Sunday, November 30, 2008

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

From the Publisher's Website:

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

Brilliant and entertaining, OUTLIERS is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.

For me, Gladwell's books are very engaging. It's like he is solving an almost unsolvable puzzle in front of your eyes and is actually going to share the secret with you this time! It's very rewarding to read. Though Outliers is no Tipping Point (my favorite) it still works in just the same way.

Gladwell talks about people who just because of a different set of circumstances end up doing far better than their equal counterpart, a bit of the nature vs. nurture debate comes into play in my mind. Yes, some of his findings end up being pretty logical but they are not connections I would have made on my own without tons of thought. He uses a variety of examples to make his case.

I really liked the hockey tryout cut-off date example he uses. Because of the hockey tryout cut-off date of January 1st in Canada, people born in the few months following that always end up getting picked because they are the largest and most mature of all the people trying out. And then because they get picked and get the training that makes them the champions they become.

A frightening section is one where Gladwell talks about plane crashes. We get to read snippets of black box recordings and it's crazy how restrained some people in the cockpit were moments before a crash. Because, according to Gladwell, their culture has told them to behave in a certain way and to respect authority or higher-ups even if the higher up is in the wrong. I could go on and on listing all the examples because they all added something to his argument.

I thought it was smart how Gladwell uses his own family as an example because throughout the book he's basically making a case for how someone can't be a genius all on their own (which sometimes people claim) and there are many factors that play into their success. Using his family as an example helps show he really isn't trying to put anyone down with his arguments.

Outliers is an engrossing book full of logical but eye-opening arguments held up by great examples.

4.5/5 Stars
Review copy provided by publisher

Do you like Pop Psychology books, if so what's your favorite?

The Guernesey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Novel Adventures Giveaway!

Day 8 of's Novel Adventures Giveaway!

To see the rest of the giveaways click here!

Today's Question: Do you particularly enjoy books from a certain time period? If so, what is your favorite time period to read about?


“ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

Here is how to enter:

Leave a comment on each giveaway you want to enter by answering the question I ask on that specific post.

Please leave your email address each time you enter (or have an active blogger account/blog that I can contact you via) in your comment so I will be able to contact you if you are a winner. :)

You can only win one of the 9 giveaways.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only.

The Guernesey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society's giveaway ends Sunday December 7th at 11:59 pm.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

This Week In Books Or Its Finally Happened So This Is The DVD Edition!

Monday: Girl Stories by Lauren Weinstein

Thanks to Dewey for this book! I won it in a contest on her site!

Thanks to an extra special bookmoocher for this book! It was nice chatting with you!

Wednesday: nothing

Thursday: nothing 

Friday: nothing

Saturday: nothing

Raise of hands, who thought this week would never come or who hoped it would! But not so fast, because this happens to be the week of Black Friday I have something else to share with you! This week in dvds!

$20 at Borders, Borders Reward members were invited to shop on Wednesday instead of Friday!


30 Rock was around $14 and Sex and the City $9, I saw people buying all the seasons at once! P.S. I Love You and Ocean's Thirteen were $6.

Figured Blockbuster would have a semi special deal for the holidays and they did! The first three were 3 for $20 when they are usually 2 for $20 and the other two were $3.99

Pss... several of these are at the sale price on Amazon where I'm linking to, if you are interested!

So what did you get this week? Maybe books, maybe some Black Friday Deals? 

Life So Far Novel Adventures Giveaway!

Day 7 of's Novel Adventures Giveaway!

To see the rest of the giveaways click here!

Today's Question: What is your favorite memoir?

From Novel Adventures Website:

It was Betty Freidan herself, in Life So Far, who spoke about her life and career and told us what it was all like from the inside. With the unsparing frankness that made The Feminine Mystique one of the most influential books of the century, Friedan looked back and told us what it took, and what it cost, to change the world. She took us on an intimate journey through her life, from her lonely childhood to the founding of NOW and her brilliant, contentious, and brave leadership of the Movement.Life So Far chronicles the secret underground of women in Washington in the early sixties who drafted Friedan to spearhead an "NAACP" for women, and the daring of many who spoke out against discrimination. Friedan recounts the political infighting and dirty tricks that occurred within the Movement as well as the forces that tried to destroy it and how hard she fought to keep the Movement practical and free of extremism, including "man-hating." Friedan is equally frank about her twenty-two-year marriage to an advertising entrepreneur, which deteriorated into physical abuse. They later reconciled as friends.Life So Far is forthright, full of stories and larger-than-life characters, and it is the scope of Friedan's vision and achievements that makes her memoir so important and compelling.

