Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Where Do YOU Talk to Strangers About Books??

I found a great article on BuzzFeed titled 14 Places To Talk To A Stranger About Books by Julie Greicius. I immediately thought of places to talk to strangers  about books, which included a bus stop, while on the bus, at a library or a bookstore... All of these locations and more were mentioned in Julie Greicius' article.

Where do YOU talk to strangers about books??

Monday, December 30, 2013

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

Bout of Books 9.0 Read-A-Thon

Bout of BooksI have come to enjoy read-a-thons immensely. There is nothing like the feeling of participating in a week long event doing something you already love doing... Like reading books! I've decided to sign up for the Bout of Books 9.0 Read-A-Thon. 

Join the Bout of Books 9.0 Read-A-Thon by signing up on the Bout of Books Blog Site

Need more information about what the Bout of Books 9.0 Read-A-Thon is all about?? Read the following information:
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, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th 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 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Have fun and read on!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Cheyenne Christmas by Caroline Lee

eBook Novella
I couldn't resist squeezing in one more Christmas themed read before the end of the year came to a close! Earlier today, I finished reading A Cheyenne Christmas by Caroline Lee.

 A Cheyenne Christmas is a novella roughly 138 pages in length and as you may have already guessed is set in Cheyenne, Wyoming. This novella is set in December 1875 with the Christmas holiday swiftly approaching.

I enjoyed reading this Christmas themed, historical romance novella. The characters are charming and well developed. The writing is well done and engaging. I enjoyed the storyline and lack of violence... It's an idyllic read and a perfect book to read during the holiday season.

The following is an overview of A Cheyenne Christmas from Amazon's website:
Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory
December, 1875

Ash Barker and his brother had just about built their ranch into a success when he busted his arm trying to tame a particularly nasty mustang. Now they’re headed into Cheyenne’s harsh winter with fewer hands, and a very real danger of failure. They need someone else—anyone else—out there with them, to make it through this season.

Molly Murray’s dream of owning her own bakery went up in flames with the Great Chicago Fire. She’s been supporting her younger sisters for the last four years, and it seems like the Cheyenne wilderness might be her last chance to give them all a real home. But no one will hire her, until she meets the intimidatingly masculine, incredibly handsome, and very desperate Ash Barker.

Can their unique families blend in time to celebrate their first real Cheyenne Christmas?
Until my next post, happy reading!!

2013 End of the Year Book Survey

 I cannot believe the end of the year is coming to a close. For me, 2013 has flown by in more ways than one. It's always fun for me to reflect on the year... I enjoy reviewing the books I've read throughout the year to determine my favorite reads.

Earlier this month, I came across another book blog titled The Perpetual Page Turner and noticed that Jamie, the book blogger extraordinare, is hosting the 4th Annual End of the Year Book Survey!! So, I decided to do something different this year and fill out the survey and post my answers here for you all to read!!

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

I've read soooo good books during 2013!! If I had to narrow down my choices, then I'll pick the following two books as my top two favorites for 2013:

Fiction: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

Health: Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin MD

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. This book didn't live up to the hype for me. I know it was on the bestsellers list forever and even made into a movie. Yes, I liked it, BUT I didn't think it was all that. I felt that Mitch Albom came across as writing Tuesdays With Morrie for an ulterior motive.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

The Girls by Lori Lansens
IVAN (Her Russian Protector #1) by Roxie Rivera
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson
Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

The same book titles from question number one.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

I discovered Lee Hanson's Julie O'Hara Mystery Series novels this year. I like mystery novels a lot. So, I enjoyed reading both Mystral Murder and Castle Cay by Lee Hanson. I still have Swan Song by Lee Hanson yet to read in this series. I like the lead character of Julie O'Hara as she is a body language expert and this skill helps her solve mysteries.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Joshilyn Jackson is the author that immediately pops into my mind. I really enjoyed listening to the unabridged audio version of The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, which was not only written by Joshilyn Jackson, but also read by her as well. Loved the characters and storyline in The Girl Who Stopped Swimming.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Okay, this question is difficult to answer for as I pretty much read books from almost every genre with the exception of a few of them. However, I guess I'll add the following selection:
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford by Ron Hansen
I'm not much into western novels and this one fits this genre...It was pretty good. Ron Hansen is a good writer.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

I have to choose just one book?? I read many thrilling books! Here are my picks:

1) The Reversal by Michael Connelly
2) The Whole Truth by David Baldacci
3) The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
4) The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
5) The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and/or Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin MD.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

1) Oscar (a cat) from Making the Rounds with Oscar by David Dosa MD
Making the Rounds with Oscar by David Dosa MD is a work of nonfiction. Reading this book had me wondering how are animals able to determine when someone is in need or will pass away??Animals are amazing creatures! More intelligent than humans sometimes!

