Showing posts with label memoirs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label memoirs. Show all posts

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mailbox Monday (83)

I may have missed posting my Mailbox Monday last week (more on that tomorrow), but this week, I'm back...
Mailbox Monday
From Goodreads
Will You Love Me by Cathy Glass
I hadn't heard of this author before winning this but turns out she's written a number of books. This one, like many of her others, is about one of the children she raised. This daughter she adopted although it looks like most books are about her foster children. I have a feeling this will be a bit heartbreaking, but we'll see if I wind up picking up any of her other books after finishing it.

From Paperback Swap
The Birth House by Ami McKay
I've heard such great things about this book. Plus I loved The Virgin Cure, the only other book I've read by this author. I'm not completely sure what this is about, although it looks to be a historical fiction during WWI. Needless to say, I'm excited about it.

For Review from TLC Book Tours
2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino
This one is about a nine-year-old aspiring jazz singer who goes looking for The Cat's Pajamas, a famous jazz club in Philadelphia. I was actually thinking this was historical fiction, but I think it actually takes place in the modern day. Either way it sounds like a lot of fun, and hopefully it's one I'll enjoy.

Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn Dingman
This one looks like the perfect summer chick-lit type from the cover, but I'm not sure that's actually the case. Instead it takes place after the death of the main character's mother, where she takes a road trip to the South with her sister to scatter her mother's ashes. This definitely hits close to home for me, but I'm hoping it will be more healing than anything.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Best Man I Can Be

How to Get Out of Your Own Way by Tyrese Gibson
Published
: January 1, 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
I'm pretty sure that I'm not the intended audience for this book. I did guess that going it, but I figured I'd at least give it a chance. Who knows, they may have been pieces I could connect with. And while there were items that made sense, overall I think if I was a teenager living in the ghetto or one without a lot going for me, I would have appreciated this a lot more.

For me, I think the worst parts were the chapters on cheating. Basically Tyrese's viewpoint is that all men cheat and it's pretty rare that they don't. And for the one that's don't there's normally a specific reason, something like the fear of HIV or G-d's wrath. It's never just enough to expect to remain loyal on principle. While I definitely don't agree here, I can at least imagine why he'd think this way. After all, I would imagine in the world of R&B singers, male models, and movie stars, most men cheat. And if those are the people Tyrese spends time with I could see how he'd get such an opinion. Still, it's a little hard to read.

The book isn't completely awful though. I did appreciate the first chapter on Tyrese's childhood, and thought it was the best of them all. It is a little heartbreaking to hear what he had to go through growing up, but even more so to think about that fact that this is what so many other children deal with and without the chance of escape.

Normally at the end of a review, even if I dislike a book I can at least say I'm glad I read this. Except I'm not quite sure I can say that here. I have read books I disliked more, and it was fairly easy to read, but in some ways I do think my time could have been better spent.

2.5/5

Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mailbox Monday (76)

Yes, it's Sunday, and yes, I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday once again.
Mailbox Monday
Purchased
How to Get Out of Your Own Way by Tyrese Gibson
This may not be the type of book I'd normally pick up, but it's our book club pick for the month. And there's something about book clubs that force you to take a step out of your comfort zone. I can't say I'm necessarily looking forward to it, but I am hoping that it surprises me.

What did you find in your mailbox this week? And when was the last time you read a book outside of your comfort zone?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mailbox Monday (75)

Alas, another weekend has come to its end. But at least a small highlight is that I have new books to share with Mailbox Monday!
Mailbox Monday
From Goodreads
Take This Man by Brando Skyhorse
In this memoir, the author's Mexican father abandoned him and his mother when he was only 3-years-old. His mother then decides to take their lives into her own hands, and raises her son as the child of an American Indian father. It's only as an adult when Brando decides to learn about his past and discovers the truth. This does sound like a really interesting tale about finding oneself and your personal identity, and so far, I'm intrigued by it.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Search for Life After Redundancy {Giveaway}

Round the Bend by Alistar McGuinness
Published
: November 26, 2013 by Matador
I've been lucky to I've been able to do quite a bit of traveling. I've been to France, Israel, Japan, and quite a few others. But I've never made it to South America, Africa, or Australia. Knowing the this book is the author's travels to all three continents is one reason why I was so excited for this book.