Here is how to enter:

Leave a comment on each giveaway you want to enter by answering the question I ask on that specific post.

Please leave your email address each time you enter (or have an active blogger account/blog that I can contact you via) in your comment so I will be able to contact you if you are a winner. :)

You can only win one of the 9 giveaways.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only.

Life So Far's giveaway ends Saturday December 6th at 11:59 pm.

Novel Adventures Episode 6: Bare Essentials

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lookalikes 23

Long Live The Queen by Ellen Emerson White

Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist's Mother (Whistler's Mother) (1871) by James McNeil Whistler

I know you guys were enjoying seeing the original covers of these books but I'm not sure if I found it this time! These are two tiny covers I found, from what I can see they don't really resemble the other two original covers from the series, maybe these are later editions?

Being the President’s daughter isn’t easy, but Meg’s getting used to it. She’s even starting to have a life again—okay, not a normal life, but things are beginning to fall into a routine.
Then it happens—machine guns blast, a van screeches to a halt, and masked men grab Meg and take her away.
Meg doesn’t understand what the terrorists want. She doesn’t understand how her security was breached. But she does understand one thing—they have no intention of letting her live—and she has no in
tention of dying.

What do you think of this intentional lookalike?

Check back next week to see t
he final lookalike in these series.

Gone With the Wind: Novel Adventures Giveaway!

Day 6 of's Novel Adventures Giveaway!

To see the rest of the giveaways click here!

Today's Question: What is one classic book you have always wanted to read but for some reason still haven't?


Margaret Mitchell's epic novel of love and war won the Pulitzer Prize and went on to give rise to two authorized sequels and one of the most popular and celebrated movies of all time.

Many novels have been written about the Civil War and its aftermath. None take us into the burning fields and cities of the American South as Gone With the Wind does, creating haunting scenes and thrilling portraits of characters so vivid that we remember their words and feel their fear and hunger for the rest of our lives.

In the two main characters, the white-shouldered, irresistible Scarlett and the flashy, contemptuous Rhett, Margaret Mitchell not only conveyed a timeless story of survival under the harshest of circumstances, she also created two of the most famous lovers in the English-speaking world since Romeo and Juliet.

Here is how to enter:

Leave a comment on each giveaway you want to enter by answering the question I ask on that specific post.

Please leave your email address each time you enter (or have an active blogger account/blog that I can contact you via) in your comment so I will be able to contact you if you are a winner. :)

You can only win one of the 9 giveaways.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only.

Gone With the Wind's giveaway ends Friday December 5th at 11:59 pm.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving here in the U.S.

Now, you may have noticed that the global economy isn’t exactly doing well. There’s war. Starvation. All sorts of bad, scary things going on.

So–just for today–how about sharing 7 things that you’re thankful for?

This can be about books, sure–authors you appreciate, books you love, an ode to your public library–but also, how about other things, too? Because in times like these, with bills piling up and disaster seemingly lurking around every corner, it’s more important than ever to stop and take stock of the things we’re grateful for. Family. Friends. Good health (I hope). Coffee and tea. Turkey. Sunshine. Wagging tails. Curling up with a good book.

So, how about it? Spread a little positive thinking and tell the world what there is to be thankful for.

1. Having a job I enjoy, often times I cannot believe the end of the day is almost here.
2. Family and friends that put up with me. 
3. Everyone here for talking books with me.
4. The ability to wake up earlier than I have in 7 years and not hate it everyday.
5. A cold glass of water.
6. A great book or movie.
7. Tapirs, they are just so darn cute!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! What are you thankful for?

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry Novel Adventures Giveaway

Day 5 of's Novel Adventures Giveaway!

To see the rest of the giveaways click here!

Today's Question: What is your favorite thing to cook and why?

