Thursday, October 29, 2009

I think I found something...

Some of my particularly favorite reads are memoirs.  I was browsing my library's website when I decided to click on a link that said something about awards for non-fiction titles.  I stumbled across this book and read the description... sounds very interesting, I think.  The title itself is enough to intrigue me.  The Year of Magical Thinking is, from what I can tell, a book written by a woman who's suffered the loss of her husband and is going through the stages of grief through writing.  She's also an author of fiction, if I read it correctly, and I now have the book on hold so as soon as it's available, I shall read it! :)

What to read...

Does anyone have a recommendation of a good book? I'm debating a few, but they're ones I've read before... also, I'm thinking of checking out another Alice Hoffman book.

I'm open to suggestions.

We should all read a book together! I like memoirs for that, but I'm up for anything.

Let me know in the comment section if you're interested.  :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman

This was such an emotional book! I felt the characters big time in this one, such feelings as sorrow, regret, love of so many levels, pain, anger, fear, and so many more...

This book focused on a plethora of characters, all linked together and coming together differently at the end.  I love the way this woman writes and entertwines the story so well. 

It takes place in a small town in Massachusetts called Unity.  It's based on a family of women that wake up on their thirteenth birthday with a gift of some sort, the most recent is the gift (if you will) of seeing the way someone's going to die.  What this character, Stella, finds out, though, is sometimes she can prevent this death.  Trying to do this gets her father accused of murder and gets her and her mother living with her grandmother, whom her mother hasn't spoken to in years.  Stella has been pulling away from her mother since her parents' divorce, her father being a liar of sorts and very unfaithful to his wife.  She trusts him, nonetheless.  Somehow, everyone ends up back in this small town where the story began 300 years ago for the Sparrow family.  I can't begin to describe the main theme of this book without just telling you about the whole thing, for telling about one part and leaving out another would simply not do this book justice.  There's romance, mystery, intrigue, danger, history, lore, and such a real feeling of love.  I do not buy books unless I'm going to read them more than once, and this is definitely a book on my list of books to buy. 

If you want a book that touches you and stays with you so that you have to continue to ponder it once you read the last page in order to digest it all, this is definitely a must read! I highly recommend it! It's a book that you won't want to end, but will love the ending just the same.  It's also clean, I love that.  This is an author I'm adding to my list, for sure.

For a sneak peak inside, click here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Am I Dead?


I just had quenched my thirst for reading when I finished my RPE book.  Didn't last tooo long, though... ;)

I started a day or two ago the book on the right column I said I'm currently reading:  The Probable Future, by Alice Hoffman. 

So far, very good, very emotional book.  It's about the Sparrow family women and their "gifts" they wake up with on their 13th birthday.  Stella is one of the main characters and can see how people die.  Not a very fun gift for her so far.  She's pushing away from her mother due to her parent's divorce and I can feel her mother's pain in simply craving the closeness she so wants and needs with her daughter.  Her father's a loser and I'm guessing the mother was meant to be with his brother, but haven't gotten that far, yet.

I'm halfway through and I can't wait till my next free kids-in-bed moment when I can read more! I'll hopefully have it finished by tomorrow night, so I can tell all.

Ok, on to more serious business:  Who's up for a reading group book? I know, you're so excited, right? :)

If you are interested, list a book or two or three you'd like to read together, then we'll put it to a vote or I'll just pick one - ha -and we'll get this ball rolling.  :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I finished it! It was awesome! His books are such quick reads, but they're so so good! I've decided to eventually start reading all of his books in order, all over again.  It's been several years since I've read most of them, anyway.

This was a spin (sort of) on the Scrooge story, a man trying to change when he's confronted with his "ghosts of Christmas' past".  The ending wasn't sugary sweet, but ended so well just the same.  I love how he has a dose of reality going on throughout the book.

I highly recommend reading it! It has a Christmas title but it's not all about Christmas at all, but real life and how we can change even though sometimes it feels too late. 

My favorite quote from the book:

"We all get lost sometimes.  The trick is to believe that we're worth finding."

Definitely a MUST read!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Break's Over

So, I started my RPE book last night around 9:30pm... and after reading a little today, I'm almost done! It is SO GOOD!!! I seriously even put off bathroom breaks until my bladder was on the verge of explosion! (TMI, I know, but I'm just painting a picture, here.)

So far, it's about a guy who found his obituary posted by accident, followed by a vaste amount of quite negative comments online by people who were literally celebrating his death.  Turns out, it was another man who died with the same name.  This article sets into motion his trying to make amends with several people he's seriously hurt in his life, including his dying wife and son.  Things aren't going smoothly at all and people don't respond well to his too-late apologies. 

I'm not going to say anymore because it's so good you just have to read it yourself! I love how RPE writes so well and invokes self-examination and equally importantly, keeps it clean!

