Friday, December 31, 2010

December - a month to remember

Well I end the year on a low book count, but December was full of fun nights with family and friends! I will start 2011 as my first full year of blogging and I am beyond excited to see what this year holds!

Books completed:

1. A Tale of Two Sisters by Anna Maxted
2. Unless it Moves the Human Heart by Roger Rosenblatt (to be reviewed in Jan. 2011)
3. Three Weddings and a Bar Mitvah by Melody Carlson
4. Little Princes by Conor Grennan (to be reviewed in Jan. 2011)
5. All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins
6. Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm? by Perry Romanski (to be reviewed in Feb. 2011)
7. I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinson
8. Everything I Was by Corinne Demas (to be reviewed in April 2011)
9. Just Don't Call Me Ma'am by Anna Mitchael
10. The Frugalista Files by Natalie McNeal (to be reviewed in Jan. 2011)
11. Conversations with the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer (to be reviewed in Jan. 2011)

12. The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood (to be reviewed in Jan. 2011)

Total pages read: 3,214


End of Year Happenings:

**A holiday work party, a girls night in, and a visit to the National tree - all in three days. December was jam packed with fun times with family and friends.

**A lull in reading at the beginning of the month, but with a few days at home finishing up shopping and wrapping, I was able to make some time for some quality reading!

**A nook under the Christmas tree has given me some renewed sense of saving money by perusing my over 3,000 ebooks at the library and getting through the NetGalley lists!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Review: Just Don't Call Me Ma'am by Anna Mitchael

Goodreads: Anna Mitchael is like a lot of women you know. In fact, she may even be a lot like you. In her fast-moving world, she might be called on as a friend, coworker, daughter, girlfriend, confidante, brat, cynic or domestic-goddess-in-training. She's willing to juggle pretty much anything that gets thrown her way, but the one label she simply won't embrace is ma'am.

Like so many bright-eyed college graduates before her, Mitchael begins her twenties armed with the conviction that the world is hers for the taking. And she discovers that it is, mostly - only no one told her just how often she'd have to pick herself up off the floor along the way.


Kritters Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book. A great memoir with some humor and truth, mixed with great stories of a single gal taking on her late 20s. I loved how each chapter was named by something she would rather be called other than ma'am - so within each chapter was one story or more that made the point as to why she could be called the other name.

This book reminded me of Jennifer Lancaster's type of humorous memoirs - although if snarky comedy isn't your thing, you would enjoy Anna Mitchael much better. She included humor, but she avoided being the snarky, snippy humor that Lancaster is known for. I enjoy reading books where the main character is the same age as I am and enduring the same work experiences or life experiences that I have or am currently in.

I think that this book would appeal to an audience, although that audience may be selective due to the age of the "character." I would pass this along to my female readers who are fans of memoirs, especially with the author being in her late 20s.
Rating:absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Pages: 248

GR Oct-Dec Challenge - Fall for Books

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Out with a Bang Challenge


A challenge hosted by The Bookish Type and Book-Savvy to finish out 2010 with the last few reads on the pile.

With the last few days off, I have had my own read a thon, but I head back to work tomorrow (29th). I will be participating as much as I can while also catching up on work things. I will have Friday off to read, read and read.

I am not sure what I will be reading, but I will be keeping my nose in a book as much as I can!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review: I, Emma Freke by Elizabeth Atkinson

Goodreads: "I, Emma Freke, am not a freak. Or maybe I am. I just don't know."

What's in a name? I, Emma Freke is a charming search-for-identity story about Emma - the only "normal" member of her quirky family. Her flighty, New Age mom seems to barely have time for a daughter, especially one who annoyingly spoils her mom's youthful facade. Emma's well-meaning grandpa is clueless. And her only friends are the local librarian and a precocious 10-year old adopted by the two ladies next door.

Smart, shy, and nearly six feet tall, Emma struggles to fit in at school, so she jumps at the opportunity to "home school" until that too turns into another of mom's half-baked ideas.

The real crisis comes when she gets an invitation to The Freke Family Reunion, and her fellow Frekes aren't at all what she expects. While Emma desperately tries to find her niche, she discovers that perhaps it's better to be her own "freak" than someone else's Freke.


