Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Tuesday!

I feel as if I must apologize. Once again another week has gone by with little time to read. My childhood best friend got married this past weekend & I was very busy with the festivities. Throw in my own wedding to plan(we are having a New Years Eve wedding!), work, and premiere week for network television, and I am ashamed to say that I did not get much reading done.

First let me show you a picture of me and David, my fiance(it is so strange to say that!). This picture was taken this weekend at my friend's wedding.

Now on to the real reason you read my blog! Today is loaded with awesome new releases. Two power house authors have new books hitting the shelf. I am currently reading Her Fearful Symmetry. and you are all going to LOVE it! It is way different than Time Traveler's Wife, but it is lyrical, mysterious, and gothic. Her Fearful Symmetry was well worth the wait for true Audrey Niffenegger fans.

I remember my days as a Blockbuster Store Manager. Almost weekly we would get requests for the DVD of the Wizard of Oz. It has been in the "vault" for a while now. It is being released for the 70th Anniversary of the movie. You can pick up this special collector's edition that is AWESOME. This collection includes both the Blu-Ray & Digital DVD. A pretty nifty watch with a tin case. And a couple of books about the original production of the movie. I suspect that this item will be "THE" holiday gift of 2009. I know I want one.

I had the pleasure to read Have A Little Faith a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it. Mitch Albom has become a power house in the literary world. His books consistently sell, not just because they are good books, but because they are good books with a message. His newest book is no different. A quick read to warm the heart!

Finally. There are not many women out there in my generation that did not grow up with a crush on Patrick Swayze. He was the benchmark that we all measured future boyfriends and husbands against. His auto-biography, The Time Of My Life, hits the shelves today. But this is a book that you may not want to read, but instead listen to. One of Patrick's last "jobs" was to narrate the audiobook version of his life story. You can listen to this book read in the lilting, southern twang that has made women swoon for decades. RIP Mr. Swayze, you will be missed.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell

If you are easily offended,DO NOT watch this movie trailer. I read I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell
when it first came out. Long before I started blogging. It is so wrong. So Very Very Wrong. But , holy cow, I don't know that I have laughed so hard since reading that book. The movie hits the theaters tomorrow & it stars Logan Huntzberger from Gilmore Girls. (Sorry, I don't know his real name!). I always thought Dane Cook would make a good Tucker Max, but he is a little old for the role. Anyway. Funny book. I hope they don't screw up the movie!

Monday, September 21, 2009

(78) The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

I finished The Lost Symbol, today! It was everything that I had hoped for and more! I was so excited last week when the book was released. I worked Tuesday night & was thrilled at the excitement the customers generated. They were chatting in line about what they had heard. They were reading the first few chapters while patiently waiting. They were buying multiple copies because rumor (a false rumor) had it that stores through out Kansas City were sold out. It was a fun night.

I had bought my copy & was prepared to read for the next two days. And then I got engaged. And I will be damned if that that didn't take precedence over reading. But I finally finished the book. Today!

It has been many, many years since The Da Vinci Code took the world by storm. It made fast paced hidden symbol, treasure hunt-esque type novels the most popular thing since sliced bread. Dan Brown fans have been waiting impatiently for the master to appear again. Rumors of release dates & false titles have riddled the interwebs for years. Finally, the wait is over and the Master does not disappoint and this time he keeps the action close to home. Setting his book in Washington DC.

Robert Langdon is enjoying his quiet morning routine when he is summoned to DC by his dear friend and mentor, Peter Solomon. That summons sets into motion a very fast paced, heart racing, life changing few hours. Peter & his sister, scientist Katherine, are in grave danger. Only Robert has the key to keep them safe.

Dan Brown takes his readers on a wild ride around some very famous landmarks in Washington DC. He explores the hidden symbolism that our country was founded on. It is absolutely fascinating. I heard the buzz before the book's release that they expected tourism in DC to increase because of this book. I can so see that. I think my next vacation will be to Washington DC.

Dan Brown is never going to win a Pulitzer, but he knows how to sell books. He hooks his readers and keeps them guessing with all of the twists & turns. Just for the record, I was wrong about Director Sato and right about Mal'akh. The end was satisfying and wrapped everything up quite well. Well done, Mr Brown. Please don't keep us waiting five years for your next book!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

(77) The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Well. It is official. Nicholas Sparks has just joined the ranks of Jodi Picoult for me. I am done. No more.

Nicholas Sparks is writing for the kleenex companies. His stories are sappy & predictable. I didn't even read his last book because it had no appeal to me whatsoever. The Last Song at least looked like a promising story. I even read somewhere that the movie started production earlier this summer with Miley Cyrus cast as Ronnie. I may see the movie when it hits HBO, but I will not pay money to see the movie.

Seventeen year old Ronnie & her younger brother, Jonah are less than thrilled at spending the summer with their estranged father along the beaches of North Carolina. It has been three years since Ronnie has even spoken to her father. She has never forgiven him for leaving them all those years ago.

Within moments of arriving at her dad's, Ronnie finds herself becoming involved with the "wrong" kind of kids. She also meets the right kind of kid. The right kind of guy to be specific. As the summer goes on, Ronnie starts to mend her relationship with her father and learns a few things about life. When the summer comes to an end, Ronnie learns some devastating news. Will she be able to do the right thing?

