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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sundays In Bed With...






Hosted by Kate @ Midnight Book Girl, what are you reading this Sunday?

Over the holidays, I got a few books, of course, along with some other very nice presents. In my book arsenal, I now have:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Trial by Franz Kafka
Red Rain by R.L. Stine
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
The last two Harry Potters

I'm starting with Gone Girl. 

As I face this Sunday, I am sad. The end of my vacation is Monday and I return to work. :( 

At least I have some good books to read on these cold nights. 


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Let's Pretend This Never Happened...



Over the holidays (which were busy and great!), I finished Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson in record time. This was one of the best books I have read this year! Starting off in very very rural Texas with a taxidermist for a father and a lot of dead animals brought back to life in very weird ways (with pictures as proof), you won't like this book if you are a vegan or very sensitive to already-dead animals. Jenny tells her stories of growing up, high school, marriage, kids but with some hilarious, self-deprecating writing. 

You will love her meeting her future husband's mother who is all about debutante balls and "mixed drinks." You will love her constant discussions with her husband that leaves him baffled and shaking his head. You will love the father and the collections of animals (dead and alive) that he collects. Most of all, you will love Jenny, a woman who overdosed on laxatives and started to call the police because she thought a rapist had broken in and started passing her notes under the door. I have not laughed so hard at a book since Christopher Moore's Lamb and this girl definitely has beaten David Sedaris!

If you want light, funny and with wicked humor, please pick up this book. You won't regret it.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Top Ten Books I Read in 2012


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this week's topic is Top Ten Books I Read in 2012. 

In no particular order...

1.) The Trial of Fallen Angels by James P. Kimmel was published in November of this year and it is an amazing first novel. From my blog: "...thought-provoking, frightening, illuminating, disturbing, strange and highly poignant. I does not delve into any particular religion but encompasses them all..kind of like The Shack except for the main subject: the afterlife."

2.) The Book Thief - I had never read this before and it's a shame it took me so long. Very well written!

3.) Wild by Cheryl Strayed - Woman hikes the Pacific Coast Trail and is certainly an inspiration. Funny at times, sad at others, it's worth it.

4.) Mrs. Piggle Wiggle - I had read these back in elementary school but had forgotten about them until this year, so I ordered an old copy and relished all the stories of how Mrs. Piggle Wiggle  helps the children and their parents with life lessons.

5.) Slumber Party by Christopher Pike - I read this back in the day too but it was so nice to be back in the high school thriller environment with the master of spookiness. 

6.) The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Remarkable story about a boy struggling with his mental health while in high school (something I think we are all interested in now).

7.) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - I can't say that the vampire stuff was that great but I learned a lot about Abe that I hadn't known before and it got me into reading more history than usual this year.

8.) Night by Elie Wiesel - I had never read this before this year either. It is a terrifying story of the horrors of a Nazi death camp. It isn't an easy read but it is definitely one that should be mandatory for everyone.

9.) Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson - I'm about 20% of the way into this and it's hilarious! Perfect for when you need to read something light, a little raunchy and fun. 

10.) The Harry Potter Series (first 5 books) - Following a threat of banishment from my book club, courtesy of Kim @ On The Wings of Books and Kate @ Midnight Book Girl, I started the Harry Potter series, fell in love and am now savoring the time before I finish off the series. Hearty thanks to the book club girls. :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sundays in Bed With


Hosted by Kate @ Midnight Book Girl, what are you reading today? Well, on this rainy day, I am finishing up Sense and Sensibility on audio CDs and have started a hilarious, politically-incorrect and awesome book, Lets Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson. I've finished a few chapters already and am loving it (if you are easily offended or a vegetarian, I'd stay away from this one but others might love it). 

Oh and here's a pic of my sad gingerbread house. I'm not really good with at-home crafts.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, what are my Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2012? 

Hmmm, let's see.  I don't know if I can do this or not. These are new to me but may be old to you.

