Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Have you seen the movie?

If so we want to know:

What did you think?
What was your favorite part?
What was the worst part?
What parts surprised you?
How did you feel about where they decided to split it?

And anything else you want to add please feel free,
we would love to hear thoughts!!

Also if you've re-read or read the book for the first time now is a good time to discuss it! ;0)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Joanne Chang ~ Book Signing

"Make life sweeter...Eat dessert first." ~Joanne Chang

About the Book: Flour is not only an excellent cookbook with a million recipes I can't wait to try, it is also a genuinely good read.  Each recipe features an introduction by Joanne about when she first encountered the dessert, how it effected her, and how she has elevated it into something divine.  My favorite story goes along with her Nutella tart.  She talks about spending time abroad, and how at breakfast they put out bread and a variety of spreads, and how she avoided the Nutella because she was skeptical of the brown goo (despite the assurances of her host that it was "schokolade"). When she finally gave in and tried it, she was hooked and amazed that people actually ate chocolate for breakfast.  The book is also packed full of beautiful color photos of each recipe that make you want to lick the pages.  Seriously.  I have yet to try any of the recipes from the book, but my one experience at her bakery tell me that everything inside is going to be phenomenal.  

About the Author: Joanne Chang, who owns the Boston bakery, Flour, is known for traditioal American desserts, muffins and other breakfast treats, rich cakes, fruit tarts, good cookies. Her trademark is a little extra crunch, more richness, caramelized edges that only come about from well-made components and enough time in the oven. Essentially she like to reinvent the ordinary and make it extraordinary.  Her oreo (I've included the recipe below), pop tart, and fig newton recipes are excellent examples of her transformations. Since Joanne didn't have many sweets growing up, she sees even the simplest desserts, that the rest of us take for granted, as something worth developing into an upscale treat.

She also beat Bobby Flay in a Throwndown with her Sticky Sticky Buns.

I find it funny how two people on opposite end of the world can be doing practically the same thing at the same time...well, almost.  Take Lisa's post about Nigella Lawson, swap in Joanne Change, remove the healthy foods in place of all-American dessert, and you have my recent book signing experience in Boston.  I was not first in line and I had no kids in toe but, like Lisa, I had been looking forward to this meet-and greet for weeks, since I had seen it advertised in the window at the Brookline Booksmith.  I stood in line for about 15 minutes wondering what I wanted to say to this Harvard-educated mathematician turned distinguished pastry chef.  When I made it to Joanne, I said hello and handed over my new book, and the post-it with my name spelled correctly, and said "I love that you began your career as a mathematician and that you were able to give up such a practical career for such an impractical one and be a success."  She smiled and said that it was an easy transition once she knew what she wanted and was willing to work for it. 

"Melanie - Eat dessert first! - Joanne Chang"

Homemade Oreos
Adapted from: Flour

1 cup (2 sticks/228g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup (200g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
1 egg
1 1/2 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (90g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup (1 stick/114g) unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups (230g) confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
Pinch of salt

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter and granulated sugar until well combined. You may also use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix in the vanilla and chocolate until just combined, and add the egg, continuing to mix until thoroughly incorporated.

2. In another medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda until well mixed. Using a spatula, stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. The dough will start to seem pretty floury, so you can just mix with your hands if that's easier. It should have the consistency of Play-Doh.

3. Divide the dough in half and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for one hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 325 F.

5. Remove the disks from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5-8 minutes to make them easier to work with. Using a rolling pin roll out each disk to about 1/4-inch thickness.

6. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can out of the dough. Quickly bring it back together and re-roll the scraps, repeating the process of cutting out the circles. If it become tacky or difficult to work with, place back in refrigerator for ten minutes to firm back up. Repeat with second disk.

7. Transfer the dough to parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the cookies are firm to the touch. Check them frequently after 18 minutes. Unfortunately, you can't judge by color because they're already black. Allow to cool completely on baking sheet before you fill.

