Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright

Book #37 for the year
Finished on 6/21/2009

I got the urge to read The Wednesday Letters when I recieved my library's e-newsletter, which includes excerpts from a different book each week. The first few pages seemed to grab my attention, and I wanted to read more, so I rushed to the library and checked out the book. My First impression was that it reminded me somewhat of Karen Kingsbury's Baxter Family, which I absolutely LOVE. I guess it did on some level, but not as much as I originally thought.

The Wednesday Letters started on the night that Jack and Laurel Cooper died in each others arms, in their home, a Bed and Breakfast Inn, in Woodstock, Virginia. In the days following their deaths, their children find boxes and boxes of letters written by Jack. He wrote Laurel a letter each Wednesday, and wrote about any number of things including his heartfelt feelings and any happenings of their lives. Their children came to cherish these letters and spent alot of time in the next few days pouring over them, often finding out interesting things about parents' relationship, including a few troubling secrets that had been kept secrets until now. And then they had to learn to deal with these secrets and learn to move on.

I really enjoyed this book, and the book kept my attention the entire time. I had actually skipped ahead and accidentally saw what one of the secrets was, which didn't actually ruin anything for me. I was still eager to know how they got to that point, and also what would happen after, and even then, there was a twist in the story that I wasn't expecting. The only character I really didn't care for was Nathan. I loved all the other characters, and especially felt sympathy for Malcom.As the synopsis says, he really is the "Black Sheep of the family" and it was interesting reading his thoughts and emotions. I also really enjoyed the one scene where several of the past visitors of the Inn came together and shared Stories.

Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice by Maureen McCormick

When I was younger, I was a huge fan of The Brady Bunch. I can remember watching the show every afternoon during the summer. I was curious to find out more about Maureen's life. I actually checked out the audiobook version of this, which is also significant (to me). This also is continuing my current interest in memoirs and autobiographies. I really enjoyed listening to this, and had no idea Maureen had been through so much. I really felt for her, and at some points my mouth just hung open in surprise and awe. I sure wish I could email her and tell her how strong I think she is. She did mention some things that went on behind the scenes of The Brady Bunch, which I found interesting, since I was a fan of the show, but I think what I found more interesting was all the issues that her family dealt with, and how she came out of that. Maureen seemed to hold alot of the burdens herself, in addition to her own struggles, and I couldn't believe how well she dealt with everything, and how she felt years later. I'm not sure how I would've dealt with some of those issues!

Date Finished 6/21/2009
Book #36 for the year (first audiobook!)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Promise by Danielle Steel

Book #35 for the year
finished on 6/18/2009

Description: Young architect Michael Hillyard and artist Nancy McAllister are determined to get married despite his wealthy mother's disapproval. Then, minutes before their wedding, a terrifying accident and a cruel deception separate Michael and Nancy -- perhaps forever. Each pursues a new life -- Nancy in California, Michael in New York. But eventually nothing -- and no one -- can keep them apart as they keep their vow never to say good-bye.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I figured this book was set in the early eighties, or late seventies, but it was really hard to tell. I thought it was amazing that Nancy was only 22 or 23, yet she had to deal with all this at that age. I really liked Nancy/Marie and identified with her on some level. It was interesting hearing her perspective as she was going through surgeries (I've had alot of surgeries in my life too). I'm not sure how I would've handled what she went through. Michaels mom was a shrew, and I wish Nancy would've stood up to her. I had hoped that Peter and Marie would get married. They seemed like a much better fit than Nancy and Michael. I thought Danielle Steel worked Nancy's name change into the story perfectly. This was definitely one of my favorite books of hers. Seeing that this was based on a screenplay, I'd be very interested to see the screenplay now. I'm also anxious to read more of Danielle Steel's older books.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Must Love Mistletoe by Christie Ridgway

Book#34 for the year
Finished 6/15/2009


Bailey Sullivan can't stand Christmas, even though her family's business is a store specializing in the perfect holiday. But now her hometown's chief supplier of rooftop Rudolphs and treetop angels is in danger of going under—it's up to Bailey to save the shop.

