Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Thoughts On "Wallflower In Bloom"

Source:  Goodreads

Summary from the Kindle Edition...
Deirdre Griffin has a great life; it's just not her own.  She's the around-the-clock personal assistant to her charismatic, high-maintenance, New Age guru brother, Tag.  As the family wallflower, her only worth seems to be as gatekeeper to Tag at his New England seaside compound.
Then Deirdre's sometime boyfriend informs her that he is marrying another woman, who just happens to be having the baby he told Deirdre he never wanted.  While drowning her sorrows in Tag's expensive vodka, Deirdre decides to use his massive online following to get herself voted on as a last-minute Dancing with the Stars replacement.  It'll get her back in shape, mentally and physically.  It might even get her a life of her own.  Deirdre's fifteen minutes of fame have begun.
Irresistible and offbeat, Wallflower in Bloom is an original and deeply satisfying story of having the courage to take a leap into the spotlight, not matter where you land.

I have to start out by saying that I've been looking forward to reading this one for a while.  I love the cover...it's just pretty.  And I'm happy to say the book didn't disappoint.  I really enjoyed it.

I love character driven books.  If I fall in love with the characters most likely I'll love the book.  Wallflower in Bloom is definitely character driven.  Deirdre is so funny and and easy to relate to, and I found her sarcasm hilarious.  More than that though, Deirdre is a conflicted, complicated woman who deals with (not always gracefully) a lot of the same issues many women deal with...weight, depression, men, family, work.  Who among us women hasn't had to deal with issues in at least on of these areas?  And somehow it makes us feel better knowing there are others out there who are going through what we are...even if it is a fictional character.

If you are a fan of chic-lit or women's fiction, I know you'll like this one.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Latest Book Purchases

Source:  Goodreads

I recently watched the movie version of The Road, and I thought it was really good.  I've heard great things about the book as well, so I thought I'd give it a try.


Source:  Amazon

Years ago when I worked at the library I came across The Foxfire Books.  I'd never seen them before, and I found them so interesting.  I put them on my wish list to buy, but just never got around to it.  This year when I was racking my brain for what to get my Dad for Father's Day these books came to mind again.  He's into history, antiques, gardening, and pretty much anything old fashioned.  We're alike in that way, so that's how I know he'll love this book.

I Watched Confessions of a Shopaholic

A couple days ago I finished the book Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.  Having liked the book so much I was excited to watch the movie which I did yesterday.

Source:  IMDb
I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed it.  Even though it was quite different from the book, it was still very cute and very funny.  I loved Isla Fisher as Rebecca Bloomood, and I'm happy to hear that there will be a sequel to the movie as well.  I'll definitely see it.

If you've missed it, give this movie a try.  It's light and sweet and very funny.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Thoughts On "Confessions of a Shopaholic"

Source:  Goodreads

Confessions of a Shopaholic is about Rebecca Bloomwood.  A young woman whose job as a finance journalist bores her to tears and even worse pays little.  Even so, she is addicted to shopping and continues to buy things that she can't afford (nor does she need) until she stumbles across a finance story that just might change her life in more ways than one.

When I think of Chic-lit, Confessions of a Shopaholic is what comes to mind.  To be honest, I didn't think I'd like this book.  I'm not very girly and I don't like shopping that much.  I'm not into jewelry or clothes or make-up.  The only things I truly like to shop for are things for my daughter and books.  But I'm happy to say that I was wrong about this book.  It was a cute, funny book, and I really liked it.  I've read a few reviews that said this book is all that's wrong with young people these days, teaching the wrong values, etc., but I think these people are taking the book too seriously.  I mean it's obvious that Rebecca has a problem.  It's obvious that her lifestyle is making her miserable, and it's obvious that she eventually realizes that and tries to do better.  If anything I see it as a cautionary tale.  I think people relate to this book because most of us have had financial trouble in our life, and we tend to do what Rebecca did...ignore it until we can't ignore it anymore.

I really liked Confessions of a Shopaholic, and I plan to read the rest of the books in the Shopaholic series.
I know most people who enjoy chic-lit have already read this, but if you aren't a huge chic-lit fan or you just missed it somehow you should give it a try.  It was a fast, funny read, and I'm glad i finally got around to reading it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Blog Award

 Brenda from Curling Up With a Good Book gave me The {Booker} Award recently and I'm so excited about it! I love receiving blog awards and the rules for this one are great!
Thank you so much Brenda for giving me this award.  I appreciate it!

The Rules:

1. This award is for book bloggers only. To receive this award the blogger's blog must be 50% about books (this includes writing blogs or reader blogs).
2. When you accept this award you must also share what your top five all time favorite books are. Going over five is encouraged.
3. You must pass this award on to five to ten other book blogs that you adore :)


So here are a few of my All Time Favorite Books...

Source:  Goodreads

I absolutely adore EVERY book in the Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  They just make me happy!

Source:  Goodreads

I love the Anne of Green Gables Series and pretty much anything written by L.M. Montgomery.  This book is the first book I fell in love with as a child.  I loved Anne so much, and still do I might add (:

Source:  Goodreads

I am a huge fan of Louisa May Alcott, and Little Women (along with Little Men and Jo's Boys) are among my favorites of all her work.

