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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
ISBN: 0399156526
Pages: 352 pgs
Genre: Historical Fiction/U.S.
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Publisher’s Description:

Millions of readers have fallen in love with Little Women. But how could Louisa May Alcott-who never had a romance-write so convincingly of love and heart-break without experiencing it herself?

Deftly mixing fact and fiction, Kelly O'Connor McNees imagines a love affair that would threaten Louisa's writing career-and inspire the story of Jo and Laurie in Little Women. Stuck in small-town New Hampshire in 1855, Louisa finds herself torn between a love that takes her by surprise and her dream of independence as a writer in Boston. The choice she must make comes with a steep price that she will pay for the rest of her life.

My Review:

Little Women is one of those cornerstone books in my collection. It was the first book that I ever read without it having to be “kid translated”. I will always have multiple copies and I read it at least once a year. That being said Louisa May Alcott is one of those authors that I look to as a celebrity of sorts. She was the ever-mysterious writer of “Greatest Book Ever Written”. And that alone made me curious about her.

I found McNees portrayal of Louisa May Alcott to be enlightening and engaging. She was exactly as I had imagined her. Brassy, intelligent and witty.  Joseph Singer was an awesome fictional addition to Louisa’s story. It is difficult to think of your favorite authors having no romantic relationships when their books are so riddled with romance and happy endings. Joseph was the perfect complement to Louisa. He was strong, funny and just as witty as Louisa. I know that I would have attached myself to Joseph like a barnacle. It was so sad to know that it was doomed from the start. The one character (and I feel real person) who really got on my nerves was Bronson Alcott. I can understand having a philosophy and beliefs but to follow them at the expense of your family’s comfort and welfare is beyond my understanding.

The one thing that really struck me was the last chapter was when Louisa told Joseph that her publisher made her add a happy ending marriage for Jo with Professor Bhaer in order to please readers. I was completely aghast at this but then I realized that I am the exact same way. Would I have loved Little Women as much if there was no Professor Bhaer or Pride and Prejudice if Darcy had married someone to make his family happy? The answer is a resounding “NO”. I wonder what that says about me. It never really occurred to  me to question the eternal happy ending. Maybe now I will.

I really loved this book. It reminded me a bit of Becoming Jane in a good way. Both are about female authors who wrote books about finding a great love while the author herself never found love in their own life. 

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Moonlight Road by Robyn Carr

Moonlight Road (Virgin River)Publisher: Mira
ISBN: 077832768X
Pages: 400 pgs
Genre: Romance/Contemporary
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Publisher’s Description:
With her beloved younger siblings settled and happy, Erin Foley has empty nest syndrome. At age thirty-five. 

So she's hitting the pause button on her life and holing up in a secluded (but totally upgraded—she's not into roughing it) cabin near Virgin River. Erin is planning on getting to know herself…not the shaggy-haired mountain man she meets.

In fact, beneath his faded fatigues and bushy beard, Aiden Riordan is a doctor, recharging for a summer after leaving the navy. He's intrigued by the pretty, slightly snooty refugee from the rat race—her meditating and journaling are definitely keeping him at arm's length. He'd love to get closer…if his scruffy exterior and crazy ex-wife don't hold him back.

But maybe it's something in the water—unlikely romances seem to take root in Virgin River…helped along by some well-intentioned meddling, of course.

My Review:
I have been on this huge romance kick lately. Possibly because I am lacking in that department in my life or maybe because it is nice to read something sweet and smushy when you are feeling downtrodden. Moonlight Road just happens to be one of my favorite types. It is a well thought out story that takes place in a small town with well developed primary and secondary story-lines.

I loved Moonlight Road because everything about it was so believable from the characters to the setting. Everything about this book was authentic. Erin was a really great character. I could really identify with her almost obsessive focus on her family and her career. She had a strong voice throughout and never became grating or annoying as some characters tend to become. Aidan was something special. I loved that we met him when he was in a “caveman” state. Not exactly the dashing hero you would expect. He is also almost flawless in his nobility. I usually don’t gravitate towards romances where the heroes are overly kind or anything of the sort, as I am a bit of a fangirl of the rakes and scoundrels, but this one worked for me.  He was never too nice and was quite funny and sarcastic at times.

