Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Post #3

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

 I and also participating in three other memes. The first is Stacking The Shelves hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews , the second is Mailbox Monday which is hosted by Martha from reviews from Martha's Bookshelf this month, and the third is Sunday Showcase hosted by Books Biscuits and Tea. Stop by and take a look!

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY to everyone! I hope that you are enjoying yourselves so far! Last night I attended the wedding of a friend, one of the last in this group to get married, we still have one holdout, and it was lovely! A chance to see them publicly proclaim their love and experience, for the first time, a Thai  Water Ceremony. They also did one of those very fun choreographed first dances! This wedding was also a chance for a group of friends who now live in CA, FL, MA and the DC area to get together again and catch up. What a wonderful thing! We will continue this a at a BBQ today with all but one of the couples. Such a special time especially with all the new little additions! Now we just need the last one to get married so we can do this all again and then I guess we'll have to find a new excuse! Anyway, I guess that's enough rambling on about me.

On the blog this week we had three posts; Monday's Bookishly Beautiful which is definitely worth a look, a review of Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray, and a review of When Morning Comes by Francis Ray. I also read two books; The Solitary House by Lynn Shepherd and The Cranes Dance by Meg Howrey. I enjoyed both of these very much and you can look forward to the reviews coming out this week. Right now I've started reading Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas.

A really exciting piece of news is that I will be participating in a blog tour for I Couldn't Love You More by Jillian Medoff including a Q/A with the author and a giveaway! I am thrilled to be a part of this! It is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26th!

I've been toying with a few ideas for opinion/discussion blog posts though haven't quite worked out the what and how.  Keep an eye out for one of those in the next couple of weeks!

Now on to the books I received this week! I noted this week that I get a little sad if my mailbox forgets to bring me a book one day but the fact is that there is no way I could ever read a book a day. That means that some of these lovely books will end up neglected which is such a shame. I'm going to start thinking about this conundrum but any suggestions you all have would be greatly welcomed! So without further ado, here are this weeks newest additions!


Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer - Thanks Larraine from The Divining Wand!
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook by Ben Mezrich - Thanks Anchor Books!
I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert - Thanks Chick Lit Central!

For Review

I Couldn't Love You More by Jillian Medoff 
The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill - Thanks Free Press
Wunderkind by Nikolai Grozni - Thanks Free Pree

I also pick up 3 or 4 free chick lit books for Kindle which are not pictured.

How was your week and what did your mailbox bring you? I'd love to hear from you! Talk to you again next Sunday!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: When Morning Comes

Title: When Morning Comes
Author: Francis Ray
Length: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Source: LibraryThings FirstLit
My Rating:SmileySmiley
Synopsis (from Goodreads): In this unforgettable new novel, Francis Ray delivers an emotionally powerful tale about the families we build, the choices we make, and how we find love and family along the way.

My Thoughts: I have very conflicting thoughts on this book.  This novel is actually two different stories woven together through the two female protagonists being best friends. Other than that, and the very unrealistical ending, which tied everything up into a nice, neat, happy little package, they are almost completely separate. I'm not sure how I would normally feel about this arrangement but in this book it worked OK because I was really irritated by the secondary female lead character and it was nice to be able to separate the two in my mind.

Sabrina and Cade's story was one I would have really enjoyed.  There were two strong characters, engaging plot, very interesting subplot, and who doesn't love a happy ending?

Kara and Tristan's story was not at all enjoyable. Tristan was an awesome male lead, strong, supportive, rich, handsome, trustworthy, etc. Kara on the other hand drove me crazy. I understand what Ray was trying to do with her character but it just angered me. Kara was such the victim and continuously allowed it to happen. It was to the point where I didn't believe she deserved the guy. There was even a fairly substantial plot point that was never wrapped up.

Ray would have done well to keep the two stories separate.  Unfortunately she didn't. I give When Morning Comes as a whole 2 1/2 Smiley, Sabrina and Cade's story 3 1/2 Smiley. If you like chick-lit and romances I wouldn't say don't read it. Give it a try yourself. I think everyone will probably have a different reaction to this story. If you read it I would love to hear your opinions on it!

I will definitely read another book by Francis Ray if given the chance!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: Calling Invisible Women

Title: Calling Invisible Women
Author: Jeanne Ray
Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Crown
Genre: Fiction
Source: Goodreads Giveaway
My Rating:SmileySmileySmileySmiley
Synopsis (from Goodreads):  A mom in her early fifties, Clover knows she no longer turns heads the way she used to, and she's only really missed when dinner isn't on the table on time. Then Clover wakes up one morning to discover she's invisible--truly invisible. She panics, but when her husband and son sit down to dinner, nothing is amiss. Even though she's been with her husband, Arthur, since college, her condition goes unnoticed. Her friend Gilda immediately observes that Clover is invisible, which relieves Clover immensely--she's not losing her mind after all!--but she is crushed by the realization that neither her husband nor her children ever truly look at her.  She was invisible even before she knew she was invisible.
   Clover discovers that there are other women like her, women of a certain age who seem to have disappeared.  As she uses her invisibility to get to know her family and her town better, Clover leads the way in helping invisible women become recognized and appreciated no matter what their role. 

