Sunday, August 31, 2008

GIVEAWAY! American Wife ARC

I ended up with two copies of this wonderful book's ARC thanks to a very generous LibraryThing member so I'm going to give away the second copy. It's going to work the same way as my last giveaway but here's the info:

Leave a comment on this post telling me your most anticipated fall book!

For one additional entry, blog about this giveaway and leave the link in the comments here.

Open to residents of the US only.

Please leave your email address in your comment so I will be able to contact you if you are the winner. :)

The giveaway will end Sunday September 14th at 11:59 PM Central Time.

For anyone picky like me when it comes to books here are some condition notes: This book is a little banged up (even though it arrived in it's own box!) the back cover is bent up a little on the bottom and a few pages have some tears around the outside, weird i know!

Comment away, I look forward to hearing about all the good books that are coming out this fall!

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

American Wife is Alice Blackwell's life story. From her heartbreaking tragedy as a teenage girl to her role as first lady we become intimately connected with her. It's an expanded look at what it's like to grown up and find yourself as the first lady of the United States of America. Her story is loosely based on that of real first lady, Laura Bush. The story is split up into 4 sections, her childhood, early adulthood as a librarian, married life and motherhood, and life as the first lady.

I really really really enjoyed this book. I was a little uncertain how I would like the time jumps between the sections but I think they worked out beautifully allowing enough time to pass that a whole new set of elements could be introduced into the story without making the reader feel like they have missed a whole chapter.

I found this book really fascinating to read. Knowing that I would get to read a fictional character's life story, ending with her being the first lady definitely sounded interesting and it was. I knew it would be fulfilling to experience someone's life alongside them and she turned out to be a great character I could relate to. I felt like I was Alice's friend that she told all her secrets to throughout her life. It's very rare to get such a great character study such as this.

I will admit the first half of the book was my favorite, probably because I can identify with her at that age. Though I've grown up in a different generation it was interesting to think about maybe this is what it was like for my mom to grow up.

I definitely became more sympathetic towards the idea that the first lady is separate then the president himself. I also liked the idea of their political differences.

American Wife is released this coming Tuesday September 2nd.
5/5 Stars
ARC provided by LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program

Lookalikes 8

Ok, I'm not 100% sure but I think that's the same girl. She is definitely wearing the same outfit so it would lead me to imagine it's the same girl. Having her face cut in half on the first cover makes it a little hard to be sure though. These look like they should be part of the same series, same colors and everything! When I saw Popular Vote a few months ago I actually at first thought it was the same series.

So what do you think? Same girl?

This Week In Books Or How I'm Doing A Tad Bit Better With My Buying Habit

So this week I didn't exactly buy nothing but I didn't do so bad. Decided to keep this picture in a scene this time, this is where i write my blog posts (my little laptop is hiding behind the books) Urban Outfitters has started selling more of the little vinyl toys I love so much so here are three I bought yesterday.

Monday: My Husband's Sweethearts arrives in the mail via the author :) Thank you!

Tuesday: nothing

Wednesday: nothing

Thursday: Decided to peek in the library and see if anything had changed. It really hadn't but for 50 cents I bought The Healing Time of Hickeys, what seems interesting about this book is it's in a journal/diary format. I love those! It also has some really nice illustrations on the cover.

Friday: House of Dance arrives! I won this in the Story Siren's contest! Thank you!

Saturday: In the discount section of Urban Outfitters I found the cute little comic book, Teen Power and I've already had a chance to read it so it won't contribute to my huge TBR pile. This was a funny little collection of comics. They range from 1 to 4 panels and are all 5 minute comics! Then I popped over to a Barnes and Noble, wasn't planning on getting anything but then the new 3.99 version of an Abundance of Katherines was sitting there all cute in a nice display so I got it. I've read this about a year ago so it won't go into my TBR pile either. Funny thing is I went to pay for it, the lady rang it up and stuck it in the a bag... She looked at the screen and then went to look at the book again, couldn't believe how cheap it was! I thought that was funny!

How was your book spending this week? How are all the book ban people doing?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No … it’s because you want to know what happens next?

Or, um, is it just me?

Well actually I think it's the story, of what's hinted at of the story on the back of the book that pulls me in but the characters that make it a favorite. You can't really tell much about a characters personality from reading a quick summary but you can tell what the story is going to explore. I've come to know what sort of stories I like and which to put back on the shelf right away (maybe i need to break out of my shell? or maybe not!) I definitely think in the end that characters make a book or movie for me. A character could be doing something totally fascinating but if they are as boring as a rock then I don't really care what they are doing. I much rather read about a really interesting person doing next to nothing. Now when we get a good character and a good story that's golden!

I actually really like character studies in movies. So much so I'd like to share three clips from three of my favorite movies that, you guessed it, feature awesome characters!!!