I did at times have some small gripes with this book. First of all, it took way too long for Erin and Aiden to have any sort of interaction. It did, however, serve to develop the plot and really added depth to the environment and secondary storylines. I think if it had jumped straight to the romance that depth would have been lost. I think the ending was also not as cut and dry with all loose ends tied up as I would like. But since it is a series, these story lines might be carried forth in the next book.

I really enjoyed this book. I sat with my Sony Reader in dim light for hours to finish it and anyone with a Sony Reader knows how painful that is. I can’t wait to pick up the rest of the series.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Never Tell Our Business to Strangers by Jennifer Mascia

Never Tell Our Business to Strangers: A Memoir Publisher: Villard
ISBN: 0345505352
Pages: 400 pgs
Genre: Memoir
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Publisher’s Description:
When Jennifer Mascia is five years old, the FBI comes for her father. At that moment Jenny realizes that her family isn’t exactly normal. What follows are months of confusion marked by visits with her father through thick glass, talking to him over a telephone attached to the wall. She and her mother crisscross the country, from California to New York to Miami and back again. When her father finally returns home, months later, his absence is never explained—and Jenny is told that the family has a new last name.  It’s only much later that Jenny discovers that theirs was a life spent on the lam, trying to outrun the law.

Thus begins the story of Jennifer Mascia’s bizarre but strangely magical childhood. An only child, she revels in her parents’ intense love for her—and rides the highs and lows of their equally passionate arguments. They are a tight-knit band, never allowing many outsiders in. And then there are the oddities that Jenny notices only as she gets older: the fact that her father had two names before he went away—in public he was Frank, but at home her mother called him Johnny; the neat, hidden hole in the carpet where her parents keep all their cash. The family sees wild swings in wealth—one year they’re shopping for Chanel and Louis Vuitton at posh shopping centers in Los Angeles, the next they’re living in one room and subsisting on food stamps.

What have her parents done? What was the reason for her father’s incarceration so many years ago? When Jenny, at twenty-two, uncovers her father’s criminal record during an Internet search, still more questions are raised. By then he is dying of cancer, so she presses her mother for answers, eliciting the first in a series of reluctant admissions about her father’s criminal past. Before her mother dies, four years later, Jenny is made privy to one final, riveting confession, which sets her on a search for the truth her mother fought to conceal for so many years. As Jenny unravels her family’s dark secrets, she must confront the grisly legacy she has inherited and the hard truth that her parents are not—and have never been—who they claimed to be. In the face of unimaginable tragedy, Jenny will ultimately find an acceptance and understanding just as meaningful and powerful as her parents’ love.

In a memoir both raw and unwavering, Jennifer Mascia tells the amazing story of a life lived—unwittingly—with criminals. Full of great love and enormous loss, Never Tell Our Business to Strangers will captivate and enthrall, both with its unrelenting revelations and its honest, witty heart.

My Review:
I was really looking forward to this one. One of my big interests is Italian American history. It was my research topic in college and I still love to read books about the topic. Although, I generally avoid books about the mob but I could tell that this one was something more.

Most books about mobs and gangsters (Italian or not) tend to become almost hyperbolic in the Sopranos way. I really liked this book because it did not do that. It was more of a family drama/history then a memoir about mob life. For me, the highlight of the story if Jennifer’s research into her family’s past and the process of discovery and the struggle that discovery causes. I really loved following Jennifer’s journey. It was engrossing and interesting without ever becoming self-serving or whiney.

Perhaps my favorite part of the book is that most of it takes place in my lovely (not really) hometown of Staten Island, NY. It is weird for me to read about places I know. I know it’s the NYC metropolitan area but, seriously, no one knows it exists. I could totally understand her desire to go over the Verrazano Bridge waving a very enthusiastic goodbye to the borough. 

I highly recommend Never Tell Our Business To Strangers if you are looking for a well-written and conversational memoir. I walked into this book thinking that it was going to be comparable to The Sopranos (not a compliment) but I was pleasantly surprised at how different this family was from that dreadful TV show.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Guest Blog: Lydia Dare, Author of A Certain Wolfish Charm

A Certain Wolfish Charm Hello, everyone, I’m Lydia Dare of The Times and today, I’d like to introduce The Duke and Duchess of Blackmoor, who have graciously allowed me to interview them. If you’ve read A Certain Wolfish Charm, you’re familiar with their story. But I know there are often questions readers would like to know the answers to. So, here’s the chance for the couple to let us all in on some inside secrets.

