Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Our buddy Richard won a Golden Reel award from the Motion Picture Sound Editors for "Best Sound Editing in Feature Film: Music" for his work on "INTO THE WILD."

Hooray Richard!!!

LBC Freebie of the Day

Get a free sample of Curel's Life's Stages mositurizers. (choose one of two kinds)


Monday, February 25, 2008

LBC Freebie of the Day

Get a free sample of Tide with Dawn StainScrubbers.


PEOPLE OF THE BOOK by Geraldine Brooks

I really detested Brooks' last novel, MARCH, so I was very hesitant to pick up her latest offering. However, the subject matter of PEOPLE OF THE BOOK sounded so interesting that I could not pass it up.

Have any of you ever seen the film "The Red Violin." If so, you will find the plot of PEOPLE OF THE BOOK very familiar. The story begins with a medieval haggadah turning up in Sarajevo in the midst of the chaos of the late 1990's. An Australian book conservator, Hanna Heath, is called in to stabilize and repair the very special book. As Hanna works, she uncovers several fibres and other bits and pieces within the book that she sends out for analysis. Each small piece will add something to the story of the haggadah and its creation.

The book travels back through time as each successive piece of fiber or other ephemera is identified. We slowly learn about the history of the book and its origins through these small clues. This is the most fascinating part of the story--the discovery of how the book came to be and the many people who had a hand in protecting it. However, the framing storyline of Hanna in the present really slows down the plot and seems unnecessary. I understand what the author was trying to accomplish but I didn't think that storyline was particularly effective.

The Sarajevo haggadah is a real book while the story presented in Brooks' novel is sipmly speculation. However, it reveals the lengths that people who truly love books will go to in order to protect them. Whereas I found MARCH to be a particularly slow and tedious book, PEOPLE OF THE BOOK propels you forward and makes you anxious to discover the origins of such a fascinating piece of history. It is definitely a book for people who love and value books.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

DESERT CUT by Betty Webb

I have been a fan of mystery writer Betty Webb since her very first book DESERT NOIR. Webb writes what is commonly known as "hard-boiled" mysteries. Her "desert" series focuses on a female Arizona detective named Lena Jones. I love the fact that Webb has created such a strong female protagonist. I found the first book in the series interesting and different but I was completely sold after reading Webb's second book, DESERT WIVES, which centered around Lena's attempts to rescue a girl being held in a polygamist compound. As the series has progressed, Webb has incorporated many social issues within her mysteries from polygamy to domestic abuse. Her newest offering is no exception.

In DESERT CUT, Lena find the body of a young girl in the Arizona desert and gets drawn into the mystery surrounding her death. While investigating the murder, Lena uncovers an ancient and brutal practice and must find the killer before another girl dies.

This book was an incredibly quick read. The subject matter is distasteful but no more so than other hard-boiled mysteries. I really enjoyed it. One of my favorite parts of this series is the backstory that Webb has developed about Lena Jones. Each book reveals a little bit more about the detective's past and keeps you coming back for more.

If you decide to read this series, I recommend starting from the first book. It isn't my favorite but it sets the scene and introduces Lena's story which will become important throughout the other books. After reading the second book, you'll be hooked!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

California Coast Adventure

For Valentine's Day, Gary planned a trip for us along the California coast. We drove down Highway 1 from Monterey to San Simeon. We had lovely weather and saw all kinds of wonderful wildlife: sea otters, harbor seals, elephant seals, monarch butterflies and even zebras in the wild! We started our trip at the Monterey Bay Aquarium which was wonderful. We especially liked the sea otters because they are such playful and fascinating creatures. Later in the trip, we were lucky enough to see one in the wild!
On our first full day, we drove through the lovely Carmel-by-the-Sea and stopped at the Point Pinos lighthouse and the Monarch butterfly refuge. We then took the scenic drive through ritzy Pebble Beach. I stopped at the Golf resort to use the restroom. I wanted to get baby a tony Pebble Beach onesie but Gary wasn't having it. Here is a photo from the butterfly refuge:

We then spent a night in Big Sur and then headed to Hearst Castle in San Simeon. What a fascinating place! Hearst must have loved to entertain! The views were spectacular. We stopped several times along Hwy 1 to look at wildlife. The elephant seals were ashore for mating and eating. I couldn't believe how close we got! The picture above is of a male elephant seal who kept trying to sneak back into the group. We spent the night at Ragged Point and then headed to Point Lobos for a few short wildlife hikes where we saw harbor seals and a sea otter! Now, we can't wait to go back with baby and Grandma!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Meme and a MWAH!