Except while I'd love to visit each place someday, I'm not quite sure I want to replicate McGuinness adventures. The entire memoir reads like a bad episode of Amazing Race, a comedy of errors. Over and over he winds up cheated by locals. He always seems to be always suffering from some type of food poisoning. And unfortunately seems to be a bit miserable throughout most of the journey.

The book started out with him and his wife in South America, but overall I wasn't a huge fan of this section. I did find myself enjoying the book more once they made it to Africa, and especially when they climbed Kilimanjaro. I may not have wanted to be with them on a lot of their adventures, but would have loved to by at Kilimanjaro, and if there was ever a part I felt transported to another country, that was it.

The book also includes gorgeous maps depicting the couple's travels and destinations. I get the feeling they were originally done in color, and while I would have loved to see them unaltered, I still looked forward to each one.

This book wound up as quite the an interesting journey. I don't know that I've ever read a travel memoir quite like it, and it definitely was a ride throughout.

3.5/5

If you're also looking to travel throughout the world with McGuinness I'm happy to say, you have the chance! I'm giving away one copy of Round the Bend. The winner is able to choose a print copy or an ebook and the giveaway is open internationally. Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tales of the Tube from a Broadcast Brat

Cover Me Boys, I'm Going In by Keith Hirshland
Published
: August 8, 2013 by Createspace
I'm not a big golf fan, but I am a big tv fan which is the main reason I wanted to read this one. Cover Me Boys is the memoir of the original producers of the Golf Channel, so while I knew there would be a lot of golf, I was hoping there would be enough tv production for me to stay interested. Thankfully, for the most part I was right.

Hirshland does have a big background in TV production coming from a family where his father owned a tv station. We're able to travel alongside Hisrland from his family's small time station in Reno, to working at ESPN 2, to finally the Golf Channel. I loved all the behind the scenes details, especially in the first half of the book. But even so, once it got more into golf closer to the end, found the pieces of how new technology came about fascinating. Although funny enough one of my favorite parts didn't have to really do with Hirshland producing tv, but instead he time as a tv show contestant on Classic Concentration.

As you get further and further into the book it feels a bit like a Who's Who in the world of golf and sports. There are some fun bits of the early lives of tv personalities, like Matt Lauer, that I really appreciated. But a lot of the names were those I didn't recognize, or at least couldn't place immediately. I did ask the boy if he knew a few, and most times his response was yes, and that I would probably recognize them as well. After a funny bit with Keith Olbermann, I asked the boy about him, not having any idea who he was. But the following night the boy pointed him out to me on tv, and yes, while I may not have been able to place him, I have watched him a number of times.

It's funny in a way, because while there is a ton of information in here, probably more than needed to be at times, at the end I wanted to keep reading. In some ways it feels a bit unfinished, but unfortunately that's how life works sometimes. Our story never really ends, it's more a new chapter is always starting. With that note if Hirshland ever does to write a follow up memoir I'd be curious enough to read it as well.

3.5/5

Disclosure: I was provided this book through Virtual Author Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Story of What Happened and What Helped

Everybody Else's Girl by Sarah Sawyers-Lovett
Published
: September 12, 2013 by Sweet Candy Press
It's hard for me to really come up with the words I want to say about this memoir. Part of me wants to say I enjoyed reading, except the author goes through such horrible times in her childhood it almost feels wrong to say I enjoyed it. I'm not quite sure, but maybe phrasing it I as enjoyed the time I spent with it sounds better.

The book reminds me of Regina Calcaterra's memoir except more detailed and more graphic. It is hard to read, and there are parts that I guarantee will make you uncomfortable, but I still do think it's worth reading.

If I have any complaint about this it's that the story stops when the author graduates high school. Instead I wished it would have continued, and we could have seen how Sawyers-Lovett was able to overcome her childhood. You know she has since she's able to write this book, and shares some of the resources that helped her on the way, but I wish we would have had a window into that part of her life as well. So much of this book deals with depressing situations, and I would have loved to have had it end a little more positively, or at least as much as it could have.

