Friday, October 29, 2010

Readers' Choice: Romance Novels

I came across a list of 100 popular romance novels . These 3, that I have never read by the way, seemed to have tied for the number 1 spot: Outlander , a time travel romance, by Diana Gabaldon; Dream Man , a romantic thriller, by Linda Howard; It Had to Be You, a romantic comedy, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

Check the list of historical romances and other romance subgenres on eharlequin.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Movie Review of Larsson's Hornet's Nest

This is an interesting movie review of Steig Larsson's bestselling thriller,The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. The movie review is based on the third book in the trilogy. I noticed today that the movie based on the second book, Girl who Played with Fire, is now available through redbox.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oprah's book club pick: Freedom

I did not like Freedom. I couldn't waste any more time reading it. The characters were all dysfunctional; none was likeable. (What follows could have spoilers, if you are also reading this book.)

In the story, Patty is married to Walter and is in love with Walter's "friend", Richard. Walter is stable and husband material while Richard is a womanizer. Why would Patty fall for a character like Richard? Why would Walter be in love with Patty, a woman that was clearly stupid and naive? Patty made friends in college with Eliza, a manipulative and controlling person who established rules for their relationship. How could Patty not see right away that something was not quite right about Eliza?

Patty grew up feeling neglected by her parents yet she herself raises two children and repeats the pattern. She ignores one child, her daughter, and she overwhelms the other child, her son, with so much attention as if he were her best buddy. He grows up resenting her for burdening him with her issues. He gets his freedom by escaping and moving in with the family next door.

Walter and Patty move to Washington D.C. where Patty encourages Walter to have a relationship with his young Indian assistant who is actually in love with Walter. Patty and Walter are clearly unhappy with each other but not ready to end the marriage. Patty hooks up with Richard again.

I was intrigued with Patty's son and how his relationship with the clingy Connie was going to turn out. I skimmed the pages and saw that he actually marries her despite treating her so badly.

Yesterday, I moved on to read Crossing by Andrew Xia Fukuda. Only 213 pages so I finished in a day. It was a sad book about the bullying of a Chinese American boy in a predominantly white school. This is a mystery story where boys in his class start disappearing; in fact it is a good Halloween scary type story. There is no happy ending.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Book Your Lunch

I came across this site called Book Your Lunch while browsing the internet this morning. I love this idea of authors and readers getting together over a $25.00 lunch. This takes place in Greenville, South Carolina at The Lazy Goat and is sponsored by Fiction Addiction. Nice names.

Greenville novelist, Mindy Friddle, was there on May 26. Her second novel, SecretKeepers, deals with a dysfunctional southern family.

Georgia writer, Donna Ball, was there October 26. She is the writer of the bestselling Ladybug Farm series. Her third book, Love Letters from Ladybug Farm, was just released in October.

Coming up next on November 9 is the writer of My Only Sunshine, Lou Dischler. This is a story set in the 1960s about a rural Louisianna family.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Our Book Club Selection

We have selected the debut book by Iranian-American, Anita Amirrezvani for book club discussion in November. It is titled, The Blood of Flowers. Click on the link to read a biography of the writer.

This is an interesting interview with the writer about her inspiration for the narrator of the story, among other topics.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Children's Authors

I wrote to , an online book club, about my book purchasing dilemma which I addressed yesterday. I got an email response with some links to children's Authors on Kids Buzz. Here are just three of the authors that I discovered on the DearReader book blog:

First, there is the writer with the unusual name, Lit Judge, and her book, Born to be Giants, is for the 5-12 year olds with an interest in dinosaurs.

Lisa Brown has a vampire book for the 3-8 year olds; perfect for those who celebrate a not too scary version of Halloween.

Robert Forbes has a Facebook page promoting his second book of poetry for children, Let's Have a Bite!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Choosing a book for a Child

My niece turned 5 last week and I am just getting around to mailing a gift. I have been credited for helping to turn my 20 year old god -daughter into an avid reader by giving her gifts of interesting books when she was a child. My "reputation" was at stake. I had to find the perfect book for my 5 year old. I looked at the I Spy series online and they seemed like fun, especially I Spy Fantasy. The series was recommended to me by a mother with young children. In I Spy, the children get to hear or read a nice rhyme and look for hidden items in pictures. I looked at Wild About Books and Library Lion at the Waycross College library.

I liked the story in Library Lion aboaut a helpful lion and it included a demonstration of when to suspend the library rules. I didn't like how the librarian in Library Lion looked; too stereotypical. Also, it is an old story because there was a card catalog cabinet in the drawing. I could not decide on a book. I wondered if I should not just buy an item of clothing or a DVD instead.

In the meantime the days were flying by and I had to get this birthday gift into the mail right away. I decided on Library Lion this morning. Gosh, it's hard to choose a kid's book.

What kind of book was I looking for? I wanted a large book, a colorful book, a book with a good story, a book with a positive images, and a book that is age appropriate with easy words that a beginning reader could learn easily.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Memoir: Fastest Man in the World

Charismatic Jamaican athlete, Usain Bolt, has a book out, now available on, and it is titled: Usain Bolt: My Story: 9.58: Being the Fastest Man in the World.

Usain won the hearts of the world when he won gold in the 100-meter, the 200-meter, and the 4x100-meter relay in Beijing in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

Read the story that I was inspired to write about Usain on in 2009 titled, Usain Bolt Fulfilling his potential: an Inspiring Lesson.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Is it just me or is it nuts out there?

That's the attention grabbing title of Whoopi's lastest book. Take a look at the book cover on I looked at a few pages on amazon and I could almost "hear" Whoopi's voice in my head as I read. This is a book about her pet peeves. Speaking of Whoopi, there was controversy on The View yesterday.

Whoopi walked off the set of The View in solidarity with Joy Behar. Both were annoyed with Bill O'Reilly's claim that "Muslims killed us" on 9/11 thus demeaning all Muslims, rather than saying specifically that Muslim extremists or terrorists or radicals murdered people on 9/11.

Bill was on the show promoting yet another book. This one was titled, Pinheads and Patriots.

Really, I should be asking, "Is it me or is it nuts out there in talk show land".

Monday, October 11, 2010

Stieg Larsson's trilogy or more

I don't know what to make of this article. Is there or is there not a fourth (or fifth) book in the Stieg Larsson thriller series? If there is another book, I am betting that Stieg's companion, Eva, has it and she will complete it herself and have it published.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Guy Lit

I am reading a book that falls in the category of Guy-Lit, also known as Lad-Lit or Dude-Lit. I am reading Formosa Straits by Anthony Hyde. The setting is Taiwan. The first paragraph is an exciting attention grabber. The protagonist Nick Lamp, an American businessman of Chinese descent, finds the dead body of businessman and thug, Cao Dao. Nick met with a Japanese prostitute who was hiding in Cao's apartment while he was murdered but now she too has been murdered. An american lawyer, Robert Young, out of the blue is offering Nick legal services but Nick remembers his father's word, Trust no one. I am on page 95 and it is exciting so far.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Romance Fiction

I have written before that I am not a big reader of romance novels but I found this information on the subgenre Romance Paranormal fiction interesting. Romance paranormal covers a wide range. It may involve the following:

  • fairies, genies

  • angels

  • ghosts

  • vampires, werewolves

  • other planets

I came across this link with a list of books in this subgenre. Also, this is another reminder for romance fiction lovers to check out for romance fiction.

Dude Lit?

The success of Franzen's new book, Freedom, has stirred up a discussion by Laura Fraser about "Dude Lit" versus Chick-Lit on The Daily Beast .

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A Must Read for all Bloggers

If you are a "viral blogger', one who wants to spread ideas, as opposed to a "cat" blogger or a "boss" blogger, then you have to read Seth Godin's free ebook titled, Who's there? He is a man full of ideas and expresses them clearly, simply, and with humor. I would say I started as a boss blogger with a specific audience in mind but now I am branching into a viral blogger for a wider audience.

Be curious, click on the link to see what Seth means by a cat blogger, a boss blogger, and a viral blogger.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Nancy Drew Factoids

I found these interesting facts about one of my favorite series as a child:

  • Nancy Drew, teen amateur detective, is called Kitty in Sweden.
  • Nancy Drew was conceived by Edward Stratemeyer and written by serveral writers using the collective pseudonym, Carolyn Keene. Edward was also behind the Hardy Boys series and the Bobbsey Twins series which were also written using collective pseudonyms. Hardy Boys had the "writer" Franklyn W. Dixon and Bobbsey Twins had the "writer", Laura Lee Hope .
  • Mildred Wirt Benson, born Mildred Augustine, was the original writer of the series and she died in 2002.
  • Nancy Drew has a facebook page and so does Mildred Benson.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Book Club Blog selection

Here is what book lovers over at Book Buddies are reading for October: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1896-1972), a book that was first published over 60 years ago.

Going by, this book would fall in the category of Young Adult, for readers 10 years old and older.

By the way, Book Buddies already read and discussed The Help back in July. That is our pick for our meeting in October.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Think for Yourself

Check out this blog's contribution to Banned Books Week, September 25 - October 2. "Think for Yourself and Let Others Do the Same" was the American Library Association's slogan this year.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding on the list of "Frequently Challenged" books was one of my favorite books in literature class way back when.

I remember watching the movie version of Clockwork Orange, also on the "Frequently Challenged" list of books, at Carib theatre in Jamaica in 1976 or 77. I remember it being very bizarre and very interesting. This book written in the 1960s and set in Britain, falls in the category of Dystopic fiction.

Go read and think for yourself and let others do the same.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Book Club Selections and Other Stuff

A small spelling correction to my last post - I meant to point out that so many children have tackled not "tacked" those huge volumes by JK Rowling and have come to love reading.

Today I want to turn the spotlight on Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, Oprah's book club selection. The feedback I am getting is that once you read pass the first chapter, it is really really good.

Now let me turn the spotlight on the Okefenokee Book Club pick for October: The Help by Kathryn Stockett, a book that I already read and blogged about in May.

Kudos again to JK Rowling and also to Oprah for their promotion of reading. As a matter of fact, kudos to my Dad who read the comic strips to me, while I sat on his lap, and gave me a love for reading. Kudos to my teachers at Holy Rosary Prep school who taught me to read and at St. Andrew Prep school for fostering my love for reading.

I have fond memories of competing with my friends at St. Andrew Prep to see who could read the most books in the Nancy Drew series. In my pre-Harry Potter life as a child, I loved the Cherry Ames series, Bobbsey Twins series, and books by Enid Blyton, a British writer.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Harry Potter series

I agree; Jo Rowling, also known as J.K.Rowling, has done more to promote literacy than anyone on the planet. So many children tacked those huge volumes of the Harry Potter series. Read her interview with Oprah. Watch the trailer to a Potter movie.