Friday, September 30, 2011

September - goodbye summer, hello fall

Fall began and with all the new shows, my reading took a little bit of a hit.  Along with the new shows, the job went crazy the month of September, as I am responsible for planning our corporate retreat which just happens to fall right in the beginning of October.  With over 90 people this year, the planning was a lot more extensive compared to last year.  I kidding said many times that it was like planning a whole wedding, hopefully the second half of October will be relaxing with crisp autumn air and lots of reading! 

Books I read:
1. Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins
2. Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy
3. The Night I Got Lucky by Laura Caldwell
4. Freedom's Call by John Walker
5. Sophie's Turn by Nicky Wells
6. Just My Type by Simon Garfield
7. Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
8. Beatrice Munson by Lorena Bathey
9. Proud Pants by Gregory C Allen
10. Flat Out Love by Jessica Park
11. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
12. Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews

Total pages flipped and tapped:  3,565

Where Reading?
Athens, Greece
Bellsford, New Hampshire
Chicago, IL
Tacoma, WA
London, UK
New York City, NY
San Francisco, CA
Dallas, TX
Boston, MA
Gutshot, TN
Nags Head, NC

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: Proud Pants by Gregory C. Allen

Goodreads:  A man recalls his life of addiction, abandoment, and anger as he faces death at the age of thirty-four.  Told through the voice of one man, but written through the words of his brother - this memoir novelette describes the troubled life who was rejected by one woman at an early age but found solace in another.

Kritters Thoughts:  A great little novelette that took the reader deep into a family's heartache as they watch a son and father die at the young age of 34.  From page 1 to the end, the reader becomes a family member and aches for this family as they fall apart piece by piece.

Written by the step-brother of the main character, I am not sure that I would completely put this in the genre of memoir, but I would say this dramatic novelette is worth picking up.  It is emotional, but filled with truth - I definitely liked this short and simple read.

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

Pages:  90

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Goodreads:  When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine.  And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped.  Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy - loving best friend riding shotgun but no Katherines.  Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, average Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Kritters Thoughts:  My first John Green book and what an interesting ride it was.  A book full of smart humor with a male, recent high school graduate, and his best friend on a road trip to a small town in TN.  He heads on this road trip to overcome his recent break up and brings along his best friend with no destination in mind.   

I am usually a reader of books where women are at the center, so I enjoyed this break from my normal reading.  It was refreshing to get into the mind of a younger male and go with him on this adventure after a recent break up.  I absolutely adored his flashbacks to the previous Katherines who broke up with him for various reasons.

I would recommend this book to those who read YA or those who may need a break from their usual reading habits.  I thoroughly enjoyed the smart humor. 

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

Pages:  229

July-Sept 2011 Challenge: A, An, The

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: Beatrice Munson by Lorena Bathey

Goodreads:   In Vista Heights, the women of the neighborhood have started to look liek their homes, varying shades of beige.  Lost in this world of suburbia, Marissa Lyons learns her high school nemesis has brought the house right across the street from her.  Afraid that her arch enemy, Beatrice Munson, will arrive with Marissa's high school crush as her husband and cause Marissa to relieve the insecurity of high school in her forties, she decides to face the music and head to Beatrice's house with warm cupcakes.  But what Marissa finds is something she never expected.  How will Marissa and the rest of the women of San Martino deal with someone like Beatrice Munson, whose defining moment in her life was to get a boob job or go on a trip to Egypt.  This story is about friendship, love, learning to look at things differently, and great parties.  Step into the world of Vista Heights where you might not only recognizes the women, you might be one of them.

Kritters Thoughts:  An emotional rollercoaster that is worth taking.  At the heart of this story are two women who were acquaintances in high school, but are reintroduced as adults.  Beatrice Munson moves into the neighborhood and turns the lives of what I call Stepford Wives upside down.  All of these women stopped following their dreams when they started raising their families, Beatrice in many ways shows each woman the way to find her true happiness.