But in a lot of ways it feels like the book itself was a big step on the road to recovery. It seems that writing about these events really forced Sawyers-Lovett to comes to terms with her childhood. I did lead a completely different type of life from the author, which did make it a bit hard to relate to certain situations. However I think if I had a similar background, I could see how this book could be a major steps towards someone else being able to turn their life around.

4/5

Disclosure: I was provided this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mailbox Monday (66)

I'm a little in shock that my Mailbox's have been so crazy lately. It's hard to believe all these books are coming into my home, but unfortunately unless I find a way to stop time have no idea when I'm going to be able to read all of these!
Mailbox Monday
From Virtual Author Book Tours
Round the Bend by Alistair McGuinness
This is a travel memoir about the author's time in South America. Since I don't have plans to visit there anytime soon, I'm hoping this book will help to transport me there even if it's not quite for real.

From Historical Fiction Book Tours
Pilgrim Footprints on the Sands of Time by Sylvia Nilsen
This is a historical fiction about the murder of Thomas Becket. I actually read another book about this last year that I enjoyed, so I'm looking forward to seeing these events from another author's perspective.

From Paperback Swap
Bright Young Royals by Jerramy Fine
I absolutely loved Jerramy Fine's memoir and every since I've been wanting to read more by her. Although I don't expect this book to be anything like her memoir since instead it profiles royalty around the world. I am a bit royalty obsessed, so I'm looking forward to reading about Who's Who in the world today.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
I absolutely loved the movie when I saw it last year, and ever since I've been wanting to read the book. I have heard they made some big changes with the movie, but I'm excited to see what's different in the original.

From Goodreads
Rosarito Beach by M.A. Lawson
This may not be my typical read, but I can't help that I love entering and then winning Goodreads giveaway. But this one does feature of female agent, which is the main reason I entered the giveaway in the first place.

Night Games by Lisa Marie Perry
Yes, another one I was lucky enough to win, especially since I probably wouldn't pick it up other wise. It's a romance novels about a football player, so I'm sure it will be a fun ride.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Mailbox Monday (64)

Mailbox Monday is the place for bloggers to share the books they've recently added to their shelves. It was started by Marcia, who now blogs at To Be Continued..., and is hosted each month at the Officially Mailbox Monday site. The week I'm excited to share...
Mailbox Monday
For Review from Virtual Author Book Tours
Cover Me Boys, I'm Going In by Keith Hirshland
This is a memoir about the author's life in sports reporting. He does specialize in golf, which I'm not actually a huge fan of watching. But I'm still excited to see a behind the scenes look at what it's like being on tv and being a sports reporter.

For Review from TLC Book Tours
When the Cypress Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon
This is a chick-lit type, where Greece is featured. It's about an American who escapes back to her childhood home in Greece to help herself move on from the loss of her husband.

From Paperback Swap
The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich
I'm more excited about this one than I have been about any book in a while. It's a historical fiction about a Jewish midwife in Venice in the 16th century. Combining so many of my favorite theme to read about (Renaissance! Judaism! Babies!), I'm really hopeful that this lives up to my expectations.

From Goodreads
Nothing Sweeter by Laura Drake
Yes, this book is exactly what the cover makes it out to be. But it is about an L.A. girl who moves to the South like me, and just that gets me even more excited for it.

What did you find in your mailbox this week? And do you have a favorite book that seems to be about all encompass all the themes you enjoy reading?

While you're here, don't forget to enter my giveaway for At The River's Edge by Mariah Stewart!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Mailbox Monday (63)

I've been having a fabulous few weeks of Mailbox Mondays lately. Of course that means I need to find the time to read up all the books I've picked up recently, but there are worse problems to have.
Mailbox Monday
For Review from TLC Book Tours
The Taste of Apple Seeds by Katharina Hegena
This book was first written in German and is only now being translated to English. It's about a woman who inherits her grandmother's house in the country and then must decide what to do with it. Normally this would seem to be a cute chick lit type book, but I think the fact that it's German brings a bit of surprise to it.