Here we have a great clip from my favorite movie of all time the Royal Tenenbaums. Not only are there several very interesting characters, there is a complex story, beautiful art direction, and great music!

Another favorite Amelie! Sorry there are no subtitles. Basically he asks her, "Is this you" and she says no, even thought it is her. Shy Amelie!

Ghost world is full of great and hilarious characters!

Actually my favorite tv shows also feature characters I love: Felicity, Veronica Mars, Arrested Development, Gilmore Girls etc. It's settled, I'm a character person!

What is your favorite character study in a book or movie or tv?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lookalikes 7

Thanks to Reviewer X/Steph for sharing these with me and Ambeen!

Not only do we have two covers with the same photo but another that has a similar look to it! Isn't it interesting to see how the same photo can look so different based on the color palette.

Which is your favorite? My vote goes to North of Beautiful.

I think I'll have to look into reading these as well :)

EDIT: 9/27/08 Look what Melissa Walker found! Another cover to match Angels in Pink! Thanks Melissa!

And Reviewer X pointed out that this was an early cover version! Even better! Here's the final!

EDIT: 10/6/08 Look at the other cover Steph (Reviewer X) found! This is giving this one a run for it's money!

UPDATE 3/1/09: Here's another one featuring the same cover model! Thanks to Book Chic who also noticed this!

UPDATE: 6/19/09 Laina found this via Wondrous Reads, thanks guys!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

Today's topic: LibraryThing authors. Who are your LibraryThing authors? What books of theirs do you have? Do you ever comment on an author's LT page? Have you received any comments from an author on your LT account?

Ooh this is a fun question! I hadn't looked at my LibraryThing Authors in a great while!

They are:
John Green: I'm a Brotherhood 2.0 fan (though I have several months of videos to catch up on) I actually found his profile a year ago, he had the only review of a book I had bought, I recognized him, tried to befriend him and he never accepted it *weep*. I have read An Abundance of Katherines and just bought Looking For Alaska this weekend!

Emmett James: I read his memoir, Admit One, here's my review.

Maggie Marr: I read her book, Secrets of the Hollywood Girls Club earlier this year through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's Program. Here's my review.

Sarah Miller: the author page for Sarah Miller is several authors I believe. Inside of the Mind of Gideon Rayburn, by Sarah Miller was my first book sent to me for review several years ago and horribly I went on vacation for three weeks and never wrote my review. I still feel bad about it. I read it but now it's way too late to write a review. I still have it, so someday I will review it once I read it again!!

Penelope Przekop: I just recently read and reviewed her book Aberrations. Here's my review.

David J. Schwartz: I actually just received his book, Superpowers last week through the Read It Forward Program.

Melissa Walker: In the past two months or so I read and reviewed Melissa's Violet trilogy. Read my review of Violet on the Runway here, Violet By Design here, and Violet In Private here.

I don't believe I've ever commented on an author's profile. I've commented on several of their blogs before though. I actually just last week had an author add me as a friend, I guess they enjoyed looking at my library! I thought that was so sweet and got to learn about an upcoming book as well!

It took me a moment to realize who David J. Schwartz was since I only just added his book to my collection last week. Do you have any LibraryThing authors that you didn't recognize at first glance?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Featherproof Books: Free Mini Books

Featherproof books is a publisher with an eclectic mix of books check it out.

But the most original thing about them is their Light Reading Series. They are free mini-books! They are only a handful of pages long, that you download and put together yourself! What's better than combining a little reading and a little book crafting? Nothing! I believe all that you need is 3 or so normal letter sized pieces of paper to print it out on. Then you follow the simple directions for folding and stapling and then volia! you have a little book! I actually made two a few years ago and am excited to see all the new ones they have. This is a great way to introduce yourself to new authors and also sample several of their currently published books in excerpts as well!

Here is an mini book excerpt of the book I bought this weekend, This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record.

They are my myspace friend but you can also befriend them on goodreads.

Just an fyi, their website exceeded bandwidth this weekend so if you have trouble loading their site try again, it's worth it!

What mini book are you going to download? I have Max and Emily and Donovan's Closet. I think I'll have to get a few more this weekend :)

Creepers by Joanne Dahme

13 year old Courtney has just moved to town with her parents, the first thing she notices about her new house is the abundance of ivy covering it, (no matter how much ivy her father removes it just comes right back) also the cemetery next door. In the cemetery Courtney meets Margaret Geyer and her father Christian, they give tours of the cemetery. Soon they share a secret with Courtney, they have relative, Prudence, that is supposed to be resting in the cemetery but they know her body is not there.

Prudence and her father, also Christian once lived in Courtney's house. When young Prudence died her father was beside himself and allowed a witch to try and help him bring Prudence back to life. But where is Prudence? And is the Ivy trying to tell Courtney something? This is the story of Courtney and the Geyer's quest to find Prudence and reunite her with her father, even in death.