From the Novel Adventures website:

A delightful true story of food, Paris, and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream In 2003, Kathleen Flinn, a thirty-six-year-old American living and working in London, returned from vacation to find that her corporate job had been eliminated. Ignoring her mother's advice that she get another job immediately or never get hired anywhere ever again, Flinn instead cleared out her savings and moved to Paris to pursue a dream a diploma from the famed Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry is the touching and remarkably funny account of Flinnâ's transformation as she moves through the school's intense program and falls deeply in love along the way. Flinn interweaves more than two dozen recipes with a unique look inside Le Cordon Bleu amid battles with demanding chefs, competitive classmates, and her wretchedly inadequate French. Flinn offers a vibrant portrait of Paris, one in which the sights and sounds of the cities street markets and purveyors come alive in rich detail. The ultimate wish fulfillment book, her story is a true testament to pursuing a dream. Fans of Julie & Julia, Almost French, and Eat, Pray, Love will be amused, inspired, and richly rewarded by this seductive tale of romance, Paris, and French food.

Here is how to enter:

Leave a comment on each giveaway you want to enter by answering the question I ask on that specific post.

Please leave your email address each time you enter (or have an active blogger account/blog that I can contact you via) in your comment so I will be able to contact you if you are a winner. :)

You can only win one of the 9 giveaways.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only.

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry giveaway ends Thursday December 4th at 11:59 pm.

Novel Adventure's Episode 5: If You Can't Take the Heat

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What Should I Ask For, For Christmas?

So my little sister is pretty much the cutest person in the world (she's no longer a little anything but to me she is!) She keeps asking me what I would like for Christmas and I really have no idea! She's going with me on my shopping trip Friday where we are going to buy pretty much everything we set our eyes on, kidding kidding. Already went to Borders and took care of some Pre-Thanksgiving deals tonight.

Anyhow... we've come to the conclusion that it could be fun if she bought me a book, shocking I know (preferably something she can find in a store!) So I'm going to make her a list of ideas. So what should I put on this magical list?  Help! There are tons of things coming out... after the holidays which is no help! 

And this totally doesn't solve what i am getting for her! Can you believe her, she said I couldn't buy her any books since I bought her too many this year! :P The girl is smart, wants to read what she already has!

So what book should I ask for!?! Or how about this, what are you asking for? I want to steal your ideas!

This is my list so far:

Confessions of a Tripleshot Betty- Jody Gehrman
Two Way Street- Lauren Barnholdt
You Had Me at Halo- Amanda Ashby
The Nature of Jade- Deb Caletti
Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn
In Your Room- Jordanna Fraiberg

"Waiting On" Wednesday! 6

The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer

Description from Publisher's Website:

The Official Rules of the Teashop Girls

1. Teashop girls are best friends forever.
2. Tea is held every week, no matter what.
3. All tea and scones must be split equally at all times.

Annie, Genna, and Zoe have been hanging out at the Steeping Leaf since elementary school. The Teashop Girls do everything together -- at least they used to. With the end of eighth grade approaching, Genna's too busy with theater, Zoe's always at tennis, and Annie feels totally left out. What happened to tea every week, no matter what?

When Annie convinces her grandmother to give her a job as a barista at the Leaf, things begin to look up. In between whipping up chai lattes for customers, and attempting to catch the attention of her Barista Boy crush, Annie is finally beginning to feel as grown-up as her best friends. But an eviction notice spells trouble for the Leaf and unless they can turn the business around, the teashop will have to close its doors forever.

Fresh, honest, and sweet, Laura Schaefer's debut novel is sure to resonate with readers everywhere.

Released on December 30th 2008. 

This sort of reminds me a little of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, the rules and traditions of a group of friends. I'm a sucker for alternating perspectives, I'm going to assume that this book has that! It sounds cute! I wonder if this will be a series?

What are you waiting on to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Sanction: Novel Adventures Giveaway!

Day 4 of's Novel Adventures Giveaway!

To see the rest of the giveaways click here!

Today's Question: How do you feel about an author's series being continued after their death, what is an example of one?

