Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Perfect Halloween Costume For Book Lovers

The Diction-Fairy**
I came across this photograph on a Bookstore Facebook page that I like.

Isn't this Halloween costume awesome?? The wearer of the costume becomes a Diction-Fairy!

I have no idea if this is a store bought costume or made by one talented person with some serious sewing skills! 

All I can ask is, where can I find my own Diction-Fairy costume?? If I had any sort of sewing skills, I'd try making one for myself to wear on Halloween. I will not be dressing up for Halloween this year. I haven't done so since my college days. Is anyone dressing up for Halloween this year and will YOU be wearing a book or literary themed costume??

**By the way, no books were harmed in the making of this costume! ;-)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Are you reading any scary books for Halloween this year??

Unfortunately, I'm not reading any scary books for Halloween this year. I've been too busy reading three different books at the moment, which is too bad because I do have some scary books waiting on the sidelines to be read by yours truly!

I'm currently reading 'The Light Between Ocean' by M. L. Stedman, which is a book club selection. 'Mind Over Medicine' by Lissa Rankin M.D. as my health related selection and a cozy mystery novel by Tamar Myers titled 'The Cane Mutiny'. 

I did come across an article from Flavorwire titled The 50 Scariest Books of All Time by Emily Temple. I thought I'd share this article with you in case you were on the lookout for a scary book to read. Some of the scary book titles listed were predictable and some of the book titles were ones I'd never heard of before. I did see a couple of books found on the list that I'll be adding to my wishlist.

Share with us which scary books you're reading this season for Halloween!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bookplates Belonging To Famous People

Weather you use bookplates or not, it's interesting to discover which famous people have used bookplates on their books and what the bookplates used by these famous people actually look like.

I stumbled upon an article on Buzzfeed titled 35 Bookplates Belonging To Famous People. The bookplates used by Greta Garbo, John D. Rockefeller, Walt Disney, & Sigmund Freud were ones that I would have expected these famous people to use.... But, I think I liked Queen Victoria's bookplates the most! It's so ornate!

Bouchercon 2014: Murder at the Beach!!

I just learned about Bouchercon this past weekend and here's what I learned about it via Wikipedia:
Bouchercon, the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention, is an annual convention of creators and devotees of mystery and detective fiction. It is named in honour of writer, reviewer, and editor Anthony Boucher, and pronounced the way he pronounced his name, rhyming with "voucher".

It is held annually in the fall, each year being hosted in a different city by a different group of volunteers.The convention typically starts on Thursday and finishes on Sunday.

Each year, Bouchercon nominates and votes the Anthony Awards for excellence in crime fiction, including but not limited to: Best Novel, Best First Novel, Best Short Story, Best Critical Non-Fiction, and Best Paperback Original.

Bouchercon 2014: Murder at the Beach will be held in Long Beach, California, USA from November 13th-16th. I also learned through Wikipedia that Bouchercon is an event for fans, authors, and those who work in the publishing industry.  Click on the link for event details and registration.

Has anyone ever heard of and/or attended a Bouchercon event??
It sounds like an interesting convention to attend for mystery lovers!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Oyster Books ---- It's like Netflix for eBooks!

I was excited to learn about Oyster Books last week. For $9.95 per month, you can read an unlimited amount of books on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Plus, according to the Oyster Books website there are "100,000+ titles: bestsellers, new releases, and more."

To learn more about Oyster Books, click on the above link.

Until my next post, happy reading!

The Girls by Lori Lansens

Abridged Audiobook
I enjoyed listening to the abridged version of The Girls by Lori Lansens and read by Stephanie Zimbalist & Lolita Davidovich.

The storyline for 'The Girls' is engaging and unique. It's a novel, but reads like a memoir... In fact, there were a few times that I forgot that I was actually listening to a novel and not a memoir.

