Friday, December 31, 2010

Operation Actually Read the Bible - update!!!

The Catholic Study Bible: New American BibleThe Catholic Study Bible: New American Bible by Donald Senior

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started reading the Bible on September 29, 2009, and finished it today, December 31, 2010. Along the way I have developed a habit of reading the Bible every morning and I will do it for the rest of my life. This time, I merely read it -- no commentary or explanation. I knew I would not remember it all nor understand it all. So, my plan this next year or so, is to read it again with commentary. And I plan to continue reading it until the day I die because I couldn't possibly ever understand it all, but it has surely added to my life. I highly recommend finding a "read the Bible in a year" plan and implementing it. As you can see, it took me more than a year to complete the plan, but it was so worth it. If I had to skip a day or two, I just picked up the plan where I left off. Those days became fewer and fewer as my habit developed. I want to thank Becky from Operation Actually Read the Bible for inspiring me to do this.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Historical Fiction Challenge

After 3 years organizing the Historical Fiction Challenge, the girls of The Royal Reviews gracefully passed over this exciting event to the team at Historical Tapestry. They will do their best to continue doing a great job and create a wonderful place to share and discuss favourite (and less favourite) historical fiction books for the next year.

Each month, a new post dedicated to the HF Challenge will be created. To participate, you only have to follow the rules:

•everyone can participate, even those who don't have a blog (you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish)

• add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review)

•any kind of historical fiction is accepted (HF fantasy, HF young adult,...)

•you can overlap this challenge with others kind of challenges

•During these following 12 months you can choose one of the different reading levels:

1.Severe Bookaholism: 20 books
2.Undoubtedly Obsessed: 15 books
3.Struggling the Addiction: 10 books
4.Daring & Curious: 5 books
5.Out of My Comfort Zone: 2 books

Although I really want to sign in as "Struggling the Addiction" (10 books), I will sign in as "Daring and Curious" (5 books), then if I am fortunate enough to read more, I will. I'm trying to limit my challenges -- not an easy task -- so that I can possibly complete a fair number next year. So, here goes...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I FINISHED IT!!! Fortunata & Jacinta by Benito Perez Galdos

Although it took me one year to read the entire 818 pages, I really did enjoy it and I FINISHED IT TODAY! This giant book is the story of two women who were in love with the same man (a cad, by the way). The characters were memorable for their antics and their personalities. From "the saint" who went around helping all kinds of people, collecting money and articles from merchants and builders to construct her orphanage, to Maximilliano who went through many different personality disorders. The one thing that confused me was the use of different names for the same person. I figured it out eventually, but initially it made the storyline a little hard to follow. If you are looking for a book describing life in Spain in the 1870's, this is it. It is one of the greatest Spanish novels of the nineteenth century.

2011 Debut Romance Author Challenge

Romance Book Maven is the place to sign up for the 2011 Debut Romance Author Challenge.
Here are the details:

1. Read at least 10 books by “debut” romance authors between January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.

2. I debated about this and books where an author is “debuting” a new name (i.e. Maureen Child who will have a book out in 2011 as Regan Hastings) will be able to count in this challenge.

3. You don’t need to make up a list beforehand but if you want to, feel free to do so. Just keep in mind it’s not a “strict” list and you can change it at any time to fit your reading schedule. Crossovers into other challenges are allowed in this one.

4. If you decide to join this challenge be sure to create a post telling others & feel free to add a link back to Romance Book Maven so others can join in the fun.

Well, this is my post, so JOIN IN THE FUN!!!

2011 Victorian Literature Reading Challenge

I'm going to sign up for the following challenge so I can expand my horizons into Victorian Literature!

This challenge is hosted by Bethany at Words, Words, Words.

What you need to know:

This challenge will run from 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011.

Participants can sign up at any time throughout the year.

Read your Victorian literature.

Queen Victoria reigned from 1837-1901. If your book wasn't published during those particular years, but is by an author considered 'Victorian' then go for it. We're here for reading, not historical facts! Also, this can include works by authors from other countries, so long as they are from this period.

Literature comes in many forms.

There are so many Victorian reads out there, including novels, short stories, and poetry. One poem doesn't count as a 'book': pick up an anthology instead!

Choose your books.

List your books before you begin, or pick up titles along the way. It's up to you! You can review them if you choose to, but it's not necessary. If you don't have a blog, that's fine! Link to a Facebook, or a page somewhere where you can list what you've been reading. If you can't link up, no problem - feel free to just comment and enjoy.

Spread the love.

Post the reading challenge on your blog - make your own post(s), or stick the button on the side of your page. The more the merrier, after all. Let's build a big community of Victorian literature lovers!

Choose from one of the four levels:

Sense and Sensibility: 1-4 books.
Great Expectations: 5-9 books.
Hard Times: 10-14 books.
Desperate Remedies: 15+ books.