2) Enzo (a dog) from The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Enzo is memorable because the storyline is told from his viewpoint. I love dogs and am the proud and luck pet owner of two Pomeranians.

3) Hamish Zupanek from Nosebleed by Ged Maybury.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Once again, I'll have to choose the following two books to answer this question!

Fiction: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

Health: Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin MD

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

This is an easy question for me!! I can't believe I waited until 2013 to read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd! I actually listened to the unabridged audiobook version of this novel and it was amazing.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

Some of my favorite quotes come from The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and are as follows:

"[T]hat which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves." page 43

"The true hero is flawed. The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles - preferably of his own making - in order to triumph." page 135

I enjoyed many of the of the scenes in this book. Like the ones with the zebra and its symbolism. Or the documentary Enzo watches and learns that the Mongolians believe that the next incarnation for a dogs is man.

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

I'm not sure about the longest or shortest book I've read this year. I've read a lot of eBooks and many of them didn't have page numbers in them and many of the physical books I've read have been passed on to other readers!

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Well, I didn't read any works of fiction that fit the bill for this question. However, two nonfiction books I read had me sharing what I read with others. Those two books were:

1) Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart
2) Health: Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin MD

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Two very different relationships come immediately to mind though.

1) I read IVAN (Her Russian Protector #1) by Roxie Rivera, an erotica novella, which was HOT! The relationship between Erin & Ivan was attention grabbing for sure.

2) I also listened to The Girls by Lori Lansens and the relationship between conjoined twins Rose & Ruby Darlen was another good relationship.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I enjoyed reading Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart earlier this year. I'd read Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart last year and loved it!! So, I figured that Wicked Plants would be just as good and it was. I learned some amazing things from Wicked Plants... For instance, I learned that cashews are related to poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac... "The nut itself is perfectly safe to consume, but if it comes into contact with any part of the shell in harvest, it will give the person who eats it a nasty rash." (page 40)

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

I read a book titled Nosebleed by Ged Maybury, which was recommended to me by another book blogger and Bookcrosser. Ged Maybury is a children's and young adult writer based in Australia. Nosebleed is a fun and humorous children's book, that has you laughing out loud often. I loved it!

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

I read books from almost all genres! But the Mystery/Thriller Genre makes up the bulk of my reads this year. I completed 18 novels in this genre.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

David Hawthorne from The Girl Who Stopped Swimming (Geeks, rule!!)
Henri Archer from Christmas Kismet (He just sounds too sexy)
Ivan Markovic from Ivan (Her Russian Protector #1) (Reformed bad boy)

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

The Best book I read that was published/released in 2013 was Nosebleed by Ged Maybury and Life's A Beach and Then You Die by Falafel Jones.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

I don't know if this book was so much vivid as it was realistic, but when I listened to The Girls by Lori Lansens on audiobook, I kept forgetting that I was actually listening to novel and not an actual memoir.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

Nosebleed by Ged Maybury. Once again I have to select this novel as it had me laughing out loud frequently due to the antics of Hamish Zupanek!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein hands down!! I cried periodically throughout this novel!!

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

I read Life's A Beach and Then You Die by Falafel Jones earlier this year and enjoyed reading this eBook. It's a mystery novel and the first in the series of books to feature a character named Max Fried, a former computer forensic examiner. It made for a good read. I look forward to reading the second book in the series titled Payback's a Beach, which was just released last month.


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013? 

I discovered many new book blogs this year, but I don't have a favorite new book blog!! But I have enjoyed visiting the following book blogs this year:

Betty's Books
Between the Lines
Bookish (different book blog above)
Caffeinated Reader
The Book Nympho
The Broke and the Bookish
 The Perpetual Page Turner

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 

Oh, this was a tough to decide! The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Diaries of Adam & Eve by Mark Twain, Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart, and Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom were all good reviews.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

The best discussion on my blog was whether listening to audiobooks counted as reading them.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

Probably 2013 End of the Year Book Survey, because I've had to put a lot of time into thinking about my answers to the questions asked in this survey!!

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I love book related events & participated in many of them this year! This year my favorite author events and signings are as follows:

1) An Evening with Lisa Ling --- Lecture & Booksigning! 
I've been a fan of Lisa Ling, American Journalist, since her days at The View talk show. I had a blast hearing Lisa Ling speak at UCSB's Campbell Hall earlier this year and a copy of her book, Somewhere Inside, autographed! Plus, I was able to have my picture taken with Lisa Ling as well!

2) The Search for Meaning in a Medical Life with Abraham Verghese, M.D.
Abraham Verghese is the author of Cutting For Stone and also spoke at UCSB's Campbell Hall earlier this year. My husband and I really enjoyed his talk about the meaning of medical life... It was one of the most engaging talks I've ever listened to by a well known published writer. I was also able to have my copy of Cutting For Stone signed by Abraham Verghese. I was also able to have my picture taken with Abraham Verghese.

