Saturday, May 31, 2014

Petectives - A Cat Mystery by Robert J. Smith

Petectives - A Cat Mystery by Robert J. Smith is a quick eBook read that I finished in roughly two and a half hours and it is  approximately 140 pages. If you love cats and dogs, mysteries and stories told through the eyes of animals, then you may enjoy reading this novella. 

The plot summary for Petectives is as follows from Amazon:
It’s almost Halloween and cat detectives Yoshi and Gatsby are up to their collars in mystery in this humorous whodunnit for pet lovers. When Gatsby and Yoshi decide to help a pretty young cat find her missing brother, what starts as a routine missing pet investigation soon pits them against both a gang of vicious criminal pit bulls as well as the neighborhood dog police, who are looking into rumors of dogfights. While Gatsby’s up to his whiskers in danger and romance, Yoshi’s putting together the pieces of a puzzle that could rock their community. Can the boys find a missing cat and shut down a dogfighting operation while staying two steps ahead of the local dog police? It’s all in a night’s work for the Petectives!
I thought the premise of Petectives was really cute as I do love mystery novels and animals featured in novels as well! But somehow the writing feel flat... Not enough, umph to it. I thought there was more telling of the storyline verses showing through action. 

I'm giving Petectives a rating of 5 stars out of 10 stars. I'm not interested in reading anymore novellas in the Petectives series.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Finds #37

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!

I've added four books to my reading stack this past week -- Two used books from the Friends of the Library Used Bookstore for 50 cents a piece and two audiobooks from Audible as follows:

1. The House of Gentle Men by Kathy Hepinstall
2. Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
3. My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
4. The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan

Which books have you added to your reading or wish list this week?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Which Literary Character are you? Quiz

So, which literary character are you? Take the following ten question quiz to find out which character you are!! I took the quiz on AbeBooks website... My result is as follows:

You are Hermione from the Harry Potter series. You are smart, witty, and love a challenge. You use rationality and reason in all things. You are measured and stable and you don't let people push you around.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling has captured the imaginations of children and adults alike. Rowling brings to life the world where magic is real and the fantastic creatures of mythology come alive. Her seventh and final book in the series published in 2007 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) became the fastest selling book in history.

The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe & Jacqueline Kennedy: A Novel by Wendy Leigh

I decided to take a break from listening to audiobooks and return to reading a book instead. I decided to veer off course and read something different, so chose The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe & Jacqueline Kennedy: A Novel by Wendy Leigh

I've always admired former First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, for her beauty, poise and style. She's such an icon of American style and glamour! She's the epitome of class. 

Marilyn Monroe is the legendary, sexy screen siren of her day. Monroe's untimely death and legacy still endures to this day and she is seemingly popular as ever. 

So, when I came across the eBook novel The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe & Jacqueline Kennedy by Wendy Leigh, I was intrigued by the title and plot summary. 

I do not know if Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe actually corresponded through a series of secret letters in real life and eventually formed a friendship as presented in the novel, The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe & Jacqueline Kennedy... But the idea of Marilyn & Jackie corresponding via secret letters does make for interesting reading nonetheless. Who wouldn't want to know what they wrote to each other, had they in fact corresponded to one another via letters!! I mean really, what would they say to each other?

I enjoyed the fact that The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe & Jacqueline Kennedy is written as a series of letters between both women as it is an interesting way to present a story. I can only recall reading two previous novels told in this same fashion and both of these novels were good ones to read.


* Novel is presented as a series of intriguing letters.
* Fast, fun, historical read.
* Well written and researched by the author.


* Not sure how realistic it would have been that Jackie & Marilyn communicated to one another via secret letters over several years & became friends. 
* I also found it a bit difficult to believe that each woman would have shared such deeply personal information to one another either.

All in all, I did enjoy reading The Secret Letters of Marilyn Monroe & Jacqueline Kennedy by Wendy Leigh! I'm giving it a rating of seven stars out of ten stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou Passed Away at Age 86.