You're sorely missing out if you pass up the opportunity to read this oh-so-awesome book! I wish he'd come out with more than one a year! I think I put off reading his new ones (you know, for a day or two) so I can put off the inevitably LONG waiting period of a year before he comes out with his next marvelous creation.

I'll post again when I finish the book - probably by the end of today, if I get my chores done first.  (Stinkin' chores!)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Short Break

When I read, I often become a part of the book.  Or, rather, the book becomes a part of me.  I literally lose myself in the pages and become someone else for a moment.  Afterward, I feel the emotions the main character felt.  It's exhausting, really.  So, I haven't even started my RPE book, yet.  (For shame, I know.)  I will in the next day or two. 

In the meantime, does anyone else care do submit a review?

I'm finding this blog isn't as exciting as I'd hoped.... maybe we can start a book club book?

I didn't sleep well, so my motivators are a bit down today.  :)

I realize I didn't put my email address on the side column, yet, so click here if you feel the urge to email me.  :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

I got it! I got it!!

The Christmas List!! It arrived today!!!!!! Now I have a good, clean book to read by an author I love, love, love!!! Yay!!!!


So, I was reading the book "Birds in Fall" by Brad Kessler... but stopped.  Within the first chapter, there were FOUR F-words.  I know there are some out there that aren't bothered by this, and some who wonder why I am... but I am, that's all there is to it.  Why, though?? Why does one have to say "Where's the (f-ing) umbrella?" What is so wrong with just saying "Where's the umbrella?" Really?? Was the author trying to meet a word quota? Do they not know any other intelligent words?? I just think the F-word is so trashy and totally takes away from the story.  I was a good story, too! So far, it was about a plane crash and how all the family members of the victims were gathering at an inn on an island off of Nova Scotia to find closure.  What does the F-word have to do with any of that?? Ugh.  SO, now I'm reading another book by an author I've never heard of, but, hoping for the best. 

Does anyone have suggestions on authors that write clean??

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Book Club and Joint Reviews!!

Ok, so I decided I love the ideas I've gotten so far.

I'm going to try them to test the waters and do some tweaking later if necessary.

First, I want all to feel welcome to do a book review! I can only read so many books in a week (ha, usually one!) and it would be more interesting to others to, well, hear from others!

So, when you read a book you want to review, just email me the title, author, and review and I'll copy and paste it to my blog for others to share.  I'll be posting my email address on the side column.

If you have book suggestions for either adults OR children, email me and I'll share them on my blog, both through a posting and adding them to a list on the side column.

Also, every month, we can all suggest some books to read together, you know like a book club.  I'll post them all and we can do a vote, choosing, say, two.  We read them and discuss. 

How does that sound?

I think this is going to be so much fun!

Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman

This was an interesting book, a quick read, too.  It starts with a family who's built a house in Cape Cod, Massechusetts.  It tells their story of how the father and his two sons leave for the yearly fishing trip, the last one for this family.  A sudden storm arrives and the ship goes down.  The mother's in denial about it for over a year, but when her youngest son's pet blackbird comes home without them, she knows.  The blackbird is now white, but she knows it's the same bird.  From that point, it hints that her oldest son survived and returned home. 
After this story, it goes from story to story, family to family, each one taking place in this very same house over a span of 200 years.  It's quite interesting, really, to know what's happened and how their all related.  Throughout the book, there's mention of a white blackbird that lives on the property.  Some say it's a ghost, others say it doesn't exist at all.  It doesn't have much to do with each story's plot, but it's there just the same.  The stories aren't always happily ever afters, some leaving you guessing how they actually end, yet they're all somehow intertwined.  Alice Hoffman is the author of the book, now movie, "Practical Magic".  There's a subtle darkness to her writing.  Not evil, but not your typical fairy tale quality.  The stories are intriguing, enough to keep you reading till the very end.  Sadly, there were two F-words, but not till the end, as well as a few other swear-words, all taking place in the story occuring in the late 60's, early 70's.  I wonder why that is? And, of course, there's mention of a witch in her story.  I'm gathering from other books of hers I've checked out, she's into that sort of thing.  I have another of her books on my counter waiting for me to read it.  Maybe after this next one...

I'd recommend it if you're in for some entertainment, but not if you're looking for something that touches your soul.  This one just didn't do that for me.  It was good, but not great.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Keep Moving Forward!

The ideas were given to me to add additional authors to this blog who could also do book reviews, also, to have sort of a book club, where we can all read the same book and have a discussion of sorts somehow (via comment section, maybe?).  I love these ideas!

What are your thoughts on this?

Do you have suggestions on how you would do it?

One thing I was thinking, is you could read a book and send me the review via email and I'll just copy and paste your exact wording onto a new post, that way anyone can contribute at any time. 

Also, I was thinking maybe I could add a list to the side column of books people have suggested as a good read.  Just a thought. 

