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Showing posts from March, 2012

Review: "Prophet's Prey" by Sam Brower

From Goodreads:  From the private investigator who cracked open the case that led to the arrest of Warren Jeffs, the maniacal prophet of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), comes the page-turning, horrifying story of how a rogue sect used sex, money, and power disguised under a fav├čade of religion to further criminal activities and a madman's vision. Despite considerable press coverage and a lengthy trial, the full story has remained largely untold. Only one man can reveal the whole, astounding truth: Sam Brower, the private investigator who devoted years of his life to breaking open the secret practices of the FLDS and bringing Warren Jeffs and his inner circle to justice. In Prophet's Prey , Brower implicates Jeffs in his own words, bringing to light the contents of Jeffs's personal priesthood journal, discovered in a hidden underground vault, and revealing to readers the shocking inside world of FLDS members, whose trust he earned and w

Happy Friday (28)

Woohoo!! FRIDAY!  It's been a super busy week so I am so glad it's the weekend! Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View . This week's question is:  Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more? For some reason, I can only read one book at a time.  If I try to read more than one book, I wind up putting one completely aside (sometimes for good) to read another.  I also get kind of stressed out about having more than one unfinished book.  I just like to read one and then move on to the next. Do you read more than one book at a time?

Review: "The Forgotten Garden" by Kate Morton

From Goodreads:  A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery. The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory from the international best-selling author Kate Morton. Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra's life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family. Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace - the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early twentieth century - Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell on a quest to find out the truth about their history

Review: "Think" by Michael R. LeGault

From Goodreads:  In "Think!," award-winning author LeGault refutes the 2005 bestseller "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thought" and describes an intellectual crisis in our country, the factors that created it, and why thinking is relevant to everyday lives, jobs, and quality of life. My Thoughts:  The main premise of this book is that critical thinking is declining and how important is for people to use reason to make decisions as opposed to just making snap decisions.  He stressed the importance of looking at problems from all angles and thinking about all aspects of the problem before making a decision.   LeGault spoke extensively about how politics, the media and culture in the United States have turned intellectualism and critical thinking into negative things.  I found a lot of his assertions to be spot on; he talks a lot about millenials which include students in high school and college and their relationship with teachers and parent and the thi

Top Ten Books I'd Play Hooky With

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic is:  Top Ten Books I Would Play Hooky With To be perfectly honest, if I could I would probably play hooky with any book.  I would much rather stay home and read than go to work.  Unfortunately, this time of year is the busiest at work and it's not easy to call in sick.  Here are a few books that might make it super hard for me to go work. 1.) Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward- As I have said before I have been waiting for 9 books to read Tohr's story.  It will be hard to go to work when I know this will be waiting for me at home. 2.) The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead- I miss the Vampire Academy gang!  There was also kind of a cliffhanger at the end of Bloodlines so I want to see where that leads. 3.) Written with My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon- Oh my goodness, I have only been waiting for this book for 3 years!  It's the one book I told the hubs I could break

Review: "Trafficked" by Kim Purcell

From Goodreads:  A 17-year-old Moldovan girl whose parents have been killed is brought to the United States to work as a slave for a family in Los Angeles. Hannah believes she's being brought from Moldova to Los Angeles to become a nanny for a Russian family. But her American dream quickly spirals into a nightmare. The Platonovs force Hannah to work sixteen-hour days, won't let her leave the house, and seem to have a lot of secrets - from Hannah and from each other. Stranded in a foreign land with false documents, no money, and nobody who can help her, Hannah must find a way to save herself from her new status as a modern-day slave or risk losing the one thing she has left: her life. My Thoughts:  I have been interested in horrors of human trafficking for some time.  It's hard not to notice when studying Russia and Eastern Europe but it still seems like it's this invisible thing that people don't know about or choose not to know about.  I applaud Ms. Purcell fo

In My Mailbox (45)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren . I am still trying to not buy books and so far I haven't bought a book since January.  Yay!  Instead, I have had to spend a bunch of money on running shoes which has been quite the epic disaster.  Boo.   I only picked up one book this week and it was from the library. Spellbound  by Rachel Hawkins  Demonglass had such a cliffhanger ending so I am ready to see what will happen next. What was in your mailbox this week?

