Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Readathon Update - Hour 19

Yay - finished another book.  The Sunshine Sisters by Jane French.  This would be classified as chick lit - but it was about family and what pushes them apart - and pulls them together - especially sisters.  Good book - look for a review soon.

Starting another ebook - My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood.  I see a theme about sisters developing here.  I am sure that I will be asleep before I finish this one though!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Readathon Update - Hour 15

Ok - so am 75% of the way through my second book - had a 2 hour break this morning for my son's soccer game.  Then tonight, went out to dinner and to a concert at the Genessee Theater in Waukegan.  We saw Led Zeppelin 2.  Good time was had by all.  But now - back to reading!




Readathon Update - Hour 3

So - just finished my first book (and yes - it was the one I had started already. . . )  so thought I would do some of the memes/challenges/updates etc. 

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?  I am reading in Northern Illinois
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?  Didn't prepare a stack this year, so just going to go to where I keep all my tbr books and see what strikes my fancy.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  Chocolate, of course.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!  I am a mom of three, grandmother of two and work in a school library and a public library.  I also needlepoint, so might do some of that today while listening to an audio book!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?  I have participated in a few of the read-a-thons and tend to get too caught up in the online stuff.  Going to try to read more today - but will be breaking for a soccer game this morning and a concert tonight. . . 


Hour 3 Challenge - 

  

Actually - this is the book I just finished - but like my Halloween cup?  :)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

It has been awhile since I posted - gonna try and change that in the future.  I have a stack of 6 books sitting next to the computer that need reviews - as well as some ebooks that need reviews.  But for now, I am going to post about Dewey's readathon which starts tomorrow!  Just another chance to read some more books that will need reviews!

I am not going to post a list of books, as I always do that and never seem to make a dent - which doesn't make me have a very accomplished feeling.  So this year we are going to start with the book I am currently reading (unless I finish it tonight. . . ) called Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson.  I am enjoying it, so it might not make it until tomorrow.  But if it does, I will feel accomplishment very early as I am almost finished with it already!

So until tomorrow - my other reads are going to be a mystery - even to me!  Happy reading!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Book Review: Final Demand by Deborah Moggach

Title: Final Demand
Author: Deborah Moggach
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Publication Date: June 6, 2017 (originally published Jan 1, 2005)

About the book:  Praised as "extraordinarily skillful" by award-winning novelist Anita Brookner, Deborah Moggach delivers in Final Demand an extremely powerful novel about the consequences of greed and deceit.  Natalie is a girl who should be going somewhere.  Although beautiful, bright, and ambitious, she's stuck in a dead-end job in the accounts department of a telecommunications company, living her life through wild weekends and yearning for something more.  While processing the final notice payments on customer's accounts, Natalie devises a simple little scam that could change her life in a major way.  And since it's only a minor crime -- nobody's going to get hurt -- she doesn't hesitate to follow through her scheme.

But when Natalie's selfish actions have tragic consequences, she learns there's no such thing as a victimless crime.  Emotionally taut and beautifully written, Final Demand is a cautionary tale about misguided aspirations, the battle between love and envy, and our own frailty in the face of temptation.


My thoughts: When I was offered this book to read for review from the publisher, I didn't hesitate.  I had just finished Tulip Fever, which I had devoured.  Tulip Fever was not really my style of book, but I had read it because of the upcoming movie.  I fell in love with the author's style of writing, so knew that I wanted to read Final Demand.

I was reading some other reviews on this book and saw it called Chick Lit and "a light read".  I disagree.  This book is not a light read.  To me, it was more of a psychological drama.  There is not a lot of physical action in the book.  It is told from a few different points of view, with Natalie, the protaganist, being the main one.  She has heard of a scheme to pilfer customer's checks and thinks she has the perfect cover.  She will just divert some of the money from the larger companies bills to cover the individual customer's bills - so that the customer's bills appear to be paid, and she then deposits their checks into her own account.  The extent that she goes to get the scheme going is outrageous though, and you will have to read the book to find out what she does.

On one afternoon though, the computers go down before she has a chance to transfer money to cover the customer's bills.  She doesn't think anything of it and figures she will do it the next day - except that she forgets.   This is the small ripple that will affect not only her life, but the customer's lives as well.