8. To make the filling: beat the butter on low for 30 seconds until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla and beat on high for 2-3 minutes until nice and fluffy. And milk and salt and beat again until smooth - it will resemble white spackle

9. Assemble the cookies: Scoop a heaping teaspoon of filling onto the bottom cookie and press a second on top until the filling spreads to the edges.  Repeat until you have 16-18 homemade oreos.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind ~ A Review

Trouble will find you

They watch you through mirrors.

'Your mother was twenty-seven when it came to her. Now you're twenty-seven, and it's come to you.'

The skin of Alex's arms tingled with goose bumps. By her twenty-seventh birthday insanity had come to his mother..

Turning twenty-seven may be terrifying for some, but for Alex, a struggling artist living in the mid-western United States, it is cataclysmic. Inheriting a huge expanse of land should have made him a rich and happy man; but something about this birthday, his name, and the beautiful woman whose life he just saved, has suddenly made him - and everyone he loves - into a target. A target for extreme and uncompromising violence.

Where do you turn when your own reflection spells doom?

In Alex, Terry Goodkind brings to life a modern hero in a whole new kind of high-octane thriller.

~ This is the first book I have read of Terry Goodkinds that wasn't one of his Sword of Truth Novels, which are some of my favorite books of all times. This book was great because it drew some of the back story from the Sword of Truth Novels. It brought the fantasy land to present day. One of the main through lines of the book is comparing technology to magic which is quite interesting.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Alchemyst The Secrets of The Immprtal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

File:Alchemyst Nicholas Flamel.jpgTeen twins Josh and Sophie discover, in a rather explosive way, that the San Francisco bookstore owner Josh works for is really Nicholas Flamel, a nearly 700-year-old alchemist who created the Philosopher's Stone, from which he and his wife Perenelle get the Elixir of Life. Their enemy is Dr. John Dee, who works for the Dark Elders, members of the Elder Race who are the source of most of humanity's ancient myths and legends. The Dark Elders want to reinstate their dominion over the Earth.

Dee kidnaps Perenelle and steals the Codex, an ancient book containing the secrets of magic, and a prophecy involving twins. But Josh accidentally ends up with the final two pages, and now Dee and his masters and minions are out to reclaim the pages, and enlist or kill the twins. As they race across the West Coast, members of the Elder Race begin lining up on both sides

Is It Any Good? Harry Potter fans will recognize the name Nicholas Flamel, and may be surprised to learn that J.K. Rowling didn't make him up. Irish author and mythology expert Michael Scott has taken elements from Flamel's legend, woven them together with myths and stories from around the world, and set the whole thing in modern-day California. The result is a slam-bang, fantasy-adventure, with enough action to keep the most rabid genre fans happy, and enough references to ancient stories to keep the mind working as well.

Though the good-vs.-evil and kids-with-secret-powers themes may be well worn by now, nothing about this story -- from its setting and characters to its intricate use of myth to create an alternative history of earth -- is typical. Though an appendix with references for all the characters and places mentioned in the story would have been welcome, this book, the first of a planned series, is plain old-fashioned fun, with an intellectual gloss that will give fans something to look into while waiting for the next in the series. (review from amazon)
The Magician The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott
After fleeing Ojai, Nicholas, Sophie, Josh, and Scatty emerge in Paris, the City of Lights. Home for Nicholas Flamel. Only this homecoming is anything but sweet. Perenelle is still locked up back in Alcatraz and Paris is teeming with enemies. Niccolo Machiavelli, immortal author and celebrated art collector, is working for Dee. He's after them, and time is running out for Nicholas and Perenelle. For every day spent without the Book of Abraham the Mage, they age one year-their magic becoming weaker and their bodies more frail. For Flamel, the Prophecy is becoming more and more clear.
It's time for Sophie to learn the second elemental magic: Fire Magic. And there's only one man who can teach it to her: Flamel's old student, the Comte de Saint-Germain-alchemist, magician, and rock star. Josh and Sophie Newman are the world's only hope-if they don't turn on each other first.
The Sorceress The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas FlamelNicholas Flamel's heart almost broke as he watched his beloved Paris crumble before him. The city was destroyed by Dee and Machiavelli, but Flamel played his own role in the destruction. Sophie and Josh Newman show every sign of being the twins of prophecy, and Flamel had to protect them and the pages from the Dark Elders.
But Nicholas grows weaker with each passing day. Perenelle is still trapped in Alcatraz, and now that Scatty has gone missing, the group is without protection. Except for Clarent-the twin sword to Excalibur. But Clarent's power is unthinkable, its evil making it nearly impossible to use without its darkness seeping into the soul of whoever wields it.
If he hopes to defeat Dee, Nicholas must find an Elder who can teach Josh and Sophie the third elemental magic-Water Magic. The problem? The only one who can do that is Gilgamesh, and he is quite, quite insane.

