Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review - Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

Marcus Holroyd was always alone.

His mother died when he was four, but this had surprisingly little effect on his life.  The Countess of Chatteris mothered her son the way her mother had mothered her - from afar.

The above is the way Julia Quinn's Just Like Heaven begins.  My heart immediately went out to this character - incurable sap that I am.  We quickly learn that Marcus is an only child and he is brought up mainly by nannies and then the best tutors his father's money could buy.  Marcus' father saw no reason to have anything to do with his son until 'he was old enough to conduct a reasonably intelligent conversation'.  By then, the age of twelve, Marcus was being shipped off to Eton College. 

Upon arriving at Eton, Marcus meets Daniel Smythe-Smith and finally has a friend.  Before long, Marcus is spending holidays with Daniel's boisterous, fun and loving family; including Daniel's pesky little sister Honoria.  And finally, Marcus feels like he has a family.

More than a decade later, Marcus is alone again.  Daniel has been exiled from England and he rarely sees the Smythe-Smith's - although he is secretly making certain that Honoria doesn't marry any sort of unsuitable man.  Having agreed to this task before Daniel's hasty departure, Marcus takes his duty seriously.  On an endeavor to learn of Honoria's latest love interest, Marcus finds himself in a ridiculous mishap and ends up gravely ill.

Honoria feels horribly responsible for Marcus' condition and insists that she and her mother go to his aid.  The story that Ms. Quinn continues in Just Like Heaven is filled with friendship, family, reconnecting and of course, love.  This book has humor, tears, sighs, sweetness and the ever appreciated happy ending.

Teaser Tuesday's - 13 Little Blue Envelopes

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.
 
My teaser from Nook page 36 of Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes:
 
Because talent alone doesn't make an artist.  You need a little serendipity, a little luck, a little boost.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review - Night Road by Kristin Hannah

I finished reading Kristin Hannah's Night Road earlier this afternoon and I can not stop thinking about the story.  I want to share this book with everyone I know. I want to talk about it and ask people what they thought of this part and that part.  I want to ask people, "How would you (or how did you) handle this?" My husband and I had a decent conversation about one of the main topics in Night Road.

Now that I've admitted my need to talk about and share this book - I confess that I don't know what to write in this review.  Meaning, I don't want to give any of the emotional roller coaster away.  This book is definitely a journey.  One that had me tearing me up and feeling like I had to catch my breath when I looked in on my own children a little while ago.

I think you may want to read this book if:
- You are a parent..
- You ever want to be a parent.
- You remember being a teenager (or still are) and struggling with feeling like an adult but still having to adhere to rules.
- You've ever loved a child to the exclusion of yourself.
-You've ever suffered an unfathomable loss but still found a way (eventually) to carry on.
- You've ever made a mistake you'd give anything to fix.

My list of reasons you might want to read this book could definitely go on.  I will say that there were a few grammatical issues, and a glaring inaccuracy in timeline in the book.  Obviously I noticed them (I think it's the writer in me) but in no way did these few things detract from the story for me.

This is the second book I've read by Kristin Hannah.  The first was Firefly Lane - which had me bawling my eyes out for the last fifty or so pages.  In Night Road Ms. Hannah writes an emotionally upheaving and ultimately hopeful story about the human ability to love - if we just allow ourselves the freedom.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

My teaser, from page 18 of Kristin Hannah's Night Road:

It was the ugliest thing Lexi had ever seen, better suited to a four-year-old than a fourteen-year-old, but she loved it instantly.  No one had ever bought her something special for the first day of school.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Musing Mondays: Big Screen Adaptations

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week's musing:

Do you like movies made from books? Which ones do you think have been done well, kept mostly to the plot of the book?

This is an interesting musing and the answer for me is - sometimes.  I often think the movie version of a book is pale in comparison.  However, there are some movie adaptations that I feel did the book(s) justice.  For example, I count J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series among my favorites.  I also feel that the movie franchise of HP has remained quite true to the books.

Recently, a very good friend and I went to see 'Water for Elephants'.  We both agreed that the movie stayed true to the book and was indeed well done.

The same friend (hi Julia!) and I read Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy last summer.  We also saw all three of the movies.  The first two movies - 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' and 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' were remarkably well done.  However, the third, 'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest' was a major letdown.  The book was so good and the movies to that point had been, as well.  The third movie was a mess, though.  It was choppy and strangely edited.  If I hadn't read the book I would have been so lost and confused watching the movie.