1.) J.K. Rowling - I'm still new to Harry Potter and have the two final books to go.
2.) Jodi Picoult - I read In Plain Truth and it was pretty decent.
3.) Cheryl Strayed - If you haven't read Wild yet, please do so. I loved it.
4.) Erin Morgenstern - I wasn't a huge fan of The Night Circus BUT this is one hell of a writer nonetheless.
5.) Stephen Chbosky - The Perks of Being a Wallflower was quite good.
6.) James P. Kimmel - He's a newly published author and wrote a great first novel titled The Trial of Fallen Angels
7.) Seth Grahame-Smith - Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was really historically accurate except for the whole vampire hunting thing. The movie, I heard, sucked.

Dammit. I guess I didn't read that many new authors this year that really blew me away. 

Here's some that didn't blow me away.
8.) David Sedaris -  I tried. I just can't get into the dark humor.
9.) Jasper Fforde - The Eyre Affair. Confusing, weird and annoying.
10.) Stephen King - Not exactly new to me but I re-read Carrie this year and blech. Too many icky descriptions. Yeh, I know this makes me unpopular but I just can't stomach him.









Monday, December 10, 2012

Holidays on Ice



Well, I just finished David Sedaris' Holidays On Ice and hmph, I was disappointed. I thought I would find myself cackling at how funny it was but I was just mildly amused at his dark humor. Perhaps I'm not intelligent enough to get his wit. The first story was a funny story of the author working as an elf, dealing with vomiting children and perverted co-workers. The second story was a Christmas form letter written by a woman whose family included her husband's love child and a drug-addicted daughter with a new baby. The ending was definitively dark humor but I pressed on. 

From that point on, it just got silly and not in the good way. He talks about working at a morgue, befriending a prostitute and bringing her home after she had been beaten, a wealthy family who gives away body parts to be more "generous" than their competitive neighbors. I don't know. I just didn't get it. The writing is excellent but the subjects were just odd. I will try another one of his books though and give it a shot because his descriptions are, indeed, spot on, but I really didn't need to know that the morgue puts eyeballs in baby jars to preserve them for later study.

Rating: Eh! - I could take it or leave it but lean more towards leave it.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sundays In Bed With...


Sundays In Bed With... hosted by Midnight Book Girl, asks "What are you curled up reading today?" 
For me, it's a few things. As soon as Í'm done with some laundry, I'm turning the tree lights on and continuing to read Holidays on Ice, The Last Lecture and I hope to start Let's Pretend This Never Happened. 

On a side note, husband is still sick and is at the doctor now to see if he has strep. Poor guy.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Books, Food and Christmas Movies

Well, my husband has finally gotten the crud and is sick. I'm freezing and I have body aches but I'm not sure if that's due to illness or if it's just due to my office always being cold and me being out of shape. This weekend we finally have time to just relax and read or watch movies which I plan to do (although we still need to fit in errands, wrapping presents, getting the tree, doing chores, etc.).

As soon as the work day is over - c'mon 5:30! - I'm heading to the store to get stuff that will smell good cookin' (chicken perhaps, pot roast definitely), then I'm coming home, putting my jammies on and curling up with one of many books that I'm trying to get to or finish. Currently, I am reading...

Holidays on Ice by Dave Sedaris - I'm only part of the way through but it's hilarious in a dark kind of way. His stint as a Christmas elf makes me want to go sit at the mall with a cup of cocoa and watch Santa and the kids. And of course the jerk in me wants to watch people act frazzled trying to get Christmas presents that they waited until Dec. 23rd to get. Let's make that a date night, hubby! 

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen - I read it a lonnnnnnggggg time ago and I know the movie quite well, but thanks to my husband, I have a CD version that I am enjoying listening to in my car. It kind of makes me want my commutes to last longer. 

In Cold Blood - I just keep putting this down and I don't  have a good reason. Maybe it's because I don't really want to think about murder this time of year. 

