Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Audio Review: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls and her family live deep in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Their log cabin is surrounded by miles of trees, and their closest neighbors are bears, wolves, and panthers. Daily chores keep Laura and her sister Mary busy, but they still find time to go exploring with their dog, Jack. (Goodreads)

Narrated by Cherry Jones

I am a country girl who grew up in a small farm town in southern Minnesota. Little House On the Prairie was a big deal for me as a girl. My family and I watched the show religiously. I read all the books. I visited the sites. I stood in the hole in Walnut Grove where the little house once was.

I got the idea to listen to these from the patrons at the library I work at. So many families were checking these out and listening to them together. I loved that! And when I discovered they were narrated by the amazing Cherry Jones, I knew I had to listen.

Cherry Jones has the perfect blend of wonder, naivete, and sweetness to portray Half Pint. I really felt transported to that little cabin in the woods; eating frozen snow with maple syrup and listening to Pa play the fiddle. I think it's important to experience Little House on every scale. Print, Audio and  TV all are so different but still all very worthwhile and enjoyable.

Highly recommended. Already started Book 2.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, September 23, 2013

TLC Book Tour: Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon (Guest Reviewer)

I picked this one for my husband who is a musician and a major music lover. I thought this would be right up his alley. He is my Guest Reviewer this time around. 


As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there—longtime friends, bandmates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, two semi-legendary midwives who have welcomed more than a thousand newly minted citizens into the dented utopia at whose heart—half tavern, half temple—stands Brokeland.

When ex-NFL quarterback Gibson Goode, the fifth-richest black man in America, announces plans to build his latest Dogpile megastore on a nearby stretch of Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear it means certain doom for their vulnerable little enterprise. Meanwhile, Aviva and Gwen also find themselves caught up in a battle for their professional existence, one that tests the limits of their friendship. Adding another layer of complication to the couples' already tangled lives is the surprise appearance of Titus Joyner, the teenage son Archy has never acknowledged and the love of fifteen-year-old Julius Jaffe's life.

An intimate epic, a NorCal Middlemarch set to the funky beat of classic vinyl soul-jazz and pulsing with a virtuosic, pyrotechnical style all its own,Telegraph Avenue is the great American novel we've been waiting for. Generous, imaginative, funny, moving, thrilling, humane, and triumphant. (Goodreads)

Sean's review:

Having read the Amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay, I was somewhat familiar with Chabon's wordy and colorful prose; when I heard Telegraph Avenue is about 'An independent record store facing the future' my interests had been piqued. Like 'Kavalier' all of the characters are heavily flawed, and have a Vonnegut-esque interdependence on their respective relevance as a plot device. While I do appreciate Chabon's verbose and plentiful use of metaphor and allegory, it does almost detract from the plot itself. I was expecting a story about an indy record shop, and it was, but so heavily mired in developing character and plot devices that it becomes the stream-of-consciousness typical of 'Kavalier', or indeed Kurt Vonnegut. A fun read, but has as much to do with running a record shop as 'Kavalier' is about coming up with the "superman" comic book series.
Author's Info:
website and Facebook page.

Full Blog Tour Schedule:

Tuesday, September 10th: Lavish Bookshelf
Wednesday, September 11th: Turn the Page
Tuesday, September 17th: guiltless reading
Monday, September 23rd: red headed book child
Tuesday, September 24th: missris
Wednesday, September 25th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Thursday, September 26th: A Bookish Way of Life
Monday, September 30th: What She Read …
Tuesday, October 1st: The House of the Seven Tails
Wednesday, October 2nd: As Usual, I Need More Bookshelves
Thursday, October 3rd: From L.A. to LA
Thursday, October 3rd: Amused By Books
Monday, October 7th: The Lost Entwife
Tuesday, October 8th: Nite Lite
Wednesday, October 9th: Too Fond 
Thursday, October 10th: 50 Books Project
Thanks Sean for reviewing and thanks to Trish for letting us be on the tour!
Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!
red headed book child

Monday, September 16, 2013

TLC Book Tour: The Cutting Season by Attica Locke (Guest Reviewer)

I read this book earlier this year and posted a review then. When the blog tour option came my way, I knew that my friend, Cheryl would be great for this one. I enjoyed the book and I knew she would too.

