Saturday, August 31, 2013

Granada Books --- A New Independent Bookstore in Santa Barbara!!

Granada Books Storefront
Earlier this week, I finally found sometime to visit a new independent bookstore in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, California called Granada Books. Granada Books opened its doors this year in June!

I love visiting independent bookstores, whether they are sell new or used books or a mixture of both new and used books, as each bookstore has their own unique personality!

Granada Books is an independent bookstore filled with a wonderful selection of new books. I wanted to purchase several books they had to offer during my visit!! The book buyer for Granada Books does an amazing job of filling the store's bookshelves with a wide array of bestselling books to choose from that readers will want to add to their own personal collection or purchase as gifts for that special someone.

The Granada Books storefront is awesome!! It provides an inviting space for shoppers to browse for books to fit every occasion imaginable. I love the layout of the store's interior and how the merchandise is arranged on bookshelves and surrounding display tables. Granada Books is also well lit and offers plenty of natural light, which streams in through large windows in strategic locations. There are also quite a few places to sit and enjoy browsing through books during one's visit to Granada Books. The staff on hand are friendly without being intrusive, which is another perk!

Granada Books store hours are as follows:

Monday through Saturday: 10am to 10pm
Sunday: 11am to 7pm

Granada Books telephone number: (805) 845-1818

Their Facebook page is as follows: 

I wish the folks at Granada Books all the best and look forward to shopping their storefront for many years to come.

Which independent bookstores have you visited lately?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Nine Cities to Visit For Literary Detective Lovers!!

Gotta love it when a news article combines two of my favorite things travel and all things literary!! 

I came across an interesting article on CNN Travel by Barry Neild titled 9 top cities for 'detective travel'.... With a subtitle that reads "Murder. Smuggling. Extortion. Here's all the grit your guidebook won't mention, but your favorite mystery writer will", so, I eagerly went on to read the article Mr. Neild wrote. I enjoyed reading this entertaining and engaging article about travel that puts a literary spotlight on places to visit for literary lovers.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

The Unexpected Guest and The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie

BBC Radio Dramatization
I've been a fan of Agatha Christie's novels and short stories for several years now and began reading her novels years ago around the time I entered high school. 

I'm also a big fan of listening to audiobooks, so I was thrilled to come across a BBC radio dramatization of two of Christie's works on in their bargain book section.

This past week, I listened to the BBC Full-Cast Radio Dramatizations of The Unexpected Guest and The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie. I enjoyed listening to both productions equally as the dramatization added a new dimension to my listening experience. The actors did an excellent job of bringing each story to life and I enjoyed each storyline as it unfolded. 

I would highly recommend listening to 'The Unexpected Guest and The Pale Horse' by Agatha Christie if you're a mystery genre fan!

The following is a product description of The Unexpected Guest and The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie, which I on
Two BBC Radio full-cast dramatizations of these classic Christie tales.

The Unexpected Guest—A foggy night, a lonely country house, and a woman with a gun in her hand quietly surveying the dead body of her husband. It looked like a straightforward case of murder. Or was it? As the ghosts of an old wrong begin to emerge from the past, the case begins to look anything but straightforward.

The Pale Horse—Father Gorman is called to a dingy rooming house to see a woman who, before she dies, confesses a bizarre tale to him. Leaving the house he is followed and, in the fog, a fatal blow is struck. A piece of paper with nine names written on it is found in the dead priest's shoe. The clue leads to The Pale Horse Inn, home of three women: a psychic, a medium and a witch. Can Mark Easterbrook and his friend Ariadne Oliver unravel the occult mysteries?
Until my next post, happy reading!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A New York Librarian Has Asked a Boy to Stop Reading So Much!

I read an article on Gawker titled Evil Librarian Tells Kid Who Loves Books to Stop Reading So Much by Neetzan Zimmerman.

In the article, Zimmerman writes the following:
A New York library director has asked a little boy who loves books to quit reading so damn much because he's making the other kids look bad.
The Glen Falls Post-Star reports that Marie Gandron, director of the Hudson Falls Public Library accused 9-year-old Tyler Weaver of "hogging" the summer reading club's annual "Dig into Reading" competition, because he's taken the top prize five years in a row.

The contest requires each participating child to read at least 10 books over the course of six weeks in order to get invited to an end-of-summer party.

By comparison, Tyler won the latest event by reading 63 books in just over a month.
 Click on the top link to read the full article.

After reading this article in its entirety, it sounds like Tyler loves to read books. Perhaps asking him to stop reading so much, would discourage him from reading altogether, which would be the real travesty here in my opinion.

Besides, if Tyler reads more than any other youngster in the annual "Dig into Reading" competition, why shouldn't he win the top prize fair and square??