3) Twist Of Fate: The Moth Mainstage in Santa Barbara
This was a fun event that my husband I attended at UCSB's Campbell Hall. We really enjoyed listening to true stories written and read by various people. Actress Molly Ringwald was one of the readers!

I have fun participating in the following two book events:

1) I also had fun participating in US World Book Night 2013 for the 2nd year in a row and have applied to be a book giver for 2014!

2) The Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon was also a lot of fun too!

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

I can't say as I had one great/best moment this year in terms of books and blogging. I have discovered so many wonderful books and new authors. I've had fun discovering new bookstores, attending wonderful author events and lectures, participated in read-a-thons, swapped books with other readers via Bookcrossing and so much more. So, selecting one best event/moment is impossible!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

A post I made in September 2013 has been the most popular post with blog readers and is titled Secret Fore-Edge Paintings Revealed on 19th Century Books!! Granted, I thought this was an interesting post, but I didn't think it would be as popular as it was... The funny part is that no one has made a comment to this particular post, but it has received the most page views.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

 I guess the biggest disappointment for me was that I hosted A "Christmas Holiday Themed" Book Giveaway and no one signed up for it!! How sad is that???

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I love visiting independent bookstores and reviewing them here on my book blog! This year, I've visited tons of bookstores, but my favorite new to me bookstores are as follows:

1) Vroman's Books in Pasadena, California... This place is an amazing bookstore!
2) The Book Mark Paperback Book Exchange in Escondido, California is an excellent used bookstore and very large!!

I also enjoyed visiting the Karpeles Manuscript Library in downtown Santa Barbara earlier this year and seeing original Mark Twain documents on display!


10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I took part in the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-A-Thon and had a blast! I had set a personal reading goal for myself. I was able to read more books than I had planned to read. however I didn't finish reading all the books I wanted to in the health and nonfiction genres that I wanted to read this year. I guess there is always next year!

I hope you enjoyed reading my answers for the2013 End of the Year Book Survey!
See you in the New Year!!

Midnight in Death by J. D. Robb

eBook Novella
Midnight in Death is the first book or (novella rather) that I've read by J. D. Robb.

Midnight in Death is roughly 90 pages in length and is a futuristic suspense/thriller novella. I really enjoyed reading Midnight in Death because I like reading thriller/suspense novels immensely. Midnight in Death is a fast paced, engaging read that I found difficult to put down. The characters are fun and nicely developed as well. Normally, I can finish reading a novella in an afternoon, but not this time only because I began reading Midnight in Death on Christmas Day and finished reading it on December 26th.

The following is an overview of Midnight in Death, which I found on Barnes and Noble:
The number-one New York Times bestselling In Death series explodes with intrigue, passion, and suspense. Now, Nora Roberts, writing as J.D. Robb, propels you into the darkest night of Lieutenant Eve Dallas's life—when a killer comes to call...
Eve's name has made a Christmas list, but it's not for being naughty or nice. It's for putting a serial killer behind bars. Now the escaped madman has her in his sights. With her husband, Roarke, at her side, Eve must stop the man from exacting his bloody vengeance—or die trying...
Until my next post, happy reading!

I Am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton

eBook Edition
I love Pusheen the Cat!! I first discovered Pusheen through Facebook, as one can send stickers of Pusheen through Facebook's instant messaging to whomever you are instant messaging at the moment!

So, when I learned about a book titled I Am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton, I requested it as a Christmas gift. I received it as a gift from my hubby on Christmas Eve. :-)

I basically read this book in approximately 30 minutes on Christmas Eve and enjoyed reading it a lot. The artwork is adorable inside I Am Pusheen the Cat. I think the ebook is a bit pricier than it should be, but still worth the read/money.

To learn more about Pusheen, visit her website!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Partake in Random Acts of Literary Kindness!!

I came across another wonderful article on BuzzFeed titled 9 Ideas For Random Acts Of Literary Kindness! These nine ideas offer ways to be generous in 2014 in terms of doing literary good deeds. I already partake in leaving random books to be found by other readers by reading & registering books on Bookcrossing.

What other random acts of literary kindness would you propose??

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Finds #20

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!

It's been a couple of days since Christmas has come and gone!! I received the following books for Christmas as gifts!

1) I Am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton

2) The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon (An autographed copy from The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona)

How was your Christmas this year?? Did you receive any books as gifts for Christmas this year?? Share your new book titles here!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Estate of Mind by Tamar Myers

Estate of Mind by Tamar Myers is the sixth cozy mystery novel in the Den of Anquity Series written by Ms. Myers. 

I've read eleven of the sixteen novels that make up the Den of Anquity Series written by Ms. Myers. I haven't read any of the books in chronological order after reading the first novel in the series... but I have had fun reading this series none the less! 

'Estate of Mind' is a fun, fast paced read and one I enjoyed reading during this busy holiday season. 

