Sunday, February 28, 2010
Places in the Bone by Carole Dine **
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostava ****
Cupidity by Hayley and Michael DiMarco ***
Hear No Evil *****
Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight ****
Marco Polo Didn't Go There by Rolf Potts ***
Between the Covers *****
Love and War by John and Stasi Eldredge ***
Mountain Man Dance Moves *****
The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen *****
The 9/11 Commission Report: A Graphic Adaptation ****
Inside Mrs. B's Classroom by Leslie Baldacci ***
Perelandra by CS Lewis ****
Autobiography of a Fat Bride by Lori Notaro ****
Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn ***
Total: 17 this month, 35 for the year
Page numbers: 4505 for the month, 9082 for the year
Friday, February 26, 2010
Ok that's only five, but I'm out of pictures, so I'll just list the last ones -
Ok, since this blog has become my confessional, I'll go ahead and admit to an "under the mattress" stash. No, no porn - pretty much the opposite - inspirational fiction. I'm too ashamed to put them on my bookshelves where people can see them, so I have a box under my bed. I'm totally serious. And this book definitely falls into that "guilty pleasure" category. I typically do not read the genre, but I have a couple of authors that I like to indulge in every now and then and Robin Jones Gunn is one of them. Don't get me wrong, these aren't literary masterpieces (sorry, Robin) and I don't know that many of my readers would fall in love with them the way I have. Gunn's Sisterchick's books are seriously some of the happiest mind candy I've ever read. And I think I feel the same way about this series. It's the literary equivalent of my love for New York Minute, A Cinderella Story, and The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Every now and then the pre-teen in me comes out and needs a simple romance with a happy ending. The acting/writing doesn't have to be great and the dialogue can be laughable, but it's exactly what I want when I'm craving a happinest boost. So while I'm not really sure this is one I'd recommend to my blog readers who are looking for a serious, intellectual read, I give it two thumbs up if you take it for what it is - complete and total fluff - and who doesn't need a little bit of brain candy every now and then?
This book was provided for my review by Waterbrook/Multnomah.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
The 9/11 Commission Report: Graphic Adaptation (4/5)
Inside Mrs. B's Classroom (4/5)
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (5/5)
The Dogs of Babel
While I Was Gone
Candy and Me (A Love Story)
The Andromeda Strain/Terminal Man (collection for the school)
Twelve Times Blessed
Pieces: A Collection of New Voices
The 6th Lamentation
Promise Not To Tell
Nighttime Is My Time (an old Mary Higgins Clark for the school)
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
I'm also including my books bought and read lists for the week.
Books Read This Week:
Marco Polo Didn't Go There by Rolf Potts
Between the Covers
Love and War by John and Stasi Eldredge
Mountain Man Dance Moves: A McSweeney's Book of Lists
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
Feet by M.T. Anderson
Best American Short Stories 1992 and 1996
Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter
Slightly Chipped: Footnotes in Book Lore
Love Is A Mix Tape
Adrian Mole (first three books in the series)
Loser Goes First
When I Was A Girl
Big Cherry Holler
The Known World
Cage of Stars
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Confessions of a Contractor
All for $15! Love me some McKays!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
I've enjoyed books by John Eldredge before and this one was not a disappointment. I was thrilled that Waterbrook/Multnomah provided me with a copy for review! The best summary I can give of the book, is a quote from pg. 208:
"We live in a love story, set in the midst of a war. Love is our destiny and all hell is set against it."
John and Stasi present both practical and spiritual tools for overcoming the enemy in the battleground that is marriage. While the book occasionally veered into territory that is covered in every Christian marriage book, the majority of the book contained unique analysis of scripture, as well as biblical tools for loving your spouse the way Christ loves the church. I particularly enjoyed the focus that the authors place on spiritual warfare and the damage it can cause to a marriage. I was glad to see that the authors did not only describe spiritual warfare and how it affects marriages, but also the biblical way to overcome these trials. The authors are brutally honest with their own lives and families and make themselves vulnerable to readers, which adds a great deal of authenticity to the book. If your marriage isn't perfect, I'd definitely recommend checking this one out.
Like Cupidity, this is a book that is intended for a Christian audience. While you certainly don't have to be a Christian to understand the concepts, all of the material in the book is explicitly Bible-based and deals with how to best manage your marriage through biblical principles and Godly living, which makes it an ideal read for me, but is not necessarily for everyone.
Monday, February 8, 2010
In honor of Valentine's Day, I'm giving away a copy of my favorite love story, Bel Canto by Anne Patchett. This is also one of my top 3 books of all time. If I make it to 50 followers by Sunday, I'll add another winner, who will receive a two book surprise! Just leave your name and the number of points you get in a comment. That's how many times I'll enter your name in the drawing.
New Follower: +3
Current Follower: +5
Twitter about my giveaway (include your tweet): +2
Blog about my giveaway (include your link): +2
Leave me a comment telling me why you love me (I'm a sucker for flattery): +1
Cupidity itself focuses on mistake that are commonly made my Christians in love - married or single. There is great advice in here about keeping your love going after marriage, respecting your husband, motivating your husband without nagging, and great advice for husbands on loving your wife, romance, and pornography. I thought about using it as a giveaway for Valentine's Day on here, but I loved it enough that I've got to keep it. It's getting a special spot on my shelves with Datable, Marriable, Mean Girls Grown Up, and a few other Hungry Planet books.
Here's my one warning: if you are not interested in reading a lot of biblical references OR you do not believe that wives should submit to their husbands, you are probably not going to just love this book. I take a pretty literal interpretation of the Bible and I want to see how the Bible backs up what I'm being taught, so these are both positive aspects of the book for me, but they may turn some readers off.
And one more small note: I think Cupidity is a great name, but you don't need to repeat the word in every single paragraph. By the end of the book the word had lost its cuteness and was grating on my nerves. But not enough to ruin the message of the book. I even got the chance to put some of the lessons I learned into practice this week!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Cold weather is the best suspense weather in the world, as far as I'm concerned. I don't like the gross-out, torture and destroy novels, but there is nothing better than a warm blanket and a good suspense. Some of my favorites:
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Sweetheart Series by Chelsea Cain (fairly formulaic)
Kate Atkinson's series starting with Case Histories
This Present Darkness/Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti (although these border on the cheesey)
In The Woods by Tana French
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostava (see review below)
Please, please, please leave me some suggestions for your favorite edge of your seat, creep you out thriller!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I don't know that I would consider The Historian to be a thriller as much as a suspenseful mystery. I love that the author avoids using explicit blood and gore and uses her writing to build the suspense rather than relying on the shock factor. Hitchcock could do wonders with this book. If you're wanting a fast pace, this may not be the best book for you, but, regardless of the slow pace, I was intrigued through the entire novel. My one complaint is that the ending, which a shock, seemed somewhat anticlimactic. After almost 700 pages of buildup, I would have liked a little more to happen with the ending, but it wasn't enough to turn me off the book altogether. It fit the storyline and the author's style well. Definitely recommend it to anyone who loves suspense!