From the Novel Adventures Website:

Jason Bourne returns to Georgetown University and the mild world of his alter ego, David Webb, hoping for normalcy. But after so many adrenaline-soaked years of risking his life, Bourne finds himself chafing under the quiet life of a linguistics professor. Aware of his frustrations, his academic mentor, Professor Specter, asks for help investigating the murder of a former student by a previously unknown Muslim extremist sect. The young man died carrying information about the group's terrorist activities, including an immediate plan to attack the United States. The organization, the Black Legion, and its lethal plot have also popped up on the radar of Central Intelligence, where new director Veronica Hart is struggling to assert her authority. Sensing an opportunity to take control of CI by showing Hart's incompetence, National Security Agency operatives plan to accomplish what CI never could-hunt down and kill Bourne. In Europe, Bourne's investigation into the Black Legion turns into one of the deadliest and most tangled operations of his double life-the pursuit of the leader of a murderous terrorist group with roots in the darkest days of World War II-all while an assassin as brilliant and damaged as himself is getting closer by the minute . . .

Here is how to enter:

Leave a comment on each giveaway you want to enter by answering the question I ask on that specific post.

Please leave your email address each time you enter (or have an active blogger account/blog that I can contact you via) in your comment so I will be able to contact you if you are a winner. :)

You can only win one of the 9 giveaways.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only.

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Sanction's giveaway ends Wednesday December 3rd at 11:59 pm.

Novel Adventure's Episode 4: Spy Girls

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

Today's question- Blog Widgets. Do you use them? Do you have them on your blog? Do you know what I'm talking about? :-) A blog widget is that list of books "From my LibraryThing" and such, that you'll sometimes see on someone's sidebar. If you use it, do all of your books show up or do you have it set to only show certain books? Do you have a search widget, which would allow your blog readers to search your library? Have you ever made a photomosaic of your book covers? You can find widgets and photomosaic information on the "Tools" tab in LibraryThing.

I have one Librarything Blog Widget on my blog, the random books from my library widget. I've actually had it for several years and totally love seeing what randomly appears! I was wondering the last few months if it was possible to create a Currently Reading widget, right now I just have the picture of the book I'm reading on my blog but sometimes I do overlap a bit and read a few books at a time, but right now there is no way for me to show more than one book at a time. I poked around in the Librarything Widget page today and it looks like there is a way I can get it to work using tags possibly? Does anyone use a Librarything widget for what they are currently reading? I also think it might be helpful to keep my tags up to date!

I don't have a search widget, I guess I figured if someone was interested they could just click on the widget I already have to get to my library and browse around. I haven't made a photomosaic through Librarything but I used to make them all the time in junior high and high school, they usually ended up being images of pop singers, oh how my interests have changed! I got a kick out of the program that made them though, too much fun!

What's your favorite Librarything widget? Do you use one for your Currently Reading List? 

UPDATE: Success! I got my currently reading widget to work, the real test will be when I read more than one book at a time! 

Hardcover vs. Paperback 4

Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris



No one knows us quite the same way as the men and women who sit beside us in department meetings and crowd the office refrigerator with their labeled yogurts. Every office is a family of sorts, and the ad agency Joshua Ferris brilliantly depicts in his debut novel is family at its strangest and best, coping with a business downturn in the time-honored way: through gossip, pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks.
With a demon's eye for the details that make life worth noticing, Joshua Ferris tells a true and funny story about survival in life's strangest environment--the one we pretend is normal five days a week.

This is a hard one. I really like the hardcover but there is also something about the title treatment on the paperback. I didn't really care for the little drawings at first but they have grown on me. I actually started this book several months ago and somehow got distracted and haven't finished it yet! SHAME!

Hardcover or Paperback?

The Monster of Florence: Novel Adventures Giveaway!

Day 3 of's Novel Adventures Giveaway!

To see the rest of the giveaways click here!

Today's Question: Do you enjoy true crime stories? If so, what is one of your favorites?

In the nonfiction tradition of John Berendt ("Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil") and Erik Larson ("The Devil in the White City"), New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston presents a gripping account of crime and punishment in the lush hills surrounding Florence, Italy.In 2000, Douglas Preston fulfilled a dream to move his family to Italy. Then he discovered that the olive grove in front of their 14th century farmhouse had been the scene of the most infamous double-murders in Italian history, committed by a serial killer known as the Monster of Florence. Preston, intrigued, meets Italian investigative journalist Mario Spezi to learn more. This is the true story of their search for--and identification of--the man they believe committed the crimes, and their chilling interview with him. And then, in a strange twist of fate, Preston and Spezi themselves become targets of the police investigation. Preston has his phone tapped, is interrogated, and told to leave the country. Spezi fares worse: he is thrown into Italy's grim Capanne prison, accused of being the Monster of Florence himself. Like one of Preston's thrillers, The Monster Of Florence, tells a remarkable and harrowing story involving murder, mutilation, and suicide-and at the center of it, Preston and Spezi, caught in a bizarre prosecutorial vendetta.

