.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

In My Mailbox

This weekly meme is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

I usually post all of the little details about each book that I got - that ain't happening today! It's too early and there are too many books for me to even consider doing all that. Combine all of that with the fact that I still have unopened packages, so this post will likely be updated later. I'll just link the images to each books Amazon page in case you want to find out more.

For review:



Won:



Through Bookmooch:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Finds


This weekly meme is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading

Sweet Mary by Liz Balmaseda
Literary Fiction
Atria (July 14, 2009)
256 pages
ISBN: 978-1416542964

From Amazon:

In this mesmerizing debut novel by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Liz Balmaseda, one woman's hunger for justice becomes a journey into darkness -- and a punishing, soul-searching test of priorities.

Dulce Maria "Mary" Guevara is a woman with nothing left to lose. Wrongly accused of being a cocaine queen, she has lost her job, her reputation, and -- worst of all -- custody of her son. Even after the charges are dropped, suspicion lingers. Desperate to get it all back, she takes what she considers the only path open to her: She goes on a hunt for the real drug queen. Unfortunately, the one person she believes can help her is the last person she wants to see again: Joe Pratts, her ex-fiancé, a man whose connections to the drug world once ended their relationship.

Trying not to fall for Joe again is just the beginning of Mary's challenges, however. Her search leads her through the most deceiving of jungles: suburbia. There, she comes face-to-face with disturbing realities that challenge everything she thinks she knows about her formerly tranquil life. Mary's final dilemma hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

Sweet Mary is a gripping, heartrending story with a noir soul and plenty of surprising twists -- an assured debut from a writer with tremendous experience and talent.

Friday Fill-In

1. She had a great, iconic hairstyle. (Farrah Faucett)

2. God, my friends and my family
is by my side, always.

3. I know this:
I'm intelligent, talented, and capable of greatness.

4. I'm in shock
still. (About Michael Jackson)

5. These words apply to me: driven, laid-back, funny, blunt, real, and loyal
.

6. It was dark yet
the sun was shining.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to catching up on some projects
, tomorrow my plans include catching up with friends and Sunday, I want to catch up on housework!



Thursday, June 25, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Hot

btt button Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme


Now that summer is here (in the northern hemisphere, anyway), what is the most “Summery” book you can think of? The one that captures the essence of summer for you?

(I’m not asking for you to list your ideal “beach reading,” you understand, but the book that you can read at any time of year but that evokes “summer.”)


It may be an obvious pick but I don't care - Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

It was the first comedy by Shakespeare that I read and, along with Twelfth Night, it remains a favorite of mine. The mythical creatures and their forest world is always so fun and just evokes images of warm night's spent laying in the middle of a forest clearing.

What books make you think of summer?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Winners: The Night Gardener

And the winners are . . .



Hillary, Sharon (#1), MaMa aka Lisa, Kerri, and AmandaK!!!



Congrats you guys!

Winners have each been emailed and you all should receive your books in the mail soon after you reply with your mailing addresses.



Results determined by List Randomizer at Random.org

There were 69 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

  1. Hillary
  2. Sharon (#1)
  3. MaMa
  4. Kerri
  5. AmandaK
  6. Luvdaylilies
  7. Texasheartland
  8. Pam
  9. Deedles
  10. Abby
  11. Kitten22
  12. Alicia
  13. SkipMDMan
  14. Sharon (#3)
  15. Luvdaylilies
  16. Scottsgal
  17. NL6369
  18. Sheila
  19. Julie
  20. Reaganandromeo@yahoo.com
  21. Nicole D.
  22. Kerri
  23. Lifestooshort
  24. Marie
  25. Chey
  26. Marie
  27. A Reader
  28. A Reader
  29. Sandra K321
  30. Sheila
  31. Hillary
  32. Mary
  33. Nickolay
  34. MaMa
  35. Kitten22
  36. MJ
  37. Katrina
  38. Sandra K321
  39. FOKXXY
  40. Sharon
  41. Heatherzilla
  42. Ellie
  43. Searcher
  44. Alexia561
  45. Searcher
  46. Dawn M.
  47. Linda aka brknhrt
  48. FOKXXY
  49. Julie
  50. LoveMyCoffee
  51. Lorides
  52. Scottsgal
  53. Cstironkat
  54. Lady Roxi
  55. Susan
  56. FOKXXY
  57. Alexia561
  58. Jake Lsewhere
  59. A Reader
  60. Jemscout425
  61. Pam
  62. Olympianlady
  63. Jess
  64. Sharon (#2)
  65. Mindy
  66. Carolasar
  67. LoveMyCoffee
  68. Jemscout425
  69. Kitten22
Timestamp: 2009-06-24 05:57:13 UTC

