Monday, August 25, 2008

Book Blog Appreciation Week

Over At My Friends Amy's blog she is having a book blog appreciation week.
the rules and what you can nominate are listed below.
This should be interesting to find out about other reading blogs in cyberspace.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
BBAW Award Nominations are Open


It's time to open nominations for Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards 2008!

Listed below are the categories of awards. There are many. You may not have a nomination for each award. It doesn't matter. Nominate up to two blogs per category and send an email to BbawawardsATgmailDOTcom with your choices. You DO NOT have to have a blog to make nominations. Comments left on this post will NOT be accepted as nominations. Each category will be narrowed to the top five blogs by number of nominations received, so don't be shy!!! Support your favorite blogs and bloggers! Nominations will close on August 31st.

And the categories for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards 2008 are:

Best General Book Blog
Best Kidlit Blog
Best Christian/Inspirational Fiction Blog
Best Literary Fiction Blog
Best Book Club Blog
Best Romance Blog
Best Thrillers/Mystery/Suspense Blog
Best Non-fiction Blog
Best Young Adult Lit Blog
Best Book/Publishing Industry Blog
Best Challenge Host
Best Community Builder
Best Cookbook Blog
Best History/Historical Fiction Blog
Best Design
Most Chatty
Most Concise
Most Eclectic Taste
Best Name for a Blog
Best Published Author Blog
Best Book published in 2008
Best Meme/Carnival/Event
Most Extravagant Giveaways
Best Book Community site
Write In--think we missed something? Write in your category and nomination and if there are enough other write-ins of the same category it will be added!

Madonna's Of Leningrad

I read the Madonnas of Lenigrad by Debra Dean. This book was selected by Bookclubgirl.com. You can listen here
The author joined blogradio as well.
But on to the review.
The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean is the story about Marina, and her memory She is Russian.
The story flashes back and forth from memory from WW2 and the present. Marina is going with her husband and her daughter Helen to her grand daughter's wedding.
We realize that things are not right about her.
She seems confused, and her memory reverts back to WW2 and certain things don't connect right. Her memory is locked only she know what is truth.
0
Certain times, Marina has flashbacks in her memory and take her back to her days as a young woman in Russia during WW2, with the invasian of Germany. Marina is a docent and takes people on tour at the Heritage Museum. There are pictures that have been rescued while the war is going on. The pictures are taken but the frames are left almost as a reminder that they will be back. The Madonna paintings are remembered in detail by Marina. This is all committed to memory. Also there is a part where we wonder did she have sex with a g-d or with her husband it is never answered.
I thought this was a good connection with the book. And now the present, the daughter becomes the nuturing person. The museum's past, and the painter's past of the Madonna's, and the mother's past all represent memory. I really liked the connection. I thought the author did a good job connecting this with symbolism.
My favorite passage in the book is :
Marin is embarrassed to realize she has been muttering out load. Oh, I beg your pardon. It's nothing, a sort of game I paly.
To see how many paintings I can recall." You are building a memory place ?"
Marina has never heard of such a thing. They don't teach this in school anymore? Anya asks and clucks in display" When I was a girl, we had a memory palaces to help us memorize for our examinations. You chose a actual place, a palace worked best, but any building with lots of room would do, and then you furnished it with whatever you wished to remember."She goes back to her memory of her husband when he is a soldier, and her Uncle is starving and she has chocolate and has to decide to keep it for herself since she is stronger, or give it to him since he is weaker and will die and other terrible times during the invasion.
In the present, after the wedding she is missing after Marina husband, Demitri realizes she is not sleeping. A search party is formed and she is found later. After, the search party, find her. Helen sets the scene. Her mother beomes more confused, and then she has died and the family accepts her death. It is becomes a beautiful thing and a natural order of things. and she dies peacefully. When someon e you know gets dementia, the memory is locked but also there are stories that don't jive. In old age they tend to tell us the stories they never did when they were younger. They are not restrained and their tongue becomes loose.
I don't think many people can read this kind of book because it deals with old age, death and dying. This book would be good for a person going into the field of Gerontology maybe. But not for a person who has a elderly loved one.
But objectively, this was a good read. It was beautifully written. I probably would not have picked this book up myself because it was hard to read because it dealt with old age and dying. I still would like to thank bookclubgirl for sending me a copy. I wanted to be part of the program but I was unable to. My one question to the author was, where did she get the idea of Memory Palace. That was wonderful. That blew my mind. That was a great concept.
Next up on blogradio.com is by Ann Patchett in September. Hopefully, I will be there for that one.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Teaser Tuesday

Tuesday Teasers
Posted by Literarily at 8/19/2008 6:02 PM and is filed under Memes,tuesday teasers


Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:


Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) "teaser" sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your "teaser" from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
Please avoid spoilers!

