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Showing posts from January, 2011

Book Review: "The Book of Tomorrow" by Cecelia Ahern

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Summary from BN.com: Born into the lap of luxury, sixteen-year-old Tamara Goodwin has never had to look to tomorrow, until the abrupt death of her father leaves her and her mother a mountain of debt and forces them to move in with Tamara's peculiar aunt and uncle in a tiny countryside village. Lonely and bored, Tamara's only diversion is a traveling library. There she finds a large leather-bound book with a gold clasp and padlock. Intrigued, she pries the lock open, and what she finds inside takes her breath away.

Tamara sees entries written in her handwriting and dated for the next day, and when they happen exactly as recorded, she realizes she may have found the solution to her problems. But Tamara soon learns that some pages are better left unturned and that, try as she might, she can't interfere with fate.

Believe it or not this was my first Cecelia Ahern book. I know, she's HUGE in chick lit and as a chick lit fan, I'm not sure why I haven't read any of he…

My Library Reads No. 6

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My Library Reads is a spotlight on the library books that I have read during the previous week. This is not a post on what books I borrowed but books that I read. Since I don't review library books, this is a way to still be able to showcase them on my blog.

BTW, if anyone knows of another meme that is like this on another blog, could you please let me know? I don't know of any myself, but if there is one already in place, I'd like to give credit where credit is due!

Library Books read from 1/23/11 - 1/29/11

The Diva Cooks a Goose by Krista Davis (Berkley Prime Crime, 12/7/10)

Cozy Mystery: 4th Book in the Domestic Diva Mystery series. Cute book that takes place in Alexandria, VA which is right near me. The mystery involves a neighborhood wide theft of presents and then the death of a woman everyone loved until her dirty secrets came out. There are lots of household tips sprinkled throughout the book as well as recipes at the end. Hope ther…

Movie Review: "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"

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In case you didn't already know, I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE Narnia fan. I grew up reading the Narnia books and I still try to read them every couple of years (hmm, if I can read Harry Potter every year, I should do the same for Narnia). I also watched those BBC versions of Narnia on my VHS player faithfully (mainly because I had crushes on Peter, Edmund and Caspian). My sisters and I used to pretend that the back wall in our closet led into Narnia (I mean who didn't?) So it was with great excitement that I looked forward to this movie as soon as I heard that Narnia was being made at the box office. But I got scared when Disney pulled out after Prince Caspian and it looked like the series was heading the way of Davy Jones Locker. But then Fox rescued it and more movies were to be made depending on how this one did. Well, after seeing it, it will be a miracle if there are more.

Be warned: Due to my outrage, I am going to spoil this movie heavily for you. You have been warned.

Bef…

Book Review: "Never Been Kissed" by Melody Carlson

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Summary from BN.com: All Elise wants is to have her first kiss before she turns sixteen. Is that so bad? But when a friend's poor advice and the powers of electronic technology combine, Elise heads down a dangerous road. She is accused of "sexting" and gets kicked out of school. But is she really the one to blame?

This powerful and realistic story from beloved author Melody Carlson shows teen girls the impact of their choices when it comes to respecting themselves and their integrity. Honest and relevant, Never Been Kissed will make girls laugh, cry . . . and think.

This book took me by surprise. While the description above mentions the main plot of the story, the back of the book doesn't mention it at all. Therefore I was expecting a rather bland story of a girl who's never been kissed and gets her first kiss in high school and how magical and wonderful it was. I should have known better. Melody Carlson is known for pushing those racy and usually unmentionable …

Book Review: "The Fates Will Find Their Way" by Hannah Pittard

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Summary from BN.com: Sixteen-year-old Nora Lindell is missing. And the neighborhood boys she's left behind are caught forever in the heady current of her absence.

As the days and years pile up, the mystery of her disappearance grows kaleidoscopically. A collection of rumors, divergent suspicions, and tantalizing what-ifs, Nora Lindell's story is a shadowy projection of teenage lust, friendship, reverence, and regret, captured magically in the disembodied plural voice of the boys who still long for her.