The following is an overview of the plot:
A Faux Van Gogh

When North Carolina antique dealer Abigail Timberlake makes a bid of $150.99 on a truly awful copy of Van Gogh's The Starry Night, she's just trying to win Mama's approval by supporting the church auction. Hopefully, she'll make her money back on the beautiful gold antique frame. Little does she expect she's bought herself a fortune...and a lot of trouble.

A masterpiece to kill for

When her ex-boyfriend shows up and offers ten bucks for the ugly Starry Night, Abby pops the frame and is stunned to discover hidden behind the faux Van Gogh canvas a multi-million dollar lost art treasure. Suddenly she's a popular lady in her old hometown, and her first visit is from Gilbert Sweeney, her schoolyard sweetheart (according to him), who claims the family's painting was donated by mistake. But social calls quickly turn from nice to nasty as it's revealed that the mysterious masterpiece conceals a dark and deadly past and some modern-day misconduct that threatens to rock the Rock Hill social structure to its core. Someone apparently thinks the art is worth killing for, and Abby knows she better get to the bottom of the secret scandal and multiple murders before she ends up buried six feet under a starry night.
The characters were wonderful. I enjoyed the well developed story and of course, the humor that Ms. Myers brings to her novels!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to You!!

I hope you are having a wonderfully joyous day, whether you celebrate the Christmas holiday or not.... For me in a nutshell, celebrating Christmas is the time of year spent with family bonding together for the day, which includes exchanging and opening gifts around the Christmas tree, eating and enjoying a scrumptious holiday meal with pies, cookies, candy, or other sweets for dessert. Plus, engaging in other activities, which may include a beach walk, games, etc.

In the spirit of the Christmas holiday, I'm reminded of the tradition to give to those in need. I've donated to many worthy causes over the years. This holiday season however, I chose to donate to DonorsChoose.Org. The following quote about Donors Choose comes directly from the DonorsChoose.Org website:
DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you. 
I believe in educating and enriching the lives of children to the fullest extent possible. Children are our future... A proper education helps children become our next leaders, doctors, nurses, teachers, scientists... Or whatever they choose to become. Children need to have access to all the necessary educational tools possible to succeed in life and compete in today's fast pace world. 

I chose to help fund a classroom project through DonorsChoose.Org. I believe reading and literacy are important tools that help children succeed in any subject matter. Children have to be able to not only read, but comprehend what they are reading to succeed. The project I helped to fund, will enable a social studies teacher to buy much needed books to help her students better understand a particular topic in American history.

I've donated to DonorsChoose.org in the past and other educational organizations and will continue to do so in the future.

Have a wonderful day celebrating the Christmas holiday! Did you donate to a charitable organization this holiday season?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Authorgraph is a website that allows you to have your eBooks autographed by an author!! 

I enjoy having my physical books autographed by the author, so I'm now thrilled that I can also have my eBooks autographed digitally as well. 

Earlier this year, I read Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales Vol. 2 by Jen Wylie & Sean Hayden... And last year, I read volume 1 of Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales also by Jen Wylie & Sean Hayden. Both eBooks were wonderful ones to read, especially if you're a horror fan! 

I learned through Jen Wylie's website that readers may obtain her electronic autograph for both volumes of 'Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales'. Since I enjoyed reading both volumes, I decided to visit the Authorgraph website and sign up for an account... From there, I requested an Authorgraph... And voila, an email containing a PDF was sent to my email address! 

From there, I downloaded each PDF to my computer's desktop and followed the directions from Amazon's website on how to transfer the PDF's to my Kindle. Now my Kindle contains Jen Wylie's autograph! Pretty darn cool if you ask me!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. I learned the following information about Top Ten Tuesday from the The Broke and the Bookish Blog Site
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we 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 bloggers.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday theme is titled 'Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me'. My answers are as follows:

1. S. by J. J. Abrams

2. I Am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton

3. The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon (An autographed copy from The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona)

4. A Passion For Jewelry: Secrets to Collecting, Understanding, and Caring for Your Jewelry by Laura Fronty and Yves Duronsoy

5. The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly

6. Boo: The Life of the World's Cutest Dog by J. H. Lee

7. Boo: Little Dog in the Big City by J. H. Lee

8. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

9. Where'd You Go, Bernadette Maria Semple

10. The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

Until my next post, happy reading!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Layouts of Famous Houses From Classic Literature

I also read another interesting article on The Huffington Post website titled 9 Layouts Of Famous Houses From Classic Literature. It's kind of fun to see the layouts of the classics mentioned in the article. Especially if they're ones you've already read and have come to love!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Are YOU a Writer? Do You Want to Live in Detroit, Michigan?

I came across another article on the Huffington Post website titled Write A House Is Giving Writers Free Homes In Detroit by Ashley Woods. In the article, Woods writes the following:
Think of it as a writers-in-residence program ... one that never has to end.

