Monday, August 31, 2009

My first challenge

So I have decided to join a challenge, a reading challenge that is. I have discovered this through my fellow bloggers.

It is the R.I.P IV Challenge and it came my way while reading the newest posting by Literate Housewife. The challenge was originally posted by Stainless Steel Droppings (check it out there if you are interested). I need to get a bit more tech savvy to link this and link that to make it all easier for you. :) Sorry for the extra leg work on your part.

Anyway, the challenge is Spooky with a capital "S".

There are 4 parts of the challenge depending on how many books you want to read. It runs from September 1 through October 31. The books you read must be from the following genres:

Dark Fantasy

You read and share what you think! Sounds familiar...

I have chosen to do Peril the Second which means I read 2 books from the genre list above.

I hope to not change my mind on my books but simply by going on what I have piled on my shelves and have owned for some time now I must go with the following 2 for my picks.

In the Woods by Tana French (Mystery)
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (Gothic)

I may bump myself up in the challenge because Shadow of the Wind has been calling to me for over a year now (yikes!). This may just be the perfect time to read it.

But until then, I accept this challenge and shout "Happy Reading!"

*red headed book child


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Giveaway Crazy from my fellow Bloggers

This giveaway is courtesy of Park Avenue Princess, straight from her blog. Check it out and sign up!

Saturday Spotlight & Generous Giveaway!

Hello Lords and Ladies! Today I have another wonderful blogger for you to meet! She was one of the very first bloggers I met when I began blogging! Let's Welcome Our Saturday Spotlight Blogger...

**Thunderous Applause**

Oh Mystery Blogger Let's start off with something easy...

What's Your Name? Cheryl Koch

Do You Have an *Alias*? No

What's Your Blog name? Cheryl's Book Nook

And What's the URL?

We ALL want to be able to find you!!

Tell Us A *Little* Bit about yourself? You know, a short Bio...

Well, I am married, no children but I have one dog, two cats and a tank full of fish. I love to read, do cross stitching and my favorite tv shows to watch are The Tudors, Project Runway, Top Chef, and Hell's Kitchen.

Why did you start your blog? To be honest, I started one because blogging was a popular thing but when I started it I had no plans as to what I was going to use my blog for. Due to my love of books, I decided to post my thoughts about them and thought other people might enjoy my recommendations.

(And you were right!!) *smile*

Back to the Interview...What is your favorite genre and/or genres?
My Favorite genre has to be suspense/thriller, but I read just about any genre.

Who is your favorite author? No particular favorite but some of my favorite authors are Cody McFadyen, Kevin O'Brien, Brian Freeman, Lisa Jackson, Beverly Barton, Karen Rose, and Tess Gerristen to name a few.

What's your favorite book of all time? I don't really have a favorite but I do remember some that really got my interested in reading are The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Most people would probably be surprised to see these books named as I have just gotten back into the non ficition genre.

Please Name & describe your blog features: Cheryl's Book Nook. I post reviews of books you should know about, author interviews, guest posts, and of course giveaways.

Describe your review system: Well my review system may be different than most are used to. I mean, this because if people are looking for a scoring system, I don't use one. I just write my thoughts on the book and don't assign any stars. I beleive my thoughts are my own and I don't want to discourage anyone for not reading something. I want my readers to make up their own minds based on my reviews. Though I do assign stars on other sites where I post my reviews like Shelfari, Goodreads and Amazon.

How is your blog unique from other blogs? This is a tough question. To be honest, I don't know how mine is unique from others. Everytime I visit other blogs, I think wow I should do that! But then, I have gotten so many great comments from authors that they like my blog because it is simple and not clustered. Maybe that is how I am unique in the fact that I keep things simple.

How do you market your blog? I try to feature it on many different sites like Shelfari, Goodreads, Book Blogs, join a lot of book blog tours, comment on other bloggers sites and swap links.

Can you give us 3 tips about content? Keep things simple, short and to the point.
Try and make the postings interactive, and Just have fun with your postings.

What are your 3 Major Tips for Blog Promotion? Join book blog tours, Be friendly with other bloggers, and comment on their sites! Join sites that focus on what your blog is about and make friends.

Some of the nicest and coolest people I have met, I met through blogging. One of those people is Amy from Park-Avenue Princess (No she did not pay me to say this)!

*Gets caught putting away money* .... What? I ... Um, needed something out of my purse...mmmhmmm *AHEM* Cheryl, should we tell them about the GIVEAWAY?

Cheryl: "Of course WE should tell them about the GIVEAWAY!"

