Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Ties That Bind

'Stay With Me'
By: Sandra Rodriquez Barron

Format: ARC
Published: Harper Paperbacks; Nov. 2010
Pages: 384

Synopsis: In 1979, five toddlers were found alone in a luxury boat tied to a dock in Puerto Rico after a devastating hurricane. No one knew who they were or where they came from. Raised by different families, they remained connected by a special bond—always considering themselves siblings, despite their unknown blood relations.
Now adults, Taina, Holly, Adrian, and Raymond have been summoned by the fifth, David, to an island off the coast of Connecticut and the family home of David's ex-girlfriend, Julia. But along with the joy of reuniting comes the exposure of raw places, jealousy, and childhood sorrows. Having been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer—and experiencing flashbacks to the time before the hurricane—David believes that healing his relationship with Julia and discovering his origins will strengthen his ability to endure and survive. David pushes the people he loves the most to their emotional breaking points in order to uncover the truth about the mystery that both unites and divides them.

My Take: Books that deal with family relationships usually strike a strong cord with me. I also love books that handle what 'it really means' to be a family. I think it's because these are such interesting questions to ponder. For many of us, our friendships are bonds that mean just as much to us as those of our families and so, what really are the ties that bind? However, there are arguments for both sides because for many, family will, no matter what, be by your side, for others they won't. 

This book deals with a 'family' brought together as young babies stranded on a boat in the middle of a hurricane. They were 5 little kids without a mother or a father. Who were they? Where did they come from? They couldn't remember because they were too young. Having no other roots to hold onto and being separated into separate but loving adopted families they held onto each other as the brothers and sisters they needed because they all came from the same beginning. However they all dealt with this beginning differently and when we meet them as adults the scars of their past are beginning to wear on them and its hard for them to form lasting relationships with others.

When one of the siblings, David, gets terminal cancer all of these feelings come to a head. Some of the siblings feel they need to know where they are from if they are ever going to deal with their past. I can see that need. It's got to be hard to not know. It's got to be unsettling to wonder why they were left stranded. But maybe the answer isn't a good one.

Here's the thing, and you know sometimes there's a thing! I didn't connect with a single character in this book. And there were a lot of them for me to connect with. There were five siblings. There was a meddling ex girlfriend who couldn't separate herself from David's illness. There were adopted parents. Nope, all of them seemed, um, written. In that I mean, not real. And while yes it was a fiction book, it wasn't set in the future or full of vampires or something, it was meant to be a book set in the now with real characters. There's nothing I could pinpoint and you may read it and think I am crazy but it just, was all a little off for me. However, you just might connect with one of these characters or the story of a cancer patient and a family trying to deal with it. 

*If you would like my very gently used ARC just leave a comment with your email and I'll pick one using random.org this Sunday! I'll ship anywhere in the US.*

For more information about the author, please visit her website

For other opinions about this book here's the full TLC Book Tour schedule:

Tuesday, November 30th: Amused By Books
Wednesday, December 1st: Chefdruck Musings
Thursday, December 2nd: BookNAround
Tuesday, December 7th: Debbie’s Book Bag
Thursday, December 9th: In the Next Room
Monday, December 13th: Reviews from the Heart
Wednesday, December 15th: Colloquium
Monday, December 20th: Rundpinne
Tuesday, December 21st: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Wednesday, December 22nd: Book Addiction

(Thank you to TLC Book Tours for sending me this book)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mailbox Monday: Nov. 22nd - 27th, 2010

It's Mailbox Monday time! Mailbox Monday is going on tour and October is being hosted by Knitting and Sundries! Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks and audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!

Did everyone have a nice relaxing holiday weekend or were you all busy fighting the crowds doing Christmas shopping and entertaining guests? We had a nice relaxing weekend and it was glorious although it was pretty cold here. I was able to get a lot of reading done and get my decorations done for the holidays which was fun. I did manage to do get a little shopping crossed off my list too so I feel pretty accomplished! 

Here's what came into the mailbox this past week.

From Random House:

1. 'The Invisible Bridge' by Julie Orringer

2. 'How to Breathe Underwater' by Julie Orringer

From Crazy Book Tours:
3. 'My Name is Memory' by Ann Brashares

What did you get?