A new Detroit nonprofit called Write A House has figured out something to do with Detroit's thousands and thousands of vacant and blighted homes -- fix them up and give them to writers.
So, how are writers selected you may be wondering? Woods writes the following in her article:
Write A House will accept applications from working, "low-income" writers in the spring, who will be asked to send writing samples and a letter of intent. The judges include former National Poet Laureate Billy Collins, poet Major Jackson, writer and filmmaker Dream Hampton and editor of the Farrar, Straus & Giroux publishing house Sean McDonald. Writers from all over the world, or living just a few miles away, are all encouraged to apply.

If they win, they'll call Detroit home for at least the next two years. Writers will lease the homes from the nonprofit, a small amount to cover taxes and insurance. If they stay for 24 months, they'll be awarded the deed -- and Detroit will count another resident to its comeback.

Click on above link to read Ashley Woods' entire article and also click on the Write A House link above to learn more about applying for one of the homes in Detroit.

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Are You Looking For Unusual Christmas Reads This Holiday Season?

Well, look no further, because I found an article on the Huffington Post titled The 12 Weirdest Stories of Christmas by R. Clifton Spargo. 

The list of stories looks awesome, especially if you're looking for offbeat Christmas stories! I'm all ready familiar with Grace Paley's "The Loudest Voice" and David Sedaris's "SantaLand Diaries", but I would like to read some of the other titles on the list as well.

Happy holidays everyone! Until my next post, happy reading!

Speaking of Stories Presents on Audio CD

A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I attended a bookish related event called Speaking of Stories ~ Stories by Alice Munro. During the intermission, I purchased three audio compact versions of past stories read at previous Speaking of Stories events... One of the audio versions is a holiday gift and the remaining two audio versions were for my personal collection. 

I listened to both of the "Speaking of Stories Presents" audio versions last weekend and enjoyed listening to them immensely! 

The first "Speaking of Stories Presents" I listened to was titled "The Best of Holiday Chestnuts and Some Surprise!" on compact disc. I enjoyed the holiday themed stories. Six stories in all were included for "The Best of Holiday Chestnuts and Some Surprise!" and three of the stories were read by celebrities!! Jeff Bridges, Jill Eikenberry, and Michael Tucker each read a story.

The second "Speaking of Stories Presents" edition I listened to, was titled "from page... to the stage" and featured five stories in all. Each story is read by a different reader. Each story is pretty funny and I enjoyed listening to these stories as well.

What have you been reading or listening to these days? It is holiday themed or not?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Finds #19

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 is the week of downloading ALL eBooks to my iPad week!! I found a bunch of free eBooks on Amazon and busily downloaded the books with the touch of my finger. Sometimes instant gratification is a good thing!

I've added the following free eBooks from Amazon to my reading collection:

1) A Perfect Passion by Piper Kay
2) The Cinderella Project by Stan Crowe
3) The Clinic by David Jester
4) Mr. August by Jan Rowes
5) Find Her, Keep Her by Z. L. Arkadie
6) Jingle This by Stepahine Rowe
7) In the Blaze of His Hunger by Dominque Frost 
8) A Life to Waste by Andrew Lennon
9) First Night and Ever Afters by Lauren Blakely
10) House of Steel by Raen Smith

I also accidentally purchased the following eBook  from Amazon titled:

Pure Sex by Lucinda Betts, et. al., which is an anthology of erotica short stories. It has eight, 5 star reviews on Amazon's website. So, perhaps, I'll like this book!

Which books have you found this week??

Thursday, December 19, 2013

31 Stereotypes About Book Lovers

Check the article I recently read on the Huffington Post titled These Stereotypes About Book Lovers Are Absolutely True, And That's A Good Thing

Some of the stereotypes are true, but I wouldn't say that all of them apply to me. I never leave home with a book certainly seems to be true for me. Other stereotypes are not only true, but are down right funny!! Read numbers 4 through 7 in the article above and if you're an avid book lover you'll understand what I mean.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

City of Literature

Until recently, I never there was such a thing as a City of Literature. Did you? 

I learned from Wikipedia the following information about what a City of Literature is as follows:
UNESCO's City of Literature program is part of its Creative Cities Network which was launched in 2004.[1] The Network was born out of UNESCO's Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity initiative which was created in 2002. Its aim is to "promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and the developing world."[1] The cities in network promote their local creative scene and conform to UNESCO’s goal of fostering cultural diversity.
Since 2004, seven cities around the world have been designated as a City of Literature. The only city in the United States to be designated a City of Literature is Iowa City, Iowa!! I'm particularly thrilled to discover that Iowa City, Iowa was designated a City of Literature in 2008, because the University of Iowa is located in Iowa City, Iowa and the University of Iowa is my Alma Mater. 