OK...Well, now that you all know a little bit more about Cheryl and her "Book Nook" ... (Not to be confused with Nookie. Although, you MIGHT think about nookie when you see some of the covers of the books that Cheryl is sometimes reading! I stop by for drool factor alone! *wipes drool* KIDDING! Princesses DO NOT DROOL! DUH!

Here's the Exciting News! 5 Copies of "Tall, Dark & Fangsome" by Michelle Rowen are up for grabs! One copy per Winner! (That's 5 Winners in all) - (I know..DUH)



FIVE Of My LUCKY Readers Will WIN A Copy Of Their Very Own!!
Courtesy of Anna at Hachette Book Group, Cheryl of Cheryl's Book Nook
and Park-Avenue Princess!

Books will be coming directly from HBG - So, there are two rules
You MUST Reside in the U.S. or Canada ONLY
Also, You MUST Have a Street Address that You Can Give Me IF You Win
NO P.O. Boxes Please!

How Do you Win? It's Simple!
You must follow me by hitting the FOLLOW button AND
You Must Also Follow Cheryl!
That way, We can both see you and know you are one of my readers!

All Entries MUST be in By Midnight (EST) Sept. 26th
WINNERS Drawn on the 27th!

Extra Entries

+2 If you Subscribe by Mail
+2 If you Subscribe via Google Reader
+3 If you TWEET About This Giveaway
+5 If you Follow Me on TWITTER! (Leave @I*heart*thePrincess)
+10 If you blog about this Giveaway in it's own post
+15 If you Put My Button On Your Blog and Link Back!

Try to Separate your entries one per post (Pretty Please)!
(+5 for each and every NEW follower you bring me)
They just have to mention it in their post!
Good Luck and HAVE FUN!!
Thank you ALL for Stopping By! I hope you enjoyed meeting Cheryl!

Without you, your comments and imput, this blog
wouldn't be able to continue to grow!
Questions/Concerns? Please do not hesitate to Contact ME!


JUST SEND ME A MESSAGE VIA EMAIL AT IAmHiMaintenance(at)aol(dot)com
OR BY HITTING THE "Contact Me" Button Up Top!!


Untill Next time...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and checking out this giveaway from Park Avenue Princess.
*red headed book child

Friday, August 28, 2009

Exciting News!

2 of my reviews have been posted on the Simon and Schuster's website. They are one of my favorite publishers and have been so kind and generous to me the over the years. !

Her Fearful Symmetry and A Happy Marriage.

Find them at

Happy Reading!

* red headed book child

Another Giveaway from Tome Traveller

Thanks to Tome Traveller for this Giveaway:

Giveaway: The Widow's War by Mary Mackey

How about some American historical fiction, for a change? This new novel, set in Kansas during the Civil War, promises to be exciting! Here's the synopsis from the publisher:

Carrie Vinton, a Kentucky native, finds herself alone and pregnant in Rio de Janeiro after her abolitionist fiancee, Dr. William Saylor, disappears. When Carrie receives word of William’s death from his deceitful stepbrother, Deacon Presgrove, the welfare of her unborn child becomes top priority, and thus, she accepts a marriage proposal from Presgrove for her baby’s sake.

After they return to Kansas , Carrie realizes she’s been tricked by Presgrove and his pro-slavery senator father. William is still alive! Their passionate reunion takes place in the midst of a violent civil war that will soon engulf the entire nation, but as abolitionists and proslavers battle to determine whether the Kansas Territory will enter the Union as a free or slave state, fire and fury sweep across the plains threatening to tear Carrie and William apart again, this time forever.

Attacking Carrie’s home, proslavers kidnap William and Carrie’s newborn child. Desperate to fight for what she believes in, to get her child back safely, and to be reunited with the man she loves, Carrie arms a cavalry unit of African-American soldiers and leads them on a rescue mission into the slave state of Missouri . Will Carrie’s determination and burning love be enough to save the two people she cares most about?

For more information about the author and all of her books, please visit her website. And if you are lucky enough to live in the beautiful San Francisco area, you can go to see her at the following upcoming events:

September 1st: at 7:00 p.m. Mary will be reading at Diesel Books, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland (near the Rockridge BART station) Phone: 510-653-9965.

September 3: Time Tested Books, 7:00 pm, 1114 21st Street, Sacramento.

September 11: Mary Mackey will be reading from her new novel "The Widow's War" at Book Passage Bookstore, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd. Corte Madera, CA 94925; Phone 415-927-0960. 7:00 p.m.