Waiting on Wednesday

After You by Julie Buxbaum
Literary Fiction
The Dial Press (August 25, 2009)
352 pages
ISBN: 978-0385341240
The complexities of a friendship. The unexplored doubts of a marriage. And the redemptive power of literature...Julie Buxbaum, the acclaimed author of The Opposite of Love, delivers a haunting, gloriously written novel about love, family, and the secrets we hide from each other—and ourselves.


It happened on a tree-lined street in Notting Hill to a woman who seemed to have the perfect life. Ellie Lerner’s best friend, Lucy, was murdered in front of her young daughter. And, as best friends do, Ellie dropped everything—her marriage, her job, her life in the Boston suburbs—to travel to London and pick up the pieces of Lucy’s life. While Lucy’s husband, Greg, copes with his grief by retreating into himself, eight-year-old Sophie has simply stopped speaking.

Desperate to help Sophie, Ellie turns to a book that gave her comfort as a child, The Secret Garden. As the two spend hours exploring the novel’s winding passageways, its story of hurt, magic, and healing blooms around them. But so, too, do Lucy’s secrets—some big, some small—secrets Lucy kept hidden, even from her best friend. Over a summer in London, as Ellie peels back the layers of her friend’s life, she’s forced to confront her own as well: the marriage she left behind, the loss she’d hoped to escape. And suddenly Ellie’s carefully constructed existence is spinning out of control in a chain of events that will transform her life—and those around her— forever. A novel that will resonate in the heart of anyone who’s had a best friend, a love lost, or a past full of regrets, After You proves once again the unique and compelling talent of Julie Buxbaum.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bloggiesta Round-up


Here's what I did during the Bloggiesta festivities

On list

1. Made significant headway on Future Releases list

2. Secured another author interview and giveaway

Not on list (Mini-challenges)

1. Set up Google Alerts for both blogs (Emily's Reading Room Mini-Challenge)

2. Added my blogs to BlogCatalog (Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile Mini-Challenge)

3. Ran both blogs through Website Grader (Bookish Ruth Mini-Challenge)

4. Read some blogging tips and tutorials (Book Blather Mini-Challenge)

5. Read up on anchor text and worked on links (GalleySmith Mini-Challenge)

6. Commented on a bunch of other blogs (Fizzy Thoughts Mini-Challenge)

7. Responded to all of my blog comments (Fizzy Thoughts Mini-Challenge)

8. Answered and sent blog-related emails

Hours spent on bloggiesta: About 15 hrs

I also managed to finish a book somewhere in there. I find it odd how I didn't complete much from my original list, but I still accomplished a bit (thanks to the wonderful mini-challenges). The best, and most unexpected, result of this event was that I ended up learning a lot of new tips and info thanks to the mini-challenges. This was such a great challenge, I really think it should happen once every season.

In My Mailbox

This weekly meme is hosted by The Story Siren

I got a bunch of good stuff this week!

For review:

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
Chick-lit
The Dial Press (July 21, 2009)
448 pages
ISBN: 978-0385342025
Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie–a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance–mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the “perfect” man.

Sadie, however, could care less.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from each other along the way. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.
Undiscovered Gyrl by Allison Burnett
General Fiction
Vintage (August 11, 2009)
304 pages
ISBN: 978-0307473127
Beautiful, wild, funny, and lost, Katie Kampenfelt is taking a year off before college to find her passion. Ambitious in her own way, Katie intends to do more than just smoke weed with her boyfriend, Rory, and work at the bookstore. She plans to seduce Dan, a thirty-two-year-old film professor.

Katie chronicles her adventures in an anonymous blog, telling strangers her innermost desires, shames, and thrills. But when Dan stops taking her calls, when her alcoholic father suffers a terrible fall, and when she finds herself drawn into a dangerous new relationship, Katie's fearless narrative begins to crack, and dark pieces of her past emerge.