Here is how to enter:

Leave a comment on each giveaway you want to enter by answering the question I ask on that specific post.

Please leave your email address each time you enter (or have an active blogger account/blog that I can contact you via) in your comment so I will be able to contact you if you are a winner. :)

You can only win one of the 9 giveaways.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only.

The Monster of Florence's giveaway ends Tuesday December 2nd at 11:59 pm.

Novel Adventure's Episode 3: Whodunnit? We dunnit

Monday, November 24, 2008

Girls Like Us: Novel Adventures Giveaway!

Day 2 of's Novel Adventures Giveaway!

To see the rest of the giveaways click here!

Today's Question: Do you or have you ever sung? Share your experience!

A groundbreaking and irresistible biography of three of America's most important musical artists -- Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon -- charts their lives as women at a magical moment in time.Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Each woman is distinct. Carole King is the product of outer-borough, middle-class New York City; Joni Mitchell is a granddaughter of Canadian farmers; and Carly Simon is a child of the Manhattan intellectual upper crust. They collectively represent, in their lives and their songs, a great swath of American girls who came of age in the late 1960s. Their stories trace the arc of the now mythic sixties generation -- female version -- but in a bracingly specific and deeply recalled way, far from cliche. The history of the women of that generation has never been written -- until now, through their resonant lives and emblematic songs. Filled with the voices of many dozens of these women's intimates, who are speaking in these pages for the first time, this alternating biography reads like a novel -- except it's all true, and the heroines are famous and beloved. Sheila Weller captures the character of each woman and gives a balanced portrayal enriched by a wealth of new information.Girls Like Us is an epic treatment of midcentury women who dared to break tradition and become what none had been before them -- confessors in song, rock superstars, and adventurers of heart and soul.

Here is how to enter:

Leave a comment on each giveaway you want to enter by answering the question I ask on that specific post.

Please leave your email address each time you enter (or have an active blogger account/blog that I can contact you via) in your comment so I will be able to contact you if you are a winner. :)

You can only win one of the 9 giveaways.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only.

Girls Like Us giveaway ends Monday December 1st at 11:59 pm.

Novel Adventure's Episode 2: The Fab Four

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wife In the North by Judith O'Reilly

From the back cover:

Perhaps it was because she was pregnant and hormones hand eaten her brain that Judith O'Reilly was persuaded by her husband to leave London for the northern wilds. But pregnancy hadn't addled her enough not to have a back-up plan: If life in the country didn't measure up, the family would return to the city.

Far from home, Judith a journalist and mother of three young children, discovers just how tough an assignment making a new life is. In the heart of the country, with no decent coffee in sight, Judith swaps high heels for rubber boots and media-darlings for evangelical strangers and farmers' wives in an effort to do that simple thing that women do-make hers a happy family.

Her headlong foray into the country invites adventure at every turn. As she adjusts to the lay of the land and searches her own true north in an alien landscape, her story offers a hilarious heartfelt reflection of how to navigate the challenges and rewards of motherhood, marriage and family.

I thought this was a really sweet and funny book in a journal format. The journal format works really successfully in this book, turning her memoir into a bunch of little stories and memories.

Throughout the whole book, the author longs for London and I can definitely understand that. I am a city person one million times over, I don't know how I would fare in the country. There is a great passage where the author encounters a double decker bus in the country and hopes it will take her back to London. I think she is only half joking!

The author also has a great sense of humor that is seen throughout the book in every type of situation! One of my favorite examples is where she leaves a note for her husband when she leaves for a trip. Talking about if her oldest son gets something, the younger son will want one too and that's it's best to get the baby one as well so she doesn't feel left out. I just love her sense of everyday humor. Another great example is the difference between a haircut in the country and one in London. The country haircut takes much much less time, why is that? The author has a great explanation for why that might be!

