Friday, May 29, 2009

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen 5*****

It was the old New York way...
the way of people who dreaded scandle more than disease,
who placed decency above courage,
and who considered that nothing was more ill-bred than 'scenes',
except the behaviour of those who give rise to them...
- Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence.

Oh the cover of this book just said buy please.... so I did!

Wow... I just could not put it down. For a first time novel it was fantasic.

It has all the glitz of the O.C but with bigger frocks and more dashing boys and it's set in 1899.

There is gossip, intrigue, deceit, romance, jealousy, humour and betrayal
just to name a few things.

The author transports you into a world you can only imagine exists,
a world where your best friend isn't who you think she is and will
stab you in the back whens it's turned.

Love it, love it, loved it,
and I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Highly recommend it. I rate this 5*****

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris (4)

All it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly : Sookie Stackhouse is in trouble again! Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is having a streak of bad luck. First her co-worker is killed, and no one seems to care. Then she comes face-to-face with a beastly creature which gives her a painful and poisonous lashing. Enter the vampires, who graciously suck the poison from her veins. The point is: they saved her life. So when one of the bloodsuckers asks for a favour, she obliges - and soon Sookie's in Dallas, using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire. She's supposed to interview certain humans involved, but she makes one condition: the vampires must promise to behave, and let the humans go unharmed. But that's easier said than done, and all it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly . . .

This is book two of the Sookie Stackhouse Series about Vampires in the South .... And it is an easy funny read about the adventures of Sookie and her Vampire boyfriend .... Nothing has ever been the same since Sookie starting dating Bill the Vampire ... It introduced her to a world of Vampires and Shapeshifters ...

Now that Eric the chief Vampire knows that she can read minds he sends her out doing various jobs for him .... And of course there is always danger .... I am enjoying these books but there are some sex scences in this book as well ... But if you love your Vampire books you will love this book :) ....

I rate this book 4****

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Conjuror's Bird by Martin Davies 3***

Journeys begin in many different ways. It was Cook, a man experienced in preparations for a long sea expedition, who persuaded Joseph Banks to return to Revesby before they sailed; so that summer of 1768, two months before they were due to depart, he made the journey back to Lincolnshire; back to the woods and fields that for the next three years were what he thought of when he thought of home.

It was an interesting first novel, not quite what I was expecting.

The author has mixed current day life with past historical intrigue.

He managed to intertwine both stories so that you never got lost in either. I did enjoy it
but It wouldn't be one of my all time favourites.

I rate this book 3***

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (4)

Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life-and one of her coworkers checks out....

Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn't such a bright idea.

A fun, fast, funny, and wonderfully intriguing blend of vampire and mystery that's hard to put down, and should not be missed.

Ok these books have been out a while and number 9 was just released this May ... They brought out a different cover which I prefer to the original covers ... ( You all know what a book snob I am when it comes to covers .... The original cover where very cartoonie and I would have just passed them over ) Last year they made this book into a TV series and it got quite the following so much so that they are making a second series based on the 2nd book ... Dead in Dallas ...

The book is an enjoyable read but be warned there are a couple of sex scenes in the book ... And it is classed as an Adult read .... But the story line and characters I just loved ... There are Vampires, Shape shifters and some other species in the book which makes for a good story line and an endless supply for future books ...

The character of Sookie is great she is not your ordinary human she can read minds ... Bill the Vampire is great who is very charming and old fashioned ... And there is mystery to solve as who is killing all the women in the town ..... Is it the Vampires ???

I rate this book 4 ****

Now how does the book compare to the TV Series .... I have to say I loved the characters and the story line to the series but it is definitely an Adult View .... There is alot of sex scenes and I mean alot and some are quite graphic ... So this series is not for everyone .... If there was no sex scenes in the series then it would actually be perfect ... I was abit curious whether the books would be the same way but I am pleased to say they do not .... The second series is going to be aired at the end of June 2009 .... The series is good .... Great characters ... Great Music ... And great story line ... But again very graphic and alot of swearing which is a shame ...