I became quite attached to each woman and enjoyed "watching" them find what made them happy.  Sometimes in a story when a woman finds her happiness, she leaves the man in her life; I felt that this book did not go that route and instead women were able to fulfill their dreams AND keep the man in their life.

A book that all women would enjoy.  

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Pages:  307

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's Monday, What are you Reading? (40)

Another Monday has come and this week could be busier than the last which doesn't look completely appealing.  I am a week and a half away from our company retreat - one of the biggest parts of my job beyond the whole being the CEOs assistant thing.

A meme hosted by The BookJourney.

Currently Reading:
Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews

Next off the TBR pile:
Children of the Paranoia by Trevor Shane

In My Mailbox (46)

A quiet week in my mailbox, which was a good thing because my piles are definitely overwhelming the condo!  So check out this vlog to see what I got in my mailbox this week.

A meme hosted by The Story Siren.

Swap Websites:
The Last Year of Being Married by Sarah Tucker
Life in Miniature by Linda Schlossberg
The Right Fit by Sinead Moriarty

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Ramble: Fall for the Book

What a great week of book nerdiness!  There were many authors I wanted to catch, but I only had the chance to get to three - which I would say was a pretty good number.

Tayari Jones

An awesome author from the south who in some genius way is able to channel the emotions of a child.  Although, I haven't read a book by her yet, I absolutely adored her reading.  As there were professors who had taught an earlier book of hers - Leaving Atlanta, she gave us the opportunity to hear a reading from that book - definitely going to go pick that one up after I read Silver Sparrow.

Dr. Abraham Verghese

A wonderfully, hilarious author who is full of stories with an immense background beyond being an author.  The boy went along with me to this event which was new and fun because he doesn't usually attend the bookish events with me.  Dr. Verghese picked an extremely funny excerpt and he added such character when he read it - I loved it.  When he signed my book, I was able to chat with him for just a moment and what a joy to see an author's true character.

Conor Grennan

Absolutely funny!  Instead of doing a reading, Conor recapped 3/4 of the book and left the audience who hadn't read the book with a good cliffhanger.  I had read this one and was beyond ecstatic to meet the author.  His use of visuals helped the presentation and brought the story home on a whole other level.  As he signed my book, we were able to make conversation and I may have geeked out in telling him how much I both appreciated his book and the work he has done so far.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Review: Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

Goodreads:  The story of three young women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressures and new love - all while suffering through an endless round of wedding and bridal showers.

Isabella, Mary and Lauren are going to be bridesmaids in Kristi's wedding.  On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, eat tiny sandwiches, and drink mimosas.  They're all happy for Kristi, but they do havethe ups and downs of their own lives to cope with.  Isabella is working at a mailing-list company, where she's extremely successful, and widly unhappy.  Mary is in love with a man wo may never love any woman as much as he loves his mother.  And Lauren, a waitress at a midtown bar, finds herself drawn to a man she's pretty sure she hates.

Kritters Thoughts:  What a book - this book is so good, I am putting it on my shelf to read again, that never happens!  A collection of a short stories or a book with characters weaving in and out - I don't know or care how you call it, it was excellent.

As a girl who finds herself right in the thick of this book, I found my friends amongst her characters and even found myself in some of the same situations.  I think this is why I fell so much in love with this book because I could completely relate to all of the characters.  I enjoyed that each chapter involved a few of the friends, but you saw them again in another chapter.  So yes, maybe it was a collection of short stories, but because you saw the characters again, I think it is a book where each chapter highlights a different character.  I will not divulge any details - because this is a must grab, purchase it quickly.

I will be buying this book in bulk for my girlfriends - I know they will love to read about us at the time we are right now in our lives.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Pages:  304

July - Sept 2011 Challenge: Red, White & Blue

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: Just My Type by Simon Garfield

Goodreads:  Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product we buy.  But where do fonts come from, and why do we need so many?  Who is responsible for the staid practicality of Times New Roman, the cool anonymity of Arial, or the irritating levity of Comic Sans (and the movement to ban it)?

