Thursday, June 30, 2011

Book Club Giveaway: Sea Escape by Lynne Griffin


I was lucky enough to read Sea Escape by Lynne Griffin last summer before it came out in hardcover. It is now out in paperback and I have received another copy of it. I would love to share it with one of my readers. The copy I have to giveaway is the ARC copy with the cover above. It was one of my favorite books from last year.
Here is my review.
Here is a description from the publisher's website.

Acclaimed novelist and nationally recognized family expert Lynne Griffin returns with Sea Escape—an emotional, beautifully imagined story inspired by the author's family letters about the ties that bind mothers and daughters.

Laura Martinez is wedged in the middle place, grappling with her busy life as a nurse, wife, and devoted mom to her two young children when her estranged mother, Helen, suffers a devastating stroke. In a desperate attempt to lure her mother into choosing life, Laura goes to Sea Escape, the pristine beach home that Helen took refuge in after the death of her beloved husband, Joseph. There, Laura hunts for the legendary love letters her father wrote to her mother when he served as a reporter for the Associated Press during wartime Vietnam.

Believing the beauty and sway of her father's words will have the power to heal, Laura reads the letters bedside to her mother, a woman who once spoke the language of fabric—of Peony Sky in Jade and Paradise Garden Sage—but who can't or won't speak to her now. As Laura delves deeper into her tangled family history, she becomes increasingly determined to save her mother. As each letter reveals a patchwork detail of her parents' marriage, she discovers a common thread: a secret that mother and daughter unknowingly share.

Weaving back and forth from Laura's story to her mother's, beginning in the idyllic 1950s with Helen's love affair with Joseph through the tumultuous Vietnam War period on to the present, Sea Escape takes a gratifying look at what women face in their everyday lives—the balancing act of raising capable and happy children and being accomplished and steadfast wives while still being gracious and good daughters. It is a story that opens the door to family secrets so gripping, you won't be able to put this book down until each is revealed.

This book is a perfect summer pick for your book club.

Contest Runs: Today- July 15
Please be a follower.
Please leave an email.
Please reside in the United States.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, June 27, 2011

212 by Alafair Burke (review #129)


Title: 212
Author: Alafair Burke
Publisher:
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: Review Copy for TLC Book Tour

Alafair Burke is an author that I discovered while shelving at my library job. She was one of the authors that motivated me to create my first challenge, The A-Z Mystery Author Challenge. I realized there are so many mystery authors out there that I have never read and I really wanted to expand my list of authors to read. She has two series and I picked the one that takes place in New York City. I read the first book in this series called Dead Connection featuring Detective Ellie Hatcher. I really enjoyed it!
When I had the opportunity to read this one for the book tour, I jumped at it. Even though this is book 3 in the series, I still wanted to read it.

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

In New York City, Nights Are Dangerous. Days Are Numbered.

When New York University sophomore Megan Gunther finds personal threats posted to a Web site specializing in campus gossip, she's taken aback by their menacing tone. Someone knows her daily routine down to the minute and is watching her—but thanks to the anonymity provided by the Internet, the police tell her there's nothing they can do. Her friends are sure it's someone's idea of a joke, but when Megan is murdered in a vicious attack, NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher is convinced that the online threats are more than just empty words.

With smooth, straight-talking partner J. J. Rogan at her side, Ellie tries to identify Megan's enemies, but she begins to wonder if the coed's murder was more than just the culmination of a cyber obsession. Phone records reveal a link between Megan and a murdered real estate agent who was living a dangerous double life. The detectives also learn that the dead real estate agent shared a secret connection to a celebrity mogul whose bodyguard was mysteriously killed a few months earlier. And when Megan's roommate suddenly disappears, they know they have to find her before another young woman dies.


Even though I didn't read the second book in the series, I don't feel I missed too much. Ellie's character has definitely grown a bit. She has more confidence and definitely throws herself in her cases. She has a new partner, whom I really like, and their relationship is a good balance of skill and sharp personalities.

