Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Are You A Book Hoarder??

Last week, I came across an article online from the LA Times website titled Are you a book hoarder? There's a word for that. by Hector Tobar. In the article, Tobar writes the following:

In Japanese, there’s a word for it: tsundoku. It’s a noun that describes a person who buys books and doesn’t read them, and then lets them pile up on the floor, on shelves, and assorted pieces of furniture. 
Frank Rose had a tsundoku problem. After he retired several years ago from his job as a state employee -- he lives in Sacramento -- he accelerated his purchases. Two years ago, he told the Friends of the Arden-Dimick Library in Sacramento that he’d donate his books when he died, the Sacramento Bee reports. By this summer, his collection had grown to 13,000 volumes. 
Finally, this month, Rose, 85, decided he didn’t want to wait any longer. Library volunteers this week began packing the books -- 500 boxes' worth. It was the biggest donation in the library’s history.

Phew, it's official!! I'm not a book hoarder by the definition given above... Book enthusiast, yes, most definitely!!

Additionally, I have to add a big, W-O-W, 13,000 books!! I thought I had a lot of books in my home, but I'm not even close to 13,000 books. 

How many books I have on hand, I'm not even sure. I currently have not only physical books, but several ebooks and audiobooks, which I've downloaded from both Amazon and Audible. 

So, how many books do you own? Would you consider yourself a book hoarder?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cupid's Cupcake by Ivy Sinclair

Short Story
Cupid's Cupcake by Ivy Sinclair is a short story that is a fun, fast read and is approximately 37 pages in length.

This is my first experience reading anything by Ivy Sinclair and I think her writing is very enjoyable. I enjoyed reading Cupid's Cupcake and found the characters and plot to be a perfect combination... I loved the romance, Valentine's Day theme & cupcakes featured in Cupid's Cupcake! It makes for the perfect beach read or during a short commute.

The following is a plot description Cupid's Cupcake from Amazon as follows:
What if something as simple as a cupcake could change a person's destiny? 
That's the question that Belle Morgan is forced to ask herself when she receives an unexpected email from Brian Draper, the town's local investigative reporter. Brian wants to do a story on Belle and her infamous creation, Cupid's Cupcake. 
Belle has been unlucky in love and unlucky in life. The only thing that she feels she's ever done right is perfect an old family recipe during one of the lowest points in her life. She doesn't buy into the myth that has grown around Cupid's Cupcake, but with Draper's offer she sees an opportunity to change her luck for the better. What she discovers is that Cupid may have plans for her after all.

I'm giving Cupid's Cupcake a rating of 7 stars out of 10 stars!

Until my next post, happy reading!

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

I'd read The Giver by Lois Lowry and really enjoyed it immensely! What a phenomenal read!! So, with that said, I really looked forward to reading Number the Stars by Lois Lowry this year.

I just finished reading Number the Stars today. I wasn't too impressed with it. In fact, I am pretty disappointed with Number the Stars after reading it as I found it boring for the most part. The last four chapters were the most interesting and captivating part of Number the Stars for me. I felt that the characters were pretty flat overall (with the exception of Kirsti) and the way in which the story was told could have been made more interesting for readers. 

The topic for Number the Stars and its overall message were good ones to write about in a novel... but the fact that it was boring, didn't make it good a read for me.

Number the Stars is the 1990 Newbery Award Medal Winner. So, evidently this novel hit the mark with those in the literary community and readers.

Below is the product description for Number the Stars, which I found on Amazon:

As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family. 
Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.

Until my next post, happy reading! 

Top Ten Tuesday --- Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. 

Each week a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget, so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow book bloggers!!


Well, I recently moved into a new home, so have had a chance to unpack my entire collection of books yet! My books have been packed up in storage for almost 2.5 months now, so am a bit fuzzy on which authors I own the most books from right off the cuff. What follows below is my incomplete least!

1. Diana Gabaldon
2. Tamar Myers
3. Thomas Steinbeck
4. Gay Hendricks
5. Agatha Christie
6. Margaret Atwood

Which authors do you own the most books from?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bay Books --- New Used & Rare Books!!

Bay Books Store Front in San Ramon, California!!


As many of you already know, I really enjoy visiting independent bookstores!! Earlier today, I visited Bay Books in San Ramon, California for the very first time and look forward to going back again and again. Bay Books offers new, used and rare books for sale. 