I'm saddened to learn about the death of Dr. Maya Angelou. She is one of my favorite poets, writers and storytellers. I've seen her speak before a live audience twice in my life. Once at the University of Iowa while I was attending college there and another time in Santa Barbara, California at the Arlington Theatre. Maya Angelou was a captivating speaker... She was fascinating to listen to to... She shared wonderful stories, recited poetry, sung songs and much more to audiences. I also enjoyed listening to Maya Angelou speak on various television shows. I very much respected her wisdom, vast knowledge and many pearls of wisdom!! Dr. Angelou will be greatly missed!

My heart goes out to Dr. Angelou's family during this sad time. 

To learn more about Dr. Maya Angelou, please click on the following link: Maya Angelou, Poet, Activist And Singular Storyteller, Dies At 86 by Lynn Neary

Monday, May 26, 2014

Books to Read After College Graduation

I came across an article on Bustle titled 11 BOOKS TO READ AFTER COLLEGE GRADUATION (WHEN YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S GOING ON) by Tori Telfer. In the article, Tori Telfer writes:
Some of these books pinpoint that specific feeling of post-grad ennui; others provide fiery inspiration; and some are just really useful for navigating a post-grad life. They pair perfectly with a glass of Mom-made lemonade and a feeling of infinite possibility that’s occasionally tempered by a stabbing pain at how terrifying the world is. You’ll get through it. These books will help.
Click on the above link to read which eleven books made the list! 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Professor & the Madman by Simon Winchester

I'm sheepishly admitting that I've had the unabridged audio version of The Professor & the Madman by Simon Winchester since at least 2008... And, I FINALLY listened to this awesome nonfiction work over the course of three days! 

I've heard nothing but wonderful things about The Professor & the Madman by Simon Winchester from several people who've read it. All I can say is that The Professor & the Madman exceeded all of my expectations about it. can't believe that I waited this long to listen to this amazing book!! 

Here are some of the basics about the audio version of The Professor & the Madman. It is read by the author. The total listening time is approximately 7 hours and 20 minutes. The following is the plot summary from Audible:
Hidden within the rituals of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary is a fascinating mystery. Professor James Murray was the distinguished editor of the OED project. Dr. William Chester Minor, an American surgeon who had served in the Civil War, was one of the most prolific contributors to the dictionary, sending thousands of neat, hand-written quotations from his home. After numerous refusals from Minor to visit his home in Oxford, Murray set out to find him. It was then that Murray would finally learn the truth about Minor - that, in addition to being a masterly wordsmith, he was also an insane murderer locked up in Broadmoor, England's harshest asylum for criminal lunatics. The Professor and the Madman is the unforgettable story of the madness and genius that contributed to one of the greatest literary achievements in the history of English letters.
The Professor & the Madman is very multi-dimensional read and is packed with numerous historical facts... We not only learn about the lives of Professor James Murray & William Chester Minor in quite a bit of detail, but we learn about the history of the Oxford English Dictionary and about the history of the modern dictionary as well. Plus, other historically related facts... A very fascinating book to read or listen to for sure. I also thought that Simon Winchester did a wonderful job of narrating his own book.

I'm giving The Professor & the Madman a 9 stars out of 10 stars rating.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Ten Best Weddings in Literature

The month of June is fast approaching and it is also the most popular month for weddings. So, I thought the following article I discovered on Flavorwire titled, The Ten Best Weddings in Literature by Jenn Doll, was an appropriate one to read. Perhaps, I'll have the chance to read one of the novels mentioned in Doll's article during the month of June. Until my next post, happy reading!!

Think Like A Writer!!

