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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Book Review: Magic for Marigold by L.M. Montgomery



Book Description:
The eccentric Lesley family could not agree on what to name Lorraine's new baby girl even after four months. Lorraine secretly liked the name Marigold, but who would ever agree to such a fanciful name as that? When the baby falls ill and gentle Dr. M. Woodruff Richards saves her life, the family decides to name the child after the good doctor. But a girl named Woodruff? How fortunate that Dr. Richards's seldom-used first name turns out to be . . . Marigold! A child with such an unusual name is destined for adventure. It all begins the day Marigold meets a girl in a beautiful green dress who claims to be a real-life princess. . . .


My thoughts:
I picked Magic for Marigold for the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge. Magic for Marigold follows the life of Marigold Lesley from a little after her birth until young adulthood. Her stories are filled with many different characters and fun incidents that are faintly reminiscent of other stories in Montgomery's other novels. These stories remind me of Anne's children and Marigold's family reminds me of the the Stirling Clan in The Blue Castle. Magic for Marigold was an okay read, but not as enjoyable for me as the Anne or Emily books. I think this book may be more appealing to girls between 10-12.

After saying all that I do have to stand in awe of L. M. Montgomery gift of storytelling. She has such great stories of children's escapades it makes me wonder if she knew children who actually did (or said) such things as she records in her stories or if she truly imagined them.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Book Review: Speak to the Wind by Allison Pittman



Book Description:
After a lifetime of mistakes…can Kassandra ever be forgiven?
New York City, 1841

When Reverend Joseph plucks a gravely wounded child from the mean streets of Manhattan’s rough Five Points District, he intends to give her a real home. And though Kassandra flourishes in the preacher’s house, learning Bible verses at his knee and going to school, as a young teenager she makes the first of many devastating decisions, running away from the only haven she’s ever known.

What follows is a waking nightmare: life in a tiny room above a brothel, the loss of a child, a lover’s rejection, and finally, life as a prostitute. As circumstances lead her further and further from the reverend’s secure home, an ashamed Kassandra is certain that neither God, nor Joseph, will ever forgive her.

Feeling as though she has nothing left to lose and nowhere to go, Kassandra leaves behind her hopes of redemption and heads west to California, where she is transformed into the woman known as Sadie. Unfortunately, nothing in her life is pointing to a happy ending, and Sadie is forced to grapple with the question: Once you’ve passed the point of no return, can you ever go back?


My thoughts:
Speak through the Wind by Allison Pittman is the second book in the Crossroads of Grace Series. I had read the first book, Ten Thousand Charms, a couple of years ago and really liked it. I felt the story really flowed until she moved to California and then for me the story just died. I think the reason was that it had been so long since I had read the first book so I didn't remember some of the characters and events. That being said I did enjoy meeting Biddie who is featured in the third book, With Endless Sight. Overall, Allison Pittman writing does a marvelous job of drawing the reader into her stories.

Book Review: The Blue Enchantress by Marylu Tyndall



Book Description:
Betrayed by the man she longed to marry, Hope Westcott finds herself
on an island in the Caribbean being auctioned off as a slave to the
highest bidder. Raised in an unloving home and after enduring a
difficult childhood, Hope's search for love and self-worth have led her
down a very dangerous path. All she ever wanted was to find true love
and to some day open an orphanage where she could raise children
with all the love she never experienced

as a child. But how can a woman with a sordid past ever hope to run an
orphanage, let alone attract the love of an honorable man? Determined
to overcome the shame of his mother's past, Nathaniel Mason worked
for many years to build his own fleet of merchant ships in an effort to
finally acquire the respect of Charles Towne society. Ignoring the call of
God on his life to become a preacher, he forges ahead with his plans
for success at a distant port in the Caribbean, when he sees a young
lady he knows from Charles Towne being sold as a slave. In an effort to
save Hope, he is forced to sell one of his two ships, only to discover
that her predicament was caused by her own bad behavior. Angry and
determined to rid himself of her as soon as possible, Nathaniel
embarks on a journey that will change the course of his life.