I enjoyed the layout of this bookstore immensely. It's really well organized and there are a lot of nooks and crannies with chairs to sit on in strategically placed spots throughout the store. The books on display are fun to explore as well.

I also liked how big Bay Books is on the inside! It's a lot bigger on the inside than I imagined it would be. Because Bay Books is a nice sized bookstore, it has a wide array of books to choose from in in different genres.

The staff is nice and friendly as well. They are also good at recommending books to read should you need a recommendation.

Bay Books also has two book clubs. One for adults which meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7pm and one for children which usually meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 4pm.

To learn more about Bay Books, visit the link above. Or better yet, drop by their storefront for a visit!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bout of Books 11.0 Read-A-Thon 8/18/2014 - 8/24/2014

Bout of Books


I'm really excited about participating in Bout of Books Read-A-Thon 11.0 next month! So, what is Bout of Books you ask?? Below is a quick blurb about it from the ladies who organize this fun reading event! 

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Time Devoted to Reading 
I plan to read every single day during the Bout of Books Read-A-Thon!!! I'll try to devote 2-3 hours to reading each day. More if I have time.

Goals 
- Listen to two unabridged audiobooks!!

- Try to complete some of the challenges.

- Comment on other posts made by other bloggers participating in this challenge!

- Have fun reading!!
Here's My List of Books to Read This Week
1. The Son by Philipp Mayer (Unabridged Audio Version)
2. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote  (Unabridged Audio Version)

UPDATES
Monday
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Tuesday

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Wednesday

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Thursday

The number of pages and/or books I've read today:
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Friday

The number of pages and/or books I've read today:
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Saturday

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Sunday

The number of pages and/or books I've read today:
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Join me in participating in this round of Bout of Books Read-A-Thon by visiting the Bout of Books link above and signing up for this event and posting your reading goals!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Flash Gold by Lindsay Buroker

I'm new to the steampunk genre. I'm trying to branch out and read books that fall into genres that I normally wouldn't read. 

Earlier this summer, I selected a few steampunk novellas from Amazon to read on my Kindle. Flash Gold by Lindsay Buroker is my latest steampunk read at 56 pages in length.

I thought this novella was written well enough by the author. I enjoyed the characters, the plot and action/adventure, but I'm just not sure that I'm into steampunk fiction all that much. I like the concept of steampunk as it makes for an interesting one to write about in books, novels or short stories. Perhaps, I simply haven't found the right steampunk story that suits me?

Here's the plot summary for Flash Gold from the Amazon website:
Eighteen-year-old Kali McAlister enters her steam-powered "dogless sled" in a race, intending to win the thousand-dollar prize and escape remote Moose Hollow forever. The problem? Fortune seekers and airship pirates are after her for the secret to flash gold, her late father's alchemical masterpiece.

With her modified rifle and a pocketful of home-made smoke bombs, Kali wouldn't normally hide from a confrontation, but taking on a whole airship single-handedly is a daunting task. Unfortunately, the other racers won't assist her--they're too busy scheming ways to sabotage her unorthodox sled.

When a sword-slinging stranger shows up, wanting to hire on as her protector, she's sure he has ulterior motives, but he's the only one interested in helping her. The question is...why?

I'm giving Flash Gold a rating of 6.5 out of 10 stars.

Sold by Patricia McCormick

I recently listened to the unabridged audio version of Sold by Patricia McCormick and narrated by Justine Eyre. Playing time for this audiobook is approximately 3 hours, 44 minutes.

I initially had a difficult time adjusting to the strong accent narrator, Justine Eyre, had while she read Sold. But eventually, I grew to like Justine Eyre's narration of Sold.

I thought that Sold was extremely well written. It's a sad, tragic story really... A young girl is sold unknowingly by her family into prostitution. They think she'll be a house maid to a wealthy family...  Little do they know!

The following is the Publisher's Summary from Audible:

Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family's crops, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family. He introduces her to a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi journeys to India and arrives at "Happiness House" full of hope. But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution. 
An old woman named Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family's debt - then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave. Lakshmi's life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. Still, she lives by her mother's words - simply to endure is to triumph - and gradually, she forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision - will she risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life? 
Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful novel renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and a girl who not only survives but triumphs.