San Francisco:
After fleeing to Ojai, then Paris, and escaping to London, Josh and Sophie Newman are finally home. And after everything they've seen and learned in the past week, they're both more confused than ever about their future. Neither of them has mastered the magics they'll need to protect themselves from the Dark Elders, they've lost Scatty, and they're still being pursued by Dr. John Dee. Most disturbing of all, however, is that now they must ask themselves, can they trust Nicholas Flamel? Can they trust anyone?
The Necromancer The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas FlamelAlcatraz:
Dr. Dee underestimated Perenelle Flamel's power. Alcatraz could not hold her, Nereus was no match for her, and she was able to align herself with the most unlikely of allies. But she wasn't the only one being held on the island. Behind the prison's bars and protective sigils were a menagerie of monsters-an army for Dee to use in the final battle. And now Machiavelli has come to Alcatraz to loose those monsters on San Francisco.
Perenelle might be powerful, but each day she weakens, and even with Nicholas back at her side, a battle of this size could be too much for her. Nicholas and Perenelle must fight to protect the city, but the effort will probably kill them both.
Having been unable to regain the two final pages of the Codex, Dee has failed his Elder and is now an outlaw-and the new prey of all the creatures formerly sent to hunt down Flamel.
But Dee has a plan. With the Codex and the creatures on Alcatraz, he can control the world. All he needs is the help of the Archons. But for his plan to work, he must raise the Mother of the Gods from the dead. For that, he'll have to train a necromancer. And the twins of legend will make the perfect pupils. . . .
*Up coming books
Here is a website if you want to learn more...

I've never read this series but since my sisters and I love Harry Potter so much and since it's our book of the month I thought that this was appropriate.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nigella Lawson ~ Book Signing

 The Book: A big, compendious, comfortable, informative and utterly engaging book, Kitchen brings us feel-good food for cooks and eaters, whether Express-style and exotic-easy during the week, or leisurely and luxuriating (in the spirit of How to be a Domestic Goddess and Feast) at weekends or for occasions. Divided into two parts -- Kitchen Quandaries and Kitchen Comforts -- Nigella gives us the wherewithal to tackle any situation and satisfy all nourishment needs. But real cooking is often about leftovers, too, so here one recipe can lead to another… from ham hocks to pea soup and pasties, from chicken to Chinatown salad. This isn’t just about being thrifty but about demonstrating how recipes come about, and giving new inspiration for last-minute meals and souped-up store cupboard suppers. As well as offering the reader a mouthwatering array of new recipes, both comforting and exciting – from clams with chorizo to Guinness gingerbread, from Asian braised beef to flourless chocolate lime cake, from Pasta alla Genovese to Venetian carrot cake – Nigella rounds up her kitchen kit must-haves (telling us, too, what equipment we don’t need) and highlights individual ingredients – both basic essentials and modern-day life-savers. But above all, she reminds the reader how much pleasure there is to be had in real food, and in reclaiming the traditional rhythms of the kitchen, as she cooks to the beat of the heart of the home, creating simple recipes to make life less complicated.

About the Author: Nigella Lawson is the author of bestselling books - How to Eat ('may just be the best cookery book ever' Daily Telegraph), How to be a Domestic Goddess (British Book Awards 2001), Nigella Bites (WHSmith Award 2002) Forever Summer ('images of warmth and Mediterranean climes' Time Out), Feast, ('a voluptuous and delicious piece of food writing' Guardian), Nigella Express (no. 1 bestseller with over 1 million sales) and Nigella Christmas ('everything to make your Christmas sparkle' Independent) - which, together with her successful TV series and her recent iPhone App, Nigella Quick Collection, have made hers a household name around the world. She lives in London with her family.

