Monday, November 29, 2010


"A Virtuous Woman" by Kaye Gibbons

I like the way this book is written. Each person, Jack and Ruby, are telling the story. You get different views of each of their lives. How they meet, their life together, and Ruby's illness. You see Ruby has Cancer. So they are telling the story of her life. I would really recommend this book, it's really easy to read. I got hooked as soon as I started reading it. Couldn't put it down. My full review is posted at my place, Just Books.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


"The Summoning" by Kelley Armstrong

MY THOUGHTS: This is a new author for me. I read about this book at someone's blog and it sounded really good, so I put it on my TBR list. It is really a good book. It's also a series of books. The Awakening, The Reckoning, The Gathering(2011) are the ones in the series. The Gathering is due out in 2011. Chloe starts seeing strange things and freaks out in school. They sent her to a house for disturbed teens. But something isn't right. Chloe finds out about all the different kids there and their "special" powers. Then all hell breaks loose. Chloe, Rae, Derek, and Simmon are on the run. And do they get caught? Does Chloe find her "special" power and how to use it? You'll have to read the book to find out the answers to these questions. You can view my full review at my place, Just Books.

Ashley's 100

My list of 100 'missing' books, to remedy the fact that I'm almost a literary failure: (*= books I own)

1. The Return of the King- J.R.R. Tolkien
2. Harriet the Spy- Louise Fitzhugh*
3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest- Ken Kesey*
4. White Fang- Jack London*
5. The Illiad- Homer
6. The Divine Comedy- Dante*
7. On the Road- Jack Kerouac
8. Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte*
9. Sense and Sensibility- Jane Austen* (or any Austen minus Pride and Prejudice)
10. Frankenstein- Mary Shelley*
11. The Mists of Avalon- Marion Zimmer Bradley
12. The Handmaid's Tale- Margaret Atwood*
13. The Shining- Stephen King
14. A Clockwork Orange- Anthony Burgess 
15. American Psycho- Bret Easton Ellis
16. Flowers for Algernon- Daniel Keyes
17. Ramona Quimby, Age 8- Beverly Cleary
18. Blubber- Judy Blume
19. I am the Cheese- Robert Cormier
20. A Farewell to Arms- Ernest Hemingway* (Or The Sun Also Rises*)
21. Uncle Tom's Cabin- Harriet Beecher Stowe*
22. Stargirl- Jerry Spinelli 
23. Anthem- Ayn Rand
24. After the Rain- Norma Fox Mazer*
25. The Stand- Stephen King
26. Gone with the Wind- Margaret Mitchell
27. Pigs in Heaven- Barbara Kingsolver*
28. The Sound and the Fury- William Faulkner*
29. King of the Wind- Marguerite Henry*
30. Great Expectations- Charles Dickens* (Or any other Dickens minus A Christmas Carol)
31. Homeland- R.A. Salvatore
32. O. Henry's Stories- O. Henry (at least one collection)*
33. Our Town- Thornton Wilder*
34. Candide- Voltaire*
35. Pygmalion- George Bernard Shaw*
36. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams
37. The Screwtape Letters- C.S. Lewis*
38. The Shipping News- Annie Proulx*
39. Wicked- Gregory Maguire
40. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter- Carson McCullers*
41. The Road- Cormac McCarthy
42. Watership Down- Richard Adams
43. The Golden Compass- Phillip Pullman*
44. The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle- Hugh Lofting*
45. The Story of Mankind- Hendrik Van Loon*
46. Black Beauty- Anna Sewell
47. The Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson Burnett*
48. Anne of Green Gables- L.M. Montgomery
49. Sabriel- Garth Nix
50. The Princess and the Goblin-  George MacDonald
51. In the Forests of the Night- Amelia Atwater Rhodes
52. The Cider House Rules- John Irving*
53. The Winter's Tale- William Shakespeare (substitute possible)
54. Howl's Moving Castle- Diana Wynne Jones
55. Ender's Game- Orson Scott Card
56. The Glass Castle- Jeannette Walls
57. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn- Betty Smith
58. A Little Princess- Frances Hodgson Burnett*
59. The Wind in the Willows- Kenneth Grahame
60. Middlesex- Jeffry Eugenides
61. The Secret Life of Bees- Sue Monk Kidd*
62. Memoirs of a Geisha- Arthur Golden*
63. War of the Worlds- H.G. Wells*
64. Beloved- Toni Morrison
65. Nineteen Minutes- Jodi Picoult (Substitute Picoult book possible)
66. East of Eden- John Steinbeck*
67. The Five People You Met in Heaven- Mitch Albom*
68. The Knife of Never Letting Go- Patrick Ness
69. Never Let Me Go- Kazuo Ishiguro
70. Dealing with Dragons- Patricia C. Wrede
71. Among the Hidden- Margaret Peterson Haddix
72. The Book of Three- Lloyd Alexander
73. The Lightning Thief- Rick Riordan
74. Rebecca- Daphne Du Marier* 
75. The Jungle- Upton Sinclair*
76. Lolita- Vladimir Nabokov
77. Things Fall Apart- Chinua Achebe
78. My Name is Asher Lev- Chaim Potok
79. The Thirteenth Tale- Diane Setterfield*
80. Man's Search for Meaning- Victor Frankl
81. Trumpet of the Swan- E.B. White*
82. Twenty Boy Summer- Sarah Ockler*
83. An Abundance of Katherines- John Green 
84. One Hundred Years of Solitude- Gabriel Garcia Marquez (or Love in the Time of Cholera)
85. The (Unabridged) Count of Monte Cristo- Alexandre Dumas
86. The Ropemaker- Peter Dickinson*
87. Inkheart- Cornelia Funke
88. The Mysterious Benedict Society- Trenton Lee Stewart
89. Milkweed- Jerry Spinelli
90. Freakonimics- Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner*
91. Mother Night- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.*
92. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer- Mark Twain*
93. Oedipus Rex- Sophocles*
94. Crime and Punishment- Fyodor Dostevsky*
95. The Last of the Mohicans- James Fenimore Cooper*
96. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich- Alexander Solzhenitsyn*
97. The Perilous Gard- Elizabeth Marie Pope
98. Tam Lin- Pamela Dean
99. 84, Charing Cross Road- Helene Hanff
100. Twelfth Night- William Shakespeare