This is a sweet little mysterious story, a great summer or fall read for junior high aged kids. Courtney senses something different about Margaret and Christian Geyer but can't quite put her finger on it, I think readers will have a fun time guessing just what is up with these two characters. I'll tell you this, I guessed wrong! I found the ending a little too vague for my own tastes. And not all my questions were totally answered. But who knows, maybe that was the point. Not everything always has to be wrapped up neatly.

Each chapter is started with a news clipping, or other piece of information that helps piece the puzzle together. There are also several images throughout the book and pages of the 1st Christian Geyer's diary. I really liked that aspect of the books design, it created a world for this story to take place within. To compliment the abundance of ivy (a character itself) in the book there is ivy growing on the pages of the book! Very smart book design!

Find Creepers in stores September 8th.
2.5/5 Stars
ARC provided by publisher

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lookalikes 6

For those of us that have read Girl With the Pearl Earring we know that the actual painting on the cover plays into the storyline of the book. I don't really know much about Elske, but from a quick summary scan I don't think it has anything to do with the painting or artist, Vermeer. I happened across Elske in a bookstore today.

Have you noticed any lookalike covers lately?

This Week In Books Or Why I Knew This Week Was Going to be an Anti-Book Ban Week

As I'm sure some of you know, recently J. Kaye started a book ban challenge. In order to read all her books that are piling up she's decided to not buy any new books until she has completed her list. Bravo! I wish I could join but I am weak... this was an especially bad week for me! It really must stop or at least slow down ALOT. Side note, I need to start remembering to take these pictures on flat surfaces!

Sunday: I hardly ever get books on Sundays. Innocently enough I went to Sam's Club with my mom, hadn't been there in months so I thought I'd take a peek. I usually look at the dvds and books. So I went to the book section, all looked normal until I discovered a whole young adult section! Books normally 8.99 for under 6 dollars. I freaked and bought The Secret of Peaches, Wicked Lovely (which I was going to buy myself for my birthday), Pants on Fire (which I was also going to buy myself for my birthday) and Private (I'm a sucker for series, I told you!) When my mom saw me she rolled her eyes, good thing I have my own money these days, back in high school I would have had to beg to get them! I was pretty good at wearing people down though. So as you can see Sunday started the week off on a certain note.

Monday: I was going to be in the city that houses our one and only Barnes and Noble with a used section so I had to stop in, hadn't been in for about a year or so. I made off with True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet, What My Mother Doesn't Know, One of those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies, The Realm of Possibilities, What She Saw, The Last Summer of You and Me (which I was going to get for my birthday also), and Nothing Better Vol 1. which is a sweet comic. I got the first issue of last fall. Let's just say this place is heaven.

Tuesday: Nothing

Wednesday: My only book from the mail this week came, Superheroes from the Read It Forward Program.

Thursday: My weekly trip to the Friends of the Library Sale turned up The Juliet Club which I had passed up the week before because I didn't know anything about it. I found out more from YA New York and was very happy to see it still there!

Friday: Nothing

Saturday: Bad Bad Bad day! (Or a good day!) Took my almost monthly trip to Half Price Books and another local used bookstore. From Half Price Books Clearance $1 section I got The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Boy Next Door, Boy Proof (I really like her graphic novel, Plain Janes), The Royal Ghosts, and the Undomestic Goddess. I also picked up Looking for Alaska (yet another book I was going to buy for my birthday !), The Interpreters of Maladies, If We Kiss, Fringe Girl, This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record, and How the Other Half Hamptons.

At the other store I found: Tithe, Pretties, and I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone (which just recently came out!)

So share with me, how do you control yourself when all you want to do is buy books! I think a lot of my problem is now having a full time job I have money I didn't used to have, I think that's what controlled me in the past. I need a new motivation!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Whether you usually read off of your own book pile or from the library shelves NOW, chances are you started off with trips to the library. (There’s no way my parents could otherwise have kept up with my book habit when I was 10.) So … What is your earliest memory of a library? Who took you? Do you have you any funny/odd memories of the library?

Ooh I love this question! I think my earliest memory is getting yelled at for speaking inside of the library. So I'll share a favorite memory. It must have been the summer after or before 5th grade (This was around the same time I started my "Books Read" list it's up to 633 books). My mother showed me how to request library books via the computer. I'd log on using our old modem and sit there requesting book after book. This must have been the early 90s, I remember the program was so ancient you couldn't use a mouse, only the keyboard. There were various letter short cuts to surf around the program. I just loved requested books. I couldn't stay on too long though because no one could use the phone!

Once a good number of books were ready for pick up me and my mom (and probably my little sister) would go to the library. I remember riding home admiring all the books I had gotten, deciding what I wanted to read first. Our library's limit must be very high, because I believe sometime in junior high I had many more than 50 books checked out at the same time. I guess you could say I like books!