I have two copies to give away, courtesy of Berkley Books (thanks, Kaitlyn!!) To enter, just leave me a comment here. The winners will be drawn at random and must have a US mailing address. Enter thru midnight eastern on September 12. Below are some ways for you to earn extra entries. Please leave ONE comment for each thing you choose to do. You can combine your comments together if you like but please do not leave multiple comments for the same extra thing (for example, one comment if you fave at Technorati or subscribe via Feedburner, not three). Thank you for visiting and entering!!

+1 become a follower (current followers automatically included)
+1 tweet giveaway on twitter or blog about it
+3 fave this blog at Technorati (click on the little green box on the left sidebar)
+3 new Feedburner subscribers

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Giveaway at Crazy For Books blog!!

*Thanks to Crazy for Books for sharing this giveaway!

The Way Home by George Pelecanos
ISBN: 978-0316156493
Publication Date: May 12, 2009

Book Description:

Christopher Flynn is trying to get it right. After years of trouble and rebellion that enraged his father and nearly cost him his life, he has a steady job in his father's company, he's seriously dating a woman he respects, and, aside from the distrust that lingers in his father's eyes, his mistakes are firmly in the past.

One day on the job, Chris and his partner come across a temptation almost too big to resist. Chris does the right thing, but old habits and instincts rise to the surface, threatening this new-found stability with sudden treachery and violence. With his father and his most trusted friends, he takes one last chance to blast past the demons trying to pull him back.

Like Richard Price or William Kennedy, Pelecanos pushes his characters to the extremes, their redemption that much sweeter because it is so hard fought. Pelecanos has long been celebrated for his unerring ability to portray the conflicts men feel as they search and struggle for power and love in a world that is often harsh and unforgiving but can ultimately be filled with beauty.

About the Author:

George Pelecanos is an independent film producer, an essayist, the recipient of numerous international writing awards, a producer and an Emmy-nominated writer on the HBO hit series "The Wire," and the author of a bestselling series of novels set in and around Washington, D.C.
Visit the author's website!

Here's how to enter:

Thanks to the wonderful folks at Hachette Book Group, I am able to offer five (5) giveaway copies of this book!! And, did you know that President Obama took this book on vacation with him?! Here's how to get your entry!
  • Leave a comment with an e-mail address or PaperbackSwap nickname for +1 entry (I have to be able to reach you if you win!!)
  • Follow my blog for +1 extra entry
  • Blog about this contest for +1 extra entry (leave a link so I can come check out your blog)
  • Add me to your Blog Roll for +1 extra entry (leave a link so I can come check it out!!)
  • Only US/Canada Residents are eligible to win
  • No P.O. Boxes!

Contest will end on September 15! Winners will be selected on September 16!

Sign up at

*red headed book child

Review #8 (kind of): Julie and Julia by Julie Powell or Laugh out loud slices

I finished Julie and Julia by Julie Powell and I have decided not to give it a full review.

It's out there. The movie is huge. yada yada.

The book is a riot.
Well written. Funny.
Absolutely a hoot that took me no time to finish.

There were pieces of this book that just had me rolling. It was quite a delight to read someone that has the EXACT same sense of humor as you.

So here's what I will share. A few of the Laugh Out Loud Slices (directly taken from the book)

"I love my husband like pig loves shit!"

(she is at a not so popular play) " Oh my God! That red-headed guy from the prematurely canceled Joss Whedon outer space-western series was in that godawful thing we saw at the Belasco with Kristen Chenoweth that was open for about a week and a half"

And I have to mention she drinks gimlets and loves Buffy.

Enough said. You must all read it for Buffy fans everywhere.

Happy Reading!

*red headed book child

Currently addicted to "jazzing" up my blog

This must be common. I can't decide on what my blog should look like. I have changed the color 50 times it seems. I can't promise you that this will stay the same. I may be a blog overload. I've looked at too many and they are all so damn cute! (cute in a good way, not overly annoying fuzzy kitten harm to kittens intended)

But I do know for sure that I will always remain red headed book child.

And the cute picture of my very own cute little red headed book child will remain.

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Description (From the Simon and Schuster website)

"A Happy Marriage is both intimate and expansive: It is the story of Enrique Sabas and his wife, Margaret, a novel that alternates between the romantic misadventures of the first weeks of their courtship and the final months of Margaret's life as she says good-bye to her family, friends, and children -- and to Enrique. Spanning thirty years, this achingly honest story is about what it means for two people to spend a lifetime together -- and what makes a happy marriage.

