Sunday, July 28, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we share what we have read and what we are reading and see what everyone else is reading.

Read Last Week:

I am still painfully behind on reviews. I intend to work on them this week.


Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell: This book was interesting, but I have to admit some of it went over my head maybe. I would finish someof the stories in a state of confusion. Nevertheless, I enjoyed them.

The Host by Stephanie Meyer: This was our book club book for July. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I usually don't read alien books, and I hated Twilight. But I really loved this story!

Tidal by Amanda Hocking:  I feel so frustrated with this series! I expected resolution in this book, and didn't get it. I need to get the next one!

Reading this Week:


A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn: I just love the cover and the synopsis of this story. I am looking forward to starting it. 

Cape Cod by William Martin:  A summer fave. I own this in paperback and hardcover I just realized the other day. Lol.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we share what we have read and what we are reading and see what everyone else is reading.

Read Last Week:


A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Beautiful and heartbreaking, one of my favorite books ever.

The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank: I will admit it - I love Dorothea Benton Frank. 

Reading This Week:


The Host by Stephanie Meyer: Out book club book for July.

Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams:  I love Tennessee Williams. In college, I took a class that was half his work, the other half Henrik Ibsen, and I loved it.  My friends and I just watched the movie Streetcar Named Desire with Marlon Brando (who was smoking hot in it) and I felt the need to reread the play.  (movie review to come soon)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Prayer for Owen Meany - My thoughts

Title: A Prayer for Owen Meany
Author: The one and only John Irving
Source: My own book collection

Goodreads Summary:

John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany is the inspiring modern classic that introduced two of the author’s most unforgettable characters, boys bonded forever in childhood: the stunted Owen Meany, whose life is touched by God, and the orphaned Johnny Wheelwright, whose life is touched by Owen. From the accident that links them to the mystery that follows them–and the martyrdom that parts them–the events of their lives form a tapestry of fate and faith in a novel that is Irving at his irresistible best.

My thoughts:

I read this book for the first time at sixteen. My uncle had read it, and passed it on to me to read.  I fell in love with this book that first reading, and never gave it back to my uncle. (Sorry Uncle Mike!)  I have read it every year for twenty-one years. The original copy I had, that was really my uncle's, I passed on to my cousin Meghan, Uncle Mike's daughter, when she graduated from college. I wrote my uncle's name in the book, with my name under it, and then finally Meghan's name under mine. This might seem a lame gift, but to me, it really means something when you pass on a book that you have really loved .

If you have never read this book before, my review, such as it is, is not going to help you know what this book is about. I apologize for that.

I have never been able to put this story into words to explain it to someone else - I think it is something you just have to read and experience and feel for yourself. There are so many complexities and layers, that I think it does the story wrong to even try to wrap it up in a few paragraphs. Some skilled writers can do it. I just can't, it would be like trying to explain love. And don't get me started on Simon Birch - I was so let down and disappointed in that movie, although that might be because of just how much I love this book.

Owen Meany makes me cry. My heart breaks with every reading, and I start crying 200 pages from the end, just for the loss I know is coming. I fall in love with the story and Owen and Johnny and Dan every single time, and when I know that the MOMENT is coming, I just start crying. To be Johnny, to know someone like Owen, have a life long friend like Owen, what kind of void does that leave in your life? Johnny never gets over him, I wouldn't have even thought that was possible, really - the last sentence kills me, and I start to sob.  And I have to be careful or I will start with the crying right now as I type! All I can say is, read this book. Go now and read it. Don't be put off by the length or the gray granite cover or his name or the blurb on the back. Just read it.

By the end of the book Owen Meany will have taught you many things - how to love, how to be a friend, how to believe, how to be brave, how to have faith. He will have broken your heart over and over.

Owen Meany is a character that you will never forget.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we share what we have read and what we are reading and see what everyone else is reading.

I had the best weekend. Friday morning, my mother and I went to a lavender festival - and my favorite part was the lavender lemonade! On Saturday, my husband and I went canoeing with my brother and his wife, and followed the trip up with visiting the nearby local breweries. On Sunday, I went with a friend to a weird art movie called Augustine. Although weird, we had many laughs afterwards.


Read Last Week:

I have a few "still readings"on my list.


A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving - I have read this book so many times, and every time, I feel it affects me differently. I love it so much. I am dividing time between this and Main Street.

Main Street by Sinclair Lewis: Still plugging away.

Summer Breeze by Nancy Thayer: For the moments I needed a breather from the other two.

Reading this Week:

Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer: Because I need some summer reading mixed in with Owen and Main Street!

Reviews Last Week:

The Night is Alive by Heather Graham

Also, my June Book Club post is up! 

This week, we have a book club movie night - so no book, just Streetcar Named Desire. I am in love with Tennessee Williams.  We have actual book club next week. 

I also won a $100 gift certificate to courtesy of NetGalley's Wellness Challenge! Woohoo!