Other books I'm looking forward to are The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, Skipping Christmas by John Grisham and Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. And hopefully by the end of the year, I will have made my way back to Hogwart's for the last two books in the Harry Potter series.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, of course, I have to take a little time off from books to watch holiday movies. Here's my top ten picks (since I wimped out on doing Top Ten Tuesday this week), starting with #10:

10.) Love Actually - Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman (purrrrrr!) and whole lot of other people - hilarious, romantic, sweet and a definite favorite - I probably should have ranked it higher but I didn't want to re-do my list. :)

9.) A Diva's Christmas Carol - a lesser-known holiday treat with Vanessa Williams playing Ebony, the pop singer, who has forgotten the meaning of Christmas and is shown her past, present and future. It's got Kathy Griffin, Chili from the group, TLC, and some awesome music. Whatever, I like it...so stop laughing.

8.) The Family Stone - A liberal family with a very familiar and comfortable dynamic is threatened by the new visitor, the eldest son's girlfriend, a conservative businesswoman who "doesn't seem to trust herself." You wince at some parts and laugh and cry at others. Sarah Jessica Parker plays a very different role alongside Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Luke Wilson, (Dylan McDermott, Dermot McDerment, Durman Dermulroney - dammit it's Dermot Mulroney) and Craig T. Nelson. It really is worth watching!

7.) Scrooged - Starring Bill Murray, I know a lot of people don't like this version of Scrooge but I do. I love Bobcat Goldthwait in anything and the spooky music really gets me. I'm pretty sure that I saw this movie with a bunch of friends for my 13th birthday in 1988. 

6.) A Christmas Story - The most quotable Christmas movie ever! Ralphie's narrations and the father make this movie a classic. "You'll shoot your eye out!" 

5.) The Homecoming - This is a Waltons' family Christmas movie and the story wraps around the family as they prepare for Christmas during the depression. They wait and worry about the patriarch of the family who is on a long trip home. One of my favorites - very sweet!

4.) It's a TIE: 
Rudolph - I watched this when I was little and it's still awesome. Cute Rudolph, Yukon Cornelius and that scary Bumble. The best part is the Island of Misfit Toys. 
AND
How the Grinch Stole Christmas - The cartoon - not that stupid Jim Carey movie. I love the pup in the animated classic and Cindy Lou Who is so freakin' adorable!

3.) Elf - Bob Newhart, James Caan, Will Farrell and lots o' laughs. "Son of a nutcracker!"

2.) It's a Wonderful Life - If you don't cry at the end of this movie, you are a cotton-headed ninny-muggins. 

1.) Scrooge - the musical, starring Albert Finney. This is the best Christmas movie ever. The music automatically makes me think of Christmas with my family. The sound of my dad cracking walnuts, the clanking of dishes as my mom works on Christmas dinner, the smell of  pine and my mother's perfume, the faces of my nieces and nephew, the trilling laugh of my sister, the quiet breathy laugh of my brother and the sweetness of the day that brings us together. Sorry, I just got kind of mushy. But that's what this movie does for me. :)

EDIT: I can't believe I forgot Little Women (any version will do but the one with Winona Ryder and Christian Bale - before he was Batman) is so beautifully done and I watch it with my mom every year...

Honorable mentions go to...Muppet Christmas Carol, Charlie Brown Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas. I'm sure I'll think of others.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sundays in bed with...


From Kate @ Midnight Book Girl, what are you reading today?

Well, I'm still enjoying the time off from writing my novel. I am about 3/4 done and have hit 50,600 words now but I'm taking a break. I haven't really read anything in the weeks I've been working on that but I'm still trying to get to In Cold Blood, The Last Lecture, a book I found in my "old book" stash - Sati by Christopher Pike. I didn't even know I owned that one. 

With the holidays, my birthday, my wedding anniversary and all sorts of other things going on, it's hard to find time to curl up with a good book but I'm certainly going to try. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

I'm a novelist!


Just stopping by to say that I wrote 50,513 words in 30 days and I have won NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)! Woohoo! Now I'll have more time to read. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten...



Okay, I'm cheating this time for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The question for this Tuesday is "Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of 2013" and I don't know what is coming out in 2013. I tried a google search but couldn't get much of anything, so I'm skipping ahead to December 4th's topic - which is also my BIRTHDAY! Yippee! The topic for December 4th is (which I may do again on December 4th)...