I have such fond memories of Iowa City and attending the University of Iowa that I will always cherish. The University of Iowa has a long, rich and diverse history including its literary history! I discovered a wonderful article spotlighted on the University of Iowa's News Release page titled UNESCO designates Iowa City as the world's third City of Literature. Read the information from this article as follows:
* Writers' Workshop: As the home of the highly acclaimed Iowa Writers' Workshop -- the world's first Master of Fine Arts degree program in creative writing -- Iowa City and the University of Iowa have played a substantial role in how literature, first in America and then around the world, has come to be written. The MFA degree workshop concept has spread to more than 300 American universities and to universities in numerous other countries.

* Famous Authors: Since 1955 graduates and faculty of the University of Iowa have won more than 25 Pulitzer Prizes in literature. Authors who have lived, taught and studied in the city include Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Robert Penn Warren, Robert Lowell, Flannery O'Connor, Rita Dove, Jane Smiley, Robert Hass and John Irving.

* City Libraries: In 2006, for a population of 63,027, there were 63,713 public library patrons; borrowers as a percentage of population reached 101 percent. (The figure includes residents of neighboring areas arrogating borrowing privileges for their work in Iowa City.) The university's research library is the 18th largest of its kind in the country; its holdings include special literary collections and hundreds of thousands of rare books; and it is the location of many literature-related exhibitions.

Click on above link to read the UNESCO designates Iowa City as the world's third City of Literature in its entirety.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

"When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing." Enrique Jardiel Poncela

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

US World Book Night 2014

I've once again applied to be a US World Book Night book giver for 2014!! I'm hoping that I'll be selected for a third year in row to pass out 20 free copies of one of the 35 book titles available to choose from for 2014.

World Book Night falls each year on April 23rd and it just so happens that April 23rd is UNESCO International Day of the Book. 

So, what is World Book Night, you may be wondering? According to the World Book Night website, "World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person.  Each year on April 23 –Shakespeare’s birthday– tens of thousands of people in the U.S. go out into their communities and give a total of half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers."

Are you interested in learning more about World Book Night? If so, please click on the following links to learn more:

The 2014 Books 

Be A Book Giver

You have until January 5, 2014 to apply to be a US World Book Night 2014 book giver! It's a blast to pass out books within ones community. I love to read and hope to encourage light or non-readers to read more books.

I'm hoping to receive my first choice book selection for the US World Book Night 2014... My first book choice is 'The ZooKeeper's Wife' by Diane Ackerman. I enjoyed reading this book immensely a few years ago and would highly recommend it to others who've not yet read this nonfiction book.

Watch Diane Ackerman talk about The ZooKeeper's Wife' on You Tube.

Until my next post, happy reading!! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Travel the World With These Great Travel Books

I love to travel, but do not travel as often as I would like for fun. Visiting new and exciting places is always exhilarating. Hopefully, I'll be able to travel somewhere fun and exciting in 2014 with my husband. 

In the meantime, I found an interesting article on Flavorwire titled 35 Great Travel Books That Will Take You Around the World Without a Plane Ticket by Michelle Dean. Many of the book titles mentioned in Dean's article are unfamiliar to me and may make for entertaining books to read when I'm hankering to travel the world.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Cane Mutiny by Tamar Myers

The Cane Mutiny by Tamar Myers is the 13th installment of the 'Den of Antiquity Mystery' series. 

I've read many of the cozy mystery novels in the 'Den of Antiquity Mystery' series written by Ms. Myers... Although, I readily admit that I have not read them in chronological order.

As a whole, I've enjoyed reading many of the cozy mystery novels in the 'Den of Antiquity Mystery' series over the years... Although, there have been a few books in the 'Den of Antiquity Mystery' series that have been outright duds in my opinion. But, I always keep coming back to reading more novels in the 'Den of Antiquity Mystery' series because I do genuinely like cozy mystery novels. Plus, Tamar Myers does have a good sense of humor and I do enjoy the her wittiness.

As far as The Cane Mutiny goes, I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline and plot development. The characters are fun and entertaining. I enjoyed reading The Cane Mutiny from start to finish. I look forward to reading the next Tamar Myers novel in the 'Den of Antiquity Mystery' series soon! 

I give The Cane Mutiny a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars!

Until my next post, happy reading

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Have you asked for books as gifts for the holidays?

The Christmas holiday is almost upon us! Have you requested books as gifts the Christmas holiday?? If so, which books are on your holiday wishlist??

I have quite a few books on my wishlist this year, so when family or friends have asked me for my Christmas list I included a few book titles as follows:

1. S. by J. J. Abrams

2. I Am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton

3. The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon (I asked for the autographed copy from The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona)

4. A Passion For Jewelry: Secrets to Collecting, Understanding, and Caring for Your Jewelry by Laura Fronty and Yves Duronsoy

I have many more books on my wishlist, but these are the four books I most want from my wishlist!!

Are you planning to give books to someone special this holiday season?? 