My Thoughts: What a novel! It brought forward so many points to ponder in such an open way. It was such a quick easy read that I finished it in one day! I will be thinking about it for many more.

You must go into this novel being able to give a little suspension of disbelief. Some things, no matter how you look at them just don't fit, are hard to picture. However, for me, this took nothing major away from the rest of the story. What is the definition of invisible? Is it not being seen, not being able to be seen? What can cause one to be invisible? What does one do when one is invisible? Where does a person's worth stand? In them or in the fact of their visibility? All questions brought to light in the fairly unassuming character of Clover, who could actually be many of us. This is story for any woman.

Ray even manages to bring in the subject of big pharmaceutical companies and their ethics without being overbearing. Does the end justify the means? Are there such things as acceptable casualties? Can "Invisible" people make a difference? 

This is an incredibly engrossing and thought provoking read! I highly recommend that you pick it up, read it, and take a look in the mirror! Enjoy!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday's Bookishly Beautiful #6

Who couldn't use a book lift-me-up on Monday mornings? This meme will consist of anything related to books that could also be considered beautiful, art, or uplifting. It could include pictures, quotes, book covers that caught your eye, products that celebrate books, beautiful locations that promote books, or anything else pertaining to books that brightens your day. We all see something different as beautiful which will make this meme a real joy to peruse through as you and others in the blogging community join in. Please link back to A Library of our Own and leave a comment with the link to your post. Thank you and I can't wait to see all of your Monday's Bookishly Beautiful posts!

I sadly did not have a Bookishly Beautiful post last week. However I hope that these beautiful images will make up for it! They are quite stunning and imaginative! Talk about books coming alive! In 4yo G's words "Wow, those are cool!". I found these on My Modern Net and Web Urbanist.  Please check out Su Blackwell's site for her full portfolio. Here you go, book art in sculpture form allows the story to jump out at you!

I hope you enjoyed these as much as G, E, and I did!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Sunday Post #2

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 

 I and also participating in two other memes. The first is Stacking The Shelves hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews and the second is Mailbox Monday which is hosted by Martha from reviews from Martha's Bookshelf this month.. Stop by and take a look!

HI! Everyone! Did you all have a nice week? I certainly did! Unfortunately not a lot went on here this week. Just one post, a review for Shelter by Francis Greenslade. I even neglected my Bookishly Beautiful post, don't worry though I have one in mind for tomorrow! I wasn't completely a slacker as I did write two reviews, When Morning Comes by Francis Ray and Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray. I hadn't noticed it before but both these novels have authors named Ray, that's kinda cool! Anyways, you will see both reviews this week.

I spent a lot of very enjoyable time reading outside in our backyard enjoying the beautiful weather we had this week! My main book of choice has been The Solitary House by Lynn Shepherd which I am enjoying quite a lot. I hope to have that review for you soon though I am not quite finished yet. I've also been making a lot of bookish friends on Twitter this week, wonderful ladies, both readers and authors, who I hope to continue to get to know and hopefully meet one day! The book highlight of the week would have to be attending The 3rd Annual Gaithersburg Book Fair!  It was my first book event and definitely won't be my last! I went with my kids and was not prepared at all but I was lucky enough to catch the last part of Meredith Goldstein's talk and get a signed copy of The Singles! I can't wait to read it! Now who can help me figure out how to get to BEA?! How amazing would that be?

Now on to what I got in my Mailbox this week!

Won on Twitter

The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons - Thank you Penguin!
The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott - Thank you Doubleday!

ARC of When in Doubt Add Butter by Beth Harbison - Thanks St. Martin's Press!

For review from author

Fish Tank: A Fable for Our Times by Scott Bischke - Thank you!


The Sumerton Women by D.L. Bogdan - Thank you History Undressed!


The Singles by Meredith Goldstein

How was your week? Was your mailbox good to you?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: Shelter

Title: Shelter
Author: Frances Greenslade
Length: 376 pages
Publisher: Free Press
Genre: Fiction
Source: Publisher
My Rating:SmileySmileySmiley
Synopsis (from Goodreads): For sisters Maggie and Jenny growing up in the Pacific mountains in the early 1970s, life felt nearly perfect. Seasons in their tiny rustic home were peppered with wilderness hikes, building shelters from pine boughs and telling stories by the fire with their doting father and beautiful, adventurous mother. But at night, Maggie—a born worrier—would count the freckles on her father’s weathered arms, listening for the peal of her mother’s laughter in the kitchen, and never stop praying to keep them all safe from harm. Then her worst fears come true: Not long after Maggie’s tenth birthday, their father is killed in a logging accident, and a few months later, their mother abruptly drops the girls at a neighbor’s house, promising to return. She never does. With deep compassion and sparkling prose, Frances Greenslade’s mesmerizing debut takes us inside the devastation and extraordinary strength of these two girls as they are propelled from the quiet, natural freedom in which they were raised to a world they can’t begin to fathom. Even as the sisters struggle to understand how their mother could abandon them, they keep alive the hope that she is fighting her way back to the daughters who adore her and who need her so desperately. Heartbreaking and lushly imagined, Shelter celebrates the love between two sisters and the complicated bonds of family. It is an exquisitely written ode to sisters, mothers, daughters, and to a woman’s responsibility to herself and those she loves.