The leading characters for 'The Girls' are Craniopagus conjoined twins, Rose and Ruby Darlen, and they are 29 years old at the start of 'The Girls'... We also learn at the start of 'The Girls' that both Rose & Ruby Darlen are the oldest living Craniopagus conjoined twins... So, Rose sets out to write the story of her life and urges her sister, Ruby, to write about their lives together from her perspective. So, in turns, we learn about the lives of Rose & Ruby Darlen as they lived their together through their narratives interwoven throughout 'The Girls'.

'The Girls' is a touching story really, with a well developed storyline and memorable characters. Lori Lansens is an amazing writer and captivates the reader from the onset of her novel. I highly recommend 'The Girls' by Lori Lansens.

I am giving The Girls by Lori Lansens a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

California's Chumash Indians

I live in the small town of Carpinteria along the central coast of California. I enjoy reading about local history, so California's Chumash Indians fit the bill! California's Chumash Indians is 72 pages in length, which makes it a very quick read for those wanting to learn basic information about the lives of the Chumash Indians.

The following is a book description I found on the Amazon website:
The Chumash people have lived for centuries along the California coast between Malibu and San Luis Obispo. They were on hand to greet Cabrillo in 1542 and Gaspar de Portola in 1769. They coexisted with the Spanish communities of the Southern California Missions. And there are still about three thousand people of Chumash ancestry living in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. Here, for the layman and the tourist, is a concise, entertaining, and informative view of a noble and important people: their history, their way of life, their arts, their beliefs and legends.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the Chumash Indians. I thought the content found in California's Chumash Indians was very informative and would highly recommend this book to other readers.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Finds #13

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list...


Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

This week I added one new title to my ever growing book collection! I found a used paperback copy of The Romanov Bride by Robert Alexander. I enjoyed reading 'The Kitchen Boy' a few years ago by Robert Alexander, so am hoping that I'll enjoy 'The Romanov Bride' just as much. I've also read 'Rasputin's Daughter' by Robert Alexander, but didn't like this novel as much as I did 'The Kitchen Boy'. 

So, which books have you added to your reading list this week?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Book to Read for Every Single Myers-Briggs Type

Here's another interesting post I found on the Huffington Post website titled Here Is The One Perfect Book For Every Single Myers-Briggs Type by Maddie Crum.

In the article, Maddie Crum writes:
Recommending books is a tricky business. One person's trashy romance novel is another person's treasure. Of course, a little background on a person's reading preferences can come in handy, but sometimes deciphering tastes can seem like an arbitrary and headache-inducing task. Still, we're willing to bet that like-minded people enjoy similar stories -- That's where Myers-Briggs comes in.
Click on the above link to discover which book fits your Myers-Briggs Type! Don't know your Myers-Briggs Type? No worries, there is a link in the article to find out just which Myers-Briggs Type you are.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Santa Barbara, California

Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I visited the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in downtown Santa Barbara, California. It was our first time visiting this particular library and we enjoyed our visit. 

The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Santa Barbara, California currently has a Mark Twain Exhibit on display from September 1, 2013 through December 30, 2013. It was interesting to see handwritten notes by Mark Twain on display as well as original illustrations for some of his more famous works.

Admission to the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Santa Barbara, California is FREE!! Hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday from 10am-4pm. The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Santa Barbara, California is small and takes about 30 to 60 minutes to explore.

There are also several other Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum locations around the United States as well.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

How to Make $10,000 a Month Writing Erotica Books

While surfing the internet this past week, I came across an article that caught my attention. The article was titled How to Make $10,000 a Month Writing Erotica Books by Jim Krukal and posted on the Huffington Post website. 

Let's face it, sex sells... One has to look no further than to successful authors and their published works, like E. L. James's 'Fifty Shades of Grey' trilogy or to Anne Rice's 'Sleeping Beauty' Trilogy.

I tend to view the success that both E. L. James and Anne Rice have received for their erotica trilogies as the exception, not the rule when it comes to hitting it big time in the erotica genre. The reason for my viewpoint is that the erotica genre still seems sort of taboo in our society. And for the most part, erotica fiction usually doesn't make the bestseller's list and erotica authors usually don't become well-known... So, I didn't realize that the average person could, with a lot of hard work, potentially make $10,000 a month (or more) writing erotica novels, short stories, etc., until I read Jim Krukal's article above and listened to his audio podcast.