This teaser is from Madonnas Of Lenigrad by Debra Dean.
It is the idea of the city, the idea of the world suggested by the guilded frame that surrounds it.

Free Books



I wanted to let my book blog readers know about free books.
All you have to do is send them a email.
I alway get excited when they send me envelopes. They either send me new books or I find out about new books, and guides for the books for our book club.
They also let me know about publishers that are giving away books.
What I recieved in the package is info. for free book from Norton, for a free copy of Zookeeper's Daugher. I bought the hard cover about a year ago when it first came out. I just have not read it yet. Like always too many books not enought time. The book is a book club selection for our Hadassah Book Club. It is based on a true story during the holocaust.
When Germany invaded Poland. Stuka bombers devasted Warsaw-and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen guests hid inside the Zabinski's villa, emerging after dark for dinner and socializing.
With her unique prose and exquisite sensitivity to the natural world. Diane Ackerman engages us viscerally in the lives of the zoo animals, their keepers, and their hidden visitors. She shows us how Antonia refused to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, keeping alive an atmosphere of play and innocence even as Europe crumbled around her.

You can visit http://wwnorton.comrgguides/zookeeperswife.htm for:
Audio and print interviews with the author, discussion questions, and you can visit the author's website at dianeackerman.com. Supplies are limited and it is first come first served basis.
In the package I recieved publicity about a few books:
When the White House Was Ours by Porter Shreve.
The Visible World by Mark Slouka
Warm Springs by Susan Richards Shreve
Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones
Easter Rising
Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
My latest Grievence by Elinor Lipman
Pravda by Edward Does
Charity Girl
The Worst Hard Time
All the books above are from the publishers of www.marinerreadersguides.com
Lost and Found by Jaqueline Sheehan
The Godmother by Carrie Adams
The Space Between Before and After by Jean Reynolds Page.
The Safety of Secrets by Delaune Michael
I found info. from Penguin called Petropolis by Anya Ulinich
Book information for book clubs from Random House.
I am not recommending these titles as I have not heard of them only slightly.
I am only blogging to share with my readers info. on new releases that Reading groupchoices send out. If you are interested you should visit their website.
This is the first time I recieved a package from them in the summer. Usually I recieved packets from them in the winter.
Now, I have to send a email out for the 2 books, before they run out.

To My Friends and Family


I know this is my reading blog post where I post my thoughts on books. But I would like to dedicate this post to my family and friends.



Hi All,
I would like to apologize to all my family and friends the last couple months.
There were days that I was so stressed I could not even talk to anyone. I needed to be alone with my thoughts.
I have had a lot on my mind with getting David in school. Then all of sudden realizing that it is a good idea to go back to school myself.
scheduling David and myself around my working schedule and then around both are school schedule with one car.
David was listening to what the adviser told him to take without realizing my schedule may conflict with his schedule.
Oh, what a mess....
It looked like David would be going to school part time. But low and behold we found a class that he would be able to take.
He will be taking 12 credits. But I think it is done.. HAPPY!!! HAPPY!! I feel like a heavy weight is finally lifted off my shoulders. I can breathe now. I have been very overwhelmed the last 2 weeks. Not realizing was I suppose to talk to accounting, Should we have schedule a meeting with a advisor, Is he suppose to take extra credit. Technical is very different than a university. He does not have to take history, or science or any core classes. That is what threw me. But that is what was missing.
I did not think of all these things till the last moment. David and I were caught up in the moment. When I thought everything was ok, I decided at the last moment, that I was going back to school. This all came about when I found out that I was awarded the PELL Grant. They awarded me the total cost of tuition and part of the cost of books needed for school.... That topped my decision to do this spur of the moment. I was focusing on myself not David. And then all of sudden the date is here. One week away. Today all the kids were at college changing classes. So it was a mad house. I did not think anything would be straightened out.
But at 11PM David and I found a class he could take. So that is why I have been stressed out.
I need to celebrate with a glass of merlot.. And I usually don't drink Halehujah!!!! I should post this on my blog...
If you are interested in my blog, see below.... So I would like to apologize to all of you, and putting up with me.....
You all are GREAT!!! Now tonight I have to find 2 classes that I can take, but now the system is down.. doesn't that figure.
But I am not stressed anymore... Now tomorrow David and I will be buying books for school.
Dear Jeffrey- I want to thank you for all your concern and worry for David.. I know you care. You are the best brother a sister can have.
I hope this does not embarrass you...David and I thank you so much... and to my poor mom and listening to my problems. And mom listening to me for hours, giving me advise, why oh why are you!!! ARE YOU CRAZY! A Moped... Well you don't have to worry about it now....To all my dear friends who I have spoken to or left off because I needed time to think.... SORRY... You are all great and have patience, helping me through this....
I LOVE YOU All!!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Eat, Pray Love