Typefaces are now 560 years old, but we barley knew their names until about twenty years ago when the pull-down font menus on our first computers made us all the gods of type.  Beginning in the early days of Gutenberg and ending with the most adventurous digital fonts, Simon Garfield explores the rich history and subtle powers of type.  He goes on to investigate a range of modern mysteries, including how Helvetica took over the world, what inspires the seeming ubiquitous use of Trajan on bad movie posters, and exactly why the all-type cover of Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus was so effective.  It also examines why the "T" in the Beatles logo is longer than the other letters and how Gotham helped Barack Obama into the White House. 

Kritters Thoughts:  I may not be the girl who notices the small details or differences in ads or commercials, but I do love how the subtle differences in font can change the way something reads.  As a bona-fide reader, I can definitely feel a difference between a more manly font compared to a more feminine font.  From the history of fonts and typography to where a few fonts were specifically created, this book took a humorous and educational approach to teaching the reader what makes a font a font.  

At times there was a little too much education for me, but I think even your average reader would love to learn about how the art of typography has evolved, even from the production side.  How the computer has completely changed how accessible fonts are?  And to the job of a font designer - where is the money?  

A book that I am passing onto my sister a graphic designer, craft guru, but also one that I would pass onto my fellow reader.  Why is one drawn to a certain font?  How does Microsoft dictate what font is default?  I think this book answers many questions that the typical reader may have thought from time to time.

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

Pages:  288

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author in conjunction with Crazy Book tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: The Night I Got Lucky by Laura Caldwell

Goodreads:  When Billy suddenly gets everything she wants, it turns out to be the last thing she needs . . .

A long-waited promotion.  Freedom from emotional baggage.  A newly - ahem - amorous husband.  What's wrong with this picture?  Well . . . everything.  For starters, Billy hasn't actually earned any of it.  Instead, like some  character in a fairy tale, this stuck-in-a-rut publicist had all her wishes granted overnight - which feels great, at first.  But soon Billy's brand-new success starts to unravel - who'd have thought becoming a VP would be so Very Painful?  Or that a harmelss crush on a co-worker would turn not-so-harmless now that he's crushing back?  It'll take a surreal, rollicking, high-stakes journey for Billy to realize what she really wants out of life . . . before it's too late.

Kritters Thoughts:  If you are in the mood for a light chick lit read - grab this one.  It is cute and sweet and even has a message to take away.  The main character Billy (yes, a female named Billy, she blames her father) is not so happily married and not so happily working as an account executive at a PR firm.  She visits a therapist and then overnight her life changes and all the things she was complaining about in therapy have changed for the positive.  But as she lives this new life she sees the negative amongst all the change.

I loved that she was living in her new life and it slowly unfolded that she wasn't enjoying each thing that she had wished for.  As she finds out what made these changes occur, it is hilarious to watch her try to get her old life back. 

A great girlie read that can be read almost in one sitting whether that be on a lounge chair by the pool or curled up by a fire in the winter.  A Red Dress Ink oldie but a goodie!

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Pages: 256

Off the Shelf 2011 Challenge: 18 of 50

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's Monday, What are you Reading? (39)

Another Monday has come, I am headed to the Fall for Books Festival, Philadelphia for a baseball game, and a long week at work - this annual retreat is taking up this full time job!

I am keeping my reading simple this week!

A meme hosted by Book Journey.

Currently Reading:
The Lady of Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Next off the TBR pile:
Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

In My Mailbox (45)

For Review:
Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry
Quiet: The Power of Introvers in a World That Can't Stop Thinking by Susan Cain
Meggie Brooks by Daphne Woods
Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane
Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

Swap Websites:
I Do (But I Don't) by Cara Lockwood
I Did (But I Wouldn't Now) by Cara Lockwood
The Quest for the Holy Veil by Kimberly Llewellyn

An Amazon Order:
Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane
Just Like Me, Only Better by Carol Snow
Good Enough to Eat by Stacey Ballis
Georgia's Kitchen by Jenny Nelson

Present from mom:
The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Ramble: DNF

DNF - Did Not Finish. 

