...never judge a book by its movie

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mailbox Monday and In My Mailbox - August 1, 2011

"Mailbox Monday" is the brainchild of Marcia at The Printed Page.  Martha has closed The Printed Page effective December 18th and set up Mailbox Monday on it's own blog here:  http://mailboxmonday.wordpress.com/

July's host was A Sea of Books! She did a fabulous job!  August's host is Stace at Life in the Thumb ! Hop on over, link up, and join the fun!

"In My Mailbox" is hosted by The Story Siren

Every week we'll post about what books we have that week (via your mailbox/library/store bought)! Everyone that agrees to participate will try to visit each other's list and leave comments!  Everyone is welcome to join! You can join at anytime and you DO NOT have to participate every week.

I guarantee that you will add to your reading list by visiting the participating blogs in both of these memes!

I did not receive any books for review this week, which is a GOOD thing.  Right now, I'm not accepting new books for review until at least September.  I'm hoping that by then, my review pile will be at a manageable size (in the low teens at most); if not, then I will have to extend my "no new review books" policy until the gap between receipt of  a book and its review is 3-4 weeks at most (right now, I'm going at the rate of  8-10 weeks, which I think is too long).

WEDNESDAY:

Bebe Boy James and I took a trip to our HUGE downtown library, and on the way, we were passing the ONLY Borders (Express) in the city, so I stopped in to buy Not-So-Bebe-Girl Autumn Book 4 of the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare:


Of course, I COULDN'T stop in a bookstore and buy ONE book (although that WAS my intention), so I came out with these:

Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
The Lacuna by Barbara KingsolverThe Magicians by Lev Grossman
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane


Wolves of the Calla - part of my quest to get ALL of the Dark Tower Series hardcovers back on my shelves since I made the mistake of "lending" out my copies to one person who never brought them back.

Bebe Boy James scored this title:


So, that's OUR score for this week!  What goodies did you find in YOUR mailbox?  Feel free to leave a direct link to your own Mailbox Monday/In My Mailbox post in the comments section so that I can visit!


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It's Sunday! Time to link up YOUR blog giveaways!

If you are a blog owner hosting your own giveaway(s), please feel free to share your link at the linky above.  Enter your blog name, a brief description of the prize, ending date and eligibility (US, Can, International, etc.)  Please put the ending date, too, otherwise it will be cleared off the next week. EXAMPLE:  Best Blog on the Block - $50 Gift certificate - 6/30 - US/CAN

NO SPAM - you'll be banned

My current giveaways: 

Savor the Danger by Lori Foster
International through 8/12/2011

LEFT Neglected by Lisa Genova
US/CAN through 8/8/2011

Enter and win!
Julie

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Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest - BOOK REVIEW

Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest
Title:  Your Voice in My Head
Author:  Emma Forrest
Publisher:   Other Press
Release Date:  May 3, 2011
Hardcover, 224 pages
ISBN 10:    1590514467
ISBN 13:  9781590514467
The Book Depository / Amazon

Goodreads description:

Emma Forrest, a British journalist, was just twenty-two and living the fast life in New York City when she realized that her quirks had gone beyond eccentricity. In a cycle of loneliness, damaging relationships, and destructive behavior, she found herself in the chair of a slim, balding, and effortlessly optimistic psychiatrist—a man whose wisdom and humanity would wrench her from the dangerous tide after she tried to end her life. She was on the brink of drowning, but she was still working, still exploring, still writing, and she had also fallen deeply in love. One day, when Emma called to make an appointment with her psychiatrist, she found no one there. He had died, shockingly, at the age of fifty-three, leaving behind a young family. Reeling from the premature death of a man who had become her anchor after she turned up on his doorstep, she was adrift. And when her all-consuming romantic relationship also fell apart, Emma was forced to cling to the page for survival and regain her footing on her own terms.

