Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A tale of two disappointing books

I recently finished two books that i was disappointed in. the first one was "Chicken Soup for the Grandma's Soul." i love the Chicken Soup series and i love being a grandma. i did not love this book. the cartoons weren't funny and the stories were for the most part disappointing. they were feel good stories, yes, but none of them usually touched me the way Chicken Soup books usually do. the book was a gift to me and i would not have bought it on my own. i am willing to pass it on should anyone be interested.
the 2nd book i will mention was absolutely horrible. entitled "Sudden Fiction - A Collection of American Short-Short Stories" edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas this book was a genuine waste of time. i kept at it hoping to find at least one story that was any good. these stories were by famous American authors, among them Tenessee Williams, Joyce Carol Oates, etc. awful stories. many made no sense and many was just vulgar and ridiculous. my daughter got this book as a textbook for one of her English classes in college and i kept it as i am always interested in trying new things. we'd return it to the campus bookstore and get our money back except it was the text from a class a few years ago. it's been on my shelf that long waiting to be read.
if anyone is interested in this short story book or the Chicken Soup book mentioned above, please let me know within two weeks. after two weeks we plan to have a book sale on our street to pass on some of our overflowing collection of books. have a great day!

The Lost Symbol

our women's book club is going to be discussing Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" next week. this is Dan Brown's newest book and it features the Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. he is tricked into coming to Washington DC by someone posing as a good friend. he is invited to give a speech in the Capital rotunda. he arrives there and ,of course, there is no audience. just a cryptic clue - a man's hand with tattoos on it and a Masonic ring. the hand is that of his friend's. thus begins a race around the capitol to save his friend's life and stop a mystery person from deciphering the clue to a hidden portal. i think this is Dan Brown's best book yet. i loved "The DaVinci Code" and even more, "Angels and Demons." ("Digital Fortress" and "Deception Point" were very disappointing.) i couldn't put this book down. i'd stay up way too late at night reading and be so tired the next morning for work. i am going to read it again to catch all the nuances. there is a lot of Masonic info and symbology in the book and it is fascinating. it really makes me want to read a book on the Masons. there is a huge twist towards the end that i should have figured out and didn't. i hope they make this book into a movie. it would be fascinating. i loved learning about the architecture in Washington DC. i'd love to go there some day. let me know what you think about the book. i am looking forward to hearing your comments as well as those of my book club members. For an exciting read, try "The Lost Symbol."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen

I have not read a Tess Gerritsen book in a long time. i have to say my favorite is still "Harvest". have any of you read that one? i have read a couple of her others and enjoyed them. i ordered this one from a mail order book service. it is her newest. it is another Rizzoli and Isles mystery. Dr. Isles, who is a forensice pathologist, attends a conference in Wyoming and meets and old friend from medical school. she is a very controlled and rational person, however, this old friend brings out the risk taker in her, and she agrees to go with him and some friends to a lodge and spend some time cross country skiing. they take a wrong turn, get lost, and come upon an abandoned little township where every house is exactly alike, and where the people are mysteriously missing from each home. a series of terrible events occur and Dr. Isles turns up among the dead who have died in a serious car accident and been burned to a crisp. Rizzoli and friends back in Boston start a search when Dr. Isles does not return home as anticipated. A cult is involved. there are a crooked sheriff or two involved and a run away boy. it read the book in a few hours in one sitting. it was pretty interesting as i wanted to see where things ended up. i will say that it is definitely not one of my favorite books of hers. i'd like to hear opinions from other readers of Tess Gerritsen and see what you have to say. have a great day! (it is sunny and warming up here in So.Cal.)

