The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley

So, fair warning, this book covers a few hot button topics.

Matt Beaulieu, a successful neurosurgeon, first met his wife, Elle McClure, a college professor retired from NASA, when she was a few days old. His devotion to her only grew from that day as they grew up as neighbors, friends and ultimately lovers. They have everything they could ever hope for, except for a child. Then one fateful day Matt gets the call that changes his life forever. Elle has fallen from a ladder and suffered from a head injury.

Matt is forced to face the fact that Elle will not recover from her injury. Knowing that Elle feared most a slow death like her mother’s death, Matt decides that they will discontinue life support.

Before that can happen though, Matt is presented with news he never expected, that they had never considered. Elle is pregnant. He feels that Elle would have done anything to have a child, even face her worst fear but Matt’s mother Linney believes otherwise and she is fighting to have Elle’s advanced directive followed.

What an emotional book. I listened to this on audio, narrated by Robin Miles. The narration was wonderful, the emotion of the book was conveyed remarkably well.

This is a book that I feel will stick with me for a while. I’m still digesting some of the information. From my background I was really interested in the medical ethics of this case. But what this book does is make you look beyond the case studies of ethics and makes you focus on this event, this woman and this child. What would she have wanted?

Well written and one of the first books I’ve read where the entire relationship is basically shown through the husband’s eyes. We get snippets of Elle’s views from diary entries but our real picture is from Matt’s perspective. It’s a great use of storytelling as we are left trying decide what Elle would have wanted from the way Matt perceives Elle’s wants and desires.

Great read, but have those tissues handy.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Book Journey’s Harry Potter Re-Read

I finished book one of the series last night. Rather than give a review, because I feel like everyone definitely knows what this book is about by now, I thought I would give my thoughts on what I noticed with my first re-read through the book.

Have you ever noticed once you pick up a new hobby you suddenly see it in books, movies or shows that you otherwise didn’t notice it in before? That was definitely happening with me in this book. I picked up knitting in between the time I read this book last and I let a little squeal each time it popped up in the book. I of course could not have forgotten the Weasley sweaters but I forgot about Hagrid knitting on the train.

I suddenly have a new favorite character as well. I had somehow overlooked Professor McGonagall previously. I love her sass and how she deals with the students in the first book. I like to believe that if I had ever become a teacher I would have been like her.

The first book does an excellent job of setting up the atmosphere of Hogwarts and an introduction to some of the characters. I’m looking forward to completing the series this time through. Also feeling inspired to do some Harry Potter knits.

Squeezing in Reading Where I Can

So last week I decided to try something out. I tend to end up doing a lot of driving with my job. I’m essentially a health inspector in a large county, so I spend a good chunk of time driving from one inspection to the next. So I thought, why not try to squeeze in some reading time driving from place to place?

So I picked up Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins in audiobook form. And let me tell you I was actually surprised about how much I was able to listen to during the day. I averaged around 2 hours a day on a normal inspection day. Hello more reading time. On top of that, I think it actually made me go through my day a bit happier. It almost feels like a guilty pleasure or that I’m getting away with something. 

So what about you guys, how do you get in extra reading time? Audiobooks on long commutes or reading on a train or bus? Are you squirreling yourself away during  your lunch hour for a few minutes reprieve? Let me know and if you have any audiobook suggestions send them my way. 

Finding Time for Reading and Branching Out

Obviously, I haven’t blogged in quite a while. I’ve found it hard to balance reading time with working, crafting and trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

Here lately I seem to have been getting into a bit of a better groove. I won’t say I’ve gotten it figure out but I’m working on it. A while back I decided I didn’t read enough to warrant me blogging about it but this evening I decided who cares how much I read or if I post about a book every week? I want to talk about books with other book lovers and if someone wants to criticize me for not blogging enough that’s up to them.

So I have been making a concentrated effort the past month or two to read more graphic novels. Time for me to branch out and try new things. It has been a form I have avoided in the past and I am quickly learning that was a mistake. Not all graphic novels are about superheroes! Although I admit I have been enjoying some Batman graphic novels. I’ve found that great artwork and good stories can be found in the pages.

So far I have tried The Pretenders (The Cemetary Girl Triology) by Charlaine Harris, Sailor Twain: Or Ther Mermaid on The Hudson by Mark Seigel, and Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Seconds was by far my favorite of the three. I loved the art style and the story drew me in. It had a wonderful old folk tale vibe to it and I stayed up late to finish it in one sitting.

That’s what I’ve been reading lately. I’m currently reading The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero. Still early on in the book but loving it so far. What have you all been up to? Feel free to let me know some of your graphic novel favorites to check out.

On Tap Tuesday:8-21-12

On Tap Tuesday is where I tell you what is on tap for me reading wise for the week.

I most recently read: Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. I’m unsure if I will write a review about this now or wait until after our book group discusses it. It was my first Vonnegut read and I’m definitely going to check out more.

What I’m currently reading: The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

I haven’t gotten very far into The Power of Habit yet but it definitely seemed interesting to me. The Girl Who Played with Fire was a slow start for me but it’s picked up and is now taking most of my attention.

So what’s on tap for you guys this week?

Week in Review: May 25, 2012

Time for my week in review! I have to tell you all that I’ve had a rough week in my personal life. I found out this week that my program got funding cuts and that I will no longer have a job after June 29th. I have started j0b searching already and have a phone interview set up for today. Wish me luck!