I'm always open to suggestions for good books! I have a limited list of authors I know I'll like but the problem is I've read most if not all of there work, and whenever I try a new author, I end up being disappointed by finding they like the use of the F-word or graphically, disgustingly-detailed sex-scenes.  I'm a PG, sometimes PG-13 kind of gal, in movies AND in books.  Harlequin-type romance novels? Bleh! No, thank you.  Now, "You've Got Mail" kind of  romance? Absolutely.  Mystery? Bring it on! Suspense? I'll eat it right up! But add the F-word more than once? I won't read another page.  I LOVE memoirs.  Real life stories intrigue me.  Ghost stories are cool, too.  Self-help is good, if it's something I'm, you know, needing help with.  ;)

So, do tell what you think, and I will take all into thoughtful consideration, because I love reading and I love friends and talking about what I've read with friends, especially when we've read the same thing.  ;)

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Lobotomy: A Memoir

"We are all the victims of what is done to us.  We can either use that as an excuse for failure, knowing that if we fail it isn't really our fault, or we can say, 'I want something better than that, I deserve something better than that, and I'm going to try to make myself a life worth living.'"

This is how Howard Dully ends his story.  For over 40 years of his life, he had questions about why he was given a lobotomy when he was 12 years old.  He finally found the answers he was looking for, met with people who had suffered the same loss, and realized he had found peace by doing so.  He was a normal child, suffering from a sad home life.  He had a stepmother who hated him, and a father who wouldn't stand up for him.  His brothers and stepbrothers were never as harshly punished as he was.  His stepmother called him names and beat him, as did his father.  Why? This is something he would ask himself over and over again throughout his whole life.  His stepmother was so bent on being rid of him, she consulted with six psychiatrists in hopes of having him committed.  All said he was a normal boy.  Four said she was the problem.  Then she found Dr. Walter Freeman.  After several visits, he suggested changing Howard's personality via transorbital lobotomy, or "ice pick lobotomy".  His father agreed to it after only two days of consideration.  The procedure was done.  After that, Howard was calmer. (Who wouldn't be after having their brain scrambled?!) However, his stepmother still didn't want him in the home.  He was passed around from place to place, including family, a foster home, an asylum, a school for the mentally handicapped, half-way houses, juvenile hall, jail, and eventually ended up homeless with the education of a 14 year old.  He was into drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, women, etc.  He was married three times, fathered a child and had a heart attack before he decided he needed to do something with his life.  Also, at this point, he realized he needed answers.  So, he started searching.  He ended up doing a radio show for NPR, which led him to Washington D.C. where he was able to access the files on his procedure.  All the notes, all the pictures, all the lies his stepmother told, the interview with his father... all of this couldn't bring him peace.  Helping others, talking about what happened, bringing it all to the surface, that's what brought him peace.  It's a heartbreaking story of one man's journey through life after being treated so unfairly, feeling like he was "thrown away", aching to be loved by his parents, and finally finding a woman he could be faithful to who loved him and stood by him in his quest for the truth. 

I highly recommend reading it.  :)  Here's a sneak peak inside this book.

This is a picture from the book, the picture Dr. Freeman took of Howard's lobotomy:

Give-Away Results!!!

And the winner is:


Cathy Jones! You had the 11th comment entry! Congratulations!!!

Email me! I have some questions for you:

Where do you want this sent?
What name do you want Richard to put on your name plate? (Ex:  For Cathy)

Thank you to all who entered! I wish you all could've won! (I hate having to choose only one, so I had do it for me.)

I hope to do more giveaways in the future, so keep following! ;)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Book Give-Away!!!

I wanted to launch my new blog with style, so I'm doing an awesome GIVE-AWAY!!!!

Here's what you get if you win:

Yay, right? It's Richard Paul Evans' new book, The Christmas List! RPE is my absolute favorite author and when this book arrives at my home in 3-5 days, I'll have every single one of his books (that I'm aware of).

Not only will you get his new book, but you'll also receive a personalized, autographed name plate to put in the inside cover (or outside, where ever you choose).  Isn't that awesome?

So, here's what you have to do:

Entry #1 - Leave your name and most favorite book as a comment.  (Mine is "I Capture the Castle", by Dodie Smith.) (Bit-o-trivia for you:  She also wrote 101 Dalmations.)

Entry #2 - Become a follower, leave another comment telling me you did so and tell me the name of your least favorite book.  (Mine is "Lord of the Flies".  Dumb and dumb.)

Entry #3 - Add a link to this give-away to your blog and leave yet another comment telling me that you did so, with the link provided, please.

I'll do the drawing Monday morning via  If you're not a RPE fan, you can always use this book as a gift for someone else.  Just an idea.  Also, if you don't win, and still want the book, Amazon and have great deals on it if you pre-order before October 6th.  (The links provided will take you right there.)

I'm so excited!! Good Luck!!!