I got a chance to meet Alafair Burke at BEA. She was signing copies of her new stand alone thriller, Long Gone. I told her how I discovered her at my library and that she motivated me to start my challenge. She was really nice and said she looked forward to what
I thought of her new book.
I gave her my card and she even said she recognized the name of my blog! Cool!

What I really like about the two books that I have read so far is that they are detective stories. Burke obviously knows her stuff when it comes to the ins and outs of police work, lawyers, courts, prisons, crime scenes. It reads like a well made cop show. I like that.
Even though it is about a horrible crime; a murder, it still dishes it out rather simply. You follow the two detectives as they break down the case and down some troubled paths to find the truth.
There are some mystery books that rely on too much drama and suspense to make it an exciting read. That's okay for me too, when I'm in the mood. But sometimes I'm also really into trying to piece the intricate pieces of a crime together. Who are the lead suspects? What steps are we going to take to find out who did it? What is the motive?

Review: 5/6
Once again, I really enjoyed 212. I'm curious about her other books too and will definitely find some time to read them. I'm glad I started with this series. She knows NYC and I like reading books that take place there. Ellie has grown on me more as a character. She is tougher, but yet still real. Overall, Burke has written another well played detective story with real characters.
I recommend for fans of any genre within mystery. You will get a little legal thriller, a little psychological drama, a solid mystery and some good detective work.

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

Other Stops on the Tour:

Wednesday, June 8th: The House of the Seven Tails

Thursday, June 9th: A Bookish Way of Life

Monday, June 13th: Chaotic Compendiums

Wednesday, June 15th: Life In Review

Thursday, June 16th: My Reading Room

Monday, June 20th: Chick With Books

Tuesday, June 21st: A Bookworm’s World

Wednesday, June 22nd: Jenn’s Bookshelves

Thursday, June 23rd: Rundpinne


Author Info:
Learn more about Alafair at her website, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.



Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm over at Ryan's blog today!

Hi all!

I am over at Ryan's blog, Wordsmithonia, today.
I did a post on my favorite movie Beaches, while Ryan is relaxing on vacation.
Check me out!

Click Here!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Very Special Sandra Brannan Giveaway


I am deeply honored to be able to give away an exclusive CD to one of my readers. This CD is a special song sung by Sandra Brannan's sister, Stephanie Lien D'Urso. It is the song
Nessun Dorma, most known for being sung by Luciano Pavarrati.

From Wikipedia: (because they know all, right?)
Nessun dorma (English: None shall sleep)[1] is an aria from the final act of Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot,[2] and is one of the best-known tenor arias in all opera. It is sung by Calaf, il principe ignoto (the unknown prince), who falls in love at first sight with the beautiful but cold Princess Turandot. However, any man who wishes to wed Turandot must first answer her three riddles; if he fails, he will be beheaded.

It comes up in the middle of Lot's Return for Sodom, where Liv is having a tense stand off against the motorcycle gang. This song comes into her head.

Sandra was kind enough to send me a copy for one of you!

I would love this to be given to someone who has read the books or plans on soon, so this song can mean a lot when listened to.

If you are not familiar with the song, click here to listen to Luciano.

Contest Rules:
* Follow my blog, please.
* Reside in the United States
* Leave an Email Address
* Comment on whether or not you have read the books or plan to soon!

Winner will be chosen at the end of the month, June 30.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson (review #128)

Author: Jean Thompson
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Format: Review Copy

Description from Publisher Website:
In The Year We Left Home, Thompson brings together all of her talents to deliver the career-defining novel her admirers have been waiting for: a sweeping and emotionally powerful story of a single American family during the tumultuous final decades of the twentieth century. It begins in 1973 when the Erickson family of Grenada, Iowa, gathers for the wedding of their eldest daughter, Anita. Even as they celebrate, the fault lines in the family emerge. The bride wants nothing more than to raise a family in her hometown, while her brother Ryan watches restlessly from the sidelines, planning his escape. He is joined by their cousin Chip, an unpredictable, war-damaged loner who will show Ryan both the appeal and the perils of freedom. Torrie, the Ericksons' youngest daughter, is another rebel intent on escape, but the choices she makes will bring about a tragedy that leaves the entire family changed forever.

