Friday, March 28, 2008

Honor Thyself- Danielle Steel

# of book read so far this year: 18
Title: Honor Thyself
Author: Danielle Steel
Year Published: 2008
Rating (1-5): 5
Date Finished: 3/28/08
Genre: Romance
# of pages: 323
Number in Series: ~~~~~
Where did the book come from: I checked it out from the library
Why I read it: I LOVE Danielle Steel and I read all of her books!
Blurb (story line): Carole, a famous movie star, trip to Paris to find answers to questions about her past. While there she is caught in a terrorist attack. She lives, but loses her memory, so she has to rely on her best friend Stevie, her kids, Anthony and Chloe, and her Ex-Husband Jason to remember everything. Her lover from Paris, Mattieu comes to see her, and wants to see if they can rekindle their relationship. Carole's memory starts slowly coming back, and soon she is able to remember most everything. She agrees to give her relationship with Matthieu another chance too. He'll come to live with her in Los Angeles for a few months, then she'll go to Paris to be with him, and they'll go back and forth to see how everything goes.
My personal thoughts and comments: I really liked this story....I didn't really like Chloe, I thought she was too needy. And I didn't really care for Matthieu. I hate people that think they can get what they want just because of who they are. I would've much rather seen Carole go back to Jason.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

# of book read so far this year: 21
Title: Nineteen Minutes
Author: Jodi Picoult
Year Published: 2007
Rating (1-5): 5
Date Finished: 3/17/08
Genre: contemporary fiction
# of pages: 455
Number in Series: ~~~~~
Where did the book come from: I checked it out from the library
Why I read it: I've really enjoyed the books I've read so far by this author, and I'd been wanting to read this one.
Blurb (story line): Peter Hougton was a Jr in high school, and had been bullied by other students since he started Kindergarten. The bullies, were from the popular crowd, and seemed to pick on Peter, because he wasn't like them. Peter never seemed to be able to get anyone to listen to him or to help him put an end to the bullying. Finally, on March 6th, 2007, he went into school and shot and killer 10 students, and wounded several others. The book was about his life growing up, before the school shooting, as well as what went on at the trial, and the outcome of the trial.
My personal thoughts and comments: I can not stand people who think they're "above" everyone else, so parts of this story struck a nerve with me. I was not popular in highschool, but I wasn't bullied either. And I don't remember seeing or hearing about anyone who was bullied. And people who are highschool age, want so desperately to fit in and be liked by the "in crowd" even if it as the expense of others. I really felt for Peter....popular people tend to think they're better than everyone else, and this story was a great example of how they sometimes act, and how they sometimes seek out people who they think are less than them, and different than them. The ending was a bit surprising. Of course, Josie didn't "remember" until it was convenient for her that she had in fact, shot Matt herself, and Peter hadn't. I really couldn't stand Matt....he was too cocky and conceited for my taste. Josie wasn't really any better.....she just was desperate to be popular.
This was a very good story, and I really think that all high school class (English, perhaps?) should read this book. It took forever to read, not because I wasn't enjoying it, but because it was so intense that I found I could only read a short amount, then I'd have to stop so I could digest that information.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

More than Words Volume 1- by Diane Palmer, Carla Neggers, Emilie Richards, Brenda Novak, and Susan Mallery

# of book read so far this year: 13
Title: More Than Words Volume 1
Author: Diane Palmer, Carla Neggers, Emilie Richards, Brenda Novak, Susan Mallery
Year Published: 2004
Rating (1-5): 3
Date Finished: 3/5/2008
Genre: fiction, anthology
# of pages: 377
Number in Series: 1
Where did the book come from: the library
Why I read it: because I started reading the 3rd volume in this series and I wanted to start at the beginning and read all the way through
Blurb (story line):