I came across an article on the Huffington Post titled How to Think Like A Writer by Carolyn Gregoire. In the article, Gregoire writes:
Writing isn't easy. In fact, it can be painfully difficult. Why? Because it's thinking, but on paper. "To write well is to think clearly. That's why it's so hard," said Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author David McCullough 
Many great writers, including Joan Didion and Don DeLillo, have said that their purpose for putting words on paper is to find clarity with their thoughts, and have described the process of writing as one of becoming familiar with their own minds. 
“I find that by putting things in writing I can understand them and see them a little more objectively," Hunter S. Thompson wrote in a 1958 letter. "For words are merely tools and if you use the right ones you can actually put even your life in order." 
If you're a writer, then you're likely both devoted to your craft and eternally frustrated by it -- and even the most talented writers could use guidance from the greats on how to hone their powers of thinking and get those creative juices flowing. Take a cue from the likes of Henry Miller, Zadie Smith and William Faulkner to get into your "writer's mind" and produce your best work.

Click on above link to read the tips on how to think like a writer! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Finds #36

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!

Okay, so another week has come and I've added another two audiobooks to my repertoire this week from

1. The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories by Agatha Christie
2. My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent

So, which books did you add to your reading wishlist/reading pile?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Shoots to Kill by Kate Collins

Yesterday, I finished reading Shoots to Kill by Kate Collins, which is the seventh cozy mystery novel in 'A Flower Shop Mystery Series' to feature florist and amateur sleuth, Abby Knight. 

I like the 'A Flower Shop Mystery Series' and fictional character, Abby Knight. Shoots to Kill is the fifth novel I've read by Kate Collins and I'm look forward to reading more novels in the 'Flower Shop Mystery Series'.

What did I enjoy about Shoots to Kill? First off, I liked it because it is a cozy mystery novel... I'm a cozy mystery novel enthusiast. I feel that Kate Collins is a good writer, who creates good storylines, filled with interesting characters, nice dialogue and a good amount of drama and red herrings. I didn't guess who the killer was until the end of Shoots to Kill, which is a good thing as who really wants to figure out who the killer is early on? Shoots to Kill is a fast, fun read!!

I'm giving Shoots to Kill an 8 star out of 10 star rating.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hercule Poirot's Real-Life Model May Have Been Discovered!

I came across an article in The Guardian titled Hercule Poirot's real-life model may have been detected in Torquay by Alison Flood. This is exciting news for me to learn as I'm an Agatha Christie fan. I've read several of Agatha Christie novels and my favorite fictional character created by Ms. Christie is Hercule Poirot. So, to learn that Hercule Poirot may have indeed been modeled on a real life person is an intriguing factoid to learn!

In the above mentioned article, Alison Flood writes the following in her article:

Retired Devon Navy commander Michael Clapp was researching his family history when he discovered that hundreds of Belgian refugees came to the region after the war started. One of them was retired gendarme Jacques Hornais, whose name was recorded by Clapp's grandmother Alice Graham Clapp as having been billeted with a Mrs Potts Chatto. 
"Further down the road [from Mrs Potts Chatto] lived Agatha Christie's family in another quite large house. They obviously knew each other socially," said Clapp. "The coincidence came when I went to Torquay, and someone at the museum dug out an old newspaper article saying that Mrs Potts Chatto had held a meeting to raise money and clothing for the Belgian refugees, and a young girl played the piano there. She turned out to be Agatha Christie." 
Clapp said that Christie had "always said that her inspiration for Poirot came from a Belgian refugee, and he was the only gendarme or detective of any kind I know of to have been sent there. So it's not proof, but it's a pretty good coincidence".

Click on the top link to read the full story. 

Until my next post, happy reading! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas by Molly Harper

Unabridged Audio Version
I recently listened to I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas by Molly Harper and narrated by Amanda Ronconi. I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas is part of the Half-Moon Hollows series and is approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes in length.

Yes, I know it's a bit early for Christmas holiday reads, but I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas was a free download from and a short listen for commuting. 