Jane Eyre by Charotte Bronte

This is a quick review for the Books to Movie Challenge for Jane Eyre and there seems to be a recurring theme ... I like the movies but the books are just plain better :)

For so many years my favourite movie of Jane Eyre is with Timothy Dalton as Mr Rochester but the more recent version done in 2006 I think wins in the end .... It is very much like the book and is over 3 hours long .... So make sure you are comfy because if you are any thing like me you will not be able to watch it in parts you have to watch it all at once .... Which is what we as a book club done last Friday and loved it ....

Obviously in the series version you do see the beautiful house Fairfield and the gorgeous gardens etc .... You see the sparks that fly between Jane and Edward and the facial expressions etc ... But it really cannot compare to the book ... I think because when you read a book you have in your head your own version of the characters and places and when it appears on the big screen it doesn't always match up with what is your head ...

But all in all this 2006 version of Jane Eyre is beautifully done so settle down with a box of chocolates and be swept away with the feisty Jane and broody Edward .... A couple that was just meant to be from the start !!!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (5)

As an orphan, Jane's childhood is not an easy one but her independence and strength of character keep her going through the miseries inflicted by cruel relatives and a brutal school. However, her biggest challenge is yet to come. Taking a job as a governess in a house full of secrets, for a passionate man she grows more and more attracted to, ultimately forces Jane to call on all her resources in order to hold on to her beliefs.

Move over Mr Darcy here comes Mr Rochester ......

This is one of my favourite books and movies of all time .... I don't know how many times I watched Jane Eyre when I was growing up and Mr Rochester was always Timothy Dalton until the new version came out in 2006 ....

This novel is truly a classic ... And a novel which you can read with great ease and amusement ... Jane is such a wonderful character .... Even as a young child she knew her own mind even under such awful surroundings .....

I would truly call this novel a love story .... It is full of passion .... And it amazes me that it was written so long ago but yet is still so fresh .... I couldn't help but continually turn the pages to see what happens next ....

I feel this book has everything that you would require in a story ... Romance ( which sometimes you can feel the attraction between Jane and Edward was electric ) .... There was suspense and mystery ( What exactly was in attic? ) ... There was Ghosts and stately Mansions ( With beautiful gardens and women dressed in wonderful apparel ) ... There where the characters you loved to hate ( The wicked Aunt and Mr Brocklehurst ) .... The character who is the heroine ( Jane .... Plain she was not ) and no story would be complete without a brooding, Ruggedly Handsome Landing Man in Mr Rochester ....

I have so many favourite parts in this novel but here is but a few ....

"He rose and came towards me, and I saw his face all kindled, and his full falcon-eye flashing, and tenderness and passion in every lineament. I quailed momentarily - then I rallied." pg 329
(Swoon .... Swoon ... Swoon )

"My little friend!" said he, "I wish I were in a quiet island with only you; and trouble, and danger, and hideous recollections removed from me" ...... Can I help you, sir? - I'd give my life to serve you." .... "Jane, if aid is wanted, I'd seek it at your hands; I promise you that." Pg 244

"If one shook hands, for instance; but no - that would not content me either. So you'll do no more than to say Farewell, Jane?" ...... pg 271

"God pardon me!" he subjoined ere long, "and man meddle not with me: I have her, and will hold her" Pg 308

I cannot tell you how much I really love this book ... If you have not read it yet please do yourself a favour and go and get a copy !!! ..... You will not be disappointed ... You can really see how it is a Classic and remain one for many years to come ...

I rate this book 5*****

Ok we are doing this book as a book club and are going to settle down to watch the series .... So here is a wee teaser .... If you haven't seen this series it is well worth the watch :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber. 4****

At thirty-eight, Anne Marie Roche's life is not what she'd expected - she's childless, a recent widow and alone.

She owns a successful bookstore on Seattle's Blossom Street, but despite her accomplishments, there's a feeling of emptiness.

On Valentine's Day, Anne Marie and several other widows get together to begin a list of twenty wishes, things they always wanted to do but never did.