Alright, who out there doesn't finish books.  Before this past week, I had finished every book I started for the past 2 years.  I rarely start a book that I don't intend to finish.  I got 80 pages into a book this past week and just couldn't finish it.  As a blog that promotes the good in books, I will keep this not so great read nameless, other readers may love it more than I could.

SO I dropped it.  I set a book down and I don't know how it finished.

A short and sweet Ramble, but what are your thoughts?  Do you not finish books?  What do you do afterwards?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Review: Freedom's Call by John Walker

Goodreads:  Johnny Locker is the leader of a massively popular movement to overhaul the nation's Social Security system.  Unbeknownest to him, another movement is in place - and this one's much more dangerous.  A charismatic military hero has a plan to overthrow the entire governmental system and replace it with one more closely based on the Constitution.  And he wants Johnny's help.  Johnny is quickly swept up in the general's big ideas, but he soon realizes that the new leader is just as corrupt as the old.  With the support of other dissidents, Johnny finds himself once again leading a grassroots movement that will reshape the nation.  He has always been a bit of a rebel, but to answer freedom's call, he must also become a revolutionary.

Kritters Thoughts: A sort of dystopian with a twist - a new type of government needs to be established as the current government has grown too big and is completely corrupt.  An interesting book to read at this time when people may be thinking that our government has become too big and has gained too much control.  As we enter an election year, this book is something that some may want to read before they pick the candidate that they choose.

This book was short and simple - a movement was under way when the government "intervens" and the Chinese attack Washington, D.C.  Without giving away this short story, Johnny Locker is the center of the movement and then becomes the center of the new government. 

If you like a little conspiracy mixed with the political world, this would be a book worth picking up.

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

Pages:  192

July-Sept 2011 Challenge:  Stars & Stripes Forever

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Interview with Nicky Wells

Welcome to Nicky Wells, author of Sophie's Turn.  I reviewed her book yesterday and I was given the opportunity to send her some questions and here are her answers . . .

1. What do you find yourself rambling about?

I find myself rambling a quite a lot, full stop.  I've always been chatty . . . I have been told that I am verbose and that I use too much circumlocution!  But that's me!  I can ramble on for hours about nothing in particular, and quite often about many things at once.  My husband finds that quite exhausting, as do friends who get telephone messages from me.  Very often, I get called back with the words, 'I didn't listen to all of your message, I just though I'd ring you back.'

So: I guess this gives you a flavour for me rambling on about nothing in particular.  Being more specific, I ramble on about my children (whom I adore), the state of world politics (which I deplore), the state of the NHS (ditto), the weather (ditto ditto) and my book (adore again).

2. You have written Sophie's Turn which is chick lit, would you ever consider writing another genre?

That's a really good question.  When I started thinking about writing, I did wish to write literary fiction, but Sophie's Turn needed to be written fast.  No matter how hard I tried, that was the book that was crying to be born and I was inexorably drawn towards it.  Besides, I do love chick lit so it was easy.

That said, I have ideas for other books.  Some are more literary in nature, some border more on a psycho thriller.  I truly am scared that these ideas live in my head so I'm not sure I'll ever let them out.

What I am considering quite seriously is children's fiction.  I have several drafts (dating quite a few decades back) of stories that would easily translate into three or more books.  However, Sophie's story isn't complete, and until it is, I am committed.

3. When becoming an author, did you have any speed bumps along the way?  If so, how did you overcome then?

Do you know, I still don't really think of myself as an author.  Writing is just something I do, and now that I'm increasingly being referred to as 'the author', I have to adjust to this new identity.  I guess my biggest speed bump at this time of trying to build my career more seriously is, quite simply, time.  There are so many prior demands on my time (being a mother, wife, housewife, volunteer teaching assistant, neighbour, friend, daughter) that writing too often comes last, gets squeezed into an hour here or there.  That will have to change when I start writing the sequel for Sophie's Turn in earnest.