Kritters Thoughts: A cute little MG read that I absolutely enjoyed. From reading about her very unusual home life to taking a trip to meet the entire extended family, this book was a great little read.

Often, I don't read MG just because I don't think of myself as a great audience for it. But more often than not, I realize that I can still appreciate and remember the clicks in high school and the outsiders. Although, my family life was on the opposite spectrum of how Emma Freke grew up, it was great to read how one girl is completely affected by the ways of her mother and grandfather. When she visits with her extended family on her father's side, I loved how the flip got switched and she fit in and felt a part of a clan.

As far as what sometimes turns me off to YA - is the characters. At times I can relate, but sometimes I just find the characters to be too whiny or not really depicted as the age that they are really. SO if I haven't thoroughly confused you with my random thoughts - I loved these characters, believable and great to read.

A book that I would pass on to both my older and younger readers for very different reasons. Both groups would enjoy this cute little read at any time of the year.


Rating: perfect beach read

Pages: 240

GR Oct - Dec Challenge - Pronouns

Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's Monday, What are you Reading (2)

Welp - I have read a ton since the last time I posted due to some holiday time.

I will be enjoying two more days - Monday and Tuesday, home from the office to clean up Christmas and enjoy the new Nook (more on that later!).

From Bookjourney, here is It's Monday! What are you Reading:

Reading on my Nook - The Frugalista Files by Natalie McNeal

Listening to in the Car - Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson

Old School Paper Reading - none at the moment

So, I am trying out a new format for What are you Reading, any thoughts on the best way to format to stay organized and continue participating in the meme?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Our "family" of 3 is spending this Christmas, waking up in our house and exchanging presents under our own tree for the first time! My experiment with gingerbread waffles will occur - if a success you will definitely hear about it!


Then it will be off to my parents house to spend the rest of the day - opening presents, eating, playing with gifts and possibly eating some more!


A picture of us at the National Christmas Tree, a new tradition. We are only on year 2!


I hope you and your family have a great holiday season!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Our first christmas tree together!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review: All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

Goodreads:

One Happily-Ever-After Rocking Chair…

and no sign of any forthcoming babies to rock in ol' Georgebury, Vermont. For Callie Grey, turning thirty means coming to grips with the fact that her boss (and five-week fling) is way overdue in his marriage proposal. And way off track because Mark has suddenly announced his engagement to the company's new Miss Perfect. If that isn't bad enough, her mom decides to throw her a three-oh birthday bash in the family funeral home.

Bad goes to worse when she stirs up a crazy relationship with the town's not so warm and fuzzy veterinarian, Ian McFarland, in order to flag Mark's attention. So Ian is more comfortable with animals…. So he's formal, orderly and just a bit tense. The ever-friendly, fun-loving and spontaneous Callie decides it's time for Ian to get a personality makeover. But dang, if he doesn't shock the heck out of her, she might actually fall for Vermont's unlikeliest eligible bachelor….


Kritters Thoughts: A quick little light read. I loved it. It was definitely on the cute side - made you go AWWWW. But for something light and enjoyable - it hit the spot! This was my first Kristan Higgins book and I will definitely make time for more of her reads when I am in the mood for something cute.

A story about a young woman who hasn't quite found her place yet. She is a people pleaser and doesn't quite now how to please herself, which I believe is vital before anyone can properly please others. Her family is quirky and interesting which provided for some entertainment. This book is far from a "smart" read and not anywhere near the deep end. There were a few times where Callie made some decisions that I thought dragged the story out longer than it should, but I would say in general I liked this one.

Unfortunately, I would only pass this book on to my lady friends. I don't think the men would enjoy this read at all. Too light and cute!


Rating:definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Pages: 318

GR Oct-Dec Challenge - Quantifiers

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (1)


It's Monday, What are you Reading?

It's Monday! What are you Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

So I am ending 2010 by starting to be a part of a new meme. Now I have to warn everyone, this may not occur every week, but definitely every so often. Who knows you could see it pop up every week.

I had a great weekend finishing Little Princes by Conor Grennan, this review will appear after the new year.

I am currently in the middle of All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins.
I have no clue what is next on deck!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In My Mailbox (19)

Here is what arrived over the last week!