Another thing I like about our library is up until recently there were no late fines. We still don't really have them. What we have now is a processing fee of maybe 5 dollars if your item is like 6 weeks overdue AKA Lost. Haven't had to pay it yet.

These days I try not to go to the library so I can read my own books in my TBR pile. But what has ended up happening is I'm buying books I could very well just get from the library but since I've told myself no library books I just end up buying more so I can read them sooner. Hopefully once I get myself under control, and get my TBR pile under control I can go back to checking out library books and not feel guilty for reading them when I have books of my own to read.

What's your favorite childhood library memory?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

Today's question: LT and RL (real life)- do you have friends in real life that you met through LibraryThing? Have you attended any LT meet-ups in your area? Would you be open to attending meet-ups or is LT strictly an online thing for you?

I don't have friends in real life that I've met through LibraryThing. I have tried to get real life friends to join LibraryThing though. Two did, added a few books and then vanished. One still hasn't excepted my friend invitation! The horror! I got a relative to join and I think she uses it, we haven't really interacted on LibraryThing though.

I haven't attended any meet ups. I suspect there haven't been any in my area but I really have no idea. It may be fun to go to one, but also sort of awkward too don't you think? I guess it would be easy to start a conversation though... about books!

I really like LibraryThing because it allows me to express my interest in reading and in books with other people. In my real life my friends don't enjoy books nearly as much. They think I'm kind of nuts! In the past me and a friend have read a book around the same time and that was fun, so we could talk about it a little.

Do you have someone in your real life that understands your love for reading and books?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lookalikes 5

Not the same photo but similar none the less!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Aberrations by Penelope Przekop

Aberrations is the story of 21 year old narcoleptic Angel and her search for mother. Angel has never known her mother, only her father. Her father tells her that her mother died during child birth but that is all. Angel struggles to learn more from him but he will not budge. All that Angel has to connect her to her mother is a series of cloud photographs her mother took. Rounding out Angel's life are Carla, her father's girlfriend, Mac, her married doctor boyfriend, and her friends Kimmy and Tim, and Tim's cousin Scarlett.

Angel struggles to live a somewhat normal life while dealing with her narcolepsy which makes her dependant on others much more than she would like. She lives in a world where it's hard to tell how awake she actually is at times and what is real and what is not. Through a series of events Angel becomes determined to know the truth about her mother and with the help of her friends and family she finds it. Before her search for the truth about her mother Angel also explores the possibilities of finding the mother feeling elsewhere and is rather unsuccessful. I really really liked the ending, it just made me beam!

I loved this book! It's a mix of mystery, family struggles, and love. I loved the characters so much in this book, especially Angel, Mac, and Carla. Przekop's use of southern slang made me read the book in such a way that I could hear the characters voices in my head, I really liked that. It was really gratifying watching Angel succeed in her quest and also grow up in the process. This is a beautiful, touching story and I cannot give it nearly as much praise as it deserves!

Also wouldn't you agree, a beautiful cover for a beautiful book!

4/5 Stars
Review copy provided by author

Months and Seasons by Christopher Meeks

Months and Seasons is a collection of short stories. In it we meet a variety of people in different stages of life, dealing with different conflicts and life altering events. They all search for happiness for themselves and their loved ones.

Some of my favorite stories include Dracula Slinks Into The Night about a man attending a Halloween party (I really identified with this guy!), The Farms at 93rd and Broadway about a husband and wife attending a hypnotist show, The Sun Is a Billiard Ball, two stories that eventually weave into one, The Old Topanga Incident where a whole man's life burns to the ground, Months and Seasons about one man's perception of what he wants, and Breaking Water about a woman reinventing her life.

I really liked the variety in the stories. Some were humorous where as others were more serious. With some short story collections it ultimately feels like the same story repeated over and over again slightly different each time, this is definitely not the case here. This collection provides peeks into many different lives in way different ways all by the same author!

On a side note, I really enjoy when an author includes a peek at their next book. At the end of this book we get a peek into The Brightest Moon of the Century with the story The Hand. I really like his idea of a collection of stories of one man's life throughout his life, covering 30 years. Meeks compares it to The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, another book I need to read. I really liked The Hand and look forward to reading the whole collection.

3.5/5 Stars
Review copy provided by author

Saturday, August 16, 2008

This Week In Books Or Why I'm Glad We Don't Have Earthquakes In My Part of the Country

I swear to you, one week I won't have any new books. It WILL happen.

Monday: Why I Let My Hair Grow Out arrives from a bookmoocher.

Tuesday: Matrimony arrives from author Joshua Henkin. Thanks for the referral J. Kaye!

Wednesday: The Grift arrives in a very very large stiff envelope!

Thursday: I decide to browse the friends on the library bookstore for 10 minutes between buses. I find practically brand new copies of The Other Boy and Forbidden Boy. Thought it would be fun to try this author. They are both 2 dollar and I also get one for my sister. I think I'll have to make this a weekly ritual! (Thursday is the only day it's open late enough for me to go) Also I come home to find A Great and Terrible Beauty from a bookmoocher.

