Archive for February 2010

Book giveaway!

So my blog has been going for about 2 months now and I would like to thank my readers by holding a giveaway.  While I wish I could give away gift cards or brand new releases of books or something fun like that, I’m not Ms. Moneybags, so that may have to wait for awhile.   My first giveaway ever will be the book “One Fifth Avenue” by Candace Bushnell (my fav author ever).

One Fifth Avenue

I ran out and purchased this book the week it came out and BARELY opened it, so essentially, it is in perfect, brand new condition (it’s the hardcover version, if you haven’t noticed).  Here’s the excerpt from Barnes & Noble’s website:

One Fifth Avenue, the Art Deco beauty towering over one of Manhattan’s oldest and most historically hip neighborhoods, is a one-of-a-kind address, the sort of building you have to earn your way into – one way or another. For the women in Candace Bushnell’s new novel, One Fifth Avenue, this edifice is essential to the lives they’ve carefully established – or hope to establish. From the hedge fund king’s wife to the aging gossip columnist to the free-spirited actress (a recent refugee from L.A.), each person’s game plan for a rich life comes together under the soaring roof of this landmark building.” This book is a modern-day story of old and new money, that same combustible mix that Edith Wharton mastered in her novels about New York’s Gilded Age and F. Scott Fitzgerald illuminated in his Jazz Age tales. Many decades later, Bushnell’s New Yorkers suffer the same passions as those fictional Manhattanites from eras past: They thirst for power, for social prominence, and for marriages that are successful – at least to the public eye. But Bushnell is an original, and One Fifth Avenue is so fresh that it reads as if sexual politics, real estate theft, and fortunes lost in a day have never happened before.

While I was not a fan of the book for whatever reason, it did make it onto the NY Times Best Sellers list and I know a bunch of other people who love Candace Bushnell’s work.

Here are the rules:

  • One entry per person.
  • You must leave a comment here telling me what your favorite book EVER is and why.
  • The contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Sunday, February 28th.
  • The winner will be chosen by the Random Number Generator based upon the number of your comment (the comments are not numbered, so the first comment is #1, second is #2, etc – that is why you’re only allowed one comment/entry). I will draw the winning comment number on Monday.
  • You’ll be contacted by email if you’ve been chosen, so make sure you leave a valid email address so I can contact you and arrange to ship the book.

Hope you enjoy, and I promise that I’ll come up with some better ideas for giveaways in the future.  Thanks so much for reading!!!

Odd Mom Out by Jane Porter

Recently I wanted to download a new book and was trying to pick one of the books off of the Chick Lit 100 list and just couldn’t decide.  I asked my lovely boyfriend to pick a random number from 1 to 100 and he chose 73, which was this book, “Odd Mom Out” by Jane Porter.

Marta is a single mother raising a 9-year old daughter named Eva.  Eva does not act like typical 9-year olds and it seems like she’s maybe 12 or 13 instead.  Marta and Eva have moved from New York City back to Seattle to be closer to Marta’s ailing mother.  The other parents who live in the wealthy suburbs of Seattle are comprised of a mix of Microsoft-working dads and stay-at-home moms; Marta just doesn’t fit in.  Oh, and by the way, Eva was conceived by a sperm donor, so she’s never had a father-figure in her life.  Eva has become obsessed with two things: marrying off her mother and fitting in at school with her snobby, rich classmates.

Here’s where I become iffy about the storyline.  Marta runs her own advertising agency and doesn’t wear designer clothes and rides a Harley.  Eva wants her to dress pretty and look like the other moms in their fancy clothes and nice cars.  Marta seems happy doing her own thing and doesn’t want to change and doesn’t WANT to fit in.  Yet she does make an effort to try, just to make Eva happy, and even starts to volunteer at the school with the snotty moms because that’s what Eva wants.  Now, I don’t have kids, but I’m sure that a parent would do anything to make their child happy.  But would you do that to sacrifice your own happiness and uniqueness?  I’m not sure.  I didn’t really like that message… do you really have to change if there’s nothing wrong with the way you are?  Who cares if you are different?

Marta does end up meeting a man that she is crazy about – the first time she’s dated in the 9 years that Eva’s been alive.  As she falls head over heels for Luke, she finds out some things about him that she doesn’t like, because it goes against everything she believes in (hint: he’s more like one of “them” than he is like her).  She has to weigh her options and think about what is more important to her.