Krukal interviews Marla, a successfully published author, who is making $10,000 per month writing erotica! Here's what Krukal wrote in his article about Marla's success story:
So how did she do it?

1. She made writing her job, not a hobby.
2. She focused on making her books an average of 10,000 words, with an average price of $2.99
3. She wrote books in series
4. She looked and learned what books sold, and what books didn't. Then emulated those successes and stayed away from the failures.

And many more lessons learned. The bottom line is that there is money to be made writing books if you choose the right genre of books to write, and you treat it more like a business as opposed to a hobby.
Click on the above link to read the full story.

You may also listen to Krukal's interview with Marla in podcast form! Happy listening!

I kind of found Krukal's article and podcast interview with Marla inspiring. It makes me wonder if I could write erotica novels or short stories and make $10,000 a month? Wouldn't that be a hoot!? I wonder how difficult it would be to replicate Marla's success?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Finds #12

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list...


Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

This week I added one new title to my personal book collection! I found a used, hardback copy of John Fowles's 'The Collector' from our Friends of the Library Used Bookstore in almost pristine condition for only two dollars! 

The near pristine condition of 'The Collector' by John Fowles and the exquisite cover art on the dust jacket is what initially drew me to this particular hardback novel. 

I also have to love the photograph of the author on the back cover of the dust jacket sitting next to a typewriter... We don't see typewriters very often these days, now that computers are dominating the world. The inside cover states that this particular book sold for $6.95 when it was first published!! The copy I have is an 8th printing of 'The Collector' by John Fowles.

So, which books have you discovered this week?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero by William Kalush & Larry Sloman

I finished listening to the abridged audio version of The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero by William Kalush & Larry Sloman yesterday.

Over the years, I've heard a few details about Harry Houdini's life and career, but I readily admit that I really didn't know much about the man behind the legend beyond the very basics.

Let me start by stating that I'm not a huge Harry Houdini fan... Sure, I like magic and good showmanship, but I've never been all that curious in learning more about Houdini's life until reading a few reviews written by fellow Bookcrossers about the above biography of Houdini... I'm glad I chose to listening to 'The Secret Life of Houdini'. It's filled with a lot of information about Houdini's life, rise to fame and fortune, his famous showmanship, his final days and so much more.

I learned through listening to 'The Secret Life of Houdini' that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was an ardent follower/believer of Spiritualism and that Doyle and Houdini knew each other. I was surprised to learn of Houdini's years spent debunking mediums among other things.

I'm glad that I listened to the abridged version of 'The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero' by William Kalush & Larry Sloman because I'm not sure I'd want to read a 600+ page book about Houdini's life. The audio abridgement was nicely done. My only complaint about the audio version was listening to the narrator, Adam Grupper, as I found him to be a boring, monotonous dramatic reader and I found myself tuning out every so often. Otherwise, I enjoyed listening to 'The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero' by William Kalush & Larry Sloman.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

There Is a Book Boom In Iceland

I came across an interesting article from BBC News Magazine titled Iceland: Where one in 10 people will publish a book by Rosie Goldsmith.

I enjoyed reading this article to discover that "Iceland is experiencing a book boom. This island nation of just over 300,000 people has more writers, more books published and more books read, per head, than anywhere else in the world." I never knew this factoid about Iceland.

Rosie Goldsmith goes on to write the following in her informative article about Iceland's writers:
Reykjavik is rocking with writers. It is book festival time. Man Booker Prize winner Kiran Desai and Generation X author Douglas Coupland rub shoulders with Icelandic literary superstars Gerdur Kristny and Sjon. Sjon also pens lyrics for Bjork, Iceland's musical superstar.

"Writers are respected here," Agla Magnusdottir tells me. "They live well. Some even get a salary."