Even though, Sold deals with the topic of prostitution and sexual slavery of young girls, it's a really good read.

I'm giving Sold a rating of 8 stars out of 10 stars!

Until my next post, happy reading!!

'Eat Pray Love' Author Elizabeth Gilbert on Books

Okay, I am not a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert's book 'Eat Pray Love' (although I loved the movie version of her book). I did, however, thoroughly enjoy listening to the unabridged audio version of her book 'Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage'.

As an avid reader, I'm always interested (or perhaps, curious, is the right word?) in books that authors have enjoyed reading over the years. So, when I came across an article on Entertainment Weekly's site titled 'Eat Pray Love' author Elizabeth Gilbert on the books of her life by Stephan Lee, I decided to read it. I found the answers given by Elizabeth Gilbert to be fascinating!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Finds #43

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list...

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

This week, I purchased a used paperback copy of The Son by Philipp Meyer.

This past weekend, I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Selkie Spell by Sophie Moss. It's a really great read!! The Selkie Spell is the first book in the Seal Island Trilogy. So, I've also added the two other novels in the trilogy to my reading wishlist as follows:

The Selkie Sorceress by Sophie Moss
The Selkie Enchantress by Sophie Moss

So, which books have you purchased or added to your reading wishlist this week?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jesters and Junkies by Jamie Garrett

Jesters & Junkies by Jamie Garrett is a novella, written by an author that's new to me. I love reading mystery novels and Jesters & Junkies is the first in a series to feature female private investigator, Riley Reid.

I read this novella in a single afternoon. I wasn't overly impressed with Jesters & Junkies. It started out pretty bland and eventually picked up its pace a few chapters into it. 

For a private detective, I felt that Riley Reid made some dumb moves... I'm surprised she hasn't been killed or seriously injured, but hey, this is a work of fiction, right?

As far as the storyline and characters go, I felt that Jesters & Junkies was passable. I'm not planning to read any of the other books in the Riley Reid Mystery Series. The author's writing style, along with the plot and character development simply were not captivating enough in Jesters & Junkies to compel me to read any additional books by the author.

Also, as a side note, some minor editing work needs to be done on Jesters & Junkies I have. 

Here's a blurb about Jesters & Junkies from Amazon's website:
Meet Riley Reid, a private investigator in small town Virginia. A product of parental abandonment, and far too much time spent at the police station, Riley's personality gives a unique perspective to every case.

Riley is hired by grieving parents to investigate the death of a young man in his prime. He even had a baby on the way. Police rule it an accidental overdose, but neither Riley or her new clients believe it.

Through her investigations, Riley is thrown into a drug conspiracy far larger than she ever expected. Suddenly, she's breaking into rehab centers, trailing suspects and fighting off gun-wielding invaders.

Come and join Riley in the sleepy town of Stone Harbor and lose yourself in the mystery.

I'm giving Jesters & Junkies a rating of 5 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Bookish Quote of the Day!!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Batman Day!!

It's official! Today is Batman Day in honor of the 75th anniversary of DC Comics' creation of the Dark Knight! I just discovered that today is Batman Day... For more information about Batman Day, checkout the following article from Today.com titled Happy Batman Day! 5 reasons we still love him after 75 years by Rick Schindler.

Who knew that many libraries have issues with bed bugs in their books?

I certainly never knew that libraries are battling bloodsucking bed bugs!! I recently read an article in the Ledger-Enquirer titled Libraries battle bed bugs in books by Bethany Barnes. The article is very enlightening on the subject. In the article, Barnes writes:
Hotels and apartments are better known hosts of bed bug battles, but the pests also are a problem for public spaces — like libraries — as the creatures are excellent hitchhikers. 
Libraries have had to close because of infestations, and some places have protocol that requires destroying books that come into contact with the bugs.
Knowing heat destroys bed bugs, the students decided to see if they could craft an inexpensive solution using solar power.
The result was an insulated wooden black box with a Plexiglas top that barbecues the bugs.
The cooking comparison isn't hype — returned books land on an actual grill, a cautionary measure for the unlikely scenario in which a bug tries to escape.
If a bed bug tries to crawl out of a book, it will fall through the grill into a powdery abrasive earth mixture, which will stick to the bug and slice up its exoskeleton, ensuring its demise, Ramos said.

