I’m Moving – to WordPress!

May 11, 2017 by

I’ve been talking about this for such a long time…  so I just decided to go for it.  I have a lot of things to configure and what not…  and I was about to give up my domain name and everything…. but I finally installed WordPress and it’s working great!
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Book Review: “Father’s Day” by Simon Van Booy

Apr 26, 2016 by

Book Review: "Father's Day" by Simon Van BooyHarvey’s parents die in a tragic car accident when she is six years old.  Suddenly orphaned, the social worker finds the only living relative Harvey has left – her uncle Jason.  Jason has been long estranged from his family due mainly to his criminal record, and wasn’t even aware than his younger brother had a child… much less that his brother was gone now too.   The social worker sees something in Jason though, and helps him find his way to taking care of Harvey.  Fast forward twenty years, and Jason is visiting Harvey in Paris, where she lives and works now.  Harvey has put together a Father’s Day present for Jason during his visit, and plans to unveil the secret she thinks he’s been hiding from her.

I hadn’t read Van Booy before now, but I see why so many people love him so much.  This book was beautiful and careful with emotions and wonderful.  It took me a chapter or two to become completely enraptured with this story.

Harvey and Jason have much to offer and teach each other, but it’s far more than that.  There is a lot of love here, and it mostly starts with the opportunity for second chances.  The relationships that come out of these second chances are amazing.  Some take some time and effort, but what doesn’t?  I loved how the narrative moved so seamlessly between past and present.  It worked so well, and I especially liked how each perspective or memory was offered to the reader.  Its truly beautiful.

I strongly recommend this to readers of literary fiction and those who enjoy redemption stories.

*****
Father’s Day

by Simon Van Booy
Harper, 2016
304 pages
Source:  TLC Book Tours
*****

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Book Review: “Bonjour Tristesse” by Francoise Sagan

Aug 26, 2015 by

Book Review: "Bonjour Tristesse" by Francoise SaganIts the 1940s in France, Cecile is a seventeen year old girl spending the summer at a seaside villa with her father and his (current) girlfriend.  Her mother died when Cecile was very young, making her handsome father, Raymond, a very young widow; having a new girlfriend every few months is not unusual.  Ever since Cecile came home to him 2 years ago from the convent school – they have been partying together and having a great time.  Now away with one of his girlfriends, Raymond invites another woman to come stay with them too.  This new woman, Anne, was a friend of Cecile’s mother’s, and Cecile is quite taken with her.  Until Raymond throws over the girlfriend for Anne and Cecile begins to fret over the possibility of losing the lifestyle she shares with her father.  All of this while she is developing a relationship with the handsome guy next door – who is almost ten years older than her.

I found this novella purely by accident and was compelled to read it one Sunday afternoon.  Cecile is kind of a spoiled rich-kid brat who has almost an incestuous love for her father.  She is very young and naive, and yet is surprised to find herself attracted to the guy next door as he isn’t of her father’s age.  She is just so lonely for his attention – he doesn’t ignore her – but he does give plenty of attention to young pretty things that grab his attention for a month or two.  For such a short book, that honestly reads quite light and breezy, it really holds a surprising depth.  Now that I’ve read up a little bit about this – the author was just eighteen herself when this was published – and that really adds to the authenticity of the main character.  This was a glorious find!

Also, not that it means much, but I love this cover.  Isn’t it wonderful?

*****
Bonjour Tristesse
by Francoise Sagan
Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008.  First Published 1955.
160 pages
Source:  Library
*****

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What to Read Next Challenge for Bout of Books!

Aug 26, 2015 by

What to Read Next Challenge for Bout of Books!Hey Bout of Bookers!!  Ready for a Challenge!!  It’s easy, promise.

Basically, I am always on the lookout for new books to read (and I know I’m not the only one).  So, help a fellow reader out in my “What to Read Next Challenge!”