Yglesias's career as a novelist began in 1970 when he wrote an autobiographical novel at sixteen, hailed by critics for its stunning and revelatory depiction of adolescence. A Happy Marriage, his first work of fiction in thirteen years, was inspired by his relationship with his wife, Margaret, who died in 2004. Bold, elegiac, and emotionally suspenseful, even though we know what happens, Yglesias's beautiful novel will break every reader's heart -- while encouraging all of us with its clear-eyed evocation of the enduring value of marriage."

My Review:

A Happy Marriage it turns out is not A Happy Book, though you feel joy, love, delight, warmth and beauty many times throughout. It does also evoke a lot of sadness. I don't think I am giving anything away by stating that death plays a big role as does suffering. But what we do in the face of suffering and impending death is reflect and ponder. That is what this book does really well, what Yglesias writes really well. Yglesias did not have to go far to tap into the raw honesty and emotion. Each chapter is a look at the marriage of Enrique and Margaret, at different stages. Going back and forth in time, the reader gets to experience the anxiety of their first love, the time of boredom and hardship and the very explicit detail of Margaret's painful months. Enrique is such a vivid character and the way the author writes of his thoughts and reactions is such like watching the pounding surf,mesmerizing. Admittedly I did not always like him but I understood him. I understood his love for her, his insecurity with himself, his nurturing hand, his disgust for the cruelty of the disease. Margaret, though central, is much more of a distant creature to me, sort of haunting the corners, casting her shadows. You feel her and hear her but you do not see her. Writing about the death of a loved one is extremely personal and very awkward at times to read. I wanted to jump in and fix everything or just shield my eyes when I felt I was invading privacy. I had the same feeling reading Still Alice by Lisa Genova (pick it up if you have not done so already). That mood of the book attests to the power of the story itself and leaves a very clear message to readers. Hold tight to the ones you love and live with no regrets. I highly recommend this book.

This book is already out in bookstores.

Happy Reading?

*red headed book child

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Book Blogger Appreciation Week Meme!

1) What has been one of the highlights of blogging for you?
I am brand new to blogging about books (just started in July) though I have been in the bookselling business for the past ten years. Those that know me know that I could talk your ear off about books so being able to write about them is a hoot. I love searching and looking through all the blogs and getting tips that way. I am blessed that I have made contact with some fabulous people in the publishing industry that keep me in the know about books coming out. I feel thrilled to be able to review for them and get those books into the hands of people who will love them.
What blogger has helped you out with your blog by answering questions, linking to you, or inspiring you?
I am so new to it that I don't have a favorite yet though LitHousewife and Chick Loves Lit I enjoy but I know it's just the beginning for me. There are so many more to learn from.
What one question do you have about BBAW that someone who participated last year could answer?
What is the best way to really get your blog noticed?

Happy Reading!

*red headed book child

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Borders: Kate DiCamillo Talks About The Magician's Elephant

Borders: Kate DiCamillo Talks About The Magician's Elephant

Shared via AddThis

I am so excited for this book. I've had a chance to read a Sample Chapter and am hooked. I have loved her other books and have had the pleasure of hosting an author event with her.

Just marvelous.

*red headed book child

Review #7: A Happy Marriage by Rafael Yglesias

I have spent all day reading this beautiful book, A Happy Marriage by Rafael Yglesias.

My heart is too full to even review right now. It is so intimate, it is almost imposing to talk about it.

I must give myself a few days for it to sink in.

Happy Reading until then.

*red headed book child


Giveaway: Check out Chick Loves Lit blog for entry. (description and info provided from Chick Loves Lit)

Italian for Beginners
Author: Kristin Harmel
Publication Date: August 13, 2009

Cat Connelly plays it safe. She's an accountant with no debt who lives near her family in Manhattan. She's also thirty-four, unmarried, and with nothing promising on her romantic horizon. After a humiliating incident at her sister's wedding, she throws caution to the wind and flies off to Rome to find Francesco, the man she'd fallen in love with thirteen years earlier on a trip to Italy.

When Francesco turns out to be a dud, Cat is adrift on the streets of Rome, no safety net in sight. With the help of an eccentric waitress with a spare apartment to rent, the handsome restaurateur who calls her Princess Ann, and the family secrets only Rome can unlock for her, Cat discovers that happiness can be found on the back of a speeding Vespa... but only if you're willing to take a few risks.

