new book for Mother's Day, The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir, that I'm looking forward to reading as well. AND 3 books that I've been on the library waiting list for all became available to me all at once. PLUS! I already had a batch of library books out with 4 books to read. Since I'm already in the middle of one library book, Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Piccoult, I need to finish that first. After that I have to read my two ARCs so that I can post my reviews on them. And then I have to read my other library books so that I can take them back without being late. And I have another ARC book, a non-fiction book about raising healthy kids, coming from RES Marketing. So I have to have all of that read before I get that next ARC so I can review it as well. Whew! I have a lot of reading on my to-do list!

Anyway, please bear with me as I read as fast as I can. I have lots of new reviews coming up!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Boleyn Inheritance

This was the second book I have read by Gregory. I absolutely loved The Other Boleyn Girl, so I was excited to read this book. This book focuses on Jane Boleyn, the wife of George Boleyn (Anne Boleyn's brother); Anne of Cleves, Henry VII's 4th wife; and Katherine Howard, Henry VII's 5th wife. Gregory does a good job showing each of the women's characters for who they really are. They are each very different with distinct personalities and depth of character. Katherine Howard is a silly, young, very shallow girl who became queen at a very young age, only to be put to death a short time later by a power hungry king. Anne of Cleves was a good queen and a strong woman . Jane Boleyn was a scheming woman who betrayed her husband and others in the hope of gaining more fortune and power for the Boleyn family. Seeing how these three women interact with each other and how their story plays out to make their mark in history is very interesting. Henry VII also has changed since I first "met" him in The Other Boleyn Girl (TOBG). He is now in very bad health, overweight and much older and all of these things cause him to be more temperamental and at times he appears to be mad with power. Overall, I did enjoy this book. It was interesting to find out what happened to the other characters in TOBG. I didn't quite like it as much as TOBG because there wasn't a character I liked or identified with as much as Mary Boleyn. But I did enjoy the book and I do look forward to reading more about the Tudor period and more of Gregory's other books. A solid 4 stars.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


ARCs are Advanced Reading Copies, which are books that you can get for free for reviewing books for publishers or other websites. As I mentioned before, I am Early Reviewer on Librarything. I also recently signed up for the First Look Program on Barnes and You can read more about places to get ARCs on this book blog. Happy Reading!

The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

I loved this book! This has to have been one of the best books I've ever read. I seriously could have read another 600+ pages about this family. I am so fascinated by everything that went on during this time period and all the intricacies in the relationships. I loved that the book was written in a more modern language, less flowery then most historical fiction. I could not put it down. I was not very familiar with this time period and I couldn't remember my history well enough to remember what happened to Anne Boleyn. So the ending was a surprise to me. I am now starved to read more of Gregory's historical fiction novels. 5 stars!

Secrets of the Hollywood Girls Club

Secrets of the Hollywood Girls Club by Maggie Marr

This book was about a group of friends all living and working in the movie industry in Hollywood. This book is the sequel to a previous book about the same characters. I wish I had read the first book first because I did not know the history or back story between all the characters and I didn't feel that it was properly explained in this book. I had to guess at the relationships and history at first. The storyline was kind of jumbled and meandering, but I did enjoy the overall story. I liked most of the main characters, although a few of them I didn't feel I knew enough about so they seemed kind of one-dimensional. I cared enough about them to find out what happened and I was satisfied with the resolution at the end of the book. The book was not bad, but it requires work from the reader who has to piece together what is happening in the story so they know what is going on. 3 stars.

The Expected One

The Expected One: A Novel (Magdalene Line) by Kathleen McGowan

I really enjoyed this book. It was a little slow moving but I really enjoyed the mystery once it sped up. I was intrigued by the claims in the book and am interested in reading the next books in this series and researching the validity of the sentiments. I don't usually read religious oriented fiction like this, but I do like history and I found the book very interesting. 4 stars.

What Do You Do All Day?

What Do You Do All Day? by Amy Scheibe

This book was a really funny romp through the good, bad and ugly sides of motherhood. Often times I was rolling at how hilarious and right on target the anecdotes about everyday life as a mother. The actual storyline was a little slow and meandering, but I was distracted by that, and therefore didn't mind, because the book was so funny. I really enjoyed this book. 4 stars.


Everlasting by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

I was somewhat dissappointed that this book didn't have more romance. I rarely read true romance novels so when I did decide to try one, it was lacking in that department. It was a long book with a slow, drawn out (but really simple) plot. The language was a little too melodramatic and flowery for me. It wasn't terrible though and it did keep my interest until the end. 3 stars.

True Believer

True Believer by Nicholas Sparks

I really enjoyed this book. It was a really simple, sweet story with complex, yet likable characters. I enjoyed the mystery and romance involved. I was a tiny bit disappointed that the end wasn't less predictable and I wish it had more plot resolution. Overall, a pretty good book, though. 4 stars.

The Cinderella Pact

The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer

I really enjoyed this book! It was a really cute story about learning to like yourself for who you are. The main character goes through a major weight loss transformation which leads to major change in her personal life. I liked her character and could identify with her weight issues. The romance was very sweet as well. Overall, a really good book. I'll be on the lookout for others by this author. 4 stars.

Double Down

Double Down by Tess Mira

I wasn't expecting too much out of this bargain book from an author I'd never heard of. The blurb on the back really did not describe too much, but I decided to take the "gamble". It was a really good book! The main character was really easy to relate to, likable and easy to forgive for her shortcomings. The other characters had a lot of depth and dimension. The story was a really unpredictable, good romantic story. I really enjoyed this book. I'll be looking for other books by this author. 4 stars.

What a Girl Wants (Ashley Stockingdale Series #3)…

What a Girl Wants (Ashley Stockingdale Series #3)… by Kristin Billerbeck

A really cute book! I enjoyed the main character's morals, values, sense of humor and sense of style. I really enjoyed the humor and deep personalities of the characters in this book and the cute storyline. The characters reminded me of people I know. I liked that this was a Christian fiction book even though I haven't read one of those in a long time. It was a breath of fresh air. I'll definitely read the sequel and any subsequent sequels to this book. A good read! 4 Stars.

The Gatecrasher

The Gatecrasher By Madeleine Wickham

Madeleine Wickham is a pseudonym for Sophie Kinsella, the author of the Shopaholic series. I really like Sophie Kinsella's books normally. They are light, easy reads with very likable leading ladies as the main characters. However, this book, written under the pseudonym of Madeleine Wickham, was not as good as her other books. The main character just wasn't very likable and didn't really have me pulling for her. The story was good and the other characters were likable. The book just lacked that something that made it a good book. 3 stars.

There's No Place Like Here

There's No Place Like Here by Cecilia Ahern

This book was not at all what I expected it to be. I wasn't expecting the fantasy element added in and was a little weary because I don't usually read books that are not realistic. But I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the book and I felt the characters were well thought out and well written. I thought this was a great book! 4 stars.