Anne Marie's list starts with: Find one good thing about life. It includes learning to knit, doing some good for someone else, falling in love again. She begins to act on her wishes, and when she volunteers at a local school, an eight year old girl named Ellen enters her life. It's a relationship that becomes far more important than she ever imagined.

As Ellen helps Anne Marie complete her list of twenty wishes, they both learn that wishes can come true - but not necessarily in the way you expect.

The cover is what captured me at first, it's just beautiful. Once I turned it over and started reading it just spoke to me. I'm sure we all have at one point in our lives made a list of wishes that we would like to do. Not necessarily goals, resolutions or decisions, but just those secret wishes that maybe we haven't told anyone about.

Well you'll love reading this book then...

you'll love the friendship between the women

and you'll want to make a list of your own. I did...

Snuggle up with a cup of hot chocolate in front of a warm fire and just immerse yourself. A wonderfully easy read that just flows. Debbie Macomber is a wonderful writer and one that I'll keep coming back too.
I rate this book 4****

OOHHHH The Temptation

"My only Weakness" is of course BOOKS .... Legs other half commented the other nite that since Book Club started their Bank Balance has dropped .... lol ..... I think my darling hubby would agree with that ....

I was armed with about 5 lists of paper ( ranging from A4 to an envelope ... the closest thing at hand to write on ) of the books that I wish to purchase !!!!

Start as you mean to go on .... The first book store I had about 4 books in my arms and none yes NONE where from the for-mentioned lists ...... Is there such a thing as Therapy or Counselling which you can attend to curb your addiction .....

The sad truth is that I purchased about 15 books and made a small and I mean minuscule dent in my pool of books that I wish to purchase ....

There is one good thing which will come out of this though is that I will be getting one of my beloved bookcases back ..... ( Anyone who knows our family knows that I have bookcases but my darling hubby has hijacked them and has his collections of sci fi on them) ... But loaded with bags of books my hubby said quote "I think you need another bookcase" and has agreed to move some of his stuff off MY bookcase .... Wonders never cease ......

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers

"I passed a tall briar, shooing leafly and flowery branches across the path; I see the narrow stile with stone steps; and I see - Mr Rochester sitting there, a book and a pencil in his hand: he is writing.

Well, he is not a ghost; yet every nerve I have is unstrung: for a moment I am beyond my own mastery. What does it mean? I did not think I should tremble in this way when I saw him - or lose my voice or the power of motion in his presence."

Pg 295 of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Monday, May 18, 2009

Change of Date

Sorry girlies ... got the date wrong for Book Club it is this Friday ......

22nd May 7:30

At my house ... Comfy clothes a must and loads of chocolate (Bars and milk) Hope to see ya all there !!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Arise and Shine Forth by Relief Society (5)

A Collection of talks from the 2000 Women's Conference - Sponsored by Brigham Young University and the Relief Society

Is it good for women to be alone - the answer is no .... Women need other Women ...

I was unfortunately never in Salt Lake City whenever the Women's Conferences where on so this is the next best thing for me ... The Book with all the talks enclosed !!!

It is so refreshing to read the experiences of other women in the Church ... Each year they have a theme and in 2000 it was "Arise and shine Forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations" Doctrine and Covenants 115:5 ... It says that it is a bold call and a sacred responsibility for all those who answer it, whether it be a parent, teacher, grandparent, leader, sister, or friend .. How do we answer the call? How do we "arise and shine forth"?

I love this book and re-read it often especially if I have a talk or lesson coming up ... There are 54 talks included by different women all from different backgrounds ... If you are lucky enough to attend the conferences I am abit jealous .... But if you are like me and cannot but still wish to feel the spirit then these books are the next best thing ...

I rate this book 5*****

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Vlad the Last Confession by C.C Humphreys. {4 stars}

All was still in the forest. The last snowflakes of the sudden storm had just fallen. Everything paused.