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Great

'The Great Gatsby'
By: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Format: Audio CD
Published: Blackstone Audio, Inc.; Oct. 2007
Originally Published: 1925
Narrator: Anthony Heald 

Synopsis: In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream. 

My Take: I read this book for the first time in high school. It was, for us, required reading and it was, for me, a fabulous book. One of those books that while I don't remember much these many years later, I do remember it fondly. It's a slip of a book and I kept it with me on my many moves since high school thinking at some point I would re-read it. The funny thing is, as a general rule, with all of the fabulous new books coming out all of the time, I don't pause to re-read. Yet, this year I have found myself re-reading two of my favorites from high school, this and 'Lonesome Dove'. This re-read was spawned by my book club. For December they decided to do a classic and I am so glad they did. I think it's a great idea. 

I found it available for audio download from my library and I thought that might make for a different experience so I listened to it that way. The narrator was good although his female voice was kind of creepy but I could get over it.

Has everyone read 'The Great Gatsby' at this point in their lives? I feel like it's unnecessary for me to pick apart all of the things that happen in it. Instead I would like to point out what surprised me most upon reading it again for a second time. All I remember from my first time reading it was that I LOVED it and that there was some catastrophic car crash that kind of made the whole book spin on its axis. 

Nick Carroway is our narrator and also our moral touchstone for the book. While he runs with the high flying crowd of East and West Egg (Long Island, NY), he is not independently wealthy himself. Set in the 1920s the book really shows an interesting side to the 1920s, those heady days in between WWI and the Great Depression when life was going right and people were feeling good. 

Nick meets Daisy and Tom. You meet them and think, oh they are this nice married couple but, no everyone is cheating on everyone and gossiping about everyone else and it is just a little bit horrifying.  However they take Nick under his wing and that is how he meets the infamous Gatsby. 

Jay Gatsby has this aura of mystery around him for most of the novel. I think that was a great device. The book was named after him. Presumably he is in fact 'great' for some reason. Everyone in the book can't stop talking about this man, outdoing each other with a more fanciful story than the previous one, yet when Nick gets close to Gatsby it does come to light that he is just a man.

I do think it paints an interesting portrait of the 1920s which is why this book has stayed with everyone for so long. While it is a story of excess and drama and extremes, it doesn’t fall into the trappings of everyone talking in the vernacular of the day so that we can’t understand what’s going on now or using too many products or brands that are out of reference now. So many books fall into that trap and you can tell that they won’t age well. This one is a masterpiece at catching the time period as it was while at an extreme yet not aging itself for future generations. Would I have wanted to live with these people, no. Am I glad that I can watch their society in its extreme madness and gossip? Hell yes.

I haven’t seen the movie before but now I really want to because I know it’s a bit of a classic as well. I've also heard they are currently remaking the movie.

What are your thoughts on this masterpiece? 

(I got this from the library)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of my US readers I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving - may you enjoy this time with your friends and family and give thanks for what the past year has given you. For me, this past year has been incredibly difficult personally with the sudden loss of my father in May and so, for the first time the holidays will be hard. However, I am very thankful for this blog. It is a wonderful distraction. I know that I can always log on and discuss one of the things that always brings me joy ... books! And for that, I thank you. This blog has brought me much comfort over the past year. I am also thankful for the fact that I get to spend Thanksgiving with my honey who has been by my side through this difficult year, trying to put a smile on my face. He's awesome.

And so with that - Happy Thanksgiving ya'll!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We Have A Winner for the Louisa May Alcott Book Giveaway!

Using random.org Glenda was chosen to win a paperback copy of 'Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women' by Harriet Reisen courtesy of Picador. Congratulations!

Lonesome Dove Read Along : Week 8

We are starting to near the end of Wild West Wednesdays (I know, can you believe it?!). Things have really started to get pretty amazing! This weeks discussion was probably one of my favorites (and I am not just saying that because I came up with the questions!). It's because this week's reading was quite spectacular. A lot was happening and there was so much to discuss. If you haven't been loving Lonesome Dove yet there is no way you aren't loving it now! Below are the questions that Melissa, Amy and I answered. If you are reading along, you know the drill - let us know your thoughts in the comments or link to your post!