Stretching from the early 1970s in the Iowa farmlands to suburban Chicago to the coast of contemporary Italy—and moving through the Vietnam War's aftermath, the farm crisis, the numerous economic boomsand busts—The Year We Left Home follows the Erickson siblings as they confront prosperity and heartbreak, setbacks and triumphs, and seek their place in a country whose only constant seems to be breathtaking change. Ambitious, richly told, and fiercely American, this is a vivid and moving meditation on our continual pursuit of happiness and an incisive exploration of the national character.

A deep sigh came over me when I opened up this package. It was the novel I was in the mood for. No, I wasn't waiting specifically for this one but I was struggling for my next read and this fit the mood that I was in. I had come across this novel last month while shelving at my bookstore job. I was intrigued with the cover and with the Midwestern setting. There is something bleak yet hopeful about stories set in the Midwest, a pulse that beats in the honest, hard-working folks that live in those parts. I come from the Midwest and spent all of my life, minus one year, living there.
I grew up in a large, country family with Norwegian roots much like the family in this book. I knew I would be able to identify with the lives of the characters created by Jean Thompson.

The novel is set in a small Iowa town and starts in the early 1970s and ends in 2003. The characters are members of one family but focusing mostly on the children; Ryan, Anita,Torrie and Blake. Weaving in between their stories you gets bit and pieces of their parents and their Aunts and Uncles. The story starts out in the voice of Ryan, begrudgingly a guest at his sister Anita's wedding. The season is winter and the year is 1973. Ryan has that odd feeling of lonliness and doesn't care to be at his sister's wedding, opting to hang out and get high with his cousin Chip instead. Next chapter leads us to a few years later, still in the voice of Ryan, bringing home his girlfriend Janine to meet his family. This is when you meet the rest of the characters that fill the remainder of the book.

Anita; the beautiful sister who marries an alcoholic, Blake; the son on the sidelines who has a large family of his own, Torrie; the youngest who recklessness changes the course of her future and Chip; the cousin who always keeps them guessing.

A little disjointed to begin with, I had a slight feeling of uncertainty with where it was all going. Each chapter, though the characters remain familiar, the time period changes and the feel of it all changes, much like years passing in life. Once I started to get a sense for the evolution of the family and some of my questions started to get answered, I felt the pace of the book carry me along. Thompson is a clever writer, almost letting it all slip by but then catching you in the middle.
I've mentioned before that it takes a talented writer to give a new voice to each chapter and Thompson nails it towards the middle of the book.

So many of these characters I felt I have known in my life; the sturdy, faithful Norwegian family members that quietly work their butts off, the wounded Vets who meander through the world and back to their home towns still feeling outside it all, the restless young girls of big families who just want to run, and the smart boys who feel they have change to bring with their
minds full of politics. I identified also with the mother of this family; somberly watching her family grow, grow away, grow big and unhappy in it all.

I had a few post it notes lining my pages that mentioned certain things that were either so small town Midwest or just so very 1970s. I put a post it note in the section about the crisis of American small town farmers (which affected my grandpa), the cheesy poetry of Rod Mckuen (my best friend's mother LOVED him), celebrating weddings at the American Legion (um..almost all of the weddings I've ever been too) and getting high in the middle of fields with your cousins (I'm not going to lie to you but my brothers were little shits when they were young).

This book left me with such pained warmth, one that comes from the pang of nostalgia, the good and the bad memories. It was a journey to read and delicately put together. It still had the fractured feeling of life and when it ended, you get a mild sense of coming full circle.
Thompson did a remarkable job capturing the feel of a Midwestern family.

