Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (by Stieg Larsson)

I really enjoyed this book. This book is the first book in a new series (I'm hoping to get the second book for Christmas - The Girl who Plays with Fire!). I won't lie, it took a little bit to get into this book. The storylines are a bit complex, and the author is very detailed in his descriptions. And all the characters have Swedish names. After I got through the back stories and preliminary information, I had a hard time putting it down. So, if you start this book, push through the first 100, it'll be worth it in the end. This book is about a Swedish journalist, a Swedish Private Investigator, and a Swedish Financier. An investigation brings the three together. This book has elements of mystery, romance (albeit not the lovey type of romance), suspense, and murder. It throws curveballs at you, and kept me entertained after the first 100 pages. I definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in a good mystery.
Rating: CPD (after 100)
Up Next: The Pillars of the Earth (by Ken Follet) (this one is a mammouth (1,000 pages), so I am intermixing other books in as I get tired of it)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Story of Forgetting (by Stephen Merrill Block)

This book is very intellectually stimulating. The Story of Forgetting is mainly centered around early onset familial Alzheimers. But the way the Author tells the story makes it what it is. He weaves the stories of two men, one is in his 70s and the other is in his teens. Both men (or boys) experience the ramifications of alzheimers in their families in different ways. In the midst of these two separate stories, a sense of unity forms. This book details what alzheimers is, how it effects the mind, and the genetic contributions. It also details the human side of the disease, and its effect on the people it infects and the family members who care for those people. It is a tough book in the sense of the topic and how hard it is on the families, but it the story is presented in such a good way that it lessens the tragic effect of the disease. I recommend this book. I was particularly interested in it because of my psychology/neurology back ground from college, but I think anyone will enjoy this tale of two human spirits and the adversity they overcome.
Rating: CPD.
Up Next: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (by Stieg Larsson)

Friday, October 30, 2009

HAPPY HALLOWEEN (a day early)

I know what you're thinking, Silly Sara, Halloween is tomorrow! Well friends, I won't have time to blog till Sunday because of my fantastically fun weekend. Tonight starts off with a dinner, and Mary Poppins! Tomorrow is our spooky halloween party! Hope everyone has a ghoulishly delicious weekend.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Help (by Kathryn Stockett)

This was a great book, as is evidenced by the fact that it is a National Bestseller. This books concerns 1950s, Jackson, Mississippi. And is told from the perspective of three women - Miss Skeeter, Aibeleen, and Minny. The age range of characters in this book is primarily 23-30 year olds, and 50-60 year olds. This book centers around the interactions between women, whether black or white, whether friends or maids. It catalogues the relationship dynamics between all different types of women. It focuses also on the dynamics of the societal times during the 1950s and the different race relationships. It centers on a white woman, Miss Skeeter, who decides to write a book upon the urging of an editor in NYC. She decides to write the book about how "The Help" are treated in Jackson, Mississippi, and is helped by several maids/nannies in Jackson who contribute with their stories of working for women in Jackson. It was a well written book that gives a different perspective to the 1950s. I wasn't thrilled with the ending, but I understand why it was written the way it was. If you read the authors own personal story in the back of the book it makes a lot more sense why she chose to write about this topic.
Rating: Altogether good.
Up Next: The Story of Forgetting (by Stephen Block) (its for my book club).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dead Until Dark (by Charlaine Harris)

Okay, who doesn't enjoy a little juicy/easy read every once in a while? I know I thoroughly enjoy it! After reading Same Kind of Different As Me, I needed a lighter book to enjoy. (oh, I forgot to mention, when you read Same Kind of Different As Me make sure you have a kleenex box next to you towards the end of the book, just saying...). I went home to visit the mom and wound up with the whole Dead Until Dark series loaded into my SUV to take back with me to Houston. Dead Until Dark is the book that is the basis for "True Blood" on HBO. A fave of mine. I was interested to see how closely the show stuck to the book and well it does a pretty good job (now granted I've only read the first book, there are about 8 more to go). This book is about Sookie Stackhouse, who lives in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. Vampires have just entered the human world, and some are strikingly handsome. Like I said, if you have seen the first season of True Blood, then you know what this book is about. For those that don't watch it or don't have HBO, it is about Sookie meeting the vampire Bill who is trying to go "main stream" into society and live among humans. The book follows their love story, and other trial/tribulations/murders that take place along the way. Its enjoyable and an easy read. Now I just need to tackle the other 8 books (i'm bad at keeping up with series).

Rating: Good, but could put down.

