Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Own the Most Books From

This Top Ten Tuesday, I am focusing on authors who I own the most books from. After creating this list, I realized I sort of have an eclectic taste in books.  

1.  Philippa Gregory- I have read most of her books and the Cousins' War is my favorite historical series, proudly displayed on my "favorites" bookshelf.

2.  Ernest Hemingway-  He is one of my favorite classic authors and I own all of his books, including a few biographies.

3.  Sarah Dessen - I adore Sarah Dessen -- the author of some of my favorite summertime reads!

4.  William Shakespeare - Thanks to being an English major, I own most of his plays as well as many of his books of poetry.

5.  Cassandra Clare - I have most of The Mortal Instruments series and all of The Infernal Devices novels…plus a few books are signed!

6.  Richelle Mead - I loved the Vampire Academy series. That is all.

7.  Jane Austen - Who doesn't love Jane Austen and her unrivaled Mr. Darcy? I have hardbacks of her books on my "favorites" bookshelf.

8.  Jenny Han - Her Summer series is my absolute favorite and I loved her latest, To All the Boys I've Loved Before.

9.  Adriana Trigiani - There was one summer (before blogging) where I really got into her books, such as Lucia, Lucia, and I recently loved her Valentine series as well as The Shoemaker's Wife.

10.  Emily Giffin - I really liked her Darcy and Rachel series and have read a few of her other books - some of which are signed! I still need to read her most recent book though!

So which authors have the most books on your bookshelf? Let me know what you think of my list!  This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, so check it out! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Cocktails for Book Lovers by Tessa Smith McGovern

Pages: 144
Genre: Non-fiction
Pub. Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "The perfect pairing for anyone with a literary thirst! From Jane Austen's little-known fondness for wine to Hemingway's beloved mojitos, literature and libations go hand in hand. Cocktails for Book Lovers blends these in a delectable book that will delight both readers and cocktail enthusiasts alike. This irresistible collection features 50 original and classic cocktail recipes based on works of famous authors and popular drinks of their eras, including Orange Champagne Punch, Salted Caramel and Bourbon Milkshakes, and even Zombie Cola. So dip in, pick your favorite author or book, and take a sip--or start at the beginning and work your way through. Cheers!

Cocktails for Book Lovers is more than just a recipe book for cocktails; if you are like me and love all things literary, you'll love the wealth of information in this book.  It includes fifty original and classic cocktail recipes based on either the author's book or a popular drinks from the time period.  In addition to the recipe, it includes the author's biography, a quote from one of the author's books, the cocktail recipe and another book suggestion/blurb.  I wasn't expecting to learn something from a cocktail recipe book, but I did! For example, who knew that Jane Austen was "a sophisticated reveler and wine drinker?" She sounds like my kind of girl!

Here are some of my favorite authors and cocktail pairing from Cocktails for Book Lovers: Jane Austen and Miss Austen's Delight, Emily Bronte and Heathcliff's Crush, William Faulkner and Mint Julep, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gin Rickey, Ernest Hemingway and Mojito and lastly, Zora Neale Hurston and Orange Blossom. There's something for every literary fan in here. I tend to gravitate towards classic authors, but there's contemporary authors in this book  as well, such as Matthew Quick (Silver Linings Playbook) and Beer Margarita.  

For me, there's nothing better than pairing literature and cocktails. This would be the perfect gift for that literary lover in your life or for your book club. It would definitely be fun to create the cocktail that goes along with the book/author you are studying. That is an assignment any book club gal would enjoy.

Thanks to Sourcebooks, I am able to host a giveaway for one copy of Cocktails for Book Lovers to a US reader. The deadline is August 8th and please refer to my giveaway rules

Now excuse me while I dream of Ernest Hemingway, Key West, and drink one of his famous mojitos.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Five (5)

So I thought it might be fun this summer to try writing a more personal post every Friday highlighting some things going on in my life that aren't necessarily book related.  Let me know what you think!

1.  Dylan's 2nd Birthday - I can't believe my little guy's second birthday is on Sunday. It's crazy how time flies. I am currently planning his truck and car themed birthday party and thanks to Etsy, I have some decorations that are perfect for his party, because I am SO not crafty. At all.