Listening to I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas was also my first experience with anything written by Molly Harper. Although, I enjoyed Amanda Ronconi's narration of Molly Harper's I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas, I wasn't impressed with the storyline and characters themselves in I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas

Sure, there were funny moments in I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas, but I'm still trying to figure out the point of the story. Sure it's about Christmas, spending time with family and friends, along with blending vampires, humans and werewolves together for the holidays.... But it just wasn't much of a story in my opinion. The ending of I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas wasn't much of an ending either... The ending was too tidy for my taste.

The following is a plot summary for I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas from Audible:
It's Christmas in Half-Moon Hollow and newly turned vampire Iris Scanlon-Calix wants to make Gigi's first visit home from college as normal and special as possible. It's taken months for Iris to work up the nerve to spend time around her baby sister after her vampire transition, so she enlists help from Jane Jameson and Company to keep her blood-thirst under control and assure Gigi's safety. Gigi, on the other hand, has problems of her own, including the demise of her relationship with high school sweetheart, Ben, and a looming job interview with Ophelia Lambert, the scariest potential employer in the Hollow. And then there's the small matter of the handsome, frustrating vampire who keeps appearing in Gigi's peripheral vision, then disappearing before she can talk to him. Can the Scanlon sisters negotiate romantic problems, vampire politics, and Christmas cookie disasters and enjoy a relatively normal holiday?
I'm giving I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas by Molly Harper a rating of 5 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Comics That Can Help You Understand Mental Illness

I came across an article on Io9 titled 10 Comics That Can Help You Understand Mental Illness by Lauren Davis. In the article, Davis writes:
Comics don't always have the best track record when it comes to portraying mental illness. In superhero stories, mental illness is often associated with violence and villainy. There are, however, other, often personal, comics that can open your eyes to real human experiences with mental disorders.
Just a heads up: many of these comics deal with self-harm, suicide, and other issues that can be triggering to some individuals.
The comic books mentioned in the above article written by Lauren Davis, sound like intriguing ones to read. I'm all for becoming more educated with regards to various mental health issues and how mental illness effects those who are coping/dealing with one on a daily basis. 

15 Teen Feminist Books to Read!

Being a woman, I can't help but be a feminist! So, when I came across an article on Flavorwire titled 15 Teen Feminist Books Everyone Should Read by Elisabeth Donnelly, I couldn't wait to read the article and share it on my blog.

I've yet to read any of the books mentioned in  Elisabeth Donnelly's article. Most, if not all of them sound like amazing books to read!

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I recently listened to the unabridged audio version of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and read by Kate Rudd. 

Wow, what a beautifully written novel!! I'd read several glowing reviews from other book bloggers about their views on The Fault in Our Stars, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to listen to the unabridged download from 

I'm glad that I did listen to The Fault in Our Stars. It is my first experience with anything written by author John Green and his writing is awesome. Mr. Green really captures the teenage soul. The characters are well developed, so is the storyline and I enjoyed the unexpected turns of events in parts. I also felt that The Fault in Our Stars is well read by Kate Rudd. My favorite characters in The Fault in Our Stars are Hazel and Augustus Waters and their relationship.

My only complaint about this novel is how sad it is in parts... I found myself crying during several scenes in this novel beginning in chapter 13 onward due to the nature of cancer/illness as presented in this novel. I don't want to add anymore information than that as I want to avoid spoilers for those who have yet to read The Fault in Our Stars. Don't let the sad scenes/storyline scare you off from reading this book as it is an amazingly well told story and a worthwhile read.

The following is a plot summary of The Fault of Our Stars from Audible:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. 
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

I'm giving The Fault in Our Stars a rating of 8.5 stars out of 10 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Booktaker: A Nameless Detective Mystery by Bill Pronzini

I listened to The Booktaker: A Nameless Detective Mystery by Bill Pronzini and read by Nick Sullivan. This is an unabridged audio book and is approximately 90 minutes in length.

This was my first experienced reading or listening to anything written by Bill Pronzini and I really enjoyed this detective/mystery story... I love mystery novels and bookstores, so a mystery read that takes place inside a bookstore for part of the story is good in my book! Add a well developed storyline, good dialogue and nice characters and you have a great read... Or in this case listen! I also thought that Nick Sullivan did a swell job of reading this story.

