Posts Tagged ‘review’
I’ve been a fan of Lindsay Boxer since the first book of this James Patterson (turn your volume down if you’re clicking through the Patterson’s site–he has a book trailer that starts when you get there!) series. Tenth Anniversary fills the bill!
It starts with a wedding…and goes down hill from there. A teenage girl is found bloody on the road side, knowing she doesn’t have the baby she recently gave birth to. Her memory’s fuzzy…her story keeps changing…where is the baby?! As Lindsay Boxer struggles to contain her own feelings about babies, she does her best to help the girl out.
A second story line has the other members of the Women’s Murder Club looking for a serial rapist. How is he finding his victims? How can they not remember what happened between their last memory and waking up, fully clothed, with all their belongings, near their homes?
As always is the case with Patterson, the book is a fast read (I read it Sundayafternoon!) and full of action.
I’ll give this four hoots on my five hoot scale!
I told you I would be going on a Michael Marshall binge after reading Bad Things! The Intruders (beware: Marshall’s website warns that there might be spoilers in the synopsis of his work!) was just as intriguing as Bad Things was.
Ex-cop Jack Walen gets a visit from an acquaintance from high school and his whole live twists out of control from that moment on.
The acquaintance wants to know what happened to the family of a scientist. Was the scientist responsible for the brutal murders of his wife and his teenage son?
Jack’s wife, Amy, is acting strangely. Between not being where she says she will and displaying odd behaviors, Jack knows something is different. But he isn’t sure what.
At the same time, a nine-year old girl disappears from a deserted beach in Oregon. On her own, she makes her way to Seattle where everyone converges.
Michael Marshall is an exquisite story teller. He weaves a tale that is far-fetched, yet leaves you wondering, “what if?” Once I would have chosen to spend time on a deserted island with Stephen King and Dennis Lehane, now I’m inviting Marshall along for the ride. I want to know how his mind works. I wonder how he comes up with his stories.
The Intruders is one of those books that has stayed with me. It’s changed the way I look at things. Sure, the premise is unbelievable. But…what if…
I hope you’ll give this author and this book a chance. I need to find my next Michael Marshall book to read!
You’ve got to love someone who has coined the phrase “org porn.” Who was this linguistic genius? Actually, it’s two someones: Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch, the authors of Pretty Neat: The buttoned-up way to get organized and let go of perfection. They are also the creators of buttoned up organizational products.
How, exactly, is “org porn” defined? Straight from the author’s lips…or pages:
…that glossy, airbrushed fantasy world where everything is pristine, serene, and perfectly in order, sort of like Playboy, but with chore charts and name-plated cubbyholes. It’s everywhere you look these days: in magazines, coffee table books, advertisements, and TV shows. And when consumed in excess, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy, binge spending on organizational products, and even marital discord.
Now I know why I love going to IKEA and sitting in one of those display rooms. It must be how some people feel about going to a strip club. Except it’s the tidy room and organizational products that make me swoon. Not some over-inflated, thong wearing, stripper! Instead of Playboy, I read Martha Stewart Living and Country Home!
The book is filled with all kinds of useful tips on organizing home, work, kids, meals, and email. Between real-life stories and advice, the authors offer great ideas for taming the clutter and disorganization in your own life while not feeling the end result must resemble what you see in the perfectly coifed pages in a home and garden magazine. Did you know it’s ok that not every single room in your house is a glistening showroom?!
This book will be a great addition to my reference library. I know I’ll be referring to the chapter on taming email more than once! That’s one area that I need to get under control…STAT!
I am pleased to provide one lucky reader with their very own copy of Pretty Neat! It’s easy to enter: simply comment on this post. Be sure to include a way that you can be contacted. I will draw a name on Friday, March 18, 2011.
Acts of Violets is the fifth book in Kate Collins’ Flower Shop Mystery series. Her protagonist, Abby Knight, runs Bloomers, a flower shop, by day and solves mysteries by night. This book finds Abby’s ex-cop, bar owner boyfriend, Marco Salvare, being investigated for murder. Of course, Abby is asked to investigate alongside the professionals to ensure Marco isn’t railroaded into a murder charge by the soon-to-convene grand jury.
In the mystery world, this is known as a Cozy Mystery (aka “cozies”). This genre has an amateur-sleuth protagonist bumbling around solving mysteries because the professionals are unable to. I think this is a hard genre to write in because it’s hard to balance the quirky, fun character with mystery. The rules for cozies are sketchy. But the biggies are: no violence, no sex, and no bad language. Cozy protagonists run the gamut from saints to sinner–with all the sinning being done behind the scenes.