2.  Friday Night Lights - I recently became annoyed that there wasn't anything good on TV this summer (basically I am waiting for Outlander to premiere) and I decided to re-watch Friday Night Lights from the beginning watching an episode each night. God, this show is good. I miss it and I wish they made more shows like this one.

3.  Hint Fizz - This drink is my new obsession. I have one a day and it's so good. I have only tried the peach flavor, but I am hooked. Basically, it is unsweetened seltzer water without a sugar substitute as well. I don't drink soda, but sometimes I get sick of water and this stuff is the best.

4.  How to Get Away with Murder - I keep seeing the previews for this show and I am so excited. Not only is Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy and Scandal) the writer/creator, I've heard that some scenes are filmed not far from my house since the show takes place in Philadelphia. I love that and am looking forward to its premiere in September.

5.  If I Stay movie- I am already grabbing my tissues for this one. Have you seen the awesome trailer? If I Stay by Gayle Forman is one of my all-time favorite books and I can't wait to see it on the big screen.  It looks like it's going to be amazing and if you haven't read the book, now is the time!

Happy Friday,

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Book Review: The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

Pages: 260
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: October 12, 2011
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Ashton is getting tired of being good, of impressing her parents and playing ideal girlfriend to Sawyer Vincent. Sawyer is perfect, a regular Prince Charming, but when he leaves town for the summer, it’s his cousin Beau who catches Ashton’s eye. Beau is the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, and even though he’s dangerous, Ashton is drawn to him. Beau loves his cousin like a brother, so the last thing he wants to do is make a move on Sawyer’s girl. Ashton is off-limits, absolutely. That’s why he does his best to keep his distance, even though he’s been in love with her forever. When Ashton wants to rekindle their childhood friendship in Sawyer’s absence, Beau knows he should say no. Ashton and Beau don’t want to hurt Sawyer. But the more they try to stay away from each other, the more intense their urges become. It’s getting way too hard to resist."
Ashton, Sawyer, and Beau were inseparable childhood friends.  Ashton and Beau were known for getting themselves into trouble and Sawyer, the quintessential good guy, would always bail them out.  Many years have past and they are now in high school.  Beau, Sawyer's cousin, runs with a tougher crowd and is still known to cause trouble, but Ashton is no longer his sidekick. She has grown up; after all, she is the preacher's daughter.  Ashton and Sawyer started dating a few years ago and haven't looked back and while Sawyer is still very close with Beau, Ashton hasn't really talked to him in years even though she sees him at school and the occasional party.  While Sawyer is away for the summer and Ashton is at a party, she sees Beau trying to drive home drunk with his girlfriend.  Ashton offers to drive him home and they sort of reconnect after all of these years.  This excites Ashton, because 1) she's bored at home without Sawyer, 2) her best friend is off at college, 3) she secretly likes and cares for Beau even though he's a "bad boy" and she supposed to be a "good girl." As they spend more time together, you can guess what happens, but there are so many obstacles ahead of them.  For starters, her parents do not approve of Beau. At all.  Plus, everyone in their southern town loves Sawyer and if she breaks his heart, she's in for it. More importantly, Beau is Sawyer's cousin and he needs Sawyer because his home life is less than stellar. How could he ever hurt him? They are like brothers.  The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines is a predictable teen romance, but I will admit I was sucked in and loved being lost in their world.

Guys, sometimes you just want a fluffy summertime read that is pure mind-candy and The Vincent Boys filled that need for me.  Ashton is actually a character that I wasn't a big fan of initially.  She was trying to be someone she's not, mostly because that is who she thinks her boyfriend wants. Plus, it irritated me that she has no life when Sawyer is not around.  Her world was Sawyer and you never want to see that happen to a girl in high school. When she reconnects with Beau, things change for the better and I liked seeing her live a little more, but I will admit she quite often suffered from Bella Swan syndrome. What I mean by that is she often needed either Sawyer or Beau to "save" her.  I wanted her to save herself and be the hero of her own story, but that never really happens.

