Monday, November 30, 2009


Consider this free flowing randomness – because I am completely numb.

One of my sorority girlfriends died last night. No explanation. She was home for Thanksgiving and her Mom went into her room to wake her up, and found her dead. She had diabetes, but it was under control, and she was otherwise in good health. Angie – your laughter was infectious – and your craziness unsurpassed. You were taken from us too soon. We will miss you. So, for those of you in close proximity to girlfriends – go give them a big hug and tell them how much they mean to you!

(A picture of my girlfriends at our reunion last year -- Angie is the red head, front row, in the middle.

On to other things not nearly as sad:

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The food tasted particularly yummy this year. All the same “traditional” accompaniments, but the family cooks (my mom and sister-in-law) really knocked it out this year. The bad thing about traveling “out of town” for Thanksgiving – no LEFTOVERS! Oh, how I wish I had a big turkey/dressing/cranberry sandwich! And some cherry pie!

My reading funk continues – I did not turn a page over the holidays. And it was splendid. No pressure to post, no pressure to finish anything. I am working on a Jane Austen Mystery by Stephanie Barron (Jane and His Lordship's Legacy); it’s quaint, and normally I could have finished it in about 2 days. Oh well. But remind me, next time I start a “series”– I need to start with book 1 not book 7.

Bob Stoops announced today that he is staying at Oklahoma. Thank you Bob! Notre Dame isn’t good enough for you. It’s been a heartbreaking Sooner football year. Ten weeks ago, when I was standing in Jerry Jones/Dallas Cowboy stadium before the kick off to the BYU/OU game, I could never have predicted the misfortune to envelope this football team. But, a season is always redeemed when you thrash OSU! Take that Pokes!

PTA responsibilities have consumed me. Anyone have experience planning a major fundraiser? I need serious help!

We still have lice in our house. When will these pests leave us! Luckily, they remain happily on my daughter’s head, and no other family members. But after three treatments, they still won’t die. I finally got a prescription treatment (to the tune of $60!!!) -- this better eliminate them once and for all.

And if that wasn’t enough – when we got home from our vacation – we found RODENT DROPPINGS all over the kitchen floor! Good Grief Charlie Brown! Terminix is coming in the morning. I’m done with vermin and all other creepy-crawlies.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Going Unplugged!

I saw this logo on A Bookshelf Monstrosity and thought I would implement it too!

Thanksgiving is time for family and friends -- and a time to turn off the computer. Besides, my parents still live in the '50s and wouldn't know what to do with a computer even if they had one (and I don't get my laptop for another week).

For a book recommendation: Try Louisa May Alcott's An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving -- we are reading it during our road trip.

Are you ready for some Turkey?!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving — I’m curious about your holiday traditions!

What’s your favorite side dish? (Daisy Mom: Spoonbread)

Afternoon meal? Or evening meal? (Mid afternoon)

Do you cook? Or a family member? (Always Mom!)

Do you travel? Or stay home? (Travel to my folks in 4 hours!)

Dark meat? Or White meat? (White for me, dark for my husband)

Sweet Potatoes? Or Mashed Potatoes? (Sweet with marshmallows; Mashed with gravy)

Real whipped cream? Or Cool Whip? (We usually have both on hand)

Pie: Pumpkin? Apple? Cherry? Pecan? (Pumpkin and my Mom's greatest cherry pie)

Special Thanksgiving activity? Afternoon Football? Christmas Lights? Sleeping? (All of the above!)

Have a safe, happy, food-filled and stomach-busting, Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reading 101

After failing to read my book club book for our November meeting, I’ve had to reevaluate my book selections of late. Over the past few weeks or months, I’ve felt OBLIGATED to read – book club, mother-daughter book club, challenge requirements – you name it. The joy of climbing in my big chair and turning page after page has been noticeably absent. Is it my book choices? Have job, family, PTA responsibilities, totally overwhelmed me that I can’t remember how to “read?” I feel burned out. And the noticeable absence of book reviews is evidence.

How do you get out of a reading funk? Or are reading funks not allowed?

