Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

(86) Once In A Blue Moon by Eileen Goudge


I want more time to read. How about we just pass a law adding about two extra hours to the day to devote entirely to reading. It would happen if I were Queen.

Once In A Blue Moon is one of those "what if" type of books. What if there were two sisters were placed into foster care? What if one of those sisters were adopted by a loving family and the other one wasn't? What if almost thirty years later one sister needs a family more than ever?

Lindsay is a somewhat successful business owner who lives in Half Moon Bay, California. She is a treasured member of local society who has a corporate fight of massive proportion on her hands. She has always known of her younger sister, Kerri Ann, but has never been able to find her. Kerri Ann has not had an easy life. Her battle with drugs have caused her to lose her young daughter to the very system that "raised" her. While struggling to put her life back together and get her daughter back, she discovers that she has a sister. Hoping the judge would be more forgiving know that she has family support, Kerri Ann seeks out her sister.

The two sisters are night and day. But over the next several months, they learn a lot about each other, and themselves. They help each other fight their respective battles and learn that family is more than just cozy holidays and happy endings. Being a part of a family is tough, but love will pull you through the bad times as well as the good times.

Once In A Blue Moon was a good book, but it was a bit slow going. Dragging in parts and a bit cliche in others. It is worth the read, though. A heart warming story about overcoming tough obstacles.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jim Brickman - It's A Beautiful World

One of the perks of my job is that every now and then REALLY cool things happen. After I got back from Casper last week, I was met by my Community Relations Manager with "Guess What!! Guess What!! Jim Brickman (warning - music will play if you click link) is coming!!" I literally started jumping up and down and squealed like a little schoolgirl. Ask her. She will tell you! Star 102.1 was bringing Jim Brickman to Kansas City for a Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser and they wanted to have it at our store. In one week. OKAY! If anyone can pull it off in a week, it is Sherry Polito.

If you are not familiar with Mr. Brickman, let me introduce you to him. He is this amazingly talented musician that I have loved ever since I was introduced to him at work through an "In Store Play". In our store you

will find his CD's in the New Age section, but I would consider it more "easy listening". During his Q&A session with the customers, he mentioned that you will never hear him sing about break ups. His music is meant to be more upbeat & uplifting. Like the title song of his new album.

Prior to Jim Brickman singing, the man who did the vocals on A Beautiful World, Adam Crossley also sang a few songs. He has a new album due out next month, and I think he is one to watch. He sung Fields of Gold, and let me tell you, he sung it better than Sting did. And I am a HUGE Sting fan. Not only does he have a voice of silk, but he is absolutely stinking adorable. My first impression of him was him putting hot pink shoelaces in his shoes in order to complete his Breast Cancer Awareness ensemble.

Both men were absolutely fabulous. Kind, funny, & generous. I would be thrilled to see them in concert again, whether it be in our solarium or the Sprint center. Count me in.

Here are more photos from the day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

(85) Fear The Worst by Linwood Barclay

October is Mystery Month!

Fear The Worst is the perfect mystery novel to read on a cold, rainy October night. It is not a gruesome murder mystery. But instead, the book is about your normal, average 40-ish year old car salesman living and working in the Connecticut suburbs. Tim Blake is excited to have his seventeen year old daughter staying with him for the summer. Until one day she doesn't come home from work.

Tim & his ex-wife, Susanne, have their world turned upside down. A month has passed with no leads & no Sydney. Tim feels as if he is just spinning his wheels. Until the website set up for Sydney gets a hit. And it sends Tim on a cross country wild goose chase to find his daughter.

There is not much that I can say without giving away the ever evolving plot. It is fast paced & thrilling. Without being confusing, if that makes sense. Tim Blake is a likable guy, he is the kind of guy you would want for an "ex". He is smart, without being unrealistic. He is a man on a mission. Nothing will stop him. Just proof that when a man's family is threatened, he can turn into the the SuperHero that every little girl thinks her Daddy is under the Dockers & button-down shirts.

Great book. Wonderful mystery. You will enjoy this thrilling mystery!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

(84)Postsecret:: Confessions on Life, Death, & God by Frank Warren

Have you heard of Postsecret? It has been such an intregal part of my Sunday routine for many, many years now. It is hard for me to believe that there are people out there that haven't heard of Postsecret, but I imagine that it is possible.

