Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November Reading List | A Reading Journal

November books selectionSandy has passed finally and now the new phase is getting things back in order. This is a quick post about my selection for November. I am not in much of the writing mood with as much of the ciaos that is surrounding us right now after the storm. Just wanted to share some of the books I requested from the library. I hope you enjoy and if you have any to share I would love to add to my must#read list.

November | Books

November Book Selection | A Reading Journal

Fiction | History of a Pleasure Seeker

History of a Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason

Move over Shades! 

goodreads,com - From the acclaimed author of The Drowning People (“A literary sensation” —The New York Times Book Review) and Natural Elements(“A magnum opus” —The New Yorker), an opulent, romantic coming-of-age drama set at the height of Europe’s belle époque, written in the grand tradition with a lightness of touch that is wholly modern and original.

Teen | The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle)

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle) By Maggie Stiefvater - From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of theShiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before

Children | All the Water in the World

What are you reading this Month? Please share.

Keep Turning those pages!
Happy Reading,


p.s.| While you are reading this PS, I am finishing Enchanted Inc. I'll post a full review in my next post. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss it!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Review | And One Last Thing ...By Molly Harper

Book review | And One Last Thing ... By Molly Harper
can’t begin to tell you how much I laughed when I read the first sentence of this book, And One Last Thing ... By Molly Harper. It has to be my ultimate laugh out loud and “NO she didn't just write that” best first sentence. But you can be the judge:
"If Singletree’s only florist didn’t deliver her posies half-drunk, I might still be married to that floor-licking, scum-sucking, receptionist-nailing hack-accountant, Mike Terwilliger."
Now you want to read more right! Don’t get all judgmental I am not always reading chick lit books and really took this recommendation from one of the book clubs I joined on I had no idea what the book was about but really wanted that quick train read. And reading a nice relationship book can put you in the right frame of mind when things get a bit crazy in your own kitchen.

Share a Book Rating | 4 - Great book, but hey you tell me is it a 5!! Read below will have details about the story so here is your warning ** SPOILER ALERT **

Book Review | Setting & Characters

The main theme of the book does center on the main characters behavior after she sent the email that we would all want to send at the end of a very bad relationship but it does not over power the story. With this act she discovers her true desires in life as an individual, lover and family member. Set in the isolated woods of a family cabin, a place to retreat to in the hysteria of a push of the ENTER button, she finds comfort in her own discoveries. The author does a brilliant job focusing on the main characters discovery with the entire additional sub characters each playing a voice in her head. The strength of family, new friends and losing it all can lead to a self-discovery.

I have to say the lake setting and day turning into night writing was a favorite scene for me as I wish I could trade places with that peacefulness. And the pursuit of being an author kept me wanting more for this girl!

Book Review | A little research has an author review of Molly Harper. On her blog she states that she was “A former newspaper reporter and church secretary, I write paranormal romance and romance novels. This blog is where I shamelessly promote them.”

I found this great video. Love when I can see the author and learn more about them. Check it out

Product Description from Amazon 
"If Singletree’s only florist didn’t deliver her posies half-drunk, I might still be married to that floor-licking, scum-sucking, receptionist-nailing hack-accountant, Mike Terwilliger."
Lacey Terwilliger’s shock and humiliation over her husband’s philandering prompt her to add some bonus material to Mike’s company newsletter: stunning Technicolor descriptions of the special brand of "administrative support" his receptionist gives him. The detailed mass e-mail to Mike’s family, friends, and clients blows up in her face, and before one can say "instant urban legend," Lacey has become the pariah of her small Kentucky town, a media punch line, and the defendant in Mike’s defamation lawsuit.
Her seemingly perfect life up in flames, Lacey retreats to her family’s lakeside cabin, only to encounter an aggravating neighbor named Monroe. A hunky crime novelist with a low tolerance for drama, Monroe is not thrilled about a newly divorced woman moving in next door. But with time, beer, and a screen door to the nose, a cautious friendship develops into something infinitely more satisfying.
Lacey has to make a decision about her long-term living arrangements, though. Should she take a job writing caustic divorce newsletters for paying clients, or move on with her own life, pursuing more literary aspirations? Can she find happiness with a man who tells her what he thinks and not what she wants to hear? And will she ever be able to resist saying one . . . last . . . thing?
Other links to Molly Harper

Conclusion| My thoughts 

Like I said I really enjoyed this book and the first sentence might be my 2012 Best first sentence, laugh out loud award. Molly Harper brought us into a family situation that many of us shy away from. The author leads us through a relationship that ended in turmoil and shows that a second chance can happen for each person. Although, these signs might have been there through out the relationship it can lead to drastic measures on both sides when these two people aren't  meant to be together. No matter if the buzzed florist delivers the wrong package or that voice in your head leads you to change. It is a good thing and over time bitterness aside a new beginning will come to you once you accept.

