Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bout of Books read a thon

Bout of Books is a week long read a thon hosted by Amanda at On a Book Bender.

My goals:
1. Read 2 hours a day
2. Finish at least 5 books

Dawn- Elie Wiesel
The Accident- Elie Wiesel
City of Bones
The Dead tossed waves- Carrie Ryan
The Magic of Finkleton- KC Hilton
If I Stay- Gayle Forman
The Meowmorphosis-
Memories of My melancholy whores- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Black Orchid- Neil Gaiman
The Sandman Endless Nights- Neil Gaiman

Number of books I’ve read today: 1/2
Total number of books I’ve read: 1/2
Today #insixwords: 
Books: Dawn; 
Number of books I’ve read today: 1 1/2
Total number of books I’ve read: 2
Today #insixwords:
Books: Dawn; The Accident
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 3
Today #insixwords: 
Books: Black Orchid
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 4
Today #insixwords: 
Books: The Meowmorphosis
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 5
Today #insixwords: 
Books: If I Stay
Number of books I’ve read today: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 6
Today #insixwords:
Books: The Dead Tossed Waves

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Win a complete Jodi Picoult library!

Simon and Schuster Canada is running an amazing giveaway that starts today October 18th.  The winner will receive all of Jodi Picoult's books.  That's a lot of books!  I have read several of her books and I loved all of them.  I love how she deals with difficult issues, but does it with care and grace.  If you haven't read any of her books, you need to go do so immediately!  I think my favorite book of hers is Sing You Home which comes out in paperback today as well.  You can find out more information about Jodi and her books at her website.  She also has a new book Lone Wolf that comes out in February that I cannot wait for.  Go enter the contest!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review: A Thousand Lives

Title: A Thousand Lives
Author:  Julia Scheeres
Source:  Netgalley

Synopsis from Netgalley:
They left America for the jungles of Guyana to start a better life. Yet what started as a Utopian dream soon devolved into a terrifying work camp run by a madman, ending in the mass murder-suicide of 914 members in November 1978.

In A Thousand Lives, the New York Times bestselling memoirist Julia Scheeres traces the fates of five individuals who followed Jim Jones to South America as they struggled to first build their paradise, and then survive it. Each went for different reasons-some were drawn to Jones for his progressive attitudes towards racial equality, others were dazzled by his claims to be a faith healer. But once in Guyana, Jones's drug addiction, mental decay, and sexual depredations quickly eroded the idealistic community.
My review:
I read Julia Scheeres' previous book Jesusland, and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to read this one.  I had heard of Jim Jones' group, but didn't know many of the details surrounding it.  This book was very well written and you could tell that a lot of time and research went into it.  The author consulted more than 50,000 pages of documents from the FBI about the group.  I really liked how the author started from the beginning of the group and didn't just focus on the actual group "suicide".  The fact that she did that allowed the reader to really see how the group and it's leader transformed from a safe place to one where people were afraid.  I also really liked that the book followed the stories of several individual members and how they became involved in the group.  This made the people seem more "real" to me, like I knew these people.  It's kind of weird to say that I loved this book based on it's subject, but I did.  I would definitely recommend this book to others and I will be sure to read other work by this author.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

**I received an electronic copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Netgalley October

I am using this post to keep track of the books I read and review for Netgalley October.  My goal is to read at least 5 Netgalley books this month.

Books read:
1. Lady of the Rivers- Philippa Gregory
2. A Thousand Lives-Julia Scheeres3.

Books reviewed:
1. Everything We Ever Wanted- Sara Shepard
2. Smuggled- Christina Shea
3. Lady of the Rivers- Philippa Gregory
4. A Thousand Lives- Julia Scheeres

Monday, October 10, 2011

NetGalley October

NetGalley October is here! 

Basically, NetGalley Months are month long read-a-thons in which we all read as many NetGalley books as humanly possible. 

For those of you that don't know, NetGalley is a service for people who read and recommend books. Publishers upload galleys to the site for NetGalley members to request.
One of my favorite things about NetGalley is that anyone who reads and recommends books can use it for free. If you haven't already, you can register here.

I signed up for Netgalley a couple of months ago, and I really love it.  It has given me a chance to read books I wouldn't normally have read.  There are prizes too!  If you're interested in signing up, go sign up at Red House Books.  And big thanks to Emily for hosting Netgalley October!