Review: "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare

From Goodreads:  Dark and bloody drama of ambition, guilt, and revenge centers on an ambitious Scottish nobleman who murders the king in order to succeed to the throne. Tortured by his conscience and fearful of discovery, he becomes fatally enmeshed in a web of treachery and deceit that spells his doom. My Thoughts:   I don't have a lot to say about this play so I will keep it short and sweet.   I know that this is one of Shakespeare's most famous plays but I just couldn't get into it.  I normally like Shakespeare and was looking forward to finally reading Macbeth but I was just so disappointed.  Maybe I wasn't in the right frame of mind for reading it but it just didn't work for me.  Macbeth seemed like a likeable character in the beginning and then it was all 'Hey, let's kill everyone so I can be king.  Woohoo!'  Lady Macbeth was kind of bad ass; crazy but still not afraid to get things done.  The witches were kind of fun (I kept picturing the

Review: "City of Glass" by Cassandra Clare

From Goodreads:  To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight. As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?  My Thoughts:  Hands down, this is my fa

Review: "The Dressmaker" by Kate Alcott

 From Goodreads:  Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she's had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes. Amidst the chaos and desperate urging of two very different suitors, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. Tess’s sailor also manages to survive unharmed, witness to Lady Duff Gordon’s questionable actions during the tragedy. Others—including the gallant Midwestern tycoon—are not so lucky. On dry land, rumors about the survivors begin to circulate, and Lady Duff Gordon quickly becomes the subject of media scorn and later, the hearings on the Titanic . Set against a historical tragedy but told from a completely fresh angle, The Dressmaker is an atmospheric delight filled with all the

Top Ten Books on My Spring 'To Be Read' List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic:  Top Ten Books on My Spring 'To Be Read' List 1.) Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward- I have been wanting a Tohr book ever since I read Dark Lover.  I can't wait for this one! 2.) Spellbound by Rachel Hawkins- Demonglass had a crazy cliffhanger ending so I am ready to find out what happened. 3.) City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare- I am trying to catch up on this series before City of Lost Souls comes out. 4.) City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare- The cover is so pretty, how can you not want to read it? 5.) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green- I can't believe I still haven't read this!  It's on my nook just waiting for me to read it. 6.) 11/22/63 by Stephen King- I spent all winter waiting for this book and it's sitting on my shelf right now, I just got caught up in other things. 7.) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo- Another cover

Review: "You Know When the Men are Gone" by Siobhan Fallon

From Goodreads:  In Fort Hood housing, like all army housing, you get used to hearing through the walls... You learn too much. And you learn to move quietly through your own small domain. You also know when the men are gone. No more boots stomping above, no more football games turned up too high, and, best of all, no more front doors slamming before dawn as they trudge out for their early formation, sneakers on metal stairs, cars starting, shouts to the windows above to throw them down their gloves on cold desert mornings. Babies still cry, telephones ring, Saturday morning cartoons screech, but without the men, there is a sense of muted silence, a sense of muted life.   There is an army of women waiting for their men to return in Fort Hood, Texas. Through a series of loosely interconnected stories, Siobhan Fallon takes readers onto the base, inside the homes, into the marriages and families-intimate places not seen in newspaper articles or politicians' speeches. When you leav

In My Mailbox (44)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren . For Review: The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas (Isn't the cover pretty?!) From the Library: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare What books did you get this week?

Happy Friday (27)

Happy Friday everyone!  The weather is supposed to be gorgeous here and I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend and the NCAA tournament (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!).  Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read . Q: What is the best book you've read in the last month? What is the worst book you've read in the last month? The best book I have read this month is You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon.  It's a book of short stories about soldiers and their families at Fort Hood.  It was really thought-provoking. I am totally going to get flamed for this but the worst book I have read this month was probably Macbeth.  I love Shakespeare but this one just didn't do it for me. What are the best and worst books you have read in the past month?