Queen of Babble in the Big City arrives from a bookmoocher.

Saturday: Alphabet Weekends arrives from a bookmoocher.

I thought this would be the end of any more bookmooch books for me for awhile. But in the past few days I've had a few mooches. Very excited!

What's new in books for you guys that aren't part of the book ban challenge?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

  • Do you or have you ever read books about the Olympics? About sports in general?
  • Fictional ones? Or non-fiction? Or both?

And, Second:

  • Do you consider yourself a sports fan?
  • Because, of course, if you’re a rabid fan and read about sports constantly, there’s a logic there; if you hate sports and never read anything sports-related, that, too … but you don’t have to love sports to enjoy a good sports story.
  • (Or a good sports movie, for that matter. Feel free to expand this into a discussion about “Friday Night Lights” or “The Natural” or whatever…)
I don't believe I have read any books about the Olympics/Sports, it's possible I may have in like elementary school but it's washed from my memory. That's when you know it's required reading, I wouldn't be caught dead otherwise reading about sports! I did used to like the Olympics when I was younger, not sure what's happened.

Er, I sort of strongly dislike sports. Would rather be doing just about anything besides playing or watching sports. I did dance for 12 years when I was younger but that's really all. I watch just about any movies but there are a few categories I try very hard to avoid and they are: War, Horror, and Sports movies. Most everything else I'll sit through. There are exceptions though, one of my favorite movies is Bend It Like Beckham. In cases where the story outshines the sports I'll watch it. Even with the tv show One Tree Hill, I was unsure if I could take all the basketball but it has faded nicely into the background. A friend told me I'd like Friday Night Lights the tv show, even with the sports. I only watched the first episode a few months ago, so I'll have to pick that up again some other time.

So in general Me+Sports= pure torture. I hated having to play in pep band in high school during sporting events!

Do sports make your brain go numb like me? Or do you love them?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

Favorite bookstores. What's your favorite bookstore? Is it an online store or a bricks-and-mortar store? How often do you go book shopping? Is your favorite bookstore (or bookstores) listed as a favorite in LT? Do you attend events at local bookstores? Do you use LT to find events?

What isn't a favorite! I guess the only ones I don't like really are the ones that sell maps and really rare books. Those aren't my thing. I have a few favorite bookstores. Borders (for the most part I always have my coupon in my purse, so that sort of keeps me from buying too much, though I go about every week), Half Price Books (have coupons for them too, don't need them as much) I usually leave with a bag of books, Amazon for things I can't find in either of those two places or when I want to buy several books together, art books, anything where the price can't be beat by anyone else. I need to feel like I'm getting some sort of deal or I won't buy. That's probably a good thing. I've been buying a lot more from Amazon this year then past years.

When I'm hard up I'll go to Barnes and Noble. I will browse just about anywhere. Another favorite that I don't get too that much is Book Alcove in Maryland. It's about halfway across the country from me, whenever I visit my relatives I go there and leave with a bag! I love discovering new bookstores, as I've talked about in the vacation post a few weeks ago. Another favorite is Big Brain Comics, best comic book store in my area. They carry a few of my things too!!

I go book shopping at least once a week probably. I'm always browsing Amazon. I have my next two orders worked out in my head to take advantage of their 4 for 3 deal. I'm trying not to place the orders until I make a dent in my TBR pile. But my birthday is coming up... and I always place a Amazon book order for my birthday! It's a present to myself!

I haven't been able to find any of my local stores on librarything and nothing comes up when I enter my city. I've attended a few events at some local stores, most recently the Breaking Dawn Midnight Party and a David Sedaris Reading and Signing. I definitely hope to go to more. I come across signings at Borders since I'm there so much but it's never been anything I was interested in. It's usually local authors. The "famous" authors go to stores closer to the heart of the city.

What's your favorite bookstore? Do you need to leave your purse in the car if you go into a bookstore or take someone with you that won't let you buy anything? Do you need to block on your web browser?

Violet In Private by Melissa Walker

Violet In Private is the third book in Melissa Walker's, Violet series. It picks up when Violet is just about to begin college at Vassar for the Winter/Spring term. She's decided maybe she doesn't really want to be a model anymore and would rather concentrate on being a normal college girl. The modeling world isn't quite ready to let her go though, her friend Veronica is constantly asking her to come to New York to go to parties and appearances with her for their Mirabella campaign and her agent, Angela is constantly calling her. Though she isn't really modeling anymore, a discussion is started in her Sociology class about her Mirabella ad and she's invited to be an Intern at Teen Fashionista magazine, she just can't shed the world of fashion. She's excited about her internship except for the fact that she has to work under Chloe, her best friend/true love Roger's girlfriend, talk about awkward.

