Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn {Thoughts On}

Title: Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn (website)(Facebook)

Pages: 321 ebook
Source: Library
Rating: 3 of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.

I was such a huge fan of Gone Girl that I was eager to read Flynn's previous books. When my request for Sharp Objects came up, I put aside the other book I was reading to read this one instead. I was sucked in from the start but didn't love it the same way I loved (not sure loved is the right word) Gone Girl. Had I not read Gone Girl  first, I think that I would have liked Sharp Objects better. The writing was vastly improved between this, her first novel, to Gone Girl, her third. I don't make a point of trying to figure out a mystery but I thought that I had this one figured out pretty soon. Turns out I was sort of right and sort of wrong. It seemed like there were some inconsistencies but it could have just been me. I tried to find holes in the plot of Gone Girl and couldn't find them but this one seemed to have a couple. 

The characters in this one were just as screwed up as I've come to expect with Flynn's characters. Seriously screwed up. At points, painful to read screwed up. Camille was a seriously flawed character but the look into her life was strangely fascinating. I liked her matter of fact way of seeing things. 

The story itself is interesting and I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the murders. The Kansas City Detective, Richard, was a welcome distraction from the rest of the crazy home town people. What a bunch that was! Even he wasn't entirely likable but at least he didn't have all that history with the town and its people. 

I personally found the writing style to match the character of Camille quite well but have read others dislike of the choppy, incomplete sentences. The pacing was well done with the suspense lasting throughout the book. The only thing I didn't particularly like was the ending which felt a bit rushed. Sharp Objects is another solid work from an author that is quickly becoming a favorite. I look forward to reading Dark Places soon.

A solid 3 out of 5 stars...I enjoyed it but had a couple of issues.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Adding to the Stacks #7

Just one book this week. It's a good one though...

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay (expected publication date of November 5, 2013 by Thomas Nelson Publishers)

From Goodreads:

Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen.

Samantha Moore survived years of darkness in the foster care system by hiding behind her favorite characters in literature, even adopting their very words. Her fictional friends give her an identity, albeit a borrowed one. But most importantly, they protect her from revealing her true self and encountering more pain.

After college, Samantha receives an extraordinary opportunity. The anonymous “Mr. Knightley” offers her a full scholarship to earn her graduate degree at the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. The sole condition is that Sam write to Mr. Knightley regularly to keep him apprised of her progress.

As Sam’s true identity begins to reveal itself through her letters, her heart begins to soften to those around her—a damaged teenager and fellow inhabitant of Grace House, her classmates at Medill, and, most powerfully, successful novelist Alex Powell. But just as Sam finally begins to trust, she learns that Alex has secrets of his own—secrets that, for better or for worse, make it impossible for Sam to hide behind either her characters or her letters

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Love My Library

My local library is celebrating some type of teen reading week. There is a table set up with YA books wrapped to look like presents. Although there are "clues" on the front to help you decide if you'd like it, what's inside is still really a mystery.

I love this idea so much that I want to wrap up all of my books and just randomly pick one. :-) Ian enjoyed opening my book and I picked a good one...Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. This one has been on my TBR for a while so I'm excited to pick something that I already wanted to read.

Am I the only one that loves this idea? Now taking volunteers to wrap up all my books! :-)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Splintered by A.G. Howard {Thoughts On}

Title: Splintered
Author: A.G. Howard
Pages: 371
Genre: YA

First, that cover. Oh my. Even more gorgeous in person. I die. 

I was so looking forward to this one and even though I really liked it, it seemed to drag on a bit. Not sure if it was because I read it during the later hours of a read-a-thon or because I just wasn't in the mood for something that took brain power to follow. Either way, I took longer reading this one than I thought I would.

Most readers know the story of Alice in Wonderland, even if we haven't read the actual book. Splintered was a darker take on the story. Alyssa was a fun character and I liked that she was a skater. Unique. The first of the book sets up the question of her sanity since she hears insects and plants talking. Not normal. 

Once the story shifted to Wonderland, the pace picked up and the action never stopped. I could so clearly picture that world that I actually had a dream about it one night. Chaotic and strange, it was interesting how Howard set up this alternate world.

The other main character, Jeb, was a bit of a pain to me. It wasn't that I disliked him but I didn't really understand their relationship. Seemed too plot convenient at times. And the descriptions of his labret drove me a bit mad. 

The Butterfly Threads store was a place that I not only want to shop at, I want to OWN. Oh the delight.

