Thursday, April 30, 2009

first family.

You know the books that get you kind of excited? Like, you read as fast as you can because you want to know what's going to happen next? "First Family" by David Baldacci is definitely one of those books!

In DC First Lady Jane Cox hires former secret service agents turned private investigators Michelle Maxwell and Sean King to rescue her abducted twelve year old year niece Willa, who daringly was kidnapped following a birthday party at Camp David; her mom, sister-in-law to President Cox was killed in the assault. DUM DUM DUMMMM...

Fabulous book, I have ZERO complaints!


great for mothers day!

"Mama Loves Her Little Son" by John Carter Cash is a delightful story about the love between mother and son. The book starts out with a mother holding her son in the sunlight saying "Momma loves her little son. There is nothing more so true. From now until forever more, Momma clings to you." It goes on to show the adventures of the mother and son recounting the depths of the mothers love for her child. A beautiful and heartwarming story! 

Every illustration is a two-page spread of Marc Burckhardt's watercolor paintings. His magical artwork contains exquisite details and vivid colors conveying the real action and emotion in this story. A child who doesn't yet know how to read words can easily understand the story by reading the pictures. Burckhardt is a gifted picture book illustrator who knows how to bring prose to life in a whole nother dimension. 

So cute!

Monday, April 27, 2009

give it a try!

"A Fortunate Age" by Joanna Smith Rakoff, is not your typical novel, it is a tad long, so wait until you have a good amount of time to get going on this book. If you give it time, and pay attention to detail, you will not be sorry, I promise!

Six characters in search of themselves move to New York City after graduating from Oberlin in 1994, experiencing love, disappointment, personal growth, and perspective change. There's a great deal to like here; the four female protagonists in particular are well-developed, interesting characters who have to deal with real problems, and/or have to learn to distinguish reality from deception. The male characters are somewhat less effective and more stereotypical, but are also quite effective.

I definitely recommend this book. 


I personally never watch "Law & Order" so I am not familiar with actress Isabel Gillies who wrote her personal story in "Happens Every Day." The reviews were pretty good, and I adore memoirs, so it was a no brain-er for me to pick one up. I am really, really glad I did. 

I don't really enjoy reading about peoples lives falling apart, especially when it's a true story. I skip the parts in movies that I don't like, the conflicts, the heartbreaks, I HATE watching/reading/hearing people be sad. Yes, the breakdown of Gillies marriage in this book was indeed sad, but there was something different about the way she wrote about it. It was almost as if she trusts you enough to tell you what no one ever wants to talk about. 

"Happens Every Day" is a heart-warming look at love lost, love found, forgiveness and finding joy in the present moment.

Friday, April 24, 2009

twelve short stories, one great book.

Jay McInerney writes about American society, mostly situated in the South in his new book "How It Ended." To a certain degree it reads like the gossip columns in a newspaper. Personally, I can dig the twelve short stories in one book kind of deal that our man McInerney was doing here. Twelve different stories kept me interested, one: because they were different, and two: because they were excellent. 

You can really see the urban world through his eyes. I am a fan.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Everyone knows Charles Dickens, he is a staple in 19th Century literature. He is universal. The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl is set in 1870, the year of Dickens' death. James R. Osgood, an American publisher handling what turns out to be Dickens' last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, must travel the world in trying to solve the central mystery of the story, but must also save his ailing publishing business. Pearl manages to sculpt for us a grand mystery and layers it with the scandals of the time. He incorporates historical figures that were contemporaries of Dickens' and does so without becoming unrealistic or comic. 

The Last Dickens treats the reader to a wonderful reading experience. Pearl introduces us into a world that is far different from the one we live in today....and not the romantic vision of the Victorians we all seem to hold. Graft and corruption are everywhere. Copyright laws are nonexistent and authors essentially have no protection. Pearl's time researching for this wonderful book is evident on every page!

Oh wow, I LOVED this book! It was interesting and entertaining. I swear, it made me smarter. 


WHOA. make way for this crazy lady.