A modern-day fairy tale, Your Voice in My Head is a stunning memoir, clear-eyed and shot through with wit. In her unique voice, Emma Forrest explores the highs and lows of love and the heartbreak of loss.


My Take: 

At 22, Emma Forrest was a a journalist on the fringes of fame, with a life that occasionally brushed that of well-known celebrities and other writers.  She was also a cutter, and a bulimic.  On a recommendation, she started seeing Dr. R.  Three weeks later, she was in the hospital for a suicide attempt.

Her family took her home to England to recover (like many of us, she had no insurance, and treatment here would have been prohibitively expensive), where she and Dr. R. still kept in touch.  She was diagnosed as a rapid cycle manic/depressive, with wild mood swings from one hour to the next. When she returned, she continued to see Dr. R., even after she moved to the West Coast from New York.  Many of their discussions were now by telephone, but one day she calls, and the office is no longer open.  She finds out that Dr. R. is dead of lung cancer at the rather young age of 53.    This book was begun as a loving tribute to the man who saved her from drowning herself, but on the way, it turned into something more.

In turns hilarious, heartwarming, heartbreaking and inspirational, and interspersed with letters of tribute from former patients and friends, this is a unique look inside a manic-depressive personality.  We meet Emma's wonderful, quirky family, and see her fall in "big" love after losing Dr. R.  When that romance fails, it is only the strength she has been given by Dr. R. that keeps her grounded enough to keep going, and that is the biggest tribute of all.

What a lovely read this is.  I know, you're probably thinking, "How can a memoir about someone with a mental illness coming off a suicide attempt, her trusted psychiatrist dying with no warning, then losing her boyfriend be lovely and funny?".  But it is; trust me.  Ms. Forrest's writing style is better than that of the average bear, and without being at all clinical, gives the reader a deeper understanding of a well-known, but little-understood, bipolar disorder.  Click on the link below to read the first chapter; if you don't smile at least once, you may need to call in a repairman to fine-tune your sense of humor.

QUOTES (asterisks replace some letters in deference to my sensitive readers):

Karen is a friend of Bad Boyfriend's from childhood and he doesn't want her anymore so I take her because she's smart and kind and funny and deeply, profoundly needy and nobody wants her, not even her own family and it breaks my f**king heart.

Have you ever eating something appalling for breakfast, something really bad for you, a chocolate cake, and just thought, "F**k it, this is bad, I'd better keep going?  Christ, this is making me feel horrible, I'd better have more?"

Reading that letter, I move the loss of GH and the death of Dr. R from being a picture in my wallet I see all through the day to going in a photo album to be looked at on special occasions.

BOOK RATING:  4.5 out of 5 stars

BLOGGERS:  Have you reviewed this book? If so, please feel free to leave a link to your review in the comments section; I will also add your link to the body of my review.


If your browser doesn't support embedded video you can view the trailer here.

Read the first chapter

BUY IT:  At Amazon, The Book Depository, through the publisher's website,  and through other on-and-off-line booksellers.



 
This book is included in my list for the 2011 ARC Reading Challenge
 
Disclosure:  I  received a  complimentary copy of this title from the publisher through Shelf Awareness to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received and I was not required to post a positive review.
Julie
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

High Summer Readathon Update - July 30, 2011

I am participating in the High Summer Readathon hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict (see my original post for details as well as my reading list).

I had to switch up my list just a bit, and I've been reading like a demon this week (pretty much switching from heavy to light, then back), as next week I'd like to spend quite a bit of time writing up reviews and setting them up to be scheduled.  I have some eGalleys that are expiring soon, so I wanted to get at least one of those read.  I'm also heading up a discussion on The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley starting August 1, so .. I figured that it might be a very good idea to read it before starting the discussion!  :)

I spent a LOT of time today reading, and I'll read a bit more before bed.

Tomorrow I plan to visit the mini-challenges (nothing like doing these at the last minute!) and on Monday I'll visit more of the participating blogs for their wrap-up posts and to cheer their progress.

