Sunday, September 30, 2012

Celebrate Banned Books Week!! Read A Banned Book!!

Today is the 1st day of Banned Books Weeks, which takes place this year from September 30th through October 6th. This year also marks the 30th year celebrating the Freedom to Read!! Join in the celebration by reading a banned or challenged book this week. Fight censorship!!

This year Bill & Judith Moyers are Honorary Chairs for Banned Books Week 30th Anniversary. Watch the following video message from Bill Moyers about censorship!

I've started a Banned Books Week Reading Challenge, so please join and share which book you'll be reading this week for Banned Books Week 2012.

I'll be posting more banned books related topics throughout this week, so stay tuned! Until my next post, I'll be busy reading a banned book and I hope you will be too!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Rules for Bookstore Flirting

I enjoyed reading Lauren Leto's article on the Huffington Post titled 7 Rules for Bookstore Flirting, because she makes a great case for why bookstores make one of the best places to find a date and potential mate. Leto writes:
Bookstores are the easiest place to pick someone up. Think about it: a conversation topic is usually in the hand of the other person, people often browse quietly and alone (no need for shouting over music or wingmen), it's easy to pass yourself off as just being polite if the person seems disinterested in talking with you. A low pressure, casual atmosphere for even the shyest bookworm.
Click on the above link to read the full article and learn the 7 rules for bookstore flirting! The article is short and to the point.

P. S. I also learned from the article that Ms. Leto has a book coming out next month titled, Judging a Book by Its Lover, and it sounds awesome!! Another book title to add to my ever growing wishlist!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Coronado by Dennis Lehane

Coronado by Dennis Lehane is another unabridged audiobook that I've finished listening to recently. 

Coronado is a collection of short stories and is the first book of published works I've read or listened by Dennis Lehane. I really enjoyed all of the short stories featured in this book, but the story titled, Until Gwen, was by far my favorite story in this collection. The stories were well written, gritty, and feature the darker side of humanity. 

Actor Stanley Tucci was the dramatic reader for Coronado and he did an awesome job of reading the entire collection of stories.

After Coronado had ended, there was an interview of Dennis Lehane that followed. I really enjoyed listening to this interview as I find it fascinating to hear about the author's writing process and other insightful information they share about what they've written. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Box: Uncanny Stories by Richard Matheson

Sometimes I enjoy taking a break from reading books and turn my attention to listening to audiobooks. I've listened to quite a few audiobooks lately and The Box: Uncanny Stories by Richard Matheson was one of the more intriguing ones.

The Box is a compilation of twelve short stories written by Richard Matheson and they fall into the horror and suspense genre. Grover Gardner did a superb job of reading each story. I enjoyed listening to Mute, Button, Button & Girl of My Dreams the most. However, most of the stories were excellent, with the exception of a couple that didn't interest me much.

The first short story, Button, Button, was actually made into a movie titled The Box starring Cameron Diaz, which I've heard about, but haven't seen.

I've never read anything before by Richard Matheson. Nor was I familiar with his name until recently. I learned from Wikipedia that Richard Matheson is an American author and screenwriter with a long and prolific career. Even if I wasn't familiar with Matheson's name, I am familiar with several movies for which he has written screenplays for like I Am Legend, A Stir of Echoes, and Somewhere in Time. Plus, Matheson wrote 16 episodes for the Twilight Zone television series which ran during the late 1950s, early 1960s.

In 2010, Richard Matheson was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

Since I enjoyed listening to The Box, I plan to seek out other published works by Richard Matheson down the road.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

International Book Week Meme

Here are the rules of the International Book Week Meme according to the Wikipedia site: 

Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence as your status. Don't mention the title. 

My sentence is as follows:

"The youth ran quickly and seized the girl and kissed her before she had the chance to throw salt into the stew."

Okay, now it's your turn to play! Grab the nearest book to you and share with me the 5th sentence found on page 52! Have fun and I look forward to reading the sentences you leave in the comment section. :-)

As a side note, I learned through Wikipedia the following about International Book Week:
International Book Week is an awareness week mentioned in a socially generated internet meme where users of social networking sites share arbitrary lines from nearby books. Unlike globally publicised events such as World Book Day, International Book Week is not a formally established awareness week, and does not exist outside of the meme.
Share the International Book Week Meme on your blog or social networking and see what sentences you'll find yourself reading!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Essential Presidential Campaign Reading

Here in the USA the presidential elections are right around the corner. So, with all the campaign hubbub going on, are you looking for a good political read or two pertaining to political campaigns? 