Sexually frank, often heartbreaking, and bursting with devilish humor, Undiscovered Gyrl is an extraordinarily accomplished novel of identity, voyeurism, and deceit.
The Hidden Man by David Ellis
Legal Thriller
Putnam Adult (September 3, 2009)
336 pages
ISBN: 978-0399155796
Jason Kolarich is a midwestern Everyman with a lineman’s build and an easy smart-ass remark. He’s a young, intelligent maverick, but he’s also struggling with an overwhelming emotional burden—one that threatens to unravel his own life, and possibly the lives of those around him.

Twenty-seven years ago, two-year-old Audrey Cutler disappeared from her home in the middle of the night. She was never found. All the detectives had to go on were vague eyewitness accounts of a man running down the Cutlers’ street, apparently carrying someone. Without enough evidence to suggest otherwise, Griffin Perlini—a neighbor with prior offenses against minors—was arrested, but never convicted.

The case is long closed when Perlini is murdered nearly thirty years later. Now a man named Mr. Smith appears in Jason Kolarich’s office, saying only that he represents a third party who wants the man charged with murder off the hook and that Kolarich is perfect for the job. The new client: Audrey Cutler’s older brother, Sammy—Kolarich’s estranged childhood best friend—a man he hasn’t seen in nearly twenty years.

But when Kolarich starts receiving violent threats from Mr. Smith’s enigmatic employer, he figures out that the secrecy behind this nameless third party—and the key to winning Sammy’s case—is entangled with the mystery of Audrey’s disappearance. With his own life and Sammy’s in the balance, Kolarich has to put aside not only the mounting anxiety of the job but also a heart-wrenching personal tragedy in order to find out what really happened to Audrey all those years ago.
Bound by Your Touch by Meredith Duran
Pocket (June 30, 2009)
368 pages
ISBN: 978-1416592631

Silver-tongued Viscount Sanburne is London's favorite scapegrace. Alas, Lydia Boyce has no interest in being charmed. When his latest escapade exposes a plot to ruin her family, she vows to handle it herself, as she always has done. Certainly she requires no help from a too-handsome dilettante whose main achievement is being scandalous. But Sanburne's golden charisma masks a sharper mind and darker history than she realizes. He shocks Lydia by breaking past her prim facade to the woman beneath...and the hidden fire no man has ever recognized. But as she follows him into a world of intrigue, she will learn that the greatest danger lies within -- in the shadowy, secret motives of his heart.
This one I received as a bonus from Pocket along with Seduce the Darkness (which I'm reviewing, giving away and interviewing author Gena Showalter for at my other blog). Historical romances aren't usually my thing, so I may just give it away . . .

Last Light over Carolina by Mary Alice Monroe
Pocket (July 14, 2009)
384 pages
ISBN: 978-1416549703
Every woman in the lowcountry knows the unspoken fear that clutches the heart every time her man sets out to sea. Now, that fear has become a terrible reality for Carolina Morrison. Her husband, shrimp boat captain Bud Morrison, the only man she's ever loved, is lost and alone somewhere in the vast Atlantic fi shing grounds, with a storm gathering and last light falling.

As the action unfolds on this one terrifying, illuminating day, Carolina and Bud Morrison look back across thirty years of love and loss, joy and sorrow. Carolina walked away from a well-to-do upbringing to marry Captain Bud Morrison. She embraced his extraordinary lifestyle by the sea and the customs of a historic shrimping village. Yet lately, hard times and the loneliness of long separations have driven them apart -- and driven her to make a mistake that threatens to shatter their once-unbreakable bond forever.

When Bud Morrison is overdue at the docks, the close-knit community rallies together to search for one of its own. But Carolina knows that it is their love that must somehow call him home, across miles of rough water and unspeakable memories. And she swears that if she is given one more chance -- for love and for forgiveness -- nothing will ever take her from this man's side again.

In Last Light over Carolina, Mary Alice Monroe once again explores a vanishing feature of the southern coastline, the mysterious yet time-honored shrimping culture, in a convincing and compelling tale of an enduring marriage.
Winnings:

Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton
5 Spot (May 29, 2009)
368 pages
ISBN: 978-0446197977
After arguing with her live-in boyfriend about his inability to commit, Peggy Adams flies to a friend's bachelorette party in Las Vegas, and wakes up next to a man she can't remember. Hung-over and miserable, she sneaks out of the sleeping man's hotel room and returns home to New York, where her boyfriend apologizes for the fight and gives her a Tiffany box containing a pre-engagement ring. Not what she expected, but close enough! The next day she receives a phone call from the Las Vegas one-night stand, Luke, claiming she's already married to him¬-and he faxes her the license for proof! Both are ready for an annulment, until Peggy arrives in quaint New Nineveh, CT, where Luke cares for his Great Aunt, and the old woman makes Peggy an offer she can't refuse.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bloggiesta Update