My thoughts:
The Blue Enchantress by Marylu Tyndall was an exciting read. To be honest though, I had a hard time liking the main character, Hope. I understood what the author was trying to portray with her, but she was difficult to like. I appreciated the all the miracles that occurred in this story--emphasizing the power of God. The ending left me hanging and I will be checking out the next book in this series: The Raven Saint.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A-Z Wednesday



A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: Y


Your Child's Growing Mind by Jane Healy

Book Description:
The classic guide to understanding children’s mental development is now updated and better than ever!

Hailed by parents and educators, Your Child’s Growing Mind is a window into the fascinating process of brain development and learning. It looks at the roots of emotion, intelligence, and creativity, translating the most current scientific research into practical suggestions for parents and teachers.

Dr. Healy also addresses academic learning, offering countless suggestions for how parents can help without pushing. She explains the building blocks of reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics and shows how to help youngsters of all ages develop motivation, attention, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Using the science of childhood development, she also examines today’s hot issues, including learning disabilities, ADHD, influences of electronic media, and the hazards of forced early learning. From infancy to adolescence, this is the perfect guide to helping and enjoying a youngster’s mental, personal, and academic growth.


My thoughts:
This is a book that I really want to read, but am really hesitant to read. I'm too worried that it is going to be really heavy technical reading so I'll probably get around to reading this after it is too late to help my children's mind!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

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Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.



No Less Than Victory by Jeff Shaara

The plane bucked again, a hard shock in Buckley's ears, the blast from the flak burst close by, his hands coming up, protecting his face.

Behind him Goodman shouted, "They hit the nose, A big hole in the glass!"
p. 17

What's On Your Nightstand - January

What's On Your Nightstand

This month I'll be reading:


Wow! I've had a great month and my new pile is quite big. I hope I can get to it all!

From my December post I read:
From a Distance by Tamara Alexander (review)
The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James (review)
Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate (review)
In Between: A Katie Parker Production Act 1 by Jenny B. Jones (review)
Speak Through the Wind by Allison Pittman
30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family by Rebecca Hagelin

I also read:
Dear Pen Pal by Heather Vogel Frederick (review)
Kilmeny of the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery (review)
The Blue Enchantress by Marylu Tyndale
Five Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter by Vicky Courtney (review)

And I listened to these audio books:
Chronicles of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (review)
Further Chronicles of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (review)
A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

I am currently reading:
Beautiful in God's Eyes by Elizabeth George
Magic for Marigold by L.M. Montgomery
No Less Than Victory by Jeff Shaara

Friday, January 22, 2010

Book Review: 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney

I Read It!



Book Description:
From the cradle to college, tell your daughters the truth about life before they believe the culture's lies.
For mothers with girls newborn to eighteen, Five Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter is simply a must-have book. Youth culture commentator Vicki Courtney helps moms pinpoint and prepare the discussions that should be ongoing in their daughters' formative years. To fully address the dynamic social and spiritual issues and influencers at hand, several chapters are written for each of the conversations, which are:

1. You are more than the sum of your parts
2. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up
3. Sex is great and worth the wait
4. It's OK to dream about marriage and motherhood
5. Girls gone wild are a dime a dozen--dare to be virtuous

The book is linked to online bonus features offering invaluable tips on having these conversations across the various stages of development: five and under, six to eleven, twelve and up.

My thoughts:
I first read about 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney over a 5 Minutes for Books. Since I have a daughter on the verge of becoming a young lady I felt it would definitely be worth my time to read. This is such a timely book filled with vital information to help parents raise daughters that are not afraid to say no to lies that our society says is normal and acceptable. Definitely a worthwhile read!! Also, check out the 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter blog.

Book Review: In Between-A Katie Parker Production Act 1 by Jenny B. Jones



Book Description:
Katie Parker knows life isn’t fair. After all, when your mom’s in jail and your dad’s a no-show, you figure things just aren’t going your way. But hey, she can deal.Then she finds out she’s being sent to live with a foster family—in In Between, Texas.What kind of town has a name like In Between? And what kind of family wants a kid like her? One thing’s for certain: None of this will be good. Sure enough—thanks to some new “friends” and her non-Mom’s crazed mother, Mad Maxine—life sails right past bad to stinking.Then again, she’s just a temporary kid, they’re just temporary parents, and she definitely doesn’t have any ideas about making any of this permanent. God, on the other hand, may have other plans altogether.

