Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Teaser Tuesday



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My teaser Tuesday is from: Of Bees & Mist by Erick Setiawan 


    The Matchmaker must have arrived while she had taken her morning bath, for she had not heard the front door open since the blue mist deposited Gabriel a half hour ago.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

(7) Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus

Title: Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus: Inside the World of a Woman Born in Prison by Deborah Jiang Stein
Publisher: Cell 7 Media
181 pages
Genre: Memoir

Synopsis: The story of a woman whose gift for finding purpose in life drives her to help others change their lives even as she struggles to accept and overcome her own past - born heroin addicted to a mother in prison. Her story proves we're more than a sum of our parts, and there's always a chance for redemption.

Review: Deborah Jiang Stein's story could be tragic instead its empowering, it could be depressing, instead its uplifting.  I finished this book in a few hours because I couldn't put it down.  Brutally honest and unapologetic Deborah tells the story of finding out as a young girl that her birth mother gave birth to her while in prison and how she lived in a foster home before she came to live with her adoptive family.  This information colors Deborah's life from that point forward.  From her spiral into drug and alcohol addiction, drug running and petty crimes to getting sober, reconciling with her family and creating a fabulous life with two kids and a career not only as an author but a speaker and supporter of women in prison.

Deborah was adopted by a white Jewish family in the 1960's while segregation was still alive and well.  She doesn't know what race she is, but she knows she isn't white.  Her parents thought ignoring her differences were best as well as ignoring her past.  They didn't know any better.  Her parents were renegades, adopting a multi-racial child before it was acceptable, they were in academia and outsiders due to their religion. All these things could have led Deborah to remain a bitter and angry person but she has reconciled her past seen the gifts her parents have given her and uses them to inspire her children and the women she speaks with in prison. A wonderful uplifting novel of redemption, forgiveness and finding peace within yourself.

A Good Story or Good Writing

Booking it Through Thursdays asks:

Which is more important a good story or good writing?

I have to say to me they sort of go hand in hand but if I had to choose one I would go with a good story.  I can get past some icky text if the story grabs me but if the story sucks even if the writing is superb its still a boring sucky book.  So I guess a good story is more important to me.

(6) The Art of Racing in the Rain

Title: The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel by Garth Stein
Publisher: Harper Perennial
336 pages
Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, ZoĆ«, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny's old racing videos, coins aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man. When Denny hits an extended rough patch, Enzo remains his most steadfast if silent supporter.

Review: I think I'm the last person I know who hadn't read this book and I thought it was fabulous, I'm not sure what took me so long to pick it up.  A touching story told by the dog's perspective on his life and that of his owners.  Enzo loves racing, watching television and going for runs and in between he becomes very philosophical about life. As his owners go through hard times Enzo is there to comfort them and gets frustrated by his lack of ability to communicate but I think he does a fair job of getting his point across.

Enzo uses racing metaphors are guides for life. Your car goes where your eye leads you, we are all extensions of everything, where you focus your energy is what happens in your life, don't hold on too tight, relax and enjoy the moment... how true all of this is and what a great way to get people to hear it.  Enzo is my hero.

This is a story that will stick with me for quite some time.  It also makes me look at my own dogs and wonder what they have going on in their heads. If you are a dog lover, owner or just love animals this story touches the heart.  Its beautiful, heart wrenching and powerful.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WWW Wednesday


WWW Wednesday is brought to you by shouldbereading.wordpress.com

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

1) The Art of Racing in The Rain by Garth Stein - I think I'm the only one left who hasn't read this.  My girlfriend just finished it and told me to read it and because I like tranquility in my relationship I am reading it. :)

2) Street Rules by Baxter Clare - eh so so - but its a good series (this was the 2nd book in the series and even the author doesn't think its her best work.

3) I'm still going with my next read being Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

(5) Street Rules

Title: Street Rules by Baxter Clare
Publisher: Bella Books
260 Pages
Genre: lgbt mystery

Synopsis: For `Frank,` L.A.P.D. Homicide Lieutenant L.A. Franco and her homicide squad, it's business as usual -- a multiple murder, ugly as it is, at least seems to have an easy explanation. Until it coincides with an untimely drive-by shooting. The investigation ultimately pulls Frank and her squad in conflicting directions while drawing Frank closer to the county's new Chief Coroner, Gail Lawless. Through a series of twists and turns, all Frank's leads eventually bring her to the disquieting possibility that the killer she seeks might well be one of her own brothers in blue.