She has it all planned: She'll arrive on December 1 and be gone by Christmas. Plus there's always spiked eggnog to ease the pain. But "Humbug" Bailey's not the only one home for the holidays. Finn Jacobson—legendary local bad boy-turned-Secret Service agent and Bailey's long-lost high-school sweetheart—is once again the boy next door. Only this time he's all grown up, and the sparks are flying faster and hotter than ever!

Bailey believes in true love about as much as she believes in Santa Claus. But as the holiday draws closer, she's starting to think about one thing she'd like to find under her tree . . .

My thoughts:

I found this book somewhat disappointing. I didn't feel like I was right there with the characters. At some parts it seemed to drag on, and I lost interest a time or two. However, I did enjoy the ending,....probably the last 100 pages or so. I will definitely read the next book just so I can find out what happens with Bailey and Finn....I loved them. I also am anxious to read Ridgway's knitting series.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Vision In White by Nora Roberts

Book 32 for the year
Finished on June 7, 2009

I loved this book so much, I can only hope my review is written well enough to convey how much I loved this story. This was the first book I read by Nora Roberts, and DEFINITELY not my last. I have several of her books in my shelves and honestly don't know why I haven't picked any of them up. I really didn't know what this book was about before I started reading. I only knew that it was about a wedding, given the cover art. I figured it would be a good start to Nora's books since it's the first book in a series (YAY!) I was HOOKED before I even finished the prologue. When I found out that Mac was given a camera when she was a child, and was then designated "photographer" when she and her friends played their Wedding Day game, I knew this was the perfect book for me. I'm very into photography myself, so I could definitely relate to Mac. My favorite scenes were when she was setting up for a shoot and trying to decide how to capture the couples in the most creative way that was unique to them. If only I had more self-confidence, I might consider a career in Photography. For now, it's just a hobby and I'm just an amature.

I also loved Mac's three friends, Laurel, Emma, and Parker (Interesting names, I might add). Emma was in charge of Flowers, Laurel was in charge of cakes and goodies, and Parker was the "Boss" and kept everything running smoothly. These four ladies have been best friends since childhood and their favorite childhood game of "Wedding Day" turned into a business for them when they grew up. A rather SUCCESFUL and popular business! I loved the way they interacted, and were their for each other.

Mac's mom was something else! Her character was bitchy, but she added to the story. You never knew what was around the corner. And Carter's ex was another piece of work. I LOVED Carter though. I can't wait to see what's in store for he and Mac.

Obviously, as you can see I can't wait for December to get here. That is when the next book Bed of Roses will be released! Just in time for Christmas!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Romeo, Romeo by Robin Kaye

# OF books read so far this year: 31
Date Finished: 6/5/2009

Blurb from back of book:

Rosalie Ronaldi doesn't have a domestic bone in her body ...

All she cares about is her career, so she survives on take-out and dirty martinis, keeps her shoes under the dining room table, her bras on the shower curtain rod, and her clothes on the couch ...

Nick Romeo is every woman's fantasy - tall, dark, handsome, rich, really good in bed, AND he loves to cook and clean ...

He says he wants an independent woman, but when he meets Rosalie, all he wants to do is take care of her. Before too long, he's cleaned up her apartment, stocked her refrigerator, and adopted her dog ...

So what's the problem? Just a little matter of mistaken identity, corporate theft, a hidden past in juvenile detention and one big nosy Italian family too close for comfort ...

My thoughts:

I heard about this author/book from one of my online book groups. I was excited to hear about it, because I enjoy reading books about Italian-American families, since I am part Italian myself. This book was somewhat hard to get into at first, but once I got into it, I found it very entertaining. I liked reading about the family dynamics, and enjoyed the happy ending. I am anxious to read one of Robin Kaye's other books, Too Hot To Handle, which is also about an Italian-American family.