In My Mailbox

The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones
I am SO EXCITED about finding this one! I love cooking - well, when I actually do it. I loved playing with my Martha Stewart Cooking School book, but now that I live far away from everyone cooking those large meals makes no sense. SO NOW, I am going to experiment doing this for ME! How very cool that I can make boeuf bourguignon for just little ol' me???Not to mention, when Saint and I get back to living together (in the same city, that is) I am hoping to be able to double these easily.

The Duggars: 20 and Counting! by Jim Bob Duggar
Since I read the second recently, I just had to read their first one.

BORROWED (from work):
The Lying Game by Sara Shephard
Do not sleep blog because if you do, you will end up signing up for things you were unaware of . . . like, the read-along I am doing with IHeartMonster this week, but hey, I love this stuff! Join in if you like!! PS: I totally cheated, I started reading it yesterday, so I am a few chapters ahead, but then stopped to try and wait for the actual read-along. Great book so far!

I know there's more, but after my 2 1/2hr yoga class this morning and then work, I am pooped!! But would still love to know . . . what was in your mailbox this week???

Review - The Girl's Guide to Homelessness by Brianna Karp

Title: The Girl's Guide to Homelessness
Author: Brianna Karp
Publish Date: Harlequin
Publisher: April 13, 2011
Paperback, 336 pages

Barnes and Noble

I was really looking forward to this book from the moment I read the title. I knew it would be good. I knew it would be in depth that talked about things people didn't talk about. I was so excited.

Sadly, I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the book. It did in fact have a lot of really interesting points about homelessness - like whether it is appropriate to say that a homeless person cannot own a cellphone or laptop. I found it interesting that she was "homeless" and still lived in a camper which is not technically a home, but still a roof over her head. I really enjoyed all this back and forth feelings of defining what it really means to be homeless. When in fact, I am not sure there really is such a definition. To each his own and it's very subjective. Unless it is strictly stereotype that one is looking for. Is it really about not having a "home" or is it about not having a place at all or is your home where your heart is?

Where this book lost me is when Brianna started to spiral downhill with all the boyfriend/fiance hoopla. I was so disappointed. It was too much and completely took away from the entire topic of the book. It became "the girl's guide to sad and pathetic breakups" instead. I still related to her and still felt for her and her situation, but I was completely lost on why this was even such a large focus of the book. It realistically took up almost half (if not three-quarters of the book) which completely confused me.

I loved the way Brianna's journey led her to her love of writing. It is always such an unforeseen thing to think it is all uphill from here, only to appear on top with the journey leading to the one thing you never knew you really wanted in life. It also provided her with so many nice people along the way. I do think she is a fantastic writer. I felt her entire journey with force. I laughed along with her and cried as well.

I have to say this was a book I wouldn't have probably read knowing what I know now and yet, I still read the entire book through. Which to me, says, I liked it way more than I want to admit. So all in all, I have no idea whether I would recommend this book or not. It was good. It was controversial. Yet, it was a bit like a drunk girlfriend pouring her heart and soul out and then feeling like I needed to take a shower afterward. So as Donald Trump would say, "There is no such thing as bad publicity."

What do you think? Have you read it yet?

Summary of The Girl's Guide to Homelessness -
"I am an educated woman with stable employment and residence history. I have never done drugs. I am not mentally ill. I am a career executive assistant—coherent, opinionated, poised, and capable. If you saw me walking down the street, you wouldn't have assumed that I lived in a parking lot. In short, I was just like you—except without the convenience of a permanent address." Brianna Karp's account of her journey through homelessness immerses us in a timely, relevant topic that all too many Americans know about first hand.

Review - The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kate Cross

Title: The Girl in the Steel Corset
Author: Kate Cross
Publish Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Hardcover, 336 pages

Barnes and Noble

This was my first time reading Steampunk. I have picked up other Steampunk books in the past, but never had the inclination to read them. Not sure why. This one however, grabbed me and held on to me . . until it got stuck, on page 110 . . . and never left. I deleted, downloaded and redownloaded to no avail. I even emailed the publisher, but didn't hear back. I am not sure what happened to my ebook file, but I am bummed to not be able to continue reading the book. What I read was really good.

Update . . . the publishers kindly re-uploaded a new file, but my nook is still being a butt-head and will not enable the file. So.... the copies I ordered to sell at work finally came in, so I borrowed one of those. Once again, loving the perks of working at a bookstore. HELLO! Have you seen how CUTE the mini hardcover size is???!?!? I really hope they start producing more hardcovers in this size. It's perfect. (Thanks so much HarlequinTeen for going above and beyond to help me read this!)