I think I'll try the Sense and Sensibility Level to start.

2011 Romance Reading Challenge

Jamie at Nitty-Gritty Romance is hosting the 2011 Romance Reading Challenge. I'm signing up for this one because I really like Romance novels -- especially Time Travel Romance. I know some people don't consider them "real" fiction, but I think they are entertaining. Anyway, if you want to sign up, click on the link above and sign up!

Here are The Rules:

1. Create a post for the challenge using the image above and link back to this post.

--Non-Bloggers: You are welcome to join too. Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post.

2. Sign up with the Mr. Linky.

--Link to your challenge post when you sign up please.

3. The goal of this challenge is to read AT LEAST 12 novels that are in the Romance genre (ANY kind of romance) between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011. Books read before January 1, 2011 do NOT count towards the challenge.

4. Audio, eBooks, paper all count. Re-reads are ok but try to keep them to a minimum. Cross overs from other challenges are ok.

5. There is no need to create your list now. Please feel free to use your challenge post to keep track of your titles if you so desire.

I can read 12 Romance novels in a year, can't you?

2011 YA Reading Challenge

Jamie over at Jamie Loves YA is hosting the 2011 YA Reading Challenge! I'm joining and so can you. Just click on the link above and sign up.

Here are the rules:

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. Create a post about the challenge and link your challenge post up in the linky below.

--Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post.

2. There are four levels:

--The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels.

--The "Fun Size" YA Reading Challenge – Read 20 Young Adult novels.

--The Jumbo Size YA Reading Challenge – Read 40 Young Adult novels.

--The Mega size YA Reading Challenge – Read 50+ Young Adult novels.

3. Audio, eBooks, paper, re-reads all count.

4. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

5. The Challenge starts on January 1, 2011 and goes until December 31, 2011.

I know I did too many challenges last year, but I really like YA novels, so I'm signing up for the Mini YA Reading Challenge or 12 books. We'll see what happens, but I'm hopeful.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 23rd on the Virtual Advent Tour!!!

Christmas is coming! What does December 23rd mean to me? Well, I hope that most of the things I want to do for Christmas are going to be done...maybe. The biggest thing that happens on December 23rd for me is Christmas Pageant practice! Our parish had a Christmas Pageant in 1998 on the Sunday evening before Christmas. Last year, I asked if we could do it again because the days lined up the same. Our pastor said we should do it before Mass on Christmas Eve! Wow! I was really nervous about it, but also really excited to do it. There was even an article in the local newspaper about it. We put on a pageant about the Christmas story from the Bible, depicting the different parts of the story with music, pantomime and pageantry. Two of our high school students play Mary and Joseph.
And, as you can see, we use a REAL BABY! The parents were so great and very happy to have their baby portray the baby Jesus. Students in Grades 1,2&3 could be angels or sheep and students in Grades 4,5&6 could be angels or shepherds...

and Nathan was "the star".

The School Choir sang as the Youth Ensemble played their instruments and it was glorious! We have one big rehearsal on December 23rd and do the Pageant on December 24th at one of our early Christmas Eve Masses. We are all really looking forward to this year's Pageant. It will be a little different because we will have two Narrators and we are using a girl for baby Jesus (shhh! don't tell). The Pageant helps children remember the story because you always remember better when you act things out. I hope you have a glorious Christmas Eve and thanks for visiting on the Virtual Advent Tour!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this Hunger Games series. These are books that you can't put have to finish them even if it's way past midnight and you have work in the morning. I was told that Mockingjay wasn't as good as the others, but I don't agree. It's different, a different challenge/game, but just as good. There were unexpected surprises which I like. The ending was okay, and fit in with the rest of the book, I guess. Yes, Katniss is "messed up" but doesn't that make you love her? And Peeta, well, so sad but hope springs eternal, right? I think their story was definitely told all it could be, but I can see a side story possibility in Gale. What say you, Suzanne Collins? Can't wait to read what you are writing now!

View all my reviews

Santa in Montana by Janet Dailey

Santa in MontanaSanta in Montana by Janet Dailey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Santa in Montana was a classic Christmas story about a family who lives on a ranch in Montana. It was a nice read about family members caring about each other and celebrating the holidays -- decorating, having parties, getting secret gifts. It was heartwarming actually. Two of the characters started a romance and a life-changing gift was given. Family members from around the world came home for Christmas. It wasn't exciting, there was no evil involved, no tragic crisis, but it was still a nice Christmas story. I liked it.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the sequel to "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. I was told it wasn't as good as the first one, but I definitely thought it was. Katniss and Peeta as victors in The Hunger Games set out on another adventure which causes a spiralling effect that I can't tell you about! More characters are let into your heart with this book and the ending just catapaults you to "Mockingjay", the third book. These books move so fast and they are impossible to put down--just the way I like a book to be. There are lots of questions to be answered in "Mockinjay" and I can't wait to read it.

