Friday, November 23, 2012

Guest Review: Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die by Willie Nelson

This review is being brought to you by "The Husband". Though I am a fan of Willie Nelson's music, I was not very interested in reading about his "Musings from the Road".

I'll leave it up to the musician.

Guest Review:
This book is written in possibly the most down-to-earth, folksy verbage of any I have read. It reads like some stream of consciousness style poetry, crossed with an 'on the road' type journal. I think it offers a wonderful glimpse into the mind of an iconic American legend. His philosophy is the simple stuff of a folksy upbringing crossed with the hard scrabble reality of making it in the American dream; with a dash of what it is like being a mega-celebrity. Hearty and brash, this rambling memoir is worth a read from every fan, or even someone curious about the music biz. Highly recommended. 

Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road
Willie Nelson
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 192
Price: $22.99

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Feature: Far from the Tree: Parent, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon

I am so intrigued with this massive nerdy delight of a book. Yes, it's over 900 pages and the likelihood I finish it anytime soon is, well, not likely. So there. But I couldn't wait. I wanted to talk about it and atleast feature it so all of you would know how truly remarkable it is.

I have read several parts so far and have also requested it on audio to shake it up a bit. It is wonderful. Andrew Solomon, award winning author of The Noonday Demon, is masterful in his delivery of such complicated and dense subjects; from Dwarfism to Autism to Schizophrenia. Over 250 people were interviewed and their stories shared here. Over 10 years in the making. My fascination with development and psychology and what makes us who we are definitely makes this book for me. 

Check out this feature in Shelf Awareness which prompted me to blog about this book today, long before I actually finished it.

Andrew Solomon, Shelf Awareness.

Also, check out a sample of the audio here.

This book is hefty and probably wouldn't make the ideal holiday gift but it's worth a read, even if it's in small chunks. My mind is still spinning from information. 

Far From the Tree; Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Non-Fiction
Release Date: November 2012
Price: $35.00
Pages: 976

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Audio Update

Audio books have been my life saver this year in staying connected to books. I have officially listened to more audio books than read books this year. It's weird but I've accepted it.

I've also started to learn the complexities of audio books; what makes them great, what makes them suck. So I give you a brief audio update on the last three audio books I've digested or tried to atleast.

Ransom River by Meg Gardiner
Here's an example of what makes an audio stink. (no offense to the great Meg Gardiner, who is a fabulous mystery writer). The story was good but the narrator was...well, terrible. Flat as can be. No emotion. Felt like she was reading a school assignment. Yes, she was delivering the words from the book but I did not feel it at all. She wasn't the character she was reading. She did not portray any emotion to her words to make me feel invested in the story and its characters. Sorry, but I did not finish this one. Got about 3 discs in.
Too bad. Guess I'll stick to reading Meg from now on.

The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Greggory
This one, on the other hand, didn't blow my mind BUT was so much better in the narrator department. I'm a huge fan of Philippa G's books, having read most of them while I was hormonal on maternity leave. :) This was my first try with the audio. This was one I had to pay attention to, just like in reading, because of all of the similar sounding character names and the historical aspects.
Delightful all around. I would be interested in giving her other novels a try.

Ready, Player, One by Ernest Cline
This one was by far my favorite audio book as of late. Though it took me the entire three weeks of check out time from the library, it was worth it.
I'm a 80s gal and this was known for being chock full of 80s trivia and fun facts; from old video games, popular TV shows, number one music hits and random other tidbits of pop culture. Sheila from Book Journey is the one I have to thank. She recommended this to me, saying it was one of her favorite audio books this year. I'm not really a fantasy girl so this one surprised me. There were a few moments over half way that it got a little tedious. The explanation of the games and virtual reality got to be a bit  much but overall this audio rocked!

So now I'm on to either Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier or Life of Pi by Yan Martel or Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan.

Choices. Choices.

Happy Reading (or listening) and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch

I had the awesome opportunity last night to sell books for an Alison Arngrim event. For those of you who do not know, she played Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie. This show was HUGE in my family. HUGE! Definitely a favorite.