I am a huge fan of the character Finley. I like that she has inner demons that take over and she has to learn to control them. (Don't we all?) She is scared because her dark side takes over and she can truly hurt people. As well as, she cannot remember what happens when she lets that side control her. Meanwhile she tries to coexist with the normal world without letting people in on her secret. She has a fun and entertaining outfit which I suppose is a reflection of the times, though I will be honest the picture in my head is entirely different from the cover art - who can kick butt in a dress like that one? It is a real blast to see her meet fear and badness head-on.\

Her friends she meets along the way are just as well described and developed. I was excited to see Griffin, the Duke, take her in and try to teach her how to wield her power. His goal is to mingle her dark side with her light side allowing her control over them both. He is sexy and refreshingly nice. The boxing match between Finley and Jasper, the friend of her friends, is hilarious! I felt for Sam being a bit of the outside because he was struggling with his special powers inwardly instead of reaching out and trusting his friends to help. The camaraderie Finley builds with Emily, the one gal in the story, develops into a sisterly friendship. Every time Emily called one of them lad or lass I then had a split picture of a bunch of teenagers running around, but had to remind myself the language with different. Jack, the man with the bad reputation, is fun and his accent is laughable, but in a very charming and sexy way. He calls Finley his "Treasure" which is romantic while a bit embarrassing at the same time. Again that controversy of does she go for the mysterious bad guy or the good, honest one???

I am truly in love with the vocabulary used throughout, for example:
coddled eggs
"Snuck up behind me , the bounder did, and coshed me brainbox but good."

It's like the coolest parts of the future meet the most romantic parts of the past. There is a bit of battle mixed with romance while the machines coexist with the history. This has to be one of the most entertaining books I have read in quite some time. I was so surprised time and time again to pick it up only a few minutes later to be laughing and egging the story along. I truly enjoyed reading the entire book!! Hoping this will turn into some kind of a series because I can't wait to see what happens with these characters.

After reading this I will be keeping my eye out of a corset that I can wear over my tanks or tees because how cute would that be?!?! And that is how Finley wears her corsets, over her dresses! Huh, who knew. I love the outfits Cross describes Finley as wearing -
Embroidered silver-silk dress of Oriental design - one of the more sedate clothing selections in her closet. It was sleeveless and had knee-high slits on either side. Over it she wore a cherry-red corset with little silver dragons stitched on. The clothing felt appropriate-like armor for going into battle.
I also am interested to see if any of the other Steampunk books are as good as this one felt.

Summary of the book -
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.

Wordless Wednesday - New Work Coffee Mug

My team laughs every time I use this mug at work!

Wordless Wednesday




Check out what hits stores today . . . .
Sadly I was not blessed with an advanced readers copy of this one, but a main perk of working at a bookstore is I can borrow hard copies. (though I will be buying the set when available for keeping on my bookshelf) YEAH! I will be staying up late reading this book. I almost felt I needed to spend a bit of time revisiting the first two, but only a handful of pages in, it already has come back.

I wish I could tell you what exactly it was about this particular series that caught my attention. It could be the differences in the paranormal romance from the standard "Twilight" type of books that keep coming out. No offense to Twilight, I truly enjoyed those too. But the repetition of that particular plot saddens me. So I like that it is different. I love the romantic feel of the book, but alas star crossed lovers. What a cross to bear. I love the main character Luce. She is strong and vulnerable, she is smart and quick. I love the contrast of the good vs evil. I am always hoping good will win, but in a book, the battle is entertaining, because honestly, either can be the victor. I'd say my favorite part about this book is it makes me feel like a kid again. It opens up a whole new realm of thoughts and possibilities in my head and makes me crave more. It's exciting, beautiful and entertaining all at the same time. Yet it speaks up to the reader using good vocabulary, history facts and great descriptions. It is a quick read, but one that demands attention.

Sigh, good books are so rare.

Are you reading Passion by Lauren Kate?

Check out the first two - Fallen and Torment.

Review - A Love that Multiplies by Michelle & JimBob Duggar

Title: A Love that Multiplies
Author: Michelle & JimBob Duggar
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: June 7, 2011
Hardcover, 288 pages

Barnes and Noble

Whether you agree with their religion or not I believe that everyone can get quite a few good things out of this book. They have the most wonderful ideas for family and raising children - visiting nursing homes to be charitable and at the same time the kids learn to talk to adults, be kind and not be shy; having bible time teaches speaking ability, reading and conversation also encouraging family time; being kind to all who you come in contact no matter the person's feelings toward you; not having tv time instead conversing and learning and so many others. Inspiring their kids to try so many different jobs and opportunities and not settle for the job that they may like and may get them the big bucks one day. For someone who would love to have a big family and even homeschool, this had such inspiration.

I just loved reading this book. It is a feel good book of incredible stories. I was amazed at the trials and tribulations this family was put through when their twentieth child came in to the world three months preemie. And warmed by the generosity strangers showed them. Shocked and loved the way they dealt with negativity and just plain meanness at the way they choose to live their lives. I enjoyed reading about the children and the grandparents and their friends. I internalized so much regarding dealing with anger, spreading joy and happiness. The lessons were endless.

It was a bit awkward reading the I, and then in parenthesis, the name of who was speaking (Michelle or JimBob) and there were a lot of bible verses and sermon preaching as well. Take caution if you are not comfortable with this type of thing. There were moments I felt it was evangelistic, but most of the time I was not bothered, but felt nourished by the religion. As Michelle says it best, it is who they are and you cannot separate that.

I look forward to reading their first book, The Duggars: 20 and Counting.

In My Mailbox

This week we had a really cool special at work where we got an additional percentage off anything in the store!! So I took advantage of it and bought a few books I've been mooning over.

Dreaming in English by Laura Fitzgerald
Devil in the White City by Eric Larson
Getting In by Karen Stabiner
The Lonely Polygamist by Brad Udall