Told in haunting, percussive prose, Hannah Pittard's beautifully crafted novel tracks the emotional progress of the sister Nora left behind, the other families in their leafy suburban enclave, and the individual fates of the boys in her thrall. Far more eager to imagine Nora's fate than to scrutinize their own, the boys sleepwalk into an adulthood of jobs, marriages, families, homes, and daughters of their own, all the while pining for a girl–and a life–that no longer exi…

Book Review: "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua

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Summary from BN.com: All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. What Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother reveals is that the Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that. Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to protect your children is by preparing them for the future and arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother chronicles Chua's iron-willed decision to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, her way—the Chinese way—and the remarkable results her choice inspires.

Before I start this review, I wanted to say that I haven't read any of the other reviews about this book. I am writing this review purely from my own viewpoint and from my own experiences of being raised by a Chinese mother. I was excited to read this book for two main reas…

Book Review: "Fatal Judgment" by Irene Hannon

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Summary from BN.com: U.S. Marshal Jake Taylor has seen plenty of action during his years in law enforcement. But he'd rather go back to Iraq than face his next assignment: protection detail for federal judge Liz Michaels. His feelings toward Liz haven't warmed in the five years since she lost her husband--and Jake's best friend--to possible suicide. How can Jake be expected to care for the coldhearted workaholic who drove his friend to despair?As the danger mounts and Jake gets to know Liz better, his feelings slowly start to change. When it becomes clear that an unknown enemy may want her dead, the stakes are raised. Because now both her life--and his heart--are in mortal danger.

I have enjoyed Irene Hannon's books in the romantic suspense genre because I feel that they give me more of what I want: suspense over romance. I want the story to focus more on the action and adventure while having the romance be a secondary subplot. It can be there but I would rather see…

Book Review: "The Samantha Granger Experiment: Fused" by Kari Lee Townsend

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Summary from the publisher: When you make a face or cross your eyes, do your parents tease that if you’re not careful, your face might stay that way forever?
Well, my parents said that if I’m not careful, I’ll turn into one of my gadgets.

I thought they were joking, people!

But—somehow, someway—I have become a living, breathing, walking piece of technology. Apparently my head now has a built-in GPS and my palm is equipped with talking and texting capabilities—just like my cell phone!

Now I’m a techno-superhero with powers that seem to have a mind of their own. And, in my case, keeping a secret identity is harder than it sounds. I short-circuit every time Trevor Hamilton looks my way.

Like being a girl isn’t stressful enough.

Kids and technology. They're glued to it 24/7. What would happen if that literally were to happen to them? That's exactly what happens to Samantha Granger in this book as a magical substance transforms her body into the most high tech piece of communication …

Bloggiesta Wrap Up

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So Bloggiesta came and went. How did I do?

Well, let's start off by this. Last year during Bloggiesta, I had set out for a whole weekend of working on my blog. Unfortunately that didn't happen because my husband got in a pretty bad car accident. This year, I had a limited time of when I could work on my blog but still had planned for at least one day and a few hours over the weekend. All was well....until my husband broke his leg Friday night falling on black ice. And it was a pretty bad break because he needed surgery on Saturday morning. Thus my Bloggiesta plans pretty much went kaput. He's doing fine..so don't worry about him. Because next year I am going to forbid him from stepping outside of the house for the 3 days Bloggiesta takes place.

As for the goals I had set before:

I wrote 6.5 reviews. I had planned for 8 but 6.5 is good considering what happened. Spent most of Friday working on these.

I also did put up a twitter button on my blog! Did this on…

Why I'm Not the Target Audience for Christian Fiction

I feel like this post is going all over the place. You would be appalled to get inside of my brain sometimes.

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time over a month, then you know that I like reading Christian fiction. I know that many of you don't and you probably never will, but that's ok with me. I don't like reading science fiction or erotica and I never will so I can perfectly understand your sentiments.