Review: "Archive 17" by Sam Eastland

From Goodreads:  It is 1939. Russia teeters on the verge of war with Germany. It is also on the brink of bankruptcy. To preserve his regime, Stalin orders a search for the legendary missing gold of Tsar Nicholas II. For this task, he chooses Pekkala, the former investigator for the Tsar. To accomplish his mission, Pekkala will go undercover, returning to Siberia and the nightmare of his own past, where he was once a prisoner in the notorious Gulag known as Borodok. Pekkala must infiltrate a gang of convicts still loyal to the Tsar who, it is rumored, know the whereabouts of the precious gold. He soon learns that the best-kept secrets are those that no one even knows exist. In the brutal frozen fortress where his survival once made him a myth, he begins to unravel the true identity of a murdered inmate, whose own mission to Siberia has lain buried for years deep within the mysterious Archive 17, where long-lost files obscure a shocking conspiracy that could decide the future of th

Review: "Lover Unleashed" by J.R. Ward

From Goodreads:  Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, warrior cloth as her brother: A fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either. When she suffers a paralyzing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat her as only he can- and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous, secret world. Although he never before believed in things that go bump in the night- like vampires- he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul. As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy. My Thoughts:  I can't get enough of this series.  I wasn't super excited to read Lover Unleashed simply because I did

Top Ten Classics

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic is to make a list of the Top Ten X Genre books.  I think I have done Top Ten Historical Fiction books before so this time I am going to do Top Ten Classics (in my opinion). 1.) War and Peace by Lev Tolstoy -This book is huge but talk about an EPIC story. 2.) 1984 by George Orwell/ We by Yevgenii Zamiatin- Dystopian at it's very best. 3.) All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque- Even though this book was written post WWI, it is still incredibly relevant today.  4.) East of Eden by John Steinbeck- Oh my, the writing and characters are AMAZING.  5.) A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickons- I love all of Dickons' metaphors.  I know a lot of people who hate this book but I thoroughly enjoyed it. 6.) One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn- The classic gulag book...a must read. 7.) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury- This is one of my all t

Review: "Sister Queens" by Julia Fox

From Goodreads:  The history books have cast Katherine of Aragon, the first queen of King Henry VIII of England, as the ultimate symbol of the Betrayed Woman, cruelly tossed aside in favor of her husband’s seductive mistress, Anne Boleyn. Katherine’s sister, Juana of Castile, wife of Philip of Burgundy and mother of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, is portrayed as “Juana the Mad,” whose erratic behavior included keeping her beloved late husband’s coffin beside her for years. But historian Julia Fox, whose previous work painted an unprecedented portrait of Jane Boleyn, Anne’s sister, offers deeper insight in this first dual biography of Katherine and Juana, the daughters of Spain’s Ferdinand and Isabella, whose family ties remained strong despite their separation. Looking through the lens of their Spanish origins, Fox reveals these queens as flesh-and-blood women—equipped with character, intelligence, and conviction—who are worthy historical figures in their own right. When they we

In My Mailbox (43)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren . From the Library: Trafficked by Kim Purcell I must say that I LOVE my local library.  I really wanted to read this book and they didn't have it.  So I suggested they purchase it...and they did!  I was pretty surprised. Borrowed from my boss: Think:  Why Crucial Decisions Can't be Made in the Blink of an Eye by Michael R. LeGault What books did you get this week?

Happy Friday!! (26)

Happy Friday everyone!! I had a pretty craptastic week so I am excited for a nice relaxing weekend! Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee's View . Q: Have you ever looked at book's cover and thought, This is going to horrible? But, was instead pleasantly surprised? Show us the cover and tell us about the book. I must have seen the Outlander books a hundred times at the library.  Every time I would see it on the shelf I would pick it up and think, 'Hmm...no way' and move on to something else.  The cover did absolutely nothing for me.  I honestly don't think I ever would have read it if my aunt hadn't raved about the series.  I must say that I was completing misjudging the book because I absolutely loved Outlander and the subsequent books in the series.  What cover turned you off initially?

Review: "Ripper" by Amy Carol Reeves

From Goodreads:  A paranormal mystery involving London’s most notorious killer In 1888, following her mother’s sudden death, seventeen-year-old Arabella Sharp goes to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. At her grandmother’s request, Abbie volunteers at Whitechapel Hospital, where she discovers a passion for helping the unfortunate women and children there. But within days, female patients begin turning up brutally murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper. Even more horrifying, Abbie starts having strange visions that lead her straight to the Ripper’s next massacres. As her apparent psychic connection with the twisted killer grows stronger, Abbie is drawn into a deadly mystery involving the murders, her mother’s shadowed past, and a secret brotherhood of immortals—who’ll stop at nothing to lure Abbie into its “humanitarian” aims. My Thoughts:  I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I was really surprised by how good this book was