An author has to work hard to make sure their protagonist is likeable, intelligent, and just amateur enough to get herself into a dangerous position before the mystery is solved and everyone lives happily ever-after. Recently I reviewed To Have and To Kill, another book from this genre, and wasn’t impressed with the super saintly protagonist.
I am impressed with Abby Knight. Somehow Collins makes her good without making her cloying or boring. She’s flawed. Has some lustful thoughts. Collins also works the business of running a floral shop smoothly into the plot of the story. I am always intrigued by the descriptions of Abby creating an arrangement for a customer.
I’ve read the first five books of the series and see I have some more to catch up on. I hope you’ll give these a read. It’s a fun, light romp in the life of a florist with a flare for mystery solving!
George Pappas’ Monogamy Sucks is a sad and hilarious romp through the swinging scene. The protagonist, Jake, decides he wants casual, non-relationship sex. He sets off to find it through ads, swinging parties, the Internet, and other means. He is desperate to avoid monogamy—and the boring sex that comes with it–at all costs!
I’ve seen this described as erotica. To me, erotica is sensual and pleasant. Monogamy Sucks is sex-filled, but the sex doesn’t seem to be enjoyed by poor Jake. He comes across as desperate and cruel much of the time. He doesn’t seem to have much “good sex,” instead going from one awkward and nasty sexual encounter to another.
Fortunately, Jake is still lovable. I spent most of the novel wanting to pat him on the back and tell him everything would be alright! He doesn’t take well to the swinging scene, which makes him likeable. I think I would have found the book much less enjoyable if he dove right into the swinging lifestyle with a successful whoop. I like that he struggles and flounders.
This book is made up of some raunchy sex scenes. So don’t read it if that sort of thing bothers or offends you. But if you’re curious, you won’t be disappointed.
Several weeks ago, I tweeted that I needed a mattress and I had a blog. I was expecting a discount. Instead, Beth from USleep.com contacted me and offered a mattress for the cost of shipping. I was a little hesitant, because I wasn’t sure you could really buy a mattress on-line.
I investigated the USleep.com site. I really liked the Mattress Comfort Scale which gives you a point to start. Jim and I decided we needed a 6 or 7 on the scale. We need a mattress somewhere in the middle, because I never know day to day what’s going to hurt.
Beth explained the differences in two of their mattresses and suggested the Lavish Comfort. Still, I was hesitating because I wasn’t convinced you could buy a mattress on line. I mean, you have to go to the store and flop around on a bunch, right? Until you find the one that you like.
But I took the plunge and went with the Lavish Comfort because something called “Lavish Comfort” sporting a “Euro top” pillow has to be great. I’m happy to say, I made the right choice.
The delivery people from CEVA Delivery were amazing. They put down a moving blanket to keep the floor clean. They removed my old bedding and moved my frame out by the garage. One of the things I liked about USleep.com was their policy of breaking down and recycling my old mattress and box springs. You know I’m big on being green when I can!
Once the mattress was in place, I hurried upstairs. I was surprised at how high my bed sits now. I knew the Lavish Comfort mattress was 14 inches thick. I thought my old mattress was about 12. But this bed sits really really high! I was afraid I was going to fall out of it the first night. Luckily, Jim was in Kentucky with Jeremy and Jermaine and I was able to sleep toward the middle.
The mattress itself is covered in a nice, sturdy fabric. It almost feels like velvet! The seams seemed strong and none were loose when I checked.
The first night was a little rough. I woke up the next morning feeling like my back was twisted and mangled. Of course, I googled about it and read articles on several different sites that explained mattresses require an adjustment period. Most sites agreed that you would be completely adjusted within two weeks, possibly four.
The second night was so much better. I usually wake up several times a night. I didn’t wake up once! I was surprised to wake up around seven in the morning, actually feeling rested! I think I’m going to really love this mattress!
Because a mattress is such a major purchase, I will be doing regular updates to let you know how this mattress is working for us.
Are you in the market for a new mattress? USleep.com is having a giveaway of a queen or king-size mattress. Like their Facebook page and click the “Sweepstakes” tab to get to the entry form! You can also follow USleep.com on Twitter and on YouTube!
I would like to thank USleep.com for this great opportunity to partner with them! I am honored that they chose me!
Let me know what you think about buying a mattress on line. Is it something you would consider? Why or why not?
I am so happy to be reviewing the Airwear lenses! I’ve mentioned before that I’m always trying to do the green thing. Airwear makes it so easy to do it, too!
According to the Airwear site, they use recycled water to process their lenses and waste products are recycled into other things such as cars and toys! What a great idea! There’s a video you can watch if you want to see how the lenses are made. Even the package has been changed; they are utilizing 100% recycled cardboard and no plastic.