We had our book club this past Wednesday.
Benay led the discussion there seemed to be alot of resistance discussing the book.
It was like pulling teeth.
By hearing what of few said I am not inspired to read it.
What I got out of the meeting was, Eat was the first section, Pray was the second, and love was the last part.
all the members agreed that they started getting into the book when it pertained to India.
Lisa loved the book because she could identify with the places. The comments were she was on a pity party. She was selfish, and self centered, but later on she became a better person.
I am not sure then why Oprah praised this book if it was this bad.

I don't think the members could identify with her. That may have been the reason we did not have a lot to say.
Our next book club will be in September. We will be reading AWAY by Amy Bloom.

I have been the one to keep the book club with info. announcements, emails, special guest speakers etc. A few members would rather discuss the book rather than special preparations.
I have tried before to let each person take control to send out the emails, phone calls, etc. But it always seems not to get done.
Each person will take a month and will be responsible for everything.
How the meeting is run, where it will be. Each person owns the book club not one person.
If anyone has questions I will be happy to answer it for them. I have been doing this for 3 yrs and it is time for everyone to take ownership of the book club.
We will have our yearly business meeting in Jan. to decide what works, and what doesn't. Books that are upcoming etc.

Next




I am starting Madonna's of Leningrad by Debra Dean.
I was sent this a few years ago by the publishing co. But I never picked it up. bookclubgirl.com sent copies to everyone that will participate on blog talk radio it will be broadcasted on August 21st at 7PM. If you are interested there is still time to pick up and read it. It is a short book a little over 200 pages. You can link up to the broadcast here. You may visit my blog friend, Dar She left a nice review on her blog