4. When looking at your female lead, do you put a piece of your own personality into the character?

I feel it would be hard not to put a piece of myself into Sophie, or indeed Rachel, or Dan.  Or even Tim!  In order to make the characters real, credible, charming and likeable (or notso likeable, as it were) you need to build empathy, and it's hard to empathise with feelings, motivations, or situations that you haven't experienced yourself.  I'm not sure I'm doing a good job explaining here . . . None of the characters are exactly me, but I couldn't have created them and written about them without considering me.  Perhaps it would be fair to say that I use myself as a bit of a frame of reference.  I think about what I like, dislike, would like from love or life, and move the characters either towards or away from my ideal.

5.  What is your favorite part of the writing process?  And why? (i.e. beginning, middle or end)

Let me answer this question backwards.  I intensely dislike the end of the writing process, because I start second-guessing everything.  I'm possibly my own worst critic!  And then there's the whole business of checking for typing and grammatical errors . . . nightmare!

I enjoy the front-end of writing process because I'm a big planner and it gives me great satisfaction to create, through various iterations, the blueprint for my book.  I get to a stage where I tingle with excitement: then I know that I will write another book.  I'm just at this stage now.

But my absolute favourite is the actual writing.  Owing to so much planning, the first draft usually writes itself smoothy and quickly.  As I touch type, I very often find that I'm 'reading' my book as well as writing it, and that can get very exciting.  Frequently characters don't stick to my plan - they haven't read it, after all - and take unexpected turns or do the opposite to what they are supposed to.  Then I sit at the keyboard typing away furiously, wondering just how it's all going to go back on track (it always does) and finding myself entertained along the way.  It's the most wonderful feeling!

6.  What is next on your plate?

I am working on the sequel to Sophie's Turn.  As I mentioned earlier, I am just about to complete what I call my planning stage.  I have an outline, an initial overview (a flowchart with bullet points describing the plot) and I have yet to complete the master overview (a one-page summary of each chapter with notes regarding special events/places/dialogue/crisis points, etc.).  The way things are going at the moment, I will complete the master overview by end of September.  And then . . . I write!

Nicky - thank you for answering my questions and it was a pleasure to review your book!  I am definitely going to be on the look out for the next book about Sophie.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: Sophie's Turn by Nicky Wells

Goodreads:  Slapper.  Slut.  Adulteress.  These are hardly words that Sophie Penhalligan would normally use to describe herself.  And yet this is exactly how she is behaving, all things considered, even if she isn't quite married to Tim yet.  Aged nineteen, she travelled halfway across the country to honour an invitation by her favorite rock band, Tusk, to join them for the last gig of their tour.  And now her past is coming to tempt her . . .  How could Tim ever stand a chance against Dan, the charming, handsome lead-singer?  How could she?

Sophie, now twenty-eight and a budding newspaper journalist, is happily embroiled in a relationship with Tim, her boyfriend of two years.  Until recently, she was confident that Tim would eventually propose - probably as soon as he could get his act together.  But just as Tim's persistent inaction is beginning to cast a cloud over their relationship, Dan's sudden reappearance turns Sophie's world upside down.  Thus unfolds a roller-coaster of events including an ill-fated trip to Paris with Tim, a night of unfulfilled romance with Dan, and Sophie's professional secondment to accompany Dan's band on their revival tour - at Dan's special request and very much against her will.

And then, one day in Paris, Sophie suddenly finds herself engaged to Dan while her erstwhile fiance Tim is . . . well, doing whatever it is Tim does back in London.  What is she to do now?  Who wouldn't give anything to meet their favourite star, let alone marry him?

Kritters Thoughts:  Have you ever had to choose between two men who were vastly different, but both perfect in many ways?  Do you wish you could just settle down, if only with the Mr. Right?  Well, if you haven't found yourself in that situation, but want to read about the deciding between the rock star and the steady boyfriend - this book should be the first one you pick up.