Rating: 5/6
I was so glad I read this. Though unsure in the beginning, I am glad I plugged away with it because once I hit the middle it was no going back. It was as if I was turning pages in a scrapbook of a family long gone. I had to continue to read the fate of these characters.

Book Club Pick?
I think this would be a marvelous book club pick. It captures so many slices of life not just in location but in time periods of a person's life; the moving on, the mid-life, the what now?
It covers marriage, war, politics, infidelity. I think there would be plenty to discuss.
Here is a Reading Group Guide from the publisher's website.

Author Website:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child






Friday, June 17, 2011

Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon (review #127)

Author: Jennifer McMahon
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Fiction
Format: Review Copy

"Are you one of the chosen?"

I was pretty jazzed about reading this new novel by Jennifer McMahon. Though I didn't love her last book Dismantled, I did sense she was a strong writer and was curious about a new twisted tale by her. Don't Breathe a Word is such a mixture of genres. It is written as a strong novel but you get the twists and turns of a thriller with a splash of metaphysical, that almost lands it in the magical realism box. Overall, it was unlike anything I've ever read and it kept me pushing on to see what would happen.

In Dismantled I had a huge issue with the characters. Honestly, I didn't give two you-know-whats about them. In Don't Breathe a Word, I cared a bit more about what happened to these characters, mainly because it went back and forth in time and portrayed
them as vulnerable children.

Here is a brief description from the publisher's website:
On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.

Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.


I read this in mid May right before I left for NYC so the fine details are a bit hazy but I know that I found it to be a page turner. The back and forth in time between the characters was not jarring to me. It brought the present and past together quite nicely. I was a little bothered with the magical aspect a bit because I didn't quite know what was reality or not. I'm not opposed to a little metaphysical action but if I'm not prepared for it, it throws me off a bit.

Rating: 4/6
I would recommend this to fans of Carol Goodman or Donna Tartt. McMahon has an edge to her writing and obviously has a love for a good ghost story. Spooky and a bit dark, this would be a better read for a dark October night, rather than a beach read. I've heard excellent things about her older novels, Island of Lost Girls and Promise Not to Tell. I'm intrigued with her writing enough to continue reading her. Her story lines are fresh and different and I like that.

Author Website:
Twitter @jennifermcmahon

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lot's Return to Sodom by Sandra Brannan (review #126)

Author: Sandra Brannan
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Greenleaf Press
Format: Review Copy

Description from Publisher website:

The Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is no place for buttoned-down citizens—unless, of course, they’re trying to hide a murder or two.

In this second book in the eponymous series, Liv Bergen is back with a vengeance—a righteous one. The gutsy, sharp-witted amateur sleuth pulls out all the stops as she solves the murder of her brother Jens’s fiancĂ©e, Michelle, and clears his name. As it turns out, more than one person in Liv’s sleepy hometown wanted Michelle dead. A trail of clues leads Liv through the Black Hills, where she encounters half a mil- lion hardcore bikers and sideline gawkers—many clad in nothing but black leather thongs and bikinis—who have turned the place into a sodomitical playground saturated in booze.

Further complicating matters, Liv is an eyewitness to a second homicide, which calls down upon her the uninvited attentions of the men- acing leader of a biker gang called Lucifer’s Lot. The cat-and-mouse game that ensues puts Liv in the path of her admirer Streeter Pierce, who’s gone undercover with a fellow FBI agent to find both Michelle’s murderer and a perp the agency calls the Crooked Man. Liv taps every ounce of brains and brawn she has to avoid becoming the killer’s next victim, which wins her the further respect of Streeter.

By the end of Lot’s Return to Sodom, Streeter has shown his admiration for Liv by giving her Beulah, an FBI bloodhound who is certain to help them track down the still-at-large Crooked Man in book three.