Questions for Chapters 71 - 80:

1) Jake Spoon has fallen in with the Suggs' brothers, a band of murderers and horse thieves. They leave a trail of misery in their wake. What do you think of the final outcome? Were you surprised by the ending of Jake? Did you think Call and Gus would do it?

Leah: Honestly someone had to stop them. The Suggs' were gruesome. The fact that Jake wasn't man enough to do anything makes him an accomplice and by default, guilty.  Dealing with friends that have fallen from grace, I can't even imagine what Gus and Call were feeling towards Jake. I know Gus had no respect for Jake after the way he responded to Lorie's kidnapping. Newt's the one I really feel bad for though. He's young and he idolized Jake. Watching your idols fall is a hard lesson to learn.  However, do I feel that Jake got what he deserved? Yep.

Melissa:  Holy Cow!!!  Death at the hands of your “friends!”  I was shocked – but now that I’ve had a chance to think about it – it makes perfect literary sense.  Another brilliantly written scene by McMurtry.   And I loved how Jake was the one who kicked the horse that ended his life.  Oh, and when Gus mentions Lorena, and Jake responds with, “Who?”  I let out an audible GASP!  How dare he!  I wish they could have hung him twice.

Amy:  I was really surprised and didn't expect this at all, but I found it perfect.  Life was just so rough!  I felt like these scenes illustrated that so well..Jake Suggs was a complete psychopath, as well.  Jake's ending was unfortunate but even more unfortunate was the fact that he never seemed to make any really important wise decisions for himself. 

2) We learn about Clara's life after Gus. Do you think she is happy with the life she has chosen?

Leah: It's hard to know. Obviously she loves her family and she chose the husband she did for a reason. Nobody can know the full insides of a marriage. However, life on the plains in the 1800s was difficult for women. Research has shown their tendency to go insane is pretty full on because they were alone so often and death of their children was rampant and this was touched on. Claire could have chosen an easier life for herself but she didn't.

Melissa:  Happy – I don’t think there is such thing as happy on the plains.  There is endurance, hardship, stamina, drudgery – but happy doesn’t seem to exist. But life with Gus wouldn’t have been any better – just different.  I can’t imagine surviving her life – burying 3 children, raising two girls, nursing a brain-dead husband, running a business – all without a microwave.  She’s got my vote for woman of the year.

Amy:  I think Clara is kind of fascinating and I really enjoyed her backstory of life on the plains.  What happened to Bob was horrific as well as the loss of her children, but at least she had Cholo!  I think it's sad to think of what life was like then for the women and families.  Didn't Natalie Merchant write a song about this? :)

3) Elmira leaves her second born son with Clara shortly after giving birth to him, leaves July for a second time, and doesn't even bat an eye when she learns about the death of Joe. How do you feel about Elmira now?

Elmira: I'm going to keep this one short - whatever respect or sympathy I may have had for Elmira's situation up until now is gone after these chapters. She left her baby and didn't care about the death of her other son. July shouldn't have come after her, I get that. But she doesn't care about her kids. Peace out Elmira.

Melissa:  I’m now done with Elmira too.  What a selfish *&^%$.  Ditto – Adios Elmira – hope those Sioux treat you well.  But these scenes magnify how bleak July’s journey turned out – he went in search of Jake, who is now hanging from a tree, and lost Roscoe, Joe, Janey, and Elmira (again) in the process. He needs to get it thru his head that “she’s just not that into you.”  I wish he’d grow a pair, because I’m beginning to lose sympathy for him as well.

Amy:  I don't like her at all.  I don't even understand her.  I do feel like if July had shown some...other feelings towards her she might have been more interested, but his predictable faithfulness bores her and turns her off.  I also couldn't help but feel a bit sorry for Zwey and wish he'd send her off on her own.  I think they will meet an unfortunate end. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Last Day to Enter to Win a Copy of Louisa May Alcott!

Just a quick reminder that today is the last day you have to enter to win 1 copy of 'Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women' by Harriet Reisen. Click here for full details and the form to enter. Good luck!

