Saturday, April 23, 2011

Shelving Saturday - #1

Welcome to Shelving Saturday
Week #1

So I am starting what I hope will become one of those weekly events that other book bloggers can join.  I have 3 beautiful cherry book shelves but more books than can possibly fit on them so I am constantly
re-arranging my books.  I can't ever seem to settle on how I want the books arranged. 

So for this first week, the question is how do you arrange your bookshelves? Do you arrange by genre, alphabetical by author or title? Or as my husband suggested by size for easy packing? Or do you even have a system?

My current system is based on genre, I have a shelf for classics and poetry, a shelf for teen/ middle reader, a shelf for young adult, a couple shelves for fantasy, one for romance, one for historical, one for all animal books, one for children's books and one dedicated entirely to Robin Cook. 

And then of course I have the infamous stack of books to read sitting next to my shelves (it has grown over waist high double depth).

So lets here your shelving methods.  You can leave a comment here or you can post on your own blog and link back to here (and leave me the link so we can all check it out).

Thank you!

Review of 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Barnes & Noble: "Don't miss New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson's fun, romantic, and hilarious European adventure, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, now with an excerpt from the sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope.

Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–though utterly romantic–results. But will she ever see him again?

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes."

Review: I downloaded 13 Little Blue Envelopes onto my Nook because I had read some good reviews on some of the book blogs I follow. One of them stated it was free for Kindle so I checked B&N and sure enough it was free there too. This was a great break from all the Paranormal, Romance and Fantasy books I have been reading.

Maureen Johnson's writing style and story telling reminded me a lot of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It was a fun, easy read, the pages were turning quickly.

Though the story line was a fun adventure, I find it somewhat difficult to believe. What parents would allow their 17 year old daughter to go off to Europe based on a note from an unreliable aunt? And I do hope that most young ladies now know not to go with some strange man into a house and area they do not know without telling someone. However Ginny does get to go on an adventure we all wish we could, without any worries, just go with the flow.

I give 13 Little Blue Envelopes 3 stars, though I wish I could give it 3.5. It was a fun enjoyable read and I will be reading the sequel that comes out next week.

View all my reviews

In other news I  have been reading more book blogs this week and have been finding all these fun posts everyone does, so I am going to give a shot at some.  I already posted my first with In My Mailbox, which I hope to continue every Friday, but I will be adding a couple others throughout the week.  Later today I hope to start my own little adventure, so I hope you will all stop by for that later.  As for now laundry does need to be attended to as well as the kitchen and dishes.


Friday, April 22, 2011

In My Mailbox - #1

So upon looking at some of my other favorite book blogs, I kept coming across this thing called IMM (In My Mailbox). Upon further investigation I discovered it was started by  The Story Siren and thought it would be fun thing to add to my page.

So welcome to my very first In My Mailbox, hopefully something I will be sharing with you each Friday!
It was a busy week! I received a few books in the mail this week, picked up on at the take a book, leave a book at my doctor's office and also downloaded a bunch on my Nook.

At the Queens Summoning By Susan Wiggs:   "Feisty orphan Pippa de Lacey lives by wit and skill as a London street performer. But when her sharp tongue gets her into serious trouble, she throws herself upon the mercy of Irish chieftain Aidan O'Donoghue.
Pippa provides a welcome diversion for Aidan as he awaits an audience with the queen, who holds his people's fate in her hands. Amused at first, he becomes obsessed with the audacious waif who claims his patronage.
Rash and impetuous, their unlikely alliance reverberates with desire and the tantalizing promise of a life each has always wanted—but never dreamed of attaining."

I snagged this book on ebay because I have enjoyed a lot of historical romances lately. It is part of a trilogy so I need to track down the other two books.

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon: "In this engaging and stirring novel, Dillon (The Ballroom Class) vividly evokes the lives of three women and their unexpectedly connected fates. Successful and chic, Rachel, nearly 40 and alone after a 10-year relationship falls apart, inherits her aunt's kennel. She moves to the outskirts of London to make sense of the bewildering bequest and discovers a close-knit community, including handsome veterinarian George. Zoe, divorced for one year, is at her wits' end when her ex gives their kids a puppy, until she finds some help and solace at the kennel. Natalie, married to the man of her dreams, yearns for a baby and is comforted by their foster dog. Despite a slow start, Dillon weaves a beautiful and gripping tale of loss, friendship, and starting over that will tug at readers' heartstrings and keep them hooked till the very end." - From Publisher's Weekly on

I happened to see this out of the corner of my eye while browsing the book store and honestly who could resist the super cute Great Dane?! Of course I have a super soft spot for rescue animals, having a dog and cat myself currently.  Looking forward to reading this one but expecting a good bawling session.