I had received this book a few months ago but saved reading it until I flew out to NYC for BEA. Sandra Brannan was going to be there and I wanted to have it fresh in my mind for when I could talk to her about it. I read a little over half on the way there and finished it on the way home.

It is a stellar second installment in the Liv Bergen mystery series. Set in Rapid City around the time of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, you once again get wholly absorbed in the atmosphere so richly described by Brannan. Like In the Belly of Jonah, the setting for these books is its own character and one that Brannan knows and creates quite well.
Rapid City being her own hometown you really get a strong feel for it all.

I always knew that Sturgis was a bad ass time, having some how fallen under the spell of stories told to me by bar fly members of my family or what I've seen in action movies. Not that I am a biker chick at all but I have to confess that I did go on a date with a man in my twenties, far from desirable, because he had a motorcycle and promised me a ride. :)

Anyway, in this book, the glorified life of the motorcycle crowd is far, far from desirable or cool or even one I care to even think about anymore. Brannan, with her knack for research, got down in the dirty ditches of these men and women and the political, power hungry, abusive and just down right mean way in which most seem to live.

Throw in two murders, and the clash between the scared local enforcement and the scrumptious FBI agent, Streeter Pierce and you got yourself a sharp, sassy, scary thriller.
You also get a greater glimpse into Liv's family ( God Bless Em' ,they are just like mine!) due to her brother being a suspect in one of the murders.
I felt like I wanted to pull up a chair during a Sunday dinner and
eat their yummy comfort food and say my prayers.

Review: 6/6
Overall, in the world of mystery book series where it's hard to keep the pace and the characters strong, Brannan masters her sophmoric release. The world is gritty and some parts are not for the faint of heart. I even had to give my two cents to Sandra about some parts that crossed the line for me a little. But I have a line I draw when it comes to harm against children. You don't need to say much for me to get sick and want to kick some ass.
Aside from that, she writes an intense world that is a reality; the life of motorcycle gangs.
I was intrigued and the pace did not let up. There are more twists and turns in this one and what I liked, is that you don't get the whole story really until the end. I also liked that I couldn't figure it out. Surprising me as a reader is a very good thing.
And Liv and Streeter...well, that's a story I look forward to reading more about....

Remember the book is out and can be purchased at this site, to get you started!


Author Website:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child





Monday, June 13, 2011

The Case for the Only Child by Susan Newman, Ph.D (review #125)

The Case for the Only Child by Susan Newman, Ph D.
Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.
Genre: Parenting/Nonficiton
Format: Review Copy


This book came at the exact right time for me as a mother. I'm not always in to sitting down and reading a ton of parenting type books but I do browse heavily and scan chapters that interest me. I tend to get stuck in this section of any bookstore.
It's my mom sense kicking in. Am I doing everything right? Is he developing?
Am I feeding him okay? What do I do about _?
The list goes on and on.

Our son is 3 and the last six months we have decided to try for a second. When this book came up to review, however, I knew it would be the exact right fit. I still debate within myself about if it's okay that he might be an only child. Would he be lonely? Spoiled? Etc...

The author discusses all these fears and more in this simple, to the point read on the myths of the only child. She shares stories of her own and stories of others who have struggled over the question of "What is the "right" size for my family?"

She starts with the family trends and how they have changed in the last 20 years to the still present pressure from society to produce more children. Debunking some myths about how "singletons" grow up to be spoiled and socially awkward, she also discusses the financial impact of a larger family today and how it just isn't always the smartest decision to multiply.

I identified with the "Tick-Tock-Your Biological Clock" chapter that discussed the topic of individuals who have children later in life, mid thirties and up. There are those of us who are choosing to have children as older adults and there are others who have a child and try for a second but experience "secondary infertility", the inability (or struggle) to conceive a second child. This, I feel, is where we are at and her take interested me.

The book continues on with a focus on siblings and only children giving their take.
Overall, it was a book that hit home for me and would have a specific audience I think. Susan Newman obviously knew her stuff and her research comes through.