To Lisa, a peanut-butter lover, Love, Nigella
Tuesday 23rd of November at WH Smith in Reading town centre Nigella Lawson was signing copies of her new book Kitchen. I was second in line to get the TV chef's signature!

I have only recently been introduced to Nigella by watching her re-runs of Nigella Bites on the Good Food Channel. So, when I saw she had a new book out I wanted it....also because there was a recipe for peanut butter cheesecake. Yes, I really am a peanut butter lover! I held off buying it and thought I'd ask for it for Christmas, but then when in town with my friend Lauren I saw the sign posted in WH Smith's window announcing her arrival the following week. Well, I had to be there!
Nigella turning off her phone. I was second in line!!
When I arrived I was the first one there! I was like um.....I don't know where to line up, but I didn't have to wait very long before a very nice girl came up and asked me if I was in line and I was like well, sorta? So, we waited and talked and in the end exchanged email addresses! Then before Nigella was due to arrive a WH Smith employee handed us pencils and post it notes and told us to write what we wanted her to write. I had been thinking about this for a while but still wasn't sure what I wanted her to write. I thought you know it's peanut butter that drew me to her and the fact that so far most of the British people I've met do not like peanut butter and she does it has to be about peanut butter! So, it was!
Looking back after I had my book signed...the body guard with the blue tie thought my daughter was really cute! :0)
I then walked up to her and it was at this point that daughter, 9 months, decided she wanted to cry a little and my 3 year old decided to walk around in circles which she does when she's really bored...like a caged animal in the zoo that is going crazy. So, I said a few things about peanut butter and then moved on! I didn't even stop to get a picture I should have.....ah well it was still fun and I'm glad I went...I'm now addicted and have been looking for more local book signings!! ;0)

I've only begun to read the book as I am in the middle of another book. But what I've read I am excited about and hope to use a recipe or too soon! Catch the show that accompanies the book on Thursday nights at 8 on the BBC2!! :0)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks ~~ A Quick Review

After U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman buried in the dirt during his tour of duty in Iraq, he experiences a sudden streak of luck -- winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat. Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph -- his lucky charm.
Back home in Colorado, Thibault can't seem to get the woman in the photograph out of his mind and he sets out on a journey across the country to find her. But Thibault is caught off guard by the strong attraction he feels for the woman he encounters in North Carolina - Elizabeth, a divorced mother -- and he keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret. As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate love affair, his secret soon threatens to tear them apart -- destroying not only their love, but also their lives.
Filled with tender romance and terrific suspense, THE LUCKY ONE is an unforgettable story about the surprising paths our lives often take and the power of fate to guide us to true and everlasting love.

This book was dumb. It wasn't romantic or in anyway believable. I started it thinking this could go somewhere....but then it didn't. *spoiler* The ending was tied up nicely by killing off the bad guy. How convenient for everyone to have their happy ending.* I haven't read a lot of Nicholas Sparks, but what I have read I have always enjoyed so when this book was given to me I was more then happy to take it. I finished it and was just like WTF? It was just a nothing story, nothing to move me really. I would skip it if I was you, which I'm not you, but if I was I would skip it.
I would second Janet's recommendation of The Notebook or Stacy recommends The Last Song both by Nicholas Sparks!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Sheriff of Yrnameer: A Reccomendation

"Finally a science fiction book your grandmother will love--if she's a lustful, violent lady." -- Stephan Colbert

The author, Michael Rubens is a former writer/field producer for The Daily Show and Yrnameer is his first attempt at sci-fi.  Written in the style of Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams, the book is ridiculous and illogical but delivered in a dead pan way that's quite hilarious.  Rubens has a ways to go before he is really on the same ballfield as Pratchett or Adams, but this was his first attempt and he made me chuckle so I won't complain.

From the back of the book:
Meet Cole: hapless space rogue, part-time smuggler, on a path to being full-time dead. His sidekick just stole his girlfriend. The galaxy's most hideous and feared bounty hunter wants to lay eggs in his brain. And the luxury space yacht Cole just hijacked turns out of be filled with interstellar do-gooders, one especially loathsome stowaway, and a cargo of freeze-dried orphans.