A happy Saturday morning when THE envelope arrived with my big winnings from Chick Loves Lit! I did a very big happy dance!

I know The Story Siren isn't doing IMM, but I just couldn't resist sharing my fun packages from this past week!


Winnings:
Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson (audio) - Thanks Metroreader!
The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern - Thanks Shelf Awareness


Envelope winnings from Chick Loves Lit:
Choker by Elizabeth Woods
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Perfection by Julie Metz
Wildthorn by Jane England
Teenage Waistland by Lynn Biederman


What arrived in your mailbox?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

2011 Challenges

With the new year comes new challenges - reading challenges that is! I don't want to overwhelm my first FULL year of blogging with too many challenges to keep track of. Seeing as I didn't complete one from 2010.



2011 Where are you Reading Challenge

One challenge I will partake in is 2011 Where are you Reading Challenge by Sheila at BookJourney.

I have set up a google map and will be putting dots where each of the books I complete in 2011 took place. You can see the google map here or you can click the button I have added on my right sidebar!



Goodreads Red Dress Ink Challenges

I will be continuing my participation in the quarterly Red Dress Ink Challenges in the Red Dress Ink Fan group on Goodreads.


Off the Shelf Challenge

An easy task to keep track of and I think to accomplish in a year - I am signing up to encourage myself to read off my overflowing shelves instead of acquiring new ones in 2011. I am going to sign myself up for a higher level, so hopefully with a goal I will work hard to achieve it!

So I will be On a Roll - choose 50 books to read. I haven't done my choosing, I think I will hope that they will fly off the shelf for me!

Head over to Bookish Ardour's Reading Challenges to join this challenge for 2011!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Dad, me and JP on the field at the Redskins game!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Review: Three Weddings and a Bar Mitvah by Melody Carlson

Goodreads: In the final installment of the 86 Bloomberg Place series, Melody Carlson follows the girls in a crazed competition of bridesmaids, wedding locations and showers.

Newly engaged Lelani has returned from Maui to Bloomberg Place and is trying to book her wedding date. Unfortunately, there are scheduling conflicts for that same weekend. For starters, Megan and Marcus have a family wedding commitment. Anna and Edmond have promised to attend is younger stepbrother's Bar Mitvah and, to everyone's surprise, Kendall just accepted her "Maui Man's" proposal of marriage and also wants to be wed on that first weekend in June. Wedding madness ensues at 86 Bloomberg Place, yet at the same time friendships are being forged that will last a lifetime.


Kritters Thoughts: The last of a series, this book was read to complete the stories of four girls that I had been following for some time. I read the rest of the series before this blog was even a thought on my radar.

A cute and sweet Christian fiction and chick lit read, I enjoyed following these four ladies through all their ups and downs. Although there were definitely some cheesy moments, this book had heart and actually a little bit of drama. I enjoyed that life wasn't all happy sunshines and there was some parental drama, future in law drama and of course boy drama!

As for who I would pass this book along to - most of my women readers would love this little novel, but I would definitely recommend starting at the beginning of the series and enjoy each read.
Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Pages: 320

GR Oct - Dec Challenge - Quantifiers

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (18)

These are the books that arrived over the past two weeks! I am waiting on a very fun package from a great contest I won!!


Winnings:
Falling Home by Karen White - thanks Book Chick!


PBS and Bookmooch:
Temporary Insanity by Leslie Carroll


Review:
Dan Knight's Journey by Edward Smith

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Review: A Tale of Two Sisters by Anna Maxted

Goodreads: Lizbet and Cassie are sisters and, though they've always wanted different things, best friends as well. But that's about to change.

Cassie is skinny, clever, charismatic, successful - every not-so-perfect girl's worst nightmare. The one defect in her quality-controlled life may be her marriage.

Lizbet is plumper, plainer, dreamier. She's desperate to make her name as a journalist, but is stuck writing embarrassing articles on sex for a men's magazine. Her one achievement is her relationship with Tim, who thinks she's amusing and smart - even when she asks ditzy questions.

Confronted by challenges that they never asked for, enticed by new loves, and forced apart by mistakes not their own, will Cassie and Lizbet ever figure out how to get back to the simple goodness of their sisterhood, even as their lives take them on a collision course of heartache and new beginnings?