Books completed since last update: Vanished by Sheela Chari, Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson, Also Known as Rowan Pohi by Ralph Fletcher, In a Treacherous Court (Illuminations) by Michelle Diener
Pages read since last update: 1,270
Hours read since last update: 11 hours, 39 minutes

TOTAL pages read:  3,370
TOTAL books read: Approximately 10 books
TOTAL hours read: 31 hours, 36 minutes

CURRENTLY READING (click the cover for Goodreads page):

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley


BOOKS COMPLETED:

Lagan Love by Peter Murphy
328 pages
Savor the Danger by Lori Foster
DNF-first 134 pgs.
The Killing Song by P. J. Parrish
last 258 pages
The Summer We Came to Life by Deborah Cloyed
last 298 pages
Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar
last 192 pages
Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill
320 pages
Mercy by Rebecca Lim
288 pages
Vanished by Sheela Chari
336 pages
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
384 pages
Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson
368 pages
Also Known as Rowan Pohi by Ralph Fletcheri
144 pages
In a Treacherous Court by Michelle Diener
320 pages


If you're participating and I haven't been to visit you yet (or even if I have and you have a new update post!), please leave a link to your post in the comments!  :)

Julie
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Friday Book Blogger Hop - July 29-August 1

Friday Book Blogger Hop

It's that time again!  Time for the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Jennifer over at Crazy for Books!

What is it?  Well, it's a way for bloggers and readers to find each other.  You write a little post about the subject of the week and link it up.  THEN (and this is the important part), you hit a few of the other linked up blogs (take your time; you can spread it throughout the weekend), visit, comment, follow if you like what you see, and make new friends.

Each week, to encourage participation, we get to answer a different question.  This week's question is:

 “Highlight one book you have received this week (for review, from the library, purchased at the store, etc.) that you can’t wait to dig into!”

Believe it or not, I did not receive a single book in the mail this week, but I did stop in at our one and only Borders (a Borders Express, to be exact, the ONLY major bookstore in the city proper, which means "thank goodness for the indies, or we readers would have nowhere to go now"), and picked up a few titles.  I think the one I'm most looking forward to is this one (click the cover for Goodreads page and full description):


The Magicians by Lev Grossman

  
Having variously seen this described as "Harry Potter: the college years" and "Harry Potter for adults", I'm pretty interested in seeing how it goes, especially since the next-in-series, The Magician King, is now out.  In addition, unlike many "literary" award winners, I find that ALA award winners (this title won the Alex award, as well as Goodreads choice for fantasy), are well-written AND enjoyable.  Many of the award winners I've read so far this year have been . . . well, just OK for me, an average reader who reads for the fun of it.  If you have your own Hop post, please feel free to leave a link in the comments; I'd love to visit!


Julie
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Savor the Danger by Lori Foster - Book Feature/Giveaway {CLOSED}

Savor the Danger by Lori Foster
Title:  Savor the Danger 
Author:  Lori Foster
Publisher:   HQN books, a division of Harlequin
Release Date:  June 28, 2011
Hardcover, 320 pages
ISBN 10:     0373775822
ISBN 13:  9780373775828
The Book Depository / Amazon

Goodreads description:

She may be aloof, and more pretty than gorgeous, but Alani Rivers is the kind of woman a hot-blooded mercenary can't forget, no matter how hard he tries. So when Jackson Savor wakes up next to the naked, sleeping beauty—with no memory of what happened— he knows he's been drugged…even if Alani doesn't. 

After she was kidnapped, Alani vowed never to trust another man again. Still, something about this strong, sexy hero with the tender touch makes her want to believe him. As Jackson hunts down a mysterious intruder, he swears he'll move heaven and earth to keep Alani safe. But what really happened that night? And will the truth bring them closer than they ever thought possible—or put Alani squarely in harm's way again?