Books I finished: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Books I started: In the Woods by Tana French and When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Plans for the next week: I think In the Woods is going to be one of my longer term reads. I’m enjoying going through it slowly. I’ve decided to start my first Toni Morrison book: Song of Solomon

Reviews I did this week: The Deep Zone by James M. Tabor

 

Hope you guys had great reading weeks. Have any book suggestions for me?

Starting an Online Book Club?

Good evening!

So I’ve been rolling around this idea in my head for a while and have mentioned it once or twice on twitter but I’ve finally decided that I wanted to make a post and see if there is any interest.

I want to start an online book club. I live in a small area and don’t have many book friends so starting a real life one seems like a daunting task. Those that are already started at the libraries usually meet at inconvenient times for me. Plus I already know that so many of you are awesome and I really want to talk more about books with you. Plus, what’s better than being able to show up to book club in your pj’s and being able to drink wine without worrying about driving home (trust me I won’t judge).

So here’s the basic idea, I’d like to limit the number of people in the club to 8 people plus me, mainly because I want to use google+ hangout as the “meeting place” for our book group. We would meet and chat about a chosen book once a month in a google+ hangout but hopefully we will get a good group together that will like to chat on twitter or by e-mail in between book club meetings.  I’m hoping that we can do this during the evening time (depending on the time we could do weeknight or weekend evening).

That being said I want to try to organize a fun and friendly group. I want everyone to feel free to express opinions about the book but I don’t want people to insult other members. We can establish more solid guidelines once we see if there are people actually interested.

 

So those are the basics of my idea. Anyone interested? Leave a comment on the blog or contact me through e-mail or twitter!

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Karou  learned early on in life that the way to avoid having to keep up with the lies was to just say the truth with such a straight face that everyone just assumes you’re being sarcastic. How else was she going to explain the frequent disappearances and the cuts and bruises on her skin when she’s shows back up?

Karou is mysterious even to those who are closest to her and she spend her days filling sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real.  Those who see her work applaud her at her creativity. But maybe these creatures aren’t things of just her imagination?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone takes place in the beautiful back drop of Prague, but also takes us to many exotic locals. Karou is charged with running errands for a devil with a dwindling stock pile of teeth. She has no clue what his need of the teeth is but that’s not the only thing she is unaware. She’s unsure of who she is herself and where she came from and she is quickly being brought into the middle of an otherwordly battle that’s been going on for decades. She’ll have to learn quickly and may find the details to her own past along the way.

This novel was beautifully written. The world Taylor has created is rich with detail and interesting characters. Daughter of Smoke and Bone has filled my need for a new epic fantasy world. I did feel that the book got a little slow in the middle, but there was a turning point for me that totally had me hooked at the end and I can’t wait for the sequel.  I’m hoping that the characters get flushed out a  bit more and I can’t wait to see where she takes the story.

Interestingly my library had this book in the young adult section. I feel like it’s definitely on the upper range of young adult, along with book of the hunger games sort. There’s nothing completely explicit in it but there are battles and there is some other qualities that I think wouldn’t be easily understood by the younger YA crowd.

Where Do You Go for Book Recommendations?

Do you have that one friend that always gives you the scoop on the newest read? Or do you depend on your book group to keep you in the know?

I would love to have those kinds of resources for book recommendations, but unfortunately, I don’t have any reading friends, much less a book group. I have a few friends that read here and there, but they aren’t near the book addict that I am!

So that left me to finding my own resources for book recommendations. The best resources that I’ve found so far have been podcasts, twitter and BookPage.

I feel that podcasts have filled the need most effectively because not only do I get great recommendations I also get the feel of having book friends. My two favorites are Books on the Nightstand and Bookrageous . Both podcasts are very well done and make you feel like you are listening to a group of friends talk about the books they love. Great resource to find new books that are coming out and occasional information about the industry. My TBR pile always grows by leaps and bounds after every epsidoe. Definitely give them a listen.

As for Twitter I recommend following favorite authors, people from blogs and podcasts you like as well as publishing houses. Many libraries are also now on twitter. This is one of the best ways to hear the buzz on the newest releases as well as getting information about giveaways. Some publishing houses will also do special promotions for advanced reader copies of upcoming books. Twitter is also a good way to start conversations about books with people all over the world with similar tastes and with different views.

One of my last resources is BookPage. You may be familiar with this title from you local library. Most libraries carry free copies of this magazine that is loaded with book recommendations and reviews for a variety of genres. They also have a website full of great information and you can sign up there for them to e-mail you daily recommendations. They are also someone else that you can follow on twitter!

So now that I’ve given you my sources for book recommendations, what are some of yours?

On Tap Tuesdays 1-10-12 and I Think I Have a Problem

Hello everyone! Happy Tuesday. On Tap Tuesdays are my weekly posts about what I plan on reading for the week.

 

On Tap for this week:

 

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman –  This is the first book I’m reading off my list for the 2012 TBR Challenge! 

Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman – I have this in audiobook form and I haven’t been able to get into it yet, I may end up switching to an ebook  for this one.

 

As for my problem. I was listening to a book podcast the other day and realized something. I really don’t have a favorite author anymore. I don’t have that author that I immediately want to have their book that’s newly published. The only thing that has came close lately is wanting a book that is next in a series because I enjoy the series, not exactly the author. Anyone else have that problem? Who is/are your favorite author(s)?

I haven’t always been this way, I did have a favorite author or two a few years ago, but after several disappointments they have fell out of favor with me. Maybe I need to go on a reading adventures to find new favorites?

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