Monday, December 31, 2012


Another year has come and gone.  I didn't have as much time for reading as I had hoped this past year still struggling to reach my goal of 100 books in a year.  I used to be able to do this but life has gotten in the way.  Moving, school, kids, etc...I can't wait until 2013 - I will not be moving again, I will be finished school and summer looks to be filled with nice long days on the beach.  Sounds like a good time to me.

I wish everyone a safe and happy beginning to 2013 - and many happy reads in the coming year.

I am once again hosting the LGBT reading challenge so please sign up...the more the merrier...always looking for more titles to add to my list.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My favorite Books of 2012

This is my top 10 favorite books that I've read this year.  That does not necessarily mean that they were published this past year some may have been published long ago and some may not be published until 2013 but all the books on this list were read by me in 2012.

This list is in no particular order I just put them down as I remembered them.

This was a tough year of reading for me.  I've been in Grad school and I moved.  Luckily I am done school in April 2013 so I'm hoping my favorite reading list for 2013 won't be as hard to create!

  1. Papillion by Henri Charriere
  2. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  3. Cross in the Closet by Timothy Kurek
  4. Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus by Debra Jiang Stein
  5. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  6. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks
  7. Tyger Tyger Burning Bright by Justine Saracen
  8. Snow Angels by James Thompson
  9. The Calling by Inger Ash Wolfe
  10. Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan

Thursday, December 20, 2012

(77) What He Can Expect When She's Not Expecting

Title: What He Can Expect When She's Not Expecting: How to Support Your Wife, Save Your Marriage, and Conquer Infertility! by Marc Sedaka
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc
189 pages
Genre: non-fiction - infertility - surrogacy, ivf, adoption


Tips and advice from a man who’s been there, for the six million couples struggling to get pregnant.

Marc Sedaka stood by while he and his wife endured endless rounds of drug therapies, sixteen artificial inseminations, ten in-vitro fertilizations, three miscarriages, and, finally, a gestational surrogate (“womb for rent”) who carried their twin girls to term. He was as supportive and loving as he could be, but he really wished he’d had a book like What He Can Expect When She’s Not Expecting during the process. Most books about dealing with infertility are geared toward women, leaving the man to his own devices when it comes to comfort and encouragement (never a good idea). With the help of his own infertility doctor, Sedaka provides straightforward guy-friendly advice on situations such as:
  • What questions you should ask at the consultations.
  • How to help rather than annoy.
  • What kinds of tests you and your wife should expect.
  • How to console a wife who appears inconsolable.
  • How to enjoy procreation sex.
Review: This is a great book.  It really explains the infertility testing process and IVF in laymans terms and with humor.  It lets men know what they are in for without having to ask the doctor or feeling like they are the only ones experiencing these hormonal ups and downs.  One of the best sentences is when he explains how guys may want kids, but women need kids, and while this may not be true for all men and women, those going through the rigorous process of infertility are certain to have this ring true.  

Marc uses his own experiences to help guide men around and through pitfalls that he and many others have encountered.  Using sports metaphors and eliminating most of the scientific and gross descriptions this book could be very helpful to any man helping his wife through the infertility process.  There is a little bit at the end about other options for forming your family egg donation, embryo donation, gestational surrogacy and adoption.  

(76) The Prophet

Title: The Prophet (The Graveyard Queen) by Amanda Stevens
Publisher: Mira
352 pages
Genre: paranormal/ fantasy

Synopsis: My name is Amelia Gray.

I am the Graveyard Queen, a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. My father passed down four rules to keep me safe and I've broken every last one. A door has opened and evil wants me back.

In order to protect myself, I've vowed to return to those rules. But the ghost of a murdered cop needs my help to find his killer. The clues lead me to the dark side of Charleston—where witchcraft, root doctors and black magic still flourish—and back to John Devlin, a haunted police detective I should only love from afar.

Now I'm faced with a terrible choice: follow the rules or follow my heart.

Review: This is the third book in the Graveyard Queen series.  I liked this one much better than the last book, although I think the ending was a bit rushed.  You are left hanging waiting for the next book, and while this is good for TV I'm not a fan of it in books.

Amelia has broken all the rules her father taught her when it comes to interacting with ghosts and now she is starting to question that decision.  In the last book of this series she discovered her roots and why she may have these strange powers to talk see the dead. She also found something something evil that was seeking her.

In this 3rd book of the series Amelia returns home to the broken and haunted cop, John Devlin, She can't seem to get out of her system. Of course the ghost of the John's wife doesn't want Amelia around..or does she?  Amelia is also being haunted by the John's ex partner in the police force- and lover of his dead wife. He believes he is there to get Amelia's help to solve his murder but maybe there is more to it than he believes.

Can Amelia save herself and the man she is in love with?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

(75) More Blood, More Sweat & Another Cup of Tea

Title: More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea by Tom Reynolds
Publisher: The Friday Project
285 pages
Genre: non-fiction

Synopsis:  What happens behind closed (ambulance) doors
Meet Tom, an Emergency Medical Technician for the London Ambulance service. It is Tom who shows up to pick up the drunk tramp, the heart attack victim and the pregnant woman who wants to go to hospital in an ambulance because she doesn't want to call a taxi. Tom is also a man who rails against the unfairness of it all, who bemoans the state of the NHS and who ridicules the targets that state that if the ambulance arrives within eight minutes and the patient dies it is a success and if the ambulance arrives in nine minutes and the patient's life is saved it is a fail.

 Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of the emergency services. From the tragic to the hilarious, from the heart-warming to the terrifying, Blood, Sweat and Tea 2 is packed with fascinating anecdotes that veer from tragic to hilarious; heart-warming to terrifying and Tom deftly leads the reader through a roller coaster of emotion.

In the brilliant and bestselling Blood Sweat and Tea Tom gives a fascinating – and at times alarming – picture of life in inner-city Britain and the people who are paid to mop up after it.

Captures the thrills, heartbreak and frustrations of medicine in a way that resonates with readers around the world.

Review: Stories from his blog, Tom writes about his experiences working on an ambulance in London. He isn't too keen on General Practitioners (GP's) or those who don't seem to care about their patients after they have called the ambulance and his mood doesn't improve when he gets called to help people who are just too lazy to call for a cab.  He is not thrilled with the state of the system he works within and believes (and I have to agree) that those who use the ambulance as a taxi service should have to pay instead of the taxpayers whose money supports the ambulance service. It sounds like he is very down on his job but its exactly the opposite.  I think he loves what he does, and believes that the people deserve more.  Ambulances that don't show up for way too long because there aren't enough, or are out on bogus calls, and equipment that just isn't available and should be are some of the things he hopes to remedy.  Maybe the government should read his book and take a look at their system.

Often written as humorous anecdotes, Reynolds short snippets inside the life of an ambulance worker are inspiring as well as sad.
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