Reluctantly compelled to deliver these defenseless, fluidless children to safety, Cole gathers a misfit crew for a desperate journey to the far reaches of the galaxy. Their destination: the mysterious world of Yrnameer, the very last of the your-name-heres—planets without corporate sponsors. But little does Cole know that this legendary utopia is home to a murderous band of outlaws bent on destroying the planet's tiny, peaceful community.

Follow Cole's adventures through a delightfully absurd science-fiction universe, where the artificial intelligence is stupid, dust motes carry branding messages, and middle-management zombies have overrun a corporate training satellite. In the spirit of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, The Sheriff of Yrnameer is sci-fi comedy at its best—mordant, raucously funny, and a thrilling page-turner.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Review - Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert

Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert: Gabriel Blackstone is an unscrupulous hacker and unrepentant "remote viewer" who can't resist his ex-lover's request to look into her stepson's disappearance. His investigation leads him to a rambling Victorian home that bewitches him-as do its beautiful, enigmatic owners, the Monk sisters. The pair are solar witches, obsessed with alchemy and the Art of Memory, a practice invented by the ancient Greeks.
With his uneasy suspicion that one of the sisters is a killer, Gabriel sets out to determine which. But the more entangled in the case he becomes, the more deeply he is drawn into the sisters' entrancing world-losing hold of reality even as he falls into mortal danger...

- This book was not the easiest book to get hooked on. But once I was hooked....well, I was hooked. I had to know how it ended. I feel like the main concept of the book was a bit mind blowing, it is a quick read and it's not your typical witch type of book. It is set in modern times which makes it a bit interesting for me in the fact that there are probably people out there who on the outside act like the witches in this book act. I'm not saying that they have powers just that the behavior could potentially be much the same.-

Monday, November 15, 2010

Finding Faith

Alright so maybe "Finding Faith" isn't the best title to this post, however, I found faith in humanity when I stumbled upon a fabulous book store today. This book store is called Wild Rumpus, it is a children's book store. Seems simple enough, but it is better then you could imagine! There are animals all over this place! They have chickens that have cages that they can come and go as they please! I watched the cutest little girl holding a book twice her size follow the black chicken all over the store trying to pet it. They have lizards and chinchillas and cats and something else that you have to look through the floor to see (but I couldn't see) and birds! This place is awesome, they also have some of the pre-teen kinda books. They have book clubs and story times.

This is a really great place, I had a lot of fun. Maybe to much fun, my friends had to drag me out of the store. Speaking of entering and exiting the store, there is another best part.......they have a mini door inside the bigger door for little dudes to go in and out, I clearly used the little door because it was there! Had to be done :0) Another bonus for adults is on the outside of the building they have a basket where they give away free adult romance novels, wink wink, nudge nudge.

Here's the link and if you are ever in Minnesota you should check it out!



The book that built the bookstore. 
According to the website history tab, this book was their "blueprint"
for building the book store. Check out the website for the whole story!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist -- A Book Review

Tie-in to the award-winning 2009 film, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s original novel is a unique and brilliant fusion of social novel and vampire legend, a deeply moving fable about rejection, friendship and loyalty.

This book was creepy. So, creepy that I couldn't read it before bed: I had a dream that I was hanging out with my old high school friends and we had to escape from Thief River Falls, MN because everyone there was a vampire. So, it was sorta like a zombie movie, but with vampires. Buffy showed up too. Strange. After that I decided it was best not to read the novel before bed.
I think what made it so freaky is the way the story read. Like a news story or something a friend told you about as if it actually happened. It didn't read like fiction. I like how the synopsis of the book is very simple and doesn't give anything away. I'm going to follow suit and not say too much. Except I don't think I'll be seeing the movie as the book scared me. It's not very often that a book actually scares me. So kudos to Mr. Lindqvist.
On another note - it is a bit slow at times and the characters one-dimensional, but it didn't hinder the book for me. I don't always need a book where the characters are easy to relate to. Sometimes it's not the point of the story. This book isn't something I'd recommend to just anyone. If you're looking to be creeped out have a go at it, but don't worry it's not that scary that you can't fall asleep, just know that your dreams may be a bit tainted. :0)