Barefoot By Elin Hilderbrand- 5*****





This was a very good read I give it a thumbs up.
There are many stirred up feelings and emotions when your read Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand. The author is a native from Nantucket.
I have been reading too many THINK books it was time to read something totally different. I thought this would be a beach read. But it was a little more deeper than I thought. Still it was a good read. I recommend this highly.
The book is about 3 woman with a situation to resolve.
Two of the women are sisters, the other is a friend.
One of the sisters, Vicky has cancer. She decides she wants to have treatment at her summer house in Nantucket. She invites her sister Brenda, and her friend Melanie.
Her sister, Brenda is a professor from a esteemed college. She was caught having a affair with one of here students. When she is confronted about it she looses her temper. She ruins a expensive painting worth millions. She will never find another teaching position again. She is being sued by the school for the painting. She did hire a lawyer, who keeps coming into the picture when Brenda doesn't want to face the problem. While she is in Nantucket she is writing a play to help with the money. But first she is taken back why Vicky asked Melanie to come to Nantucket.
She would have been happier if it was just her and her sister, Vicky, not inviting Melanie too. But after awhile she accepts it.
Brenda decides to take her sister on the offer to go with her to Nantucket, and get away from all her problems at home and help take care of nephew and niece. Melanie, finds out her husband Peter is having a affair,and they have been trying for years to have children. Of course she feels betrayed. Then into the mix is Josh a college student. Vicky decides to hire him as the babysitter for her two young children.
Vicky decides to hire Josh to help with the children.
You know with a mix of a younger man there has to be something going on. Josh and Melanie have a affair. Melanie's husband Peter shows up and tries to win Melanie back when he learns she is pregnant.
Josh doesn't know how to deal with this. He decides to stay away. We also learn that Josh's mother commits suicide when he was a young boy. He also has a ex-girlfriend who has a lot of problems and eventually toward the end of the book she commits suicide. Josh has a lot of mixed feelings, guilt, blame etc.
Vicky's husband decides he must come to the beach house to be with the children.
Vicky continues to have her chemo while there in Nantucket. There is a point where she decides to skip the chemo, and how she deals with the guilt that she told everyone she had the chemo. For the sake of the children Vicky decides she has to continue even if she is feeling sick... Vicky loves her kids, has a hard time with seeing her children grow and she will not witness any of her children's passages.
Vicky finds out that the chemo treatment was successful but she has to have the surgery to take the rest of the cancer out of her lung. This is very tough because she is worrying and making herself sick. Taking too many pills, she self medicates herself and ends up in the hospital. Toward the end of the book it ends up picking up speed. Brenda's lover, he is Australian comes to Nantucket to support her when her sister becomes ill. Melanie decides to forgive her husband and the affair with Josh is over. Josh does not take this well. And to top if off, when Vicky's parents come when the family think Vicky is dying. Josh is left a sweet message from Vicky's husband , He did a great job taking care of the children, and he can pick up his last check. Josh has mixed feeling because one hand he was hired for pay.
The other is that he became involved in the family. Too involved that he is too attached and hurt. The story does have a happy ending. Which most books I read are literary and don't have neat packages. But this book, I liked how they were able to resolve their problems and their feelings. I felt that the author really did know how to put the feelings on paper and deal with them.
The author did a her research well. At the end she was asked to come to a support group and talk about her illness, and her surgery.
She added that she felt the the group was envious of her that she survived. But most of the group did not know if they would or wouldn't. The author did not miss a beat, with all the emotions in every situation of the book.
I really enjoyed reading this book. All the emotions I felt.
I was sad to see them leave Nantucket and go on with their lives back home.
When they were all packing up and Brenda was the last to leave.
She had to lock up the house. Even the author talked about the feelings about locking up the house and putting the tea set back where her aunt left it. It was very touching. I recommend this higly.

Friday, August 15, 2008

OVERWHELMED MOM!!!

It has been a hectic month helping, David( my 18 yr.old) register for college.
And the funny thing is he is not going away to college. He will be home.
I can't imagine how hectic it would be for parents when they have their children attend college away from home. It seems like every day I am driving him to the school.
It is very hard to let him make the choices, and not say or do anything as a parent.
He has to fall before he learns from his mistakes.
Right now David did not think about the schedule till I pointed it out.
Why go to school in the morning and come back in the afternoon. You should schedule your self so that all your classes are one after the other not spread out.
So now, he does not have a car yet. I will be doing the driving. He scheduled all afternoon and evening classes without thinking about a job. He now has to get his books Monday, and change his schedule Monday. I hope everything works out.
Why do kids not listen!!! It is not so bad if he was doing all the driving, but it is me a single mom that works. At least for the next 2 months I have to be driving till he gets his license.
That is why I have not had time to read or post any review. Hopefully by next week or the week after everything will be settled. I promised some reviews to authors and I just did not expect all this.
But soon it will be back to normal.
This has never happened before, that it has taken me a month to read one book. The book I am read is for pleasure, called Barefoot and it is taking me a whole month to read. The funny thing about it is if I was not enjoying it. It would be one thing. I am enjoying this book and it is taking too long.
I am going to have to boogie.
Maybe since it is Saturday tomorrow I can relax and read a few hours before I go to work.
I would like to apologize to all the authors that I promised to review their work.
I did not imagine that this would happen and take so long.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Favorite Website