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jackie Collins Perfoms a Dramatic Reading of Cher's Woman's World

I discovered this video on You Tube and though I'd share it with you all. I've never seen a well know author read the lyrics of a song by a well known performing artist before!

What did you thinking of this reading?

September Fair by Jess Lourey

eBook Edition
I became a big fan of Jess Lourey's The Murder-By-Month Mysteries series when I read 'May Day' last year. 'May Day' is the first novel in The Murder-By-Month Mysteries series. I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'May Day' and promptly reviewed it on my blog afterward.

Last week, I read September Fair by Jess Lourey, which is the second cozy mystery novel I've read in The Murder-By-Month Mysteries series. I enjoyed reading it every bit as much as I did reading 'May Day'. 

Jess Lourey's writing style is fun and refreshing. The storyline in 'September Fair' is entertaining, the characters are well developed, and there isn't a dull moment found between the covers of this cozy mystery novel. I also found myself laughing out loud several times throughout 'September Fair' at some of scenes presented throughout the novel. The leading character, Mira James, as she is a very likable leading amateur sleuth and is a down to Earth character and someone you can relate to, which makes you like her character all the more.

The following is a book description for 'September Fair' found on the website:
The Minnesota State Fair-the beloved home of 4H exhibits, Midway rides, and everything on a stick. The festival fun is riding high until the recently crowned Milkfed Mary, Queen of the Dairy, a Battle Lake native, is brutally murdered while her regal likeness is carved in butter. Can Mira James, covering the fair for the Battle Lake Recall, expose a deadly State Fair secret and win a blue ribbon for caging a killer? You bet your last deep-fried Nut Goodie!
I look forward to reading the rest of the books in The Murder-By-Month Mysteries series. 

Which book series currently captivates your reading attention these days??

Until my next post, happy reading!!  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

These Vintage Diet & Beauty Books Are A Hoot!

I recently visited the Flavorwire website and came across an article titled 20 Vintage Diet and Beauty Book Covers by Alison Nastasi. It's really entertaining to come across books about diet and beauty that were once in vogue.... Even if they sound or look a bit crazy now! The 'Eat Your Troubles Away' book cover was definitely a hoot. Which of the book covers stood out the most for you?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Book Mark Paperback Book Exchange

The Book Mark Paperback Book Exchange  Storefront
It's no secret that I enjoy browsing through independent bookstores! Each independent bookstore has its own unique personality and charm... The Book Mark Paperback Book Exchange is no exception as I fell in love with this used bookstore during my recent visit.

While visiting my parents recently, I had the pleasure of visiting The Book Mark Paperback Book Exchange in Escondido, California with my mom. We enjoyed browsing through this wonderful used bookstore so much,  that we stopped by TWICE in one week!

I only have positive things to share with readers here about The Book Mark Paperback Book Exchange bookstore. In fact, The Book Mark Paperback Book Exchange is one of the nicest used bookstores I've visited... It is very well organized and well stocked with a plethora of paperback books! There are an abundance of book titles from a wide array of genres... Needless to say, I was impressed with the all book titles and genres on hand. 

I purchased four novels during my time spent at The Book Mark Paperback Book Exchange... Believe me, I had to restrain myself from buying more titles as I saw many books on my personal wishlist as well as other intriguing book titles that sounded like captivating ones to read.

Elaine, the proprietress, is wonderfully nice and helpful in answering questions customers may have during their visit. I love helpful store owners, who offer fabulous customer service without being intrusive.

There is even paperback book exchange system offered at The Book Mark Paperback Book Exchange. I'm not sure how it works, mainly because I didn't inquire about it during my visit. So, feel free to call or visit their store in person for more details about how the book exchange works.

Store hours are as follows:

Monday - Friday: 9:30am to 5:00pm
Saturday: 9:30am to 4:30pm
Sunday: Closed

Phone number: (760) 746-6362

The Book Mark Paperback Book Exchange even has a Facebook page! Just click on the link in the previous sentence to find their Facebook page.

I hope you have the chance to visit The Book Mark Paperback Book Exchange some day in the near future as I feel confident you'll enjoy your visit there too.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Smell of Chocolate in Bookstores Increases Sales!

In an article I discovered on the Huffington Post website titled, Smell of Chocolate In Bookstores Increases Sales, Study Finds by David Winograd, I learned that "A new study from Belgium researchers at Hasselt University suggests that the smell of chocolate in bookstores encourages customers to spend more time browsing for books." 

Winograd's further writes in his article: "The key finding? Overall book sales increased as well, and sales for certain kinds of books, such as romance and food-related books, increased by about 40 percent."