When this event came around at our bookstore, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. It was super relaxed and fun. She did her stand up bit in the bar and she signed autographs afterwards. I got to sit next to her and sell her book at the same time! A very fun evening!

I'm excited to read her book...totally surprised I haven't already. She had so many funny tales of her time on the show, little stories about Melissa Gilbert and Michael Landon. Some fun. Some dirty. It was a blast to hear.

Are you a fan of Little House on the Prairie? Anyone?

Happy Reading and as always,thanks for stopping by !

red headed book child  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

Publisher: Free Press
Release Date: November 2012
Genre: Memoir
Challenge: Memorable Memoir Reading Challenge
* Recommend

Description from Goodreads:
One day, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records—from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory—showed psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four year old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter. 

It amazes me, with all my anxiety that I have, that I continue to read memoirs like this. Seriously, I'm afraid to leave my house. It fascinates and horrifies me, I guess.

Memoirs are one of my favorite genres. And this one was startling and hard to put down. The complete change this woman went through was unbelievable. The hows and whys were hard to imagine as well.

Going from a seemingly normal, healthy woman and then within a few weeks becoming paranoid, psychotic, delusional, and physically unable to move the way she used to was unsettling to read about. Cahalan delivers it very in a forward way, expressing that she does not remember a lick of it. She relied on family members, hospital video, doctors notes and a journal her divorced parents kept.

All in all, you get the sense of the extreme trauma that was happening throughout the short time of her "madness"; her parents struggles and determination to find out what was wrong with their daughter, her very loyal, still very new boyfriend and her friends, old and new, coming to grips with this new Susannah.

Parts of it got to be very medical but I think once they determined what was indeed wrong with her, the book really had to go there. Her case was so unique and rare at the time, that explaining the complexities of her condition were critical.

I recommend it. I don't want to say it's not your typical "going crazy" story but that's really what it is. She had a good life, good parents, good job, good friends, good boyfriend, never any issue with mental health in the past.  She got a bug and it made her go nuts, essentially. It really brings to light how delicate the brain really is and how it doesn't take much to jack it all up.

Author Page at Simon and Schuster.
Author Website

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by.

red headed book child

Thursday, November 1, 2012

R.I.P Challenge

Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was nineteen, growing up poor in Dublin's inner city, and living crammed into a small flat with his family on Faithful Place. But he had his sights set on a lot more. He and Rosie Daly were all ready to run away to London together, get married, get good jobs, break away from factory work and poverty and their old lives.

But on the winter night when they were supposed to leave, Rosie didn't show. Frank took it for granted that she'd dumped him-probably because of his alcoholic father, nutcase mother, and generally dysfunctional family. He never went home again.

Neither did Rosie. Everyone thought she had gone to England on her own and was over there living a shiny new life. Then, twenty-two years later, Rosie's suitcase shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place, and Frank is going home whether he likes it or not.

Getting sucked in is a lot easier than getting out again. Frank finds himself straight back in the dark tangle of relationships he left behind. The cops working the case want him out of the way, in case loyalty to his family and community makes him a liability. Faithful Place wants him out because he's a detective now, and the Place has never liked cops. Frank just wants to find out what happened to Rosie Daly-and he's willing to do whatever it takes, to himself or anyone else, to get the job done. (Goodreads)

This was one of the best damn audio books I have listened to so far. Oh my goodness! What a delight! The narrator embodied everything that I could imagine Frank Mackey to be and captured the essence and distinct atmosphere of Tana French's Dublin. 

I was originally slated to do Broken Harbor, the 4th book in the Dublin Murder Squad, for the R.I.P Challenge but the month is almost done and I finished this was already. Why stress myself out?

I'm still moving on to Broken Harbor, I just don't think I will finish it before the end of this month.  

I read French's first two books in this series and because of great reviews, i thought I'd give the audio of the third a try.

This was an amazing pick, both for the spooky month of October and as a good audio pick.  

I am sad I did not get a chance to complete my other choice for the R.I.P challenge, the BBC movie of FIngersmith (the novel by Sarah Waters). It did not come in yet from the library. When I do get it, I will still review it here. Let's not hold our breath though. I've been waiting since August. :)

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child