In The Greatest Gift by Diane Palmer, Mary Crandall and her 3 children are left homeless, without a car, and with very little money after her abusive husband leaves her and takes everything. They go to a homeless Shelter, and then end up at a motel. One night, Mary goes to the restaurant and asks for some chicken wings to give her children. The person at the restaurant tell her they throw away a lot of food every night and she is welcome to take it for free....she starts coming there every night. This gives her the idea to contact other restuarants to ask them if she can take their extra food that they'd otherwise be throwing away and donate it to homeless shelters. This soon turns into such a big project that she gathers volunteers and several cars to get the food to all the different places. It is amazing the generousity that comes from people Mary least expects it from. Eventually, the food bank offers Mary a part time paid position to organize this huge program. Mary also meets a cop, Matthew Clark, who she can possibly see herself with in the future. This was my first time reading anything by Diane Palmer, and I liked this story so much I definitely want to check out some of her other books.

Chefs To The Rescue is a program that gets surplus food from restuarants and stores and gives it to local shelters and needy families. It started out as a family project, and now the founder, Sue Cobley, is employed full time by the food bank. From the time this book was published, they had acquired 187,000 pounds of food the previous year (around 2003 or 2004). Sue is trying to help other cities and food banks establish this same type of program. I did some research online and came across a couple website that have more information, perhaps more accurate information than what the book said. The website is

The next story in the anthology was Close Call by Carla Neggers. It was about a cop and a prosecutor who happened to be at a bed and breakfast at the same time. The other guest there was under a false name. The lady who ran the B&B Inn was hiding from her abusive husband.

Personally I didn't really like this story that much, this story was supposed to be based on Shelternet, a website designed to help Women and Children find shelters to get away from abusive family members. The only reference made to Shelternet in the story was the advertisement hanging on the wall.

Shelternet is a website designed to connect abused women across Canada with local shelters. It provides links to local helplines, information on developing a safety plan, and stories of inspiration from other women. It also reaches out to children and teens of abused women. It was launched in August 2002 and it was founded by Jan Richardson and Cathy Babcock. The website is

The third story in the anthology was Hanging By A Thread by Emilie Alexander. It was about this girl, Molly, who had been in foster Care. The main character in the story is Tracy, and her husband, Graham. Molly babysits for Tracy's sisters children. The family that Molly is living with is going to be moving to Europe and are not willing to adopt Molly so she can go with them. So, the social worker will be putting Molly in a group home, which means Molly has to change schools and move, yet again. Tracy and Graham decide to apply to become Molly's foster parents, so she can continue going to the same school. It's a little tough in the beginning but Molly soon starts to feel like part of the family. Molly has this quilt that she got a long time ago from Quilts From Caring Hands, that is one of the only things she has that she can call her own. At the end of the story, Tracy and Grah decide to adopt Molly, and they sell their condo and move to the Alsea. Emilie Richards was another first time author for me. I liked this story much better than Close Call, and I will definitely be reading more of Emilie's books in the future.

Quilts from Caring Hands is an program that donates to children who are in foster care, ill, children that were abused or homeless children. It was started in 1990 and has since donated over 3,200 quilts to children. It started out as a group of 4 women, and grew to 15 women by the end of the first year, and now is a group of 45 women. It was started by June Nielsen and it is based out of Oregon. The website is

Small Packages was actually about several different people in my opinion. Noelle is an artist and makes these memory boxes and donates them to hospitals to give to people who have lost their infants. In the course of her volunteering, she meets Harrison, who's ex girlfriend, Lynette, got pregnant, and ended up having twins. Lynette died while giving birth and one of twins didn't make it either, which is what brought Noelle and Harrison together in the first place. Noelle also happens to be grieving from the infant son she lost last year after her ex-husband hit her. She talks Harrison into letting her adopt his son, which he has named Jeremy. They agree to an open adoption, allowing Harrison to be a part of the child's life. Then, Harrison decides he can't let Noelle adopt his child, that he wants to raise it himself and takes the baby home. Noelle is crushed and feels like she lost her child all over again. Eventually, Harrison decides he does in fact want Noelle in his life, but that he has feelings for her and wants to marry her. The story ends with Harrison asking Noelle to marry him and her saying yes.