My Thoughts:I would say that the title Shelter appropriately sums up what this book is about. It's the search for physical shelter, monetary shelter, emotional shelter. Maggie, Jennie, their mother, and many of the other characters are all searching for it in different ways. Will they find it? You have to read the book to find out.

This book was beautiful in many ways but I found myself having a hard time with the narrative coming from a preteen girl. It just never rang quite true to me. The story it self never became a completely cohesive work for me. I still think that the book has interesting things to say. I especially liked the peek into the life of a logger and the interactions we see with the Indian community in the area. The beautiful friendship between Maggie and Vern is a heart melting coming of age tale.

I'm left with the feeling that I missed something in my reading of this story. A link, an event, a remark that tied it all together. I didn't find it but the book, was still worth the read. Many of the sub-stories made for good stories. I would love to hear others' thought after they've read it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 

 I and also participating in two other memes. The first is Stacking The Shelves hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews and the second is Mailbox Monday which is hosted by Martha from reviews from Martha's Bookshelf this month.. Stop by and take a look!

I'd like to start off by wishing all the Mothers out there a very Happy Mother's Day!!! Did any of you get any books for Mother's Day? I haven't, but the day is not over yet!

This was an exciting week for me as I am hosting my first giveaway! It's for a copy of The Underside of Joy by Sere Prince Halverson. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to pick a winner tonight and share it with them! You can enter here if you are interested. I did not get as much reading done as I hoped this week because i had a cold and can never concentrate when I have one. I did however manage to read Shelter by Francis Greenslade, review will be posted on the 15th, finish and review The Man Who Changed the way We Eat by Thomas McNamee, finish and review Temptation by Douglas Kennedy, and start When Morning Comes by Francis Ray. My favorite book moment of this week was having G read Lulu and the Brontosaurus to me by Judith Viorst!

Now for what my wonderful mailbox brought me this week!

Won on Twitter

The Last Trade by James Conway - Thanks Dutton!
How To Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling - Thanks Forever!
Don't Mess With Texas by Christie Craig - Thanks Forever!
The Mask of Destiny by Richard Newsome - Thanks Walden Pond Press
The Emerald Casket by Richard Newsome - Thanks Walden Pond Press

Won on Goodreads

Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas

For Review

The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O'Melveny - Thanks Little, Brown, and Co.


Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst

How was your week?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Review: Temptation

Title: Temptation
Author: Douglas Kennedy
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Atria
Genre: Fiction
Source: Publisher
My rating:SmileySmileySmiley
Synopsis (from Goodreads): From the New York Times bestselling author of Leaving the World comes the brilliant, breathtaking story about a Hollywood screenwriter whose “overnight success” brings about his biggest downfall. Like all screenwriters in Tinsel Town, David Armitage wants to be rich and famous. Finally, after eleven years of disappointment and failure, big-time luck comes his way when one of his scripts is bought for television, making him the new toast of Hollywood as the creator of a smash hit series. Suddenly a major power player, Armitage begins to reinvent himself at breakneck speed, quitting his day job, trading in his Reagan-era Volvo for a Porsche, and leaving his wife and daughter for a sleek, young producer. Enter multibillionaire film buff Philip Fleck, who proposes an unsavory collaboration to the screenwriter. Armitage takes the bait and suddenly finds himself entering a decidedly Faustian pact—and unknowingly hopping an express ride to the lower depths of the Hollywood jungle.

My Thoughts: Douglas Kennedy takes his readers on a roller coaster ride in Temptation. It comes complete with ups, downs, twists, and surprise turns. Temptation was an easy read but I found that I never knew what to expect next and that kept me turning the pages.  The ending came as a surprise but not an unwelcome one.

As a character I found Armitage to be shallow, selfish, weak, and over the top. These are traits that are usually not good in a character but I think they work here, and he does eventually redeem himself. 

Don't let the cover fool you. This is not a book about sex. It is about control and the lack of it, fame and the cost of it, money and the effects of it.

There was one character where I felt the bad language was a bit much. I know what Kennedy was trying to do with it but I found it a bit off-putting. On the other hand, I absolutely loved the character of Alison, Armitage's agent. She also had some off colored language but it did not seem as out of place.

This was an enjoyable read and more like  3 1/2 Smiley, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. I would suggest giving it a try yourself if it sounds at all interesting to you. Temptation was an interesting peak into Hollywood and it's players.