Quirky. That's the word I would use to describe Jane Hamilton's "Laura Riders Masterpiece." Basically
this lady Laura Rider wants to write a romance novel. It's like a guilty pleasure thing for her. She wants to write something racy, and she doesn't even feel the urge to bang her own husband anymore. Not that anything is wrong with Charlie Rider, Laura has just lost the urge. Poor thing.

This sexless arrangement has worked for them both, for a while until Jenna Faroli, a public radio star and Laura's idol, moves into their small, quaint town. Charlie and Jenna happen to meet one day, and Laura sees the impact this meeting has on Charlie. She devises a plan. She's always wanted to be a writer of romance. So, she uses this "relationship" that Charlie has with Jenna to showcase her writing skills. She convinces Charlie to start corresponding with Jenna via email. This email conversation is very tame to begin with, but when Laura begins to add a bit of her own intimate and romantic language, Jenna falls in love with the Charlie that is writing to her. Laura's so obsessed with learning what the ideal woman wants in a man, she doesn't realize she is practically hand-feeding her husband to Jenna.

It's unpredictable, and silly. I liked it. 


ew ew ewwww.

If you are looking to get FREAKED THE EFF OUT, please go to Borders, or whatever is around you right now and get yourself a copy of "The BoneMan's Daughters." Author Ted Dekker really out did himself with this one!

There's a serial killer, called BoneMan, on the loose and he's looking for the perfect daughter. If she doesn't measure up, he breaks her bones without breaking her skin. Ohhh shit. Somebody didn't have the best role models in life. 

This story just happens to have more crunch than most. I could HEAR the bones snapping. The torture is pretty scary, too, because it is so realistically done. The emotional connection you develop with the main character is nothing short of amazing. Time stands still as you race to the end hoping that things will somehow work out for the characters you have grown to love. 

It took me a second, but I could fall asleep at night after reading this, and my dreams were only mildly ridiculous. 


Monday, April 20, 2009

oh, the dating book.

I have never read a dating book before in my life. Probably because I am not looking for a mate, I run away from mates, but I am sure that's another issue all together.

Back to the point. I really enjoyed this book. For those of you who have no idea what you're doing, or you do know, but are looking for tips to tone up your skills in mate hunting, definitely pick up a copy of "Become Your Own Matchmaker" by Patti Stanger. It is filled with really good information. What men are looking for physically, what to say, what not to say, don't bang on the first date yadda yadda. It will give you ideas, especially if you are naturally crazy uncomfortable on dates.

This one gets straight to the point ladies. So get yourself a copy, put on that sexy dating face and go grab yourself a mate!

getting to know autism.

I love reading books having to do with certain disabilities. It really helps me, personally, understand what it may feel like. I don't know what it's like to have something, not wrong, I don't want to say wrong, but different with me that everyone can notice within minutes of a first conversation. How awkward. At least I get to hide all of my weird quirks.

"Anything But Typical" by Nora Raleigh Baskin is the story of Jason Blake, a twelve year old with autistic spectrum disorder. Told in the first person, it describes what being autistic is like from the inside out. Jason's love of writing opens a whole new world to him. In that world, he can be whoever he wants to be; in that world, he is a "normal" kid.

Grab the tissues and enjoy this excellent novel!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

when i grow up...

When I grow up, and actually have money and my own house, living the dream in whatever adorable neighborhood placed inside, insert cutesy small town here, I will definitely get any and all ideas on landscaping from "Home Outside" by Julie Moir Messervy. Whoa, what a lovely run on sentence.

Anyways. Everything inside this book is GEORGOUS. Extremely informative, with great pictures. I am inspired!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

columbine. still sad.

If "Columbine" by journalist and author Dave Cullen were just a shot-by-shot account of the mass murder at a Colorado high school, this book wouldn't be worth shit. We all were alive in America on April 20, 1999 and are well aware of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and how they shot and killed 12 students and a teacher, wounded 23 others, and then put their rifles to their heads and killed themselves. We've all heard the story of the girl who, seconds before she was shot, looked the killers in the eye and told them she believed in God. We've heard about the "Trench Coat Mafia" and the violent video games. We all know that Harris and Klebold were social outcasts who, angered by incessant bullying, decided to get even by staging the biggest massacre ever at an American high school.