About the Author: John Ajvide Lindqvist is a Swedish author who grew up in Blackeberg, the setting for Let Me In. Wanting to become something awful and fantastic, he first became a conjurer, and then was a stand-up comedian for twelve years. He has also written for Swedish television. Let Me In was a bestseller in Sweden and was named Best Novel in Translation 2005 in Norway. It is being made into a major motion picture. Let Me In is Lindqvist’s first novel.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pages to Screen: Julie and Julia

I know the movie and book are old, but it premiered on Sky Movies this weekend so I taped it and watched it last night. I have to say I really enjoyed it. I like how it was two stories intertwined as one even though Julie and Julia never actually met. I think it shows how a person you've never met can affect your life either for the good or the bad. I think I may have to read Julia Child's autobiography My Life in France now!
If you've not see the movie I suggest you do! I also suggest you read the book and then check out our discussions!

Timeline by Michael Crichton -- A Recommendation

I recently read a book called Timeline by Michael Crichton. I couldn't put the book down! After talking to Lisa I was reminded that this is one of her top five favorite books and rightfully so. I guess I am recommending an old recommendation. Here is the synopsis:
In an Arizona desert a man wanders in a daze, speaking words that make no sense. Within twenty-four hours he is dead, his body swiftly cremated by his only known associates. Halfway around the world archaeologists make a shocking discovery at a medieval site. Suddenly they are swept off to the headquarters of a secretive multinational corporation that has developed an astounding technology. Now this group is about to get a chance not to study the past but to enter it. And with history opened to the present, the dead awakened to the living, these men and women will soon find themselves fighting for their very survival–six hundred years ago. . . .

Thursday, November 11, 2010


We've been a bit behind on stuff but I don't think that Harry Potter really needed an introduction! I've already finished re-reading it! And am waiting for the movie!

Anyone who read Stilettos and Scoundrels please post here what you thought!!

Also if your reading anything new or if you have any recommendations leave a comment below!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Closer Look at Robert Masello

Robert Masello is an award-winning journalist, television writer, and the bestselling author of many novels and nonfiction books. He has written for several popular television series: his produced credits include such shows as "Early Edition," (loved Early Edition!!) "Charmed," "Sliders," and "Poltergeist: the Legacy." He also has written a number of non-fiction books with a wide range of topics.
His latest novel, Blood and Ice is one choice for our book of the month! His previous novels include The Spirit Wood, Black Horizon, Private Demons, Bestiary,and Vigil.

Robert Masello studied at Princeton University and served as the Visiting Lecturer in Literature at Claremont McKenna College from 2002 to 2008.
He now lives, with his lovely wife and his hyperactive Labrador retriever in Santa Monica, CA.
This information was taken from his website.

A Closer Look at John Greene

John Greene's first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award and mad the ALA 2005 Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults and is also scheduled to be a movie in 2013. His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, is also slated for a movie. Then in 2008 he collaborated on Let it Snow with fellow authors Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle and also our book of the month last December.
Paper Towns was released in October 2008 and debuted at number 5 on the New York bestseller list and was awarded the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel and won the 2010 Corine Literature Prize.

He graduated from Kenyon College in 2000 with a double major in English and Religious Studies. John Greene currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana (woohoo) with his wife and baby boy, Henry, born in January.
Check John out on You Tube!! He's funny! If you follow that link check out his other videos where he talks about his books! ;0)
Vote For John's Paper Towns!!
Most of the information was taken from wikipedia.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recommending a Recomendation

Recently Melanie recommended The Hunger Game Trilogy, over my two week vacation I managed to read all 3!!
I picked up the first one in paper back on discount and then felt dumb as I went back and bought the hardback box set as I had to read the other two! (I passed along my paperback to my sister!)