This is my favorite in the series yet, they actually got better as they went along! I loved the first one and it has just built and built on this great foundation. I really liked seeing Violet in college, enjoying dorm life, cute boys and new friends. I also liked to see her balance her college life with her modeling life and her friend's from high school/home life. It was very enjoyable to read! My favorite part was her and her best friend/true love Roger. Roger sounds fantastic, where can I find myself a Roger! The ending definitely made me hope for another in the series, if not I'll just use my imagination. It's just great! If you haven't read this series I'd recommend it. I also think this would be a great place to start for anyone that doesn't normally read Young Adult literature but is interested in trying it out. Some YA can be slightly eye roll worthy for people that are no longer young adults themselves but not this series!

4.5/5 Stars
Purchased by myself

What's your favorite new series? Do you gravitate towards series books like I do?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

I won't write too much about this book since it's either been said or you haven't read the book and I would never spoil it for you!

Breaking Dawn is the 4th and final book in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. It had it's ups and downs but it's not my favorite by a long shot. Don't get me wrong I liked it but it was no Twilight or Eclipse, those are the best in my opinion. Breaking Dawn starts off basically right where Eclipse left off just a few weeks before Bella's birthday. Er I'm not really going to say anything else, the rest is pretty tied to the plot!

In this book, like in Eclipse, Bella isn't the only narrator, Jacob joins in the task for part of the book. I kind of liked that but at the same missed Bella's voice. I liked Bella at the beginning of the book and after she got through some of her inner issues in the middle of the book. While she was going through this struggle I really didn't like her so much. After she makes it through I like her a lot more though, maybe even more so than in the previous books. I was hoping for more from the rest of the Cullens, maybe some more back story but they pretty much just stayed in the background the whole time which was pretty disappointing to me. Maybe I'll get this in Twilight Official Guide coming out the end of this year, fingers crossed!

For the most part I was pretty happy with the ending, I guess maybe it could have been a little more exciting but besides that pretty good. I'm glad I know how the story ends I'm just not sure about all the plot elements that got us there.

3/5 Stars
Purchased by myself

What are your thoughts on Breaking Dawn, the final installment of the Twilight series?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One More Year by Sana Krasikov

One More Year is a collection of short stories that explore the lives of people from the former Soviet Union. Some have immigrated to the United States and others still live or have returned to Russia. The collection explores all sorts of relationships, from care takers, to husband and wife, to uncle and niece. Many different parts of life are captures as snapshots.

Some of my favorite stories include Asal, about a relationship not normally talked about, Better Half about a young couple that marries too soon so one can remain in the United States, and There Will Be No Fourth Rome about an aunt and her niece.

To me, the stories slowly reveal themselves like peeling back an onion. You know so little in the beginning and slowly more and more information is revealed. I really like this style of writing, it keeps you on your toes and you have to pay very close attention. It's not just laid out from page one.

It is a quiet sort of collection that explores everyday life, but not the life that I'm used to or the struggles I've had to face. For that, I really enjoy it. I feel like I learned things I hadn't really known or thought about much before. I can definitely understand the comparisons to Jhumpa Lahiri. I have read her novel The Namesake, which I also enjoyed.

You can find One More Year, in stores this Tuesday, August 12th.
4/5 Stars
ARC provided by publisher

Do you like short story collections? What is your favorite?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Bookmooch Inventory Bookstack Meme (what a mouthful!)

Over the last few weeks I've been posting pictures of the books I've gotten/received each week. I just love bookstack pictures, taking them, looking at them, thinking about them. I also love browsing people's bookmooch inventories, but for some reason I always seem to miss good books because I'm so visual, I recognize the covers (or spines) much easier than a name when I'm quickly glancing through a list.

I somehow came to the conclusion that it would be amazing to see bookstack pictures of people's bookmooch inventories. It would be fun, you could browse others inventories (though it would only be a snapshot since things can get mooched very quickly) and also maybe get a few people some mooches. Not that I have a ton of points right now....

So I'm asking any bookmooch members that are interested to take a picture of their bookmooch inventory and along with a link to it and maybe a little bit of information, do a blog post of it! A sort of meme.

I'm really hoping someone with an inventory upwards of 100 books will take a picture, I want to see it all inside one shot! We probably won't be able to see the titles but I just want to see people's physical inventories! It sounds so fun to me! If you'd like to play along, leave me a comment with a link so I can come visit and anyone else that is interested can as well!

Here's a link to my inventory (pictured above). A little bit about it, 5 of these books are my sister's. We added them over the last few months, no one has mooched from her yet. I told her eventually if no one does she can go and sell them to a used bookstore! I thought it would be fun for her to take part in! The other books are either ones I decided I didn't want after reading them or sometimes not reading them. I also like to swap out books for ones that are in better condition or a different format than the ones I have sometimes. I'm sure mine is very small compared to a lot of other users!

Tell me a little bit about your inventory! Don't forget a picture and a link!