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me (or books I would buy with gift cards)

1.) The End of Your Life Book Club by Schwalbe

2.) Trinity by Leon Uris
3.) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
4.) The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
5.) Red Rain by R.L. Stine
6.) The Trial by Franz Kafka
7.) Voluntary Madness by Norah Vincent
8.) Any book about hiking and survival
9.) Memoirs from unknown people (i.e. not celebrities)
10.) Barnes and Noble gift cards so I can pick what I want for my Nook

*edited for spelling; geez, a proofreader should be more careful don't ya think?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sundays In Bed With...






Hosted by Kate @ Midnight Book Girl, what are you reading today?

Well, I have restarted Truman Capote's In Cold Blood after I tried to get into Christopher Pike's Chain Letter and just couldn't get into it (I was only about 50 pages in, so I'll get back to it). I'm still working on National Novel Writing Month and have hit about 33,000 words but it's a far cry from the 50,000 I need to complete by the end of the month.

So how was everybody's Thanksgiving? I spent the day at my sister's who worked her butt off to make a wonderful dinner for the 14 of us. Spent some time with my 5 nieces and nephew, and got to take my brother's oldest to see Breaking Dawn 2 which was great and terrible at the same time. :) We ate too much, we slept well, we watched a couple of Christmas movies and today we are too lazy to start decorating just yet, so I'll go back to my reading for a while and then we'll start digging through the attic.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top Ten Books/Authors I'm Thankful For...






Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, what are the top ten books/authors you are thankful for...

1.) Gone With The Wind: I'm thankful for a spunky Irish heroine in the South and her scallywag Yankee.
2.) The Help with Skeeter's passion, Aibileen's strength, Minny's honesty and poor Constantine. Plus an extra helping of chocolate pie.
3.) The Thornbirds - I'm always thankful for sweeping sagas and forbidden love.
4.) Anything Richard Scarry - My favorite character was Lowly Worm.
5.) Anything Bill Bryson - The man travels for me and I feel like I've been to these places plus he's hilarious. 
6.) A lot of Christopher Moore - Also hilarious. Especially the book, Lamb.
7.) Wuthering Heights - Perfect for winter.
8.) Jane Eyre - Also perfect for winter.
9.) A Tree Grows In Brooklyn - Classic!
10.) Harry Potter series - Ah, to live at Hogwart's...

And since it is Thanksgiving, I gotta mention The Hunger Games series - gives me goosebumps.

Happy Turkey Day to everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sundays in Bed With


Hosted by Kate @ Midnight Book Girl, this meme asks, "What are you reading this Sunday?" Well, I'm late to the game but I was curled up with nothin' yesterday. I had finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower Saturday and I haven't decided what to start on next. I'm still doing the 50,000 word challenge for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and am about half way to the goal plus my husband and I drove my niece back to college at Virginia Wesleyan and since I get nauseous reading in the car, I didn't take anything with me. Here are my choices for the next book. Since I need to read 5 before year end to catch up to my goodreads.com goal, I don't want to pick super long ones. Here are the choices so far: Please vote in the comments if you don't mind.

Chain Letter - Christopher Pike
The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (depending on length)
The Killer Inside Me - Jim Thompson
Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival - Joe Simpson
The Trial - Franz Kafka

Saturday, November 17, 2012






When I heard there was a book about a teenager called The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I rolled my eyes. I pictured a mousy little 14-year-old girl who couldn't get her crush to notice her so I put off buying the book and didn't even try and read what it was about. However, during some Christmas shopping, I had a 20% off coupon and thought, 'Alright, my niece loved it and I know a lot of other people who loved it so I'll give it a go.' 

First, the protagonist is a boy. An unusually passive and loving kid with social awkwardness and a mental health issue that often gets in the way. But his mind is a sponge for reading some of the best books written and his relationship with a brother and sister pair pulls him into a world of masturbation, sex, fun, drugs, alcohol, music and life ... and as Charlie puts it a feeling that he is "infinite." This book deals with so many issues including death, abuse, assault, homosexuality, sexuality in general and it is all told via letters from Charlie to a person he only knows will "listen." His writing is blunt, childlike and real but with a deep(ish) meaning hidden in each letter. There is a ton of dark comedy including a particularly funny reaction when Charlie has his first girlfriend who won't shut up. I think this should be mandatory reading in high school. Take out Catcher in the Rye (which I hated) and throw this book in the mix.