I absolutely fell in love with this book.  A sweet chick lit that kept you guessing until the end, which guy did you want her to marry?  As a reader, I couldn't make a decision, I wanted to combine the two guys to create the perfect guy for her.  I was completely on the roller coaster with her waffling between her two guys and not knowing where she should end up.  On top of the two men, the story had the perk of a best friend who would not only ground Sophie, the main character but challenge her thoughts.

As I never reveal the ending because I want everyone to get this one, I loved how she ended this story.  A chick lit for all ages worth reading - move this one to the top of your wish list.  

Rating:  absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Pages: 229

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's Monday, What are you Reading? (38)

A full week of work lies ahead and I am wishing for another holiday Monday.  What should be a quiet week, should also be a good week of reading!

Currently Reading:
Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

Next on the TBR pile:
Beatrice Munson by Lorena Bathey

The Ramble - My 9-11

As the 10 year anniversary is going on as this is posting, I wanted to recount my experience and where I was on that fateful day.  A freshmen in college with only a few weeks under my belt, I woke up on that Tuesday getting ready for a college coffee and a class when my room mate arrived with the news that we must turn on the news as something is going on.  In our Chandler dorm, we turned on the tv and watched as the second plane hits the building.   

After reality started to hit and we realized that we were not watching a movie, we gathered into a room mate's room with the rest of the girls in the suite.  Between our small group there was not a New Yorker in the bunch, but we started thinking about others on the hall and we quickly ran to find Brian who was from Long Island.  On the phone, trying to get a hold of those from home, he was shook up and was ready to jump into action to do something on campus to help others that were impacted.

At the time, my dad was an employee of NASA in Hampton Roads, VA.  He frequented the DC area for meetings and once I realized that the Pentagon was hit, I made a phone call home to see if he was in the area and if he was ok.  For a second to think that he could have been in the mess, I lost it. 

Now as a resident of a suburb of DC - it feels so close.  It felt so far away while attending Elon and living in Charlotte, but now it is right down the road.  Even more so, as I date a police officer, I know that if anything were to happen in our area, he would be off to rescue others as I sit and hold down our fort.  This makes me think about all of those who wives who were holding down their forts as their men ran into the bulidings and rescuing others - some of the heroes of that day that are still standing. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Review: That Day in September by Artie Van Why

Goodreads:  We all have our stories to tell of where we were the morning of September 11, 2001.  This is one of them.  In That Day In September Artie Van Why gives an eyewitness account of that fateful morning.  From the moment he heard "a loud boom" in his office across from the World Trade Center, to stepping out onto the street, Artie vividly transports the reader back to the day that changed our lives and our country forever.  That Day In September takes you beyond the events of that morning.  By sharing his thoughts, fears, and hopes, Artie expresses what it was like to be in New York City in the weeks and months following.  The reader comes away from That Day In September with not only a more intimate understanding of the events of the day, but also with a personal glimpse of how one person's life was dramatically changed forever.

Kritters Thoughts:  An emotional read that takes you to street level as to what happened on that day and the days following.  As a viewer from afar, I ached for New York City, but never completely understood the impact it had to the person on the street.  I found that perspective through this book.

With a little back story as to how Artie ended up across the street from the Towers on the day of the attacks, I enjoyed finding out how he ended up on that street on that day.  The way he described what he saw, I felt as though I was right beside him that morning from before the attacks happened to running for his life and then walking the many blocks to his apartment.  I saw all of this on tv on that day and the days to follow, but to read it - I really felt the emotion of running for your life.

A novellette that will take you on the journey to days and years of New York City before the towers came down to the days and years after.  You see and feel how this one city became a city of survivors that would cling to each other to grieve for their loss.

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

Pages:  108

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Review: Where You Left Me by Jennifer Gardner Trulsonr

Goodreads: Two love stories with healing in between . . . An extraordinary account of the events of September 11, 2001, and their aftermath by Jennifer Gardner.