Lydia Dare: Thank you so much for joining us.
(His Grace crosses one leg over his knee as his arms drops around his duchess’ shoulders on the settee. I don’t know why I expected them to rest within the bounds of propriety and keep a few inches between them. I did read the book, after all.)

Duke of Blackmoor: Thank you for inviting us. We’ve always wanted to visit the cramped offices of The Times. This impromptu trip provided the perfect excuse.

Lydia Dare: If I may begin with some questions from some of your readers?

Duke of Blackmoor: Of course. That’s why we’re here. Just don’t ask us what happens with William or Benjamin in their stories. They have their own tales to tell.
(He glances down at his duchess when she squeezes his knee tenderly. Or was that a warning? I’m not certain which it was.)

Lydia Dare: Speaking of your brothers, why do you think readers find William to be so charming?

Duke of Blackmoor: That would be a question about my brother.
(He removes his arm from around his wife’s shoulders and glares at me. Uh oh.)

Lydia Dare: Well, he’s an integral part of your story, after all. He was one of the reasons why you pursued Miss Rutledge…I mean Her Grace so heartily. And he gave her more than a little help along the way to win your heart. Inquisitive minds want to know.

Duke of Blackmoor: (He leans forward and smiles. Oh, my, what a wolfish grin. My heart flutters.) I pursued Lily so heartily because she smelled like heaven, looked like an angel, and fought like a termagant. Oh, and I love her. Can’t forget that.

Lydia Dare: You don’t have any thoughts at all about why readers find William to be so endearing?

Duke of Blackmoor: No, I find him to be quite the scoundrel, a rake and he’s the devil of a nuisance. I have no idea why women adore him the way they do.

Lydia Dare: (At this point I turn my attention to the duchess.) What about you, Your Grace, do you have any comments?
(She opens her mouth to speak but His Grace makes a rumbling noise from beside her.)

Duchess of Blackmoor: (Hisses at her husband.) If you don’t stop that, I’m going to find a rolled up newspaper and pop your nose.

Duke of Blackmoor: (Chuckles.) Sounds like my idea of a good time.

Duchess of Blackmoor: (Blushes furiously.) William is handsome and good hearted and incredibly humorous. You’d really like him if you met him.

Duke of Blackmoor: (Grumbles.) Womanizer.

Duchess of Blackmoor: (Pats his leg again.) You’re one to talk, dear.

Lydia Dare: If you won’t talk about William, may I ask where Benjamin is? We know he has gone off to Scotland. Can you tell us why?

Duke of Blackmoor: That would be my other brother, Miss Dare, who has his own story to tell.

Lydia Dare: (Sighs loudly.) Does that mean you don’t know where Benjamin is?

Duchess of Blackmoor: He has no idea where Benjamin is. Which is part of why it bothers him so. But William is on the way there to investigate. I have faith in him.

Lydia Dare: So, can you tell us anything about William and Benjamin? Will Benjamin find love in Scotland? Will William and Prisca ever come together? Or will she finally move on?
(His Grace comes to his feet and holds a hand out to Her Grace.)

Duke of Blackmoor: It’s time to take our leave, darling.

Duchess of Blackmoor: (Sighs.) I suppose it is.

Lydia Dare: Wait! I’m sorry. I’m just so curious about the others! Perhaps the readers can pose better questions than I can. Readers? Is there anything you’d like to ask the Duke and Duchess before they take their leave?

He gets crankier and crankier as the moon gets full…
The rules of society can be beastly—especially when you’re a werewolf and it’s that irritating time of the month. Simon Westfield, the Duke of Blackmoor, is rich, powerful, and sinfully handsome, and has spent his entire life creating scandal and mayhem. It doesn’t help his wolfish temper at all that Miss Lily Rutledge seems not the least bit afraid of him, and in fact, may be as untamable as he is…
A woman whose charm is stronger that the moon…
When Lily’s beloved nephew’s behavior becomes inexplicably wild, she turns to Simon, the boy’s cousin and guardian, for help. But Simon’s idea of assistance is far different than hers, and Lily finds herself ensconced in his house and engaged to the rogue.
They both may have bitten off more than they can chew when each begins to discover the other’s darkest secrets…
About the Author
Lydia Dare is the writing team of Tammy Falkner and Jodie Pearson. Both Tammy and Jodie are active members of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and live near Raleigh, North Carolina. They are working together on their next paranormal historical trilogy as Lydia Dare, which will be released by Sourcebooks Casablanca in Spring 2010! For more information, please visit

