Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yes, I Finished!

Super excited to finish Game of Thrones before April 1st.  I was looking at the second in the series, and just about dropped the book when I saw it's about 200 pages longer than the first, which clocked in at 800 pages.  Crap.

I will be thinking about all the characters and all the sh** t that went down in those 800 pages.  I'll be passing this one along to my brother-in-law, who I am positive will love it.

Thank God there was nothing on TV tonight!

And here begins my slow down on reading.  Spring is around the corner, and that means spring cleaning, cleaning out the basement and garage, and working in the yard.  And running and riding my bike.  If I can read 5 books a month, I will be thrilled.

Now, which five?!  Geez, I have so many choices, I am  paralyzed with indecision.  Something short, perhaps?  Only one 800 page book every couple of months--they are exhausting but always worth it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm Getting Close To The End...Sorta

Ok--I have been reading Game of Thrones for over two weeks now--which is usually my longest time to read a book.  Yes, it's 800 pages, but I am in the 500's now, and I think tonight I may be able to hit it for a few hours.  Feeling icky makes me just want to lay on the couch and not do anything--even read, really.   But if I lay there with some hot tea, and my glasses on, covered with a blanket, I can read in between short naps and the new episode of Ghost Hunters.

Anyway, if you haven't read Game of Thrones, pick it up and read it!  It is dark, I will say.  Part of what is taking me so long is that, as a reader, I know bad things are coming down the line, and I  am kinda helpless--I'm just there for the ride.  And hang on--cause, as my friend Kirk said to me "George R. R. Martin doesn't care what character it is--he will kill off anyone and do anything to any character."

I have found this to be true. I have a feeling more is in store for me in the next few hundred pages.

 So you don't like Sci-Fi?  Step out of your comfort zone, and try this one.  It really is a classic, in the way that Lord of the Rings is a classic.  I bet you know someone who has not only read Game of Thrones, but the rest of the series.  Just ask them.  I have yet to hear one bad review from anyone I know who's read them.  Well, the only bad review is that it takes the author too damn long to write them.  Six years between the last one and the new one coming out in July.

The books are also available as ebooks, too--if you don't want to haul a heavy paperback around with you. If you know a teen who likes fantasy, give them this book.  They will love it.  Although you must warn them there are no vampires in it.  Lots of other spooky stuff that lurks "above the wall".  Oooooh  so scary...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Introducing the Book Club Blog!

Hey everyone!  I started the blog for our blogger book club.  Please join and add your comments to the first post, so we can narrow down the book selections.

I am very excited to see what we pick to read, and how this will all roll out.

Without further ado, here's the  book club blog:  Talking Leaf Book Club.  Check it out!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Two Magical Novels For Spring

I've read two lovely books in the past week that will appeal to anyone looking for a bit of love, friendship, and magic in their lives until Spring warms up and the flowers begin to bloom.

Haunting Jasmine by Anjali Banerjee takes place on a small island in Puget Sound.  Jasmine, smarting from a painful divorce in L.A., takes up her Aunt's offer to run her bookstore while she takes a trip to India.  Jasmine arrives on the island, where her family lives, determined to avoid her parents and turn her Aunt's dusty, messy bookshop into a more modern place.  The bookshop has other ideas, and thanks to Ganesh, the Indian god who helps removes objects from your path, well...Jasmine is in for some changes.  This bookshop is no ordinary place--it's full of the ghosts of Jane Austen, A.A. Milne, Edgar Allen Poe, and many others.  And only Jasmine and her Aunt can see and hear them.  They're really good at pointing out the most perfect book for each customer.  

I loved this book!  It was fun, touching, and reminded me why I love books so much.  Pick it up and join Jasmine on her journey towards healing and happiness.

My other book pick has been long anticipated by me and many other fans of Sarah Addison Allen.  The Peach Keeper is another wonderful book set in the small town of Walls of Water, North Carolina.  Willa's old family home, the Blue Ridge Madam, has been restored to it's former glory by Paxton Osgood and her family.  Willa's family lost the home and their position as society leader in town in the 1930's, when the government banned logging and her family's logging empire fell apart.  Many years later, Willa is the owner of a hiking store and lives quietly in town, with regrets of not finding out more about her grandmother and father's lives.  
But there's something strange in the air, and when the old peach tree in the front yard is taken down, a skeleton is found tangled in it's roots.  Who is it?
What do Willa's and Paxton's grandmothers, both in the local nursing home, have to do with the skeleton, and the founding of the Women's Society Club?

Of course there's romance, too.  Paxton's unrequited love for Sebastian, the local dentist, and Collin, Paxton's brother who returns to help her landscape the Blue Ridge Madam, has his eye on Willa. All of them grew up in Walls of Water, and all of them have secrets to keep.  