I’m going to try this: I’m taking an inventory of all the unread books on my shelf and trying to assess what will give me the greatest pleasure – without taxing my brain too much. And brevity would be nice too. Under 300 pages. A length I know I can finish. My brain is fried. And my attention span is shot. (Although, I REALLY want to read Persuasion sometime over the holiday, not sure that qualifies?)

I’m blowing off all that is expected and indulging myself in brain candy, whatever that may be.

At least I can't get cavities this way!

(P. S. Persuasion is under 300 pages! Yippee for me!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Remembering President Kennedy

46 years ago today, the country stopped, people mourned, and the world grieved. Today marks the anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. I feel like I should have memories of this event, with so many images available from that day, but I was 3 years from being born. Still I wonder, "What might have been?"

With this event and the recent death of Senator Ted Kennedy, I've personally committed to read at least one Kennedy-related book between now and the next anniversary on Nov. 22, 2010. Here are a few I'm considering:

JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters, by James Douglass

Grace & Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House by, Sally Bedell Smith

A Thousand Days: JFK in the White House by Arthur Schlesinger

President Kennedy, by Richard Reeves

Conversations with Kennedy, by Ben Bradlee

My 12 Years with JFK, by Evelyn Lincoln

I'm not a conspiracy-theorist. I don't really know what happened that day. I don't think anyone ever will. I'd like to think that after 46 years with the advancement of technology we could better analyze the remaining documents or film or evidence. But I certainly would like to know more about the man and his presidency, and ultimately his death.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Reader's Journal Spotlight

Many thanks to Booklogged at A Reader's Journal for her "spotlight" on Arkansas and Gerbera Daisy Diaries, and most of all, her very kind words.
Please visit her blog!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Review -- The Omnivore's Dilemma

The Omnivore's Dilemma The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Very rarely do I not finish a book. But life came crashing down on me this week and unfortunately, The Omnivore's Dilemma, was the collateral damage.

If I could rate the 50 pages I did read I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. Michael Pollan weaves an extraordinary story of the industrialization of our food. Considering the subject matter could get bogged down in minutia, he has a very easy writing style that is a pleasure to read. And I'm convinced he needs to write romance novels after reading his section on "corn sex!" Totally erotic, in a plant kind of way! I hope to revisit this book in the future. But I have to move on to other things.

Book source: Public library

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Book Group Night

It’s our last meeting of the year – we take December OFF for the holidays – and I feel like a failure! For the first time since being pregnant or having small, nursing babies, I didn’t finish the book!! Ugh! I usually save the book club choice until the last week before our meeting, so the details can be fresh in my mind. So far, my M.O. has worked – until this week. Everything that could go wrong did – including a child being sent home from school with LICE. My free hours for the past few days have been devoted to delousing everything in our house, including parents, children and furniture. I’m exhausted. And although the first 40 pages of Michael Pollan’s “Omnivore’s Dilemma” were utterly fascinating and disturbing, I just didn’t have the brain power to overcome my unforeseen obstacles. This was a week for a romance novel.

To make up for my lack of literary brain power, I’m making Pumpkin Dump Cake, a recipe I found through Amy’s Fall Recipe Exchange. It’s in the oven and smells scrumptious. We have a Thanksgiving Pot Luck for our November meeting. Hopefully my book groupees will forgive me my literary trespasses when they eat this cake.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Here's What You Need:
1 (29 oz) can of Pumpkin
1 cup of sugar
1 (12 oz) can of evaporated milk
3 eggs
4 tsp. of pumpkin pie spices (or combination of cinnamon/nutmeg/cloves/ginger
1/2 tsp. of salt
1 box of yellow cake mix
3/4 cup of melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Here's What You Do!

First you're going to combine the pumpkin, sugar, evaporated milk, eggs, pumpkin pie spices and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat well. Pour this lovely mixture into a greased 9x13 glass pan. Sprinkle cake mix over the pumpkin mixture and then sprinkle in the pecans. Pour melted butter over it. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. When you stick the knife into the center and it comes out clean, you're good to go! Make sure you keep an eye on it at the end as it'll burn easily. This will make tons of goodies for you (or 12-15 people) to enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cross-over Authors

One of the benefits of shelving and re-shelving books at the library is becoming more aware of authors and their works. Additionally, I have been surprised to find authors that I associate with a specific genre, that also “cross-over” and write for a completely different audience.