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Readathon: Hour 8

Title of book(s) read since last update: Need by Carrie Jones
Number of books read since you started: I’ve started 1, finished none.
Pages read since last update: 80
Running total of pages read since you started: 56
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 3 hours. Still sad but getting better.
Running total of time spent reading since you started: (keep track of this one to be eligible for a prize!)-5 hours
Up Next: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Readathon Mini-Challenge: And the Nominees Are..

I love nominating. My answers are pretty predictable but I’m not generally a very surprising person
Favorite Female Character in a book: Elizabeth Bennet
Favorite Male Character in a book: Severus Snape
Favorite Side Kick in a book: Watson
Favorite Couple in a Book: Lizzy and Darcy
Favorite Book Series: Anne of Green Gables
Favorite Author: Jane Austen
Favorite Book Cover: Shiver
Favorite Book of 2009: Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly

Readathon: Hour 4

Okay, I am late again. No good reason. I am lazy and sleepy and all those bad things. At least it is better than the 8 hours I was late last time, right? I figure I was 2 hours late but might as well answer the first challenge questions to make it all easier, right?
Where are you reading from today? Staten Island, New York
3 facts about me …
1. I recently graduated from library school with my MLS.
2. A book that I contributed a chapter to is being published on Monday—it’s about Twilight. I’ll post about it later.
3. No matter how hard I try, the rules of football are just beyond me.
How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? Around 30. Maybe more
Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? To have fun, comment on other blogs and get much reading done.
If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time? Stop reading when your eyes start to cross.
Anyway, back to reading. I will update you in about 20 minutes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart: A Novel Publisher: GuidepostsBooks
ISBN: 0824947932
Pages: 272 pgs
Genre: Jane Austen Sequel/Pride and Prejudice
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Publisher’s Description:
Claire Prescott is a sensible woman who believes in facts and figures, not fairy tales. But when she agrees to present a paper to a summer symposium at Oxford on her ailing sister's behalf, Claire finds herself thrown into an adventure with a gaggle of Jane Austen-loving women all on the lookout for their Mr. Darcy. Claire isn't looking for Mr. Anyone. She's been dating Neil -- a nice if a bit negligent -- sports fanatic. But when a tall, dark and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner romantic heroine? Her chance meeting with a mysterious woman who claims to have an early version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice -- in which Lizzie ends up with someone other than Fitzwilliam Darcy -- leads to an astounding discovery about the venerated author's own struggle to find the right hero for Lizzie Bennett. Neil's unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire's journey to finding her own romantic lead. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is the story of a woman who finds that love isn't logical and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected of places.

My Review:
I was really excited to read this book. I had read other reviews of both this and Pattillo’s other book, Jane Austen Ruined My Life,  and couldn’t wait to start. I was not disappointed. I finished this book in one sitting and I really liked it. I have also been in the middle of a Jane Austen draught lately and really missed her.
First of all, I think all Austen fans are a bit curious about First Impressions, Jane Austen’s first draft of Pride and Prejudice. I liked Pattillo’s version of First Impressions as much as I have liked some P&P sequels I have read. The characters were the same yet their circumstances were so different that it almost became a novel on its own. I found myself scanning the novel for excerpts from First Impressions was just as interested in Lizzy, Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam as I was in Claire, James, and Neil. I also loved how this was very much a book about how the “everyman” can be a Darcy too. There is always something about them that is completely insufferable but beyond that can be a really amazing and genuine man. It sounds very smushy and romantic  and I am not usually prone to that but I can’t help it.

I loved the characters almost as much as I loved Lizzy and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Claire was every bit the heroine that Lizzy was. I very rarely find a contemporary heroine that I really like. Usually they are forgettable, one dimensional and vapid. Claire was none of those. She was extremely likeable, normal and intelligent. I also thought it was great to have a heroine in an Austenesque novel that didn’t like Austen’s novels. Usually they are as much of a fangirl for the novels as you are. I mean I thought Mr. Darcy was a staple. But then again, my sister HATES him (capitals intended). I don’t understand it but whatever.
The men in the novel were also great. I started out really frustrated with Neil, Claire’s absentee, sports fanatic boyfriend. I mean I can understand being obsessed with sports. I would miss my wedding for a Devils’ game but to not even acknowledge that his girlfriend left the country was a bit extreme. I would have at least said “Bye”.  But from the very beginning, I could sense there was something about him. Something that wasn’t quite as “dude” as I thought. James was every bit the Darcy we always expect but, from the beginning, there was something that I just did not like about him. I was cheering for Neil most of the way and was hoping he would show up and be all grown up and manly.