I guess you could say that Postsecret is a social experiment. People send their deepest, darkest secrets to a random Post Office Box and every Sunday a guy by the name of Frank Warren posts them on his blog. It is actually pretty dern cool.

I have never sent in a secret, but many of the secrets posted could be applied to my life. It is reassuring to see that there are other people out there with the same struggles, same hopes, same dreams as myself.

While I did not write that Secret, I recognize that wrapping paper. I recognize those signs. This secret could have been written by any one of my colleagues. It was a secret from a few weeks ago.

The new Postsecret book came out this week. The secrets it contains focus on Life, Death, & God. It is a fabulous little book. The difference between the new book and the others in the series, is that this book is actually shaped like a post card. It is one postcard per page. The book is thicker than the others, but I think I like this format better. You don't get distracted by all of the postcards on one page, you can just focus on one person's secrets at a time. It is pretty cool.

If you haven't checked out the Postsecret Blog before, then I encourage you to do so. And the next time you are in a bookstore, pick up one of the Postsecret books. You never know when someone elses's secret might change your life.

Friday, October 9, 2009

(83) Pieces of Happily Ever After

This was really a cute book. Pieces of Happily Ever After could have been ripped from a tabloid headline. But what happens after the husband leaves his wife for the Hollywood Starlet?

How does the wife hold it together? How does the precious four year old child deal with it when her father leaves and her mother is reduced to daily bouts of tears?

Alice is barely holding it together. Her husband just left her for a Hollywood Starlet. Her mother is disintegrating from Alzheimer's , her fairy-tale obsessed daughter is in trouble at school for yelling profanities, and the paparazzi is camped outside of her house. Will life ever get better for Alice? Will she ever find her "Prince Charming"?

Like I said, "cute". The characters are "real". Gabby is freaking adorable. Even through the pages I wanted to reach out & give her squishy hugs. Well written, fast read, somewhat fluffy, but somewhat real. A good read.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

(82) Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick - On Sale October 13

Twilight fans, have I got news for you!

Angels are the new vampires!

In her new book, Hush, Hush, Becca Fitzpatrick introduces us to a whole new realm of Folklore. Nora Grey is dismayed when her biology teacher decides to shake up the seating chart and Nora gets stuck with transfer student and badboy Patch Capricio as her lab partner. Nora is torn between being attracted to Patch and being afraid of Patch. And when he starts showing up at the most unexpected places and really bizarre things start happening, Nora starts to really question his motives.

At the same time Patch is invading her life another transfer student has caught the eye of her best friend, Vee. Nora’s “spidey senses” go into overtime and she is sure that Elliot is someone other than he claims. Will Nora be able to keep the dark forces at bay and sort this all out without getting hurt? Both physically and emotionally? Will she be able to resist Patch’s charms? Is he a Fallen Angel or a Guardian Angel.

Hush, Hush is a teen romance/thriller along the same vein as the Twilight Series. But it goes a different route with the whole Fallen Angel theme. The author has done some incredible research about the mythological Angel’s that find their way into Nora’s life. It is fascinating and just as every bit romantic as Twilight. Hush, Hush was a fast and suspenseful read that you are guaranteed to devour in one sitting.

With strong, non-whiney, characters and immortal Angel’s, the possibilities are endless. Hopefully Ms Fitzpatrick will not go the route of Stephenie Meyer and JK Rowling and keep us waiting years before the story continues. While Angel’s may be immortal, we are not…