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

How many have you ever read this classic? our women's book club read this book for our August meeting which was last night. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." we had a really good discussion about the use of doubles, forshadowing, revenge, and mob rule last night. it was amazing how many of our group read the book. it is not the easiest book to read. he uses a lot of description that you have to sort through. he also descibes a lot of places that have significance but for someone in our time, it may not be something we know. i am glad for the Barnes and Noble version that my daughter found for me. it has a forward by an English professor about Mr Dickens and then has footnotes explaining some of the locations and terms that Dickens uses. it was really helpful in getting an understanding of what was going on. while Mr Dickens deplores the way the aristocracy abused the lower class, he also is clear that he did not favor the method used by the poor during the French revolution. mob rule is scary and dangerous. i have not had much time to read lately and so i have not yet finished the book. i will be doing so. it is not a quick read. it takes thought and some deciphering to understand what he is saying. i will say that the middle of the book is much easier to get through than the beginning. that may be because he has set the groundwork and explanations in what he terms as Book 1. our entire book group overwhelmingly liked the book. i like it, but i guess i am a little impatient. i am waiting for the real action to begin. the revolution has not started yet where i am in the book. how many of you enjoy the works of Charles Dickens? Do you have a favorite? most everyone knows "A Christmas Carol." critics say that his best book is "Great Expectations." What do you think?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The White Masai by Corinne Hoffman

This was a book we were going to read in our ladies's book club, but the person who suggested it changed her mind. i had already bought the book so i am currently reading it. have any of you read the book? i would love to hear your thoughts on it. i am about a third of the way through the book and i will finish it even though i don't really like it. i think the author is a selfish, crazy woman who acts as if she is a demanding spoiled teenager. she is on a trip to Africa w/ her boyfriend and sees this Masai warrior standing there. She instantly falls in love and has to get to meet him. she's there with her boyfriend but could care less about him now that she's seen this warrior. she becomes obsessed w/ meeting him and becoming his woman. what i do like is the info on the Masai culture and a description of life in Kenya. as a social studies book it has its merits. as her personal story, yuck! she really becomes obsessed. she has written 2 more books about this man and i definitely won't be buying and reading them. the people i have talked to who have read the book said the same thing. one person couldn't make herself finish the book. i
would really be curious to hear from all of you good people out there. maybe you have a different perspective and i would love to hear it.

Let me tell you about my daughter,the blogger master

My daughter did an interview w/ me already on this blog, so it is my turn to tell you a little bit about her. Daphne was originally given her name because I loved the Scooby Doo cartoon and Daphne, as you know, was the blond girl. Then when I found out her name meant gift or prize I knew I had to name her Daphne. She is my 2nd child. I have a son who is married and has 2 wonderful children that I just adore. Being a grandma is awesome.
But that's beside the point. Back to my daughter who is the brains of our blog. She loves writing and hopes to be published some day. She writes great short stories and is plotting out a novel. We took creative writing together last year and had a blast. She doesn't share her stories often because she doesn't think they are good, but trust me, they are. She loves to read and loves to e-mail her friends or IM them. She has a soft heart and is always willing to help those in need. And she is definitely an animal lover. She adores our wicked dog,Mr. Pete. She also loves our fat cat, Clara. When my mom couldn't take care of Clara anymore, she was going to take her to the humane society. But Daphne and my son begged for the cat and she couldn't stand the idea of the cat being given away. So, our cat just lazes around and I really believe that cats do sleep for 20 hours of the day as I have heard. She not only sleeps, but she snores loudly! Clara also is about 15 years old. We have had her for 10 years or so.
Daphne is really good with children. She is very creative. She has a great laugh and a great sense of humor. I think she must have gotten it from me. LOL If there were only hamburgers, pizza, and spaghetti to eat, she'd be just fine. Those are her favorite foods. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have ice cream and chocolate on the menu. We enjoy watching movies at home. We just finished watching an A&E version of EMMA with Kate Beckinsale. They took a lot of liberties with the story. We both couldn't stand Frank Churchill or Emma in this version. We really like the movie w/ Gwyneth Paltrow. Daphne is a huge Jane Austen fan. She also likes Buffy books and Janet Evonavich. She's a Nancy Drew fan, too.
There's the short version of my daughter's story. She is a great daughter and we like hanging out together.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Her Good Name