Jim loves his new lenses. They really are thinner and lighter than his old glasses. He actually compared the two different lenses to make sure of that. They’re set nicely into the frames. He likes the transition lenses which are a nice improvement over his last pair of transition lenses (they weren’t “transitioning” in a good spot and he had to tilt his head at a funny angle to read!).
The turn-around for the glasses was super fast. Within three days of providing missing information (totally my fault!) the glasses arrived at our house!
Thank you, Airwear for this opportunity! I’ll definitely be looking for glasses with Airwear lenses in them in the future for myself, Jim, and Aaron (who recently was prescribed glasses). I love the idea that they are an environmentally responsible company producing an awesome product!
If you’re interested in entering a contest for $1000 grand prize or a $400 Airwear voucher, click here or enter below! Good luck! You can enter until November 30, 2010 at 11:59 PM ET.
Yesterday I drew the name for the giveaway of the book Operation Beautiful by Caitlin Boyle using random.org. And the winner is…Wicked Shawn and her comment:
Sounds like a wonderful book for every woman and especially every mother raising a daughter!! I may just go buy the dang thing! Have I ever mentioned how incredibly impatient I am?
Your book will be sent out by the publisher! Let me know when you get it!
Ladies, keep posting the notes! You’re all beautiful!
I thought I had written a lot about self-image and weight. But I did a search, and I haven’t. I guess it’s something I keep to myself. I did find a post on the naked lady at the gym and Ragen Chastain from Dances with Fat guest blogged.
I really wanted to review Operation Beautiful by Caitlin Boyle and was ecstatic when I was chosen. Little did I know how hard it would be to read!
Boyle has written a gorgeous book that should be required reading for all women. It has a message we all need to hear. The message is a simple, yet profound one: I am fine the way I am. I am beautiful as I am.
Boyle started Operational Beautiful with one simple post-it note left on a public restroom mirror. “You are beautiful!” launched a website. Women from all around the world became inspired by Boyle, following in her footsteps, leaving messages all over the place.
Operation Beautiful the book is filled with the stories of these women. How they struggled with body image. How they suffered. How they felt empowered and inspired when they took their turn writing an inspirational note.
But the book isn’t only testimonials. It’s also filled with information about food, health, and faith. It tells us how fat talk is contagious and we women are carriers: solo and in groups.
You’re probably wondering why this was so hard for me to read. It was reading the messages from women who apparently feel the same way I do about our bodies/ourselves. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone. Yet, it’s disheartening to know that so many of us (all?!) walk around every day with this baggage. It’s baggage we picked up from the media, our families, our friends. It’s baggage we need to get rid of!
My purse is now stocked with a purple Sharpie and post-it notes. I’m ready to leave notes whenever the urge grabs me!
I am giving away a copy of this book. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below. Make sure I have an email address to contact you if you are the winner. I’ll take comments until September 15, then I will draw a random winner! Good luck!
I’d love to hear what you thought about the book when you read it! What did you think? Did it make you cry?
This is completely unsolicited review. I’ve received nothing for the review from anyone or any corporation involved.
Jim, Aaron and I decided to do some vacationing of our own while the twins were on their trip. We decided to take the train into Chicago and spend the day being touristy. I must admit that the city was a lot more accessible than I ever knew or imagined. We took the train from Schaumburg, caught a bus at Union Station, and were on our way to Navy Pier with little effort.
Once we reached Navy Pier, we decided to board the Tall Ship Windy for the Real Pirates of the Inland Seas cruise. I’ve always wanted to sail and I’ve long had dreams of being a pirate! So this was perfect!
For 75 minutes we sailed in Lake Michigan. Once the engines were turned off and the wind in the sails did the cruising, it was the most relaxing trip! No noise from engines, just the hiss of the wind in my ears. The ship is full of amenities: head (that’s sailor talk for bathroom!), gift shop, and limited bar service.
The crew was friendly and hard-working. They recruited volunteers to raise the sails, so we volunteered Aaron. He half-heartedly participated. You know, he’s 11 years old and starting his pre-teen attitude years!
During the cruise, a crew pirate told stories about the pirates on Lake Michigan. I only listened a little because I was enjoying the sights and sounds of the Lake. But they seemed to involve a lot of drinking.
It was well worth the money and the 75 minutes flew by. I could have stayed out there for days! So the next time you’re in Chicago, looking for an adventure, be sure to check out Tall Ship Windy on Navy Pier! There’s a completely different view of the city from the Lake!
For more information about the Tall Ship Windy, please visit www.tallshipwindy.com or call 312/595-5555.