Click on the above link to read the entire story online.

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2014/07/18/3205862/libraries-battle-bed-bugs-in-books.html#storylink=cpy

US Libraries Fighting Homelessness

I read an article on Reuters about libraries titled U.S. libraries become front line in fight against homelessness by Ian Simpson. In the article, Simpson writes the following:
Libraries are magnets for the homeless since they are public, free, centrally located and quiet. They also are safe, a major draw given that 337 homeless people have been killed in hate crimes in the last 15 years, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. 
"(Libraries) are on the front line whether they want to or not," said Jeremy Rosen, director of advocacy at the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, an advocacy group. 
The upturn in homeless outreach is part of an overall 47 percent increase in library programs from 2004 to 2011, according to a June report by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Click on the above link to read the entire story and learn about some of the programs geared towards fighting homelessness.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pure Sex by Lucinda Betts, Bonnie Edwards, & Sasha White

I read the eBook version of Pure Sex, a collection of three erotica novellas, by Lucinda Betts, Bonnie Edwards, & Sasha White.

Before I write my review of this erotica collection, let me note for the record that I dislike the title of this book and the cheesy looking cover art/design! 


Sure, the three novellas featured in this collection fall into the erotica genre. And, yes, they most definitely contain plenty of sex scenes in each of them, but the novellas contain more than just pure unadulterated sex... They also have great stories, so the title of 'Pure Sex' just doesn't fit very well with this collection of erotica, in my opinion.


Now on to my review of Pure Sex! As I already mentioned above, Pure Sex, contains three novellas and the titles are as follows:

The Bet by Lucinda Betts
Slow Hand by Bonnie Edwards
The Crib by Sasha White

The following is a a blurb about Pure Sex from Amazon's website:
The sexy and enticing tales in this anthology are sure to please any reader of erotic fiction. Scintillating tales of erotic encounters and sexy couplings are what populate this excellent trilogy of erotic short stories. The tempting adventures of the characters are sure to excite and tantalize. "Lucinda Betts The Bet": If golden girl Zoe wins the company's big promotion, she gets Phillip's bonus. If Phillip wins, Zoe's his sex slave for twenty-four hours. Losing? That is so not going to happen. She'd rather chew off her foot. Phillip has other ideas. He'd rather be in charge of a sinfully uninhibited fantasy encounter. But once all bets are off, there's no going back..."Bonnie Edwards Slow Hand": Is that a furious runaway bride marching down the beach? Caribbean charter captain Jared McKay to the rescue. She's ready to pitch her wedding shoes overboard and sail away. Aye aye, whatever the lady wants. Hey, was that a garter flying by? And wait a minute - a white lace thong just hit the deck. His wildest dreams are about to come true..."Sasha White The Crib": P.I. Alexis Signorino works undercover as a cocktail waitress in a tough biker bar called The Crib - and she just ran into a suspect: Devon Kaye, looking guilty as sin and twice as hot. Alexis is up for a smokin' sexual adventure...and it's almost closing time...

This collection of erotica is AWESOME!! I enjoyed reading all three stories immensely and would highly recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys reading erotica.  'Slow Hand' by Bonnie Edwards and 'The Crib' by Sasha White were my two favorite novellas of the three presented in Pure Sex.

I'm giving Pure Sex a rating of 9 stars out of 10 stars!!

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Top Ten Tuesday -- Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget, so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow book bloggers!!

1. Claire Randall Fraser (Outlander Series)


I love her character in the Outlander series!! She's a fun character you'd love to have as a friend. Plus, she's a gifted natural healer and nurse/physician.


2. Jamie Fraser (Outlander Series)


Is Claire's sexy hubby, who's both funny and intelligent. He a great provider too. All you'd want in a man for a life partner!

3. Enzo (The Dog from The Art of Racing in the Rain)


Gotta love dogs!! I am an avid dog lover and Enzo is one heck of a lovable dog. I like how the novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, is told through Enzo's eyes. I already know dogs are super smart, but this novel gives you an interesting perspective on what dogs may be thinking! Plus, it gives one hope (or at least me anyway) that dogs are reincarnated and come back into our lives as humans.


4. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series)


I love Hermione Granger!! She's an over achiever and excels in school in just about everything. I'd want her around on a deserted island to work her magic and use her knowledge to get us out of any pickle!