Read: 2/100
Need to Read: 98/100

Oh ya, and I blog over at Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing if you'd like to drop by and say hi! I'll be posting mini-reviews on this site, but it's more than likely that my full reviews will be posted over here! 

Hurrah and a Thank you!

We have just reached 100 followers. And I've just sent an invite to our 78th member :)

So I thought a little champagne and nibbles were in order :)

The success of this blog is down to YOU whether you're a member, reader or commenter!

So have a glass of bubbly as our way of saying


Friday, November 19, 2010


"The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson
Product Description(
An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.
# Paperback: 600 pages
# Publisher: Vintage Crime / Black Lizard (June 23, 2009)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0307454541
# ISBN-13: 978-0307454546

MY THOUGHTS: This is my book clubs pick for November. It has also been on my TBR list for ages. So when the chit chat at book club came around to this book, I jumped on it. I must say I was a little disappointed when I started reading the book. It's really slow and filled with so much info I got lost at first. Then finally it got going. What was confusing was all the info about Wennerstrom. But I really enjoyed the book. It is written with every detail that could possibly have to do with the story line plus more. Now I've got to read the other 2 books in this series. They will go on my TBR list. The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larsson and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson



"The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom
Product Description(
Plot Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him, as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It's a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie's five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his "meaningless" life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: "Why was I here?"
# Hardcover: 198 pages
# Publisher: Hyperion; 1 edition (September 23, 2003)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 1920798218
# ISBN-13: 978-1920798215

