Showing posts from August, 2010

Month In Review

Ahh...the end of summer. I love it and I hate it. I love it because I really like the cool fall weather, sweaters and scarves, and the changing colour of the leaves. But I hate it because it means our lazy days are over!
August was a month in which tons of books came into my house, and not many got read. With the realization that there was only a month left until my husband went back to work and my daughter started school, we tried to cram as much fun into the month as we could. And we did! But my reading suffered.
I'm trying to work my way through the Booker longlist. So far I've got one book read (which I read months ago), one almost finished and another just started. Not where I'd hoped to be, but it's a start. I'm looking ahead to the announcement of the Giller longlist on September 20th so I can work through that as well. Hopefully with school starting and getting back into a routine I'll be able to get more reading done.
Hope you all had a lovely s…

In My Mailbox #16

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren for us to share which books came into our homes in the past week. I had another crazy week with a bunch of books coming in. So far I'm keeping up, but with school starting soon, we'll see how that goes. Here is what I got:
For Review:

Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan

The sequel to Waiting to Exhale, this book revisits the women fifteen years later. This is the first ARC I have received, thanks Penguin Canada!

From the Library:
Holy Rollers by ReShonda Tate Billingsley The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw Nancy's Theory of Style by Grace Coopersmith The Temptress: The Scandalous Life of Alice de Janze and the Mysterious Death of Lord Erroll by Paul Spicer The Truth is the Light by Vanessa Davis Griggs
Have you read any of these? What did you get this week?

"Here's the Deal: Don't Touch Me" by Howie Mandel

Howie Mandel is one of the most recognizable names in entertainment - you many know him from his stand-up, St. Elsewhere, Bobby's World, the Jay Leno show, but most likely you know him from his gig hosting Deal or No Deal.
If you have seen the game show you also know about Mandel's insistence on greeting people with a fist-bump rather than a handshake. This is because he struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and has an extreme case of "germophobia."
In Here's The Deal, Don't Touch Me Howie Mandel recounts his life - his childhood in Toronto, his entry into the stand-up world and the fame that followed. But most importantly he opens up about his struggle with OCD, as well as adult ADHD and a serious heart problem, and how they shaped both his personal life and his career.
The book is honestly written and refreshing. He is serious about the nature of his illnesses but also able to look at them with humour. Others who struggle with the same probl…

"Some Girls: My Life in a Harem" by Jillian Lauren

At the age of 18, Jillian Lauren was a theatre school drop-out and sex worker. She had worked as both a stripper and escort when she got word of a job that would pay $20,000 for two weeks of spicing up the parties of a Singapore businessman. But when she arrived, she learned that the job was really to be a part of the harem of the younger brother of the Sultan of Brunei.
Some Girls: My Life in a Harem is the story of Lauren's childhood, how she ended up as a sex worker, the 18 months she spent in the harem as one of the Prince's favourites, and what happened to her life after she left.
This book is frank and honest. There is strong language and Lauren is very open about her jobs in the sex industry. It is interesting to follow along on her journey, on a path that most women would not choose and in an industry that most people are not exposed to.
The details of her life in a harem are incredible. We've all heard stories and rumours about harems as well as about the indu…

"Fly Away Home" by Jennifer Weiner

Sylvie Woodruff is the ideal politician's wife. Her wardrobe is full of tailored suits, she considers it her job to stay twenty pound thinner than she really is and she spends her days giving talks and tending to her senator husband. But when news of her husband Richard's extramarital affair hits the airwaves, she is forced to reconsider who she is and where her purpose really lies.
Sylvie and Richard's daughters are also dealing with their own struggles when the scandal hits. Diana, the "perfect" daughter, is an ER physician with a husband and young son at home but she finds an escape from her loveless marriage through Doug, a hospital intern. Lizzie, the younger daughter, is a recovering addict trying to keep her life under control. But when she meets Jeff, a kind and caring man, she doesn't know how to handle having a relationship or the surprise that comes out of it.
Wanting to escape their troubles and the national spotlight, the three women leave eve…

In My Mailbox #15

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren for us to show what books we got this past week.
What a week I had! A bunch of books I had placed on hold at the library, that were still on order by the library, came in all at once! And the same thing has happened again for next week, I already have 5 waiting for my Tuesday pick-up! It should be a good test to see if I can get them all read in the three weeks I'm allowed to keep them out for! Here is what I received this week:
For Review Flaws and All by Shana Burton - to check out my stop on the blog tour and read my review, go here.
From the Library Parrot and Olivier In America by Peter Carey February by Lisa Moore Sweet Temptation by Lucy Diamond The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas One Day in May by Catherine Alliott Arm Candy by Jill Kargman
I'm working hard to get through them all! Have you read any of them?

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop, hosted at Crazy For Books! Fridays keep coming very fast, and each Friday means one less week until school starts! Only a few more weeks of summer vacation, gotta make them count!
This weeks question for the hop is: How Many Blogs Do You Follow?
Right now I am following about 85 blogs, but that number continues to grow. Most are book blogs, but there are also my friends' blogs as well as a few hair blogs that I follow. I love the Blogger setup and each morning I check in to see who has a new post and I try to read as many as I can.
Thanks for stopping by from the hop, I hope you enjoy your look around. Review posting has been a little slow for me this past week, with back to school things are getting busy plus I've taken on a few heavy books in the last week, but I should be back to speed posting very soon!