I didn't really like this story...I didn't like Noelle at all, and while I was reading, I was hoping that Harrison would change his mind and the adoption. I felt that in grieving for her own loss, Noelle forced herself on Harrison and his baby, that she had NO RIGHT to.

The Memory Box Artist program are little boxes created and given to mothers who have lost their infants. It gives them something special to hold all their momentos (foot prints, crib cards, hospital wrist bands, etc). This program was launched in June 1998, with 20 boxes going to 3 hospitals. According to the info in the book, more than 58,000 boxes have gone out to over 600 hospitals around the world. The website is

The last story in the book was Built to last by Susan Mallery. It was about Marissa who helped teach adults how to read. The charity is having an auction and she's in charge of getting the prizes. She meets Aaron, who builds furniture. Aaron agrees to donate a handmade bookcase. He tends to keep to himself and seems afraid to let himself get too close to people, since losing his wife and son when they were killed in a car accident. Marissa tries on several different occasions to get him involved in the charity work, and he fights it, but at the same times, realizes that he likes being around Nicole. He even starts a class and teaches children how to build simple things. Then, he decides he doesn't want anything to do with the charity and tells Marissa to just leave him alone. Then, one night there is a fire in an apartment complex and he realizes he doesn't want to just sit back and watch, he wants to help do whatever he can. He realizes that in keeping up the legacy his wife and son left, he needs to make a difference in the lives of others. He and Marissa finally admit their feelings for each other, and admit they want to be together.

My personal thoughts and comments: I was a bit dissapointed in this book....I only really liked two stories out of the 5. The Greatest Gift by Diane Palmer and Hanging By A Thread by Emilie Richards.

Table For Five by Susan Wiggs

# of book read so far this year: 19

Title: Table For Five

Author: Susan Wiggs

Year Published: 2005

Rating (1-5): 4

Date Finished: 2/29/08

Genre: contemporary romance

# of pages: 456

Number in Series: ~~~~~

Where did the book come from: used bookstore

Why I read it: I read it because I've really enjoyed Susan Wiggs' books so far and this was just another one to add to the pile. And several people had been recommending this book to me.

Blurb (story line): A divorced couple Crystal and Derk are killed in a car accident one afternoon, leaving behind their 3 children Cameron, Charlene (Charlie), and Ashley. Derek's brother, Sean is granted guardianship and Crystal's best friend Lily, also spends a lot of time with the children. Sean is a professional golfer and plays in a tournament the following summer. Sean, the children, and Lily drive across the country for the tournament, and during the course of the summer, they realize their feelings for each other. The following October, Seans asks Lily to marry him. Meanwhile, the children are dealing with their grief over the death of their parents. Cameron acts out by commiting vandalism, Charlie struggles in school, but slowly improves, and Ashley is really too young to realize what's going on. However, it is discovered that Ashley is not, in fact, Derek's child. She is the child of Cameron's golf instructor, who mom had an affair with.

My personal thoughts and comments: This book somewhat reminded me of the movie Raising Helen. I will say that it was a little bit different than what I was expecting, so I was slightly disappointed. I didn't like how it seemd to focus more on Sean than on the children, though I have to admit that the summer away did all 3 children good. When I first started the book, I was annoyed by the Derek and Crystal's denial of Charlie's problems, not knowing what was coming next. I also felt that they didn't really take Cameron's begging for attention by acting out very seriously. I do think though that between the two of them, Sean and Lily did a great job caring for the children. I kept waiting for something to happen regarding the truth about Ashley's father, and was expecting it much earlier than it actually happened . I was glad the instructor chose his golf tournament instead of Ashley, only so Ashley could stay with her brother and sister, and Sean and Lily, people she KNOWS and TRUSTS.