Detective on the Side

'The News Where You Are'
By: Catherine O' Flynn

Format: Paperback
Published: Holt; July 2010
Pages: 272

Synopsis: O'Flynn follows her Costa-winning debut, What Was Lost, with a strong sophomore effort set in her hometown of Birmingham, England. Frank Allcroft has a loving wife and daughter, and a comfortable life as a local TV news anchor, but years of reporting soft news has left him dissatisfied. As that dissatisfaction reaches its nadir, the demolition of buildings designed by his late father, the somewhat mysterious death of his on-screen partner and mentor, Phil, and Frank's obsession with people who die alone lead him down a path of self-discovery. Along the way, Frank comes to terms with some lingering family issues and learns what really happened to Phil, but, in the end, it is Frank's daughter, Mo, who powers the biggest change. 

My Take: I had been putting off reading this one for a while because I hadn't heard a lot of strong things about it. I wish I hadn't put off reading it because I absolutely loved it! Or maybe it's one of those cases of going into it with low expectations and then it can really blow you away. Basically, if you like subtle British humor (or should I say humour), the likes of which Mark Haddon's 'A Curious Incident of A Dog in the Night Time' also excelled at then you will probably love this one too. If you don't then, you will just think it's your average story. 

Our hero is a bumbling middle aged man named Frank who lives in Birmingham, England and is a newscaster for a local evening news show. He will never make it in the big time and for the most part he is ok with that. He has a wife and daughter who love him and he loves them but he is having a bit of a mid life crisis. It all probably starts with the death of one of his closest friends and mentors, Phil. The death is a bit mysterious and Frank becomes, maybe a little unhealthily, obsessed with solving it.

However, that isn't necessarily the main focus of the book. I think, perhaps, the main focus of the book is just Frank's average life. All of the characters that come in and out of it and finding the humor in the everyday. His daughter Mo, who I think is around age 8 is an absolute delight and is probably his greatest joy. He needs to learn to appreciate her more. His mother is in a senior living center and is a mean old lady but Frank and his family try to cheer her up. They can't seem to but it is entertaining watching them try. Frank's father has passed away and was an architect whose buildings are being torn down. Frank is trying to save them. Andrea, Frank's wife, often says that their life is very involved with Frank's past and it is important that he learns to move into the future. I think that is what the story is trying to deal with more than solving the mystery of Phil.

However, we do solve the mystery and it is an interesting ride. We meet the people Phil was dealing with up until his death. Phil was a newscaster who had made it to the big time but didn't want to grow old, however old he may have been at the time of his death. Was it an accident or not?

The book is all very subtle but I was hooked from the get go and I have O'Flynn's first book 'What Was Lost' on my shelf and I am looking forward to digging that back out now too.

(Thank you to LibraryThing Early Reviewers for sending me this book)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mailbox Monday: November 15th - 20th, 2010

It's Mailbox Monday time! Mailbox Monday is going on tour and October is being hosted by Knitting and Sundries! Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks and audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!

We don't get snow days here in San Francisco but we do get rainy weekends and we had one of those this weekend so I definitely took advantage and enjoyed a nice cozy weekend! Although I also got prepared for Thanksgiving - I am so excited for a shortened work week. We are sticking around here for this holiday and making a feast here so I started getting some food stuff this weekend. Should be delicious! 

Here's what I got in my mailbox this week. 

From HarperCollins Publishers:
1. 'The Book of Tomorrow' by Cecelia Ahern

2. 'Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie Girl Culture' by Peggy Orenstein

3. 'Don't Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers' by Adriana Trigiani 

4. 'The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World's Most Famous Perfume' by Tilar J. Mazzeo

5. 'How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One' by Stanley Fish

What did you get?

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Butt Book Review and Give Away!

'The Butt Book' 
By: Artie Bennett
Illustrated By: Mike Lester

Format: Hardback
Published: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books; Dec. 2009
Pages: 32

Synopsis: Tall butts, short butts, round butts, flat butts. Butts on mummies and butts on mommies. Butts on giraffes and elephants and dogs and… FISH?
Yes, even fish butts are celebrated in this tribute to backsides, rumps, tushies, keisters, heinies, and derrieres. Dozens of funny rhymes and pages of laugh-out-loud pictures pay homage to a body part that keeps kids and grown-ups giggling with glee.

