Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Free Shipping with Barefoot Books

Just wanted to pass the word along that Barefoot Books is offering FREE shipping on all orders over $35, now through June 27th. I plan to stock up myself for all of those summer birthday parties my daughter has been invited to - the books, games, and toys offered by BB make great gifts!

Still Alice

Has anyone else read Still Alice by Lisa Genova? The minute I started reading this book, I could not put it down. The main character, Alice, is a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard with the world at her fingertips when she is given a devastating diagnosis. Recent memory lapses thought to be a symptom of menopause turn out to be an indicator of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Completely riveting, the book follows Alice through the early stages of her disease and then its inevitable progression and the effect it has not only on her, but her family as well. Definitely a must read!

Another re-entry into the blogosphere

The last time I posted I had every intention of getting back to regular blogging. As you can see from the date of my last post, that didn't happen. Here's hoping it will this time. I resigned from my full-time position about a year ago to stay home with my daughter, and since then have picked up a variety of part-time jobs, all of which I love (reference librarian, local yarn shop worker and knitting instructor, tutor, etc.). Those part-time jobs, combined with a toddler running around, leave me with little spare time. However, I've always loved to write and I am determined to carve out more time for doing just that - starting with more frequent updates of this blog.

I've been struggling with whether or not I want to combine the two blogs I have maintained in the past, this one and also My Fair Daisy where I discuss my other obsessions - yarn, knitting, and other fibery goodness. I think it would be easier for me to maintain just one blog, on the other hand, it's nice to have two separate areas devoted to particular audiences. Hmmm...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Barefoot Books

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I am now a SAHM. Wanting some sort of outlet for myself outside of the home, I decided to become a Barefoot Books Ambassador, meaning I am now an independent bookseller of Barefoot Books. I had been a fan of Barefoot Books for quite some time, but just recently found out about their ambassador program. Barefoot Books is a publisher of children's and young adult literature (as well as games, puzzles, and CDs) and promotes diversity, tolerance, multiculturalism, and environmental awareness in all of their books. The artwork in each book is stunning and I am very happy to have now become a part of the Barefoot Books team of ambassadors.

From time to time, I will post about current sale offers on my blog, as well as reviews of some of my favorite Barefoot Books and notifications of upcoming releases. Please feel free to visit my site for some book browsing or shopping! You can also access the current sale offers by clicking "SALE" when you visit my site. I have also posted a link to Barefoot Books in the sidebar of my blog.

For a chance to win some of your own Barefoot Books, visit this blog and read all about one of Barefoot Books' amazing authors!

Up next, some reviews of recent adult books I have read...

Monday, August 03, 2009

I'm baaaack - is anybody still out there?

After a year and a half hiatus, I am finally making my re-entry back into the blogosphere. Much has happened in the past year and a half...after a rough pregnancy, my husband and I are now the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl who will be referred to as baby "M" for the sake of this blog. I've also resigned from my full-time job in corporate research, something I never thought I would do, and now stay home with the baby and pick up a few hours here and there tutoring. So with that being said, I find I finally have time to do some blogging again.

Recently I had the opportunity to review The Help by Kathryn Stockett for my local paper. I loved this book and had a great time reviewing it. If you haven't read this book yet, go out and get it - you won't be disappointed. I also got the chance to meet Stockett (who is just as nice as can be and gorgeous too I might add) in person at last month's ALA conference in Chicago which was fabulous. I met my old college roommate out there for the conference and it was a total blast. We are already planning next year's trip to the conference in DC.

That's it for now - just wanted to say hello and that I am looking forward to catching up on all of your blogs!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hanging up the blog for now

I've been quiet for a few months and think it may be time for me to hang up the blog. At least for the short-term. My husband and I are expecting our first child later this year and my morning sickness has been HORRENDOUS. I haven't had much chance to do any reading or anything else for that matter as everything seems to make me nauseous. I hope in time I will start to feel better and will get back into the reading habit. But wanted to say farewell for now - I am very grateful to have become part of the book blogging community and hope to get back to it someday. You may still find comments from me here and there; when I do feel well enough to read more again your blogs will be the first I go to for book recommendations!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Eva's Book Meme

I've been tagged by CoversGirl at Between the Covers for another meme. This one originated at Eva's A Striped Armchair. It's a fun one - here goes...