I'm getting a late start today, but here's what I managed to accomplish yesterday:

Not on list (Mini-challenges)

1. Set up Google Alerts

2. Added my blogs to BlogCatalog

3. Ran my urls through Website Grader

4. Read some blogging tips and tutorials

5. Read up on anchor text and worked on links

Hours spent on bloggiesta so far: About 7 hrs

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bloggiesta Update

Since I'm at work right now, I haven't really been able to do much in regard to Bloggiesta yet. I have managed to sneek a moment to do something that I hadn't originally planned on though.

Emily over at Emily's Reading Room has come up with a great Bloggiesta-related mini-challenge. The idea is to set up Google Alerts to notify you when certain keywords related to your blog are mentioned online. For example, I've set up alerts for my blog title, my blog url, certain book genres, author interviews, etc.

The bonus: Emily is giving away prizes to all participants - just make sure that you're signed up for Bloggiesta, do the alert thing, and post a comment on her mini-challenge post.

Now back to work . . .

Friday Finds


Strange Nervous Laughter by Bridget McNulty
General Fiction
Thomas Dunne Books (May 12, 2009)
256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0312544348


From Amazon:
You’ll not find six more remarkable characters: a cashier-turnedmotivational speaker, an undertaker with a toenail fetish, a girl wrapped in dreams, a man who communicates with whales, a garbage man with a peculiar sense of smell, and a Guinness Book of World Records representative. When a random holdup at a local grocery brings them together, their once separate lives intertwine in a humorous blend of lyricism, whimsy and wit. This is a rare book about what love does to us, how our lives are changed by being in love—and the odd ways in which we sometimes behave. Up-and-coming novelist McNulty shows herself to be a writer to watch.
I found this one thanks to Free Book Friday - it's their prize of the week.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bloggiesta!!!

So today marks the beginning of Bloggiesta - a mini-challenge hosted by Maw at Maw Books Blog. It officially starts today, Friday the 19th, at 8 am and ends Sunday the 21st at 8 am. If any fellow bloggers are interested, check out Maw's blog for complete details. Below is a list of things I hope to get done.

1. Writing reviews for the following:

Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan

Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love by Lara Vapnyar

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

The Spellman Files, Revenge of the Spellmans and Curse of the Spellmans all by Lisa Lutz

Misery Loves Cabernet by Kim Gruenenfelder

Stupid and Contagious and Forget About It both by Caprice Cane

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Right Before Your Eyes by Ellen Shanman

Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him by Danielle Ganek

2. Come up with a post series

3. Work on debut novelists series

4. Secure authors for interviews/guest posts

5. Invite fellow bloggers to guest post

6. Create and post list of upcoming releases

8. Create template posts for future reviews

9. Make a schedule for the blog and post it on the sidebar

10. Beef up links list and add blogroll to sidebar

This list is pretty similar to the one over at my other blog Undercover Book Lover. I know that I won't complete everything here, but I'm sure going to try. Wish me luck!

Friday Fill-In


1. All children alarm their parents, if only because you are forever expecting a hand-out.

2. Show me a good loser and I will show you a patient person.

3. A couple of glasses of great wine is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs at one time.

4. Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy being in love with the sounds of their own voices and hating on Obama.

5. I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine money and a great date.

6. It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without chocolate or ice cream in it.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to bloggiesta, tomorrow my plans include blogging, reading, cleaning the apartment, and catching up with my friends Marcus and Anthony and Sunday, I want to read some more!

Giveaway: The Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell


Giveaway


Thanks to Anna at Hachette, I have 5 copies of The Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell to give away.

Synopsis from Amazon:

Laurie Sandell grew up in awe (and sometimes in terror) of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities (Tokyo stripper, lesbian seductress, Ambien addict). Later, she lucks into the perfect job--interviewing celebrities for a top women's magazine. Growing up with her extraordinary father has given Laurie a knack for relating to the stars. But while researching an article on her dad's life, she makes an astonishing discovery: he's not the man he says he is--not even close. Now, Laurie begins to puzzle together three decades of lies and the splintered person that resulted from them--herself.