Review: Much slower than the last "Detective Franco" book but intriguing.  You can really see the politics of the police force in this one and how Frank has to work around some of the good ole boys club in order to get her job done. I also think she did a good job showing the cycle of street gangs and how short some of the members lives can be.  If you get to be 20 in a street gang you are lucky. There is a lot of gang lingo in this book which can sometimes leaving you scratching your head and trying to catch up and there are a lot of typos.  Particularly toward the end of the book.  When the characters name was Gail and the text read Gay I was really confused but then figured out it was a massive typo that spanned a few pages. Not her best but I still like the characters and this book shows the beginning of Franks relationship with the County Coroner Gail.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

(4) How it Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent

Title: How It Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent: A Book by Kids for Kids of All Ages by Judith E Snow
Publisher: Harrington Park Press
101 Pages
Genre: Non-fiction

Synopsis: How It Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent: A Book by Kids for Kids of All Ages gives voice to the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of children, adolescents, and young adults who have a gay or lesbian parent. In their own words, they talk openly and candidly about how and when they learned of their parent’s sexual orientation and the effect it had on them—and their families. Their stories echo themes of prejudice and harassment, conflict and confusion, adaptation and adjustment, and hope for tolerance and a family that can exist in harmony.

Review: The kids interviewed for this book range in age from seven to thirty-one.  It is interesting to see the differences and the similarities in all of their situations.  It seems that most of them were okay with their parents being gay it but when they were in elementary school or middle school they were scared their friends would make fun of them. Once the teens hit high school they didn't care as much but many were selective about who they told.  The other interesting thing I found was that most of the kids were more concerned about their parents being happy and wishing that their parents were still together despite them liking the other people in their parents lives.  Almost all of the kids expressed that they were either happy to know other kids with gay parents or that they wished they did know other kids with gay parents.  Sharing that bond was important for them.

I really liked hearing the stories from the kids point of view and seeing how they were similar or different depending on their ages.  This book was originally printed in 2004, I would love to see a follow up book with a whole new crop of teens and pre-teens since there have been so many significant changes in the world since it was first published. Not to mention I think there are many more visible LGBT families out there now.  

I think this book could be very valuable to kids whose parents are just coming out or are having a hard time adjusting to their parents being gay.  Knowing that there are other kids in their shoes and knowing that they might feel similar makes you feel not as alone.

WWW Wednesday


WWW Wednesday is brought to you by shouldbereading.wordpress.com

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

1) Street Rules by Baxter Clare
2) How it Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent by Judith Snow
3) Not sure but I'm thinking Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

(3) The Hidden Child

Title: The Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg
Publisher: Harper
504 pages
Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: Detective Patrik Hedstrom is on paternity leave. But his wife's enquiries appear to have set off a chain of murders and he's finding it hard to keep out of the investigation.

A terrible secret from the darkest days of World War II is coming to light and their families histories are right at the heart of it.

Review: What a fabulous book.  I loved the characters and learning about Sweden and Norway's involvement in WWII was really interesting.  I was caught up in the mystery from moment one and couldn't figure out what was going on until the very last few pages when everyone else in the book figured it all out.

Unraveling the past from a few clippings, a bloody child's tshirt and an SS Nazi medal Erica and her husband Patrik find themselves caught up in a mystery that involves both of their families and secrets that have remained hidden for years .  Everything about this book was fabulous.  I loved the way the beginning of each new chapter flipped back to the past and told the story as if it was happening right then, then we would be thrust back into the future to see where these characters are now and how their lives all intertwine.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Booking Through Thursdays - Interview Part 2


Weekly questions brought to you by Booking Through Thursdays! This interview is about me.  My answers are in bold.

 1. What’s your favorite time of day to read? Anytime really.  I carry a book with me always...if I have a free minute I read.

 2. Do you read during breakfast? (Assuming you eat breakfast.) I don't always eat breakfast, but if I do during the week or am alone on the weekends I usually do have my book open.

 3. What’s your favorite breakfast food? (Noting that breakfast foods can be eaten any time of day.) This really depends on my mood, I love french toast,omelets and occasionally pancakes.

 4. How many hours a day would you say you read? Between 2-4 hours

 5. Do you read more or less now than you did, say, 10 years ago? No, I read about the same, just different stuff.  Being in school has cut into my pleasure reading so I am reading a lot of journal articles, and textbooks as opposed to novels.

 6. Do you consider yourself a speed reader? No but I can read rather quickly given the time.  When I have a lot on my plate I tend to not read as much, mostly due to overwhelm and an inability to concentrate. 

 7. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? I don't know but flying would be pretty cool, or teleportation, that might be equally as good. 

 8. Do you carry a book with you everywhere you go? Usually - sometimes I forget which bums me out.

 9. What KIND of book? Any kind, hardcover, paperback or my kindle depending on my mood. I guess if I'm really stuck I could just download a kindle app on my iphone as well. 

 10. How old were you when you got your first library card? I don't remember but I have very fond memories of going to the library with my mother and attending their summer reading programs. 


11. What’s the oldest book you have in your collection? (Oldest physical copy? Longest in the collection? Oldest copyright?) I'm not sure exactly but I have some from when my grandparents were young, and some from when my mother was a child. Longest in my collection? That would have to be my Uncle Wiggly book - I loved that book as a kid, not sure how I held on to it for so long but I did.

12. Do you read in bed? yep

13. Do you write in your books? Not usually, I'm not even a fan of writing in my textbooks. 

14. If you had one piece of advice to a new reader, what would it be? Try every genre, even if you don't like it the first time try it again later, you never know what you will like and tastes change as do author styles.