MY THOUGHTS: I have had this book on my TBR list for ages. I went to the library to return some books and forgot to take my list with me. I was trying to think of some of the books I wanted to read. And I could only think of one, this one. I'm so glad I got it. Wonderful book! Beautifully written by Mr. Albom. If you believe in heaven or if you don't, this book will make you believe. I didn't want it to end. If you haven't read this book, please do, it's wonderful.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud, not Buddy immediately finds himself shuffled out of the home for boys and into the home of the Amos', his new foster family.  But, not even 24 hours later, Bud is on "the lam". Not exactly out of choice, but because "one door closed and another door opened" - a theory he obtained from his deceased mother. He carries around a beat up suitcase with his treasures neatly packed. These treasures are clues to his past - to who he is - clues that could lead him to his father...Herman E Calloway, a musician.  From the flyers that his mother had saved, Bud, not Buddy, finds himself on a journey from Flint, Michigan to Grand Rapids.
This book made me laugh out loud, seriously. I enjoyed the voice of the MC. You could really hear him talking and thinking to himself, which ten year old boys can be quite creative in their thinking...which leads to why I laughed out loud in a hospital lobby while reading this book.
I also loved that Mr. Curtis used his two grandfathers as characters in this book.  One was a musician and the other was named "Lefty Lewis".  How fun is that?  Also, the author is from Flint..just another cool fact that was at the end of the book.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bleak House - Charles Dickens

Bleak House is one of the most absorbing books I have ever read. I read this book in bed, on the train, outside the State Library waiting for a friend, outside Melbourne Central waiting for another friend, on the treadmill at the gym and in the park at the end of my street, and every time I looked up I half expected it to be foggy, and to see hansom cabs rattle past instead of protestors and trams.

Basically Bleak House is the story of a lawsuit and its effect on those who live in its periphery, but really it's a lesson in characterisation. There are 1088 pages in my copy of the book, and I swear a new character was introduced on each page. As a random selection, there's Tulkinghorn, the creepy menacing lawyer, there's the man-child Richard Skimpole who starts off as a delighful character, but whose childishness just makes him quite awful in the end and there's Richard Carstone who begins as a sunny care-free character but who pays the price for becoming with consumed with the law suit, or the 'family curse' as it's known. My favourites though are the Bagnets - Mrs Bagnet is an awesome mother-hen of a woman who bosses everyone around, and Mr Bagnet expresses his views solely through his wife -

Mr. George produces his present, which is greeted with admiring leapings and clappings by the young family, and with a species of reverential admiration by Mr. Bagnet. "Old girl," says Mr. Bagnet. "Tell him my opinion of it."

"Why, it's a wonder, George!" Mrs. Bagnet exclaims. "It's the beautifullest thing that ever was seen!"

"Good!" says Mr. Bagnet. "My opinion."

But as he also says -

"George," says Mr. Bagnet. "You know me. It's my old girl that advises. She has the head. But I never own to it before her. Discipline must be maintained."

I could go on about this book, but I won't. It was epic, and challenging, and hilarious, and hearbreaking and I'm glad I read it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood

I put this on my list before our trip to England this past summer. It looked like a fun read and it was about the players of The Globe during Shakespeare's time.  It was an insightful historical look during that time when everyone wanted their hands on William Shakespeare's plays and how many of the plays were stolen. I liked how it explained why that was so bad for his theatre company to let other companies perform his plays.
It starts with Widge, an orphan taken in as an apprentice. He learns a secret written code from a doctor, who then sells him to a man who wants Widge to use this skill to copy one of Shakespeare's plays, Hamlet.  Widge is successful after his second trip to the theatre, but it gets stolen from his wallet.  He then pretends to want to be a player so he can steal the play and save his life from his new master.  But, it is tough to steal. One, they keep it locked up in a chest in a locked room. And two, the players become family, something he has never had. And he makes friends, something he has never done.  Can he betray them?  It's a tough decision  that keeps you reading to see how he will make the right decision and still live.