I'll be reviewing it soon but here are the guidelines:


5 copies available

Contest ends at 11:59 pm EDT on 6/30/09

Winners must live in the U.S. or Canada

P.O. boxes won't be accepted for a mailing address

How to Enter:

Comment here on the original post.

For Extra Entries:

1. Blog about the giveaway.

2. Tweet about the contest and be sure to mention my handle (@jax1204) somewhere in the tweet so that I can keep track.

3. Become a follower of the blog. If you're already one, just mention that for an entry.

I'll be choosing the winners using Random.org

For each entry, leave a separate comment here so that I can easily keep track. Don't forget to include your email.

I will contact winners by email as well as post their names on the blog.

Giveaway: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell


Giveaway



Thanks to Anna at Hachette, I have 5 copies of Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell to give away.

Synopsis from Amazon:

Julie & Julia, the bestselling memoir that's "irresistible....A kind of Bridget Jones meets The French Chef" (Philadelphia Inquirer), is now a major motion picture. Julie Powell, nearing thirty and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, resolves to reclaim her life by cooking in the span of a single year, every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her unexpected reward: not just a newfound respect for calves' livers and aspic, but a new life-lived with gusto. The film is written and directed by Nora Ephron and stars Amy Adams as Julie and Meryl Streep as Julia.

I'll be reviewing it soon but here are the guidelines:


5 copies available

Contest ends at 11:59 pm EDT on 6/30/09

Winners must live in the U.S. or Canada

P.O. boxes won't be accepted for a mailing address

How to Enter:

Comment here on the original post.

For Extra Entries:

1. Blog about the giveaway.

2. Tweet about the contest and be sure to mention my handle (@jax1204) somewhere in the tweet so that I can keep track.

3. Become a follower of the blog. If you're already one, just mention that for an entry.

I'll be choosing the winners using Random.org

For each entry, leave a separate comment here so that I can easily keep track. Don't forget to include your email.

I will contact winners by email as well as post their names on the blog.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents by Liza Palmer
General Fiction
5 Spot (January
8, 2010)
320 pages
ISBN: 978-0446698382

Grace Hawkes has not spoken to her previously tight-knit family since her mother's sudden death five years ago. Well, most of the family was tight-knit-- her father walked out on them when she was 13 and she and her two brothers and sister bonded together even closer with their mother as a result.

She's been doing her best to live her new life apart from them, but when their estranged father has a stroke and summons them, Grace suddenly realizes she's done the same thing he had done...abandoned those who need her most.

And need her they do, for inside the hospital walls, a strange war is unfolding between the pseudo-kindly woman who is their father's second wife and the rest of the original Hawkes clan. Upon reconnecting with her brother and sisters, Grace will find a part of herself she thought was lost forever. As they unravel the manipulative deception of the second Mrs. Hawkes, Grace will finally be able to stand up for her family-- and to remember what a family is, even after all these years.

I loved Liza Palmer's Seeing Me Naked and her other novel, Conversations With the Fat Girl, is on my TBR list.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

This weekly meme is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading





"Katya sat hugging her knees so that her body resembled a triangle with her head as an apex. She had put on her bra and panties - she hated nakedness, how it turned into something sadly irrelevant after sex."



The review for this will be posted tomorrow.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

In My Mailbox

Testimony by Anita Shreve
Back Bay Books (May 5, 2009)
ISBN:978-0316067348

Won this one over at Morbid Romantic!
At a New England boarding school, a sex scandal is about to break. Even more shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on videotape. A Pandora's box of revelations, the tape triggers a chorus of voices--those of the men, women, teenagers, and parents involved in the scandal--that details the ways in which lives can be derailed or destroyed in one foolish moment.

Writing with a pace and intensity surpassing even her own greatest work, Anita Shreve delivers in TESTIMONY a gripping emotional drama with the impact of a thriller. No one more compellinglyexplores the dark impulses that sway the lives of seeming innocents, the needs and fears that drive ordinary men and women into intolerable dilemmas, and the ways in which our best intentions can lead to our worst transgressions.
Grand Central Publishing (May 26, 2009)
ISBN: 978-0446697828

Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother make sure the literal family skeleton stays in the closet or turning scraps of fabric into nationally acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister Thalia, an impoverished Actress with a capital A, is her polar opposite, priding herself on exposing the lurid truth lurking behind middle class niceties. While Laurel's life seems neatly on track--a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in suburban Victorianna--everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question the night she is visited by the ghost of a her 13-year old neighbor Molly Dufresne. The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Molly's death is inexplicable--an unseemly mystery Laurel knows no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Only her wayward, unpredictable sister is right for the task, but calling in a favor from Thalia is like walking straight into a frying pan protected only by Crisco. Enlisting Thalia's help, Laurel sets out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about her family's guarded past, the true state of her marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.

