Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Ramble: Moving - just around the corner

SO the title is symbolic in more ways than one.

Yes, the boy, the pup and I are moving. Different zip code and county, but just 20 minutes around the corner.

AND the move is right around the corner. The middle of October will be NUTS in our house. If the blogging and the reading drop off a little - you know where I am - UNDER a pile of boxes trying to find my next read and a place for everything.

We will still be in NoVA. We will be closer to some friends and family and we will have so much more space - so the move is a good one, just going to be a little hectic.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review: Bobo's Daughter by Bonnie Barnett

Goodreads: Bonnie Barnett first met her father at the circus. She was a four-year-old spectator; he was one of the world's most famous clowns, a veteran performer for shows like the Shrine Circus and The Ed Sullivan Show. Though his star persona was always present in the periphery of her life, she rarely got to see him in person, and the inconsistency of her mother, a former clown herself, only increased her loneliness. As she entered adulthood, put herself through college, and sought spiritual fulfillment, Bonnie found herself seeking out her father at every turn. It wasn't until she finally showed up at this doorstep that he stopped being a larger-than-life myth and became a very human father, full of faults, regrets, and love. Bobo's Daughter recounts Bonnie's quest for the affection and acceptance of her legendary father--and the lessons she learned along the way.

Kritters Thoughts: What a great little read! I was given the opportunity to read and review just for you guys!!
A wonderfully moving and informative little story. The premise of this book, without giving too much away, is the story of Bonnie Barnett finding her father a few times in her life and the last time she reconnected with him right before he life came to an end. This may sound weird - but it was interesting to hear a true life story of a woman who struggled growing up in a very hard household. It wasn't candy coated at all.
The other part of the story that I thoroughly enjoyed - was the behind the scenes view of circus life. I never really thought about the lives that those traveling as a profession deal with throughout the whole year. Not only those who are in the circus, but any performer that travels leaves their families and their homes for a majority of the year for their craft, fans and their passion.

I would pass this book onto anyone who would take it on. I thought it was a great read.

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

Pages: 232

GR July-Sept Challenge: Keep it in the Family

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Review: How Perfect is That by Sarah Bird

Goodreads: Blythe Young—a wannabe Texas princess, a heroine as plucky, driven, and desperate as Vanity Fair’s Becky Sharp—is plummeting precipitously from up- to downstairs, banging her head on every step of the Austin social ladder as she falls. Not unlike the country as a whole, Blythe has surrendered to a multitude of dubious moral choices and is now facing the disastrous consequences: bankruptcy, public humiliation, a teensy fondness for the pharmaceuticals, and no Pap smear for ten years. But worst of all, she is forced to move back into the fleabag co-op boardinghouse where she lived when she was a student at the University of Texas.

Though Blythe cares much more about the ravaged state of her nails, and how to get the ingredients for Code Warrior—Blythe’s proprietary blend of Stoli, Ativan, and Red Bull that keeps everything in focus—her soul is hanging in the balance. Only when she is in danger of losing the one friend who’s been her true moral center is she ready to face her sins and make amends.

And her penance is merciless: she must find a way to lure her former socialite friends into the tofu tenement she has been reduced to. Little does Blythe know that the ensuing collision between the pierced, tattooed, and dreadlocked inhabitants and the pampered, Kir-sipping socialites offers the only hope of finding a way out of her moral quagmire.

Kritters Thoughts: Well, I read this book for the GoodReads Challenge for a Second Chance - read a book by an author to give them a second chance.

Well - my first run in with Sarah Bird was The Alamo House. I didn't enjoy the language she used in that book for the chick lit plotline it had - so I picked up How Perfect is That to give her a second chance.

After reading How Perfect is That, I will not be giving Bird another chance. Again she used words that didn't fit the story. This book took us back to the same sorority house on UT campus with a completely different story. I enjoyed the story itself, but I had a very different hesitation to the book.

There were some parts of the plotline that I thought could have been left out. One that sticks out in my mind is the excessive drugs and drinking - it was beyond control and it just didn't fit. I felt like it could have been toned down or completely cut out

So I would not pass this book along to my friends or foes.