Here are a few that have totally surprised me! Consider it my “who knew?” category.

Alexander McCall Smith

Best known for his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Isabel Dalhousie mystery series – he also writes a Juvenile Fiction mystery series – Harriet Bean.

They look delightful! They are for 2nd – 4th graders.

Meg Cabot

What mother of a middle grade daughter isn’t familiar with Meg Cabot and all her Princess-themed books? She also writes adult fiction. What I didn’t know is that she writes a mystery series too: The Heather Wells Mystery Series.

And with a title like, “Size 12 is Not Fat” I think I will love her forever.

Sarah Dunant

I have Sarah Dunant’s Birth of Venus on my shelf. I think it was my 1st addition when I started my Goodreads list. I still haven’t read it. However, I’ve always associated her with Italian Renaissance historical fiction. I was totally surprised when I discovered that she writes a mystery series featuring a London-based private eye named Hannah Wolfe.

The 1st in the series is Birth Marks.

Aylet Waldman

I’m not sure if Aylet Waldman is better known for her fiction, her marriage to Michael Chabon or her one essay professing she loved her husband more than her children, which solidified her as a controversial writer. Her latest book, a work of non-fiction is, Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace. She’s also written adult fiction. What I didn’t know is she writes a mommy-lit mystery series featuring stay-at-home mom, Juliet Applebaum. The 1st in the series is called, Nursery Crimes.

There are several in the “mommy-track” series. I love this quote from Nursery Crimes:
“Anyone who tells you that having a child doesn't completely and irrevocable ruin your life is lying. As soon as that damp little bundle of poop and neediness lands in your lap, it's all over. Everything changes. Your relationship is destroyed. Your looks are shot. Your productivity is devastated. And you get stupid. Dense. Thick. Pregnancy and lactation make you dumb. That's a proven scientific fact.”
Thank you Aylet for voicing what I was afraid to express!

James Patterson

How many books has this man written?? Too many to count. And I haven’t read ANY of them. But I guarantee patrons at the library check out several of his books a day. But did you know he wrote Young Adult fiction too???

The Maximum Ride series is intended for 7th grade and older.

Finally, everyone knows Ian Fleming wrote all of the James Bond thrillers, but can you name his one contribution to juvenile fiction??

Do you remember this:

That’s been my biggest surprise of all!

What other cross-over authors are you familiar with or have you read? Are they successful at both? Or one more than the other?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Book Review -- Am I Not a Man? The Dred Scott Story

Am I Not A Man? The Dred Scott Story Am I Not A Man? The Dred Scott Story by Mark L. Shurtleff

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dred Scott: for me he was a forgotten footnote from an intro to Constitutional Law or American history class, taken so many years ago. Who was he? Why was he important? Why can’t I remember?

Mark Shurtleff, in his debut novel, Am I Not a Man? The Dred Scott Story attempts to answer those questions as he rediscovers the man, born a slave, who changed the course of history by suing, unsuccessfully, for the right to be free. In 1846 he sued for his freedom on the grounds that residing in free territory had made him free. Eleven years later his case reached the Supreme Court, where it was decided on March 6, 1857. Chief Justice Roger Taney read the majority opinion declaring that Dred Scott was not a person but a piece of property.

This novel is meticulously researched and enormous in scope: from his birth in Virginia, his ownership by the Blow Family, his travels with the Blows and his sale to Dr. Emerson, to his final judgment in a Missouri courtroom and ultimately, the Supreme Court, there is no detail spared in this narrative. The author seems to include every historical figure from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison to Andrew Jackson, Robert E. Lee and US Grant; even the Prophet Joseph Smith makes an unexpected and unlikely appearance. It was a soup-pot of characters including family genealogical histories and a myriad wives, husbands, friends, and in-laws. So many, I had a difficult time keeping them all straight.