Up Next: Sisters (by Danielle Steel) (yes you read that right, I even checked it out from the Public Library!)

Same Kind of Different As Me (by Ron Hall and Denver Moore)

This book was INCREDIBLE. It is an inspiring story that grips you from the moment you start reading it. At first I enjoyed it because it is based in the F-dub (that's Ft Worth for those Non-texans out there), and well I grew up right next door to F-dub, and knew all the places described in the book. The book is a true story written by two men (Ron Hall and Denver Moore) who meet in the most unusual of places (at a gospel mission in downtown f-dub). The story chronicles each men's lives throughout the period before, during, and after they meet. It is inspiring to read about the depth of their relationship, the impact of Ron's wife on the gospel mission, and the growth that occurs for both men throughout the book. It is a book about faith and belief. I recommend this book to anyone who needs a little inspiration/encouragement in life. It really makes you think about your life and the blessings in it and how you can impact the world.

Rating: CPD

Up Next: well...i already read the up next book for this post (i've been a bit slow in my blogging lately) - I read Dead Until Dark (by Charlaine Harris).

Monday, September 14, 2009

American Wife (by Curtis Sittenfeld)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I read this on a recommendation from Elaine and it was well worth it. I had a hard time putting it down. This book is loosely based on the life of Laura Bush. The main character is Alice, and it chronicles her life growing up from small town Riley, Wisconsin, to big town Washington, D.C. The book includes stories of love, happiness, sadness, friendship, and trials and tribulations I found relatable (well except for marrying the president of the U.S.). I didn't know much about Laura Bush's life, and would have to ask friends for information about her or to verify a storyline from the book. Its about 50/50 I would say. And it doesn't matter whether you like her or not, its just a good, girly story.
Rating: CPD
Up Next: Same Kind of Different as Me (about half way through right now).

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Hour I First Believed (by Wally Lamb)

I finished this book this weekend. It took me three weeks to read this for many reasons. One, it was long with small type, two, I had a hard time getting through, three, too many characters. This was a well written, dynamic, and complex book. It starts off with the Columbine shootings, and ends on a farm in Connecticut. This book is about one man - Caelum Quirk, and the aftermath and emotional turmoil of the Columbine shootings, and its effect on his wife Maureen, who suffered PTSD from the shootings (she was in the library (this is ficitional character)). It also goes into Caelum's family and ancestors. I had a hard time with characters that were mentioned in the beginning and then not mentioned again until page 400 and had to refresh my memory. Its very historical and sometimes I felt a bit slow. It wasn't a can't put down book, but if you are in the market for a very developed, character driven book, this one is for you. But if you are looking for a light read, I'd pass.
Rating: Just okay.
Up next: American Wife.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously (by Julie Powell)

I read this book in three days. It was a funny, witty memoir of Julie Powell's year long adventure to cook through Julia Child's "Master the Fine Art of Cooking". If you haven't been living under a rock, then you know what this book is about because the movie was released last week. I wanted to finish the book before I saw the movie (its generally how I like to do things, minus Harry Potter). It was an entertaining look at Julie's life while she attempted to cook all 600 or so recipes from the book. I related in a lot of ways to a lot of her stories and I think that made it more enjoyable. Let's face it, who doesn't get bored with their life and want to find a way to spice it up? Atleast every now and again. I can't wait to see the movie, because I have heard it is really fun! Julie's book is inspiring for all of us out there that like to cook, but have no training, and only have minimal space to cook, and not a lot of time.
Rating: CPD
Movie: Yes, out last week, with THE Meryl Streep and Amy Adams (who I adore)
Up Next: The Hour I First Believed (by Wally Lamb) (this is a long one, so a review might not come for a week or two).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Vision in White (by Nora Roberts)

This was a fun/easy read. If you love weddings and romance, you'll love this book. Its the first of four books in a series by Nora Roberts. I like Nora Roberts series (I read the Garden Series a few years back). I'm not sure when the 2nd one "Bed of Roses" is due out, but I heard in October. A group of four women, who have been best friends forever, start a wedding business at an estate that belongs to one of the four women. One woman is a photographer, one is a florist, another a baker, and another wedding planner. Each book is about each different woman. As you might tell from the title of this book, this book talks about the photographer - Mac. She is fun, witty, a little bit messed up, and easily relateable to. I recommed this book to anyone who wants a good, quick, light read. And, you'll find yourself wondering if there is another Carter Maguire out there for you too!
Rating: CPD the last half, it was a litte slow at the beginnig.
Movie: Nope.
Up next: Julie and Julia: A Year of Cooking Dangerously (by Julie Powell)