Rating: not such a good read

Pages: 320

GR July-Sept Challenge: Second Chance

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review: A Dog Named Slugger by Leigh Brill

Goodreads: The true life story of a dog who changed everything for one woman. For the first time in my life, I didn't need to pretend, I didn't need to be tough; I only needed to be honest. "I have cerebal palsy. I walk funny and my balance is bad. I fall a lot. My hands shake, too. That means I'm not so good at carrying things. And if I drop stuff, sometimes it's hard to just bend down and get it." I waited anxiously for the interviewer's response. She smiled. "It sounds like a service dog could be great for you." So began Leigh Brill's journey toward independence and confidence, all thanks to a trained companion dog named Slugger. The struggling college student and the Labrador with "a coat like sunshine" and a tail that never stopped wagging became an instant team. Together, they transformed a challenge into a triumph. Together, they inspired and educated everyone they met. Now, Leigh honors her friend with the story of their life, together.

Kritters Thoughts: What a cute and heartwarming little story. I was blessed to receive it through NetGalley and loved every page of the story. Being a dog owner for just under a year, I am enjoying stories pertaining to dogs more and more. I love hearing about other breed's personalities and am touched beyond belief when I hear of a dog's aging and eventual passing. It breaks my heart becuase I know that our pup - Miss Charlotte has become more than a dog - a family member.

OK - enough with the sappiness. This was a great story to educate everyone on the different ways people can benefit from a service dog. In the book, Brill speaks to an auditorium full of children, one of the first questions she receives is - Are you blind - I thought service dogs were just for blind people. To be honest - so did I. I loved hearing how these dogs can be used for various disabilities.

I would pass this onto my friends who are dog lovers, who love stories about people overcoming disabilities in different ways and those who like to hear an uplifting story that is absolutely true.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Pages: 248

GR July-Sept Challenge: A (Wo)man's Best Friend

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chick Lit or Women's Fiction?

Want to hear my opinion on the debate - go check out my guest post @

Crazy for Books and comment away!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Review: Vision in White by Nora Roberts

Goodreads: After years of throwing make-believe weddings in the backyard, flowers, photography, desserts, and details are what these women do best: a guaranteed perfect, beautiful day full of memories to last the rest of your life.

With bridal magazine covers to her credit, Mackensie "Mac" Elliot is most at home behind the camera - ready to capture the happy moments she never experienced while growing up. Her father replaced his first family with a second, and now her mother, moving on to yet another man, beg Mac for attention and money. Mac's foundation is jostled again moments before an important wedding planning meeting when she bumps into the bride-to-be's encounter that has them both seeing stars.

Kritters Thoughts: Finally, a book not set anywhere near London and had four great characters that I got easily attached to. This book had a great story line that I just fell in love with.
My one reservation to pass this off to friends is the few love scenes got a little hot and heavy. I have never been the girl to pick up those romance novels where the man is half nude on the cover - I know you know what I am talking about. SO my tolerance for CRAZY sexy scenes is a little on the low side. I understand when it really works in the story, but sometimes I am blushing and thinking "YEP, can't pass this onto mom!"
I am off to find out when the rest of this series should be coming out - I can't wait to find out what is coming next for the four girls!

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

Pages: 325

GR July-Sept Challenge: For Independence Day

Friday, September 17, 2010

Review: The Accidental Mother by Rowan Coleman

Goodreads: Sophie and Carrie were childhood best friends, but in the last few years they've lost touch. While Carrie chose motherhood in a small town, Sophie is powering up the London career track. She's a corporate manager poised for her next promotion. Sure, she doesn't have much time for men, but she has a great shoe collection and a cat who's never going to let her down.

And then Sophie is told that Carrie has died, with nobody left to care for her two daughters, Bella and Izzy, aged six and three. Their father, who left before Carrie's death, is nowhere to be found; their grandmother is moving into assisted living. Sophie once promised Carrie she would take care of her children if the worst ever happened...and now that day has come.

Kritters Thoughts: Another book set abroad. Unfortunately, at this point I am ready for a book set stateside!!

But that aside, I wasn't a super fan of this book because I had already read a book with a very very similar plot line which I absolutely fell in love with at first sight. I may have liked this more if I hadn't read the other book previously.

I did fall in love with the two little girls in the book - they were written perfectly and I could completely imagine them.