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

(81) While I Am Falling by Laura Moriarity

I read this book in virtually one day. Of course, I was trapped in airplanes, but traveling is a good way to get caught up on my reading. I traveled to Casper, Wyoming to be with my Future Husband (I like the way that sounds better than “fiancĂ©e”) He is here for work & we will drive back to Kansas City together. I was looking forward to get away from the city in hopes of getting some reading done, little did I know The Company's condo has neither Wi-Fi nor a television! OH THE HORROR! So, yes, I will be getting some reading done in the next few days!
I like Laura Moriarity's books because they could be considered somewhat local. Based on her “acknowledgments” I even wonder if she has been a customer of mine. Her new book, While I Am Falling takes place in the KC metro area. Half of it is set in the suburbs of Johnson County, and the other half is set in Lawrence at KU. Lawrence is just a hop, skip & a jump from my store. We get a lot of customers from the Lawrence area, in fact I have have had employees that drove from Lawrence to work at my store.
While I Am Falling is a book about divorce and how the members of that family survive the disintegration in the first year after their family falls apart. It is a hard book to read, especially if you have had to deal with the tragedy of divorce in your own life. The book focuses mainly on the youngest daughter, Veronica and her mother, Natalie. The divorce has completely unraveled Natalie and she finds herself relying heavily upon her daughter, Veronica, for the very basic of needs. The stress that Pre-Med Veronica is going through is almost enough to make her unravel, too. Instead she learns a lot about what it means to be a strong woman.
There are some parts of this book that are just downright scary. For that I am thankful, it took my mind off of the fact that I was in an airplane smaller than most SUV's. There are other parts of the book that may reduce you to tears. It is so worth the emotional roller coaster to get to the message, I took away. Strong women role models don't have to be doctors or lawyers. Strong women role models come in all shapes, sizes, and walks of life. They survive the worst of circumstances and come out stronger than ever.
Well worth the read.

ETA - Sorry for no "Happy Tuesday" post. My Future Husband was able to get us dial up through our Blue Tooth on our cell phones, but there is NO way I can post pictures for my post. I do know that the new Postsecret book hit the shelves today as well as many many others.

Friday, October 2, 2009

(80) Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

This was probably my most anticipated book of the year. When we find an author that touches our hearts, we long for something else to read that evokes those same emotions. The Time Traveler's Wife is one of my all time favorite books. I still well up when I think of Henry & Claire. To get my hands on an early copy of Her Fearful Symmetry was like getting my Christmas gifts months early.

Ms. Niffenegger did not disappoint. Her new novel is a dark, gothic, ghost story. One could even say it is a dark, gothic, love story. The story features two different generation of twins. Elspeth & Edie. And Valentina & Julia. Valentina & Julia are living in America with their parents Edie & Jack when they receive word that Elspeth has passed away. The girls were left everything, on the condition that they move to London and live in Eslpeth's flat for one year.

The girls, kind of floundering after high school, decide to go. They discover that not only is England another country, it is a whole other world. They meet the family that Elspeth created for herself. The tenants of her building. Including her grieving lover, Robert. And the agoraphobic, Martin. Then the twins discover that they are not alone. That Elspeth is still very much present in their flat. Soon they are communicating with her on a regular basis. Elspeth's haunting soon takes on a more sinister meaning. Will the twins figure it out before permanent damage is done? Or will the ghost of Elspeth ruin their lives in ways that once was thought to be fictional?

Audrey Niffenegger has written a chilling ghost story. I am not a twin, I do not know what it is like struggle with the identity crisis that faces twins at some point in their lives. The Noblin twins make it seem that being a twin is almost destructive. . Her Fearful Symmetry is an engrossing love story that will chill you to the bone, and keep your imagination working overtime. It is well written and incredibly engrossing. Be prepared to pick your jaw up when you get to the last couple of chapters, the conclusion of this story will shock you. Her Fearful Symmetry is the perfect read for this ghoulish season. Be prepared to keep the lights on and the desk drawers unlocked....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

(79) Tarra & Bella

I know this is a departure from books that I normally read. I wasn't even going to "count" it, but it *is* a book. So I am counting it.

I was standing in the Children's Department at work tonight , I had just given my five minute warning when this book caught my eye.

It is freaking ADORABLE!!! Tarra is a retired elephant who went to an elephant sanctuary to enjoy her retirement. Bella is one of the stray dogs that live on the property.

They become the BEST OF FRIENDS! They go everywhere together. They do everything together. Bella gets injured & has to go to the "big house" to heal. And Tarra misses her friend! She goes to the "big house" and pitches a fit until they carry Bella down the stairs to see her. Oh. My. Goodness.

This book is all sorts of cuteness. The story is touching, the pictures will melt your hearts! And if I am getting all gushy over the book, imagine what your child will do?

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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