The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie: "
Before his death in 1609, the brilliant Elizabethan spy, astrologer and mathematician John Dee hid many of his papers, believing that the world was not prepared for the ideas they held. For seventeen generations, his female descendants have held his most precious secrets, waiting for the right moment to bring them to light.
In spring 2003, Dee's many times great granddaughter, dying of cancer, was forced to pass the enigmatic legacy to one of her two sons. Diana chose her passionate, tempestuous younger boy, leaving a tiny silver key and a piece of parchment with a note: For Will, when he is something, or someone, that he is not now.
Over the long, hot summer of 2003, while seriously ill Lucy King awaits heart surgery in London, Will travels Europe seeking to decipher the clues in the ancient document, and find a lock to fit the key. It is a search that will leave him and Lucy inextricably linked, and lead into a world of extraordinary riddles and dangerous secrets." - From

This is one I picked up while sitting in the doctors waiting room. They have a nice little take a book leave a book (which I need to remember to take a book there next time) and saw this sitting there. I started reading it and it seemed rather interesting so brought it home to continue.

Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris: "Twenty-five years after Hannibal Lecter, a cross between Professor Moriarty and Jack the Ripper, first invaded the imaginations of countless readers worldwide in Red Dragon, bestseller Harris has crafted an unmemorable prequel that's intended to explain the origins of Lecter's evil. Fans of Harris's previous Lecter novel, Hannibal (1999), already know the major trauma that transformed the young Lecter-the murder of his beloved younger sister, Mischa, during WWII-which the author describes in more grisly detail. Lecter also has an unusual love interest, his uncle's Japanese wife, Lady Murasaki, but the bulk of the narrative focuses on Lecter's quest for revenge on those he holds responsible for Mischa's death. Unfortunately, the prose and plotting lack the suspenseful power of Red Dragon or The Silence of the Lambs, and will leave many feeling that with such a masterful monster as Lecter, less is more." From Publishers Weekly -

Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin: "As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin's stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction. A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men..."  -

Added to my Nook to continue the series Song of Ice & Fire.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: "In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival." - Barnes & Noble

Yup its on my reading list so I am jumping on that bandwagon!

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins: "Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge." - Barnes & Noble
Add one and you have to add the rest right?! What good is a series if you don't read them all?

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: "The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
Who do they think should pay for the unrest?
Katniss Everdeen.
The final book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins will have hearts racing, pages turning, and everyone talking about one of the biggest and most talked-about books and authors in recent publishing history!!!" - Barnes & Noble

Pegasus by Robin McKinley:  "Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pagasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own Pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication.
But its different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close-so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo-and possibly to the future safety of their two nations." - Barnes & Noble

I have been eyeing this book for quite some time, I can't resist any book that has something to do with Pegasi or Unicorns (or horses in general really). So its been sitting on my wish list waiting for a good time to download. I finally had a few gift cards to burn so I got it and have started reading it. I have to say the first couple of chapters were difficult to get through, it kind of reminded me a little of The Scarlet Letter (one of the only books I really dislike).  I am hoping that it gets better now that we have been brought up to date on the history and descriptions.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson: "Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.
In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.
The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.
Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–though utterly romantic–results. But will she ever see him again?
Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes." - Barnes & Noble

So this is another one of those books I came across on a few book blogs I have been reading, one of them (sorry I can't remember which off the top of my head) had said that it was free for Kindle on Amazon so I figured why not check on Barnes & Noble for my nook? Sure enough it was a free download. I started reading it yesterday as a break from Clash of Kings and Pegasus, and wow! I am so glad I downloaded it! I can't wait to finish and am going to have to get the next one too I think.

So there you are, my first IMM! I think I have enough books to last me a little while, but you all know how it goes with us bookworms . . .  I am sure there will be more to add next Friday!