This new study sounds like great news for book retailers as a way to increase sales. I personally know that I'd love to smell the scent of chocolate while browsing through a bookstore! Whether I'd buy more romance novels or food-related books remains to be seen.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Cat Who Sang to the Birds by Lilian Jackson Braun

Paperback Edition
I've never read a novel by Lilian Jackson Braun until now, even though I've seen her novels displayed on shelves at bookstores over the years. 

Lilian Jackson Braun is the author of the "The Cat Who..." mystery series featuring former newspaper reporter, James Qwilleran, and his two Siamese cats Koko & Yum-Yum.

I read The Cat Who Sang For The Birds, which was given to me by another Bookcrosser I know during my recent visit to the San Diego area. I found this particular mystery novel to be lighthearted fun and a good read while I was on vacation. I didn't figure out whodunnit until near the end of the novel, which is a good thing. 

Even though I enjoyed reading 'The Cat Who Sang For the Birds', I am not sure I'll be rushing out to purchaser or read another novel written by Lilian Jackson Braun.... The characters seemed kind of dated/stuffy for the times... Otherwise this mystery novel was a good read!

Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

15 Interesting Things Found in Library Books!

I came across an article on the BuzzFeed website titled 15 Curious Things Found In Library Books by Tabatha Leggett. I'm always personally amused with the items I find inside the books I purchase at used book sales, so the above article written by Tabatha Leggett appealed to me. The notes found in library books were mostly interesting to read... The mushed fly was gross though!

Friday, August 16, 2013

'Books on Bikes' Library Program in Seattle, Washington!

Wow, Seattle's Public Library has a 'Books on Bikes' program as a way to deliver books to the masses!! I stumbled upon an article on NPR titled 'Books On Bikes' Helps Seattle Librarians Pedal To The Masses by Gabriel Spitzer. 

In the article, Spitzer writes the following:
By the loading dock of Seattle's downtown library, librarian Jared Mills checks his tire pressure, secures his iPads and locks down about 100 books to an aluminum trailer the size of a steamer trunk. The scene is reminiscent of something you'd see in an action movie, when the hero is gearing up for a big fight, but Mills is gearing up for something very different.

"If you're not prepared and don't have a lot of experience hauling a trailer, it can be kind of dangerous," Mills says, especially when you're going downhill. "The trailer can hold up to 500 pounds."

Mills is part of Seattle Public Library's "Books on Bikes" program, which aims to keep the library nimble and relevant by sending librarians and their bicycles to popular community events around Seattle.

I like the sounds of this new Seattle Public Library Program as another way to reach readers! Click on above link to read the full story.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Learn How Literary Agents Fit into the New Publishing 'Ecosystem'

It's interesting to see how a literary agent functions in the publishing industry. A few days ago, I came across an interesting article posted on the Forbes website titled How Do Literary Agents Fit Into The New Book Publishing Ecosystem? by Jeremy Greenfield. This article did shed some light on the importance of a literary agent and how their role has changed in recent years. Click on the above link to read the full story!

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Check Out This Book!! It's the Size of a Ladybug!!

On The Atlantic website, I came across an article titled Revealed: A Book the Size of a Ladybug by Rebecca J. Rosen. Wow, who knew books could be that small in size and still contain text within its covers! The following is a quote from Rosen's article:
The University of Iowa library contains more than 4,000 miniature books, all measuring fewer than three inches in either height, width, or both. Three inches is not a lot for a book, but three inches is outright capacious when compared with a little red bug of a book, one of the smallest objects in the entire collection, measuring 0.138 inches square and 0.04 inches thick. 

Based on the cover, library staff assumed the little book was a Bible, or at least some part of one, and a photograph taken through a magnifying glass and cleaned up on Photoshop confirmed this suspicion. But everything else about it was unknown. Librarian Colleen Theisen, who found it in a box marked "microminiatures," calls it the "most perplexing" of the miniature collection: a book so small it could not be read by the naked eye. What was it? Who made it and when? Whatever clues its text contained were locked between its tiny binding.
Click on above link to read the entire article and view pictures of this tiny book!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Journey to Becoming a Book Minimalist...

Last month, I posted an article on my blog about breaking one's sentimental attachment to books. I'm in the arduous process of downsizing my current collection of books. It was a tough decision for me to make when I decided to downsize my book collection, mainly because I'm an avid book lover... But alas, I need to downsize my current book collection as I've acquired books faster than I've been able to read them. Books are overflowing everywhere in our home as I no longer have room on my bookshelves to store them properly and I'd prefer to downsize my collection verses purchasing new bookshelves.

I've managed to go through my entire book collection and giveaway 41 books since the beginning of July 2013!! I think this is a good feat since it has been difficult for me to decide on which books I no longer want to read. I still have plenty of books waiting to be read, so it feels like I've hardly made an impact on downsizing my collection. 

The good news though at least, is that I've started the process of downsizing my book collection! Now to simply keep myself focused on reading the books I currently have in order to prevent myself from adding more books to my collection.... This will be no easy task!