"Flaws and All" by Shana Burton - Blog Tour

About the BookFaith, family, and friendship have always been top priority to lifelong friends Lawson, Reginell, Sullivan, Angel, and Kina, but each one is about to be put to the test during one turbulent year.Lawson Kerry is a struggling single mother who has finally gotten her life together. Now, a fierce custody battle with her ex threatens to the tear apart everything she’s built. Reginell Kerry is a starry-eyed singer determined to make it to the top of the charts, but will she change her tune when a chance at fame means shedding her clothes and her self-respect?Sullivan Webb is the pampered wife of a charismatic pastor with political aspirations, but she just might destroy her husband’s campaign and their marriage if she can’t control her wandering eye. Angel King has dedicated her life to nursing following the destruction of her marriage. Can she maintain her professionalism when she discovers that her newest patient is the woman who stole her husband? Kina Battle has had eno…

"Just Like Me, Only Better" by Carol Snow

If you have ever seen a "Stars, They're Just Like Us!" spread in a magazine, you've probably wondered what it's really like to be a celebrity, followed by the paparazzi wherever they go and photographed even when all they are doing is getting a coffee. Veronica Czaplicki is about to find out.
A single mother and cash-strapped substitute teacher, Veronica is often mistaken for Hollywood starlet Haley Rush. And when she is offered a well-paying job to act as Haley's double for the paparazzi, she jumps at the chance. Soon Veronica has been made over to look exactly like Haley and she spends her days on the town posing as her. But soon, sparks begin to fly between Veronica and Haley's ex-boyfriend, actor Brady Ellis. And Haley is beginning to pull away from the Hollywood scene. The job becomes more than Veronica had bargained for and things quickly fall apart.
Just Like Me, Only Better is a funny look at the Hollywood life from a new perspective, the Holl…

In My Mailbox #14

In My Mailbox is hosted each week by The Story Siren.
This week I picked up two books at the library:
Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren (2010) At eighteen, Jillian Lauren was an NYU theater school dropout with a tip about an upcoming audition. The "casting director" told her that a rich businessman in Singapore would pay pretty American girls $20,000 if they stayed for two weeks to spice up his parties. Soon, Jillian was on a plane to Borneo, where she would spend the next eighteen months in the harem of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, youngest brother of the Sultan of Brunei, leaving behind her gritty East Village apartment for a palace with rugs laced with gold and trading her band of artist friends for a coterie of backstabbing beauties. More than just a sexy read set in an exotic land, "Some Girls" is also the story of how a rebellious teen found herself - and the courage to meet her birth mother and eventually adopt a baby boy.

Outcasts United: A Refugee Team…

"Thin, Rich, Pretty" by Beth Harbison

At age thirteen Nicola, Holly and Lexi were cabinmates at summer camp. Shy, plain Nicola and plump Holly were outsiders who formed a lasting bond with each other. Rich, spoiled Lexi was a part of the in crowd and quickly became the nemesis of Nicola and Holly. Then one night Nicola and Holly pulled off a daring act of vengeance against Lexi, one that would have repercussions for years.
Twenty years later the women have grown up, moved on, and are each facing a defining struggle in their lives. Nicola is an almost-famous actress who will do anything to be pretty, including plastic surgery. Holly is a successful art gallery owner who will do anything to be thin, including starving herself to lose weight at her boyfriend's request. Lexi has found herself suddenly broke and without a home and will do anything to be rich again.
Thin, Rich, Pretty is the story of three women who believe that happiness lies just beyond their reach and who will do what they can to grasp it. But it&…

"A Year of Living Generously" by Lawrence Scanlan

Is it possible for one person to make a difference in this world? This is one of the many questions Lawrence Scanlan set out to answer when he began a year-long journey into the world of philanthropy.
Scanlan chose twelve different charitable organizations - some local, some international - and spent one month with each to find out exactly what they do, the challenges they face and if we the people can truly be a part of the solution.
The result of this journey is A Year of Living Generously: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Philanthropy. Scanlan spends his year with a soup kitchen, hospice drop-in, First Nations high school, Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, a women's radio station in Senegal, an HIV/AIDS shelter in Costa Rica, a horse riding camp for the disabled, a prison outreach program, a street outreach program, an immigrant centre, an environmental group and a program for people with developmental disabilities. This wide range of programs shows not only the many ways …

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This week my upcoming release is one that is highly anticipated by many, many people:

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella Release date: 21 September 2010
Nothing comes between Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) and her bargains. Neither act of God nor budget crunch can shatter her dreams of wall-to-wall Prada. Every milestone in her well-shopped life (travel, long-lost sister, marriage, pregnancy) inspires new vistas to explore in the name of retail therapy. But now she faces her greatest little challenge yet: Becky's two-year-old daughter, Minnie.