I have one person who I have already purchased a book to give on Christmas!! And that is the only book I have to give this year for Christmas.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Finds #18

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 added two used audiobooks I purchased from our FOL Used Bookstore to my ever growing book collection!

I purchased the abridged audio version of Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome by Robert Harris and the unabridged audio version of Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews. I look forward to listening to both of this audiobooks in the new year ahead!!

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Audiobooks for Runners

Looking for audiobooks to listen to while you're running?? Or simply looking for a holiday gift to give a runner you know?? I read a really good article titled Audiobooks for running by Nara Schoenberg. In the article, Schoenberg writes that "The best audiobooks for jogging are fun, fleet and easy on the brain."

A quick list of books to listen to while running were given at the end of 'Audiobooks for running' as follows:
Reads worth a run
→"The Yiddish Policemen's Union" by Michael Chabon
→"The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green
→"A Delicate Truth" by John le Carré
→"The Husband's Secret" by Liane Moriarty
→"Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes
→"Still Life" by Louise Penny
→"The Witness" by Nora Roberts
→"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling
→"The Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith (aka J. K. Rowling)
→"Where'd You Go, Bernadette" by Maria Semple
It was also suggested in Schoenberg's article that mystery novels are good starting points for audiobooks to listen to while one is running as well.

Click on above link to read the full story. 

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

Hachette Audio Books Nominated For GRAMMY Awards

I read an article last night on Galley Cat titled Hachette Audio Books Nominated For GRAMMY Awards by Dianna Dilworth. In her article, Dilworth writes: 
Three books from Hachette Audio have been nominated for GRAMMY Awards for Best Spoken Word Album. This includes: America Again by Stephen Colbert, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris  and The Storm King by Pete Seeger.
Too be honest, I never even knew that audiobooks were even nominated for GRAMMY Awards!! As the old saying goes, I guess you learn something new everyday!

I also learned from Dianna Dilworth's article that "Since 1994, Hachette Audio has produced seven GRAMMY award-winning audiobooks." Way cool, if you ask me!

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Happy Dewey Decimal Day!!

This morning, I learned that "today marks the birthday of Melvil Dewey, inventor of the Dewey Decimal Classification scheme that is used by libraries all over the world." from the NSUBA Library Blog! 

Do you need a refresher on the ten main classes of the Dewey Decimal Classification? Click on the NSUBA Library link above to learn more.

Until my next post, happy reading and don't forget to visit your local library!!

To Murder A Saint by Nicole Loughan

eBook Edition
Nicole Loughan is a new author to me. I recently download and read the eBook version of Nicole Loughan's novella To Murder A Saint. To Murder A Saint is a mystery and makes for a quick read due to its short length of roughly 70 pages. 

As far as the storyline goes, it was decent. Most of the characters were interesting enough and well developed. However, I found the storyline ho-hum overall.

I'd pretty much guessed who the killer was near the end of To Murder A Saint, so it was no surprise to me when the killer's identity was revealed. 

Some of the details written about in To Murder A Saint seemed far fetched/unrealistic to me... Like the New York City Police Department thinking that an alligator murdered the leading character's roommate. Or that a the true killer was able to keep an 8 foot plus alligator in his duplex basement in New York City.

I'm giving To Murder A Saint by Nicole Loughan a 3 stars out of 5 stars rating.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Have You Read '50 Shades of Grey' by E. L. James?

I haven't read 'Fifty Shades of Grey' by E. L. James, but I recently read an article I discovered on the Huffington Post titled 6 Erotic Romance Novels That Are Better Than 'Fifty Shades' by Margaret Bristol.

In her article, Ms. Bristol writes:
With hot casting news, there's no doubt the most talked-about book right now is E L James' "Fifty Shades of Grey." It's become the bestselling book of all time in Britain, and smashed sales records in the U.S., catapulting the romance genre into the spotlight. The "Fifty Shades" film is still a few years away, but James recently announced that "Sons of Anarchy" and "Pacific Rim" actor Charlie Hunnam will take up Christian's riding crop, while up-and-comer Dakota Johnson will bite her lip with abandon as Ana. So you've devoured the sexual history of Anastasia and Christian and loved every dominant and submissive minute. Now what? As you eagerly await the first trailer, satiate your need for more with these erotic encounters. And while we don't think you should ever feel guilty for reading, we've made sure they're available in e-book form, so your device can serve as discreet packaging for these sizzling stories.

Check out the erotica titles listed in Ms. Bristol's article, by clicking on the link above. See for yourself if the titles selected are actually better than 'Fifty Shades of Grey'.

Authors with Juicy Love Lives!

Well, I just posted an article a few minutes about 25 Great Works of Erotica Literature, so why not also post an article from Flavorwire titled The Authors With the Juiciest Love Lives by Emily Temple? Without writers, we wouldn't have erotica literature.