For this Challenge, you need to recommend 3 books (and only 3 books) that you have read this year that you think should be recognized as something great – something everyone should have on their TBR list for this fall.  If you can, say a short little something about why you recommend these books.  Once the challenge is over, I will compile a list of all of the mentioned books, in order of mentions, to share with the entire Bout of Books community.  Oh and the prize?  Of course there is a prize!  One lucky entrant will be chosen at random to win $15(US) worth of books from me.  If you live in the US, the prize (title of your choice) will ship from Amazon and if the winner lives elsewhere in the world, the prize can be chosen from Book Depository.  Sound good?

You may enter by leaving a comment on this post with:

  • A link to where you have made your list (Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Your Blog, Facebook, etc…..)  If your link takes me somewhere where I can reach your list, you’re good.
  • Leave your list right in the comment on this post
  • DO NOT FORGET TO GIVE ME A WAY TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU WIN.  Seriously.
This is open to Bout of Books participants ONLY (I will be checking!!) and you must live in an area where either Amazon or Book Depository delivers.  The winner will choose the book(s) they would like to receive, not to exceed $15US.  You may enter at any time between NOW and MIDNIGHT CST.  Late entries will not be eligible for the prize (but I may still include on the big list of recommendations).  I will contact the winner on Monday, 8/24.
Good Luck!  And be sure to keep an eye out for the big list of recommendations to come!!
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Book Review and GIVEAWAY(US/Canada): “Sweet Tooth” by Tim Anderson

Jun 26, 2014 by

Book Review and GIVEAWAY(US/Canada): "Sweet Tooth" by Tim AndersonThis is such a funny memoir!  This takes us through almost 15 years of Tim Anderson’s life – but they are big years.  They are the years in which this North Carolina teen starts to think that he might be gay, embraces the church as a way to somehow counter-act his sexuality (and maybe go on a retreat with some really cute college guys), and is diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes – which was obviously God’s way of punishing him for being gay.  He eventually comes around to realizing that God is not punishing him, that the Church is not going to balance out his gayness, and that the music of this time period (late 80s to early 90s) was awesome.  Yes, I love Morrissey and the Smiths too.

I really liked Tim’s sense of humor throughout the book.  Even when he has become comfortable with himself, but doesn’t necessarily have potential love interests knocking down his door – you feel bad for him and then he says something a little profound, maybe, but mostly sarcastic and funny.  He’s being really honest about what he was going through, what he was thinking, and how it shaped him – and he is really funny to boot!

Also, I learned quite a bit about diabetes and what diabetics go through on a daily basis.  I really had no idea at all – other than I once saw a woman have an attack at the beach when her sugar got too low – but that’s it.  I’m glad to have this new knowledge.  Oh, and the music!  So many of my old favorites are talked about here that I want to go and listen to again!  Such fun!

The bottom line here is that this is a great memoir that I think will appeal mostly to 25-40 year olds who can remember/relate to the numerous pop culture references.  This would also be of interest to those who enjoy love stories – though heavy on the trials and tribulations of finding love, not necessarily about being in love.

Now this is exciting – I can giveaway a copy of SWEET TOOTH!  Only US or Canadian addresses will be accepted.  I’m using this Rafflecopter form for the first time in a very very long time – I hope I didn’t screw it up!  Good Luck everyone 🙂

*****TLC Logo
Sweet Tooth
by Tim Anderson
Lake Union, 2014
319 pages
Source:  Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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Announcing…. Back to the Classics Challenge 2013!!

Dec 26, 2013 by

Announcing.... Back to the Classics Challenge 2013!!

