Saturday, January 30, 2010

Found a Kindle Giveaway

Ash Elizabeth over that Warning: The following blog contains bitter, friendly, sarcastic, and helpful moments. is hosting a Kindle Giveaway.

Now, I would love to get one of these.  If you are interested, here is the link to the giveaway.  It's pretty simple, be a follower of Ash Elizabeth and either tweet about the giveaway or blog about it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Buy One Book and Read It 2010! Challenge

I've joined another challenge for this year.  I saw a post for this on my Google Reader this morning and after I checked it out, I decided to do it.

Amy over at My Friend Amy, hosts the Buy One Book and Read It challenge.  She started it when she realized how many people had not read a single book in a single year.  The premise is simple, buy a book and read it.

This year there are three levels to her challenge.

Level One:  Buy one book and read it before December 31, 2010.

Level Two:  Buy six books and read them before December 31, 2010.

Level Three:  Buy twelve books and read them before December 31, 2010.

She also has two different variations that participants can add if they want.  One is to only buy the book or books at an independent bookstore.  The other is to only buy books that the participant has learned about on a book blog.

I am doing this challenge at Level Two.
  1. "The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen" by Syrie James - Reviewed on April 10, 2010
  2. "Today's the Day!: My New Shoes" by Katie Simmons and Maureen Frew - Reviewed on April 13, 2010
  3. "Savor the Moment" by Nora Roberts - Reviewed on June 12, 2010
  4. "Dead and Gone" by Charlaine Harris - Reviewed on June 13, 2010
  5. "Lost", an anthology.
  6. "Happy Ever After" by Nora Roberts - Reviewed on Dec. 2, 2010

RIP JD Salinger

I saw a little while ago that JD Salinger, author of Catcher in the Rye, passed away.

MSNBC article

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Book List: What 3 fictional worlds do you want to hang out in?

I found this looking through Google Reader this morning via post from Pam at  Rebecca over at Lost in Books is hosting this weekly event which looks like a lot of fun.

Each week, Rebecca asks people to list something from their reading.

Here are my 3 fictional worlds that I would like to hang out in?
  1. Harry Potter - I would love to hang out with Harry Potter.  His world came to life for me when I was reading the series and I would love to be a part of it for a while.
  2. Anne of Green Gables - I loved these books as a young girl and would love to experience the world that Anne lived in.
  3. Eve Dallas - I know that Eve had a very rough childhood that still haunts her, but I think that the way her mind works is interesting and would have a great time experiencing it.  As long as when I am ready, I can pop back to my own world.

Teaser Tuesday - Suite Française

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

To participate, do the following:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

"But his voice quivered and in the lady's laugh you could hear the echo of stifled sobs.  She laughed like someone who had been very frightened and couldn't forget, while laughing, that she'd had a narrow escape."

p.277 of Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky

Monday, January 25, 2010

Library Loot - January 20 - 26, 2010

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

This is my first contribution to the Library Loot event this year. 

This week, I have 2 books out.  I am reading both of these books for the 2010 TBR Challenge.

The first is Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes.  I already wrote a longer blog about this so, I'm going to keep this short and sweet. 

I enjoyed this book, and found it to be a pretty quick read.  Her descriptions of Tuscany were beautiful and I can't wait to try some of the recipes in the book.  However, it did seem to drag at times.

The second book that I checked out this week is Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky.  I'm almost done with this book.  It is very gripping.  More to come on this when I am done with it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Under the Tuscan Sun

I knew starting this book that Under the Tuscan Sun was not going to be the same as the movie.  I did expect it to be better than the movie since most books that are turned into movies are.  In some ways, I wasn’t disappointed, and in others, I was.

I enjoyed how Frances Mayes brought her descriptions of the Tuscan countryside, the villa she and her husband purchased in Tuscany and all of their adventures in remodeling the villa to life.  The recipes that she included sound delicious and I will have to try a couple of them.  However, this book was a bit dry for me.  While it was an easy read, it seemed to drag at times and I found that I needed to force myself to pick it up again to finish it.