Friday, August 7, 2009

A little bit book crazy-

Last night I went to the bookstore, Borders. And as this blog can attest, I love books. I'm not sure what it is about bookstores but something just calms the soul when I go into one. Maybe its the thought of the endless adventures, stories, love, heartache, relationships, that I will be able to encounter by the books. Whatever it consumes me. Which is why I don't let myself go into bookstores too often (and by too often, I mean I go probably 1/2 a month). I went crazy last night. I bought 4 books, at one point I had 6 books in my arms. Now, keep in mind, these are in addition to the already 5 book long list on the right side of this blog. I just felt an itch to get some books. Maybe its my mom who I inherited that from, she and I can do some serious damage together at B&N. Anways, the books I added to my collection, and will surely be reviewed on this blog are as follows: An American Wife; Julie and Julia; An American Wife; Julie and Julia; Same Kind of Different as Me; and I Know this Much is True (Wally Lamb). I'm excited to read all four of those. The other two I put down were "The Help" and "Twenties Girl" by Sophie Kinsella. I'll save those for next time. And trust me, there will be a next time, and I'll probably still have 5 books on the list to read.

Vision in White review coming up shortly (about 100 pages left to read...)

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Pact (by Jodi Picoult)

I swear I don't always just read good books. I know it seems that way from all my CPD reviews as of late. This is another one of the CPD. I read this book because it is for my gal friends and I's monthly "book club" in August. I really liked it. If you are in the mood for a light hearted read, this isn't for you. It tackles a full range of aspects - friendship, love, commitment, legal, ethics, family, and the impact one person can have on another. Jodi Picoult always tackles the sensitive issues, and this one is definitely in that realm. It made me think about the implications of deep relationships and what it really means when you put someone above your own needs. I recommend this book, but only if you are in the mood for a thought-provoking dive into the human psyche.
Rating: CPD
Movie: The front of the book says it was made into a Lifetime Movie, I'll have to check that one out.
Up Next: Vision in White (by Nora Roberts)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (by JK Rowling)

I don't need to put a picture of this book on here because I'm going to go ahead and assume everyone knows what it looks like. I have to admit, I did not read any of the other Harry Potter books (well I read bits and pieces of the first one a while ago). I have just seen the movies over the past 7 or so years and I enjoy them. Well, after watching the last movie at the theater, I decided I didn't want to wait a year to find out how it all ended. So, I bought my first harry potter book, which happened to be the last one, and dove in. Man, was I hooked. I could not put this thing down. Everywhere I went I took the book with me in my oversized purse (even to the play I saw last week). I finished it this past weekend. It took me a week to get through all 750 pages. It was awesome, gripping, intriguing. It wrapped so many things up and made me wish I had read them all along. I definitely appreciated the characters a lot more. Maybe next summer I'll tackle the two prior to this last one. We shall see!

Rating: CPD x a million

Movie: Part one and two next year.

Up Next: The Pact (by Jodi Piccoult)

Friday, July 17, 2009

One For the Money (by Janet Evanovich)

I also read this book while on vacay (took me a total of one day). My mom is a big fan of this series and gave me the first five books to read, and then to return for the next 5. I think there are a total of 15 books now. I know I'm a bit late on the bandwagon, considering this book has been out since the lat 90s, but sometimes it takes me a while.
I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read, entertaining, and addictive. Its a mystery book about a female bounty hunter and her escapades. The writing is witty, just the way I like it. This story line was her first adventure, her being the main character Stephanie Plum, as a bounty hunter, because she needed some extra money. Its qutie humorous to read about her adventure with this new job and no experience. I look forward to reading books 2-15!
Rating: CPD.
No movie, although a tv series would be pretty cute!
UP Next: Still Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows.

Firefly Lane (by Kristin Hannah)

I read this book while on vacay in Mexico last week. I picked it up on a recommend from a fellow bookworm. Best recommend ever. If you are a girl, best friend, wife, daughter, woman, and mother, you'll enjoy and relate to this book. Firefly Lane follows a thirty year friendship of two girls that meet in the awkward throes of junior high, one seemingly outgoing girl and one seemingly insecure girl, both lonely. I think I related to both women throughout the book as they dove through different facets of life, whether its a crush, or choosing a career path or family, or accepting that the most important people in your life is the girl sitting next to you letting you cry on their shoulder, that you often times take for granted. This book has a realistic ending, and I won't say you won't need a box of tissues (just a hint). I got through this book in about 3 days. Granted, I was on vacation, with nothing to do but read this book, lay by the pool, and sip fruity drinks, but I think you will find yourself wanting to read it at every free moment you have.
Rating: CPD
I don't think a movie is being made about this book, but think "Beaches".
Up next: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Memory Keeper's Daughter (by Kim Edwards)