I have been taggeed by the ever-fabulous BOOKFOOL for a meme. I have forgotten to thank her for sending me a MWAH! as well. So, thank you Bookfool.

The point of the Mwah! award is "to hand some of that love and kindness back around to those who have been so very, very, very good to me in this bloggy world. My hope is that those who receive this award will pass it on to those who have been very, very, very good to them as well. It's a big kiss, of the chaste platonic kind, from me to you with the underlying 'thanks' message implied. I really do appreciate your support and your friendship and yes, your comments. ... Mwah!"

So, here is the meme:


a). What issues/topic interests you most--non-fiction, i.e, cooking, knitting, stitching, there are infinite topics that has nothing to do with novels?

I really like non-fiction books on history. History has always fascinated me and I love it when authors offer up new perspectives on "old" subjects. I also enjoy general current events books and books on "hot topics" such a FREAKONOMICS. Anything to get my brain thinking about new and challenging ideas.

b). Would you like to review books concerning those?

I would probably give it a shot.

c). Would you like to be paid or do it as interest or hobby? Tell reasons for what ever you choose.

I would have to say no. Although it would be nice, I would never want to make one of my interests or hobbies into a job. I don't think I would enjoy it as much. And the pressure would probably result in an inferior product. I shall leave the reviewing to my betters such as Bookfool and Literary Feline.

d). Would you recommend those to your friends and how?

Depending on their interests, I would recommend a book to an individual. I'm pretty picky about who I recommend books to, however.

e). If you have already done something like this, link it to your post.
I think the last non-fiction book that I reviewed was LOVER OF UNREASON.

f). Please don't forget to link back here or whoever tags you.

The fabulous BOOKFOOL!!!

I am sending out the MWAH! award to all of my readers so if you read this, consider yourself MWAH'd!

Also, check back later for a post on my weekend getaway that my hubby put together for me as a Valentine's present. It was a great time!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008



When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least:
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee,--and then my state
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings'.

-William Shakespeare

This is my favorite of all Shakespearean sonnets. It just really speaks to me. I hope you all have a lovely day filled with love, laughter and happiness. Now go out and hug someone!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Frozen Grand Central

I love stuff like this!!!


Friday, February 08, 2008


I belong to a Signed, First Edition Book Club that sends me one new book per month. I try to only allow myself one new book a month and then use the library for the rest. You booklovers know how hard that is!!!

This month's selection was the MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON by Lauren Groff. I had heard some positive buzz about this book and was excited it read it. I really enjoyed it! I can't pinpoint exactly why I liked it so much.

The book centers around prodigal daughter Willie Upton who returns home to small-town Templeton after being dumped by her married archaeology professor and finding herself pregnant. While home, Willie starts to delve into the truth about her past while uncovering secrets of her hometown. Several James Fenimore Cooper characters make appearances as well as a mysterious lake monster. The book serves up a wonderful view of the intricacies of a small historic town while providing a little mystery as well.

I found this book hard to put down. I had to figure out the mystery and find out more about the town's founding family. Several different characters narrate the story and you see the town and its history from different points of view. My only complaint would be that it was sometimes difficult to keep track of all the characters. However, I found the book utterly delightful and entertaining. A great first offering by Groff.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

You Make My Day Award

My wonderful fellow Texan, Miss Purl, awarded me the YOU MAKE MY DAY award. Thank you so much! I just love these little blogging awards and always feel tickled pink when I get one! I met Purl through a swap and we are definitely kindred spirits!

I am passing this award on to some of my favorite bloggers:

Princess Genevieve
Literary Feline
Gary F.

You guys make my day!!!

Rock the Vote

I was the third person in line this morning when the polls opened. I just love election days. I really do. It is a totally different experience for me now that I live in a small town than it used to be when I voted in a big city.

When I first moved here, I was baffled when I was given a paper ballot and a purple marker. Where were the computerized voting machines?! Now, I love the paper ballots. I love the fact that I mark my votes and place my ballot in a little sleeve and drop it in a big metal box stencilled "BALLOT BOX." It feels so much more real than just hitting a button on a machine.

I can't wait to see what happens tonight. I think the best part about this election year is that people are really talking about politics and getting excited about it. What a wonderful thing!

I am almost finished with MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON and I'm really enjoying it. I will try and post a review tomorrow. In the meantime, if you are having a primary election today, GO VOTE!!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

LBC Freebie of the Day

Get a free sample of Jergens Natural Glow Express Moisturizer.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

LBC Freebie of the Day

Get a coupon for a free bag of FLAT EARTH crisps. These are so yummy!!!