I wish there had been more with the Hatter because he was my favorite part of the book by far. I found those sections to be really fun.

Overall I was impressed with the storyline and the world building and look forward to reading the next one!

Monday, October 21, 2013

On not finishing...

I'm in the middle of Fangirl, which I'm having a love hate relationship with. I haven't been able to read and it is due back to the library and can't be renewed. Which brings me to my post. Not finishing books. Getting into the bad awful horrible miserable habit of doing this. Not because I'm not wanting to read the book but because I run out of time.

I have a pretty even mix of reading library books, books I own and books for review. Sometimes the books from the library get left for last and then can't be checked out again. I wish I'd manage my reading stacks a bit better so that it wouldn't happen.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Real Men Don't Text by Ruthie & Michael Dean {thoughts on}

Title: Real Men Don't Text (A New Approach to Dating)
Authors: Ruthie and Michael Dean
Pages: 240
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Source: Publisher for review
Rating: 4 out of 5

The title of this one caught my eye since one of my best guy friends recently started texting. He's a real man's man so I was going to send him a picture of the cover. When I realized it was a dating guide, I was even more intrigued.

I enjoyed how the authors (who are married) alternated between chapters. He has a tip in one chapter and she followed up in the next. It was a great way to get a male and female perspective on things. Men and women look at things so differently and his take on things was my favorite.

Another thing I really appreciated was the author's real life experience. She talks about wanting to kiss cute guys at 1 am instead of acting as if women have no sexual thoughts ever. She was real with real struggles and triumphs. The one negative I'd have to say is that if I read one more time about how attractive she was, I thought I'd stab myself with a fork. We get it, you are pretty and men like you. Moving on.

Although this was a Christian guide, I found it interesting that God was presented in such a casual way. There was a definitive right and wrong within but no judgement for doing it your way. I liked that quite a bit because other guides I've read have been so judgmental.

Overall I really enjoyed the no nonsense, different approach to dating presented within. Real men don't text at the last minute to make a date (or more likely, a hook up). They go after what they want. They'll call if they are interested. They will want to see you if they are interested. Nothing new but a great reminder of truths. 

A quick, interesting read. I'd recommend this one to any woman who is single.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Adding to the Stacks #7 - Haul of Epicness Part 2

The rest of my haul of epicness! Part one is here.

On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison - Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging was too funny so I can't wait to read the next in the series.

H.G. Wells Science Fiction Treasury - gorgeous leather like cover and gold trimmed pages on this one. Has 6 complete novels inside. Will be fun to read over a long period of time.

I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like By Dr. Mardy Grother - I love metaphors, similes and the like so this one just looked like lots of fun.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - I tend to shy away from Oprah's book club picks but have read him before and enjoyed it.

Seduce Me by Robyn DeHart - I read an egalley of her  A Little Bit Scandalous so when I saw a print copy of one of her books, I grabbed it.

The Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns - the title of this one caught my eye. Sounds really terrifying.

If You Dare by Kresley Cole - Kresley is one of the best names on the planet. Haven't ever read one of her books and don't read much romance but thought I'd give it a shot since it was so cheap. Once I looked it up at home I found it was the first of a series. Love that.

Spy High Mission One and Spy High Mission Two Chaos Rising by A.J. Butcher - because it is the first two in a series and heavens knows I need more series books to read.

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood - usually enjoy her books. This one is a trade paperback size which makes it even better!

The Life and Times of a Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson - seems that I picked up quite a few memoirs. I've never read a Bryson but have heard that he's really good.

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh - Hardback from the 1950's that had a long letter written to the original recipient. Kinda sad that it wasn't held onto. Awesome book that I've read more than once.

My Antonia by Willa Cather - am I the only person with an English degree that has never read this one? Tsk tsk to me.

The Invisible Touch by Harry Beckwith - a book about marketing. Reviews of this one are all over the place unfortunately.

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed - I read this one before so I'm not even sure why I got it. Another ARC. 

Sever (Chemical Garden Trilogy #3) by Lauren DeStefano - not going to lie, have read some really bad reviews of this one but I liked the first one and felt ok about the second one so I want to see how it wraps up. Yet another ARC.

The Maze Runner by James Dasher - I've tried many times to read this one but haven't gotten past the first 50 or so pages. I think that I would like it if I gave it a real try.