I am really not sure how I feel about this book.  It wasn’t bad to read, but I just didn’t like the whole idea of “you have to change to fit in”.  I think that sends a bad message.  But that’s just me.

Jane Porter has some other chick lit books out that I’d like to check out, though.  Apparently, she also writes Harlequin romance novels.  Yeah… I don’t think “The Sicilian’s Defiant Mistress” will be on my reading list.

Special delivery!

OMG!  Look what I got in the mail today!

SDC10357

Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about “Holly’s Inbox” and said that there was a sequel that was ONLY released in the UK?  Well, guess what.  I FOUND IT!  When I was originally looking, it was not available for sale on the UK version of Amazon, although now it is.

I searched high and wide on the web and ended up finding it for sale on Alibris.com.  I’d never heard of this website before, but they sell used books, movies, music, textbooks, etc., and have a special section for rare and collectible books.  This book only cost me about $7 total.  Yes, I said $7.  The book itself was $3 and shipping was $4.  I know… crazy cheap, huh?  It was shipped from a seller in NY but it did originally come from the UK (see the British Red Cross price tag on it?).  It’s kind of yellowed and some pages are slightly ripped, but it was $7.  I’ll deal with it.

I can’t wait to start reading it!  I have to finish my current book first though (“Winter Garden” by Kristin Hannah); I can’t handle reading multiple books at one time.

Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky

I really enjoyed this book.  It reminded me a lot of Jodi Picoult’s novels for some reason; I think it was the writing style or maybe just the topic.  Jodi Picoult did tackle a similar topic in her book “Plain Truth.”

Barbara Delinsky writes about a New England high school principal named Susan who finds out that her 17-year old daughter and her two best friends (the daughters of Susan’s two best friends) have all gotten pregnant.  Ripped from the headlines, anyone?  While one teen pregnancy in their small town is a concern, three pregnancies sends the town reeling.  Fingers are pointed at Susan for being an irresponsible parent – she had also gotten pregnant at the age of 17.  In addition to Susan dealing with her daughter’s pregnancy and wondering if she was a bad mother, her job is in question and there are calls for her resignation.  Susan’s best friends are also struggling with the news from their daughters, but in different ways.

The reviews of this book by other Amazon readers were not as good as I expected and I’m not sure why.  Many people said that it was unrealistic and the parents didn’t scream at or punish their daughters for getting pregnant… but would that have really been the best way to handle it?  I think most works of fiction are unrealistic in one way or another and you just have to take it for what it is.

Barbara Delinsky has a ton of other books (nineteen total!!) that seem to have a common theme around mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends.  She has another new novel coming out in March called “More than Friends“.

The Crossroads Cafe by Deborah Smith

I would have never picked this book up off a shelf; the cover doesn’t particularly appeal to me.  I know all that stuff about not judging a book by its cover, but come on.  I know you do it too.  I read this book because it was free on the Kindle a few months ago.

The Crossroads Cafe” is about the most famous actress in the industry, Cathryn Deen, who has the world in her hands.  Suddenly, she is in a disfiguring accident and her life completely changes.  To run away from the paparazzi, the people who caused her accident in the first place (hmmm… just realized the whole Princess Diana/paparazzi/tragic accident similarity), she flees to her grandmother’s old house in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina where her distant cousin, Delta, runs a cafe.  Cathryn and Delta had never spoken or met before this until Delta reached out to offer her support when Cathryn was in the hospital recovering from her wounds.  At the same time, Thomas is a male widow (is that the right word for a man who loses his wife?) due to September 11th and has also fled to the same small town to start over.  He’s rough around the edges but somehow forms a strange relationship with Cathryn.  They are both struggling to get through each day and end up helping each other survive and move forward with their lives.

This book was on the longer side, a little under 400 pages, but it kept my interest the entire time and was so much more than I expected.  The story and the characters were well-developed and even though you may not have liked Cathryn, the rich, has-everything actress at the beginning of the book, you fell in love with her by the end.  I also liked the goat in the story.  I’m weird, I know.

Deborah Smith has a number of other books out and I hope they’re as good as “The Crossroads Cafe”.  I guess next time I won’t be judging books based on cover alone.

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Jaci has read 1 book toward her goal of 35 books.
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