5. Hercule Poirot (Agatha Christie's Famous Fictional Belgium Detective)


I've always had a soft spot for Hercule Poirot!! He's my favorite character created by Agatha Christie. He's logical and smart and could solve any case!!

6. Susan "Stargirl" Caraway


She's the lead character in the novel Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. Stargirl is a high school student who is a positive role model for girls to stand out and be unique and to not afraid to be who they really are.

7.  Samuel Hamilton (from East of Eden)


One of my favorite characters from East of Eden!! 

8. Lee (from East of Eden)


Another favorite character from East of Eden

9. Miss Jane Marple (fictional character created by Agatha Christie) 


I like her character as well! Miss Marple is able to solve mysteries quite well. She reminds me of a kindly old aunt!

10. Ivan Markovic (from Her Russian Protector #1 by Roxie Rivera)


Every once in awhile the bad boy can be sexy!

So, which characters would you want with you on a deserted island?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Selkie Spell by Sophie Moss


Last weekend, I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Selkie Spell by Sophie Moss and read by Hollis McCarthy. The Selkie Spell is the first novel of The Seal Island Trilogy. 


Sophie Moss is a new (to me anyway) author... And her writing is phenomenal! I thoroughly enjoyed my listening experience of The Selkie Spell... Hollis McCarthy did a spectacular job of reading The Selkie Spell. I cannot imagine anyone else doing a better job of reading this novel than Hollis McCarthy. I also learned through the author's website that "The Selkie Spell is a GOLD MEDAL WINNER in the 2013 Readers' Favorite Book Awards"!


The following is the publisher's summary of The Selkie Spell that I found on Audible:
American doctor Tara Moore wants to disappear. On the run from an abusive husband, she seeks shelter on a windswept Irish island and dismisses the villagers' speculation that she is descended from a selkie - a magical creature who is bewitching the island. But when a ghostly woman appears to her with a warning, Tara realizes it was more than chance that brought her to this island. 
Desperate to escape a dark and dangerous past, she struggles against a passionate attraction to handsome islander, Dominic O'Sullivan. But the enchantment of the island soon overpowers her and she falls helpless under its spell. Caught between magic and reality, Tara must find a way to wield both when a dangerous stranger from her past arrives, threatening to destroy the lives of everyone on the island.

I'm giving The Selkie Spell by Sophie Moss a 9 out of 10 star rating.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Read Booksellers by G. R. Doodlebug

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit a bookstore in Danville, California called Read Booksellers by G. R. Doodlebug

I enjoyed visiting this bookstore quite a bit as well as the exquisitely beautiful shopping center (Blackhawk Plaza) where this bookstore it is located. 

Read Booksellers offers a wide selection of books from several genres. In addition to a diverse selection of books for sale, Read Booksellers also sells fine pens, stationery and unique decor. I also enjoyed the layout and decor of this stylish bookstore.

The staff member on duty, whom I encountered during my visit was friendly and very helpful. I love great customer service and friendly employees... It really makes all the difference in the world to have knowledgeable, outgoing sales associates in a brick and mortar store while shopping in the retail setting.

My favorite section in the Good Reads bookstore was the young adult section, which held a vast array of current, popular young adult books available for purchase.

I enjoyed viewing many of the themed book displays provided throughout the Good Reads bookstore. They're well done and showcase a nice variety of different genres.

I also enjoyed seeing a wide array of staff picks prominently on display throughout the Good Reads bookstore. Sometimes when I visit a bookstore, I only intend to browse the shelves with no real goal of buying a specific book title or a book from a particular author. It's during these times that I usually discover and (occasionally) buy a new book based on a staff pick... So, it was delightful to find so many staff picks on hand at the Good Reads bookstore.

I also learned that Good Reads hosts a monthly book group called "Read With Friends", which meets at 7pm on the 4th Thursday of the month. Book groups are not only great for business, but they also foster a continued love for reading, promote lively and interesting discussions about a book that's been read, and also serve as a way to forge new friendships with other avid readers.

Have you visited any independent bookstores recently? Share your experience with me in the comment section below.

Until my next, post happy reading!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Learn What Your Favorite Authors Reading This Summer!

I'm always curious as to which books famous authors read when they aren't busy writing their own books!! Don't you ever wonder the same thing too?