View all my reviews

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankfully Reading Weekend Wrap-up Post

Well, I did better this year than last year! I read "The Christmas Cat" - 4 stories about Christmas romances facilitated by the presence of a cat AND "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins. I'll post my review of "Catching Fire" tomorrow. Right now I just want to go to bed!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Catching up on my blog-hopping...

Book Blogger Hop

This weekend I'm doing the Blog Hop Tour hosted by Crazy-for-books. I've decided to do just one blog hop tour a week so that I'm able to visit more of the blogs on the Linky list for that particular tour. This week's question is:
"What is your favorite book cover?"
Hmmm...of course this could change with every new book that is published, but right now I like the cover of "The Iron Daughter" by Julie Kagawa. Sometimes books call to me from their shelves at the bookstore or on a page of a book blog and this book has been doing this for a while. It's beautiful. One of these days I'm going to get my hands on a copy and read it.

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your weekend!

Friday, November 26, 2010

#1 book read for Thankfully Reading Weekend!

The Christmas Cat (Includes: De Piaget, #5)The Christmas Cat by Julie Beard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Christmas and I loved these stories. They were all Christmas romances with a cat involved in helping the hero and heroine find each other. My favorite was "The Gift of Christmas Past" by Lynn Kurland. Abigail took a plunge in a pond and ended up in 1238 in an English moat! From there it just got better and better. I'm partial to time travel and Lynn Kurland is so good at writing it. This story was about Miles de Piaget, one of the de Piaget brothers who so many of Kurland's stories are about. Her characters are always strong and stubborn and very interesting. Humor abounds and there is always love and a happy ending. These stories will make your Christmas even brighter!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Hunger Games was FANTASTIC!!! I couldn't put it down. I read it in under 30 hours and it only took that long because I had to work and sleep. I figure it took me 15 hours: 8 hours straight through the first day and 7 hours straight through the second day. Now that may be slow for some people, but it was compelling for me. It moved so quickly. I was told that the first chapter was background and not to get discouraged if it seemed boring. The first time I actually noticed where I was in the book, I was on chapter 5! The characters were so real that you fell in love with them and WERE them. Katniss is so clever and she outwits everyone. Peeta is so sweet, but there's something really strong inside him. Oh my gosh, I can't wait to read "Catching Fire". It is sitting on my bookcase calling me. Gotta go read it!

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2011 Challenges

Okay, here I go...I entered way too many challenges last year...but they were so enticing...I have to cut down this year so I can actually finish some of them. Well, I did finish some and the upside is I read a lot of books I wouldn't have read otherwise. I mean that's the big reason I do reading challenges--to expand my horizons. I really like challenges that expose me to specific kinds of books whether it be through their titles or their genres.

So, I decided to do "What's In A Name 4" this year.
There is a dedicated blog for this challenge here. And here is how the challenge works:

Between January 1 and December 31, 2011, read one book in each of the following categories:

1. A book with a number in the title: First to Die, Seven Up, Thirteen Reasons Why
2. A book with jewelry or a gem in the title: Diamond Ruby, Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Opal Deception
3. A book with a size in the title: Wide Sargasso Sea, Small Wars, Little Bee
4. A book with travel or movement in the title: Dead Witch Walking, Crawling with Zombies, Time Traveler's Wife
5. A book with evil in the title: Bad Marie, Fallen, Wicked Lovely
6. A book with a life stage in the title: No Country for Old Men, Brideshead Revisited, Bog Child

The book titles are just suggestions from our host, you can read whatever book you want to fit the category.

Other Things to Know:

Books may be any form (audio, print, e-book).
Books may overlap other challenges.
Books may not overlap categories; you need a different book for each category.
Creativity for matching the categories is not only allowed but encouraged.
You do not have to make a list of books before hand.
You do not have to read through the categories in any particular order.

I think there's plenty of room for choices in these categories. I can't wait to get started!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn

The Autobiography of Santa ClausThe Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"This enchanting holiday treasure combines historical fact with glorious legend as Saint Nicholas himself reveals the definitive story of Santa Claus. For anyone who has ever're right to believe in him!"
That is from the front bookflap of the book. This book was definitely enchanting. Enchanting, amusing, covers the story of Nicholas beginning with his childhood and how he discovers how good it is to give gifts to children that need cheering up. It covers how stories started making him out to be a magical being who made miracles happen. Nicholas encounters many historical figures in his long, long, long life, but I don't want to spoil the story for you. Suffice it to say that as I read I wondered, "who will he meet next?" I'm putting this book in my library to pull out and read every Christmas. I can't wait to get the other books in the Christmas Chronicles. Jeff Guinn is a great storyteller. This is a book you could read aloud to a child yet it was very interesting to me as an adult. I recommend it highly.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

FRIDAY!!! 43 Days to Christmas! OMG!