If you aren't a member of Bookmooch you should join!

This Week In Books Or Why I Need to Read About 4x Faster

This week was a steady stream of books. Cringe.

Monday: well nothing Monday

Tuesday: When We Were Romans appears on my doorstep.

Wednesday: My mailbox is over flowing with packages that include The Wordy Shipmates, The Shiniest Jewel and from bookmoochers Uglies and Peaches. (I have so many first in a series books i need to read but that means I'd have to finish the series... I love series!)

Thursday: The Necklace is waiting on my doorstep and inside of the mailbox is Queen of Babble from a bookmoocher.

I quickly walk over to the downtown B&N (even though I'm a Borders girl) between my express bus and transfer bus to seek out Death By Bikini (I've been thinking of doing it the entire week and finally did) and when I get home, out of the mailbox pops Meet Delaney.

Saturday: I think I'm going to try and avoid Borders this week. We will see how that goes!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Are there any particular worlds in books where you’d like to live?

Or where you certainly would NOT want to live?

What about authors? If you were a character, who would you trust to write your life?

I'm not sure that I would want to live there, but I would love to visit Harry Potter's world and specifically Hogwarts! I'd also like to visit the Cullen's home from Twilight, to witness some of their powers.. wouldn't want to stay long! I'd like to drop in on the characters of Ghost World, again, wouldn't want to stay too long, too depressing.

I'm sure there are places I wouldn't even want to visit but right now I can't think of any.

I have a hard time choosing favorite authors so I'm not sure who I would trust to write my life.

Who would you want to write your life?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

What other weekly memes or round robins do you participate in? Is this the only one? Why Tuesday Thingers and not some other weekly Tuesday meme? Or do you do more than one?

The only other meme I participate in is Booking Through Thursday. I may participate in more in the future but only these two for now. I've started doing a "This Week in Books" for myself but that's just me LOL! I guess it's sort of like what some people do for the Sunday Salon, which I would be interested in participating in sometime. I like them because it keeps me posting at least two times a week and it doesn't take a ton of time to do. I also just really like answering these sorts of questions! I like Tuesday Thingers because I love love Library Thing and love interacting with the other members be it the groups/forums or something like this. I also like learning more about Library Thing :)

What weekly memes do you participate in? Which others should I join?

Book Vault’s Birthday Contest Riddle

This is the next leg of The Book Vault’s birthday book riddle contest! For more information on the contest, go here:

Each correct answer counts as an entry into the drawing on August 29th!

Discovered during her shift at the local movie cinema, this starlet is flown to NYC for the first time and is soon the new face in fashion.

But an older model, whose name begins with the same let as the starring character, is not too pleased with this new threat. And this new starlet realizes fame has a darker side too…

What book is this?

Know the answer? Send Dominique an email at with:

“BDAY CONTEST” in the subject line



The Riddle: Discovered during her shift at the local movie cinema, this starlet is flown to NYC for the first time and is soon the new face in fashion.

But an older model, whose name begins with the same let as the starring character, is not too pleased with this new threat. And this new starlet realizes fame has a darker side too…

What book is this?

Answer: (full book title + author)

The name of the site where you found the riddle:

Your site’s URL: (if you have one)

Please send a separate email for each riddle you answer!

Good luck!!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Schooled by Anisha Lakhani

Schooled is a look inside the tutoring/private school world of Manhattan. Anna Taggert is a new graduate from Columbia. She is beyond excited to begin her career as a teacher and is invited to teach at Langdon. Though her parents don't exactly support her choice and her best friend is living in the luxury that Anna knows she will never be able to afford on a teacher's salary she starts the year optimistic.

She quickly learns that this is no ordinary school, giving homework and giving in class assignments get her phone calls from mothers, having lunch with the mothers gain her friends, and doing just about nothing in class but assigning the students to do research in the library gives her high praises. Anna soon realizes that her students for the most part are being tutoring, and she's unsure if any the homework her students turn in is their own true work. Anna vows to not let the children, parents, and tutors get away with this "tutoring" but it quickly gets taken out of her hands. Eventually Anna finds her way into the world of tutoring sort of accidentally and does exactly what she was previously fighting against. It's her journey through the highs and lows of the tutoring world.

I really enjoyed this book. I could relate to Anna, wanting to do something good in the world but also wanting to have fun, and have a little bit of money. She wanted her dream to come true of teaching but also living a great life with a nice apartment and time for friends. I could sympathize with her choices, thinking she could really tutor these kids and help them without just doing the work for them. It was also really funny. I especially liked the part about Tweebles the robot (you'll have to read to find out about this one), also the crazy teachers and parents and Anna trying to create lessons her students would like. It was very very fun! I didn't go to private school but always wondered how it was different then public school. I believe they have different things to offer but also just like with anything it is what you make of it.