The 2-Second Commute - Christine Durst and Michael Haaren - about being a virtual assistant. I've looked into this a couple of times before so I think it should be interesting. 

and the one that I was most excited to get a copy of...

Heist Society (Heist Society #1) by Ally Carter - have read multiple great reviews of this series. Will get to this one soon!

And there you have it. All of my books from the Haul of Epicness. Isn't it super cute that I think I'll get to read all of these?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Black by Russell Blake - Book Blast and Giveaway

Artemus Black. Perennially down-on-his-luck Hollywood PI whose Bogie fixation is as dated as his wardrobe. With an assistant who mocks him relentlessly, an obese cat that loathes him, a romantic life that's deader than Elvis, money problems, booze, nicotine, and anger management issues, how much worse can it get? When he takes a case that's supposed to be easy money working for a celebrity whose colleagues and surrounding paparazzi are dropping faster than interest in the star's big comeback, the cakewalk turns ugly and Black finds himself in a web of deceit, betrayal, and murder - and bad hair days.

The first in a new series from bestselling author Russell Blake, Black is a detective mystery with a difference that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy.

Book Links: 

Praise for BLACK:
“A sadistically good writer.” – The Kindle Book Review
“I haven’t been this excited by a new series in a long time. I’ve read five or six Blake books, which were all very good, but he absolutely nails the hard-boiled genre. He has a knack for creating memorable characters and the main character Black and his assistant will not be forgotten anytime soon. I’ve always enjoyed Blake’s humor, but the dialogue between the two aforementioned characters is hysterical. Finally – as usual, Blake moves the book along at a nice pace with enough twists, turns, and adventure to keep any reader engrossed. I can’t wait for the next one in this series.” Trenchgold, Amazon 5 Star review.
“I’ve read several of Blake’s books and this is my favorite. It features well developed characters, great humor, and a fun plot. The writing is also fantastic. I especially love the book’s treatment of LA, and its characters, more often than not leftovers from broken dreams. If you love Elmore Leonard, and who doesn’t, you’re going to love Black. Five stars.”Wright Forbucks, Amazon 5 Star review.

Russell Blake Bio

Russell Blake is the bestselling author of twenty-two novels, including the thrillers Fatal Exchange, The Geronimo Breach, Zero Sum, King of Swords, Night of the Assassin, Revenge of the Assassin, Return of the Assassin, Blood of the Assassin, The Delphi Chronicle trilogy, The Voynich Cypher, Silver Justice, JET, JET II – Betrayal, JET III – Vengeance, JET IV – Reckoning, JET V – Legacy, Upon A Pale Horse, and BLACK. Non-fiction includes the international bestseller An Angel With Fur (animal biography) and How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (even if drunk, high or incarcerated), a parody of all things writing-related. Blake lives in Mexico and enjoys his dogs, fishing, boating, tequila and writing, while battling world domination by clowns. 
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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dewey's Read a thon

In an effort not to flood everyone's feed with multiple posts from me today, I will be updating this post throughout Dewey's 24 hour Read a Thon! I will be in and out during the day since my weekend is beyond crazy. Don't forget to visit me at the official blog where I'll be co-hosting starting at hour 12!

Let's get this party started...

Goals: read 2 books. No stress. I won't be able to participate as much during the early part of it but will catch up later!

1st Hour Questions: 
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Florida!
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Too many to choose from. I went a bit overboard.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Chips and dip. Wished I had them last time so I made sure to buy some this go round.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! Single mom to two little boys, Cole who is 7 and Ian who is 5.  I hope that I am passing my love of reading on to them.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? No stressing! I have a terribly busy weekend so I already know I won't be able to read much. I'll read when I can though!

1st Update: Not much to update. Did I mention that this weekend is a bit crazy? Will be reading more once the boys go to their dad's and I'm caught up with the stuff that has to be done today. Hope everyone else is having a great day!

2nd Update: Starting to read! The stuff for tomorrow is basically done and I'll be starting Death Warmed Over by Kevin J. honor of The Walking Dead season premier tomorrow. Whoop! Whoop!

Hour 11 Mini Challenge: Favorite Book Trailer at Jerara.

Without a doubt this is my all time favorite book trailer. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. Holy hotness, Batman!

Hour 12 Update:
It's halfway over and I've read very little. Sometimes life is that way though, huh? For the next few hours I'll be hosting at the official blog and tweeting on the official Twitter. Be sure to come by to say hi!