You asked for it….   so here you go!  I am now formally announcing the Back to the Classics Challenge 2013!!  This is the third year in a row for this challenge, and I hope that you are ready!
I am making a few small changes this year, including requiring less categories to complete.  Wait, did I say *requiring*?  Yes, I did.  This year will feature 6 required  categories that all participants must complete.  Then, I will have additional categories that those super-motivated participants can choose to complete if they’d like.  All reviews must be linked on the appropriate pages again, and those will be listed on the left hand side of this page.  When you’ve finished, you will also need to link a wrap-up post.  Everyone who completes the 6 required categories and the wrap up post will be entered to win a $30US Amazon.com gift card or choice of book(s) from The Book Depository.  Any one who completes 3 categories from the optional list will earn one additional entry into the prize drawing.  Any one who completes all 5 categories from the optional list will earn two additional entries into the prize drawing.
  • All books must be read in 2013.  Books started prior to January 1, 2013 are not eligible.  Reviews must be linked by December 31, 2013.
  • E-books and audio books are eligible!  Books can count for other challenges you may be working on.
  • If you do not have a blog, you may link your review from Goodreads or other publicly accessible online format.
  • Please sign up for the challenge using the linky below BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1, 2013. Please link to your sign-up announcement post (if possible/applicable)
  • You do not have to list your books prior to starting the challenge, but it is more fun that way 🙂  You can always change your list at any time.  You can read the books in any order (including mixing in the optional categories at any time)
  • You can decide to attempt the optional categories at any point (you can also bow out of the optional categories at any point as well).
  • Please identify the categories you’ve read in your wrap up post so that I may easily add up your entries for the prize drawing!
 
THE CATEGORIES:
The Required Categories:
  1. A 19th Century Classic
  2. A 20th Century Classic
  3. A Pre-18th or 18th Century Classic
  4. A Classic that relates to the African-American Experience – This can be an African-American author, or a book relating to slavery, civil rights, or African-American culture.
  5. A Classic Adventure
  6. A Classic that prominently features an Animal – This can feature animal characters or animals in the title (real or imagined)
Optional Categories:
    A.  Re-read a Classic
   B.  A Russian Classic
   C.  A Classic Non-Fiction title
   D.  A Classic Children’s/Young Adult title
   E.  Classic Short Stories – collection must include at least 3 short stories by the same author, or at 
                                              least 3 stories collected together by genre, time period, etc.
As in years past, I just want to take a moment and let you know that especially for the purposes of this challenge, I do not subscribe to any set definition of a Classic. I think that anyone looking to participate in this challenge already has their own personal definition that works best for them.  If you are choosing to include a title that you feel may be questionably described as a Classic, please just explain your position in your review.
As always, I hope you have fun with this Challenge!  Good Luck!
Sign up here:
1. Sarah Reads Too Much 38. Amara @ Amara’s Eden 75. Kirsten
2. Annette @ Impressions In Ink 39. Courtney @ Chaos Theory 76. Lady In Read@ My RandRSpace
3. Sha Re Kay @ Lost In Kudzu 40. Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte 77. Sarah @ Coffee & Tea
4. Tanya @ Mom’s Small Victories 41. Samarpita Sharma 78. t It An IUm Apr Il
5. Adam Stone 42. Elida 79. Whitney (She Is Too Fond Of Books)
6. James McShane 43. Hanna @ Booking In Heels 80. Christine @Buckling Bookshelves
7. Maggie Reed 44. Susan @ Reading World 81. Shan
8. Bill Jones, Jr. 45. Jim @ Several Four Many 82. Matt @ Matt’s Book blog
9. Beth 46. Brandyn @ Going for Goldilocks 83. Irish @ Ticket to Anywhere
10. Allie @ A Literary Odyssey 47. Anastasia @ Birdbrain( ed) Book Blog 84. Indiana Jane
11. Adam @ Roof Beam Reader 48. Heather @ Capricious Reader 85. Julie @ Books Are Portable Magic
12. Hezzy 49. Mary Beth @ Research Boring? Not in My Book 86. Dana @ School For Us
13. Patty@A Tale of Three Cities 50. Jean @ Howling Frog 87. Leah Smith
14. Gina @ Book Dragon’s Lair 51. Summer Wathen 88. Ape the Grape
15. Sue Wargo 52. Manno 89. Logan E. Turner
16. Fanda @ Fanda Classiclit 53. Elida @ My first, my last, my everything! 90. Kimberly @Inspirefly
17. Melisa @ Surgabukuku 54. Jo Anne Isgro 91. Morwen
18. Wendy Kirkland 55. TFrances @ Ms. Buff’s Blog 92. Chrissi
19. Erica @ Ink Spots and Roses 56. Becky @ Becky’s Book Reviews 93. Asha @ Asha’s Literary Corner
20. Aliene Believe 57. Alyssa @ ACReads 94. Lisa @Bibliophiliac
21. Cat @ Tell Me A Story 58. Amanda Sue 95. Emily @ Classics and Beyond
22. Bev@My Reader’s Block 59. Story 96. Ritika@ Carrot and the Reader
23. Christina 60. Heather @ Ex Libris 97. Leah @ Japan Journal
24. Arenel @ Slightly Cultural, Most Thoughtful and Inevitably Irrelevant 61. bmwheelon 98. Karen @ Books and Chocolate
25. Monica @ Between The Pages 62. Pia @ Kulturkroken 99. The Reader
26.  nica @ A Thousand Lives 63. Hannah @ once Upon A Time 100. Retha @ Bible Fascination
27. Joyful Reader 64. Dalene @ A Date with a Book 101. Maenad
28. Darlene @ Darlene’s Book Nook 65. Gretchen 102. Andrea
29. Melissa @ Avid Reader’s Musings 66. Rob @ Loose Logic 103. Mabel Jane
30. Andi @ Random Thoughts of a Scriboholic 67. JaneGS – Reading, Writing, Working, Playing 104. Laura S.
31. Geoff @ The Oddness of Moving Things 68. Ashley @ The Bibliophile’s Corner 105. Beverly Stuart
32. Melissa @ Must Read Faster 69. Melissa @ Jayne’s Books 106. Alexis
33. Rachel @ Resistance is Futile 70. Kristina @Kristina Yarn 107. Alexis @ Lexi Swoons < 3
34. Risa @Breadcrumb Reads 71. Alouette 108. Col Reads
35. Alpa @ 1 More Page Please 72. Kristi @ Books and Needlepoint 109. Chimpini
36. Alyssa @ The Reader’s Refuge 73. Srivalli 110. veronica
37. Lindsey @ Babies, Books, and Beyond 74. Stephanie@ Mogul Diamonds 111. You’re next!
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Book Review: “Pushing the Limits” by Katie McGarry