The following is a plot summary from Audible:
The Nameless Detective is called upon to find out how rare books and maps are being stolen from an antiquarian bookshop with a faultless alarm system. He goes undercover in the store, only to be foiled when a theft occurs right under his nose. Then, as he ponders the case (while on a date with the lovely Kerry), he’s violently struck from behind by a car that seems bent on driving him off the road. Will Nameless survive this attempt on his life and solve the case?

I'm giving The Booktaker: A Nameless Detective Mystery by Bill Pronzini a 7 star out of 10 star rating!

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Finds #35

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!

I once again visited the Audible website and have downloaded six unabridged audio books for the low price of $6.90! Gotta love their low prices and immediate delivery of the audio books to my Kindle for my listening pleasure!

So here's what I downloaded from Audible:

1. The Fault of the Stars by John Green
2. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
3. I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas by Molly Harper
4. The Booktaker: A Nameless Detective Mystery by Bill Pronzini
5. The Valentine Wedding Dress by Sherryl Woods
6. Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad by M. R. James

So, which books did you add to your wishlist and/or reading list this week? Were any of them audio books?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad by M. R. James

I really enjoyed listening to the unabridged short story Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad by M. R. James and read by actor, David Suchet. I actually downloaded this audio short story from Audible recently. It's fifty minutes in length.

This is the first time I've read or listened to anything written by M. R. James and was impressed with his writing. Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad is an engaging ghost story. I'm usually not into ghost stories (or the horror genre) in general, but this was a good one. It was well written and well read with good characters and nice story. I was pleasantly surprised by the story.

The plot summary for Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad on Audible as follows:
The story tells the tale of an introverted academic who happens upon a strange whistle while exploring a cemetery on the East Anglian coast. When blown, the whistle unleashes a supernatural force that terrorises its discoverer. 
Montague Rhodes James was a noted British mediaeval scholar and provost of King's College, Cambridge (1905–1918) and of Eton College (1918–1936). He is best remembered for his ghost stories which are widely regarded as among the finest in English literature.
One of James' most important achievements was to redefine the ghost story for the new century by dispensing with many of the formal Gothic trappings of his predecessors, and replacing them with more realistic contemporary settings. 
"Montague Rhodes James has an intelligent and scientific knowledge of human nerves and feelings; and knows just how to apportion statement, imagery, and subtle suggestions in order to secure the best results with his readers." HP Lovecraft. 
Actor David Suchet is best known for his definitive portrayal of Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective created by the legendary mystery author Agatha Christie, in a number of international television productions. He narrates his story in Poirot and Me.

I'm giving Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad by M. R. James a rating of 8 stars out of 10 stars! 

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Valentine Wedding Dress by Sherryl Woods

Unabridged Short Story
I listened to 'The Valentine Wedding Dress' by Sherryl Woods and read by Elenna Stauffer. 'The Valentine Wedding Dress' is an unabridged short story and is 38 minutes in length.

I enjoyed listening to this short story. I thought it was well read by Ms. Stauffer. It was a simple story really and one about the destiny of love and the start of a budding romance.

Here is the plot summary of 'The Valentine Wedding Dress' from Audible:
Drawn to an old trunk in the attic, Lara Calhoun is unable to resist finding out what treasure her late, beloved mother had kept hidden away for all these years. Her unexpected discovery soon turns her world upside down and makes her second-guess everything she's ever believed about her mother and about love. Will it lead her straight into Dave Lafferty's arms, or make her turn away from the love of a lifetime?

Until my next post, happy reading!! 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I've been nominated for a Liebster Award!

To my sheer delight I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Casey at Story Notions. Thank you so much, Casey for nominating my blog, Captivated Reader, for a Liebster Award!! I feel honored that another book blogging peer liked my blog enough to nominate it for this award! 