If so, then you might be interested in an article published in the Los Angeles Times titled 12 essential presidential campaign books. Check out the article and list of essential must read campaign books!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Man Who Turned His Home Into a Public Library

Wow, what an inspiring story!! Hernando Guanlao, a man living near central Manila in the Philippines, shares his love for reading by turning his home into a free public library! Checkout the following BBC News article titled, The man who turned his home into a public library by
Hernando Guanlao is a sprightly man in his early 60s, with one abiding passion - books.

They're his pride and joy, which is just as well because, whether he likes it or not, they seem to be taking over his house. 

Guanlao, known by his nickname Nanie, has set up an informal library outside his home in central Manila, to encourage his local community to share his joy of reading.

The idea is simple. Readers can take as many books as they want, for as long as they want - even permanently. As Guanlao says: "The only rule is that there are no rules."

t's a policy you might assume would end very quickly - with Guanlao having no books at all.
But in fact, in the 12 years he's been running his library - or, in his words, his book club - he's found that his collection has grown rather than diminished, as more and more people donate to the cause.
 Click on above link to read the full story!! 

Have you come across any inspiring book related stories lately in the news?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

“Reader's Bill of Rights

1. The right to not read

2. The right to skip pages

3. The right to not finish

4. The right to reread

5. The right to read anything

6. The right to escapism

7. The right to read anywhere

8. The right to browse

9. The right to read out loud

10. The right to not defend your tastes”

 ― Daniel Pennac

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Queensland Literary Awards 2012 Winners Announced

Are you looking to expand your reading horizons? The winners of the 2012 Queensland Literary Awards were announced earlier this month on September 4th, which just so happened to fall on the eve of the Brisbane Writers Festival. Check out the post on Bookseller + Publisher titled Queensland Literary Awards 2012 winners announced to view this year's list of winners!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Flip Reads

Flip Reads is another new website (or at least new to me) that I came across recently on my quest to discover interesting and informative book related topics to share here with my blog readers.

The Flip Reads website describes itself in the following way:
Flipreads is your premiere source of electronic books (e-books) from and about the Philippines and Asia.
Flipreads serves as a secure distribution platform for Filipino and Asian publishers, authors, and other content providers and gives the Asian reader easier access to e-books.

Our e-books are in ePUB format or screen-optimized PDF e-book format. They can be read on the Apple iPad, and any device or computer running Android, Microsoft Windows, or Mac OS.
So, if you're interested in reading e-books written by or about the Philippines and Asia, then this may be the website for you to checkout. Click on the link about for more information!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Peru's Bryce Echenique Wins Book Prize!

I enjoy discovering which authors and books are given literary awards from countries around the world. This gives me the wonderful opportunity to learn more about authors and books that I am unfamiliar with even if the author or book has been around for a number of years... This is the case with Peruvian author Bryce Echenique and his 1970 novel "Un Mundo para Julius" (A World for Julius) as I've never heard of  Bryce Echenique before now.

In an article published on the Fox News Latino website on September 3, 2012, titled Peru's Bryce Echenique wins Mexican lit prize, I learned the following information:

Peruvian writer Alfredo Bryce Echenique won Monday the 2012 Guadalajara International Book Fair Prize in Romance Languages, jury spokesman Cãlin-Andrei Mihãilescu, the Canadian writer of Romanian origin, said.

Bryce Echenique, who was born in Lima in 1939, "is one of the fundamental figures of Latin American literature," the note announcing the jury's unanimous choice said.

The author of the 1970 novel "Un Mundo para Julius" (A World for Julius) will receive the award on Nov. 24 at the 26th edition of the book fair, the world's most important literary event in the Spanish language.

