Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Perfect Quote

A Perfect Quote shared by a former Borders employee.


‎"But then, leaving any bookstore is hard, especially on a day in August, when the street outside burns and glares, and the books inside are cool and crisp to the touch; especially on a day in January, when the wind is blowing, the ice is treacherous, and the books inside seem to gather together in colorful warmth. It's hard to leave a bookstore any day of the year, though, because a bookstore is one of the few places where all the cantankerous, conflicting, alluring voices of the world coexist in peace and order, and the avid reader is as free as a person can possibly be because she is free to choose among them." - Jane Smiley, Victoria Magazine, August 1994

red headed book child

Sea Escape winner

With all the stuff going on, I forgot to pick the winner for this Giveaway.
I am over a week late. Sorry.

But thanks to all of those that entered.

The winner is Lisa from Lit and Life.

Thanks again.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Seven Year Bitch by Jennifer Belle (review #130)

The Seven Year Bitch by Jennifer Belle
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Genre: Fiction

This is not typically a book I would pick up on my own. Clever title, yes but it screamed a little too much chick lit for me and I don't read a lot of that. I'd much rather watch Sex and the City than read it, you know? With that said, however, I thought, perhaps, I could relate a tad to the story?
I have been married for seven years. I have a son. I go crazy from time to time.
Hmm...there could be something there.

Before I continue, here's a brief description from the TLC Book Tour website.

What’s a fabulously fun New York City girl to do when she finds herself in a matrimonial rut — disillusioned, sex life with her husband on the wane, and quickly turning into a big-time nag? No, she hasn’t gotten the seven-year itch — taking care of the kids and her husband and rarely feeling that her needs come first has turned her into a seven-year bitch.

That’s New York author Jennifer Belle’s deliciously provocative phrase for the boredom, anger, and hurt that can creep into even the best of marriages — and affect even the calmest of wives. In The Seven Year Bitch, Belle delivers a dead-on, raw, and hilarious account of motherhood and marriage, and discovers that the life you have is exactly the one you wanted.

Perfectly relatable stuff, yes. Obviously, I am not well to do, nor could I afford to live in NYC, or hire a nanny, so there are definitely a few things in this story that were a little over my head and a little over the top for me. But I could relate to the trials and tribulations of being married, trying to juggle it all, being a SAHM and figuring out how to have a conversation with my husband and really any adult. I appreciate her very blunt honesty in these situations. She even did bizarre things that I have done and this is where it's going to get gross, people.
Your body is a strange thing after having a baby and suddenly out of nowhere you get your period, while at dinner, in public and it's not pretty. Your only hope? the size 4 diaper that still miraculously is in your purse. Yep, it happens in the book. And yep, it happened to me.
Those little funny moments I enjoyed.
But overall, it was so so.
Quite honestly, I didn't like the married couple. I thought both of them were extremely annoying in their own ways, even when I knew I would probably do or say the same things they would. Maybe it was a bit too honest and a little too close to comfort at times?!
Who knows.
It wraps up quite nicely in the end, no spoilers but overall, it was a bit too bleak for me and full of too much drama that at times live through in my days. To read it was not a retreat, sad to say :(

*Note. I love my husband. I do not wish to cheat on him nor do I want a divorce. :) And I love my son. Do I wish I had a full time nanny so I could go and laze about in the park in the sunshine? Yes, sometimes I do.

Rating: 4/6
I think it will appeal to readers of chick lit or lighter fare fiction. If you are married, you may find it funnier than I. If you are single, it might scare you away from marriage! HA! Just kidding.
Overall, I'm glad I read it but it's not a book I would highly recommend.
A bit too depressing at times :(

Book Club Pick?
No, not for me but it could certainly stir up LOTS of conversation with married people. Ups, downs, joys, concerns, struggles, etc.

Author Info:

Jennifer Belle burst onto the literary scene with her critically-acclaimed novel Going Down, which was translated into many languages and optioned for the screen, first by Madonna, for whom she wrote the screenplay, and currently by Das Films, and named Best Debut Novel by Entertainment Weekly. Her second equally-praised novel, the national bestseller High Maintenance, took on the cutthroat world of Manhattan real estate, and was also optioned for the screen, as was her third novel, the darkly comic Little Stalker. Belle’s essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Observer, The Independent Magazine (London), Cosmopolitan, Ms., Harper’s Bazaar, and several anthologies. She lives in New York City and Olivebridge, New York with her husband and two sons.