Source:  Goodreads

I just LOVE this book!

"If he loved  you with all the power of his soul for a whole lifetime, he couldn't love you as much as I do in a single day."  (Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights)

And with writing like that who wouldn't!

Source:  Goodreads

I don't see how anyone who's read this book couldn't fall in love with it.  Such a powerful story!


I think you'll notice a recurring theme in the books above...all women authors & all historical fiction.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Thoughts On "Single Girl Summer"

Source:  Goodreads

Single Girl Summer is a book about three very different but very independent women.  Meg is newly divorced and trying to find her way.  Dawn is impatiently waiting for her "perfect" boyfriend to propose, and Button is too scared to love or trust anyone.  They're all intent on facing their battles alone, but they soon discover that they just might need each other.

I liked this book, and I liked the characters.  I have to say that I didn't relate to them at all though.  They were definitely modern career women from the city, while I'm an old-fashioned,  conservative, stay at home wife and mom from the country.   My life couldn't be more different from theirs.  I didn't always agree with what they did and said, but I really enjoyed the story.  I believe that's what reading should be about.  What fun is it to always read about people just like you?

 I especially liked reading about Button's growth over the span of the book, and one of my favorite parts was reading about all their "single girl summer outings" in and around the city of Chicago.

If you are a fan of Chic-lit, I think you'll enjoy this book.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My 1 Year Blogiversary!!!

As of today, this blog is one year old.  Wow, I can't believe it!

I started this blog to become part of a reading community.  I wanted to share ideas, and get a fresh perspective on books in general.  I was in a reading rut you could say--reading the same kinds of books with the same kinds of ideas over and over again.  When I started this blog, I was on a mission to broaden my reading horizons, and I think it's been a huge success.  I've read books this year that I never would have without the blogging community.

Blogging has become such a big part of my life.  When I started I had no idea how much fun it would be, or to be honest how much work it would be.  I have to admit the pressure to finish books quickly so I can blog about them has gotten to me at times.  But I think my main struggle has been to stay true to MY voice.  I follow lots of wonderful blogs, and I have often caught myself wishing to be more like this one or that one.  I have to remind myself over and over that it's ME that has to come through on my page--no matter how simple my ideas, they are my ideas.  I have to be me.

I have found so many great blogs along the way, and made new friends.  Thank you so much to those of you who take the time to read and comment on my blog.  It means so much to me!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Thoughts On "Bitter Is The New Black"

Last July I started a feature called "Ten Books I Thought I'd Never Read".  In trying to broaden my reading horizons I decided to read at least one book from ten genres that I normally do not read...romance, western, military, horror, celebrity memoir, true crime, sports fiction, sci-fi, mystery, and chic-lit.

I had originally thought I'd read  Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella for my chic-lit selection, but then my friend, Lisa, from the blog Parenting, Politics, and Religion, suggested I read Bitter Is the New Black by Jen Lancaster.  It's taken me a while to get around to it, but since this month is Chic-Lit for the Cupcakes War Reading Challenge...I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone.

Source:  Goodreads

Goodread's Summary
Jen Lancaster was living the sweet-life until real life kicked her to the curb.  She had the perfect man, the perfect job--hell, she had the perfect life, and there was no reason to think it wouldn't last.  Or maybe there was, but Jen Lancaster was too busy being manicured, pedicured, highlighted, and generally adored to notice...

I just have to say...this book is HILARIOUS!  Jen Lancaster is honest about herself and others too.  She says what you might be thinking, but would never say...such a guilty pleasure.  I laughed out loud several times.

I do have to warn that there is some strong language, but if you can overlook that this is a really funny book! I'm so glad Lisa recommended it.  I would have never read it otherwise, but now I've found a great new author to enjoy.  I'm sure I'll be reading more of Jen Lancaster.

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Trip To Carnton Plantation

In February of 2010 I read The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks.  It's one of those books that I hesitate to say, "Oh, this was a good book!", simply because it was on such a serious subject...good just doesn't seem to be the appropriate word.  It was sad and violent and graphic, but I think it was probably very representative of what the bloodiest five hours of the civil war was like, and I enjoyed reading it.  I wouldn't call myself a "history buff", but I'm really interested in the civil war.

Source:  Goodreads

I really love to read historical fiction.  The Widow of the South is a fiction book, but it's based on historical events that took place on Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee.  My husband and I recently visited Carnton Plantation, and it was amazing.  We were able to take a really great hour long guided tour of the inside of the house, and take our time on a self-guided tour of the gardens and rest of the grounds.

Source:  My Photo

Source:  My Photo

Source:  My Photo

Source:  My Photo

Source:  My Photo

Friday, June 1, 2012

Memoirs In May... A Reading Recap

May was a really great reading month for me.  I was really lucky and found some great books.  Every one of the memoirs below was an amazing and powerful story, and I learned so much. I have a new found respect and admiration for memoirs and the people brave enough to tell their story.  I'll definitely be adding them to my monthly reading schedule, and I'd like to read at least one every month.

Check out the books I read last month below.  Click on ''Read This Post" to view my post about each book.

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Source:  Goodreads

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Source:  Goodreads

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Source:  Goodreads

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Source:  Goodreads

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Source:  Goodreads

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Source:  Goodreads