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I confess I haven't actually read any reviews of it, but I have had several friends tell me I should read it and everytime someone brings it up I inwardly cringe and just sort of say "hmmm..." so as not to offend anyone but to also escape having to commit to reading the book to appease the person. It just sounds way too New Age-y for me and I know the minute I start reading it I will be berating myself for ever agreeing to read it in the first place.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
Probably because I just read Plum Lucky, Stephanie Plum and her sidekick Lulu, and of course Grandma Mazur. Dinner at the Plum family home in the 'Burg would be perfect. I need to know these women in real life - there would never be a dull moment!

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): You are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
The only one coming to mind right now is Billy Budd by Herman Melville. I'm not even sure if this qualifies as a novel - it might be more of a novella although I can't remember now. I had to read this for my 11th grade English class and remember being so painfully bored by the book and the assignments that went with it that I wanted to throw a tantrum everytime I had to go to that class. Granted, this is going back about 16 years, but something tells me if I read it again now I would still find it unbearable.

Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?
Probably Pride and Prejudice, although not intentionally. I think I feel like I know the story so well from all of the movie adaptations I have seen that it sounds like I might have read it, but not yet :) I assure you though, this is the year I will read it!

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t? Which book?
I don't think this has happened to me...I can usually remember which books I have read and haven't read. At least the ones that matter to me anyway.

You’ve been appointed Book Advisor to a VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (if you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead of personalise the VIP)
I would have to agree with CoversGirl here - a book of short stories would be the way to go. Then the person doesn't have to commit to anything more than 30 or 40 pages and might be more likely to finish it. Either that or Harry Potter book #1. Book #1 was still pretty slim and very entertaining - and if the person liked it they would then have 6 more to read.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?
French. After 5 years of high school and college French I seem to have lost most comprehension of the language. But that doesn't stop me from "reading" my favorite magazine Marie Claire Idees. I mostly love it for the pictures, but it sure would be nice to be able to actually read all of the captions, articles, and craft instructions. I love that magazine. I'd also love to visit Paris and the French countryside again, this time understanding the language. I am sure it would be a very different experience.

A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
Little Women. Didn't even have to think about that one.

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art - anything)?
I've gotten more intrigued by the fantasy genre. Until recently I only dabbled in fantasy lit, now I find I have a greater appreciation for it.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works?
Creaky floors, lots of built-in bookshelves, comfy leather chairs, the perfect window seat overlooking lush gardens, a kitty snoozing in the corner, a dog snoozing in the other corner, gourmet snacks and every book I've ever wanted to read and then some. I could go on and on, but this is a good starting point.

I won't tag anyone specifically for this, but if you're reading consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Challenges, movies, and Literacy and Longing in L.A.

Literacy and Longing in L.A.I finally seem to be getting to all of those books I have been wanting to read for sometime now, but for whatever reason have gotten distracted from somewhere along the way. For instance, Literacy and Longing in L.A. has been on my TBR list for months now, and at last I have immersed myself in it and am enjoying it immensely. I love the fact that the main character Dora goes on "book benders" whenever she is faced with emotional turmoil she doesn't want to deal with. There are tons of literary references in this book and each chapter's heading begins with a perfect literary quote. One paragraph in particular early on in the book really jumped out at me.

"I collect books the way my girlfriends buy designer handbags. Sometimes I just like to know I have them and actually reading them is beside the point. Not that I don't eventually read them. I do. But the mere act of buying them makes me happy - the world is more promising, more fulfilling. It's hard to explain, but I feel, somehow, more optimistic. The whole act just cheers me up."

This describes my book buying habits to a T. I am forever buying books, excited by the new novels that will line my bookshelves. No matter that I already have more books than I know what to do with and that a good chunk of them are those that haven't been read yet - just knowing that I can walk into any room of my house and pick up a book that suits my mood is somehow comforting. It can make a crappy day seem less crappy and provide a much needed escape.