Rating: 4/6
Whether you are a parent of one child or thinking of starting a family, this book lends a lot of insight into the size of families. It may help you in determining how big you want your family to be. And if you are currently struggling with the 'Oh no, I need to give my child a sibling" dilemma, this book will help you calm some of that anxiety.
Ultimately, you create the family you have and make it what it is. That is what you have to remember. You can love your only child and give him or her everything they need. You are your family. Make it your own and love it!

Author Blog:

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be on this tour.

Thursday, June 9th: Life in Review

Monday, June 13th: Redheaded Book Child

Thursday, June 16th: Patricia’s Wisdom

Monday, June 20th: Life is Short. Read Fast

Tuesday, June 21st: I’m Booking It

Monday, June 27th: Helen’s Book Blog

Tuesday, June 28th: Girls Gone Reading

Thursday, June 30th: Stacy’s Books

Tuesday, July 5th: Overstuffed


Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Ladies Book Club: June 2011



















Book Read:
The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain

Ladies in Attendance:
7 members

Treats shared:
Fruit pizza, Milano Cookies, M&Ms, Hummus, Olives, Crackers, Corn/Black Bean/Tomato Salsa, Chips, Rice Krispie Bars, Brie and Bread, Lemonade and Limeade. It was all so darn delicious.

To Read or Not to Read:
5 ladies read all of it (one lady was not there)
2 ladies read 1/2 of it.
1 lady did not read it (she just got her copy the day before)

My Reaction:
I usually don't include a synopsis but this story is a little heavy with a lot going on so I am going to include a brief description from Goodreads.

Dear Anna,

What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I'm so sorry…

The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle's suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle—her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family—described a woman who embraced life.

Yet there was so much they didn't know.

With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle's friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives—and the life of a desperate stranger—with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit.

We moved the night of our book club for scheduling purposes and it happen to land on the hottest day of the year so far. Over 100 degrees with a dry, hot wind. I have a pretty tiny house with a big back yard and big back porch so I tend to host during the summer when I can take advantage of that.
We suffered through it even though we almost all blew away.

I was happy my club agreed to read this book. We had read another title of hers last summer and all enjoyed it. The publisher and author very kindly sent us copies for my club to read. I even had a few extra to give to my mom and a friend. So everyone was reading this book during the past few weeks.

Chamberlain packs quite a lot in her books. I can tell this after reading only two. There is a lot of drama and emotion. You, as a the reader, are faced with many moral dilemmas during it all and this one in particular left us all a little pissed off and spent.

I was surprised with how much this book was filled with the topics of motherhood and parenting, I was able to keep an emotional distance from it all. I think because the events take on such an extreme that I was able to think, "Gosh, this couldn't happen all the time, right?" I still had a few moments of jaw dropping reaction.

I plowed through this book really fast. Once it got going, you HAD to know what the confession was. There was no stopping me. For that, Chamberlain really has a gifted writing style that holds your interest like that. I enjoyed that pace.

It was pretty intense and upon reflection, I did find some flaws with the story and how quickly it was all wrapped up but overall, if you want a Jodi Picoult like drama filled novel of right and wrong, hope and despair, this would be it for you.

Be warned, it does include some raw details regarding children.

Ladies' Reaction:
Our discussion started out fairly low key. We all thought it was a fast, powerful read with a lot going on. But as time went on, some of the ladies felt very strongly about what happens in the book. I don't want to give away any spoilers but the character of Noelle, the midwife, was picked apart quite a bit. Some felt her character had so many secrets that you never felt like you really knew her or that she was a good friend. Some felt she isolated herself and that she set herself up for her suicide. (this comes out right in the beginning, no spoilers!)

Some of the ladies were angry with the events that took place. Some felt it hit them a bit too personally for them to really enjoy it. Some felt the ending was summed up too quickly and easily for how much happens in the overall book.