Back Bay Books (June 10, 2009)
ISBN:978-0316056502

This one just came in from Anna at Hachette for the pending review and giveaway. For more info about the book and giveaway click here.






Friday, June 12, 2009

Lemonade Award!!

Thanks so much to Sassy Brit of Alternative Read for this award! I'm just starting out so your support means a lot and I hope I keep deserving it. So now it's time for me to pass it along - here we go . . .

Rules:

1. Link back to the person he/she received the award from.
2. Nominate 10 bloggers who are deserving of this award.
3. Put the Lemonade Award logo on your blog.

The new-to-me bloggers nominated are these lovely ladies:











Make sure to check out these wonderful blogs!!!

Friday Finds

This weekly meme is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading

Hot House Flower and the 9 Plants of Desire by Margot Berwin
Literary/General Fiction
Pantheon (June 16, 2009)
288 pages

From Amazon:
Debut novelist Margot Berwin gives her fecund imagination free play in this lush and steamy summer read. Recently divorced and craving a blank slate, 30-something advertising copywriter Lila Nova moves into a new studio apartment “with absolutely no character” on Union Square. Lila, the sort of contemporary heroine given to amusing self-deflating wisecracks, is not, however, destined to inhabit a clean, white box for long. Within a few chapters, packed with romantic betrayal, plant lore and a couple of visits to a surreal Laundromat in the East Village, she’s on her way to “high adventure” in the Yucatan rain forest, where she’ll encounter ancient magic, poisonous creatures, a murderous exotic plant dealer, and, yes, true love. A wildly inventive novel as vivid and colorful as a jungle flower.
I heard about this one a couple of weeks back - I tried to get an ARC of it but they gave me something else instead.

Friday Fill-In

ffi

1. I grew up thinking that I wanted to be a singer/gymnast/figure-skater/fashion designer.

2. LibraryThing was the last website I was at before coming here.

3. Why don't you spread the word about my site?

4. Reading helps me relax.

5. Thanks for the memories.

6. Thirstiness (over-eagerness) very off-putting.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to chilling in my apartment (maybe with a glass of wine), tomorrow my plans include reading and Sunday, I want to watch the True Bloodseason premiere!



Thursday, June 11, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Niche Books

btt button

"There are certain types of books that I more or less assume all readers read. (Novels, for example.)But then there are books that only YOU read. Instructional manuals for fly-fishing. How-to books for spinning yarn. How to cook the perfect souffle. Rebuilding car engines in three easy steps. Dog training for dummies. Rewiring your house without electrocuting yourself. Tips on how to build a NASCAR course in your backyard. Stuff like that.
What niche books do YOU read?"

I love reading books about fashion and style. Everything from manuals and dictionaries to histories and biographies.

A Few Examples:


Fashion Babylon
by Imogen Edwards-Jones



Things a Woman Should Know About Style by Karen Homer

The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Decorum by Kim Izzo


The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris
by Alicia Drake

Front Row: Anna Wintour: The Cool Life and Hot Times of Vogue's Editor in Chief by Jerry Oppenheimer

The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers by Georgina O'Hara Callan

What about you guys? What sorts of niche books do you read?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's on your desk Wednesday?


What's on your desk Wednesday? is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Sassy Brit of Alternative-Read.com

This is technially my shelf since my desk is book free (mostly because the rest of my books are strewn about the floor, in crates, on other shelves, etc.)

5 Books On My Desk:

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani

The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld

Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Misery Loves Cabernet by Kim Gruenenfelder (the only one that's finished)


5 Non-Book Things:

Vogue with Michelle Obama on the Cover

A Cranberry Orange scented candle

A pom-pom in my University's colors (red, white and blue)

An Empire State Building snow globe containing that building along with the NY skyline

A Miami Beach double shot glass

5 People That I've Tagged to Take Part in This Meme:

http://www.bellasnovella.com/

http://lafemmereaders.blogspot.com/

http://bambookreviews.blogspot.com/

http://mustandlustforbooks.blogspot.com/

http://jo-scrawls.blogspot.com/

Waiting on Wednesday


This weekly meme is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Im waiting on . . .