As a parallel to Dred’s story, the author details the lives of President Abraham Lincoln and Roger Taney, the Chief Justice who would write the majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sanford, denying Dred his freedom. As he explores the ancestors of these two individuals, somehow, in a work of historical fiction, our current president is mentioned. It was an awkward reference, that didn’t seem appropriate in a work of “fiction.” Similarly, the events of September 11, 2001 are alluded too after the British attack Virginia and Maryland – completely shocking me out of the novel.

However, one of the more successful sections of the book was the account of Peter Blow’s Virginia Militia service and Dred’s support as they and the militia defend Virginia against the attacking British forces during the War of 1812. The imagery of “Red Coats” marching through the mud as they advanced on Craney Island was extremely well done. The author also creates a vivid account of Dred’s relationship with his wife Harriet and their children, Eliza and Lizzie (although, I often wondered, “who names their children both essentially the same name – Elizabeth?”). Their love and devotion to each other and their daughters was tangible on the page. Additionally, and most importantly, the final chapters that detail the legal battle fought by Dred and his lawyers were paramount.

Although the range of this novel needed streamlining and editing, the author did a decent job in creating a life for Dred Scott, a man whose struggle has been forgotten by many in my generation.

Book source: publisher

View all my reviews >>

Friday, November 13, 2009

Not my review of Elna Baker

I am seriously book-backlogged! I have stacks that need to be read and no time to read them!

I got this book from Amazon on Tuesday, and although it's supposed to be a quick read, I don't even have time for quick anymore. I have a review due tomorrow, and then I have to cram my book group book for Thursday's final discussion of the year.

However, my dear friend Heather, offered her review over at our group blog, Mormon Mommy Wars, so if you want to throw your two cents into the ongoing discussion, feel free! And when I finally get around to reading it, hopefully we can discuss it here too.

Pottery Night!

My monthly pottery GNO was another success last night -- I created a platter for my parents for Christmas. My Dad is an administrator at a private, liberal arts, university -- so their home is adorned in university logos. Hopefully, they can add this one to the collection:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Thanks to all those women and men who have honorably served our country.

In honor of Veteran's Day -- the editors of The Book Case have assembled a reading list of Veteran's Day/Military appropriate books:

20th Century Battlefields by Peter and Dan Snow
Medal of Honor by Peter Collier, photography by Nick Del Calzo
The Bedford Boys by Alex Kershaw
The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam
Franklin and Winston by Jon Meacham
Now the Drum of War by Robert Roper
Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour by Joseph Persico
11 Days in December by Stanley Weintraub
Jarhead by Anthony Swofford

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Have I done any good?

I’m not sure I do anything right as a mother: I yell too much, I criticize too much, I don’t cook well enough, I don’t craft at all – OK let’s stop there because I’m depressing myself.

But guess what, I’ve done something right by starting the mother/daughter book club. We met for the second time tonight and can I tell you what I saw in my daughter’s face? Joy! Unadulterated Joy! And all the girls, frankly -- they talked energetically about the book, they asked questions, they discussed characters, they talked about likes and dislikes, they even argued about what character they wanted to be! They did a better job asking questions and leading the discussion than I did last month.

So tonight, I’m glowing in my daughter’s bliss, and realizing that occasionally, I can do something right.

Next mother/daughter book selection:

Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill (Betsy-Tacy)

Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad

Apparently, I am the only person on the planet that hasn't had this jello salad. We had it our monthly PTA Council meeting today. Ooohhh sooo gooood!!

There was leftover -- we had it for dinner!

What You Need!
2 cups finely crushed pretzels
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1-1/2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
2 cups boiling water
1 pkg. (6 oz.) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
1-1/2 cups cold water
1 qt. (4 cups) strawberries, sliced OR one package of frozen strawberries, thawed

Make It!

HEAT oven to 350°F.

MIX pretzel crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter. Press onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 min. Cool.

BEAT cream cheese, remaining sugar and milk until blended. Stir in COOL WHIP; spread over crust. Refrigerate.

ADD boiling water to gelatin mix in large bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate 1-1/2 hours or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression). Stir in strawberries; spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Home Sweet Home

My family and I went home this past week (for Fall Break) to celebrate my Mom's birthday. In addition to some much needed R&R -- we went to a football game.