Magnusdottir is head of the new Icelandic Literature Centre, which offers state support for literature and its translation.

"They write everything - modern sagas, poetry, children's books, literary and erotic fiction - but the biggest boom is in crime writing," she says.

That is perhaps no surprise in this Nordic nation. But crime novel sales figures are staggering - double that of any of its Nordic neighbours.
Until my next post, happy reading!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

This year it seems like I've listened as many books as I have read! I've become addicted to listening to audiobooks. 

Last Friday, I finished listening to The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson. This is my first experience with anything written by Joshilyn Jackson and I really enjoyed listening to the unabridged version of 'The Girl Who Stopped Swimming', which was read by the author... In fact, I thought Joshilyn Jackson did an excellent dramatic reading of her novel. 

I also enjoyed listening to the author being interviewed segment at the end of the novel as it is always enjoyable to learn about their writing process, which books they've read and authors they like reading!

Here's the synopsis of 'The Girl Who Stopped Swimming' from the author's website:
Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she’s helping her mother make sure the very literal family skeleton stays buried or turning scraps of fabric into nationally acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister Thalia, an impoverished Actress with a capital A, is her polar opposite, priding herself on exposing the lurid truth lurking behind middle class niceties. While Laurel’s life seems neat and on track–a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in suburban Victorianna–everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question the night she is visited by the ghost of a her 14-year old neighbor Molly Dufresne.

The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne’s backyard pool. Molly’s death is inexplicable–an unseemly mystery Laurel knows no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Only her wayward, unpredictable sister is right for the task, but calling in a favor from Thalia is like walking straight into a frying pan protected only by Crisco. Enlisting Thalia’s help, Laurel sets out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about her family’s guarded past, the true state of her marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.
My favorite characters were Laurel and her sister Thalia along with Laurel's husband David. The storyline was well developed and kept my captivated from start to finish... The storyline even had a few surprises at the ending that were fun to find as I hate novels that are foregone conclusions. 

If you like stories with some family drama and skeletons in the closet, then this may be the novel for you. There are also some mystery elements (like, how Molly Dufresne die?) in this novel as well supernatural elements (as Laurel sees the ghosts of dead people) that make 'The Girl Who Stopped Swimming' a memorable read.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

McDonald's to put 20 million books in Happy Meals!

I'm floored with the news that McDonald's will be giving away books inside Happy Meals! I recently read an article on the LA Times website titled Happy reads? McDonald's to put 20 million books in Happy Meals by Carolyn Kellogg.

In her article, Ms. Kellogg writes:
Most people heading to McDonald's know what to expect: They can get a cheeseburger, fries and a drink. And in November, kids can also get something to read -- 20 million somethings.

McDonald's will distribute 20 million print books in Happy Meals from Nov. 1-14. Each book will feature a McDonald's Happy Meal character and, according to the press release, "brings nutrition, imagination and play to life in a fun way."
McDonald's is also creating a series of custom eBooks too! Happy Meals have certainly changed from when I was a kid... I like the idea of kids receiving a book to read instead of a toy inside their Happy Meals!

Until my next post, happy reading!

Why Don't More Americans Win the Nobel Prize in Literature?

Since learning that Alice Munro won the 2013 Novel Prize in Literature on Thursday morning, I've come across an interesting article found on The New Yorker website titled Why Don’t More Americans Win the Nobel Prize? posted by Ian Crouch.

Since I am an American, I wanted to read why more Americans don't win the Nobel Prize. The article posted by Ian Crouch focuses solely on the Nobel Prize in Literature and not on the other Nobel Prize categories. I also didn't realize until after reading this article that the last American to win a Nobel Prize in Literature was Toni Morrison and that was 30 years ago in 1983.