For Review from the Publisher
Everybody Else's Girl by Sarah Sawyers-Lovett
This is a memoir about a girl growing up in poverty with a life of violence in Virginia. While I know books like this can be depressing, there's just something that seems to draw me towards them.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Alone in a Cabin on the Siberian Taiga

The Consoltations of the Forest by Syvain Tesson
Published
: September 7, 2013 by Rizzoli Ex Libris
Originally Published: January 1, 2011
Sylain Tesson wants to leave the life he's living in Paris. So he decides to travel and spent 6 months in a small cabin in Siberia. Without a connection to the outside world, with only food, books, and vodka, this is his journal from February to July, living in the wilderness.

Going into this book I couldn't help but get excited about how amazing it would be to escape from real life for such a long period of time. (Of course I think I'd much rather be on a tropical island in heat, than cold in the Siberian winter!) Think of how much time you'd have to relax. Think of all the books you could read. Think of how refreshed you'd feel at the end. But as Sylain learns, what happens to your relationships with those you left behind?

In some ways this book reads similar to a journal I could write in a similar experience. Each day is like the one before. He goes fishing, he goes on hikes, he reads books, he kayaks once it gets warmer, and of course, drinks a lot of vodka. And while each item doesn't happen each day, by the end it feels like he's done the same thing over and over again, so much so that it's hard to keep reading. About halfway through, he brings two dogs to the cabin which helps to break up the monotony, and made me excited each time the dogs were mentioned.

I do think this book had potential, but unfortunately it didn't quite work for me. Maybe if it had been edited down a bit instead of having an entry for practically ever day for 6 months, it would have been easier to read. But even so, after finishing I can't help but have a longing for the type of peace and fulfillment you could achieve with so much time to sit back and reflect.

3/5

SYNOPSIS
A meditation on escaping the chaos of modern life and rediscovering the luxury of solitude.

Winner of the
Prix M├ędicis for non-fiction, THE CONSOLATIONS OF THE FOREST is a Thoreau-esque quest to find solace, taken to the extreme. No stranger to inhospitable places, Sylvain Tesson exiles himself to a wooden cabin on Siberia’s Lake Baikal—a full day’s hike from any “neighbor”— with his thoughts, books, a couple of dogs, and many bottles of vodka for company. Writing from February to July, he shares his deep appreciation for the harsh but beautiful land, the resilient men and women who populate it, and the bizarre and tragic history that has given Siberia an almost mythological place in the imagination.

Rich with observation, introspection, and the good humor necessary to laugh at his own folly, Tesson’s memoir is about the ultimate freedom of owning your own time. Only in the hands of a gifted storyteller can an experiment in isolation become an exceptional adventure accessible to all. By recording his impressions in the face of silence, his struggles in a hostile environment, his hopes, doubts, and moments of pure joy in communion with nature, Tesson makes a decidedly out-of-the-ordinary experience relatable to the reader who may be struggling with hir or her own search for peace and balance in life. The awe and joy are contagious, and one comes away with the comforting knowledge that “as long as there is a cabin deep in the woods, nothing is completely lost.”

Author Bio
Sylvain Tesson is a writer, journalist, and celebrated traveler. He has been exploring Central Asia—on foot, bicycle, and horse—since 1997. A best-seller in his native France, he is published all over the world—and now in the United States.
Disclosure: I was provided this book through France Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own

Friday, September 27, 2013

Living to Talk About it

Facing the Music by Nick Carter
Published
: September 17, 2013 by Bird Street Books
I'll never forget when I heard about Leslie Carter's death. Not necessarily because it made a huge impact on my life, but because of what was happening in my life at the time. In November of 2011, my mom passed away. Two months later, in January 2012, a good friend of mine for college died in a car accident. Then later that month, Leslie Carter died of a prescription drug overdose. I remember thinking how things come in threes, and now with the death of 3 people who were important in my life (obviously of varying degrees), I was finished dealing with death for the time being.