You can find Schooled in stores tomorrow!
4/5 Stars
Review copy provided by publisher

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone that entered my first giveaway! It's been a lot of fun! has chosen: Lenore!


I have emailed you so please email me back with your contact information so I can send the book to you!

I asked those who entered to tell me the funniest book they have read this summer, here are the suggestions I got!

Toni McGee Causey's two Bobbie Faye books
Model: a memoir
Guide to Pirate Parenting by Tim Bete
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
Bobbie Faye's Very (very, very, very) Bad Day: A Novel by Toni McGee Causey
Tan Lines by J. J Salem
Wild & Hexy by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Brain Droppings by George Carlin
The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich
Perfect on Paper
Shining City by Seth Greenland
When you are engulfed in flames by David Sedaris
A Little Less Talk and A Lot More Action by LuAnn McLane
Meg Cabot's YA "How to be Popular"
"How LaJuanita Mumps Got to Join Augusta National Gold Club Real Easy!" By Todd Sentell
bennett madison's "the blonde of the joke"
Garfield, Calvin & Hobbs, and Foxtrot
Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty
Aisling Grey series by Katie MacAlister
Land of a Hundred Wonders by Lesley Kagen
A Twin Novel by Avi and Rachel Vail
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
The Wouldbegoods by Edith Nesbit
princess diaries IV
Me & Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter
"Fifteen Minutes of Shame" by Lisa Daily
Fact of Life #31 by Denise Vega
SCHOOLED by Anisha lakhani
Megan McCafferty's series - Second Helpings is my fave
P.G. Wodehouse books
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
One Butt Cheek at a Time by Amber Kizer
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry
Pratchett's "Nation"

Thanks again to everyone that entered and helped promote this giveaway!

This Week In Books Or Why I Didn't Think This Post Would Happen

This week was pretty under control when it came to book buying/books coming in the mail that is until this afternoon... I actually didn't think I had enough to post!

Monday: The Summer of Naked Swim Parties arrives from a bookmoocher.

Thursday: The Liar's Diary arrives from J. Kaye (I'll be reviewing this book for her site)

Friday: Got Breaking Dawn at the midnight release.

Saturday: Pop over to the library for a quick look where I spy on the for sale shelf, The Memory Keeper's Daughter and two V.C. Andrews books, with "holes" as Melissa Walker has talked about recently! In the mail comes Just Listen from a bookmoocher, and Garden Spells from Marie at the Boston Bibliophile, which I recently won and a postcard telling me that my copy of Violet In Private is ready for pickup at Borders! So I go back and get it! Then after getting my sister at work we stop over at the new used bookstore to check it out. The first time I went they didn't have much they had just opened. This time they had a lot more! I picked up Trudy, from a local press, and Laguna Cove, both YA books.

What did you buy this week? Did you buy Breaking Dawn? Did you have to fight someone for the last copy in the store?

Breaking Dawn Midnight Release Video and a Thank You!

Me and my sister went to the midnight release of Breaking Dawn last night. She was kind enough to get my wristband when the store opened in the morning so we were in the first group! It actually went so fast we were out of the store and home by 12:15! We live about 5 minutes from the store but still! Very quick! I'm only 100 pages into the book so far but it's pretty good! I was hoping to be further but ended up doing a bunch of errands and some er, book shopping...

Did you go to the midnight release? Or did you pick your copy up during normal business hours. While I was making the rounds today I noticed Barnes and Noble had no extra copies, Target had a healthy shelf full and when I went back to Borders, the had about 20 boxes behind the counter! They were the most prepared!

A big thank you to Ambeen at the Ravenous Reader and The Bookshipper for nominating me for a blog award!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Nick and Norah's Infintie Playlist (my probably newest favorite movie)

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

This book really got me into my YA spree. The movie looks like it will pretty good too! What fall movie are you excited for? Remember Harry Potter and Twilight are winter movies! ;)

This Year In Movies: July

This was an even worse month than June. It's just darn right pathetic! I guess I was away for an entire weekend and had some unplayable dvds from Netflix that held up my tv show watching (gotta watch them in order!) but still! It's horrible!

Speak- based on the YA novel. Someone pointed out that this was a movie so I rented it. Oh it made me cry! It was very good though.

the Pixar movies keep getting better and better. This was really really good.

He just needs to stop making sports movies, worst one yet. I do want to see Stepbrothers still.

The Tracey Fragments-
Weird in a bad way. This made about no sense to me and had no conclusion that I noticed. If you want to see an Ellen Page movie just watch Juno, again if you have to.

Mamma Mia!-
This was fun! I wanted to re experience the excitement of last year's Hairspray. It was pretty good, but Hairspray still wins.

Mad Men Season 1-
Love it!

My Blueberry Nights-
The beginning was best.

Love Songs-
A French Musical! This was a different sort of movie, usually musicals are really over the top this wasn't, it's very hard to follow subtitled singing, it happens too quickly. I really like the main guy!
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