Connect with Jennifer on her website,, and on Facebook.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for having me on this tour.
Here are the other stops.

Monday, June 6th: Laura’s Reviews

Wednesday, June 8th: Love to Read for Fun

Monday, June 13th: A Cozy Reader’s Corner

Wednesday, June 15th: Café of Dreams

Friday, June 17th: Life in Review

Monday, June 20th: Sara’s Organized Chaos

Tuesday, June 28th: Unabridged Chick

Friday, July 1st: Well Read Wife

Tuesday, July 5th: Teresa’s Reading Corner

Thursday, July 7th: Colloquium

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tales of my Literary LIfe: My Fallen Bookstore

For those of you who have followed my blog for some time now, you know that I used to work as a manager at a bookstore for about 10+ years. I have since been a very part-time bookseller since I was laid off 2 1/2 years ago. I have never said what company I worked for because I wished to be anonymous, considering i still worked for the company.
With the recent news of Borders Bookstores going into complete liquidation, I feel this is the right time to share with you all that Borders was the company that I worked for.

I share this with you all because of the intense grief I feel about it all. For the last two days since the announcement, not surprising to those in the field, I have spent many moments reminiscing with old co-workers, friends and fans about our experiences with working at
our wonderful bookstores.

Everyone has their favorite bookstore and Borders may not be it for many but it was 13 years of learning for me with wonderful people of similar nature.

I am saddened by the turn of events and wish luck to the 1000s of employees
who are going to be out of a job.

If you happen to be near a Borders store and wish to shop, be kind. Liquidators take over and it becomes a mean, flee market, crazy type sale where customers elbow you out of the way and outbid each other. Unfortunate. But the Borders employees are still behind those registers.
I will be one of them. They will be sad, tired and not wanting to "haggle" with you because you might be too cheap to pay $1.00 for the latest Janet Evanovich. (sigh)
And, please, if you have an opinion against Borders, refrain from "I told you sos". bleh.
A fallen bookstore is a fallen bookstore and it hurts us all...all booksellers alike.

This is a huge blow to the book industry and I am too sad to write anymore.


red headed book child

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Ladies' Book Club: July 2011

Book Read:
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Ladies in Attendance:
5 regular members

Treats shared:
Oreo pie (I know, right? YUM!), Fruit pizza (just as yummy!), the BOSS sandwich ( a massive pile of meats, cheeses and bread), stinky blue cheese and crackers, spicy jelly and cheese, sun dried tomatoes, red and white wine and Limeade!

To Read or Not to Read:
Everyone read it this time!!!!

My Reaction:
I LOVED it. LOVED LOVED LOVED it. In fact, I mourned it in the end. I had a hard time geting in to another book. This book was written in such a way that the story flowed effortlessly. I had no trouble at any point. It held my interest all the way. In fact, it was one of those books that I sought out every possible moment to read a few pages. THAT is something. I don't get a lot of time to read or have that much energy these days and it was really lovely to feel so strongly about "getting back" to a book.

For those of you who don't know the story, The Help is about the lives of several black maids and their white families in Jackson, Mississippi during the sixties. Each chapter is told from a different voice, Abilene, Minny and Skeeter. Abilene and Minny are two older black maids and Skeeter is a twenty-something white woman at a difficult place in her life. It's about the discrimination of the time, the power of prayer and hope, the importance of family and friends, and the overcoming obstacles and making change happen.

I am so excited to see the movie that comes out later this summer. We are planning on going as a group. I look forward to seeing if the casting matches my view of the characters and if the movie can convey the warmth and soul of the book.

Ladies' Reaction:
We all agreed that it was an amazing book. Two of the ladies had read it awhile ago and had a bit of trouble remembering some the details but definitely knew they enjoyed reading it. We all seemed to appreciate the author's warmth to her writing. She herself had grown up in the south and had a black maid that she was incredible fond of and loved. That respect really came through in her telling of this story, especially when she was in the voice of a older black woman. The author mentioned that she definitely took a risk writing as a black woman but I felt she did a good job, for what I know.

The book sparked some discussion of prejudice then and now. Were the racist white ladies indeed mean and full of hate or were they just raised in a world that didn't value black people as equals? We dissected Hilly's character a bit since she was, by far, the most hated character in the book, being the high and mighty white lady of her community and enforcing all the rules to keep black folks in their place. That is what she was raised in, she didn't feel there was any other way, yet her friend, Skeeter, also raised in the same environment, grew to be open and accepting of change.