I just finished reading this wonderful book. This book took me a little while to get through but each time I picked it up I was hooked. This book contrasts two separate lives bound by one decision that occurrs at the beginning of the book by one of the main characters. To me, it symbolized the power of one decision on the the entirety of a life, about how one secret can change the course and direction of lives for not just the secret keeper. The title evidences this symbolism - the husband has a camera called the "memory keeper", and he is also the "memory keeper" for the choice/secret he made. This book also highlights the struggles and joys of a child with down syndrome, and the unconditional love shown by the childs "mother" and the child itself. It is a deep and thought provoking book. Definitely not a light summer read. But well worth it.

Rating: CPD.

Movie:, It was apparently turned into a lifetime tv movie in 2008. I definitely am interested in watching this!

Currently reading: The Virgin Lover (by Philipia Gregory)

I'm going on vacay in two weeks, anyone recommend some good light summer reading to read while laying by the beach/pool, sipping a rita?

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Reader (by Bernhard Schlink)

I just finished reading this book. It was intense, to say the least. It is full of ideas and messages that truly make you think. The basic plot line (as most know because of the release of the movie), is that a boy gets sick and taken in by a woman twice his age. A love affair occurs between the two for a summer. They meet again under entirely different circumstances at the Nazi war crime trials. She being the Nazi war criminal. It really made me think about the implications of all the horrible things that the Nazis did and the ramifications it had on future German generations. I recommend reading this book when you have the time to give it a good read. It is very thought provoking in more ways than one.
Rating: CPD.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Something Borrowed (By Emily Griffin)

I know I said I was reading Sarah's Keys, but instead I chose to read this because it has been sitting on my shelf for a while. And man am I glad I read it. I could. not. put. it. down. This book is about an attorney, she is thirty years old, and single, and has this best friend from childhood that is very selfish and consuming, yes consuming. I won't go into too much detail for fear of spoiling the book, but let's just say it's really about the struggle to please other people above yourself, what you sacrifice when you do that, and how to regain your ability to put yourself and your needs first, especially when it comes to love. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who happens to be a romantic. It also helped being an attorney and relating to the character in that way as well, although you don't have to be an attorney to relate. Just fyi.
Rating: CPD x a trillion.
Up next: Something Blue, the sequel to Something Borrowed. I feel attached to the character, so might as well pick up the next book in the series asap.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Lucky One (by Nicholas Sparks)

In true Nicholas Sparks tradition, this book is set in North Carolina. It concerns an ex-marine and his quest to find a girl in a photo that he found in Iraq. What unfolds is a story of love between the girl in the photo and the ex-marine, the relationship between the girl and her ex-hubby, and the relationship between the girl, the ex-marine, and the girl's son. Its set in a quiet NC town called Hampton. This was an easy read, slow at first but picked up towards the middle. It could have done without all the description and detail in the beginning, but I suppose it needed that to really understand the plight of the characters. I didn't cry at the end, like I do with most Nicholas Sparks books, but the characters remain with you even when you finish the book. (I thought about the characters this morning when I heard a commercial about ice cream (you'll have to read the book to understand)).
Length: about 300 (can't remember exactly)
Rating: LNL
Currently Reading: Sarah's Key (by Tatiana de Rosnay)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Sister's Keeper (by Jodi Picoult)

I finished this book last week. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This book concerns a family in the midst of decisions. One sister is sick, the other has been her donor for her entire life, a decision must be made and this book is about the varying thoughts and consequences and interactions that take place concerning this decision. It is told from the perspective of all the different characters. It examines the different family dynamics and personal struggles of all the characters. I read it in about 3 days.
Length: About 400 pages.
Movie: - to be released this year!
Rating: CPD.
Currently Reading: The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
Ratings Explained:
Here are my ratings -->
CPD = Can't Put Down
HTR = Hard to Read
ETPD = Easy to put down
LNL = Like not love

The First Post -

Hello Friends...

I have decided to, with the inspiration from (Elaine's blog), create my own book review blog. I love to read, its one of my most favorite things to do! I will share the books i'm reading on this and a little review. Keep in mind my opinions are my own, are not professional opinions by any means, but only opinions of a fellow book worm. (can you tell the lawyer in me, ha).

First book discussion to come later...

Much Love.