I just finished another book that we will be discussing in our ladies book club in July. The book is entitled "Her Good Name" by Josi Kilpack. The story centers around a Mexican-American woman named Chrissy, who is single, 35, and living in Idaho Falls. She is set up on another blind date which does not go well. She pays w/ her debit card and the waitress steals her identity in order to get drugs. The whole story centers on how identity theft has ruined this woman and what she does to try to re-establish her good name and credit. At first I didn't think I would like this character because of the way she acted on the blind date. Who would pull a typed sheet of their personal stats about herself out of her purse and give it to the date to read? On top of that she doesn't even remember his name. She insists on being completely honest and not playing games, yet when he turns the tables on her and asks her her weight, she gets offended. Luckily as the book goes on you discover that she does have many nice qualities. His identity happens to be stolen that night as well, but he doesn't have half the problems she does. The person who steals her identity commits all kinds of crimes and runs up 90,000 in debt, has a baby that she abandons because it has a cleft palate, and is doing drug running all in the name of helping raise money for her father's Guatamalan rebel army. There is some on and off romance woven in there. The story is chilling in the fact that this really does happen. I guess that's why I don't bank on line and I pay cash. The author does give some really helpful info in the back of the book on how to protect yourself from identity theft and what to do if it happens. The book is an easy read and not the most literary ever. I also don't like the fact that it left loose ends on a couple of plot lines. I think I have mentioned this before: I like all things tied up neatly at the end. I am left guessing about the fate of the bad guys and the fate of the main character's sister and children who move in w/ a boyfriend who doesn't seem to be all that wonderful. This book can be found in Deseret Bookstores and on line. I don't think it is available in Barnes and Noble or Borders. I don't plan on keeping it after the book club meeting. I'd be willing to pass it on if anyone is interested. Then maybe the person I send it to could pass it on to another blogger who is interested. Let me know.

Monday, May 31, 2010

"Gone" by Michael Grant

This was a young adult fiction book given to me by my daughter Daphne as a surprise gift, a just because gift, no real reason Aren't those kind of surprises nice? Anyway, it is the story of a small town in California called Perdido Beach which has great surfing and a nuclear power plant. I mention the plant because it has a role in the story. One day in the blink of an eye all the adults and everyone over age 15 disappear mysteriously. One minute they are there,and the next they are not. I thought it might be a book about the rapture like "Left Behind" by Tim LaHaye and Jenkins. I couldn't have been more wrong. The grown ups are gone, it is true, but as you progress in the book it has nothing to do with religion, the rapture, or salvation. The teens and children are left to run the city by themselves. They are trapped by some barrier that goes around their location letting no one in or out. In addition to the strange disappearing act, things are mutating at a rapid pace. The children develop supernatural talents, like shooting fire from their hands, or moving at the speed of light, etc. Not only are they changing but so are all the life forms there. Even the coyotes have developed a rudimentary ability to speak the English language. They want to learn from humans how to kill for effectively. There is also an evil force lurking below the surface. Some of the children use their powers for good, and others to take over the place. It is a battle between good and evil. The main good guys are Sam, Astrid, Edilio, and Little Pete, an autistic boy with a superpower he is not really aware he has. The bad guys are Diana, Drake, Orc, and a mysterious boy who can move things with his hands. I was not happy with the ending. I may have mentioned this before, but I do like things to be tied up neatly. Loose ends bother me. I guess they couldn't wrap it up tightly or else there would be no second and third books, which there are. I don't intend to buy the next ones unless Daphne reads it and wants the rest of the books. I would call this book the modern day version of "Lord of the Flies" complete with supernatural elements. If any of you have read it, I would love to hear your comments. Have a great week! Happy beginning of summer!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Have a Little Faith"