In the crook of a copper beech sat a man. His arms were crossed, gloved hands folded into his lap, the right beneath to support the weight of the goshawk on his left. They had been there for a long time, as long as the blizzard lasted. Man and bird - part of the stillness, part of the silence. Both had their eyes closed. Neither were asleep.

A rip-roaring adventure packed with action, drama and passion.

C.C Humphreys has combined fiction with enough historical background that you can't put it down until you know how it finishes. While it can be quite blood thirsty and violent, it also shows how Vlad came to be known as Dracula. You are transported back in time and reliving everything that happens.

Thoroughly enjoyed it, but it's not a book for the faint-hearted.

4 stars

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Graceling by Kristin Cashore (41/2)

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight--she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace--or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

Love, Love Love the cover .... I am going through a teen stage at the moment it seems .... As a majority of books I have picked up are all from this range .... Not that I am complaining because I am not I am loving the books ...

It is great to see a strong female character ... And Katsa is definitely that .... I completed this book in a couple of days .... I loved it ... The chemistry between Katsa and Po is electric to say the least ... And it is interesting to see the character of Katsa discover who she really is ... And to realise that even though you are capable of doing everything yourself it is good to let other people in to help ... And that it is not considered a weakness ...

For a first novel the book is very well done and flows beautifully and you do get carried away into her world ... There are loads of adventures and of course the romance ..... I would have rated this book 5 stars if it wasn't for the fact that the end of the book left me abit deflated ... I know I am probably being petty but the whole book was quite fast paced until you get to the last couple of pages .... Is Kristin going to do a follow up book? .... It would be a shame not to do another book as the characters are wonderful ...

In saying that if you love fantasy, adventure and a touch of romance then you will love this book ...

I rate this book 41/2 ****

I would say this would make a brilliant movie so here is a wee clip to wet your appetite - done by a fan !!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright

'It ended almost forty years later, when Jack and Laurel Cooper died in each other's arms. But before he took his last breath, Jack wrote his wife one final "Wednesday Letter."
When the Cooper children return home, they discover the thousands of letters left behind. As they read them, clues to a shattering family secret emerge - and they are brought face -to-face with a life-changing moment of truth.

What a beautiful love story this book is, and how wonderful it would be to receive love letters from your partner for your married lives together. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, couldn't put it down until the very end.
Rate it 4 stars.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Discussion Questions for Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Well here are the discussion Questions for our next book ... Enjoy :)

1. How does Bronte create sympathy for Jane immediately?

2. How does the weather, throughout the novel, function?

3. How important is Jane's appearance to her character? Jane thinks she is ugly; is this confirmed by others in the novel?

4. Does Mrs. Reed treat Jane badly because she thinks she deserves it, or because she believes it is good for her? Is her conscience clear?

5. Where does Jane's shyness come from?

6. In this novel, how do people's looks reflect their characters?

7. Jane tells of her childhood, and then skips 8 years to the time when she gets the job with Rochester. Why tell of her childhood at all? Why not just begin with Rochester?

8. Rochester's disastrous marriage to Bertha was based on passion, while St. John refuses to marry Rosamund because of his passion for her. What is Brontë saying about the role passion should play in marriage?

9. When Jane hears Rochester's voice calling while he is miles away, she says the phenomenon "is the work of nature" (p. 467). What does she mean by this? What are we intended to conclude about the meaning of this experience?

10. What is the balance of power between Jane and Rochester when they marry? Does this balance change from the beginning of the marriage to the time ten years later that Jane describes at the end of the novel (p. 500-501)? In a romantic relationship, does one partner inevitably dominate the other?

11. Should an individual who holds a position of authority be granted the respect of others, regardless of his or her character?

12. What is the first indication that something may be amiss at Thornfield? Does Mrs. Fairfax know the truth?

13. Take a close look at Jane's first meeting with Rochester. In the typical Gothic novel, or in the typical fairy tale, how do the man and woman typically meet? How do they act? How does Charlotte Bronte violate these conventions in this scene?