Review: "The Wilder Life" by Wendy McClure

From Goodreads:  Wendy McClure is on a quest to find the world of beloved Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder-a fantastic realm of fiction, history, and places she's never been to, yet somehow knows by heart. She retraces the pioneer journey of the Ingalls family- looking for the Big Woods among the medium trees in Wisconsin, wading in Plum Creek, and enduring a prairie hailstorm in South Dakota. She immerses herself in all things Little House, and explores the story from fact to fiction, and from the TV shows to the annual summer pageants in Laura's hometowns. Whether she's churning butter in her apartment or sitting in a replica log cabin, McClure is always in pursuit of "the Laura experience." Along the way she comes to understand how Wilder's life and work have shaped our ideas about girlhood and the American West. The Wilder Life is a loving, irreverent, spirited tribute to a series of books that have inspired generations of Ame

Top Ten Favorite Covers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic:  My Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (I am not usually a huge fantasy lover but the cover of this book sucked me in!  It's gorgeous!) The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges (I love the way the snow is all swirly on this cover) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Such a creepy cover!!) The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory (I don't even like her books but the cover made me read it) The Jewel of St. Petersburg by Kate Furnivall (LOVE the red dress and the palace in the background) Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (Another book I didn't want to read but did anyway because of the cover) Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracey Chevalier (AMAZING) A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (All of the books in the trilogy have gorgeous covers) Revolution by Jennifer Donn

To Sell or Not to Sell?

I have a ton of books.  And I have moved many of them several times.  The hubs and I are moving again this summer and I have accumulated quite a few books since we moved almost 2 years.  I am starting to wonder how many of them I really want to move again.  For example, I own quite a few Anne Rice books (10+) and I have moved them at least 8 times and across different states.  When I bought them I was sure that I would reread them because I love Anne Rice's writing...but I haven't.  There are quite a few books I own because I JUST HAD to have them on my shelf.  Now I am starting to rethink this.  A lot of the books I would want to get rid of are on the 'looking for' board at Half Price Books. I also have four bookshelves in my dining room.  Two are lovely huge oak bookshelves while two of them are smaller and less nice looking but still match each other.  I would kind of like to use the smaller shelves for other things when we move and be able to fit all my books on t

Review: "The Wolf Gift" by Anne Rice

From Goodreads:  The time is the present. The place, the rugged coast of northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest. A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer. . . an older woman, welcoming him into her magnificent, historic family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . an idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence. . .The young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing who—what—he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift. As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery an

In My Mailbox (42)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren . I only received one book this week!  But that's okay...I kind of need to stay away from NetGalley for a while until I got caught up on the books I have already received from them. I received: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo  I am obsessed with the cover!  As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to read this book. What did was in your mailbox this week?

Happy Friday! (25)

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read . This week's question:  What book would you love to see made into a movie or television show and do you have actors/actresses in mind to play the main characters? This is such a hard question!  So many books that I love have already been made into movies so it's hard to think of another.  I think Vampire Academy/Bloodlines could make for a good t.v. show following all the shenanigans of the Moroi and Dhampirs at St. Vladimir's.  There are enough different characters and crazy things going on to keep a show interesting and there is too much going on to make a movie.  I think they would have to pick unknown actors for this show though.  I can't imagine any famous actors doing justice to the roles of Adrian, Lissa, Rose and Dmitri; I love these characters and the cast would need to be as similar to the book characters as possible. What books would you have made into a movie/t.v. sho

Review: "The Last Romanov" by Dora Levy Mossanen

From Goodreads:  For almost a century, Imperial Russia has captivated the imagination— the ruthless execution of the royal family, the disputed survival of the heir: it’s a cinematic chaos that the masterful Dora Levy Mossanen unravels for her readers. Taking readers deep into tarnished grandeur, The Last Romanov follows Darya, a wise old beauty whose time spent with the Imperial family has haunted her entire life. When the murderous events unfold, Darya is plagued by the prophecy made by the Empress’s advisor, Rasputin. She must find the missing Tsarevich Alexis Romanov and restore the monarchy or risk losing her own life. My Thoughts:  I received this book for review from NetGalley.  I am fascinated by all things Russian and especially by Imperial Russian history which is why I was so drawn to this book.  That being said, I really didn't enjoy this book.  The story was slow and strange and I could not get into it all.  Darya was an interesting character but she was the only