My thoughts:
I had read a couple of reviews about Jenny B. Jones books so I went and check out my library's catalog and found In Between: A Katie Parker Production Act 1. I was pleasantly surprised to find it was such a fun, yet serious read. I love to find a new author I enjoy and plan to read the other books in this series.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Review: Further Chronicles of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery



Book Description:
Nestled between the ocean and the hills of Prince Edward Island is a road that leads to the house where a girl named Anne grew up, Green Gables, and to the wonderful place called Avonlea. In this second volume of heartwarming tales a Persian cat plays an astonishing part in a marriage proposal . . . a ghostly appearance in a garden leads a woman to the fulfillment of her youthful dreams . . . a young girl risks losing her mother to find the father she never knew . . . and a foolish lie threatens to make an unattached woman the town's laughingstock when an imaginary lover comes to town for real! Filled with warmth, humor, and mystery, these unforgettable stories re-create the enchanting world of Avonlea.

My thoughts:
In Further Chronicles of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery continues with short stories about Avonlea and P.E. Island. These stories definitely have all the characteristics of L.M. Montgomery's writings, but there are several stories that are sadder and have a darker premise. Overall, it was still an enjoyable read and I had a few favorites which included The Materalizing of Cecil, The Brother that Failed, and The Education of Betty.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A-Z Wednesday



A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: X

Unfortunately, I do not own a book that starts with an "X", but you can still head over to Reading at the Beach and check out the other entries.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

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Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.



In Between: A Katie Parker Production Act 1 by Jennie B. Jones

"Maxine and I are cool."

Cool like the iceberg that sank the Titanic.
p. 158

Friday, January 15, 2010

Book Review: The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James



Book Description:
"I have written about the joys of love. I have, in my secret heart, long dreamt of an intimate connection with a man; every Jane, I believe, deserves her Rochester."

Though poor, plain, and unconnected, Charlotte Bronte possesses a deeply passionate side which she reveals only in her writings—creating Jane Eyre and other novels that stand among literature's most beloved works. Living a secluded life in the wilds of Yorkshire with her sisters Emily and Anne, their drug-addicted brother, and an eccentric father who is going blind, Charlotte Bronte dreams of a real love story as fiery as the ones she creates.

But it is in the pages of her diary where Charlotte exposes her deepest feelings and desires—and the truth about her life, its triumphs and shattering disappointments, her family, the inspiration behind her work, her scandalous secret passion for the man she can never have . . . and her intense, dramatic relationship with the man she comes to love, the enigmatic Arthur Bell Nicholls.

"Who is this man who has dared to ask for my hand? Why is my father so dead set against him? Why are half the residents of Haworth determined to lynch him—or shoot him?"

From Syrie James, the acclaimed, bestselling author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, comes a powerfully compelling, intensely researched literary feat that blends historical fact and fiction to explore the passionate heart and unquiet soul of Charlotte Bronte. It is Charlotte's story, just as she might have written it herself.


My thoughts:
I've had first listed The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James on my What's On Your Nightstand-October post and relisted it on my December post. After another check out from the library and a couple of renewals later it is finished. Was it because it took that long to get into it? No!! It is that very frustrating mantra that haunts me, "Too many books, not enough time!"