A lot of my favorite entries are the interactions between the author and her three children, lots of cute things the kids say and do. I also really felt for her while her son is being bullied at school and it will not stop. She wants her son to enjoy school but that's very hard when he gets knocked about all the time. You can definitely feel her pain and unhappiness during this time. Who doesn't want their children to be happy and enjoy school?

My only two hang-ups with the book were the fact that her husband made the family move from their beloved London but he got to spend a lot of his time there in London for work. Talk about unfair! It kind of seems if the family stayed in London and saw him when he was working and he stayed in Northumberland when he wasn't working they would have seen him more often! The other was the fact that she couldn't get her own gas and expected her husband to get it for her and ran out of it often. I see wanting to let her husband get it for her I guess, but after running out multiple times I think maybe she should have started getting it herself, it got a bit old after awhile. I was pretty much over these two things about halfway through the book though.

Overall this was a very delightful book about family and adjusting to a new environment!

Quick random story... I was reading this on the bus where I do most of my reading when a man asked what the book was called. Turned out he is from very near Northumberland! I guess they do refer to that area as "in the north", I just figured it was just used in the title. Ahh, the power of books!

Do you enjoy books written in a journal format?

4/5 Stars
Review copy provided by marketing firm

Perfect On Paper: Author Interview and Giveaway on

Remember when I was raving about Perfect on Paper last week by author Maria Murnane? Well the author has just done a great interview over at Betty Confidential and there is also a giveaway going on for an autographed copy over there!

She tells her tale of how she came to publish her book on her own! She also talks about her dad being her PR guy, and I have to agree with her, he's great! He sent me my copy of the book and included a very very nice note with it!

Let's help Maria get this book picked up by a publishing house so she can write another book, I for one cannot wait!

The Old Man and the Sea: Novel Adventures Giveaway!

Day 1 of's Novel Adventures Giveaway!

To see the rest of the giveaways click here!

Today's Question: What is your favorite thing to do at the beach?

From the Novel Adventures website: 

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal -- a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss. Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Here is how to enter:

Leave a comment on each giveaway you want to enter by answering the question I ask on that specific post.

Please leave your email address each time you enter (or have an active blogger account/blog that I can contact you via) in your comment so I will be able to contact you if you are a winner. :)

You can only win one of the 9 giveaways.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only.

The Old Man and the Sea's giveaway ends Sunday November 30th at 11:59 pm. 

Novel Adventure's Episode 1: The Sand and the Sea Club

Saturday, November 22, 2008's Novel Adventures Giveaways: 9 books 9 days starting tomorrow!'s Novel Adventures has given me the opportunity to give away all 9 books featured on the show! Thank you! 

Check out my post from a few weeks ago where I talked about the show!

Over the next 9 days I will be posting each book giveaway individually (more winners that way!), with each giveaway lasting one week. You can enter as many or as few as you would like, but can only win once. 

Here is how to enter:

Leave a comment on each giveaway you want to enter by answering the question I ask on that specific post.

Please leave your email address each time you enter (or have an active blogger account/blog that I can contact you via) in your comment so I will be able to contact you if you are a winner. :)

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents  only.

Each giveaway will end a week after it starts at 11:59 pm that day. The winner will be announced shortly afterwards.

Don't enter on this post, enter on each book's individual post.

Here is what is coming up: (I'll link them here as they start)

Let me know if you are confused about anything or need any further information! I know it's a lot but hopefully you will have a bit of fun with it :D

Have fun and good luck!

Twilight: The Movie

So just got back from Twilight, probably the last person on the face of the earth to see it. I was very pleased with it, it was just what I expected. Definitely a fine adaptation unlike some of the majorly plot altering adaptations of books I've seen in the past.

It was definitely cheesy at times, especially when Bella joins Edward's Biology class, I mean geez! My favorite scene was the baseball scene, loved all the quick slow quick slow shots plus the great Muse song. That's one I'll watch over and over again on the dvd. Wonder how long we will have to wait for that to come out!

I think I feel pretty much the same about the movie as I did about the book. Wanted more of the Cullens, more Jacob, just more everything. Every time any of the other Cullens were on screen I got so excited, I just love that group of characters but to me they played pretty minor roles like in the book.  I guess we will just have to sit and wait at least a year for New Moon.