Review: Everything we ever wanted

Title: Everything We ever wanted
Author: Sara Shepard
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis from Netgalley:
When Sylvie Bates-McAllister, a recently-widowed mother of two, receives a late-night phone call from the prestigious school founded by her grandfather, her family is thrown into chaos. Her adopted son Scott may have been involved in a hazing scandal --and it may or may not have led to the death of one of the boys he coaches on the school team. Sylvie must decide between maintaining her outwardly perfect life --the family estate outside Philadelphia inherited from her grandfather, the school, the reputation --and the son who she feels wants nothing to do with her.
For Charles, Sylvie's biological son, the call dredges up a ghost from the past --his high school girlfriend who has been off the map for years. Joanna, his wife, is forced to confront all the things that she didn't anticipate would come along with a perfect life she imagined ever since she was a young girl, creating her scrapbook of the Bates-McAllisters. Scott, haunted by years of first impressions and assumptions, is drawn into a new understanding of a world he has never felt a part of.

For all the Bates-McAllisters, the phone call awakens questions lain dormant for years, revealing a tangled web of secrets that ties the family together: the mystery of the school hazing, Sylvie's deceased husband's locked filing cabinet, the event that tore Charles and Scott apart the night of their high school graduation, and the intended recipient of a certain bracelet. The quest to push past a legacy of resentment and judgments to unravel the truth takes the family on individual journeys across state lines, into hospitals, through the Pennsylvania woods, and face-to-face with the question: what if the life you always planned for, and dreamed of, isn't what you want at all?

My review:
This book was just okay.  A lot of the characters bugged me, but they didn't seem "real" enough.  The whole storyline with Charles' high school girlfriend bothered me too.  And the synopsis makes it seem like the book is all about Scott but that's only a little part of the book.  I think the book would have been better if it had been shortened by quite a bit.  The writing was well done, but the story itself didn't seem fleshed out enough.  That said, I am interested in reading the author's young adult books. 

Rating: 3 stars

**I was given an electronic copy of this book from  Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, October 7, 2011

September wrap up

I didn't get to read as much this month because I started school on the 1st.  Here is what I read:

128. Brideshead revisited
129. Night road-  385 
130. Sister 
131. Bodily harm 
132. Spin
133. After the fire  
134. Unearthly asylum  
135. Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children
136. Everything we ever wanted
137. Sloppy firsts 
138. Feed 
139. Escape from the world trade center  
140. My stroke of insight  
141. The kitchen boy  
142. On the state of egypt  
143. Tinkers 
144. Pull of the moon  
145. Storm glass   
146. The silent   
147. Stolen
148. The perks of being a wallflower
149. White cat
150. The chocolate war

Favorite book: Miss Peregrine's House of Peculiar Children; Night Road; Sister

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Review: Smuggled

Title:  Smuggled
Author: Christina Shea
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis from Netgalley:
Sweeping from post–WWII rural Romania to the cosmopolitan Budapest of 1990, Christina Shea’s Smuggled is the story of Eva Farkas, who loses her identity, quite literally, as a young child, when she is smuggled in a flour sack across the Hungarian border to escape the Nazis.

When five-year-old Eva is trafficked from Hungary to Romania at the end of the war, she arrives in the fictional border town of Crisu, a pocket of relative safety, where she is given the name Anca Balaj by her aunt and uncle, and instructed never to speak another word of Hungarian again. “Eva is dead,” she is told. As the years pass, Anca proves an unquenchable spirit, full of passion and imagination, with a lust for life even when a backdrop of communist oppression threatens to derail her at every turn. Time is layered in this quest for self, culminating in the end of the Iron Curtain and Anca’s reclaiming of the name her mother gave her. When she returns to Hungary in 1990, the country is changing as fast as the price of bread, and Eva meets Martin, an American teacher who rents the apartment opposite hers and cultivates a flock of pigeons on his balcony. As Eva and Martin’s cross-cultural relationship deepens through their endeavor to rescue the boy downstairs from his abusive mother, Eva’s lifelong search for family and identity comes full circle.

My review:
I was instantly drawn to this book because I love books about WWII. To be honest, I read this book a couple of months ago, and I don't really remember that much about it.  It was very well written and the story was interesting.  But as I said, it was overall kind of forgettable.

4 stars

**I was given an electronic copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.