So I say read it pick it up at the library (like I did) share it with a girlfriend and laugh, enjoy her new experiences and remember all in time things move forward. 

Question| what would you do if you got the wrong flowers? Please share.

Keep Turning those pages!
Happy Reading,


p.s. While you are reading this, I am reading Enchanted Inc. I'll post a full review in an upcoming post. Be sure to subscribe to A Reading Journal so you don't miss it!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Book Review | It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership By Colin Powell, Tony Koltz

I can only tell you that this book is a great read for a person in need of a little guidance on working hard, paying your dues, being part of a team and being a strong individual. Not only was I impresses with the writing and the information in this book. I immediately wanted to send it to my nephew. I recently finished this book It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership By Colin Powell, Tony Koltz. I thought I was going to read a military book but it was MORE.

Share a Book Rating | 5 - Loved it! Can't wait to share with you! Read below will have details about the story so here is your warning ** SPOILER ALERT **

Book Review | Setting & Character

Colin Luther Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. Mr. Powell states in this book book "the importance of really knowing who you are and how to always be yourself to why I put an emphasis on knowing and taking care of others, especially those who are your followers." (from his letter on

Book Review | A little research

It starts with his Thirteen Rules. I would say a great reminder to those that have a little doubt. My favorites #2, #4 and #11. 

CLP's Thirteen Rules:
  1. It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
  2. Get mad, then get over it.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  4. It can be done!
  5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
  6. Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  7. You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours.
  8. Check small things.
  9. Share credit.
  10. Remain calm. Be kind.
  11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
  12. Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
  13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

From Amazon Product Description

"It Worked for Me is filled with vivid experiences and lessons learned that have shaped the legendary public service career of the four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. At its heart are Powell's "Thirteen Rules"—notes he gathered over the years and that now form the basis of his leadership presentations given throughout the world. Powell's short but sweet rules—among them, "Get mad, then get over it" and "Share credit"—are illustrated by revealing personal stories that introduce and expand upon his principles for effective leadership: conviction, hard work, and, above all, respect for others. In work and in life, Powell writes, "it's about how we touch and are touched by the people we meet. It's all about the people."
A natural storyteller, Powell offers warm and engaging parables with wise advice on succeeding in the workplace and beyond. "Trust your people," he counsels as he delegates presidential briefing responsibilities to two junior State Department desk officers. "Do your best—someone is watching," he advises those just starting out, recalling his own teenage summer job mopping floors in a soda-bottling factory.
Powell combines the insights he has gained serving in the top ranks of the military and in four presidential administrations with the lessons he's learned from his immigrant-family upbringing in the Bronx, his training in the ROTC, and his growth as an Army officer. The result is a powerful portrait of a leader who is reflective, self-effacing, and grateful for the contributions of everyone he works with."

Book review | What I have to say

I am looking forward to one day meeting Mr. Powell. He is now on my list of people to meet. I admire his sense of patriotism, family values and work ethics. We all start in situations that are not by choice it is within yourself that we need to take hold of and make our destiny. Knowing your mission and your goals are the first signs of taking those steps to a healthier future.

Mr. Powell is a great storyteller and his wisdom is one to share. As I did. I also appreciate how he didn't need to bring his family into the forefront - by all means we don't need another reality show.

Do you have a favorite person you would like to meet after reading a book? Please share.

Keep Turning those pages!
Happy Reading,


Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Review | The Cove by Ron Rash

Let me be honest I wasn't sure about another Oprah pick but I am a sucker for a new story and always try to give the book a chance and even the source of the recommendation. Ron Rash author of THE COVE is an excellent read.

Share a Book Rating | 4 - Great book, but hey you tell me is it a 5!

Read below will have details about the story so here is your warning ** SPOILER ALERT **

Book Review | Theme, Characters & Setting 

The setting for this book is in a cove and a small town far back in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina at the height of World War I. The story is about a brother and sister, Hank and Laurel Shelton who share a farm that has seen it's life of bad luck and the neighbors see it as cursed. A stranger enters the life on the farm as a community is starting to regroup after the war with a strong resistance to outsiders.

Book Review | A little Research Author Profile :: Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist and New York Times bestselling novel, Serena, in addition to three other prizewinning novels, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; three collections of poems; and four collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and Chrmistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O.Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University. His next novel, The Cove, comes out in April 2012.