Mid-Event Survey:

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired? Tired eyes but am so excited to be hosting during these hours that I'm full of energy! So much fun!!!
2) What have you finished reading? nothing yet.
3) What is your favorite read so far? see above :-)
4) What about your favorite snacks? Pizza!
5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love! Haven't found any new to me blogs yet but I'm still visiting different ones.

Hour 14 Update:
Can't believe how quickly the time is passing. Having a blast co-hosting and reading and being on Twitter. 

Random Update:
Twitter is a hoot. That is all.

Junior's Home Cooking by Alan Rosen / Beth Allen {cookbook review}

Title: Junior's Home Cooking (100 Recipes for Classic Comfort Food)
Authors: Alan Rosen and Beth Allen
Expected Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: The Taunton Press
Source/format: egalley from publisher for review
Rating: yummmm!

The biggest thing I look for in cookbooks is recipes without off the wall ingredients  Can I buy them in my Walmart Supercenter or do I have to go to a specialty shop? These really are classic comfort foods. Using every day ingredients, these are some of my favorites. I wish we had a Junior's around us if this is the type of food that can be found there!

The cookbook is broken into sections:

Dressings for salads
Sandwiches ( the lobster roll looks to die for as do the po boys!)
Daily Specials
Bread Basket

Each section has lots of great recipes  I like that most don't require many, many different ingredients and for the most part are quite easy to make. "The Junior's Way" side bars offer tips to make it just like the restaurant serves it. I thought that was a cool twist.

The cover shot of salad, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese is divine. There are full color photographs of many recipes spread throughout the book. If there is one thing that I would change it was the number of photographs. I really love being able to see what the food is "supposed" to look like and most of the recipes do NOT have photos.

It does not include nutritional information which could be a problem for some people. 

A few of my favorite recipes are: corn bread stuffing, Corn bread, blueberry cheesecake muffins, doughnuts, and s'more cupcakes. I think I gained a couple of pounds just reading all the great recipes in here.

Junior's Home Cooking is one of those go to cookbooks for great comfort foods.

Friday, October 11, 2013

ARC Emvy #14 Fault Line by Christa Desir

Every week several of my favorite bloggers post vlogs or whatever of all the great book hauls they've received for the week. Since I'm a tiny little fish in the huge book blogging pond, my mailbox isn't stuffed with all the great ARCs that they get. Dana's ARC Envy is my way of highlighting an ARC that I *wish* had been sent to me too. 

Title: Fault Line
Author: C. Desir (website)(Twitter)
Publisher: SimonPulse
Expected Publication Date: already out...October 1, 2013...I read the date wrong. Oopies!

Judging a book by its cover:  I love the cover. Sparklers!

Know anything about the author?  Nothing.

Why do I want it?  I've read a couple of very different reviews of this one which makes me want to read it even more. I think I know which side of the fence I'll fall on but am curious to see if I'm right. It sounds like a book that will stay with me no matter what my thoughts. It's always good to get a dialogue going on tough issues. This book is already doing that!

Summary from Goodreads:

Ben could date anyone he wants, but he only has eyes for the new girl — sarcastic free-spirit, Ani. Luckily for Ben, Ani wants him too. She’s everything Ben could ever imagine. Everything he could ever want.

But that all changes after the party. The one Ben misses. The one Ani goes to alone.

Now Ani isn’t the girl she used to be, and Ben can’t sort out the truth from the lies. What really happened, and who is to blame?

Ben wants to help her, but she refuses to be helped. The more she pushes Ben away, the more he wonders if there’s anything he can do to save the girl he loves.

What ARC are you envying this week?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Continuing Craziness...

This weekend is huge. Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-Thon, my favorite bookish event, is happening again. I've participated in this read-a-thon since around 2007! But this year is even better because I'm co-hosting! So excited to be able to help this time around. Come see me at the official event blog here. I'll also be manning the Twitter feed as well. 

The boys are home this time so we'll be reading together and separately. I won't get as many books read with them home but we'll do what we can do. No worries, no pressure, no stress!

Then after (trying) to stay up 24 hours reading, the big kids consignment sale starts in my town. I'll be walking back and forth sorting and putting away checked in items...for my 3, 3 hour shifts! 24 hours of reading and then 9 hours working the sale. Yikes, what was I thinking? ;-) 

So life craziness continues...who else is participating in the read-a-thon?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie (review}

Title: Princesses Behaving Badly (Real Stories from History - without the Fairy-Tale Endings)
Author: Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Pages: 279 (ARC)
Source: Publisher for review (Quirk Books Twitter)
Rating: Loved it, fun!