What kept me reading The Vincent Boys was Beau.  Sawyer is the usual perfect southern gentleman who was overprotective and and the town's golden boy.  But Beau, boy, did I love his character. He was tough, from the wrong side of the tracks, and the kind of guy you'd want in your corner.  I loved his chemistry with Ashton, even if it felt a bit cliche (love triangle!) at times. With that said, it should be noted that this book is not for younger readers. There are some racy scenes and a lot of male characters whom are very sexist.  I wasn't a big fan of the latter. 

In additon to the sexist scenes, I also had issues with Ashton's absent parents. Ashton's father is a preacher, but is sort of a horrible guy for the first half of the book and isn't really around much. He refers to people as "white trash" which doesn't seem very Christianly and he encourages his daughter to hangout with Sawyer more often instead of being an independent woman. Ummm. Ok. Thankfully, this does change as the story progresses and yes, Ashton does have a fantastic role model in her grandmother, but still.  When the parents were around they were abysmal in The Vincent Boys.

The Vincent Boys reminds me of a favorite soap opera, like Dallas meets Dawson's Creek with Beau obviously being Pacey.  *swoon*  It's the perfect kind of summer read where you can get lost in the drama and it's downright fun.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Red Queen

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.  "Waiting on Wednesday" spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly anticipating.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Pub. Date: March 26, 2015

Goodreads says, "Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army, she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a superhuman ability she didn’t know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red. To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a budding Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince and Mare against her own heart."
I know this book's pub. date is far off, but I really love this book's premise. I am a huge fan of high fantasy and this one sounds pretty captivating. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

When I'm Not Reading YA: Children's Book Edition (5)

Dylan, my little guy, is almost two now and is still a big fan of books. This delights me to no end, which I'm sure doesn't surprise you.  I thought I would give you an update on what we have been reading and enjoying together.  If you are interested in learning more about a book that I am showcasing, click the book's title and it will take you to its Amazon page.

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker - My little guy is currently obsessed with cars and trucks.  This book is his absolute favorite. In this book, there's a bulldozer, cement truck, crane truck, excavator, and more. They all get ready for bed and it's absolutely adorable. I love the rhyming and the repetition of "Sshhhhh goodnight" which my little guy likes saying with me.

The Diggers by Margaret Wise Brown- This book isn't my favorite by any means (it's sort of strange), but my little guy loves the digger in this story since he comes to the rescue.  It's definitely fun to read a loud.

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow - This is a cute retelling of the classic song. I like the repetition and the silly pictures. My little guy laughs hysterically at the monkeys and when we get to the "No more monkeys jumping on the bed" part of the story, he shakes his little pointed finger at the monkeys scolding them.

Good Night Beach by Adam Gamble- My little guy loves to read this book after a long day at the beach. Readers say goodnight to the ocean, the sand, the sailboats, the crabs, you name it. It's a lot of fun and captures a wonderful day at the beach with your family.

Baby Penguins Everywhere! by Melissa Guion - This book is one of my favorites because adults can really appreciate the story when reading it with their little ones. It's about a mama penguin who realizes taking care of all the baby penguins is hard work and sometimes she needs some alone time to recharge, which is true of everyone, not just moms! In the end, she realizes that being together is the most fun of all though.

Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss - Who doesn't love animal sounds and hearing your little one saying them? This book cracks me up, because my guy will end up participating by saying back all the sounds and noises. No one is as much fun as as Dr. Seuss.

The Fuzzy Duckling by Jane Werner Watson - This Golden book was mine when I was little and I am so glad my little guy loves it.  The little duckling is lost and explores the farm as well as the farm animals. It involves counting, which is a bonus and of course, it ends happily.  This is one of my little guy's favorites!

Starlight Sailor by James Mayhew - My little guy loves the paper boat that a little boy and his dog travel in. They explore dream lands and there are even dragons in the story! The illustrations are gorgeous and it is so imaginative. 

Sleepyhead by Karma Wilson - I feel like every kid is a fan of Karma Wilson's books. This one in particular is whimsical! It's about someone who isn't ready for bed and wants one more teddy, one more snuggle, etc. I think many toddlers can relate to this read!