This book was the perfect read for a lazy afternoon. It was entertaining, engrossing and, most of all, surprising. The ending caught me completely off guard. I don’t want to spoil but it was the ending I was hoping for. I was so happy that it was not the safe ending. It also gave me a bit of hope that a Mr. Darcy will be found for me someday in the not to distant future.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Guest Post: Emery Lee, Author of The Highest Stakes

The Highest Stakes

Although horse racing dates back as far as the ancient Greeks, who introduced it into their games at the 33rd Olympiad in 648 B.C. , and who built a hippodromus at Elis just to accommodate their equestrian trials, I chose the first half of the eighteenth century, as it represents the genesis of the modern “thorough bred” racing horse.

To explain, I must begin in the 17th century with the restoration of Charles II, from whose passion, horse racing came to be called “the sport of kings.”

King Charles was an accomplished horseman, who raced his own horses against those of his courtiers. Like the ancient Greeks, he was so enamored of the sport, that he built a Royal Residence at Newmarket, as well as a special viewing pavilion to overlook his race course, one of which, the Rowley Mile still bears the name of his favorite horse to this very day.

As for his horses, the foundation of the Royal stud was based upon a number of mares imported from Tangier as part of Charles’ queen consort’s dowry. The blood of these mares would become highly coveted early into the 18th century when racing gained popularity with the Georgian gentlemen who gambled on horses as they gambled on everything else from pugilism to bear-baiting.

The early horseracing differed greatly, however, from what we know today. While modern Thoroughbreds rarely exceeding a mile and a half run, are most valued for sheer speed, the races of the eighteenth century were grueling trials of four to six miles, usually run in three heats, with rarely more than an half hour of rest in between! A test of this magnitude required a horse with not just proven swiftness, but with unusual courage and stamina, which the Georgians greatly esteemed as “bottom.”

Although the best horses were owned by wealthy and powerful aristocrats, racing in the early part of the century was rarely a high stakes event, with the usual wager set at around fifty pounds. Professional jockeys did not yet exist , so most races were run with the owners astride, as each man aspired to best his neighbor and prove his superior horse.

As the English aristocracy put their minds to the selective breeding of racehorses. They began by crossing the royal mares with the a number of highly bred stallions imported from the Middle East. Of these, three names would emerge to dominate the racing world of Georgian England: the Byerley Turk, the Darley Arabian and the Godolphin Barb.

These three “kings of the desert” would become known as the progenitors of the modern day Thoroughbred race horse.

Woven into the drama and romance of The Highest Stakes, the fascinating histories, the progeny, and the enduring bloodlines of these champion sires are revealed.


All thoroughbred horses in the world to this very day can trace their blood back to three specific Arabian stallions imported to England in the early part of the 18th century. Against this backdrop comes a painstakingly researched novel with breathtaking scenes of real races, real horses, glimpses of the men who cared for them, and the tensions of those who owned and controlled them.

In 18th century England and Colonial Virginia, when high-spirited stallions filled the stables of the lords of the land and fortunes were won and lost on the outcome of a race, a love story unfolds between a young woman for whom her uncle's horses are her only friends and the young man who teaches her everything about their care and racing. When she's forced into marriage, his only hope of winning her back is to race his horse to reclaim all that was stolen from him—his land, his dignity, and his love.

About the Author

Emery Lee is a life-long equestrienne, a history buff, and a born romantic. Combine  the three and you have the essence of her debut novel: a tale of love, war, politics, and horseracing. A member of Romance Writers of America, she lives with her husband, sons, and two horses in upstate South Carolina. For more information, please visit

A Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare

A Certain Wolfish CharmPublisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402236948
Pages: 384 pgs
Genre: Romance/Paranormal/Shapeshifter
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

 Publisher’s Description:
In Lydia dare's debut trilogy, Regency England has gone to the wolves!