Sometimes in a series I find that when it comes to the end it's not as good as I was expecting. The ending of the this trilogy was so good I read it twice. I mean I literally just read the last few chapters again! Okay I also read the end of the book as I returned back to the UK and was in a jet lagged haze and wanted to make sure I hadn't missed anything but still an amazing serious!
I have to second Melanie's recommendation!

Here is Melanie's Recommendation.

PS I will be posting again after I've read Battle Royale. Some reviewer on Amazon says that Collins has copied scenes from it word for word. I like to look into such claims :0)

Friday, October 15, 2010

And the winners are...

Eileen Brown  and Janet Chan!  Congratulations!  Please email your mailing address to jmpritchett11@yahoo.com and expect your free signed copy of Stilettos and Scoundrels in 2-3 weeks!!!  Sorry for the delay and thank you for participating! :) 

Friday, October 1, 2010

October's Book of the Month

Stilettos & Scoundrels by Laina Turner-Moleaski
Presley Thurman, a sassy, thirty-something red-head, was looking to reinvent herself. She didn't allow the fact she was recently fired to bother her - she was ready to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. Presley is a lover of shopping and Starbucks, and even though she sometimes had bad taste in men, she always had great taste in clothes. Not looking back on corporate America, Presley decided to follow her dream. With her feisty nature and a spirit to not "sweat the small stuff," she was ready to tackle any challenge (even if she had no idea how she would pay the bills). When her friend Trevor offered her a job with his online magazine to interview public figures, she jumped at the chance. However, the new job turned into something unexpected when the U.S. Senator she was slated to write about was murdered - in her home town! Presley was excited - she hadn't seen so much buzz since the spring sample sale at Saks. She was ready for this adventure, even if it didn't seem to fit neatly into her life. She couldn't pass up the opportunity to be in the middle of the buzz. Presley was determined (not to mention curious) to find the killer and write her story. After all, she couldn't afford her shoe habit without a job and she was certainly not one to shy away from danger. The only thing standing in her way was an old high school fling, Cooper Sands, head of the Senator's security. He was not actually standing in her way, but because of his good looks, he was the biggest distraction and one she was having the hardest time overcoming. Cooper felt it was too dangerous for Presley to look for a killer and tried to distract her with reliving the past; which Presley found more dangerous than any killer. While she attempted to resist Cooper's good looks and charm, Presley was able to discover the Senator's wife, Helen, had been having an affair... with her best friend's boyfriend! Did Helen kill the Senator? Or was it the Senator's love of gambling that got him killed? And what was Cooper's secret tie to the mob boss Garrison Palazzo? Presley was betting her favorite pair of Manolo's she will find the killer... but will time run out!

Last chance to win this book!! Enter the competition below now!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Enter to win a signed book from Pages of the Mind!

On October 1, 2010, we will be giving away two signed copies of Stiletto's and Scoundrels (October Book of the Month) by Laina Turner-Molaski.  There are four ways to enter your name to win!  Each one gives you an additional entry and a better chance to win.  Two winners will be randomly chosen and announced on October 1st.
  1. Leave a comment on this post by finishing this sentence: The title of my memoir would be ________.
  2. Share this post on Facebook by clicking the FB icon below and leave a comment saying you did so. 
  3. Become a follower of this blog.
  4. Become a member of the Pages of the Mind group on Facebook and leave a comment here saying you did so. 
Good Luck!

P.S. There will be another contest to win a signed copy of Laina's new book, Chiczofrenic, that is being published in October!  Details to follow. 

Contest rules:
You can only win once.  Winners must reside in the US or UK.  Contest ends September 30, 2010 at midnight, Eastern Standard Time.  Please allow 2-3 weeks delivery time.  Owners of this blog are excluded from winning. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Meet the Author - Laina Turner-Molaski

Janet Pritchett and Laina Turner-Molaski

On September 11, I went to Mudsock Books and Curiosity Shop to meet Laina and get my very own signed copy of Stiletto's and Scoundrels!  It was great to see her and talk with her about Stiletto's & Scoundrels, as well as her new book, Chiczofrenic that is due out in October.  After talking with her, I got a surprise!  Laina gave us 4 books to giveaway to our readers!  There will be information coming soon about how to win a signed book, so stay tuned!  Thanks Laina!