So short and simple review - I would only pass this book along to those who like the books abroad and who are ready for a common plot line.

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Pages: 352

GR July - Sept Challenge: First and Last

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Review: When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead by Jerry Weintraub

Goodreads: Here is the story of Jerry Weintraub: the self-made, Brooklyn-born, Bronx-raised impresario, Hollywood producer, legendary deal maker, and friend of politicians and stars. No matter where nature has placed him--the club rooms of Brooklyn, the Mafia dives of New York's Lower East Side, the wilds of Alaska, or the hills of Hollywood--he has found a way to put on a show and sell tickets at the door. "All life was a theater and I wanted to put it up on a stage," he writes. "I wanted to set the world under a marquee that read: 'Jerry Weintraub Presents.'"

Along the way, we'll watch as Jerry moves from the poker tables of Palm Springs (the games went on for days), to the power rooms of Hollywood, to the halls of the White House, to Red Square in Moscow and the Great Palace in Beijing-all the while counseling potentates, poets, and kings, with clients and confidants like George Clooney, Bruce Willis, George H. W. Bush, Armand Hammer, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, John Denver, Bobby Fischer . . .well, the list goes on forever.

Kritters Thoughts: Well, I can mark my first audiobook off my list! I won this in a challenge and immediately put it into my car cd player to enjoy to and fro work.
Although, this wouldn't be a book I would immediately pick out, I was excited to use it as a test to see if I would enjoy the audiobook genre. As far as audiobooks - I enjoy, but I don't know that I could listen to fiction and read another fiction book and keep it all together.

Now as far as this "book." It was interesting. It was definitely not in my normal realm of reading, but I always have an interest in the behind the scenes of Hollywood and celebrity. With Jerry Weintraub being a former manager and producer, it was great to literally hear his stories and interactions with the executives and actors of Hollywood.

I would recommend this as an audio for those who like to hear the stories of old and current Hollywood. He told some great stories from Elvis and Sinatra to Brad Pitt and George Clooney.
Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Pages: 304 pages

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blogfest Winner!

Congrats to Damla Kayihan!

They will be receiving my Anita Shreve Collection in the mail!!

I had a great turn out - thank you to all those who became new followers. I hope you enjoy my reviews and ramblings.

CSN Review

Good news amongst crazy things going on!! We (me and JP) have a few things going on in our personal life - one being a move, so it was very exciting to hear from CSN to offer another item to review.
I was all over their website looking at kitchenie things, maybe dutch ovens or new plates.
So the search begins to find something for our new place - any ideas?

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Ramble

Happy Belated Labor Day! The boy and I did very little labor over labor day weekend.

The highlight of the weekend was a trip we made with the pup to Great Falls Park. We have been enjoying DC for all its history, monuments and sites, so we decided that we also need to explore NoVA.

Here are some pics from our very fun adventure.

(again sorry for the fuzz, still working on this picture stuff)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blog Fest Giveaway

Thanks for stopping by during Blog Fest 2010!
If this is your first visit to Kritters Ramblings - I love to read and review books from chick lit and women's fiction to memoirs and suspense. Thanks for stopping by!
My giveaway is:

an Anita Shreve Collection
All He Ever Wanted
A Wedding in December

Go check out this blogger who is offering a giveaway for BlogFest too - From the Shadows. For a complete list of all the blogs participating head over to A Journey of Books.

To enter please fill out the attached form. Happy winning!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: Your Roots are Showing by Elise Chidley

Goodreads: Lizzie Buckley has a life many women dream of - a gorgeous husband, a beautiful home and darling (when they're not fighting) three-year-old twins. But ever since the birth of her children, she's had a fantasy about locking herself in her bedroom for twenty-four hours with a good book and a box of chocolates.

Unfortunately, her husband James doesn't understand her feelings. And when Lizzie unburdens herself in a flaming email to her sister Janie, then hits send at the wrong moment and accidentally shoots it off to James instead, her fairytale life gets a big dose of reality. With the word "divorce" ringing in her ears, Lizzie finds herself moving out and embarking on a totally different life - working hard to reinvent herself as a runner, a gardener, and a writer of children's books.