"This great observer of the life and literary and political explorations of the Latin Americans of his generation explores such themes as illness, happiness, love and sadness, and moves with equal effectiveness from short stories to novels," the jury said.
I look forward to reading A World for Julius by Bryce Echenique and exploring his other published works.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bank of Books Bookstore

Bank of Books Storefront
I absolutely love visiting independent bookstores!! It is one of my favorite things to do aside from actually reading books, blogging, and participating in Bookcrossing activities! 

My hubby and I discovered another wonderful used bookstore in Ventura, California this past weekend called Bank of Books. This was our first visit to Bank of Books and I don't think that it will be our last visit either. This place is phenomenal and is a used bookstore heaven for sure!!
Interior of Bank of Books near store entrance.

First off, Bank of Books interior is H-U-G-E!! It's two stories and you could literally spend hours inside browsing through all of the books they have in stock. 

According to the Banks of Books website, there are over 200,000 books in stock in their storefront. Plus, more titles stocked in their warehouse for an approximate total of 2 million books! So, just because you don't see a book title you want sitting on one of their bookshelves, doesn't mean Bank of Books doesn't have it in stock.
Doggie water bowl and funny message!!

I met Clarey at the Bank of Books bookstore. He was nice and also helpful in answering any questions one had for him. I love it when you receive good customer service at retail stores one visits. 

Bank of Books also recently opened a second store in Malibu, California about a month ago. So, if you're in Malibu area, you may want to visit the Bank of Books storefront there. Click on the link above for the Bank of Books location in Malibu.

Also, find Bank of Books on Facebook!

The best thing about my visit to Bank of Books? The wonderful selection of used books, vintage magazines (old copies of Life/Post/Newsweek) and vintage books.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Save a Wet Book!

I hope that I never have to worry about saving a wet book from water damage and utter ruin! 

However, in the event that I need to save a wet book from destruction, I found an informative article from the Chicago Tribune by Amy Guth titled How to save a wet book. This article give some interesting tips on saving wet books from ruin.

Monday, September 17, 2012

34 Fun Book Chats You Should Tune Into on Twitter

I'm not on Twitter myself, but I know a lot of people out there in the community are. So, this blog post is for all of you Twitter members who are also avid readers and book lovers! 

I came across an online article titled 34 Fun Book Chats You Should Tune Into on Twitter, which I found on the Online College Courses website. This article goes on to state the following:
Book chats are alive and well on Twitter! They're sometimes hosted by authors who want to promote their books, but most often by books lovers at regularly scheduled times throughout the week. We've found book clubs, genre chats, even discussions for writers and publishers, all of which are easy to access and fun to join on Twitter. Check out this list to find some of the best book chats you should be checking out.
There is a wide variety of book chats to participate in on Twitter. The genres to choose from seem varied to suit many different reading tastes. So, click on the link above to learn more!! Maybe you'll find the perfect "book chat" group to participate in on Twitter!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

“Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it. Those who do not do it, think of it as a cousin of stamp collecting, a sister of the trophy cabinet, bastard of a sound bank account and a weak mind.” ― Jeanette Winterson

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Arctic Circle Comic Strip

I recently discovered the Arctic Circle comic strip from another Bookcrosser. I'd never heard of this comic strip before and I was pleased to see that Bookcrossing was featured in Arctic Circle on September 11, 2012! View the Arctic Circle comic strip by clicking on the link above.

Friday, September 14, 2012

BBAW 2012 Day 5: A Time of Reflection!

Welcome to day number five of Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2012!! Today is the last and final day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2012 and it's a day to reflect on the week at hand.

I am truly grateful that I took part in the interview swap on day two of Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2012! It was a lot of fun and allowed me to try something new. I'd never interviewed anyone for my blog before. Brooke, from i blog 4 books, was the best person I could have asked to be paired up with for the interview swap. I had a lot of fun exploring her blogging and I enjoyed coming up with interview questions to ask her... It was also a lot of fun reading her responses to my interview questions. Likewise, I enjoyed answering the interview questions she'd posed to me in return. I look forward to participating in the Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2013 Interview Swap!!

I've also added Australian author, Estelle Pinney, to my list of authors whose writing I'd like to explore in the future. I look forward to reading one of her books thanks to Mozette from My Reading List!