We are excited for the movie and hopped online to check out the cast. Thought most were unfamiliar to us, once we saw the movie cover we thought the looks of some of the actresses really fit the characters in the book.

Good Book Club Pick?
Yes! Overall, we loved it! There were very few complaints on this one. We answered most of the questions in the reading group guide and everyone had a lot to say about it. I am so happy I finally got around to reading this bestseller!

Author Website:

Next Book Up:
The Bolero of Andi Rowe by Toni Plummer (this was written by a friend of one my the Ladies!)

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

To be Seen or Not to be Seen, that is my Question.

I've wanted to throw these questions out to the blog universe for awhile now especially since I've been back from BEA.

Do you have a personal picture of yourself on your blog?

If not, why?

Do you like knowing what the blogger looks like? Does it make you feel closer to the blogger?

Here are my thoughts. For the longest time, i had a generic picture up and then i had a picture of my son. My blog has always been about books with a little bit of me thrown in there. I've included a few more pictures of myself and my son over the years but have kept it on the down low.
When I finally did post a picture of myself, I remember getting comments that we really positive and excited saying that it was nice to put a face to a name.

I would REALLY like to know what some of my favorite bloggers look like. That's just me! Now that I have met several at BEA the past two years, it is really nice to bring that community even closer.

What do you all think?

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Ghost of Greenwich Village by Lorna Graham (review #130)

Publisher: Ballantine
Genre: Fiction
Format: Review Copy for TLC Book Tours

What a delightful book this turned out to be. I initially signed on to do it because I was gearing up to go to NYC last month. I was eager to absorb all things Big Apple. This was a simple, fun, clever little piece of fiction from a fresh voice.

Here is a brief description from the publisher's website:

For Eve Weldon, moving to Greenwich Village is a dream come true. She’s following in the bohemian footsteps of her mother, who lived there during the early sixties among a lively community of Beat artists and writers. But when Eve arrives, the only scribe she meets is a grumpy ghost named Donald, and the only writing she manages to do is for chirpy segments on a morning news program, Smell the Coffee. The hypercompetitive network environment is a far cry from the genial camaraderie of her mother’s literary scene, and Eve begins to wonder if the world she sought has faded from existence. But as she struggles to balance her new job, demands from Donald to help him complete his life’s work, a budding friendship with a legendary fashion designer, and a search for clues to her mother’s past, Eve begins to realize that community comes in many forms—and that the true magic of the Village is very much alive, though it may reveal itself in surprising ways.

A ghost as a main character? Hmm, it was a bit on the campy side but the author ties it all up quite nicely and you kind of forget that he is a ghost after awhile. I really liked Eve. She was refreshing, straight forward, smart gal just trying to get by in the big city. Her struggles with finding a job and a place were sincere and realistic. And when she does find a good gig, it's not perfect. There are more challenges and she bumps along trying to learn from them. You meet a whole host of side characters; her co-workers at Smell the Coffee (a TV show) where she is a writer, Klieg,a fashion designer she befriends on an assignment, her sassy PR friend Vadis and her father, who still thinks she needs to move back home.

Within the story of her daily trials and tribulations, you also get the story of Donald, the ghost and the life of her late mother, Penelope. Her mother had spent 2 years in NYC's Greenwich Village back in the 60s and always said it was the best time of her life. Eve digs for any news she could have picked up about her mother from that time. Her mother was a part of a group of writers and Eve wishes for just a simple mention of her in some story.
The story of Donald is a bit more complicated and it comes together in the end. Long story short; Donald was a writer who died unexpectedly in the 70s. He uses Eve to help him continue writing but hides many secrets about his former career, one that ties in to her fashion friend, Klieg.

Rating: 4/6
Overall, it was a easy, simple read that held my attention. I liked the characters. I liked the location. You can't go wrong with NYC, especially Greenwich Village. This would be a read to bring to the beach this summer. If you are a fan of Jane Green's books, you would like this one.

Author Info:

Lorna Graham was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from Barnard College. She has written for Good Morning America and Dateline NBC. She also wrote a short film, “A Timeless Call,” honoring America’s military veterans, that was directed by Steven Spielberg. She lives in Greenwich Village.

Connect with Lorna on her website,, and on Twitter.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for having me on the tour.