Well, I discovered an article this past weekend on Parade's website titled What Are Your Favorite Authors Reading This Summer? by Walter Scott. Even though my favorite authors weren't spotlighted in this article, I still found it fun to learn which book Stephen King and other authors were reading this summer.

Top Literary Destinations in London For Book Lovers!

I'd love to visit London England some day! While I'm there, I'd love to spend time visiting some of the literary sights... As an avid reader and book lover, I couldn't imagine not seeing a few noteworthy places during a trip to London. 

I came across another terrific article posted on BuzzFeed titled 12 Literary Spots In London That Every Book Lover Needs To Visit by Arianna Rebolini. This article certainly helps to narrow down which destinations one should visit while in London!

Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Literary Pun Names For Your Cat!!!

Calling all cat lovers!!! If you're looking for unique literary names to name your new cat or kitten, then checkout the following BuzzFeed article by Nathan W. Pyle titled 25 Literary Pun Names For Your Cat!!! The names are pretty entertaining to say the least. I liked the following pun names the best:

Holden Clawfield
Emily Lickinson
Yawn Quixote
Harry Pawter

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Catcher in the Rye by J, D. Salinger Turned 63 Years on July 16, 2014

Happy belated 63rd birthday to the novel, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger!! July 16, 1951 is the publication date for The Catcher in the Rye. I read The Catcher in the Rye in high school and remember liking it a lot back then. I think it is an awesome novel and great American classic.

Check out the following article from BuzzFeed titled 36 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About “The Catcher In The Rye” by Daniel Dalton to learn some interesting facts about this classic.

Rainbow Rowell On Her Love Affair With Music and Writing

I admit it, here and now, that I have yet to read anything written by Rainbow Rowell... I have heard some pretty awesome things about her  writing and her books from other readers and bloggers. So, with that said, I have added a couple of her books to my reading wishlist.

This past weekend, I came across and article on BuzzFeed titled 
Literature’s John Hughes: Rainbow Rowell On Her Love Affair With Music and Writing by Erica Futterman... Since Rainbow Rowell has recently become a writer whose works I'd like to read, I decided to check out the above mentioned article to gain more insight about the writer herself.

In her article, Erica Futterman writes the following:
As Rowell describes in a phone conversation with BuzzFeed ahead of Landline’s release, her relationship between music and writing is not accidental. “With each book I tend to find a certain mood, and tone, and vibe,” she says. “When you’re connecting to a song and it’s making you feel open … I’m trying to reach that point when I’m writing.” As Rowell writes, she crafts Spotify playlists to serve as soundtracks for herself and her readers. Rowell’s day-to-day writing lifestyle in her home state of Nebraska is a solitary affair, so, for her, music serves as both a companion and inspiration. “I start with 10 songs and then I build and build,” she says. “I go through and think, How do I want this to feel? What’s the vibe going to be?” The result is distinctly different personas for each novel.
For me, I find interesting to learn how writers write there books/novels... In this case, I enjoyed learning about Rainbow Rowell's relationship between music and writing and how this helps her creativity while writing her books.

To read the full story, click on the link above!

Friday Finds #42

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list...

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

Here is the list of books I've acquired in the past week! 

1. Coconut Oil For Skin Care by Sherri Neal
2. The Lady in Yellow by Alyne De Winter
3. The Fourth Wall by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo
4. Going Green: 25 Recipes to Save Your House by Penelope Hoyt

Which books have added to your reading pile or reading wishlist?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Unabridged Audio Version
I recently listened to the unabridged version of The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and read by Grahame Stevens. Playing time for this audiobook is approximately 5 hours, 25 minutes. 

I am very familiar with the character names of Sherlock Holmes and his side kick Dr. John H. Watson as there have been countless movies and television series featuring both characters. But, I have yet to read or listen to anything written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle until now.  

Here's the plot details for The Hound of the Baskervilles from Audible:
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson investigate the legend of a supernatural hound, a beast that may be stalking a young heir on the fog-shrouded moorland that makes up his estate. The best of the Holmes novels!
I wasn't overly impressed with this story, the characters or the plot development... I also felt that Grahame Stevens did an okay job of reading The Hound of the Baskervilles

The story was a bit difficult for me to get into. I wasn't sure if this was due to the way Grahame Stevens was reading The Hound of the Baskervilles or if it was the writing/story itself that was the issue. Things finally became more captivating a few chapters into The Hound of the Baskervilles.  