I've decided that I'm going to do one blog hop tour a week. I have several to choose from and all of them are fabulous, so I have to limit myself to one a week. This blog hop tour is hosted by . If you want to hop along, go on over and sign up. The question for this week is:


HAHAHAHAHA!!! I laughed out loud at this. Maybe I SHOULD have one. Well, I don't. I get my books through Paperback Swap, the library, friends, sneaking one into my grocery cart at Wal-Mart (Yes, I pay for it--but it comes out of the grocery money...shhh don't tell my husband), and as a last resort I visit my local bookstore and buy a nice hardcover book--but only if I have a coupon. Now, I do a lot of book browsing! I never go to Wal-Mart without pushing my cart down the book aisle and I can get lost in a bookstore--browsing--for hours. I once visited a BIG Borders and thought I had died and gone to heaven. So many books, ahhhh. Just remembering it brings back great memories.

I'm getting off track. The answer is: NO, I don't have one.

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you spend some of your weekend sharing your books with your family!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thankfully Reading Weekend

I'm joining the Thankfully Reading Weekend 2010!
Last year, I only read one book over the weekend,
but I'm willing to give it another go this year.
Who knows what will happen?

If you want to join us,
go to Beth Fish Reads OR Jenn's Bookshelves for more information.
It's easy to sign up and it'll be fun!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blog Hop Tour for 40 & Over

I just found this Blog Hop! It's for bloggers over 40! Awesome!
The RULES to join in are very simple! Go to Never Growing Old, and follow these rules:

1. Grab the button
2. Add your link to the list
3. Visit as many other blogs as you can
4. Follow the ones you like (and comment on their blog to say that you are following)

And it lasts all week! Here we go!

Friday Meme--Follow Friday and Blogger Hop Tour

I haven't done Follow Friday or Blog Hop Tour for a little while, so I decided to participate this weekend. If YOU want to join us, check Follow Friday at and the Book Blogger Hop at .

  Book Blogger Hop

They both use Mr. Linky to create a list of blogs for us to visit. Usually there are questions to answer to help us get to know each other better.
Follow Friday's question is: Who are your favorite authors?
I have always liked Jude Deveraux because I read her books when I got back into reading when my kids were young; I like Lynn Kurland because she writes time travel and she is funny; I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Virginia Woolf and Cassandra Clare.
Book Blogger Hop's question is: "What are your feelings on losing followers? Have you ever stopped following a blog?"
Hmmm...I just lost a follower yesterday. I have no idea why--why should I? It made me a little anxious, but I agree with Jennifer at when she says "I am what I am". I blog to share my thoughts with others on books. I don't blog for followers although I get very excited when someone comments and I like seeing the number of people who follow me grow. If I thought that I HAD to write something every day so that someone would comment on it, I would go crazy. I like to find interesting things to share, but it doesn't always happen. I have only been blogging for a little over 1 1/2 years and doing this has opened up the world for me. I love visiting other blogs and realizing that they are writing from England or Australia! I think you have to do this because you love it. And, if people don't love you back, well...that's life, isn't it? Of course, there are bloggers in it for financial gain or to promote their work and that's awesome, too. But, as for me, I just love books and I love all of you for loving them and sharing them, too.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

A Room of One's Own (Annotated)A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Virginia Woolf is my new heroine. She is amazing. Every woman who has the slightest interest in becoming a writer should read this book--this speech that Ms. Woolf gave on women and fiction. She attacks the subject methodically, researching first what men have to say about women writing which is not good. It was very degrading. Men thought that women didn't have the intelligence to write a novel! Anyway, she then looks at some women authors and their circumstances and the limitations they faced. The book was just wonderful. Her writing style just moved from page to page so fluidly. I love the way her mind worked. I know that we could have been good friends. I recommend this book not only to women pursuing a writing career, but all women in pursuit of their futures.

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Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Dead Until Dark Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I gave it 3 stars out of 5 because the ending was exciting. However, there was just too much sex and violence in the book for me. It was a little silly...I mean, a vampire named "Bill"? To her credit, Sookie thought that was silly, too. And Sam's "disability" was so predictable. I got the first hint right away. There just didn't really seem to be much happening except for Sookie and Bill having sex and women getting murdered. The idea of society accepting vampires and paranormals just made humans seem stupid. And then there was Bubba...really??? Anyway, I generously gave it 3 stars because the ending WAS exciting. It didn't make me want to read the next book in the series though OR watch the TV show. Just sayin...