Quite frankly, I'd never even heard of the Liebster Award before. So, I did a little research of my own and discovered varying information about the Leibster Award, the origins of the Liebster Award & its rules.

The Basic Rules of the Leibster Award are as follows:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog in your blog post. 

2. Display an image of the Liebster Award in your blog post.

2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.

3. Answer 11 questions provided to you by the person who nominated you.

4. Nominate 5-11 blogs that you feel deserve the award and have less than 300 followers.

5. Create a new list of 11 questions for the bloggers you've nominated to answer.

6. Let the bloggers you've nominated know you've nominated them.

7. List the rules for the Leibster Award in your post.

11 Facts About Me:

1. My love for reading books began as a toddler when my mom use to read Babar the Elephant stories to me and other children's books. I thank my mom for my love of reading!
2. I was born, raised and have lived most of my life in California.
3. I have a BA in Russian from the University of Iowa.
4. I've been an active member of Bookcrossing since 2008 and actively participate in the Bookcrossing forums. I've enjoyed exchanging books with readers around the world.
5. I've been a World Book Night Giver the past three years in a row and have enjoyed passing out books to other people in my local community.
6. I'm happily married to the love of life and we have been married for 12 years now.
7. I'm an only child and have no children of my own. I'm close to my family.
8. My most exotic vacation was one I took with my husband in 2012 for our 10 year wedding anniversary. We sailed through the Panama Canal and had a blast visiting cities in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia.
9. My husband & I started geocaching together in May 2005 and it's a hobby we enjoy doing together.
10. I've lived near the Pacific Ocean most of my life.
11. I enjoy visiting zoos, aquariums, museums, historical sites, botanical gardens, parks, beaches and cultural/theatrical events (like plays, musical events, symphony performances, ballet performances, etc.)

Casey's Questions For Me:

1. When did you start blogging? And why did you start?

I began my book blog on January 1, 2012! 

I've been a life long lover of reading books and wanted to share my passion for books and reading with the world at large. But I didn't want my blog to be solely filled with book reviews of the books I've read. So, I have included posts about the independent bookstores I visit, author signing events I've attend, book related quotes, book memes, and anything book related I came across from literary awards, book news, etc. 

Another reason I started my book blog was to connect with other readers and bloggers... Little did I know how much fun it would be to interact with other readers and bloggers around the world. I've really enjoyed discovering new book blogs as well as participating in book memes, read-a-thons, reading challenges and so on! 

2. What's the last book you reread? And why did you reread it? 

Well, I recently listened to the audio version of a short story written by Guy De Maupassant titled 'The Necklace' that I had originally read in high school for an English class. I had decided to listen to the audio version as I had remembered liking this short story when I'd first read it all those years ago.... Too many years ago to count!

3. Favorite TV/movie? (that isn't based on a book)

I like lot of different movies and television shows, but my recent favorite television show is 'Breaking Bad'. I've seen the entire series and loved watching it!! Too bad it's over as it was a fabulous series!!

4. Book/series that changed/influenced your life the most.

A tough question, but a good one at that... Which book has changed or influenced my life the most??? There are so many books that I've read over the years that have changed or influenced my life and my thinking for the better in some way, large or small.

However, I'd have to say that Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin MD, has made the most impact on my life recently. I listened to the unabridged audio version of 'Mind Over Medicine' late last year and it became one of my favorite books of 2013. I've been having some health related issues for almost a year now and it has been one scary, daunting journey for me to deal with my symptoms. Overcoming the stress, fear, and anxiety that come along with dealing with a health issue and how to move forward in a positive direction has been a big issue for me personally.

After reading 'Mind Over Medicine' by Lissa Rankin MD, I felt empowered and have a new perspective of the healing process/journey. Now moving forward doesn't seem quite so scary or overwhelming. I'm currently taking small, baby steps to move forward towards optimal health. Life is good!!