Lately, I've been feeling rather ignored by the Christian Fiction community. Please note before I start this, I'm not begging for books to review. I have more than enough, believe me. I just feel like I'm being ignored by Christian authors and publishers that are heavily involved in the CBA/ECPA publishing industry. I mentioned this in my blogging goals earlier this month that I feel like even though I read and review a lot of Christian fiction, I also read and review a lot of general market fiction and I wonder if that is part of th…

Book Review: "Angry" by Laura L. Smith

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Summary from BN.com: Watching her parents go through a divorce is devastating for Emma and has turned her life into a tailspin. She’s angry at everyone around her. She’s angry at her siblings because she's always stuck baby-sitting them, her parents for ruining her life, and herself for not measuring up to anyone’s standards. Will she turn her torment over to God and put her trust in Him before it’s too late?

Teen angst. I know parents dread it coming. Unfortunately almost every teen is going to face it sometime in their life. It be nerve wracking for everyone as they are on pins and needles trying to avoid be blasted and yelled at from the surly teenager. For the teen, this can be the worse time of their life unless they know how to handle it correctly. Emma is going through that part of her life right now. And not handling it in the right way.

Even though I was a big fan of Smith's previous books, this one didn't feel as if it held up as well as its predecessor…

Bloggiesta #4

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It's Bloggiesta Time! What does that mean? It's Bloggers Dancing Around a Sombrero filled with books! Ok, not really.

This is an event hosted by Natasha from Maw Books Blog. In her own words: "In short, it’s a blogging marathon. A opportunity to cross those nagging items off of your to-do list and improve your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing."

Unfortunately for me, I always have rotten timing during Bloggiesta weekend and something always comes up to not make me be able to participate as fully as I would like to. Therefore I only have all of Friday to really get some work done. Hopefully I'll be able to get some time on Saturday or Sunday but I can't guarantee that.

Now what do I plan on doing during Bloggiesta? Well my main goal is writing reviews. I have about 15 books that need reviews to be written. I'm guessing that will probably take up all my time tomorrow. I also need to put a twitter bu…

Book Winner

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Congrats to the winner of the giveaway for Love on Assignment

Book Review: "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown

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Summary from BN.com: There is no problem that a library card can't solve.The Andreas family is one of readers. Their father, a renowned Shakespeare professor who speaks almost entirely in verse, has named his three daughters after famous Shakespearean women. When the sisters return to their childhood home, ostensibly to care for their ailing mother, but really to lick their wounds and bury their secrets, they are horrified to find the others there. See, we love each other. We just don't happen to like each other very much. But the sisters soon discover that everything they've been running from-one another, their small hometown, and themselves-might offer more than they ever expected.

This is one of those books that I don't feel worthy to write a review about. I absolutely loved this book. Right from the beginning I was immediately sucked into the story. Any book about sisters and reading gets an automatic 5 star in my book. Coming from a family of three girls who …

Book Review: "A Man's Heart" by Lori Copeland

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Summary from BN.com: Jules broke off her wedding to Cruz practically at the altar. Not just once, but twice. Now the man Jules loves best can't stand the sight of her.

Only for Pop could Jules have made such a sacrifice. And now Pop is gone, leaving Jules with his struggling Washington State potato farm; with a sister excluded from his will; and with a heart wounded by the sacrifice she has made on behalf of her father.

It looks like strengthening her relationship with her sister and improving the prospects of the Blue Bayou farm will be Jules' chief concerns. But when cancer takes the life of her best friend, Jules finds herself caring for her friend's two small children as well as the Blue Bayou.

A drought-stricken farm. A promise to a dead friend and two needy little lives. And disturbing memories stirring up a growing relationship with her sister. How can one woman handle it all?

The answer lies with a God who holds the keys to yesterday, today, and tomorrow—and to the he…

Book Review: "A Suitor for Jenny" by Margaret Brownley

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Summary from BN.com: When looking for a husband, it's best to go where the odds are in your favor.