Another blogger had mentioned how wonderful Margaret Mahy's The Tricksters was, so I now look forward to adding this book to my ever growing collection of books to be read!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

BBAW Day 4: Here's to Good Reads ~ Spread the Seeds of Love!!

Welcome to day 4 of Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2012! Today's topic is pimping a book that you feel needs more recognition! 

Geez, this is a tough decision to make mainly, because I've read way too many great books over the years that deserve more recognition. With that said, I am unable to select just a single book to "pimp" in today's post! 

Instead, I am choosing to focus on several books that I've read prior to 2012 and have not yet shared on my blog prior to today. 

The first three books are works of fiction and the last two books are nonfiction.

The Sacred Well by Antoinette May 

I read this novel in 2011 and it quickly became one of my favorite reads of 2011. The writing and storytelling are both superb! Do you love historical novels that weave the past and present day together? If so, then The Sacred Well may be the perfect novel for you! The following is an overview of The Sacred Well from the Barnes & Noble website:
A young reporter in 1923, Alma Reed accompanies archaeologists to the ruins of Chichen Itza, where a fortune in Mayan artifacts has been stolen from a sacrificial well. It's believed a curse was unleashed by the theft—yet the career-making story it offers the ambitious journalist seems a godsend. It also leads her to a passionate love affair with revolutionary governor Felipe Carrillo Puerto. But when fate darkens their lives and damns them as doomed political pawns, Alma can't help but wonder if the curse is not, in fact, very real.
In another century, another writer is fascinated by Alma's tragic story. Drawn restlessly to Yucatán—and away from the stifling needs of her desperately ill partner—Sage Sanborn is tempted by her growing feelings for David, a scientist who encourages her to delve deeper into Alma's history. And in this ancient place of mystery and spirits, Sage must make an impossible decision that will forever change the course of her life.
The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister 

I read this novel in 2010 and it quickly became one of my favorite reads of 2010. The writing and storytelling are once again superb! The following is an overview of The School of Essential Ingredients from the Barnes & Noble website:
A "heartbreakingly delicious" national bestseller about a chef, her students, and the evocative lessons that food teaches about life
Once a month, eight students gather in Lillian's restaurant for a cooking class. Among them is Claire, a young woman coming to terms with her new identity as a mother; Tom, a lawyer whose life has been overturned by loss; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer adapting to life in America; and Carl and Helen, a long-married couple whose union contains surprises the rest of the class would never suspect..
The students have come to learn the art behind Lillian's soulful dishes, but it soon becomes clear that each seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. And soon they are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of what they create.
The Doorbells of Florence by Andrew Losowsky  

This was one of the quirkiest books I read in 2011! I loved this book because the author combines pictures of doorbells taken in Florence, Italy and then writes imaginary stories about who the occupants are and what they might be like. This makes for an interesting and unique subject/concept for a book.

Here's a link on Barnes & Noble for The Doorbells of Florence by Andrew Losowsky.
The Scent of God by Beryl Singleton Bissell 

This is an amazing memoir! I read it in 2009 and would highly recommend it!  The following is an overview of The Scent of God from the Barnes & Noble website:

When Beryl Bissell entered a cloistered convent in New Jersey, she believed that God had called her to this way of life. At first blissfully happy, within a year she became prey to obsessive compulsions. Her vocation at risk, she overcame these disorders, and persevered for another ten years until returning home to Puerto Rico to care for her ailing father. 

Thrust into this sensual environment, she was drawn to Padre Vittorio, a handsome Italian priest, and underwent a belated coming of age. For the next three years, she struggled to reconcile human desire with spiritual longing. In spare but lyric language, Bissell weaves a powerful story of love, death, guilt, and redemption-a pilgrimage that reaches beyond dogma to personal truth and evokes a transformation that changes not only Beryl but the lives of those whom she most loves.
Tea & Bee's Milk: Our Year in a Turkish Village by Karen & Ray Gilden

This is the real life adventure of one American couple's decision to ditch the rat race in the fall of 1995 and live abroad for an entire year in the country of Turkey!! 

Karen & Ray Gilden's year of living in Turkey is an amazing one that I'm quite envious of. Their story kinda makes me want to ditch the rat race myself and live somewhere foreign and exotic for an entire year. What a magical experience they had! 