5. Fandoms you're apart of and your 'favorite'.

Sure, I'm a fan of certain genres, authors, books and many other things aside from reading.... But I am not part if any fan clubs if that is what you mean. 

6. Hogwarts house.


7. Weird reading habits or needs to be able to read?

No weird reading habits for me. I just like to be sitting in a comfortable place/position with adequate lighting and have the temperature be just right... Not too hot or too cold. So, reading at home in bed, sitting on the sofa, on a bench at the park or beach... Or even a coffee/tea house all work for me. 

In the past, I've enjoyed drinking hot tea (preferably organic jasmine green tea sweetened with stevia) or coffee with sweetened hazelnut creamer.... These days, however, I simply focus on my reading and skip the beverages!

8. Favorite book that was, at some point, 'required reading' for any reason.

'A Hero of Our Time' by Mikhail Lermontov. I had to read this novel for a Russian Literature class in college and it is now one of my favorite books of all time... I've read it 3 or 4 times now.

9. What is your OTP (couple you most like/want together)? And what is your NOTP (two characters you should never be together romantically, in your opinion)?

Not sure about this question... I couldn't come up with an answer for it.

10. Do you like ebooks? How often do you read one? Do you have an ereader?

Yes, I like eBooks! I've owned and used a Kindle quite regularly since 2008 and have upgraded to newer Kindles as time has gone by over the years. I vary my Kindle use though as I still read physical books and also still listen to books on compact disc... I'm also beginning to listen to more books from this year as well. 

As a side note, I've become quite addicted to audio books the past few years and have actually listened to more books this year than read books.

11. What author, whose alive, do you most wish to meet and why?

Oh, that's a difficult question to answer! Let's see, there are three authors I'd really like to meet that come to mind immediately --- Diana Gabaldon, Maya Angelou, and Sherman Alexie. 

I've read many of Diana Gabaldon's novels and have enjoyed them very much. I think she'd be a neat person to meet. 

I love Maya Angelou's poetry and memoirs. I've heard Maya Angelou speak before a live audience twice in my life and enjoyed hearing her speak. She's filled with so much wisdom and knowledge that I'd love to meet her in person.

I loved reading Sherman Alexie's novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and fell in love with his writing. I'd love to met the person behind the writing.

I Nominate the Following Book Blogs for the Liebster Award:

Bookish Realm
Cold Tea & Crumbs
Geeky Chiquitas
Literature Martini
My Reading List

Here are my 11 questions for you:

When did your love for reading books begin?

Where's your favorite place to read? Do you have any favorite foods/snacks or beverages that you eat or drink while reading?? Or do you solely focus on the book you're reading?

Nostalgic question for you! What was your favorite book growing up?

Do you have an all time favorite book & why is it special to you?

Name the last book you reread!

Do you like attending literary events (book signings/book festivals, etc.)? If so, share with us a favorite literary event you've attended!

If you were to host a dinner party and could invite any author(s) to attend your dinner party, from the past or present, who would you invite and why?

Which fictional character (from a novel) would you most like to meet in real life?

What has been the best experience you've had as a book blogger?

Do you participate in weekly book memes, online read-a-thons, reading challenges, etc? If so, which one is your favorite one to participate in?

What do you enjoy doing for fun when you aren't blogging and reading?

Good luck and have fun with the Liebster Award!! I look forward to reading your comments below!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Which Books Changed How We Feel About Ourselves As Women?

Huffington Post always has some excellent articles on books and reading... In fact, I came across one such article last weekend titled 18 Books That Changed How We Felt About Ourselves As Women by Alanna Vagianos. In her article, Ms. Vagianos writes:
As any book lover knows, reading provides an ability to escape. Whether it's for a few minutes before bed, on the hour-long bus ride to work or even a full day under the sun -- books and the stories they hold are a driving force for creativity, growth and (almost always) relaxation.

Novels allow us to visit places, time periods and states of mind we never thought possible. Often these stories and their characters change how we see ourselves and put us on a completely new path.