Obviously I don't know what Nick or the Carter family went through during the time, but I have my own experiences to draw on. Reading Nick's book it seems like he feels somewhat guilty for his sister's death. He had spent his early 20s parting, but had started cleaning up his act. Maybe if he had talked to Leslie about where he met success, the past could have been different. I think this book is in some way his way of healing. It's his attempt at telling his friends and family his path to healing in hopes they can join him on his journey.

Except, it almost feels like the publisher went, "Who would want to read a self-help book from a Backstreet Boy?" and so for that reason, it's also part memoir. Each chapter starts with an antidote of a hard time in Nick's life (whether from his childhood, his DUI, his relationship with Paris Hilton, or being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy), and from there explains different strategies that he had success with. My favorite parts were the memoir pieces, and while I wish they had been longer, I understand that they weren't really the point.

As a Backstreet, and more specifically, Nick Carter fan, I loved being able to recount where I was when I read about certain referenced instances. I also thought it was interesting remembering back to his mother's book on him and how they remember certain moments so differently.

As silly as it may sound, my biggest complaint was the childhood pictures used. Not that they weren't cute, but they were the exact same ones in his mom's book. I guess it could be that he didn't want new pictures to surface, or maybe there weren't that many photos of him growing up. But still... I would have loved to see a larger selection.

The is likely a book I probably wouldn't have pick up if I wasn't already a Backstreet fan. But I do think if you're a fan of celebrity memoirs you'd enjoy this as well. I think it's inspiring reading Nick's journey from his lows to where his is now, and I can't wait to see what's to come from him.

4/5

Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mailbox Monday (48)

Another fabulous week for books! Although if you been at From L.A. to LA for any length of time you probably have a good idea which ones of these I'm most excited for. I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday which for September Beauty in the Ruins has stepped up to host.
Mailbox Monday
Purchased
Facing the Music by Nick Carter
As I'm writing this I'm almost finished with it, and I'm guessing by the time you read this I'll be finished. In a way it's different than I expected it to be, but I'm having a lot of fun with it.

For Review from the author
Adder in the Path by William Jensen
This is a historical fiction of the Mormon War, something I know nothing about, but hopefully will by the novel's end.

For Review from TLC Book Tours
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
I remember being curious about this one when it was first published, so I'm excited to be one its paperback tour. The book is huge though, so I'm guessing I have some late nights of reading ahead of me.

For Review from the publisher
Secret Storms by Julie Mannix von Zerneck and Kathy Hatfield
This is a memior of a woman who put her daughter up for adoption telling her story as well as her daughter's. It reminds me of a real life version of Emily Giffin's last book, so I'm curious to see how it compares.

What did you find in your mailbox this week? And when you read a similar story both in non-fiction and fiction, which do you tend to prefer?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mailbox Monday (47)

After a September without a single scheduled review, October and November are shaping up to be the exact opposite. Thankfully the books I've agreed to read have started arriving! As normal, I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday which is hosted by Notorious Spinks Talks Books for the month of September.
Mailbox Monday
For Review from Historical Fiction Book Tours
Gracianna by Trini Amador
Out of everything I'm sharing this week, this is the one I'm most excited about. It's a historical fiction that seems to primarily take place in France in the 1940s.

For Review from TLC Book Tours
The Hourglass by Sharon Struth
If I remember correctly, and judging from the cover, this is a romance-y type one.

For Review from Virtual Author Book Tours
Tinseltwon Riff by Shelly Frome
Almost anytime I have to chance to read something that takes place in my home state of California I'm up for it! So we'll see how this one develops.

From Goodreads
Keeping it Civil by Margaret Klaw
This is a memoir-type book from a family lawyer. It isn't the type of book I'd normally pick up, but it has me intrigued.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

After last week's Backstreet Boys concert, while looking up information on their new documentary, I discovered the fact that Nick Carter has a book coming out. How I didn't know this earlier given my Backstreet obsession and the amount of time I spend on book blogs is a little unbelievable. Since I know you must be curious, here is the cover and description.