I read this book on my Amazon Kindle in 2009. I believe there is a paperback version of this book through Amazon for those that don't have an eReader.

Here's a link on Amazon for Tea & Bee's Milk: Our Year in a Turkish Village by Karen & Ray Gilden.

Please share with us your one must read book!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BBAW 2012 Day 3: What does book blogging mean to me?

 Welcome to day three of Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2012! 

What does blogging mean to me? For me, blogging primarily means the following three things. 

1) Blogging is a way for me to connect with other readers and book lovers alike. I've really enjoyed connecting with other readers and bloggers. :-)

2) Blogging is a way for me to be creative and write reviews about the books I've read, the independent bookstores I've visited, and any other book related topics I find relevant for discussing on my book blog.

3) Blogging is a way for me to learn new things! Boy, have I learned a lot of new things in the 8+ months since I begun blogging about books! The following is just a small sampling of what I discovered this year.

I've discovered some great book websites like Shelf Awareness and Free Little Library.

I've learned about and participated in World Book Night. This event was a blast to take part in! In fact, I plan to be a book giver for World Book Night 2013.

Free Comic Book Day, which falls each year in May, was also another new event for me and one I enjoyed attending earlier this year.

I've also paid closer attention to newsworthy items regarding the latest books and authors to win literary prizes as well as read about many other book related newsworthy items as the year has unfolded.

I've also visited more independent bookstores this year and blogged about my experience at each brick and mortar store.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BBAW Day 2 -- Interview Swap with Brooke @ i blog 4 books!!

Welcome to day two of Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2012!! This year, I took part in the Book Blogger Appreciation Week Interview Swap and had a blast interviewing Brooke from i blog 4 books!! 

I learned a lot about Brooke's blog, i blog 4 books, through visiting her blog and interviewing her for today's post. I am really impressed with Brooke's blogging skills and the layout and look of her blog. You can tell that Brooke has a lot of passion for both reading and blogging. 

Have fun reading my interviewing with Brooke and don't forget to visit her blog, i blog 4 books!

1) I see that you've been blogging since 2010. What prompted you to start blogging? 

I started i blog 4 books in February 2010 as part of a “Radical Experiment” that our church was doing. The premise was to sacrifice anything and everything you possibly could for one year in order to spend that money on advancing the gospel around the world. Hubs and I took a close look at our finances and evaluated
everything. It was hard.

Two things that immediately came to our attention was how much we eat out and how many books I buy. I have a ton of books but it seems that I always find reasons to buy new ones. So I committed to not purchase any books for the entire year. I dusted off my library card and was ready to go. A couple of weeks in, though, I learned about Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program where bloggers could get free books in exchange for posting reviews online. What a great deal! One thing led to another, and here I am: 2.5 years later, reviewing for multiple companies, and enjoying a hobby I didn't really even know existed!

2) I noticed that your blog is primarily comprised of Christian fiction reviews - with a few other things mixed in like hosting author interviews, participating in blog tours, hosting giveaways, and a few bookish memes. What do you enjoy most about blogging? What motivates/inspires you to keeping blogging?

The thing I enjoy most about blogging is also the thing that has surprised me the most—the new friends I’ve made through my blog. It’s been fun to get to know other bloggers and trade recommendations or see what new authors they’ve discovered. I
love talking about the books I’m reading so this has been a great avenue for me to do that.

3) Your blog is quite successful. Congratulations to you on all your hard work and dedication!! You have over 100 followers on I Blog 4 Books. What attributes make your blog so successful? 

I don’t know that my blog is all that successful. Honestly I’m surprised that people take the time to read it at all! In the past year or so, I’ve added in a couple of memes that I thought were fun to read on other blogs and that’s helped me “meet” some new people. Plus, I’ve done quite a few giveaways this year, which is always helpful in introducing your blog to people. But I suppose what keeps people coming back after they first find my blog is that they are looking for a good book to read. Hopefully, I can help them find something that fits their interests and maybe help them find a new author or two as well!

4) What tips or advice can you give to new book bloggers (or those wanting to improve their blogging skills), to make their blog more appealing to readers who visit their site?