Enter to win a copy of this book (courtesy of Hachette)!
  • U.S. Addresses Only
  • No P.O. Boxes
  • To enter, please fill out the form below
  • You may return to fill out the form again if you complete any of the extra entries at a later time!
Three winners will be chosen September 1, 2009. Winners will be notified via e-mail and a blog post. Good luck!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Review #6: Prospect Park West by Amy Sohn

The cover of this galley had the following teaser... "Finally, there's sex in another part of the city. You'll never look at brownstones, babies or Bugaboos the same way again."

Obviously appealing to a very specific demographic.

Well, that's me! You got me!

I am a huge fan of Sex and the City, a mom, and well...I happen to love fun, scandalous fiction. Seems as though we were meant to be.

Prospect Park West is what I am talking about, the new novel due out in September by Amy Sohn, bestselling author of Run Catch Kiss.

Having been only a tourist to New York every year for the past four years (missing one when my kid was a newborn) I have become quite familiar with Manhattan, not Brooklyn. My only experience and therefore, knowledge of Brooklyn involved a rather long train ride where I climbed the steps at my exit, scratching my head and saying "Oh crap, I think I'm in Brooklyn!" Train savvy at that time? Not so much. Interested in Brooklyn? Um, sure. No worries, I did what any other brave tourist would do. I ran back on the train and whisked myself back to the safe comforts of Midtown. (wink)

I have a little love affair with New York, so I had a lot of fun running around the "famed" neighborhood of Brooklyn's Park Slope, the setting of this book and getting to know the juicy characters that live there.

The characters are all mothers but four very different women.

Melora Leigh- the award winning actress who is not only bored with her career but can't quite figure out what it takes to be a mother and doesn't seem to care.

Rebecca Rose- a woman who begins a dangerous flirtation with a celebrity neighbor because her sex life is not what it once was.

Lizzie O'Donnell- the "hasbian" (former lesbian) of the neighborhood fights her attraction for a neighbor woman and wonders why her husband is not enough.

Karen Bryan Shapiro- the mother of one desperately trying for two obsessed with living in the perfect apartment in the perfect zone.

Not only do you get to live the lives of these interesting women you get to discover the personality and the character of the colorful neighborhood of Park Slope. The do's and don'ts, the best street to live on, the places to shop, and the best part of the park to bring your children to.

Parts of this book are so in-your-face honest and explicit and quite frankly, awesome that you may find yourself with your mouth hanging open in shock...especially if you are a mother. I loved it!

If you are a fan of Candace Bushnell or early Rona Jaffe, you will enjoy this book. This is a great end of the summer delight to treat yourself with. See if you can figure out if any of the juicy characters are based on real celebrities/residents of Park Slope. That was part of the fun for me.

Thanks to the publisher Simon and Schuster for this copy to review. Due out in September.

Happy Reading!

*red headed book child

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Book Club Joy

I have been a part of many different types of book clubs through the years. I have done long distance book clubs, one on one book clubs, book clubs with my mom, very strict you-must-read-and-participate-or-else book clubs and "We don't read those kind of books" book club. (that one was my favorite...NOT!)

My current book club is your standard, typical bunch of cool ladies drinking wine, talking trash and eating lots of food. We are all the same age, professional, educated, some mothers, all sassy and opionionated and just all around good people. I am liking it a lot!

We come to the table with very wide variety of interests and ideas for book choices.

For next month I am VERY happy to have finally convinced them all to read The Time Traveler's Wife. Very typical choice for this moment, I know, with the movie and all. Darnit, I stand by the awesomeness ( yes, that's a word) of this book, regardless of current popularity.

So you may see a review of not the book but a review of the reaction of my book club ladies towards this book. Then we may see the movie and tear it apart. Oh joy!

Happy Reading!

*red headed book child

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Review #5: Japan took the J.A.P Out of Me by Lisa Fineberg Cook (re-posting of review due to release)

* I'm re-posting this review because it is due out this Tuesday and a blog tour is in the works for her (I am not participating). But this is a fun memoir and it deserves attention!

Title: Japan took the J.A.P out of me
Author: Lisa Fineberg Cook
Format: ARC from Publisher (Thank you!)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: Humor/Memoir
Release Date: October 27, 2009

Rating: 4/5

My Review and Description:

When it comes down to it, if you had to look at your life, everyone has a story to tell. You can tell a great story out of the smallest event or not so good one out of a huge event. It all comes down to the storyteller. With Lisa Fineberg Cook, her story is told quite well by a skilled storyteller, with the perfect blend of honesty and humor.