Hi, everyone! I am back. I have had a crazy work week and had to bring a lot of work home w/ me so I haven't had a chance to blog til now. i have read "Have a Little Faith" by Mitch Ablom and am getting ready to read it again. Daphne and I are in a women's book club. I am June's moderator and this is the book I chose. I loved it. If you have read it, would you please share your insights, pos and neg, with me? It will help me to prepare for my sharing at book club. If you have any questions that you thought of while reading the book, share those, too. I'd love to pose them to our book group and see how they answer. I'll return and share back with you. Our book night is June 1st. I may not get back to blogging til this coming weekend. Work is promising to be crazyily busy again this week and I have the definite feeling I'll be bringing home a lot of nursing notes to complete. Nursing is great! It's the paperwork and documentation that'll kill you (and take lots of time to complete). Hope you all find time to read and blog this week in your busy schedules. Have a great and safe Memorial Day! vicky

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Help give away winner!

Congrats to

who won the hardcover copy of the Help! I will be contacting you shortly.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I just discovered something new!

Hi, everyone! I guess I am not really observant or something because I just learned that my daughter has 4 book blogs, including this one! How does she keep up with so many? I have a hard time reading my e-mail and keeping up with one blog. By the way, I am finding this blogging thing to be a lot of fun. I may just become addicted. I love hearing from people and looking into your blogs and reading your ideas. I guess you really can teach a middle aged dog new tricks. How many blogs do you all have? sincerely, the senior member of the dynamic duo

Do you like books about cats?

How many of you like to read books about cats? How many of you have a cat? We have one (and a poorly behaved dog, Mr.Pete). I am asking because I stumbled across a cat book that Daphne got in a Bookcrossing swap. It is a true story about a man and the cat he adopted from a New York City alleyway. It is entitled The Cat and the Curmudgeon by Cleveland Amory. It is the 2nd book about his cat, Polar Bear. He has been an author of several books and also claims to be acquainted with a lot of famous people. (I've never heard of him before. Have you?) Anyway, I am curious to know if any of you have read the book and what you think. It is kind of slow, yet sometimes he says something very funny tongue in cheek. His cat has quite a personality. In the book he is trying to determine his cat's astrological sign, teach his cat to walk on a leash, and answer the cat's fan mail. He has done a great thing and that is he started a charity including a ranch for lost and homeless animals. (He's all right in our book for doing that.) I am slowly getting through the book. I much prefer and really like the animal stories by the English vet, James Herriott. How about you? (By the way, we've tried to get our cat to walk on a leash and she just plops down on the ground and we can't budge her 17 pounds no matter what! She's not even bribeable with a cat treat.) Again thank you to everyone who has stopped by our blog. This is just great. Happy reading! And have a great week! Signed, the older half of the mother/daughter dynamic duo

Friday, May 14, 2010

Book Blogger Hop #1

This is the first time The Mother and Daughter Book Nook will participate in the book blogger hop. Basically you get to find other cool blogs and hop around the internet doing so with links you will find at Crazy For Books. Its a really fun thing and we hope everyone will check it out and check out this site as well.

Some of Daphne's other sites of interest are:

Reading My Way Through Sweet Valley
Reading the Rainbow
We Are Reading (a forum)

Also 2 of my friends started book blogs this week. Please check them out and make them feel welcome in the blogging community.

Love To Read
Brandy's Book Review

And finally check out our BOOK GIVEAWAY. It ends this weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Interview with my co-blogger aka "Mom"

I thought it would be fun to do an interview with mom so you all could get to know her better and here's how it went. Keep in mind we are quirky folk lol

Daphne: Hi, Mom!

Vicky (aka Mom): Hi, Daphne. Long time, no see.

Daphne: Let's start out talking about your reading habits.

Vicky: If I had the time, I'd read all the time but since I'm working, I read in the evening before I go to bed. If it's a cold or rainy day, I love to be snuggled under a blanket with a book in my lap.
Daphne: What's your favorite book?

Vicky: I have too many. But the complete works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Wrinkle in Time, Harry Potter ... Oh and the Mitford series by Jan Karon.

Daphne: You have quite varied reading interests.

Vicky: Oh I love biographies and history. I also love The Book Thief and a couple of Dan Brown's books.

Daphne: What's the last book you finished?