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


All About {n}

It's time for the HOLIDAY READING CHALLENGE hosted by All About {n} which runs from November 15 through December 31, 2010. Here are the details:

Challenge Requirements:

1- Challenge will start Monday, November 15 and will end Friday, December 31.

2- You can read anywhere from 1 to 5 books for the challenge and, of course, you are more than welcome to surpass that number.

3- And now, here's the clincher... they must be holiday related books. That's right, the holiday doesn't really matter, but it would be more "jolly" if your choices were Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.

4- The size of the book does not matter, nor does the genre. It is also okay for the book to overlap with other challenges. The only thing I ask is that they are not children's books. YA is okay. And so are re-reads. 

5- To sign up - leave a link back to your challenge post at All About {n}. There will also be a post for review links as well as one for challenge wrap-ups.

6- And.... there will be goodies. That's right, she calls them presents. At the end of every week that the challenge is running she will choose one winner from the review links. Meaning the more books you read, review and link up, the more chances you have at winning a "present".

If you'd like to join me and sign up for the 2010 Holiday Reading Challenge, please link up your challenge post with the list of books you plan to read (this list is not set in stone and can be changed as you please) at All About {n}. I did well on this kind of challenge last year, so here list of books so far:

1. The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn
2. The Cricket on the Hearth and Other Christmas Stories by Charles Dickens
3. The Christmas Cat and other stories by Julie Beard, Jo Beverley, Barbara Bretton and one of my favorite authors: Lynn Kurland.
4. Santa in Montana by Janet Dailey
5. A book I haven't chosen yet, but I'm going to the bookstore soon to find it--

Should be fun! I love Christmas!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Book Club Meeting

We had our October Book Club Meeting (we really have to find a name for our club) at Fresh Grounds today. We reviewed Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. We all really liked the book and the setting and especially the love story. Here are some of our answers to the Reading Group questions in the back of the book:
1. Father-son relationships are a crucial theme in the novel. Talk about some of these relationships and how they are shaped by culture and time. For example, how is the relationship between Henry and his father different from that between Henry and Marty. What accounts for the differences? We thought that father-son relationships everywhere are hard at times. Henry's relationship with his father was encumbered because his father wouldn't let him speak Cantonese at home and Henry couldn't explain things to his father so he could understand. Both fathers (Henry and Mr. Lee) kept things from their sons which made it harder for the sons to understand the fathers. We discussed various relationships in our own families where fathers and sons had trouble relating to each other.

3. If you were Henry, would you be able to forgive your father? Does Henry's fatherThis was kind of a tough question. We said that when Henry was an adult, he probably understood better the reasons his father had for hiding Keiko's letters, but we all agreed it was a nasty thing to do. That said, we also agreed that everyone deserves forgiveness.
 deserve forgiveness?

We talked about the struggles our own ancestors had when they immigrated to America. My sister and I have Irish ancestors and we go to a Church that was founded by Irish immigrants. At the time, noone would sell land to the Irish so they could build a Church--much like the folks who would not sell gasoline to the Japanese in the story), so the German immigrants who lived in our town bought the land, then sold it to the Irish. Our ancestors got into many scrapes due to the fact that they were Irish and they were Roman Catholic.

14. Do you think Ethel might have known what was happening with Henry's letters? We were rather intrigued by this question and didn't know how to answer it. We couldn't decide whether we thought she knew or not. Ethel loved Henry. She eventually married him. How could she have kept it from him if she had known about the letters. I don't think she could have. We decided we might have to ask Jamie Ford the answer.

15. The novel ends with Henry and Keiko meeting again after more than 40 years. Jump ahead a year and imagine what has happened to them in that time. Is there any evidence in the novel for this outcome? We are all romanticists, so of course we said "they lived happily ever after." We really think they would have because both their spouses died and they had every right to be together. They obviously loved each other all those years. Their love was so sweet, it couldn't have ended any other way.

We also spent some time talking about whether it was right for the government to move all those people and keep them locked away. It doesn't feel right to punish everyone for something their countrymen did, but what would we do today? We have much tighter security after 911 and some people are questioned just because of their nationality. It still doesn't feel right to me.

For November, we are each reading a book with a Christmas theme. I am reading The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn. Betty is reading a Debbie Macomber book with a Christmas theme, and Mary is reading a Christmas book with two stories in it. Our next meeting will be December 1st since the last Wednesday in November is the day before Thanksgiving and we will all be busy preparing for the feast!

Come back in early December and check out our Christmas booktalk.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Monday already!

I can't believe I haven't posted anything since last Monday!

This week I continue to read Fortunata and Jacinta by Benito Perez Galdos--I'm on page 439.

I'm also reading A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf--page 67 of the essay (it starts with page 1 partway through the book, so...). Virginia Woolf is amazing. I love the way her mind works. I think we could have been friends.

AND I'm also reading Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris--I'm on page 72. It's the first of the Sookie Stackhouse books. The 101 Fantasy Reading Challenge went perpetual but there is a mini-challenge that lasts until January 31, 2011, so I decided to read this book for the mini-challenge.

How's that for eclectic reading?

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Monday! What are YOU Reading?

This is a reading meme hosted by One Person's Journey Through a World of Books.
This week I continue to read Fortunata and Jacinta by Benito Perez Galdos, but I am also reading A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf. The last book I read was Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (for book club) and the next book I plan to read is Days of Gold by Jude Deveraux. Our book club is reading a Christmas book for November and a biography/autobiography for December & January. If you have any suggestions for either of those I would appreciate it.

Happy reading!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Follow Friday!

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, go to the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and grab the Follow Friday button. Place it in a post on your blog so people can stop and say Hi in your comments. Follow and the Featured Bloggers -

Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.

Go down (or up) the list and Follow Follow Follow as many blogs as you can.

If someone comments and says they are following you, follow them back. Spread the Love...and the followers.

Definitely come back and Follow Me, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

I love getting comments and new followers!

It looks like we have a question this week, too:
What is your reading suggestion this week?

I suggest "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Jamie Ford. I just finished it and it was wonderful. See my opinion here. 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book read really quickly. If I wouldn't have been interrupted by "life" I would have read it straight through. The love story was sweet--I cried at the end--and the depiction of the Chinese and Japanese families in that era was enlightening to me. The characters felt very real and the relationships between family members believable. I'm a musician, so I appreciated Henry's love of jazz and carrying the symbol of the 78 record through the story was very significant to me. I was worried this book would be depressing and I guess it could be to some people, but the love story kept it above the line. It was a wonderful book.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

A New Review

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (Pink Carnation, #1)The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was fun. I actually thought I knew who the Pink Carnation was from the beginning--and I was almost right--but there was a twist at the end. I love twists. Lauren Willig is a great writer! The pace is quick and there is always something happening. Amy gets herself into scrape after scrape and I could definitely picture her in my mind. I thought this book was entertaining, funny, exciting and wonderful.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

BOOKTALK at Fresh Grounds

On Wednesday, September 29th, our book club met at the Fresh Grounds for our monthly meeting. Fresh Grounds Coffeehouse & Cafe is an upscale coffeehouse with an array of fine specialty coffees & teas, fruit smoothies, retro sodas, pastries, gelato, etc. It is a gathering place where singers & bands perform. Meeting rooms are available for meetings, study groups, etc. Our book club has been meeting here all summer and we feel very welcome.

We had all read a different book, so each of us gave a review of the book we had chosen. Here are the books we read:

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton

Betty read 6 books in the last two months, but The Wednesday Sisters was her favorite. It is a story of 5 mothers who took their children to the park to play and met each other. They shared each other’s lives. This book is set in the ‘60’s and the events of that era are intertwined with the women’s stories. Betty really liked this book because she was a young mother in that era and she remembers many of the events and happenings that took place then and how it affected her family. She gives this book 5 of 5 stars.

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

Mary read Those Who Save Us which is set at the beginning of World War II. A young girl in Germany meets a Jewish doctor and falls in love. She gets pregnant, but her Jewish doctor is taken away. Later, the young girl gets involved with an SS officer. The story is about the little girl she had and this girl’s search for her real father. The little girl grew up thinking that the SS officer was her father and didn’t discover the truth until she was an adult. Mary says this book was good, but she was disappointed in the ending. It is based on a true story.

Clarence Thomas – My Grandfather’s Son by Clarence Thomas

Stella read this book about Clarence Thomas. He was raised by his grandparents and went to Catholic schools and eventually Holy Cross College. He got his law degree from Yale. He always thought he would go back to Savannah, Georgia to help the people there. George Bush asked him to be on the Supreme Court. Stella enjoyed this book but was surprised to realize that people were still suffering from integration woes today.

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Linda read Nineteen Minutes after reading My Sister’s Keeper also by Jodi Picoult. She says it is one of those books you can’t put down. It is about a school shooting. Jodi has the ability to give the same story from several different character’s perspectives. As always in Picoult’s books, there is a twist at the end. Linda highly recommends this book.

Scent of the Missing by Susan Charleson

Pat wanted to read something different, so she read Scent of the Missing about rescue dogs and how they are trained. She liked it very much and discovered how much more goes into training rescue dogs than she expected.

Fortunata and Jacinta by Benito Perez Galdos

I continue to read this book. It is 818 pages and I am on 400 something. It is the story of two women who are/were involved with the same man: Fortunata was his lover and Jacinta is his wife. Fortunata has a son and Jacinta desperately wants to have a child. Fortunata’s son is placed with orphans because she can’t afford to keep him and Jacinta discovers that he exists and goes about trying to rescue him and bring him home with her to be raised as her own. There are many interesting characters in this book. Some of them are very funny and the things that happen are quite amusing. The length of this book will no doubt be intimidating to some, but it portrays life in Spain in that era quite well and, if you are interested in those things, it is well worth the time put into reading it. It isn’t a page-turner, but it is worth reading.