Chick-lit
The Dial Press (July 21, 2009)
448 pages

From Amazon:

Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie–a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance–mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the “perfect” man.

Sadie, however, could care less.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from each other along the way. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.

What are you waiting on?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Teaser Tuesday



It's Tuesday and that means a it's time for the teaser meme - hosted by Mizb17 at Should Be Reading

Guidelines:

1. Grab your current read

2. Let the book fall open to a random page

3. Share with us two “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

4. You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

5. Do not share any spoilers!




This week's teaser is from a book that I'm reading for Barnes & Noble's First Look Book Club - Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan:


"As the drizzle thickened into rain, they hustled past moldering huts and ramshackle tenements, past temples of abandoned gods and hotels tenanted by transient midnight souls. Eyes without bodies traked them from the depths of shadows, howling, laughing at every turn of the wind."
p.267



Review to come later this week!

Giveaway: The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos

Giveaway - CLOSED


Thanks to Valerie at Hachette, I have 5 copies of The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos to give away.

Synopsis from Hachette:

Gus Ramone is "good police," a former Internal Affairs investigator now working homicide for the city's Violent Crime branch. His new case involves the death of a local teenager named Asa, whose body has been found in a local community garden.

The murder unearths intense memories of a case Ramone worked as a patrol cop twenty years earlier, when he and his partner, Dan "Doc" Holiday, assisted a legendary detective named T. C. Cook. The series of murders, all involving local teenage victims, was never solved. In the years since, Holiday has left the force under a cloud of morals charges, and now finds work as a bodyguard and driver. Cook has retired, but he has never stopped agonizing about the "Night Gardener" killings.

The new case draws the three men together on a grim mission to finish the work that has haunted them for years. All the love, regret, and anger that once burned between them comes rushing back, and old ghosts walk once more as the men try to lay to rest the monster who has stalked their dreams. Bigger and even more unstoppable than his previous thrillers, George Pelecanos achieves in The Night Gardener what his brilliant career has been building toward: a novel that is a perfect union of suspense, character, and unstoppable fate.

I'll be reviewing it soon but, until then, let's get the contest started!


5 copies available

Contest ends at 11:59 pm EDT on 6/23/09

Winners must live in the U.S. or Canada

P.O. boxes won't be accepted for a mailing address

How to Enter:
Comment here on the original post.

For Extra Entries:
1. Blog about the giveaway.
2. Tweet about the contest and be sure to mention my handle (@jax1204) somewhere in the tweet so that I can keep track.
3. Become a follower of the blog. If you're already one, just mention that for an entry.

I'll be choosing the winners using Random.org

For each entry, leave a separate comment here so that I can easily keep track. Don't forget to include your email.

I will contact winners by email as well as post their names on the blog.

Review: College Girl by Patricia Weitz


College Girl by Patricia Weitz
General Fiction
Riverhead (December 26, 2008)
336 pages

From Amazon:
College senior Natalie Bloom is beautiful and ambitious, but also incredibly insecure and painfully uncomfortable with the subject of sex —let alone the act. She’s awkward at developing friendships with girls, but it’s sexual attention from boys that really makes her lose her cool. At age twenty, she’s a virgin—never having had a boyfriend. Avoiding her peers, Natalie hides out most weekends in the library. That is, until she meets Patrick, her fantasy (she thinks) of a cultured, intellectual Prince Charming—and everything changes. But the more time they spend together, the more Patrick brings out her worst insecurities. Natalie loses her virginity before she’s ready, and as their sexual activity escalates, Natalie’s emotional responses become dangerously self-destructive. Ultimately, she must take extreme measures to reclaim her sense of self, her confidence, and her ambition.
As someone currently finishing up their college experience, I think that I can speak with authority when I say that this is one of the most true-to-life stories about a post-adolescent woman that I've ever read. I identified with a lot of what Natalie felt and experienced throughout this novel. While her many of her experiences or decisions were different from my own, they definitely mirrored those of some friends and acquaintances of mine.

Weitz gives an excellent and accurate account of what is reality for many young, college-age women.

Natalie can be aggravating, endearing, sad and naive - everything that a reader could hate in a more simple character in a more shallow story. But here, it works. Just when your ready to give up on her, thinking that she'll never learn, she changes - grows.

The story itself is simple. There is no traditional plot. No, it's all about Natalie and her progression, regression and subsequent redemption. And it's satisfying all the same.

Grade: A-