We went through the Reading Group Guide but felt that most of them were repeated and produced a lot of the same answers. As the discussion went on, we found ourselves having no trouble discussing our thoughts on the book. We discussed the friendship between Tara and Emerson and their daughters. We discussed the roles of the men, especially in relation to Tara's husband Sam and his close bond with Noelle.

I think the ladies enjoyed it enough to really come together and dish. It was something that not many of them would read on their own and because of that they really were intrigued to read it and bring their thoughts.

It wasn't all positive but it wasn't negative in the sense that any of them said, "Don't read this!" It was more a feeling of caution. This book will pack quite a punch. Beware.

Good Book Club Pick?
Yes, overall. We thought they could have done a little better with the Reading Group Guide questions but we had no trouble discussing it on our own. It had a lot going on and if you can get passed the emotions it may bring up in you, as a parent, as a friend, as a woman, then it could be a good pick for your club.

Author Website:

* Thank you to Harlequin for sending us copies to read. We all really appreciated the opportunity to read and discuss this novel.

Next Book Up:
The Help by Kathyrn Stockett


Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This is one of the books that created a bit of buzz at BEA. I did not get a copy there but met a lovely man from Random House who sent it to me after I got back.
I just started it and I can tell it will be a literary sensation come fall.

If the cover does not enchant you, watch this book trailer.


Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Book the Saved BEA

Here is my story of how one book saved BEA for me.

Of course, I had every intention of getting tons of books that I was excited about, but this year I was really enthused about the great children's authors that were going to be there. Most importantly, I was excited about my son's favorite Mo Willems. He writes the fabulous chapter books that feature the serious Elephant and the charming Piggie. We absolutely adore these books in our house and have read them all multiple times.
Mo was #1 on my list to get to bring home for my little kiddo.

He was a ticketed event for Wednesday. I woke up bright and early, like I have mentioned before but when I arrived at BEA at 7:20am (The tickets went on sale at 7), he was sold out.
Well, I cried. Yep, it all came out. It just came over me. I was disappointed in myself. I was missing my son. And darnit, really, 7:20? Not one more ticket? Grr. Argh.
Well, Stacy was a delight and she hopped on Twitter to see if we could get me a ticket. It didn't work but it was a very sweet try on her part.
At this time, exactly, was when I first met Steph and her mother. Not my finest hour but oh well.
There was little I could do at this point so I tried to shrug it off and went on with my day. We headed to the autograph area and I got in line to get another favorite of my son's, the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney. I figure I could bring home a close second, that should be okay.
The one great thing about BEA is, I found, that it is easy to chat it up with people in line. So I started doing this again with a few ladies in front of me, all librarians. We got on the topic of the ticketed events and the one lady pulled out a stack of tickets.
I gasped and said "Do you have a Mo Willems tickets?"
And she said, ''Yes, but I don't think I will make it."
I blurted out, "I will pay you for it!"
She kindly said, "You don't have to pay me for it. Here you go."
Well, I started crying again and thanked her and told her she will make my son's day!
She smiled and said "You better get going in line, it's pretty long!"
At this point, I think I shouted out a "Bless your heart" (blame it on Stacy's southern influence!) and ran off.
I actually was one of the first people in line and didn't have to wait for long. Mo was a very nice man when I told him we loved his books.

I tucked his new book, "Should I Share my Ice Cream?" in my bag to bring home, not to ship, so I would have it ready to read the night I got back.
And that's what the pictures are above.
Our facial expressions change to go with the mood of the book as Elephant stresses about whether or not to share his ice cream with Piggie.

Delightful!

I did end up running into that same woman later in the day, in another line and thanked her once again. Not that she would read this post. I don't even think I gave out my business cards at that point so she has probably forgotten her kindness.
But, darnit, I love book people!! Thank you!

Anyway, that's my story of the Book (and the kind librarian) that Saved BEA.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child