While motherhood has been everything Becky dreamed it would be-Baby Dior, Little Marc Jacobs, and Dolce & Gabbana for toddlers-adorable Minnie is wreaking havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. Her favorite word is "MINE!" and her penchant for Balenciaga bags, Chanel sunglasses, and online purchases has no rival under age five.

Becky is at her wit…

"Corduroy Mansions" by Alexander McCall Smith

Corduroy Mansions is the name of an apartment block set in London's Pimlico area, and it is in Corduroy Mansions that we find a cast of colourful characters.
William is a widowed wine merchant with a grown son who refuses to leave home and a female friend who is all too eager to move in. Dee is a vitamin sales girl who offers to perform colonic irrigation for those she knows. Her flatmate, Jenny, is an assistant to a nasty MP named Oedipus Snark, a man whose own mother is writing a very unflattering biography about him. Their other flatmate, Caroline is an art history student who is in love with a fellow student who thought he was gay but isn't so sure now. Throw in the MP's lover, a man who practices "sacred dancing" and a vegetarian, seatbelt-wearing dog and you have a group of quirky characters that only Alexander McCall Smith can create.
Corduroy Mansions was originally an online serial for the Daily Telegraph and now all 100 episodes have been put together…

In My Mailbox #13

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, designed to showcase which books we brought home with us in the past week. This week I brought home three delicious chick litbooks from the library.
Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner (2010)When Sylvie Serfer met Richard Woodruff in law school, she had wild curls, wide hips, and lots of opinions. Decades later, Sylvie has remade herself as the ideal politician's wife-her hair dyed and straightened, her hippie-chick wardrobe replaced by tailored knit suits. At fifty-seven, she ruefully acknowledges that her job is staying twenty pounds thinner than she was in her twenties and tending to her husband, the senator.Lizzie, the Woodruffs' younger daughter, is at twenty-four a recovering addict, whose mantra HALT (Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?) helps her keep her life under control. Still, trouble always seems to find her. Her older sister, Diana, an emergency room physician, has everything Lizzie failed to achieve-a husband, a …

"An Ideal Wife" by Gemma Townley

Is it possible for a woman to be the Ideal Wife? Jessica Wild-Wainwright is about to find out.
The third instalment of Gemma Townley's hilarious Jessica Wild series is An Ideal Wife, following up The Importance of Getting Married and A Wild Affair. Jessica is married to her wonderful husband Max and everything is perfect. Except for one thing: she never confessed that she kissed Max's rival right before their wedding. Jessica decides that the best way to make up for this is to become doting, devoted and domestic - everything she thinks Max wants and a lot of what she lacks.
Unfortunately, as usually happens to Jessica, things don't go as planned. Before she knows it Max is in the hospital with a broken leg and a sexy nurse to care for him, Jessica is running Max's company just as they undergoing an "ethical audit", there is a mystery man in her soon-to-be-married mother's life, her semiretired Russian stripper friend has asked her to hide a mysterious …

"One Day" by David Nicholls

One Day is the story of Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley, or "Dex and Em", two friends who met at university and spent a drunken night together after their graduation. But after that one day, they know must go their separate ways and begin their adult lives. The book checks in with them every year on the anniversary of that date, July 15th, and for twenty years we watch them grow, love, learn and lose, both together and apart.
The concept of this book, the one day, is brilliant. Dex and Em have an on and off, up and down friendship and in visiting them on only one day a year, there is a suspense created as to where their friendship has gone. In addition to this, their stories are an example of how life doesn't always go how we hope or plan.
At the end of each chapter, the reader can only want to turn the page to find out what the next year has brought them. You will root for Dex and Em, understanding how life can bring about the worst timing, hoping that they can get t…

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases. Here is what I'm looking forward to:

Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan Release date: 7 September 2010
Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale was more than just a bestselling novel-its publication was a watershed moment in literary history. McMillan's sassy and vibrant story about four African American women struggling to find love and their place in the world touched a cultural nerve, inspired a blockbuster film, and generated a devoted audience.

Now, McMillan revisits Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin fifteen years later. Each is at her own midlife crossroads: Savannah has awakened to the fact that she's made too many concessions in her marriage, and decides to face life single again-at fifty-one. Bernadine has watched her megadivorce settlement dwindle, been swindled by her husband number two, and conned herself into thinking that a few pills will help distract h…

In My Mailbox #12

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. The purpose is to share which books came into our home this past week. Here are the three that I got from the library:
An Ideal Wife by Gemma TownleyHow to ruin a perfectly good marriage: become an Ideal Wife! Married to the man she loves-sweet, sexy Max-Jessica Wild-Wainwright is blissfully happy . . . except for one tiny little problem: She never confessed to an (almost) tryst with Max's biggest rival right before their wedding. Eaten up with guilt and facing down threats of exposure, Jessica decides to give Max what he clearly still lacks: the Ideal Wife. However, the path to perfection is fraught with peril, from culinary chaos to a boudoir disaster that puts Max in the hospital with a broken leg and a sexy nurse (who is certainly Ideal in every way that Jessica is not). When Jessica rallies to run Max's company-and is met with overt hostility by an obsessive co-worker and by an auditor determined to uncover every…