Near the end of 'Why Don't More Americans Win the Nobel Prize?', I came across the following two paragraphs that seem to explain why more Americans have not won the Nobel Prize in Literature:
Many have seen the Nobel Prize in Literature, meanwhile, as a kind of international referendum on American literary hegemony. The prize hasn’t been awarded to an American since 1993, when Toni Morrison won. The sniping about years of snubs might just have been chalked up to sour grapes, had it not been for the comments, in 2008, by Horace Engdahl, who was at that time the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy. “The U.S. is too isolated, too insular. They don’t translate enough and don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature. That ignorance is restraining,” he said. Not everything in the remark was outrageous; American publishers do translate too few books from other languages into English—just three per cent of books published each year are translations. Yet his remarks overlooked the fact that more than sixty million Americans speak a primary language other than English—meaning that the United States is far from being backwardly monocultural or monolingual. Philip Roth’s New Jersey is also Junot Díaz’s New Jersey.

Critics in this country responded angrily, to which later Engdahl expressed his surprise, and noted that he had perhaps been speaking too generally. He stepped down as permanent secretary in 2009, and his replacement, Peter Englund, has walked back his predecessor’s indictment of American writing. But the damage was done, and commentators began to see the Nobel Prize in Literature as being actively denied to American writers, and on the same grounds that American intellectuals have long been dismissed by Europeans. Perhaps the best way to insult an American with aspirations to cosmopolitanism is to call him and his fellows ignorant rustics, functional only in English and kept safely away from real intellectual rigor and debate by geographical isolation, local peace, and relative material abundance. The Swedes had decided that we were, as Sinclair Lewis remarked back in 1930, still “a puerile backwoods clan.”
Does this explanation seem like a fair assessment as to why more Americans have not won the Nobel Prize? Share your thoughts!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The 7 Most Controversial Erotic Novels

I came across an article on Huffington Post titled 7 Most Controversial Erotic Novels by Elissa Wald, which I read out of curiosity.

Of course, when I see news articles with titles that make statements like the '7 Most Controversial Erotic Novels', I try and guess which titles they will list in their article. In this case, I only guessed 2 out of the 7 book titles listed in Elissa Wald's article. Click on the above link to see which book titles made the list!

Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Finds #11

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by MizB at Should be Reading.
Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list...


Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

This week, I purchased two books to add to my ever growing reading collection:

1) A Witch Before Dying by Heather Blake

I picked up this cozy mystery novel at our local FOL Used Bookstore as a Halloween read this year. However, it looks like I won't have time to read it before Halloween this year after all as I'm currently committed to reading three other books at the moment.

2) The Sherlockian by Graham Moore 

I received a gift certificate to an independent bookstore in Santa Barbara called Chaucers and used the gift certificate to buy the above trade paperback mystery novel. 

The interesting part for me in choosing this novel was that I decided to purchase a book title by an author I'd never heard of before verses buying a book from my current wishlist. I'm simply hoping The Sherlockian will be a good read!! 

3) Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson

I'm currently listening to another Joshilyn Jackson novel titled 'The Girl Who Stopped Swimming', which I'm enjoying very much. So, when I saw 'Backseat Saints' at our local Friends of the Library Used Bookstore, I decided to buy it.

So, which new books have you added to your to be read pile these days?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Alice Munro Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

I just learned this morning who won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature through the New York Times article titled Alice Munro Wins Nobel Prize in Literature by Julie Bosman. 

 In her article, Ms. Bosman writes the following:
Alice Munro, the renowned Canadian short-story writer whose visceral work explores the tangled relationships between men and women, small-town existence and the fallibility of memory, won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday. Ms. Munro, 82, is the 13th woman to win the prize. 

Announcing the award in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy said that Ms. Munro was a “master of the contemporary short story.” 

Ms. Munro, who lives in Clinton, a town in Ontario, told a writer from The Globe and Mail this year that she planned to retire after “Dear Life,” her 14th story collection. 

In a statement from Penguin Random House, her publisher, Ms. Munro said that she was “amazed, and very grateful” for the prize. 

She added: “I’m particularly glad that winning this award will please so many Canadians. I’m happy, too, that this will bring more attention to Canadian writing.” 