Until my next post, have fun reading books!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ask and It Is Given Cards by Esther & Jerry Hicks

I've been going through some challenging health related issues the past month that have been difficult to deal with over the past few weeks. 

The good news is that I am finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel with some small, but very wonderful steps forward. I'm still continuing to work towards improving my health one step at a time and one day at a time.

One of the many things that has helped me through this difficult time has been to read the Ask and It Is Given Cards by Esther & Jerry Hicks

This 60-Card Deck of beautifully illustrated cards contains wonderful messages of love, hope, and inspiration that helps one through difficult/trying times! 

I love the size and shape of these cards, along with their glossy finish. The 60-Card Deck is held inside a lovely box. I usually read a few of the cards at any given time that speak most to my heart.

One of my favorite quotes in the 'Ask and It Is Given Cards' is as follows:

"Absolute Well-Being is the Basis of My Universe.
Well-Being is the basis of All-That-Is.
It flows to you and through you.
You only have to allow it.
Like the air you breathe, you only have to
open, relax, and draw it into your Being."

Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Running from Love: A Story for Runners and Lovers by Rozsa Gaston

eBook Edition
I recently finished reading Running from Love: A Story for Runners and Lovers by Rozsa Gaston.

'Running from Love: A Story for Runners and Lovers' is a contemporary romance novel that combines the sport of running and with the romance genre.

The following is a synopsis of 'Running from Love: A Story for Runners and Lovers' from the author, Rozsa Gaston's website:
Farrah Foley runs the way she runs her love life—too cautiously. She slows down when it’s time to fly. Getting dumped with no explanation by the love of her life, she’s determined never to find herself in that position again.

When Jude Farnesworth comes along, Farrah is intrigued but fears she can’t compete with the kind of high society women he’s surrounded by from his town of Greenwich, Connecticut. Raised in Queens, she lives in the Bronx, where she runs with the Van Cortlandt Track Club. Down-to-earth yet vulnerable, she has no idea that Jude is attracted to the qualities in her she’s trying hardest to hide

.Growing up on the fringes of affluence, Jude wants to write about straddling two groups, belonging to neither. But first he needs to finish ghostwriting TV financial expert Dan Perlstein’s latest book How to Marry Money. When Jude meets Farrah, for the first time he can see himself as an insider, the only other member of Farrah’s club. But when Farrah discovers what Jude is writing about, she leaves him behind in the dust. Will Jude be able to catch her at the finish line?
I'm not a huge romance genre fan, but sometimes I do read romance novels while on travel or the beach, etc. I thought 'Running from Love: A Story for Runners and Lovers' by Rozsa Gaston sounded decent at the time, so decided to read it. 

I was pretty disappointed overall with  'Running from Love: A Story for Runners and Lover'. Farrah Foley, one of the leading characters, is annoying/frustrating!! I totally understand that Farrah Foley has been burned by her previous fiance and is gun shy about starting a new relationship. I also totally understand why she isn't a fan of those who have a lot of money, BUT what I didn't understand is why Farrah Foley acts so immature is parts of the novel. Nor did I understand why she'd even remotely consider reconnecting with her ex-fiance --- the very man who burned her in the past!?!?

I initially gave up on reading 'Running from Love: A Story for Runners and Lover' about halfway into it because I couldn't get past Farrah Foley's frustrating behavior. I only decided to continue reading 'Running from Love: A Story for Runners and Lover' while on travel recently and felt this novel wasn't really worth reading once I'd finished it. The ending was predictable, no surprise! I personally wouldn't recommend running to purchase this novel.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Life's A Beach Then You Die by Falafel Jones

eBook Edition
I enjoy reading mystery novels immensely. 

Life's A Beach Then You Die by Falafel Jones caught my attention for the following three reasons.

1) The book was a FREE eBook I could download to my eReader.

2) The plot summary sounded intriguing enough to capture my attention.

3) Falafel Jones is a new author to me. I'm always on the look out for new writing talent to add to my reading repertoire.

I really enjoyed reading 'Life's A Beach Then You Die' more than I thought I would... I wasn't expecting much from a free eBook by an unknown author, but I really enjoyed reading this mystery novel for the most part. 

The Pros are as follows:

- Likable lead character
- Good characters throughout the story
- Nice plot/well told story
- Good twists and turns to keep the reader interested
- Didn't guess the killer until near the end of the novel

The Cons are as follows:

- Novel needs some minor editing work
- Sometimes too much detail is given... Do I really need to know what the lead character ate during a meal?? Especially if it isn't an important part of the story??

Otherwise, I found 'Life's A Beach Then You Die' a good read! 

I look forward to reading 'The Kewpie Killer' also written by Falafel Jones sometime in the future.