The ending of it, however, was a let down... I don't like stories where the author has the leading characters give a final analysis of the events as a way to wrap/tidy things up. If the author writes a great story there is no need to have the leading characters wrap up the story line. It's just odd! 

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were also quite a bit different in this story than I expected them to be after seeing a movie and two different television series in recent years about them. Then again, I know Hollywood puts their own artistic license into things, so I shouldn't be too surprised if Hollywood didn't stay true to the characters.

All in all, The Hound of the Baskervilles was a decent read. I didn't love or hate it... Just felt 'Meh' about it on the whole. I won't be going out of my way to read another Sherlock Holmes story in the feature.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Marvel Comics Has Announced That Thor Will Be A Woman!!




I was totally stoked to learn on Tuesday, July 15th that Marvel Comics is introducing an all new female God of Thunder (or should I be saying, Goddess of Thunder??)! Go Girl Power!! Women need more representation in terms of leading roles in comic books. 

After reading about the all new female Thor, it appears that some people don't seem so thrilled that a woman will be the next Thor. It's really kind of sad to read the negative reactions some folks are having to Thor being a woman. I think Marvel's move to make Thor a woman is progressive and refreshing. Change is a good thing somethings, right? 

What are your thoughts about Marvel's new announcement?

The French Way of Buying Books!!

The New York Times featured an interesting article titled The French Do Buy Books. Real Books. by Pamela Druckerman. It sheds light on the fact that the French do not give deep discounts on the books that are sold. In fact, they have fixed book pricing in France. 

In her article, Druckerman writes the following:

France, meanwhile, has just unanimously passed a so-called anti-Amazon law, which says online sellers can’t offer free shipping on discounted books. (“It will be either cheese or dessert, not both at once,” a French commentator explained.) The new measure is part of France’s effort to promote “biblio-diversity” and help independent bookstores compete. Here, there’s no big bookseller with the power to suddenly turn off the spigot. People in the industry estimate that Amazon has a 10 or 12 percent share of new book sales in France. Amazon reportedly handles 70 percent of the country’s online book sales, but just 18 percent of books are sold online.
The French secret is deeply un-American: fixed book prices. Its 1981 “Lang law,” named after former Culture Minister Jack Lang, says that no seller can offer more than 5 percent off the cover price of new books. That means a book costs more or less the same wherever you buy it in France, even online. The Lang law was designed to make sure France continues to have lots of different books, publishers and booksellers.
Fixing book prices may sound shocking to Americans, but it’s common around the world, for the same reason. In Germany, retailers aren’t allowed to discount most books at all. Six of the world’s 10 biggest book-selling countries — Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Spain and South Korea — have versions of fixed book prices.
What do you think? Should we have fixed book prices here in the USA?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wonderful Self-Portraits Bring Great Classics to Life!!

I enjoyed viewing one man's self portraits made of reading various books! Check out Klassy Goldberg's post.

Top Ten Tuesday --- Top Ten Favorite Movies!!


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. 

Each week a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget, so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow book bloggers!!


There are soooo many movies to choose from that I enjoyed watching over the years!! This made selecting my top ten favorite movies pretty difficult, so below is my list of top ten movies.

1. The Great Outdoors
2. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
3. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
4. Sweet Home Alabama
5. Rio
6. The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
7. Octopussy
8. A Perfect Murder
9. Seven
10. Lucky Number Slevin

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

World Book Night USA Suspended

I'm quite saddened to learn that World Book Night USA has been suspended after 3 years due to financial reasons. 

I love reading books and am passionate about sharing my love of reading books with others. The past 3 years, I've been a World Book Night book giver within my own community. And each year, I've had a blast handing out copies of free books to other people and encouraging them to read the book I'm passing out during that particular year. There's nothing more exciting than spreading the love of reading person to person. Especially, if the person you're giving a book to can see how passionate about the book you're giving them that they can't wait to start reading it themselves. I actually saw one of the people I gave a World Book Night Book to this year, sit down and start reading the book right away... How cool was that!?!?

So, needless to say, I was looking forward to applying and becoming a World Book Night book giver once again in 2015. World Book Night is such an awesome program. Too bad it is coming to an end here in the USA!