While I do sometimes enjoy a movie based from a book - I most often prefer the printed version of the story.  I enjoy being immersed in the details that are so often left out in a movie.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Interactive

Booking Through Thursday is a fun weekly question and answer session, based on books, of course. This week, the question is:


With the advent (and growing popularity) of eBooks, I’m seeing more and more articles about how much “better” they can be, because they have the option to be interactive … videos, music, glossaries … all sorts of little extra goodies to help “enhance” your reading experience, rather like listening to the Director’s commentary on a DVD of your favorite movie.
How do you feel about that possibility? Does it excite you in a cutting-edge kind of way? Or does it chill you to the bone because that’s not what reading is ABOUT?

In my opinion, reading is about using your imagination.  I have a Nook and yes, it does have a dictionary and some other extras, but I never use them.  If I need to look up a word, I do it the old-fashioned way and grab my actual paper and glue bound dictionary.  As for other interactive features - to me, that's not what reading is about.  As I said, I think reading is an exercise in imagination.  It helps me to think about things and sometimes in a different light.  Reading is a joy in itself.  I don't need any 'extras' to 'enhance my experience'.  In fact, reading is often an escape from all the modern technology for me.

What do you think of all of this?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's - Haunting Jasmine by Anjali Banerjee

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.
 
My teaser is on page 12 of Haunting Jasmine by Anjali Banerjee:
 
"This is the nature of running the bookstore.  Working after hours, sleeping in the attic, listening to the books breathing at night."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Musing Monday's: Up All Night

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week's musing:

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?

I stayed up much later than I should have to read A Discovery of Withches by Deborah Harkness.  I definitely had a reading hangover a couple of nights in my need to keep reading this book.  I love this book and am eagerly anticipating its sequel.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Own or Borrow

Booking Through Thursday is a fun weekly question and answer session, based on books, of course. This week, the question is:



All things being equal (money, space, etc), would you rather own copies of the books you read? Or borrow them?


This is an easy one for me: own! It is my dream (and trust me, I spend time fantasizing about this) to have a home for my family that has space for an actual library! It will be a space with plenty of natural light and extremely good reading lamps for night time, extremely comfortable chairs and couches and no television.  And books, lots and lots of books filling an abundant number of floor-to-ceiling bookcases.  It's just a fantasy - for now.  Someday this will be my family's reality, though.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Teaser Tuesday's: A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just do the following:

- Grab your current read

- Open to a random page

- Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.
 
My teaser, from page 18 of Jennifer Egan's amazing A Visit From the Goon Squad:
 
Sasha looked at the wondowpane; rinsed continually with rain, smearing lights in the falling dark.  She lay with her body tensed, claiming the couch, her spot in this room, her view of the window and the walls, the faint hum that was always there when she listened, and these minutes of Coz's time: another, then another, then one more. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Musing Monday's: Favorite Reading Place

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week's musing:

Where is your favorite place to read?

My favorite place to read is most definitely my bed.  It's comfortable and cozy.  And generally quiet as I tend to read at night.  However, now that summer is near, I will be reading more and more outside; which happens to be my second favorite place to read.  My kids will play in their little wading pool or in the yard and I can sit in my lawn chair and read.  When I'm not playing with them, of course.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Splash Into Summer - Winner



The Splash Into Summer Hop was hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Page Turners Blog.  Thanks for a great and fun event ladies.  I was supposed to post my winner yesterday and completely spaced it - my spologies.

I used random.org to select my winner.  Without further delay. that person is:

Sakira

Congratulations - I will send you an e-mail for postal information.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

2011 Summer Romance Challenge



Another reading challenge.  This one is a Summer Romance Challenge.  How could I resist? I simply can not and besides - this one should be fairly easy for me.  And honestly, an easy challenge sounds great for summer.

Now for the details: This Summer Romance Challenge is being hosted at Book Chick City from June 1st through September 30th, 2011.  Over the course of the four months read 8 to 16 books that fall under the heading of romance (I'm starting with 8).  And since there are many sub-genres to romance - this should be even breezier.  The romance sub-genres include:

• Historical Romance


• Paranormal Romance

• Science Fiction Romance

• Contemporary Romance

• Romantic Suspense

• Western Romance

• Fantasy Romance

• GLBT Romance

If you are interested in participating in the 2011 Summer Romance Challenge just click on the banner in this post and sign up at Book Chick City.  Have fun reading!