Cook had a big event happen in her life which is the basis for her memoir, Japan took the J.A.P out of me. As the book describes he is a J.A.P- Jewish American Princess. Newly married, her husband announces his new job is...surprise! Japan. From posh L.A to Japan, she envisions her life to be the same, but even more glamorous in another country. What we find out is that glamour is far from what is in store.

Even though Cook herself is a professional woman, she outlines the book by domestic "duties" she had to tackle and "learn" in Japan. From laundry to cooking to transportation, you go along on her journey to not only figure out how to be wife but to do so in a completely foreign environment with very little support. What I liked about the book was her honesty. It was refreshing but never condescending though at times she encounters some negative attention.
It also shines of youth and adventure. How cool is it to experience 2 years in a foreign country with the one that you love? It is a different kind of newlywed story.

Cook does eventually get a job teaching at a girls' school, make friends, nails the tricky subway system and wins the laundry battle.

Overall this is a fun read that will give you a few laughs, a few gasps, and maybe a tear or two.
Happy Reading!

*red headed book child

Thursday, August 13, 2009

a Bit more jazz

I decided upon looking at many other blogs that my blog...well, it sucked. I needed pizazz, sparkles, bells and whistles. I needed jazz hands.

So I kicked it up a bit...though I had very little to choose from.

I am calling out to the masses of tech savvy friends. Help an 80s child out. I still have a boom box for cryin' out loud.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Review #4: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Now this book I was very excited to read. I was pretty confident in the author and the story to know that it would be an easy recommend for the readers in my life.

Niffenegger knows how to weave together a complicated story. The Time Traveler's Wife was evidence of that. Though her first novel was certainly dark and layered and sad at times, it still felt like it had hope. Her Fearful Symmetry doesn't leave the reader full of warm fuzzies. But it does fill you with a certain feeling of love and a power of connection.

The book has many characters and I would say they all hold a leading role. But I will start with the twins. Julia and Valentina are American twins who inherit a flat in London given to them by their aunt, Elspeth. Elspeth herself was a twin to Edie, the mother of Julia and Valentina.

Julie and Valentina are mirror twins and extremely connected to one another, though, as we find out, very different. Julia jumps at the chance to live in the flat where as Valentina is more reserved. Their parents are not to set foot in the flat, explicitly laid out in Elspeth's will. Turns out Edie and Elspeth had many secrets buried long ago.

Once they arrive in London, the twins are consumed by the surroundings and people that were a part of their aunt's life. The flat overlooks the Highgate Cemetery and is home to many eccentric characters. Robert, Elspeth's lover; Martin, a brilliant man suffering from OCD and Marijke, his devoted wife. You also get a glimpse of the staff from the cemetery and the history of those buried there.

When I say I didn't get warm fuzzies from this book, I mean that it had a very strong gothic feel. The characters are dark, lonely, flawed, sad, brilliant and tragic, all at the same time. Though throughout you do not feel bothered by them or sorry for them, you simply want them to feel peace, in whatever way they can get it. So many secrets are revealed from chapter to chapter that up until the end, I was at a loss for how Niffenegger would settle it.

Along with the secrets of this book, you get a strong sense of connection between all of the characters. Niffenegger writes each relationship beautifully. The love between Robert and Elspeth and the loss he feels when she dies. The fierce connection between Julia and Valentina and the weight it carries on both of them. The exhausting devotion of Marijke and Martin and the disease that burdens them. The nurturing friendship between Julia and Martin. The complicated spark between Valentina and Robert. And last, the powerful sisterhood between Edie and Elspeth and the past they don't want revealed.

I really enjoyed this book. Along with the beautiful writing, it had the perfect setting- London and the Highgate Cemetery. You feel the chill, you imagine the ghosts, you can taste the tea you should be drinking while reading it.

It is much different than The Time Traveler's Wife but it stands alone as an equally powerful novel, perfect for a fall read.

Look for it out in bookstores early September.

Happy Reading!

*red headed book child

Friday, August 7, 2009

Off to Camp

I will attempt to camp with my toddler this weekend (and my husband, of course.) We'll see how this goes.

BUT I may be able to finish the last 40 pages of Her Fearful Symmetry in time to write my review by Monday. I just hate it when it takes me more than a week to read a book. It's the weird nerdy perfectionist in me.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Memories of Books Past

I remember many years ago during a great time in my bookselling days being given a rare galley copy of The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, the highly anticipated follow up to The Secret History.

I feel that way now with Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.

The pleasures of a literary buzz.

I'm sixty pages in and I am already smitten.