15. What question have I NOT asked at BTT that you’d love me to ask? (Actually, leave the answer to this one in the comments on this post, huh? So I can find them when I need inspiration!)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

W...W...W... Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is brought to you by shouldbereading.wordpress.com

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?
  1. Currently Reading: The Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg
  2. Recently Finished Reading: Waiting to Forget by Sheila Kelly Welch
  3. Not sure what I'll read next but probably something trashy....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My Tuesday Teaser is:The Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg
    'As if that would stop me,' muttered Per, 'And that old man with the Nazi stuff? He got what he deserved. I heard the way he talked to my father when he came to get me.

Monday, January 9, 2012

(2) Waiting to Forget

Title: Waiting to Forget by Sheila Kelly Welch
Publisher: Namelos
170 Pages
Genre: YA

Synopsis: T.J. has always looked out for his little sister, Angela. When Momma used to go out and leave them home alone, he'd lock the door so they'd be safe, keep Angela entertained, and get out the cereal and milk for her. When Momma's boyfriend got angry at them, he'd try to protect Angela. Later, at their foster homes, T.J. was the only one who knew how to coax his little sister out of her bad moods. The only one who understood why she made origami paper cranes and threw them out the window. But now T.J. is sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, wondering if Angela, unconscious after a fall, will ever wake up. Wondering, too, if he will ever feel at home with his and Angela's new parents—Marlene, who insists on calling him Timothy, and Dan, who seems to want a different son. Going back and forth between Now and Then, weaving the uncertain present with the painful past, T.J.'s story unfolds, and with the unfolding comes a new understanding of how to move forward.

Review: What you didn't know about foster kids before they became foster kids.  TJ and Angela's mom just can't seem to cope with having two kids.  She relies on unreliable men to get her through and when that falls apart she stands on her own for a few moments before falling back into her pattern.  Now TJ and Angela are in a new home, a permanent adoptive home but TJ isn't sure how he feels about that. As his sister is cared for in the emergency room after a fall TJ goes through his life book and reflects back on his 12 years of life.  This is a great book for parents of foster kids, or parents who are adopting from the foster system.  It is also an excellent book for children in foster care or foster to adopt situations since it shows that the conflicting emotions about birth parents are normal.  This is a great book for understanding what might be going on in the mind of a child whose only past experience of family has been one of upheaval and let down.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Booking Through Thursdays: Interview Part 1

Booking Through Thursdays is a weekly meme- this weeks question is: If you could interview anyone who would it be and what would you ask them?

I had a hard time with this question.  There are several authors that I would like to interview but I guess the one that always seems to come to mind is Jasper Fforde.  I am completely in awe of his talent and would love to be a fly on the wall of his computer while he is writing.  So what would I ask him?

You seem to be extremely well read where do you come up with your ideas?
Did you write as a child?
Will there be any more Nursery Crime books?
Have you always been a fan of Nursery Rhymes?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

(1) Wrecker: a Novel

Title: Wrecker: A Novel by Summer Wood
Publisher: Bloomsbury
287 pages
Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: It's June of 1965 when Wrecker enters the world. The war is raging in Vietnam, San Francisco is tripping toward flower power, and Lisa Fay, Wrecker's birth mother, is knocked nearly sideways by life as a single parent in a city she can barely manage to navigate on her own. Three years later, she's in prison, and Wrecker is left to bounce around in the system before he's shipped off to live with distant relatives in the wilds of Humboldt County, California. When he arrives he's scared and angry, exploding at the least thing, and quick to flee. Wrecker is the story of this boy and the motley group of isolated eccentrics who come together to raise him and become a family along the way.

Review: Families are complicated and at a time when the US is debating about who should be able to adopt, who should be able to marry etc. this is the perfect time to read this book. Wrecker is about love. Love of a little boy who needs a family and the people who fall in line to help him.  Sometimes it truly takes a village to raise a child and the Wrecker is one of those children.

His mother in jail, his aunt disabled and his uncle unable to care for a wild 3 year old boy and his aunt, his uncle turns to his eccentric neighbors for help.  The three women and one man who live there all take to Wrecker immediately.  They all have secrets and feel a kinship with Wrecker.  They raise him as their own proving that love is what builds a family.  When Wreckers biological mother gets out of prison you hold your breathe waiting for what will happen next and I'm not going to spoil that for you.  You have to experience it for yourself.  A beautifully told story about family.  Great way to start off a new year.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Teaser Tuesday


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • Wrecker by Summer Wood - "And still there seemed to be something unforgivable, something almost reprehensible, about condoning the way things had worked out. He'd been deprived of a past."  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012

Happy 2012!  I have set a goal of 100 book to read for the past few years and missed my mark by less than 10 each time.  This time I am determined to complete my goal.  School really cut into some reading time and although I am still going to school I think I will be able to fulfill my goal without much trouble this year.

Books I'm looking forward to in 2012: 



  1. A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison
  2. Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
  3. The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice
  4. Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
  5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
What books are you looking forward to?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...