Checkout the following article from the USA Today website titled, Book Buzz: World Book Night suspended for lack of funds by Bob Minzesheimer! I learned the following information:

The non-profit program, modeled on a British Book Night, enlisted more than 25,000 volunteers each spring to give away more than 500,000 copies of specially printed paperbacks of about 30 different titles. 
It was aimed at people who did not have much access to books. Volunteers gave away books in health clinics, jails, parks and in low-income neighborhoods. Its motto was "Spreading the love of reading. person to person." 
In a statement, the program's executive director, Carl Lennertz, said, "This has been a remarkable, passionate undertaking, and it has been a success by all measures, except for one: Outside funding."
For three years, he added, "the publishing industry and book community have very generously footed the bill and contributed enormous time and effort … We had hoped to have more success with grant requests. But there are a lot of other worthy causes out there and only so much money available. Unfortunately, we can't carry on without significant new outside funding."
Click on the link above to read the full story!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday Finds #41

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list...

Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

Here is the list of books I've acquired in the past week! 

Three audiobooks made the list:

Sold by Patricia McCormick
The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Three eBooks also made the list:

1. Flash Gold by Lindsay Buroker
2. Dying to Dance by Katie O'Connell
3. Rosaria of Venice by Aaron M. Miner

Which books have you added to either your wishlist and/or reading pile? 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Soloist by Steve Lopez

I picked up the unabridged audio version of The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music by Steve Lopez and narrated by William Hughes from Audible when it was a daily deal for $2.95 not too long ago.

All I can say is W-O-W, The Soloist is an amazing story! The Soloist has easily become one of my favorite books of 2014. Not only is The Soloist a story about a lost dream, an unlikely friendship, and the redemptive power of music, it also sheds light on mental illness, homelessness on LA's Skid Row and the struggles that go along with it in ways I could have never envisioned before my encounter with The Soloist

The Soloist is my first experience with anything written by Steve Lopez (that I know of anyway) and he is a wonderful writer! He knows how to tell a story that draws the reader in and keeps them interested in what he has to say.... Which I must admit is a sure sign that he's not only a good writer, but also a good journalist (Lopez has written for the LA Times. I'm not sure if he still writes for the LA Times or not). 

I also thought that William Hughes did a wonderful job narrating The Soloist, which made my experience with The Soloist an even better experience.

The following is the publisher's summary for The Soloist, which I found on Audible:

When journalist Steve Lopez sees Nathaniel Ayers playing his heart out on a two-string violin on Los Angeles' skid row, he finds it impossible to walk away. More than 30 years ago, Ayers was a promising classical bass student at Juilliard - ambitious, charming, and also one of the few African-Americans there - until he gradually lost his ability to function, overcome by schizophrenia.
Over time, the two men form a bond and Lopez imagines that he might be able to change Ayers' life. The Soloist is a beautifully told story of devotion in the face of seemingly unbeatable challenges.

Also, checkout the following YouTube video featuring Steve Lopez and Nathaniel Ayers.




I also enjoyed reading an article titled The Real Story Behind 'The Soloist' on NPR's site, along with an excerpt of The Soloist. I also enjoyed listening to a 39 minute interview with Steve Lopez on NPR found in the above mentioned NPR link. In the interview, you can learn more about Nathaniel Ayers

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Half Price Books Bookstore


Sunday evening, my husband & I visited Half Price Books bookstore in Dublin, California. Wow, this place is HUGE inside and contains not only hardback and paperback books, but also audiobooks, music on compact discs, records, games, stationary, magazines and more! Half Price Books even buys books. 

I enjoyed the ambiance at Half Price Books. It is light, bright, well organized, and very clean. Visit Half Price Books' website by clicking on the link above to see pictures of the interior of their bookstore. Also peruse, their website to learn more about them.

I also see that Half Price Books has a blog aptly titled Half Price Blog. Checkout their blog as well while your at it!

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday -- Top Ten Favorite Classic Books



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. 

Each week a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget, so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow book bloggers!!

I found it difficult to come up with 10 classics that are my favorite classics of all time!! Here is my list of favorites in no order of importance.

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
2. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
3. The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
4. A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov
5. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
6. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
8. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
9. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
10. No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre