Monday, March 30, 2009

Mailbox Monday - March 30

Every week, Marcia at the Printed Page blog, asks what new books came into your home this week?
In my mailbox I received The Ladies Lending Library by Janice Kulyk Keefer from Harper Collins and their Library Love Fest blog.
I broke down and bought myself a trashy romance paperback - First Comes Marriage by Mary Balough. It's the first in a new series. I think I'll buy them all and then donate them to my library.
Then on Friday, I broke down and went to the library's used book sale. Did I rally need any more books? Probably not, but the money goes to the Friends of the Library and they in turn use it for projects at my library. I got Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon, Mourner's Bench by Susan Dodd, Game Control by Lionel Shriver, The Position by Meg Wolitzer, Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, and Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock. Most of these books I don't know anything about. I picked them up because they were authors I'd read or heard about. So I'd love to hear if anyone has read any of these and what you thought about them.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

How Many Years?

It's been 15 years since Tim and I were married. We celebrated our anniversary quietly this past December. Tim grilled a nice leg of lamb and some asparagus, and I made some mashed potatoes. We even opened a nice bottle of wine. I made this layout using some beautiful Basic Grey papers for the base and the two stripes along the side. The photos are mounted on Stampin' Up's River Rock and my favorite green, whose name I can't remember. For the title, I stamped the label using Night of Navy ink on Buckaroo Blue and using the coordinating Basic Grey numbers. The hearts were punched using the new Creative Memories heart punch.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I am thankful to finally have done some scrapbooking. My friend Judi and I, and about 900 other women, spent Saturday scrapping at Celebrate Charlotte, a Creative Memories crop at the Cabarrus Arena and Event Center. I got 6 pages done - I'd taken a lot more to work on, but I am please with what I got done.
This first layout is from Thanksgiving 2008. The title across the top are the pieces from the centerpiece I made. I used SU punches to put them together and then glued them on skewers. The letters are rubons. On the back of each letter we all wrote what we were thankful for. I just stuck the skewers into a pocket on te page, so that we can read what people wrote on the backs of the letter. The little turkey accents are from the place cards I made and are also made from SU punches. The paper is from Target's Dollar Spot and so are the other two coordinating embellishments. Journaling was done on the computer and cut out with the Big Shot with the Top Note die.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mailbox Monday - March 23

I got one book in the mail last week, Maps and Legends by Micheal Chabon. I won it from the Harper Collins blog, Library Love Fest, so thanks HC.

For all my scrapbooking friends, I went to an all day crop on Saturday, so I've got 6 great layouts to post later in the week.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Book 21 - The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Title: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Author: John Boyne
Pub. Date: 2006
Date: 3/19/09
Rating: 4.5
Notes: This a deceptively simple story of the Holocaust. It is classified as a juvenile novel, but is definitely a good read for adults. Told from the view of Bruno, a 9 year old German boy whose father is the commandant at "Out With". It is also the story of a friendship between Bruno on one side of the fence and Shmuel who wears striped pajamas and lives on the other side of the fence.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Book 20 - Run

I had my f2f (face-to-face) book club this morning. We had a great time. They were so excited to get the ARC's that I gave out. We had a great discussion about the book because half of us liked the book and the other half didn't.

Title: Run
Author: Ann Patchett
Pub. Date: 2007
Date: 3/17/09
Rating: 4
Notes: I loved getting to know the characters so well in a 24-hour period. I enjoyed discovering the many meanings of "run". It was a well written book. And I was very willing to overlook how easily the Doyle family took Kenya in and accepted the situation with Tennessee.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mailbox Monday - March 16

I got a ton of new books last week. Unfortunately I had a house full of company so they all got stacked up and are waiting for me to look through and ohh and ahh over them. My Mom did get one of them read (the Berg), and thought it was good.

From Random House I got a box of ARCs for my book group. Book group is tomorrow so I'll take the box and draw names.

Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg (which I'm keeping to read for myself)

The Year That Follows by Scott Lasser

Brodeck by Philippe Claudel

We Are Rich: Stories by Dori Carter

High: Confessions of an International Drug Smuggler by Brian O'Dea

From Gail at Every Day I Write the Book Blog I got Buffalo Lockjaw by Greg Ames for our March book club.

From Drey's Library I got Italian Lover by Robert Hellenga.
When I got back to work today I found that our Brodart rep. left a ARC of Apologize, Apologize by Elizabeth Kelly. Since it came to me at work, I'll add it to the giveaway pile for my book group.

And that doesn't even count all the books I brought home from the library. I'll start with Buffalo Lockjaw first.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Book 19 - To Seduce a Sinner

Title: To Seduce a Sinner
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Pub. Date: 2008
Date: 3/10/09
Rating: 3
I was a little disappointed with this book. The plot was good and so was the hero, Lord Vale, and the heroine, Melisande. I just didn't feel the chemistry between them. Hoyt focused on the sexual relationship. For me, a romance novel is more than sex and plot - though both are very important and can't be overlooked.

This book is number 2 of the Legends of the Four Soldiers series. I've requested the first of the series and will give it a try. Number 3 should be published shortly.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Book 18 - Flirting with Forty

I've been busy with company this past weekend. Lots of cleaning, cooking, shopping, and entertaining. Last night I brought home a stack of books, and sat down and read one. Bloggers, Marcia at the Printed Page and Amy at My Friend Amy are discussing Jane Porter's newest book Mrs. Perfect. I had never read a Jane Porter book, so I grabbed Flirting With Forty off the shelves and took it home. It was the perfect book to relax with. And I'll be waiting for the new one to arrive so I can read it.

Title: Flirting With Forty
Author: Jane Porter
Pub. Date: 2006
Date Read: 3/10/09
Rating: 3
Notes: Mom-lit, Divorce-lit - whatever Chick-lit for older women is called. Jackie is divorced with two kids and a job and she's turning forty. On a trip to Hawaii she meets a younger surf instructor and falls in love with him. Can they make it work between her home and kids in Seattle and his no-ties life style in Hawaii? The characters are interesting and likable and I was rooting for them to have a happily ever after.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Mailbox Monday - March 9, 2009

I got some happy mail last week - books!

From Hatchett I received a hardback copy of This One is Mine by Maria Sempe.

From Lisa at Books on the Brain I won three books!

Gardens of Water by Alan Drew - doesn't it have a gorgeous cover?

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

Welcome to the Departure Lounge by Meg Federico
When I get free books I feel obligated to read them, so be watching for my write ups of these.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

You can never have too many bookmarks!

I love bookmarks. My mother tells the story of when I was a child and I would save all the bookmarks I got from the public library so someday I would have bookmarks to give to patrons when I was a librarian. Aww, isn't that cute? My first job was at the neighborhood Carnegie Public Library, which was a block from our house. All the public school elementary classes came to our library every week because the school didn't have a library. One of my jobs was to make bookmarks for each kid in each class for each holiday. I would cut poster board, add a holiday sticker, punch a hole, cut yarn and tie it through the hole. Now I wish I'd saved some of them.
Needles to say, I'm a fanatic about using a bookmark when reading a book. I hate bent over pages and broken spines from laying a book open. We read a lot at our house, so we have bookmarks all over the house. If I'm in the middle of a book and can't find a bookmark handy, I will sit down at the craft table and make one from whatever supplies I have laying out. The little red bird bookmark was made from birds leftover from Christmas cards and other paper that was on the table. The other bookmarks I made from cards. The B Mine bookmark was the Valentine card I made Tim. So instead of looking at it and throwing it away, we can keep it. The blue and peach card was a birthday card from my friend Donna. And the other two were made from a beautiful winter card my friend Mary sent me.
You can never have too many bookmarks!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Catching Up

I read a lot of books in February. I spent the first half of the month sick and the last half busy at work. I spent my relaxing and de-stressing time reading. I got very little crafting done in February - just the Valentine cards. I've had to pack up all my supplies so that we can eat dinner at the dinning room table while my parents are visiting. So I'll sure March will be another good reading month and poor month for crafting.

Book 13
Title: The World According to Bertie
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Pub. Date 2008
Date: 2/20/09
Rating: 4
Notes: This is a 44 Scotland Street novel. I love all the characters in this series, especially Bertie, who was the focus of this book. The chapters are short, so the story moves along. I found this one very humorous.

Book 14
Title: Very Valentine
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Pub Date: 2009
Date: 2/23/09
Rating 3.5
Valentine is a great heroine. She fights for what she loves and that's the family custom shoe business and not a man. I was disappointed with the end - that Valentine couldn't have it all. But it's the first of a trilogy, so hopefully she'll end up with love and the business. Trigiani writes great sections about Italy. I'm glad her characters can afford trips to Italy so I can go along with them.

Book 15
Title: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
Author: David Wroblewski
Pub. Date: 2008
Rating DNF
Notes: This book got such good reviews and I got an ARC last year when I was at PLA in Minneapolis. I carried this huge book home on the plane - along with forty pounds of other books. I couldn't finish the thing. I didn't like the characters. I love animals, but am not really a dog person, but I worried that something bad was going to happen to all the dogs. The writing was okay, but the author just went on and on. By the time I gave up not much had happened and there seemed to be no point to it all. My f2f book club really liked the book and we had a great discussion. Mom wants to read it when she gets here, so I can't wait to see what she thinks.

Book 16
Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: J.K. Rowling
Pub. Date:
Date: 2/25/09
Rating: 4
Notes: Just re-reading another in the series.

Book 17
Title: Temptation and Surrender
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Pub. Date: 2009
Date: 2/28/09
Rating 3
Notes: Not one of her best books. I like it better when the heroine and the hero work together. In this story, Emily Beauregaurd kept too many secrets from Mr. Tallent. And finding a huge treasure is unrealistic. We did get to see Lucifer Cynster who is married to Mr. Tallent's sister Phyllida.

I've got a couple of books I need to finish up and I'm expecting some new books in the mail this week and next. I'll let you know what I get read and how I like them. Feel free to let me know if you read any of these books and how you liked them. I love hearing other people's opinions of what I've been reading.