What if all of that was not true? What if most of it wasn't? Personally, I hate the story of Columbine. It's sad, and makes me feel bad, and lets be real, who wants to feel bad? I wouldn't have even gave this one if I didn't hear that Cullen investigated the teens for TEN years, and found out things that were much more frightening then what we have been told.

There is much more to this story. I promise you. Whoa, look how serious I just was.

Monday, April 13, 2009

memiors for youngin's like me. and you?

Fresh out of college, who wouldn't want to take a year to travel around the world? All the sights, the people, the food, it seems like the perfect, find-one's-self adventure. This is exactly what Susan Jane Gilman did, along with her friend Claire. The thing is, she wasn't shacking up in the hostiles of Europe, she was in The People's Republic of China, in 1986, before cell phones, before the Internet and before the luxuries of the "modern world". In "Undress me in the Temple of Heave," Gilman recounts her refreshingly honest tales of anxieties, breakdowns, amazing sites, and wonderful journeys.

During their travels, Claire, who starts out upbeat and the energetic enthusiast of the trip, slowly begins to slide into paranoia and hallucinogenic episodes. She's convinced she's being hunted by the Mossad, the CIA, and the FBI because "her father is a very important business man". She deteriorates daily, until its up to Suzie to find a way to get her insane friend back into the United States before Claire sets off any alarms in Communist China.

I love memoirs, you can't make real-life shit like this up, you just can't.

talk about mysterious.

You gotta love a little bitchassness in a series, throw some mystery in there and you've got yourself "Deadly Charm" by Claudia Mair Burney. This book number three in the Amanda Bell Brown Mysteries series.

Forensic psychologist, Amanda Bell Brown, affectionately known as Bell, soon realizes after her marriage to Detective Jazz, she was emotionally and spiritually unprepared for marriage and this caused a strain in their relationship. Jazz left her when he found out she ran to the place she always felt safe; her ex-lover, Rocky. However, they remain madly in love with each other. Rocky invites Bell to attend a revival conference featuring the flamboyant and charming former television evangelist, Ezekial Thunder. Because of Thunder's checkered past, Bell reluctantly agrees to attend. When a horrible accident happens in the Thunder household, Bell suspects Ezekial's young wife, Nikki. Bell investigates to prove her suspicion is true. However, her suspicions don't stop there, she also suspects Nikki of being attracted to her husband. DRAMMMMAAAA.

Author Claudia Mair Burney is technically a Christian Fiction Author, but she doesn't preach, she keeps her morals, yet still has a good time. Love, murder, and healthy dose of G-O-D? I kid you not, take a look see into this series!

childrens books sure have changed since i was little...

In this day and age, people of every shape and color are procreating. Authors of children's books have finally come out with stories that kids in interracial families can relate too. "I'm Your Peanut Butter Big Brother" by Selina Alko, is rather adorable actually.

As a young boy awaits the latest addition to his family, he wonders aloud what the new baby will look like. Coming from a “semisweet dark Daddy chocolate bar” and “strawberry cream mama’s milk,” will the little one be more “pure coal black” or like a “mocha cloud”? Regardless, the new sibling will enter an adoring world, filled with a sweetness that is described in edible terms, all illustrated in the funky, fun gouache and mixed-media illustrations: a pair of lips are shaped like jelly beans; the sunshine is “lemon meringue.” The text is full of literary wordplay, but the food conceit creates a one-note show and the constant comparisons may grow tiresome. Still, this is refreshingly non didactic story about prenatal anticipation in an interracial home, and it will make a good choice for sharing one-on-one or reading aloud to a group, whose members may want to come up with their own food metaphors for their families.

The story appeals on all levels; the illustrations are gorgeous, the text poetic and musical. Alko artfully captures the excitement and curiosity of a young child awaiting a younger sibling. What's nice is that this child has no one pre-determined picture of the sibling-to-be; through masterful artwork and spoken-word style text, the book explores a range of possible images of his future sibling. Written from the child's perspective, the book celebrates the lineage of interracial families, while joyously affirming kids and parents of all colors.

Whether you're white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate, this book is a delight!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


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