Ms. Munro revolutionized the architecture of short stories, often beginning a story in an unexpected place, then moving backward or forward in time. She brought a modesty and subtle wit to her work that her admirers often traced to her background growing up in rural Canada. She said she fell into writing short stories, the form that would make her famous, somewhat by accident. 

“For years and years I thought that stories were just practice, till I got time to write a novel,” she told The New Yorker in 2012. “Then I found that they were all I could do, and so I faced that. I suppose that my trying to get so much into stories has been a compensation.”
A big congratulations is in order for Alice Munro on her fantastic achievement!! 

I've yet to read a single thing written by Alice Munro that I can recall... Perhaps the time has come for me to seek out and read something written by her.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ten Unusual Literary Landmarks One Must Visit!

Yes, you gotta love those unusual literary landmarks! I came across an article on Flavorwire titled 10 Bizarre Literary Landmarks Everyone Should Visit by Emily Temple. 

My absolute favorite bizarre literary landmark is the first one mentioned in Ms. Temple's article about a sign near Patriarch's Pond in Moscow warning those not to talk to strangers! A clear reference to Mikhail Bulgakov's novel, The Master and Margarita.

Which bizarre literary landmark is your favorite?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Things You May Not Know About Edgar Allan Poe

I stumbled upon a fascinating article on the Huffington Post about Edgar Allan Poe titled 11 Things You Didn't Know About Edgar Allan Poe by Lynn Cullen.

In the article, Lynn Cullen writes:
On October 7, lovers of the mysterious and the melancholy mourn the death of Edgar Allan Poe. As is appropriate for the man who invented the detective story, he died 164 years ago under baffling circumstances.

Scholarly debate still rages as to why he was found, four days before his death, delirious and in borrowed clothes, in Baltimore, Maryland, far from his home in New York City. Theories as to the cause of his demise range from alcoholism to rabies. (I personally throw my lot with meningitis.)

If the death of America's most instantly recognizable poet remains enigmatic, what about his life? How much do we really know about Poe? Was he the chillingly murderous madman of so many of his tales, as well as a spectacular drunk? If not, who was he? 
Ms. Cullen writes a wonderful article about Edgar Allan Poe, including eleven things you may not know about him. I was surprised to learn that Edgar Allan Poe was a cat fancier! Who would have guessed that? Not me!

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I first read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou during my junior year of high school for a contemporary literature course in 1987.

I remember that I enjoyed reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou at the time, but had forgotten many of the details of this memoir over the course of time. Only a few of the major scenes/events stuck with me from 26 years ago.

I've since read many of Maya Angelou's other memoirs and her poetry, which I find phenomenal. I've become a huge fan of Dr. Angelou's writing and have seen her speak live twice during my lifetime. Dr. Angelou is an amazing speaker and I admire her greatly.

I chose to reread Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings for Banned Books Week as it has been a challenged/banned book. Plus, I wanted to reread Dr. Angelou's memoir once again to discover its contents.

I'm glad that I chose to reread I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings for Banned Books Week. Rediscovering a book, is like becoming acquainted with an old friend.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Bookish Book Blog

I enjoy discovering new book blogs, especially ones that grab my attention. Recently, I came across a new book blog for me titled Bookish, with the subtitle, 'Reviews of books of many stripes.'

I haven't read all of the book titles reviewed on this website, but the book reviews I have read are well written and engaging. The blogger for 'Bookish' goes into much detail in the posts that she writes regarding the books she has read. I have now found myself adding new books to read on my wishlist!

I invite you to check out the 'Bookish' book blog by clicking on the link above!

Share with us which book blogs have captivated your own attention these days! Until my next post, happy reading.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Finds #10

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
Friday Finds is a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list...


Or a place to simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

This week, I purchased four books to add to my ever growing reading collection:

1. Peeling the Onion by Gunter Grass

I purchased the bargain priced, compact disc version of Gunter Grass's memoir. I was curious to learn more about this 1999 Nobel Prize winning author. Believe it or not, I've never read any of Gunter Grass's works. Perhaps after listening to Gunter Grass's memoir on audio compact disc, I'll move onto reading one of his novels.

2. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

I purchased the unabridged, compact disc version of Stephen King's 'The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' as I'd learned from my grandmother how much she had enjoyed reading this novel. So, thought it would be fun to listen to the audio version instead of reading it.

3. An O'Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods

I purchased the bargain, hardcover version of this novel for under two dollars via I've never read anything by Sherryl Woods before. In fact, I've never even heard of her before. I was looking for some holiday reading material at a low price and this novel fit what I was looking for. The storyline sounds like a good one too, which is another reason for choosing this book.

4. Clean Gut: The Breakthrough Plan for Eliminating the Root Cause of Disease and Revolutionizing Your Health by
Alejandro Junger, M.D. 

I'm currently on a healing journey and choose this book to read. The book description/synopsis from Amazon is as follows:
In Clean Gut, Alejandro Junger, M.D, New York Times bestselling author of Clean and creator of the world-famous Clean Program, delivers a complete toolkit for reversing disease and sustaining life-long health.

All of today’s most-diagnosed ailments can be traced back to an injured and irritated gut. The gut is an intricate and powerful system, naturally designed to protect and heal the body every moment of every day  And yet for far too many of us, this remarkable system is in disrepair, which leads to all kinds of health problems—from extra pounds, aches and pains, allergies, mood swings, and lack of libido, to heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders, insomnia, and depression.

But we no longer have to be sick to get healthy. In this groundbreaking program, Alejandro Junger, M.D. explains how instead of treating the symptoms as they arise, we can preemptively attack disease before it takes root in the gut.

No matter your current state of health, you will benefit from this program: Clean Gut will help you put an end to everyday ailments, reverse chronic disease, and achieve true, long-lasting health.

So, which new books have you added to YOUR reading pile??

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Author Harper Lee is at Odds with Hometown Museum

Last week, I came across an article written about Harper Lee and The Monroe County Heritage Museum titled Author Harper Lee, hometown museum at odds by Phillip Rawls, Associated Press. In his article, Phillip Rawls writes the following:
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee is at odds with a museum in her Alabama hometown that celebrates her literary achievement over use of the words in the title of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Lee is seeking a trademark for the words when they are used on clothing. The Monroe County Heritage Museum in Monroeville is opposing the application, contending the sale of souvenirs with the words is vital to its continued operation.

Lee’s New York attorney, Robert Clarida, said the 87-year-old author, who lives in Monroeville, has never received a penny from the museum’s sale of T-shirts, caps and other souvenirs.

“They want to continue selling the merchandise without Ms. Lee getting any money,” he said Friday.

Museum Director Stephanie Rogers said Lee’s book drives tourism in the rural south Alabama county. She said the museum has always been supportive of Lee, and she has never said anything about the souvenirs when visiting the museum.

“I feel like all we do is honor her here,” she said.

I don't see why Harper Lee shouldn't Trademark the words from the title of her novel. Ms. Lee should be paid royalties on clothing items and other souvenirs that have 'To Kill A Mocking Bird' on them. 

I guess, I don't quite understand the problem The Monroe County Heritage Museum has with Ms. Lee's desire to Trademark the words 'To Kill A Mockingbird' and making royalties from the sale of souvenir products with the words from her novel's title on them. 

Yes, I realize The Monroe County Heritage Museum is a non-profit, but so what? If Ms. Lee does Trademark the words 'To Kill A Mockingbird', why couldn't The Monroe County Heritage Museum still carry souvenir products with 'To Kill A Mockingbird' on them and pay Ms. Lee royalties?? This sounds like it would be a win-win situation to me.... The Monroe County Heritage Museum and Ms. Lee would both make a profit. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Would You Go on a Blind Date with a Book!?

I like the idea of going on a blind date with a book!! Kudos to this idea from booksellers in Australia! I came across an article on LifeHacker titled Go On A Blind Date... With A Book by Chris Jager. In the article, Jager writes:
“A lot of people who come into our store don’t know what they want to buy so they just browse or ask for a recommendation,” explained Ryan, an Elizabeth’s Bookshop employee from the Pitt Street store in Sydney. 