My Take: Now I know some parents out there may think this topic out there is inappropriate for children but I would put money on the fact that it would make most kids giggle and want to read the book and in the end, isn't that point the of books? To make them want to read? There is nothing obscene or naughty in this book at all. In fact it is super cute, full of bright colorful illustrations and rhymes, all about you guessed it, the butt!

This darling book talks about how everybody has one. How we've had them since the day we were born and they come in all different shapes and sizes and all the animals have them too so there is nothing to make fun of about them because they serve a purpose. I think in the end, the point is probably to take the potty humor out of it and just make us talk about our bodies with our kids on their level which is a good thing.

Giveaway Details: Now here's the wonderful part, the author sent me an extra signed copy to offer in a giveaway! All you have to do if fill out this form before midnight PST Friday December 3rd and you will be entered to win the free book. I will ship to anywhere in the United States. Good luck!

(Thank you to the author for sending me this book)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Got Some Free Time?

See the clock face up there?
I know, nobody has free time this time of year! But if you do I found some fun things to do with your time! I also think some of these would make some great holiday presents. The website Flavorwire recently had a great post for the DIYers out there about 10 DIY Projects for Your Old Books. We all know I love these kind of articles and there were some new ideas in there.

One of them, making a clock (photo above), I think was a great idea! I think picking up a brightly colored favorite of your child and putting a clock face on it would make a really fun addition to your children's room. I also think, if you are up for it, it could make for a really artistic thing to do for a book that you love the cover of but not necessarily the book.

I am seriously thinking of making the picture frame as well, (photo below) because I think that is just a lovely idea.

So dish, do you like any of these ideas?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lonesome Dove Read Along : Week 7

Our Wild West Wednesday readings of Lonesome Dove continues apace and after the drama of last week's reading people are starting to cope with their new realities. Amy provided the questions. Her answers, along with Melissa and mine are below. If you are reading along feel free to answer in the comments or link back to your own blog!

Questions for Chapters 61-70:

1)  Lorena is slowly beginning the process of healing, but she doesn't want to see anyone else and has become quite dependent on Gus.  What do you think of this development?  Will Lorena succeed in getting Gus to forget about the other woman?

Leah: I found this coping mechanism interesting. God knows how a person would get over something like this and I think Gus would be a calming presence for sure. Sometimes its nice to have someone who can talk that you don't have to talk back to and he did rescue her after all so you know he can protect her when push comes to shove. Will she succeed in winning his heart? I honestly don't think it's the right thing for her even if she thinks it is. However much I think Gus loves Lorena and she loves him, I think she should fulfill her dream of going to San Francisco and I don't think Gus is a city boy.

Melissa:  At this point, I don’t think Lorena even has a clue about what she wants or what she is doing.  I think she is just trying to hang on to whatever sanity she has, and Gus is the only link to reality left.  She probably thinks she loves him, but it’s only because she is so completely and utterly dependent on him.  There has to be a psychological name to survivors developing “feelings” or dependence on their rescuers.  I am just glad that Gus is so descent…any other man (like Jake!) would take advantage of her vulnerability and probably destroy her permanently.

Amy:  I agree.  I hope Lorena can find some measure of peace and live the life she has left.  I have found her sections to be so sad...I can't even imagine trying to go on after something like that.  I hope for good things for Lorena!

2)  Jake seems to be the kind of person things just happen to and he seems unable to take responsibility for his own actions.  How do you feel about his traveling companions?  Do you think he'll be able to get away from them?

Leah: It's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that Jake isn't a kid. He used to be a Ranger with Call and Gus so he is older. I'm guessing in his 40s maybe. He is old enough to get his sh*t together and stop blaming everyone else and quit chasing tail. I know he's a good foil for the rest of the cowboys but crimeny sakes he's hard for me to take in any dose and I hope he gets what he deserves. Those men are trouble and Jake knows it.

Melissa:  I am so done with Jake! I’m with Leah, he acts like he is Newt’s age, when he must be a grown man!?  How could he possibly take off with those thugs? I was crushed when their group  demolished the farming couple’s sod house…that made me so sad!!  And he did NOTHING!  Grrrrr…..I do hope he gets what is coming to him, but I not at the expense of anyone in the Hat Creek Gang…in fact, I think Jake needs to run into Blue Duck!