And that would be Rocky Creek, Texas, 1880. But Jenny Higgins's plan to find husbands for her two sisters hits a snag when enthusiastic applicants fail to meet her stringent requirements.

Rejecting her sisters' choices for mates and riding herd on her growing feelings for Marshal Rhett Armstrong, she refuses to give up.

Jenny thinks choosing a husband is not a job for the heart. It'll take one strong and handsome marshal to convince her otherwise.

Women finding husbands. It's a never ending saga that has lasted throughout history and will go on forever. Jenny is the oldest sister who has been left in charge of her two younger sisters. They have arrived in Rocky Creek to set out to look for husbands. Due to circumstances in her past, Jenny is determined to find respectable, well to do spouses that can provided security for her younger sisters. She develops an unconve…

Nancy Drew Challenge Winners

Congrats to the winners of the Nancy Drew Challenge giveaway. A special congrats because all these winners read ALL 56 of the Nancy Drew books in 2010!

The winners of the Secret of the Old Clock Game are

Ryan G
Tina C
Andrea F

The grand prize winner of the 5 Pack of Nancy Drew games is

Peggy O.

Congrats to all and hope you had a very happy Nancy Drew Year!

Book Review: "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth" by Jon Stewart

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Where do we come from? Who created us? Why are we here? These questions have puzzled us since the dawn of time, but when it became apparent to Jon Stewart and the writers of The Daily Show that the world was about to end, they embarked on a massive mission to write a book that summed up the human race: What we looked like; what we accomplished; our achievements in society, government, religion, science and culture -- all in a tome of approximately 256 pages with lots of color photos, graphs and charts.

After two weeks of hard work, they had their book. EARTH (The Book) is the definitive guide to our species. With their trademark wit, irreverence, and intelligence, Stewart and his team will posthumously answer all of life's most hard-hitting questions, completely unburdened by objectivity, journalistic integrity, or even accuracy.

Hi-Lar-I-Ous. That's what this book is. I'm a fan of Jon Stewart and I watch the Daily Show. I have his first book, America (The Book) and as a …

DNF: The Fashion File by Janie Bryant with Monica Corcoran Harel

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Summary from BN.com: As the costume designer for television's Mad Men, Emmy Award-winner Janie Bryant must match couture with the disparate body types and personalities of that show's distinctive female and male characters. In The Fashion File, she not only offers elegant peeks behind those dressing room doors; she describes how you can adapt your clothing choices to match your personal look and preferred style. In addition to its memorable Mad Men stories, this illustrated hardcover dispenses timely wardrobe and accessory details, tips, and advice.

Ok, this is my first DNF on the blog so if it sounds choppy it's because this is the first time I've ever done this.

Sometimes no matter how interesting you think a subject matter can be, sometimes the book just isn't for you. I was really looking forward to reading this but then after I started I wondered why. First off, I don't watch Mad Men. I've tried to get into the show but I just can't even t…

Book Review: "Serendipity" by Cathy Marie Hake

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Summary from BN.com: Todd Valmer should have known better. A farmer who's been through several disasters, he travels to Virginia to fetch his widowed mother to cook and help him around his Texas farm...or that was the plan until she keels over on the train and they get kicked off. Maggie Rose barters for a living and also makes soaps, lotions, and perfumes with a special rose recipe passed down from mother to daughter for generations. She hasn't wanted to marry...until that handsome Texan shows up. Her heart skips a beat, and when he proposes, a hasty marriage follows.

What ensues, however, is a clash of culture and a battle of wills--and it's clear they both mistook instant attraction and infatuation for love. As their marriage loses its sparkle and fills with disillusionment, Todd and Maggie must determine what is worth fighting for. He dreams of a farm. Maggie wants to fulfill the family tradition with her rose perfumes. Todd's mother, however, has entirely differen…