I’d like to give this book 3 ½ stars, but none of the sites let me do that.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The 5,000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World

I really enjoyed reading The 5,000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World by W. Cleon Skousen.  I wish that this book had been required reading when I was in college taking my political science courses.  What a difference it would have made to so many of us.  I can remember political science instructors in college telling us that the Constitution was outdated and that we should not pay any attention to it.  The 5,000 Year Leap shows how this belief is untrue and how we, as a country and a people, could benefit by getting back to the basics of the Constitution as it was intended by the Founding Fathers.  To me, the information in it is just common sense and would be easy to follow if we would only look at the Constitution and what the Founding Fathers had to say when they were crafting it.  I am going to have to look for some of the resources that are mentioned in this book and read them as well.

The 5,000 Year Leap was an easy read and I would recommend it to everyone, but especially to those seeking public office.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 20 January 2010

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact  Melissa (

This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, we will and do accept and keep free products, services, travel, event tickets, and other forms of compensation from companies and organizations.  The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. I will only endorse products or services that I believe, based on my expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

Currently, there is no advertising on this blog.  That may change in the future.  If so, those advertisements will be identified as paid advertisements.

Currently, this blog is not linked to any Affiliates.  That may change in the future.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bloggiesta - Wrap-up

Well, I didn't get all that much accomplished this weekend but I am happy with what I have done.  Hopefully, next year, I will get more accomplished.  Also, there are some things that I will probably be updating on my blog over the coming weeks/months that I could have gotten done this weekend, but didn't because of this or that.

What I did get done:
  • I modified my template so that my left sidebar was wider and did not cut off text or the image from the widget displaying my current reads.
  • I updated my tags to that they were easier, I hope, for people to follow.
  • I changed my tags from a list of labels to a cloud.  This seems to be the trend right now and I kind of like it.  We'll see how it goes and then I'll make a final decision on it.
Some maintenance items that I did today:
  • I added the widget from Barnes & Noble to display the badge for the latest First Look book that I am reading.  I may move these to a page and post the list under the current one if I find that they take up too much room.
  • I added Google Analytics to my template for tracking viewers, etc.

Tuesday Teaser - The 5,000 Year Leap

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

To participate, do the following:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

"The Creator would also reflect a fine sense of right and wrong, and also a sense of indignation or even anger with those who violate the laws of 'right' action.  In other words, God has a strong send of 'justice'."
p. 97 of The 5,000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World
by W. Cleon Skousen

The Red Door

The Red Door (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #12) The Red Door by Charles Todd

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the first book that I have read by this author and I enjoyed it very much. I was caught from the first page and enjoyed it so much that I couldn't put it down and finished it in one day.

I kept thinking that I knew who the killer/killers was/were until the very end. I hadn't suspected that person in either case at all. Although looking back, the one does make sense.

I'm adding the previous 11 books in this series to my to-read pile so that I can get more background on the characters in the series. That was the only thing that bothered me about this book. It was easy to pick it up mid-series, but Hamish kept throwing me for a loop. I need to go back and read the other books so that I can understand what is going on there. This was a very good book and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

I obtained this book from the publisher, HarperCollins.The Red Door

View all my reviews >>

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bloggiesta Update

Well, I've finally gotten the left sidebar fixed so that the Goodread bookshelf can now be seen without the right edge being cut off.

I've also updated my tags to that they include more information about what's in my blogs.  There is probably more that I could do with that, but for now, I'm happy.  I'll just keep updating the tags as I think of topics for the books and posts that I write or have already written.

Participating in Bloggiesta

I'm going to participate in Bloggiesta, hosted by Maw Books this weekend.  This is a weekend that is set up to doing housekeeping tasks on your blog.

I think that for this weekend, I'm going to focus on updating my tags on my posts.  I'm also looking at the copyright mini-challenge, but an a little confused on that one and have sent an email to my sister asking her about it.  We'll see what she says and then I'll update that accordingly.

I'm wondering what else I can to do improve my blog...we'll see what I can come up with.

Happy blogging!