Click on the link above to read which authors had the juiciest love lives.

25 Great Works of Erotic Literature

Do you enjoy reading erotica novels?? Then you may find the following article posted on Flavorwire's website titled, 25 Great Works of Erotic Literature to Keep You Warm on Cold Winter Nights by Michelle Dean, to be worth perusing!

Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Speaking of Stories ~ Stories by Alice Munro

Roughly three weeks ago, I learned that Center Stage Theater in downtown Santa Barbara was offering two live dramatic reading events featuring stories written by Alice Munro, the recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature. 

When I learned about Center Stage Theater's 'Speaking of Stories ~ Stories by Alice Munro' event, I couldn't resist buying two matinee tickets for this afternoon's performance, which I attended with my husband!

Three stories were selected and read from Alice Munro's book titled 'Dear Life'. The stories selected from 'Dear Life' are as follows, along well as the name of the person who read the story during today's event.

Anne Guynn reading 'Corrie'
Sylvia Short reading 'In Sight of the Lake'

Pamela Dillman Haskell reading 'To Reach Japan'

As far as the dramatic readers go, I felt Anne Guynn read 'Corrie' to swiftly and this made it kind of difficult to follow the story. I felt there just wasn't enough time for pausing/transitioning from each scene throughout the story. This made it difficult to fully follow the storyline.

Sylvia Short did and excellent job reading 'In Sight of the Lake'. This was the story my husband & I enjoyed listening to the most out of the three Alice Munro stories presented today.

Pamela Dillman Haskell did a nice dramatic reading of 'To Reach Japan'.

Listening to the three stories read this afternoon, was my first experience with anything written by Alice Munro. I thought the stories were good. But I wasn't W-O-W-E-D by any of them. Yes, I know that Alice Munro is the recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature, but I wasn't overly impressed with the stories I heard earlier today. My husband even found himself tuning out the stories and thinking about other things. Believe me when I write that he enjoys attending these type of events just as much as I do. 

Maybe, I was expecting too much from today's performance?? One tends to hold Nobel Laureate's to a higher standard or one automatically assumes that they'll love what a Nobel Laureate has written... Or maybe I simply find Alice Munro's writing isn't for me. Who can say really. I just don't plan to seek out anything else written by Alice Munro at this point in time.

Have you read anything by Alice Munro? What do you think of her writing?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Silent Thunder by Iris Johansen & Roy Johansen

Abridged Audio Version
I recently listening to the abridged version of Silent Thunder by Iris Johansen & Roy Johansen. Silent Thunder is read by Jennifer Van Dyck.

This novel is not as good as I expected it to be based on the book overview that I read online about it.

Basically, Hannah Bryson's character was unbelievable to me. She starts working with a former Russian named Kirov, who doesn't appear to be who he says he really is. 

Bryson and Kirov begin working together in an effort to solve who the ruthless mastermind behind the death of Bryson's brother, Connor, maybe. I find Bryson and Kirov's alliance unlikely to achieve the results in which they did as neither of them are affiliated with the FBI, CIA or other law enforcement. So, how are they able to get to the bottom of it all is baffling to me.

Also, Jennifer Van Dyck's dramatic reading wasn't great. Her Russian accent was awful and unconvincing. I also found myself not that excited about listening to this abridged audiobook as the reader as well as storyline and characters weren't that great. 

I won't go out of my way to read anything else written by either Iris Johansen or Roy Johansen. I'd give Silent Thunder a rating of 2.5 stars out of 5 stars.

The following is a Book Overview of Silent Thunder from the Barnes & Noble website:
It was the assignment of a lifetime. . . .

Brilliant marine architect Hannah Bryson has been given the job of a lifetime. A U.S. maritime museum has just acquired the decommissioned Soviet submarine Silent Thunder for public exhibition. It’s Hannah’s job to make sure that every single inch of the legendary nuclear attack sub is safe for the thousands of visitors anticipated. Enlisting the aid of her brother, Connor, they examine the enormous vessel and delve into its long---and lethal---history.

But is it really a trap?

In the course of their investigation, Connor discovers a mysterious message behind one of the ship’s panels. But before he can figure out what it means, there’s a deadly assault on Silent Thunder. . . .

Though the U.S. government tries to warn Hannah away, she’ll stop at nothing to find the ruthless mastermind behind her brother’s death. Even if it means joining forces with a mysterious man who may be even more dangerous than the enemy she has sworn to bring down. As Hannah finds herself in the crossfire of an epic standoff, her only hope for survival is to unravel the sub’s explosive secret. But someone’s willing to kill to make sure Silent Thunder stays silent. . . .

Brisk, exhilarating, and filled with authentic details, Silent Thunder is what you get when you team the biggest name in suspense with the stunning plot twists of an Edgar Award--winning author. Get ready for a page-turning thrill ride!
Until my next post, Happy reading!!