What are your thoughts on Twilight the movie?

Lookalikes 22

The Black Dahlia (movie)

The Lodger (movie)

I got this set up the publish in about a month's time, but decided to share it today because apparently I wasn't the only one to see this lookalike! It was featured in this week's Entertainment Weekly issue as well! Love it! If you get the magazine it's on page page 10!

I don't really have anything to say except wow these look the same. The Black Dahlia is definitely more powerful since it's the only image on the poster. 

Which is your favorite?

This Week In Books Or I Didn't Physically Go Into A Store And Buy Any Books This Week, Well Unless You Want to Get Technical...


So much for waiting to get these at Half Price books, I found them pretty cheap at Sam's Club though and new! The covers of Nonrequired Reading get better every year, they are works of art!


Came in the mail for review!


Both came in the mail, Mighty Queens for review and Knitting Club from bookmooch!


Yay bookmooch!


French Milk and A Year in Japan were part of a Amazon order I placed only last Saturday, I think it's the fastest free shipping yet! They are both illustrated travel journals. I got Frankie Landau-Banks from bookmooch!


You may remember I talked about this book here. I also ordered this from Amazon and received it when it's not even released until December 1st!

Saturday: nothing

So come on spill, what did you get this week?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lookalikes 21

White House Autumn by Ellen Emerson White

Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665) by Johannes Vermeer

This is what I will assume was the original White House Autumn cover from 1985.

After ten months of living in the White House, seventeen-year old Meg Powers knew she should be used to the pressures of life in the spotlight—but she wasn’t. 

In addition to the usual senior year worries—college applications and Josh, her first serious boyfriend—Meg had to live up to what was expected from the President’s daughter. She had to suppress her sense of humor and watch the way she dressed and spoke. And she had to try to have a normal relationship with Josh despite intrusions by reporters and secret service agents who followed her everywhere.

Then, just when everything was already so difficult, a shocking attack on her mother makes life in the White House even more impossible. Meg, her father, and her two younger brothers find they must turn to one another for solace and support—while her mother’s life hangs in the balance.

What do you think of these intentional lookalikes?

Check back soon for the last two lookalikes in this series.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

2009 Young Adult Book Challenge

So I am doing pretty well with my first ever reading challenge, the Fall Into Reading challenge. I have read 10/13 books so far. One of the remaining 3 I don't think I'm going to finish inside of the time period, maybe someday, I'm just not feeling it.

Anyhow, J. Kaye is hosting a young adult challenge for 2009. And if you know me, you know I've been picking up young adult books like crazy lately, so I've decided this is the challenge for me!

Guidelines for 2009 Young Adult Book Challenge

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. (Click here to join!)

2. Read 12 Young Adult novels. You may list your chosen books any time during the year. Change the list if needed.

3. Challenge begins January thru December, 2009.

4. You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2009.

Here is my list:

3. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
6. Looking For Alaska by John Green
7. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
8. Teach Me by R.A. Nelson
9. Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty
10. The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols
11. Cathy's Key by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman
12. Paper Towns by John Green (swapped out Rumors for this one)

It's my goal to read a lot more YA lit in 2009 than this but it's just a starting place!

Will you be joining this challenge? I know we had this discussion a few weeks ago about what YA I should read first, so scream at me and demand me to add some more must reads!

Booking Through Thursday: Honesty

Suggested by JM:

I receive a lot of review books, but I have never once told lies about the book just because I got a free copy of it. However, some authors seem to feel that if they send you a copy of their book for free, you should give it a positive review.

Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?

I have always been the type of person that avoids confrontation and worries about hurting people's feelings and it's no different with reviewing books. Just because I'm a wuss, that doesn't mean that I would ever lie or say I loved a book that I did not. I just try and choose the kindest words to say what I mean. 

Like many of you, if a book is really horrid I just won't finish it, luckily that's not usually the case. So that means if I do finish a book there was something I liked about it and that's what I will try and focus on in the review. If things bug me about a book I will also talk about them, but try and say it in the most respectful way. I've recently added a rating to my reviews to kind of help put them on a scale a bit more. I obviously felt more connected to a book that was a 5 than a book that was a 4 but that doesn't always mean there was something specifically wrong with the 4. Books that are 3 I still liked but had some problems with and so on and so forth. 