Read an excerpt

Author website 

I did not finish this one, so I won't review it. (it seems hardly fair to post a review of a book that you haven't finished, does it?)  It's rather steamy ... actually, really HOT, and, though there's nothing necessarily wrong with hot, it's a bit TOO for me personally.  I DO know, however, that a lot of readers LIKE hot and steamy, judging by the success of the two previous books in this series :)

BUY IT:  At Amazon, The Book Depository, through the publisher's website,  and through other on-and-off-line booksellers.

WIN IT:  Just because it's a little TOO for ME doesn't mean that YOU won't like it, so I'm offering my almost-new copy to one of you!  I'm making this international, BUT if the cost of postage is more than the cost of simply buying the book, I reserve the right to ship a copy to the winner from The Book Depository.

MORE-->>

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High Summer Readathon Update - July 29, 2011

I am participating in the High Summer Readathon hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict (see my original post for details as well as my reading list).
(Don't you love when you think you schedule a post and then you get a chance to look at your blog and the post isn't there?  This was supposed to go up last night, so I just changed the date and here it is!)

Books completed since last update: Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill, Mercy by Rebecca Lim
Pages read since last update: 643
Hours read since last update: 5 hours, 18 minutes
TOTAL pages read:  2,054
TOTAL books read: Approximately 5 books
TOTAL hours read: 19 hours, 57 minutes

CURRENTLY READING (click the cover for Goodreads page):


Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
At page 38
Vanished by Sheela Chari
At page 197

BOOKS COMPLETED:

Lagan Love by Peter Murphy
 328 pages
Savor the Danger by Lori Foster
DNF-first 134 pgs.
The Killing Song by P. J. Parrish 
last 258 pages
The Summer We Came to Life by Deborah Cloyed
last 298 pages
Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar
last 192 pages
Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill
320 pages
Mercy by Rebecca Lim
288 pages


If you're participating and I haven't been to visit you yet (or even if I have and you have a new update post!), please leave a link to your post in the comments!  :)

Julie
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

This and That Thursday - July 28, 2011

Time for another edition of This and That, where I bring you personal tidbits and bookish news from my travels around the web!

I ran across the coolest website this week!  Buttery Books! They probably have NO idea who I am, but, wow!  If you are a member of a book club, they have AWESOME posts that include Book Club Party ideas specific to each book, including information about the book itself, menu planning and decoration ideas, and discussion questions.  What a great resource!  Take a look at this post with book club party ideas for The Weird Sisters to see what I mean!




I am admittedly behind the times when it comes to most movie-watching.  I recently watched Capote, never realizing until then that In Cold Blood (how DIFFERENT could you get from Breakfast at Tiffany's?) was Truman Capote's last finished work.  What a character he must have been, though!    I recently saw a Tweet mentioning this Match the Truman Capote quote quiz type of post.  I was wrong on almost all of them ... see how you do!





Readathing and Do Nothing but Read Day are two readathons scheduled for August 6-7th and August 6th respectively.  If you're interested in participating with other Library Thing members, visit the Readathing post on the Library Thing blog.




If you're trying to find a way to get your children to read more, especially during the summer, take a look at Jenny Rosenstrach's Summer Book Club for Kids post.  (Hey, if nothing else works, I'm not above a little bit of bebe bribery myself!)





Anna at Diary of an Eccentric and Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit have teamed up to bring us a very unique reading challenge.  "War Through the Generations" is a series of 6-month to year-long reading challenges designed around books set during various wars.  The 2011 challenge is the Civil War challenge, and there's a great recommended reading list, so give them a visit and sign up!




Once Upon a Chapter is hosting its first-ever Readathon.  The Sizzling Summer Readathon runs from August 5th through August 7th.  From the blog:

The rules are pretty straight forward:
*Read as much as you can between 12:00 AM Friday August 5th until 11:59 PM Sunday August 7th!
*Have a starting line and finish line update
*Update at the end of each day. 

That's all for this week!  Hope there's at least one thing that interests you!
Julie



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