But despite transforming her body, her neglected career, and her libido (courtesy of the local landscape gardener), Lizzie can't get over her soon-to-be ex. As Lizzie discovers, sometimes the fairytale ending is just the beginning of the real story.

Kritters Thoughts: Well, it seems as though I am going from one Brit book to another. After reading this book, I enjoyed The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes even better. This Brit book was a little much. I was overwhelmed with the language that I could not understand AT ALL.

If you are one to read and enjoy all the Brit things - this one would be great for you.

And for the story - the beginning and the middle were great. I was in love with how it was unfolding, but the ending just hit me sideways and came and went to fast.

SO I would pass this book along to my friends who enjoy all things Brit and are ok with an ending that comes very quick and leaves you wondering what in the world happened!

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Pages: 384 pages

GR July-Sept Challenge: First and Last

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Ramble

Alright my blog friends, I have decided to call this feature just The Ramble. Because I may not have enough to share each week, this will pop up every so often when I have some fun news.

Belated Birthday Dinner and Potomac Harbor Cruise

Well due to my parents being out of town for the official birthday celebrations, we opted to do a belated dinner and festivities. It just so happened to be during the restaurant week in DC. YEP, that makes two weeks of participating in restaurant weeks! Check us out!!

We started the evening in Georgetown at Filemona. Yummy!! A great higher end Italian spot with unique decor and a jam packed menu. This was my yummy dessert - thanks to a doggie bag, I had room for it!

Then thanks to Groupon we headed to a Potomac Harbor Cruise that departed near Nationals Stadium.

It was such a great time to see the monuments and other sites from a different point of view. I would definitely recommend the ride to anyone visiting or living in the area.

(sorry for the fuzzy pics, still playing with picture design)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Review: The Fiction Class by Susan Breen

Goodreads: On paper, Arabella Hicks seems more than qualified to teach a weekly fiction class on New York's Upper West Side. She's an author herself; she's passionate about books; she's even named after the heroine in a Georgette Heyer novel.

On the other hand, she's thirty-eight, single, and has been writing the same book for the last seven years.

Kritters Thoughts: A goodwill find that I am excited to pass onto my mom. This was a good read that happily fit into the challenge I am doing on Goodreads - read something about school.

I absolutely loved the layout and how the story unfolded in the book. Wrapped around the class and weekly visits to a nursing home to visit her mom, the main character Arabella is someone I could envision with such clarity.

It was a short little read, but packed inside was a beautiful story of a mother and a daughter learning in their last days how each one coped with the life they were handed. It made me want to make sure I hadn't wasted any moments with my family and to make sure that future ones were hard to forget.

I would pass this book along to all the women in my life - not sure the men would enjoy this one!

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

Pages: 336 pages

GR July - Sept Challenge - School's in Session (Almost)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

In My Mailbox (12)

Yippy! An exciting two weeks in my mailbox (yes, a slacker) - life took over last weekend and blogging did not occur!

A paperback swapper - Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner

Breaking the Bank by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Tallulahland by Lynn Messina
Princess: You Know Who You Are by Francesca Castagnoli
When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge
Silent Crossing by Ellen McCarthy
A Dangerous Dress by Julia Holden
The Nanny by Melissa Nathan
Did You Get the Vibe? by Kelly James-Enger
What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

What has been arriving in your mailbox?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

the Month of August

Books read in August (10 total read)

1. My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster
2. Nursing a Grudge by Chris Well
3. Somewhere Inside by Laura and Lisa Ling
4. A Note From an Old Acquaintance by Bill Walker
5. The Romantics by Galt Neiderhoffer
6. Hollywood Stories by Stephen Schochet
7. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
8. The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes
9. The List: A Love Story in 781 Chapters by Aneva Stout (not reviewed)
10. The Fiction Class by Susan Breen

Total pages read: 3,441 pages

August Highlights:

* A trip to The Book Thing (all free books) and Daedalus Book Store (publisher cast offs) - came home with a great loot!

*Celebrating my birthday a few times!

*Trip down the potomac on a harbor cruise - weekly ramble to be posted this coming Saturday with pictures

*Joined BookMooch - sent and mooched quite a few books - to be seen on IMM this Sunday

*Celebrated three months of blogging!!
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