Predictable. So very predictable. It was in the early chapters when I made a guess at the ending. And what do you know, I was right. Nicholas Sparks is the master manipulator when it comes to his books. He writes for the hankies. It is old. It is predictable. And I am done.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Tuesday!!

This week has been anticipated by many for weeks. Heck, for MONTHS. I left work last night and saw the wall of boxes ready to be ripped open and stacked for customers to come and purchase. It sends chills down my spine. Not only is today, Dan Brown day, but there are many other fabulous books out by fabulous authors. The Movie Tie In of New Moon is being released today, as well as the paperback version of Jodi Picoult's Handle With Care. OH, and Oprah Winfrey will be naming her book club selection on Friday. Happy Reading!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

(76) Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom -- On Sale September 29

How would you respond if the Priest (or Rabbi or Preacher) of your childhood asked you to give the Eulogy at his funeral.

It has been more than twenty-five years since Mitch Albom had been around his childhood Rabbi, Albert Lewis. The request took him by surprise. He has never given a eulogy before, let alone for someone he barely knew outside of the Synagogue. He agrees, but under the condition that he gets the opportunity to get to know The Reb, not as a Rabbi, but as a man.

At the same time Mitch Albom is forging a friendship with The Reb outside of New York, he is getting to know a Preacher on the streets of Detroit. Henry Covington is a former drug dealing ex-con. By his own admission he has broken every single one of the Ten Commandments. Yet he & his wife left the streets of New York behind to practice their ministry on the streets of Detroit.

The more Mitch got to know both men, the more he realized that there weren't a lot of differences between his elderly, white Rabbi and the heavy-set black Preacher on the streets of Detroit. The two men had different sets of beliefs, but they had one thing in common. Faith.

"Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe."

I wasn't sure what to expect when reading this book. I admit this is the first Albom book that I have read. I was somewhat expecting a sappy, sentimental book about Albom's relationship with his Rabbi. Instead I read a book about a man learning about Faith in two of the most unlikely places. A man who comes to the realization that whether it be your God, His God or My God, God is good. Have A Little Faith is a little book with a big message. A book that will warm your heart with a message that you will want to share with the world!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

(75) Retail Hell by Freeman Hall

Before I write my review, let me just disclose now that I work in retail. In fact, my career is Retail Management.

Now, having said that, I just want to say that this book should have been titled, "Retail Hell: or a Bitter Purse Salesman Bitches About His Job."

I was really hoping that this book would be more like Waiter Rant. Where the author imparts wisdom he learned from dealing with all walks of life. Instead we get a bitter man who bitches about everything. His company, his co-workers, his bosses, and of course his customers.

You know, I get it. I work retail. I know that there are difficult customers. Anyone who has worked retail for more than five minutes has War stories to tell. I know that non-customers abuse return policies. I know that there are "Nasty Ass Thieves" out there that will rob us blind. For every cranky customer there are ten more that make it all worth it. The ones that send YOU "thank you" notes for doing your job. Or the ones that bring you a hot dinner because you got stuck working the holiday shift at the video store. Or the customer that comes up to you two companies & three stores later to say that they are glad to know that they "found you". They are the ones who make the job worth it.

But what I want to know is this, if he hated the job so much, WHY stay in it for fifteen years. According to the blurb on B&N his "career" was divided between Nordstrom's & Macy's. I can't imagine either company would be thrilled to hear their customers referred to as "Nasty Ass Thieves", "Little Piggy" or "Picky Bitch." This man forgot one minor detail about his customers. They are also human. No matter what kind of perceived "hell" they have put you through, the insulting names are not necessary.

All I have to say is that I am glad that I did not pay for this book, (one of the perks at MY retail job) because if I had, I would be asking for my money back.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

(74)American Fuji by Sarah Backer

If you hadn't noticed, unless a book is set in England or Ireland I don't wander too far away from the United States when reading my books. I am old & set in my ways. So when I heard that American Fuji was going to be our store's next book, I was a little torn between wanting to support my store or just assuming that I wouldn't like the book and just not read it.

I admit to being pleasantly surprised. It took me a week to read the book because of life getting in the way, but I really did enjoy the book!

Gaby Stanton is an expatriate living in Japan. For reasons she does not know, nor does she understand, she recently lost her job teaching English to students at the local University and has recently started working for a Fantasy Funeral home. A series of events has Gaby crossing paths with Alex Thorn. An American father who has come to Japan to find out what caused the death of his exchange student son. The two of them join forces and make their way through the Japanese culture to solve both of their mysteries. Will they find the answers they seek?

Sarah Backer has written a good book that takes an honest look at what it is like to be an American in a foreign land. The culture, the customs, the housing, the familial hierarchy is all so different from what American's are used to. The phrase "culture shock" has never been more appropriate. American Fuji will give you a little bit of exposure to what an Expat in Japan goes through, without the jet lag. It is well written, with engaging characters and a wonderful story. It is a story full of travel, mystery, and a little bit of romance. American Fuji is the perfect way to explore Japan without leaving the comfort of your couch! A good read that you are sure to enjoy!

Happy Tuesday!!

I feel as if I must apologize. My last week has been so busy with work & personal life, I have gotten very little reading done. I am a few chapters away from finishing American Fuji so expect a review really soon. We are starting to get into the Fall Release season and there are a ton of good books coming out in the next few months. That being said.... Happy Tuesday!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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