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte was an incredible and mesmerizing story. I was quickly drawn into Charlotte's world and her hardships she faced along with her triumphs and ultimately finding true love. There are some very intense and sad moments in this book, yet it is a beautiful story. I think one reason I enjoy the story of Jane Eyre is how passionate Jane is, and I find that Syrie James does a wonderful job of showing the passion of Charlotte Bronte.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Book Review: Chronicles of Avonlea by L .M. Montgomery

Book Description:
On Prince Edward Island, where Anne Shirley grew up in the sea-sprayed town of Avonlea, there was no shortage of wonderful stories. There was the case of Ludovic Speed, who wouldn't propose to the woman he had courted for fifteen years until Anne devised a plan to "speed" him up . . . if it didn't backfire and break his heart. But no one could blame mischievous Anne for the hilarious battle of the sexes that erupted when a man-hating woman and her cat got quarantined in the same house with a woman-hating bachelor and his dog. From sprawling Penhallow Grange, where a family waits nearly forever for two quarreling lovers to break their stubborn silence, to the tumbledown farm of Old Man Shaw, who awaits the return of his beloved daughter, L. M. Montgomery has written twelve tales of secret hopes and hidden dreams, filled with enchantment and humor.


My thoughts:
For the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge I found Chronicles of Avonlea in MP3 format and downloaded to my iPod. I read this book initially years ago during my teen years so I didn't remember very much about it except that it was stories that were set in and around Avonlea.

The stories in Chronicles of Avonlea are charming stories, full of fun, lover's quarrels, mystery and wrongs being righted, plus many stories have references to Anne and sometimes she even show up in the story. My favorite stories were Each In His Own Tongue, The Courting of Prissy Strong, & The Winning of Lucinda.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A-Z Wednesday



A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: W



Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Book Description:
Tremendously popular in her lifetime, Elizabeth Gaskell has often been overshadowed by her contemporaries the Bront√ęs and George Eliot. Yet the reputation of her long-neglected masterpiece Wives and Daughters continues to grow, fulfilling Henry James’s prophecy that the novel would “continue for years to come to be read and relished . . .so delicately, so elaborately, so artistically, so truthfully, and heartily is the story wrought out.”

An enchanting tale of romance, scandal, and intrigue in the gossipy English town of Hollingford around the 1830s, Wives and Daughters tells the story of Molly Gibson, the seventeen-year-old daughter of a widowed country doctor. When her father remarries, she forms a close friendship with her new stepsister—the beautiful and worldly Cynthia—until they become love rivals for the affections of Squire Hamley’s sons, Osbourne and Roger. When sudden illness and death reveal some secrets while shrouding others in even deeper mystery, Molly feels that the world is out of joint and it is up to her—trusted by all but listened to by none—to set it right.


My thoughts:
I bought Wives and Daughters a couple of years ago after watching the film. Of course, it sat on my shelf until one day while reading through my Yahoo email groups someone commented how they didn't really like the book. Since I had really, really enjoyed the film I couldn't imagine not liking the book, so I was compelled to pick up the book and read it. I was not disappointed! Wives and Daughters is full of twists and turns and not to be missed moments. I do suggest if you get a copy with special "introductions" that you hold off reading them until the end of the book. I felt the introduction in my book gave away too much information.

Teaser Tuesday

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Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.



Magic for Marigold by L.M. Montgomery

(Old Grandmother is talking to Marigold.)

"She was a black velvet beauty of a girl--far prettier than I was--but she kept all her goods in the show window. Where there is no mystery there is no romance." p.68-69

Monday, January 11, 2010

Homeschooling Update - Part 3

Chantry - Term 2
Math
Math-U-See Alpha
Math-U-See Drills
Language Arts
Phonics Pathways by Delores Hiskes
All About Spelling Level 1 (We set this aside a little bit into Term 1, but we have picked it back up again.)
Reader:
First Steps-Pathway Reader
Copywork:
Mead lowercase Letter Stories
History
American History:D'Aulaire American Biographies (narration)
World History: Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall and Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin (narration)
Geography
Sticker Atlas of the World
Library books about different countries and stories from different countries
Science
Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright (narration)
Natural History:
James Herriot's Treasury for Children by James Herriot (narration)
Literature
Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling (narration)
The Aesop for Children by Milo Winter (narration)
The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang (narration)
Shakespeare: Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb
Additional Reading:
Books listed here. (Scroll down to Additional Reading.)