After our booktalk, we also exchanged several books that members had brought. We decided to read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford for October and have another booktalk session on Christmas books in November. Normally we do not have a meeting the last week in December due to the Christmas holidays, so we decided to read a biography or autobiography for December/January. That wraps up our September meeting!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

City of Bones, the movie!

I just read this press release on Cassandra Clare's blog on Goodreads:


* Screen Gems has teamed with Constantin Film and Unique Features to develop the motion picture franchise MORTAL INSTRUMENTS based on The New York Times Bestselling book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Jessica Postigo penned the script which is based on the first book in the series, City of Bones. Constantin Film’s head of Film & TV Martin Moszkowicz will executive produce and Robert Kulzer will produce the project via the Constantin Film banner along with producing partners Michael Lynne, Robert Shaye, and executive producer Dylan Sellers via their Unique Features banner.

* In “City of Bones”, set in contemporary New York City, a seemingly ordinary teenager Clary Fray, discovers she is the descendent of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world. When Clary's mother disappears, she must join a daring group of young Shadowhunters on an adventure, which leads her through a city filled with mischievous fairies, eccentric warlocks, werewolf gangs and other strange creatures.

* MORTAL INSTRUMENTS marks the third Screen Gems project for director Scott Stewart. He directed Screen Gems' PRIEST which is currently in post-production and due out in theatres in 3D on May 13, 2011. Additionally, the studio released his directorial debut, LEGION.

* The Mortal Instruments is a series of novels published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., including City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, and the upcoming City of Fallen Angels.

* Clint Culpepper, Screen Gems’ President, and Eric Paquette, Screen Gems’ SVP of Production, will oversee the project for the studio.

I know that I said I was disappointed in Clockwork Angel--see my review here--and I was because The Mortal Instruments series is so amazing. I hope Screen Gems does justice to the book. Who do you think they will cast as Clary and Jace?

Friday, September 24, 2010


The featured blog on this week's Follow Friday is an Aussie teen! How great is that! She has two blogs: Book Couture and the Book Contest Directory. So, you have two blogs to visit before you tackle THE LIST. Anyway, if you want to participate, go to . If you are already hopping around, thanks for visiting! I'll probably be visiting your blog soon.

Have a great weekend!

Evermore by Alyson Noel

The first book in Alyson Noel's extraordinary new Immortals series.
Enter an enchanting new world, where true love never dies...

After a horrible accident claims the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people's auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone's entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact and suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school - but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste.

Damen is gorgeous, exotic, and wealthy. He's the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head - wielding a magic so intense, it's as though he can peer straight into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she's left with more questions then answers. And she has no idea just who he really is - or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is that she's falling deeply and helplessly in love with him.

That from the back cover of the book... I really liked this book and look forward to reading the next in the series. It moved along well and kept me trying to figure things out which I liked. Yes, some things were predictable, but there were plenty of twists and turns. It was obviously a Young Adult novel, but I'm okay with that - even though I am only a young adult in my mind. I'm wondering what could possibly happen next. There was plenty of action and adventure and mystery, so I'm thinking that is going to continue.

The characters were likeable and I could relate to them: Riley, her sister; her friends - Haven and Miles. My favorite part was when she found out the meaning of the flowers...can't tell you because it is so amusing you'll want to find out for yourself.

So, if you haven't read this book, go out and get it. It's definitely worth it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's Monday! What are YOU Reading?

It has been a long time since I participated in "It's Monday, What Are You Reading?" I really didn't know where to find it again, but Book Journey is where it is at.

Last week, I finished "Clockwork Angel" by Cassandra Clare. You can read my opinion on it here. I liked it, but I guess I was expecting a more obvious connection between Infernal Devices and Mortal Instruments. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series to see if that develops.

This week, I am reading "Evermore" by Alyson Noel. This book has been on my shelf for a while and I hadn't been able to get to it. I also have the next book in the series, so I'm hopeful that I will like the story. So far, I'm on page 58, I really like it and it's moving along.

I'm hoping to visit some of the other bloggers who are participating in this meme, so if you are here visiting me for the same reason, thanks!