I'm hoping to crack open some Jane Austen novels in the coming weeks. I've been watching the Masterpiece Theater film adaptations on PBS Sunday nights. I thought Persuasion was ok, but I really enjoyed Northanger Abbey. And I am ashamed to admit that I've never actually read any of Jane Austen's works. In an attempt to inject some classical literature reading into a standing bookclub I am a member of, I suggested we pick a Jane Austen novel, read it, and compare it with the movie and then discuss both for a future meeting. Sounds like a good idea, right? I had noticed that PBS posted a nifty book and film club discussion guide. However, my suggestion went over like a lead balloon so suffice it to say I will be reading Austen on my own. Ah well, I tried...and everyone's tastes are different. But I couldn't help feeling disappointed by those people who weren't willing to even try reading one of her books. Kind of like when people tell me they don't like to read or couldn't possibly find the time to doesn't make me think any less of them as a person, but right away I get that deflated feeling from knowing that I will never be able to talk books with that person as books are such a huge part of my world. It makes me want to scream at these people too - "Do you have any idea what you are missing???" But at the same time I know I have to realize that not everyone loves to read. And there's nothing wrong with that (even if I happen to think it's bizarre :)

And speaking of PBS, while watching the Jane Austen adaptations I stumbled across the show the Vicar of Dibley and found myself roaring with laughter. Definitely a show to be DVR'd for me!

I've seen some challenges posted about in the blogosphere and I think I'm going to jump on the Chunkster Challenge bandwagon. I thought this one would be perfect for me since three of the books in my current TBR pile are indeed chunksters. Here is my pick list for now with the option to add others as I think of them.

1. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
2. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (It's about time - this one has been waiting on the shelf for me for the past 2 years!)
3. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (I've been saving this one for a rainy day because I know it is going to be oh, so good! I think it qualifies as a chunkster, although I haven't checked the page count.)

And last but not least, have people seen that there is to be a movie adaptation of Meyer's Twilight series? If you go to her website, you can see who has been cast as Bella and Edward. I'm in agreement with the casting - both actors look similar to how I had envisioned the characters. Robert Pattinson, aka Cedric Diggory from HP, is a great choice I think - those cheekbones lend themselves well to the vampire look. What does everyone else think? Are they happy with the casting choices?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Latest reads

After getting my stitches out Friday, I met some friends for dinner at John Harvard's. And enjoyed a very tasty post-stitches meal :) Finally being able to open my mouth wide enough to cram a hamburger in was wonderful. We started with a buffalo tender appetizer, enjoyed a couple of winter warmer beers - with the glass rims coated in cinnamon sugar, yum - before polishing off a good sized burger and fries. An excellent meal indeed. Afterwards we moseyed on over to the movie theater and saw P.S. I Love You. I had my doubts about this movie as I wasn't too crazy about the book, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I actually liked the movie better than the book, which almost never happens. I still say it's more of a renter though rather than a pay $10 to see it like my friends and I did.

AtonementCurrently, I am reading Atonement and am enjoying it, although based on what I am hearing and the tone the book is setting, I am getting the feeling that things do not end well. I can't say for sure though, I need to keep reading. I've just gotten to part three. I do think I will try some of McEwan's other books once I've finished this one and gotten through a few more in my stack. I've heard good things about Saturday as well.

Literacy and Longing in L.A.Next, I am hoping to sink my teeth into Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (book 6) or Literacy and Longing in L.A. - I've had L&L in L.A. on request from the library for months now and a copy finally came in. I'm not really even sure what it is about but I've seen it blogged about quite a bit.

The Tea Rose: A Novel The Winter RoseI bought my copy of Jennifer Donnelly's The Winter Rose and can't wait to start reading. I read The Tea Rose right before Christmas and couldn't put it down - I thought it was fantastic! I ended up buying a copy of it as part of a Christmas gift for my MIL as I think she will really like it too. I just loved the setting of The Tea Rose and the historical fiction-ess of it - set in England, then NYC, and then England again. I loved reading about Fiona and her success as she moved up the ranks and became a very prominent business owner in the tea trade as I silently rooted for her and her long-lost love Joe (I will say no more in case you plan on reading yourself). Just a fabulous book. Another one of my favorite reads of 2007.

Did anyone watch Persuasion on PBS Sunday night as part of the Jane Austen Masterpiece Theater special they plan on running through the winter? I did while I caught up on a little knitting and I'm still undecided as to whether or not I liked it. I liked some of the scenery shots, but am not sure how impressed I was with the acting or the presentation of the film - it seemed a bit choppy to me. Of course I did like the story though - another Jane Austen novel I will have to read in the very near future! I do plan on watching the other movies - there is a new one every Sunday night. I am especially looking forward to Pride and Prejudice which I think has 5 parts.

I need to get my act together - I've noticed several new (or newer) reading challenges in the blogosphere many of which I want to join. I need to pick and choose which books are going to make my lists and then post about them!