Kritters Thoughts: Ehhh. An alright read, nothing great but not horrible. It wasn't the Brit in the book that made it less than desirable, it was the vast amount of drama. I felt as though every chapter ended with some kind of dramatic event that was more intense than it should have been. I got whiplash from everything that happened.

I don't think I will be passing this along to anyone I know. By the end of the book, I don't think anything else could have occurred to these sisters. You name it, they had it happen to them. It was just a little too much for this book. I think a few things could have been cut and the story could have still been complete.

Rating: not such a good read

Pages: 368

GR Oct - Dec Challenge - Homophones

Monday, December 6, 2010

Review: Sunset Park by Paul Aster

Goodreads: Sunset Park follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse.

An enigmatic young man employed as a trash-out worker in southern Florida obsessively photographing thousands of abandoned objects left behind by the evicted families.

A group of young people squatting in an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

The Hospital for Broken Things, which specializes in repairing the artifacts of a vanished world.

William Wyler's 1946 classic The Best Years of Our Lives.

A celebrated actress preparing to return to Broadway.

An independent publisher desperately trying to save his business and his marriage.

These are just some of the elements Auster magically weaves together in this immensely moving novel about contemporary America and its ghosts.Sunset Park is a surprising departure that confirms Paul Auster as one of our greatest living writers.


Kritters Thoughts: A very interesting read. There are some aspects of it that I liked, but there were definitely some things I wasn't a fan of. The story itself was great. It was a departure from my normal read, but a story worth the read.

One thing I did not like at all was his lack of using quotation marks. Now I know this may sound petty, but I had the hardest time when conversations flowing figuring out who was doing the talking. You never know what you are missing, until you trying reading a book without them - it was rough.

The ending - without spoiling the book, I did not enjoy. It was one of those books that cuts off to soon and could have gone on for just a bit longer. I got attached to the main character - Miles Heller and I wanted to see him through the struggles that he has to face in the book.

As to who I would recommend this book to - definitely my adult readers, there is some sexual language that at times was a little harsh.

Rating:definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Pages: 320

GR Oct - Dec Challenge - Title Relay

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Google Analytics

OK blog friends. I have spent crazy amount of hours trying to figure out google analytics and am having the hardest time pasting my code into my blog template.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Review: City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell

Goodreads: Will Kiehn is seemingly destined for life as a humble farmer in the Midwest when, having felt a call from God, he travels to the vast North China Plain in the early twentieth-century. There he is surprised by love and weds a strong and determined fellow missionary, Katherine. They soon find themselves witnesses to the crumbling of a more than two-thousand-year-old dynasty that plunges the country into decades of civil war. As the couple works to improve the lives of the people of Kuang P'ing Ch'eng— City of Tranquil Light, a place they come to love—and face incredible hardship, will their faith and relationship be enough to sustain them?



Kritters Thoughts: What a great read. I had to sit for a day and start another book to completely digest what I had just consumed. Just knowing that it was based on a real couple made me read this book with even more depth.

A book based on a couple who are missionaries in China - a world very different from America. After many many years in China they return to the US and feel as though they are aliens in their homeland because both them and their "home" has changed drastically.

I had this book hit so close to home because my maternal grandparents were missionaries in Pakistan. In fact, my mom was born over there while they were in the field. While I read this book, I kept imagining what hardships they endured and what different traditions they adopted while doing the work they loved. This job completely affects the whole family, including extended, who may not get to see their loved ones due to the cost of visits and inability to return with ease.

I am passing this book specifically onto my mom because she will definitely enjoy reading a story of missionaries and maybe see a glimpse of what her parents did. As far as others, I think this is a great story for those who like to read a bit of history with some heartfelt stories intertwined.

