Saturday, March 22, 2008

I won these!

I recently found a lovely blog of mom Kristen McLane, who enjoys books like I do!

I applied to her giveaway of 3 children's books, and lo...I just found out I won!

They are the first three books of the Lucky Foot series.

Thanks to Kristen, from my 10 year old! Read more!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Alice Hoffman Anyone?

Have you read any of Alice Hoffman's books? I just came across a quote of hers, and plan to use it on this blog... I dutifully checked out her website and I'm wondering if anyone has a recommendation for me? I see that she wrote "Aquamarine", and my girls have watched the movie...but ahem, I haven't! Read more!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons

Another easy read. A little deeper than the shopaholic series, but since it's a short book I think it counts as a quickie. I read this in less than two days. Maybe 2 hours total?
This is Gibbons' first novel, and I did like it a lot, but it's quirky. It is narrated by a 10 year old girl and the language follows her (Ellen's) thoughts.

Here's an excerpt from Ellen Foster, where she is comparing her current self to her self from a few years back.

I wonder to myself am I the same girl who would not drink after Starletta (a younger girl, Ellen's only friend, and black) two years ago or eat a colored biscuit when I was starved?
It is the same girl but I am old now I know it is not the germs you cannot see that slide off her lips and on to a glass then to your white lips that will hurt you or turn you colored. What you had better worry about though is the people you know and trusted they would be like you because you were all made in the same batch. You need to look over your shoulder at the one who is in charge of holding you up and see if that is a knife he has in his hand. And it might not be a colored hand. But it is a knife.
If you let somebody tell you anything else you are a fool because what I have told you is right.
Sometimes I even think I was cut out to be colored and I got bleached and sent to the wrong bunch of folks.
When I stayed with my mama's mama I made a list of all that I wanted my family to be and I put down white and have running water.
Now it makes me ashamed to think I said that.

I don't think I've quite had thoughts like this. But I can say I've had thoughts about the family I came from and who I am because of them. All the good, and the not-so-good. Ellen overcomes her background, and learns from it.

As an extra, I've also read Divining Women (also short, also Fabulous) and A Virtuous Women (another quirky one), both by Kaye Gibbons. And she's written a bunch more--I plan to get to some of them! Read more!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Shopaholic, and Shopaholic Takes Manhatten

Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Light, Chic Lit, (not really romance, more easy reading and silly)

If you want easy, quick, no-brainer reading, these books are for you. At the suggestion of more than one pal, I took both of these books on a recent vacation. I did read each of them, as well as a couple magazines and Ellen Foster (which I will review next).

Kinsella is a funny writer and even though I can't say I loved these books, if you need a light read go for it.

The main character is Becky and she starts out as a finance journalist at a small publishing company. She doesn't much like her job (the character fakes her writing and her research)and wishes she could work as a fashion writer. And of course there is the problem with her extreme rationalization when it comes to shopping. If it's on sale, she talks herself into buying 5. If she has just saved herself a few bucks on the item, she rationalizes that she deserves a treat, sometimes this is a chocolate and expensive coffee, other times it's a fancy expensive scarf....
Finally about 3/4 of the way into either of the books she does something redeeming, and then the book begins to be worth finishing at least.

Things I liked:
The British-isms in the writing. (Calling another woman a 'cow', dirty things were 'ratty')
Also in the second book the main character finds her true passion, and at least you are happy for her.

Hopefully no one can relate on her level to that kind of shopping addiction, but certainly in my case I can understand some of the rationalization. For me it's about my kids and grocery shopping. Even if we don't need it, but I think we might someday...then I buy it! Kid's clothes a size larger but on sale, yup I buy it. Sale on the exact brand of peanut butter I like, yup 10 cases. But for myself? No, I wait 6 months before I go back to buy the dress I was oogling in Target, and of course by's gone. Oh well, off to read another book!

Have you read these books? Please let me know what you thought.
Or just have a book to suggest? Comment here or email me and I will post suggested reading once a week, happy reading! Read more!