Hope you all found something wonderful in your mailbox this week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Getting things warmed up!

Spring is coming! I cannot wait to lay outside in the sun while reading!  I do some of my best reading in the summer time, maybe its a hold over from the years in elementary school with our summer reading programs. I remember getting a prize for every ten books I read and then a free book for every 25 or 50. I would end the summer with lots of new books from the public library. 

It seems that everywhere I turn there are more books to add to my to-read list. There just isn't enough time in the day to read them all as quickly as I would like.  I have come across some great new blogs that I would like to share with you.

The first is The Magick Pen - The blogger Austine has some great reviews consisting of a variety of books (many of which I have added to my list), there is also some fun trivia, contests, interviews and giveaways.

One of the contests on The Magick Pen I can't wait to participate in is the Gauntlet. A writing challenge posted monthly with a specific theme in mind, I think the real challenge is to get a short story written in 1,000 words!  I hope I have some time to participate in this challenge in the coming months, maybe it will help prepare for this years Nanowrimo!

Another new blog I came across is All About {n} written by Nely.  This blog also consists of many many book reviews.  Nely puts my book habit to shame! She reads and reviews so many books, goodness only knows where she finds the time!   She participates in several different challenges and also has some giveaways for books she has reviewed.  Again after looking at only a few of her posts I have already added more books to my to-read list (gah! Its turning into a creature all its own)!

All About {n}

And a third blog that I would love for you all to take a look at is one of a good friend of mine, Jessica. Her blog Thoughts at One in the Morning is a relatively new blog, but very exciting. She is planning to read and review 50 books this year and already has a great start (and again adding to my to-read list - why oh why do there have to be so many great books?!). 

I hope you all get a chance to take a look at some of these blogs, I think I will try to share a new blog with you each week, I am adding more to my follow list every day and would like to share some of my favorites with you!

Anywho, I also completed a couple of books last night . . .

Strange CandyStrange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"The #1 New York Times bestselling author's short story collection-including an all-new Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter story-now in paperback.

From a woman who marries into a family of volatile wizards to a couple fleeing a gang of love-hungry cupids, from a girl who seeks sanctuary in the form of a graceful goose to the disgruntled superhero Captain Housework, readers will revel in the many twists and turns of fortune in these fantastical fairy tales and lush parables. Even hardened vampire hunter and zombie animator Anita Blake gets blindsided by the disturbing motives of her clients in the new "Those Who Seek Forgiveness" and in "The Girl Who Was Infatuated with Death."" ~ From

I absolutely loved this book! It was a lot of fun to read a short story or two a night, and it was great to see the different sides of one of my favorite authors. This anthology consisted of such a wide variety of stories, you never got bored! I enjoyed the comedy and (attempted) snubbing of love in the Cupid story. Selling Houses was great, especially considering I work in a real estate law office, it just goes to show you should know your clients! I think my favorite was Geese, a story of determination, honor, and love.

View all my reviews

Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9)Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, warrior cloth as her brother: A fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either.

When she suffers a paralyzing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat her as only he can- and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous, secret world. Although he never before believed in things that go bump in the night- like vampires- he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul.

As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy." ~ From

This is when I wish there were half star ratings. While I did enjoy this book, I don't think it was any where near the best in the series. There were things I loved about the Lover Unleashed and things I didn't. What I didn't enjoy was that there was an awful lot of emotional turmoil involved, it seemed that no one was happy throughout most of the book. It was very draining and depressing to read, but I understand how some times you need that peek into the characters psyche to become more invested in them.

What I loved about the book was the devotion a brother and a sister have for one another, the sacrifices they make for each other's happiness and well being. And of course I am partial to anything that consists of horses, I was so thrilled that Ward gave Manny such a love for his horse Glory!

View all my reviews

Yikes, this is a much longer post than I ment for it to be, I am such a chatterbox! So I am on to the next books and starting my own 2011 Challenge. I am going to start with the childrens books this week - the first book on the list - If You Give a Mouse a Cookie! I can't wait to read this again! On my Nook I will be starting the second book in the Song of Ice & Fire series by George RR Martin titled Clash of Kings.

Hope you loose yourself in a good book today!