I don't have a disclaimer (or even any sort of note saying i accept review copies- even though i do sometimes) but with all these stories recently of people having troubles with authors I'm getting sort of paranoid. The bright side of all of this is I think these types of situations are bringing the blogging community together and can only make use stronger.

What's your take on this question?

Oh, the Humanity! A Gentle Guide to Social Interaction for the Feeble Young Introvert by Jason Roeder

From the publisher's website:

Are you uncomfortable engaging in conversation? Do you have trouble making friends? Have you longed to have your deeply rooted social anxiety eliminated by a slender paperback you can read cover-to-cover over several lunch breaks? If your answer is yes—or if you're looking for the perfect birthday gift for that special nervous someone—the book you've been waiting for has arrived. Oh, the Humanity! will see you through all your interpersonal struggles:
· "How can I boost my self-confidence? I've already tried crying all day and avoiding my horrible reflection in the mirror. Is there something else that might work?"

· "I'm not very good at small talk. How can I get the least out of every word I use?"

· "What exactly is 'body language'? My arrest record suggests I need some clarification."

· "My hobbies include scrapbooking, swimming with dolphins, and taking chain letters seriously. How can I find people with similar interests?"

· "I recently decided to become a hipster schmuck. How can I rid myself of current friends incompatible with my new, ill-advised persona?"

· Plus, somewhat more!

Life is a precious gift that could be hit by a bus tomorrow. Isn't it time you lived it the way some total stranger who wrote a book thinks you should? Oh, the Humanity! is all you'll ever need to jump-start your social skills!

You'll also need a promotional Frisbee if we get some of those made.

I find myself smack in the middle of the scale of introvert and extrovert. Probably a bit easier for me to identify with introverts so this book was instantly funny. It was the type of humor that is written seriously, you are reading along, reading along and then something totally outrageous is slipped in. It totally catches you off guard in the best way!

There are some hilarious illustrations throughout the book and I would have loved to have seen more. At times the chapters got a bit long but for the most part everything was overall humorous.

One of my favorite chapters was one about nonverbal communication, specifically a section on shaking hands and what not to do. It's laugh out loud funny! The next chapter about cross-cultural communication is hilarious because according to the author he didn't have enough text to fill out the chapter so instead decided to insert random pictures of oversized dolphins in different environments including Easter Island and a gun show. It's all about the random, which I love! I also really like the final chapter where the author tries to convince you to be friends with him!

Overall a pretty funny book! I'd say this is one to think about for holiday gifts for people with a good sense of humor!

What's your favorite humor book?

3.5/5 Stars
Review copy provided by publisher

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Waiting On" Wednesday! 5

Breathing by Cheryl Renée Herbsman Product Description:

Savannah would be happy to spend the summer in her coastal Carolina town working at the library and lying in a hammock reading her beloved romance novels. But then she meets Jackson. Once they lock eyes, she’s convinced he’s the one—her true love, her soul mate, a boy different from all the rest. And at first it looks like Savannah is right. Jackson abides by her mama’s strict rules, and stays by her side during a hospitalization for severe asthma, which Savannah becomes convinced is only improving because Jackson is there. But when he’s called away to help his family—and seems uncertain about returning—Savannah has to learn to breathe on her own, both literally and figuratively.

Released on April 16th 2009.

I really like that Savannah works at the library and loves to read! This sounds like a sweet story! I really hope Savannah learns to stand on her own two feet! Plus, just look at that gorgeous cover!

What are you waiting for to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

Popular this month on LT: Do you look at this list? Do you get ideas on what to read from it?

Have you read any of the books on the list right now? Feel free to link to any reviews you've done as well.

Here's the list and my answer:

1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

2. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron

3. Nation by Terry Pratchett

4. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

5. Anathem by Neal Stephenson

6. American Wife: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld-Review

7. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

8. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski

9. Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland

10. Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) by Stephenie Meyer-Review

I know I've looked at this feature at least a few times but not recently. I've read 2 of the 10 books, American Wife and Eclipse which were both really good! I've linked to my reviews. I'd like to read Dewey, even my sister was saying a teacher suggested it to her! Some of the others I'm not interested in and a few I am still considering.

How many of these have you read?
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