Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Review :: Some pages just don't' turn...

I must confess it has been a few months and some books have just stayed on the night table. And I have decided after tossing and turning, thinking and nodding, agreeing it is time to finally say goodbye to these wonderful books. I am going to set them FREE....

But before the disappear from the night stand I must give them their place in our Simply A Reading Journal blog. I know they have been recommended and others have LOVED them but my tired mind just can't keep them on the nightstand another day. So I will send them off to friends in our SHARE A BOOK program.

Please let me know what you think and if I should just give the book another try!! Would love to have the feedback.

Much love,


Product Description (from Amazon)
When We Were Strangers: A NovelBy Pamela Schoenewaldt

"If you leave Opi, you'll die with strangers," Irma Vitale's mother always warned. Even after her beloved mother's passing, 20-year-old Irma longs to stay in her Abruzzo mountain village, plying her needle. But too poor and plain to marry and subject to growing danger in her own home, she risks rough passage to America and workhouse servitude to achieve her dream of making dresses for gentlewomen.

In the raw immigrant quarters and with the help of an entrepreneurial Irish serving girl, ribbon-decked Polish ragman and austere Alsatian dressmaker, Irma begins to stitch together a new life . . . until her peace and self are shattered in the charred remains of the Great Chicago Fire. Enduring a painful recovery, Irma reaches deep within to find that she has even more to offer the world than her remarkable ability with a needle and thread

Product Description (from Amazon)
At Home: A Short History of Private LifeBy Bill Bryson

From one of the most beloved authors of our time—a fascinating excursion into the history behind the place we call home. “Houses aren’t refuges from history. They are where history ends up.”

Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.” The bathroom provides the occasion for a history of hygiene; the bedroom, sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen, nutrition and the spice trade; and so on, as Bryson shows how each has fig­ured in the evolution of private life. Whatever happens in the world, he demonstrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture.

Bill Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and he is a master at turning the seemingly isolated or mundane fact into an occasion for the most diverting exposi­tion imaginable. His wit and sheer prose fluency make At Home one of the most entertaining books ever written about private life.

Product Description (from Amazon)
Poison Study (Study, Book 1)By Maria V. Snyder

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace- and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dusté and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear—.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Book Review :: Ranting and a lot of laughing for Mama

Let's be honest no one gives us that book that really details the reality of bringing home your first child. Tales from the Pantry by Shari Owen Brown reminds us of what it is like to need that "lock" on the inside of Pantry door and snack on that bag of chips while #whoknowswhat is happening on the other side.

This book was a peek behind the scenes into a life of a mother with two young children. A simple tug at the curtains to see and listen to a mothers plea for sanity at times. No one really wants to pull the blinds all the way open and this book is a funny but yet true look at a mothers sometimes daily life.

I personally agree that there should be a peak into this life before you head down that road of motherhood. Be fully warned but PLEASE take the path it is SO worth the sleepless nights, tantrums, dirty diapers, endless crying and that unbelievable smile from your child that takes you to a place you can't describe.

I personally didn't mind all the ranting and love the twitter references #thetruthhurts and don't get me started on agreeing about the FRENCH FRIES #whatisupwiththat!

And please please send me the directions to the PARENT only park! I will be the one with the Pinot Noir Sippy cup :)

I will be sharing this book with some of my Mama's for a nice laugh!!

Happy Reading!


Product Description (from Amazon)

Tales From the Pantry: Random Rants & Musings of a Stay-at-Home Mom is a collection of witty, funny, and sometimes gut-wrenching stories told by a 40-something mother of two small children. Based upon the popular blog 'Don't Make Me Count to Three!', Shari Owen Brown uses humor to navigate the daily slings and arrows of motherhood. Many parents can relate to the often unspoken challenges of child rearing. And for those who have yet to have children...consider yourself warned! Shari found herself the last of her friends to have children and was then SHOCKED to discover all of the lies she had been told! Why hadn't anybody mentioned these things before?!! It was like a secret club of parents who dared not tell the truth or else none of their friends would have children, leaving them all alone in their own private nightmare! Shari blows the lid off of these unspoken challenges & discusses daily life in a funny and entertaining way that still manages to speak the truth. It is a great outlet for parents to laugh at themselves through Shari, and realize that they are not alone or crazy (well, maybe just a little!) for feeling the way that they do.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

An Amazing Reminder from the 1800's

I had no idea what I was about to read. Yes, I wanted to read some classics this year. But not the usual, Hemingway, Shakespeare ect. So, I randomly selected authors in my handy dandy excel formula and the first to pick up from the Library was THE PRINCESS AND CURDIE by George MacDonald.

To be honest I wasn't that impressed by the cover (see image) Maybe it was the bright colors or not knowing anything about the story. And then on the way to work on the LIRR I started reading this book and let me tell you I didn't want to put it down.

It was a true great reminder DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!

Some wonderful quotes from the book ::
"...whoever does not mean good is always in danger of harm."
" is better to perceive a hidden good then a hidden evil."
and a ALL time favorite "...Honesty is the best policy."

Parent's, Uncle's and Aunts, Grandparents get the book read this wonderful adventure and exciting journey young Curdie takes to the Kings Palace. The characters will amaze and could at times frighten you and the child. But overall the story will make you feel that you are a providing some simple life lessons we seem to forget.

I enjoyed the tale and was saddened by the ending. Is it true that true greed can destroy a entire community.
This is the sequel to THE PRINCESS AND THE GOBLIN. But you can fall right into the story if you haven't read the other story.

Share your favorite parts of the story. Send me a note

Happy Reading,


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