Monday, March 29, 2010

Taking a break for a while......

I don’t know if I’ve done something to upset the publishing gods or what, but I haven’t received any book review offers for almost 2 months. A couple books that were offered have never arrived. So…….I have decided to take a break from book blogging. I won’t say I’m done blogging completely; I haven’t decided that yet. I want to thank everyone for all the support you’ve given me this past year. It has been fun even though I didn’t start to the blog to be entirely about books.

I guess I must have OCD.  When I start something, that's ALL I want to do, whether it's reading a book, playing an online game, or doing a craft. Recently, I have been addicted (REALLY) to Facebook games and I'm paying for it.  I sit so long at my desk, I get stiff and sore, and I'm staying up way too late at night.  Consequently, I'm gaining weight, I ache all over, and I've been really grouchy lately....just ask Jim.  Something had to give.  Today, I quit playing the Facebook games - sorry, Egg Buddies - and I'm going to eventually delete everyone from friends that I do not know. I'm going to continue trying to rid my house, mind, and body of unwanted junk. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Friday Night Knitting Club

The Friday Night Knitting Club
© 2007 by Kate Jacobs

ISBN: 978-0-425-21909-6
Publisher: Penguin Group
SRP: $14.00
360 pp. plus readers’ study guide

About the book: “Once a week, an eclectic group of women comes together at a New York City yarn shop to work on their latest projects – and share the stories of their lives…

At the center of Walker and Daughter is the shop’s owner, Georgia, who is overwhelmed with juggling the store and single-handedly raising her teenage daughter. Happy to escape the demands of her life, she looks forward to her Friday Night Knitting Club, where she and her friends – Anita, Peri, Darwin, Lucie, and K.C. – exchange knitting tips, jokes, and their deepest secrets. But when the man who once broke Georgia’s heart suddenly shows up, demanding a role in their daughter’s life, her world is shattered.
Luckily, Georgia’s friends are there for encouragement, sharing their own tales of intimacy, heartbreak, and miracle making. And when the unthinkable happens, these women will discover that what they’ve created isn’t just a knitting club: it’s a sisterhood.”

This book is great if you like stories about adult women’s friendships, problems and triumphs. Ms. Jacobs does a wonderful job of digging deep into the characters feelings and showing their strengths and weaknesses. She made me get to know these ladies and wish they were my friends. The book hits all the highs and lows of emotions and I was almost reaching for a tissue at times. No mystery or thriller here, just a very good women’s story with an unexpected ending. I hope you’ll love it as much as I did.

I borrowed this book from my sister Anne.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Weatherman

I don’t have any new books to review right now so it’s back to ones I picked up second hand.

The Weatherman
© 1995 by Steve Thayer

ISBN: 0-451-18438-6
Publisher: Signet, the Penguin Group
410 pp.

About the book: “Andrea Labore is a beautiful, ambitious Twin Cities TV newscaster, hungering for an anchor chair, and with two men hungering for her. One is Rick Beanblossom, a star reporter who hides his disfigured face behind a cotton mask and his scarred soul behind a cynical shield. The other is the channel’s uncanny weatherman, Dixon Bell, a gentle bearlike genius whose claws are as concealed as his past.
When Andrea goes after the story of a serial killer of pretty young women, it becomes clear that the monstrous murderer is after her. Trusting the wrong man with her love can cost her life. And as the clouds of suspicion darken, the only sure forecast is that death will strike like lightning again and again…closer and closer…”

This book has an interesting and different plot. The killer strikes young women once per season usually around the time of a big storm or weather change. The press starts calling him the Calendar Killer. The only clues are a partial fingerprint and size 14 shoe prints so the police are baffled. The characters in the book were unusual, too, with Rick Beanblossom wearing a blue cotton mask all the time to cover burn scars suffered in Vietnam. He surrounds himself with beautiful things but doesn’t have a mirror in his home. I kept thinking of the Blue Man Group. Can you imagine being like that ALL the time? And Dixon Bell is never wrong with his weather forecasts even when the National Weather Service disagrees. The author worked at a TV newsroom for 3 years to do research and does a great job describing what goes on behind the scenes. The book kept me guessing (wrongly) right up to the last few pages and I was totally surprised.

I picked this book up at a flea market.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's all TOO MUCH!