I hope you have all had a wonderful week!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

June Book Club

Hostess: Kelly
Book: Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Food: Veggie kabobs, couscous, cheese bread, homemade raspberry sorbet
Month: June
Wine of the Night: Sangria

This is a book I would never have picked up to read in a million years, based just on the cover alone. But that is the beauty of our book club, that we are gently forced to read out of our comfort zone. I have definitely read books I never would have due to book club, and I am glad that I have. Just the exposure to something different is refreshing.

Kelly had a wonderful array of summery foods and drink prepared for us when we arrived, one after another, to her beautiful home that is straight from House Beautiful. She has the perfect eye for putting together her home, decorated with antiques mostly from the 1930s, her favorite era. The sangria was particularly inviting, calling my name from its position on the counter.  Kelly's cat Olive also decided to join us, taking up her spot on the dining room table. The food was on the table in the nook in the kitchen, so no worries about the cat in the food. Although that is something all of us have to worry about, that when our backs are turned, the cats at all our houses will sample will our food too!


Like I had said above, this is not a book I would normally choose. However I really enjoyed it, as did everyone else. In this particular romance, the main female character/heroine Jessica is practical, logical, capable and independent. She is awesome. The hero, Dain, is so emotional and vulnerable and insecure. Its like  a role reversal from the average romance novel. Jessica often tells Dain he is a high strung Thoroughbred, and it is an apt description. We talked about what actors we think could play Dain and Jessica if it ever was a movie (something I love to do lol) and I think Amy Adams would be a good Jessica and Jason Momoa would be a perfect Dain. I love Amy Adams, I also think she would have been a perfect Amy in the movie version of Gone Girl.

So, Lord of Scoundrels is not your typical romance although the cover is horrid. I enjoyed it and thought it was the perfect book to read in June. 

July is Mary, and she is having us read The Host.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Night is Alive - Review

Title: The Night is Alive (Krewe of Hunters series)
Author: Heather Graham
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:


It's a city of beauty, history& hauntings. And one of the most haunted places in Savannah is a tavern called The Dragonslayer, built in the 1750s. The current owner, Gus Anderson, is a descendant of the original innkeeper and his pirate brother, Blue.

Gus summons his granddaughter, Abigail, home from Virginia, where she's studying at the FBI Academy. When she arrives, she's devastated to find him dead. Murdered. But Abby soon learns that Gus isn't the only one to meet a brutal and untimely end; there have been at least two other victims. Then Captain Blue Anderson starts making ghostly appearances, and the FBI's paranormal investigation unit, the Krewe of Hunters, sends in Agent Malachi Gordon. 

Abby and Malachi have a similar ability to connect with the dead;and a similar stubbornness. Sparks immediately begin to fly ;sparks of attraction and discord. But as the death toll rises, they have to trust each other or they, too, might find themselves among the dead haunting old Savannah!

My thoughts:

I love this series. I am always excited to see a new one on NetGalley, they are so fun and entertaining. They are like an indulgent treat for me. I curl up on my couch with a cold beverage and comfy clothes, and read away the hours. Sometimes one of my cats or Penny will join me, cozied up behind the backs of my knees.

This one particularly interested me, as it is set in Savannah, one of my favorite cities to visit. The plot made full use of Savannah's piratical history, with pirate boat shows, nautical themed bars, and even a ghost pirate. Sounds like something out of Scooby Doo!

Unlike Scooby Doo though, there is a serial killer preying upon tourists in Savannah. Abigail, an FBI agent in training, is called home by her only remaining family member, her grandfather Gus. He feels something hinky is going on and wants to discuss it with Abigail. Unfortunately, Abigail arrives to find him dead.

Abigail once saw the resident ghost of her ancestor Blue, a gentleman pirate. He is said to only show himself to warn the family of trouble that is about to befall them. Abigail saw him once as a child, when a violent criminal attempted to break into her grandparent's house and bar, The Dragonslayer.  Abigail sees him again upon her return, and calls in the big guns, the Krewe of Hunters. She knows her grandfather did not merely died of a heart attack as the medics believe, and is relying on the Krewe to find out the truth.

There is the usual romance that accompanies these novels, but it was very minor compared to the central plot of the book. The mystery was very well played, and I didn't figure out who the killer was until Graham basically spells it out for the reader, and I generally do.

As always, this series was entertaining, interesting, and set in one of the best cities in the United States, in my opinion. If you are looking for a relaxing indulgence, I definitely recommend The Night is Alive.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we share what we have read and what we are reading and see what everyone else is reading.

If you celebrate the 4th of July, I hope it was wonderful! I had a great time with my family, hanging out, eating, drinking sangria. I spent some time bonding with my new red haired second cousin Hannah. Please ignore my crazy hair. Lol. I also was able to spend time with two of my former college roommates and their children. It was so fun, especially since one of them lives in Austin and I rarely see her and her husband. 

Read Last Week:


Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes: I love this movie, so when I saw this book in a free bin, I took it home with me. The book is very different from the movie, and honestly, I like the book better. As always.  

Main Street by Sinclair Lewis: I am not finished with this yet, although I did read it last week. It started off so slowly for me, and I really couldn't stand one of the main characters, but she is starting to grow on me, and the book is picking up for me.

Reading This Week:

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving: One of my favorite books of all time, I am excited to be reading it as part of the Estella Society Readalong.