I received in my my inbox my weekly bookreporter.com and readinggroupgide.com every Friday. I actually look forward to this. If no one know bookreporter.com is a website about books, book clubs, book reviews and even contests for book giveaways.
She talks about different book related events around the country. Her great escapades with her children, etc.
I have been reading this for every week religiously I think for at least 8years.
This website was a lifesaver for me. Because when I moved here to SC it was such a culture shock. The website kept me in touch with what was going on in the north east. Since Carol is from NY, I felt at home when she sent info. because she not only talk about books. She would also talk about what was going on up north. When I moved here it was July 2001. One month before 9/11. That was hard for me because I wanted to be there, NY it was still home to me, not SC. So it was a difficult time. Bookreporter.com was a lifesaver. It kept me in touch.
If it was not for her I would not have discovered the good books too, that I am reading now. Because where I live you have to have a computer. Not that it is remote. But up north we had more cultural events, authors would visit book stores. Where I live to get to a big city book store takes a good 2 hrs. And usually they are not the author I would want to see. They have local authors. Not the big names I would like to see. What a disappointment. When I live up north I could see James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, etc, etc. That is why I say thank g-d for the computer. You know can see author talks on the computer at youtube, or borders and different book events online. You don't even have to leave home. You can even do it in your PJ's. Anyway sorry for getting off the subject.
Anyway, Carol Fitzgerald started a website where it started as a little website and blossomed. On her website she now has a blog of contributor, authors, librarian, book stores that gives you all kinds of recommendations, and resources
Anyway the latest article I found on the blog. Is from a author contributor that talks about why women love book clubs. I love her take why? The caveman idea is great.
I'll have to remember that one. Read below the article it is from the blog from readingguide.com. While you are reading if you have never visited her website now is a chance to take a peak. You can find a link on my favorite reading sites there. Or go to bookreporter.com or readingguide.com.


I love book groups. I'm not actually in one, but I have felt very much a part of many dozens of them, at least for one night each. As an author of three novels that encourage meaningful discussions --- Riding with the Queen, Eating Heaven, and my latest, Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe --- I have the profound good luck to be invited to book groups all over the country.

As an observer and participant, I've come up with a theory why so many of us love the concept of meeting with (mostly) other women once a month, talking about books and issues important to us, laughing and letting our hair down a little before we go back to our too-busy lives. Beyond the obvious reason (it's fun!), I believe it all comes down to biology.

Yes, biology, which is also at the center of my new novel. The book group theory in a moment, but first let's take a peek at the biological underpinnings in Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe:

Middle-aged "good girl" Mira Serafino teaches her high school health science students about their own biological drives, but fails to accept her own "bad girl" desires. When her college-sweetheart husband seems to be exercising his own biological imperative with another woman, she runs away from her small hometown. She goes against all biological norms and expectations; she does not stay and protect her brood: her grown daughter Thea, who seems to hate her; her father, who appears to have replaced her; and her grandmother, whose old-world ways don't feel very supportive in Mira's time of need.

Can you imagine running away from your family? Starting a new life, giving in to your deepest desires? As I've spent time with book groups across the country, by phone and in person, I've learned that many, many women fantasize about doing just that! I thought I'd created an unusual character in Mira, and perhaps I have. She doesn't just fantasize about it --- she does it, and in doing so, finds the way to her authentic self. She learns to accept that both love and biology have a place in her life.

So, back to my biological theory about why we love book groups. In prehistoric hunter-gatherer times, men regularly left the family circle to procure big slabs of protein while women took care of everything else close to home: gathering the nuts and berries, the leafy greens and clean water, and tending to the young and old and infirm. They did this cooperatively, with other women, and developed a vast capacity for empathy as a result. Sisterhood. Girlfriend time. It's in our blood, our genetic material, our DNA.

In modern life, we rarely get that kind of time, and book groups provide a chance to gather, to discuss great books and the intellectual and emotional concepts they engender. Sure, we nibble on nuts and berries, or whatever it is we've all gathered to share, but we do so much more.

We empathize with each other and with the book's characters, even when they are very different from us. We disagree and argue, and commiserate and comfort. We accept each other's differences. We feel a sense of belonging, in our book group circles, something that's increasingly difficult to experience as every aspect of our lives becomes less about people and more about technology and speed. But on book group night we slow down again and move to more human rhythms. We regain our humanity, and reclaim our biological imperative of community.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Avid Reader

I was reading what Stephanie from So many books posted on her blog.
It is very interesting, about avid readers. You can read what she has to say here

Check out my Review of Small Great Things

Check out my review of Jodi Picoult's novel, Small Great Things https://bagelsbooksandschmooze.blogspot.com/2017/08/small-great-things...