Let me know what you think of the books we have been reading. Are you familiar with any of these? Do you have any recommendations for me? 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky

Pages: 406
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: June 18, 2013
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together in Nicole's coastal island house off of Maine. But many years, and many secrets, have kept the women apart. A successful travel writer, single Charlotte lives on the road, while Nicole, a food blogger, keeps house in Philadelphia with her surgeon-husband, Julian. When Nicole is commissioned to write a book about island food, she invites her old friend Charlotte back to Quinnipeague, for a final summer, to help. Outgoing and passionate, Charlotte has a gift for talking to people and making friends, and Nicole could use her expertise for interviews with locals. Missing a genuine connection, Charlotte agrees. But what both women don't know is that they are each holding something back that may change their lives forever. For Nicole, what comes to light could destroy her marriage, but it could also save her husband. For Charlotte, the truth could cost her Nicole’s friendship, but could also free her to love again. And her chance may lie with a reclusive local man, with a heart to soothe and troubles of his own."
Nicole hasn't seen her former best friend, Charlotte, in ten years.  When Nicole, a food blogger, has an opportunity to write a cook book about the local food from her beloved island off of Maine, she asks for Charlotte's help. This is because Charlotte also loves the island and she is a writer herself, jet setting off to various magazine assignments throughout the year.  They are staying at Nicole's parents' summer house and are hoping it will be like summers of the past, but Charlotte has distanced herself from Nicole over the years, not just because of her job assignments, but because of a deep secret.  A secret that she is hoping won't come out this summer.  Both girls are busy with writing their cook book, interviewing locals, and catching up.  Nicole has left her husband back in Philadelphia, as he is busy with his work, but he's also battling MS. She is hoping the time away from each other will do them good as things have been less than stellar.  Charlotte also meets a local, Leo, who captures her interest and reminds her of the protagonist of Salt, a novel both girls are reading and discussing.  Secrets unravel bit by bit in Sweet Salt Air and as both girls spend more time together, these secrets slowly float to the surface.  Sweet Salt Air is a thoughtful beach read; one that is slow moving and gentle, much like a warm tropical breeze.  

Nicole was my least favorite character in Sweet Salt Air, which surprised me since I thought a food blogger would pique my interest.  That wasn't the case. She wallowed in self-pity and claimed she wanted to work on things with her husband, but I never fully got that vibe from her.  I mean they didn't even spend the majority of the summer together and she often didn't say what she needed to say to him.  Nonetheless, I felt for her as she dealt with the secret of Julian's MS; plus, she finds out a secret about his past, one that will directly impact her world.

On the other hand, Charlotte was a fun character in Sweet Salt Air. I was drawn to her storyline a bit more as she is adventurous and fun. She's intrigued by local bad boy, Leo, and finds herself visiting his house quite often with the hopes of learning more about him as well as his mother who cultivated the island's best herb farm.  She learns more about Leo and perhaps he isn't just a bad boy…perhaps there's more to him than the townspeople think.  Charlotte and Leo's blossoming relationship was the best part of the story for me.

Delinsky does a good job of capturing what life is like when you are dealing with someone who is battling a disease. Julian has many doctor appointments and many important decisions to face. It played a bigger role in Sweet Salt Air than I initially thought it would. Plus, there's the fact that he hides his MS from co-workers and family members, including his own kids.  Nicole has to deal with this on a daily basis, which is very tough for her.  Things get even more complicated when Julian wants to pursue experimental procedures, which also sends Nicole for a tailspin.   

I had a few issues with Sweet Salt Air in that it was a s-l-o-w read at times and the characters, especially Nicole, marinated in the same problem or feeling for quite awhile.  She definitely fixated on things.  So, you have to be patient when reading Sweet Salt Air as the drama takes time to unravel.

If you are looking for a thoughtful beach read that focuses on friendship, secrets, and the importance of forgiveness, give Sweet Salt Air a try this summer, but if you are looking for a fast-paced beach read, I urge you to look elsewhere.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Design by: Designer Blogs