From Amazon The Cove Product Description

The New York Times bestselling author of Serena returns to Appalachia, this time at the height of World War I, with the story of a blazing but doomed love affair caught in the turmoil of a nation at war
Deep in the rugged Appalachians of North Carolina lies the cove, a dark, forbidding place where spirits and fetches wander, and even the light fears to travel. Or so the townsfolk of Mars Hill believe–just as they know that Laurel Shelton, the lonely young woman who lives within its shadows, is a witch. Alone except for her brother, Hank, newly returned from the trenches of France, she aches for her life to begin. 
Then it happens–a stranger appears, carrying nothing but a beautiful silver flute and a note explaining that his name is Walter, he is mute, and is bound for New York. Laurel finds him in the woods, nearly stung to death by yellow jackets, and nurses him back to health. As the days pass, Walter slips easily into life in the cove and into Laurel's heart, bringing her the only real happiness she has ever known.
But Walter harbors a secret that could destroy everything–and danger is closer than they know. Though the war in Europe is near its end, patriotic fervor flourishes thanks to the likes of Chauncey Feith, an ambitious young army recruiter who stokes fear and outrage throughout the county. In a time of uncertainty, when fear and ignorance reign, Laurel and Walter will discover that love may not be enough to protect them.
This lyrical, heart-rending tale, as mesmerizing as its award-winning predecessor Serena, shows once again this masterful novelist at the height of his powers.

Book Review | What I have to say

I enjoyed the book. The author took me on a journey into a sheltered life then into an engaging community that led to sunshine in a place hidden from the sun all to be taken away by the curse believed to be part of the land. I have to say the ending was not quiet what I expected. I did love it because not everyday is a happy ending. I did feel it kind of happened to fast but the author's writing kept me turning the pages with delight.

Does your book need to have a happy ending? Share with me. 

Keep Turning those pages!
Happy Reading,


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Book Review | We All Went on Safari

With school on the way we are practicing our 123's at home and what better way than with a book. Our bookshelf had this wonderful colorful book and we practiced our 123's with our new friends from Tanzania. From spying a lonely leopard at dawn's first light (1=moja) to watching ten elephants on a rocky hillside glen (10=kumi).

Book Review | What we learned

We had a blast practicing the numbers quiet a challenge for our two year old but he laughed and laughed counting to kumi!

Counting in Swahili
1 = moja (mo-jah)
2 = mbili (m-bee-lee)
3 = tatu (ta-too)
4 = nne (n-nay)
5 = tano (tah-no)
6 = sita (see-tah)
7 = saba (sah-bah)
8 = nane (nah-nay)
9 = tisa (tee-sah)10 = kumi (koo-mee)

The best was all the facts about Tanzania, including an explanation of the animals of Tanzania, Swahili names and numbers, and the lifestyle of the Masaii people follow the story and provide the framework for a great learning experience.

Book Review | About the book

from barefoot - Learn to count in Swahili while discovering African animals on an exciting safari through the grasslands of Tanzania. Facts about Tanzania, Swahili counting, the Maasai people and a map are included at the end.

A great thing about this book is it is part of the GIVING BACK way of Barefoot Books:
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book will be donated to the African Wildlife Foundation, to aid in their wildlife conservation and community building efforts in Tanzania.

And Barefoot Books supplied us with a wonderful activity. Can you think of four words to describe an elephant, do math problems and answer in Swahili... try this FUN Activity!

Book Review | What I think

So where else are we learning Swahili  no where!!! Where else could I have introduced to my child this information I love it! I love that my child is thinking outside of his neighborhood and that books and his family are sharing this together. Read the books - Mom's and Dad's the illustrations are amazing and the flow of the story is engaging. Take it and embrace it!!!

Do you have a special language? you shared with your child? Tell me.

Keep Turning those pages!
Happy Reading,


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Whats the deal | Procrastination

Procrastination Tick Tock
The days go by so fast and the nights don't fade into a moonlit darkness at a slow pace now that the fall season is upon us in my neck of the woods. Which does not help with the list of projects I am working on. Or could it be the signs of procrastination filtering into my days. I am thinking instead of writing this lovely blog or reading another wonderful book to share with you peeps. I am looking at images playing with quotes and just letting the project list slide.

Procrastination | Signs

I really get into this when I have a ton of projects on the calendar. I notice so many tell tale signs.
  • putting off projects
  • leaving a critical task until last minute
  • becoming counterproductive and keeping "busy" on needless work - yep I will just wander into the internet abyss

Procrastination | What they say

My favorite from Ellen - She cracks my up! And yes a little more procrastination but so much FUN! researching and finding this gem. 

Other famous quotes on the subject
"Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week." ~Spanish Proverb
"What may be done at any time will be done at no time." ~Scottish Proverb
"You may delay, but time will not." ~Benjamin Franklin
"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow." ~Mark Twain

Procrastination | My thoughts

Is it a just writers block or pure boredom. Do I need a recharge? step back take a glance at the big picture. Maybe, will be worth a try. So for now at least this post is complete. I am going to step back listen to some music, finish this book I just picked up from my library. And tomorrow will get on that task list (yup just a little more procrastination :)))))

What are your tell tale signs when you are procrastinating? Please share.

Keep Turning those pages!
Happy Reading,

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