Nov 26, 2013 by

Book Review: "Pushing the Limits" by Katie McGarryAt one time, it seemed like Echo had everything.  She was pretty, smart, had amazing artistic talent and was dating the basketball star.  But then something happened, and Echo just isn’t the same – she’s considered to be more of a freak than anything.  And now she has terrible scars up and down her arms that she hides from everyone, and has no memory of how they got there.

Noah had everything going for him too – until a house fire made him and his two younger brothers orphans.  The foster care system has split Noah from his brothers and he wants to do everything he can to get them back and in his custody after he graduates.  But the system, and life just gets him down and he tunes out to partying, drugs, and one night stands.

Echo and Noah are thrust together courtesy of their high school counselor…  and they help each other in more ways than they ever could have hoped.

So, my book bully friend has been telling me about this book for such a long time…  and I finally got the chance to read it.  I use the term “read’ loosely here – it is more like I devoured it!  I just couldn’t put it down!  Echo and Noah really took me by surprise…  I didn’t realize just how involved I was getting in their story until something really intense happened to Echo, and I found myself holding my breath.  And there were tears.  Smiles and laughter too – plenty of that as well.  It is really just emotional all over, and I loved it.  I really did.

Echo and Noah have had such different experiences, and tell their stories in alternating point of view narration.  Their individual histories help them really understand each other on such a deep level – a true connection.  But there is so much that can get in their way!  They also each have their own set of loyal and trustworthy friends, and their counselor is awesome.  These people become crucial to their overcoming their individual obstacles, and the way that it all plays out is incredible.  This was really much better than I expected, and I am so glad I read it!  I will absolutely read on in the series, as the next two books follows the story of different characters introduced here.

*****
Pushing the Limits
by Katie McGarry
Harlequin Teen, 2012
391 pages
Series:  Pushing the Limits #1
Source:  Purchased New
*****
Links for purchase:

Shop Your Indie Bookstore!
Amazon
The Book Depository
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