Amy:  I agree!  Jake is annoying and seems to make bad decision after bad decision.  I thought the whole part about Sally was rather shocking and he shot someone and didn't mean to?  Really?  (he probably did do that girl a favor, though!) 

3)  Poor July is barely hanging on...what did you think of Jennie?  Do you think he'll be able to find Ellie?

Leah: I liked it when July ran into Jennie. I thought it was interesting to learn more about Ellie. I also think Jennie was a lot nicer than Ellie. July, however, needs to stop falling in love with every woman (whore) he meets! I do think he'll find Ellie but I don't think he'll get out of it want he wants.

Melissa:  July at least now has perspective on Ellie and her history.  I wish he would just turn around and go home. Honestly, I have no idea how these “sporting” women do it – literally!!  This is a G rated read along, but there is a discussion somewhere on the physical extremes of this lifestyle.  I can’t and don’t even want to try to understand it.

Amy:  I will be very curious to see how the reunion goes.  I feel bad for Ellie as well, her situation is kind of miserable, too!  Melissa, I totally know.  It's completely incomprehensible to me. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gin and Toxic

'The Gin Closet'
By: Leslie Jamison

Format: Hardback
Published: Free Press; Feb. 2010
Pages: 288

Synopsis: First-time novelist Jamison portrays three generations of “wounded women” in an exquisite blues of a novel. The youngest, pretty Stella, is living the hip, single New York life, but she takes the train to Connecticut at night to care for Lucy, her grandmother, from whom age is stealing strength and clarity. When Stella learns a family secret, that she has a long-estranged aunt, she finds Tilly in a trailer park in Nevada and becomes entangled in her toxic sorrows. Narrating by turns in each lonely woman’s voice, Jamison creates emotionally complex scenes of harsh revelation in language as scorching as the gin Tilly downs in terrifying quantities. Stella is nearly as bedeviled, having struggled with the weird, dicey power of anorexia. The two make their way to Tilly’s banker son’s fortress of an apartment in a sketchy neighborhood in San Francisco, where all three are forced to recognize the limits of love. With trenchant cameos by other women teetering on the brink, Jamison’s novel of solitary confinement within one’s pain is hauntingly beautiful.

My Take: I do believe that there are times in your life when you are better equipped to read certain books than at other times in your life. I think that reading is cyclical. You reach for certain books at certain times because they speak to you. At every stage of your life, characters in books are going to appeal to you more or less because they are like you or not. I think that is probably inevitable. 

On the flip side, I think, depending on what you are going through personally, you can either read certain books and go through the pain and torment the characters are dealing with or you can't because it is just too much on top of all of the other crap (for lack of a more exquisite term) life has already thrown at you and you just have to move onto something lighter because that is what your needs are. For me, after a year in which I have had to go to hell and well I am maybe, maybe just starting a journey back, a gritty, really gritty book just isn't what my sensibilities need. It overwhelmed them. I have a hard time having sympathy for them. I get that their life sucks, but mine does too and well, I'd rather read about cowboys, or a love of clothes, or an obsession with food, or anything else really besides why we hate each other in our own family and then choose willingly to commit incest with our first cousins as adults as this book deals with because I can't deal with this right now. So that's my honest truth.

Other people, however love this book. Read their reviews for a different viewpoint. The book was well written, however not right for me:
The Crowded Leaf
Coffee and a Book Chick

(Thank you to the author for sending me this book)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mailbox Monday: November 8th - 13th, 2010

It's Mailbox Monday time! Mailbox Monday is going on tour and October is being hosted by Knitting and Sundries! Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks and audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!

This weekend was a blast! Lots of quality friend time was had. Friday and Saturday night was dinner with some good friends and Saturday I got together with a close friend to do some crafts. I never do that and we had a great time and we actually made some good stuff! I'll show you what we made in a later post. I hope you all had a good weekend too.

Now onto Monday. Here's what I got in my mailbox this week.

From TLC Book Tours:
1. 'Stay With Me' by Sandra Rodriguez Barron

From PBS:
2. 'The Women's Room' by Marilyn French

3. 'Artichoke's Heart' by Suzanne Supplee

4. 'The Painter from Shanghai' by Jennifer Cody Epstein

What did you get?
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