Princesses Behaving Badly is a truly fun book! So many interesting stories from history. Sometimes we look around our world today and think that it has gone a bit nuts but reading these stories will make you realize - we've ALWAYS been nuts.

From Princesses that sleep around to Princesses to become pirates, I was interested in them all. Most of the stories are quite short but are packed with information. The book is broken up into different sections with certain main topics: such as Warriors, Schemers or Floozies. I enjoyed reading about each "type" throughout the years. 

The writing style was really enjoyable. There were little comments throughout or explanations that I found interesting and/or helpful. It's a fascinating look at history.

I think that this is a book meant to be read over time. Dipping in and out and reading what catches your eye instead of trying to read it straight through. Although it is fairly short at just 280 pages, there is a ton inside.

I think that all fans of history, princesses, strong women or royalty will enjoy Princesses Behaving Badly. Quirk Books is becoming one of my very favorite publishers. Every book of theirs I have read has been a winner. So if you're looking for a unique take on history, check out Princesses Behaving Badly.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Adding to the Stacks #6 Haul of Epicness Part1

This past weekend I went on a buying trip for my businesses and in the middle of it was able to pick up quite a few books for almost nothing. The haul was so epic that I'm doing half this week and half next week!

Not going to put up covers like usual because of the sheer number of books but I'll stick link the titles to Goodreads in case you're interested in adding any of them to your TBR.

Looking to set up some co-reads so if any of them are already on your radar, let's read them together.

On to the epicness....

Voltaire by Candide - read this one in college when a friend had it on her syllabus. I seemed to be the only one that had not read it and she loaned me her copy. I loved it so when I saw a copy of it, I picked it up on a whim.

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell - always love books that can improve me. Have never read this one but like the idea of it.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque - another one I read in college that I'd like to revisit.

The One Where the Kid Nearly Jumps to His Death and Lands in California by Mary Hershey - Not going to lie...I picked this one up on title alone. No early idea what it is about but the title totally rocks.

The Mirrored World by Debra Dean - one of many ARCs that are in the stack, this one count my attention because it is by the author of The Madonnas of Leningrad. That book was one of the first ARCs I ever received way back in 2007 on my old blog. The cover on this one is beautiful.

You Can if You Think You Can by Norman Vincent Peale - classic self help.

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin - another ARC. This one was chosen because of the cover. Didn't read the back, so I hope it's good ;-)

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani - oh the cover! But I  got this one because I've actually read this author before...image that! Italy, ya'll, it's about Italy. 

Sepulchre by Kate Mosse - This one is set in Paris in the 1891's and America in 2007. I picked it up because of the size. Because when you've got bookshelves filled with unread books AND you're carrying stacks of books to your car, you NEED a 565 page book. Am I right? Yeah, I'm right. The even worse thing about this one is that when I got home I discovered it was the 2nd in a series. That totally sucks.

Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels - Jillian's my hero and apparently you have to actually exercise to look like her...who knew?!

Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy - I may or may not have totally gone off on a Maeve Binchy book back in college. Not even sure now why I was so ranty about it. Over the years, I've found myself enjoying her novels more and was saddened when she passed away. When I saw this one, I picked it up just to have. Another chunkster at 501 pages, I think I read this one before.

The Astor Orphan by Alexandra Aldrich - another ARC. I picked this one up because it is a memoir. Trying to give more of them a try. The blue cover was gorgeous so...

The Lost Prince by Selden Edwards - another ARC. I liked the cover which makes it look like it is about the 1920s. Apparently it is before that. Yet another chunky one.

Monumental Propaganda by Vladimir Voinovich, translated by Andrew Bromfield -  the cover caught my eye as did "translated by" but what made me put in the stack was "great satirists of contemporary Russian literature" on the back. I'll probably try this one first out of them all.

So that's the first stack from the Haul of Epicness. Any you've read? Want to read? Loved? Hated? 

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester

Title: The Rockin' Chair
Author: Steven Manchester (website)
Pages: 272 pages
Source: Author for honest review
Rating: 3 out of 5

The Rockin' Chair tells the story of the McCarthy family. It begins with the flashbacks of matriarch, Alice, who is suffering from Alzheimer's. Once she passes away, the story shifts to the rest of the family and especially to her widower, John. Grandpa John was an easy to like character who was well developed. He had his flaws and his good points just like everyone else. My favorite aspect of his character was his great love for his family.