I would write more but it's my husband's birthday and it's time for cake. :)

Rating: Oh!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Books I'd Want On A Deserted Island


Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, this week's Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Books I'd Want On A Deserted Island. Well, today I am hella freakin' grumpy so I'm just doing a list without any reasoning why, although this book seems like it might come in handy...




But anyway...

1.) Jane Eyre
2.) Gone With The Wind
3.) The Hunger Games (first one)
4.) Harry Potter (either the third or fourth one)
5.) In a Sun Burnt Country by Bill Bryson
6.) Lamb by Christopher Moore
7.) African-American Literature Anthology
8.) Complete Works of Shakespeare
9.) The Bible
10.) A very long book that I have never read before








Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sundays In Bed With...



Hosted by Midnight Book Girl, what are you spending your Sunday reading?

Well, I was going to start In Cold Blood by Truman Capote but I've been dedicated to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and trying for 50,000 words by the end of November. The novel is going fairly well but I did give myself carpal tunnel syndrome. I have a cool wrist sprint that looks like this:



A friend of mine thought I was flashing gang signs which would have been cooler.

So have I been reading? Yes, I spent over 40 hours this week reading direct mail for work where I'm a proofreader. This was my company's annual "push" where we have to work early mornings and late nights. Fortunately though, I did not have to work this weekend - WOOHOO! So last night, after having dinner with my hubby, we headed over to Barnes and Noble and I purchased "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and I started it and so far, it's awesome. I'm looking forward today to doing some more writing but then resting my poor wrist and digging in to The Perks...

Monday, November 5, 2012

10 things I hate about writing






In lieu of a list on books this week for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish... As you know, I'm in the middle of National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, for the month of November so in lieu of reading a book, I'm writing a book - 50,000 words to be exact and I love doing it for the most part, especially since I am not showing it to ANYONE (it's only for me). However, there are some things that frustrate the heck out of me.

1.) Finding the time: With working a full-time job Monday - Friday 8:30-5:30, I have little time to come up with ideas since I'm focusing on my real job. And it will be longer hours this week and part of next week as I will be working late nights, early mornings, through lunches and over this upcoming weekend for an annual busy season we have here. Thankfully, my company is awesome and they bring in tasty dinners for us all. But that's not all. With travel plans, Thanksgiving, my birthday, my husband's birthday AND our wedding anniversary all within 4 weeks, I have a lot going on. The good news is that my ideas, once formed, flow onto the computer screen all at once and I can type damn fast. 

2.) Vocabulary. I was an English major so this shouldn't be a problem but it is. I have to stop often because I can't think of the right word to use. This obviously stops the creative freestyle writing process as I have to go to thesaurus.com every two paragraphs. An example was trying to talk about a character who was calm but then started asking questions rapidly. I knew I wanted him to sound like he was being a jerk and that he was being pushy with his questions but then I couldn't think of the word that was on the tip of my tongue. "He began to ask questions more __________ly". What is that word? Ah, "aggressively". I mean how weird is that? 

3.) Descriptions. I'm terrible at describing stuff. When I got married three years ago, women wanted me to describe my dress. "Uh, it's like white and has flat layers and has a medium-length train." My mother would then step in and describe it as "A-line, with thick stripes to match the bodice, simple, very traditional but with a uniqueness to it in the way it's layered, a sweep train and Katie, it's Stark White as opposed to diamond-white or eggshell..." Yeh, whatever. It was a dress and I liked it.

4.) Somehow getting the reader to understand why something is so important. I sometimes want to write out "Reader: pay attention to this because it will become important later on."