Other Stops on this Tour:

Monday, June 20th: Bewitched Bookworms

Wednesday, June 22nd: Life in Review

Tuesday, June 28th: Knowing the Difference

Wednesday, June 29th: A Library of My Own

Thursday, June 30th: Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books

Tuesday, July 5th: Well Read Wife

Wednesday, July 6th: Redheaded Book Child

Thursday, July 7th: Bookfoolery and Babble

Monday, July 11th: Amusing Reviews

Tuesday, July 12th: Books Like Breathing

Wednesday, July 13th: Sara’s Organized Chaos

Thursday, July 14th: Book Reviews by Molly

Monday, July 18th: Peeking Between the Pages

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Year of Mysterious Giveaways: July

26 Writers. One Mystery.

I was SO excited to come across this book AND to be given the opportunity to give one copy away to one of my readers. Thank you to the publisher for doing this with me!

I took a break from my Year of Mysterious Giveaways last month due to feeling very tired, sick, overwhelmed and crazy after my trip to NYC and BEA. This is a PERFECT book to come back with. You don't just get ONE new mystery author, you get 26! How cool is that?

Check out this description from the publisher's website and also click on the title above and it will take you to the official book page.

More than twenty New York Times bestselling authors team up to create a first-rate serial novel -- a collaboration that combines the skills of America's greatest storytellers to produce a gripping, spellbinding mystery.

"The lineup of writers who have contributed to this mystery is akin to the Murderers' Row of the 1927 New York Yankees. There is not a weak spot in the bunch."
—David Baldacci, from the Introduction

Alexander McCall Smith. Sandra Brown. Faye Kellerman. J.A. Jance. Jeffery Deaver. Kathy Reichs. Lisa Scottoline. Jeff Lindsay.These are only a handful of the names that make up the all-star lineup of authors behind No Rest for the Dead, a tale of vengeance, greed, and love that flows seamlessly, in the words of David Baldacci, "as it passes from one creator's mind to the next."

When Christopher Thomas, a ruthless curator at San Francisco's McFall Art Museum, is murdered and his decaying body is found in an iron maiden in a Berlin museum, his wife, Rosemary, is the primary suspect, and she is tried, convicted and executed. Ten years later, Jon Nunn, the detective who cracked the case, is convinced that the wrong person was put to death. In the years since the case was closed, he's discovered a web of deceit and betrayal surrounding the Thomases that could implicate any number of people in the crime. With the help of the dead woman's friend, he plans to gather everyone who was there the night Christopher died and finally uncover the truth, suspect by suspect. Solving this case may be Nunn's last chance for redemption … but the shadowy forces behind Christopher's death will stop at nothing to silence the past forever.

In this innovative storytelling approach, each of these twenty-five bestselling writers brings their distinctive voice to a chapter of the narrative, building the tension to a shocking, explosive finale.
No Rest for the Dead is a thrilling, page-turning accomplishment that only America's very best authors could achieve.

From the Introduction of
No Rest for the Dead:

There is always that case, the one that keeps me awake at night, the one that got away. It'll always be there, gnawing at the edges of my mind. It doesn't matter that ten years have passed, it doesn't matter that the case is officially closed. An innocent woman was executed, I was the one who helped make it happen, and on the sad night when the needle was inserted into her arm, injecting her with death, part of my life ended too.
It never felt right, never made sense. Sure, there was motive and opportunity, there was the physical evidence. But if you met her, if you knew her the way I got to know her . . . It wasn't until later, after I'd taken a step back from the case, that I realized it had angles I hadn't seen, layers I hadn't uncovered, back when it mattered, back when I could have saved her….

With contributions from:
David Baldacci (Introduction)
Jeff Abbott
Lori Armstrong
Sandra Brown
Thomas Cook
Jeffery Deaver
Diana Gabaldon
Tess Gerritsen
Andrew F. Gulli
Peter James
J.A. Jance
Faye Kellerman
Raymond Khoury
John Lescroart
Jeff Lindsay
Gayle Lynds
Philip Margolin
Alexander McCall Smith
Michael Palmer
T. Jefferson Parker
Matthew Pearl
Kathy Reichs
Marcus Sakey
Jonathan Santlofer
Lisa Scottoline
R.L. Stine
Marcia Talle

Contest Rules:
July 1- July 30
Winner will be picked on July 30
Please be a follower
Please leave an email
Please reside in the United States and/or Canada.

The book will be sent directly from the publisher.

Happy Reading, and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child