The biggest piece of advice I would offer is to blog about what interests you. Ofcourse, the reviews are often required by the publishers/authors who provide the books. But if you want to try to post a more creative review, go for it! (I posted a Review in Haiku earlier this year and it was a lot of fun to write!) If you think hosting a book chat or author interview or meme would be fun, try it out. If you aren’t pleased with it, make some changes and try again or move on and try something else. I’ve posted many things that I thought would be weekly/monthly features that I didn’t come back to. As long as you’re enjoying blogging, you will probably find a few readers who will love what you’re writing and spread the word.

5) A) Who are your favorite authors?

Oh, I’m so bad with choosing favorites, but here are a few recent favorites: Laura Frantz, Jody Hedlund, Tricia Goyer, Deeanne Gist, Francine Rivers, and Karen Kingsbury.

B) Do you have a top 10 list of favorite books?

I don’t know if I could make a top 10 favorites of all time, so I’ll give you a top 10 list since I began blogging. (Grin!) In no particular order …

1. Love’s Reckoning by Laura Frantz – I just finished this one and it is incredible. Epic. Sadly, I’ll have to wait until next September for the next in the series!

2. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen – I somehow missed out on Julie Klassen until earlier this year. I read this book in March and still find myself sighing over how great it was. Fans of Downton Abbey will love it!

3. The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz – Ah, another incredible book by Laura Frantz. She’s amazing!

4. She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell – I wasn’t a fan of historical fiction until I began book blogging. This is the book that cemented my love for historical fiction (as evidenced by the fact that eight of the books on this top 10 list are historical fiction!).

5. Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond – This was Cathy’s debut novel. Let me just say that she wrote a totally sigh-worthy hero. A man every girl dreams about!

6. The First Gardener by Denise Hildreth Jones – After reading several of Denise’s chick lit novels (and loving them!), I was blown away by this emotional drama. So good, but read with tissues in hand!

7. Masquerade by Nancy Moser – Love the Gilded Age! And throw in a marriage of convenience, a bride swap, and lots of secrets. Yep. Sign me up!

8. City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell – So different from anything else on this list. This is a story inspired by the author’s grandparents life in China. Completely fascinating. AND my non-reader mother loved it too!

9. Marta’s Legacy series by Francine Rivers – This two-book series covers four generations of a family’s legacy. Absolutely incredible books. They focus a lot on the mother-daughter relationships from generation to generation and are just so poignant. Love them!

10. Scared & Priceless by Tom Davis – Yes, I totally cheated on these last two by including two books, but I can’t choose. They’re a series. Tom Davis wrote these two incredible “realistic fiction” books about the AIDS crisis in Africa (Scared) and human trafficking (Priceless). Some of the content is a bit on the mature side due to the topics addressed, but I highly (!!!) recommend them! They will change the way you think about these issues!

Favorite book of all time? Little Women. If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out!

6) Which new books and authors have you discovered this year that have really made a great impression with you that you think other readers will enjoy reading as well?

Ahh! There are so many . . . it’s hard to choose.

I loved Becky Wade (My Stubborn Heart) and Beth K. Vogt’s (Wish You Were Here) books. They read so much like the romantic comedy movies I love. Think The Wedding Planner or Runaway Bride or Sleepless in Seattle.

Cathy Gohlke (Promise Me This) is also a new-to-me author whose book I fell in love with! It starts on the Titanic and is just this incredibly moving story of sacrifice and love. Beautiful!

I also discovered Dan Walsh and am not sure how I missed him before. I’ve read two of his books this year (The Discovery and The Reunion), both incredibly moving novels told from a male perspective. I think I sobbed while reading both!

I just recently discovered Jordyn Redwood (Proof). Her debut novel is a fabulous suspense novel. It’s got just the right amount of intensity to make me yelp but still make me want to keep reading.

I’ll finish this list with Krista McGee (First Date and Starring Me) who writes amazing YA fiction! She totally gets teenagers and writes funny books that are right-on-target with how teens think. She’s funny while writing books with really great messages!

7) Please share a few of your favorite book websites with us!

I follow tons of bookish blogs, but these are a few that I make sure to check in on every day. They always have great recommendations and usually have a few other fun and creative things to post about!