5.) Distractions. I had a ton of those this weekend as we traveled to and from Pennsylvania. First, I couldn't get my computer to work right. Then, we were doing family stuff. Then, finally on the way home, I pull out my laptop and try and write as my husband drove the first hour, but with his constant swearing at bad drivers and the annoying turns and twists, I just couldn't concentrate. Plus, I have a hard time writing in public places. I have to be home or somewhere by myself.

6.) Trying to remember feelings. Since some of this is autobiographical, I'm trying to remember feelings and senses for certain times and it's harder than I thought it would be. 

7.) Knowing that this is only for me. "I don't want anybody to read this." Yeh, I know that's what I said, but it might be nice to get a little feedback. If my husband is good, I might let him read it but that's still a big maybe.

8.) Knowing that I'm not Charlotte Bronte or Hemingway. Even though it feels good to be writing 50,000 words, I know it isn't a masterpiece. 

Eh, whatever - I got to get back to writing my book now. :)


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hosted by Midnight Book Girl, what are you reading this Sunday? 

I'm not reading anything today. We are in BF Egypt Mount Joy, PA visiting my in laws for the weekend. Actually it's a quaint little town close to the Amish and chocolate factories but it is permanently cloudy here. I don't think I have ever seen the sun in Pennsylvania and I lived in Wexford for a year and a half. 

Since I'm driving back (damn you, husband) this afternoon, I won't be able to read while driving I guess. (Sigh. I need to get some audio books) Once I get home I'll be preparing for a HUGE week at work with late nights, etc. but when I have time, I'm reading Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. I've only read a bit of it but man, this dude does awesome descriptions. Also, when I have time, I'll be working on my novel for November via National Novel Writing Month.

It's a busy month with stuff going on every weekend but when I do have downtime, there's nothing like chillin' with a book.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

November's 50,000 words


Okay, this is definitely perfect for Halloween because it scares the hell out of me, but here goes. November is NaNoWriMo which stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every year, these guys host a challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November and finish out the month with having written a novel. I'm going to try this...the novel won't be shared with anyone (at least not yet) and I'm not even sharing too much about what is about...partially, because I'm going to wing it somewhat. So, no, you cannot see it...and other than asking how it's going, you cannot ask me about it. I know it sounds odd and suspicious but my writing is very private. If I complete this challenge, though, I may consider sharing it, but don't hold your breath. 

So friends and family, I'm not blowing you off if I am not in touch as often...I'm just writing like crazy! Wish me luck. I"m going to need it.


Hosted, by The Broke and The Bookish, this is this week's Top Ten Tuesday.

Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

1.) Josephine March from Little Women
2.) Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird
3.) Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games
4.) Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series
5.) Meggie Cleary from The Thornbirds
6.) Jane Eyre
7.) Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility
8.) Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter
9.) and 10.) Minny Jackson and Aibileen Clark from The Help



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sundays In Bed With...


Hosted by Kate @ Midnight Book Girl, what are you reading today? Ah, stormy weather. The winds are picking up in good ol' Richmond, Va. We have prepared for Sandy somewhat. Laundry done (not put away yet), we have a kit of nonperishable food (the husband plans to live on Captain Crunch for days), a crapload of water, candles, flashlights, lanterns and...well...books! 

I have downloaded two books to my Nook - Lonesome Dove and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I wanted Trinity by Leon Uris but it isn't available for Nooks yet. Oh well. And yes, I know my Nook won't stay charged forever so I have some paperbacks to read too. The comfort book - Little Women. The book still haven't read - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and another comfort book - Wuthering Heights since after Sandy, it may be like walking through the moors. 

I was kind of hoping I wouldn't have to work tomorrow but the business of direct mail marketing doesn't stop regardless of if a tree falls on you. My biggest concern is power. Last year, we lost power for 6 days and my husband and I contemplated divorce after 3 days (no, not really). I'm cleaning the house sorta in case we lose power but eventually I'll sit down with one of my books. 