Rating:definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Pages: 304

GR Oct - Dec Challenge - Title Relay

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thankful for November

Books consumed:


1. Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner
2. Things Worth Remembering by Jackina Stark
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
4. Missing Mabel by Nancy Mehl
5. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
6. My Life as a Doormat by Rene Gutteridge
7. Letters to Ethan by Tom McQueen
8. The Long Road Home by Mary Alice Monroe
9. City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell
10. Sunset Park by Paul Auster



The Highlight Reel:

** 6 months of blogging completed, excited to finish out a whole year!

** reviewed some ARCs that were out of my comfort zone and LOVED it!

** celebrated a great Thanksgiving with a lot of family in town, yummo

** received my Book Blogger Holiday Swap gift and sent mine off!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Book Blogger Holiday Swap

A great day at the post office - picked up a package and it ended up being my Book Blogger Holiday Swap gift from my Secret Santa!


I received The Girl who Played with Fire, a cute little bag and a sweet card. It was so great to open the package the day after Thanksgiving and start out the holiday weekend and festivities.

Thank you Annette - it was so nice to receive the package so early in the holiday season!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: The Long Road Home by Mary Alice Monroe

Goodreads: Recovering from the shock of her husband's suicide and trying to deal with his debts, Nora MacKenzie looks for peace on the small farm in Vermont, but a handsome farmhand shows up and her reaction is anything but peaceful.


Kritters Thoughts: A long read, but well worth all the pages. I absolutely loved all the twists turns and plotlines. There was a wealth of characters, but each unique and added a little piece to the story. I was captivated to the very end hoping that it would all work out like I assumed. I loved how a part of the story was sort of predictable, but there were still a few spots where I was completely surprised.

For the life of me, I can't think of anything critical that I would say to improve the book. There may have been a few descriptions that I would have ommitted, but nothing was excessive. I felt that the characters were real and the situation could honestly happen to any widow.

As for those I would recommend this read to - definitely a read for the women folk. I would not pass this onto the younger crowd, they would not relate well to Nora and the trials that she endures, but most women would enjoy the drama and romance of the book.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Pages: 400

GR Oct - Dec Challenge - It's So (Adjective)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In My Mailbox (17)

These are what showed up in my mailbox this past week. AND what I happened to run across on a goodwill trip.


For Review:

Blind Your Ponies by Stanley West
At the Crossroads of Terror by Lenny Emanuelli


Paperbackswap and Bookmooch:

The Frog Prince by Jane Porter
She, Myself & I by Whitney Gaskell
Somebody Else's Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage
White Bikini Panties by Kelly James-Enger


Goodwill trip:

Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes
Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review: Letters to Ethan by Tom McQueen

Kritters Thoughts: A small little book filled with letters from a caring grandfather to his young grandson. Full of life lessons and guidelines he provides his grandson to ensure that he can pass on his thoughts so his grandson has a roadmap for life's hardest decisions.

I thought the book was cute and had great meanings in each letter - but this book was definitely not my style. As I don't have children and they aren't in the near future, I think this book would be more appreciated by those with children. The one nerve it hit with me is the wish that any of my grandparents had left me notes of encouragement and wisdom.

I would pass this book along to my friends who are parents and the grandparents in our lives to encourage them to do the same - to provide their grandchildren with letters of their life stories that may aid them in making life's hardest decisions.
Rating:enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Pages: 170

GR Oct-Dec Challenge - Homophones

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Review: My Life as a Doormat by Rene Gutteridge

Goodreads: Act I: Avoid conflicts at all costs. Even when someone signs you up for something you really don't want to do. Act II: Try to hold things together, even when your life is spinning out of control. Act III: (You'll have to read the book to learn how it all plays out).

Playwright Leah Townsend doesn't think of herself as a doormat. In fact, her life is pretty good. There's the gorgeous and dependable Edward (even if he is a little dull), and her challenging career (even if the last two plays were flops). The trouble is, Leah's feeling restless these days. The new play isn't going well. Her agent is handing out ultimatums. And her boyfriend Edward, who insists Leah "doesn't handle conflict well," has the nerve to enroll her in a conflict-management class full of people she's sure are her polar opposites, including a conservative talk-radio host named Cinco Dublin who thrives on the very thing Leah wants to avoid - making waves. Can a conflict-challenged playwright ever learn to stand her ground . . . even if life doesn't come in three predictable acts?

Kritters Thoughts: Ehhh it was ok. I hate to start a review like this, but I was left with a semi ok feeling. Nothing was super wrong with it. I guess my main area of concern was the main character - I found her to be super whiny and beyond believable. It took her way to long to discover that a changed needed to happen in her relationships and decision making.