Here are my boys with the "Captain 'Cane":

My Future Cheerleader:

And the family -- notice the absence of fans! When your team has lost 4 in a row -- I guess people have better things to do! However -- considering it was the first weekend in November -- look what we have on -- sweatshirts! It was 65 degrees at kickoff! Thank you weatherman!

Austen Revisited

After I posted my new CHALLENGE last week, I decided I needed to reevaluate my Everything Austen Challenge. I'm not a quitter or an abondoner -- and I really want to accomplish this challenge -- but with the holidays looming, I realized trying to read Persuasion at nearly 400pgs and Jane Austen: A Life at 400+pgs before the New Year's deadline, well, it just wasn't going to happen. So, I've substituted this (I bought it used for $3):

Jane and His Lordship's Legacy (Jane Austen Mysteries (Paperback))
Jane and His Lordship's Legacy is historical suspense writing at its very finest, graced with insight, perception, and uncommon intelligence of its singular heroine in a mystery that will test the mettle of her mind and heart.

At only 280pgs -- I think I can manage it. Also, I've been intrigued by this series since I first spotted it on the shelf above M.C. Beaton mysteries. It's not the 1st in the series -- I hope I'm not spoiling anything.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Women Unbound Reading Challenge

The last thing I need is a reading challenge -- especially since I'm failing miserably at the Everything Austen Challenge I started this summer (only 1 of 6 books/movies read or viewed -- however I have until Jan 1, 2010 to finish -- surely I can squeeze in reading Persuasion and Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin AND watching P&P with Colin Firth, S&S with Emma Thompson/Kate Winslet, and Emma w/Gwyneth Paltrow, by then).

However, the Women Unbound Reading Challenge, really intrigues me. I love reading about women, whether fiction or non-fiction. So, I think I'm going to take the plunge. The general rule is:
"Participants are encouraged to read nonfiction and fiction books related to the rather broad idea of 'women’s studies.’"

There are three levels of participation: (you can count books for other challenges as well):

Philogynist: read at least two books, including at least one nonfiction one.
Bluestocking: read at least five books, including at least two nonfiction ones.
Suffragette: read at least eight books, including at least three nonfiction ones.

I'm going all out and becoming a Suffragette!

My own stipulation for this challenge: my book choices MUST currently reside on my bookshelves!! No library checkouts, no Barnes and Noble purchases, no Amazon orders, no used bookstores. They all must be in my possession and haven't been read before! (That should be a challenge in and of itself -- the "Clearing Off Your Bookshelf Challenge!")

Here is my reading list (I hope they all qualify as women studies!):


West with the Night, by Beryl Markham
West with the Night
Born in England in 1902, Markham was taken by her father to East Africa in 1906. She spent her childhood playing with native Maruni children and apprenticing with her father as a trainer and breeder of racehorses. In the 1930s, she became an African bush pilot, and in September 1936, became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west.

Nine Parts of Desire, by Geraldine Brooks
Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women
In this captivating book, award-winning journalist Geraldine Brooks offers an intimate, often shocking portrait of the lives of modern Muslim women, and shows how male pride and power have warped the original message of a once-liberating faith. "A valid, entertaining account of women in the Muslim world."--The New York Times Book Review

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History
In this engrossing volume, Laurel Ulrich goes far beyond the slogan she inadvertently created and explores what it means to make history. Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History celebrates a renaissance in history inspired by amateurs, activists, and professional historians. It is a tribute to history and to those who make it.


The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.
The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. (Josephine Bonaparte, #1)
...through the novel The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., not only do we learn of the many differences between Robespierre and Rousseau, but we gain insight into the marriage of one of history's greatest political couples: Napoleon and Josephine.

The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton, by Jane Smiley

The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton is a Little House on the Prairie for grownups. Lidie's accounts of homesteading, from buying a new stove to coming upon the finest horse in the territory (and among the finest in literature), combine character, charm, and social history.

A Woman of Independent Means, by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey
A Woman of Independent Means (Virago Modern Classics)
At the turn of the century, a time when women had few choices, Bess Steed Garner inherits a legacy--not only of wealth but of determination and desire, making her truly a woman of independent means. From the early 1900s through the 1960s, we accompany Bess as she endures life's trials and triumphs with unfailing courage and indomitable spirit: the sacrifices love sometimes requires of the heart, the flaws and rewards of marriage, the often-tested bond between mother and child, and the will to defy a society that demands conformity.