14. How do Rochester's behaviour and character change during the course of the novel?

15. How does Jane respond to Rochester's attempt to boss her around?

16. In Victorian society, it was assumed that men were crude and active; women were passive, pure, and spiritual. Do Jane and Rochester fit into these stereotypes?

17. How do Jane's feelings for Rochester develop and change over time? How does Jane try to deny and resist her feelings for him?

18. When do you begin to suspect Rochester's feelings for Jane?

19. Why does Jane hold Rochester at arm's length during their courtship? Does this mean she doesn't love him?

20. Jane sees Rochester almost as a god; is this, in the context of the novel, a good or bad thing?
21. How does Rochester try to manipulate Jane into doing what he wants her to do? What makes her able to resist him?

22. Why doesn't Jane tell Rochester right away how she feels about him?

23. Why (aside from his wife's death) does Jane agree to marry Rochester now? What reservations did she have before, that have now been removed?

24. Does the novel have a "happily ever after" ending?

25. Jane Eyre begins as a penniless orphan, and ends up with a very good life. How does she gain the personal power that leads her to happiness?

Next Book Club Meeting

Well it is around again ... This time around at my house (Irish) ... we changed the date as "T" will not be back from her holiday's until then so are next meeting is on the
29th of May at 7:30
I am so looking forward to this nite as Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books .... Don't panic if you cannot finish the book as we are going to be watching the series and then discussing it .... Just a relaxing nite .....

Teaser Tuesday

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers

"A Blanket of dust on the rough wooden floor, on the table and the bed, on the cabinet that leaned on three lopsided legs with its door hanging open crookedly.

"This is where I'll hide," Po said"

Pg 231 Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Host by Stephenie Meyer (41/2)

In this tantalizing SF thriller, planet-hopping parasites are inserting their silvery centipede selves into human brains, curing cancer, eliminating war and turning Earth into paradise. But some people want Earth back, warts and all, especially Melanie Stryder, who refuses to surrender, even after being captured in Chicago and becoming a host for a soul called Wanderer. Melanie uses her surviving brain cells to persuade Wanderer to help search for her loved ones in the Arizona desert. When the pair find Melanie's brother and her boyfriend in a hidden rebel cell led by her uncle, Wanderer is at first hated. Once the rebels accept Wanderer, whom they dub Wanda, Wanda's whole perspective on humanity changes. While the straightforward narrative is short on detail about the invasion and its stunning aftermath, it shines with romantic intrigue, especially when a love triangle (or quadrangle?!) develops for Wanda/Melanie.

This is Stephenie Meyer's Adult book about Aliens coming to our planet Earth and turning us into their hosts !!! .... It is a big book with over 600 pages but I have to say I loved it !!!

I did find it abit slow to start off with but then it just started to flow better !! ... I does rise some questions as to the lengths you would go to in order to save your friends and family from being HOSTs ... The relationship between Wanda and Melanie is very well done.

There is abit of violence in this book which probably is the reason for it being an Adult book but nothing too graphic ... It mostly deals with peoples emotions and how they re-act to having an Alien in their company .... If you are into Aliens and Fantasy then you are going to love this book ... And the way that it has been left there is the possibility of another book ....

There my not be any Vampires in this book but there is still Adventure, Romance and abit of Aliens thrown in for good luck ...

I rate this book 4 1/2 ****

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (4)

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."—Randy Pausch

A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave—"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"—wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

Ok when I heard we where reading this book and read what it was about I thought it was going to be really depressing !!! ..... Boy was I wrong .... I really liked the book and it is inspiring !!!

I was really pleased that as a book club we had the opportunity to read this book and overall I think most of us really liked it ...

It is an easy read ... With small chapters and fun inspiring stories ... I laughed with the air balloon ( mainly because that would be something that would happen to me ) and loved the car stories ... If anything this book made me think about the importance of journal writing ... It is the only think that we can actually leave behind in order for future generations to really get to know us !!! ... And don't take life to serious and reach for your dreams .....

This is a great wee book that turned into a wee gem !! So if you want a pick me up book this is it !!!

I rate this book 4 ****

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