We have finished up:
Exploring Creation with Botany by Jeannie Fulbright
A Child's Geography: Explore His Earth by Ann Voskamp (We had started this last year, but never finished it up, so I snuck it in between our Science books.)
D'Aulaire books:
-Leif the Lucky
-Columbus
-Pocahontas
Viking Tales by Jennie Hall
King of the Golden River by John Ruskin

He read or listened to:
The Ultimate Dick and Jane (read)
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (audio)
______________________________________________
Check out Chantry's first term here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Homeschooling Update - Part 2

Destini-Term 2:
Math:
She finished Math-U-See Beta
and is starting Math-U-See Gamma.
Language Arts:
Easy Grammar Grade 3
All About Spelling Level 1
Phonics Pathways
Copywork/Handwriting:
Classically Cursive Book 1
History:
American History:D'Aulaire American Biographies
World History: Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall and Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin
Geography
Sticker Atlas of the World
Library books about different countries and stories from different countries
Science
Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright (narration)
Literature
Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling (narration)
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater (narration){Reading by herself.}
The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang (online version)
James Herriot's Treasure for Children by James Herriot
Shakespeare: Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb
Additional Reading:
Kirsten's Story Collection by Janet Beeler Shaw {Reading by herself.}
Other books

We have finished up:
Exploring Creation with Botany by Jeannie Fulbright
A Child's Geography: Explore His Earth by Ann Voskamp (We had started this last year, but never finished it up, so I snuck it in between our Science books.)
D'Aulaire books:
-Leif the Lucky
-Columbus
-Pocahontas
Viking Tales by Jennie Hall
King of the Golden River by John Ruskin

She read:
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder {read by herself}
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder {read along with audio cd}
Numerous Magic Tree House books [read by herself}
____________________________________________
Check out her first term here.

Book Review: Kilmeny of the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery



Book Description:
To the small village of Lindsay on Prince Edward Island come Eric Marshall, a twenty-four-year-old substitute schoolmaster. Dark and handsome, the son of a wealthy merchant, Eric has a bright future in the family business and has taken the two-month teaching post only as a favor to a friend.
Then fate, which has been more than generous to Eric, throws in his path a beautiful, mysterious girl named Kilmeny Gordon. With jet-black hair and the face of a Renaissance Madonna, Kilmeny immediately captures the young man's heart. But she is mute, cannot speak, and Eric is concerned for and bewitched by this shy, sensitive, blue-eyed girl.
For the first time in his life Eric must work hard for something he wants badly. And there is nothing he wants more than for Kilmeny to return his love.


My thoughts:
Kilmeny of the Orchard is a short, sweet story with all the typical high and lows of a book written by L. M. Montgomery though not with the depth and breadth of her other novels. I did have a hard time with how Eric's father and friend accepted Kilmeny as the girl for Eric once they "saw" her. I know there was more to Kilmeny that just looks, but it just seemed the focus. Kilmeny of the Orchard is a very predictable story, short, sweet and to the point. I read this book for the L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge. If you have never read any books by L. M. Montgomery I do not suggest to start with this book, but rather with my favorite, Anne of Green Gables.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Homeschooling Update Part 1

The three kids together are doing:

Devotions:
The Two-Year Daily Reading & Prayer Bible
The Answers Book for Kids by Ken Ham
Poetry:
Favorite Poems Old and New selected by Helen Farris
Hymns:
Go Tell It On the Mountain (Dec.)
Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior (Jan.)
He Brought Me Out (Feb.)
Art Appreciation/Picture Study: John Singer Sargent
Music Appreciation/Composer Study: Edvard Grieg & Jean Sibelius

Caleb is currently working on:
Math:
Math-U-See Zeta He is over half way through the book.
Language Arts:
Easy Grammar Plus
All About Spelling Level 2 He will finish with Level 2 this week and we will start Level 3 as soon as it arrives in the mail.
Excellence in Writing-Student Writing Intensive A This has been a tough one to stay on track with, but that is more my fault than his.
Typing:
Type-It
Copy work:
Science Vocabulary
History:
We have finished up Modern History and are starting a new journey through Ancient History. He is currently reading:
The Story of the Greeks by H.A. Guerber
Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster
Genesis: Finding Our Roots by Ruth Beechick
Geography:
The Complete Book of Marvels by Richard Halliburton (written narration)
Science:
Main Text:
God's Design for Heaven and Earth:Our Planet Earth
Science Biography:
Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick
Literature:
Tales of the Greek Heroes by Roger Lancelyn Green
Biography:
Shakespeare:
The Taming of the Shrew We haven't even started this, but it remains on the list!
Biography:
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
Plus additional reading taken from this list (scroll to bottom of page).