The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard, by Erin McGraw
The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard
Trapped in Kansas at the turn of the twentieth century, Nell Plat is seventeen, unhappily married, and the mother of two baby girls. No reality could be further from her secret dreams of glamour and excitement, dreams that will tempt her to do the unthinkable and run away to the glittering wonderland of Los Angeles and the burgeoning motion picture industry.

A Short History of Women, by Kate Walbert
A Short History of Women: A Novel
From National Book Award nominee Kate Walbert, a provocative and beautiful novel about five generations of women.

The challenge runs from Nov 1, 2009 -- Nov 30, 2010.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Book Review -- The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë by Syrie James

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Charlotte Bronte wrote prolifically – poetry, juvenilia, fantasy stories, letters, novels – some published, some not, some not finished – but we don’t have her diaries. Whether she kept a diary or not we will never know. But thanks to author, Syrie James, we can imagine what it might be like to read Charlotte’s private thoughts.

Through her “diaries” we learn that Charlotte’s suffered greatly – she lost her mother at 5 to cancer, her older sisters both died when she was 9, her brother was an alcoholic, and her remaining sisters, best friends and confidants -- Anne and Emily -- both died within 6 months of each other, before they turned 30. Charlotte and her father were the only surviving members of her family. She was educated at harsh, bleak boarding schools, she studied abroad in Belgium, was determined to start a school with Anne and Emily, only to have it closed because of no applicants and she had an “affair” with her tutor, who would later become her inspiration for her posthumously published novel, The Professor. Finally, Charlotte reveals to us her great romance with curate, A. B. Nicholls, which was nearly ruined because of her father’s disapproval.

This was a delightful novel. I felt Charlotte’s agony at the loss of her family and I shivered with her when she sought solace in the moor landscape of her English home. Ultimately, I cheered her for preserving against the establishment and succeeding in getting her works published (even if she had to publish them under a male pseudonym).

Additionally, I loved the “extras” at the end of the book – where I could read samples of Charlotte’s actual letters and poems. I’ve been inspired to read (and re-read) all of the Bronte sisters’ books!

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte was recently selected as a “great group read” by the Women’s National Book Association. A well deserved honor for Charlotte’s “diary.”

View all my reviews >>

Monday, November 2, 2009

New York Times -- The Help by Mokoto Rich

Thanks to anonymous for finding the link...

My Lucky Day!

Today I won:

Murder at Longbourn: A Mystery

Description: A die-hard fan of Jane Austen novels and the traditional English mystery, Tracy Kiely has combined elements of both for this truly delightful and witty debut.

Planning New Year’s resolutions to rid her life of all things unhealthy, Elizabeth Parker has dumped fatty foods, processed sugar, and her two-timing boyfriend. Indeed, the invitation to join her Aunt Winnie for a How to Host a Murder Party on New Year’s Eve at Winnie’s new Cape Cod B and B comes just in time. But when the local wealthy miser ends up the unscripted victim, Elizabeth must unearth old secrets and new motives in order to clear her beloved aunt of suspicion. The suspects include the town gossip, a haughty rich woman, and an antiques business owner much enamored of his benefactress, a Mrs. Kristell Dubois. If that isn’t bad enough, Elizabeth must also contend with her childhood nemesis, Peter McGowan---a man she suspects has only matured in chronological years---and her suspicions about his family’s interest in Winnie’s inn.

Yesterday, her only worry was of ever finding her Mr. Darcy. Now she has a murder to solve. Is it any wonder her resolution to achieve inner poise is in tatters?

By reimagining characters and themes lifted from the treasured classic Pride and Prejudice, and crafting an expert, intricate mystery, Tracy Kiely has brought to life something very special: a new cozy series that is clever, vibrant, and utterly disarming.

Thanks to Stephanie at Stephanie's Written Word for her contest!

Now that my responsibilities at the library include shelving Mysteries, I'm determined to add more of them to my reading repertoire.

This is a great way to start.