I am supposed to attend a function tonight for an event I'm involved with but with the weather and with the start of a cold, I don't know. So Kate @ Midnight Book Girl, you can beat me up later if I don't make it tonight. (Blowing a kiss, "Love You" Mean Girls style) ;)



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Review: The Trial of Fallen Angels


Coming to shelves near you is the brilliant book by James Kimmel, Jr., titled The Trial of Fallen Angels. This book tackles the afterlife, justice and forgiveness. Brek Cuttler, a lawyer, wife and mother, has a good life but she suddenly finds herself in an abandoned station (train or subway, I don't remember). She is bleeding and confused. A man, Luas, comes to tell her that she will be presenting cases of those who have died and who are awaiting final judgment. She, then, realizes she is in heaven when she runs into her grandmother and the house where she grew up. It's quite a shock to her, obviously. Later, she begins her work in the afterlife. While researching these cases, she finds out that these clients have had an impact on her life without ever having known them and that's where the story gets good!

This book is thought-provoking, frightening, illuminating, disturbing, strange and highly poignant. It does not delve into any particular religion but encompasses them all. Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, etc... It is not like The Shack except for the main subject of the afterlife. 

Kimmel does such an excellent job of creating the main character's memories and then using those memories to build the characters she meets in the afterlife. He also, brilliantly, has Brek actually live her clients' lives - their memories are hers too, including sights, scents, feelings, prayers and their lives as a whole.

I found this book hard to come back to. If I could have had a few days to just read, this wouldn't have been a problem but there is so much going on that if you have to leave the book for a day or two, you are lost when you come back to it. I had to re-read a chapter or two to catch up. It does go back and forth between Brek's living days, clients' previous lives, Brek's afterlife, etc. and can be a little confusing, however...

...I do think this book is great for group discussions...I plan to recommend it to my church. In conclusion, I am in awe of Mr. Kimmel's first novel. Well done!

Top Ten Books To Get In The Halloween Spirit

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this is Top Ten Tuesday. This week is...

Top Ten Books To Get In The Halloween Spirit

Excellent topic but first a quick story: When I was in Kindergarten, Star Wars was big. All the boys were either Luke, Hans or Chewie, so of course I wanted the boys' attention so I wanted to be Princess Leia. My mom put me in a cream-colored robe and did my hair up in "ear buns" which I am sure was not an easy
feat. I went to school all ready for the party but when I got there, all the boys pointed and laughed at me so I went home early with a stomachache. This was my first lesson in "Boys are stupid."

Anywho...

I don't do a lot of Stephen King (it's too much for me) so this is a challenge. 

1.) Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - it's more intense and gruesome than it is scary but they whole wedding night scene can spook you and the writing is amazing!
2.) All Edgar Allen Poe
3.) Carrie by Stephen King - okay, I did read this one in high school initially and I tried not to be a bitch to girls for fear that they would kill me at prom
4.) Christopher Pike anything - I read a lot of his books in high school, too. He's pretty damn decent at creeping me out - even today.
5.) Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz - I picked this up at the beach in middle school and freaked myself out.
6.) The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree - one of my favorite books from childhood.
7.) The Legend of Sleepy Hallow - okay, I never read the book but the cartoon version on tv used to scare the bejesus out of me
8.) The Hunger Games trilogy - freaky!
9.) All Harry Potter - wizards, witches, magic and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named
10.) 50 Shades of Grey but that is only due to how scary the writing is...

Happy Halloween!!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sundays in bed with...

Hosted by Midnight Book Girl - Sundays In Bed With... begs the question, what are you reading this Sunday?

Well, this Sunday should be a little less hectic than last Sunday - hopefully. Since I have finished Harry Potter #5, I can devote myself to my book club's selection, Anna Dressed in Blood. I have only just started it so I can't say much about it yet but it looks like it will be a good pick!

I only have six days to read it so I better get hoppin'.



Friday, October 19, 2012

FF: What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?

Hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read, this Friday is featuring Angela's Anxious Life and Book Liason. The question this week is:
What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? Is it to one day become an author yourself, just for fun, maybe get some online attention, or maybe something very different?

I would love to one day be an author myself but the time isn't right. I do this primarily as an outlet for my thoughts on books I have read or are reading. Now, I did get a free book last month from a publisher wanting my opinion on said book which is AWESOME, so if anyone else wants to send me books for my review, feel free. :)