So far he has read:
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

To be continued...
_________________________________________
Check out Caleb's first term here.

A-Z Wednesday



A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach. To join, look here.

This weeks letter is: V


The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

The Rabbit in the stocking isn't as expensive as the other toys: he’s covered in velveteen. On Christmas Day, the Boy enjoys his new toy but then quickly forgets and neglects him. Shunned and unsure, the Velveteen Rabbit questions his worth. Should he even be called a real toy? An answer comes from his friend, the Skin Horse: "Real isn’t how you are made. . . .It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." The Velveteen Rabbit's journey through love and loneliness to become who he was really meant to be is a story that inspires us all on our own journey to Real.

The Velveteen Rabbit is a timeless tale of friendship, love, acceptance and honesty. When the world seems uncertain, Margery Williams's classic story reminds all of us what really matters.

My thoughts:
Even though The Velveteen Rabbit is considered a classic among children's literature, I have personally never warmed up to the story. It is on Destini and Chantry Literature list for school and we will probably read it in the next month or two. It will be interesting to see what they think about it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

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Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading.



Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate

Off we went over the edge. Tears whipped into my eyes on the way down, and I promised God if I survived this, I'd never gossip, skip Sunday school, doze off during a sermon, overeat, put more than a nip of rum in my eggnog, think a mean thought, or get on another roller coaster as long as I lived.
p. 180

Monday, January 4, 2010

Book Review: Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate



Book Description:
Her show, American Megastar, is TV's hottest program, but life couldn't be worse for associate producer Mandalay Florentino. She's just arrived in the hayseed town of Daily, Texas, to arrange a surprise "reunion concert" for hometown finalist Amber Amberson--only everyone seems to know the secret already.
Plus she keeps crossing paths with a gorgeous cowboy with blue eyes who may not be the country boy he appears to be.
And paparazzi are swarming.
And her boss is demanding perfection...or else!

Imagene Doll loves her town of Daily, Texas, but things are lonely without her beloved husband. Life seems dull. At least until that fancy-dressed woman pulls into town, looking terrified and glamorous all at once. Soon life's not the least bit boring as Imagene and the rest of Daily find themselves at the center of a media maelstrom--with a young girl's future on the line.


My thoughts:
In the past I have really enjoyed Lisa Wingate's books, and I was not disappointed in The Talk of the Town. I was thrilled to open the book and found the story was interesting by the end of the first chapter instead of having to wait until the middle of the book. The Talk of the Town is an enjoyable and funny read that kept me on my toes through out the whole book.

The L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

I will again be joining Carrie from Reading to Know in the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge. For now , I have picked two books to read. The first is Kilmeny of the Orchard, which which was my "K" book for the book meme, A-Z Wednesday, a couple of weeks ago. I realized after reading the book description that I didn't remember the story so I put it up beside my bed for this challenge. The other book is Chronicles of Avonlea which I am going to listen to. I'll see how these two go and if I can get any other books in.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Favorite Reads of 2009

Here is a random list of my favorite reads of 2009. The books listed were books I read for the first time ever. I didn't pick any that were re-reads else my list would be a lot longer!

Fiction:

-The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows - I absolutely loved this book, by some weird circumstances I ended up reading it twice and listening to the audio book once.
-The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
-The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere
-Sylvester by Georgette Heyer
-All the books my Mary Connealy
-An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor
-Dear Pen-Pal by Heather Vogel Frederick
-101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith (audio)
-Hattie Big Sky - Kirby Larson (audio)

Non-Fiction:

-The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child - Donalyn Miller
-Heart in the Right Place: A Memoir by Carolyn Jourdan (read twice)

Welcome 2010!

Wishing You a Happy New Year - Kids in a Car with Shamrocks
Wishing You a Happy New Year!

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