From the website (
Caren Gray is the general manager of Belle Vie, a sprawling antebellum plantation where the past and the present coexist uneasily. The estate’s owners have turned the place into an eerie tourist attraction complete with full-dress reenactments and carefully restored slave quarters. Outside the gates, an ambitious corporation has been busy snapping up land from struggling families who have grown sugar cane for generations, replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when the body of a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the property, her throat cut clean. The list of suspects is long, but when the cops zero in on a person of interest, Caren has a feeling they’re chasing the wrong leads. Putting herself at risk, she unearths startling new facts about an old mystery—the long-ago disappearance of a former slave—that has unsettling ties to the modern-day crime. In pursuit of the truth about Belle Vie’s history—and her own—Caren discovers secrets about both cases that an increasingly desperate killer will do anything to keep hidden.
Taut, hauntingly resonant, and beautifully written, The Cutting Season is at once a thoughtful meditation on how America reckons its past with its future and a high-octane page-turner that unfolds with tremendous skill and vision, demonstrating once again that Locke is “a writer wise beyond her years” (Los Angeles Times).

Cheryl's review:

The Cutting Season is a book with many layers. Though the book takes place entirely in the present, Locke’s expressive writing and characters provide a story that blends the past and present to provide the reader with an emotional and historical understanding of rural Louisiana.

Caren’s suspicions that the wrong person is accused of the migrant worker’s murder revives the history of Belle Vie and therefore, the history of her family and ancestors. The questions raised through the investigation make her assess her place at Belle Vie, both as manager and her childhood memories. Along the way, the characters weave in and out and and often influence how Caren works through her doubts about herself and her past.

The Cutting Season centers around a mystery but is also a family and Southern history. Locke’s storytelling transports the reader into the different times and lives of living in rural Louisiana. The characters’ deep roots and emotional ties to Belle Vie and Louisiana intertwine and it’s easy to get caught up in their lives. Though the book is a mystery, the murder was a catalyst for Caren and others to examine their places in the present and reconcile their ties to the past. Locke’s conclusion is a realistic portrayal that not everything can be tied up neatly and that sometimes the past should remain in the past.

Author Info:

Blog Tour:

Tuesday, September 17th: red headed book child
Wednesday, September 18th: Time 2 Read
Thursday, September 19th: Book-alicious Mama
Monday, September 23rd: BoundbyWords
Tuesday, September 24th: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, September 25th: Peppermint PhD
Thursday, September 26th: Lectus
Monday, September 30th: Booksie’s Blog
Tuesday, October 1st: Olduvai Reads
Monday, October 7th: M. Denise C. 
Thank you Cheryl for being a terrific Guest Reviewer and 
TLC Book Tour Host this time around.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Friday, September 6, 2013

Nothing to do about Blogging Books

So this has nothing to do with blogging about books but I am just finishing up with the final season of Friday Night Lights and I must say, I will miss it so.

Mostly the brooding, lonesome, lost cowboy Tim Riggins played by actor Taylor Kitsch. Sigh

I know. I know. It's only TV but it's damn good TV.

That's it.

Happy Viewing and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Monday, September 2, 2013

Audio Review: Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole

A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.
March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.
June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago. (Goodreads)

This audio book came into my library as a new item and I happened to be the one processing it. A new author, an intriguing storyline, it had the potential to be good. It took me a little while to finish it because I wasn't driving as much during this month. I finished it on my road trip to Iowa. 

It had four different narrators and they were magnificent in bringing the story to life. I wasn't sure how I would feel about listening to letters being read but it turned out that listening to it is better than reading it. There is something incomplete about a story in letter form to me. I feel like parts of the story are missing. Though the story line jumped around and weeks would pass, in this case, the letters connected the dots quite nicely.

I loved the location of this story and the two time periods. The love story was genuine and sweet. I don't know if it was my slow listening pace or the story itself, but I got a tad bit impatient with waiting for the love story to happen. No spoilers here! There was some back and forth drama that went on that made me a little anxious for the outcome. 

Overall, it was an unique story and told with heart. I definitely recommend it for fans of historical fiction, centered around the World Wars.

Author Website:
Jessica Brockmole

Happy reading and listening and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Sunday, September 1, 2013

R.I.P Challenge here again!

Ahh, fall and Halloween are soon here. I can't wait! One of my favorite challenges is upon us once again. R.I.P challenge created by Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings. Click on the link to find out more.

Challenge runs from September 1 through October 31.

I am choosing to do Peril the Second, reading two books within the categories listed on his page. 

I am choosing a dark fantasy/urban noir title, Agents of Light and Darkness (Book 2 in the Nightside series) by Simon R. Green. I JUST finished Book 1, Something from the Nightside just yesterday and loved it!

My second choice is going to be more of a literary thriller. It has been getting rave reviews and I was sent an ARC of it many months ago from Tom at Random House. It's about time I read it!
Night Film by Marisha Pessl.

Click on the link above for more details and sign up! 

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child