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m somewhat of a hoarder. Oh, not like those on TV that barely have room to walk through their homes because of piles of garbage, but I have way too much stuff nonetheless. And I have finally decided it’s time to get rid of some of it. I started yesterday by listing all my paperback review books on Freecycle. Then I flattened and discarded the cardboard boxes stored on the back porch. I went through my file drawer and got rid of paid bills and bank statements (yes, I shredded them) that were several years old. I threw out birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day, and Valentine cards from year’s past. Who but me would ever be interested in those anyway? Little things add up. I have 25-30 bookmarks and use the same ones all the time. Why? I have a sack of VHS tapes to be donated – some never opened but certainly not new. I have come to the conclusion this type of hoarding is kind of like weight gain – it just creeps up on you until one day you realize it’s TOO MUCH! This wouldn’t be that big of a problem if I didn’t live in a tiny house. ‘Stuff’ is stored in my one-room upstairs. ‘Stuff’ is stored on my back porch. ‘Stuff’ is stored in my basement, although not so much since the floor sometimes floods down there so that's basically wasted space. (We're working on that)  ‘Stuff’ is stored in my garage and in my shed and that’s now a major concern because the shed roof has a big leak and the shed isn’t worth fixing and must come down. Where am I going to put thatstuff’?

So, I’m going to continue to discard more and more and maybe while I’m at it, some of the body weight will disappear also. If you don’t see me here for a while it will be because I’m not reading as much. Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Absolute Power

Absolute Power
© 1996 by David Baldacci

ISBN: 0-446-60358-9
Publisher: Warner Books
SRP: $7.99
505 pp.
About the book: “ABSOLUTE CORRUPTION - In a heavily guarded mansion in a posh Virginia suburb, a man and a woman start to make love, trapping a burglar behind a secret wall. Then the passion turns deadly, and the witness is running into the night. Because what he has just seen is a brutal slaying involving the President of the United States.

ABSOLUTE DANGER – Luther Whitney is the career break-in artist who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. Alan Richmond is the charming U. S. President with the power to commit any crime. And Jack Graham is the young attorney, caught in a vortex between the absolute truth – and…….

ABSOLUTE POWER – A tale of greed, sex, ambition, and murder, this is the novel everyone has been talking about….the shattering, relentlessly suspenseful thriller that will change the way you think about Washington – and power – forever.”

This is the second Baldacci book I have read, the other being First Family. That was good but I liked this one even better.

I totally enjoyed this book. It had just the right mix of interesting characters and a suspenseful plot that captured my attention from the start and held it until the last page. It’s not a whodunit because you know from the beginning who commits the crimes and the suspense is in the outcome. It starts right out with a crime being committed by the President and members of his staff and witnessed by a man who just happened to be burglarizing a home at the same time. Knowing no one would believe what he saw and heard the burglar waits for his chance and escapes but not without being noticed. The story progresses with the President and his Chief of Staff trying to keep things quiet and the burglar trying to figure out how to expose them. More and more crimes are committed and people assassinated as the President uses the power of his office to escape detection. Just how far are the Secret Service willing to go to protect the President?

This book was a flea market purchase. The edition of my book is different than the one shown.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Lumby Lines

The Lumby Lines
© 2005 by Gail Fraser

ISBN: 978-0-451-22139-1
Publisher: New American Library
SRP: $14.00
315 pp.

About the book: “Nestled in the Northwest is a quaint little town that its quirky residents are proud to call home. With charming shops lining its one main thoroughfare, Lumby has the oldest apple tree in the county and the smallest bank in the state. And though it's hours from the nearest big city, you'll always find Lumby close to your heart . . .

Nearly destroyed by fire, Montis Abbey remains a ruin on the outskirts of Lumby. Once home to a resourceful order of monks, it stands abandoned, surrounded by its overgrown orchards. Then Mark and Pam Walker, a vacationing couple from the East Coast, stumble upon it -- and upon the answer to their prayers. Leaving behind their hectic lives to restore the monastery and turn it into an inn is a dream come true.

But some residents of Lumby take a while to warm up to outsiders. One of them is irascible William Beezer, owner of The Lumby Lines -- the newspaper "worth the paper it's printed on." At every turn, he tries to hinder the Walkers' efforts. The couple soon learns that for every citizen like William, there are many more willing to lend a hand, and that Lumby isn't just a place -- it's a way of life.”

I’ve lived all my life in and around small towns but nothing quite like Lumby. The beautiful northwest setting and the 'quirky' people are brought to life wonderfully by Ms. Fraser. She does a good job showing how sometimes it’s hard for newcomers to fit in until something happens that breaks the ice. After reading about the town and restoration of the Montis Abbey and orchard, I wish it was real so I could stay there. This was a very well-written novel with likeable characters, a good story-line, and it’s the first in a series. You can read more about them at

This book was provided for review by FSB Associates.