“One of our staff members thought it would be a good idea to set up a kind of lucky-dip table where you get to pick a book at random. I was really skeptical that it wouldn’t work at all, but it’s been really successful. It’s actually a really good promotional tool for our stores.”

All ‘blind date’ book covers are completely covered in brown paper — with just a few vague word cues scrawled on the front to give you an idea about the book’s content. 

“We just offer a broad topic which hints at the genre, so if you feel like reading an adventure or romance you can search for the relevant word cues.”
Granted, I wouldn't buy every book I purchase wrapped in brown paper with a few words scrawled its cover as a clue to what I was purchasing... However, I think I'd try this 'blind date with a book' idea a few times as I like the idea of trying something new--- Especially when it comes to works of fiction. 

Often times, when I go into our local Friends of the Library Used Bookstore, I purchase works of fiction by authors I've never read before... Or authors I've never even heard of before. Even when you know the book title, author, and have read the book synopsis on the back cover of the book, it  doesn't guarantee it'll be a good read. 

So, buying a book wrapped in brown paper with a few clues as to what it is about, couldn't be all that bad in my opinion... In fact, it could be quite a a reading adventure! Maybe, you'll be lucky enough to discover a favorite new author or book in this manner.

Would you go on a 'blind date with a book'?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What the Dog Knows: The Science and Wonder of Working Dogs by Cat Warren

I just learned about an intriguing new book title, What the Dog Knows: The Science and Wonder of Working Dogs by Cat Warren, from an article I read  NC State professor writes book about the science of working dogs by Andrea Weigl.

In her article, Andrea Weigl writes about Cat Warren's book and Cat Warren's work with Solo, her 9 year old German Sheperd dog, who Cat Warren trained to be a cadaver dog. The following is a quote from Weigl's article:
Warren, 57, of Durham, has been teaching women’s studies and science journalism at N.C. State since 1995. Warren admits it was a sentimental moment after a successful search with Solo three years ago that lead her to research the book. Regardless, her book offers a meaty, fascinating tour of not only what led humans to train dogs to sniff drugs, bombs and dead bodies, but also the science behind why dogs can be good at these tasks.
“It’s not a book about dogs,” Warren explained. “It’s a book about dogs, history, science and sociology.” 

I'm really excited about obtaining a copy of this book and reading it. I've always been amazed how dogs can be trained by humans to identify particular smells and the science behind a dog's ability to do so. 

I'm also curious as to how humans are able to teach dogs to work with us in identifying the particular smells we want them to find... What's a dog's motivation in helping us in our quest in finding a particular scent? I'm not sure if this question is covered in Cat Warren's book though.

Click on the above link to read the entire article Andrea Weigl has written. Also, there is an opportunity to win a copy of 'What the Dog Knows: The Science and Wonder of Working Dogs' by Cat Warren. The details are as follows and were found in the lower, right margin of Andrea Weigl's article from the link above:
Win a copy of the book : Enter to win a copy of “What the Dog Knows,” by Cat Warren, by sending an email to by noon Friday with “book giveaway” in the subject line.
 Until, my next post, happy reading!

My Quarterly Reading Update

Wow, another three months has come and gone! This year has gone by really fast for me. Only three more months left in 2013 and so many book awaiting in my to be read pile! It'll be tough deciding which books to read in the remaining quarter of 2013, but half the fun is discovering which ones I'll end up reading.

I read a few books this past quarter, but my three favorite books were as follows:

'September Fair' by Jess Lourey (cozy mystery novel ebook format)
'Heat & Santa Fe Rules' by Stuart Woods (abridged audio version)
'Life's a Beach Then You Die' by Falafel Jones (mystery ebook)

Mystery and thriller novels were my favorite reads this quarter, which I guess is no surprise as this is one of one of my favorite genres!

Which books were your favorites this past quarter?? Please share your titles!