The Rockin' Chair is the second novel I've read from this author. This one had many similarities to the first one I read (Goodnight Brian) and this one was similar in the sense that family is very important and there are a lot of issues thrown into the narration. From the Alzheimers to war to alcohol addiction, there was a lot there. This can be a bit distracting from the standpoint of having so much going on. 

It's a simple and quick read that pulls on the heartstrings. The story is engaging and heartwarming and honest. There are twists and turns and fights and forgiveness - just like real life. 

I would recommend The Rockin' Chair for readers who enjoy their stories light but with a lot of emotion. It's a great contemporary novel from an author who continues to do a good job writing a book that is thoughtful and heartfelt.

Friday, October 4, 2013

ARC Envy #13 Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Every week several of my favorite bloggers post vlogs or whatever of all the great book hauls they've received for the week. Since I'm a tiny little fish in the huge book blogging pond, my mailbox isn't stuffed with all the great ARCs that they get. Dana's ARC Envy is my way of highlighting an ARC that I *wish* had been sent to me too. 

Title: Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter #2)
Author: Megan Shepherd (website)(Twitter)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Expected Publication Date: January 28, 2014

Judging a book by its cover:  I love the cover though I do wonder why that dress is falling off her.

Know anything about the author?  I read and reviewed the first in this series, The Madman's Daughter (review here).

Why do I want it?  I will say that I haven't actually seen anyone with an ARC of this one I don't think but I do keep seeing it on upcoming release lists so I wants. I didn't fangirl all over The Madman's Daughter but I enjoyed it enough that I definitely want to read the second one.

Summary from Goodreads:

To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.

What ARC are you envying this week?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith {thoughts on}

Title: The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike #1)
Author: Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publication Date: April 18, 2013
Pages: 455
Source: Library loanRating: 3.5 out of 5

I have to admit that this one would probably never have been on my radar had it not been for the tiny little fact that the author is really J.K. Rowling. As a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, I was extremely interested in this detective novel. The main character sounded interesting and I generally enjoy the genre.

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at just how much I like this book. The main character was different and though a bit hard to like at times, he felt real. His flaws and faults added to his charm. Throughout the book I was picturing him as a gruff friend of mine - sometimes saying the wrong thing because he just isn't sure how to say it.

The basic premise of the story is that Cormoran is a down and out private detective who's just broken up with his girlfriend. He doesn't have but one client which is hardly paying the bills and the breakup with the girlfriend made him homeless. He sleeps in his rented office. A veteran who lost part of his leg in the war, he's a no nonsense type of guy with a real eye for details. 

When attorney John Bristow asks him to look into the apparent suicide of his supermodel sister, Lula Landry, he delves head first into the mystery.

The mystery itself is tight and well thought out. The characters are varied with great storylines. I enjoyed Cormoran's character the best of them all but the somewhat side character, Lula, is quite interesting as well. All the modeling aspects of it were fun to read about. The writing was almost too lush for me. I sometimes had a bit of trouble with the flow. Long, complex sentences were filled with many details. This was sometimes a bit hard to remember and keep straight.

It's a bit hard for me to be able to review a mystery without giving away too much of the plot. I very much enjoyed it and was interested in the final resolution. I will definitely be reading the next in the series since I'd love to learn more about Cormoran.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Adding to the Stacks #5

Adding even more to my towering pile of books to read...

The Passion Conversation by Robbin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church and John Moore. (Received from publisher)

I always enjoy business type books so I'm definitely looking forward to this one. I can always use tips to improve my business.

A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon 
(from the publisher)

I don't remember requesting this one but I got a beautiful finished copy in the mail. Sounds like an engrossing saga. Will give it a chance at least.

Heat Wave (Nikki Heat #1) by Richard Castle. 
(purchased for .25 whole cents at a yard sale)

Several years ago My Favorite got me watching Castle. I love, love, love the show and so want to enjoy this book. I've tried several times to read it from the library but never get through it. When I saw it on a table at yard sales this weekend for the oh so steep price of .25, I took the plunge and bought it. Here's to hoping that owning it will get me to actually finish it. 

And then let's not talk about the stack of books I got from the library this week. It's so cute that I think I'm going to get any of them read!