I love the way that the author gets inside the heads of the characters.  In this way, you see all of their flaws - even the ones that they don't think or know that they have.  I also read my own meaning into the title - Final Demand.  I always like to try to figure out why the author used that title.  In this case, the obvious one is that Natalie was stealing the payments and this caused some customers to receive their final notice - or final demand for payment.  I also thought it could reference what some of the characters went through, and what the final demand in their lives were because of their actions, or inactions.  

Even though I generally like a book with a lot of action, I found this to be a very good read.  The characters were well developed, and I thought they were believable.  Someone in a review noted that this wasn't a believable crime - and I have to disagree.  This is very much a believable scenario, but one you just don't hear as much about because of the violent crimes that over shadow the white collar ones.

If you haven't read anything by Deborah Moggach - this is a good place to start!


~I received a complimentary copy of this book from Lauren at The Overlook Press in exchange for my unbiased review.~





Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Book Review: Lazy Crafternoon by Stella Fields

Title: Lazy Crafternoon
Author: Stella Fields

About the book: Spend a lazy crafternoon with your friends. From pretty school supplies to colorful tech accessoriest to perfect party decor, Lazy Crafternoon guides tween crafters through simple steps to create amazing projects.

My Thoughts:  This would be a great book for teens and young adults for crafting.  The chapters inside are Accessories, Decorate, School Supplies, Celebrate, Food and Drink.  You use a variety of materials, but most projects should only cost around $10 or under. Supplies range from washi tape, beads, glue, embroidery floss, paper clips, etc.   I would recommend this book to fill a rainy afternoon with lots of fun projects.  

It teaches you how to make necklaces, wrapped headphones, infinity scarf, decorative flowerpots, fancy pencils, ribbon organizer, hanging flower balls, DIY cards and envelopes, cake banner and rainbow fruit in glitter cups.  So you see, it is quite a varied set of crafts suitable for everyone. 

~I received a complimentary Ecopy of this book through Edelweiss for review.~

Monday, May 15, 2017

Book Review: The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

Title: The Garden of Small Beginnings
Author: Abbi Waxman
Publisher: Berkley

About the book: Lilian Girvan has been a single mother for three years—ever since her husband died in a car accident. One mental breakdown and some random suicidal thoughts later, she’s just starting to get the hang of this widow thing. She can now get her two girls to school, show up to work, and watch TV like a pro. The only problem is she’s becoming overwhelmed with being underwhelmed.

At least her textbook illustrating job has some perks—like actually being called upon to draw whale genitalia. Oh, and there’s that vegetable-gardening class her boss signed her up for. Apparently being the chosen illustrator for a series of boutique vegetable guides means getting your hands dirty, literally. Wallowing around in compost on a Saturday morning can’t be much worse than wallowing around in pajamas and self-pity.

After recruiting her kids and insanely supportive sister to join her, Lilian shows up at the Los Angeles Botanical Garden feeling out of her element. But what she’ll soon discover—with the help of a patient instructor and a quirky group of gardeners—is that into every life a little sun must shine, whether you want it to or not…
 

My Thoughts:  I enjoyed reading this book and getting to know Lili.  Even though it starts out letting us know she is a widow, this book isn't so much a book about a widow as it is a book about a woman ready to let go of the past, but afraid to do so.  It also uses gardening to throw in some witty repartee in between each of the main chapters. 

You have to like Lili. She is now a single mom, just working on getting through a day with her and her kids, Annabel and Clare intact.  Her sister is a bastian of support for her, whether it is talking about the mistreatment they received as kids from their mom, taking care of the girls, or talking about the men in their lives.   And for Lili there is a new man - but he is the instructor of their Saturday morning gardening class, and he is Danish, and Lili can't stop thinking about the unexpected kiss they shared.  

There are a lot of lively characters in the book besides Lili and her sister.  The gardening class is filled with people from all walks of life and they come together and blend naturally.  As I mentioned earlier, in between each main chapter is a small one page chapter about a different vegetable.  It gives you many tips on how to grow them successfully, with some sarcasm thrown in.

I found this to be a quick, easy read - and perfect inspiration to go dig around in some dirt!

~I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for my unbiased review.~

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