Kritters Thoughts: An emotional rollercoaster that takes you from the past before the event that not only shook the United States, but also Jennifer Gardner's world to the present day (I will not spoil this heartwrenching story for you one bit). I did everything from laughing to sobbing while reading this book and I may be an emotional wall to wreck because I rarely sob during a movie or while reading a book. This one touched me to the core and made me think about how we as a country and some individuals were forever changed by the actions of others.

As we all know that 9/11 made widows and widowers out of many in New York, DC and beyond. I appreciated reading the story of an individual who lived through both ups and downs while trying to live without the partner that she had made a home and life with. I felt extreme sadness for her two young children, who will be forever changed by a day that lives in infamy, they will mourn with many others each year on what has become a national day of mourning.

A truthful story with a soul and one that continues as each day can be a struggle when you have lost someone close so quickly. A recommended read for those who wish to read a personal story that started on 9/11, but is still being written.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Pages: 256

July - Sept 2011 Challenge: Ain't that the Truth?

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge via Simon & Schuester's Galley Grab.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: When No One is Watching by Joseph Hayes

Goodreads: On the eve of announcing his run for Congress, a charismatic Chicago politician causes a deadly accident. Panicked, he frames his best friend, a good-hearted alcoholic, and flees the scene. As one man tries to pick up the pieces of his shattered life, the other embarks on a meteoric rise to political stardom. But when a dogged detective digs deeper into the case, the political superstar must decide just how far he is willing to go to keep his dark secret and avoid an explosive scandal that could ruin him and rock the entire nation.

Kritters Thoughts:  Have you ever been sucked into a story from page one?  Have you ever known who the bad guy was, but somehow kept rooting for him a little?  Danny and Blair, two friends who have stood by each other's side until a fateful night where careless driving ends up with someone dead and a friendship lost.

I had a hard time reading this book because I kept finding myself feeling a little pity for the resident bad guy.  I blame the nasty father-in-law and the conniving wife, if it weren't for them our bad guy would have been put in the dog house much faster.  Full of colorful characters, this book had heart and soul with a story that progressed through the years with ease and finesse.  I loved jumping through times in both of their lives and watching both of them grow.

I would recommend this one to both genders and all ages.  The simplicity of the story helps the reader to purely enjoy the writing of each unique character and keep current with the story.  I definitely loved this one.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Pages: 320

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author in conjunction with Partners in Crime tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

#1 party in Nashville for Jason Aldean's Dirt Road Anthem or as I kept calling it - Dirty Anthem.  Thank you Abi, definitely can't wait to return to Nashville in October with the boy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Review: Telling Lies by Cathi Stoler

Goodreads: How many lies does it take to get away with murder? A chance encounter at Florence's Uffizi Gallery plunges Women Now editor Laurel Imperiole and private investigator Helen McCorkendale into an investigation of missing persons and stolen Nazi art. Could the man Laurel bumped into really have been Jeff Sargasso, an art dealer and friend who perished in the World Trade Center on 9/11? Searching for answers, Laurel and Helen thread their way through a sinister-and possibly deadly-skein of lies.

Kritters Thoughts:  Are you a fan of mystery, art dealing with a 9/11 twist?  I was intrigued, so I signed up for this one.  The story centers aorund a magazine editor who gets tangled up in the middle of an art dealing that involves a man who was presumed to perish when the Towers fell in New York City.  Getting from a magazine editor to the end was a ride worth taking. 

The intermingling story lines were easy to navigate.  Part of the mystery was trying to find out what piece of art was being coveted and why each party wanted it in their possession.  Not only were there many parties who wanted the piece of art, there were three different detectives trying to find the answer, a jumble of characters that each had a distinct personality and plotline.

A great mystery to grab while we are in the midst of honoring the anniversary of 9/11.  Through the rest of the year, this art dealing heist is thrilling from beginning to end.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel 

Pages: 270

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author in conjunction with Tribute Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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