He gets crankier and crankier as the moon gets full...

The rules of Society can be beastly-especially when you're a werewolf and it's that irritating time of the month. Simon Westfield, the Duke of Blackmoor, is rich, powerful, and sinfully handsome, and has spent his entire life creating scandal and mayhem. It doesn't help his wolfish temper at all that Miss Lily Rutledge seems not the least bit afraid of him, and in fact, may be as untamable as he is...
A woman whose charm is stronger than the moon...

When Lily's beloved nephew's behavior becomes inexplicably wild, she turns to Simon, the boy's cousin and guardian, for help. But Simon's idea of assistance is far different than hers, and Lily finds herself ensconced in his house and engaged to the rogue.

They both may have bitten off more than they can chew when each begins to discover the other's darkest secrets...

My Review:
I should first start this review by telling you that I love werewolves in all forms. They are uber-sexy with alpha-ness and a tendency towards brooding. I love brooding men. This was done to perfection in A Certain Wolfish Charm.

The characters were great. Lily was one of those rare romance novel heroines that never annoyed me or got boring. I love it when heroines are “on the shelf” because watching them get “off the shelf” is always entertaining. I also love how strong she was both as a character and as a woman. She never gave Simon an easy time of it. He had to struggle to earn her trust and she never let him overpower her. Simon was one of my favorite wolfish men that I have encountered so far. He was extremely sarcastic and surly (which I love). As we got to know him, he developed an almost scampish  sense of humor around Lily that I found so adorable.

I can barely come up with any sort of criticism for this book. At all. I can only come up with criticism that is really more personal gripes than anything else. I would have loved for Lily to have given Simon a bit more hell about his past. I mean she was confronted with his former mistress, Mrs Teresa Hamilton, constantly. Maybe it’s the New York in me but I would not have been so nice. See, nothing major.

I cannot recommend this series enough to fans of paranormal romances especially those of the wolfy variety. I can’t wait for the rest of the series.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Read, Remember, Recommend: A Reading Journal for Book Lovers by Rachelle Rogers Knight

Read, Remember, Recommend: A Reading Journal for Book Lovers
Publisher: Sourcebooks
ISBN: 1402237189
Pages: 320 pgs
Genre: Non-Fiction
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

 Publisher’s Description:

The ultimate organizing resource for book-lovers and a self-published hit, Read, Remember, Recommend gives readers a one-stop shop to keep track of their reading. Featuring 60 cross-referenced lists of literary awards and notable picks (Pulitzer, National Book Award, 100 Best Books of the Century), this journal offers more than 2500 suggestions to help readers discover great literature and new authors. The journal also provides room to record books read, jot down thoughts and ideas, and keep track of recommendations, books borrowed and loaned, and book club history.

Unlike anything on the market, Read, Remember Recommend keeps readers coming back to bookstores to purchase recommended books, creates opportunities for add-on and return sales, and celebrates the readers' love of books.

My Review:

Anyone who is a compulsive reader, like me, will understand the difficulty of managing the habit. The book buying and reading compulsion that results in manic book buying and lazy days on the couch with nothing to do but read. Read, Remember, Recommend provides so many tools to manage the reading life. It is one of the most useful reading journals that I have found.

The different sections in the book were really useful. I loved the Awards and Notable books lists in the first section. My reading list expanded by at least 30 books. Something I really cannot afford. The list were amazing. There were some that I have never heard of. The To Read section was also really useful. I have been using an Excel doc to keep track of my To Read list. Not the most useful thing when it goes over 500 items. It provided ample space for me to list the books I want and check them off once I get them. The book also provides plenty of journal pages. I also love that you can record where you got the recommendation from because I read so many blogs that I generally forget. I also like to keep track of the books I recommend to other people. I do it so often with my friends and family that sometimes when they bring it up in conversation later, I forget which book I am supposed to be talking about. The only section that is really not very useful to me is the Loaner List. I don’t loan my books out. At all. Ever. I mainly use that to record my library books with due dates.

I cannot tell you how useful this book is to a bookworm. It was a lifesaver for me (there is also a Young Adult version that I am pining after).  It really does help manage the illness a bit. I love how it keeps everything organized and in its place. I do wish that some section had more pages to them.  Every reader will find Read, Remember, Recommend useful.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

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