Legacy of a Writer
Relz Reviews
Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Christian Novels
The Overweight Bookshelf

The other book website that I’m sort of obsessed with is Goodreads. I thought I would just keep up with the books I read, but I love seeing what other people— especially some of my favorite authors—are reading.

Thanks so much for hosting me! This was a ton of fun! Your readers can find me at the following places . . .

Blog –
Twitter – @iblog4books
Facebook –
Goodreads –

Brooke, Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my interview questions for the 2012 Book Blogger Appreciation Week Interview Swap. I had a blast interviewing you! I truly enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about you and your blogging experience! I wish you all the best in your continued book blogging success. Keep in touch!

Please be sure to visit Brooke's blog, i blog 4 books, for her interview with me!

Monday, September 10, 2012

BBAW 2012 Day 1: The Book Blog I Appreciate!

Welcome to day one of Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2012!

I admit that I follow a few blogs, but not many of them are considered book blogs. So, that's going to have to change in the near future as I'd to support my fellow book bloggers.

However, there is one stand out book blog that I follow regularly and it is called My Reading List!! Mozette doesn't blog daily to My Reading List, but when she does make posts, her topics are fun to read and enlightening. I also enjoy the links provided on the side bar of My Reading List.

So, please check out My Reading List by clicking on the link above.

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot

Usually, I don't read poetry very often. Every so often though, I find myself drawn to a poet or collection of poems, which grabs my interest and captures my imagination.

Earlier this year, while visiting the Lost Horizon bookstore in downtown Santa Barbara,  I purchased a copy of Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. 

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats caught my attention immediately because of both its unique title and the art work on its cover. I was further intrigued to discover that this book was a compilation of fifteen poems about cats. 

Up until this point, I'll admit that I was only familiar with Eliot's poems The Waste Land and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock that I'd been forced to read long ago for some long forgotten literature class. I don't remember being overly impressed by either of these poems, but that could have been for any number of reasons that I can't recall now.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I like cats and I like poetry, so I decided that I would give Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats a go. Surely, I could read fifteen poems about cats, right? 

I'm so glad that I read Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. It's a wonderfully whimsical collections of poems. My three favorite poems in the collection are as follows:

1) Gus: The Theatre Cat
2) The Ad-Dressing of Cats
3) The Pekes and The Pollicles

I also learned earlier this year that the musical Cats is based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats!! How cool is that?!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2012!!

 Unbeknownst to me, 2012 marks the 5th annual Book Blogger Appreciation Week

Book Blogger Appreciation Week takes place this year from September 10th through 14th. All week long, book bloggers will be able to participate in a daily "book blog" themed topic. 

I'm not sure I'll be participating in all of the daily blog topics, but I will be participating in the Book Blogger Appreciation Week Interview Swap on Tuesday, September 11, 2012.

Check out the link above to learn more about Book Blogger Appreciation Week or visit their Facebook page for more details!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What Makes a Memoir 'Great?'

As a reader, I enjoy reading biographies and memoirs. Some biographies and memoirs are much better than others to read  than others.

I recently read Holly Robinson's article What Makes a Memoir 'Great?'  on the Huffington Post website and felt she made some great suggestions for those writing their own memoir. 

Since I'm not planning on writing my own memoir, I found the suggestions Ms. Robinson wrote for writers of memoirs was also beneficial for readers to keep in mind while reading a memoir.  These suggestions are a sort of guidepost, if you will, to what good memoir writing should be. 

What qualities do you look for when reading a biography or memoir?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Which Classic Novels Do You Want to Read?

I consider myself a fairly well read person as I've been an avid reader all my life. I've had the honor to read a wide array of books from various genres. 

Even though, I've read several books considered to be "classics" for literature courses in both high school and college (as well as for my own reading enjoyment), I'm still amazed at the long list of classics I have yet to read. 

After careful thought and consideration, I made a short list of classics novels that I haven't read and would eventually like to read in the near future. 

I narrowed down this list even further and have chosen my top three picks of classic novels I'd like to read most. The titles are as follows:

1) The Grapes of Wrath by Thomas Steinbeck 

I adore Steinbeck's writing. This book is sitting on my bookshelf now begging to be read, but I have been putting it off for various reasons. It's time to move this novel up the list of books to be read.

2) Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

I've tried three times to read this novel over the years, but never seem to be able to finish reading it for whatever reason. I'd like to try reading it again. This time from start to finish just to see how what it's all about and for a sense of completion.

3) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I was a Russian language major in college, but never got around to reading this classic novel. I love reading Russian literature, but for some reason (unknown to me) I've always been intimidated by the length of Anna Karenina. It's not like I don't read lengthy novels, but this book is one I've always shied away from reading due to its length. I'm determined to read this book once and for all. The storyline sounds good, so I'm sure I'll be in for quite an adventure with this one.

So, which classic novels have you yet to read that are on your list of books to read?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What kind of Book Reader Are You?

Here's a diagnostic guide to determine just what kind of reader you are.... That's if haven't already defined the type of reader you are or you're simply curious enough to discover other possibilities!!

While reading Google News earlier today, I came across an interesting article posted on The Atlantic Wire website by Jen Doll titled What Kind of Book Reader Are You? A Diagnostics Guide.

I found this article interesting to read as I didn't realize there are so many labels to define the kind of book reader one is. 

I'd say that I primarily fall into the Delayed Onset Reader #1 category as I am a book buying addict and books fill up my bookshelves faster than I can read them. So, yes, it may take days, weeks, months or even years to getting around to reading a particular book because I'm busy reading other books that I've added to my library.

So, after reading the What kind of Book Reader Are You? A Diagnostic Guide article, tell us what kind of reader you are!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book Tower & Room Divider!!

I liked this cool way to display books! Italian designer Marica Vizzuso has designed an interesting structure to display one's books. The structure can either be a book tower or a room divider that holds ones books! Check it out by clicking on Marica Vizzuso's name above.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cut, Crop & Die by Joanna Campbell Slan

I've done my fair share of scrapbooking over the years and have found it to be a wonderful hobby in addition to my love of reading books. 

So, when I came across a cozy mystery novel titled, Cut, Crop & Die (A Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-N-Craft Mystery) by Joanna Campbell Slan, I couldn't resist reading this novel!

Cut, Crop & Die is the 1st novel I've read by Joanna Campbell Slan. I really enjoyed the storyline, characters and writing in this fast paced cozy mystery novel. I didn't guess whodunnit until closer to the end of is novel, which was a plus in my book as I dislike figuring out who the killer is too early in mystery novels I read.

I also enjoyed reading the scrapbooking projects mentioned at the end of some of the chapters in this book too. 

So, if you like scrapbooking in addition to reading cozy mystery novels, then the Lowenstein Scrap-N-Craft series may be the series for you!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Zooba --- Connecting Community & Commerce!

Now here's an exciting website I've recently discovered by accident! It's called Zooba --- Connecting Community & Commerce.

The basic idea of Zooba is to "create your own bookshelves, share them with your community & earn rewards for yourself, friends or charity." Learn more about Zooba or sign up with Zooba by clicking on the link above.

Until my next blog post, happy reading!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

"The real purpose of books is to trap the mind into doing its own thinking." Christopher Morley

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Wanted: Bookstore-sitter

I'm always amazed at what I find published in newspapers these days. I recently discovered an article published in the Los Angeles Times titled Wanted: Bookstore-sitter. Sell books, feed cats, lodging included by
Ever wanted to run an independent bookstore? Maybe one in picturesque rural Virginia, in October and November? Now's your chance.

The owners of Tales of the Lonesome Pine used bookstore in Big Stone Gap (pop. 5,400) have put out a call for a bookstore-sitter. They will provide lodging and provisions in exchange for the bookstore-sitter keeping the store's doors open for two months.

The reason they're leaving the store behind is the best one possible: Wendy Welch is the author of the forthcoming memoir "The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap." This fall, she and her husband and co-owner Jack Beck will be taking off on a book tour.

This would be a fun endeavor to partake in, especially if you've ever had the notion of opening your own independent bookstore! What a great way to see if you'd enjoy running your own bookstore.

Plus, seeing a different part of the country and surrounding countryside would be a lot of fun as well.