Children's Book Giveaway!

Laurie Keller's new book, Birdy's Smile Book, will be published on September 28th.  To celebrate she's giving away 5 free copies!

If you'd like to enter the drawing, just go to her website (http://www.lauriekeller.com/) and send her an email including your name and email address.  You will be notified by email if you have won. 

Good Luck!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Local Book Signing in Fishers, IN!

The Book of the Month in October will be Stilettos and Scoundrels by Laina Turner-Molaski.  If you do not have a copy yet, head out to Mudsock Books & Curiosity Shop in Fishers to purchase one.  Mudsocks is located on Allisonville Road near Hallmark behind Kroger.  Laina Turner-Molaski will be there this Saturday (the 11th) starting at 1pm to sign copies of Stilettos & Scoundrels!  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Hunger Games Trilogy: A Reccomendation

The Hunger Games             Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)             Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)

The Hunger Games takes place in an unidentified future time period after the destruction of North America, in a nation known as Panem. Panem consists of a rich Capitol and twelve surrounding, poorer districts. As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol, every year one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected at random and forced to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised event where the participants, or "tributes", must fight to the death in a dangerous outdoor arena until only one remains. The story follows fatherless 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12 who volunteers for the 74th Games in place of her younger sister, Prim. Also participating from District 12 is Peeta Mellark, a boy whom Katniss knows from school and who once saved Katniss's life by giving her bread when her family was starving. 
(Synopsis from Wikipedia)

The first book details Katniss' journey through the Hunger Games - I read this book over the course of weekend (a busy weekend where I only had time to pick up the book to get a few pages in while waiting for water to boil or sitting in my car outside a friends house before leaving to tailgate).  I haven't yet read the second two books in the (supposedly) young-adult trilogy but the person who recommended them to me assures me that they are just as good.  The second looks at life after the Hunger Games and if I tell you too much about what happens in the third, I'd have to tell you too much about the second...so if you want to know, read them ;)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Even Cowgirls get the Blues by Tom Robbins - A Recommendation

Sissy Hankshaw, an almost flawlessly beautiful small-town girl with big-time dreams, hitchhikes her way into your heart, your hopes, and your sleeping bag in Tom Robbins's magical, funny, and most famous novel. Follow Sissy's amazing odyssey from Virginia to chic Manhattan to the Dakota Badlands, where FBI agents, cowgirls, and ecstatic whooping cranes explode in a deliciously drawn-out climax. This is Tom Robbins at his offbeat, outrageous, and inventive best.
Stacy Says- This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I think that Tom Robbins is a brilliant author and I look forward to reading more of his work. The way he uses words is truly beautiful. There is a truth to humanity with a twist of silliness that comes out in this book and because of that I intend to read this again some day to make sure I didn't miss anything.

Extreamly Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated. Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination.

Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the attack on the World Trade Center. An inspired creation, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone's heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who've lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of characters who are all survivors in their own way. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close boldly approaches history and tragedy with humor, tenderness, and awe.

Stacy Says- When asked to describe what this book is about I could not tell you, I just know that you should read it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

We've announced the books we're reading for our book of the month till the end of the year.
Just check our Book of the Month tab!

We're voting for our December book now!
Check out the Your Vote tab to read about your choices!!

As always we are taking suggestions for books to read!
I'm always looking for recommendations!!
Please tell us what to read!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September's Book: Heartburn by Ephron

September's book is........ Heartburn by Nora Ephron.

Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel discovers that her husband is in love with another woman. The fact that this woman has a 'neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb' is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel is a cookery writer, and between trying to win Mark back and wishing him dead, she offers us some of her favourite recipes. Heartburn is a roller coaster of love, betrayal, loss and - most satisfyingly - revenge.
I discovered this book in The Reading Group by Elizbeth Noble,
I felt it would make a good discussion book! I hope you all like it!!!
I also picked it as I am under the impression it has recipes through out the book which of reminds me of Melanie! Who recommended Julia and Julia last summer!!

Cupcakes at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown {book review}

Every month a blog I follow hosts a book club, but the books chosen all have to do with food. Particularly baking. It’s very similar to ...