Oh, I wish Sarah wrote more than one book a year!  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Reading Time

Still no computer...so I have even more time to read. A Game of Thrones is moving along slowly--it is very good, but very dense with plot and a zillion characters.

I have finished two more books while reading it! 
Hope to be back soon!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Random Read Monday is Back!

I've been very busy reading on my Nookcolor, and I've read some wonderful books in the past few weeks.  But, it is Monday, and I need to get back to my Random Read Monday again.  If you're unfamiliar with this, I take a book off my bookshelves and make a concerted effort to read it before the next Monday.  I'm having a hard time deciding today, but I think my pick will be...

Here's what Barnes and Noble has to say about it:

A Song of Ice and Fire, Book One: As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin's stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.

I have had many fellow booksellers tell me the whole series is awesome, fantastic, and hard to put down.  And, with the fifth book finally coming out in July and a mini-series coming in April on HBO, things are starting to heat up for this giant in the sci-fi world.  I've had this book for many months sitting on my bookshelf, so it's time to pull it off and begin the journey. I think I am a bit ambitious thinking I can read this 800+ page book in one week; it may take a bit longer.  I will have two days of sitting at an out of store book event, killing time in between the crowds of people who will be perusing our tables and listening to Judy and I flap our gums about books we love.  Plenty of time to make a dent in this one.

Do you have 'cycles', where you read a bunch of one type of book, then move onto another?  I've been reading a lot of main stream women's fiction, and the itch to immerse myself in the sci-fi/fantasy world has been growing.  I won't be happy until I obey and dive into it again.  I have missed it!

Have you read George R. R. Martin?  Love or hate his series?  Looking forward to the next one?  I can tell you the folks who love him at our store are downright giddy about July.

By the way, I will be creating a new blog for our blog book club, so stay tuned for more info on that.  I hope to start the book club on May 1st!  I'm pretty darn excited, and I'll be floating some titles on future blogs so we can all vote on a book to read for May, and a few months along the line, so we'll be prepared for the summer.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book Club Update

I'm glad so many people are interested!  And I like Anne's idea of a new blog dedicated just to the book club.  How does that sound?  

I will mull this over the weekend, so get a few book choices ready.  I'm open to reading whatever we pick, so I don't mind if it's non-fiction or fiction. Does anyone have a preference?  Would you like a new blog just dedicated to the book club, as Anne suggests, or do we want to do it here? Do we want a "leader" for each book?  Someone who does a little bit of research to add to the discussion?  Or do we all want to just weigh in with our feelings and opinions about what we've read.   

Leave a comment and let me know, and whatever gets the most thumbs up is what we'll do.  

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Question for My Fellow Book Lovers

I'm at work, thinking about books.  Which isn't hard, considering I'm surrounded by them all day at work.  
I thought, "Self, you should see if anyone would like to have a blog book club!"  And I said "Self, that's a great idea!"

So, what do you think?  Would anyone be willing to join this blogging book club?  We could pick out a few books, take time to read them (4 -6 weeks?) and then on a certain day we can all leave a comment about the book.  I've also got a facebook page, so we could also discuss it there.  I am open to suggestions!

How does that sound?  Let me know.  I think starting it in May would be fun.  That would give us time to pick out a book and get reading.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Phantom Evil by Heather Graham

Heather Graham and New Orleans are two of my favorite combinations.  Throw in a haunted house, a serial killer from the Victorian era, and paranormal investigators, and I have a day to sit and read.  Phantom Evil  is another fun, fast read from Heather Graham.  Jackson and Angela, along with four other investigators, are hired by a Senator to investigate his wife's murder at their supposedly haunted house in New Orleans.  Did Regina kill herself, or did the ghosts push her off the balcony?  As the crew sets up cameras in the house, Jackson and Angela discover the Senator is not quite the persona he projects out to the public, and that there  is something evil lurking in the house.  

It likes the basement...

If you like paranormal, New Orleans, and romance, you will enjoy this one.  I always pick up Heather's ghostly tales, and have liked every one. 

This galley was provided by netgalley.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Evenfall by Liz Michalski

I want to live at Evenfall. It's a 200 year old home set in the countryside surrounded by the woods, a creek, and a small cottage tucked away nearby. Andie, the niece of the owner, arrives to help her Aunt Gertie get the place ready to sell after the death of her Uncle Frank, who was married to Gertie's sister Clara. Frank and Gertie had been in love as teenagers, and Gertie left town, thinking she was doing the right thing by leaving Frank. 

Now, fifty years later, Frank is dead, and haunts the house he shared with Clara, and where Andie and Gertie would spend the summers while Andie was growing up. He is filled with regret over his lost love, Gertie, and is trying very hard to communicate with her. 

This is a sweet book about regret, lost love, and making choices with our heads and our hearts.