Vicky: Possessions by Nancy Holder.

Daphne: You did a very good review of it, Ma. I will be adding my own very soon. We can have a review duel lol

Vicky: I can't wait and may the best woman win.

Daphne: Hehe. So what got you into blogging?

V: My daughter (you) did. I never really had any intention but you twisted my arm and here I am.

D: Are you having fun doing it though?

V: Absolutely. I guess I had to come into the 21st century sometime.

D: Indeed you do ... What kind of books do you like to read as a child?

V: All kinds but my favorite was Nancy Drew.

D: Did you know she celebrated her 80th birthday this year?

V: That's what you tell me.

D: I did a write-up on Nancy on my own blog.

V: I know. You made me listen to you read it.

D: What do you like about Nancy Drew, the character?

V: She was clever and it was nice to have a girl solve the crime for a change.

D: Didn't you read Hardy Boys too?

V: I did but my next favorite was The Boxcar Children.

D: Ah I loved those.

V: I became acquainted with those in sixth grade when our teacher Mrs. Paulin would read a chapter of the books after lunch. I loved the stories from the first chapter.

D: Now, mom, remember when I was a kid and didn't like to read, you would pay me for each book I finished. What don't you do that anymore? lol

V: Because you order the books and then give me the bill.

D: You're a good mom.

V: I know.

D: Very confidant too... Now what was your least favorite book of all time?

V: There have been a few but one thing I absolutely won't read is romance.

D: Why not?

V: I don't like them and they're so formulaic.

D: What about Jane Austen? You like her.

V: Yeah but there's a lot of history and culture in her stories.

D: What are you reading right now?

V: Cat and the Curmudgeon by Cleveland Amory.

D: Anything else?

V: I am about to start Gone, the book you gave me by Michael Grant.

D: Thanks for the interview, Mom! Can I entice you to read a Sweet Valley book anytime soon?

V: Not on your life!

Monday, May 10, 2010

REVIEW: Possessions by Nancy Holder

My daughter had asked me to read "Possessions" so that we could talk about it together. I usually don't read young adult or teen, but being the sweet mother that I am, I agreed to humor her. It was pretty interesting as it began. I liked how the author started out the first chapter by comparing the heroine and the rich girls at the school. I wanted to find out what the bad girls were up to and the author kept the details shrouded in mystery. I enjoyed that technique at first, but then she overused it and the book bogged down in the middle. She carried out the details so far that they got boring. The ending was brought to a quick climax in the last couple of chapters. I didn't like the ending because all the loose ends weren't wrapped up in a new little package. I like closure, I guess. However, by making it end the way she did, Nancy Holder left it wide open for a sequel. Of course. I would have liked the author to have made the back story of the murders at the academy more coherent and plain. I was left guessing as to why the other ghosts wanted to kill the 7th girl. Apparently, she was some kind of traitor (?), but it never tells the full tale. I was a bit disappointed. I won't read the next volume. I'll let someone else do that and tell me how it ends. (Like I did with the "Twilight" books. I forced myself through the first one and then asked a friend to tell me what I wanted to know about the rest of the saga.)

My dear daughter, Daphne, plans to finish the book and then write her own review. We'll see how we compare.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

In Our Mailbox #1

This is the first time my mother and I will be doing IMM together, and only my second time period. We are so new at this meme stuff hehe We are changing the title a bit to say "In Our Mail Box" since there are two of us and the books we picked up today (and there's a loot) will belong to both of us for a bit.
To learn more about this awesome blog meme, check out this post at The Story Siren. Its fun!

So today we were returning a library book we had borrowed from a library we normally don't frequent (its too far away!) and they had a sale! We arrived during the last five minutes and there were tons of books left over. However, we were in a hurry for my nephew's 1st b-day party (YAY!) so we didn't get to look them all over. But as I said above, we walked away with a bunch of books for only $4.50. How freaking cool is that, huh? lol

I decided to take pictures of the books we got and my friendly Chihuahua Mr. Pete joined in on the fun (he loves books too; though to eat, unfortunately!). Here are 2 pics:

Now to make this interesting for you all, I will list the names of the books and feel free to pick one that you'd like to have and I'll do a drawing for it on Monday, May 17th. Just reply in the comments with your email and name/author of the book you want and I'll randomly pick one on the 17th and then I will read it and then send it on to you ASAP.

The books are:
1. What Janie Found by Caroline B. Cooney
2. Until Tomorrow by Rosanne Bittner
3. Tempting Fate by Carla Neggers
4. Alias TV tie-in: Infiltration by Breen Frazier
5. Truck Music by Michael Connelly
6. Dead and Alive by Dean Koontz book 3 in Frankenstein series
7. Miss Ellie's Purple Sage Saloon by Jerrie Hurd
8. Rapture by Jacquelyn Frank
9. Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones
10. Marker by Robin Cook
11. Gone With the Witch by Annette Blair
12. Seven Deadly Sins book "Pride" by Robin Wasserman
13. The Black Book #1 by Jonah Black
14. The Wild Hunt by Jane Yolen
15. Smallville TV tie-in: Dragon by Alan Grant
16. Lord Brocktreee by Brian Jacques
17. Hush by Jacqueline Woodsen
18. Stalemate by Iris Johansen


Vicky's Saturday Spotlight Meme Post

Thanks to Lori's Reading Corner for the meme this Saturday. The idea was to blog about our favorite male mystery writer and I picked Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
I was first introduced to Conan Doyle in junior high school when the class was assigned a story about Sherlock Holmes. Since that introduction I have been a devoted fan of Mr. Holmes and his author. I have read every work Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has written. In fact, his works sit on my bookshelf and periodically I have to reread them. As much as I have tried to figure out the mystery before Mr. Holmes does, I always miss something. I am fascinated by the fact that Sherlock Holmes doesn't miss a detail and can deduce things from the simplest item. Conan Doyle was a master at mystery. I will say that my favorite story/novella is "The Hound of the Baskervilles". If you have enjoyed reading these stories, which one is your favorite? And who is your favorite portrayer of Mr. Holmes? I think the quintessential actor was Basil Rathbone. What do you think?

Giveaway #1: The Help

For our very first giveaway on this blog, we are giving a hardbound copy of The Help by Kathryn Stockett. My mom reviewed it in another post which you can read here. If you would like to have this book, please follow the rules below.

1. The drawing will close on Sunday, May 16th at Midnight PST so you must have submitted your entry by then.
2. We will randomly pick a name and email the winner within the next 2 days.
3. You get an extra entry if you follow my blog and +2 entries if you Twitter about this giveaway.
4. You don't have to have a blog to win but it does help.
5. All we ask is for a thank you!
6. Comment that you've entered so we can look out for you entry.

Fill out the entry form HERE.

REVIEW: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

"The Help" is the first novel by author Kathryn Stockett. I chose it randomly from a mail book club service as the blurb about it sounded good. The book took a while to get interesting and I almost gave up on it. However, I hate to start a book and not finish it. So I perservered. It finally got very interesting as the main character who wanted to be a writer finally got around to interviewing the black maids of families in the south. Once these ladies started to tell their stories the book got interesting. It was kind of eye opening to see what the maids had to put up with from their white employers. This book was set in the sixties so it was appropriate for the time period. The book showed how fearful these maids were to open up about their lives in case they were recognized and then fired, or worse. The ending wrapped up really well.

If you are the type of person that needs a book to grab you from the first page, this is probably not for you. If you can perservere, you may like it. I'd give it a 3.5 of 5 stars.

We will be doing a contest for this book in the next post so look out for it!

Welcome to our blog!

Hey everyone. My name is Daphne and I blog myself and now will be blogging with my mom, Vicky, on this site. She wanted a foot in the door of the book blogging world so I offered to help and The Mother/Daughter Book Nook was born lol We will be posting reviews of books we read, memes, challenges and lots of giveaways so check back as often as you can!