BUT I loved the premise of the story - the sibling of the prodigal son and learning how to cope with not being the star child in the family. At times I felt a few commonalities between me and Leah - we were both the children of the family that followed the rules to a T and rarely bucked the rules our parents laid down. The big lesson comes when the sibling becomes the child that is in the forefront. Although this hasn't happened in our family, J and I have taken turns needing our parents attention for good and bad reasons.

Now after some negative comments, I would definitely pass this book along to the women in my life, but I would preface it that they should be read on the beach or huddled in during a quiet vacation. This isn't one of those "smart" reads.
Rating: perfect beach read

Pages: 320

GR Oct - Dec Challenge - Prepositions

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

A blast from my past! One of the people who made me - Kritter!

(from the good ole days as roommates)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Goodreads: Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn't understand that once love-the-deliria-blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she'll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.


Kritters Thoughts: So, my first experience of Lauren Oliver and I was no where near disappointed. A far departure from what I normally read, this book put me in a world that if existed I would have to cross over to the "Wild" side. As I usually don't read books where the setting isn't realistic, I was absolutely emersed in this world - enough to try to convince the boy to read it. Not so much!

A world where love is a disease that can be cured by an operation and without it, your life is to be painless and worry free. As they believe that the pain from love causes other deadly diseases in the body - if you are not able to be cured you are jailed or executed. While reading this book it made me think of religious groups who are cultlike and are able to create panic and fear to keep their followers entranced by their crazy rituals and beliefs. It was one of those books where I kept thinking, come on people SNAP out of it!


In the middle of the book, I went to look up some stats and see if there were any reviews. I am glad I did this half way through or I may have not started it because sometimes I am just not risky in my reading. I found out that this will be the first of a series of at least three that I am aware of - well I will definitely be looking for the next two when they arrive on the shelves.

As to whom I would pass this book along to - almost anyone! Even though this may be out of your realm of normal reading genre, I would say the departure would be well worth the trip.

Rating:definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Pages: 440

GR Oct - Dec Challenge - Author Relay

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In My Mailbox (16)

A good two weeks at the house, a few dramas, but overall they were good. Here is what came into my mailbox over the last two weeks!

Bookmooch:

Kiss Like You Mean It by Louise Harwood



For Review:

Defending the Enemy by Elaine Fischel

Ask Me About Mary Kay by Jackie Brown (not pictured)

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: Missing Mabel by Nancy Mehl

Goodreads: Watch the tangled mess a Kansas hairdresser gets herself into when she reports to the funeral home that the body she is to work on is not the same as in her reference photo. Is she being punished when the director accuses her of stealing a diamond ring? Will Hilde Higgins’s former boyfriend help her unravel the issue or only bring more trouble to her life?

Kritters Thoughts: I will have to keep this review short. I wasn't a fan of this one.

I enjoyed the first part of the book. It was a little on the preachy side, but the story itself was alright. I liked following her search for the missing cadaver. BUT I was beyond disappointed in the ending, I felt like the author unfolded all the details of the mystery too quickly and some I couldn't recall really happening in the story. My final negative thought - at the conclusion I felt like the ending was dumbed down for the reader.

It was an easy read that was ok. I don't think I would pass this book off to anyone, I am sorry to say.
Rating:not such a good read

Pages: 256

GR Oct - Dec Challenge - Author Relay

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Goodreads: Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.



Kritters Thoughts: AHHHmazing! I had delayed reading this for more reasons than one - mainly because when a book gets a TON of hype for some reason I tend to avoid it. I had friends reminding me often that this was a book to find and enjoy. So the book club that I recently joined was reading this book for November, I picked it up late, but was determined to read it. WELL then I got sick, so I ended up not attending book club.

After telling you all this - I must say - this book was definitely worth all the hype it received and more. I am a fan of this genre, the mystery/suspense who dun its. I love reading a whole book and at the very end being thrown for an absolute loop. I am even more excited when at the end I want to read it all through again to pick up even more details because you already know where the story will end up.

Now of course, I will not be providing any spoilers because for 590 pages you need to enjoy the hunt for who dun it and why.