Facing the Music And Living To Talk About It by Nick Carter
Expected Publication:
September 17, 2013
Publisher Bird Street Books
Synopsis via Goodreads: This book is Nick Carter’s autobiography and self-help hybrid in which he chronicles his struggles with a dysfunctional family and the unimaginable rigors of becoming an internationally successful pop-star at the age of 12. From his battle with addiction to serious health complications and the pain of his younger sister’s tragic death, Nick leaves nothing to the imagination and offers true and heartfelt advice to help readers overcome obstacles in their own lives.

Since I obviously can't wait for this to come out, I'm linking up with Breaking the Spine's Waiting on Wednesday. Thankfully though I don't to wait that long for this since it comes out one week from today!

To my faithful readers, thanks for putting up with my obsession these past few weeks, I can promise this will be my last post on them for a while. Or at least until I read and review this book!

What books are you currently waiting on to be published?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island

Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra
Published:
August 6, 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks
It's not often you read a true life fairy tale, except here, in Regina Calcaterra's memoir, we experience a true rag to riches story. Instead though, of being rescued by a handsome prince, Regina rescues herself with a lot of time, hard work, the help of her siblings, and luckily a few positive role models.

Regina is the middle child of 5 siblings, and throughout her childhood they're shuffled from foster home to foster home, or living with their mother in a car, or with all of them in a house abandoned by their mother taking care of themselves. They're abused physically, verbally, and sexually by their mother and even at times their foster families. So much of this book is disheartening especially when you see time and again how the system fails these children and they fall through the cracks. While parts were hard to read, Regina still knows when to pull back, and avoid some of the more graphic details. Yet despite her upbringing, Regina made something of herself and currently serves the governor of New York and is a political consultant on television.

What's surprising about this, is that even though it is a memoir, it doesn't quite read like one. Instead it reads a bit like a work of fiction, with a bit of a mystery. It's filled with almost cliffhangers at the end of chapters, which makes it the type of book you can't put down. There's even a bit of legal drama in this book, and while it's not quite to Jodi Picoult level, it does bring an interesting perspective.

If there's a message that comes across in this book it's that education can save you. Life can give you some of the hardest circumstances, but as long as you're willing to work hard and continuously strive to learn all you can, you have the tools to help yourself climb to any height.

5/5

Disclosure: I was provided this book through TLC Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mailbox Monday (41)

I have a fairly light mailbox this week, at least compared to the weeks I've been having. I think the last week I posted such a small mailbox was almost 2 months ago. Crazy right? As normal, Mailbox Monday is a weekly gathering place for bloggers to share the books they've picked up recently. It was started by Marcia, who now blogs at To Be Continued..., and travels to a new host each month. For weeks in July, we've been linking up at Book Obsessed.
Mailbox Monday
From Paperback Swap
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
When I started using Paperback Swap, I went through my list of YA series I've been wanting to read and added them to my wish list. This is one of the first that made it my way. I've heard so many positive things about this series and author, so hopefully it's one I enjoy as well.

From Goodreads
The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong
Yes, I do feel guilty, because this is yet another goodreads giveaway win. This is a memoir of a former nun who battles depression, and it seems learns more about herself while writing about different religions.

What did you find in your mailbox this week? And what do you consider a "light" week of books?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a $50 Shabby Apple giftcard.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mailbox Monday (39)

I may have missed linking up with Mailbox Monday last week, but am back strong this week. I clearly I must have whatever the goodreads algorithm in looking for, because my winning streak has continued. I'm not necessarily complaining, but I do feel a tiny bit guilt when I know some people have never won. But before the books, wanted to make sure you know that July's host is Book Obsessed.
Mailbox Monday
From Goodreads
Ostrich by Matt Greene
This one's supposed to be similar to The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-time, which is one I've never read although have heard heard good things about. Hopefully this is one people will be talking about as well.

The Distraction Addiction by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
This looks to be somewhat of a self-help book on being less distracted by all the media devices we now seemed to be surrounded by.

The Village by Nikita Lalwani
I actually didn't realize till after I won this, but I had read the author's first book Gifted. It's actually one I wasn't a huge fan of, so hopefully I like this one more.