It's no surprise that women are big readers, contributing to 64 percent of book sales. With these statistics in mind (and our own healthy addiction to reading), we asked the HuffPost editors and our Facebook audience which books shaped the way they thought about themselves as young women. And while we couldn't fit all of the amazing books on this list, we've rounded up 18 that have made life-changing impressions on our community. 
Click on the link at the top of this post to read which books changed how women feel about themselves! 

Which books changed how you felt about yourself as a woman?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Clair De Lune & The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

Short Stories
I had fun listening to two short stories recently titled Clair De Lune and The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant & read by Josie Jackson.

Both stories were enjoyable to listen to although, I enjoyed The Necklace more than Clair De Lune.

My only complaint with this audio recording is that the audio quality wasn't great. The recording kind of sounded like the reader was speaking through a tin can. As far as the reader goes, I thought Josie Jackson was so-so. She wasn't a poor reader, nor great. Just middle of road as far as readers go. The stories were good, but would have been better had the recording quality was better and perhaps a different reader as well.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

Unabridged Audiobook
I've been an Agatha Christie fan for most of my life. I started reading her novels and short stories while in high school and continues to read some of her novels in my early twenties.

Somehow, I must have missed reading The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie... But then again, I've always been more of a Hercule Poirot fan than a Miss Marple fan.... Don't get me wrong, I like Miss Marple, but I've always liked Hercule Poirot much more. Anyway, I listened to the unabridged audio version of The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie and read by Stephanie Cole.

I really enjoyed the storyline and characters in The Body in the Library. I didn't guess the killer or why they did the murder until the ending when the details were unfolded. Agatha Christie is the undisputed queen of misdirection! She truly has a knack for storytelling and how to present mystery stories in an engaging fashion that captivate readers young and old. I also felt that Stephanie Cole did a nice job of reading The Body in the Library as she brought the characters and story to life.

Here's the plot summary as follows from Audible website:
It's seven in the morning. The Bantrys wake to find the body of a young woman in their library.She is wearing an evening dress and heavy makeup, which is now smeared across her cheeks. But who is she? How did she get there? And what is the connection with another dead girl, whose charred remains are later discovered in an abandoned quarry? The respectable Bantrys invite Miss Marple to solve the mystery... before tongues start to wag.
Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Happy California Bookstore Day!!

Calling all Californians..... Today Is the Day to Celebrate California Bookstore Day!!
Just what are we celebrating?

Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers. They are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity. They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well spent.

Indie bookstores, whether dusty and labyrinthine or clean and well-lighted, are not just stores, they are solutions. They hold the key to your love life, your career, and your passions. Walking the aisles of a good bookstore means stumbling upon a novel from India that expands your heart. It’s encountering an art book that changes the direction of your life. It’s the joy of having a perfect stranger steer you toward the perfect book.

In a world of tweets and algorithms and pageless digital downloads, bookstores are not a dying anachronism.  They are living, breathing organisms that continue to grow and expand. In fact, there are more of them this year than there were last year. And they are at your service.

Find the nearest California Bookstore Day event to you.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Finds #34

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 received a $10 coupon, so I used it to buy the unabridged version of Agatha Christie's novel The Body in the Library. I look forward to listening to this audiobook as I'm an Agatha Christie fan.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Quiz: Who Wrote It First?

I found an article in the LA Times titled Quiz: Who Wrote It First? by Carolyn Kellogg. In her article, Kellogg writes:
In the new book "Authorisms: Words Wrought by Writers" (Bloomsbury, 240 pages, $18) Paul Dickson provides a glossary of familiar terms -- more than 1,700 -- all coined by literary figures. Do you know your bookish etymology? Take our quiz.

Click on the above link to test your knowledge! I didn't do so well and only scored 40% on the quiz. 

I'm interested in checking out Paul Dickson's book "Authorisms: Words Wrought by Writers" to find out which familiar terms were coined by which famous literary figures.