So I will be passing this book along to all my ladies and may even sneak it onto JP's bedside table for a read! I think the menfolk would enjoy this book as well.
Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel
Pages: 465

GR Oct - Dec Challenge - Author Relay

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review: Things Worth Remembering by Jackina Stark

Goodreads: Kendy Laswell and her daughter, Maisey, used to do everything together-until one fateful summer when Maisey witnessed something she shouldn't have, and their relationship fractured. Now, Maisey is back home to get married and Kendy realizes this is her last chance to reconnect with her daughter. Will Kendy and Maisey be able to reclaim the bond they once shared?


Kritters Thoughts: A wonderful read - Christian fiction with a real twist and story. I used to read Christian fiction more often in my younger years, but had veered away when I kept running into very "preachy" fiction. It was a random pick up at the library and I was hesitant to continue after I read the back of the book.

I am glad I decided to go ahead and read this great little book. A Christian fiction with a story that felt real and not to goody too shoes. There were a few verses and lifestyle moments that was imbedded in the book, but it was no where near too much or offensive.

This book flip flopped between the view points of the mother and daughter. They have to confront an issue from the past which changed their family drastically. The relationship between the mother and daughter was so genuine and true - I could remember my teenage moments with my mom. I would pass this book along to any mother and daughter duo who would love to read a real story that has depth and a true conclusion.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Pages: 320

GR Oct - Dec Challenge - Copyright Year Rally (Oct 2009)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review: Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner

Goodreads: Carrie Pilby doesn't fit in - and she's pretty much given up trying. A year out of college and settling in to life in the big city, this nineteen-year-old genius believes everyone she meets is immoral, sex obsessed and hypocritical, and the only person she sees on a regular basis is her therapist. When he comes up with a five-point plan to help her discover the "positive aspects of social interaction," Carrie, who would rather stay home in bed, is forced to view the world in a new light.

See life through Carrie's eyes as she opens up to unusual characters, gets herself into comprising situations and casts her keen eye on the ways people interact.


Kritters Thoughts: Different, sarcastic, unusual, too smart for her own good - those are the words I would use to describe the main character - Carrie Pilby. A character unlike I usually read and completely unlike myself. At times it was difficult for me to follow her thought process because she is way more than a methodical thinker.

I don't want to overwhelm you with negativeness - I loved this book. I read it for the New York part of my Goodreads challenge and I am so glad I did because it was so different. Carrie is an outsider. She has the hardest time in any social situation and it was almost awkward to read her adventures that took place outside of her apartment.

As to whom I would pass this one to - all my ladies, although I would probably limit it to the younger ladies. Carrie has just finished college and the young alumni group would enjoy hearing her antics entering into the adult world.

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't want me leaving more

Pages: 336

GR Oct - Dec Challenge - Land of the Free

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

A picture of the pup for my first wordless wednesday!


Charlotte playing in a box during the move

Monday, November 8, 2010

Review: The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman

Goodreads: In this modern twist on Rear Window, Tess Monaghan has been put on bed rest for the last two months of her pregnancy. Day after day she watches a girl in a green raincoat in the park with her greyhound, until one day Tess ominously notices the dog running loose. Convinced some harm has befallen its owner she becomes dangerously obsessed with learning her fate.

Kritters Thoughts: A quick little read that was packed with mystery and drama. I loved this little novella - it was a perfect read for a lazy Sunday afternoon. This was my first Laura Lippman book and I am now headed to goodreads to add more to my wish list!

I am a fan of the mystery caper where the reader knows a twist will occur at some point, but it always blindsides you in the end. Lippman provided the reader with all the necessary facts to correctly identify the "bad guy," but somehow I was way off mark. I will definitely be looking for more of these great reads for lazy Sunday afternoons when the weather takes a turn for the cold and dreary.

I would absolutely pass this little gem off to any reader who loves a little mystery in their lives. A great read for most ages with innocence and intrigue.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Pages: 224
GR Oct - Dec Challenge: Get Cozy

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In My Mailbox (15)

An eventful week at work was made better by some emails from book publicists and a few things arriving in the mailbox!


Ralph's Party by Lisa Jewell


Purchased:



What was in your mailbox this week?
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