Fact of Life by Denise Vega
This one look like a cute YA/chick lit type. Plus it's signed and they included a bookmark.

Purchased
Someday My Prince Will Come by Jerramy Fine
I LOVED this book when I first read it. So much that I started loaning it out and wanted all my friends to read it. Except I lost touch with the friend who last had it, and never saw my copy again. I told myself if I ever say it on clearance again, I would buy it. Which is why while in Florida when stopping at Barnes & Nobles to pick up a board game (since we were getting restless trapped in a condo with rain everyday), I picked this up as well. Completely normal to buy a book you've already read while on vacation just to add to your collection, right?

What did you find in your mailbox this week? And what's the last book you just had to purchase even though it was one you had read before?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mailbox Monday (38)

One of my 101 in 1001 goals is to cut my to-read pile in half. In theory, this is a doable goal, especially considering how quickly to read through books. Although it makes it nearly impossible, when I have such big Mailbox Monday posts. I'm not quite complaining here, but I guess it isn't a bad problem to have. With that said I'm linking up with Book Obsessed, our host for July, to share my recent bookshelf additions.
Mailbox Monday
From Paperback Swap
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
I actually won the 3rd (or maybe 4th) book in this series almost two years ago. It's been sitting unread till I can read the books before it, but now at least, I'm finally on my way there.

For Review from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
The Tudor Conspiracy by C.W. Gortner
I think this summer may be my summer of Gortner, but I'm really excited about it!

For Review from TLC Book Tours
Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra
This one is a memoir of five sibling who survived an unspeakable childhood on Long Island (taken directly off the cover). I have a feeling this will be the type that makes you cry, but still happy to see that they've made it to the other side.

From Goodreads
My goodreads luck must be back since after last week's 6 wins, I've continued to win 5 more over the next week. Not sure how long this will keep up, but at the moment, I'm definitely enjoying it!
The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall
This is a crime series, that (what I'm most excited for) takes place in India. This is the first in a series, and I think the 3rd or 4th recently came out.
Immortal Bird by Doron Weber
This is another memoir, about a family raising a son with a congenital heart defect.
Chasing Alaskaby C.B. Bernard
I think this is also a memoir type, but dealing with exploring Alaska's wilderness.

What did you find in your mailbox this week? And are you able to take books off your reading pile, or does it seem to be always growing like me?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Memoir of Life Through Events

I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert
When I first knew I would be reading this I was really excited. After all it was from an almost RHONYC, who was a fabulous event planner. I figured I was in for an amusing read, with stories of brides throwing fits and elaborate parties. And yes, the book did actually deliver on that.

Except what I had no idea about going into it, was that at 19, Jennifer Gilbert was brutally attacked and almost died. Most of the book deals with how that impacted her and dealing with the aftermath. Her life definitely didn't go as planned, but one has to wonder, if she never had that life changing moment would she have made a point to be as successful as she became?

One subplot I really identified with was the amour Jennifer tried to shield herself with. She wants so badly for others not to realize that inside she may be feeling insecure, that friends and coworkers have no idea how she's actually feeling inside. There's one point where she realizes she actually needs to say hi and make more of an attempt to be friendly to those working for it. It's not that she doesn't have friendly feelings towards them, but that she was so worried about being perceived as weak, that she had no idea how she actually came across. I think this made sense because so much of this is how I feel. I'm always so worried about how people perceive me, especially at work, that I make a point to sound confident. Except more often than not, I come off as unfriendly, even though that's never intentional.

I wound up really enjoying my time with this book. Which I wouldn't necessarily have believed if I had been told that what happens to Jennifer within the first few chapters. Instead the book wound up being the perfect mix of events, personal growth, relationship drama, family life, and entrepreneurship that really resonated with me. My only complaint at the end is that I wish Jennifer Gilbert was given more of an opportunity to have her scenes aired on RHONYC (although I'm guessing with all the Bethany and Jill drama that season, they had crazier things to air).

4.5/5

Disclosure: I was provided this book through TLC Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.