Happy reading, everyone!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

I liked this book although I didn't like it as much as I enjoyed the Mortal Instruments series. I expected to see more of a connection between the two times than just Magnus Bane. I wanted a hint of what was to come and I didn't get that. The thought of clockwork people is kind of creepy to me - not that I can't read creepy things... I guess I just discovered I want my creepy things to be alive, not mechanical. I probably missed a huge point in their significance. It was the beginning of the industrial age with all kinds of inventions on the horizon, but I just found them creepy. However, I am intrigued to find out the lineage of the main characters - which hopefully will be revealed in the remaining books in the series. The conjectures that I formed in my mind about them will make me compelled to read the other two books. I could do without the clockwork people though. Just saying....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An Award!

Thank you goes out to Jazz at About Books Blog for giving me this lovely award. It's so pretty. So, now I am to pass it along to 15 bloggers who I have recently discovered! Wow! I have so many that I have met recently via the Follow Friday and Book Hop Tour events, it will be hard to choose...


1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know that they've been chosen.

Here are the blogs I have chosen:

Visit them if you get a chance!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

So, you like to speak with a British accent...well, this is my British name...

I found this British name generator and, lo and behold, I have a British name... (I'm not British)...
just call me Charlotte dearie...

Try it! It's jolly good fun!

My very British name is Charlotte Walpole.
Take The Very British Name Generator today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

Friday, September 10, 2010

No, I haven't fallen off the end of the earth! I'm back and I'm following on Friday!

My son got married last weekend, so I've been neglecting my blog - I'm so sorry. But now I'm back and participating in Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkie. There was a question this week - eBook or Print? - and I say Print. I think my eyes would go crazy reading even more on the computer than I do now. And I really like the feel of a book in my hand and the smell. Love books.

So, hello to everyone visiting here this Friday and, if you want to participate and blog hop with us, go to Parajunkie's blog and add your blog to the list.

Happy Friday!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blog Hop Tour - don't forget me!!!

I know it's Saturday already, but I can't miss the Blog Hop Tour!

Book Blogger Hop


In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

So, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted at Crazy for Books!! The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun! This is a weekly event! And stop back at Crazy for Books throughout the weekend to see all the new blogs that are added! We get over 300 links every week!!

Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.
Every week we answer a question just to get to know each other better. This week's question is:

How many blogs do you follow?

Well, I had to go and count mine - yes, I can still count mine - I follow 78 blogs. Take into consideration that I just started doing this - blog hopping - about a month ago. I try to visit as many as I can on this tour and during the week, if something interesting catches my eye, I check it out. Following more blogs gives me more interesting things to read about. AND, my followers have increased from 10 to 53 just by participating in this Blog Hop and the Follow Friday Tour. I didn't think the number of followers I had mattered to me - but it really does!!! Gotta go visit more blogs!!! Happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

W.W.W. Wednesdays

Hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you'll read next?

To play along, just write a post answering these three questions and comment at Should Be Reading
(and here - I want to know, too!)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lavender Morning by Jude Deveraux

Lavender Morning (Edilean, #1)Lavender Morning by Jude Deveraux

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was classic Jude Deveraux to me. It was amusing and unpredictable and the heroes and heroines were characters you could get behind and root for. This is the beginning of a collection of books about the Edilean family. I can't wait to read the others - one takes place in the past and one is set in the present - a sequel to "Lavender Morning". Jude Deveraux is so talented and her books make you work to anticipate the twists in the plot. She never disappoints.

View all my reviews >>

Musing Monday

It's Monday and we're doing a round-robin kind of thread. The question I have to answer is: "Did you ever read a novel that was not in your comfort zone? What/Who have made you pick up that book? Did you like it and would read more from that genre?

I read "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson. When I read the description on the cover, I didn't think I would like it because it was a murder mystery, etc. Then I kept seeing the the stores, on the Internet, everywhere! It was like it was taunting me to read it. Then, my book club decided WE should read it. I gave in and bought the book. I really did like it. It moved along quite well for me - I finished the last 300 pages in one afternoon. However, it was very disturbing because it was about men who abused women. The heroine was very interesting because she was quite intelligent, but, since she only spoke when she had something to say, people thought she was intellectually challenged, which she used to her advantage because she was so smart! Anyway, I did like the book, but I don't want to read the other 2 books in the series. Yes, I can put it down and walk away.

So, this leads to my question - Have you ever read the first book in a series that bothered you and were you able to walk away from the series, or did you read the rest of the books just to find out what happened next or if things got better? Was it worth it?

Thanks for visiting me! Have a great Monday!

Friday, August 6, 2010

It's Friday Already!!!

I've had a really busy week, but I can't resist the Follow Friday! I'm baking cupcakes today for my future daughter-in-law's shower tomorrow, but in-between, I'm following...glad YOU came to visit me.

If you aren't visiting from the Follow Friday Tour, you can join the fun by going to and adding your blog to the list, then follow as many others on the list as you can. It's a great way to make new book blogging friends! My followers have increased 4 fold since I started doing this.

Have fun and have a great day! Back to the cupcakes...